Friday, October 29, 2010

Lunch at The Institution

Today, my dad treated me to lunch at his retirement home (or The Institution, as he calls it). 

We sat at a table with two very fiesty residents. 

Mona is a retired nurse who worked at the Veterans Hospital for many years.  She loves feeding birds and has several specialized feeders strategically located outside of her apartment windows.  Mona also likes to watch professional sports on tv.  Baseball, basketball and football, in that order.  She's rooting for the Giants in the World Series, although she hates to see a shut-out.

Roy retired from a long career as an engineer and he traveled as a consultant for most of the dam projects built on our Pacific Northwest rivers.  He is a man of few words but every one of them today was a joke.  Every one. 

They celebrated Halloween at The Institution today.   They had a group of small children come in to Trick or Treat.  Four of the residents dressed up for lunch and I just had to snap their picture.  (I forgot to bring my camera and you'll instantly notice that I don't know how to take a decent picture with my camera phone.)

This woman looked positively elegant.  Love her cap!

Very brave to wear all those colors together - stunning!

This woman didn't have a costume on but her friends at the table told me she knitted that beautiful sweater herself! 
Isn't she sweet?

Here is my favorite... she was a crack up! 
I think it's the glasses that got me.  I just kept staring at her!

Mona, Roy and my dad didn't really want to have their pictures taken.  So I snuck them in behind this cutie. 
Do you think she is a flapper from the 20's?   

Then I had to hurry back to my table because someone was trying to take my seat.  Apparently you have to be very careful about getting down to the dining room early so that you don't end up with the 'wrong people' at your table. 

But honestly, everyone I met was charming.  Imagine all the life stories represented in that dining room!  I think it should be required that all of us spend time each week with someone over 80 years old.  It was good medicine for me!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Do you like lists?

I know that some people hate them.  Who wants glaring reminders of what they haven't done?  Who wants to feel overwhelmed by looking at all those things to do?

I, on the other hand, love lists.

Lists motivate me.  When I see something in writing, it makes me want to get it done.  There is something so satisfying about crossing something off a list. 


I did it! 


But here lately, my lists are becoming really long.  I've taken to typing them so that I can group things into categories and feel less overwhelmed than when I have to look at my scribbled handwriting.  (Don't mock me.  I have many issues and this is one of the minor ones.)

I have a work list and a personal list.  Some things on my personal list have been there for a really long time.

But I have to say, looking at those things every day helps me to keep them a priority - at least they can't be forgotten that way.

I even write down things like "Plant tulips" and "Look for gray pants." 

I have prayer lists, holiday lists, camping lists, paint color lists and shopping lists.

I have a list of every book I've read since 1991.  The only thing that bothers me about that is why I didn't start sooner.  I love to look back on what I've read and when. 

Don't you do that too?

I think someone named 'Craig' has even made some money with this idea.  Right?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Get An 'F'

There are rules in blog-land.  There is an expected code of conduct.  I'm not rude and I don't steal content.  But I am failing here lately at some of the very basics (gleaned from a Google search of successful blog tips). 
  1. Blog often.  Biggest area of failure.
  2. Write compelling headlines.  Oh dear. 
  3. Break news.  I'm sure I've never posted breaking news.
  4. Take polls and surveys.  Well, sometimes I've asked a question but no one answers.  I only take partial credit for this failure.
  5. Be interesting.   Easy for you to say, Ms. Blog Pro.  This area of improvement goes way beyond the keyboard. 
 I will try to do better.  I promise.

Thank you for putting up with me!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

These really are...

Here are some yummy looking fall recipes:


@Glorious Treats

@Centsational Girl

Sweet and Salty Brownies
@Bake at 350

And on a non-foody note...

@Chatting at the Sky

@Imparting Grace

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blessed Rotten

Today was quintessential October in Oregon... blue sky, cold air, trees ablaze with color.  We watched the Dribbling Dragons win on the soccer field, had lunch with my dad and shopped with our youngest who needed clothes for rugby practice (can you say scrum or crash tackle?).

So we came home this afternoon and on the front porch is a BIG box. 

What did I order?  Nothing.

Whose birthday is it?  No one's.

So for no apparent reason, except that she is so thoughtful and loving, a mystery friend sent me this big box full of gorgeous fall goodness:

Candles and mugs, glisten-y pumpkins and salt & peppers...

Pumpkin butter, pumpkin soup mix and a pumpkin candle...

Do you see PaulaDeen's grin?  You should smell the candle!

I won't mention any names but it starts with H*llie and she's from the desert in California and she knows how much I love fall and sent me a box full!  For no reason!!  How does someone who just had baby #3 not long ago find the time or energy to be so thoughtful? 

BTW, there are an awful lot of Girlfriends in PS who keep having babies and changing their family structure.  How am I supposed to keep up?  I have you frozen in time with your little ones at a certain age and you keep changing your family dynamics!  Actually, in my mind, most of you aren't married yet or are at least without kids and you're coming over to my house for incredible potluck dinners, bible study and great sharing.  I miss you!!

I am blessed rotten for sure!

And to top it off...

Look at these three who are spending the night tonight!
(sorry for the blurry picture)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Twelve hours later...

I work from home.  I love working from home.

I am actually doing much better at not coming to work in my pajamas!   Aren't you relieved?

But for a while now, I've known that I need more room. 

My office is located in my old bedroom in my parents' house. 

Close your eyes right now and picture yourself going to work in the bedroom you had growing up.  Go ahead - don't be afraid.  Mentally remove the rock 'n roll posters on the wall and the stuffed animals on your bed.  Now add some modern technology and an office chair... There you have it - my home office!

My dad made a built-in desk for me when I was in the third grade.  So when we moved into this house, it was the logical place to put an office.  Except that back in the day, when computers took up entire rooms, no one except Bill Gates ever imagined people would have computers in their homes.  So there was no such thing as a desk with places to thread cords, store computer towers or connect printers.  

Here is a grainy snapshot of my original little workspace:

Did you notice the authentic mid-century shelving?  Did you ever have that kind - with the metal brackets?  I used to put my statue horses on those shelves.

As you can see, I didn't have a lot of desktop space.  So we started looking for an L-shaped desk - but it had to be a really good price.  Craigslist had quite a few but they were either way too expensive or pretty icky.  I was hoping for a dark wood finish.  Then my husband (whose spiritual gift rare talent is finding good deals on great stuff) found a desk at one of the office stores where, when we applied a coupon and picked it up in the store, we spent less than $200.  Score!

However, if you don't like things like this:

then this kind of deal is not for you.  (I have to admit that I kind of like this sort of thing - I KNOW).  The instructions for assembling this desk are really most accurately described as a book.  But this book gave incredibly detailed and accurate steps which were very easy to follow.  It just took a long time! 

We persevered.  We handed each other things.  We bit our tongues so as not to bite each other.  We wore reading glasses so we were certain we didn't use part Q1 when we were supposed to use S7.  We took coffee breaks, lunch breaks, dinner breaks.  We helped each other up.  We watched a desk take shape from a box of rubble.

If you are a connoisseur of fine furniture, this desk is not for you.  Ethan Allen it is not.  But for me?  I just love it!  It's very sturdy, gives me all the room I need and I totally love how it looks.  We added a lateral file cabinet (another slash-reduced find of Jeff's) and I'm all set!

Stop by sometime and Have A Cup With Me!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Not really all about Fall

@House of Hepworths
I love that it's so simple.

@Right At Home
A-mazing! I used to have that oak entertainment center.

@Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
Candy corn and peanut butter?  What?

A great new blog I found...

A hilarious walk down hair-memory lane
@It's Almost Naptime

@Fly Through My Window
I made these for our beach trip - good!

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