Friday, March 25, 2016


a mixture,
a collection,
a mixed bag,
a rag bag.
A blog post
becomes a collection of thoughts and activities when one has been 
away from blogging for over a month.

Where to start?

I had a birthday while I've away from blogging.

Daughter Amy and granddaughter Hannah came to help me celebrate.
We also celebrated Amy's birthday which is usually five days after mine.
Every four years there are six days between our special days.
I was born on February 28.
I gave birth to Amy on March 5.

Amy and Hannah brightened my birthday by being with me to celebrate,
and Amy brightened the house by putting together this vibrant and colorful birthday bouquet
which I enjoyed for days.
My son-in-law had to touch the flowers to see if they were real.
Thanks again, Amy.

All the kids sent me a Mother's bracelet that came from Sheridan and Ryan's shop, Hip & Humble.
I just love it!

After Amy and Hannah left for home, Jim and I took advantage of the beautiful weather we were having by taking a walk under beautiful blue skies in the Garden of the Gods.

We had a lot of cake back at the house, so Jim's daughters, their husbands. and children came over to help me celebrate later in the evening.

The next day, Jim drove me to Denver for a doctor's appointment.
After the appointment, we drove out to tour Amy's place of employment, a data storage center.
Once we passed security, we had to go through this gate to get to the front door where Amy met us.

We were very impressed by the entire operation that happens at such a place.
It was all quite interesting.
Amy is the company's human resources generalist.
The girl actually gave in and let me take her picture.
Mom's have to brag on their kids once in a while.

March has been such a busy month.
It seemed I lived at National Jewish Health during March as I was having many tests done.
I won't bore you with details.  I just had a lot of GI testing for chronic problems.
I am doing well at the moment and feeling good.
That is the good news.


I've attended way too many funerals this past month.
One was for the mother of a friend.
One was a heartbreaking one of a young man whom had been a student when my husband was principal.   He was the victim of a senseless act of violence.

I also serve on the funeral committee at our church.
This last month, we've unfortunately been hit by quite a few deaths in our church.
Our committee puts on a reception for the family and other attendees after the funeral service.
This means that we usually work five or six hours putting it together and cleaning up afterwards.
The ladies on the committee have become very close,
and we have a lot of fun together behind the scenes.
At one funeral earlier this month, I was in charge of making the coffee.
The coffee maker malfunctioned.
Actually, the coffee machine was fine,
but the maker of the coffee (that would be me) put the wrong size carafe under the machine.
I had a huge mess on my hands.
Let's just say coffee was going everywhere, and it kept on flowing before I figured out what to do: forget about cleaning  up the mess and get another pot under the machine.
Then I cleaned up the mess.

We serve because we have served by others when we lost loved ones.
Now, we are giving back.
It is good to serve others during their times of bereavement.


Two weeks ago, I hosted for my high school girlfriend get together.
Thank heaven's EH co-hosts with me!
I get so scattered getting everything ready that I am useless.
EH comes in and helps me set things up, get the food served, and she even stays and helps clean up.
She keeps things together while I flit around losing my mind.

The time with the girls is a celebration of fun, friendship, and food.
This time we had fabulous Mexican food.
As is our tradition, we gathered to lift a Margarita toast to those dear friends that are now departed.
Then, we feasted on homemade tamales, green chili, enchilada casserole, and the most amazing flan cake.  There were veggies, and chips and dip, cheese cake, too.
Needless to say, we had quite a feast.

Before we ate, we took our group photo on my front porch.
I used the automatic self timer on my camera for the first time.
Note that I barely got to my spot in the group before the camera took the picture.  
I'm just glad I didn't knock over the tripod.

I love these girls!
We are all so blessed to have each other.
Our friendships become richer and more priceless with each passing year.


Jim and I took a road trip to see my mother last week.
I hadn't been over to see Mother since September.
Since she lives on the other side of the Rocky Mountains, I no longer make the trip in winter.
After checking the weather forecast, we determined the best day to make the trek.
On the day we left, snow started falling in the mountains.
I suggested a more southern route which my husband thought seemed too far out of the way.
In the end, he took my suggestion.
Terrible snow storms that included wind, blizzard like conditions, caused road closures on the route we usually take.
Thankfully, no snow fell on us, and we had very little traffic.

I'd not told mother we were coming until we left home because I didn't want to disappoint her in case weather prevented us from making the trip.
She seemed so happy and quite surprised to learn we were coming.

The morning after our arrival, I snapped this photo of Mother.
This photo captures so much about her.
She is enjoying her coffee and the newspaper as she does every morning.
The coffee cup says CSHS on it and has a image of her high school on it:
Colorado Springs High School.
Her green thumb is evidenced by the gorgeous orchids on her table.
I gave her those orchids last year for her birthday.
She'd never grown orchids before, but that didn't stop her from keeping them blooming a year later.
The painting on the wall is one she painted.
The smile shows she is engaged and engaging.

She tells me all the time that she isn't going to let anyone one do for her what she can do for herself.
She often tells me she gets up and cooks herself an egg and bacon every morning.
"I cook a real meal. I don't just pour cereal in a bowl.  I make a meal."
"If I stopped doing for myself I'd be done."

I asked if she needed to go shopping.
She did.
She needed make-up.
So, she got her spring coat on and off we went to the mall.

This woman, my amazing mother, will be 100 years old in May.

She has a new walker that allows her to get around better than when she uses a cane.
She stood up straight and tall and pushed that walker through the mall.
In my mind, I heard her short quickly paced high heel clad steps walking down the sidewalk in front our home when I was child as she came home
from Wednesday evening choir practice at the church in the next block.

Straight and and tall, all 4'10" of her tiny frame stepped out at a pace that amazed me as she pushed that walker.
Again, an image came to my mind.
I saw her pushing a baby buggy down the street towards the bus stop, clad in high heels, walking at a fast clip, she was going to town to do some shopping with my baby sister in the buggy,
and myself at her side.

This day, all those years later, we had lunch at the mall where she commented on hair styles and clothing styles.  She notices such things.  She's up on all the styles.  She doesn't like some of them.  I wonder if anyone even knows what style is these days.

Then we went to buy her makeup.
She said she needed one more thing while we were there.
She was out of Chanel No. 5 perfume and needed to get a new bottle.

Yes, that is my amazing mother.


Today is Good Friday.
It was warm this morning.
I went out dressed in a light sweater and slacks and flats with no stockings as I went to the store.
This evening when we went to dinner, I was dressed in winter pants,  a warm sweater, and boots.
I put on my long wool dress coat that I had not put on all winter to wear to Good Friday services.
It was snowing like crazy all through dinner.
We actually had thunder snow where it was thundering and snowing at the same time.

We missed Good Friday services because of the weather.
It just didn't make sense to go out for night services on a night like this.

On Wednesday, we were snowed in due to a blizzard.
Earlier today, before the snow hit, I went out to buy groceries.
I've leaned to get to the store early when snow is in forecast.
I'm not sure if my daughter and her family will make it down on Easter because of the forecasted storms, but I thought I'd better plan as if she were coming.

I picked up the last of the asparagus at the store.
I picked up one of the last six hams that were left in the store.
I got the last of the daffodils; there weren't even a dozen in the last few I grabbed.
They had plenty of eggs which I needed.
Thank heavens, they also had plenty of jelly beans.
I love jelly beans.
The store manager told me that he'd not gotten shipments in for the end of the week
due to storm early in the week.

As I left the store, the parking lot was filling up fast.
I was glad I made it there relatively early.

I don't think we will have an Easter egg hunt on Sunday.
It would be hard to find eggs in all this snow.

Happy Easter!



Kay said...

Happy Birthday and Happy Easter, Sally! What an amazing month you had. I love how everyone came to celebrate your birthday with you. I love that beautiful smile of yours.

Margaret Adamson said...

What a wonderul catch up post for us all but my favourite bit is seeing your wonderful Mother. She is amazing for her age. By the way a belated HAPPT BIRTHDAY to you also. HAPPY EASTER and have a great week ahead.

Jean said...

Wonderful post! What a month you've had. Your mother is amazing! To think she still needs her makeup and her favorite perfume at almost 100: that's wonderful. She's an inspiration. Happy Easter!

Lin Floyd said...

you've been missed, its been quite a break since you blogged-fun to hear of all your activities. I too belong to a women's church group-Relief Society and we give luncheons for funerals and get together weekly. Too bad about your snow in Colorado-we are having windy warm weather in St. George Utah where I live and spring is in full bloom. Happy Easter!

Olga Hebert said...

Oh, my, Sally. You have been busy. Happy belated birthday wishes and a very Happy Easter.

Betsy Adams said...

Great post, Sally... Looks like you had an amazing birthday... Think you'll live as long as your Mom and stay as healthy? My mother lived til she was 91. You look GREAT.... So does your Mom. I had no idea that she was so tiny... So glad you made it over there to see her --with such bad weather all around.

Take care and have an awesome Easter.

Jeanie said...

It sounds as though you are having what we are, Sally! I hope the weather clears so you can all be together.

Your road trip sounds great and your mom -- well, what an amazing woman. She looks terrific. I used to think 100 looks OLD. She sure doesn't! Not a day over 85! And you look darned good too in that birthday photo of yours! Sounds like a nice celebration.

We're starting to see more and more of the funerals and memorials, aren't we. I guess it comes with the territory but it's sure no fun. Meanwhile, I'm glad you can suck the joy out of every day with good friends, a reunion, wonderful family and celebrations!

Sending Easter wishes!

Anonymous said...

Garden of the Gods is exactly that in Colorado..Happy belated birthday maybe you will make it to 100 like your amazing Mother, seniors are living far into their 100's! Look at the fabulous Bernie Sanders at almost 75 he acts like the energizer whee..Good your health is going well, health is one's wealth..We celebrate Passover which is in April later, Easter is upon us out here, the tulip festival up north is blooming, by the time the month of April comes the dates for the tulip festival most will be already gone, we go to the place past the mt. Vernon Washington festival early La Conner and enjoy the lack of crowds and swamped no parking..Enjoy your family and keep up your happy disposition..God shines his light on those that teach and did teach and to those who bring sunshine, love and happiness and to others and you certainly have done that, God's richest blessings always!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tom Sightings said...

A study of contrasts, as life so often is -- serving on the funeral committee at your church, and hosting a high school girlfriend get together. Thanks for catching us up.

#1Nana said...

Happy Easter, Sally. Glad to hear you're feeling well. You've been on the health roller coaster too long! Sending you cyber hugs and hope that spring will arrive soon. We've got beautiful tulips in our garden!

Keicha Christiansen said...

This post made me homesick. I wish I could be there to celebrate Easter with you. XO

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

You have so much love and vibrant life all around you, Sally! This post was a joy to read! You're so blessed with family -- beautiful, successful, loving and generous family -- and some wonderful long-time friends! It doesn't get any better than that! G

Arkansas Patti said...

Belated Happy Birthday Sally. Looks like you celebrated in style. I envy you the closeness you still have with your high school friends. How neat you still stay in touch after all these years.
Your Mom is amazing. Love her mind and determination to keep doing for herself. Hope you all have a special birthday celebration for her 100th. Wow. She is a testiment to bacon and eggs.

Barb said...

I enjoyed your post, Sally. I like how you link memories of friends and family from years gone by with your present life. Our past is part of us as we live in the present and step into the future. Your mother is amazing, and I enjoy hearing about how she stays connected and vital at almost 100 years. She's truly an inspiration. I believe she's right about doing for herself as long as possible. That new bottle of Chanel - obviously her signature scent - makes me smile. Happy (snowy) Easter. It continues to snow in Breckenridge. Two of my Grands arrive with their parents tomorrow for a week of skiing.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Sally, this is a wonderful post and it has me smiling. I remember the ladies from our church who served the lunches when each of my parents died. Their presence added another dimension to the meaning of "comfort food." I'm love that you get together with your school friends, too. Best of all, of course, is your incredible mother, so tiny and alert and active and stylish. Colorado's big snowstorms used to head directly for us in St. Paul and Minneapolis, but this week nearly all the snow stayed well south of us. Nevertheless, I always pay attention to your weather, just in case it heads our way. Glad you didn't get stranded on your road trip. Be well.

DJan said...

I love the girlfriend pictures, Sally. One person hiding in the very back made me smile. Did she do that on purpose? And your mother is simply amazing. I can see the resemblance. Sending you big Easter kisses. :-)

dkzody said...

Wow, what a month you have had! Hope April brings as much joy and fun.

Love your friend with the white hair and purple shirt. Very attractive. All of your friends look good, just like your mother does. She has the right idea, just keep doing stuff for ones self.

Linda Reeder said...

Even though I have kept up with much of your busy month on FaceBook, that was a fun read, putting it all together.
You are blessed with good friends and loving family.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

What a post! Your Mom looks great. Your gals a gathering must have been fun and bad weather foe Good Fridat hit here with ice storm. Easter Sunday was much better. All the best to you and family at this time.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

What a post! Your Mom looks great. Your gals a gathering must have been fun and bad weather foe Good Fridat hit here with ice storm. Easter Sunday was much better. All the best to you and family at this time.

Pam said...

You've been busy! Your mum does sound amazing for her age. But she must miss you, living so far away.

Linda said...

I think it's wonderful that your mom still enjoys Chanel #5 at the age of 99+ years!! What an amazing lady!!!

Rose said...

Your mother sounds like an amazing woman! Your church group sounds much like the tradition at our church. The week my mother passed, there were three funerals within five days, and those ladies were busy! But their efforts--and yours--were so much appreciated. I hope you had a Happy Easter in spite of the snow, Sally!

Perpetua said...

What a wonderful potpourri, Sally - family celebrations and visits, church services and giving service at church and above all your amazing, indomitable mother (who shares my taste in perfume). She's quite right. It's doing as much as possible for ourselves that keeps us going as we age.