Thursday, June 16, 2016

One thousand posts

It has been a busy day. 
A flat of Strawberries were purchased last Saturday. 
Since then the kitchen has been a buzz of canning, dehydrating, and baking. 
Done.

Seems like "doing" has been happening a great deal lately.
Library and park with the grandsons.
Rocking the baby to sleep.
Face-timing our other grands.

Talking on the phone with best friend, mom and sister.
Evening chats with my husband.
Walks with the dogs.
Watering the garden.

All very normal things for a retired person.

Tonight I looked back at my very first posts.

We were living in Kansas.
Our daughter was just joining the AirForce.
Our son was finishing up at West Point.
We had no daughter or son in laws. 
No grandchildren. I already worried about "being there for them."
My dad was still alive.
Frequent flyer miles were burned on my many trips. 
He was close to the end.
Gosh I miss him.
Classrooms had just re entered my life.
My older sister was my close friend.
I was slowly reconnecting to my husband.

My life has changed.

Most significant change is having grandchildren.
What an amazing experience.

Worry is rarely in my vocabulary anymore.
Somehow I just let it go.
Gosh, worry used to take up so much space.

Happiness is much more my state of mind.
What a relief 
after worrying for years if I would ever be happy.

My daughter and I have moved from a parent/child relationship to a friendship. The same has happened with my own mother. My younger sister & sister in law have become closer to me as of late.
All good things.
There is something important about family ties.
My older sister no longer speaks to me.
Sad, but that is the way it is.
Occasionally lamenting will tip toe in.
Anxiety does appear in new situations.
Learning to just tell people 
helps it just be what it is.
But not worry.

A Thousand Posts.
A journal of my journey.
Thanks for sharing it with me.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Raised garden with protection!

Scott created this 12'x3' raised garden area.
We have many deer who come up from the creek and eat anything tender. 
Caging of the garden was the idea of a gentleman down the street.

Each six foot fence can be removed for gardening.
He chose to gain support against the wind by securing each section together.


What a treat!


Saturday, June 04, 2016

Scary travel part 1

There have been a few times in which scary came too close in my life.
A few almost car crashes are in the pile.

My out of the ordinary scary
are close to my heart.

On my way to Vietnam,
before it was open to US citizens,
a friend and I traveled there on an odd plane.
Wish I had taken a picture.
I was told that it was the Soviet version of a DC-3
The interior was wooden
really,
wooden, with round port holes
like a ship's cabin.
It was a tail dragger.
This was 1991
not 1957.

We got on.
Weird, but looked OK

A man got on right after us.
He had a very large soft pack
which he crammed under his two seats.

My friend, a young mother
and the daughter of someone who served in Vietnam,
asked the young man
what was so important that he had to carry it on.

"Well, mam, It is my
parachute.
These things go down regularly."

Glad the ride was a bit under an hour!


A walk around the gardens

My thumb would be considered mossy.
Not green, not brown
This is the second dampest place we have ever lived.
Hong Kong was much warmer and damper.
What is growing in my yard helps me understand
how all those farms can grow crops
without the use of "brought in" water.

 Blue berries on the rise.
The other bush was not well secured and every blue berry was plucked last night!
 Wild Peppermint
 Year one of raspberries. That little creature? Friend or foe?
 First of the squash
 Chocolate mint! Yes!
 The tomatos are taking over- as they always do.
 My daily breakfast. Five to ten leaves a day keeps the doctor away.


 That downed tree a few months ago.  The jungle has taken over.

 I haven't decided about the vines on this tree.

 We took out half of this bush last week.
 The ants were using it as a ladder.  It seems the bush agreed.
 Volunteers.
Me thinks someone got them as a gift and stuck them in the ground before a frost.

 The roses were cut way back this winter.
Seems they liked it.
 Lavender was also cut way back- from underneath.
This plant was "dead" before the trimming.
New life!
 My tree man keeps the back of the property safe.
Third batch of dehydrating local strawberries. Sweetest bunch yet!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Adjusting to Not Saving

For the last thirty years we have been great savers.
Paid off cars and houses and kid educations
Saved like crazy for retirement.
Invested in the market.
Lived in cash.
Never got a debit card.

At 65 &58 we have to get out of the mode
that every extra penny should be saved
for us.

Neither of us want to travel much
except to see the kids,
and maybe Israel,
and Scotland.
We have the funds to do those,
if we choose.
We saw most of the world that interested us
in our younger years.
Great memories!


We have always used the
"you need about
$250,000 for end of life medical stuff".
We saved that years ago.
That is the base
although both of us agree on DNR
for tough calls.


Both of us want to be cremated.
Something small and peaceful for the family gathering
That eliminates the need for big bucks for funerals.
Whew.
A bit of savings done there.

We don't, really, have a charity that we are wild about
No need to scrimp for them
The salaries are out of control
anyway.

We don't want for much.
Actually, I cannot think of anything we are in need of.
Our pension/ SS stash pays all of our bills.
With some left over.

That leaves grandchildren education
and maybe helping with children's houses.
Hummmmmm

Memorial Day

It is good to put your life into perspective.


Three of our fiends are buried at Arlington.

 This was the father of one of my husband's closest friends.  He was an amazing influence on his entire family---and the men who rescued him and brought him to the US.
 Stephen was just fun. We spent many hours with him at "Advanced Course" with the Army playing RISK until all hours of the morning. The last time I saw him was on a metro platform while taking my class to Washington DC May before Sept 11. He was in the Pentagon when the planes hit.
Aaron was just a kid. He played soldier with my son on the compounds of Saudi Arabia that we lived on. He was attending the Citadel as a reservist when his company was called out.  He had the option to not go- since he was in his senior year- but chose to go anyway.  He was killed in a fire fight.

No  grave marker for my Great Uncle Evans.  His ship was shot out from under him in the Pacific. He had been directing gunfire from the deck and was one of the last to leave even though he was seriously injured in the firefight early on.

My father in law served on the Enola Gay.
Before the bird flew they were taken to meet the troops who
were about to invade Japan.
He said the estimates of casualties were well into the millions.
He never spoke of his service, until he knew it unclassified fifty years after the fact.
We found a few pictures of him.


No picture of my brother  in law's grave. Ron was in Vietnam as a door gunner for a medical helicopter. If you watch the movies, the door gunner had to decide when to leave a hot zone and who to leave behind. He never spoke of his experiences, but lived with them until he died ten years ago. We are pretty sure the weird cancer he passed away from was caused by Agent Orange.

On this Memorial Day we remember those who gave their lives in our service. Most of the men in my life, who were the most important to my shaping, served. One day of remembrance is simply not enough.


Saturday, May 07, 2016

Mother's Day


We are so blessed to have two wonderful young women
who are having and raising our grandchildren.
They should be celebrated until the cows come home.

My daughter just had her third child.
My hat is now, officially, off for those of you who have raised three (or more) children.
What a balancing act.
With the two of ours- there was always enough hands.
Add that third and you get
Woooo

Even with me there three days a week
life is sooooo fast paced.
She seems so calm and collected.
She just makes me smile.
Our oldest grandson fell off his bike
After the adults all laughed (in the other room) at how funny the slow motion crash looked
She went in and calmly consoled the hurts.
When I handed her the baby at 12:45 am and proclaimed my night was over because it was 2:45 am in my mind. She nodded (in her sleep) and took the squirming baby.
Last, but not least is her ability to work with Mr Non Stop!

My daughter in law is terrific with an entirely different way of handling things.
She has slowly given into the whims of my husband encouragements of Katie Perry and Frozen.
What a saint.
Our oldest granddaughter tumbles and critics better then any two year old on the earth.
OTOH our grandson is learning how to crawl.
Really, he just wants to race the dog to the couch.
Everyone is in stitches.

Life without these two women would be boring.
They bring joy to all
and they are some of the most thoughtful and loving mothers I have ever known.
Of course---they are ours.
Happy Mothers' Day ladies!


Sunday, May 01, 2016

Downsizing and sets of twelve

We downsized a great deal when we move.
At $1 a piece we made well over a thousand dollars
and wrote off many more thousands.
After twelve moves, it was time to say good bye to chipped glasses
stuffed animals,
clothing



You get the idea.
Lots and lots of stuff.
We moved. Our children each had two children.
And now they are uneven with three and two.
And the "two family" has plans for more.

Last night I woke in a cold sweat.
Our dining table can seat 12- but we only purchased 10 chairs.
Hey, it was thirty years ago.
Never in my mind did I think we would need twelve.
Mom told me to ask for a set of twelve of my china when we got married.
Ten was plenty I scoffed.
(That is OK since I don't really like my china anymore.)

The hunt for sets of twelve are on.
Maybe I had better make it fourteen, just in case!

So much for downsizing.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Gardening

The front yard is a mess
but that is not my interest
nor my choice for a money hole.

Instead the garden grows on the side of the house.
My husband built a raised garden for me.
My knees are not great these days.
We added twenty bags of dirt and the compost.
He built a cage around it.
It was planted last week. 
Tomatoes, peas, peppers, carrots, spinach.
Just before the rain came.
The peas got fried before the rain appeared.
We may have to reseed in a few weeks.
The pots took on the plants
that love to take space.

Last year the rabbits ate my raspberries and blueberries to the ground.
We caged them in February.
They seem to be making a come back.
Planted garlic in October.
Have no idea when to pick them.
That tall middle tree fell during one of our big winds last month
Now it is curing for next year.

Yes, Spring is finally here!