Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Say That Again

I answer a knock at my door to find a young boy about 14 and a girl perhaps 18-20. The boy says "Good morning ma'am, my name is Joe and this is Jane. Can you tell me some things you think would make marriages last longer?" "Say that again," I say.

By then my brain has caught up with the situation and I explain my husband has died recently and I doubt I'm the person they need to be asking.

Joe, the boy, expresses his sorrow and asks if I'd like him to read me a scripture passage assuring me I will see my husband again in heaven. By this time my sense of mischief and amusement has kicked in. I was sorely tempted to exclaim in horror, "Don't tell me I've got to spend eternity with him. Could I go to hell instead?"

Fearing I might scar the boy for life I simply assured him I was at peace with my situation and it would not be necessary for him to read scripture.

After closing the door (Jane never uttered a word by the way) the situation made me laugh.

Whoever sent this kid out to proselytize needs to rethink that opening question.

They both were carrying iPads. He raised his when preparing to read scripture to me. Do you think he had the Bible in its entirety on his iPad? If so, King James is surely flipping in his grave. Everyone knows the Bible is not holy unless its on onion skin paper bound in leather.

This situation is a good example of how poor we are at communication these days. I live in a community with a lot of international people. Wonder what they thought about that approach?
If you have a spare minute I encourage you to read this blog post from the blog Murrmurrs.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Colored Pencils

Since I was a small child I have be fascinated by pencils and pens, any old pencil will do. I have a lot of mechanical pencils but still prefer a #2 pencil. There's always an abundance of pencils around me.

Then it seems I wasn't the only one who liked pencils. Adult coloring books and expensive colored pencils became the rage. Supposed to be a way to relieve stress, even called therapy.

At first I was a bit embarrassed by it all. What adult wants to be seen buying coloring books and pencils? Then I began to see some amazing art done in colored pencil. I decided that was for me, not. An artist I am not. Drawing makes me very nervous. I can't handle too much freedom.

Since Bob died I've been like a flea in a hot skillet, can't settle on anything. Then I remembered the colored pencils I'd purchased when I was going to be an artist.

I love having a colored pencil in my hand. Any pencil is soothing to me. I struggled with a reason for coloring in coloring books. What are you going to do with them? You can cut the pages out and frame them I suppose but how many coloring book pictures do you need in your home?

I've yet to figure out why an adult would want to get into coloring books and colored pencils. Makes no sense to me. I only know that when I engage in this activity I am calm. I am at peace. I go to a good space mentally. I turn on an audible book and life is good.

What am I going to do with all these coloring books and supplies? Probably pitch them but they were soothing to my soul for a time.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Food Is Necessary

I'm learning the hard way that food is necessary and I can't live on snack food, fast food, or junk food. It's amazing what comes back to haunt you when you mistreat your body. Many years ago I was hospitalized for pancreatitis. Guess what recently came knocking on my door? I am mildly diabetic, but can easily control that.

Mostly I consider food a waste of time and am annoyed that I have to pay attention to specific foods. Low carbs and low fat, that's the name of the game for me.

When Bob died I had two crockpots. I've never used one much because I never liked the mess. I immediately gave them to my daughter-in-law who thought she'd like to try crockpot cooking.

When Susan (daughter) was here recently she bought me a new crockpot! Let me tell you I was thrilled!

To my great surprise I have to admit there may be hope. It's a small one, perfect size for a person living alone. I also like the oval shape, food fits it better.

The best thing I've learned is you don't have to use liquid to cook in a crockpot. Yippee! No mess!

I like butternut squash but very seldom cook it because it's evil to peel or cut up when it's raw. From what I read this morning all I have to do is lay a butternut squash whole in the crockpot, with no liquid, and cook it 7 hours on low. Let it cool, should be tender enough to peel easily and prepare any way you choose. I can do that. I don't have the strength in my hands to work with one raw.

Rice and potatoes had to bite the dust in my diet. When you can have only half a cup it's not worth cooking for one. I don't like either one as leftovers. Rice is higher than potatoes in carbs.

Earlier this week I browned half a pkg of Jimmy Dean sausage. I cut an acorn squash in half and scraped out the seeds, put the squash halves in the crock pot and filled them with the sausage, no liquid. Cooked them on low for six hours, delicious. It would have been even better if I could have added a box of Uncle Ben's Wild Rice mix with the seasonings, and the necessary water for cooking.

I was pleased to see the new skillet she got me. She bought it for me to cook tilapia fish. Sorry, but I'd never tasted tilapia, let alone cooked any. I was in for a cooking lesson and oh my goodness, I do love tilapia.

I'm also eating a good bit of salmon but I cook that in the oven.

I cooked a Cornish hen in the crockpot, minus liquid and it was juicy and tender. Just right when you're cooking for one. The only negative was it tasted like chicken and I hate chicken.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

So Much I Don't Know

As a Texan I know far too little about the border, immigration, illegal immigrants etc. Living in the Pacific Northwest the subject of immigration brings a very different response than in Texas. I should be smarter about all this.

As a child I remember primarily immigrant men living and working on the ranches where we lived. They were referred to as "wetbacks," and lived in barns and sheds. I don't know what they did for groceries or if they became sick and needed a doctor.

I don't remember women and children. I was never in school with any children. I believe the men came alone to work and send money back to their families in Mexico.

It's all very different these days. Portland loves a good protest. For the past week or so there have been protesters surrounding the ICE building.  ICE sent the federal employees home and locked the doors but that has not satisfied the protesters. They say they are not leaving until ICE is gone permanently. They then built a barricade of anything they could find, old furniture, packing crates, anything.

Our son works in a building by the ICE building and had to cross the barricade one morning to get to work. Eviction notices have been served but nobody is making a move. Sunday a large rally was held in front of city hall.

I'm so far behind on this subject I don't know where to start to become informed.  This week I read about a book that I think may help me.

I don't want extremely detailed or complicated information, just enough to have some idea of the subject. I think I may need Cliff Notes. It all sounds troubling but I can't seem to get a handle on it.

Any suggestions?

Monday, June 25, 2018


In 2009 I made a trip to Texas. I had no idea it would be nine years before I would spend another night away from home.

Daughter Susan recently made reservations at the The Cannery Hotel in Astoria, Oregon.

We had a wonderful time.

The good thing is she had such a good time she wants to go again.

I can be ready in minutes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Flowers For The Soul

Isn't this a wonderful arrangement? I wish I could say it was mine, or even that I was the person who created it, but that honor goes to Linda Reeder. Imagine opening the door of your home to a garden with enough flowers in bloom you could step outside and cut enough to make this arrangement. Of course Linda and Tom work hard in that garden but you can see the fruits of their labor here.

See that flower petal on the book? Bob never wanted me to have fresh flowers in the house because they sometimes dropped petals and that bothered him. After he died I went nuts having flowers.

Unfortunately I have to buy mine. I can only imagine how nice it would be to look at an arrangement and know every flower came from your own flower garden.

These I got for $4 because this bunch had 11 roses instead of 12. Did you know there's a date on the sticker on every bunch of flowers? That date tells you when they will remove those flowers from the sales floor. Look for the most distant date and you'll have flowers that should last the longest.

I like tulips but I do not like their lethargic stems. To prevent that I put them in a tall slender vase so they're forced to stand tall.

So goes my new life of having fresh flowers for my soul.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

What’s Happening?

I never thought it would happen but this old gal has checked out on news and politics. I decided I neeeded a break from thngss that were dark, and depressing. I only meant it to be temporary but it’s  been so nice I may make it permanent.

At this time in my life it’s overwhelming to me. I will always vote but I don’t have to have a daily diet of news and politics to do that. Since I don’t watch TV I didn’t have that habit to break. I don’t take the newspaper so I didn’t have to give that up.

Facebook and Twitter were my primary sources. I made a list of all the people I followed on Twitter and Facebook, believing the break was only temporary. If the world blows up I can quickly reconnect with my list of names.

I’m making an attempt to listen to Jon Meacham’s book ‘The Soul of America: The Battle For Our Better Angels.’ First I bought it for Kindle planning to read it but soon realized that wasn’t going to happen, so I then got the audible version thinking I could probably have an easier time with that. It’s excellent and I’m enjoying it now and then when my brain chooses to focus for a few minutes. This is not the only time in history when Americans' behavior has brought shame upon their country. I find it helpful in times like this to look at history.

Recently I went with my children to hear White House photographer Pete Souza on book tour for his new book ‘Obama.’ That was a fun experience.

I’m just trying to hang loose these days. Trying not to get too up tight. The best way to do that seems to be to avoid news and politics, at least for now.