Wednesday, April 29, 2015

When I'm Sixty Four...

Pic#29-With help from my grand V, I am included on a Beatles cover, see gold lame' girl,
Tokyo cherry blossoms and Eiffel Tower. 
This is it. My 64th birthday. Singing along with the Beatles to When I'm Sixty Four is something I planned on since I was sixteen. So, check!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros...

                                                            Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

Mary Fox came by the other day---the last person on earth I was expecting to see. I'd have tidied up
if I'd known she was coming. I'd have combed my hair. I'd have shaved. At least I was wearing a suit;
I strive for a sense of professionalism. I was sitting in my study, writing badly, just making words on the page, waiting for something to come through, some sentence I could keep. It was taking longer
that day than it usually did, but I didn't mind. The windows were open. I was sort of listening to something  by Glazunov; there's a symphony of his you can't listen to with the windows closed, you just can't. Well, I guess I could, but you'd get agitated and run at the walls. Maybe that's just me.

I want to read this. This first paragraph is just how I roll. I am never prepared for a surprise visit. I am still in my p.j's and my house needs to be picked up everyday.
This is Pic#28 posted this month in anticipation of my 64th birthday tomorrow. I know, really? I am so surprised I get to this day every year. I am sending 63 out with a bang. With as much of a bang as an aging couch potato can muster...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Two more days...

                                          Pic#27-Sunflower baby

Well, in two days it will be my sixty fourth birthday. I am so fascinated by the process of aging. It just happens. Days fly by. It does not matter if you are busy or not. Time marches on. Getting older really makes me think about my life. The people I care about. The books I need to read. What questions do I  
need  to ask myself? What gift do I want from my hubby? He keeps asking. He always does something special for me. I can't think of anything I need. I am working on it.

I love this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt--Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again. 
Mark Twain--Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.
One more by Aldous Huxley. I love his name.--The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age.

I feel like I have to be careful not to waste the time I have left in my life but then I think wasting time has always been one of my favorite things to do.--Me

I finished Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I know it is YA but this writer just draws me in to the emotion her characters are experiencing. I am listening to The Book of Life. So good!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Miss Teen Upper Peninsula...

                                               Pic#25-My great niece was crowned today!

A few more questions:
1. What was your favorite movie as a kid? Ride the Wild Surf with  Fabien, Old Yeller almost killed 
2. What music do you like listening to? I love listening to an XM station called 60s on 6. The music 
      of my youth. The Beatles, Frankie Valley, The Righteous Brothers. I know all the words!
3. What is the one thing you will never do again? Ride a roller coaster. I did it once. I was sick for the 
     rest of the day. Never again.

I started reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I know it's YA but I am loving it. RR's writing sucks me in. I missed Outlander tonight. The pageant in Marquette with the girls instead. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Quiet on the porch...

                                       Pic#24-Old barn off a highway near Texarkana, Texas

My summer photo project is to take pics of as many old barns as I can track down with cousin JR.
She is the best at finding photo treasures. So many barns are in ruins in the Upper Penninsula. When they are gone they are not replaced. I will miss the barns. I have always been attracted to old farm buildings...

A quote I came across: To be a photographer, one must photograph. No amount of book learning, no checklist of seminars attended, can substitute for the simple act of making pictures. Experience is the best teacher of all. And for that, there is no guarantee that one will become an artist. Only the journey matters. --Harry Callahan

I am reading and listening to The Book of Life by Deb Harkness. Very good witchy and vampy end to a trilogy.

Bad Grandma...

Pic#23-Took the girls to MacD's after school. They had so much fun eating really fast food! V did dispose of some evidence in the trash before she went in th house. Her Dad said, "Thanks for the treat but the girls are Macwired for the night!"

Watched the movie her last night. It was good. About a lonely man in love with his OS... I liked the last words of his OS, Samantha, to him. Talking about love, she said, And now we know how.

Finished Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Really frightening book on early onset Alzheimers. I did not like her husband. I wanted more for her from him. He was only human, I guess...(Goodreads Winter/Summer Challenge)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Snow falling on porch...

Literature is the most agreeable way to ignore life.--Fernando Pessoa. My new favorite quote.

Dear friends of mine are going through life altering health issues. My advice, on how do you handle the anxiety and stress, is always, books on tape. Walking and listening. Waiting and listening. It really helps a person stop thinking herself crazy.

Pic#22-Snow on my patio table. Brrrr. I am barefoot, freezing but I took tho photo. Missed yesterday's post. I am not a very disciplined person...

I finished The Shadows last night. A BDB book by J.R. Ward. 625 pages of reality TV (if you happen to be a vampire) in book form.
I bought the Maze Runner Trilogy to read with my two oldest floware girls. Long distance book club.

Pic# 21-If I would not have been so lazy yesterday!

Monday, April 20, 2015

The bucket list...

Pic# 20-Early picture of the grands in Isabella on July 4th.

I need to make a bucket list I've been told. I am nearly 64, after all. I am fortunate in that my life is living
my bucket list. I remember being nine years old and wanting to grow up to be an old
lady. Well I can cross that off my list. Here I am! 

OK, a list. Here goes. Dream bucket.
1. Take a photography class.
2. Take a creative writing class. 
3. Spend a weekend at a writer's colony with talented writers.
4. European cruise.
5. A guided tour of every place Dan Brown took Robert Langdon in his DaVinci Code books.
6. Vancouver, B.C. Salt Spring Island. Sleep in a barn, spend time with family.
7. Spend two or three winter months in Florida and Texas in my camper.
8. Explore Scotland. This list item has nothing to do with Outlander.
9. Get the perfect  hair cut.
10. See my sister's house in Idaho. I have never been to her home. 

I stayed up until 1:40 a.m. reading Paper Towns by John Green. I cannot do that any more.
I am tired. The YA which I technically am too old to read, was good. I know Mr. Green's writing is a little formulaic. But I still love his insight and his 
smarts. I also loved that my granddaughter read it with me and was so involved in the story. I need to share something with my Tweens. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The examined life...

This particular grand flower is not quite tethered  planet Earth. She does mid air jumps every
time space permits. 

I am listening to the last book of Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy, The Book of Life. A Discovery of Witches, the first book, is one of my all time favorite reads. Amazing story telling. Though it is hard to get used to Jennifer Ikeda's voice after months of Davina Porter's reading the eight books of the Outlander series. I also bought the hardcover book so I can  read the paper book, too. I do not want to finish these books. I love the characters. I only hope there are books as good as these in my future. 

O Libs from February 2015

1. The first thing I do when I get home is...let out the dog. I open the back door to her anxious face 
     and say, "Go see Papa!"
2. The last thing I do before bed my current book. Reading relaxes me enough to let me
     sleep. Unless the book is so absorbing that I can't put it down. I have read way too late...
3. My biggest pet peeve is...I just asked my hubby what bothers me. He said,"Me, always being
     right!" Me, "Not!" 
4. Guilty pleasure...I have many. But my current one is The Black Dagger Brotherhood. It is not my 
     type of book. Not lit by any stretch of the imagination. But so much fun to read. Don't tell anyone, 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Prom on the porch...

Our great niece, Maddi and her date Courage, ready for prom. 

GH profile questions from March 2015

1. Recipe I am scared to try...soufflé. Or cream puffs.
2. Best thing I ate this week...bone broth chicken soup with kluski noodles.
3. I'd do anything to avoid...organizing my closet. 
4. Personal motto/mantra...Peace, love and sandy feet.
5. I'd give the Overdrive App, the Goodhouskeeping Seal.
6. I wish I could tell my younger self...relax, it will all work out. You will at least make it to 64!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Bob Dylan on the cover of AARP...

I did not! I did not think any of us would live this long. My birthday month makes me so nostalgic 
for the music I felt passionate about. I listen to Sixties on Six. I identify with the pop culture of the sixties. I think because I cared so much for the music that was the background of my youth. 
The Times They Are  A'Changin'...

Last six GH questions

1. Before company arrives I hide...piles of papers, books, magazines and dirty dishes. I stuff them 
     under the couch, in the closet, in my Victorian desk or in the oven. It happens a lot. Do not ever       
     turn on my oven without looking inside. Ever.
2. Cat/Dog/other...Dog-Izzy, Chocolate Lab
3. Stuff I can't live without...Books, Kindle App, Audible App, Books, Journal, Family photos 
    and did I mention, Books!
4. If  I had an extra hour today, I' my sisters who live so far away from me...
5. My handbag is...Coach, spring green vinyl.
6. On my bucket list...Do I have to have a bucket list?

I finished the last Outlander book, Written in My Own Heart's Blood. I loved every book of this series by Diana Gabaldon. I did not want to finish...
Starting Paper Towns on my granddaughter's recommendation.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

First birthday party of 2015...

I have known these women for over twenty years. My co-workers, my friends, my support group and 
my fellow retirees! The Clique Birthday Club. We meet every month. It is so much fun to 
get together with these girls. 

GH questions continued 
1. Etiquette Pet Peeve-someone texting while talking to me. No eye contact.
2. I will never care about-keeping my house picked up. So many other things, the book
I happen to be reading, come first.
3. The last thing I bought online-photo books I made for the girls to commemorate our family 
4. I Drive-A Canary Yellow Porche Boxter convertible. Ya, no. A Chevy Impala, light blue!
5. Good Habit-I am a walker.
6. Bad Habit-my couch.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

On my porch...

Spring seems to have sprung here in the Upper Penninsula. Seems being the operative word. It was 25 degrees this a.m. But it is, according to the TV 6 news, going to be 60 and sunny today. That makes me happy. I missed my #14 post, I can't get that day back. I subbed in pre primary impaired yesterday. Amazing children. Sat on Cammy's porch for a couple of hours in the sun. I am going to miss her company when the family moves to Florida in August. I love talking with her young friends.
My three daughters will all be below the Mason Dixon Line...

Questions today from Good Houskeeping mag November 2014 At My House

Signature Dish-My from scratch marinara sauce with red wine and rosemary.
Worst thing I ate this week-M&M chocolate eggs left over from Easter
Favorite junk food-Chunky Monkey B&J's ice cream, the whole pint.
Favorite board game-Hands down, Sorry, with the grands. It becomes a full contact sport!
Household chore I enjoy-Ironing. Really, I iron all my clothes. I listen to a book. Soothing.
My secret cleaning weapons-IKEA large wool fluffy duster. I run around fluff-dust everything.

Six more tomorrow!   My son-in-law sent me this pic#15!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Reading on the porch...

Pic#13-I opened Paper Towns by John Green to begin reading. I am borrowing it from
my eleven year old grand flower. This note was inside the front cover. She just finished it 
and loved it. I will soon figure out this note I think. I treasure every word these girls write.

"The key to wisdom is knowing all the right questions."--John Simone

One question tonight. From O. 
What would you like to make more space for in your life?

This is hard to answer. Since retiring I have made space for me. But there are more things
I want to do with my time. I hate to admit that the thing holding me back is me. I am a little 
bit lazy. There, I admitted what I think is my greatest character flaw. 
I would like to make more space in my life for a photography class. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I am running late...

Pic#12-I have grands in and out of my home at random intervals.
There is, after all, forbidden fruit here. Red Vines, ginger snaps, M&M's etc.
They leave notes. This one cracked me up. Fortune cookie swag...

Only one O magazine question tonight. I have to go to bed. Working tomorrow.

1. I'd love to spend a lazy Sunday...doing what I did today. Quick bike ride to talk about
a shared book with a flower child. Painted my toe nails blue so I could wear sandals. 
I changed out the flannel sheets. I made the next ten personalized birthday cards on Shutterfly.
I am finishing Written in My Own Heart's Blood and starting Paper Towns. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Staying inspired on the porch...

                           First child on the left is my mother Stephanie, her sister Helen is in the middle,
                            youngest brother, Frank on the right. A cousin recently shared pictures he had 
                             of our parents as children. I had not ever seen these pictures. I am fascinated by
                              pictures of my forbears.

     O mag questions from February 2012

1. I'm most creative...when I am inspired by nature. I am looking forward to spring for its rebirth. 
     Buds, flowers, rain drops to photograph.
2. If I were a color I would be...spring green. It is the color of new beginnings.
3. I often imagine myself...spending a day in my hammock in Isabella with a good book.
4. I really wish I knew how the piano or speak French or dance like those people on DWTS..
5. My secret talent is...I read three or four books simultaneously and keep them straight.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Nostalgia on the porch...

 Pic#9 and #10- Jaja and Busia. My mother's parents. They met on a ship immigrating to America.
                                        I love these pictures of these very special people.

Blogging every day is not as easy as it looks...I missed yesterday. I will not give up!

O mag questions from October 2014 

1. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one...who is more comfortable with kids than other adults.
2. But at least I don't...wear mini skirts or bikinis. I do like the long blouses and patterned leggings they wear. I was at a wedding shower when my eight year old niece told me she loved my outfit!
3. My quirky side pays off one blinks an eye when I rode a camel at the fair this year. I have pictures to prove it.
4. Being normal is...just not an option for me. I grew up on a turkey farm. I have crazy red hair and was in Latin Club at school...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Free to be on the porch...

                                             Pic#8- Hubby and me on our Florida vacation.  

O mag questions from August 2014

1. For years I couldn't figure out how to...put myself and my needs first. It felt selfish.
2. But then one day... I realized trying to take care of everyone was making me crazy. I was tired and
     unhappy.  So I schedule me time first.
3. When I need a creative breakthrough, I...write in my journal. Or on Evernote or my blog. Or take a
     sit on my porch.
4. I hope my next aha moment will help me...write my memoir.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tune in...

Aunt Joanie's cat, Moore. He loves her. He follows her every where. He is her companion. She feeds him very well. I have never seen a litter box so well cleaned or such a contented cat.

I only have twenty nine minutes left to post pic#7. I almost went to bed instead.

From O magazine June 2014

1. I recently tech. I now own an IPad Air. I am blogging on it. But the
     craziest thing is that my totally low tech hubby cannot put this thing down. I am
      wondering about him and Siri...
2. But I'll never connection to all things home made, from scratch. I bake and cook
     fresh meals. I  crochet my wash clothes and hats and scarves.
3. When I need an attitude upgrade, I...listen to Sixties on Six. I know all the words. I still have the
     moves. And, yes, I was alive when the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan!
4. I was inspired to improve This is not easy for me. I love to read, sew, crochet, iron.
     But my 76 year old super-neighbor has walked every day this winter, sub-zero temps, with my
      dog. So I am moving right along.


Monday, April 6, 2015

April morning in da Upper Penninsula....

Woke up this morning to fresh snow on my old porch. Lots of the fluffy white stuff. Thank goodness I have a driver who made sure I arrived safely to my sub job at school. 

Feeling grateful, O magazine, November 2014

1. I'll never stop being grateful family. They are my joy. My life is full because of these 
2. My favorite way to say thank you is ...with a photo. I send a special picture of a gift being used or
     of the giver. Sometimes I make a photo book to say thank you.
3. The best thank you I ever received...was a letter from my daughter after she left for college to let 
    me know how much she appreciated our home life.
4. When I was a kid, I didn't realize how grateful I should have been Mother's unconditional  
     approval of my quirkiness. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Sunday on the porch...

A flower child's place setting for Easter dinner at Gran and Papa's. My wedding china, my mother's wedding silverware, glassware, a gift from a high school friend. Chocolate bunnies and fudge eggs and peeps. Many family meals have been served in our home. I am thankful for every one I have had the pleasure to serve with love to my favorite people.

Filling in the blanks. O magazine contributor questions from April 2014.
1. The question people always ask me...What do you do with your time now that you are retired?
2. But I wish they'd ask me...What are you reading? You made that? Who took that photo? (Me)
3. The person I have a question for husband. I'd like to ask him...Do you know how much I 
     appreciate all the little, thoughtful things you do for me? 
4. The question I'd never ask anybody is...Have you been sick? It is the worst question. I feel great    
     but I look sick? Maybe I am sick but I don't know it. Do I need lipstick? Ugh!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter's Eve on the porch, getting it together...

                          This picture from 1990 something, showcases our permanent waves. Pic#4

O questions from March 2015. 

1. The one thing I've tossed and never missed work clothes. I have retired and kept thinking I
     might need these clothes again some day. But the are gone and I am okay.
2. But I wish I could get Barbie dolls. They were given away when I left home and I have
     missed them ever since. Seriously, I have spent years replacing the dolls and clothes with vintage
      eBay purchases.
3. The one place in my life that's always messy side of the bed. Piles of books, magazines,
     yarn, my e reader and a lavender filled eye pillow take my messy nature to a new level.
4. I am most motivated to declutter when...never. I love my clutter. I love having my piles, see
     question  # 3. Once in a while, just before company is coming to visit, I am motivated to stuff all
      my lovely clutter under the bed, under the couch or into a closet.

I finished John Green's, Looking for Alaska. He sure knows how to make a reader feel the pain. I might be too old for his books. I'm half way through Written in my Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon...Outlander #8. The violence of the Revolutioary war is getting to me. But I still love Jamie and Claire. The second half of Outlander on Starz starts tonight! I can't wait. My favorite Gaelic words, Mo Nighean Don, my brown haired lass.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Isn't It Amazing...

I love this picture (#3) of three of my grands waiting in line for Space Mountain at Disney World. I stood in long lines with the kids waiting to get on rides. It was half the fun. Watching them in line was like a pile of puppies falling all over each other. Laughing, hugging, pushing, teasing, calling Papa Harry Porter cracked them up and the anticipation of fear! Some of my favorite moments of our family trip.

Questions from O, August 2013. I saved this page.

1. The best surprise I ever had...was my surprise sixtieth birthday party. I had no idea.
2. I wish I had invented...that soccer ball that generates and stores energy by being kicked in play.
3. The most awe-inspiring place I've visited is...a Lake Superior sunset. The entire lake was pink and
     gold. Breathtakingly beautiful.
4. When I'm really excited, I...prepare! I get ready. Say, I'm going on a trip. I have been known to pack a month early!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter shopping, an excuse for sugar, Sugar!

Today's pic #2 is my sweet haul from a shopping trip to downtown Escanaba, MI. Hand made fudge egg dipped in chocolate with my name on it. The woman who wrote in frosting is the same one who has been personalizing my Easter eggs for at least 40 years. Double dipped malted milk balls. Cherry, white chocolate scone from Stone's. The queen would be lucky to taste this treat for high tea. My grands will love this.

O questions from February 2015 issue. 

1. I wish I had the guts to ask...
     For a photo shoot from a local photog. I wonder what I really look like. I have such a good (personal) body image of myself, but is it a true view?
2. But I'd rather not know...
     If my family and colleagues think less of my abilities because of my age.
3. I'd love for someone to ask me...
    Please, because of your unique perspective, will you do photographs of my family?
4. My favorite icebreaker question is...
     "What are you reading?" I'll ask anybody that question. Standing in line at the grocery store, 
      sitting by the pool, at lunch with friends. I really want to know!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Twenty nine days til my sixty fourth...

April Fool's Day...but this is no joke! On the twenty ninth of this month I will be sixty four. Just like the old Beatles song. I did not think that this could ever  happen to me. But here I am. I will post every day this month. Twenty nine pictures. Twenty nine posts.

I like to read the answers to the questions the writers who contribute to O magazine answer every month. My answers to the April 2015 questions.
1. When I need a change of scenery I...
     Go out my front door and sit on my old front porch. Bikers, walkers and kids playing.
2. The change maker I most admire is...
     Elizabeth Cady Stanton. A leader of the suffrage movement. Her sacrifices paved the way for   women's rights. I am humbled by her willingness to give up her own comfort to make a difference.
3. I would love to change...
    My exercise habit. Or non habit. I just can't make myself  a regular at the gym.
4. But I'll never change...
     My family. They are the joy of my life. The grands make life youthful and new all over again.