Thursday, January 17, 2013


On Monday I took three Zumba classes at 24 Hour Fitness in Northgate, Seattle. At 9:30 a.m. I did 60 minutes of Zumba. at 11 a.m. I did 60 minutes of Aqua Zumba. Then I came back at 7:30 p.m. and did 40 minutes of Zumba. Niel was the instructor. He's my favorite Zumba instructor.

On Tuesday I took two Zumba classes. One at 4:30 p.m. for 40 minutes and one at 7:30 p.m. for 55 minutes. Again Niel was the instructor.

I also got Zumba Gold DVD's in the mail from They are great. Zumba Gold is for older people, for babyboomers. I would love to be a Zumba Gold instructor because then I would always be healthy and fit. I love Zumba. I'm trying to lose weight, build strength and endurance. A Zumba instructor teaches several classes a day.

U.S. Department of Education

If I were in charge and I'm not, I would put at the head of the U.S. Department of Education, Bill Nye, the Science Guy, the CEO of the Planetary Society. He would direct and change education in the United States to protect the gifted student and give them the environment needed to learn. The best and the brightest should be learning every minute of the school day at their level. He would change the face of public education  and make a difference for all children in public school. Education in the United States is backward. We care more about kids on the bottom. We need to care about all kids to help them reach their potential. We are failing at this. We need to turn things around to compete and turn out kids who think, who will make a difference in the world, and who respect those with whom they live and work in the world.

In the New York Times this morning, it says that China wants to produce 195 million college graduates by 2020. They will. We are having a hard time producing high school graduates who read.

Gretchen Bennett

My daughter, Gretchen is my oldest of five children. She's amazing. I raised her to be a future world leader, as I did all my children, and she is, as are Daniel, Ben, and Joe.

This article is about Gretchen and her new job with the city of Salem. She's beautiful inside and out.

All my children are amazing and brilliant and make a difference. They are all the best people I know. My husband and I taught them to think, to have courage, to see how to make the world a better place. I am proud of all of them.

Daniel is working to completely revolutionize health care. He works at Battelle in Columbus, Ohio. He's working hard  to give the best care to all patients by making the information and research needed instantly to doctors. Ben is one of the world's best runners. He's an elite distance runner. In the Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon 2013, he came in 13th place. In the Seattle Marathon 2013, he came in 10th. He works at Dendreon on cancer research. He's also a gifted writer and could easily be turning out best selling book after book after book. Joe is going back to school to be a math and science teacher. He's brilliant. He will dazzle students in the classroom helping them learn math. All my kids can be anything they want to be. They think and they make a difference. They are amazing and good and the BEST people I know.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Jan Fields

Jan Fields is an amazing and gifted children's writer. She's the webmaster for the Institute of Children's Literature. I have taken several courses through ICL and have learned so much about writing. Anything connected to the Institute of Children's Literature is excellent!

I recently received a book in the mail written by Jan Fields. It is part of a creative kids craft package that you can purchase. I was so pleased to see her name because I know this book is going to be great and I will enjoy reading it. The book is called Wellspring of Magic. It is the Creative Girls Club Adventure Book #1. I need to sign up for this series of books to enjoy reading them myself and then give them to my grandchildren. It's my understanding from looking at the advertisement in the mail that a Creative Girl can receive a craft kit in the mail every few weeks. You can find out all about this at or call 877-226-5391. Sounds like lots of fun!

Disney Store

My favorite store in the Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood is the Disney Store. I love it. They recently had a big twice yearly sale and I bought action figures from the Disney movies for my grandchildren. They have the complete set of the figures from each Disney movie. This is the best imaginative play for kids. I know my children would have loved them.

You can't help but smile when you walk in the door of the Disney store. It has everything that brings out the child in everyone. It represents pure joy and happiness. My husband used to drive to Disneyland several times a year when we lived in California. It helped that he had sleep apnea but we didn't know this at the time. We used to get up around 3 a.m. and drive to Disneyland to arrive when it opened. We stayed the entire day until the fireworks when it closed and then drove home back to Arroyo Grande. It was glorious fun. We also went to Disney World a couple of times. I love everything Disney!

Trader Joes

I shopped at Trader Joes in the U-District on Saturday. I needed olive oil and I always buy olive oil at Trader Joes. Every time I go to Trader Joes, I think as I drive home, Why in the world do I shop anywhere else? I always save money--about half. For example, I bought a huge spaghetti squash which would have been at least $5 anywhere else but at Trader Joes, it was under $3. So many great prices.

We really need a Trader Joes in Northgate. It isn't too far for me to drive to the U-District but it isn't as convenient as walking across the street or driving a couple of blocks, which is what I usually do when I need to go to the grocery store. I like supporting Trader Joes and I save money. I need to start going there once a week.

Let's take a look at the great savings at Trader Joes. Here's what I bought and what I spent on Saturday:
kefir $2.99
English cucumber  $1.69
bag of teeny tiny potatoes  $1.99
avocado  $.99
two red bell peppers  $2.38
cashews  $6.99
2# organic sweet onions $2.49
2 savory thin multigrain crackers  $5.98
2 cut up Asian stir fry vegetables 18 oz packages  $7.98
2 cut up healthy chopped vegetables packages  $5.98
2 chunky salsa  $4.58
boneless skinless chicken breasts  $5.38
butternut squash  $1.69
spaghetti squash  $2.29
organic vodka spaghetti sauce $2.99
sugar snap peas  $2.69
3 large bottles of olive oil  $17.97
For a grand total of $78.44.
Considering that usually when I go to the store, it can easily be over $150 or close to $200 for what I select, which is mostly vegetables and fruit, this is great.

I do like going to different stores for different things. It's great to see the variety and then you learn what prices are cheaper at which store. I DO love shopping at Trader Joes and I wish we had a Trader Joes in Northgate or I need to find an apartment in the U-District and then I could walk to Trader Joes and take classes at UDub.

Joann Fabrics

Joann Fabrics is the Disneyland for women as Home Depot and Lowes is for men. Women can get lost in Joann Fabrics because everything you could want is there. I love knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, beading, needlepoint, and all the rest. I grew up doing all of these things. Knitting, sewing, quilting equals comfort to me.

I started working part-time at Joann Fabrics in Shoreline before Christmas. I work at the fabric cutting counter. It's so much fun because I get to see all the amazing projects and meet so many talented people. Some who walk through the door are heroes because they buy fabric to make things to help people having a hard time. Some are so gifted at sewing that they could be on the television show Project Runway. I have learned about new projects and new materials that I want to try. I love helping people. There are so many nice people who walk through the door. It's fun to work at Joann Fabrics. I'm grateful to have a part-time job. I work with nice people and I love the work that I do. I work 8 hours next week so I have time to go to the gym, write, read, and do other things.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mayor Mike McGinn

Mayor Mike McGinn is going to run a second term. Great! Right now in the Seattle Times, he's being criticized by others in Seattle as causing friction and not being a yes man. Good grief! So you really want a mayor who does everything he's told, never comes forward with change that is needed? Do you want a rubber stamp and a person who isn't a leader but is a follower of those surrounding the mayor? I think it is wonderful that he thinks, listens, and makes changes. I'm impressed with Mayor McGinn. I'm going to vote for him.

Tempeh organic soy

The last time I went to QFC, I bought Tempeh organic soy. Oh, this is good. I knew it would be good for me but this is delicious and now essential on my grocery list. I want to try the other flavor too.

I cut up the block into 1/4 inch slices. Then I cut them lenghwise and cut them in bite size pieces before marinating them in a plastic bag in my refrigerator. Then I fried them in olive oil. good! This is now an important part of my diet.

This product  was created by Seth Tibbott, founder of Turtle Island Foods, PO Box 176, Hood River, Oregon 97031.

Buy it and start enjoying it with your family and friends. It's delicious!


My kids have been telling me about Pandora. I downloaded the ap for my cell phone and finally...yesterday, I started. I love it! It makes my life happy and joyful. I put in my favorite band in first--Pink Martini, of course! Then I put in Tiziano Ferro and then Zumba and Barry Manilow. It's so much fun to be able to sing along with the lyrics. The big problem is that it is hard to contain my joy and fun. Pandora makes me want to dance. When I am walking in the halls in my apartment building, it's hard not to dance. It's also hard not to sing along.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy 2013!

Happy New Year! Happy 2013! I'm determined to have a great year. Happiness is a choice. Even if things don't turn out so great, you flip it around and find the good anyway.

What are my priorities for the New Year?

  • Writing and finishing up projects and get them in the mail to publish. Sometimes I think I need to have a writing partner to work with who loves to edit. I love to create new stuff. I need to write first thing in the morning for at least two hours. If I start churning out books, I should be writing eight hours a day and take my writing seriously as a job. Right now I have four novels, one screenplay, and a juvenile novel that needs to be edited and sent off. I need to find an editor, publisher, and agent.
  • Reading books and magazines to support my writing. Of course, I subscribe to The Writer and Writer's Digest and have done so for years. Reading is an important part of the writing life. What did I read on the plane? SELLING YOUR STORY IN 60 SECONDS by Michael Hauge. It's a great book. I'm reading it on my Kindle. I'm 85% finished. I'm going to read it again and I really need to buy the hardcover as a reference.
  • Exercise every day for at least an hour. Zumba is on top of the list of my favorite ways to exercise. I also love Body Pump, which is a weight lifting class at 24 Hour Fitness. You do over 800 repetitions with a barbell during the class in an hour. I want to buy roller skates this year since I love roller skating. I need more dancing in my life since I love to dance but I can't afford everything I want to do. I love the Precor elliptical at the gym. I have an exercise bike at home.
That's the Big Three that are always on my list year after year but there are other things that are important to me like.....

  • The Seattle Symphony
  • The Seattle Art Museum
  • The Woodland Park Zoo
  • Mah Jongg
Family is urgently important but I don't get to see them very much. When I see them, I drop everything else I am doing and enjoy every minute.

I want to start seeing Broadway plays again. I love live theater. I love learning. I've signed up to take two classes with I need to sign up and register for senior classes at the University of Washington and the North Seattle Community Center. I need to see the Nutcracker next year. Getting rid of more stuff is important. When I moved to Seattle, I got rid of probably 80% and I still have more boxes to go through.

Southwest Airlines

I flew Southwest Airlines to Columbus Ohio and back. I had a great time. I love Southwest but I do have to say that some crews are funnier than others. The crew that flies from Las Vegas to Columbus are hilarious with one joke after another. It makes it fun and keeps a smile on your face.

I would love to be a flight attendant. I want to travel all over the place and I love the hospitality industry. I talked to two flight attendants about it and they encouraged me to apply. You have 5 weeks of training in Dallas, Texas. That sounds wonderful. I could make money and fly all over. I smile almost all the time. I love serving and helping people. And I want to start making money. I love to travel and see new places.

On the flight home I sat in the back of the plane to be closer to the flight attendants and so I could watch since I am serious about this. They were great at helping and serving people. They were all nice.

The pilot that flew the plane from Columbus to Las Vegas has flown for 43 years. I heard him talking to someone as I walked by. He's fantastic! It would be fun to interview him. This plane was a Boeing 737 and new.

With Southwest every seat is a good seat. Even if you sit in the next to the last row in the plane, it doesn't take long to get off the plane plus it is fun because you see more and are close to the restrooms.

Thanks again Southwest. I sure hope that I really have a chance to be a flight attendant. My son seemed to think that I only see the good parts. I understand that not all the people on the flight would be nice. That is the time for the flight attendant to be extra patient, nice, and give special service. You don't take what happens or what is said personally. You just be the best you can be and be courteous, helpful, efficient, and give great service because you represent Southwest. At the end of the flight, you leave the people who might not be so nice behind.


I am Zumba deprived. I miss Zumba. You know you are addicted to Zumba when you have Zumba music running through your head and you wake up in the middle of the night and think about Zumba choreography. I love Zumba. It has become an important part of my life. It makes me happy and it helps to keep me fit and healthy.

There was a Zumba event at 24 Hour Fitness yesterday at 4:30 p.m. I discovered it 15 minutes before and I was too tired. I haven't exercised in over a week, which is pathetic. I'm going to have to build up again.

It would be fun to be a Zumba Gold instructor. Zumba Gold is for seniors. It is slower and there aren't the jumping and high energy moves. I'd love to teach Zumba Gold because then I would stay fit. Zumba spreads fun and happiness. Zumba keeps you fit and healthy so what could be better and more important?


Macy's is my favorite store to shop. It has everything. It's close to me in the Northgate Mall in Seattle. I am a bargain shopper so of course, I head for the clearance and I watch the sales. Macy's always has great sales. I feel good about wearing clothes I buy at Macy's and I feel good about giving gifts that I buy at Macy's. It would be fun to work at Macy's.

The Old Bag of Nails

When Daniel and Jodee took me to The Old Bag of Nails to eat and we drove close, I was wondering what in the world kind of food they served. It was packed. The interior design is great. It is close to the Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.

I ordered the fish and chips. It was sooooooo good. Large pieces of fish. It was all you can eat fish and chips for only $12.95. It is so worth it. I love this place. It is a little hard to love the food at a restaurant when it is all the way in Ohio and you live in Seattle!

Los Jalapenos

When I was in Columbus, Ohio for the holidays, I went to Los Jalapenos in Gahanna, which is my favorite Mexican Restaurant. It's a little hard when your favorite guacamole dip and chicken enchiladas are all the way in Ohio when you live in Seattle. I love the chairs and the booths which are hand carved and brightly painted. The food is great. The service is great.

Sewing, Sewing, Sewing

I made 28 Christmas and Hanukkah stockings this year. My apartment is a royal mess. I've been gone for a week and for at least two weeks straight, I have been sewing night and day. I had fun so I don't care. They made people happy which was the point. Holiday stockings are for gift giving, fun, and are associated with joy and happiness so I love making them.