Two Years of Huge Changes

Since I last posted anything on my website in July 2018, my life has undergone major changes.  The biggest change was selling our farm in North Plains and moving to Lake Oswego.  Our reasons to move were many.  At 72 I simply was pushing the limits of how much farm work I could continue to do.  I was no longer riding my horse, so she needed to find a new home where she would get the attention she deserved.  Mark was very tired of maintaining so much farm equipment, and we were tired of the social isolation.  So we made the decision to begin searching for a new home while we prepared our farm to be put on the market.  It turned out that finding a new home that suited us both was the easier part of the equation.  Repairing and cleaning up the farm was by far the hardest part.  The work seemed endless, and we wondered who would be in the market for such a large property.  Fortunately a buyer jumped at the offer within a week of listing. 

We finally moved in February 2019 to a beautiful home on the outskirts of Lake Oswego.  We now have wonderful new neighbors, but no one is looking in our windows.  We look out on farmland maintained by someone else!  We regularly see deer and coyotes too, but they aren’t in our yard eating all my plants.  The yard is beautifully landscaped and I’m really enjoying having a reasonable sized garden to maintain.  It’s so nice to be located within shorter distances of our kids and grandkids now.  We have seen them much more often since the move.  We love that.  And we are so much closer to Portland and all the musical events we like to attend there. 

We’re slowly discovering many social activities within this community.  I’ve joined the Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Garden and work there regularly. The library in Lake Oswego is very active too, and there are many parks and the Willamette River to enjoy.  Penny loves going to the nearby dog park and has become much more social since moving here.  She loves it. 

Since moving I really feel like I’ve retired!  It’s so nice to have time to play music again, and relax a bit.  I’ve begun watercolor painting which has been a great new hobby.  I’m still doing rally dog shows with Penny and she’s doing great!  We’re at the advanced level now. 

I’m looking forward to updating my website and expanding it!  Lots of pages are out of date and need work.  But I now have the time to enjoy web building.

My First Dog Show with Penny

I recently took Penny, my 5 year old Golden Retriever, to a 3 day dog show in Redmond, OR. We’ve been working hard at basic obedience training and I’m pleased with how well she has learned the basics. I joined up with my sister who was also showing her basset hound, Rocket. We entered the Rally Novice A and also the Beginner Obedience Novice classes. I was amazed at how well Penny did! She took 2 – 1st place ribbons, and 1 – 2nd place ribbon. She completed her title in Rally Novice A, so now we can move up to Novice B. She loved all the attention and being around 100’s of other dogs. It was doggie paradise for her. I had fun too, and enjoyed spending time with my sister. Here’s a short video of one of our classes.

Fun Two Weeks Spent in New England!

Just got back from a 2 week vacation visiting New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. The trip was planned so we could attend our grandson, Ryan’s graduation from West Point. It was a weekend filled with parades, awards and commissioning ceremonies. After a month’s break he will spend 3 months in Signal Corps training in Georgia, before being stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington. We are very proud of his achievements and look forward to seeing him more often now on the West Coast.

Following the graduation we toured the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY. It was very inspirational and worth a whole day to see. Then we spent some time in Marblehead, MA (near Salem, MA). Saw some of my “witch” ancestor’s graves and the Peabody Essex Museum, along with other historic sights. We also saw the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven and the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Boston. Finally, we spent 3 days at a lakeside cabin in Middlefield, CT. Very relaxing and the perfect end to a fun little vacation.

Wonderful visit with my sister, Connie!

Last week I spent five days visiting my sister in Grants Pass where she lives with her 3 basset hounds. Penny came along and had the best time of her life! She really liked Maddie, the youngest and newest basset, and the feelings were mutual. Connie helped teach me how to trim dog nails and paw hair, clean dog ears and teeth. She’s a pro! We had such a fun time filled with laughter. So good for the soul.

Fun & Inspirational Retreat!

I just returned from enjoying a 4-day retreat with 18 wonderful women friends at a cabin in Washington. Our focus was on “Navigating Transitions and Impermanence” in our lives. I got some great insight into what I want the next phase of my life to be about. I spent the first 25 years of my life doing music in many different ways. The next 15 years were spent in nursing. After that I threw all my energy into establishing and building a community library in our town. Now, 15 years later, that project is completed. So, it’s time once again to begin a new path of learning and discovery. I can’t be sure yet exactly what form it will take, but I know it will involve animals. Perhaps I will begin with dog therapy. I’m already signed up for classes and excited about this next adventure.

To help guide me on this new path, I created this screensaver for my computer to help remind me each day of where I want to put my energy and what the values are that I will bring to the practice.

A Thrilling Concert!

I had the great pleasure of attending the Oregon Symphony’s performance of Verdi’s Requiem. I love this work! I remember vividly performing it with the San Francisco Symphony in 1973 with Seiji Ozawa conducting and Martina Arroyo, Maureen Forrester, Placido Domingo, and Martti Talvela as soloists. This performance had a wonderful large chorus, great soloists, and of course, a fabulous orchestra conducted by Carlos Kalmar. It sent chills run down my spine and it brought tears to my eyes. It was so moving! Here’s a short selection (Dies Irae) from the work you can listen to.

New Bios Just Added!

I just finished writing bios for both my grandsons. It was fun to remember all the great times we’ve had with both boys and review all the photos taken with them. Both Ryan and Tyler are now in college. Ryan is about to graduate from West Point, and Tyler is a freshman at Southern Oregon University. You can read all about them by clicking on their photos.

I’m Learning a New Software Program!

This past week I have had a lot of fun learning to use SketchUp. This is a powerful, open source, 3D design program that can be used to build almost anything. I used it to build a model of my daughter’s home and property to help her create a landscape design. I’m still learning the program, but have created a pretty good model to start the landscape project. Thanks to plenty of on-line tutorials it has been a great new learning experience. Here’s what I’ve created so far.

I Enjoyed a Wonderful Trip!

I recently returned from a really fun 5 day road trip visiting my dear friend, Ann, in North Bend; my wonderful big sister, Connie, in Grants Pass; and my collegiate grandson, Tyler, in Ashland! It was a lot of driving, but worth every moment of it. While in Coos Bay I was able to attend my old book club where we discussed Ivan Doig’s final novel, Last Bus to Wisdom. I loved the book, and it was so great to be able to talk about it with many old friends. Ann and I talked non-stop as we got caught up on our busy lives during our 2 days together. The weather cooperated and gave us a chance to visit Shore Acres and hike along the cliff. Next I visited my sister and enjoyed a great visit sharing so many health and beauty secrets that I came away feeling totally rejuvenated. It was fantastic and a great way to begin the New Year! Finally I got down to Southern Oregon State College in Ashland and saw Tyler at his college dorm, met his roommate and enjoyed a lovely day walking the campus and downtown and sharing lunch. He’s doing very well in his freshman year adjusting to college life. He’s always a joy to see.

Now that I’m home and reflecting on the trip, I think it was the perfect way to begin the year.