Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas and Chanukkah

I spent the holidays in Ohio celebrating Christmas and Chanukkah with family. I arrived in Columbus on December 23rd and came home today on the 31st. I had a wonderful time. There was about a foot of snow. I made 28 Christmas and Chanukkah stockings this year. The photo is me with my youngest son, Daniel. He is so kind to his mother. We had a great time. We saw the movie THE GUILT TRIP together, which had special meaning since Daniel asked me to ride with him cross country to move his stuff from Mountainview, California to Columbus, Ohio. We went to the Old Bag of Nails for great fish and chips. We went to an amazing Mexican Restaurant in Gahanna. We went to the Conservatory where there are indoor gardens and Chihuly glass sculptures. We celebrated with family in Columbus, Canton, and Ankron. Daniel is married to Jodee. She's very good to me and so is her family. They make me feel very welcome.

Seattle Metro and Sound Transit

I moved to Seattle a year ago and I can't get over how wonderful Seattle Metro is. I marvel at the great service.

Today I came home from a week's vacation in Ohio to visit my youngest son for the holidays. I left on the 23rd and came home today. I rode bus 41, which is an express bus that comes 4 times every hour! After going to the Northgate Transit Station, it goes right on I-5 and into the tunnel under Seattle. It's amazing service for everyone who uses this bus. So on the 23rd, I had my suitcase with me and I rode the bus. It cost me $2.50 to get downtown. Then I boarded Sound Transit at the University Station underground. I had called Seattle Metro days before to plan all this and so I would know what to do. Every time I call, I get courteous and helpful service. I boarded Sound Transit a few minutes after I arrived in the tunnel. I had never done this before. It was so easy. There were Transit Security people to ask questions who are always courteous, professional, and nice. I can't get over how great Seattle is! So I ride the train, which is wonderful to SeaTac. I get off, with no problems at all. I follow the rest of the people with suitcases and follow the signs to the airport. It is a short walk around the parking garage. It's easy to follow. It's under cover so no one gets wet in winter. It was less than $3 to ride the train. So for less than $5, I went to SeaTac from my apartment. I didn't have to ask anyone to help me. I didn't have to pay taxi fare. I did it on my own. It was easy. Seattle Metro and Sound Transit makes it easy. It is well planned and efficient.

I got up this morning very early and my son took me to the airport around 5 a.m. so I would be there early. I flew from Port Columbus to Las Vegas with enough time to get on the plane to Seattle. When I arrived, I got my baggage with the help of a courteous and helpful employee of SeaTac who also gave me directions to get to Sound Transit. Everyone is so nice in Seattle. I'm grateful to live here. I easily followed the covered walking path around the parking garage to the Sound Transit train. It was parked and waiting. I boarded the train and got off in the tunnel in downtown Seattle and caught bus 41. Easy as pie! The bus drivers were so nice and courteous. They are always nice and I always thank them.

I am so lucky to live in Seattle!

King County Sheriff Department in Seattle

I came home from Ohio today in the early afternoon. I did laundry, dishes, unpacked, and made a list of things to do tomorrow. After I did the laundry, I noticed that an Xfinity key pad was on the wall in my apartment for the home security system that I had installed on December 17th and taken out on December 21st. I made the decision that I didn't want to continue with the security system so had it removed. I didn't want to have to pay for three years when I didn't feel confident in the security system.

On December 21st, the installer came and removed all equipment. He removed the motion detector, sensors on all windows, sliding glass door and front door. He removed the key pad. He removed the wireless equipment. I have the receipt that he removed the equipment. I also called XFinity this evening too. I decided to call the police. I had proof that someone had been in my apartment when I was in Ohio. I wanted a record made of this since I have had problems with someone coming into my apartment when I am gone.

Officer A.Richards #7497 came. He was very courteous and respectful. He made a report 12-445614. Officer Richards said I should put on a new lock on my apartment door and that even the apartment manager doesn't get a key. He also suggested that I call ADT since I have had ADT for several years in the past.

I appreciate that I was taken seriously. I appreciate that I was treated with respect. We need more police officers like Officer Richards. I support the King County Police Department. I am impressed with Officer Richards. I'm impressed that he came out to investigate. This wouldn't have been investigated in many cities across the country. Seattle is a great city and I am proud to live here. I appreciate that he came.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Walmart Gives Back

I enjoyed watching Walmart give a great gift to the LA Inner City Arts Program. I watched the stage full of gifts, and gift bags handed to an auditorium full of children who were thrilled. They also gave 20 new computers to the program. The arts should come first. Music, drama, writing, painting, sculpture fill your heart and your soul. They are essential and should never be taken away from any school. I'm happy to see that Walmart supports the arts. I will always support and shop at Walmart.

Handel's Messiah---Seattle Symphony Orchestra

On Sunday, December 16th at 2 p.m. I had the wonderful privilege of going to the Seattle Symphony Orchestra to hear Handel's Messiah. I've never heard it all the way through before and I learned things I didn't know. For example, Handel wrote the Messiah in 22 days. It is so complex so this is an amazing feat. I've never heard of Handel's Solomon, which is said to be larger and grander than the Messiah and he wrote Solomon in 20 days. The Messiah was composed in 1741. Handel was born in 1685 and died in 1759. When people think of Handel's Messiah, the Hallelujah Chorus comes to mind which is at the end of the Part The Second. There are three parts called Part The First, Part The Second, and Part The Third. I didn't know this either. At the end of Part the Second, when the orchestra played and the chorus sang the Hallelujah Chorus, everyone stood. It was beautiful and glorious. I love it that the conductor, played the harpsichord. The harpsichord is one of my favorite instruments, if not my very favorite. I love Vivaldi and the baroque period of music when harpsichords were played. Part The First is about the Old Testament and prophecy of the coming of the messiah. Part The Second focuses on the personal suffering of Christ and Part The Third is the redemptive theme that finishes this symphony. It's lovely, complex, and I'm glad I went. I learned a lot.



If you want to buy a great book to read or give as a gift, order I WAS JERRY LEWIS' BODYGUARD FOR 10 MINUTES by Irv Korman. The photo above is of Irv Korman at a booksigning in Hudson, Ohio last spring. I bought his book and have enjoyed all the stories about Jerry Lewis, Mickey Rooney, Eddie Fisher, Milton Berle, Steve Allen, and dozens of others. It's a great read and brings you back to the golden era of television. I have always loved Jerry Lewis as I was growing up so this was fun for me to buy the book. Irv Korman is an award-winning writer, actor, theater critic, lecturer, and part-time magician. He does it all. This book is filled with interviews and his personal experience working with the legends of television, screen, and radio.

You can order the book with
ISBN: 978-0-9825653-4-6

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

XFinity Home Security

After watching all the great commercials about XFinity Home Security systems I decided to get one. I've had security systems in the past with Brinks and ADT for the last 12 plus years and see the value. It's only $29.95 a month and installation is free. It gives the impression that you get to monitor remotely on another computer or smart phone the inside of your home to see what is going on but I found out this costs extra. The installer came on December 17th wearing an XFinity Home Security system shirt and came with equipment. He handed me his XFinity Home Security business card and drove an XFinity van. The manager of my apartment building said that "he sure took a long time," and he did because it took about 3 to 3 1/2 hours to put sensors on three windows, sliding door, and front door plus do all the set up and paperwork.

Two things made me concerned during the visit. My Norton Anti-Virus Protection was in the red warning area when it was time to enter my password on the Comcast website so I refused to do so. It was green and safe in the morning. He wanted me to enter my password on his laptop, which I refused to do. I know that he can access my secure information even though he goes through the process of supposedly wiping it clean. He also wanted me to hand over my keys, which I refused to do because he could take impressions and gain access when I am gone so I went with him walking back and forth to let him in and out.

If I weren't so careful, I wouldn't have found out this morning by making several phone calls that he didn't enter my cell phone to call if there were a problem, which means that I could be away and never notified of an alarm event!!! He also didn't enter information of other numbers to call. I wasn't told about a second code called a duress code which is supposed to be good to alert XFinity Home in the event that I was followed and needed help. He entered a code. He didn't tell me about it or explain anything about this.

Yesterday I left for work and armed the system. I saw the history on the touch screen of everything that had happened prior to leaving for work since the time the system was activated. When I returned from work, I checked the history and the history was completely eliminated. Why??? I suspected someone was in my apartment and eliminated the history. I also discovered the duress code. I hadn't been told about this second code and it had been set up for me. Why??? This morning when I called I saw on the history on the website that at 9:35 a.m., WHILE I WAS AT WORK, that my system was armed by the user, ME, using the master code, KNOWN ONLY BY ME, on the touchscreen IN MY APARTMENT! This tells me that someone was in my apartment. I talked to someone in technical support and someone called me back. They said that it was some kind of remote update from the monitoring station. If this were true, it would say that it was from a monitoring station and that it was an update. It wouldn't say that the user entered the master code on the touchscreen in my apartment to arm the system at the time when I wasn't even in the apartment.

Red flag after red flag after red flag so I cancelled my XFinity Home Security system. I am very disappointed and concerned about this unprofessional service and I do not have confidence in the security of this security system.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Aqua Zumba with Niel

If you want to have fun and go to a pool party, mark your calendar for Fridays at 11 a.m. at 24 Hour Fitness in Northgate. Aqua Zumba is pure fun. The resistance of the water as you move gives you a great workout as you are having a great time in the pool.

Here's what is said about Aqua Zumba.............
"Jump into the Latin-inspired, easy-to-follow, calorie-burning, dance fitness party that makes working out a splash."
"Known as the Zumba pool party, the Aqua Zumba program gives new meaning to the idea of an invigorating workout. Splashing, stretching, twisting, even shouting, laughing, hooting and hollering are often heard during an Aqua Zumba class. Integrating the Zumba formula and philosophy with traditional aqua fitness disciplines, the Aqua Zumba class blends it all together into a safe, challenging, water-based workout that's cardio-conditioning, body-toning, and most of all, exhilarating beyond belief."

All this fun goes on every Friday at 11 a.m. at 24 Hour Fitness in Northgate.

Any time Niel's name is on the schedule of classes, you know it's going to be fantastic and pure fun.

Lunch at Saffron Grill

I had lunch at Saffron Grill yesterday. I had a Greek salad and it was delicious, fresh, and healthy. It was everything I could want in a salad. I went to lunch with my daughter-in-law's mother. She called me and picked me up. It was nice to catch up and talk to her. She had the lamb kabob. I've had it before and I know it is delicious too.

For a great lunch or dinner out with atmosphere and a menu that has everything you could want and more, go to Saffron Grill. When you walk in the door, be sure to sample the saffron.

Saffron Grill
2132 N. Northgate Way
Northgate in Seattle just off I-5

Monday, December 10, 2012

Niel Smith -- Zumba Instructor

I went to Niel's Zumba class tonight at 24 Hour Fitness and had a great time. It's magical in his class because it is so much fun. Everyone is having a great time moving to the music. Everyone's eyes are on Niel. I guess someone complained about him because he's too provocative. That's ridiculous! He can't help it that he's cute and sexy and knows how to move. Zumba is Latin inspired dance which is sexy anyway. Add Niel to Zumba and you have magic! During the hour of class you live in the moment. There were smiles all around. Everyone was having a good time. It is the only time during the week when I feel truly happy inside.

I asked Niel if I could take a photo with him since I had my phone with me. He graciously said yes. He's very kind and such a nice person. So here he is........

Yes, I'm the fat one but I am really trying to get thinner. It helps to get to go to Niel's class because Zumba is so much fun that it doesn't feel like exercise. So I'm silly but I don't care. I'm grateful that I get to learn from him and have fun. Pretty soon, he'll be off doing amazing things like be in the movies. He already jets all over the world to exotic places. He's really a celebrity and for the time being, I'm lucky to get to take his class.

National Novel Writing Month

I'm working on the first revision for my novel that I wrote in November for National Novel Writing Month. It's all about Zumba and was inspired by Niel, my Zumba instructor at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate. I plan on participating in Script Frenzy in April and write a screenplay based on this novel. I want this project to work because in my wildest dreams, it is a successful screenplay and it will star Hanniniel Smith, Niel, and other Zumba instructors will be in it.

The main cast of characters are over 50 and live in a senior apartment building. They are all addicted to Zumba. There is a fun Zumba event in the building. The suspense builds around missing people in the building. Amidst all the Zumba fun, the main characters figure out the mystery of the missing Zoomers.

Body Combat with Jennifer

I took a great class tonight at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate called Body Combat with Jennifer H. I came early for Zumba with Niel and I saw how much fun Body Combat looked so I decided to try it. I was only in there for 10 minutes but it's a great workout and Jennifer is a fantastic instructor. It makes you feel strong and like you can tackle the world. I'm going to take her class again. She's great!


I definitely want to buy a copy of THE THINGS THAT MATTER by Nate Berkus. I saw him on the Dr. OZ show and now I'm a big fan. Not only is it a book about interior design, making your life easier and clutter-free, but it is a book about life and everything that matters to make your home a sanctuary. I need to buy a copy and read it in January.

Same Sex Marriage

I voted to support same sex marriage in the last election and it passed. We are talking about only 5% of the population and they have been unfairly discriminated against for years. It's about time that people are allowed to be who they are, love who they want to love, and live free without harassment or bigotry. They aren't hurting anyone. If you look at this group, they have a higher standard of living for the most part than those who are pointing fingers.

I live in Seattle where people are safe, all people. I don't ever want to live anywhere else. It's a wonderful thing that people from all over the world, all different shades of skin color, backgrounds, and choices can live together and get along. That's my idea of what heaven is like. Seattle is heaven to me.

Two of my favorite shows on television are THE NEW NORMAL and MODERN FAMILY. I enjoy watching  them every week. And one of my favorite movies of all time is THE BIRDCAGE.

Legalized Marijuana

I've never tried marijuana, and I don't intend to now, but I did vote to legalize marijuana.  One of my sons had a friend in high school who was a brilliant straight A student and very popular. In his first year of college, he tried marijuana that was laced with something really bad that changed his life forever. He's not the same person anymore. A future of a brilliant young person was lost. So I voted to legalize marijuana. It is better that Washington get the tax benefits to use for something good.

I've never really been in favor of marijuana because I've seen statistics that say that kids who use and are part of the culture that use tend to go on to use other drugs. I am against using drugs. I guess I am still on the fence because of this but I did vote for it. Life is a journey trying to figure out what is best at the time.

Enat Ethiopian Restaurant

I visited Enat Ethiopian Restaurant last week on 15th Avenue in Northgate in Seattle. The owner has always been nice to me at 24 Hour Fitness in Northgate. I see Tsige in Zumba class and Body Pump class and usually I stand next to her. I wanted to see her restaurant and support her business that is in my neighborhood.

I know that I will enjoy going back to Enat. The atmosphere is very nice with beautiful Ethiopian art on the walls, plenty of tables, and great service. Going into the restaurant is getting a peek at Ethiopia and the food without the expensive travel. I asked my son in Ohio what the food was like since he has visited an Ethiopian restaurant. He said that the food is very healthy with lots of vegetables on a spongy tortilla and that you eat with your hands. I said that sounds great to me so I went. I had a nice time. Tsige came up to me and welcomed me. She's a gracious hostess and will be very successful in her restaurant. She said that if I come from 6 to 8 p.m., there is belly dancing. Next time I want to try the chicken dish which I think is #14 on the menu Doro Wot for $13.00. You can pick up an Ethiopian magazine too by the front door.

Visit and enjoy the delicious authentic Ethiopian food for carry-out or dine in at
Enat Ethiopian Restaurant
11546 15th Avenue NE
Seattle, WA 98125 in Northgate

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Hannaniel Smith -- Zumba Fitness

Niel is my favorite Zumba instructor at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate in Seattle. I love going to his classes because they are always fun. His classes are popular and crowded. His class is the one time during the week that I can count on being truly happy and having fun. I love the music and moving to the music. During that hour, I live in the moment. I'm truly grateful for the fun and joy in his class. I love Niel. He brings pure joy and fun into my life during his class. They need to clone him! I wish he taught more often at Northgate. Niel is a gifted choreographer and dancer. I don't think he even realizes how special he is and how he makes so many people happy.

I went to his class this morning at 9 a.m. for an hour. Then I stayed for the weight lifting class, Body Pump that comes after for 40 minutes.

To see his schedule of classes go to

Friday, December 07, 2012


I drove up to Lynnwood to Walmart on 164th a couple of days ago. The parking lot was crowded. When I walked in the door, I saw bargain after bargain. There were knitted stockings to be used for slippers that were only $1 and they were really nice for a gift.

What I love about Walmart is buying White Stag clothing for bargain prices that I used to buy in the most expensive stores back when I was in high school. You can count on quality with the name White Stag and you still can. I bought five pairs of White Stag black pants for around $10 each that if I were to duplicate, I would have to pay 5 times the amount. Walmart also sells Carter baby clothes, which I always give as gifts because I am proud to give Carters as a baby gift. It is always nice. It is always quality. Walmart also sells Disney clothing for children, which is another great quality brand.

I can buy almost anything for less at Walmart. The store was packed with great bargains for shoppers so no one is going to have any trouble for Christmas on a budget going to Walmart.

I will always love Walmart because one of my sons is a supervisor of supervisors at Walmart in Florida plus I enjoy buying at Walmart.

Thursday, December 06, 2012


I wish. I wish. I wish that those people who make out class schedules for gyms would understand that it is important to have consistent classes at the same times every day, lots of variety, and time in between classes. I want to be able to go to the gym in the morning at the same time and either take a Zumba class or a Body Pump class every day. I don't want to have to think about it. I want this behavior to be automatic. I leave at 9 a.m. to go to class every single day. It is important to be consistent. It is important to exercise. Those people who own gyms certainly understand that it is in their best interest to instill a habit in their members to exercise. I love going to the gym. I love exercising but I want to be able to count on taking a great class like Zumba or Body Pump every single day at the same time. My life would be perfect if this could happen or at least it would help.

Even better would be if I could take a Zumba class every day followed by a Body Pump class to build endurance and strength. I did this last Sunday and it worked out great. I don't stay for the entire Body Pump class. I usually stay for 40 to 45 minutes of the class and then leave because I don't do floor work.

Then it would be great if I could come back in a couple of hours for something else in the afternoon like a Zumba class or line dancing class or Tai Chi or something else that would be fun, like roller skating.

Body Pump with Kristen

I just got back from Body Pump at 24 Hour Fitness in Northgate Seattle. Kristen was the instructor. She's great! She has so much personality and makes it fun. I wish she taught more often. She's also an an amazing Zumba instructor. I like her for both.

Body Pump is a strength training class which is essential for me to do since I want to lose weight and get toned.

I read an online article this morning about the importance of strength training. It said that strength training will

  • make your metabolism soar
  • burn fat
  • your body will get tighter
  • you will fit into skinny jeans
  • reduce risks of heart disease and diabetes
  • blood pressure could drop
  • blast loads of calories
  • you can do it anytime, anywhere
  • good for your bones
Okay, so the part about doing it anytime, anywhere....I just want to say that it is much more fun to do it in a Body Pump class at 24 Hour Fitness with Kristen with loud music in a room crowded with strong women and men who believe in health and fitness.

Snoqualmie Casino

In the second section of the Seattle Times this morning is an article about the Snoqualmie Casino wanting to build a 20 story hotel at the Casino. Why not? The casino is on a ledge over looking the valley. It isn't going to obstruct anyone's view. It will blend into the landscape. You go down to the casino. To build up makes sense. The Snoqualmie Casino needs a hotel very badly because they have events bringing in name stars and bands, and there is no place for people to stay. You must drive back home.

I was surprised that the Snoqualmie Falls and Lodge isn't owned by the Snoqualmie Casino. One of the first things that I asked when I visited the Snoqualmie Casino was if they were linked and if there was a shuttle back and forth to the Lodge because how in the world can you see some of the big name people who come to the Casino in the lounge unless you spend the night? The answer is that you have to drive home or you have to drive to one of the places nearby to spend the night or you have to drive to the Snoqualmie Falls Lodge. The point is that you have to drive. You can't come in on one of the Snoqualmie Express buses and spend the night because you don't have a car.

I think and believe very strongly that the Snoqualmie Casino urgently needs to build a hotel. Yes, a 20 story hotel is needed on site. It will be used by people who come in on the Express buses and by people driving to the casino.

So why doesn't the Mayor of Snoqualmie understand and see this need? It isn't going to obstruct any views. With the right architect, it will blend right in to the land, just like the casino does. What is the problem?

Dale Chihuly

I love the glass art of Dale Chihuly. He's a genius and goes out of all boundaries of what had been done before with glass. His sea and garden scapes are extraordinary and full of wonder. I get lost in looking at them. I saw his exhibit when it was in Columbus, Ohio. I've seen him on television. I need to visit his new 45,000 square foot museum at the foot of the Space Needle here in Seattle. I know it is glorious.

I took the photo above of his chandelier in Benaroya Hall. I wonder what a photo would look like if I was on the floor looking up. I didn't have the courage to lay down on the floor and take a photo at the time but I was thinking about and wondering what the photo would look like if I did.

I see that at his Tacoma Museum of Glass that there are lessons that you can take. I'd like to take a class on making glass beads and I would like to learn to string them like you string pearls with knots in between each bead. I wonder if you can take classes at his new museum in Seattle.


There is a series of feature articles being written in the Seattle Times about zoos. I have great deal of respect for the Seattle Times and I know as a writer that they are printing fact. I have no doubt that this is going to win another Pulitzer Prize for the paper.

However, I love and support zoos. I will always support zoos despite some imperfections. Children and adults who visit wouldn't be able to see the diversity of animals from all over the world without zoos. So many species are being threatened in their native habitat. National Geographic recently published that 25,000 elephants are being slaughtered every year for their ivory. The elephants in zoos are safe from being slaughtered. Zoos take care of them. I know that zoos are working together around the world to protect animals. I applaud their efforts. I know it isn't easy. Zoos help people appreciate and value animals by bringing them up close to those who visit. The wonder of seeing animals up close forces visitors not to forget them. The animals are a reminder that they are valuable and important in the world and we should value them, respect them, protect them, and take care of them in the world. Zoos do so much to educate the public. It is wonderful to be able to learn about raptors while watching them fly.

I need to visit the Woodland Park Zoo more often. I am a member. Everyone should be a member of the zoo in their area and visit often. If more people supported their zoos around the world, they would not have to struggle financially. All animals are precious. To look at a Siberian tiger and not appreciate it's glorious beauty is unconscionable. We must all want to protect animals around the world who are being threatened. We live in this world together. Our lives are woven together.

Sunday, December 02, 2012


New research has come out by Harvard University and on Dr. Oz that there is no reason to ever get alzheimers. With nourishing food, exercise, and by learning new things, scientists have discovered that the brain can grow new brain cells into old age. I believe strongly that it is important to eat healthy and exercise. It's also important to think about yourself in the way you want to be or become. Your brain has such a powerful and direct effect on the body and it's cellular makeup. You can think yourself young and well and amazing.

Seattle Symphony Orchestra

I went on the bus downtown to go to the symphony this afternoon and I had a wonderful time. It is the first of a 3 part series called Beyond the Score. It went beyond the symphony orchestra as they played Mahler's Fourth Symphony because a large viewing screen showed art, the musical score of Mahler's symphony, and photos. The history of Mahler's life and times in Vienna, Austria was told by narrators, and there was an amazing soprano who sang.  Her name was Donatienne Michel-Dansac. She was Golden. It was so much more today--more beyond the symphony and everything was better because of it. I had a great time.

I'm really impressed with the conductor, Ludovic Morlot who has such passion with every note and every beat. He's amazing and gifted. He feels every note by every instrument and he brings it all together with such perfection.

All those who are part of the symphony are so gifted. Mahler said that "heaven is filled with violins." I think heaven is listening to the Seattle Symphony Orchestra!

Candy Cane Dash in Shoreline

I signed up to walk in the Candy Cane Dash in Shoreline yesterday or 12-1-12. It was a 5k. I tried to run a little bit but most of the time I walked. I came in last but you have to start somewhere. I came in with a time of 1 hour and 2 minutes and something. My number was 233.

The results are supposed to be up on the website soon at

I had a great time. I wasn't sure about the weather when I started. It was windy and there was pouring rain. It cleared up when the race started and started raining again when the race ended. The course was beautiful and most of it on paved trails. It was very nice and fun.

The Candy Cane Dash was set up as a senior project for Shorecrest HIgh School. They did a lot of work to make it really nice for all participants.

Friday, November 30, 2012


I love watchng Survivor on television. My favorite on the show is Jonathan Penner.

Today they were auditioning for Survivor at Snoqualmie Casino so I decided to try. I did. I talked to so many amazing people who would be great on the show. So many great choices from the Seattle area for the show. There was a young man who competes in the Ironman challenge in Hawaii. He would be perfect for challenges. One man flew in from Phoenix. He had a great personality. One young woman recently came back from a trip to Finland and also went to Egypt. She said that she was a social anthropologist. There was a young man who auditioned who was born in the Sudan and lived through many challenges so Survivor would be easy for him. I also talked to a charming mother and daughter who both auditioned. The mother was born in Nicaragua. So many nice people. I love talking to people and see all the special qualities they have. They are going to have a hard time choosing from this bunch of people.

It was so much fun to audition. You had a minute so it was like a one minute elevator pitch to tell why you should be on the show. I would love to be picked and be on the show. I love talking to people. I'm very strong because I try to go to the gym almost every day to do Zumba and Body Pump, which is a weights class. I've survived a lot in life and I keep going forward one step at a time no matter what. I have a great attitude and I enjoy life. I know that it is possible to be happy no matter what because it is a choice.

I sure hope I get picked!

Snoqualmie Casino

I had such a great time today. I called up this morning to see if there was room on the casino bus that stops right next to my apartment building. The lady said yes. It was so much fun to take a ride out into the country on a beautiful bus. When we got to the casino, they gave me a coupon for a free lunch buffet. It's delicious. I had soba noodles with lots of vegetables and chicken cooked on a Mongolian grill with iced tea and a diet coke. Then I had a chicken leg, a slice of ham and a slice of turkey. For dessert I had one marshmallow that was dipped in chocolate and three cookies. Perfect. Couldn't be nicer. going to the casino is like going on a cruise but not leaving land. Great food. So much fun. A party.

I wanted to go to the Snoqualmie Casino this morning to celebrate finishing National Novel Writing Month. I knew that today that there were Survivor auditions at the casino so I wanted to audition. I did. I had a great adventure and so much fun today. I gambled at the penny slot machine having a great time and talked to so many amazing people and had a great lunch. What could be better? I want to go more often to the casino. It's a fun trip to get away. A vacation in a day.

National Novel Writing Month

I just went over the top and finally finished the goal of over 50,000 words this morning. I wasn't sure if I wasn't going to make it with everything going on in my life. It seems like just when you are close to something you want, everything in life seems to make it harder to reach your goal. I'm so grateful that I kept going and that I finished. This time I am not even sick of the novel like in past years. Sometimes I have not wanted to even think of writing for a few days. Now I am anxious to start on my schedule to revise every day to make it work, to make it better.

I'm grateful that there is a National Novel Writing Month. I seem to work better when there is a fire under my rear end. Otherwise, I get complacent and see other things that need doing. I've been great at procrastinating during November. Things needed organizing that I hadn't considered THAT important before. Suddenly I just had to try a certain recipe and mess up my kitchen taking up valuable time. You get it. Everyone does it but not writing for several days during Thanksgiving really took it's toll and made me wonder if I could finish, if I would finish. Spending time with family was important to me so I made that choice. I made it all work and I'm proud of myself.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

National Novel Writing Month

I'd at 43,569 words right now. I'm going to make it and I'm really excited. I love this challenge. I've taken unexpected turns in my novel and discovered surprises. This is a worthy way to spend your time. I encourage everyone to try next year. Writing is probably the only real power I have in life. I'm going to keep up this pace and work on projects to revise them. I wish that National Novel Writing Month was every month.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dogs off leash

A topic and questions about dogs off leash in Seattle came up at the community forum at the Northgate Community Center this evening. Mayor McGinn answered questions.

One woman felt strongly that dogs in the city should have room to run off leash because it is important for their mental health. She said that the mental health of dogs in the city who are allowed to run off leash is much better than dogs who are in the country.

I'm all for dogs. I love dogs. However, I have a different point of view because I believe that if you have dogs in the city, you must be responsible for them. Not all dogs are safe off leash. Not all owners seem to understand this. Not all owners of dogs clean up after them. Most dog owners that I have seen don't bother to clean up after their dogs at all.

I know of an example of a dog off leash who ran through a running event with runners at Green Lake. The dog, off leash, broke the leg of a runner. The owner did not bother to even say I am sorry. He walked away and felt no responsibility. I realize this example is rare but it happened.

I believe strongly that dogs should always be on leash. I know and hear of multiple examples of dogs who are bred to attack being in a home by owners who say how tame and mild they are and then they bite a child or show they are not safe. Dogs should always be on a leash. Dog owners need to be responsible for their dogs. Dog owners need to always clean up after their dogs.

Mayor Mike McGinn

I received an e-mail about the community forum this evening at the Northgate Community Center with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. I am a big fan. I am so impressed with Mayor McGinn. He listens. His actions show that he believes strongly in participatory democracy. He answered a variety of questions this evening from a room full of people. His answers were thoughtful, intelligent, and he had city leaders from various agencies to answer questions in depth.

I am so grateful to be living in Seattle because I believe this is the greatest city in the world. Everything is right here--Seattle Art Museum, symphony, science center, zoo, aquarium, Broadway plays, great restaurants, music, live theater. I'm impressed. We have a great bus system. A bus runs right by my apartment every 15 minutes and can take me right into downtown Seattle to go to one of the greatest libraries here or to the Seattle Art Museum or visit Pike Place Market or to so many amazing things here.

Everything works here. Everything runs so smoothly. Mayor McGinn is a hero and from what I am seeing, he hires heroes who work well together for him. He hires well. I'm really impressed with Sol Villarreal, his community engagement coordinator. Mayor McGinn is one of the greatest mayors in the world. He lives his beliefs and is a great example. He listens. His team acts to solve problems.

Seattle is the place where people are welcome from all over the world and live and work together in peace. I like that. This is as close to heaven as you can get. Everything is here. And Mayor McGinn is in charge. He loves Seattle and it shows.

National Novel Writing Month

I'm behind in my word count so I am writing fast and furious to catch up. I divided up the words left that I need to write by four days and I have my new daily word count posted. Right now I have 39,485 words done. I'm determined to finish no matter what!

I'm grateful for this challenge. It is energizing. It helps me. I'm going to try to keep up the momentum and work on revisions by posting how many words that are needed to revise every day. Then maybe I can get more projects finished and in the mail.

I'm having fun. I'm going to do this next year. Only next year, I'm also going to visit more Nanowrimo groups in the area. I regret not visiting the library group downtown and the Ballard Library group and the one at Lake Forest. Next year.

I'm also going to participate in Script Frenzy in April to turn this nano novel into a script.

Well, I'm staying out of trouble. I'm keeping my nose clean. I may not be making any money but I'm putting one foot in front of the other to keep going forward.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I had a wonderful visit with my family in West Salem. In the photo above are my grandchildren, Jack and Elizabeth. Jack just turned 10. He scored 23 touchdowns in the last football season. Pretty soon, he will have talent scouts knocking at his door! Elizabeth just got her yellow belt in karate. They are both athletic, smart, and nice. I'm so proud of both of them and I had such a wonderful time visiting.


I finally got to shop at Uwajimaya in the International District on Friday. When I went on the train and got off my bus in the International District, I found that it was right across the street from Uwajimaya, a Japanese grocery and store. I've been wanting to go there for months. I'm looking forward to the Chinese New Year so I can see the dancing and festivities at Uwajimaya.

It's worth a trip to shop at Uwajimaya. Fresh produce and items you wouldn't be able to buy elsewhere. I plan on shopping there often. I feel comfortable there.


I was invited to spend Thanksgiving in Salem, Oregon with my daughter and her family. I didn't want to drive in the bad weather with all the heavy traffic so I decided to buy an Amtrak ticket and I'm so glad I did. I love trains. It's so much easier to ride on the train than to drive and the cost is almost the same as driving.

I rode the bus next to my apartment building to downtown Seattle underground and came out in the International District which is one block from the train station. This is so convenient.

I had the best time. I sat near four people and really had a good time talking to them. When you share the same space for a period of time and the other person is willing to talk, you get a peek into their world. In the waiting room, I sat next to a woman who was waiting for her daughter who sounds amazing. She teaches bright kids chemistry and physics. I sat next to a young woman going to Salem who is an anthropology major and wants to be a curator at a fashion museum in NYC. I sat across from a really neat guy who lives a charmed life traveling all over the world and enjoys skiing. He was fun to talk to and I really enjoyed his company. He's very special and surrounded by lots of friends and family. He works hard and plays hard and enjoys life. Perfect!

On the way back I sat next to a young woman who spent the last five years in NYC and went to Parson's School of Design. These are all amazing people. I probably will never see them again but I don't think I will forget any of them.

I really love trains. I loved it when the conductor called "All Aboard!" I love hearing the train whistle and seeing the train. I love eating on the train. I love everything about trains.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The brain exercise website, is really good. I'm impressed with the daily exercises offered.

I found that it didn't work out for me. I am not savy about internet security. Sometimes I wish I had hacking skills because hackers have the ultimate knowledge about how to navigate on the internet. Just like an attorney knows how to protect themselves and navigate in the legal world. I wish I had gone to law school too.

The problem that I had was that I had a high score in memory when I started out with the first few exercises--a 96th percentile. I have a great memory, although I sometimes don't let people know. After a few days, I had lots of problems with the security on my computer. My computer would freeze up on the website. When in the middle of a memory exercise, my computer froze. It started out with a 96th percentile and dropped to around 83rd percentile in a few minutes with the frozen computer. I cancelled I figured I can't deal with this. Then they offered me a drop in price, a great discount so I thought I would try again because I explained what happened. It happened again only my memory drop went from 83rd percentile into the mid-60's after my computer froze up again after a few minutes. So I cancelled it again and I am not going to try again. It doesn't work for me. needs to offer an experience using brain exercises that is accurate and with a built in computer security so it can't be tampered with.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mayor Mike McGinn

On the front page of the Seattle Times this morning is the headline "Vulcan, McGinn bargain for tall towers at Lake Union." Evidently Vulcan, Paul Allen's real estate firm, wants to build three 24 story high buildings in downtown Seattle and the great Mayor McGinn is negotiating to receive almost an acre of prime land for affordable housing. Mayor McGinn is showing the world how a great mayor operates and deals to get what he needs for the city. Mayor McGinn is probably in demand to teach other mayors how to be a mayor. I bet he gets requests all the time.

When I walk around in downtown Seattle to go to the Seattle Art Museum, I was really shocked to see that the Pike Place Target building that just opened in downtown is so short. It is prime Seattle real estate land and it is only a couple of stories high. I was really surprised. Maybe they were restricted to the size so that they wouldn't restrict the view of surrounding buildings. Maybe there are plans to build it higher or do something more with it like build affordable housing on higher floors for the people who work at Target. I was offered a job at Target downtown but I needed to close, which meant working at night. I didn't feel comfortable riding the bus back to Northgate late at night. I asked that my application be sent back to the Northgate Target. Next thing I know I got called from Appleton, Wisconsin Target HR offering me a job at their Target anytime I want it. Kathy was very welcoming, but that's a little far to go for a part time job. It sounds like a nice, friendly place though. If I ever decide to move to Appleton, Wisconsin, I'll definitely call Kathy in HR.

I love Seattle. I don't want to ever leave. We have the BEST Mayor ever, the most intelligent people, and great opportunities in Seattle.

Funny Times

Oh, the joy of reaching for the fun of FUNNY TIMES and laughing first thing in the morning. I love it. I need it. There just isn't enough laughter in the world. They say that the best cure for cancer is laughter. The FUNNY TIMES is sure a great subscription as a gift for anyone with cancer, is sick or alone in life.

I'm going to reach for FUNNY TIMES first thing in the morning. I did this morning and I caught myself laughing. I'm going to read or reread it every morning.

If you want some of this fun, send a check for a one year subscription for $26 to
PO Box 18530
Department 8DNF
Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118

Right now they are offering a free subscription when you buy one for yourself. The only question I have is which one of my kids will receive it. They would all love it, just like me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I love the television show Survivor. I watch it every time it is on. I really like Jonathan Penner the best this time. He's my favorite. I hope that he makes it to the end. He's strong, intelligent, and such a nice person. I want him to win.

Every time I watch Survivor, I dream of being on the show. Am I too old? Am I not strong enough? I've survived a lot in life and I would love to be on the show.

I wish they still had the pirate show that was a spinoff from Survivor.

I'm grateful for each new episode of Survivor. I will watch every single one.

LA Fitness

I visited LA Fitness today and yesterday. I was curious. I got a pass so I wanted to check it out.

I'm really impressed with LA Fitness. When you walk through the door, you see high ceilings, lots of cardio equipment and weight machines, a second floor of cardio machines. A pool on the right that is pretty big. I like the architecture. The building feels comfortable. Lots of natural lighting. A smoothie bar. The dressing room is upscale and very nice. They even have handball courts. LA Fitness is more like an athletic club than a gym. It is really nice.

I'm impressed with the manager and Joe, who is in charge of trainers. Joe spent time with me today explaining the program at LA Fitness. I'm impressed that you get a book that you keep with all the workouts.  I'm impressed that I was told for the first time EVER by anyone at a gym that by such a such a date, I can reach my fitness goal if I do this and that to build muscle. It gives a person hope. I'm not kidding about this. I've been a member of several gyms--Court House, Salem, Oregon; Timberhill Athletic Club and Fitness Over 50, Corvallis, Oregon; Olympic Athletic Club and 24 Hour Fitness, Seattle, WA. When they hand you the book that YOU keep and write the measurements and workout data in the book plus give you the expert training, I consider this the ultimate training experience.

Everyone is nice. They made me feel very welcome.

I'm a little odd because I love to go to the gym. Since my priority is health and fitness, becoming a gym rat isn't a bad thing. I love working out. I love going to the gym. I love Zumba. I love strength training.


It's Gretchen's birthday today. I had five children and she was my first. My Gretchen. I'm so proud of her and I love her so much. She's smart, savy, brilliant, a great leader and problem solver. She can do it all and she has the most beautiful children, Jack and Elizabeth, and a great husband named Chris.

The photo above is of Gretchen, Elizabeth and me at Gretchen's house. Isn't she just beautiful! So is Elizabeth!

National Novel Writing Month

I'm a little behind today on my word count for National Novel Writing Month. My word count total is 20,995 and I should be at 23,338 words at the end of today. I have some writing to do so I had better get busy and quit watching TV. Survivor is on tonight though, one of my all time favorite shows. I will have to save it for when I am finished my word count.

I'm so grateful to be part of the challenge of National Novel Writing Month. It inspires me, energizes me, and makes me feel part of something important. Chris Baty has the whole world writing. I'm writing. It just doesn't get any better than this.

Mayor McGinn's Town Hall

I got an e-mail today about a Town Hall coming to the Northgate Community Center on November 27th from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. I'm going. I wouldn't miss it. I am grateful to learn about it.

I admire Mayor Mike McGinn, the greatest Mayor of any city in the world. Seattle is an international city and Northgate is an international neighborhood inside Seattle. I love it here. Seattle is as close to heaven as it gets here on earth. People live together in peace. Everything is in Seattle. It's as perfect as it can get, and I am grateful to live here. Intelligent people live in Seattle and the Mayor is in charge of solving any problem that comes up. He's great at it. He listens and he acts.

Food Network

I love watching Food Network and I really love to watch BAREFOOT CONTESSA with Inez Garten. This afternoon, she made crab cakes and a lemon tart. Watching Inez is like spending time with a good friend. I really like her.

I also love watching Paula Dean, who came right after. This is the first time I saw her cook with Michael, her husband. Usually I see her with her handsome sons. Paula said that Michael, "turns my tickle over" as he makes her laugh and she says is the king of their home. They made smashed potato cakes which sure looked delicious with mashed Yukon Gold potatoes with green onions, bacon, cheddar cheese, garlic, butter, sour cream, egg, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper cooked in olive oil. Wow!

You can always learn and enjoy the great chefs on Food Network.

Coco Ho

I was goofing off and watching TV and I found surfing. I love to watch surfing. In my heart, I am a surfer girl. I would need to learn how to swim well, take off 40 years, and 100 pounds to pull it off though.

Coco Ho is a surfer girl from Hawaii. She has won the Paul Mitchell title of SUPERGIRL PRO SURFER for the last couple of years. The competition was in Oceanside, California.

I really liked what Coco said. "Growing up in Hawaii, the first thing you learn is respecting your elders. Take that on the road and spread it. Teach it to everyone else." Coco is a great example.

She also said that "having strength and independence as a woman is super important. If you can go out and live your own life and do it on your own, no one can take you down. I think it's real important for girls to be independent, have goals and dreams of their own and see where it takes you."

Coco Ho has qualified for next years world tour.

This year the winner of SUPERGIRL PRO SURFER 2012 was Sage Erickson from the U.S.

Funny Times

I got a free copy of the Funny Times in the mail today. I was really interested in looking at it and grateful that I received a copy. When I saw the name Dave Barry, as one of the writers, I knew it was going to be GREAT! He's one of my favorite writers. When I think of Dave Barry, I also think of Stephen King, Amy Tan, Mitch Album, and Frank McCourt and the time when I watched the Miami Book Festival on BookTV and watched them play in the Rock Bottom Remainders, a band made up of best selling writers.

It says that you don't have to wait for Jon Stewart to laugh on late night, you can read FUNNY TIMES.

We need more laughs in the world. There aren't enough. There needs to be more fun and more comedy.

FUNNY TIMES is definitely worth the price of each issue. A year subscription is only $26. Right now they have a buy one, get one free offer so you can give a free gift subscription when you buy one for yourself.

Send your check to
PO Box 18530
Department 8DNF
Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118

Monday, November 12, 2012

Seattle Times Newspaper

I love the Seattle Times. I subscribe. I can't even think of not subscribing because I would miss out on what is happening around me. The Seattle Times is the pulse of Seattle and the surrounding area and all of Washington. I don't understand people who don't want to subscribe. I can't imagine life without it.

This morning what jumped out at me was the interview of Elizabeth George, one of my favorite mystery writers who is brilliant and lives close in Whidbey Island. That got me to dreaming of meeting her and asking her to read my youth novel I am working on.

I really need to take a good editing class or find someone to work with who lives to edit. I'm sitting on four mystery novels that are finished and need to be revised and sent out.

Another thing that jumped out at me was learning that at the University of Washington at Bothell, there is a MFA program in Creative Writing. Wow! Bothell isn't that far from me. I'm wondering if they honor the over 60 program where you can take two classes for $5 a class.

I'm wondering and wishing...............

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Seattle Art Museum

I went on the bus today to the Seattle Art Museum to see ELLES: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris. They were handing out free art books today to members so I wanted to go. I selected a European art book. I'm very grateful for the beautiful book.

I want to go again to see ELLES and next time to listen to a guided tour. It's nice that they have the audio tour. I saw art created by women who wanted to be recognized and taken seriously as artists. I saw some art created for pure shock value. What I didn't see was social commentary in the art that told the reasons why women painted pictures in Paris in the 1930's instead of being married, having eight children, and living a subservient life. I didn't see tragedy or abuse or great loss depicted in the art. I'm curious as to why. Without knowing the individual stories and background, I can assume that some are brilliant and rebellious, but this was quite a departure from accepted behavior in the 1930's. I guess I want to learn more about these women. I'm curious.

I love to go to the Seattle Art Museum. I get inspired to create art and to paint. I need to take a class.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

So my word count right now is 11,775 words. So far so good. I'm keeping up. I wish I had plotted the novel but sometimes it is fun to just let it unfold to see what happens. Then it becomes an adventure and you discover things along the way that you hadn't anticipated.

I've completed the challenge of National Novel Writing Month to write the first draft of a novel in the month of November in 2006 and 2008. Both times I haven't planned or plotted and I was surprised and happy with the result.

Stephen King recommends writing and letting it carry you on an unexpected adventure. He's a master writer. He used to be a high school English teacher. I have his book, ON WRITING, and I have read a lot of his books. He's the second highest paid writer in this country after James Patterson, followed by Janet Evanovich. All three are great writers and obviously everyone agrees because everyone reads and buys every book they write.

We'll see what happens. I'm grateful to be part of this challenge this year. It makes me feel like I belong to something great and much bigger than myself. There are sure a lot of talented and gifted writers participating. I was looking at some of the cover art and novel summaries. It looks like there are going to be best sellers among those who finish. How exciting!

Chris Baty who started National Novel Writing Month in 1999 is a hero. He has the whole world writing novels.

It's a great day in America!

It's a great day today since President Obama got reelected. There is hope again in the world. Everything is going to be fine. I'm so grateful that the voters were intelligent enough to vote for President Obama. I can't imagine it any other way.

I'm grateful for all the young people who turned out to vote and all those people waiting in life for 12 hours.

Everything will move forward to protect change put in place. Progress will continue to make sure that all people are protected and given opportunities. I feel so hopeful that everything is going to be ok now.

President Obama's acceptance speech was inspiring. He's great at uniting people and bringing consensus. I admire him and know that if he has the support he needs, he will become the greatest President we have ever had in the history of this country. Everyone is counting on him to make a difference.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Bob's Red Mill Cornbread Mix

After watching Dr. Oz yesterday and learning how jalapeno peppers boosted metabolism for weight loss, I decided to make cornbread this morning. I went out to buy jalapeno peppers and frozen corn yesterday to put in it so I would be ready.

It just came out of the oven and it looks and smells delicious.

I love Bob's Red Mill products. I buy the bulgar wheat to make tabbouli. I buy muesli, ground flaxseed, and wheat germ. I plan on trying others.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Zumba with Daniel

Daniel teaches Zumba in the North Seattle area. He's from Brazil and has been teaching for 20 years. He's high energy and a gifted dancer. He's going to be teaching on Fridays from now on in the mornings at 24 Hour Fitness. I'm excited to take his class.

Daniel is magic. He's very popular and his classes are always crowded. Everyone loves to come to his class.

Panera Bread

I'm excited to learn that Panera Bread in the Northgate Mall, near me is hosting an event every Saturday for National Novel Writing Month. I'm excited. I'm going next Saturday for sure.

I love Panera Bread. They have the most delicious food. Everything on the menu is perfect, made fresh, and tastes delicious. I love the orange scones. I love the healthy, delicious salads. I love the sandwiches. I love everything they serve. I'm glad Panera Bread is close to me and I go there as often as I can. It's one of my favorite places to eat. I took my son there once for lunch.

I finished my word count this morning before going to Zumba. Now I have 5,033 words. I'm going to write some more today.

I wore my special t-shirt from the Office of Lights and Letters who sends out the National Novel Writing Month books, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. I ordered a sweatshirt, t-shirt, and another copy of NO PLOT? NO PROBLEM! by Chris Baty. The last copy I gave away. I also ordered five pencils that says "There's a novel inside this pencil." I love pencils. It's a harmless collection that can be used and doesn't take up a lot of space. I also ordered Chris Baty's book, THE NANOLAND CHRONICLES: Bedtime Stories for Wrimos. It's autographed by the legend who started all this back in 1999 and has the whole world writing.

When I was waiting outside Zumba this morning, I stood next to a young woman waiting for class with me who said that she is also participating in nanowrimo and she told about the writing this morning at Panera Bread. I guess every Saturday there is a National Novel Writing Month event at Panera Bread close to me. How amazing! How nice of them! I'm grateful.

I love Panera Bread. It has delicious food. I love the orange scones. I love the great salads. I love the sandwiches. Everything on the menu is delicious.

Zumba with Vanessa

The schedule at 24 Hour Fitness is changing after November 10th. Everything is going to be changed. New classes added and some new instructors.

One Zumba instructor, Vanessa Herrick, is no longer going to be teaching at this location. She doesn't live close so she is going to teach closer to home. I finally got to talk to her when I left Zumba class on Friday morning.

I enjoyed taking Vanessa's class. She's always nice, always smiling, always positive. She's a great dancer and is nice to everyone. She wants everyone to have fun and a good time. I will miss her.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Arabella Steinbacher

I had the rare privilege of being at Benaroya Hall to hear Arabella Steinbacher play Tchaikovsky's violin concerto in D major on her Stradivari with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. I was in awe. Tears came down my cheeks when I saw her bow dance on the strings and the passion that flows as her body becomes one with the violin. I love excellence and perfection.

I didn't read about Arabella until the intermission when she was finished. I figured she practices 15 hours a day and has done this for years and years and years or she was one of those rare souls born in this world who are pure genius. She started playing the violin at age 3. She was born to play the violin. The world should give her everything she wants in order to just hear her play. Her home is in Munich, Germany.

I saw her leave at the side where I was sitting during the intermission. I wanted to go over to her and tell her how much I admire her but words could never be good enough. I wish I were her friend. I wish I had asked to take a picture with her.

I love to go to the symphony. I bought a package of four tickets to go to the symphony on Friday afternoons at noon. Then I can ride the bus during day light hours and I get to hear the Seattle Symphony Orchestra play the language of the heart. Glorious!


I received notice this morning that my rent is going to be raised $50 a month. I'm wondering if I stay or if I find another place. Maybe I should cancel Weight Watchers and not renew my card to the Helen Madison pool. Maybe I should cancel TV. Unfortunate but maybe that is an answer. It would be great to find an apartment with more reasonable rent for me. My rent now goes to $1150. a month. I love where I live and the location. We'll see..........

Found a Dog

I found a little dog yesterday on my way to the gym. It had been out in the rain for a long time and it was shaking. I was worried that it would get hit by a car in the busy traffic so I brought it home so I could find out  where it belonged. It had a harness but no tags. I called PAWS, the Humane Society located in Bellevue, and the King County numbers for animal control. After several calls, I finally found the right number and arranged for a pickup. It didn't take long. I was worried that I would have to take care of it for a couple of days or drive to the shelter to drop it off. I'm grateful they picked it up.

I'm not interested in having a pet. I've had enough pets in my life to last a lifetime. Cats scratch furniture and eat houseplants. Dogs have to be taken outside all the time and walked. There are vet bills. If an animal goes outside then you have to worry about fleas. Dogs bark. Not good. You can't travel with a pet. Not for me....

Thursday, November 01, 2012

I'm writing and having fun. I'm excited to begin National Novel Writing Month. There is something about being part of it and getting the word count done each day to make you feel rejuvenated and energized. I love it. I love the challenge of trying to get it done every day. This is the first thing I will do each day and then on to my other writing projects, exercise, eating healthy, chores, and reading. My life will be full this month. I'm grateful to National Novel Writing Month and Chris Baty who started it. He's a hero and has inspired people to write all over the world.

So far today I have 615 words and I have to reach 1650 words for the day.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Zumba with Kristen

At noon I went to 24 Hour Fitness to take a Zumba class with Kristen. I haven't had her before but I have been in a body pump class with her as instructor. She's really good teaching Body Pump but boy, is she amazing at Zumba! I'm really impressed. For one thing, she wears a headset, which all Zumba instructors should be required to wear so people can hear in the class. Often classes are so crowded and people in the back have a hard time knowing what's going on or what to do. There should be large screen televisions high up so people in the back can see what to do so they can copy dance movements. Kristen is high energy but she was a perfect instructor because she taught on three levels. I can't do all the jumping moves but I love Zumba. She modified all moves and didn't just teach two levels but three and showed all three examples as she moved and danced. She's really great!

I hope that Kristen teaches often at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate. This gym is supposed to go from a Super Sport Gym to a Premier Gym so they need the BEST instructors. Right? Yes!

Kristen is really good with people. She has a great personality. She knows how to move and dance. She's a great instructor, great at modifying moves and easy to follow. It's fun to take her class. I didn't think I would be able to make it through the entire 60 minutes but I did because she was so great about showing how to modify all the moves. I had fun. Fun is in short supply these days.

National Novel Writing Month

I just signed up for National Novel Writing Month. This is an exciting challenge to write the first draft of a novel in the month of November. I've completed the challenge twice in 2006 and 2008. It's fun and it keeps me on my toes to get the word count in every day. No excuses. I'm doing it.

If you want to join in on all the fun, go to The fun starts on November 1 at midnight tonight.

Monday, October 29, 2012

President Obama will WIN

President Obama will win, at least I sure hope so. Life would go backwards to 2008, if he doesn't win. I'm confident that the voters will be thoughtful, careful, and intelligent as they vote and see that we must not cast our vote for the wealthy and protecting their interests.

I've already voted last week. Of course, I voted for President Obama and Democrat candidates.

Zumba with Mariam

On Saturday at 12 noon, I went to Zumba and the instructor was Mariam. She's a great dancer, very gifted. She also teaches belly dance. I am going to take both of her classes because it will help me. I need work on my core and she uses a lot of Zumba moves to do this. I'm really impressed with her. All Zumba instructors are great but she's the best female Zumba instructor that I've had. In the class was a young woman with a head covering. It was nice to see. She was a great dancer. Zumba brings people together. Everyone is happy. Everyone who comes loves to dance.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


I miss Oprah on prime time television. She has made such a significant impact on the lives of women for years and years. I was thinking that her best work is when she is helping people shine. She should create a new show that is a starting over show. The old reality show, Starting Over was a great show. Oprah would make it better. I would apply because I can never seem to get off the ground. She would help. She has the answers.

I subscribe to O: The Oprah Magazine: Live Your Best Life. It's a bargain for $15.95 a year and would make a great gift for any woman on your list. The front cover in the last issue boldly reads HOW TO FULFILL YOUR DESTINY: A 30-day Plan for Finding your True Purpose.

Want to subscribe? Go to

Doctor OZ

Doctor Oz, as in is a hero and one of my heroes. If I were restricted to only watch one show on television and I had to make this difficult choice of all the wide variety of programming, I would pick Dr. Oz because it is THAT important and that essential to daily living. Dr. Oz should win the Nobel Prize for Medicine because he helps people every single day to learn about healthy food and exercise. He brings understanding. He genuinely helps people. I've learned so much from him and continue to learn. I take notes from what I learn on his shows and often quote Dr. Oz.

I have four books that I bought years ago by Dr. Oz. I wonder if there are new ones out.
YOU STAYING YOUNG: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty
YOU ON A DIET: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management
YOU BEING BEAUTIFUL: The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty
YOU THE OWNER'S MANUAL: Updated and Expanded Edition

I can recommend Dr. Oz and all his books to everyone. He's amazing. He has great courage. He tells the truth. He helps everyone who watches his shows and I'm truly grateful to have the opportunity to learn from him.

Happiness is a Choice

Happiness is a choice. You can make the decision to look for the good and to be happy, no matter how your day goes or how you are treated. 80% of your experience is up to you. Yes, not everyone is a nice person out there and things happen that aren't great but you can decide to flip things to the positive no matter what happens.

It's always a wonderful bonus when people are nice, when people do their job, when things click, but I have learned that more often than not, this is not the case so it is important to find the good, the positive. It's important to treat people with respect and to be nice no matter what. Search for the lesson. Search for what you can learn. Work hard to be the best you can be every single day.

One of the best books I have read to help me understand this was the NY Times bestseller by Peggy McColl, YOUR DESTINY SWITCH. Find it on or

Another great book out there to read is YOU CAN BE HAPPY NO MATTER WHAT by Richard Carlson, Ph.D.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My granddaughter, Elizabeth

This is my granddaughter, Elizabeth. I had such a nice time visiting my family in Salem, Oregon last weekend--my daughter, Gretchen and her husband Chris, and my two grandchildren, Elizabeth and Jack. My grandson, Jack was off busy with friends and playing basketball. I had a great time. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

If I were a public school superintendent............

If I were a public school superintendent, I would do things differently. I have heard that beginning teachers in Seattle make between $75,000 or $85,000 a year. Let's say it's on the low end, that's a lot of money. Without extra pay, I would extend the hours of school and say that every teacher must work until 9 p.m. one day a week. This evening time and after school time for kids and young people would be for extra curricular activities, drama, music, physical education, homework, home economics, etc. Many kids have to supervise themselves after school and in the evenings. Schools should be open to the community. English as a second language classes could be taught. Extra languages could be taught. So much is possible. So much fun. This is so needed for kids and families who have to work three jobs just to make ends meet.

As long as I am dreaming, I would also use the gym for roller skating every day. That's exercise that is pure fun. Every school would have Zumba and roller skating every day. Everyone would also walk or run around the track for an hour a day too, which includes all teachers and staff because exercise is needed and good for everyone.

I would also encourage teachers to blend subjects and I would encourage only the most creative teachers giving them the special perks. Teachers who reach students are golden. Teachers under whom children thrive are golden. Tenure would be out with me. No old farts sitting collecting pay checks under my watch who don't teach or abuse their position.

Bullies wouldn't be allowed. Kids who come to school need to feel safe and be safe. No bullies or aggressive behavior should be tolerated. No kids should be made fun of or harassed. Often teachers tolerate this behavior and some get right into it themselves. My husband was brilliant. He was a Mensa and scored in the 99th percentile but in school, he was the kid shut in the lockers, thrown in trash cans, and his head thrust in the toilet. This shouldn't happen to the best and the brightest. It sure wouldn't happen under my watch.

Of course, the main focus would be on math, science, and reading. Every student would participate in National Novel Writing Month and Script Frenzy in the spring. In every school there would be a spelling bee and a geography bee. Students would know history and who all the world leaders are. Competence would be valued.

If budget issues are a concern, I would cut football and team sports and encourage running. That would sure make me unpopular in the world of football people everywhere. Oh, well, I am just dreaming....................


The new crime drama on CBS called Elementary, as in Sherlock Holmes, is my favorite. The writing, the characters with Holmes played by Jonny Lee Miller and Watson played by Lucy Liu is pure art. Here's an example of the writing from the last episode:
"It has its costs." said Holmes.
"What does?" said Watson.
"Learning to see the puzzle in everything. They're everywhere. Once you start looking, it's impossible to stop. It just so happens that people and the deceits and delusions that form everything they do tend to be the most fascinating puzzle of all. Course they don't always appreciate being seen as such." said Holmes.
"Seems like a lonely way to live." said Watson.
"As I said, it has its costs." said Holmes.

Great writing!

And it is true that it is a lonely way to live for I also ponder and see the puzzle in everything but it is not so bad when you're a writer.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shriners Food Caravan

When I was driving back to Seattle, between Canby and Wilsonville, Oregon, I saw on I-5 a line of vehicles with flashing lights. Each had a sign but they were hard to read so I had to find one that I could figure out what was going on. I saw signs on some motorcycles that said Shriners. I finally found a sign that I could read that said Food Caravan. It was some kind of fund raising activity for a Shriner's children's hospital. The Shriners do important work to help children and other worthy causes for communities. The sign said to join the caravan so I did for a few miles. After all, my dad was a Shriner, a 32nd degree Mason, and State Commander of the VFW in Montana so I joined it and thought of my dad.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I love Zumba. I wish I could take a couple of Zumba classes every day. It helps sculpt and tone my body. It makes me happy to dance and learn the choreography.

Zumba was created in 1999 by Alberto "Beto" Perez from Columbia. It has zoomed into the world scene and is popular all over the world. Beto should be nominated and win the Nobel Peace Prize for creating a program that brings the world together with dance and music. I know of no other venue that does the same and accomplishes this. He is a world hero.

American Friends Service Committee

I got some interesting mail from the American Friends Service Committee. Inside the envelope was a flyer with the 2013 estimate of how much government money from the United States of America will go to the military next year.
  • 60% is earmarked for the Department of Defense, War, Veterans Affairs, and Nuclear Weapons Programs
  • 6% for Health and Human Services
  • 6% Education
  • 5% State (Does this mean 5% is shared with all states? That is not very much.)
  • 4.5% Other Programs (What programs?)
  • 4% Department of Homeland Security
  • 3% Housing and Urban Development
  • 2% Agriculture
  • 1.5% Justice
  • 1.5% NASA
  • 1.5% Energy
  • 1% Labor
  • 1% Treasury
  • 1% Interior
  • 1% Environmental Protection Agency
  • 1% Transportation
It also includes a quote. "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
--Dwight D. Eisenhower (I must add that this is an odd quote by a Republican President. This shows how the Republican Party has changed.)

I have always admired Sweden for remaining neutral in world politics. They stay out of conflict. Maybe we need to start staying out of war activities so that we can solve problems here in the United States!

For more information go to

When I was in college at Oregon College of Education, I went on several work camp projects with the American Friends Service Committee that were recommended by my history professor, Dr. Kenneth Holmes. I was exposed to experiences that I would have never had the opportunity to learn about and it was all put into perspective by professors and professionals to answer questions and guide the experiences. I went to the Rocky Butte Jail, State Hospital in Salem, Nooksack Indian Reservation, the hospital in Fort Steilacoom, and the Albina Art Center in Portland with other college students. It was eye opening and changed how I look at the world.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Zumba with Niel

I just came back from Zumba and Niel was the instructor today. I really wish Niel taught every morning. He's a great instructor and makes it fun to come to class for everyone. He's a gifted dancer and choreographer.

Aqua Zumba is going to start in November at 24 Hour Fitness in Northgate. I'm excited about it because it will be fun. There's going to be a lot of splashing going on. I hope it is so packed and crowded that 24 Hour Fitness sees the need to make the pool 10 times bigger and 4 times longer and add a deep end for Hydrofit.

Niel hosted the Zumba event at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate Saturday night for breast cancer. The room was packed and everyone had a great time. Zumba makes me happy. It's pure fun. We took a group photo and I guess it is posted on Facebook on Niel's page. I haven't seen it yet but I'm going to take a look at (I can't find the group photo on his page from Saturday night.)

Niel's website is

I see that Neil has gone through training to teach Zumba Gold, Gold toning, Zumba Toning, and other advanced Zumba training. This is great! Zumba Gold is for older zoomers who need a lower intensity workout. I sure wish he would start teaching Zumba Gold, Gold Toning, and Zumba Toning. I wish Niel would teach at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate Seattle three times a day because he is such an outstanding instructor.

Last Weekend

So I had a busy weekend and a great time. It started out Friday morning going to Zumba at 24 Hour Fitness here in Northgate Seattle. Then after I got ready, I jumped in my car and drove to Salem, Oregon to visit my daughter, Gretchen, and her family. It was fun to see my grandchildren, Jack and Elizabeth. Lizzy doesn't want to be called Lizzy anymore so it is the more formal Elizabeth now. Jack was sure busy coming from basketball and off to a birthday party at an aquatic center and then a sleepover with a friend. Elizabeth had basketball and then I got to see her karate class.

In the evening we watched the documentary about Hood to Coast. It was wonderful to see. In the last Hood to Coast, my daughter, Gretchen and her husband Chris ran with my son, Ben and his wife, Amanda. I'm proud of all of them. It is a running relay starting at Mount Hood with a team of 12. Every one runs three legs or parts of the distance to Seaside on the Oregon Coast. It's a distance of almost 200 miles. It's a stay awake for 36 hours, eating, laughing, having fun, and running until you can't run anymore, unless you're an elite distance runner like Ben.

The next morning, I took Gretchen out to breakfast and then off to investigate sea berry at One Green World. I'm writing an article about it and I want to turn it into a book project. They were busy but I got to see the two acre plot they have in sea berry and got brief interviews of the owner and those who work with him and travel the world to see all these amazing plants. I sure hope it turns out because I would just love to travel on book tours taking about sea berry.

I made it back to Seattle by 5:30 on Saturday just in time to make it to the Zumba event at 24 Hour Fitness at 6 p.m. I love to go to any Zumba class taught by Niel, my favorite instructor who makes every minute fun.

The next morning I slept in until 9:30 a.m. I should have put on my alarm. Usually I'm up at 5 a.m. I missed Zumba so I headed on over to Weight Watchers, which is always inspirational.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Kids

I had five kids. I have six grandchildren. I always said that I have the BEST kids in the world and I do. I love talking to my kids. They are the BEST people I know.

My Message to Young People

If you are in school, please understand what an important opportunity you have to learn and grow to live your best life. Don’t let anything distract you from school and learning. Not everyone has a good home life. Not everyone has a positive experience in school. If you are in school, please understand that it is critical for you to focus and concentrate on your studies.

If it is hard at home, do what you can to help out with at least one or two chores every day. Be respectful. Find a corner where you can read and study. Focus everyday on your school work and getting your homework done. Read extra. Read ahead in your books. Study. Learn. Doing well in school is your opportunity and chance for a better job, a better way of life. Don’t rob yourself of this gift by only thinking of now.

If someone at school is mean to you or is teasing you or makes it hard to stay in school, please understand that it is important to believe in yourself. Don’t react, focus on school. Become focused on your schoolwork and try hard to ignore bad behavior around you. This is not always easy but it is important for your future and opportunities in your life to learn all you can no matter how hard your circumstances.

Maybe you don’t have the best teacher this year and you want to tune out. Not all teachers are created equal. Remember that there is always something to learn from everyone. Always be respectful. Always do your work. Read ahead. Don’t ever be disrespectful or cause trouble. Concentrate on your studies and learning.

There are a lot of things in life that are not easy, not fair. No matter what happens in life, no matter how people treat you, focus on your growth, on learning, on being the best person you can be. If someone in your life who is important to you is a bad example, don’t follow. Think more of yourself and what you have to offer and of your future. Don’t blindly follow anyone who is trying to take you down a path away from your best life.

Stay in school. Read lots of books. Don’t react to bad behavior. Focus on what is most important. Keep yourself in school. Do your homework.

A young person who is in school has the opportunity to live the life they dream. Don’t let anyone rob you of a bright future. Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough or that you aren’t smart enough or that you don’t belong. Always be respectful to those around you no matter how you are treated. Focus on your schoolwork and on learning. Believe in yourself.

[Yesterday I was walking to the health food store at the time that kids were coming home from school. I saw kids get off the bus and kids walking home from school. I saw kids of all skin colors walking together. It was beautiful.  I've been thinking about these kids and kids all over the country for the last few hours. The kids in Northgate seem like great kids who have parents who watch out for them. I live in a good neighborhood but not all neighborhoods have kids with great families. I know that the quality of education is in question in many schools, in many states, in many countries. I have noticed through the years that all children and their parents start school with hopes and dreams. However, not all kids finish school. More are dropping out. More are participating in bad behavior. More are having a difficult time. It is important for all children to stay in school, learn all they can and study.]

Monday, October 15, 2012

Zumba--Niel Smith

Niel Smith is a great Zumba instructor at 24 Hour Fitness in Northgate Seattle. He's very popular and his classes are always crowded. He makes Zumba fun and easy to follow. Niel is a gifted dancer and choreographer. We are lucky to have him teach. I wish he taught every single day.

This morning Niel taped two Zumba songs in the class which he is going to send into Zumba International to audition to be a Zumba Jammer. A Zumba Jammer creates original choreography, works directly for Zumba, and instructs Zumba instructors. I know he's going to get it because he's great. Not all Zumba instructors are created equal. Some are truly gifted and rare. Niel Smith is one of these great dancers.


I love Zumba. It's so much fun. I love dance. I love the movement. It truly makes me happy. The ONLY time during the week that I am happy is when I am taking a Zumba class. Niel Smith is a great Zumba instructor and he's my favorite. His choreography makes it fun. He's easy to follow. I wish he taught Zumba classes every single day.

I wish I could be a Zumba instructor. I would want to teach Zumba Gold, which is for baby boomers and older Zoomers. Zumba is something very special because it taps into and opens up something inside that puts a smile on your face and happiness in your heart. I am truly happy when I am dancing the choreography of Zumba. The music. The movement. The dance. It's all happiness and joy. Pure joy. This kind of happiness is rare in most people's lives. I need MORE Zumba.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I reevaluate my life often and try to make sure that my priorities are in line with my actions. I've decided that my priorities right now are:

  1. writing
  2. exercise
  3. eating healthy
  4. reading
I have the opportunity to see what I can do with my writing. Writers dream of time to write. I'll save money and work on my writing goals to finish projects and work on new writing projects.

If I can start making money with my writing, I can be generous to everyone around me and I can take my family on a cruise every year. I want to be able to take my children and their families on a seven day cruise every year. That would be perfect.

There is a lot of things that I can not do anything about in life but I can work on my four priorities every day. Add to that daily chores, cleaning, continue to get rid of clutter, and donate extra stuff to Goodwill. That will keep me very busy.

Northgate Seattle Air Quality

The air quality in Northgate isn't good for several reasons.

  • Northgate is right next to I-5. Not good.
  • Northgate is directly under the flight path of jets going into Sea-Tac. Not good.
  • Northgate has a lot of traffic. The exhaust from cars--not good.
  • When I moved into my apartment, they put in new carpet, which was nice but new carpet releases arsenic into the air. Not good.
What helps? Trees! It's always good to see a windy day that blows in fresh air.

I have two air filtration systems that I bought from Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


One of the most important things that can be taught in schools is how to think, not what to think, and to teach the process of making a decision and how to find information needed to make a decision.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Aggressive Panhandlers in Seattle

Seattle has so much to offer. The downtown area is beautiful. It has the Seattle Art Museum, the Aquarium, the amazing Seattle Public Library, the Symphony, Broadway plays, Northwest Ballet, Pike Place Market, and the Pacific Science Center. It also has great shopping, music, restaurants, events, and festivals. Seattle has everything.

What isn't good is that there are a lot of homeless and aggressive panhandlers asking for money. It isn't okay.  Something needs to be done about this because otherwise it wrecks all the good parts of downtown Seattle. I don't understand people who think it's okay to leave things the way it is. I've heard that a lot of people refuse to shop downtown. Why would all the businesses not want to see this problem solved? People want to feel safe coming downtown and riding the bus to enjoy all that is Seattle.

I don't understand anyone who doesn't want to see this problem solved. I don't understand anyone who doesn't want to see that people get shelter when they are cold, have food to eat, and medical care. Anyone who enjoys seeing people struggle, cold, and miserable is sadistic and a bully! Something needs to be done and this problem needs to be solved.

The last time I went downtown on the bus a homeless woman grabbed my shoulders. She was sick and I got sick a week later with a bad cold. This isn't ok. She needs help. All these people need help.

Bill Gates, don't you feel a little ashamed of yourself having all that money and not fixing the problems in your own backyard? You give money to the world and you have homeless here in Seattle. You have education problems in your own area. How about helping to solve the homeless problem here to make Seattle better? Seattle first.

Jimmy John's

The Seattle Times had a full page ad this morning in the paper for Jimmy John's gourmet sandwiches for only $1 between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. today. I decided to walk over there to the Northgate Jimmy John's. I've never gone there before. I guess I have been a Subway fan but no more! Wow! I'm impressed. I ordered #4 for $1. #4 is a Turkey Tom with turkey, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, and mayo. I also ordered extra cheese and a drink. This sandwich is excellent. I have switched. Now I will be a loyal customer of Jimmy John's. It's THAT good.

When I approached Jimmy John's, the line was out the door, around the corner and into the parking lot. A girl coming out said they were great because it took only 9 minutes! They had two people taking orders and to hand out menus to speed the process. They were ready and they did a great job. Once I got inside, I enjoyed watching the young people who work behind the counter. It must be a great place to work. It looks like young college kids. It was fun to go there and I will enjoy eating there. I overheard two young people who worked there saying that Bill Gates came in.

You still have 45 minutes to get your $1 sub. A great sandwich, great atmosphere, and you will enjoy.

507 NE Northgate Way
They deliver too!