Sunday, September 22, 2013


My kids bought a house and moved into it yesterday. They spent the night there last night and I couldn't help but wonder if they were feeling like we did when we moved here 5 years ago. Excited, curious, and just filled with ideas of what it is going to be like to live in your new digs.
We arrived here about the 8th or 9th of September 2008. It was a rough move packing up and  leaving Arizona in what was still really hot weather to arrive in the TriCities to 90+ degee weather. I remember well being exhausted from the hard four days previous to our arrival and then having to spend another whole day unloading. It was almost too much to think about. We did it but not without some snags. The car got stuck on the dolly so we had to call a towing truck to come to our rescue. That was our first experience with the awesome hometown feel of this community. We've called that towing company on three other occasions. Your tow-man should be in your contacts! As luck would have it, when he got done getting that car off the dolly, he solved our other problem of how we were gonna roll 3 motorcyles out of the back of the moving van. In a way, it was providence that we got that car stuck on the dolly. We might have hurt ourselves with those motorcycles. I can't even talk about how we got them into the van, it makes me shudder.  Crazy, that's what we are.
Another snag was that the sellers of our house stole the fridge that was part of the contract when we bought it. We ended up living out of an  ice chest for about a week while we argued with the seller's agent. She ended up coughing up money out of her own pocket to buy us a new fridge.  In the meantime, it was kind of fun "roughing it" and we just took it in stride. 
We didn't have cable hooked up yet, so the TV didn't work. We listened to a lot of public radio and I loved the sound of the public broadcasters echoing through this big old house with its wood floors. We didn't bring any furniture so we made do with our camp chairs until we found some pieces to buy.
I envy the kids getting to experience their new place. I hope they get settled in and pound nails into the walls and throw some new rugs down and just make it their own. I didn't put any holes in my walls for at least a year. I now have a place in my office that is covered in family photos. I'll regret it later when it's time to sell this place.
I called my son today and I could hear the empty echo of his new house. They have wood floors and since they are minimalists, there isn't an over abundance of furniture to soak up the sound of their voices. They're going to do a little painting and I imagine they'll throw down a rug or two. I'm thrilled to pieces for them and can hardly wait to get out there to visit them again.
Until then, I'm gonna enjoy my own place and try to remember all the things I loved about it when it was first new to me ... things that I think I have taken for granted.
love, susan 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ode to Dogs

Hubby took the dogs to the kennel early yesterday so he could pack and we could leave early this morning for a camping trip. When I got home from I knew it would be weird to not have them under foot but I was not prepared for the depression that hit me sideways. That feeling didn't last too long as I told myself it is only for three days. I lived for 7 years in Arizona without dogs, I can do this for three days.

When we headed for bed, I realized I'd get almost the whole bed to myself for once! But I gotta tell you that it felt sad not having my "Remi" there with her long schnauz (nose) resting in the crook of my neck.  I freakin' love this dog.
I even kinda missed their annoying barking this morning. When that alarm goes off, they are ready to go out and play, eat and play some more.
Dogs give meaning to life. I feel sorry for people who don't have them.
They do cramp our style sometimes but I can't imagine a life without fur friends.
Sometimes I feel guilty because my old girl, Missy, doesn't get to go places with us anymore because it is just not possible to take three. I sometimes say to myself, "she's just a dog" ... and then I see into her eyes ... like the way she is looking at me in this photo and I know that's a silly statement.  Just a dog? With those eyes?
Well, gotta go now. The beach awaits.
love, susan

Monday, September 9, 2013

Squeezing a Little Fun

Another great weekend with 300+ miles under our butts. We traveled almost the same route as the previous Sunday but took a left to Briggs Junction to travel over the Columbia River on the bridge to Hwy. 14 and home.  I've never driven my motorcycle over that bridge before but the view was spectacular.
Hubby survived a heart attack last Monday. It was a surreal feeling to be riding yesterday after such an event. His hand surgery in April has kept us grounded all summer. I marvel at how different parts of the body can be healed or repaired so quickly, and others not so much.  Luckily, with the today's technology, heart attacks are not the fatal events they used to be.  They can be if left unattended.
There were seven of us yesterday ... just the perfect combination. I love the camaraderie and banter that takes place at rest stops.

Well, it's Monday morning and things are getting back to normal. Only one doctor appointment this week for hubby and then we take off for camping at the beach on Friday.
We just keep trying to squeeze every little bit of fun out of everyday and I think we hit the mark this weekend!
love, susan

Friday, September 6, 2013

Use Your Imagination

Wow, that was a great storm last night!  The clouds looked like stiff, whipped cream. Lightening strikes could be seen one right after another on our car trip out to Finley for a BBQ with good friends.
When we turned onto this street last night, I kept thinking about how much this looks like a scene from a Stephen King novel. Although, I've only read one or two of his books so I have nothing to base this thought on but these clouds made me think something evil was rolling into town. "Delores Claiborne" and "Needful Things" ... just in case you were wondering which novels I actually read.
This morning I hopped back on my treadmill for the second day in a row.  Those nurses at the hospital this week kept using the very trendy word "trending".  Is that what's happening?  My treadmill use is trending.  I kinda like that.
I got to Madonna's "Vogue" on my very old, not-so-chic-and-trendy iPod and as I imagined myself as a backup singer/dancer for Madonna, the words use your imagination, that's what its for stood out.  I decided I'll hold onto that mantra as long as I possibly can.  I've let my imagination collect dust, 'aint that a shame?
love, susan 


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Never Quit Quitting

It's been kind of a messed up week but getting better by the minute. I got in to see my doctor late yesterday and I knew it wasn't going to be stellar news. I had blood work done over a month ago and was really putting off going in to have "the talk" with him.
I have the best doctor ever. Or maybe I've become a better patient. No, that's not it. He's really great!  He listens to me and waits for me to finish my thoughts before he fires back his medical opinion in his gentle, human-to-human manner. I dig that.  And he writes the truth on my paperwork. No sugar coating. He wishes I would give up the sugar, as a matter of fact. My blood work is not great and he lectures me every time I go in. I feel bad for the man because he must feel like it falls on deaf ears. But it doesn't.
My husband has a saying that I constantly have in my head ... "never quit quitting".  Whatever it is I'm trying to give up, I need to not give up on giving up.
So ... I promised myself I'd get on that treadmill this morning ... and I did.  And, I'm going to write a thank you note to my doctor today.  Thank you for telling me to lose weight. I need to hear it. Thank you for telling me to change my eating habits. Thank you for reminding me to get regular exercise ... I can never hear this enough. And thank you for asking me just one more time to start taking cholesterol-busting medication.  He hasn't given up on me and I think I won't give up on me either.

love, susan

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

One Day at a Time

Gene ~ August 31
Does this look like a guy who is two days away from a heart attack?
You hear people say it all the time and you may think it applies to everyone else but when it gets real, you realize we are all on borrowed time. 
We enjoyed a super nice weekend. It started with a beautiful motorcycle ride on Saturday. We got up very early to get on the road by 8am. We didn't intend to ride 250+ miles but we were having such a great time that we felt like we were going to be home before it got to 90 degrees but didn't quite make it. Oh well, a little sweat never hurt anyone.
Sunday, we just hung out at home and didn't do much as it was to be even hotter. Monday being a holiday, I was home and honestly I can't remember what we did. I was puttering around the house and Gene was doing what he does. Later in the day, he was out in the garage, apparently going up and down the ladder to put some stuff up. He came in to take a shower and as always, we were on the edge of being late for dinner with friends we haven't seen in far too long. I knocked on the bathroom door and what I saw in front of me was a man as white as a ghost. He says, "my neck is getting that jabbing pain."  When he didn't balk at my insistence that we head directly to the ER, I knew it was bad. I called my friend and told her we were not going to make it for dinner. Sorry.
Without boring you with too many details, let me just say that after being admitted and monitored all night, when he got up to use the restroom Tuesday morning, the stabbing pain in his neck returned and they did an EKG right then and there. He was quickly moved from the "end-of-the-day" schedule for the cath lab to having the cath lab gurney picking him up within what seemed like 5 minutes. Impressive. Long story short, he was 98% blocked in two places in the same artery they had put a stent in 3 years ago. He was a dead man walking.  He now has three stents keeping blood flowing through that vein and you can't tell there was anything wrong with him. As a matter of fact, I'm sure he's got more energy than I do right now.  I'm exhausted ... emotionally and mentally.
Okay, this is part where I get all mushy.
It's a mistake to think we're going to live forever. This is my second go around with him and this. The doctor says his artery is kind of a mess. He said it may have been caused by a childhood virus that was around in the 50's. Undoubtedly, if something else doesn't take him out, he'll be on the receiving end of future stents, or open heart surgery. We know the signs. Now he's got history with this hospital and he'll have less explaining to do the next time he goes in with neck pains.
While I'm tired and emotional, I know that he dodged another bullet and tomorrow we'll get up and things will be back to normal. We'll live this life one day at a time, trying not to waste too much of it doing shit we don't wanna do.
love, susan

You Made My Day, Dude!

A couple weeks ago while I was driving back to Portland after spending the night on the Oregon coast, we came up on some road construction ...