Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

I'm leaving in the morning for San Diego to spend Christmas with my son Dan and family. I've delayed my trip hoping to shake this bronchitis I acquired. I was going great, finished up the four Westernaire concerts....see me in my concert finery.

I had a wonderful open house party for about 12 of my neighbors. Met some great people and feel much more connected. I've also been enjoying hot tub time at my neighbor Janet's.

Anyway, I was in great shape until the morning after the party and wham....the old bronchitis came to stay. So I have been popping antibiotics, resting, and trying to get the coughing under control before I head for Dan's.

In spite of the bronchitis, I have really enjoyed this Holiday season. Starting with Sandy's Thanksgiving visit, time with Karen, the Westernaires and some actual entertaining. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy people and entertaining. More of both in 2009!

Well, best wishes to all for a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year. I'll be on the road to San Diego in the morning.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Holidays, Happy Birthday

It's been a while since I posted on my blog. I've been busy with my new life and that is a good thing. The choral group I joined, The Westeraires is rehearsing for a Christmas concert and that has been so much fun. There are about 100 members and we have a great sound. We are doing 4 days of shows beginning December 12th.

Thanksgiving was great. My friend Sandy flew out from Florida to spend a week. I was able to show her my new place for the first time and give her a tour of my new stomping ground. We spent two days, including Thanksgiving in Sedona, AZ. It is such a magical place, even in the rain. Yes, it rained almost every day Sandy was here. Go figure. It must be my Washington Karma. We did some good pictures in Sedona, including the rainbow.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Trip to San Diego

My grandaughter Katie, came home from College (Sonoma State) for the first weekend since August. So I went to San Diego to see her and visit my family. We had a great time. I always love being in San Diego. Perfect weather and familiar turf for me. We went to Seaport Village on Sunday to eat at one of our favs...The Greek Island Cafe, known to us as "Jerry G's". Good food and great outdoor seating on the water.

We took Katie to the airport after dinner and then waited for several hours to get her "home safe" phone call. I noticed we all relaxed then. She is growing into a lovely, competent, young woman, but she is still our "little girl"...and we worry.

Michael is just a few months from turning 16 and he actually misses his sister. Amazing.

In San Diego

My grandaughter Katie came home from College (Sonoma State)for the first time since August. I came to San Diego to spend the weekend with her and the family. We have had a lovely visit. San Diego has perfect weather, and is good, familiar turf for me.

We all went to Seaport Village Sunday night to eat at our favorite place, The Greek Island Cafe...better known to us as "Jerry G's". Then we took Katie to the airport and waited for her call to say she was safe and back at college. Once we had that message we all exhaled and relaxed.

Our girl is growing up to be a lovely young woman.

Life is Good

Since my last post I have been busy. I joined the Westernaires singing group and I absolutely love it. It is so wonderful to be back in a choral group. They are quite good and being surrounded by 4+ part harmonies is a spiritual experience for me. The leader is a hoot. She is technically excellent and has a great sense of humor. We practice for 2-2 and a half hours at a time and it flies by. We are getting ready for a Christmas concert and will do another in the Spring. I have also joined a writing class with a teacher from the University of Washington. I knew he was my kind of guy when I attended the first class and he arrived with his Obama button up front and visible. His focus is poetry, right up my alley. Although he is a fan of the modern, open format. I will have lots to learn.

My big project with the house has been to have the exterior painted and do some planting. I went with a yellow, grey and white color theme. I love the result. What do you think? I'm still experimenting to find "rabbit proof" plants. So far it is pretty limited. I just read that putting baby powder on the plants will discourage the rabbits. I'll be trying that soon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bonding with Sun City West

I'm still having flashes of "what was I thinking", particularly since we are still in triple digit temperatures. That being said, I am doing my best to get involved with the local community and take advantage of all SCW offers. I did join the Westernaires singing group and I am loving it. I had forgotten how wonderful it is to be surrounded by harmony. The group is very good and I am looking forward to the Christmas Concert. We are doing some lovely music. So fun. I have also signed up for beginning Spanish, a writing class and landscape painting. I'm doing a volunteer project at Church and continuing my phone calls for Obama. All this reaching out is not easy, but I'm determined to give Sun City West and Arizona a chance.

I have to admit I have been "Seattle Dreaming" since I've been home. I'm missing my Tribe, especially with this election looming. Also miss the water and trees and I guess, just the familiarity. It takes time to settle into a new life in a new place and I am definitely a "work in progress".

I have been watching, with great concern, the financial crisis our Country is in. I will suggest to anyone reading this....put your cash in a federally insured account. I moved my money market out of a money market mutual fund and into a bank money market account. With all my years in banking, greed does not surprise me, but where were the Regulators??? They are suppose to keep us honest and protect us from flim-flam. The proposed bailout by the government looks like the only reasonable choice if we want to avoid a complete meltdown that could look very much like another great depression. I'm most worried however, about the incredible deficit we face. Since the US is technically bankrupt, let us hope that China and others want to continue to buy our paper and keep us in operating mode. No matter what both candidates say, tax increases are inevitable.

The USA may be down but I believe we will recover and rise again. For me the best chance for leadership is Barack Obama. But what a mess he will walk into. Stay optimistic out there but wear a life preserver.

P.S. The sunset view is from my back yard. Nice.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I loved Show Low, AZ but the altitude created some breathing problems and a bit of vertigo for me. I stayed in the pool as much as possible....much softer landing when I fall over. I do love my water time.

Got Ms. Capri in good shape, checked out the area and finally decided it was time to go home. I was also motivated by an email invitation to the Obama AZ. Headquarters opening.

So off I went on Tuesday, Sept. 9th. Nice drive on Hiway 60. Got home about 7PM, unloaded the essentials and checked out the house. I'm pleased to say that all was in order. My house checkers did a great job of keeping things watered and cared for. So no unwanted surprises.

Yesterday I attended the Obama AZ event and signed up for phone and doorbelling work.
Met some lovely people who are all excited about the coming election and "our" candidates. I'm going to work on the "Seniors for OBAMA" project. I now have my bumper stickers, signage and a tee-shirt "Women for OBAMA). Only a couple months to get the job done so I'm getting busy!

Today I finished unpacking Ms. Capri, sorting through the tons of mail, mostly junk and getting cable TV, and telephone back in service plus some new faucets put in.

I already have a busy week. I meet with the Westernaires Chorus tomorrow to see about joining. We'll see if this used and abused voice can contribute anything. Also time to see my great hair guy, Vittorio for a cut and more highlights. I have never colored my hair before this summer and now I'm hooked. Still no gray but some white zingers showing up.

It is wonderful being back in my home bed and stretching out to full capacity. The Valley heat and air quality are still not very user friendly to me but it is what it is and I understand it won't start cooling down until October. So maybe next year I will be gone from mid-May to Oct. 1st. Northwest sound best to me so far. Much as I loved all I saw and experienced this summer, it was way too much driving and too hot and humid for me. I turned 6200 miles when I pulled in my driveway. Needless to say, I'm road weary and physically tired. We'll see how fast I snap back this year.

Pictures show a happy water "baby" in Show Low and plants all in bloom at my AZ home.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pictures of Ms. Capri's Interior & my spot in Florida

Pictures of the trip over the Mountains to AZ

Just some fun pictures of the trip over the mountains. Hope you enjoy.

Nice to be back in the West

I had a beautiful ride over the mountains to Arizona. I took some great pictures of the scenery and some unusual art pieces in a couple of small towns on the way. I decided to spend a few days at a nice RV park in Show Low, AZ., a beautiful spot in the White Mountains....where the temperatures are in the 80's. I though it made good sense to clean up and organize Ms. Capri in this nice cool weather. Sun City West is still in the 103-106 degree temps and I'd like to make my transition to my other life as pleasant as possible.

This morning I spent 90 minutes doing water aerobics with a lovely group of ladies at the RV park pool. Almost like being at home. Tonight I have been watching the Republican Convention, getting my first introduction to their VP candidate. She gave a strong speech. We will see how she wears in the coming months. It is certainly an historic campaign this year.....the first Republican VP nominee and the first African American Presidential Nominee. On that level......life is good.

Pictures follow.....

Bumpy Road to the West

After nearly 6,000 miles I finally had a problem with Ms. Capri. We blew a tire on Hiway 40 in New Mexico. Fortunately, I have the Good Sam Service Plan and even on Labor Day they found someone to come out and brought me a new wheel and tire. However, it took a few hours of feeling the force of the 18 wheelers whipping along by me so when I was rolling again I took Hiway 25 South to Soccoro, NM to spend the night. Next day I headed over the Mountains on Hiway 60 to Arizona. More to come...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mother Nature always wins!

So, after obsessing over the weather channel and the local news reports, I decided to head home. I left Florida Thursday and have been driving all day, every day through wind, rain, thunder and lightning and am now in New Mexico. I wondered if I would ever get through Texas....that is one huge land mass. Along the way I met several families from the Gulf Coast who had left their homes and were hoping for the best with no idea what the future would bring. They had all been through the Katrina disaster in varying degrees and were not eager to repeat the experience. My heart went out to them.

I am exhausted and emotionally depleated but happy to be back in the West. Up until Fay started messing with my plans and my mind, my trip was wonderful. When things started falling apart I realized I am not made of the sturdy stock of the people of the Gulf Coast. I don't know how they manage the level of anxiety the news media and Mother Nature create.

So far my friend Sandy on the Florida panhandle looks to be out of the worst of it but until this Hurricane season is over, I will be resisting the urge to pack her up and move her to Arizona.

I'll be continuing my driving until I'm home and hibernating for a few day in my own safe home and bed. Join me in prayers for the safety of those going through this disaster.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Hope for my Country

I'm up to my ears in the Democratic Convention and I am filled with hope and longing.
Last night I watched Ted Kennedy, the Liberal Lion of my party. He is in the last years of his life, and the last of the brothers that inspired me from the time I was a young girl. With the challenge of a brain tumor, he came to the party and had me in tears considering the legacy of his work on behalf of people that he had no reason to champion. He is a rich and privileged man who certainly has had his measure of mistakes but during all his life, he has worked on behalf of those of us who do not share his bank balance. He didn't have to....he chose public service and service on my behalf. I am humbled by your choice and I thank you Senator Kennedy.

Michelle Obama....a woman to be admired. What a wonderful speech she made last night. She is an intelligent woman, clearly a dedicated mother, a woman who clearly loves her husband and a professional woman who chose to work in areas that were heart driven instead of money, prestige and ego driven. I'll be proud to have her as the First Lady of the United States of America. It was also refreshing to see two well behaved children who loved their daddy.

Now to Hillary Clinton. Wow! What a magnificent woman. She has grown way past Bill and has always been a class act. I have to admit, I wanted her to be my President but that was not to be. And to see the "loser" rise to support our Country and set aside her ego to support Barrack Obama. She did everything right in my eyes. She focused on the spirit of our Country....the spirit! The reason we exist. Not to make corporations Gods.....not to be military aggressors for all the wrong reasons.....not to ignore the weak, the poor, the sick, the neediest of us....not to take and take and carry ourselves in arrogance as though we have all the answers for all the world.

My hope for the USA is to be better than we have been and as good as we were meant to be. I want to take care of the people in our Country that haven't yet been exposed to strong parenting, successful role modes, who have been focused on survival without the luxury of higher ground, and the hope that fills the spirit and gives us the ability to rise above our lowest points and opens our hearts to the sadness and failings of others. I want to be proud of the USA again. I want the world to see us as the Nation of promise for the oppressed, a place where people can be safe from tyranny and suppression. I want to be able to stand proud and be confident in saying,"the USA would never torture, deny civil rights, ignore people in need or put profits above ethics."

I think Barrack Obama and Joe Biden are the best opportunity we have to change the course of our country. I plan to work for this ticket and although I know change is not an immediate thing, I know that intention is powerful and the Obama-Biden intention is where I want to be.

I want the America of my dreams back. I want to travel the world without feeling the need to apologize for our aggression and arrogance. My hope for my Country I send up to my God....."open our hearts, take away the desire to make war....let us care for the most needy of our population, let the rich be abundant in spirit as well as material goods...let us embrace our best selves and let our actions reflect the highest good for all. Let our Country be the place where hard work and ethical behavior lead to success for those of us born here and those of us who come here for just this opportunity." This is my hope for my country and my family, my neighbors, my friends, my leaders and my world.
God Bless My America

Sun Breaks in Florida

Rain, rain, go away...and it did for a few lovely moments. Sandy and I took the opportunity and sprinted to Apalachicola to have lunch and check out the shops. Sandy was born there so she has a heart string that gets happy when she is there. It is a neat little town. Full of historic homes, oysters and good food.

Today I am watching the weather channel and trying to decide when to head home. Things do not look particularly inviting over the next week or two. Another hurricane building and projected to head toward the Gulf, rain and tornados along the Southern shore. The midwest looks good.....that would be an interesting route...Florida to Nebraska to Arizona. HELP!!

The pictures are a bit eclectic but fun for me.