Showing posts from July, 2011

How we talk: Colloquialisms and Me

I'm from a small town in eastern Oregon.  It sets in a small valley with big hills surrounding it on all sides. We have a flat sound to our voice and, when I was growing up, we talked about ranchers and cows and the railroad and the neighbors. Most of our way of talking or explaining anything was related to what we knew.

Now I don't mean we were uneducated. Even though we did not have a public library my family was well read. Book of the Month club and the Reader's Digest Condensed Versions came on a regular basis. Magazines of all kinds came in the mail box. I remember how I would look forward to those. Every gift giving occasion saw a book in one package. My mother ordered a box of books from the state library every summer for me. Still we talked like we were raised in eastern Oregon. Well there was one difference...none of the children in our family ever said the word "ain't" although it was commonly used.

My children were raised with the jargon left beh…

Ari Cohen video from and style!

Advanced Style: Age and Beauty from Ari Cohen on
Ari Cohen over at Advanced Style has done it again.  Here is some wonderful advice from women with a world of experience on how to dress.  "Young people, you too will be old someday.  Don't worry about it!"  I loved that!

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks...lessons in life!

Image via WikipediaI was a substitute teacher for many year of my life. Once I had a little kindergartner  that sat in the front row with"Raymond" written in big letters across the front of his shirt.  I called him Raymond for a week before I realized that he was wearing hand-me-downs from his older brother.  His name was really John.  That was when I learned that, next to the air that they breathed, their name is the most important thing in any person's life.  I have never forgotten that lesson. That was the thought that came to my mind as I read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Henrietta Lacks was a black woman that died of cervical cancer in the mid 1950's.  She suffered from the sexually transmitted infections called human papillomavirus, the cause of most cervical cancers.  When John Hopkin Hospital removed the cancer they conserved a part of the growth and grew the cells in the lab.  Some quirk of nature made this culture grow an at astounding rate and it h…

Cell Phones...a luxury or necessity!

Life of a Retiree:  Do you remember the days when we actually functioned without a cell phone?  It was was a piece of cake...right?  No one got lost.  No one missed getting information.  Back in the day I actually waited till I got home to use the phone and, because I was really progressive, I had an answering machine.  No problem.

Now, if I don't take my cell phone with me the cable service man comes and I don't get his call.  I get lost on the freeway, not because I don't have my cell phone but  because my husband leaves his at home.  I are totally and completely lost without my cell phone.  In fact, I don't even have a land line!

My husband and I took our son to the airport today and used both cars to transport all his families luggage.  As the two of us headed home the agreement was that I would follow him to a place he knew about for breakfast.  It was on 42nd...or was it 82nd?  I really didn't pay attention...I was going to follow him.  Accept we forgot to c…

Cardigans for summer or fall!

The weather has turned on us. Day before yesterday we were dressed in blue jeans and a cardigan and now we are dressed in shorts and hunkering down as the temperature rises. At least we can be assured that here in the Northwestern United State the temperature will never be hot for very long.

People visit us here in Portland Oregon from around the world to spend a few days in a "European Style" city...or at least what we envision that to be. I think if you were to compare our city's weather with one in Europe the climate would be more like the UK than anywhere else. The grass is green and the trees hang over streets shading the sidewalk and dripping fresh raindrops on those misty days. The saying goes here that Oregonians don't tan they just rust. I think that might be true.

As a result of our ever present cool lingering in the air, we dress differently than people in the Southwest or even on the Eastern seaboard of the US. In the warmer climates corals or aquas are …

Moving Thoughts! I just want to BE!

We are moved...the boxes are almost unpacked and the home is going to be wonderful.  So now I am moving on to other things.  I am looking forward to writing about fall clothes and small spaces and good things to eat.  I just want to be for a while.  No big changes.  No big idea.  Okay?

I will sleep a little, eat, buy groceries and enjoy our family until it is time to go back to Arizona sometime in October. We will eat off real plates again and plant our flowers.  We will sleep late and have coffee in bed.  I will be at my computer more. I feel very content. It really is a relief to have this hurdle behind us.

Tomorrow we will go get our cat and bring him to his new home...he is not a good mover so I am sure he is not going to be happy.  But he will get over it and then he will learn to just be too.

Happy Sunday everyone.  I hope you have a wonderful summer day.


Recommended Link for Day Laborers:  Hire a Helper (Portland, Oregon)

What did I do to deserve this? Buying a new house!

Note:  Here is an explanation of what is going on....

I am beginning to wonder what we did in this life or any other life to deserve this!  We have finally gotten everyone to agree that we are good people, the loan is approved and the paperwork has been sent to the title company for closing.  Now...would you believe it...the lender put the wrong amount on the forms and everything has to go back.  Our real estate agent is still hopeful we can close today...why do I somehow doubt that???


Aging is an Adventure...a post from among the boxes!

We are in the final stages now! We will move out of our condo this week.  My son commented the other day that a house is just walls and floors...nothing more.  A friend of mine has always wanted a "forever house".  She lives in eastern Oregon on near the banks of the Columbia River.  Her view is of the very east edge of the Columbia Gorge and a fishing dock is close by.  They have a beautiful speed boat and a smaller fishing boat.  She is very happy I think.

We, on the other hand, do not see ourselves in a "forever house" because we don't get that attached to our "walls and floors".  I am at home no matter where I am.  I love the adventure of looking out the window and wondering what is out there.  Once I know about everything, I am ready to move on and learn about something new.  In fact, the first blog I owned was called "At Home in the World!"

So, as my husband and I age, we are still finding new adventures.  We will be going to Viet Nam…

Downsizing in Retirement...Stress/Trauma Explained

In an article published on the AARP website called Downsizing in RetirementStan Hinden spoke about the trauma and expense of downsizing during you retirement.  We have been going through the trauma of this decision for a month now.  In our case, trauma and expense could very well be a hyphenated word.

When we received an offer on our condo very near the first of July we were elated.  The fact that we had two offers in our hand only made it better.  All we could think was that the black moving cloud was going to by pass us this time.  We celebrated and began to pack in earnest.  All was going smoothly until the inspector came to call.  He found mold in our attic space and, because we are condo owners, we were not allowed to order the repairs.  The only way to resolve that issue was through our HOA.

So we went out to get a bid for more ventilation in the attic and remediation for the mold. We were instructed to take the bids to a special meeting of the HOA board held for the purpose of…

Moving Advice - How to Keep Costs Down

    In a blog post I wrote back in February, I spoke about aging in place.  Should we AGE IN PLACE or Are There Other Choices? was the title of the blog.  I wondered at the time if I would know when the time had come to find a home that reflected my age and not my youthful dreams.  We wanted to make the move to a one level home when we could enjoy the move and getting to know new people.  The thoughts I was mulling over in my head back in February must have taken root.  We are making the move and we are very excited about the choice.
     Back in 2001 we moved into a multilevel condo with soaring views and three beautiful deck for my plants.  During those ten years we made this our home, watched our grandchildren grow up and enjoyed a beautiful retirement lifestyle.  It has been a very happy time in our lives. Then this last spring I fell on the golf course and twisted my ankle severely.  We were in Arizona at the time so I was able to heal in our little park model.  Still, …

Backroads in Oregon...let's go to the drive-in movies!

Link:  A drive-in movie near you on Drive-In!

Would you like to be a time traveler? Remember when we went to the drive in movies? Sometimes I long for those days gone by. We lined up along the side of the street to get admitted so we could get the best spot halfway up right in front of the screen and waited for the sun to set.  The national anthem played first and then everyone honked their horn in appreciation.  Dates snuggled together on the bench seat in the front of their cars and families sipped sodas and small children curled up to sleep on the back seats.  I can just smell youth and hay drying in the field next to the theater. It was lovely!
Believe it or not we traveled back to that time last night.  We had the drive-in movies experience one more time.  The drive-in movie is up and running for the summer in Newberg.  My daughter described it all as "very exciting" when she encouraged us to join our family for the experience.  

I think the drive from Hillsboro …

Do You Believe in Fairy Tales? Moving reality!

Have you ever known someone that moved quickly?  Their house was sold for cash, they found a new house in one day and the movers came in, packed for them and took them to a new house.  Does this ever happen or is it just an urban legend floating around out there like smoke in the air?

I love those stories.  It is so much fun to hear a good fairy tale but don't expect me to believe.  I am funny that way.

How about the "Karma" stories?  Do you believe that somethings are just meant to be and others not?  Do you roll over when things go badly and shrink in fear of what might happen next?  Bad Karma and change is frightening.  But let me tell you, you can overcome it.  I know.

We are moving.  There is only one more line to be signed before we are totally committed.  And it has not been easy.  A buyer made an offer and then the inspector found that our condo building was not perfect.  They wanted to hold us responsible for the whole 10 building complex.  The buyers representa…

How to Move! Tips gathered from experience! +Info Links

We are in the process of packing to move...we hope.  Even though there are a few problems with the sale, the closing is is scheduled for July 22.  Talk about being the pickle in a sandwich...this has got to be it.

So we are putting things in boxes, sorting out and disposing of unused or wanted clothes.  We are trying to simplify our lives and make this move easier. We have moved in cars, farm trucks, pick-up trucks, u-hauls and moving vans.  There has been the dorm room to apartment rental move, apartment rental to small house rental move, small house rental to small house purchase move.  Moves up and moves down only to move back up again!  For most of those moves we have used old stuff from family or bargains I have found.  We have very few valuable things.

There are a few things I have learned as I traveled "around the block of experience."  Just in case:
When you hire movers, always buy their insurance.  Your insurance may say they will cover it but we learned the hard wa…

How big is your kitchen? Finding happiness in simple things.

Interesting Links:
In this Golden Age of Aging
Elle Decor:  Kitchen Design
The Kitchen:  Margaret Roaches Vibrant Green Kitchen

We are moving (I hope)!  We have lived in a multi-level home for 10 years and we are ready to move to one level and maybe do a tiny bit of gardening.  The house we have chosen that may be ours (if there is a closing and a buying on the same day) is in a 55 and older community of about 20 homes.

The house is designed with plenty of room to move about.  There are double doors into the bedroom and the den. I think the kitchen is big enough for a wheel chair bound person to function.  Now, we are very agile and frisky so we don't need a kitchen designed for a wheel chair and I woke this morning with visions of stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops spinning in my brain.  I was actually visualizing a remodeled space.  I was on a roll.  See, this is why I love Apartment Therapy!  The website always brings me back down to earth.  While there is some ki…

Learn to be true to yourself!

I submitted an article to the AARP blog editor the other day.  It was very hard to write because I was attempting to be more professional and newspaper like.  It was a terrible article even though I struggled for days to make it perfect.  I was trying to be someone I was not.

First of all, I am 69.  Who I am is pretty much set in stone.  The molding part of my personality happened about 68 years ago.  Oh I try to make a minor improvement here and there and always have.  But, let me tell you, changing a major pattern in my personality is very near impossible.

I had all the information.  I love the research part writing.  I was trying to writing an article that described the unique qualities of an organization called TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) and the online TED Talks program.  I talked about the positive impact of people sharing their knowledge.  I talked about the prestige and intellect of those who attended or presented.  People like Jane Goodall, Aubrey de Gray and B…

Style, the Mirror and a Pose!

I love fashion blogs.  Ari Cohen's Advanced Style has a found a place my heart.  Aging divas from around the world read Ari's post and love his eye for finding stylish older women.  He knows what women of an "advanced age" know.  A girl never feels old until she looks in a mirror.

Imagine a world without a mirror...suppose at the age of 66 you were denied the use of a reflection of yourself and all you ever saw was what was reflected in the back of your eye.  How would your life be changed?  Would you look in other's people eyes for a reflection of yourself? Maybe you would see yourself in the expression on a child's face or a smile from a passing strainger.

I think we would somehow continue to think of ourselves as younger.  We would wear clothes as though they we hanging on a mature but beautiful woman's body.  Style for us would be what we saw on a woman of a beauty walking down the avenue. We would live as though she lived in our body.

I could never…

Moving On....will the family and our ghost be happy?

In a perfect world it would all go...perfectly!  We would list our home and the buyer would come with cash, no questions and pay to have us moved out.  But we all know that the world is not perfect. At least not where I live.  Of all the things my husband and I have done since we were married 50 years ago, moving has got to be the most difficult.

I remember the first apartment...the one I would still be living in because I did not know how to move.  I was barely 20 years old.   Now we are planning for what I hope is our final move.  The house we have found is perfect and we will not get too old for it.  Our condo is going to a good owner so whatever ghosts that live with us are not throwing a fit....yet.  We have sorted and disposed of most of our junk already so the move should not kill us physically.  Still....

There are things that I just hate to do.
Fill out and sign formsWaitWorryDecideWork hardTalk about financesSortClean top to bottomFace a deadlineWorry (again)When you are the…