Spencer, Oh Spencer, Spencer!

He’s a cute kid! I remember before he was born. I told myself I would not love him. There were lots of reasons but boy was I wrong! He’s very sweet and very thoughtful. He’s sensitive but also very tough. For the last three weeks, he keeps asking to come to my house and once he is here, he doesn’t want to leave. He even says he will go on errands with me, knowing that it will be boring. He’s also a good helper.

So before Christmas, I got an Amazon Echo Dot for their house. I have the original Echo here and have had it since it’s release years ago. I love it. It occurred to me that if there were an emergency, the boys can’t call me or anyone else. Their parent’s iPhones are password protected so they can’t use them. So I figured that if I got one for their house and taught them to say “Alexa, call Nana” or “Alexa call 911” they will be able to get help in case of an emergency. It also has games for the kids and tells them stories and jokes and looks up questions on wikipedia if needed. So I got it and they finally set it up. So now, at least five times a day, Alexa rings and says it’s a call from them. I answer it and it’s Spencer. He just calls to say hi! It’s very cute! I know he’s thinking of me when he calls in the middle of a show or a blog post or reading Facebook or listening to an audible book. It makes me smile. And when he comes tomorrow, I will teach him how to call for his mommy or his daddy if something happens to me and I need help, like the other day when I fell and it took me a while to get up by myself. I guess I should have called them but it didn’t occur to me. Now it will.

He’s a fixer. If something is broken, he takes it upon himself to fix it. He changes batteries and opens things up, like completely takes things apart, and fixes them or puts them back the right way if he can’t fix it. He’s four years old! I never get tired of his little voice saying, “I fix it, Nana. Let me. I fix it.”

Then there is the side that asks every time we are coming home in the dark, “Can we go see Christmas lights?” Even though we’ve told him over and over that Christmas is over until next year, he still asks. I have a light in the yard that he picked out after Christmas. It’s one of those laser type lights that has a moving function so that it looks like ripples in water. It’s just plain white. He loves it. But the other night, after my daughter told him one more time that Christmas is over, we drove into my driveway and he said, “Nana, turn off your light. Christmas is over!” Silly boy. The next night, he came over and did this:


He took out my Christmas stuff and set it up, all by himself, and turned on the lights inside my dining room! So I guess Christmas isn’t over yet!

That Spencer is a special little boy. At least he is to us. He is different from his big brother and different from his baby sister. He’s himself and I guess I like it that way!


Just me and my Spencer!







I feel like a lost the week! We had snow off and on all week. Just as it began to melt, it would come down in buckets! It looks like we will have a couple more days of this during the week next week but mostly rain for the weekend. Yay! It’s nice to be out of the freezing zone, too. Although we didn’t get a lot, this area (Portland Oregon) is not prepared for snow because we don’t get it very often. Usually (before global warming caused all of the recent changes in our weather patterns) we would get one day of light snow per yer, if that. Now we get several days of heavy snow each year. Last year we  were basically snowed in for six consecutive days then again a couple more times for just a couple of days. That’s what happens when your area is not equipped with snow plows or other snow clearing equipment and you get dumped on. That’s also what happens when people don’t have snow tires because “it never snows enough” to justify the high cost. So instead, most people either stay in and complain about it or they get in their cars and end up causing collisions because of their inexperience and lack of preparation. Some end up causing an emergency when they become stranded in their cars without supplies. Some park their cars and walk away from them, causing a huge problem because traffic gets blocked by the parked cars! Me? I stay home. Nice and warm. I am only concerned about the traffic conditions out there as it relates to my daughters who have to drive in it for work, usually. So that was the week here.

There are some cute Spencer stories to share but I will save those for other posts. I just now got called to babysit! She gave me a whole hour’s notice! That’s because I told her I won’t babysit without advance notice anymore. So I got an hour notice! And I haven’t seen the kids today so it’s okay.

I’ll leave you with this neat picture I took of some tulips I bought for myself last week. I never buy flowers for myself but I was tempted and I went ahead! I posted this picture on Instagram this past week but last night I put it through the Prisma App filters and got this really vibrant picture which I think I am going to have printed as blank cards to use for stationery! What do you think?


I’ve been sort of quiet lately. At least the last few days and quieter than the past few weeks, anyway. Why? Well, let me whine!

On Thursday night, I lost my balance and took a fall in my living room, breaking my glasses and hurting my wrist. I use a cane to walk these days but I don’t normally use it inside the house so I lost my balance and went down before I could grab onto something. I am legally blind without correction so to function, I had to wear one pair of reader glasses over the other and that was not good enough for reading or typing so that was difficult. My older daughter took me to order new glasses on Friday after work but they won’t be in for two weeks so I am functioning with glued glasses. Crossing my fingers they last until my new glasses come in. And I’m being extra careful not to bump them or drop them or let the baby pull them off of me. So that has thrown me off kilter.

Then on Friday night, reaching for some cold medicine, I bumped into a knife I had carelessly left on the counter and it fell along my leg and grazed the inside of my ankle. Not too bad but it did draw some blood and it hurt quite a bit. It’s not much more than a scratch but now, three days later, it doesn’t look so great. I think it will require a doctor visit tomorrow. IF I can get to the doctor. You see, Mother Nature has decided to grace us with winter’s parting gift, a small snow storm which is over now but they say we’re getting more on Tuesday, most of the day! That means things will probably come to a standstill for a few days.

Wine! No, not. It’s actually not about wine but about booze and it’s more of a whine. I can’t stop thinking about what the dietitian told us at the diabetes class last December. Someone asked if there was anything we could drink or eat or do if our blood sugar was too high and we are not on insulin. She said to drink whiskey. She explained that it makes blood sugar drop and that there isn’t any sugar in it. Well! She must have forgotten that it’s not exactly great for diabetics to drink anything alcoholic. At least that’s what I understand. There was one man that sort of exemplifies what I think is dangerous about saying this to a group of diabetics. He said, “Well isn’t that great?! I had to stop drinking because of my diabetes and now I might have to start drinking again because of my diabetes!” Yup. Not a responsible thing for her to have said to us, and not in the way she said it.

More? I think that little snow storm is going to cause a lot of problems. For me, I am supposed to go to the bank to deposit a check (yay my first social security check arrived!) and I probably won’t get to go before the snow hits and I must pay some bills, like my electric bill so the heat stays on. And I am not really stocked with groceries. I have lots of canned goods so I won’t starve. My class at the hospital is on Tuesday and Thursday nights and it will most assuredly be canceled on Tuesday. If it goes on as scheduled on Thursday, I might still not be able to get to it. My car doesn’t have snow tires and more importantly, I am terrified of snow. I had a very bad experience driving in the snow and getting stranded with no one knowing where I was. So I won’t leave the house when it snows or when there is snow on the road. I know it won’t happen again, not right in town, but I just can’t force myself to do it.

Those are this week’s challenges. Aging and coming to terms with my limitations is a big part of it. Then there’s Mother Nature who likes to play with us every now and then.

Hoping your life is free of these little obstacles!


This is what I had to do to get through Thursday night and Friday.

Silent Sunday

I Remember

I remember writing out valentine cards to take to school. That was in the days when they didn’t say you had to take a valentine for everyone in the class. Because there were so many of us kids (7), my mom bought a package for each one of us even though we needed ore than one package if we were going to give to everyone in the class. So we had to choose. My mom would go through the list with us and ask at each name “Is this one your friend?” or “Do you want to give one to this one?” That was  difficult because I mostly wanted to send a card to everyone. I knew what it felt like to sit at your desk and wonder if you would get any cards. There were some kids that didn’t get very many, like Esmeralda who no one played with because she was born with a black spot on the side of her face. I knew who those kids were so I made sure that they got one from me and I always wondered if I would get very many.

I remember  in high school, selling carnations as a fundraiser for California Scholarship Federation (CSF). The carnations were pre-ordered and pre-paid then delivered to recipients during class on Valentine’s Day. They cost one dollar. Of course all of the cheer leaders and other cheer squad girls walked around with lots of carnations that they had gotten. My sister, her friends, and me would pool our money and send them to each other to make sure we each got at least one flower on Valentine’s Day.

In college, during my sophomore year, I met the man I would marry. On a trip from Stanford to Los Angeles to meet his sister, his car was having a lot of trouble. It was leaking oil and we had to keep stopping. It took us about nine hours to get there instead of the six it should have taken. On one of the stops, in the tiny town of Atascadero, we had to get more oil so he parked the car and got out while I waited. When he came back to the car, he had the oil and before popping open the hood to put the oil in, he handed me a little bag with a chocolate covered marshmallow shaped like a heart. It was Valentine’s Day and he hadn’t mentioned it so I though he had forgotten all about it. But he hadn’t. He had bought me a candy at the auto parts store. That was the only valentine I ever got from him in fifteen years of marriage!


Whew! What a busy three days I have had. Friday was Maya’s first birthday. My daughter wanted to take her to a restaurant where they’ve gone for the first birthdays for the boys, to keep the tradition. However, it’s a pricey steak house and no one has any money. My daughter belongs to their frequent diners’ club and got a twenty-five dollar gift certificate for her birthday which was set to expire on the fifteenth of this month. Twenty-five dollars is not enough for all of us to go so I suggested that she and Chris take Maya there for lunch (cheaper menu) and I would take the boys to pizza at the same time. The pizza place was having a promo where we didn’t have to pay for the pizza if we bought a Pepsi product so it was a good deal. After pizza the boys and I went to the park but not until we went to Dollar Tree to get paper airplanes to fly at the park. We also went for a short hike through the park grounds which is a habitat reclamation project so it has nice trails. Then they wanted a slushy drink so we hurried to Taco Bell so we could get them for one dollar during their happy hour! Then finally, home. Or at least to my home where they watched an old movie, Harry And the Hendersons. Whew! I’m exhausted remembering it.

There were a lot of things to be done on Friday night to be ready for Saturday’s party so I was up late, putting together a photo “clothesline” of pictures of Maya’s first year and some other stuff I said I would make. I’ll have to remember to say I will make less in upcoming birthdays (we have Anderson’s in four weeks then Spencer’s four weeks after that).

Then on Sunday I was called to go entertain Maya while Tina got things ready for the party. The cake and pizzas had to be picked up and no one volunteered (meaning Chris didn’t go get them. Tina was busy the entire time. Finally, after one o’clock, Tina sent me home to iron on some transfers for five t-shirts and then to pick up the pizzas and the cakes.  I got that done and dropped off the shirts before picking up pizza and cake. Luckily, I dropped off the pizza before going to get the cake because guest were already there and unbeknownst to me, when I got to the store bakery to pick up our order of two cakes, there were no cakes. They had messed up and had put the order in under the wrong Saturday. By the time the realized they had messed up (after looking and looking for the cakes and calling the bakery manager at home) and solved the problem by giving us a different cake and I got back to Tina’s, it was three forty-five and the party was almost over. They were just waiting for the cake! I missed the whole thing.

That’s the whine which made me need the wine! I had a glass of wine spritzer my daughter had made then sat in the recliner after everyone left. I finally managed to get my weary bones out of the recliner and home by about six. I was in so much pain that I didn’t even make it to my bedroom. I sat on the couch and didn’t get up for about three hours! And today, after twelve hours of sleep, I am still very tired and my body is sore all over, as in where’s the truck that hit me kind of sore! But it’s all over for this month. I told my daughter last night before I came home, that I am not going to go pick things up next time and if I do, I won’t do it at the last minute. She needs to tell me in advance and I need to have time to rest in between because I just can’t do that thing where I go non-stop for twelve to fourteen hours anymore.

And the more! The party was a success. The decorations were fun and the photo clothesline turned out really neat. I stole the idea from my daughter-in-law. I printed out a bunch of pictures in tiny form (nine to a 4″ x 4″ sheet). They are cut out and hung with a tiny clothespin (I used pink glittered ones) on a clothesline made of the thinnest cord I could find. Very cute. The kids had fun. The pinata was a success. The birthday girl was happy and full of energy. All things considered, it was all worth the hassles. At least it was when I think of how happy the kids were!

That’s my whine, wine and more. What do you have to share?