Saturday, January 31, 2009

Busy Day!

We started right off at 5:30 a.m. with my grandson being delivered to our room, by his Mom, who was not feeling well. He was not happy about this, and it took my husband and myself and Railroad Earth (his favorite), to get him back to sleep for a few hours. Then breakfast, untouched, even though french toast, hash browns (his usual favorite), veggie sausage, and eggs were offered. We had forgotten that teething tends to lessen one's appetite. Then it was get dressed, with a squirming, head-butting (yes, he tries to head-butt whenever displeased), rolling, screaming and bucking fourteen-month old. From there it was long walk (happily), with Lucy and Gumma and Gumpa, while Mom rests. Many different epicurean offerings in between breakfast and dinner, absolutely none  accepted. Dinner was a different story. Surprisingly, he loved my chicken with cranberries cooked in marsala! He continued to eat a full half hour after we had finished! Who knew that all he needed was chicken with a sauce over brown rice, followed with an artichoke heart dribbled in "special sauce"? Then a few more wrestling matches for diaper changes, a bath in the sink, and more wrestling with lotion, diapering, jammies, and finally - a bottle. 

Babies are exhausting! What would we do without them???

Friday, January 30, 2009

Life with a toddler...

It never ceases to amaze me - the amount of work a mother does in a day. How do women have a career/job and do all the untold, tiny, little, things they do in a day? I was blessed, in some ways, some ways not, to be able to stay home with my children. My daughter has a career, a very busy fourteen-month-old, who keeps her up all night. Plus she is busy planning a make-over of her kitchen. I honestly think, with the enormous amount she has on her plate, I would just let that kitchen go. But that's not how we do things when we are young mothers. We stack our plates high...

I spend about an hour each night after they go to bed putting the house in order. I'll bet the grandmothers out there remember that time of day. They are down, they are in bed, finally. The house is quiet, you begin to pick up from the day and it takes a while... You sit down and watch something on TV - uninterrupted for the first time that day. But your mind is already moving on to the next day, what needs to be done, what doesn't need to be forgotten. I have a new respect for myself, watching my daughter. I think she sees me differently now. I know she appreciates my helping hand, even if she is the only one he wants right now. He greets her with an expression of pure adoration, complete with pucker kisses, learned just this week. His grandparents have been treated to them, as well. Those greetings of "Hi!", and puckered kisses make everything okay - even the sleepless nights, and complete and utter chaos in the home. It is going to be quiet, when they leave. Very tidy and very quiet. Sigh.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Today's the day!

Yay, today is the day my daughter and grandson arrive for a visit. I can't wait to see them, after all it has been about six weeks, my maximum for going without a visit with said grandson. I made a decision, when he was born, to not go longer than six weeks without seeing him. I don't want him to grow up and only know my husband and I as some vague shadow figures of grandparents. I want an intimate, familiar relationship. One where he knows what it feels like to sit on our laps and be kissed and loved. One where he knows that, no matter what, his grandparents are here for him and always will be.

I had grandparents like that. My mother died when I was six years old, and my brother was six months, of breast cancer. She was 27. To say that was a defining moment in my life, would be an understatement. But we always had our grandparents. They did their best to fill the holes. It wasn't easy for them, I know. We left to live with them for two years right after the funeral. My father felt, at the time, that was the best thing for us. I'm not sure that was the right decision, but it was the one they made. I think it may have been what my grandmother needed and wanted, after losing her beloved daughter. I'm just not sure having a six-year-old and a six-month-old to take care of was easy during her time of grief. I remember my grandparents being extremely sad. But as a grandparent now, I can see that my grandmother needed to make sure her daughter's babies were well cared for. That was the last, and only, thing she could do for her. My father must of realized that. Anyway, that's another story for another day. Today, I am going to give my daughter a break, and a much needed rest, as my husband and I revel in the deliciousness of our grandson!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mysterious Tweet

Somewhere very near the west side of our home is a mysterious tweeting. It sounds like a bird, but I guess could be some other kind of animal. It sounds like it is in our venting. But how could a bird get in our venting? It couldn't be in the fireplace, because it was torn out and a new gas-burning fireplace has been burning merrily for many nights now. But over the last couple of days my husband and I have been hearing what appears to be a bird singing. I have looked outside in the trees but there are no birds in sight. It's snowing and cold. Most birds won't be back until spring. Could a bird have been caught somehow during the construction? But wouldn't we have heard it before now? It has been a couple of weeks since the last construction workers have been here. The fireplace has a screen over the flume - my husband noticed it was in place when he was raking leaves off the roof the other day. So, what the heck? How can a bird be singing in the bowels of my house??

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Near Death Experience

This NYT article on the experiences of the people aboard the flight aborted in the Hudson River reminded me of something I did that I wish I hadn't done. But first, let me say, I have studied NDE's or Near Death Experiences since the 1960's when Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote her ground-breaking book On Death and Dying. Since that time I have read many many books on the subject. One book written in 1925 (name escapes me) in which two physicians, working together, documented several dear death experiences of their patients. One stood out to me of a mother, dying slowly of blood loss after giving birth, passing back and forth between the world of the living and the world of the dead. She kept speaking to her sister, calling her by name and conversing with her, not knowing that the sister had actually died a few days earlier, but that information had been kept from her because of her condition. These doctors could not explain the phenomenon we now know as near death experiences. But they documented several, and believed that this was a glimpse of what we could expect when we die.

There have been many books written on the subject, as technology has changed, and we are able to bring back to life many more individuals who would not have made it in previous generations. It is really fascinating work. Children, not having the information in order to lie, give the same account of an adult resuscitated after some trauma. Which brings me to the reason of the first sentence of this blog. Have you ever done something, and while you are doing it, there is a little voice telling you that you should not do this, that it is a mistake? Well this happened to me on our last move. I came across all my college work in Human Development & Family Studies, all my research, papers, etc., and threw it away. Now, most will say, why not? How long are you supposed to keep that stuff, anyway? Well, at the time I felt the same way. NOW that I want to start a book, I wish I had all those papers, and especially all the documentation and hours and hours of time spent in the library doing research and substantiation. 

I think now is the time to write about near death experiences, as well as, many other ideas that I have on the lifespan. But now, I have to start from scratch, when much of what I had written could have been used in some way now. So next time you hear that little voice, or that loud voice that some of the pilots had heard in the story in the NYT, listen to it. Pause, and even if you don't believe in all that "stuff", ask yourself why. It may be in the future that the question is answered.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

26 years ago today...

26 years ago today I brought a lovely little baby girl into the world. That sweet baby now has a sweet baby of her own. Happy Birthday, Jenny Wenney! You were a darling little girl and have grown into a thoughtful, considerate young woman. A blessing you were and a blessing you continue to be.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Empty Nest

This article in the NYT regarding empty nests was sort of interesting. The premise is that marriages actually improve once the children are out of the house. It also states that there is an adjustment period for mothers, especially. From my own perspective, I find both of these things to be true. When my youngest left for college, I was exhausted. I had recently quite working (Wellness Specialist - at a local hospital in their Wellness Department running first the Travel Immunization Program, later other wellness programs such as Women's Health, blood work, etc.) We had also moved to Portland, Oregon where we had insisted our oldest transfer from the university she had been attending to one where we could keep an eye on her. She was one of those really bright kids that graduated a year early from high school, but had lost her balance in the intervening few years. She was simply too young to handle college. We made a gross error in thinking she was. At any rate, our move had coincided with the last year of our younger daughter's last year of high school. She had attended the same set of schools K-12. To say she was not happy about a transfer to a school in Portland, in the latter part of her junior year, is an absolute understatement. She hated Portland and her new high school. She was lonely and didn't feel like she fit in. She had played varsity soccer all three years at her old school in Reno, and knew she probably didn't have a chance in hell to play her senior year in Portland. Those spots are almost always saved for the students that have played the other two or three years.

So we made a decision to allow her to return to Reno and finish her senior year at her old school. She had to stay with friends that were in the school district in order to play varsity ball. This worked out pretty well. I spent the soccer season at our home in Tahoe, (in order to attend all her games,) and she stayed with said friends. (We had sold our home in Reno, keeping our condo at Lake Tahoe, which is about 25 minutes from Reno.) The problem? At seventeen, and physically away from her parents, she thought she was emancipated. You can imagine the issues that ensued.

So here we were, one daughter drinking too much, partying too much, out of control, living in Portland. One daughter living away from home, too young and immature, to realize she was not capable of making some of the decisions necessary to be truly on one's own, living in Reno. Me going back and forth between Oregon and Nevada. My husband working at a new job, new field, and wondering what the heck happened to our happy little family. By that time soccer was over and we moved her into two of our best friend's home (who have known her since before she was born), and tried to get through the rest of the school year.

My point in all this? An empty nest is not all bad. Our girls have grown up and turned into responsible adults, dealt with their issues, and are just wonderful to be around. But as the article states, it is a good feeling to not be the one responsible any more. We raised them, we did the best we could do, but the rest is up to them. And that is okay, believe me!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How do we begin?

How do we begin to tackle, what feels like, an insurmountable mountain of problems in this country? Where do we begin?

But begin we will. We will come together, Democrats, Republicans, women, men, children. Because we have to. Because we are Americans.

It is on this day, that for the first time in many, many years, that I can feel our country really coming together. You can feel the energy. It is not about the new president, although he is the symbol, it is about the American people joining in a litany of voices, songs, cheers, ushering in a new era. We are awake and aware. It will be a long-time-coming before we put our livelihoods, our retirements, our families, our military, our future generations, our TRUST, in the hands of any administration, without having a voice. We will no longer trust our economic system to those who have been given free reign to pillage our coffers and our future. We will be watching not only those manipulating our economy, but those that are in charge of watching them. Obama will be held accountable. 

But the most reassuring thing about that? We finally have a president that knows that, is accepting of it, and wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Animal Odd Couple

I loved this! Take a minute and watch. It will make your day!

Guest Bath

For anyone who knows me, or who reads this blog, you know I have been in the midst of almost a total remodel of our condo. Some have asked for pictures, so here we go. I will start with the bath and over the next few weeks attempt to show the rest of the remodel. It was built in 1977, and with the exception of our bathroom and bedroom, it has remained somewhat original. That meant the guest bathroom had a tiny, little, kinda gross, shower. You could barely turn around in it. The toilet area, on the other hand, had a large space next to it with absolutely nothing there. So we switched places. The toilet is now where the shower was, and vice versa. The sink was vintage 1970's with some kind of blue stripes through it's bowl and it sat atop an oak base. The floor was lino. Here is the new bathroom. I wish I had before pictures, but I don't.

The new bath has a wood window, pedestal sink, the small tile is a pretty green with a feeling of "forest floor", and is a natural stone. The large tile is porcelain, with a heating element to keep it warm, and has some white tiles and some tan. The bead board is white and the walls a darker green. I had to have the shower curtain custom made because it needed to be very tall (84"), so I had a shade made to match the apple green toile. Sorry the pics aren't very good. (Especially the crooked one.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009


You really get to know your husband or wife when you spend every waking minute with them for nine months. Our life for the last twenty-eight years has mostly been spent from 5:00 to around 8:00 every day except weekends. Weekends consisted of my husband doing what he wanted to do, since most of the other hours in the week he spent working. So over the last nine months we have discovered each other's eccentricities. Little things that you really don't know about one another. Things that one does when one is alone. Or things that manifest due to a wealth of time on one's hands. I know I have a variety of little things that my husband now knows that maybe he didn't know before spending this much time with me. For instance, I am a slow starter in the morning. I like to read the paper (or various on-line papers such as Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Motherjones, etc.), have my coffee, until about 10:00 and then my day begins. This is something he really didn't know. He is usually gone early and by the time he gets home, the house is tidy, I am showered, dinner is on it's way. He, on the other hand, has a few little eccentricities of his own. He has taken to wearing a headlamp for way too many tasks. It started out when he needed to see what he was doing in a dark spot, then while he was hooking up the wiring to the stereo and television. Then he used it while he was waxing the new wooden hearth. He said it made it easier to see where he needed to buff. All this made sense to me until I caught him using it while doing something on his computer. Hmmmmm, I'm thinking we need to get something going here. We're getting a little strange...

Friday, January 16, 2009

New/Old Ideas

When Obama's mother-in-law moves into the White House it will send a powerful message to mainstream America. Over the last many decades the importance of extended family has faded to a pervasive view of familial autonomy. Our old have been shuffled off to old-folks homes, far from family and especially children. But it was not always this way. Our agrarian society evolved for centuries with the grandparents living in the extended-family home, or nearby. What has this meant to society? Well, for one thing, it has certainly had an affect on our children's sense of security and even how lonely they feel. Grandparents fill the gap between busy parents and trying to figure things out on their own, or within their cohort groups. As we can guess, asking advice from someone who is also twelve, is not always the best solution. Developmentalists have studied the familial-type bonds that have evolved with adolescents and younger children. These children form very close and loyal relationships with others in their age group, but not necessarily in a healthy way when those are their main avenues for important information, or better yet, understanding. Grandparents, on the other hand, usually have time, patience, experience, and the advantage of longevity. They have been through many cycles of life, through their own experiences, with their own parents, siblings, and through their own children's life issues. They are the perfect fit for lonely children or adolescents. Of course, this is only true if the child/grandparent relationship is a healthy one. So from a family science point of view, I am thrilled with the Obama's choice to have the continuity that the grandmother represents. Hopefully, it will send a message, during these troubling times, that families need to come first. It is our society's first defense against the ravages of our economic meltdown.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Poor Little Pee Pee

Today was a tough one for my little grandson. He had to be re-circumcised as it had "grown back" and would create a problem later on when he starts getting, shall we say, excited? His mother was really good about it. She was a mother through and through. You can't show fear when you're the "Mom". You are the one that has to be calm and pulled together. Now, the grandmother, she is the one who can be all weak-kneed. She can keep asking for assurance that all will be okay. But then his grandmother had just gone through one of those "routine" surgeries that was anything but! So I was forgiven for being insecure. I'm glad it's over as I have been dreading it since my daughter told me it would have to be done. I think I feel a little guilty. During the process of "should we circumcise or not circumcise", I felt the need to weigh in from a developmental point of view - which is to do whatever the father had done. Little boys do not like to look different from their Dad. He is usually the one who does the boy-like training, and small boys watch their fathers. We were lucky to have two girls because I was not happy about circumcising my small, helpless baby. My father, at the time, was adamant that he be circumcised, mostly for hygiene. But times have changed, and not all babies need to have it done as a routine procedure. Children can be taught proper hygiene. He wouldn't be the only one in school, which is another common pro-argument. However, if the father is in the home, and will be doing some of the potty-training by example, they should be similar in appearance. Thus, my little darling had to go through it again. This grandma can hide safely at home and wait for updates, while the other grandma, who is a labor and delivery nurse, can be there tomorrow when he isn't feeling so well. She deals with plenty of what she calls "circs". Thank Gob for extended family!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bye Bye

I don't know about any of you, but after watching Bush's last press conference, I cannot WAIT to listen to an ARTICULATE President! Could he have sounded any more dumb and immature? I'm not expecting Obama to do everything perfectly - he will make mistakes. But the last eight years need to become a really bad memory.

Best New Television Show

"Leverage" on TNT - very well done. Tim Robbins leads a pretty good cast.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Electrician, Part II

Okay, so I was actually shocked to see my electrician, plus three workers, show up first thing this morning!! They did ALL the work. There were only two little problems - one of the under-counter lights has a bulb that doesn't seem to work, and one more little issue. One of the swing-arm lamps that they hardwired into the wall was missing a "cap nut" that leaves it listing. I know the electrician could see it listing, and obviously knew he was missing the cap-nut. But I think he thought if I didn't notice it - well he wasn't going to draw my attention to it. (This is one of the workers - not the electrical contractor.) I'm a little disappointed in his decision to not tell me. I know he just wanted to get done and get out. But don't you think if you damaged something, that you would own it? Or am I expecting too much? 

I have noticed this happen more than once in this long process over the last three months. Workers doing the absolute minimum, unless you draw their attention to it, or actually breaking items, and not saying anything about it. I didn't expect to have zero damage. That is unrealistic when you tear your house to bits. However, several items that were really dear to me were broken. Not one time did anyone tell me, or apologize. I just found them. One was a little picture one of my daughters had given me, and another was a clothes hook that had a little green-striped glass knob. I found this hook on vacation, in a little shop on the California coast. I won't find another one like it, I know. 

The most shocking instance occurred when one of the workers spit on my floor. He was one of those guys that spits all the time, and he just didn't think about where he was. The flooring was down to the bare wood, it wasn't like it was on new carpet, or anything. I immediately told the person in charge to let him know that spitting in my house would not be tolerated. He said he got a mosquito caught in his mouth. A mosquito at 6,500 ft., in December. Yep, I buy that one, don't you? (My contractor was totally shocked at this!)

I have to say that the majority of people in my home were very considerate, and did an incredible job. The supervisor of the job was terrific. He cleaned up his mess every day, he didn't allow the younger workers to have loud music, and he was very solicitous of both my husband, and myself. So, I don't want to appear ungrateful. Out of three months, and untold number of workers, there were only a few instances. But I do find it interesting that some people will get away with whatever they can. They will do only what is absolutely required, and nothing more. They will break things, and not mention them. Maybe my husband is right - cream always rises to the top. Sooner or later, these individuals are left behind, while others move on. At least that is what we tell our children.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Conversation with electrican on Friday. A little background - we have waited for him to show up several times over the last couple of months. Excuses have included; truck breakdown, bad weather (house full of other workman same day), truck pulled over and truck impounded for some "bogus" infraction. He has never arrived with all the equipment he needs to do the job on any of the days (such as tall enough ladder to hang hallway light, dimmers, etc).

Phone call to electrician we will call S. at noon on Friday:

Me: Hi S., can you tell me when you are going to be here today? (We had been waiting for two days for S. to show up.)

S.: Umm, sometime next week?

Me: Huh? We have been waiting since yesterday for you to show up. You are not coming until next week???

S.: I have been waiting for T. (contractor) to let me know when the stone guys had been there to do what they need to do. (Remove some stone from fireplace shelving area so he can install outlets for stereo, etc.)

Me: But T. told me this morning that you would come up right after the stone guys, who have already been here and gone for three hours.

S.: Well, I haven't heard from him. I have to schedule you in. How about next week?

Me: How about Monday? I need a day, and hour of arrival.

S.: Weelllllll okay. But I am going to have to bump someone and work you in. You know I have 35 other jobs I am working on, but maybe I can just squeeze you in on Monday morning.

So what do you think? Will he arrive tomorrow with everything he needs to finish this job? By the way, the weather is perfect.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Secret Indugence

Have you ever heard of salted caramels? Well, I guess they are quite the rage in more sophisticated chocoholic circles than mine. I have fairly recently heard of them. (In fact these caramels are supposed to be one Obama's favorites.) Salt and chocolate. Two of my very favorite flavors. The ones that I like are the "grey salt" and "smoked salt" ones by Fran's Chocolates. I only allow myself one per day, and then I sit down somewhere and thoroughly enjoy it. Sometimes I think it is okay to give ourselves little treats. It doesn't have to be candy, or even food. But something that gives us that indulged feeling. Do you have a secret indulgence?

No Luau for me

The economy has definitely moved in to our home. This morning my husband made the call to our friends to cancel a trip we had planned with them to visit Hawaii in March. We really felt that taking a vacation, when one is unemployed in this market, might not be very smart. Vacations have always been difficult for us. My husband usually has the kind of job that is difficult to get away from. He can never be been gone longer than a week at a time, no matter how much vacation he has accrued. It can only be certain times of the year. Usually not when I really want to go. It was always frustrating trying to find someplace we could go and be back in a week to ten days, max. Now, he has all the time in the world, but prudence dictates where our funds are spent. A vacation is not a necessity. 

Many people thought we were crazy to remodel what was once our vacation home, but is now our only home (thank you, God, for sending that buyer for our home in Minneapolis!) But we had budgeted for it for some time. We also knew it would have to be done before we ever put it on the market in the future. Which we do not intend to do, at least at this point. You also need to be around when remodeling is going on. There are tons of decisions, daily. We also felt that what we were spending the money on was also putting people to work. Northern Nevada has been hit hard the last two years. My contractor said he is having a hard time finding skilled construction workers to work for him as they have all moved on looking for work. So, in the end, we have a nice, updated, albeit small, home, and the money was not spent on something dumb.  (A vacation? But are vacations really dumb?) We have downsized to one truck (my Yukon going to son-in-law), and my husband's motorcycle, until new employment is found. It really has not been a problem having only one car because most places we go together. We feel very lucky, compared to many people in our country that are really hurting right now. Somehow giving up a vacation doesn't feel very deprived. I guess we will just have to wait until my husband eventually retires to take that long trip to wherever. 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Blogs

In case you haven't noticed, I've added several new blogs that I am following. It is interesting to follow the experiences of people that I would never have the opportunity to meet, let alone know anything about. Blogging gives us the chance to peek into other lives, and get a better understanding of differences. Where else would I ever have the opportunity to follow the weight loss of a man from rural West Virginia? Or view the beautiful pictures from a woman in Canada? Or follow the beautiful writing of a man reliving meeting his wife of many years. It's really amazing, when you think about it. If we only had the opportunity to know people, on a personal basis, how much we would like them. When you look beyond the obvious differences, we really have more commonalities, than not. Blogging can keep us connected when we need it most, but only when we want it, never when we don't.

I have suggested blogging to one of the men that has been working on our remodel. He is lonely. Divorced for over a year. He's 47 and finding it difficult to connect. Blogging would be a way for him to not be alone, I think. Maybe he could even find someone to share his life with. I hope he is able to get a computer. I know it would benefit him.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A New Favorite

We live in a cold climate in the winter. Not as cold as last winter (Minnesota), but cold. However, our down comforters are just too darn warm. My daughter, during her last visit, complained of how hot hers was even with her window cracked. We, also, are not comfortable with the down comforter and our window is wide open. (We love the sound of the stream right outside.) Not to mention, we would simply go up in a poof of smoke without it's cooling effect. Certainly I would, during one of those wonderful hot flashes. Which brings me to a new favorite find. The Simply Shabby Chic Blanket, found many places, and at a reasonable price, is just what the Dr. ordered! The first one I bought was for our bed at our daughter's in Portland, Or. I loved how soft it was and it was perfect with just a cotton bedspread. So I ordered two for our beds here in Tahoe. Last night was the first good night's sleep I have had. It has two layers of super soft material and is very warm - but not too warm. We slept with our summer quilt and just this blanket - me with just the blanket - and my husband with both. Our window was wide open and - voila - comfortable sleep at last.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Beautiful day

Today is just beautiful. The sky is so blue you could swim in it. The snow is still on the ground, and much of the space under it is pure ice. Our younger daughter has been here visiting for the last four days and she and her father went skiing today. I love that they have that to do together. She has always been "my girl". She loves her father dearly, but has always been very attached to me. She was a trauma baby when she was born, and I have always felt that was why she was so attached as a child. As a "meconium stained" baby - one that inhales their first bowl movement in the womb - she was immediately put on antibiotics and all emergency measures to remove the toxic and deadly matter from her lungs. But after about 48 hours she was not doing any better - a sign that the baby may not make it. (She was 10 lbs 4 oz, and the biggest baby in the neonatal intensive care. The nurses hate to loose those babies, who are so ready to live, to this deadly malfunction. But it often happens, as the bowel movement is so sticky.) At that point, after the C-Section, I had not had a chance to see or hold my baby since birth, and I insisted that I see her and hold her. The doctor agreed, and my husband was preparing for the worse. But I knew I just had to hold her. And sure enough as soon as I held her and started nursing her, she started to get better. She went home with me four days later - very unusual for babies with this problem. Anyway, she ended up having asthma and we spent many years with her sleeping with us (it calmed her at night), and breath treatments sometimes four times a night. All this made her very attached to me, especially. Until high school and the inevitable adolescent separation. Which, I might add, was horrendous! The more attached, the harder it is. But, thankfully, they do grow up and turn into lovely, sweet, kind, considerate, and happy 21 year old's that love to watch movies with their Mom and ski with their Dad. She is a little "hippie chick" with a large group of friends, mostly college students, that eat no meat, love music festivals, and are planning a commune in which her parents will be invited. Whether or not it actually happens is of no importance, it is the sentiment that counts. 

Although, the communal living is something I think is going to make a big comeback. And I really wouldn't mind being a part of a group sharing resources. We discussed this to some extent in one of my classes on Aging - it very well may be a common way of living in the future. My husband and I have discussed buying some land in Oregon, near Portland, where the girls live, and having it be zoned for three houses. The idea of living within a few acres of my children and grandchildren makes me happy. As a child, I lived within a big German family enclave in Sacramento after my mother died. It was great having my great-grandmother within walking distance from my grandmother's house and other family members. It is wonderful for children. They also shared resources. All had gardens and shared the bounty. But some drove, some reupholstered furniture, one uncle built all the houses, etc. Not a bad life, if everyone can get along. I suppose that is the bottom line. But maybe, with the changes we are about to experience we will evolve from a society that only worries about self into one that realizes it needs the gifts that everyone brings to the table. What do you think?