Friday, December 31, 2021

That's A Wrap


The icicles hanging from the eves outside my window are gleaming in the sun as they slowly drip away. The thaw is setting in slowly, with the temperature hovering just above and below freezing. The snow will melt away slowly, until the cold rain begins to wash it all away.

I look forward to being able to go for a walk outside safely. It may be a while yet. With everything else going haywire with my body I don't want to risk falling down.

The first thing my cardiac surgeon said to me on Thursday is "You are healthy!" I suspect he doesn't see that many 77 year olds who are basically in good shape internally. 

I did make him aware of my mobility issues, and of course the spinal fusions and hip replacement showed up on the CT scan I had that day. 

My surgical MDT will meet next Wednesday to discuss my case and make decisions. I will also have an angiogram that day. Hopefully we won't need to worry about snow by then. On Thursday, with new snow overnight, we allowed and hour and a half to get to Bellevue to my appointments, but with very light traffic, and the freeways clear, we made it in half an hour! It took us longer to find a Starbucks that was open so we could have a place to wait and Tom could have coffee and something to eat. None for me until after my scan. 

All in all Thursday went well. Now I am getting end of the year things done. Because of icy roads, we Zoomed instead of going to breakfast. Then I had to make up the PT session I missed yesterday. Next came bill paying. Uf duh, we spent too much last month, but fortunately we can cover it out of our income. I sent Tom to the post office, since our mail hasn't been delivered all week, and then asked him to get a newspaper, since none was delivered this morning. Now I'm caught up on the news and have my puzzles worked as I ate my lunch. After posting this and reading blogs, I will update my new 2022 planning calendar.

We have no big plans for the New Year celebration. We will stay up until midnight and watch the fireworks from the Space Needle on TV. There will be no live audience again this year. Covid cases are rising. Fortunately deaths are not. 

So that leaves me with just one other item on my list for today as I close out this old year, and that is to wish you all

Be well, be happy, find joy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2021


 Snow in Seattle is news worthy. We have hills. We don't have many snow plows or sanding trucks or drivers to man them. Most of us are not skilled at driving in snow. And we certainly aren't used to temps dropping below 20 degrees. 

On Sunday it snowed all day, and depending on where you were, the accumulation was anywhere from 4 to 12 inches. We got 4 inches. Then Monday night we got another inch or two. And it got cold, 17 here, but very cold up north, in the single digits.

Today, Wednesday, is sunny and warming up to 28 degrees. Most streets are passible. However, snow is in the forecast for tonight into tomorrow. I have appointments tomorrow over in Bellevue, a CT scan and surgeons to meet. I have my fingers crossed that Tom, who can drive in snow, will get me there.

Meanwhile, I have been out in the snow a few times, and of course I took photos. Get ready for a photo dump .:-)

Along the driveway I found a cat freeway. 
Untracked snow, kinda' hate to mess it up, but here I go. 

Tom's bonsai are tucked away under the garden hoop houses. 
Someone put the cushion out. 
Cat tracks heading into the secret garden.
My tracks

Something dramatic happened here.

Bird tracks on the bird bath.

Icicle's on the greenhouse, even longer the next day. 
Snowberry bush, now a snow bush. 
Definitely Charlie/Mewdini's tracks, coming to explore the neighborhood. He lives in the house back in that corner lot. 

Winter sun.
"Snowball: hydrangea. 

Charlie, is that you? Probably. 

Icicles gleaming in the morning sun this morning. 

That's all, folks. (Finally)

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

100 Years

 Today would have been my mother's 100th birthday. Named Violet Ruth Hofstetter, she was born  on December 28th, 1921, in Salem Oregon, and spent her growing up years on a farm in the foothills of the Willamette Valley, where she was the oldest child of four, and for much of her youth she was her father's farm hand, learning to love the earth and being outdoors.

High school graduation photo
farm girl
My mother married my father, Henry Norquist, in May of 1941.
They had a bunch of kids. 
Then a bunch of grand kids. Then a bigger bunch of great grand children, of which mine were just a few of the many. 

Coming so close to Christmas, Mom's birthday was a good reason to get the whole family together for another celebration. We all had our own families by then so siblings and cousins got a chance to see each other, share gifts, and eat some more! We did this for many years, even after Mom had left us. 

Mom loved the Oregon Coast, and she found her dream in the little cabin at Rockaway Beach, where she spent many happy times with my father and with friends and family. The cabin is one of her legacies. 

Mom was with us for almost 90 years before passing away in November of 2011, just short of her 90th birthday.

This photo, at our cider bee in 2011, is the last I have of her. She passed shortly after, but not before getting to spend time with much of her big family.

She has been gone from this earth for ten years now, but she lives on in our lives and in our hearts and in our memories. 

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Christmas 2021

It's Christmas Eve, Christmas is finally here!

Jill and the grands arrived by 3:00. Irene and I watched our beloved Christmas on Sesame Street. The message? "Keep Christmas with you, all through the year." We love that song, and Also "True Blue Miracle".

Jill and Isaac played a game. Tom tended the turkey. 

Jan and Jake arrived. 

The turkey was done and we got everything else finished up. I had good helpers in the kitchen.

The turkey went into the smoke about 1:00.
By 5:00 there was lots of activity in the kitchen.

The plan was to eat at 5:30 so Jill and the kids could be at the Christmas Eve service at their church at 9:00. We were right on the dot, 5:30, as I raised my glass and toasted us all a Merry Christmas. 

After the clean up, with many helpers, we settled in to watch another favorite, the original "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". When your heart is big enough you'll know that Christmas doesn't come from a store, although I must admit quite a few stores were involved in our Christmas.

Then we gathered again around the dining room table for cookies and ice cream. 

When all of the young people left, Jan, Tom and I settled in to watch a movie, A Christmas Story. Yes, he almost did put his eye out, sort of. 

Christmas morning was chilly and damp, typical Christmas in the northwest. Tom, Jan and I stopped for Starbucks lattes on the way to Jill's house. When Jake arrived, we opened stockings. Mine was very well stocked. In fact several of us had to have "auxiliary bags". 

Then we had breakfast. Irene frosted and decorated the cardamom bread. 

We open gifts one at a time so everyone can see them and know who they are from. It takes a long time, and we want it to. Christmas comes but once a year. 

But I stopped taking photos long before the day was over. 

We ate left overs from the Christmas Eve dinner. We had lots of cookies and candy to sweeten us up. Some of us played games. A football game was on for a few others. 

Threats of snow sent Jan home early, but all we got was slush.

It was Boxing Day when we woke up to snow. 

The turkey has now gone into the soup pot. Tom and I put on our coats and boots to walk to the store for noodles for the soup. We ate our first serving this evening. I did my PT, put a few things a way, and watched football. The Seahawks lost again, but I went through my gifts and re-appreciated them and began putting things away. 

Christmas is over for another year, but it's all good. The fun, the food, the gifts, and most of all, the love, will linger. 

When Christmas time is over and presents put away, don't be sad
There'll be so much to treasure about this Christmas day and the fun we've had
So may happy feelings to celebrate with you
And, oh, the good times hurry by so fast
But even when it's over there's something you can do to make Christmas last
Keep Christmas with you
All through the year
When Christmas is over
You can keep it near
Think of this Christmas day
When Christmas is far away
Keep Christmas with you
All through the year
When Christmas is over
Save some Christmas cheer
These precious moments
Hold them very dear
And keep Christmas with you
All through the year
Christmas means the spirit of giving
Peace and joy to you
The goodness of loving
The gladness of living;
These are Christmas too
So, keep Christmas with you
All through the year
When Christmas is over
Save some Christmas cheer
These precious moments
Hold them very dear
And keep Christmas with you
All through the year