Thursday, June 30, 2011

Salad Spinner

~ we bought a salad spinner at Costco the other day. I had recently used Michelle’s and said again how much I would like to have one. There it was at Costco - huge pile of them by Kitchen Aid. I picked it up and bought it. I Love it! I am So Glad I went with my desire on this one. My salads are crisper. They hold dressing better. Yum. I use the green bags to keep my veggies fresh longer and one stipulation is that the food you put in them be dry. So I don’t wash and crisp my lettuce ahead of time now. I break off what I need for the salad, wash it, and - ta-dah! spin it in my salad spinner. So much easier and nicer than a lot of towels. Some times it takes very little to make the Mama Susan happy. :D

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yosemite Waterfalls

Friends from Texas were going to be in Yosemite and the pass was opened on Saturday morning so Dean decided we could go down and see them and Yosemite. We left early Monday morning and drove to Yosemite, buying sandwiches at the deli just as you head into the pass.

We had come prepared to hike or even snowshoe but all we did was take pictures either from the car or stopping briefly and getting out next to a great view. Things were closed until we were on the west side of the park because of the heavy snows this last winter. We have pictures of amazing waterfalls and if I had money for every time I said “Oh Wow!” or “Spectacular!” in the 48 hours we were there, I would be a rich woman.

They have three types of waterfalls: major, minor and ephemeral. Major runs the year round. Minor drops way down once the snow has melted. Ephemeral disappears until the next snow melt. The one above is ephemeral.

We were soaked at the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls, raising our faces to see the top and laughing as the water splattered our glasses and ran roughshod over our feet. A delightful and unexpected surprise. Glad I had pulled on my hiking shoes instead of leaving on my good sandals.

We say falls so high they vaporized and disappeared before reaching the rocks below. We watched rivers run so fast and so powerfully that no one could fish in them.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers' Day, 2011

The handsome man with the gentle smile peeking out from behind my lovely mom is my dad. :D I was once asked what it was like to be raised by a giant. He wasn't a giant to me ~ he was Daddy. Although he did cut quite a swath through my life.

Memories: waiting on the steps of the house until he appeared off the bus at the corner. Then I would run down the street toward him. He would set down his brief case and swing me up on his shoulders for the ride back home.

Learning to ride a bike and his holding on until I started pedaling, letting go and catching me before any damage was done. I don't remember how long it took until I just kept going.

Going outside early one afternoon and being very frightened when the chows across the street were let out of their yard. They had just looked in my direction when a car pulled up between me and them and who stepped out but Daddy, home early from the office and with a ride at that.

hmmmm - maybe I was raised by a giant. :)

Oh the memories go on and on of course. His pride in me and later in my children. His words of wisdom. Speaking to him twice by phone one day and ending both conversations with "I love you" and then having my step-mom call about an hour later to say he had died. He taught the same Sunday School class for 51 years and died on a Saturday with Sunday's lesson waiting on the desk to be polished and given the following morning.

He died 20 years ago and I miss him as much today as ever. Good Fathers' Day memories. ~ with blessings to all fathers everywhere, in whatever form you take. You are a blessing to those you love and mentor.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Graduation, June 2011

This weekend was grandson Joshua's high school graduation. It was wonderful as such occasions are. Most of that Friday was spent in family preparations. We had to be there an hour early for a rehearsal. We knew Joshua was his Class Representative and as such would be giving the student speech. We didn't know, and neither did he, that he also would be announcing the color guard and leading the Pledge of Allegiance.

I love this picture. He looks so distinguished and "official". I can understand why the formality of caps and gowns. Every student looks the same, with no indication of rich or poor, A's or C's, honors or barely passing. They are all handsome and beautiful. They have grown up and are starting into the wider world even if it is the still protected one of college.
Giving his speech. One of his classmates gave him the ultimate compliment for one student to give another: his speech makes me want to go out and do something important.
A very proud family. I was present at his birth, at home with a midwife. The sonogram had told us it was Joshua who was coming. We had talked to him and about him for the previous months and suddenly he was with us in person. The Amazing Joshua I would call him and raise his little arms above his head as he lay on my lap. Today he stands taller than I do and I find I depend on him and of course that he is still the Amazing Joshua. :D May all his classmates have the same love and pride surrounding them with which we surround Joshua.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Reflections on Age and Aging

I’ve been thinking about aging. I know I am 68. I make no bones about it, do not try to hide it and declare it like a badge of honor. On the other hand, when about 4 years ago, the dental hygienist patted me and said “when we get to be your age . . .” Snippy child!

Listening to a report on some of the awful flooding that has taken place in the midwest this spring, I hear a woman say, “my mother is 70 and she lost everything and can’t start over at her age. What is she going to do?” I certainly don’t want to lose everything now and I don’t know what I would do if I had to start over “at my age” - at the same time I would like to hear one of my daughters say, “well, mom may be 70 and she will be just fine ~ she is tough and will make it.”

I have commented on the “old” age of people in the Agatha Christie mysteries I read. People who are old and dying or moving very, very slowly are all in their 60s - except for Miss Marple who is in her 70s but seems to be the exception to the rule.

The other side of that coin is my 86 year old cousin whose daughters took her to the beach for a week for her birthday - just the three of them - and they had a ball. Like being back in college my cousin said. I told my daughters they had 18 years to decide where they will take me. :) When I realized grand-daughter, Trinity, was in the class of 2023, I commented that I hoped my genetics held for the next 12 years and I would be around to see her graduate. Of course I will be! After all, in 12 years I will still have another 6 to wait before my daughters will take me somewhere to celebrate.

Age is so subjective. Of course there is some bodily stress. My knees don’t work as easily as they did in spite of the fact that my hip is not yet a year old. I don’t move with quite the ease I used to. Still, I thoroughly enjoy tai chi and can move energy with that form better than with any other I have tried.

The point of all this is that I don’t want people to judge me based on what they “think” 68 should be like, look like, act like. I want to be judged (if they have to judge at all) based on me, who I am, what I look like, act like. In the present moment with no reference to chronological age ~ because they will probably be wrong. ~ blessings

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kindergarten Graduation Reflections

Thank goodness there were no caps and gowns. They had worn them for a photography session and their pictures were on the side of their diplomas. I was so glad. Caps and gowns are for older folks.

They were dressed up a little. Several of the boys had on vests and ties. One had on a white pin striped suit ~ I don’t think I have ever seen a white pin stripe before. He was So Cute. All the little girls had on glitters or shimmery or just plain cute dresses. Trinity looked lovely in her long dress and new patent shoes.

They marched in to Pomp and Circumstance. That did make me sigh.

They sang several songs with movements. Delightful performance.

They were and are the Class of 2023. Wow. Here’s hoping my genetics hold and I will be around 12 years from now to see her graduate for real.

They swarmed like locusts over the cake and cookies.

When I arrived 30 minutes ahead of time, if Michelle had not reserved us seats, we would have had to stand or at least sit way at the back.

The rest of the day:

Give a 6 year old the option of where to eat lunch without giving three choices and don’t be surprised when the answer is MacDonalds! Ha! Oh, well, probably the first time in 25 or more years. It was ok.

Just don’t make the mistake of turning your box over and reading the nutrition facts.

Michelle and Akira joined us for lunch so we had everybody but Marc and Dean ~ both of whom would have balked at MacDonalds. And this was Trinity’s day and I asked her to choose and she did.

The wind was strong and biting so we stayed in during the afternoon. Joshua and Trinity played the piano; Joshua showed me all his stuff from Southern Oregon; we took Joshua to a party and then Trinity and I did jigsaw puzzles on the computer.

June 1st and I drove home in what I would call foggy snow ~ and then a real live snow storm ~ and then sunshine during the last 10 minutes. At home a light dusting of snow was still stuck to the trees and roof.

A cup of Dean’s good chicken soup made up for the indulgent lunch and brought the day to a nice close.