Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Random Christmas Musings....with photos.

My great niece Kendall and nephew Brady who are 16 and 14 months old are getting little jean jackets for Xmas embroidered by me. Last name on the back and initial on the front. 
I embellished a trim on Brady's jacket and finished Kendall's while watching bad TV today. Funny the Louvrak one, made while drinking wine is more centered and better than the Bearden one drinking cranberry juice!

Sarah/(louie louie here) got this race car set for me for Brady for when he comes over. It's so cute and a learning toy too! Thank you Sarah! Can't wait until he gets to play with it. 

I made photo garlands for all of my nieces and nephews and will add to the garland each year about 10 photos that i take in the next years for the babies. This one happens to be Kylee's (formerly known as Modern Hippie who is now 25 years old.) 


1. Drink and Sew: Today Sarah/louie and i sewed at her house for hours (while drinking some good Ghost Pines red blend wine.) I embroidered and she made pajamas for her sister in law. We used to do this back in the 1980's when we made our own clothes. Great Christmas kind of day!

2. Christmas Tree RoadKill: On the way over to Sarah's house i saw a small Christmas tree kind of smushed on the side of the freeway and it even had the stand attached! And i thought WTF? Did it just fall out of the back of someone's trunk or off their car roof? How funny if they didn't notice. But not so funny if you were the car behind them!

3. Open 24 Hours?  And on my way home i noticed the Bikini Barista on South Tacoma Way (certainly not the best part of town) advertised that they were open 24 hours a day. Hmmmm.... who needs espresso all hours of the day? Can you imagine having your daughter come home telling you she got a job there?

4. Husband in the Doghouse: My husband bought a weird contraption so he can water the tree from above but i always thought it was stupid because you still have to bend down to make sure you didn't overflow the tree stand. (AT least you should do that, right?) So it never made sense to me. And guess what? It overflowed. I was looking for a box under the tree yesterday and noticed it was all wet when i pulled it out.

So we have this corner of our maple hardwoods that are all lifted and damaged from the water and discolored. Needless to say i was not happy.

5. Bad Omen? My Nephew Brian came over to help me lift the tree so I  could mop up the water underneath and move it to another spot and we broke my glass ornament that my friend Jackie gave me when we got married, a vintage car with 'Just Married' on the back. (When Nephew Brian asked me if it was special I lied and said no. ) And though i was not mad anymore by the time Husband Brian came home feeling very guilty,  when i told him about the ornament "Ohhhh, that probably means we'll get a divorce now." lol.

6. The Upside: However, i do think our insurance may pay for redoing the finish, and since that is a huge undertaking we may as well go ahead and re-tile the kitchen. So it might end up being a good thing.

7. A Special Priest: My friend (fellow Gumbo YaYa) Catherine (Cat) P. from Facebook, who bombs my wall with cat photos mailed  me a book of her recently deceased very special progressive priest's homilies (His name was Father Skeehan). I wish i had known such a priest in my growing up Catholic years. I just started it but I can see why he was important to her and why she organized help for him on Facebook as he was dying. Appropriately, it starts with The Christmas Season. Too bad he never got to meet Pope Francis.

What do y'all have going for the season so far?

Brady's mom Adrienne sends out a photo about every two weeks of her son to a few family members. Here is the one from this week. He is sitting in his "man chair". He's the happiest baby i've ever known. 


Notes to Self: 
Book: The Paying Guests (LOVE it!)
Sunrise/Sunset: 7:52 am ; 4:22 pm
Temp hi/low: 46/35
Longest Run: 43 minutes (Foot MUCH better!)
In the News: :(   .... all of those children killed by the Taliban at the Pakistani school. 132 children.
:) news = Hawks beat Niners.
Word Count: 555. (not counting notes and before editing).
Number of Stupid Facebook Tests I Took This Week: 3:
Are you OCD? ;  What Should Your Favorite Color Be? What is Your Dream House? (I'm in the low end of the top tier for OCD; blue; Exotic cottage.)

Clearly i have too much time on my hands!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Testing 1-2-3

I have been trying to troubleshoot blogger because I'm hearing folks often have trouble with Comments section. I have checked all the settings about allowing everyone to post and turning off moderation and the proving you're a robot. Then it mentioned that the template might be causing it.

And yes, this template had been customized. So i reset it using the instructions and changed how comments look. You will notice if you post one. It's a different look that i don't like as well (blogger warned me about that too) but it might work better.

The 'proving you're not a robot' button is turned off but on my end still shows up. However I just ignore the box and posted and it showed up (on the previous post).

i do know that all of this works better if you are using a Google account. But if you don't have one or don't want to log in to it then just continue to post anonymously and add your name to the bottom. I will continue to check my spam box to make sure nothing goes in there and to allow you to post that way if it does.

I don't really know what else to do. :( ....hope it works. If you are reading, i would appreciate if you would post a test comment so i can see if anything is fixed. Let me know what happens.

Worst comes to worst, i may have Brian help me switch to WordPress. And if that doesn't work, i think i'll just quit blogging and start using Facebook as kind of a blog instead.

Thanks y'all for being here.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Randomness

Photo from last week at the Vashon Island beach house. One of my favorite spots in the world!



1. In the News: Ferguson. You know what? I don't think there is a way a white person can talk about Ferguson or any similar event that won't make them sound racist or trying to hard to not sound racist. So i only put this here for historical reference. 

2. Looking Forward To: A smaller Thanksgiving with my nephew Brian and his wife and Baby Brady, my parents, and my brother Troy. I can't believe how excited I am to watch the Seahawk's play San Francisco. In past years i was always so irritated about football on T-Day! 

3. Good News: It was scary to do but I cut many inches off my hair! It's not easy making it look as good as the stylist though cause it's so freaking curly. It boinged up without the weight of my hair. I have so much of it. 

4. Discovery: Bruno Mars on SNL! I knew OF him, but not his music. What i really love is his performance. That man can dance - just like Michael Jackson. He even looks like him and dresses similar. Better than Michael because he doesn't have the weirdness....plus he's alive~! 

5. What I Might Do: Take up yoga. I'm not a good candidate for yoga because i'm the furthest thing from anything that is meditative or new age. But maybe that is why i need it. Plus i continue to hurt and i know it's from not stretching and running for so long. Besides my right foot, now my left knee (probably because i favor it) is giving me trouble. 

6. What I'm Thankful for: 

  • That everyone of my friends and family are healthy; 
  • My great nephew Baby Brady who has made it possible for me to be a grandma without having my own kids; 
  • Retirement so that i can spend time babysitting, reading, cooking, and not worrying about insomnia; 
  • My husband; 
  • Music - as i type, i am listening to Christmas Blues on Pandora One. I LOVE Pandora One, i have said this before, but it's the best $5 a month i've ever spent;
  • Books and more book; 
  • Living in the Pacific Northwest; 
  • Having enough money to do stuff and buy good quality, and still save but not so much that i ever take it for granted; 
  • Jon Stewart; 
  • The Seahawks
  • That I am not an only child. 
What are y'all thankful for? 

Notes about posting comments here: Try a few things. First be sure you are logged in to your Google Account. I understand to get your name to stick on blogger you might have to click off the box that says Keep Me Logged In. PCs seem to have more trouble here than Mac computers. Not sure about other devices like phones. I know i have trouble with my iPad sometimes posting. 

If all that fails just post anonymously and add your name to the bottom. I might have to check my spam box more frequently and open it, but that's okay. I will try and figure this out further. I hate talking to myself but i'm not ready to quit blogging just yet. 

Notes to Self: 
Sunrise: 7:32 am
Sunset: 4:26 pm
Temp hi/low: 50/38



Saturday, November 1, 2014

What I do ....

I took this photo over a week ago. Skinny Enchiladas from my new cookbook!

1. I'm cooking more. I'm not a super adventurous cook, but i do like cooking. Movies like Chef (watched it for the second time last night) inspire me and sometimes i read cookbooks like novels.  These chicken enchiladas were so good!

2. I buy 'hanging around the house' clothes. Recently i bought a couple of pair of Zella capri pants. Now that i found those underpants that don't show the VPL i'm all about the yoga-y pants. They are like magic underpants!

3. I watch reruns of Friends back to back. I never watched Friends regularly when it was on. It's shocking to see an episode and find out it was 1998 when it feels like it was only 5 years ago.

4. I research everything. I have spent days researching custom entertainment centers and Smart TVs. I've made drawings of the furniture design and met with my cabinet makers. And finally i settled on a Samsung 50" Smart TV. It was ridiculous the time i spend online making these decisions.

I am also researching tile patterns for my kitchen.

5. I check Facebook about 50 times a day. I'm considering going on another hiatus just to see if i can get more done around the house.

6. I babysit. (Often.) When i was quite younger and knew I didn't want children I used to say i wish i could figure out a way to have grandkids. And then my favorite nephew Brian (Troy's son) had a baby boy and they don't have a grandmother around to help out.  I'm in love with this happy little guy.

7. I read. Lately i have been reading about four books at once and not finishing any of them. Except i will finish Close Your Eyes and Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian. Though it's not upbeat because it's about an orphan and a nuclear meltdown. 

8 I run. Still having foot issues which i don't think will go away unless i give it up. But i am determined to keep at it. 

9. I fret about aging. I hate my skin and my hair and my eyebrows. 

10. I bore myself. But I mean that in a good way. I am going back to work at my old job for about 6 weeks starting next week. I went in to the office for the second time since i retired last April to get oriented to what is needed from my replacement as she has hip replacement surgery. I could actually almost feel my blood pressure rising in the 3 hours i was there as stuff swirled around us. So yeah, i kind of like being bored and boring right now. I'll get past it after awhile and get busy. 

I read somewhere that retired people should not commit to anything for one year. And i'm going to take that literally. People are surprised that now that i have so much time i have done nothing politically. They might even be sort of mad at me, but i don't care. I don't plan to stay this way, but for now, i'm good. 



Notes to Self 
Word Count: 540 (not counting Notes)
What I hope for: My one brother Scott got the job he wanted! I hope my other brother Troy (who i just helped with a resume) gets the one he applied for. 
What I'm looking forward to: Going to Seattle to have dinner at my niece Ashley and her fiancĂ©'s place. 
Sunrise yesterday: 7:52 am
Sunset: 5:55 pm (Daylight savings time is over tonight! 
Temp: 56/40
What I'm procrastinating about: Once again, my photo album of our Italy trip! 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How to look good in yoga pants; more 50 cent words and other random nonsense....

Bless me Blogger for i have sinned, it's been two weeks since my last blog post!

The BEST pair of underpants ever for hiding VPL (visible panty line) while wearing yoga pants.




1. About those underpants: I don't know about y'all but i could never wear a thong. And going commando while wearing yoga pants just seems gross. But these work. I went to Nordstrom and bought six pair and i think i am going to go back and get 3 more. They really do not show the underpants line! They are called TC Edge. And you can find them at Nordstrom or tcfineintimates.com. They are made by Cupid Intimates. They cover your whole butt and don't ride up! (They cost $18 a piece, or 3 for $39.)

2. Re: The word underpants. Some words i really hate and i found out i'm not alone, i forget where i recently read this, but it might have been Huffington Post. I have always detested the word panties!  In addition, i hate these words too: 
  • hubby 
  • ointment
  • cigarette
  • pedagogy
  • rigorous

2. 50 Cent Words: I finished reading the book We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves last week. Again this is a book with a tortuous vocabulary. (Oddly enough for a person who loves to write, my vocabulary is so elementary that i actually found the word 'tortuous' by thesaurasing the word 'difficult'.) Here are the words: 
  • insouciance
  • inchoate
  • reconnoiter
  • seduously
  • diegesis
  • ithyphallic

3. Here is a good quote from that same book:
"When there is an invisible elephant in the room, one is from time to time bound to trip over a trunk." 

4. My new favorite commercial is the Geico one with the teenagers and the horror movie. Where the girl says 'why don't we leave in the running car?' and they guy says 'Are you stupid? Let's hide in the shed with the chainsaws.' 



5. Renee Zellweger : I am somewhat embarrassed to admit to checking out Trending Topics on Facebook, and this one is a doozy. (I even called up louie to see if she had seen it.) Renee doesn't look terrible, she just looks like a totally different person. How did she do that and why? (I think she got rid of her squinty eyes and did something to change the shape of her face.) My husband's celebrity crush was on her and when i showed him her new look he was quite disappointed. I think she looks like a generic beauty now and that's too bad. 

6. My celebrity crush: Bradley Cooper. I've written about him on my blog before. He was so adorable on Jimmy Fallon's show earlier this week when they both started cracking up while talking about The Elephant Man which is of course a serious play (starring Cooper). Sometimes you see a celebrity and just know you would love to go out and knock back chardonnays with them in real life. People like Bradley, also Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Thompson, Meryl Streep come to mind. 

7. Celebrity Non-Crushes: I don't think i would like the following people in real life: 
Robert DeNiro
Barbra Streisand
Scarlett Johannsen
Christina Aguilara
Madonna
John Mayer
Anyone who starred in the Twilight movies 

OK, i'm probably over my 500 word count. Why don't you come and add your least favorite words and celebrity non-crushes! AND any product endorsements! 

Notes for Me:                                           
Sunrise: 7:38 am
Sunset:  6:11 pm (We have lost 47 minutes of daylight in two weeks). 
Longest Run: 43 minutes 
What I'm procrastinating about: Sending a sympathy card, making a dental appointment.
What I'm looking forward to: Going to Jazzbones and listening to blues this weekend with friends!
Word Count: about 535 (not counting notes) 
What i hope for: That my brothers get jobs soon!
In the News: Ebola (still);  Percy Harvin getting traded from the Seahawks; Renee Zellweger. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Stuff I Googled Today. With photos!

Today i did a lot of things besides change this blog post. Here they are in order with bullets, so as not to confuse y'all with my numbered items of Stuff I Googled Today.

  • Watched Midnight in Paris (which started the whole Googling thing) on Encore this morning. 
  • Walked for 1-1/2 hours with my sister in law Marie at the park. 
  • Grocery shopped.
  • Cooked dinner from my new SkinnyTaste Cookbook.
  • Ordered a baby present from Amazon.
  • Googled the following: (In this same order almost.) 

1. What happened to Owen Wilson's nose anyway? (He is the main character in the Midnight in Paris movie. (Which i really liked!) 

He broke it twice, once in a high school fight, and again in football. 

2. Who is that super handsome actor who played Ernest Hemingway in that movie? 
Turns out it is Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway

What he really looks like without the toupee. 

3.  How often are you supposed to rotate your tires?

4. What is the safest baby car seat for a toddler?

5. How long does white wine keep in the refrigerator if the bottle is 2/3 full?

6. What percentage of my finances should be in cash accounts?

7. What is Hilltop Kitchen's menu like?

8. Who makes a good pair of underwear that won't show VPL in yoga pants?

9. Hair styles for women over 50 with thick hair.
i wonder if my hair could do this? I'm afraid it might end up looking like a helmet! 

This is what my hair looks like if i don't do anything to it. (It looks far worse in the front.)


10. Substituting turkey for chicken in recipes.

This is my own photo of dinner tonight: Skinnytaste recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu meatballs. Only i used turkey.

11. Custom Entertainment Centers
I like this one, not quite so big, but this i what i want! This actually sort of looks like our place with the floors and walls. 

Also considering replacing my 6" kitchen floor tiles with this.

Notes to Self: 
Sunrise: 7:18 am
Sunset: 6:38 pm (loss of 23 minutes of daylight this week). 
What I'm looking forward to: I can't think of anything right now. I'll come back to it. 
Longest run: 38 minutes (My foot is giving me troubles again, dammit!) 
Book: I keep picking up and putting down books. So far i haven't finished: Dear Daughter, The Leftovers, Galveston, The Invention of Wings, American Rust, and another book that I've forgotten. 
Word Count: 290-ish (Without these notes.... This is probably the least amount of words i've ever posted on a full blog post!...Edited to add that i made up for it in COMMENTS!)


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Numbering Random Shit

My new cookbook! 

I have no idea what to write about so i'm just going to start numbering and wing it. 

 1. Amazon: I hate shopping, but love getting packages in the mail, especially from Amazon. Today i received my new SkinnyTaste cookbook. It is such a pretty cookbook with nice slick pages and beautiful photos of the recipes. 

I also bought 5 cds. I buy cds because they cost the same as iTunes ( i tend to lose cds i burn). I bought new ones from Ryan Adams, Natalie Merchant, The Wood Brothers, and John Mellencamp and an earlier Amos Lee. (I ran to Ryan Adams today. While listening to the lyrics i worried that his marriage to Mandy Moore might be on the rocks.) 

2. Money: Tomorrow i meet with my Smith Barney guy. FINALLY i've had time to look really deep into my investments. He won't be prepared for how much i have prepared, complete with running tapes and notes showing my math. My newest mutual fund investment that he got me in when i started investing my pension before totally quitting work has only netted 10% in one year while sitting stagnant. On the other hand, my 401K from work (the one he wants me to roll over) had increased by 24% comparing the same year. 

3. The Secret Service: Glad they aren't babysitting my new great nephew Baby Brady! 

4. Books: I just finished reading the book Seating Arrangements and the author used a lot of 50 cent words. Here is just a small sampling: 

dishabille
mandibular
flensing
crenellation
coxcomb
insouciance
covalence
timorous

I don't think i want to go out and have wine with Maggie Shipstead. 

5. Running: Yay! My new Brooks Adrenaline shoes, the SuperFeet inserts, and the stretching that my doctor recommended has almost fixed my plantar faciitis. It is so much better. I can now run two days in a row.

6.  Jon Stewart - I love when he gets pissed at the absurdity of Fox News ( and the rest of them, but especially Fox News). I was cheering my TV when he took on Fox's LatteGate, (so named because Obama saluted while holding a cup of coffee in the same hand). I really think Jon Stewart might be the sanest man in the national news these days, next to Brian Williams, (who i also love). 

7. Mid-Term Elections: I saw my old office posting on Facebook about the phone banks and doorbelling going on. This is after spending all of May and June collecting signatures for the class size initiative (which i also thankfully dodged by retiring the day they sent the email about the signature gathering). I think the WEA killed my political mojo. I hope it's not gone forever. 

8. Data Breaches: People laugh at me for writing checks and carrying around a lot of cash but recently Albertson's grocery got hit with a credit card breach. I don't have to be worried!  I only write checks or pay cash there. 
The first thing i plan to cook out of it! 

Notes to Self: 

Last books read: Mr. Mercedes and Seating Arrangements. This makes 34 books on my list since i retired in April 2014.
Temperature yesterday: hi/low 69/49
Sunrise: 7:08 am
Sunset: 6:51 pm (Is my math correct on this? We are lost 48 minutes of daylight in one week?!
Looking forward to: Seahawks playing Monday Night Football and booking a trip for Thanksgiving by ourselves. (Looking at a new place on Vashon Island, since our favorite place is booked.)
Procrastinating: Organizing my Italy photos into a book; cleaning out my cupboards in the kitchen and garage.
Word Count: 501

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Stuff that Scares Me. Both Big and Little.

Autumn sky photo tonight
1. I did correct myself a couple of blogs back by saying ISIS did indeed scare me more than Ferguson after i said i was more scared of what was happening within our country among ourselves. Yes, ISIS does indeed scare me now. But i'm not going to change my life. hahaha... i'll still keep reading within the confines of my abode! They have to knock on my door to get me!

2. Actually, this might surprise some folks who know that i am liberal. I think i want a gun. I would learn how to use it. and when i say that i mean i would practice shooting for hours and hours and weeks and weeks so that i know what i'm doing. And hey, i have the time.

3. I have two brothers and right now both of them are unemployed. One builds houses and the federal funding for his contraction management job that was like Habitat for Humanity is done.

The other has always worked in middle management, by working his way up the top without a college degree and he was let go last April, one of the last to be let go in his company. Getting a similar job without a degree is not easy, especially not when you are past middle age. (No one in my family has a bachelors' college degree.... except my niece Kylee, who used to post here as Modern Hippie before she gave up all blogging.) So, I am afraid they won't get jobs.

4. I am afraid of stepping on slugs. I am afraid of slugs more than spiders.

5. I am afraid that my employer the Washington Education Association, state teachers' union won't be around for the length of my pension as it is now.

6. I've been trying to be more educated about retirement and investments and i keep hearing that we are headed for a new stock market crash. (Have y'all heard this too?)

7. I am afraid of having to give up running because i'm getting older. It's getting harder even as i am trying hard to stick with it.

8. I am afraid my dad is going to die before my mom.

9. I'm afraid my blog is going to die. Then i will be forced to go back and writing long hand in my journals. Which by the way i have to let louie know where those things are in the event of my death. Only right now i think they are in storage and i have no idea where that even is.

10. That something bad is going to happen to my family.

What are y'all afraid of? Big and little.

Notes to Self: 
Word Count: 449
Sunrise: 6:59 am
Sunset: 7:06 pm ( We have lost 24 minutes of daylight in one week.)
Temperature yesterday: 68/55
Books: Now on book 32. Finished reading Coming Clean and Son of a Gun. Both memoirs. Both really good reads.
What I'm procrastinating about: Getting stuff together for my financial planner meeting; organizing photos from my digital camera; cleaning my kitchen cupboards
Longest run this week: 45 minutes again. Still able to do that same route. Hurts, but not as much as before.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Small Irritations ...What are yours?

My Very Old Old Navy Weekend Pants. (I have had these for over 15 years and they are so comfortable that i'm fixing them up too.) 
Sometimes when the world feels crazy, such as with all of the ISIS stuff and the NFL domestic violence, and the fact that it appears we have a bigger race problem since Obama was elected, you have to decide to focus instead on the small dumb ass things that bug you that you might be able to control if you took the time.

Here's mine:

1. The kitchen sink trap filled with gunk. I am obsessive about cleaning it out. My husband never seems to see the crap in that little basket.

2. Bright lights, especially overhead lights with no dimmers in homes. I am all about the low glowy lights in my home. It makes me feel cozy.

3. My car door automatically locks when i get in it and i don't like that. I prefer to lock my own door. It's a control issue thing. It totally freaked me out when i first bought this Honda and it did this because my other Honda was so old and without this feature.

4. Technology upgrades. 'Nuf said.

5. My passive aggressive Comcast remote. I guess it's probably time to upgrade to a Smart TV, maybe it won't give me so much grief. It's not the batteries. It just intermittently decides when it wants to change channels.

6. The political gun control ads in our area are already all over the TV. It is going to be a deluge, worse than the genetically engineered foods initiative last year. I hated all those ads.

7. Apple - they are no longer going to make iPods. What happens if mine breaks or gets lost! i don't have a phone to hold my music. How will i run without out?

8. Our recycle company used to accept glass but quit quite awhile ago. Only paper, cardboard and aluminum. I have more bottles than all that other shit. Not only that they moved the recycle area further away from us so they don't even make it easy as they charge a lot.

9. My hair. It's too long, but i hate it when it's shorter too. At least when it's long i can put it all up and forget about it. But now the ends are bad so i'm going in to get some cut off Friday. I wish it was straighter and not so thick so i could cut it appropriately for my age without having it be a major maintenance issue.

That's actually the best i can do right now, i must be forgetting some things. I think i'm becoming too content to keep up this blog, my goal of once a week is harder now that i'm not working. Why is it when you have more time, you do less?

Notes to self: 
Word Count: 457
Sunrise: 6:49
Sunset: 7:20 (This means we have lost 43 minutes of daylight since my last post! :(
Temp yesterday hi/low: 76/54
Books: Reading #30 now: finished The Weight of Blood, Astonish Me and am now reading We Only Know So Much.
Longest Run: 45 minutes. Ran twice in a row today, haven't done that since July. Plantar faciitis still there, but getting better i think.



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Since i don't like lying.


My old New Bohemian jean jacket - resurrected after it fell apart in the wash. 


yeah, my peace sign is crooked. 

I'm changing the blog even though i have no ideas for a topic. Here is what i did today so i can be true to what i said yesterday that i was going to do today :

1. Didn't sleep much at all last night. Finished reading a book call The Mothers... so-so.

2. Took a bath, but didn't wash my hair because i didn't have the energy.

3. Ate leftover cold quinoa out of the pan that Brian made for breakfast. (It was not exciting.)

4. Met with my friend Dick and his elderly parents who are looking at the condo across from me. I hope to have them as new neighbors so i talked up the place. (I should really look into selling real estate!)....though i can't say for sure they are moving in, so maybe not.

5. Checked Facebook about 84,000 times. Posted only a couple of times i think, about Susan T's online dating story.

6. Read California at the pool today when the sun came out. Was there nearly two hours all by myself. It was great!

7. Got too hot so came to my patio and embroidered some more on my jean jacket (as seen above) and my very old Old Navy pants.

8. Made a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner.

9. Helped neighbor Bob close up the pool for the evening.

10. Watched Jimmy Fallon on DVR - the one with Adam Levine.

11. Changed my blog.

What have y'all been doing?

Notes to Self:                                                                             
Sunrise: 6:32 am
Sunset: 7:46 pm
High/low temp: 69/52
Book Count: Since May i have read 28 books (I've been keeping a list). Recently The Mothers and Looking for Alaska, and Reconstructing Amelia.
Longest Run: 41 minutes
What I'm looking forward to: Flyfishing the Metoulis next week!
Word Count: 248

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What our husbands do when we are away: Boo's Shoes and Ron's Salmon


Because my nickname for Brian is Boo, I call this photo "Boo's Shoes".
Ron's Salmon dinner (with some bones) and not one, but TWO vegetables! He took this photo and emailed it to Sarah. I also love the placemat. 
Brian emailed this  photo to me to prove how he sleeps "so contained" when i am not there. This is the bed after three days of not making it.


louie/Sarah and I went away for four days last week.

This trip was made possible because we're both retired and could take advantage of a last minute cancellation at one of our favorite places to vacation.

I retired April 4th, and louie/Sarah retired June 30th this year. She and I started our education careers the same year - 1979, in the same school. Sarah/louie was the Home Ec teacher.  I was the Student Accounts Secretary. We became good friends when we started running together. When we started running together we realized that neither one of us was happily married. And a few years after our running counsel we both filed for divorce (my first one) around the same time. Like retirement, i got out of my marriage first before she got out of hers.

(Sarah/louie is smarter, but i do things more quickly. lol!)

Since 1979 we have gone through:

  • three divorces - (two of mine, one of hers); 
  • the loss of three homes (two of mine, one of hers); 
  • a fight for child custody (hers); 
  • seven different jobs as we moved up the ladder (4 for her, 3 for me); 
  • quite a few 10K running races; 
  • a couple of sort of 'bad boys'; 
  • many bottles of really crappy wine back in the 1980's, including one expensive French wine that cost $50 bottle, which we accidentally drank that was intended for my lawyer for doing my first divorce for free. 

We don't normally go places for four days without our 'now' (and might i add, 'final') husbands.

And i think our husbands missed us, which is pretty cool.

Brian was quite happy to see me when he got home from work and then he said,  "This is why i need you here.... look at my shoes!" ....And that is the photo above.

Oh yes, he went to work wearing two different shoes and didn't notice it until he got a hitch in his side because one shoe has a slightly higher heel. Thankfully he didn't have any administrative meetings!

I have blogged before about how my husband is not a fashion plate. Often he will come to me in the morning after he has dressed for work to ask me if his clothes look all right. Many times he mixes and matches seasonal clothes, i.e. wearing white linen in the dead of winter or a heavy sport coat in the heat of summer. I am no fashion plate myself, but at least i know not to do this!  But i never had to tell him his shoes didn't match.

Sarah's husband Ron decided he was going to make himself a Major Dinner, which is not usual for him! Sarah does the cooking in her home,  she's good at it, and she likes doing it. And though she left him one meal, there were still three more dinners.... So he went shopping.

What i liked most about Ron's dinner for himself was the two vegetables. Ron's loves sweets and desserts and i assumed that would be his dinner while Sarah was away! But he didn't follow Sarah's instructions about the bones and i guess he's lucky he didn't choke on one.

I loved that they sent us photos while we were away. Our husbands were bachelors for a long time and had never been married when they married us. So it shouldn't be surprising in this day that they did fend for themselves without us.

.... if you don't count Boo's shoes .


Notes to self: 
Sunrise: 6:21 am
Sunset: 8:01 pm
High/low temp: 89/54
Longest run: Yay! 43 minutes without too much pain. Ran in new shoes.
What I'm looking forward to: first Seahawks game - Sept. 4th
What I'm procrastinating about: Starting back up at the YMCA

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

No Specials, Just a Menu of the Day

 Menu of the Day....

My new project: my favorite old jean jacket ripped in the wash. I almost threw it out. 

My Bohemian Jacket: Work in progress
What I'm looking forward to: Port Townsend with louielouie/Sarah for four days! Sun, pool time, sewing projects, puzzles, reading, cooking, wines, movies! (hahaha... we know how to party don't we?)

Books: I am reading three at the same time: Seabiscuit; The Orphan Train; and Looking for Alaska. (Favorite summer read: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.)

Project: I am embroidering a favorite old jean jacket that fell apart the last time i washed it. Something i loved doing in high school.  Sewing for hours on my patio, listening to music is very cathartic to me.

In the News: Isis and Ferguson. I don't know what to think so i won't say anything. I'll just put it here for history. I might be more frightened by what's happening in Ferguson. What do y'all think?

What I'm procrastinating about: Working on my Italy photos.

Product Endorsement: Pandora One radio. For less than $5 a month you can stream music you love with no commercials!

What's bugging me: Insomnia bites! Retirement hasn't helped me sleep better. I thought when i stopped working it would. Last night i couldn't shut my brain off for hours and didn't fall asleep until after 3:00 am and this was after taking an Ibuprofen PM, eating early, drinking nothing but seltzer water, and sewing before bed.

Good thing about that: I don't care so much anymore if i don't sleep, i can wake up anytime that i want to! (Don't call me before 9:00 am!)

Observation: Today i felt autumn in the air for the first time. We've had a glorious summer with many hot days, but there was a change today. And i liked it. Partly because i'm excited about the Seahawks.

What's occurred to me: Since i have not been working i feel myself feeling more content! (Union work is draining and negative and is soul sucking after awhile.) But I also worry that i've lost a bit of my mojo and enthusiasm for political work and my phone is ringing a lot right now from the Democrats.  I think i am the kind of person who is driven only by being against something. I wonder how i used to do so much when i worked full-time. Now i have all the time in the world, but no motivation. (I think i need another George W. Bush to get me going again.)

Notes to Self: 
Running: Bought new Brooks Adrenaline from Fleet Feet shoes two weeks ago. (Also Super Feet inserts.) My plantar fasciitis is still bad, not sure they will work. I'm running only every two days and it hurts bad the next day. Ran 37 minutes tonight.
Sunset: 8:16 pm yesterday
Sunrise: 6:11 am
Temp: 85/56
Weight: Since i've had trouble running I'm over my 'magic weight' by two pounds. I haven't had to worry about that for years. That's how good running is!
Word Count: 394

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Old Fashioned Random Homemade Fresca Musings

Homemade Fresca: pureed cantaloupe, fresh squeeze limes, a dash of sugar and salt; seltzer water
Like the Gumbo YaYa message board days, only i'm not drinking chardonnay. I am drinking a homemade recipe that is supposed to be like Fresca.

1. It isn't. But it's good.

2. Damn it, first Phillip Seymour Hoffman and now Robin Williams. I don't think i will ever understand depression. It runs in my family, even outside my immediate family with first cousins...(all on my mother's side). I don't know why it missed me but i'm so thankful and feel blessed that it did. I think my favorite movie of Robin Williams is Good Will Hunting. I always liked it when he played a serious role. Even that One Hour Photo one too, which was creepy. Sometimes he was too manic for me to enjoy during talk shows or late night TV. (Jim Carrey feels the same way to me.)

3. I welcomed the rain today. I bitch about it all winter when it rains for 10 days in a row. But i have to admit after about 10 days of sunshine i am ready for rain. I like the coziness of it.

4. I bought new running shoes with the idea that it might be my cure for plantar fasciitis issue. My doctor gave me some physical therapy exercises too which i will do. Already i am three pounds over my normal weight from not running. That bums me out a lot.

5. Here is how i diet: It has always worked for me. (Maybe i have mentioned this here before, i can't remember.) I have what i call a "magic weight" where i feel very comfortable in my jeans and clothes. When i get over that "magic weight" i adjust. I either go for a longer run, cook a healthier dinner. And i don't pour any wine. Today i can't go for a run still but I did cook a healthy dinner with no carbs, and while i really wanted a glass of wine while cooking (since it's been a few days of being good) i didn't because i am over my magic weight. I thought for sure i would be under!

6. I am going for a run tomorrow no matter what!

7. I am also trying to not drink so much Fresca so i made my own using a recipe i found online. It called for a whole canteloup pureed and then strained. Limes and seltzer water. I only used a tiny bit of sugar. It was pretty good. But it didn't make a lot and it took a long while.

8. If this were a cocktail i might be more inclined to make it more often and spend the money.

9. Damn, blogging on this iPad is very difficult. But Brian is doing work stuff on the iMac desktop. So i'll stop for now and come back and edit this. As i type right now i can't see it because the page doesn't scroll until i hit return and then i only see part of it.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Stuff i Write in My Book Journal

My Book Journal. I liked this quote so much i didn't know i had written it out twice.
I like reading books more than drinking wine. (Which is saying a lot. )

I could probably give up coffee.
...running
...TV
...french fries and potato chips

BEFORE i could ever give up books!

This summer i have already read 23 books, a record amount of books for me in one season -due in part to insomnia and the fact that i am retired and no longer stress out if i can't sleep. SO i happily read  often for one or two hours at 2 or 3 in the morning.

And often when i am reading i write out pieces that speak to me. I've been doing this since 1996, when louie/Sarah gave me a journal for my birthday that year.  Here is a sampling of what i have thought was notable in previous books I have read:

1. Animal Dreams is written by Barbara Kingsolver,  a real favorite author of mine in the 90's.  This is what i wrote from that novel - (it's the character Cosima reading part of her sister Hallie's letter at Hallie's funeral):

"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. What i want is so simple. I almost can't say it: 
*elementary kindness
*enough to eat
*enought to go around
*the possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers or the destroyed. "

(That last one slays me.) I also do not need too much. I don't need a big house, a big salary, lots of clothes and shoes. I just want enough so that i am not wanting. 

2. "I need this rush. This feeling of exhilaration. I run because it makes me feel in control of my life. Like there is no finish line." 

(from the book How Stella Got Her Groove Back). This describes perfectly to me about why I run, even as i do not love running. 

3. "It was then I knew that often the greatest of sins are not the things we do, but the things we fail to do. "  

Chasing Grace by Martha Manning, (read in 1996), is a memoir about growing up Catholic which i also related to. 

4. "Survivors are people who move purposefully toward either resolution or acceptance."

This i actually read in Runners World magazine in 1997. I think it might be the best advice anyone can give to someone who seems to be constantly struggling.

(If i can paraphrase it in jocucina terms: "Fix it or Get the Fuck Out".)   
I can no longer be a friend to anyone who will not subscribe to this. 


5. #4 above goes along with this other entry i made in 1999:
"Eggs Should Not Dance With Stones". 
It's a quote by Charlie Chan that i got out of the Trivia Column in the News Tribune and for years and years i had it on my white board in my office at my union job. 

6. I loved the book Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Here is what i wrote out in 1999 from that book: 

"Watching my father, I've seen how you can't learn all there is to know. Watching my father, I've seen how you can't learn anything when you're trying to look like the smartest person in the room." 

7. I must have liked this quote below so much because i  i wrote it out twice over different years because i forgot i had written it out before, (first in 2009 and again in 2010). It's a quote by Herbie Cohen, who was a music producer - for artists like Linda Rondstand and Frank Zappa.  The only reason i know this is because i wikipedia-ed him before i put this quote up on Facebook (just in case Herb turned out to be some kind of Nazi or something.)

"Friends are chosen people. You stay friends with someone over a long period of time because they make you feel better than you are."

I have lost some friends along the way for different reasons, but i think the ones i let go most easily is probably because of the stone vs. egg quote above.



Do y'all keep a journal of stuff like this? If so, what is in it? It could even be a great bumper sticker quote.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Five Ways I Could Be Driven Crazy. What are yours?

This is just a random list and actually as i type i have no idea, except for one, what i will choose for the other four ways. I only know that i could actually come up with about 100 if i really tried....it does not take much to make me intolerant.

So let's start with the one i know for sure:

1. Being in demand too many days in a row.  I have what might be an unnatural need for unencumbered time with myself. It might come from growing up as the oldest child of four, a non-working mom, living in small military base housing, all mostly 1200 square feet or less, constantly sharing a small room and closet space with my sister. Or maybe it comes from my other life where i was probably a harried mother of about 10 kids. Whatever reason, i like my alone time. If i have too many obligations (especially family ones) i start getting cranky.

2. Telling me you don't vote in primaries. Today is our primary deadline. I have never NOT voted in a primary. It might also be the reason i get so many political calls if i don't mail in my absentee ballot right away. But dammit, sometimes i don't have the patience to try and rip open that sucker without tearing it all to pieces so i put it off. (Seriously, you should see me try to open cereal boxes. It's a hoot and kind of drives my husband crazy, even as he is slightly endeared by my inability to open packages smoothly.)

3. Not playing music at a party. I can't believe how many people are guilty of this! (In my family it is a mortal sin.) In Brian's family it hardly ever happens, though his sister really likes music. But i have been to dinner parties at folks homes where there is no music playing at all. It is so foreign to me. When i have people over i always try and match the music to the people coming. I like doing that. Gatherings need music!

4. Y'all already know this one: Not giving appropriate thank yous. ...especially with some younger folks who just feel entitled. I almost should not even put this one up since i mention it so often on my blog. But i'm doing it, because it is likely the single most thing that drives me most crazy because it happens far too often.

5. OK, i have to admit since this is the last one i am thinking about this one harder..... OOOh, i got it! How could i miss this one?...  People who are cheap. The ones who make that half assed effort of pulling out their wallet like they are going to help pay only they hope you beat them to the punch. Or they don't tip their wait person well, even with good service, because they don't plan on going back to that restaurant anyway. People who are cheap or un-generous think they are getting away with it, but i have news for them. I notice it. All the time. And i adjust for it too.


Notes to Self:                                      
Word Count: I tried to get it down, but i could only get it to 528. I'm leaving it at that.
Sunrise: yesterday: 5:53
Sunset: 8:39 pm
Run: ran 37 minutes after taking a week off. Walked one hour 1 minute at Chambers today. Foot still not right.
Book: I am reading two: Boys in the Boat and Big Little Lies. 
What I'm looking forward to: Going to Lake Quinault this week for two nights at my friends' cabin!
What makes me so happy: If i were not retired i would be at work this week!
iTunes purchase: Eric Clapton's new tribute to JJ Cale.




Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How I can tell I'm starting to get old.


These Italy photos have nothing to do with getting old but i can do that since it's my blog. 

Selfie on the train out of Florence
I'm 57 years old.

Do you find yourself doing this? I am often shocked by the number of years that have passed from a milestone event or when i first saw a favorite movie. Then i calculate those same number of years and come up with how old I will be and it scares me since those years feel more like they happened only a half dozen years ago instead of twice that.

For example, it doesn't feel like it's been 12 years since my wedding to Brian. Yet when that much time passes again I will be 69 years old. The Shawshank Redemption movie came out in 1994. I so remember when that movie was released. I will be 77 years old when that much times passes.

Yikes.
i liked the font on this sign

That's how i know I'm getting old. I continually do this! Am i weird?

Other ways that i can tell:

1. I get irritated with hearing the kid's gleeful screams from the pool.

2. My eyelashes are getting skimpier, yet my eyebrows are getting more wooly. Plus my eyebrows have many gray hairs!

3. I have always had wrinkles, the parenthetical ones between my eyebrows actually had to be airbrushed out of my first wedding photos in 1978 (at the age of 21.)

OMG, i just did the math on how old i will be when that much time passes. I will be 93 years old. If i'm lucky. 

4. I know i'm getting old because i need a calculator to figure all this out. (I used to be so much better doing stuff like that in my head.)

5. Anyway, back to what i was going to say about my face and getting older. (Digressing is another sign....) I have always had wrinkles so that's not the big deal, what i don't like is getting more jowly!

6. I keep having to upgrade my reader magnification. First it was 1.25, then 1.5, and now it's 1.75, all in the space of less than three years. I have about 14 pairs of readers lying around the house. The people who manufacture readers should be shot. I can never tell the power of my readers because i can't read the little inscription on the stems that tell you.

7. I am probably going to have to give up running soon. I have plantar fasciitis in my right foot. It comes and goes. Probably started with my beauty bark injury last September. Some mornings and evenings my heel hurts so much it is painful just to walk. Then it goes away, only to come back. I've been running for more than half my life - since 1980. And this makes me sad.

OMG, when that much time passes again I will be 91 years old! 

8. I still like to listen to my music loud, but now i'm not so sure if it's not because i am getting hard of hearing!

9. I still read a lot. (In fact i have already read a dozen books this summer.) But i find myself going back to re-read or find out who is who because i have trouble keeping the characters straight.

10. The reason i am able to read a dozen books is because i am up for nearly two hours at least every night reading since another sign of age is not sleeping well.

11. I still write checks. I don't own a cell phone. And i still play cds and DVDs instead of streaming movies from netlfix. (Because our main TV is still one of those analog types.)  I still blog. However, at least i have finally used an ATM machine!

12. But i can't remember my PIN number anymore.

13. Oh, i think i just remembered it!


Friday, July 11, 2014

Dear Abby Gives Good Advice....again.

Sigh. I have been waiting for years to take over Dear Abby's job. I love giving advice to people even when they don't want it, imagine how fun it would be to dole it out to people asking for it?

What could be a better job for me, right?

But in the past year, Abby has stepped up her game. And after reading this morning's paper i wish i could call her up and have her over for wine.

Dear Abby letters

On July 11, 2014 the headline is "Child Still Resents Parents Who Skipped Graduation".
This 26 year old woman is "angry and frustrated" even though years and years have passed since they "disappointed" her. The reader writes: "But I guess I haven't ever truly forgiven them for missing those events."

The parents did not attend her elementary graduation because her Mom's father had just died. They didn't attend her junior high graduation because her mom had stitches in her nose from being hit by a golf club accidentally. And years later they didn't attend the younger siblings graduations either.

Abby writes back:

"When I was young there were high school and college graduation ceremonies with cap, gown and diploma, but none for children leaving elementary or junior high. At most, the event might be celebrated by going out for a family dinner.

Frankly, I think that the multiple graduation ceremonies, while they may make cute photo-ops - dilute the importance of the one from high school. If you want to "do something", rather than vent your anger at your parents, it would be more constructive if you made a point of attending your siblings' graduations in the future. "


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Anybody here?

It's been over a week since i changed this blog. I had an idea the other night for a subject and i knew i should have written it down (it was about 2 in the morning when i thought of it) but then i told myself i would remember it because it was such a good one.

Only i don't remember it. 

I just  downloaded this app about testing your brain. I had fun with it for awhile and scored well on the numbers recognition and matching symbols and shapes, but not so great on the memory (which object is missing, but you have to find it very quickly)...

My best ideas come to me in the early morning when i can't sleep. I have to do better about writing them down. 

Everyday i have had something going on with family/friends/ such as graduation parties, workouts, wedding planning for my niece my other friend Drew, special appointments (i.e. financial planner, etc), meeting a friend tonight from my Zama Japan high school who i've not seen in 20 years (which was very cool)....etc..... anyway,  i've been way busier than i want to be so far this summer and i haven't even started my volunteer work yet!

Tomorrow i am not doing anything. I am not going to even answer the phone. Because it's my only free day. I see what folks mean when they say retirement can be busy.