Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I am STILL putting items Items away.   Now I realize that I am a lazy slob, and I haven't been diligently working doing that task every day, and (what a run-on sentence - I would get an F if this were one of my high school term papers!) I only spend about an hour when I am working.

When the task gets to the little piddly things, I really lose interest.  It isn't fun.  Besides, I am trying to decide what goes where.  Obviously I am down to the end - the less used things.   For instance, I am not going to do any baking this year.  Not a thing except for a bought cake mix that is red and green velvet cakes.  So that means all my tins that I put cookies in need to be put away.  That means they go in the tippy-top of the cabinet.  That requires a ladder.  I do n't do ladders well anymore.  Especially the little 3footer that I have in the house to use. 

I used to climb all over and hang off that thing like a monkey.  Now I get to the first step, and I am hanging on alright - to anything and everything I can grab.  It isn't even the old rickety one I used to use.  This one is very solid.  But I am so afraid of falling!

I have once again ordered almost all of my Christmas presents.  Unfortunately I did a lot of them last week.  Hopefully they make it in time.  Of course, Daughter waited until the last minute to tell me she wanted a special order necklace like I gave DIL for her birthday.  It MAY be here by Christmas Eve.  Even though I paid extra to rush it through the plant, and special speedy shipping.

Oh, and her birthday is today.  OMG - I am the mother of a 40 year old.  Where did the years go??   I cannot believe she is that old.  Seems like yesterday I was taking her to her Sports Association Basketball games (that was 5th grade).(So she knew that the necklace was an absolute no go for birthday!)

So, I will go piddle with something else for a while, then put my tins away!  Progress!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Freudian slip??

I am a terrible Grandma.  I cannot believe I really did this - old-timers has me fully in its grasp today!

I was supposed to go to "Wall writer's") Christmas Program ,morning.  Five minutes before it was to start, my son calls.  My first word after he spoke was "Oh my god, it's Wednesday!" 

I feel about four feet lower than dirt right now.  I cannot believe I forgot.   In my very weak defense - I have been either a day ahead or behind all week.  I am just crushed.  I have never forgotten any of the other three's programs and the like, but then my daughter calls me daily.  To forget would be almost impossible.

Oh I  just feel terrible about this.  Freudian?  I don't really know.  I would never knowingly do this however.  Never.


In  other news - yesterday I subscribed to an on-line storage service.  I will never, ever lose files again - unless they go bust.  But it is part of the Norton system, so.  I am backing up each and every computer in this house.

For the little, toy computer that I have all my embroidery files on, I have three other back-up devices.  Two external hard drives, several thumb drives, some files are even on cd's.  When one has something like 8000 or more embroidery files - some free, some purchased - you really don't want to lose them.  Many digitizers will allow only one download of their files that you purchased.  So I have a lot of irreplaceable files - like my pictures were!

So it's time for this terrible Grandmother to close.  I got a lot more "stuff" put into the bathroom cabinets yesterday, but I still have a long way to go. Then straighten the stuff that was just thrown into the bedroom.  Have a great one - better than mine I hope!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Help - I am drowning

I have so much to do, and things keep getting in my way.  I DO love my family, although  yesterday it didn't seem like it.  But - let's face it - getting a dinner for 12 together takes time - plus I had to put away as much as I could so there would be room for people!

I picked up the computers yesterday.  They were wiped clean.  The Toshiba had the files in a file on the desktop.  I can access most of them, but Family Tree Maker won't load.  The family files won't load. My version of Office has gone from  360 to 2007 which is a mixed blessing.  I am having to reload things like the PDF reader and the like.

The Dell - nope it is clean.  There went all my pictures - of Simone, vacations, the kids at their various things, all gone.  I know it is basically my fault.  They should have been backed up.  But.  If the tech I talked to had done both - my pictures would have been in a file on the desktop. They are not.  Even Office is completely gone.

I realize I thought the Dell was a dead computer, and it's not.  I even ordered a new battery for it.  It will be OK, but I am once again in mourning for my lost things on the computer.  I would contact them, but I know they don't keep the files that they take off to put back.  Those things are in computer heaven somewhere.

I would much rather mess with the computers than put stuff away.  What a drudge.  It wasn't any fun taking it out, but putting it back is worse.  Deciding where I want the stuff is not easy for me.  I want it organized, and I probably am over thinking it all. I don't want to do that.  Think that is.

I would like to be upstairs sewing.  I would like to be doing something.  I have promised pictures since September of Alaska - and I have THOSE.  I just am having trouble (thinking) deciding which ones would translate to the blog best.  It is such a beautiful place, and pictures simply cannot capture its enormity.  At least my little El Cheapo camera can't.  I know the pros can get some of it, but especially from a train window it just doesn't happen.

The oldest granddaughter gets her cast off this week, while the youngest got her walking cast on.  Strange juxtaposition!  The middle already had hers a year or so ago when her brother, without thinking, swung a bat and broke her arm.  Both in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing.

I am not helping myself just sitting here trying to think of something else to write  I know there was something, but it is still in the dark recesses of my mind!

Catch ya later!

Monday, December 09, 2013


I love ALL my grandchildren - all of them.  Some just not at much at times.  Last night was a perfect example.

Lady Bug came over to help me put up the Christmas decorations - which meant outside.  She wanted to do inside as well - like a tree.  But dear Clyde is a chewer - at times.  He doesn't chew anything, but the count right now is Clyde -2, remote controls - 0.  He seems to love those little things.  So I am not going to put up my little Charlie Brown tree however easy it is.  I am afraid I will come home to a tree all over the house.  He is terrified of his crate - so...

Anyway, we had a delightful time.  I pretty much gave her her lead, and off she went.  We now have both sides of the yard decorated for the first time in several years.  I have a lot more decorations, but I didn't want to get them out, and she isn't able (especially in her cast) to put those things up.

Then came family dinner.  Then two of the three little ones (my son's kiddos) came.  The girl wasn't here  because she went to a production of  The Nutcracker.  This after her morning of having HER right leg soft casted to await a hard cast.  She and the older brother were playing on the elliptical while DIL was in the shower.  DIL is going to have to resort to evening showers when someone is there to watch those kids.  Read on for further reasons.

While I was holding onto Clyde  because the baby is freaked out by him, his older brother was in the hallway where the toy chest is - emptying the WHOLE thing out on the floor (which already makes my blood boil) to find a crayon (that shouldn't have been there, but sometime one of the six threw it in there in the hurried clean up to leave).  He then proceeded to write on two of the walls in the hall. 

He is a sweet boy.  He really is, but he is the one involved in the "accident" that morning, and he just doesn't seem to be able to control these actions.  He IS only 5, but still...   I don't think his dad saw this, and later I told him my walls were not for drawing, and that if he wanted to draw, I have A LOT of paper. He knows he will catch heck for misbehavior, but he gives in to impulses.  Hence my ruined walls and a sister with a broken foot.

Then the baby decided that he would chunk one of the large, hard toys at Clyde.  G was holding him while I was eating.   I heard the baby crying (he is almost 2), and poor Clyde trying to get away while being held pretty tightly on the leash to keep him away.  Of course, everyone was so worried about this kid.

So I guess I sound like a terrible Grandmother.  But last night was just horrible.  I still have things that belong in the bathroom closet out, the collection of Christmas presents about- needing wrapping, getting dinner for 12 done, a dog that is awaiting training and really means no harm - he loves (loved) children and people in general, and two of 6 kids acting like little demons.

Bah-humbug!  But the earlier time with LB was a delight!

Friday, December 06, 2013

Might as well be crack

Yep - that's my addiction to my computers.  Yes, I did say computers.  And my addiction to them is just as expensive as crack. At least I guess not having ever  bought crack, nor do I plan to since I have my computers!

I loaded the two large laptops to take to the fixit place today.  I was hoping the newest one would be a quick, simple fix.  Nope.  When we went to boot it, guess what.  You guessed it.  Good old Windows 8 had decided that my password wasn't worth the electrical signal it takes to load it, so it wouldn't load today.  It is going to require purging the system and re-loading it.  BUT, when it is re-loaded it will be with Windows 7!!  Yes!  Hardly worth the money it will cost for all this, but no more Windows 8!!  Yea!

Now, he SAYS he can do the same thing to the dropped Dell.  I don't know.  But I told him I wanted my pictures back.  They were so important to me.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.  At the end of this adventure, I could buy a completely new laptop.  But who puts a price on pictures.  If your house is destroyed by fire for example, it's your pictures that you will miss the most of all the possessions.  They can't be replaced.  Our vacation pictures are on that computer.  Pictures of Simone are on that computer.  Pictures of the grandchildren are on that computer.  And, if he can do it, I will have the dropped Dell back as a real computer!

I just wish all this wasn't at Christmas time, but if I had gotten off my duff back in September when we returned from Alaska, it wouldn't be!  And if my wonderful contractor wasn't so busy that he is working Saturdays and almost holidays (like the day after Thanksgiving) because he has so much business, I wouldn't be trying to buy the things needed for the new bathrooms here at Christmas! 

Oh well - it's only money (!!!????!)  The bleeding of bucks will stop at some point.               I hope.

I will try to get back with pictures of a lot of things - Alaska, which are on the "new" computer, the bathrooms which are still in the camera because this little "toy" Toshiba doesn't even have a hard drive it is so small.  I don't want to load it with a lot of byte hogging pictures!  The baths are beautiful, and I want to show them off!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Yes - I do exist

Things got hectic for a while, and we are finally home with two 99% completed bathrooms.  That means what came out has to go back!

I will post pictures of various things soon, but as usual with me - there are problems about,

Thanksgiving was hectic, and I was really thankful that son and family (and little puppy) didn't come.  We were FULL as it was.  When you add two more boxers to the mix - even if they are small, a smallish house becomes tiny!

While there, I decided to add a program to my "new" laptop because I was getting pop-ups on my email page.  It warned me that removing some of the apps would take out some of the things that were needed to get on-line. Never happened before, and I have used this program for years.  Well - you guessed it.  So I am off to the computer repair with the old Dell to see if they can get the pictures off the Dell and get the other back on line.  Geesh.  Try to be good, and this is what happens.'

So I am on my little 7 inch computer which is really supposed to be for my embroidery and sewing stuff.  It's toy keyboard is killing me.  So with a promise (if you care) that I will be back soon - I will!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A few Q's and A's

First question(s) - Have I been gone so long from Blogger/ and what the heck have they done now???

I don't think there is a good answer to this.  I haven't been away for that long, and they have changed stuff until I had to spend a lot of time just logging in!  Sometimes I hate blogger.  Then I become accustomed to their changes, and it's ok.

Second question - so where have I been?

We came to the SSB on Monday.  I have been working with the Women's Group at church during a lot of this week because a church member was admitted to the hospital, and will have surgery.  So we were asked to provide the family with food.  Well - the first person dropped the ball and didn't contact the wife.  There wasn't anyone to volunteer for the second day, and the wife decided she didn't want food for the remaining time.  Thank heavens for the internet.   Then she decided food for the rest of the time past the weekend would be good.  So....

Third question - done anything interesting/exciting

The weather has turned vicious here.  The temperature has been hovering around freezing for two days with a fine mist/sleet.  I know - this is nothing for a lot of you, but for this gal it is bad, really bad.  My SIL came up yesterday - for two days - and invited me into town.  She and her daughter are starting a small business to rent vignettes to photographers in Austin.  The SIL/husband to these two is an excellent wedding photographer who utilizes these things in his photography, and they have found there is probably a market to rent these things to other photographers.

When we left, we knew it was cold, but the rain/sleet wasn't supposed to  hit until we theorized we would be back home here in the hills.  We were wrong.  It was so cold in town.  Out here we had what could be termed in Texas a toad strangler rain.  We have dirt/rock roads.  We traversed about four quagmires on our trip home with the associated "spin-outs" even with the four-wheel drive.  As my son says, four wheel drive gets you stuck twice as far off the road.

Question four - what haven't I accomplished?

Easy-peasy.  We were going to try to recondition the cat to desensitize him to Clyde.  That hasn't happened, and probably won't happen.  We heard from daughter today.  She doesn't want to put her dogs into boarding for a week, so they have cancelled their trip to San Antonio and will be coming directly here.  One thought was to come tomorrow, leave the dogs with us (oh, heck no! We have enough with Clyde on the frozen steps) and go to San Antonio.  But when we said to not travel to the Hill Country on Sunday because there are winter storm warnings out for tomorrow into Monday, they decided to kill the San Antonio trip.  The only one who will probably be upset will be SIL's mom unless the family was looking forward to them buying the goodies for a big Thanksgiving dinner for who knows how many - at least 12.

What am I doing for the rest of the day?

Hoping this will save since there is ice on my dish that brings me the world.  I have been getting error messages all through this post, and going over to SIL's to visit with her sister and BIL.  Then coming home, building a fire, and eating Shrimp Etouffee. 

Catch you later!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stressed and angry

We are leaving tomorrow for the SSB.  It will be nice to get away from the dust and all.  I don't like having that huge mirror leaning on the chest on my side of the bed.  I am such a spaz that I am afraid I will lose my balance, and well...

The hall bath will be done while we are gone. That means  the cabinets had to be cleaned out this weekend.  I really thought I would get some help.  There are the three under the sink cabinets, two pie shaped ones above, Three floor to ceiling double cabinets against the wall, and then the regular one in the tub area.  I was thrilled with storage 38 years ago when we moved in, but that was then and this is now.

I know I should do a regular cleaning of my closets and cabinets yearly.  But I haven't felt like it in at least 10 years.  When you get that far behind it is a major chore.  That's where I am now.

It took me over four hours yesterday, and I still have some stuff in the vanity area to bag (not thinking ahead,  I am having to use garbage bags to hold things) what I took out.  We have at least three garbage bags full of trash outside.  I am treating this as if we were down-sizing and moving. 

So why am I angry?  I thought the Lord and Master would be getting off his duff to help.  He sat and watched three football games while I was in there.  At least he did remove the garbage when I filled the smallish can and put it into big bags, but that was the extent.

I ended up working to the point I was nauseated.  When I told him,  he didn't even hear me.  When I went to the bedroom to try to quell the nausea (and I have no idea where my precious hoarded anti-nausea pills are),  heard him finally get off his duff and say "where are you?"  When he discovered me - his question was "are you OK?"  I wanted to hit him.  I really did.  I replied - "I told you I was not!"

So today I have the remaining vanity area and the tub portion to do.  Want to take bets on how much help I will be getting?????

Friday, November 15, 2013

Two weeks

We are at the end of the second week of having adopted our contractor and his guys.  I remember last year when my neighbor embarked on this same project that I thought they had adopted the guy (notice the singular noun??) who did the same things we are having done.  It seemed like he becbame part of the family.  I would swear he was there for months working on bathrooms!

But there is marked progress.  Because V wanted the tile in the shower to be awesome - and not adding another tile to the mix, he made a pattern with the tiles we are using.  That means his guys had about fifteen million cuts to make on the tile.  If you have ever tiled or had tile put in, you know there are many cuts to begin with - around doors and other structural items.   We just added to those!

This morning, before they arrive, we have the entire master tiled.  They have textured the walls where there was wall paper.  It is sad that wall paper is out of favor once again.  I actually love wall paper, and I will miss that in the hall bath especially since my son helped me pick it out.  I re-papered those walls in the baths!

As the work continues, the dust grows as well.  It will take the rest of my life to get rid of this dust.  This is a task I am not looking forward to. I'm really not looking forward to putting all the junk back into the cabinets either.  I had the immature idea that it could stay - I didn't need the interiors painted, but then I changed my mind.  Taking the stuff out that has accumulated for periods of time up to 38 years isn't my idea of fun - but that sort of thing hasn't been in my top fifty for many years now. 

The longer I put it off because the cancer and treatments made me too tired, or my joints screamed most of the time meant it has been years since I have done a good cleaning out of cabinets and closets.  They became depositories of hurriedly stashed stuff that I didn't know where else to put.  So I am paying the price of that now.  I pretty much have just stashed the stuff in garbage bags and figure that I can sort it as it is time to put it back.  Then the garbage bags will be of use again!

On Monday we will be heading to the SSB until after Thanksgiving.  That is two long weeks. Of course, that depends on what the orthopedist says this morning about Lady Bug.  Last week (and thank heavens it wasn't when her parents were in Italy) she went to a trampoline place that is set up for early teens on Friday nights.  Trampolines + pre-teens (especially the boys)  = injuries.  And she was injured.  She has a weak ankle as it is.  During a swim meet, someone, somehow managed to step on her ankle.  Don't really know about that one.  Anyway, it seems that if someone is jumping on a trampoline, someone can cause the jump to be stopped by also jumping at the same time.  She came down - hard - and twisted her ankle.  A week later, it is still swollen, bruised, and very, very sore.  She had an  MRI a couple of days ago, and as I write this she is at the orthopedist to get the results.  To summarize this - IF there is major damage that means surgery, I am not sure I am going to be gone for those two weeks.

So life continues around here.  I am looking forward to my remodeled bathrooms.  A completely re-done master with no tub - just a nice walk in shower, and the hall bath finally with the ADA toiled that I have put into the SSB master, and this master.  (I use the hall bath - and suffer) And between Thanksgiving and Christmas I will be putting all the stuff back into the cabinets with more order and less stuff! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

SO where have I been?

I have a good excuse or two - really I do.  Last week was body maintenance week.  It was the monthly eyeball-puncturing time, as I said in the last post.  Things are going well - just not well enough to be allowed six weeks between appointments.  The alternative isn't something that would sit well with me -  blindness.

It was also my visit with Dr Poison.  Things there are going well - even if the Ca27.29 (the breast cancer marker in the blood) has risen to 31.  As long as it is below 38, but I was questioned about new pains, energy level and the like.  My blood pressure was great, and the nagging blood sugar was low.  I think I may have been effected by Lipitor if you want to know the truth - but proving it.  Don't think that will happen.

We completed week one of the re-do.  It hasn't been easy.  I have what most people would envy.  A lot, lot, lot of storage in my bathrooms.  Well - that means when it has to come out - it just kind of explodes all over the house.  The dust it about an inch thick now, and will only get worse.

The rats that G has been hearing in the attic weren't his imagination.  Last week, I heard a noise in the bathroom.  It was down  to the studs, and the plumbers had opened a small hole in the ceiling.  I opened the door, and in the roughed in shampoo holder spot was ... a rat.  Not a mouse, a big rat.  I am glad the door was closed, and I think I scared it more than it scared me, and that caused it to retreat into the attic,  I was quiet about my discovery, and they closed in the walls that day.  I called the vermin people on Thursday, and they will be here this week to set out traps again.  I really thought we had them under control, but the danged squirrels have chewed new holes that the rats have taken full advantage of.  Darn - so I guess we keep out contract with them to do yearly inspections and get rid of the things.

So here are pictures from last week:
All my hard working with the wall paper (15 years ago) is gone - it is all down.  The mirror is off the wall - leaning against the dresser, and the horrid formica (black textured stuff) is gone.

And you see the carpet is also gone.  Still in place are the cabinet pulls that will be replaced as well.  I need 42 for both bathrooms.  Yuck.  They run at least $2 a piece.  I do have some towel holders purchased as well as toiled paper holders that are cool, cool, cool!  That is the closed door to the tub/toilet area.  The granite has been chosen.

This is the roughed in shower stall.  That will be the bench.  This must have been post rat because we still don't have dry wall in this picture.

This is the alcove for the ADA toilet that was already in place and will be put back.  Looking at this makes me wonder if we will EVER be put together again.

And of course, everyone should have the ADA toilet in the middle of the bedroom.  Notice the accumulation of dust in the foreground.  Isn't that lovely.  Perhaps I can start a new trend.  If I were my mother in law, I would be standing there all day to clean off that dust.  Probably some of you would be doing that too.  Me?   I would rather read blogs, read Facebook, and do more genealogy than clean it only to have it back in a few minutes.  I know - lazy me.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

New bathroom - day 2

I was going to get day 2 of construction, but I wanted to delete Alaska pictures from the camera.  Since there were so many, it took a while, and today was the wondrous eyeball puncture day.  So no pics of yesterday's work.

I will get some this afternoon. There won't be much difference really.  The horrid formica counter is gone as well as the mirror - which is leaning against my side of the bed.  The framing of the new shower is there, and there has been jack hammering for the new drain.  The new fixture and shower head are in place.  But really you don't notice much difference.

Clyde was a MOST unhappy camper yesterday.  I was doing my laundry - finally.  So since I couldn't get into the bedroom to put things away and hung, the couch was covered.  That's HIS place.  I know Simone is looking down from doggie heaven really cursing me.  She wasn't allowed on the couch.  I would imagine when Clyde climbs into bed, she is really incensed!  But he had to be on his leash all day.  Bummer for the doggie.

I couldn't get to see Shadow until late last night.  I wanted to go up and work, but I felt I had to help with Clyde.  This morning we went up to change the litter.  I cannot find that cat.  All the noise yesterday and the noise today have sent him into a scared cat delirium.

I asked the contractor for a general time line.  I would love to think what he said would be for both bathrooms, but I am afraid it is only the one, but he said two and a half weeks, depending on Christian, our building inspector.  He can be a twit.

And when Christian does come, he will remark on our stair case.  He will say it is supposed to have a railing or at least a higher wall on the side.  Well - sorry Christian.  It has been like this for twenty plus years!

At church on Sunday, I was laughing with another woman about when we can write our names in the dust on the table it is time to clean house.  They are gone a lot to the lake.  Well - I don't think I will ever be rid of dust again!  They tried - but dust is so insidious.

And to the music of a jack hammer, I will say goodbye!

Monday, November 04, 2013

And it begins

When I was about 20 years younger, I would be so excited with this remodel, but it hit me last night just what we are in for.  G began emptying the cabinets in the master (his) bath, and I started taking things off the counter.  It hit me that I wouldn't be able to take my meds in there or brush my teeth in there for a while, and WE would be sharing the hall bath.  We are used to double sinks, and he is used to being able to "sit on the john" for extended periods.  That changes today for an unknown period.

I know our contractor doesn't like to waste time.  He likes to get in, get done (and he does exemplary work) and get out.  The master will have the most work done, so it will take a while.

Right  now I am listening to them chip out tile.  I wonder what will happen with the tub.  It will go to be replaced by a big walk in shower.  It is enamel over iron.  It is a quality tub.  Oh, my the noise then.

Say some prayers for us!!!!  We will need them before this is over.
This was in Anchorage.  But this is why I dread sharing a bathroom with one sink.  At least the counter is MUCH bigger.  This is all of G's stuff.  I have nothing there.

I did take some before pictures.  And this is not the way it usually looks - not quite this bad.  We were in the midst of taking things out.
 This is a view of the tub/toilet area.  There's nothing special of the area to the right - just a tub.  BUT that's where the big change will happen.  It should be nice.  The tile you see on the wall is being taken out right now.  We decided to re-tile the walls rather than just sheet rock them.  The floor is 40 year old terrazzo, and while I am glad it was white rather than green like my daughter's house, it is dated.  If we are doing what we are doing - then it needs to be updated too.
This is a view from the bedroom into the dressing area.   That ugly cord on the left HAS to go.  I am so used to it, I don't even pay attention anymore, but now ugh!  Like I said, we have begun getting rid of things on the counter because that horrid black, textured formica has to go! Plus  both sinks and faucets will be replaced.  They are dated, and wonderful G was able to make his rust when he wouldn't wash the salt water out of it when he would rinse post mouth surgery.  He is such a help!!  Anyway - the cabinets will stay but with a fresh coat of paint, and the mirror will stay but with a frame.  The rest GOES!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Sluggish Saturday

Last night, I decided that I really have to start attending other grand children's things.  Of course for these older ones, that usually means sports events.  Their dad is a jock, and even though he said he would never force them into sports, Monkey Boy is playing basketball, baseball and doing some water polo.  Huh????

Anyway, I enjoy going to LB's volley ball games.  They are really fun, and she is really good.  I enjoyed her water polo match I saw.  I would go to more of those.  I HATE baseball.  Hate, hate, hate it.  Do you get the idea I hate it?

So I really don't want to go to one of the multitude of games (DURING THE SCHOOL WEEK!!!) that he plays.  Even when I was keeping them, I didn't go to that game, and as soon as Dad landed - he was getting ready to go that game that night.  No pressure though.

I decided I would go to the basketball game today.  The team is really pretty bad.  They got skunked 22-11.  Guess who is the coach.  Yep.  I think MB would do a lot better if Dad wasn't the coach.  But, he is.  SIL finally got his Canadian friend to help coach.  The friend actually played basketball in college, so he has more credentials than the football and baseball for SIL.
I did enjoy the game.  I like basketball, and watching nine year olds play is a hoot!  Ball control is not in their vocabulary, and shooting, well, let's just say it is lacking.

This shouldn't be a sluggish day though, and I should not really be sitting here on the computer.  I will finally HAVE to have family dinner tomorrow night.  I have gotten out of it long enough.  So I really need to get a shovel, and perhaps a high pressure hose and clean out my house.  After Alaska, the reunion, keeping kids at their house, and the SSB things have just gotten thrown around.  G made the comment this morning that soon we will need a larger breakfast table - which was a nice way of saying that there is too much stuff on ours.  And yes there is.  Things, like mail and genealogy, have gotten piled and piled, and , well you may get the picture.  Yes - I allowed that to happen,

It seems as I get older, I procrastinate more and more.  You would think I would "live each day to the fullest" because there aren't all that many left.  But I think the little voice in the back of my head is saying "enjoy your end days."  That means a messy house. 

So - I guess I better head off and get the shovel.  It will take that to dig to the bottom.  But, after I go to Facebook.

Friday, November 01, 2013

More moaning and groaning.

First and foremost, I am always reminded how fragile life is.  My BFF's (even though we really don't talk often, email often or see each other - I know, strange) husband fell at home a few months ago.  He broke his hip, some ribs and the like.  He was lying there all day because with a broken hip , well...

My son texted me a Facebook posting from one of her sons.  It was that E was going to have a double by-pass a couple of days ago along with an aortic valve possibly thrown in for good measure.  Then yesterday, he posted that his dad has gotten SIX (yes six!!!) transfusions because they can't stop the bleeding, his kidneys are still wonky, and there is a terrible amount of fluid on his lungs - thus still on a ventilator.  Plus, as one would imaging, he looks terrible.

His other son is a physician, and I imagine he is about to go nuts.  He lives about an hour and a half from here, and I congratulate him on not dropping his practice to come and oversee his dad's care.  I texted my friend, and she said he is improving, but this is a woman who will not ask for help.  A few years ago, when she was having terrible breathing difficulty, drive herself to the ER.  What can I say there.

So if you believe, say a few extra prayers for E.  If you don't believe in prayer, send him some good karma or any other good thoughts.


I forgot to add while we were at the SSB, after our guest hunter loaded up her deer and drove away, G took Clyde for a walk.    They were between the retaining wall on the north side of the house and the "barn" when Clyde got really interested in something.  About that time, G recognized the diamond pattern in the grass.  There was about a five foot rattlesnake stretched out by the wall.  Usually it would have coiled in preparation to strike, but I guess it was a little too cool, and the snake was sluggish - thank heavens.

Clyde still needs obedience training, and he didn't want to break from his "trail."  G was about to carry him up the steps.  G was the one wisely scared out of his mind!  He came in to get the pistol, and went back - no more snake.

This is getting really bad.  Especially since the next day or so, they were walking across the front of the house, and there was another rattler headed for the house.  This one was about 19 inches.  By the time he got the shot gun, it was gone.

Needless to say, we are really on alert when we are outside these days.  Clyde is certainly going to snake school.  They do use a shock collar, but that will be much less harmful than the snake bite.  And as soon as he is cleared of this heart worm treatment, he will get the rattlesnake vaccine.


Shopping trip today to get the faucets for the bath remodel.  Really neat shower heads!  Fortunately, I am not changing cabinets, dressing area lights, the faucet in the hall bath, and the bathtub in the hall bath.  My dream of the handicapped tub is just that.  $6000 is just too rich.  So I have convinced myself that sitting waiting for the water, using THAT much water, then waiting for it to drain isn't something I really want to do.  The sitting in the water would be great, but there is just too much with that tub.  Plus I would have to clean those hoses for the bubbles, and I am sure that the door will eventually leak.


In addition to having to learn Windows 8, I decided that since my virus protection upgraded to cover Windows 8.1, I would do the free update to Windows 8.1.  Ain't nothin' free in this world.  While I didn't have to pay a penny, the time invested was terrible.  After the download, then it had to install, and install, and install, and then tweek and tweek.  All in all, it was 45 minutes post installation.  Geesh!

So that's my life today.  We had no flooding problems, and most of the area didn't have too much.  Austin was hit HARD!  Especially toward the east - like Pflugerville area.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Messy day and an early return

Before the messy news, I forgot one "little" item about our teen guest hunter.  G took the guide and the girl out for a ride on the mule.  Of course, the hunter asked to drive the mule.  She was anything but shy, but after the last post that isn't surprising news!  He asked her if she had driven before.  The answer was yes - her mother's car.  He got more information - she had stolen her mother's car.

SO, I did a bit more research on the "home" she was from.  If, and I do say if, it is the one I think it is - it is not only for orphans, and kids removed from homes, but for troubled kids.  Ya' think???

We finally have been effected by the major storm trucking across the states.  It looked like there would be as much as 6 inches or more of rain around the SSB.  So, we decided that we would leave while it was easy.  We have to cross several low water crossings to get out, and Austin was supposed to really get slammed.

We left yesterday.  While we hit a few showers, we made it easily.  The rain has move, but there is a huge line between Austin and Houston that isn't really moving.

This could make Halloween a washout.  That's OK with us.  I don't like opening my door to six foot, masked fellows!  Really we only get a few of the  neighbor kiddos, so we just don't turn on the light. 

I really do hate Halloween though.  And that's a shame.  I loved it as a kid.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Highs and Lows

EVERY time we have groups at church, Pastor has us share highs and lows for the day/week/month.  I hate it, so what am I going to do - I am going to share my highs and lows for the last few days we have been here at the SSB.  And you know there are both!


G signed up for a program around here that brings in orphan/foster/others like that children out to the ranches during the season to hunt.  Last weekend was youth hunt weekend, which means you have to be younger than 18 to hunt.  It was also girl hunt for this group.

We had a girl and her guide come out on Saturday morning for the hunt.  The guide was an absolute delight to talk with.  She has a veterinary practice.  We talked and talked!

They were able to kill a spike.  That was great.  We have too many of these inferior deer.  They will never develop the proper rack of horns.


This girl spotted my computer.  Immediately she wanted to command it to play games.  First, I do not allow a stranger to use my computer.  Second I do not allow a stranger to use my internet for several reasons among which is the fact I only get a certain amount of usage per day, and after that it slows to the old dial up speed.

I knew nothing about this girl, so I told her that I had no games installed on this because it is a new one using Windows 8 and the games are  not free that I can find.  Then I told her that my internet is too slow for gaming.

Then she wanted to use Facebook.  Not. On. You. Life. Girlie!

After lunch, she spotted my Kindle Fire.  She wanted to "read one of the mysteries" on it.  Foolishly, I believed her.  These  are supposed to be good kids who have not gotten into trouble and kept their grades up.  When she was pulled from my Kindle, I realized that she had accessed the internet.

First, she went on Facebook.  THEN because I have that account with Amazon, she watched two on-demand videos.  My battery was almost completely discharged, and the device was hot as a firecracker.  I was, to use a popular term that really fits here, pissed!

So, lesson learned.  All electronics put away, or never to leave my hand.

Other than that fiasco, We have killed another rattle snake - this one about5-6 feet.  Clyde wanted to go over to sniff it.  He caught the scent, and was curious.  It was acting strangely - probably because it was chilly.  It never coiled.  It remained stretched out.  Such a close call for both Clyde and G.  But if he would make the dog use the potty in a certain area rather than walk the property, this wouldn't be so much of a risk.

Yesterday while potty time again (meaning walking ) they came across another one about a foot long at the fence.  By the time he came in to get the gun - it was gone.  So this morning, he has cut the grass - short.  It was just long enough that the snakes are not easily seen.

Yes - there have been highs and low!  The lows could have been so much worse, and I learned a valuable lesson from the other.  And Clyde WILL be getting the rattlesnake vaccine when his heart worm killing is over, AND he will be going to snake training!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Almost over

This morning when I dropped the kids, I was thinking the saga had ended.  I just checked on the plane.  They are on it, but the ETA is an hour later than they thought.  So - I am sure I will do the pickup again today.  But that's fine.

I do love the internet, and especially being able to track that plane.  I was really irrational about this trip before they left.  I was sure that one of the planes was sure to crash.  Hope I am not jinxing now - they are only half was here.  At least they soon will no longer be over the Atlantic.  Geesh - I am such a kook!

I am going to miss seeing those kids everyday.  I suppose I could anyway - they are only a mile away.  But I really will miss dinner especially.  We had some great conversations.  I so love those kids.

I am bone tired.  My whole schedule has been off.  Even to the taking of meds.  Other things have been off too.  I have a little GI track distress this morning - I know TMI!

And so we are off to the SSB tomorrow.  Saturday we have an orphan coming to hunt on child weekend.  It's a great program in the Mason, Texas area that brings orphans from the area out to the ranches around to hunt.  Some of the kiddos have never hunted before.

The rep from this organization talked to us at Community Club last summer, and G signed up.  His brother has done this for several years now.  He usually gets a few kiddos, but we are going for one girl.  She will arrive with a "scout" or something like that.  That means a woman will be with her accompanying her to the blind.  I have to provide an early morning snack and lunch.  Just don't bother ME before at least 8am.  I plan to be unconscious, thank you.

I will be making another meal for tonight.  I know they won't want to cook, and LB has a volleyball game at 5:30 today.  So I am going to do either white or green enchiladas.  Sounds strange doesn't it - white or GREEN.  The meat is chicken for either.

I have spent the week using the kids as guinea pigs, but they liked the special stuff.  So tonight will be another trial I think -  the White Chicken Enchiladas it will be.  There are a lot of recipes appearing on Facebook these days, so I just add them to my computer cookbook.

Probably will be out of action tomorrow - we will leave (yuck) early, and I don't think I will visit tomorrow night.  But I will let you know how Saturday goes!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

There IS a light at the end of this tunnel

Hopefully it isn't a train. 

I am still tired.  Last night was a restless one.  That bed is killing my back, and I figured out that Hydrocodone wires me.  So I either toss and turn because I am in so much pain, or toss and turn because I feel like I have had a pot of coffee.

Not sleeping last night is especially hard today because today is the day we volunteered for our church's commitment to be a partner with a local elementary school.  It was Daughter's turn to pick up the food for the weekend backpacks to go home to the needy kiddos, so we did that, and it was also their little "store" where they can use the "bucks" they earn by turning in homework and other things that indicate good student behaviors.
Today was a nightmare.  We did it last year, and the kids were remarkably great.   Not. So. Much. This. Year.  They use these bucks to buy trinkets that basically come from Oriental Trading.  In other words - mostly crap.  I took those things that were $5and $10.  Last year, the only ones that were at that site were those who only had that much or had spent all but that much.  This year - nope.  I was overwhelmed with kids.  And they refused to form even two lines.  It was a mass of bodies.  I hesitated to become the secondary teacher.  They would probably be scared to death.  But that persona was beginning to show.

They didn't know the total of bucks they had, and most of them didn't understand when they were told what they qualified to buy.  They wanted to count their bucks while standing at the table with a mass of kids behind them. 

I don't know how much junk just walked off.  It was impossible to stop it.  Like a kid will do, they had to walk up and handle the stuff.   I tried to make sure I had the bucks, but ...  Mayhem.

We had our first meltdown on the "home front" this morning   I hope SIL's company is paying for the International Cell Calling, but regardless, they call a couple of times a day.  This morning, I let Monkey Boy talk before Little Bit.  That was the end!

But tomorrow is the day.  They have changed the flight from Milan to Paris to an earlier flight.  They don't want to miss the connection to Houston.  I don't either!!

We will see what happens tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I had two children.  I know how to handle two children.  It wasn't always easy, and I was a heck of a lot younger, but it wasn't really too hard.

I have two sets of three grandchildren.  I am now "mommy" to one set.  THREE!  And I am OLD.  Add those two facts together, and that means I am TIRED.

I used to wonder why Daughter was always tired.  Now I know!  It's having three kids.  I am not even attempting her schedule with these kids, and I am totally exhausted.

Yesterday was supposed to be "cheer leading" for the youngest.  Fortunately, she has finally reached the maturity level where little things don't lead to a total meltdown.  She had, in fact, been great.  I was so afraid she would be whining for her mom, but that hasn't happened.

I am not used to getting up at 6 anymore, but I am doing that.  Their stairs are sans handrails (DANGEROUS FOR ALL), so I do not venture upstairs.  To get around that, at 6, I call LB's cell to make sure she is up.  She (fortunately) is picked up by a neighbor for school at 6:45. 

The youngest one sleeps on the couch - long story - so I don't have to get her up.  Her brother has decided to sleep there also, so I know when they are up.  I get their breakfasts (frozen French toast sticks - easy!), get them dressed, and we are off to school between 7:50 and 8.  Usually I am thinking about getting up about this time.

I come home for my breakfast and peace and quiet.  If I stayed at Daughter's house, her two Boxers would still be all over me.  I do my computer stuff, and try to recharge.  Then at 3:15 it starts all over again.  I pick them up at the pool (if it isn't raining).  Or the car rider line - and I have the sign with the name on it all ready.  Neither Daughter or the kids know that blasted number, but I understand the name will work.

Then, and thankfully G does this, at 4:15 it is time to get LB after volley ball practice. Disney channel is on the TV.  If I NEVER have to watch that again, it will be too soon!  The grazing now begins where I really have to watch.  Otherwise they would probably eat the table.  Of course, that means they are too full for dinner then!

I check folder for the happy faces (or not) and sit with The Boy for homework.  If I didn't, he would rush through it so he could get to his "crack-box." That is more appropriately known as an I-pod or something.  The boy is addicted to video games, and he does have to be monitored closely.

LB, being the good teen, heads off to the Netherlands otherwise known as her room.  She is probably texting and all on her phone, but she really is level headed.  She knows her mom can check that phone easily.  The other two plop down on the couches - usually falling asleep.  Of course, my viewing habits are now out of kilter!

Then it's off to bed for me - on a mattress that I really don't like.  I toss and turn, and then suddenly it all starts over again!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I'm here

Yes, I still walk the face of the earth.  I am so tired, but we are half way through this keeping of the grandkids.  They have been great.  I couldn't ask for better behavior from them.  I was afraid of the little one having meltdowns missing Mommy or Daddy, but she has been in great spirits!

Monkey Boy had a bit of a melt down this afternoon when it was homework time.  He is a bright boy, but this year is "eating his lunch" at school.  He is rushing through his work, so that means he is making silly mistakes.  I think he is wanting to be class clown or something along those lines because he is getting in trouble for talking.  The one paper I saw first was a science paper. he made a 40 on it. .  Of course I was very interested in why.  He was so upset with himself (at least I think that was it), and perhaps a little embarrassed because it was science.  We corrected the mistakes, and to be honest I could see why he missed some of the questions.  But then - I have always had a problem with elementary science teachers.  They usually don't know what they are teaching.

Friday was the worst day of the lot.  It was raining (yes, we are actually getting several days of rain around here - hopefully breaking the drought for good) when I was picking up the two younger ones.  They are to walk from the school about a long block to the parking lot at the city swimming pool.  But since it was raining, they got changed from walkers to car riders.  Of course I didn't know this for sure.

As I was sitting there, I noticed parents and another grandmother walking to the edge of the school's driveway.  I thought they were going to walk there with an umbrella and meet the kiddos.  Then I noticed they were going into the school.  So I went on.  My back was beginning to scream a bit.

I walked into the cafeteria where the kids were held.  We were told we had to go to the main office to sign them out and get a "ticket" to get them.   I was with my ex pool guy.  He had his daughter right beside him, but no - he had to go to the office to sigh her out.   We walked there - my grandkids were waving at me through the window,  but that didn't suffice.  Then I worried - I had no identification on me.  I left my purse hidden in the car.

I could have signed "Mickey Mouse" to take "Super Man" and "Bat Girl" in the book.  The poor secretary at that desk was so overwhelmed by this turn of events.  But I got the tickets to bail the kids out.  I handed them over, the kids were right there then, and another one in the cafeteria said "did she have TWO tickets?"  That was about the last straw.  I am so glad I could get out of there. So we made the trek back to the car, and I was about to die then.

I know there are so many problems for the schools with people picking up kiddos.  But if the child is right there, and most of the people in this school knew that their parents were in Italy, and the kids were glad to see me.  I think I should have been able to get them.  They were going to be walking otherwise - if there were no rain.

Enough of that.  I think their mattress is supposed to be a good one, but it is killing my back.  It is too soft.  And I am about to melt away.  The thermostat is set on 78.  Mine at home is set on 72.  We had a strong front come through last night, but it is warming up again.  My home thermostat is set to be very cool at night - in all seasons, and then it warms up or goes up in the mornings.  Well - four more nights, then back to my bed.  Well not really - it's back to my bed at the SSB.

But the kids are being great.  That makes it all worthwhile!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Things will be different next week!

As I mentioned, Daughter is headed to Italy.  She has been so torn about going, and I really secretly hoped she not go.  But she is going - as of now!  They will leave Friday afternoon, fly to Paris where they will change planes and then to Rome.  SIL is going for work.  He sells industrial coolers and the like for restaurants.  One day they will be in Milan - again he will be working part of the day.  Then they will be back on next Thursday.

The oldest grandchild is perfectly OK with this.  But then she is almost 13, and with that age comes the mother-daughter fighting.  She thinks things will be much easier with me there.  Well - not really, but anyway - I am not expecting a problem there.  Monkey Boy  is so emotional as it is.  When his dad is gone just for overnight on business, he will cry.  His school work is minimal as it is right now.  We don't know what's going on with him.  I just hope he can hold it together next week.  He SAYS he is fine with this, but...   Then there is Doodle Bug the Drama Queen.  When Daughter and SIL would just be gone the evening to work the Livestock Show, she would begin to cry with "I miss my ______" and the blank would change from one parent to another, but it was usually "mommy."

Their schedules are so jammed full of activities, I just hope I don't drop the ball.  I think the water polo practices are covered. I think the baseball on Tuesday is off, and cheer practice is off.  LB's volleyball game is the day they come back, so that's covered.  Now I just have to get them to school, then pick them up.  This is especially a problem these days.  When Texas cut funding to the schools, the first thing to really be cut was bus service.  Since we are within the mile, no buses for the younger two. That means the elementary, which is not meant for a lot of traffic, is a bear morning and afternoon with folks picking up their chicks.  LB has been a car rider, but she CAN ride the bus.  We'll see on that one!

I really feel so selfish in wanting Daughter to not go.  I just worry.  I thought I didn't have attachment problems.  I thought I cut the apron strings long ago, but I guess not.  I don't want to picture her in that blasted rock heavy silver tube over the Atlantic.  Quit laughing at me!  I know I am being really crazy here.  I wouldn't feel like this if we were together.  And deep down, she and I are the same.  She doesn't really want to leave her kids even though she knows Pa (G) and I will do just fine. 

It is true - you NEVER stop being a mother.  Your babies are your babies - forever!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Back to normal

G should be walking in at any minute now.  So that means my "vacation" is going to be over soon.  I do enjoy these times when I can do what I want WHEN I want.

Daughter hosted once again last night for family dinner.  I do appreciate that so much, but part of the reason it that they are leaving Friday for Italy.

I know this is such a great opportunity, but I really wish she wasn't going.  I have always been happy for her to be a homebody.  Knowing she is over there.  This is sort of like "letting go."  My feelings are completely irrational.  I don't like the thought of my daughter being in that silver tube at 40,000 over the Atlantic.  I have to be honest - I am afraid.  Stupid.

Her step daughter is riding the pity party train again.  She is stirring the stuff causing all sorts of drama in San Antonio once again.  This poor girl is so mentally ill.  My SIL is a psychologist, and she says the girl is psychotic.  It's a shame she has nothing better to do than cause problems in a very dysfunctional family.

Once again I am going thorough a sleepless period.  During the day, if I sit still, I fall asleep.  So I try to stay stimulated.  At night - around midnight, I am wide awake.  So right now I am really sleepy. 

When G gets here, I will trundle off upstairs to make little pink ribbon tea-light pins for LB's volleyball team.  They are having a "Pink" game on the 24th.  This is my best chance to get them done because I will be at their house a lot of the time.

Besides - I will be more stimulated to stay awake with that needle so close to my hands!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013


I finally downloaded my cameras.  There are only in excess of 550 pictures.  Some are of nothing.  They need to be edited out, but the task of going through them is really daunting.

I do want to share a couple with you though.  They aren't of Alaska.  I have some of those that are absolutely breathtaking!  No, these are of three of my loved ones
My gentle giant, Clyde, snuggling with one of his favorite people - my middle granddaughter.

Clyde is making himself right at home - in his new favorite place - the bed.

Blurry Lady Bug serving at her first volleyball game.  It was hard to get a picture of her standing still!!

But at least I managed here where she is waiting to spike the serve back over the net.  She is really an amazing athlete.  

She seems to be wanting to leave competitive swimming for water polo - in addition to the volleyball.  She decided that cross-country track wasn't her bag.


So what did I decide to do yesterday?  I did a lot of genealogy.  It was fun.  Not so fun was falling down the steps when I went upstairs to feed the cat.

G had called, and he began his rant accusing me of cancelling satellite at the SSB.  That was a mistake.  I had turned around half way up the stairs.  I knew I couldn't make it up to the phone, so I elected to turn back.  We call our last step on the stairs "the killer" because people have a bad habit of missing it.  I turned,, and even thinking about that darned step - I missed it.

So I was crawling on my knees (not supposed to!) to get to the bed to pull myself up.  The phone stopped.  I got there and tried to call back, and to make a long story short, he got back through.   He had that miffed tone to his voice.  I told him to leave that out because I fell trying to answer his silly call.

Anyway -no serious harm.  My back is hurting  a lot again, so I will take it easy and rest it.  It feels like we had to change terminals in Chicago again.  We walked miles with our carry-on. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I've been bitten by the bug again!

I know I don't need an excuse to skip housework.  I do it easily.  I figure that here at 68, I have been doing housework for 60 years, and now it's someone else's turn (spell check is telling me there is no such work as "else's" - and we know I depend on spell check, but I am not changing it).  How do I figure this?  Easy.  I inherited it from my mother.  She didn't like housework either - so I would do it back then.  I am sick and tired of it.

But - if it's not going upstairs to that disaster area, so I can sew other little thingies for craft shows that I never get to do, it is now my old evil - genealogy. Just how did this happen.  It is all our vacation's fault!

Here's my reasoning - if we were still home, I would have never dropped my Dell.  If I hadn't dropped the Dell, I wouldn't have to re-load all the programs I could find.  That means I wouldn't have had to look high and low for the 2005 discs where all my genealogy files were safely saved.  That wouldn't have tempted me to gift myself the newest version of Family Tree maker.  And that little purchase wouldn't have tempted me to use the two week free trial to Ancestry which was my time waster supreme back a few years. 

I did this knowingly.  I knew I had to give a credit card.  I knew I would have to call to stop the free trial.  I knew they would use their best means to shame me into keeping the subscription.  Been there.  Done that.  Have the lack of funds.   But I did it anyway.

So I have been chained to this computer seeing what new information I can glean from using Family Tree Maker.  I could get much more information if I would just go onto Ancestry because they list the public forms.  They don't care if Cousin Sally's great-great-great grandchild is still living.  There's the birth, marriage and their children's forms right there in the forms area.  It's public record.  All this while FTM "respects their member's privacy."  Dash the privacy!  I want the information.

But, FTM and I are getting really friendly.  We meet every afternoon.  FTM lures me into wanting to blow off preparing dinner - even leaving the kitchen table where I am set up surrounded by notebooks, bills, and tablets.  And yes, bills - my week's mail is stacking up quite nicely on both ends of this larger table that we brought in a few weeks ago.  Good foresight!  I didn't know how much I would need it.

G and SIL are going to the SSB later.  I will have until Monday to myself.  I am beside myself.  All this time for ME.   What to do first.  Do I break this umbilical to the computer and spend the hours upstairs?  Do I just stay down here?  What mind numbing TV can I be watching?  So many decisions.

I could get some deep cleaning done.  Yes, I could.  But that's not fun.  If I just go ahead with the fun things - I will just continue to bar folks from entering my doors!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Time to eat crow and other unpleasant thoughts

As you remember, my biggest souvenir from Alaska is this here little ole' computer.  We are beginning to have a good working relationship, but it is really a steep learning curve - both a new computer AND a new Windows.  Why is this so serious, and why am I eating crow?  Well - it all goes back to the little bimbo that talked me into these new glasses back several months ago.  As my ophthalmologist told me last week - throw those things away.  You can't see out of them!

That little issue brings me to the fact that I have trouble changing sizes of fonts in applications here.  Sometimes it just magically happens - like it did on Facebook the other day, and here on Blogger.  I am talking about just the draft I am working on - I really don't want huge print in the blog.

When the size of font suddenly changed yesterday, I realized that I could not see the title of my post the day before - y
ou know -the rant about of all things grammar and word usage.  I didn't see - and it had been corrected - that my title had an "A" in place of the pronoun "I."   So I just went on praising spell check while dogging on grammar and word usage.  Do I look like a dope?  You bet I do.

I have been following Jude's efforts of trying to get the part of her dad's estate to which she and her sister are entitled.  I won't link to it, many of you know of her blog anyway.  She want to fly below the radar with her blog, so...

When she is talking about her step-mother it brings back so many memories.  My step mother was just the sweetest, kindest person you would ever want to meet - on the surface.  She was a lying, cheating $%^*&(&%&*^!  Even when it was all unfolding, I really didn't want to believe it.  In fact, when she was dying, Daughter, DIL and I stayed with her all night so she wouldn't be alone to die.

I was frustrated with her for a while before she died.  My dad was very demented.  He never should have been driving.  They gave big bucks to their church, but never called them for help.  (They were in San Antonio then - no family there)  She never would call a taxi, ask for help - nothing.  She would only moan and groan when I was to be there for a shuttle service - which is another story. She never stopped his driving.

I wondered why - and now I think I have an answer.  She was hoping my dad, who was much older than she, would die before her.  Either on his own, which wasn't going to happen because he was physically fit, or get killed in the car.

Why did she want this - so her good for nothing son would inherit all the money.  Monies that should have been just my dad's, but were theirs because we are a community property state.  Had she not ensnared my dad, she wouldn't have had anything.  Her previous husband had nothing.  She would have had $900/month social security to live on.

I won't go into detail, but my dad had managed to save a good amount of monies.  She managed to shield more than her fair share for her son - who could care the least for her.  He was never there.  This fact was told to me by HIS family. 

What did he do with his share of the money.  Opened a "high class" restaurant in Malibu.  Which I really believe is closed now.  I haven't heard from them in a couple of years.  Last I heard he was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer. 

Sorry - another rant.  I had to come clean with my goof!  And Jude - you got me to remembering just how evil some step-mothers can be!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Like we had it.

That is the way we are spending money these days. 

I don't know what the little jaunt to Alaska cost us.  I was really pleasantly surprised with the prices - once we got there.  I had heard that everything was so expensive there.  We found lodging was inexpensive.  The hotel in Fairbanks was absolutely great.  It was like a suite!  It seems is was under $90 a night.  Of course, we were  not only at the end of the 0"season," things were closing down as we left!  And we had convention rates.  The hotel in Anchorage was the same way.  In fact, our bill for the dog's and cat's "summer camp" at the vet's office was more than ours!

Of course, the train trips were expensive.  And the fact that we didn't go on one in Fairbanks and I didn't go on one in Anchorage still gets to me - that wasted money!  Those trips usually run about $100 a trip because they are not regular runs for the train.  It's like taking a limo someplace.  You have to pay the crew, the fuel, usually the rail line that owns that rail.  All an expensive thing, but you see things that "normal" people don't get to see.

The food - at least at the grocery (Safeway) was inexpensive.  I guess a large chain can spread out losses over their entire chain.  Restaurants on the whole were more expensive.  In Fairbanks, we had to eat at the hotel, so you KNOW that was high.  But it was the only game in town, and that's when G had the full blown cold.

So where is this all going?  Well - something that is both exciting and will be a good thing in the long run for so many reasons.  When this house is sold, it will come back to us because it is one of the important things folks look for.  We are having our bathrooms remodeled.

My wild dream is to have one of those walk in bathtubs put in the hall bathroom.  With my assorted aches and pains, I would love, love, love to take a nice hot soak.  A shower just doesn't ease the pains.  A hot bath - oh, yes. 

We have a friend who is a contractor.  He has re-done my daughter's kitchen.  He does the most beautiful work.  AND I know he doesn't gouge nor do shoddy work.  He came to give us an estimate
yesterday.  I think my dream tub is going to be just that.  His plumber said that the price on a Kohler is -  get ready for this!! - $9000.  Holy smokes!  And then the door will begin to leak in a year.

But the Master Bath will be able to have the big walk-in shower.  All new tile (which G has let ruin - it's his bath and HE can clean it!!).  New counter tops.  I have hated that master one since we moved in 38 years ago!  It is a textured black formica.  It never comes clean because of that texture which they probably thought gave it "character."  Nope - it traps the calcium from the water, dust, toothpaste, make-up.  Nasty!!  Hate it!!

As I said, this will add value to the house.  We are one of the last to up-date out baths.  I intent to go for the kitchen next - at least having my cabinets done.  They need to be re-stained or something.  I won't have them changed out - my builder was a good cabinet maker.  But they look very tired and dirty.  Jude, and I won't link to you, I just don't have the spunk you have.  I can't get on the floor for the lowers, and the torn rotator cups in my shoulders just won't allow that kind of pressure to really get to those uppers.

So, with great joy, anticipation, and a lot of doubt - here we go again!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

I do love spell check - I wish more people would use it..

I know the saying of "people who live in glass houses .." and all that.  I know I am beginning to sound like a dry, old prune of an English teacher.  And that, in itself is funny because I never taught English for a single day in my life.  I actually have a double major - Biology and English.  That happened when I decided that my math skills were so poor that I could never make it to the 24 hours in Chemistry that I needed to teach it.  (In Texas - your teaching minor has to be 24 hours).  So in the summer of my Junior year in college, I began to pursue English as my teaching minor.  Thus I ended up with something like 28 semester hours.

Anyway, you are so familiar with my problems with word usages.  "Your for you're", the "to, too, two" and of course "then and than."  Lately there have been others that I have added to my list.

I am a member of several Yahoo groups where I surf for free embroidery designs.  Some of those in these groups must never actually sew because they are spending hours in these groups.   The owners will set up "searches" where the members are going through the sites looking for a little design hidden in the pages of designs that are for sale.  Smart marketing, but who has that sort of time.

One of the other things that occurs in these groups is the plea for help.  Now that is a good ides. I learn from the mistakes of others that are often problems that plague me.  But!  Some of the grammar used.  OMG.  And the spelling.

I will be honest.  I am a terrible speller.  The greatest thing that has happened for me is the computer word processing and SPELL CHECK!!!  If I am nor sure of spelling, I depend on spell check.  And if the word is  not there, I use a synonym.  It's the simple words that kill me.  I can spell most scientific words easily, but simple words - not so much.

The words I have recently added are those simple ones.  These are the ones that slip by spell check.  One of the messages I read recently went something like this:

        "I no I must be doing something wrong.  I try to click on the sights to go to another page ..."

That one statement took me a few seconds to realize just what they were trying to say.

OK - I am the first to say that I certainly am not perfect.  It is so easy to be typing along (for those of you who know how to type and that's not me!) and a word to come into your mind but the spelling, proper tense, etc don't.  But some of the same mistakes are made over and over.  And I know that spell check will miss a lot of words.  And grammar check doesn't run automatically.  And I have terrible sentence structure here.

I will put my soap box away now.  Sorry.

Friday, October 04, 2013

So what have I been doing?

Basically I have pretty much chained myself to this new computer.  Windows 8 and I are at least being cordial right now.  I still hate some of its characteristics, and I find myself wondering if a true friendship or love (gasp) will ever happen.  It has one of the most annoying facets that I have ever found.  If I dare to move my mouse around too much, I am whisked away to a previously opened window.  Now that window may not have even been opened on purpose, but it will magically appear on my screen, and what I was working on goes away. 

I finally found how to toggle back and forth, but you have to hold your mouth just right and all the stars, moon and sun must be in the correct configuration for the ways to work the first time.  I spend more time hanging around in the far corners of my screen than actually doing something th at smacks of work or even just surfing.

I am getting used to the keyboard.  Not being a typist in the first place is always a problem, but this keyboard seems skewed to me.  It is all pushed over to the left.  That may be due to something that I would have adored when I was a teacher.  I have an actual number pad on the right.  That isn't so important these days since I no longer have to enter and average grades.

I have almost finished loading the files that I have copies of.  I was afraid I had lost the hours and hours of work I had put in on the family trees, but I found copies that I had done in 2005.  So there's not much lost there since I haven't done much work on them since then.  I treated myself (hey - it's only money - can't take it with me) to a new edition of Family Tree Maker, and I am going to join Ancestry again at least for 6 months.  Now - it's the pictures I am still missing.  I am afraid for those.

I can't decide if I should take the other computer to a small business that seems to be very good, or use a guy who advertises on one of the Buy, Beg, Sell, Borrow web sites that are so plentiful around here.  I have read that the more the disc runs after damage, the more damage is done.  I know the little (new) guy in Anchorage tried for hours to get into the files. 

And then other than the doctor appointments from last week, there are the volleyball games.  Lady Bug is on the "A" team.  She is the captain and a starter.  Yesterday she made a save that turned the game around.  Such a proud grandma!

Next on my agenda is the promised pictures.  They are still safely ensconced in the cameras. I will get to them.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Oh, my goodness

It's late - almost time to get dinner on. So this is going to be short, short.

Just heard the news - the next hurricane is going to be named .......................


Oh, look out world!  She is going to be, well I will just leave that part to you to fill in!!!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fifty years!

There are still no pictures downloaded onto this computer, and I have a good reason.  This past weekend was my 50th high school reunion.

To prepare for this event,  I treated myself to new clothes for the weekend.  Usually I shop the clearance racks.  I hate to pay a lot for clothes.  But I wanted to be self-assured for this deal!  I still got a lot of bargains.  So all that was good,

Friday night was the mixer.  I found a few of my friends from high school.  We visited for a while, but overall most of those who were there weren't my good friends.  So we decided to pack it in after a couple of hours to eat.  That's when a good friend from the past found us in the restaurant.

Saturday was a full day.  I have often spoken and even shown pictures of my high school.  It is a beautiful campus    It was built in the depression years.  It is a Moroccan style with columns, painted plasters, tiles all located on a huge plot of land.  It was so much the same. We got to tour the school on Saturday morning.  Some modifications have been made to the school - and more are going to be happening due to safety reasons.  It was such a joy to be in those halls once again.

At lunch, the middle schools had reunions.  It was there I got to see some really old friends, but missed talking to some because I thought they would be at the dinner that night.  Of course, the bill for two would be $100.  But I did make a little contact, if only to know they are still alive.

The dinner was beautiful.  I was able to sit with the "girl" who was set to be my room- mate.  She ended up not going to that college, and I changed where I was going as well.  But it was so good to catch up with her and another of my friends.

When we were being seated they had playing, in the background, the school song, fight song, and a most favorite cheer (that I think is still being used today).  I had to fight tears, and had a huge urge to "salute"  as we did in the "pep squad" at the football games.

It was such fun.  Then on Sunday, before coming home, we met my matron of honor from my wedding.  She graduated a year ahead of me, so she wasn't at the reunion.  It was a good visit.

I was so struck by the different ways we have aged.  Some look the same, others I still don't believe their name tags!  Of course, I was worried about being there with all my extra pounds.  I imagined that everyone would still be slim and trims as they were in high school.  And, in fact, some were.  The really popular ones mostly were still slim.  But some were carrying as many extra pounds as I.  Of course, I shouldn't have stressed over it.  Let's face it - time (menopause et al) most often brings pounds.  And many of us have faced chemo.  That doesn't help.

And so now I am sitting here really wanting a 51st reunion.  I hope they plan, and have, a 55th if not one sooner.  It was such fun.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Still no pictures

I am still fighting working with Windows 8.   It has a lot of things like 7, and I wasn't really in love with 7.  I was so comfortable with XP.  I am  not sure about some of the quirks I have going on.  I don't know whether they are Windows 8, the computer, and/or the new Office 365.  Anyway, this is a steep learning curve.  I used to think I was pretty computer literate, but I have really been left in the dust now!

I have found an individual who tells me he probably can get the files off the Dell.  I am in a quandary.   There is a computer repair place near-by, and G took his computer there.  He was very pleased. I just don't know what I am going to do about that computer.  I so dearly want the files back.  There were pictures, my family trees that represent hours and hours of work.  Just so much.

I had downloaded and saved the embroidery designs.  They are all safe. Why in the heck I didn't deem the other files important, I have no idea.

Today is going to be busy.  I want two new outfits.  I don't need them, but I want them.  It will give me a boost in confidence this weekend at the 50th high school reunion.  I never lost the 30 pounds I wanted to.  That sounds typical doesn't it.  My wardrobe has fallen into the very casual category, and while this is "business casual" I really don't have anything that fits into that category.  So - spend more money!

This afternoon, Lady Bug plays her first volley-ball game.  She is, of course, on the A team and is a starter.  That is something that we just take as normal because she really has physical talent, and she is so driven.  She is totally a type A, and she doesn't accept anything else from herself.  That scares me.  I have seen to many of those kids.

I was going to DIL's this afternoon to take the trinkets we brought back.  Son didn't really like that.  He actually wants to see his parents, which is like him.  So we will go out for dinner with them.

 G doesn't like all this socializing.   He is turning into a hermit.  I really think he needs to see a specialist to do something for what I see as depression.  He is very different from 4 years ago.  In fact, I do not like the new person too much.  But I guess like all relationships and marriages, this does happen periodically.

So I won't get to working with pictures until  next week.  I got Photoshop downloaded, I have the problem with a program for my embroidery, and I got the family tree maker on the computer - just missing the families.  I need to find the CDs that I have at least some of the information stored on them.  I had been planning to re-join Ancestry anyway, so I can work on the data that way.

So busy, busy until Monday.  See ya' then!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hello from the depths of despair.

I just know that you are awaiting vacation pictures with baited breath. Everyone just LOVES someone else's vacation pictures, and I will bring you this pleasure soon, but first I have to load all the programs I used to have (and some are gone forever) that don't seem to want to play with Windows 8.  There are plenty of problems for me here.  New computer, new keyboard (and I am not a typist anyway), hitting keys that do things I don't want to happen, having the screen change for no apparent reason, and trying to remember those danged passwords as well as user names.

So far, I hate 8.  I wasn't a fan of 7; finally felt comfortable with XP, but here I am.  I think I will have to find a Windows 8 for Dummies to try to figure this OS out!

For those of you who, like me, live(d) in La-la land, PLEASE back up your files.  Your computer will fail.  It is as certain as our deaths.  So like I feel that death is for everyone else, my dear departed Dell was never going to die.  I could have those files stored there forever.  And if I wanted a new computer, I could ju st, as before, migrate my files onto a new computer.

Nope!  So lost are my family trees, my self made cookbook, my pictures of Simone, the kids, past vacations, etc all because I was so stupid.  Lost are those *&)(^ passwords because, if you find problems like me, you have to change them often.  Of course, when G retired and commanded the computer desk putting me here at the kitchen table, I didn't keep up with my "little black book" of passwords, and never had something ready to organize those new password..While I try to make them easy to remember, I don't remember who has which easy password.

Then it comes to downloading programs.  One of my dearest programs seems to not play with 8.  Not in it's present form.  Fortunately the software guru that wrote this program is easy to work with.  The problem with this program is that I loaded it from a CD that may be set up in an old format - because, after all, my Dell wasn't supposed to die.  I have emailed for help.

Please, please back up your computer. My Dell had survived a lot of bumps and jars.  When I dropped it, the distance was less that 6 inches.  I thought that was not going to be a problem, but after it happened,  I had a terrible feeling in my gut that that was the end.  Sure enough.  It was.

When I bought this one, the IT guy tried to migrate my files.  After two days he finally said he couldn't.  I asked my son if he knew any computer gurus.  They all are too busy.  But one thing they said was to not keep trying to get it going.  The less it runs, the better.  AND do not use the store's IT guy.  They don't know what they are doing and do more harm.  It can run upwards of $1000 to retrieve the files.

So alas,I have done everything wrong that could be wrong.  Use my stupidity to learn for yourself - and not the hard way.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Big Silver Bird Day

We spend the night on the plane. We take off here at 5 pm and arrive in Houston at 4am - if all goes well. I am packed. But then I never completely unpack! Even when I do "unpack" things - I put my stuff in the bags that linens come in. Makes it much nicer - especially if your bags are searched. Mine were searched both coming and going from Los Angeles during the trip from hell around the LA airport. G, on the other hand, unpacks everything. And with that statement, it explains the fact that he has lost a belt, paperwork (i.e. flight information), and something else. I will post a picture of his dirty clothes and that bag will just be forced into a suitcase. Don't know where he is going to put those Ulu knives. I really am looking forward to getting home. I will be sad that I didn't get to do some things here in Alaska. I knew if I didn't go on the train trip yesterday I would miss animals, and I did. The whales were active, there was a sheep about 200 yards from the track, and someone says they saw a bear on the mountain. If I had known about the nature preserve here, I would have made sure to go, and I started to yesterday. I was too chicken to go by myself. I will bet my luggage gets searched this trip because my poor dead Dell is in there. It is well protected, and I really don't think anything can do any more damage to its hard drive, but I still worry. The tech said he could get it to boot, but the error message said there was too much damage. I am hoping someone in Houston can access it. Talk to you in a couple of days. I can't believe the hours of our flight, but that was the way it was getting here. This time the layover will be in Tacoma rather than Chicago. See ya'.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sad, sad, sad

Last week I dropped my beloved Dell laptop.  It slipped from my fingers as I was getting ready to put it into its case.  It would never boot again.

So I went to O*fice D*pot looking for another laptop   While we were in Fairbanks, I did manage to get it to run some checks.  I got to the part where it was checking blocks.  Every 200 I got an e rror message.  I knew that all my files on it were gone.  All my Simone pictures, my recipe collection, vacation pictures - gone. The only thing I took off was my newly downloaded embroidery designs.  It is so easy to look back on things.  I am so sad right now.a

So rub salt into my wounds, the new computer runs on Windows 8.  A new keyboard and a new OS, this is simply too much for me!
The trip is really good though.  We have seen some moose,  and Beluga whales!  They are in the sound feeding on the salmon.  We have seen salmon spawning in a little roadside ditch!  We have perhaps seen Dall sheep HIGH up on the mountains.  I just want to see a bear! I promise I will begin uploading some pictures because this is so beautiful. I didn't take today's train however. I have seen so many mountains, glaciers, and the like. Yesterday about half the train did see a bear - going after a crew man. But today was going to be a lot of run-bys (folks get off the train with their cameras, tripods and so on to become animals about getting their spot to film the train running back by), and I was so hoping that I would get the word that Brandon at OD could migrate my old hard drive to this computer. But no - so I will take it home to see if someone in Houston can get my stuff back. Tomorrow we will get on the plane, and it is really time. So many things and places we have stayed are closing right after us!!!