Showing posts from July, 2016

Where Has My "Outrage" Gone?

My husband and I went downtown yesterday to share the Portland (Oregon) Brewfest. This gathering of beer drinkers outnumbers pretty much any other like it both near and far. It is an event held the last weekend in July EVERY year.

We generally arrive downtown via our mass transit line and walk through the core area to the Willamette River waterfront. I love the walk and that beautiful urban area between Goose Hollow past the city library and beautiful shopping areas. It is home so what can I say.

Yesterday we stopped at a brewpub a couple of blocks from the brewfest to have a small dinner before heading home. We were willing to wait for a table outside. It was a beautiful day. I had a double plate of appetizer tacos and settled back to finish my glass of wine.

The rental bikes that are the new rage here in Portland were everywhere and traffic was being very cautious because of it. The world passed at our feet.

A red Toyota was parked directly in front of us and I remember noticing the…

Writing Colonel Sanders a Check

In the summer I spend a great deal of my time with grandchildren. In the winter I spend a great deal of time with my husband and friends. They are very different worlds and they both make me happy.

This summer has been a whirlwind of grandchildren from morning until night. July is always the busiest but this year I began tutoring a grandson two days a week so there will not be a change until fall. I like the routine and have fallen into it easily.

I like returning to a small part of my work life before retirement. When I was in the classroom, I could keep as a dozen all in the air. Multi-tasking was not a problem in that place. Every child in that classroom knew that if they asked me for something, even though they may have to wait, I would remember them and give them the help they needed. My grandson is learning that he can trust me. It is good.

HOWEVER, when I was a young mother I did not work because it would have been either-or! I only worked part of time as a substitute teacher.…

In My Humble Opinion...Trump, Black Lives, World Tumult, Gun Control, Abortion

I suppose I need to talk about the news sooner or later and now is as good a time as any. In a lot of ways, every post I write is about the world we live in but, because this is my blog, I get to ignore a whole lot of what occurs on a very bad day. Today is my day of reckoning. A few words are in order just so you will know where I stand.

Black Live Matter...well of course they matter. Unless you can find some personal experience that allows you to understand how a black person feels when they are stopped by the police, you cannot even begin to appreciate what is going on.

If you have ever felt fear as you are trapped by someone with ALL the power in the world and is holding a gun, then you can understand how bad things can happen. Just the wrong word or motion can lead to a death. My heart goes out to people that live with that fear everyday. I am a white woman whose life also matters but I am white so I have no idea how a person of color feels.

On the other side of the coin are all t…

Pokémon GO Is Here....Really!

I wondered what in the name of heaven was going on. Young people, people in cars and more young people kept wandering into our neighborhood. And as the days passed, more and more came.

We live in a 55+ neighborhood on a private street. It puzzled me as to what they were doing and why all of a sudden old people were on their watch list.

Then all H""LL broke loose...and trust me, there is not much excitement around here so when there is and it becomes a 55+ neighborhood's version of a firestorm, I sit up and notice.

Our private street, gazebo and catch basin were by occupied Pokémon GO players. Now I am not against video games or having strangers take a walk in my neighborhood. But when it became a constant stream of traffic on foot and in cars, we all got a little edgy! It was different and we do not like that. :)

They occupied our little park at night. That is where a gazebo sits in our neighbor's backyards. They sat in the catch basin near the entrance until the wee…

The Offer I Refused!

I received an offer to apply for an audition the other day. The sender wanted me to tell about how I had gotten to be so lucky and maybe brag about some mountain I had climbed. It was all about being wild, reckless and daring in retirement. Even though the pay was substantial, I turned it down. But not for the reason you might imagine.

Actually my husband and I have done some pretty awesome things in the last 10 years that give me the right to brag. So it wasn't the mountain climbing that stopped me in my tracks. It was the part about explaining how we had came to be so fortunate at this time in our life.

They wanted me to tell what decisions we made when we were young that gave us the money to do what we want right now. There really is no way to guide others to do what we did. The simple fact is we stayed the course. We didn't dabble with our money or take it out here and put it there. The retirement plan we were offered survived and in that we were lucky!

But I have to say …

Oh my gosh, I'm going to have to tell Carole!

My friend and I always miss each other a great deal when we come back home. We love the winter in Arizona, eat together once in awhile and talktalktalk. Our parting words every spring are "Don't you go and die on me!" I know it is strange but Carole and I is like that.

She has lost many friends in the past few years because she has so many friends to lose. It makes her sad. I don't like for Carole to be sad. So this story is all about keeping Carole happy.

I have had a kinda a rough spring/summer season. It all started with a place on my nose, a burn on my hand and an allergy season that beat anything. All in all, I was the walking wounded. But, if you knew me, you would know that I don't pay much attention to my health. Every day I wake up grateful, and make a concerted effort to avoid thinking about my aches and pains.

A long time can pass before I actually begin to realize that I am sick.

But I am a good little camper and I do have my blood tested on time and …

What's Hiding in Your Ironing Basket?

If there is someone out there that likes to iron, I want to hear from them. I, for one, don't mind and actually like it...occasionally. The outcome is very satisfying and, yes, it is relaxing.

But, if you asked me to do it once a week or as the clothes came out of the dryer, I would simply pretend I did not hear you. Ironing is what the "housekeeping fairy" would be asked to do if she ever offered to come to my house.

When my daughter was in college I asked her once where the students in her dorm ironed. She paused, tilted her head thinking for a moment and told me she had never seen anyone iron! There you go...perfect!

Still, even in this day and age, wash and wear is not the norm. My solution is to either hang things up unironed in the hope that on the day that I decide to wear an outfit I will be in the mood to press the obvious wrinkles out or I stack things in the basket next to the ironing board until the pile is high and my closet is empty. Who knows, maybe the w…

Searching for a Better Weatherman

I figured out that finding the right weatherman/woman is very important right after my husband and I retired. I know I have told you before but in case you missed it, my husband is my go to news and weather forcast source and I have to make sure that he is looking in the right place for the weather report. I edit his news reports by simply not listening to all that bad stuff. Otherwise my whole day may be ruined.

For the 2 past summers we have sweltered in heat here in the northwest USA. It was as though we had been plopped down in a subtropical climate somewhere else. Things grew like crazy, the air conditioner ran night and day and drought was a dreadful likelihood on the horizon. For some reason, I expected that to happen again this year.

But no...not at all. When things were normal (whatever that is) we would get warm weather after the 4th of July. It does not look good for us this year. Those of us that love the sun are in a pickle. This is where a very good weatherman comes in.

The 1950s in Hindsight and Being Honest With Ourselves

Life is a lot different when it is viewed from the rear view mirror. The fact that everything is backwards in real time reveals what we want to believe about the past.

In the review I wrote in my last post, the time frame for the setting was the early 1950s. I would have been 10 or 11 much like the boy that was the main character in Ivan Doig's The Last Bus to Wisdom. In the story Donal was put on a Greyhound bus to travel for several day alone. He was being sent to stay with his aunt while his grandma had surgery. When I think about that now I cannot believe that anyone would have actually done that even in that time. Not anyone that knew who traveled on the Greyhound bus!

Under the blanket that the post WWII generation covered itself with was hidden a much darker time. But putting on a happy face and pretending that nothing bad ever happened was more the norm than not.

Even the veterans that talked to reporters in documentaries hid the damage that was done to their hearts and s…

Books: "Last Bus to Wisdom" and Being Ordinary Like Me

I really don't enjoy reading books about ordinary people that go about lives of quiet desperation. It doesn't take me out of my own world enough to make me feel as though I have escaped.

I consider myself to be a very ordinary person. While I may have a few bragging rights, most of my life has been spent being careful. In fact, I have trained myself to be quieter than I would like. I don't cuss or use dirty words easily and most of my time these days is spent making what we have useful and in some way beautiful. While being ordinary is nice, it is not what I want to read.

And then comes along Ivan Doig with another story about people I might have lived next door to and much to my surprise, I am hooked. What I find ordinary is not what other people have lived or seen.

I have read many of Doig's books over the years. The first was Dancing at the Rascal Fair back when  I was in my late 30's. I struggled with it because the life of the immigrants coming to eastern Mont…

Just Your Ordinary Oregon/Washington Sunday Drive...WOW!

My husband and I took a Sunday drive last weekend. You would think that after living in Oregon for all of our lives we would grow tired of traveling all those off the beaten path places. But all that is beautiful about the Northwest never changes. That is what keeps us coming back for more!
This time we took the Washington side of the Columbia River and traveled from Portland through Vancouver, Wa. about 120 miles to a crossing east of The Dalles at a place called Biggs Junction. The route is called the Lewis and Clark Highway.
When you take this short trip, you go from the green verdant mountains into the arid part of Washington and Oregon. You can see the transition in the photos. 
The trip East ended at Maryville Winery and we took the bridge back across the Columbia River and traveled west back home. I hope you enjoy the pictures. We had a glorious day! Have a wonderful 4th of July safe and enjoy!