Saturday, June 03, 2023

Zoom Zoom

On an upswing. My moods are unpredictable these days and I am sure it is because I am full-on into elder mode. My memories keep moving in and out interrupting my days.  The media ads for most useless stuff and concerning medicines, which I do not need, are all directed at people "60 and older". I am starting to move TWO decades past that, and the message is truly clear. I am OLD. I have talked with my doctor, but since I am not depressed or manic or even measurable, he is not concerned.  He has recommended I reduced my nerve/cough dose and while I am doing that, I find the cough sometimes comes back irregularly after over a  year of peace!  

I just returned from a 3-day trip to Chicago with my daughter.  She  has a  strong friendship  with a distant cousin that she met on Ancestry  and over the years we have watched this distant cousin grow from being a bulemic  and very quiet teenager to getting her Doctorate in  nursing and then marrying a  nice young neuroscientist and recently having a precious new little girl!  Such a  journey and I like to think my daughter's support had some role in that.  Daughter and I also took in a spa morning at a fancy old-world place in Chicago, which is certainly not my usual routine.  The weather was perfect!

This cousin we met is even more unusual as she explained that two of her brothers recently came out as  Gay.   I suspected this about one of the brothers years ago when  I met him.  Their mother is a nurse and one can only wonder if she expected this or not and how she deals with it.  Then prior to this her second daughter came out as lesbian!  Four children and only one of them is heterosexual!

Heading off this Saturday to help open a contest for young children to plant  tomatoes in canvas bags and attempt to win prizes at the end of summer based on their growing  skills after they take the plant home.   I will be on my feet 10:30 AM until  3:00 PM and tired when  I  get home.  Sunday I  am off to another gardening event where we staff a booth with activities for children who come to a park to see tractor pulls, bands, craft stuff, etc.  I will be on my feet from 8:00 until 5:00 most likely and totally wiped for Monday.  But we are going out for dinner that night with some new friends and hopefully, that will not be stressful and I will not fall face down into my dinner plate!  I do see old people do that, but it is usually in a rest home.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

May is on its way out?

The weather this morning is quite cool to weed in the garden I need a jacket.  There was a light rain last night and everything is richly green and growing, including the weeds, so well in this perfect spring weather.

My spring flowers are on the way out already.  I have been so busy but I managed to squeeze in a few minutes to capture them with my camera as I do every year and then photoshop a bit for clarity and exposure and contrast. 


  I have two good-looking and sweet men from another country helping me cut the roots of my potted citrus so that they can continue in good health without being root bound.  They are chatting on the back deck in another language and will soon interrupt me to see what they need to do next.  It is rare to have gardeners, but I will not complain.

My granddaughter's first birthday went perfectly with the weather in total cooperation since it was outdoors.  (Their house is so small.)  The gal got a small rubber duck at her last Doctor's visit and it soon became the favorite toy and a theme for the party.

She was a delight the entire time and never seemed to get overstressed or our of sorts.  I blurred the little one's face as it seems that is the careful way these days.

Mostly photos in this post.  Hope you weekend is humming smoothly.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Busy as a Bee

I am up earlier than usual. My night was filled with odd dreams. I was working at a new and rather gloomy place. Some government offices had been designed by a bureaucrat who was probably related to a Senator and used that privilege.  They could have been offices in the 1940s.  The people were all gray and autonomic in personality. They didn't really want to get to know me, and I finally gave up and with my head down began my work. Where this dream came from, I do not know.

Anyway, I am now awake around 5:00am and got up for my coffee.  The sky was just beginning to lighten and the lights across the waters (my neighbors all feel that security and decorative lighting is necessary) sparkled golden in the reflection on the river.  By the time I had made my coffee, I saw that the high fog had moved in.  By the time I was drinking my coffee, the fog had lowered across the river and all was milky white.

The birds were just finishing their morning songs.  I like the way the charcoal silhouettes of the trees look like watercolor paintings in the fog.  While sipping my coffee the ghostly silhouette of a solitary buzzard glides every so quietly above my head sailing to the river.  It is beautiful in its grace.

Today will be a quiet day.  Sunday was my granddaughter's first birthday and it was filled with all the business that entails when the party was given by parents who never thought they would be successful in having a child.  She is precious to us all, and hopefully, we will temper our spoiling with some common sense.  But love tends to throw common sense out the window. Some photos of that celebration of a miracle may appear in a future post as I left my camera up there!

This prior Wednesday was a long day of plant work with others for our garden sale.  Then Thursday was plant work for other plants at home for the plant sale.  Friday was baking for the plant sale.  Saturdays were the plant sale and being on my feet from  6:30 in the morning to about 2:30 in the afternoon chatting up buyers!  We are mostly old people and while we raised  10K,  many were hobbling and toddling by mid-afternoon.

Monday was a doctor's appointment for me.  I think it went well and he agrees that it may be possible for me to wean myself off the nerve medicine I had been taking for the cough.  Tuesday was a luncheon with people we had never met.  My sister was on a plane returning from a wine tour in France and she sat across from an elderly couple returning from a Safari and they got to chatting on the long flight back to the States. (Yes, this does sound  like the start  of  some murder movie.)  Anyway, she found that they were living in the same small town that we are!  She sent me their email and gave them ours.  The woman was also a retired librarian!  A package of coincidences that was sort of surprising.  Tuesday, months later, we finally met up for lunch.  They seem very nice and have suggested a dinner soon to meet a young friend of theirs who is trying to get into the marine biology field which is my husband's forte.  After lunch, we had to run some errands and came home exhausted.   Such a busy social week has left me exhausted, the introvert that I am.

Wednesday, today, is a blank day for me although hubby has a dental appointment.  I have some leftover seedlings to get into the yard and some plants to dig up for my son as we are going back up to see him on Sunday after a Mother's Day meet-up with my daughter on Saturday.  Yes, a bit of a busy weekend. again.  You can see many of my seeds failed due to the torrential rains while we were gone.

Well, enough about me.  How about you?

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

Gathering Thoughts

How can someone who is retired be too busy to write her blog? I am not procrastinating because the Blog is on my mind several times a day, sometimes even before I drift off to sleep. I think of something and then wonder if it would be a good theme for the blog. 

Of course, by morning the only thing on my mind is COFFEE! As I fill the electric kettle I gaze out the kitchen window and see my neighbor's house. When I took this photo the leaves were not on the trees except for the ever-green hollys.  I took it a month ago.  I think about our (mankind's) footprint on this earth when I see that mansion.  The house has another wing behind the big tree trunk on the left, a three-car garage below, a swimming pool, five bedrooms, a dock, and a water view.  There is only one 79-year-old lady living in it.  She does not own a boat.  She bought the house two years ago.  I am not saying she does not deserve to live in a beautiful home, but it seems such a waste of space.  She is a nice millionaire.

When we built our house, we were thinking of only two bedrooms, but then we realized with three grandchildren that would be a mistake and added another as well as a small room in the basement that can be used as a bedroom.  All of these rooms have come in handy over the years.  

The weather has finally been nice enough to get out in the canoe.  

I am learning that getting into a canoe at the beginning of the day is easy, but getting out of the canoe after 4 or 5 hours is very difficult.  I am working on my deep knee bends, but it seems that my body has a mind of its own.

We did go to Emerald Isle, North Carolina for a week with my son and daughter-in-law, and grandchild.  A wonderful, if exhausting, trip.  Granddaughter is that age where everything is interesting and while she cannot yet walk, she crawls like a speed demon.

While it was still spring and the weather cool and cloudy and sometimes rainy, we had the whole beach to ourselves all of the time.  That is peaceful when you have a dog and a crawling babe.

We rented a house and did most of our own cooking to avoid having to deal with an infant in a restaurant.  But we did give the "kids" a few afternoons and nights out: a massage, a movie, a dinner, and a morning of canoeing.

Just before all this hubby had eye surgery.  It seems that if you are an elder you can get an eye lift through insurance if you are having trouble seeing and reading.  He passed that test and got the eyebrow lift.  

It does not make him look younger, but recovery was very fast and the minimal scar is hidden in his Scottish eyebrows.  He also finds reading at night much easier.  On the medical side, my daughter is trying to talk me into a face laser resurfacing treatment which would not be covered by insurance.  She has had it done and loves it.  Sigh!

Now back to the real world.  I will go read your blogs over the coming days and leave comments.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Throwing Out the Best Stuff?

I moved into this house, which we built, almost fifteen years ago. I even wrote a blog about that, printed it out on paper, and then deleted the blog. 

The move itself helped us filter our junk.  There are always boxes of stuff that you save and no longer use.  Also boxes of duplicates or backups of stuff you have never needed.  Then when you empty the drawers and empty the closet shelves you realize that life can get cluttered with so much more "stuff" than any human ever needs.

People who are always on the move, perhaps news photographers or people who work from ships such as international doctors, have just basic essentials and may store just a bit of memory "stuff" in a closet or rental unit somewhere. Their life activity and memories are their "junk".

This line of thinking all started with my search for my wedding dress (really a muumuu) and I have not been able to find all.  Did I get rid of that thinking I would never be able to get into it?  Did I actually give it away??  I have no clue because I can still see it in the box with the tissue.  

I did find the shoe box below with the label:  SEEDS GLASS JUNK

When I took off the lid I saw this below:

In the jar at the very top of the box is a collection of sea glass.  That brown bone-like structure in the upper middle is a piece of really interesting wood that has been worn down.  It looks like a fish skeleton, doesn't it?  Bits of seeds and feathers and all.  And, I will not throw out this box.  I collect stuff like this all the time!  
I will leave it to my kids to dump into the bin after I leave this planet. So I guess I clearly lack discerning nature for saving stuff since I cannot find my wedding dress!

Saturday, March 04, 2023

On a Roll, Hold Tight!

It seems that the world turns and turns and mankind churns and churns and we are at opposite purposes. I will ignore this black hole collision. 

Instead, I will write about my upcoming schedule, for those who are only remotely interested, which is exhausting in the weeks and months ahead for a woman on the downside of the 70s.

Tomorrow I have the whole day free to work on emails. I have emails from a florist in Kauai, a photographer in Kauai, and my daughter in the city to the north of us, and they all require attention. My husband and I had planned to go to Hawaii where we met AND married to celebrate our 50th anniversary two years ago. But COVID spread its contagious and frightening germs and we were forced to cancel. 

Hubby and I had met in Honolulu so many years ago with both of us in graduate school at the University. We married there just three months after meeting and headed out to the island of Palau, Micronesia where water and electricity were precious and sometimes scarce for our tiny two-bedroom apartment.  With no supermarkets and incoming mail only three days weekly, we faced challenges.  It was a good match if the first year of marriage can survive life on a remote Pacific island. (Oh my, who are those naive and young people?)

Our children were not happy that we had to cancel this remembrance.  Of course, we had just planned a visit to some old haunts, and visit some friends on Oahu and that would be it.  

Instead, the kids took over and wanted to turn this into a mini-event before we die.  (I mean that very literally)  We will be on Oahu for 3 days visiting old friends and then onto Kauai which is a lovely island to visit.  Our children and their children and one mother-in-law will be joining us.  This simple trip has now morphed into flowers, a photographer, a small renewal of vows, and who knows what else.  I am trying to assist in the coordination of all with my daughter.  This does not happen on the island where we married or even the day or month that we married, but alas, we are plunging ahead.  We are then going on to Maui because that is where my daughter's family wants to spend time.  We will be there for a week, and I am letting them all plan that.  This takes place the first week of  July when everyone's schedules blend.

My upcoming schedule also includes helping my husband plan a PowerPoint presentation at the local library this Saturday on shoreline preservation!  His mild dementia means I have some editing to do.  

Sunday, we get together with my daughter's family to visit the aquarium in Baltimore and eat a family lunch.  A Christmas gift we are just getting around to opening.  Then we drive down to spend the night in Annapolis for an overnight as my husband has surgery (a therapeutic eyelift) on the following Monday!  Are you keeping up?

In the following two weeks as hubby is resting, I may get caught up.  My first job is to help plan a week's vacation with my son, his wife, and their baby at a rental home on Emerald Isle in North Carolina during the last week of April, which is not far away on the calendar.  I have a feeling we will be doing lots of babysitting.

I  realize that I am blessed to be able to afford these trips (barely)  and am blessed to have a family so close that wants to be with us.  But  I am tired and running out of steam.  Send me energy.

Saturday, February 18, 2023


As we age, the contrast of events in our current life or memories from our past life seem greater or maybe lesser. What do you think? 

For instance, I am so emotionally high with my grandchildren. While I love my children, I do not remember my heart bursting with joy every time I saw them. Perhaps that was, because I saw my children every day and the reality is you see them clean and dirty, calm and emotional, happy and angry, energetic and tired?  They see you the same and are not always willing to share or even want to spend time with you.

My grandchildren, in my case, are seen maybe every other month, and the older ones are  on their best behavior (lucky me). The baby is most times, but even when crying she is precious and vulnerable.  She also changes dramatically from week to week and she now crawls around the room.

As for long-ago memories, I remember bits and pieces while my husband, who has been diagnosed with "mild cognitive impairment", remembers every detail of his youth...or it seems that way.

Also, my personality wants to slow down, and maybe think on past memories, while my husband wants passionately to make new ones while talking endlessly about past events.

We had a visit from a friend this past week who we have known for many years.  She came with her second husband who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and for whom a two-hour car trip  (which this was) is a big challenge.  He was quiet and pleasant, which is the same as his former peonality.  He is slow and unstable.  She is full of plans, building her next new house and running her small farm with a new chicken house being built, and training her dogs for dog shows, which is the same as her former personality.  Yet, they live happily on these two planes of existence and seem to be able to meet in the middle.

I do think age has given me a clearer perspective on time and the passage o time and my life in that spectrum.  Perhaps.  (These sunsets were taken last night as a big acold front moved in.  That high cloud makes for great light bounce.)

Monday, January 23, 2023

Where Does the Time Go?

One of my kind followers noted that I had not posted in some time. And, of course, since I have been in a mid-winter doldrums slump, there might be a reason for concern. I am still not quite in a happy place. I am older, tire more easily, and have trouble facing challenges with the tenacity that I used to bring to the forefront. It is normal for us agers.

Yes, I keep pushing through exercise two or three times a week.  About 30 minutes of intense free weights or maybe running over 3 miles on the elliptical.  This assures me my death will be quick when it comes  ;-).

2023 began with a frump or a dump or something that has even less enthusiasm than I do.  2023 was full frontal.  The gal that was a secretary at one of my last jobs passed away from cancer, and I did not know she was even fighting it!  My daughter's father-in-law passed after a long and difficult illness bringing guilty relief to his wife who now has a big change in the hours of each day. Two people from our Master Gardeners group of 40 or so also passed. Hubby was sick for a week with a cold or flu.  Not badly sick, just annoying fatigue.  Son and daughter-in-law visited with the sweet baby who was NOT sick for a change, but their dog did vomit on my carpet!  And they have my carpet cleaner up at their house!  I seem to be having brief dizziness when I move too quickly and I do monitor my blood pressure which does not seem unusually high.  Yes, this means I probably should call the Doc.  This is all in January which is not even past.

Today we are driving up to my daughter's house to exchange Christmas gifts.  It was either this Monday in late January or we wait until the end of March!  Their calendars are terribly full with all three children in activities and hubby involved in golf.  This will all come to an abrupt end in a few years and I hope my daughter is ready for the sudden end to running around!

I try very hard to focus away from the chaos that this world is going to be in for the next ten years, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor.  I have been reading Yeats, Mary Oliver, and Elizabeth Strout.  I did not like Olive Kitteridge by Strout as the people in the book are the kind of people that I avoid and possibly why I am an introvert.  I did find Lucy by the Sea and Oh, William! more redeeming.

I have included a few winter sunsets taken from my back deck.  I know, QUITCHER BITCHEN!

May your 2023 be filled with honest love, restorative peace, and forgivable errors.