background

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Playing with light...

~~~Before leaving work this afternoon, I was ordered to blog this evening. So, Boss, here ya go. ~~~


Monday's lessons...Drew called and said she was on her way over, and we were going to play with the light. I learned a lot!



Standing under the wild mistletoe...alas, my sweetie was nowhere to be found.





Barn and tractor.



The winter days are short...the shadows long.



A bug's-eye view of lichen.




A cluster of moss. Amazing what the super macro will do for 'bare' winter trees.

(Left click on the last two to see full screen. The detail is too cool.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

For Auld Lang Syne...

I dreamt of Allison again last night. And I woke up happy.

She doesn't visit my dreams as often as she used to. It's like when we used to live many miles away from each other and had to plan for the rare trip, but each moment of the visit was treasured. Even in my sleep I know that this is all I have now and to pay attention.

I was at a high school sporting event when I saw her come in and sit down. It was impossible to move over to her, but I kept watching her, my heart couldn't get its fill. When the game was over, the crowd pushed us further and further apart, and I had to leave without getting to speak to her.

Then once I was home, she came to the door, and it was just like old times. She followed me from room to room as I did chores, helping me when she could...in particular we were washing and folding bed linens.

She was so healthy.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A little yarn...


This yarn looked really good in the store, but I'm not happy with the knitting up. I have unravelled and started over SO many times, and think I will give it one more try with yet bigger needles before just giving up.

But the real yarn I wanted to tell is this...

I went to Kasey and Beau's on Monday afternoon, and came home on Wednesday morning. On the way home I stopped in at Hobby Lobby (again), and as I was wandering the store, thoughts of the children kept popping into my head, and I found myself smiling over and over again. And it occurred to me that I am in love with those children. I don't just love them, I am IN love with them. That giddy, smile-at-odd-moments type of love that makes your heart thump and your brain race.

I love hearing a song on the radio and knowing it's one they sing along to. I love when one scoots over to sit closer to me on the sofa without ever taking his eyes off the television. I love the way one turns his face toward me and flashes his dimples. I love being asked to ride with them on the trip to school or getting a request to sing "Ayourdorable."

As I'm thinking these things, I say a little prayer of thanks. And I have a split second of wondering when they will outgrow me. But before the dread is even fully formed, I'm distracted by a head full of bright blue hair browsing a nearby display. Not the kind of blue hair that Carey and I tease each other about having. But bright PEACOCK blue hair. And this beautiful blue-haired sprite says, "I think I'll get this one. I'll just put the gift in this with some tissue. What do you think?" And she turns to her smiling shopping buddy...a lovely woman that she called Grandma.

And I smile again too.

I think there's lots more fun to look forward to and lots of thankfulness ahead.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our typical atypical holiday...

Well, we were all supposed to go to Carey's mom's for Thanksgiving, but stomach virus has made an appearance at Kasey and Beau's house. :(

So I decided we needed to send a virtual hug to them. Carey's out painting porch railing, and Jared came by before he left for Ma's, so I corralled them out on the porch for a quick pic. Just like holiday plans, nothing goes right the first time every time.

Hope this makes you smile a little.



Oops.




Yawn.




Drats!




Good enough!

Love to all. Hope you have a wonderful (and memorable) Thanksgiving filled with smiles!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

just for fun...



I'm a sucker for kaleidoscopes. I can't help ewwwwing and ahhhhing. And the other day I thought I'd try to see if I could photograph one. Sometimes I crack myself up.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Looking back and moving forward...

I was with a friend today, and we dropped in on her daughter, Sarah, at work. I hadn't seen Sarah since they visited me in the hospital after the accident, and I don't really remember much about that. Her boyfriend is a volunteer firefighter. Today she said to me, "I haven't told you, but we heard your accident dispatch over the scanner, and thought wow, that sounds bad. I didn't know till a couple of days later that that was you."

It surprised me. I don't really think about the accident itself much anymore. I felt a little detached as I asked her if she remembered what was said. She said, "I'm not sure, something like, 'rollover accident...vehicle in flames...driver trapped.' "

I was instantly awash in gratitude all over again. I give thanks daily for little things I notice. Like this morning at the chiropractor I noticed that I could let her work on my upper back, whereas up till now it was still too tender. Or last Monday having my GP ask about the nerve pain in my arm, and realizing that it had been gone so long I had almost forgotten about it altogether. When these realizations crop up, I stop and say a big "Thank you, Lord for your tender healing care."

But Sarah's comment took me back to that moment, and the sensation I had of the BIGness of God. The first moment of awareness upon regaining consciousness, I felt Him there. That's not really a good description, it defies description. Embraced? Held? Peace. Comfort. An intangible, vibrational something. Communion? Waking to a stranger praying over me was incredible, and I wanted her to know the Presence I felt.

It's not something I talked about. I didn't feel ready to write about it. It felt too sacred to do so. I did feel the urging to share it with someone who has been living through the hardest thing I can imagine. I wasn't sure how it would be received, but her response was very precious to me. It was affirmation that it was right to follow the Spirit's prompting, and share it with her.

I don't think I'll be writing any more about the accident after this, so I want to record the details that I remember or have pieced together from what I was told. I tend not to remember or to minimize things as time goes by, and I think I should remember this...not to dwell on, but I should be able to look back and remember the journey. I've never put it down in a continuous stream before.

The accident happened on a narrow back farm road a few miles from our home. I don't remember what made me lose control, but I'm wondering if I was changing from my regular glasses into sunglasses, as neither of those were ever found, nor was my glasses case. It happened right in front of the home of a couple that we buy hay from. She was not first on the scene, but when she got there she was able to call Carey at work. I've never seen much traffic on this road, but this day several people came upon the scene immediately.

Carey always insists that we carry fire extinguishers, and mine was ejected from the vehicle when it rolled (three times). A teenage boy found the extinguisher and used it to put out the fire. (Thankfully I was unaware of the fire, and did not learn of it until much later.) I was told that he had to climb part way into the car with me to put out the fire. I am in awe. I spoke to him later to tell him thank you, and you would think I had thanked him for picking up a book I dropped...Yes, ma'am. No problem.

A registered nurse and her daughter, both from a hundred miles away, were visiting a friend that lived in our area and were on their way out shopping. They got me out of the car with the help of the young man who put the fire out. These were the women who were praying over me. (Carey saw the car a few days afterward; he said he didn't know how they got me out.)

The ambulance from a rural volunteer fire department made it to the accident before the state trooper. Though I did regain consciousness briefly before the ambulance arrived, enough to have my vivid recollection of the feelings described above, I wasn't capable of real coherent speech, and I don't remember being moved into the ambulance. I am really hard to get an IV into, or even to take a blood test, and I always request a butterfly in the back of my hand. I always thought that most of the reason was just because I stress so much over it, and that if I was ever unconscious, they would have no trouble getting a vein. Well, my first clear sentence was prompted by them having a real challenge with my veins. I said, "You're going to have to put it in the back of my hand." The EMT told me that that wouldn't be sufficient, but that's what they ended up having to do. And of all my many and deep bruises head to toe, those, where they tried to insert the IV at the inner elbow, were the very last to fade.

I remember the state trooper arriving at the ambulance door right before they closed it, and I heard him ask, "Is she gonna make it?" I didn't hear the answer. I was in and out of consciousness on the trip to the trauma center about an hour away...at least I guess I was, because the trip seemed incredibly short.

The trauma center is kind of a blur. I remember a bunch of doctors and nurses each telling me that wearing a seat belt saved my life. I remember my kids being there, and me telling them to make phone calls to their grandmother (it was her birthday, and I hadn't called her yet), a friend that I was thinking about flying out to visit to tell her I definitely wouldn't be able to make it, and a co-worker that I was supposed to fill in for the next Monday. Yes, even under extreme stress my brain is like a steel whatchamacallit...or I'm just unbelievably bossy. I remember them telling me that Carey couldn't get a flight in till the next day...he told me later what torture that was for him.

My injuries were pretty mild considering:

...I had between four and eight broken ribs.

...I had some intracranial bleeding that they were worried about for awhile, but it stopped on its own. They put some staples in some cuts to my scalp.

...The right side of my face was swollen and bruised. At first they thought my jaw was broken.

...I had hematomas across my chest and abdomen from the shoulder and lap belts...they watched those pretty closely for awhile too, but the bleeding stopped on its own there as well...felt like ropes under my skin forever till they finally healed.

...I had pretty bad whiplash...don't recommend it. There's still an indentation on the left side of my neck at the base...the neck specialist thinks that the shoulder strap caused a tear in the muscle (not muscle from bone, but cellular [?])

...The hand seemed not so bad. My fifth day in the hospital I insisted on being released. My neck was having unbearable muscle spasms at night, that triggered my vertigo and then vomiting (take it from me, you do NOT want to heave with broken ribs). I blamed part of that on the hospital beds which have always been hard for me to deal with. Each of the doctors had to come by to okay my release. I was highly amused (or maybe just high and amused) at the hand specialist's face when Carey said, "It's not bad enough to need surgery, right?" Poor doc explained that, no, one of the bones was "pulverized" (his word), and that if they opened it to operate he was afraid it would just flake apart. It never hurt though, and after four months in a cast and another in a splint it has healed really well. I can now make a fist and cross my fingers!

...The nerve pain up my arm was really, really awful...glad that's over.

...I have lots of scars on my left upper arm, from glass I guess. Had some stitches on some of those.

...And though not an injury, a side effect of note was that I had unbelievably vivid movie-like dreams while on the pain killers and muscle relaxers.

I don't know why I survived. I don't see the whole picture...but Someone does. For each person that rushed to my side, that cared for me, that prayed for me, that helped my family, I give thanks. Now it's time to leave the pain in the past and move forward, giving thanks for each day, each lesson, each smile, each gift, trying to follow God's plan for me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Everyday blessings...

Lately I catch myself checking in on my own blog expecting to see a new post. Okay, maybe it's more like to check the date of the last time I've added anything. I keep thinking I'll get inspired to add something new.

Well, it's been a week, and I'm really tired of seeing that little pot pie happy face from the previous post. It's starting to look lonely and abandoned.

So thought I'd add a virtual visit post about my "neighborhood."

This is the kind of view I get driving the back roads around here. I love the gentle rolling hills.



I took a detour the other day, and found this bench in a little churchyard. It looked so peaceful.



These are actually rocks in our road down by the gate. I couldn't pass up a picture of one of my little everyday blessings. No manual or digital manipulation of this pic, I promise.




Big open skies make for beautiful sunsets.
I do so love my neighborhood.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie...


Pot pies are just one of those comfort foods you have to have once in awhile. When the kids were little, I used to cut the vent slits in the shape of a happy face. They loved that.
.
Kasey called last night and said that she had pot pies in the oven, and that Bobby was excited that she had put happy faces on them.
.
She put a happy face on her mother too. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Out on the porch...


Here's a tiny glimpse of the new porch. Carey still has some work that he wants to do himself, but the majority is done. I LOVE it!
.
The cost of lumber and supplies...high.
The contractor's effort and expertise...worth every penny.
Having my dream come true...priceless!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pay attention, my little friend!

Why did the chicken cross the road?



To prove to its friend the armadillo it could be done. :)

Ran across (well obviously not literally) this little critter in my ramblings today. It brought to mind one of my favorite jokes, and I couldn't resist sharing. If you don't get it, you're probably not from Texas.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Speaking of library books...

I cannot recommend highly enough two books recently borrowed from my local library.

Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson is a prequel to the L M Montgomery Ann of Green Gables series. I almost didn’t pick it up, as I didn’t see how it could be true to the original books, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Equally enchanting was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

Both of them refused to be put down.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A quiet Sunday afternoon...

I have a love/hate relationship with the digital age.

I LOVE having facts at my fingertips anytime day or night! I love being on the phone with a friend who asks me if I know the address to which funny newspaper clippings should be mailed for the Tonight Show, and without skipping a beat, without having to end the conversation, without them even knowing I am looking it up on the web, finding the correct answer.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE digital photography. When I got my first digital camera years ago, I took it as a gift whose invention was meant specifically for me and people like me. I knew everybody would like it, but I knew that there were people like me out there for whom it was just MEANT. I hate blatant 'PhotoShop'ing meant to fool gullible e-mail forward recipients.

I love cell phones when your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere (or when you are unconscious and strangers call your family to your side). I hate them in restaurants, funerals, and public restrooms!!!

I like e-mail (since I tend to keep in touch somewhat more regularly with my friends and family that have it), but I miss receiving casual notes in my post office box. I love the backspace button as I'm composing my outgoing messages instead of having to messily scratch out handwritten words, but I miss reading how someone is feeling by the varying quality of their penmanship.

I love the vast, immeasurable quantities of shared thought from distant strangers that bob across time and space like messages in bottles on the ocean current waiting to be found by a strolling beachcomber. But I miss the romance of the physical world.

I love being able to go to my local library's website and put a new book on hold...or even renew my books...GLORY BE!!! But nothing can match walking through the whoosh of the library door into the cool, quiet, magical, story-filled space. I love the way it smells. I love the Dewey Decimal System always leading the way.

I've been trying to take a little less time on the computer and make a little more time to read real paper-and-ink books these days...to not put all my news in my e-mails and drop a handwritten note in a real blue metal mail box now and then...and next time I go to the beach, I'm going to toss a real glass bottle full of hopeful tidings into the surf.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!


What a momentous occassion...Carey baked me a birthday cake! I didn't take a picture of the cake, until after we had tucked into it...but I did get photo proof of my cute husband deep in concentration at the mixer controls.

I had such a beauty-filled day! Thank you, Lord. And just now, as I was surfing blogland (that's the way I relax in the evenings these days), I came across a blog after my own heart called homespun living, and she had quoted the following:

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
"Symphony" by William Henry Channing

I think these are worthy goals to think on and strive for in the coming year.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Virtual visit - nail holes


I'm very hesitant about hanging things on the walls. It seems like such a big commitment. I blame this on Carey, since he laid down the rules about wall decorations early in our housekeeping. The rules are as follows:

  1. No hanging of wall decoration shall be undertaken without the proper tools...a bubble level, a 25-foot tape measure, assorted sizes of nails (and/or screws for large or heavy items), appropriate-sized hammer (and/or screwdriver), a No. 2 pencil, scratch paper for mathematical calculations, and an electric drill held in reserve;

  2. No nail shall be located other than in a wall stud;

  3. No decorative endeavor shall be undertaken during a televised sporting event; and most importantly,

  4. Once there is a nail hole in the sheet rock, there shall be NO shifting of decorative objects.

I have absolutely no patience with rules number one through three, and I get around them by never hanging any object when Carey is within a one-hundred-mile radius.

I do try to honor the spirit of rule number 4, by reigning in my hammer high jinks. Hence my commitment issues.

Occasionally I push the envelope, as witnessed by the picture above. A collection of vintage Bakelite hand mirrors hangs opposite an arrangement of pink transfer-ware plates...you can see the reflection of one in the other. With all those nail holes in the sheet rock in such close proximity, undoubtedly the walls will be crumbling into my bathwater at any moment!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A charmed life indeed...

A couple of days ago my niece, Steph, wrote a lovely post on her blog about living a charmed life. I especially liked her last question, "what's charming your life today?"

By asking the question, she invites us to share the magic...because the secret to living a charmed life is recognizing and acknowledging the gifts that come your way.

My friend, the other Kathleen, and I share a Google calendar on which we enter events for which we are thankful each day. It keeps us in touch even when we're not in touch. It keeps us aware of the little things going on in each others lives. It keeps us grateful even for the small gifts...especially for the small gifts.

Sometimes it's too easy to get caught up in the stress of the day. Sometimes we need a friend to remind us to look for the bright spots.

You know those crazy quiz e-mails that get forwarded around where you are supposed to fill in the blank about what your middle name is or what your favorite food is or what color socks you wear? Well, I think I'll initiate an e-mail quiz to all my friends asking them to list 7 things that brought them a moment of joy in the past week, and then to pass it on. Yep! That's what I think I'll do.

So, thanks for asking the question, Steph. Oh, and here's my list!

Things that are charming me today...
...playing with a new recipe
...phone calls from the ones I love
...a quick hello and kiss from my youngest
...moments of inspiration
...planning a surprise
...hearing an airplane high overhead
...watching the dogs play together in the yard
...the sun poking through the clouds
...scratching chores off my to-do list
...compliments we know are sincere
... writing

So...what's charming YOUR life today?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Porches

The morning is gray, and I'm up early. The sounds of a circular saw and hammering assured that. The new porch is progressing fabulously. I can barely contain my happiness. I believe I will be able to have my birthday cake on my front porch!

We've never owned a house with a front porch...not one big enough for a chair or a swing anyway. And I have ached for one. Some of my strongest memories about the homes of loved ones are about their porches.

The house I grew up in had a great front porch. The floor and steps were concrete with a smooth red finish. It was perfect for playing jacks...when you got up to 'pigs in the pen' they slid straight in with no resistance. And I must have jumped rope for thousands of hours on it. There was a huge cactus at one end of the porch that was supposed to be thornless...but it had little hair-like thorns almost invisible to the naked eye. Inevitably the rope would pick up some of those, and they would end up in my hands.. They hurt like fire and were impossible to get out. I developed a life-long hatred of cactus...all succulents really.

My great Aunt Ruth had a tiny little house in Iowa, but it had a porch big enough for a swing. Each summer she taught me to embroider or crochet or tat, and I loved to sit out on the swing with whatever my project was. Heavenly.

My grandma's porch had wide steps with high side outcroppings that had wide concrete tops...perfect for pretending you were on stage or just sitting on Indian style with a doll on your lap. Aunt Tootse's house next door had a screened-in porch with cots. In the summer my boy cousins got to sleep out there.

I know the guys outside take great pride in their work and are building a sturdy and beautiful structure for us. I wonder if they think about the fact that they're also constructing future memories.

Monday, October 6, 2008

October 6th

When I was little, my dad was always the one to take care of things like splinters or stepped-on glass. We would go in his tiny bathroom where the light was bright, and he would get out the tweezers and set to work with me squirming and nervous. He would talk to me with his voice low, and before I knew it the surgery would be over.

Then he would reach up on the shelf for an antiseptic. But instead of alcohol or some other stinging thing, he would get down his bottle of Aqua Velva. It made everything better. It was mostly alcohol, but the scent seemed to take away the sting.

He wasn't always gentle and quiet. Some things that frightened me then make me smile today. Like how he hated for cupboard doors to be ajar. He would angrily slam an open door closed, but we didn't have latches on any of the doors, so the whoosh of air from the slam would push one of its neighbors open, which would frustrate him even more and he would slam that one, which would then force another one open. Sometimes this went on for some tense seconds, which seemed much longer to me at the time, as he moved down the line of doors that kept slamming and popping open. As a grown up, I have to admit, I do sometimes love the satisfaction of slamming a door. And I never slam one without thinking of him and those kitchen cupboards, and laughing at the memory and myself.

Finding a birthday card for him was always a challenge for me. I didn't want to get a sappy card, but I didn't want to get a generic card either. One year I found a card that listed some things that a father would do, then listed the more sentimental things that a daddy would do...A father signs your report card--a daddy helps you study your spelling list...that sort of thing. Well, at the bottom of the card, I wrote, "A father removes your splinters, a daddy puts after shave on it instead of alcohol." A few days later, the phone rang. I picked it up, and he said, "I got a card in the mail today." I wasn't sure what to say, his voice sounded a little strained. Then he went on, "Baby, you made me cry."

I think of that every year. And I'm so glad that I have that memory.

A father might call to say, 'Thanks for the card,'...a daddy said, 'Baby, you made me cry.'

Happy birthday, Daddy.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall means football...

I haven't posted any photos of the boys yet...they don't usually sit still for me and my camera. So now that I have a camera that can capture them in motion and not just a blur, here are some pictures of their football games last Saturday. They're all wearing blue and white. So in order of seniority, I present the ones who fill our hearts with joy...

#6 Chandler

#64 Bobby

and #7 Diego


And now if the cheering section would please strike a pose...

diva in training...Caitlyn
...
and Curious George...I mean Chloe.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

To quote Yogi Berra...

I work for a well-known (well-respected, well-advertised) investment firm. When I started with the company seven years ago, it was a very unsettling time in the stock market. These days I'm working part time instead of full time, and I'm at different branches on different days. I equate my position to a substitute teacher...I fill in as needed when somebody is out sick or on vacation.

Today I worked in the same office that I started in. I saw some of the same customers. We talked about some of the same things. I watched the Dow rise and fall. And when it finished down only a little, I was happy.

Deja vu all over again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A few things I love about autumn...

1. open windows

2. my higher energy level

3. pumpkins

4. birthdays

5. baking cornbread

6. soups and casseroles

7. new tv season

8. decline in stinging/biting insect population

9. reading under the covers

10. crisp cool air

Okay, these things aren't necessarily here where I live yet...but I'm eagerly anticipating!

Monday, September 22, 2008

virtual visit - summer linens


Last week we enjoyed the annual event that I wait for all through the long hot Texas summers...the first little cool front of the year. It wasn't a whole lot cooler, but it was some cooler and a lot less humid. Heavenly! As I changed the bed today, I thought it might not be long before I put away the summer whites and get out the darker linens and warmer blankets.

What you don't see in the picture is that on the floor, at the right foot of the bed, sat my friend, the crazy cat lady, strumming a guitar. Just like a cat...always getting under foot. :)

Jared was looking over my shoulder today, and saw the pictures posted earlier in the virtual visit series. He said the furniture looks a lot better in the pictures than it does in reality. I could claim it is my great photographic skill, but I'm sure it's because I take the opportunity to dust before taking the photo.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Virtual visit - dining room


This Duncan Phyfe dining room buffet (along with the table and chairs not pictured) belonged to my great Uncle Edgar and Aunt Gladys. When he moved off the farm and into a small assisted living facility in the early 1980s, Mom brought it home with her. She was always upset that someone had allowed the tea cart that matched it to be separated from the set and sold before she got there. I wasn't crazy about the set at first. But I've grown very attached to it.

The art hanging above it is a grouping I really like. They are all fruit still lifes. The top left is not very clear due to the reflection on the glass, but it's one that I got for free for helping a friend of mine clean out a house (it had been left in the house when the people moved out). The frame on it was horrid and falling apart. I routinely look at frames at auctions, etc., and had this gold one in my stash, and it fit perfectly...it was about a five minute job to switch them out.

The top right is a fruit still life that I was instantly attracted to. I found it as a single old calendar page at an estate sale...just a sheet of paper. Obviously someone else had liked it and saved it when they discarded the rest of the calendar. I think I paid a quarter for it. It was my only purchase. I carefully kept it protected flat for years. I liked the art so much, that I finally decided to have it professionally framed. I took it to a framer whose parents I've known for years (his dad framed all my stitchery for ages). Conincidentally he had a printer friend visiting the store that day. I laid my lowly calendar page on the counter, and the printer immediately gravitated to it, and told me that it was a copy of a print from Currier and Ives. I paid way more than a quarter to have it framed.

Bottom right is a basket tray from Mom's. The fruit print in the bottom is covered by glass. I was always crazy about the art, so I had to hang it.

Bottom left is a new piece I found while out shopping with Kasey and the girls.

Hanging to the right of the buffet are the two flatware shadow boxes. When we divided up Mom's stuff, I didn't really want the old stainless flatware set, since I was sure it would never be used. But sentimentally I asked whoever took it for one place setting. I recently got around to matting and framing it (bottom frame). The frame on the top holds a silver place setting that Carey's mother received from a family member and had been holding on to for years. I was thrilled when she gave it to me to frame too. I like having them displayed like this.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Virtual visit...

Friends were scheduled to visit this summer, but the trip had to be postponed. It was a really unavoidable reason, but it was disappointing. Sometimes I look forward not just to the visit, but to the kick in the pants that having company gives me to start seeing things around the house that I usually just get immune to...good and bad.

So I thought maybe we needed a virtual visit. I'm going to start sharing snapshots of my home now and then. Maybe a project in progress...we're scheduled to start front porch construction...I'm so excited!

Today's snapshot:

This is an awesome little cupboard. I bought it as a birthday gift for Carey from a friend that was downsizing. It hides away some stuff that I don't like out in the open. The basket on top and the stool alongside are family pieces. I like the way they go together. This is what I see when I open my eyes each morning. If they are all standing still instead of bouncing around on the wall, I know it's a good non-Meniere's day. :)

Recent comments...

I received two comments here recently that were responses to a comment I left on another blog. I'm not publishing them, because they were of a somewhat personal nature. Just in case the writers check back here, I want to tell you how glad I am that you found it helpful. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Political debates

I almost never discuss politics, and I'm not going to do so here. That being said...

I have this friend. I love her unconditionally. We have the utmost respect for each other and each other's points of view...except in Presidential election years. I won't divulge who votes how.

I just got off the phone with her. We had a lively discussion. I was in the comfort of my living room; she was in the grocery store. At one point, the word stupid came up rather firmly on her end. Then I immediately heard her say to the grocery cashier, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean you. No, no. I'm sorry, I'm on the phone," and I collapsed into laughter. I am hereby submitting my public apology to said friend. I know that my laughing at her blue tooth faux pas was like laughing at someone slipping on ice, but it was priceless! More so because I know she would never intentionally call anyone stupid...except me apparently. :) And I love her even more for it!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pecan Pie Ice Cream

Oh, yes. Definitely yummy!

Another birthday, another pie...

Carey's birthday was last weekend, and the kids came, and I baked cupcakes.

But Carey's favorite dessert is pecan pie, so today I baked him two. (Seems I'm always baking two pies for birthdays lately.) The crust isn't gorgeous, but it was a joy making it and having two hands free to mix and shape and crimp! And Carey loves my pie crust (actually my mother's pie crust.) So he's set for awhile.

With the second pie, I experimented making a batch of pecan pie ice cream. It went straight to the freezer to harden, so we haven't tasted it yet. If it's really yummy, I'll let you know.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

How many of me...


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are
13
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Saw this recently, and thought it was kind of fun. So I place it here for your entertainment.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A bright idea?

After having compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) burning out faster than their incandescent counterparts around our house, I did some web research and learned some things

Namely:
--CFLs are not recommended for fixtures that get less than 1.5 hours of burn time a day or have frequent on/offs, ie: closets. (Could explain their shorter life in my bathroom fixture)
--CFLs are not recommended for use in areas of high humidity (ditto the shorter life in my bathroom fixture.)
--CFLs must NOT be used in track lighting, recessed lighting, or with dimmer switches because of fire hazard.

If a CFL breaks on a hard surface it is recommended that you:
--Open the windows, and leave the room for 15 to 30 minutes.
--Turn off central air/heat system.
--Clean up large pieces with disposable cardboard and small pieces/dust with sticky tape and/or damp paper towel.
--Do NOT use vacuum or broom to clean up. (If a CFL breaks on carpet or a soft surface, and you must use a vacuum to clean up, dispose of the vacuum bag or canister contents in a sealed plastic bag when through.)
--Dispose of bulbs inside a sealed plastic bag (some articles said TWO sealed bags)
--Preferably dispose of them as you do batteries, oil, paint and other hazardous materials.

And then there's the poor lady I read about who, after dropping a CFL and breaking it on carpet, called the retailer where she bought it for clean up instructions, and was referred to Poison Control Hotline and on and on until she got to her state's Department of Environmental Protection, eventually having the room in her house sealed off and banned from use until she could save up to afford the astronomically expensive clean up by hazardous waste experts. Sheesh! Read about her plight here:http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/227056/cfl_light_bulbs_hype_and_hazard.html?cat=5

Now, even more than before, I'm unhappy and perplexed as to why the government is moving toward banning incandescents before we have a better alternative than CFLs. I foresee only monumental problems with them ahead.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cheerleaders

Kasey just e-mailed me this picture of the girls in their cheerleader uniforms. They're not in an organized group (yet), but with three big brothers playing football, they attend a lot of games and practices, and love to wear uniforms too. Beau's grandmother bought Caitlyn her first uniform for her 2nd birthday. Caitlyn loved it so much, that when she outgrew it, Kasey had to go get her another one, and pass the original down to Chloe.

And they do a lovely job of 'cheering', especially if you use a liberal definition. Caitlyn loves to talk to everybody. Kasey told Carey the other day that after practice, some of the other moms came over to tell her that Caitlyn had come around telling them that she loved her mom. As hearing reports about your kids go, it doesn't get much better than that.

This brings to mind a book that I read a long while back called 'Balcony People' by Joyce Landorf Heatherly (I think). It talks about those people in our lives who are our personal cheerleaders. They lift our spirits, and direct our thoughts and actions in a positive direction. They're always in our corner, on the sidelines, or in the balcony cheering for us. They are gifts from God to walk with us on our path. They increase our joy, they share our sorrow, and they teach us priceless lessons.
We all need somebody in our balcony cheering. We can all be that person for another. And happily encouraging others helps us as well. Go team!

A day at the beach...


Broke the routine, and went on a ride-along with a friend who was coast bound. Stayed at one of her mom's homes (nice to have friends with vacation homes!) The picture expresses my feelings--I love the beach! Thanks for inviting me, Pam.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A - You're adorable...


B - You're so beautiful.
C - You're a cutie filled with charm.
D - You're a darling.
E - You're exciting.
and F- You're a feather in my arms.
G - You look good to me.
H - You're so heavenly.
I - You're the one I idolize.
J - We're like Jack and Jill.
K - You're so kissable.
L - is the lovelight in your eyes.
M, N, O, P - I could go on all day.
Q, R, S, T - Alphabetically speaking, you're OK.
And U - make my life complete.
V - You're so very sweet.
W, X, Y, Z - It's fun to wander through the alphabet with you to tell you what you mean to me.*

This is the song that I sing to the girls when I rock them. It's the perfect song, because they are all of these things. Oh how happy am I that they let me rock them. Rocking a baby has to be at least as beneficial to one's health as, say, yoga.

We sing lots of songs. Caitlyn (pictured here) has an amazing repertoire. I work hard to think of kid's songs she might not know, and by the time I sing the first line, she's joining in with the rest. Chloe is catching up fast.

Their brothers don't let me hold them much anymore. I hope the girls don't outgrow it for at least another ten or fifteen years.

*This is a fabulous song written by B. Kaye, S. Lippman, and F. Wise in 1948, and it's included on a great CD, "Singing in the Bathtub," by John Lithgow. The CD also features other songs that are fun for kids and adults.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Capturing bits of magic


I got a new camera recently, and I finally got around to taking it out of the box this weekend. Once I had the basics down, it of course necessitated a trip to see the grandbabies to really give it an initiation work out. We went on Monday, and were able to attend the boys' football practices. I got a lot of practice too while snapping happily away...141 images. I'm a snap-now-and-edit-later kind of girl.

I love this picture of our Chloe. She turned two last Friday. She is an adorable package of girly girl. I often find myself wondering what is going on behind those eyes of hers. This was one of those times.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs.

Did you know that the post title, a classic typing exercise, contains each of the 26 letters in the English alphabet at least once? Just a little keyboard trivia. I'm thoroughly enjoying the unencumbered touch typing these days!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Drum roll please...

After four months, today the cast came OFF! Woohoo! Woohoo!! WOOHOO!!! It was replaced with a splint that I wear till I go back in six weeks, but the splint can be removed several times a day for light exercise, like TYPING! (Indeed, doctor's orders!) And no more plastic bags taped to arm while showering! Oh Happy Day!

It's not done healing, but it's 'much improved.' It's very weak, so lots of progress to make. Still must use the bone stimulator daily, and not over tax it or strain it, and must massage the scar tissue (ouch), but very happy and thankful am I.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sonic Ice

I wonder what the deal is with Sonic ice? I love it. I love it so much that I HAVE to stop at Sonic whenever I go to town. My favorite drink is a Coke, but when I'm especially virtuous I'll get water, and it even makes the water better. Is it just that it's crushed? It seems to get the liquids colder than the ice at other places.
They've made it easier to feed my habit too. These days I'm never hampered by the lack of cash in my purse. I keep a fully loaded My Sonic card!

I'm not the only person who feels this way. Some of my friends are as addicted to it as I am. One of my out-of-state friends calls me when she's at her local Sonic...it's a bonding thing with us. And on a recent road trip with another friend, we planned our gas stops by the proximity to Sonics. And it's not the food. Nobody I know really likes the food there, just the drinks!

We're not alone. The last time I visited my doctor, she asked about my soda consumption. I told her, "I don't drink a lot of soda, because I don't keep it at home. I only have a coke when I go to town, and then I have to have a Coke from Sonic". A very exasperated look came over her face, and she said, "I hear that all the time! What is so special about Sonic?" I told her it's the ice.

And my husband is an enabler. I don't even have to bring it up anymore, he just pulls in and orders. I love him...him and that darn Sonic ice.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Raining, Cats, and Dogs

Raining. The remnant of Dolly has brought us some much needed rain today! The arbitrary storms rain down both burden and benefit. I pray for those suffering damages and ill effects from her. Having grown up on the coast, I know well the preparation, emotion, and aftermath the gulf storms trigger. I remember being in our turn-of-the-20th-century house, dark with its boarded up windows, listening to the tempest rage just on the other side of the walls; trying to concentrate on reading, by flashlight or kerosene lamp if necessary; following Daddy outside when it was over into a daylight that seemed eery and a landscape that seemed eerily altered. Those memories of emergence always make me think of butterflies and baby birds escaping their confines into a strange new atmosphere.

Cats. I have a friend who is a crazy cat lady. I call her this with the utmost affection. I don't dislike cats...we keep quite a few 'working' barn cats that I can get attached to, but I do not invite them into our home (unlike the crazy cat lady who has a dozen or so). I was driving with the CCL late last night, and on the edge of a dark, narrow country road suddenly appeared a muddle of kittens. She cried out, 'KIT-tens, Kathleen! KIT-tens!" with such alarm that I had to fight to maintain my concentration on the job at hand, namely avoiding the scattering mass of furry little creatures without rolling my car again! With luck (and skill) I managed to avoid injury to both (wo)man and beast. Today I am feeling proud of myself for having regained my driving nerve and successfully avoiding more pain, injury, and loss. That the kittens were spared was a nice plus, but saving her hide and mine was definitely the first priority, and I'm not apologizing for it.

and

Dogs. We have a big yard. Today it is a big muddy yard. We have big dogs. Today they are big muddy dogs. One is a German Shepherd, and one is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. The shepherd was s-l-o-w to mature. For the first couple of years, she thought her name was 'dammit.' I used to joke with the vet that either she needed Ritalin or I needed Prozac. Thankfully, she has grown into a great dog. The retriever is still young. And he's pretty well behaved except for chewing up things...garden hoses...tree limbs...porch railings. Yes, we do give him safe things to chew, but he's like a beaver. I recently bought a pair of Adirondack chairs, and to safeguard them, I put them in a separate part of the yard and closed the gate. Then Jared's dog, Spike, came to visit for awhile (until Jared gets his fence repaired) and had to occupy that portion of the yard. Spike promptly began snacking on my new chairs' arms. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. The chairs are now in the barn for awhile. Outdoor seating is nice to have. Dogs are essential.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Birthday Pie

Chandler and Bobby are at sleep-away camp. Diego got left behind by age requirement, so his Papa wanted to do something special with him while they were gone. Carey's been wanting to go see a Ranger's game for a long time, so we checked and were happy to find that this weekend was a home game. And happily, it coincided with Jared's birthday, so the three of them made it a guys' celebration weekend. Unfortunately, the Rangers lost, but it was a good game.

They are due back this afternoon, dropping Diego back at home on the way, and I have Jared's favorite frozen pie in the freezer. He likes it better than birthday cake, and I like that it's so much easier than birthday cake! I'm going to include the recipe here, because I know of at least one bloggee who may need it.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 package (4 serving size) JELL-O Instant Chocolate Pudding
1 8oz. container COOL WHIP, thawed
1 cup chopped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
1 packaged chocolate crumb crust

Mix milk and pudding with whisk till well blended. Fold in COOL WHIP, then chopped peanut butter cups. Spoon into crust. Top with a few more chopped peanut butter cups if desired. Freeze until firm, about 6 hours or overnight. Remove from freezer and let stand ten minutes to soften before serving. Store any left over pie in the freezer.

Actually I have two in the freezer. One to cut and enjoy with Jared, and one for him to take home and enjoy later. He always appreciates that second one.

He's half my age this year. We were talking about that a week or so ago, and I told him I remembered how old it seemed to think of yourself as a quarter century old. He said, probably not as old as half a century seems, huh? Ah, my little wisecracker has such a droll sense of humor.


Friday, July 11, 2008

And so, then, do I

A dove flies over
in summer's hot azure sky.
It coos a high coo.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jesus is in the oven

Is there anything more delightful than watching a child trying to figure out the world? You know, when they listen to what we say, and use their limited vocabulary to try to filter out the meaning, and then form beliefs based on their understanding?

Today we were at Kasey's, and she told me about a conversation she had with Caitlyn recently. On their back porch is a rocking chair that belonged to Beau's grandfather, Peepaw. A few days ago they were outside, and Caitlyn started a conversation with, "This is Peepaw's chair, right?"

"That's right," Kasey told her.

"Peepaw's in the oven."

"No, honey, Peepaw is in Heaven."

"Oh," said Caitlyn, wheels turning. "He's with Jesus. Jesus is in the oven."

"No, Caitlyn, not the oven--Heaven. Jesus is in Heaven."

"Oh," said Caitlyn.

Kasey and I laughed, and basked in the enchantment of loving a three year old.

Later in the afternoon, I was playing with the girls; and I smiled again, remembering. And I wondered if Caitlyn had gotten things sorted out, so I asked, "Caitlyn, where's Jesus?"

Her wide, innocent eyes looked up into mine, and she said, "He's in Heaven...in the refrigerator."

Baby steps. Precious baby steps.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Basic Black

Back to the hand specialist today, and another new cast. Number four. But who's counting?

I opted for a black one today. First one was hot pink, then flourescent yellow, then purple. I've decided that basic black would not clash with whatever I choose to wear. Of course, while they were putting it on, another patient walked through the casting room with a camouflage one, and I wished I had known that was an option before I made my decision! Not really my style, but I would have loved to see Carey's face if I had walked in with one of those!

Ex-ray looked better today. They have the coolest digital ex-ray machine where the image shows instantly on a computer monitor, even as you're moving. Even I could recognize the changes in new bone growth today. Doc said that it would never look like my other hand...the knuckle won't line up with the others...but he doesn't think it needs surgery. That's okay with me. It's our differences that make us memorable.

That's why I can picture my dad's hands. He had nice hands. But I might not have had a reason to study them as I did if he hadn't had the accident that almost took off his little finger, leaving it forever bent and reddened. And now I can picture his hands clearly, folded on the table holding a cigarette, or dealing a hand of solitaire, or signing his name...he always waved the pen point back and forth over the paper before making contact and starting his signature.

So I'm not pouting about still being in a cast these days. Everything takes a little longer and is a little clumsier, but I'm adapting, and being more patient. And I hope that someday the kids picture my hands with the asymetrical knuckle and the little star-shaped scar. And I hope they remember them playing jacks or Hi-Ho-Cherry-O on the floor with them, and baking them cupcakes, and braiding their hair.



Monday, June 23, 2008

I am not a morning person.

'Nuff said.

Too much tv

I love the big boys:
ChandLER, DieGO, BobBY.
I love the little girls:
Caitlyn and ChloE.
I love the whole bunch.
They make me hapPY.
BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada.

I love the maMA:
My little KaSEY.
I love the Beau-man,
and even CeCE.
I love the whole bunch--
the whole big famiLY.
BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada.

(I wake up earLY,
but don't get out of BED.
DiscoveRY song
starts playing in my HEAD.
I gather NEW words
to make it mine inSTEAD.
BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada.
BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada.
BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada, BOOMdeyada.)

Friday, June 6, 2008

UGH!

Second cast came off today...for about an hour. Then a new purple one went on. At least the new one is a little smaller. sigh. Three more weeks...supposedly.

Excuse me while I go pout.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Norman, you old poop!

Have you seen On Golden Pond lately? Good movie. Couldn't resist squeezing one more Norman into one day's blogging. That said...

I learned lots of valuable lessons from my parents...some I carry on daily, and some I'm determined never to repeat. Isn't that what life's classroom is about?

By the light of day, the previous post sounds really negative...some days at our house were really negative...almost always holidays. Some people's reality never measures up to their fantasy of what should be, and the frustration boils over. My mother was one of those people.

But she was also a woman ahead of her time...demanding career, respected by people in the know, earning more than most men in her workplace. I am very proud of all she accomplished and of all I learned from her.

Bates vs Rockwell

I was talking to a friend the other day about how she doesn't feel especially loved or respected by her family on those 'special' days. I think I kind of got on her case, and insisted that if she wanted special attention or gifts, then she needed to do herself and her family a favor and tell them, 'Hey, my birthday is next week. I would really like a new dictionary. If you don't have time to pick one up, I'll do it myself." I actually got a little ramped up and out of the moment as I was transported back to holidays with my mother.


I only remember my dad getting my mother a gift one time. I think it was a set of china. Mother got upset (and not quietly), because he had charged it, and she would have to pay the bill when it came in, thus, in effect, buying it herself. (Apparently he hadn't gotten the memo about selling his pocket watch to buy her combs for her hair.)


Sadly, nothing would have made her happy. No matter what event was coming up, if I asked her what she would like, her answer was always, 'Just your love.' Sounds sweet, right? Yeah, I'm sure that's what she thought too. But it was difficult! And then whatever you ended up getting her wasn't quite right, but goodness knows you didn't want to risk actually just offering her a sackful of love! Once, after I was grown, we were driving by a dress shop that she liked, and in their window was a display of mannequins in raincoats with lots of umbrellas strewn about. Something caught her eye, and she requested that I go by again and park so she could look. There was one umbrella that she especially liked, and the next time I was by the store, I bought it and put it away for her birthday, thinking that I had this one in the bag. On her birthday, when she opened the package, you'd have thought I'd sold the family cow for a bunch of magic beans! I got a lecture for being a frivolous spendthrift, and told that she would never tell me of anything she liked in the future. Ouch.


Of course, to be fair, it really wasn't her fault that she wasn't at her best on holidays. She was so exhausted from roasting a turkey AND a ham, and making seventeen side dishes and six desserts, all from scratch, and baking homemade rolls and bread, that any martyr...oops...mother...would be a little cranky when the Norman Rockwell holiday was hanging just a little askew. I especially liked how she blamed it on my dad...'If I didn't have to worry about your dad being so upset when the little kids get rambunctious, I wouldn't be so on edge!'


Carey's work schedule has always been so out of sync with the rest of the world, that he, the kids, and I have more often than not celebrated any birthday, anniversary, or holiday on a day other than the actual day. Maybe that's why it just doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me. Or maybe I just recall those awful days of yore, and vow, 'Never again!' I would rather sit at a table with my loved ones laughing over a plate of Spaghettios, than at a quarrelsome stress-filled feast!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Things I'm looking forward to doing when the cast comess off!

1. TYPING!
2. wringing out washcloths
3. opening and closing ziplock bags
4. washing BOTH hands
5. taking a shower without a plastic bag on my arm
6. doing anything crafty
7. holding a glass in my left hand
8. chopping vegetables with ease
9. cooking
10. turning pages as I read
11. picking up anything I want to
12. hooking and zipping and buttoning...oh my!
13. wearing my wrist watch
14. making a sandwich
15. scrubbing pots and pans...(yeah, right!)
16. wearing my wedding rings
17. scratching my wrist

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Blessings and Miracles Abound

On Saturday afternoon, March 29, I left the house to run some errands...mail some bills...go by the grocery store... It was a gorgeous afternoon. I was not in a hurry.

The next thing I remember clearly is seeing a stranger kneeling over me and praying with me, and then the ambulance crew working on me. I was not frightened. I don't remember feeling much pain. I knew that God was right there with me, and that I was incredibly blessed. I later learned (and had to be reminded daily for almost a week) that I had somehow lost control of my car and that it had rolled three times.

I have to tell you that I have now been in a trauma center twice...once as a family member of an accident victim, and now as the patient. I have to say that being the patient is a lot easier...of course, maybe it was the drugs. I saw the worry on my families' faces, and I'm so sorry to have put them through it.

Anyway, the staples and stitches are out, the ribs (4 broken) are healing, the crushed hand is not too bad except for the nerve pain up my arm at night, the whiplash is a lot better, the bruises are fading, and the fog has cleared out of my noggin. My sweet husband is the best nurse I could possibly ask for, and I'm so thankful he can be home with me right now.

I am so thankful, too, for the people on that road who came to my aid. I hope that I can pass on their bravery and caring if I'm ever in a situation to do so.

Please wear your seatbelts...every doctor I saw told me it's probably what saved my life...and drive carefully. And even when you do everything right, accidents still happen, so always say 'I love you,' before you walk out the door.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Play Ball

Our house in town came equipped with wonderful nextdoor neighbors. Their son and mine were inseparable. They could always be found underneath the big ash tree in the front yard playing with their Hot Wheels. I'm sure there are probably a few still buried under that tree, rusting away.

One warm spring afternoon, when Jared was about five, he ran into the house with red cheeks and damp hair and that sweaty little boy smell. I was standing at the sink washing dishes, and he planted himself purposefully on the other side of the kitchen island, facing me. I was expecting the usual breathless, "Mom, can me and Ryan (...ride bikes...play in the hose...fill our canteens...etc.)" But instead he stood there for a second collecting his thoughts, and then with great import he starts, "Mom, did you know that Ryan was named after Nolan Ryan?"

"Yes, sweetie, I think I did know that."

"Why wasn't I named after anybody?"

"You were."

A fabulous look of delight and disbelief washes over him. Not understanding why such vital information had been withheld from him, he eagerly demands, "Who!?"

"Grandma," I say. "Your middle name is Ashton after Grandma."

With that, everything about him wilted. "Oh," he murmurs, "I didn't mean like Grandma. I meant like Jose Canseco." And he turned and walked away, his shoulders slumped under the weight of disappointment.

It was a defining moment for us both. My banner of motherhood was snapping in the winds of experience, and the first tiny thread was worn loose and began, ever so slightly, to unravel. Up until that moment my baby had believed me to be all-knowing and all-powerful, but in a bright flash he saw that I was flawed. I was not all-knowing or I would have known that, where little boys are concerned, baseball stars trump grandmas in naming rights. And if I was not all-knowing, neither was I all-powerful. The paradigm had shifted.

Granted, with maturity and exposure to JC's bad press, he has forgiven me for not naming him Jose, but I never quite won back the unblemished adoration I had before that warm spring day so many years ago. And so it goes.

Here's to a great MLB season, to all thebaseball fans!

Monday, March 17, 2008

March 17th

I saw the first wildflowers of the season on my drive home today. A few Indian Paintbrushes and a few Evening Primroses. Now it won't be long until all the varieties will be at their most abundant. It's always a surprise as to whether we will have a truly glorious spread of breathtaking colors or a sparse year, but even the sparse years are a beauty to behold. How blessed are we to live in Texas and share in the stewardship legacy of Lady Bird Johnson.

When I was in the seventh grade one of our science projects was to collect, press, and accurately identify as many species of wildflowers as we could. My parents really got into that assignment, and drove me far and wide in search of one more sample. I made a really good grade (possibly the last really good grade I ever got in a science class).

The last spring of my mother's life had an exceptionally brilliant show. I drove the 150 miles to her house to pick her up and bring her to our house so she could see how gorgeous the roadsides and pastures were. It was a trip filled with exclamations over and over of, "Oh, look!" and "Have you ever seen them this pretty!" It was a really good day.

And those are really good memories to call up on this St. Patrick's Day.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggity-jog

As wonderful as the journey may be, it's nice to be home. My own kitchen, my own bed, my own pillow, my own family! Finding places to put the souveniers. Finding ways to implement the new ideas. Touching base with friends--catching up on what's been going on in my absence.

And with a rested spirit, it's nice to let the mind loose to run and explore new possibilities. That's my plan for the coming week--exploration and research.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Having a wonderful time...wish you were here.

I've been on vacation for the past week. A truly, lovely vacation. I've turned over my agenda to someone else, and I'm just along for the ride. I've seen new places, met new people, seen old friends, spent hours in the car talking and talking and talking, got snowed in, and read more books in the past week than I've read in the past month(s).

There's been only the faintest outline of an itinerary to stick to, and it changed often. It's very relaxing to just float along on a wind current.

I'm due home tomorrow. My theoretical tank is refilled. I'm ready to get back to home and hearth and loved ones.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Good Grief

The worst, most devastating emotion I have ever experienced is grief. At times the tremendous weight of it settled over me and left me powerless to breathe. At other times it attacked with such ferocious lightning speed and strength that I was but a blade of grass in a hurricane.

Years have passed...some of them long and dark...and scars remain. The pain still comes, like the phantom limb pain to an amputee--its cause invisible and incomprehensible to bystanders.

And I give thanks! Thanks for the gifts of love so deep that they warrant such a price. Thanks for the memories that are strong enough to survive the storm and bring me smiles--and even tears--again. Thanks for the lessons learned, so that I may listen, and know, and share the grief of a friend.

Related Posts with Thumbnails