Monday, December 29, 2008


I recently read a favorite columnist, who said she needed to get rid of baggage for the new year. Well, yeah, uh-huh, don't we all? I am thinking in terms of 30 pounds, and lots too much stuff. But she seemed to think her baggage consisted of unfinished projects. I just don't think so! I have many, many unfinished projects around here, and I regard them as packages of infinite possibilities. This way, you see, whatever mood I happen to be having, there is always something that makes my heart sing, so I pull it out and work away at it. This is not baggage -- it is something great waiting to happen. Funny how we all prioritize differently....

Mary Beth is coming out on New Years day to visit for a couple of days! Woo-hoo! Now, if I could just get the rest of you out here...

And speaking of that, the Scott family is hatching a plan for a huge Butler family reunion at the ranch, sometime around the 4th of July this next summer. We have to sit down with a calendar and see what holiday the 4th makes. They can sleep about 28 at the ranch, we have 2 extra double beds, and there are beds in the Mertzon house. There are also B&B's and motels. The ranch is about 50 minutes out from Angelo. Do note this on your calendars and more info will come.

I need to go to the grocery and I am trying to work up my enthusiasm. I think I told you HEB has doubled it's size and it is unreal trying to shop. But, it has to be done. Usually, Nancy picks up a few things from time to time for me and that's an enormous help - but this is not a few things - it's a whole bunch - I do it about once a month and she fills in the rest.

The broken rib is healing and it hurts. I now use flashlights at night to wander around the house. Irritating, but safer. Dad occasionally plays golf now, and is playing pool as I write.

We had a spectacular and particularly worshipful Christmas and Christmas eve service. Dad and I spent Christmas day with the Scott's, and that's always great. I keep thinking Scooter can absolutely not outdo his tenderloin from last year, and again this year, it was the best ever. The children all received new bikes (among other things) and we spent a bit of time watching them ride. Saxon and Mally are within 4-5 inches of being as tall as I am. Whoever said 'time flies when you're having fun' was right. Saxon will be in middle school next year.

Don't forget the reunion!!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I am still being 'let it be unto me according to Thy word' as best I can. I was merrily proceeding with my week according to my plan,( hear the big "MY" there?) and was abruptly stopped. In the night, Saturday, I somehow lost the bed as I was coming back from a nightly trip to the necessary. It wasn't where I knew it was supposed to be, and to make a long story short, I had a bad fall. I did bad things to my ribs and tho I was able to get myself up and back to the bed, I spent a sleepless night. I do keep pain meds on hand and they were a help, but there was only one position for me to be in to have minimal discomfort and that one got old. I had planned to make my 'famous' garlic cheese grits for the potluck and decorating, after church. I had clothes out, ready to go and join the choir and sing loudly. Everything was in readiness, except for me. I truly thought I might make just church, sit in the back and have communion brought to me, but no - that didn't happen. I sent DH off to do his LEM duties and when he returned he had brought communion for me! Bless the man. Then we made a trip to the 'doc-in-the-box' around the corner. This took several hours. Result, no broken ribs, but severe bruising and pain - also another bladder infection lurking around. I was sent home to move very gingerly.

What does 'according to thy word' mean in all this? Probably that I was consumed with busyiness and not focussed on the real thing - Jesus. We can do without the grits and the decorating of the two trees and the church, but we can't do without Jesus. I also tend to think I am indestructible. This has worked well most of my life,but isn't working just now. I am really not indestructible, and I have to stay focussed on the important rather than the busyness. With help I am on the way to learning this lesson. Lord, help me.

Christmas blessings to all my blogging friends.......

Friday, December 19, 2008

A very good morning

to you all.

I am having the most peaceful Christmas of my life. And I'm enjoying it all.

One weird thing happened last night: I listen to books on tape as I go to sleep. As I drifted off, I heard the last of the book I was using, but during the night I dreamed a totally different ending for the story. Mine was much better, but I can't remember it all. Now, I'm not sure if I need to rehear the last CD to be sure I have the author's story in my head. Very confusing. Once, many years ago, I dreamed an entire novel, but had no time to document it. Really, really wish I had taken the time.

Taking a leaf from Mary Beth's book, I am following "be it unto me according to thy word". It's making for a very different period of Advent. I have bought very little - have two more small things to pick up and I am finished. Much earlier I bought many books for the three youngest grands. I feel that I want to encourage the love of reading I have, and also counteract the influence of TV and all the other handheld entertainment devices. Books are the best. I have read them all (gramma's privilege) and so can direct their reading to some extent. When Nancy was here she commented on the lack of lights on the front of the house. They are somewhere in the garage, but I can't see them right off, so just let it go. I have my favorite 'fiber optic' tree, also the small metal tree with the satin ornaments made by my mom. Other than that, there is very little decorating. Soon I will be offering from my collection of years of ornaments for a large tree, to the children. Anyone interested, let me know. I can at least photo them and send for you to select. I simply don't want to do this anymore, and I want them out of the house. Many were made by Aunt Betty and are priceless to this family.

Baking for a 'praise and graze' tonight. We enjoy all the singing and fellowship we have at these events. We really are a very close knit church group. After coming through the fire of refining our basic beliefs, and then taking a stand to defend those, we have come together in a new way. I've been in churches in which I took part in a small group like this, but this- this is the whole church. An amazing thing, really.

After two dreadful episodes of withdrawal, I think I have passed the month average for detoxing from statin drugs. I feel so very much better. I'll talk with my cardiologist on Monday, and we will try to find a happy meeting ground for a statin free life for me. I really believe the drugs were killing me.

So-- some baking today, praise and graze tonight, potluck and decorating for church on Sunday, make pies, etc. for Christmas day at the Scott's and just do a lot of resting.

"be it unto me according to thy will" . And thank you Lord.........

Sunday, December 14, 2008

You're all invited....

to the grand tuba fest in San Angelo next weekend. For the third year in a row, the tuba Christmas carol fest will be held. Come, stand around and sing Christmas carols. If you have a tuba, come along and join the playing. All is free and fun!


Nancy took Dad and me, along with the three kids to see the local youngsters produce Willie Wonka. It was very well done. The choreography and dancing were outstanding - and I spotted another church child in it. Mally had spent the night before. We went through bags and bags of old costume jewelry and she took some for herself and some for her mom. I kept what I wanted and have a bag for my friend June. We really didn't finish as we were still matching earrings when it was time to leave. She kept some earrings although her dad won't let her pierce her ears until she is 16. She's counting the days. She was a love to have, and playing with jewelry was right down her alley.

For some reason, today I am so tired I don't think I can make church. I was all dressed to go to choir rehearsal with G. and just couldn't summon up the energy. I doubt I will make church even, but yes! I am wearing the necklace with which I can summon help if I need it. (That was to reassure the folks who worry about me being alone). Wearing it is a really good idea.

I've finished the knitting projects and can't work up the oomph to start another so I may just sit awhile. Or maybe crochet. Somehow that's easier as long as I don't have a pattern to follow.
Or maybe just sit and think.

We will be with the Scott's on Christmas day, yippee! This is always lots of fun. Then, MB is coming after Christmas for a few days and will help me plan and execute some easy freezer meals.

I'm "supposed" to do lots of things as the month wears on, but I doubt I'll do any of them except see doctors, More later, maybe.....

Friday, December 12, 2008

So how small is our world?

Pretty small. Last night we went to the monthly birthday dinner for the folks in our retirement community. The entertainment was one of our residents, a lady I had never met, singing. She has a beautiful alto, smoky voice and, at 83, was always on key. As she introduced herself, she mentioned that she was from Florida and had attended UF in Gainesville, and had been a singer for a band there. This got my attention rather quickly. After the show I introduced myself and told her that UF was my school also (or one of them). She went to Univ of Florida in 1941 at 15 years of age as a freshman. I went in 1951 as a junior. She didn't finish because of Pearl Harbor, but returned home to Tampa. She didn't marry a Texan but married a man headed for Texas and has been here since. We managed a rousing chorus of "We are the boys from old Florida, down where the old Gators play...", a corny song but one my father sang to me when I was a child. He went to UF also. The snapper was when she told me she had a married daughter living in Mertzon. I said something lame like "I do too" and it turns out her daughter may have married a family kin to Scooter. Is this not unlikely, to say the least? So how small is our world? Maybe about an inch?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It tried to snow

today, but only a few flakes fell. I was hoping for a heavy fall of the stuff.

Last Sunday was the 7th of December. This was my mother's birthday and of course Pearl Harbor day. I remember it well. I was 10 years old- we had always lived in Tallahassee (Fla). I knew there were rumblings of a sort as my father had been called from the reserves into active service just after school started that fall. Because no one knew if the callback would last we stayed in our home and he went to Camp Lee, Va. I remember being stunned on PH day - in my childish insularity I never dreamed anyone would want to hurt my country. We went to the movies every Saturday and always had a newsreel, so soon the pictures of the attack were everywhere. I've made it for the rest of that war, Korea, Vietnam, the cold war, etc., etc. We're still here and we're still a great country. Polarized, yes, but I do think help is on the way. I pray there will be no more wars for me to see or for our country to endure. Amen and amen.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


this morning was great. We sang with the choir,and these lovely people don't care if I go off on some harmony of my own, or whatever. Somehow it all sounds wonderful. I read once that 'he who sings prays twice'. I believe it. We are also doing some more formal music and I love that.

Wednesday night at Bible Study, since Thanksgiving eve was cancelled, I was supposed to teach both the rise and fall of Israel in one hour. Now, really. I could talk for two hours on the rise- the fall is sadder. Somehow we got through it. All my ladies are pretty well versed in the Bible and that really helps. At one point we puzzled over why God would harden Saul's heart. This sounds pretty mean. I asked and was told that it meant that God gives his children just what their hearts desire - and Saul wanted the ungodly things he did. Funny, I never gave my children just what they wanted. They wouldn't have been worth a fig if I had, and they actually turned out just great. I have to puzzle over this some more. Any ideas out there? There must be.

One day last week we did one of our marathon readings - an all day thing. My eyes weren't quite ready for this and at bedtime they felt boiled. Thinking it over, I realized that I had read 4 books and that's a lot of back and forth for my poor eyes. Also, I don't have proper reading glasses yet, since the cataract removals. All things in time, however. I am knitting now, and reading less.

I have decided that I hate cooking!!! After 44 years of cooking for this family I have lost the art - skill, whatever, of making food taste good. I made a bought pizza tonight and even it was nasty. Unfortunately, we still have to eat. We may start subsisting on fresh fruit - even I can't screw that up.

Daughter Sarah is selling knitted scarves for me at her school. Next year instead of me knitting willy-nilly, we think we will ask for orders and knit what is ordered. Maybe that will be better.
Also granddaughter Katie offered to sell some for me. I had less this year, but at least there is still a market. Have to watch the economy here. My friend June, who runs an e-bay business says people aren't buying and selling old shoes any more. They must be keeping their shoes. Buying used shoes on e-bay blows me away, anyway. I remember the real depression. Roosevelt made work for everyone who would work and if you would, nobody starved . CCC, WPA, etc. You had food, shelter and work and $5.00 monthly, with $20.00 being sent for your family, wherever they were. Families had to split up. My mom always had someone on the back steps eating enormous plates of food - we lived 1/2 block off the main highway and she swore our house was marked. And then there were the war years, with all sorts of things severely rationed. Everyone had a garden in their backyard. Did you know you can't make jelly without real sugar?

This afternoon, Nancy, Mally and I went to see the Nutcracker. We sat on the first row and I don't think I ever enjoyed the Nutcracker so much. We were right in their faces. Also the choreography was excellent, done by the new directress for the ballet, here. What fun to watch their muscles move as they danced. The guest artists were very, very good. Thanks, Nancy.

Enough blathering......

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy December

I just seem to glance away for a few seconds and another month is here! When I look at the schedule for December, I think I might just as soon skip this month - too much stuff! But all of it is good. (especially Christmas!) I did learn on Wednesday that I might as well not schedule more than two events in a day becuse I just won't get them all done. I backed out of a party then. Too bad. It was an auction in which we all bring stuff to sell to benefit the treasury. I was going to unload a lot of things I no longer need but which I am sure somebody will just love. I guess there is always next year. Today is a monstrous trip to the grocery store. It is a comedy by the time I get to the checkout counter. I need to use the riding carts, and they are just too small. I usually have food between my feet, behind me and in my lap and one hand is holding the pile in the cart to keep it from falling over. I know I should go more often, but HEB has doubled the size of the store and it takes at least two hours to navigate the thing. It really was large enough before. OK, enough rant about the grocery store. I'm really glad we have a good one.

When we came home from Thanksgiving I couldn't find all my meds. I am not famous as a good packer, and eventually they were there, but for about a week I took no meds. It felt fabulous! I am adding back the things I took slowly and will see the cardiologist in a couple of weeks to consult with him. It is cold and I absolutely love the cold! I think I like cold weather clothes more than warm weather things.

We are going with Nancy and crew to see the young people's production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in a couple of weeks, and we're really looking forward to this. The University has a neat program in the astronomy theater and we hope to get to it also. Tomorrow night is the Christmas symphony - we always enjoy that. Then,tomorrow during the day, we will be at the show barn to watch the children show their goats and rabbits. It's their first year with rabbits. Happily, Nancy was excused from her class since she passed her ExCet class (Cheers for her!!!) so we get to see her also. She'll finish this degree in May and graduate. I wish for her that she could take some time off before starting the next one, but she says not, and she knows what she needs better than I do.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

After Thanksgiving,---

we never seem to walk off the pounds, do we? Instead, we did a great deal of sitting, rocking, reading, knitting, and napping. All excellent occupations.

Dad and I spent Thanksgiving with Mary Beth, Ken and my granddogs (and grandcat). Dinner was great. Sarah was there, with Qualan and Marshall, Brandon came and after work, Janet (Marshall's mom) stopped by for turkey. Speaking of turkey, it was a free range one and realllly good! All the contributions to the dinner were excellent and we had a great time. I sent home a pile of scarves with Sarah for her to take to school and try to sell (cross your fingers!).

For my family - I need for all of you to know that I made the decision last weekend to stop taking the massive doses of statin drugs I have been on. They were really making me sick. While at MB's I had a bad withdrawal episode from this - glad I was with both MB and Dad to help me. It was not pretty. Since being home, I have found two friends who have both experienced this and they tell me the whole clearing out will take about a month. I may even have a brain when this is over. There are other things I can take and do which will help the cholesterol level, although I still think the physician's goal of a score of 75 is unrealistic. I also realize that this decision may shorten my life, but I feel that the quality of life will be much better. Please pray for my health. I already am beginning to feel more 'myself'.

We are giving thanks for all the blessings we have - our wonderful family and friends, our comfortable home, enough to eat and each other -especially each other. Blessings to you, also.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What a long time

it's been since I posted. Going backwards, I drove to Denton and spent a fun day with MB at a regional DOK meeting. I have become a daughter at large. Then drove home for a stewardship dinner here. Son Don came to visit for a couple of days and we really enjoyed having him. It just happened that he got a real taste of our world. The first night, we met Nancy and kids for dinner, then church and our Bible study, which he seemed to enjoy. The next night happened to be the monthly birthday dinner for our senior citizen community. He got his fill of looking at the bent and lame and white haired, but the food is always good. Sadly, our entertainment was a local church bringing their bell choir to us. I'm sure it was good and I could hear most of it, but a great many of our residents are pretty hard of hearing and so tried to talk through it, which enraged those who could actually hear. Not pretty.
We've been to various doctors. Dad had a steroid shot in his hip and says it is minimally better. I had two and I feel the same way. Steroids used to cure me, but at least it helps. My eye is healing slowly but I still need readers. I think I maybe also read too much. I've quit posting all the books I read - from now on, only the best of the best make it.
Now, Susan and Adam are with Scooter, visiting the ranch. I know Adam was really disappointed to miss the family reunion out there a while back. Then they are to come in and visit us, have dinner with the Scotts, and again sleep out there. Back here tomorrow for a visit before they have to go back to Midland and another plane trip. We are really anxious to see them and are so pleased they added us to their itinerary.
Don left a set of clubs here, which will make it easier for him to drop in for a day or so on his travels, for a game with Dad. They really enjoyed playing when he was here. So Adam can use those if he is interested in a game. Otherwise, there is the Chicken Art Farm tomorrow, and really good art museum and Fort Concho. This is an interesting small city - made up of many very community minded folks, so the whole town turns out for most happenings. And there are always happenings.
I am still praying about the seminary. So far, no answer, except that sometimes no answer means "no". So, no decision right now. I am writing personal interviews with our communicants for the monthly bulletin, and while I am pretty much a last minute person, I somehow manage to get them all in in time. This last one is a high school senior who is headed for medical school. All in all, an amazing girl and I loved getting to visit with her.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We looked very carefully at all the pictures shown of the Manhattan marathon. Granddaughter Susan and her DH were both running, but we didn't spot them. Granted, they showed very little of the race except for the winners. Dean, Barbara and Katie were there to cheer them on.

My tree is turning. I am not sure whether it will be brownish red or really red this year. We seem to perpetually be in a season of drought and this takes the real red out of the leaves. Maybe when more turn, I can spot some really red ones. I hope.

I saw the doctor today and he changed the anti cholesterol meds yet again. They are causing the severe muscle cramps and the mood changes. These people just insist I have to have a level of 75 or less and I can't seem to break 100. Considering that, untreated, my level is about 350, 105 sounds pretty good to me. Not so, I guess.

Dad has been having lots of back pain. He thought it was kidneys so went to the nephrologist who x-rayed and did other tests and he can't find a thing. At least we know what it isn't.

Don will be here next week for a couple of days and he and Dad will golf. No surprises there. It seems that the Continental flight out here has bitten the dust also, so Don is flying into Midland. It seems to me that even a couple of flights a week iinto San Angelo would be better than none.

I'm leaving for Denton on Friday where MB and I will attend a regional DOK conference on Saturday. Driving home again on Sunday morning as Dad and I are part of the hosts for the every member canvass dinner on Sunday night and I have a dessert to make. I stopped by the library again today and picked up some extra book CD's for the trip.

I learned today that fingernails and toenails grow more rapidly in November than in any other month. Do you believe that? I have a book that says so.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


daughter Sarah tells me that she does her baked potatoes in the microwave with damp paper towels wrapped around them. This way, armadillo potatoes could be nuked. I seldom bake in the real oven until really cold weather. By the same token, the automatic oven cleaner (for which I give thanks) is only run in the winter. For some reason I used to feel strongly that I had to clean the oven every time my mother came to see me. I think the reason was that I'm sure she checked to be sure I'd done it. ahhhhh-guilt.....

No Halloween party tonight. Or last night. Symphony tonight and looking forward to it!. I do wish for cold weather.

No red on the Texas oak as yet....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

By popular request

of one ----- herewith is the recipe for armadillo baked potatoes. The only different thing you do is to preslice the potato first. I had thought half inch slices, but they are really more like 1/4 inch., Go most of the way through, oil the potato, wrap in foil and bake. It pleases the little boys to think that the baked potato resembles an armadillo (and it sorta does). It is really easier to get to and eat. Try it - you'll like it. The youngsters who were 'slicers' proudly informed me of their job and I complimented them effusively. They are lovely children. I am really proud ot the work Nancy and Scooter do with these young boys. Their lives will be better for it and so will the world.

Another thing to share is something I read ---

The Woodcarver, by Chuang Tzu

"I am only a workman./
I have no secret. There is only this:/
When I begin to think about the work you commanded,/
I guarded my spirit, did not expend it/
On trifles that were not to the point."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I voted!

I really did it! I had my mail-in ballot (not lost) and marked the ballot and caught the mail lady as she careened by. Dad voted this morning also. He is crowing because he has a sticker and I don't. I assured him it would soon fall off.

I have been so depressed since I took the 'deacon' possibility off the table, that I have put it back on. I know some of you think it is too much for me, considering age and physical condition. It may be, and I may not do it, but I am at least back to considering it. The next thing is to visit my deacon neighbor and see his books and course of study. I will also consult the internist and cardiologist about the advisability of starting this. And I may stop there, but I just don't know. I will tell you what I decide when I do.

Now, I have to study my E-100 lesson for tonight. It won't do to have the facilitator unprepared, will it?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So far,

the meditating tree has not a hint of red on it. And we had a mild freeze last night - or so 'they' said.

I have been reading, in my alumni journal, about a ceative writing professor from FSU who has written a series of children's books. She also recommends other writers for kids. We bought several for Christmas for the children. I figure if we buy them, I get to read them first. Dad could read them, too, but he'd hate it, so I make him listen while I tell him about them. I'll put an asterisk (*) by these books as I add them to the list. Right now I am reading The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt. The lead character, Holling, is the only child in the school who is not Catholic or Jewish. The Catholics and Jews have Wednesday afternoons for religious education and school is let out for them. Unfortunately for Holling, he is protestant, and they don't have special programs, (oops for us!) so he is left in school alone with his teacher. Fortunately for him, his teacher decides he needs to read and understand Shakespeare. I love it. H learns all sorts of wonderful things to say in Shakespearean English, so nobody knows what he is talking about. Such an opportunity! And the plot thickens-----

You folks who are pre-teens at heart, check these out.

Monday, October 27, 2008

This chilly evening,

we went to Mertzon to a Cub Scout program and dinner. I learned to make armadillo baked potatoes. Yum!! The lady who did some of the cooking also played the violin for us. The program mainly was how to dispose properly of torn, ragged, and otherwise used up flags. The children took turns telling us how to do this, and we must have watched them burn at least a dozen flags saluting all the while. The flags were both American and Texas. Then we said the pledge to America and to Texas. How many of you know the Texas pledge? It was a bit thin. Dad got so cold he had to go sit in the car, but I was pretty warm. This was held outside on the banks of Spring Creek, which is truly beautiful - it flows eventually into Twin Peaks reservoir so is part of our water supply. We really enjoyed the evening.

Tomorrow I'm having blood tests, including one for anemia. What on earth would the doctors our here do without visits from us all the time? Then, tomorrow night, more Building Bridges (for the children and adults who are trying to deal with death in their families. It is both hard and rewarding to watch kids and grownups work their way through their grief and begin to come out on the other side.

Friday, October 24, 2008

This morning

I picked up the paper and there is a horrible picture of me on the front page. It must have been a slow day and the feature article was of the Eco-Fair coming up next weekend. The picture was taken at this fair last year and it is of me and a friend spinning. I'm betting they haven't many pioneer type photos in their archives of two women making thread out of fluff, so it was resurrected. I might have tried to look a bit nicer if I'd known this was going to happen. My DOK cross was very visible, however.

Slow week out here. We have rested just a lot, and done lots of reading. I've been pretty down, but coming out of it nicely. We are going to Spring Creek on Monday evening for a Cub Scout meeting. We have an entertainer about "olden" times, a proper flag burning ceremony, etc. This is the pack Nancy leads. We're really looking forward to this.

Our classes for E-100 are terrific, and I'm really glad we are doing it. I have 5 women in my group and it's hard to manage the talking all 6 of us do and keep us on task, but it's one of the high points of the week for me. The text for this program is The Essential Bible Guide- 100 Readings Through The World's Most Important Book by Whitney T. Kuniholm, published by Waterbrook Press. I don't know how to make the computer underline here or I would do so.

Tonight we took supper over to Fr Stan and family. Eileen was climbing on a chair last weekend, fell and broke both elbows and has two other breaks in her arms as well. She is really disgusted about this - she is a busy lady and this enforced sitting is wearing on her. Six more weeks to go. I try to visit and tell her funny stories. The problem with this is that I get so tickled at my own stories that I can hardly talk.

There's a spining-dyeing weekend in March at the camp outside of Tyler and I'm considering going. This is the same camp we go to for knitting camp in August - the one g'daughter Mallie and daughter MB attend with me.. The three of us have a ball. I hope this happens. I really like playing with dye pots and fibers, but not enough to set them up just for myself.

My senior citizen (old lady) ballot came in the mail yesterday. Now, if I can just keep from losing it before I vote......... Have to get it in the mail soon.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ok, apologies...

Wow, was I on a major rant in that last blog. More of a whine, really. Actually, there are so many dissatisfied Americans in dealing with the medical situation in this country, that I think the wheels will have to start turning to take care of these problems. Things seldom happen fast, and I might not live to see it, but I have faith it will happen.

Dad returned from the retreat yesterday. I think he really enjoyed it. He was one of the lucky ones to have a bed in a real house. Others slept in the bunkhouse, campers, RV's, on the floor in the barn, etc. I don't think he would have gone without having a bed. Being 83 does rate some privileges.

My interview went well and I have a good article about the first of our parishoners to be featured in the monthly bulletin. I'll send a copy to anyone who wants to see it - what a life! this local judge was born in Germany, partially educated there and served in the Coast Guard, being caught innocently in the British/German fight which finally sank the Bismarck. He talked to me for a solid hour and I still have writer's cramp in my hand. It was especially vivid for me as all of this happened in my lifetime and I remember it.

I have been watching the tree across the street - it is right in line with my chair so it's sort of a 'meditating tree'. 'Tis a lovely huge Texas red oak. So far, the leaves are all still green. Sometime, probably next month it will begin to turn and will end up being a vivid deep red. The shape is that of a candle flame and the feeling of reaching to Heaven is inescapable. Stay tuned for updates on the meditating tree.

We will be going to Mary Beth's for Thanksgiving. Sarah and Qualan will join us and it will be great to have them all together. I'll miss being with Nancy's crew but one thing at a time. I'm also going to drive to Denton earlier in the month for a large DOK retreat. Since the Nat'l president is an old friend, it will be old home week. Have to drive back Sunday morning as the fall ingathering dinner is that night. As a Vestry wife, I must have a table decoration as well as provide a dessert and host a table. One thing at a time.....

Blessings to all-

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Once again..

I am going to venture into political waters here, at peril of my life. I keep listening to these two men and to those who speak for them. I hear constantly about the war and about the economy. Yep, these are pretty important. But, but, I have heard nothing about the cost of medicine and the availablity of medical care to those who can't afford it. We are covered by Medicare and a supplement and can go to doctors and hospitals with no more charge. We are among the blessed. But, since Medicare doesn't care if seniors can see, hear or chew,and doesn't cover any of these, I now have huge dental bills. One of these days soon I will need a hearing aid. Maybe I will like not hearing things, but I doubt it. To my mind, these are super important items for the majority of Americans. And the cost of prescription meds is outtasight. We even have a supplement for this, and it lasted until June and ran out. There is no reason here. I fear the drug companies own far too many of our legislators. So why is it that I don't hear McCain or Obama talking about this? Have I missed it? Please tell me I have, and tell me what their plans involve.

I have a young friend who is a physician and spends her time working in the Esperanza clinic in the Hispanic part of town where most folks go without care. Her sense of mission is so great that she didn't take time out to get wed and have kids, she just adopted two Russian children. She is an inspiration to me. Where are the others like Liz? Where, where, where? We have some, but not enough. My medical worries are a drop in the bucket compared to some of the people I know. There has to be a way to fix this.

Anybody know something about this that I have missed?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Five

Friday Five: Coin Toss Edition

1) When was the last time you flipped a coin or even saw one flipped in person?

Many, many,many years....

2) Do you have any foreign coins in your house? If so, where are they from?

Yup. Canada, Mexico, England, France, Israel, and probably others I can't find.

3) A penny saved is a penny earned, they say. But let's get serious. Is there a special place in heaven for pennies, or do you think they'll find a special place in, well, the other place?

Pennies are more trouble than they're worth. I really expect them to be discontinued. What happens then to the $9.99 sales?

4) How much did you get from the tooth fairy when you were a child? and if you have children of your own, do they get coins, or paper money? (I hear there may be some inflation.)

A lovely dime. Lots of money then -- way back in the thirties.

5) Did anyone in your household collect the state quarters? And did anyone in your household manage to sustain the interest required to stick with it?

That would be me. I have five collections going - one for each of the four youngest grands, and one for moi. I am still collecting, and send out occasional updates to kids so they can help me look.I am a collector at heart. When we left Houston for Florida, my children wouldn't let me take my collection of rocks (that was the trip from hell). Actually what they said was something like "no way are we hauling that bowl of rocks all the way to Florida'. So I buried them in the flower bed. I think somehow I had visions of rescuing them years later. I've gotten rid of most of my collections. Still have glass paperweights and seashells, and I have all I need or want of them. The other thing I collect is yarn and that is pretty open ended.There's always room for a bit more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chilly Wednesday

Either time is galloping or it has really been awhile since I last posted. Today is chilly, and this is a welcome relief. I actually needed a sweater when I went out this morning - the comforter is back on the bed, and I am looking for socks. These sandals have to go until it is warm again.

After much prayer and deliberation I have decided that I am not called to the diaconate and will not be signing up for seminary. This may change if I hear a different call, but for now, I won't go this route. I'm sad not to learn all the wonderful things I know I would learn in school again, but I have plenty of reading to do - some to soothe me, some to interest me and some to educate me. Who could ask for more? I am actively looking for a way to work with youngsters and young adults in a hospice setting as I feel this is where I am needed. Last night I went back to Building Bridges in which adults and children who have had a significant death in their family come to help them build a less painful world. The program is outstanding and was written by a local lady. I will be there for five more weeks. It is done only twice a year, at 6 weeks each, one evening per week. Last night I worked with the adults, some of whom are hurting greatly and some who are mostly concerned about helping their children deal with the situation.

We continue to get pretty good reports from doctors, although I am still not allowed to exercise. Which, of course, means more time to read. I'm thinking about going to a fiber festival in Boerne the first weekend in November, but may not as I am going to Denton the second weekend to a DOK regional meeting with Mary Beth.

Dad leaves for a camp near Midland on Friday, for the weekend. This will be a churchmen's retreat. My friend, Carlene will also be gone, and I may go with her husband to a jazz festival on Saturday night. We'll watch the weather and see,

Monday, October 6, 2008


Today is my 77th birthday. I can remember when I thought 25 was really, really old! I am creaky and achy, but inside, I am not old at all.

Today Dad went to the doctor we we saw x-rays of his broken leg. The doctor showed us that the leg is building new bone both inside the bone and to attach the split piece right back to the main bone. He still has several weeks to wait,but the improvement is greatly encouraging. I had another synvisc shot to help hold the cartilage in my knee. Later this week I will do the tooth thing.

I visited our priest today, for several reasons - we are beginning a page long bio of each member, with photo, to include what part being a Christian has played in their lives. It will be published in each month's Agnus Dei, (monthly newsletter).I will be writing this. I think it will bind us even more closely.

I also discussed with him the possibility of entering seminary in a distance learning situation leading to a degree and being ordained a deacon. We have two other people beginning this program in January and I am still not sure I need to do this to make my ministries more effective. Fr.Stan says it will mark me in the world and make me more of a witness. All this work will be done through a seminary in Little Rock, by email, conference calling, and hopefully not too much expense for classes. These are all things I need to check out. But I was amused at one of the requirements. They want a photo of the candidate's family - we have to be outdoors for one of these as there are so many of us. One from the ranch reunion would probably work. Father Stan was very encouraging to me and feels I will fit this ministry. If any of you have any input or strong feelings on this, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

Happy Birthday to me (and Sally Williams). 77 is a very good number.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Six Unremarkable Things..

October 02, 2008
Six Unremarkable things About Me

Hey, MB, thanks for the tag!

1. I like to knit and watch TV at the same time. There are a few TV shows to which I give my whole attention, and books get that attention when DH watches sports or wars. These give me the willies, but he loves them.

2. I love to wash but hate to fold. I am blessed right now with an every other week maid who catches up on the folding for me.

3. I love going into my studio and just feeling all the yarn. I even play with it, matching and mixing textures and colors. Somehow it satisfies the tactile needs I have. If I could have it all out so I could see it, I'd love that more, but I have to have some sort of organization in there or it degenerates into total chaos.

4. I used to love the grocery store. This has changed over the last few years, and now it is a chore for me, even though I use a motorized cart to navigate the store. I think I just don't want to cook, anymore. Although I resent being called elderly, I appreciate the meals for the elderly we get every weekday - they really are good, and they take the heat off having to do a huge meal at night.

5. I dislike math very much - because I am really not good at it. I can do the elementary stuff but still don't like it. I couldn't count if I didn't have fingers.

6. I love my church, and I love being there. In fact, I've never been in a church in which everyone is valued and loved. Is this typical or are we unique? Dunno....

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Started this entry earlier and got sidetracked, so here goes again....The glory referred to the service this morning. The flowers set the tone - they are placed behind the altar with light from two side windows coming in. The center of the arrangement was a tall stand of orange gladiolus, looking just like tongues of flame reaching up toward the cross. More than striking, it was breathtaking. Also a friend had painted a life sized portrait of Jesus and it was dedicated. All this time in Bible study and I had no idea she had this talent. We are honored to have this painting.

Then the service went 2 1/2 hours. No, we don't usually do this, but our African bishop was there and he and his wife are special favorites of mine. He is retiring and we will have a new bishop soon. But, at this service, we had a deacon ordained, a baptism, three transfers from other denominations and 10 confirmations. I hope this means we are doing something right. One thing about it--- Dad said if we want a full house we can try breakfast beforehand and a fabulous meal afterward. Feed them and they will come. Our new Deacon had an enormous family turnout. He is already hard at work and another person is entering seminary intending to become a deacon. I have frequently given much prayer and thought to this path, but at this point, I need to get stronger to be of much use. I'll pray on that, too.

Also went to Spencer's (oops- I mean Soup Bob's) birthday party this afternoon - what a madhouse of mostly little boys, but several girls also. I was particularly amused by the one who entrances him and the one who is entranced by him. I think he invited his whole class. They did the pirate thing again, and it was hugely successful. Dad was so wiped out after the morning that he stayed home and rested.
Saxon had spent the night with us and, of course, we made a pumpkin pie. This morning as usual, he asked for pie for breakfast, which I always indulge. I am the gran, after all, and I get to do things like this. But, but, but -- after he ate a quarter (half of the 1/2 we had left) he opined that he probably needed to eat the other quarter. So I let him. I did warn his mom that I doubted he would eat at the brunch, when she came for him. She couldn't quite believe I let him eat half a pie -- but it was a small pie after all.

Tomorrow, back to the round of doctors again. Pfaugh! (love that word!)

Friday, September 26, 2008


we are well again, or mostly. Being sick is not fun. Having DH be sick is somehow worse. But we progress. Tonight is a dinner and a healing service with our Bishop. Cheers!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

mild problems

Those of you who know me know that I could open a yarn store with the yarn presently in this house. I'm having a real problem with this. I have two or three patterns for vests that I really, really want to make. I have pulled out the yarns (color coded, of course) and tried to find enough skeins or balls that really go well together to make something. I have a real problem here. One pattern gives me yardage. I have more than enough, but it is not the right size to measure this way. I don't do well in math, so never learned this part. Patterns often give a particular yarn and don't specify it's loft or diameter, and I don't know how to translate this. This yarn , of which I have more than enough, I can hold in one hand. No way that is going to cover this body - no way atall. When I make shawls, I just start with what I like and change as the mood hits me. I don't think this will work with a vest. Somehow. Ideas, anyone? And remember, I don't do math.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The hot tub experience....

Yesterday I went to a huge birthday party and while there I decided to get in the hot tub. There were several children there, moving in a circle, so I hopped in and told them to pass me by on the circling thing. They were playing 'what's your favorite.....?', so I played along. It was fine till we got to what's your favorite band. They had never heard of Glenn Miller, so I kicked it forward a few decades and tried Jimmy Buffet. Struck out there, too. The next category was cars. One little girl announced hers was a Lamborghini. They asked for my opinion and I opined that while I like the car I drive (a Mercury) I still think a Volvo is the best car made. They nodded agreement, then the Lamborghini child said that her parents had told her if she got a full scholarship for 4 years to college that they would give her her college money and she could get her Lamborghini. When I asked her about her grades, she assured me she only makes A's. The situation deteriorated when they asked about the Disney games/shows. Finally, one of my grands said almost pityingly - " you don't use the Disney channel, gran". I just listened for awhile. I really don't know a lot of what they talked about after that, but when I did chime in, I received respectful attention. Lovely children.

Then I learned that my youngest grandson has changed his name from Spencer Scott to Soup Bob Murphy. He puts this name on his papers at school and somehow he has the blessed facility of being so entertaining that everyone, including his teachers, think he is a real kick. So y'all move over and make room for Soup Bob.

On a sober side, one of my oldest friends just called to tell me that her son (40 yrs old) has had a massive heart attack and is still unconscious. The doctor doesn't expect him to wake up. He is a brittle diabetic and also an severe alcoholic. Sometimes we get a sucker punch when we are least prepared for it. We knew he was killing himself, just didn't expect it so fast. We are such optimists. We have a right to be optimistic, though, because God knows already how many days He has marked out for each of us, and we know where we are going. What a blessing.

I have had to reprioritize my list. Now, with an abcessed tooth, the surgeon won't remove this other cataract. I am on major antibiotics and major pain pills and sometimes I think I am seriously over medicated. One thing at a time, and we'll all get through all of this.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Well, drat!

Mary Beth can't come for the weekend or to our grand birthday party!. She has a stomach flu bug and is so sick! I've been there and I totally sympathize. Stomach flu is one of the worst things I can think of. At least with a migraine you can lie still with your ice pack and be miserable, with cramps you can curl up with your heating pad and be miserable, but with stomach flu you can't even lie still. Some part of your body is always hollering for attention. Just about when you think you might get some sleep, something is saying "me, me! take care of me, and right now!" I pray for her that this is soon over and she can get some real rest before the tyranny of the urgent gets in the way of a languid recovery.

Heaps of blessings on you, Mary Beth. xxxooo

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Five

tell us five favorite things about fall:

1) the way the air feels when I go out in the morning. It's crispy instead of soggy.

2) A color - Across the street is a huge Texas red oak. I can see it from my chair. In the fall it is like a flame reaching for God. It takes my breath away every time I look.

3) An item of clothing - Shawls and stoles (mostly that I have made or have been made for me) :)

4) An activity - Doing the last prune on the roses. They are in full bloom again. Every year they have a last gasp burst of bloom. Wonderful!

5) A special day - A mixed birthday day. DH, #4 daughter and youngest grandchild all have birthdays within a week of each other, so it is a celebration for all of us.

Unpleasant words

And I have some in my head right now. I went to schedule the next cataract surgery and the Doctor won't do it until I get this probably abcessed tooth taken care of. And, and, and the dental specialist can't even evaluate me till the last of the month. Arrrrgh!! It's all a vast conspiracy, sometimes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

happy day!

Mary Beth is coming to see us on Friday and will be here till some time Sunday. We can hardly wait!. We are going to a birthday party at the Scott's for Spencer, Dad and Nancy on Saturday. So far I've been assigned to pick up the cake, tho have offered to bring other things.

We've enjoyed the meals for the elderly, but I think we need to stop them after next week. Dad doesn't really like them, tho I do. They mean I can do less cooking in the evening and I like that. Besides, the food is pretty good, all around. They also bring interesting things for weekends, always different. I will send a check to help them out though they don't charge us for them.

Cataract surgery next Tuesday. Now I find I have a probably abcessed tooth and will have to have a bridge taken off and remade plus having another tooth pulled. Bleah! Getting old is kind of fun, but the maintenance is getting to be a nuisance.

Cooler weather, and I love it. I am making good use of the CD collection and the large print books. They are great.

Had a long email from Betsy, will try to forward it to all of you so you will know how they are. Really busy, as you all are. I'm so glad we found the Osborns. They are still with John as there is no electricity or water in LJ. Jane is here and will stay with her eldest and the twins. Ah, such hardship duty!. She says they use webcam to communicate with the little ones,when they are in Indonesia, and the children really don't understand how their grandparents got into the TV. It's like tuning on the light switch. I don't understand that either, but I certainly take it for granted.

I've just listened to a book on tape - Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult. Difficult to read or hear, but it details what leads up to a Columbine type situation and is really worth reading. Let me know if you do and what you think.
Peace be with you.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Time condensed?

Have you ever tried to get through things so fast that you have piled one week onto another just to get them out of the way so you can have some peace?I find myself doing this. Not any of these things are bad things, but I think I am really concerned about the Bishop's visit. No reason for me to be so, except that when they came before no one was available to take them around except us. Everyone else was at work. And we enjoyed them, but it was exhausting. This visit is a shorter one, we have a priest who has a van and who will do the hauling around. We will have a few dinners - one for vestry and spouses, one for OSL members followed by a healing service, another praise and graze type thing and a church picnic. I don't have much responsibility this time, I think I'm just reacting to the tiredness I felt the last time they came. My mother would say "why are you wishing your life away?' and she'd be right. It's only this visit I want to wish - not away because I like them - but behind us rather than ahead. Does this make any sense?

After that eye surgery I decided I could indeed knit even if I couldn't see to read. So off I went on my favorite orange and green stole. About three inches later I realized I had left off the first 6 stitches of one side. You all know I am not a happy ripper, but this had to be the solution this time. I am almost through replacing stitches, but the last about 12 stitches are of multiple strands of threads and I am having a hard time seeing them,. Maybe put it away till I have the other eye done? Probably.

We had no effect from the hurricane. Wouldn't have minded some more rain. Our reservoirs are definitely not full and I would be happier if they were. But this is one of the iffy parts of living in west Texas.

Pray for a President who can and will do something to lower the price of prescription medicine. .

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Five

It's time for a Back-To-School Friday Five!

1. Is anyone going back to school, as a student or teacher, at your house? How's it going so far?
I live in a town with a nice little University, but my heart is in a rural community 22 miles west where my three youngest grands are going back to school. They are well involved except for my granddaughter who has a newly (mostly) broken arm and is still on low doses of hydrocodone for pain. Sometimes she naps under her mom's desk. (Mom is a teacher)

2. Were you glad or sad when back-to-school time came as a kid?
Absolutely elated!. I loved school and would still be there if someone had wanted to volunteer to pay the bills for me to do this. I think this is why I did the MA program and was well on the way to PhD when I met and married my Texan - went off and left it hanging. Turns out it was a God thing.

3. Did your family of origin have any rituals to mark this time of year? How about now?
the only ritual we had was a new dress for the first day of school. Oh and the school supplies! Wonderful. An office supply store is sort of a part of heaven for me. All that lovely stuff!

4. Favorite memories of back-to-school outfits, lunchboxes, etc?
Mom made all our clothes. I remember having the grand total of 4 outfits. This caused much concern as to which I should choose to wear twice in a week. Hard for me to imagine from where I am now that I was even concerned with this.

5. What was your best year of school?
They were mostly all good, but I expect I have to choose senior year. By that time the school gave me an amazing amount of freedom. I could take the Journalism teacher's car and run up to the local newspaper to move print around and work on the school paper. (I was editor) I not only took her car but was allowed to sign her name. She even let me drive a bunch of students to Miami for a newspaper symposium, and nobody even asked to see my driver's license. Just as well - I didn't have one. I don't think it mattered so much back then. At any rate, God was keeping tabs on us all and we all made it home with no mishaps. I loved singing in the chorale,loved debating, newspaper, etc, etc. It was a very good year.

All good times, in retrospect.

04:24 AM in Friday Fives | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Update again..

Mally saw a specialist on Tuesday morning after a frustrating day of trying to get a referral to the doctor Nancy wanted. Her arm is broken straight across, just below the shoulder joint. She is wrapped, I think, in something that immobilizes her arm. She can bend it to the front or back but never outward. She was pretty ticked when I talked to Nancy yesterday as they were both going to school, and Mally didn't think she was ready to go back yet. I think I mightn't have been either. It's no fun to have people moving a broken bone around.

After all my ranting about Dr. K, I did go back because I wanted him to see this mess of an eye and to tell him I was not happy about it. He said he wasn't either. He checked me thoroughly and said my problems are 1) Sjogren's is very active right now and that it is imperative that I keep liquid in my eyes all the time, 2) some allergy is involved, 3) that a huge problem is that one eye is repaired and it is working overtime trying to carry the other one. It is not able to do that, but it won't stop trying. Says we need to have this next surgery asap. The measurements between eyes involves numbers from the 4200 range to 204. I don't know what the numbers mean but this is wide. With this explanation and knowing that it would take months to get in to another eye surgeon and have this done, I have decided to trust him, pray a lot, and go ahead and do the second one. It will be Sept 23, so Dad and I are going out and have a nifty birthday dinner the night before. Two days after the surgery, our Bishop will be coming from Africa on a retirement visit. We enjoyed him and his wife and sect'y last year and it will be nice to see him again. The weekend before, MB is coming to see us and I am so glad. We;'ll have a birthday party then for dad also, so he gets to party it up.

Dad's leg is not painful as long as he doesn't move it the wrong way. He has learned pretty fast not to do that. He would like to discontinue Meals for the elderly, but I'd like to keep it up for a while longer. At least through next week. Payment is not required but we will send them a nice check as a donation. They rely largely on these and the least we can do is to pay for our food and then a little for someone else.

On another note, our minister has been teaching all of the time we have been with him, that a 'text without a context is a pretext'. I am learning that this is so true. Each month he gives us a quote to think about. Last month it was from John Stott, whom I respect, but I disagreed with this. So I am chasing down the material from which it was taken to see what the context is. It's amazing how many religions and other groups exist because they have taken one bit of text and built it into a freestanding truth. Bad idea. More on this later.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Up to date...

Well, we are doing our own driving - I should say that Dad is driving and won't let me. My children seem to think I am a menace on the road and since they have uncommonly good sense, they are probably right about this also.

You learn the most interesting things at the hairdresser. Was having my hair shampooed last week and was complaining about this cataract removal I had about a month ago. I'm still having trouble and can't seem to get the eye to work correctly. As I stopped talking, a lady with a towel on her head said the same thing had happened to her. Asked if it ever got better, she said no, that she now had a new opthomologist(sp?). You know the rest of the story,. Same doctor I had used,. I will see him Monday morning as I want him to check my eye out but no way is he going near the other one. I've called the surgery center and canceled that one. I have a terrific friend who has had both eyes done and sings the praises of her doctor, so we are finding him and trusting this other eye to him. Really, a beauty shop is an amazing place.

We went to see Mally on Thursday and she has only a sling on her broken arm.. Her arm is painful but Dad keeps her in meds at the right time. Like her mom, she is unstoppable. This afternoon she is going to a triple birthday party at the city pool. She'll have to sit it out, but she is going. They have this all worked out. Her mom will shampoo her hair in the kitchen and she has to take sponge baths for the duration. She will see a specialist this week and hopefully he will have something better that a sling. She can feel the bones move when she moves. Yeeech! I took her a stack of books and she's planning to go back to school Monday and use her left hand to do her work on the keyboard.Unstoppable, yes?

I finally stopped looking at those bushes in the front bed - the ones I didn't want there, and since I knew their roots went down to China, I had the workman out here who does all the plantings come and dig them up. While I was at it, he moved them to the back yard and put in my two lantanas, the plumbago and the rosemary. Now my soaker hose has disintegrated and I am going to replace it asap. I think these plants will be loads better off in the ground than in pots.

The large print book section of the library is getting quite a workout. Also I have several books on tape and on CD's. I put one of the players by my chair and with earphones I can miss the football games and all the wars which get replayed at our house. Once a soldier, always a soldier, I think.

God's richest blessings to you all..

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Going places....

And we are doing just this now. Starting today we are attempting to drive and are both pretthy sure it is ok if we go slowly and are very careful. Which we should be anyway.

Spinners meeting this afternoon and met two new would be spinners and a lady who is going to bring her loom over so we can get it warped. She knows how to weave, but not to warp. I used to say when I got to heaven, God would have all the looms warped for me, I so dislike doing it. I expect He will have other things in mind, but who knows.

Mally fell tonight and i just heard from Nancy in the emergency room that her arm is broken up near the shoulder. She's in a lot of pain and I hate this for her. We will go out tomorrow afternoon to see her if we make it through the morning. Have not been able to go to church for two weeks it this feels very strange. It will be good to be back tomorrow. Our pastor has been off painting his daughter's new house and I'll be glad to see him too.

MB, I hope the sinus thing has cleared up.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Somehow I have Friday Five in there twice. Ignore, please. xxoo

Friday Five

Friday five follows:

Tell us about the worst job you ever had.

Happily, I have never had one I disliked. Have had run ins with some principals whose vision of child development is not mine, but the jobs were always good. The years at the bank were difficult since I don't as a rule, balance things. I just write 'adjusted balance in the checkbook and that suffices. Banks look with a jaundiced eye on this, so I had a lot of help here also. But good jobs. I also teach a Bible class and run a hysterical children's choir - both also jobs I love.

2. Tell us about the best job you ever had.
When I had my own private practice of Speech/Language Path. and could work with children the way I thought it should be done. Really miss that.

3. Tell us what you would do if you could do absolutely anything Read and pursue my fiber arts passion all the time.

4. Did you get a break from labor this summer?

I'm retired, so life is a break. Eat your heart out. You too will get there.

5. What will change regarding your work as summer morphs into fall? Are you anticipating or dreading?
Nothing changes but the amount of clothing I wear and whether I plant things or not. Anticipating for sure! I used to work daughter Nancy's stint at the shop in Mertzon, and that was a blast,but the store is closing, so that's out for now.

Bonus question: For the gals who are mothers, do you have an interesting story about labor and delivery (LOL)?

I do remember telling the doctor as I was preparing to deliver my first child ( after 20+ hours) that I had definitely changed my mind and was going home and we could do this another day. Each time the doctor promised me I would forget all of the labor and delivery. . By the last one, I was compelled to tell him I had forgotten nothing, but it was all worth it.

God is good, all the time.........
Posted by MJ at 7:13 PM

At last!

The computer has been down for a long time now. With Mary Beth's help on the phone she figured out how to tell me what do do to make it work. Considering that I never touched a computer until I was 64 years old, and planned never to do so, I am not so bad. My last employer sweetly explained that I must 'computer' if I wanted to work there. So I am sort of self taught with a lot of help from family.

Let's see. George fell and broke his fibula (outside bone on leg), sprained his ankle, which is healing well. I still have trouble seeing with the Sjogren's disease at work and to cap it off, I splatted myself on the floor yesterday, bleeding all over the rug and myself. I am well bandaged now and happily nothing is broken. I really need to learn to slow down and not to multitask with 3 or 4 things at once. So, from now on, I will treat myself with more respect. I hope.

We have been inundated with love and food and transportation for whatever we need by both family and our wonderful church family. This is the most loving group of Christians with whom I have ever been affiliated. They don't wait to be asked, they just show up. We are receiving 'meals for the elderly' Yes, the term offends me, but the food doesn't. It is wonderful and a real help. San Angelo is a unique city.

Friday five follows:

Tell us about the worst job you ever had.

Happily, I have never had one I disliked. Have had run ins with some principals whose vision of child development is not mine, but the jobs were always good. The years at the bank were difficult since I don't as a rule, balance things. I just write 'adjusted balance in the checkbook and that suffices. Banks look with a jaundiced eye on this, so I had a lot of help here also. But good jobs. I also teach a Bible class and run a hysterical children's choir - both also jobs I love.

2. Tell us about the best job you ever had.
When I had my own private practice of Speech/Language Path. and could work with children the way I thought it should be done. Really miss that.

3. Tell us what you would do if you could do absolutely anything Read and pursue my fiber arts passion all the time.

4. Did you get a break from labor this summer?

I'm retired, so life is a break. Eat your heart out. You too will get there.

5. What will change regarding your work as summer morphs into fall? Are you anticipating or dreading?
Nothing changes but the amount of clothing I wear and whether I plant things or not.

Bonus question: For the gals who are mothers, do you have an interesting story about labor and delivery (LOL)?

I do remember telling the doctor as I was preparing to deliver my first child that I had definitely changed my mind and was going home and we could do this another day. Each time the doctor promised me I would forget all of the labor and delivery. . By the last one, I was compelled to tell him I had forgotten nothing, but it was all worth it.

God is good, all the time.........

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Friday Five

1) Datebooks--how do you keep track of your appointments? Electronically? On paper? Month at a glance? Week at a glance?

Month at a glance and I am perpetually losing the thing and wondering what I am doing when.....

2) When was the last time you forgot an important date?

I have an unfortunate propensity for forgetting birthdays of those who are dearest to me. Apologies in advance. I manage to get some of them.

3) When was the last time you went OUT on a date?

Last anniversary - 44 years, I think.

4) Name one accessory or item of clothing you love even though it is dated.

A swishy, Loretta Young type skirt. The kind with which you make entrances. And the gypsy jewelry to go with it.

5) Dates--the fruit--can't live with 'em? Or can't live without 'em?

Dates are just ok. A few, or one at a time. Not for weight watchers.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Things are tough right now, but they are sure to get better!. Soon, I hope. My cataract removal in right eye is not behaving. I've been to other specialists who tell me it's ok, but it hurts, is swollen and red. In addition, DH who has been my rock, fell and sprained his ankle and broke his leg. He really has trouble getting around. We are blessed to have famly and friends who take us places and bring us food. My concern now is canceling all the things we have promised to do and finding subs. Y'all pray for us that thisis all short lived and that we can use this time of enforced rest wisely.

Monday, August 18, 2008


It is raining again for the third day!. This is some kind of record for San Angelo. We all appreciate every drop of it. Many ranchers were strained to the breaking point trying to buy feed. The grass has greened up nicely and cattle, etc. are eating that. Fire danger is nil right now. Oh, it'll be back, but, for now what a blessed relief! God is good, always.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


The cataract surgery is doing much better. I have had the right lens taken out of my glasses. Of course, this means I read with my left eye only, but, whatever. Three more weeks (or so) and we do this again. I'm not allowed to drive for about 6 weeks. I think Dad is alternately pleased to have the responsibility and irritated by it. I learned in church this morning, that I know the service well enough not to have to read, and that I can actually read at a distance pretty well with no glasses.

The things which seemed unbearable, have become bearable. I'm not looking forward to doing this the second time, except that it will
even me up'. As far as color, the old color is a deep rusty orange and the new color is a light yellow. That has to translate to other colors as well. I like the new ones better.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Five

For this Friday's Five, share with us five transformations that the coming fall will bring your way.

Bonus: Give us your favorite activity that is made possible by the arrival of fall.

1) I will be able to see properly when the next cataract is removed (Sept 9) and then I will feel so much better. I will trust my color sense much more when I knit my famous Joseph's coat pieces.

2) Again, when I can see properly, I can go back to serving at the altar. This is a calling I treasure.

3) I like to sit in my recliner and look at the red oak across the street which turns fiery reddish orange in the fall. It looks like a living flame and is a constant source of amazement to me.

4) I can wear my winter clothes, which I like so much more than the summer ones. Actually these will be in between clothes, since real winter is so short, but I still am sick of summer clothes.

5.I will begin teaching a church wide series on the E-100 material. We are making this intergenerational also. It consists of the 100 most important readings from the Bible (so someone says). We are to each study 4 of them per week and one will be discussed in depth. Plan to have at least 3 small groups at church and will have two evening home studies. We are pretty stoked about this.

Bonus: think I'll take a leaf from Mary Beth's book and try a cotton sweater. I have one, blue on the top, brown on the bottom, short sleeved. What makes it fun is that the brown part shows the roots of a lot of vegetables and the blue part shows that which grows above. If I can remember I'll take a photo of it and try to put it on here. I bought this one and am making another which will be better, I am sure.. For instance, my carrot will have hairy orange yarn like a real carrot. Texture is the thing here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Which is just the way I feel sitting here with this swollen eye. Ok, it is some better than yesterday, but far, far from functional. I am sending Dad to the RCW dinner tonight to bring mine home to me. Don't want to go anywhere with this thing hurting and hard to see out of.

Fr. Stan just left. He knows I feel wretched, and he prayed with us. I know this will get better and I know (in my head) that I have to wait and that is still hard for me. Surely hope the other eye, next month will prove easier to live with a nd that this one starts working properly soon.

Not very cheery today, am I? Sorry about that...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

All in one day,........

All in one day, there and back, to have a cataract removed. Happy to report that it didn't hurt, was quick and was I hope, successful.My eye has been bandaged shut all day and I have to tape a dome thingy over it at night. See the doctor in the morning for a checkup. I can see out of that eye, but it is very blurry. Patience, Lord. Hard for me, as always, but I am getting better about waiting. I can read some, see some TV and actually knit some when it is plain knitting. Most of mine is, I just use wild colors and knobbly yarns. Thank you for your prayers - I knew they were there - I could feel them surround me as well as the hands of the surgeon. God bless him also.

Monday, August 11, 2008

surgery tomorrow

I saw the opthamologist this morning and he will remove the worst cataract tomorrow about 12:30. So please be praying for me as this takes place. He gave me the usual list of what can go wrong, but I have to do this. I can't have bifocal lenses implanted as medicare won't pay for them. I'd have to come up with $4,200. For that, I really think I will be happy with reading glasses. It'll be a change not to have to wear them all the time. My color vision is so off I have actually gone out of here in pink and orange. Once outside, I can see the difference, but not by inside light
Since I am still dilated, I can't really see what I am writing, so no marks off for spelling, etc.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Friday Five

What is your sweetest summer memory from childhood? Did it involve watermelon or hand cranked ice cream? Or perhaps a teen summer romance. Which stands out for you?

Going out with daddy in his sailboat (like one he built) and spending three or four days fishing, swimming and cooking our meals on the end of Alligator Point (then a complete swamp) Bliss. We started this when I was three.

2. Describe your all time favorite piece of summer clothing. The one thing you could put on in the summer that would seem to insure a cooler, more excellent day.

Bathing suit.

3. What summer food fills your mouth with delight and whose flavor stays happily with you long after eaten?

Tomatoes from the back yard garden. Best eaten as you squat down in the garden and pick them. My father each year saved seeds from the best tomatoes of the year, and they were planted for the next year. Wish I had some of those.

4. Tell us about the summer vacation or holiday that holds your dearest memory.

When we first arrived at the beach for the summer, we (all the kids) would race down to the water and just plunge in - clothes didn't matter. It was a race down the hill. I also cherish the days of the sailboat. Loved to sail in a real blow.

5. Have you had any experience(s) this summer that has drawn you closer to God or perhaps shown you His wonder in a new way?

As I practiced my calling as a lay Eucharistic minister and went to see a dear man who just died this week. Ministering to him and to others draws me closer to God. My ministry includes singing to these folks too. I didn't think too much of it till I didn't go one week and they made George sing in my place and sent word for me to come back.

Bonus question: When it is really hot, humid and uncomfortable, what do you do to refresh and renew body and spirit?

A pool if you have one - lots of really cold iced tea. If you are daring, with real sugar, and sprawling out in front of at least one fan
Ok, what memories do you have of summer? Probably rendundant message - I love the beach. My beach, at St. Teresa.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008


For those who asked, yes, the 'very nice girlfriend' has metamorphosed into a 'very nice wife" for John. We are glad to have her.
Nancy and crew leave tomorrow for Florida for a week. She volunteered me to do a lot of work at the shop, but apparently I am not on the schedule. I just told them to call if they need me and I will come if I'm free.
Speaking of free, this week has been so free, that nothing has gotten done. I even forgot to go to the spinners group this afternoon, and I really meant to do that. I can still read but it takes longer and I have to rest my eyes more. Knitting is easier. One of our church friends just died and the memorial service is at the church on Saturday. I'd be just as happy if I could just stay here. I guess it's a good thing that Dad feels the same way. We just play vegetable,and enjoy the air conditioning.

Be blessed....

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Update on Aunt Emily...

She's home from the hospital. Still in a wheelchair and will be for awhile. One leg had the surgery with metal plate to repair a low leg break. The other had a crack in the foot and the already replaced knee is damaged. So she has a boot on that foot and a brace on her knee. The doctors have her on the BRAT diet. It's bananas, something I can't remember for the R, applesauce and toast. Anybody know what the R is for? She sounds really upbeat and positive especially for being 80 or 81, I can't remember. The church is taking good care of her I know, and so is Oliver. Jane had to go back to Jakarta, but comes home often. Paul was there for awhile and John and his wife stay close.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Friday Five

In honor of their efforts, I bring you the "Lock Me Out, Lock Me In" Friday Five.
1) How do you deal with being stuck in traffic? (paraphrasing here).
Read or knit, whichever looks right.
2) Have you ever locked yourself out of your house? (And do you keep an extra key somewhere, just in case?)
I have, and now I just go to the club house and they send someone over to to let me in. Joy!
3) Have you ever cleared a hurdle?
It has to be metaphorical. I have lived with hurdles all my life. You just try putting two children from one marriage into a mix with two children from another marriage and then having two more from the new marriage and can you see some hurdles coming? Somehow, by the grace of God, we have all lived through this and we are all friends. . Physical hurdles? No way.
4) What's your approach to a mental block? Take a nap? Listen to Harry Potter on CD - that always puts me into a meditative state and will break blocks. Honest. Or knit - that's always good.
5) Suggest a caption for the picture above; there will be a prize for the funniest answer!

We made this wonderful mess all by ourselves!!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008


Oh, good grief, I've had another one! I keep listening to both of these men who seem to be having fits to be elected president of the country. I still think my dad would have been better than either of them,but that's old history . Here's a new take. I like them both in ways. How about we have a dual presidency? Let's let Barak run the country and John run our relationships with the rest of the world. It's too much for any one person, anyway. Comments?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

cleaner and cleaner

My wonderful housecleaner is here and she was stunned to see the studio!. I am stunned every time I look at the floor. There really is a floor under there, people. And I can walk on it and not fall over things. This is a good thing. Teresa is a jewel beyond price (tho there is a price, of course). She's learned to clean Dad's room and bath first so he can run away and hide from the vacuum. He really hates the noise.

Tonight is ultreya. Haven't been to one of those in about 30 years, so this will be new for us. But, there will be people I love and food and what in the world more could you ask for?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I am newly inspired by the yarn harlot blog. She is on a spinning challenge. I think, maybe it is time I dug out the stash of fibers and spun them up. I currently hide them behind the lace cover on the table in the dining room. There's lots. I don't mean hide in the sense of nobody knowing about them, but just keeping the stuff in one place. Spinning well prepared fibers is very peaceful and my fingers are tired of knitting.

Mary Beth, as you go on your mission trip, Dad says take tools, well marked (he actually says paint them maroon and white) as he lost a lot of his. He also got a lot of use out of a wheelbarrow. Of course he was breaking up sheetrock and hauling it out to the street, so the house could dry out and the walls be replaced. He says to take a pillow too. I bow to his superior knowledge. I was teaching at the time and didn't go on that trip. Keep us all posted on how it goes.

I am reading an interesting book - Under The Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. It is the story of Mormonism and really shows it as a violent faith. He also wrote one called Into Thin Air, which Dad is reading.. This is his story of his trip to the top of Mt. Everest in 1946. I may read this also, tho I usually stick to fiction and biographies. I think I am going to learn more about the Mormon church than I ever wanted to know, and it is already making me sick to read some of this stuff. It takes brainwashing to be a good Mormon, I think.

We had training tonight for serving as LEM at church and taking communion to those who are ill, either at home or in hospitals or nursing homes. My job is to sing to them after communion. We have actually not been doing this quite the way they want us to, so training is a good thing.


looking up

Things are doing that!. Looking up, that is. Somehow when MB was here we managed to get most of the floor of the studio visible. Although it may decimate the vacuum, we will proceed to try to vacuum in here. I have shelves and cupboards. Typically, books on shelves, yarn in cupboards, but I want to see the yarns. All the time. MB suggested moving the books to the cupboards. They have odd hinges and it would be a maassive undertaking to take them off. I may call the staff here to do that, tho. I think it comes under their purview. If I can see the yarn, I won't have to take out the huge bag of greens, or purples, or greys, or whatever and just play with it and plan projects.

Mary Beth will be back in September and we are so glad. Nancy and crew are in the middle of offering computer camp at her school. This is a yearly thing. There is one for adults also at another time. She keeps a grand website from her classroom and parents (or anyone) can log on and find out what is being taught, how and how they can help. I am in awe. If you read the funnies, this mornings "Zits" was wonderful. It was a teenager twisting himself into a pretzel to keep from exploding as his parents tried to decide which control to use for some electronic. Frankly, we have two and I try not to touch them. With one you turn it on and control volume. With the other you change channels. Why is this hard to remember? If you have an answer do tell me.

Off now to have a "discussion" with our pharmacist who charged George $187 for one of his meds, and I don't think he is in the 'donut hole' yet, so it should have been less. Or maybe Januvia is not even covered on our program. Before you all get old enough to use the Medicare related services, be sure someone in the family has a PHD in how to figure all this out.

Grace. love and peace.......

Friday, July 25, 2008


Mary Beth tagged me for this. Here are the rules:

1. List these rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog.

So here goes.......

1. I read about 10 books every week. The library loves me! I've never had any problem leaving the messes all over the house while I read. After all, what is really important?

2, I laugh loudly and often and sometimes wet my pants when I do. Oh well, nobody is perfect.

3. I have the greatest children in the world. All five of them. No, yours aren't better than mine, but they can be as good.

4. I grew up in Tallahassee, Fla, and it was a small town then. You can't replicate the feeling of being able to go out to play for the whole day, all over our part of town, knowing that you are perfectly safe.

5. I have more yarn in this house than most yarn shops. And I need all of it.

6. I was Governor of Florida Girls State in 1948, went to Girls Nation and was Secretary of Defense. And yes, I shook Harry Truman's hand in the rose garden. Yeah, I know that was 60 years ago. Aaaagh!

7. My husband thinks I am really weird because I talk to myself all the time. I tell him I am far more interested in what I have to say than anyone else can possibly be. He also thinks it is weird because I talk to my dead grandfather, too, but as long as Grandaddy doesn't answer me, I think I am safe from the men in white coats.

I can't tag anyone else, because the only people I know with blogs are some of the Revgals, Cathy and MB.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


This stole is progressing apace. I have no idea what it will look like when I finish. This is an 'eyeball the yarn' process. There are some I wish I hadn't used, but I had the sense to use very little of it. I think it will be pretty. I may even wear it instead of giving it or selling it. Unless one of the children wants it. I am reading the 'yarn harlot' blog and I love reading it, but this woman thinks nothing of ripping hours of knitting out in order to get it just right. In weaving we call these people 'structure people'. And there are those of us who are 'texture and color people'. That's me. I like working with yarn because if it doesn't do what you want, you just sorta push and shove it until it suits you. More or less.

Church activities are beginning to wear on me. I never thought I'd say that. I am giving serious thought about resigning some of the things I do. I used to go to Braeswood Assembly of God on Wednesday night to find somebody who talked about Jesus - they had a rule that no one could serve in more than one capacity at a time, based on the theory that if one does two or more activities, they are depriving someone else of the opportunity to serve. Interesting. This was, and probably is, a huge church, so that works for them. I can't help but wonder if it would work for me. We talk about Jesus all the time. I know Fr. Stan is aiming for building a replica of the original church in which the church members are truly one's family. Some of this meeting situation is getting a lot for me. Also a fair number of us are elderly (there!!! I said it!!!). Because most of our congregants work, meetings have to be at night, and by nightfall, I am ready to stay in. We have another problem here. Many of our congregants live out of town in one of the smaller surrounding areas, and want to meet at 6:30 so when they go home they can stay. I sympathize, but..... its early to get dinner ready by 5:30.

We do have two soaking prayer sessions a week and I feel moved to go and have them pray for this clot of cholesterol which is threatening my heart. I want it gone and so does God, I am sure. My doctors are still quarreling about what is best for me. Agggggh!

Another woe??? My wonderful maid didn't show up today. I hope she hasn't had troubles. I keep calling but no one answers. I'll pray about this one. I don't want to lose her.

God bless you all.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Yesterday, I was slumbering peacefully when the shop called to say "wasn't I supposed to be there working?" I wasn't, but it was sort of a fruit basket turnover mixup. I went out for the afternoon stint and learned to my shock, that the store is closing. The 50% off sale starts Tuesday, so Stella told me to take what I wanted at that price. Apparently they have not been making ends meet, much less a profit. It was such a great idea and a great store, but things sort of changed from antiques to cutesy little stuff. There goes my sometime Saturday employment. Our priest and I will go out on Tuesday and look at the hand thrown sets of paten and chalices. I hope we find something he likes.

At stitchers guild last week, I had to pull out knitting. This may sound easy to you, but it is an article of faith with me that I don't rip out stitches I have put it. I say things like "it's a design element' or 'I meant it to look like that' or 'isn't that an interesting effect?". I just don't rip. And I had to rip. Was making a stole of oranges (AGAIN!) and put a bit of purple in it. Honest, I have a photo of one and it is loverly or I would never try that. I just got a bit too much purple and some needed to come out. The yarn was knotty stuff and wouldn't come out. A couple of times I had to cut it. I didn't cuss, but I did snarl and grouse and grump. I'm sure everyone was glad I was there. Never again, I hope.

A couple in our church threw a 'belgian waffle party' after church for the choir and we just made it home. It was a wonderful party - this couple really knows how to entertain and their house is grand - it would be hard for us - it is on about 6 levels, counting the decks, but then we don't live there. There is a one floor elevator in it.

We filled out forms at church for a consultant to tell us what we need to do to grow. I hope he comes up with something good.

The coming week looks good. Sarah is supposed to come and get the hot tub and I plan to make the back patio/porch look nicer and hopefully spend some time out there. Have a new cleaner and I would kiss her feet if I could reach them. But I think she is happy here without that. She even moves big chairs and cleans under them. I am in awe.

Peace, joy and love to you all....

Friday, July 18, 2008

This is a big family.....

Sarah and Marshall have just departed for home, after almost 4 days here. We enjoyed having them, and tried to let him see as much of the area as possible. We went to Nancy's one day for hot dogs and swimming, then on to the ranch for him to see some of it and for us to see all the changes Nancy and Scooter have made to the hunting house (used to be their home). Marshall and Dad played gooney golf and also some pool at the clubhouse. I did some diagnostic work with him and find him to be very ADHD and to have some visual tracking delays. He and Sarah and I went to the teachers supply house and she found some things to help him. We also took him to Hastings - he really loves the place. The last day, we did a tour of Fort Concho and I think they both really enjoyed that. Mostly I sat, as they took the tour on an extended sort of golf cart. He found some wooden toys he decided to buy and is good with them. At night we played all sorts of games. I think he likes aggravation the best. He listened to some of my Harry Potter books on CD's and Sarah went ahead and bought the first book for him. He so much wants to know these books, but can't read well enough to read them. I think they listened to the book all the way home.

A consultant is coming to church on Sunday and 50 of us have been selected to do a survey to find out what we need to do to grow. George and I will participate. Our choir gets better and better and it is really happy making to sing with these folks.

We're still enjoying the peaches Sarah left (from Weatherford). Tomorrow is an extremely necessary trip to the library and then just rest.

No real excitement here, but joy at a chance to get to know a grandchild I have not been able to get to until now. I look forward to more of this.

Music is the icing on the cupcake of worship.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I found it under a stack of books. Yes, I still have stacks, just not in the middle of the floor. Well, on the edge thereof.

Dad snidely suggests that I attach it to a chain and wear it around my neck. I do lose it sometimes and it's always panic time.

All is well, however.


The wonderful lady who came and helped me whip this house into shape was as advertised - wonderful. But, but, but------- I neglected to tell her that the calendar/phone list was sancrosact and please don't put away. So now I have no idea where it is -and worse, I have no idea what I am supposed to be doing when. Maybe I will just stay home. No, that won't work. Or try to reconstruct calendar and apologize for what I miss. Oh, me.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Today I have a lady helping me clean this house! It has been a long while. The last helper is in jail, bless her. This one is lovely and well recommended and we have to shovel this place out as Sarah and Marshall will be here on Tuesday. I am not trying to impress them. We just need the table for eating and not piling papers and the sofa and chairs to sit rather than to pile yarn. We are making great progress. Praise God for people who are willing to help.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What's Happening?

Here are some things that are happening to me as I get older. I find that I don't really want to go anywhere, at all, at all. I enjoy the few things I do, but best of all is my green (sorta) chair and all the loverly books I get at the library. I like to look out the window at all the green out here, go and see what is blooming in my teeny garden, I do a little necessary maintenance (deadheading roses, fertilizing, etc.) when I have to but no sooner.

I once loved to go to the grocery store. I could rhapsodize over the fresh vegetables and fruit, smell them, feel them, etc., to my heart's content. Now, I just want to get in, get what I absolutely have to have, and get myself out and back home. I once spent hours in fanciful thought about what I could cook and how to do it, and how to present it. Now, I cook because I must, and the quicker and easier it is, the better I like it. And George usually cleans up the kitchen, so that's done.

There was a time when I would have been jumping up and down to get to go to Canton to shop. Now, I do absolutely not want to shop. Taking me to Canton would once have been like taking an alcoholic to a bar, if I could walk all over Canton. Today, I would run away screaming. I can't and I am not going. I shop from the many catalogs for what I have to have. When I use a catalog, I can turn down the page, wait a day or two and go back. Chances are, I will turn about half of them back up. A few more days, and do it again. If I actually decide to order something, chances are good that they are all gone. Happy day! Then I can pitch the catalog. Too much consumerism makes me a lot nutty. We are like the poem-

the world is too much with us, late and soon,
getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.

Who? Wordsworth maybe? I never can remember, but bits of things are stuck in my memory . We do lay waste our powers. We buy things we really don't want or need because they are there, thrusting themselves in our faces as we go in shops. And then these things sit in our homes and haunt us. Solution = stay out of shops. Now, wasn't that easy?

Then, besides reading, I can knit and play with all my yarn. Right now it is strung all over as I try to decide what (orange/yellow/green/) to put with the orange I am knitting. It's a funny thing. I don't even like orange, and I find myself knitting with it a lot. I am puzzling over this. Then I can spin some and decide what stitch to use when I knit it, or if I will make it my weft on the loom. I can spend a lot of time playing with all this. Besides, all this yarn makes me really happy to look at and to feel. If I actually made all of the items I dream about, I could have flooded a third world country. Not a bad idea, actually. You do understand, don't you, that yarn is exempt from the shopping ban? Well, it is. I actually don't buy yarn, it attaches itself to me and insists on coming home with me. I control this by not going where yarn lives very often. It works pretty well.

I have such a peaceful life. My bed is just too comfortable. DH is getting this way, too. He will announce that tomorrow is golf, for sure!!! Golf for him is like yarn is for me. But the next morning when I get up, he is still sacked out. When I lift an eyebrow? he says that the bed was just too comfortable.

Get old and you too can turn into us. We aren't vegetables, but we like p&Q. Sometimes I shout at politicians on TV, I constantly correct and coach the contestants on Wheel, I stare intently at the insides of people on hospital shows (always wanted to be a doctor) to try to figure out what is going on. When I have to have shooting and war on the TV I go somewhere else. Easy peasy.

Come and see us and try the quiet life. You may like it.

Be peaceful and all will be well.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Brace yourselves.....

Today I am going to reminisce. You children have heard these stories forevermore, so I guess I am writing for the grands. I think maybe the oldest five read this. Two are temporarily in delayed adolescence, and four are too young. However, to proceed.

I was born in 1931 and Herbert Hoover was president. He was elected on a promise of 'a chicken in every pot'. Not. We were in the midst of an awful depression. Being a depression baby, I was raised on a ditty
"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

And mama really meant this. We were definitely not a consumer society. I grew with FDR as president, and still think he was a great guy, though toward the end he was not always 'compos mentis'. We didn't see much of the WPA which he set up, they mostly built dams (Hoover Dam ring a bell?) and did large scale things. But, we had lots of CCC guys around, They built most of the
public campsites that exist today. These men were housed and fed and paid minimally. The pay went home to their families. These programs kept many, many people from starving. We also had had hobos who had our house marked and several times a week someone knocked on the back door asking for food for work. Mamma always worked them hard, then she filled a place so full I don't know why it didn't slide off. Then.....she added 4-5 slices of what we called 'light bread'. Really white bread and it was a status symbol to have it in the house. Nobody knew it has about as much food value as cardboard. It was new to us then and a real mark of modernity. I stood on the back porch and watched them eat.

As the depression wore on, we entered WWII. The war is what really pulled us out of the depression. This is when I learned to knit, much against my will. We also became 'army brats' moving from camp to camp as daddy was transfered. Then, from Manhattan Kansas, we came home as he was sent to England to help plan the Normandy invasion, in which he took part. A year or so of fighting and he was sent to Paris when it fell to the GI's and commanded two or three POW camps till he got home.

Being in a war was different in lots of ways, Rationing was one. The army rationed the things they had to have. So we did without very much sugar, butter and meat. They sent us huge 3 pound chunks of white margarine with a packet of red stuff which had to be mixed in to make it yellow. I suggested we eat it white as the mixing job was mine and I hated it. It still tasted like lard,even yellow. It was really nasty stuff. I didn't win that one. Also rationed were tires and gasoline, which meant you walked anywhere you went - or you could skate. Had to be careful about bicycle tires. Also--------shoes were rationed. You see, there were no plastic shoes or tennis shoes - they hadn't been invented yet. We all wore all leather shoes and the GI's needed leather. I remember having holes in my soles and cutting a new piece of cardboard every morning before school to fit in my shoe to cover the hole. We ran barefooted all summer - shoe rationing was really just an excuse. We liked it. I still have some rationing tickets somewhere. We had no penicillin and modern medicine was just starting. Our typewriters were all manual - and you had to bang them really hard and keep your rhythm or they messed up.

Every family dug up part of their backyard and grew their own vegetables, and then we canned them for winter. If you had fruit trees, well and good. Grandmamma used to send mamma a crate of guavas every year for her to make jelly. Our gardens were called "Victory Gardens'. Lots of hype and hoo hah for being patriotic.

I do remember howling loudly when I couldn't come to Tallahassee to my grandmamma's funeral. It was hard for me to understand how difficult it was for my parents to get seats on a train, daddy probably had to pull rank to get them. I doubt they could have secured one for me, but even if they had, there was no way we were going to miss school, unless we had bubonic plague or something. Education was revered. There was no gas or tires for the car.

Enough of this, except to say that before the war and during the war, we were not consumers in the sense we use now, we were really content. There was one department store in town, no malls, no service oriented businesses ( like nail places, etc. ) No keeping up with the Jomes because they were just getting by too. And while they may have had more money, they didn't have any more ration tickets. It was a great equalizer.

Aren't you glad I told you all of this? Thanks for listening.

Focus on peace, and maybe less consumerism? ok?