Sunday, November 16, 2014

At My Home---

Noon on Sunday out my apartment door..... it has stopped snowing ... an hour ago we could barely see across the street.  Grandsons here, chili cooking, apartment is warm, all is well.  :)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mary, Did You Know?

     Remember last December when I shared Pentatonix music clips with you?  Here is their offering for this Christmas:
     I am busy THINKING about getting busy and getting ready for Thanksgiving.  Thinking about all I need to be doing is about all I did today between naps and having my older grandsons for the day.
      After 4 days of bitter cold and single digit wind chill weather we had a beautiful 69 degree day!  At sundown the temps dropped... And now, snow is forecast for overnight. It's beginning to FEEL alot like Christmas...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Little Splurge

Sorry, I ate a good bit of it before I got home. 

      Tonight my daughter and I were talking about the effects of sugar and decided -- for the millionth time -- we would try to give up, or really cut down on sodas and sugars.  Both of us have been wanting to try Sonic's newest treat, a waffle cone sundae so we decided we had better go try one tonight before the bitter cold weather hits on Tuesday and before we try to give up such things.  The commercial is very appealing to us!
     I chose the M & M's and strawberry sundae.  KC got a Reese's Peanut butter cup with chocolate syrup sundae.  We both thought they were really good.  My strawberries were  yummy with the ice cream.  The M & M's were pulverized to a powder and I could have done without that but overall it was very good.  
     I am glad we tried them but I won't ever get one again.  For $2.89 it was a pretty expensive splurge for me.  Braum's Frozen Yogurt twist waffle cones are about a dollar cheaper and I'm guessing twice as much yogurt vs to the amount of ice cream I had tonight.   Of course the frozen yogurt cone is not a "sundae" but Sonic's fare barely qualifies for that  description.  The presentation was pretty---vanilla soft serve ice cream, that pulverized candy  (not so pretty -- my first thought was vacuum cleaner lint), topped with what I'm thinking amounted to maybe a half of one sliced strawberry and a teaspoon of syrup, and a pretty quarter size squirt of whipped cream with a cherry placed on top.   If you don't have Braum's where you live their twist cone consists of vanilla frozen  yogurt and chocolate frozen yogurt in a better tasting waffle cone than Sonic's.
       An interesting tidbit about  Braums --- Braum's stores are located only in a 300 mile radius from the Braum farm in Tuttle, OK because they only use milk from their own cows for their products.  Amarillo barely makes it in their range limit but I am so glad we do.  All of their products are great.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Little Good News...

A slice of my life today...
      Since moving to the apartment and thus needing to walk my dog at least 5 times a day, I have lost 22 lbs in the past 4 months.  Now if it would just keep working until I lose the remaining 50 lbs I would like to lose.  That is my goal by next July.
      While we were out and about this week (buying Little Man a pair of shoes to replace the one I let him lose) my daughter stopped for gas.  It is down to $2.679 here.  Every little bit helps as beef prices and other groceries seem to just keep going up.  Good thing my favorite meal is pinto beans and cornbread.
     One last gift and I will have my Christmas shopping done for this year.  Sweet Pea is excited about the promise of being allowed to help me wrap her cousins' packages next week.
      We have had very nice autumn weather...mid 70's.  However, Monday the high should be 74 but the high on Tuesday only 39.  I am not ready for winter. Really not ready for winter.
     My son in Seattle called this evening.  No matter what kind of mood I am in just getting to have a conversation with him lifts my mood up several notches.  I wish he could come home for Thanksgiving.  My other 3 children and their families will celebrate Thanksgiving with me on the Saturday before.  I am making my grocery list and figuring out how I will fit all 10 of us in my little apartment.  I don't know what my kids have planned but after we eat turkey I plan on them playing dominoes (chicken foot to be exact) with me, after we decorate my little Christmas tree.  Since Little Man just turned one last week I may have to put the little tree in the middle of my dining room table.  
    I received an email that Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood will be performing in Tulsa mid-January.  I momentarily considered splurging on tickets for my daughter and me to go but at $70 a piece, plus hotel, plus a 730 mile round trip jaunt is just too much for me.  OK, fine, the real defining factor (other than money) was who would keep our rotten dogs?  I will be there in spirit though!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sometimes It Just Doesn't Pay To Leave My Apartment

    Like I said, I don't get out much, but yesterday I decided to go to Target. I tell you, some days it just doesn't pay to leave home.
   With me on this grand adventure was my daughter KC, and my two youngest grandchildren, Sweet Pea who is almost 4, and the Little Man who just turned one last week.  KC and I each had a list, and trying to get this shopping trip done before nap time we each took off with a child and went our separate directions.
    I had the Little Man.  We zoomed through the dog food aisle, Christmas row, bedding, toys, housewares, books, cereal row, furniture & picture frame area, and toddler clothing section.  You got it --- the entire store except for men and women's clothing areas.  Oh, and not in the shoe department.  Somewhere along the way Little Man lost a shoe.
    Why, yes, he was riding in the basket seat right in front of me ... but with my hearing loss I couldn't hear his shoe when it fell off and hit the floor.  He can only say a few things like "bite" (as in "feed me"), "Mama", "Bye".   He doesn't say "shoe" or specifically "Uh, Grandma did you see that my shoe fell off back there?" I never noticed his missing shoe until I met up with KC at checkout and she saw him with one shoe gone.
     KC and I took off and backtracked over every aisle I had been down.  Four times. Separately.  So I guess that is the same as covering the areas 8 times.  Precious little Sweet Pea was majorly upset that I had lost brother's shoe.  She took the other one off his foot and from the seat in KC's basket she asked every single person she saw, customers and employees, if they had seen a shoe exactly like the one in her hand.   No, no one knew anything about the shoe.  Customer service? No. Lady working in the shoe department? No.  Lost & found? No.  Any breathing soul in the store? No, no one had seen a little toddler size 5 shoe that surely had fallen from his foot to the middle of an aisle.
    The main thing I was going to Target to purchase?  A book for one of my older grandsons.  The latest in a series he likes to read.  I couldn't find it.  It was advertised right there in the ad so wouldn't you think they would have a display of that popular new book???   I found every other title in the series.  Oh.  The release day would be on Tuesday.  I was there on Monday.  
    By now it is way past nap time, way past my comfort zone & out-in the-world time, Sweet Pea is stressing out over where in the world is that shoe, Little Man just wants a nap, and KC is stressed as well.  Luckily, I have never been a drinker, of alcoholic drinks I mean, because when I get stressed I immediately want my drink of choice -- Dr Pepper.  Had I been a partaker of alcohol I would be drunk every day I guess, since I get stressed over the slightest little thing.   KC is driving and I ask her to get to the nearest Toot N' Totum or Pak-a-Sak drive up window and get me a 44 oz Dr Pepper.  STAT.  ASAP.  Right now!  Please!
    Little Man is crying that "I am so tired" sobbing bawl,  Sweet Pea is talking non-stop about different plans for finding that shoe, and KC and I just want to be home.  Realizing Little Man has kicked the crying up a notch I tell KC to forget the Dr Pepper, just get Little Man home and in the crib!  By now she needs a drink as well (Pepsi), Little Man has gotten quiet (cried himself to sleep) so we whip in the drive thru at the Pak-a-Sak about two blocks from the apartment.  Ahhh.  Two sips of Dr Pepper and I feel so much better.
    We get Little Man in his crib, Sweet Pea happy and playing with the dogs, and I get one more sip.  KC heads to her apartment.  Little Man was asleep as soon as his head hit the crib mattress in my bedroom.  I got my shoes off and got comfy before I decided what I really needed with my Dr Pepper was popcorn.  I sat my Dr Pepper down on the table next to my big chair and put some popcorn in the microwave.
    Have I ever mentioned Little Man is the lightest sleeper ever?  And that my apartment is really small, therefore you can hear any noise in every room?
    Two things happened.  Some sound, I forget what now, but probably the microwave door being shut, woke up Little Man.  He is crying again.  I bring him to the living room to rock him and about that time I smelled burnt popcorn.  Have you ever smelled burnt microwave popcorn?  I sat him in the floor so I could run turn off the microwave before the burnt smell could get worse (if that would have even been possible) and while I was throwing away the brown, stinky popcorn Little Man spied my Dr Pepper.  Before I could sprint across the room the entire 44 oz (minus 3 sips) was dumped in the light beige carpet. 
    What did I do today?  Cleaned the carpet.  Didn't even go back for the release day of that new book.  I will get it sometime before Christmas.  Oh, and KC called Target today.  24 hours later and the shoe hasn't shown up.   I see another adventure coming for me to take Sweet Pea and Little Man shoe shopping. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

WHERE Have I Been??

     Well, hello, y'all!  No, I did not fall off the face of the earth but it sure seems like it has been a long time since I have been here.  Where Have I Been?  Oh ...  Life happened.
     First there was that cutting my medication dosage in half...  my liver is recovering but depression has moved right in and hung around.  I could write a book just about that.  Let's just say I have been in the depression hell hole and leave it at that.  I am ok though, hanging in there.
     I had an absolutely wonderful visit with my son and I can see how GOOD Seattle has been for him so I am at peace -- finally -- with his move there.  I still miss him like crazy but life is good for him, so that is all I can ask for.
      I got all moved and I just love love love my apartment.  It was the correct thing to do for me in this stage of the game.  I am happy here.
     My kids and grandkids keep me busy. I am so grateful to be able to see them so often.  I am not lonely.  :)
      I no longer have a car (but my daughter does and she lives right here in this apartment complex) so between that, and agoraphobia moving itself to the front burner along with the depression I have not been out of the apartment much so I just don't have anything fun or exciting to tell you.  I really don't go anywhere, but between books and grandkids and my dog I stay busy.  I feel .. bad .. I guess, is what would describe it, that I don't have exciting things to tell you, and because of the depression I just don't have it in me to write much that is happy, funny, perky, lively so I just have stayed away from the blog.  I haven't read your posts either but now that I have come back to the blog I will read your old posts as I can and catch up.  Since I was not posting I felt guilty and would not even read yours although I thought of you, my blogger friends, often.   I am going to try to jump back into life though.  
      I realized the other day that I AM feeling better... because I want to decorate for Christmas for the first time in years.  That is mostly because my little granddaughter, who will be 4, is excited about Christmas but still, I haven't decorated any during her lifetime but this year I want to drag it ALL out!  That is a good sign.  For the past 4 years it just seemed like too much to do.  I lost a lot of time during this past 4 years of fighting to get past the worst of the depression roller coaster.
     Thinking about losing a lot of time ... my family Dr pointed out that it has been a very long time since I had a mammogram, and to get one.  In my mind, I would have sworn I have had one every year but nope, the cancer center where I go for one, and my Dr, insist I have not had one since 2009.  Makes sense, 2010 was the year of my breakdown (and life as I knew it was gone with the wind...along with my memory).  Anyway, I had one maybe 2 weeks ago and and everything is fine!  After being convinced that I had indeed not have one in 5 years I was really worried, considering my family history.  
    So, there is the good news, I guess.  And here I am, trying to get back in the swing of things.  I have missed you. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Cup Runneth Over....With Mostly Wonderful Things

      I am so excited ....   my son is coming home for a visit!  My son is coming, my son is coming! Boy, how I have missed him!  When he left for Seattle last year I really never expected to see him again.  We are not people of financial means to do whatever we want, when we want, like trips across the country.  I really thought I would never see him again.  I cried for months.  I knew it was where he needed to be but oh, my, that is a long way away.  About that time I started this blog. 
      He would not be able to come home now if it weren't for his super dooper wonderful friend who is helping with the price of his plane ticket to come home for a mutual friend's wedding.  He will just be here a few days since he can't afford to miss more than a few days' work but I will be thrilled to see him for any amount of time.  His plane lands July 17th!
     I am on track for an apartment July 11th (but most likely sooner), have been approved, and they accepted my deposit.  I took it sight unseen (although the floor plan is just like my daughter's), 712 sq feet, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, ground floor (oh thank you, Lord ... I could not picture my knees lasting very long carrying groceries and big dog food bags up a flight of stairs).  The complex was built in 2012 and very nice.  The apartment I will be getting has a braille plaque near the door so I asked if it is a handicapped unit.  It is --- not for physically challenged folks but for blind and hearing impaired tenants!  I'm hearing impaired!  Was this suppose to be "my" apartment or what!?  I don't know exactly how it is equipped, I will find out when I can actually sign the lease when the current tenant moves out, and we do a walk-through.  Just waiting on the current tenants to move out at the end of June, the carpet to be cleaned and whatever else might need doing.  And one of the best perks?  I will have access to internet again.  My daughter has it and her apartment is one flight up and one apartment over.  If I can not access my daughter's internet from my apartment I can always run up to her apartment and use it.  You can not imagine how I have missed the internet. 
     I mentioned my family Dr running some tests and the lab work came back that my liver numbers were just sky high crazy in April and May?  My family Dr had the blood tested 3 times and used two labs just to be sure since I have never had a problem before.  Since I don't drink, and never have, liver damage was the last thing this grandma ever expected.  Went to the mental health clinic last week, took the lab work from my family Dr, and they feel for sure it is the drug I am taking, which they prescribed - oh, probably 2 or 3 years ago AND NEVER RAN LAB WORK TO MAKE SURE I AM OK.  Oh, sure, NOW they are alarmed.  I have to get off of it.  Cut my dosage in half (which has caused some problems .... dizziness mostly ... well, that and the serious lack of help with my depression and anxiety ... and now while I am looking at packing up, moving, selling my house is not the time to be in the depths of depression ... what a heck of a time to be under a lot of stress AND have my meds cut in half) and they gave me a prescription for Abilify to help with the dosage I am now taking for the next month (tapering off).  I have seen those commercials and ads in every magazine I have picked up lately (except for New Mexico Magazine) so I was familiar at least with the name.  Guess what those 30 pills run?  $978.00.  LOL! My social security disability check for the month is not that much --- ya think I left Walgreens with a bottle??!  I do have medicare and a supplemental insurance policy for pharmacy so it would have only cost me $193 for 30 pills but still way beyond my reach.  (remember I gave up internet service when it went up to $40 because that was an unnecessary & expensive luxury)   I will be emailing the clinic next and saying "Seriously? Do you know how much this drug costs??"   LOL! At Walgreens I was also buying the cheapest toothbrush they had, a dollar one.  After giving me the bad news about the prescription cost and me telling her I would just be taking the toothbrush the lady at the pharmacy counter said "listen, honey, we are going to use your Reward Points, you can have the toothbrush for the tax... that will be 8 cents!"  I blessed her heart and she blessed my heart!  :)  ... a Southern thing, I'm told.  a P.S.---My caseworker is working on finding out what to do with me next re: medications.  It will all work out in the end. 
       My sweet grandkids keep me entertained and busy.  The baby is crawling really well (and fast) -- he is 7 months old --and wants to walk so bad.  He can walk several steps if we let him hold our fingers. It is way too soon for him to be walking, but I think he must look at us and think no one else is crawling around on the floor. I would rather he wait about 6 months,at least, before he starts walking.  He is hard enough to keep up with as it is now. The 3 year old has more energy than the Energizer Bunny - wish I could tap into that!  Best baby and toddler since their older cousins were that age.  :) My two older grandsons look up from their electronics long enough to say "I'm hungry!" every 15 minutes or so.  Boys --- they are bottomless pits when it comes to feeding them.  I only see the older boys every other week.  Actually the 12 and 13 year old boys are good, good kids and are a big help to play with the 3 year old.  You should see those big boys playing tea party and making their cousin happy.  They are real good about keeping the baby happy too.  They will even play card games and dominoes with me when we don't have the little ones with us.   
     I have met the woman who lives in the apartment above "mine" and she seems real nice.  About my age.  Her dog, a schnauzer, is named Zoe.  My dog is half schnauzer and named Zoe.  I am a little worried about how my Zoe will adapt to apartment life but we will see.  She is a pretty laid back dog and a sweet girl so maybe it won't be too bad teaching her to not bark at everyone who goes by, and to do her business on a leash.
    I need to get back home and back to sorting, packing and pricing.  Later in the month I am having a yard sale.  The apartment comes with a washer and dryer so I will need to sell mine, as well as my freezer.  I don't need "things" so I am hoping to sell the little I do have so I can move in my van, and not have to hire movers.  I have packed my kitchen and bathroom, took a whopping 4 medium size boxes.  I left out 2 bowls, 2 spoons, 2 glasses and plan to eat cereal and sandwiches until I move (I have a good lunch at my daughter's 4 days a week.)  My clothes will fit in one box I bet.  That leaves a lot of "junk" to sort through.   I doubt my bedroom suite sells so I may have to move that, but it is a queen set and will fill up the apartment bedroom so I am really hoping it sells.  My round table and chairs are too large to fit in the little "dining room area" so that needs to sell as well.  My dining room will be the playroom.  My living room furniture is going in the garage sale as well.  Hopefully I can get a bit of money to buy new living room furniture.  I DO have lots of toys ... mostly garage sale finds.  Look what I got for $5 for my little grandson!!!! Yes, this Fisher-Price sort-of-a-walker thing for $5.  Have I said I love garage sales??
All we had to do is wash it and disinfect it to be on the safe side.  It has a fabric seat that snaps onto the purple circle.  The seat is currently in the washer. I may not be able to use it for a long time but at least for several months it will corral him long enough for me to go in the kitchen to make him a bottle or something.     

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Yep, We Had Some Wind Friday Night...

Channel 10 News, Amarillo, TX - Texas state troopers say only minor injuries were reported from a wreck that kept one direction of Interstate 40 closed for at least a couple hours.  Troopers confirm a gust of wind blew over three semi-trucks in the eastbound lanes near exit 80, at around 9:20 Friday night.  At around the time of the crash, troopers believed it would take at least until midnight to clear the scene of the crash and re-open the highway.
       A while back I mentioned that Amarillo is Quarter Horse country.  Businesses all over town have painted fiberglass Quarter Horses.  This one is the Coca-Cola horse.  My grandson took the photo for me.
       I was so disappointed that California Chrome did not win the Triple Crown.  I am not a big horse racing person but I loved his story and loved to see horses run.  I dislike jockeys hitting them with those sticks though (I am sure they have a better name) and I sure am too poor to ever even think about betting on a horse.  I am also disappointed in one of the owner's rant after the loss.  Wish he had stayed on the high road.

Friday, June 6, 2014

That Was A Rude Awakening!

     The tornado sirens went off a little after 1 a.m.  Being a sound sleeper and hard of hearing anyway, I slept through it but my daughter was spending the night with me and she woke me up.  The dogs were sleeping through it too.  Did we grab blankets and get in the bathtub? No.  I opened the front door and looked outside, but shut it quickly because the rain was coming down in buckets.   We turned the TV on and watched the weather.  No tornado touched the ground but several hooks were seen in the sky.  A mile from my son's home a tornado spotter saw a very low hook.  That was too close for comfort considering that is where my 7 month old and 3 year old grandkids live.   My son and d-i-l could barely hear the tornado siren over the noise of the horrible wind, hail and violent rain at their house.  My daughter-in-law told me she woke up when their bed actually shook.    They live 25 minutes from me and my storm wasn't so violent.
    I can use the internet for free at the library and I can get on at my daughter's apartment.  The problem is when I am at my daughter's apartment I have the two youngest grandkids.  The 3 year old wants to push keys and "fix" my laptop, while the 7 month old is crawling really fast and in to everything.  His sister did not crawl until she was 9 months old.  As of today he can pull himself up to stand up and wants to walk so I am sure that won't be too far down the road.  He keeps me super busy. 
     I miss my blogger friends.  I really, really do.  I am going to try to read a few posts real quick!  I probably won't be able to get back on until Tuesday so have a wonderful weekend!  Once I move I will be able to use my daughter's internet any time I want.  My apartment is in the same complex, same building---one floor below and one apartment over.  I was super, super lucky to get a ground floor apartment.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hi, Y'All!

     Hi, y'all!  I didn't fall in a sink hole or anything.  I have had 4 grandkids with me since school was out (two weeks you say??! It feels like a month or two)  and I canceled my internet.  The price of the net went up in May and it became beyond a luxury so...   posts will be few and far between.  It looks like I will be getting an apartment in July though!!!!!!  That will help me financially so much!  Just had a second to check in with y'all.  I have not had a chance to read but 2 posts and didn't have time to respond but I will be back.  Y'all have a great day.  Sandie, I am thinking about you.  Hope all is well with everyone.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Week Of Rain!

       Monday marked the sixth consecutive day of rainfall in Amarillo.  6 DAYS!  The all-time record was 11 days back in June, 1960.  Since I live within a short distance of the TV station I watch for news I assume I got the same amount they received at the TV station .... 5.20 inches this week!  Remember in 2007 we received only 7.02 inches of precipitation (rain, snow) for the entire year!  At my house I have not even had any hail ... that in itself is amazing.  Usually if we get rain likely as not we get hail with it.
      A little more than 200 miles SW of my town is Roswell, NM.  New Mexico has been receiving rain all week as well. I thought I would share this photo (below).  Because the ground in TX & NM is so hard it just can't absorb all the rain so we have lots of areas that look like this cemetery.  God Bless those 4-H'ers for getting the flags out no matter what.  photo on Facebook via NewsChannel10
      This photo was taken in Roswell this weekend as dedicated 4-H students honored our Veterans. Thanks to Chelsey Eoff for sharing the photo.
     I didn't go to any of the numerous Memorial Day activities today.  Because of my severe depression there are some things that I just can't handle.  Hearing Taps, talk of fallen veterans, just seeing the flag, flowers, memorials on TV makes me bawl, in person I just lose it.  I don't mean tears trailing down my cheeks like most everyone else at those type functions, I mean chest heaving sobs.  Hymns effect (or is it affect??) me the same way.  I use to love church so much but I haven't been in years, since that hospital visit of mine.  I  used to be there whenever the doors were open but now I just have to take care of myself and not put myself in the position where I might just fall totally apart.  I am scared I will fall apart that bad again.  I feel bad that I didn't go to any "honor our fallen" events but I would if I could.  A year or two ago when a local soldier died, one that I did not even know, I told my psychiatrist that I had cried and bawled all day for days over his death (as if he were my own child) and asked was that normal (because how would I know what normal is?  as the cartoon says "Normal?? It is just a dryer setting in our house").  She looked at me and said ahh, NO.  So, this is letting you know something that few people know about me.... that I am ashamed to be so weak, and I realize it is an illness I did not ask for, but I wish I could be there putting flags on grave sites, and put my hand over my heart with everyone else, and listen to Taps and just have normal tears like everyone else.  But everybody's got something, right?  Oh, that reminds me, I want to read Robin Roberts new book ... that is the title ... Everybody's Got Something.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

22 Things To Know Before Moving to Amarillo

I saw this on Facebook ... 22 Things You Need To Know Before Moving to Amarillo.  You can click on the link if you like.  I can think of numerous things you really ought to know ... like what to do when the tornado sirens go off, how to keep your car on the road when the wind is blowing 60 mph, or how to avoid being burned by your seat belt & steering wheel in the summer but they didn't mention those.  I will add some comments on some of the things they did list.
       Amarillo has a population of about 200,000 but it is still a small town.  This list was put together by a real estate company in California but they hit most things on the head (got it right).
     Remember a few posts ago I said the drought in the Texas panhandle doesn't have an effect on just us Texans.  If it doesn't rain enough we can't grow hay to feed the cattle so there are fewer cattle, then cattle prices go up and your hamburger is more costly...  item # 1 says "Today, a quarter of the U.S. beef supply is processed in the panhandle."  ("the panhandle" is the top narrow part of Texas consisting of 26 counties and probably more cows than people.  That "more cows than people" is not official, I'm just sayin', but we do have a lot of ranches and feedlots here.  Amarillo is the largest city in the panhandle)    Probably the most famous Amarillo restaurant is "The Big Texan."  I have never been out there. I wanted to take my son there before he moved to Seattle but he said why would he want to do something tourist-y.  Oh-kay.  Anyway, my favorite meal is pinto beans with cornbread, onion & chow-chow but my second favorite meal is a sirloin cooked extra well done.  Beef, it's whats for dinner. That is THE slogan here.   (At my house only sometimes.  I probably have beef maybe twice a week and then it is most likely hamburger)
      Item # 2 .... my daughter-in-law works at Tyler's BBQ and she makes the best potato salad, as well as cole slaw, cobbler, beans, green chili mac & cheese.   That is her boss,Tyler, in the big hat.  Last year Tyler's was named one of the top 50 bbq places in Texas by Texas Monthly Magazine.  In Texas we like having braggin' rights.  I love their chopped brisket sandwiches.  If you ever pass through Amarillo stop and have one.
      Item # 7 ... some time I am going to drive around town and take photos of all the artsy horses to show you.  They add some color to our town.
      Item # 8 ... Hmm, I have never seen a live armadillo.  And not even a dead armadillo in green grass, just on the side of the road.
      Item # 9 ... I don't know where they took that photo of the Osprey but not here....out at the airport it is flat as a pancake and not a tree like those in sight.  Back in March I mentioned being out on the balcony of my daughter's apartment when an Osprey flew over, fairly low.  I love to see them. 
item # 10 ... they wrote this obviously before the National Weather Service named us the windiest city in the country.  
      Item # 11 ... if you have been here very long you will know someone that works at the Pantex plant.  It is a big employer.  Security is very tight so don't expect to go out and get a tour.  You can't even get close.  Bombs and all.
      Item # 12 ... I live on tortilla chips and Tascosa Picante Sauce.  Yummy!
      Item # 16 ... my son was a barista at the 806 before he moved to Seattle.  The 806 is a little coffee shop like no other in the world on the old Route 66 here.  (806 is our area code)
      Item # 19 ... about 25 miles south of town you will be driving along on the flat, bare prairie and all of a sudden the earth drops off into this huge, huge canyon.  Palo Duro Canyon is the prettiest spot in Texas. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

We Don't Get Flood Advisories Too Often!

     WOW!  I slept through the news last night but I am guessing this week we may have received a total of 2 or 3 inches, just based on the puddles in my yard and the water I can see in the kiddie pool in my neighbor's yard that was empty a few days ago.  This was on Facebook this morning...
A flood advisory for the Amarillo area is in effect until noon and according to NWS the area may experience thunderstorms this evening.
The Amarillo area is soaking up about .31 inches of rain this morning (31/100s not 31 inches!).“We should see this kind of rain carry through till about noon time until it pushes east,” Nicholas Fenner, National Weather Service Amarillo meteorologist, said.
       The problem with Amarillo and when we do get rain is 1) the ground is so hard it can't soak it all up. 2) the city has a horrible street drainage system and areas like railroad underpasses or highway underpasses flood.  We have some intersections that flood with just a little rain.  Did you know it only takes 24 inches of water for a car to float?  We aren't complaining about the rain for sure but on tv & radio they keep warning us of driving hazards in rain since we seldom have conditions like this. 
      To get out of the drought the Texas panhandle experts say we would have to get about 30 inches of precipitation in the next 18 months.  Well, that would be amazing should it happen, even though from the looks of it outside with all the puddles & flooded streets you would think we are well on the way!
     According to  the weather service in 2011 we received 7.01 inches for the year, 2012 we received 12.3, and in 2013 precipitation was 15.2 ... 34.51 inches over three years. To get 30 inches in a year and a half would just be miraculous.
     For those of us who live here the drought means hot temperatures, dust storms, high A/C bills, brown grass or very high water bills for those who can afford to have a lawn,  worry over the underground  Ogallala Aquifer --- our source of water --- which is being depleted at an alarming rate.
    Guess what?  It does not just effect the people of the Texas panhandle.  Corn, wheat, cotton, sorghum, cattle, dairy production are all major agriculture products in the panhandle. Because the drought is having such an adverse effect on our farmers and ranchers prices of beef, wheat, cotton are going to go up for everyone.
     Meanwhile, for today it is raining, thunder is rumbling, skies are gray, and out my window I can see cars splashing up water on highway 287.   Beautiful sight!

Friday, May 23, 2014

It's Official----

Anybody who has ever spent a few days here can tell you why we have always laughed when we heard Chicago was the "windy city."   I have never been to Chicago but I always felt sorry for them if they really were windier than us.  Now the Weather Channel makes it official.... Chicago may be the windy city but we are the Windiest.   I just saw this facebook post:
"Well, it’s official. The Weather Channel says Amarillo is THE windiest city in America, and Lubbock comes in at #3. This really isn’t a surprise to us West Texans though."

This is a photo of Cadillac Ranch, just west of Amarillo,  that The Weather Channel posted on facebook when they posted the news that we are windiest.  Our local millionaire eccentric likes quirky art and funds the Ant Farm (artist group).  If you are interested you can read about it here ....
     Amarillo has also been in the national news this month for the drought.  On the 18th Forbes reported "Three years of relentless and severe drought has made large parts of New Mexico, Colorado and Texas are drier than they were during Dust Bowl in the 1930s.  In the Texas panhandle, Amarillo is about 10% drier now than the 42 months that ended April 30, 1936 and drier than the state’s record drought in the 1950s, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor."   The National Weather Service agreed:  On May 22nd The National Weather Service says the past 43 months in our area have been the driest ever on record.
    Good news though --- we have had rain this week.  Thunderstorms moved in Wednesday night!!!  Wed. night I got 20/100s of an inch (I know because I live real close to the tv station I watch and that is what they got at the station).  Last night we had more rain causing flooding because the ground is so hard it can't soak it all in.  I love to her thunder rumbling, I love to hear rain. Lightning scares me though and Amarillo has a lot of lightning.  I really miss my little schnauzer, Gracie, that passed away in February.  She was very afraid of loud noises and during thunderstorms she would cuddle with me and we would comfort each other through them. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mish Mash of Thoughts

     The wildfire that started Sunday in the little Texas panhandle community of Fritch has destroyed 225 homes, 143 out buildings and 118 vehicles.  The fire marshall said they were able to save 241 homes - so I guess almost half of the homes in the town are gone.  Thursday evening news reports the fire is 90% contained on day 5.  300 people worked to control the fire.  The photos are devastating.
      One bright spot is that people are donating prom dresses and a florist is donating flowers so the high school Jr & Sr's can still have a prom this coming weekend.
     When my son living in Seattle calls and tells me about the rain up there it just blows my mind.  We just don't get rain very often.  On the way to take care of my grandchildren I pass by this field and I wonder if anyone from Washington state would recognize what this piece of equipment might be....
It is an irrigation system (a giant moving sprinkler).  I pulled over to the side of the road and took the photo out of my car window yesterday (May 14th).  That is a barb wire fence you can see at the bottom of the photo.  To grow any kind of crop here you have to get water to it since we don't get much precipitation.  You can clearly see the difference in this field of watered and unwatered vegetation.   I wish I had some way of getting accurate information but I am going to guess that this irrigation system shown is probably 1,000 feet long, maybe a 100 ft tall.   That may be way off as a guess so let me show you an aerial view.  This field is across from a children's home campus so I went to Mapquest, put in their address and got this satellite map....
If you click on that link the irrigated acreage is the big green circle on the left.  The vertical line in the field would be the irrigation system.  When I took the photo the system has moved to the south portion of the field.   The white vertical line to the right of the field is the road I drive down.  The purple bubble with a white dot is indicating the building to the right.  That building is a two story campus building, almost 7,000 sq ft so in relation  maybe that can help you see what size this field might be.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What Is This Beautiful Shrub?

My son moved to Seattle last year.  Whoa! What a change of scenery from the  Texas panhandle! When he called me on Mother's Day he told me about this beautiful shrub in the front yard of the house he and his roommates rent.  He doesn't know what it is but he loves it.  When he emailed the photos I could see why, I think it is beautiful too!  Does anyone know what it is? (the photos take a minute to load)

Monday, May 12, 2014

One of the Things That Scare Me the Most

News Channel 10 photo
Scary and Heartbreaking Wildfire on Mother's Day
       Fritch, Texas is a a little town about 34 miles north of my home.  On Sunday afternoon a wildfire broke out and it is not yet contained as of Monday night.  Over 2,500 acres have burned and over 100 homes are gone. On Sunday the wind was blowing horrid and today was much better but still blowing 35-40 mph and of course that is not a good combination with a fire.  God bless the firefighters from all over the Texas panhandle that are fighting the fire.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

I Took The Grandkids Shopping---Caption This Please

What is my grandson telling his sister????

I say "NO! I don't think grandma can parallel park this thing in that spot!"
My sister says  .... "Grandma said to keep BOTH hands on the steering wheel!"
Casey says ... "Are you driving or am I?!"
Carmel says...."Hold on! We don't have seat belts and this is going to get bumpy!"   (nope, they were both buckled in) 
Janet says... Taylor says "See Rhett, to your left are flowers... look at them!"  Rhett says " Another shopping trip with girls! Where are the guys??"
Annie says ... "Pay attention, I'm telling you the one on the left is the brake!"
Patti says... "No, I am not pulling over to ask directions." 
Cindi says..."And on your left you will see the lovely gardens of Lowe's as we complete our tour of Amarillo."

    Betsy says .... I Absolutely LOVE all the responses!  I got tickled over them and have read them over and over.  Thank you for your captions!"  
(and if I get other responses I will add them here so I can copy to put in my grandson's baby book)

Friday, May 9, 2014

I Came Home Dead Tired Tonight...

By the time Friday comes I am always exhausted, but I am glad to have spent the time with my grandkids each week.  I came home dead tired tonight, so I plopped in my big chair, opened my laptop and after reading my email I got on Pinterest.  Here are some things I saw that spoke to me: 

True story.

This granny heart crochet pattern has a twist - a beautiful daisy in the center. Perfect for use as a crochet dishcloth or a beautiful bunting, it's sure to brighten up any room.
If I knew how to crochet I would make these dishcloths



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Long Time Between Posts

     I can't believe it has been this long since I have posted anything, and keep forgetting to post my 7 things.  Now that I am babysitting again I have found myself just running in all different directions.  I love those babies though and love spending time with them.  We are having a great time.
     Taylor and I spend a lot of time coloring, playing with Playdoh, working jigsaw puzzles, digging in the sandbox.  Rhett and I rock and cuddle and wave "hi" at each other.  I will see a lot of my older grandsons this summer.  That will mean lots of games of Chinese Checkers, Chicken Foot, Scrabble, Phase 10 and Uno.  
     When I am not babysitting I am sleeping .... and at every opportunity because I am just exhausted.  I should be cleaning house, packing to move, getting a garage sale put together, figuring out what to do about a car (another thing on the old van has broken ... more things are wrong than right with it).  I have a lot to do and I am tired, overwhelmed, and way behind.  I wish I had some energy.
      I talked to the office staff at the low income apartment complex and they expect several apartments to come open in the next few months.  Actually they had one for me last week but it was a third floor apartment.  I don't think my hips, knees and feet can take walking up that many stairs.  I will of course take my dog, Zoe, with me and since I will need to walk her at least 4 times a day that would be a lot of going up and down stairs.  I can't even imagine carrying groceries up those flights of stairs.  I hate to leave my home but financially it is just stupid for me to continue to try to hold on to it.  I just want to get the move over with and hope things settle down and I have less stress. 
     Tomorrow I am going back to see my primary physician.  At my check-up recently she ran numerous blood tests and some results were not good.  Evidently I am "pre-diabetic."  Also of concern is my liver.  A medication I take can damage your liver but for some reason -- even though my psychiatrist prescribed the highest approved dose of it for me for quite a long time -- she never ordered blood work to watch my liver.  My primary physician did last month and those numbers are not good, so I am going back tomorrow to see what she suggests.  It is always something.
     Nothing exciting going on in my neck of the woods but days are super busy.  I have not even had time to read very much.  By the time I get home and things calm down enough I think I have time to read I am so tired my comprehension is just gone.  I only read 8 books in April.  I make time to read my blogger friends' posts though, even if I don't take time to comment.  Usually by the time I read them my brain is numb from exhaustion and I can't think of a comment.  I love your posts though and look forward to seeing what is going on in your world.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

One Of My Biggest Faults

    Occasionally I own up to my faults.  This post is about one of them.  I am old, cranky and set in my ways and one of my biggest faults is I am so opinionated.
     Today my daughter announced she wanted a tattoo and is looking for the perfect design.   Something for her foot, she thinks.  Why yes, she is an adult.  In her 30's and old enough to know better, but yes she is an adult and it is her body.  Did I keep my mouth shut and my opinion to myself?  No.... and I am the one who just a post or two back said introverts like to think before they speak.  Well, for me that gets tossed out the window when it comes to my kids doing things I think are less than sensible.
     I didn't say much .... just that tattoos are tacky, ugly, common and vain.  That I would draw on her with a sharpie for free if she wants.  Oh, and that tats are a waste of money when she might remember she has two sons who will need back to school clothes, shoes, glasses, supplies in just 4 months.  Remember those drum sticks & band expenses that were over $100?? And every class last year had its own expensive requirements that were unexpected and threw her for a loop?
    No, she did not appreciate my comments.  Imagine that.  Figuring my comments had just sealed the deal, I texted back for her to go ahead and tattoo to her heart's content, anywhere she wants, but that I hear tattoos on the foot are especially painful --- but it is HER body so go for it if she wants.
     You would think I would learn to bite my tongue, but I tell you what.  I sometimes wonder about me, my kids, and what happened to that idea that kids learn by what you do, not what you say. (I do not have tattoos in case there was any question, and have been vocal about my opinion of them all their lives).
    I grew up in a time and an area where if you had a tattoo you were a thug, criminal or something akin to it.  The exception were sailors and we gave them some slack because they were busy defending our country and just made a mistake getting that tattoo (but please, we don't want to see it).  Absolutely no one I knew in the first 30 or so years of my life had a tattoo except a classmate who went to prison and came back with a tat.  We were all shocked and stunned .... moreso by the tat than the fact that this guy had been to prison.  My kids tell me they just about don't know anyone without a tattoo.
    I guess my kids never listened to me when i said "so if everyone is jumping off a bridge are you going to jump off the bridge too??"  Both of my sons have tats, Becky now wants one and Casey would have had one by now but thank goodness a tattoo artist near Camp Lejeune told her he wouldn't do it because her skin forms keloid scars, thus a tat would be a big mistake for her.  I know that this mom, when I saw my 4 babies with sweet, smooth, babyfresh skin never once thought "oh wouldn't this be cute with some grafitti on it." Like I said, I am old, cranky and set in my ways.
    Oh well, maybe it is a good thing my eyesight is failing.   Now if I could just learn to keep my opinions to myself.
     I hear that someone did a survey and a large majority of people regret their tats.  If I were a younger woman I think I would get training and open a tattoo removal practice.  I'm betting there is a good future in that skill.

Dying Eggs

Friday afternoon fun at Aunt Casey's apartment!  My grandsons got out of school at noon,  so we all had lunch together, dyed eggs and had Easter cake.  It was my 3 year old granddaughter's first time to get to dye eggs and she had been waiting all week for her cousins to get out of school on Friday and come have a little Easter party with her.   My daughters, Casey and Becky, helped their niece dye eggs, Mason and Travis had a good time dying their own, and Grandma and baby Rhett spent some quality time in the rocking chair.  (note to self:  although Casey's carpet is still beige and the table only has two little spots of dye stain on it we best save up newspaper to cover the table before dying eggs next year!)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I Know The Sign Said "Drive-Thru" But----

     I live on the north edge of town and my kids & grandkids live on the south edge of town.  Whenever I go to take care of my grandkids, go to the library, pretty much go anywhere in town I take Pierce Street south, which is a busy 3 lane street through the center of town.  On the corner of Route 66 (Amarillo Blvd) and Pierce is a McDonalds.  I used to go through the drive-thru every morning on my way to take care of my grandkids because you can buy a local paper for a quarter at McD's, instead of the normal 75 cent price, and I like to work the two crossword puzzles in the daily paper.
    Well, I have not been buying the paper this week and I sure miss it.  There are numerous McDonalds here but none that I pass by on my way except for this one.  It will be a while before I can get a newspaper there again.  Last week someone ran a red light and a car and a semi carrying a huge load of bales of hay collided. The end result was that the semi of hay pushed a 3rd vehicle completely inside the McDonalds and the cab of the semi itself was buried inside, right  where the counter use to be. 
     Thank goodness no one was killed.  7 people were hospitalized.   Miraculous that no one was killed, considering a Ford Explorer was pushed inside the store, followed by a semi on it's side.  It happened around 10 p.m. on a weeknight so it was not a busy time.  Had it been in summer it would have been tragic. 
     I took this photo on my way home tonight, more than a week after the wreck.  The door to enter the store was just to the right of the two windows, the counter would have been right where the A/C duct is hanging down, the bathrooms right where you see some big bales of hay stacked.  It took crews about 6 hours to get the Explorer and the semi out of the store.  If you want to see videos taken that night by a local news crew then go here:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How Do Introverts Do Extrovert Things?

Introvert:  (not scientific, this is my personal description) ...
  • Shy, but not always
  • thinks a lot, reads a lot, studies a lot, ponders a lot
  • finds small talk very uncomfortable & annoying
  • feels terribly alone and out of place in a crowd
  • does not enjoy parties, gatherings, etc & seldom makes new friends there because we tend to stick with someone we know
  • often "just wants to go home"
  • enjoys solitude, in fact needs alone time to recharge
  • is exhausted by stimulation of being around other people
  • giving a talk in front of a crowd is far easier than talking to one or two people
  • does not enjoy participating in a class or meeting and does not want to work in a group
  • prefer to think things over before we speak
  • is comfortable with one's self, alone is not lonely
  • appear dull & uninteresting, but often actually have a good sense of humor & can carry on a conversation if they want to (they just don't want to)
  • hate surprises, and do not want anyone to drop by without calling
  • are not stuck up, mad, anti-social ... they just need time alone, and are often lost in thoughts
  • does not have the need to "do something" and"be with other people" every minute of the day
  • down time is not wasted time, it is recharging and rejuvenating time
      The first 18 years of my life I was extremely shy.  I have always felt like it was maybe 25% just my personality and 75% environment.  My environment was a weird one but I didn't realize that at the time. It was all I knew.  Until the 4th grade I was the only white kid in my class and everyone else's first language was Spanish, which I did not speak.  At home we lived in total isolation.  No one ever visited.  No one came to dinner.  No one had friends that came over.  Inside our four walls we all walked around on eggshells.  There were no family activities, no family conversations, no hugs or kisses, no laughter. none. really. Children were meant to be seen and not heard was branded in my brain. When I learned to read and by some miracle my mom got me a library card was the best thing that ever happened to me. I remember the library allowed a 3 book checkout.  At age 6 I walked the half a mile to the library by myself several times a week (if my kids or grandkids at age 6 wanted to take off on a half a mile walk by themselves ... well let's just say it would not happen!)  From then on I had my nose in a book any time I was awake and that was my means of escape.   54 years later it still is.   How could I have been anything but an introvert!
      I did not come out of my shell until I was 36 and got the job I always wanted, working in a library.  When I was at work I was required to do school presentations, public speaking, storytimes, booktalks for teenagers, a multitude of things outside my comfort zone and I created a persona so that I could do the job well.  I admired Mr. Rogers (Fred Rogers) and his gentleness with children.  My persona was a combination of Mary Poppins, Fred Rogers and ... don't laugh, Doris Day. Hey, she always was smiling, was always friendly, was always outgoing, was always "good."  It worked for me.  I had a very successful career.
     The people I was close to could not understand how I could be so successful at work and do all kinds of things in front of large groups but would have a huge panic attack if I had to socialize with a few people.  All I can say is I could be the person I created but when I had to be "me" and come up with small talk like at a luncheon I would be almost frozen with fear.
      About that same time that I got my dream job I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons).  One thing I did not realize is that in my church there is no paid ministry and "sermons" are given by church members when asked by the Bishop.  I mean, I knew the Sunday speakers were members, I just didn't realize they would be asking ME.  Talk about growth.  I learned to love writing and giving sermons, after I got over the initial shock that I would be asked.  It was not scary at all.
      The persona I created was the person I wanted to be.  It was not fake.  It may have caused me to break out of my shell and out of my comfort zone but it was the personality I wanted to have and therefore I did.  That is exactly how this introvert could do extrovert things.  Towards the end, though, before my breakdown, it was so hard to put on that game face and be perky all day I would get in my car and just cry from exhaustion.   At the end of the day I was just plain old me.  The introvert always won.
P.S.  Another blogger just helped me see something!!  When we are passionate about something we can pull up the strength to do what is required.  See, I learned something today.  I love my blogger friends!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why Do I Blog?

    Another blogger asked this question and I could not answer it in one sentence.   Letter writing, journaling, losing my mind all led to blogging for me.
  • Letter writing was a part of my life for decades but now I just email.  Sorry, United States Postal Service -- email is cheaper.  I might go back to letter writing, just to my son, because holding a letter in hand is a gift.
  • Journaling has always been important to me.  I saw a quote once that went something like this --- "I don't know what I think until I read what I wrote."  That is part of it.  I journal so that I won't forget.  I journal so that I can see how the Lord has had a hand in my life, how prayers were answered.  I journal to help me figure things out. I journal because I can write some things for only me to see that I can not say to anyone. I journal to let things out.
  • If you have read this blog before today you know I suffered a mental breakdown a few years ago and I am still recovering.  Losing one's mind -- well, there is a reason it is called a "breakdown."   You find yourself broken.  It was suggested to me that writing a blog might be a way to help find myself, understand myself, deal with the changes that have come.
  • I am a weird introvert.  In my former life I had a job where I did very extrovert things.  I did a lot of public speaking, acting in skits, storytelling, that kind of thing and I was able to do that by taking on a persona. I have read that many actors are introverts and this is how they are able to practice their craft.  It worked for me, but once I had to face the world as myself I became a big ole introvert.  Because of the responsibilities I had in my former life I spoke with a lot of people every day and I enjoyed it very much.  In my current life I see very few people, almost none.  I miss that contact.  Blogging is a way to reach out.  Comments are a wonderful reward.
  • I have always been agoraphobic to some degree, varying degrees at different times in my life, and intensely so after my breakdown.  During the worst spells of agoraphobia  I could only leave my house, or attend meetings, or go to the store if one of my "safe" people were with me.  Needing a person that makes me feel safe is very important.  If you are agoraphobic and can't easily go out into the world then you feel pretty isolated.  You need friends, but friends are out in that world. 
  • I am not a writer, highly educated, or even a student of writing classes but I like to write.  I just like to put down thoughts.  I love the feel of a pen or pencil against paper.  Blogging, of course, does not involve pen or pencil, but the feel of laptop keys is comforting as well.
  •   I am hearing impaired.  I don't know when I lost my hearing.  If you have never heard perfectly you just don't know.  I started wearing hearing aides in my late 40's when it became necessary in order to keep working. Hearing aides are very price-y (for me anyway), only last 5 or 6 years at best (well, that was true back in the day when I last had a pair), companies won't even let you send them in for repair if they are older than 4 years old (again, true back in the day), and mine just never worked all that great.  If I could afford hearing aides I would have a pair right now but they are just not affordable.  Even with hearing aides I still had a horrible time trying to understand consonants.  Baby, lady, gravy all sound the same to me.  Having a conversation with someone is something else.  The gears in my mind are constantly churning, trying to figure out what word would make sense here during the times I might understand some words and misunderstand others.   It is much easier for me to read something than try to figure out what someone is saying to me so that makes blogging an easy way to communicate for me.
  • In the past 4 years I have lost the two friends of whom I could tell anything  (and did).  Thank goodness I still have my sister and can now tell her anything and everything, but I miss the conversations I used to have with those friends.  Blogging will never come close to replacing them but it is a start at something different.
I wish I had an interesting life so I had something interesting to write but my current life is pretty confined.  I am home with my dogs, or at my kids' homes with my kids and grandkids.  I used to love to go to church and all the activities there but that is way too much for me to do now.  I would love to go to our city's First Friday Art Walk, to plays, exhibits, events but going out into a group of people is terrifying to me, and most things cost something, ruling out me being able to attend.  For most of my life I forced myself to be bigger than the panic attacks and feelings of agoraphobia and go out and live life, but feeling as shake-y and fragile as I am now --- it is just more important to take care of myself.  Being in the mental hospital was not a bad experience but not one I want to repeat because I never want to be that ill again.  I could not read and comprehend, I could not function, --- I just never want to be that ill again.  I will protect myself and not push myself beyond my current limits.  I feel like a fine china teacup that has been shattered and the pieces glued back together, but the glue is not I am not gonna shake the table.  So, instead of being out in the world, I blog when I can come up with anything to say (again, sorry it is so boring) and I appreciate my blogger friends more than anyone can imagine.  Life is good.  And heavens, it takes me a lot of words to say anything.

Why do you blog and/or why do you read blogs?   

Monday, April 14, 2014

If You Don't Like The Weather Just Wait A Minute---

On Saturday the high was 89 degrees and my redbud tree bloomed out.
On Sunday it was in the high 70's and warm enough I had the A/C on until the evening. I took the photos of the elm trees budding and the redbud flowering yesterday afternoon to post with 7 things.
On Monday morning at 3:04 a.m. my dog wanted outside and this is what we saw:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Grateful for 7 Things, plus 7 Thoughts 13 Apr 2014

  1. LILACS...I absolutely love lilacs.  Love the smell, the colors (dark purple, light purple, even white) the "home-i-ness"of them, the bushes whether in bloom or not, but mostly the blossoms. I love love love lilacs, and I saw some blooming today! Not at my home.  Gee, I wish I knew someone with a bush because I would beg for a bouquet. The lot I bought to put my trailer on is just toxic I think.  I have planted probably a minimum of 8 lilac bushes over the 4 years I have lived here.  None have survived.  Neither have more than a dozen rose bushes, 3 trees, a dozen Crepe Myrtles, a yard full of "store bought" grass (sod), and way too many plants.  My daughter swears the moles that also live here underground have really enjoyed eating the roots of everything. 
  2. RED BUD TREES... The one tree that has survived in my yard is a Red Bud.  When it blooms in the spring it is just so beautiful.  I love it.  I can see it out of my kitchen window. It is not red but pinkish/purple.  Well, here, this is it (photo below).  As you can see there is no other color in my yard other than a glimpse of a yellow plastic grocery bag blown in the yard and stuck in the fence.  Thus, I think Seattle IS the garden of Eden, and why I appreciate the tiny bit of color my red bud tree gives me for a few days. 
  3. GREEN BUDS ON ELM TREES... It is so nice to see the Elm trees bud out.  Just happy to see another touch of color.  These elms have probably been here a hundred years and Dutch Elm disease is getting to most of them.  These trees are full of dead branches.  I don't have one on my lot but the branches get blown onto my roof every now and then. This is the view out my front door towards highway 287.  It appears that I am right on the access road but it is 160' of vacant lot from my fence to the road. The vacant lot between me and the street is brown, the access road and highway are the gray streaks, followed by more dead brown grass on the other side of the highway, gray dead branches in the trees -- and why I am excited to see some green buds.  The blah concrete stairs lead to a bridge.  Kids can walk across the bridge over the highway to get to the elementary school across the way. 
  4. NEW MEXICO MAGAZINE...I spent my Sunday afternoon reading a New Mexico Magazine.  The March issue.  My sister sends it to me because I love New Mexico and wish I lived in Santa Fe.  I was born in Tucumcari and lived in NM (Tucumcari, Albuquerque, Rio Rancho) until my 30's. 
  5. FINDING FREE STUFF...While in Wal-Mart the other day I saw a basket of these boxes.  A woman was stocking shelves with sidewalk chalk and had taken them out of these display boxes.  I asked if I could have one, thinking it would be perfect to store my New Mexico Magazines... and it is even turquoise!
  6. DIGITAL CAMERAS...I also spent a good part of the afternoon cropping, deleting, saving digital photos of my new grandson.  LOL! Even after deleting some I still have 168 photos of him between a few hours old and 2 months.  He is almost 6 months old and there is no telling how many photos I have to date.  Next Sunday I will work on them again.  I love my digital camera.  I would post tons of photos of my grandkids but I worry about weird people out there and have heard there is a way to get the address of where the photo was taken.
  7. ICE SKATING...Nope, I have never skated, on ice or anything else, but I have enjoyed watching it on tv this afternoon.  I am taking it easy this weekend.  I had my 3rd go-round of "the cruise line crud (without the cruise)" this past week and let me tell ya, I am sick of being sick.  It was so violent and frequent this time I threw up blood three different times.  That was scary. Now it just feels like I have pulled loose every muscle in my body or I have had a beating with a 2" x 4" or something.  Went to the Dr Fri for my yearly free Medicare wellness checkup and I am fine, but I told her it has been this bug, the flu, this bug, really bad colds, this bug.. since December and what can I do besides bleach every available surface in my house and spray Lysol until I can't breathe.  She told me it has just been a really bad year for these illnesses here this winter.  Well, I hope all the germs leave soon.  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wives of Los Alamos

The Wives of Los Alamos

      I haven't had time to read as much as I would like lately but I was excited when the library called that they had this book in for me.  It was excellent and I highly recommend it.  I am surprised it is the author's first book.  It took me awhile to get used to the writing style.  It is written in first-person plural. A little strange, but because of the subject matter I decided, 3/4 of the way through the book, that actually it was brilliant.  I don't think I have ever read a novel written in first-person plural before, and as I said, strange, but don't ditch it without finishing the book.
     Having grown up in New Mexico, and born a decade after the war, I have always known about Los Alamos.  If you are not familiar with it, Los Alamos is a town in northern New Mexico, not too far from Santa Fe.  During WWII it was "the secret city" and no one knew what was going on there.  It was not a "city" but a place created for scientists recruited for the Manhattan Project, creators of the atomic bomb.  The bombs eventually dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  To say that it was blanketed with secrecy is quite an understatement. 
     Wives of Los Alamos is the story of the families that came to live there for three years.  I can not even imagine.  The average age of the wives was 25 and they came from everywhere but this part of the world.  They knew no one, except for their husbands, who could not tell them anything about their work.  Their names were changed, their parents could not visit, they had no phones, mail was censored, they could not own a camera, they could not leave unless it was for a close family member's funeral, so tight was the secrecy.  This is their story.