02 September 2017

Photo Catch Up

Because she insists, 8th day shall have pictures!

Warning: they aren't very good.  You could look online and get better images, but here's what I took with my device (aka: cellphone).


 Cruise ship dock.  Yes, we were on that monstrosity!

One of the many totems in the town.

Creek Street.  Those were once whorehouses.  The women sex workers (I think that's the term we use now) actually made all of these towns civilized.  They kept the populations from starving and they started schools for their inevitable children.  All hail the women!

I know it looks like a log, but that's the otter we saw chasing a school of salmon up the creek.  He (?) had rolled onto his back, his arms are sticking out sideways, his finny feet towards us.  Use your imagination, people!

Tracy Arm Fjord:

Ice chunks in the water as we sailed up the Tracy Arm.  That lower one is bigger than a car.  The small chunks were everywhere, with larger ones floating randomly.  The slurry of smaller chunks made me feel as if we were a garnish floating in a giant cocktail.

See that rectangular dot in the water, in front of the glacier? That's a small tour boat - small only compared to a cruise ship.  It holds over 100 people (maybe 40 or 50 feet long? Not small.) It's still a safe distance away from the glacier and it is but a speck in the sea.  The glacier is huge.  Shrinking at an alarming rate, but still such a mind boggling amount of ice.

I like this picture because it shows the ship's wake as we turned around in the cul de sac.  Lol.  


View of the cruise ship dock from on high.  If it looks like we were straight up, we were.

Mendenhall Glacier, from the park viewpoint.  I wish I could have captured the colors in the ice.  The blues...  astounding, amazing colors.

Sockeye salmon.  This species is easier to photograph because of their color.  The silvery species... not with a cell phone.  Not for me, anyway!

Two of the same view, from the aerial tram above Juneau.  The changing light... I, wordy woman that I am, I am out of words to describe the beauty.

More later.  This is long enough!

31 August 2017

Home Alone, Part Two

Juneau, state capitol of Alaska.  It’s a very small ‘city’.  Really more of a town, to be honest.  There are a few larger buildings, multistory office buildings and governmental offices, but most of the town is quite small.  It’s perched on the edge of the water and the water is the main highway.  Like most of the Alaskan coast, the mountains tower over everything providing a lush, steep, dark green backdrop. 

On the evening before arriving at Juneau, we had been on our way to the ship theater when KA caught the toe of her shoe on a raised threshold.  She fell, hard, on her left knee.   Thankfully, nothing was broken (yes, they have x-ray on cruise ships!) but it was badly injured.  Her knee swelled up to the size of a cantaloupe.  The crew member at the theater called for a wheelchair and we got her up and into the chair and headed to the infirmary.  The nurses looked at me and said, ‘What are you doing back here?’  I was starting to feel like Jessica Fletcher – only not as deadly.

We had booked an excursion to the Mendenhall glacier for the Juneau port of call.  It was a bus tour of the town, a self guided walk around the state park, and then a salmon dinner.  Lisa had developed a fever and felt horrible so there was no way she was going.  And now, KA was flat on her back with her leg elevated, wrapped and iced.  No way she was going, either.

So, Carolyn and Donna, the ‘Irish girls’, and I went on the tour.  It was amazing!  The tour of the town takes very little time, lol.  We had a voluble Texan for a tour guide, and she gave us more information than we needed on the cost of food, clothing, and other necessities in Juneau, Alaska.  She went on and on about the lack of fast food, the absence of clothing stores, the fact that everything is shut by 9pm.  I might have preferred a guide with more information about the natural beauty of the area, or the cultural background of the peoples, but you get what you get.  The Irish girls were amused and Donna can do a pretty good Texas accent now.

I thought that the Mendenhall glacier tour was actually a tour of the glacier itself.  As in, walking on it.  Unfortunately, no.  We were dropped off at the Park and told where our bus would pick us up.  So, the three of us walked out to the view point and took some pictures and skedaddled.  The thing is, it was so very crowded.  It was teeming, swarming, packed with tourists.  It is my least favorite way of visiting a state park, I say that for sure.  I get that yes, I was one of those tourists.  And that these parks and these communities rely on tourism to exist.  And that, it being chilly Alaska, there’s a lot more tourists in the summer.  Yes, I understand and appreciate all of that.  But, I wasn’t able to enjoy that part.  The visitor center was like sardines, so we didn’t even go in.  The walk out to the view point was more crowded than a city sidewalk.  There was a hike to the waterfall, and it was a little less crowded but it didn’t get you to the glacier and we decided to skip it. 

We were moseying back to the bus area when we came across another section of the park.  Since we had plenty of time, we followed the path.  It led to a raised walkway over a creek and out to the wetland downstream from the glacier.  There were fir trees and willows and alders, a nice boreal mix.  The creek was full of salmon!  Red sockeye salmon swimming, thrashing, spawning and dying.  We got a little excited by that!  But, that was nothing, for around the next bend on the walkway we saw brown bear cubs in a tree!  Wow! 

There were probably only about 100 people all spread out along the walkway where you could see the bear cubs.  But, there were also 4 park rangers answering questions and shushing people.  Because at the foot of the tree was the cubs’ mother, taking a nap after eating her fill of salmon.  I am so grateful to have seen this!

I strolled further down the walkway and watched some field biologists recording data from some device or another and spent an idle few minutes speculating about going back to work in that field.  Also saw an egret make an ungainly leap into the sky, no doubt weighed down by a craw full of fish!

When we had marveled at the bears to our hearts content, we made our way back to the bus and headed back to town.

Our salmon dinner was at a restaurant at the top of a mountain.  It is so steep that you get there by riding an aerial tram.  It felt like it was going straight up!  The view was incredible, of course, with the islands and the meandering waterways, the mountains plunging into the sea, the dense forests a dark green backdrop to the shining silver water.  Words can’t do it justice.

We returned to the ship before dark.  I checked on my friends and they hadn’t killed each other so that was good.

Next up: Skagway

30 August 2017

Home Alone, Part One

Well, my dears, it didn't go as expected.

Expectations are tricky things.  There were five of us, each with a picture in her mind of how the trip would be.  I'm absolutely certain that no one's expectations were met.

The good things: I didn't get seasick for even a minute.  I would have had we been in a room lower down, where two of our friends' quarters were.  Their room was on the third level (deck, I guess), and the window looked right out on the swirling sea.  I could not look at it without feeling queasy.  So, I avoided the seasickness by being up above the sea.  Hooray for deck 8!

Also, the ship didn't sink, or lose power, or suffer any other mechanical problem.  And, happily, not a one of us came down with a norovirus.  So, I'm chalking all of those things up in the Win column.  We need that.

What really went down?  How much time do you have?

Lisa (she of the kidney disease) started out the trip sick.  She had been sick for a week or so before the trip started.  Sick enough that she wasn't sure she would be able to go.  She tends to anemia anyway, and her red cell count had been alarmingly low.  She was given iron and some other medical things that I don't remember the details of right now.  Her doctor decided that she was well enough to go and I'm not sure that was the right decision.  But, it takes a lot of time to plan a trip for someone who needs dialysis and she didn't want to cancel.  Plus, the rest of us had long since bought our tickets as well and we couldn't all cancel.  Especially the Irish girls, coming all that way.

We started the trip in Seattle, and Lisa had to get herself from the airport to the hotel.  Easy peasy for someone in normal health, but difficult for someone with health challenges.  Just rolling her bag (ie: enormous suitcase) from the baggage carousel to the ride-share curb was more than she could handle.  She made it to the hotel and then had to sit and wait for the rest of us.  Time to catch her breath.

KA had driven up from California and spent the night before at my house.  Part of coordinating our arrivals in Seattle was parking KA's car at my daughter's house.  We did that in the late afternoon and Zoe and Rob gave us a ride back into Seattle (thanks, kids!).  Met up with Lisa there.  In an hour or so the Irish girls were there too, and we all thought 'Let the Vacation Begin!'

Lisa, KA and I shared a room.  It was supposed to have two queen beds, but honestly, they were the size of doubles - is that a hotel thing, smaller beds than at home?  Are there different mattress sizes for hotel beds?  KA is a substantial woman and needs that much space to herself.  Lisa and I took one bed and KA the other.  Much tossing and turning ensued.  Because Lisa's arm often aches from the dialysis, she typically sleeps with her arms perpendicular to her torso.  That doesn't leave a lot of space in a bed.  At some point during the night I got up, gathered up the spare pillows, found a bathrobe and made my self a pillow bed in the corner on the floor.  I felt like a house elf, crouched under the fireplace.

We had a nice breakfast (oh, stayed at the Edgewater, which is famous for everyone in the world staying there, including the Beatles, and correspondingly priced) and then got a shuttle to the cruise ship pier.  

We arrived at the pier and the first order of business was to get Lisa a wheelchair.  She could only walk (slowly) about 25 to 30 feet without stopping to catch her breath.  There was a whole lot of, 'No, no, you go on, I'll catch up.'  Which is basically bullshit.  We had to stick together!

Now, here's a bonus: KA spent a whole lot of her youth, adolescence, young adulthood and middle age traveling with her wheelchair bound mother.  So, she is an expert at seeking out ADA accommodations.  So, we get Lisa into the 'assistance' line, which means that we all get in that line.

Finally got through that process and on board the enormous vessel.  A nice crew member wheeled Lisa to our stateroom, with KA and I trotting along behind.  

KA had upgraded our room to one with a balcony.  Thank the Merciful Heavens that she did so!  Three women, all used to living alone, crammed in one room... recipe for disaster.  Having a balcony gave us an entire extra room, spatially and visually, and we needed that.  That it was outside was a bonus.

As soon as we got aboard, Lisa asked me to take her to the infirmary.  We had kept the wheelchair that the crew member had used and I wheeled her down to deck 2.  She was short of breath and had chest pain, the classic combo, but it wasn't a cardiac issue.  The chest pain was muscular, from wrangling her giant bag, and the shortness of breath was because she was anemic and retaining fluid.  The nurses and doctor were great and we left reassured.  

Of course, Lisa and I had missed the pulling away, or whatever the term is, the setting sail, the leaving of land.  When we finished in the infirmary and made it to the open deck, the ship was among the San Juan Islands.  

The scenery was gorgeous, of course.  Sitting and watching the landscape unfold is possibly the best thing about being on a cruise.  

Lisa had dialysis the next day.  Boy, was it bare bones!  It was in the bowels of the ship (next to the infirmary, but considerably smaller) and had just enough room for two beds, two machines and literally nothing else.  The 'office' was a storage closet stacked to the ceiling with supplies.  For what they charge, there should have been a tiny bit more comfort.

We were doing pretty well at this point.  Our first stop was Ketchikan.  

The cruise line we were on had a amenity that I really appreciated.  A cultural historian gave a presentation on every port of call.  She covered the Native history as well as the White/Gold rush history.  It added a very nice texture to the shore trip.

We didn't have a tour scheduled for Ketchikan but got off to explore the town.  A very nice crew member pushed Lisa up the long gangplank to the pier.  We moseyed along, bumping over the sections of wooden sidewalks, looking in shops and admiring the scenery.  There were lots of totem poles.  Miss Amanda, the cultural historian, had given us the basics of totem interpretation and we enjoyed piecing together a story of each one.  

We bought some souvenirs and some snacks (regular size box of Cheez-Its = $6.99!) and returned to the ship.

The next day, we had an absolutely magical experience.  We sailed up the Tracy Arm to the face of a glacier.  It was an experience I will never forget.  We started spotting ice in the water in the morning.  Yes, that did make me a little nervous!  I mean, come on... Titanic, amiright?

As we neared the glacier, the chunks of ice got both bigger and smaller, but much more frequent.  There were big chunks with smaller chunks perched on top of them.  There was a slurry of broken ice all through the water.  When we got as far up the arm as we were going to, the ship did a complete turn.  The sound was amazing.  All the ice crickling and crackling against the hull of the ship made an eerie sound.  The colors were also amazing.  The ice was many shades of white, sometimes streaked with brown, but the blue!  The blue ice, seen in cracks and crevices of the floaters, that was astounding.  The deeper the crevice, the deeper the color blue.  We were standing on the balcony with our mouths hanging open.  

Next up: Day 3 and Juneau.

01 August 2017

August 1st

We went camping last weekend, just a 2 nighter on the northern edge of the greater metro area.  It was fun to get the trailer out.  T has decided that she wants the trailer in a covered storage place, so she rented one and we parked Vivian there on Sunday.  It gave me a pang to leave her there! She is quite the presence in the driveway, and utterly charming.  I'll miss her.

I have a busy two weeks coming up.  My buddies and I go on this cruise dealio on Friday.  I might have mentioned that I am uncomfortable with everything about a cruise.  Nothing about it appeals to me!  Claustrophobia, seasickness, germ-riddled environment, etc.  On the up side, though, is time spent with my friends!  It will balance.  After the cruise, we are going to visit Zoe and her husband for 3 days.  Sorry you guys!  Then we are going to Port Townsend for 3 days to visit Lisa's sister.  Thankfully, we will be staying in a hotel.  The sister's house is undergoing an extensive remodeling project.

In the meantime, my friend KA is driving up from Cali tomorrow morning.  She'll spend the night here and then we'll drive up to Seattle on Thursday.  So, I've got her for one night and then my neighbor son who will be cat/housesitting for me.  I've been super busy getting the house ready to have multiple guests and for an extended duration.  It's a week long cruise, but then we have a second week of visiting around.  I hope Pierre won't be too mad!  Good think he likes Gavin.

Just to make things a little more urgent, we are expecting a heatwave this week.  The predicted high on Wednesday is 106!!!  Ridiculous!  I've been busy covering all the windows.  The house is like a dark cave, but it's a cool cave.  I have a second window a/c unit that was just sitting on the floor in a closet, so I installed that in the guest room.  I don't want my houseguests to suffer!  There's nothing for downstairs but fans.  A couple of big fans is usually all we need to keep a house cool here.  Sigh.  Climate change, what?!?

Wish me luck on the ocean-going adventure!  Makes me a little queasy to think of it...


18 July 2017

Two Weeks Later

Two weeks later and it still feels like a vacation.  I'm still waking up ridiculously early (4:48 am today).  Sometimes I manage to get back to sleep, but not often enough.  Sometimes I resort to an over-the-counter sleep aid to keep me in bed longer.  Actually, it's kind of funny.  I react strongly to most medications so I always use my pill chopper for these.  They break in half easily with just one's fingers, but then I use the chopper to quarter them.  A quarter dose of an OTC sleep aid.  Talk about light weight!  (Of course, I mean my drug metabolism... not my corporeal weight.  Obvs.)

I made a list of big projects that need doing and hung it on the wall in the dining room (where I am sitting right now.)  So far I have crossed one thing off: Remove carpet from stairs.  Now I have to sand the stairs, replace two treads, and paint.  It's interesting to see signs of previous owners in old houses.  I note that someone else loved the color green.  The stairs were green at one point!  But, when I bought the house, the edges of the stairs had been painted a light-sucking dark brown and a dark brown carpet was nailed up the middle.  And, wow, did they use a lot of nails!  Still, it's all pulled up and it went out with the weekly garbage collection.  (Dusts off hands with satisfaction!)

Weeding the yard is on the list, and it is one that will never be crossed off.  I'm pacing myself on that one.  I'm trying to keep up with the front yard first, since I don't want my neighbors to be too unhappy with me.  But, the back yard needs attention too.  Sometimes I don't even want to go outside because it all feels so overwhelming.  Like I said, I'm pacing myself and trying to just keep at it.  This may sound like an excuse, but some of the 'weeds' are native wildflowers and I intentionally let those go longer because the bees and other pollinators need them.  This in not bullshit!  I am trying to tread that line between flowering and seeding -- I pull them when they are getting close.  At least, that is my goal.  The results is... scruffy looking.  I will never have a manicured yard and I don't want one. That's not my style.  I like a more wild looking garden, one that looks like it might hold a secret or two.  But, I live in the city.  People expect the front yard to be presentable.

Last Friday was my first payday without a paycheck.  That was disconcerting.  It took me about half the day to figure out what was bugging me.  My pension checks have not stated coming yet so I have been more frugal than usual.  My final check was bigger than usual since it included my vacation cash out, but it's a reality check to look at the bank balance and miss out on that every two week payday.  On the plus side, I have taught two self defense classes since I retired and I do get paid for that.

One great thing about being retired is the ability to say Yes.  Being free of the constraints of the M-F day shift allows for all kinds of different activities.  I've had lunch out with friends a couple of times, and impromptu get togethers with some of my neighbors who are teachers.  So freeing!  And, just sitting on my front porch watching the rhythm of the neighborhood is extremely pleasant.  (Just fyi, I've always been moderately good at saying No.)

I haven't created a schedule or structure for myself yet.  I had thought that it would be healthy and productive to do so, but so far I'm just... unwinding, I guess.  It feels strange to be without a schedule.  But, I will adapt!  I'm thinking that the morning might contain some aerobic exercise, like a brisk walk.  Coffee and toast, newspaper, blog reading and then a walk.  After that, the project list.  Maybe.  We'll see what happens.

I've got loads more to say about other subjects (family, T, friends, etc) but I think this is enough for one post.  Pretty soon I'll be boring you all to tears with the excruciating minutia of my pedestrian life.  Looking forward to that?   :-)

Thanks for reading, women!

01 July 2017

First of July, 2017

I had cake and champagne for dinner last night.


And it was good!

Instead of the Costco sheet cake that I was expecting, there were fancy layer cakes from a local bakery. Ooh! My only request had been for a lemon flavored cake.  There were two lemon cakes!  And a chocolate cake, a vanilla bean cake, and a latte cake.  I think I only missed the vanilla.  Lol!

I wasn't expecting anything but cake and fellowship, but there were gifts and a very nice send off speech from my division chief.  Naturally, I got a little teary.  But, I managed to clamp that shit down!  Jeez!  Don't want to go out on a watery note.  No Sally Fields moment for me!

So, that was Wednesday.  I had odds and ends to finish up on Thursday and Friday.  My office will be completely disassembled next week since another department is going to 'borrow' it for a few months while they undergo a remodel.  I hope my department gets the office back!  If not, the doctors in my division won't have an onsite support presence.  So.  Yes.  Hmm.  I'm drawing a breath now, and letting it out.  And, yes, all of that is none of my concern now.  Ha!

Anyway, the last two days were pleasant and low key with lots of hugs and heartfelt testimonials from coworkers and friends.  On Friday I had lunch with two of my favorite gals.  One is my birthday buddy, and we'll never lose touch.  But, I want to stay in contact with some of my now-former coworkers.  I handed out my email address to a number of people.  A very select number of people.  You know, you spend more awake time with your coworkers than with your family.  I hope you like some of them.  I've been lucky enough to have met some great people and maintained long friendships with quite a few coworkers.

So, after an uplifting and heart-warming send off, I called T from the bus as I was heading home.  She had called me earlier when I was in the middle of a conversation with three other people and couldn't talk with her.  Instead of congratulating me, she chose to be snippy and complain that I hadn't gotten right back to her.  Oh, for fuck's holy sake!  I'm close to done.

But, here's the thing.  I went home (caught the #70 at Lloyd Center!  Woot!) and I said, don't let this petty bullshit color your day.  And, I didn't!  I carried in my extra bag of gifts and last minute stuff from the office, kicked off my shoes, popped open the bubbly and took a glass outside to enjoy the afternoon/evening.  I had some celebratory texts and emails to respond to, and then I just relaxed and listened to the neighborhood unwinding (and had cake for dinner!).  It was incredibly restorative.  I could feel the tension draining out of my body.  In fact, I ended up being so emotionally and physically exhausted that I went to bed just before 9 pm.  I needed it!

This morning, I am still feeling pretty danged good.  I suspect that the first week will feel like the average summer 'vacation', and I'll be ready to go back to work on the following Monday.  But, I will create a schedule or a structure to my day and hold to that until I leave behind the automatic work pattern.

It will take me a while to settle into the new reality, but I am looking forward to exploring just how that evolves.  Stay tuned here, friends, I hope to be more regular with blog posts.  Gonna up my blog fiber!  Hahahaha....  sorry!

Ok, I'm having cake and champagne again (after a lunch of kahlua pork and rice).  I'm heading out to the porch to watch the world go by.  After a bit, I'll get back to work, uh, play.  Whatever!

27 June 2017


Ok, people!  This is it!  My last week!

I had to go in on Monday, which is usually my work from home day.  So many things to do!  We are interviewing a late applicant for our fellowship program, and I had hoped to escape without doing any more of that.  Ha!

One of my coworkers (my favorite, in truth), texted me yesterday and asked if I wanted to go out for celebratory drinks on Wednesday.  The great part of this is that she is planning to drive to work that day and will give me a ride home.  That's a gift!  And, if I have anything else to schlep home, that would be the day.

It still seems unreal.  I've been employed here for over 23 years.  That's rare in this day.  The generation after me doesn't stay in a position for more than 5 years, I'd say.  I'm an anachronism, for sure!

Still stressed about health insurance, still sending up a prayer to the Goddess that Obama-care will hang on a while longer.  My senators are fighting like cornered badgers to keep it.  Stay strong!  Or, for me, Stay Healthy!

Well, I'm going to go make my lunch, put on my shoes, and walk to the bus.  Four more days.

14 June 2017


Well, it's how we get through this world isn't it?  If you can't box shit up to deal with later, you'll never make it out of the house.  The trick is to open the boxes and deal with the contents, instead of shoving them into the basement for forever.  I know you feel me on this; don't pretend you don't!

Good thing I'll have some time to ponder, coming up here.  It'll be time well spent.

But, for the here and now, I'm busy.  Mostly busy at work, finishing up and getting stuff ready to be handed off.  Training the new person.  Emptying my office.  You know.  All that. I've been there for 23 years... I brought home a lot of stuff!  Oh, I have to tell you this: I was walking down the hall to a meeting yesterday and looked down.  I realized that I was wearing my gardening shoes instead of my office shoes!  And, naturally, I had just taken home my spare office shoes that lived in a desk drawer, just the weekend before.  Figures.  Made me laugh, actually.

My niece is going home to Virginia on the 30th.  The whole 'living with Grampy and going to college' thing didn't work out.  Directly as a result of my brother's animosity.  I'm not sure how to deal with him, going forward.  He is poisoning our dad against us.  I'm hanging in there because I don't want my dad to forget that his other two children love him.

Back to the niece, unfortunately her family is coming during the last week of June.  It's the last week of my employment and I know I will be busy.  And, there are a couple of happy hours scheduled that week for after work as well, so I can be sure that I'll be getting home late.  I know that they can entertain themselves, but I wanted to be able to see the rest of the family while they were here.  Plus, there might very well be drama and I want to be available to put out the fire.  That's what the middle-child-only-girl tends to do.  This one, anyway.

Meanwhile, it's still pretty cool and damp and cloudy here.  This weekend is our Pride celebration and, fingers crossed, it's supposed to be sunny.  I sure hope so!  If not, we've got rain gear.  :-)

Ok.  That's it for now.  I've got to go be efficient.

09 June 2017

What the hailing holey heck?

It's Portland, people!  Holy Hey Zeus!

I don't understand what is happening in my city.  I can't wrap my head around the sharp escalation in terror, fear, violence.

Two weeks ago (although it feels like the day before yesterday), two men died and another was gravely injured at the hands of a white supremacist terrorist on a public train in my city.  During the afternoon commute.  On a regular Friday.  Crazy broke free of the bonds containing it and tore a vicious and bloody hole in my neighborhood.  My actual neighborhood.  It's my dad's transit stop, and just one stop away from mine.

Crazy.  That's a handy excuse.  We hear that all the time from the gun rights people - 'It's not the gun.  There isn't enough mental health help for these poor (white) people.'  Fuck that.  This guy used a knife.  And, I also don't want to hear the bullshit from the prisoner rights people.  'He was radicalized in prison, it's the environment, it's not his fault.'  Fuck that.  It's a personal choice to pick up a weapon and kill someone when your life is not in jeopardy.  So, fuck all that; fuck those bullshit excuses, fuck you to the people who would normalize this action.  This is not normal.

We are all stunned.  Gobsmacked.  Reeling.  Disbelieving and incredulous.  How could this happen here?  Portland is so mellow, so laid back, so easy going.  Ha.  That's just the image.  Thanks, Portlandia!  (Disclaimer: they are often spot on.)  The seedy underbelly of Portland is white, ugly, and racist.  There.  I said it.  There are a lot of creepy and scary people around here.

And, the level of violence is escalating.  The fringe is emboldened and they are acting out on what had only been fantasies before.  A train conductor beaten up, a woman held up at gun point at my local park, stabbings, mob violence.  A bomb threat today at the transit center where the two men died.  Holy fucking whatever!

It's Portland, people!  Stop it!

I'm trying my best to be a force for good, but it is damned difficult in these times.

Feeling besieged,

24 May 2017

How is May almost over???

Hey Women,

How has spring been treating you?  Have you had some sun and flowers and green grass?  Have you had long pleasant evenings sitting on the porch with the neighbors, sipping a cool glass of something?  I hope so.  I have.  Doesn’t it feel good?

Here’s my catch up:

The countdown to retirement is on!  Still feeling a trifle ambivalent, but doing it anyway.  There have been some mornings that I have felt quite resentful at having to go in.  Ha!  Soon.  Very, very soon.  In fact, it’s 25 work days (counting my work from home days).  Yikes!  I’d better keep scanning!

So, T and I finally cashed out our vacation fund and went to Hawai’i.  We spent a week on Maui and had a really good time.  We got along surprisingly well!  We did a few things, but mostly hung out and relaxed.  It was very pleasant.  She might have roped me into a deal where I end up with a tattoo… I breathed a sigh of relief when all of the clean and reputable places in Lahaina were booked up.  If it happens, and I wouldn’t be adamantly opposed to it, a small image of a sea turtle, possibly on the inside of my calf.  If it ever happens.  I really wish we had seen one while we were snorkeling.  We saw plenty of fish, and we saw the turtles all the time coming up for air while grazing on the reef.  And, while they were in the same area that we were snorkeling, at the same time, we never saw one through our masks.  But, we still felt like we were swimming in their back yard.

I’m going to have to postpone my car trip.  I’ve got to sort out a better vehicle.  My car is a 1999 Audi.  I bought it from my sister in law for $2000 a year or two ago.  I’ve had to shell out for a couple of repairs, and I’m afraid there’s just a whole lot more of that in this car’s future.  It’s a decent small car and I rarely drive, so it has served me well enough.  I have taken it to Seattle a couple of times, but it’s had a couple of issues since then so I’m thinking that it might be just an around town car now. 

Speaking of Seattle, my niece and I are going up for a baseball game with Zoe next week!  Fun!  We are taking the train up on Friday, doing some touristy stuff in Seattle and then taking an express bus to the east side.  Zoe will pick us up and will spend the night at her house.  Then, her town is having it’s ‘town celebration’ that weekend so we will hang out there and see what there is to see.  Saturday evening is the baseball game – Mariners vs the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Mariners have been playing so badly!  I hope none of you saw that game we lost that was something like 10 to 1.  Ugh.  So. Bad.  So, yes, after the game we’ll go back to Zoe’s, spend the night, have her take us to Seattle the next day and take the train home.  It will be a good weekend away.  T is not coming.  We’ll have to spend some time with Z’s husband, but it’ll be fine. 

I haven’t gotten any gardening done this spring.  All I’ve done is pull weeds.  I know that I could still put some veggies in, if I bought some starts, but I think I’ll let the garden lie fallow this year.  Maybe I’ll plant a nitrogen fixing cover crop.  I’ve got garlic growing, leftovers from the last harvest.  I’ve got blueberries and raspberries and huckleberries and herbs.  Thyme, chives, rosemary.  And I’ve got two plentiful rhubarbs.  But, I have a lot of empty space in my raised beds.

Hey, I actually had some other stuff to say, but I have to go over to my dad’s house.  It’s Wednesday night – that’s what we do!  So, I’m going to go ahead and post this nonsense, because you know how I am.  If I procrastinate at all, it just doesn’t happen.

Thanks for reading, friends!