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.