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....