Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Welcome, Oso!

Welcome our new "old" dog!

Name: Oso - Spanish for Bear
Age: 4 1/2 to 5
Other: house trained, plays well with children and other dogs, either a mixture of lab and retriever OR a flat coat retriever
His humans were going to take him to the pound because they were leaving Reno and couldn't take him with them. Our friend who has two dogs of her own, posted his picture on FB. I guess it was the right time because I showed the picture to Dean. :D
Unfortunately he has not been neutered so a week from tomorrow, he has surgery scheduled.

He is perfect and it feels good to have a dog back in the house. At the moment he has settled down a little and is lying on the living room rug knowing Dean is downstairs and I am on the window seat so half way in between. He is not sure about the stairs.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ode to an Older Mom

== My friend Elizabeth wrote in her blog about being the 50 year old mother of 8 year old twins. She wrote from the older mom’s perspective, not being sure about it all and what it means in the long run. That made me think about it from her daughters’ perspective because, like them, I was the daughter of an older mom. And I had No Idea!

My mother was slim, pretty, classy in the best sense of that word back in the 40s and 50s. She had a delightful imagination that met mine on equal footing allowing me opportunity to explore the world from my own back yard. She was elected Homeroom Mother over and over so the other kids liked her too. She was fun to play with. She read to me. We had a great time together. She was my mom and I had no sense of an age difference between her and the other mothers of my friends.

One of my first memories is of running, sobbing, so scared into the house because there was a wolf after me. Now mom had been looking out the kitchen window into the back yard and knew there was not so much as a dog or cat in the yard, much less a wolf. So when I had told her what was wrong she said, “Why don’t you invite him into lunch.” The tears stopped immediately. I turned to the door, opened it, bowed low and said, “Mr. Wolf, won’t you come into lunch?” I turned back to my mother and we both laughed like we had just put something over on the whole world.

When we were in the 5th grade, my friend’s mother was going to have another baby. I asked mom if she would ever have another baby. She laughed, hugged me and said no. I didn’t know why. It certainly never occurred to me that she was Older than my friend’s mother, enough older that pregnancy was no longer an option for her.

Mom also had cancer most of my life, having her first mastectomy when I was five. But I didn’t think of her as “sick” ~ because even with surgeries and chemo off and on, I would come home from school and instead of being in bed or in a chair, she would be in the back yard digging in her garden. I knew that meant all was well again. But as a child I had no idea how sick she was.

Children don’t know. Oh their own ages matter: you are either 5 1/2 or “almost 6” because you want to be older. But parents are parents ~ they are who they are and whether older or not as healthy as the parents of your friends doesn’t matter. You have no idea. All you know is you are loved, played with, disciplined and are happy. I had a Great mom whom I still love even as old as I am. :D

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Seasonal Political Rant

I think it may be time for my once-a-presidential-campaign political rant. So here goes - just once.

I am sick and tired of politicians who say they want smaller government which I would like too but want it to be big enough to invade my body and my bedroom.

As the mother of two grown daughters and step-mom to two more and the grandmother of five granddaughters and having grown up in the sexually scary ‘50s, I want abortion to stay legal. If people do not want their daughters to have abortions, then teach them abstinence, safe sex, whatever. But if for Whatever Reason a woman decides she wants or needs an abortion, it should be a legal and safe procedure for her have. Period.

If two people love each other enough to marry, they should be able to do so regardless of the gender of either party. Marriage is hard. Believe me, I know. I have been married to two Wonderful men. And it is still hard. If two people love each other enough to enter into that spiritual, frustrating, delightful and binding contract, they should be able to do so legally amid all the celebration and joy that brings. Period.

OK ~ that’s it. Political rant for this season. There is much more to say and rather than rant on, I will leave it at this. You get the points. If we are going to have smaller government, then let it be Smaller government and one way to do that is to stay out of my body and my bedroom. Thank you.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My 69th Birthday Day

I was incredibly self-indulgent today and took pictures of things I did on my 69th birthday. So here goes ~

I woke to a monochromatic day.

I dressed for the gym even though I was not sure if I could get there. Even on birthdays, the dishwasher needed to be emptied.

And then as always, that was followed by a cup of tea in front of Dean’s beautiful fire. I started immediately reading birthday greetings on FB.

Breakfast was a slice of my homemade banana bread.

It took some work on Dean’s part to get the street in front of the house clear enough for me to make it out to gym.

I made it though. And had a really good session considering I am still recovering from that cold.

The birthday greetings kept coming all day and I enjoyed everyone of them.

My new dvds were in the mail . I treated myself to a long Miss Marple mystery throughout the day

Dinner found us at a lovely restaurant we like.

Dean mentioned it was my birthday so my bread pudding came with a candle.

Happy Birthday, Susan!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lovely, lovely day

The first snowshoe of the season this morning! Do you realize how strange it is for me to write that sentence on the 22nd of January? And the fact is, we have just had our first snow of any depth and staying power.

Thanks to accuweather, we chose the perfect hour to go. The sun was peeking through the clouds, the temperature was closing in on its high for the day, and we had a lovely time. Wore three layers plus a shell more for wind protection than for temperature. Boots were stiff. We leave our snowshoes hanging outside the back door with the boots in them. So Simple that way! Just walk out, put them on and go. Except for the first time. Boots were stiff, feet and toes felt funny and squeezed in. Dean did fine. And as soon as I started to walk all was ok. There for a moment though I wondered.

The snow was from 4 inches on the deck to probably 9 up the hill. Dean didn’t have to blaze the trail although he did go ahead of me because I am just slower than he is and my legs are shorter. We wandered. That is one of the nice things about snowshoeing - you can go places you couldn’t go on a regular walk because the snow covers roots and logs and rocks. Even just 9 inches makes the going easier. And so we wandered through the woods, up to a high point with a spectacular lake vista. Sorry - no pictures. We both forgot cameras and our cameras could not have done justice to it anyway. So just imagine:

The lake stretches across your entire range of vision. There are pine trees to look through and around. The sky is grey ergo so is the lake. No white caps and you can tell it is roiling with the coming storm. Here and there the sun against a clear blue sky shows through the clouds, in dramatic and striking contrast. The mountains across the lake stand out against the grey sky and a couple of them are covered with the cloud of advancing snow. We breathe in clear, clean air. And as we descend the hill toward home, the aroma of the air changes a bit ~ it smells like snow ~ and as we close the door behind us and move into the warmth of the house, the snow starts to fall again. Perfect.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Interesting and Different Perspective

Lots of friends on FB complain when their weather is cold and damp, rainy, snowy and grey. That is Exactly what we have in Tahoe this morning and guess what? Dean is doing the snow dance and wandering around the house singing, “it’s snowing, it’s snowing” and chuckling to himself. There is great joy on the mountain this morning as a 24-hour hard rain turned to snow and shows signs of staying around for a while.

I have written before that we need the snow - our economy depends on it. “The Economy” becomes very personal when we think of our young friends who run the cross-country ski area. Unlike the big resorts, they don’t make snow. We were visiting with the owner of our favorite Mexican food restaurant the other day. He had done 50% less business on the Saturday of the MLK long weekend. The time between Christmas and New Years was down like that too. He will make it because he has lots of local support - we locals eat even when there is no snow. And ~ “the economy” is personal.

So today there is joy all around the lake. Let it stay grey and snowy for a while. That is good weather for us and we are grateful.

Friday, January 20, 2012

This, That and the Other Thing

~ A childhood friend called last night to tell me his mom had to be moved into a full care facility in the Plaza where she has lived for a while. She is now wheel-chair bound. She does like the nursing staff though and seems happy. She was on my mind So Much recently. Now I know why. She is one of very few people who remember my birth.

~ The pastries for breakfast were so much puffier and larger than usual. Allison told Dean it was because of the moisture in the air. No wonder Southern cooks are so good. I had no idea.

~ I told someone the other day about seeing something in a newspaper I read on line. Then I read that within the decade newspapers were going away. So what will we call them? What do we call them even now? They contain news certainly. And they are Not made of paper anymore. Hmmm? Good question.

~ Went on line to find a sweater I like - and had just bought in December - in another color. The store had many, many sweaters by this brand, and not this one. *sigh* All I wanted was this really nice sweater. Where did it go in the last month? I mean they didn’t even have it in Red anymore!!!

~ Close to the top of really satisfying is a good haircut. This time I had been sick and had not trimmed the edges and was definitely scraggy. Glad to be neat again.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Morning Meditation

Diana put the Charlie Brown and Snoopy picture on FB this morning: What if today, we were just grateful for everything. That’s what I need to do to lift my spirits. Be grateful for everything.

~ the new snow

~ a walk with Dean

~ tasty, crunchy toasted scones

~ a good night’s sleep

~ Kleenex

~ family

~ my home

~ a choice of clothes

~ a hip replacement so I can decide between gym and walking

~ candles

~ fresh air

~ sunshine

~ shoes that fit

~ friends

~ an early birthday card from Doris Ann

~ the delightful fact that I know Two Camerons with birthdays today

~ writing

~ intelligence

~ books I love

~ and on and on. Instead of griping about how sticky the rack in the toaster oven has become, be grateful for the oven and the surprise gift it was. Hmm ~ now that I have started it is hard to stop because all of life rises up in my mind and I think of all sorts of things ~ from the way I was raised, childhood, not just “my home” but all the little things in it that I enjoy looking at and that bring me delight ~ like my birds, the dancing women, the library, the rooms.

And so a current of power does run through me. The Power of Gratitude. The Blessing of Gratitude. For I am indeed blessed when I open myself to the realization of all for which I am grateful. And all that I love and hold dear. (And as I read again, I realize I have left out the thing that usually starts every list like this I have ever made: clean sheets, indoor plumbing and anesthetics. :D)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thank you, Marlo!

Professionalism wherever found is a wonderful thing. Yesterday I had occasion to call Apple Customer Service. I had created a book and placed the orders and had heard back from only 2 of the addresses. So I called to make sure the 3rd had gone through. The nice young man, Marlo by name, took care of my request quickly and easily and then (bless him) asked if there was anything else he might do for me. Well, there was. I needed to change my email with Apple which is also my Apple ID. Marlo took me through the whole process. Now you would think that after all these years with Apple I would understand my computer and the whole system better. But I don’t. I learn what I need for the moment’s project and then promptly forget it unless it is something that continues to be used over and over. So Marlo gently, clearly and with no sighing took me through the change of email. I even spoke to his supervisor afterwards because he had been so nice, not in the least condescending and very clear about what I was to do. I know people like me cannot be fun for the Apple consultants. I am sure they much prefer folks who know all the ends and outs and can follow them with leaps and bounds. I am not one of those and I appreciate the Marlos of this world who will walk as patiently with me as they run with the more technically inclined.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Reflections

~ even when there is no snow, we can take advantage of beautiful weather to take long lovely walks through the woods.

~ “amazing”, one of a number of banned words for 2012. Evidently the folks who write about these things find that the word has been used too much in too many ordinary ways and so have said no to it. I admit to being guilty. When I read that I realized how often I was using the word to describe things that aren’t really amazing at all. Just very interesting or a bit fascinating. However ~ there is one time when I will continue to say “amazing” because I believe it is a perfect description. When I stand at a point and look out over the lake, reflective of the clear blue sky above, pines standing watch around the rim while mountains tower over the distant shore, I shall continue to breathe deeply and whisper “amazing”. Because it is.

It is also awesome and spectacular.

~ if you are reasonable in your eating and keep up some kind of exercise, it is possible to lose a couple of pounds during the holidays. Yep - really is. And that even includes enjoying the homemade fudge that came our way.

~ Family is So Important and I have had a wonderful time, dare I even say amazing time, with mine this season. This year brought more visits with the SoCal side of the clan (Dean’s family) and with mine. I have relished in the delight of grandchildren from 5 months . . .

. . . to 21 years.

I have visited, played games, enjoyed observing and participating. One particular time was the afternoon 2nd Daughter and I just wandered the shops. I had a few things to buy and mostly we just wandered. And as we did, we talked . . . about all sorts of things. As she lives a bit of a gypsy life and I don’t see her often, it was good. We even sat in Starbucks, drank lattes and shared deeply. I am very grateful for the entire Mix/McKay clan and all they mean to me and to us.

~ Southern tradition: eat black-eyed peas for good luck on New Year’s Day ~ except this year I didn’t. oops. So I will continue to believe that energy follows intention and as it is my intention to have a really good year then I will.

All and all, 2012 is off to a good start with intention and energy following a joyous path into the unknown with the power of a good 2011 behind me.