Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Soaking Wet, Flying, Got On and Off Just in Time

 Continuing our trip...
Our second day in Anaheim we went to California Adventure. Chuck, Beth and I had never been there before and as an old person, I liked it better than Disneyland. It's a smaller park, we actually walked the entire thing, plus there are a lot of places to sit in the shade and watch the adventures going on around you.
When we first got there the Incredicoaster was running the cars without people in them. We guessed something had happened earlier and they were testing it. Pretty soon, they were letting people on so Chuck and the kids climbed aboard. About 10 minutes after they got off, it stopped again. With people still in the cars! We heard they were stuck for about 45 minutes before cast members were able to get everyone off. Our kids got on and off at just the right time!
Some of us rode the Zephyr, the Ferris Wheel, Grizzly River Run... it was so much fun!
That's Ally and Sharaya waving at me. Beth is in front of them hanging on for dear life. Smiling, but hanging on!

 Thank goodness Peter knew to get into a stationary car! 


 And my favorite was Grizzle River Run. We got soaked which felt good after a day in the heat. (I took these pics afterward.)


 Then we did a little shopping before heading back to the condo.
Have you ever been to California Adventure? What did you think?

Friday, July 12, 2024

Minnie, Living Across the Hall, and Matching Helmets!

 Hi everyone,
I hope you're all doing well and that the extreme weather we've all been having hasn't affected you too much.
We walked through the front door at midnight on Monday. Chuck had to work on Tuesday but I was smart enough to take the day off. 😏 Beth and I spent the day unpacking and doing laundry. I worked Wednesday, then went grocery shopping to fill our empty cupboards, then back to church to lead a class. 
Then worked Thursday and now it's officially the weekend for me.
I've been uploading pictures of our trip and keep telling myself that I don't need to show you every single thing that happened on our trip! We did so much, and had so much fun. 

We had a few hours between landing and checking into our timeshare so we went to lunch with my half-sister. It's been too long since we've seen each other and it was so good to get to talk with her. She's our dad's first daughter, and is 15 years older than me. Just hearing her voice again was so good for my heart.

 We all got to the condo around 4:00 on the 1st. Diana, Peter and Adelaide flew in from Pennsylvania, we flew from Seattle and Sharaya and Ally drove from Seattle. They stopped at the Redwoods on their way down.

We reserved two condos, and were able to get them right across the hall from each other. As soon as we all got in, Diana and Adelaide came over. I loved being that close to them!

Her favorite character is Minnie so I gave her the plush right away. In her little one-and-a-half year old voice she yelled, "Meenee!" then ran to show mom. 💕 When she got to meet the real Minnie, she loved her from afar.

We ended up walking to Disneyland on Tuesday morning because we couldn't figure out where the shuttle picked us up. Even various people we asked: in hotels, on the street, even a city bus driver didn't know. Well actually, they all very confidently told us something different.
Once we got there we slowly made our way back to Galaxy's Edge, the Star Wars area, and I took pictures of Beth along the way. By the Teacups and the Matterhorn.

She was excited to see the storm troopers! 
She bought the hat the last time we were at Disney! 

We had lunch at the Red Rose Cafe. AKA The Beauty and Beast restaurant. I was expecting it to be about Belle and the castle, but it's designed after Gaston's tavern. But it was still fun, and the food was good. If you get a chance to go, you really should "try the gray stuff, it's delicious!"🎵

We rode the Train around the park, went on The Jungle Cruise, It's a Small World, Adelaide played in Toon Town, and the kids went on the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride. We had such a great time being together. And Adelaide's new favorite word? "Splash!"

Til next time - I pray the Lord fills your life with happy splashing!

Friday, July 5, 2024

More to Come

 I’ve been trying to post photos from my phone but it hasn’t worked. We’ve been to Disneyland, California Adventure, San Diego… we’re having a great time and I’ll write more when we return!

Monday, June 24, 2024

Routines, Chores, and Games

 Hey everyone,
I had kind of a fun weekend, seeing friends and hanging out with family. I'm usually an introvert, wanting to be at home as much as possible but it was a good weekend. 
My weekend was shorter than usual because I worked on Friday. I had the window washers out for our annual 'high window' cleaning. It's definitely a job I couldn't do! I was praying for them while they were up there!

We've also begun painting all the preschool rooms at work. Thankfully the maintenance department is in charge of that. Some of the custodians are helping when they have time, and it's going pretty quickly. Once they're done, then we'll come in and shampoo all the carpets. We may do that after VBA though. Vacation Bible Adventure is in the middle of July.
I had coffee with a friend from church on Saturday. We've worked together for years but haven't really gotten to know each other. We met at a local coffee shop but it was packed, so we decided to walk to a park that was just a few blocks away. Turns out we have a lot in common. It was so fun, we both want to hang out again soon. 
 Beth is still trying to cut back on sugar as much as possible. Here she is avoiding the candy counter while we wait to check out.

 For Father's Day Sharaya got Chuck tickets to see the Seattle Storm play and they went on Sunday. Chuck took her to a Sonics game when she was younger, so she took him this time. They had a great time and the Storm won! I stole this from her Insta! :)
While they were at the game, Beth, Ally and I went out for lunch, then did a little shopping. Stopped at Michaels and got some markers :) and I got plastic sleeves for my greeting cards. And a new photo album. I'm trying to empty my old peel-and-stick albums and get them all into a slide-in type of album. While we were at Kohls I found a bathing suit for our trip to California. I haven't bought one in years but it's exactly what I've looking for. It's called a swim dress and I love it. As often as I go swimming or into the ocean, this one should last me the rest of my life!
The coffee bar at church has been closed for a few weeks. Well every Sunday Beth gets a hot chocolate. Every Sunday. So she hasn't really known what to do when we get to church, and even went into the front office to make some tea one week. Then on Saturday night she asked if we could stop at Starbucks on our way to church so she could get her hot chocolate. Great idea Beth! So we drove through, got her drink, and as I pull out of the parking lot I realized we forgot to ask for soy milk. So I made a u-turn, drove through again and when we got to the window the barista said, "Weren't you just here?" "Yeah, but we forgot about the milk." She said she wasn't going to charge us and ended up giving it to Beth for free. 
That's about it. Enjoy your week. Til next time - 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Deer, Darling, Dreaming

It's about 2:00. I got home from work a little while ago, fixed some yogurt, berries and granola for lunch and ate it in the backyard.
I'm in the process of creating a small sitting area in a corner of the backyard, nestled up against the house where none of our neighbors can see us. It's very secluded. And sitting out there today I was overwhelmed with the view. We look out onto a green belt, filled with so many different trees: we have Pine and Hemlock, Elm and Cedar. And the birds. Sometimes it's hard to hear all their calls, there's just so many. It's beautiful, and I can't believe I get to live here. I'm so blessed.

I worked 15 hours of overtime the last couple of weeks. We had two graduations back-to-back. Plus rehearsals, receptions. One was for our own preschool, and the other was for a local private high school. The seniors had to go down to the preschool area to the room where they would assemble before their event and they were so enamored with the preschoolers, and the preschoolers looked up at them so wide eyed. It was pretty cute. Can you tell which set up was for which class?

Chuck had a good Father's Day. We went out to eat at Moonshine BBQ, he loves that place. Many of us had pulled pork burgers and they were so good! Came back to the house for games and gifts. Chuck got a coffee pod holder, and tickets to see the Seattle Storm!
My birthday's on the 17th so we often celebrate them together. The girls got me some gift cards, and mouse ears! We're going to Disneyland in a few weeks and they've been talking about getting some for themselves on-line. I thought about getting some but didn't want to intrude on 'their' thing. But they got me a pair! And not just any ears. They're Bambi ears! Oh my gosh I love them! 

Summer's about here and we've got temps in the 70's this week. It's pretty close to perfect. Well, that's about all from here. I hope you have a great start to your summer!

Saturday, June 8, 2024

A Little Quiet Around Here

Things have been quiet the last few weeks, AND I'M LOVING IT! For more than five years life has been over-the-top crazy and it's nice to have some boring days for a change.
I recently shared a photo of a print the girls got me for Mother's Day, and I finally got it hung today. Went to Michael's and Hobby Lobby for flowers to go with it but couldn't find the exact ones. I'll keep looking and will probably get a smaller vase and smaller flowers too. I just love it though.

I video chatted with Diana and Adelaide again this morning. Adelaide woke up with a fever so was feeling extra snuggly. She kept saying, "Hug, hug" while she squeezed Diana's neck. When Beth came upstairs Adelaide was so excited to see her and even started saying her name, "Hi Beth! Hi Beth!"

I bought a mini fridge for our quad at work. Well, actually I used my church card, but I went to the store. :)  There are 4 of us now (sometimes the desks are empty) and our fridge is leaking and has a musty odor. So I bought a bigger one - without a freezer. It'll be delivered on Monday, we can't wait!
My rhododendrons have a lot of blooms this year. I love looking out the front window and seeing them with the trees...

Not much else to share. Take care. 'Til next time -

Tuesday, June 4, 2024


 A dear friend passed away the middle of April. I just hadn't been able to write about it.
I met Vera back in the 1990's when we did ministry together at church.
L-R: me, Vera, Diane, Lillian, Barbara

L-R: Diane, Lillian, me, Vera

She met Vern when he started attending the church and they ended up getting married. They were both in their late 60's I think. I got to know Vern when he started working in the maintenance department at our church, and I was the Facilities Admin. 
 Now around this time our van had been stolen so Chuck was taking my car to work while I walked. (He worked 20 minutes away, my job was 5 minutes away.) So Vern asked me if I wanted to buy Vera's van since she could no longer drive. It wasn't pretty, but that van was such a blessing! In more ways than one. 
 As time went on Vera began to forget things and was at a place where she couldn't be left alone anymore. So Vern quit his job and they moved to assisted living. While they were in the front office saying good-bye to all of us I sensed he was giving up a lot for her, because she was the one who needed assisted living, he didn't.
He was an incredible bowler, and could have gone pro if he wanted to, he had so many trophies and awards it was crazy.
So that day in the front office - I think it was 2015 or 16 I told him that if he still wanted to go bowling I could come hang out with Vera. About three weeks later, he called me.
When I would get to their place, she would want to follow them downstairs so she could actually watch them leave. It was really sweet, she loved him so much!
Then while we would stay and eat lunch she would constantly ask where he was and when was he coming home. She began to get agitated while he was gone so we decided that sometimes after lunch, I would bring her to the bowling alley. 
We would get into the van and she would say, "I used to have a van exactly like this!" And I would tell her, "Well Vera, this IS your van." She would look at me with wide eyes and say, "Really?!?" The next time we'd get in the van, she'd say, "This looks a lot like my old van." "Well Vera..." and she'd be so surprised.
We'd get to the bowling alley - everybody knew her and would holler, "Hi Vera!" as we walked by. We'd sit at the long counter behind the lanes and Vern would come give her a hug. I'd order some hot tea for both of us and we'd watch Vern bowl. Whenever he got a strike - which was often - he'd come give her a kiss and tell her she was his good luck charm. 

Sometimes Vera and I would hang out at their place. Over time she was okay with Vern leaving and I would find things to keep her busy.

She would always recognize me, but couldn't remember exactly who I was.
 I would occasionally take them to get their hair cut -

 One time Vera broke her leg. The medical team called 911 and she was taken to the hospital, but her daughter couldn't get over to bring her home. So her daughter called me. I filled out the paperwork, assured L that her mom was going to be okay, and sent her a picture.

Vera died in 2018, but I continued to visit Vern. Every few weeks I'd bring him chocolate, or homemade cookies. He'd ask about things at work, and tell me about his life. 

About a year after Vera died I bought him a pillow with her picture on it. He kept it in a chair across from his recliner, and told me he would talk to her like she was still there. 

Vern got to the point where he could no longer bowl, but his best friend and bowling partner David would still take him out to lunch, and stop in to say Hi. One day we happened to be there together and I took the opportunity to get a photo - 
In 2022 Vern invited us all to have Thanksgiving - and then Christmas dinner - with him. It was a good time with good friends. 

Me and Chuck on the left, Vern in the center, and David and Katie on the right

About a year ago David learned he had cancer, and died a month later. Vern was devastated. Chuck and I picked him up and took him to the memorial. Vern was never the same after that. He missed Vera, and he missed David.
The beginning of April Vern got sick and ended up in the hospital. I visited him a couple of times, he kept telling me he wanted to die at home. Thankfully he got his wish. 

I stopped by to see him on April 15th. There were a lot of people around his bed attending to him. He kept telling them to leave him alone because he was ready to die. One nurse was changing a bandage on his arm and Vern was annoyed, "What are you doing? This doesn't matter! I am dying! Leave me alone. I'm ready to die."

Suddenly he raised his right arm and began saying the Lord's prayer. Said the whole thing. I began to cry. After everyone left I went to his side and he said, "It's good to see you." I told him I loved him.

I left at 3:30. He died at 5:00. 

He knew. He was anxious to see his Savior. And Vera. And David. I imagine it was an indescribable reunion!

I think about him most when I'm getting ready for work in the morning. I wonder 'would this Friday would be a good day to visit him?' and then I remember. Chuck and I had been out running errands the other day and drove by his street. It just welled up inside and I started crying. 
This grief has been different. I wasn't related to Vern. It's not like when my dad or my sister died. But it hurts. It hurts more than I thought it would.