Saturday, April 30, 2011

ICU Waiting Room

Hey Friends.....
On our luxurious over-night getaway I answered my beeping cell phone at 6:30 am to hear my frazzled and tearful sister saying that our Mom in ICU many miles away was getting worse and they needed me there as soon as possible. We were at my mother's bedside by easter morning. After spending all day every day in ICU (including 2 all-nighters) for the last 7 days we are finally back home. My energy will only allow some bullets for now.

  • Drove ten hours and entered ICU to see my frisky, creative and vivacious 76 year old mom covered in tubes, face mask, needles and bruises from punctures.
  • When mask removed she could barely whisper words to us, but smiled to see me and Hubs arrive.
  • Both my sibs and I were there around her every day. 
  • Got to know the "good" nurses and the "bad" nurses.
  • Terrible to see her with no make-up and with imperfect hair in front of strangers! She would so hate that! And we may still hear about that in the days to come.
  • I spent two nights on a fold out chair in her ICU room. Not a lot of sleep happening there!
  • Some of her stuff has mended and improved, but her lungs are similar to a smokers.
  • She never smoked, thought it was a sin.
  • Lungs were damaged from her heart meds taken the last four years. I know, don't get me started!
  • My time with my sibs was wonderful, painful, healing and uplifting.
  • I posted two short blogs on Goodblogs while in the ICU Waiting Room, go check them out won't you? ( and vote for them?)
As things progress and my mind figures out how to process the grittier details I may find a way to tell you about them in the coming days. for now, I seem to be hearing my comfy bed calling me.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Our First Overnight Bike Trip!

We are so excited about this one night trip away! Pictures upon our return!
In the Meantime.....Could you pretty please go HERE and vote for the two most recent blog posts? I will owe you big time! Thanx Friends!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Clean Jeans Will Do

Are you all getting ready for Easter?
Buying a Springy light weight dress even if it is still snowing?
Should we all buy Easter bonnets and bring them back?
How about those pretty, lacy white gloves?

I am considering wearing some lady gloves with my jeans this Sunday.
That's the only part of this outfit I miss.
What does your family do on Easter?
My little sis is much happier with her outfit that I am.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bunnies Don't Scare me!

It's Easter time and the shelves are overflowing with pink, blue and yellow. Come to GoodBlogs and read what I say about all the easter bunnies and baby chicks. It is probably not what you expect! A vote if you think it is good would be lovely also! Thank you friends!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Road Trip!

 Hubs and I are very excited about our plans coming up soon! Yes, that is his "excited" face. Ha! We are getting ready to do our very first over-night motorcycle trip!!

One of our students is the owner of a wonderful Bed and Breakfast in Calistoga, California that really is a lovely group of cottages in among the trees. The owner gave us one night's lodging for our February wedding anniversary gift and we've been waiting for some nice weather. When you are traveling by bike you do not want to run into a rainy day!  

The gorgeous place is called Cottage Grove Inn and it looks wonderful on the website. It will be so great to get away and explore an area we have not been in much at all. Our school is on Easter Break and I am looking forward to some mornings of sleeping in and days full of writing hopefully. Then off we go for our first bike road trip!
Our Road Star 1700
A new friend we met on our last day trip! Looks kinda like the guy at the top huh?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Sandwich Life

When I first began blogging here a few years ago, I had a hard time at first finding blogs to read that were written by people in my age bracket. It was not that 50-somethings were not writing anything. It was WHAT they were writing that turned me off.

For some reason I kept coming across blogs that were full of physical ailments, the good old days or grandkid pictures. Individually I have nothing against writing about any of these topics once in a while. But the over-all tone of many blogs by mature women was a tad negative or else gushy-gooey.

And since I openly complained about those blogs on here, today I cannot tell you that:

  • One week after Hub's mother passed away, MY mom is unexpectedly in ICU fighting for her life.
  • My mom is 76 and I really should have put the word "only" in front of that number.
  • Sure never used to consider 76 to be not very old.
  • She lives even farther away than the 600 miles my MIL lived.
  • Sometimes it is not very fun to be the "sandwich generation". Caring for both our kids and our parents.
I am not really feeling negative or depressed. Real life happens and my own particular journey has been and continues to be pretty sweet and blessed. Complaining is simply not acceptable. So I won't do it. But I knew that I had dropped in my posting here and wanted to check in with you all and let you know that I am alive. The sun is shining here in California today and my Hubby loves me and my sons are in love with amazing young women. All is well....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Life Goes On

Today my Mother-In-Law is being laid to rest next to her husband. We are six hundred miles away but our thoughts and hearts are with our small family at the graveside. She requested that there be no funeral service, she has never been one to enjoy being the center of attention. "Don't make a fuss!"

Today we were remembering our recent short visit with her and Hubs pointed out how funny it was that even on her deathbed his mother was being the consummate hostess! Back here I told you how she was just like Aunt Bee on the Andy Griffith Show. There she was on the bed, struggling to speak very slowly and softly to us and her main concern was being sure that we all went out to the local Texas RoadHouse Restaurant there in Salem Oregon and that the bill be paid out of her account. When we returned to her room she asked what we all had ordered and if we enjoyed it. While she was eating tiny slivers of ice chips, she was still making sure everyone had enough to eat!

But now she is Home and the rest of us go on with life, not forgetting all she deposited into my wonderful husband and his siblings.

Two days ago a friend called me at work and said that she was taking our Swiss student who attends our school to The Matterhorn and would I like to go with them that night. It threw me for a minute because the only matterhorn I know (besides the one in Switzerland) is a roller coaster in Disneyland and it would take an 8 hour drive from here! 

She then explained that it is a Swiss fondue restaurant in San Francisco, so of course I said yes! We had so much fun and I learned some interesting little rituals that go along with authentic fondue meals. We were told that if we dropped our bread, meat or potato off the fork and into the melted cheese we would have to sing a song, tell a joke or kiss the person next to us.  I cannot tell a good joke, cannot sing either so I told my girlfriends that they better get ready for a smooch cause that would be less embarrassing than trying to sing or tell a joke! 

But I was also SUPER CAREFUL, and did not drop any food!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Rocker Son, Grandma and Writer Son a few years ago.

Hub's mother left this earth for the home she longed for late last night. 
Our biggest emotion today is gratefulness.
We are so thankful that she died as she wanted to, with grace and quietness.
That is pretty much how she lived her life
and  it was her only desire when we chatted with her a few weeks ago.
If there is such a thing as a "good death", she had it.
She was uncomfortable but not in pain
and did not need drugs these last few weeks
as she faced the end of her life.
We can also rest in the knowledge that she is with Grandpa,
her one true love.
Thank you Father God.

Wedding photo of Hubs parents.

Friday, April 8, 2011

He Was a Pretty Boy

Rocker Son was a really pretty little boy. For some reason he does not like it when I say that!
A cutie huh?

This is one of my favorite pics of him. I love the unashamed joy on his face!

Rocker Son and me! I was pretty too.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Silver and Gold Have I None.....

A few weeks ago while we were sifting through my mother-in-law's belongings, trying to divide the contents up between the family and figuring out what needed to go to the goodwill store, Hubs put this item in our box.

It was covered with dust and had a few paperclips in it. I wondered why on earth he wanted to bring that home with us. We were 600 miles from home and had to fit our choices into a small car with four adults in it. But I did not ask at the time, I figured he had his reasons. 

At home I washed it and put it on the kitchen counter for a few days, then last night I put it out with black olives in it. It is not very big, about the size of a cereal bowl and it's all one piece of stainless steel.

Hubs pointed to it later in the evening and said that he had given it to his parents for their 25th wedding anniversary. He smiled and said that he was in Junior High at the time. It was a gravy boat with a ladle. He remembers being so excited to watch them open his gift, he was so proud of himself. He thought it was made of silver for their Silver Anniversary!

I love that story and I'm so glad he saw it and brought it home with us.

Today Hubs saw me at my laptop and said, "Wow, you really look like a writer today! All you need is this pencil behind your ear, where's the camera?"

Thanks for the compliment Honey!

Oops! I forgot to tell you that i have put up a new post on GoodBlogs called, "I Am My Own Michael Scott". It could use some more votes to move it to Top Posts and add a little gold to my pocket. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Block Shmolck!

Every once in a while I come across a blogger who fills up their post with complaints about not know what to write about. Some call it "writer's block" others would call it a boring life. But in reality no life is boring. You may be stuck in a job that is boring or your life may be extremely routine, but there are always tiny spots of interest in every life I believe.

I have recently come across a wonderful site that you may be interested in when you get stuck in front of a blank Word doc and the blinking curser is cursing you! Go check out Creative Writing They have a page full of numbers from 1 to 346. When you move your curser over a number it will show you a one or two sentence writing idea! This could be a fun challenge to make yourself do whichever one pops up or you could pick and choose till you see something that gives you a spark!

I am now writing three separate blogs. Two, including this one, are personal and non-paying (Unless you want to count the 3 cents I have earned using Adsense.) . One of the three is a great paying venue that I am in love with! I have gushed about it here before, so I won't go into it again except to say it is called Goodblogs and it is fun and easy! I am also still writing web content for a baby product site that pays me a small amount per article. Online magazines are still being searched out and submissions have been made, but they are less fulfilling because it takes so long to hear back from them.

And yet, the words keep flowing! It's almost as if the momentum of writing more is making me want to write more! Ideas come in the night, while I am on Hubs motorcycle, while a preacher is preaching or a TV show is blaring. I can't wait to get it all down. My personal life is not terribly interesting or full of drama. Sometimes I would love a bit more drama. But that could be a dangerous wish so I won't do that!

I think that momentum has a lot to do with keeping the ideas coming. So maybe that is why the writing prompts site is a really useful tool for all of us. Open the laptop or desktop and start tapping ANYTHING! It helps somehow. Maybe it is the principle of "priming the pump."

Happy Writing!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


It's after 11:00pm on Sunday night and Writer Son and Sassy Bride have just left. We hadn't seen them for several days so I Facebooked them yesterday and said, "Don't you people have any dirty clothes? I think you do."..........This morning Sassy answered my question with the comment, "LOL, yes, we'll be there this afternoon.". They come to our house to do their laundry, use my Mac and watch "The Amazing Race" with us and I love it! (But I will admit that they are the only two people that have such free use of my precious Mac!)

Now my house is totally quiet as I sit here in my family room. Well, it is not actually silent as in 'no sound at all.' The wonderful 1921 Regulator clock you see pictured here is ticking away and sending out it's beautiful chime each hour. 

I am looking forward to finding out the stories behind this clock that has been in Hub's family for ninety years. His mom is still on her death bed 600 miles away from us but she insisted we bring home their beloved wall clock. We are so honored and thrilled to give it a new home and would love to pass it on to one of our sons some day.

It really does look good on our brick red wall doesn't it? The second picture makes it look like the clock is crooked but it isn't. Must have been the way I held the camera. If the clock was crooked it would not allow the pendulum to move correctly. We are learning a lot about these seven-day wind up clocks.

The other favorite keepsake that hubs brought home was a sweet little pair of chickens his mom collected and he played with when he was little. She had chickens figurines every where, along with chicken dish towels, photos, calendars.... We ladies do love our collections don't we? Well, men do a lot of collecting too don't they? Sassy just told me about an uncle whose house was full of hundreds of clocks! 

Today we are enjoying the gentle tick-tock and the chimes that sometimes surprise us in this small house. It makes us feel connected to my mother-in-law and aware of what she is going through right now. She does not want to watch TV or be read to. She wants to just be. I can't imagine what that must feel like, to know you are living your last days. Making your peace with others and with God would definitely be all that is important to you. Everything else is pretty much meaningless, isn't it?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tony - It Was A Love/Hate Relationship. We Loved Him and He Hated Us

I had not seen our ailing sixteen year old cat for the last two days so today I sent Hubs out to look for Tony. Hubs found him hidden in the ivy that covers our back fence. What I had suspected was true, he was not alive. He had crawled into his favorite spot, curled up to sleep and never woke up. Well actually, I do not know if he was curled up. I did not want to see him, and that is how I am picturing him whether it is true or not. We all knew that Tony was  about done with his final life. I swear he almost died so many times that this had to be the ninth life! Sixteen years ago Tony was a special surprise for Rocker Son's ninth birthday. Our life with Tony had a rocky beginning.

Hubs and I got him from a lady who rescued cats, gave them their
shots and fixed them and then gave or sold them to good homes. As Hubs and I entered her home we began to wonder what we were getting into. There were so many cats moving around that it felt like the room was alive! 

But the lady cheerfully led us out to her backyard which was lined with stacks of cages of kittens and full grown cats. I wandered over to the gorgeous persians who could be named "Princess", but Hubs was immediately drawn to a scrawny orange kitten. He convinced me that the poor little thing would turn into a cuddly Garfield kind of cat.

The angular face looked far from the round and healthy face of Garfield but he was ours now and there was no turning back. Rocker Son was ecstatic and very shocked that we got him a kitten! He said that since we had said no to a pet rat, he figured that a "cat cost even more than a rat" so we'd never get him one! Ha!

We had temporarily wrapped the kitten loosely in a box and when Rocker Son ripped open the birthday paper, the frightened kitten immediately jumped out and skittered around the entire house with all of us screaming until he finally found the perfect hiding place under a bed! I believe he stayed under there for several days and nights refusing to come out for anything. This is when I realized that the sweet cat lady had not had time to socialize her little orphans and we basically owned a wild kitten. 

Eventually Tony became a grudging member of our family. But he never became cuddly or anywhere near looking like Garfield. He looked like a neglected ally cat until his final days. Holding Tony was not a calming or soothing experience. You never knew when his internal clock would alert him that petting time was over this instant and not one second longer, on penalty of a scratched hand!

Ironically the one who chose Tony to join our family was the first to change from love to hate. Hubs got the first bad bite from Tony; right out of his nose! I don't believe they spoke ever again except to growl at one another. Tony ended his days looking pretty bad. Do you know what a cat looks like who has decided not to groom himself anymore? It's not pretty and he would not allow me to help at all. Before Hubs got to him with some good scissors Tony was a dread-locked beast. A rastafari cat if you will. Not pretty at all!

But he was still part of our family and the last to leave the nest today. I suppose I should get rid of his food & water dish. Maybe tomorrow.

HEY FRIENDS...Go to GoodBlogs and vote for my sweet Blogger friend Shawna on her first post in that venue. It's hilarious and very snotty!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring At Last in Cali!

Took a very GREEN ride yesterday! 
Our California countryside!

Came upon a horse-drawn wagon!

Why do I love broken fences? I'm sure the property owners don't.

How green was my valley!

Happy California cows!

Green hills surround us.

Love the pinky-purple!

Love the bare trees as much as the fully dressed trees!

Our favorite kind of roads to find!

Like to go high!

Yep, I'll take that house!

Butterfly in her happy place!

So inviting.


Larry the Llama. Should his first name have 2 L's?

Thanx for joining us!