Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I live on an Island, as most of you already know, and that island was zoned rural farmland for so many many years. That is what attracted us to stay here, versus going to a bigger city to live.

Dad liked the rural feel of the place, and as children we were allowed to go out side and play anywhere we wanted. We just had to be home for dinner. We got out on the road with our bikes and rode for hours! We were safe, and the biggest town on the island was Oak Harbor with 3000 people. That even counted the base! The city limits of Oak HArbor could be seen by standing at Chimes Corner and looking all around you. There was no part of the city that was farther away than 2 miles.

Tourists discovered the place in the late 70's and the developers were not far behind.

Island County has a Board of commissioners that regulates development, but unfortunatly they were also related to the builders and developers. OUr Town Mayor was also into Real Estate, and had relatives who were contractors. Needless to say, our farmland was rezoned and sold to the highest bidder. That lasted for a few years, and then a law was passed that said they could not develop more than 5 acres and in some places 2.5 acres. So these too were bought up and built upon. Now Oak Harbor has grown so big and so fast, that it has had to co-opt the surrounding land into the city limits. Now from one end of town to the other could be 10 miles! these newly acquired parcels were sold to developers, who have built homes right on top of each other, back yard to backyard, and shoulder to shoulder.

THe average home price 15 years ago was 100,000 and I bought my home out in the county, under the flight pattern of the auxilliary airbase, for 97,500. It is a very modest 1400 SF home on a fairly large lot. But I am shoulder to shoulder with the houses on either side.

The voters of Island COunty have been voting down tax increases, and only a few precincts actually voted in a school levy or a fire levy. Island County is getting frustrated by trying to provide services to everyone, when no one was allowing increases to pass. So they got even. This year when we all got our tax assesments, we saw that our homes have improved in value as much as 25% in one year! My modest little home is now valued at 193,500! WHAT!!!!!

I retired here because I knew that what I would be getting would pay my mortgage and leave me enough to live on comfortably. Now, since the increase in value, our taxes are rising, (remember, we pay a certain percent or portion of a percent per 1000, of value, for each item with their hand in the pot.) So now my taxes have skyrocketed, my interest rate has risen, and my pay has stayed the same.

With all of the building and selling of houses that we are seeing on this island, soon the average price of a home will be close to 400,000! That is not an exageration!

Greed has caused all of this. Greed of the developers who have lured the farmers and their heirs to sell their land, greed of the contractors who are working for the developers, greed of the people coming up from California with tons of money in their pockets from selling their 900 sf home for 1/2 a million dollars and buying a 3500 SF home with the money they got. Greed Greed Greed! It is becoming so bad that the average person will not be able to afford to own their own home.

THere was an item on the news just this evening about a mobile home park for Seniors that was sold to developers. THey will of course throw away the mobile homes, and build condos on the land. Meanwhile the owner of the lot just got rich, and and developers are getting richer, while the Seniors now have no place to go, no funds to move their mobiles into another lot if they could find an empty space, and are now soon to homeless.

Something has to happen to stop this insanity. We have got to realize that bigger is not better, and have got to have low income, SAFE places for seniors and others to live. I may not be able to afford my home much longer, and I looked into getting a mobile...80,000!!! SHIT! and that was before the lot fee and the skirting!

I do not know what the answer is or should be, But we as a country had better find a suitable solution soon! Just how many houses need to be built? And where are all the people coming from that are moving into these new houses? and what has happened to the houses they moved out of? I do not see a lot of empties sitting around, so they are not all being torn down.

I am hanging on by my fingernails, but they are breaking, and I may soon have to sell and move in with DOnna.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

What a weekend!

Friday night was the first night of auditions for FOREVER PLAID, and we went in there expecting to be there all night, as we had heard that all kinds of people were wanting to audition for the 4 parts.

We had 4 total people turn out from age 15-55! What a bummer! It is getting harder and harder to get people who are willing devote the time that is needed for a show.

SO last night was the 2nd night of auditions, and we thought that they might show up then. NOPE, no one! NOT ONE! well 1 of the young men is in the process of his voice changing, and that wont work.

SO Rusty sent everyone home, and now we are beating the bushes for four good men. Remember when I directed GODSPELL and could not find Jesus? Well the hunt is on again. THis time it is for four dead guys from 1963, who are members of a guy singing group, like the 4 freshemn, etc. COOL Music. Takes me right back to high school. THere are a LOT of guys on this islabnd that sing, but we sure did not see them last night! Radio announcements coming up!

Friday I had to leave the pool early, as I twisted my knee, was favoring it, then got off balance and got a crick in my neck which gave me a head ache and an upset stomach. JEEZ!! So Monday I will go in and just jog, and kick, and maybe do the weights in the deep end. ( no JimBob, not REAL weights, these are all styrofoam, and work like weights under water, actually they help keep you afloat and the point is to keep them down. )

It is definately SPRING here now. ALl of the blossoms are blowing off the cherry trees like pink snow, and the flowering prune and plum trees are all abloom. My Peach tree is even trying like hell to flower. Poor thing took a real hit in the wind, and I have to cut the small one down, because it is growing flat, and I need to trim the big one to even it out.

I have not seen any squirrels at all in a month or so. I sure hope that Jupiter next door has not eaten them all. He is a cute little cat, but he sits and waits for the birds under the feeder. GRRRRRRRR I have complained, but it doesnt seem to work.

Well that catches you up on my life. and I will try to do better. A new blogging friend wrote a wonderful post on blogging guilt. It may be a few posts back, but go here and read her site, She is good!

and now for a Sunday Funny!

Just before he was 'canned', Donald Rumsfeld briefed the President. He told the President that three Brazilian soldiers were killed in Iraq.

To everyone's amazement, all of the color ran out of Bush's face, then he collapsed onto his desk, head in hands, visibly shaken, almost in tears.

Finally, he composed himself and asked Rumsfeld, "Just exactly how many is a brazillion?"

Thursday, March 22, 2007

no title....

As my dearest darling most beloved daughter pointed out in comments in the last post, my Opinion Wednesdays have kinda fallen through the cracks. As She will most definately attest to, when I am doing a self-improvement activity, It is all encompassing. I think of nothing else, I plan my whole life around it. I am sorry. But I had no idea I was going to get into this as far as I have. When I was dieting 20 some odd years ago, I had to quit cooking entirely, and I put Donna in charge of getting the meals on the table for her Dad and her brother, and I stayed gone until the dishes were done. I had to. If I had not, I would have fallen off my diet, and I would not have lost the 100 lbs I did. I had to STARVE to do it though. ANd I did it, and I felt good, and I ruined my body doing it, as I gained it all back plus another ## lbs.

I also am still having connectivity problems, as I mentioned a few posts back. So I have not posted my opinions on Wednesdays as I promised.

I will try to do better, but not before this weekend, when I have auditions for FOREVER PLAID. Friday night, and Saturday night. I will give you a post about the Play also. Just bear with me folks. My brain is being fried!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

OHMIGAWD!!! It is good!

THe other night after aquarobics, Something made me stop in at ARBY's and there on the menu was the new item

Philly steak flatbread melt.

It is sooooo good! I had to smell it all the way home, and That just made it that much more tasty!

I know that going to aquarobics and then to ARBY's is'nt the smartest thing in the world, but I am not going for weight reduction. I am going to strengthen the muscles in my lower back and my hips and legs, so that I can get out and walk again. I can't even walk 1/2 a block anymore, with out my back collapsing. I do NOT want to be wheelchair bound, and I am really close. SO it is aquarobics 3 times a week, until I can walk around the block, then I will walk around the block every night until I can walk without hurting too bad then I will kick it up a notch and walk a mile. then 3 miles, then 3 miles every other day, and then 3 miles every day until I get my weight back down to at least pre-retirement weight, which was not that low. But baby steps is all I want right now.

I want to walk again!

Might walk to ARBY's for a philly steak flatbread melt......

posting problems...AGAIN!

I am still having problems connecting to Blogger and posting, so until I am sure of a connection, I wont be too verbose! I hate losing a post...

Friday, March 16, 2007

A Drive back in time...

I drove into town today, to get my son a Carhart hat. Don’t know why it had to be that brand, but it did. I am getting his 1st qtr pkg. ready to go to him, and I had forgotten the hat. The rules are really strict, the items have to be brand new, with the tags still attached, and can not cost over a certain amount. I also have to enclose the sales receipt, in the box, and the box can not weigh over 15 lbs! He needed a pair of shoes, and they alone must weigh a good 8 lbs. I will see once I get it to the post office. ANYWAY, (got side tracked there) I went to the Farmer’s Co-op where they stock the Carharts gear, and got the hat, logo can not be over 4 “. (sheesh) And picked up black oil sunflower seeds and Bird seed for the birds.

I noticed on the way into town, that the WSDOT was working on the stop light up on the highway, and it was really tied up. So as I headed home, I turned left down Scenic Heights Road, and took the long winding way home.

I used to live down that road when I was a little girl, and memories started flooding back as soon as I left the city limits. It was a typical March day, windy, and scattered clouds, but the sun was peeking through just enough to call it partly sunny. The naturalized Daffodils were popping their bright yellow heads up out of the tufts of grass and meadows, and yelling as loud as they could…”WAKE UP TOODLE OO!! IT”S SPRING!!! Come out!!” They are the noisiest flower!!  I drove slowly down the road looking at the houses lined up along the bluff trying to pick out where my girl friends lived. The houses have mostly been replaced by McMansions, and it was hard to find the familiar places. As I headed out of the trees and towards the spot where the road split, I saw that the road had washed down the bluff years ago, and the way was blocked, where we used to go. My old school bus #5 used to park there, in the turn out, right in front of Mr. Rienjes’ house, and there used to be wild sweet peas that grew over the bluff. That has all fallen down onto the beach now, and the road goes BEHIND his old farm house. Sad…I remember him very well, he was a nice man.

I drove on around the back, onto Balda road, and then turned back towards The bluff on Miller Road. I stopped at the corner, right where Myrtle Kennedy used to live. I remember playing dolls at her house, and her grandma had a little tiny cottage right next door, that no one lived in, so we would play there. There are new houses there now, and the old farm house is looking a little worn and well-loved. As I headed South, I saw Bonnie View Acres, and was totally amazed! It has been sub-plotted, and more houses are spread all over the old farms lands. I looked for the old Ghost town we used to hike to, but it is gone now too. As I rounded the corner, and headed into the Penn Cove Park development, I saw that the woods on the corner were all gone. New houses are being built, and the house where Mom and Dad lived was dwarfed by development!

I took a drive through the Park, and remembered where friends lived. The houses are in disrepair, and small, as they were the first houses to be developed outside of the city limits, back in the early 50’s. Farms were what made up Whidbey Island then, and very few places were built other than the towns. Not so now days, every un developed piece of land possible is being sub-divided and sold to out of towners who are coming up with pockets full of inflated dollars. Our peaceful little Island is fast on it’s way to becoming a suburb of the greater Seattle area. I hate to see this happening.

I shook my head and drove past the old store where we used to swipe candy bars with the owners kids’, and it and the house that we lived in are all gone. The little vacation cottages are gone, the Barn where Phyllis got her first kiss is gone. The trees we climbed and swung from the tops of are gone. The whole place is full of new houses. All with a view, and all costing a whole lot more than the cute little 3 bedroom house with the knotty pine paneling and the flagstone fireplace where we grew up. I almost cried. The beach is still there where we played every single day, and the little cove full of driftwood is still there, and I saw that way off to the side, some child had built a log fort, just like we used to do when we went to the beach. Driftwood would be stacked up like a log cabin, with seaweed draped over the roof, and clam shells for dishes. We had some good times on that beach.

As I drove on, saddened by the changes, I thought of how it must look to the Old timers that are still alive and remember their old farms and homesteads. Ya know, some things need to change, for the better, but there are still certain things that never should. I drove on away from my childhood and back onto hiway 20 where I was once again a 60+ woman with failing health, kinda made me want to stop the car and go play in that fort…

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Back in the saddle...

WHOO-HOO!!! I have just been given a play to direct for next Season! It is SOCIAL SECURITY by Andrew Bergman, and FUNNNNNYYYYY!!!

I was beginning to think I was a person non-grata because the new President of the Board did not like me. But I went in and had an interview and was given the show! WHEW!!! I am so glad! I also will be producing two shows next year. A CHORUS LINE in Sept 07 and 12 ANGRY MEN in October 07. My show will be run in Apr 08.

I am getting ready to Produce FOREVER PLAID for Rusty next week. So you will be hearing all about that as the weeks go by!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

She's BAAACK.....

Well I have my computer back, all cleaned up and spiffy, but unfortunately the CRAP DIAL-UP is still kicking me off line every time I go deeper into a site. Took me 6 tries to get blogger to open to let me post! John said my Modem was fine! It worked without ever getting kicked off at his shop! SO now, I have had the phone line checked for noise, at a cost of 75.00, I have had a NEW line installed at a cost of 175.00, I have had my computer overhauled at a cost of over 100.oo and I STILL CANT HOOK UP!!! ARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

As much as I love living in the boondocks, and watching the wild life, I so hate being in the boondocks away from the modern conveniences like DSL, or CABLE!! I was told I could get a satellite at a mere cost of only 120.oo a MONTH! but I told them I was not made of money! THe highway is 100 yards right through the woods over there<<<<<< and Comcast runs right down the highway, but it can NOT come into the development because Millenium Digital Media has the area. ARRGGHHH!! There are over 300 homes here, and we have mostly all switched from MDM to Dish or Directtv because their cable was so crappy, but they still hang on to it.

I have to go get my sister and take her into the Hospital for an upper GI Scope, so when I get back this evening I will visit with ya'll and catch up on what you all were doing while I was gone.

Still no news from Leslie though...:( Maybe Canadian Health Care isn't as good as we thought....

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Down for the count...

Be back in a week I hope! Puter is in the shop getting an operation!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

By George, I think it's spring!

We have broken records today for warm temps! The sun actually came out and when I went to check the mail, the breeze had a warm feel to it. Lea's Plum tree is putting out white buds, which will soon be blooms and that means TONS of PLUMS!

The tulips are up about 8 inches now, and the RObins and Varied Thrushes are pulling worms up out of the lawn! Whoo-HOO!! Spring!!! I am really ready!!!

I went to Aquarobics again last night, and this time I actually swam a lap. Just one, and I was so out of breath that I thought I was going to die! I swam over to the edge and just hung there until I could breathe again. Then I did the full hour of arobics. It felt soooo good too. I think I am going to start going on Wednesday's also. I wear a tee shirt and cutoff's until my suit gets here. Now I need to get a pair of shoes to wear around the pool and in the shower.

We follow the young girls swim team, and we have to shower before we go in, and the shower was full of young girls, all sudsy and shampoo was running all over the floor. I stepped in and gingerly walked up to the shower head, and this tiny little girl ran in and bumped me and I went sliding!! She was so rude, and did not even say excuse me. THANK GOD I did not fall, that would have been the end of my knees.

I am still trying to get ahold of John to get my Computer in and fixed, today I started trying to get on line at 1030 this morning, and it is now 400 and I JUST got on. I am going to post first and then try blogwalking. Who knows how far I will get.

Come back, I should only be gone a week or so...I HOPE!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Spring snow...

Yesterday we woke up to 2" of white. More last night, and COLD! I love a good spring snow! it falls so silently, and makes everything so peaceful! The birds were having an absolute field day at the feeders too. One little Oregon Junco was taking a snow bath in the bird bath that was over full of fluffy white snow flakes. He was spreading his wings and flapping them back and forth almost as if he was playing in it. Making Snow Angels! It was so neat to just sit there and watch him play!

TOday I woke up and looked out at the feeder and it was COVERED with redwing Black birds. THey are so musical with their voice. Almost as if they were gargling musical notes. I hung my first hummingbird feeder out last week, but as of yet, no hummers. They are late this year. I ususally have them by February 25.

Sadie jumped up on the bed, ran right up on top of me laying on my stomach, and perched on my back and shoulders watching the wildlife also. There is a family of deer that have found Lea's yard a peaceful place to graze. 2 yearlings and a doe. Sadie went ballistic, barking and jumping in the window trying to get to them, but all she did was make me mad, and get booted out of the room.

THe snow that was falling when I put Sadie out, has all disappeared now. So I guess we are due for our first SPRING storm of wind and rain. THe trees are all bursting with leaves, and the roses are sprouting. THe bulbs I finally got into the ground last week still have not popped above the soil line. I do not expect them to this year, but they MIGHT put up leaves and gain energy for NEXT year. If not...ah well.

I very well may be out of touch for awhile, as I need to get my computer into John at THE COMPUTER CLINIC, for an overhaul. I am hoping that he will be able to re-partition my hard drive, and put in the new modem and get me up and running fairly fast. I will have my lap top, but Everytime I try to blog from it, I end up hitting the wrong key somewhere and erasisng my posts! It is some button down under my left pinkie finger, but since there are several of them down there, I am not sure which one it is.

THe weather has been severly cranky this week, so I hope that all of you are safe and secure, and do not know of anyone that was injured in Alabama or Georgia. I need to email Wanda, and make sure she is ok, as it is really close to her home town. REALLY close. and FLAX and JOE also. TAKE CARE AND TAKE COVER!