Monday, July 23, 2018

I'm a 93 years old chronologically gifted woman who "aspires to inspire before I expire".
At age ten, growing up in Iceland I wanted to fly like the seagulls. I tried one  day by tying a flour sack on my neck and proceeded to jump/fly from one corrugated shed to another, an earthquake happened to spoil that attempt but not my dream. I waited for years and finally realized the dream as you can see in the photo. Paragliding in Vik, Iceland. Higher than the Seagulls we, Gisli, from True Adventures, and I soared, above the black sand, above the Atlantic! Yes dreams do come true.

Keep moving life beckons!

I move at every opportunity; dancing my microwave-hop, stretching, stretching, doing the "stork-pose" as I wait for the coffee to brew. Keep my brain active by writing - I published my memoir at age 88, had time to write after my ten kids were grown. just last May I received International Book Award Finalist...Never give up and keep it moving: Keep your spirit - mind - and body moving, no one will do it for you. Yes you can!

Thursday, June 28, 2018


                                                 Stretch - Stretch - Stretch.

  I am now 93 very active and enjoying life; river rafting - paragliding - zip lining - ice-caving - indoor rock-wall climbing - jumping rope... and constantly asked: What's your secret? If there's one thing I do pretty constantly it is stretching:

Routine: Ten sit-ups while still in bed, roll over and hold a plank position for count of sixty. Then do a dog and cat stretches, after which I swing my legs out of bed to the nearest wall and stretch as high as I can. Then - tightening my abdominal muscles - I slowly lower myself into squat-sitting, bounce up and down a bit and then slowly rise up again. Stand on one leg for a count of ten then switch to the other. Next I do hamstring stretches and shake my body real good to loosen up!

While my coffee is brewing I do my Microwave-hop, jump and dance and stretch, stretch, stretch :-)

I've found that doing this has strengthen my bones, improved my breathing, decreased stress on my joints. Hardly any  fatigue, due to increased more efficient muscle performance.

For hand and eye coordination I like to juggle couple of  balls. I read recently that squeezing those balls is good for lowering blood-pressure!

Saturday, June 23, 2018


                                                 THE HERITAGE TRAIL.

My youngest daughter, Heidi, and I recently got back from Iceland. What a delightful trip, we went on the Ring-road stopping at places of interest to us, we have been to Iceland several times and were not stopping at the usual touristy places. We had something different on our minds.We were on our heritage trail.

From the time I was about six years old I went to my Grandparents farm in Vopnafjörður, on the east coast, every summer until I was in my early teens. Every Fall I would return to Reykjavik to be with my parents over the winter and go to school. Since I married and moved to America I had gone back home several times but always drawn to grandpa´s farm where I had spent so much of my growing up time. Hámundarstaðir was the name of the farm, this was on my Father´s side. I knew where Mother was from on the west coast, Breiðarfjörður, but had not really researched or pin-pointed exactly where.

I learned that she was born in Frakkanesi, Skarðshreppur Dalur. We drove along the entire coastline on one side and mountain ranges on the other. We tried to get to this church but the road became impassable for our vehicle. Maybe next time!
It was easy for me to imagine my mother as a young girl playing and running after sunspots like I used to do! Sweet memories, what a blessing.

Saturday, June 2, 2018


When I heard about my Granddaughter Tashia's plan, to have a professional come to her Alpaca Ranch in Nebraska, May 12,13,14th, and teach her to shear the thirty+ Alpaca's that she had, I was all for watching the event.
The thought of it made me go down memory lane of growing up in Iceland;  holding down the sheep by the horns as Grandpa and my Uncle Bjössi sheared the wool off their body, using large scissors that they sharpened every so often, with the same lava-stone they used to sharpen their scythe-blades when cutting hay.

Plans were already in the works by my family for a party for my 93rd birthday on May 21st. to be held in Chicago. Since I also had plans to travel to Iceland right after that I packed two+ bags; cold weather and warm!

Lucille, (Herman #1) who lives near Lake Bloomingto, Illinois, picked me up and drove  to McDonalds, in Princeton, near I 80 where we met Chris (Christine, Herman #6), who drove from Chicago. She is Tashia's mother. She also, wanted to learn the Alpaca shearing technique. I jumped into her car and we continued west to Alma, Nebraska, where the Butterfield Alpaca Ranch is located, while Lucille drove back home.

After a wonderful weekend of learning about shearing and Alpaca fiber, and some hilarious moments of the temper of certain Alpaca, Chris and I left for home in Morton,Illinois on the 15th. She continued for her home in Chicago the next morning while I did some more packing and planning. On the 18th I drove my Honda CRV over to Lucille's house and left my car and got into hers. We drove to Chicago and had a fun-filled birth-day weekend with Heidi (Herman #10) and her fiance,Raymond, Della (Herman #9) and her husband, Al. Tim (Herman #8) and his wife, Bonnie,  Chris and her husband, Larry, who found this great place to celebrate!

Sunday May 20th, I got into the car with Della and Al and headed for Minnesota, where I had wonderful time watching my youngest grandchild, Morgan, try on some gorgeous wedding dresses for her wedding this Fall.

Then Della and I drove to Wisconsin to visit Marian (Herman #3) and grand-daughter Kristina and grandson Ed, then drove back to Minnesota.
Celebrated Memorial Day with great food and in the 90's, with Della, granddaughter Nicky, granddaughter Morgan, her finance, James and Della's husband Al. Take a good look at his shirt!!!

Will head for St. Louis, Illinois, Monday.and arrive in Iceland Tuesday morning...48degrees?!

Monday, April 30, 2018


Recently I was visiting my brother-in-law, Bill, who is in a very nice Senior Citizen Center in a town about 40 miles from where I live. I found him dozing in his recliner, but he sat up immediately when I walked in and greeted him.
"Hi, Bill, how are you doing? You are looking great!" He looked up with a quick smile as his eyes lit up.
 "Well, here I am, ninety seven tomorrow." He said, shaking his head slightly as he pushed a wheelchair aside."Last of the Herman's. We two, are the last of this generation, all of them gone now. Everyone except you and me." He nodded, as he rubbed his right knee.
"All the Herman's?" I asked. "How about in-laws, or your step-brother, Walter?"
"No one left but you and me. Now it's all up to our children, grand-children and their generation. How old are you now?" He squinted at me as he offered me a piece of candy.
"I'll be ninety three in May." I smiled, and unwrapped the mint.
"You come by yourself? You still drive?" I nodded and popped the candy in my mouth.
"Good for you!" Bill slapped his left hand on the arm of his chair.
We chatted and he brought up a few WWII memories. Since I had shared before how his brother, Del, had proposed at a second USO dance and I accepted, the family had been curious how we managed to communicate. "Love, love, love." I'd laugh.
Bill cocked his head at me and chuckled."I still remember when I first met you. We brothers;George, Clyde and I were on a short furlough when WWII ended, but Del was still stuck in Iceland. You didn't speak any English."
"Wait a minute!" I interrupted."I could say Coca-cola, yes, no, dance..." (Now when I think back...we were all a little crazy, especially me, or is it I ?! )
He laughed. "But it didn't take you very long to learn, Clyde teased the daylights out of you and you tried to come back at him!" He laughed again. "But George and I helped you out!" We both grinned.
Then Bill shared with me how he and Ann got married eight days before Pearl Harbor. Like his brothers he enlisted, leaving his new bride. Del fudged about his age to get in. He was a few months to young, only seventeen.
As I drove back home I thought back on our conversation: What an ordeal for Mary, their mother; her four boys in a dreaded world war. (And how in the world was she going to speak to her youngest son's bride, who spoke no English and she, Mary, spoke no Icelandic!)

But then I remembered that she was a fierce prayer warrior. Her boys came home safe and she and I got along famously :-)

Saturday, April 28, 2018


I am frequently asked "How do you do it? What's the secret to you energy?"

I really don't know if this answers the questions: I never stopped moving; from raising 10 kids and sometimes other folks's kids as my husband and I were in the Ministry from age 26 to always :-)

Del, my husband of 70 years (he went "home" 2015), felt a calling to start new churches - at times that meant we literally built from ground up other times it was remodeling, adding to present building.  Cleaning, decorating and so on. This meant of course that while he was preparing the message, or was in the pulpit,  I was the "chief cook and bottle washer" Sunday-school teacher, Children's church etc.

When organizations officials decided to replace older pastors with younger ones, my husband started "flipping" houses. Since I already had a Interior Design/Custom Drapery shop my expertise came in handy.
All this decorating, painting, cleaning meant "movement" and "work-out"!

But just because, at 93 (next month), I don't do the physical labor like I used to I have not stopped moving;

My semi routine: Do 10 or more sit-ups before getting out of bed. Walk to a wall and facing it, stretch as high as I can both hands flat, fingers spread out, count to at least 20. While still facing the wall I do my ham-stretches... by the way I do stretches throughout the day, even in the car.

Next I go into the kitchen and while the coffee is perking and the microwave oven  is cooking my oatmeal I do my "Microwave Hop" ...That is; jump, dance and shake it all around!

I have found that juggling rubber balls are great for my co-ordination :-) Try it, you might like it!

There's a great feeling of freedom in "YES I CAN DO IT."

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

APPRECIATION FOR MY FEET. (And the whole body )

My husband and I moved at least 29 times over the years. From Central Illinois to California and back to Illinois. Each time we bought a place it was improved, "fixed, up-dated, painted..." Several times I have heard the same story from others "we like this house but want to update the kitchen...the bathroom..." We tend to the new house with care, anything goes wrong we fix or call the experts. The yard is mowed, flowers and trees are planted... And then we move (various reasons) and start all over...

I got to thinking about the one "house" we live in, from the time we are born until the end of life. It's the only "house" each of us will ever have that we can't move out of for another. Are we as careful in taking care of this "house"? Do we make sure that all the moving parts are well maintained? Or do we let it lapse into disrepair?

I guess I'm a non-stop exerciser; I do exercises while in bed, then when I get up out of bed I stretch like our dogs do! Do the microwave hop-dance-jump as the oatmeal cooks.

Recently I had my first pedicure, at almost 93 years of chronologically gifted years (with ten kids to raise I sure didn't have time for pedicure!) While the attendant was massaging my feet I thought about how I've gone to a beauty-shop and got my hair done, got manicure for my  fingernails, massage for back and shoulders. Gone to exercise; walking the dogs, walking on the track or treadmill! But seldom considered these poor feet! They have lugged me around to all the above mentioned places. Walked over the lava-terrain of Iceland to every State in the United States plus, Canada, Mexico and Haiti

Walking - running- rock-climbing, rope jumping, hiking...Just thinking about my poor feet when I was 150 pounds pregnancy weight - ten times!

I reached down, (btw a very good stretch exercise) and silently patted my feet and promised to take better care of them and pamper them now and then. :-)