In This Moment

September 26, 2014

It has not been the easiest week I have had, so I am working on seeing where the gifts are in it.  It may take some more time and more work to take the emotion out of it before the gifts become clear.

I have had that “coming down with something” feeling all week.  When I had such a dry throat into Wednesday morning, I knew I needed to go see Cindy for some acupuncture to nip it in the bud.  I went to Breakfast Club in the morning, felt as if I hadn’t been there for several weeks.  Then I went to visit Mom – not a good day.  It was her 96th birthday.  As I wrote in an email to my two sisters and my good friend Char:

Mom didn’t know who I was and told me to go away.  I know it’s not personal, even so, it still hurts and it is hard not to take it personally.  I took her an apple pie and brownies for the house; also gave her the maple sugar candy from Ellen.  It didn’t register.  I’m still looking at it personally and emotionally; working on the objectivity part – slow going.  I am not even sure what I am feeling beyond upset.  I probably need time  to let it simmer on the back burner, maybe I can put it in words for myself.

My older sister  sent this :

Happy birthday to Mom, though she may not know it; we do. Just read Lee’s post from Sunday, and even at this distance it’s a “sucker punch to the stomach” to hear about her. I’m so glad Char, who knows, was there with you, Lee. Still, we honor her for all she did in her earlier life, how much she gave to us, and whatever may be happening with her now in the “thin places.” My love to you both, her other daughters.

Later after the  Wednesday email, my younger sister had this to say:

My last verbal contact with Mom was on my birthday a year ago. I called, and she was having a bad day, and yelled at me and hung up the phone. I had only just gotten long distance back (long story, no need to elaborate) and felt glad that I could call her after not being able to for a couple of months. 

It was a strange gift. Mom always said when we had our Sunday phone conversations when she knew she was heading into the thin places, “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be okay.” And I told her, as things got dimmer, “It’s okay for you to go, Mom. Don’t worry about us, we’ll be okay and we’ll see you on the other side.” When she yelled and hung up, I felt she was giving me permission to stop trying so hard, and to let her go on a new level. It was out of my power and control. 
It’s a new moon in Libra today, and a day of new beginnings. As Ellen said (and Daddy, too) we must put this ending/new beginning in God’s hands now. For some reason, this is how Mom needs to make her transition. She’s saying goodbye and releasing her worries about us (she worried all the time) and releasing us, and releasing all definitions of who she was, except that she is more than what she is right now. She’s letting go of all boundaries and restrictions even as the circle of her human body becomes smaller and smaller, more diminished with each day that passes.  It is the only way she can do this now, to sink into the dementia and into eventual rest. 
Lee, it’s the hardest place, to be there and see and feel it, and I know you have such a tender heart. But in God’s hands, it is not personal or a rejection of you. Or of any of us. 
It is a liberation. If she cannot remember, if she must be in that other world where we cannot follow (at this time) she needs that space, as Ruth, not as a our mother, or any role she played in life. She’s getting ready for the next life, entering a “womb.” She is giving us permission to release her, and to be who we are meant to become in the years after she passes. The strange gifts of mortality. 
Just take it slow, be easy on yourself, know you have done your best, and allow the mystery of this strange “permission” to go on with your own life to enter your heart. Good days might happen again. Bad days, too. Like weather, let it be what it is, and know that it’s not in your control, you’re not responsible for it, and you do not have to fix it or live up to some heroic task. It’s a hero’s journey to be there in the process, and I love you for it, and pray for you. 
It’s a long goodbye, but the same kind of goodbye we had to say to Daddy. He went quickly, Mom needed a longer journey (perhaps because, as much as she wanted to go be with Daddy, she had a hard time really letting go of us). Soul work is mystery at this stage, and your great gift is being present, even when there is nothing you can give or do any more. You got her into a safe place for this stage of the journey, and are watching over her as best you can. Ellen and I can only be present in prayer and meditation. 
Mom knows you’re there, that we care. She just needs to let go of life (and us) in her own way. In many ways, it’s permission to acknowledge that even when Mom was here in full mind and strength, there were many things we were unable to share with her, many ways we could not reach her, and many ways that only the soul’s relationship to itself will satisfy. 
My older sister wrote in response:
Just wanted to say thanks for the things you wrote yesterday. One thing especially was very helpful to me: the idea that Mom has always been so attached to us, worried for us, that it may be quite difficult to let go of her children. We none of us can deeply understand that.
Then I had an email from Char, who has been through it with her Mom:
You are right, it’s not personal, and you have to keep reminding yourself of that.  Not always easy to do.  Fortunately, you have 67 years of knowing your mom loves you, and that hasn’t changed–she still does, it’s just that she sometimes doesn’t remember that.  You have to remember it for her, I guess.
 
I remember when my mom was going thru this….with her, the big issue was that she couldn’t talk, and that was so frustrating!!  Not just from the standpoint of not being able to hold a conversation, but also from that of just not hearing her voice At All…..Sometimes I would forget what it sounded like.
 
I’m sure you may have heard the story about the elderly man who went to see his wife, in an Alzheimer’s care facility, every day, and someone asking him why he kept going, since she no longer remembered who he was, and his answer was, “but I remember who She is.”
It really helped me to  see the situation from a different perspective – I realized today when I went to see Mom It’s NOT about me.  It’s still very emotional for me and it was hard that Mom really didn’t know who I was again today.  Because she is having trouble eating, I won’t bring her chocolate or cookies any more.  Not sure what to bring her that will be easy for her to eat.  She was very sleepy this morning, so I may try visiting in the afternoon to see if she is a little more with it.
It is truly a matter of dealing with what is in this moment.

Changing Hats

September 21, 2014

Last week and this upcoming week made me realize how many hats I wear at a given time.  Seems as if this particular period of time brings them all together over a 2 week period.

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Last Monday was as a new radio host, then a chiropractic client and a blogger.  Tuesday   and Wednesday I was a Promotional Marketing distributor at my Marketing Association Showcase.  Thursday I had a day to myself and  spent time on my business as a Promotional Marketing Advisor and finally a cleaner outer for my Mom’s things.  She was a hooker for over 40 years and now that she is in an adult family home, I found someone on Craig’s List interested in her supplies.  I was listing rug patterns and went through the books she has – this is going to be more of an undertaking than I realized.  Still not sure where some of her things are.

Friday I was a caretaker and daughter, visiting my Mom on a weekly visit.  I am also a longtime friend with Char who came with me on the visit.  After that we went to play and spend time catching up.  Also a wife and semi-nurse to a husband with a bad cold.  Monday I will be a radio show host and chiropractic client again, Wednesday I will be a member, Promotional Marketing Advisor and Kickass Warrior at my networking breakfast group.  Thursday I will be an RA patient for a rheumatologist visit and infusion.

This doesn’t mean I am the only one with many hats, I’ll bet everyone feels that way at one time or another. Sometimes it seems the hats need to be worn all at once or very close to each other; other times it  seems only one or two hats are worn.  In a way it makes me realize I am not just one thing, I am versatile and able to many things – some I never expected to be my role.  They have certainly been an education and have taken me out of my comfort zone.

It can be an emotional roller coaster at times.  Doing my radio show gave me flutterings inside, but I know excitement and fear feeling very much alike – I decided they were happy butterflies and they will probably be with tomorrow morning when I do the show.  Also a feeling of unreality – was I actually at the microphone of a radio station?  I checked the 1150kknw.com and there on the right on the home page was a list of shows.  mine was in there as well and when I clicked the link – there I was!  How amazing is that?

Visiting with Mom can be very difficult – Friday  she was mumbling and sleepy, though she did eat the chocolate and one of the cookies.  Char thought she seemed a bit perkier by the time we left.  Judy said they had eliminated one of her meds and there will be a difference once it is completely out of her system.  As we were leaving, Angela from Providence was arriving to vista Mom.  She is a speech therapist and she had been asked to go vista Mom and assess howe she is doing.  Apparently she was told Mom was having trouble with hot and cold food and choking at times.  I didn’t stay for 2 reasons, one I didn’t want to and second because she is different when I am around.  Angela needed to see her as she usually is.

I had no idea she was coming, so it was a real surprise.  Later she called me to let me know her assessment. Since Mom has some trouble swallowing food – part of the dementia and will get more pronounced as time goes on – and doesn’t drink enough water to keep hydrated, Angela recommended pureed food and the  thick water.  I learned about thicker water in rehab – some people have trouble with liquid water and this is more of a slight gel type.  People seem to have an easier time swallowing it.  She also suggested Judy put a little sweet flavoring to help her drink it – Mom does love sweets.

Just as I feel I ave gotten on an even keel with Mom’s condition, something comes along to rock the boat and make me uncomfortable.  In my mind I know she will get worse, but when it actually happens, it’s like a slap in the face and real.   To think and see my strong, independent Mom not able to take care of herself is a sucker punch to my stomach.  I’m not sure how to handle it, I don’t have any experience fall back on.  It’s very hard to put into words, maybe because I am not sure what I am feeling.  I was so glad Char was there, she went through something similar with her mom.  She understands and I don’t have to explain it to her.  I am so glad we had an outing planned afterwards; if I had been alone, I would have gone back home and brooded about it as well as having a very uncomfortable husband.  Thank you Char for being there for me.

When I was at the Showcase both days, I was in a familiar world; I understood what people were saying and  I was part of it.  I was completely immersed in it – the rest of the world shut out.  I saw people I haven’t seen for a while as well as meeting people I only knew by email or phone.  Also interesting to see the new trends in promo products – so many tech for phones, iPads and computers.  I also saw something that gave me an idea about promoting my show – we’ll see what happens.

I’m putting on my radio show hat today to prepare for tomorrow, I ad libbed last week and it made me nervous.  I also have my wife/editor hat – we got Eddie’s newsletter out and also he is feeling so much better.

It will be interesting to see what this week brings.

Happy Butterflies!

September 15, 2014

It has come and gone this morning – I did my first radio show at 9:30.  I have been excited, apprehensive, impatient and so many other feelings.  Sometimes it felt as if it would never come and it was coming too fast – all at the same time.  The past three weeks I have been thinking about what I would say, then found myself ad libbing.  I had happy butterflies in my stomach – since fear and excitement feel the same, I chose to have excited, happy butterflies – they kept the downer butterflies from taking over.

I think I understand a bit what people mean when they prefer an audience because you can interact with them.  It was just Benny and me in the studio with a microphone in my face – no idea if there was any reaction.  A strange experience, so I will have to make sure I have notes with me next week.  All the things I had thought about saying were gone.  I talked a bit about my history, mentioned RA and also a bit about Mom and dementia as well as remembering to announce the name of the show, my name and where to find me.  I also remembered to mention twice about becoming a sponsor – that marketing is an investment, not a line item in the budget that can be jettisoned when things are tough .  I also remembered to say you are selfish if you don’t market, how are people who can benefit from what you offer find you?

I also met the three ladies who have the show before me – and now they are talking about ending their show after three years.  Everyone has been so friendly and helpful, I finally met Benny after some emails and hearing him for several years while I’ve listened to the station.  Interesting to say he is my producer.  It all feels a little unreal at the moment.  Mostly I am getting used to it and finding my rhythm.  I may try some phone calls in a week or two and see how that goes.  Then I will add guests – if I am comfortable doing the show, they will be.

After the break I was  trying to figure out what to say – a couple of giraffe moments but otherwise it was fine.  I asked people listening to send me a postcard or card to tell me who they are and where they are from – this station is in about 35 countries.  I haven’t wrapped my head around that one yet.  So it will be interesting to see if anything arrives by next Monday.  I had emails from Erik and talked to Brian, plus Benny sent me an email saying I did a great job – in all caps.

I have been feeling all kinds of emotions since I set this in motion – how amazing to find myself on the radio talking about my life with RA and other things.  Some it is just a feeling of unreality, that it is actually happening.  Because I was a bit nervous and had happy flutters, I sat quietly in the car when I arrived in the building where the studio is.  I sat quietly, took some deep breaths and asked the Universe to  give me what ever was necessary, I would just show up and get out of the way.  It turned out well and I am glad I did that before going upstairs.

I used to do that when I was doing speeches for the Conn. Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.  I had a list of things I had to cover – basic facts of arthritis – and if time was short, I would jettison my stories.  I never knew who was in the audience and what they need to hear, so giving it to the Universe was the best way to go.  At times people come up to me and thank me or say they learned so much.  I also figured there were a lot of people who never said anything to me but heard what they needed at the time.  I’ve decided I have been doing my purpose in life without realizing it – much more effective that way.

I left the studio and went down to Kent to see Dr. Cheryl for my chiropractic adjustment.  A bit of a letdown – there was not any fanfare doing the show and then  they were on to the next show.  When I finished, I felt tired, so I came home and had a lie down – I must have slept because the next thing I knew, Eddie was home at 4.  It didn’t feel more than a half hour or 45 minutes.

We’ll see how it goes next week – Benny will be away and Taylor will be in the studio.  Lots of information and experience in a short time.

Dad Continued

September 14, 2014

Today is the 100th anniversary of Clayton Moore’s birthday – otherwise known as The Lone Ranger.  I remember watching it as a kid – I also named my stick horse Scout – Tonto’s horse.  Interesting how things this year have reminded me of my Dad.  I may not write about my Dad in chronological order, sometimes certain things come to mind that may be out-of-order.

I think my first memory was about 3 or 4 years old, in the Manhattan Beach house.  I have vague memories and pictures in my mind of chasing trains.  I remember being at the front closet to get coats and go see trains, where I have no idea.  My older sister Ellen might remember.  I also remember walking on the tracks with my sister and Dad – used to frustrate me no end that I kept slipping off but my sister walked the tracks with no trouble.  From my younger point of view, she always did things better than I did.

Family Feb 1954

February 1954 – I think it was taken at my Dad’s parents house in Palos Verdes

Ellen and I would play stick horses together, a long square stick that we tied thin rope at the top for reins.  At one point, Dad took his jigsaw and cut out heads to put at the top – mine was painted like Tonto’s Scout, can’t remember what Ellen had.  We enjoying playing with them, I know we played in the back yard but whether we went in the street I don’t remember.  Again, just pictures in my mind.  When Dad decided to accept a job with Boeing, we moved from Southern California to Seattle – for some reason Dad said we couldn’t take our stick horses – no room in the moving van, or something like that.  That made no sense to either of us, so we weren’t too happy about that.

Family on Drive

Back yard of Manhattan Beach house – to the right is the yard, to the left up the drive, a 2 car garage.

I was 7 when we moved about April of 1954, Ellen was 11.  My parents found a house to rent in Madrona and things suddenly changed.  I was in 2nd grade – turns out I went to school a year earlier than the other kids, so I was always a year younger during public school.  (Mom and Dad always told the story of how much fuss I made to get on the bus with Ellen, so they let me go at age 5 – turned out not to be a favor after all.)  I finished the last 2 months of 2nd grade and then went into 3rd grade.  I think Ellen was in 6th grade by then.

I remember one day in 1954, my Dad came home for lunch – very unusual for him.  Then he and Mom stood out on the back porch watching a plane fly by – what was the big deal about a plane?  It really was a big deal because it was the first flight of the 707 and beginning of the jet age.  It was many years later that I knew why it was a big deal.

When we moved to Seattle my sister Candy was about 18 months old and to us, a pest.  Certainly not her fault, but there was 6 years between us and 10 years between Candy and Ellen.  I also noticed Ellen wasn’t my playmate any more, by that time the 4 years difference was very noticeable.  I was on my own a lot, seems to have been my history.  She kept to herself more and I was probably a pest and nuisance by then.

A year and a half later, my parents found this house – it had all the requirements – a large lot, a view, 4 bedrooms; I never thought I would be living here since 2002 and it is now mine.  I now understand why my Mom wasn’t happy with the layout of the house, you have to go through the living room to get anywhere.  The front door opens smack dab into the living room – wonder if that is why everyone goes to the back door, or is it the path leads to the back porch?  Unfortunately she couldn’t explain it to Dad in a way he would understand.

At Christmas time we would go down to Chubby and Tubby for our Christmas tree.  The five of us would look around the lot and each found a tree – then we had to decide which one to buy.  It often seemed to me that the best tree was always the one someone else was holding.  We would choose one (sometimes one that needed the most love),  take it home and put it in a bucket of water at the bottom of the outside stairs.  It was usually a week before Christmas.  Then we put it up on Christmas Eve, decorate it with ornaments Mom and Dad had collected when they were first married, new ones and ones we made.  The cool thing was the next morning was Christmas.

One Christmas we put it up a week before Christmas, didn’t work out all that well.  Instead of Christmas coming the next morning, it seemed forever for it to come and I think we all  were a bit tired of the tree when it finally came.  So we went back to putting it up Christmas Eve and taking it down New Year’s Day.

I’m curious to know what my sisters’ memories are, if they are very different.  Funny how each person sees something, a person, or event at the same time and sees it differently.  I have been going through pictures and these two were ones I found.

Once again, to be continued.

All Abuzz

September 12, 2014

Nature tends to have thrown us a few curve balls in the last 12 years living here.  First it was furry creatures in the attic at least twice and the bug man came both times to spray in the attic and set traps.   I asked Brad to close up all the holes where they might enter.  2 years ago it was an invasion of carpenter ants,  same company, different fellow.  They haven’t shown up again since.   Now a new invasion, this time yellow jackets making a nest in the porch roof.  I had bought some wasp spray because the wasps like to make nests under the eaves of the porch roof.  It takes a few times, then they get the message.

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They love to  use the corners for the nest.

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There are  nice little corners on both sides of the eaves.

Unfortunately the yellow jackets were undeterred even though I sprayed a lot around the place they were going in.  Since they were inside, I couldn’t really reach them.  Lately there has been a soft crackle around that area.  Now I did my best to block up the hole with wood putty; those little buggers just ate through it and continued with business as usual.  I ran out of putty and have tried to think of something they couldn’t eat through.  They are certainly determined.  Then I saw them going in on the other side – I knew it was beyond my knowledge, experience and power to chuck them out permanently.

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This is the corner the yellow jackets were going in.  You can see the putty and also where they had chewed through.

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This is the other side of the porch, not as many went in there.

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It was across the porch underneath that we heard the soft crackle.

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Nacho sprayed all along the other side as well.

I called the bug people and Nacho, who took care of the mice, came and used his spray gun with a powder and sprayed it into the crack.  Man, you have never seen such cranky yellow jackets – there were as many trying to get out as trying to go in.  It didn’t seem a good time to be on the porch.  Things as quiet now, I think they are gone. or dead.  If I see any more, I will call him to come back.

I didn’t think to check the ground to see if there are corpses.  All I’m interested in is to see them gone.

The Week Barely Started

September 10, 2014

An interesting 3 days so far – not sure I can take the excitement.   Sorry, that wasn’t what I planned to write.    I was cleaning out on Monday , this time my Mom’s hooking stuff.   I had put on Craig’s List rug hooking magazines and another one with patterns and supplies.  Imagine how amazed I was when I had an email from a lady in Nova Scotia.  She is very interested in everything – though she seems to be thinking in terms of two large boxes to go through the mail.  Hmmm, this may be more than I bargained for.

 I have been figuring out what hooking stuff my Mom has – it is a lot more work than I realized.  I went through two under bed drawers and found some dyed samples of wool ready to hook.  Mom usually dyed them in 6, sometimes 8 values – she always enjoyed the dyeing part.  I’ve been online to see what is there and how I can price things – what Mom paid is a lot less than today, though her money went farther.  I also checked the Post Office, they ship by weight to Canada.  Hmmm, this is going to be an interesting  project.
I pulled out the things I found from when Dad was working before and during the war at aircraft companies, mostly in Southern California.  Eddie checked with the Boeing historian today to see if they are interested.  They were delighted with the items.   It’s lovely to know there is some of my Dad in the Boeing archives.  They are a welcome addition and I know they are in a good home.
 I also went through a box of my Mom’s things – a lot of gift cards for her graduation and I think it was a wedding shower.  There were letters from two hospitals saying she was set to work for them, letters from a couple of young men who had been at a dance when she was in Pratt.  One guy was from Yale.  A little bit different view of my Mom.  Still more places to clear out, no telling what I will find.  I am sending them to Candy so she can decide what to do with them.
Last week  more cleaning out, amazing what my Dad and Mom accumulated over the past 60 some years in this house.  I found 2 more photos in the original North American envelope for the Boeing archives.  Eddie made sure my Dad’s name shows as the donor.  I found books on cars that might go to the library the Car Museum is  creating.   I called the Center For Wooden Boats to see if they  take ship models and if they don’t, who would they recommend.  I think the guy is on holiday this week, I haven’t heard from him.  And paper of all kinds, my Dad kept calendar pictures and so did my Mom – Dad for Scottish history and Mom for flower ideas for her rugs.  It doesn’t look all that different, I just know I made a small difference.

Friday I went to see Mom, she is usually dozy because of meds.  Judy tells me she forgets what’s she’s doing, so she needs to be reminded to continue.  I have noticed that lately.  I give her a piece of chocolate and she is enthusiastic, but doesn’t always finish it unless I ask if she is ready for more.  She doesn’t like anyone to touch, especially when it comes to taking care of her.  I now ask her if I can give her a hug, I mostly get an enthusiastic yes, but not always.  You’re not kidding this is the hardest part.
I had a call from Didi last night – Mom had fallen and hit her head.  She called Providence to let them know, she was going in for her regular day.  I went to visit her this morning, she had a couple of large scabs on her right temple and her upper eyelid was bruised.   Mom was fighting them as they were trying to get her washed and dressed.   I asked Judy if she remembered falling, but Judy doesn’t think so.  Mom was a bit sleepy today, probably not too surprising after her fall.  She ate the cookies while I read to her, but wasn’t interested in the chocolate.  She would have it later.
Eddie and I went out for a bit to have coffee and look around the bookstore.  We came home and I found an email message from the station manager, they wanted my phone number because they needed to talk with me.  so I emailed back and shortly after, they called.  Seems he was a little mixed up on days – 9:30 isn’t open on Tuesday after all.  He does have Monday at the same time and he wanted to know if that would be all right.  Plus, he would air my show twice a week for the month of October as an “I’m sorry”.  It will be a repeat of the Monday show.  I will admit I am disappointed, but I just decided there is a reason why it is working out the way it is – no idea why but I am starting this Monday on the 15th.  Anyway, we’ll see how it goes and maybe when I am ready for an hour show, there will be a different time slot.
My life certainly isn’t dull.

About My Dad

September 7, 2014

I was watching Sunday Morning on CBS earlier and they were talking about the anniversary of the death of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria as the beginning of WWI in 1914.  That made me think of Dad, he would have been 100 last march.  I realized I have a list of things to write about him, especially since my sister wanted to hear things about him she didn’t know.

I remember when his parents came up to visit from California – Grandmother slept in my bed and Grandfather in Candy’s room.  Ellen had her room downstairs in the basement and Candy & I slept in the rec room.  I remember going upstairs to kitchen early in the morning and sharing tea with Grandmother while she told me stories about Dad.   I’ve always wished I could have known her better, but she died when I was 14 – those early mornings were special to me.  I wish I had written down the stories at the time, I’m having trouble remembering them.  I know she talked about the time  the kitchen porch roof caught fire, not sure what started it.

She had a very nice apartment in Buffalo when she and grandfather were married.  Shortly after she had her first baby, Grandfather and her sister Elizabeth went out and bought a farm in Orchard Park – then present it to Grandmother.  The problem was that it has no electricity, running water or any amenities – not the best place to have a new baby.  She was left alone with the handyman during day while my Grandfather went into Buffalo to his Interior Decorating studio.  Eventually they had running water and electricity – by then my Dad’s other sister Emmie was born and then Dad.

In 1926 Grandmother went out to visit her brother in Southern California – he was building houses in Palos Verdes at the time.  There weren’t too many but there was a committee that had to approve the plans.  They wanted only old style Spanish houses, red tile and stucco.   So her brother was building them and Grandmother decided she wanted to move there.  So she wrote Grandfather to come out and see what it was like.  Unfortunately, the day he arrived on the train, it was pouring rain.  However, he agreed to move there and he would help with the interior decoding of the new houses.  He used fine draperies, oriental rugs and antiques in his designs.  He would have his studio in Malaga Cove Center.

So back they went to Buffalo and packed up three kids, Gertie and all they could carry in two cars and drove across country to California.  My Dad was about 12 or 14 at the time, the youngest child.  He remember he was in the car with his dad and sisters and they stopped somewhere. There was a river and one of sisters nearly drown – I doubt they said anything to Grandmother.

They made it to California all in ne piece and Grandfather bought an old Spanish style house near the golf course in Palos Verdes.  My Dad and his sisters went to Palos Verdes High School and Dad had made a lot of friends.  Some were a little shady but Dad was not about to be talked into anything he didn’t want to do.  He couldn’t be shady or do illegal stuff if his life depended on it.  He used to work at the swim club as a lifeguard and in his high school annual, several girls wrote “To the Dancing Sheik” – he had a slow easy way of dancing the girls loved.  How odd he and my Mom were never able to dance together – haven’t figured that out or thought it smart to ask.

He loved cars and dance music, his mother  wondered if he would ever share her love of classical music.  He told me one day that he heard a piece and it clicked with him and he was a classical music lover forever after.   He still enjoyed dance bands and other kinds of music – I’ sure his mom was delighted to see how much he enjoyed classical music.  He used to say that when Grandmother bought a gift for Grandfather, she would buy a piece she loved.

He spent a lot of time with his guy friends and working on cars, he did know a rum runner in those days but I don’t know if he ever went out with Dick or not.  In the late 30’s before he went into the aircraft industry, he worked for Dick building boats in Wilmington, Calif.  It was by the water and one day he dropped a tool into the water.  He didn’t really want to tell Dick he had lost a tool, but he knew he had to anyway.  When told Dick and apologized, Dick told him”I’m so glad you told me, none of the other guys ever tell me”.    That has always stuck with me.

In 1941, Dad went back east to visit with an uncle and ended up getting a job at Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, Conn.   He rented a room from a woman who lived in Glastonbury and she just happened to live next door to my Mom’s grandmother.  Mom had seen him but hadn’t been introduced, but the families arranged a blind date for them.  Dad once told me neither of them asked the other marry, they just assumed they were getting married.  Three months later, Dad went to her father and said he wanted to marry his daughter.  Grandfather Sherman told him  “Go back to California and establish yourself.  If in three months you still feel the same, I will give my permission.

In Late December of 1941, just after Pearl Harbor, Mom went to California.  her family thought she was crazy, the Japanese were going to invade California.  Only one aunt supported her and Mom often said it took all her courage to fly  to California by herself.

 

To be continued  . . . . . . . . . . .

 

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

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