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 . . . . . . . . .