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.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Family, Target, Nature - What We've Been Up To

 Hi everyone,
I hope you're enjoying Spring, it's hard to believe we're into June already. Summer's not too far away, although for the Seattle area, our summer temps usually don't begin until July 5. Until then we'll still get rain, cool temps, and gray, dreary skies. After July 5 though, we'll get months of sunshine and warm temperatures! I'm looking forward to that!
We're still trying to walk as often as we can. With our schedules and the weather, it can be hard to coordinate.
The Burke-Gilman Trail used to be a railroad track. It's part of the national Rails-to-Trails system that goes from Washington DC to Washington State. It's so pretty. We're grateful to have this close by. Yep, that's Beth in her red shirt again.

 I stepped outside one day to find the bird's nest on the ground. The poor Junko's didn't get any babies this year. I hope they use the wreath again next year.

We've been video chatting with Diana and Adelaide. She's growing so fast! And she's talking a lot! She's only a year and a half but says SO many words. Loves Minnie Mouse and trains. Here she's putting stickers in a notebook. She'd get one stuck on her finger, then show it to me and we'd laugh. I can't wait to see her next month.

I pick Allison up from school most Fridays. I'll ask her if something absolutely amazing happened at school today and she'll just look at me and shake her head no. Ah, middle school. Remember those days? When she gets out of the car though, I tell her I love her and she always says, "I love you too." 💕
 Beth and I did some shopping last week. Chuck dropped us off at Kohls, then we walked to Target (across the parking lot.) She bought gel pens, markers, and lined paper. I bought a new scotch tape dispenser. We've needed one for years, and I just kept forgetting to buy one. One of those little things that make a big difference.

We all went walking at Juanita Bay last week. Sharaya suggested this place, she's taken a lot of professional photos there over the years and I can see why!
See the green trees and bushes on the other side of the lake? That's where we walked to, actually going out of the park, walking along the busy streets, then back into the park and out onto the docks in that area.

This was some type of Crane. It had a huge wing span!


In this picture there is a log in the water, with ducks and tortoises  sunning themselves.

It really was beautiful. At the end of the day our watches and phones told us we had walked four miles. Our legs said it was a lot farther!

I love having slow mornings where I can stay in my bathrobe, drink some tea and just hang out at home. Which is what I got to do today. But now it's time to get started on my day. I hope you have a wonderful day too!