Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Get ‘er they say!

It was early December and ahead lay the daunting task of decorating the house for Christmas. As a widow and empty nester, I must do all the work alone. So it is hard to get started...thus, I invited the “scrabble” group over to my house. I knew that would make me "get er done"!

First, I needed to locate everything in the garage (not put away as well as it should have been last year). I then, had to drag box after box into the house, dig through them all, in order, to find what I wanted. Since I use an artificial tree now, that had to be assembled--branch by branch. (At least, I had now learned to do this in the daylight, so I can match the color codes correctly). Of course, there weren’t enough light strands which out I ran to get more. After days of things strewn through out the house, finally, the tree was trimmed. I was able move on to the front porch, dining table, coffee table, entry table, and the guest bathroom plus, a very extra decorations here and there. Whew! Yet, all was completed, plus baking done for the scrabble game on Dec. 6th. Which I lost, as usual.

thought of the day: "Christmas is just plain weird: What other time of the year do you sit in frot of a dead tree in the living room and eat candy out of your socks?"

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I love music! Jazz is one of my favorite genres. So much so, that one wall in my living room has a jazz theme. Framed jazz posters and my Dad’s trumpet hang on the wall. I also, am currently taking a class at the local community college called “The History of Jazz and Rock”. What a great class! I’ve learned a lot and now wish to learn even more. The instructor is very knowledgeable, enthusiastic, funny and full of interesting trivia. He is also the conductor of the “Community Jazz Big Band” and the “Community Concert Band”. My sister and her husband recently sent me the book “Visions of Jazz” by Gary Giddins. Which I’m thrilled to have and anxious to begin reading it.

Aside: I recently dabbled in the Blues as I went to hear
Keb Mo perform...he put on a wonderful show.

Thought of the day: "Instant human, just add coffee."
Fall with Kids

I enjoy spending time with my youngest niece and nephews. One fall day, I took Billy and Emma out to gather acorns. They had a great time filling up their bags. Besides a fun activity with them, I had an ulterior motive... I wanted the acorns to be used in fall decorations at home. And hey, the kids are a lot closer to the ground than I am!!

Halloween is an obvious fall I joined their mom in taking them “TRICK OR TREATING”. We went to the mall, a safe, weatherproof place where they can see lots of other kids. Emma was a “princess” and Billy was a “bat”. With bags loaded and heavy, we drove them home and Billy was asleep before we arrived. That trick or treating is hard work!

A few weeks later, I had to pull out my old school teacher tricks and so off we went again, this time to gather leaves, pods and small twigs, etc. I introduced them to leaf rubbings and wax paper pressed “windows”. Looks like I needed to have my flash on. But with kids you can’t get them to hold still long enough to take another shot.

Thought of the day: "Don't applaud, throw money."

Sunday, October 28, 2007


These two little girls, shared yet again another birthday today. Though, one was in Texas and one in California. Next year we vow to be together, perhaps in Hawaii, for our 60th.

For me, my birthday week was one of many meals!
I shared lunch last Wednesday with a friend who just recently retired and had been one of my first friends when I started my 30 year career, at my one and only school. Therefore, we have gone through literally--life and death experiences together, not to mention a great deal of silliness and laughter! That was followed by a Friday morning brunch with two more retirees from my previous school. We had to try out the funky looking restaurant we all have often driven by... “Joe’s Giant Orange”. It had been bragged up and rightly so. So feeling as round as the orange, I yet again met with the “Redding Gals” to celebrate three October birthdays with lunch. And pie for me, I always have to have a piece of pumpkin pie on for my birthday!!

Thus, I begin another new year. I look back and I am thankful for all my good friends and my wonderful family. So I think I’ll “keep on truckin’”! Ah...better
make that “walkin’” after all that food!!

thought of the day: “Be yourself, everyone else it taken.”

Friday, October 19, 2007


Recently, I saw a photo of my late husband, gone almost 13 years. It looked like he was in his twenties, most likely before I knew him. We met when he was 23 and I was 21, and married two years later. Our son is almost 28 and I was surprised to see how closely they resembled each other. Christopher (son) on left and Bill (husband) on right.

thought of the day: "So life has a hill, get over it."

To Decorate or Not to Decorate

As fall unfolds and holidays approach the question is:
To decorate or not to decorate? I live alone--so there is no one to appreciate and enjoy the decorations. However, I do like to do a little (if only for me) (not like when the kids were little, of course).

So, I went ahead placing candles, acorns(which my niece and nephew helped me gather), pumpkins, flowers, etc.
Luckily, my turn for “GAME DAY” came up, so several friends came over. I got to feel good about what I had done. Do you choose to decorate?

thought of the day: "To write with a broken pencil is pointless."


Who doesn’t like arts and crafts? It is always fun to look, get ideas, hear the music, eat the food, see people and sometimes make purchases.

So recently, friends and I headed over to Caldwell Park for the annual Fall Arts and Crafts Fair. Where, we did all of the above. Plus, it is also the annual Ducky Derby, when community members purchase rubber ducks (money goes to charity), and these rubber ducks are dropped into the Sacramento River, the first to cross the finish line is award the BIG prize of that particular year. (Of course, I’ve never won). We did however, get our photo taken with "THE DUCK".

Soon after, there was an annual local Art Studio Tour. This was especially fun as I knew several of the artists. Seeing all of their art work and their individual studios was so amazing! What talent we have here in Redding! To me it is unfathomable... how they do it. But, I guess some of us have to be the consumers. And yes, I did buy a lovely painting that a friend had done and I had desired for quite a while.

thought of the day: "Reality. TV. Two more reasons to read!"

Three Cs and More

Monthly, I join two other retirees from my former job for a get together. September, we took a drive to the near by small town of Mineral on Mill Creek driving to Lassen National Park. When we got to the Park, we had a picnic and of course, caught up on each other’s news. Cathy has a new granddaughter, Caroline was headed to the coast and I had just returned from the east coast (AARP convention in Boston and yearly reunion with junior high friends in Virginia). previous blogs about those trips

The next evening was a Bunco game with current employees from former job. They play about once a month, great to reconnect with everyone. Bunco is a silly dice game and their Bunco mascot is a Roadrunner. Anything to be with friends and relax and have fun. What do you do?

thought of the day: "Practice safe eating - always use condiments."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Last Lecture

If you have or have not heard of Professor Randy Pausch from Carnegie Mellon University and his "Last Lecture" must go to the web site. See his lecture and read his story.
His link:

Of course, my beloved husband died of this cancer almost 13 years ago, so I have a strong emotional draw. However, I feel you will too.


Monday, October 01, 2007