Monday, August 29, 2011

Whose Story Is It?

It is very hard to write my story because it is not just mine. It is my childrens', my husband's, my mom's, my dad's, my siblings', even my dogs'. It is very hard to write just about MY story.

Many years ago, amid much turmoil and strife, I was given the choice. Divorce your husband or lose your children. Stay with your husband and lose your kids or divorce your husband and maybe keep your kids. This choice was worded not so much as a request as it was an ultimatum. I felt trapped and backed into a corner. I felt scared and alone. I made my choice.

I cannot, in all honesty, say that I regret that choice. Living that life, the life that ensued from that choice, brought me where I am today and made me who I am. I do regret the pain that making that choice caused other people.

Leaving my husband now, amid very little turmoil and strife, has once again caused pain to those whom I love the most.

I can only say that I am no longer trapped, no longer backed into a corner, no longer scared or alone. I know who I am and what I am worth. I know who you are and what you are worth and what kind of example I want to set for you.

I want you to be strong in the love of God. I want you to be as blessed as I have been and as I am now. I want you to make better choices than I did but to know, that if you don't, you always can.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bonnie the Pack Rat

We own 3 real dogs and a Chihuahua for reasons which have already been discussed. Bonnie is the chihuahua. I have always maintained that chihuahuas are not dogs at all but vermin. I now have proof.

If any of you have ever been visited by a packrat or even an ordinary house mouse, these pictures will make more sense to you. We all know that mice chew, destroy, shred, and mutilate things in order to feather their nests. I now take you to......

Bonnie making her way out of bed

Bonnie rearranging her bed

What the dog - oh, wait, the vermin - left.

The gold bed in the background is Bonnie's actual bed. The last time I saw a dog in it, it was the Boxer and no, I didn't have my camera. Holly is fond of sleeping with her head in the little dog bed. The windowpane check in the foreground is one of 4 large beds in our bedroom. It's matching counterpart is on the other side of our bed. The 3 large dogs take turns sleeping on them, depending on who gets to the good ones first. That is a $70 bed. Bonnie has systematically burrowed, chewed and removed the stuffing from the bed. She can now make her way inside the bed, throw out more stuffing, and make herself comfortable.

She is a very expensive free dog.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer Vacation 2011, The Last Day

On the way home from Fredericksburg, we stopped in Big Spring for lunch. As we drove into town, we saw this:
Yet another hovering helicopter

There had been a grass fire earlier and this helicopter was checking for hot spots and dumping retardant on them.

We had lunch at Al's where the brisket was good, the potato salad was mashed and the cole slaw was pink. Not bad, just different!

and this is why I love Al's! and small town Texas towns!

Between Big Spring and Post, we saw this coming up on our left.

As seen on TruTV -

on Black Gold, it's the Big Dog Drilling Rig!

From here we drove safely home, collapsed into our respective lives and are planning the next trip! Thanks for a great vacation, Juls!

Anticipation? or Trepidation? or Nausea?

There need to be more words. Do you remember how you used to feel the day after Labor Day when school started? When your pencils all still had erasers and your lunchbox wasn't dinged and your new school shoes weren't scuffed? When the whole bright, beautiful year was just waiting for you to unfold it?

That's sort of how I feel...when I don't feel like throwing up.

I am starting over and I am a little old to be starting over. There is no rush to my moving since I will be dogsitting for my own dogs for the next month or so while Shorty is on a road trip. Now I know how dads feel when someone says they're babysitting their own kids. Anyway, I digress.

I am not changing towns, just houses. I have found a rental which is really quite nice. It's a duplex with off street parking and big trees and someone else to mow the lawn. However, with interest rates what they are right now, we are contemplating trying to buy a house for me to move into.

First step taken today. We met with the mortgage lady at the bank and got the paperwork to fill out. I will probably do that tonight since I am sleep deprived today. I do feel a lot like I did, though, when I was taking the entrance exam for high school.

So, pray for me (and us). Thanks, y'all.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer Vacation 2011, Day 7

On which day, Juls and I left Corpus Christi and returned once again to Fredericksburg.
Does anyone know how to keep humidity out of your camera lens?

A truly amazing store in Fredericksburg

that goes on...

...and on.
This is where your knight in shining armor lives.

This may be my next purchase...

but I would have to put wings on it!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Baby Pictures - Corpus Christi 2011

This is my baby. This is the smile you see EVERY time you point a camera at her face. There are NO non-smiling pictures of Juls. She decided early on that there would only be smiling pictures. I love this face.
Irish eyes (even is she is half German)

The requisite picture of the picture taker.

Then I got bored, waiting for the boat to depart on it's little cruise and I just started clicking. I think it was the sea air but Juls indulged me with an expression or two. I do have her permission to share!
Oh, fine!

You know I hate this

Smile? I show you a smile!

Sad Juls

Happy Juls

Smart alec Juls

You're actually taking these?


Wow. You do know that I love you...

... a lot!

Summer Vacation 2011, Day 6, Part Two

This photo was shot through the rails of a boat, underway. Please excuse the aspect and the focus. Thanks.
This is the other boat which tours the bay. I am VERY glad we booked the one through the Aquarium!

This is the placard with the dolphins' names and a brief history. A lot of the following pictures are about Shadow. We do not call him Shadow. We call him...


Bob spends what seemed to us an inordinate amount of time on the bottom of the tank, just hanging out. To be honest, at first we thought he was...

See what I mean?

This little boy is saying, "fissie seepin'".

And then, repeatedly, Bob would bob to the surface, get air and sink himself again. He did not cruise nor cavort nor caper. He sank. He bobbed. He laughed.

This is the only decent picture out of approximately 37 taken of the art work done on the overpass piers. I liked it. I liked it a lot. Julie laughed at my efforts.

Back home for the night to Corpus Christi NAS where, by the way, they sell Vera Bradley in the Exchange!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hope = The Greatest Gift

Last Saturday, on August 6, Juls and I attended the Amarillo Diocesan Council preparatory to the beginning of Faith Formation classes concurrent with the beginning of the school year. I teach 5th graders, theoretically about their faith, but in all honesty, class often decomposes into a question and answer period about current events.

There were several gems that I gleaned from the presentations. Sister Carol Cimino made sure to remind us that, while the Church appreciates us donating our time and energy, She really doesn't care what we think. We are to teach what the Church teaches and not what we believe. OK, that's fair.

She also said, that in this day and age of instant, global news with it's gloom, doom, and despair, hope is the greatest gift that we can give these children.

I grew up hearing, as I'm sure you also did, this quote from 1 Corinthians 13:13
"So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love." This is what I have always known - that the greatest of these is love. Love of God leads to love of self, love of others, love of righteousness, love of justice, love of all that is good and holy.

Yet hope is the greatest gift?

I think it is. I think that if we love God, if we love ourselves, if we love others, including these children, we must give them hope. We must give them the talent to see the world through lenses of hope, through rose-colored glasses, through the eyes of Pollyanna. When all that they hear in the news is war, murder, rioting, starvation, suicide and hatred, we must give them the tools to see peace, life, justice, solutions, and love. We must teach them that the world is not a terrible place. The world is a wonderful creation, given to us by God, to cherish and of which we are to be good stewards. We must teach them that the world is inhabited by wonderful, caring, loving people who never make the news. We must teach them that every day lives are saved, disasters are averted, food and medicines are donated and distributed, friends are made and hope, in the name of love, in the name of God and His Son and the Holy Spirit, will prevail.

We must teach them that they are not the problem. They are the solution. They are the hope of the world. To do this, we must give them hope.

Summer Vacation 2011, Day 6, Part One

On our second day in Corpus Christi, Juls and I went to the Texas State Aquarium, directly adjacent to the USS Lexington Museum.
This is the entrance, where you walk through a curtain of water. Very cool.

Texas size turtle!

The aquarium also has a birds of prey show in conjunction with their rehabilitation program. This guy was in residence when we were there.

So was this guy (or girl) nesting in the corner.
Julie, the tortugas, and the coastal breeze.

Because Julie insists that Moose will want pictures of his Gram.

The Wetlands, built just inside the breakwater.

Dolphins. More to come. Way more to come!

This is the boat on which we toured the inner harbor.

Such a tension filled day!

God's in His heaven and all is right with the world!

Heading out!
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