Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

While cleaning out an old desk, I came upon these twelve watches.  Not one of them is still keeping time.  I wonder how much watch batteries are these days!!

I gave up wearing a watch in 2005, when I had laser surgery on my eyes.  The surgery corrected my distance vision beautifully, but it totally ruined my mid range.  So unless I had reading glasses on, I couldn't see what time it was on any watch!!

And it was an interesting lesson.  I went from having to have a watch on and knowing the time ALL THE TIME to giving it up, and not missing it at all.  It has been 7 years.  I have purchased a watch or two since then, and after wearing it for a day or so, I forget about wearing it.  There are so many other options these days.  Either from my cell phone, or in the car, or even the polite "can you tell me the time?"  

So all these 12 watches will go into the garage sale.  Except maybe the Husky watch that has a big W on the second hand.  With the purple band.  I think I need to keep that one a bit longer.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday night

After Jillian's final softball game a few weeks ago, I went over to their house for a visit.  When I walked to the front door and glanced left I was greeted with this smiling lawn art.  

Jeff did this while working in his yard.  What a clever boy!  ( I still have trouble thinking of myself as the mother of 'men')

Since I had arrived before them, I started dead heading their rhodie.  After a few minutes, something underneath one branch caught my eye.
Still makes me shiver even looking at the photo.

I have been on the verge of tears for days.  You know how that is?
It's been a stressful couple of weeks, and it is only going to get harder for the next two months.  
My Mom's health seems to have stabilized, which is a good thing, but again after spending the evening with my parents and siblings, I am reminded that she and Dad are indeed 85.  It is so hard to see the slower shuffle, the positioning to be able to rise without much help, the decline of appetite, the passing of time.  

My BFF after high school is losing her middle daughter to cancer.  From age 18 to about 25 we were so close.  We were in each other's wedding's, bought houses a block from each other, she birthed her 3 girls in the time frame I birthed my 3 boys.  When I went into the hospital for my first breast cancer surgery, Karen was the one who got her girls up at o:dark:30 and drove from Everett to my house in Federal Way to be with my boys that day.  As often happens, time moved along and we began to follow different paths.  
We would still connect once in a while for good conversations and girlish laughter.  As long as we steered clear of religion and politics, we got along splendidly.  And now her Melinda is in her final days of this life at age 34.  Absolutely breaks my heart.  

My house has been on the market for 3 weeks, and after two viewings the first week we have not had one call.  Yes, I know the market is slow, but is this how it is going to be?  Yes, I know it only takes one, but first they need to look.  I'm starting to stress about the possibility of having to make a mortgage payment as well as a rent payment for more than a month or two.  

I have a relationship that I just can't seem to get a handle on.  It is hard, and I keep trying, but I feel like it is a losing battle.  I know it is important to keep at it, but it is only going to get harder when I am living that much further away.  

There is just so much to do.  But then again, I thrive on having deadlines looming and so much to do.  
One task at a time, one box at a time, one room at a time, one day at a time.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Looking Back to Easter

My family,  meaning my parents, siblings and their families get together every Easter and near Christmas.  The actual attendees varies from event to event.  And we meet at my youngest brothers nice home in Federal Way.  I have become the cruise director (self appointed....) and make sure we always have some kind of craft project offered to work on.  

 We share a meal, and get a chance to chat.  

Here is Jillian and Ethan enjoying their lunch, waiting for the egg hunt to begin.

 This year I brought an idea I had seen on Pinterest. We made Peep Wreaths!!!  At least my Mom, sister Nancy, myself and newest member to the family Karlee (nephew Casey's fiance) made them while sister Carol gave advice.

Todd and Jeff explaining to Ethan what a "record player is"......

I always have a new Easter plush for each of the grandkids.  Jillian with her new bunny.  

Lynn enjoying the sunshine and a chat with Dad and BIL Terry.  

Genie holding Henry, while he is tasting his new Easter plus bunny.

Sister Carol with Jillian, Genie and Henry

I brought some bubbles and different wands for the kids to enjoy.

Jeff, Krista, Ethan Dad and Todd 

I also brought some balloons so they could make balloon animals.   

I also get photos of the kids on the couch each year.  Here are Henry and Carter, giving me a grumpy look!

And being goofy!
 Following are all the photos I could catch for the short amount of time they would all sit on the couch together looking foward!!

It  was a special day for us since Genie was able to attend, finally having her weekend off coincide!  And Todd came for the first time in years too.  

A really good time was had by all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What to do first...

Each morning when I get up now, I need to have a list of things that I need to get done.  It can't be a generic "pack" note either.  I need to work in specifics.  There is just so much, that it can be overwhelming if I take too long to think about it.  So instead of thinking about it, I just need to get started.  
Today, I did get a few pesky tasks done, and now, at 7 pm, I'm ready to start on today's list.  I puttered the day away.  Although, I have to say that Jillian and Ethan were here today, and tomorrow morning they are off on their great adventure, flying to Hawaii to spend some time with their Lola Brenda, Krista's Mom.  Pretty exciting.  

So today, right now I am going to clean the carpet in the guest room.  Then I need to decide how I want to put the bed back in there.  Right now I have it on the 'far' wall.

Here are a few photos.  This is a queen sized bed, so it does take up a lot of room.  I wonder why that photo is so dark....

Anyway, once I take down the quilt, and the other doo dads on the wall, I know I am going to need to put some paint on the walls in this room too.

 But part of me wants to turn the bed the other way. Sister Carol thinks having the head of the bed nearer the door may not be the best idea.  I get that, but it seems that if I flip it, I can move it closer to the window wall, and make it appear that there is more room in there.

I guess the worst that happens is that I move it and don't like it, I just move it back.    Most importantly though, I just need to do something!!  So that is what I'm off to do.....right now....really......I mean it.....stop reading.....

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cleaning up the Camera

 These are a few photos from the trip to California Lynn and I took in May as we came back up the coast after the conference in San Diego.

This setting made me think of the show Private Practice, the beach where Addison and Sam share a duplex on the beach.

 At a view point a bit further up the coast, these squirrels were quite happy to finish these few crackers we had left in the car.

This was the same viewpoint, getting a shot of the actual view intended!!  There were actually people down on that beach.  I never did see how in the world they got down there.  It was a beautiful drive.

Lynn, on one of his internet surfing sessions, had discovered what he thought was the PERFECT beach town for a potential retirement.  Called Morrow Bay.  So we were heading there to check it out and spend a night or two.  Sadly, once we got there it was really just an old fishing village and the beach, once we found it, was lovely, but really not part of the town at all.  There was a big refinery right next to it, and when I said the area reminded me of Tacoma, that was the final nail.  So instead of staying there we headed up the coast a bit further and found Cambria, which was CHARMING!!!  We stayed at a hotel right across the road from the beach.  This will be one of the places I go and visit for a weekend once we move.

When we left there we headed to Capitola.  This is a beach town that we found rather by accident the previous time we were in the area.  When I booked the hotel from my phone ahead of time, we were sure disappointed that the hotel wasn't really in the village, but up nearer Santa Cruz, not on the beach at all.  We did have a fabulous dinner down in the village though, and found a nice girl for Todd......too bad she lives 1000 miles away.

From Capitola we headed up to Calistoga, in the Napa Valley.  We stayed two nights there and had a great chance to check out the area, prior to Lynn's interview for the job there.

It was the first time we had taken a road trip in quite a while.  We had a really great time, despite the price of gas!!  Too bad I didn't have a hummingbird nest in the front light fixture to come home to like I had the last time we were gone from home for two weeks.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Next Chapter

Here is the story.....
Yep, I'm moving to California.  To an amazingly beautiful very small (population about 3000, of which 1200 live on the grounds of the California Veteran's Home) Town, not even a city, called Yountville.  It is the first stop of the 'up valley' of Napa Valley.  It is one of the communities with the highest rated Michelin stars collections of restaurants in the country.  And we all know how much I like good food.  To add to that the CIA, Culinary Institute of America is between St Helena and Yountville.
Lynn was hired to be the new CEO of The Boy's & Girl's Clubs of St Helena/Calistoga.  St Helena is about 10 miles up valley from Yountville, and Calistoga is about another 7 miles north of that. Each of those cities have populations of about 5000 each.
It is GORGEOUS!  Vineyards, wineries blue skies, rolling hills.  Warm, sunny.
Anyway.  My lovely home in Lynden is for sale.  Pretty slow market up here.  We have been on market for 2 weeks and only had two viewings.  But I'm assured that it is just a slow time of year these few weeks, with end of school and should pick up soon.  If it doesn't sell by Sept 1, we will list it for rent.
Our new place will be quite a difference for us.  We are going from a 1950 square feet home, on a 11,000 square foot lot, to an end unit townhouse that is 1213 square feet.  We have a lot of green space around us, but no responsibility to keep it pretty!  Someone else does that!!!  So it really will be a downsizing experience for us.
Lynn starts work on August 6th, and will move into the new place on August 1st.  I'm hoping that we'll drive down around the 25th and get him moved in, then I'll fly back home in time to get to have Carter and Henry come and stay with me for a few days while Kyle and Genie have their annual Vegas getaway with her family.
Prior to that we are flying down for a week in mid July.  He has work stuff to attend to, and I'll continue to scout out the area, and check out the two nearby hospitals for potential employment.  I will be sure to have my camera then and get some shots of the area to share here.  
Lynn has been wanting to move somewhere that the weather would be better, and this is going to meet that desire.  For about 20 years I have "felt" that we would have a California residence at some point.
Yes, I will miss my children and grandchildren tremendously.  Our timing is good though.  As my SIL Kathy pointed out, we aren't facing the challenge of finding new schools and services for our children.  Jillian and Ethan are in school, and are growing up so fast.  By next summer, they will probably be spending more time home alone.....Carter and Henry are another story.  I'm hoping that with the amazing world of Skype and Facetime, I'll still "see" them often and get to chat.  Right now my plan is to come back to Washington at least 3 times a year for 2+ weeks at a time. Hopefully worked around my favorite quilting retreats up here! Kind of will depend on what my employment situation might be.
We will still be loyal UW Husky fans, and plan to be decked out in all our purple and gold and go the games they play at Cal and Stanford.  And for Mariner action it will only be an hour away from seeing them when they play in Oakland (and we'll get to take the CalTrain and the Bart!!) instead of traveling almost two hours up here.
Yes, I'll miss my family.  My parents are 85 and only getting older, so that will be a bit of a challenge.  Sister Carol will come to visit often, especially since she was the one who took the road trip and helped me find my new home!!  Sister Nancy and BIL Terry will come to visit, they LOVE wine tasting, and this is the capital of that!!  Brother Kevin and SIL Sandi will come to visit as a side trip to their annual Reno trip.  Brother Steve and SIL Kathy?  Now that they are mostly retired, maybe we will get a chance to visit with them more often.
As far as friends?  I hope they will come visit!! I was so happy that I was able to find a 3 bedroom just so I could have a guest room for friends and family.  Thankfully we have the internet to keep in touch.
Next to selling the house, our biggest concern is moving the CATS!!!
So pretty much that's the story.  Between cleaning carpets, painting the master, keeping the house sparkling I'm hoping to write more stories here on my blog.
Stories of Looking Back, and Moving Forward.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

California Bound

The truck is packed and Lynn is ready to go.  We made the decision to drive to his national conference this year which was being held in San Diego.  After a 3 drive down, then 5 nights there, we are going to meander up the coast, then cut inland and cruise through the Napa Valley to see if it looks like an area that we could live in. 
I packed some picnic type stuff in a cooler so that we could do our daytime meals at rest stops, which worked out really great.
We got into San Diego right on time.  I sure do love the GPS feature of my phone.  Gas prices were right around the $4 a gallon mark.  We tried to hit Costco's along the way, also nice to use the GPS for that. 

When Lynn is busy in his meetings, I get out and about in whatever city we are in.  San Diego, it turns out has a wonderful light rail system.  Right across the street from our hotel was a station.  This is a photo I took from inside the train.  It is a great way to check out the city. 

I love checking out new flora in different areas.  Here is a nice shot of some of the native greenery, again, taken from the train window.

While stopped for a few minutes, I happened to glance down at the rails, and had a bit of a giggle to think that those two little metal strips were holding
the ties together....

One day I took the train, and a bus out to a wonderful little knit shop.  Found a great project and bought some yarn to make a gift for Krista.  I wish I had gotten some photos of this shop to share. 

Once back in the city, I kept my trusty camera with me.  This was an amazing PURPLE tree!!   

I haven't yet found anyone to tell me what kind of tree this is....

This is how the malls work in southern California.  Outdoors. 

And I thought this was a FABULOUS idea.  People really were playing checkers and chess together with this big painted boards, and large pieces. 

Can you see these orange flowers on this cool tree???

And the trunk and branches were amazing too.

I did get a close up of the flowers, just love it!

I caught just the last moment of this beautiful sunset, from our hotel window on the last night of our stay in San Diego. 

Tomorrow, I'll post some photos of the trip heading back up the coast.