Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dorothy L. Sayers

Ahh, Dorothy L. Sayers...what a writer. She was a contemporary of Agatha Christie and wrote some of the most wonderful books about her detective, Lord Peter Wimsey. Spooky Rach is reading some of her books now and I am thinking of digging mine out and reading them all again!
My mother-in-law, who started me reading English mysteries, was a true Lord Peter fan. She even taped the PBS series that was telecast in the 80s and then we would discuss how well or poorly the screenplay followed the books. As an English teacher, she was quick to point out that in England the use of the word "ain't" wasn't a sign of being unlearned as it is here in the USA, which was a total surprise to me.

Anyway, for those of you needing a good read for the new year, check her out! Great stories, tight plots and wonderful characters. The saddest part is that there are only about 10-12 Lord Peter novels. The rest of her work was in Christian apologetics, and I've never ventured out into that world! There is a writer who has taken at least one unpublished manuscript and finished it. It is pretty good, but I can't remember her name at this time...perhaps it will come to me soon! Get comfy with your favorite beverage, blankie and read up a storm.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December Ramblings

I have been fighting with my computer since I last posted almost a month ago.  The computer, unfortunately,  has been winning.  I have been able to view other people's posts, and sometimes make comments (I know you have been blessed), but haven't been able to open my blogspot to make my scintillating observations.  

Yesterday, the bearded one fixed my "side" of the home computer.  I am now back in the 21st century, so to speak.  I can now e-mail, blog, bank online, etc. with impunity.  I am soooo excited.

This has been a strange December for me.  I didn't have anyone under the age of 60 around to help get the Christmas boxes out of the attic.  I have been banned from attics since I stepped through an unfloored section in our old house about ten years ago and ended up on the washing machine!  Anyway, I, who love to put up a tree and decorate with my limited abilities have been stymied this year.  I am sure that in January, I will be glad that I don't have to face taking it all down and getting it up to the attic, but I do miss my "Christmas things".

We went to Oklahoma City last week to attend the annual Lifechange Ballroom competition.  It was an awesome show.  Eight groups of fifth graders competed for the traveling trophy.  These were the best of the best...the program is now in about 24 elementary schools and these students won the preliminary round to come to the "big show".  Kudos to my sister for her vision and perseverance to make this happen for these children.  In many of these schools, there has been a marked increase in test scores and a marked decrease in discipline referrals.  As Cindy says, this is a mentoring program disguised as a dance class!  

Last Friday I went to pick up my check for subbing in the last pay period.  I was so blown away to discover that one of my former ESL students is now an assistant to the business manager for the school district.  She has her BBA and is being groomed to take this woman's position.  Who knew when she came and could speak no English that she would accomplish this?   I am excited that I had even a tiny part to play in her success, because I know that each of my former students worked so very hard to achieve all their goals.  

We are looking forward to a visit from our youngest son and his wife tonight before they go on to her parents' home for Christmas.  We will see them again at her parents' on Christmas day for food, fun and fellowship.  We will be picking up our grandson in Fort Worth on the 26th and taking him back to Lawton to have Christmas with his dad and family as well as our middle son and his fiance and JM's great aunt.  

Following the Christmas festivities in Lawton, we will be heading to Frederick for the weekend.  We missed our annual Christmas/NewYears visit last year due to TBO's sister's surgery, but will take up where we left off.  Looking forward to food, wine and games galore when we get there.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I am home from my mom's and our annual Thanksgiving feast and overeating contest. I think I won this year! If being officially miserable and unable to even consider eating anything is a sign of the gluttony award...I get it.

We were down a few participants this year...only had 14 at the table, but I'm sure we could have fed several more, as is the usual occurance.

Just before hubby and I left, my sister was relating a story about how when things were much leaner for her and her man, he would get her to count her blessings and to articulate the things she was thankful for...I thought I would steal that and make my list this year.

I am thankful for:
*living in a country where I can voice my opinions about things without fear of retribution
*my mom still being alive and well and able to live on her own
*my loving husband who puts up with all my crap, and still thinks I'm a "good woman"
*my three wonderful sons, two precious daughter-in-laws, a daughter-in-law to be, and six, count 'em, six grandchildren (yours, mine, ours-but ALL mine!)
*my amazing sister and her husband (too many things to list on this list, but I shall post about her another time)
*my brother and his wife and family
*my sister-in-law who thinks my childdren and grandchildren are wonderful
*my brother-in-law and his wife and daughter
*a host of friends who just love me and put up with all my stuff
*having a relationship with the Lord Jesus that just amazes me daily...oh how He loves me and forgives me!

Not a comprehensive list, but one that makes me realize that I, too, have so much, and that when it is all said and done at the end of the day, my needs are few, my blessings are bountiful, and my wants are all just that...wants. May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Back in the USA!

After a perfectly marvelous trip, with the small glitch of a cancelled flight we had no notice of, I made it home last night from our cruise of the Western Med, tour of Barcelona, and ministry trip to the Canary Islands. Whew! I may need a couple of "robe days" to recover!

If anyone is considering a cruise, I highly recommend the Norwegian Gem...we were treated like royalty and I don't think a came across one surly crew member while we were onboard. The food was great, a creme brulee with chocolate ganache that I would kill for...and I don't even really like creme brulee! We took tours of Malta, Pompeii, Rome, Florence and Monaco and all were extremely interesting and well organized. I need to go back to Rome and Florence, though...just not enough time to see everything in a 3-4 hour tour, of course.

Barcelona was amazing. I was all geared up to use my Spanish when I realized we were in Cataluna-where they speak Catalan, a mixture of Spanish and French, which is totally out of my range! I could read some menus, but even the street signs stumped me! But the city was fantastic. We bought 2 day passes on a tour bus line and spent the first day riding all over the city looking at amazing architecture and hearing little snippets about museums, etc. The second day we used our pass to get to the Museum of the History of the City in the Bare Gotica. It was a museum unlike anything I have ever been in. It is built on the site of some of the Roman ruins of the original city. You go down an elevator which shows you "2008" as your beginning floor and "5 BC" as your destination! Our trip to Pompeii was helpful in understanding some of the architectural elements found there. We got to spend a few evenings with our friend, Felix, from Texas A&M, who is studying there for this semester. He had lots of great ideas for places to visit and wonderful restaurant recommendations.

The Canary Islands are a group of 7 islands, I think. I never really got it straight in my mind...we landed on Gran Canaria and spent one day at the airport waiting to fly on to Las Palmas...that is another story altogether. Our time in Las Palmas was so special. Michael and our friends Doug and Rita and Lanny ministered to a conference of pastors from all of the Canary Islands. I was the designated prayer!

We were scheduled to fly out of Gran Canaria at 11:30 pm on Sunday night. One of the participants in the conference arranged for us to be picked up at the airport Sunday morning about 10:00 am when we arrived from Las Palmas and we were entertained royally! We had a great tour of the island, some of which we were sorry to say, we did while sleeping! We ate at a restaurant that is carved out of the side of a mountain...it is a CAVE. Great food and fellowship. Then the guys spoke at 2 church meetings before we left...Our hosts took us to the airport about 10:15 and left us. We walked into the airport and discovered, to our amazement, that there was NO flight to Barcelona that night. After discussions with airport information, crew chiefs, etc. we got hotel rooms, then returned to fly to Madrid, then Barcelona, missing our connections to New York and home.

I have always wanted to go to Madrid, but I really would have liked to have seen more than the airport! Following the extremely hard work of an American Airlines agent in Barcelona, we were booked on the flight home for Tuesday. Doug, Rita and I were disappointed that we would not be home in time to vote, but were glad to get home. Michael had voted absentee before he left the states, and he was going on to Munich and Florence before returning...he's going to be tired, I think.

So, after all of this, I got home last night around 11:00, tired, facing a mountain of laundry and several little things that must be done before I get back on the road to retrieve the Queen from her vacation with my Mom. I think it is time for a rest!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Barcelona Bound

I will post this, then begin wending my way to the airport to head for Barcelona, Spain. I am so excited, I haven't slept much for the last two nights. I hope the persons on either side of me on the flight to Barcelona aren't too bothered by my snoring!

I'm meeting the bearded one at the docks in Barcelona where we will be getting on a cruise ship-our first!- with our best friends in the world for a Western Meditteranean Cruise. Watch out Italy, here we come! Then we will be going to the Canary Islands for a conference after the cruise.

I probably won't be posting while I'm away, but will be keeping a journal to update everyone on our adventures. Hasta luego! Dios les bendiga.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Preparing to Travel

I now have 9 days until I fly to Spain and board a cruise ship...I had my "practice pack drill" last night and was able to get all my clothes and stuff into one bag and was under the weight limit! Ha! TBH scoffed at me when I said I could do it. But now, after further deliberations, I have decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and take another bag to check.

Why, you might ask? Well, I did forget one or two things in my initial pack drill...nightgowns, a book or two that will be required on the trip. Also, although I will be gone for 17 days, total, TBH will be leaving on Friday and will meet me in Spain, and will stay after I'm flying Texas bound for another week. He thinks he might need me to bring him a thing or two! I'm sure I will be bringing home more than a thing or two!

I am flying to and from Spain with our good friends who are taking the cruise with us. I don't think I would be afraid to travel alone, but it will be much more enjoyable during the 3 hour layover in NYC to have them there!

Now, the big question is, can we get TBH packed up and out the door by 1:00 pm Friday? He needs to check in at the airport by 2:10...I'm sure we'll make it, just not too sure of how much sleep we'll get Thursday night! The clock is ticking!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


My family has a rather unique sense of humor, especially concerning death and funerals. When my father passed away, he was cremated and had left instructions to have his ashes spread over his favorite golf holes. It was December, and Mom wasn't up to golfing then...although Dad would have been out no matter the temperature or conditions.

Consequently, Dad's remains were stored in the hall closet until spring. One day, my Mom saw my sister standing in the door of the closet, just looking into it. She asked her, "What are you doing?" My sister replied, rather testily I might add, "I'm talking to Dad!", shut the door and came back to the den.

We also are prone to making bad jokes and laughing inappropriately at such things as funerals...a classic line is from some movie my children quote, "We put the FUN in funeral." I don't think we have ever gotten as hysterical as Mary Tyler Moore did in the episode about Chuckles the Clown, but it has been close.

All of this drivel to say that the memorial service (memserv) for our dear friend was held last Saturday. It was so well done, I hope that everyone who attended was as blessed as I was. There were memory boards of her life displayed, from birth until just a couple of months before her passing. Her family had examples of her handwork-quilts, afghans, dresses, cross stitch-displayed. It was magnificent.

Her children were there, of course, and her grandchildren, and all of us who had been her "other" children. It was good to see so many of those people who had been blessed by her life. This was a wonderful memserv! I think she would have loved it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Beginnings

Our middle son has become engaged! Yee haw! He took his father with him to pick out a ring and to lend moral support...dad has pretty amazing taste in rings, as anyone who has seen my wedding band knows, but I digress.

Middle son was planning to wait until next month's hot air balloon festival in Albuquerque to pop the question while soaring up in the air in a balloon, but I think the ring was burning a hole in his pocket, so he talked to her father last week and asked her last Thursday. Then he didn't even call to let us know what she said, I had to call him Friday to see how it went.

I tell you, sometimes my boys do not get how important these things are to their momma! His reply to my question was, I wouldn't have asked her if I didn't think she was going to say yes...I didn't know that did I? Huh? Oh well.

Anyway, now the diet begins in earnest. I wonder if I can lose 90 pounds before the big day? Do you think there are enough Spanx products to hold all my parts in place? I'm not entirely sure! We've been told that it will be at least a year, but I have doubts about that...we shall see. The saga begins.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Grandma Helicopter

Some of you know the parenting workshop Love and Logic, right? I thought my helicopter had been grounded, but I guess it won't be permanently so til I pass on! Oldest son and wife had to go to Ohio last week for a family emergency...oldest grandson was in the area with his mom. How to get said grandson home to school, and who would supervise stepgranddaughter while mom is gone? Helicopter Grandma, of course! Long story short, hubby arranged for our friend who has a private plane to fly us to Oklahoma where we were met by another friend's daughter. A real help since the ancient Volvo is no longer roadworthy. Got to oldest son's home and had three great days with the grands. I was even able to volunteer at the grandson's school for 3 days...something I have never been able to do. Not working does have advantages! Everything went well in Ohio and all are home again.

Helicoptering is exhausting, though. I am still trying to catch up on my sleep, get back in my exercise routine and get the house back in order. But my sweet hubby did something for me that I am so proud of...he cleaned out the garage enough to put my car inside. We have never, in 34 years of marriage, had a car inside the garage. Wow! His thinking was that we need to replace the Volvo, so he would clean out a space, in faith, for our new car! Anyway, the Volvo is enjoying the pampering.

Monday, August 11, 2008


I did it! With lots of help from my friends and family, I successfully surprised hubby with a party celebrating his 60th birthday. I was not really sure if he knew or not, but his reaction when he walked in was classic.

I had to do something to mark this auspicious birthday...he surprised the absolute snot out of me on my 50th, so as they say, paybacks are hell! No, he just does so many nice things for me I wanted to try to do a little something for him. All our boys and their families were here ostensibly to celebrate the youngest grandson's first birthday--which we did. But then it was the countdown for deception! I would never make it as a secret agent...

I want to especially thank our friends Graydon and Diane for hosting this event in their home. I tried to find a restaurant or party room but there was nothing to be had in my price range. Plus, they were able to provide me with the perfect blind...Graydon's birthday was the day after the party for hubby so we were going for HIS party.

I was so worried, not worried exactly, anxious, some kind of emotion...that I didn't sleep the night before, then I couldn't even do my usual nap on the way up to the house for the party because hubby kept calling people who were either at the party or on the way to the party! Whew!

Anyway, there will probably not be any more surprise parties planned by this old gal...I think my hair is two shades lighter from the gray I got just this weekend.

Thanks to all of you who came, your presence was such a gift to him and to me.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Passing of a Saint

How precious in the sight of the Lord is the passing of one of His saints. Yesterday, my "other mother" went home to be with the Lord. I am happy for her, sad for me and her children, grandchildren and friends. She fought the good fight and now I am certain that as she made the transition from death to life she heard the words, "well done".

Monday, August 4, 2008

Jury Duty and Other Happenings

I received my jury summons a couple of weeks ago. This is NOT the most convenient time for me to do my civic duty, but decided that rather than risk winding up in the pokey, I would hie myself downtown this morning at 8:00 am. The good thing about the time was that it was ONLY about 85 degrees while I waited for the shuttle bus, but even that wasn't enough when I had to wait for a second shuttle! It didn't bode well when the bailiff of the juries said that there would be standing room only today, either. I did, however, find a seat. Whew! After two hours I was picked to be in the reserve jury pool for the afternoon. Basically, I had from 10:00 until 1:30 free, then had to report back to the jury check-in room in case I was "needed". At 3:00, I was released, donated my $6 pay and headed for the hacienda. I've never been seated on a jury, I was picked for one, but before the jury was seated, the parties settled. My hubby has been on several juries and also has been the foreman. I don't think I would mind being on a jury, but man, the sitting around waiting and the voir dire (sic) process wears me out.

Our oldest son passed his journeyman electrician's test today! I am so happy for him. He's been close a couple of times, but today, he did it. It doesn't affect him so much with the job he's on right now, but will definitely make a big difference in the future. Way to go MLO!

My mom has been down in her back for the last several days. So bad that she even went to the doctor-a major concession on her part. The doctor took x-rays, then wanted an MRI too. Scared all of us a little bit but there is no fracture at all! So she's good to boogie down again! Ha. But she does feel like she will be able to come to our house this weekend for her great grandson's first birthday party. I'm really very thankful and relieved. Mom already has had both knees replaced and one hip replaced. I don't know if she was really ready to have back surgery.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

One Car

It is interesting here on the circle in the middle of July...HOT, HOT, HOT. The aged Volvo's air conditioning is not near enough for my comfort. So, we are virtually a one car household for the first time in YEARS!!!! Not that we really have to both be anywhere incredibly important most days, but just the thought of cranking up the Volvo makes me rethink the importance of my trip. Good way to save gas, huh? Today was Hubby's day out, tomorrow is mine! Sure hope the library calls with my reserved books!

I've just finished reading The Shack by William P. Young. Wow, if you haven't read it, you should pick up a copy. It has challenged some of my core beliefs and made me realize some of the erroneous ideas I have harbored over the years. I "speed read" through the book and finished last night. I am on my second time through and discovering just in the two chapters I've finished today that I may be working on this for a while. Perhaps the most wonderful thing I realized in my read was that relationships are much more important than institutions. I actually knew that, but somehow it got lost in my old brain. So, I think I'll go see what else I can challenge myself with in the book.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Other Mother

I am currently in Oklahoma City visiting family and friends. My mom and I went to see my "other" mother yesterday. This special lady lived next door to us when we moved to OKC in 1962. She was always a hoot to be around and was willing to listen to me when I couldn't, or wouldn't talk to my own mom. One year for Mom's weekend at OSU, she and my mom both came and did the activities with me.

She is probably the main reason I became a teacher, and was willing to work with special needs children. She had a masters' degree in learning disabilities waaaaaaay back when the syndrome (?) was first identified. She could get the most amazing results from her kids. I, however, wasn't cut out for LD, and preferred working with those who had a low IQ.

My other mother turned 90 in June. She is in declining health now, but still lights up when her friends and family come to see her. Her son and daughter-in-law have her in their home, so she is lovingly and well cared for. Her legacy of love, laughter and service to all she knows will go on long after she goes to her reward.

She is reknowned for sewing wedding dresses, mine included, quilting or crocheting baby blankets, doing income taxes, and keeping the books for her church (which she did until 3 years ago!) The year I married, she sewed at least 4 wedding dresses that summer/fall...maybe more, I forget! But however many were sewn, they were all done with love.

I am so blessed to have had this wonderful woman in my life. I am grateful to her son and daughter for sharing their mom with me.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

San Antonio

We just got home from three amazing days in San Antonio, TX (in case you were wondering where SA is). Home of the Alamo, SeaWorld, Fiesta Texas, the Spurs, etc. It was a trip just for fun and relaxation...which we haven't done in two or three years. We stayed in a hotel on the infamous riverwalk in downtown San Antonio and never got our car out until we left! I LOVE public transportation in SA!

We walked a good bit, took the VIA trolley and the SA bus to where ever we were going. I always forget that most of the places I want to visit in SA are all in one little area. We visited Market Square and Mi Tierra, walked by the Alamo...too many tourists(Ha), La Villita and took in a movie at the Rivercenter Mall. Just basically did whatever we wanted. Siestas were in order every day, and our last night there we didn't even leave the hotel...love pizza delivery men!

On the way home we stopped in San Marcos to do a little shopping...now shopping is not my bag really, but I endured and got through it. Whew!

Now I must begin in earnest to clean house before the oldest son and his family get here for the Fourth...but he is bringing the youngest grandson, so that will make it fun. We are going to celebrate the oldest grandson's birthday a few days early along with allowing said grandson and his dad to "blow stuff up" with fireworks. Since we live out in the county, it is legal for them to do this here!

It should be fun,I'm looking forward to making birthday cupcakes that will, if they turn out even close to the pictures I've seen, resemble small servings of spaghetti and meatballs...more about this later, and maybe even pictures if I can get someone to show me how to upload them. Anyway, I should begin the cleaning, so the fun can begin.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Water Heater Blues

In my last blog I related my love of cleaning, especially cleaning up after the Queen...NOT. Anyway, yesterday was spent vacuuming and using the carpet steamer to get up the last of the stains from Tuesday's "accidents". The carpet was looking pretty good...I was heading back to the guest room to lay out towels for Janie and Steve, when I stepped in a puddle of COLD water.

GREAT!! The air conditioner had been running pretty much non-stop since I finished steaming to try to help finish the drying process. I'm thinking it is the condensation tube blocked up again...all over my freshly cleaned carpet. The bearded one begins his fixing...runs into some problems, needs more tools...hustles off to Home Depot at 8:30 pm. Our friends are due any time and now it looks like we might not have air conditioning.

TBO comes back, gets everything just about done, our friends arrive...as TBO is replacing the air filter in the ac unit, Steve says, "Hey, Mike, I think your water heater is leaking." It is...all fittings are sweated on, it's 10:30 pm, too late to call plumber...or get a water heater for that matter.

After much ado about water in the hallway, both wives bailing on them, TBO and Steve get most of the water out of the tank. But of course, that leaves us hot waterless for the morning. Not too bad for me since I showered late in the afternoon after my cleaning jag, but kind of hard for our guests and TBO. TBO took a quick cold shower and got a few hours of sleep before having to get to a meeting this morning. Before he left he was able to get hold of a plumber and get us in the queue for having a new water heater installed today. Yay TBO!!!!

New water heater installed, I hear the plumber say, "Ma'am?" I'm thinking this may not be good...not bad so much-as another slight inconvenience. The new water heater is just enough smaller in height so that the electric wires that cause it to heat the water won't reach...call TBO, plumber tells him the sad story and what he needs to buy to finish the job. TBO comes in, rewires, and presto, change-o, another one and a half hours later, we have hot water.

Also, why do we call them HOT WATER HEATERS? If the water were hot, we wouldn't need a heater, right?

I'm just curious...I think I'll go take a shower now.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cleaning up after the Queen

Since I am not a great housekeeper, read I HATE TO CLEAN, yesterday was the pits. Sweet Pea, aka the Queen, got sick in the night and left all kinds of nasty surprises all over my carpet. After a quick pick up and minor attempt at spotting, I had to take her majesty to the vet, of course.

At sixteen, we felt it was important to have her checked out. The vet was great with her, and said she has colitis...great! When pressed about the life expectancy issue he said she had exceeded her expiry date by about 3 years already and except for the colitis she was very healthy. He was amazed that at her age she had no heart murmurs. Sweet Pea is now on the chicken, rice and yogurt diet for a few days. That is not a problem, getting her meds down is...and when she goes back to her regular diet, I am sure that the Queen will make her displeasure known.

Each time I have to take her in for anything other than routine shots, I am aware that we are on borrowed time. (I try to be prepared for the inevitable "it is time to put her down" speech.) Although Sweet Pea has only been with us not quite 4 years, she has become a true member of our family. I won't replace her. She is quite irreplaceable and will have to learn to entertain myself without her "carrot dance" and "I NEEEEEED to go outside dance". My prayer has been for a long time that she would just go to sleep one time and not wake up...chicken, I know, but I am really not sure I could hold her while they put her down. My sister was able to do that with her aged Irish Setter, and I know that if it comes right down to it, I will...I just hate crying in public, since, as a former teaching colleague once said, it is more socially acceptable to laugh than to cry.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Too Old to Camp

I realized yesterday that at the ripe old age of 56 I am too old for camp! I went out to substitute for the cook at the Boy Scout Camp my guys all attended...and I worked at 2 years ago when my middle son was the camp director.

This camp is one of the oldest in the Boy Scout organization in Texas, and of the ones I've seen over the past 20 years, the most beautiful. Breathtaking views of the Brazos River, gorgeous cedars (cough, cough), amazing rock formations...you get the idea.

After one day, my legs and arms are so sore I can hardly move. My friend, the cook, does this for the duration of the camp season...by herself...and I don't know how she does it. Of course the fact that she is 15 years younger than I am probably helps. I just hate that I can't do all the things I used to do without needing two days recuperative thearapy. Even two years ago, I knew I would never be able to be the cook's assistant again...I had a bad elbow and couldn't really close my fists for several months afterward. But I wanted positive proof that I hadn't really just woosed out last year. If there had not been another lady there to help me, I wouldn't have made it. Oh well. Time does march on, doesn't it?

To all of you who staff the camps our children go to from counselors, cooks, directors, etc., thank you for the hard work, accepting low pay, and in the case of this particular camp, the love of the camp and its place in your lives. May you always embody the love of service I have witnessed on your faces. God bless you.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Learning to be a lefty

I am sooo excited. Our grandson is coming tomorrow to spend a few days with us before he goes to his mom's for the summer. There is only one, major, purple problem. His right arm is in a cast from his fingers to past his elbow! Now I am not worried about bathing or anything mundane like that, as we have experience with casts around here. His father broke both feet, one at a time, thankfully, within a three month period.

But for crying out loud, what do you do with a terribly creative little guy who loves to draw, play games, build with legos, and bake cookies when his strong hand is bunged up? I'm thinking we will learn to be ambidextrous. Yes? No?

Anyway, I'm in the process of thinking up things to keep him busy, entertained and reasonably calm. Maybe he can learn to Wii left handed...and sitting down (the calm part!)

He is reading The Chronicles of Narnia, so I know we will be going to see Prince Caspian, and has learned to snap a whip like Indiana Jones left handed while visiting his great aunt, so maybe there is hope for ambidexterity! We shall see what we can accomplish this week. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Home Again

The bearded one has returned from his trip to Ukraine, Denmark and Norway. I was really glad to see him come out of the customs area at DFW yesterday afternoon. I'm thinking that 3 week trips without me are going to become rarer. I miss the old guy something fierce when he's gone, and he misses me, too.

It was a successful trip to hear his stories, with invitations to return and go to new places, too. TBO thinks that he will do some of this at the end of our trip to Spain in the fall. I probably won't grouse too much about coming on home since the invites to minister are all at "new" venues for us. TBO likes to scope these out by himself...not wanting to subject me to possible poor living conditions. I think it is kinda sweet, but hello, we've been married almost 34 years...I am hardly a shrinking violet, or terribly fussy. Although one of the places he stayed this last trip sounded a little dicey!

But, as I said, it is nice to have him home. Nice to be back in the usual routine, such as it is...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

After reading Snooty Primadona's post about Memorial Day, I decided to add my two cents' worth.

My dad was a Marine in World War II. He had to get his parents sign his papers because he was only 17 years old when he went to join. This was in 1942, and even with a 12 inch plate in one of his legs as a result of a motor scooter accident when he was younger, my dad became a Marine. He was sent to boot camp and learned to shave without a blade in his razor, because Marines shaved everyday then...and Dad didn't really need to shave but about once a week. Then he got every childhood disease he'd never contracted back home in Oklahoma. It took him almost a year to graduate from boot camp. But he was a Marine.

My dad chose to be a point man because he always wanted to know what was happening. He told my husband stories about his experiences that he never shared with me. He was one of a handful of his platoon that survived more than one battle in the Pacific. I never knew this until many years after my dad passed away.

I learned to sing the Marine Corps Hymn as a tiny little girl...I could sing it today, and actually did sing along with the orchestra at the National Memorial Day Observance last night. I remembered my dad, my hero, the Marine.

The saying "once a Marine, always a Marine" was probably written about dad. Thank you, dad, for your service to our country and for the example you were to me of the meaning of patriotism, love of country and selflessness.

To all of the men and women who have served in the armed forces, I thank you. I thank all those unbelievably brave men and women who serve today. May you know that this Marine's daughter is grateful for your service.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Blogging Away from Home

I have been out of town the last week. I am visiting my family in Oklahoma City and Oklahoma in general. It has been very fun and fulfilling. Hubby has gone to Ukraine and Denmark, and I couldn't go this trip, so instead of stying home and working around the house, I decided to make a break for the border!

All of our children and grandchildren live in Oklahoma now, and several loved ones have asked, when are you moving back? The answer is probably never. Having a little distance between me and the offspring is actually a good thing, I think. I tend to compartmentalize a lot and when I am closer, my compartments tend to break down and I worry about things that are not mine to worry about. Like. adult. children. and their. problems. None have life threatening ones at the moment, thank the Lord, but I do know myself pretty well. I was the ultimate helicopter mom--swoop in and rescue whenever a problem arose. That really retards your children's growth, if you don't know this important fact. There is only One who can do that properly, and I ain't Him!

Our oldest grandson fell at school last week and broke his arm while playing on the playground. He is still in a splint and sling until they do another x-ray Tuesday. The doctor will determine then if he will need surgery to pin the arm or if it has begun to heal properly. I am praying, of course, that the arm is doing well and he can get his cast and get on with his life. I do think if you are going to have to have a broken bone in the summertime, that at the beginning is the best (?) time...at least there will be some swimming time left. He will miss the rest of his baseball season, though, which is sad. Last year the season was cut short because of unbelievable rains, this year, broken bones. Middle son, grandson's uncle purchased him the Chronicles of Narnia paperbacks to help him pass the time while recuperating. UK is hoping that this will help GS become an avid reader, since he is pretty much couch bound...we shall see, I suppose.

My sister received a national medal of honor from the DAR this week for her work with the children in Oklahoma City. We, my mom and I, are so proud of her. Although we have refused to curtsy to her, a small salute has been agreed upon! It was exciting to see her recognized for the amazing work she has done.

I have been a detective on this trip, also. My mom has a beautiful set of wedding rings, which had been missing for several months. They were in a very safe place, to be sure, but mom couldn't remember where that safe place was. Mom is a widow, and when she couldn't wear the rings any longer due to arthritis in her fingers, she decided not to have them sized up again. Usually she places them in the bank whenever leaving town, but last time, the trip came up suddenly and she couldn't get to the bank...hence the hiding place. Long story short, after a discussion with a couple of her grands, she decided to take the rings to have them appraised and put them in her safety deposit box. Thus begins the detective work. Mom has looked everywhere she can think of out of season purses, jewelry boxes, closets, artificial flower arrangements (where she hid them another time for several months), etc. I kept calling and giving her new ideas, but she is pretty sharp, she'd already been there and done that. The other day, she had to go somewhere and I stayed here. She asked what I was going to do. I said, "look for your rings". I had done a little beforehand and met her, "I've already looked there" scorn. This was going to give me a couple of hours of no interference. She did tell me that she was fairly certain they were in one room. So there I started. I got out the trusty step stool and began my methodical search. I found all sorts of interesting things...shaving cream to a hot lather machine my dad used...he's been gone 19 years, buttons, rings belonging to my late grandmother and her late sister, etc. In the last cabinet on the very top shelf, I found all sorts of travel kits, and lo and behold in one that had been shoved waaaay back in the corner there were the rings and the diamond watch, which I didn't know was missing, safe and sound. I called mom and let her know the lost was found and felt my trip had been a success! NOTE: Lest anyone think I am picking on my mom...I am so prone to doing the same thing. I don't have jewelry that I lose, but I am constantly putting other items in "safe" places, which then become "lost". It is a good thing that everything has to be somewhere!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Queen Makes a Break

I should have seen it coming, but no. When you own a geriatric dog, some things just don't occur to you. Sweet Pea, aka the Queen, is sixteen years old. She just had a great check up last month at which time her veterinarian responded to my question of her longevity with, "Don't change a thing that you are doing. She'll probably live a lot longer, although she does have the beginnings of cataracts."

Well, ever since that day, she has acted like a different animal. Now, she still requires about twenty-one and a half hours of sleep a day, but when she is up, she is feistier than I've seen her in the four years she has been with Hubby and me. She's barking at us to get her a carrot, a dog cookie, a greenie, go out, come in, yada yada yada. Not just barking, mind you, loud, annoying yippy Yorkie yelps! What has become of my sweet tempered, if aloof, Queen of the Circle?

Today was the topper. It is Sunday. I just got home from spending a week with one of the sons of her former owner (getting to be an extra grandmother) and was relaxing with the New York Times Sunday Crossword...relaxing may not be the correct word, but I was being mostly successful. Sweet Pea demanded to go out, so I obliged, taking my puzzle with me out to the patio. She does her business, then all of a sudden, (perhaps not ALL OF A SUDDEN) but I realize I have no idea where the Queen has gone! She is not anywhere in our yard that I can espy.

Horrors! There are lawn tractors buzzing all around us, and although she is a mighty monarch, she is but six inches tall and only four and a half pounds, she could easily be missed by an errant tractor driver. I make the trek around the house to see if she's surveying the front yard of her domain, but no Queen.

I decide I must look farther afield, but am certain not everyone in our neighborhood will enjoy my printed "patio dress" and bare feet. Grabbing somewhat more appropriate duds, I begin walking out to the street calling for my liege. No answer! I make it two houses when a young man riding a lawn tractor stops and I ask if Sweet Pea has passed by...she has about 10 minutes earlier.

I am stunned, amazed, flabbergasted. The Queen has taken off on foot!with no escort! I walk on for a couple of houses and see no sign. Now I am beginning to become seriously concerned...she is, after all, sixteen! I hasten back to the house, collect my purse and keys and begin an earnest search of the circle.

About one-quarter of the way around the circle, I spy the little darling. I don't know if she heard and recognized the sound of my Volvo, saw the car or was really just turning around to head home, but there she was in all her glory, tongue hanging out and panting. I threw the Volvo in neutral, set the parking brake, got out and scooped her up. (As we passed the boy who gave me the lead I held her up so he could see her, he gave a cool head nod in response.)

She got a tongue lashing and reminder of her lack of stature when we got in...also several hugs and kisses. I guess the days of unsupervised potty breaks are over for Sweet Pea...I can't take the drama!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Relationships and God's Goodness

We were at a retreat this weekend here in the Metroplex. It is one we have attended with some regularity over the last few years because it is close to home and we have known many of the attendees for a looooong time.

This year at the first session they opened with a time of recounting God's goodness. Well, if you have been in a semi-funky time for a while and you hear people praising God for family trials, illness and recovery, going home stories, etc, you have to almost be dead not to begin to see how ALL of our lives are touched daily, hourly by His goodness.

I have prayed for many people over the years that they would be blessed with God's goodness which leads to repentance...particularly family members who are the hardest for me to talk
with...they know me too well! Anyway, I was made aware again of how God has shown this same goodness to me over and over again. And, that no matter where I feel that I am in my spiritual life, HE IS GOOD TO ME- period. There is not a breath I take without His permission, not a step I take, not a moment of my life that He is not intimately aware of and mindful of, even when I choose NOT to acknowledge Him.

The circumstances of our lives can do a number on me so easily when I forget that as the psalmist said, "I have been young, and now am old and have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread". Today, I can easily remember the day almost 34 years ago that I knew the Lord showed me that verse...shortly before I got married. All these years, that verse has sustained me, when I stopped to ponder on it! God's goodness to me is wonderful.

As I sat in the meetings, I realized that in this group of maybe 60 people, I knew all but around a dozen or so for at least 20 years. Some I had known for over 35 years. One of the men was a groomsman at our wedding. Another couple are our best friends in the Lord and in the world...learned how to be married together (we married within 3 months of one another), learned how to be parents together, how to disagree and make up, how to walk through the good times and the bad ones, too. God's goodness to me expressed in the relationships He provided for ME!

It was a blessed time, I must say. Growing together as we walk through this life, experiencing His goodness and the relationship with Him and those He places with us on our journey...priceless.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Snow in April

I am home again and am amazed at the diversity of weather we have here in the good old US of A. We were in Minnesota from last Thursday until this afternoon. I am a true lover of the four season deal...although having grown up in Oklahoma and lived there or Texas all my life, I rarely had more than winter, spring and HOT. Some years we would have a little fall when I lived in Tulsa, but not the kind you read about in New England...gorgeous fall leaves, crisp days and nights, yada, yada, yada.

I knew I was in deep trouble when we were landing at Minneapolis/St Paul and I could see snow on the ground in APRIL!!!! (I suffer somewhat from the syndrome where you go a little crazy during prolonged gray nasty days...) I'm good with the snow because it is not on all of the roads or anything, but holy moly, it is APRIL and some of the ponds are still frozen. I told the bearded one I could probably not live in Minnesota where it might snow on my birthday (in April).

But, we did have a little sun on Thursday and Friday, but it was cloudy and rainy the rest of the weekend. This morning while I was packing up to go to the airport there were SNOWFLAKES falling out of the sky. I ran in to TBO and practically screeched the news to him...he already had seen and was not terribly impressed.

It was a good thing to get off the plane at DFW this afternoon in 75 degree weather with sun and green trees and lawns.

We did have a great time though. TBO ministered at a spring conference there and we got to stay with some great friends. All in all, a wonderful time was had by all, but I was glad to come home to the south! I hope I remember this in July and August.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Conference Ows

We just got back from a conference in Branson, MO. The conference was wonderful, so why the title? Those of you who know me are aware of the fact that I have PLENTY of padding on the old caboose...too much to my way of thinking, but anyway, my sitter is pretty well worn out. Three days of listening to some truly great speakers, yet the old adage still holds true...the mind can absorb only as much as the behind can endure. It wouldn't be so bad but we are leaving for another conference on Thursday and it promises to be more of the same...poor tushie!

This conference is one that the man who puts it on says is to introduce the Body of Christ to itself. We have gone 3 of the last 4 years, and it really does do what he says. We have met some amazingly gifted folks we might never have encountered without this conference. Every time I go to one of these I learn something new and am happily amazed that Jesus is still speaking to His children and teaching them about His ways. (Whew, what if He weren't?)

It's been good to be home and I know we will have fun on our next adventure...but we're going to Minnesota and it's still COLD up there. Leaving springtime in Texas is going to be a little harder this week!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I just got home from a Bible study written by Beth Moore about peace. It was really eye-opening to realize how much of my life has been spent in "keeping the peace" as opposed to being a "peace maker". Being at the core of my person a relatively non-confrontational being, so much of my life as a wife and mother has been spent keeping a lid on situations that if I had just let the Lord deal with it immediately, my life and those in the middle of my world would have been better too. Her premise is that peace keepers have two motivations for their actions, fear and distrust. How true that has been for me.

I'd like to think that in the past few years I've learned a few lessons, and I think I have, but I do see the absolute truth in her naming those as primary motivators, at least for me. I have always felt that if I kept things calm, I could eventually fix anything that was happening. How incredibly arrogant of me! A quote from Mrs. Moore "fear keeps us in turmoil, that is no way to live." How true, how true.

Anyway, today I'm praying that I will allow God to deliver me from my fears and distrust and begin to walk in His peace, His light, His love for me and mine.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Back from Savannah

We were in Savannah over the weekend. What a beautiful place, such wonderful people. Hubby was ministering in a mostly Spanish-speaking congregation which is always fun and a little nerve racking, since he speaks no Spanish, and I understand quite a bit but am too slow to translate for him. Also, my Oklahoma/Texas drawl does something to the Spanish! So I listen in English and Spanish and try to make sure he uses terms that are easily translated...then try to make sure that the Spanish translation gives the "flavor" of what he said. I am exhausted at the end of the meetings. It's hard enough for me to keep up in English, much less in two languages. He had good translators and the people seemed to receive his teaching well. We hope to go back another time to visit and minister.

Saturday night we went downtown to do a little sightseeing and have dinner. It was so amazing down by the Savannah River. Cobblestone streets which I guess have been there since the town was settled. The place was hopping with tourists and natives alike. One of the sights we beheld were a bunch of college age (looked like to me) young men and women who were dressed in antebellum costumes. Very appropriate on the historic streets! Unfortunately we didn't get to see much more of the town on our trip this time...next time I want to see some of the famous squares that are just a little ways off the river.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Well, hubby and I have officially entered the Lost watchers. Our youngest son leant us a copy of the first season last weekend...our evenings have been full of the twists and turns of the survivors. Interesting show, the writing is pretty amazing and for the most part things are believable. I really enjoy the flashbacks that fill in the holes in the characters' stories...and how some of them have overlapped. Does kind of make me want to go to Sydney, the shots of the Opera House have piqued my interest. Anyway, if you want to get hold of us for the next week or so, try the house...we're probably Lost.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Blustery Day on the Circle

It is very, very windy outside today.

I mean it is blowing hard enough that the Queen, when she had to go out to do her duty, was almost blown away. Luckily, I thought I might ought to step out with her due to the blustery conditions. If it hadn't been so scary for her, I would have laughed out loud...the sight of the five pound ruler the circle being pushed by the gusty north wind was pretty amazing. One must realize that said queen is a five pound (on a heavy day) Yorkshire terrier. She, as one might surmise, was NOT amused.
I will have to tie weights on her before her next outing.

I don't know how long this wind is scheduled to be howling, but I am officially tired of it now, and am ready for some sun, although there does appear to be some peeping out of the clouds, those that are not being blown to South America. Ah, the joys of winter in Texas.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hill Country and back

Hubby and I returned yesterday from a ministry trip to the Kerrville, TX area. We had a wonderful time, and stayed in such tremendous quarters. A couple has a beautiful retreat and they allow the fellowship we were ministering in to house visiting ministers there. (An interesting sentence, I know, but...) The views from the decks were astounding, and if it hadn't been so cold, I know where I'd have been having my morning coffee! We enjoyed our fellowship time with old friends and new ones! Looking forward to our next visit.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Frustrated blogger

I came home yesterday and dutifully blogged about my trip out to Midland and all the adventures I had. Clicked on the publish post button, and I have no idea where the post is! How sad that I am so inept with technology. Oh well, it wasn't much of a post after all (said in an Eeyore voice). Sometimes cyberspace really freaks me out.

Monday, January 14, 2008


I just got home from visiting my good friends in Midland, TX. I had such a good time!

There is never a dull moment with Janie. She had her back window shot out on Friday night. Very spooky, but we were fairly sure that it was a bb gun shot, not a rifle. Police, etc....

Friday morning I went hunting for the first time in my life. Well, I didn't exactly hunt! I decided rather quickly that even though I was dressing in camo and denim, I wasn't really up to the rigors of the hunt. The terrain was pretty rough and I didn't have boots, plus I have definitely not taken the hunters safety program and was semi concerned that I would be in or cause an accident with one of the rather lethal looking rifles (?). I opted for sitting in the truck and watching from the warm comfort of Janie's Yukon. I did make a run to town to purchase batteries for her camera, though. When I returned I did get to see the dogs work, which is pretty amazing.

Great service by the glass company in Midland replacing the shot out window, until they lost the keys to the vehicle. After two hours they were successful in recovering the keys. More drama than I was ready for. I was glad we opted out of our trip to Lubbock.

On the way home this morning I was chosen (?) for a random check by the TSA at the Midland airport. I DO NOT DO THIS WELL!! The TSA man asks me if I have anything that is sharp or will stick him in my purse...Oh no, I think, what in the heck did I leave in my bag? My answer is no, I don't think so....Then he asks me about an item in my makeup bag. Oh, just take it and throw it away, I say. He says RELAX!!! Relax, sure, no problem.....He finishes checking out my tote bag and sends me on my way, wishing me a good day. The rest of the trip home was uneventful thankfully. Glad to be home once again. Looking forward to the next visit to Midland!

Monday, January 7, 2008

It's Over

The holiday season is officially over for me today. I FINALLY got my tree and decorations down. It would seem that I am doomed to be the last one to decorate and the last to store it all. Not that all is put in the proper place, it is awaiting strong arms, legs and backs to hoist it into the attic. I am banned from entering the attic after an incident at our last house...I stepped off of a beam and through the ceiling into the garage. My guardian angel was working overtime that day! No injuries except a really bad bruise on one leg!

Anyway, I was surprised at how emotional putting the ornaments away was today. I don't know if it was because I'm pretty tired from all the hustle and bustle, or what. Nevertheless, I cried a little as I carefully wrapped the decorated eggs, my kids' picture ornaments, ornaments from my former students, my husband's ornament made in kindergarten or first grade, and most especially, the glass ornament I remember on our trees when I was a little girl. I don't know why that ornament is so special, maybe because I've never seen any like it anywhere else.

So, onward and upward to the new year. I'm ready to see what is going to happen next, I think.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Happy New Year

We have been having a grand time celebrating the new year for the last few days. Our friends from Midland have been in town to celebrate their anniversary and to just chill out and we've gotten to spend some great time with them.

New Year's Eve was spent at a local seafood restaurant...such a great concession for hubby who REALLY doesn't like fish of any kind. We split a surf and turf platter and it was yummy. By the time we'd had all of the appetizers, we were fine. We left our friends who were staying in downtown cowtown to go to another friends' home to witness him and his bagpipe band "pipe in the new year"--it was awesome. They played Amazing Grace as the new year began. I hope that the choice of tunes was prophetic. It was really neat to see how people came over to his carport to enjoy the pipes.

New Year's Day we got all gussied up and went to brunch downtown in Ft.Worth. Brunch lasted about 3 hours! We talked and laughed and ate and ate....way fun.

Our friends came to stay with us for a couple of days the next day. We played Wii until I gave up about 1:00 am--I think they continued for at least another hour or two.

Janie and I went to Hillsboro to meet another of my friends from Mexia on Thursday. We shopped until I dropped then headed home to meet the guys for a movie and dinner. Great movie, "Charlie Wilson's War" and super hamburger at Dutch's.

Janie and Steve got all packed up to leave on Friday morning, then we went out to breakfast and more shopping...(I'm done for the year, think). When we finished we decided we needed another movie and dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Talked J&S into staying, saw "The Great Debaters", another superb movie, and ate fajitas at Marianos in Arlington...wonderful!

When we got home our oldest son and his family were here for the weekend. We played a quick round of bed changing and blowing up air mattresses so everyone had a place to sleep!

The newest grandboy is way too cute. He is such a little butterball. It's hard to believe that he was such a sick little guy just 3 weeks ago.

Here's wishing all of you a happy new year.