Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mr. Toad

The clever men at Oxford, know all that there is to be knowed. But they none of them know one half as much, as intelligent Mr. Toad.
Kenneth Graham, The Wind In The Willows.

The puppies have been antagonizing a toad that lives around our patio for the past couple of weeks. Tonight they kept barking, so I flipped on the light to see why. Mr. Toad was sitting in their water dish with just his head above the surface. The puppies would lunge at him, then jump back, over and over again. But Mr. Toad wasn't worried about them. He just calmly sat in the water dish and ignored them. :o)

Listenin' To The Oldies Tonight

These guys are a couple of my all-time favorites. I love them, and this song.

Look at them here. Same song, lots of years earlier.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Two Busy Days

I took Ron to work Friday so that I could have the car all day, instead of sharing the truck with Josh.

I had a mammogram appointment at 9 AM, then went to the lab for some blood work my diabetes counselor ordered. Stopped at Mom's on my way home, then went to get my hair cut at 2 PM.

Reece came over to spend the night. I'm not in the habit of giving him gifts every time I see him, but a couple of weeks ago I gave him some "presents" when he came over. So now he wants a present every time he comes. :o) He has been wanting Wingo to add to his Cars collection, but none of us had been able to find one. So I told him that we would go to Toys R Us and see if they had one. They didn't, so we went to Target, and there was one Wingo left, just for us! Reece insisted we take a picture of him last night. :o)

Then Reece, Ron and I went to eat at a new coffee shop nearby. The food wasn't that good; we probably won't go back unless it's for coffee and dessert.

This morning Ron took the car to the dealer to have the AC repaired again. Josh picked him up there, then I took Josh and Reece home and went to Mom's in the truck.

Back at home, I spent some of the afternoon filing all of the papers I sorted through last week, and shredding another big pile. My filing system leaves a lot to be desired, but at least I know where to find things if I need them.

After working inside for a couple of hours, I went outside to spend some time with the puppies. They make such a mess in the backyard, so I brought the trash cart around to the back and went all around the yard picking up bits of plastic, paper and wood (even rocks!) that they scattered around. Then I put the pups inside and used the leaf blower and the pressure sprayer on the patio. I washed the patio doors and the trash cart with soap and water and sprayed them off with the pressure thingy. One more round of the yard to pick up puppy poop, and I was pooped.

Now I'm sitting here with a fan blowing on me, and it feels wonderful! When Ron was gone those 3 weeks, I turned our AC up quite a bit. We discovered that we don't need it to be as cool in the house as we had been keeping it. Our electric bill dropped by $200 this month, in spite of the record heat!

Tomorrow after Mass, we will have to take Teddy (Mom's dog) to PetsMart's vet to get his rabies shot. I'm relieved they are open on Sunday, because all vaccinations have to be given 48 hours prior to leaving the pet at the hotel! I thought that he got one when he was in the shelter, but when I was getting his paperwork ready to fax to the pet hotel today, I saw that he didn't. He did have the bordetella vaccine, but it's been nearly 6 months, so he needs another one.

Okay, that's my long ramble for tonight.

Friday, August 28, 2009

St. Augustine

Augustine, born at Tagaste (Africa) in 354, was the son of St. Monica and of a pagan father, Patricius. His mind was ensnared by errors and his soul and body corrupted by debauchery and impurity. Converted by the prayers of his mother, he became one of the most famous Doctors of the West and a Father of the Church. He died after an episcopate of 36 years at Hippo (Africa) A. D. 430.
The Roman Missal, 1962

A few quotes from St. Augustine, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church:

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.

He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent.

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.

Thou hast created us for Thyself, and our heart is not quiet until it rests in Thee.

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.

The painting is St. Augustine In His Cell by Sandro Botticelli.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Two Wolves

My sister sent me this in an email. I like it. Thanks, Johnnie.


One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

"One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

"The other is Good - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Going To The Chapel

My nephew is getting married! And we're going to the wedding next week.

Teddy and the puppies will be staying at the same place that Darcy and Banzai will be during our out-of-town trip. I made the reservations today. At least all 5 of them will be together, and they will be in an air-conditioned pet hotel. Katy and Sister will stay together in one "room," and Ted will have his own space, but they will be able to play together during supervised play times. I think Darcy and Banzai will have a room together, too. It will be like a vacation for them, too. :o)

I need to find Teddy's paperwork to see if his bordetella vaccine is up-to-date. As the time for our trip approaches, I keep thinking of more and more things I need to do!

I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow. I have mixed feelings about it. My hair is longer now than it has been in many years, and I've enjoyed being able to pull it back in a ponytail, bun or french braid this summer. Much cooler than having it down! But it makes me look like an old woman (I am an old woman, but I don't want to look older than I have to). So I'll go back to my longish swing bob tomorrow.

I need to do a bit of shopping. We will be celebrating two birthdays while we're all together, in addition to the wedding. My mom and my niece's husband both have birthdays on September 5th. Mom will be 83. My niece is bringing birthday cakes for both of them. :o)

I've had politics on my mind a lot, but all that is going on is so overwhelming I don't know where to start. Rosemary, at A Catholic Mother's Thoughts posted something this morning that has me fuming. Please read her post, No Rationing In National Healthcare? Think again! It's incredible to me that a person who is in the president's inner circle believes that a human life has so little value. If you love someone with dementia, you'll want to read this.

I have to get off this computer!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Good Dogs!

I took the puppies in for their final shots (until they are a year old) this morning. They weigh 30 pounds now! The vet said they've gained 15 pounds since their last visit, and he keeps saying that they are going to be "monsters," meaning he thinks they'll be very big dogs, especially Sister. She is a little heavier than Katy, and looks bigger.

He says they are not overweight, and that they can eat "as much as they like" while they are puppies. I feed them a specific amount 3 times a day, though, and will continue that routine since they are doing well on it. I'll cut back to twice a day when they are older.

I like our vet because he is so obviously delighted with the puppies. :o)

They also received the bordetella vaccine, which will prevent them from getting kennel cough while they are being boarded next week. I'm a little anxious about leaving them. They've never been away from me since they were 8 weeks old. They are friendly, social dogs, and they will be together, so that should make it easier.

I need to take them out more. They are used to being here all the time, and when I take them some place, they get soooo excited! It's hard to get them to calm down. I've been planning to start walking them in the neighborhood, but need to get them better leashes and collars.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, August 24, 2009
(Oops, got sidetracked and forgot to post this).

Outside my window...
Texas summer. It's supposed to get to 103° today. Again.

I am thinking...
about a trip we're taking the first week in September. Lots of things to do to prepare.

I am thankful...

for my Ron.

From the kitchen...
Cheerios and strawberries for breakfast.

I am wearing...
sleeveless white PJs with tiny blue flowers.

I am creating...

I am going...
Josh is bringing me the car, then I'll go to Mom's, then pick him up at noon so that he can have the car again. (The starter on his car is not working).

I am hearing...
the AC unit making a weird noise. I think I need to call a repairman. It sounds like a belt or bearing going out. :o(

Around the house...
I was watching the television show Hoarders the other night. It literally made me feel so queasy I couldn't eat my ice cream. Those poor people! It really is an illness. Anyway, it made me want to declutter and throw out stuff.

One of my favorite things...

A few plans for the rest of the week...
the puppies have a vet appointment in the morning for their final puppy vaccinations.

I'll be checking out boarding kennels for them and Teddy during the week. We are going out of town for a few days next week, and I won't leave them any place unless I see it first.

I'll take Aubrey to physical therapy tomorrow afternoon.

I have an appointment for a mammogram on Friday. Oh joy.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Beautiful and peaceful!

Please visit Peggy's site for links to more daybooks. Thanks for hosting, Peggy!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Feast Of The Immaculate Heart Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1944 to be celebrated on August 22, thus replacing the traditional octave day of the Assumption (compare August 22 in the Tridentine Calendar with the same date on the General Roman Calendar as in 1954). In 1969 Pope Paul VI moved the celebration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the day (Saturday) immediately after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This means in practice that it is now held on the day before the third Sunday after Pentecost.

However, ...those who use the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite continue to follow the practice instituted by Pius XII in 1944.
The Catholic Encyclopedia

Mary began her journey along the road to perfection at a height to which other Saints arrived only at the end of a long life of saintliness. In all other children of Adam original sin prevented the divine generosity from having a free course. But mary was created immaculate, and therefore the grace of God streamed into her soul without check or hindrance. Her sinlessness, her heavenly purity, directed every action, every movement to God. Her heart was the pattern and model of all virtues, of all purity! "Blessed are the pure in heart!"
The Roman Missal, 1962

Click on the vertical double lines in my playlist player to turn off the music on my blog.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cool Pool Puppies

Sister and Katy are growing up. They've lost their cuddly puppy look, and are in that gangly, lanky stage.

It's still so hot here. I'm sick of 100°+ temperatures day after day. The puppies are in the shade here, but still hot and panting.

That's Sister on the left, Katy on the right.

They stuck close to me for awhile, but when I didn't do anything interesting, they decided to get into the pool. They know how to cool off!

Sister likes to swim more than Katy does. Kate will get in, but sit on the step. Sis will swim around. They are so smart. :o)

They spend a lot of time napping in their crate during the hot afternoons. But sometimes I have to wait to put them in because they are dripping wet!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I haven't been in the mood to blog lately. I didn't do the daybook on Monday, but it's a good way to make myself write, so I'll do it today.

Outside my window...
hot weather! Lot's of big puffy white clouds. We have a slim chance of some rain from a disturbance in the Gulf, but I'm not counting on it.

I am thinking...
that the puppies are doing so well with their training that I may add a couple of new commands. I had been training them individually, but lately I've worked with them together, and they are doing great. Sister picks up on what I want quicker than Katy does, so Katy learns from her. They know sit, stay and come, and I want to teach them to lie down when I say, "down." We may work on "heel," too.

They look so pretty and healthy. Their coal black coats are so shiny and thick. Kelly recommended Blue Buffalo dog food, which is what she feeds her beautiful dogs. She swears it is what makes them so healthy. It's expensive, but worth it!

I am thankful...
for big shady trees on hot summer days.

From the kitchen...
iced tea, leftover beef curry and rice for lunch. Mint Milano cookies for dessert. :o)

I am wearing...
dark blue denim capris, brown pleated tee, bare feet, gold ball earrings, french braid.

I am creating...
a bit of order here and there.

I am going...
to take Aubrey to physical therapy. I'll bring Reece home with me to spend the night when I drop Aubrey off at her house.

I am hearing...
the TV downstairs.

Around the house...
clean sheets, towels and rugs to fold and put away.

One of my favorite things...
quiet, peaceful, beautiful Adoration chapels.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
nothing new--Reece will be here tonight and again on Friday. We will probably swim and I may go ahead and start his pre-school sessions again. Aubrey's PT sessions are back to once a week, so I won't have to take her on Thursday. I'd like to work on making the two spare bedrooms look pretty. Right now they are bare catch-alls.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

August 20 is the Feast Day of St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church.

St. Bernard, born of noble Burgundian parents, was a monk of the Cistercian Order, a branch of the Benedictine Order. He became Abbot of the famous monastery of Clairvaux, which he himself had founded. The writings, sermons and letters of this great Doctor rendered invaluable services to the Church. He also preached the second crusade, and died at Clairvaus A.D. 1153.
The Roman Missal, 1962

*edited to add the link to Peggy's Summer Daybook. Thank you, Peggy, for continuing to host the Daybooks.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary was cared for by St. John for twelve years after our Lord's Resurrection. Her life was spent in helping the Apostles and in praying for the conversion of the world. On the third day after Mary's death, when the Apostles gathered around her tomb, they found it empty. The sacred body had been carried up to the celestial paradise. Jesus Himself came to conduct her thither; the whole court of heaven came to welcome with songs of triumph the Mother of the Divine Word.
(The Roman Missal, 1962)

Collect for today, August 15:

Almighty everlasting God, who hast taken body and soul into heaven the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of Thy Son: grant, we beseech Thee, that by steadfastly keeping heaven as our goal we may be counted worthy to join her in glory. Through the same Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with Thee and Thy Holy Ghost forever and ever. Amen

Camryn and Reece

Reece and I picked up his sisters this morning after we went to see his Great Gran. Their parents wanted to go shopping, so I brought all three kids home with me.

I thought it might be a good chance to take some "artistic" pictures of Camryn. Hah! She wanted no part of my plan.

I wanted Ron to hold the black bag suspended in air with Camryn's head, shoulders and arms sticking out. He did it and she looked adorable. I turned to pick up the camera and when I turned back around, she was totally down inside the bag! That plan didn't work. But it did make us laugh.

Next I stuck her inside a stretchy black boa Kelly gave me. She didn't care for that much either. :o)

But even her mad face is cute.

This one is cute, too.

I had a few other props I wanted to try, but by this time she was in no mood for pictures. I wrapped her up snugly and rocked her and she went right to sleep.

Josh and Cyrise came back from their shopping expedition with a huge lollipop for the Lollipop Kid. He was delighted, and didn't mind posing for me. :o)

Maybe I'm Just Paranoid

A few days ago when I wrote this post, I went to the website to copy and paste the paragraph asking people to send "fishy" emails and conversations to a certain email address. I copied and pasted the paragraph into my blog post and posted it. A few minutes later, I went to another site on the internet, and later tried to return to my blog. I was unable to access my blog and got an error message similar to this from google (except that mine said "automated queries" not "automated requests"):

I have never gotten that message before, don't even know what it means to send automated queries, and thought it was weird. I ran my anti-virus program to make sure I didn't have a virus, and nothing came up. I finally shut the computer down and went about my life. A few hours later when I turned the computer back on, I was able to come straight to my blog without a problem.

Then I started hearing about all of the people receiving unsolicited emails from David Axelrod at the White House. They are wondering how the White House got their email addresses. I haven't received any emails from David Axelrod, but now I'm wondering if the White House somehow connected to my computer when I visited the site. Am I being paranoid or could this have happened?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Chitchat

I'm doing all these tasks today. Ron will be home tomorrow, and I want him to come home to a clean, organized house. I've been lazy during the weeks he has been away, so I have some work to do. :o) I don't know why I procrastinate until the last minute!

I went to BAMC to pick up a new prescription for Synthroid this morning. The old prescription was too strong, so my endocrinologist changed the dosage. But when I got there, the young man at the desk said there was no change showing on his computer. I sat next to the doctor's desk on Monday and saw him enter it into the computer, so I don't know what happened. But I was unable to pick up the medicine today. I had to call the doctor and leave a message, asking him to reorder it. :o(

Then I went to Mom's and did the usual routine there and had a piece of the lemon cake I baked at her place yesterday while she was busy playing with Reece.

Came home and checked on the puppies. I've been training them to come, sit and stay. They are doing very well, as long as I have treats. :o)

Okay, back to work.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Japanese Dolls

Sarah mentioned in a post on her blog (that I can't locate now) that she likes Japanese kokeshi dolls, and I commented that we have some we got when we lived in Japan.

My favorite dolls are this set, called The Four Seasons. They are quite heavy for their size, and very smooth except for some subtle carving. I like their simple oval shape, the painting, and the way they feel in my hands. Aren't they sweet?

The bigger doll (in the 3rd photo) was a gift, and is actually a box. She has a screw at the back, and when opened has a "secret compartment" where you can hide treasures. :o)

I gave my very favorite kokeshi doll to my mom. She is also an oval shaped doll, and is painted with long auburn hair like I had when I was a child.

My daughter has some cute kokeshi, and the boys have some daruma, a Samurai warrior, and one that Josh said looks "po'd." (That's my Josh). :o)

The last photo is of a pair of dolls I bought at a Japanese flea market. The dolls are very old, and the detail in them is incredible. The old woman is holding a broom, and the old man's hands are made to hold something, but whatever it was is missing.They aren't in the best shape, but I like them anyway.

Easy Knitting Project

Rosemary at A Catholic Mother's Thoughts asked if I had used a pattern to make the knitted mop cover. This is the pattern I used. It's a free pattern from Lily Yarns that my daughter picked up at Michael's craft store. I checked on-line to see if the pattern was available and found it at the Lily Yarn site. You have to sign up (it's free) at the site to see the free patterns, but they have several that look interesting.

This pattern is also available in crochet.

The photo and directions are from Lily Yarns.

Lily® Sugar’n Cream Stripes
(56.7 g/2 oz/ 86 m/95 yds)
#21712 (Lime Stripes) 1 ball

Size 4.5 mm (U.S. 7) knitting needles or size needed to obtain gauge.

20 sts and 26 rows = 4 ins [10 cm] in stocking st.

Main Piece
Cast on 42 sts.
**1st row: (RS). Knit.
2nd and 3rd rows: Purl.
4th row: Knit.
Rep last 4 rows for pat until work from beg measures 4 ins [10 cm]. Cast off.**

Sides (make 2).
Cast on 14 sts.
Rep from ** to ** as for Main Piece.

Join Sides to Main Piece: Place 1 Side at each end of Main Piece and sew outer edges tog.

Note: Slip each end around the dusting tool’s base. When one side is soiled, flip the side pockets inside-out and use the opposite side to keep cleaning! The ridge stitch design helps trap dirt.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, August 10, 2009

Outside my window...
the sky looks like a watercolor, all pink and pale blue. The sun has gone down, but it's still a little bit light outside. The bats from the nearby bat cave are flying over. They change their course around the end of July or the first of August, and fly right over our house. Today's daybook will be the evening version.

I am thinking...
about politics, the economy, healthcare reform, and how the current administration hates to hear what the people have to say about it all. Some senators are hiding from their constituents, having cyber townhalls, or phone-in townhalls rather than face the anger of the people.

about the safety of my mom at her apartment complex. They've hired a security guard because there have been some crimes there lately. It's such a shame that some people think the elderly are easy prey. We may have to consider moving her out of there.

about Fr. Corapi saying that in the end we will all be either in heaven or in hell. I already knew that, but for some reason it was like a dart to my heart. I have been praying extra hard for my children and loved ones lately (and for myself). We Catholics are so blessed to have the Sacraments.

I am thankful...
Thank you God, for everything. (From a prayer from my childhood).

Thank you for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you God for everything.

From the kitchen...
Cherries, strawberries and peaches.

I am wearing...
peacock blue sleeveless blouse, brown linen slacks, bare feet, ponytail, CZ earrings.

I am creating...
knitted mop covers and dishcloths.

I am going...
last night I went grocery shopping for Mom and picked up a few things for me, too. This morning I took her groceries to her, we went to Adoration, then had lunch at Earl Abel's. Monday is Flaky Turkey Turnover day--yum! She loves going out to lunch.

I am hearing...
the AC humming inside, the locusts singing outside.

Around the house...
I've been paper sorting. I hate the amount of paper that comes into the house. It's always out of control! I'm not finished and dread starting again. I've also done some closet cleaning. I put a big bag of stuff out for the Disabled American Veterans to pick up.

One of my favorite things...
Ave Maria. (Click the double lines to turn off my playlist player).

A few plans for the rest of the week...
I see the endocrinologist in the morning, Aubrey's PT is in the afternoon. Some time in between I'll go to Mom's. Reece will spend the night tomorrow night. Ron will be home on Friday. After three weeks away, he is looking forward to coming home!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Today (August 10) is the Feast Day of St. Laurence, Martyr.

St. Laurence was a deacon of St. Sixtus II, Pope and martyr. When the prefect of Rome arrested him, he distributed the possessions of the Church to the poor to save them from confiscation. He was slowly roasted to death on a gridiron A.D. 258.
(The Roman Missal, 1962)

You might like to read the daybooks of other bloggers at Peggy's Summer Daybook.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Pincushion Has Arrived!

I won this sweet little pincushion in a drawing at Sarah's blog. It has traveled to Texas all the way from Hawaii, and I'm delighted to have it. It looks as if belongs in my purple craft room. :o)

Sarah and her family have recently arrived in Hawaii, where the military sent her Navy chief. My family lived in Hawaii in the '80s, when my Army husband was stationed at Ft. Shafter on Oahu. Reading her blog lately has taken me on a trip down memory lane.

Receiving the pincushion has been like finding a little piece of Hawaii in my mailbox. Thank you so much, Sarah-kala!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pool Time With Reece

We've enjoyed the pool so much this summer. It sure helps to cool us off on these scorching hot days.

Reece is standing on the edge of the spa, looking down at me. I wanted to get that cloud in the background in the picture.

We swam in the big pool for awhile. He loves going underwater, "swimming" to me from the steps. He holds my fingers and I say 1-2-3, then pull him to me, going a little farther each time. He doesn't quite have the hang of kicking his feet yet. :o)
After playing so hard, he likes to take a break in the spa.

Here he is singing a song he learned from Yo Gabba Gabba, which he just started watching recently.

First he sings, "Beeeeeee stillllllll."

Then, "Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle." I love to hear him sing!

And watch him wiggle. :o)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Shut Up And Get Out Of The Way

"..because...I'm the president."

Now we're supposed to keep our mouths shut if we don't like what he's selling, and just let him do what he wants to do, because after all it's his responsibility, he's the president.


PS: Oh yeah, and I'm one of those grandmothers who sometimes posts "fishy" things on my blog. So go ahead and report me to the White House.

From the blog:
There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Farmers Market

Mom and I went to a local farmers market today. She got okra and tomatoes (picture from the web, not mine). There were four or five farmers there with their trucks and tables filled with summer's bounty.

Watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, peppers of all kinds, eggplant, onions, potatoes, zucchini and other kinds of squash. Too much to remember it all.

Okra loves hot weather, and thrives here in Texas in August. It's a southern sort of veggie, whether fried, grilled or in gumbo. I remember Mom making fried okra for us when we were kids. Mmm! And when we had a garden, I would make fried okra with fresh tomatoes and a little onion. Zucchini is also good sauteed with tomatoes and onion. Simple, but delicious.

Here's a recipe:

Fried Okra and Tomatoes

4 C okra
1/2 C cornmeal, white or yellow
1/2 C flour
1 egg
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
Cooking oil, about 1/2" deep in frying pan

1. Heat oil over medium heat.
2. Cut okra into 1/2" pieces.
3. Beat egg and add the okra. Stir to coat okra with egg. Let stand for 5 minutes.
4. Mix cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
5. Dredge the okra in the cornmeal mixture.
6. When oil is hot enough to make a piece of okra sizzle and cook, it's ready. Add the coated okra to the frying pan.
8. Fry the okra until it is well browned, stirring now and then.
9. When okra is nicely browned, remove from skillet and let drain on paper towels.
10. Variation: You can add some chopped onion to the skillet with the okra, and/or add a couple of chopped tomatoes to the okra a few minutes before it is done, just until the tomatoes are heated and slightly softened. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lord God, Be My Refuge And My Strength

Ever have that vague, uneasy feeling for no good reason? That's how I feel tonight. Like something is wrong, but I don't know what it is.

Reece spent the night last night. Josh brought him over yesterday afternoon, and it was a joy to see him. He was excited to show me his newest Cars car, DJ (or is it Deejay). And his daddy got him a bigger Mack, so he can now put Lightning McQueen inside the trailer. We spent most of the evening playing Cars. We got into the pool, but after only 15 or 20 minutes, he wanted to go inside to play with his cars. I think his daddy is enjoying adding to the growing collection, too. :o)

We did go for a walk, which Reece always enjoys. As we came to the corner where we turn to go to my house, he protested, saying, "Go that way!" He wanted to go around another block rather than go home. I said, "Okay," and he stepped up onto the sidewalk and continued walking, about 3 feet in front of me. I was watching his sturdy little body and thinking how cute he looked and he said, without turning around, "I wove you" out of the blue. He sounded just like his daddy did when he was Reece's age. Oh my goodness--my heart melted on the spot. I said, "I love you, too." And we continued walking, but I think I was walking on air. He is such a sweet, wonderful little boy.

When I took him home this morning, Aubrey was delighted to see me. I sat down on the floor and she came crawling to me as fast as she could, pulled herself up and plopped down in my lap, smiling her enchanting smile. She is a honey, too. It makes a gramma happy to feel all that love. :o) I didn't see Camryn as she was asleep.

After going to Mom's, I drove to Kelly's and spent the afternoon with her. We went out to lunch, then shopping at Michaels. We always have fun together, even when we don't do anything special. She liked her birthday gifts, delivered a few days late.

I left the puppies outside because I didn't want to leave them in their kennel for as long as I knew I'd be gone. It was very hot again today, but they had plenty of water, shade and they get in the pool on the top step to cool off. In fact, when I got home, that's where they were. :o) They were very happy to see me! That's the longest I've ever left them outside on their own.

This evening I watched Criminal Minds on TV, knitted a bit, had leftovers for dinner, talked with Ron (he calls every night), and now I'm here. With that weird, uneasy feeling, even after a very good day.

I haven't prayed Night Prayers (Compline) lately. I think I will tonight.

Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace (alleluia). Amen

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, August 3, 2009

Outside my window...
hazy blue gray skies, grass that is dying for lack of rain. We set a record yesterday for the hottest summer ever. We've had 37+ days of over 100° temperatures. And we still have August to get through.

I am thinking...
I hope my puppies are okay. When I came downstairs this morning at 7 AM, I was greeted with a foul stench. One or both of them had diarrhea. They tried to poop outside the kennel, but it was everywhere. I never feed them anything but their Blue Buffalo puppy food and little dog biscuit treats now and then, but you never know what they might chew up outside. I spent an hour moving the kennel outside and scrubbing it, cleaning the floor inside, and giving them both a bath. Then I walked all over the yard trying to find something they might have eaten to cause this, but I didn't find anything unusual.

I am thankful...

that today is trash day and the stinky bags I put in the trash container will be taken away. I'm sorry, Mr. Trashman.

From the kitchen...
strawberries and waffles.

I am wearing...
jean shorts and a dark red sleeveless tee, bare feet and a ponytail.

I am creating...
I'm knitting. Working on Kelly's mop cover (it's turning out cute), and some unfinished projects that have been lying around for months or years.

I am going...
to Mom's and to Adoration.

I am hearing...
the television in my bedroom, the AC running, an occasional puppy bark from the backyard.

Around the house...
some laundry to be done.

One of my favorite things...
the buzz of the summer locusts in the evening.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
the usual routine and pay bills.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Little Stinkers (literally)

*Oops, I forgot to give you the link to Peggy's Summer Daybook. Please visit her site to see the daybooks of other bloggers. Thanks, Peggy!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kelly!

My sweet Kelly.

You were my summer baby. My little Leo with the soft brown hair and big green eyes. Sweet, inquisitive, loving, but fiercely independent and determined. You've always been a joy.

I remember:

The day you were born, walking at the mall to hurry things along. Then you came so quickly that Dad had no time to take a shower.

The way you slept through the night so soon, and always woke up happy and delighted to begin a new day.

How you loved oatmeal and applesauce, and insisted on feeding yourself so that I had to put your high chair on an old shower curtain to protect the floor. :o)

Your enormous love for all living creatures. You were the reason we invited animals into our life. Happy, Taffy, Usdi, numerous hamsters and hermit crabs, and even the chicken named Quipper who sat on your knee while you played video games and came when you called him.

Night after night of bedtime reading--especially the Little House books. I remember lots of Strawberry Shortcake dolls, Cabbage Patch kids, roller skates and bikes.

Your love for art. I found a little book the other day that you had written and illustrated for Josh when he was a toddler. Charming! I remember how, as a teen, you would stay in your room for hours, drawing picture after picture of elves and other fantasy characters. I remember flying from Japan to the US on a Mac flight, and a shy boy stopping by your seat to watch you draw. Do you remember that?

Being surprised when testing showed your high aptitude for science when you were only in second grade. Surprised, I suppose, because you sure didn't get that from me. :o)

How my heart ached for you when we moved to Hawaii and you had a hard time adjusting to such a new culture. But you adapted with grace. I remember watching you learn to ride at Camp Smith and how you loved the ocean, the flowers, the geckos. (But not the ants).

All the friends you made in high school in Japan. Trips to Tokyo on the train. Your prom. Our trip to Kyoto, where the deer and Japanese teenagers followed you around as if you were a Pied Piper. :o) Teaching you to drive at Depot (on the wrong side of the road in a Japanese car with the driver's seat on the opposite side). Yikes!

How difficult it was for you to have to leave Zama before your last year of high school, and then to go to one of the largest high schools in Texas for your senior year. :o( But you never lost your sense of humor and the joy you find in life. Remember the little car we shared your senior year? And how Angel "crook park-ed?" And the pumpkin cake you made in Converse?

The summer of the river rat, and all those boyfriends who were afraid of me. (For good reason). :o)

Your determination to go to college--sometimes at night and while you were working. It took awhile, but you did it! Your college graduation--we were so proud of you!

And then there's that guy you married. I remember the day you told me that you had met someone the night before, and you thought he might be the one. I remember meeting him and thinking, "Uh oh, this one is going to be serious." We liked him right away, and loved him when he came to us to ask if he could marry you. We love him still.

I love the way you have taken the things you love--nature, animals, art, science--and combined them in your jewelry business. It's so uniquely you.

I could go on and on. There are a million, million memories that we share, and I treasure them, Kelly. And I treasure you. Happy Birthday, Sweetie!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Summer Saturday

Wow, hard to believe it's August! The summer has flown by.

I've spent a nice afternoon alone with the puppies. Reece and I went to Gran's around 11, and I dropped him off at home about 12:30.

He liked the things I got for him, especially the cars. He liked the toothbrush, but doesn't like the sound it makes when I turned it on. I should have known. He hates things that buzz, like hair clippers. So I couldn't convince him to use it.

His new swim trunks fit perfectly and he looks so cute in them. We spent an hour in the pool after dinner, but then he wanted to go inside and play with the cars.

He enjoyed watching the movie (and I enjoyed watching him watching the movie), and eating the animal crackers. He's so much fun.

I decided to work outside this afternoon. Yesterday Reece and I picked up all the cans the puppies had scattered in the yard when they raided the recycle bag. Today I picked up puppy poop while they followed me around looking guilty. :o)

Then I picked up all of the bits and pieces of leaves, plants, wood, plastic, paper and other things they manage to find and drag onto the patio. I used my leaf blower to "sweep" the patio, then the pressure nozzle on the hose to finish cleaning it.

I moved everything back, then worked on the clutter on my potting bench. We all use it as a catch-all, so there were empty plastic flower pots, some toys, and just random clutter.

I cleaned and refilled the hummingbird feeder, watered all of my plants and put some water in the pool. I can't believe I'm still getting little tomatoes this late in the summer! And that plumeria tree had only one or two leaves on each stalk over the winter, but look at it now! I just wish it would bloom.

As I worked, I would stop now and then to get in the pool to cool off. The puppies love to get in with me, and it's fun for awhile. But they always want to swim to me, and their little toenails scratch! When I backed away, Katy would get on top of Sissy, and I would have to intervene to keep Sis from drowning! But they wanted to do it over and over again.

They're both trying to get one bone in the picture. I tried and tried to get a shot of them running together with it in their mouths, but they move too fast.

And now I need to do some birthday shopping and find myself something to eat for supper. I'm so bad about eating right when Ron is out of town. I had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and mini eclairs for lunch. Not what a diabetic should be eating! So I'd better come up with something healthy for supper.