Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It never ends

Years ago when I was facing the teenage years, my dear friend and colleague told me that the worries of motherhood are never over. She had children in their late twenties and early thirties. I had no idea she was so correct!
Band C went "toobing" on a river last weekend. This is something they enjoy doing, and I knew it would be good for him to get away. I remember thinking during the weekend that I hoped they wore water socks or old tennis shoes. I know how many generations have done that exact thing. I also know now many beer bottles and cans have been deposited in said river!

B called me on Sunday to tell me about the place they were staying. It was all small talk. Just passing the time. I did ask about C’s birthday, and asked what she wanted (it was Monday). Just small talk.

K called me yesterday to give me the numbers for the charms she wanted for her bracelet. In passing she mentioned the fact B would be on disability for a while. I was shocked! Come to find out, he had cut his foot badly and broken three toes. K was surprised I didn’t know. She asked what we talked about. I told her it was certainly not that!

B called later to ask if ibuprofen would be ok to take since he had cut his feet. After asking more and more questions, I learned that he jumped into the water to retrieve an oar. They had rented a raft, and an oar got away from C. He. Had. No. Shoes. On. At. All. He claims it was the rocks that cut him - twice on the right foot, and at least four times on the left. He broke the two most lateral toes on the left and the middle toe on the left.

My friend was so right, being a mother never ends!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dinosaur = me

When I was still teaching, I was good at keeping up with technology. As I admitted the other day, I am falling further and further behind. Five years ago, I could work with technology very well. It is no longer the case.

Sunday we were given the New Testament on a CD. OK I can handle that. CD - easy. The format is MP3. Not good. Don’t have a device with the exception of this here ol’ computer. I think we are probably the only ones on the face of the earth without one.

We were given the CDs with the challenge to listen to the entire New Testament in forty days. G wanted to participate, but listen to the daily reading in the truck. As I said before - no device to do that! I keep thinking I could find a way to change the format and download it to a regular CD. If there is, it is a deep dark secret to me.

My digital camera program was user friendly, but it has taken on a demonic personality. I was trying to print a picture the other day. I have always had to transfer the files from the program into My Documents. I keep trying to do that, but I then can’t find them. It took me over an hour to print one 4x6 picture the other day.

Yesterday, I was happily reading my book marked favorite blogs. Something happened - like happened sometime last year. My favorite list disappeared below a certain point. I can’t find it - anywhere. Fortunately I made a paper copy of most of the list, but there were a bunch of sites that I would gleefully mark as a favorite. Did I add them to the paper back up. Of course not!

I was able to restore most, if not all, of the blogs, but there were sites for finding beading supplies and the like that are completely gone.

Today I will attempt to get a picture from the new DVD player/recorder and VCR combination. I wanted both the DVD and the VCR to receive signals and be able to record. I MAY have done that, but I am not getting the picture from the unit. I don’t know what I did wrong.

With all of the above, you would never believe that I was the one people would come to get to get their electronics up and running. Boy, things are changing so fast, and I’m left in a could of dust.

Oh, is that my new cell phone ringing? Perhaps I can figure out how to answer it. Just don’t expect me to take your picture with it. The memory is full of pictures of my confused face!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


It is certainly interesting how your perspective can change your attitude. When I was an active duty teacher, I prayed for the end of the school year. In the early years, I would feel some sadness seeing those children I had worked with for the school year get on the Yellow Limousines and pull away for a summer of fun. We had shared so much together, and they had really grown physically and emotionally during the year. Alas - I really did have several "teacher’s pets," but they were all considered to be "my kids."

My school district tried the old year around school for a couple of years. That meant I had my kids all year, but not really. We would go to school for like three and a half months, go through all the things that accompany the end of the school year - like locker clean outs - four times in a school year. We also went through all the beginning of the school year things - like the students forgetting their schedule, locker combination, and most of what they had learned before the break.

In the later years of teaching, I still prayed for the end of the year, but I usually was ready to see them off - only with no sadness. Teaching had really become a chore. Enumeration of that is a whole other thing, and will not be addressed here.

Now that I am not an active duty teacher, I find myself dreading the end of the school year. I know, I know. Parents who might read this are up in arms now! They have to find activities for the kids at home. I’m sure children all over the country will wake on the first morning of their summer break already moaning "I’m bored!"

I have a bit of dread because I have come to really like being able to go shopping without the crowds. I have become to enjoy the slower paced times at the stores when it’s mostly us old folks and young mothers. There are none of the little shopping carts that some grocery stores provide coming full speed at your shins with the driver looking behind themselves instead of ahead.

But this too shall pass. In our area, I counted only about ten weeks of summer. It will be short for some of us. When I was on the other side of the desk it was entirely too short, but for some of the children it will seem too long which will make the ten weeks way too long for their long suffering parents.

Strange how a change in perspective colors the same event.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What a wonderful evening!

Lady Bug is a graduate now. Last night was her graduation from Pre-Kindergarten. The children sang songs and did little skits. They were so precious, and they looked so small. It was such a pleasant evening, and was so well done!

Of course there were the usual amusing events. One little boy refused to say his lines when his turn came up. He took off the mortar board and walked down the aisle to his mother, refusing to return to his seat up front. Another little boy found the zipper on his robe and amused himself for several minutes zipping and unzipping his robe. Then his attention was turned to the mortar board which soon was on his head backward.

Lady Bug played the "lead" in The Little Red Hen. It was a role suited for her. She is much like the hen. She will do things "herself!" She knew her lines perfectly. She had practiced in California when she and "Pa" were sitting in the back seat of the minivan.

It was a delightful evening. We all, with the exception of "Pa," had a great time. But I am realizing that Lady Bug is really growing up. Next year it is real school.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Interesting trip!

Things were in good condition at little place. Everything was closed up correctly - with one exception that we didn’t discover until Saturday. It was minor, but still grated on G. We kept telling them they had to take the little garbage they generated overnight, and I assumed they had done just that. No. S put it into the burn barrel. The problem is that he used a plastic corn sac and it was filled with plastic bottles and aluminum cans. That doesn’t go into the burn barrel.

The weather has been rather rough there. When we went to the community club meeting our neighbor told us there were several periods of being without electricity - some lasting about seven hours. So I had to reset all the timers we have.

The real low point of the trip was Simone got car sick. She had never gotten car sick before. We were half way to Austin when she first vomited. She remained ill the whole trip. I thought she was reacting to the raw hide bone she had been eating at home. I vowed to take those away from her since she had one along with the blasted $200 brownie. (I would add a link back to that post, but I am becoming more and more technologically handicapped - I don't know how to do it!) I thought that would cure the problem. I also vowed to call the vet when we got home because she obviously has a very sensitive stomach, and I want something that would make her more comfortable when it acted up.

Yesterday when we left, we had not gotten any further than our cattle guard. I looked back at Simone. She was salivating again. She was already car sick. We had gone perhaps a quarter of a mile at the most. By the time we were on the county road, she vomited. That was about a mile.

Two things are for sure. She is going to the vet - today. The second is she has the cleanest doggie bed in the world. Yep, she vomited on it both ways.

Friday, May 19, 2006

We are off - again

Oh, we are such jet setters! Just back from a week vacation in California, and we are off again to the little place. Mmm. There is a little difference there! We left temperatures ranging from mid 50's to mid 70's, and beautiful mountains. We are going to temperatures that will probably top out in the upper 90's. We have a couple of pretty mountains. Oh well!

We need to get back there because it has been five weeks since our last visit, and we weren’t the ones who shut the place down. I am a little nervous about what we will find. The last time S was responsible for shutting down the AC was set on 70 (in July), and all the blinds were left open. Of course K wasn’t with him. His buddy was there, along with my step-granddaughter and the buddy’s daughter. Buddy was too interested in going to hunt for feral hogs to worry about anything else. They were supposed to have been working on our deck. Needless to say, we hired someone else!

I’m sure things are going to be OK. There are a couple of people who have access to the place. One of our hunters was there last weekend, and he didn’t note anything unusual, but then that’s not his job. At least there wasn’t water running from every door. The weather has been a little tough up there, too. I have heard reports of hail and strong winds. Our cattle lessee comes at least one a week to check on the cattle, but he hasn’t reported anything either.

Since I just seem to must have something to worry about - so it might as well be this! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 18, 2006


As I have said, I am totally addicted to genealogy. I literally have to pry myself away from the computer once I have opened the program. I subscribe to a genealogy service that provides a very good service - as well it should for the money.

My real gripe about this service is they are not content with my annual fee of my left arm. They want more. If they add new options to the service you most certainly can get them - for a fee. If you don’t bite when they automatically renew your subscription (even when the card has expired), they call you on the phone. The session goes something like this:

Caller: "Grandma K, how has your search been going?"
Grandma K: "Fine." (In a non-committed voice)
Caller: "How long have you been doing genealogy?"
Grandma K: " About two years" (while thinking you have the records in front of you - add it up!)
Caller: "What countries are you searching?"
Grandma K: "Just the US" (knowing where anything else would lead since they now charge for other countries)
Caller: "We have a service where you can post people you are looking for. Is there someone you could name?"
Grandma K: "Not at this time."
Caller:"We have updated the horribly over priced book with another that we can reduce by x dollars if you order today!"
Grandma K:"I don’t think so" (while thinking I surely wish I hadn’t been talked into the first one - it was no help!)
Caller finally says: "Well thank you for your time."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

They've done it again!

I love to do needlework. I have done crewel, and most recently I have gotten into counted cross stitch. I made works commemorating both grandchildren’s birth . I just have to frame Monkey Boy’s. Hey, he’s not two yet! Let’s not rush into anything.

When the opportunity was presented by our church to cross stitch the baptismal napkins, I jumped at it! I can do something for the church as well as something I really love to do. What a deal.

The first few months, I had about three to do. OK. No problem. Got them done. Then at least a year went by. I didn’t do any except for Monkey Boy and his step sister. None. Flat.

About a month ago, I got a call. A napkin was needed. Oh boy, OK. The call came on a Wednesday. Guess when they needed the napkin. On Sunday. Four short days away. That meant cutting the napkin out, hemming it, doing the cross stitch shell, and putting the date and initials. I usually take at least three days because I do the stitching in spare time - like watching tv.

After I found the canvas, I began looking for the thread. I had none. After I panicked I started looking through some of the saved threads I had from other projects. I found one that was so close. I got it done, but then had to wash it, let it dry and press it. Got it done on Saturday night. Got it to Pastor at 9:15 for the 10:30 service.

So what happens today? I get a call from church. They need TWO napkins. I ask when they are needed. They are needed for the Saturday night service. The call came in at 10:30 am. We are going to the little place on Friday. At noon. There is no way.

I really hope the other person, who works full time, can get them done! I also hope out secretaries decide it's not a good idea to wait until the bulletins are being printed for the weekend services to call for napkins!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Events of the trip

This was my first trip to the west coast. I’ve been east several times, and we made it to Canada a couple of times. Utah is as close to the west coast I have ever come. I was amazed at the beauty of California. I knew there were hills around LA, but I was totally amazed. It was so beautiful.

We spent the first two days at the Magic Kingdom. Lady Bug became quite a daredevil - after we assured her she would never ride the Matterhorn again. That was her second ride, and the darkness was bad enough, but the snowman sealed the deal. She rode every coaster after that though. She got on Space Mountain twice. I think one of her favorites was the spinning tea cups however.

The third day we went to San Diego to go to the zoo. It was a nice zoo, but it wasn’t what I expected. Sometimes when you have had something hyped so much it simply doesn’t live up to expectations. The zoo was interesting since it appeared to have been built in a canyon. Thank goodness for the bus however. My knees are simply not up to climbing hills to see the animals.

On Thursday we headed to the Thousand Oaks area where my step-brother (V’s son) had opened a restaurant. It has different kinds of food, but leans toward sushi and the like. I’m not a real fan of sushi for several reasons, but what he recommended was quite good. He has a beautiful place, and I hope it goes well.

S wanted to find a beach for Lady Bug. When we turned off to locate the restaurant, I told him I saw a sign that said there were beaches at that exit. Did we go there? NO! He stopped at a gas station and they told him go get back on the highway. There would be beaches about 20 minutes down the road. We didn’t find them. So we started back because it was getting to be time to eat.

G again mentioned the sign about beaches at our exit. This time we followed that road. As we climbed into mountains, I began to doubt. Let’s face it - in Texas we begin a long slope to the beach. Our coastal plains are huge! We spent about 10 minutes in the mountains. Then we saw the sign - Malibu. We found the beach! And it was beautiful.

Friday we went to Huntington Beach so Lady Bug could play on the beach. Later, the kids went to California adventure, but G and I stayed home. We were hurting enough by then. Between his feet and my knees, we were done in.
All in all, it was a great time. I am ready to return to California, but this time it will be an adult trip. There is still so much I want to see and do, but the Magic Kingdom is not on the menu!

Monday, May 15, 2006

We're back!

Saturday was the 13th. I know that is not big news. Any fool with a calendar knows that. It seemed to be more of Friday the 13th. We were returning from California on the 13th.

The trip to California was very smooth. When we arrived at Houston’s Intercontinental Airport, we got out boarding passes and checked the luggage smoothly. I was so pleased to get that boarding pass. I know that I was worried about it. But it was smooth.

The plane ride to Los Angeles was smooth. Lady Bug did decide that she wanted to sit with parents instead of us, but it still worked out most of the way. The landing was smooth. We found the rental car shuttle without a problem.
We were ready to get in the mini van K had pre-booked. It was a Town Car. We got that straightened out and got on the road to Anaheim. I was dreading the freeways, but they were actually better than Houston’s. The place we were to stay was beautiful. The days we spent there were great, and I’ll talk about them later.

All went well until we arrived at the airport. We went to get boarding passes, and all seemed well. We went through the first security clearing - all was still great. We got upstairs at the real security clearing. The other five went through. I was the last. There were only five boarding passes. Guess who didn’t have a boarding pass. Guess who was not to be allowed in to the gates. They wouldn’t let the others out.

I really was panicked! I had nothing but my driver’s license. I had no proof of a ticket. I had nothing. My purse and carry on were already though the machine. I was really scared. I just didn’t know what was going to happen next, and perhaps that was good. Otherwise I might have just sat and cried right there.

I was told to go back to the ticketing place. So I walked back downstairs, past the first security person who had let us up. I went to the curb where we got the boarding passes and checked luggage. I told my problem to the guy who gave us the boarding passes. He pulled up the screen. He said everyone was checked in. He asked for my license. He checked again. He said it showed me to be checked in. I said I had no pass. He checked again, then asked me to come around to the computer screen. The ones showing were checked in. FINALLY he looked carefully at the license. He THEN scrolled the screen down. There I was. I got the pass.

Back to security "cutie" number one. She checked the pass and the ID. She said I couldn’t go up the stairs. I said that my entire family was already through the scanners as well as all my belongings. She decided to get an attitude. She made a smart remark about "well go ahead, they’ll just tell you to leave" and she wasn’t nice about it.

It seems while I was trying to get my pass, they shut them screening down for a security check. I really believe it was because I had made it past little "cutie". Finally I got through. There was not a single person in my family around. I really thought I would lose it then. I was fighting back tears.

I went on toward the gates, and there I found them talking to a airport person. She was a supervisor for cutie. Cutie will be cited for her mistake. S was telling the supervisor that "cutie" was too busy flirting with some guy there to really check ID’s and passes.

After that all went fairly well with the exception of the nerd in front of me who had to lean his seat back even before take off, and then when the meal came had to lean forward to eat! I hope he got indigestion!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Grandma K's big adventures

We are nearing V day. (Vacation you know.) We will be taking off for California on Sunday. I’m still not sure how I really feel about it. I really believe I would rather not go, but that’s not an option. I know I will be better once we are landing in LA. I hope.
Thy flight may be interesting. K took Monkey Boy to the doctor yesterday. He has bilateral ear infections. Nasty ones. He should be great on the plane. I hope the shot he got yesterday moves the healing along.
I always have interesting dental visits, but yesterday takes the prize. When I went into the office, the skies were threatening. When I got in the chair, it started raining, and the wind was blowing. About the time my temporary crowns were removed, the weather radar showed the storms were moving away from us, and there was no problem. Oh, my dentist provides TVs with satellite for
his patients. As the assistant was working on the permanent crowns, the skies began to darken again. Then I was no longer able to see the TV or the window, but I could hear the thunder.
I asked if they often lost their lights. She said no, but when we had the rolling blackouts a few weeks ago, they were affected.
By now I have 6 people in the room. I have three pairs of hands around my mouth. They are mixing the cement for the 4 porcelain crowns. The thunder is getting louder. One of the assistants says "Hold on, hold on!" I am wondering why. Then the lights go out. The only light is from the windows. Dr Good Smile assures me we can finish. Out come flashlights. All crowns are in place.
Then we have the problem of making the bite right. That involves the drill. I really thought I would be going back today. Dr GS tested the drill. There was enough air in the line remaining to run the drill! So we spent the last half hour in the semi-darkness with me tap, tap, tapping on colored papers to get the bite right. And it worked! I am the owner of six beautiful crowns. And the best news is that the bite is right.
Dr GS called last night to see how I was doing. It was about 8:15, and he said their lights had just come back on. Wow. We never even knew the storm was coming our way either.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My secret that's not so secret

I am an addict. This stuff rules my life. I can’t get away from it. It consumes me and my life. I just can’t stop.

I am addicted to genealogy. I have the close families completed. Now I’m looking for all the relatives we have - all the way back to Adam! It has become like a mystery. I get started with the computer and hours have passed. I am not aware of the time. It’s great when I stumble onto an entire new family! Then I’m looking to see what happened to them. Who did they marry? Who are their kids?

Both G and I have families in the same area in the hill country. His mother’s family is there, and I discovered my dad has family there. It is so interesting to delve into the families to see how far the extended family goes. I keep looking to see if there is any direct relationship between those two families. I haven’t found it yet. I did have a big surprise when I found one of his father’s distant relative married one of my dad’s distant relatives.

I got interested when Dad was stricken with Alzheimer’s. If my grandchildren were to have any sense of where my family came from, it was up to me. My mom died when I was 27. Dad’s memory was gone. So I set to work. It helped tremendously when I met a distant cousin on Dad’s side at the assisted living. Her grandfather was the same man as my great-grandfather. Doors flew open from there!

Well, the ghosts are calling me again. Got to find those out laws, Bye!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

All is good today! Simone, luck dog, slept all day yesterday. G said she is used to sleeping all night - not riding around. I think the medication she was given also had something to do with her fatigue.

My fatigue is leaving. I was able to sleep for another hour and a half after G left for work. I could have stayed asleep for another four hours, but I would never get to sleep tonight. I’m just glad I got a little more sleep!

I’m beginning to feel better there being a plane actually scheduled to go to Las Angeles Sunday. In fact, when I went to the web site, it showed only one seat available. Yea! We may make it there. Now I’m hoping to get back. Always the worrier. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! I’ll feel better when I have the tickets and boarding pass in my hot hands!

I don’t think we will be taking advantage of a free meal at step-bro’s new restaurant. It is two hours from Disneyland, and they open at 6pm. Perhaps we will get to see them however - even without eating at the place.

Things are looking up here in the attic. Hope you are getting your place in order too!

Monday, May 01, 2006

The $200 brownie

As I sit here bleary eyed, I remember that just a scant 12 hours ago I was on my way to the Emergency Vet Clinic. Simone was ill last night. She had never acted like that before. She was in distress.

Why, you ask. Probably because of the brownie bits that became the world’s most expensive chocolate brownie in the world. Sunday nights are family dinner nights. All available come to our house for dinner. B and C couldn’t come because he is working 9-6:30 am right now - that’s another story. I made chicken/mushroom lasagna. I decided that brownies would make a good dessert. Everyone, including G, likes brownies.

Lady Bug brought hers into the den to eat. When she got up from the chair, Simone immediately began eating something from the floor under that chair. LB told me she dropped a couple of pieces of her brownie. I wasn’t all that concerned at first because her brownie wasn’t all that large. Simone couldn’t have gotten that much.

After they left, Simone went out (after needing to go when no one noticed - that spells accident in the living room). She apparently threw up then. G didn’t notice anything. She came back in and went to sleep. A deep sleep. When she got up she started licking her lips and salivating. I took her out, and she began grazing like a cow. I thought she would then get rid of anything that was left to upset her stomach.

We came back in, and I sat up to watch her. She threw up again in the house about an hour and a half later. I called the Emergency Clinic , explained all of what happened, and the vet said boxers can be very sensitive to chocolate. It was off to the clinic at 1 a.m.

Now I thought I would be the only person in the clinic at 1 a.m on Monday morning. NOPE! We waited until 2:30 to be seen. I got the other vet on duty, and he didn’t seem to be as alarmed. They gave her a bolus of fluids and two shots.
To take off on a tv commercial, but with a definite twist. An evening with the family - priceless; good food - priceless; dropped bits of brownie - $203! Bed time for Grandma - 3:30 a.m.