Jul 092014

A few weeks before Easter my Grandma, the one who has been in assisted living/apartment, fell and broke her knee and elbow and hit her head. It was a pretty bad fall. She’s had a lot of strokes over the last 10 years, some worse than others, and was having some other issues. My dad was on vacation in Tucson when he got the call from the doctor that she wasn’t doing well. He knew by the voice of the doctor that has cared for my grandma for years that it was serious. He packed up and left the next day to drive from Tucson to Seattle to see her in time.

She was in the hospital and had chose not to do heroic measures. Her stomach was having bleeding that went into her abdomen and I’m sure it wasn’t comfortable. My mom told me the news that she wasn’t doing great and that the doctor said she had a few days to a few weeks to maybe a month. They weren’t sure. I called my grandma and spoke to her the next day. My mom was there with her. She could understand what I was saying and could still talk but was having a delay in her responses. I’m glad I got to talk to her when she was still lucid. When we ended the phone call my mom said she told her “I’m going to the wedding.” That made me sad–I knew she probably wouldn’t be.

I sent her a card with two cute kittens on the cover and when she got it my aunt read it to her and set it next to her hospital bed so she could see it when she rolled over. I’m glad the card got to her in time for her to see it and understand what it said.

For weeks we all waited. Every time the phone rang I figured it was my mom calling to tell me the news. But she was hanging on. Instead of a few weeks, she’s had a few more months now. She’s in an nursing home/hospice type place now and my parents go and check on her every few days or so. Over the holiday weekend I decided to drive up to Seattle to see her. I felt like I’d been blessed with a few extra months so I could have the chance to see her again.

Michael stayed home with Bella and I drove up to Seattle. I didn’t know what to expect or how bad it would be. I left Portland after the Warrior Room Saturday morning and thankfully missed a lot of the holiday traffic. I got to Seattle about 3ish and my mom and I went to see my grandma. I got some flowers for her–orange-red carnations.


Thankfully she recognized me and was happy to see me. I sat next to her bed and chatted with her. With the strokes it’s hard for her to communicate. I can tell she understands most of what is said and she tries really hard to respond but the words get jumbled and don’t always make sense or come out in the right order.

I told her about Bella and she remembered her dog from 20 something years ago. Talked about our veggie garden, the wedding plans, the honeymoon, other family members that have visited her. She wanted to see my ring. She wasn’t in great shape. :( My mom and I stayed about an hour and I think it wore her out so we left soon after that. It’s very strange to say goodbye to someone and know that it’s probably the last time you will ever see them.

We went home and I had dinner with my parents and then my mom and I went to the store to rent some movies. She wanted to get Father of the Bride. :) Unfortunately we couldn’t find that. It’s funny how you don’t realize no video rental stores would actually be disappointing. I have netflix at home but my parents don’t. We ended up renting 21 Jump Street (which Michael and I had actually watched a few days ago and yes, it was that good that I was willing to watch it again) and Non-Stop with Liam Nissan. It was a nice evening with the folks.

My dad told me about his upcoming motorcycle trip and I checked out the bike. It’s been undated since I was a kid and he’s currently working on a few of the issues before he leaves. I remember riding with him when I was a kid! It was fun and terrifying at the same time!

After the movies I went to bed and felt sad about my Grandma. I started to think about how I don’t know a lot about my dad’s side of the family and our family history. My dad’s dad was adopted so that makes it even more difficult to find out family heritage. I regretted not finding out more while I had the chance. Unfortunately my grandma couldn’t communicate the family history now even if she remembered it. I was feeling pretty down and could have used a hug from Michael and some cuddles from the beasts.

That’s my dad–probably barely 18 years old when he joined the Marines and soon to be off to Vietnam. That picture was on the dresser in the spare bedroom. Hard to believe he was ever that young!!

The next day I had breakfast with my folks and we relaxed on the deck chatting for a bit before it was time for me to jet. I wanted to miss the holiday traffic on the drive home if that was even possible. I was leaving Seattle and feeling homesick. Whenever I visit I feel like moving back. Anyways, I got lucky again and made good time back to Portland. I was happy to be home. Fat Kitty and Bella created me and I’ve never seen Bella more excited and spastic! LOL It was nice to get a hug from Michael and I came home to a nice little gift:

The neighbor girl was selling rocks she painted and Michael bought me one. :) Anyways, so that’s my random-makes-no-sense post.

Jun 242014

Over the weekend we had some house guests! Michael’s dad was visiting from Texas and my parents came down from Seattle to meet him. Unfortunately Michael’s stepmom wasn’t joining us, she was home in Texas. Michael and I have been together around 6 years now and yet it never quite worked out to have my parents come meet Michael’s dad. It took forever for us to schedule and coordinate a meeting with Michael’s mom and stepdad and they live in Portland! (You can read it here: Meet the Parents.) It just happened to work out this time that my parents were going to be in Oregon for something else at the same time as Michael’s dad’s visit. Finally!

On Sunday morning Michael, his dad and my dad went golfing together. I went for a quick swim and then came home to get ready for my mom and grandma to come over. They’d been at a party at my aunt’s house on Saturday. I fixed up a small snack-y lunch for the three of us to enjoy on the deck. It was a nice day, 80 degrees and sunny but there was a nice, cool breeze so it never felt too hot out there.

For lunch I made caprese and then put out some crackers, cream cheese and freshly smoked salmon my aunt made. It was so good! I love the fresh stuff and hers are the best. I also put out some stuffed olives and cantaloupe–just a few things to munch on.



It was so nice just hanging out with my mom and grandma. We talked about the wedding plans, Grammy shared some family stories I hadn’t heard before and we just relaxed. My mom periodically went out into the yard and play ball with Bella who was having a BLAST. She never gets sick of playing ball. ;)


The boys got home from golfing and Michael started grilling up the ribs. He’d seasoned them and wrapped them up the night before so they were all prepped and ready to go. While Michael was grilling, us girls played a game of Sequence. :) Now that was funny! My 92 year old Grandmother playing a board game… LOL

I made a cucumber salad to go with the ribs. I’ve made a few different versions of the cucumber dill salad and while it’s always good no matter how you make it, I liked the previous recipe I made more than this one. Not sure why–maybe because I used fresh dill for this recipe? In the past I used dried dill so maybe that makes a different. Either way, it’s a refreshing summer salad that is really low in calories. This recipe is somewhere between 30-60 calories depending on the size of the cucumbers you use. I used three medium sized cucumbers and I also added some freshly chopped red onion–which was a good addition.


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 30-60 calories

From: http://shewearsmanyhats.com/2013/05/cucumber-dill-greek-yogurt-salad/


  • 4 large cucumbers
  • 4 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (substitute red or white wine vinegar if needed)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Peel, half, seed, and slice cucumbers.
  2. In a medium bowl combine yogurt, dill, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Add cucumber to bowl and toss with yogurt/dill mixture until combined well.
  4. Additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
  5. Refrigerate covered until ready to serve.
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I’m glad I went with a cucumber salad because it was a lot lighter than a pasta salad or coleslaw would have been. The ribs are so rich and heavy that you need a lighter side dish with it.


Finally, the ribs were ready! They were pork ribs–Michael gets them at Costco. They are so good and so meaty! He did a great job grilling them. We used traditional flavored Stubbs BBQ sauce instead of the spicy (like we like it) but they were still great. I had a Ninkasi beer with dinner and we sat around the table. The first few minutes of dinner the guys were watching the last (unfortunate and disappointing) part of the US World Cup game and eating ribs so no one was speaking much. ;) The game was over and they shut it off and we had a great dinner just chatting about different things, family, travel, etc.


Mmmm! Nothing better than some red meat, beer and summer! After a leisurely dinner with cantaloupe for dessert (I forgot to make a real dessert!) my parents were heading back to Seattle. I got one last picture with Gram before they left. (She hates the camera.)


Words cannot express just how much I cherished my Sunday afternoon. From noon until after 6pm I just relaxed and did nothing but spend time with family. I wasn’t frantically trying to check off the stuff on my never-ending to-do list, or messing with my phone, I was just present and spending quality time with people I don’t see nearly enough. I know the reality is my Grandma is older and won’t be with us forever. When I see her and see just how much she’s aged, it makes me sad. I WANT her to live forever. She’s 92 and will be 93 in December. She’s a feisty old bird!


Lots of hugs goodbye and they were off to Seattle. Michael’s dad was staying with us for a few more days so the boys watched more sports (there’s always SOMETHING on…), Bella was one pooped puppy! I decided to have a little me time and read. Nice end to the weekend. :)