Thursday, April 28, 2005

Back on that swing called LIFE

I am back from the memorial and may post on it when I have digested all that happened. It was NOT sad...well, not lots of sad...just little times. It was actually very therapeutic. I am closer to my baby sister and my baby brother and still like my Republican other brother in spite of his schizophrenic approaches. You can read about parental death and talk to others about their experiences, but it is just like getting married or having children. Until you do it, you don't really understand what it is all about and even then each person's experience is so unique that it is hard to translate to others. (This is why I am hesitant to discuss spirituality--it is so unique and private.)

I do so appreciate the comments and emails from those bloggers in my neighborhood. They are most comforting and let me know that there are still people in the world who actually think about and care about others...including ephemeral souls that only exist in the bytedom to me.

I am having dinner with friends that we haven't seen in months tonight.

Tomorrow I am taking dinner to the parents of that new love of my life. What an affair I am having with him and how I missed him when I went out to Colorado!

I wish you all falling pink petals and cool breezes. (Whoops, is that a little to Oprah for you?)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Another Milestone

I never read anywhere that when you hit your late fifties or early sixties in age, after the kids move out and start their own lives, you get five minutes of down time. You get a weekend to assess where you are in life and where you want to be. Then you are thrust on the life time roller coaster called "Milestone a Minute." Because stuff happens so fast, you don't get much time to dwell on the meaning of it all. Maybe next year...

Mom passed away at 4:00 AM this morning. I am relieved, of course. I keep running scenarios through my mind of how hard it was for all the siblings and wonder who was there, etc. While she had difficulty breathing, it was a peaceful passing. Of course, I regret that I was not there to say goodbye, but I am not going to beat myself up over this. This regret is all about me, not others. I was there for my mother-in-law years ago, so maybe I helped someone through this gate.

Dad wants me out (at least that's what Sis says). So, even though there is no funeral or memorial planned, I am flying out this late afternoon to go through another milestone in my life. I get to be a bulwark or maybe a better word would be a stanchion? My philosophy is always One Day at a Time and one more long airplane ride.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Free Tuesday

When 'one' gets busy with back-to-back meetings at the office, 'one' should not eat the yogurt in the early afternoon that was brought for breakfast eating. If you do, you will find yourself up all night with a belly ache and 'pooaereah.' The good thing is that now it is almost 11:00 and I feel much better.

BUT, I am not going into work. One, I don't want to. Two, it will take an hour or longer to find parking at this time of the day--even though I have paid parking in the garage! Three, I have a life. Right now it involves more packing. (I want this second to the last move (for a while) done, done, done.) I need interior decorating, I need gardening, I need space for hobbies, I need a yard to play with my grandson! I will hold my breath for another 10 months, but I should be on a totally new track by that time or I will be going crazy. I am not good living in limbo and waiting for distant deadlines. I am one of those annoying people that get stuff done ahead of time so that I can hurry up and wait. I am a nester and need a long term nesting place.

Then again in a second thought, I keep wondering if I will adjust to the sound of quiet broken by the little birdsong or wind in the trees, and the view of trees and more trees out my window. Or, will I miss the sound of my neighbors children playing in the street, the sound of morning traffic on the nearby freeway (and sirens) and the quick walk to the Post Office or grocery store?

This is what spring is all about. But, it lasts only a few days here.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Old Apple Tree

More future apples. These apples all go into the tummy of the resident squirrels. I had pruned it hard last year, since it looked diseased and this year it is rewarding me with tons of blossoms.

Future apples. This is one of the apple trees outside my kitchen window. I have yet to eat an apple from it.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Firefox is a little too foxy for me!

I am not losing my mind and my son is not a sloppy surfer. I found the problem here. Unfortunately none of the extension downloads are working for me! So now I am going to Opera and will keep that as my browser with links so when this happens again with Firefox, which for some it has, I will be safer!!!!

My work of art from Color Me Mine. The day I spent with daughter two weeks ago. This is pretty primitive, but since it is the very first bisque pottery I have ever glazed, I am proud I got it done. Lesson learned is when they say three coats and let it dry between three coats, they really mean that! I have lots of rough spots.

Strange Saturday Morning

I sat down at the computer this morning after getting Hubby off to Hawaii and decided to surf some blogs on the net. I brought up my Firefox browser and lo and behold got that first-time user window asking if I wanted to use the 'default' profile. I clicked yes and then got a response that the default profile is ' in use do you want to create a new one?' Heck,yes.. lets just get on the Internet here. I put in my name as the new profile and then discovered that I no longer have access to the thousand or so bookmarks I have carefully created on my PC because I am a new user of the browser.

I went 'exploring' for them across my harddrive without luck. i imported bookmarks from the IE browser which I rarely use and got back about 30-40% of some of the stuff. Can't find my blog friends links, my garden links, shopping, reading, writing...UGH!

So I went on my blog to at least add the commenters from the last year or so. It was then that I discovered two of the older blogs which I hadn't visited in a while have gone into the black hole of bytedom. Another blogger had said goodbye last month, so there was some closure to that, but it is strange to find that bloggers whom you shared ideas with are now gone, and it is really forever, because you are not going to accidentally bump into them again and recognize them like you do neighbors who have moved away.

What the h.... did my son do to my computer yesterday that lost all the bookmarks?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

This little mockingbird was too shy to pose forward. But I took his picture anyway!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

And now an afterdinner walk to work off the calories.

Salmon dinner cooked by husband. He made it up! Tasted great.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Real Simple, if only it were...

My daughter got me a subscription to the magazine "Real Simple' which is the new, younger generation's version of Good Housekeeping or Redbook I am surmising. It is thick with lots of ads as well as articles (although most of the articles are about stuff you can buy). When I was in Junior High we had a project where we got our favorite magazine (mine was probably Seventeen) and we were told to paste paper over all the advertisements. It was a good illustration of the huge percentage that any magzine devotes to ads and the very little bit of information articles for the money you spend. But, I digress.

My daughter makes lots of money ( I am guessing about $9o,000 or $100,000 when you add bonuses. She has only been working about four years! Her husband makes a little more.) Those golden handcuffs are hard to give up. She is planning on going back to work in three months, but I already see the pain in her eyes when this is brought lightly into the conversation. We live in an area where a standard three bedroom house is about $400,000. There is lots of pressure to work. I wish that I was going to be living nearby as this would make the decision easier, but I am not.

In the May issue of Real Simple it is fortuitous (maybe) that there was an article titled "What's a Mother to do?" It covers the debate over whether a woman should return to work or stay at home after the birth of a child. They interview four women with their grown daughters and each have chosen different paths. I find this article so interesting because it really touches a sensitive cord with me. I stayed at home with both children until the youngest was ten. I was not rich, but I was also NOT poor. I didn't have to work. We didn't eat out, go to movies, and I only had two outfits for church. But these were not sacrifices in my mind.

The sacrifices for me were falling behind in my career and never really making the better salary, spending time without adults for endless days which is really hard, missing out on a creative side of my self that I had to shelve and the long hours - working seven days a week. The good stuff was knowing my children were being raised by someone who would die for them, someone who was close to their gene pool and therefore understood them, and getting to see all that wonderful special stuff that children show as they reach each new challenge.

There are no good choices. The magazine article seems to make it appear that there is no wrong way. But I think that oversimplifies. There is really no right way either. Whichever road you choose, you make important and long-term sacrifices. And the idiocy in this debate is that most women do not have a choice!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Sweet to the point of sickening

Yeah, yeah, grandmothers can be so annoyingly in love. Get a grip, there is more to life. (No there's not!)

Today her in-laws are driving in from out of state to spend the night. Brother-in-law is staying with his family at a nearby hotel and mom and dad-in-law are staying with them. So I am giving them lots of space to enjoy and I will be running my own personal errands (of which I have many on this beautiful Saturday) and then on Sunday we go down late P.M. and I will clean the house for her. Aren't I just the best ;-)?

I promise next blog will be about something important and will have my usual succinct and insightful thoughts.

The most beautiful person in the world today!

Friday, April 08, 2005

I can see! I can see!

I felt like the invisible man the last few days, but lo and behold, Blogger has redeployed my 'One Day" website. I can view it! I was afraid to try a complete re-do of the website thinking it would do some weird reformat or something and all the files would go into the nether regions of bytedom.

While technology was glitching, I do have a real life and was busy with my daughter and new grandson! He was born at 8:23 PM on April 5 after 9 hours of labor. (Obstetrician said due date was April 10 and it would not be born on time, so they set a date for induction on April 20. Even with all this new science doctors are still just making educated guesses.) My son, the baby's uncle, has nicknamed the little guy Xman and since the parents don't seem to mind, that is what he will be for a while. I cannot begin to describe all the feelings going through me. Watching my hulking son hold his tiny nephew was priceless.

It IS just like riding a bike. All the baby stuff comes flooding back and I feel very comfortable going into grandma mode for my first one. I spent all day yesterday baking casseroles, desserts, vegetables dishes, etc. and then we packed it all and took it to the new parents' house. They were discharged from the hospital around noon and when we got to their home at 4:30 PM all three were out like hibernating bears. The baby fell asleep in my arms and I held him for at least 2 and half hours, just couldn't put him down.

I think the new daddy is in the most shock. He had no idea that this would involve so many details in life and so much lack of sleep. But he is so much in love with this new person, he has no complaints. My daughter, on the other hand, seems a little more laid back. She is working hard on breast feeding, and when I remember the ups and downs I had with that, I can empathize. Fortunately, it all worked out and I was able to breast feed both of them for almost a year.

Today hubby is back at work full time for the first time since his operation. I think he got a burst of energy from holding his grandson.

We are going for a drive this afternoon to me with our builder and look at the draft of the adjusted plans. Things are going slower than we hoped and I will blog why on my house building blog.

In between all of the above and my work I am driving around the city looking for a condo or coop with my son. He did bid on one condo in a nice young area of town, but lost out to someone who bid 30% over the selling price with an added escalation clause. Is this real estate market ride ever going to end?

Well, this weekend, I hope to get some of my own stuff done.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Pre Mother's Day Celebration

Today is the day my very pregnant daughter has set aside for some activity with me as a mother’s day thing. She will be a new mother herself on the actual Mother’s Day. She is showing up about noon and bringing a 'light' lunch. Then we are off to some secret activity. Weather is miserable and it has been pouring rain on and off all night and should continue throughout the day. I hope this does not interfere with our plans. Actually, just getting to spend most of the day one on one with her is worth all the gold in the world to me. Spending time with those you love where you can focus on each others ideas and plans is so rare in a busy life and I know as her life gets busier, it will be much rarer.

We (Hubby, son and I) have been looking at condos to purchase since we have to move out of our rental house in a few months. My son is pretty stressed as he wants his own place, and at his age really does need his space. We are giving him his 'wedding money' and then loaning him another $10k and I think it will result in him buying a one bedroom for just himself. Real estate here is outrageous and without our help, he would find it very difficult to purchase anything. His job now seems stable and he has paid off all of his debt except for some of his low interest student loans. He is almost 27 and certainly does need breathing room. He works the night shift and seems stressed about not meeting any 'smart' girls with this schedule. He indicated to H. that he doesn't have too many years left to meet the right girl at his age and living in a better (echo generation) neighborhood would help. (I wish I knew why his old girlfriend broke up with him. They made a really good couple.)

In addition, since I have to work in this area much longer before my retirement, Hubby and I are stressing about whether buying a condo for ourselves or just continuing renting an apartment is the best solution. Since I will only be up here two to three nights a week, renting a place seems such a waste of money. We can commute if all else fails, but I would have to work less hours in the day since the commute is 1 1/2 hours each way. Buying a condo is a big financial commitment for that time period and means we will be pretty poor which I am saving even more towards retirement. Then I would spend the rest of each week in our new home. H. is going back and forth about just exactly when he would retire...he has a much more flexible financial situation. And all of this has to come to a head by JULY! H. and son are looking at more places this weekend.

I met with a downtown realtor this week and son and I looked at two places. They were both supposed to be two bedroom. One was one of these brand new ‘New York style’ loft condos. It had granite and stainless steel kitchen, pedestal sinks, sliding etched glass doors between the rooms, and big windows looking outside. Sounds great doesn’t it. Well, it was way outside out price range (over $460K) and really awful for living while nice for showing. The size of the whole condo was only 800 square feet the second bedroom had no privacy and the closet was the size of small broom closet. The bathrooms while new had no cabinets or even floor space for storage cabinets. The dining area was a sitting area and food prep area all in one. And the windows looked out over a car repair lot and run down industrial area! So much for the styles in New York! The second place was in an older building, cheaper in price, but much more charming, about 1200 square feet. The kitchen was a disaster with really old appliances, and there was absolutely no place to park anywhere near the building which would be a crisis for my son a 2:00 AM.

I so look forward to the time when my life is once again in a rut.