Life With A Loaner

August 31, 2014

I have been driving a loaner car from Younker Nissan for a week now – they think my transmission should be here this coming Wednesday.    Before, they said a week – as long as I have a car to drive, it’s fine.  I made sure I have my sticker and garage opener, I have no desire to be running around the garage every time I go in or out.  I did that once before and it wasn’t a lot of fun.

Younker Nissan has been very good to us, I would recommend the dealership to anyone – they aren’t pouncers.  They are friendly and they take care  of my care very well.  The dealer we bought it was the same way, but they went of business the people who took over make me uncomfortable.  Now that we are established with Younker, it feels like going to visit friends when we take it in for service.

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They gave me a Versa, so it is very familiar – very much like mine.  It has some quirks I have to adjust to – like doors that lock when I put it in gear and a hatchback type trunk.  Mine is a four door sedan with electronic locks, this one I have to use a key.  That means I put it in my purse and then hit the lock button on the door, then check my purse to be sure the key is in my purse before I shut the door.

This one also doesn’t have the oomph mine has, so when I accelerate from a freeway entrance, I don’t move as fast as mine.  However, the drawback to lots of pep is that I want to go fast.  I notice the cops frown on that and give tickets to discourage going too fast.  Bummer!  Fortunately it is white like mine, I would have a little more trouble finding it if it was another color.  I usually drive my car and when I am with Eddie in his Volvo, I keep looking for my white Versa.  Then I am brought up short because we’re in a silver Volvo V70.  Good thing Eddie is with me, he always finds it.

I had to tune the radio to the stations I like, but crossed myself up when I hit the CD button and nothing was there.  I forgot I wasn’t  in my car and couldn’t understand why Rachmaninoff’s  2nd piano concerto didn’t start playing.  The other thing I forgot from my car was my collection of  shopping bags.  However, in my line of work, I am never at a loss for bags.  I easily found 3 to put in the back in case I need them.  I am the only one authorized to drive it, so if we go anywhere together, Eddie drives his Volvo – a real hardship on him.  He loves that wagon and enjoys it when people admire it or ask about it.

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I must admit, I am still surprised to see the car when I am in a parking lot.  It has a hatchback and more square than mine.  It is comfortable to drive, except when some idiot parks so close to me I have a terrible time getting into it.  That would be true for any car.  I was at the library and parked close to the wall so I could get in and out of the car.  When I came back, that car left and another one was parked – way over in my space.  I was able to get in, all except my left leg.  It’s also the one that doesn’t bend very well.  I found myself lying across the front seat, the emergency brake and seat belt locks under my tush and very uncomfortable.  I wasn’t sure I was going to make it all the way in; thank goodness I only have 2 legs.  What if I were a centipede, I wouldn’t know which leg to start with, much less get them all inside the car.  I finally made it, with no small effort.  Good to know I could do it,, just don’t want to have to again.

I will be glad to have my own car back soon.  Until then, I will enjoy driving this one with all its quirks.  It’s a good size and I find easy for me to drive.  I certainly appreciate that they gave me one similar to mine, rather than a different model.  Mine is a 2007 and this one is a 2012, it no doubt has updated bells and whistles mine doesn’t have.  That’s fine with me, the more bells and whistles, the more things to go wrong.  Give me a basic with power steering and I am fine.

A new week beginning as well as a new month, all kinds of adventures and waiting for me.  Sometimes I surprise myself, other times I am surprised by what seem to be outside events.  These days, I tend to think they are all connected, just not necessarily obviously so.

 

I Am Official!!!!!!!!

August 29, 2014

I am now officially a radio host for KKNW, Alternative Talk Radio.  I signed a 1 year contract yesterday for a 30 minute talk show on Tuesdays at 9:30.  It will start on September 16th and is called Finding The Gifts.  In some ways it is exciting and also a little unreal.  I have never done this before, it is truly a leap of faith because at the moment I don’t have any sponsors to pay for the air time.  I am feeling calm and at peace at the moment, watching with curiosity as it unfolds.  My show starts on September 16th and it can be heard on the internet, iTunes, 1150kknw.com and you can also download an app for iPad and iPhone.  I don’t think it has quite penetrated that it is heard globally, not just here in Washington and the U.S.

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I am to meet with the engineer for the show, Benny, in the next couple of weeks to find out how it works in the studio.  I am planning for the first 2 shows at least as a learning experience, seeing how things work the timing, how to break up the time for show and commercials.  A lot to learn but I see it as having fun – better to see those butterflies as excitement rather than fear.  They both feel the same way and I can choose which it will be.

It’s been an interesting week, Tuesday I put a spanner in my own works – I thought I was to see my primary doc this morning and do my infusion on Thursday.  Turns out I mixed them up and still was able to do both.  I was concerned about driving into Seattle to the Polyclinic, the viaduct was closed and I figured people were trying to find ways around.  What a delight to find there wasn’t traffic either going down 4th Ave and later on I-5 south.  It worked out quite well.

Wednesday I picked up Melanie to take her to Breakfast Club – she moved about 2 years ago to Las Vegas and it was a delight to see her.  She makes me laughs, I learn so much from her and we have a great time.  After Breakfast  Club, we went to have coffee and catch up on what each has been doing.  She is edited about my show and has had experience in radio.  Also, if I need guests, she knows a lot of people.  Time went by much too fast, she was having lunch with her stepmother, so I dropped her back at her sister’s at 12:30.  Melanie is such a tonic for me and I had a wonderful time with her.

I had an email from the radio station, they are delighted I am joining the family – I am meeting them on Thursday for all the details and probably signing a year contract.  In some ways it isn’t quite real, in other ways it is.  I told the doc about it and he was pleased for me.   I came home around 1 and was tired.  I had a banana and then Eddie came home and we had some lunch.  Then I had a nap for about 2 or 3 hours – I’m still a bit draggy, so I am hoping a night’s sleep will help.

  I  am working on an update on my business website fivesensespromotions.com – I feel as if I have been floundering try to understand and visualize it.  They sent me a mock-up for the new site but it seemed so bland, yet I could describe what it needed.  Then spent the last few weeks playing email tag with Chris, the designer.  Finally we connected and talked on Friday, makes a big difference to say it than write it.  He suggested I look at other sites for ones I like, so I was checking out website templates on Friday and Sunday.  After a while on Sunday, I was bug-eyed, my mind had gone into neutral and my eyes glazed over.  But I found things that I liked and was ready for him when we talked at noon on Monday.  I felt as if we were on the same wave length and I had a better idea and understanding about the site.
I had bought an app called Wordify that takes a silhouette and makes the shape using the words I type in.  It is fun and I have learned a lot about it – I found that I can click the triangle to Wordify it, then click it again and it is entirely different.  I can do random, so the words are vertical and horizontal, or all horizontal or all vertical.  There are all kinds of fonts, but clicking the box Surprise Me puts the words in all kinds of fonts and sizes.    The I spent a lot of time going bug-eyed looking for photos for the top part of the site when I click on the icons.
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 After all the cleaning out last week, I took Saturday off completely.  I find myself sleepy in the afternoon- Saturday I had a nap and felt better when I got up.  I do have a calendar with things I am doing – tomorrow I am going to the radio station to talk about sponsors and how to structure the offers.  Then they will help me with suggestions for approaching possible sponsors.  I have also been thinking a lot about the show, who I would invite as guests as well as working on a website for the show.
I went to see mom Monday and today, she seems quite sleepy a lot of the time.  The meds are to help her anxiety and the doc wants to keep her on them because if they cut back, she will be animus.   She is comfortable as long as no one touches her, when they do, she gets feisty.  Judy told me today that because her knee hurts, she has trouble standing and is reluctant to do it.
This may seem a little disjointed, I feel a bit that way.  A lot of changes are going on for me and also for Eddie, no telling what will happen next.  It is so good

Life Is Full Of Surprises

August 24, 2014

Yesterday we took my Versa in for service, about 1000 before the 89,000 service.   I noticed a thumpity when I was going very slowly about a week or two ago.  Not very noticeable at first, but this week it was much more pronounced.  I had asked Eddie if he noticed anything, just to sure I wasn’t imagining it.  He noticed it too and I have to admit, it made me uneasy.  So we went in Saturday to do the service and have them check it out.  Later  we had a phone call to tell us the transmission gave out.  The CVT valve was being chewed up, they found bits of metal in the oil pan.   I couldn’t have times it better if I’d planned it.  So now I have a loaner car, another Versa but a little different.  They said it would be at least a week for the new (remanufactured) transmission to come.  Fortunately they had extended the warranty for it, so it won’t cost us anything.

I saw my Mom Friday and she was a little more alert, but after she had the chocolate, she started dozing.  She managed one cookie but seemed very sleepy, so I left the other two for an afternoon snack.  I didn’t stay that long because I had a lunch date with my close friend Kathie Brody, we haven’t done anything for several months because we were both busy.  I emailed her to see how she was doing and she had been gallivanting to Italy, New Orleans and not sure where else.  However, the past 2 or 3 weeks she has been taking care of Suburu, her cat.    As she put it:

Himself has been very sick and I thought I was going to lose him a couple of weeks ago.  He’s still thinking about it but for the moment he has decided to stay. The doc said he has very high blood pressure so I give him a pill and cream every day (the cream was my idea, not the vet’s!) and she also said maybe a little piece of cartilage has broken loose on his spine and floated down and lodged so he doesn’t know where his hind end is.  He can no longer jump up on my lap or his chair, even his low throne.  Poor baby.  He is very quiet…so I think he is making up his mind.  I know why he came into my life all those years ago (17, I can hardly believe it) which was to teach me how to love again.  Now that I am taking the classes with my Shaman and living consciously and opening up my heart, I am wondering if he is thinking his job is done.  If I hold on to him too long then he can’t go help someone else, but … it is a tough decision.  I hope he makes it for me.  At the moment he does not appear to be in pain. His meowing is very quiet and his purring motor is very quiet, but it still works. He vomits a few mornings a week but often he is polite enough to do it on the hardwood floor.  So I am pretty worried about him and haven’t come to grips with it yet.

Suburu

Kathy sent me this when I had asked for a healing from a difficult situation.

I asked Kathie about him as we were saying good-bye, she said he is not in pain, is fine but very quiet.  So she is just waiting to see what he decides.  Still brings tears to my eyes when I think about him – he has been a very special cat for me.  We really haven’t met face to face, he is usually upstairs sleeping when I go to her home.  But he has given me several messages over the past  years and apparently does only for me.  She says when I call or email, he always knows and comes into her lap, he only does it with me.  I am very flattered and appreciative.

We had a delightful lunch at Queen Mary Tearoom.  We had a lovely lunch, though both of us looked for a lighter meal.  They have a wonderful phyllo dough pastry dish with cheese and not sure what else that is wonderful.  Now I find something like that feels too heavy, so I tried their Bacon Leek Quiche and it was very good.  They had a green salad and a lot of wonderful fruits; I was comfortably full but didn’t feel I ate too much.  We talked about what she has been doing, what I’ve been doing as well as having fun with the waitress.  They are so friendly and welcoming there, they had a new one on her first day, so we had fun with her as well.  I always think I am going to try a different tea but find I go back to Creamy Earl Grey.  It was a beautiful day, in the 70’s – my kind of weather.  We are not going to let so much time go by before getting together again.

Thursday I had a meeting at the radio station about my show.  They have an opening at 9:30 on Tuesday morning – Erik thinks my show would do well on Tuesday or Wednesday.  I don’t have a sponsor signed up yet, but everything has lined up so well and so easily that it’s time to put up or shut up.  It was a little scary but also exciting – I had to decide if I was going to take a risk and make the leap of faith or not.  I had read somewhere that until one commits, things don’t appear.  I think of Moses and the Red Sea – I always thought the water just parted and they went across.  Turns out they had to start walking into the water before it parted.  I thought about it and when I told Eddie I wanted to do this, it is very important to me, he said “Go for it”.  I decided on Friday I was going to do it – I sent an email to Brian and Erik to get the show on the road.  However, they won’t get it until Monday and I am not sure how long it will take for them to respond.

I have been thinking a lot about the show, who I would invite as guests, what to talk about as well as sponsors, a web site  – it will be interesting to see how it develops and how it all works.  It’s a big step, I will be signing a contract for a year.  I was so pleased that both Erik and Brian really like my idea and concept, also the name Finding The Gifts.  I didn’t want to use Gift of RA because it felt too confining and specific, this way it can expand and extend into other areas.  One will be dealing with My Mom’s dementia, something a lot of people are now dealing with.  I will also talk about dealing with a chronic illness because although illness may be different, there are some basic things  we have in common.

It’s been an interesting week, up and downs and a lot of surprises.  I am pleased to find I have had more energy and accomplished a lot of things I have been meaning to do.  It also has been tiring and I have been sleeping with my bunny in my arms, she helps me go to sleep more easily at night.  I also registered for my 50th high school reunion on Sept. 27th – it’s going to be fun and interesting.

A Mom Day

August 20, 2014

I would have written this yesterday afternoon but I was exhausted.  I had gone to visit Mom on Monday for a regular visit – she was rather sleepy and only ate the chocolate.  Elaine said she had made french toast for breakfast and I suspect that was shortly before I came.  I read and finished the book, putting her to sleep.  She was all that alert, so I didn’t stay long.  I left the cookies for an afternoon snack later.

Yesterday I had made an appointment for Mom to have her haircut at the Center.  I will admit I was not sure how much she would fight it.  I went to the Center and there was Mom, fast asleep in the wheelchair.  I took her down and she slept through it all.  Lisa cut her hair first, then shampooed it and blew it dry.  Lisa figured Mom would wake up once she started shampooing, but she didn’t.  I held Mom’s head up a bit to make sure the water wouldn’t run down her face.  Her hair looked so much better when Lisa was done, it had gotten so long.  She is now on a 6 week rotation to have her hair cut, I want to make sure it is done on a regular schedule.

By the time she was finished, it was noon and time for lunch.  It also turned out she had a check up with the doctor that day as well – how do I manage schedule a haircut the day she is to see the doc?  Anyway, I had some time on my own until the doctor.  So I went down to the small gift shop to wander around, then went to the car for my book.  There is a small cafe just down the hall, I had half a sandwich and a bottle of lemonade – boy, was I thirsty!  I read and while I had lunch and was able to regroup for the doctor’s visit.

I went up about 1:15, Mom had woken up and was awake long enough to eat a good lunch.  Then she was back asleep in the examine chair.  They also noticed she tends to list to the left, something they really hadn’t seen before – she does that in the chair when I go to see her.  She got very feisty with them when the doc and the nurse were examine her.  She was mostly asleep, but fought with them when they were checking to be sure her skin is in good condition, all around her abdomen, checked the lump, didn’t do too well looking in her eyes.  There was one point when she fought and said “Stop it, God Damn it!.  Not what one expects Mom to say.  Definitely the dementia doing its thing.

It was so hard to see her in that situation and how strong she still is – the doc and nurse were being as gentle as they could but it looked worse than it was.  It was upsetting and at times as I was answering questions, I found myself getting weepy as I told them what they wanted to know.  I said I notice now she mumbles more, not distinct words that rhyme that she repeats.  The lump has not become any smaller, nor will it; so she said they want to just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get any bigger.  On the whole, they are pleased she is doing as well as she is.

When I had first come in, I saw Denise, the social worker who helped me so much.  A few months ago she asked if it would be all right to have a woman who used to work Traveler’s Aid come visit Mom.  I said “Of course!”.  Last week Jane came by to visit Mom and she talked to Mom about the orphan meets and Mom lighted up and actually spoke the words Airport, Babies and happy.  She smiled and was holding a stuffed animal, so was Jane – they showed each other their baby.  It was a small slice of a happy time.  I am  pleased it worked out so well.

The past three days have been  a lot of ups and downs, the downs have been mostly with Mom and I found myself out of sorts and cranky when I woke up this morning. Part of it was from a dream about Eddie, he had moved everything around in the kitchen, we had guests and I had no idea what house we were in or where anything was.  I couldn’t fix anything to eat for people, had no idea who they were and sometimes I think I had very few clothes on.  So it has been a weird day.

We have a new tax  man and we have seen him every Wednesday for the past 3 weeks.  We went in to meet him and the following week brought all our tax stuff for the past 3 years.  We figured the next time would be when we came to do the taxes – no such luck.  The IRS and Social Security sent us another letter about the 2 months when we hired Kathy while I was in rehab.  We have paid the money but somewhere it hasn’t come together, but he found the problem and had it put together in half an hour – ready to send off.  let’s hope it is the end of it.

this whole Mom situation has been a really education and learning experience – I wonder if I am expecting myself to do it perfectly.  The doc thinks I am doing a really good job, the caregivers think so – I have gotten a lot of positive comments.  I’m doing the best I can and that is as perfect as it will ever be.

Plates Spinning

August 17, 2014

At times I feel as if I have several plates spinning on sticks – similar to the  people Ed Sullivan used to have on his program.  Some days I feel like this:

Plate-Spinner

Everything is nicely balanced and I am in as much control as I can be.  Then there are days like today and the past week, I haven’t felt much control and there doesn’t seem to be enough time to keep them all spinning properly:

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I could give a name to each plate – cleaning out Mom & Dad’s stuff, my new website for my business, a new website for my radio show, understanding how the sponsoring works and finding sponsors, doing Eddie’s new report (he isn’t doing the Round Up but calling it The Kaplanian Report, not associated with the Future of Flight), things for Mom, personal business stuff, Apple Group Training and also One to One,my blog, my book, Kaplanian International stuff, etc.

This week I have been  doing a lot of clearing out bureau drawers – the stuff my parents kept!  All kinds of cards they received and Mom had so many cards ready to send for almost any occasion, I am going to give them to the Goodwill so other people can use them.  I have bags of papers to put in recycle – our wheelie bin is full to the top and I have 2 other bags ready – plus things I have put away in boxes to see if my sister Candy wants them.  I found 2 photographs from North American Aircraft in an original envelope that is going to the Boeing Archives, lovely to know they will be pleased to have them.

My parents kept things even though they were worn out, some things had never been used and there is a beautiful  grey wool yard length – very fragrant with moth balls.   And letters from people, from Mom & Dad to his parents, letters from both his sisters and letters from his Uncle James to Dad’s father.  I had a hard time reading the hand writing, I am putting them away to read later since I need to work on the clearing out.

Along with that, I was having a lot of discomfort – the toilet and I became close companions on thursday, Friday and even into Saturday, though not as much.  The tummy was unhappy and I was really tired.  Yesterday after we did all our stuff, I came home and crawled into bed with Bunny to sleep some of it off – and I was better when I woke up.  Not sure what happened because I didn’t eat anything  different.  I have been very careful how much I eat, the tummy gets uncomfortable.  I have been using water and baking soda which seems to help.  maybe the side effects of veggies.

We finally had rain this week, blessed soaking rain.  I have been feeling very dry and parched and it was so lovely to hear the raining really coming down as I was lying in bed.  Rain is so refreshing and makes things feel washed clean.  Now it will be 81 today and 83 tomorrow, then back to the 70’s – that’s quite okay with me.

I have been playing phone tag to arrange a haircut for Mom, finally made it for Tuesday.  Her hair is getting long and needs cutting – not sure how she will be when the time comes.  She is very feisty when anyone wants to do anything for her – I make sure I am there for the hair cut and sit beside her.  There is no way to tell how she will be from one minute to the next, one day to the next.  I saw her on Friday and she was rather sleepy, though chocolate sounded very good to her.  She was cuddling a stuffed dog or cat and Judy had put a chair on each side of her, she could easy fall to the side.  She seems to mumble more than before.   I don’t know how much she knows that Fern died last week.  Fern was 102 and having a lot of pain in her body, as well as feeling alone since she was used to family all around.

I’ve been wondering if  visiting Mom and clearing out things has had an emotional and mental effect as well as physical.  It maybe stirring up a lot of old programs, messages and memories that I had not been conscious of for quite awhile.  The bottom drawer of the desk is definitely a proud parent’s drawer; all the drawings and things the three of us girls have done since we were very young are there.

I saw Mom on Monday and then went to my Caregiver’s Support Group.  I’m so glad I did, it helps so much.  I told them what was going on with Mom and that I feel as if I am walking in thigh deep water.  It feels more than just fatigue, but there is more to it – I can’t really name it at the moment.  I also realize each time I go that I have it relatively easy compared to the others.  They have to deal with so much more, how they cope I can only imagine.  I will admit, I have periods of feeling I have such a difficult time – usually when I am tired and worn down.  I haven’t figured out how to actually become rested while still doing what I need to do.  Is that what’s called the horns of a dilemma?

Cleaning Out

August 10, 2014

I knew I had to start cleaning out drawers and closets but there was something holding me back.  Not necessarily the size of the project so much as going through my parents’ belongings.  If you saw the house, it doesn’t necessarily look as though anything has been done – it is more the inside where there is a difference.  I cleared out a shelf in the office with things both Mom and Dad had clipped and saved, mostly Mom’s idea pile.  She had a lot of articles about rug hooking, pattern ideas, calendars with flowers and some patterns she had transfer to a backing to hook.  I found her patterns for the coat of arms rug – a list of tartans and descriptions as well as individual shield patterns.

Thursday afternoon I started on the desk in the living room, clearing out the top of the desk with all the little drawers and cubby holes.  I know I come from a long line of  pack rats, but I had no idea how much Mom kept.  I filled a shopping bag with old pay stubs for Dad, check registers, you name it.  I was really tired by the time I finished that.  Friday I started on the first three large drawers below – another full bag of things.  I put all the things to be shredded on top of the desk and Eddie took care of that for me – they may be old but I want to be sure no one can use the information.  I have one more drawer to go.  then it is on to the bedroom.

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It was interesting to see what Mom kept, there are reports from school for all three of us, some letters from grandparents, congratulation cards for all three of us from relatives, a bunch of newspaper articles about family members – the others I don’t know who they are but I think they are people Mom went to school with or knew in Glastonbury.  There are pictures of all kinds and in the lower drawers she has so many cards to use for any occasion.  I may send those over to Goodwill and some other things.  Letters, photos and other papers I have in a box so Candy and Ellen can check them out.

It will be interesting to see what is squirreled away in the bedroom bureaus.  Now that I have done most of the desk, I realize it would have been smart to do it a lot sooner.  Maybe it has just taken this long to be ready to do it.  I need to clean things out to sell them, otherwise they would be very heavy and there is no telling what is in the drawers.

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I put the dining room table on Craig’s list last Saturday – no word so far.  I had been hesitant to do it only because I didn’t know how it worked and what to do.  I checked out eBay as well just to have an idea how much I could ask – 52″ round mahogany pedestal table with 3 leaves, 6 chairs and table protectors.  Turned out it was very hard to list it on Craig’s List, so I will put another on the site.

We need to start going through books and donate them to the library.  I want to make sure which ones are worth keeping or truing to sell – the ones I have with Judith on her online book store are still there.  She said things are very slow right now.  I do want to check with her to find out which books are valuable then decide what to do with them.

I know Mom is no longer in this world but a world of her own – still, it feels strange to be doing this while she is still alive.  Yet she isn’t going to be coming back and it is long past time for Eddie and me to make this house our own.  I often feel pulled in 2 opposite directions.

I visit Mom twice a week and I notice she is more sleepy when I come – some days she is quite alert and aware.  The day she didn’t know who I was took me a little by surprise and since she was in a feisty mood, she didn’t want anyone to touch her.  So now I ask her if she would like a hug and the other day, she said yes, and a kiss.  I know the not recognizing me will come more often, I hope to be able to be objective about it and not get upset.  She loves chocolate and cookies, always saying yes to them.  When she is really sleepy, I will save some of the cookies and put them in her room for later – Judy says she will have a snack in the afternoon.  I tend to put her to sleep when I read, she says that’s fine.

Every day is an education, learning experience and challenge, I am working on seeing it that way rather than a upsetting situation.  I am working on it every day and I have made a lot of progress, though I am still a work in progress.

Seafair Weekend

August 3, 2014

Today is the hydroplane races and the program by the Blue Angels.  It is the last weekend of Seafair, though it doesn’t have the same feel it did when I was growing up. It was for only a week or two and there was a lot of excitement about the different neighborhood parades, the crowing of miss Seafair, the Seafair parade, the Torchlight parade and certainly when the pirates came ashore.  Now that it is for a least a month or more, it feels as if it passes by very quietly.  Maybe I just grew up in a more innocent time – without cell phones in every hand.

The Blue Angels have been practicing since Wednesday – I know when the I-90 bridge is closed because the planes all come over the house.  The wind has been from the north, so they have been taking off that way and then make a sharp left turn to go south or not so sharp to go north.  There are those who complain about them every year but it is only for a few days.  I thing I notice is when I hear the Blue Angels, they have already passed by.  They also have several Osprey  helicopters this year – they came by the house Wednesday and I have heard them a couple of other times.

Eddie is glad he isn’t at the Museum of Flight today – it is usually a zoo.  Today is his first day volunteering at the LeMay American Car Museum in Tacoma.  The Volunteer Coordinator was quite impressed with his resume and the two references he gave. Now he will be there the Sunday he isn’t at the Museum.  He is now doing things for PNAA and getting paid for it.  he had 4 students and the professor the other week and had a lot of fun with them.  he has just been asked to be Volunteer Coordinator for their events.  he will find out more about it when he goes the meeting on Aug. 26th.

This weekend has felt a little strange – he took a vacation day on Friday and it has felt a bit odd ever since.  He came with me to see Mom Friday – she was doing pretty well and was willing to have a back rub.  She was pleased to see Eddie and enjoy the cookies and chocolate I brought.  i read for a bit and then we left.  I know he was itching to leave but he didn’t show it very much this time.

We went down to LeMay for him to pick up his red logo shirt and I met the Coordinator.  Very nice woman and friendly.  Then we did some of our errands and came home.  It has been warm the past week or more, a little rain early in the week but  just enough to settle the dust.  I’m ready for a good steady rain to refresh everything.

Saturday it rained early for a short while, then thunder and another shower.  We were sitting at the table looking out and not only was it raining, the sun was shining.  I didn’t see a rainbow but I saw something I never saw before – every once in a while the sun would shine on a raindrop and it looked like a diamond falling from the sky.  It reminded me of the first time I saw fireflies in New Jersey.  Several times it thundered and rain for a bit – one point it was hailing as well.  Then it all quit and no chance of rain again.

I don’t know if anyone outside Seattle has heard of Big Bertha and the tunnel under the city – a tunnel that is going nowhere fast.  This is to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct – 4 lanes to take 6 lanes of traffic.  I don’t quite see how that computes, plus they are going to charge to use it.  So far I have heard they are going to charge $5 each way.  No idea what it will be when the tunnel is in use, if it ever is.

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I doubt I will use it not only because of the toll but mostly because I am claustrophobic and this doesn’t look very conducive to feeling relaxed.  But that is the plan.  This is Big Bertha:

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It’s quite something and huge – the men below look like small toy people.

There have been more than one hiccup – first a pipe they didn’t know was there, then the blade needed replacing and this time it has been stuck for months because they have to figure out a way to get to the front to fix it.  This is what it is like for the first 1000 feet, not a quick boring machine.  There are still miles to go.

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I’m sure it all makes sense to the builders but it is definitely not my cup of tea.

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These concrete pieces are piled up all over the work area.  They look smaller as one goes up and down the S curve ramp by the side of the digging.

As you can tell, I am not in favor of this thing.  They needed to repair the Viaduct and then hire a Trompe l’oeil  artist to paint beautiful columns on the sides since a lot of people talk about how ugly it is.  I don’t think it is, but maybe I am too traditional.  It would be a whole lot less money and it wouldn’t screw up traffic so much.

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This is a flood wall but supposed they painted some cool columns

 They never put a proper bill on the ballot for us to vote for or against – that sucks.  Politicians seem to ignore voters unless it suits them.  We have 2 stadiums side by side – one was voted down at least 3 times and  they went behind our backs to do it anyway.  They had been talking about another stadium a mile or so south for a basket ball team – give us a break!  Lately all is quiet about that but it is likely to come up again.

Oh my, I didn’t mean to rant on about the tunnel, maybe I have been keeping it in for too long.

Back to the Warm Stuff!

July 29, 2014

I know we don’t have very hot weather compared to a lot of places – I spent a lot of time living in the Eastern half of the country so I know hot and humid.  I don’t do that well with hot weather and when I found central air conditioning, I knew I had found the solution to being comfortable at home.  Then it was only going out somewhere that was very uncomfortable.  Plus I never knew how cold the air conditioning would be in shops, restaurants or hotels.  it would be cold inside the grocery sore and coming outside to the heat and humidity was as if I had been hit by a wet gauze curtain.

As a result, I am so happy to be back here in Seattle, not only the weather but also a large body of salt water and proper mountains.  Yes, I am probably a wuss, but I like to be comfortable. Our idea of hot weather is different.  We were close to 90 yesterday and will no doubt be about that again today – glad to have a day to myself at home with the windows open and the furnace fan circulating air from one floor to another.  It definitely makes sleeping at night more comfortable.   We have lovely breezes but for some reason they die down after dark – just when we need the cool air.  That’s why I am glad I checked out the fan so we could have the breeze whether Mother Nature sent it or not.

I went to visit Mom yesterday morning – she was very feisty and grumpy.  She didn’t want anyone to touch her – even me.  So I said “Not even your daughter Elizabeth’?  She wasn’t sure who I was, so I gave chocolate and cookies which she enjoyed and read for a bit.  I asked if she would like a back rub, but that wasn’t accepted.  I was surprised to find I wasn’t really upset because it isn’t the first time.  I suspect as time goes on she will know me less and less.  I find I have to put the chocolate or cookie in her hand – Didi says someone has to be with her at mealtime to redirect her when she gets distracted.  I know she will slowly forget how to do the things she can do right now.

Fern – who is 102 – was at the table and she seems to enjoy hearing the book even when I put Mom to sleep.  I’m glad I can do something to entertain her, it is so hard for her because she thinks no one ever comes to visit.  Her son and his family do come, but it is in the evening after work.  Didi now has an opening because Monique left – she was a bit in another world but when she got on the bus and made it all the way to SeaTac, that was a big problem.  As far as I know Monique went to hospital but not sure what happened after that.

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I have most of the blueberry bushes covered

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The two branches that need tying up

The blueberries are ripening and the birds are having a field day.  There is a huge Stellard Blue Jay eating his fill.  On the way home yesterday, I stopped at Joann’s for nylon net.  I bought 2 3 yard pieces and sewed them together – unfortunately the blueberries extend farther than I thought.  So I need to make another trip for more and also some clips to hold it together.  They will get under the net anyway, but it will be a little harder.

Eddie picked some ripe ones last night and they were wonderful  He also found a ripe fig on the tree, so we split it – out of this world!  The apples are starting fall on the ground, probably time to check out the pears to see if any are ready to pick.  I didn’t realize pears are picked unripe and then they are left to ripen.  If they stay on the tree, they may rot.  The red ones are doing well, don’t think we have many on the other pear tree.

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How about those pears!

Cherries!!!

July 27, 2014

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Royal Anne Cherries

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Rainier Cherries

It’s cherry season and they are less now than when they first came in to the stores.  We have been buying Rainier cherries, though I feel they are just like the Royal Annes we had when I was growing up.  I looked it up and the Royal Annes are smaller, not as flavorful – I remember them as delicious.  Who ever planted them next to the garage – espaliered across the side – didn’t understand long terms effects.

They were already planted and tall, producing the most wonderful cherries.  As I stand at the kitchen counter eating Rainier cherries, I am sent back to being a little girl in the summer time.  I would walk down the sidewalk and pull a branch down to eat my fill of cherries.  It’s a wonder I didn’t get sick to my stomach.

When Eddie and I would come back to visit Mom and Dad, he would enjoy them as much as I did.  I remember one day when the two of them climbed on the roof and picked a big bowl of cherries.  Later they sat eating cherries while watching baseball.

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Imagine 2 very large cherry trees right up next to the garage.  I think I have a picture somewhere, but it will take a while to find it.

We also had “the little cherry tree” near the two – it was a pollinator and the bird made sure we never had any of those.  They did a pretty good job on the Royal Annes, but there were so many on the trees that there was enough for everyone.  I’m sure there were little furry creatures from the canyon that came in the night for their share as well.  Those trees served us very well.

It seemed in later years the trees had less fruit and the wildlife managed to abscond with most of the cherries before we had a chance.  Then came a point when they grew too big and began to push the garage over.  When I looked at the garage from the street, it listed to starboard.  So Mom and Dad had to have them cut down, but left the “little tree”.  Somehow two other trees grew over on the edge of the property to the north.  The wildlife took care of any fruit they might have produced.

Finally they began to look so sad, dying and shriveling up the leaves.  So I had John come over last year and cut them down, that was hard to see happen.  I still have the tree trucks, John sawed them up in wood slices and I have used them in my three beds.  So they are still useful and not completely gone.

The blackberries are also ripening now – they seem to take over everywhere.  Reminds me a bit of kudzu in Atlanta.  These have wonderful, juicy blackberries, but this vines and thorns will tear you to ribbons at the blink of an eye.  Believe me, it’s hard work but the results are delicious – once you  attend to the wounds.

What I remember most were the tiny blackberries that grew in the fields.  They have tiny thorns that stuck me and stayed in there for a long time.  We used to call it “frying our brains” because we were in the sun and it was hot.  We would see if we could gather enough for a pie, one year we even picked enough for jam.

We also had raspberries bushes, I would pick in the morning and then late in the afternoon it would like as if I hadn’t picked any.  We had lots of those for breakfast, Mom made jam and many went from bush to mouth.  We had blueberries as well, loved the blueberry pancakes in the morning, though plain blueberries in a bowl were lovely.  Picking blueberries was easy, not thorns and the bushes were just next to the back porch.

Funny how eating fruit takes me back to my childhood; the taste, smell, texture all bring pictures to my mind of when and how I used to eat, pick and enjoy each one.

Mixed Up Week

July 26, 2014

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This has nothing to do with the post but I enjoy Ellen’s photos a lot and this makes me smile.

It has been a rather oddball week, at times I wasn’t sure what day it was, what time it was or what was happening next.  Certainly traffic has been a real problem because they closed all but one lane each way on the I-90 bridge to fix expansion joints.  Friday night to the following Friday morning, Eddie had a long commute from up north coming home.  Of course it didn’t help that the President arrived on Tuesday – for 2 fundraisers rather than what to do about the wildfires.  It took Eddie about 2 1/2 hours to get home each day.  Because of the traffic, they didn’t open the archives, so Eddie spent Wednesday up north taking  4 students and their professor for a tour and a couple of places.  This was done for PNAA rather than the Future of Flight.

I went to see Mom on Monday afternoon because there was an assessment being done – like the one done last year.  The guy saw a definite decline in how she is from the last time; Didi was there and was able to tell him what she needs help with – everything.  She was a little uncomfortable saying it in front of me, but I told her it’s what I need to hear.  In many ways I wasn’t surprised and it didn’t hit me quite as much as last year.  I have noticed she does less and less, I have to put the cookie or chocolate in her hand.  When I went Friday, I brought cookies for the house.

Tuesday was a day for myself – I worked on my radio show.  I am working on creating a picture in my mind to help me see it clearly.  I am thinking of starting with a 30 minute show during the week and seeing how it goes.  So I put together a clock for myself with each minute so I can visualize how much time for program and how for ads.  Still lots of questions, but I feel it is important for it to be clear to me before I can explain it any sponsor.  I would like to meet with Brian and Erik, this time with questions and see how to organize the show and all the parts that need to be set.  It’s interesting to notice bits and pieces of it come together without great effort.  I think deciding on guests is the easy part.

Wednesday I went to Breakfast Club and then went to see Cheryl again.  I really felt exhausted after my adjustment, so I came home and found no electricity – I don’t need electricity to have a nap.  So I did.  When I woke up, I had no idea what time it was.   Melanie from PNAA called to see if Eddie was home because she was anxious to know how things went.  I asked her what time it was – 3:15.  About 3:30 Eddie called and the electricity came on – he wanted me to call Melanie to let her know everything went like clockwork and they were delighted.  So I called and she was pleased to heart.  I told her Eddie would call her when he came home – whenever that was.  She appreciated my call.  I have to admit, I was not sure what was going on – I felt confused because of my nap and no electricity.

We also had rain this week – blessed relief.  I would have liked a day or two more rain, everything is dry and parched – especially me.  Now it is a fresh, washed clean feeling and certainly the air is clearer.  Having temperatures in the high 80’s and into the 90’s are a bit much – I prefer 75 to 80. Now it is due to go up to the 80’s again.  Tomorrow is the Ravenna Volvo picnic where the dealership invites owners and friends to celebrate with them.  Looks as if it is going to be a lovely day tomorrow.  Eddie cleaned his car very well this afternoon for the car show.  He just bought a new wagon and it is different from the other wagons, so that should generate a lot of comments and compliments.

Thursday I went to Apple to Group Training to help me put together a new header for the new blog for Eddie.  He isn’t doing the regular newsletter for Future of Flight any more and this is going to be a work in progress until we figure out how we want it to be.  Looks like another education for me.

Friday Eddie took the day off to go down to the LeMay Car Museum about volunteering.  I went to see Mom with cookies for house – she was a bit droopy but certainly ready for chocolate and cookies.  In some ways rather she was rather talkative while I read D.E. Stevenson – no idea what she was saying, but it was important to her.  Afterwards, I met Eddie at home and we went down to visit the place that will put a coating on his car to prevent dings from rocks.  He is going to take next Friday off since he has to leave it the whole day.  Then we can use my car to visit Mom and do what we want to do.  Afterwards we had something at Barnes & Noble and did some grocery shopping.

Today we did some different things – went to Whole Foods, then over to Des Moines to the car wash for tomorrow and then stopped for ice cream.  Auntie Irene’s is the only place I know that has licorice ice cream – yummy.  Eddie is doing the laundry and I am about done with this – there’s an old movie on we want to watch.  I think things will feel more normal on Monday.


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