Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Hoidays and Let It SNOW! LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  December 25th is coming quicker than lightning now.  We got lights outside and on the tree, packages wrapped and sent, and cards mailed.  Not so many cookies, cakes or candy this time, though.  I'm seeing Weight Watchers in my future.

We had a early Christmas with our son and his family.  They have gone to Georgia to be with her family for the holidays this year.  We have had them all to ourselves for a number of years.  She takes our grandson and goes home for a couple or three weeks in the summer, so it isn't as if they haven't seen her family for years.  As I've mentioned before none of our kids are coming for the holidays and it is okay with me.  We had planned to go to the movie and out to dinner on Christmas day, but I think I fractured a rib on Wednesday.  I've had a fractured rib before and it was pretty bad, but this seems to be a little more intense.  I talked with the nurse at my doc's office and she thought the same as me.  The treatment is the same if it is bruised or broken.  Time.  I have some pain medication already because of back problems and it helps for sure.  I'd have already been at the ER if I didn't have it.  However, today seems a little worse and I'm hoping she is in the office tomorrow.

Going to the movie is pretty much totally out for me now.  I went to the nail shop yesterday and it didn't go all that well backwise and ribwise.    So, I'm glad we hit all the big shows in town last weekend.  On Saturday my husband took me to see "The Nutcracker".  That has to be true love!  I was all oohing and aahhing over all the little girls in tutus and velvet and taffeta party dresses out with either their grandmother or mother.  They were so sweet.   The ballet was performed well, and the new sets and costumes were lovely.  The Bass Hall was all shiny and pretty and had tables full of souvenirs on green cloths and nutcrackers coming up the middle.  It was festive as could be.

The next morning I saw that my local yarn shop was offering a class about fixing dropped stitches and what to do if your work falls off the needles and how to keep from having a stroke if it happens.  It was a beneficial class for me.  When I got back home I didn't want to watch football, so we went to see "The Life of Pi".  That was a good movie and calls up some theological and philosophical questions we might not have thought about before.  On Monday, our anniversary, we went back to the movie to see "The Hobbit".  I've been a Tolkien fan for more years that I'd like to admit.  We both enjoyed it, but it will be a little while before I'm ready to go back for another movie right away, plus I'm not sure I can sit that long.

On the upside the world didn't end Friday, so that was a relief. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all and to all a goodnight.  Oh yes!  I nearly forgot!  The weather man is saying we might have a white Christmas!!  That would really be something.  The last time that happened was in 1841.  Texas was a Republic then.  We had gained independence from Mexico, but had not joined the United States.  Now that is a long time.    Crossing my fingers hoping the weather dude knows what is going on.  Even Wunderground says it is probable. 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rock and Roll Tonight

My last post was titled "Rock On", well, tonight our world rocked, literally.  We were hanging out watching tv and BAM!  I thought a car had hit our house.  We ran around looking around the house, but couldn't find anything.  My husband walked to the end of the block, but couldn't see anyone out.  We finally called one of our neighbors across the street and nobody answered.  Wow...maybe it was an alien and they took everyone.  Maybe...  Anyway I tried another neighbor's phone and they answered.  They felt it and heard it and oh my!  My guess was it was a small earthquake, and come to find out it was.

Our personal earthquake was just south of here.  The epicenter (I never thought I'd have an opportunity to say that in respect to where I live) was just south of us a little in Burleson.  It was a 2.6 magnitude, which isn't much in say California, but in my neck of the woods it is pretty big.

I guess we should have called 911, just about everyone else did.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rock On

Wow!  I've been out of pocket for a very long time.  There were replies from August that hadn't posted.  Somehow or other the thing for me to approve them got turned on.  I don't know.

What I do know is that I've missed reading you guy's blogs and I've missed sharing some of the things going on in my life.  Not that much going on around here.  About all you would have missed would have been a lot on whining and whinging- about the weather.  It has been so hot and dry it has been miserable.  Now aren't you glad I haven't posted.

I started reading Mona's blog about how she gets her Christmas decorations out and thinks she should get rid of a bunch of them.  I'm the same and have enough to decorate a department store, but this year I used restraint.  Our kids are spending Christmas with their other families this year.  We had all of them here last year and you know the mates have families, too.  So they are off on that adventure and we are starting a new adventure here.  This is the first year we have ever been completely alone on Christmas.  We are going to church on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day we are going to the movies.  I've always been sort of envious of families who did go and didn't spend the day cooking and doing dishes.  It will be an adventure to find a restaurant open, but "A Christmas Story" leads me to believe there might be a Chinese restaurant open.  Anyway back to the decorations again.  I promised that if we bought a 4' prelit tree I wouldn't ask to put up the giant one with all the lights and a billion or so balls and ornaments.  It is working out so nicely.  We put some new lights on the greenhouse this afternoon and it looks all cottagey and stuff.  Also on the subject of cottages and that like, if you want a very easy plant that is tough as nails and has survived a couple of record setting hot and dry summers I offer the small and charming Rock Rose.  The only thing it doesn't like is to be cut back.  I'm sure it is in a grand snit right now, because it got a haircut this afternoon.  It gets huffy, but gets over it.

Anyway, if you are around I've missed you and even if you aren't around, I've missed you, too.  I'm making a resolution to blog a little more in 2013.  The fascination with face book has worn off.  All these plans are contingent on surviving the end of the Mayan world.  We were talking about that grim event the other day at lunch and I've been operating on the assumption that TENOTW (The End Of The World) was to take place on 12/12/2012, but my girlfriends assured me it is to be on the 21st.  That doesn't make as much sense, but I guess I'll go along with them on this. 

Rock On and Peace be with you \/  Live long and prosper, too. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Daze of My Life

Last night before I went to sleep I had the blog and the people I've been reading for a good while on my mind.  Like extended family who have not called or written in a while I wondered what you were doing these days.  For my part I won't be writing a post everyday.  It has been nice to not worry about it.  Not sure what we have been doing with our time, but it has been pleasant...mostly.

Our tv went out a while back and we bought one at Sam's Club.  We got the young men at the store to load it and I guess we just thought we'd just carry it in and plug 'er in.  We did, but put it on my garden cart after pondering how to get it from the car to the family room.  I suggested calling our son to help bring it in, but nothing happened.  The tv stayed in the car for a few days.  Thank goodness for milder temperatures and a fairly safe neighborhood.  Hubby got the garden cart and we got the new tv on it and it didn't seem too heavy or anything, so we brought it in.  Then came the problem of getting the old one out.  Hubby started moving the old one and without thinking I was all like "Oh wait!  Let me help you with that!!"  I grabbed one end and then felt a muscle tear in my hip.  It was one extremely heavy television!  In fact the sucker weighed a ton!  From then on hubby was on his own and he called our son to help after that.  In his defense he didn't ask me to help with the tv removal.

I've mentioned my little garden cart several times and it is a doozy.  Last spring it was handy to sit on and plant flowers.  I could scooch it along down the row without having to get up and down every few minutes.  It is great for moving items from one place to another.  From now on my husband's business.  It is so rewarding when something works and is reasonably priced. 

Anyway, I'll visit, but maybe not so much writing for a while. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Working our bucket lists and 4000 miles later

It has been AGES since I've posted and from time to time I thought about not ever coming back but I missed you too much.  We finally reached a point a few weeks ago where we found there was nothing demanding our attention for the first time in...well, our lives.  No kids that need anything, no pets, no elderly, and the pool has a man, the yard has a man, and we set up sprinklers for the rock garden, and put hanging baskets into flower beds that are watered by the sprinkler system. 

Anyway, we had no responsibilities to tend to or anything.  We took off and ran like a couple of dogs that got out of the yard.

We went to Nashville and stayed at the Opryland hotel and went to the Grand Ole Opry.   That night Kevin Costner was at the show, The Charlie Daniels' band, and the Oakridge Boys.  Kevin Costner had a mini series about the Hatfields and McCoys this past spring and he has a band of his own.  They played music from the mini series.  I liked it but some of the people on our shuttle bus had not seen the series and didn't much care for his selections.  They thought the songs were dreary.  Well, the Hatfield-McCoy feud didn't have too many upbeat times.  The Charlie Daniels' band, and the Oakridge Boys sang their hits from long ago like "Elvira" and Charlie Daniels sang "The Devil Came Down to Georgia",  and some very young and upcoming country music stars sang their songs   I don't remember their names.  Oh yes, Little Jimmy Dickens was there.   He has been there since I was a kid and that is a long time!
Then onward to the Biltmore Estate and we stayed at the Inn on the estate in N. Carolina.  Dinner at the inn was fabulous.  I had the chef's tasting menu.  It was a steak with the most delicious reduction sauce.  The vegetables were so good, too.  Everything was delicious.  Dessert was angel food cake with seasonal berries.  Lord it was so good.  I told my husband if I started licking the plate to take it away from me. Ha!

We toured the main house the next morning and I just bought a book with pictures of the home and grounds.  I couldn't take pictures in there and the photos in the book are great.  It was very hot when we got out, and there is no a/c in the big house.  We had lunch at a place where the stables used to be.  We attempted the gardens, but it was just too hot.  I'll have to go back in the fall or spring or another time in the summer.    It was unseasonably hot.

We stayed at a little place in NC on the Blue Ridge Parkway called Little Switzerland.  That was interesting, too.  The local folks were setting up a tag sale in the parking lot when we started putting suitcases in the car to leave.  It might have been great fun to hang around for that, but my husband was on a mission.  They did have a Wal-Mart there, but not on the Parkway.  At another place called a Trading Post I bought myself an apron.  I love it.

The shortest route is not necessarily the fastest route we found out.  The shortest route was pretty, but HOLY COW we couldn't find a town. We got lost in that Virginia forest and in the mountains you cannot get a cell phone signal or Onstar.  Our GPS worked, but didn't tell us how far it was to civilization or gasoline!  I did contact the onstar people for a while and she told us there was a hotel coming up.  It was in a very primitive town and we actually had to go back to find the hotel.  I thought for a minute I heard a banjo start playing and scenes from Deliverance flashed though our minds.  We did forgo that hotel and forged on under out own steam.  Finally we found a gas station in a nice little town and contact again.  While hubby bought gas I went to the ladies room.  When I came out there was a siren going off.  I was all like" what now!!?",  I asked but it was the weekly test of the fire siren.  Moving onward we found a room in an ancient hotel sans banjos and slept soundly.

Moving on we went to Maryland and met up with my hubby's family.  It worked out perfectly and we went to dinner with them at the golf club. Oddly enough there was a corn patch on the course.  I thought that was probably the REAL rough.  We haven't really spent much time with them at all before and this was the the first time we have gone up there.  I've been emailing with one of his cousins since getting back home.  It was a very pleasant Sunday afternoon.

We went through Lancaster Co. Penn., but he was still on a mission or something and we didn't stop until Hershey, PA.  That is where I suspect the sore throat was contracted.  There were a jillion little kids there that didn't really want to be there and some where coughing and crying.  I bought some cocoa powder, since I've had trouble finding it at our local supermarket.  One thing I thought was so special was the hanging baskets full of petunias on all the light posts.  We can't do that here with the heat.  Hanging baskets of cactus isn't that pretty. 

Our next big stop was Niagra Falls.  It is so beautiful I couldn't believe it!  Nothing had prepared me for the majesty of it.  I've seen pictures, movies, and documentaries about it, but was still floored by the beauty.  I'd never seen a blue river that had clear water.  We rode in a helicopter over the falls.  WHAT A BLAST!!! My husband worked at Bell Helicopter for 30 years and never got a ride.  I paid for out tickets and it was worth it for him to get to go. Was fun for me, too.  That evening we went on the Maid of the The Mist boat that takes you right up to the falls on the river.  That was very beautiful, too.  Wet, too.  They give you a poncho and that helps loads, but I'm guessing there were a boatload of people wondering why their cameras no longer work.  We learned ages ago about water and cameras at Dunn's Falls in Jamaica.  I felt so stupid.  Our guide offered to hold our cameras at the van for us while we climbed the falls.  Well, it was an expensive learning curve.  I buy underwater cameras now if we go anywhere there is a lot of water.

We went over into Canada at the Falls and drove to Windsor.  The name of the bridge is The Rainbow Bridge.  I didn't find any of my pets over there though. 

Getting a stamp in my passport was one of my goals and after we'd gone a ways I noticed he didn't stamp it. They didn't stamp it when we came back to the US, either.  I'll have to go somewhere else out of the country.

By this time my throat was becoming an issue so we headed home.  I'd wanted to go to The Ozark Folk Center in  Mountain Home in Arkansas and to P. Allen Smith's place by Little Rock.  I watched  on tv while the home was being built.  Will have to be on another trip though.

We drove 4,000 miles and got some of our bucket list things checked off and added some, and had a really great time. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

On thy grave the rain shall fall
from the eyes of a mighty nation! -Thomas William Parsons

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Our days of heavy lifting and endless toil seem to be slowing down some.  The new "French Toast" color carpet is laid and the new wood floors in the den have been installed with my extra rug on it for now.  It is going to take some time to get rested again.  It has been somewhat tense from time to time during all this, and I'm amazed we haven't gotten a divorce yet.  Rest is helping frayed nerves and getting our things back where they sort of belong is a good direction.  My hubby is planning a garage sale and I'm all for it.  The rooms look so much larger without all that furniture.  At one point I was ready to move.  We already had everything packed up.  It just seemed like the right thing to do, but we didn't.  Sometime soon I'll be back with something to post, but right now this is going to be it for tonight.  The yard got part of my attention this evening and the bed is calling.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The old and the new

We are still clearing out closets and furniture around here so the new flooring can be put down.  We finished cleaning my in-laws big house and I'm finished with the little one.  If he wants to do more he is welcome to it.  I'm tired of cleaning houses and clearing brush.  The upside is the realtor thinks there is a chance of getting some offers soon.   They have had two open houses and private showings, too.  Maybe, I'll go back over.  Nah...this house must be clear for new flooring by next Wednesday when the carpet and wood arrive.  We will be busy as beavers until next Saturday sometime...or later.

Some of my friends on facebook have been really sad the past few months.  They have good reason, but it is time to pull up.  I love them and want to have them in my life for the rest of it.  This little pinterest is so true.

Source: via Linda on Pinterest

Monday, April 30, 2012

Making Progress

These past few weeks have been full of work and fun.  We went to the Hill Country and had returned the last time I posted.  Promised pics, but haven't had time.  There has been so much to do.

During one of our spring deluges water came into the house and the carpet in our bedroom had to be replaced.  It has now been a couple of weeks and we finally made a decision just last Saturday.  It will still be a couple of weeks before it is installed.  We have a lot of large furniture, and thank goodness they will move it for us...and move it back, too.  Another +

Also, we have moved forward and got my husband's folks home on the market as of yesterday.  The real estate agent had an open house and there were a number of inquiries.  We worked really hard getting it ready to show.  Thankfully the estate sale got all the furniture and stuff out.  We had the carpet taken up.  It was ages old and worn wasn't pretty either.  However, when the carpet came up there were some weird brown spots on the floor.  From the pictures it looked like the carpet pad had come to pieces and stuck to the wood floor.  When we got over there it turned out to be spots of dried mud.  I spent the most of a day on the floor with a damp cloth getting it off.  The only thing I can figure is my father in law "cleaned" the carpet in the traffic areas, and got it plenty wet.  The wood wasn't warped, though.  After a final cleaning with Bruce floor cleaner it looked pretty good.

Texas Bluebonnets

We've been working on the small house they owned next door, too.  I'd hoped to get it on the market at the same time as the big house, but it didn't work out.  I'll get the things still in it out tomorrow.  There is a storage building out back of that house that has an interesting story.  A long time ago the fellow who owned the house decided it would be his road to fame/fortune to raise chincillas.  He built a cinder block house with windows and air conditioning.  It didn't work out and he didn't make a fortune but to this day it is still called the chincilla house in our family.  Anyway, the chincilla house has collected a great number of random items, and the air conditioner is long gone.  I sure wish it was cooler, but it isn't. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter with its promise of new beginnings


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We Are Back Home And We Are Fine

We were so lucky today I can't believe it.  There were terrible tornadoes this afternoon in Texas that destroyed so many homes.  However, the good part is no deaths have been reported as of the 10pm news just now . 

We have been in the Hill Country around Austin for a few days to look at the spectacular display of wildflowers this year.  The flowers lived up to all the talk and were unbelievably beautiful. There were some that looked like white poppies. I don't know what they are called. The bluebonnets were gorgeous drifts of blue with white flowers mingled in with them. But, we have been glued to the TV all afternoon so no pictures downloaded yet.  There was film of trailers that attach to semi tractors and weigh 16,000 pounds were picked up by the tornado and thrown through the air!  It was amazing.  A grandmother saved her grandson by holding onto his feet as they sheltered in the bathtub with two other children.  The tornado was pulling at the boy but the grandmother hung on to him.  That was a story with a happy ending.  I'll bet he has a bit of a problem with going to the bathroom alone for oh probably the rest of his life.

We don't have basements like other parts of the United States.  We have heavy clay soil and they make the foundations very weak.  That is what I've been told.  I'd love to have a shelter dug in our backyard, but really I'd love one in the garage so we could get to it from the house.

While we were driving we'd had XM radio on and hadn't heard a thing about the weather. The news this morning in Marble Falls didn't say a word about this kind of severe weather up in the DFW area.  Close to home we stopped in a small town to buy gasoline. There was a radio on in the gas station and I thought I heard a weather alert. I asked where they were talking about and she said Ft. Worth, Arlington and Cleburne, where she lives.  After we got back on the road I texted my sister and cousin to see how bad it was up in Ft. Worth.  They told me to be very careful and to wait about 30 minutes so the weather would have moved out of the area.  I got a local station on the radio and, oh my there were tornadoes everywhere.  There were about 4 on the ground at once.  We had been blissfully ignorant on our way home.  I don't remember ever having a tornado in Ft. Worth before the year 2000 when there was one downtown.  There was something about the twin forks of the Trinity River and an Indian saying that because of the convergence of the forks that would save us from destruction.  It made sense to me all my life and for sure we hadn't had a tornado.  Not so much anymore, and our city fathers are going to chang the course of the Trinity so it will be all "so nice" and sort of like San Antonio's riverwalk.  Don't get me started on that nonsense.  San Antonio has underground springs and we live in a drought area.  Politics!

Anyway, just wanted to let you know we are OK and our home is all in one piece, thank heavens.  I'm going to get a good night's sleep and see about the pictures tomorrow.  Also, the disposable camera will have to be taken down to get the pictures.  When we went out searching for wildflowers a week or so ago we forgot to get the digital so bought a disposable one at the drugstore.

The Hill Country is such a beautiful part of Texas, and y'all know how much I love my state.  I just don't seem to know how to keep it to myself.

Hope all of you are well and safely in your homes with loved ones and all that.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Wildflowers and Stinkers

We are going out this afternoon to look for wildflowers.  This is supposed to be a banner year for them.  It was such a hot dry year last year the wildlower experts weren't sure what was going to happen.  It was an exceptionally hot and dry summer and fall last year.

Hope to be  back later with pretty flower pictures.  I'd told my husband about this pretty one I'd seen in a construction area where I figured there would not be any wildflowers.  The news just said it is called "bastard cabbage" and is taking over in Texas.  It has dense low growing foliage that shades out other wildflowers.  It is a real problem and from that article sounds like it is as much fun as kudzu is in other parts of the country.

On another note I thought I'd found an answer to the broken back and my love for ironed sheets. While stopping for a Subway sandwich one afternoon I saw the cleaners down a couple of doors away. When I asked if they did sheets and they said yes. The cost was about $11, she thought and that was what it was with the first set of queen size sheets I took in. I'd gotten behind on ironing the durn things because it is such a hassle to iron a king size sheet (sort of like ironing a circus tent), and the kids had been here recently so there were more than just ours to get caught up. When I went to pick up some queen size yesterday they told me it would be $39!?! They had no idea why, but only charged the $11 it had been before. I don't know what to do, but to try to get an firm estimate from them and other cleaners before taking them in. None of the websites have a listing for prices for dry cleaning or laundry. It is a market they could probably optimize if they were smart.  Maybe it is a continuation of the discrimination against women.  It costs much more for a woman to get a shirt laundered than a man and I have no idea why.  That stinks!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

The other day I noticed everyone else was making a page on their blog about St. Patrick's day.  I'm not much Irish at all.  There is a Bridget O'Brien in my ancestor list.  She was long ago and far away, but it is good to know there is something to cheer about on St. Pat's day.  These apples had been calling to me to be made into something sweet, and so I did.  There was some crust issues that ended with some filling outside of the top crust, but it tasted just fine.  It tasted really good and with a slice of cheddar, Lora.  It tasted really good with some vanilla ice cream, too.

As you can see I used the other pie bird this time.  It hadn't had a chance to be baked in a pie yet.  It did its job well.  It was the maker of the pie that didn't get the edges crimped properly.  However, in all justice these are my first pies.  Next week there will be a quiche, because we have all the leftovers to make one and I can't let them go to waste.

Here are our "shamrocks".  They came up in a pot...I don't remember buying any and if I did I need to have my head examined for if it gets into the grass there is no getting rid of it at all.  Our yard man came yesterday, but there was so much to do this time with all the leaves from the live oak falling we didn't have the heart to ask him to make a bigger effort in the rock garden.  I suppose I could have gone out and cleared some of the sweet gum spikey balls out of the picture, but there was other stuff to deal with.  One included some ordering some new bedding for the front bedroom and I can tell you right now I can hardly wait for it to get here.  I'll post some pictures when it is all done. 

Today we went to the store and as we were getting ready to check out these cookies called out to go home with me.  Isn't that always the way...the little things taste really great and the little fox has something new to guard now the apples are gone.

Here's wishing you a happy Erin Go Bragh and I'm off to cook some cabbage with some ham and some pretty new potatoes for our dinner.  Have a safe and happy weekend.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What the heck happened to Blogger?  I've been playing around with facebook and holy cow when I came today there was lots of stuff everything had changed!   Just noticed the "Try the updated blogger interface" link at the top of this page. Wonder what that ... OOPS..!

Sorry I haven't been around much lately.  I had a cold for a while and finally I'd had enough and went for a home remedy.

This worked pretty well and after a couple of nights of these I just didn't care if I had a cold or not, but wound up having to going in to visit my doc anyway.  She prescribed an antibiotic for the lingering yuckiness.  Finally getting better.

I've been going through my mother in law's jewelry and lots of other stuff.  She died last February and my father in law followed on March 30th of the same year.  Anyway, as I've been going through their stuff, while my husband repaired some lawmowers and other garden equipment for the estate sale, it occured to me that I'm pushing 70 and there is no reason for me to keep the "important stuff".  The kids have all gotten the things they wanted and they are happy.  In fact I could hear the wheels turning as our oldest daughter was mentally trying to figure where on earth she would put a quilt in her contemporary home.  I'm going to send them back over to be sold this weekend.  That pushing 70 is just me trying to get ready for it in a few years.

Oh yes, I had spent an entire day going through my mil's jewelry and putting earrings together and in general sorting it all out.  Miz Dorothy loved her some cute earrings and matching necklaces.  I'm not that into jewelry so much, but did keep a few pieces.  Anyway, I was exhausted that night and went to bed early.  The next morning I went to the garage for something and noticed all the windows on the car were rolled down.  That set me back on my heels and I called hubby to see if he had rolled them down.  He hadn't and thought I had.  Well, this puzzled us to no end.  I finally decided my mil was upset I'd gone through her things and had "spoken" from beyond.  It certainly creeped us out.  The other day hubby had to get the owner's manual to see how to turn off the automatic windshield wiper function on the car and found the answer to our puzzle.  If you hold a button on the key fob down for a certain time and hold something else down too it will roll all the windows down and unlock all the doors.  That satisfied him, but I still don't know.

February isn't a great month, in my humble opinion, but it is fun sometimes.  The Sunday of the Superbowl we were at the grocery store to pick up some snacks and found these sweet cupcakes!  They were delicious and were all yummy strawberryness.  Mona over at Wsprsweetly collects lovely items from garage sales and has lace, silver, quilts and all manner of very cool cottage items.  She has influenced me into getting out doilies and starching and ironing them, but the doily under the cupcakes is just paper.  However, even that made these little things very special.

Also, while convalesing I made a cherry pie.  I'm not a pie maker and certainly am not a pie crust maker, but I'd bought this too cute little pie bird and just had to try it.  Pie birds allow you to make a meat or fruit pie without the filling bubbling up and making the top crust all not pretty.  The pie bird I used is a red one. The blackish yuck around the edge of the pie pan is where I forgot to clean the edge before baking.  I was so excited by the finished project I forgot again to clean the edge off before taking the picture.  It doesn't take too much to dazzle and amuse me.

The crust wasn't burnt and all in all it was one of the best pies and best pie crusts I've ever eaten.  There hasn't been much baking/pie making lately because there are calories in those cute little things.  I do have some Granny Smith apples calling from the kitchen though.

Our youngest is coming from Austin tonight to stay while she is working up here for a few days.  That will be a very welcome visit.  Her dad, my husband, had a skin cancer removed from his chest day before yesterday, and she is worried about him.  Gotta tell you we will all be wearing hats and sun block more...all the time...maybe at night, too.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Jeff Foxworthy on Texas

Here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about folks from Texas

If someone in a Lowe's store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you may live in Texas;

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you may live in Texas;

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you may live in Texas ;

If 'Vacation' means going anywhere south of Dallas for the weekend, you may live in Texas ;

If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Texas ;

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live in Texas

If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both unlocked, you may live in Texas ;

If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Texas ;

If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph --you're going 80 and everybody's passing you, you may live in Texas ;

If you find 60 degrees a little chilly, you may live in Texas ;

If you actually understand these jokes, and share them with all your Texas friends, you definitely live in Texas .

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Only In Texas

My native state has so many things I love.  We subscribe to Texas Highways magazine, and some of the staffers there have made a list of 35 things they love about Texas.  Their lists of 35 things they love about Texas are so true they nearly had me all teary.  Actually I was.   I made a list, too, but am still working on it. 

Below is from an email I received today,and I''m using it for my post today.  I still have the cough and cold, but it is getting some better.  My doc gave me some antibiotics because my eardrum looked pretty red.  Plus she read me the riot act about not using my inhaler more often.  So, today's post isn't my personal writing, but it is interesting. 

Only in Texas

A history/geography lesson for all Texans, used-to-be Texans, adopted Texans or wanna-be Texans:

Just Texas
Pep, Texas 79353
Smiley, Texas 78159
Paradise, Texas 76073
Rainbow, Texas 76077
Sweet Home, Texas 77987
Comfort, Texas 78013
Friendship, Texas 76530

Love the sun?
Sun City, Texas 78628
Sunrise, Texas 76661
Sunset, Texas 76270
Sundown, Texas 79372
Sunray, Texas 79086
Sunny Side, Texas 77423

Want something to eat?
Bacon, Texas 76301
Noodle, Texas 79536
Oatmeal, Texas 78605
Turkey, Texas 79261
Trout, Texas 75789
Sugar Land, Texas 77479
Salty, Texas 76567
Rice, Texas 75155
Pearland, Texas 77581
Orange, Texas 77630
And top it off with:
Sweetwater, Texas 79556

Why travel to other cities? Texas has them all!
Detroit, Texas 75436
Cleveland, Texas 75436
Colorado City, Texas 79512
Denver City, Texas 79323
Klondike, Texas 75448
Pittsburg, Texas 75686
Newark, Texas 76071
Nevada, Texas 75173
Memphis, Texas 79245
Miami, Texas 79059
Boston, Texas 75570
Santa Fe, Texas 77517
Tennessee Colony, Texas 75861
Reno, Texas 75462
Pasadena, Texas 77506
Columbus, Texas 78934

Feel like traveling outside the country?
Athens , Texas 75751
Canadian, Texas 79014
China , Texas 77613
Dublin, Texas 76446
Egypt, Texas 77436
Ireland, Texas 76538
Italy, Texas 76538
Turkey, Texas 79261
London, Texas 76854
New London, Texas 75682
Paris, Texas 75460
Palestine, Texas 75801

No need to travel to Washington D.C.
Whitehouse , Texas 75791

We even have a city named after our planet!
Earth , Texas 79031

We have a city named after our state:
Texas City, Texas 77590

Energy, Texas 76452
Blanket, Texas 76432
Winters, Texas 79567

Like to read about History?
Santa Anna, Texas 76878
Goliad, Texas 77963
Alamo, Texas 78516
Gun Barrel City, Texas 75156
Robert Lee , Texas 76945

Need Office Supplies?
Staples, Texas 78670

Want to go into outer space?
Venus, Texas 76084
Mars, Texas 79062

You guessed it. It's on the state line.
Texline, Texas 79087

For the kids...
Kermit, Texas 79745
Elmo, Texas 75118
Nemo, Texas 76070
Tarzan, Texas 79783
Winnie, Texas 77665
Sylvester, Texas 79560

Other city names in Texas to make you smile......
Frognot, Texas 75424
Bigfoot, Texas 78005
Hogeye, Texas 75423
Cactus, Texas 79013
Notrees, Texas 79759
Best, Texas 76932
Veribest , Texas 76886
Kickapoo, Texas 75763
Dime Box, Texas 77853
Old Dime Box, Texas 77853
Telephone, Texas 75488
Telegraph, Texas 76883
Whiteface, Texas 79379
Twitty, Texas 79079

And our favorites...
Cut and Shoot, Texas 77303
Gun Barrell City , Texas 75147
Ding Dong, Texas
West, Texas (its in Central Texas ) 76691
and, of course,
Muleshoe , Texas 79347

Friday, February 10, 2012

Downton Tabby

We are big fans of Downton Abbey shown on Masterpiece Theater.  This is on icanhascheeseburger and it cracked me up.

funny pictures - Downton Tabby
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Movie Afternoon

We went to see "The Artist" yesterday/  It is a good movie.  Due to the lack of loud noises and over the top graphics we both nodded off.  It is a sweet movie, though.

My throat is sore and I just feel crummy today, so am going to go back to bed maybe in a little bit.  It has to be allergies.  The elm and cedar have been high lately.  Plus the in-law's things I've been going through have dust and cat dander in the boxes and I have the garage door open while I'm out there.  *Ahchoo*

Hope you all are well and happy.  See you later.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Busy Week And Weekend

This week has been a busy one!  The Estate Sale is starting.  My hubby signed a contract with them on Thursday.  Under the terms of the contract we had to get all we wanted out before this weekend.  Got to tell you I'm getting better.  We got it all out and now we are taking stuff back over there that we got out last spring.  Last year I was so laid up with the fractured vertebrae there was no way I could help him or even look at what he had brought over.  Today I started going through boxes to see what all could go back and my back hurts and I'm stiff as an ironing board, but I cooked dinner.

We rented "Moneyball" tonight and it is a very good movie.  Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill gave good perfomances.  Probably not enough for the movie to win best picture over "The Artist".  We will go see that on Wednesday at the Rave theater.  They have a $5 Tuesday deal and a special deal for folks in Fort Worth who take our newspaper.  We've been getting in to see the movies for $5 for both of us on Wednesday.  It is buy one get one free and there must have been another special deal.  Regular tickets are $9.50 each and seniors $7.50.  We didn't get there early enough for the matinee, either.  I don't know, but I like it.  It is my favorite theater because it has super screens and great sound.  I love movies.

So, other than the Estate Sale and going to the movies and a lot of meetings and appointments, it has been a regular week.  Last Sunday our kids in Granbury had us down for dinner.  I took the pink depression glass dishes to my dil.  She was happy and it is good for her to have them before she is old.  She will love them and use them.  That is what they are for.  I kept one glass that was chipped at the rim to use as a vase.  It wasn't good for much of anything else.

Oh, btw-Nitwit 1 if you come by...the naked ladies have come up.  It is very early, but it has been so warm this winter. On this date last year it was snowing.  We haven't really had any winter at all.  When do they normally bloom?

My word!  Shaq O'Neil is on the Jimmy Fallon show in a pink bikini with Jimmy Fallon's name on the back.  Shaq lost a bet and he had to walk two blocks in a pink bikini with Fallon's name on the back.  Shaq is a giant!  He hugged a little ole lady when he entered the theater where Fallon has his show, and she was dwarfed in his arms.  Jimmy Fallon isn't doing too well in the height department next to him.  Just hit the tivo button so I can show hubs in the morning.  No way can I describe that adequately.

Have a great weekend and I hope your favorite team wins the super bowl.  We have opted to stay home and watch on our tv in our house and eat our food.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Thunder Rolled and Rolled

Glug glug....we got rain finally.  It is like this all the time.  We have drought and we have all prayed for rain, and some get out their rain sticks, etc. and finally God hears our prayers all at once and sends a gully washer to us.  Our backyard was a small lake this morning.  It rained from about 5pm last night until about 10am this morning.  We are still in a drought and have a flash flood warning today.  The usual places have flooded and there are cars in the flood waters.  When my husband was still working there was/is an area that floods behind the building.  It is very hazardous and one year a woman was washed from her car and has never been found.  So, the slogan of "Turn Around-Don't Drown" is true. 

Have you ever noticed how the rain comes in a deluge when it finally comes?  I don't know if it is just a normal re-establishment of the norm, but it is odd to me.  It is wonderful, but sort of odd.

Got my eyes checked yesterday and have found a competent ophthalmologist finally, I think.  I take plaquenil for rheumatoid arthritis and it can cause some very serious side effects in eyes.  He gave me a couple of things to "tape on your refrigerator" and I was instructed to check my eyes each morning.  He calmed my anxiety about the drug and he has studied the patients who take it for over 30 years.  That was a relief.  I'll go back to pick out new frames next week.  My eyes were dilated and it was not the right time for eyeglass shopping.  I couldn't see anything and the rain was starting.

Last night's rain had constant rolling thunder in it for a very long time.  My husband and I don't remember ever hearing it thunder just like it did last night.  He and I just looked at each other when we were leaving the doc's office.  I hate having to get new glasses, but it is a part of living.  I love seeing and people watching and reading very much.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


There is hope for the younger generation.  They are funny as everything! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Exceptional Rudeness and Citing Works

Anthony Bourdain, a globe trotting chef, must be taking lessons in manners from Kanye West.  Kanye West ,you remember,  the guy who came on stage to interrupt Taylor Swift's award speech, and was just mean to a sweet young woman. Well, anyway Paula Deen has announced she has type 2 diabetes and will make commercials for the drug company. Chef Bourdain made some hateful tweets about the whole thing.  Chalk this up to yet another rude human making rude remarks.  Paula Deen knows her recipes aren't diet food and all, but they are southern cooking.  And, I think it is mean spirited to be rude to her about having diabetes.  I don't know, but it seems cruel to make fun of people who are handicapped or different in some way.  I'd never make fun of Chef Bourdain about his self admitted past drug abuse.  It just doesn't seem right...or a helpful thing to do to make fun of his problems.

I had diabetes for a while when my doctors had me on an enormous amount of predisone.  Checking my sugar levels and having to use insulin was not a fun time.  When I was able to discontinue the prednisone my levels returned to normal.  Thank goodness! Diabetes is a wretched disease and causes dreadful things to happen to eyes and feet for instance.

Oh yes, someone commented to me about the links I put in my posts.  I do that to let you all know where I got the information about  whatever I'm talking about since my information mostly comes from the news or some source outside of my little world.  I try to find very safe and authoritative sites to either provide further information, or to let you know where I heard about whatever I 'm talking about.  If I write about something that isn't in my little sphere of knowledge, then it has to be noted whose intellectual property is being used.  We learn about that in high school when we write our first term paper and I think that is what the deal is with Wickipedia and the blackout.  It says on this website about Wickipedia going black today:

"But while the move is most definitely a grand stand, will it do anything more than force students to do their homework early – and perhaps even reintroduce printed reference sources to the digital generation?"

If you missed the blackout or just didn't really know what it was about here is a link to The Las Angeles Times for more and understandable information.

SOPA-Stop Online Pirating Act
PIPA-Protect Intellectual Information Act

I hope people do start citing where the heck they get some of the information they post, and it is just the right thing to do.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Squirrels In My Life

It is a cold rainy day in Texas, and this afternoon I thought it time to post some of the pictures I've talked about in the past.  My husband  is one character I'd promised, but got busy and the pictures are on another computer I don't use that much these days.  Here he is:

He is my one true love, and is the best man I've ever known. Which is a good thing since we are married.

I see the sweet potato plants were still thriving on this date in the middle of November. They perished with the first freeze.  We didn't have a freeze this year until late.  There are a bunch of dianthus in the flower bed and some in a pot by the backdoor.  I saw they were blooming like everything when I came in from meeting with my knitting group last night.  Most times we leave through the garage and I miss the action by the backdoor.  I'm finding there are a number of cooler weather plants that flourish around here.  The ornamental cabbages are so pretty now, too.  However, I digress.

Another thing I'd said I'd post about was the squirrels and their feeders.  They have entertained both of us so much, and anyone who is here while they are eating.  However, when we came home from Houston from visiting with our daughter over Thanksgiving the bird feeder had been savaged and was tilted over and nothing left to eat. 

My cousin had told me she had bought a squirrel feeder and they just loved it so much and her squirrels didn't bother her bird feeder at all.  I was skeptical, because we have had squirrel invasions in the past on the bird feeders.  This fall we bought a new bird feeder and a squirrel feeder, too.  The one for the squirrels is mounted on the tree with a hinged lid the squirrel has to lift to get to the feed.
I found one very similar to this one at WalMart and we put it up on a sweet gum tree by the rock garden.  The Plexiglas front, on ours, can be turned over so the feed will run out onto the wooden tray via a cutout in the "glass", if we decide it would be better as a bird feeder.  It was out on the sweet gum tree for a good long while before the squirrels figured the thing out.  When I looked at it the other day while filling it the top has been gnawed and the top of the Plexiglas, too.  Looks to me that if the little thing figured out the flip top box part it would have gone on for the corn and seeds in it. 

The "bird feeder" is closer to the house and pretty much anymore the birds eat the seed from under the tree or on the patio.  There is rarely any in the feeder for long.  "Gordo" the squirrel, my name for "him", will keep at the bird feeder until there is nothing left in it.  He is an acrobat, too.  Below he is stretched out from the tree trunk to the bird feeder and he then goes back to a sitting position to eat the seeds in the comfort of the fork of the tree.

Hard to see but he is stretched out to the bird feeder
I couldn't find the picture editor to draw a circle around him, but you can make out his head by the feeder

empty bird feeder
My cousin's squirrels must be a more polite bunch

He has gotten everything out of the feeder at this point and licked the plate clean

Even though these squirrels are a pain at times, they have kept us laughing at them.  One day there was a young squirrel that was much smaller than the two or more adults. It got into the box of the squirrel feeder and was eating away in peace. One of the larger squirrels came to get a snack and sat on top of the box. The little one sat up causing the larger one to move up with the lid. This went on for a while before the older or at least larger one left. Probably to come up to the easier feeder. The one on the gum tree farther out in the yard makes a clacking noise when the squirrel is opening and letting the lid fall after he gets the corn and seeds from it. I'm sure my neighbors are so happy we bought this thing. Either that or they are wondering what on earth that clacking noise is. It will go away when it gets to be warmer and the food supply for the squirrels is abundant again. The neighbors will think it is some sort of a new winter phenomenon.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lunch With The Matriarchs

Today my cousin's daughter is heading back to her home in the Pacific Northwest so we all met for lunch.  I hadn't really thought about it much, but my sister, her mother, my cousin, and my sister in law I have become the matriarchs in our family.  My other sister is so busy with work and all we rarely get together outside of the Christmas party my brother and sister in law throw every year.  It is a sort of daunting task to be the repository of all things of interest (read the good parts) of our family history.  We each have a part we grew up with and know about.  I'm 10 years older than them, so I know some different things like what was going on before they were born and while they were toddlers.  And I remember the other little one who died.  She was born the same year they were to another cousin of mine, but so sadly she didn't live.  Her mother was heartbroken and I felt sorry for her, but really didn't know how to help her with the grief.  Well, this is a topic for another post.

The four of us had lunch and then pulled out the Scrabble game.  The restaurant was empty except for a few others after the lunch rush.  We are all avid players.  I can't get my husband or much of anyone else to play the game with me, though.  We played along until there was a challenge on a word and we would not allow my sister to play the word "mo", because it isn't a real word. At that point my cousin got her phone out and downloaded the Scrabble dictionary app.  It took a little while to download and we played on while it was doing so.  After some fiddling with it, she checked on another word and it was ok.  Then she checked the "mo" word and lo and behold it was a word in Scrabble.  Who woulda thunk.  We were like a bunch of old ladies playing mah jong or something in the old days, even though the youngest is twentysomethingish.  While we were playing I was thinking about what relationship my cousin's daughter would be to me.  It isn't as straightforward as some relationships.  My cousin's mother was raised by my grandmother so her grandmother was my aunt and my grandmother was her great grandmother. We simplify it by just being cousins.  This may be one for the family tree maker.

Speaking of the family tree maker I got on a roll New Year's day and found a "huge" number of my husband's ancestors.  Fortunately I'd talked to his parents about the family members they remembered before they began to not remember very much at all.  It was how I knew it was the right tree that had been posted and that made it so much easier.  Finding my maternal grandmother's family has proved to be a challenge.  I'd found her parents in one of the census rolls, but could not get any other information about her father.  On New Years I did find his draft card from WWI online.  It didn't tell me a whole lot and the writing could have been a lot clearer, but it was his I'm sure.  When I talked to my daughter she was all like "Well, how come I didn't know about this?" and "You should get a family tree made out." She didn't know, because she never expressed any interest in the genealogy I've been doing for years and the family tree when it is printed takes up many pages and would be sort of garish taped together and put on the wall.

I guess that is part of what being a matriarch is about.  We know stuff, but the younger ones have to ask.  Otherwise we don't know what to tell them or what they need or want to know.  So, if there is an aunt or a grandmother or mother in your life ask those questions and find out about your family.  You never know when the source of the information might no longer be available to ask.

The afternoon was such a pleasure with my beautiful second cousin twice removed and her mother and my sister.  All the women in my family are smart, strong, and good lookin' and the very definition of matriarch:

1.A woman who is the head of a family or tribe.

2.An older woman who is powerful within a family or organization.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The First Ladies Gain The Respect of Veterans Groups

I was so upset when NASCAR fans booed our First Lady at the race in Florida when she and Dr. Jill Biden were there to bring about more public awareness of the difficulties faced by our veterans and their families.  It was incredible to me they would be so rude and I wondered what would have happened if someone had publicly booed Nancy Regan. Anyway, today there was an article from US News about how our veterans think Mrs. Obama is the best first lady ever.  They feel she is sincere and she and her colleague, Dr. Jill Biden, have formed an alliance with companies to hire returning veterans called Joining Forces.  Veterans groups say they have never had such backing from the White House, ever. 

You can read about their work on behalf of the military families here.  I hope those individuals who thought it their best behavior to publicly harass Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden, read about their work and feel ashamed.  It probably won't happen because they are busy reading and passing on the hateful emails that sometimes come to my inbox from people I consider friends and who I thought were kind and polite people.  It is shameful the "overly righteous right" takes part in half truths and outright lies about our country's leaders.  At least it seems that way from the emails that have come to my inbox.