Friday, July 16, 2010

Busy Week

This has been a very full week.  On Saturday, we hosted a small wedding for our friend, Lanton and his wife, Isnelvis.  We actually attended their "church" wedding in Cuba in March, but they needed a ceremony done in the United States to get all the i's dotted and t's crossed.  We had dinner with two other couples and it was very sweet.

Then, on Monday night I was contacted by Janie from Sounding Forth, that I needed to go stay overnight with our friend, Tramaine, who was in labor. People, you must realize that I have only been through labor once, 35 years ago, and it ended up in a C-section. I don't remember ANYTHING about the 29 hours up until they decided I wasn't going to have that baby vaginally!
Tramaine's uncle, who is only 6 years older than her and more like a brother, was on his way, too. He and his wife have 4 children, but they have all been C-sections, too. Talk about the blind leading the blind! I felt slightly like Prissy in Gone With the Wind, "I don't know nuthin' about birthing no babies!"

Sitting up with her through the night was a major thrill...scary, sort of, as the pains intensified closer to morning.  When we were on the way to the hospital for a scheduled doctor's appointment, her uncle had the presence of mind to call the office and see whether we should go to labor and delivery or to the office. We were sent to L&D.  

After they did the triage, they told her, good news, bad news.  Good news is that you are dilated to a 4.9, bad news is that you have bought yourself a room!  Things progressed fairly quickly, and I got to witness my first vaginal delivery. Unbelievable. Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Sweet little Ada arrived at 3:49 on Tuesday eyes wide open, with the prettiest lips you have ever seen.  Mom and Ada are home now under the experienced care of Nana Pat.  

I spent the day yesterday helping Isnelvis organize her kitchen...poor Lanton, he may never find a bowl or cup! Also left some recipes for them to try.  I will be interested to see how the recipes translate! Then off to see Miss Ada and her Mom and Nana Pat to deliver a rocking chair and dinner. Fun, fun, fun.

Taking it kind of easy today...

Friday, June 25, 2010


I have now done something I cannot believe!  I stood in line for six and a half hours to pick up a new iPhone.  Now, I was not really sure I even wanted this phone, but my family seems to believe I will LOVE it.  I hope is the first NEW phone I've ever the past I got the one someone upgraded out of!

TBO had ordered the phones for us last week and he has done extensive research on the phones we need...if it fits in my purse, rings, gets reception, I'm good.  Anyway, I want to let the people at the Apple Store know how much we appreciated their hard work of keeping order in the lines, the distribution of water and snacks, chairs, umbrellas and cheery updates of timelines.   The store we were at had a wonderful staff and truly did do a good job.

I am thankful that it wasn't as hot as it had been the past few days, and we had a little cloud cover as we neared the Apple store, which had no awnings.  So, if I am slow to pick up your call the next few days, remember I am climbing the learning curve, but, if I miss your call, I promise to call you back as soon as I figure out how to tell you called.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Worst of Times, The Best of Times

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times. (Apologies and nods to Charles Dickens)

Two weeks ago, at a family gathering celebrating our oldest son's birthday, one of my daughters-in-law received a call informing her of the death of her cousin, a Marine, in Afghanistan.

The worst of times:

  • Thinking of his parents, his widow, his sons, his extended family, and his friends.
  • Realizing that this young man was my youngest son's age.
  • Not being able to go to California to pay our respects and support our daughter-in-law and her family.

The best of times:

  • Traveling to this young man's childhood hometown for a memorial service.
  • Driving to the church in the procession escorted by fire trucks and police cruisers, turning the corner and seeing what would become hundreds of people standing at attention, waving the flag of the country for which this young Marine died, and displaying such affirming messages to his family.
  • Honor guards at the church, both inside and out.
  • His commanding officer, who made sure all knew that if it hadn't been for this young man's bravery in 2005-2006, he, himself, would probably not have been there.

The bittersweet times:

  • Remembering this young Marine in his dress uniform, escorting his wife at his cousin's wedding.
  • Spending Easter with him and his family and enjoying him interacting with his boys and wife during the egg hunt.
The truth:

  • He believed that he was doing called to do what he did, as have so many of our service people in the USA. Semper Fidelis. You will be missed, you will be remembered.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Springtime Update

Aaah, I love to be asked my opinion, don't you?  After the last electrical outage I wrote about I received a call from our energy supplier to ask how I would rate the customer service I received. I was in the middle of preparing dinner for a guest and TBO, but I put them off so I could give the energy company my FULL attention.

This survey was being done by a REAL, LIVE person, who responded to me with more than press 1 for most satisfied, 2 for satisfied...etc. which was remarkable, to say the least.  I felt that someone who could actually do something for my frustration was actually listening to me.  This lovely person also asked me what they could do to improve their customer service!  Wonder of wonders, miracle of I gave them my opinion.  I asked that the company give courtesy calls to let people sitting in the dark know that the automated system had, indeed, submitted the notification to the powers that be, or not be.  I truly did not believe this was something they would implement, but a girl can dream, right?

Skip forward one week.

TBO and I are sitting in the living room, minding our own business enjoying a DVD, when BOOM, the lights and everything disappear.  Our transformer has blown, AGAIN.  There is no weather involved this time, just out of the blue loss...could have been a squirrel, but who knows?
We look out and realize that we are the only ones without power...not a happy thought.

I pull out my trusty cell phone and electric bill to give the asked for id number, (which I may have memorized by the next outage) and get the automated service...rats!  This very pleasant voice tells me that they will get right on our outage and that we should have service returned within 2-3 hours.  TBO and I laugh and scoff, the outage is less than 3 minutes old and they are saying that we'll have power in a matter of a couple of hours?

Suddenly, the home phone rings.  (TBO has connected it to a UPS which is protecting our computer.)  It is the energy company checking up on us!  OH MY GOODNESS!  They have someone in the area who will be out to our house within minutes.  Sure, we think.  We load up into the truck to go find a movie, discover that at the first theater there is nothing we want to see, and realize we have left both phones at home.  

Head back to the hacienda for said phones and lo and behold, the energy company is, indeed, there!    Alas, it is only a first responder, not a repair crew. Said transformer is now officially toast and will have to be replaced.  TBO gives permission for the crew to pull their truck onto our back lot close to the pole to make it easier for repairs.  Off we go again to seek entertainment in the air conditioning...

Three hours and a half hours later, (four and a half since the outage), we return.  It looks like a SWAT team has parked in front of our house.  There are flashing lights, trailers, bright work lights, trucks and a cherry picker in the back lot.  I am excited to see all the activity, I must say!

TBO goes out to sidewalk supervise, while I remain at the house...too many critters out at night for my taste.  I am sitting on the patio hoping to catch a breeze, reading my book by flashlight, when the lights come back on.  Yippee! Back in the 21st century...only 5 hours of an outage this time.  TBO did find out that we are at the "end of the line" when it comes to service in our area. This translates into our being the last ones to be restored to power when there is a major outage. Oh, well.  Again, I thank the crew who came out in the night to get us back on the grid.  They are the unsung heroes of springtime, and summer, and fall and winter! 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Springtime in Texas

I love spring...just not the severe weather that seems to be requisite with the season.  Yesterday, along with the rest of the entire state, we were inundated with rain and thunderstorms.  I was minding my own business when crack! the lights went out!

I called the prescribed number (proscribed?, given?) and actually talked to a human being, who gave me a confirmation number and told me to call back in "a couple of hours" to check on a time frame for restoration of power.  

I am, of course, home alone at this point, without a car, but, it is cool outside and not raining cats and dogs, YET.  Call TBO and ask if I should move the generator we bought during the power outage in February to the porch.  It was deemed a good idea before the deluge began in earnest.
Mind you, I have no idea of how to connect the generator to anything, but it is ready for use when TBO gets home!

After four hours, I decide to call and check on the status of our work order.  I am surprised to once again get a human being on the line.  Not so impressed with her people skills, however...I imagine she had had one too many huffy customers, but she still left me with a bad case of feeling like I had stepped all over her toes.  I actually had tried very hard to be patient, but she wasn't having any of it.  Customer service?  I don't think so.

We had decided to go to the movies yesterday, so off we go.  Saw Robin Hood, which we both enjoyed...I spent a great deal of time with my hands over my eyes in battle scenes, but all in all, it was very good.  Called the house to see if the answering machine functioned power. Had dinner, still no power.  Bought more gasoline for the generator so TBO could have his CPAP during the night and we could have a few lights and hook up the fridge.  

As we entered the circle, lights were on in every house around us- except our next door neighbor and us...woe is us.  Try calling the energy provider, but only get automated response...I am beginning to become a little cranky...ok, a LOT cranky.  Around 9:00 I receive a call from a real live person from said provider.  She couldn't explain why we were the only ones in our neighborhood without power, but assured me they were out working and we would be back online as soon as possible. Different person from earlier in the day, and I made sure she knew I appreciated her kindness and the return call.

I went to bed realizing that I really had no reason to be so dang upset...I didn't have a hole in my roof, or no roof at all, I had a generator and a good flashlight.  Added bonus of the outside temperature being in the sixties...perfect sleeping weather.  Decided I should really get over the crankies!

At 4:20 this morning, the TV came back to life, the ceiling fans began to turn and we returned to the 21st century.  I got up to turn off lights and the TV, and saw the number of trucks it took to get us back online...looked like a convention out on our street!  So, thank you to all those men and women who go out in the elements to make my life easier.  I hope that the Customer Service Rep I had yesterday gets some sleep and feels better soon.  I am blessed!

Friday, April 30, 2010


 Parents are not supposed to outlive their children.  It is just too hard.  The past week has been especially difficult as we have witnessed dear friends suffer the loss of their son, brother, grandson, nephew and cousin.  I weep at odd moments over this...thinking that it could so be me and my husband.  It could be anyone.  

 Today, call your children.  Let them know you love them and want to hear from them, too.  Put aside all the petty squabbles that have your family tied in knots.  As TBO said in the service this week, let it go.  Our lives do not carry a written guarantee of time...tomorrow may not be an option. We have only today to express ourselves to each other.   

 Let those you love hear those words of love and appreciation from you, early and often.  I know that I will be calling more often-sorry guys, it's a mom thing.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Eastertide 2010

We had the ultimate pleasure of spending Easter with our youngest son, his wife and their almost 8 month-old son today.  We also were with DIL's parents, sisters, brother-in-law, aunt, uncle, cousin and his wife and their 2 young sons. It was so much fun.  

The cousin is shipping out to Afghanistan in two weeks, so it was an especially precious time for us to share with them.  I am humbled by the grace this young couple showed today.  This is his third deployment...perhaps since he is a Marine, as my dad was, it is more special to me, but also watching them as they went on with living, touched my heart.  The day to day stuff of family life goes on- making little boys eat vegetables, say please and thank you, look their elders in the eye for instruction- goes on whether you are facing deployment or not. Your job as Mom and Dad remains the same, doing your best to teach your children well, to rear them in the best way you know how.  May the Lord watch over you two during this difficult time of separation.  May He bring you back together in safety and joy at the end of your assignment. May the Lord give your parents peace and a sense of His presence at all times.   Thank you both for your service as I know that both of you serve whether you are out of the country or staying by the stuff.