Friday, September 28, 2007

What's Blooming Today? A Walk in the Garden

Uhmmm. Do y'all remember the Mexico Miniature tomato plant that wasn't supposed to grow much more? Well. It did. As in: it doubled in size! And no new tomatoes set yet. Lots of blooms, no fruit. I may have to take a Q-tip to the problem.

I got one of these plants for my mom when she was in the hospital. They were so pretty, I got one for me too.

Have you ever had a day when you woke up feeling like this?

Yah, me too.

I'd much rather feel like this. (Pinata rose bud)

And a pinata rose open.

The white Mandevilla is blooming profusely. It's actually gone all the way over the top of the bower chair and is drooping on the other side.

This one was resting on a hanging basket. I like the way the light and shadows play across the flower.

OH, and the budelia that was suffering transplant shock earlier seems to have recovered and is blooming again.

This plant has never looked better. You'd never know that it literally was a ball of roots that just felt...alive...enough to stick in a pot and take a chance on. Some gambles pay off.

I'm not sure how, but somehow there seems to be a begonia growing at the base of my ponytail palm. How? Why? Where'd it come from? I don't know. But it's pretty, so it gets to stay.

You can see the ponytail palm next to the disappearing fountain and the pond. If you remember, the ponytail was one of my 25 cent rescues from last year. Humm, that reminds me, I need to go hunting again.

Pretty pictures.

They hyacinth bean vine is blooming at last!

I've still got some seeds from last year, and I'll be collecting more this year. The moonflower is starting to bloom again too.

This grows at the corner of my garage and sidewalk leading to the front door. It started out as a little sprig I stuck in a pot. Oh, there's a pot somewhere under there.

The bougainvillea is finally blooming, but only on the branches that have sported back to the original type. The variegated branches haven't bloomed in 3 years, other than one half hearted attempt.

I'm glad I kept all the branches growing.

They are pretty flowers, aren't they?

The Esperanza bush is blooming well. I've seen some hummingbirds visiting it and the Firebush growing next to it.

A Bat-faced cuphea (Cuphea llavea)

Pretty little flower faces.

A peekaboo morning glory.

The Gloriosa Rothchildiana tubers are vining, but no new blooms yet. I don't mind, as the foliage means that the tubers will be larger next spring.

Chucky plays peek a boo.

It's a pretty garden. It needs a little work and I need to clean up some rampant vines, and get ready for things to start slowing down. The nice thing about Houston is that I'll have till about November to get it all done.....
Y'all keep blooming where you're planted.

Getting Older

You know, for the most part, I don't mind getting a little older. Age, as a number doesn't bother me much. (yah, note that I said much..sigh)

It does boggle my mind that my YOUNGER sister is a grandma of four adorable grandkids. It would have been nice if it had been possible for me to become a grandmother, or a mother for that matter. Oh well, such is life.

I do mind that my skin seems to have changed. It's not as elastic, and my complexion isn't what it was. I've never used a lot of skin care products, in fact, I used to be the girl that my friends would ask to be the demonstration model when they were trying to sell various skin care lines. (Teachers usually have a second or third income of some kind.)

Oh well. Those days are over. And I don't mind, for the most part.

(well, I do mind the chin hairs and the saggy arms, okay?)

A Cover Up

I've been doing a lot of potting and re potting some of the plants I have. They've either gotten too big for the pot I put them in last spring, or have just done waaaaaay better than I expected.

One of my rescues last year was a budelia. When I got it, it was about 6 inches high and kinda puny. It's grown a little through the last year. When I picked it up to repot it, I had to wrestle with the plant, as it had sent out a lot of little roots down through the drain holes in the pot and into the soil.

I won the battle. Barely.

I got it transplanted into the new pot, and for the first week it didn't look well. But, I knew going in, that transplanting a plant of this size, esp one that I'd had to root prune, would be stressful for the plant. I gave it a little fish emulsion, and a lot of water and waited.

It was worth the wait. It's not bloomed yet again, but it looks much more vigorous.

Unfortunately, the shirt I was wearing didn't make it.

I've GOT to stop transplanting things while wearing a white least not without aprons on over them. I lose more shirts that way...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Helpful People

UPDATE: (OOPS on the links from before....had the wrong thing in my cut and paste.. links go to Ksquest now)

There are some people you meet, either in person or online, that you CLICK with. My three American Gothic Society friends are some of the people I can type anything to, and get support from. (and yes, Val, I know there are two sentences there that end in can slap me later)

I met 'Pup online. That's worked out so far, as well.

There are bloggers that touch special parts of your personality. You rejoice in knowing that you aren't the only one who knows how it feels to.......(fill in the blank)..... It's nice to speak to someone who knows where you've been and some of the problems you're going to have next and can give you some long distance help to get over that next little hump in the road.

And now, that blogger needs some help. She broke free from the medically necessary isolation her summers usually entail and went North. She found a friend, and a place to breathe. She was able to go and DO things that she'd not been able to do for a very long time. Most of us, given the restrictions her very will to live imposed upon her would have gone bitter, angry and grumpy.

You don't think so? Think back to the last time you were ill, alone in the house and were unable to go anywhere to get anything for groceries without feeling worse. Imagine a time you couldn't leave your house for three to four months of the year, and consider: what would your reaction have been?

Imagine most of the most unconsious of tasks taking careful planning to execute.

How would you have felt?

Now, imagine that you've taken a chance, throwing caution to the wind and traveled to see your family. Once there, you discover that you're not tied up inside and you have a little freedom. It would be a giddy experience.

Normally, this person of whom I speak is careful with both herself and others. She lives by a tight budget, but seems to get more living out of a limited amount of money than many people manage with 10 times the income.

Well. She messed up. Not knowing she'd be away for as long as she was, and not knowing that the banker who told her not to call, please, would transfer to another department, and not knowing that, in her mail would be a landmine, this blogger didn't have her mail forwarded to her.

And now, her house is in foreclosure. She is having to leave her family up north and make her way down to Florida. Y'all. She needs gas money. She'd budgeted this trip, based on when her money was coming in. Leaving 2 weeks early means she's leaving 2 weeks before she has the money to leave.

WE have until October 4 to help. Please do.

A Big Red Dragon

A Big Red Dragon lives in my front yard. He tends to hang around the long bed on the right side of the front yard, amoung the day lilies and roses.
He's not as friendly as the dragonfly in the backyard, probably because he's not seen me as often. The color on this critter is remarkable. Scarlett, ruby, garnet, he's like a living jewel.
I keep telling you. I LIKE dragonflies!

The Other Income

Between what I make in the tutoring center, and my retirement, and now 'Pup's income, we do have enough to pay the bills. We even have enough to start to pay down our debt. But. Not enough every month to pay off ALL the debt. It will have to be a slow process.

One thing that helps are the dollar posts. Between my blog and 'Pup's blogs, we take in somewhere between $300 and $400 dollars a month on average. Most of that money is transferred into a credit union account. From there, we write checks to the credit card company, or sometimes we pay bills and use the money we didn't use in the main account to write a larger payment to the credit cards.

Sometimes, the subjects we have to write about wouldn't normally be on our list of "Things We Want to Blog About", but the challenge of trying to write creatively and with some entertainment value is a way of exercising our writing skills.

I know some people have a very bad opinion of Blog Advertising. I can understand that. But for us, and for many others, it's been a way to ensure we can afford to blog at all.


Mr. Bossman might be the marketing guru, but I still think that having advertising pens and pencils that have the name of the Tutoring Center on them would be a good idea. That sort of passive advertising helps in word of mouth by getting the conversation started.

The kids like the pens and pencils too. They like having the pencils, especially if they are different colors. The only problem with the pencils is that the more they're used, the fewer the letters left to spell out the name of the Tutoring Center.

Christmas Jewels

The first year 'Pup and I were married, our health care was taken care of by an HMO that is no longer in this area. I didn't like that we never got to see the same doctor, but the nurses there were easier to get to know. The phlebotomist was especially good. She knew exactly how to stick 'Pup and get blood. Not an easy task, as his veins are small and tend to roll.

And what I liked best about her, from my point of view, was that she seemed to take the challenge of helping to "train" 'Pup as a husband. Her speciality was the need for and proper choosing of nice jewelry, like diamond rings, bracelets and earrings. I liked her...



In the garden of life, there are many organic options for food supplements. Still, perhaps the whole foods themselves would be a better way to get the nutrients that you need. However, I don't think I'd like eating krill, even if it provided lots of Omega-3 fatty acids, so perhaps they would be best taken in another form.

But nothing, and I do mean NOTHING will get me to take cod liver oil. Noooooooo.


Our office/guest bedroom is a mess. We've got things that need to be filed and put away and no real place to do either. The desk we've got is substantial and heavier than the bed. Unfortunately, it has no file drawer and the three small drawers it does have are in full use. This is a small room. Any storage system we'd get needs to be vertical rather than horizontal.

I like the looks of the studio RTA furniture on this site.



As you may have guessed by now, we got our computer fixed. Seems a power surge fried the power supply, making necessary some power supply repair. It wasn't free, but it was less expensive than a whole new computer, and I was very glad we'd not lost any files. It did teach us that it is a good idea to have an external hard drive. We now make a back up to the computer every couple of days.

One interesting thing we found out about the external drives was that they've gotten BIGGER and CHEAPER...but not free. Dang it. They've even got a terabyte out there, and when I jokingly asked the salesman at Best Buy how much longer before the terabytes would be the standard and I got an answer of "oh, 'bout 18 months or so...".



The Tutoring Center is having a slow month. September is usually a slowish month, as the kids go back to school, start music lessons, dance lessons, sports, clubs...(you name it), the parents just get too overwhelmed and busy to include tutoring in the mix. Besides, the kids haven't had any trouble in school yet. The year is still young and hope still blooms.

Then, the mid six weeks progress reports come home.

We get a lot busier in October.

My good Bossman used to be in market research. He was good at his job. He does a pretty good job of marketing the tutoring center, at least in the Korean community. I do wish he'd use some of his marketing know-how to expand our market.

Pretty Places

There are many places in this world that might be a nice place to visit, or even live for a while. 'Pup and I love living in Texas, but sometimes...I'd like to go somewhere, where the autumn was punctuated by the trees turning colors.

I like walking along the coast on a cool day, when most people stay away because it's too cold to swim. You find more shells that way, all you hear is the wind and the waves, and your footsteps on the sand.

It might be fun to live on a NC waterfront property, just for an autumn.


Because of the part time nature of my job, the Tutoring Center can't offer perks like insurance. Fortunately, 'Pup and I have access to health insurance via three different plans. We are covered by the retirement package he got from Huge Enormous Bank (the one that is most cost effective and offers the most coverage), the package that is offered through my teacher's retirement system (a bit more expensive, and doesn't cover as much) and we're also covered through 'Pup's job. It's not expensive, as the company picks up part of the cost, but doesn't provide as good coverage as the retirement package. We've elected to stay with the retirement package for the better coverage. Also, if we were to give it up now, we couldn't go back and re enroll. So, we've gone to the cheapest insurance 'Pup's new company offers (required) and the retirement package.

Just about the only kind of insurance we don't have is mortgage life insurance.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Whoo Hoo!

In the continuing saga of the American Gothic Society, one of our member's divorce became final today. It's been a hard road for her. Before the uncomposted manure hit the fan, she loved her husband. Then, he fell into alcoholism, and thence into some drug use. He pretended he had a job, and made deposits into the family bank account by taking out "payday loans". When all was said and done, the family's whole savings were gone.

Still, now she's beginning a new chapter in her life. She's an attractive, vivacious woman who enjoys the company of gentlemen. To celebrate the divorce, she went out on a date tonight.

Humm. I wonder if she'd like the web address to a site that sells a crotchless panty or three?

Friday, September 21, 2007


Eight years ago, 'Pup started asking me to marry him. I said no. I said no several times. Often, I said no several times during a single date. 'Pup was persistant though. He kept on asking.

I finally said yes, of course. Then he asked if I wanted a ring. No, he'd not bought one beforehand. He is a cautious 'Pup, at least with money. Not so cautious with his heart, but that was to my benefit. I almost said no, no ring was necessary.

I quickly came to my senses. How quickly? I didn't finish saying no before I was editing and clarifying my position. Yes. I did want a ring, and I wanted a nice one, not elaborate, but something that would tell people we were serious about our commitment.

All in all, it's worked out.

Last year I was able to get him a gift for our anniversary. I got him a picture of Brain from Canvas on Demand. We both like the picture, and still miss the dog.

Recently, we've been discussing our wedding pictures. 'Pup is no longer the man in the pictures. He's about half the size of the man in the pictures. So, we've discussed getting some more pictures made of the two of us for our anniversary gifts to each other.

Now the question will be: Can I fit into my wedding dress? I'm almost afraid to try.

Nerdism says I'm a Cool History / Lit Geek.  What are you?  Click here!

Thursday, September 20, 2007



I'm not sure WHY we had a pet pig. Nor am I sure about why it was covered in painted flowers, kinda blocky (as it it was kinda SQUARE) and seemed to be made of concrete.

Still and all, it must have SAID something I thought was funny.

Has anyone ever woken up from a dream laughing? Other than me, I mean?

'Pup says I went from a smile to a giggle to a full blown guffaw before he woke me up to ask what was so funny.

Damn. I sure wish I could remember the joke.... and the punchline.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Nothing really new to add. Mom is getting a little better, and wants to go home. She misses her own bathroom... which is pretty plush actually. See, my bro and bro in law redid it completely with walkin closet, tiled shower with inset shelves, pretty paint and wallpaper, ect. It looks like something in a very expensive spa.

When she does get to go home...I don't know. She's going to try to convince the doc today. She's dealt with enough of them to know a lot of good arguements, but she may not win this one just yet.

Friday, September 14, 2007

My Mom

My mom's in the hospital now. She's not been feeling well since Tuesday, but didn't go to the doctor until Thursday. The doctor put her in the hospital fast, as he was worried.

She'd had a very bad headache, neck pains, shoulder pains, spinal pains and was throwing up and had a very high fever.

The news is one of those good news/bad news sort of things. She's going to be okay, she's not contagious, and right now, she's doing better.

The bad news is that she has viral meningitis, and they can't figure out where she might have picked it up.

I've gone and been back from B.C. today (Friday). I have to work on Saturday morning, and will probably need to go back down there Sat afternoon, spend the night and see what I can do. Mostly, I suppose, I'd be there to keep my mom company while she's in the hospital. See, my family, having two nurses in it, knows that if possible, it really is best to have a family member with you as much as possible if you can arrange it.

Still...she's in the hospital where she used to work as a nurse, and then as an administrator. She's been retired long enough that most of the young nurses have never heard of her, or only know of her from around town. All in all, they're taking good care of her, and she's finally eating.

Oh, that's the other thing. She's not been eating. I suspect that some depression, combined with an upper respiratory infection (they're treating that with some big gun antibiotics) has made eating a less than attractive activity. I'm glad my niece has been with her.

Some other good news is that my niece (who is developmentally delayed...she operates at about a 8 to 12 year old level) has earned her CPR card. The instructor gave her a verbal test, as my niece doesn't read well enough for the written test. She's now the very proud carrier of an official and well earned CPR First Aide Card.

She's hot stuff, my niece.

Pain is Not a Good Thing.

'Pup's been suffering lately. The doc's got him on some pretty powerful pain medicines, but they've not been working as well we'd hope. There are days that he's in pretty severe pain, especially in the hands and fingers. This has caused him some difficulty in his job, as it is pretty much done by typing on the computer. Not so good.

I don't think he can take any more of the big opiates and still function properly. We've been trying some of the alternative methods for osteoarthritis relief, but they've not been completely successful yet. Still, it's worth trying.

The Cutting Edge

I like to keep a knife with me outside. It's useful for cutting things like Morning Glory vines that are threatening to engulf my house again. Seriously, y'all, if these vines had thorns, my house would look like Sleeping Beauty's castle before the Prince got there.

Now, while that would do a pretty good job of keeping the airconditioning bills lower by insulating the house and blocking ALL SUNLIGHT from my house...I think I need to use some of the good weather that we're supposed to have for the next few days cutting back and whacking back and pulling down those danged vines. They're pretty, but they're so tough a pair of scissors doesn't work well. They grow in tight enough spaces that a safety utility knife is really more useful than a bigger knife.

Now, if I can just remember to take them OUT OF MY POCKET before washing the pants...then we'd all be better off. Really.

Vroom Vroom

My Saturn is 11 years old now. She's a good little car, but she's showing her age. I need a new headliner and things need a little...spiffing up. I'm going to try to get it detailed soon, and see if a bright new smelling shiny car is as good as I think it might be.

'Course, if I really wanted to spiff her up, I'd have to get a dashboard kit like I saw the neighbor using on his car. I asked what he was doing and he said that he was putting on some Chrysler 300 accessories.

Just only 20 or 30 more years, I'll have an antique car!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Was that crazy last night or WHAT?

Here we had this innocuous little tropical disturbance lurking off the Texas Gulf Coast. Then, it got a little more disturbed and became a depression. Not satisfied with it's life (depressed and all) it got a little attitude and became a Tropical Storm.


It threw a danged hissy fit, stomped off to the East and decided to dump alot of the baggage it carried all over the rest of the Gulf Coast. And it was a blow-hard about it too. No suffering quietly for Humberto...oh no.

It stayed a hurricane for quite a while after it went over land too. Now THAT'S attitude!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Tropical depression number nine has just formed right off the coast, ***UPDATE: it is now called Tropical Storm Humberto*** about 78 miles away as of about 12:30. The worst of the rain should be well to the east of where I live, but East Houston and Pasadena and points east of there are gonna get even soggier than they are now. Some parts have already had several inches of rain, and it's not going to end for a couple of days.

Glub Glub.

We're going to be relatively dry here. We've gotten about a 1/2 inch of rain last night and this morning, but we're not going to get the dirty side of this storm unless it lands west of the projected path.

Noodling 'Round, Counting Blessings

To balance out that rather long and serious post just under this one, I think I need to put a few of the good things in life up for counting. Blessings should be counted more often, I think.

1. I FOUND MY NIKON!!! Hooray for clearer pictures. Where was it? Well, I'm not saying, but I will let slip that all those times I sat at the computer wishing I knew where it was with me. Some things hide so easily in plain sight. PS: Thank you 'Pup, for finding it.

The Mexico Midget tomato (hey.. that IS the name the grower put on it!) has grown a little and is putting on a lot of flowers. Hopefully, more tiny tomatoes will set.

Because, what is better than a homegrown tomato picked in September? Even a tiny one has more flavor than a pound of the plastic tomatoes at the store.

2. I've been gathering the seeds for next years Moonflowers. I'm going to plant several next year. If you live in Houston, I might be persuaded to part with some.

3. How 'bout a few gratuitous shots of Lady SpitFire. Her coat is a bit raggedy as she resists any help with her shedding and sometimes has to have knots cut out of it. She doesn't like that either, but I can sometimes sneak up commando style and get at least a snip before she gets snippy.

4. Oh, and one more dragonfly picture. I think this individual has its territory around the pond and backyard. I think I recognize this pretty bug, and it has no fear of me. Makes it easier to get a picture. Click this one to make it full sized. It's worth it.

There are so many other things to be thankful for in this world. Take a little time and count a few of your own.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Some Thoughts

September Sky

It was a beautiful day to fly
through azure skies as deep as a tropical sea.
It must have drawn the eye
up to see and admire
the sight of sharp edged tower
against that infinite sky.

The air was so clear and filled with light
that you had to envy those
able to travel in buoyant flight,
‘til the comfort of the familiar wing
became unease, an incomprehensible thing
unfolding within our unwilling sight.

And when it hit and when it burned
a nation cried
a city yearned
for the safety of innocence lost
as every bad dream was tossed
within a lesson in terror too well learned.

Nancy France September 11, 2007

Good people the world over grieved for those lost, so incomprehensibly, in an unthinkable event. And it was both of those things, as most of us are never so filled with hate that we’d want to destroy strangers, a whole country of strangers, who’d only recently been your host. These terrorists lived with us. They lived and learned to fly here in the United States. They rented from and had Americans as neighbors. Undoubtedly they had strangers who would smile and wish them a good day, as they planned that stranger’s death. Most of us can only say; how could this have happened?

Americans, as a whole, are not used to hating a whole group of people. Oh, we’ve done it , in the past. But our culture dictates that once the argument or fight is over, we are supposed to forgive and forget. Yah, most of us work on that, pretty hard, especially in our personal lives. But consider: Japan and Germany are now our trading partners. Even Russia is no longer seen as the great enemy. China, who used to refer to us as a paper tiger, now seems to think we can be given trash to give to our children or pets, but we trade with them too. We invest money and time with them. We may remember why we fought these countries, but we give them those two things, money and time. And those are things we value, highly.

But now, we’re faced with an enemy who hates us for who we are and vows to kill, not conquer us. They want us dead.

And still, we can’t understand it. We don’t want to be enemies with anyone in particular. We want prosperity. We even want others to prosper as well. Hate has no profit for most of us. It isn’t cost effective.

So, how do we deal with an enemy who wants nothing from us except our deaths? They are an enemy who shares a face with those who profess to be our friends, and is an enemy who lives among us as neighbors.

We all know people who are followers of Islam, and are good neighbors. They are part of our society, and make a real contribution. How can we hate our neighbor? We are instructed by our God to love our neighbor.

That is not to say we have no bigotry involved. It is, of course it is. It is a natural response to mistrust those who are not like us, especially if the “not like us” involves a wish for our deaths. It’s hard for most of us to love a neighbor who hates that we even exist.

We are in a war in a country we went into as liberators. We’d like to leave now, but we’ve not finished what we came to do. We want these people to live prosperously. We’d much rather sell them something than shoot them. We’d rather go as friends, than leave as enemies. We are there to help peace happen. We are blamed for deaths of people killed by their fellow citizens. The same people we’d like to help become a people able to live with one another in peace are wasting our best young men and women. They are wasting their own best as well.

Perhaps the lesson we will take from this is that you cannot give peace. You can only help it come into being by helping those who do not want to hate any more.

I don’t want to hate anymore. I don’t want to be angry anymore. I don’t want to see my nephew hurt or worse. I don’t want anyone’s son, husband, father, mother, sister, niece, nephew, grandchild damaged by a bullet…whether it is a bullet that hits them in anger, or a bullet that they have to fire in anger.

But, given the choice of who dies, between “them” and “us”, I’d rather it be “them”. Then, the rest of “us” can get on with our lives.
If they want to go to heaven as a martyr, please, let us help them get there.

Update: I want to include a link to last years post that honored one of those lost in the Towers.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Saying Goodbye

Guy and Sweet Thing are going to have to say good-bye to a dear one soon. My heart breaks for them.

It still hurts for Brain.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Gossamer Beauty Onwing

I love dragonflies.

They are beautiful and eat mosquitoes, and fly with such grace that they capture my imagination. If I were to be an insect, I'd want to be a dragonfly.

And best of all, they like me, too.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Warmness and Cold Ass Winters

When I was 17, my daddy got a new job. He'd been working for Texas A&M for 12 years as a nuclear reactor operator and got a job with HL&P to work on the plant they were building in Matagorda County.

It paid a lot more than the university.

Most jobs do.

The only downside of it from MY perspective was the fact that we had to MOVE to (shudder) Illinois. Now, it's not really Illinois that was so bad. See, it was my Senior year of High School. Consider that, y'all. I wasn't popular or in the "in" group, but I had my own circle and was welcomed in the fringes of other circles.

I was smart enough to be in the "Brains" group, but not impressed enough with myself and my mighty intellect. Still, there were some kids in the circle I liked. I wasn't "Cool" at all, but some of the cool kids liked me for some reason I never could figure out, but was thankful for...

I was in Band.. and that was good, but bad for moving, as I liked my band director and we had a GOOD band, both marching and symphonic, and I was in both. My circle in the school society had a lot of the kids of visiting faculty at A&M...esp the foreign nationals. Seems to be a common theme in my life, come to think of it. I suspect, if there'd been such a category, I'd have been elected "Most Likely to Marry Someone from Somewhere Else". (and I did, but that's another loooooong story)

But the deal killer for me was my activity in Girl Scouts. Hey. I TOLD you I wasn't Cool. I was a Band Nerd and a Girl Scout, I talked to the exchange students and I never dressed ... right... somehow. No fashion sense and a Mom with five kids and no problem with buying school clothes for them from garage sales didn't help.

The Girl Scout thing was a deal breaker because I'd been elected, to my own great surprise (real surprise, as I'd been the one announcing the results of the election and I had a hard time comprehending that I was about to read my own name!), as the Chairperson in charge of Camping Activities and Training. It was a job I would have loved to do.

I know it doesn't look like it now, but I really did go camping almost every weekend my Freshman, Sophomore and Junior years in High School. I hiked, fished, cooked outdoors, led CPR classes, knot tying classes and desperately wanted to learn to play guitar. Alas, my hands were deemed too small and my mom and dad didn't want to spring for a guitar.

I begged my mom and dad to let me stay in Texas. I said that I was sure I could find a family willing to let me stay with them, I wouldn't be any trouble, and I earned a lot of my own money with babysitting jobs. Oh, I didn't mention my baby sitting service company? I started when I was 12, built a clientele base that was wide enough to keep myself and two or three other teen girls busier than we wanted to be.

Sigh, it was not to be. Instead, we were off to the North, where strange talking people willingly endured winters that included no blooming flowers for 8 or 9 months of the year, and where white stuff came down in great quantities when it got cold.

And it got VERY cold.

Now, mind you, I owned sweaters. I even owned a light coat, suitable for times it got coldish. I was NOT prepared for a winter that required something along the lines of a North Face jacket, or mukluks, parkas and strange hand wear that had room for only the thumb and went by the strange name of "mitten".

My protestations aside, my family packed up and we went North. Our dog, Angel was no trouble to travel with, she thought she was a person anyway. The cat, was another thing all together. We had to sedate him, and even so, he ended up making laps around the van, on the edges of the windows, laps, and anything else he could land on, until he found my dad's lap. Once he got there, he figured out who was in control of this moving house. Not totally trusting mere humans, he stayed in my dad's lap, standing on his hind legs and putting his paws on the steering wheel, as he helped my dad drive. He couldn't reach the pedals, or he might not have needed my dad there at all.

My dad was a very phlegmatic person, used to all sorts of things (with 5 kids, you learn to take life as it comes, and even this... assistance... didn't bother him much.

Oh, I survived my loooong ass winter North of Chicago. But I never got over missing out on being in charge of the Bluebonet Council Campouts.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Da Interview....

Sigh, I'm sadly in need of a hair color treatment, but oh well.

Go here and see me....(it's very short!... but then so am I)

Da interview

Garden Meditations


I was on TV last night, on the news. I swear, there I was for at least ...oh....20 seconds!! But, I've not been able to find a copy of the interview on the website yet. Maybe tomorrow. If not, I'm gonna call that reporter and get him to send me a copy!!!

Everyone deserves their own 15 minutes of fame, and all I'm asking for is my 20 seconds or so.



I like books. I like to own books. 'Pup doesn't really understand this need of mine to own and keep books. I like having them around, as I enjoy reading them several times.

Oh, the library is a good place. I like checking out books. What I don't like is returning books. I hate turning them in late. And I usually end up turning at least one or two in late.

This was especially true this summer, as I didn't have as much time to read books as I would normally have had. Instead, I was working or...uhmmm reading blogs. Y'all are some good reading, by the way. I never know what I'll be reading from one day to the next, and everyone out there has so many unique and interesting perspectives that I can't resist following you to the next post.

But, back to books. I've not bought many books in the last couple of years, but more and more I've been looking online. It's just that......when I find a book I want to read, I don't want to wait for it to come in the mail!

Yah, that's me, instant gratification!


'Pup sent me to Verizon to get a new battery for his phone. His battery isn't holding a charge as long as it did when it was new. The battery in his phone isn't the original. When we got our new phones, we each got an extended life battery in addition to the standard one.

Unfortunately, they don't have any more batteries for this phone. Dang. Less than 2 years old and it's already obsolete. Oh well, there are other places to look for the battery, but I have a feeling that to get a new battery, we may have to get a new phone!

New Stuff

Well, our old HP computer is working pretty well now. But as we looked around, the new computers are causing the inner geek in both 'Pup and I to start stirring restlessly. The inner geek wants a new 'puter. The inner geek wants a new viewsonic monitor. The inner geek wants 4 Gigs of RAM and a terabyte of memory.

That inner geek needs to get his own job.

Knives and Clocks

When I was 8, I wanted/needed a pocket knife. We played in the woods a lot and could only watch in envy as some of the older kids would reach into a pocket and pull out a knife with more blades on it than the number of kids wearing shoes.

Yah, I know. Nowadays, you'd not hear of a kid under the age of 18 even allowed to touch a knife, nor would any parent nowadays let their kids wander around in the woods without a parent, much less without shoes.

Somehow, we all survived.

Anyway, back to the knife.

Being the logical first born child that I was (am), I planned out my campaign for a knife with great care. I studied my Girl Scout handbook on knife safety. I studied my brother's Boy Scout handbook for the proper ways to use a knife. I planned my demonstration and case with great care. I knew how, why and when to use a knife, clean a knife, be safe with a knife. I practiced.

So, thus prepared, I approached my dad on an auspicious day (one when the Aggies had won a game), and launched into my presentation. My dad was fascinated. He let me go through my whole demonstration of safety awareness, care and sharpening, my well thought out reasons that I should be allowed to have a pocket knife. Why, I'd even saved up my own allowance, knew how much the knife I wanted cost and where to get it.

When I'd finished the first half hour of my soliloquy, my dad made me stop. I was crushed. I'd so much more evidence of my respectibility and responsibilty and readiness to carry my knife! Was I to be able to present my case?

Turns out my dad had heard enough. With a bemused smile I didn't understand for a few years, he review my more salient points, and said that yes, indeed, I was worthy of a knife.

My brother, a year younger, didn't get his knife for a couple more years. Even so, one of the first things he did was cut something he shouldn't have cut.

Ever since then, I usually carry a knife on me, or have one in the car. I didn't know that some people from other places didn't do the same. Funny, but even now, if you have something that needs to be cut, trimmed or freed, and you're near a man or woman who grew up in Texas, all you have to do is ask to borrow a knife. Usually, one of us will have one.

My first knife wasn't my last. I had several through the years. The ones I coveted most were the nifty Swiss ones with soooo many blades. I like reliable and well made things, like Swiss Army knives and swiss army watches. Quality is worth having.

Poker Face

The summer my mom's brother was sick (esophageal cancer), I stayed with my Grandmother to help care for him. It was not a fun summer.

The only bright spot in the summer was that I got to spend some time with some cousins, well... actually they were my first cousin's cousins...making them my first cousins, once removed. (okay that made my head hurt.)

I'd known these cousins and my "aunt" pretty much all my life, but hadn't really gotten to spend a lot of time with them as an adult. Every Saturday night, we'd meet at their apartment and have a marathon game of poker.

We didn't play fancy. There were no poker tables, just a dining room table, crowded with family eager to pry as many pennies out of the other members of the family as they could.

Yes, I said pennies.

I did pretty well. I started the summer with about $5.00 in change. Even after paying the kitty to pitch in for pizza and cokes, I ended the summer with about $24 or $25.00. I even won the biggest pot of the summer, a "huge" pot of about $3.50.

I did it with a straight royal flush (of diamonds). No wild cards. And I didn't finish the straight until the last card was dealt around. All I had showing was a ten of diamonds and a queen, just high enough to justify being in the game at all. My "uncle" couldn't believe it when I just kept raising the stakes. He was earnestly trying to get me to stop, believing that there was no way I could beat his see, he'd had the other tens and at least one of the other queens. To this day, I don't know what made me keep raising, when I didn't have all the cards I needed. Somehow, I just knew I was going to get them.

And I did.

The look on my "uncle's" face was priceless.

They might not have ever played with me again, if I'd not lost the next pot...


I called my mom tonight to tell her that I'd be on television. First, I had to explain that I'd been robbed. I hadn't told her, you see, as I'd not wanted her to worry. I guess it was just as well I could tell her that the miscreants had been nabbed as I told her about the robbery. I hope she saw me. I didn't look tooo bad.

I had no idea my voice was so high. Somehow, it sounds deeper inside my head.

She caught me up on some family news at the same time. Seems my youngest brother has succumbed to the family curse and has developed diabetes. He'd gone to a nurse practitioner because he felt bad and they'd discovered his blood sugar was over 600. My sister in law called my mom because my brother was refusing to go to the emergency room. He didn't have the money.

He didn't have the insurance either (grrr!!!). He works for a large company and could have bought into a good policy, but he thought that he couldn't afford it.

Yeeee Gods and little fishes! There is one thing that comes right after the mortgage payment in our budget, and that is insurance. You can't afford NOT to have it!

My mom was able to get him to go to the emergency room by promising to pay for it herself. Then, she threatened to drive to Austin and take him to the hospital herself if he wouldn't go any other way. When my mom talks like that, we know to listen.

He went. He's on a diet, taking insulin and is feeling better. I wonder how long his glucose levels had been so high? Dang.

He's signed up for the insurance through his company now, and knows why it's important. Now, if he doesn't take care of himself, the next insurance he'll need is term life insurance.

Da House o'da Mouse

Anyone want a vacation? I'd like to travel in style one day. I've always wanted to go to Disney Land, Disney World, Disney anything. What can I say? I've always loved dat silly mouse.

When I was a little girl, my family would gather on Sunday nights to watch the Wonderful World of Disney. I remember Walt Disney would introduce the movie, and my mom would bring out a big tray of cold cuts, crackers, sardines and a rare treat: Coke! Our usual beverage was either cold milk or Kool-aide and a carbonated beverage was not one of my mom's usual purchases at Piggly Wiggly.

Someday, when we win the lottery (assuming that we ever play the lottery), we'll treat ourselves to a trip and a vacation home Orlando.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I do like the Law!!

(and yes, I'm just fine... injuries have healed up nicely)

Go here.

Update: I was on the news! I was interviewed, as was 'Pup about the robbery. I'm even wearing makeup. The video isn't on the website yet. I will check tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hummm, Well....

I got a phone call today from the local NBC affiliate today. Seems they want to interview me about the robbery. Seems my perps are going to be featured on a Crime Stoppers flyer and story on the station.

Now, do I want to do this interview? Maybe. Do I want to do it with my face and identity masked? Uhmm probably.

On the other hand. The nasty critters already had my driver's licence. It's not like they don't know what I look like. 'Pup would rather I do it incognito.

What do y'all think?