Monday, September 30, 2013

Do You Ever Have A Brain Fog Day?

     I just tried to order an item from ToysRUs....something not available in our store.  When I got to the point where you put in your Rewards number (you get 10% store credit or something) I did not know what my number was so I called the number provided.  I got a very sweet lady on the line.  Bless her heart, she probably had to take a break after helping me.  
    First she asked for my name.....I gave her my middle name, which is the name I use all the time, but then remembering I filled out an online form to sign up for this I quickly said no! it's Sara,  Sara-no-H (which is my first name--and what I usually put on forms because they ask for "first name"...and I don't want to be deceitful or anything, like Dear Abby suggested if I put single not divorced---that was a post a few posts back).  I'm confused, she says, what is your first name? How do you spell your first name? S.A.R.A. pause "no H." (I always say that otherwise when I spell S.A.R.A people always say "H?" like I forgot.) S.A.R.A.H? No, just S. A. R. A. She is probably thinking OK she is not sure of her name or how to spell it....   I was just glad I wasn't placing my order with her because my debit card is under my middle name and we would have to go back through that whole "what is your name please" thing. 
     Next she asks for my address....I rattle the numbers and street name off quickly....except I told her the name of my street is Virginia, it just came out of my mouth smooth as silk... but the problem is I live on Colorado Ave.  I got the street number correct. Now I have to say, oh I'm sorry, I live on ColoradoOhh Kay, she says.  I imagine she is thinking "first she changes her name on me, then she wants to change the street name---does she know WHO she is or Where she lives??? Why did I say Virginia?? Who the heck knows, it is just how my brain works on a brain fog day.  Have I ever lived on Virginia Ave?? No.  Have I ever lived in the state of Virginia? No. Is my name Virginia?  NO---no reason for that to come out of my mouth except brain fog. Moving on---"What city?" she asks so I say Amarillo Texas  She says Colorado? No, Texas, I live on Colorado Ave, in Texas. We get that all straightened out and move through my phone number without any confusion. Whew.
     Then she gives me the reward number I need.  Have I told you I am hearing impaired and my dog ate my hearing aides? Yeah, well, that is another story.  The poor woman gives me the number but I am stressed over having said "Virginia" for no reason at all and I forgot to get a pen to write down the number but a crayon was laying on the table next to my chair so I scribbled the number down in crayon on a piece of paper. Because I was stressed, and can't hear, and writing in black crayon which is not a good color for me (that is another story too) I had to ask her to repeat the number three times before I got it down correctly.  Actually, I forgot I had my laptop open in my lap ready to type the rewards number in the box but I was so rattled by then I forgot what I intended to do.  Brain fog, I tell makes life interesting.  The ToysRUs woman probably needed a Coke and a Tylenol after helping me. I KNOW I did!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Garage Sale Friday!

      Today's treasure was this piece of Corning Ware, purchased for 25 cents!!!  It is a one quart pot, round on the bottom but square on the top.  I have no idea what the intended use was, but there must have been some reason for this shape.  Do you happen to have one or know why it is this shape?  It has a little bit of a lip and you can't see in the photo but printed on the inside are markings for ounces up to 32 oz.  The "handle" side is barely big enough to grasp.  The only thing I could think of was maybe for whipping cream??? But that doesn't make any sense for Corning ware.
      And I am disappointed! :(    No captions for the photo of Ronald on a horse??   YES! A caption has been added, and a good one.....but come on, guys...a few more captions please?! That would make my day    :)
     Oh, wait----I found the dish on is a sauce maker! The lady at the garage sale didn't mention the lid & handle! The dish was just in a cardboard box with some other items, salt shakers, bowls, wadded up paper and such, and I never thought about a handle for the pot. 



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Photo I Took ~ Provide a Caption, Please :)

'Fessing Up Post #12

  After getting on my soapbox about Dear Abby saying it is deceitful to check "single" when in actuality you are -- gasp! -- a "divorcee" (geez, that sounds way to fancy for me, and please, picture a big eye roll here) I decided I'd better 'fess up.  If you have seen Toy Story at least a million times like me you will remember at one point the dinosaur says "Great. Now I have guilt."  I am like that dino, who I suspect suffers with depression, because most of us depressed people have irrational guilt feelings.  Anyhoo, back to the subject, 'fessing up.  I don't want to be deceitful or have guilt so here goes. My name is not Betsy.  I just like it.  I never liked my "given" names. Campbell is my maiden name.  Back in the dark ages when I divorced judges all but insisted that moms keep the married name to match their children so they wouldn't be scarred (the kids, not the mom).  I always wanted to go back to my maiden name, but who has extra money for something as nonessential as a name change, or name reclaim.  Oh, Heaven to Betsy, divorce is complicated.  I guess that is why I like "Betsy." "Heaven" connected to your name can't be bad, right? But anyway, my legal last name is something else, but Campbell is my maiden name. And the expression "Heaven to Betsy?" Evidently a source can not be found, it is just one of those exclamations of surprise that stuck around, in the south anyway.  I guess Betsy is appropriate...I surprise myself all the time. Sometimes I surprise myself about what stupid things I do, or smart things I do, or where I ended up, or how strong I am, or how goofy I am.  Mostly I surprise myself about how much I have forgotten, according to what my kids tell me.  The "aunt" part? Well, I am an aunt although I have no idea why I added "aunt" to Betsy.  I am sure there is a reason somewhere in the gears of my mind, but I don't know what it is. I wanted this blog to be about me as a person, not a momma or gramma (who I think of me as) but I guess subconsciously I couldn't separate "me" from family enough to leave some kind of family title out.  I don't know.  It just popped in my mind. And I am a baby boomer, and have lived on Route 66, if not literally then within walking distance, my entire life except for 3 adventures in El Paso, Tx, & Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, NM (which was close enough).
    I have lived a couple of lives.  First I was a kid growing up in a little town in New Mexico who spent a lot of time in the library and all my time reading a book.  It was a perfect escape from my real life.  I am still escaping, it seems.  My 2nd life was as an adult (clueless), married the day after I graduated high school to get away from the life I lived as a kid, also reading whenever possible.  I eventually had 4 children (why, yes, they are perfect, brilliant, kind and caring---amongst other things) and I have 6 beautiful, brilliant grandchildren (well, #6 is due before Halloween). I have been divorced forever, but during phase 2 of my life (until shortly before divorce) I was  a stay at home mom, and reading.  During phase 3 I was a single mom, had a full time job, and was exhausted, often reading at midnight and always while eating lunch.  Life phase # 4 -- I was single, most often with that same full time job plus one or two part time jobs to try to support myself. Now, in phase 5 I am retired, too early due to a disability. Have no job. No extra money. No husband. Live in an empty nest (except for 3 dogs---a schnauzer, a beagle, and a schneagle--a schnauzer/beagle mix who is not related to either of the other 2 dogs), and usually having about 20 books checked out from the library.  And I wonder, if I can't mother somebody, and I can't do the job I did for 20 years, and I am not a wife, then who the heck am I???  So, I decided I would start writing this blog, try not to mention the kids and grandkids, and see what is left.  And no, I am not mad at my family, I talk to them all the time, like every day. They just don't need mothering, I'm kinda tired of mothering, the grandkids have perfectly good mothers, and I just wonder who am I?  And besides that, I just want to be somebody else.  Carol is poor, depressed (really--major depressive disorder), agoraphobic, anxiety filled. Wishes she could travel but with no money that is not an option. Wishes life were just different right now.  I read about some lady who has a Pinterest thing for her imaginary toddler. Or maybe it is a blog.  Did I mention I have memory problems? Anyway, if she can have an imaginary toddler I can have an alter ego, right? So, say hi to Betsy.  Carol lives in a single wide, cheapy trailer house (wheels removed), drives an eleven year old van with some old age problems & made by a company that no longer exists, gets 3 channels on her rabbit-eared tv, and reads alot.  Betsy, if she just had a little money, would live in a small cottage (mostly pale pink, pale mint, pale buttercream yellow, pale blue) with a lush green yard with a veggie garden, flower garden, rose garden, big trees, and a yard man. Betsy would have beautiful clothes--not many, just some, for the size 6 body she would have and she would drive a brand new Prius, which she would drive to every state in the country with her sister or daughter in tow (well, except Hawaii, which Betsy nor Carol will ever see because both are afraid of flying and water).  Betsy would have cable so she could see The Pioneer Woman and Downtown Abbey.  Betsy would have 3 friends willing to play canasta one night a week, she would be able to afford to put anything in the basket at the grocery store that she wanted to, and would also spend most of the time reading on the front or back porch (yes, her cottage would have both) living in some location where the weather was never humid, never above 76 degrees, the wind never blew 60 to 100 mph, and the few times it would snow would be picture perfect and lovely, without the muddy slush that usually shows up (too often inside the house). And of course, all her children would live on the same block with her, not that she would bug them like that mom in "Guilt Trip" although Carol has heard she is an awful lot like that woman.  Well, WHO doesn't wash out plastic water bottles and refill them??

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I Have Written My First Letter To Dear Abby

     Someone wrote to Dear Abby asking her opinion about a divorced woman choosing to check the "single" box when filling out a form rather than the "divorced" box.  Abby said it is deceitful to check the "single" box if you are divorced because you are a "divorcee" until you remarry, no matter how long you have been divorced. Really? Isn't this 2013?
      Well that got a bee in my bonnet, I tell you what.  I was married in the 70's and the 80's.  I was divorced in the very early 90's.  I have now been divorced more years than I was married.  Do I check the "single" box? You betcha. Why on earth is it anyone's business?  Now, I wish I could check the "married" box but for some reason we all don't find Mr. Wonderful, no matter how much we look, pray, seek.  I for one would rather be single than married to the wrong person and miserable so I am still single.  Heck, I haven't even had a boyfriend.  I have been busy raising a family (children from that marriage), working (mostly 2 jobs at a time until I retired), going to school off and on, living life (although I may find Mr Wonderful yet, I have not given up).  Life is good as a single woman. It never crosses my mind that I am a "divorcee." But for Dear Abby to say I am being deceitful by checking the "single" box?  If that is the case then do we need a "cohabitating without a marriage license" box?  Good grief!  Actually, I say a "male" or "female" box is enough information and the rest is nobody's business! I wrote and told Abby how I felt. 
      What do you think?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kohls, Sketchers and I Broke My Most Serious Rule

No one at Kohl's or Sketchers has ever heard of me.  I did not get a free pair of shoes or any other compensation for this post.  I just really love the shoes.
I have some rules for myself that I just do not break.  I made the decision once and I don't have to remake those decisions again.  Well, usually.  One rule is "never pay retail because everything is on sale eventually, or will show up at Goodwill." Well, I broke that rule today.  I have a condition, Morton's Neuroma, that makes walking extremely painful so I am always looking for some shoes that my aching feet can tolerate.  Today I went to Kohl's (my favorite store) and asked the man working in the shoe department if they had any walking shoes on sale.  He said "Well, the best walking shoe we have are not on sale but if you want to try the shoe that gets raves from nurses and people who have to stand on their feet all day then let me show you these." Of course, I was thinking "yeah, right" but the 4 shelf endcap display had 3 empty shelves and about 4 boxes on the top shelf.  Either they were wonderful shoes and sold like hotcakes, or he had 4 pair of shoes left he wanted to get rid of and I looked like someone who could afford to pay retail.  Hmmm, I had on a $4 t-shirt Kohl's ran as a special in July, jeans faded because of many washings, and some worn out Crocs. I don't think he took me for someone who spends big bucks. Ok, fine, I tell him I wear a size 9.  When shoes are on sale by the time I get there all the 9's are usually gone.  I live in Texas - we have big feet, I guess.  What are the odds out of the 4 remaining boxes one would fit me?  Yep, one of them was a 9.  It was fate.  I was suppose to try on those shoes. I slipped one on while thinking "trying on does not mean purchasing." The salesman said something about "feels like walking on marshmallows, or so I've heard" as I was moaning in pleasure and slipping the other shoe on.  Not only did I pay retail, $65.99, for the Sketchers GOWalk2 shoes but I came home and started searching for another pair online to order.  The shoes I got today are slip-ons and a little "old lady" looking but the salesman told me they also make them in a tie style that look more like a typical "athletic shoe" and in cool colors. Hot pink will do just fine for me.   Oh, and I didn't really pay retail.... I had a 20% off card, and I received Kohl's Cash.  I love Kohl's.  And they did not pay me to say that.
Skechers GOwalk 2 - Stance Hot Pink

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cutest VW Bug Ever!

Isn't this one of the cutest VW's ever!?  Over the weekend I went to the grand opening of  Amarillo's new VW dealership.  They invited others to bring their bugs to show off. I didn't get the name of the owner but I did get the car's name---Daisy Mae!  Cute! Cute! Cute! I would love to have this car! Her name is painted on the door handles and she has the sweetest eyelashes. I think I NEED a pale yellow bug, but I want mine painted with Mary Engelbreit style fried egg flowers, eyelashes just like these, and don't forget the daisy hubcaps!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I Should Have Bought ALL Of The Pyrex!

      I love garage sales, yard sales, estate sales, tag sales.  Since I am trying to be more of minimalist that a hoarder I usually don't buy anything unless it is for the kiddos but a lady advertised that she would have 51 cases of canning jars in her sale.  Nope, I don't can but I wanted some to use for freezing milk.  I am not a milk drinker. I live alone except for my dogs, and I just need milk for cereal and cooking. A gallon sours before I can use it up but my sister suggested I buy milk on sale, freeze it in smaller amounts and never have any go to waste. I hurried over to this garage sale and when I saw the Ball jar pictured on the left I thought I had really found something!  She had the box marked as quart size.  Well, I had never seen a tall, skinny quart size jar so I bought the box of 21 jars for $5.00.  When I got them home I took out one of my quart Mason jars to compare and immediately realized the Ball jar wasn't a quart size.  Turns out it is a 24 oz jar. Since I really, desperately need a car I thought "oh WOW! I bet these are worth something since they are such an odd size."  The wheels were turning in my mind as I thought "I have 21 on these .... if each is worth a mere $1,000 (I know, I was delusional, but stick with me here) I could use that $21,000 to buy that Prius I really want." I was pretty let down to read on the 'net that this size is perfect for canning asparagus and pickles, not rare at all, nor worth any great sum of money.  But if they are worth a thousand a piece to you I know where you can pick up 21 jars! After a run through the dish washer they are sparkling clean now.
     At her garage sale the same lady had multiple tables of things ... pretty things, that I would love to have had (but do not need).  She had a table just of crystal vases, a table of Pyrex, a table of Corning Ware, a table of just crystal snack sets, among other things.  I have a weakness for Corning Ware and Pyrex although I really don't need any more than I have.  I couldn't resist getting two pieces since she had them priced so low....all under $4.00.  My mom had a Corning Ware dish like this one that she used for baking cakes.  The lid is domed enough that the frosting would not get messed up.  I got this one for $3.00 
  and this smaller dish for $2.00
 She had a divided Pyrex serving dish for $3.00 that I thought about buying but since I really didn't need it I passed it up.  Later that evening I looked that dish up on EBay.  I should have snapped it up for $3.00 because this one on EBay is $49.99. 

Obviously her table full of Pyrex was  what I SHOULD have been excited about finding ... and reselling on EBay.  I went back the next day with the intention of asking was she sure she didn't want to sell her things on EBay, and then if not, snapping up every piece of Pyrex she had.  Dang it, by the next morning those tables of Pyrex and Corning Ware were empty.  Do you like to go to garage sales?  What is the best "find" you have ever purchased?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sante Fe 5000, The Madam Queen

        I have driven past The Madam Queen for at least 40 years. I often said to family that we ought to go over there and look at that engine sometime.  For almost 2 decades I use to glimpse out the window at her every day as she sat within view about 3 blocks across the downtown parking lots from the place I worked, but (picture me red-faced) I never went over and looked at her up close. Now that I am retired I wonder why I didn't, at least once,  ever go over there on my lunch hour.  I decided it was about time to do that.  Is there something in your town like that? Sometime you know is there but you never go and see for yourself?  Maybe you too drive by something frequently and glimpse at it, but that is about it .... or is it just me???  Unfortunately, the Madam Queen is just one of many for me.
      For 48 years after her retirement The Santa Fe 5000, nicknamed The Madam Queen, sat in front of the old Santa Fe Depot in Amarillo, TX.  In 2005 she was moved about a mile across the way when the old depot was sold.  Moving a locomotive weighing 502,600 lbs is not a simple task when she is no longer on an actual usable railroad track!  The Discovery Channel came to Amarillo and the move was featured in their Mega Movers series.  Since I have never had cable TV I didn't get to see the program but I have seen a YouTube of the moving of the Madam Queen.  You can see it here: 
   Messer Construction Co. moved the locomotive with front loaders and side boom tractors on movable tracks.  She now sits in a small, parklike area on a side street north of Amarillo's Civic Center.  The Madam Queen is inside a fence for her protection and I understand tours are free through the Railroad Artifact Preservation Society (donations welcomed). 
     The Santa Fe 5000 was built in 1930 for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway and was the first, and one of the largest, 2-10-4 type locomotives. Previously, steam locomotives had been 2-10-2, meaning 2 pilot wheels, 10 driving wheels and 2 railing wheels. She was built in Pennsylvania especially for the Plains Division of the Santa Fe Railroad and designed to haul heavy freight at a fast pace.  The Madam Queen ran over 1,750,000 miles before being retired in 1953.  She sat in the roundhouse in Clovis, NM being spruced up before being donated to the City of Amarillo, Texas in 1957.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Have You Been Able To Lose Weight In Your 50's?


Today, wearing jeans, shoes and a t-shirt, I weigh 204 lbs.  When I was 18 I weighed 110 lbs, and I thought I was overweight. Sigh. Yeah, well, that was 41 years and gallons of Blue Bell Ice Cream ago.  My challenge to myself, since I am not a tree (see my first post), is to get up and get moving, and lose at least 25 pounds in the next 12 months.  I have changed my mind about how much I want that 44 oz Coke or heaping bowl of ice cream.  I have changed my mind about how I don't want to exercise. I know it won't be easy, even at just 2 pounds a month, because one of the medications I am on is known for making you gain weight and holding on to every pound for dear life.  Well, I will just have to be strong enough to watch my diet and get myself moving.  I am a little leery of failing yet again because about once a week I tell myself I have to lose weight (usually I tell myself I have to lose 60 lbs in 6 months).  I am real good about staying on the diet guidelines I have given myself ... until I get stressed and then I'm looking for something to eat, or driving to the convenience store for a coke.  I'm going to be 60 in 4 months. I want to be healthier in my 60s than I have been in my 50s so here goes my last try.... update in a month. What changes have you made in order to lose weight?
Go hug somebody,
Aunt Betsy  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Cooked .... Crock Pot Chicken Posole

OK, I said I would cook something so here goes.  In my crock pot yesterday was chicken posole.  I grew up in New Mexico and have been making posole, a type of stew, for a very long time.  Posole is traditionally served at Christmas in New Mexico, but really, it is a good comfort food for any time.  Most New Mexican recipes make a very hearty, flavorful stew.  It is one of those things for which you can find a zillion different ways to make.  I've never tried a recipe for posole that I didn't like! I usually use pork but this time I followed a recipe I found at

Slow-Cooker Chicken Posole
1 can (15 oz.) yellow or white hominy, drained*
1 can (14.5 oz) Mexican-style diced tomatoes
1 can (10 oz.) mild green enchilada sauce
2 medium carrots, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. cumin
1½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 3-4)
Chopped cilantro, optional
Lime wedges, optional
Tortilla chips, optional

In a 4 qt. slow cooker**, combine the hominy, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, carrots, onions, garlic and cumin. Add the uncooked chicken and stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred. Stir chicken back into the slow cooker. Serve in bowls. Top with cilantro, if using. Serve with lime wedges and tortilla chips.

 *Because I like a lot of hominy I used a can of white and a can of yellow.
**I use Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners.  I still wash my crock of course, but the liners sure make clean up easier, especially if you have made something messy, like queso in your crock pot.  
We thought this was really good. The flavor was wonderful.  Just because I am used to thicker posoles, next time I will probably add 3 cans of hominy (again, this recipe calls for only 1) and a larger can of green enchilada sauce.  When I lived in New Mexico I could get a bag of Bueno frozen posole that I really liked, which was basically hominy that you had to boil until it blossomed, actually pops open.  It takes quite a while, an hour or two if memory serves me correctly, but the taste is much better than canned hominy.  I ate this today with crackers instead of tortilla chips, but cornbread would have been even better. 
I meant to take my own photo of the cooked posole but between an unexpected trip to the vet and some some other unexpected happenings a photo never got made. Therefore, I am going to use the one from 
Go hug somebody,
Aunt Betsy  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Aunt Betsy is a Goof Ball!

Well, I feel like a total goof ball!  I had my FIRST comment and what did I do??? Got all excited to have a comment and clicked on the wrong thing and deleted it.  I could not believe I did it. I sure didn't mean to remove the comment, so Tina, if you come back by, honey I am so sorry!  Tina was saying she liked the dahlia.  Let me tell you about it.  I bought an inexpensive dahlia bulb from Walmart and it was suppose to be light pink.  When it bloomed it was actually these lovely purple blooms that pleased me even more than pink!  The first year it had about 15 blooms at a time, all about 4 or 5 inches wide.  One day when I was watering I took my little point and shoot camera and got this photo. It is one of my favorite photos and someday I am going to have it printed and framed. I call it Max's Dahlia because when my little dog, Max Schnauzer, passed we buried him in the back yard and then I put a huge pot on top of his grave and planted the dahlia in it.  Again, can anyone tell me a simple way to put a watermark on a photo to indicate I took it? Please?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I am not a tree....
I saw this on Pinterest today and thought to myself "Aunt Betsy, that is exactly right, you are not a tree."  I don't like some things in my life. Since I retired I have slipped into a rut, staying home unless I just have to leave, and not really living life as much as I should.  Am I the only one?  Are your days pretty much like the ones you lived last week?  Nothing wrong with that, except I think I need to push myself a little. So, stick with me and let's see what is going on outside my 4 walls.
        I have lived on Route 66, the Mother Road, all of my life.  Every now and then I will post about something tied to Route 66, in my area at least.  Aunt Betsy will get off her buns and go take a photo of whatever it is.
       Do you like to read? I absolutely love reading.   Feel free to suggest titles.  I love cozy mysteries, biographies, novels about families, and humor.  I like my movies to be rated G or PG and I don't watch anything R rated.  If you know of a good movie not rated R let me know.  Maybe I will review a movie here every now and then.
       Since I am the only human living in my house I find it really hard to cook for one person.  I tend to just not cook but I think I will challenge myself to cook one real meal a week and share the recipe with you.  I have absolutely no original, made-up-by-Aunt-Betsy recipes, but I have tons that have been given to me or I have pinned on Pinterest.  And I just love Pinterest, how about you?   Oh, and I eat, I just don't cook.   
       Dogs! I will talk about dogs because I will always have a dog.  I am the crazy dog lady (my sister is the crazy cat lady). 
      I had to retire much earlier than I planned from a job I loved because of an illness that will not be going away but that is all I am going to say about that.  Because of that illness I am unable to work so dang it, I am financially challenged.  Having very little money, and not having the ability to change it, just stinks.  STINKS! It sure limits what I would like to do, like travel, go out to eat, do fun things but as long as I have a library card and a few other things I am pretty happy (and pretty lucky).  If you have any frugal living tips send them my way.
      I really like to take photos.  I don't have fancy equipment, just a point and shoot camera but it is the best toy I ever had.  Do you like to take photos?  On Sundays I think I will just post a photo, no text.  I would love it if you would leave a comment letting me know what you think when you see the photo, or how it makes you feel, or something.  Comments, I would like comments, please! :) Can anyone tell me a simple way to put a watermark on a photo to indicate I took it?  I would like to put my name on them.  Please and thank you.
      I believe life is short so tell people you love them, give them a hug, call your Momma, & find something beautiful to look at wherever you are. I hope to make some new friends so I hope you will come back by, and please let me hear from you!
Go hug somebody,
Aunt Betsy