And, on it goes…..

Third cruise is now on Celebrity. We get to go to Bahamas and Key West but we have a two night stay in Fort Lauderdale which Holland America will pay for.

Then Alaska Air changed our flight to earlier the same day we dock.

So, one more night in Fort Lauderdale and a flight home the next day. We got 10,000 miles for compensation. Holland America has refunded our changed cruise.

Just about 30 days to go!

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Bobcat

We live in an area partially surrounded by forest.

We get visits by some wonderful animals.

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Ham Radio

Ham radio is a hobby of mine. Call sign is NG2G and I am active on all modes including Morse code.

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Cruising challenge

What happens when you book four back to back cruises and the cruise company extends the third cruise by one day?

You find another cruise, spend two nights in Fort Lauderdale and begin negotiations for free stuff to reimburse the hotel stay and food costs.

We shall see how the negotiations go.

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Cruising through life

We are cruising, well not yet but soon. We will be on four back to back Holland America cruises for 70 days starting the first week of October.

More as we get closer.

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Retirement!

I’m doing it.  I leave July 29th on a disability retirement.  I get paid through the middle of November and will have disability insurance that I have paid for start January 1, 2017.

Ruby is taking a one year medical leave to be home with me.

We are very excited to begin this next chapter in our life.

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Making the most of my life!

This year has been full of challenges, from my legs getting worse to work being more challenging because some people are pushing the envelope of what three of us can do even if I was physically able to do more things.

I’ve been paying for a disability insurance that is making the possibility of an early disability retirement very possible.

We are running the numbers, working through the scenarios and will let everyone know when we have come to a decision.  But, at this time things are looking promising.

I have applied for and been granted disabled status on our bus system.  I can even take my scooter.  We are going to go to the transit agency and practice using the scooter later this spring or early in the summer.

I’ve been documenting my work, passwords and other stuff in preparation for leaving…….

We’ll see what happens.

PS – we are going to work the KPMG women’s open at Sahalee this June.  The organizers say they can accommodate my scooter.

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It is what it is …….

Those few words are on a T-shirt I bought at Sunshine Helicopters on Maui shortly after a fantastic tour of Maui and Molokai.

Those words, to me, say a lot.  Review my posts and you will see my world.

You may see my world and think that my life sucks.

My life is nothing less than fantastic.

How can that be?

It is what it is …….. It cannot be what it was and it cannot be what it will be, it can only be what it is.

We can make choices today and tomorrow can be different but, right now, no matter what we hope, it is what it is.

So, I choose to love life, have a great attitude about what was and accept what is ……. Because tomorrow will soon be here and it will be what it is.

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Boston!

Why?

I am disturbed that someone would do this.

There are no answers.

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Love, Life, Family and Acceptance

Family is important to me….. so is Love, Life (what I have worked for, what I am, and what I have).  Acceptance is important also.  I try and accept people the way they are, don’t ask for changes, and generally try not to be biased or prejudiced.

Washington State recently had a vote to legalize marriage between same sex individuals.  I had a tough time with this but after researching the law decided that people needed to have protections….. basically I said, “Why not?” and because I could not come up with any good reasons why not I voted for “gay marriage”.

This may come as a surprise to a lot of my friends but ask yourself “Why not?”  What does it hurt you or me if two people who love each other (even though we may not approve of the lifestyle) get the same benefits (shared insurance, hospital visiting right, and many other benefits) as you or I might get?

Family is important.  After losing Dad (and while losing Dad — during his illness) our family went through some difficult relationship adjustments.

You should read the above paragraph again and understand that we had fights, we argued, and things were said that were hurtful, not really meant and very much a result of the different emotions being felt by all.

I am the oldest child, have always been the oldest child (funny how that works) and have been through a lot as we were growing up.  Mom tells stories about how I took care of my three siblings in South Carolina when she suddenly got sick and had to stay in bed.

Evidently, I was about 10 years old and had to cook and help my two brothers and sister get ready for school, eat meals, and do things around the house.  I remember some of it but not a lot……  although I do remember beating back the bushes and scaring the snakes as we walked the trail down to the dock so we could go fishing.

Anyway, during Dad’s illness a lot fell on me.  I gave freely of my time (spending ten weeks of sick leave in Arizona), my money (Dad had messed a few things up and I helped by paying the previous year’s property taxes, a mortgage payment, and other stuff), and I suppressed my emotions and became a “crisis manager” writing this blog and dealing with a wide array of problems.

Almost everyone understood that I was doing stuff because it had to be done.  I’ve always been like that and, when there is no leadership I seek to find a way to solve problems.

I am not apologizing nor am I trying to explain myself but it has been a tough road that our lives have taken………… and while my life has not been super difficult I have made mistakes, missed opportunities (I should have invested $1000 in 1982 when I was told a little software company was going to be HUGE, Microsoft, what is THAT?) and I have been misunderstood.

Mistakes happen, we correct them.  Missed opportunities are missed.  They rarely come back.  Misunderstandings can be corrected with communication.

I am grateful for where I am today.

My brother, Jack, and sister Julie and I talk regularly.  I’ve invited each of them and their families to my home, as well as made an effort to try and visit them whenever possible.

Recently I had a birthday and Jack and Sandi brought some of the best clam chowder I’ve ever tasted as well as cupcakes.  But, it was the clam chowder that I loved the most.  We had a great visit.

Julie could not come to our home on my birthday but we went to Marysville and met her and my Aunt Patty for lunch.  That was also a great visit.

I am grateful that my daughters and I have a fantastic relationship and I am grateful for a special woman in my life.  I am also grateful for my mom, even though she drives me a little crazy at times.

Sometimes while writing these little “missives” I get caught up in writing what comes from my brain.  I may ramble, I may be very lucid but I have tried to just write and not worry about what I am saying and about who I may be saying it about.  I just write…… and I am learning that writing frees my mind of the emotions that may be bothering me.

I’ve never really thought about my life but it seems like I put myself into positions of leadership (either getting elected, volunteering, or being a person — personally or professionally — that someone or an organization can count on) and sometimes I get burned.

Leaders get burned for doing what they believe is right.  Leaders also need to be able to understand that the person “burning” may feel slighted in some way.  We don’t have to fully understand but we do have to be able to look at ourselves and try and modify our message so that we can continue to lead while bringing people in who can help us.

There’s that rambling again.

I guess I am trying to say, “I do what I can, when I can, and I hope what I am doing helps.”  If I hurt you, make you feel like I’ve stomped on you, make you feel stupid, or inferior then please let me know.

I may be able to say “I’m sorry.”  And, I may mean it.  Then again, I may say “I’m sorry” and wonder “Really, that bothered you, WOW, why in the world would that bother you?” and then I would try and make you feel like I meant it because I value you.

I hope you can never see the difference….. because if you are in my life than it means I want you in my life…. and I value you.

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