Life in pictures…

Yesterday, thanks to inspiration from recent posts by various bloggers, I sat on my butt for hours and cleaned out the remaining photo albums in my possession. Initially the impetus was to get the backs of pictures labelled. It turned into an overhaul of sorts.

I have already passed on all the baby pictures of my three children, their chronological albums and mementos to each of them respectively. At least they have every thing I’ve taken over the years. I love their pictures, remembering the moments when they were babies, learning to crawl, eating dog food from the dog bowl, being silly-kid goofy, school memories…but I decided long ago that I wanted them to have those memories for themselves now, as they begin their families and lives as adults, rather than finding all these things stashed in a box in 40 years when they are charged with cleaning out an empty house.

I have been holding onto a few vacation scrapbooks, an album of pictures my own father had when he passed, and also a varied group of photos we got of our kids and ourselves when my husbands mother passed.

In conjunction with my archivist, aka daughter Alison, I decided that the vacation pictures needed to be divided among each sibling so now all three have memories of past family trips to Hawaii and very early trips to our own Pacific coast. We found a few that made us roar with laughter.

Hawaii 1
Birds…have you read my comments on how much I hate birds, especially parrots?
Hawaii 2
Some of my children were gloriously happy to be in Hawaii…
Hawaii 3
…and some, not so much

The other sets of pictures included a lot of repeat school pictures that each child already has, a few baby pictures that were divided into respective, appropriate sibling piles, some of me during the 1980’s, and some of my husband.

Mom and Dad 1
Married and pre-kids so 83′ or 84′ maybe

Alison asked specifically that this one make an appearance on the blog and noted the likeness found in the caption.

Dad 1
Channeling his inner Freddie Mercury. Bailey our beagle as well.

As to the multiple beer bottles sitting alongside the baby bottles on the counter…I have no idea or excuse.

The only really old pictures I have, meaning pre-marriage/kids, are a few random baby/young kid pictures of me my dad was given when he and my mother divorced. We found one picture of my maternal grandmother from 1959, the year I was born, and quite a few of my paternal grandmother both as a young woman and very late in life. Those will be nice to show Miss G and Miss C when they are able to understand the familial relations.

Actually most of the photos we still have of my own fathers family were collected, as copies, in a little booklet someone put together after his death.

Nancy and Grandma Bun
My maternal grandmother on the right and one of my sisters age 12
Grandma Fiscus
My paternal grandmother
Lyle Lloyd and Vernona Paulsen
Paternal grandma again circa 1920 with her almost 1 year old twins
Lyle and Lloyd
Same twins, my dad on the right and my uncle Lyle on the left – 6 months old – 1920
Lyle Lloyd and Edward Paulsen
The twins again (although poor quality) with their father. He doesn’t look like a happy man.

The last album was my wedding album. It was in bad shape, and I never really realized just how not-good most of the pictures were. The situation then was one of those friend of the family photographer things that you only regret later when you discuss cost savings versus clear faces and meaningful scenes. Plus, the photos themselves had been placed into an album that really wasn’t suited for keeping photos in good condition. Anyway, I found duplicates of duplicates. I found four different sizes of the same photo numerous times. I found blurry photos next to identical photos that are clear. I found photos that clearly were taken just to use up a roll of film. Yes, film was still a thing in 1983 for those who may only know digital. I found a series of photos, most people pictured in those photos unknown to me, of the quintessential ‘fill the car with balloons and toilet paper so the bride and groom can’t see to drive away from the reception’ festivities that was often the highlight of young wedding attendees back in the day.

Needless to say, and I believe that I did actually, not long ago in another post (that I don’t want to find and link to right now) that these photos certainly hold very different meaning for me and my situation at the present moment. Looking at them now, they evoke more nostalgia for just how odd the 1980’s were, rather than happy thoughts, or what was, or if only types of memories. So I removed every single one from the yellowed, cracking album, went through each photo, chose the clearest ones in some sort of chronological order – pre-ceremony posed, ceremony, reception – and set those into the pile with the really old family photos for Alison to label, put into some sort of archival storage box, and hold onto.

One final photo to share, cataloging the horror that was often associated with the 1980’s. Although I loved my dress, could not one person have told me to tone down the blush…

Wedding 1

Alison is now the appointed KEEPER OF THE ARCHIVES as the last remaining adult child living at home. When she leaves, the archives go with her, which means that if she has the storage space, I may just send my small box of childhood keepsakes along as well.

Alison and I spent hours on this project yesterday. We actually had quite a bit of fun, at least I did, until my thumbs and wrists gave out. I’m only assuming that, because organization was involved, it was fun for Alison as well. She asked a lot of questions about the pictures so I got to share stories. Those stories sparked memories, which of course sparked more stories. I believe she is planning to put the archives into the Cloud, so that her siblings have access to photos that they may want now. The originals will be stored with her, labelled and ready to pass on a small bit of our history to the next generation if they want it down the road.



I walked out onto my porch just a bit ago, around 6:30 (AM), to grab the newspaper. It’s still dark here. As I turned to go back inside this caught my eye…


I admit that it’s a crappy picture. I was hanging over the porch, trying not to fall into the rose bushes which you can’t see in this picture, nor did I want to tumble head first into the wall of the house, which is the brilliant white area, reflected in my flash, taking up the upper left corner. Do you see them…all those green spikes of varied size clustered together?

I believe it is January 30th, isn’t that correct?

My tulips are blooming.

These things start appearing earlier every year, but come on…January! A few of them are up at least 6 inches, although the perspective in the picture isn’t great for showing that. I can’t believe I missed seeing this happening Thursday when I went to the mailbox, or even Friday when I hauled garbage cans out and in.

We had one day, Wednesday I think, when temps hit 60 degrees. Totally out of place right, because you all know that I live in the Pacific Northwest near Seattle. I assume that was enough to trigger spring inside these bulbs.

Maybe next year I can have festive Christmas tulips. Weird, just weird.

Up for grabs…

Remember, in a few posts back, my mention of a spur of the moment, part-time job application I filled out. It was for that job I had about 3 years ago doing hearing screenings on newborns. I talked to the coordinator earlier today. Her needs and my availability likely won’t mesh for this position unfortunately.

She was very nice, but was really looking for someone to handle two days during the week. One of her employees is pregnant and I think she is running up against the fact that this person may not return, as well as trying to find someone to cover vacations if possible. I wanted weekends, so unless she thought I was just an amazing person during our phone conversation, and can convince her current employees to shift their own schedules to accommodate moi, I doubt that this will go forward.

She was very nice to speak with, and also leads the program at a large medical center to the north, near Seattle. That center, like the one I left a few years ago, houses a Level III NICU which means they likely also have an incredibly busy OB department and deliver lots of babies. We chatted for a bit and I shared that I had worked the second shift during my time with the company. She chuckled a bit at that and mentioned that the hospital she is recruiting for only has one shift per day, and that their average is about 8 babies needing screenings on that shift. Then it was my turn to laugh. Eight babies was the average for my previous 4-hour long second shift. What a luxury to have more time, as well as not have the NICU babies as well.

So, we ended our conversation on a pleasant note with my assurance that I was still interested if her needs changed. I have to admit that the slower pace and the proximity to my home was exciting, but I take the viewpoint that things work out in the way that they should.

My complaint about this company is that they don’t specify exactly what days/hours they are looking for in their ads. It would sure be easier for everyone if they did so I think that I will sit on things for a bit, then perhaps consider another application for one of the positions where I was located before.

Speed Kills

One of my favorite doctor bloggers posted a poem today about the presentation of symptoms in healthy youngish individuals who might be using a group of drugs folks of my generation referred to as ‘uppers.’ First, I have to ask, is that term still a thing, or has it been replaced by a more colorful, or even cryptic description.

This post sparked a memory, and because I have newly re-found my voice for however long it lasts in this realm, I am inspired to full disclosure on an experience from my younger days.

It was the early 1980’s, probably the summer of 1981. I was 20-years-old with an upcoming 21st birthday in September. I was living alone after being tossed out of my live-in boyfriends shared home. He wanted the relationship to be over, I didn’t, and wasn’t willing to make the break at first so while literally not tossed out, at the time that’s what it felt like. It was the right move in the end.

A mutual female friend of the ex and myself got tickets to a concert in Portland. I know for sure Blue Oyster Cult was one of the bands, and I think perhaps Rush was the other. It was an outdoor concert, held in some uncovered bowl-like stadium on the outskirts of the city. Honestly I’m not even sure how close to Portland we really were. When she asked me to go along, she mentioned that her brother, and my ex, were the other two with tickets. I easily convinced myself that the presence of the ex wouldn’t be an issue. The naivete of the young…

I do remember thinking it odd that both the ex and the brother were rounding out the group, until I realized that the brother was well known for his ability to supply pot and the accompanying knowledge that the ex (a huge reason he WAS my ex) had decided that being high most of the time was the best way to live. My claim to using drugs at that point was one batch of pot brownies consumed on a trip to the coast a few years prior, and two attempts to smoke pot that resulted in truly laughable episodes of coughing so hard that I peed my pants. I found it better to stick with the occasional contraband bottle of Annie Green Springs or Boone’s Farm wine because remember, I wasn’t really legal yet.

The friend was also not into getting high, so – again being naive – I thought I would just ignore the two stoners and have fun. We’ll leave the awkwardness I felt just being around the ex again out of this post. I realized rather quickly that, even in his drug induced haze, it was difficult to be around him. So I did what any 20-year-old female would do in that situation. I set out prove just how much his presence didn’t bother me. Yeah, stupidity was in abundance.

Long story short, and why I was inspired to write today, was that we arrived at the stadium, found our solid concrete seats in the last row of the farthest right hand corner facing the stage, full-on 80+ degree sun beating down us, two idiots already high, and no plans (because who knew then) to stay hydrated, or have sunscreen. Of course, beer was an option and we indulged in that because we actually had someone over 21 to buy it for us. I wonder now if that was part of the motivation to bring the dealer brother along. At some point early in, likely after a beer run or two, the brother pulls a bottle or a baggie or something from his pocket and casually mentions to our group, “we should take these now so we can stay awake…” and no, that’s not really a direct quote, but something along those lines came out of his mouth and I found myself looking at a few small white pills.

Here’s stupidity point number 2, or maybe 5, or maybe even 13, I lost count by the time the day was over. My brain probably registered some sort of recognition that this substance was speed, but there sat my stoner ex-boyfriend and even though I wasn’t indulging in his favorite drug of choice, we had that little issue of showing him that I could hold my own. So I took one of the pills.

I don’t really remember the rest of the day. By the time the concert was over at 6pm, or 8pm…I was starving, because one random hot dog didn’t do much to fill me up. I was severely sunburned and so very likely dehydrated. The buzz from the beers I did have had long earlier worn off, but I wasn’t tired. Ten hours after taking that pill I was wide awake. So we piled in the car, the wasted duo in the back seat, and my friend driving. It was about an hour into our drive home when I realized my palms were sweating, and itching and I was feeling my heart beating, as in consciously aware of my heart beating. Then I started getting really paranoid. I just knew that my friend was going to fall asleep at the wheel and I was going to die and that the entire day definitely hadn’t been worth an ending like that. I have no idea if these reactions had anything to do with that pill, and I honestly don’t know if that pill was methamphetamine. It was assumptive on my part, but seems likely.

While not everything since then in my world has turned out perfect, and I definitely haven’t made the best choices, I hope that I really am no longer that naive, or that I exhibit levels of stupidity like I did that day.

Share Your World 2016 Week 4

Share Your World Week 4

What one thing are you really glad you did yesterday? Watched the new X-Files, episode 2. They are leaving no one out of the conspiracy. I want to see Donald Trump featured as an alien hybrid poised to conquer the world. It might help to explain some things about him.

Are you generally focused on today or tomorrow? I am a tomorrow person. I can be obsessive about what is to come, am I ready, what do I need to plan for – running scenarios over and over in my head. I admit I drive myself nuts, but I think that I’ve always been like this – looking to the future and the what if question.

Would you want to have a guardian angel/mentor? What would they tell you right now? Wow, these are two widely divergent entities. Do I want divine intervention and guidance or do I want the everyday normal person who will lend advice and criticism if needed. I have to go with the mentor, as anything angelic isn’t really a part of who I am. Actually, since I would likely be the older one in the relationship I think it would be great TO BE the mentor. If I was fortunate to find and older, wiser person to guide me they most likely would say, “Off your ass get now. Destiny you make. Happen now, wait never.”


Would you rather live in a cave house or a dome house made out of glass? Well, as I’m not much of an exhibitionist and I would rather not take the chance that someone wandering by my dome might notice that I was sitting on the toilet, I have to go with the cave. It’s said that cave homes regulate their temperatures very well so that’s a plus. I won’t be sleeping on any rock ledges though, nor will I take up wearing animal skins.


Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I always sort of dread this question each week. I’m sure I must have been grateful for something, even if it was minor, I just usually can’t remember what or where the gratitude focused on. So I have no answer for the first part. As to looking forward to the rest of the week, I think it must be that there will be less people around for a few days as one has work related plans and the other will be drinking beer far away from home.

More Power

Second post today, I know…sorry, but I encountered a piece of technology today that really works and that I was impressed with. That’s saying a lot for me.

I was prepping food for tonight’s dinner, and tomorrow as well, right around 12:30. Just as my gravy was beginning to thicken nicely for the vegetarian Shepherds Pie tonight – pfft – no power. We aren’t stormy here so I figured it either had to be a car into a pole or something was going on maintenance wise at a sub-station.

The last time our power went out I discovered that our power provider had added a nifty app where you could report outages and even see just how big the outage was. Since the power was out, that meant the wifi was out as well, so after waiting an inordinate length of time for my carriers wifi to find itself on my phone, and actually decide it was going to stay connected (we have the worst coverage in the world here) I signed in to our account, reported my outage and up popped the map showing that I was definitely not alone. Over 2700 were without power by the report and we were all contained in a bright red ‘outage area’ map. This nifty little app gives you the time the power went out, an estimate of return time, status reports and even a cause, if the crews have been able to figure that part out. It even told me that I got my power back before some folks to the east who are still sitting in the red.

I really hope you aren’t laughing hysterically at this post. I’m sure most of you that routinely use apps on your phone find this all silly. I seriously do not have apps running on my phone. I use my phone to talk, text, and maybe email if I have to send something and I’m away from my computer. So when I do put one on the phone, and it works well, that’s a big deal to me.

Alright, back to your day. I have a dinner to finish.