Saturday, October 5, 2013

Red Butte Garden Now

Fall 2013
I haven't put up many pictures of Red Butte this season. One reason is that I found that this years' pictures are a lot like last years' One rose alone IS a lot like any other rose pictured alone, after all.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Blue Lady Dreams of Home

The  Guardians of the Rock River in Rockford Illinois
I'm a midwestern girl, really, but it's been awhile since I lived in the midwest. Sometime during my school years I became determined to leave my dumb home town, Rockford Illinois, the second I was able to as an adult. And I succeeded. I joined the Navy. I didn't see the world, but I did learn to live in large east coast cities. I ended up living in Manhattan for awhile even ..... 76th and Broadway on the Upper West Side just above a Korean fruit market in a renovated hotel. I would tell people I was from the midwest; I never tried to hide it. But I was pretty bound and determined to become some kind of east coast person instead, whatever that meant.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I Will Love It

We going to stay. I can't say I really "love it," but staying is the least bad alternative. I will have to pay a fair amount of extra money but not as much as I would pay if I were to move.

I just decided that moving was too much trouble. I don't want to do it right now. The whole idea just exhausts me.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Love It or List It

I'm ok with big changes like moving when those changes are my own choice. I'm not so ok when the need to make a big change is trust upon me, like it or not. I just found out that one way or another, a big change will be thrust upon me.

My apartment building was bought by a new company this spring. At first nothing happened. Now, I have been informed, big things are changing. The company is renovating the whole place including all the apartments. We are going to have a series of choices. All of them involve paying more money and some of them involve the trouble of moving.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

House Hunters

How about this place?
Because I do have cable TV in my summer home, I do watch TV when I'm here.  HGTV is my go-to channel if I can find little else to watch, and as a result I watch far too many episodes of House Hunters .... this being about all that  HGTV is showing these days.

House Hunters clearly shows that I, like many people, do have a propensity for becoming addicted to something that is very bad for me. I know it's "fake". I've read the inside stories about how the person already has the property under contract before any filming is done. I know the formula very well. I know exactly what will happen before and after each commercial break. I still watch. I don't care. I'm addicted.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands: Bison South Dakota

On SD 21 heading east

Before I tell you all about the town of Bison, I have to give you all some practical travel advice. Remember how I said I bought a bottle of Starbucks Frappucino in Buffalo? I'm hear to tell you don't be fooled by the appearance of  those sweet, little faux milk bottles. If you happen to have one of these wolf-in-sheep's-clothing items in an ordinary cup holder in a Subaru, opened up so that you can swig it while driving, you know, the way you're supposed to do with bottles of liquids you buy in gas station C-stores, and you decide to stop rather suddenly, said bottle will fly out of said cup holder and whatever contents are left inside that innocent little thing will go all over everywhere inside your vehicle. I'm just telling you.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands: Buffalo South Dakota

The road, the grass, the sky. Welcome to South Dakota, a quintessential red state.
I got my new super secure, Homeland Security approved driver's license this week. It has at least two holograms on the front, a big picture and a small picture and half the back is mysterious bar code-y stuff. You can all feel more secure now about flying if I happen to be in the plane with you. I don't get on planes very often these days, so I don't suppose this will effect too many people, but, hey, I'm doing my bit.

I asked my friends on Facebook what this new little card could do for me. I got two good from Josie who said I could now drive like a madwoman, and then David just wrote "Road Trip!" So I decided to combine the two and take a madwoman's road trip.

I got out the map and decided to check out Buffalo, South Dakota, in honor of Sally T. whose home town is Buffalo, New York and who has been blogging recently about all the neat things to do around there. Next time you find yourself in her part of the country, go ahead and use her blog as a tour guide.  You'll have a great time. There are lots of things to do in the greater Niagara area, many of them involve getting to eat cheese and/ or cupcakes.

Friday, July 5, 2013

I Accept The Challenge

I was there .... on the beach at Santa Cruz CA
One of my very favorite bloggers, Sally, The Unbrave Girl, threw down a challenge recently. She asked all of us to post a full length photo of ourselves on the web and to just STOP being snarky about all the "faults" of our bodies. Here's the full post about the challenge and here is an update with responses from beautiful real women of many ages, from many places.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Goals? or Not?

I have to say that I tend to resist setting goals. This is gotten me into some frustrating circumstances at work in the past when I some years I just refused to do it at all. My real goal for work was probably something like "just keep doing what I am doing as well as I have been doing it (or some better on occasion) and stay employed here for another year" but that wasn't what was needed. I needed to find something that I could try to improve. My supervisor once said in a bit of despair "But how will I evaluate you next year if you have no goals that I can evaluate you against?" Good question. That's the problem with setting up the evaluation system that way in the first place.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer Home

I'm at my summer home in South Dakota now. Haven't been out traveling, like to the Badlands or anything like that. I'm trying to puzzle out in my mind what is it that I do here and why do I think it's worth the trouble to come out here?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Traveling After Retirement

Another myth of retirement - you say you want to travel but you won't.

Recently at Red Butte I met a couple from PA who were traveling the continent as they had wanted to after retirement. They still had a large house on a lot of acreage in a rural area where they had lived many years and raised their family. They had owned a travel home of some kind for several years and said until the husband retired, they had used it for annual vacations to here and there, but nothing really far away from their home because they didn't have that much time for travel.

The husband retired in 2010, and they said the intended to take off on their dream long trip, but things happened, including illnesses in other family members, and they just didn't do it. The myth in action, right?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The World is Looking Better

The weather is getting better every day. Soon it will be hot, hot, hot, but right now things are just about perfect. I am feeling much better too. I no longer have cold symptoms, although I am still a bit low on energy. I've been driving around town for short errands more than I really should primarily because I just don't have the energy to do a lot of walking. I still take a nap nearly every day with Smokey Rose.

School has almost finished up for the year. I have just one student taking an incomplete, and I was given no summer school assignment this year (yeah!) so I'm pretty much free to do whatever the heck I want right now. I'll be leaving for the summer home in a couple of weeks. I'm staying in town in order to get in some hours working at Red Butte and to take part in a couple of taiko performances.

I am back to planning for the future. The next myth of retirement to consider is the one that says "your money will last as long as you need it."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ill Again

Smokey Rose and I have been spending a lot of time together taking naps during the day. I became ill again and that has kind of put my life on hold. I "just" have a cold, but it's been a bad one that just will not go away. I have taken off days from work officially. I have gone to work when I felt awful and just carried on.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chief Life Officer

"Chief Life Officer" is a phrase from a company that I can't remember (failure of the advertising effort) who sponsors NPR a lot lately. I like that idea so I'm going to make it my own. I am now my own CLO. Not that I have been otherwise in the past, but I have renewed my intention to be responsible and accountable for my life.

As I wrote before I have been pondering that article about myths of retirement, thinking about what kind of actions I need to take to help insure that my life generally moves in directions that I prefer. the first idea that I have thought a lot about is the "myth" that "you will keep your health."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Four More Years

I'm not quite there, but in six weeks or so this school year will be over. We'll be having our annual faculty retirement party....this year for the dean and I'm not sure who else. Four school years later, it will be my turn. My plan is that in April 2017, I'll be cleaning out my office, and part of the party will be for me.

I've been thinking about this actively for several years, but now that this event is only 4 years away (LESS THAN 5!!!!!!!!!) I'm actively studying about it. I am looking forward to this next phase of my life, and I want to do it well.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Refreshed and Gladdened

First of all, I am feeling much better. A few weeks ago I had my hemoglobin re-measured, and it was up to 11 which is much improved. No doubt it is higher now, but I won't have another test until April or so. My symptoms have mostly gone away, and now I just need to get some strength and stamina back.

The weather here seems to have turned a corner, and it looks like spring IS on the way in. I can go out and walk just fine now, and I have returned to my usual activities like taiko drumming and Tai Chi. Soon I'll be back to gardening at Red Butte too, and life will be back to normal.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

"How are you?"

I ask it myself all the time. And I get asked this all the time. Of course, it's just a conversational convention. No one really wants the true answer, & no one expects one.

Right now the true answer is "I'm not well at all." I got the numbers from my complete blood count test (CBC). It was worse than I thought. About 10 days ago my hemoglobin was 7.9. When my health care friends hear that, they blanch. Jeeze1 That's low! Very low!

Monday, January 28, 2013


I'm not dumb enough to complain about the weather. The weather is what it is, will be what it will be. But I know for sure that this whole month (January) I have been drastically affected by the weather, not in a good way. It kind of came to a head yesterday when I happened to look up out the window after spending too much time looking at the computer screen, and I just burst into tears because it was snowing AGAIN.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cat Naps and the Will to Cook

I have a kind of new habit which really makes me happy .... napping with the cat. When I am working at home and feeling weary in the middle of the afternoon, I find I can refresh my spirit by taking a break and getting in some kitty love time.