Friday, February 27, 2009

A flower

Since I moved, I had forgotten how important it is to treat yourself to the things that fill your life with beauty and color. Last week, on an especially dreadful, rainy, windy day, I had to get out to buy milk. When I entered the store, I almost fell over a display of potted blue, or should they be called light leafy purple, flowers. They are almost the same color as my twenty years old raincoat, that is so thin and so unable to keep the rain out, that I picked one up to decorate my cart. I could always put it back on its beautifully arranged table, if I bought more than just milk.

Impulse buying is a dangerous thing, especially if you are hungry or cold or wet. I was all three, but with the plant in my cart, I could withstand a lot of temptations. I walked by my favorite butcher, with no more than a friendly nod. I slowed down slightly by the bakery, after I had picked up the milk. And then I filled myself with the thought that I could walk by the Deli section without any risk, but the cheese table and the sushi called to me. I was after all COLD and WET, and these things would only deplete my money, they would do little to weigh me down. After I park the car in the garage, I have a fairly long walk back to my place and a flight of seven stairs to go down and I have to always think of maneuvering my groceries down. And since it was dark and cold and slippery I passed up the goodies and headed straight to the checker of my choice.

When I got into the house and had shed my wet raincoat I turned on a few more lights. And then I put the plant on the coffee table. Such Glory! There was a very offending tag on the purple paper covering the pot. I pulled it off and threw it in the garbage can. And got a saucer to put under it. I turned on a few more lights. To heck with the green ideas. I poured the required milk in my casserole and put my dinner in the oven. I poured myself a drink and sat down to watch the news. LIFE CAN BE BEAUTIFUL.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Academy Awards

One of my favorite programs on Television comes on Sundays at five o'clock in the afternoon on C-Span - Barbara Lee was the interviewee for an hour. Barbara Lee is the Congress woman who voted no on giving President Bush's asking for the right to take USA into War after 9'11. She was the only no vote in the US Congress. If you have any chance to see that interview make sure you do. She is a fantastic woman. She had a checkered past and her being able to get herself to where she is today is truly admirable.

When Anna read my blog about Jr. she said: What are you going to be working on while you watch baseball this summer. She knows I can not do nothing while watching TV. I said, jokingly, I'll have to make you another dining-room rug. I have a much better idea, she said. Why don't you work on Fake it in Fabrics, using a Hockney swimming pool painting to copy in fabrics and then you can donate them to SAVE OUR POOL for a fundraisers. Copying the paintings of an artist who is alive is not permissible so I immediately wrote to him to ask for permission. I think it said it might take three weeks to get a response. So I want everyone who reads this blog to cross your fingers for five seconds, wishing a correct response to come from him. I will let you know what his response is, and if it is a positive answer, I will take pictures of what I create from his paintings, and even let you know how much money is raised from my endeavor.

Since I titled my blog Academy Awards I will have to say something about what I saw. All the women who were nominated ( except the actress from the bridges of ??? county) sounded either British or Australian. I love their accents, they are all truly beautiful, and even though I have seen none of the movies, I felt it was a happy affair. I read The Reader yesterday and it was a magnetic book. The woman seemed wooden in the book. (except in bed) She must have done a really great job of acting.
I will try to read the other books of the nominated movies.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hope for a wonderful summer

There is frost on the grass outside my front door. So what is this summer talk? The news last evening said Ken Griffey Jr has finally decided to spend next season with the Seattle Mariners. I heard a Seattle fan say: I will go to all the home games if Junior decides to come back to Seattle. I feel the same way. I can't go to the games, but I promise to watch all the games on TV or if that is impossible at some time, I'll listen to the game on radio. I know Ken is nearly fourty, and he is prone to injuries, but I feel he is ours. He left because he wanted to be closer to family, which makes him more loveable, but he is older now and maybe it will be easier for him. If it is his wife and children who would rather be nearer family, what can we do to help them? I will volunteer to act as a grandmother for his children, but I realise that what with the Hood Canal Bridge being closed for six months, we would have to meet in Port Townsend to do our grandparenting.

I could not sleep last night thinking about the joy the baseball season will give Seattle this year. Junior is not the only one to raise our spirits. We have many to be grateful for. And I am curious about our new manager, Don Wakamatsu, and am eager to hear some of his post game talks with the press. Hope they will be rivetting. He is a handsome dude, but we have had handsome before and it does not help the post game programs.

I saw the last of my post birthday mds yesterday afternoon and since we had not seen each other for a couple of years we had some catching up to do. I told her that I am now a bread winner. She was happy for me and hoped I was making huge amounts of money. I aid No. I am just making enough to buy bread. And then I told her about my blog and about the advertising and that my family has grown by hundreds and how much fun it is reading your comments. She said" You have made my day. I am no longer afraid to grow old.

And then the good news about Junior. My cup runneth over.

Monday, February 16, 2009

All's OK

Thank you, all of you who showed such concern about the cat and the coffee. A slight swelling is all that remains of that story.

I wish I knew how to write a blog that could be sent directly to pre-teeners and teenagers. There must be such an awful amount of fright and depression in that age group because of homelessness and parents loosing their jobs. Who looks out for that group. I think the parents mistakenly try to protect their children from these bad news. I think it is important that they all should be involve and form a cohesive front.

I would like to tell this group to first of all ...try to be loving and helpful. Help in every way you can and resolve to be a united front. Suggest that you be allowed to look for work in your neighborhood. There are many things you can do to earn money. There must be old people living near by. Offer to sweep snow off the sidewalk. Or to go shopping in the nearest market. Or walk the dog. Ask for the lowest legal payment. At the end of the week add up all your income and keep 10% of your income and save the ninety % for college. If your parents have regained jobs, ask them what you can do in the house to help out and insist on getting paid and do the same saving . Discuss with your parents where to deposit your savings so the money can earn more for you in a safe way.

If they feel that there are ways to save for college there is no way they will drop out of high school. And if they are seriously college bound they will work hard to keep the grades up. And do not ever use a credit card. I have heard so much about huge school loans and on top of that huge credit card debts.

If any of you, my wonderful commenter, have children in this age-group, read this to them and let me know what their reaction is. What on earth does this nearly ninety year old foreigner know about my problems, will probably be their response.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Blood and misery. What happened?

I was watching something on TV, probably As Time Goes By on our educational channel. My favorite program even though I have seen it many times. The cat, Edgar, was sleeping on my lap. It was a peaceful wonderful afternoon. I had just made myself a cup of coffee and because I had been reading a book which my youngest daughter had given me for my birthday, I had put in about a table spoon cream in the coffee. I never use cream or milk in my coffee. But the book, titled OUT STEELING HORSES by Per Patterson who on one page talked about coffee with a spoon full of cream in such a convincing way that I had to try it.

All was quiet and peaceful. And then Edgar woke up and decided to take his daily cleansing ritual in my lap. He knows that it is against our house rules to do that. I told him to get off. He attempted to get off but lost his balance in getting off and so he clawed my hand. Something hurt me terribly, but worse in the whole melee, I knocked off my coffee mug and I saw the coffee with cream running along on the carpet. I rushed to the laundry area to get some wash clothes that I use for just such events, out of the dryer. And then I noticed the blood. There was blood everywhere. On the washing-machine, on the wall next to the doors to the washing-area, on the carpet from where I had been sitting. I ran into the bathroom and applied a female sort of thing to my hand to absorb the blood. And then I tried to clean up what had been happening. I was now wearing a cotex over my hand injury, but in order for it to stay where it was needed I covered my hand with one of my handmade socks.

And then I began trying to clean up coffee and blood from the poor carpet. I had to use my injured hand, and I am too old to get on my knees. It was a miserable time. Finally I had to say "Enough" And then I took the sock and the cotex off my hand. There was a beautiful walnut size lump on the back of my hand. And a promise of a huge black and blue spot on my lily white hand. Go and look at your grandmother's hand and see how unprotected the blood-vessels are. My cat, my beloved Edgar had punctured one of the visible arteries that are so obvious. The fact that I have to take blood thinning medicine caused the gushing of blood, I suppose.

Then I began worrying about Rabies. The cat is terribly healthy and I cannot assume he has Rabies even though he is permitted to run wild at night. Today, someone who saw my hand said :Call the doctor. I heard about a cat owner in our area who got cat fever from a cat bite. Mine is not a bite.

Then when time came to write my blog, I was trying to bring in the sheriff and and news paper headlines, but I am not clever enough to change this to some sort of crime.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Firefox asked what kind of games we played as children In Sweden. I had two older siblings and like a pest I tried to get into their games before I was old enough. The earliest I remember was hiding the thimble in our livingroom. We were compelled to play in the living room beause in the winters it was the only warm room in the house. In the corner of the room stood our 'fire place' . It was an enclosed square ceramic item with a door near the top where you added wood or sometimes coal or coak and with a door near the bottom from where you could remove the ashes. On a really cold day, or evening when the fire was really high in the 'kakel ungn' we were allouud to make a slice of toast for ourselves. We were given a long metal fork which we stuck into a fairly thick slice of bread and then we opened the upper door, stuck the fork carefully into the 'ungn' and watched the bread slowly turned brown. Each of us had a catastrophy at one time or other and the bread fell down into the fire and we lost our treat. I can still feel the agony of your hand getting scorched from being too close to the heat source.

I think FireFox was asking about card games and such and I remember playing many of those. It aided in our learning how to add quickly and the older children would usually clean up. Being younger and less math knowing was a lesson in keeping your temper when losing time after time. Grand father who was nearly ninety always wanted to play checkers and he loved playing with the younger of us for then he won constantly. It was good for us to have been introduced to the game early. We played Casino and Gin and my sister and I learned how to play a game that resembles Bridge. It was called Priffe and we had to sit in occasionally in a club my Mother belonged to.

I have already told you about the games we played out side in summer time. We would go down to the shore and hunt for pebbles and rocks with holes. Depending on their size we would make them into farm animals and with a stick we would draw farms and barns in the dirt on a path that would be the less trodden one. We would tether the animals when they were out in the grass. I remember having one midsize ' bird ' And I thought my stone was a jewel of some kind for it had beautiful colorful sections. When I had him outside he woulld be tethered. We would play the same game when we found chestnuts in the autumn. We did not own a chest nut tree but we would find many just on our way to the grocery store or the dairy.

The best game of all was arranging a house out of the pile of wreckage from foundered ships or boats that our uncle gave us permission to play in. He would amass all the wreckage on the heath north of our village. Now I realize how dangerous it could have been. One keel, disturbed and unsettled could have killed a couple of us if we made it fall. And the food we ate in our 'house' could have killed us too. We ate raw kale leaves and chicken food mixed with water, pretending it was 'bread and butter.'

Thank you Fire Fox for asking. I have had a fun afternoon thinking about all this. But the dangers were many. When Mother wanted to heat another room she would take a shovel full of embers from one ungn to another in a different room and it would be the starter of the next fire. She could have dropped an ember and we would have been either dead or homeless.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Church and Bridge

It was an interesting day, yesterday. I picked up my fellow inmate and we drove to the church. When we got there the church was locked. A few minutes later Jim arrived and we decided we were going to stand on the sunny side of the street while we were waiting for the woman with the key. I had tried to take my friend, let's call her Connie, by the arm, or let her hold on to my arm for I had seen her around our living area walking with a walker. every one who arrived tried to take care of her. She would accept no assistance from anyone and seemed almost put out by so many people offering her help. She is tiny and she seems old. But you should see her play bridge. She could play in our international competitions. We were three tables competing, and she and Jim certainly were the best bridge players. There were quite a few beginners in the group. But eleven very nice human beings and I enjoyed the afternoon. Jim had made a peach cobbler for the coffee hour, but it turned out to be a blackberry cobbler. On our way home I asked Connie how old she is (we old people can do that) and she said 96. I hope I am as smart as she is when I get to 96.

It would be difficult to come home to an empty house, but I am lucky enough to have a dog and a cat to welcome me home. Cap, (short for Capitola) is a 13 year old Brittany, and the cat is Edgar, found at an outdoor market two days after Sam died, 11 years ago. When Edgar met Cap his hair stood up in a scary Halloween way, so I named him for Edgar, after Edgar Allen Poe. He has been the dearest cat and Cap and I would have been sorry, had he not come into our life. When we lived on the beach, Edgar had a wonderful life, what with the dog door and the seagulls and all the other food he found. Here he goes out for a few hours and then begs to be let in again. My next door neighbor here loves Edgar and if I am out, she will let him back in the house. Edgar has had a few run-ins with wild animals here at the turf club, and has the scars to prove it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

a nothing Sunday

A nothing Sunday

Before I get into my main message I have to tell you that I heard from my granddaughter. The reason my email came back was that the ship was in an area where no email either went out or came in. She was upset because she missed her mother's birthday which occurred during the time they were cut off. It was great to hear from her.

Thank you, all you wonderful people who found my slow cooking acceptable. And the many comments were so encouraging and I am feeling that the world is filled with friends. That is a blessing. The day I posted the last blog, a very good friend asked me to go for lunch. We went to Sequim and ate at the restaurant at the John Wayne Marina. It is now my favorite place to eat lunch. We both had what was called Crab Cake Hamburger. The scenery and the taste of the crab cake fought for attention. We both decided we had to go to Costco while we were in that direction. And I never go to Costco without buying one of their ready made chickens. They are so plump and roasted to perfection. And for me, they are so affordable. I had chicken sandwiches twice and then I boiled a cup of pasta and had the best chicken pasta with the gravy made from the drippings found in the chicken container. Brown jellied super tasty drippings. And then I added all the small pieces of meat I pulled off the carcass. It was a divine dinner. I froze half of it and when I warm up the remainder I will add a few mushrooms. In the freezer I have the carcass for soup, with all the skin and a whole lot of small pieces of meat. There is enough white meat for future sandwiches. This whole part was written to explain why I have not yet used my slow cooker. I did open my cookbook and where it opened was a recipe for BBQ chicken second joints. It sounds so good I am going to do it even though I will be happy to move on to another ingredient.

This afternoon I am picking up a fellow inmate to go to a church to play bridge. An old friend from the area where I lived before called me to ask me to go. He was one of Sam's golf chums. I have done this in years past and I know Jim is a good player but I don't remember how the rest of them should be rated.

On my way home I will stop to buy a couple of mushrooms. Guess what I am having for dinner.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A week later

Since I last wrote I had a birthday. Somehow it caused a hiatus in my writing. It brought me back from my travels. I have a granddaughter on a carrier in the Pacific Ocean somewhere. Before leaving she asked me to send her my blogs via email and a message told me that the email had not been delivered. Was it because I mentioned the trouble in Georgia. Is her email, or my email censored? I also sent my blog via email to a young Swedish woman who is working in India, and it came back as undelivered. And suddenly my memories were undeliverable. I am not very swift with the computer and now that I am this much closer to ninety I seem much less swift than I was last week.

As a birthday gift I bought myself a slow cook cookbook and I am going to slow cook all year. There are a couple of reasons for this decision. The smell that the slow cooker produces and the fact that I will save money. Each slow cooked meal should produce three dinners unless I invite someone to share with me. Next visit to the grocery store I will buy the ingredients for a meal and also the three containers I will need to freeze the leftovers. Individual glass containers so I can just put them in the microwave and not worry about the rumors of danger in plastics. Where I live, we have no dish washers and glass is easier to feel safe about. And the containers have to be stackable. And easy to mark so there will be no confusion when dinner time comes.

Super Bowl Sunday I was invited to dinner at Edna's and Butch's and it turned into a great game for a change. I always vote for the under dog team and this time there were a few minutes when the game could have gone my way. But the better team won. But where I won was when I Left. I had such happy memories of the day, spent with such good friends and family and cat and dogs and better yet, I left with a care package of wonderful food which lasted a week. I had the remnants of the baked beans last night.

With a birthday comes the time for check ups. I saw my md and got a good report. I had a small skin cancer removed on my ear. The scar is invisible because of my hair covering it. I have one other visit next week and if the reports are good I think I might make 90. I had my 13 year old car washed and semi detailed and you should see it. It will now go to the lube place and get it's check up. And then I will have done my new year chores.

For you people who comment, please let me know if this chit chat is as interesting as name dropping. I am going to help with the work for maintaining the Pool. Our city has threatened to close it come spring. Our local High school uses the pool for swimming training and contests, the Coast Guard uses it for training for saving people who fall in the drink while sailing, parents use it for teaching children and babies how to swim, we old people can exercise in the buoyancy of the water. I have told some of the driving forces in SAVE OUR POOL about how FDR got enough money to treat and eventually how to prevent 'Infantile paralysis' by asking children to send him some dimes. Could this work on a smaller scale? I will volunteer to go to class rooms to tell the young ones about FDR and his millions of dimes