The Calm Before the Storm

The worst part about listening to the weather reports and the National Weather Service’s winter weather watches and warnings is the waiting. At least for me it is. I don’t think it will be a major event, or at least not for my area. And it’s supposed to be a relatively short storm. The worst of it for the area is supposed to be from about 11 AM to about 8 PM with the latter half of that being freezing rain. So if that’s right, I’m fine. I have food and water and lots of blankets and layers if the power goes out.

But it’s the waiting. I can’t concentrate on anything but the storm and how my daughter, Susie, who is new to Portland, will do in the storm. She has to drive about 30 minutes to and from work…of course in this kind of weather it will be anyone’s guess how long it will take her to drive to and from. And she goes over a bridge and several overpasses which are the first to get icy. So this worrying mama is worrying. Of course, she’s in a lower elevation than we are here and she’s closer to downtown than we are. Her work is across the river in North Portland.  We’ll see.

Anyway, tomorrow I will either post that the storm was a bust or I will post some snow/ice pictures. Either or.

It’s the waiting for it to begin that I can’t stand. Too calm. Too quiet. Too unknown.

Still Pink–#WeeklySmile

I still can’t believe I am going to have a grand daughter. After three grandsons, it’s pretty difficult to get in the girl mindset. I keep thinking that it’s a mistake. They didn’t read the ultrasound right or the technician wrote down the wrong gender when she put it in the envelope for the reveal cake baker. I just can’t believe it. She has been collecting used baby clothes for a couple of months now so she says I’m not to buy anything. That’s good for the budget but I kind of need to get a few pink things so I get in the “pink mindset.”

The other day, she was going to go up the hill to the hospital (OHSU) for another ultrasound. They haven’t been able to get a good view of the entire heart yet so they keep having her go in for ultrasounds. I think the last one was number four. So anyway, I was going to tell her to ask them if it was a girl or not, just to verify, but I figured she would get mad at me and say I was being negative so I didn’t say anything. Then, a couple of days later as we were driving around doing errands, I said to her “What if they made a mistake and it’s really a boy?”  Instead of getting mad, she said, “I’ve been thinking the same thing so when I went for the last ultrasound, I asked them to check and they said it’s still a girl!”

Amid all the laughter that came after that, I was relieved (1) that she didn’t get mad and yell at me for being negative, and (2) that it is a girl! I can handle another boy but to have the first girl, that’s pretty special.

Those were my smiles this past week. What about yours? What are you smiling about? I know that times are rough but we all smile every day, even though we’re not always aware of it! #WeeklySmile is a blog linkup hosted by Trent. Come take a look at our smiles and share one of yours?!


I Remember

Today I’m feeling down. As some of you know, I am originally from the SF Bay Area and lived there for six years before moving to Portland. You most likely have heard about the warehouse fire that took many lives. Each of my three adult kids knew at least one person that was at the party when it went up in flames and are now missing. They are still pulling out bodies and trying to identify them. Very, very sad.

So on that note, let’s go to happier times and happier thoughts. Someone liked this post last night and I thought it might be good for today. I hope you enjoy

Wasted Days And Wasted Nights

I remember when Christmas was the happiest time for me. It was special, even though we didn’t do anything special.

I remember the secrets and the whispers that I knew were all about presents. I remember piling in the car at night to drive around town looking at Christmas decorations. I remember decorating the Christmas tree and the whole family sitting in the living room night after night enjoying the tree, and each other.

I remember sitting with the rest of the family and watching the same movies each Christmas. White Christmas was a favorite. My sister and I would pretend we were the two sisters in the movie and sing the “Sisters” song, complete with fans and all the movements. So many years ago yet it seems like just a few. It’s A Wonderful Life always made me stop and think, even before I knew what it was all…

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Parade Of Memories

When my kids were growing up, we lived in a small town near Los Angeles and in another town right next to us, one much smaller than ours, they had a Christmas parade each year, during the first weekend of December. Because it was in California, we didn’t often have to worry about wet weather but we did have to bundle up because even there, in the foothills of the Crescenta Valley, it could, and did, get very cold and windy.

For a small town, Montrose had a big parade. It wasn’t fancy. It featured every local school’s marching banc, every gymnastics troop, every scout group, a local motorcycle group performing stunts, and the last few years I attended, even the preschool participated with parents pulling the little ones in wagons and pushing them in strollers.

It was fun. It didn’t matter that there were no big, fancy floats. It just mattered that everyone was there for the same reason, to celebrate all the kids in the parade, young and old.  I remember the excitement as we headed for the parade each year. We had to get there early so we could get front row seats, sitting on the curb with blankets and taking a big thermos of hot chocolate and some snacks. It wasn’t until years after we started attending that the started to sell hot chocolate and cookies and all sorts of stuff. In fact, it makes me wonder what that little parade is like now. I’m sure it’s very different from the days when I marched the parade route with my Cub Scouts and my Girl Scouts. In fact, I had to do it twice. I had the parade organizers place my Cub Scouts and Girls Scouts far enough apart so I could march with one troop then run back to the beginning of the route to march with my other troop! Those were the days when I was young and had a lot more energy. I’m sure I couldn’t do that now!

Of course, the highlight each year was Santa Claus arriving over the parade route on the search and rescue helicopter! The helicopter hovered above the parade route with spotlights shining on Santa as he hung out the door waving to the kids below. It really was kinda neat!

Those memories bring back the good times; the times when all was good and we were happy; the times of innocence and believing in magic and the good in the world.

If we were having coffee, we would be bundling up. It’s 50, according to one of my weather apps but it feels so much colder than 50. The winter weather advisory for Monday/Tuesday has been modified to Sunday, with a chance that it will come in tonight. Ugh!

Tonight my daughter and I are supposed to get the boys out of the house for a few hours so their dad can set up their Christmas present. My ex and his wife sent them a huge TV for their bedroom and their dad is wall mounting it for them and setting up some bean bag chairs for them and then is planning on having hot chocolate and popcorn with a new movie when we arrive back home. He’s doing it tonight because the box is huge and there is no place to keep it hidden until Christmas so they will have an early Christmas gift. Hopefully the weather won’t interfere with that tonight.

Let’s see, what else can I tell you? Yesterday I had 198 views on this blog! It threw me for a loop because I usually get only less than 20, although I’ve been getting closer to 30-35 each day in the past couple of weeks. I came hope last night to check on the laptop. I have a program that gives me the IP address of the people looking at my blog and which post they viewed and how long they were on each post. It turns out that whoever was looking at my stuff was looking at the pictures of Mt. Hood and a few other scenic pictures I have posted in the past couple of weeks. I’m wondering if my pictures will end up on the internet someplace. They, whoever they is, also clicked on my Creative Commons license on my sidebar. Clearly an indication that they want to use my photos.

I’m going to try to write a few new Christmas memoir pieces for this month. I don’t get to do that enough and when I do, it feels really good to get that done! So I’m crossing my fingers that I will get to do that.

I had amazon credit (well, I still do) during Cyber Monday sales and I could not resist buying myself some Kindle books! I got four ebooks, all best sellers, for $15 when they are each normally about $13. So I am hoping to get to start one of them this weekend! By the way, I have recommended it previously but I will do it again. My new favorite Christmas story (well not really new but as about four years ago) that I like to re-read every Christmas is called O Little Town by Don Reid (formerly of the Statler Brothers). It’s a little story about a little town that gives the reader many warm feelings and a great deal to think about. I highly recommend it. I won’t start reading my copy yet. I’ll wait until closer to Christmas.

Well, I have to run and do a couple of errands up the hill. I was going to do them later but if the weather does what they say it will do, then I had better get up there before the road gets icy. Where I’m going it’s about 10 degrees colder than here so I should skedaddle!

Have a super week and I will be coming around to read coffee share posts this weekend. I just have to let my eyes rest a bit between reading posts because my sight is getting worse and worse. But, I will come around.

#WeeklyCoffeeShare is a blog link up hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster Blog.  Come by and check it out!wp-1452479910314.jpeg.

The Mighty Mo~reposting

This is a favorite story. It is always the storey that is searched for on my blog. I think it brings back a lot of memories for a lot of people. Today, someone found it and commented on it so I thought it a good time to put it up again.

Wasted Days And Wasted Nights

I grew up in a large family.  There were seven kids plus my mom and dad.  My dad was the only one who worked, as was the norm in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  My dad drove a fork lift at one of the local canneries.  The only way there would ever be any money for Christmas gifts was for my mother to save money in a Christmas Club account at the local Bank of America where she made a weekly deposit.

One year my brother David, who was about eight years old that year, fell in love with a toy he saw on a TV commercial.  It was a cannon that shot hard plastic balls.  It was called the Mighty Mo.  The commercials showed the Mighty Mo crawling over and through rough terrain all on a miniature scale, of course, but it looked really neat.  The clincher was…

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I Need Christmas

I need Christmas. I think a lot of us do this year. I need the tree to be set up in the corner and to be indoors enjoying being warm and listening to Christmas music. I need it this year more than most.

I usually don’t set up a tree this early; not until the middle of the month most years. However, as I have seen a lot of people post on FB and mention in real life, there seems to be a need for the Christmas spirit quite early this year. I think, for most, it’s a comment on the political situation, not only here in the United States, but also internationally.

Christmas is not only about giving and receiving. To me, it’s about slowing down; it’s about reflecting; it’s about imagining; it’s about the past and about the future; about the young and the old. Christmas is inside of us but it’s best when it escapes a bit so it can be shared with those around us.

I don’t want to rush it. I want to relish it. I’m starting early this year. I’ve already watched my favorite holiday movie, It’s A Wonderful Life. I’ve already listened to my favorite Christmas playlist, complete with Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Dean Martin, Rod Stewart, and so many others. I have gotten gifts for just the grandsons. I might not make it to getting for others but I will try. I want to be able to sit and enjoy making some gifts (I’m going to try to remember how to crochet!) and learning some new crafty things. I think I will also have the boys over here to make a few Christmas crafts and maybe a gift for their mom and dad and for their other grandparents.

I’m so wanting Christmas that I might break down and bake. And for sure, there will be tamale making in the next couple of weeks!

Yes, I need Christmas and I’m setting it out to get it!