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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Jun 14, 2015

Did I Say I Was Going to Keep My Hair Gray FOREVER?

Did I say I was going to keep my hair gray FOREVER? I am so sorry. I think I misspoke. Or I have been misquoted. See, nothing is forever in my life. The thing that keeps me thinking and acting (to the chagrin of my children) young is change. I love change a lot.

Lynne Morgan Spreen posted a quote by Blythe Danner yesterday on her Facebook account. The quote by Danner was, "I feel much more confident at 72 than I did at any younger year. I feel more liberated. When you've been on this Earth this long, life just gives you permission."

I agree with Danner - almost totally. While life may have given me permission to change my hair color or wear purple, I began working to give myself permission very early in life. I wanted to live each day while dancing in the rain. No one could actually liberate me if I didn't liberate myself first.

Forever is a very long time I think. Waiting for life or family or even God to give a me permission to be myself would have been a big mistake.

The only boundaries defining what color my hair or my house will be are those of morality, social consideration for others and the law. I might add that I would not do anything that truly offended those around me.

As for my hair, I will keep you posted. Oh, and in case you don't know, I am 73 and I have been married for almost 55 years. I must be doing something right!

Just a thought!

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Lynn Morgan Spreen can be found at Any Shiny Thing - Life After 50 and she is a published author.

Jun 5, 2015

Greeting Card Lessons...bad things happen because LIFE SUCKS!

English: I took this picture myself.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I don't know about you but the glamor of creating my own greeting cards has lost it's luster. I like to go to the store and buy something, sign it and mail it. I had forgotten how simple it really was. And, everytime I go down that card aisle, I learn something new about aging or being a teen or what a woman wants or life in general.

We are in that graduation season now and our little grandson broke his arm. We also have a few birthdays in June/July, all of which we will never remember until it is over with. Needless to say we are on the hunt for the perfect cards. As a result I know stuff about greeting cards.

  1. You can learn about misfortune from greeting cards. I saw the card today that explains why bad things happen...it's because life sucks. It must be true because I saw it in the greeting card section of a big box store. 
  2. There are very few belated birthday cards and if you do find them they are on the bottom of the rack. I am a little older, have bad eyes and cannot get down on the floor to see the bottom row of cards. Besides who mails birthday cards on time? If you are doing that please quit. That may be why there are so few cards for people like me. You are messing with my world.
  3. Cards can be the gift. They talk, smell, come apart so you can reassemble them and try to be funny. The normal cards are not nearly as much fun even when you are old. I like those smelly puzzles with a Yoyo and Hoops celebrating in the background. All I want for my birthday is a smile anyway.
  4. If you break your arm and you are five, don't count on a card. Hallmark does not make a card for you.
  5. Greeting cards are expensive...or at least it seem like it to me. You can pay the price or read #6 to find a solution.
  6. You can use those cards over and over. Think of the savings. My friends and I do it all the time. The signatures mount up over the years and eventually they become a collectors item. I do laugh a lot when I get an old card with new writing. It is fun to get a card back that I sent originally...kind of like regifting to the wrong person but in a nice way.
So as Father's Day approaches I urge you to find the perfect card, sign it in pencil so the recipient can erase your signature and message if they want and they can send it back to you on your birthday with a little editing. 

Have a wonderful day!

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Jun 2, 2015

Married for 70 Years...piece of cake!

2014
Remember back in the day when you were so cool nothing impressed you. The moon could turn purple and you would just sniff your nose and start a conversation about your new shoes. Well, let me tell you, I must be getting younger because it is getting very hard to impress me. I am so cool.

For example, my husband told me yesterday about a couple that has been married for 70 years...a very long time in my book. But then he said the woman was 86 and the man was 87. That was where I ceased to be impressed...anyone can be married 70 years if they get married when they are 16 or 17! All they have to do is keep a job, raise a family, not kill each other and live long enough. I mean really, what is so impressive about that?

I often tell you that you will get old and you may as well get over it but I do not tell you HOW old you will be. My friends seem to be on the way to living FOREVER and it would surprise me if my husband and I did not follow in their footsteps. Living to be 86 or 87 does not seem as remarkable to me as it did at one time.

So, I'm just saying...being married to one another for 70 years could be a piece of cake if you get married very young and can endure 70 years with the same person. Nothing to it!

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P.S. My husband and I will be married 55 years in November but if we were to live to be married for 70 years, I would be 89 and he would be 93. We would have to stay married for another 15 years. If that happens
I will be impressed. And, if we do survive that long I expect 150 messages from celebrities including one from the President and another from the Pope just like the Arambula's received. So mark November 23, 2030 on your calendar.