Thursday, April 30, 2009

It never rains but . . .

My new back door is here and being installed as I write! Yea! I am so excited. So what's the downside? It decided to rain. Probably only about .02 of an inch, but enough to make the patio wet with a puddle close to where the installer has to work - often with an electric saw. Could be exciting.

He said he gets to install another door later this afternoon. I'll bet it rains then too!!

On top of all else, who is here but the yard people. I can't believe it! Wet grass and lawnmowers. I wonder if they will try the blowers? I need to get the video camera out. That would make the funny video clip.

Simone was still "out" in the house when the installer got here. She was terrified when the hammering began. Not only was there loud noises, but , gasp, he raised his arm. I'll bet whoever had her before beat the wowie out of her. But when you rescue a dog, you never know what has happened to them.

Well, at least I can get out of the house later. He came on time, instead of at the later time given. That seldom happens.

Yesterday I had to run to choose tile for the front porch. I thought Vernon was coming to rebuild the fence and put in my step in on the front porch. As it is, the other job gave him the go-ahead for Friday and Monday. That's ok - at least I picked out the tile, and it is ready to go. It is really pretty - a charcoal slate type of tile. I can't wait. But knowing Vernon, I'll have to.

Wash your hands!


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Almost boring

After the excitement, both good and bad, around here for the last few days, I almost feel a let down today. There is no pending disaster. There is no elevaing good news. It is just a normal day. Simone is ok and the sun is shining beautifully.

I know I have to get to the grocery store today. I really don't want to go - on so many levels! Not only do I hurt walking the isles, but, well the elephant, or in reality the pig, in the room makes me not want to go. I guess I am being reactive, but this flu thing has me a bit shaken.

When they first began talking about it, I was whisked back to the days in the early 70's of teaching biology. Texas had just adopted a new book, and in it was a section about the impending swine flu possible epidemic. I had a student that I got to make posters from the pictures in that section, so every year when I would get ready to put up bulletin boards I would remember not only that student but the worry that was around then. I would laugh a bit to myself about how we were so worried then. Now it is reality.

Don't get me wrong. I am not completely petrified of this thing - but the news today of the toddler who died here catch my attention. The child came from Matamorous, Mexico, and was transferred from a Brownsville hospital to a hospital here. But this flu is particularly bad for the young and the old. Well - I'm old!! Enough of that.

Tomorrow things pick up again. My long awaited new back door will be installed. I am pretty excited about that. It is really nice. It should be. I cannot believe how much that baby cost me. But it was the one I wanted. We will have the contractors from H*me D*pot install it. That means they will completely rebuild the door frame and threshold. They did out front door, and it is wonderful. It fits so beautifully and is so energy efficient.

We will be headed out to the SSB this weekend. One of the things we will do it mount the flag pole on the house so we can fly the flag I ordered for G's birthday. It is his great grandfather's brand. It looks something like this:

He is so excited (as excited as he ever gets) about having that brand flying over that property again. It is really kind of neat.

Well I need to get back to the everyday things around here -whatever they are - and listen to the news bite about the additional cases of flu here in Texas. Great!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Texas weather, like other places I am learning, is never predictable. Last night we had a toad strangler that stopped about 10PM. I heard the weatherman say that we would still be getting some showers from the Gulf, but G didn't hear that.

About 3AM I was awakened by the claps of thunder. I could hear the rain hitting the roof above the sound of the fan. Of course, Simone had left her kennel and was plastered next to the bed. I would doze off and be shaken awake by the thunder again. Then the power began to blink off and on. I was absolutely sure we would be without electricity in just a matter of time. I was pleasantly surprised when it remained on.

About 4 AM I decided I would check the rain recorded on the electronic rain gauge. That is an absolute necessity in the Burbs of Swampland! We had four additional inches. I thought about getting up to check the street, but I was just too lazy to do that. If Simone jumper into the bed with me, I would be pretty sure we had water in the house.

When we moved here 33+ years ago, flooding was never a problem. We could get these rains and the worst thing that would happen is the street up in front of Poe's house would become impassible, The lady on the corner who has lived here for 50+ years - even before our area was built into houses, said that there was a natural draw there. The center of that draw goes right to his front door.

Now, after we pumped a lot of water from the ground here and we are now surrounded by development, parts of our little city flood - with each heavy rain. They have been working diligently on retaining ponds to try to keep the flooding from happening. To me they are not of real use. When we get one of these monsoons that drops 10 inches (and this one did in 12 hours) those are going to get full, and then THEY will overflow.

G got up once to check on the street. It was over the curb and into the grass. Our stupid neighbor still had his little truck parked in its usual place in front of the house. I wonder if he got water in it? You would think that after his stepdaughter had a wheel stolen from her car they would park in the driveway which has plenty of room. They seem to only allow one car in the drive - but I'm off subject.

I wonder how many homes in our city got water in them. The first thing I heard on the news was that the bayou that cuts through the middle of our city was out of its banks. G went that way to work. He said it was barricaded, and the street that runs along it was still closed. I think we took this rain fairly well. I really think the flooding, if there was any, was minimal. I hope so.

It is now 9 and all the news stations are still covering the flooding. It is bad. It is so weird. A month ago, we were so far behind in rainfall. I think we are ahead now.

This school year has been a tough one for the schools. They had been in session for about a week when we experienced Ike. They have been making up some of those missed instructional days. The districts around here canceled school for today. I know they did it because the buses couldn't roll. But today is the beginning day of the mandated state testing. They are now going to have to make that up.

So hopefully we don't get any more rain. They say we got 7 inches - I recorded only 4. Regardless - no more please!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy news!

Simone does not have a tumor. Shre has some thickening in her duodenum. No one knows why. That may be the problem. It is still unknown. We are going to worm her and administer an antibiotic. We have a treatment plan in place after tat too. We'll see what happens. It is just such good news. We are all so relieved.

The a/c guy came. If we go with a really good unit/duct work, we are probably be looking at $20,000. We still haven't talked about what we want to do yet. That's a lot of money. As it is, I really believe we are pouring a lot of money down a rat hole because I'm sure our 35 year old vents are leaking air like a sieve, and the unit is just not an efficient one. Don't know what we are going to do.

Daughter in law asked if I would make a bib for Wiggle Worm's dedication. No problem. It is done - along with a burp cloth.

So has been my day. I hope yours was as good.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tidbits from the samp

The family got together to go out to a Cajun restaurant to celebrate G's birthday (that was last Thursday). It was really good, but this particular place is expensive. Well - it's only once a year.

Wiggle Worm was really a good baby tonight. He took an afternoon nap, so all was good in his world. The other three were really good too. Lady Bug was exhausted. She partied all weekend. She had two birthday parties to attend - one being a sleep over. What a misnomer!

Tomorrow we take Simone to have her ultrasound. She is off food until we get her back home. She is acting so normal right now. I keep praying that she is not as seriously ill as I am afraid she is. She may only have weeks. I just hope she doesn't have the splenic tumor.

We are having the a/c guy tomorrow. I wanted to get a whole house generator. I'm tired of the electrical service here. It can go out with just thunderstorms to say nothing of hurricanes. But we need to see what the a/c will cost. On the news this morning, they were giving stats on things people could live without. I was amazed that that many people felt a/c was not essential. They don't live here! When the temps are in the high 90's or even 100's and the humidity is right there with is - it is an absolute essential. Those conditions can go on for weeks on end.

Hope your weekend was good. I'll catch you later.


Friday, April 24, 2009


I know. This is yet another post about a dog. Those of you that have close dog companions will understand. Those of you who are not as fortunate will not understand.

Simone had another relatively bad night last night. These "spells" used to come about every six months or so. When she would be checked, there was nothing remarkable that would cause her problems. This time, the "spells" are coming about every other day.

She was pretty much on her own yesterday since the painters were in the house all day. She would seem just fine, then she would start "licking air." That would happen over and over. When she went out for her last potty break, she was fine. She did her laps around the yard,

When she came in, it was back to the air licking. That went on from 10PM to 1AM. It was then, and I guess this speaks volumes for my housekeeping, she vomited up 2 socks and a knee high. I couldn't believe it. She was in the bedroom, and I thought I had scoured it looking for anything she would try to ingest. But there it was. Visible evidence.

I took her to the vet today. We decided on the x-rays this time. The vet and I neither expected anything. But we were wrong. She has a large mass that is distenting her abdomen. It is very possibly a splenic tumor.

So I went on-line to google splenic tumors. The findings were not good. If that is what she has, and it is malignant, which most are, her days are limited. It is a fast growing cancer that begins in the blood vessels, so it spreads - fast.

She is to go back in Monday morning. This young vet doesn't do ultrasounds well. She tried, but couldn't get a good picture. It is surely there on x-rays though. So Simone's original doctor will be there to do the procedure.

Then we go from there.

She saw me through my cancer. I guess I'll be here for her as long as she needs me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I can't believe it. It is 11 AM our time and so many things have been done. If I had not been talking and then reading blogs and emails, I would have posted this before now.

Before 8AM Ghost #2, otherwise known as the electrician, called. He was sending his helper over to change out the security light. Wow. I hurried to dress. He was here about 8:30. Light is replaced and I am assured it is working.

The lawn guys were here at 8:45. That's taken care of. Don't have to worry about that.

Ghost #1 was here at the appointed hour of 9:30. I gave him the list of things to be done. His guys have the wall paper down in the breakfast room. That is a feat that I didn't think could be accomplished. The sheet rock is even in tact. After 33 years, I was afraid they would be one piece.

I gave him the laundry list of things to be done. I don't know how much I'll be able to afford since we will be getting a quote on Monday for new duct work, a/c unit, and heater for the downstairs. We also have to replace the 20+ year old pool filter - $3000 worth.

We seem to be bleeding money these days.

Along that line, I have come to accept selling the lake property. I just have to put my feelings about the place way out of my mind. That place IS my dad. I know it will be torn down. But with the things that need to be done around here, we could use the money. Besides, no one has been to the place in at least 3 years. We have to move on.

I am excited about the change in my kitchen/breakfast however. I told daughter the color, and she didn't like it. Oh well!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Well . . .

I don't know if I may have gotten a terrible virus, worm, or other unwanted thing on the laptop - my workhorse, or what. I cannot access the internet on it. Even here on old Della, my main email source says it is having difficulties. I'm not sure where the problem is. Plus I HATE working here in the office. I haven't worked in here since I got Gertie.

I guess that's just the way the day is going. The contractor is still an unknown deal. I don't know he is is going to show tomorrow or not. I know him and all. He did a wonderful job on daughter's kitchen remodel. I don't know if it is because the woman across the street was going to use him and didn't. He thinks she is a loon. We are not all loons on this street!! Honest.

I need to call the electrician - again. He tried to come out around Easter - when we were gone/ The last time he was going to come, we had the monsoon. So I guess I'll call - again - since it might be that I am caught here for the next two days.

I love living a planned life - at least I think I would if I knew what one was!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The contractor is coming!!

No, wait. Probably not. This has been a saga going on since November. Daughter was going to have the contractor (since become good friend) come to take down my 35 year old wall paper in the breakfast room, texture and paint it. That was to be a Christmas present. I was set to do it, but much water has passed under the bridge since I first considered that job. In fact, I have the rolls of wallpaper sitting in my bedroom that I was going to use.

Well, wallpaper has gone out of vogue around these parts, so I decided I would paint. With my shoulders that really isn't an option, and the knees will scream loudly after an insult like that. This kills me because I have always been one to pull out the rollers, et al and go to it.

Anyway, V has always had an excuse - other jobs - for not getting here. Well, the economic downturn has caused his business to slow. So - I thought he would be here on Thursday and Friday. Little does he know, but my job for him has grown. We have some boards that need to be replaced around the house, I would like to have pull out drawers installed in my pantry (especially) and cabinets. I just can't get on the floor anymore to get to those low shelves. I want a step put on my front porch and a tile overlay on that. G decided to have him look at the fence. It is getting really rickety. Let's just say we have some work.

But if he doesn't get here soon, there won't be any money left in the trough. We already have to have the pool filter replaced. It is only 20+ years old. I think it has run its course. Yesterday we had the air conditioners checked for the summer. Guess what! We need an entirely new system for downstairs - ac, furnace AND ductwork. My, my. Things just get better and better.

So excitement about getting the contractor has once again turned to a waiting game. I may be painting this room after all!


Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend update

The weekend did not go as planned. There were several reasons for that, but still . . . Things just didn't happen like I hoped.

Friday and Saturday were monsoons. We were 4 inches below normal rainfall. Not any more. We are about .15 of an inch. Needless to say, the trip to the grocery store was not in the cards. So that meant we had to go on the day I hate grocery shopping the very most -Sunday. Sunday grocery shoppers are like Sunday drivers. No place to go and all day to get there.

It is such a trial for me to go to the grocery in the first place, I want to get in and get out - fast. I am really thinking about using one of the motorized carts, but I just fight that. So I am in real pain about half way through. We have two stores of the same chain near us, but the one closest is bigger than the one I go to so I don't go there. (Follow that contorted sentence??) I swear if I could order groceries for a reasonable price to be delivered I really think I would do that. But then I think about someone else buying the produce and meat, and the idea doesn't seem as viable. And produce and meat are the majority of my purchase. Hmmm.

The kids were expected Sunday for dinner. That was not easy this time because my whole weekend routine was off. So I decided on something "easy." I found a new recipe for pulled pork with a strawberry BBQ sauce. It was far more work than I anticipated. But they liked it - even Monkey Boy who doesn't like anything I fix because I don't load it with ketchup.

Speaking of Monkey Boy, he usually has nothing to do with me. Ever since we were at the SSB, he has been my "best friend." He was so good and loving last night. I wonder what's wrong with him???

To put the icing on the cake, Simone was acting as though she was going to vomit all evening. I was late giving her the antacid pills. I gave it to her, and husband immediately fed her saying I told him to. Talk about reverse selective hearing. He was going to feed her - period. So he said I said it was OK. Not.

So we (Simone and I) enjoyed each other's company from 3-5 AM this morning as she walked around the bedroom - retching. Somehow, she discovered a sheet of paper that she immediately downed half before I knew it. I thought I would be cleaning it up at some point. You know, I swear it settled her stomach!

I am worried about her though. I tried to convince G to take her. I get the feeling he thinks he could get better results from the visit. He has nicely abdicated that responsibility. He will suggest she go tomorrow - when he is at work. Nice.

Anyway - peace.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

He did what?

I just got off of the phone with daughter. I asked what she was doing. She said she was waiting for her husband to get home. I asked where he was. She replied he was coming home from a golf tournament. A what?!!!

People - our weather since 3 PM yesterday - has been stormy with heavy rains (yes Judy - toad stranglers), lightning and thunder. Who is their right mind would put their fannies out on a cow pasture carrying metal sticks? Do they want to be lightning rods?

As you can probably read between the lines, I am not a golfer. I don't see much to it. Don't give me the exercise line either. If you want exercise, get off the cart.

I asked if they played at all, and Daughter replied they managed to get 4 holes. They didn't want to lose their money. Um, I think I value my life more than a few dollars I paid to chase that little ball.

Have a good rest of the weekend. Tomorrow looks to be a better day around these parts.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Dead Brain

Whine, whine, whine. That's my real mood today. I am not going to spend much time here with it all because I am just out of cheese to go with it. So here is a brief list of my whining.

Simone had a bad night last night. She was showing signs of being nauseated at bed time (of course). She woke at 1 and gagged until about 4. So sleep deprivation for mom.

The electrician seems to only be able to come when we are gone to replace the security light. When we went to the SSB last Friday, he called. He called again on Monday. We weren't here. He said Thursday (yesterday) or Friday (today). Didn't call yesterday, and today we are expecting a toad strangling rain with associated possible tornadoes and hail. Doubt he will be here today either.

There are good things going on around me, I just can't see them right now. My vision is blocked by this other bull.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wide Musings

Tuesday was a really busy day for me. I had booked two doctor's appointments in the same day. Not a fun thing to do.

The first was with the optometrist. It was time for my annual check up. Several years ago (10-15?) I was diagnosed with glaucoma. For years I religiously put drops in my eyes. And for several years, the pressures remained pretty constant. I wasn't really surprised that I got that diagnosis. My mother was also diagnosed with glaucoma.

Then the medical world advanced. It was discovered that people's eyes (mostly women I think) can have thickened corneas that mimic glaucoma. Guess what? My corneas are thickened. That little fact saves me $50 a month (thank you drug insurance for being there). But it also means I really don't worry about blindness - as much. Take the hearing if you must, but please leave my sight.

Daughter, come to find out, has the same problem. She is 35 and her eyes are worse than mine. So I believe that my mother didn't have glaucoma either. Daughter, husband and I all see the same doctor now, and we love her.

The afternoon brought the appointment in my search for a new primary physician. After being my doctor for 33 years, my other one retired. Can you believe that!!

Anyway, son in law, daughter and husband have gone to Dr A and like him. On the advice of my nurse from the insurance company, I made the well-woman (like well baby) appointment. I LOVE this new guy. You can easily talk to him. Plus he is not one of those weight gurus. He has problems with his weight too! He KNOWS what a struggle it is. In fact he shared with me that he is a heart patient (don't like that - don't want to lose him), has 5 stints, but hasn't seen his cardio doc because he has gained weight. That sounds like a normal person. I want to urge him to see his doc because, like I said, I don't want to lose him.

So my eyes are good to go - didn't even need a new script for glasses, and the new doc is great. All's right with the world.

This morning Simone had another bout of nausea. So we were off to the vet's office for a 9AM appointment. I like this practice a lot. I can always see a vet. My appointment was with a new doctor. I thought perhaps a new slant would shed some light on the problem.

Simone had blood drawn for unremarkable results - which is good, I guess. Still no answers. So bolus of fluids, $42, blood work, $169.50, pancreas test, $74, shots, $67.50, exam, $45.50, new flea treatment, $88, for a grand total of $491. The love of that dog and the pleasure she brings 99.9% of the time, priceless. I just wish we had an answer. We still don't know the why for these bouts. So far nothing serious has reared its ugly head.

Stay well!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

And it just kept getting better and better - not! Part 2

Our weekend could not be contained in just one post! So here is part 2 of my adventure.

Saturday was overcast with cold winds blowing. We had decided that "Easter" would occur on Saturday since the kids were going home on Sunday. Lady Bug has had some quirky illnesses this school year, so she shouldn't miss more school. Our district would like to start school again two weeks after it lets out in May, but the state made them wait until late August. They took a lot of the holidays away this year to meet the state mandate, and that included the Monday after Easter.

The guys went to the metropolis of Doss on Saturday to get deer feed. That metropolis consists of a church, cemetery, store, school, and a community club building. All occupied by distant family members of mine. The joke was that we would all load up to go because they have the world best hamburgers there! But we didn't.

While they were gone, I put the kites for the older kids together. In doing so, I really made a mess of Lady Bug's. I haven't put a kite together in 20 years. They are so much more simpler now. I ended up cutting the string, so I had to unravel it all. Of course, as I was taking it back in, it would snarl. What a mess!

After lunch, the "eggs" were hidden by the barn/garage. The pinata was ready to hang. Out we went. Daughter must have bought the industrial strength pinata. It took a beating and kept ticking! They finally broke it (before it broke our lights out there), and we got the kites out.

Monkey Boy enjoyed his well enough. He was a typical boy and kept letting the string out more and more. We have the perfect site for kite flying. It is void of trees and everything else. Lady Bug was more conservative in her kite flying, and she kept hers up a long time after Monkey gave up.

His giving up on the kite gave the "big kids" a chance. They were like little kids. They had not flown kites since they were kids and enjoyed it as much as their children.

The day continued being drab and winds. The temperatures were around the low 60's all day. The weather forecast looked like we weren't going to get the predicted strong storms. So we all went to bed not expecting anything.

About 2:20 AM, the power went out. The winds were gusting to 50 mph I'm sure. I looked out the window, and the moon was shining brightly. That was strange. No lights which would indicate stormy weather, but a clear sky.

About 30 minutes later, the storm hit. We ended up with only 1/2 inch rain, but there was quite a light display with the accompanying sound effects.

Before the power came back on, with it being so quiet, I could hear Simone's stomach. I know she is really afraid of thunder storms, but I didn't think it would cause all that. At 5 AM she HAD to go out. Husband wasn't a happy camper - at all.

Sunday morning we got up. I gave her meds (for acid reflux), and she immediately began exhibiting her "pre-vomit" activity. Sure enough there she went. We got to minister to a sick dog all day.

I was really happy that she finally got over her being sick, but because she was doing so well, Monday meant stopping in the Capitol City to visit mother-in-law. Before you get on me, I really don't think she enjoys our visits any more than we do. The silence is deafening. All parties are searching for conversation topics. She has never cared that much for husband and definitely his family. She is there with the "chosen," so she is happy as a tick.

But we are home. Things are all back to normal. If I can get my schedule settled down, Simone will be heading to the vet. She may have a UTI. She just needs to be checked.

So there you have it. Parts 1 and 2!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

And it just kept getting better and better - not!

OK, the weekend was to be the SSB with a little twist - Easter and three of the grandchildren there (with parents of course). It was supposed to be kind of normal. I wasn't filled with any dread at all. Until . . .

We were getting ready to load Simone in the green beast, and G asked if I had the letter the realtor sent about the lake house having been "severely vandalized." I first thought that would be for the return trip on Monday. Not that I relished it more on Monday rather than Friday.

Nope - we were going on Friday. He called the Sheriff's office before we left to be sure that he was to call when we arrived. So off we went. My stomach was doing backflips and cartwheels the entire three hour trip.

We got there. The trees had overgrown the drive. We had to park almost in the street. When he got out, he said he was going in. He got out the pistol - just to be sure there wasn't anyone in there. When he came back to the truck he told me I didn't want to go in. No s*it Sherlock! I didn't want to be there. If you don't face things, they will go away, right??

I could hear the door crunch on broken glassware. I took Simone for a short walk. In the side yard were two lamps from upstairs. I didn't look with great detail. We headed for the garage area. I was amazed that the door was still shut even though there was a panel out. With nosey rosie Simone, I couldn't really see in, but it looked rather unchanged.

G took pictures of the damage while waiting for the Sheriff. When he got there, he took a statement and pictures giving us a case number. Cutting to today - our insurance is not in effect if the house was not occupied 30 days before something happened. I just love insurance.

We called the realtor. She is going to see about getting someone to clean out all the broken stuff and fix the broken windows and glass door. In the mean time, we discovered some of the neighbors had noticed people around. They didn't call police. Thanks.

The funny part of this is that this time there was more furniture stolen. We took our 25 year old king sized bed up when we got a new one. Yep - they stole it. Must have been desperate. It was nasty being so old.

After two hours of delight there, we finally continued on with our journey. It was rather uneventful after that.

Part two tomorrow.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Wasting time

Here I sit. I had two different people set to come to the house today. One, who has already been here, as I expected, was to close up little openings that the squirrels have gnawed to get into the attic. And some people find them so cute. They are nothing but rats with fluffy tails. I really don't like them at all. They have cost me a bundle over the years.

The other is Sal*ation Army to pick up our old "entertainment center." Not really much of one, but it was really serviceable. I didn't realize just how much it held until we were getting the obsolete video tapes out of it. Now I have piles and piles of them sitting around.

The entertainment center was replaced by the new fancy flat screen. I thought daughter would take it, but they decided against it. I told her it would be a great place for Doodle Bug to put her toys in. She has the biggest bedroom (but she still sleeps with mom and dad).

They thought it was too big. They were going to help me load it to take to a center. That was at least a month and a half ago. But . . . So there is sat beside my fireplace blocking one way to get to the front door.

So here I sit waiting.

But it's just as well. I am working on my newest addiction - downloading machine embroidery files. I have about 200 that I need to go through to change the format if needed and put into folders where I might find them again. I bought a new program to help with that. It said it went through 10000 files. It said some of those were duplicates however. (Yes, I have an addictive personality.)

I also am hurting today - a lot. The weather is muggy and threatening rain, so that may be part of the problem. The other is I made my foray to the grocery store yesterday. I had to make the entire store. I am so out of shape that I am really paying for it today. At least those things must be the problem.

We are getting ready to make the pilgrimage to the SSB tomorrow. I found kites for the older kids since the winds always blow up there. We don't have the anemometer installed yet, so I don't know the exact speed, but it is usually a gale! We'll see how that goes. Their mom just called and said she had gotten the pinata for them so there is something different this year.

I guess we are set. So Happy Easter - or Passover or whatever!


Wednesday, April 08, 2009


We belong to a religion that believes in infant baptism. My son was a member of this religion and his wife was too. That is before they joined an interdenominational church.

With the birth of Wiggle Worm, I wondered what they were going to do about him. "Pa" asked that Sunday night after they got here from a service where a baby was given over to the Lord.

Daughter in law said that WW would be in May. Pa said something to the effect that that doesn't save them. Then a discussion of the "iinnocent souls" of babies insued.

I don't have much to say. I wasn't baptized until I was 11. That was because at the time we attended a church that didn't do infants. When I was 11 I joined my current religion. I must say, it is rather strange to be baptized when all the others are babies.

I really wish WW would be baptized. It is one of the tenets of my religion. But then I wish son and dil were still members of the same religion.

I found out recently that my goofy old piano teacher was right. All my ancestors on my dad's side (with the exception of his mother) were of that religion, and when they came from Germany, they were among the builders of the church in the Alamo City where I was confirmed.

But everyone has the right to chose. If they feel a church is right for them, then it is.


Tuesday, April 07, 2009


There are so many things I don't want to deal with. I like to hide from them, and pretent they simply don't exist. I think that's part of my terrible tendency to proscrastinate. I just don't want to deal with something. I feel overwhelmed by something. Or it's a new situation I don't want to handle.

That's kind of the way I feel about the property that has been vandalized. I tried to link to April 2, but I don't know how. Anyway, I got dear husband to email the realtor. I finally told him that I didn't want to face it.

She replied. The door is standing open. She looked inside, and things are all broken up. It apparently has been going on for some time.

She said her cousin lives next door now. My question is why the neighbors allow this to be happening. I don't expect them to be watch dogs, but I believe in watching out for my neighbors. Apparently they don't. There has to be some noise coming from activities there.

I really am not putting responsibility with them, but I would want this type of thing out of my neighborhood. I know one thing however. "Resort" property like this attracts unsavory people. All kinds of folks live around there. Some are retired military. Some are the basest trash you have ever seen.

Guess what lives mostly around that house. I live in a "trailer" at the SSB. I don't really think people who do are trash, but those that are located behind our house there. . . I'll leave it to your imagination. Of course, we live in an upper middle class neighborhood here in Swampland. These kids could do things like this if they had too much time on their hands. I just don't know anymore.

The fact that I don't want to face it still hasn't changed, but it looks like I will have to this weekend either on the way to the SSB or on the way home. My stomach is churning.

Monday, April 06, 2009


My insurance, while taking lots and lots of my money, really has stepped up to the plate. During all the treatments and surgeries, between the physicians and them, my treatments cost me nothing really. Now, the reconstruction has begun to cost some, but really it's not too bad - except for one little ($1000) thing - which is another story.

They have a program for us that I decided to take advantage of. It is a nurse manager and then a nutritionist. I was really doubtful at first. I wasn't sure I would like this at all. The nurse really gave me some good ideas, and she also suggested the nutritionist.

With great dread, I awaited the call of the nutritionist. I just knew I would get the Hitler of that ilk. I thought she would tell me to lightly graze on two leaves of lettuce a day and just suck it up.

She didn't! She was so supportive. She understood. She didn't accuse me of being a week willed creatin. I told her that I lost a lot of weight before, and I did At*ins. No carbs.

I made the mistake in February of a "free trial" of South B*ach. I have another name for them now, but I try to keep this space clean. My "free trial" cost me $200. On their site, in the FAQ section, they STATE they will happily return any portion of the fee if you are not satisfied. DON'T BELIEVE IT. They lied. They, unlike Weight Watchers (which I also tried the week trial), make you call an 800 number. Now, that number is always busy, so you have to sit for a long time waiting on hold.

I wasn't too worried about being absolutely sure I canceled it during that week of free trial because of their policy. Then, when I tried to cancel, they said they sent me a email offering a "special" for a year. They said I approved the "specially priced" yearly membership, and that cannot be canceled during that year. No refund.

The had not been sending me any emails prior to me calling. Now I get one a day. I searched my "trash" bin for an email. I didn't find one. This is a case of "he said - she said" and I'm the one who loses.

The only reason I being this up, my nutritionist said she wants me to eat 140 grams of carbs a day! I laughed when she said that. I had told her about my previous weight loss. She assured me this would work. She gave me very specific things to eat - including a snack before bed! Wow! So this means that SB is clearly out. What an expensive lesson. It's sad that they have to stoop to such means to get people to sign up. They are just snake oil salesmen I guess.

Anyway, I have been adhering to her advice for about four days now. I feel great! I still need to add some of the things she wants me to eat to my diet because I haven't been to the store. I really do feel better though. I am so glad I did agree to participate in these programs - that are free!


Friday, April 03, 2009

And the beat goes on - or whatever

What is the best thing to follow bad news, why more bad news, of course. And that's what happened yesterday.

I was about to exit from the computer yesterday. I had just dealt with a Pay Friend phishing email. I had just reported it, and another message came into my inbox. It was from my cousin's daughter.

Bill was the last cousin I have been close to. He was at least 25 years older than I, but he and my family remained close. He loved my mother so much. His kids are closer to my age - which makes sense. But I was always close to Bill. I have two remaining cousins, but there was never any real closeness - partially due to my aunt, their mother.

The email from Bill's daughter was telling me of his death yesterday at 6:30 AM. I am really saddened by this. Again, I was thinking he would live forever. There were so many things left unsaid. Left unasked (about the family).

We mostly communicated by emails. I had noticed that the frequency had dropped off, but I didn't think too much about it. We were completely polar in our politics - and I will just leave it there. We may not have agreed about things like that, but I still respected him. He had lead a very interesting life.

Bill, I will miss you.


Thursday, April 02, 2009


I just don't get it. Just what joy is there in destroying other people's possessions? It is a thrill of some sort? Is it some kind of natural high?

My dad and mom built (almost from the ground up) a little house at one of the lakes on the outskirts of the hill country back in 1964. Before my mother died (and I mean almost right up to the very end) they planned to retire there.

Unfortunately, they placed the house in a really bad place. They were after seclusion. So they put the house toward the back of the lot. For years, there were no houses around the house. It got to be that every time we got to the house, it had been broken into. A normal way for the house was to have at least one window boarded up because someone had broken it out to gain access to the house.

Then Henry and his wife built a beautiful home next door. The big plus, in addition to them just being there, is they had a dog. If someone was around our house, their dog would bark spurring Henry to turn on lights which would usually run the perps off.

As time went on, Henry's wife got Alzheimer's. About ten years ago, she died from the disease. That left Henry there alone. But he stayed, and that fact kept the baddies at bay.

When my dad died, I was really tied to the house. When Lady Bug was born on January 2001, that's where we stayed waiting for her birth (two weeks - the docs said it could be any day) in the cold. The house was never well insulated. The house had such meaning to me. He crafted all the cabinets. He built the dining table. It was him - totally.

About three years, Henry had the nerve to die on us. He was 92 - like my dad. Can you believe? Now I'll be more serious. It happened. His house was now empty. There was no one to help run off the baddies. I still don't understand how the people across the street don't see these bums. I acknowledge it would be difficult, but I think they could see something. But they don't.

Two years ago, I walked into a mess. Again, we had been broken into. This time, they stole furniture and pictures on the walls. The worst was the fact they had broken all the curios on the shelf. I packed up as many of the things that were important as possible. I haven't been able to face it since.

Yesterday I got a letter postmarked that area. It was from a real estate agent who lives close by. She wanted to know if I wanted to sell. She said the house had been seriously vandalized. This I cannot understand. It is completely beyond me.

My kids don't really care that much about the property. I am getting over my grief, and I think I am looking at things in more reality. We don't go there - of course, it's not really inhabitable now I'm sure. I have had offers to buy before, but I just couldn't let go of Daddy.

I think I can. I really don't want to face what has happened to the house. I think it would spin me right back to wanting to hold on to it.

I was so upset by the letter, I was absolutely sick. I really wanted to throw up. I knew my thoughts would stay active last night when the lights went off. I've thought about it all day. I haven't mentioned it to G, but I think I will tonight.

I'm pretty sure Henry's house is still vacant. The last time I checked the tax rolls, it was still listed in the Estate of . . .

I just don't understand vandals. I don't understand why there isn't something better they could do with their time.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Life's wonder

I am a biologist by training. I appreciate the wonders of nature.

When my children were born, I was a bit in awe of their births. It IS an amazing thing. Creating a new being from something so very small. When my first three grandchildren were born, I felt much the same thing. I was in awe of the simple miracle of life.

When this fourth little boy was born however, I have experienced a completely new feeling. Every time I look at him and hold him, I marvel at how something so incompletely formed could live with us frail humans in charge. I know there are a lot of animals born out there that are in such a incomplete state. I guess I give the animal world more credit than I do to humans.

Not too long ago, a newborn was found in a discarded washing machine at the trash area of an apartment complex. A little girl, umbilical cord still attached, was found wrapped in a plastic garbage sack stuffed into that washer. It was a warmish day, not really hot, but in a plastic bag in a closed container, I would imagine it could get hot very quickly. Perhaps that ended up aiding her survival.

When I hear Wiggle Worm cry, especially as a new born (only hours old), his cry was feeble at best. This other little girl was located because she was able to make her cry heard. That was a miracle right there. She was taken to the hospital, and last I heard, she was doing well placed in the foster care system.

Back to WW. I marvel at him, and really all newborns. They manage, mostly, to not only survive but flourish. I watch him discover his arms. You can see he really wants to know what those things at the ends of those arms are, but he just hasn't made those neural connections - yet. All he can do is squirm a bit and cry. He cannot do anything else. What fragile little beings come to us.

I never felt like this with any of the others. I really don't know why. Perhaps my life experiences of late have changed me. I don't know. I continue to look at him and marvel. How completely helpless he is. What a wonder . . .