Those 70ish Girls…Lav Bakes


We have all heard the saying, WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS. Lav can identify with that phrase, because a few days ago her generous neighbor brought her a large basket of organic lemons fresh off the tree. This is what Lav did with a couple of the juicy lemons.

Another popular edition straight from the dishwasher!

Lemon Squares: Step 1 the crust.

Another crusty thing.

Those 70ish Girls…Lav bakes


We have all heard the saying, WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS. Lav can identify with that phrase, because a few days ago her generous neighbor brought her a large basket of organic lemons fresh off the tree. This is what Lav did with a couple of the juicy lemons.

Another popular edition straight from the dishwasher!

Lemon Squares: Step 1 the crust.

Another crusty thing.

Pat the crust down and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes

Next pour the filling on top of crust while it’s hot.

Bake at 300 degrees for about 25/30 minutes.

Delicious with or without powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

(Do not add the green leaves from the lemon. And do not eat them. I don’t know why but just listen to Lav, although she puts the pictures of the ingredients last after it’s too late to get started.)

Filling has lemon zest from 1 lemon, two eggs, 1 cup sugar, 2tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 2 tablespoons lemon juice – mix well and pour over crust. This is step 2 but you’d never know it.

Those 70ish girls…Down on the Floor With Gimme by Valerie Halla

All it takes for a lil’ toddler guy to be happy is racing a few toy trucks, trains and cars, joyfully pushing them around on the hardwood floors at home for hours on end. Gimme, recently changed from “Grammy,” got up and down multiple times today from the floor after being told by my grandson, “Sit, Gimme!”

“Ready go, Gimme!”


Being 70ish makes it tough getting up and down but I found scooting around on the hardwood floors is pretty fun and much faster than getting up and down onto the floor each time.

“Peet car, aye plane, tow truck, train!”

They’re all out there and you gotta push them as fast and accurately as possible. If they don’t go straight and they flip over, spin out or crash, you retrieve them until they all are lined up and you’re ready to try again. It’s so simple. That’s the beauty of it. A Toddler’s innocent, joyous love of playing a game and interacting with Gimme,who is all in 100%, is all that matters. What you do is push toy cars, trucks and trains across the shiny floor, back and forth, over and over. It’s not boring to us. The sky’s the limit. We’re retired and free as a bird flying into some last sunsets, but flying just the same with weaker wings into these precious days and great memories. Our Toddler grandson has a clean slate of a life and loves this fresh new world open to any and all possibilities. He knows how to have fun, giggling and chuckling it up over this new game with simple non-rules. His fun is our fun. It’s contagious.

Those 70ish girls…Learning Toddler Lingo

As we babysit our 20 month old grandson, we are trying to decipher his language. Just today I became “Gimme” adapted from Grammy and Ken has always been Poppa. So he’s Poppa and I am Gimme. His toddler talk is hilarious at times and we often can’t figure out what our grandson is saying let alone know what he means. He’s always friendly so he says, “Hiyo!” for hello. But what does “tied” and “eh ee hopper” and “daddy truck” mean? Then there’s “ride aye plane” and “tips” and “tack”. What is that kid saying? Huh!?

Did you say “trucks”?Don’t even get me started on names for his toy cars, trucks, airplanes and general toys. There are excavators, garbage trucks, tow trucks, police cars, cement trucks, and plows, loaders, and trains and more trains. He loves trains, “choo choo” and they have wheels, BIG wheels. But I wasn’t going to get started on that. Sorry.

A toddler likes to engage you immediately, and Ev is no exception. The minute you walk into a room or arrive home… get ready because the toddler has a story ready and he’s tearing into it, rearing to go and letting the words flow. Except a few words might be left out so you have to fill in the intended meaning here and there and uhhh, everywhere.

Toddler: Hiyo!!! Poppa daddy truck go. Tow truck go uh oh, scuse me, Tulu! (HINT: Tulu is the family’s big dog who is always nearby.)

Gimme: What did he say?

Poppa: I don’t know.

Toddler: Peet car! Eh hee hopper! Train, nither train ! Uh oh….

…. Toddler: (continues)Mama ooka yay yay!

Translated- Hello! Hey, Poppa, garbage trucks go. Here’s a tow truck. Excuse me, Tulu, may I get by? Police car. Helicopter! There’s a train and another train. Uh oh,Mama is at ukulele lessons. At daycare he told the caregivers about his toy garbage truck which he pronounces “daddy truck” and they kept telling Ev that his daddy did not have a truck. So our daughter explained one day to the daycare ladies that Ev calls garbage trucks “daddy trucks”! He knows his Dada doesn’t own a truck. He calls his father “Dada”. It’s so simple to make others understand. Oh, yeah, right.

And then there are the books, many many -maybe thousands! Part 2: Children’s books

The myriad of books and the toddler story about those will be coming soon. Now I need to rest up and rejuvenate myself for toddler time tomorrow. I’m exhausted after playing trucks all morning with two long walks pushing the red wagon and helping Poppa carry Ev most of the way, and laughing and changing diapers and laughing more at Ev and reading books not to mention cleaning up after him.

Pics of keeping up with a toddler –


Pushing the red wagon

Tow truck time and drinking water-

Water bottles are hilarious

Ninny is exhausted- let’s get some sleep.

Tulu needs a break, too. I am all for that.

Nightie night.

Those 70ish girls…On The Road Again and Again

Ninny joined us again on the road to Portland but first Ninny was seen here with a big scary friend.

Is that bear following me?

Beautiful Oregon skies above

A dusting of snow on the treetops

We finally made it to Portland after a couple stops. We saw this lovely artwork in Sutherlin at a coffee shop along the way.

Now we will be babysitting for a few days and eating lots of good food at my family’s house and at our hotel, so we better get some sleep because that 20 month old little guy will keep us hopping. Nighters to you all.

Those 70ish girls…Road Trip CA to OR by Lav

Left central California this morning and got to Grants Pass by dinner time, although we don’t have any dinner, yet. And President U. S. Grant was not born here nor is his tomb here but it’s a great town. We did drive over the Siskiyou Pass at about 4000 foot level through wind, snow and sleet. I was driving and my knuckles were white as we went through white fog, too. I finally pulled over and my husband drove. Phew.

Ninny was a trooper driving here.We brought all her stuff. Not sure if we brought more of her things or ours. I have pictures of the drive with snow covered mountains and green fields. We had sunshine, rain, snow, sleet and wind. Variety is the spice of life, but do they mean that with regard to the weather?

Driving north on I-5

Our stuff and Ninny’s-

We left sunny California for this. Drove halfway today and we shall see what tomorrow brings as we head north to Portland. Road trips are fun. Ninny seems to have settled in at our motel. Oops. Ninny needs to eat dinner so gotta go. I wonder what they have to offer in the lobby’s vending machine?

They grow rice in California here and store it in those large containers. Night night.

You Can’t Fire Me Cause I Quit, Kinda by Lav

Upstairs at the Midnight Star, eating dinner, sometime around dinner time, about 25 years ago, long time ago, listening to cousin Mary, MG, but she wasn’t MG back then.

The Midnight Star was a restaurant in Deadwood owned by Kevin Costner

She was talking about leaving her Big Job and how she planned the whole thing. She meticulously thought it all out. She was even a genius back then. How did she do it? How did she decide to leave her high-paying, stress filled, upper level job? It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t simply to walk out, slam the door and give no notice to her supervisor. No, she would invite people who worked there, known as fellow employees, to a big party and she even sent out fancy invitations. She ordered a humongous cake with frosted writing: Happy Retirement, Mary! There would be decorations, lots of them, refreshments to go along with the cake, all done in coordinating pastel colors, and gifts and cards galore with best wishes and sentimental remarks written inside each one. It would be fantastic. It was fantastic.

As Mary spoke, telling me the story long long ago, I kinda spaced out, as I often do, so I cannot recall the exact story of Mary throwing her own going away party, but she loved telling me about it and I remember how she laughed and slapped her knee. It was a memorable memory in her mind, if there is such a thing. And for her it was a wonderful way to quit her job. She will have to share it with you because it was a good one.

We have all been on jobs that we have liked and also hated. I tried selling magazines over the phone in high school because a friend got me interested in making a little money to help buy clothes and shoes and babysitting wasn’t much fun. I lasted about a week. Being a human recording was a bore, plus I am not a good salesperson.

“Oh, you don’t need any magazines and you are sick of people trying to sell you crap? Sure, I understand completely. I would not buy these magazines either. Thank you, sir and have a great evening.”

In college I loved my job working at a big department store and getting discounts on clothes. A couple of my friends worked there also and we had a blast walking around asking if people needed help then letting the older sales ladies ring up customers purchases. This wasn’t really selling anything, and besides, we could see the newest stuff coming in the back where our manager worked. We were the first ones to look over the clothing lines just being unwrapped. It felt new and privileged to set aside what we wanted to buy all with a discount.

Then I had to leave that job to get married and go on two honeymoons. I also had a job as a teacher’s aide now but didn’t work summers. They kept my job open for me and my mom made sure that we returned from our honeymoons and went back to work and college. She could be persuasive, thank goodness, because she was right and knew it was time to grow up and be an adult.

Me with one of my students

Thanks to a good education, lots of training and working with fabulous people over the years, I have been super lucky. I haven’t gotten fired nor layed off from jobs, but I have probably come pretty close. When I was doing my student teaching at a public school in 6th grade, my master teacher set me straight a couple times for saying off the cuff dumb things, and when I scheduled a police officer to come talk to kids before starting a unit on juvenile delinquency and didn’t clear it with the principal, they probably wanted to fire me except I wasn’t getting paid and this job was required to get my teaching credential. All of a sudden this uniformed police officer shows up in my class! Everyone on campus was in shock. My college professor who observed me, saved me and tried to warn me to get permission next time, or I might be dropped from the college teacher education program.

The only thing that keeps us going in some jobs, is the money. However, in my best job ever…teaching kids…it was the kids and some talented and fun loving colleagues who kept me going for 34 years. and in another volunteer job recently at the SPCA, even though I have made a lot of mistakes, the beautiful loving dogs kept me going and they can’t really fire me because it’s volunteering nor can I say, “You can’t fire me, cause I quit!”

I wish I were back at the Midnight Star many decades ago, and could relive the time MG told me her hilarious story, so I could get it straight in my mind. As my son said when he was little, “Mom, I can’t rememorize it.” I hope you all have some funny stories about jobs you’ve had. Now being 70ish, we won’t be having many more.

Ken taught 3-8th, and I taught k-2nd grades in Pacific Valley School south of Big Sur, CA. We’re helping students in this picture.

Those 70ish girls…Over the Hill but not out of site

Over the Hill But Not Out of Sight by Val

I’m sure you have noticed how we senior people of advanced age and just plain old, use certain phrases or words that are sounding out of date. We might say, “That’s a horse of a different color.” Now really, aren’t horses usually different colors so what the heck does that saying mean? Have you heard that one? Not recently, I bet.

I heard a gal today say, “March came in like a lion so it will go out like a lamb.” What’s with all these animals getting dragged into old folk’s language? And was she talking about the weather or that a lion and a lamb somehow managed to get inside her house? Heaven forbid.

My Mom used to say, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” I am guessing that she meant, if you’re trying to get fancy, it won’t work if you’re not rich and a pig’s ear won’t help you, although I haven’t had a chance to get hold of a sow’s ear recently.

We aging people also use words not heard since the 1960’s and even as far back as the 1950’s like “groovy, far out, cool cat, too much”. You can probably think of a few words on your own which have inconveniently stuck in your declining memory.

Cool cat!

This is MG, and I see where you’re coming from, Cuz. I mean, I can dig it! Kip still says rats, and I say crap. My kids called everything sweeet! One word from back then that I still hear and don’t like is, “Duh!”

Can you dig it?

Looking back to my youth, words like hip, rad and geek, come to mind. Do you get my drift? I don’t think kids go steady anymore, and you still can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip.

Good idea, Cuz. This has been a real gas!

MG in 1965…flip hairdo
Early 70s? Aunt Helen with daughters Sue and Trice. Val with Mom, Ella

Those 70ish Girls…Cooking green with Lav

Nothin says lovin like something from Lav’s Oven….HaHa..Tiny (This Is Not Yram)

Well…I learned something new…how about you? HaHa

“Don’t eat parchment paper”

Do you want some of Grammy Lav’s green beans?

“That’s Okay”

Those 70 ish girls… Waiting By The Phone

By Valerie Halla

In high school a bunch of us were asked to try on clothes at our friend’s mom’s clothing shop…boutique is a fancier term for it. We were going to model clothing to help sell more clothes for her…promote is a nicer word for “sell”. I chose a cute sporty pair of pants with a tight fitting jacket to model and the rest was history…meaning my one chance at modeling was history…ancient history. It was fun walking across our high school gym floor and pausing here and there, as the boutique owner mom spoke about my outfit on the microphone to about 500 teenagers sitting in the bleachers. The mom said she liked my walk and commented to everyone about how I strutted around with energy and panache. I was thinking, this is fun and I don’t even have to buy the clothes.

That was the extent of my modeling days. I still love clothes, dream of a job where all you do is dress up and walk with panache, but models have to be thin and no amount of panache can make me give up eating. I wear sunglasses a lot, even indoors. That’s because Hollywood movie stars wear sunglasses a lot. That’s another job…career sounds better…which left me sitting by the phone. I love movies and celebrities and watch the Oscars. I forgot to get an agent, but I still applied for jobs as extras, movie theater ushers, popcorn venders and the person who claps the clappers before scenes. The phone never rang, except for prank calls and aggressive sales people, and recordings of sales people.

My careers as a model and movie star went south, way south. It was fun to dream about being a star…celebrity, a better word, covers more options. I’m happy at this stage of my life though and when the phone rings, I’m happy to hear from one of my three loving children, husband or from a wonderful relative or friend. I gave up waiting by the phone, however, I still love wearing my Ray Bans a lot. Makes me feel nice….um, I mean cool…a way cooler word.

You do it!
No, you do it!