What is she doing in Colorado??

I have only been in Colorado 24 hours, so there’s not that much to report. It is unseasonably warm here for September: only a few trees here in Lakewood are starting to turn color: Mom’s cacti are blooming again.

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This morning we visited my sister who is recovering from back surgery, and brother-in-law who was babysitter-in-chief of granddaughter, Andi (or Andrea, your choice.) Andi has gorgeous huge hazel eyes and an adorable smile, and at 5 months of age is learning quickly how to use her gifts. And, while getting the hang of that, she’s just starting to sit up and working on crawling. She’s adorable. She’s adored. She also has a death-grip when she gets ahold of a hank of your hair.



This afternoon I had a much-needed and much-anticipated appointment with my very favorite hairdresser, Kim, of Costcutter’s. Kim is the Best!

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Tomorrow, Mom and I will do some shopping, cooking, mending, and maybe some photo scanning. If the day does not get too hot too soon, we will do some weeding, to get a couple flower beds ready for the winter.

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Mom’s birthday is on September 21st. She will be 94 years young, and has plenty of wisdom to share.



Sunday Walk in the Park – Lake Elkton

Is September the new August? With temperatures in the 90’s and humidity in the 70’s, it is a fair question.  At least that is the reading for today, Tuesday, and today is much like yesterday and yesterday was twinsies with Sunday.  Am I mis-remembering, or, back in the day, after Labor Day, was there not a distinct seasonal click on the dial, and you knew we were heading to Autumn. But here it is, September 4, there’s barely a patch of leaves turning, and it feels mostly like the miserable middle of August. And some rain would be nice.

Sunday, I visited Celia and Mike, and Celia and I walked around Lake Elkhorn. It was sunny, hot, humid and a good walk. The paths around the lake are paved, the bikers are very polite (“on your left” and “thanks”) and there are benches and shelters and public parks and a playground. And no mosquitos!


Here is a view from the public deck near the playground. We are not certain, but think those little grassy islands are supposed to float, which is kind of adorable. I used the opportunity to fiddle with a camera I had not been using.


Here we are, Celia and Carmen, just a bit damp toward the end of our hike. Celia is a musician and teacher, semi-retired, and I feel so lucky and blessed to call her my friend. She is always calm, sensible, reliable, and very brave and creative. One of my fond memories of Celia is, on a visit to the Folk Life Festival on the national Mall, Celia getting me up on stage to dance a Berber dance with some Arab dudes. If the opportunity is there, I think of Celia as always ready to seize it.


Corner office for rent

This corner office has a great view of the front parking lot and stoplight and lots of built in shelving. It is a one of a kind property with uniquely oblique walls on the north side and half a pillar in the northeast wall, but with creative furniture placement can have overall good flow. Lots of sunlight in the morning. Located at a crucial intersection between RA and RW, but with quiet neighbors. No mold or leaks, although one window pane traps dampness when it rains. Not just one but two AC units. Previous occupant wishes you well.


So. Stick a fork in me for I am done. Tomorrow is the first day of my retirement, and it will be grand. For the past few days, while writing a manual and editing a file for data delivery, I have cleared out my office. I didn’t want my last day at this place to be panicked with packing and frustration.

Over the past weeks I recycled pounds of paper. On that paper was a lot that I had created, designed, originated, and written over the past 39 years, most of it obsolete now, replaced by  technical changes and by youngsters who have to learn by doing, just as I had to, decades ago. That paper represented experience, and it is a curious feeling to throw away experience. But it is only in the physical sense that it was I who threw it away. (Post-publication editorial/explainer: the socioeconomic model of doing business now is to shed experience in favor of cheap labor.) I lived in that particular office 5 days a week for more than 15 years, and worked for that organization for 39 years. I know, it will be interesting not going back there next Tuesday morning. But I know it won’t be painful.

This morning, a gladiolus bloomed, late but appreciated. Since the neighborhood deer have not discovered and eaten it yet, I snapped a photo. And then because I was there, I captured the marigolds again – what a wonderful flower that is — and the astilbe that decided to bloom a second time, and the pot of impatiens my sister planted for me when I was recovering from knee replacements. So. We’ll see what can happen to a garden when the gardener can give it the attention it needs.




Oh, THAT transition…

I have kicked this can down the road long enough. My last day at Westat is August 31. I am cleaning out my office and tying up loose ends. My office is full of the accumulations of a dozen years. There is a file to finish editing and an manual to finish writing. There are goodbyes to be said. It has been a good ride, most of the time. I will miss the people.


Knowledge workers are paid to use their brains for someone else. After 39 years, I won’t have to use my brain for the Company every day. I am looking forward to using my brain for what I choose from now on.

And my time… my time will be mine, too. For one thing, I will be able to give the gardens some needed attention.

After several months recovering from knee surgery and from the wound on the back of my knee, acquired at the rehab hospital, the gardens are looking pretty shabby. My sister and my friends helped plant herbs and flowers in pots, and in the front yard, I found marigolds to put in the bed along the driveway. Why is it that marigolds don’t really come into their own until late August? These plants were pampered all summer and finally are filling out with blooms. Saturday I weeded their bed and mulched them to help their color pop out. In addition, the irises were cut back and a major patch of weeds was removed and the spot covered with newspaper, landscape fabric, and mulch. What a difference a little time and attention can make to a landscape.





Grandeur of the Seas 1/3 1/15/2017

The Grandeur of the Seas
Not a suite!
Our table at Giovanni’s
Door art
St Kitt’s, overview of Pitons

The Grandeur of the Seas

the Grandeur of the Seas is a Vision-class ship in the Royal Caribbean International cruise fleet.  It was built in Finland and went into service in 1996. Its last major refurbishment was in 2012.  The passenger capacity of the Grandeur OTS is 2446, with a crew of 760.