Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

This week has just flown by! All in all, it's been a good week, so that's probably why. The hubby and I have each done some things around the house to start our major clean up and organization projects. No where near finished, but it feels good just the same.

I got to see my very dear friend Catherine on Tuesday. She's in Dallas for her grandson's high school graduation, so I got to go up to spend the day with her. We visited and shopped (for beads!) and had a great time. Before I came home, her daughter Heather arrived with her sons. I'd never met the boys (real cuties) and I hadn't seen Heather since before she got married some 10 years ago. Sure was nice to see them all.

The next day, I broke my glasses -- again. I've never broken glasses in my life (at least since I've been old enough to remember -- I started wearing glasses when I was 14 months old so who knows about when I was itty bitty). Since I've had these frames, I've broken them twice! Just by closing the ear pieces to put them aside for bed at night! Needless to say, I was very unhappy about the glasses breaking. Thankfully I do have a spare pair, but I hate them. They're bifocals and the line makes them feel dirty all the time. I had to get a separate pair of computer glasses when I got that pair and the computer glasses were actually set up for distance to the computer downstairs, so I'm getting a headache from using them upstairs. This computer is a bit farther away from the chair.
Thursday was SPCA volunteering day for me. I got to do a few new things this week. I went in to help hold the puppies and cats so that they could have their photos taken for the website. Love puppy kisses! I got there early, so I helped wash their dishes while I could. Then when we were finished with the photo shoot, I got to take a cat to the Petsmart location that I volunteer at. So, Elvis rode with me. He was a sweetie.
I had forgotten to take the broken glasses with me to Dallas on that trip, so I had to go home and get them, then head back to town. It was worth the effort though. After telling them about how many times they've broken and how soon it was for each pair (they lasted about 8 months each!) and that I'd not only never broken any glasses before these, but that I had specifically asked the lady who had initially helped me to show me frames that could take rough treatment, I got a good discount on the replacement frames. I really wanted to use the frame again because I could put the same lenses in them. Much quicker to get them all fixed and back to me. Much cheaper too.
After all, I have that quilt retreat coming up soon and I can't really sew and talk at the same time in these. What good is a quilt retreat if you can't sew and talk at the same time? So, despite the frames breaking, it's been a good week. That's the good and the bad. The ugly is me in the computer glasses. I don't know if I have the courage to put up a picture of that though.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Photo of the week 8 of 39 -- Graffiti or Mural

I actually like the graffiti photo much better than the mural photo, but thought I'd give them both to you since I just happen to take both. Which do you like best?
Next week's theme is Sunrise or Sunset.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful long weekend. I've enjoyed mine, my hubby hasn't. I'm feeling better, he's come down sick. I was apparently contagious and didn't realize it.

Of course the reason for the long weekend is to remember our fallen military heroes, not just to cook out and party. I've told y'all before that I've had several members of my family serve in the military and I'm very proud of them. We've been extremely fortunate that we have not lost any of them in the service to our country, but there are so many families who cannot say that. Today is the day to remember those who have given their lives for our freedom. To say a little prayer of thanks to them and to their families. To add a wish for comfort, to that little prayer, for their families and friends. To honor all that has been lost for us.

That was brought home to me again last night as I talked to my son on the phone. You may remember that he is active duty Air Force stationed at Edwards. They've had two crashes there in less than two months. The most recent was last Thursday. Both of the test pilots in these crashes died. My son was one of many assigned to find debris from the most recent crash. The debris was scattered over several miles. He was sunburned and disheartened. It really got to him. It got to me. When you drive around Edwards AFB, the streets named for a person, are all named for pilots who have died in crashes. It's something you can't forget on that base. It's a dangerous job. These guys love it and sometimes, they give their lives for it and for us in the pursuit of it.

God bless them and all the military who have given their all for us. Men and women. Fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends. Thank you doesn't seem like it's enough, but what more can I say? Thank you for your sacrifice.

For all the active duty military: As I've said in the past, freedom is not free. I pray we never forget that and I pray that our leaders will choose wisely when it comes to putting you in harms way. Stay safe. Thank you for your service to our country.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I hate when that happens

I come on to write a post and blogspot strings it all out with those huge gaps between pictures and paragraphs. Or they smash it all together. I guess it's to fit whatever space is available, but it makes me crazy. I want my page to look pretty and that doesn't! Thanks for letting me vent.

I love quilt retreats!

I was on a quilt retreat last weekend. I went to the same place I'd gone to last time. The time I left early. This retreat was with different people. I love the people I retreat with! All of the groups of people. They're all fun and creative. I'm always inspired when I go. That last retreat was just weird for me. I may not be able to go with that group for a while since they remind me so much of Marianne -- they make me miss her terribly.

Here are some of the things the ladies and I worked on.

This first one is Mary's. I never got a picture with all the blocks.

This is Maxine. It was her first time to work on a Buggy Barn pattern. She went a little crazy at first.

It looks good. She's making a small wall hanging. Not necessarily easy to do with a Buggy Barn pattern, but Maxine did great! She did end up switching out a couple of the fabrics for more contrast.

This is Keri's quilt. I'm going to have to make one of these! I loved it. Loved her fabrics too. Don't know that I would have ever bought any of them, but when I saw hers -- Wow!

Andrea's was probably my favorite of all! I never buy these fabrics, but I sure want to now. I've seen her put together a couple of quilts with them and I've loved them both.

More of Andrea's fabric and blocks.

Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of everyone's work. I thought I had, but I missed out. So, I can't show you what Donna, Bonnie, Melynn, Virginia or Nancy worked on. When I finish my project, I'll show it to you. I'm sure there will be a whole posting on it actually. With lots of pictures. I'm going on another retreat in June. Can't wait!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Photo of the week 7 of 39 -- For Sale

There were so many odd and really cool things for sale, but I wasn't able to get the shots of them that I had wanted to. I still may do it in the future and then put them up, just for grins.
I don't know about other places, but we seem to have a lot of these types of things for sale. I'm always seeing a big container that used to be on an 18 wheeler or even a box car from a train for sale. They make great storage units, is what I've been told. Especially out in the country where you have all kinds of crap to store and the room to do it. Honestly, I don't think I'd ever want one of those 18 wheeler containers. I'd just keep imagining all the things that could have been carried in it! Yuck. Gives me the heebee jeebies. Maybe I watch too much TV.
Next week's theme is "mural or graffiti".

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Photo of the week 6 of 39 -- Clouds

I'm going to a quilt retreat tomorrow morning, so I thought I'd post my photo of the week a day early. I've always loved taking pictures of clouds, so I have a few. If I happen to get a little "action" on the photo too, all the better. This first shot was taken on a trip to CO from TX. We were stopped for road work. There is always road work in TX. Is it like that in every state?

I love this one of the post office with the flag flapping in the wind. I don't know why. It's not like it's especially pretty, but I do love our flag and it looks so pretty next to the green leaves of the tree and the blue and white sky.

This picture just of sky was taken on Edwards AFB a few years ago. It was one of the times I saw the beauty in the desert. I took another picture that day that has already been put on the blog. It shows the ground also and you can see the beauty there if you really look, that is. This photo reminds me of Mickey Lawler's Skydyes hand painted fabric. I was lucky enough to take a class with Mickey a few years back and I enjoyed every minute of it. I also love buying her fabric! Someday, I'll make a miniature pineapple quilt totally from Skydyes. Yummy.
Next week's theme will be "for sale".

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The very large hole in our driveway has been taken care of.
Thank you very much!


My car is dead. At least temporarily. I went to CVS to pick up a cough medicine for my cough that has gotten bronchitis worse instead of better. When I tried to start the car back up, it wouldn't start. To make matters worse, I was in the drive-through pick up lane. I couldn't get the dang car out of park and I couldn't get it to start and I was stuck there.

I called my hubby (who was on the other side of the lake at home) to come help me. It took him a while to get there. While I waited, I became a runner for CVS. I was stopped in the only pick up lane and there were people who had difficulty getting inside the store who couldn't get to the lane because of me. So, they'd park in the drop off lane and I'd run their money, prescriptions and the clip board they have to sign between them and the store. It was the very least I could do.

I tell you, there are some sweet people out there. The first man to drive up, was on oxygen. He couldn't walk from his car to the back of the store to get his prescriptions, but he still offered to help me with my car. Honestly, I was glad I couldn't get it out of park because I would have been worried if he'd tried to help me. Such a sweet man to want to though. Almost everyone that I had to redirect to the other lane or inside the store, offered to help me in some way. The picture is what I had to look at when I was sitting in the car.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To my Mother

Happy Mother's Day, Momma!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Wild Flowers

You can't really see the bluebonnets any longer. The grass is higher than they are, but driving along the highways and byways, I've noticed that we have a wonderful display of fire wheels this year! I'll try to get a better picture of them. This was a quick shot at a stop light.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Photo of the week 5 of 39 -- Rest in Peace

We went to three cemeteries last Saturday to put flowers out on the graves of relatives. I saw many wonderful old headstones -- like the one for Baby Clem below. I love angels in cemeteries and was looking for some of them, but didn't see any. I have a few pictures of angel statuary up in my bedroom. They are so beautiful to me. I don't remember ever seeing a headstone quite like Baby Clem's before, with a baby resting (in peace) on it.

I have other interesting shots of headstones, but I think I'll save them for another day. These two seem to say all I want to say for "Rest in Peace".

Next weeks theme is "Clouds".

By the way, I have an abandoned cemetery on my property from the 1860's. Only one headstone is still readable and it's actually been years since I've tried to read it, so it may not be any longer. When the highway in front of our house went in, they abandoned the cemetery and vandals destroyed most of the headstones. Some were stolen to be used as porch steps. I believe cattle was let loose in the cemetery also and believe me, they do a lot of damage to one. You really can't tell it was ever there other than a couple of monument bases and the one headstone, that may be in the wrong place now.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

One Year Ago

A year ago, I was involved in one of the most heart wrenching events of my life. I was on a jury for the capital murder trial of a Sheriff's deputy. It was so heart wrenching, that I've blocked a lot of it from my mind. Of course there were things that were too horrible to even block.

There were good things to come from the trial though. For me, one of them was the people I served on the jury with. I feel that most of them felt the same way because we actually set up a lunch for a year later to all get together. That lunch was today. And I didn't get to go. I really wish I could have. I've been thinking of these 13 men and women (jury plus alternates) a lot over the year, but especially over the last several weeks. No one else understands exactly what we each went though during that trial, other than those men and women. They will forever be special to me.

The other good thing to come from the trial is seeing the process for myself. I truly feel that every American should have to sit on a murder trial jury. I think it would change our world.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I had an email today from Raquel who came across my blog this morning. Of special interest to her was the posting Support our Military from yesterday. She started a website a little over a year ago to send care packages to our troops stationed in Iraq and is herself a former US Army Officer. She now volunteers her time in support of our troops, both through her website and as a civilian volunteer admissions representative at the US Military Academy at West Point. Needless to say, when she asked me to check out her website Cypress Cares, I did and I hope you will too.

I know that in these economic times, money is extremely tight for many of us. I know that we've cut down on many little extras or flat cut out the extras because we're having trouble paying the bills. Our work hours have been cut or you may have even lost your job. Charities are still in need and we all want to help. Most of the ones that call me, honestly even the ones that I've always been a faithful supporter of, often make me feel quite guilty because I just can't help in the way I have in the past. Cypress Cares has a list of many things that you can send and the one thing that struck me, that I can do to help right this minute -- is to send a check for $12! Twelve dollars will send one package to Iraq for a service person! That's something I can do each payday. There is also a link to order a AAFES (Army and Air Force Exchange Service) gift card or a phone card on the website and believe me, that is something any of the military personnel in Iraq can use. Those are just a couple of the ways to help that you don't even have to start up your car!

That being said, I'm going to go back and print out the list of suggested items to donate and be on the look out for them when I'm shopping. Maybe I can find them on sale or if I happen to get one for myself, maybe I'll be able to go ahead and pick up a couple for the troops too. I can always send them on when I get a few things together!

Thank you for your email, Raquel. I look forward to checking out your Cypress Cares website often. Good luck with it and thank you for all the good you're doing. You and all the people who help you. Thank you.

**By the way, if any of you would like to add the information about Cypress Cares to your own blog, feel free to do so. That comes from Raquel herself!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Support our Military!

Don't even try to get me to talk politics or religion, because unless I know you really well or feel extremely comfortable with you and the possibility of disagreeing with you, I won't do it. Let's just agree to disagree and continue to be friends (or even family!).

That being said, I don't care what your personal political views are -- there is no reason not to support our military and their families. Having been a military wife (my husband was in the Air Force) and being a military mom (my son is now in the Air Force) I can tell you that I have had family members in harm's way and freedom is not free. My husband served in peace time and my son has not been in the line of fire as yet, but that does not mean that he won't be. That is a fact that every military family lives with. Uncertainty is always a part of your life.

I was hopping around the Internet earlier today, looking at different blogs when I came across In The Meantime. I loved her April 30th posting. There were several fun things in it. One of them being a report by Stephen Colbert about supporting the schools that the children of the military attend. What a great idea! I'm sure that nothing would be more welcome to a service man or woman than to know that their child was being supported while they were away supporting us! Help them get the best education they can get. That's always at the top of a parents list for their child. Mr. Colbert has set up a website with Donors Choose that lists many different school projects that need funding within many different schools around the country. Each school has a minimum of 50% of their students being from military households. I hope that you will take a look and donate whatever you can. The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow and I know that many of our schools are a far cry from great now. Helping a child to learn in the United States of America may be the best thing you ever do for your country and for your military.

Bonus Photo of the Week

"A Pair of "....Your Guess is as Good as Mine!

I was driving home from taking my harvest photos when I came across this growing in a yard by the side of the road. I had to turn around and go back for a shot of it. I have no idea what it is, but it has some long (about 4 inches!), nasty looking thorns growing out of each shoot. You may be able to see them if you click on the picture.
Do you know what this is? Leave me a comment if you do. I'd sure like to know.

Decoration Day

Yesterday was Decoration Day. Or at least it was for my family. The way I read the sign (photo #1), it should be next week. The Saturday before Mother's Day. That would be the day before Mother's Day, wouldn't it? Oh well, it may just be me, since one caretaker did call it Decoration Day and there were other families there also. When my mother (on right photo #4) and her 6 sisters (yes, fellow quilters, you read that correctly, my mother is one of Seven Sisters!) were younger, they would all seven go down on the Friday before Mother's Day and clean the graves of their parents and other family members and put out flowers. Now they are a bit older, we kids are grown and a couple of the sisters have passed on. We locally residing kids (photo #5 Kay (has her back to us), Carol (sticking out her tongue) and Holly (back left) were with Aunt Fern, I (taking the picture) was with my mom and Tammy (back center photo 5 and center photo #4) was with her grandmother, my Aunt Marie) went with our mothers to enjoy the history and tradition of this day with them. Or as I called yesterday, the Great Cemetery Tour of Texas '09.

My Aunt Fern (center photo #3) is the family historian. She's done the ancestry searches and she was the one to discover that we were not of Irish decent (as I had grown up believing) but in actuality of English decent on my mother's Cogswell side of the family. Since that discovery, St. Patrick's Day has never been quite the same for me and although I'm proud of my English heritage, I'm also in mourning for the Irish heritage I never really had and always wanted.

We started Decoration Day at the cemetery where my grandparents are buried. One of my aunts is buried there now, as well as one of my uncles (one of their twin brothers) and at least two of my cousins and a great-grandmother. A little later, their remaining twin brother, my Uncle Ron arrived (he and his wife, Patty are here visiting from CA - he's in photo's #3 on the right and #4 on the left) with oldest sister, Aunt Marie and her hubby Uncle J.L (photo #2 for them both and Marie on left in #3).

After leaving this cemetery, we went by two others, successfully and attempted to find a third unsuccessfully. All the while driving down little country roads, hoping it wouldn't rain (it did) and with miserable humidity. When we would arrive at each destination we'd take pictures, tell stories and laugh until we could barely breath. We don't get together nearly often enough.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Photo of the week 4 of 39 -- Harvest

Tomato plants

A produce stand where the harvest is sold.

A home grown tomato! You never see these splits on store bought tomatoes that have no taste.