Category Archives: Family

Mount Rainier

We enjoyed our October trip to Seattle so very much.  As we were sight-seeing with friends, we weren’t really thinking about Mt. Ranier.  We had not had a glimpse yet, and I guess other things were on our minds.  As the clouds were burning off during our lunch atop the Space Needle, we had our first indication of where Mt. Ranier was in the Seattle skyline.  If you look below the arrow, you will see the SLIGHTEST rounded indication of where the mountain is (you’ll have to practically put your nose up to the monitor!).

By the time we finished our lunch and went out to the observation area, more clouds had burned off and we had a better look — and of course the camera’s zoom helped too.

The following day we took a ferry to Bremerton for an watery outing and lunch.  On our way back, we were treated to this view:

During the second half of our week, our friends took the Amtrak back home and we switched to “family mode”.  Nephew Bill hosted a fun gathering at his home.  This is the view Bill has from his house:

At this point, we knew we might as well come back home because it couldn’t get any better than that!

Chickens and Cows…

we must be on the farm!

Last week we took a trip to western North Dakota for the Hubster’s class reunion.  We stayed on Don & Ruth’s farm (BIL & SIL) in their absence.  Of course we had to walk around a bit and check out the livestock.

The calves were glad to have visitors (other than the hired help that come by to feed them):

We were inside their enclosure, and for a city girl (me), it was a little bit of a heart-pounding experience to have a pretty good size calf rushing straight towards you!  Jim was much more at east with the calves…

…which kept coming out of the trees!  We were mobbed with six friendly calves.

The chickens were much less intimidating — they were afraid of us!  They have a lot of room in their fenced-in area, but they seemed to like to be crammed into a corner to take a look at the interlopers:

We hadn’t been out west for a while.  We knew the Bakken oilfield was changing the western part of the state, but we were still amazed at the number of oil wells going in everywhere, the HUGE increase in truck traffic, and the general busy-ness of the area.  Life has really changed for the long-time residents.

I wish I had a picture of this, but when Don & Ruth returned, I got to help Ruth feed bottled milk to the calves.  Through the gate!  Those calves go crazy when you have milk!  It was a lot of mud (it rained the night before), a lot of calf slobber, and a lot of fun!  It was a great note to end our trip on.

You’ll have to use your imagination and picture this city girl in her new Berki gold sandals feeding the calves!  It was an impromptu helping session, and I definitely wasn’t dressed for it.







Let me introduce….

myself.  There is probably a carton of milk in your fridge with my picture on it.  Yes, I have been lost in cyberspace for many weeks now, and it’s time to get back into the world of blogging.  I have missed it.

If you’re a Facebook friend, you already know most of my life.  Here is the Reader’s Digest condensed version of the last 4 1/2 months of my life for everyone else.

We returned  from Texas mid-March.

Two days later my mom had a stroke.  She spent four weeks in rehab a 35-minute drive from our home.  I went to see her nearly every day.

It was determined she shouldn’t live alone any more.  I stayed with her in her apartment for two weeks, while we looked for an appropriate assisted living facility and started packing.

Packed about 25% of her belongings and moved her close to our home…only 7-8 minutes away.

Three weeks later she had serious respiratory issues, resulting in two ER visits, intensive care, then an elderly ward — all within a week.

She lived with us her last seven days under the Hospice program (wonderful, caring people).

Planned and arranged for her funeral.

Cleaned out two apartments with much family help.

As executor, worked on seemingly endless financial matters/paperwork/phone calls.

Fun trip to Huntsville, Alabama, for a quilting retreat with my Aunt Bert and 11 other lovely quilters from Memphis and Huntsville.  I bet you were starting to think I would NEVER have any fun!

Finally caught up on my own doc appointments, only to have them find a rare phyllodes breast tumor (found on the mammogram).  Benign, but these buggers are treated very conservatively, removed with wide margins.  Healing.

Trip to North Dakota for the Hubster’s class reunion.  Fun, but too many hours riding in the car.

Home, facing half a very hot garage full of my mom’s belongings.

Tired.  I just realized this tonight, but I am probably just now having time and space to allow for some grieving/mourning.  I am tired doing nothing.  I am two+ weeks post-surgery, so I should be getting some energy back soon.

I am giving myself six weeks to deal with everything in the garage.  My house needs major shoveling cleaning.  I need to sew.  I need to knit.  I need to play on my Gammill.  I haven’t taken any pictures of birds or bugs all summer long.  I feel like I’ve lost *me* a little bit, but I will get it back.  This blog post is the first step, and tomorrow I will find a bug to photograph (such lofty goals…).

Thank you, Jordan Cousin Judy S., for the call tonight.  You helped get me back on track.


p.s.:  Thank you for checking on my blog or following me on Google Reader (or similar service).  I am amazed I have any followers/readers left, and I appreciate every one of you!  I did get some sewing done at the retreat in Alabama, and will share pix soon.

Velma Jean

Last Friday, June 1st, my mom, Velma Jean, passed away.  A very sad time, but at the same time we’re all so glad she’s free of the pain and suffering.

So we’re in funeral prep mode now, with the funeral on Thursday.  I’m searching through mom and dad’s old photos, looking for fun pictures to share on posters.  I always enjoy looking at old pictures, and getting to see the various times and people in the departed person’s life is always interesting, I think.  This is my favorite picture of my mom.  I think she was probably 18 or 19, as she’s not wearing a wedding ring and she was almost 20 when my parents married.


There are problems with the picture.  There’s a crease in the lower right-hand corner, white flecks on her chin, and brown spots across her face and on the right side of the photo.  They almost look like fingerprints broken down into dots.  Darn it, I wish I would have learned how to use Photo Shop!

So last night, I dug into some tutorials on line.  My third tutorial I tried was the charm, and I did get some clean-up done on the photo.  (Kerry, I so almost sent you the picture with a plea for help!)  The somewhat fixed picture:

When I have time to experiment more, I’ll have to take another stab at cleaning up this picture.  I know I can do a better job, but I am pleased with this as a first try.


P.S.:  CLICK HERE for the tutorial that was simple and straightforward enough to work for me.



Believe it or not, there are people who read this blog regularly, and I sometimes get phone calls or emails when I haven’t posted for a while.

If you don’t know, my mom has had a series of serious health setbacks over the past 10 weeks or so.  She is a tough woman and has been fighting her way back from each medical event.  Until this week.  The latest series has been respiratory and heart issues.

Very long story, short:  Mom is staying with Jim and me under the hospice program.  We are doing our best to keep her comfortable.  It’s so nice to have her in a home setting rather than the urgent care / emergency room / intensive care / rehab / hospital rooms that she’s inhabited this past 10 weeks.

Don’t view this as a sad post.  Mom’s ready to meet her maker and requested (repeatedly!) that she go to hospice and not be subjected to more testing/treatment/rehab, and Jim and I feel privileged to be caring for Mom during her final days or weeks.  So I guess I’m saying that I’ll be busy for a while doing something entirely different, but I’ll be back.