Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Address

I have a new blog at So if you were reading this blog, try my new site. Now I just have to figure out how to transfer the links for the friends I was following here over there!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


How quickly they grow.
I watch my eighteen month old granddaughter walk out to the garage, wait while I fill a little bucket with dog food, take it in her two hands, turn and carry it through the house and out the back door. She doesn't spill; she walks with assurance.
Just two months ago she couldn't negotiate the small step-down from the laundry room into the garage without reaching out to hold onto my hand for balance and confidence. She couldn't hold the bucket of dog food and walk at the same time.
Two months ago she couldn't reach doorknobs; now she opens doors. She wants to be independent adamantly.
Better not step in and try to help her with something she is working hard to do for herself. And she is just beginning. Before you know it she will be all grown up and more than ever she will need to make choices on her own.
Will she reach up for a helping hand when she needs balance or a little boost in confidence?
Will she bring a blanket and lay her head on granddad's shoulder when she's tired--worn out by the choices and lessons of the day?
There are some things I hope she never grows out of even as she works so hard at growing up. I hope we are here for a long time and that her parents and tios and cousins and all the rest of the people who love her will provide a foundation of love and strength that will continue to support her when we are gone, when she is an adult, offering a hand to babies of her own.

Last night the little one came across the house in the dark, long after her mom and dad were soundly sleeping and stood outside our door knocking. We heard a little voice--Mima, dandad, mima. . . . Then giggles of delight as we open the door.
In bounds the wide-awake sneaky one! So we bounced on the big ball, told stories, snuggled in the covers, sang songs together for over an hour before I walked her back across the dark expanse and in to sleep between her parents.
Life is good. I only wish all of our grandchildren were this close geographically. But this baby is the template, teaching us to be better grandparents.

What would it be like for a child to grow up without the love and support of extended family? It happens much too often. Maria, a Guatemalan girl, who lost her family when she was just eight years old tells her story in my new book, The Shaman Priest, now available on Kindle.

And how time flies. The little one is potty trained, and the Shaman Priest has been published. So sit down and read a good book!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Road trip part 2

Home again, Home again. . .

After spending five and a half days at Donner Lake, relaxing in the tall pines, exploring and hiking a little, we were faced with the fact that somehow we had to make it home again. (Before starting for home though, I must say that Donner Lake had one of the best 4th of July celebrations I remember in a long time. Everyone at the Lake is an obvious patriot! The cabins were all decorated in red white and blue, and the fireworks show was the best we had ever seen.) Nevertheless, the time arrived for going home.

We left on Saturday, the 7th and drove to Elko, Nevada. driving east across 80 was so much better than driving south on 95. There are actually areas of green, high mountains with snow and interesting things to see periodically along 80 through Nevada. From Elko we drove to Salt Lake City where we spent four nights with my brother Raym and his wife, Louise. So, on this trip we saw my oldest sister, all of her kids and all of her grandkids--a group of about forty people. We saw my three older brothers, plus all of Raym's kids and grandkids, and we saw our second daughter and her two girls who swung down to Salt Lake on their road trip out to Montana from New York City.

Again we had to think of driving home. We made the drive from SLC home in two days. But it was the first time in 2 1/2 weeks that we drove 2 days in a row without an extended stop and it was hard on my husband and his recent back surgery. So, I don't recommend taking extended trips in a Mini cooper with a bad back unless you can stop every 5 hours or so for several days.

Got home Friday night. Megan asked me what I did yesterday. I told her I unpacked and relaxed but that didn't seem right so I thought about it and here is what I actually did:
I sorted two weeks mail, checked the bank balance, paid bills, paid my mother-in-law's bills, emptied garbage, unpacked, pulled weeds, fed the tortoises, fed the dog, washed clothes, folded clothes, bought groceries, cleaned the fridge, washed rugs, boxed clothes for goodwill, emptied more trash, made fresh lemonade, emptied the dishwasher, filled the dishwasher, cleaned the sink, finished off cold pizza, read a book, fell asleep.

Glad to be home!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Finally! Here we are at Donner Lake. After a race car ride from Las Vegas to Carson City, a scenic drive over Rose Mountain and along the north shore of Lake Tahoe, we found our way to the little lake, pulled into the Westend Beach, and immediately encountered my sister, her seven kids, six spouses (one was at the airport) and myriad grandchildren. We pulled in just in time for dinner; so we served ourselves plates of chili, pulled up a spot by the water, and sat down to eat and gab.

Brrr. I had forgotten how cool it gets in the evenings in the sierra. Heck, Coming from Arizona via Vegas I had forgotten that it cools down at night anywhere!! Well not really, but I will definitely have to find a hoody on sale that says Lake Tahoe, or Donner Lake or even Truckee.

We check into our cabin today! I am already wondering how we can get all the brothers and sisters here next summer for a reunion. I'm giving myself 2 years to figure out how to get all our own kids and grandkids together for a reunion.
Merrilyn and her family have come every summer now for the past 9 years. She drove around with us last night pointing out cabins where they have stayed, sites that we remembered from when we were young, grandad's cabin where I spent so many summers. Then we met back at Aly's cabin with a good number of the grown-ups. The grandkids were, I imagine, either asleep or entertaining each other.

We will be here until Saturday. Then the trick will be to figure out how to get home. I don't think I can face I-95 again! Mike really shouldn't do another 10 hour car ride in a mini cooper and. . . . Why am I planning the drive home already?

It's time for relaxation. Chao for now. K

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Weddings and Funerals

My older sister went to a funeral this week for a friend she's kept since the 5th grade. Addie was working in her garden when she died suddenly and unexpectedly of an aneurism. Her oldest daughter spoke and my niece Gwen wrote: "At the funeral today, a very sweet picture was painted of Addie and Larry. Anne told about a blanket that hangs in their bedroom. They bought it the summer they met while working at Sequoia National Park. They each paid for half of it. Anne said that rather than cut the blanket in half at the end of the summer, that "for the sake of the blanket," they got married. I thought to myself, "oh how sweet - the blanket reminds them of their meeting and time at Sequoia National Park and of their engagement and marriage." But Anne completed her sentence by saying that the blanket hangs in their bedroom to remind them that there isn't much worth cutting that blanket in half for. Obviously they don't want to cut the blanket in half and go their separate ways." Maybe we all need that blanket hanging on the wall to remind us of how important hanging together is. Life is short. Sometimes much shorter than we expect and looking back at the bigger picture we can only be happy the the blanket is still in one piece. Be careful with your life and your love.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The New Year

A new year beginning
The old year is past.
Live this year better,
Look forward, not back.

Learn to do well--
Wash, become clean.
Use judgement, be better
In word and in deed.

Why should you be stricken
Or wounded by sin?
Reach out, feed your weary soul
Be made whole again.

Christ waits for your return
with patience and love
Turn to Him, don't despair--
He watches above.

Praise to the Lord,
The old year is past.
Now let us remember Him,
And come home at last.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Year end report

I hope your Christmas was Merry and that your New Year is happy!!

So many good things happen each day, let’s see if I can remember a few.
Grandchildren: We have visited with all five of our grandchildren this year. And they are wonderful!
Megan gave birth to a brand new baby boy, Derek Michael Watson born 10 days before Christmas—on December 15. (If he hadn’t been brand new the birth would have been difficult.) He is a wonderful boy.
Steven, Liz and Amara moved in with us in October and we celebrated Amara’s first birthday together. She is of course the most incredible one year old in the world. She started walking at ten months, bosses the dogs around, and wraps her Granddad around her littlest finger!
Nola and Talia came to visit for a couple of weeks before school started. We had a good time every day. We are just waiting to get the whole family out here from NYC!
Mike and Gabe came for visits last winter and again in the summer. Gabe and Granmuz went for lots of hikes. Gabe won every race to the tops of the hills! We miss them!
Education: Michael finished a Master’s Degree in Spanish this year, and Charlie and Leslie, both graduated in May. Michael came out for their graduation, and we celebrated 3 Master’s Degrees in the family. Ari is finishing her Master’s Degree at Pratt, and Maren is working and going to school for her Master’s at U of Az. She’s been hard at work recording Hopi oral histories. How can you call that work? Morris just finished his first semester at Columbia! Wow. It’s not the community college that’s for sure.
Life: Mo and Seung Hee are working non-stop. Seung Hee is at MOMA, and Mo is still working at TBRC. They’re busy, busy, busy!
Steven is working construction at the border, waiting to hear on a more permanent job. Liz is teaching me to make Mexican Hot Chocolate and other tasty treats!
*Graham’s working up in Phoenix, but he’ll be back in school in January.
Dogs: Dogs?? Since when? We agreed to take care of Megan’s bulldog Dozer for a few months while she was expecting, and he has really moved in. We were just getting used to Dozer when a friend offered us a pure black German Shepherd. Well, I do have a soft spot for German Shepherds, and so now there are two dogs sharing our space. Who would have ever imagined? Certainly not me!!

We’re happy, we’re blessed. We have 8 kids who are grown, and employed! We’ve enjoyed visits with all our kids and their spouses, all 5 of our grandkids, and with family and friends in California, New York and Utah this year. (California for a funeral, New York after our son in law was crushed in a horrible work accident--and made an amazing recovery!) I keep hoping the doctors will find a miracle cure for Mike’s back, but in the meantime life goes forward!

And may the greatest gift of this holiday season, Jesus Christ, continue to bless you and your home throughout the coming year.

We love you and miss you all.

Mike and Karen