Thursday, June 28, 2012

Universal health care- or how no more family members will have to go broke getting the help they need.

I'm thrilled with the Supreme Court decision.
I am not niave though
It will change who and how health care is provided to the middle
Some for the good and some for the bad.
I am expecting Catholic and maybe Baptist health care to pretty well disappear.
It will not change how the wealthy are cared for.
They will continue to go to boutique health care facilities
And get whatever they want done.
This will be interesting.
Since I have lived on socialized medicine for thirty years,
I cannot see it being very different.
No more family going bankrupt or blind because they could not afford basic health.
What a relief!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lights are off

It is hotter here today than it is in my childhood town.
What is that about?
Fortunately, I learned many things when I was growing up.

1) Leave lights off. If you want them on- only use lamps near you.
2) Put your crock pot in the room of the house you rarely use.
    Do not use your oven during a heat wave.
3) Get a good oscillating fan and put it next to the air vent. Circulation is key!
4) Go into every room not being used and cover the vents with cardboard.
    This will force the air to cool other rooms first.
5) Close curtains on the side of the house that is getting the sun.
    Open them as the sun passes.
6) Walk at sunrise or dark.
7) Take a good nap in mid day if at all possible.
8) Eat lunch, not dinner, as your main meal.
9) Nice fruit ice pops & cool veggies  are a wonderful dinner meal.
10) Solar ovens are amazing. We used to use the sidewalk---but the oven is better.
11) Water your plants before the sun is up in the sky or after it is down.
       Be careful- if you squirt them mid day- they might get a sunburn!
12) Put out a bowl of water for the squirrels and birds.
13) SUNSCREEN!  (But do go out for 20 min every day and get your vit D)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The price of oil

What the heck?

Oil is down over $30.

Why is gas still $3.47?

It didn't have any problem going up when oil went up a dollar or two.

Hello, Mr President. where is the justice department?

I know that the AG is under the gun-
But thousands of other people work in that department.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Funerals for the young

Sometimes you look at a picture and think, "no family could get along like that."
Not true
Some families actually do get along and exude joy.

Half the town attended.
Father shared a First Communion thank you from the youngest.
A Powerpoint including the "King and Queen" of the house- how many eight year olds call their parents those names with great affection in their voices.
Long forgotten music waifs through the air.
A family who presented a Godly image through their daily life.
It was tough.

I will miss those boys' smiles. I was so looking forward to their contribution to the community.
Heaven is blessed to have the Bramledge family home to stay.
Rest well in the Lord. You are an example to me to get going again in life.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Eleven days

From Father's Day until the 27th- celebrations are hopping around here.
My dad with his Mother

The boys
Of course my husband is delighted that the kids remembered Father's Day. Between clamps for wood and movies- he is well entertained. He will stop during the day to call our son in law and wish him a good day as well. A younger, well loved dad, he brings excitement to our lives.

My mother always teases that June 21st babies always get their way. Why shouldn't they- they had plenty of daylight to make their arrival.  Hubby does not like to celebrate birthdays. This one is different because he qualifies for Social Security (which he has decided to put off for a bit longer).
My father would have been 85.
Does a girl ever get over the loss of her dad?

Last, but not least, we are hitting the big thirty on the 27th. I can hardly believe it! My mother and I chatted about long marriages yesterday. We have both been sad to see several family and friends break up around year twenty. She and I agree that something really changes around year twenty five. A different type of love emerges. It is a good thing.

The Lord has blessed us in so many ways. We are so fortunate to be living in His light. The end of June always gives me pause to remember how very loved we are.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Do moving shoes settle in retirement?

Bob, over at Satisfying Retirement, wrote about moving with his family today. He said it matured him and gave him a sense of cultural diversity in this great nation.

Unlike Bob, I grew up in the same house for 18 years. It was a Phoenix house in which we spent more time outside than in. Memories include kick the can and orange trees. I often road my bike to school five miles away. I attended classes with the same people from Kindergarten through high school. My Nana lived in Willow neighborhood, which is still my favorite part of town. My father's parents lived in the Manor, which seemed musty to me.

My father had grown up motherless. He attended boarding schools and never had a home until he married. I think that is why there was an unsaid insistence on stability.  Somehow I never got that word.

I went to three universities and lived in eight different places in college. Those were not great choices, but the degree at the end was worth it. My first job lasted 18 months in Mesa before I headed overseas for adventure.

Wuerzburg Germany was my first stop. I was engaged to an international banker and traveled like there was no tomorrow.  When I met my husband- the other engagement stopped, but the travel did not. I was living in a tiny apartment when we met. After we married we moved into an amazing place that we could host many parties in. Days of walking through vineyards to the local guesthouse for dinner were wonderful. We saw seven countries the year before we left and enjoyed both parts of Germany. 

 We had our two children while we were in Washington DC. In three years my husband worked and I spent every minute in the Smithsonian. My friends were an international group of ladies- mostly British(or former British) subjects.  Now that I think about it I had no American friends the entire time I was there. Talk was of nappies and waders. We went to the Easter Egg roll, and inaugural events. We lived in only one apartment there. The tenants upstairs called us one night when our wheels were being stolen off our car.

Indianapolis, what a beautiful house! Neighborhood, lawn, room for everyone. Unfortunately, no one had bothered to tell us that HUD had moved the entire downtown core of "projects" to the area. Fortunately, we had a very large dog. I never walked the block and rarely left the house. Still, that was a time to invite lots of our friends over and play games until all hours of the night. Since all of our friends were military, we did not worry about their safety---they learned to "pack" correctly.

We lived in two houses in Kansas. The best days were those days.  Simple, eat, sleep, preschool, sprinklers in the lawn, long walks, boat rides. Ah Kansas. It is much like Bavaria- which is why this is the only place to get a return visit. A breath of fresh air.

Monterey California, now there is a spot. Some of the best schools and worst ones.  We lived in one part of the county and paid a soldier for their address so our kids could go to a school NOT surrounded by barbed wire.  I'd pick the younger up from Preschool and the older from Kindergarten and we would eat lunch daily at the Bay Museum. That experience set my daughter on her life mission to live by the water.

Hong Kong. What can one say? We lived the city as much as possible, but lived in an apartment 20 stories up from a grave yard. Our trips were fantastic- China, Thailand, Vietnam (before it was reopened to Americans) and Japan. Still the apartment embedded memories never to forget. We kept a huge flag that we would put over our balcony when the fleet came to town. We learned the joys of having an ahma living with us. I can still smell the Buddist temple on the way to school and the wind whipping by on the top level of a double decker bus. It was a British colony, and those buses proved it.

Moving to Hawaii was a lifelong dream. My family visited Hawaii pretty often when we were young. I loved it. Our house was single ply (no interior dry wall) and our bath was in the garage My husband could walk to the  University- we loved it. Although those were wonderful days of surf and whales, I still sting over how my children were treated. I learned a great deal about prejudice those years and vowed to take my lessons with me to the classroom. I still love Hawaii....

And then....after my husband trained in Chinese for four long and expensive years...we were assigned to Saudi Arabia. We lived in two different houses while there. I learned to wear an abaya and cover my hair. The people were delightful- those we were allowed to get to know. The community was military and all that goes with it. We traveled ALOT. The kids saw many parts of Europe and the Middle East. The experience was much like when I was growing up, skate hockey on the tennis courts, army men in the fields, swimming lessons. A bit of America (that really didn't exist in many places the military lived), until we were bombed and headed home.

We moved to Flagstaff. We had built the home while we were in Hong Kong, anticipating military retirement. The arrival plopped us right in the middle of a family fight. Welcome home! We chose Flagstaff so we could see the family often. Instead, the next seven years, we saw almost less of the family than we had the sixteen years before. Still, we loved our area. The kids went to the school I taught in (keeping them close was important after Saudi). They went to the high school that my husband coached at. We dove into the Navajo culture and our community. It was....wonderful. Our house was amazing- log, woods, water - what else could one ask for? Well, work would be nice. After our son left for West Point we headed out to find real employment.

That landed us here- in the land of Oz. We lived in a house in another town when we arrived, but found my husband's dream home soon after. And so we are here. The prairie is unparalleled in beauty. We live in our own created bowl. We marked eight years last month. Wow!

We anticipate at least one more move. If we can swing it, we will keep this place as well, until we are too feeble to travel. It seems the East Coast will be our resting place. Our children will settle back there for jobs and travel here for the land.
The interesting part is that we will probably end where my father's life began.
After 21 houses since high school,  THAT is full circle!

How about you? Have you lived in more than one place or stayed centered? Have your moved enhanced or detuered from what you would dream of as a satisfying retirement? I'd love to read about it on your blog!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

5:30 am, 80 degrees and muggy

Yes! Summer has arrived.

This is the time of year that all of the animals that play in our yard anticipate my every move.
Not because they are going to run away.
The wait is for the watering of the trees.

This year the trick will be
how to eat at least one apple
before the opossums harvest!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sightings in the heat

Turtle moving so fast I almost didn't get a picture

First chicks of the year

Seven chicks guarded by two hens and a tom.
It was a good day for critters. The heat was up, but I had watered early. Several of our regulars stopped by for some corn and a cool place to crash. When they go across our road, they move quickly. Black asphalt probably feels as good on their feet as it does on mine!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Sitting back and taking it in

Today a family in our small community was killed in a plane crash.
This was not an ordinary family.
They were involved in just about everything.
They owned businesses, worked on the school board, had their grandparent's name on the library and athletic field. Their children were fine students- just enough pepper to make them fun- just enough discipline to help them not step over the line. They were in sports and played in the band.
And now
All six are gone.
Young family
So much ahead of them.
Makes me stop, sit back and
and take it all in.
May all of the souls of the faithfully departed, rest in peace.

Monday, June 04, 2012

No place like home

Apple tree- two more months for apples

Pears- about a month

A few weeks before a boy will be here to play on the playground

Blueberries are ready daily.
It is good to be home. Watering, cleaning, dusting (cough, cough), sorting.  Now that I have more of an idea of what the "kids" want I am heading to the barn to get rid of more stuff!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Whew- what a week!

 "Nana- I don't WANT to get a picture here! I want to build the airplane on the computer over there!"
 Helicopter built after Air and Space. I was not allowed to touch because I do it all wrong!
Back porch at the possible new house for my kids.

View from the end of the block (one house down)

It was a week to remember. S and I went house hunting with our son a bit more than a year ago. He, basically, looked at the same house over and over.
My daughter and her husband looked at about 400 houses over the internet.
Narrowed the search to about twenty.
Saw ten.
And put a bid on this one.
A bedroom community that feels like small town USA.
T- ball fields, community beach and just air to breathe.
My fingers are crossed!
I am glad to be home.
Beginning to look at my own house in a different way.
Time to paint and settle in.
It has only taken seven years to feel like we will keep this one for a while!
Having the kids almost settled makes all of the difference to me.