Friday, December 31, 2010

Mad Math Skills

Moose is, as previously stated, very bright. His verbal skills are exceptional. His math skills? Not so much. I may have discovered why.

Juls and I have been doing WeightWatchers for a few months now. WW used points to keep track of how much food you are eating. For years, the points were arrived at by counting calories, fiber, and fat. Recently, they changed the system. Now, you count fat, fiber, carbs and protein.

I did not have much difficulty switching over and continued to lose weight, at least until I jumped off the wagon this past week and landed, face first, mouth open, into every bakery I passed. Juls had a little more difficulty. She hated the new system and could not make it work for her.

While road-tripping this past week, I discovered why. We stopped to get gas and, needless to say, picked up the breakfast of champions - chips and caffeine. She popped open the app on her IPhone, plugged in her points, and started complaining that a serving, one of four in the bag, was 43 points! This is more than her daily allowance!

I asked her to do it again, because that could not be right. She did so and came up with the same answer. I asked her to do it out loud and she did. 160 calories, etc. Did you know that if you plug 160 into the category that is looking for grams of fat, your answer will be wrong?

Why yes, yes it will. Juls had been entering calories instead of fat grams since the program changed. I am sure she will have better results now that she doesn't look at the points and say, "the heck with it, there's no way, I'll just eat whatever the heck I want, this doesn't work!"

Mad math skills, Juls!

...and yes, I had her permission to tell this story.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mad Math Skills, continued

I was reminded of this stunning example of modern-day math by a comment Juls made on my previous post. Do you need more proof of her math skills? OK.

Juls bought 48 tiny liquor filled chocolate candies as stocking stuffers. She got them home, looked at the stockings hung on the wall with care and counted 7. She was trying to divide 7 into 48 when she realized that the dogs do not get chocolate. Chocolate is not good for dogs.

Down to five stockings, she realized that she needed to get rid of 3 of the candies, so she ate them. Then she realized that Moose does not get alcohol. Alcohol is not good for mooses.

Now, with 45 candies left, she knew that she had to divide the total by 4. Quickly doing the math in her head, she arrived at 10 each for a total of 40. She proceeded to eat the 5 extra candies.

5? Isn't that more than 4? Oh, well. 8 candies eaten and we all got 10 each. A lovely treat for all of us and an exceptional treat for one! Merry Christmas, Juls!

Christmas 2010

We got back from picking up Moose Wednesday night, the 29th of December. Juls had to work dayshift on Thursday so, shortly after 4:00, we descended upon her house to celebrate Christmas - finally!

Thanks to Moose, we had what was probably one of the nicest, most relaxed, friendliest, non-stressed Christmasses in a long time. Why? He wanted beef stew for dinner. What a brilliant child! Rusty set up the table while Juls was at work.

This is the face of a child who just opened the perfect surprise gift. He had wanted, at a gun show, to buy a statue of a wolf. He was devestated when someone else bought it and it was gone.

His mom was the someone else!

Shorty got a really cool Harley memorabilia thing from Stella and Mariah (the bike that was and the trike that is). Seriously, if you spend enough at the Harley store, they will give you things!

This is out of sequence, but we did finish up, as always, with Baby Jesus' birthday cake, this year, since I just found out that my daughter doesn't like the traditional red velvet cake, with a PanDoro. It was so good we sent the leftovers to the neighbors' immediately.

Juls found the perfect Rusty gift at the dime store in Fredericksburg! She had broken the lid to his favorite pyrex casserole dish and had despaired of finding a replacement. She did and, to judge by reactions, it was a hit!

Another view of the Harley thingie.

I spoiled myself this year and got 3 books, all by an excellent author! Just kidding, sort of. I had my blog for the last 3 years bound and published. Juls and Moose and I had a great time looking back at the pictures and re-reading the stories. I think the dedication says it all - "For my family - those who know me now and those who will know me later".

By far, not the best present Juls got, but I just love her smile in this picture.

This is mine. Moose bought it for me on the way home from San Antonio, so it is not just a Christmas gift but also a souvenir. Thanks, Bubba.

We had a wonderful day and actually enjoyed each others' company. I hope your Christmas was also what you wanted it to be.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Road Trip (part two)

We made it safely to San Antonio with Juls driving the BIG blue pickup. She has been toying in her head with buying either a Ford Excursion (biggest vehicle on the road) or a Chevy Avalanche. She got in the Avalanche at the motel, put it in reverse, backed up and said, before she ever left the parking lot, "I may have to buy the Excursion. This is a little too big, I think."

Umm, Juls? The Excursion is bigger...remember? Biggest vehicle on the road? Oh yeah. Well, now we know where Moose gets his math skills.

Anyway, we left San Antonio and decided, rather than going home the way we usually do, to let OnStar have it's way with us. Interesting route, but it did get us home. On the way, we passed this Ford dealership with the Meineke man. Once upon a time, Meineke Muffler used this tall guy in front of their stores. As this ad campaign fell by the wayside, the guys were repurposed. The Meineke men are not to be confused with the Paul Bunyans and other tall guys around the country. A Meineke man has his hands positionally opposed, as they once held a muffler. This is how you can spot a true Meineke guy.

Also along the way, we passed this grove of trees. Moose and I thought that the one wayward branch (and yes, I should have cropped this better) looked like a brontosaurus head or maybe Nessie rearing her lovely head. I'm not sure why she would be in the hill country of Texas except that it's a very friendly place to be.

One of the great things about letting OnStar have it's way with us is that it took us to Junction, TX. When Shorty and I were driving truck, we used to hurry (always doing the legal speed limit, of course) to get to Junction before this restaurant ran out of barbecue. In all honesty, Cooper's was the 2nd choice this time, with 1st choice being the restaurant on the south side of the highway. Moose was in need of "'murican'" food and we were gonna have a great hamburger, but the restaurant was closed for the holiday until January 3rd. I personally was pleased because, while you can get great burgers all over the country, great barbecue is harder to find. Moose had ribs and his mama and I had brisket. It was GOOD!

Leaving Junction, we headed north and came home. Courtesy of OnStar, I was actually on roads that I had never, in 14 years of driving truck, seen. It was a great trip and the best part? Getting Moose back, of course.

Road Trip (part one)

Juls and I road-tripped to San Antonio to pick up Moose. We left Tuesday morning after I got off work and went as far as Abilene. I reserved a room at the Best Western in Abilene, requesting a handicapped room. I do this all the time for several reasons. First, most handicapped rooms are on the ground floor. Second, as a middle-aged, overweight, bad-kneed woman, I find the grab rails handy.

When we checked in, the very nice receptionist asked if it was just the two of us and if I was aware that I had reserved a handicapped room. In my very best "I'm not stupid" voice, I assured her that I had done it deliberately and that if she did not need the room for someone else, I would be very pleased to just check in.

We did. We went to our room and immediately started laughing. This room has evidently been retrofitted for someone not just handicapped (or old and fat) but wheelchair-ridden. The last time that I saw toilets and sinks this close to the floor was in the kindergarten restroom at our local grade school!

It seemed a shame that we did not intend to drink as we could have rolled off of the beds and not injured ourselves!

Last but not least were the chairs; the very low, little chairs especially when seen next to the average size table!

I will be more careful and ask more questions the next time that I reserve a room. I would still like the grab rails but I would also like for my knees to not be even with or above my chin when I am seated!

We still had a great time. We had dinner at Johnny Carino's, shopped a little, slept fairly well and were on the road again by 6:30 a.m., still laughing about the "midget room".

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Unexpected Gifts

Today, unexpectedly, my daughter received a letter and pictures from her daughter and her daughter's adoptive family. Joy!

My daughter's daughter looks a lot like my daughter. This pleases both of us. This is the first time Juls has heard from the family since she moved to Texas from San Diego. I asked her how they knew how to find her after all this time.

She has been sending Christmas cards yearly along with pictures of the Moose. This is the first year they wrote back. God bless them.

This got me to thinking. As most of the people reading this blog know, my mother and I have been estranged for a number of years. The first year, I sent a Christmas card and she sent it back. My heart broke.

Every year since, I have sent a Christmas card. I have not put a return address on the card. This way, I do not have to know what she does with them. I can believe that she opens them and knows that I love her and, if she throws them in the fire unopened, I can believe that she opens them and knows that I love her.

My daughter knows that I do this with her grandma's Christmas card. My daughter, who has a good relationship with her grandma, has told me that Mom opens them and reads them. This makes me happy and also very glad that I continued to send them.

So, if you throw communciations out to your loved ones and do not receive a response, do not stop sending them. It's sort of like giving a gift. All you can do is send it. What the recipient does with it is up to them.

And sometimes, it's spectacular.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Beginnings of Tradition

Earlier today, I was wrapping Christmas gifts and Shorty was just hanging out. He does NOT enjoy the wrapping! It will come as no surprise that I was wrapping books. We were discussing the fact that this is one of the very best traditions that I ever started.

Suddenly, I realized that it is not my tradition.

It is my godmother's.

When I was growing up, we got clothes for Christmas. We got new school shoes, Church clothes, underwear, jammies, and usually slippers. We got one toy, usually from Santa.

I also got, for several years that I remember, a hardback book from my godmother. She bought me the Newberry Award winner for the year. This is where I got my Marguerite Henry books. My favorite was "King of the Wind" about the Godolphin Arabian. I loved this book. I read it and reread it and reread it.

So, thank you, DeeDee. Thanks from me as a child and thanks from me as an adult. Thanks from my kids and my grandkids and hopefully their kids and grandkids.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Joy of Giving

I have noticed more than one of my friends agonizing about the "perfect gift". They worry about what the recipient likes, what the recipient wants, what size the recipient is, what to do if the recipient doesn't like the gift, etc., etc., etc.

I am going to share with you the very best gift-giving lesson I ever learned. Ready?

Here it is:


I give books. I have been told by more than one person that not everyone likes books. I know this. I have 17 grandchildren. I know this. I also know, that some dreary afternoon when all of the batteries have died on all of the remote controlled toys and the kids have been grounded from the television, someone will remember the books. Then, when you least expect it, a grandson will call and say something on the order of "Gram? You know that "Treasure Island" book? It's pretty good."

Angels will sing.

And if this never happens? Oh, well.

I have given a gift from my heart. I have shared a childhood memory. I have given love encased in covers.

This is all that matters.


Merry Christmas.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fun Monday - Christmas Shopping

Today's hostess is Julie from Another Chance Ranch and this is what she wants to know -"When do you start your Christmas shopping? On Black Friday? Cyber Monday? And, who is the hardest person to buy for?"

My Christmas shopping is insanely easy. Years ago, when all of the grandkids were little, I started giving hardback books for Christmas. No toys, no clothes, no gift certificates, always books. Some years this was very easy. The kids were divided into 4 households and similar age groups so I did get to buy duplicates and thank you, J.K. Rowling!

This year's gifts are currently awaiting pickup at the post office. I ordered them all online last week, including duplicate versions of my friend Laurie's book.

My shopping is always done before Thanksgiving so that I can actually enjoy the holidays. With all of my shopping done, once Moose and I do the Angel Tree, I do not have to venture into retail hell at all.

The hardest person I have to buy for is my husband. If he sees a book he wants, he buys it. So generally, and please don't tell, I buy a book that I want and just put his name on it!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our best tradition

Today - actually yesterday now - was my favorite day of the year. One day of the year I gather up my youngest grandson and we visit our local mall. We shop together, sometimes with Grampits also and sometimes with Mom and sometimes with his sisters but always with us two. We buy pants and shirts and jackets and shoes and a toy and always, always, always a book. We buy things that Moose would like - although last year he accused his mom and me of trying to "geek" out a kid just because we like argyle. This year he wanted to leave a note with his purchases laying claim to the praise that goes with buying cool stuff.

When we are through shopping, we take our purchases back to the table from whence the "order form" or "wish list" came. We give the bag(s) to the volunteers at the Salvation Army Angel Tree table and go to find our cocoa and cookies. This year it was gingerbread and coconut slushie. Not my choice, but the Moose had made good choices all day so I just let this one slide...

Now, no matter what happens, or doesn't, before Christmas, my holiday is golden and filled with love and generosity and angels and smiling children.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fun Monday - New Traditions

Julie would like to know, this week, about our Thanksgiving meals - what we serve, any traditions, and possibly recipes.

Thanksgiving at my house is NOTHING like Thanksgiving at my mother's. My mother, who worked the graveyard shift, always cooked Thanksgiving dinner. Not just any Thanksgiving dinner but one with a turkey and a ham. My sister didn't like ham. I don't like turkey. The appropriate sides accompanied both entrees and dessert only served to spoil us further. There were always at least 3 options since at least 2 of us refused to eat any one thing.

Fast forward 40 something years. My husband and I drove truck for years and were never home for the holidays. We ate our Thanksgiving and Christmas meals either with friends and family if we happened to be delivering in their neighborhood or at truckstops. I lost the habit of cooking.

Now, I work graveyard shift and my daughter also works shift work. This year she will be working 4 to midnight. Our solution? and our tradition since this is at least the 4th holiday we have done this?

Yep. Everyone gets what they want and the amount that they want. No dishes, no cleanup, just the enjoyment of each other's company and thankfulness that restaurants are open for people like us. If you want the recipes, some of them are available on line.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fun Monday - Go Vote Now!

Fun Monday this week (and, in truth, this month) is hosted by Julie at Another Chance Ranch. Here's what she had to say: I try not to get too political on here. I've learned that you don't talk religion or politics with people. That is just my general rule. It's just not good. But, we are supposed to vote the very next day, and I am curious about something. I want to know your opinions. I want to know what you think about the state of our country. Or, is there a particular issue being voted on that you feel strongly about? What are your thoughts? Keep in mind, I don't want to know whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. I am just curious as to what is going through your mind.

I have already voted. Here, in the great state of Texas, early voting is the norm and makes it SO easy to fulfill your civic responsibilities. My daughter and I usually vote together and then have lunch. It gives us an excuse to see each other and to make an occasion out of something we both consider important.

I am blessed. I live in an agricultural area and, while I am not saying we are recession-proof, we seem to be doing better than a lot of other areas in this country. We have not lost any major businesses and our small businesses, while not necessarily thriving, are not closing either.

Having said that, the economy is what was on my mind when I voted this year. No matter what the President says, I do not believe the recession is over and I do not believe we are on the road to recovery. That "we" would be the national "we". Locally, we are all right. Not great, but all right. Our local officials, those up for re-election, were all running unopposed. This says a great deal about our local government and the choices we all made during the last few elections. The main race we were voting on is the gubernatorial race.

I never listen to political ads. If I were to believe the political ads, Satan is running against Beelzebub. I follow the news during the year and make my choices accordingly. This is another reason I love early voting. By the time the ads get truly vicious, my ballot has already been cast.

Now, go visit the other participants and then, tomorrow, GO VOTE!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Misjudged and maligned

We have 4 dogs. Duck is the good dog. Holly is, well, Holly is Holly. Bonnie is a Chihuahua and those of you have owned Chihuahuas know that no other words are necessary. Then there is Goose. Goose is mostly black Lab and, knowing that, I did not expect her brain to show up for another 3 or 4 years. She is a year old and chews. Trees, railroad ties, crucifixes, shoes, shotgun shells. It doesn't matter. Goose eats it...or so I thought.

Sunday, I went to a birthday party. Goose and Bonnie opted to stay outside. Duck and Holly were inside. When I got home, I found this:

Goose, I apologize, baby. And Holly? What did you do??!!??

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fun Monday - You Want It When?

Today's hostess is Faye from Summit Musings. Her topic this week is procrastination and 3 ways that we manage to put things off.

The first way that I procrastinate is sleep. I love to sleep. I work nights so I use that as an excuse to sleep most of the rest of my life away.

The second way that I procrastinate is what I am doing right now. I play on the computer. I blog, I read blogs, I play on facebook, I send emails, I read 19 different newspapers, and I google whatever strikes my fancy. I am always amazed by how much time I can spend doing this that I should be spending doing chores.

The third way? Back in the olden days, before there were computers, there were this wonderful escape mechanism that I learned to love. I still do. You can find me at the library once a week at least and I still love the feel and the smell of an actual book. I can also escape my cluttered, dog hair covered, dusty living room and just go away. Nothing gets done but my mood does improve.

There you have it. I procrastinate because I am lazy. I evidently enjoy being lazy or maybe I just enjoy being successful at something. I am definitely a success at the art of procrastination!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fun Monday - Fridge Blog

The hostess for today (and for all of October) is Faye. Her topic for October 11: Fridge Blogs - in most homes the refrigerator door is not only decorated, it's also the family communication center with calendars, photos, announcements, reminders, art work, etc. Share a photo of your refrigerator door. What do you have posted on it? Why?

This is the side of my fridge that faces the dining room/hallway, as is the next picture. This is schedule for the RCIA at my Church. I am scheduled to teach a class in the spring. I am evidently afraid that I will forget.

Under the schedule are my spare "Support Our Troops" ribbons. I bought a bunch one time and am still using them. If anyone needs one, drop me a note.

And here, of course, is the front. Everything on my fridge is above tail-level. We used to have things lower when the grandkids were here more and were smaller but it just didn't work well. Our dogs are VERY happy.

I am not one of those people who keep their fridge pictures organized. My fridge front is more of an archeological project. The picture of Juls on the right hand side is from before she had Moose (and he's going to be 11 this month). There are Moose and Santa pictures from three different years. Moose himself put the pic of St. Michael the Archangel on top of the one. I think he felt himself in need of protection that year. The only picture that is not family is my bestest friend Kimmy and her pups - oh, wait, she is family. Never mind.

The magnet on the left that is about God is from Rome. It was brought to Shorty by a good friend of ours who went through the RCIA process with my husband. He has since died and we think of him daily. The rest is a melange of tickets and giveaway magnets and kid's artwork.

Sorry the pictures weren't better quality. I had just worked a 12 hour shift and forget to disable the flash. Now, go visit Faye and the rest of the participants.

Me, two, again

I had a little time to do some editing, so here I am again, a little lighter and a little more in focus. I do not remember this picture but I can tell you the family stories that I do remember from this time. My parents built a house in 1941. In 1956, or thereabouts, they built this house just up the street from our Church. We lived there a short time, during which the other house was rented out and my Grandma came from Iowa to stay with us for a while. My Uncle Bud and Aunt Eileen, along with my cousin Mike, came out to pick up Grandma when her visit was through. We did not live in the new house very long because when I started kindergarten we were living in the old house again, where I lived until I got married and where my mom lived until after my dad died and she sold it. I do know that my mom was appalled at the state of her hardwood floors when we moved back! As far as the "four only children" statement I made yesterday, I am pretty sure my brother-in-law was implying that we were all equally spoiled and self-centered. He was pretty much right!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fun Monday - Looking Back

Our hostess this week, and for the rest of the month is Faye at Summit Musings. She said,

"Your assignment for October 4 is to share a favorite family photo(s)and tell us why this particular photo means so much to you."

This is one of the few pictures that I have of my childhood. There are 4 children in my family but, as my brother-in-law always said, my parents raised 4 only children. Here is their youngest, me, at somewhere around 2 years old and just pleased as punch to be drinking coffee from a thermos.

Sorry for the poor quality but it is a photo of a photo. Now go and look at everyone else's old pics.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


When I was growing up in the late 60s and early 70s, this was one of the "protest" songs guaranteed to drive my folks up the wall. When I was in my 30s and trying to explain why I was against the war to a Navy EOD Chief, this is the song I sang (badly). Now? I think it is a tribute to our soldiers and I hope y'all take it that way. Be we for the war or against it, here's to the heroes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why do YOU donate blood?

Every 56 days or thereabouts, our local blood bank, Coffee Memorial Blood Center, has a blood drive in our town . It is generally held in the community center and it is definitely a community affair. Everyone shows up - young and old, employed and unemployed, moms with their kids and occasionally a grandparent with their grandkids. CJ used to go with me and it was really cool. Being held in the community center, there is no privacy so he got to see all the nuts and bolts involved in blood donation, from the pre-donation screening to the post-donation cookies and drinks which, of course was his favorite part. I always shared.

Last Wednesday, I had a 5:00 appointment to donate. I signed in and the intake person asked what my blood type was. I told her and she asked if I would be interested in symbol (maybe cymbal, I didn't ask). I asked what it was and she said that it was a double donation of red blood cells.

I had previously donated through the apheresis process at the blood bank's main office in Amarillo whereby they harvest platelets from your blood and then return your blood back to you with a nifty little machine. This double red cell donation is very similar.

Only one needle is inserted just like a standard donation. The difference? You donate about 1/2 a pint and it goes through a centrifuge. Then the machine reverses itself and pumps saline solution into you. This happens four times until you have donated two bags instead of one. The fun part? The blood leaving your body is somewhere around 98 degrees. The saline solution entering your body is room temperature or somewhere around 65-70 degrees.

I cannot begin to tell you how bizarre this feels. The phlebotomists check on you fairly often and make sure that you are warm enough, offering blankets if needed. It doesn't take but 25 to 30 minutes longer than the regular donation process and I was through by 6:15. The thing that I didn't realize before I got my paperwork is that the double donation also means that you can only donate every 112 days instead of 56.

After you are through donating, there is an evaluation form to fill out for the blood bank. They ask what they did well and what they could do better. The question that always stumps me is "Why do you donate?"

I don't know. It's just what you do. My dad and mom always donated blood to the Carpenter's Union account at their local blood bank. When my daughter was hurt in a car accident as a baby, she needed several transfusions. The blood bank was there.

When my youngest daughter had her son, she needed blood. The blood bank was there.

I asked my friends on facebook why they gave blood and, predominantly, it was out of generosity. Almost all of us know someone who has needed blood and almost all of us know someone who will need blood. As one of my friends pointed out, blood is one of the things that even the miracles of modern medicine cannot replicate. So, even though I have turned this over in my mind for a lot of time, I still just have the same answer.

I donate because it's what you do.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fun Monday - Genie edition

Our hostess this week is Sayre, as she has been for the entire month. This week? Here's what she wants -"I want to know your heart's desire in the form of three wishes."

This is hard. Do I want y'all to think that I am loving and kind and altruistic? or do I just want to be honest? Hmmm. OK, here's my wishes and you can decide which direction I took.

1. I want to have "enough" money.
I don't want a certain amount. I don't want to be filthy rich. I just want to be able to get what I want when I want it and to give what I want when I want to give it and to be able to endow a library. Maybe I do want to be filthy rich.

2. I want to be thinner.
I do not want to be thin, just thinner - and I don't want to have to give up a single thing that I love eating to do it.

3. I want to be cherished.
I do not want to be just loved or appreciated, I want to be cherished - by someone other than God.

That's it, folks. Now hop on over to Sayre's and see what everyone else wants.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Out with the old and in with the new

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about my husband's Harley. I still like brand names and I guess he does, too. The bike I wrote about is the one behind him with the armadillo on it. His new bike is the one in front of him. I was less than gracious last night when he came home and told me that he had purchased it. So this is for you, hon. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Queen of the Mountain

Bonnie has always been the smallest and, until Goose, the youngest dog. The other dogs tolerate her mainly because they do not really recognize her as a dog. Goose, though, likes to make Bonnie make the squeaky toy noise and then Duck and Holly want to make her make the same noise. We do not encourage this behavior. We actively discourage this behavior. Bonnie generally finds someplace low and small to take refuge when she gets tired of being the squeaky toy.

The other afternoon, I got out of bed and made my way to the ladies' room which also doubles as the mens' room in my house. I was sitting there (aren't you glad you know these things?) when a motion caught my eye. Imagine my surprise when I saw this!

Bonnie evidently has learned that she can hide high, also!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


We DO remember

Father Mychal's Prayer

Lord, take me where you want me to go;

Let me meet who you want me to meet;

Tell me what you want me to say, and

Keep me out of your way.

Fr. Mychal Judge, O.F.M.Chaplain,

New York Fire Department

Copyright ©2001 Holy Name Province

While researching Father Mychal, I came upon this picture of a stained glass window in his memory at St. Francis of Assisi Church in NYC.

Please keep all of our heroes, civilian and military, both home and abroad, alive and deceased, recognized and unrecognized, past and present and future, in your prayers.

Slip-sliding away

I considered titling this post "a public service announcement for custom embroiderers".

I recently ordered some shirts for work. This is one of them. The lovely lady who did this laid the shirts out flat and then centered the embroidery.

I did point out to her that heavy people have the same middle as everyone else. I do not like this shirt. It looks to me as though the embroidery is trying to slide into my armpits, sort of like the girls do when I lie down.

Next week when I get paid, I will get new shirts. I will not get them from the lovely lady who embroidered this.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fun Monday - Que pasa?

Today's hostess is the lovely Sayre, who, bless her heart, is actually hosting for the entire month of September. Today's topic is learning. What new thing would you like to learn?

I was discussing this with my husband and there are a LOT of things that I would like to learn. Quilting, welding, cabinet-making, oil painting, caligraphy and last but certainly not least - Spanish.

When I was in high school, many, many moons ago, French was still the international language. French is what was spoken at the U.N., where I aspired to be a translator. Also, I had 8 years of French in grade school so when I did go to high school, it just seemed natural to continue.

Fast forward a bunch of years. I live in Texas. French? I don't use much French. I will be the first to tell you, however, that it has come in very handy as far as the etymology of words is concerned. Spanish is not all that far from French. Also, while I did not take Latin as Sayre did, I was raised Catholic in the olden days when it was all in Latin. Some of it stuck.

Every year I toy with the idea of taking Spanish at our local college. This may be the year.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fun Monday - Brand Names

Today, our hostess is Mariposa. She wants to know about brand names that make our life easier.

25 years ago, I got married.

25 years ago, I bought my husband a brand new Harley Davidson FLHTC as a wedding gift.

24 years ago, while on his way home to be there for my cancer surgery, he totalled the bike.

24 years ago, with the insurance money, I bought him a used Harley Davidson FLHTC.

5 years ago, I used his bike as collateral on a personal loan. It is worth almost twice as much now as when I bought it.

Last month, we got the bike out of the shop and my husband is bound for Sturgis this week.

Sometimes, brand names are worth the extra money.

Motorcycle in 1986 - $5400
Price of repairs in 2010 - $1100
Husband's happiness - priceless

Wade McNutt's Piano Meditation

I have a friend, Elaine McNutt, who has a son, Wade. Elaine is very active in our LifeTeen ministry at church. She was always looking for soft, contemplative, instrumental music to use as a soundtrack for the kids' meditations.

Enter her son. My husband was kind enough to go to Wade's launch party today and pick up Wade's first CD. Although only one song on it is Wade's original composition, his talent and God's love shine through all.

As previously stated, the CD is instrumentals. The only clip I could find, though, is this. Enjoy.

And then go, please, to Wade's website and order some for yourself. Of course, if you are a close friend of mine, you can just wait till you get it for Christmas!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thank you, Mr. Formby

I would like to use this space to remember what has been, and will no longer be, an important part of my day. From October 1955, when I was 1 year and 7 months old, until the day before his death on July 31, 2010, Clint Formby was a friendly voice over the airwaves. I only had the pleasure of listening to him for the last 20 years or so.

I am blessed to live in a town with it's own radio station, KPAN radio. When I am out tooling around running errands and such, this is the station to which I listen. They cover the local news and the local sports. They cover the local churches and the local schools. They feature the "Good neighbor of the day" and are everything that I think a small town station should be.

One of their radio features was the "Day-by-Day Philosopher". This program was initiated in October of 1955 by Clint Formby and continued 6 days every week until July 30,2010 for a total of 17,160 consecutive broadcasts. Mr. Formby even broadcast from his hospital room when he was ill. It was broadcast at 7:45 a.m. and thus became an important part of my morning, as well as that of my grandson.

When Moose was little, he stayed with us. I am not much for clocks and tend to run my time by what's on the TV and/or the radio. To this day, I get ready to leave the house after the Top Ten is over on my favorite (or at least less irritating) nighttime show.

Moose and I would leave the house in the morning after our local ABC news affiliate finished with their mid-hour update. This made it 7:24a.m. Moose ate better in the car so I would hand him some food, grab his backpack and off we would go. We would stop and get coffee and a paper and would drive to the school parking lot where we would break fast and visit a bit before school started. In the background, always, was the "Day-by-Day Philosopher". More often than not, something he said would catch either my ear or the Moose's. We discussed a variety of subjects that I probably would not have thought to bring up.

It was a great comfort to me to know, without a doubt, that my grandson would not be hearing anything that needed explaining. Mr. Formby's broadcast was always, at the outside, PG-13 but most often G rated. It was never mean-spirited or spiteful but inspiring, friendly, and gracious.

Some of my best morning memories involve my grandson, a cup of coffee, the paper, a semi-deserted parking lot and the congenial voice of a very philosophical man. Thank you, Mr. Formby.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fun Monday - Shoes Redux

Mariposa, bless her heart, is resurrecting Fun Monday. Her topic this week is shoes. I went back to the files and found this entry from when Pensieve (great minds think alike) had the same idea. Since I am at work and have on ugly work shoes, I present my previous effort.

I have no pictures of my baby shoes. I can tell you that I spent the first 8 years of school in the lovely white oxfords that went with the also lovely maroon and grey plaid uniform. Ah yes, nothing quite like the smell of wet wool in the wintertime. I will say, though, that the clamp on roller skates worked really well with these shoes.

Then I progressed to these beautiful navy and white saddle shoes to go with the navy plaid uniform for the next 4 years. I also progressed from the smelly wool sweater to the lovely polyester blazer with crest and padded shoulders. Wow.

I got married right out of high school - who really needed that 4 year scholarship, right? Anyway, shoe of choice back in the day was this beauty. Oh so practical for a young wife and mother pushing a baby stroller, don't you know.

I was widowed and had to go to work. My first job was at a police department as a Community Service Officer. These are the heels that I wore to work then.

There followed a succession of poor choices - in men and in shoes. Here are some of the shoes:

I now wear snow boots in the winter and sneaks the rest of the year. I do have one drop-dead gorgeous pair of red heels that I wear on special occasions. But my favorite pair of shoes now are these:

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