Friday, May 31, 2013

Joe Hill

The NY Times best selling writer, Joe Hill has a feature interview in this issue of Writer's Digest. He's the son of Stephen King. The article tells about growing up in the King home where both mother and father were published writers. The days were spent writing, reading, and discussing books. Perfect! Oh, it must have been glorious in this home and so nurturing for a writer. It would be cool if Joe Hill could come to Seattle and speak.

Joe Hill wanted to make sure that he was recognized for his talent as a writer so he didn't use the name King. He's received won several coveted writing awards and honors for his work.

His books:
20th Century Ghosts
The Heart-Shaped Box

"One of these lines you hear a lot is, Live like it's your last day on earth! That's a really a terrible piece of advice for a writer. You kind of have to live instead like you're immortal."--Joe Hill.

Writer's Digest and The Writer

I have subscribed to Writer's Digest and The Writer for years. I'm constantly inspired and learn with each issue.

On the front cover of the July/August issue of Writer's Digest is Khaled Hosseini who wrote THE KITE RUNNER. He's actually coming to Seattle. Can you believe it! He's coming on Tuesday, June 4th at 7 p.m. This event will be held at the Town Hall at 1119 8th Avenue. It's free and open to the public. Only in Seattle................. I'm going! there are also great articles like, "Vitamin C for your thriller."

In the July issue of The Writer are more great articles like "Sorkinese," tips from Aaron Sorkin and "Let words collide," which is about writing short. There is notice of the PNWA Conference coming to Seattle on July 25th to 28th. I need to get more information. I want to go since all I have to do is get on bus 41 and get off at the Convention Center stop.

Fremont Troll

Here's the Fremont Troll. Fremont is the end of the universe. It says on a sign so it's true. I love this troll and every time I used to visit I asked to be taken to visit the troll, just like a little kid. I wrote a children's story about the troll and need to work on it. I haven't visited the troll since I have moved here. I need to figure out how to get there on the bus. All I have to do is to call Metro but I haven't done it yet. It seems like my never ending list just keeps me busy.

Post Office Box

I'm going to have to get a post office box for my mail. I've been thinking that I need to do this for awhile. I hate to have the extra expense but I need to know that I am getting my mail. The problem isn't with the Post Office. I applaud the U.S.P.S. and the safe delivery of mail. Where I am having problems is that packages by UPS or FedEx are delivered to the office of my apartment building and sometimes I have a tough time retrieving them. I keep track of all the packages that are to be delivered that are ordered. I pay for everything that comes in the mail so I want my stuff whether it is from L.L.Bean or Zumba or the Disney Movie Club. Yesterday when I went to get the mail because I had a notice from FedEx on the outside of my mail box, I waited by the office door as the manager was talking on the phone. I should have just left. She motioned me inside and waved me to the back room and pointed. So I went in and tried to find my box. I didn't feel comfortable looking for it so I left. Later she called to say that she had my box and to come down for it. It was from Zumba. One time when I told her that I was waiting for something in the mail, she had it in her office drawer and it had been opened. It was a remote that I had ordered from Samsung for my TV. Maybe she thought it was going to be extra interesting considering the shape and size and needed to see. Most of the time I am told there is no package even though by my records it should have been delivered a week or two before. It's frustrating. Sometimes I wonder if I get all my stuff. One time I didn't receive a package and called to say that it didn't come so they canceled the order and removed the charge. It had been a month since I should have received it. Then I talked to someone else who works in the office and she gave me the package so I called and let the business know that I received the package and they put the charge back on my credit card. I don't understand this.

Right now I have been waiting for two Disney movies that should have been received two weeks ago that are paid for, another package from Zumba, and a shirt to wear to work and a new swimming suit from L.L.Bean.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

University of Washington

I have ordered materials from the University of Washington Bothell. It is close to my apartment--about a 10 or 15 minute drive. It has a MFA program in creative writing. I am seriously considering this. It would be a dream come true. I would be able to teach on a college campus somewhere plus write. This would be the most wonderful thing in the world for me to pursue this. I am thinking fall 2014. My life would be full and brimming with fun and potential. 


I have walked by this little shop that says there is a psychic probably three times on University Street. I have thought about going in. Today I went by and then came back and rang the bell. It said you only had to wait 3 minutes. I waited 8 minutes but no one came. Maybe I'll try again sometime. After all, I have never gone to a psychic before and I know that people have all kinds of abilities. Maybe the next time........................

Living an authentic life

I'm very happy in Seattle. I was thinking today that the main reason is that I am living an authentic life. My actions are in line with my values. I am just being myself. Actually I have always been a happy person and evaluated my life often to make sure that my life is in line with what I feel is important.

I have so many opportunities to learn and grow in Seattle. I'm so grateful to live here. This is the first time that I can make my own decisions about what I want to do and not have to consider anyone else. I can just live and do within the limits of my resources, and ability.

I moved a block from a gym so I could be a gym rat. Health and fitness are my first priority. I'm not there three hours a day, like I should be but I am gearing up for it. I would like to take two zumba classes a day and a weights class. I have zumba dvds at home and other fitness dvds. I just got Gilad dvds in the mail today! Hurray!

I can go downtown on the bus for only 75 cents one way as a senior and visit the Art Museum or Aquarium or Seattle Public Library or Pike Place Market or go to the Seattle Symphony. Once in awhile I want to see a Broadway play. There is so much to do here. I love it. I really believe that Seattle is a mecca for the arts. Perfect place for me.

There are so many wonderful choices here. It's all here in Seattle. It's all close. I'm so happy here. Every day I am grateful to live in Seattle. Living in Seattle is heaven. Alsea was hell. Even though I don't have close friends here, as I didn't in Alsea, there is so much more here to do and see. I am close to everything.

I'm busy every day working on my endless list of things to do. Once in awhile, I just do something fun. It was fun going on the bus today to have lunch with my son, Ben. It was perfect weather today. I love it a little on the chilly side and sunny. It was supposed to be 60 today. I think that perfect weather is 45 to 70. Nothing above 70 or I start to melt into the floor. I really don't like hot weather. The weather in Seattle is perfect with no extremes of hot or cold. I don't mind the rain at all.

I'm happy here. I wish I had moved here a long time ago.

The Crab Pot

Today I went downtown on the bus to meet Ben for lunch, I wanted to go near the ocean and have lunch at the Crab Pot. Fish and Chips are only $7 and change. It's a great buy and it's really good fish. I love being by the ocean. We had a great time talking, laughing, joking around, and catching up.

This is my son, Ben. I'm very proud of him.

Harbor Steps Gallery

When I was downtown today to have lunch with my son, Ben, I stopped at the Harbor Steps Gallery. I wanted to show Ben my favorite new Seattle artist. I knew he would love the paintings and he did.

I love these paintings. The colors are bright. I love Seattle as the subject matter. It's fun and he has great technique. His name is Michael Birawer. His small paintings are $200 and his large ones are $1000. I think this is a bargain price for anyone wanting to invest in art.
Harbor Steps Gallery
55 University Street
Open Wednesday through Sunday. Noon to 7 p.m.

Afghan massacre

In the Seattle Times this morning, it says that Staff Sgt. Robert "Bales to plead guilty in Afghan massacre." We shouldn't be at war in the first place. We shouldn't be sticking our nose into every one's business. We shouldn't be going around the world destroying and causing trouble.

There are millions of little boys in this country who to grow up loving to play war and play with guns. They come from families who love the military and everything that it stands for. They are expected to be part of it all. They are taught to kill in the military. They are taught to hate the enemy. They are taught to obey and follow orders.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Robert Bales comes from a nice family and isn't someone who uses drugs or is a criminal. He probably did what he was taught and encouraged to do. I don't agree with these values. I think that the military needs to change and families across the country need to quit sacrificing their children to war.

I understand. My father was State Commander of the VFW in Montana, a 32nd degree Mason, a Shiner, and more. Once in awhile I give a few dollars to the VFW and to the disabled veterans in memory of my father. But I think there is a better way to live. It's not okay for good young men to come back with Post Traumatic Stress and limbs amputated, put back on, and then sent back into war. This isn't okay.

Yes, you have to stand up against things that are wrong. You use words. You use the law.

I don't like conflict. I don't like anything to do with war. I don't think we should be going all over the world causing trouble. It isn't okay to kill and massacre innocent civilians who aren't coming at you with machine guns trying to kill you. It isn't okay to kill anyone. It isn't okay to destroy anything. It isn't okay to hate anyone.

This is why I appreciate the Scandinavian countries that stay out of all this nonsense.

We should all realize that we should live in peace and get along. That is why I love Seattle. It's a great example of how the world should live.

In my apartment building, there are people who come from all over the world. One family just got back from a vacation in Afghanistan to visit friends and relatives. They are a nice family. I think it is refreshing that everyone can work, live in the same building, and get along.

I applaud Seattle and the people who live here for being a great example of what the world should be.


I am a big fan of Samsung. I have a Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere cell phone. The camera on the phone is better than my digital Canon or at least as good. I get great photos on my cell phone. It took me quite a while to get used to it and to fully appreciate all that I have on this phone. I called Verizon several times just to get help on learning how to use it. They were patient and helped me learn to navigate and troubleshoot. Now I wouldn't be without it. My two year contract is up in December and I am looking at another Samsung. Samsung does it better.

My TV is a Samsung and has a perfect picture.

I also have a new Samsung all-in-one computer. I love it. I love the picture quality. It is the best computer I have ever had. It is the computer of my dreams and I'm grateful to have it.

Windows 8

What in the world is all the complaining about? This morning in the Seattle Times is the headline, "Microsoft revives familiar in next Windows version." Oh, good grief. I think there are a lot of whiners and complainers who can't adjust to change out there if they don't see Windows as easy and fun. I've had a different experience. I think this is their best Windows so far.

I love Windows 8. It is innovative, fun, fluid, intuitive, and easy. I haven't heard one person say anything good about it. I don't understand at all. It's all in front of you. Easy as pie. It makes exploring and adventure fun. It's easier to navigate. It's easier to learn. The apps in front of you encourage you to learn and explore into more depth.

There is only one thing that I am not crazy about. I find it annoying that I can't always get back to the bar where I can write in a new web address so I have to click at the bottom left hand corner and go back to the beginning and click on Internet Explorer again. But I figure I just don't know how to use it yet. This is a new computer and I'm still learning about it. If I had a manual on my computer and a manual on Windows 8, there wouldn't be a problem because I could look it up.

I think Microsoft did a bang-up great job!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Seattle is heaven. It has everything. It has perfect weather--not too hot, not too cold. It is a cultural mecca. I live only 9 miles from downtown Seattle and I can ride the bus that comes by my apartment building for only 75 cents. There are so many amazing free events, so many that I don't even go to a fraction of all of them. I get to see famous writers at the library. I get to visit the Seattle Art Museum, go to the Woodland Park Zoo, the Aquarium, the Dale Chihuly Museum of Glass, and much more. I get to go to the Seattle Symphony once in awhile. So much is here. Every day is a blessing. I'm grateful to live in Seattle. So many opportunities. I'm very happy here. I'm so glad I moved here. Every morning I am excited to get up and start my day.

Seattle Public Library

Seattle is the best place in the world to live. I can't get over all the opportunities that are here. Every day I am grateful. Every day I am thankful to live here.

The Seattle Public Library, the BEST library has author events all the time. Major published authors with best selling books on the NY Times best seller list come to Seattle and you get to see them here in Seattle.

Khaled Hosseini is coming on Tuesday, June 4th from 7 to 8:30 p.m. He is reading from AND THE MOUNTAIN ECHOED. This is an event that will take place at Town Hall on 1119 8th Avenue.

A mystery author, Judy Dailey will be speaking at the Montlake Branch on Sunday, June 9th from 3 to 4 p.m. about her new book, ANIMAL, VEGETABLE AND MURDER.

Oh, what fun is here in Seattle. What opportunities to learn and grow!


Gilad Janklowicz is my favorite fitness personality. I've watched Gilad for years on television and exercised with him watching Bodies in Motion and Total Body Sculpt. Since I have moved to Seattle, I couldn't get the channel that has his shows so I ordered his DVD's last week because his classes are important to me.

Gilad films his shows in Hawaii. I have wished that I could exercise with his cast in the back since he periodically allows people to be part of the class. He always picks a gorgeous backdrop but of course every scene in Hawaii is gorgeous.

Gilad is great. He's amazing plus he is great for the eyes.

24 Hour Fitness

I was trying to leave a comment on the website for 24 Hour Fitness and it refused to process my comment no matter what I did to change it. It was the correct number of words allowed. Maybe they are tired of hearing my suggestions so I copied it and am putting it here:

Yesterday I went to the 4:30 Zumba class at Northgate Seattle. There were new people there in the room. Many I hadn't seen before. Not the usual crowd. When talk of the summer schedule and that  this class is going to be canceled, one new person said that they had rearranged their schedule to come. You really can't keep changing the schedule. People are busy and want to take classes. The classroom brings a lot of people into 24 Hour Fitness.

You need more Zumba classes, not less. You need more Zumba instructors, not less. If 71 year old Irma Fallon of Gainesville, Florida goes to Zumba classes 5 days a week and sometimes 2 times in a day, you want to encourage this. She was featured in Prevention Magazine. Don't discourage health and fitness. Once you have a class and set the time, it needs to be set in stone so people can arrange their lives around it.

You need more Zumba classes. Several times every single day. I want to be able to take two Zumba classes a day. Since I am 65, I'm not always excited about walking out at night. I want to take two classes during the day. A morning and afternoon would be good plus a weights class every day. You need to start Zumba Gold, Zumba Toning, and Zumba Gold Toning, and Tai Chi and Chi Gong, and country line dancing. You need to build more classrooms that are bigger too.

Many people who come to the gym during the day are older so you need the Zumba Gold every day. Not everyone can do all the jumping all the time.

It means a lot to people to take these classes. It means a lot to me. Zumba is the most fun that I have in a week. You want to encourage people to come through your door, not discourage them. You want to consistently have classes, not cancel them. If 20 people are in the class, why would you cancel? Aren't these 20 people who come important? The new person said that she picked the 4:30 time because she is new to Zumba. When it is so crowded, it is hard to see what to do and copy the steps. If you are in the back, you can't see the feet of the instructor. You need a large screen in front to show what the instructor is doing so people in the back can see and duplicate the steps. You could even show videos of the instructors when they fail to show up so class can continue. The instructors should still get paid. Maybe not as much as if it were a live appearance but it would still work for the people who come.

24 Hour Fitness is important to me. Getting fit and healthy is my first priority. I moved a block away so there is no excuse. I love the gym. What I love most is Zumba, Body Pump, and the elliptical. Sometimes my 12 hour part time job gets in the way of my coming to Zumba. Sometimes I think I need to quit my job so I can come but I need the money.

Please have more classes. Please consider that people rearrange their whole lives around a class on the schedule. The class shouldn't change every week or every quarter. Jobs and every day life don't change every quarter. There needs to be more classes, not less. That classroom, since there is only one small classroom should be busy from morning to night with classes with 15 minute breaks between so people can orderly move in and out.

I love 24 Hour Fitness. Please don't cancel classes. If health and fitness is a priority for you, as it should be in our nation, and since this is your business, please schedule more classes, not less. Encourage the Irma Fallons of the world. Don't take away the fun.

Please have more choices in weights classes. Weight training is the most important thing you can do if you are trying to lose weight. I weigh 241 so I have a lot of weight to lose. I need standing abs classes, Body Pump that is just weights and not mixing it up with floor work, and I need a circuit class in the weight machines area.

I pay my $47 a month. I can't afford expensive training for two years, three times a week. So I am taking the Resistance Training class with the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America so I can do it myself.

Bridges in Washington

The Seattle Times this morning has a feature story on the front page with the headline, "7 low bridges hold similar risks." Okay, so there are seven more bridges in Washington. The budget in the state of Washington isn't overflowing with money and the public safety is at risk with these seven bridges so maybe, maybe....the trucking companies who make the profit from running trucks over these bridges should kick in and help pay. Until the bridges are fixed, trucks that could jeopardize the safety of these bridges should not be allowed to cross. Period.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Zumba with Cindy

I just got back from taking a Zumba class with Cindy at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate. She's an amazing dancer and fun. I had a great time. I love Zumba.

I am so inspired by the e-mail in my box today from Prevention Magazine. It has a feature article about six women who lost weight with Zumba.  I am in awe of Irma Fallon of Gainesville, Florida who is 71 and takes Zumba classes 5 times a week and sometimes twice a day! I want to be just like Irma!

Central Market in Shoreline

My new favorite store that I discovered yesterday is Central Market in Shoreline about three miles from my apartment. It's a gorgeous store. It's huge. It has fresh produce that doesn't stop. It keeps going and going and going. The fresh fish looks like Shoreline is right next to the Pacific Ocean...oh, yeah, it is! Chuckle!  : )  Today there were several tanks of live crabs crawling around. My favorite find are the Swedish fruit cookies. I just had to buy one yesterday and I came back for more today. Yes, I know. I don't need to be eating cookies but these are the greatest cookies! Plus they are Swedish cookies!

This store is huge and it just keeps going into little nooks and crannies that seem to be mini stores. I found two aloe vera soap bars for 99 cents that are really nice and would make great gifts. There is so much to look at, so much to explore. There are unusual food items. The store is set up in such an inviting and friendly way. I saw these great reuben sandwiches with a rye bread that is part dark and light rye. Those looked really good. It looks like they have everything you could want and more.

I've been inching out a little bit at a time here in Seattle. I don't know why it took me so long to walk in the door of Central Market. It's a great place. I'm going to love shopping there. In fact, I wouldn't mind living close enough to walk there for groceries. Maybe. However, I think I might rather live in the UW district. I don't know what the future will bring or what will open up. It must be fun to work there. It's a great store. The people who work there are nice.

UW Certificate in Screenwriting

I'm so excited. I feel like my life is coming together and I'm really happy about the direction. I know that writing, exercise, and health are central to my life and what I want for my future.

I just signed up for the free fall preview class for the University of Washington Certificate in Screenwriting. I've written two screenplays. I took a class in screenwriting in Corvallis, Oregon. I've also taken two different classes on screenwriting by Michael Hauge and Christopher Vogler. I was also part of a screenwriting group in Eugene for a short time. I also took a screenwriting class in Eugene. I also went to a Willamette Writers monthly meeting in Eugene to hear Cynthia Whitcomb speak who is President of Willamette Writers and writes screenplays.

Yes, I want to write screenplays. I have several books on writing screenplays--actually one whole shelf. I'm excited at the thought of writing screenplays. I want to write first draft very visual novels and then turn them into screenplays. When I was in elementary school, I wrote television screenplays or at least attempted it.

Oh, I am jumping up and down in my heart and am so happy just at the thought. I sure hope this works. I sure hope. I sure hope. I love screenplays. I love movies. Movies inspire and give hope or they can take you down a dark path and scare the hell out of you. They make people want to rise up and be better. They help you escape from a world that isn't all that perfect for the couple of hours as you sit there munching popcorn and drinking diet coke.

I'm going to be excited to attend this free preview. The University of Washington is one of the finest universities in the country. I really want to be part of it. I want to belong and learn. I want to ride the bus and be a student.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Volkswalk is an international walking organization that started in Germany. It has events that are 5K to marathon length. There are also year-around routes that you can do any time you want in almost every city. I have completed about 17 Volkswalks but haven't participated in several years. They are fun and the best part is that you see the best spots in every city when you go on one. It seems like they pick the best and most scenic routes to showcase the city where you are at. It's always a good choice to go on a Volkswalk. It's always a healthy choice.

You can find out more at

There is a Volkswalk coming up in Bothell, Washington close to me on June 1 but I have to work so I can't go. It's a 6K or a 10K. Start times are from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at QFC, 14130 Juanita Dr. NE in Bothell. This walk is hosted by the Interlaken Trailblazers Volkssport Club.

Another one coming up close to me is in Shoreline on June 22 called the Puget Sound Beach Walk hosted by Sound Steppers Volkssport Club. This is a 12K walk. Start time is 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Shoreview Park and Boeing Creek at 700 NW Innis Arden Way.

Subscribe to the Northwest Pathfinder for event information for Washington and Oregon events with 6 issues a year. It's only $12.
Northwest Pathfinder
PO Box 3332
Albany, Oregon 97321

Http:// is a great walking website about Volkswalk by Wendy Bumgardner.

You can subscribe to the yahoo groups by asking to be put on the list to learn about Washington events. Send an e-mail to

United Methodist Church

I visited the United Methodist Church this morning at the 9:30 a.m. formal service at 13055 First Avenue NE. It's the Haller Lake United Methodist Church. It's a beautiful church and it's in my neighborhood. I was driving around yesterday and found it. I thought that I might want to visit.

A very nice lady named Betty with impeccable manners was very kind and welcoming. She introduced me to all her friends. She was the example of what everyone should be when someone is new and visiting. I sat next to her and her husband during the service.

The service was very nice with an interim pastor. The sermon was based on one of Anne Lamott's books. I have two of her books and her book, Bird by Bird is a classic for writers. The sermon was about appreciating the wow factor in everyday life. I even spoke and said that I find joy in Seattle because it is a great international city where people from all over the world can live in peace, work, go to school, and live together. I find this refreshing since there is so much hatred and prejudice in the world. Seattle also has perfect weather and all the ingredients of culture like the zoo, art museum, aquarium, science center, theater, symphony, etc.

The church is beautiful. The people seem nice. I was happy to go.

And I want to know why are most ministers so serious? Why aren't they happier in church? Isn't this where they want to be? I always assumed that to a minister a church was the Disneyland of life. The best place, the happiest place to be but when I have been in different churches, most clergy are frowning and serious. It is almost like it is a job and they aren't all that excited to be there. This is house of God, supposedly, and it is their choice to be a minister so why aren't they walking around with a permanent smile? My Aunt Ellen explained it to me before she died, "it's a mama-made preacher." Was she right?

My experience deteriorated at the end.

The organist reminded me of my mother who played in church as I was little. My mother was a piano teacher. I grew up in the Lutheran Church.

On the other side in the pew, I sat next to another nice lady who lives in my neighborhood and another nice lady my age who was nice and seemed to have a lot in common with me. I thought, potential friend. The lady behind me seemed to be orchestrating my experience by telling me when to stay and encouraging Betty to leave early. When I left the sanctuary, everyone had gone into the room to gather and socialize. The minister was no where to be seen. Everyone's backs were facing me as I walked out. No one was around so I left. On my way out, I talked to a nice teacher.

Maybe they want to wait to see and think about whether I fit in or not. I think they were wondering if I would jump in and volunteer. Maybe they need someone to take people to church and wanted to see if I would be a candidate. Maybe I was too happy, too positive. Maybe they want people who ask to be "fixed." Maybe I smiled too much.

I haven't visited any churches in Seattle until this morning. Hard to tell where I belong. Maybe no where. I certainly haven't had the best experience with churches in the last few years. I believe in exercise and being healthy. I believe in science. I believe in being kind to people. I believe in being nice no matter what happens in a day. There is so little you can control in life but you can make the choice to find the good in every day and do the best you can. I'm grateful to live in Seattle where there is so much.

Well, they have a nice church and they seem like nice people but it almost seems they aren't enthusiastic about me attending since no one wanted to make sure the experience ended well and the minister left without my getting to shake her hand. Isn't it a rule that the minister is supposed to shake everyone's hand, especially new people? Yes, they were busy with things to do. There is always something to do and there is a schedule.

Will I go back? No. I was foolish to go. It is still a nice church though and there are many nice people. It's a nice place for those people who the group decides they want. I guess I don't have enough money either to be of interest. Maybe I didn't wear the right shoes. I think I am done with trying formal religion.

This is how I experience life. I see too much, feel too much, and am too sensitive. I guess this is why I am a writer and but living an isolated life is sometimes hard. Usually I keep my mouth shut about what I experience and ignore stuff and try again anyway. I thought I would share this because maybe my experience isn't an isolated experience. Maybe this is also the experience of new younger families who don't return. Yes, it was a holiday weekend but I noticed that almost everyone in the room was older than I and I'm 65 and I only saw one person who wasn't white. These subtle nuances sometimes determine your experience.

Or maybe if I had just kept all my feelings to myself and waited and tried again, maybe it would have turned out. Who knows? It didn't feel like I was welcome with some of the group.

Hood to Coast Relay

Hood to Coast is coming up again. It's an important event in Oregon with runners on teams that run from Mount Hood to Seaside. It's an exhausting and exhilarating adventure. Last year on the team, Running in Harmony, my son, Ben and his wife, Amanda ran with my daughter, Gretchen, and her husband Chris. In the front row is Chris on the far right. In the center is Ben next to Gretchen. Amanda is the third from the left in the front row and is  next to Gretchen.

Hood to Coast is no longer allowing everyone to run who wants to run because the route from Mt. Hood to Seaside is so crowded with all the decorated vans for the teams and the runners. I think it's pretty sad that people are closed out of this wonderful healthy choice.

I am wondering if Portland to Coast is still run on the same day. If this is true, maybe Portland to Coast should have a different day so that everyone who wants to run Hood to Coast can. Or maybe there should be two events a year so everyone can be part of it. It is encouraging and inspiring for the walking teams to see the Hood to Coast teams whiz by and leave you in their dust when you are walking. It makes you dream of being a runner someday and being on a Hood to Coast team. If there were two events a year, fast teams can run both times a year so they can have twice the fun!

Portland to Coast is a walking relay and it also ends up in Seaside. I was part of the team, Red Hot and Rolling in 2003, a Volkswalk team. The road was crowded then. It was so much fun and I had a great time. It would be fun to do this again.

I really think that anyone who wants to be part of something like this, should be able to do it. Either we want to encourage health and fitness or discourage it. Those teams with the worst times are the ones who really need to be encouraged to continue!

Fish Stew

I love fish and I love soup. A cool day in Seattle was the inspiration to try it. In the freezer, I have some pieces of frozen cod that I bought at Cash and Carry so I decided to make a fish stew. I took the piece of cod, which must be 16 ounces and put it in a frying pan with olive oil to cook slowly. In a large soup pot, I cut up onion, celery, cut up small potatoes, garlic, bell pepper, a can of black beans rinsed, a can of corn rinsed, a can of diced tomatoes, and spices. For spices, I gave a large shake of coarsely ground black pepper, basil and thyme. No salt! I also added turmeric and cumin because it's good for me. Then I dumped in a 49 ounce can of chicken broth and a quick swipe of more olive oil for added goodness. I heated it to boiling and then turned it down to simmer. When the fish was cooked, I added the cod. When the potatoes were tender, it was done.

This is really good. I had it for a couple of days and really enjoyed it so much that I went out to buy more chicken broth so I can make it again today.

Lipton Sweet Green Tea Citrus

Yesterday I went to Cash and Carry and found a product I hadn't used before--Lipton Sweet Green Tea Citrus. The tea bags are gallon size so you can make a gallon at a time. Cool! After looking at the directions, I used about a liter of water in a gallon jug of water to boil. I turned off the burner and then put in the tea bag. The gallon jug of water was in the refrigerator. After the water cooled with the tea bag in it, I gently took out the tea bag squeezing it. Then I poured the tea back into the gallon jug of water and put it back in the refrigerator for easy use by me.

This morning, I poured a glass of iced green tea and added ice cubes with slices of lemon that I make all the time. This is so good! I'm going to enjoy it everyday!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Planetary Society

Join and support the important work of the Planetary Society.

Mayor's Mile

My grandson, Jack Bennett is in the back row in the middle with the cute smile. He's great at everything. Jack was on the Myers Relay Team for the Mayor's Mile in Salem, Oregon. It's a team of 5th graders and he's a 4th grader. This team, which was selected as one of the eight best teams in Salem came in 2nd place by 2/10th of a second. They were close!!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

I-5 Bridge Collapse

This morning on the front page of the Seattle Times is the alarming news of the I-5 bridge collapse north of Everett. Two vehicles plunged into the cold water but no one was seriously hurt.

An event similar happened to the bridge in Minneapolis in 2007, when dozens of vehicles plunged into the Mississippi. Thirteen died and 145 were hurt.

What I want to know is where are the other bridges located in Washington where a similar event is waiting to happen? Where are the other bridges in every state? This is a ticking time bomb. And what is the U.S. Department of Transportation going to do about it?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The World's Best Places to Live 2012

The World's Best Places to Live 2012 according to are as follows:
  1. Vienna, Austria
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Auckland, New Zealand
  4. Munich, Germany
  5. Vancouver, Canada
  6. Dusseldorf, Germany
  7. Frankfurt, Germany
  8. Geneva, Switzerland
  9. Copenhagen, Denmark
  10. Bern, Switzerland and Sydney, Australia

Seattle Aquarium

I went on bus 41 to the Seattle Aquarium this afternoon and had a wonderful time. I'm a new member because I want to support this important aquarium and the work they do.

The octopus above is always fun to visit. They only live to be 5 years. I was surprised when I learned this fact.

On one sign it says that we can all help the coral reefs by taking mass transit so RIDE THE BUS!

Only 1% of the ocean is protected. We need to do more to protect the ocean, the creatures that live in the ocean, the coral reefs, and the fish. We need to support all those groups that work hard to protect the ocean. We are all linked and the health of the ocean is vital for our survival on this planet.

Visit the Seattle Aquarium. Become a member. Ride the bus.

1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Best Buy at Northgate Mall in Seattle

I made the choice to buy two years of the Geek Squad for help with my computer problems. I'm glad I did. They have helped me numerous times. Everything has been a great outcome, my information has been protected and I am happy with my choice.

Century Link

I'm very happy that I made the move to Century Link. I'm very happy with my service. I zip around on the Internet with ease and speed instantly from one website to another. I'm happy with my choice to change from Comcast even though I am paying more than I thought it would be. It's worth it.

Stories for Boys: A Memoir by Gregory Martin

STORIES FOR BOYS: A Memoir by Gregory Martin published by Hawthorne Books in Portland is the Seattle Reads pick by the Seattle Public Library. I just finished it this morning. I usually don't read memoir. This one was extraordinary and insightful. Since I had visited the Seattle Public Library to see Gregory Martin, I knew I wanted to read it but wasn't sure what I was going to read. I'm glad it was kind. This is a difficult topic for many people. I hope that everyone reads it. Martin deals with all the feelings in a gentle, kind, honest way. I'm glad I read this book.

Reforming Worker's Comp

On page A13 of the Seattle Times this morning is an editorial about reforming workman's comp. To give cash settlements to the disabled will leave the disabled without protection and allow predators to swoop in for the kill and it will literally be for the kill. Not all disabled are savvy about how to protect themselves financially and many will not know how to take care of the money. They will be at the mercy of those who hear about their money and who will go after it. Sure, it is one way to help the budget but unless there is another protector for each disabled person, the disabled will be vulnerable, out in the streets without anything. And even though a church, nonprofit, private business, or family member claim they will be the protector of the disabled person, things change, priorities change, budgets have problems, and there is no real guarantee that the vulnerable will be protected for life. The only real protector of the minorities and disabled and the vulnerable is the government. And right now, the homeless are homeless!!! Do you want more in wheelchairs sitting on the curb?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Snoqualmie Casino

I spent the day at the Snoqualmie Casino today. The bus stops right next to my apartment building and it takes me right to the casino. It's like going on a vacation for a day or taking a cruise without leaving land. I had a great time. Great food. Fun. And then a ride back home to Northgate.

If you want to sign up and make a reservation to go to the casino for the day, call 1-800-254-3423. You hand the driver of the bus a 10 dollar bill when you get on the bus and he checks your name off the list. When you get to the casino, you are given a voucher for a free lunch buffet or $10 for lunch at any of the other restaurants. You are also given a ten dollar bill. Pretty good. It's a beautiful place out in the country.

Northgate Library Book Club in Seattle

I belong to the Northgate Library Book Club in Seattle. Last night was the monthly group meeting. I've been going on and off for the last year and have been reading books that I wouldn't normally read. The women in the group are smart and all have something to contribute. Many are world travelers. It's a great mix and I'm glad that I'm in the group. We have a great new Librarian, Eric.

The next book is STORIES FOR BOYS by Gregory Martin. The last book was THE YEAR OF THE FLOOD by Margaret Atwood.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Police Officers

Police officers are to be honored. They are often criticized. They have to make judgment calls instantly under stressful, dangerous conditions. Not all are perfect and without flaws but for the most part, they are the protectors, the ones who take care of the most difficult conditions, who deal with the dangerous and those who cause harm. When the worst happens, they are called. They are out there putting their life on the line. Some don't come home and make it back from a day's work. More people should give them appreciation for what they do to make it safe day to day for all of us.


I really must get in gear and start a regular writing schedule again. I am always inspired by National Novel Writing Month and love this challenge.

First, I must get my apartment organized. The main front room and dining room is now ok but I must get rid of more stuff in my extra bedroom, which is the clutter zone with boxes but I now have my life reduced down to 950 square feet, which is pretty good. My bedroom has too much stuff. I need to clean out my closet and get rid of more furniture in my bedroom. I love my 11 bookcases and books that I brought with me from Oregon. I keep finding new books that are important to buy. I love to read.

I write best in the morning first thing to start my day. Get it done. Out of the way. Two hours is really all that is needed and then the rest of the day is a gift to do whatever I want or what needs to be done. More time can be spent on writing during the day, if I am working on a project.

I miss having something that I need to write for that needs my articles. I love to write. I love to interview people and show all the amazing gifts people have. I have written four novels, a juvenile novel, and two screenplays. I just need to finish revisions but I need someone who wants them. I need to work with a publisher and editor. Or I need a writing partner who just loves to edit and get things in final form and then I can have the adventure of just writing new material all the time and doing a few edits and then handing it off.

Anyway...I am grateful for my life and the possibilities. I'm grateful to live in Seattle. I love my apartment and the location. I love the possibilities of all that I can do in a day. So many wonderful choices.

This month, I think I am going to work on getting more stuff to Goodwill. When it is done, then it is done. I have this long, endless list of things to do. I go from one thing to the next to keep getting things done. It takes a lot of time to just do the day to day stuff to maintain a life.

The first thing every day should be writing and then everything else second. Eating healthy, exercise, and all the fun of living in Seattle mixed with the daily chores.


I love Seattle. I am crazy in love with Seattle. Everything is here. The weather is perfect--not too hot and not too cold, just right. I'm 9 miles from downtown Seattle. It's like I live in a small town but it is a major city of the world with all the elements of culture and the arts.

I'm grateful for the amazing bus system. My bus, bus 41, is always a double bus and it fills up. It runs 4 times an hour during the day. It's an express bus and goes on the freeway so it is only 15 minutes to reach downtown Seattle. Since I am 65 now, I only have to pay 75 cents a ride. I can also ride the train, which is amazing and I can actually get from my apartment to SeaTac Airport for only 75 cents with this amazing transit system. It works and it works well.

I'm grateful to be able to attend the Seattle Symphony Orchestra once in awhile to hear perfection. It's glorious. It's very close to heaven. Seattle is as close to heaven as you can get. Everything is here. The Woodland Park Zoo is here with amazing, wondrous creatures from all over the world. The Aquarium is here where you can see the wonders of the deep. The endless, fascinating shops at Pike Place Market always delights. It would be great to find a great apartment downtown and buy halibut and salmon at least once a week from there. You can get a gorgeous bouquet of flowers at Pike Place Market for only $10 every time you go. Such a deal! The Pacific Science Center is a mecca for science, events of the world, and attractions. Everything happens there. I get to this great place by bus 16, which meanders in neighborhoods in and out through Green Lake, Wallingford, to the Space Needle and downtown. A great inviting ride to get to some great places like Green Lake and walk around the gorgeous 3.2 mile paved path around the lake, which is so popular.

The Seattle Art Museum recharges me, uplifts me, and inspires me when I see all the glorious art. I also love the Dale Chihuly Museum of Glass next to the Space Needle.

The International District is another great place. I can get there by staying on bus 41 a little longer and getting off right across the street from the best Asian grocery. I keep missing out on seeing the dragon dance, which I want to see. The famous Underground Tour is another amazing attraction which takes you under Seattle with amazing guides which tells you about early Seattle. I think they should write scripts and hire actors to dress in period costumes to tell the story and you move crowds through the rubble.

I honestly can't get over how great it is in Seattle. I found the best knitting group at the Shoreline Senior Center with so many expert knitters on Monday afternoons. This time period also competes with mah jongg at the Lake Forest Shopping Center. I've been hearing about this great quilting group that meets at the Shoreline Senior Center that meets on Tuesdays with retreats and fun.

Great book stores and great restaurants in Seattle.

I live in a great apartment close to everything. I live right across from the Northgate Mall. How great is that! I can walk right out my parking lot of the apartment and get on the bus to the Snoqualmie Casino for a day of fun. I need to sign up for another day soon. Great shopping in Seattle. You can buy anything here. Great ethnic grocery stores.

I live one block from a great gym--24 Hour Fitness Northgate. All the fun is here with Zumba classes every day. I've had the most fun taking Zumba classes. My husband didn't dance but I can dance my heart out with Zumba. Pure fun!

I think the best part is that Seattle is an international city where people from around the world gather and work and learn and get along to live together in peace. Everything is here that anyone could want. I want to go to the opera. There is this great opera by Wagner that is a four part series for only $25 a ticket. I want to see more Broadway plays because that is pure joy and fun. The library is the greatest anywhere with any book you could want to read.

I registered yesterday afternoon to take classes at the North Seattle Community College. Since I am 65, I can take two classes a term for only $5 but they must be classes that aren't full and I need the instructors approval. The same opportunity lies at the University of Washington, which is really grand because of more wonderful opportunities and options like classes in philosophy and anthropology and all the ologies. I hear that there is a large group of seniors who regularly wait in line for hours and sign up. I need to register and get acclimated there next. It all sounds like glorious fun.

I haven't visited the troll under the Fremont Bridge yet since I moved here. I need to make regular visits since I wrote a children's book about him and need to work on it. Fremont is the end of the universe. I need to find out which bus to take to get there. Parking is never easy in Seattle but the bus will take you all over. I inch out a little at a time. I don't have anyone to share all this fun with but that's ok because I am having glorious fun all by myself. I'm grateful every day to live here.

I'm grateful to live in Seattle where all the fun that anyone could possibly want is here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Leslie Haber

Leslie Haber passed away two years ago today. We were married over 39 years so my life is different now without him. He was officially a brilliant man because he scored a 99th percentile on the MENSA test. He was officially a genius. He could answer any question with clarity, insight, and would give answers. I miss talking to him. I miss playing canasta with him everyday.

Les was very ill for the last five plus years of his life. He went to Oregon Health Sciences University and Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis several times a year and saw several doctors. Detailed blood tests several times a year. Many smart doctors but no answers as to what was wrong. During this time his kidneys shut down and he had to be on hemodialysis for three months and then, remarkably, he got better and his kidneys recovered. The last year I was trying to get him seen by the Undiagnosed Disease Program with the National Institute of Health. Dr. Wahba, from Good Samaritan Hospital was helping us forward this process and then suddenly he was diagnosed with 4th stage esophageal cancer and needed a feeding tube because the tumor was blocking his intestine.

He went through a lot of pain, anguish, and it was hard for him. He wanted to live. He was making plans for us to move to Germany and live there since he was a dual-citizen.

So much doesn't make sense. More questions than answers. His death certificate raises a lot of issues. In addition to the cancer of the esophagus, it also said he died of malnutrition and that his bowel was punctured. How can this happen when he had three dietitians from OHSU, Good Samaritan, and also a private company, so many doctors, so many nurses, so many smart people surrounding him?... He had a visiting health nurse who was very nice. He had a physical therapist who was the only one who questioned whether he was getting a high enough calorie count with the liquid nutrition he took through his feeding tube. The feeding tube was painful and there were continual problems with it.

One time he was very weak after chemotherapy at OHSU and his doctor said he needed a blood transfusion. I asked why couldn't he have it right then and there. Of course, that wasn't possible. We needed to drive back to Alsea from Portland and then in a couple of days, we had to drive back to Portland for the transfusion. It was hard on him to ride in the car. He was in pain no matter how much morphine he had. After the transfusion, he ended up in the ER and then onto the cancer ward at OHSU for a week. This was our life. Doctors. Tests. Waiting. Pain. Chemotherapy. Pills. Heartache. Stress.

A few days before Les passed away, he was at Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis for several days. He shouldn't have been let out, in my opinion.

Leslie Haber was born in Chicago on January 26, 1950. He grew up in Rogers Park near Lake Michigan, which at the time was a neighborhood of almost 97% Jewish population. Les went to Hebrew School, and had a bar-mitzvah. He went to the University of Illinois in Chicago. He had courage and integrity. He wanted things done right. He worked hard on projects that were important to him. He loved his kids and spend lots of time helping with homework and driving them around.

Daniel, our youngest son, who lives in Columbus, Ohio is working hard to radically change health care. Using Information Technology, doctors will instantly have all the information they need when they need it to help patients and to be more effective in their care.

Joann Fabrics

I enjoy helping people at Joann Fabrics. I have a part time job at the Shoreline store on Aurora. It's only three miles from my apartment.

The last time I worked, I waited on this neat lady from Australia who was on a cruise to Alaska and was visiting in Seattle. It was fun to talk to her. I have always wondered about living in Australia. Near the end of my four hour shift, I waited on a couple who were picking out a crochet hook to "clean up dreadlocks." I was fascinated to learn about something new and helped them pick out a metal hook that was big enough to grab the hair to pull it back into the dreads. Another lady a couple of months ago was from Sweden. I sold her chocolate cookie fabric for an apron. She lives in northern Sweden. I'm half Swedish.

It's special to wait on all the people that come to the store. I really enjoy helping people and to see all the creative projects people are working on. So many heroes walk through the door buying fabric to donate to nonprofits or church groups. Some make quilts or blankets and knitted hats for children or seniors. So many nice people.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lane Bryant at Northgate Mall in Seattle

I went to the grand reopening of the Lane Bryant at Northgate Mall in Seattle this afternoon. They moved on the other side of the walkway in the mall. It's a gorgeous store with everything new. Two lucky shoppers won $20 gift cards in a raffle when I was in the store. What a wonderful new store! I know I will enjoy shopping at Lane Bryant. Go take a look around and enjoy the eye-catching fashion and bright colors.

Zumba with Mariam

Here's a great video of Mariam who teaches Zumba and Belly Dance at 24 Hour Fitness in Northgate Seattle. One more great class with her before she leaves for San Francisco. Everyone will miss her. She's a popular and loved instructor. It's going to be hard to see her go but she promises to post more videos. She's a gifted dancer and the sky is the limit for her.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Joann Fabrics

I have a part time job at Joann Fabrics. I love everything that is sold in the store and enjoy helping customers. When I cut fabric that sheds, I think that it would be nifty if there were a vacuum suction under the cutting table that we can turn on that is right under the grove where we cut the fabric. When we cut the fur and the cozy fabric that gets all over other fabrics and all over the floor and all over our clothes, I think this would be a great idea!


This is my cute little granddaughter, Anna who makes me very happy!

Zumba Fitness

I signed up for Zumba Basic this afternoon. It may sound goofy for someone my age and my weight to sign up for Zumba training but I am really excited about it. In the last two days, I've taken three Zumba classes. Yesterday morning I took a weights class called Body Pump at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate Seattle. Then last night at 7:30, I took a Zumba class taught by Daniel. This morning I was a little unsure whether I could take another class but I did. I took another Zumba class by Daniel and then I took the Aqua Zumba class by Niel. I felt better after I got home then when I started out this morning. I love Zumba.

Guess what I had for breakfast this morning?  A can of sardines!

I figure even if I never make any money as an instructor, it is a positive move to learn more about Zumba. I'll get better at Zumba. My goal is to take the Zumba Gold certification which is to teach seniors and an older population. There is not all the jumping and high intensity moves. It's a more watered down version but it still is fun with all the great music and dancing.

I hope it works out. Actually since Zumba is international dance, I could go anywhere to teach, which opens up my world more. I'm excited about this decision.

I must practice until every song is automatic with the chorography. I know it will take time but I'm really happy about my decision. It is going to be pure fun to learn more about Zumba and to take the class.

I want to take certification in Zumba Gold, Zumba Gold Toning, and Zumba Toning. The certification is good for a year and then you must renew and take the class again, which is always good. I love to learn. I love to dance and I love the Zumba music.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gold Miners III Kettle Korn, LLC

I love popcorn but not all popcorn fits into my life. The big barrel of popcorn at the movie theater can be 1000 calories. Not good. Hot Air Poppers turn out popcorn that is flavorless. Microwave popcorn isn't good for you according to health experts. So I've been looking for a popcorn that would have great flavor and not be too many calories.

I found Kettle Korn in big plastic bags at the grocery store. No trans fats. Gluten free. 51 calories for 1 ounce serving. Not high in salt. The best part is that it is delicious!
manufactured in Fox Island, WA


I'm not a real basketball fan but I hope that Seattle gets the ok from the NBA so that the Sonics come to Seattle. It seems as though the problems have been worked out. So many people want it. I hope it works out for those who are the big fans.

Seattle Metro Cuts

Either Seattle and Washington believes in mass transit or not. You can't cut Seattle Metro funding in the budget when MORE money and investment should be put in this area of need. A city is dependent on mass transit to move people without all the clutter and pollution of cars.

I see ads all the time from nonprofits encouraging people to give up and donate their cars. Many people do this and then the bus IS their transportation. You can't encourage getting rid of cars and then cut Metro.

So many people depend on Seattle Metro to get to school, work, events, and to get to another location. I see students all the time studying on the bus. I see seniors with their shopping. I see people coming from work or going to work. I see people coming onto the bus going to events with special costumes. I see families with kids. I see the disabled with dogs. I see people falling asleep because they are so tired and I wonder if they will know when to get off the bus. It's a mix and all these people need Seattle Metro to work, to continue to work, and to give more. We need more buses, more routes, more trains, not less.

Either the Seattle is moving forward into the future or not.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Zumba at 24 Hour Fitness

Yesterday I did two hours of Zumba. I took classes from my favorite instructor, Niel at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate in Seattle. I love to dance. It's the most fun that I have in a week.

I'm working hard to get fit and lose weight. Zumba is an essential part of it. I had no idea a few years ago how important Zumba would be in my life. It's wonderful to walk in the classroom at 24 Hour Fitness and to dance. I only wish there were more Zumba classes. My favorite instructors are Niel, Daniel, Christina, Mariam, and Marco. Marco moved to the East coast. Mariam is moving to San Francisco.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Librarians

I started watching the comedy from Australia called the Librarians. It's hilarious! I hope libraries don't experience these sorts of problems. Every episode there are strange things coming into the return bin. The entire cast of characters make it fun to watch.

I'm watching it on since I don't have a DVR anymore. I'm not really excited about watching the commercials since I used to zoom right past them and never watch. I watch while I am eating or want to take a quick break between chores.

As of May 20, I watched the entire series and I enjoyed every episode. I wonder what the characters are going to do next season? Oh, the ongoing obstacles and drama in the life of Frances O'Brien, head librarian....... I thought she was really cute when she brought people together, maybe it was under duress at times, but she ended up doing the right thing.

It seems like there needs to be a surfing sitcom from Australia with frequent guest stars of famous surfers. A sitcom about surfing could delve into environmental issues, show the gorgeous scenery and ocean, show the culture of Australia, and the writer could make it funny and dramatic.

Zumba Fitness

I just looked at an e-mail from Women's Health that says that you can drop a dress size in 10 days with Zumba. Not only is Zumba pure fun but it tones your body. Zumba is sure a lot more fun than doing sit-ups and pushups. I love to dance. This isn't a chore. It's the most fun that I have in a week. I look forward to Zumba and taking classes at 24 Hour Fitness. You lose 750 calories on average when you take a Zumba class. If you really push to the limits, exaggerate the moves, sweat so it drips on the floor, get your hair and shirt all wet with sweat, then you are probably burning 1000 calories. Pretty good for just having a good time, being happy, and dancing to music!


I just got back from taking an hour Zumba class by Niel Smith, my favorite Zumba instructor.

When I got home, I made lunch. Stir fry and cod with ice water with lemon.

My stir fry has broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, onion, zucchini, little potatoes, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts with olive oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil. Good!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Is College Worth It? by William Bennett

The former U.S. Secretary of Education, William Bennett has a new book out, Is College Worth It?
He says that "only 150 of 3500 of U.S. Colleges are worth it." In the top 10 are
  1. Harvey Mudd
  2. Cal Tech
  3. MIT
  4. Stanford
  5. Princeton
  6. Harvard
  7. Dartmouth
  8. Duke
  9. University of Pennsylvania
  10. Notre Dame
The University of Washington is 86. Northwestern is 146.

Yes, to get into one of the big name universities is important and your future is almost guaranteed with a big salary and opportunities. Competition is high but some students buy their way into the top 10 with family name and money.

I believe strongly that it is always important to get as much education as possible and to keep learning. To discourage students from going to college, if they can't get into the top 150 and give up is wrong. There is online free learning. There are libraries. There is on the job training. There are always ways to learn and grow. Getting an education, the way that is possible for the student is better than not getting an education. Becoming literate, learning as much as you can so you can be a responsible citizen is important to the global community.

Mr. Bennett said that it is important to pick a degree that will be useful in the marketplace and I agree. He has a degree in philosophy and even though it usually doesn't translate into the best degree choice, Mr. Bennett did well for himself.

I think that the individual who is intelligent and has passion for learning will do well no matter where he went to college. Believe in yourself. Work hard to be the best you can be. Keep learning to find new answers and solutions to the problems around you.

Going to college is very expensive in the United States. Interesting that Europe manages to maintain a free university system for those who are able to compete and maintain a higher quality of education.

I think that the most important thing that parents can do is to assume the responsibility of being the most important teacher in their child's life, make sure that their child is ahead of the class in all subjects, is socially adjusted with friends, active in sports so their mind and body are strong, eat healthy, and to be the best parent they can be by listening, supporting, teaching independence within the safety net of the family, expose them to travel, the zoo, aquarium, plays, the arts, and music. Not every family is musical but there is a high correlation between math and music and success in school. Introducing a musical instrument early is important but the practice is equally important that needs to continue for years. Since this is tricky since not all kids want this path, exposure is better than nothing. Since children mimic and watch closely what their parents do, it is important that you show enthusiasm for learning and make sure your behavior and words do not conflict with this main goal.

Mother's Day

I'm having such a wonderful Mother's Day. I've heard from all my kids and received such nice gifts. I spend the morning with Ben and my granddaughter, Anna with a special breakfast at the Rusty Pelican in Wallingford.

It's always special to spend time with Ben and Anna. I had such a nice time and a wonderful breakfast. I ordered the garden skillet, my favorite.

Ben and Anna brought beautiful flowers when they picked me up and Anna gave me a special bead dog that she made. It's very nice.

Daniel and Jodee sent a  beautiful bouquet of flowers. Gretchen sent a beautiful card and gift card. Joe called this morning while I was at breakfast so he got to talk to Ben too. Joe is busy working on a gardening project at home.

It was wonderful to see or talk to all my kids. As I have always said, I have the BEST kids in the world. It's the best gift to see and spend time with them and my grandchildren. I have so much to be thankful for.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Blueberry smoothie

I just made a blueberry smoothie and it was so good. 1 cup of vanilla greek yogurt. 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed, 1 tablespoon of wheat germ, 1 tablespoon of bee pollen. 1/2 banana. 2 cups frozen blueberries, and water all blended up smooth. Delicious.

Zumba with Mariam

This noon I took a great class from Mariam at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate in Seattle. She teaches Zumba and Belly Dance for 1 1/2 hours. Zumba by Mariam concentrates on your core, which I need. She's a gifted dancer and so popular. Everyone loves her. She's here during May but it moving to San Francisco. It's definitely our loss but San Francisco will love her. She's so nice, kind, and a great instructor. She will really be missed here. She said that she will post videos on YouTube so I will put at least one on this blog so you can see how great she is.

Khan Academy

One of my favorite learning websites is Khan Academy. If you can't find it, google "khan academy," and then you will find it. Often when I put in the web address, I get switched to something else.

Learning for free for everyone with a computer with math, science and economics, computer science, humanities, and test prep. If Khan Academy is new to you, be sure to look around at everything for an overview. The knowledge map is interesting. Under science and economics, you can learn everything from cosmology and astronomy to macroeconomics. Under test prep, you can study for the GMAT.

There are over 4100 videos that are interactive and measure progress for the student wanting to learn. Khan Academy is an excellent tool in the classroom or at home for young and old.

I haven't visited this website in months but in looking around, I see that it is organized differently. At first I thought many videos were cut out but I see that they are still there. Have fun. Look around. Learn.

Friday, May 10, 2013

One of my favorite, fun websites is It's a great website to learn for young and old. There are different subjects to choose. Under the topic humanities, there are famous paintings, literature, world hunger, and famous quotations. Under the topic math are the topics multiplication table and basic math. Under languages, you can work on German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Latin. There is human anatomy under the science topic. You can even work on your SAT preparation. Under the topic English, you can pick vocabulary or grammar. You can study the chemical symbols. Under the topic of geography, you can pick world landmarks, identify countries on map, world capitals, and flags of the world.

For each correct answer, the website donates 10 grains of rice through the world hunger program to help end hunger.

My favorite choices are famous paintings, vocabulary, grammar, identify countries on map, world capitals, and flags of the world. It's fun.

Zumba with Daniel

Zumba with Daniel is pure fun. I went to his class this morning at 9:30 a.m. at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate. I had an amazing time. The room was packed. Daniel is very popular and loved by everyone. He has smooth moves. He gets you sweaty, moving, with a big smile on your face.

I love Zumba. I'm grateful to have Daniel as an instructor.

Aqua Zumba with Niel Smith

I went to Aqua Zumba this morning at 11 a.m. at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate Seattle, and the instructor was Niel Smith. Niel always makes Zumba fun! Aqua Zumba is zumba in the pool. It's a pool party. Actually it is like going on a cruise and having fun.

Niel always makes class fun for everyone. He has a kind heart. He's a great dancer and choreographer. He's gets the old and fat to move and have fun. He makes you feel young again. He's not replaceable and loved by everyone.

If you want to have fun, come at 11 a.m. to 24 Hour Fitness Northgate Seattle on Fridays to take the class Aqua Zumba. Niel makes it fun and you will have a great time.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Zumba and service animals

Last night at Zumba, a woman complained about the music being too loud and that she could not bring her service animal into class. It's inappropriate for a service animal to be brought into a Zumba class because it would not be safe for the dog. It is unkind of the owner to even consider such a thing. Zumba is usually packed with dancers who move into every inch of space. It would be difficult to dance with a dog underfoot--a safety hazard for dancers and the dog. The woman with the service animal wanted to dance. Unless the dog was tied up at the side, it would be inappropriate. Music is loud in Zumba. It doesn't work for everyone. In life, there are endless choices to spend your time. Not everything works for everyone.

I remember seeing this woman when Marco was a Zumba instructor. She used to sit at the side in a chair and watch. Now she is better and able to dance. I asked her if she was going to dance. She said yes.

This reminds me of what teachers in public school have to deal with. Not all classrooms can be for everyone. Just as I believe it is inappropriate for a teacher in a public school to have to deal with a special needs student who is severely disabled, I believe it is inappropriate for a Zumba class to accommodate someone who wants to dance with a service animal. Unless the classroom were much bigger and she could dance off to the side or unless there were a special class just for people with service animals, it isn't going to work.

Modern Family

I just watched the latest episode of Modern Family on since I no longer have television. What a great show! It was about roller skating. They were at a rink for a fund raiser and the whole cast of Modern Family was roller skating. What fun!

I recently bought roller skates. I'm a little reluctant to try them out. I need to start slow and go to a roller rink. My goal is to skate around Green Lake. When I do that, I will walk around with a permanent smile. I wish there were more roller skating rinks. Last year for my birthday, I went roller skating with my family. Although I hadn't been on skates for over 20 plus years, after I got used to them, I could zip around at the end of the time. I love roller skating and look forward to going around Green Lake.

I was waiting until my youngest son came to visit to go roller skating. I knew he would hold my hand and he would help me. It doesn't sound like he is coming any time soon and I can't let my skates gather dust until he does come so I must just do it.

Something to consider................

Sometimes an issue bothers me until I write about it. I have been thinking about this for awhile and I hope that I am able to express this point of view clear enough.

I don't like conflict and I like to stay in the safe zone but sometimes you have to say something, you must speak up. I believe strongly in using words, logic, and the law and never physical violence or causing harm.

Something happened this evening that brought this issue to the forefront in my mind again and I can't sleep. Please consider my words. I hope it can make a difference to help a lot of people.

When Pope Francis became Pope, I thought that he is the one who might do something about this issue so I am asking him, too, to consider my words. Pope Francis is a scholar, someone who believes in social justice, and not a religious snob. He is of the people. I'm not Catholic but from the Catholic church the answer just might come for it is a strong and powerful church.

Through the centuries, the Catholic church has harbored homosexuals. I believe this to be true. Just as the Catholic church has been the protector of learning, books, and education through the centuries, I believe this church has been the safe haven for homosexuals; otherwise, there would not be all the gay priests. This is not a new issue. Consider the book, Pope Joan too.

Many right wing conservative churches believe strongly that homosexuals are evil or not normal and that God doesn't shine down upon homosexuals with approval. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of these churches. Other religions believe this way too. Mormons were instrumental in preventing gay marriage in California and stopping it cold.

Homosexuals or gay people have always been with us. Look at history.

If God made every person on earth and sometimes I'm not sure I believe in God anymore after the last 15 years that have been unusually difficult for me and so many different churches have been such a disappointment to me, I ask this.... If God made every person on earth, then he is pleased and his creations are a perfection. Homosexuals were born this way. I doubt very much that any person would want to experience the kind of harassment and torment and prejudice that comes to gay people unless they were truly born that way. So this means that God made them in his perfection. Remember when Jesus, the good Jewish boy, said that everyone should love one another. This is one of the most important things he asked of everyone. He asked that we love everyone, no matter how difficult they are or how different they are from us. That's the challenge and not easy. He said to love fat people, people of color, people who don't look like we do, people who live on the other side of the world, people who have different opinions.

In the last six months, I met a nun in a catholic school who looked like she was gay. I really had that thought. That brought up the book Pope Joan that I read in a book club. There have been gay Boy Scout leaders. There have been gay priests. So many gay people trying to be good and do the right thing. They are human. Would gay priests have abused young choir boys, if they were allowed to be gay and marry? I think not. Would gay Boy Scout leaders have abused young boys if they were allowed to be gay and marry? I think not.

Our failure with this issue, I believe is that we need to realize that people who are born gay are loved by God and are perfect just as they are. No one should ask a gay person not to be gay. Priests who are gay should be allowed to marry. Homosexuals should be allowed to marry without prejudice or loss. God wants people to be happy and to be their unique selves. He wants us to learn from each other. He wants us to live in peace and be kind to each other.

I hope my words will be considered and have a positive impact. Although I am not gay, I sincerely hope that those who are will be allowed to be themselves in peace without judgment or harm.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Lunch with Ben

I went downtown on the bus and had lunch with my son, Ben today. I had a great time. It's always special to spend time with him. He's one of the best people I know. I'm always proud of him and love him very much. To get to spend time with him is a great gift. 

My children are the BEST people I know and to spend time with my children and my grandchildren is the greatest gift and the most fun.

Zumba with Niel

This afternoon at 4:30 p.m. at the Northgate 24 Hour Fitness in Seattle, I took the Zumba class with Niel. He's such a great instructor and he's fun. I had such a wonderful time. I'm so grateful to be able to take his class.

One of the women in the class said that one of the Zumba instructors, Mariam, is moving away to San Francisco. She's heart broken. It's hard when you get attached to a great instructor and they aren't there.

That's why it would be so nice if 24 Hour Fitness would have a large screen in front that they could pull down with videos of the favorite instructors. The instructors would still get paid but 24 Hour Fitness would make so much more money with more people coming through the door. Zumba is a big draw for the club. Even when the instructor is here, it would help so that the people in the back could see the feet of the instructor to copy the dance steps. I wish. I wish. I wish. I talked to Kayleen, the manager before I left and suggested it again. This way there could be more classes every day. We could still have classes with Mariam and Marco who moved to the East Coast. Then we could have Niel at least twice every single day. When Daniel visits his family in Brazil and is gone for a month, we can still have him on video on a large screen and he could still earn extra money. Everyone would be happy. A win for the instructors. A win for all the members of 24 Hour Fitness. A win for 24 Hour Fitness. When members see that there is consistent and more Zumba classes at all times of the day, more people would want to join.

Century Link

I was shocked to open my bill from Century Link and find that it is going to be $136.80 a month for internet and phone. I was told at the Northgate Mall here in Seattle that it would never be over $74, even if the amount was raised so why is it $136.80?
I changed from Comcast because my bill was $164. Then I finally got it down to $120. I wanted to save money so I gave up television. So now I am missing Survivor every week. I have no idea who got voted off or what is happening.

I think it is outrageous that businesses can charge whatever they want. Century Link advertises a five year locked in price of $19.95 for the Internet and if you get the super duper Internet speed it is $29.95 so how does this translate into internet and phone for $136.80?

I was welcomed into the Century Link family. I need from Century Link services and bills that they promise and delivery as promised.

Maybe someone needs to work on price controls. This is outrageous!

Last week I got a notice that my bill was going to be $105. I called. They said, "That's right." I went into the mall office at Northgate mall for Century Link and they said, "It's about right." Then when I got this real bill, it is even higher.

The end result as of today, May 9th is that Century Link agreed to back off a $31 installation charge but my monthly bill is still going to be around $105, which is higher than I thought. When I asked if I could just have Internet, they said that the price would be the same because I needed to bundle the phone and Internet to keep it at $105.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Zumba with Niel Smith

This morning at 9:30 a.m. I was at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate to take a Zumba class by Niel Smith, my favorite instructor. I was so happy to see him walk in the door since I haven't seen him in awhile. I love Niel. I'm so grateful for all the fun in his class. He's such an amazing and gifted dancer and choreographer. It is a great gift to be in his class to learn from him and to have fun. This is the most fun that I have in a week when I get to take a class by Niel. You get to move, dance, and the music is great. You live in the moment. Nothing else exists. Pure fun. Everyone in the room dancing together and having a great time. What could be better?

I wish I didn't have to work this evening so I could go to Zumba again.

Niel needs to be cloned so he could always teach at least a couple of Zumba classes every day at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate. Then I would always be happy, fit, and all would be well in the world.

I downloaded the Zumba Fitness app on my android cell phone but I am having problems checking in when I take a class. Each time that you take a Zumba class and check in on this app, you are donating your calories lost in class to give to the great calorie drive to eliminate world hunger. Too many people in the world are hungry and everyone needs to do what they can to help. "Let's give the world a reason to dance," says Zumba Fitness because each calorie burned in a Zumba class is a calorie worth of food and is donated to a person who is hungry. 870 million people in the world do not get enough to eat. It is my understanding that the average amount of calories burned in a Zumba class is 750 calories. More if you end up with dripping wet hair, a wet shirt, and sweat drips on the floor. Pure fun in a Zumba class. I know of nothing better. I love Zumba. I'm happy to help in this project.


I love Seattle and I'm so grateful to live here. I moved here in December of 2011 to Northgate which is only 9 miles from downtown Seattle. It's so close, I could walk. It would be a little tricky, if I walked but still possible. I know because my son has run to work before and he lives in Green Lake. I know I could walk to Green Lake and all I would have to do is follow his route that he uses to run to work which is to go along Aurora until you get close to the Space Needle and then head towards 3rd and Union. Maybe someday when I am particularly adventurous, I will.

Every day is an adventure in Seattle because so much is here. It's such a grand and glorious city. It has all the ingredients of a big city with all the culture and the arts. I know that not everything is perfect but it sure is as close as it comes. It has an amazing symphony, art museum, the Dale Chihuly Glass Museum, the Woodland Park Zoo, the Pacific Science Center, Broadway plays, great restaurants, the Pike Place Market, and on and on and on. The list just keeps going. It's endless as to the possible wonderful things you could do. They keep adding to it all the time. All you have to do is open the Seattle Times to see what is next.

I can't do it all but it's there. It's out there. Seattle has perfect weather, not too cold, not too hot. I don't like hot weather. I can deal with cold weather a lot better than hot weather.

We have a great mayor and a great governor. All is well in Seattle. If something happens in Seattle, they quickly figure it out and handle it. Things get done. Seattle has everything and the best part is that it is an international city where people from all over the world come and live in peace. Pretty good.

This morning....

So I woke up this morning early at 4:30 a.m. and all I could think about was something that I should have done yesterday but didn't. Nothing I can do about it now but it is bothering me so maybe if I blog about it, I can move on. I think part of the reason why I am fat is because I am clogged with words, art, music, etc. My new definition of obesity! Clogged with words, I say!

Okay, so after talking with my sister in Georgetown, Texas for over an hour on the phone, I looked at the clock and it was around 8 p.m. Not too late to go to Target and buy Greek yogurt that I needed and Diet Coke that I just HAD to have, especially if I drove so I did. When I got to the check stand, there was a nice young family ahead of me. They obviously were many times more affluent than I. The man brought his wrong Target card and he wanted the 5% off of his purchase of over $300. They didn't live close. I came so close to just letting them use my card. My dead husband would have yelled at me for days if I had but it was the right thing to do and I didn't. I was wrong. I guess I was expecting the clerk who waited on them to call a manager on duty to make it right and to give these people the 5% discount since they had an old card and they had good credit cards. The man had picked up the wrong Target card. I could have fixed it but I chose to stay safe and I watched when I could have helped everyone.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Beethoven's Fifth -- Seattle Symphony

My last afternoon ticket for the season was this afternoon for Beethoven's Fifth -- Beyond the Score Series. Every time I go, it seems like it just keeps getting better and better and I don't know how that is possible since it is always perfection. It was glorious and pure genius.

During the first part was a narration about the history of Beethoven's Fifth. The actors were amazing, bold, caught up in their character, and lived the part. Obviously, they are on stage often and could be in the movies. I loved the period costumes. As I look in the program, I see that Cathan Bordyn is "a local and film actor with over 40 roles spanning his career." Well, no wonder! And David Pichette "has been a fixture in the Seattle Theater scene for 30 years." They were all serious actors and you could tell. I hadn't read this part until I got home. They made it special for everyone in Benaroya Hall.

Christian Knapp was the conductor. He was glorious and seemed to be all arms. He was light on his feet moving this way and that. You could tell that he loves to be a conductor and he loves Beethoven's Fifth.

Tears rolled down my cheeks during parts near the end that was just pure perfection. I loved every part. Heaven is listening to the Seattle Symphony. I'm grateful that I get to attend once in awhile. It must be glorious fun to be able to go to every performance several times a week. I can afford to do the afternoons once in awhile. I am usually in row W and today I was in seat 11, isle A, orchestra left. End of the season for me. I had a great time.

I wondered today if the gift shop sells cards of the members of the orchestra. I wonder if in the packs of cards there are the conductors, instruments, composers, symphonies, and all the members of the orchestra with information on the back. I need to look and see. That would be fun to buy and collect. I also need to buy a CD once in awhile.

I see that Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich is coming up this month. Tempted to buy a ticket but I can't afford to do all I want to do in life.


I love Starbucks. I love the menu. I love the coffee. I only buy Starbucks at the grocery store to make at home.

This afternoon during the break at the Seattle Symphony, I ordered a Frappuccino. I got a coffee Frappuccino and it was delicious. Really good. I love it. Now I will have to order them all summer.


I have a long list of things to do. I keep working on it to check things off. It's a never ending list because some chores have to repeated over and over and over. When I can't finish one thing or if it becomes more complicated than I had expected, I do what I can and then move on to another one. I'm getting a lot done. I also plan my day and make a list of things to do for each day. Some days I don't get everything done so things get moved over to the next day.

This morning I decided to set up my old computer. Everything was going along fine until I found that not all the computer cords were where I had left them so I can't hook up my computer, which I will use for writing. Now I have to let this go until I can buy new cords.

Then I went on to cleaning my vacuum cleaner. I had to take it apart with a Philips screw driver. I put it back together and cleaned it but have to wait for a filter to dry before it is ready to use again.

My old computer has been on my list for awhile. I finally got it back yesterday. I was told that they might have to completely wipe it which would have been hard since there is a lot of writing on this computer plus two of my novels. I'm so happy my computer didn't have to be wiped clean and that all information is still on it plus all the photos. I have decided to keep this computer off line and just use it for writing.

Stories for Boys by Greg Martin

The Seattle Public Library downtown had a special author event at 7 p.m. last night in the Microsoft Auditorium. Greg Martin who wrote the memoir, Stories for Boys was here in Seattle and there was a staged reading performed by Book-It Repertory Theatre. I must say that the actor who played Greg Martin was outstanding and I can see him on stage or in movies because of his depth of emotion in character. What a privilege to see this amazing event!

I'm so glad I went. I haven't ventured out at night on the bus but I thought I would try it and it worked out great. Most people have told me that it's not safe to ride the bus in the evening but I really wanted to go to the library and I knew it would still be light when I got home so I didn't see the problem. Now I know that I can ride the bus, the best bus 41 that brings me in the tunnel under Benaroya Hall, walk two blocks to the library, and come home safely without any problems. Easy as pie. I had such a wonderful time. I should have looked at the schedule closer to see if I could have stayed later.

I stayed to listen to Greg Martin but he was just answering personal questions about his memoir. I would have wanted to hear about his writing process. He teaches at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and he taught for a short period of time at the North Seattle Community college. He teaches creative nonfiction.

I must say though that if he really thinks that his boys haven't read his memoir, he's in denial, which he learned from his mother.

There is so much amazing talent here in Seattle, so many events, so many opportunities to learn and grow. I'm so grateful to be here in Seattle. I love it here. Everything that anyone could want is in Seattle plus it has perfect weather. It has all the cultural events, the arts, the museums, great restaurants, the BEST library. All is good. We have a great mayor and a great governor. I'm so impressed with everything here.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Cash and Carry

I have discovered a new grocery store where I love to shop. It's Cash and Carry, "where restaurants buy better." It's like Costco without the yearly fee, and without the gifts and clothing. Ninety percent of the shoppers own restaurants. Great prices and fresh produce keep me coming back. I really enjoy getting the package of romaine hearts, English cucumbers, tomatoes, shredded carrots, bell peppers, and salad dressing for a large salad every day. What I am surprised about is that the produce is not only cheaper but is fresher than if I buy any where else. Every time I walk down a new isle that I haven't discovered, I find more neat stuff and bargains. It's close to my apartment and I save money. I bought a whole box of tomatoes and made fresh pasta sauce. I baked the cut up tomatoes with handfuls of garlic cloves, cut up onions, bell peppers, black olives, and lots of basil and olive oil. Then I blend it in my food processor. Delicious and so good for you. I find great buys on pasta, beans, brown rice, and everything. I love to cook but I don't have anyone to cook for so I freeze it. I would bake homemade bread but I sure don't need to be eating it. I miss making pies and cakes but I don't need to be eating that either. I eat enough as it is.

I shop at the one at 13102 Stone Avenue North which is behind Staples on Aurora in North Seattle. The phone number is 206-364-1737.