Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thank you for information about KGO

The firing of all the talk show people on KGO must have been instigated by the far right.
The conversation was almost always very fair and the only one-sided commentator was
Dr. Wattenberg (sp) who, I heard had been rehired. The far right must be scared that Obama will win a second term. I wish I could remember who all the companies were who advertised. I would shun them all. Except the radio out fit from Los Angeles. Luckily I remember their phone number so I can call them and tell them to stop advertise there.

One day when I was young and eager to get established as a portrait painter I called Don Sherwood, the five to nine am host on KSFO, if I could come in from Contra Costa County, to paint him while he was anchored by his mike. He said yes, maybe by the urging of Herb Cain. I would drive across the Bay Bridge, scared breathless. The four young children were well taken care of by their father, there we re not too many cars on the road that early. So what made me so scared? Where would I park? How would I get along with Don Sherwood. If you want to find out what happened to Don's portrait, google it, and an old, old blog should turn up and tell you the story.

On my advent calendar, it was Anna's turn with her red wrapping paper. I was mystified for at least five minutes. What could be the meaning of those two items. They were intended to be used as stoppers for a bottle who had lost his cork. I immediately went to my larder and corked my Olive Oil bottle. Thank you Anna. ( I bet she had seen my corkless bottle last time she made salad dressing.)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What fun.

I woke up at one o'clock, was still awake at three thirty, decided to get up to knit on my Christmas presents. I was strong enough to get past the Advent Calendar. Watched an old, old who-done-it and fell asleep until six. It was Jane's turn to have a present hanging on the sixth hook. Felt like a small sort of can. It was a small can of Trader Joe's Anchovy Filets. What a great gift. Can't wait till five tonight to have a couple of crackers with a slice of hard boiled egg and a taste of that can with my drink. Thank you Jane.

I have such sad news. My favorite radio station, KGO, has totally changed their night time programming. One reason for my insomnia. What could have happened that they fired all the oldtime people. I have listened to Ray Talgiaphero since our Diablo days. And I have admired John Rothman since he was a fill in until he became a nightly person from ten until one or two. And the wonderful woman with triplets. How will I ever sleep again with all my night time friends gone. If any reader of this blog knows what happened, please let me know. I can't tell you how devastated this has made me. From, going to bed with a glad cry, I have become, Oh, must I.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

mornings are more fun now

Today is my third day of opening advent presents. December first had a white paper wrapped one and I knew that was one from Martha. There were three tiny cookie cutters and if I make pepper cake cookies this year I will use them. My recipe is very complicated. You make the dough and let it rest overnight and then role it into a paper thin thing and when this dough sticks to the surface of your baking board you add more flour and then try again. When you finally succeed, there is so much flour in your cookies that they have become a dull gray-brown tough item. Steve, my son-in-law is the only one who can make them into the delicate items they are supposed to be. If he is planning to make them this year, I may send him my new cutters and ask him to make me a dozen cookies.

Yesterday I opened my second present. There were two small packets of chocolate-almond spread which I tried immediately on my breakfast English muffin. Yum! It was in a white package which I assumed was from Jane. I was wrong. It was Anna's wrapping paper. I told the girls that they are richer than I was when making mine so long ago. I would have used the three cutters for three different days and the spread for two different days.

Today, the third day, I opened a red and white striped paper one. It was so heavy that the board is now listing to starboard. (I will put a tack under the right hand corner to keep it from listing even more in the future) But not til I'm sure my neighbor is awake. You may wonder what was so heavy in Jane's package. Money. a lot of money. Beautiful shiny coins. Filled with chocolate.
When I go to our local variety store there is always some of these coins near the check-out counter. But the little bag they are sold in is much smaller than this one and the money is not as shiny and new. I will buy one next time I go there. Just to compare them. Jane's contained
$8.07. Thank you Jane.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Advent calendar

When my four children were little, I made advent calendars for all of them. First I made one board to hang on the wall in a central place. Then I attached 24 ring to which I could tie four presents each day to be opened until the 24th. Each child had a present wrapped in his own color wrapping paper. We were fairly poor at that time, so the presents were insignificant. Maybe one piece of gum or a small pencil or a candy bar. A few days before dec 24th there would be a small box of thank you notes for the four of them to use after the holidays. Sometimes there would be a small treasure fit for the individual receiver. It was fun to do each year, but the wrapping was a forever job. Four times 24 I think makes 96 and it took forever to wrap that many little packages. But when you heard one of them come shouting down the hall, saying 'Look Anna, I got a great little book about birds. Then it all seemed worth it.

I told someone this autumn about the advent calendars an that someone I think was Shreve; She told my four children about the fact that I had told her I had never received an advent calendar. And so this year, on Thanksgiving Day an Advent calendar was delivered to my place. I love it. The base had been used for Anna's two children. On the twenty four rings that have been sewn onto the brown felt covering the board hang a present for each day. The packages are wrapped in three different kind of papers, I know that the one for dec 1 is from Martha. I am eager to wake up on Thursday so I can open it to see what may be hidden under the the white tissue paper.From where I sit it looks as though there are two to open on Dec 2.

The board it self is a wonderful Christmas decoration. There are two larger Santas. A mother Santa with a white apron, making her look as though she was interrupted while baking cookies.
At the end of the line is Papa Santa, and between them are two cute little Santas. signifying Shreve and Karin. What a lot of work Anna had to do to make this for me. I will be forever happy about my first Advent Calendar.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I love it when Shreve talks about food. I have her cook book and I can sit and read it like a novel. It always ends up with my going into the kitchen and since I am not Gluten sensitive I will often cheat and add something she is not allowed to have.

Tonight I am having the noodles with the truffle oil. I have two sections of Tony Roma's spare ribs in the refrigerator, one of which I will heat up on my BBQ. (A gift from one of my favorite sons-in-law) and my dinner will consist of spare ribs, noodles with a drop of truffle oil, a green vegetable also left over from yesterday, with a few drops of Ranch dressing. For dessert I will have a whole Kiwi fruit which I cut in half and eat out of the peel, the way you eat a grapefruit, only the spoon is much smaller. It is noon now and how do I wait.

Since we are talking about food, I will tell you what I had for breakfast, Coffee, one pear and one banana. For lunch I will have two thin slices of Safeway's Artisian black olive bread with a slice of tomato and a slice of cheese. If a dietary expert reads this, what am I missing. and since I have had two worry some instances of what could be gout, is there something wrong with today's menu? I will google Gout and see what that's all about.

Meanwhile, Bon Apetit.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Another NY Times day

This was a thinner version of my three day experience with the paper. I think I signed up for a month of weekends, but I am discontinuing the paper on Monday. The font is too small, and I will attempt to get the paper on my iPad where I can control that. But it is not the same as smelling the paper while reading. But we can't have every thing. I feel very fortunate to have what I have.

Speaking of being fortunate, my luck is in my family. All four children grew up to be sterling citizens. All seven grandchildren ditto. What more could one ask for. And now I have Martha's success to give thanks for. She is so busy with her new book, The Plot Whisperer, and with all the work she has with Plot consultations.

Our home outfit, Park View Villas, in conjunction with Port Angeles Senior Center are putting on a Gala affair tonight, called The Harvest Benefit Dinner. Our bus leaves at 3pm and we may be back in time for the third World Series game.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A wonderful day

I woke up at 5 am and opened the door for my cat to go out. There was the New York Times by my door. I made a cup of coffee and sat down with the paper. It was the Friday, Saturday and Sunday papers I had ordered. Lots of news of Qaddafi's brutal end and a thick section about money but the rest of it I read from cover to cover. Read a critique of a book on van Gogh. Toyed with the idea of buying it but the $4o.oo and the state of my book shelves deterred me.

At 9.30 I met Gilbert and Chris for breakfast downtown. Returned home and have spent the rest of the day reading our local paper (10 minutes) and the rest of the NY paper. I have had a fabulous day. Now I have to tell NY to discontinue delivering my paper for the font is too small. I will read the two papers that are coming to me, hoping I won't speed up my macular condition.

Just looking at the ads gave me a thrill and I remember how much I enjoyed the paper when I lived in New York in 1938. I did not have the money to buy the paper but by Monday when the rest of the people in the house had finished with it, it came to me, the lowest person on the totem pole. Every cent I earned, ( I think I was payed $60 or 70 and room and board,) had to be set aside for my future education. I have had a great day.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I will try again

Yesterday another failure with my blogging. I left half of a blog when I had to rush out for an appointment.(Actually my rushing would be better described as slow mo) When I came home and opened up again there was a big red and yellow stripe saying we cannot continue.

So now I may stop writing for fear that the computer will show the red and yellow stripe again.

I am so happy to see that there are people who still remember me. Thanks for the comments.

Two things I will report for everyone who is reading this. Martha, my second daughter who now lives in Santa Cruz with her husband Bobby, had a new book published and she had an event at a book store in Santa Cruz, where she was met with a full house and the books were sold out. There will be other events of this sort but when the first one is so successful, I think you have to thank the spirits out there. I have read the book and it is very inspiring and I felt I could write a best seller, but more than that I felt the last pages of the book revealed what a lovely person Martha Alderson is.

I have read a book by another 'relative'. Donna Rankin Love wrote WALKING FOR OUR LIVES. Donna is not a real relative, but about twenty years ago she was my sister-in-law. Toward the end of the 1970-ties she and a few another hundreds of people walked from California to Washington DC on a 'get rid of nuclear arms' plan. The book is riveting and full of adventures. But most of all, when the world was against them they tried harder and they succeeded. Martha's book THE PLOT WHISPERER, Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master. Her book will be in any book store and on Amazon. Donna's book on Amazon.

Monday, October 17, 2011


When you are as old as I am, and people are putting roadblocks in your way, it is so easy to say 'OK, if google is going to be difficult, I give up.' I have sat down so many times with a smashing idea for a blog, and after half an hour of arguing with google, the idea would pale off and some other job would call and so all inspiration would be gone. Today when I have absolutely no idea of what to say, it worked the first time I tried. I feel better and as soon something enters my head , I will be in touch.

When Shreve wrote that there would be fewer messages from her for a while, someone commented, Maybe your grandmother could fill in for a while. Thank you for writing that. It filled me with a lot positive feelings. But I could never fill in for Shreve

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Around 1930, there was a building fire North of Viken. It was a big two story house which looked as though it was made of cement. Our house on the beach, directly below the church, was close enough that we could hear all the emergency vehicles hurrying to save the burning house. It was owned by a wealthy seafarer. His wife and grown daughter were told to go to a neighbor's house. The fire was soon taken care of and the only sign of it the next morning were black streaks sweeping out the window of the daughter's upstairs bedroom.
Nothing like this had ever happened before, during my ten or twelve years of living there. It affected my life seriously. We four children were constantly warned of the danger of fire. At Christmas time we had real candles in our tree. During the school Christmas party we danced around a giant tree festooned with hundreds of real, lit, candles. When the last Christmas party (the 6th of January) was held in our house all our friends were invited and we got to share the candies and cookies that had decorated the tree during the holidays. Then we grabbed the tree and danced through all the rooms, and finally opened the front door and threw the tree out in the snow. And with this we had never heard about a fire around Christmas time. Our trees were of course greener and less flammable.
You may ask, why did the fire in the big house affect you so seriously. I don't know enough about Psychology but for the rest of my life I walked around with so much guilt. I had never been in the house with the fire but never looked at the streaks of black around that window. Even after WWII when Sam and I walked around Viken I never looked in that direction. In 1960 when I showed my children where I had grown up, I never showed them the house . I think my mother had imprinted in my brain that I was So Bad. The fire must have been my fault.

Monday, September 5, 2011

M emory

When I read this mornings paper, all abut Labor Day observances, here and in nearby towns, I wondered if we had something similar in Sweden. I am sure there was a day devoted to the honor of labor, but I do not remember what date it was. So refusing to get going with the daily chores, I tried to remember when I was first introduced to reading a newspaper. There were two newspapers daily in our house. The evening paper had a serial published at the very end of the paper. I remember my mother reading those to us at dinner, if they were suitable for children. Some times we tried to get a sneak view, if they were fun ones. But then the time I was excited about learning more was in 1932. Word had come over the radio that Ivar Kreuger had committed suicide in Paris. We all knew something about him. He was called the Match king. He was handsome. We did not know that he was also a crook.
A lot of the news was about his financial doings which was not understandable for me. I was 12 years old at the time. I think the Swedish papers were trying to white wash the story about him. I think people looked on him as another Alfred Nobel. It is always hard when a hero is discovered to have dirty feet. I looked up Kreuger's name on Google and my gosh, there are acres of stories about him. So now it is high noon and I have managed to spend the whole morning on the Match King. I heard somewhere long ago that if it had not been for Ivar Kreuger there might not have been such a serious crash in the late 1920ies.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Twin Towers

Much, much earlier you may remember that I wrote about Jack How. He was married to Sam's cousin Jane. He was a strange person. During the few years I knew him, he hit bottom and he soared to soaring heights. At first when I came to California, he was in the Navy serving at Oakland Knoll Hospital or maybe some other base near by, for he often he came home to spend the night. He was very amusing and could hold an audience breathless for hours. Suddenly he inherited $40.000. And suddenly he was driving a secondhand blue convertible and drinking nothing but French champagne. He claimed he was allergic to whiskey and gin drinks. It did not last long for Jane decided they had to pay bills, and just as suddenly as the money arrived, just as suddenly the money was gone. And so was his allergy.
When the war was over he found a job in a chemical company. I forget the name, but I think a plant was located near the Sacramento river somewhere in Contra Costa County. I imagine he was in sales for he was a spellbinder. In a few years he was working for that same company, but in their Wall Street office in New York City.
Many years later Sam and I had reason to go to New York. While there we called Jack and he said: "Lets have lunch" I said: "Where?" "How about the Twin Towers. We met on the ground floor and when Jack came he took us up to the fanciest restaurant for the most elegant lunch I still remember in detail.
Being in that building was an adventure, enjoying the fabulous view I will never forget. Jack died a few years later and I am happy he did not have to die in the inferno that occurred ten years ago.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


We are all tired of hearing the word HURRICANE, I know. And the people living with IRENE are much more tired of her than we are. But know that we are hoping and praying for you and that your losses will be minor.

I began thinking of this as a blog when I heard one news caster saying that New York had never before suffered any loss of life from a Hurricane. Then another such person came on and discussed the 1954 where the losses were minimal. Still nothing said about the huge one that hit Long Island in 1938. This is Sunday afternoon and finally 1938 was mentioned and the huge losses in lives and property on Long Island.

A passenger Liner named KUNGSHOLM was approaching New York from Sweden. Suddenly we met enormous waves and most of the passengers hurried to their staterooms to be sick. That night in the dining room things were difficult. Food kept sliding from the plates and some things ended up on the floor. I was booked for a berth on a very low level of the ship and if the year had been a little earlier it would have been called STEERAGE. My room was tiny and I had two or three room mates. After dark I went to my room, opened the door, and closed it again for the smell was atrocious. I went farther up on the ship than we bottom dwellers were supposed to go. No one cared so I found a comfortable corner to sit and contemplate the people who were still up and around. It was entertaining but I went to sleep and no one bothered me. Around five in the morning I woke up and began climbing stairs. I needed fresh air and on a very upper deck I found a quiet place to sit and watch the waves that were breaking over the super structure of the ship.
A very tall woman approached me. She stood in front of me and when she began speaking to me she put on foot on the seat next to me. She was amazingly steady. She spoke English with a very pronounced Swedish accent. Most of the short interlude was where are you from, where are you going, what do you ,plan to do in America etc. It was Greta Garbo. She had been drenched by waves in her walk, the hair that had crept out from under her scarf tied around her head was a mess, but she was gorgeous none the less. Nothing could ever change her large eyes or her classic profile. When she left I went down to my cabin to get changed into something dry before my bunk mates woke up needing the bathroom. As far as I know they never made it to the dining room. Nobody told us that we had met the hurricane that had killed so many people and destroyed so much of Long Island.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You scoffed

You scoffed

i think it is high time that you know the the situation of our lives at the time you were born. there is no shame in having been poor. We made it, and if you felt that we were well off, I will take that as a compliment.

Sam did not make much money until he became a partner in Lenoir Assoc. and then we moved to Laguna Beach.

We bought the house in Diablo a couple of months before Jane was born, We got Mr.Imrie down from 25.500 to 22.000. Even that was more than we could afford. We lived even more on the edge of disaster than we did when you were able to remember. I wish we had saved Sam's little black book so you could see for yourself.

Sam was the one who hired our cleaning woman when we lived in Burlingame. We had three children under four and I was very pregnant with Jane. You may say 'what poor planning' but we had been foiled by you for five years and as you know that clock keeps running. Life would have been sad if Jane had not put in her grand entrance a month after your fourth Birthday. (It just dawned on me that you are having your 64th birthday any day now) As it was, we had to be satisfied with four children for I was disconnected for medical reasons at the time of Jane's birth.

You thought I was nothing but a house wife sitting around eating bon bons all day. Far from the truth. I canned 365 qts of fruit every year when you all ate some kind of baby cerial. And we usually paid nothing for the fruit, for I watched when people had fruit trees and did not save their crop. The only fruit I paid for was apricots and I would have to drive up the Sacramento Valley to get a lug of those. I remember my brother Gunne was at our house and when he saw the kitchen as I was peeling fruit, processing it it in the blender and then canning it in the huge blue pot he said 'This is not a kitchen. It is a laboratory. I did not have to do apricots, for apples were always free, but apricots were your favorite so I tried to have 52 quarts of those each year.

When Anna was born we did not have a dryer and we had two children in diapers. A lot of time spent in the back yard hanging up diapers. Just before Martha was born we got a drier. I spent what ever free time I had painting the house. Not the outside. The house had stood empty for years and that is not good for a house.

. When Jane was born we bought a dishwasher.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What Fire Works?

I tried to remember if I ever saw fire works in Sweden. The only thing of that sort were the big fires we lit on the beach below our house. It was mostly done on the evening before the first of May. Walborgsmassoafton, it was called. But I think it was permitted on Midsummernightsafton also. There would be lots of singing and occasionally dancing. But most often the dance was held in our park, around the Maypole. Midsummer is the 24 of June and yet the pole is called the May pole.

But if we wanted to see real fire works we would have to go to Kopenhagen. Tivoli gardens were always fun. Sometimes that got very expensive. One time I had my four children with me and when our trip on the train came into the place to exit the train my cildren had heard that once you were a paid customer you could ride around on the train as many times as you wished. I told them to follow me off, but as I turned around they stayed on the train, and then waved to me every time they circled again. I finally found out that they couldn't get off till they paid for all the extra rides. I said you will find me back at our hotel. Good luck! They all cried
'we have no money' Then you have to have more than good luck. They were more co-operative after that.

Another thing happened on that trip to Kopenhamn. I told them that we would go to a John Wayne movie. It was shown on the same street where our hotel was. So we decided to walk. And we walked and walked. Block after block. I was so tired from a long day of sight seeing. But we went on and on. When we got to the theatre we found out it was barn forbjudet. No children allowed. There was violence shown and children couldn't see violence. I wonder if I could have taken them to a movie with a little nudity shown. Live and learn.

But nothing compares with the fire works on July Fourth in America. It is stirring and everyone loves them. But they are war like.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy July5

Yesterday I had the best July 4 in memory. The day was warm and sunny. At 6am I watered my tomato plants and my geraniums, swept my front porch and then sat down to read the book I got from the library. Martha advised me to read it to do away with the pains in my left knee. The title by Louise Hay is YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE. The gist of what I have read so far is that you are supposed to look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself YOU ARE OK. Not listen to the voice from the past that repeats what you heard ages ago saying,YOU ARE BAD, YOU ARE NO GOOD etc. There is much more to try to learn and to remember. By forgiving yourself, you will be forgiving the ones who might have hurt you. And your body will stop hurting. All this is too simplified and I am eager to get back to the book to learn more. But I tried it this morning. I told myself I am OK. Not You talked too much last night. You should not have monopolized the time of those young people from Colorado. Normally there is guilt. This morning there was bliss. I had a wonderful time at Edna's and Butch's house last night.

The food was delicious and the company was outstanding and the fireworks loud and beautiful. But every year I try to count how many children could have been fed from the cost of that single thriller. Not festive of me, I know. So this year, two dogs and three young people and I stayed inside while the 'rockets blared'. And then Edna had another surprise. She had made Palomas. Egg white and sugar, whipped into a stiff mass, baked. Then strawberries and blueberries and whipped cream. What a finale.

My conscience bothered me, for I had left Edgar, my cat, at home and he was scared from all the noise from the street. I had left the TV on to make him feel less lonesome. And then I let him sleep behind my knees. We got along all night. And I am OK.

Edna and Butch, how can I thank you? You made me so happy. Thank you.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A voice from the past

Marm, how nice to hear from you. I have tried to get in touch with you a couple of times. I called John to get your phone number, wrote it down in my address book. Have called you many times. Either I wrote the number down incorrectly or I called you when you were visiting somewhere in never never land. You have no idea of how much I miss you and your parents.

How did you happen to find me? How much of my blogs have you read? If you went far back you must know all about where my children are and what they are doing. Anna and Jane are in your area at the moment visiting Martha at Santa Cruz. Gilbert and Chris were here for dinner tonight to play Bridge with one of my neighbors. We played bridge on the dinner table and now near midnight I decided to return the computer to its normal place, the end of the table. Then I thought to look to see if there were any messages and when I saw the name Marm I said 'Please let it be Marm. Getting it plugged in properly I had time to think. there could be more than one Marm. But it was the right one. I won't be able to sleep tonight. There are so many memories to sift through before I can go to sleep. I am in the phone book and I would so love to talk to you.

To all my blog friends, it is unfair to get in touch with this wonderful friend this way. I will blog about our past and you too will get to know 'our past history' My day began at 5am, a visit to my eye doctor at 8.30. I have worn the same glasses since 2003. Had wonderful news, she said my macular degeneration is the slowest she has ever seen. One eye had improved since she last checked me. So I lived most of the day in a cloud because of having my eyes dilated. I know my eyes were gorgeous because of the enlarged pupils but I could'nt see them. Still had trouble seeing the cards when we played bridge for it was difficult telling the difference between the red and the black cards. Gilbert was my partner and we won the first rubber and Chris who is such a good player, and her partner won the second rubber. Marm, did you ever learn to play?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My house is now filled with summer

Yesterday I drove to a nursery near the airport to buy 12 red geraniums. Why 12? All 12 would fit in a box I could manage when I got back home. I parked on the street, level with my place. If I had parked in my garage, I would have been forced to make the 7 stairsteps to my level. Probably would have ruined my flimsy shopping cart. Then I walked to my place to get my walker. I felt the seat in said walker would hold the box. It worked. Each pot, which held a primrose was emptied and now holds a red or pink geranium. It looks elegant. Several times during the afternoon I went out to admire the change from late spring to early summer. And when I was ready for a long rest in my recliner four of my favorite 'inmates' strolled up to see the change. While we were there Ohing and Awing up walked the gardener to manipulate the automatic watering system. Rain has been sufficient until now. At five this morning the system worked perfectly.

My favorite baseball team, the Seattle Mariners, are in full force trying to be the team standing in first place when October rolls around. They are having their ups and downs, but it is not impossible to think of them as the winners. Meanwhile we have so many hours watching TV hoping and praying. June 29 a bus from here will take a small number of us to watch a game.

Monday, May 16, 2011

May I brag?

Sunday I was working on a project when the phone rang. It was one of my favorite granddaughters. We had a long chat and through much questioning out came a piece of news that I think should be shared by all her friends. I know she will never tell people. And so I will ask her if I may leak the news.

This granddaughter has gone through a rigorous series of classes, both mentally and physically draining. She finally told me that her written report had the highest grade ever given in her state. Or her test results were graded the highest ever in the state. She will have to correct what I reported. It was so thrilling to hear and I know all of you will agree with me, now that she will have to come 'out' and correct me.

Hope you will forgive me, dear granddaughter

Friday, May 13, 2011


Every time I fail I take several steps backward. and I have failed so many times in the last two months. Several times my failures were involved with the computer. My worst one was trying to get into a relationship with a hypnotist. Once people or machines say 'you are so stupid' or 'you are a hopeless case' I draw back into my shell and say' OK, I don't need this and I will go back to my security blanket and I will spend hours and hours on my idiotic knitting or embroidery or occasionally reading.

I wrote a blog entitled 'There are angels among us.' And my computer refused to send it. Some day I will tell you what had inspired me but the scar of the computer refusing it still hurts too much.

And then I finally worked up enough nerve to try contacting a hypnotist. I have thought about for months and then I called. A very friendly voice said ' I am with a client, but can I call you back. I w.ill call you within five minutes.' Again she said ' it will be less than five minutes.' She never called. I called two or three hours later to see what happened and there was no response. Why do you think I need a hypnotist? I just wanted to know if it might help with hyperextending my knees, improving my posture, walking straighter. If she had told me to go to a physical therapist instead, I would have been satisfied.

A friend brought me a DVD of the Swedish Larsson film and yesterday I tried to see it but the mechanics defeated me. I will try again.

I will try to blog even when I feel defeated by these enemies. I regularly feel very happy and I love my life here. I have planted two 'Upsi Daisy' tomatoes and a wonderful red flower that Amber gave me. That flower raised my spirits by yards. It is doing well by my front door.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sweet peas

I don't know if you remember a very early blog talking about sweet peas. It happened about 1924 or 1925. We were having a huge party in the spring or very early summer. Relatives and good friends were coming. I was sick and had a high temperature. I tried to stick it out but finally my mother said I had to go to bed. As she tucked me in I said, please save my portion of the peas for me. She promised. I have to tell you what kind of peas were served at the meal I missed. Every time we had guests, canned peas were served. The can was as big as a small can of tuna fish. No matter how many people were sitting around the table, peas were served. The peas were American and they were extremely expensive. 

I went to sleep happy in the promise I would get my share of peas. When I woke, with no temp. I asked about my peas. There were no left overs.

This morning I read the Wednesday food section and I read bout a dip that could be made with an avocado and garlic and hot peppers and frozen peas. this evening I made it and I finally had my portion of sweet peas. The recipie used a whole package of frozen sweet peas. All alone, with a drink of Rye Whiskey and sweet Vermouth and  huge plateful of this dip. I ate my fill of sweet peas and I hope I never run into another package of sweet peas. This took about 85 years.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The end of a wonderful visit

The girls stayed almost a week. Never have we had a better visit. I will describe our living quarters. Each building has four cottages. Mine is titled C. I think the one next to mine is D. If you walk around the building you come to A and B. The girls were lucky enough to be able to rent A. Only because it was between renters. There was nothing in the rooms except three blow up kind of mattresses made up with bedclothes and pillows and towels in the bathroom. They were so happy to be so close. And so was I.

On Friday, I think, my phone rang at 2am. It was one of the husbands calling about the Japanese Earthquake. Since their home is near the beach in Northern California, he was feeling uneasy about the Tsunami. I put on my wooden shoes and my robe and walked around the corner to tell Martha to turn on her phone. Couldn't have done that if they all had resided in the apartments in the big buildings. The Tsunami came in as a little bigger wave than normal, and with many, many surfers waiting for the big one. Many yacht harbors not far from Santa Cruiz had lots of destruction. All who read this would fell better if they sent at least $10 to the American Red Cross for help for the Japanese.   

Sunday all of us went to the Port Angeles Library to hear Jonathan Evison read parts of his new book. Since it deals with Port Angeles and the Elwah River and the dams, built in 1880ies and now the removal of the dams in 2011 or 12, the room was filled to the brim with interested people. I have given my book away but I think it is called West Of Here. I loved it.

Our next outing dealt with visiting the Dams. We drove and drove up a winding road, often with quite a lot of snow bordering the road which was very muddy. Finally we arrived and the girls had to investigate everything except the actual machinery. I have it on good reporting that one of my daughters crawled under a fence and hung over the edge to get a better picture of how far it was to the bottom. Glad I didn't know it at the time. Saturday we had invited friends for cocktails and meaningful edibles and we made home made Pizza. Yum. Monday Swedish friends called and asked to see the girls again and brought along Swedish Aquavit. We each had a nibble.

Monday the girls had to see the lower Dam and drove out again. This time I was smart enough to stay home. They were so excited when they returned, for they met a man out there who was able to tell them all about, both the Lower and the Upper Dam. Frankly, I now feel like Clark Gable.

I know a fellow inmate who had a knee replacement, who came home yesterday. I want to wish her well, but I won't try to see her until I hear that she happy about seeing people. She is lucky. She has a son who is going to stay with her for a month. God bless.

Friday, March 11, 2011

My house and my heart is full.

Yesterday my three daughters and I met for lunch at the Dockside Grill at John Wayne Marina in Sequim. I arrived first after driving from Port Angeles. And minutes later the three 'girls' arrived. We had a long, delicious lunch. Best of all was our involvement with our waitress, Emily, who, working with her parents and her brother, kept us entertained through the longer than usual lunch 'hour'. The food was interesting and exquisitely blended, and Emily even made us order a dessert that consisted of chocolate, chocolate cookie base, peanut butter, and whipped cream. It was a wonderful dessert, I mean it was one wonderful desert and four spoons. I am writing this blog to make sure that Emily's father knows what an asset his daughter is to his business.

More blogging after my daughters leave, a day I am not looking forward to.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Angels among us

This morning Dear Abby used the expression above. And I thought HOW TRUE. Every time I go out into town I meet several of the angels. Yesterday I went for breakfast at Mac Donald's. For the first time in my long life I had an Egg Mac Muffin. It was delicious and I will return for more. I also think the coffee was better than I get at home. I met the first angel of the day. As I was parking and getting out of the car, I saw a woman standing at a counter eating her breakfast, looking out the window. I struggled as usual to get into a standing position, got my cane, and then had my usual problem, one I have had since childhood, which door do I go into. The woman eating by the window must have seen me for she was at the first door, opened it for me and made me feel so welcome. If Abby had written about the angels among us yesterday I would have told her she was my angel. I felt so much more at ease after experiencing her welcome. And so my resolve is to tell people how important their helpful acts are. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I was sitting here reading Martha Alderson's latest news in her iZine. She was talking about the Front story and the Back story. I do not always understand everything I read but to me this was a huge revelation. In your writing you don't have to tell the back story as long as you yourself understand how it is affecting you.

My whole life has been affected by the abuse I suffered ass a child. I remember all the times my mother would tell her friends that she had wished to have two children. That her life was perfect until she became pregnant with me. How she had tried to lose the baby by following advice from people who knew things like that. Every minute detail seared itself into my memory. Suddenly I realized how important all those little snippets of gossip affected me, but the actual abuse, the physical abuse has had little effect on me. I was beaten with a rug beater on my bare back and behind so I could not go swimming at the beach because of welts and bruises. My hair was pulled so that huge sections of my scalp was exposed until new hair grew in. 

When punishment was meted out my mother wanted to see me cry. I would grit my teeth and swear I would not give her that satisfaction. And so my beatings became longer and longer. Not very smart of me. And now I am interested in realizing that the physical abuse never comes to mind, whereas the mind games are with me on a daily basis. Once I wrote a short story about my mother and her tribulations, and I felt I forgave her for what she did to me. But there are still scars somewhere in my mind. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011


You may wonder why I am so sporadic with the blog. Just now I am trying to develop a project to work on during the Baseball season. I can't stand to sit and just watch. I must have my hands occupied. So I will tell you what I am hoping to create. I have a fairly large chest of drawers filled to overflowing with small amounts of yardage, used for Quilting and used in my Fake it in Fabrics. I want to see if I can use them in making a 6x4 rug for in front of the love seat. 

I am cutting, on the bias, pieces as long as possible and two inches wide. Then I sew them together. After that I iron them so they are two inches wide. And then I make them into 1/4 inches. Folding the raw edges into the mid line. In a sense I now have hundreds of yards of bias tape. I have enough to now try to braid them together and then to eventually sew the braids together in an oval rug. It has been done using yarn or heavy wool materials. My little stiff things may not lend themselves to a soft yielding oval. I now have enough material to test, If it works I will have the most colorful rug in the world. Wish me luck, please.

I had an interesting time this morning, or last night to be exact. I always listen to KGO from San Francisco at night when I am awake. At two Ray Taliafero(sp) came on and talked about how small our world is getting what with our instant knowledge of what happens in every corner of the Earth. And what could be the next big step in our abilities. He said please call in if you feel you are on the edge of something gigantic. And he waxed so yearning to know what might be next. I decided to call in. It took an hour to get anyone to answer the phone. And then it seemed to take another hour hanging on to the phone. Finally it was my turn. I told him I loved the beginning of the program, when he was musing about what might come next. And then I asked if it would be correct to call him Prehistoric. He got a big chuckle out of that. Then I told him about my historic grandfather who was born in 1838. In 1928 he sat in our kitchen, listening to a little radio my mother had bought that morning, and when he heard Admiral Byrd speaking from  the AntArchtic tears streamed down his cheeks. I was 8 and I was more impressed by grandfather's tears than the voice from wherever. I didn't know grown men could cry. It is now 5.13 and my Daily Coyote just arrived.

Friday, February 18, 2011

olympic !!

In between the raindrops I managed another training session. I wanted to find a better route to the restaurant on C street. The most logical way is the shortest, but the alley is out. For the winter anyway. So I tried 9th street. Direct and straight. One problem. No sidewalks. But I found out that, that does not matter for there was no traffic and walking on the street was safe. A few dogs gave me loud greetings, but they were all fenced in. I met one woman walking in the opposite direction and that was pleasant. We stopped and chatted for a moment and since I had walked up a mild hill for two blocks, it slowed down my breathing. Until the very last block I saw no cars, one woman and on top of the hill I had full view of our gorgeous Olympic mountains.

I parked my walker outside the the door again and when I sat down at 'my table' it felt great to sit down and the smell was promising. It smelled of pancakes and waffles and sausages. All the breakfast customers had left and I was the only hungry one there. Met by a welcoming woman who looked like she might be the owner of the place. There was a special offered and I accepted. While waiting for my waffle I leafed through a magazine and then a young couple walked in and asked if they were in time for breakfast. They sat down at the opposite side of the place. I was engrossed then, in either my magazine or my waffle when I heard   'Gertrud ' . I was startled and looked around and there was no one new in the place. The young woman then said ' I am sorry. I thought you were a woman I used to know whose name was Gertrud.' My name is Gertrud. But I don't .... She said 'my name is Sarah. You once helped me make a cat.'

At one time, maybe twenty years earlier, Sam had been in a play in Sequim. It was the ODD COUPLE. He and Sarah's father were two of the four poker players and Sam had felt the four of them needed extra rehearsal time and had invited them to our house on a Saturday morning. One of them brought his daughter, who was probably five or six. I wanted her to be happy so I asked if she would like to go down to the beach to look for a pretty rock. She was a lovely child and we had fun exploring. We found a couple of round flat rocks that were perfect for a cat. And so we spent a few hours in my studio gluing and painting and whiskering. When the men were ready to leave, Sarah had a cat.

Through the years, whenever I ran into Sarah she would greet me with 'I still have my cat'. The cat went to college with her. It went to music school with her. Sarah has a beautiful voice and is now a Jazz Singer and she is a beautiful human being. I have never run into her any other place than the theatre at night and here in a completely different setting, I did not at first recognize her. But she has not changed. She is still a beautiful human being.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Olympics

This morning I decided I had been dawdling in inactivity too long for my health. I checked the weather to see if I should wear sunglasses or a hat to protect my eyes. Should I wear something warm? It seemed like a mild day and nothing is worse than being over-dressed and perspiring. I had made the resolution to walk down to C  Street to eat breakfast.

I would walk with my walker, for the route I had chosen was very uneven footwise. I would walk the alley between 8th and 9th street. I live on 8th and G street. My progress was slow, for the ruts were a sign of a wet long winter. I had chosen the alley because of a memory driving that way soon after having moved here. The alley was green because of over hanging trees, and there were flowers blooming everywhere. But today there was no beauty in the alley. There were dead blackberry bushes, there were fences falling down, there were garbage cans overflowing with merchandise. Some of them that had lids that couldn't close, had been raided by crows or sea gulls. And after having gone a block and a half, it began raining. It was a mild rain, big drops but not too many of them.

In the restaurant, a nice homey clean one, I was too late for breakfast. So I ordered Fish and Chips. Everything tasted great. The salad was especially good. It took probably an hour and when my meal was finished and I had paid my bill I had a rude awakening. The rain that had been mild had turned very serious. By the time I got home, I was soaked to the skin. When I later spoke with Martha, she said Mom just because you feel you need exercise you don't have to train for the Olympics

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I hate to talk  about food for the thought of food is fattening. But our newspaper had a wonderful page about food yesterday. As soon as I read it I hurried to get dressed, made my shopping list, and drove down to our local Safeway. I needed beans and molasses and a small ham hock. And a spicy Mexican sounding sausage for tomorrows experiments. Which again calls for beans. Luckily we are having another cold snap and beans and beer and cornbread are perfect for that kind of weather.

Naturally, I cooked too much and gave some to a couple of neighbors. And when I finished my bean dinner, there was enough left over for two more dinners for me. So I will save the mexican sounding sausage for later, hoping I will get to eat that before it gets too warm. This morning, after I poured out the over night rinse water I put the pot on to boil and after I finished reading the paper it smelled so good I poured myself a large bowl of what one would have to call bean soup. It was very liquid and very good. I don't think I have ever had beans twice in one day.

After the beans had baked in the oven, I chopped the green kale leaves and added them to the pot. It made me remember when I was a child in Sweden and we four siblings were playing down at the beach. An uncle had salvaged the wood of a sailing ship that had hit a reef and sank. It was not a sailboat for the rich, but a fairly meaningful ship that carried freight through the straight of Oresund. We played in this mountain of large timbers, carried out some internal pieces so we could pretend the hole we made, was our living room. Naturally we got hungry and so we invented a new kind of sandwich. We took large kale leaves in our garden, spread what we pretended was butter on them (it was chicken mash we stole out of grandmother's hen-house) and then put pretend jam on that(red hawthorn berries) It was a wonder we did not get sick or squashed while this game was going on. Then my older brother who pretended to be the man of the house, took us for a walk and when reached our goal we could see Kronborg Castle in Denmark. I can remember how cold it was playing in that cold wind that constantly blew in from the North sea.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What is a Soup Party

Uncle Fred asked the above question and so I will try to describe the way Georgia fashioned hers.

When it was held in their roomy house, when we were neighbors, it was different than last nights party. I will tell of the first ones first. The people who came from far away had a problem as soon as they arrived. There was no parking place available, the streets were too narrow to park there. We who lived on the same street would walk up the hill. We would tell anyone we saw to park in our driveway, and since Georgia had invited the neighborhood, everyone else on the hill would help them out too.

We would knock on the front door and since no one could hear upstairs we would walk in and hang up our coats below. They had a huge living room and if it was your first time there, you were told to go straight ahead and help yourself to wine and cheese and crackers. When the word came that the soup course was ready, you would walk out in the kitchen, where on the square island in the center were placed eight or ten crock pots (or as some people called them 'slow cookers') All of them were labeled and you were told you had to have some of each. There was home made bread and butter. (baked by Mitch) It would take ages to taste all those soups and when you had found a favorite one, you would have to have another little taste. All the soups were made by Georgia or Mitch. When you were too full to eat another crumb, dessert and coffee was served. Again you would have to serve yourself. On a table in the corner was the large electric coffee maker and many many cookies.

They had so many friends that they would have to have at least one more party. We did not know the square dancers so we always hoped to be included with neighbors or bridge players.
And then the M.s house was sold and they moved to the townhouses at the Golf Club. A loss for the people at Four Seasons. 

Last nights party was fun and the soups were good and the birthday cake was beautiful. But the staff at the Golf Club, who made the soups were not up to Georgia's standards. Half a tea spoon too much flour in one soup and maybe a different cheese in another. They were all delicious but I only tasted three of them. Then maybe my age made me stop.

It was a huge success and so much fun seeing all those people.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Soup Party

When Sam and I moved to Port Angeles we were invited to a soup party up the hill from us. We did not know the people who invited us. But we went. It was a fantastic party. Our whole neighborhood was there and many strangers. Our hosts were big in a church downtown, they were big in square dancing circles and they were big in bridge clubs but most of all, he had been Commanding Officer in our Coast Guard Station. They had a soup party (or two) every year after that and it was something we really looked forward to.

Tonight I am going to a Soup Party at the Golf Club. It is celebrating Georgia's ninetieth birthday. I think there will be many people over ninety. I will let you know in my next blog how many.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sixteen comments

Yesterday I wrote a blog, and then was totally amazed by the comments coming in. Most of them from old friends whose names I recognized. Even the Anonymous were old friends. 
I will publish a picture when the pillow comes back from the upholsterer. Carol told of learning the tvist in Japan when she was a child. An Anonymous described perfectly what the tvist is. I call it a one and a half cross stitch. If you are interested in how I got these old old kits with the pattern and the yarn (wool) I will tell you. 

When Jane, one of my favorite daughters, was about to get married, she wanted to go to Sweden to see if she could buy her wedding dress there. She pleaded with me to go along with her. I tried to tell her to go alone and for her to kick up her heels and have a huge fling before getting married. Nothing doing. She wanted me for extra security. When the plane landed in 
Copenhagen Ingegerd Dolling picked us up and on the ferry from Helsingor (where Hamlet used to hang around) to Helsingborg, Ingegerd told us that my mother was in the hospital in Helsingborg and we should go to see her when the ferry landed in Sweden. My mother had some kind of heart trouble.

When we got to see her, she seemed happy to see Jane and asked her what she was going to do. When she heard she was looking for a wedding dress my mother said ' You can have mine' I never knew she had a wedding dress. We had never seen a picture of her in a wedding dress. So out came the sad story of how my parents were married. You may remember that they had met in New York where my mother was working as a Nanny. My father was the Captain on a Swedish freighter unloading in the harbor. He was visiting a brother of who lived on Long Island. Nils and Blenda fell in love, he proposed marriage a year later, she said if you feel the same a year from now, I will say yes. So a year later they were engaged and then Blenda needed another year to get her trousou (sp) ready. She went back to Sweden and sewed her own wedding dress. In 1914 when War broke out between Germany and England Father said one day, 'we have to get married now, for my ship will not come into these waters again until after the war. So they were married in a court house, she in a brown suit and Father in his plain suit and they did not see each other until sometime in 1915 when Mother managed to get to England (or was it Spain) when she got pregnant with Birgit who was born in 1916.

Mother got home from the hospital and found her wedding dress which was beautiful. Fitted Jane to perfection. She was elated. And then she decided to travel around Sweden before our plane flew us back to USA. On this trip of her own she found these kits of tvist which she sent me when I moved into my present home. She knew she would never have time to make them.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's been a long time

I was told by Blogher that it has been more than a month since my last blog. Which means I need to get back to writing. I have spent a whole month embroidering a pillow. Not good for my eyes. The pillow is Swedish, done in a stitch called tvist. It is so much fun to work on. Difficult to go to bed at a decent time but fun to get up in the morning. You tell yourself that you will just finish this corner, and hours later there is just one more corner to be done. It is fabulous looking, now that it is finished. I will take it to the best upholsterer to have it made into living room, love seat kind of pillow. There is only one problem. I have already begun another one. It is bigger than the first one. With nine stylized tulips in the center.

Today is my ninety first birthday. I was given a new chair that is going to get me up and walking more often. I love it, and I love my four children who gave it to me. I tried out lots of chairs in the furniture store and settled on a beautiful blue covered one, which has all the functions that I will need in the near future. I will try to find a hypnotist who can help me with my deteriorating posture. that will be my gift to myself. And I will walk more this next year. And I will blog everyday before I pick my embroidering needle.

Birthday cards have arrived in bunches, and this morning I opened them. They  are so beautiful and have such wonderful messages, I had to dry my damp face before beginning this blog. I feel so rich. Rich in the love that surrounds me. And for that I am truly thankful