Monday, November 7, 2011


Too Much Information!!

I realized a while ago that I have an iPod, iPhone, iPad2, Macbook laptop and a Dell PC.
I can read a book, play a game, send an email, check my facebook page, download an App for Anderson, pay my bills, etc. . . . . . but I can't figure out how to download music.

Yesterday I watched every single episode of a sit com called Last Man Standing staring Tim Allen and Nancy Travis. What a waste of an afternoon, but I did laugh out loud a couple of times, so maybe it was worth it. I watched on my Macbook Laptop.

I long for a simpler time. I have been watching all the obituaries of Andy Rooney. He had quite the life. Leave your beloved job and three weeks later just drift off after surgery.

Things are moving too fast for me. I mailed a birthday card. I went to the store and picked out what I thought was the perfect card, I hand wrote (even though with my health problems writing has become a huge problem) I addressed it and put a stamp on it and then Anderson and I drove to the post office because it had to arrive on the special person's birthday. I felt so good after doing that. I did wish her Happy Birthday on facebook but it was not nearly as satisfying as the card!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Mother-In-Law

I love my mother-in-law! I know a lot of people who can't say that and trust me I'm one of them.

I have been married twice ~ hence two MILs. At 18 I made some poor choices and ended up getting married to someone who, perhaps was not my best match. Steven and I started 'dating' at 16. The year was 1964 the month was May. Soon after his mother left his abusive father and I was caught up in the drama of the situation.

I loved Pat Johnson-Green-D'Assisi-Jenkins from the first moment I met her. She was funny, smart, vulnerable, and truly a product of her generation. She was born in 1926. Her mother died on Easter, the year she was nine. Her grand-father adopted her because her parents were divorced and her bio-dad didn't want her. So her grand-father became her father and her uncle her brother.

After she left Steven's father, Lori, (real name Larry but her son was also Larry so she called her husband Lori) she eventually met a very sweet man, Arch Jenkins, and they married in November 1965.

Steven and I married the following November. That is another blog altogether.

Steven and I had a daughter, Valera, so Pat and I stayed in touch, kind of. She and Arch had retired to Hawaii for about 10 years and my ex and I had remarried and were busy with our own families.

In the 90s Pat and Arch returned to the mainland, first to the Seattle area to be closer to her other son, Larry. That didn't work out and they moved back to Spokane where they were both from, Pat born there and Arch moved there after WWII.

I was in Spokane for the funeral of my brother-in-law who died at 53. My presents husbands family did not like me and at one point were so mean I called my other MIL and she was so nice and had my family and me over and treated my husband and children like they were their own.

A decade long love affair followed. Arch, a true sport's fan, followed Anne-Elissa's track career from high school to college. He was finally able to see her run at a college track meet in Spokane. Unfortunately he was suffering from Alzheimer's by then and kept calling her future husband, Chris, Charlie.

In 2000 we had to place Arch in a care home. It was summer and I was able to take two weeks to help with the transition. He died in March 2001. The same day my bio-dad died in 1973. Is anything random?

Pat was able to live alone in her beloved condo until the age of 85 when she started to fall and not be able to get up. Most her family was dead (my ex died before 60 of lung cancer, he was the Spokane brother) and all her friends were also aging. So her son decided to move her to an assisted living home near his condo in Redmond, WA. Only problem is, as I see it, he and his new girlfriend live in AZ from November to April.

Al and I went to visit this summer. She is well cared for but not happy. I am so sad that I don't see her more often. I want to start sending her cards and photos because she is not connected, having no computer, cell phone, not to mention i anything.

Thank-you, Sandi for the lovely post about family. Pat is the only person in my life of the generation. Next up ~ US!!

I think a lot about being the next generation to 'go'.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

4:53 AM Sunday Morning

One may ask ~ why are you awake at 4:53 AM on a Sunday morning. I am not an early raiser. I did not got to bed at 9:00 PM. I have insomnia. You just wake up for no reason and can not go back to sleep. My family, at least my siblings suffer from it. I think a lot of us older folks do. Now I'm sounding like Andy Rooney.

My outside cats were up and ready for food about 4:00AM so we had a nice visit. Everything is so peaceful at that hour. Just me and my cats. I love them, all of them. They are so different. There is Dexter, he showed up a couple of years ago. His owner walked by one day and told my son that her son and his family had moved in with them and the cat didn't like the kids and left. She even offered to buy food because we were feeding him. Then a little gray cat came, she really looked neglected and I fell in love. Then a smokey gray, had to be a family pet, showed up. So every morning I wake up to three cats and I love it.

I also have my indoor Kitty. She was rescued from the engine of a car my son was working on. That was four years ago and she was just a bitty kitty probably 4 to 6 weeks old. We love her but she has a peeing problem. If she is upset about anything she will let us know by peeing on our clothes or anything else left on the ground, towels are a special treat. My thought is if it is not where she can reach it then she won't pee on it. ie: hung up or in a drawer. Maybe the men in my life will get a clue.

I just want to sleep! I feel your pain, Michael Jackson. Or maybe I should just embrace the wee small hours of the morning.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Shrek The Musical

This is going to be short because I have learned that if you do not post regularly you forget things. Like how to post or even comment on other posts. Some will let me comment with no problem, others keep asking for more and more information then the comment never shows. I'm sure it is user's error.
At times I feel overly connected with my desktop PC, my laptop and now my iPad2 (Talk about a learning curve.) I need to just pick one and blog. Even though there are just two of you reading it.
Last Sunday Anne-Elissa and I saw Shrek The Musical. Both of us went in with no expectations after all it was ~ Shrek, some ogre from a kids cartoon. I did, however, borrow the movie so I would have some idea of the storyline. I liked it and Nathaniel and I could not figure out how some of the scenes would translate from the cartoon to the stage. But it worked and worked beautifully. One of those performances that just make you smile and come out humming the soundtrack. So far the only plays we would not like to see again are Wicked and Phantom of the Opera (We both would like to see it in Vegas.) The next time Billy Elliot is in town I'm buying tickets to every show. Not really but I will see it again.
OK, time to try and post this. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

An iPad

From the moment Steve Jobs marched his happy ass on stage with his new, "change the world" iPad, I wanted one. Everything about it screamed my name. Think of all the things I could do ~ read books, play games, watch movies, check email, get the weather and the list goes on and on. Not to mention what a great teaching tool it would be for Anderson. It was also big enough to see as my iPhone seems to be getting smaller and smaller the older I get.

Well, tonight my daughter called me from work (she works the late shift on Thursday, even bosses sometimes get the shitty shifts) and said her husband and son were over with a gift because I have been watching Anderson extra hours lately. Something I really don't mind at all. My son-in-law was lucky enough to get to attend the Ducks opening game against LSU and spend a few days in Texas enjoying some kick ass BBQ, Texas style. Friday night is one of their good friends 30th birthday and they are going out to dinner and later a private Karaoke bar. What fun for them.

I'm having some problems setting it up. I'm sure either my son or Son-in-law will help with the process. I just keep looking at it and smiling. Thinking of all the possibilities . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Birthday!

Another year older and none the wiser. Birthdays are different after a certain age. I mean I'm really glad I'm still having them, don't get me wrong. I'm grateful for every day I have on this earth and in full control of my faculties. I mean no one ever says, " I'm 59 and a half." Remember how important those halves were when we were 10 and under?
My best friend and I have the same birthday, August 28th. Not the same year, she is three years older. Another thing that was way more important in our youth. She turned 16 before I did and could drive, she turned 21 before I did and could drink (not all it's cracked up to be, but at 21 . . . .), she graduated before I did and could "start her life as an adult three years before me'.
Now I feel kind of lucky to be three years younger. There are some aspects of aging that are not so much fun and she got to experience them three years before I did. I have always be glad she did it first so she could warn me about life's perils.
Sadly her birthday was not as happy as mine was. She did spend it with a friend eating at Subway. I have always said, "It's not the food it's the company." At least she was not alone. She has three children. Long story for another time.
My lovely daughter, Anne-Elissa, took me out to a turkey dinner at Huber's. If you have not been I highly recommend it. The food was delicious and we even had room for desert, she had pumpkin pie and it was one of the best I have ever had. I had my favorite, creme brulee with a candle in it. I do not like people to sing to me and I hate your funny 'birthday hats'. This was so understated, I loved it.
Then on to Mama Mia! It was so much fun. I had no idea I loved Abba so much. I smiled so much my face hurt. I was on my iPhone facebook and noticed a post from one of Anne-Elissa's friends from her Fircrest days, Holly, she and her husband and four year old daughter, Addison, were at the performance also. We saw them during intermission, they were a few rows behind us. I got a big birthday kiss and hug from Addy.
After the show we all met outside the Keller and took photos in front of the poster. Holly, Rick and Addy looked great in theirs ~ I looked pregnant so decided not to post mine. After we parted ways and Holly and family walked down past Keller to their car as they did a door opened and the cast walked out onto the sidewalk. Addy loves, loves Mama Mia so she was thrilled to have a private audience with them and they were so nice, posing for photos and giving 'high fives'.
I am so lucky to have a daughter who makes my birthday so special. Last year it was The Summer Love Tour with Garrison Keillor at the zoo. She make the best memories.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Vacation

Tomorrow we leave for four days. We are going to the Bremerton / Seattle area to see family. Yes, maybe a 'real' vacation would be better, but not right now. Money is tight and we love, love, love our family. (Well, my family and my daughter's in-laws)
First stop "Camp Carter". Three years ago when my son-in-law, Christopher, turned 30 he had a birthday party at his parents house on the beach in the small town of Tracytown, just outside of Bremerton. The location is lovely right on the water and plenty of property for camping.
It is always hard when two people with many friends marry because you then 'marry' all the friends. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Chris, who didn't have a ton of friends when he and Anne-Elissa married found a couple of years later he had many, many firends.
Invitations were sent out and the turn out was great! The weather was wonerful and everyone had a great time. We were not invited.
The next year the weather was awful, it rained and was cool most of the time. No one had much fun. We were not invited.
Fast forward to the third Camp Carter. Sometime during the last year the two sets of in-laws got together and Chris's mother, Nancy, said, " Camp Carter is so much fun, you should come. It's a great bunch of kids." We were invited!! So I made hotel reservations, because I don't camp ~ ever and because Al still works for Hilton we get great rates.
That will be Friday and Saturday. Then Sunday will be with my (What's left of it) family. Then Monday we will see my mother-in-law from my first marriage, I have know her since is I was 16. I love her and so does my present husband. She is 85 and we are going to spend the day with her and take her to dinner. You never know . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Go The F**k To Sleep!

Today Anne-Elissa and I went to a baby shower. It was for one of her many friends, Jamie, who is expecting a baby girl, Haley, at the end of the month.
Anne-Elissa and Andrea were the hostesses. Anne-Elissa had the idea that it would be a "book shower" where everyone brings a book with an inscription to baby Haley. Other gifts were also given but the books were the stars of the show especially one called Go The F**k To Sleep. It is written by the authour of other children's books and after the birth of his daughter he wrote this book, which all of us who have ever tried to put a baby/child to sleep can relate.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Thanks to my good friend, Deb, I think I have a little more knowledge about this blog thing. I changed a color and a font. I know it doesn't sound like much, but for me ~ HUGE!

I have both a Mac and a PC. It is like learning a second language. (Something I know a little about!) This is the first time I'm posting using the PC. I have to say I am much more comfortable with this keyboard.

This morning I was awake at 2, 4 & then 6 AM when I was awakened by something falling. (my grand-daughter had knocked over some wooden TV trays while sleeping on the couch) Well, I could not go back to sleep so I decided to do a little blog exploring. Oh, My Gosh!! There are so many. When I next looked at the clock it was after 10 AM.

Here is what I found by using the "next blog" feature: The blogs come grouped as to similar topics. There are many foreign language blogs. The appearance of the blog matters, if I can't easily read it, I won't. There are a tons of "family blogs". If I don't know you or have some connection to you. I really don't want to hear about you children or see 100s of photos of them. On the other hand if I know you I can't get enough. I'm sure these people are blogging to friends and family. On a side note I do stop and read about the preemies. But I don't book mark them for later. I found that I did not like the all photo blogs. Most of them were just not that good.

What I found that I did like: The older women blogs. I think now that I am an older woman and retired I can really relate. I find them funny, touching and I can totally relate. I laugh and cry as I read them. I like when the blogs I follow post. I find myself anxious for the next post and disappointed when it is weeks. When I do the "next blog" thing if the posts are not current I skip them.

I will promise to try and post more often. Even if I only have two followers.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Retirement and How it Happened~ Part Two: Anderson Henry Carter

I have to be careful here as I have very competitive children, well I have two very competitive children. That's two out of four.

The truth of the matter is the reason for my retirement was Anderson, Anne-Elissa's son. On June 25th 2008 my son, Jonathan and his lovely wife Ronna, gave me after 11 years my fourth grandchild, Faith Elizabeth. ( side note: my two daughters are 11 years apart. A post for another day)

Since it was summer and I was not at school I could, when Ronna had to return to work after one month, watch Faith. I loved those magical weeks at the end of July and all of August. I would watch Faith and then when I left for the hotel in the afternoon Al would take over until Ronna got home.

When September rolled around and I had to return to school Al stepped up to the plate and watched Faith. Forming a bond that will not ever be broken. We also had a three of the older grandchildren with us. ( Another post for later :-)

Fast forward to April 8th, 2009, nine months after Faith's birth. Enter, and not easily, Anderson Henry Carter, Anne-Elissa and Christopher's son. Now his due date was March 29 and both grandmother's are in education, Nancy teaches special Ed in Bremerton (and by the way is a saint). We had it all planned out the baby (we did not know the sex because Anne-Elissa said, "There are so few suprizes in life." would be born at the beginning of Spring Break and we would have a whole week before school started. Best laid plans . . . . . He came the week we went back to school. Damn.

June came and I was out of school and Anne-Elissa was on maternity leave. We had a ball, shopping, watching TV, playing with Anderson ~ then came August and leave was over. I kept him until I had to head back to school.

Anne-Elissa had a friend's mother to watch him the three days a week she needed. I picked him up every Wednesday after my staff meeting at school.

I couldn't wait for summer to come in 2010. I had Anderson, no more day care. Al would still watch him when I left for the hotel and let me tell you some days I couldn't wait for some adults in my life.

On August 28th, 2010 I turned 62. No big deal. A birthday is a birthday. I didn't think much about it. I was going to work both jobs until I was 65.

Late in August Anne-Elissa said, "Do you want to check out this day care with me? We can go after scheduled diaper changing and snack time." Ahhh, NO!

I was 62 and could take early Social Security, after all I had paid into it for the last 30+ years. I had a good retirement plan with the school district (plan 1) and I was eligible for retirement.

The decision was made and I retired from education at the end of August.

The hotel was another story. I assumed that Al would be willing to watch Anderson Wednesday, Thursday and Friday when I left. I had to take him to Courtney (Anne-Elissa's BFF since Kindergarten) on Tuesday because Al worked.

It was getting harder and harder to get ready and take a sleepy baby to the sitters on Tuesday. We all did it until November when Al said, " You signed up for this, not me" How right he was. What could I argue with. I had never really asked him, but just assumed.

And so I turned in my resignation to the GM of the hotel and December 3rd was my last day.

It has been a year. A year I would not have changed for anything. I am not standing by the side of the road with a sign saying "Will Teach for Food" Which I was, frankly afraid of. All the bills are paid and we can go out to eat and take a vacation. Anne-Elissa and Chris do pay most of my medical insurance but then I did change my life to care for their child I don't feel too guilty. Every day they tell me how thankful they are and the bonuses are great!

So that's it the story of one grandmother's early retirement.

And just for the record ~ I love every one of my grandchildren the same. They are six very different amazing people. Each worth a blog of there own. That being said, some day I may let my children know about this blog :-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Really, Really!!

I just spent over an hour on a post and it's gone! I need to step away from the computer for a while.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Retirement and How it Happened~ Part One: Two Jobs.

First of all I had no intention of retiring from either of my full time jobs. For the last 21 years I had worked in education as an ELL (English Language Learner ) instructor at an elementary school. I had been doing this since 1989.

In August of 2000 I decided to get a "summer job". One of my daughter's friend's husband work at a luxury hotel by the Portland airport and said it was summer and most of the front desk had quit. Why not apply there. Now keep in mind the only experience I had in this field was I had stayed in a hotel. So I applied for the job. What did I have to lose?

I then left for Spokane to help my former Mother-In-Law place her husband, who had advanced Alzheimer's, in a care facility. A very long two weeks. While I was standing in the lobby of the first "home" I got a call on my rather new cell phone from the hotel. Could I come in for an interview? Keep in mind it had been years since I went on a job interview and with no experience in the field.

The hotel was impressed, guess the fact that I could string an English sentence together, add 2 and 2 without using my fingers, had way more than a 10th grade education, not to mention a level of maturity they didn't see very often. I was offered the job. I loved it! It was everything education wasn't. It was corporate America!

When summer was over I thought I'd be quitting but they were very flexible and I decided to stay. So for the next 10 years I ran from one job to another four days a week.

To be continued . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Here's The Problem

I'm not proficient at this yet and it is frustrating me. I can't get where I want to be easily. I want to change a color or a font and can't remember how. Damn, I should have taken better notes when I set this up. I want to post something and it is in the draft folder when I know I have pressed the PUBLISH POST like a 100 times. I have been, so far, able to get it from there to here, or maybe that's how it works.

I had an excellent teacher. I just didn't know what questions to ask. I do now and can't wait for August 8th to get here. Deb, (notice I didn't call you Debbie) Thank you for your patience with me.

Sandi, Thank-you for your positive comments. I think you may be what's keeping me coming back right now. I'd love to be able to call / email for additionial help. Don't have either phone or email.

Does it seem strange to be blogging about starting a blog? Maybe, but I would read it. I have got to start somewhere. Wait ~ I choose to start now!

This is really time consuming.

I find that the whole blog thing is taking more time than I feel I have to devote to it right now.

I also have some health issues I have got to figure out. Just typing this much is making my right arm ache.

To say nothing of dealing with a two year old. After the news story about the day care that locked a 15 month old outside alone for over an hour I sure don't feel bad about my decision to retire and take care of him. His "time outs", by the way, are two minutes alone in his bedroom.

So for now I'll just kind of lay low and enjoy the weather.

There is just so much going on in my life right now. I wouldn't know where to begin.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A new post ?

I seem to be having trouble posting.
I have a 25 year old grandson because I had a child at 18 and that child had a child at 18. We didn't have our second child until she was in her late 20s and I 30. Lessons learned.
I have 6 grand children: Anthony, 25, Alexis 17, Amelia, 14 ( Valera) ~ Faith Elizabeth, 3 Khloe, 10 months ( Jonathan) Anderson, 2 ( Anne-Elissa)

Friday, July 22, 2011

This is my sister's 61st birthday and I forgot until I looked at Weather Bug today and saw the date. She is the most amazing person ever. Over coming many things. She is in many ways my hero. I love her and can't believe I forgot her birthday, is also my grandson's birthday. He was the very first. Tomorrow we will celebrate his 25th birthday with most of the family. A big milestone!
I'm so tired after an entire day of 2 year old Anderson. I love him so much but 2 is really hard.