Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Traveling Notes...Around My Head and an Angelic Visitor

I had fun at blogher, even with the carpet and the fact that the bathrooms were at one end of a long, long salon, and the elevators were at the other end. It's left me a little combobulated.. and I'm still sorting things out.


For the most part, I hung the swag bags on the back of the wheelchair.. until Leslie schlepped them upstairs to our room. Y'all... Blogher swag: Un- Be- Leeeeve-able!


Speaking of which, I used some of the Suave shampoo (full sized bottles!) and conditioner today.. and I LIKE it. Even as I was shampooing, I LIKED it, and the way it felt and smelled and left the hair feeling good. Thank you Suave!


'Pup is happy with the Microsoft Business Suite I got, and is fiddling around with it on his lap top. He loves spreadsheets, does my man.


Meanwhile, I've just about finished the food swag.. mostly cereal bars I've had for breakfasts on the way to work, but some baked chips and popcorn snacks too.. that weren't too bad. I still have some big old lollipops, but I did promise to save those for the nieces and grand nieces and nephew. A girl's gotta draw the line somewhere.


Now, if only I could have won one of the myriad contests I entered while there.. I'd be really happy.


So, now it's August. 'Pup's birthday is this month, in just a couple of weeks, and while he doesn't want anything big, I do like to find SOMETHING (on sale!) to give to him, along with a card. There are some big gig memory sticks out there, and that might do...or maybe a new belt. I dunno. If he's reading this.. now he doesn't know either. (Hi 'Pup!)


One thing I did find out while using the wheel chair, is that I need some sort of small, secure, mini backpack for the back of my chair. I've been using a couple of bags, and a Chicago Botanical Gardens backpack for the most part, but they have their drawbacks.. mainly.. accessibility. As in: way to accessible to someone standing behind me. I need something not quite so easy to get into.

It's a work in progress. I roll slow, but I get there, with a little help from my friends.. and the occasional angel.

Leslie and I met an angel in Chicago, btw. We'd gone down a long hill, looking for food.. and we were both feeling...okay.. about the prospect of going back up it... until we tried to go back up it. Not so good. Neither of us were at our best that Sunday morning, and my leg assist had been rendered impossible. I'd used them once too often and they weren't going anywhere for a little while. As we sat (and stood) there, pondering the possibilities, including a cab, we heard a voice behind us.

"Y'all need a little help?" I swear, music was playing. Of course, it might have been one of the street musicians.. but.. music. was. playing!

He pushed me up the hill, and talked to us the whole way.. and didn't even get out of breath. He was from Paris, Illinois, and I'm ashamed that his name escaped me. He was in town with his wife, celebrating their anniversary. She was in one of the shops, and he'd been waiting outside when he noticed we needed help. God Bless him.

Y'all, include him in a prayer tonight. One of thanksgiving and praise.

Monday, July 27, 2009

More For the Money

First, hello to anyone who's here because they met me at Blogher! I've noticed my recently abysmal visitor rate is up a bit, so here's hoping y'all might want to visit again. And comment. Sometimes, it gets lonely in here...

After the trips I've taken recently, about the only things I want to buy are things I find on a deep discount and on sale. Money being what it is, or rather, what it isn't, sometimes...it's good to find something you want a little cheaper.

One of the things I saw while traveling were an amazing number of younger travelers (when you're being pushed around the airport by a nice man taking you to your gate, you've time and energy to gawk), who walk around with these white cords seemingly implanted into their ears. They never come out, those white cords.

In fact, they seem to be so permanently in place, the safety lecture you get on the airplane has started to include them. Both up and back on American Airlines, the safety lecture told us that anything with an on/off button needed to be turned.. OFF.

Fair enough.

Then, they made it a point to tell the passengers that it was okay to leave the earbuds in your ear...but the media players had to be turned off.

Note: a separate instruction needed about the permanently installed white cords.

Talk about an earworm. When I go around with a song stuck in my head it can drive me crazy. How do the younger people manage to walk around, carry on conversations, do work, pay attention to things around them.. play games.. FLIRT... with tunes from a media player feeding into their heads non stop? It boggle the mind.. Okay.. well, it boggles MY mind.

A lot of things do that. Seems like more and more things do... is it an age thing?

All that being said. I want my own set of cords. The portable media players I saw looked like they'd be handy ways to carry some information, and I've been reading that you can even download whole episodes of televison shows to carry around with you. Audio books can even be carried. Audio books in small, portable players would be really nice to have when traveling, or when pulling weeds.

Though, often, I use the weed pulling as a way to picture removing/yanking out irritations...or people who irritate me.

You know, come to think of it.. after I retired from public schools...I don't have as many faces to put on those weeds anymore. Fewer things are so emotionally troubling to me now, and I'm happier. I like semi-retirement. Just wish it paid better.

All the more reason for the audio books, I guess.

But, if ANYONE ever sees me walking around with cords that are seemingly permanently implanted, you are hereby given permission to yank them out of my ears and step on them.

It will have meant that the aliens have taken over my brains.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Good Morning All!

The lovely internets.. ahh the lovely internets. I do love you. You've given people with voices a place and way to be heard.

Note: I do not say that it has given us voices. We had voices. It's just that no one was listening.

I like being listened to... in fact, I came to the realization that my most interesting and "best" of my good dreams deal in some way with someone LISTENING to me and paying attention to what I'm saying... and then doing what I tell them to do.

Control issues much? Ya think?

I love you internets and I love you internets people!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Disease Doesn't Define Me,...

But it does help explain me.

Life and life happens, and not all of us end up perfect. Some of us are less perfect than others, and others of us are perfectly imperfect.

Building a community of people dealing with challenges that most people don't face. I have some personal experience with this, dealing with the challenges of trying to do a physical hobby with a less than perfect physical abilities.

Do you have to look sick to be be sick? Some people would be shocked to know that they have friends who deal with challenges that would floor them.

Don't limit your identity with your limitations. There are more parts of your lives that aren't limited by your illness. On the other hand, your imperfections don't need to be hidden and you don't have to hide.

So what are mine? Look at my side bar. I put it out there, what's wrong...but you'll have to read the rest of this blog to see what's right. Hopefully, what's right is stronger than the what's wrong.

When You;re Not a Mommy Blogger, Political Wonk or a Geek...

What do you blog about?

Some of us fit nicely into a lable. They concentrate on their subjects and do them well.

Then, there are the rest of some of us. What are we, anyway?

Some of us keep and write several independent blogs, (I've tried..not so much for me...others have more to say).

Are you diluting your message, or just fully expressing oneself?

Personally, I have a couple of blogs I try to keep up with, but this one is my baby. I don't focus on just one thing. As Maria Niles said, "Interesting people have lots of interests..."

What do advertisers go after? Who do they pursue?

The give money to Mommybloggers, and to Technology bloggers and even to Political bloggers. They seem to think the rest of us....don't spend money.

I've got news for you. We do.

I was glad to know, here at Blogher, there are a group of women who have the same frustrations about that. We're out there. We have interests that go beyond our front doors, and lives that range far beyond any narrow category.

I read Mommybloggers (tho, I HATE that term, btw), I read political blogs, technology blogs, blogs about diverse lifestyles, military blogs. My question is: Why the hell would anyone WANT to be known as only one thing?

Women have been marginalized that way for... well....forever. We are ONLY (fill in the blank).

NO. Time for us all to step back and start telling companies that, DAMN IT!... we're out here too.

Blogher, So Far, Not So Good

It's got to get better.

The doors in the hotel are not really wide enough for my chair. The carpet is making it hard to move around.. I'm finding it hard to find my way around, as I don't get to follow signs, as I have to search for elevators to try to get to places I'm trying to find without having to try to go down an esclator or stairs in a wheelchair.

I fell backwards and hit my head. I'm not feeling my best right now.

So far,

Blogher FAIL

OH!! And I registered for this thing and paid for it in frickin' DECEMBER.. and when I got here at 11...NO MORE SWAG BAGS.

DAMN

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Popular Toys in the House

Have I every mentioned that 'Pup tends to like to collect flash drives, about the same way some little boys like to collect Hot Wheels cars? Well, he does. And, like those little boys, he does play with his toys. Okay... he's a man, so he USES his toys..errr tools. So, the 8G flash drive I got the other day...is out of my hands. Thing is, I like "Hot Wheels" too, and I like the flash drives to store pictures. I did snag the card that comes with the set, so I'm not likely to run out of space to take pictures. That's a good thing. I like good things.

I plan on taking a lot of pictures at Blogher. My camera has a no flash option.. hehehehe hopefully, no one will notice, or mind me clicking away.

I was glad to get the pair on sale, and when they become available again, I'm going to grab at least one, perhaps two sets. My little computer doesn't have a cd drive, so anything I want to carry with me...off the hard drive...will have to be on a memory stick or a card. Not all that bad a thing, I think. I suspect that eventually, CDs will go the way of floppy drives and ...okay...I realize I just lost anyone under 30 that might be reading this. On the other hand, I suspect I don't have that many readers fitting in that particular demographic, so.... anyway. No more floppy drives and someday, no CDs.

I've seen the 32 G cards and sticks and don't think that both 'Pup and I aren't looking and drooling and wondering if we should get one, or just wait for the 64's that are bound to come out sooner or later.

Sigh.. the toys just get more and more attractive.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Searching

Gulp.

I'm going to be in the presence of way too many strangers, non of whom.. or very few.. know me.

Did I ever mention that I'm a little nervous about meeting strangers? Especially strangers I've never met, even online?

I am afraid of judgement, I suppose. What will they say? What will they think. Why will I care?

But I will. I will care. In some deep, private part of me, I will care that not even the best weight loss pills in the world can make me skinny enough in 48 hours to make me "normal" sized, nor will anything make it easier for me to walk.

So, somewhere in the most public parts of me, I will tell myself I don't care and that most people are far too involved with themselves to give me more than a half a moment's thought. I'm not that important that people will spend too much time judging.. and if someone has so little in their life that they have time to judge me...then I ought to feel sorry for them.

That's the grown up thing to think, and feel.

But, deep inside me, there's a four-year-old who'd really like to be just like everyone else.

Cafe con leche With My Friends



When I started this post, I had just come back from the Lone Star College library where I meet my adult conversation student. I say student, but it's more like meeting a friend, and of course, I'm learning too.

A delightful woman, charming husband and 2 kids that are both cute and smart and nice. I'm privileged to have a conversation with the lady and/or her husband every Friday. We'll have to miss next Friday, as I'll be out of town...with Leslie.. in Chicago...at Blogher.

I never thought I'd ever be attending a Blogher, not really having the sheer courage it would take to walk into a convention of women I didn't know, really, except, that some of them, I've been reading for several years and kinda know more about them than I do my next door neighbor. It's a disconcerting and heart stopping and stomacher fluttering thing to do...to walk into a blog meet for the first time.

Fortunately, this won't be my first blog meet, not by a long shot AND.. I'll not be alone. (Hugs Leslie..I can't wait for Friday!!!)...where was I?

Oh.. I'll not be alone.



I'm alone right now, having some cafe con leche at a Cuban restaurant near the house. I've decided to pick up dinner, as I just don't want to cook, and it's actually not too hot this evening to actually ....you know...go out and garden. So that's what 'Pup and I will do, when I get home.

'Pup will be alone next weekend...and for that, I'm not happy. Seems he's going to have a biopsy done on a place where, well, most men don't wanna go there. And I'm not going to be there.

His dad will be around though, and has gone through the same procedure. Still, I wish he'd not scheduled the biopsy this next weekend. But he did, forgetting the date and nonrefundable plane ticket and Blogher fees.
So..I'm torn between wanting to be there and here.

That's where the computer comes in. I've been able to get hooked up to Verizon's wireless broadband service, through their little...wireless modem. I've had it about a month now, and I likes it. I likes it very much. The speed is good, I've not found a single place I can't get a signal, even deep inside a high rise building, or out driving in the country. You can hear me now. And we can have coffee together, now, because of the wonder of this service and this modem.

It also means, that whether I'm at the airport or in a taxi or anywhere else, I don't have to depend on anyone else's wireless. I'm covered. Doubly so at Blogher, where we've been assured that the whole hotel we've arranged to commandeer will be wired and wireless throughout the whole building.

But I still like my own access. I know, now, that I can count on it to get through.

I like being heard, and I am going to like hearing from 'Pup that the biopsy was nothing much and found less than that. Positive thinking, y'all. Positive thinking.

Thank you Verizon, for the service and for giving me the little wireless modem to plug into my tiny computer....for free. I asked, told them where I was going to use it and that I'd be plugging it like crazy....if I liked it. And, I do. I've liked Verizon for the last 12 years I've had service with them. During Rita, when every other cell and land phone was down and couldn't get through... I could.

When the power went out during Ike and everything, especially cell service was out for everyone else.. I was able to blog from my phone. If I couldn't get to my site, I could get to gmail and mail it in...or I could text it in with a picture message. (so, thanks Google too, come to think of it.)

Can Y'all Hear Me, Now?


Good.

The Heat

I was searching for some plants to put into the new extension of my herb bed.

Yes, I was gardening! 'Pup and I waited until I got home tonight to do some of the heavy digging, as it's just too frickin' hot to do anything during the day, even if I were off work to do it. We've both been taking it kinda easy this summer, as we've both been a little under the weather. More about that, later.

Anyway, as I was searching for herb plants that might do really well in dry, hot conditions ...like HOUSTON this summer... I found out that the herb they get ephedrine from loves hot, dry places. There are even a lot of the plant varieties that don't contain the alkaloids that got the herbal supplement into such trouble.

I've no idea how to get any of the varieties of the plants, but it's interesting what you find out on the internet...

We're going to be redoing the water system there too, having gotten some DIY drip irrigation kits. I'll be able to water the bed again, without having to use a sprinkler. I had to use one tonight and waited and waited until it was finally time to turn off the water...only to discover that a friendly neighbor had done it for me.

Back.. Again?

I've a few posts in pending that I'll be putting up soon, I just am having a hard time writing. Ah well.

One of my friends is in Germany now, dealing with the loss of a mother-in-law. There's an estate to be settled and that means the whole family is there for the duration. Which is not as much fun as it sounds, evidently.

See, she has a three year old. Her daughter is scary smart, but is still.... a three year old. So, a lot of the sight-seeing activities are pretty much out, it's been hot (and no air conditioning) and even engaging in retail therapy is out, as a good sale is hard to find, as prices are a lot higher than in the U.S.

Her daughter is becoming very fluent in German, and my friend is having to deal with learning more. Not an easy thing to do, evidently.

She was able to get back home for a couple of weeks, and we'd even planned on meeting in Chicago next Sunday. Alas, her husband had chest pains and she is firmly back into Germany and checking his pulse and blood pressure every few minutes.

One of the things she regretted not having were movies, in English for her and her daughter to enjoy together. She couldn't really bring much from home, and the DVD's in Europe are recorded under a different system, so buying more would be a waste. I think, I need to send her a link to this sanity device. It's a portable hard drive that plays multimedia...up to 50 hours of video.. or 30,000 songs. I've a feeling that would be almost enough to keep her homesickness to a minimum and give her some more cuddle time watching movies with her daughter.

We don't get to chat online as much as we usually do, as she's going to bed before I wake up in the morning. This morning, she stayed up late and we got a good chat in, but had to cut it off too soon, as I was going to be late for work. I miss my friend, and regret not being able to get together with her this weekend. I hope she can come home soon.

Friday, July 17, 2009

1000 Word Challenge

When Leslie, the indomitable Omnibabe, asked if anyone were interested in participating in a writing challenge, I jumped for joy and felt my stomach sink with stage fright. For, you see, the others who had been chosen to participate are very, very, Very good.

The Challenge:
I send you three sentences. You write 1,000 words in any format you choose -- short story, essay, poetry, screenplay, news article. You must use all three sentences. The twist is that you can use them anywhere you want in the story, as long as all three sentences appear somewhere within your 1,000 words.

I'll select four writers at a time, posting the challenge sentences on Friday, with the 1,000 words due the following Friday.


Being in the list was a compliment and a challenge unto itself.

Then, we got the three phrases we were to, somehow, incorporate within this 1000 word short story. I've put them in bold for you to identify. This challenged arrived with the simultaneous arrival of a surge in work hours, the advent of some 100 degree drought that had us watering everything almost everyday just to keep things alive, 'Pup being under the weather and me suffering from a dry spell in my writing... you might have noticed I'd not been posting as much here on the blog.

I missed my deadline, but Leslie, being the generous soul she is, told me to keep the story (finished by then) to post today with the second group of writers.

So, here it is.

Summer Ice
by Nancy France



The central air conditioner went out about the third week into summer. It wasn’t too bad at first, but then a heat wave came on and settled in like a broody hen. Fans just stirred the heavy air around and somehow made it seem hotter as it pushed the heated air into our noses and faces. None of us felt much like doing anything but sitting, and listening.

That summer, we all learned to listen. You know, that little series of sounds the ice maker makes as it slowly turns over to dump the ice, then the flat cracking chunk of the ice hitting the cold plastic…the cold, empty plastic… and the frozen screw that pushed the ice towards the door dispenser as you held your glass to the lever….we learned to listen.

We were hot, and craving coldness. More than the drink itself, we craved the cold tinkle in glass as we swirled it to chill the tea, and the wet, cold sides of the glass as we held it to our cheeks, foreheads and nestled it between our breasts. The cold was what we wanted, more than the drink, and there was not enough to go around.

Papa chided us, reminding us that he’d not had air conditioning as a boy and saying that we needed to appreciate nature. This was answered, once, by my mother’s plaintive voice saying: “I hate nature…and Wal-Mart!”

Wal-Mart had sold us an air conditioner that didn’t work and had so far refused to take it back. My dad, as stubborn as it was hot, refused to buy a new one until he’d gotten his money back for this one. It was only a window unit, meant as a temporary fix until the new central unit could be afforded. With it, our little house was bearable, especially at night.

None of us were sleeping. Even with the windows open, there was no breeze, just the sound of cicadas screaming in the trees.

We’d lay there in the heat, hating the whining sounds of the insects and swatting the mosquitoes that snuck inside. We hated the feel of our pajamas. We’d asked our mother to let us strip down, but she wouldn’t hear of it. What if the house were to catch on fire?

We wore pajamas. We were decent. We were hot. We prayed for a fire, dreaming of streams of cold water, and firemen and neighbors who would take pity on us and bring us glasses of something cold to drink in our time of need. We prayed for a fire.

And then, Grandmother Anna came to visit. We called her Nana, and had, until that time, celebrated her arrivals. Now, we dreaded having another person with whom we had to share ice. Worse than that, we knew that Nana, as our guest, would be getting the lion’s share of that meager treasure.

“Maybe she’ll make Papa get a new air conditioner,” said my youngest sister, “He’d have to get one if she insisted.”
Papa’s stubborn, righteous indignation towards the injustice of paying for a machine that didn’t work proved stronger than we expected. He wouldn’t even let Nana buy another one, saying that we had an air conditioner, and Wal-Mart would have to take it back.

Papa and Nana faced off with each other, over a dinner none of us had the appetite to eat. The only thing any of us wanted was glasses of cold milk. As we drank, we watched as first Nana, and then our father got very quiet and looked at each other with measuring eyes. It wasn’t a case of immovable object meeting irresistible force so much as two immovable objects facing off over cold milk and a hot house.

There was a long moment when no sound but the ticking sounds of the ice maker preparing to dump a tray of ice. When the cubes dropped, we all jumped.

Moments like this make me very, very nervous. You never really knew what she or Papa would do.

That night, Nana insisted on sleeping in the living room. She’d usually stayed in with us girls, but she said that the thought of one more body in that little room was more than she could bear.

That night, she slept in the living room. It had a brick floor. They were pretty, and they were cooler than the carpet in the rest of the house. With the front windows open, and a fan in front of the window to blow the cooler night air in, the room was more livable than the rest of the house.

That wasn’t enough for Nana though. Sometime in the night, Nana’d had a hot flash and that, combined with the heat, had driven her past her breaking point. That’s when Nana went commando. We might never have known that she’d come to lay with only a sheet between her and the night air, except that our prayers were finally answered.

We had a fire.

The fan had sucked in a curtain, and had wrapped the cloth around its motor. It overheated, the curtain began to smolder and set off the fire alarm. We all tumbled out of the house as fast as we could.

It didn’t take long for us, and most of the neighborhood and half the firemen in our small town to become aware that all Nana was wearing was a sheet. She stood tall in the sheet, holding it around her like a Roman toga, and giving my father an icy glare, daring him or anyone else to mention her state of dishabille.

The next day, Papa and Mother drove to the next town over and bought a set of new drapes for the living room, and three window units. One for the living room, one in my parents’ room and one went into our room. That meant the new compressor was delayed until winter, but we didn’t care.


We’d been able to stop listening to the ice maker.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blooming Up High

It's been hot, hotter, hotter'n Hades here lately. Not much rain either. It's been a little disheartening to look at the fields and see the light brown, dormant grasses, but more wrenching that that, are the trees you see that were damaged in Ike....but had survived, only to succumb now to heat and drought.

There are a lot of the younger trees that had been planted the Spring before, and blown almost out of the ground by Ike. People were able to reset the younger trees and they seemed to have survived and were doing well, until recently. Now, many of them are just standing. Brown monuments to the harshness of the last 12 months.

No one plants a tree, even those who are paid to plant them, without thinking about what will be growing there in the future. Sr. Medina, who used to be the main help in my garden, was one of those men, and he would point with pride towards the exact trees that he'd placed in the ground. I've been watching those trees, and have seen that most of them have made it, so far.

Still, life surprises you. I was going through a hamburger chain's drive-thru (Whataburger for those who know the chain), getting some tea. I'm choosy about where I'll buy my tea these days, as too often the owners have put in the (shudder) reconstituted tea from the soda fountain. Y'all...that stuff is horrible. Whataburger brews their tea and brews often. Ahhh, iced tea...the nectar of summer days.

After I'd placed my order, I glanced to my right and followed with the rest of my head. As I smiled in delight, my eyes were treated to this sight:


The palms were blooming, great, extravagant sprays of flowers held out to the passing winds.


As I looked closer, it occurred to me that the palm flowers reminded me of anemones, combing the ocean currents for food, these flowers were sifting through the air, for just the right pollen.

I'm not sure what kinds of palm these are, but I was glad to see them, blooming.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Seeing the Big Picture

As I was driving home last night, I saw a huge pillar of deep black smoke towards the general direction of home. Not a sight you want to see. I was pretty sure it wasn't my house, as the pillar was so big and so black that it had to be either a largish store or a factory of some kind. There are lots of small manufacturers out our direction, many making parts of stuff meant to extract or refine oil, or some other minerals. We have a mattress factory too, though they've come under some hard times recently and I'm not sure how active they are just now.

About the time I'd come to the conclusion it wasn't my house, my bump of concern became a full fledged itch of curiosity. I usually resist these impulses, but this one, I gave in to.

So, shoot me, I'm human.

Anyway, I got close enough to grab my camera and set it on video. It was the small Kodak, not my big new one, but I knew it would take some video.

Well, I get home, and try to download it, and dang! It won't come off the card. I can see it there, and even play it...on my camera... but can't download it onto the computer.

This is not the only time this has happened. It's why I've been looking at camcorders, not just a camera with video capability.

I travel through a variety of neighborhoods and one really large park. I've seen a large heron or crane, white with a black tip on the wings.. Dang, if I didn't think I saw a whooping crane.. tho unlikely. Still it would be good to have the ability to sneak up on something.

Hum... I may be playing too much Mafia wars on Facebook.

Some Good-ish News

I took my laptop into be fixed the other day. NOT the new tiny one, but the gift I'd been given by a very kind and generous fellow blogger. (I'm not going to link him now, I need to ask permission.)

The bad news is that the virus I got on the dang thing is keeping it from booting up, and none of the anti-virus programs seemed to be able to get around it. I have some pictures on that machine I need, I want and I wanna get at.

The young man who was looking at the poor machine said that the only thing left to do was to see if I could get a external hard drive case, and pull the hard drive out of the laptop and see if it could be downloaded and cleared of virus in an isolated system. Then, if I wanted to buy another, new hard drive for the laptop, I'd have a functioning machine again.

I'd like to do that. We have a nephew and a neighbor who are both facing tours of duty, possibly in Iraq or Afghanistan, and the neighbor needs a laptop. It's West Jr... if you've been following my blog for long, you'll know that they are the very good and decent neighbors we have been blessed with since just before Rita hit Texas. The first thing we learned of them at that time came through an open window, as they held a service of praise and thanks that Sunday.

So, now it's up to me to take the machine into Fry's and see if I can find someone who KNOWS what he/she is doing and can match my laptop's old drive to an appropriate case, then buy a new hard drive and reformat the machine. (Luckily, we have driver software that will do just fine.)

Somehow, I'm going to find the time. Business has picked up at the learning center and that's good for me getting more hours on my paycheck. It's bad for me as in time for blogging, gardening or just hanging out in the back yard. (OH>> my pond is full of tiny tadpoles.. and I saw one of the parents in the water. I fished him(?) out and she(?) hopped slowly away.....looking a bit worn out. Judging from the numbers of tadpoles, I'd say he(?) might have been looking for the toady version of a post-coital cigarette. More power to ye, Toadie!

More news from the garden later, y'all try to stay cool and happy.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Takin' Out the Grass

Why? 'Cause I don't have much time this morning, would love to do just this, and I helped my lawn guy and a helper weed a witch of a bed yesterday. Then, I'll have you know, we laid at least 4 inches of mulch on top...and may do more later.

At this point, it's not a question IF we'll be on water restrictions soon, but when. To that end, 'Pup and I are laying soaker hose (I know, not the latest tech--but cheap, and effective), where and when we can on a lot of the beds.

It's been so hot and so dry (esp for Houston), that I'm working just to keep things alive till it rains again..which it MIGHT do this week. We'll see.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Take Me Away...

'Pup and I recently celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. Our honeymoon that year was cut a little short by the fact that, after the wedding, we were tired. Very, very tired. So, we went home early and relaxed.

In past years, we've usually traveled somewhere by car to somewhere in Texas. This year, 'Pup's not been feeling all that well, so we've been staying close to home. I miss the trips. We'd go to small towns, often on a "there and back again in one day" visit.

What we've really wanted to be able to do is to go on a longer trip, perhaps in an RV, and staying in RV parks. I'd like to spend a week at the beach, fishing. Of course, I'd like to have enough energy to go fishing for a week....I think I'd settle for one or the other, to be truthful.

'Pup has some good memories of staying at RV parks when he was a kid, with his parents. They were in a pop up trailer, and he says they got good enough at setting up and tearing down that they attracted notice. One time, his dad got a little distracted by someone commenting on how fast everyone was moving, when...he closed the trailer...with 'Pup inside.

Fortunately, 'Pup just happened to be in the one spot in the trailer that had just enough space for his small body. He'd been sitting in the spot, stowing some last minute items when the top came down.

I have a feeling that his dad never closed the trailer down again, without first counting noses.

'Pup's not been feeling 100% recently. Y'all send some energy our way. He's gonna be fine, and isn't missing any work, but he'd like to feel better at the end of the day, and we'd both like to have more energy to just....go out and live.