Thursday, June 26, 2014


We came back from the SSB a day early.  There are several reasons for this, and I am not sorry we did come back early.

We decided that Hilda Happy Hour wasn't worth staying for another day because our neighbor did pass away on Sunday.  I spent hours on the internet searching for his funeral information.  So we figured it would be either today or tomorrow.  Finally word came on Tuesday evening. 

We have an internet place called Next Door for our community.  I think it is a wide-spread thing, but it is supposed to be subdivision specific.  Anyway, that's where the news came.  The viewing is tonight, ending with a rosary, and the funeral is tomorrow.  We will miss the funeral because we are leaving for Dallas tomorrow. Geesh!!

My "problem" from the salad is pretty much over.  I will not go into graphic detail except to say I was able to get a good night's sleep last night - slept all the way through without having to RUSH to the bathroom!

It really kills me though that I have to go through all that again on Monday since I have a colonscopy scheduled for Tuesday.   He could have done that last Tuesday - for sure!

I am looking forward to Wednesday of next week!  No "problem," home (for a week and a half).  Priceless.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Blank for a title, no really - blank

We have been here at the SSB since Thurday afternoon.  That means there would be grocery shopping on Friday.  That was a very important trip because we were the hosts for community club that night.

I found a salad that sounded absolutely delicious, so I made my list.  I decided I would make two - one Friday and one Saturday (today) or Sunday for the Lange Family Reunion.  That is my newly found family!

We needed to stop at the community club building to check on plates and the like. So that would put us out of the way for Fredericksburg (and the GO  OD grocery).  I didn't push the issue, and G decided we would go to Mason and the crappy grocery.

Things weren't as bad as I thought shopping there.  The selection of vegetables and fruits is limited, but it was when I was looking for scallions - green onions! - that I realized they were really limited.  Each salad was to have them.  None!!

So I had some great red onions that I substituted.  It was the most delicious salad!  It was so delicious that I pretty made a meal of it along with some other vegetables that were there.  That was all gout friendly.   People raved about the salad, and it was almost gone.

This morning I woke to unpleasantness.  I had too much roughage.  You know what I mean!  I have had a problem all day.  Most of the food I bought for us for the week was fruits and vegetables.  I don't know exactly what I am going to do.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better - since it's the family reunion.  But I am making German potato salad (fitting) and a cake!

We played bingo after the meeting.  Things were going to be great, but the markers for the cards were too few.  I had forgotten the BEANS to augment those little markers. 

The bad part of last night was when I read the neighborhood Facebook posting.  My next door neighbor probably isn't going to live.  He is in ICU with heart failure.  We have been neighbors for about 35 years.  His youngest and my daughter are the same age, but my son would play with Rodney as a kid too.  

This will be two dads of my kiddo's friends to die in three months.  It is really sad.  Every time my phone indicates there is a message, I hold my breath.

I have a feeling we will be missing a funeral.  Mixed feelings there.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Thanks for messing up the pics Blogger!

I guess we get what we pay for with Blogger!  I don't like posting pictures on here because I personally consider it a pain.  I thought when I posted the three pictures, they were jumbled, and sure enough!  Proof positive.

 Sorry about that, so I will post them again!

this one got out of order, but these are SOME of the idiots who jump off of a nice, cool train to stand out in the heat with chiggers and other "things" to capture a picture of the train roaring toward them!

I was wrong!

When I was downloading the last pictures I took at the convention, I found some that I found amusing at the time, and in fact still do in a perverted way!

We were on the last train excursion - waiting in the yard for the final boarding, and whatever checks and preparations the train crew had to do.  I had seen the "professional" K9 and the truck before we boarded.  At the time I was thinking "what are they going to do - check all of us old farts for drugs?  I will bet they would find some - all legal."

G and I are among the youngsters on these trips!  I would bet the average age is over 70.  And with all the aches and pains that us old folks have, I am sure there was a lot of things like hydrocodone and the like about.

After a bit, the dog was right there at our car!  The train crew and police ( that accompanied us on all trips!  Didn't think we would be in any danger from train robbers in Arkansas!) were gathered around the dog who was at the wheels right under my chair!

So when I found the pictures I thought I would share them

Getting the reward for looking for explosives!

This lady was with us on both of our rides.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


At least for two more days, then it's off to the SSB.  When we come back, the next day it's off to Dallas for a weekend family reunion.  Geesh!

Sunday we drove from Springdale to Houston.  It's only a short ten hours.  For some, that's not a big deal.  For me,  that used to be a death march.  I guess the twice a month drives (there and home) of five and a half hours have me toughened.  So in three weeks, I will be on the road about 40 hours.

When we walked in Shadow was true to his name.  He is such a cowardly cat.  It took him a while to realize that it was us, not some stranger to be afraid of.  He was here, alone, from Tuesday to Sunday.  He had plenty of food, water and litter.  He didn't eat as much as I had expected.  I guess he was sad and lonely.  In the past year, he has become quite the needy cat.  He is usually with me - everywhere!

We picked up Clyde yesterday.  He acted strangely when we got him home too.  I guess he was exhausted!  I think the barking dogs kept him on edge.  He slept, soundly, on the couch all day.  He seems back to more normal today.  At least he will be with us for the next week plus.  Of course then it's back to the vet for kenneling.  Poor baby.


I have moaned and groaned to you about G "breaking" his computers.  Well, he has been using this one.  Guess what.  It is as balky as a mule now.  I don't know where he has been going, and I know that he doesn't download (thankful for small favors), but when I tried to get on line with Family Tree Maker last night, it was blocked from the internet. 

Of course, my virus/firewall program updated yesterday.  I had not tried to get on before the update, but ...  I will work on all that more later today. 


I would upload pictures from the trip, but I didn't really take many.  Part of the reason being I am so upset about the new camera  that does such a great job, and partly because I don't care how good the camera is,  they just cannot do justice to great scenery.  Plus, many of the pictures had to do with trains and their equipment. 

So I am off in a bit to restock the larders.  Knowing we would not be around for almost a month, I let things go - even if they would be in the freezer.  Even little things like the basic food prep things.  That is my job for the day.

Have a great one!

Friday, June 13, 2014


Today is Friday the 13th.  It is a full moon.  This won't happen again until 2049.  Well - I wish it wouldn't have happened today.

A believe I may have mentioned I bought a new camera.  An Olympus.  I have always had great luck with the Olympus brand.

We had no train rides today, so we did some sight seeing.  We went to Pea Ridge battlefield.  It was really fun.  Things like that depress me a little, but at least I wasn't looking out of a train window, but that's another story.

We got back here to Springdale and decided to eat lunch.  I had the Olympus in my lap.  I got lazy  and didn't put it in the case. I was going to put it in the back seat, out of sight.  As I was doing this, I it sort of fell, and I heard quite a clunk.  I even remarked that wasn't good.

So when I got it out, the on light was flashing.  I removed the batteries to turn it off.  When I put them back on, I turned it on.  The little "view finder" window on the back was in four parts.  In the upper right and lower left were things the lens captured.  The other corners, who knows. 

I looked in great detail.  The lower left hand corner is spider webbed.  Censored words go here.

I have found a couple of places in Houston who repair this camera.  Most of them want to only work on big, fancy SLR cameras, not little rather fancy point and shoots.  I found a place I could sent it, but repairs are $121.   Now I don't know how they know what's wrong, but...

So I guess I will fall back on the Kodak.  It does a good job, but this little Olympus is really nice.  Sigh!


I was completely wiped out after yesterday's train ride.  We rode from Springdale to Ft Smith.  The scenery was really pretty, but it wasn't Alaska.  And because G wants to argue, and can't hear me either, we ended up like sardines along a wall of the club car we were assigned.  I was miserable.  I felt like I was on a plane.,  You know - coach with 17 inch seats, and I was sitting in a five across row.  That kind of sardine.

There were tables that were "reserved for couples" but Mr Man had charged ahead.  When I tried to tell him, and he snapped and argued, others slipped into those. 

The rail road had just refurbished their dining car, and they were using it.  This train had at least 300 people on it.  A dining car can handle about 50.  Needless to say, things didn't go along well.  When they began service, I didn't want to eat then either - it was 10;45.  G wanted to wait and wait. 

We were getting closer and closer to Ft Smith.  We were to de-train there.  So he decided we would stay on the train while they turned the engines.  The railroad was telling everyone to get off.  This was at noon.  We were not going to be allowed back on the train until 2:30, and it seemed there was no place to eat where the grain stopped

Then we were told we could stay on.  The brakeman said, no he was told everyone off.  This went on for several minutes.  It was a complete madhouse.  Off, no stay on, no off and on and on. 

It finally came down that we could stay on, and yes, we could eat lunch. 

As it turned out, even though I missed visiting the bordello (I saw a guy who bought a t-shirt that said Our bordello still serves visitors), we were certainly more comfortable on the train.

Tomorrow we ride the same car.  The trip is to be shorter.  Rather than 8am to 6 pm, it is to be 8 am to 1 p,m.  I just hope we can get different chairs and a table!

AND we will go home on Sunday.  That will give me Monday thru Wednesday at home in Houston.  Then we are off to the SSB ---- again.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

We're here!

After leaving the Houston at 8:30, we arrived here in Springdale, Arkansas a little after 6.  Years ago, this trip would have killed me.

As usual, I couldn't fall asleep last night. So when the alarm went off at 6, I thought I would die!  I was so sleepy.  I did my best to stay awake on this trip.

I am really so plesantly surprised at our room.  I knew it was going to be a suite.  And it was not more than a regular room where we thought we were going to stay. BUT what they have done is take adjoining rooms and make it a suite.  Talk about a lot of room.

The very, very best however is TWO bathrooms.  I am in heaven.  I have a place for my things, and I don't have to wait for Mr Bathroom Hog! I was going to look through the Alaska pictures because the very first one was a picture of the tiny sink in our room where he had plopped his stuff leaving me no room.  I have my own bath here!  Five nights away from home(s) with my own bathroom.  Yeah!!

Exhaustion is setting in.  Plus this internet is s l o w. 

Monday, June 09, 2014

Strange - well not really

Last night was the "family dinner" time.  We went to Christina's house.  There  was an important Swim Team board meeting, so I took the eldest three to dinner because the time we meet was at the exact same time as the meeting.

When we walked in, the only grandchild out was the gregarious Holden - the two year old.  They also have a new puppy, so I got to meet him.  But the house was strangely quiet.  William and Delaney were no where in sight.  Of course, Reagan immediately headed for William's room to get toys, and Karrington went into the toy room, and the dragging out of toys began.

After a bit,Delaney started peaking around the door to her parent's room.  She never came out.  We sat for over an hour with just the four kids and two dogs.  I really was beginning to believe they had convinced parents to allow them to go to their Nie Nie's house (Christina's mom). 

Finally they were forced to come out to eat.  I was still at the table, and both of them - especially Delaney - warmed a little.  I even got a smile from William.

I know that I have a problem relating to young kids.  I am an only child.  My teaching certification is secondary.  Under about 12, I have a bit of a problem.  In fact - I really like the 12-15 year olds!!

Reagan is 10 and Karrington is 6.  They can still be hard to take for me, but we manage pretty well.  I do know that Christina's mom allows the kids pretty much free rein.  Her dad and step mom I think do the same, and they are with them more.

The old adage about a daughter is a daughter all her life and a son a son until he takes a wife.  That was true of G, and I thought it was just because of his relationship with his mother, but his brother goes to his wife's family more too.  Their kids are closer to those cousins than my kids.  It's the way it seems to be.


I was reading Judy's blog about her granddaughter.  She remarked about all the kids that used to be at her house when her kiddos were young.  That was true around here.  After the Friday night football game, they would be here.  I never knew who would be on my den floor on Saturday morning.  I loved it - and I knew where my kids were.  Other parents could rest more easily also.  They knew their kids were here - and safe.  I do miss those days.  It was really a lot of fun.

My best friend's son and Krissi were close friends.  I used to wish they were dating (and get married) but Jeff is a little too demanding.  He is an Emergency Room doctor now - and owns a couple of medical clinics, but he is separated from wife number two.  Jeff and Krissi would never have made it!

But I digress.  He had a date one night that he took home, then returned here to be with the group.  For some reason his date must have gone out again.  Her mom called Jeff's mom.  She didn't know how to tell this mom that Jeff was spending the night at Krissi's.  We still get quite a chuckle out of that!


And so we are off again tomorrow.  We are headed to Arkansas for yet another train convention.  I worry a bit because we are headed right into the area of severe weather.  At church yesterday, I was talking to a friend about the trip and he told me if I saw a tornado to be sure to get a picture of it for him.  Yeah, right Scott!! Like that will happen!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

At least half of them love me

Grandchildren that is.  When you have six, I guess it's something to have half of them love you, but it really does break my heart.

Krissi's kids are so demonstrative.  They show unconditional love.  Brian's not so much. 

Last Sunday for family dinner, all William  (his 5 year old) could do nothing but hang on Brian crying I don't want to be here.  I want to go home.  Delaney (the three year old daughter) never got close.  Meanwhile, the older ones - Krissi's kids - were all over me.  He finally warmed a bit when they all went out to swim.

Yesterday Brian and family came to swim.  I thought William would be ok.  No. 

We have a  small water slide with the pool.  G and I don't use it anymore, and a few years ago a supposedly great plumbing company while doing other work damaged the pipes that run out and around the pool to the slide.  It HAS to have water going down it.

Usually, if a child isn't a swimmer, I don't allow them to use the slide.  These kids, with the exception of the two year old, won't even let water splash in their faces.  But they wanted to go down if Brian would catch them.  Last week the older ones, who are all on either/and/or swim team and water polo were using it. 

We terry-rigged the hose down slide, and I set about doing that again with Brian's help.  William, who is sure is KNOWS everything, was going to try to hook up the slide to the outlet at the slide.  Even when I told him that didn't work  was determined that was the fix.

When he got on the slide, he moved the end of the hose each and every time he was up there.  When his sister came up, she got scared and wanted down.  She couldn't do anything but go down the slide because he was right on the top step.  When told to get down - you guessed it.  He was told to not even go up the ladder when someone was getting ready to slide.  Might as well have been talking to the pecan tree behind him

He finally sat on the diving board.  The hose was laid over the board.  And I will swear, he had a look of glee on his face when he picked up that hose and crimped it off just as Delaney was going to go down.  We had told them over and over that the water had to be on and covering the slide because the fiberglass would give them a terrible burn if not.  Katie was going down with Karrington last week, and her ankle got too close to the side.

Well - William just sulked and pouted because I scolded him.  I have mentioned before that they are pretty much allowed to "run wild."

After coming in - he would not get within 8 feet of me.  He stayed in Brian's lap.  He wanted a blanket, and Brian MADE him come to me to ask.  He just mumbled the whole time.

I have a toy chest here for the kids.  He has asked Christina to take some of the toys home before and I really think this time he snuck some out without saying anything.

I guess he doesn't know what to do with grandparents who allow them to do whatever they want.  I don't and I won't.  Two weeks ago, he was shooting the little nerf bullets into Kristine's kitchen (they belonged to Reagan) and into the food.  I was the one who stopped that.

Guess I am the grandmother from hell!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Get fit

I really need to do something.  I have been sedentary far too long.  Walking is difficult because of my disintegrating back.  The sciatica I have had for about forty years is just made worse by the disintegrating disks.  So I don't walk far before the pain is just too much,

Our strange weather (we have only had two ninety degree days since January) has kept the pool cold.  When I was younger, I could stand the cold water.  I would be in the pool by the first of May at the latest.  Not this year.  So I haven't had that.  I don't want to go to a gym to swim.  The folks that inhabit gyms are those that don't need to be there.  They are already buff and toned.  I know - that's how they got that way, but they are also too judgemental.

So - I have ordered Yoga for beginners.  I am not able to get on the floor.  The way I can get up is to get on my knees, and when I think of that Dr Frost's words echo in my head (titanium and the thin bone of the knee cap don't mix - don't kneel unless there is a lot of padding).  So the traditional yoga they did for years at church wasn't for me. 

Krissi has gotten into this Beach Body thingie.  She and Steve have lost mega weight, but their workouts are not for me!  They are rough, and it is standing - floor - standing - floor - and repeat for 30 minutes. 

They have a program I have been looking for and not able to find a class close by.  I have been wanting to do Tai Cheng forever.  So I paid the exorbitant price associated with anything body building wise and ordered it.  Since she has signed on to be a "coach," she gets a cut from my order, and by ordering the big pack - she can buy the Shakeology from me.  After reading the ingredients today after opening the package, I can't use it anyway with my :( gout.  (Bah humbug.  If it's not one thing its another.  Getting old isn't for wimps.)

So even though I hate the name of the group with all these programs that you have probably seen on TV like T25, P90x3 or something like that, I am not looking for a beach body!  I want the benefits of the Tai Cheng. 

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

So, went to the dotors (yes - plural)

Started off my morning with the good old cancer fighting drug in my left eye.  They surely can find some unexpected results from drugs!  So I have my usual eye crud from all the things they put in the eye to numb it.  And from just flat messing with it!  So please excuse typos (I know I usually have them with no excuse) because I really can't see the page well!

Then I went downstairs to the foot doc.  We were 45 minutes early, but went on in anyway.  This doctor has the receptionist from hell.  When personalities were handed out, she was behind a door some place.

So to cut to the chase, when I finally got in, and the assistant finally tamed the reluctant computer, and I got an x-ray, the doctor walked in.  She looked at my foot, and immediately announced that I have gout.  What did I eat two weeks ago.  And the tight shoes were probably the precipitating factor in this situation. According to the sheet she gave me I can eat basically the grass in the yard.  I can have lettuce, but very little dressing.  Fresh vegetables and fruits.  White meat chicken and turkey,  Fresh carrot juice,  Fresh cherries (??  they aren't cheap in these parts) Vegetable Soup. 

But NO mushrooms, asparagus, shrimp, Caviar (darn!), mussels, fried food, organ meats, game meats (?????), That is just a partial list of the no-nos.  I am in a world of hurt, both from my foot hurting and the things I CAN have and those I can't. 

Thought I would share a picture  So here goes: (and it's not just a fat foot!)