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Jun 30, 2015

Was Yesterday Monday?

I knew I was totally free of work when I began wondering if it was Monday. Really, what day of the week it is doesn't matter. In spite of that way of life, I still love Fridays.

Anyway....Monday was a lot of fun this week. I made a recipe based an experience in Santa Fe a couple of years ago. I think it was Carol Cassara that brought it to my attention. She talked about baking cauliflower with a sage flavored butter. I can see the restaurant she was talking about. I love Santa Fe. And the dish is absolutely delicious.
Cauliflower photographed in Woolworths store i...
Cauliflower photographed in Woolworths store in Melbourne, Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Roasted Cauliflower
  • Coat the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil
  • Place washed and disassembled cauliflower in a baking dish. 
  • Crush together sage leaves, chives, garlic, salt and olive oil.
  • Rub cauliflower with the mixture.
  • Cover
  • Bake at 350 for one hour.
  • Yum!
You are going to love it.

I found a picture of a very small house online yesterday that I loved. I want to recreate my park model using the picture as a guide. 
This is the way it looks now!
Is that purple do you think? I am not sure our park owner would go for purple but I think the style is darling!

So there you have it...the makings of a wonderful Monday. Happy Tuesday everyone.

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I would love it if you would beam me up to Facebook or Twitter or Google+...make my Tuesday even better. After all it is all about me. :)

Jun 27, 2015

What Type Are You? Z is Me

Ann is the co-founder of Midlife Boulevard.
I was looking at Facebook today and I noticed that Ann Paris is speaking at a Type-A Parent conference in NYC.  The conference is for parents that blog.  It all sounds so exotic and appealing. I love NYC and all that it offers.

So Ann's trip got me thinking about how I see myself in the "parent-type" scenario. See I think of the Type-A parent as above average. Their children sparkle with accomplishments and not only belong to everything they are the star in the show. I have know women that spent a great deal of time being sure that their daughter dated the coolest guys and the their sons leaped the highest on the track team. They were Type-A all over the place. I always felt just a little intimidated. We just average people. No rock stars here!

I will admit that is has all turned out pretty good for us. My children are rock stars in their worlds now. Maybe it was because we were average people doing the right thing day after day. Sometimes we took a u-turn (a new phrase for failure) but in the end we survived. Yes, I think survival was the mode we lived in for a big period of time.

So if there is ever a blogger's conference for old blogger that were Type-Z parents, count me in. In fact if there is any group of people that blog, are older than midlife, truly successful and interesting, let me know. No grandparents groups thank you. I may bring my Z game with me and join.

Have a great day.

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Jun 26, 2015

Oregon Wine Country: Better and Better

The lovely thing about living in Oregon Wine Country is that every small trip can turn into a vineyard tour. I don't recall having a plan for that day but as we drove home to Hillsboro, Oregon from Corvallis after our grandson's graduation at Oregon State University we found ourselves on the backroad. It was a beautiful summer day and we are retired so we have a lot of time to do as we want.

We wandered up Oregon Highway 99W which runs north and south through the Willamette Valley west of the I-5 corridor. The pace is slow and the wineries are plentiful. It was just a matter of take your pick! In this particular case we happened on to Illahe Vineyards near Salem, Oregon. Illahe is a relatively small vineyard with a setting that took my breath away. While we did buy a couple of bottles of wine, the biggest treat was the way the winery left everything out in the open so the whole process was visible.

A very old Tommy Dorsey record was on the turntable and we just wandered around during the tasting taking it all in. It makes me smile everytime I think about that beautiful day.



A view and the tools of the trade plus a bicycle gear!
I didn't know how any of it worked so maybe that gear is important.


I hope your summer is as wonderful as ours. Be well!

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This part of Oregon is home to several Native American tribes. The word "Illahe" is Chinook for earth, place or soil. 

Jun 25, 2015

What do you pretend to do?

English: Manufacture of self-sealing gas tanks...
English: Manufacture of self-sealing gas tanks, , . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have often thought about pretense. According to Barbara's Questionable Dictionary of Words, the word pretense means:
pretense: The act of pretending to do stuff while not doing them at all. "The pretense of cleaning was all she could muster. It was evident when you walked through the door she had never cleaned anything."
Back in the day, women talked a lot about cleaning this and that. Spring cleaning, fall house cleaning and scrubbing floors was actually the subject of conversation at any gathering for women. Washing on Monday, ironing on Tuesday and then the week moved on from there.

I always loved the idea of cleaning. But the truth is my husband and I had not spent more than a month together as husband and wife that I figured out that cleaning and being a working women was not easy! In fact, from the first weekend until this very day, my goal has been to find easier ways to keep up the pretense that I actually am very clean.

Let's be clear here. There is a very big difference between being "neat" and being "clean". The former takes attention to the small stuff but is easy. The latter is just plain hard. But...if you are neat your house actually looks clean. How cool is that?

Another job that took so much time was ironing. Like making the bed, all I could think was that we were just going to wear the clothing and it would appear to be ironed for about 5 minutes. For many years I pretended to iron. I left the ironing board up, kept a ironing basket and dreamed of a laundry room. But, the reality was I ironed twice a year whether I needed to or not.

But now there are very few pretenses at my house. I take the clothes out of the dryer and put them on a hanger in my closet. The ironing basket is always empty. I haven't let myself dispose of it yet. Maybe someday soon it will go away. I declare without shame that I do not iron much anymore.

I have also discovered the wonders of:

  • the leaf blower (no more outdoor sweeping)
  • week killer in a large container with a sprayer (no more hoeing and weeding)
  • dimmer switches inside (dark hides dust)
  • carpet the color of dirt (every fleck of dirt doesn't show)
  • the all-in-one window cleaner from Windex (no more squeegees) 
Yes, I do make my bed, clean the shower, vacuum and dust (occasionally). There is no escaping some things. When there is a way do those things with less effort, I will be the first to jump on the bandwagon. Life is good!

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Jun 21, 2015

How To Make Life Last Longer!

I am at the age when each day seems like the last. The routine dominates each day and time slips through my fingers. However, on those days when I am not busy with the routine, time creeps and crawls. The trick is to not waste the time by losing it in the routine while keeping everyday full of purpose.

Sunday is the day that brings these kinds of thought to my mind. We have always looked at each other on those very slow days and said, "Sure seems like Sunday!" Back in the day Sunday was a day of rest and a whole day of "resting" made us hungry for the week that lay before us.

Our first park model back in 2008. 
But I have a few ideas to keeps the Sunday drags away.
Brayden at age 2...he is now 7
The Japanese Gardens, Portland several years ago!
  • Change is probably the most important factor in a long full life.  Even changing the path you take to the grocery, golf course or church can make a difference. A new perspective on your world creates a bigger vision of your life.
  • Move the furniture of your life about. I know this seems strange but it will feel like a change of scenery and actually give you a lift.
  • Begin thinking about a plan for the future...keep on buying green bananas because there really is a wonderful future ahead of you.
  • Take stock of what you accomplish. I think the perception of time moves both backwards and forwards. A routine means things done in a certain order but if you don't notice what those things are, no matter how mundane, time slips between our fingers.
  • Reinvent the routine; sleep in a different bed in your house, change sides of the bed, sit at a different place at the dinner table, trade tv viewing chairs with your partner. A shift in routine can create a shift in time.
  • Lists are a good thing. Make lists of the books you have read, the places you have travels to, friends, favorite anything and best foods. I think life becomes more meaningful when you remember to keep track.

I know that life goes far too fast. Children grow up and then grandchildren do the same. If we don't take note of all the benchmarks and store memories, we will answer the question,"What have you been doing?" with one word. "Nothing." Wouldn't that be a shame.

Just a thought!

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