Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jack and Elizabeth at Disneyland

My grandchildren, Jack and Elizabeth Bennett have been at Disneyland all week. They've been having a great time as you can see by the smiles on their face. I've been getting texts from my daughter, Gretchen and a few great photos like this one.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

HT Market

I enjoy shopping at HT Market. I went there this morning to buy bitter melon, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and papaya. I love to buy dragon fruit there but they don't have it anymore. I guess the season is over. It is a delicious fruit from Asia that looks like a red artichoke with a mild melon fruit inside that is white with tiny black seeds. I shop here at least once a week to buy bitter melon and other things. It's a great store.

HT Market
10008 Aurora Avenue North
Seattle 09133

Pakistani Indian Grocery Store

I enjoy shopping at the Pakistani Indian Grocery Store in my neighborhood. I went there today to buy a few things. They sell things from all over the world that you can't find anywhere else. I buy this great soap made from olive oil that is really creamy and nice. I buy great pasta from Italy that is the best I have had anywhere. They have a great selection of teas and legumes and beans and rice at great prices. They also have delicious mango juice in the refrigerated section. I bought two bottles today. I enjoy shopping here and I will shop there at least once a month. I've been there twice so far. The first time, I witnessed someone threaten the owner so I will go there to support this store at least once a month.

Pakistani Indian Grocery
122323 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle 98125

24 Hour Fitness

I just came back from 24 Hour Fitness. I have a membership and I enjoy taking Zumba and Body Pump classes. It is interesting that these classes are under GROUP X and not under 24 Hour Fitness so that when an instructor fails to show, 24 Hour Fitness says it isn't us. The reason I have a membership is because of these classes. Today I went to take a Zumba class with Mariam. She's a great instructor and I enjoy her classes. I understand that sometimes an instructor can't make it because of traffic or something. BUT 24 Hour Fitness is creating a problem for 24 Hour Fitness when they don't have a solution in place if an instructor doesn't show up. It is their name on the door. I suggested more than once that some of the trainers should be certified in Zumba so they can give a class if needed. They can take classes from Zumba International. Now I'm not so sure that this is the answer either because the trainers want to make money as trainers and if they have clients at the time, they can't drop everything to pitch in for Zumba.

So I was thinking that a better solution would be to have a large television screen to show a Zumba video of the instructor who is supposed to be teaching. I think the television screen would be great during regular classes too. It's hard when you are in the back of a crowded classroom because you can't copy the movements. I like to stand in the middle so that I can keep my eyes glued to the feet of the instructor to copy the movements. In the back, I can't see. In the front, I'm too close.

If an instructor doesn't show up, then all the management of 24 Hour Fitness has to do is pull down the screen and Zumba starts with the instructor everyone came to see. The instructor should get paid and people who come won't get mad at 24 Hour Fitness. People pay money for a membership for these classes and it is a waste of their valuable time to have this happen. It is a big mistake for 24 Hour Fitness not to be in charge of GROUP X and take responsibility for it.

It would be so great if this could happen because instructors could make more money and there could be more Zumba classes during the day. Everyone would be happy, especially me! I really love taking Zumba classes but I need more of them on a regular schedule every day. I like taking 2 Zumba classes a day. This would be perfect! This solution would be a good one for everyone. It would also bring in more people who want to have memberships because people want more Zumba classes. My favorite Zumba instructors are Niel, Marco, Daniel, Mariam, Jewel, Christina, and Cindy.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Assisted Living

I'm tired of people suggesting to me that I need to consider and go into assisted living. I may have just turned 65 but I am not ready to be old yet. In another 20 years, I'll consider it but not one minute before. I'm getting a little crabby about this issue so I want to make myself very clear on how I feel. As long as I can take care of myself and am healthy, no one should bother me. I exercise at the gym. I don't take any medications. I eat healthy. I take lots of vitamins. I pay my bills. I do all my daily chores so leave me alone. It would feel like an early death to go into assisted living. It's really odd because I'll be sitting next to a complete stranger on the bus or talk to someone I hardly know and they will bring up the subject that I would love it. I wouldn't love it. Maybe I will feel differently when I am 85. I doubt it.

I've never lived alone before and get to do what I want when I want. I have lots of living to do before I am ready to surrender to nonsense.

Pedestrian Safety

Yesterday when I got off the bus and crossed the street on 5th behind Target, a car almost ran me down. It didn't even stop. I stopped in the middle of the crosswalk. I couldn't believe it. The driver looked right at me and kept going anyway. I shook my head and then continued. I had the light. It said I could walk across the street. Motorists are driving too fast and think that when the light is green that they come first and that they don't have to watch out for pedestrians. I think some drivers shouldn't be driving and some drivers are using their cars aggressively. After all, if they hit someone, they can always say, "oh, I didn't see them." Too many people are getting hit in the street by cars who aren't being careful.

I have witnessed several people almost get hit behind Target while crossing the street. It's hard to see the older people using walkers who have to fend for themselves against aggressive motorists. There are two retirement and assisted living buildings behind Target.

Cars should have to be parked on the perimeters of an urban area or in large parking structures and then people should have to walk or ride in a cart or ride a bus. There are TOO many cars driving on the streets and not enough safe guards put in place to protect people who walk.

Most streets should be closed to cars. The main streets with cars should have cross walks with pedestrian bridges for safe passage. More walking is good. Exercise and health is important.

I was thinking that they need to put a device on cars where the key ignition locks if the driver is angry or intoxicated so he can't drive. The car wouldn't even start. I think that's a good idea that is worth starting. So all you engineers out there can figure that one out to start saving lives.


I am looking for a 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment that is $750 to $850 a month. My lease is up in November and I want to move where it would be easier financially. I like my location because I am close to everything. My apartment is $1150 for a 2 bedroom with 950 square feet. I don't need a second bedroom. I'm not using it as an office now. I am only using it to store stuff. I need to get rid of more stuff. Then squeezing into a smaller space would be easier.

Zillow is a great app on my phone to look at what is possible. I'm really impressed with Zillow. You can put in the perimeters of what you are looking for and then you look at the map to see what is available. It gives all the information you need to make a decision. There are photos, square footage, details about the apartment or home, etc. You can have fun looking all over the country to see what is possible in each state and in each large city or small town.

I found an amazing opportunity. There was a house for $650 a month in North Seattle. A big house. The catch was you had to put down several thousand to secure the spot. It would have been great if I could stay there for 20 years and if I wasn't locked into a lease.

I am looking for a place where I can stay long term. Rent or a mortgage is supposed to be 1/4 your income. Most people don't follow this and even $850 isn't going to make this happen for me but it would be easier. I don't want to have to move all the time. I want to stay in one place where I can walk to the bus, shopping, and everything I need. I don't want to have to use my car unless I want to use it. It would be nice to walk to work at a part-time job. Walkability is important where I live. I need sidewalks and I need to be close to everything.

Carlson Fish Oil

Last month I bought some Carlson Fish Oil at the Vitamin Shoppe in Northgate and I've been taking it every day. It is bottled in Norway and received a superior taste award in 2012. I buy the one with the great lemon taste. I take a lot of vitamins and this is just another that I have added to what I take every day. I decided it is better than taking the fish oil capsules, which I have taken for years. It was recommended to me years ago by my Aunt Ellen in Montana who was 100% Swedish and by my half-sister in Texas recently. I decided I had better start taking it and when I started to look for this product, I could only find it at the Vitamin Shoppe.

The Big Climb

The Big Climb is a yearly event to raise money for leukemia research. It is a race up the Columbia Tower in downtown Seattle. My son, Ben came in 3rd place this year. I'm very proud of him. He's coughing a little after the race so I realized that it isn't all that healthy to race up to the top of the Columbia Tower with the bad air quality in a stair well. I said he should race with oxygen or that they should make sure that fresh air filled the stair well during the event. Otherwise, it is like racing in a city with the worse air quality and pollution. Fresh oxygen is important when you tax your body to the limit.

Cherry Street Coffee House

Cherry Street Coffee House in downtown Seattle at 1212 1st Avenue is a great place to frequent. I love the house salad and the iced jasmine green tea was the best I have ever had in my life. It is comfy and it feels good to be there. You can read a book, think, or enjoy time with your friends as you eat an amazing lunch or sip great coffee or tea.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I am at another crossroads in my life. I had 5 kids and was married for 39 years. My kids are all grown up and doing well. I am not valued by them or not as much as I would like. They are all busy and I get a little bit of time here and there or few minutes on the phone when there is time. No one wants me living in the same city or really wants me around that often so I guess I could move anywhere. Life is moving forward to find the good in the world around me and see what I can make of my life with the time that I have left. I am a good person and I have lots to give. I want to go where I am needed, valued, and wanted. I need friends and mentors who will encourage me to be my best.

Yesterday I talked to someone from Israel about a school online to learn Hebrew. I was told that I would be welcome to move to Israel. Maybe I should seriously think about this. After all before my husband passed away two years ago, we were planning on moving to Germany. Germany is a great country with a high quality of life. I also would be interested in Sweden, Norway or Finland.

United States Supreme Court ruling on DOMA

I find it interesting when I read commentary in the newspapers when people discuss the possibility of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on DOMA and marriage that each state should be allowed to make their own decision. I find it unthinkable that the UNITED States Supreme Court wouldn't see that it is their responsibility to rule that NO one is discriminated against. It is the UNITED States of America, is it not? The federal government is supposed to act as a check and balance system to stop discrimination and to make sure that everyone is protected. Otherwise, each state would be its own country as in Europe. It is supposed to be "liberty and justice for all" I thought. It shouldn't be that it is okay to discriminate and allow hate in one state and protect a minority in another. It isn't the job of the U.S. Supreme Court to juggle but to act as the beacon of hope and protection for all.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Snoqualmie Casino

Yesterday I went to the Snowqualmie Casino using the express bus. I had a great time, nice lunch, and was back home by 4:30 p.m. Ever since I noticed the casino express bus going through Northgate, I wondered about it so I called and have enjoyed going 3 to 4 times in the last few months. It's like going on a cruise for a day without leaving land. Entertainment, great food.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Roy Prosterman

Roy Prosterman was featured in the Seattle Times on the front page with a photo on March 18th. He's a hero who does something about what he believes. He is an attorney and on faculty at the University of Washington Law School. He has "almost single-handedly ran his organization" that "fights poverty one land plot at a time." He is helping people own their own land in some of the poorest countries on the planet. He sounds like a wonderful man, a true hero. "He has helped millions of people across the globe gain rights to their own land."

Washington's Governor Jay Inslee

Washington's Governor, Jay Inslee is a HERO! He feels a moral urgency and passion as Governor to make needed changes in the state of Washington to prevent problems associated with climate change. He is going to do something about it. He cares about our planet and Washington. He's a great Governor. I voted for him and will continue to support and vote for him. On the front page of the Seattle Times on Monday, March 18th was a great article about it.

My grandchildren, Jack and Elizabeth

This is a recent photo of my two grandchildren, Jack and Elizabeth Bennett who live in West Salem, Oregon. They are extraordinary, super-duper, the best and the brightest of all. There isn't anything they can't do and achieve and I'm so proud of them. 

Jack is in the 4th grade and he was selected to run the Mayor's Mile, which is a great honor. He has the fastest running time of anyone at Myers Elementary. He ran 1/4 mile in 1 minute, 13 seconds. Smoking hot, Jack! Looks like you are headed for the Olympics. Jack was also picked to be in majors for baseball, which is an honor.

Elizabeth is going to run in the JC Relay because she is one of the best runners in the school too. She's smart and amazing and can do anything. She's in the 2nd grade.

Both Jack and Elizabeth get great grades and are working above grade level. Their teachers have praise for them. They are both kind and well rounded kids. And they are sure cute!

Seattle Symphony Orchestra

I went to the see the Seattle Symphony Orchestra this afternoon play Beethoven's 5th. It was glorious. It was perfection. It was as if all the thousands of hours of practice time culminated for everyone in the orchestra this afternoon to make the 32 minutes perfect. Everyone seemed to know the music by heart and felt every note, including the conductor. It was as close to heaven as you can get.

 Overture to Don Giovanni by Mozart was played at the beginning. I hadn't heard it before. This is what is so special about coming to the symphony is that you learn. Next was a Cello Symphony Op. 68 by Benjamin Britten with a cello solo by Gautier Capucon. It was extraordinary. It was a difficult piece with dissonant chords.

People stood and cheered after each one of the performances. It was all perfection. I'm so grateful that once in awhile I get to attend and sit in one of the less expensive seats to listen.

I was wondering on the way home as I was riding the bus about digital music. I wonder why there isn't a large thin screen on the music stand for each musician that changes to the new music and instantly turns pages as the music is played. It seems like the old-fashioned hand turning method is not good enough, especially when the violin section is urgently bowing and do not have time to turn pages.

This event was sponsored by Snoqualmie Casino. Thank you Snoqualmie Casino!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Young and the Restless

The Young and the Restless is celebrating 40 years this year. Congratulations! I've been watching it for almost this long. Soap operas fill a void for people who are lonely. The Young and the Restless is an amazing show with great characters. I like it that dialogue is "on the nose" and that people say the obvious. So often in life people don't say what they mean or make things clear. It is a never ending novel. You watch the characters go through difficult times and act in ways that you don't have the courage to act and see the reasons why those actions aren't a great choice. This show teaches and makes you feel part of a family. I love the characters on the Young and the Restless. It must be amazing and fun to be part of the team that writes for this show. Who are my favorites? That's hard but I think I love Billy and Victoria the most. I love the playfulness and the fun. Now Nikki has MS and she is marrying Victor for the upteenth time. The show will bring to light the challenges of MS and how the family will deal with it. I will continue watching. I will continue enjoying the show and all the characters. Congratulations to all of you!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Seattle Metro

I am so impressed with Seattle Metro and the bus system here in Seattle. I'm sure it is unlike other cities because I don't see how it could be any better. I'm lucky to live in a great spot where I am next to a bus stop for bus 41 that comes 4 times an hour during week days and 2 times on Sundays. I don't even check the schedule when I want to use the bus. I just walk out and wait because I know one will come soon. And this great bus takes me downtown in the tunnel under Benaroya Hall in 15 minutes. It goes on I-5 so it is fast. It is really amazing and I feel so blessed to use the bus system. I ride bus 16 when I want to go to Green Lake or Wallingford or the Seattle Center. It takes longer because it winds around the neighborhoods so then it is good to take a book along in my purse. That's fine too.

Seattle has it all. A great bus system, great events to see and museums and Broadway plays. Parking kind of sucks here in Seattle, to be blunt. That is why I am grateful to use the bus. I don't want to pay for parking when I use the library downtown or go to have lunch with my son downtown or go to the Seattle Art Museum or go to Pike Place Market.


I have been writing since 1999. Actually before that, if you count that I was trying to write screen plays in the 4th and 5th grade and that I was writing children's stories when my children were young. I sent one children's story to Sesame Street Publishing. They said that it was a great story but they recently published a story that was similar and they sent me a copy of the book so I just gave up. I didn't realize that they were telling me something golden and that I should keep trying. I've been reading about writing. I have lots of books to show  with a whole bookcase full of writing craft books. I've been subscribing to The Writer and Writer's Digest for years and years. Sometimes I subscribe to Poets and Writers and buy other magazines like about writing screenplays. I've participated in National Novel Writing Month in 2005, 2008, and 2012 and completed the challenge of writing the first draft of a novel in the month of November. There is some great stuff in each of these novels. I've also participated in Script Frenzy in 2009 in which I wrote the first draft of a screenplay based on the Nano Novel that I wrote in 2008. I've also edited lots of newsletters and wrote freelance articles that were published. I enjoy writing. I love to write and do the research. I've taken lots of  classes through the mail. Sometimes I feel like I don't know anything and what is the point of continuing. It's hard when you feel like anything you do doesn't matter and when you don't have friends or mentors. What's the point of continuing to do something that is so isolating and sedentary? If I started a magazine or edited a neighborhood paper or did something like this, it would be better. Maybe... Maybe not... I guess I need an editor to talk to and who believes in me or a writer to work with who loves to edit so I can always create. I love creating the best. I get tired of the editing process unless I know I am winning and hitting the mark and have feedback.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Seattle Symphony Orchestra playing Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations, Op. 36

I went to hear the Seattle Symphony Orchestra today.  It was glorious as always. The music was composed by Edward Elgar. I had never heard of him before. He was from England and died in 1934. It was a surprise to learn that he may be one of my favorite composers.

I knew that I would love the conductor before he even set forth on stage because he was recently appointed the Chief Conductor to Sweden’s Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra. I love Sweden and wish I could live there or Norway or Finland. Both my grandparents on my father’s side were born in Sweden. When the conductor, Michael Francis showed his talent, I was in awe at the intensity and feeling that he displayed.

The symphony played was Enigma Variations, Op. 36. In learning about Edward Elgar at the beginning it touched me that he questioned whether to write music or whether he was good enough since I loved his music and since I am always questioning whether I should write or give it up. If I were to use one word to describe Elgar's music, it would be comforting. It was comforting, dramatic, and emotional. He deliberately used music to interpret and describe the people he knew and his environment. It is a novel made using musical instruments, and different levels of intensity for color and texture using music. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Technology Student Association Converence

My grandson, Chance Zdenek just placed third in the state of Florida for electrical applications in the Technology Student Association Conference. He's going to nationals! Only three per state get to go. Chance is brilliant beyond measure. Already a Mensa and taking classes at Duke University in his spare time, he's only 14. He has the world open to anything he wants to achieve. I'm so proud of him.

Joe, my son, texted me about the event. There must be a lot of important people at the conference because Joe said he passed by Levar Burton. Wow! Joe's amazing too. He was always brilliant and he's a great Dad.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


I had lunch yesterday with my son, Benjamin. I treasure time with Ben. I love spending time with him, learning from him, joking around, and talking to him. He's one of the best people I know. My kids are the best people I know. They are essential in my life. They are all busy and doing well. I wish I could spend more time with them. I always wish I could spend more time with them and my grandchildren. It is what it is. I'm grateful for the times I get to spend with them.

Ben is amazing. He works at Dendreon, a biotech in the tall building above the Seattle Art Museum. He's always working on important research to help people. He's brilliant and he's great at everything. He's an elite distance runner and will soon take on the Columbia Tower again and the Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon. I always called him my Golden Boy and he is Golden. He graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in biomedical engineering and he started the running club there. Ben is truly a good person. I'm always proud of him.
I rode on bus 41, the BEST bus ever! It took 15 minutes to go from my stop to downtown in the tunnel. How amazing is that! I love Seattle. It's so much fun around every corner. It has everything anyone could want. It has Broadway plays, the greatest symphony, the art museum, Dale Chihuly, the BEST library ever, a great zoo, the science center, Pike Place Market, the Aquarium, smart people, people of every variety, color, opinion, and flavor living together in peace. It's a great place.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I think I am going to permanently go into hibernation to write and read, only coming out to exercise and go to the store for supplies. Some of my dreams are shattered. I realize that some dreams are unrealistic. I just turned 65 and I'm not skinny. No man is interested in an older woman when she is fat. Men go after younger women who look great. That's just a fact. I guess that part of my life is over so I'll live in my writing and inside my characters. I always feel better when I am cranking out writing every day. I find it difficult that people don't really talk anymore. No conversation. No way of getting to know people when they don't talk. I tried the dating websites for a couple of months but that didn't work for me and it's hard to know who is safe. How do you get to know someone like that? So I'm saying I am going to be realistic about what is possible in my life. Writing is possible. Reading is possible. Exercise is possible. Eating healthy is possible. As I look back on my life, I've never had what you would call a best friend or best friends. I was married for over 39 years and had 5 children. My kids are all independent and have busy lives of their own. My husband passed away 2 years ago. Moving forward in life may not all be what I would hope but I will concentrate on what is possible. I always seem to be looking at others living their life, looking out the window at what is going on wishing and dreaming. It is what it is.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Some people live through difficult situations that no one should have to face. Not everyone is nice. Not everything is fair. Today after Zumba class, I was talking to a woman who works for Seattle Parks and Recreation who talked about the woman in the news who shot someone. I learned that this woman had watched her husband burn to death in a fire a few months prior and had asked for more time off. This woman should have gotten the time off. I think it is also important in every work environment for exercise to be encouraged to take care of stress. It should be mandatory for everyone to exercise an hour a day--take yoga, walk, run, use the gym, Zumba, etc. Exercise is the best way to relieve stress. It is also good to stay away from medications with warnings of side effects that say violence actions can occur, or suicide, or death.  So little is known about the brain. Eating healthy, exercising, and self care are the most important things to do to help anyone. Not everyone has a perfect life. Things happen but it is important to be nice to everyone, be calm, exercise, eat healthy, and look for the positive as you move forward in life.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Pacific Science Center

I went to the Pacific Science Center yesterday and went to the IMAX Theater film, THE LAST REEF. It is powerful, especially in 3D since you really feel like you are under water. It was really sad to watch. I admit tears came down my cheeks and my mascara was smeared. I knew that the coral reefs were in danger of being destroyed but seeing this film made it all the more clear how critical this is for all of us. In my opinion, greed and a disrespect for life and the environment are the cause. Some people just don't care as long as they can make a buck. Sad. It might already be too late. Go see the film.

I am under the dome. You can be under the dome too by going to and putting in your address.

I'm excited for the summer television series, Under the Dome. I read the book years ago and it was great. I need to reread it again. It is a study in anthropology or human relationships under pressure. Stephen King is a master writer. No one touches his ability to create characters, tell the truth in ways that many do not have the courage to tell, and scare the hell out of you!

The most inspirational writing article I have ever read was written by Stephen King. It was published in Writers Digest in April of 2001, "10 Pages a Day." Stephen King's advice makes you feel like you can do it, write it, and be a writer. The first writing craft book I read and the one that continues to inspire me is his book, ON WRITING. His writing process is an adventure and the most fun to follow. He says, "Writing is at its best--always, always, always--when it is a kind of inspired play for the writer." I know this is true because when I just dive in and write without paying too much attention to detailed plotting, I have the most fun and discover paths and people and situations I didn't know I would run into. It IS an adventure to write this way. I have a whole bookcase full of writing craft books that I find valuable but Stephen King's book is still my favorite.

Yes, it is important to have a working knowledge of plot, how to create characters, setting, write dialogue. It is important to read The Writer, Writers Digest, and the other excellent writing craft magazines and writing craft books, take classes, go to conferences, etc. Some writers find it comforting to have everything written out in an outline. Stephen King, who knows how to do it all, takes off on an adventure when he writes. I guess the answer is to follow his schedule if you want to be a serious writer--write in the morning 10 pages a day, read in the evening. He writes 365 days a year. Nothing stops him or deters him from what he is working on.

My Grandson, Alex

This is my grandson, Alex Haber. He's so cute. He's the one in dark glasses. This is his first video. I'm so proud of him. He did a great job. He wants to be a film director and he's well on his way. He's great on camera and great on stage in school plays.

This video is posted on
It's titled FCAT Style - Parody of Gangnam Style

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Yesterday I went to the Dale Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum next to the Space Needle. Chihuly is my favorite artist. Every room and exhibit is an explosion of color and form. It's gorgeous. I'm now a member so I will go often and enjoy.