Saturday, July 30, 2005

Time is a-wasting

Today is another 'free' day for me. I actually think if my retirement comes about like this I will love it and be able to adjust. Early this morning before I got up, Hubby disappeared on a canoe/fishing trip with the boss on his favorite river. I have this small apartment to clean--should take only a couple of hours--finished laundry yesterday. After that I need to run some errands. I have a baby shower coming up and while I ordered stuff from the new mother's registry on-line, I really want to add some personal items myself. Any unique ideas from you new mothers?

Then I will go to the wine store and stock up for the next few weeks. I have been really neglectful with my wineblog, but I haven't not had reflective time to do it justice---just lots of drinking time while I pour over the blueprints.

Then, my 'sweet' daughter called yesterday to "see how we were doing" on our new house errands. At the end of the conversation she got around to why she had really called. She needed a babysitter for Saturday night so that she and hubby could take the cousin who is now her daycare person to a concert as a break. Fortunately, I have no real nightlife, so told her I would come down and babysit with my favorite person in all the world tonight. Somehow my first day of the weekend is chock full and I have only finished my second cup of guess I better get to work.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Some Respite from the Heat

Took a trip after dinner on Sunday. It was still warm here, but cooling breezes came across the water and we got a break as the sun began to set. Small kids were throwing rocks at the lazy turtles swimming in the shallow areas of the river. Fish coming to the surface for a breath of air. Even wildflowers were still, trumpet vines, closed morning glories, and wild mimosa. Nice break in the summer heat.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Who has the Stomach for It?

(Finally got a chance to post this during a late lunch.)

I Don’t Have the Stomach for it Anymore

A few weeks ago I was surfing television looking for something to distract me and help wind down the day. I came across “Into the West” on TNT. This short series was produced by Steven Spielburg which certainly lends some cache in terms of credibility and entertainment. So, even though the series has started the week before, I was intrigued and decided to watch Chapter 3 and Chapter 4. Beginning credits were attractive and set a gentle western scene. Everything is filmed in gentle sepia tones creating a historic mood. Costumes and props are clearly made to look authentic. The actors themselves are well cast and in some instances represent actual historic characters. The actors’ faces, for the most part, are not common to television viewers and so the character is allowed to come through. The history of the development of the western territories is told following the lives of two families.

OK, enough background. Why didn’t I finish watching Chapter 4? I frequently stop watching a movie, TV Show, sports game when I think it is getting late and I need to go to bed, old grandmother fart that I am. It drives my husband nuts that I can get up in the middle of a show and head to bed without wondering how the episode ends. (Of course most of television is so derivative that there is no time lost pondering the ending on my part and I’d rather get to my book.) But, this is not the reason I didn’t watch the finish of this show. I turned off the set because I was crying so hard, I just couldn’t watch any more. The blatent violence and loss of innocent elderly and children just kicked me in the gut, and, Spielburg makes it all so real…the fact that is was real history…just couldn’t do it. It was a beautiful and tragic story of our history. I really wanted to watch it all, but I couldn’t.

I don’t know if this has to do with aging or just the years of images that have been burned in my mind, or 9/11, but I don’t have the stomach to watch such violence—even in the news anymore. I was watching BBC last night, because they actually report the news (not just the stories about beautiful white girls that are missing or pedophiles gone amok) and they were showing the genocide and starvation happening in Darfur. I looked for 10, maybe 15 seconds, and I had to change the channel. I could not bear it. Switch to “Friends” or “Everybody Loves Raymond” as something totally mindless to cleanse the palate.

It just seems that my nerves are raw and fringed these days or there is too much reality on TV. Psychologists say that “Violent programs on television lead to aggressive behavior by children and teenagers who watch those programs. I wonder what it leads to in baby boomers such as myself?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Nothing to say

The sweet M-I-L of my daughter joined us on a beach outing a few weekends ago. She is a deeply religious Catholic and if all Catholics were like her the Church would be a shining example of what Christiantity is supposed to be. You cannot help but love her. But here is the conversation that left my tongue bleeding as I oh so carefully bit it...!

My daughter: "Mom, you need to tell me the words to Hail Mary so when my son is in school or church I can help him with it."

M-I-L: "It is really pretty easy. You need a rosary. Do you know about that?"

My daughter: "Yes.'

M-I-L: "You know, I say the Rosary every single day. I made a promise to God years ago, when I wanted my first child . (M-I-L went through a NUMBER of miscarriages before the birth of her first.) I promised God that if he gave me a child I would say my Rosary every day after that. Of course, some days I am too busy so I make sure to say it twice the next day. I am afraid that God might do something bad to my child if I didn't"

???? God Help me, please????

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Woke up too early this morning!

Discovered this exercise on Kenju's blog (which is a very good read by the way). I welcome any and all readers who have missed this to share their list if they are so inclined.

10 Things I have done that you probably haven’t.

1) Weaned a calf

2) Physically restrained a 14-year-old who had pulled a knife on a teacher the previous year

3) Eaten dog with farm workers on the island of Mindanao

4) Slept in a grass hut on the island of Babledaup

5) Lived on the side of an active volcano

6) Traveled half-way around the world with a six-week old baby.

7) Played the front end of Rudolph-the-Red-Nosed Reindeer in a play I wrote

8) Been bitten on the heal by a wild monkey

9) Been taken out to dinner by my hotel wait staff

10) Paddled out of the living room of my house by canoe

Saturday, July 16, 2005

A Lot of Miles on the Old Dog

I think I save too much. All the memories. Only three of these are active. There is a fourth now in Korea.

Organizing Your Life

Here it is early on Saturday. I have an entire weekend to do what I want...or need to do being the Puritan Work-Ethic person. My hubby was off for a two-day trip to Louisiana. He came back in the middle of Tuesday night and left at 5:00 Wednesday for a week-long trip to Korea. So I am on my own. OK, I admit it. I love him and I really like our time together. But I especially LOVE being alone as well. So, I am actually looking forward to these next days when I only have to answer to my needs.

But being the Puritan that I am, here is my list of 'to-dos' (in no order) that I made sleepily last night while surfing the TV before bed--there is nothing on television.

1)Exercise at least 60 min. on Saturday and Sunday (I have totally fallen off my exercise routine since we moved.)
2)Go through the four-drawer file cabinet and weed, weed, weed.
3)File all the stuff in the plastic bin that sits in front of the file cabinet.
4)Clean the apartment.
5)Organize all the piles and boxes still in the bedroom so I can get dressed in the morning!
6)Create two spreadsheets. One to track the financial activities on the housebuilding and one to track the actual actitivies on the housebuilding.
7)Laundry(?) if I can get the washer.
8)Organize the bookshelves where I just piled stuff during the move.

And, of course, per Carol's last entry, What am I doing right now? I am blogging first thing.

My daughter called last night to see if I wanted to do something with her and our cousin on Sunday. So that removes half the weekend. My daughter is a sweetie and gets people to do stuff for her that amazes me. She had to go back to work on July 5. Her future babysitting arrangement can't take place until September. So she got her mother-in-law in to drive down from three states away to babysit for the last two weeks; she is paying to fly in a distant cousin of ours from Michigan ("Studying nursing and knows how to give a baby CPR.")for the next two weeks; and then I take over for the first week and the last week of August. They still need someone for the middle of that month and it looks like hubby will have to take a week off and she herself will have to also take another week of leave.

At least she and I know how to organize our time.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Potter Passion vs. Wusthof

As lover of books I have to admit that I haven't read a single Harry Potter book (apologies to Hedwig)! I have so many other books still on my list to read and I am an anal retentive so must read from number one in any series and that just hasn't happened. Besides, I hate pressure to read a book before the movie. said it was planning on selling 50,000 copies per hour! A lot of hype out there.

Of course if you peruse the news you will see there are all kinds of stories about who to, when, where, and how these copies will be delivered. And then just type "Harry Potter" in Google's news engine and you will get a bunch of interesting stories surrounding this passion. It sort of reminds me of the passion for the tulips years ago....;-)

What is it about us that makes us push to be the first to read the book, see the movie, buy the fashion statement? Does it lose it's value if we don't get it at the earliest?

My rush usually ends up in a sale item issue. Overstock finally got one of the few brand names of knives I was looking for! I put in an order for the "high likelihood of early sellout' item ( see photo) for my new kitchen. My current knife set is 30 years old and incomplete along with a lot of bits and pieces of knives from elsewhere along the way. NOW one complete set! AND at 50% off. Who can beat that?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Music Meme

1. Total volume of music files on my computer:
I downloaded some stuff a long time ago…can’t find it. So don’t really have any music on my PC!

2. The last CD I bought was:

Since I have been moving, I haven’t been shopping. But two months ago I bought Mediterranea by Johannes Linstead.

3. Song playing right now:
”Street Sounds” by Brazil Chill

4. Five songs (tunes) I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:

(Yes, I AM CHEATING. Sorry I have to do albums or CDs and not in any order because I am all over the place in my moods! And I could go on and on.)

1) Cool and Unusual - Artist: Martin Simpson (for afternoon dreaming)

2) Amici - Artists: The Opera Band (for creativity or [on low]after-dinner conversation with friends)

3) American Deluxe - Artists: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (for house cleaning)

4) Slowing Down the World – Artist Chris Botti (for, well, you know)

5) Graceland – Artist: Paul Simon (for the memories)

5. Five people to whom I'm passing the baton (if they haven’t already received it!):





Carol at the Outpost

Saturday, July 09, 2005


There is news this morning that the Panda couple at the National Zoo appear to be future long last. These huge animals will have a baby that weighs about 4 ounces and is the size is a little larger than a golf ball. The zoo keepers said that after the birth, they were going to leave the first-time mom and baby alone and let nature take its course rather than try to guide the nursing process.

This started me thinking about 'nature taking it's course.' If I was living in the wild, had never had a baby, had never seen a mother and baby and gave birth to my first child, would I naturally know how to nurse? Society intellectualizes the process of nursing. We don't like to think of ourselves as biological animals and we certainly like to think of breasts as sexual organs and not feeding organs.

We hide the nursing process, by making mothers go into dark corners or cover their bodies as much as possible when they nurse in public. My daughter purchased two "hooter hiders" so she can live a somewhat normal life and feed her baby boy when among friends or in public.

Having lived for years on a tropical island where natives went topless and where nursing was the same as eating, I grew very comfortable with this biological function of ours. There were stories where years ago missionaries came to the islands to convert the 'heathen' natives and one of the processes was to cover the top of the women with blouses and shirts since boobies had something to do with sin. The story goes that this lasted a short while as the women (those nursing) soon cut holes in the shirts at exactly the most useful place so they could feed their babies easily.

Today I am off to my grandson's baptism...a process that comforts some in the family and which has a little bit of an unsettling effect on others.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

It is a Scary City, Blogdom

I have a few dozen blogs that I try to read on a regular basis and share my limited-intelligent comments and unrequested advice. This past week two of my bloggers (both ‘young folk’) seem to be dealing with serious crises in their lives. I know the details of one but the other has dropped off the blogosphere. In Blogdom, you really get to know some folks pretty intimately. You cannot read their eyes and their smiles, but I am realizing that it is not fun when you can’t take someone out to coffee, hold their hand, bring them a cold bottle of wine, or just let them know you are there for them and will pick up the mail and feed the pet!

Please keep good thoughts, prayers, some good Chi going for these two Blogger friends of mine!

Wrong Number!

As much as I hate to admit it, something happens as your reach the ‘Golden Years’ in terms of getting a good night’s sleep. I have always been a light sleeper, but every few nights I am rewarded. I actually do not wake up every two hours and drift back to sleep…instead, I actually SLEEEEP deeply through the night. Well, last night was one of those wonderful nights until 1:30 AM when the phone rang.

This was the first call we have gotten in the apartment bedroom, so it took hubby a short while to think about where the phone was and then answer it, but not before he said ominously…Uh Oh. (He was thinking it was our son with a problem of some kind. You can tell the teen years have left their scars.)

Well, as you can guess from the title of this blog, it was a wrong number. I couldn’t get back to sleep for hours! I actually think that wrong numbers after midnight ought to have a fine attached to them!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Dream House

Several people who now know that we have broken ground on the lot are asking how the 'dream home' is coming. Being the exacting soul that I am, I keep thinking of putting on the brakes for a minute when they say this. This is not my 'dream home.' A 'dream home' means to me that I could have everything I would want with no compromises. I am a perfectionist and I could have it exactly the way that I wanted it, if it was a 'dream home.' Instead this home will be my retirement home and filled with lots of compromises...liveable compromises...but compromises just the same due to geography and money limitations. This doesn't mean that I am not excited about all the possibilities ahead. It just means that I am a realist and will always be holding my breath for the next surprise compromise.

Jim Blandings : “It's a conspiracy, I tell you. The minute you start they put you on the all-American sucker list. You start out to build a home and wind up in the poorhouse. And if it can happen to me, what about the guys who aren't making $15,000 a year? The ones who want a home of their own. It's a conspiracy, I tell you - -against every boy and girl who were
ever in love.”

Monday, July 04, 2005

Here is the view we get from the dining area table. I think winter snow storms are going to be breathtaking.

The view from my 'living room' window five floors up. Nice. Doesn't seem like the city at all.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Our First Free Day in a LONG Time.

We have only a few boxes and things to sort. so we took the day off and went out in the boat. Hubby has waited 25 years to own such a boat, and we really don't get out in it often enough. Of course, you can save years for a boat and then every year it costs money to run and maintain. I posted a traditional picture of the osprey and the little cove that we disappeared into to eat our store-bought lunch of ham sandwiches and chips. (I still have enough trouble finding things in the apartment kitchen! The only thing I have lost so far is one of my re-chargeable batteries for my digital camera)

The day was gently overcast in the A.M. with temps in the low 80's. Perfect for boating. Winds were at least 15--so we stayed out of the Bay and in the river. We would have liked to take some friends, but the apartment move made it a last minute decision.

It is still an effort to get out in the boat, since all the boat gear and coolers have to be stored at the old house, which is a mile away. Landlady was very generous and let us keep the keys to the garage door.

Today is the last of the unpacking--where to put and/or store dozens of lighbulbs, cleaning supplies and sorting out two of the three tool boxes we own. I even got my roots dyed (which were starting to look like a really bad hair day), and I cut hubby's hair. I have cut my husband's hair since we first got married and lived overseas and found it hard to get a barber. I think he has been to a real barber less then 10 times since we were married.

And I have added some photos to the housebuilding blog.

Now off to run a few errands. Can't seem to get into the laundry room on a Saturday. Something I will have to adjust to while we live here.

A quiet cove for a nice lunch.

An osprey which we inadvertantly disturbed as we passed the boat marker.