Me with the poodles in Haines


This picture of me, the Old Woman, was taken by my husband in Haines, Alaska. My blog is about the events of my life and my thoughts and ideas. I have been writing it for about 8 years, sometimes not as regularly as I would like. I am 82 years old, so often my theme is how to survive getting old. Much of my time is spent painting when I am not writing, but there is also time for seeing friends, sipping wine, baking bread and walking with Jerry and my poodles. I live on an island in Puget Sound and in Manley Hot Springs Alaska.  I have 5 children from previous marriages and 12 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren.

46 Responses to About

  1. Dear “Old Woman.”
    I’m completely enthralled with your rich life and cannot wait to read more. I assume you are on Lummi. I want to visit with you more, possibly after
    painting class next Friday. A good friend in Priest River, ID, where I “originated” will love your blog, too, so I’ll forward your url to her. My blog url is above where I was asked for “Website.”
    Look forward to getting better acquainted and to reading more of your blog entries.
    Have a great weekend. Rae Ellen.

  2. zuleme says:

    I just found your blog through Time Goes By. I am almost 57 and live in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with my Swedish/Finnish husband, Olof and my inlaws who are Swedish (FIL) and Finnish (FIL). They are 80 and have an apartment in our studio building next door to the house. We are videographers and do other computer type stuff.
    Your life does sound interesting and I am happy to find another good blog.

  3. Ernestine says:

    You have made me smile. If your mom can return to her home place at 90 then surely I can when just rolled past 3 score and 10. I just returned from my old homeplace and met with a builder for my cottage.
    So only health and finances will stop me.
    I do not think of you as being an old woman!!!!

  4. Joan says:

    Hi Anne! It’s Joan from the play, and from the wine tastings at Rich & Pat’s. Just wanted to let you know how much I’ve been enjoying reading your blog – it is such a great slice of Lummi Island life, and all the things that led you up to it. 🙂 Thanks for being so willing to share.

    I look forward to continuing to read your postings.

  5. Robb says:

    Dear Anne~
    I have just spent an hour reading many of your blogs, and I must tell you what a delightful writer you are!
    You captivated me with your thoughts and free-associations. I felt as if I was enjoying a good conversation, something I have been privileged to do with you now and then.
    In addition, the painting of the boats is absolutely wonderful! I would love to see that in person one of these days.
    you may label yourself as “old woman” but that does not do you the justice that your talents and skills merit. “vital woman” or “talented, bright woman” are much more apt.
    With warm wishes for a wonderful New Year…robb k

  6. Something screwed up with my email and I lost yours sending Food and Life Part 2 for the Elder Storytelling Place. So this is to let you know it will be published on Friday, 9 January.

    I removed “part 2” from the title so not to confuse readers at my blog and to avoid having to answer a bunch of email asking where part 1 is.

    It’s a fabulous story – as are the rest in the series.

  7. Capella Cole-Mann says:

    Yes Anne, That was a wonderful way to get to know so much about you so soon after our wine tasting and name tasting. Your name saga beats mine (well maybe not) now I’m intrigued with telling mine…later. I read alot and didn’t yet find “falling Apart Together” This blog bit is new to me. I’m loving it. Funny and thought provoking

  8. Wynne says:

    I found the scrap of paper with your website address under a much-neglected pile of papers. Love your site & will add it to the blogroll on my site. Your two pieces on The Great Dickens Show were priceless!

  9. Maggie says:

    I’ve just spent several hours reading your blog. Absolutely wonderful. I’ll have to read more tomorrow, though I could sit here and happily continue on now.

  10. zuleme says:

    Have you run into my young friend Miranda? I think she arrived in Manley a short time ago for the summer.

  11. Judith says:

    Hullo, Anne – somebody seemms to know that that is your name, so it’ll do for me. I don’t want to call you Old Woman either – there are so many of us blogging these days that it hardly seems relevant any more – although of course, for each of us it is, even if to each other it seems not to be. Err…rambling, or what? It’s late, but I just wanted to drop by to acknowlege your call on me. If it’s not your first, I apologise for missing any earlier ones.

  12. Old Woman says:

    Zuleme, I did not have a chance to meet Miranda. I guess I left just about the time she arrived. Too bad.

    Judith, thanks for stopping by. Actually, Old Woman is what my daughter has called me since I was in my mid 30’s, so I’m quite used to the name. It was funny then — less so now that I am 77. But it seemed useful for the blog. My daughter is of the opinion that it is a good idea to keep one’s identity hidden when blogging, and given the recent hullabaloo about a recent post of mine I think she might be right. Too late for me now, though.

  13. Hello Anne, I’ve just checked to see if your email address is included here but it seems not. So I hope you can manage to email me so I can answer your technical questions.
    Here is my address again:
    (remember to substitute the @ sign for the word AT and dots where its says DOT and don’t leave any spaces)
    endapress AT blueyonder DOT co DOT uk

    I love your blog, by the way.

  14. Teresa says:

    Fascinating writing, just wonderful! I’m glad I found you on Beth’s blog. I’ll be back.

  15. Kevin Jones says:

    I came across your blog in the process of searching for information on Robin Wadleigh, whom I knew in Vienna, Va when I was 8 or 9 years old, around 1953, I believe. Robin and I spent much time playing together. He and his family lived in a little cabin near the railroad tracks about 1/4 mile from where we lived. I remember his parents as being very kind. . . his father processed (for free) the first roll of film I ever shot, with a brownie box camera. I still have those pictures somewhere, and may still have a photo of Robin from that roll. I know Robin had hemophilia, so his survival this long might have been unlikely.

    In any case, I was interested to read your piece about your father. It’s odd, after all those years, and remembering him from the perspective of a child of 8 or 9, to read of his life from another angle entirely.

    If Robin is still with us and you’re in contact with him or others of the family, I’d be interested to at least send my regards. Robin would probably remember me, and I believe I recall he had a sister a few years older, who also treated me kindly. Perhaps she’d remember me as well.

    This is intended as a personal message, but please feel free to publish it as a comment if you wish.

    Best Regards
    Kevin Jones

  16. Anne,

    You were here in New York; sorry I missed you–we could have talked on the phone. So caught up with our move to Portland but might have answered a question or two?

    Your note on my blog about meeting when we’re both in the Northwest sounds like a wonderful idea. We’re there at end of August; please email me so we can arrange a Fall get-together.

    Best wishes on your son’s recovery.

    yours, naomi

  17. Cathy says:

    Love the picture of Jerry applying texture on the drywall in your new bathroom. That man can do anything, can’t he?

    Everytime I look at your blog I find something else to read. Thanks for taking the time to share – I plan to do some more of my own sharing once this beautiful warm weather leaves us.

    See you soon, C

  18. Vivian says:

    Well, I finally have a computer I can read your wonderful entries and tell you how much you and I are alike in so many ways. I, too, am a fledging writer and write short stories and have attempted a novel. I wanted to see if I could write 50,000 words, and I did. Your life makes mine seem so dull. I will continue to read on a regular basis, as you take me on a journey of imagined scenes as you describe your feelings, beliefs, and events of the day. Thank you for the opportunity to enjoy your life.

  19. Karin Doyle says:

    Oh, wow I wish I had two hours to read your blog but I have go to bed now and I’m only 72. I’ve been in New Zealand but not Puget Sound but my brother lives in Nahotta on Long Beach (is that right? that sand bar on the southwest corner of Washington) so maybe I’ll get there some day if I live that long.

  20. Vivian says:

    A dear friend told me of all the places in the world to see, if I have only one choice, is New Zealand. However, he never mentioned hotels because he has friends in every port. But your comments on the country were so enlightening, I feel I stepped into the area for the time it took to read your delightful report.

  21. Robb Kahn says:

    Hi, Anne~
    I have vicariously enjoyed your trip to New Zealand with you, and will be happy to see you again when you return to our slightly smaller (and colder) island. Your writing is simply amazing, and I would encourage you to consider editing your pieces and publishing them…at least your fans and friends would buy the books…which you could also illustrate, of course!
    Here’s to another year of your interesting and very literary blogs!!

  22. Darlene says:

    Hi Anne,

    Please check my blog out today. I have something for you.


  23. Vivian says:

    I feel like I take a trip to Alaska every time I read your blog. So descriptive, like you are chatting with me. I wonder if home owners have difficulty with bears in their garbage, bird feeders (surely so) and barbeques firing up with meat on them? That’s what is troubling with brown bears in NY. Here in MS we don’t see bears unless one goes to the hunting area. Seems killing cubs should be not be allowed. But who am I to say, I don’t hunt.

  24. Vivian says:

    Hi, I understand your enjoying Manley, the quietness rejuvenates your soul and somehow balances you so you can reenter “regular life” back home. I love the photos of the birches. What a silent beauty they give, especially in the fall when golden and red leaves fall. Thank you for sharing.

  25. I noticed you at Joan’s (Zhoen) site and wanted to read your blog. I’ve enjoyed reading about your life, as you have shared it with the rest of us. I look forward to visiting again.

  26. Vivian says:

    Your latest entries about John reveals not only compassion on your part, but on socialized medicine, if I read it correctly. Had John lived in the States, I wonder if one good doctor could have helped him ease into a painless downgrade of his life. I don’t know what relationship you had with John, but you were truly a friend in need and I applaud you.

  27. Diane says:

    I lived on the shores of Puget Sound over in Normandy Park years ago.

    Your flowers remind me so much of how our entry-way; patio, and terrace looked. I think some of the reason those type of flowers do so well is because of the wonderful moisture in the air and in particular, living right on the beach front as we did.

    I enjoyed seeing the greenery; the tall pines and could ‘smell’ what it was like to pick blackberries in the early morning back in those days before we moved away. I enjoy your photographs and paintings very much.

  28. Hi Anne, I am visiting on the west coast for a couple of months and am wondering if it might be possible to meet you. I am supposed to go to Seattle around Sept 11-12, any chance you have free time Sept 13 or later? My email is mzodellsblogmail at yahoo dot ca …

  29. Vivian says:

    You must really enjoy the DVD’s from the Teachiing Company. I’ve wanted for years to purchase them in subjects I avoided in college. Knowing someone has made use of them, I may try one or two subjects. What lectures are you listening to?

    When you describe the beauty around you I know I’ve not seen enough of this side of the world. And time is running out. . . Thanks for passing the beauty along to us readers.

  30. Vivian says:

    Oops. Failed to read all the blog before I made my comments. Delete the last question of Paragraph 1.

  31. Vivian says:

    The paintings for your show are beautiful, and I am sincere. We never know what to expect from peekers and lookers at art exhibitions. Truly you and Ingrid need to find a library who will sponsor your paintings, have available a book where visitors can sign that they’ve seen your works and add comments. That way you will get a more appreciative audience. Folks who read will stop to enjoy art.

  32. Vivian says:

    What a lovely trip to NZ. So sad that the flooding has taken over the area. What a treat to wake up and see the pinnacle of Mt. Baker.

    There are so mamy oldsters I know who don’t enrich their lives as you do. Perhaps someone reading your blog will be inspired to get up and move!

  33. Vivian says:

    Oops, I made a Boo-Boo. It’s not NZ that experienced the flooding. I’m not here sometimes.

  34. Vivian says:

    About 40 years ago when my parents traveled, they often stopped alongside a wooded area when they spotted a small bush or plant they wanted to take home. This became their “souvenir hunting.” They’d proudly tell any visitor, “This came from Florida, that one from nearby Taos, that one over there is our prize from New York.” Even once they were stopped by a ranger who inquired about their excavation and very honestly my parents told him. He bade them goodbye.
    Well, that doesn’t happen any more.

  35. m.e. says:

    hi, 20th….i posted about your comment today. i’d email you the post if I HAD YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS….hint hint hint….

    thanks for sharing your wise words with me….M.E. (xtreme english)

  36. Vivian says:

    Oh, my! I live in central Mississippi and had I checked your blog earlier I may have been able to set up a place and time to meet you, even if I had had to drive a distance. You had a marvelous time, I can read. So glad that despite the weather, you enjoyed the repeated cross-country tour.

  37. Vivian says:

    What is the distance from the island to Bellingham? It seems a pressure to drive out the islanders if underway. I hope you’ll continue to keep us apprised on this subject.

  38. Freda says:

    Love the new picture – you look great – keep on blogging and keep on enjoying it!

  39. Very nice! Do you know I haven’t redone my blogroll in probably two years? I’m way overdue to fix up my place too! : )

  40. An Old Friend says:

    I do hope your son is okay.

    I still have the portrait you painted of me in my red slippers in Atlanta. It’s one of my treasures.

    Enjoy China. It’s a great place. I recently climbed the Great Wall in Beijing (well before the Olympics so it’s been a while.) I had to get a message afterward so I could walk again. I shuffled into the spa unable to lift my legs or feet. Once on the table a tiny, little, old, Chinese lady climbed on top of me and went to work. A bit latter she slapped my bottom and said, “you walk now” and I did.

    Had some wonderful clothes made in Hong Kong.

    Be careful of the food though. They don’t really know how to make Chinese food in China. I just like saying that, but it’s true, not like we have it in America anyway. But then you are an adventurous eater and a lively carnivore so I think you will do well.

    Can’t wait to read your blog when you return. I always thought Shanghai would be a wonderful place to visit. Let me know if I’m right.

    Hugs and love.


  41. Dear Anne~I have just spent an hour reading many of your blogs, and I must tell you what a delightful writer you are!You captivated me with your thoughts and free-associations. I felt as if I was enjoying a good conversation, something I have been privileged to do with you now and then.In addition, the painting of the boats is absolutely wonderful! I would love to see that in person one of these days.you may label yourself as “old woman” but that does not do you the justice that your talents and skills merit. “vital woman” or “talented, bright woman” are much more apt.With warm wishes for a wonderful New Year…robb k

  42. Vivian says:

    Your latest trip helps me realize why so many people love to travel in that area. You give such interesting tidbits about subjects us landlubbers know little about. Thank you for keeping us all entertained with your reports.

  43. Seems strange to see that photograph on someone else’s blog.

    It’ll take me awhile to actually read some of your articles, but my brother lives in Anchorage and I’ve enjoyed my visits there over the years. I’m looking forward to birding there in the next couple of years but trips to see grandchildren in Colorado often seem to get in the way.

  44. jt says:


    I just wanted to say I liked your old blog format better than this one. There is no way to use search terms to search for something I read previously, and I cannot recall in which month or year it was posted. I recall had pictures of your garden, including one tiny little frog perched on a flower. Why did you change the format, if you do not mind my asking?


  45. MGR says:

    I have just discovered your blog and I am glad…
    I found a great many similarities with you regarding your life experiences with alcoholic husband.. and 2 divorces.

    I am a little overwhelmed tonight, but I will continue reading your blog and maybe share some of my own experiences with you.

    Thank you. Your picture looks beautiful!

  46. You know how the internet takes you to all kinds of places and you can’t remember how you got there? Well, that is how I found your delightful blog! AND I used to live in Bellingham and know Lummi island. Such a very small world. Now I am living outside of Washington, DC (and what a world away THIS is!).

    I have recently published a book about baby boomers and online dating. I wrote it with the man I met online two years ago. We are both in our 60’s. What an adventure this has been for both of us! In any event, I just wanted to pop in and say hi from a fellow Puget Sounder.

    Mindy Mitchell

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