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Friday, December 20, 2013

It's A Wonderful Life

  December has really flown by, and it's almost Christmas.

 I finished my shopping early, and have had a lot of free time to watch Hallmark Christmas movies, and make candy. It's been great.
 I made Martha Washington candy, several varieties of fudge, and tried some new recipes. One of those was Bourbon Balls. This is a very easy recipe, once you find the chocolate wafer cookies, and if you follow the instructions well, which I did not on the first try. The recipe called for a cup of this, a 1/4 cup of that, and so on. After mixing up the first batch, I could see it was too thin to make into balls, so I asked Jon what he thought I did wrong. He looked over the recipe, and our conversation went something like this. Jon, "Did you use one cup of powdered sugar?"
Me, "Yes"
Jon, "One cup of cookie crumbs, 1/4 cup bourbon?"
Me, rather indignant, "Yes"
Jon, "1 and 1/4 tablespoon corn syrup?"
Me, a little more sheepish this time, "Is that what it says?"
Jon, "How much bourbon did you drink?"
I had added 1 and 1/4 CUPS of corn syrup, and I hadn't drank any of the bourbon. I was not drunk, just blind. I don't really need my glasses, unless I want to see.

 Like I said before, I finished my shopping early. In years past, I have gone so overboard, I never knew when I was through. It was just a matter of running out of time. I think, for so many years, I was trying to give my kids that classic, over the top Christmas, building traditions and memories, that just could not be achieved with material things. It was stressful to everyone involved, and ran up terrible debt to be paid in January, or more likely, February and March. Jon and I decided to tone it down this Christmas. We want to try to make it all about Jesus, and just enjoy being with the people we love.
  At Bible study, our core leader wanted us to share a happy Christmas memory. I heard some pretty funny stories. One lady talked about her grandmother buying all the kids bicycles. She said she had them all lined up by the Christmas tree, and when the kids came running in, one was bumped and they all went down like dominoes, crashing into the china hutch. There was broken glass and china everywhere. I don't know why that's funny, but I laughed. Another said her mother is nurse practitioner, at a large hospital emergency room in Houston, and brings a stranger home for Christmas dinner every year. Of course, the stranger is welcome to come back the next Christmas. She said they never know who is going to show up. I thought that was nice, gutsy, but nice.
  I was a very little girl, when I received my most memorable gift. Santa had been to our house, and left toys, fruit and candy. Everyone was happy and all was right with the world. I saw my daddy walk out to his pickup where he had hidden two gift wrapped boxes. He gave the first one to my mother. It was a black negligee. I thought it was a slip and embarrassed her, by telling everyone I knew about it. The other gift was for me. I opened it and was tickled to find a little pair of gold house shoes. I put them on my bare feet, and suddenly felt very warm. It warms my heart now. I can imagine Daddy was in a store, looking for Mom a gift, when he saw the gold slippers, and thought of me. Maybe he knew my feet were cold. Or maybe he was thinking about his other little girl, who got so sick, it damaged her heart. Anyway, he was my daddy and he loved me. This will be my first Christmas without him.
 I miss you, Daddy. Thanks for the shoes. The memory is still keeping me warm.
 


                                                      

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Child's Perspective on November 22, 1963

   I remember the day our president died.
 I was sitting at my desk, cutting a pilgrim hat from black construction paper. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Tullis, was taping the hats, and some paper turkeys, to the window that looked out on the playground. My school was one of those old country school houses, with three classrooms, and a cafeteria that doubled as a library. The third grade teacher, who was also the principal, called Mrs. Tullis, and the second grade teacher out of class. I looked out the door and saw the three of them crying. I had lost my grandfather six months earlier, and knew when grownups cried like that, it must be something bad.
 Mrs. Tullis walked back into the classroom and announced President Kennedy had been shot. I don't think she said he had been killed. Maybe she didn't know yet.
 They released us from school, and I walked home with my brothers.
 My mom was crying when we got home. She, like most homemakers that day, were watching As The World Turns, when the news broke. It was the saddest day, and we watched it over and over on our black and white TV.
 As children, we had no idea, of the fear and uncertainties the country was facing. We knew it happened in Texas, but not that the rest of the country hated us. I asked why Oswald did it, and was told he was a Communist. Then, we saw Jack Ruby kill Oswald on television, and knew our questions would never be answered.

 It was different time. We prayed and sang Jesus Loves Me, before saying the Pledge of Allegiance, every morning at school, and no one complained. We were taught to respect our elders and honor our leaders. We loved our president. Even most adults hadn't heard all the negative rumors about JFK. Sometimes, I wish I still hadn't heard. I know it's a good thing, freedom of the press and all that. We have a right to know the truth. But, do we really need to know everything? It was nice having a hero in President Kennedy. I loved looking at the Life magazine photos of him and Jackie. I wanted to be Caroline. I had a Caroline Kennedy doll. I remember being upset that Jackie had to move out of the White House. I didn't know she was rich and could live anywhere. I saw her as the widow of my hero, pitiful, sad and deserving.
 We watched the funeral procession, the flag draped casket pulled down the street on a horse drawn wagon, all day. We saw little John John's salute as it happened. And then, it was over...until 1968.


 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Legacy of Blessings

  We had a family reunion, here, at my house, last weekend. We didn't have a great turn out, but good for a first try.
 Getting ready for the reunion, I made a photo album and put together a notebook with Bacon family genealogy, and some letters and newspaper clippings I found in my mothers bible. One of my cousins sent some stories and poems written by her mother and brother, as well. There were some great stories about the people we came from.
 During all this, I was taking a 13 day round of steroids, which tried to kill me. It almost turned me into a man. Seriously, I'm still tweezing the hairs from my chin. It kept me awake at night, and I couldn't eat. Nothing tasted right and I was just not hungry. Also, I found myself, with the television remote, mindlessly changing channels. See, just like a man.
 When I did sleep, because of all the family stories I was reading, I would wake up, in the middle of the night, and think, "Where is my butter churn?", or something like that. Silly, I know, but I walked the Trail of Tears and fought in the Civil War, until morning.
 This all has me thinking, today about suffering. Those of my generation have lived, what some might consider charmed lives. We were born after the country recovered from the big war. Our parents owned their homes with color TVs and frost free refrigerators. Most of us never picked cotton. We rode our bikes to and from school and watched The Monkeys and I Dream Of Jeanie, while doing our homework. When the boys, in our generation reached Draft age, The Vietnam war ended and the Draft was no more. It does sound like a cushy life. Most hardships and sufferings were self inflicted.
 I wonder why we were so blessed. I wonder why my father had to be fatherless during the Depression, and my grandparents went through fires, devastation, and the loss of four children. Why were my ancestors forced off their land and made to live on a reservation?
 All I know for sure is, if any of these things had gone a different way, I might not be here today. If my great- great grandfather had not had a calling on his life, to educate and bring the Gospel to the Indian Nation, I might not be a Christian today. And, I am thankful for these things, and for the life I have been given.

 
 I believe in Heaven. I wrote the previous post for a friend, who enjoys ghost stories. It was fun, and good practice.
 But, I feel it is necessary to say, I believe in Heaven. I believe in God. If ghost were real, why would they hang around old buildings and cemeteries, instead of people they knew and loved in this world?
 C. S. Lewis said, we do not have souls. We are souls and we have bodies.
 I see our bodies as chains, keeping souls attached to this world. Someday, our chains will break, and we will be set free.
   

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Ghost Story For Teresa

  Once, while visiting Savannah, Georgia, my husband and I decided to take a tour of the Maritime museum. If you've ever been to Savannah, you know some of the beautiful old historic homes have become museums. The Maritime museum is located in the Scarborough house.
 The house was built sometime around 1818. William Scarborough was a wealthy shipping merchant, who became destitute, after his biggest project, the Steamship Savannah, failed to become a commercial success. After being sold a couple of times, the house became property of the board of education until 1962. After years of abuse at the hands of school children, the historical preservation society took on the project, restoring it to it's original beauty. Soon after, it became the Maritime museum.
 You can probably tell, I am more interested in old houses than ships, but the museum is impressive, with it's ship models and wood carvings. At the time, I didn't know it had been a school, also.

  We visited the museum on a week day, when very few people were around. It's a self guided tour, so we went through pretty quickly. We walked back to the entrance, where the gift shop was, just as rain began to pour. We thought we would wait a while, hopping the rain would let up, and started a conversation with the gift shop girl.
 We waited and waited, but the rain just got worse. It started to thunder and the wind blew, until it was a real storm. We were bored and asked the girl if we could look through the museum again. She said sure, as we were the only people there. While we were looking through the old house, the power went out. It was very dark and, the wooden figureheads, lurking in every corner, were throwing eerie shadows around the rooms. I heard children laughing and decided a school field trip must have made it in from the storm. If they could handle the rain, so could we. It was time to go, but first, I needed to visit the ladies room, in the basement. Several children passed me on the  stairs down to the dark basement. They were dressed a little odd, long skirts and bonnets, but I figured it was part of their field trip. Besides, they were so cute.
 When we got back to the entrance, it was still raining, but we said we were leaving, anyway. The gift shop girl said she was leaving also.
 I said, "What about the field trip kids?"
 She suddenly turned very pale, and said, "You saw the children?"
 I said yes, I had seen them in the basement. At that, she started packing up her things to go, and walked out the door with us. I suppose, the children were my imagination....hmm
    

A Little Bump On The Road Of Life

 This past weekend, my husband and I were shopping in Rockwall. We pulled into a parking place and heard a noise. Jon had driven the car all the way up to the curb, which was pretty low, and the front bumper went over the curb. He decided he was too close and tried to back out. Well, the bumper got hung on the curb, and he nearly pulled the whole thing off. We got out of the car to look, and there was nothing I could say, that he would not hear as completely annoying. So, he said go on into the store and he would see what he could do.
 I walked around the store, looking at stuff, but couldn't see anything I wanted or needed, because I was too worried about the car.
  He walked into the shop, like everything was okay, then left again, real soon. This worried me, so I left, too.
  I asked him if he was able to put the bumper back on, and he said he tied it on with a rope. It actually looked pretty good and I thought we might make it home with the car intact. It's a good hour drive from Rockwall on a busy interstate.
 Driving home, he told me he had looked for some duct tape in his backpack. He thought that would hold the bumper better, but he instead found some rope.
 You may be thinking, how odd, that a man would be carrying rope around in his backpack, but I understand completely. This is a man who plans for any and everything that could possibly go wrong. Sometimes, I think I will grow old, waiting in the car, while he goes around checking doors and windows, I have already checked. Then he starts on the car. Do we have everything? Check the tires, the oil, the windshield wiper fluid.
 No, this didn't bother me at all. All I could think was, Thank God he didn't have any Duct tape. Have you ever noticed, when a man "fixes" something with duct tape, he seems to think it is "fixed"? He will never go back to it, as it is a finished project. I would be driving a duct taped car for the rest of my life.
 Fortunately, he took it to a body shop and got the bumper reattached, by professionals, who charged 189.00, but no duct tape was used.


 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Home Sick Blues

  My father died a few months ago, and recently, one of his neighbors bought his house. Everything is finale, all loose ends tied, nothing left to do, but miss him, terribly.
  It's a sad and strange feeling to know I can never go back to the house where I was raised. Someone else is living there. Someone else has my room. I find I'm thinking about it constantly.
  I hear the sound of dishes clanking, and I'm back in my mothers kitchen setting the table, while she busily prepares lunch. It's Summertime, and Daddy, as well as my brothers have been working all morning under a harsh West Texas sun. There will be discussions about the elections, the war, and those who are not with us, because of the war. There will also be laughter and lighthearted discussions. This is where I heard the term, birth control, for the first time. My sister had a new car with bucket seats, which one of my brothers called birth control seats. That was pretty rough talk in the 60's, and my mother ended it quickly.
  The scent of freshly cut grass brings a picture of my dad, hot, exhausted, smoking a cigarette and drinking ice tea from a canning jar. It wouldn't be long before his second wind would have him playing baseball with the boys. How Daddy loved baseball.
  We slept through hot Summer nights with all the doors and windows open, trying to find a breeze. Mom said a person would be crazy to break into a house so full of people, so I was never afraid. Most nights, after everyone had gone to bed and the house was quiet, I could hear my dads radio playing some faraway baseball game. It was AM radio, of course, and so static filled, I could barely understand what the announcer was saying. Still, it calmed me.
 
  Someone else is living in my parents house. Someone else will benefit from the hard work of planting and cultivating a peach orchard. Another family will see their kids and grand kids grow up under those trees. I hope they will know how fortunate they are to live in a home built with so much love.
  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Reading Maketh a Full Man, Sir Francis Bacon

  A couple of my old high school friends, one in California, the other near Austin, and I have been discussing on Face book, how we should start a book club, long distance. We've talked a lot about books we've read, and recommended a few. This sounds like so much fun, and really the only problem, for me that is, is one of the ladies reads ghost stories and mysteries that scare the life out of me. Just reading about what she reads, gives me nightmares.
 Really, these books are probably not that bad, but I'm a chicken. A big, fat, wing flapping, yellow feathered chicken. I change the channel, when scary movies are advertised on TV. The nightly news will keep me up nights.
 I do love to read, but lately, I've become a little bored with it. I can't say how many books I have started and never finished. Maybe I need to step it up a bit and start reading some mysteries, other than Nancy Drew.
 My husband reads all the time. He reads deep, spiritually enlightening books, as well as historical and biographies. I always picture us sitting side by side on a plane or beach, reading our books. The cover of his says, The Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. My cover says, How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Although, my book is more fun, his looks more impressive. I will be able to finish mine over the weekend. His will take weeks, possibly months.
  I still think an online book club with these old friends, and maybe others, would be fun. It may cause me to read some new things, get over a few fears, and reconnect with some of the best friends I ever had. I don't think they will be surprised that I am, shall we say, less than deep in my reading material.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Love At First Sight

 Today Lauren would be the same age I was, the day she was born. It's hard to believe, seems like yesterday.
 She was my third child, so I was not expecting any surprises. But, in true Lauren form, there were many surprises. She was actually born on her due date. That never happens, so when I went into labor, I thought it was just a back ache. I'd never had back labor before, and really didn't know there was such. It started hurting so bad, we went to the emergency room to get something for the pain. They told me I was in labor and sent Jon to have me admitted. The nurses called my doctor and said it would still be hours before she was born. I went to the bathroom, with a nurse standing outside the door, and here came Lauren, about to hit her head on the toilet. She was born in the hospital hallway.
 She was so chubby and beautiful. I said, " don't cry baby ", and she looked at me, made that little O face babies make, and I think she knew my voice. That I was Mom, and I would take care of her forever.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Bucket List Has a Hole In It

 I fell out of my hammock, and I think I have a concussion.
 I know what you're thinking. Most people are injured playing sports, or riding motorcycles and other dangerous things. But, I got hurt falling out of a hammock. I just hope it's not as bad as my Lazy Boy recliner accident in '07, for which I'm still seeing a chiropractor.
 Then, there was the concussion I received in 2006, which I refer to as, Puppy Gate. I was stepping over a puppy gate and cracked my head on the ceramic tile in the utility room. I was goofy for months after that one. At least there were no witnesses, unlike the crowded, supermarket salad bar incident. Trying to make a simple purchase, I stepped on the tiniest piece of lettuce and, fell, for what seemed like, twenty minutes. I think I did permanent damage to my knee, and could possibly own that supermarket chain now, but I was too embarrassed to let the manager call for a doctor. I just wanted it to be over.
 So anyway, I fell out of my hammock, bounced my head off the ground, skinned my elbow, and bruised my tailbone. I have no great adventure story to tag on to the mishap. I don't do adventure or danger.
 I don't have a bucket list of exciting perilous things I want to do. If I had a bucket list, it would probably include things like, tour the Blue Bell ice cream factory. Or, finally see Man Of Steel, while it's still in Theaters. Also, I would like to visit Europe, if I didn't have to take a ship or a plane, and if I could be home by supper.




 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fear And Trembling Tuesday

  I was enjoying a cup of tea and just chillin' after my Yoga workout this morning,(yes I'm serious) when my husband called and said, "Be careful today. There are a couple of escaped convicts in Sulphur Springs, one a murderer, and they found their prison clothes near our neighborhood." We made some jokes about it, while I checked the locks on the doors, laughed and hung up. Almost immediately, I heard a noise on the front porch. It was only the UPS man, God rest his soul.

 This put an edge to my mood and, I didn't leave the house all day. I tried to negotiate with the dogs, about going outside, since it meant unlocking the backdoor, but they didn't care. As I opened the door, something ran past me. Once I stopped convulsing, I realized it was a squirrel that had gotten trapped in the screened in porch. I shut the door before the dogs saw it, and tried to coax it out the door. I can testify, squirrels are more stupid than dogs.

 As of  the five o'clock news, the convicts still have not been captured, so Jon was once again, trying to teach me to use the Glock he bought for me last Summer. I tried to kill a wasp, with wasp spray, this afternoon, and that went terribly wrong. He just kept coming back, like in a horror movie. I don't think I could ever shoot a person. I remember all those old movies where, after the bad guy is supposed to be dead, he grabs the girls leg as she's walking away.
 One of the most terrifying of these movies was, Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin in Wait Until Dark. She is a blind woman, and has to use her other senses to fight off the bad guys. I get chills just thinking about it.

 Well, the Rangers game starts here in a few minutes and that could be just as frightening, after the way they played Sunday night, so see ya in my nightmares.
 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Legend is Born

  I have not lived in my house long enough to reap the benefits of my two backyard pecan trees. We have picked up a handful, and Mia, our Pekingese, certainly enjoys bringing them in the house and cracking them open on the rug. Judging from the fat squirrels in my yard, I'd say we have a couple of good, pecan bearing trees.
 One day, last week, my neighbor brought over a cardboard box full of pecans. He was tired of shelling them, and knew he would soon have more. I looked at the box and it occurred to me, I didn't really have to shell them. I could say thank you and give them away or trash them. I love pecans, but not the work. Being Calvin Patridge's daughter, I could do neither. I took the box out to my fathers old picnic table, sat and started shelling. I discovered the chore was quite peaceful and satisfying.
 Over the next couple of days, I bought two more nutcrackers, trying to find the best one, and in hopes that Jon would help me. When he decided he would help me, it didn't take long to realize he was eating every pecan he shelled, so I sent him on his way.
 I did pretty well. I shelled about half the box. Every evening, I left the box out on the picnic table, knowing it would still be there in the morning. Jon said I was too trusting of the squirrels and raccoons. But, I thought that was silly, they wouldn't get that close to the house.
 Friday morning, I walked outside and saw an empty box, on the ground, on the other side of the yard. My first thought was the wind, but the box had been half full and had three nutcrackers to weigh it down. A light weight basket was still on the table. I looked around for the pecans, and saw nothing but empty shells. Jon says, I am now a neighborhood legend among squirrels.



  While we were shopping for birdseed, Jon pointed out several feeders that were squirrel proof. I told him that was cruel. We could hang the feeders where the squirrels would have to put out a little effort, but it wouldn't be impossible for them to reach. Yesterday, I was outside with the dogs, when suddenly a rather fat, lethargic squirrel fell from the tree. I think he was trying to reach the bird feeder. He looked a little stunned as did the Chihuahua and Pekingese. They started to chase him, just like everyday, but this time nearly caught him. That would be terrible. I stood in my yard screaming, "run squirrel, run! Look, there's a tree. Run for the tree!" I think he heard me, because he turned and looked at me, before running up the tree.

 I have this picture in my mind of a big squirrel meeting, much like a Boyscout jamboree. The squirrels are wearing headbands with feathers, and maybe little fringed vests, with Thunder birds painted on the back, not unlike the one I made in Girl scouts, and was ridiculed, by my brothers, for actually wearing. The jamboree is held in a tree house. I don't have a tree house, but for some reason, this is what I see. There is talk of the legendary white woman, me, and they have given me an Indian name. I know the proper term is Native American, but I spent my childhood in front of 1950's black & white sitcoms and 1940's cartoons, so please, let me continue. The Indian name they have given me is, Crazy Woman Who Speaks to Dogs. Some affectionately call me Crazy Woman, for short. They say, "Legend is Crazy Woman leaves food for squirrels. She will protect us from furry Canines, who live at her feet. We must store up the food she provides, because it is said, Crazy Woman rarely leaves her house in the Winter. Instead she sits by indoor campfire, enjoying Thunder juice."
 Well, I've always wanted to be a legend.
 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Change

  I spent the weekend back home, with family. We had an anniversary party for my husbands parents, and that was fun. I had not seen any of his family in months. We all ate too much, and had a lot of fun playing with the one and only grandchild in the family. I hope we don't ruin him before his baby brother/sister gets here.

 We also had a garage sale at my dads house. My brothers and sisters in law have worked very hard, getting his house ready to sell, and I appreciate it, but it makes me very sad.
 It's like my life there, is over. I don't have a home to go to, and no one to call and tell I've made it back safely. They are having blizzard like weather there today, and I have picked up my phone a dozen times, to call Dad and see how he is.

 I brought my mom's china hutch home with me. I plan to refinish it, so we'll see how that goes. Dad wanted me to take it several years ago, but I didn't feel good about taking Mom's things from the house, while he was still living. In hindsight, it might have been easier.
 My brother, Greg called to make sure we made it home ok, last night. That helped more than he will ever know. It made me feel like I still had a family.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

 I have just started a new blog. Check out Sand Lot Philosophy. It's about baseball and I'll probably say some things I shouldn't, so it should be fun. Hope you enjoy it.

 Oh, I will still be posting here, also.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Wolrds Greatest Dad

 We buried my father a week ago, today. We had fair weather, for February and there was a nice turnout. Memories were shared, kind words spoken, music he would have liked, then Taps played with a twenty one gun salute, and it was over. I couldn't help thinking, the one thing I had feared since childhood, finally was a reality. Also, I thought my sweet, almost ninety year old father, would have wanted his gray hair covered with Grecian Formula before so many people came to see him. I take after my father.

 I know I have the rest of my life to miss him, so it's pointless to do it all today. But I can't stop thinking about him. I dreamed I was at his house, with my brothers, trying to decide what to do with all his stuff. I looked up and saw him walk out of the house with his fishing pole. I felt kind of good about that.


  The memories I have are not likely to mean much to others, but that's OK.
 When I was a child, he was the biggest, strongest man in the world. He worked hard and came in after dark most evenings. He stood at the sink, scrubbing from his fingertips to elbows, the grease from a days labor. Next, he took off his cap and scrubbed it in the same manner. Finally, he sat, exhausted, at the dinner table, long after everyone else had eaten.
Sometimes, when he had to eat out in the field, he bought sandwich makings and cookies at a grocery/gas station deli. There were a lot of those back then. This is where we "ate out" while traveling on vacation. Kids today will never know how good a Coke, or RC Cola taste, from a glass bottle. Anyway, he brought the leftover cookies to us, and they were terrible, old man cookies, but we fought over them.
 I loved to watch him take batting practice with my brothers or our dog, Blackie. I bet he could hit a ball to the moon, if Blackie could retrieve it.
 He was the worlds greatest dad, and he had the cap, T shirt and coffee mug to prove it.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Reunited

 Early this morning, I was just waking up, and had a memory, or maybe it was a dream, of my father. My best friend, Ivy, and I had a wreck on a motorcycle just down the street from our house. We were just ten or eleven years old and, yes, we had no business being on a motorcycle. Well, Ivy was hurt pretty badly and her parents were out of town, so my mother was riding with her in the ambulance. I was just a little bruised and shaken. In all the commotion, I looked down the street and saw my father standing at the end of our driveway, arms crossed and looking very upset. I took off running to him. He grabbed me and held me so tight, I thought I would break in two.
 I thought about that for a minute, then went to the kitchen to make coffee. My phone rang. It was my oldest brother calling to tell me Daddy had just left this world.
 I feel so sad and alone right now, I don't know what to do with myself.
 I asked God for one more conversation with Daddy. He told me so many great stories about his childhood. I wanted to hear more.
 I believe God gave me that memory, this morning. Maybe so I could remember being frightened, needing comfort and running into the arms of my father. Maybe so I could see Daddy running into the arms of The Father.
 He is in the Presence. He is with Mom, and Sherry, and that little blond haired girl, Lauren.
 I will love and miss him for the rest of my life.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Diary Of An Attention Deficit Housewife

It was a beautiful morning, so I thought I would have a cup of tea on the patio. I ran water into the tea kettle, and went outside to wait. It looked like a good morning to start getting flower beds ready, so I went to the shed to get a rake.
 I grabbed the rake and gardening gloves, noticing a very sore hangnail on my thumb. I thought I might need to bandage it before putting on, not so clean, gloves. I went in the house to get a Band-aid just as the kettle started to whistle. I quickly poured water over a teabag and left it to steep.
 I then saw the magazine, with the recipe I wanted to make for dinner, and remembered I needed groceries for the meal. I reached in a drawer for pen and pad to make a list and saw a picture of my grandmother. I knew I should put the picture back in the photo album, where it belonged. I opened the album and just as I was getting lost in memories, the clothes dryer dinged.
 I quickly took the towels out of the dryer and dropped them on the sofa, where I could fold them, after I put the wet laundry, from the washer, to the dryer. But first, I needed to check the hamper and see if there was enough dirty laundry for another load.
 I stepped into the bathroom and saw the vanity counter was spotted, so I grabbed some spray cleaner, but needed to find a rag. I looked in the mirror and thought I should put on some make up, so I can run to the grocery store here in just a minute.
 I started to do my face and realized how badly in need I was of a haircut. Where did I put that girls card? I liked the way she did my hair and said I would call her again. Maybe it's in my purse.
 But then, I saw all that loose coin and knew it was making my purse too heavy.  I thought I should clean it out. After all, why should I carry around a purse full of old Walmart receipts? I found a nail file, I had been looking for, set the purse aside, and began filing my nails.
 Oh, but that hangnail hurt. Why hadn't I put a Band-aid on it yet?
 I looked around. After such a busy morning, what did I see? A rake lying in the yard, a pile of towels on the couch, wet clothes in the washer, a bottle of bathroom cleaner on the vanity, an open photo album on the table, a cold cup of tea, and a woman in the mirror, needing a haircut and makeup. I'm exhausted.

Friday, January 18, 2013

If Looks Can Kill, I Have a License

 Yesterday, I finally went to the DMV and got my address changed on my drivers license. I know it's rare for anyone to have a good drivers license photo, but mine are always so bad, sales people gasp, yes literally gasp, when they ask for it.
I believe the lady taking my picture yesterday, was trying to win some kind of contest for the worst photo ever. I swear, she was smiling as she previewed her work.

 I tried. I fixed my hair, did my makeup and picked out a green sweater to wear. Green is one of my better colors, or at least I think so. Well the wind blew my hair and my cowlick was standing straight up. Of course no one told me. The lady said, "Stand in front of that blue back drop and look at the green dot". I looked at the green dot and just as I was about to tell her, if I look at the green dot I will be looking down,..CLICK! It looks like a mug shot after a really bad night. Think Nick Nolte. When she was telling me to look at the green dot, I think I heard her say, "and hold this bloody ax". Are you required to fail a photography test, when applying for a job at the DMV? Also, must you be able to show a genuine lack of interest in your job and folks requiring your service? If so, I think I may have been in the presence of the Employee Of The Month.


 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Rainy Daze

 It has been raining all day. I love rain. I think I may even be just a little weird about rain. Most people like it when needed, but soon tire of it, and are ready to see the sun shine. They say, areas where it rains most of the time, have high suicide rates. I don't know why I am the way I am. I just think rain makes everything more beautiful.


  We went to Cooper State Park this morning. The fog was so heavy on the lake, it appeared to go on forever. I felt a calmness, I haven't felt in a very long time. We walked through a thickly wooded area, hearing only an occasional raindrop or leaf falling. I looked up at the grey wintry sky, just in time to see the tiniest little red bird, a cardinal, flying over and perching himself in a tall tree. In the peaceful quiet, I could almost feel God's breath on my neck.
 I've heard it said, Our objective in this life, is not to arrive safely at death.
 I don't know why I am in this place, but I know God has placed me here. And makes me calm.
 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy 2013

 I'm a little late on my New Year wishes, but happy New Year, anyway.
 It's only seventy two more days until Spring, and eighty two days until my little girl turns thirty. This may kill me, so I am going to concentrate on the fact that it is also Opening Day at the Ballpark.

 Of course, over the last couple of months all my Texas Rangers Tshirts, except two, have become obsolete by  trades and free agencies. Sarah said she wanted to give me a new jersey for Christmas, but the only name she felt safe to buy was Jon Daniels.

 We had a White Christmas. Big fluffy flakes fell all day and I think we got somewhere around 3 to 4 inches. It looked like someone had broken a feather pillow. I didn't realize, at the time, but this was like a Christmas miracle. Several people said they  lived around here all their lives and never had snow on Christmas. One Tyler radio station was asking for old timers to call in, if they could remember a White Christmas in East Texas. Eric's girlfriend, Stephanie, was a South Texas girl and this was her first snow, ever. Pretty cool, until it took Sarah and Jonathon two hours to drive thirty miles.

 By now, I suppose everyone has settled back into a routine, back to school and all. I always felt sorry for my kids when they had to go back to school after Christmas. Most mothers were glad to have them out of the house, but I just had this feeling time was going by too quickly. Turns out, I was right.


 

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A wife, mother, and spoiler of small dogs, I grew up in a small West Texas town, with my eyes full of sand, and my heart full of joy.


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