Friday, November 30, 2007
1. Backing out of the garage this foggy morning to see a line of birds sitting on the highline wire this morning.
2. The pure glee in the voice of a listener on the radio when the DJ told her she had just won $10,000.
3. Finding a penny in the parking lot as I walked into school. (I always think of pennies as blessings from heaven.)
4. A hug from second grader Anticia and the question, "When you going to come be my teacher again?" (I haven't been in to work with her since before Thanksgiving because of a crazy schedule.)
5. The oohs and ahhs from the first graders as they passed the Christmas tree in the hall just as I plugged in the multicolored lights.
6. Children singing their Christmas program in the gym. I'm not sure if it was children's voices singing or the fact that I don't have to rehearse them for the program that made me smile.
7. Having lunch with good friends. Some one always has something to say that just makes me glad to be a part of *the group*.
8. My husband calling and ordering a pizza for supper.
9. Feeling needed when Amy called to ask, "Mom, what do you take for an auction at church?" The real question was "Mom, it this a good idea?" and it was. :)
10. Knowing that tomorrow is December 1 and I don't have to blog unless I just want to. And that this blogging everyday thing hasn't been all that bad.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Tonight I sleep with the melodies of Sweet Adeline and When Johnny Comes Marching Home drifting through my dreams.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Also my brother -in-law, Lydell, was scheduled to have open heart surgery this morning, but just prior to being taken to the OR he suffered some sort of episode. The doctors cancelled the surgery off saying they wanted to do some further test so they would know what had caused the episode. (Episode is the word my dad left on phone message. I'm not sure what exactly it was.) Anyway a second message from Daddy said that Lydell's heart wasn't the cause and surgery would be tomorrow at 11:00am. At about 5 I got a email from L's oldest daughter who said Lydell had had a fainting spell with the nurses right there and he is now in ICU. I don't know if he will have surgery or not. Please keep this family in your prayers also. They are all pretty scared at this point.
Now on a lighter side -- Robert and I went shopping for Christmas lights for the outside of the house this afternoon. We didn't buy any. We just couldn't decide if we want to put up colored lights, white lights, icicle lights, colored icicle lights or what. Maybe instead of lights we'll just get a giant inflatable something and put in the front yard. We'll see.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
1. I had an email from a friend who was telling about her fiancee needing shots for the next 5 days and the doctor thinking she would be a fine candidate to give the shots since she has given shots to cattle before --- she isn't as confident as the doctor --- she didn't mention the fiancee's position on it. All that said to tell about the one and only time I've ever given a shot. Donna had to have allergy shots for a while. The doctor said there would be no problem with me giving the shot and so I thought, "Heck I can do that." I discovered that human skin is tougher than I thought and I used the wrong technique to get the needle to pass into the skin. I thought I should just push and the needle would slide in --- so push it did, but when the needle did finally penetrate I was so startled I yanked the needle out ---- that's right without dispensing the medicine. I was fired from shot giving. (YEAH) I think we paid to have the shots given after that.
2. Today I went and endured the yearly physical all women should have. I believe in getting it all over with in one visit so I had the mammo. and the pap exam. If you have not had your yearly exam please go have one. These test, though a nuisance, are life savers and I encourage each of you to take care of yourselves this way. And I love my doctor. He didn't even mention that I have gained 5 pounds since he saw me last year and 10 since I've started seeing him. I wonder how much I can gain before I get a lecture. Should I risk another 5 pounds????
3. That was my couple, but I have one more. The TAKS test was different to give this time. I was put with two students that require the test to be read to them. This was the math test. I could read the test question only without any inflection on any of the words then I had to sit and watch them agonise over what to do. This was better than just sitting and not getting to talk, but it was hard not to do a little teaching and prodding. I know they have had instruction on some of the stuff they couldn't/didn't answer correctly, and to watch them work and then come to the wrong conclusion was just painful for me.
Monday, November 26, 2007
I have been giving the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills since its conception back in the 1980s. I have seen its name change from TABS to TEAMS to TAAS to TAKS. Each name change brought minor changes in the test.
I used to fuss about giving the test and hated to feeling like I had to teach to a test. I didn't really teach to a test. I felt that if I just did good teaching then prepared the students for taking a standardized test they would do well and for the most part that was true. I was luck enough to teach in school that didn't put extra pressure on teacher to over prepare students. I know that it has changed --- it is that change that has a job for me now. I tutor at risk students.
I don't lobby (quietly in teacher lounge) anymore for the test to be dropped. It is because of that test that I get a pay check. :) So now when teachers are fussing and letting off steam, I just sit quietly and smile to myself glad that my name isn't on a bottom line anywhere.
Funny how circumstances change your perspective.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I love my Christmas tree! Donna and I put it up this morning before she had to go. You can tell that it is all Santa Clauses or balls with Santa on them.
I am hosting a party on Friday the seventh and I wasn't sure when I was going to get the tree up and the house decorated, but with Donna's help I got the tree up and most of the other items placed around. I don't really go all out, but I like a happy Christmas feeling with the Nativity on the mantle, a Christmas candle centerpiece on the dining room table, that kind of thing.
Robert said he would get the outside done on Tuesday or Wednesday --- the weather is supposed to be warmer. So soon wreaths will grace the outside and maybe lights.
May I be one of the first to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. Enjoy this wonderful season and be blessed.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Right now I am most thankful for times like this. My family all here and a quiet moment to reflect on how much the each mean to me. I am thankful for quiet. :) God has richly blessed my life. To Him I give thanks and praise.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
In the morning I cook the turkey, make the stuffing, warm up the beans, potatoes and make the bread. I'm thinking that it isn't going to be as easy as I thought it would be to get everything on the table by say 2:00 or maybe a little
earlier. Hopefully everyone will be patient with me. I don't cook often and I sure don't prepare this much food very often so timing is a little hard to get down. This is when it would be good to have two ovens, but alas I only have the one and I know I'm not the only cook to have made Thanksgiving dinner for a family with only one oven. If the women of the '50s could do it I CAN TOO!
It is now 11:45 and I think I'll check a couple more cooking things then head to bed. I have a feeling tomorrow will be a long day.
I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. God Bless.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I got to help with the game we called Walk the Walk. Basically it was a cake walk without the cakes. :) Stop on a color and if the spinner lands on that color you are the winner. We gave out Blessing Bucks --- play money they will be able to use at the Blessing Blow-Out in late January. We had lots of walkers.
I worked with the school nurse. She seems to think I was a carnival barker in a previous life. But if you can't have fun in the gym on a day of play, then when can you have fun. We were busy all the time because I made it fun. We didn't just walk; we danced, we skipped, we walked backwards, we had fun.
All this happened in two 1 hour sessions. The pre-k through second grade came in the morning and the third through fifth came in the afternoon. That doesn't sound like much until you actually have to be entertaining the whole time. I'm tired.
Tomorrow I cook.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Following church a group of us, including the preacher and his wife, went over to Victoria's for Mexican food and conversation. The conversation was more about cremation. Most were discussing who wanted to be cremated, who thought it was just icky and who really had given it no thought. During this Bro. Mike mentioned that in California cremation out numbers burials now. He further expounded that many are taking the remains of their loved ones and having them turned into diamonds. Upon hearing this I turned to Robert and quipped, "You are so going to burn!" This brought the house down and we became a bunch of giggling junior high students each wondering how big a diamond we could get from our husbands. We all agreed that having a diamond to sit on a finger or wear around our neck would be better than just having an urn full of ashes sitting in a corner.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
1. 1954 Dodge --- I don't know the model and couldn't find a picture. I had been Daddy's work car but he let us girls have it to take to school and drive around some. I loved that big old car.
2. 1960 (not sure about the year on this one) Hillman Husky I drove that little car all over Sunray. It was little and fun. No one else had one like it.
3. 1960 Ford Galaxy This was the car Garry owned when we got married. It was a standard shift car and although he was very particular about it, I did get to drive it. Pale green and he called her "Lizzy".
4. 1965 (again not sure of the year) Buick LeSabre The car I drove 140 miles three time a week to and from college for 3 years. It was great car that would run a hole in the wind --- problem was the speed limit was changed to 55 mph about the time I started to drive it. That was a bummer.
5. Red Volkswagen Beetle --- I have no clue as to the year. I know I drove that little red bug while Donna was little and until I was expecting our third child. We knew then that we would have to have a larger car so the fun bug was traded in for a
6. Dodge Ambassador --- I think that is what it was. I really just remember that this car was an ugly green, very practical for a family of 5 and not anything special. I drove it just because I had to drive something.
7. 1977 Pontiac Sunbird --- The first car I bought all on my own. A great car for a single mom and 3 little girls. We had fun running around in it.
8. 1978 Chevy Van -- Now we were a part time family of 8 and needed lots of seating. I drove that van for the next 5 years. When it was worn nearly out we traded it for a second van This time a
9. 1983 GMC van with a tailgater package. It also had 4 captain seats and a bench seat that folded down to make a bed. We made lots of skiing trips in that one.
10. 1980 or 81 Dodge Charger --- This was my school car while working on my master's degree. A little 4 speed. Again a fun car to drive that got good gas mileage for the 120 mile round trip to Canyon from Dumas.
11. 1989 Oldsmobile Eighty-eight --- This car had all the bells and whistles and would run like the wind.
12. 1994 Oldsmobile Eighty-eight --- Another great car. I drove it for 125,000 miles, gave it to a youngest son and he drove it for another 175,000 miles.
13. 1998 Chevy Lumina Car --- Seems Chevy had a Lumina Van also which made it a little confusing, but the Lumina had over 150,000 miles on it when I traded it off this past February.
14. 2007 Mustang Convertible --- Red, need I say more?
Friday, November 16, 2007
The summer of 1963 was the summer to learn highway driving and we took diver's education. Billie was fifteen and I was fourteen. She hadn't wanted to take the class the year before (why I'll never understand). I couldn't believe I was actually going to be a licensed driver and could hardly wait each morning for Coach, with his blue eyes and easy smile, to pick me, Billie, and another young lady up to drive around the country side.
The first morning Coach pulled up to get us I nearly died. We weren't going to be driving around in some nice new car from a local dealership with the cool *student driver* sign on the back. No we were going to be driving around in a very old car owned by the school system -- something from the late '40s or early 50 that was a standard shift (three on the column) . This was the first time I had ever even been in a standard shift car and I had not clue as to how to make the car go forward or in reverse. It wasn't long, thankfully, before I had it down pretty well and could actually drive that old battleship down the country roads of Lamb county. We did have to drive in the big city of Littlefield to prove we could stop at red lights and park between cars on the street.
There was only one scary time for even me while I was driving. Coach was singing his theme song, I Left My Heart in San Fransico, Billie and co driver were talking in the backseat and I, instead of focasing on driving, began to drift in and out of the song and conversation and the car began to drift across the center line toward an oncoming vehicle. Fortunately Coach was paying attention, hit his break and took the steering wheel from me guiding the car back to the right side and safety. I went on to successfully complete the course, pass the driving test given by the state and have been driving ever since.
To this day I love to drive. The lure of the open road is still strong and if someone says, "Let's go," I'm always quick to say, "I'll drive." In my fantasy Coach is still riding beside me, eyes still blue, smile still easy, tan still dark and "I Left My Heart in San Fransico" on his lips.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tables and chairs were set up in the gym by the fifth grade classes, who also served as helpers with trays for parents with small children. Other duties included busing tables, emptying trash cans, and learning that there is a lot of work involved in feeding a crowd. But it got them out of math, reading, science and language arts. I'm sure they thought it was a good trade off.
"What did you do during all this madness?" you ask. I worked the cash register at the book fair. Seems with some ingenious scheduling the Book Fair coincided with this Thanksgiving Feast. So from 10:30 to 1:00 I sat at the cash register. Sounds easy enough, but I found out that to actually have to punch the price in wasn't as easy as it might sound. I'm used to running the old fashioned calculator that requires that a decimal be put in -- not so with this cash register and where was that scanner that all retailers now use?? You can imagine the problem. I finally was able to find the rhythm and took in over $1,000. It could have been more than that I wasn't in charge of counting (and here I add, "Thank you Lord.")
But what about the turkey lunch -- Did you get any? Not to worry. I ate my lunch at 10:15. I had not taken time to eat breakfast and my tummy was growling just as the cafeteria sent boxed lunches for the teachers to the workroom. I thought, "Why not?" Picked up my box, a hot roll, cranberry sauce (the good kind -sliced from a can) and small square of pumpkin pie and ate while visiting with a fellow teacher. OK food plus good visit with a good friend equals a good day not matter what else happens.
I had a good day.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I just visited with my mother-in-law to get her Cranberry Relish recipe to make for Thanksgiving. Her directions were basically just a list of ingredients.
Granny's Cranberry Relish
1 package fresh cranberries
1 small can crushed pineapple
2 cups pecans
2 cups sugar
She did say to put everything through a meat grinder then add the sugar. That wasn't quite enough direction for me so I went online and found this recipe which was similar and more detailed about how to exactly put the ingredients together. I'll use Granny's ingredients adding the chopped nuts and crushed pineapple with the sugar.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Oven Roasted Turkey
Gran's Dressing and Gravy
Granny Bain's Cranberry Relish
Paul's Green Beans
Carrie's Mashed Potatoes
Aunt Allie's Fruit Salad
David's Spicy Pumpkin Cake
(maybe) Coconut Cream Pie
This is the basic menu. It can be altered by anyone at anytime by letting me know what you would like to have added (but no deletions, please). I'm looking forward to a glorious time cooking on Wednesday and Thrusday.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Oh, I'm excited that the rest of you are coming too.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Ode to Friday
Thursday, November 8, 2007
We also have a running joke in our family about the date of her birth. Seems I was filling out a form for something which required her birth date and put the wrong date --- for some reason I had gotten it in my head that her birthday is the ninth instead of the eighth. I was quite embarrassed when she corrected me, but it didn't stick! For a while if someone asked about her date of birth I really had to stop and think, and then I went through a period of time when I couldn't remember which was correct. *Did I say it was the eighth and she corrected me to the ninth or the other way round*, was a real dilemma for me. We have had some good times over it at my expense. I now keep it straight because I finally realized all of the girls were due on the twelfth but none were born on the twelfth. Donna was four days late (her birthday I always get right) and Carrie was four days early. Amy was much earlier --- actually came in December instead of January, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Carrie was a very precocious child. She was bright, witty, and full of information. Somewhere between the ages of 2 and 3 she summed up her ability to talk. We were at a family gathering involving extended family. When my uncle made comment that Carrie didn't say much, he opened a flood gate. She looked up from the puzzle she was playing with and stated very clearly and matter-of-factly, "I can say everything." I think she been trying to prove it ever since. I don't know of many 3 year olds that are taken on a trip just to be company for the driver, at the drivers request.
One of my favorite coined words is one that Carrie came up with when she was between 3 and 4. She and Donna were playing out in the front yard of our house on Crump Street when she burst in the house hollering, "Mommy, mommy, there's been a crash-a-dent." I couldn't imagine what had happened and went outside with her to see. There had been a slight accident at the corner between two cars. Crash-a-dent has been one of my favorite terms to describe slight accidents.
Carrie was also quite famous in our family for a special look. The adults in my family would delight in saying things that would invoke just so we could see it. It was a special way she had of rolling her eyes up and making her eyelashes flutter at the same time. I could never copy it --- well I've never seen anyone else that can do it. I fluctuated between anger and total amazement whenever I received *the look*. I'm not sure she can still give *the look*; I haven't seen it in years.
Carrie is still bright, witty, and full of information. We all tend to call her when we want to know some bit of trivia. I know my life would never have been as complete if I hadn't let her father talk me into having a second child. I'm glad he did.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The house down the street now has windows, sheet rock, and is nearly bricked. They should be starting the cabinet work before long. I hope to be able to get a couple of boards from the scrap pile when they do. There is a lot of waste in house building and I might as well collect some of it. I plan to go down tomorrow and take a walk through this house to see what has developed inside. The last time I was actually in it was about a month ago.
Across the street, one house is now sided in and before long they will be roofing it. I know the floor plan for that house is the same as mine, but the builder changed up the roofline and the way the garage is so from the outside you would never know that mine and it are twin houses. The other two are just starting. The workmen were here yesterday and laid the boards for the foundations and when I got home this afternoon those frames were full of sand. It is hard to tell from what has been done so far what the floor plan is. Robert and I think though that they are the same as the other two new homes on this block. That seems to be what is happening --- change the outside, keep the inside. I'm sure that the foundations will be poured soon and we will be able to tell more ---- well after the plumbers come and lay in all the pipes ---- and the workmen get all the rebar laid. I'm beginning to understand the process of what has to be done when.
None of these houses will be mine, but I still get excited watching them being built. And I figure if I'm snooping around everyday the laborer will, maybe, do a better job --- if not of working maybe of keeping the work site a little cleaner. But that is a whole different blog for a whole different time.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I had no idea if I was having a boy or a girl. (No sonograms either unless you were a high risk pregnancy.) I really wanted a boy because boys are so scarce in my family. I already had two nieces and to have the first male grandson for my daddy would have been quite the coup. Not to happen. Doctor Wright supposedly told my mother that it wouldn't be long before I was back trying for a boy again. I guess I said something in the delivery room when he told me I had given birth to a 7 pound 1 ounce daughter. I have no idea what I might have said, I just remember being glad it was all over and that the baby was crying and in good hands. When they finally brought her over to me she was bundled up and beautiful. Even though she only weighed 7 lbs she was round and pudgy because she was only 19 inches long. I was thrilled to have her.
I have lots of stories about Donna, but my favorite happened when she was about 7. We were visiting the zoo in Fort Worth and had just stopped to look at the polar bears. Donna asked very seriously, "Mom, do they keep the bears iceolated?" Thinking she was saying isolated I answered that the polar bears were kept away from the other bears. This answer did not satisfy her and she asked again, "Do they keep the bear iceolated -- you know cold?" That is when it dawned on me that she was asking if the bears were refrigerated. Guess we called the refrigerator the ice box too much.
Another cute Donna stories is when she told me at about age 4 that I needed to haw my glasses when I was fussing around one day trying to clean them. I had no idea what she meant until she demonstrated. She took the glasses and breathed over the lens making a hawing sound as she did. Then she took her fingers and smeared the haw around. Seems that is how Granny Cartwright always cleaned hers.
Such was Donna as a child. Curious, observant and intelligent. She was a handful at times but always a joy. I'm glad I had a girl and not a boy that March day way back in 1971.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Because I went on to become a teacher, I wonder how many students I have been a Mrs. Lybran to? Have I crushed some one with an innocent remark. I'm sure I have, and to you I offer a heartfelt apology.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
This is the picture of the girls taken last March when we had our *Girls Only* weekend in Fort Worth. What could be better than my girls in a bed of blue bonnets? It is hard to believe that I was grown --- say close to 50 on one side or the other before I saw my first field of blue bonnets up close and personal. Now I make it a point to go somewhere and see them every year. Growing wild in a field they are really breath taking.
This picture was taken in August this year. This is one of the best things a grandmother can experience. I love to play with A and B this way. It looks like I was getting great hugs, but in reality they were trying to knock me backwards. We had been playing --- I knew Amy had the camera (and I think Ben did too) so we posed ever so quickly for the photo.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
First I was going to write more about my life --- The early years, but I realize I really don't remember much and wasn't in the mood to write about the "life lesson" I learned in first grade. Maybe before the month is over.
Then I was going to write about this being Saturday and the "get'er done" day. That wasn't going anywhere --- although Robert and I did get quite a bit done.
About 6:30 a neighbor came over --- I saw her outside as I was driving up with supper in sacks from Sonic and since I wanted to ask her if she wants the computer desk we are getting rid of I invited her in. She stayed for the evening since her husband in working the evening shift and won't be home until 11:00. I could write more about the long visit with her, but it was just talk --- getting to know some one.
So tonight I'll just say it was a great day in south Texas. Plenty of sunshine, pleasant temperature and no wind. Life is good.
Friday, November 2, 2007
The sentimental documents seem to give more information. The first is the hospital certificate with a gold seal and pink ribbon in the corner making it look very official. Along with the official seal there is also the picture of the old hospital which is no longer in existence and the flowing handwriting of the clerk that filled in the information. Each of these have endeared the document to me. On the back side are my tiny footprints, slightly smeared, and showing 4 toes on one foot and 6 toes on the other. I have examined my toes several time since discovering those footprints and I have very normal feet, 5 toes on each foot. This document is framed and hangs below my husband's, who is six months older to the day, and was born in the same hospital.
The next proof that I was born is a 3 x 1/2 inch announcement that was cut from the Amarillo Globe News. Each week the newspaper listed all the births for the previous week. I only have the tiny section that says a baby daughter was born to my parents and she weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz. and was 21 inches long. More information, more proof that I exist. That piece of paper is in a box somewhere getting more yellowed each year.
The final two proofs that I was born are the birth announcement that was sent out by Mom to family and friends (I have the one that Grandma had saved and was given to me shortly after her death) and a letter written to Grandma by Daddy. Remember that this was long before email, cell phones or even very many people with land line phones; snail mail was nearly the only way to communicate. So the fact that time was taken to let others know I had arrived was something special. Each birth announcement was filled out in Mother's handwriting that seems to be full of pride as she wrote Mr. and Mrs. I love the letter because it sounds so much like Daddy even today. The letter doesn't give any particulars about me except my name, Patsy, and the fact that I have an older sister who was really missing her mother.
Yes, I was born. The proof is definate.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Now all of that was said to talk about one line that from a book that I remember reading when I was in 5th grade (or it might have been 6th -- not really important). I remember this line because I thought it a strange way to start a book and it was the first time I had ever had an author catch my attention like that. Later as a English/writing teacher in grades 4, 5, and 6 I used this line to try to instill in my students the importance of a good beginning sentence. I'm not sure I ever got my point across, but I did get the line back whenever it was time for them to write an autobiography. Of course, the line is from David Copperfield and is the opening sentence of the book. Simply, "I was born." To me that sentence just seemed magical and still does. I remember thinking at age 10 or 11, "Wow, what is this book going to tell me --- what will transpire, what mysteries will be revealed?" (Athough I probably didn't think those words, I had that sense of wonder.) I read the book, did the book report (kept it for years, but somewhere between then and all my life that has passed the report is gone) and kept that one line of literature that still stirs in me when I read an autobiography. So tomorrow I will start my autobiography. And yes it will begin, "I was born."