with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

A Multiple Day Chat Conversation With My Mother

Just when you think you are safe, your mother gets into the thrill of Instant Messaging once she understands that she can chat for AGES and it will appear on your screen, waiting for you. She can chat all day while I sleep and I can answer her back while she sleeps, owing to the 10 hour time difference. Here is one of our long recent chats, discussing all things wise, wonderful, and world changing…[Note: “Brother” is the name of her cat. I’ll tell you why in another blog someday.]


Never give out your password or credit card number in an instant message conversation.

Ramona says:
It is almost 11. I am ready for bed. I had my teeth cleaned today, bought a light weight down comforter, as Robert loves the down and we have a real heavy one, bought some wonderful new towels, got some neat stuff at a thrift shop, and had dinner with R at Arnies.
Ramona says:
I have to have someone plaster and paint when the place here is dried out and I asked around for recommendations. My new housekeeper said that Nana has a wonderful builder who does everything for her and she swears by him. Julia called Nana and got his name and number: Carl Larson! So I guess he is still kicking. I called him and he is coming over tomorrow. I totally trust him to do the
Ramona says:
work. I would like to open a slider or big winder to the back in that den, but then there is no wall for bed or couch. I want to talk to him about that. Yet I know it doesn’t make much sense to spend extra on this house when we will probably move before long. Lord how I hate to start looking. I can’t imagine finding anything I would like.
Ramona says:
Going to bed. LOVE
Lorelle says:
Hey, back from grocery shopping and trying to fix some lunch. Isn’t that while about Carl? He built your whole house and suffered through the battles with architects, city planning departments and disguntled neighbors and survived to come back to haunt you. Wonderful! He will definitely be great for you cuz he knows you and how you work…you’ll make him crazy again.
Lorelle says:
About the downstairs bedroom. If you put a slider in to the outdoors on the back window – oh, heck, open up the whole deck window and back to the outside, that would be AWESOME with a strong corner support – bet it could be done – you can open out that whole corner. At the top of your hill, if you go up the looping road past the
Lorelle says:
water treatment/container, and then turn up by the railing o the left, at the top there is a wonderful looking atrium greenhouse effect that would be cool for you to have created there. Something like that but with windows that opened up totally so it could be open to the garden and closed up for winter. I bet you would get just enough light from the east to provide a little warmth in there on
Lorelle says:
cool mornings. That would be awesome. With the extra room, or if you just put a slider in the original wall, you can float a small couch that makes into a bed in the middle, facing the garden or the deck. One or two small comfy chairs with a small table and you might move your tea ceremony and games into that room away from the corner by the stove. You could even put another stove in there.
Lorelle says:
That would be a dream room!
Lorelle says:
An atrium window like you have in your bathroom in the lower bathroom would also be great, but that might be stretching it.
Lorelle says:
As for the future, think about this. Making that room more a part of the lower floor could make that the room you spend more time in than upstairs, saving Robert all the trips up and down the stairs. What a wonderful party area with the front room and that room all stretched together with the kitchen as a center point. I like it.
Lorelle says:
You’ve got the whole thing torn up anyway, go for the fun of it all. And then your garden would have more “value” since you would be paying attention to it. Right now, it’s a hidden treasure that is rarely seen and rarely enjoyed. Make it part of the house.
Lorelle says:
So much for my two cents. Open it up!!!!!!!! I’m bigger than you so if we’re calling for a democratic vote, I win! I’ve always hated how that room is shut off from the rest of the house and the garden is so hidden. I would have reversed your whole downstairs to put the kitchen and living space on the back of the house going into the garden and the bedroom and bathroom where the stove is.
Lorelle says:
Much better!
Lorelle says:
Just got off the chat with my friend, Sabiha, and she and Ruth and I are planning to go to Akko (with a stop to visit the caves like we did) on Sunday. Ruth has never been to Akko. That is like saying you have never been to Vancouver, or Mt. Vernon or something. Strange. Anyway, we’ll have lunch in the place you and I ate at and do all that. We might stop by the Bahia Gardens in Haifa,
Lorelle says:
but that might wait as the weather is planning to be gloriously wet. We’ll see.
Lorelle says:
We’ll stop by Ikea on our way up to pick up curtain rods for Ruth’s new curtains. You wouldn’t believe how GORGEOUS this fabric is that Maureen and I found. Totally gorgeous. Antiquey gold radiant peach all textured and wrinkly (vertical wrinkles) like something weathly and rich, with a sheer peach neutral underneath. We’re going to run it from floor to ceiling for height. I might snip off
Lorelle says:
a bit and mail it to you. I have a package I’m sending out to you next week, if I can get to the post office. It’s been ready to go for three weeks, but I’ve been working long hours and not out at reasonable business hours.
Lorelle says:
Anyway…later. To work.
Ramona says:
Hello, I will consider the opening, but also keep strongly considering a move to a rambler or two story. Not so much for the stairs, although that matters, but for the lack of floor space in general. There isn’t room for a large dining room table, always have to eat off laps if we have more than four. And putting a board on and going thru all that is a bother. And we would like more of everything
Ramona says:
The problem is location, location and view. But I haven’t looked around. I really don’t want to built out at Sunnyside. That lot sits so low behind the road that drainage and cars going over the bank are a constant problem. Plus the soil is so bad from draining other peoples land thru it and down. And it was always a rock pile. It sits there and one would think with land scare builders would look
Ramona says:
me up through the tax records but I have only had two calls in all these years.
Ramona says:
Any way, I just got up again thanks to Brother who won’t let me get much past nine or so. Am going to get something to eat and read the paper and be back.
Lorelle says:
Hey, are you there? I missed you by just a couple minutes. I just got back from downstairs at Naomi’s. Put in a wireless computer card so she can hook to our internet for free.
Lorelle says:
With her barely working for pay and Leslie in England for the year, it’s tough financially. She’s supposed to be on hiatus working on a play, but she is actually working at two theatres and teaching to make ends meet. Since she spends so little time on the Internet, we thought she would enjoy being off a straight connecting, saving about $25 to $50 a month here in Israel, and connecting wirelessly to us. When we leave, she should be able to connect to our neighbor who we connect with when there is something wrong with our system. This wireless stuff is amazing!
Lorelle says:
Her mother’s estate is still tied up in the courts. It should be out soon. It was set up not to go into probate or anything, but the banks froze the accounts about a week or so after her death, catching Naomi by serious surprise. She had no idea, since her mother planned this very thoroughly with her, that the banks would just do this on a whim. Her mother had written down and gone through everything, making sure that Naomi or the family didn’t pay for the funeral and burial and all the odds and ends costs associated with death and dying in a hospital. Now Naomi had to pay all of this out of her own pocket, and file court papers and go through
Lorelle says:
a lot of junk to get it opened again, even though she was co-signer on the account. Her mother had it set up so it was a shared account. Ain’t that suckie.
Lorelle says:
I don’t know how American banks are, but here in Israel, they want want want want, and keep keep keep. Sad stuff.
Lorelle says:
Anyway, she has internet and she comes back from her week vacation with Leslie in London tomorrow.
Lorelle says:
Do you want to move further out of the city or stay within Everett?
Lorelle says:
You could always tear the place down and build it right out to the garden, and then put in a rooftop garden with Jacuzzi and all on the roof with a view.
Lorelle says:
Why do you need more room?
Lorelle says:
You could easily put in an elevator on the back stair wall and turn the top floor into a working space and have all the living space in the main room if you opened up that bedroom. You have plenty of STUFF, so get rid of some of it. I’d turn the whole upstairs into a library, take out the bar and all that stuff (a small sink for water would be nice but not essential) and make it a huge working
Lorelle says:
office space up there. Get rid of the TV and put in two desks with a screen or something, or lots of plants. Get rid of all the clothing and put all the computer shit in the closet with wireless network and a computer server (your desktop and get you a new laptop, too. Then turn the first floor into the huge dream garden room. What an entertainment center that would be.
Lorelle says:
Summer parties would just move into the garden area. At night it would be lovely with candles or torches, small lights along the stones and deck. No separation between house and garden. And people wouldn’t have to go into your bedroom bathroom to go to the toilet during a party, a pain by the way.
Lorelle says:
Oh, dreaming and thinking for you.
Lorelle says:
I’m going to work for just a few more minutes as it is just past 10 at night and I have another early morning. Going to Ida’s for a massage. This Traeger method is really amazing over time. The first time it felt so strange, but now I really depend upon it to unlock my joints. I have a lot of pain over the past few months in my right hip and down my leg. Found I was
Lorelle says:
sitting with my legs crossed or crossed and pulled way back under my chair, resting on one toe with a lot of straining pressure on the knee. So my knee hurts and it hurts and pulls all the way to my hip.
Lorelle says:
Pretty dumb stuff, but I figured it out. I have a foot rest but I forget to use it. I will sit on my leg, too, which is just as bad. I now have a pillow on the foot rest to lift it up higher, but I need to do something else. I wanted to go away this weekend, but I’m so close to done on the web page, so we’ll stay in.
Lorelle says:
Brent can help me figure something out for my legs then.
Lorelle says:
So I’m going to work and hang for another 20 minutes or so if you come on and then back to bed….I’ll dream of totally redesigning your house.
Lorelle says:
Oh, they have some absolutely amazing tables now that are really simple and nice and they are small in general and then swing and move to open up to huge. We saw a lovely glass one that looked plain until you looked really closely that opened up to sit something like 10 or 12 people but when small was enough for four or six, bigger than yours but not that much bigger.
Lorelle says:
The room now would accommodate a larger table, with folding chairs in storage, if it shrank.
Lorelle says:
So that’s what I’ll dream about tonight…..
Lorelle says:
Okay, it is 11pm and I’m off to bed, totally exhausted. Love love love love love love love loveyououououououo
Ramona says:
I imagine you are sound asleep now. At least I hope so. My you paint a pretty picture about the house. Actually that room won’t even allow the couch to open up if it faces toward the bathroom. I forget the size, maybe ten x twelve or so. And I doubt I could build on as I think I maxed out the allowable footprint. Besides, this house is slowly slipping down the hill. That isn’t a joke. That year
Ramona says:
we had such a long wet season I dipped about 1 ½ inches and had to redo doors. Anyway it is kind of fun to go into a new place. Just imagining – not high on priority now, But a window at least in that back wall would be nice. But another security issue. But then so is the glass door.
Ramona says:
Love and hugs
Ramona says:
interestingly the drain for the upstairs bath runs right down the wall in the den (news after Carl Larson’s visit) and so without rerouting it – $900 if Carl does it and hours if Robert does it – so that means that a slider of any normal size and placement would not fit. So best guess is to put in two high windows (high enough to let couch back fit under, or a bed. I think that would be pretty
Ramona says:
nice. I thought about the floating couch but the room is too small. It would make a big difference just to be able to look out the back, except nobody goes in there. Except for the kids no one uses it. And at a party, well I have few parties and you can’t see anything at night anyway. I agree that a big door/slider would be great. Could be french doors opening out but then the room becomes a hall
Ramona says:
I don’t know, wish Mary Lu was here. Even Carl said, “Where is she when we need her, she would help with the decision in a minute”
Ramona says:
Well, R should be heading home shortly for dinner. I have everything ready to start cooking. Love and hugs
Ramona says:
ramona invited you to start Solitaire Showdown, which requires the latest version of MSN Messenger. You can download the latest version at http://g.msn.com/5meen_us/122.
Ramona says:
I just clicked on the solitaire to see what it was. It says you are using an old version of messenger. Update my love
Ramona says:
Dona wants to know if you received books she sent.
Lorelle says:
Up early with some diarrhea. Tired. Only a few hours of sleep. Last couple of days have been really stressful so I think that’s my problem.
Lorelle says:
Didn’t Dona get my email? I’ll have to check and resend. The books were wonderful. Maybe I’ll call her.
Ramona says:
She left some time today – she said Wednesday – to visit a friend, Judy, in Florida I think
Lorelle says:
I know I’m tired and worn out but this web page thing takes up every moment. I wish I could explain how much I enjoy doing it. Really do. It makes me feel so productive and useful, something I needed right now. Working on articles thrill me more than the book, which is why I drag my feet so much about the books.
Lorelle says:
Oh, you’re there!
Ramona says:
Yep I am here
Ramona says:
I am washed out, though. Trying to get my desk cleared off so I can write bills tomorrow
Lorelle says:
I might have to run to the toilet in a few minutes, so forgive me. It’s not as bad as yesterday.
Ramona says:
Robert is studying his course. Thank G he has all day and evening Friday, all Saturday and Sunday and he is done.
Ramona says:
I have had the runs, too. Not so much today
Lorelle says:
Brent paid bills night before last which started a bit of a whine that got me really upset, and that sets off my digestive system…it’s just a normal thing that happens every so often. It sets things off, but it isn’t the money, it’s always something else.
Lorelle says:
I found out that the something else is job related, as usual.
Lorelle says:
Seems that his boss, a guy he really adores but can’t stand to work with, has been taken out of the job loop because he is too slow and they are running way behind. Brent is nervous about his job security waiting for the dust to settle with all the changes.
Ramona says:
Robert is miserable in his job right now, but I think that has been going on for awhile. He is too smart for the managers to deal with.
Lorelle says:
This caused Brent a lot of stress and uncertainty for two days (bill paying days) until he figured out that it actually was for the better and the new guy in charge is one of his best buds there. Really supportive and fighting to keep Brent around. That’s nice and he felt so much better last night, he spoiled me terrible to make up for the night of whining ugh before.
Lorelle says:
Typical. Smart men with ignorant bosses.
Lorelle says:
So why do you have the runs.
Ramona says:
Perhaps getting off the meds for my back pain that constipated me?
Lorelle says:
Could be. Meds are ugh.
Lorelle says:
Maureen had the runs for a day a couple days ago so I told her it was contagious.
Lorelle says:
She has been going through some strange stuff with anemia and then both of us on that horrible augmentum antibiotic from the cat bites (still have funny keloids (scars) that are bumps on my thumb and it aches deep in the joint, it was really deep – and she is still healing from her worse wounds) = so she started scoring her poops.
Lorelle says:
I know you hate this but it is really funny. For her, it is a measurement of satisfaction. 1-10 scale with 10 being a perfectly satisfying, no pain, no pressure poop. I told this to Brent while I was glued to the toilet the other night and he told me that we needed to change it
Ramona says:
Mercy!! Old Brother rules the house here. Robert is to get up at 6 a.m. and I am to get up at 9 a.m. and we are to go to bed by ten or he starts in meowing. I am sure you still miss your monster cat.
Lorelle says:
to the Sieger Scale (her last name) like the Ricter Scale with a 0-10 scale with 5 as a perfect poop and 0 to 1 as runs and 10 as constipation.
Lorelle says:
Maureen said hers was based upon satisfaction and I told her that Brent’s was based upon quality.
Lorelle says:
Too funny!
Ramona says:
I haven’t had a perfect poop for years
Ramona says:
Do you get a picture with my message?
Lorelle says:
At 70 years old, Maureen could outpace YOU and ME and a few others put together. She does pilates two to four times a week, walks the equivalent from your house to the Lowes or the highway on Pacific and back three times a week with me (thought not as much lately due to poop problems for both of us) and usually has appointments for lunch and dinner every day with friends, book club, hikes, and so many things I can hardly keep up.
Lorelle says:
Picture?
Lorelle says:
In email or this program?
Ramona says:
Here – Robert is in bed now. I’m still on the computer working and he’s snoring beside me as I type to you on his laptop.
Lorelle says:
But mother, you are now married to a perfect poop.
Lorelle says:
HE HE HE HE HEH
Ramona says:
Oh Funny
Lorelle says:
No pic.
Ramona says:
There is a little box to the right inside the messenger thing right next to the Send that has a choice of picture displays but although I clicked on it evidently it doesn’t perform
Ramona says:
Well, I shall let you get to work and I shall give it up in a minute or two. Love and hugs
Lorelle says:
to toilet!
Ramona says:
OK enjoy
Lorelle says:
On Brent’s scale it was a 2 – on Maureens a 1
Lorelle says:
No enjoying
Lorelle says:
Sorry about the delay. Well, time for you to be in bed and time for me to get to work. Go to sleep mother!

Ramona says:
I be good girl and go to sleep, in a few minutes. Miss you terrible. Luv luv luv luv luv luv and hugs!

Lorelle
Online Conversation between Tel Aviv, Israel and Seattle, Washington

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