Monday, October 29, 2012

Sad things

I have been pretty much a hermit while we have been here.  I have been reading the book that is the study at church group that I was included in.  Still not doing all the things it suggests.

I am so distressed about the hurricane.  I have been watching the news.  This morning there was a report from Kill Devil Hills.  Damage there.  I wondered what would happen to those $800,000 beach houses.  Well - we are finding out.  One public peer is gone, and many of the houses are being greatly damaged.  What is this thing was a direct hit?

I guess I am glad we went when we did.  The area isn't going to be the same.

Went to the little church yesterday.  It was Reformation Day - a big day in the Lutheran Church.  I was missing the Octoberfest dinner at our church.  I was surprised they had a pot-luck after church.  It was insisted by all that we go.

I sat with my distant cousin that still lives here.  His wife told me he has dementia.  My heart just broke for her.  She is having a very hard time with it.  She said she gets angry with him for the things he does - then realizes he can't help it. I feel so sorry for them.

Another friend/relative is ill.  I don't know what is going on, but he is pretty elderly.  He has been healthy because he lives the hard life of a rancher!

Old Blue (daughter's Dodge that lives here now) broke part of his transmission.  He will not be able to go into 4-wheel now.  We are going to see what we can do the next time we are here.  At least we found the part - as I related last post.

So tomorrow - HOME!!! Home for 20 days.  I cannot believe it.  Of course, I will be sewing my fingers off (or the big machine will be working at full tilt rather) to get ready for the early December craft show - that is if it doesn't snow again this year!


Friday, October 26, 2012


Wow, I don't know where those days went, well, I guess I do.  After the five to six hour trip to get here, I don't usually feel like sitting down to relate my exciting life.  Then the next day, we go to Fredericksburg for provisions.  I don't haul a week's worth of food.  That is just too much, so we go grocery shopping then have lunch.  This time we needed to buy a ladder because our neighbor, who owns anything and everything that has to do with hardware and had the BIG ladder, had the nerve to go to Sanderson to work on his property there.  AND he took his big ladders!! The very idea.

So we bought this huge ladder - I think probably a twelve footer, but I no longer get involved with that stuff. Then it was back to the grocery store to get corn to go in my house feeder.  It lasts about 10 days there. What, you see something different about buying corn at the grocery?? Yes, it is a tad unusual.  Their corn is even apple flavored.  Don't ask.

When we came home, I began reading the book for church.  I didn't know I was going to be included in the "church leader study" because I didn't know I was a church leader - that is until I had to write a report for the annual meeting describing what the women's group has done and where we are going.  I was positive instead of complaining "if you b*tches don't get to the meetings, we are going to fold!"  Enough of that.

When I found this book was really about "the e word" (evangelism), I almost said that I appreciated being considered, but I don't do evangelism.  Nope - not me.  So then I started reading.  This book is really about "the p word" that is almost as scary to me with the exception that I can do this in private - alone, quietly.  I am referring to prayer.  This book is teaching us how to pray effectively.  By enriching out prayer life as individuals and as a congregation we will be doing evangelism thus increasing our numbers in church.

Well - I was afraid of this book.  I am not into those evangelist you see on tv.  I usually do not like books about evangelism and prayer.  We Lutherans are a staid bunch.  We kind of stick to ourselves.  In fact, as with my little church in San Antonio where is first became an organist, and G and I were married, they stayed to themselves so much that the church finally became just old people and didn't have enough people to keep the congregation going.

Well, the book isn't too scary.  In fact, it is interesting.  We have prayer partners, and mine is our Associate in Ministry who is a lovely person.  We talk by phone.  Last night it was my turn to pray.  Hey - I don't pray extemporaneously regardless - especially with one "of the cloth."  I know I am not alone in this.  When I talked to daughter who went to Monday's meeting - there are a lot of the group who feel that way!

Anyway - to Wednesday.  We have SIL S and Daughter's old(ish) Dodge truck up here as a farm truck.  It has not been well taken care of - surprise.  We decided to take it to the little store to get more corn, and have lunch at the referbed restaurant.  We got on the county road, and it began making a horrible noise.  We ascertained that  it had something to do with moving.  It wasn't the a/c fan or anything like that.  We drove about seven miles  when G decided we would turn around to come home because we had no idea what was goiing on.  About 500 yards after turning around, there was a soft bump and the noise stopped.

I thought something had fallen out, so we turned around, driving slowly up the road.  Fortunately we were on the paved part.  After a bit, we found a part on the road.  I looked closely at it, and I could see scrape marks on it.  So that was obviously what was making the noise, but what was this part??

The manufacturer was nice enough to put a part number on it.  I came hope and used my (WONDERFUL) internet to look it up.  It is the gear shift retainer rod.  So now we know what it is, and I think it must be pretty important, but what do we do now???  I need to do more searching for this question.  There is always something.

I would check with our Mr Fixit neighbor, but they left today to go to the Houston area.  We retired people need to  stay in one place for longer periods of time!!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Completing the trip in a whirl

This is partially because I have forgotten a lot of the trip.  Sensory overload and all!!

During the days we spent in Kill Devils Hill, we went to Cape Hatteras.  G wanted to see the light house.  Guess what - it was closed for the season.  This is not a cause for distress however.  There is no way in h*ll he would be climbing a light house that is the equivalent of a twelve story building.  And you know I didn't even begin to envision that!  I was amused by the warnings in the park paper however.  Eat before you go (why - makes the vomit more exciting), and take water because there is none available and the light house is dank and dark.

That was an interesting trip.  The road work there was to keep the dunes from covering the road.  And they were about to!!

Next day we went to the Wright Memorial.  The park was right across the street from our hotel.  I thought we would just drive through.  Silly me!!  Why no - we did drive around the memorial itself.  I got a picture that isn't as good as I wanted.  They had kites flying in front of the memorial.  Now these weren't the little balsa wood things that I had as a kid.  These were huge!!  One was a boat being chased by three or four sharks.  Another was a huge crab - that didn't fly really well.  I was far more interested in those kites.

Anyway - we got out at the museum.  I let G tour, and I went back outside to watch - what else - the kites.  Then I read the brochure about the grounds.  I saw the places where they flew the plane, and how each trial went further and further.  It was neat.

That afternoon we went to where the first colony was.  Raleigh's colony I believe.  Anyway it is where the first child was born on American soil.  Of course, this settlement disappeared.  No trace at all.

We then set out for Charleston where I was to meet Judy.  It was a wonderful visit with her.  The next morning we drove around historic Charleston.  Beautiful.

It was on to Savannah.  We left the freeway exactly where G wanted to do one tour.  I tried to get him to do the tour then, but...   Well, let's just say like usual, I didn't get listened to.  We got fairly lost - again because I wasn't listened to -  trying to find the hotel.  We were in the historic section.  The next morning we went to the 8th Air Force museum because his dad was in that.  Nice museum.  The film presentation was very moving.

The next day it was the trolley tour of the historic area.  I really enjoyed that.  It looked like the railroad museum (where we were on that first day) looked to be close to the hotel, so I suggested he ride the trolley there and just walk back to the hotel.  I got off across the street.  It wasn't close!

Then on to Mobile for the night, and early the next morning home - for the night,

The next morning off to San Antonio for his 50th high school reunion.  All in all, that was good fun - even if the only other person I knew there was his cousin.  The other two had already passed.

And now I have had one night at home, and will be here tonight.  Then it's the SSB.  Ok.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

We interrupt this travelogue

Yes - for a whine session.  So far - we completed the trip to the Outer Banks.  We made the trip for the 50th reunion.  We still have the trip to the SSB (Stings, sticks, or bites rancho) to go.

During this I have missed at least these things:  my sewing group, my women's group, and we will miss Octoberfest at church which the women's group is organizing.

I am sick to death of being in a moving vehicle.  I am sick to death of classic rock on the satellite radio.  I am sick to death of not being able to get white noise going in the room where I sleep.  I am sick to death of sharing a bathroom with a bathroom hog.  I am sick to death of sharing suitcase space with a suitcase space hog.  I am pretty sick of traveling with that travel mate!

If I never have a month like this again, it will be too soon.

I stated at the beginning that this was not my idea of fun.  It was put off that I was the one who wanted to go on this vacation.  There is a seed of truth there.  I did want to go to the Outer Banks.  It was quite beautiful.  But what I wanted to do more was to take the train to NYC and that part of the East.

I will mention this part again later when I continue to talk about "what I did on my fall vacation," but I will mention it here too.  The side trip to Charleston to see my internet friend Judy was quite a treat.  It was the first time I have gotten to meet a fellow blogger - at least one that I didn't know before.  She is a really great person, and I am so glad there is this thing called internet that has the ability to bring people from all over the world together to become friends - even virtual friends.  It was so great to meet the flesh and bone friend!  Love ya' Judy!

And so I will close this little whine session.  Next week will be a bit more usual, even if I am not here in the main residence that I have missed so much.  I can get back to normal a little.  I will also have room to be alone for a while.  It won't be as good as being able to go upstairs into my own personal space, but at least it isn't a little hotel room.  That was something I loved about the place in Kill Devil Hills.  It was like a one-bedroom apartment!

Enough of this - peace.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Next installment

How many days have we been gone?  I do not know!!  It is time things become a blur.  That happens to me when we travel.  I don't really remember what I posted last, and I am too lazy to go back to look.  Great blogger, right??

Our room here in Kill Devil Hills is just fantastic.  The only drawback is that we are nestled so tightly in the building that my cell doesn't work.  The Atlantic is out our patio door, so I KNOW there are no cell towers there.  I knew there was a reason to have a prepaid calling card!  One of the little things you think you no longer need with cells.

Today we went to the lighthouse at Cape Hatteras.  Very nice trip.  I was amused at the road work.  They were putting the dunes back in place.  I was amazed at how little road work we had met.

Then we went to Fort Raleigh.  I am so stupid - I didn't realize how close we were to where our ancestors started in this country.  In fact, we are in the middle of some of the places.  G's ggggg(?)grandfather arrived in this country in 1660, and after he served as a slave (indentured servant to pay his way) he moved to North Carolina.  It's been too long since I have done the genealogy.  If I had remembered - this trip would be different.

Tomorrow we will go to the Wright part of the Park system, and then to see the biggest sand dune.  Sunday it will be off to Charleston to meet Judi!  Yea!  Can't wait.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Travelogue days 3,4

The second half of the Trace was really beautiful.  The difference between the ecosystems from the beginning - swamp to the end - deciduous forest on uplifts was fantastic.  I loved getting into Tennessee.

We have been to Tennessee before, but I had forgotten a lot.  I didn't realize how mountainous it is.  That is probably because when we came in off the Trace - we were on mountain tops.

We maneuvered through Nashville well, got to Crossroads.  We have stayed in the same chain for three of the four nights.  Last night was the worst.  Don't get me wrong - not terrible.  It just didn't measure up.  It was an older property.

When we got in the room - we realized that the room darkening drapes did just that!  We couldn't see a thing.  I felt like we were in a cave.  After being there for a bit - the room was COLD!.  That is really something for me to admit.  I like cold rooms - especially for sleeping!  Hang meat = wonderful sleep.

We seem to have the luck of the draw with views however.  We love Chicago.  The first two times, we stayed at the same hotel and we had a nice view - street, NBC building, etc.  The last time - we were on the air shaft.  Not so nice,

This hotel last night - we overlooked a roof.  Just another wonderful view to add to our list.

Tonight we have a great view.  We are on the court yard.  The down side is that we are on the first floor - so no open window covering.  Oh - in Raleigh.

We got here at 5:30 - 6.  TRAFFIC!!!  Almost as bad as Swampland.

Short trip tomorrow.

Monday, October 08, 2012

October 2012 Travelogue Days 1-2

Leaving Swampland was very uneventful. We were away by ten, and the trip was very uneventful.  We traveled through all of Louisiana to out destination of Natchez.  I was really amazed - and not much in travel really amazed me these days -  when we hit the Mississippi River.  Louisiana is flat.  Let's face it - it is.  Along with most of east Texas.  There was Natchez up on a hill in front of us!  Wow.  What a change.

We stayed right there on the bank of the river.  It was ok.  If you can take all the snoring from someone - no names listed.  And that's another whole story.  Anyway, 8 am came really early!!  I mean really!

From there we hit the Natchez Trace.   Really pretty, but ...  Let's face it - it is basically a forest broken by some fields that have had hay harvested from them.  It is a 50 mph speed limit.  I do like that, and the Highlander loves it.  The mileage computer just going up and up.  We ended at 28.3.

We arrived here in Tupelo - at rush hour.  We had no clue where we were going.  I thought about using the car's navigation system, but we (I) have never had much luck with that, so I turned to my phone.  That was even through the driver said it wasn't necessary.  Oh. Yes. It. Was.  I was not going to listen to the rants and raves about not knowing where to turn.  We got here with only one turn because between the rudimentary map posted by the hotel on their site, and the confusing last part of my navigation system, we turned into the wrong driveway.

Would I get blamed for mis-turns?  You betcha skippy.  The Trace was closed for a section.  The ranting was where do we go - where are the signs and on and on.  I made the suggestion that we stay on the main highway we had been routed on.  NO - we should be here.  Guess what. Nope.  We were routed right  back onto that highway.

As we went on - there were big, lighted signs with the way to go to get back.  He. Never.  Listens.  Or.  Believes. What. I. Say.  And he will argue to the death with me over it.  I just quietly gloat!

So tomorrow - back on the Trace - to Crossville, Tennessee.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Breast cancer awareness

I have never hidden the fact that I am a survivor when I write here.  It is part of me and part of my writing about my life. But that isn't the way things are in my life.  When I was first diagnosed, I didn't want many people to know.  I have no idea why I reacted that way.  For the most part I didn't want my family telling anyone.

I have hated Breast Cancer Awareness  month for five years now.  It was a month long minder of what I had gone through, and a reminder of the fact I went for so many years without exams and mammograms.  October was a month of sheer hell for me.  Constant reminders everywhere I turned.

I don't know why this year is different, but I wore pink when we went out for our pedicures, and a trip to the grocery store.  I really wasn't publicizing the fact that I was a survivor, although if anyone looked closely at my necklace, they would have seen the pink heart with the metal ribbon on it and the drop with the saying of what can cancer do.

My pink wasn't the  baby pink associated with breast cancer awareness.  No, I was in hot pink and a pink floral print blouse - but unlike previous years, I did wear pink.  This year, for some reason, things are different.

I still do not want SIL's parents to know about my cancer.  I still have that hang up, and I don't know why.  His mother is slowly wasting away from end stage renal failure.  She never took care of her diabetic condition.  The end surely isn't that far away for her.  I understand it's dialysis 6 hours a day, five days a week.  But I don't want them to know.  They have always hated us so much.  I guess I don't want them to know there is any weakness here.

So on Breast Cancer Awareness Day, I did don pink.  In small ways, I let the world see signs of my survivor-ship.  Who knows, next year I may wear a large pink ribbon that says survivor on it. 

Thursday, October 04, 2012

So - the trip is on

We leave on Sunday.  To give a thumbnail - Sunday is Natchez, MS.  Then we follow the Natchez trail going to Tupelo, Crossville, Raleigh, and ending in Kill Devils Hill, North Carolina.  We will stay there for a few days, and return through Savannah, and perhaps Charleston.  Charleston is looking more iffy (it's becoming another NYC).  Then home through Mobile.

I am trying to be positive, but...

I had another eye injection today.  This one hurt!  I went to a different office so that I could get it done before "The Trip."  I don't believe there were any changes from last month, so I go again next month.

The good news today is that we will not be leaving the state again until next September.  So that was positive.

I am organizing the Women's Group for an October Fest dinner - on the 28th.  I won't be here - again.  It sounds like fun.  So did the Marti Gras - that I missed too.

Enough moaning and groaning - I will close now - especially G is talking to me and expecting me to listen to his political rants.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Over the past weekend

Our Women's Group at church decided we would provide the "goodies" to go with the ever-present Lutheran coffee for church on the fifth Sundays.  And last Sunday was one of those days.  Since the fact of that cropped up BETWEEN monthly meetings, we scrambled.  In place of "we" read "I" scrambled.  And, of course, as happens when something is going on with the group - I was out of town.

So I started with the emails.  And then all hell tried to break loose.  And what a story.

I have written about our Pastor before.  Really he is generally a great guy, but I really believe the fact that he is a 30 something bachelor does hamper his "pastoring" a bit.  Sometimes he doesn't realize the pressures of family, and he really doesn't understand women.  I don't know if he would understand us any better if he were in a relationship with one of us or not, but I do think it would force a different level of maturity on him.

We have a family of women (mother and two daughters) with whom I am very close.  For some reason, perhaps because they are strong, strong women, P doesn't like them.  It is so obvious in the manner in which he treats them (the ones that were in the chair thing) .  So this is a bit of history that is important here.  They elected to take the month of September off.  They needed to get their house (another story) ready to sell, and living with her parents, they were cleaning up that house too.

SO - when my last email went out to all the women, S said they would cut the trip short.  They planned to take her parents to Orange, Texas so her mom could place flowers on graves there.  They would bring treats and clean up after all services were over because they had been scheduled to usher and no one would change with them.

One of our wing-nut members wrote an email (reply to ALL) that SHE would be happy to take S's place.  She had tried and tried to talk her out of changing her plans, and she would be delighted to take over since it was her daughter's birthday (?????) and it would be a way of honoring her 8 year old daughter on her birthday (??????).  As I said - wing-nut.

So S replied (to ALL) that wing-nut was so sweet, but WN had not contacted S even once.  The only time S knew of this offer was through the one email to the group.

In the meantime, P began putting emails out with the procedure to follow to change the scheduled service duties.  S, in the same email, informed him she TRIED to contact Pastor-Sister.  There was no help coming forth.

He emailed that she should go ahead, he had found a family, and then he saw Wing Nut had put her two cents worth in.  So he again went through the procedure.

There were about six emails flying about this day.  Daughter (who is on the Board of Elders) complained to Pastor about the emails.  She said they should only involve the individuals.

So I thought everything was settled.  Sunday apparently went off without a hitch.  I was gone after Sunday School.

That was until Monday morning.  When I opened my email, there was one (to the group) from Wing Nut once again saying that there was no worry, she would take all the duties "for Sunday."  I guess she is so clue less that she doesn't realize that emails are time stamped - date and time.  The stamp on hers was October 1, 8:35 am.  Geesh!!!!!!!

Monday, October 01, 2012

What all has happened since the last time

Well - my life has been so interesting - I don't remember!  I know the internet at the SSB issue is resolved - unless it is out when we get there the next time.  I do know that we really can't lease out for cattle again until we block the dish off somehow.  It is attached to the deck (I promise a picture the next time we are there).  It is right at cow scratching height.  And believe me - they live to scratch.

On Wednesday night, we went to the Hilda Happy Hour.  It still cracks me up because all these folks ( and G's relatives) are Methodist.  We, being the rebel Lutherans, aren't doing anything wrong, but those folks - happy hour - with booze!!!  Anyway.  I will no longer bemoan how "out in the sticks" we are.  In comparison to the folks that had the happy hour - we live next to a freeway in a subdivision here in Houston!!!

We knew they lived close to the church (Methodist one).  We knew what road they were off.  Well - they are WAY off that road.  We got on this little cow path with the twin ruts for tires of a vehicle.  Of course, dirt - that's a given in this area.  We drove, and drove.  Finally we came up on the creek bed.  I didn't know it went that way, but I should have.  The one we were following asked us once again if we didn't want to leave the car and ride with her.  We were in the Highlander so I felt we were ok.

Now we didn't just cross this creek, no - we drove down it for about 100 yards.  It was full of pot holes.  I was about to jump out of my skin.  I am NOT adventurous.  We had our neighbor with us.  She pointed out that when the creek is up there is a stake you have to stay to one side of.  At least we could see almost all the rocky bed.

Then it was up the hill.  And drive.  And drive.  And drive.  We past one house - nope not that one.  Finally we go around a curve, and there is a barn and finally the house.

These people really do live out in the sticks.  Now I know why they have a house in the little town.  When the creek us up - there is no getting in or out!

I will never complain about how far out we are nor how rough the county road is.  Never, never again.