Category Archives: Writing

Update on Our Moving

I seemed to disappear on the face of the earth. Well, in fact, my world is like a whirlwind currently. I flew to Portland Oregon two days before Thanksgiving to spend the holiday with my daughter Mercy and her family. The day after Thanksgiving, we drove from Portland to Victoria, BC, to attend my sister’s wedding on Saturday. My other sister, Yolanda, and her husband from Hong Kong came to the wedding. It was exciting to see them. We saw each other in 2019 when my husband and I, and Mercy’s family, went to their son’s wedding in Hong Kong. Yolanda and her husband were happy to see their daughter and son-in-law in Vancouver after the wedding. I was happy to spend a few days with Yolanda’s family before returning to California on Wednesday, November 30.

We soon will say goodbye to our home of 33 years. I’ve lived in this home longer than any homes I had ever lived in the previous years of my life. Will I miss it?

I always wanted to move close to my daughter in Portland after my retirement from the public-school education. I’ve stayed in Southern California for many reasons.

For business reasons, prior to the pandemic, I was still running a private business, an after-school program as my second job since 1989. I considered it to be a service to the students and to the working parents. It was hard for me to discontinue the program. When the California schools closed for in-person attendance, the after-school programs ceased to operate. Even when schools re-open, the public schools didn’t have clear state guidelines for the after-school programs as far as wearing masks or no masks and other safety requirements. During the two years of non-operation, my after-school staff found other jobs. It would be hard for me to hire new staff and train them. I officially closed the program in January 2021.

For personal reasons, most of my friends are in Southern California since I live in this part of the country the longest. I came to Los Angeles in 1980, right after I finished school in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. I lived in Los Angeles for 6 years, in San Bernardino County for 3 years, and have lived in Orange County since 1989. Yet my friends are diminishing for many reasons. Some friends moved to other states to be closer to their grown children’s families. Some friends have declining health and are no longer active in their social life. Sadly, some had reached the end of their earthly life because of prolonged illness and cancer.

The biggest reason was that my husband wanted to be close to his mom. Most of my husband’s siblings live in Riverside. His mom also lived in Riverside by herself after her husband passed away. My husband called her on the phone regularly to check on her. He and I visited her until she moved to a Memory-Care home. When her dementia got worse, it was hard for her to talk on the phone. We drove an hour each way to visit her, but she couldn’t carry on a conversation with us. Eventually, she died of other complications in June 2022. At the end of August, my husband expressed an interest in moving to Portland to be close to Mercy and the grandkids. He said his mom’s passing made him feel free of the obligation to stay in California.

Our home search in Portland, Oregon, began toward the end of August. We made offers on three homes but withdrew them for different reasons. We withdrew the first offer because the inspector found some structural damage and we didn’t want to negotiate with the seller. On the second offer, there was another offer prior to ours. For the third offer, the interest rate started skyrocketing. We decided to sell our current home before buying another one.

We worked with an agent to list our home in mid-October. Fortunately, we got two offers after 12 days of being on the market. One offer was secured, and the closing of the escrow will be on December 7, 2022. In the meantime, we moved all our belongings to storage. On the day of closing the escrow, my husband and I will drive one car to Portland and ship one other car there. We’ll stay with my daughter while searching for a new home.

The search process is challenging. I hope we’ll have a smoother process in finding a home that was meant for us.

Lens-Artists Challenge #139 – Special Moments

This week for Lens-Artist Challenge #139, Tina invited us to visit our special moments. While there are so many, I would included three events.

Mount St. Helens in Washington state was erupted on May 18, 1980. I was a student at Seattle Pacific University. The 5.1 magnitude earthquake caused a lateral eruption that reduced St. Helens’ height by about 1,300 feet (400 m) and left a crater 1 mile (1.6 km) to 2 miles (3.2 km) wide and 0.5 miles (800 m) deep. It was a major eruption among the 48 states since 1915. The ash drifted over many states and could be seen as far as Chicago. The evacuation was announced before the eruption. Mr. Harry Truman, a caretaker of a resort lodge, refused to leave. He said he belonged to the mountain and would die with the mountain. He, along with fifty-six people were killed.

My family and I went back to visit on September 10, 2016. The mud and debris still filled the river, and the crater was still very much alive. It seemed like nothing or few things would survive. I was in awe to see miles of century-old forests destroyed by the eruption have come back, richer and different from before. There were many beautiful wildflowers. Life overcomes!

I came to the US as a student in 1977. In all the years I was in Hong Kong, I had never visited the Great Wall. In 2012, some family member expressed the interest to take a family vacation in China. I got some tour information from the Chinese Newspaper and made contacts. One tour company offered a private tour with a van and a driver for ten people. After I got the commitment of eight members, I started planning. By the time we set the itinerary, made reservations for air and hotel, three members couldn’t make it. I was a little disappointed. The tour company contacted the tour in China they agreed to accommodate the seven of us. It was a special vacation because I have other countries on my visiting list and may not return to see the Great Wall.

We rarely get to celebrate the birthdays or anniversaries on the day of the event. In 2016, I could plan a trip to Spain in August during our anniversary. When we visited the Mosque of Córdoba, the architecture fascinated me, and I was busy taking photos. The tour moved on without me. It panicked me. Fortunately, my husband is tall, and I spotted him, and quickly merged back to the tour saying nothing.

We were in Barcelona to celebrate our anniversary. I wish to tour inside of Basilica de la Sagrada Familia but the tour didn’t not schedule it. We only had time to take photos. I literally was lying flat on the ground to get the view from the bottom to the top. Of course, my husband was on guard so people wouldn’t step on me and kill me.

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc (Font màgica de Montjuïc) in Barcelona.

Lens-Artists Challenge #139 – Special Moments

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Join the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic #blogginghero #writingchallenge #review

Sue Vincent is a fabulous writer and a generous supporter of the blogging community. Now it’s our turn to be there for her. Click the link below and read on. You can also find out more on Sue’s post The inconvenient walking dead… #Covid #cancer #carers

Robbie's inspiration

Sue Vincent is one of those special bloggers that inspires people all over the world. Readers have long been galvanized by her posts about mythology, about ancient ruins and medieval churches, and her daily #midnighthaiku. Even more have participated in and grown as a result of her #writephoto prompts. In addition to posting her prompts, Sue has tirelessly supported other bloggers by sharing others’ responses to her 19,000 and counting followers.

Recently, Sue has been faced with a new and difficult challenge: lung cancer. You canfollow her blogto find out more directly from her. The Covid pandemic has served not only to pose a specific threat to a person with a severe respiratory illness, but it has caused loss of human connection through self-imposed quarantine.

Now it’s time for Sue to receive something back from the community she’s been a cornerstone of for a decade. Let’s bring the…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Romance Linda Bradley, #Paranormal Mae Clair, #Western Sandra Cox, #Stories/Poetry M.J. Mallon, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle

I’m excited to join Linda Bradley, Mae Clair, Sandra Cox, and M.J. Mallon at Sally Cronin’s Blog where she hosts the Christmas Book Fair showcasing the indie authors and their books. Please join the fun and support the authors. See you there!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Christmas Book Fair where I will be featuring all the authors currently on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first author today is Linda Bradley with the romantic first book in her popular series – Maggie’s Way (Montana Bound Series book 1).

About the book

Middle-aged, Maggie Abernathy just wants to recuperate from cancer during the solitude of summer vacation after a tiresome year of teaching second grade. Maggie’s plans are foiled when precocious seven-year-old Chloe McIntyre moves in next door with her dad, John. Maggie’s life changes in a way she could never imagine when the pesky new neighbors steal her heart. With Maggie’s grown son away, her ex-husband in the shadows, her meddling mother’s unannounced visits, and Chloe McIntyre on her heels, somehow Maggie’s empty house becomes home again.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

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My Multitalented Muse

Fantasy, Fee, Flower, Meadow, Leaves, Wing, Magic
Images by Willgard at Pixabay

“You have a post to write for Diana’s prompt,” my muse said.

“I remember. I’ll do it when I get home from the walk,” me said.

“You can do both, walking and writing on your phone.”

“I know, it’s not the first time. I haven’t decided what to write, though. I took several days off from writing.”

“You’re supposed to write about your conversation with me. So just write what we’ve said so far and continue.”

“Okay… now I must slow down my walk. Good thing it hardly has any traffic in the neighborhood. I still ought to be careful. One eye on the phone, one eye on the road… alright, I’ve done this much. Then what?”

“Let me paint you a picture.”

“What are you talking about? I’m the in-house artist. Besides, we’re walking. How can you paint?”

“I’ll show you, just wait.”

“I see. There are words.”

“Exactly. Does it look like anything you know?”

“Well, half of it resembles something I remember and half of it looks disaster.”

“Remember now?”

“Remember what?”

“Of what it looks like…”

“The only thing I could think of is what I did for NaNoWriMo in 2017.”

“What happened?”

“Well, I didn’t write for days over the holidays but still wanted to reach the word count. I kept writing without the coherent plot.”

“What happened after that?”

“I put it in a folder, one of my many writing folders.”

“Are you going to do something about it?”

“I’m too busy to pick it up right now.”

“I know. You’re halfway through another project but kept going back to the beginning. Why?”

“I’m editing from the beginning.”

“Aren’t you supposed to finish the entire book before editing?”

“Well, I just need some satisfaction of polishing a few chapters and call them semi-done.”

“Don’t wait for too long before writing a new chapter.”

“I’ve been busy with another project as well.”

“I know. I’ve been helping you.”

“You have? What did you do?”

“Come on, be sensible. Didn’t I help you with the description of the book cover?”

“The last thing was the description of the children’s book cover for the illustrator. I thought I had given him a description.”

“You gave him a sketch of the book cover suggestion. He needed a description. You can’t assume what you see is the same as what he sees in the sketch.”

“Sorry for being absentminded. You helped to make some bullet points for him. Did he get the idea now?”

“I don’t know. You must wait for him to send you the sketch to see if your bullet points made sense to him. I can’t read his mind over the internet. I can’t talk to him either. He is in Ukraine.”

“Now what?”

“He would do unlimited revision, wouldn’t he? He did for many pages so far.”

“It took a year to find someone to work with. Three gigs failed me. The last one waited a month to tell me his grandfather died. I wonder how many times his grandfather died. This gig is busy, but at least he spends some time on my project.”

“I hope this gig’s grandfather won’t die too soon.”

“He put a lot of work into it. I don’t think he wants me to cancel the order, or he cancels on me at this point.”

“Fingers crossed.”

“Well, mate. We’re home.”

“Isn’t it a perfect timing? Now, just email the notes to yourself.”

“I can do that at the front porch. Until next time, my walking buddy.”

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For Diana W. Peach – My Multitalented Muse

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