Saturday, December 25, 2010

2010 Christmas Letter. Finally......


Gains and Losses


Diploma with Honors from Holy Names Academy. They mean it when they say time flies. Time for wonderful celebrations of many young women heading out in to the world. Good Job everyone.

Entry into Gonzaga University, new friends , boys, and a new understanding of snow and cold and ice.

Sven Houdini, a black Norwegian Forest Kitten. Tucker, the Scottie, is still trying to figure it all out. Houdini is winning.

Time with great friends from many parts and times of my life.


A wonderful daughter to her college experience.

Sadie, our noisy, loud, bossy Westie. She went to her grave well groomed and fully vaccinated.


In any year that the gains out rank the losses, life is spectacular.

Health, Love, Peace, Friendship and Hope. These we wish for you

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Home and Feeling Great

So I am home.  I have been up since 5:30 am.  Child sent to my bed and I am antsy as hell.  I guess I need to go for a walk but when I headed out the door, it was doing that cold rainy pellets spitting thing.  Oh  well, some catching up will have to do.

So I guess it is Thursday and this is day 6 post surgery.  I am suffering for a whole list of things I can not do.  Driving is the biggest obstacle.  I mentioned feeling up to it and was soundly scolded.  I want to go do things.  I feel great.  I think Felicity, 3440 grams, was sapping my energy.  I read all this post hysterectomy crap and there are long passages about listening to music and reading good books. 

We heal very nicely in this family. I will henceforth try to not:  walk up stairs, do laundry, unload the dishwasher, lift anything heavier than 10 lbs and sit and read and watch movies and listen to soothing music to up my immune system.....  what a bother.

 I am not a good patient. I want to do things and get things done. I am wondering where and when I lost that ability

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Mail.

I want lovely Christmas cards and pictures.  I want packages and fun surprises to arrive.  I want catalogs that have a wonderful array of items that I never knew I needs but can not live without.  (I asked Santa for an Avocado slicer since I only have knives and not an item that takes up endless space in my 4 pathetic drawers.) 

Things I don't want:  Hoffner Fischer and Harvey.  ( Catholic Funeral Directors)

Yes it has a lovely picture of Mother Teresa but it is being recycled.

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 17th is really Happening

She is coming out on the 17th.  2- 3 hours of surgery.   I know you are all disappointed but my bikini days are over.  It has to go.... What ever it is. 

It is not the problem right now.  Christmas cards are not done. House is a disaster.  Laundry is not done.  This is a horrible time to have surgery.  I guess last time I shipped Mary-Elizabeth to Mexico with her father.  That made Christmas easier.  This will be interesting. 

last day of work.  Then I can focus on what needs to happen before Friday.

Friday, December 03, 2010

December 17th

7:45 A.M.  Should be home by Monday or Tuesday.  Boy do I have a lot to do before that.......

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

It has been a horrible Month

So Sadie died, Mom had back surgery (but is recovering nicely), I am not getting my knee replaced but instead am working on being scheduled to remove Felicity d'Fibroid.  Yes, Fibroid is an ugly sounding word and it appears to be a big, ugly fibroid.  Sort of the size of a small watermelon.  No a personal sized watermelon.  A small normal sized watermelon.  Maybe we should have a pool as to the weight.  I am hoping 11- 13 pounds at least.

I had my first scan on the 2nd of November but here is how it goes:
1. See Dr. Scott- he feels mass and thinks a scan would be good.
2. Go  for an ultra sound with a full bladder and no food at 1:30 p.m.  Try to laugh when they tell you that the prep was not necessary. 
3. See Dr. Pam on 8th, she orders a CT with contrast.  She works are getting a surgeon.  Two names received by 11/12/10.  Start making calls to surgeons.  There is a process you know. Attend additional ultra sound (pelvic this time)
4.  November 15, 2010 see Dr. Scott.  He says Felicity needs to come out. She is one of two things and both are not good. 
5. Leave early on November 16 for Mom's back surgery in Eugene.  Go to the wrong hospital, only once.  Receive call from Dr. Anne Bridge's office.  A cancellation.  Great, I am in Eugene. I have to keep original appointment on the 30th of November.
6.  Return home on November 19th.  Spend time on the phone making appointments with Surgeon at Original OB/GYN office for Monday.
7. See Meeghan McKeever.  She agrees out, now but concurs with my thoughts that I should get my hair done first.  She wants a a gynecology oncologist at the surgery.  She talks to him and he decides I should wait three months. He wants to see me.
8. Monday the 22nd I meet with William Peters (Buck).  He examines me and discovers that maybe he is wrong about the waiting requirement.  He is impressed with the size of Felicity and agrees it has to come out.  He wants me to see his associate Pamela Paley.  She does Robot surgery.  She is not available until the 2nd of December but they schedule me for surgery on the 17th. 
9. November 30th.  I finally see Anne Bridges and she agrees that Felicity d'Fibroid must come out but she can not give me a firm date until there is a call made to the "surgery scheduler".  If you thought you heard the sonic boom that would really be the venting of my frustration with our medical system. 
10.  I see Pamela Paley on Thursday. 

 If she will do this with the Robot I will be having surgery on the 17th of December.  If she won't then I am going to choose the doctor that can do it the fastest. 

So let's recap:
Three scans
Three visits to the Family Doctor (20.00 each visit.)
Three visits to the Specialists (35.00 each visit.)
Still no firm answers.  So more news at a 11:00. Eventually

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sadie 10-12-99 to 11-11-10

Burying Sadie in the back yard was not on my to do list but sometimes things just have to be done. 

Please know that she went to Doggie Heaven with no fleas, haircut of less than a week and completely vaccinated.  She is wrapped in a lovely piece of pink flannel that was supposed to be for pillow cases for my sister.  But I figured she needed something soft and warm. She hated to be cold.

Oh my, I am so so sad.  She was just acting funky this morning and I stopped by the vet to see if they could take a quick look. She seemed fine there and so I made the decision to keep her in the car.  I was only going to be there a few hours and it would be quiet.   When I returned I looked in and she appeared to be sleeping.  I then realized she was not breathing. She was a bit warm and had been sleeping.

I had an appointment so I sat for a moment trying to take it all in.  Found a towel in the car, wrapped her up and then went to the meeting.

I called Mary-Elizabeth and told her I was driving around with a dead Sadie in the car.  I was crying and in her best MEB way she tried to make me feel better. 

So I came home in the dark and the rain and went to the garage.  Found a spot in the garden and buried her with the help of Jim.  He was greatly helpful and worried and sad and surprised and sad.  We cried and dug.

I found a lovely piece of pink flannel  that was supposed to be pillow cases for my sisterand wrapped her up. Tucker did not want to come near her.  She was placed in the ground and gently covered with earth. 

I am going to plant a whole bunch of daffodils and a tree on the spot and she will bring brightness and shade for years to come.

Oh, she will be missed, her barking, her instance on being boss, her need to have a treat all the time. 

We are a bit teary and will be sad for along time. 

More later.  Here are the last pictures taken of her..

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Felicity d'Fibroid

Well we know we like to names things in this family.  So Felicity d'Fibroid has made an appearance in my "Abdominal Cavity".  She might have been there a while, maybe 15 months.  She needs to come out, sooner rather than later and will be having her last run in the  next couple of weeks. She is 18 cm by 18 cm by 17 cms...... we are talking huge.

Lots of questions still:  Do I get to keep my girl parts? Do I want to keep my girl parts?  Do we have to do cutting or are there other ways to get Felicity out? Do we need to worry about her distant cousin Larinda d Leiomyosarcoma? 

Like any medical process, there is a long series of actions leading up to the decision.  I am going to fight any more tests but then I might loose.  It seems to go like this:  1. Ultra Sound, Ct Scan, MRI.  I am starting to think that we love to use our machines.  The justification is that we do the least invasive first.  But instead of having once test, I get to have three.  Hummmmmmmm.

Surgery will be at Swedish.  Doctor to be determined.  Off to walk Greenlake because I am pretending nothing is wrong.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Dear Mary-Elizabeth;

November has arrived and we have been raking leaves.  You have been spared from the job because you are at college and they have people that do those sorts of things. AS I was raking I recall having a meal at Margaret's and Rory taking after you will a rake. I too the rake and you and Rory and we raked leaves.  It is a good memory.  There are lots and lots of those.  I think what you will find as you work yourself through life, you will have a series of memories that come and go.  They come to the surface when you the right trigger. 

I am experiencing a few of those right now with the "we can see you have a mass but we don't know what it is, let's do a few tests and see what we can do. 

 I think it is pretty easy.  Lets just go take it out (Melissa deMass) and call it good.  Then we can figure out what it is.  Moving the Medical system forward like trying to contain 10 gallons of wet noodles that have spilled on the floor.

Monday at 8:45 a.m., I meet with the doctor, she orders a CT and we discuss surgeons.  I work on some things I think should be handled today like planting the Purple cone Spruce and light another candle or two.

Sweetie, I just think this is an unexpected bump.  Good things: no knee rehab during winter and I loose lots of inches around my waist.  Bad, I cant think of any and that is a good thing.

Love Mom

Monday, October 25, 2010

I am a Chickedee but we are on different schedules

So I watched the chickadees yesterday as they took seed after seed from the feeders.  They were very busy.  I started to notice that they kept coming to the palm tree which sits outside my window.  They would hop around and then would be working a seed into the soft spongy bark.  They especially like the little pockets that surround the tree.  

Because of the nasty high winds and staggered down pouring rain, I used the nervous energy of Jim to work on the basement.  We dug deep into the corner and pulled out all the boxes, the books, the mysterious items that have collected for 18 years.  Moved them, sorted them and identified them.  Oh dear, I am any of the following:

1. A pack rat
2. A squirrel
3. A Chickadee

The difference is that I have now determined that it is spring.  It is time to clean out the old sun flower seeds. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Parent's Week-end is not for the Children

Oh, no the first visit to college is not for the kids.  They are not homesick.  They really only want a minute or two, some food and then a chance to continue with their new live.  They fess up to some homesickness, say things like "yes I think about you every day".   They are polite enough to roll their eyes such that you don't see it.  I went to see ME this week-end and it was fun.  Dinner with her peeps, Coffee with her peeps, breakfast with more peeps, then some Mom and Daughter boot shopping. 
Time to go visit the craziness that is Liberty Lake, two kittens, four dogs and a great movie.
Lots of sleep, Sourdough  pancakes, trees to water, beautiful sunny days and crisp cold (Ice on the Birdbath). I so loved this time of year.

As I headed West, I thought about the week-end.  It really was about me finding out that she was doing fine.  Okay there have been a few issues with grades, a guy that sometimes makes her sad, but there is so much going on, some great people taking care of the kids, giving them a place to stretch those wings.  It is such a great feeling. 

I don't think she needed to see me as much as I needed to see her.  The rolls are starting to change.  Remember when they were wee little toddlers.  They would stumble or encounter a problem and make a beeline back to you for comfort. 

I made a beeline to her to just check-in and see if she was okay.  Life is good, the world is safe.  (unless I think about what I saw in Social Network and then she has to come home tomorrow and live in the basement forever.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Adventures in Other Lands.

So...... sometimes there are things that happen and unless you are somehow connected, you miss out. the Kimchi crisis is one of those very things.   Unless anyone has been following the problems with crops this year, there is a Napa cabbage shortage in Korea.  This might seem like a small thing but Napa Cabbage is the source of Kimchi...  Much maligned fermented cabbage, sort of hot saurekraut. (I must confess I am a known maligner.)

So here is the story.  I have been hosting a series of Korean students attending a college in the University district.  They have been very happy to eat what ever I prepare but they all have tentatively asked for Kimchi.

Well I sort of resisted the temptation to take the little darlings to Owejimia and let them see all the things that are available for their consumption.  I  also heard these statements from Young Kim and Kujo that kimche was very very expensive and there was a supply problem in Korea.  NPR confirmed the rumor and then the Seattle Times printed the article.

Well....  Who knew that a riot could be started if the President suggested Kimchi could be made from cheaper round cabbage.  I guess that means I have to give it a try.

Google and Wikepedia are our friends.  Martha has a good spin.  So, review of recipes, look at the pictures, go to the Korean Tofu House, taste some and dive in.

One Napa Cabagge. (79 cents a pound), ginger, garlic, Japanese radish, green onions, red pepper flakes, fish sause and a prayer.

Mix it all together and then wait.  Opps, maybe the red pepper was supposed to ground and not in flakes.  Did I soak the leaves in salt water long enough? The fish sauce was Thai, will that make a difference?  If I do this again what kinds of pepper should I use?  I wonder if I can do this with Chipolte instead of red?  Should I add bean sprouts and water chestnuts?  Should I find the sourse for aging jars? 

See this could be a very slippery slope! 

So the tasting will be next week. 
On a sweeter note the final fruit for the fruitcake has been gathered and is ready to soak. 

All in All life is good, unless you open my fridge and take a gander.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So as you bobb along.... Others are being caught up in storm of unknown crazyness

So you are sitting in church after being gone way too long and you have a guest so you are a bit distracted. You are wondering if some of your friends are there and you know, long morning.  Then there are the prayers and someone mentions a name of someone you know, someone you know very well, someone you have known since before they were born, someone that sort of went to St. Joe's because you said it was a good idea.  Someone that you have watched grow up and struggle and thrive and struggle some more.  Then you ask and someone tells you the same prayer was requested last week and then you panic a bit.

You sort of let it go out of your mind and start to look for the number on Monday. You leave a message for the dad, he is gone for a couple of days (worry increases)  You call the church and they don't know or are not telling. You leave a message for another friend, you take a look at facebook.  Yeah hospital is mentioned, more panic, You call your daughter to see if she can sleuth something out and then just wait for the calls to be returned.

Then the call comes, first from Dad, then from Mom, oh, yeah, not immediate disaster, not good.  Lots of things going on, Kidney, Liver, heart complications, lots to think about.  Immediately go into helping mode.  Easy switch.  Encouraging, suggest letting people help is a good thing.  Makes helping wanna be's happy.  Let Mom know that it is okay for someone else to rake the leaves, do the laundry and bring dinner over many times.

It is okay to make a list and let other's do some of the ordinary things that need to be done.  Oh, do I know that it is possible. 

Then pray, bargain a bit with God for someone else's child.  Try to figure what would help now, so here is the plan.  Pick up good coffee and some good treats, pick out a Mary to stay while needed in the hospital.  Find something to maybe help person interact with his younger brother. 
Be thankful for the fact that we are just bobbing a long.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Birds are gathering and other things to think about.

So the birds, they birds, they birds.  They are hungry and demanding and going through at least two feeders a day.  Let me tell you, if I am dilatory about the refilling process, they let me know.

I am trying not to read anything into it but then a little voice in the back of my head is saying...... Winter is coming, Winter is coming.

I guess we are sort of ready.  I am going to harvest the three beets, 6 carrots and mound of potatoes this week-ed.  There will be a nice pile of green tomatoes and one or two Scarlett runner beans.  I think that is about it.  I hate to under estimate the importance of signs. 

So be forewarned.  It might be a bad winter. 

I have attached a couple of the pictures of my yard.  I realized they look like last years pictures.  Time to do something radical.  I guess I have a long winter to think about it.  I have a couple of trees to plant, some garlic to get in, some grapes to deal with some way.  I have fruitcakes to bake, and drawers to sort out.  I think I am booked for the near future.

Life is good.  A child at college is good.  Fall is good.  It is sort of like that quiet time of day just before the sun departs the sky.  A time of preparation.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Flat table Tops and other thoughts.

I have a house with no storage. So I tend to be a piler. I pile stuff on the table, the piano and then on the desk and the counter/eating area. It seems to be a problem. I would like to think it is from a lack of cupboards, or drawers or other places to put things. I am beginning to think it is just a problem.

I did some digging this week-end and began to discover the benefit of flat surfaces and bags that came from the flat surfaces in the past. It is sort of like a treasure hunt. Long forgotten items. Many of no value, some of great sentiment, all a surprise. So there probably is not a place for most of it in the permanent collection. There is a need to let it go and jot a note for the remembering times of life.

I must continue to sort. I am starting in one part of the room and moving out. I figure I won't be penned in that way. Pushing things out of the corners, into the middle and then out the door.

Things I am not doing:

I am not dealing with pictures. They are gathering in their own boxes.

I figure that for everything needs a new home. Chutes and Ladders goes, Scrabble stays.

I think I am working toward me having a new home but this process must happen first.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Moments of Sweeping or Folding

Lupe used to sweep, Father Gustavo used to sweep. It was something that happened every day and without haste. I think it is important to learn this form of "meditation" I don't sweep. I fold. Now don't think I fold cloths, NEVER! I fold fabric.

I take it all off the shelf and I refold it. I start at one side and move down the shelves. I find that it is a calming process. I find forgotten fabric, I find fun fabric, I find fabric I have loved, some I have hated and some I just ponder about. I let go of some, I plan new quilts for some, think of new and inventive ways to use it. I know that we require businesses to do inventories, to take stock in a calm way.

Pictures next.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


10 pounds of cherries-green and red, pineapple- red and yellow, orange peel-orange and 4 green glace' figs, one pound of raisins, two bottles of brandy. Let sit for 30 days. Add brandy as needed.

Be nice to Sally and maybe she will share.

Monday, September 13, 2010

60 percent to a cure.

As anyone that ever read this blog knows, I hate days that are the 13th. It reminds me of one of my personal "never ever going to forget the instant that....". days. That being said September 13th is my all time favorite day. It beats Christmas and Thanksgiving and my birthday months.


September 13, 2004 was the day that they declared Mary-Elizabeth to be in remission. She had been in treatment for a month and had failed the day 7 remission bone marrow. I did not understand the importance of her going into remission on that day at the time, I was just greatly relieved.

Since that date she has been through a lot. Lots of treatment, lots of side-effects, lots and lots of every thing. But then she has not been through a bone marrow transplant. These are good things.

4 more years and she will be cured.

Right now we take it one year at a time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Do you remember where you were when?

each of us have events that are seared into our brains. Some personal some universal.


1. The day they took my brother away to the Nampa State Home
2. The Day we left Idaho for Washington DC
3. The Day John F. Kennedy was killed
4. The Day Robert Kennedy was killed
5. The day the Space Shuttle blew up
6. The moment I realized I was pregnant
7.. The moment MEB was diagnosed
8. 911
9. the first time I tried Sushi and did not throw up.

I am always amazed at what we remember.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Conflicts in Life

It is not alright to burn Bibles or Korans
We have a right to burn Bibles or Korans

This is a country built on Religious Freedom but the very people that wave the flag and demand the right to burn Korans, also do not want to have a Mosque built. The burners will trade their right to burn for a promise to limit where a place for free worship will be built. It is so confusing.

We are a country of free people. This is not Pre-civil war times when only part of the people were free. Oh, that is right women weren't people at one time.

I don't understand the thinking but grant that they have the right to think that way. Trust me the world would be very unhappy if my way of thinking was imposed on everyone.

Drip coffee, white bread and Sunny D would be banned. Fruit Stickers would have to go, ketchup in small packages would be eliminated along with the people that pull out in the intersection and wait for the light to change. See, better to be a free society.

I also hate the death penalty but it might have to instituted for bad drivers.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Package has not arrived.

How could it be missed. It was huge, it was red, it had Mickie Mouse on the front and back. Life is not fair sometimes. It might be in another person's box. I suggested to the child that she ask. Something she is loathed to do. But then if she wants it she will ask.

I have a more important issues. I have lost my favorite ( and only) long rain coat. If I was smart I would have more than one but it was my favorite and I have had it for about 15 years. Oh, well maybe I can find a new favorite.

Today it is raining. Even Tucker does not want to go outside.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Writing Letters

It is a lost art. I realized this morning that I never did achieve the perfect place to write. That perfect place would be a fine writing desk that has a view of an endless garden in the English Countryside. The house would be heated by multiple fire places and staffed by a group of adoring much loved servants that knew their place. There would be some mist falling while I penned long thoughtful sentences on fine parchment with a gold tipped quill pen.

Okay so back to reality. No great surface. It is covered with papers and photo's and other miscellaneous junk. The view is of a palm tree. The pen is good but the favorite pen has decided not to flow appropriately. The letters are written. Not great words but words that might bring a smile to the new group of college girls that are so happy to be in their dorms without their mothers.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

My Sister says I am not reacting in a normal way.

So I guess I am not properly grieving the loss of my daughter. I have not lost her, know exactly where she is. She is happy and healthy and doing her laundry, going to class and having fun with her friends. I am working on sorting and cleaning and working on projects. Maybe in three or four years when I am done with the main floor, will miss her.

I am getting bad mother points.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I took a Snow Day

I often have moments of sheer exhaustion at being in contact with everyone. I so wish had a place that was not so connected. How do we get to the quiet place if we have Wireless, Wifi, Blackberry telephones, computers that are all hooked up. How do we get to the books or the silence when it s just all sitting there screaming at us.

I just pretended that none of it existed. I sent an e-mail to my assistant, called my mother (sort of cheating) and turned off the phone and the computer and did not look at the Blackberry.

I took a deep breath and walked the dogs, dropped some stuff off at Goodwill, returned some unneeded items to Bed Bath and Beyond and took lots of deep breaths and cleaned the top of my counter top. It is not good to spill the rice. Sadie likes it raw.

No word from the Gonzaga child she is probably studying and is sure she is going to fail but then she always thinks that because she is not a million pages ahead of herself. I just hope I helped her find a way to find the quiet.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Now What....

That is what everyone keeps asking. So I guess this is What.

There are a million and one things that need to be done. Stupid little things that always seemed to be put on the back burner like matching the socks and purging as I go. It appears that if the dark socks are as dirty as the white socks, maybe they should all go into the Goodwill bag.

The three new chairs I bought need new seat covers. I know that out in the garage the tools for that job exist. So when I get there I will feel the need to organize and not get back to the chairs but rather find things that need to go to Goodwill. It will be a mystery as to how long it will take to get back to the chairs.

I was contacted yesterday by a group that need to store a student here for a month. He is from Korea and that should be interesting. I better see if I can clear a path to the upstairs bedroom. But is he is coming then maybe I should take the rug I was going to put up there to be cleaned and then send the one that is up there to Goodwill.

Child update: No news, I think that is good news.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No Need......

No need: for cereal, peach yogurt, bread.

Get to buy: turmeric, cardamom, gaueram (sp) marsala...

Indian Cooking here we come.

It would still be nice to need to buy peach yogurt.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Final Separation has occurred

I took Tucker and a few things to Mary-Elizabeth before I left Spokane. He ran up to her in excitement and the remembered he was mad at her and turned around and went to the tree and peed and refused to acknowledge her. He is mad.

They had lots planned for the kids, she had a meeting, I had to get over the pass, less it snow. I felt so good leaving her there and she will do so well as school starts and her life settles for this next chapter.

Puppies are fine, house is clean, but it is strangely quiet. I think it is weird. She has been gone for long periods of time before but this is a different quiet. I have never had the need to fill the quiet before but now it seems to be filled. I will work on that issue after this cup of coffee is gone and the dogs are walked and I head back to work.

I know that I am not done being a parent but it has been quiet a ride, a very successful one. Separation will be do us both good. I am fixing my first ever Indian meal at home tonight
They are all gone.... Whitney is at Loyola-Marymont, Laura is at Linfield, and Meb is at Gonzaga.
Good things are going to be happening......

Sunday, August 29, 2010

She did not contact me yesterday

She found out her meal card did not have breakfast on it. We fixed it. She continued her journey. I am going to drop by, MAYBE....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Launch Day

The count down is complete. The New Student Orientation has begun. Since Mary-Elizabeth has been on campus since Monday there was no need for usual unpacking.

As I was waiting for Bridge to be done, I had some time to observe proper move-in behavior and what needs to be moved. First, no one, and I mean no one seems to be able to come to college without a fridge. I am still firmly on the "are you kidding me, walk down the hall and us the floor fridge" but that rocket (keeping with the launch theme) has clearly left the pad.

I watched for about 25 minutes as huge vehicles full of huge stuff drove by. I was aghast to see the 50" flat screen sail by. I did a quick mental tour of M-E's room and could not remember a portion of the wall that was big enough for such an item. Maybe they just drive around campus to give the other's something to work towards. A pad that is big enough to house the "50" TV.

We did some shopping, had the all important Sonic Lunch, stopped by the ink store, and then she was more than ready to head back to the dorm for a nap. I asked if we were done and she said I had to go back to campus on Sunday, with Tucker.

While the rocket has launched, it certainly has not separated. As I recall, that is a particularly tense time.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 2...... Real Orientation

The kids left Marion, the dorm they have been staying in for the last few days. There has been virtual radio silence. I did important things like wash the car, walk the dog and have a massage by the lady that raises Emu so she can have their oil. I don't believe that Emu can be milked.

Nothing much going on other than another full day of Real Orientation. MEB spent the night in her room. Roommate shows up today and then it really gets underway.

I am planning to have this be the big Good Bye. I will see if the newly developing college student is ready to be launched.

Love the waterfall. Great to have coffee sitting by one. I think it is too big for my house.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 3

Today most of her friends left in Seattle are headed to College. I was hoping to be released from orientation hell and was thinking Anne and I could drop off the fridge, say good bye and leave. Oh, no...... MOM YOU HAVE TO COME TO ORIENTATION ON FRIDAY.........

I guess I am done and she is not. The fridge has been delivered. She proclaimed that she did not have time to visit she needed to get back. I had hoped to start a fight so she would release me from Orientation Friday but then we don't always get what we hope for........

I want to go home to my quiet clean house and eat Indian food.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 4....Mom why are you leaving!!!!

So she has been at school since Monday night. I went to school yesterday bought books and other requirements (like a new license plate holder) and had lunch with the group. I don't know what it is but I really don't need a tour of Spokane, a tour of the campus or listen to anyone discuss curriculum...

She would like some laundry detergent. I am taking a trip to the campus today. It might be the last one. We shall see. I really am trying to leave her. She is holding on tight and is mad at me for not wanting to be there.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

For all your Holy Water Needs and Wants.

Day 5

Her dorm room is set up. She has met some really interesting people. She will spend until Friday night with the Bridge Group. There are 49 kids from other backgrounds are as scared as she is about starting.

I can report that she was very pleased with her room's set up. When she was done she looked at me and said:

"Mommy, I have a dorm room"....... That was a moment. I asked if she was surprised and she said that there was a time she was not sure she would ever have one.....

Monday, August 23, 2010

College Move in Day.

So she is doing the final packing. A stop at Walgreens and then Staples or one of those places and then Madonna Hall. 3 hours of move in, an then a meeting and barbecue. Then she and the group go off for their bonding time. The next time I am expected is a breakfast but will be passing on that for sleeping in for a bit. I will then meet with her for some book buying and a few "parent seminars" Should be interesting. She is caught in that excited and dreading time. So the only solution is to find a Sonic and have a hot dog. I hear there is one by the school and it should be fun.

There will be pictures.
These are some of the people she will miss.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

day 6

Some local shopping today. She still has to finish Picture of Dorian Gray.

Her response, make a shopping list, making cookies and sleeping in.

She must be a teenager.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 7

We left Seattle about 9:20 a.m. She had been ready since 5:30. I was a bit behind. The only reason we did not kill each other is that about 7:30 she went to the car and went to sleep. I drove, she slept.

She was asleep when we went crested the hill in Spokane and I could see St. Al's. To Quote the Great Brigham Young "This is the Place"

After 36 hours she finally slept last night. Oh, yes, and we have Tucker with us. Why not there simply is not enough confusion with a house with 4 dogs. Tucker has asked for a big porch on the top of the hill so he can look out and appear to be a grand master of all he sees.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 8

She was up all night and we are leaving in 5 minutes. She refuses to leave Tucker so he is going to Gonzaga. Maybe he could become a Service dog.....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 9.... She is finally packing.

We all gathered at the Breshocks in their lovely newly created pergola. The girls abandoned us at 9:00 for other adventures.

Mary-Elizabeth was to call her dad if she got in trouble. Whitney was to call her Aunt and Laura decided to call me. No calls were received. Life is good.

We will be almost to Moses Lake by this time tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 10 Text Book Shopping

Found the list, found the class schedule, found the multiple web sites and then did not find the most expensive Chemistry Text, realized that it is cheaper to buy the 952 page calculus book because that is a 4 semester class and then decided to watch Deep Space Nine.

Really, was college always this complicated or what?

Oh the car survived the day with Madeline and ME running around.. or driving so I have to drive her to Spokane in 48 hours. Boy do we have lots to do.
This is not sad Sadie.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 11 Time for College When She asks for the Car

Lets be very clear. This is a child that refuses to drive. She does have a permit but she does not have a license and is now claiming that she can't find her glasses that she did not need in order to pass her drivers permit getting process.

So after having the car serviced and not having to buy brakes or new transmission seal or any of that other pricey stuff she and Madeline are going to have a last day in the city. I guess if she wrecks the car then she does won't have to pack so long because she will be a train person and have two bags.
The girls look calm and safe right???

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 12 of ? and Roller Derby

I am officially confused. ME spent the week-end with her dad. Ana and the kids have made an emergency trip to Mexico. Her mom is sick. Never good. So ME and her dad went to see a couple of movies without any interference. I planted a tree and cooled the house off as the temp climbed.

Dinner with friends, walks with the dogs, thought about doing things. Thought better of it.

We did go to dinner with Lisa and Rachel before going to see Kira at RollerDerby. We found Lynnwood, a specific location in Lynnwood and then had to talk ourselves into the rink because it was sold out. It was a fund raiser and when I pulled the cash for 4 people out of my purse we received green bands.

I discovered I need to work on my "how to be a roller derby fan".

1. Learn the rules. Appears to be lots of going round and round.

2. Learn what team your niece is on

3. Know her "derby name" since real names are not used

4. Buy a pair of fishnets stalkings

5. Make a sign to support your team.

6. Grow a mullet so you blend in to the time warp.

7. Be concerned at how much your daughter loves it.

Whoo knew.

(Should I bring another Scottie home?) Can we say empty nest syndrom?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 13.....

I am wondering when ME is gone if the Laundry will be done and the house neat and tidy. I am sure it will be.

I am wondering if the laundry was ever done?
Does Laundry have to be done?
s Lori right that there are 4 steps to Laundry?
It is not enough to wash and dry?
Will there be a class in Laundry at college for Mary-Elizabeth?
Will she somehow learn this skill in college?
Did I fail as a mother by not teaching her how to do laundry?
Is she the reason I can't do Laundry?
Does anyone care about Laundry?

Now I must now go do Laundry.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 14..... Friday the 13th of August 2004 and 2010

We both really tried. We both woke up with giant amounts of anxiety. Mine sits in the middle of my chest, ME's is in her stomach. I got up, I drank coffee. I went to work and could not stand to be there but did good work and solved a huge problem. I called ME and she came to the office and we did the best thing I could think to do within the time we had. ME was going to go with her dad to get glasses and it sometimes is hard to travel to places and back on a very perfect sunny Friday.

We went to Palisades for a late lunch and did it all. From Salad to Blackberry Sorbet from Olympic Mountain Creamery.... There is something to be said for a self induced food coma. We talked, she texted to find out if Whitney remembered this day in our personal history, we laughed and joked and ate and watched the birds at the marina. Seagull, Crow, Osprey, King Fisher, Blue heron (he was was sunning himself and was so relaxed and joyful he brought his wings down and exposed the underside to the sun.) I listened to the four middle aged men at the table next to me scoff at their long time stay at home spouses new jobs. ( I should have given them all my card.)

It was a long lunch, a good lunch and one we will repeat on every Friday the 13th of August.

Six years ago we stumbled on a path in the woods and we were forced to take the path less traveled. We have come to that place again and are so so lucky and blessed to be able to take the ordinary road with everyone else.

Time to take the dogs for a hair cut and to the world's best scone and coffee shop.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 16

So the day started out fine. I was at work at a regular time. I did work while there. I went to lunch with a client/good referral source. I headed back to the office and then it happened.

I stopped in an Aveda store and was handed mint tea and given a hand massage while purchasing three small items for the the tackle box project. I was sucked in the store next door for soap At that point I found I had two minuscule bags to carry back to the office. The obvious next step was the Coach Store.

Yes, I am weak.

Yes, my daughter is jealous.

Yes I am trying to fill the hole created by her upcoming departure to college.

Yes Cocaine or ice cream would be cheaper.... But it was Purple.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 17...... What was I thinking

Evidently if you are from the Midwest (defined by me as any place between Snohomish Pass and the Brooklyn Bridge) one receives a tackle box for Graduation. It is sometimes empty and sometimes full of useful things that reside in the various junk drawers of the house. Tacks, band aides, etc. I was dully chastised for not even knowing that it is the foremost item to be given to the high school graduate. I thought the heating pad was the gift of choice.

Well I am not a slow learner. Boxes having been purchased, they will be filled. We will catch up to the mid-west.

Note to those of my vintage. As you walk out of Fred Meyer with three tackle boxes, the vintage boys notice and suggest a fishing date. Who knew a tackle box had such a lure..... get the joke.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 18 Packing is not happening.

Life should be simple forward motion. It looked easy when we were kids. I think Mary-Elizabeth is stuck on the couch with her Iphone.

I have decided that if I find her there and the house shows no activity this evening, I am going to move the couch. Maybe that will help her pack.
I think this door is too much for Ballard.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Day 19

We were invited to a great party at a house on Lake Washington. Blue Angels up close and personal. I suggested we all meet at the audiologist today because it was so so loud. Mary-E spoke with a gentleman that was an engineer. They spoke for a very long time about the areas and he explained her program to her in a way that made more sense. She is undecided about what area of engineering to go into at this point but all of the classes she takes this semester will help her with that part of her decision. Lots of areas, lots of specialties, she will have lots of choices.

One more week-end before we leave. I am planning to bring some boxes home to see if she wills start packing.

It has to fit in the stationwagon or it does not go. It will be fun to see how that works out.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Day 20......Waiting Mode

58 degrees. Blue Angles later, typical Seattle Summer. Mary-E's friends are starting to leave. Alexis left for the Navy at the end of June, Lany goes on the 15th, Laura on the 24th, Whitney on the 23rd. We drive to Idaho on the 20th and deliver her to college on the 23rd for a break-in-week.

It is slowly becoming the time. And we are ready. Mary-Elizabeth is getting so so excited. She has her schedule, she has her roommate and knows her dorm room. She has stuff to put into her super duper planner. Life is good for her.

I guess my job is to have a plan for the first week after I drive over the pass. Ohh... I guess I am going to be sad that she is gone. But in a good way.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Friday, August 06, 2010

Day 22 Eye Appointment

I am sure that if you have had one bad eye appointment that lead to 2. 5 years of treatment and a lifetime of worry that you don't have another one.... right.

So do you think if I had never taken her to the eye doctor that she would never have had leukemia and life would have gone on and the past would have been erased.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Day 23 I am Not Gone Yet.....

This was the cry of the child who was sent into Kiele's for face cream with a $20.00. I am trying to ween her from the Mommy ATM. We spent days working on obtained an account for her and it has money in it. I explained very carefully that the money had to last and I was not going to add any more. She did not seem to get around to finding employment so she is on a very limited supply.

We have had a lot of discussions about need and want and what is my responsibility and what is hers. I don't think she needs face cream from Kiele's. She could go to Bartells. She does need more than one set of flip flops, or a bag to take into the shower or new socks or more sweat pants. We are both learning to fight more for our position.

She senses that this newly coming Independence has a price. I push a bit and she tries to climb back in the boat. I push more and she still tries to climb back in and bring friends as reinforcements. "See, Madeline thinks I need a shower bag." I watch the bird parents have the same struggles. The babies are hard to identify. They are the same color and size. They walk around the Yard and do bird things but as SOON as mom or dad show up the start the FEED ME, FEED ME, FEED ME chant. It only lasts while the parental units hang out. As soon as they leave the babies go back to fending for themselves. The crow one year olds do hang around an extra year. Sort of a "Gap Year". I guess they are doing their community service by helping the the new ones and all their demands. Mary-Elizabeth is still in transition.

So she is not gone yet, the strings on the parental unit's purse are growing tighter. This will be interesting.. We do leave in a couple of weeks.......... and then I won't hear the FEED MEEEEEEEE...... over the mountains. It will be someone else's job, I guess her dad and I are paying for it and it is way expensive but it will seem different.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Sad news about Aunt Margarite Lanham

Okay she was 90 something. She was no longer remembering the little things that make life so much of a joy, like the names of children and the like. She had been in a sort of fetal position for a while and was in pain. That part is over. Her person is no longer with us. She has "left this mortal coil" but she has not left without touching lots of lives.

I loved her stories about being on mountain tops as a look out and having to get up in the bitter cold because she lost the nightly gin game to Uncle Max. I thought she was a wonderful person because she did not withhold his pain medication at the end of his life when she found out he had been cheating at cards all those cold nights.

'I loved the smell of her art studio. She was the first real artist I ever knew. I value a small rock painting she did of a sea shore. Most were western scenes but I glommed on to this one because I love the ocean and it spoke to me and was a part of her.

I loved her cooking and her care of all of us. Her love of the world's oldest biggest cat that ever walked the earth. As I recall he weighed 25 pounds and was 25 years old but then I was just a small child. Her love of a great German Shepard that would ring the door bell when he wanted to come in.

I loved her laughter and her view of life. She was always the same age. She was old when Max died almost 30+ years ago. But then as a child people are just an age. I bet she was not any older than I am now. Seems impossible.

I guess I just loved her. I am glad I saw her when I could, that she came for Thanksgiving here once and to Mary-Elizabeth's end of treatment party. I am glad we went to Boise for the reunion.

I guess we are becoming the old relatives to the next group. I hope I can do as much for them as she did for me.

Day 24 the Semesters vs. Quarters

My daughter is on the Semester system. She and I leave on August 20th. There is another group that does not start school until the end of September, the quarter people. I am finding that it is a double edged sword. My daughter, as lovely as she is, can be a just awful. She is angry and hostile and frustrated and frustrating. The old "soiling the nest" activity. They have to hate home and mom and dad and be "So blasted ready to get the hell away". It will make the leaving so much easier.

So as the time counts down I am both melancholy that she is going to start school in 24 days while relieved that this push pull activity will not go on until late September. The other parents that are glad their children are still close are also dreading another month of the "Why can't you make toast the right way" sort of dialogue.

It is all so confusing. Answer to the issue, start listing their stuff on e-bay.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010 what needs to be scheduled.......

My list:


Children's Hospital with Endocrinologist

Final Barbecue with Whitney and Laura so I can have a picture of the girls on the couch.,

Her List

Hair Dresser

Eye Brow Lady


Grandma Marys list

Safeway for Viva Paper Towels

Target for Scott single ply 1000 to the roll Toilet Paper

Does this say anything about how we see the world?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Day 26...... the school schedule.


The Gospel of Mark


Calculus and analytical Geometry

Chemistry and a 6:00 p.m. lab

Computer Engineering

Engineering Seminar

No Monday classes, a 2:00 p.m math class on Fridays...... That will keep her from coming home with friends. We will have to see how that goes.

Sounds like a great semester.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Day 27.... Will she ever really get packed?

So what do you think is more important putting dots on your bathroom bag or take the advantage of a car that is going to drive back to Idaho.

I think this is a very big push pull going on. If we don't pack then we don't have to leave. Mom stuffing stuff into a car seems to be like Mom wanting us to leave. Now we want to leave but then we are afraid to leave but we know we have to leave and we everyone else is leaving and we don't want to be the only one that is not leaving.... Do we need two pairs of black boots, how many pairs of socks. I need under wear, and socks and shirts and lots of other great things.

It is the voice of excited panic. It is exciting to hear that joyful anticipation.

The first car is packed. It is a mini cooper and so space was a challenge but then this whole time is a challenge.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

28 Days to College Staying in Touch Options

So we are all worried about missing our children but we have equipped them with lots of technology. We all are very reliant on it but I am beginning to wonder if technology is a good thing. They can now call, skype, text, e-mail, snail mail, Face Book, twitter and come home to visit.

So much communication possibility created expectations about how much it will be used. Even though the technology exists it is not to be used equally be both sides of the communicators.

There seems to be a double standard in how the devises are used.

They can call us, text us, email us, and heaven forbid, write letters. I have a feeling that they love having all the ways to communicate with the parental units. Like it is okay for my lovely daughter to call me at 6:05 am to find out if one puts a teaspoon or tablespoon in the sour dough pancakes. However if I call to inquire as to the proposed time she will return to the family home, then there is complaint and wailing about not "BUGGING" her.

I will see how all of this works.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 29 Dorm Decor

In my experience, if you call it decor, it means it costs lots more money than if you call it decoration. I guess it is the less is more principle.

I don't understand the need to buy new stuff to put into a small shared room in another town.

Is it because we want them to feel at home? Wouldn't the stuff that is already in their room be better for that?

Is it so the parents can have a final bonding shopping trip? A chance to decorate a room under parental influence? Pink with green poka-dots?

Is it a way that parents can feel connected to the new nest? Is it a way to cut the apron strings by leaving all the aprons at home?

Is it an excuse to be involved during this most difficult of transitions? Sort of like when we were pregnant pretending the fathers were involved by making them put together a crib.

Is it just an off shoot of our consumer society? Have I become my father (anti money spender) besides being my mother (spending money helps the economy)?

I know for me, I am writing big checks. Big, big, oh my God they are staggering, checks. I am worried about the cost of things like the Calculus text book. Having a garbage can that matches the lamp does not seem very practical. How long is anyone going to live in the dorm and then what do you do with Wall Mural? Do we want these college bound children to need us to transfer their stuff around as well as our own?

Maybe my reaction is purely selfish, I want her to take stuff out of this house so I can get rid of all the crap I have collected, purchased, found, inherited, scrounged. I am in a purging mode.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I did stop at Good Will and may have found an extra long twin bed fitted sheet. If not, I am shipping it back to Good Will.

Day 29. I am writing another big check but not for an extra long twin hypoallergenic poka-dotted mattress pad.

If you are in the mood to "decor" a room click on the title and you will be taken to Pottery Barn for that purpose.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

30 days.....

She is getting excited.

I am getting worried, it sort of balances out.

I have decided that each day I will worry about something different.

This is list day. She had made a list of everything she needs to take with her to a room that will be no more than 14 by 14 and she must share the space with another person that is producing a list.

I am not sure why two comforter covers and two sets of sheets need to go but they are on the list. Two pairs of black boots? I can see that this is as complicated as everyone says it is. I remember cloths, a stereo, some books, the all important poster. I know that things have changed but the rooms are the same size. I never owned two pairs of black boots and certainly did not have an electric espresso maker.... but then it might not be going.

I have a new rule, if it does not fit into the car, it does not go.

I think I will start a list of all things I will be able to do because she won't be home. Indian cooking on the top of the list. will that be more fun then trying to get her unload the dishwasher.... YES.
For the Record, Tucker is not on the list.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

An I thought Cancer Was Hard.....

On July 13th 2010 I tried to accomplish one thing. One, not a million, not a miracle, only one thing. Well maybe a couple.

6:00 AM: Wake child. (No easy task)

7:00 AM Stuff child into car

7:26 AM Arrive at Oral Surgeon's office to have holes left by wisdom tooth extractions checked

8:01 AM Confirm teeth have not grown back. Holes appear to be fine.

8:10 AM Call Maggie and convince her she can to to North Hill Bakery in her jammies and no one will notice or care.

8:22 AM Obtain triple short, hazelnut scone and quiche.

8:54 AM After nice chat with Maggie, continue to Washington State Employees Credit Union

9:01 AM Enter bank with one simple intention. Make already existing savings account into Savings/Checking account.

10:01 AM Depart bank having failed to accomplish purpose. Mary-Elizabeth is considered a non person due to lack of drivers license. Much swearing, much table pounding, best lawyer circular arguments failed to provide the simple request. We made a rather impressive deposit into the account and left in despair. ( 59 minutes of my life down the tube.)

10:22 AM Return home to obtain certified copy of birth certificate, passport, tranquilizers and walk the dogs. Discover I have only copies. Lots of copies of birth certificate. I do have the lovely original of MY certificate of birth including my foot prints, stop and have a lovely OH HOW CUTE IS THAT moment.

10:31 AM Leave for Social Security Office because there is some confusion about Mary-Elizabeth's number and she needs this for the drivers licence/permit/identification that she will be obtaining if the universe has any cooperation left in its soul.

10: 45 AM (I now love Mary-E's I-Phone. Great direction APP.) Arrive Social Security Office. Put in two hours of parking money and pray we can exit with the required information prior to the time running out.

10:46 AM Oh dear. This is neither a social or secure location. The helpers are secreted behind thick plexie glass. No on is smiling, no one is talking. The only cheerful man is the guard searching every one's purses and bags. People are prepared with large trolleys full of books to read, laundry to fold, scrap books to create. This is going to be a wait.

There is a lovely number system that like everything else in the government, just does not quite get the job done. It lets everyone know which number is being served but not at what window. Therefore there is a fair amount of shouting "B114 to window 6." After waiting about an hour we finally had our turn. We presented the required form, fully filled out, the passport as identification and waited. After some very difficult typing, two documents were produced. Most of the information was wrong. Her name was spelled right, the hyphens were wrong and her father was not to be found. Despite my best efforts, there was no luck in convincing the person she was incorrect: she simply kept saying: The computer won't take it, The computer won't take it, The computer won't take it........ (1 hour and 45 minutes of my life gone forever.) and still I know the card will be wrong and we will have to try again.

12:15 P.M. We are now tire, grumpy and hungry. We stopped by the office to see if I had a check book there. I seem to recall that such an item was needed at the DMV. They don't like credit cards. No luck. Off to a cash machine and then a quick lunch. Of course Bank of America would not give Mary-Elizabeth any money. Just because we refused to open an account there as requested by the college. Boy, we showed them. We are long time members of a credit union. So off to another machine. From a credit union. That worked.

12:45 PM We walked into the DVM, after much effort, and took a number. We were lucky number 405. They were serving number 224. Oh, dear. Now what. Wait, that is what. And wait, we did. We were sort of ready to find a place to perch and someone called my name.

It was Jill McGinnis and she was also waiting. She had #372 and had been there for about an hour. She was more desperate than I for a license. Something about an inadvertent unknown licence suspension that had to be cleared up. She was amazed at what was going on. To pass the time she had made a friend of Number 400. He had tried to deal with his issue on the 12th and had discovered they were closed. ( Budget Cuts)

The level of frustration and panic in this place was palatable. The disorganization, the attitude of the staff and the anxiety of the members of the captured audience is a pot waiting to overflow. One full of sticky icky oatmeal. The staff would answer phones, not update their number, seemed to take pleasure in the process of not solving the problems. They seemed to take great joy is saying NO, NO, NO, oh let me reconsider, HELL NO.... it is translated into "sorry we cannot do that" or "come back another time to spend endless hours in hard seat (if you can get one) and wait. " How hard would it be to have a TV on a wall...-Budget Cuts you know.....

The staff has to be indifferent and ignore the people because there is no end to the line, no end to the hostility and they are required to feel lucky to "still have a job". To be fair there were about 3 staff members that smiled, worked efficiently and seem to want to do a good job. Gray haired lady was not one of them. She came back from lunch and hushed us. Like we cared about what she had to say.

Jill had spent considerable time during the morning obtaining a piece of paper that said she was no longer a bad girl. She thought that if she gave it to the nice people after waiting for a century there would be no cost. Her alternative was to use her credit card. WRONG do not pass go, try and pay with a Visa Debit Card..... ha... ha... ha.... As time slipped by and her car parked on the street came closer to certain towing.... she finally left to put more money in the meter and obtain some cash. I love Jill she was so proud of her $60.00. She was going to get out of jail and go home with a license.

Ha........ It took $100 to clear a suspension, reinstate a license and renew it (She has a birthday in October).... We were all pleased that Mary-Elizabeth found a bank machine that worked. She was finally let out of the 885 square feet of what is known as the ONLY DMV in Seattle.

Finally at 4:22 pm., we had the object of desire. A new permit. A legal form of state issued ID.

4: 45 pm. Sprint back Washington State Employees Credit Union. We decided to go to a different branch. Something silly about not giving them the satisfaction. We arrived within the appropriate time and began the process all over again, this time with PROPER ID...... ( I am sure that if Mary-Elizabeth would have just not pointed out that the ID was expired by a year that we would have been fine. She thinks that petty bureaucrats read and pay attention. I disagree.)

We provided the information and guess what? Her social security number does not work. The number does not access the data base that lets the bank see if she is a terrorist or has written any bad checks. Well she certainly cannot even write any checks since she cannot get a checking account.......... So time passes, the computer thinks, then the big question.... have you lived in Olympia? I realize that her name is never ever going to be easy. It is a constant problem. Some more looking is done and finally she is cleared. What I think is ironic would be that check writing will disappear in her life time.

We sign the papers and then they say.... do you want to order some checks they will be $10.95. I mention our day of frustration, caused by the stupid bank rules ( I am sure those were my exact words) and Mr. 12 year old New Account manager says: We could do this other kind of account but she would have to be first on the account. So for $10.95 we start all over again....

5:22 p.m. We walk out of the bank with a single piece of paper that shows a number. Checks are coming, cards are coming, pin numbers are coming. An entire day has passed. Mary-Elizabeth is exhausted. She wants a nap.

Her observation: We just sat all day and talked to people why am I tired.

I suggested that was what I do all day at work. I don't think it is the sitting, or the waiting, it is the trying to make the other people see the world your way when trying to accomplish a simple task. Dealing with Leukemia was easier because the people at Seattle Children's Hospital had their act together.

So the checks have arrived. The Permit has arrived. The Debit/Visa cards have arrived. The Social Security card with the wrong name has arrived. The pins should be here today.

All in All life is good.