Saturday, January 15, 2011

Look What I Got in the Mail!

I was so surprised to find a package on the porch today addressed to me!
I didn't remember ordering anything.

Opening it I found this awesome First Alert Travel Carbon Monoxide Alarm. I was very excited. Inside the box was a paper that said: "Congratulations! Thank you for participating in the Midlife Road Trip give-away sponsored by First Alert." This alarm comes with a travel pouch and is perfect for traveling and staying in hotels, on sailboats :-) or anyplace your head rests that's not at home.

Thank you First Alert and Midlife Road Trip! I look forward to my safe travels!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1-11-11 I Have Met My Match

This date is so cool, I just had to do a post to use it!

Look at these two sweet, innocent little faces!
I wave my white flag in surrender. Yes, I have met my match!
Three or four afternoons a week I welcome these little granddaughters at my door for an afternoon with Grandma. Sometimes I have only one at a time but mostly I have both at once.

Abbi, the older one, is 2 1/2 years old. I have been watching her three afternoons a week since she was three months old. I don't know how she has gotten cuter everyday but she has! Her bright blue eyes and blond hair are just beautiful. Now that she is talking and showing wisdom beyond her years, she's a source of constant entertainment. Most days she wants to have a tea party.
I make up the "tea" using milk and chocolate syrup. Abbi sips it and shivers and declares "it's hot". We can sit for an hour sipping, pouring and nibbling our "crumpets". Abbi can run me ragged in record time all by herself most days. We go from tea party to Candyland, to playing hide and seek in the house, coloring, decorating gingerbread houses or making cupcakes, finding hidden pictures in the Highlights magazine for her age, putting on make-up and painting fingernails, eating applesauce with "pink" sprinkles on it, to playing in the princess castle that stands proudly in the corner of my living room.

Baby Mackayla (Abbi calls her Baby Kayla) is 1 1/2 years old. She is our little preemie, born at 1 lb 14 oz. When I first started watching her we used her feeding tube to give her formula every three hours. I got to be pretty good at keeping her entertained the 45 minutes it took to feed her while connected to the pump. Once she started eating on her own, I shifted gears and now keep a ready supply of Mac and Cheese, and other finger foods to have ready. She still has the feeding tube in her tummy but it's only used at night to give her the extra fluids she didn't take on her own during the day. We hope it can be removed sometime soon. When I have Mackayla by herself, she is an inquiring, sweet little toddler. She will sit on my lap and look at books, play happily with toys, explore the kitchen cabinets, push all the
buttons on the DVD player, stereo and laugh a lot. I look at her and remember her many months in NICU and how her dark eyes would look at me, melting me into a puddle. I still adore those dark eyes. She got them from her daddy, our middle son.

Now, add these two little sweetpeas together at Grandma's and Papa's house. Oh dear! My house turns into baby-central. Suddenly my floor is literally covered with toys, crackers, little girl shoes and carseats, diaper bags and pink coats and hats. (Abbi insists most things in her world are in the color Pink! The suddenly calm atmosphere when there is only one girl at a time becomes a whirlwind of squealing, running, demanding little girls. Abbi and Mackayla go into the pink princess castle/tent and I watch it shake as they rattle it with their hands and voices. They scurry in and out of the tent and the little princesses delight in having each other to play with. For my part, I have to intervene when Abbi decides all the toys are hers or when Mackayla loses her balance and falls over. And, of course, there is a potty chair I'm still trying to bribe Abbi to use (she tells me she just wants to play and uses the potty chair only at her house) and the diapers for Mackayla that she will only let me change if she is standing up! By the time my husband gets home from work and our grown kids come by to retrieve their precious little one's this Grandma is waving the white flag for the day. Dinner is often not even started and a path from the front door is walked only at one's own risk. I think I've even sat at the table propping my head up with my hands and staring off into space as the family starts to gather after their days at work. Yes, I have met my match with these little dolls! I raised five children but I was younger when I did that. Luckily enough I recover fast, getting a head start by falling asleep on the sofa sometimes. By the next day, I'm ever so anxious to watch out the
window for the arrival of the little girls again! Their little faces just make my day and delight me through and through. When the few days go by when I don't see them I go into withdrawl. What a blessing it is to be Grandma!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thinking about my Bucket List

,Yup, that's me in Ketchican, Alaska on a zipline tour complete with three suspension bridges. What an adrenaline rush this was. I did this last summer, June 2010. I decided to post this picture tonight as I ponder the journey I am on. I love high adventure and I wonder what I can find to do in this new year? I have a Bucket List that I review every now and then. I want to add more to my "To Do" list , as soon as I think of some new things.


Hot air ballooning
Key West
New York
New England States
Jazz Fest, New Orleans
Mediterranean Cruise
New England Cruise
Victoria, B.C.
Make a sand angel on a beach
Have a book signing
Publish a book
Go to Hawaii
Raft down the Colorado river in the Grand Canyon
Niagra Falls Maid of the Mist Tour
See Aurora Borealis
Look through a really big/strong telescope (again)
Have a spa day
A week at Canyon Ranch Spa
Be on a rowing team
Play a song on my Ukelele

Sail to Catalina and spend 7 nights on Boat
Ride in dinghy


Rode on a segway

Visited Plantation homes

Explored Pacific Coast

Played in Pacific Ocean

Played in Atlantic Ocean

Played in Gulf of Mexico

Lake Louise/Banff/Roger’s Pass

Mardi Gras

Canyon Ranch Spa, Tucson, AZ

Flew in twin/ single prop plane

Drove Police Cars

Talked on Police radios

Police Victim Advocate

Quilt Museum Docent

1st place/Best of Show Quilt

Been in a Parade (Red Hats, Parrot Heads)

Drove/Rode in Pontoon boats

Walked Bolder Boulder 10 K and Fairmont School's 3K

Helicopter ride & landed on glacier

Circled summit of Mt McKInley


Dog Sledded

Whale watched

Salmon bake

Alaska Rail and Cruise

14 course meal on cruise

Champagne breakfast on ship balcony

Sang Karaoke


Fiesta Bowl

Cotton Bowl

Flew into Houston from B.R. to Astrodome for a Astro vs Atlanta Braves game

Hank Aaron hit a home run (Tenneco paid for our skybox)

School at Instituto IberAmericanos, Saltillo, Coah, for 6 weeks

Saw rings of Saturn in a large telescope

San Francisco; Ghiradelli Square, Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Br.,etc

Los Angeles; lived there 3 yr

Met Dustin Hoffman, Buddy Hackett, Monty Hall, Stephanie Powers, "John" from TV show "Lost"

TP'd Grant Park from Conrad Hilton Hotel, Chicago, IL

Things I've Won:

A can of tennis balls (my first win and I was so excited I had tears in my eyes, even though I didn't even play was around 1974) Cruise to Caribbean

Margaritaville Frozen Concoction maker

Byers Ice Cream party for 100 people

Werther's Chocolate, 60 pkg.

Joe's jeans and tote bag

Margarita Sensations CD

Swim Skinny CD

Brent Burns CD

$7500 furnace from Applewood PHE (Dec. 17, 2010)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Humble beginning of 2011

Gosh it's only into the 2nd week of January, 2011 and I've already been to a funeral this year. Additionally, within the same 24 hours I heard of 2 others I have known that also died within the day. I know deaths seem to increase in January as it's said people wait until after the holidays.

The funeral was a dear lady I knew from church, Marion. She was 85 years old. Her husband, John, has also been a delight for me to know. Marion and I were in the same Red Hat group at church. I used to pick her up and bring her since she wasn't driving and it was more fun for us to go together. To thank me, which wasn't at all necessary, we had lunch at one of her favorite Chinese restaurants one afternoon. Her husband is a retired fire chief. He used to come into the fitness center where I worked while Marion was having her hair done. I always loved seeing them whether it was at church or somewhere else. There were 13 of us Red Hat ladies sitting together at Marion's funeral Mass. Her grandson who gave the Eulogy even referred to her being a member and thanked us for coming to her funeral in our red hats. Her funeral was so sad. Her beloved husband kissed her repeatedly before he closed the casket, after the viewing and before Mass started. His tears brought tears to my eyes. Marion was dearly loved by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and many friends. I'm happy to know she rests in peace waiting for her adored husband.