Pots and Pans Robot

Too old to Trick-or-Treat, but not too old to be a complete DORK! My son is heading into town to hang with all his buddies for Halloween. When I asked, "What are they dressing up as?" his response led me to believe this canNOT be good. "Well, Miles is going to be a terrorist...."
At that point, I tuned out. I don't want to know what the other boys will be. I will, however, pick them up, no questions asked, from the police station later tonight...

Gettin' off the meds...

I'm doing it! I'm almost completely clean! After 11 years and 60 additional pounds, I'm making a break from anti-anxiety medication and sleep aids. Yeah, so I got up at 3:41 this morning...but, damn! I'm getting there!

See, my only hope for dropping this additional weight is to get myself clean. One of the medications caused me to gain 40 pounds in the first year of taking it! The weight didn't bother me too much, as I was in very bad shape, after having just finalized a horrible divorce and working 10 hours/day while raising 2 kids who cried a lot. No joke, anyone who doesn't have kids has no idea what it's like to love your babies so much...but HATE the continuous crying so much that it pushes you over an imaginary ledge.

Anyway, I had been a suffering insomniac since high school and it worsened in college. Then, after landing a job, getting married and having that first baby in 1990, I transitioned into a complete wreck! Suddenly, the insomnia BECAME my life and I had no idea how to deal with it. Staying up all night with a crying baby and having to go to work full-time made my life such a mess...and I didn't even realize it, until I discovered I was pregnant with that second baby. My husband, at that same time, applied for a doctoral program and was accepted at UC Berkeley. I remember begging him to wait for a full year, since a 2nd baby was on the way. He refused...end of story. I took a leave from my job to stay home with the new baby...and we moved to the Berkeley area for him to attend school. I was alone most of the time, with the kids, while he lived a very good life, doing research, coursework, field trips, and more. I lived in the family housing complex in Albany, CA...as one of the ONLY English-speaking moms. I did make some very good friends at that time, one of whom I will always love...we are sort of like sisters. But, that wasn't enough. Looking back now, I realize I was a frantic mess. I became angry, which I had not been before.

When we returned to Oregon, hubby was doing research full-time and working with the EPA. I went back to full-time teaching, went without sleep for days on-end. We ended up divorced. I ended up in a doctor's office 2 years later...and my life changed so much.

I accepted the fact that there are people like me all over the world who intervene on their insomnia and anxiety with the aid of medication. I balked and worried for 6 months about my doctor's suggestion before finally giving in and trying it.


Anyway, my stress levels are so low right now, with my new job and my children being older and so independent (they don't cry anymore!). My weight really bothers me and I feel aches and pains I just KNOW are related to hauling around 50-60 extra pounds. So, with the help of my doctor, I'm giving this a try.

I feel so miserable...achy, nauseated, bloated, restless...but, somehow I also feel better! I'm going to stick to this! As one friend said on Monday, "If I can go through chemo and live, you can easily achieve this!" Wow...sort of puts my woes in perspective, doesn't it?

Anyway, my intent it to stick with it. I'm going to do this and life WILL be good, dammit! :)


It's a Mystery!

Someone in our neighborhood is up to no-good.

Knocking on doors late at night.

Moving garbage cans right behind cars parked in driveways.

Ringing doorbells and running.

I want to think it's funny and cool, but for some reason I'm a little freaked out about it. 2 weeks ago, I was sitting in the living room, watching TV, when someone rang the front doorbell. The dogs went crazy and I went to the door. No one was there. I never am afraid to be along, but this got to me, so I let all 3 big dogs out and encouraged them to "Get'em boys!" The sniffed and woofed a bit, but no one was nearby...


Fall in the Garden!

Out and about, getting ready for Fall rains to really settle in! I've spent the last 3 days pulling out all of the perinneal violets that have taken over huge areas around my roses,hydrangeas, and more. I stopped at one point, grabbed the camera, and took these shots... Camellias in bloom! I brought this shrub back to life when we first moved into this home in 2001.
A false spirea putting out its last big show. I cut it back hard in late July, hoping for this result!
The last new hydrangea in the back...
A LEATHER-LEAF HYDRANGEA. If you could feel the texture of the leaves, you'd understand the name...absolutely huge!
Care for a cup of...succulents?
A new "candytuft," waiting to go into the ground...
Beard-Tongue, aka penstoman. I love this late Fall burst of color.
The Himalayan Honeysuckle had huge, juicy berries, which are drawing in all sorts of beautiful birds.

Monks Hood...a shady favorite that manages to sneak its way into my heart each October.
The bench my wonderful hubby built for me years ago. I found a picture in Sunset Magazine...and he cut up my old waterbed frame!
My Tulip Tree is getting big! Just look at the Fall color setting in!
This is Joe Pye Weed. The leaves are turning golden and the flowers are showing!

Back-Eyed Susan snaking its way through my largest Beauty Berry Bush.
If there were one flower I would want every gardener to add to his/her shade garden, this would be it! I collect these rare Toad Lilies. I buy them from Dancing Oaks Nursery, up in the Coast Range. You should see their website!
Another Toad Lily...close up.
An old-fashioned lace cap hydrangea. This is a very rare shrub that I managed to beg from my friend, Tom, the nurseryman. I love its large, rough leaves and dangly flowerheads.

This is the beautiful tea rose I bought in honor of my grandmother, Ma-Maw.
Black-Eyed Susan surrounding my test-run sculpture...I'll complete it next Spring!
Another big-time recommendation for all gardeners! This is called a "Turtle-Head Lily." It's so funny...looks like little turtles poking their heads from their shells! I have several in different locations and this one is my favorite.
Fall Asters, falling over due to excess flower weight! Gee, nothing to complain about here!


Needs no fillers...

A Toast to the Past!

There'll be a large group of us old friends meeting at Squirrel's Tavern in Corvallis today at 5:00 p.m. The official toast will take place soon afterwards. I don't get into Squirrel's as often as I used to, so this will be some fun! MY big plan is to just relax, listen, and enjoy being with a group of people who've all, in some way, been significant throughout my School District years. I like all of the changes in my career, but I miss the fun of laughing with my colleagues after school each day.


Clothes for Big Girls

It's not a bad thing! Now that I've accepted this TEMPORARY me-size, I decided to venture into one of those stores for sizes 14 and over! Wow! Talk about fashion (hee, hee! No, seriously!)

I've been going to this cool place in Eugene called CJ Banks. I've bought 4 complete outfits and am FINALLY comfortable! No more pinching! No more squeezing! Bright colors! Pretty professional clothing! wow!
Here are some shots of the jacket I wore today:

People stopped me in the hallway to say, "Wow. Where'd you get that jacket?" I'd reply, "From the Big Girls' Story!" Everyone chuckled. I felt just fine, as it honestly did fit well. Plus, I had a matching sleeveless t-shirt and midi-length black skirt. I had on my cool, spiffy cross-strap Clarks with opaque blac tights. Man, I felt professional AND comfy all day!Let's give it up for comfort! YEEEEEAAAAAA!



There are so many of us around here with ex-husbands. I've been divorced from mine since 1994...but still have to be involved almost daily, since we both love our kids so much. Most of the time, ehhh...no problems, just coasting along. We don't argue or disagree on much. But, there are those times...
These past few weeks have been tough. He's confrontational, makes plans without telling me about any scheduling changes he assumes, and rides the kids about getting to his house at weird times he specifies. I've had to deal with some of his bullshit, but I usually don't say a word. As a matter of fact, today's issues sort of bounced right off my head, as I reminded myself, "Thank God I don't have to live with him." I saw him at his house and we "had words" about the fact that I was spending my day off with the children, taking them to Eugene to do some mall-shopping. I ended up buying them everything they needed...he doesn't EVER do that, but that's a completely different story...
Just a few minutes ago, it dawned on me! I've been wondering what has changed his attitude so much, made him so demanding and weird.

IT'S THE NEW GIRLFRIEND! That's it! Now that I've figured it out, I'm able to completely let it go. He tends to become much calmer and happier after getting past the "new" phase and settling under the covers with her. Heh, heh, heh...we've been through this several times since our divorce.


We're Catching Bullets in Our Teeth...

A neat little ditty that got me movin'!


Look Through the List Below...

Memory loss
Misplacing things
Trouble performing familiar tasks
Changes in personality and behavior
Poor or decreased judgment
Impaired communication
Inability to follow directions
Problems with language
Impaired visuospatial skills
Emotional apathy
Social withdrawal and less willingness to interact with others
Loss of motivation or initiative

If you nod your head to several of these descriptors, you may just want to make some arrangements for your future care! Seriously, folks! I'm so afraid I'm in the early phases of dementia (Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease).

It seems that I'm unable to answer simple questions nor carry on a "normal" conversation with anyone these days! I lose my train of thought, avoid judgemental statements, try to cover my feelings of being really, really tired, and stare at the TV way too much these days!

I know it's not REALLY what's going on, but, man, looking at that list can sort of freak you out, eh!


Loving Fall...

Today was a busy, busy Fall day. I got into my baking/cooking/prepping mode and created 1 gallon of Italian Tomato Sauce, 2 gallons of ready-to-go apple pie filling, cornbread, vegetarian stew, PattyPan squash, apple crisp, cheese/apple slices/dried fruit trays! Yes! We're having guests for dinner! I LOVE making dinner for guest in the Fall!


A Bit of Wonder...

While on our adventure in the Old Towne section of Portland, hubby and I snapped this photo at a, well, let's say, "interesting" corner. The little blue cross light was rotating, sort of like an ambulance's lights!
My heart wanted to enter this place.
My head knew better.
There were some unsavory characters hanging out by the doorway.
I must say...what a great name for a bar!


Volunteerism at its Best!

It's Fall Clean-up Time Around the Old Farmstead!

Look what I found growing in the compost pile!!!

We ate Carnival Squash last Fall and threw our kitchen compost out into the big bin outdoors! The seeds germinated and now look what we got!

I could only get to 5 of them, so far, due to excessive vine growth all around the bins. There is a combination of honeysuckle, trumpet vine, clematis, scarlet runner, and beautiful squash vines!