Archive for August, 2013

Expect the Unexpected

August 25, 2013

Lately Eddie and I have been doing things we have never done before – that certainly describes yesterday.  Eddie receive an invitations Emirates for the Boeing Golf Classic at Snoqualmie Ridge, just up the hill from the falls.  I am glad it included me, I have never been to a golf tournament before either.  It is the Senior PGA tour, so there were some well know names, such as Hale Irwin and Fred Couples.  They have huge tent skyboxes for all kinds of the sponsors, across the green was Asiana with the whole tent to themselves.  Plus all of them have a small tent on the grounds for advertising and talking to the public.  Apparently they only invited Eddie and the Marketing person Sandy to it.  Eddie has been working with Karen on some things and has become friends with her.

7.5_About_v1_565x215_tcm272-806624They had  several of the flight crew there, 100 nationalities and they are a family.  We talked to a gal from Australia and she talked about what it is like to work for them – they do things the Emirates way.

When Emirates does things, they do it all first class.   They sent red polo shirts – my XL was quite snug, I had no idea they would sent a Ladies size.  Very snug around the girls, but I wore my pashmina and it was fine.  They had a parking pass and 2 passes to go in, plus red lanyards for the passes.  The schedule show they opened at 8, the tee off was at 10:30, that meant we didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to be there at 8.  It was cloudy with the promise of sunshine in the afternoon, they kind of day we have been having a lot,  Since the forecast said 10% chance of rain, I figured we would only get 10% wet.

We left here about 9 and drove over I-90 to Snoqualmie exit, then up Snoqualmie Parkway and over to the course.  Lots of ritzy ditzy houses around the course.  Well, turns out that wasn’t where we were supposed to park – we were in the Spectator parking.  So we drove down the hill and I saw the river and the sharp drop of the falls about 1200 feet away – everything was calm so I don’t think much was water going over the falls.  Then we went off to not just the  back 40, but to the way out in the stick back 60 before we finally found the parking.

It was at a sand and gravel business and for some reason they had a water truck out going over the ground – mad it into mud.  We found a space not too far from the buses and I will say, I was  very concerned about how high off the ground the first step was – buses and I  have a love hate relationship.  I was pleased to find the step was too high, though I had to hold on to the rail with both hands to pull myself up.  I was so surprised when the two men sitting in the row behind the driver gave their seats to me, that was so generous of them. That was how we arrived at the course entrance.

We went in, showed our passes and were directed to a small tent around the putting greens – not exactly a skybox.  This was Emirates tent for the public with a contest to win a seat cushion.  We got in line and then I had to sit because standing is problematic.  As I was sitting, one of the Emirates staff came by and I asked what the drill was for the hospitality suite,  We were directed to near the clubhouse and down the hill – oh, what a hill.  Fortunately they has carts and I had a ride down so it was much easier. Of course Eddie walked, said he needed the exercise.

1001I am amazed they had  just the picture I wanted – that is the 18th green and we were on the right side about halfway down.  Te clubhouse is to the left and they had their new 777 do a flyover Friday.  Guess it was quite something to see.

From there it wasn’t very far to the tent.  I was amazed I walked and did rather well since walking hasn’t been that easy for a while.  Just need more practice to build stamina and energy.  It was about 10:30 by the time we arrived.  They had a  2 level area, most was rows of chairs at different levels, like bleachers.  The front entrance had some table s and chairs – they were just finishing serving breakfast and setting up lunch.    There were cloth table covers and napkins, crockery and Emirates silverware plus a cushion on each seat.  We found a table off to the side – I needed a sit down – but Eddie was talking with people.  Later we had some lunch and they he was off again.

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A bit of an idea where we spent the day – these are the tier seats and up behind are the tables and chairs – wish I remembered the camera.

A couple of guys came by and asked to share the table, when Eddie came back he knew one of them and we were introduced to his friend.  Eddie has been working with Bruce – he has company based here but has an office in Dubai, so he spends a lot of time flying back and forth on Emirates – he is one of their best customers.  After they left, Melanie Jordan came to sit with us and introduced her “new fella”.  I have worked on things for PNAA and now that Melanie is the Executive Director, there should be more work plus not having to deal with the board.  She is such a lovely person, her son just left to start MIT.  She understands about dementia, her stepfather  was ill for quite a while and died in April.  Her mom is now doing better since she was the major caregiver, she was worn out by the time he died.

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A little bit closer to show the 18th hole.  As you see, it is definitely uphill.

The tent was  at the 18th hole and after a while, the threesomes started coming.  The hole is in a bowl and has 16 bunkers to navigate.  It was quite interesting to see how each player did.  There are volunteers all around with signs that say Quiet Please” when they are getting close – any noise can distract the players concentration.  We were looking down on the tee, plus to the right we could see down the fairway – it is definitely a hill from the 17th hole.  I found myself getting caught up in it.

hole18_webThis is looking up the 18th hole and the clubhouse.  16 bunkers and uphill.

It had sprinkled a little bit but not enough to really get wet.  The sun started to come out once in a while, but it took a bit longer before it was really serious.  Around 1:30 we decided to leave.  I checked to find restrooms and was directed down a small flight of stairs to a row of Honey Buckets.  I will say, they weren’t smelly, they made sure they were pleasant.  I had trouble stepping up and down from it because there really weren’t any handles on the sides.  But I was glad I decided to take advantage of them.

I found a ride up the hill and Eddie was up to the top very quickly.  There was a guy at the top of the hill asking the guard to take a picture of him and his friend.  I think he is a football star but I couldn’t tell you who he was.  He was very friendly and greeted us, commented that we were dressed alike and asked us how long we had been married.  Many people commented we were dressed alike – not surprising with red polo, black pants and a red Emirates cap.

It had been an enjoyable day and I realized I was tired – all that fresh air, exercise and good food.  We stopped at the store on the way home and Eddie was ambitious enough to do the laundry.  I just needed to relax and unwind – that last walk up to the bus to go back the parking lot bothered my right knee.  So it felt good to relax and rest.  I noticed Eddie fell asleep a couple of times while watching tv.  We’re no spring chickens but we still have spring in our step.

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It’s a Jigsaw Puzzle

August 19, 2013

The past few weeks I have been reading a number of books, some new, some I have already read and decided to come back and reread.  I have also been listening to the radio, talking with friends who are like-minded and from many other sources.  I am working on understanding  what is going on inside of me that produces some of the less than desirable experiences and conditions in my life.  I am also working on becoming more aware, more strongly connected to my intuition, Spirit and my Higher Self.  To some it is woo woo, goofball stuff – to me it makes more sense than seeing myself as a victim, of being put upon and there is nothing I can do about it.

I have seen myself as a victim so much of my life, an innocent bystander side swiped by Life.  I know right here and now I am not a victim.  Oh yes, it is a lot easier in many ways to see myself as such, but it’s not working for me.  I  know now that I don’t discover who I am, I create who I am.

jigsaw_puzzleSo many pieces, how do they fit together?

At the moment I feel as if there are all these bits of information running around my head, as if it I am putting together a jigsaw puzzle without a picture to check once in a while.  I have done one without the picture, a real challenge and I did put it together to see the picture.  Every once in a while I find a piece that starts to make sense – then it is gone and I can’t remember what it was.  I am sure it is in the depths of my memory, but after 66 years, it is more like a room with file cabinets all over and each drawer has so many papers hanging out of them that it takes a bit longer to locate what I want to remember.  Guess it isn’t computerized yet.

I don’t have a picture in my mind of the puzzle, its shape or other details.  So I ask:

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Does it have unusually shaped pieces?

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Is it round, square or some other shape?

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Do the pieces look very different from I usually see?

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Or is it three dimensional?

I understand things better when I have a picture in my mind.  It may not necessarily resemble what I am working on, it just has to make sense to me.  Of course, there are times when I just know that I know – I don’t need a picture in my mind.

The Usual Mash Up

August 17, 2013

How strange to find so much running around in my head, but the moment I decide to write a post about some of it, I suddenly can’t think of a thing.  Am I the only one?  So, when in doubt, put in a great picture from my sister.  This time they are from Ellen.

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A lovely Stargazer Lily

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A gorgeous Rose of Sharon

I don’t know where she finds them, but the pictures are always wonderful.  She has some amazing beach pictures as well.    I will put some of those in for another post.  These cheer me up and I marvel at Mother nature and the many different kinds of flowers there are to enjoy.   Thank You so much Ellen.

The other night we had thunder and lightning, some shook the house.  then a couple of rain showers but only enough to barely settle the dust.  Usually I am afraid of loud thunderstorms, for some reason I was more curious than afraid.  We have had a few rain showers but nothing one could call a good soaking rain.  I am feeling a bit dry and parched now, I miss the rain and to be honest I feel the way my Dad’s cousin in Southern California did – “Another goddamned beautiful day”.   After having no rain for 36 days,  it is time for a good rainstorm to wash the air and feel that fresh washed clean feeling.  We have had some showers here and there but nothing soaking so far.

I saw my Mom yesterday and I talked about things I remember in my childhood – she taught all three of us girls to do housework, make a hospital corner, and cook a bit.  I said I asked her to teach me to cook one summer and frustrated the heck out of me.  She doesn’t always follow the recipe, when I ask how long to beat it or how long to cook, her answer was “till it looks right” or “till it’s done”.  Not a lot of help but I learned a lot just watching her.  I also remembered hot cocoa and Christmas cookies when we came home from following the Christmas ship.  She seemed to be looking around and I wasn’t sure she was listening or had heard me.  Then she said she was interested in what I said.

Last week she was very alert – I have been going in the morning because she is now at the point where after lunch she is ready for a nap.  She sleeps a lot, part of the progression of dementia.   I bring my iPad to play songs she likes, though my data download was only at 20%.  My older sister suggested bagpipes and Sousa marches, so when I have more download I will do that.  Sometimes I am not sure what to talk about or how much comes through for her.

On the 1st of August I saw my rheumatologist before my infusion.  She was very pleased to see one of the markers for inflammation was down 7 points.  She was thinking the last time that possibly she might have to up the dose some, but decided to wait another week and see how the tests looked.  So I am getting the same amount still – unfortunately energy seems to be the last thing to come.  I have had a little more energy lately as well as feeling better – nothing I can put my finger on specifically, but better than it has been.

We have had more balderdash from the State looking for more money.  However, I have a secret weapon while I have been dealing with them and Medicaid.  Dave my attorney friend has helped so much with Mom and so many other things.  So I emailed him the email that my two sisters received and spoke to him about it.  he wrote a letter to the State to tell why it wasn’t owed, I paid it last year and my sisters had no reason to pay.  I saw him Wednesday at Breakfast Club and said the State decided he was right – no doubt very reluctantly.  Plus I have a letter and so will my sisters.

My childhood program has been not to ask for help or bother people, but  I had to ask for help when Mom began to really have very noticeable symptoms of dementia.  It was the smartest thing I could do in that situation and I found out that it wasn’t a burden to others – they wanted to help me.  What I also learned was that I was not alone, others in Breakfast Club had or were dealing with dementia or something similar in their own family.  I knew they really meant it when they said they understood.

Eddie’s back and we are having a couple over for dinner.  I have taken up this post, then did the bedroom, relaxed, did most of the bathroom – I have to sweep and mop the floor.  then I need to do the kitchen and sweep a bit in the living room.  Two rooms will look great.

One last photo because it is a beautiful photo of one of my favorite flowers – though not the plant itself.

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Inside the wisteria

Just Living Her Life

August 11, 2013

I always enjoy Ellen’s photos and one she sent not too long ago made think about my own life.

P1040505The subject line she put for this one is where my title came from for the post.

I seem to have been a loner most of my life, I didn’t feel I fit anywhere.  As an overweight child, I was teased and made fun of during my school and childhood years.  Not conducive to self-esteem and loving myself.  It often felt as if there was something missing me that the other kids had.  Never figured that out.  (No, this is not an oh-poor-me-osis post)  I had to have glasses when I was in the 3rd grade – no one else had them.  Now I see I could have perceived it as something special rather than a detriment.  It is only now in the 50’s and especially my 60’s that I am much more aware about such things.  A lot of changes in this decade of my life.

I had a few friends, but not really the “go over to each other’s houses” kind.  I saw them at school and on the bus ride home.  I remember either going to bus stop in the morning or coming home after school and there were always boys riding bikes.  I noticed they liked to ride straight toward me, I wanted to run but decided to just keep going.  Fortunately they never did hit me and I am pleased that I just kept going – maybe that was no fun for them.

I did a lot of things on my own, not usually by choice, but over the years I have learned to entertain myself.  Came in very handy when I traveled with Eddie on his business trips.  I loved reading, it is still  one of my greatest pleasures; I feel lost if I don’t have a book to read, I tend to have several books going – one in the car, one in the living room and one in the bedroom.  Sometimes I have a pile in each place.  I buy new ones but most of my car books I buy from the library – $0.50 for paperbacks and $1 for hard bounds.  It is always interesting to see what there is, sometimes a favorite author, or book, sometimes new authors or occasionally a book I was looking for quite a long time.

I liked writing but didn’t seem to create a character, mostly letters for quite a while.  I have written journals and for several years after we bought our first computer, I wrote a journal that soon had a list of people to send it.  I would write it on the computer, print it and then xerox it – that was how I learned how to work the computer.  Before that I was typing it on a typewriter.  First I borrowed Ellen’s (our upstairs neighbor) in New Jersey, then I think I bought one when we moved back to Los Angeles.  We didn’t buy the computer until we were in Atlanta.

I joined Newcomer’s clubs whenever we moved to a new place, that’s where I met most of my friends and had a social life.  When I started quilting in Atlanta, that was the one thing I could always take with me where ever I went and I would find friends.  What I mostly noticed was that my friends tended to be older women whose children were grown.  I didn’t have much in common with the younger married women because they either had kids, a job or both.  i had neither, but I had my own limitations with RA, but freedom they didn’t have because Eddie traveled.  They didn’t really understand it – their husbands had 9 to 5 jobs and always came home.

Not too long after I moved here, I had a session with an over lighting metaphysician and she told me I had chosen to do things the hard way and by myself in this lifetime.  I found that interesting and realized that most of my dealing with RA was by myself.  It wasn’t my choice but it seemed to work out that way.  I also realize a lot of that was childhood programming, “Don’t ask for help, don’t bother other people, don’t bother them”.  Now I realize I was operating that way all my life and never realized it.  I finally learned to ask for help and it has been such a blessing.  I have friends who are there for me and it doesn’t mean I am weak or telling the world my business when I ask for help.  I can’t do it all by myself, there are things I don’t have the knowledge to do and I need help.  In some ways, it is liberating.

I remember the trip to London on the QE2 and spending a few days in London with the group before they left for Ireland.  We were in someone’s room either before or after dinner and I was talking to one of the women.  She said something about “You are so  damn self-sufficient”.  How odd, since I was feeling outside the group.  A good friend once told me that I am more independent because Eddie traveled and I had to take care of things when he wasn’t around.  I never realized that before – too close to see it.

What my 60’s have brought is now knowing I don’t have to do what other people say, I don’t have to live up to their expectations and most important, my confidence and self-worth come from within rather than from validation and approval  from other people.  I am less concerned about what other people think or their opinions, but I am less judgmental and critical of them; definitely a work in progress.  I am better at seeing the positive in them and more loving towards them.  No one knows what life path they are on and what they are working through this lifetime.

I have always had to do something different, whether is has been a project, a dinner or whatever.  There are often times in the middle of it that I wonder “What was I thinking”. Or say “why didn’t I do that other idea?”.  But I kept on and it usually turned out quite well.  Maybe there is a list in there called “What I know for sure about myself”.  Oprah did that and it might be a smart idea for me to see myself in a different light.

Not A Happy Camper

August 4, 2013

This week has not been the easiest for my husband, he went in to Home Depot to buy something for work, only gone a very short time, and he found a bad scrape on his bumper.  Looked like some big cat had come by and raked its claws across it.   No note, no apology.   It had been a difficult day at work as well, so he was quite cranky when he came home.

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        This is best I can do for photos.

I went to Breakfast Club on Wednesday morning and talked to Vickie, our insurance agent and to Pat who  does collision repair to let them know we would be coming to see them in the early afternoon.  They both know how finicky her is about our cars,  fortunately Pat does work up to his standards.  Plus, Pat made a new door for the old simulator when someone pulled it off its hinges.

We had a nice visit with Vickie, plus found out we have a $300 deductible – that didn’t help his mood.  Not only did the person not leave a note, now we have to put out money to fix it.  So then we went over to Pat’s and while they were out looking at the car and I wouldn’t be surprised if Eddie was venting as well, I visited with Lisa and Wendy.

Looks as though it is going to cost a little over $800 to fix it, so he wants to go ahead and fix it – it will bug him if he doesn’t.  I wonder if he will be like his Dad?

He has told the story of his Dad in Jerusalem and how he felt about his cars.  He had  Opels and Mercedes, I am not sure which car it was that had a dent.  As far as his Dad was concerned, it wasn’t the same car after that, so he sold it and bought another one.  I wonder if that is where Eddie gets his feelings about cars.   His Dad could work on the car, kept it spotless and took excellent care of them.

He told me about the time he and his Dad took his Mom to visit friends and the two of them went off on a mission.  His Dad was very quiet about the whole enterprise until they went to the Opel dealer.  He had arranged to buy the car and trade in his old one.  So they spent time doing the deal and then went to pick up his Mom.  I don’t know how long it was before she finally realized it was a new car.

There are times I feel as if I have a large target painted on my left front bumper – twice people have hit me there.  I was driving one of Eddie’s Volvos a few years back and a guy didn’t stop on the red light and hit the rear panel on the car, spinning me around 180.  Must not have been a big enough impact because none of the air bags deployed.  That was scary.

I am not as finicky as Eddie, though I certainly don’t like anyone hitting my car.  He is out now washing his car, washed my yesterday as well.  He prefers to vacuum them here and of course none of them clean the wheels to his satisfaction.  He tends to bug me about getting the car dirty – as if I have any control over it.  I’d say is less finicky than his Dad but more finicky than I am.  Heck, he could be out doing other stuff, so it isn’t a big deal for me.


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