Saturday, November 28, 2009

100 Words -- Give

From Velvet Verbosity comes the 100 Word Challenge. The challenge is to produce 100 words on the given one word prompt. This week's word is "give". What would you give?

Slowly he circled the old pick-up truck. “Whacha want for ‘er?”

“Whacha give me for ‘er?” came the slow reply.

“Looks like she’s in pretty good shape.”

“Yep, runs alright, got nearly new tires too.”

“Want ‘er for my son to drive.”

“Yep, kids these days need somethin’ to drive.”

“Boy ain’t got a lick of sense.”

“Most of ‘em don’t. Least that’s what I hear. Never raised one of my own.”

The two men stood staring at the truck for several minutes each with his own thoughts.

“What’d ya say ya want for ‘er?”

“Whach give me for ‘er?”

Sunday, November 22, 2009

100 Word Challenge -- Material

The challenge this week from Velet Verbosity is 100 words on "material".

It had been a long time since he had been in this room, but there before him was all the materials he needed. He savored the aroma of the oils as he squeezed dabs of paint onto the pallet and tested the weight of each brush in his hand as he studied the form of the bristles. He turned to the blank canvas and paused. Swiftly he made the first stroke of paint on canvas and time stood still and raced pass at the same time. Joy filled his soul and he wondered why he had been away so long.

Friday, November 13, 2009

100 Word Challenge -- Examine

From Velvet Verbosity come the challenge to write 100 words on examine. The following is what came to mind.

Each year I stand clothed in a hospital gown opened down the front in a room so cold I'm shivering reading posters on self examinations while trying to ignore “the machine.” The always cheerful lab tech asks if I am ready.

I have stood in an examining room like that every year for the past 20 years. Each year I have endured the torture of having each breast placed on a cold plate of glass, squeezed flat twice and x-rayed while standing on my tiptoes holding my breath.

Each year I have passed the exam cancer free. I am ready.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

God Smile

I have received this picture several different times via email. I always love getting it, because it is an amazing shot. Because of this photo I have begun to look for other places that God is smiling as us and remembering if God can smile for us even with the mess we have made of things then maybe I should smile a little more often.

Not long ago when drying after a shower I noticed that grass from a pair of socks had gotten shaken into the bathtub. I was having grumbly thoughts about having to clean up that "mess" then I saw it --- a smile. The pieces of grass were laying there in a smile. Well, I could no longer be gumbly about that grass, it was smiling at me. I didn't clean it up right then. I left it a day or two just to remind me to smile.

So my challenge to you is to look around --- God might have a smile just for you hidden somewhere in a cloud, a flower arrangement, or even the dirt on the garage floor.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

100 Word Challenge -- Writ large

The challenge this week from Velvet Verbosity is writ large. The idea was slow coming; the following is my effort.

The teacher’s words had rung in her ears as she worked, “If you put your best effort into you paper, your effort will pay off.”

She hadn’t been sure what that meant exactly, but she had a feeling it meant if she worked hard she wanted to get an A. That’s what she wanted more than anything because her sister said that she was dumb and that she could never get an A.

The teacher walked up and down the aisle passing back papers. There it was writ large at the top of the page for all to see.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Warning: Tampering Will Cause Garment to Be Ruined

On October 24, Robert and I attended the wedding of a friend's son. The wedding was held in the hometown of the bride 350 miles from our home.

I had purchased a new dress for this occasion a week before the wedding. The dress fit nicely and the sales clerk who checked me out was kind enough to place the dress in a garment bag where I left it until we were getting dressed to go the ceremony.

As I pulled the dress on over my head, I felt it. There on the seam of the sleeve was the security tag. You know that heavy white device with a warning about ink squirting on the dress (and you) if you tamper with it. The device that is supposed to sound an alarm if you shop lift the article.

What to do, what to do? The motel was next to strip shopping mall with several chain department stores in it. We decided to leave a little early for the wedding to see if maybe someone could remove the tag for me.

I made Robert go in the store with me. I figured I looked less guilty of shop lifting if he is standing embarrassed by me than if I just went in by myself. I know a kazillion words were coming out of my mouth as I stammered and stuttered to get my story told. The young sales girl chuckled, but was unable to help. They used a different kind of system for their security, but suggested a store they were pretty sure used the same type device as on my dress.

Here I went in alone with my rambling story about buying the dress some 350 miles away and blah, blah, blah. The sales clerks didn't seem interested in my tale at all, but just said for me to come around the counter so she could see if it would work. I had to do a little contortionist act because the removal system was mounded in the center of the counter.

The security tag was successfully removed so I didn't have to walk around all evening with my elbow glued to my side, then ramble on endlessly about how this had happened.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

100 Word Challenge -- Falter

From Velvet Verbosity comes the 100 Word Challenge. And from the challenge, with the word falter as the prompt, came the following.

If I falter what will happen?
If I break down will they be able to carry on?
I’m so tired of trying to figure it out.

The news hit us all hard.
It wasn’t what any of us wanted to hear.
It’s not fair to anyone.

I just want to sit down, quit thinking.
It’s too much weight for me to bear.
Can’t you see I’m hurting too?

Life will go on
I know that so well,
But I can’t help but ask, “Why?”

I will continue to stand strong though.
I will not turn from God
He is my strength.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

100 Word Challenge -- Place

From Velvet Verbosity comes the 100 Word Challenge each week. A one word prompt, a few loose rules and a wonderful writing exercise. This week I created a piece of fiction that probably could be found in be a very poor romance novel, but yet a scene that is played out in various forms in real life or so I imagine.

“My place or yours for coffee?” he asks as he gently placed his hand in the small of her back to guide her out of the noisy restaurant.

A million thoughts race through her mind, tumbling over each other, and making no sense at all. Did I clean the kitchen, pick up the bathroom? I wonder if his closets are cluttered or ultra neat like him. Do I even have coffee! What if he doesn’t like the d├ęcor of my place? If we go to his place I can leave when I want, but what if he doesn’t ask me to stay. Did I….

“My place or yours?” he repeats closer to her ear this time sending her heart racing with his heavenly musky scent.

“I know a quiet little all-night diner over on twenty-third,” she smiles. “They serve great coffee.”

“Chicken,” she thinks.

Monday, October 19, 2009


This is my blogoversary. I've had this little space for two years now. I started a lot stronger than I am now. I fell into doing daily memes and then I moved away from them and then I almost quit blogging altogether.

But my blogspace has remained true to me. It is always there waiting for me to turn paper from white to speckled.

Shhhhh! Robert went on a job interview today with a local company. They are looking for a CFO (that's bank talk for Chief Financial Officer).

When he came in from the interview he felt really good. As a matter of face his comment was, "I'll be surprised if I don't get that job."

Excited, apprehensive, hopeful. So more when we hear more.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

100 Word Challenge -- Rain

Velvet Verbosity, whose name I just love, has issued the new challenge for this week. The word to spark the imagination this week is RAIN. My mind went a thousand places but my fingers typed the following.

Farmer: “Man, we need rain before my crops all die.”

Woman: “The ground’s so dry my flowers are withering from lack of rain.”

Child: “God, grandpa and momma say we need rain. Could you send some, please.”

God smiled and sent the rain.

Farmer: “I can’t get in the fields to farm; the rain needs to stop.”

Woman: “This rain is nice but it must stop soon, the ground is turning into a bog.”

Child: “Thank you for the rain, Dear God. Can it stop? I want to go outside and play.”

God sighed and stopped the rain. He knows children need to play.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

100 Word Challenge -- Lemonade

Velvet's new word is Lemonade. She said it was not really the season, but she wanted something to "bring some cheer as we begin the decent into winter." Sorry Velvet, but this piece just wrote itself.

One can of frozen lemonade concentrate. That was all I had wanted. Was that so hard? It wasn’t supposed to end like this. One can of lemonade. Oh, why hadn’t I just told her I make that silly pie tomorrow after I’d had a chance to go to the store? Why had I let her go by herself? So proud of that new license; so eager to be the driver. One can of frozen lemonade. “Not the pink kind,” I had cautioned. Now it didn’t matter. Now it would never matter. For one can of frozen lemonade my world has ended.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

100 Word Challenge -- Bear

Velvet Verbosity has returned and my creative juices are wanting to flow again. The word we were given this week is BEAR.

He was hungry. Winter had been long and food scarce when he had gone searching.

With the return of warm weather; however, he knew he would find sustenance carefully packed and stored inside their flimsy tents. One swipe of his paw would gain him entrance to a feast far different from his usual fare. Easily accessible, sweet, and filling.

A mighty roar escaped his throat before he turned to lumber back up the side of the mountain. Experience had taught him not to linger. Their fear of him brought the burden of danger. A danger he was willing to bear --- for Twinkies.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Memories of 9/11

Yesterday there were a lot of tributes and remembering of 9/11. I've been sorting through my memories since.

I do remember exactly how I found out and my reaction. The school secretary come to my room and told me that the first tower had been hit by a plane. They (the new media) wasn't sure if it was and accident or done deliberately at that point. Scary, but I had class to teach, then she came back a few minutes later with, "We are under attack the second tower has been hit by a plane. This is awful....."

The TV in the school library was turned on and teacher and classes began to gather there to watch and wonder. Replays of the planes hitting the buildings and live shots of people running and the chaos. Teachers were crying, apprehension filled the air and I just wanted to go back to my room shut the door and get back to teaching.

I couldn't do anything about what was happening, I was helpless and I wanted it get away from hearing about it. I gathered my students up and took them back with me. "Class we have to learn this was," my attitude. Nouns are more important than what is happening to our country. Not really I know, but I couldn't stand it --- I couldn't do anything --- I couldn't even watch.

That evening I attended a prayer meeting like many around the country to pray for the victims and their families, pray for the men and women who were searching for survivors and bodies, pray for safety for all of us, and pray that those responsible for this would be found and made to pay.

I remember --- and the feeling that is still with me is how helpless and defenseless I felt.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday -- Making a Face

Sometimes there are no words to explain why.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A New Ride

So I say to the husband, "I'm thinking I'd like a car a little bit bigger than the mustang, and one that is quieter than the convertable is."

So hubby says to me, "What did you have in mind? 'Cause I was thinking we should get a hybrid in a couple of years."

I say to the hubby, "I don't really want to wait two years, I was thinking maybe now because it really was not much fun to drive the 'tang all the way to Amarillo and back with Abigail and Heidi. I really got tire."

So hubby says to me, "Look at the hybrids on the internet."

And from there we decided that we liked the size of the Ford Fusion best. I went to the local dealer who didn't have a hybrid in his showroom, but did have a Fusion that I could drive. It fit --- the one they found in the area for me though was way more car than we were looking for. We didn't want the moon roof package, but that seemed to be the only Fusion Hybrid that Ford is making right now. We haggeled a little because haggeling just isn't in my blood --- I was able to make a deal I could live with and I now own a new car.

Well own might be a stretch, but I do have the papers saying that I will eventually own said car.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Taking Stock

This time last year I was wondering when I would start my tutoring job because the money from that job was going to be used for a family vacation. Beginning another year (all my years are counted in school years -- old habit, hard to break) with Robert with First Ag Credit and wondering if he would ever get the respect he so deserved. Wondering if Donna had made a wise decision about school and career. Planning trips and enjoy life.

Now I'm glad I don't have to wonder about tutoring. Robert's job or Donna's decision.

My decision not to tutor this year and be tied to a strict time schedule has me feeling like I own the world. I can do things as I want to do them. Of course I am on the sub list and will do that, but I don't plan to work more than two days a week or if I do then I'm free to skip a week.

Robert's job loss which seemed so devastating when it happened now seems more like a blessing. He is happier than I've seen him in a long, long time, almost since Texline days. Sure the uncertainty of steady employment haunts us, but we are fine financially and by being just a little more frugal and I do mean just a little we can live just as we always have without an unhappy husband who didn't even realize how unhappy he was.

Donna seems to be making things work. Working two part time jobs has caused her to lose some practice time with school, but she is able to pay her bills without my help or with very little help from me. There is the test in November for licensing then she'll have more decisions to make. Hopefully about where to take a job.

Other things in life feel good. I will always be on a diet needing to lose anywhere from 10 to 30 pounds depending on the day and my mood. My hair will grow and then be cut. I have lots of friends to cheer me on, my daughter is having me a grand baby. Yes, I'd say life is good.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Not a Hero to Me

Today I'm going to post an opinion. Something I seldom do because I don't like to offend others. I feel pretty certain those involved won't read this and none of my few readers are kin in any way to the three men I'm going to refer to.

On August 24 three local area men went missing in the Gulf. They had gone out fishing and were reported missing at about 9:00 by family. The Coast Guard and other search parties spent a week looking for these men. On Saturday August 29 they were rescued after being spotted by a man on a boat out fishing. Their boat had capsized and drifted for 7 days. They survived because they stayed with the craft. They were able to salvage some crackers which they rationed and they drank water from the well used for cleaning the boat. I was among those praying for these men and their families and I'm glad they were found and all is well.

Now here is the rub. These men are not heros. They have done nothing heroic and yet the local media has treated them as such. They have been interviewed and wined and dined for two days now. I think that is enough.

As the story has unfolded and I've picked up bits and pieces about what happened I just want to know what kind of IDIOTS are you? You should be acting very sheepish instead of bragging about how you survived. You should be thanking those who spent untold dollors to try and find you and looking for ways that you can repay that debt.

You went out in the Gulf, out of sight of the shore line in a small craft without any kind of radio or GPS system. Personally I think you need to be given a sign to wear that says I'm an idiot not paraded around for all to see like a hero. No you are no one hero.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Twenty Years Ago

All of these people sending children off to college has me remembering. The following happen twenty years ago almost to the day.

"Mahhhhm, we can't take Donna to school then. That's when we have the big pep rally for the boys and I HAAAAAVE to be there. I am A CHEERLEADER afer all and I HAAAAVE to be there!" she whined and flounced off.

Just one of the minor/major problems of juggling the schedules of the oldest daughter ready to go off to college at San Angelo State and youngest daughter going into her eighth grade year as one of the cheerleaders in a small school where the junior high and high school cheerleaders did a lot of things together.

There was a lot of discussion on what to do and how to do it.

I knew I needed to be there for Amy. She had worked hard to become a cheerleader and this was their first big event. But my Miss Independence, who suddenly didn't want to go, was reluctantly heading off some 450 miles to college and I really needed to be there too. What to do, what to do?

It was finally decided that we would pack Donna's Mercury Linx and she accompanied by Carrie, the middle daughter going into high school, would drive down during the day and that Robert, Amy and I would leave after the pep rally driving all night with the rest of Donna's stuff to unload when the dorms opened the next day.

They left early enough that they could arrive just before sun down in San Angelo and check into a motel at which I had made room reservations. Little did I realize that the motel wouldn't let them check in as minors or some nonsense like that. In the days before cell phones it took Donna calling the sheriffs office to contact me at the pep rally to call the motel to okay them checking in on my credit card and that I would be coming.

The pep rally, bond fire, ice cream social and clean up ended about 10:00 PM and we
headed out on our six or seven hour drive. We however didn't make it to San Angelo. As we passed through Brownfield about 3:00AM I felt the car slow and stop. I opened one eye to ask why we were stopping and Robert announced he couldn't drive any further.

He had pulled in to a very seedy looking motel, got out and checked us in. Sleepily I walked behind him to the door of the motel room knowing we were only going to be there a few short hours and then on our way again.

I didn't sleep in that motel room, although Robert did. When he turned on the light the orange carpet and bed spread suddenly disappeared under the face boards. I didn't even step in. Amy and I just went back to the car and curled up to sleep in less than total comfort.

Four hours later, Robert came out and our journey continued. We met up with Donna and Carrie.

The rest of moving her in is a blur. I'm sure we did some unpacking and arranging of items. I'm sure I gave more input than necessary or wanted, and I'm sure there was hugging and tearful good-byes when we left. I don't remember those.

I do remember thinking though, "How can this be? Where has the time gone since I gave birth to that little red haired girl?"

Twenty years later, I'm still wondering, "How can this be? Where has the time gone since I gave birth to that little red haired girl?"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wandering Thoughts

I drove home over two days, Sunday to Donna's in the Fort Worth area and then on Monday on home. Both days of driving were uneventful for the most part. There were big trucks on the highways, so I did have to be alert. There were also a pick-up pulling a stock trailer who wanted to share the same portion of the road as me, but a toot of my horn awakened him to my presence and when I went on past him, he had a very sheepish apologetic look -- and of course there were the out of state cars who thought the Texas high ways are the autobahn with no suggested speed limits.

Even with all of these distractions needing my attention my mind did wander in strange directions at times and I began wondering about the expected grandchild. The thought process went something like this.

Said child is expected March 1. How many days is that? 30 days has September, April, June and November. So I need September and November so that is 60 day. Then October, December, and January have 31 each so that is that is 93 more for 153. Then you add in February with 28 for 181. Since the day I was driving was August 17 I had to add 14 more days to come up with 195 days until I'll be a Grammar again.

That was one of the random things I did to keep myself entertained while driving.

I'm excited --- a new grandbaby!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thirteen Days -- Really? Thirteen Days

It has been thirteen days since my last post. It is hard to grasp that two weeks have gone by. When I last posted Robert and I were headed to the Bain reunion.
It was a good reunion this year. I enjoyed catching up with his cousins and there were a few in attendance who hadn't been in several years. There were surprises and disappointments, but for the most part things went smoothly.

Abigail got to go home with me. This was the first time I've had her at my house without the parents. What a fun trip home that was. Robert and I usually make the trip in about 10 hours. With Abby and Heidi it took about 14. Yes, we stopped a lot.

This was one of the best weeks of my summer! I learned a lot about my little princess granddaughter. Not all pretty, but none of it bad. She is very smart and very independent. She is a combination of my oldest and middle daughters. Ahhh, the memories that brings back. More on that visit when I can post pictures.

Then Robert got a part-time job. As we drove home he got a call that they wanted him to come out the the nuclear plant to work the outage --- when safety checks and maintenance is done on the reactors. (Only he isn't really working the outage. He is working pre-outage.) It will only last 6 weeks, but the pay is awesome and there is the slighest chance that it will turn into something semi-permanent. I don't fully understand what he is doing. He is called a Lab Facilitator, meaning he will teach a class he is being trained to teach then test and rank people based on aptitude and abilites.

I brought Abigail back to Amarillo by myself. We made this trip into a two adventure, stopping in Fort Worth to spend the night with Aunt Donna -- owner of two large cats which made Heidi look very small. Fortunately the cats paid little to no attention to Heidi and her barking. She is such a brave noisey dog unless you take a step toward her.

My father-in-law had knee replacement surgery on Wednesday so I have spent several hours at the surgery center with Robert's siblings. Praise God that everything is going good there and on Saturday he will be moved to a rehabilitation center then in five to seven days will be released to go home. The goal is for him to be able to basiscally care for himself at that point. But home health will come by two or three times a week to do therapy.

I'm missing my home and hubby -- I think I'll journey back south on Sunday afternoon or Monday and again make it a two day trip.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Time to Gather

In the morning - late morning - I'm headed to the panhandle.

It is time for the annual Bain Family Reunion.

The reunions started about 30 years ago as birthday parties for Robert's grandfather, George Omah Bain, and were attended by just his sons and their families.

Then the reunions grew bigger. G.O.'s brothers and cousins began to come and then Aunt Norma went on a quest to find every Bain in the country that might be kin to G.O. At times there were to 150 or more people there all claiming to be kin to us in some way.

There were years that I skipped the reunion. I could always find little things to have to be doing on that Saturday. And the Great State of Texas helped out a few years by making that very week-end tax free for school supplies and back to school clothing. Well, I had to go shopping didn't I!

Now there are only two brother still living, Robert's dad, Gene, and his Uncle Joe. The numbers have dropped greatly with the deaths of these patriarchs. Extended families don't make the effort to come anymore.

The Bain Reunion is now more a gathering of Gene's and Joe's families with a few of the other first cousins and some of their children there.

I expect to see familar faces and wonder which cousin's child is newly married, or divorced, or expecting. Gossip about the how much weight so and so has gained or lost and wonder why someone else is not there. I have wonderful pictures of the fantastic cruise we took our crew to show and I have a picture album of Bain Reunion past to share.

I will take pictures and enjoy another year of being with family that I only see once each year. It seems more important to be there now. I'm not sure the reunions will continue much longer and in a way that makes me sad.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday --- Family

All the people I call mine --- soon to be one more.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Don't Want to Miss the Boat

Today has been a positive day at the Bain house.

There is a story that I've read on the Internet about a man who was in a flood. Oh, he knew the flood was coming, but he didn't evacuate. He said, "God will take care of me." He didn't leave when the waters were up over the roads and a rescue truck came by. He said,"God will take care of me." He didn't leave when the water was in up to the second floor of his house and a boat came by. He said, "God would take care of me." He didn't leave when the water was up to his roof and a helicopter came by. He said, "God will take care of me." The man drowned and when he got to heaven he asked God, "Why didn't you take care of me?" God answered, "I sent a warning, a truck, a boat and a helicopter --- what did you do?"

As Robert is looking for a job we have been asking God to lead us where he would have us go, to open doors for him, to show us the way. Our prays have also centered around wanting to stay here in BC.

We found out a couple of weeks ago that the job with the bank here that we just knew would hire him isn't going to. They sited economic difficulties, etc. as reason for not hiring, but they wished him well in his pursuit and said whoever hired him would be lucky to get him.

That hurt. I must say Robert took the new better than I did. Then we were looking online at job opportunities listed with Farm Credit Bank of Texas. (Big outfit over all the land banks and old pca's) Anyway, back to my story -- and right there online the first job listed was for a loan officer/office manager in Muleshoe, Texas with Capital Farm Credit --- the group that had just let Robert go and who had actually told him that the position as Muleshoe was not going to be filled. Now I really was upset. Three different times the Muleshoe position has been open and three times that door has been shut --- got it God we aren't going to Muleshoe.

I don't want to miss the warning, the truck, the boat or the helicopter, God, I want to do hear you --- I want to do what you want me to.

On Friday Robert was approached by one of the men in our church who runs a real estate office. It happens to be the one we used to buy the house we live in. Erwin offered Robert a job. He said he needs a man in his office --- someone who knows land and could represent clients who where wanting to sell land or buy land --would Robert be interested.

As Robert and I discussed this, we weren't sure. Real estate -- really God, real estate. No we hadn't thought about it. But he is pursuing it now. This could be the warning, the truck, the boat or heck even the helicopter. Is this the answer to the prayer to get to stay in BC?

I guess a little time will tell.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Did You Notice

Did you notice my blog is back to normal? Thanks to a true knight who was willing to come to my rescue.

Three or four emails back and forth and he had the problem pinpointed and repaired.

I think know he is an amazing slayer of dragons large and small.

Thank you Lou for taking time from your busy schedule to figure out my mistake and then correcting it. Your genius in matters of computer programs and language made quick solution to my dilemma.

When you looked at the html codes, you were able to read and understand what was being said. I on the otherhand looked as said codes and had a since of what it must be like for first and second graders as they learn to read. They have been taught all the symbols, can recite what each is and the sounds they make, but putting them together to form words and those words together to make sentences and sentences together to answer a question as simple as who is this story about. Well, let's just say I have a whole new respect for the struggling reader now.

I'm going to keep reading and working on some of the how this all works --- but be patient with me..... old dogs and new tricks are still hard to put together.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Help, I've Messed Up and Can't Fix It

There are some people who think I know a lot about a computer by which they mean the Internet. These few people are sorely mistaken. Oh, I know how to chase rabbits around and can usually find the information I want. I know how to shop online and I do a lot business online. I can make a book of stamps last so long that I don't even know that the cost of a postage stamp is anymore.

But there is so much I don't know about using a computer. And with this blog it has become frustratingly obvious. I'm sure all of my few readers have noticed that the information that used to be on the right of the blog text is now below it. I don't know how that happened. I can tell you when, but I have no clue as to what I mistakenly did to make it happen and I have no clue as to how to make it go back the way it was.

I need a guru to repair the damage mistake I've made. (See that nice strike. I went to a site and studied html codes and learned that. So I am willing to learn. Just can't find where it says if you did this then you now need to do that.)

If you think you can help let me know ---- I would definitely appreciate it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday -- Look What I Caught

Four month old Heidi with a bird she caught on the patio.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Beach in Cozumel, Mexico

The last port we visited was Cozumel. No one had booked excursions for Mexico -- it was a day we were all just planning to hang at a beach. So about 10:30 we all gathered in the hall outside our rooms and headed out with towels, sunscreen and bottles of water.

We got two van taxis or taxies (both are correct according Webster) to take us to a free beach Robert and I knew about called Mr. Sanchos's.

After the short $80 taxi ride, we struggled across the hot sand looking for a place with tables and umbrellas that the 19 of us could get. Finally we snagged one small table with an umbrella. Amy told the waiter that came over that there were 19 of us and we would be ordering losts of beer and food and could he please find us more tables and umbrellas. He did and we did. I must add that he took very good care of us. The beer was good and cold and the food hot and spicy. Perfect for the beach.

Matt and his boys had brought their snorkleing gear so they got to snorkle around and the rest of us who were interested in playing in the ocean got to play in the waves, which were perfect gentle waves. The kids discovered they could buy tubes to ride in and had fun linking together and riding back to shore.

At some point two older Mariachi type musicians showed up and entertained us by having Carrie play some turtle shells they strapped on her and then dressing Paul in a wig and animal nose of some sort --- He was a good sport and played the maracas along with them for one song. Perfect photo op.

Abby got her Uncle Gene to take her way out to the deep water because he was the strongest swimmer in the group and also the easiest touch. I thing before he got back to shore with her he was about ready to take her water wings off and use them himself. He discovered that swimming against the current pushing a little girl wasn't as easy as he thought it would be --- well, as easy as any of us thought it would be for him.

We went back to the ship tired and sandy and for some sunburned, but cool showers and short naps revived everyone for an evening of ship life.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Thrill of Victory / The Agony of Defeat

Amy and I had heard about a synchronized swimming event that was going to be held in the pool on the ship and had laughed about it as we swam around with the kids. When the girls were little we would pretend to be synchronized swimmers and work up little routines --- but our faces never went underwater.

I was off reading a book away from the hustle and bustle -- catching some quiet time when Robert came rushing over shouting, "Come quick Gene and Amy are in the synchronized swimming."

Well, rush over I did trying to figure out if they were on the same team and laughing at that picture --- Gene is 6'3" and Amy 5'2" -- but finally realized the competition was between a men's team of four and a women's team of four.

Each team had 5 minutes to work up a routine (out of the water) and had certain tricks they were told to perform (I think).

The ladies went first. We laughed at these women who obviously were not swimmer putting on their little show. I was proud of my youngest for being out there even if I was laughing my butt off the whole time. Then the men performed.

Of course they put on quite a show. They could all swim, and they obviously had had a lot of experience watching this event even if none of them would E V E R admit it. They actually were very entertaining.

Amy won the dreaded participation ribbon. Agony of defeat. Gene won the coveted 24 caret plastic piece of sh-- as the activity director called it. It is a plastic replica of a cruise ship. The thrill of victory.

But the ladies, great sports that they are walked by the men as they stood on the edge of the pool celebrating, arms raised in victory and with heads held high in defeat and sweetly pushed them in the pool. (Sorry girls, didn't know that was coming and had quit videoing.)

What fun it was to watch the oldest and the youngest compete. And the ladies get such fun revenge. The following videos are them in action. Amy, I forgot about videoing until you guys were well into your routine. Gene, I got it all you are now on YouTube.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tea for Two --- Make That Three

Each day on the ship at about 3:30 tea time was observed. I had noticed it on the daily itinerary and wondered about it. When visiting with two women at lunch on Thursday they happened to mention that they had been to the tea previous day and what fun it was to pick a tea and be served desserts and hors d'oeurves.

Ahhh, the perfect "Tea Party" for Abigail and me to attend. So that afternoon we went to tea.

The tables were perfectly set with tea cups, dessert plates and napkins rolled to look like candles. We chose our place, twice, and settled in for the music and tea. We were joined by Amy to make this a perfect tea party for three generations.

Our server came by with a choice of teas --- I chose lemon and Amy and Abby chose an orange tea. Then a second server came by with a little kettle of hot water for each of us. All was going lovely up to this point.

I had my tea steeping and was assisting Abby with hers. The aroma that came up from the cup was wonderful and I lifted it as I continued to pour water into her cup so she could get a whiff. As I did I touched her bare shoulder with the kettle --- a shriek escaped from her and then a loud cry.

We had every one's attention. I got the cup and kettle down without spilling any and then began to rock Abby. Three waiters came to see what had happened. "I'm so sorry, I touched her with the tea kettle. She's okay, just startled, could we have a little ice please," came rushing out of my mouth.

There was barely a red mark -- thank goodness -- I felt horrible but ice was brought and in just a few moments she was back to preparing her tea, and admonishing me about being very careful when little kids are around. The sweet lady with the dessert cart showed up about then and we selected our treats. Thin sliced salmon on a baguette for me, a flavored cream filled biscuit for Miss A, and a blueberry torte for Amy. We sipped our tea and enjoyed ourselves while we listened to the beautiful music from the piano.

Several times during the tea different servers would come by and ask how things were and if we needed any thing. The gentleman who had gotten the ice for us directed his question to Abigail asking how she had enjoyed the tea. Her reply has become my favor line of the cruise. "

"Oh it was fun, except for the screaming."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wow, What a Trip

We are home from eight days of fun and adventure. It was so awesome to be with all of the kids and their families. I've been trying to organize my thoughts now for three days and have failed miserably. Everything is still running around in my head with no organization. So I've decided to just type a few things as I think about them. Tell the stories that mean the most to me, how I remember them. No order, no rhyme or reason.

First let me say that I was very anxious about this trip. The dynamics of our combined family means we have two oldest, two middle and two youngest. The girls are protective of each other and the boys are a tight band of brothers -- you know the kind -- we can beat each other up, but you'd better leave us alone or you deal with all of us. How would they blend for that long was the question that kept tormenting me. I couldn't help but recall all the times when they were younger when I felt like WWIII had arrived --- they didn't seem to like each other much back then, and we were putting them on a ship together for seven days and nights. Deep breath.

All my worry and anxiety was for naught. These are adult children who know how to handle themselves and others. Everyone was accepting of the others --- it worked. I have proof that it worked two ways: 1. No one threw anyone else overboard and 2. I heard that the kids are planning on doing it again in about 5 years.

Just getting everyone on the ship took a little planning. Five family members chose to come to Bay City on July 3, eight people chose to fly into Houston on July 4, and four were doing their own thing by coming in on July 2 to visit other family. So we had to figure out the most economical way to get everyone and their luggage from Houston to Galveston in a Suburban, a 4-door pick-up and a Chevy Cobalt.

We managed and the following are photos of part of us taken by Amy and me as we waited in line outside the terminal to board the ship.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I've Never Done That Driving

I was out and about this morning and of course that entailed crossing one of several sets of railroad tracks that cut across our town. Most of the crossing have flashing lights and barrier arms to keep everyone safe. This morning there was no train so I sailed right across the tracks. No flashing light, bells clanging or arms decending as I crossed, but a childhood memory came flooding back. A memory of flashing lights, bells clanging and arms that had decended.

My grandparents lived in Amarillo and attended Grand Avenue Baptist Church. To get from their house to church meant driving over a set of thriple tracks. These tracks were protected with the same kind of flashing lights and barrier arms as the double track I cross many times a week here.

On this particular Sunday I was riding home from church with Granny. I remember she was in a hurry to get home because the services had run long and the roast in the oven was probably burning. When we got near the RR crossing the lights began to flash and the bells were clanging. The red and white barrier arms were coming down fast.

But to my horror, Granny didn't slow down. She sped up. Yes, my Granny sped up. She said, "Don't you ever do this when you drive," and she whipped over into the left-hand lane going around the barrier then back into the right-hand lane.

I'm sure my eyes were the size of saucers when I heard the train whistle, and my short life passed before me. It seems like it was inches from us, while as an adult I like to think it wasn't.

The only other thing I remember about this whole incident is her saying, "It would be better not to mention this."

Oops, I just did.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good Bye to Three Icons

I'm sitting here watching a tribute to Michael Jackson. I was a casual fan. I've watched him grow into the super-star that he was. He gave us much over the past 40 years. He changed music and dance (and his appearance). He will never be forgotten.

Farah Fawcett -- Charlies Angles -- wings -- The Burning Bed -- Lee Majors -- huge smile --those are the things that come to mind when I hear her name. Again an actress who seemed to have it all. I know she will be missed by those who were close to her.

Ed Mcmahon, you never knocked on my door with a million dollars, but that's okay. I enjoyed watching him with Johnny Carson. He was the perfect straight man. Then hosting Star Search. He was the perfect host for that show.

It is hard to believe we lost thee icons in one week.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Just So You Know

And so ---

The letter to hubby may have been a little harsh, but that was me being me. I can't be all sunny and happy all the time. My blog is to share me --- the good, the bad and the ugly. I guess that letter was the bad and the ugly.

Robert and I have talked. I was gentle with him and come to find out he was embarrassed by his appearance also. He said he was in a hurry and just didn't think about it until he was asked to make the presentation.

He has learned from his *mistake* and we are moving forward. Does he do everything my way? No, and that is probably a good thing.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Letter to My Husband

Dear Husband,

Here we are jobless, verbally you say you are wanting to get hired. So you've taken your resume in, you've talked to the right people, and now you wait. But what do you do while you wait. Well, it is different from what I would be doing that is for sure.

Oh, I don't mean I would actively do anything different from what you are doing, but I would be dressed so differently. See everywhere you go there is a potenial boss. Some one who might see you and think -- "Hey, you know that Robert might be just the guy we are needing, but why is he dressed like a bum?"

The shorts and Hawaiian print shirt with your beach sandles just doesn't scream hire me or professional anything.

Sure we were running late to the Chamber Mixer yesterday evening because you had forgotten about it, but for heaven's sake it was at the very bank you are hoping will hire you and there you are looking more like you are on your way to the beach rather than to a function of professional people. It would only have taken a minute to change -- slacks with a shirt tucked neatly in and closed toed shoes! Is that asking too much? And to boot your picture will probably be in the paper because who presents the Certificate of Appreciation to the bank's manager --- yep, mister, "I don't give a sh_t about how I look. Take me or leave me."

Every time you step out of this house you are going to an interview. Yes, dressing for success is important --- it might just make a difference. Right now I'm thinking you don't really want to get that job.

You really need to think more about the book cover. It is what people read first.

Your loving, but exasperated wife

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

And the Beat Goes On

I've had several people ask about how we are doing since that fateful day in May when we found out that there was no joy in Mudville.

I have a puppy, a man and no pressing issues on my hands. We get up each morning and walk, we sit on the patio, we visit and we play with our puppy and we wile away the day.

We decided that this is just going to be an at home vacation for now. A preview of what real retirement might be. (I say real retirement because Robert was able to start drawing his company retirement.) So that is how we are treating each day. We have gone to the beach a couple of times to work on tans before the cruise in July. We have gone out with friends for meals and been to committee meetings. But mostly we are just taking life as it comes, doing the things that need to be done, and the things we want to do.

We are waiting to hear if the job with the bank will come through. If it doesn't then we know we will have to make a lot of decisions that neither one of us wants to make right now. We have time, and I think we are going to take advantage of the time we have before any of those things have to thought about.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Haiku Friday --- Facebook Frustration

For my Facebook friends
I want to upload pictures
Something isn't right

Done this many times
To be exact, eleven
Never a problem

Today no such luck
My knowledge too limited
Words with no meaning

Active X Control
Or try Simple Uploader
Neither one will work!

All ideas tried
Need someone smarter than me.
Reboot try again.

Frustration is high!
Facebook not my friend right now

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wordless Wednesday -- Trip to the Beach

First trip to the Matagorda Beach beach for Heidi.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Life Is Full of Adjustments

I knew when we decided to get a dog (okay truth when I decided I wanted a dog and Robert consented) our life would be different. Then before this sweet puppy could join us POW Robert is terminated from his job.

Yep, life is full of adjustments.

We are adjusting to having a wee one to look after, worry about, fret over and play with. She seems to consume a lot of time and energy even when she is sleeping, which she does a lot of except at night when we want her to be sleeping.

After the first night of literally getting very little sleep because we put her in the kennel/carrier/crate/room/den/home/bed that we got her right there in our room. She whined, cried, whimpered, and begged to get out all night. The next night Robert insisted she sleep with us. Wonderful idea. No whining, crying, whimpering or begging. Only problem, Robert slept because puppy was up against me all night. Pushing and sighing. Then I had the best idea ever -- put her in the guest bathroom. Small, nothing she can hurt (except maybe the back of the door), tile floors -- yes, a perfect solution.

The first night in the bathroom she cried and whined quite a bit, but being across the house from us and behind two closed doors the whining and crying didn't seem so loud nor did it last as long. The next night we decided we still want her to think of the kennel as her place to sleep so we put it in there and I sat with her until I thought she was asleep. Oops she wasn't, then I decided to leave the door open so she could come and go as she wants. That seems to have worked. She only seems to be crying now when she needs to go out.

We have had to make several adjustments as to what we are doing, and I'm sure we have several more that we will have to make before Heidi reaches adult dog. And even though I have a book to help with things, there is no teacher like experience.

Starting tomorrow we make another adjustment in our life. Robert doesn't get up and go to work. It will seem strange. We have decided to look on the next few weeks as a vacation. Time for him to relax and refresh. He should hear something about the job at a local bank before the end of June. If that doesn't work out then we'll adjust our hopes and expectations and decide what path we will follow.

Thing is we'll just keep adjusting because life is full of adjustments.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Addition Is Now With Us

I picked Heidi up yesterday afternoon from the breeder, my friend Anita. My what chaos that puppy was used to. Five adults and eight puppies climbing over each other and playing. Anita seemed perfectly at ease as the we walked in and was greeted by all this. She opened the sliding glass door into the back yard and said,"Big dogs out, little dogs stay." The were was confussion as the big dogs went out and the puppies were trying to decide what to do. Some went out (I guess they thought they were big) and some stayed in. After a few more seconds they were all sorted.

Anita scooped up Heidi and handed her to me as she scooped up a couple of other pups sweet talking to them while all the time giving me instrustions about my little miss. And telling me how this dog and that dog acted.

I then signed a couple of papers for her. Wrote a check, wrapped Heidi in her snuggle blanket -- a gift from Anita to all her pups as they leave and headed out the door.

Heidi was secured in her carrier which we call her den and away I came. I was serenaded by a whining, crying puppy nearly all the way home -- a 30 minute drive.

It was a rough start for us --- We both had a long night and I'm a little concerned because she isn't eating or drinking like I think she should and right now she is just curled up sleeping but shivering. Is that normal puppy? Should I be concerned? Oh, so much to learn and that darn book doesn't answer these questions. I think we'll be fine, but this is much like bringing a baby home from the hospital. No matter how prepared you think you are ----- YOU AREN'T.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday -- I Celebrated a Big Birthday

My birthday was May 22 so I began the celebration on the 21st with my sister. Lunch then shopping.
Then on Friday there wasn't much celebrating going on. The big plans were for Saturday. Lunch, pedicures and more shopping with my girls.

Finally the big surprise. Supper with ALL the family. Here are three of my favorite members Preston, the oldest grandchild, Holliday and Abigail. Twenty-five people helped me feast on Mexican food, margaritas and ....

of course birthday cake. Mine was a triple chocolate beauty! Thankfully they forgot the candles.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A is for Apple or Abigail

Heads or Tails the Tuesday meme (it is still Tuesday isn't it?) has the theme of *A* today, and because it is heads the writer can post anything about *A* that catches their fancy. *A* may be for apple, but the apple of my eye is my granddaughter Abigail. Also known as Abby, Abs or Miss A.

This little girl captured my heart a six and a half years ago.

Meet Abigail Marie just a few moments after she was born. She was the first child I had actually watch be born. (My girls were each born when mom's was half out of it and presented to the mother in a state of near clean.) I found the whole process of birth and her fascinating.

This is Abby one year later on her first birthday. By then we were pals. She knew I was hers. She was happiest when I was sitting in the floor with her and she had my undivided attention. Yes, I indulged her every whim whenever I got the chance and today I indulge as many as possible.
This is Miss A as you might find her today. Riding bikes and being all of six. Ready to graduate from kindergarten. She is in the top of her class, an eager learner and a ready reader. She still likes for me to play with her and we spend time with books, at the park where she wants to swing higher and higher, or doing girly things like her giving me a make over or doing our nails. Tom boy and princess rolled into one.