Monday, August 30, 2010

Faith Haiku

death and grief hurt me
the road has been bumpy long
I need faith right now

grief eludes yet hounds
claws at me with dirty nails
soul says keep your faith

faith in living life
full rich happy creative
life to the fullest

Faith is the prompt word from Sunday Scribblings this week. It has really inspired me. I first put one haiku on this post and have come put and added two more. I wonder if I'll stop here or add more?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Boiling Water

What do you think of when you see that title? Those two words bring all kinds of images to mind for me. Like when I feel that I'm in boiling water and all kinds of things are going wrong in my life. I know that eventually, the waters will calm and cool and life will get back to normal -- or as normal as my life ever seems to be. They remind me of turmoil which I guess is basically the same thing I just described except that turmoil doesn't necessarily have to be about my life in particular. It could be our country or just one situation.

Well, in this case, boiling water is quite literal. We are having to boil our water to use it right now. Yuck. Double yuck. I cannot express the "yuck" I feel for this situation. I've told you that I live in a rural area. I also live near a lake. I assume our water basically comes from there. At some point each summer, they "turn" the water, which makes it smelly and dark. I hate that situation also. When that happens, I play little mind games with myself and pretend (at least while I'm showering in the nasty stuff) that I live in the days of having to go to the creek and get the water in a bucket. Now, I never try to justify the creek water coming from a modern day shower, it's my fantasy and I can do anything I want with it.

The need to boil though, well it's supposed to be safe to use if we boil it for 2 minutes and let it cool. We're boiling it for our dogs, but it has a nasty film on top after it's cooled that we find quite unappealing. I've decided to go ahead and buy bottled water for drinking, cooking and even brushing my teeth. My hubby says that the water is still safe to shower in and wash clothes and dishes. For that -- I'm having to pretend that I'm in Mexico. I wouldn't drink the water or use it to cook or brush my teeth, but I would shower and wash clothes in it since I'm adding soap to kill the bacteria. This is supposed to last for at least a week.

I know that in the grand scheme of things that are a misery to folks and true hardships, this is nothing. It's just a pimple on the butt of life, but it's a pimple on my life-butt and it's irritating. Until next time....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Spread a little Love

I told you about getting these fun rocks in a previous post. When I went to Dallas earlier this week, I spread the love a little a left a couple in the places I visited. The first one is at a Chipotle's restaurant in Mesquite, Texas.

Later I left one on a water fountain in an office building I had to go to. Remember that you can click on the photos to enlarge them if you want to be able to read the rocks easier.

I wonder how long the rocks stayed at their locations? I hope someone found them and fell in love with them and took them home. I was going to put one in a tree knot hole, but the hole looked deep and I didn't want it to fall in. Then I noticed a tag hanging from the tree on a nail. It got me to wondering if it had been there for years or if it was something someone had put there like I had been doing. I'm going to make sure to take my camera again next time I go there and if it's still there, I'll take a picture of it for y'all to see. Then you can tell me what you think it is.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

This is for YOU -- Catherine

You may not have noticed, but I recently changed the photo of myself on my side bar on the right of my blog. I never really like the photos of myself. They always come out looking like me now instead of what I looked like when I was 25 or so! Yes, I realize that I live in a photo fantasy land. A place of wishful thinking. I freely admit this. But you know what, I'm OK with that, right up until I see the real thing. Anyway, my friend Catherine actually liked the former photo of me that I had up on the side bar. So, I thought I'd put in on the blog so that she can see it one last time and be able to find it if she really needs to see it again in the future. So, Catherine -- this is for you. Enjoy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Dream House

I often think of moving out of this house, especially lately. If it were not for the fact that my father built it, I would have moved long ago. A log home was never my dream.

My dream house

Would be one level.

The laundry room would be in the house and there would be a place to hang clothes as I get them out of the dryer.

It would be on about 5 or 10 acres (I have over 27 now).

It would be one of those cute little farm houses. (I don't know the name of the style)

It would have a deep wrap around porch with rocking chairs and screen doors.

There would be more than ample storage. So much that I could keep my Christmas tree decorated and just cover it each year and wheel it on in to the "Christmas" storage area.

I'd have an actual guest room.

I would have a room for a studio and I'd put a Murphy bed in it for extra guests.

The kitchen would be much bigger than the one I have now and it would be so nice that I would actually want to cook.

There would be room for a dining table somewhere.

I would have a dishwasher and a window over the kitchen sink.

I would even have a fireplace.

My dream house would have no cedar in sight. There would be no mud. And it would have a claw foot bathtub.

Ahhh to dream, the impossible dream.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Get to Wash!

Two years ago, I bought one of those fancy, energy efficient washing machines that is computerized and has a larger capacity drum. It was on the lower end of the line of all of the different ones available, but I was so thrilled to have it. Two weeks ago, I started having the first trouble with it that I'd had since I bought it.

Unfortunately, the trouble I had was major trouble and it was going to cost as much to fix the machine as it would to buy a new one. That really pissed me off! So, I did indeed buy a new one. Momma reminded me that daddy used to say, "the more buttons something has, the more things can go wrong with it". I switched back to a brand I was more familiar with and went with a more energy efficient model with lots less bells and whistles.

They delivered it today. I've been without a working washer for about 2 weeks. You want to talk about a mountain of dirty clothes? I didn't think so. At least if you want to find me, you'll know where to look for the next few days. It will take a while to catch up. After all, I can't wash while hubby is sleeping (he works nights) and I don't want to wash when it's dark. I have to go outside to get the laundry room remember. The dogs go berserk until they realize they get to go too. So, it takes a while. The first load is almost ready to come out. More later.....

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I love movies! When I was much younger, I wanted to be a movie critic, but I realized that there were only a few of those jobs around and someone would probably have to die for me to get one. Now, at the time, I thought the only movie critics were the ones that I could personally pull up on my own TV in Dallas, TX -- so that would have been local Dallas area critics and the ones who had national syndicated shows. There was no such thing as the Internet back then or even home computers, so I didn't realize there were as many local movie critic jobs as there probably actually were. Then I realized that I'd have to sit through a lot of "crap" movies that I had no desire whatsoever to see and I kind of moved my dream into a different field.

I still loved movies though. Sometimes, my Momma and I would get together on a weekend day and she and I would see three movies in one day. I know that sounds like a lot, but it was fun to us. I'd just leave my son at home with his daddy. They got to bond and I got a fairly cheap day out. The price of a matinee was much less back then and I didn't have babysitting costs.

Now I live in the country where there aren't as many options, movie prices are much higher and they seem to all be made for teenagers or young men. There aren't that many that I go to the theater for any longer. I do miss that at times. Tonight, was not one of those times. I just watched Hachi: A Dog's Tale at home. I rented it from netflix. (Despite what I say after this, I did like the movie.) If I had watched it in a theater, I would have sniffled and my throat would have been extremely sore from trying not to cry in public. At home, I sobbed. This movie really tore me up. I won't ruin it for those who haven't seen it, but let me just say that it hit me hard. OK, I'll say this much -- to me, it was not just about loyalty, but also about profound grief. Which is probably why it hit home for me. My eyes hurt, are swollen and red and I only have half a box of tissues left. I'm off to see if there is anything funny on netflix on demand.

I Really Like to Post

I really like to post on my blog. I mean I really like to do this. I feel like I'm talking to a group of friends, even if I have no idea if anyone is actually reading any of it. My goal is to post every day. I do miss days of posting -- sometimes, many days in a row. Then I'll come back and post three times on one day. I'll get lots of ideas and I don't want to end up with them flying out of my little old head. You'd think I'd keep a book for post ideas. I've thought of that, but there never seems to be one handy when I think of an idea, although I have at least half a dozen blank books around here somewhere. And if you have a peri-menopausal mind like mine, you know that I can hold a thought about like a colander holds water. You young ladies will understand this one day. Don't worry. Your time is coming. Anyway, that forgetfulness is my life at this point.

So, when I was visiting Tracey's blog Quietly Kickin and Screamin yesterday and she mentioned the blog Sunday Scribblings as a place to go for ideas and inspiration for blog postings, I headed on over. They post their new idea on Sundays (just like their name says) and since I looked in for the first time on Friday, I decided to just take a look around and grab an idea that suited me. This is what I'll try to do whenever I want to write and I have no idea of my own in the future. This idea comes from June 12, 2010 -- Superhero(ine).

I have a couple of real life Superheroines and a Superhero. The first is my Momma.

She went to work in the early 60's when most women were still stay-at-home moms. At least most of the moms I knew were. Then when I was 8, our dad went to work overseas and she basically became a single parent. When he returned, they divorced, and she became a real single parent. She raised my sister and myself with patience and grace. She made sure we had the things we truly needed and enough of the things we wanted to feel special and for life to feel magical at times. But she also made sure we didn't get everything we wanted. I think that is a gift, in and of, itself. Momma didn't drive back then, so it wasn't easy for her to get things done for us, but she did. She always found a way. Even if it meant riding three different buses in each direction to do it. She is the most patient person I know and she has the ability to stay out of arguments that my sister and I would have. That ability irritated me during the arguments (because I wanted her to side with me!) and I admire it greatly now. Momma and I have always had a good relationship. I'm grateful for that. She is my biggest Superheroine!

My other Superheroine is my friend Catherine. She is without a doubt the most honest person I have ever known. She will not give her opinion unless she is asked for it, but baby if you ask for it, you better put your big girl panties on and be ready the real, honest answer because that is what you are going to get. She never answers in a rude or cruel way, but she does answer truthfully and completely. I love that about her. Lots of folks can't handle it. Like some of the people she has worked with over the years. She doesn't play office politics. She's honest. There are many, many other things I love about Catherine. Things that I admire, but her honesty is the thing that makes her one of my Superheroines.

My Superhero is my son.

He got married very young. Right out of high school. A couple of weeks after graduation I think. He went into the Air Force just a couple of weeks after the wedding as a way to continue his education and to provide for his young bride and himself. He became a father after about a year and a half of marriage. Before long, two more kiddos came along. He reenlisted in the military, knowing it was the best option for his family. He plans to make it a career at this point. He is a good provider for his family. He is a recent widower and he is making sure his kids are OK. He is taking care of things. He knows he can call on us, but he wants to do it himself. He is a good man. A kind man. A good father. I cannot begin to tell you how proud of him that I am without dissolving into tears. My son is my pride and joy and it's because he's done it all himself. I'm happy to help him in any way I can. I want to help him. I hope that I can take some of the pressures off of his back at times. I wish for him joy and happiness, peace and love. He is my Superhero.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Little Tidbits and Updates or What's Going on

I told you that I had joined Postcrossing over the weekend. Yesterday, one of the first postcards I sent arrived in NY! I get to send off another one now. This one will go to SC. Of course the other 4 are still traveling to their various countries. They may take a while to get to their new homes.

I showed you the first 20 postcards I had made at moo in this post. I only have three of those original 20 postcards left. Thankfully, my new order of 60 postcards have been shipped and should be here by Monday. I'm so excited at the thought of getting them! I cannot wait to look at each of them and see if they look at good as I hope they do. I'll plot and plan which ones to make again and which ones to skip. Who to send this one to or that one. It's really been fun! I've had requests for some of them! Can you believe that?

You may remember that I had a vanity license plate on my car related to quilting. Well, I'm still a quilter, but I don't feel that the old license plate represents me any longer. So, I got a new one.

This plate reminds me of what I've come through. It reminds me of my new mantra. After I ordered my new plates, I got an email message from a lady who works in the My Plates public relations department. She wanted to know why I picked the plate combination that I did. So, I told her the significance of the word "enough" for me (which you all have heard before, so I'll spare you now) and I told her that the "T" had come to represent my sister Teresa. This is what I said: "She died very suddenly and unexpectedly in April, younger than me. She would want me to live my life to the fullest and to be as happy as I can possibly be. When I see that part of the plate, I will remember her and remember to seize the day."

The Houston Quilt Festival will be held Nov. 4-7 this year. Last year they had a wonderful exhibit of photos taken by quilters. It was one of my favorite exhibits in the show! This year, they're doing it again, plus they're adding a haiku exhibit! I love trying to write a haiku. I sent in three, the maximum number you can enter, last night. I probably should have stewed over them and tried to make sure every word was just right, but I wanted it to be fun. So, I have entered the Houston Quilt Festival! For the first time ever! If I get in, great. If not, that's OK too. I had fun.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

I saw this today on one of my very favorite blogs - Ornamental - and thought it was delightful. I just had to share it with you! If you've never stopped by Ornamental, be sure you do and be sure you have a few minutes to spare when you do. It cannot be rushed. Nina is such a wonderful writer that I often wish her blog was a book that I could hold in my hands and revisit over and over. She's a wonderful photographer also.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

- Mary Oliver

A Kiva Story -- Inspiring!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Teen Hosts Sweet 16 Party to Raise Awareness and Funds for Kiva

On August 21, Keara, a teen from California, will be hosting a birthday celebration for more than 100 friends as a way to raise money to provide loans to the world's poor through Kiva. The pool party will include typical teenager party favorite, such as tacos, sodas, and a DJ playing dance music, but instead of the extravagant outfits and presents, Keara has asked guests to donate between five and twenty-five dollars to the Menlo-Atherton High School Lending Team that she set up last year.

“It’s inspirational to hear about a teenager willing to give up attention and gifts and instead turn the focus to the most needy,” said Premal Shal, president of Kiva. “I admire Keara for being willing to forego the excesses of over-the-top parties and instead figure out a way to make an impact on the world.”

“I’ve been lending through Kiva with my allowance for a few years now,” stated Keara, who turns 16 on August 1st. “Since then I’ve funded eight entrepreneurs in countries like Togo, Guatemala, Ghana and Peru who were single wage-earners needing extra money to grow their businesses in order to support their families. I’ve funded a seamstress, a grocer and makers of soda, ice-cream and cosmetics. I thought it would be cool to use my 16th birthday party as a way to raise awareness of how we all can make an impact in the world.”

The funds raised at the party will be distributed to new entrepreneurs by members of the school’s Lending Team in September.

We would like to extend a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Keara and a huge THANK YOU for all of her efforts in raising awareness for Kiva!

Posted on by Mollie Casper at 7:01
Labels: Kiva Lenders, Kiva Supporters

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This is Funny

You know all those emails you get that warn you about some dreaded something that is going to happen or could happen, especially if you don't forward the email on to 7 of your very best-est friends in the whole wide world? Well, if you've ever thought any of that was just a tad odd, go read this blog posting and see just how funny it all sounds when you put it all together! Thank you Shelagh for the laugh!

Poem by Maya Stein

I found this poem tonight and it just about knocked the wind out of me. It describes so well what grief feels like -- to me and I'm sure many, many others. The author is Maya Stein. Her website is linked in her name at the bottom of the poem. I found it while on this wonderful blog called 37 days. I still have not finished exploring it. I have a feeling I'll be there a lot. Enjoy the poem.

let the world spin as it spins

Eat the last cookies in the box.

Wear the same pair of jeans two

weeks in a row. See the orchid die, leaf

by leaf. Wipe the countertop carelessly,

so it’s sticky as spit the next time

you lean on your elbows wondering

what’s for dinner. Watch hours

of television. Call for pizza, for Chinese,

for the cable company to give you even

more channels. Drive by the gym

without skipping a beat. Wash your hair only

when it starts to wilt, when the mirror

produces someone who doesn’t look like she wants

to get laid. Think about sex constantly.

Order cocktails. Play pool. Spend your money

on a massage, on t-shirts from the warehouse sale,

on inflation-priced bagels from the café down the street.

Ignore the obvious fact that the sheets

need changing. Occupy your bed gratuitously.

When you’re done reading for the night,

flop the pages open, straining the jacket.

Allow the avocados to ripen beyond repair.

Stain the kitchen sink with grape stems,

mango peels, olive pits with the meat

still clinging. Use vast quantities of paper towels

for a simple spill of water.

Lavish attention on the minute landscape

between your eyebrows.

Lose time. Ditch the mail into the bulging

plastic bag near your desk. Almost mistake it

for trash. Abandon the task of fixing

the dresser drawer. Turn your car

into a wastebasket.

And when it comes, fall with extravagant

ugliness. Grieve noisily into the balls of your fists.

Push your heels against the carpet, your chest squirming.

Feel the walls of the house vibrate with your pain.

Make pockmarks of your heart.

Collapse if you have to. It is like this.

The world spins as it spins.

No one knows,

even though we all know

this is between

you and you alone.

So yield. Commit your entire body.

Recognize your own astonishing anguish.

Tear it from your skin like a wolf

eviscerates her trapped leg. Shriek like

the downed bird you are.

Invest wholly in your damage.

Lap up each tumescent despair. Swallow

the pinbones of your loss. Caress

every razor edge of not enough. Gift yourself

long, bruising hours of hopelessness.

The world spins as it spins.

Your life is on that same axis,

half shadow, half radiance

and turning, always turning.

-Maya Stein

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Little Things in Life

Sometimes the little things in life bring so much fun and joy. I love post it notes! I love that I can write on them and leave them just about anywhere. I love their wonderful, bright colors. They are f-u-n! I wish I had every single type out there. I just know I need them for something.

The urge for post it notes was strong when I was in Oklahoma the last time. My son was headed to the store and I was going to be watching the kids. I was fighting the desire to go to the office supply store myself later, so I asked him to pick me up some post it notes. I didn't think I had to specify "bright and fun". Well, I learned a lesson. These will now be going to his dad. He can use them for everyday, boring whatever he wants to stuff.

Yesterday when I was out running my errands, I ended up in Athens, close to the Office Depot. It pulled me in. I couldn't stay away any longer. Here are the post it notes that I got.

Don't these post it notes just make you want to write? Aren't they happy? Men have a lot to learn about post it notes. Other things that make me happy at the office supply store are college ruled notebook paper and colorful Sharpie pens. I need many more colorful Sharpie pens! Many more. And a very favorite of mine that I actually forgot to photograph is Sanford Magic Rub #1954 erasers. They are the best of the best in my book.

I'd have more to show you, I'm sure, but my friend Beth called while I was there. It's very hard to shop while talking on the phone. I know I forgot to get the post it "labels"! I'd been drooling over every commercial I had seen of those for weeks. So, I'll have to go back soon. I love office supply stores all the time, but at this time of year, when everyone is getting school supplies, I just crave them. I don't have to get school supplies any longer, but I still feel the pull to do it. I guess some things never change.

Monday, August 16, 2010

FUN Stuff!

Today, I got to pick up my new license plates that say ENOUGH. I also got lots of fun stuff in the mail. Just look at these wonderful rocks and the great decorated envelope they came in!

If you love these rocks as much as I do and want to get some of your own, go check out Kim's etsy shop.

Check out Kim's blog here. It's great too!

While I was downtown picking up the license plates, I came across this cool statue. I was hoping it was a fountain, which I am almost sure it was in a previous life, but it is indeed a statue at this point.

If it had angels on it instead of fairies, I probably would have sat on the bench and waited for them to open! Well, on second thought, I would have just gone back on Wednesday since that's when they open next. It's a little hot for waiting more than 24 hours outside.

I also joined Postcrossing over the weekend. I mailed off 5 postcards today. One each to Finland, Russia, Poland, the Netherlands and to New York. I was surprised that I only got one address for the USA, but then again you had to check a box saying that you wanted to be able to send and receive from the country you live in. So, I guess it's not that surprising when I stop to think of it. You can only mail off 5 cards to start. Then as the cards you mail arrive, you can mail off another. Eventually, I think you can have up to 6 in the mail at one time. I thought it would be fun to use the postcards I got from moo that I showed you here. I had already sent all the ones of my son and his kids to family. So, they didn't go to any postcrossing folks. When I start getting postcards, I'll show them to you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Boston 3 Rangers 1

My friend Kari treated me to a Rangers/Boston baseball game last night. She's a Boston fan and I'm a Rangers fan. You may have guessed from the title of this posting that she had just a little more fun than I did at the game.

It was a really hot night. As we drove up to the ball park, I noticed that the temperature showing on my car thermometer was 106, but I would not have been surprised if it had risen by the time we stopped to park with the valet. Yea, I know, but I have a bad knee, so I treat myself to valet when I go to the ballgame.

Despite the temperatures, the place was packed.

Kari, being a Boston fan, got a really good shot of this player. Sorry, I don't know who he is. If you're a Boston fan, you probably do. I'm hoping Kari will tell me and I can add his name. Anyway, there is a large Boston fan base here. The games are always interesting. **Note from Kari -- "Clay Buchholz. He is one of our best pitchers. Only his second full year up. In his second major league start he pitched a no hitter!"

I was very sad to see "Salty" in a Boston uniform. I'll admit it, I'm a Rangers fan, but I don't follow baseball all that well. So, I had no idea that he had been traded to Boston. I just knew he wasn't on our team any longer and I missed him. I think Salty is a dang good catcher.

Now, one of the things I've always enjoyed about going to games is "people watching". And when things aren't exactly going the way they should for the home team, your team, you not only people watch, but you look for things that make you happy. Like the view you get of Cantu when he's up to bat.

And a little Texas pride!

The highlights of the game for me were a single home run by Josh Hamilton and the stealing of third base by a kiddo between innings. I don't remember the child's name, but he had 30 seconds to run from his starting place to third base, literally steal it and take it back to where he started. He got back there with 4 seconds to spare! For winning -- he got to keep the base! I was so thrilled for him. As stated above, the Rangers lost 3 - 1 and Kari and I (along with 48,028 other people headed out to our car). When we finally got up toward the front of the line to wait and look for the car, I could literally see it. (mine is the dark car on the other side of the silver one, yes it's kind of hard to see in the dark -- click on the photo to enlarge it and see PeTunia a little better)

I'd never been in that position before. We started chatting with a police officer and I told her I could see my car. Thankfully, she told me to go tell the valet and get my keys. We were soon on our way. This is what the temperature reading was at 10:39 PM -- 101!

Ahh...thank goodness for a/c! We won't even talk about the traffic after the game. I'm just glad we went to the game last night instead of the game today.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Found One!

You will never believe what I found today! I had just returned from the post office, got out of my car in the driveway and looked down as I was walking to the gate. It's always a good idea to look down as you walk in a rural area (at least around here) because you just never know when there will be a copperhead snake laying across your path. Anyway, I looked down and there was a heart shaped rock -- right there -- in my driveway! Or more precisely, a broken heart. Perfect for the past year I've had. I wish I had taken a photo of it right then and there, but I was so excited to find my first heart rock that I just grabbed it!

You may not know this about me, but I love heart shaped rocks. I order them when I find them on etsy and I try to win them in auctions on eBay. I'm a heart shaped rock sucker. I like the big ones better than the little ones, but it was the little ones that I first started getting -- for a jewelry workshop I was going to take. I didn't get to take it because of the passing of my daughter-in-law and being in CA with my son and his children at the time of the workshop. I have faith that I'll get to take the workshop at some point. Until then, I'll just keep on loving heart shaped rocks and if I'm really lucky, maybe I'll find a few more myself!

Woo Hoo -- Moo!!

Have I ever told you how much I love Moo? Oh my goodness! This place is fabulous! I love it, love it, love it. I've ordered from them three times now and I'm about to order again just because I loved my last order so much.

My last order was for postcards. They are, without a doubt, the best quality postcards I have ever seen in my life. They are thick and glossy and fabulous. I honestly can't say enough good things about them. But I do have one complaint and I did share it with them. I would love to be able to tell them how many of each image I want when I'm ordering the cards. As it's set up now, they divide the images into the number of cards you're ordering. Makes sense for a lot of people, I'm sure, and is definitely easier on them. But I would have loved to have 12 of my son and his family and 1 or 2 of several others. I couldn't do that. I had to go with 5 each of 4 designs.

Now I have to go figure out which photos to get more postcards from. I'm so excited!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wild Hairs and S'mores

I got a wild hair last Friday and decided to go see my grandchildren. Since they live in OK now, it's not a big deal to do just that. It was 9:20 PM when I jumped into the car and headed out. I got there a little after 2 AM. Went on to bed and got up around 9 or so to start visiting. Unfortunately, #1 was sick. Just running a slight fever and not feeling all that well. She had been home from the sitter on Friday, but I figured she'd be well by then. No. She wasn't. In fact, she continued to feel puny, but not horrible all weekend. Sunday night, I noticed that her tonsils were swollen. On Monday her dad took her to the doctor and found out she had strep throat and would be contagious for 48 more hours. I left then. But back to the weekend....

Since #1 was sick, we didn't get to do any of the things I had wanted to do on my next visit. Going out and exploring being number one on my list. So, inspired by Christina, I made the kids s'mores! They had never had one before!

I'm guessing that JT didn't like his very much because he only ate just a little of it before leaving the rest on the table and going on to play on the computer. I told him I was going to throw the rest in the trash and he said "OK".

Number 2, their dad and I ate all of ours!

Number 1 ate almost all of hers before saying she didn't want any more. Then she announced that she hoped she didn't see anymore chocolate, marshmallows or graham crackers for several months. Bless her heart.

A couple of things that we joked about while I was there: the kids know that I have a strong aversion to blue people and blue on people. I know it's a little weird. One of my little quirks, I guess. I think it's the blue next to the white of the eyes that really gets to me, but I couldn't help kidding #2 about her blue nail polish. It was in need of a touch up.

Their mother, loved Ramen Noodles. She passed the love on to the girls. When I first got to the house in CA after M had passed, there was probably 2 cases of Ramen Noodles in the pantry! M had not wanted to run out! It's taken a little over 4 months, but they have been eaten, mostly by the girls. Here is a photo of the last package of Ramen Noodles. The girls argued over who would get it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Days 10 - 16 of 29 Gifts in 29 Days

I haven't posted about my giving lately. I've even been posting irregularly on the 29 Gifts website. I'm still giving, but my "gives" aren't anything out of the ordinary, so they haven't felt blog-worthy. That is not what I signed up for though. I signed up to do the giving and to tell about it. Now, I must admit that I don't like the telling part much. I prefer to do my giving and keep it private. In the next rounds of giving, I plan to do just that.

During these days, I've donated to the East Texas Food Bank, bought my sister-in-law a salad, set up my hubby's coffee pot for the next days and worked several days on cleaning and de-cluttering projects around the house.

Some good things have come to me during this time also. I got to have great phone visits with my momma, my friends Beth and Catherine. I go to visit in person with many wonderful female friends who have I have not seen in 4 months or so and seeing my sister-in-law is always a gift. And I did not have to go in for jury duty yesterday. All cases were handled in some way that ended up not needing court and jurors. Yippee!

It's easy for me to pick places to donate money to. The hard part is figuring out how to give without spending money or without it costing more than a dollar or two. That is going to be one of my challenges in a coming round of gives.

Monday, August 2, 2010

People I Love who have gone before Me

I have an artistic soul. As an artistic person, I have been drawn to shrines that I see in art magazines. I often want to buy one that I've seen online too. The thing about one made by someone else is that they aren't personal, unless of course you order one and pay the big bucks to have it personalized. So, as part of my de-cluttering and part of my putting things that I love in my new computer/sewing area --- I have started a shrine of sorts. The mouse pad I use has my favorite photo of my father on it. It was taken during the summer of 1983, I think. I have the original photo that needs to go in a frame and I have a wonderful painting of the same photo that my sister-in-law Charmaine did for me. It's downstairs. My father built the house we live in. We've been here now more than 20 years. That is amazing to me.

Part of my shrine in progress is a photo of my dear friend Marianne. I miss her so often. Her smile and laughter and, more than anything else, just talking to her. These are the same things that I miss about my sister Teresa. How do you like her jar so far? It's got an Anglican rosary in it that I made and she bought. She loved the rosary and I did too. I almost didn't sell it to her. She's wearing it in my favorite photo of her, although in this small print, I don't think you can see it. It was around her neck during her funeral service also. I asked my brother-in-law for it and he got it back before she was cremated. The only other things in the jar right now are some of the marbles given to us during her funeral service. If I ever find the story in the Chicken Soup for the Soul books that I know I've read it in, I'll put it here, if I can get permission to. Or I'll at least tell you all the title and which book it's in. The other thing I have of Teresa's is a small grocery list written on a page from a "Future Planner". It's wrinkled and in her unique hand writing. I love it. I plan to get it framed on acid free mats so that it will last. This is my start to a shrine to those I love who have gone before me. It will be all around me for now.

De-Cluttering My Life

I've recently started a long process. The process of de-cluttering my life. I'm starting on my house. I work on the bedroom on the days my hubby is off work. I take on the downstairs when he is working. He works nights and is on a rotating schedule so if he's off this weekend, he works next weekend and the same goes with the different days of the week. A couple on, a couple off and it rotates. After 7 months, I think he's finally starting to get used to it. At least the sleeping part of it. We still haven't quite gotten the chores back into a normal routine yet. It's hard for an old guy of 51 to adjust to this type of schedule.

And then of course, I've been out of town so much this year. Very, unusual for me, but then this has been an unusual year, to say the least. An unusual, difficult, horrible year.

Anyway, back to the de-cluttering. I rearranged the computer/sewing area last night. It took me a few nights just to move things and they are still a mess. Will be for a while. That is the next step in the upstairs project. This is what the computer/sewing area looks like now:

I love it! So much more room than a skinny, flimsy, 4 foot collapsible table. The challenge will be to keep is as clutter free as possible. I have a tendency to clutter. I'm trying to put things on this table that I use all the time. Things that make me happy, and only those things. I'm not finished. I don't have everything plugged in or cleared away or even cleaned off. But I have started.

Here is a photo of some of my fabric.

There is even more downstairs. I've actually gotten rid of three huge tubs of fabric, but I plan to get rid of lots more of it. I'll also be going through quilting books, novels and just about anything and everything else too. I'm going to get new dressers and get rid of the horrible thing I've been using for so very many years that now reminds me of bad times. I may burn the old dresser and dance around it naked and raise some hell. Or I may try to give it away on Craigslist. Right now the bonfire is looking good to me. A ceremony to the new me...a celebration of the uncluttered me...the one who is enough...a celebration of knowing I'm enough and telling anyone who doesn't think so to take a hike.