Saturday, December 31, 2016

Good bye and good riddance

2016 cannot end fast enough. Just about 5 hours left, and that's too much.

In addition to all the horrid things that have occurred, yesterday topped them all.

G was getting ready to go out hunting when a stranger appeared at our door.  He introduced himself as one of my SIL's hunters.  He said he thought something was wrong at her house, so he went in.
He found her on the floor in the hall and she was unresponsive.

She was dead.  And it appeared she had been dead for a couple of days.  Since she lives alone - out here at the end of the earth, no one knew.

We spent the afternoon/ evening there.  We had EMS, the sheriff, the Justice of the Peace, and the mortuary there.

We tried to find her good for nothing drug head son.  We located his father who knew where he was.  They came up about 10pm.  We had left, but G went back just before they got there.  And I wanted to tell one of the hunters something, and G didn't answer his phone.  So I was there also when they arrived.

We both left again about 11.  The hunters had built a fire and were around it.  They said the drug head came out of the house waving a piece of paper that was the will and dancing around.  Later he yelled this is mine, all mine.  He didn't care that his mother had just died.

They ransacked the house and grabbed anything that they could take to be pawned.  They were totally drunk - Drug head and his girlfriend each had a gallon of vodka they were carrying around with them,  DH looked at one of the hunters and said "this is f***ing over, and you are f***out of here.

Those hunters treated SIL like she was their mother.  They did so much for her.  The one guy was absolutely traumatized by his discovery.  Another had said he was going to take the dog and the two cats.  Druggie managed to get the dog away and sped off (drunk and drugged up) into the night with SIL's truck packed to the maximum.  The hunter asked about the cats and he replied
"F**k them, leave the door open and let the coyotes get them"

I was reeling from just the discovery, but when I learned of Druggie's behavior this morning, I was physically ill.

This year needs to end.  NOW.  I just had to vent.  I cannot believe anyone would act like this.  Guess I was really wrong.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

To all, Happy Holidays.  To so many that greeting is not correct, but I grew up in a neighborhood that had a large Jewish population.  So we celebrated the Christian as well as the Jewish holidays!  Now the country is more diverse, and there are other holidays.  I saw it well put when someone says they say "Happy Holy-Days."  I like that!

Many things have transpired around here.  All the running around shopping and the like. One of the greatest was being able to get together with two old/new friends.  We met and became close when we all attended our previous church.  When you add our girls and their kids, there were 13 of us for a lunch meeting.  It was a grand time.

When my labs came back from my physical, all were really good - with one exception.  My TSH was out of limits, but the T3 and T4 were good.  While not critical, there is something causing that number to be wonky, so I had an ultrasound done on my thyroid.  With the holidays, I don't really know when to expect the results, but I am curious about those!

Hope your holidays are wonderful.  We, as usual, will be headed off again for the SSB.  Am I thrilled - no. But ...

See you next year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Blown away

First - let me apologize for the red highlight in yesterday's post.  I don't know how it got there, and I surely didn't know how to get rid of it!  So you had to read through it.  I am so sorry.

Last night was wonderful.  Once a band mom - always a band mom, even if you are a grandmom!

I am trying to find a picture of the whole beginning band, but I would bet there are close to 100 kiddos in that band.  I showed my son (who was band from 6th to 12th grades) the picture.  He was also amazed at the pure number of kids.  He went to the same schools by the way.

We got there a little early, and the director was working with the band.  They had only had one rehearsal as a full band prior to last night's concert.  So he was running through some spots with the band.  They sounded so good.  Now there were a few blip notes - a trombone and a trumpet that I could pick out, but overall they were absolutely great!

It made me so happy to see that the music (band really - haven't seen the choir) program is doing so well.  I urged Reagan to stay with it, and he said he would because he liked it!  Great news.  I really hope he stays like this.

Other than that, all is about the same.  With the arrival of one package, which is really a birthday present for my daughter on the 18th my shopping is done.

G is going to be able to go back to the SSB with our son.  He is going to be able to do some hunting again.  He hasn't had any venison in a couple of years.  To those who don't like hunting, we do not trophy hunt at all.  In fact, we call our son the "mercy killer."  Almost every deer he has ever killed is one who had a serious injury.  We have so many deer on our place, and it is a semi-arid climate which means forage is often (too often) scarce.  We have more deer die from malnutrition and/or old age than are ever taken.  And all the meat us used.  Nothing goes to waste.

So it will be a fun weekend for them, and a QUIET one for me.  Yea!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Big Night! (Relatively speaking)

My eldest grandson is in sixth grade.  This is where they can qualify for band.

So why is this a big deal?  Well, apparently my grandmother was quite a piano player.  She learned "by ear" and though I never heard her, I will take my dad's word for it.  I began piano at six, continuing until I was sixteen.  At that point,  I switched to the organ.  I was the assistant organist, moving into the position of organist two years later.  I have been an organist off an on since then.
My dad began his passion for music in his 80's.  He took up organ lessons and became pretty good!  Especially when he began showing signs of dementia.  My son began band in the sixth grade, playing the trumpet.  He ended with a partial college scholarship with that.  He now has his own band, and plays at the Houston BBQ cook-off and other venues.  
Now we have another musician!!!

I bring this up because his band concert tonight.  Sunday night at Family Dinner,he asked me if I would be coming.  He had such pride in his invitation!!  He was just glowing.

I will move heaven and earth to make that concert. I want to support him with everything I have because I know he doesn't get much support on his music.  His dad is completely gung-ho sports.  He was honestly upset when Reagan went into band.  I won't go much more into detail with this.  I just think there are a lot of more important things in life that being a jock.  I am not sure the boy really likes sports.  Even though his father thinks he is the greatest athlete that ever walked the face of the earth - he doesn't like to run!   He is his happiest playing video games.  And that's why my daughter has him playing water polo.  No running, but physical activity is there.

So I will be there cheering him on.  Hoping that since he will have had a tooth filled this afternoon - his mouth isn't numb because he plays the euphonium, and those lips are sooooo important!!

Monday, December 12, 2016


The little local med center where I have most of my doctors can be a mess!!  It consists of a fairly small hospital, and two medical buildings.  There.  Is.  Not.  Sufficient. Parking!!!

I had to go for my mammogram today.  This is a follow-up because seven months ago, the doctor at the office was comparing my mammograms to find a small calcification.  That is a huge red flag for a breast cancer survivor.  So I had to go back.

Now that visit was supposed to be a six months.  When I called Dr.  Poison's office, I never got a return.  That is a large practice with several offices around the Greater Houston area.  So you go to the main switchboard to leave a message for the nurse.  You never know if that message got there.  And apparently. mine didn't.

It was just before Thanksgiving, and, gee, everyone KNOWS that time is so plentiful around Thanksgiving.  I got another letter reminding me about making an appointment after Thanksgiving.  Now I don't know why I needed a referral from Dr. Poison - he didn't think the calcification was a big deal in the first place, and it was the radiologist there that did the recall, but I called again - rather incensed about not getting a call back the first time.  To cut to the chase - I got the referral sent by fax.

And that brings us to today.  At one time, I fought to get the first available appointments of the day.  Parking, I thought, was easier.  Well, when I had to take some appointments around noon, I found that THAT's the time to schedule.  This one today was at 2:30, and I hoped my luck would hold.  Wrong.  Wrong.  Wrong.  There wasn't a parking place to be had.  We were circling the incredibly small parking lots like vultures.  I was really incensed by the independent ambulances who were parked in the handicapped spaces.  Their patients were not going to be walking to the ambulance.  It would move to the curb to pick them up.

Tempers (yes, mine included) were flaring.  I called G because I didn't take my appointment book with the phone for the clinic.  I was going to tell them there was no way I could get there because I couldn't park!  Suddenly a truck was leaving.  I told him if the car that appeared from the other direction was going to try to take that space I would hit them!  He said he would stay on the line to see if I got shot!

But I got there.  Got the mammogram done.  All is well - at least for at least six months (but hopefully a year since this one was good!

Now my PCP has the results of my blood work.  And I need to see her.  Surprise.  I can tell you what she is going to say, and I am not going to like it.  Not one bit!

Monday, December 05, 2016


I really thought it was too good to be true.  When I called last week and got an appointment for today, I really thought that was just too good to be true.  And apparently, is was!

When I got there and signed in, I was told she has someone in the 10:10 spot.  As she checked - I wasn't on ANY date.  This really hit me hard.  Today is a bad one for most of us here.  It is rainy (with street flooding - not usual) and cold.  I was thinking I trekked all that way in this miserable weather...

She then said she would try to work me in, handing me the book into which I was to write my autobiography.  These booklets we produce often leave me  wondering.  As I was diligently entering all of the vital information, she said they could only check out one shoulder - not both.  One IS better than nothing.  My right shoulder was hurting so much last night, I thought I wold have to sleep in my blouse, bra, and camisole.  I couldn't lift my arm above the breast line much less over my head.

I got called back, and to my surprise, none of the nurses proceeded to ask me any of
the million questions I had just given in my booklet!  Things moved along quite handily.  I was whisked back to -ray where things went along quite well until the seated x-ray.  I simply was too stiff to handily get my head out of the picture!

When the doctor came in, he rotated both shoulders.  The left having no x-rays to look at seems to be basically "frozen."  I got exercises for that.  The right has a combination of arthritis (geesh t is hard to get old!) and a small tear in the rotator cuff.  I had already made up my mind there would be no surgery on the arm, but he said I wasn't a candidate anyway.

I left the office with a pamphlet and an injection of cortisone in my right shoulder.  After the holidays, I think I will see if we can't get the poor old left one treated also.

This is the week of visiting doctors.  Tomorrow is the eye injection.  Nothing makes your week like having a needle stuck in your eye!  Thursday is a "physical" with this new primary.  I think I like him, but I am so accustomed to my other doctors, I am a little worried.  They are all aware of how crazily my body works.  This cortisone injection will have to be noted when the blood work is analyzed.  It will raise my blood sugar.  My blood sugar is JUST out of normal range, but it as stayed the same for over 10 years.  With the spike that will show - I don't know what this new one is going to try to do.  I don't want any new meds.

Since my oncologist FINALLY called in the orders for the new mammogram since the regular one showed a small calcification, I probably can work that in this week also.  So more poking, prodding, and smashing are in my future.  And there is my week!  Four out of five days will be in a physician's office!

Friday, December 02, 2016

And so on

Today was a nice day.  Pedicures, then haircuts.  Love it  Afterward we went to the grocery store.  That used to be a real trial.  Walking through the store was so hard on my back.  They have the wonderful new service.  You go on-line, order what you want, set the time you want to pick it up, then arrive at the store.  You call the number telling them the space you are in, how you are paying, and they BRING YOU YOUR GROCERIES!!!!  I am so in love with that service!  AND it keeps me from impulse buying.  My grocery bill is going down, down, down.  You get three "free" trips like this, and then it is $4.99.  That is such a good price for what I am getting for the bucks!

I know I am aging into pretty much an old grump about a lot of things, but people on social media are worse than I.  There is an on-line social site called Next Door.  It is pretty much nationwide so you may have heard of it.  They are neighborhood specific and meant to be a place where local happenings are posted.  In the last two days, I have seen such hatred there.  Actually the same goes for Facebook.  This is a really sad time.  I am making a bigger effort to be more positive now.  I don't want to be the old woman who is always mean.

I am awaiting the avalanche of packages as I have ordered all gifts on-line ... again!  Am  I becoming a recluse? Sure seems like it.

Next week are doctor's appointments again.  I got into an ortho doc that I had been to with my knees.  He referred me to his partner for surgery.  The ortho surgeon is the one who had a heart attack and died shortly after my last knee.  I think both shoulders have impingement issues and cause a lot of pain, but after reading more about impingements I don't think there is anything that can be done about it.

I need exercise, but with the deteriorating back problems I can't walk far, and with the impingements, I can't really swim.  Swimming is one of the things that causes the problem in the first place.  I discovered this summer that swimming really hurts.  This is a bummer!!!

And with the Debbie Downer stuff at the end - I wish you a great weekend!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

We made it

Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.  Hope you ate until you popped, and then just vegetated the afternoon away!

We are here at the SSB, and the throng of relatives have all gone home.  At one point, we had 12 humans, two dogs, and one cat within out 1700 (about) square foot house.  For the most part,  the weather cooperated, and (remember - my family hunts because we like venison) there was always  one or two out hunting.

The only hiccup was that my daughter and family were trying to leave on Thanksgiving Day as soon as possible.  They had a wedding on Friday.  That is a strange day for a wedding, but then the bride is a strange one anyway.  I was surprised there was such a push to go to this event.  The bride has caused all sorts of problems.  She is a nutcase who really caused my eldest granddaughter problems.
I will never again, however, have dinner ready at noon on Thanksgiving again.  It was totally rushed.  I had a ham that was supposed to cook in the slow cooker for 6 hours.  With a normal dinner time, no problem.  At noon - I had to put it in the night before, and it was completely over cooked and basically ruined.  Never.  Again.
I was a little worried about the time we were together.  There is a BIG political divide in the family, but nothing was said at all.  Each newscast did worry me, however!
And so now we are cleaning up the remains of a total of eight days with people here.  That is a considerable mess.  Our septic is rather small, so I am worried about that.  After uncounted numbers of dishwasher runnings, showers, and general use, I am trying to spread out the uses of the washing machine.  Today it is the mountain of towels.
So now we are on to the Christmas season.

Monday, November 07, 2016

As close as it gets

I strive and will continue to strive to keep politics COMPLETELY out if this venue.  This one is as close as it will come because it applies to both of the sides.

I worry about what is going to happen after tomorrow.  This crazy campaign has caused so much hatred in this nation.  Lies are taken as the absolute truths.

Even our family, as tightly knit as I once thought, has been split by this campaign.  There are hurts that I don't believe will ever heal.  The chasm is so deep.

We are the laughing stock of the world.  I heard today that other nations are looking at this fiasco and laughing.  And why shouldn't they?

I am afraid things will never be the same again.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

This and that

Nothing really spectacular has been happening in these parts recently.  I just had nothing to say/post!  But that changed on Friday.

Before that - ending DLST.  I don't care which way we mess with the time, I am tired afterward.  I should be highly refreshed and good to go, but I am dragging.  I am so close to completion of Steven King's marathon novel  Needful Things, but I cannot keep my eyes open to finish it.  It is working like a sleeping pill.  But I will bet you that if I tried to read it TO go to sleep, it wouldn't work that way.  Melatonin or whatever - when insomnia hits, it hits hard.

Now Friday!  My pantry has been updated.  I had my contractor get his cabinet guy to make the pull out drawers to go on the shelves.  I haven't been able to get to the back of the lowest and next to lowest shelves in way over 10 years.

Getting ready for the installation of the shelves, I pulled everything out.  Some of it was just flat disgusting.  The only way I could have reached it before was getting on the floor.  Nice if I were still 60.  There is no way for me to get up from a tile floor these days.  I would have to kneel, and my beloved (deceased) orthopedist told me the only way I could get on my knees was with a well-padded surface, and he didn't like that either.  He said that padding the patella between outside sources and the titanium knee is never very successful.  The patella tends to crack.

So this weekend I have been putting the rescued items back into the pantry.  I knew all along I would be minus a couple of inches because of the glides for the drawers.  That was a pretty good swap for me.  What I didn't realize was that even though glass bottles and all could go right up to the outside, I would still run out of room for what had been in the pantry.  And this is even after discarding a lot of stuff that was outdated.  (the old out of sight - out of mind thing, only it was out of reach - pretty much out of mind)

My biggest offender in the pantry is duplicate herbs and spices.  Who in their right mind needs three bottles of cloves?  Well - I guess I needed some cloves three times, and couldn't find them.  Who needs three bottles of molasses?  Again, I guess I did three times.  Those things just pushed themselves into the deep dark recesses of that pantry.

I am still going to have a problem with the herbs and spices.  They all nestle down into that drawer with its four-inch sides (thus covering the labels completely) unless I do something.  So I have come up with my next (as if I needed a next) project.  I am going to make labels to go on the lids of these items.  At least I might have a fighting chance.

So - next week, I will be busy making labels!  I will let you know how that comes out!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Glad I am retired

The best thing about being retired is that every day is a holiday or Sunday.  That's good because Sundays are my busiest day it seems!

Yesterday began with church.  That is the norm again after a time when we didn't go regularly.

After church, G suggested we stop for lunch, which I wasn't really wanting to do.  I wanted to pick something up and head for home because I had to get Family Dinner started.  And, of course, church was late getting out.  I was on a tight schedule.  The crockpot time for the pork was 6 hours, and I was barely going to make it!

We got home, and I immediately got the two (!!) pork loins and the seasoning into the crockpot all the while relieved that they both fit into one pot.  I do two because two of the grandchildren are teens.  Katie, the swimmer/water polo player, eats everything that isn't nailed down.  She works it off in the pool.  Reagan is a typical teen boy, but he could cut down a little on the groceries because he is not active.  I will never say that to anyone else - I could skip some groceries myself!

I had gotten a big amount of fresh green beans at the grocery store, and I put them in the second crockpot (so glad I kept it).  The reason for the crockpot cookery is that we were going to a local symphony!

I got the salad together, the rolls out of the freezer and everything set out in case we were late coming back -and the kids could just get the things together for the final dinner.

We went to the symphony.  It was delicious!  That may be a strange description, but it has been SO long since I have been to a live symphony program.  The program featured a well-known violinist.  He was so great.  His performance gave me chills and moved me to tears ar some points.  It was such a wonderful experience.

We left at intermission so we would make it home on time, and wouldn't you know it - all the kids were LATE!  Oh, well.

The teens hit the food the minute they walked in.  Then slowly everyone else made their plates.  I was the last to eat, and there was about 1/4 cup of beans left!  I can't believe they were consumed like that.  I would have thought they would have fed 20 rather than 10 (really 7 because I had not eaten, William (8) and Delaney (6) also had not eaten).  There was plenty of pork and salad, but the beans were gone!

Unfortunately, I had to use my teacher's voice.  I try to not use that anymore, but when you use it for 29 years, it is still in the background.  The youngest two boys (8 and 5) were getting way to boisterous (apt term!).  I asked them to stop throwing a shoe at each other once - in a normal tone.  When they kept it up, nearly knocking over the lamp and did a glass, that's when teacher Karen came out.  I know William (the 8) doesn't really like me because I am not the sweet NieNie (his other grand) who will let him pretty much get away with anything.  Well - I am not that person.  When he reaches the limit - which doesn't seem to be within him because the other maternal grands (divorce there) also let him run wild.  I am the veteran of three others that I kept as babies.  They know there are rules of behavior, and I have warmed the butts of at least two of them.

I really hate to be the one who disciplines.  Will I do it again?  In. A. Heartbeat,  It is like with my own kids - I am not your friend, you have plenty of those.  Even as a grandparent, I feel that I am also somewhat responsible for teaching them.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Hello - not from Hawaii

We are not in Hawaii as was the plan.  And a plan I was worried about from its inception.  I had a bad feeling about this trip.

We got to the airport on Tuesday, went through security without an incident - which for me is amazing - then all hell broke loose.

We were to fly out of gate 45.  That gate was at the end of the airport.  I almost made the entire trek without stopping, but I finally had to sit!  We were, of course, two hours early.  The joys of flying.

We were sitting there reading (and starving since it was 1pm and lunch was to be on the plane), when the announcement was made that we would be boarding out of Gate 18,

One must remember we were at the Houston Intercontinental Airport.  It.  Is.  Huge.  So off we went. We got about half way (probably a mile - no kidding!) when my back decided I had abused it enough.  I stopped at the handicapped area and said I needed to go the rest of the way on a cart.  You see, Gate 18 was at the OPPOSITE end of the airport.

When we got there, it was wall to wall people.  That was when I really got a bad feeling.  The gate we were supposed to be in was not to Los Angeles but to Orange County.  The next one was to Washington.

To cut to the chase - our plane was over an hour late.  Normally that would be just a minor irritation.  In this case - a disaster.  We wouldn't make out connecting flight to Hilo.  Apparently, we were not the only ones on the flight to LA because they told us to go to customer service (and that is most definitely an oxymoron),

G trudged off to Customer (dis)Service.  We were told we (1) would be put up in a hotel if we missed our connection and fly our the next day, or (2) we could fly to LA, change planes and fly to San Francisco, then change planes and fly to Honolulu, and then change planes and fly to Hilo.  We save our pennies and fly first class because we don't fit into the 18 inch seats in coach.  Yes, it is horribly expensive, but we simply don't fly often (wonder why).  We would not have our first class seats with any of the choices offered.

SO - we cancelled the flight.  Getting our checked luggage back took another two hours.  Son in law came back and brought us home.

What a nightmare that was.  I was a little relieved I have to admit.  I don't know what the rest of the trip would have had in store for us.  It could have gotten so much better, or this could have just been the beginning.  Who knows, but I am in the comfort of my own home, sleeping in my own bed!

Monday, September 19, 2016


Got the cortisone injection on Friday!  It has helped so much.  I am not completely pain-free because there are other problems in my back, but the sciatica is so much better.

Things are about the same around here.  I saw the physician who will be my new primary today.  I like him - it's just he wants to do a yearly physical.  Do. Not. Like. Those.  But then I guess I will live through them.  I have been going to so many specialists for so long, I forget about a primary care one!

Tomorrow is my eye injection - one of my favorite things to do.  Just can't wait for that one.

Then it's off to the SSB - again.  I so want to stay home, but that isn't an option.  Geesh.

Then on the 4th is the trip to Hawaii.  I KNOW I should be excited, and I am a little since I am not in such pain, but once again - I wish we were just staying home.

So that's my life.  Isn't it exciting?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Visit to pain doc

Friday I will have the cortisone injection for my back.  The shoulder is going to wait.  I will see (a new) orthopedist (since I seem to not be able to keep one - either death or retirement gets them).  There will be a major body check with him.

The big (horrible) surprise is that my blood pressure is up again.  It has been so good for so long.  Yesterday it was so high.  And that news kept me awake most of the night.

Monday I see a new (primary) physician.  Another to add to my list.

This getting old - and having doctors retire or die -  isn't for weaklings!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Relief soon?

I am really undecided about the Turmeric and its effectiveness for pain relief.  Things were going fairly well until last night and today.  The relief is not there.

I have always had trouble falling asleep.  When the house gets quiet, my brain is on high alert.  I simply cannot shut it off.  My son is the same way.  We really understand each other.  The rest of the family has no clue, but we know.  When my arthritis really flares as it has been last night and today, sleep just doesn't come.  I cannot get comfortable.

I am not sure if the left shoulder might be a rotator cuff tear.  That was once the diagnosis, but I certainly didn't trust that guy.  He wasn't going to do an arthroscopic surgery.  He was going to go "old school" and lay my shoulder open.  Hmmmm.  No!  AND he was just way too eager to start cutting on me.  His office called after I said I wanted to think about it (I was just trying to be nice and get out!) and wanted to schedule me.  Don't think so.  That was nearly 8 years ago - just before William was born.

Last night I was ready to do ANYTHING however.  Today in church it just was aching terribly.

Tuesday I go to the pain doctor.  I told her before I didn't want the meds, but I think I am changing my mind.  I know she can schedule me for the cortisone injections very quickly.  Then I know she will prescribe PT.  I remember the exercises from PT for my back, but when I tried the one that felt so good the last time it was painful, and the pain remained for a day or so.

So here I sit.  Aching, moaning, and complaining to you once again.  I never understood the old saying "if I had known I would live this long - and that I would feel this way - I would have taken better care of myself!"  How true, how true!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Better mood, lousy pain

I am sure I am in such a bad mood so often is the continual pain I am in.  I am trying something new - especially with all the news reports on NAISD pain relievers.  I am trying Turmneric capsules.  I only began last night, so I cannot say yea or nay.  For a while - and when I went to bed it seemed I had a good deal of relief.  Right now (5 pm) that is not the case at all.  I tried to sit at the embroidery machine for a while and only lasted 45 minutes.  Negotiating the stairs was a really scary thing to do because I was afraid I would fall since it hurt so to move.  I will try more capsules in just a bit.

Travel - I still don't really want to do it, but I am not as rabid about it as I was.  I especially do not like to fly.  It isn't because I am afraid of flying.  Not at all.  I just hate going through TSA.  I am tired of being wanded, patted down and the like because I have titanium knees.  Of course,  there is the never to be forgotten time at LAX with Katie was 5 (now 15) when I shut down the whole airport.  The idiot at the curb didn't give out 6 boarding passes, and the little girl was too busy flirting at the first check-point so when I got to the final concourse with the e-ray machine that was a real security breach.

I don't mind relatively short flights.  It is the loong ones that kill me.  Sitting with my knees flexed for a long period of time is very painful.  So with the airlines wanting to transport us like cattle on a cattle truck I don't have the luxury of stretching out my legs.

All else around here is the same.One day just flows into another and time is racing by.

Have a good one.

Friday, September 02, 2016

I am back!

And the computer is better than new!!  At least I guess it is.  It was pretty bad when I had Mike work on it, and then I had to use the OLD Dell which I am afraid is on its last legs.  This one speeds along.  He cleaned up some things and talked me into a solid state hard drive.  Wow!  It now loads so fast and moves so fast.  Best money spent ever!

Let's see - what have I done.  Well, we went to the Lutheran Gathering in New Orleans,  I wasn't so much blown away with this one.  And getting around would have been fine - IF I were 30 years younger.  The Convention Center there is about three blocks long.  I.  Don't. (Can't) Do. Three. Blocks.  My knees and back simply prohibit that.  With the stenosis, degeneration, and sciatica I can simply forget that kind of walking.

The buses would let us off at one end of the place - where registration and the services were.  To get to any of the sessions, you had to go the second floor and at the other end of the place.  I really hated it.

I love Cajun food, but every night for a week wore thin.  G liked the little place across the street from the hotel, so that's where we went.  Got my fill of fish for a long, long time.  I have never been a big fish eater anyway.

We headed back on the Monday after the Gathering.  That's the day after the heavy flooding in Baton Rouge.  On the train, they said if we could get past Lafayette we would be good.  We did, but the waters were high!

Then a few days later it was off to the SSB.

To make my complaints complete I have to add another.  I shouldn't complain about this one, but once again - if I were 30 years younger I would be excited.  G has us to go to Hawaii.  He simply doesn't understand that with my arthritis and other joint problems I DO NOT enjoy traveling.  I really do not want to go.

So I made an appointment with my pain doctor.  I know I can't get the PT in before this trip.  And before I told her I didn't want the pain meds, but I really believe I am going to change my mind this time.  I just hurt too badly.  It's terrible to be set to go to such a beautiful place and hate the thought.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Really quickly

Having to use wonky back up computer until other one is fixed.

Been gone a lot - SSB and New Orleans

Otherwise - same old stuff with lots of rain coming down.

See ya' next week, I hope!

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

What a week it was!

My daughter's family is home, and so is their dog.  She spent the week with us.  She is an 11-12 year old Boxer who had been with them for about 6 years.  Our vet rescued her after the puppy mill breeder dumped her alongside the road. She has the canine equivalent of ALS.  The nerves in her spine are losing their covering sheaths and eventually she will be paralyzed.  But everyone here enjoyed her with the exception of the cat!  Things were going fine - until Thursday of last week.

Shadow is fed his wet food at 9pm.  That night, he decided he would "slink" back through the entry hall.  By this time Princess had become very comfortable here.  She had been "protecting" her new home all day.  So when she saw this creature slinking through the shadows, she was on the attack.  That made Clyde attack too. She moved so quickly - it was amazing.  Her partially paralyzed left leg moved just fine!  Normally Clyde just lets Shadow bite him on the butt and goes on.   That was the end of it all for the cat.  He wouldn't venture into the den on his own!   He is so happy she went home yesterday.

The pinnacle of the week was my main laptop deciding it wasn't going to load.  Fortunately I had backed up almost everything, but still it is a bad, bad thing.  I have the wonky Dell that I keep upstairs for loading the embroidery designs onto USB sticks when I want to use them, but it's getting VERY old!

I found it will load in Safe Mode, but that isn't the answer.  I called my computer guru.  He is busy for the rest of this week and will be out of town next week.  Well, so will we so I guess that means when we all get back I will have him look at it.

In trying to recover things from the computer, I discovered that I had NOT been backing up my most recent genealogy work.  I was going to use this one to do more this week, but I have apparently lost about a month of work.  Even though the backup on the "down" computer said it was the recent work - it wasn't.  There was supposed to be a backup on a disc, but guess what - it didn't.  At least all the embroidery designs both already files and those recently downloaded that have to be worked are untouched.

Next week we will be in New Orleans.  It is the Lutheran Gathering.  It brings Lutherans from all over the country for meetings and worship.  We went to another many years ago that was in the Lutheran Mecca - Minneapolis.  This is quite an event, and since it was so close we are going.  Plus we have so many "miles" from Amtrak, we get a free sleeper.  We don't need it for sleeping since the trip is only about 9 hours, but it will be so much more comfortable.  Plus this means meals are included.

So we are preparing for a week in New Orleans.  I just wish I were younger.  Our last vacation there was 45 years ago.  I don't think this will be a similar trip.

Now I have to see how Princess is adapting to being home after Grandma and Pa spoiled her rotten!

Friday, July 29, 2016

It's Junior Olympics time again

When Katie went to her first JO meeting, I was blown away!  I didn't realize the Texas teams consist of any athlete who is still breathing.  If you are from California, you have to MAKE the team, and the competition is stiff.  But regardless, it is a great event.

They are in San Jose again this year.  The competition alternates between Southern California and Northern California.  So events other than the games will be those around the San Francisco area - like Muir Woods.

This year there is a bit of a change.  Since this is the year of the Olympics, the USA Women Water Polo team played a game there.  They played Russia at the Standford Natatorium.  That was exciting for the JO girls.

Katie had the experience of her young life last night.  SHE got to play in the main pool at Standford.  And they won!!  It is unusual for a Texas team to beat a California team.  Water Polo is just beginning here in any strength.  There it is a way of life!

It was an exciting night for grandma too.  A couple of people were live-streaming the game.  It didn't go without a hitch.  My computer kept spooling the feed, and for some reason, the entire fourth quarter didn't come through.  But it was so great watching them.  The Texas (Viper Pigeon) girls played well.  If they had played like this at our state competition I really believe they would be state champs.

So those of us here, it is babysitting one of the dogs.  We have Princess,  the first Boxer rescue I got them.  She is about 11 now and has a condition that affects older large dogs - Boxers in particular.  We lost my Simone to this condition.  It is a nerve disintegration in the spine and they lose control over their back legs.  It ends with the dog not being able to walk.

They were concerned about her being in boarding.  They didn't think she would do well.  Before we got her here, they said she pretty much just laid around.  I was worried about Shadow because she did try to attack some kittens last year.

At first, she didn't move a lot.  THEN she got comfortable.  She does run.  When it's potty time, she is running at full speed!  She will falter a bit, but she is full out.  Shadow had been fine until last night.  He tried to get around the dogs but attracted their attention.  EVEN  CLYDE!  The next days may not go as easily as the previous ones.  She is getting way too comfortable.

But we will see.  Meantime - go Katie!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

And the saga goes on

Monday, we killed two snakes in the grass.  There was one other, but we would have gone to prison for killing that one.  That one was the neighbor who used to be so helpful.  Have you ever heard the term he was so sweet that "sugar wouldn't melt in his mouth?"  Well - that was/is this guy.  Until he decides he is going to screw you.  Sorry but that's the best descriptor I can think of at this point.  Yes, he is at it again.

When he knew no one, he was so helpful and kind.  He was the interloper in a county of family members.  The first one he drew down on was his neighbor to the south.  Reggie was fairly young at the time, and he had gotten a huge chunk of land from his dad.  He didn't really know much about cattle and didn't handle that situation well.  We had his cattle when we first put up the house, and I swore I would NEVER let him lease again.  His cattle ate all the grass, and they were starving.  When you have a herd of cattle staring at you in the house and their mouths are full of prickly pear thorns, it breaks your heart.  So Gene went after him.

His latest is that he is trying to deny easement to everyone through his property.  Our big problem is that when my FIL bought our property from Reggie's dad, they didn't draw up a formal easement.  It was just understood.  Then came in big city trouble.  Our attorney says we have no problem because we have been using the road for way too many years for Gene to revoke our right.  He is even going after Reggie however who does have a 30-foot easement.

At our cattle guard, the road is only about 20 feet.  Gene has put stakes at the side of what he is giving.  He is really trying to force us into putting in a new road by limiting our turning space.

This all came to a head this weekend when the guy came to pick up Rusty.  He couldn't swing his trailer into the cattle guard.  So the stakes were taken down, and he did go on to Gene's property.  This is where the hogs rooted it up last year.

Gene called us Monday about it.  He was upset (mild term), and said "he drove into my pasture.  That ground has grass burrs and cactus.  Nothing. Else.  Then he said he would "let it go THIS TIME,

At one time, this snake in the grass, when he knew no one else, would have even helped.  Now he is just a jackass.

His legal fight with Reggie is still in the hands of the attorneys.   This is a year that the attorneys were going to "talk about it."  This is going to cost them $$$$.  Gene should just give it up.  Reggie was just elected County Commissioner.  If it goes to trial, a local boy, relative to most, and recently elected County Commissioner is going to prevail I really believe.  But in the meantime, he is driving us mad.

And Gene wonders why the folks up there don't sell to outsiders.  Sure wish they had followed suit with this one.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Becoming an old grump

We are midway in the stay at the SSB.  In this heat, G, in his glorious wisdom, had decreed that we will stay only as long as absolutely necessary.  That term is five days!  He must have heard me remark that he can read a book at home as easily as he can here!  And the pool is at home.

We sold the old farm truck.  We bought Rusty a number of years ago to use around here for odd jobs.  He came by his name for a good reason.  He was very rusty when we bought him, and certainly not gotten any better.  We haven't used him in several years.  In this hilly terrain, you don't want to use a vehicle that has poor to no brakes!  And we bought a Kawasaki Mule to do the chores Rusty was to do.  The Mule can go where a 1967 Ford F-100 just couldn't.

Brian is the one who sold Rusty.  The buyer is with the band he sings with, not his band.

The guy finally got headed in the right direction (GPS sent him to Austin not Mason, but at least it was the right direction),  and arrived with the family.  I really wasn't expecting a 10-month-old and about a 3-year-old!  And this is where my title of this post originated.

I must have been a very controlling mother with my kids, and even the first three grandchildren.  When we went someplace, I didn't let them just roam about.  These days, that seems to be what parents do.

I first noticed this when we went to visit one of G's aunts that lives up here.  Brian and family were here, and we all went over.  As soon as we were in the door, William and Delaney headed for another room - uninvited.  G and I  haven't been in that room in ages! But off they went!  I was mortified.  They weren't stopped by their parents.  When they came back with some items (I don't remember what they were now), I wanted to drop through the floor.  And nothing was said to them.  They were allowed to continue to play with them. Of course, William will do that everywhere.  He will open drawers, cabinet doors, etc.

As I said I wasn't expecting children yesterday.  The first thing the three-year-old did was to pick up a book from the bookshelf.  She did have to put that back, but then it was on to the dog toys.  Now, she had toys of her own, but it was the dog toys.  Then both she and the baby took to the vertical blinds.  I thought they were going to be broken for sure!  Nothing was said to them.  Then it was off to the fireplace tools.  She took the broom out and started to play with that.

I just sat with a fixed smile on my face and tried to not scream.  I guess I just don't understand parenting today.  My kids would never have been allowed to act this way.

Friday, July 08, 2016

To get my mind straight

Last night we went with the family (minus SIL and Reagan) out to dinner to celebrate my son's (Brian) 40th (!!!!!) birthday.  An aside here - I cannot believe my baby is 40!!!  I. AM. SO. OLD!

This wouldn't be cause for much discussion with the exception of my feeling ancient, but I went against something G always says.  If you go to a restaurant that specializes in something - order that something.

We went to a restaurant that I guess is Texas in origin and is only here.  It is Saltgrass Steak House.  Hence - they specialize in STEAKS.

I spent quite a while pouring over the menu.  All of their steaks were large.  I usually like the 6-8 ounce filet.  The smallest steak they had was a 10 oz something.  Too big.  I know there wasn't much of a difference, but still...

So after a long deliberation.  I saw they had a chicken breast stuffed with artichoke hearts, spinach, and mushrooms (and some other stuff).  That was my order.

We arrive at this restaurant at 6.  We got our drinks at 6:45, along with salads for those of us that ordered them.  At  7:15 the entrees came out.  There were 10 of us.  Nine got their entree.  I didn't.

The waitress said that mine came out "blue" instead of "black."  Now, I was rather shocked at BOTH colors - chicken is brown.  Anyway, it was being refired.  The manager came out and profusely apologized asking what else they could do, and he was sorry for the wait.  I started to say he could comp my meal!

By that time - I was no longer hungry, but realized that I would still be charged for the meal.  It finally arrived at 8.  I ate about half.  We got Brian a HUGE piece of carrot cake (as you can see) which should have been free anyway since it was his BD (I didn't ask G about it - I knew the bill was as huge as the cake anyway!).  We shared this cake, and the evening was over!  Now we are gearing up for his surprise party on Saturday.

Moral of the story.  When in a steak house - order steak!

This is a rant

I have deleted the words here.  I will only say "all lives matter."  This is upholding my decision to be non-political as possible here.  I am devastated by recent events.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Surprise ending

Another happening in our hotel drama today!

G just told me that he received an email from the hotel manager.

They send a note of apology for our experiences with the "neighbor" this past weekend.  The real kicker is that they comped BOTH nights for us.

This wasn't something we requested, and as far as we're concerned it was far and above what we even thought of in our wildest imagination.  It, of course, is appreciated.  Think we will push for further reunions there - you bet!  Guess they thought that 35+ people staying at their facility was important.

I DO regret this ever happened.  From the first perceived insult on, I do regret the situation.  But this lady repeatedly tried to find anything for retribution.  We both bet she is on some list somewhere for this chain.  Just sayin'.


Unrelated to the above.  Went to the cardio doc yesterday.  I was wondering when he was going to announce his news, and it was yesterday.  He is retiring in October!  Boo!

I am beginning to feel like the Queen (I think) song - And Another One Bites the Dust.  I think at this point in time I just need to get a Primary Care Physician.  There is no reason to see a Cardiologist.  I don't have heart disease (yet!).  All he does for me is to check my blood pressure and those meds.

I am going to miss him however.  Our relationship over the last few years has become really good.

Looks like the rain will hold off for a while today, so hopefully I can finally make it to Costco!  Meal planning has been difficult because I don't have any vegetables - fresh or frozen.  No potatoes.  Sides are sparce about these parts.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Where have I been?

The answer is kind of a long story.

Of course, two weeks ago we were hunkered down at the SSB trying our best to stay cool.  After a wonderful Spring, the heat is coming fast and furious.  It still wasn't as bad as it can get up there, but it was plenty warm enough.  After the refrigerator fiasco a few months ago, I understand we have to go check on things.

The hunters are really coming along with the new hunter's cabin.  The foundation is done, sub-flooring in and walls are roughed in. I guess next will be the roof.  They want a metal roof, G doesn't want to pay that much.  I just shut up!

Before we left, I went to the Pulmonologist/Sleep Doctor for him to check the CPAP.  All that was fine, and he gave me a new script for a nasal spray.  Reading the pamphlet, it said a side effect could/would be a sore throat.  Well - I was getting a really sore throat.  Within two days, my throat was raw.  I just wanted to cry it hurt so!  Then the cough started.  So I spent 6 days suffering.  There are no doctors close.

Here we are almost two weeks later and I am still coughing.  The sore throat is gone, but I have terrible laryngitis.  For me, that's really bad.  I still haven't gone to a doctor because I don't think there is anything that can be done.  It's just going to take time, but I DO have a cardio appointment tomorrow.  Perhaps he can have some miraculous cure for me.

This past weekend was a family reunion in Dallas.  There were some rough spots, but overall it was good.  The first one had to do with Brian (son) making plans for us all to go to dinner on Friday night.  It was to a restaurant owned by one of his friends.  Steve (son-in-law) doesn't believe in waiting until anyone else heads out.  This place was 30 minutes away, and off he took.

When we got there, Steve has already arrived and gone into the restaurant and took over everything.  Brian had told the owner we were coming, and (to me obviously) should have been the one to set things up.  He was really furious.  Steve has an insecurity complex 100 miles wide.  He has to bluster his way into things so that he looks important.  And he did.  I really can't blame Brian.  This was his deal, and he was so thrilled to do it.  We knew the owner had to be in Ft Worth for a wedding, and that is a shame with the way things turned out. John would have shut Steve down in a heart beat.

G made a terrible mistake on Saturday morning, and we suffered a bit for it.  He was leaving our room.  There was a woman coming out of the room next to us, and he mistook her for one of the hotel employees.  They were dressed much alike - I would swear they bought their purple smocks at the same place.  Unfortunately the women are black.  Our "neighbor" was highly incensed about his error.

He often does let a hotel room door close rather loudly, but if you let it close on its own - they do make noise.  One time he was leaving after their initial encounter, she accosted him saying "do you always have to slam the door."  After that, we did everything possible to make sure it made NO noise at all.  Which didn't happen, but it was really quiet.

That evening, she was at the desk complaining about us.  The family met in the lobby because the meeting room was booked, and we were allowed to meet in the lobby and pool.  I heard her say that there was "an old man that slams the door."  My hearing isn't great, and we were all talking so I didn't hear it all, but my daughter said she heard her say "because I am black."

I don't talk politics here.  That is not what my blog is for, and I am going to bring it up this time and this time only.  We are liberal.  VERY liberal.  Her skin color has/had nothing to do with anything or any exchanges we had.  So her statement bothered me and still does.

Yesterday, she was back at the desk.  I had no idea what she was saying this time, but after a bit when we returned to  our room to pack things up, there was a knock at the door.  With trepidation, I went to the door expecting to see the little bespectacled lady.  Nope - it was the woman from the desk.  She said that it had been reported that we were smoking in our room!  We. Don't. Smoke.  Even when G did, it was never in the house or a hotel room.

I told the desk person to come in.  There was no smoke.  I can't remember all of what I said, but apparently I alluded to the problems with this woman (who was standing in her door way observing and probably hoping this situation would get us fined and/or thrown out).  The desk person said - no that woman didn't complain, to which I replied that she had been doing nothing but complaining at the desk.

The kicker that I really loved was that she had a little yappy dog in her room.  Now - we had not heard a peep from that animal at all, but it was going nuts then.  I was able to remark about "Oh - that dog!"  Stupid woman should have shut her door to shut up that dog right then.  I kept telling the desk woman to come into the room and smell for herself that there was NO smoke.

After she left, the phone rang.  You know what I thought - it was crazy woman.  No - it was the desk apologizing AND comping us a night!

My daughter in law had thought crazy was the one hoping to get a free stay, but we did!  The desk person said it was clear, she smelled no smoke.  She was aware we had not been smoking.  I think she saw all of what had transpired the night before.  I don't know if crazy got anything comped or not, but we surely did!!

Oh and by the way - crazy woman stepped to the outside door that night.  G and Brian were outside.  Brian WAS smoking.  I think that's where she got that hair brained idea to "get us."

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

What a day!

I believe I have alluded to the fact that I have claimed the upstairs of my house as MY area - my crafting/sewing area.  It is two bedrooms (just one has a bed), a bath and a sitting area because when we took in the attic, the contractor couldn't figure out what else to do with that space that runs in front of the Hollywood bath and bedrooms.  So he called it the gallery.  It too is a storage area.  No one is to breach my area.  So there were some things that haven't been done - in YEARS.

One of those things was to move an old mattress under the bed that is there.  It was stored there when daughter, son-in-law, step-grand would come to visit.  Megan had to stay WITH them.  Not in the bedroom downstairs that had a twin bed.

When my son and his wife were living with her mother, the mother didn't want his cats.  So we kept them for a while.  Back in some of the earlier posts, I am sure I lamented about one of those cats - Sasha!  The took great joy in watching things commit assisted suicide.  She would get on the counter (which I also hated, but could never catch her) and tap objects, especially glass ones, until they fell off and shattered.

So I found a cat playhouse.  It was about 2x3x6.  She and Sebastian were to spend the unsupervised times in said playhouse.  It really was for outside use - so they could be getting some fresh air while safe, but for me, it was the bunkhouse.  She HATED it.  I would have to chase her down.

She loved to hide under the bed upstairs.  That room had not become the fabric/ribbon, completed projects awaiting sale room.  But that little mattress was under that bed, and it gave her perfect cover.

One night I pulled it out of the one side of the bed.  It has remained there for a long time because getting it back was not easy like it had been.  It looked horrible and took up a lot of space - that I really need for my totes.

This afternoon I tackled that mattress.  I would have had someone take it down to put in the garbage, but with our rains and garbage day being on Tuesday for this type of thing, I couldn't get one of the boys to help.  It went back into its place.  Someday, someone will have to deal with it.

But to move it, I had to take the top mattress off, the box springs off, and then pull that thing under.  There isn't that much available room for all that "stuff."  I was petrified that I would fall.  I.  Don't. Fall.  At least if I can possibly help it.  I can't get up easily.

But it is done.  Now it's quiet time to let my poor old body freeze up.  I will go back tomorrow and tackle the totes that have to be sorted and put away more properly!  But there's always tomorrow ...

Tuesday, June 07, 2016


Do you get a number of solicitors and/or robo calls?  We surely do!

I have gotten to where I use my Caller ID all the time.  If I don't know the number - I do not answer.  My philosophy is and always has been that I pay for this telephone, therefore I speak to whom I wish.  If I don't answer, and it's important, there is always an answering service of some sort hooked up to that line.  Leave a message.

This attitude of mine carries over to the phone at the SSB, although it is more difficult there.  I will answer more calls than here at home.  We often have calls out to service people.  It is a difficult situation there because their attitude is that they don't want to work in the first place.  It can be done later - they are going hunting, or fishing, or ...  They are not lazy people, but life moves at a completely different pace.  That can be infuriating when the time for them to get something done is short.

I also don't answer my cell to calls that are not in my directory.  I am immensely happy that there is no longer the monthly charge PLUS a charge for each call!!  I hate that those numbers have been supplied to the solicitors!  Just this minute got one from 00000000000.  You KNOW I was going to answer that one!

I did miss an important one yesterday.  I didn't recognize the area code.  I also didn't know G had been calling people about the trip he wants to take to Hawaii.  Guess what - it was one of those returning the call.  I didn't check messages until 10pm last night!  I didn't think there was going to be a message.

Two others we got were from area codes that were strange.  The calls were even stranger, and I really need to call the police about them.  They weren't the common IRS scam calls.  They were saying that someone at this number has been charged on five criminal accounts, and they were going to "help" us get through these accusations.  One ended: "if you ignore this call, all we can do is wish you good luck."  Very legal, right?

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Hello from Aqua World

Just this morning on the news, the weather guru said that our "excess" rain is in double digits, and we are good all through the summer with all the reservoirs, rivers, creeks, and bayous overflowing.  It. Can. Stop. Any. Day!  I know when it is hot and dry (at least I guess it may be) in August, we will be wanting some of this rain, but it is dangerous around here.

Last week I accompanied Daughter and Grand to Austin for a water polo tournament.  This was the day following another of our catastrophic area rain events.  This time, it was to our north.  I KNEW how bad it was between us and Austin, and frankly, I wondered why the tournament wasn't cancelled.  But off we went.

When we got to the bridge across the Brazos river, I was amazed.  G and I had gone over the river a few days before, and it was the highest I had ever seen it.  This time, it had spilled out of its banks and covered all the adjoining pasture land.

I had seen coverage of this on TV the night before, but in person, it was just horrible.  I knew there were cattle in that particular field.  The rancher couldn't get them to higher ground before the flood because it came so quickly and at night.  The cattle were swept away, many drowning.

That morning we crossed that area, there were about six large stock trailers waiting in the area for any stock that were found.  There were a few cows that had drowned in the pasture.  It was such a sad thing.

Now the river is cresting downstream, and ranchers are waiting until it is almost totally too late to move their cattle and the result is again some have drowned.  People are not leaving ahead of the crest.  They are getting stranded.  Apparently they haven't been watching what happened to the folks in Waller/Montgomery counties.  Such a shame.

But we finally made it to Austin (about an hour later than planned because of the HORRIBLE traffic in Waller County), and Katie swam in four games.  In actuality, it was a waste.  The only teams they swam against were from the same water polo club.  Which is named Viper Pigeons by the way!  What a name!

Nothing has been going on in our lives because we tend to stay in during these rain events.  For one thing, I don't like to get too far away in a heavy rain because we might not be able to get back home.  If the bayou about a half a mile away goes out of its banks, we can't get home.

The only thing new is that a friend wants me to write an article for her quilting magazine.  I.  Do.  Not. Quilt.  I know very little about it.  I am really putting her off.  There are many, many good articles out there about combining machine embroidery and quilting.  The authors of THOSE articles know what they are talking about - totally, and not just the embroidery.  I care nothing about being a published author!!!

So this has been my life.  Next week I will take the oldest grandson out to do something.  I didn't go to his "graduation exercise" from elementary to middle school (it was raining as usual), and he got his feelings hurt.  Katie keeps teasing her siblings that she is the favorite grandchild, and right now he is believing her.  I guess we will go to lunch (just the two of us) at least, perhaps a movie (I don't like his preferred genre, but...)!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

From the trip to the oncologist

This was my regular check with him.  I was on 9-month recall.  The extended time periods are good - there are no apparent cancers, but bad in that you worry that there ARE cancers.  You look forward to having the appointments lengthed in frequency, and you worry that something will pop-up without being found in time.

But this was a scheduled visit.  He, of course, asked how I was.  I said I thought I was great - until my mammogram last  week.  Now the mammogram office is across the hall from his office, but he had not gotten the report yet.

I explained that there were a lot of calcifications in the left breast.  And so on.

He said I should not worry.  Go for the check at six months as I had been instructed, and NOT WORRY.

Phew!!!  (and now I am on a year recall)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Strange happenings

I know Texas and Texans have a reputation for things that make you go "huh."  Some are deserved, and some not.  But this case is one that has even this Texan wondering just what was going on.

There are some neighborhood information sites on Facebook.  I learn a lot about happenings in the area from them,  I was reading one today that absolutely shocked me.

There was a major accident on our main highway through our neighborhoods.  It is already bad enough that there is major, major construction going on, and the traffic is almost always snarled.  You never are quite sure exactly where the lanes will be from one day to the next.  It is a total nightmare.

Last night the traffic was completely stopped in one of the worst places,  It is pretty much a bottleneck there, but it was even worse than normal.  It being a Friday evening was making it even worse.  And people really had short fuses.  They were ready to get home to start their weekend.

Someone asked one of these sites why the traffic was so bad.  The answer was an eye opener.

It seems a young man was traveling along when there was debris on the road that he had to make a quick maneuver to avoid.  That seems improbable right there.  Usually, the traffic is crawling.

Well, in this maneuver, the pistol that HE WAS HOLDING (yes you read that correctly) discharged hitting him in the head.  He completely lost control of his vehicle and went careening off the freeway.  In doing so, he ran into a concrete embankment and was seriously injured from that as well as the bullet in his head.

The comments were about what a foolish thing this was, and the details weren't clear about what really happened.  Was it road rage?

My concern is if he had that pistol in his hand, who was he planning to shoot.

I am aware that there are many other states that allow open carry of pistols.  I am not a fan of this idea.  This is one good reason for my feeling.

The idiot is still alive after being air-lifted to a hospital.  IF he survives this, I really hope there are more answers forth coming.  I really want to know why in the heck he had a gun  IN HIS HAND driving down the roadway.  (And he certainly deserves the huge bill for the helicopter!)

In the continuing winnings of granddaughter

I guess one day I will stop bragging talking about my eldest granddaughter, but the girl flat amazes me almost daily.

I have crowed about her grades, her making all-region in water polo, all-state in water polo, going to the state competition in swimming with her relay team.  Now she has made All-American in water polo!

She has done all this as a freshman in high school.  Most of these kids don't make all these things until they are Juniors or Seniors in High School.

I found that her class has some outstanding athletes.  Several of those freshmen girls lettered in their sports this year.  So many don't until their senior years.  What a group!

I still am looking forward to my grandson playing the tuba.  I think he will do well.  His perfect pitch will take him far.  The youngest (in that family) granddaughter will join the dance team when she gets to HS.  Then on to cheerleader.  She is only in third grade at this point, so it is too early to tell.  Whatever she does, she will continue to be the DIVA!

The other three will go far in music I believe.  But since they range from 4 - 8, who really knows!

But I am a proud Grannie!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Life certainly has ups and downs.  After so many ups, there was a devastating down yesterday.

I went to my yearly mammogram.  And this is getting it in before my follow-up with the oncologist.  I had been put on a 9-month recall,  Things were looking so positive.

The technician was great.  She took all the views, took them to the radiologist, and said they were ok and I could go.  One of the irritating things I find about getting old is having to visit the bathroom - frequently!  So I had stopped on my way out.

When I opened the door, there stood my technician.  She said the radiologist had changed his mind, and wanted more views.

That.  Is. Never. Good.

To cut to the chase, he called me back to show me the views.  I have a LOT of calcification in the left breast (the right is mostly implant).  One of those calcifications seems to be growing.  It is about 3 mm.  Very small, but....

So with my history, I get to go  back in 6 months.

I see the oncologist for my regular appointment next week.  I wonder what he is going to propose.  At least at this point, if it does turn out to be something, the surgery could probably be just a lumpectomy.

The radiologist asked if I had been having pain.  My yes!  Since the surgeries, I have a lot of pain.  I don't "do" surgeries well.  All those incisions seem to develop scar tissues that hurt.  So the pain isn't really something new.

Once again.  We will see what Dr Poison says next week.  Sigh.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Another wow!

Music has been/is what I do.  My son has followed me into music.  It is/was a second job and brought in a little extra money.  I as an organist at church(es), and he with his band (and as lead singer with another band).  My daughter - no.  It IS funny that in the days when there were piano lessons, she was the one who seemed to be more capable - to the point that I was told that I was wasting my money with Brian.

The other day, the tests for the beginning band were given to the fifth graders.  You have to show some ability to get into the beginning band.  Reagan will be heading off to sixth grade next year.  So he took that ability test.  He did very well. He tested well on several instruments and has chosen the tuba.

Needless to say, I am thrilled.

Now the downside.  Both parents are sports minded.  They have never subjected their kids to any musical experience, although I DID try with Katie.  And she was doing quite well.  She has a good ear - just didn't want to learn the notes.  BUT they kept her so busy with basketball, soccer, and more that it killed our piano time.

The real thing I have here is the Facebook post by SIL.  It basically was "darn, my kid is in the band - how do I handle this horrible turn of events."  When congratulated went on with "he is projected to be 6'6", 280, and is one of the best football players around.  (note here - G has seen him play.  He IS big and can intimidate.  But when someone gets close to him - he just falls down).

So why has this unsettled me?  His dad was nothing but sports.  Even if one of the kids got hurt playing, he would tell them to get back out there.  I had no respect for that man, and this is one reason.  Steve said he would never be like that.  Well - he surely is.

I am thrilled that Reagan will be exposed to another facet of learning.  I sincerely believe deep down Reagan isn't all that into sports.  He is a gentle giant.  AND he hates to run.  I believe he does the baseball thing because dad was supposedly so good at it, and played as an adult in some of the local leagues.  He DOES like football, but again I think he sees it as a way of getting Dad's approval - and time alone with Dad.

I am so disappointed with Steve's attitude.  Many people have blown him out of the water responding to that post, so I am not really alone. But I am so proud of Reagan.  I think he will do so well, but  not with his dad's attitude like this.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Busy weekend

Friday we set off to Texas A&M University. The state water polo finals were being held.  (Are you seeing a trend here)  There was some worry about the weather - not because of the swimming - we are such sissies we have indoor natatoriums.  There was another major storm heading this way, and we were concerned about travel in flooding conditions.

We missed the first game since we left the Houston area AFTER the game was over.  The next game was at four.  That was great timing because we couldn't check into the hotel until 3.  They lost.  12-6!  This was after their first game of a win 17-2.

That put them out of the running for first, second, third or fourth.  They ended up tied for fifth.  That tie game was so very.  It was played Saturday, and was so exciting!  It was a 6-6 score.

We didn't stay for the awards ceremony.  The trip home is only 1 1/2 hours, but we both were tired.  But during that ceremony, Katie made the State All Star First team!  That is amazing for a freshman.
It was a great weekend all in all!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Dread became fun

OK - I am a grumpy grandmother about some things.  I really do love seeing my grandchildren do their activities.  I am happy they are involved in activities.  But there are some things I really do not like to participate in for/with them.

One is baseball games.  I know, I am strange.  The American sport!  And I can't stand baseball.  I would rather watch paint dry.  So poor Reagan - I have never made one of his games.  I wanted to go to his football games last year, but it never worked out.  That was probably good because the fields where he played weren't completed.  There were no bleachers - no anything.

The other thing I really do not enjoy is the dance recital.  Granddaughter #3 had her recital on Saturday.  I had forgotten (convenient memory, I guess so) until I got a text.  Bless her heart, my daughter in law even had sent out invitations, but with our iffy mail service, mine didn't arrive.

I knew I had to go.  Those last three are sort of like the younger kids in a large family - they don't get as much attention.  They are just getting into activities, so I don't feel so badly, but I am making a real effort to attend as much as possible.  Their activities are a little harder too because they live further away (12 miles).

I attended GD #1 and GD #2's dance recitals.  The first was OK - but long, and at night.  The second was last spring, a long way away, and in a region that had just experienced its first flooding issue.  It was the cute littles interspersed with some really good dancers, but also some of the older ones who were as graceful as elephants flopping around the stage.  I.  Was. Not. Impressed.  I hated it, in fact, and couldn't wait to get out - over three hours later.

But this one was cute.  It was all littles.  It is like watching a T-ball game.  You never know what they are going to do.  I am sure some of the parents were wondering just why in the heck they spend all those dollars on the costumes when their daughter wouldn't even stay on stage, but they were absolutely precious.

One little girl was the "star" even though she never danced a step during the recital.  Her routine came up.  The curtains opened and the music began and she ran off-stage.  Immediately.  The second routine, she didn't even come out.

I had not planned to stay through the awards, but I did.  The ENTIRE time they were giving the girls (and one boy) their medals, certificates, and shirts, this little girl was spinning, twirling, and dancing throwing kisses to the audience.  Hysterical!

All in all, it was totally enjoyable.  Granddaughter was really good.  She seems to have a natural talent for dance.  Of course, now she wants to do gymnastics - forget dancing!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

What a week!

Last Sunday night/early Monday morning was the worst flooding our area has ever had  Of course, like Memorial Day, we were at the SSB.  I am so thankful for all the social media AND the fact that I do have the internet in the sticks.

While I constantly read the posts on the local Next Door site, I followed the progression of the flood waters in our little village outside the city limits of Houston.  One of my friends chronicled the rising waters as he witnessed him home flooding - for the FOURTH time.

I followed the link to the meter on the bayou that runs three blocks from our house (and two blocks from our rental house that had flooded before).  That meter keeps a record of the depth of the bayou as well as the amount of rain that falls.  Mikes house began taking on water about 1 a.m. and the rain continued to fall.  To cut to the chase - there were 11+ inches in that part of the storm.

Between the SSB and home, there was also what was to be 15 inches total of rain falling  Water was covering highways.  We were supposed to come home on that Monday.  I had my eye injection appointment and G also has a doctor's appointment.

As I was learning more about the Village's flooding, I knew we couldn't get to our house.  While we haven't flooded before (hope I am not jinxing here), the streets around us become impassable.  Then we were hearing about the highways coming in.  So our return was set for Tuesday

As I drive around  the neighborhood, it makes my heart hurt to see all the drywall, carpet, and furniture stacked at the curb waiting for the insurance adjusters to come by to chronicle it.  For the first time, we had looting.  Not coming into the houses as far as I know, but taking all the things that had been flood damaged that needed to be out there for the adjusters.

I was so incredibly proud of our Police Department.   They immediately closed the flooded streets to through traffic.  It was a dangerous situation to begin with.  The streets were basically strangled with cars that were damaged, vehicles from those helping to demolish damages, and the companies who were in to begin the drying out process.  There was one lane - possibly + to get through  Then they manned checkpoints to determine where people were going (and did they belong).  Good job guys!!

The school traffic should be interesting tomorrow should be something else.  We have a high school and an elementary.  One of the flooded streets is a main street for the traffic.  Will they be detoured to our street??  I guess we will see,

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Me again Ifinally)

I don't know where the time goes, but it certainly flies by.  Seems like one day becomes the next before I know it.  Couple that with having a Ph.D. in procrastination ...  Well - you know what happens.

I had a profound thought this morning while sitting in church.  I should have been listening more attentively to the sermon I suppose, but I was thinking of what a relative said about our AIM (Assistant in Ministry)  who gave a sermon on Easter.  We kindly let our seats go to the C and E members (you know - they attend on Christmas and Easter), and stayed home.  So we missed that sermon.  A family member made a statement about the sermon.

The statement was brought to mind this morning because she was preaching again this morning.  The statement all centered around one small word.  That word is "but."

Long ago I heard a statement that when that word is used in a sentence the real meaning of the sentence follows that word.  This person said "I love ______, BUT ( and there it is!) she read the sermon, and I was bored by that.

Innocent enough, right.  Nope - not by a long shot.  This person doesn't love _____ because this person was rebuffed by _____ because this person didn't want to follow the rules to join the church.  This person feels above rules a lot of the time.

It did get me to thinking though.  Our AIM delivers very thought provocating sermons.  She hasn't been to formal seminary.  She has had training, but certainly not in sermon writing and presentation.  Even so, she does a great job.  I know I would have to depend heavily on "reading."  Our beloved previous pastor (whom this relative "loved and respected") read his sermons to a certain degree.

Excuse me for a second - gotta put the soap box away.

I finally downloaded the pictures of the tool of terror that used to reside in my catch all utensil drawer.  BTW - the finger is still a bit tender.  Thought I would share.  Actually there are two (with a third somewhere - and that scares me a lot).  So here are the two.  One a bit longer than the other.  Nice little curved, SHARP pieces of metal for turning steaks and chops - and slicing tender fingers

See those curled pieces with the sharp point!!! Sorry about the cutting board that was branded with a hot iron skillet lid!

A closer look of the instruments of doom.  The bottom isn't  focused well because it sticks up so far.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Lesson learned - the hard way

I have complained about having satellite internet here at the SSB since I first had it installed.  It is slow as molasses in January.  I upgraded a few months ago.  It was a higher speed and more gigs per month.  And they were per month rather than per day.  That was appealing to me because we aren't here for a month solid - just a week.

The "new and improved" is a bit better.  It does go faster.  Google loads well and all.  So where am I going with this pitiful story?  Back in the day, I was still teaching.  That was when the infamous OJ Simpson trial was going on.  I had a small black and white television in my storage room at school.  I would usually eat in my classroom at lunch (the whole, whopping 23 minutes of it).  You get in far less trouble if you stay out of the teachers lounge, and I didn't care to join the kiddos in the cafeteria! But I digress.  I would haul the set out to watch the trial at lunch.  I soon had quite a large gathering joining me for "lunch with the trial."

With the series that is on ( The People vs OJ), I have been interested in it.  It is well acted and closely follows the events.  I record it at home.  I wanted to watch it here, so I went to the On Demand section of Direct Tv and began my download of the show.  I never thought of where the show would come from.

That download ate up my remaining internet time.  When we leave now, I unplug the router.  I turn off the satellite box.  When I began using the computer, I noticed that I had something like 80% of my remaining gigs.  There must have been downloading going on.  The download I chose got rid of the rest of it - overnight!  So now I am "Smart Browsing" on my Bonus bytes -whatever that means.  I DO know it means I am back to a snail's pace trying to navigate the internet!!!

I don't think OJ is/was worth it!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

This and that

Here we are again at the SSB.  After the last trip, I see the importance of being here frequently, even though I would much rather be at home.  I just think of how badly the house would smell if that refrigerator had gone out completely.  Of course, that makes me think of what will happen when we are no longer able to make the trip.  Our children manage one trip a year.  This place that we have worked so hard on (and poured so much money into) is going to flat fall apart.  Most of what we have done were to make them happy.  Much bigger house than we first thought of and all.  Oh well.  Can't do anything about it.

Katie and Krissi spent last weekend in California for the Olympic Development Program championship games.  Katie didn't go on, but she was actually happy about not making the team.  The next camp will be when the state championship games will be going on.  She is more excited about that experience.  She was approached by many colleges while there, however.  So there was good that came from the time she was there.  I guess she will go back to Junior Olympics this July.

I was going to add a picture of the "instruments of terror" also known as the meat turner that turned my finger into a blood fountain.  I took pictures with the intent of posting them when I posted here.  My mind wasn't into packing however.  Shadow somehow got the idea he was going to be put in the carrier for the trip and disappeared.  I was more worried about him and didn't think of the camera - so the pictures will have to wait

The man who is supposed to spray to kill off the prickly pear cactus hasn't done it yet.  The winds have been too strong.  He said perhaps it would happen today or tomorrow.  I doubt it.  The weather is turning off to be bad again.  I think there are too many clouds.  And if he sprays the herbicide today, I don't think it will do the job it is supposed to do.

Have a great St Patrick's day.  It's my brother-in-law's birthday.  His name is (wait for it)


Friday, March 11, 2016

Where have I been?

This past week, I have been nursing a cut finger.

Last Saturday night, I was looking in my utensil "junk drawer."  These are the little odds and ends that don't belong to any specific grouping of things.  I thought I knew what was in there, but I had a BIG surprise.

I was looking for the pizza cutter that should have been on the top and in front.  It wasn't.  As I was moving things, I had a problem.  So I reached far into the back of the drawer to pull things to the front.

What I didn't know was G (since he does the dishes) had put a meat turner in that drawer.  It doesn't belong there - at all.  It is a long thing that has a curled end resembling a pig's tail and is VERY sharp.

As I drug my hand forward, my ring finger hit that sharp tip, and it pierced the pad from the tip to the joint.  It bled like "a stuck pig!"

It took forever to get the bleeding to stop.  I bandaged it as well as I could.  The bleeding finally stopped sometime in the night.

I have been afraid to remove the bandage until yesterday.  It seems to be OK.  But it is still sore.  SO typing has not been an easy thing to do.

But I am back.  And I have thoroughly checked that drawer and secured all sharps.  I never got an acknowledgement that he messed up however.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Reality hit

The other night, I was watching the late news when a story came on about an "elderly lady leading police on a 100-mile chase."

The story was amusing.  I was thinking of a fragile little old lady - perhaps in her late 80's leading police about the highways.  I could just see her peeking over the steering wheel - the image I have of an elderly woman.  My mind always sees a short, fragile woman.

Then they gave her age.  She was 74.  That's not elderly!  I am 70 - nearly that old, and I am not elderly.  That shook me to my core.

Being an only child, I spend a lot of my childhood around adults.  I was always the young one.  Many of my friends were older than I.  I was the young one.  My mind holds me in that place - the youngest around.

As I have aged, I still feel that way.  In my mind, I am the youngest in a group.  My mind LIES!

Monday, February 29, 2016

What I did this weekend (alert heavy bragging here!)

This was quite a weekend!  Here in Houston, the "social event" of the year is kicking off.  The huge Livestock Show and Rodeo has been kicked off.

It began last week with the trail rides.  There were some unfortunate things that happened on those rides.  Here is a couple that I know of - a horse on a ride that originates around here wasn't properly conditioned and died, and a woman on her horse was run over by a runaway wagon.  She broke her jaw and shoulder. The weather cooperated with the trail rides (for the most part).  Usually is it cold and rainy.  This year they only had a day and a half of rain and high winds.

Between the end of the rides and the parade, was the Bar-be-que cookoff that lasts from Thursday to Saturday.  My son and his band have played this event for ten years.  We don't usually go because it is a mad house.  Parking is difficult, and if you just do the general admission, it isn't much fun and is expensive.  It is $5 to get in, and then if you want food, you pay for that.  To be fun, you need to be associated with a cookoff tent.  Those who are competing for the best food.

They have sponsors who cover the huge costs to participate.  It also is a very expensive outing for their cooking team.  All the monies go to the education fund.  But in those tents, the food and alcohol flow freely.  And all of these tents have bands.

We got home on Thursday, and when talking to my daughter-in-law, she mentioned me (us, but knowing G wouldn't) to go with them.  Well, I did!  It was quite an experience.  We ate at a different tent because Brian knows the cookers so well.  We returned to his tent for him to entertain.  And what a great job he did.  I haven't been able to see his band in a long time.  They have really jelled into a great band.

While I was sitting there, I noticed this guy (sooooo drunk) hitting on DIL's friend/boss.  DIL saved her only for this idiot to move to her.  Toward the end of the night, he decided to move on to me!  I was stone cold sober, so I got highly amused.  His lame pick-up line was:"so who are you with here?"  I told him "my son - the singer."  When he told me his age (48), he asked how old I was.  I thought how this would send him on his happy way, and responded 70.  NO!  He stayed.  His chair was trapping my shoe, so I couldn't leave.  Finally, his wife came up to get her inappropriate husband to leave, but decided to hit on the sound man's husband (yes, gay).  That really made me laugh!
Brian is the singer, with him in this picture are just two of the band members.

After the show, we went back to the other tent.  Mainly because I really did need a cart to get back to the shuttle buses to the parking lot.  It was a good mile hike, and my back/knees had failed!  When we got there, my son pointed out a black little person.  He apparently was a well-known rapper back in the 80's.  Guess who ended up with this little man and his friend giving me all the attention.  I became the magnificent matron queen.  This lasted about thirty minutes.

I am glad this wasn't the picture with me, but this is my son, his friend and the "little rapper!"  My son is fortunately kneeling - he's 6'8".  The rapper is standing!'

This was quite an evening.  But I really did enjoy it because my son was SO good!  And we laughed a lot about it at family dinner last night.  Katie was amazed  appalled by the evening.

Saturday I was going to attend two of her high school water polo games.  After getting in at 1:30 that morning, I skipped the 9:00 game.  I knew she would understand.  I think the early game was probably was more exciting.  The competition was a little better, but our girls are magnificent.  The team I watched them play has always been very strong, but our girls beat them 12-2.  Katie was her strong self.  How I have missed water polo.  It was such fun.
And Katie is her usual go getting self!  She is going to take that ball away.  But if you notice, she is probably going to take a smack to the chin!