Category Archives: Home & Family

37 Years and 6 Universities

I started college at Oregon State University, way back in 1977 . Now, 37 years and six universities later, I have finally earned my Bachelor’s degree. Done, finis, no more! This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, including childbirth. At least in childbirth, it’s over in a day, you have a gorgeous baby to hold in your arms, and you forget the pain enough to have another one. Raising those children goes in waves of wonderful highs and worrying lows, but overall brings great joy. College, on the other hand, is a sometimes enjoyable, always relentless, seemingly never-ending effort that costs a whole lot of money! For me, it included: 1977-79: two years at OSU in Elementary Education. I was young, single, and my whole life revolved around college – no problem. Get married, stop college to work and earn my PHT (Put Hubby Thru). Two music classes at … Continue reading

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Teenage Crushes and Poetry

In lieu of a “real” blog post (I’ve never had a summer college class before, let alone two, and I’m still recovering), here’s a bit of my teen years wrapped up in a poem.  Written for one of said classes, of course.  And before you dig in, I should warn you that while my literary career began with poetry (a whole book of poems with cake/bake/snake/rake rhymes when I was the ripe old age of six), this is my first real poem.  Somehow my “Intro to Creative Writing” only covered fiction.  So be nice! Did you have a teenage crush that crushed you?  Or did the two of you get together?  Share your crush in the comments below and let us know how it turned out.

Posted in Home & Family, Poetry, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , |

This Year, May is Mine

May is redbud trees and flowering crabapples and weeping cherries. May is planting petunias and lobelia and bee balm. And tomatoes and cucumbers and green beans. May is hummingbird feeders and songbird seed and trying to outsmart the squirrel. May is thwarting thistle and decapitating dandelions. May is losing myself in garden books and backyard landscape plans. May is putting my college boys to work digging out dying shrubs and tilling new beds. May is a whole month off between spring and summer semesters at college. May is sunny days and having the heater off and the windows open. May is pleasant nights and putting the electric blanket away. May is eating right and trying new recipes. May is lots of gym time, Pilates videos, and power walks in a shady park. May is sewing curtains, painting the kitchen, and actually seeing the surface of my desk again. May is … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, Healthy Living, Home & Family, SIMPLE PLEASURES |

The No Good, Very Bad Dangers of an Electric Blanket

I bought an electric blanket for my mother’s visit last week.  The guest room is chilly, she’s 77 years old, and wise daughters do NOT separate their mothers from their electric blankets in the winter.  And I’m a wise daughter, right? She loved it, and when she left, I moved it down to our bed.  We like sleeping in a cool room, but I hate getting into a cold bed.  And while my husband is the world’s best heater, he doesn’t like sharing his heat directly with my frigid feet. So.  Friday night.  I turned the heater down, but stayed up playing a stupid game on my phone.  I couldn’t let the computer trounce me that badly, now, could I?  (If you like to be stupid too, go check out “Farkle.”) Chilly in the living room, shivering in the bedroom.  Turn the blanket on ten.  Teeth, face, prayers.  Climb in … Continue reading

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Magic in the Oregon Cascades

With Dad being fairly stable and Mom not needing to go anywhere, I took the car last Saturday and visited my brother.  Mick is a forester who lives near Oakridge, up the slope of the Cascades from Eugene.  And, oh have I found something to dream of besides Ireland. We had a delightful lunch in Mick’s favorite pub, stopped at the bakery to enjoy the local sculptures and jewelry for sale, and then drove up the road looking for the turn-off to a trail Mick wanted to show me.  There’s not much snow-pack (which bodes ill for Oregon this summer), but January had a good chunk of rain, especially compared to December.  And when you combine rain with a windstorm, you get occasional trees down.  And then you hope that someone has come along and cleared the road.  We were lucky. We drove by memory – Mick hadn’t checked map … Continue reading

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