Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Time is a fascinating attribute of life. We often consider it an unchanging master. A thing that is a constant. We set appointments by it; we go to bed and arise to it. We often eat according to it. Our entertainment marches to its tick. Yet it does change. We have just, in most states, gone back to standard time. As we move around the world, we travel through different time zones.
Time in small town America is a totally different beast, and in our neck of the hill country it is almost non existent. These people have their own sense of it, and this grandma from the Swamp land just can’t find the key.

Now, I would believe that perhaps the intuitive part of my brain has perhaps rusted from the thirty odd years it has been sitting here in Swampland, but even as a yong thing living in the Alamo City, which is much closer to the Hill Country, time seemed to be pretty much in keeping with other places in the world. I feel better when my sister in law, who lives in the Capital City, also just doesn’t grasp "Little Community Hill Country" time. It is a beast of it’s own.

We are having our floors replaced with hard surfaces. The tile that was to cover the kitchen, eating area, bathrooms and utility room is in. Other than not allowing the dishwasher to assume it’s dedicated niche in the kitchen cabinet because the floor is an inch higher than it was, and the vertical blinds needing to be moved higher, the tile is beautiful.

It was in the last time we were there. Not too bad since it only took a month from the time we were told the materials had arrived. After all, we only contracted the job in July.
I was expecting great things now that the dam had opened. There would be, surely, an outpouring of work to complete the job. As we pulled up to the door Friday evening, I could tell that nothing had been moved since we were last there. When we opened the door and walked around to the living room, we saw the carpet was still there, with its moat around the tile. Absolutely nothing had been done.

Now this time warp also causes communication glitches. When messages are left for someone, they must evaporate because there is never a call back. And this time warp also must be hard on people’s health. Mr Floor Man at the store never returns calls, and is always out sick. Strange doings in this time warp. It may be just as well that we only spent a few days at a time in these places.

We made an unexpected visit to the store. We met the installer in person. He was there to pick up the laminate. He said he will begin at 5:30 this morning. I wonder what time that it here?

Oh, by the way, the same general company is contracted to build our barn. They were going to begin in September, after the cows were off. Would you like to guess how far the barn has progressed?

Friday, October 27, 2006

A new life

Having kept the grandchildren when they were babies, I still have three baby gates. They have found a new life! They are now cat gates!

Due to my lack of technological knowledge, I am unable to link to the previous post, but at one time I wrote about Sasha, my son’s cat who I am fostering. She loves to make objects commit suicide by knocking them off the counters. Oh, how I wish I could catch her red pawed, but I can’t. So I ordered the "kitty jail" otherwise known as a cat playpen.

It works well. In fact, she comes to get into it when it’s time for bed. I think the yummy wet cat food may have something to do with that.

The problem is what happens when we are gone from home for an extended period of time. We don’t make her live in the jail. She loves to foul her water among other reasons. So she would be out while we are gone.

This is where the baby gates come into play. Our house is very open, but I can shut the door to the living room. That leaves only one other opening to the living areas of the house. That is the door way from the same hall to the den.

I found if I use the three baby gates, I can stack them so that they seal off the doorway. Then I close the door to our bedroom, the office and hall bath. Then they are in the area I intended for them - the upstairs. I close the door to the craft room (my son’s previous bedroom - he’s not coming back to live!). This works very nicely.

It’s amazing how with a little thinking "out of the box" objects can gain a new lease on life. Now if only B and C would move to a place where they could have their cats!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

At one time, I was a very efficient packer for trips. In fact, I was so good, that I was prepared for anything we could possible encounter on our trip. Well most of the time, but that’s another story.

In our last trip to Austin for the family reunion, I almost forgot to take a change of clothes. I am so accustomed to going to the SSB that I don’t remember I don’t have a closet of clothes waiting for me at my destination.

When we take off to SSB, I do have to pack food. That wasn’t too different for the reunion as it is a big covered dish dinner. So I had that covered. Going to SSB, I take my train case with my pills, but that’s it. Everything I need is there. I dress in whatever "good" clothes I will need. If we go to community club, I wear what I came in. If we go to church, that will be a different group of people, so I wear what I came in. Neither group will know I have worn it twice on the weekend.

Fortunately, I began thinking ahead the night before. The realization came quickly. I had not planned clothes! I would have had nothing to change into! Not even underwear. I wouldn't have had a change of outer clothes for the next day, and we would be with the same people.

We either are going to SSB too often, or not going other places often enough. I’m out of practice!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Busy times here

I believe I am experiencing what a business traveler already knows. That is how little you can get done when you are only home for three or four days a week. We were at SSB one weekend, we came home and I began the preparation for the colon thing, then we were off to Austin for the family reunion. We will be here three days, and then it’s back to SSB to make sure nephew stays on his own place. I haven’t gotten anything done. If a burglar were break into my house, he would leave in despair because it looks like it has already been ransacked.

Our trip to Austin was really fun, but just like the 150th anniversary of Wide Spot in the Road Church, the weather couldn’t cooperate. It was chilly the day before, and cold the day after, but the day of the reunion the temperature reached 91! We were at a state park, so there was no air conditioning. But all in all it was fun, and there were more people than usual. There were so many little kids around.

I was struck by one thing at the reunion. As I looked around at our generation, my thought was "my goodness, we are old. We have become the elder generation." It is true. We are now the parents and grandparents where G’s parents and aunts and uncles had been. I can’t help but wonder what will happen to this reunion after we don’t organize it anymore. I wonder which of our children’s generation will want to take the responsibility. I hope someone. Families are flung so far afield these days. Reunions are the only way to try to bring some singleness to them, but can seeing one another once a year help?

While we were in Austin we visited my poor niece Sunday morning. She is due to have her twins any day now. When the doctor measures her belly, it makes her equal to 48 weeks of gestation for a singleton. She is so ready for them to be born. K and I have been almost voyeurs because we are so fascinated by a twin pregnancy. Neither of us have known someone pregnant with twins so intimately. It’s been an education for us too!

Sunday afternoon we took the train trip offered by the Austin Steam Train Association. We had taken the hill country trip several years ago, but this one goes out toward Manor. It was a lovely day, and the people on our car were an interesting group. The volunteers that worked the car were very entertaining. It made for a wonderful afternoon. IF you are in Austin on a Sunday afternoon, go downtown and board the train. It boards in the middle of the street at the Convention Center at 1:30 pm. They are hoping to have their steam engine back in about a year, but even the diesel puller makes a great trip in vintage railroad cars.

I just can’t get over how wonderful the weather is here in Swampland. Clear and cool, verging on cold. How wonderful. I hope you have good weather also, and by the way, make contact with someone in your family you haven’t seen in a while. It will be good for both of you!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

High five

Just returned from my little out patient procedure done on a certain part of my digestive anatomy. After the "prep" things went smoothly. My physician has a split preparation for this little thing. One part beginning at 6 pm the night before, and the second being three hours before you leave home to go to the hospital.

My scheduled arrival for the hospital was 7 am. That means we leave by 6:30 am. Since I woke at 2, I decided I would take the remainder at 2:30. Boy was I glad I did too! I wasn’t sure that I would make it even at 6:30, but things went well. I may not have to have this done for five years. That is wonderful news.

The weather decided to cooperate, so we didn’t have to take the tank, but it was first out, just in case. The rain stopped at 4:30, and yes I was awake. I was making many trips to the water closet. Now it is cool and crisp out, but still overcast.

"God’s in his heaven and all’s right with the world." I hope for you too

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

So, what's new with you?

Whew, it’s been a real whirl wind time. The weekend was a busy one. S and K left before us, so they were already at SSB when we finally got there. G chose what I thought would be one of the worst routes toi get there, but since he is the diver he can go however he wants. It took us an hour longer - that means 6 hours on the road. The worst part of that is that his mood when we do arrive is less than stellar.

Things went from bad to worse. SIL and great nephew were there visiting the kids when we arrived. Then we began seeing all the things that were not right after the tile had been put in. The vertical blinds were over a bed, but worse than that was that the dishwasher will not go back into the space for it. There is no extra space allowed for the extra inch of floor. The first few minutes were not pleasant at all.

Saturday we were going to see some of the skits at the Wide Spot in the Road church, but we got there in time for dinner. We did make church on Sunday, and it was a long service. When that church was built, people were much shorter. My knees were rubbing the pew in front of me.
We did get some blissful rain up there, even though it was flooding here in swampland. We managed to only get the tail end of this.

Today I am on clear liquids only getting ready for my procedure tomorrow. I just hope the floods hold off. I surely don’t want to go through this prep (including the laxative treatment), and then not be able to get to the hospital. More than that, I hope the physician makes it to the hospital!

I just noticed they had put barricades up at both ends of one of our streets that runs along the bayou. Hmmm, I guess our city is expecting the worst. That's why I put my low slung car next to the garage and have the tank ready to go in the morning.

Friday, October 13, 2006

But the rivalry is still real

All right, I over reacted yesterday while moaning about spending the weekend with the unknown man I perceived as a serial murderer. As it turns out, he will be going to Capital City to see his son, so our situation is going to be normal. It will just be family - which is strange enough.

And by family I mean family. SIL, BIL, grand nephew, MIL and FIL. Oh my! Perhaps unknown man has ESP and decided we were too weird to spend a weekend with. I don’t know how MIL and FIL will be since we have had no contact with them since the third weekend of last month.
The only problem lying ahead is the possibility of three dogs in my house at once. I think K is bringing her dog, and I know MIL and FIL will have theirs, Pepe. This is a dog they got after their poor 17 year old finally was able to be allowed to die. Pepe is from the other dog’s blood line.

Pepe is also wild. He had been put through a month’s intensive training. We knew quite a few things. Before training, he thought the place to potty was the house, and that outside was to play. After training, he was at least house broken, but knew how to act like a civilized dog.
Pepe is not a civilized dog now. He is back to chewing on shoes, pillows and hands. He will jump up on MIL and eat off of her plate! I couldn’t believe that actually happened until we visited just before they moved back home.

BIL does not like animals, mostly because he is allergic to their dander, but he especially does not like this breed (notice I am not identifying the breed?). Last time they were up in the country, the in laws went to BIL’s house. Pepe walked in and immediately relieved himself (both ways) in the middle of the living room carpet. That did not go over well. FIL suggested putting Pepe out in the yard. The fence is a country fence - 4 strands of barbed wire. It wouldn’t have contained that dog!

Well, if I do end up with Pepe in my house, at least I know the carpets will be gone within a week.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but some of you already know my news flash. Sibling rivalry does not go away. So if you have young children clamoring for your attention, prepare yourselves. When you can, move away and leave no forwarding address! My two children are 30 and 33, and the green eyed monster of sibling rivalry still rears its ugly head, especially for my daughter who is the oldest.

Back in July, my son asked if his friend, J, and the friend’s fiancee, C, could come to Sunday night dinner. First, when I am asked about an hour before hand, it is difficult to say no. Second I was playing piano for their wedding, and C wanted to talk about the music. There was a reason. And C brought food and wine. She is a very thoughtful young woman.

I would have preferred the dinner be family, but J has been around here since junior high school. He is practically family, and C is just as accepted. It turned out to be a lovely evening. My daughter, however, was incensed. She thought it was terrible. How insensitive of her brother.
Well, now the shoe is on the other foot. My son in law is good as gold, but sometimes he can go over the top - especially when he is with friends or his family. He can begin to wear very thin. They have his high school friend staying with them right now. He is beginning a new job here, and they decided he would "rent" a room from them until he decides where he would like to live. This should not be a problem for us, right? Er, no.

On Sunday, she called with the same question: could the friend come to Sunday dinner? As fate would have it, he didn’t come in until Monday. Side stepped that bullet. We are all set to trundle off to Rancho SSB this weekend. They were going to have him just stay at the house and take care of the dog. Guess what! He will be coming along.

We don’t know this man from Adam. We know nothing about his personality. We know nothing about his background. We get to spend the weekend with him in a 1700 square foot house.
If S acts the way he usually does around his friends and family, it is going to be a very long weekend. His brain turns to absolute mush. He will revert to being 17 years old again. He will be loud and obnoxious. He will make up more stories to impress everyone than ever. If they begin reminiscing about high school, I think I will be physically ill. I just hope they have already gotten that out of their systems.

Now, if I express my feelings to my daughter, she will (as is a Texas saying) swell up like a toad. She will say that we allow her brother to bring friends. She will say that we allowed his mother in law and her boyfriend to accompany them to Rancho. She will claim I treat her brother better, and I dare not challenge her on that front. She might even refuse to come herself.
I really thought at some time, the rivalry would stop. For some reason, she tends to feel it a lot. Perhaps it’s because she and I talk more, and she tells me. I know my son is threatened by my son in law because he does so many things at the Rancho. I guess I should just put a pillow over my head. Then it would all go away.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Getting better

This virus is interesting. None of us have had the same symptoms, and I am praying it will be just 24 hours for me, but I don’t know. I was pretty miserable yesterday, and when G came home I told him I wished the colon procedure I have next week would be today! I get to go through this again, but hopefully without the headache and stomach tenderness.

I am really excited about the coming weekend. We should have nice cool weather at Rancho SSB. I really enjoy the cooler weather. I surely am ready for a break from the hot, steamy days we have had.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tag, I'm it!

Well, the incubation time for this little bug going around our family is four days. It was Friday night that I inoculated myself with it by eating Lady Bug’s left over enchilada. Now I am paying the price. Monkey Boy was over it by Sunday, Lady Bug only suffered one day - Sunday, K was suffering a bit on Sunday, and S was very ill Sunday night. I had a suspect symptom yesterday morning, but it has hit in glory today. Not throwing up, nope, it’s the other end of the digestive tract!

Enough about that. Yesterday was a teacher’s inservice day. K didn’t want to pay for Lady Bug to go to day care, and she really couldn’t take another day off, so I kept Lady Bug. She is a trip!
We had to take the tank to the shop for its oil change and so on since we have another pilgrimage to Rancho SSB. We try to get it in by 7:30, so we go to the restaurant next door for breakfast. Lady Bug and I split a breakfast. They are so large that I need to split one with someone anyway!

We had no sooner come back home than she primly sat on the sofa, and asked where we were going for lunch! That’s my Lady Bug.

She decided to come in here to play some computer games, but since they had not been installed on this computer, she became inpatient. She was off to make her jewelry from her little kit. Of course, I had to tie the knots, and she was upset that I didn’t join her with my own jewelry making things. But we got a choker and matching bracelet made.

Then we moved on the "Go Fish." She beat me more often than not! But she loved it. We did go to lunch, then to a movie rental store where they had a big sale on previously rented movies. Of course she got one!

All in all it was a great day, and now the porcelain throne is once again calling my name.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

In sickness . . .

There seems to be a virus going around my daughter’s house these days. Monkey boy got sick on Wednesday right after lunch at day care. He was sick through the night, but he seemed to be better for the most part on Thursday. His class is passing the bug around, and they are falling like flies. I feel sorry for his teachers next week because this bug causes some nasty diapers!

They came over for dinner last night, Lady Bug and I "shared" the left overs of out meal. I never thought about it as I ate part of her left enchilada. This morning K told me Lady Bug didn’t want breakfast, and she is lying down. She just doesn’t do that!

I wonder when it will hit me! Oh well, I guess it will jump start my diet.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Simone - again

As a reminder, be sure to go by Ronni’s place for more information about the Elderblogger phone conference. It should be a fun thing. The address is below.

In other events around here, there is the almost constant UTI that Simone has. She had been on a new treatment of meds with a change of diet - again. It is still the prescription dog food, but a different formula.

This morning, I had to obtain another urine specimen to take in. I was at a loss as to the best way to do this little task. I decided I would completely throw her schedule off, and I was successful. I first gave her the Prevac*d. That part is pretty normal. The difference is that I didn’t let her out immediately. She was quite confused, especially when G left for work. Then I gave her breakfast. She looked at me as though I had lost my mind. Then I finally took her out, taking a hint from the vet’s office when I helped them get a sample. I took an old, small baking sheet that wouldn’t ever be used again for food. Since it is one that is prone to rust, I put a grocery plastic bag over it. It worked like a dream. I got the sample.

I took it to the vet’s office right away. My problem was when I returned home. After months of carefully monitoring her intake (no more socks and paper napkins, please), I came in to find an empty can of peanuts on the floor. I forgot to put them up. She found them on the coffee table, and they are now history! Fortunately there was only about a handful and a half, but now I am wondering when the vomiting to occur! I would have rather she had taken to the couch again.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


It is so incredibly easy to lose contact with friends. When either you or they move away, you pledge you will keep your friendship alive and vibrant. Then, over the months and years, things change and you lose contact.

This was brought home to me today when I had an email message from a person who was one of my dearest and closest friends. We went through so much together. We had a deep closeness, despite our age difference. We were really like sisters.

Our friendship was attacked and managed to survive. We had people come into our lives who tried, and did succeed, to break up our friendship. It was a truly unfortunate situation because it involved our teaching careers as well. In the end, I guess it really did succeed in closing out closeness.

It was a very stressful time, and we ended up parting campuses first, then she finally moved away from the area. We would correspond for a while, and then that became more and more infrequent. The email I got from her was nothing of a personal nature. It was one of those warm, fuzzy chain thingies that you send to a certain number of people assuring you good luck.

It made me think of my best friend now. Our friendship is crumbling. The horrid truth of the matter is that we are letting it. She only lives four blocks away, and yet we are letting go of communication. We, again, were co-workers. But we began to see how our lives paralleled one another so much. Her son and my daughter were best friends in high school. When I retired, she also quit teaching. She went into IT work, and her hours are long and hard now.

We emailed a lot at first. Emailing is easier than talking on the phone because of her schedule. Now that has dwindled. I wonder how she will react to the warm, fuzzy chain thingie?