Saturday, December 28, 2013

Out With The Old

No, I haven't thrown out the spouse!  We're heading to the coast this weekend.  For the past several years we have gone to the Oregon coast for a few days after Christmas.  It's usually cold and wet and uncrowded, and we like watching the waves crash ashore from the comfort of an overheated beach-front hotel room.  This time of year the whales are migrating along the coast to the warmer waters in California and Mexico and there's always a chance that we'll spot one through the binoculars. 

Rain or shine we'll be walking the beach.  The spouse has a new toy, a metal detector.  He has visions of finding great treasure buried in the sand.   I am once again a stereotype, the metal detecting senior citizen!

This year we're meeting my college roommate and her husband at the coast.  I made lots of great memories with Beth when we were younger.  I'm looking forward to catching up with her and creating some new one.

The after-Christmas sales are calling.  I really don't need anything, but the factory outlet mall at the coast is an opportunity for Beth and I to have some quality bonding time over discounted fashions.  Before I leave home I need to make room in my overfilled closets for any new treasures and fashion finds.

Since I retired I have purged my wardrobe several times.  It has been difficult for me to let go of my professional wardrobe.  My head knows that I don't need, and will never wear, all those suits that are still hanging on padded hangers, but there's a little voice that says "what if..."  Little by little I'm letting go and replacing professional wear with fleece, cotton jersey, and denim.  I also have a new category of leisure wear to incorporate into my wardrobe, RV clothes.    Since our RV is small and has limited storage, RV clothes are those that are multipurpose and can be rolled up and packed into a small space...and still be marginally presentable.  I don't have a travel iron in the RV!

It's time for me to quit the delaying tactics and get busy.  How many pairs of high heeled black patent leather pumps does a retired senior need?  It's so hard to decide if I want to keep the wedges or the heels.  This is definitely a first world problem!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas 2013

I made a half-hearted attempt at decorating for Christmas.  I wrestled the tree out of its box and hung a few ornaments.  The tree is a little bare because I didn't bother getting down the ornaments from the high shelf in the garage…the 
easy-to-reach ones are good enough.  There's a wreath on the door and garland on the mantle.  That's enough Christmas to suit me.

We're not buying presents.  We don't need more stuff and neither do any of our family members.  When the opportunity presents itself, we'll pay for a fun activity or some other treat for our kids and grand kids.

Even though we're not the most festive house, I couldn't stop myself from baking.  I'm also struggling not to eat all those goodies I've prepared.  Tomorrow we will have traditional Christmas food…turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, and will eat leftovers for the rest of the week!

It will be quiet at Nana's this Christmas and I will count my blessings and be grateful for all the gifts I have been given this year.

Merry Christmas to all my cyber friends.  I wish you peace, joy and love.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

We Like to Write

I like to write.  My youngest granddaughter also likes to write.  When she was very small she would scribble on paper and demand that we read it back to her.  She couldn't understand why we couldn't read her scribbles.  Now that she is in first grade she has finally figured out the whole letter/sound system.  My daughter sent me the following paper that she wrote in her journal in school.

My Nana
I love my Nana because she has fun projects.
She visits fom Oregon.
We go to the park to play.
She helps me pick up my room.  She is awesome and cool.
My Nana loves me


Yep, I love her!  …and it's nice to know that I am awesome and cool!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Catching Up

I've been absent from these pages for several months.  I took the summer off because the grandchildren stayed with us for six weeks,  and I didn't do anything but make memories with them. 

4th of July with the second cousins

Digging for fossils in Fossil

Breaking the rocks to find fossils

Trying on antique clothing in the museum in Fossil


We hiked up to the bridge at Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

We spent a week camping on the Oregon Coast.

Crafts with Nana.
Scrambling for candy at the Umatilla County Fair Parade.

Umatilla County Fair

We learned about local agriculture at the Sage Center.  Moments after this  picture was taken Megan fell off the stool.

Hiking with Grandpa Paul at Hat Rock State Park.

 Then I took a long-term substitute assignment at our local high school for a teacher who had just had a baby.  I had forgotten how much work it was to work!  I had great students, but it was exhausting…my teaching skills were rusty.  I felt like a first year teacher.  It was surprising how much had changed in the few years I had been retired.  I spent every spare minute the first few weeks just learning about all the new technology I needed just to take attendance, keep grades, and manage electronic portfolios.  I was relieved when the 10 weeks ended.

If you leave your iPad unattended in the classroom, the students will take selfies, and...

take pictures of the teacher when she is not paying attention!

In a moment of weakness I agreed to contract with the Education Service District to write grants.  Once again I was reminded of how much had changed since I stepped out of public education.  I am enjoying working with the local school districts on the grants, but it has required a lot of study time to get up to speed on the latest rules and regulations.  By the time I have written a grant application, it feels like I have used up my quota of words and have none left over for my blog.

Writing for me is a little like exercise.  I can skip a day here and there, and then before I know it, I haven't exercised for months.  I need to write regularly and, unfortunately, I've let myself fall out of the habit.   

Now I'm going to make the effort to write here more regularly.  It's good to be back.  
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