Monday, March 25, 2013

A Confession

I woke up about midnight when Ron came to bed, and I haven't been able to go back to sleep.  My mind started going and wouldn't stop.

I was thinking about our visitors and suddenly realized that I had posted about having steaks and almost "a party" on Friday.  Friday.  During Lent.  I'm Catholic. 

We have been Catholic for 11 years this Easter.  I've been devout until the past couple of years.  During those two years I have drifted further and further from God and my faith.  I still believe, but have allowed myself to become very lax.  It has to stop.

My priorities have been all messed up.  Even though it is Lent, I've hardly thought about it at all.  Almost everything else seems to come before Christ.  That is so wrong.

I want to feel close to Christ again.  I want to honor Him with everything I do.  I'll be away from the computer, at least until after Easter.  I want to make Holy Week holy.  There has been too much "me" and not enough "Him."  I'm sick of "me."

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekend RoundUp

We've had visitors for a few days, and it's been so much fun.  My sister Johnnie and her granddaughter, Evann, were here from Thursday afternoon until Sunday morning.  Johnnie's husband flew on down to south Texas to drive back with his mother, who spends the winter down there.  They picked up Johnnie and Evann this morning on the way home, and I'm missing them already.

Our sister Sandi came down on Friday, and her daughter and grandson on Saturday.  Kelly came over Saturday evening to see everyone.  

The grands who live here were so delighted to spend time with Jonah.  In fact, they were excited to have everyone here.  The kids played outside, getting in the pool and riding the big wheel and bicycle around and around the pool.  Jonah and Reece went with us to eat, and they had a great time making faces at each other and laughing and giggling.  Cousin love.  It's such a sweet thing.

Friday night Josh grilled steaks.  It felt like a party as we sat outside on the patio with the colored lights and music on, talking and eating.  Mom sure enjoyed being with everyone.  

Saturday there was a trip to the outlet mall, and the shopping center near our house.  Sandi, Kori and Jonah headed home that evening, and the rest of us ordered pizza.

Mike and his mom arrived this morning, and it was nice to see them, too.  They were only here for a few minutes.  They are on their way back to cold, snowy Kansas.  Quite a change from the 104 degrees they had in Harlingen yesterday.

After a quick run to FedEx to mail a package, a visit to Mom's for her meds and lunch, Ron and I went out to lunch together.  And now we're all just relaxing.  Josh got the kids another remote for the Wii so that more than one at a time can play games.  Reece and Aubrey had been battling for the one remote.

That's how our weekend has gone.  Hope you've had a good one, too.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Date:  Wednesday, March 20, 2013 

Time and Weather:  8:30 AM.  Gray and cloudy this morning.  I hope we get some rain.  High forecast to be 78 degrees. 

Clothes:  Pink PJs, white robe with pink ladybug design and polka dot trim.  I didn't have to take Reece to school this morning.  Josh's first class starts later now, so he takes him.     

Food:  No breakfast yet.  Have to wait awhile after taking my synthroid.

Sounds:  I hear the sound of a plane and now and then the little girls' voices.  Cammy speaks in a really high-pitched little voice.  I try to show her how to speak in a lower tone.  I don't want her to grow up to be a high talker.  (name that sitcom).  I'm annoyed by grown women who speak in a high, little girl voice.   

Little Favorites:


Memories:  We came back to the USA from Japan in 1991.  My dad had leukemia.  I'm so glad we came back when we did, because he died the following spring.  We were able to spend some time with him.

We leased a house, and the Christmas of 1991 the whole family gathered there.  It was a wonderful Christmas, one I'll always remember.  After Christmas when everyone else went home, Dad stayed with us for awhile.  We loved having him with us, and he enjoyed it, too.

The house was in an unfinished subdivision, and there were empty fields around us.  Dad loved watching the hummingbirds (he loved all birds).  There was a pecan tree on the other side of our fence in the back, and he called me out one day and said that a hummer had a nest in that tree.  He showed me where it was, and handed me the binoculars.  We had such fun watching the mama and daddy hummers come and go, feeding their babies.  It got really exciting when the babies started sticking their heads out.

He was determined to get a recording of the coyotes howling.  He would set his tape recorder up on the window sill, or outside on the patio table.  He finally did get a muffled recording of them yelping and howling.  He loved that there were coyotes around.  

One day Dad showed me something on the outside window sill that looked like large rat or mice pellets.  He said, "What do you think that is," and I told him.  He said, "No, a snake did that."  He was right.  A few days later he found the snake curled up on a beam above the doorway to the patio.  Yikes!

He was never a cat person, but he loved Kelly's cat, Usdi.  The reason he loved her was because she would chase and retrieve rubber erasers (you know, the Pink Pet kind).  He thought that was so funny.  He would throw the eraser up the stairs and she would run up and get it and bring it back to him, dropping it at his feet.  

We got fleas in the house there, so one morning Dad and I set off two flea bombs.  Then we took Usdi to the vet to have her dipped (to kill the fleas).  She had to stay at the vets and we had to stay out of the house for a few hours, so Dad and I went to the Wildlife Safari park.  Yes, the one the kids and I visited last week.  He loved seeing the different kinds of animals there, and laughed his head off when an ostrich stuck it's head in my window trying to find food and I screamed and tried to roll the window up. :o)  An aggressive zebra came running down the road toward my car as if it was going to run us down.  He thought that was funny, too.  

Anytime I hear Vince Gill singing Pocketful of Gold, I think of Dad's stay with us.  He had a tape, and would play that song over and over.  He also loved a song by The Judds--Love Can Build A Bridge.  He thought there was a video, and we tried and tried to find it, but never did.  I'm pretty sure the one I posted is the one he was thinking of. He thought the name of the song was Don't You Think It's Time.

Dad loved to find a bargain, and one day he saw an ad in the paper for a sale on Blue Bell ice cream.  He loved ice cream, especially Blue Bell, and wanted to know if I knew where the store was that was having the sale.  I did, so we set off across town to get some ice cream.  I think we bought 4 gallons.  We probably spent more in gas than we saved, but it was fun anyway.

Dad went home to Kansas, saying he thought he needed to be close to his doctors.  He was getting blood transfusions regularly.  My sister Sandi and I took the kids to Wichita during spring break that March.  Leaving him was one of the hardest things we ever had to do.  He knew that he wouldn't see us again.  We didn't know it, but Dad did.  He died at the end of March, and was buried one April day in a hillside cemetery in Oklahoma where so many of his family members were buried.  It was at the time the redbud and dogwood bloom.  I will never stop missing him.

Thank you, God: for the best daddy a girl could ever have.  I pray that his soul is at peace, resting with you in Heaven.  He was such a special man.  Amen

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Five

1.  I found a new-to-me TV program that I like.  It's called Troubadour Texas, and features up and coming Texas musicians, writing and playing Texas music.  Check it out.

2.  Lily wanted to go to the mall, so off we went yesterday afternoon.  She wasn't even sure what she wanted to do there, but I overheard her telling one of the kids she had only one pair of jeans, so I asked if she wanted to shop for jeans.  We got her a pair of denim capris, a pretty blue and white chevron striped top, and a lightweight hooded sweater that matches the blue in the top.  She looks cute in them.  We stopped at the Marble Slab Creamery for ice cream on our way out of the mall.

3.  I had another dentist appointment this morning.  It didn't take long at all.  I have one more in a couple of weeks, then my teeth should all be fine.

4.  I have a new email address.

5.  Lily will go home tomorrow.  I wish we could keep her.  We will meet her daddy halfway.  We didn't get far on her knitted scarf, but she can work on it at home.  Love you, Lily. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wildlife Safari

Reece sees the longhorn cattle.
He was amazed by the size of the horns on the longhorn cattle.

They are awesome.

They didn't come over to the van to be fed.

Neither did this guy.

Aubrey called him a buckalo.  :o)

He was huge.

The kids liked the zebras.


Reece asked to see the llamas throughout the whole drive.  We finally spotted some at the end.  There were more in the petting zoo.  He was delighted.  He was hoping they would spit.

More llamas!  These didn't spit, either.  He really liked them, though.  So did Lily.

Aubrey liked the little goats.  They were really cute.

It was a fun morning.  I loved the excitement of the kids as they discovered all the different animals.  We went early, so the animals were still pretty active.

Spring Break Fun

Our ten year old granddaughter, Lily, is spending her spring break with us.  It's been so much fun to have her here.

Lily loves the pool, and in spite of the cold water, she has been swimming every day.

She is wonderful with the kids, and they all love her so much.  

They had a picnic underneath the pop-up tent a few days ago.

That's Lily, Camryn, Cyrise (the mom), Aubrey, Reece, and the feral child (Gina) with her back to the camera.

I laugh whenever I see her with her hair all messy because Josh got her up from her nap one day and her hair looked like she had put her finger into a light socket.  They came into my room, and I said, "She looks like Mel Gibson in Braveheart."  Josh said, "No, she looks like the feral child in Mad Max."  Ha!  She did!

Cyrise and I took them to the park a couple of days ago.  We had a Mexican food picnic, they fed the ducks, and then played on the playground equipment.  They had a ball.

They've been playing the Wii a lot.  We got it for Josh's kids for Christmas, but they had not shown much interest in it until the last month.  Now they are having fun with it.

This morning we went to the Wildlife Safari park.  It's a drive-thru park.  You stay in your car and can feed the animals that come up to the window.  Reece, Aubrey, Lily and I went.  They enjoyed it, and I loved watching their faces and hearing the excitement in their voices when they would spy a new animal up ahead.  I'll make a separate post about it.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Date:  Wednesday, March 13, 2013 

Time and Weather:  It's 1:23 PM.  It's 68 degrees.  Will get to 78 degrees today (or maybe 80?).  It got to 80 something yesterday.

Clothes:  Navy blue yoga capris, turquoise tee shirt.    

Food:  Josh grilled some bratwurst for supper yesterday.  I'm not usually a sausage fan, but these were delicious and I ate every bite of mine on a hot dog bun.  We also had oven fries and peach cobbler for dessert.  I haven't eaten today, and I need to.

Sounds:  Reece and Lily are in the pool!  I can't imagine getting in when the water is so cold, but they don't seem to mind.  They won't stay in for long.  Yesterday they were in and out in about 15 minutes.  The little girls are supposed to be napping, but Gina was talking and crying until just a couple of minutes ago.  

Little Favorites:  My gold Hawaiian bracelet that Ron gave me years ago.  I wear it constantly, just like my wedding rings.  It is carved with flowers and vines and my name in Hawaiian, Kalona.  The inscription engraved inside says, "With love, Ron."  The "Kalona" part used to be in black enamel, but it has worn away.  You can still see the carved name in the gold, though.  It is very dear to me.

Arts and Crafts:  Lily brought her yarn and needles, and we've been practicing knitting.  She wants to make a scarf.  She is very determined and is doing great.

I'm taking a break to go to Mom's; will finish this later.

*Way Later*  Whoo hoo!  Habemus Papam!  Looking forward to learning more about him.  Mom and I watched as he was introduced and as he talked to all of us.  



Memories:  When Ron and I first got married, he was stationed at Ft. Knox for a few months to attend Armor Officer Basic.  We found a little apartment above a garage in Muldraugh, Kentucky.  Ron was gone a lot, and I was by myself, hundreds of miles from home.  We didn't even have a telephone, so I had to call home from a pay phone across the street.  A big night out was a movie in Elizabethtown on the weekend.

This was during the Vietnam war, and I would sometimes have nightmares that Ron would be sent there.  

He was sent to Ft. Hood, where he was a tank platoon leader, then executive officer of a tank platoon, and then company commander.  He was so young and skinny and cute.  

Almost all of the AOB classes from Ft. Knox came to Ft. Hood.  We had lots of friends there, and one by one each class was sent to Vietnam.  The classes were numbered, and one day we learned that the husband of a good friend was going there.  I immediately ran to her house and went into the kitchen.  She was so upset and crying.  The thing is, her husband was in the AOB class after Ron's.  They had skipped Ron's whole class.  

I was relieved because I was pregnant with our first child, and had been praying and praying that Ron wouldn't be sent.  My heart ached for our friends who had to go, though.

Jason was born in January, 1971, and a few months later we were on our way home to Kansas.  Ron's active duty commitment was up.  They offered to raise his rank if he would go to Viet Nam for a year.  He said no way.  I wanted my baby son to know his daddy, and I wanted his daddy safe at home.

We went back to Wichita.  Ron worked for the city as the director of the arts and crafts center (his major in college was art).  We found our first little house to buy a few blocks from his work.  

He continued his Army Reserve duty, and went back on active duty when they asked him to a few years later.  He made the Army his career, and it was a good decision.  

I'm still so grateful that he didn't have to go to war (even if they didn't call it war, it was).  Our lives have been blessed.        

Thank you, God:  For our new Pope, Francis.  Bless him and guide him as he leads the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Amen  

Monday, March 11, 2013

alzheimer's disease

This is a very interesting short video that explains how alzheimers/dementia destroys a persons brain.  If you love or care for someone with this awful disease, I believe you would benefit from visiting the website, Alzheimers Reading Room.  Sorry, I'm having trouble embedding the link, but you can google it.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Five

1.  I had a tooth (molar) pulled on Monday, first one ever except for baby teeth.  It went well, but it feels so strange to have no tooth there. 

2.  The kids have only a half day of school today.  I'll pick them up at 11:30.  They will be on spring break all next week.  They are happy about that.

3.  The little sweater I knitted turned out ugly.  The pieces didn't fit together as they should.  I folded it up and put it away.  I don't know if I'll try to fix it or not.  That would involve pulling out some rows on the front pieces.  Probably not going to happen.

4.  Mom has a doctor appointment this afternoon.  I had it marked on my calendar for the 20th, but the office called to remind us that it is today.  Huh?  Good thing they called or we would have missed it.

5.  It is 66 degrees, gray and misty, and I'm cold.  My skinny body has no fat left to help keep me warm.  It seems to me that I eat enough, but I continue to lose weight.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Email

It's not working.  

For the past three days I've tried to log in, and keep getting a message that my password is not accepted.  I usually don't have to log in, just now and then the box comes up asking for my password.  It sometimes takes two or three tries before it accepts my password, but it always has.  Until now.  I'll figure it out eventually, but meanwhile, if you've tried to email me or comment on a post, I'll respond as soon as this is resolved.  Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Date:  Wednesday, March 6, 2013 

Time and Weather:  It's 10:55 PM.  It's 46 degrees.  Highs have been in the 60s this week.  

Clothes:  I'm wearing my favorite gray PJs and the robe I showed you in little favorites last week, the cozy purple/gray/white plaid one.  You've seen the PJs, too.     

Food:  We had Chinese take-out for supper.  I had lemon chicken with steamed rice, and a crab rangoon.  And just now I had some mini Reese's peanut butter cups.  Mmm. 

Sounds:  Everyone is in bed except for me.  I always lie down with Reece until he falls asleep (sometimes we both fall asleep) and we listen to chant or other music.  Lately we've been listening to a CD that Ron and I got when we went to a retreat years ago.  One of the songs on there is Mercy Me's I Can Only Imagine.  Reece really likes it, and sings little bits of it now and then.  I think I'll teach it to him so he can sing the whole thing.  I love it when he sings!   

Little Favorites:  My little pie bird.  So cute.  It looks like one of Old King Cole's blackbirds, baked in a pie.

Arts and Crafts:  I have finally started seaming the little sweater I knitted.  It's all done except for one side and the sleeve on that side.  I've learned the mattress stitch.  You can hardly tell where the seam is if it's a straight seam.  The places where I had to go around or where pieces were decreased or a different stitch look a little funky.  Oh well, it can be a learning sweater, I guess.  

Music:  Well, I have to play it for you now.  Imagine Reece's sweet little voice.  :o)

Memories:  When I was a little girl, Mom had a wringer washing machine and we hung our clothes outside on the clothes line.  The washer came with two metal tubs on legs, and we had to bring them in off the back porch when we wanted to do laundry.

First, Mom would run hot water into the washer and tubs.  There was a little black button on the front of the machine that you pulled out to make the agitator agitate.  When the clothes had been agitating for awhile, you had to take them out of the washer and run them through a wringer.  The water was usually hot, so we used a piece of a broomstick or something to dip out the clothes and put them into the wringer.  Mom always warned us not to get our hands too close to the wringer because if you got your hand in it, it would hurt and might break a bone in your hand.  Sure enough, I got my hand in it once, and although nothing broke, it did hurt like a son-of-a-gun.  It pulled my arm in, nearly to my elbow before we got it turned off.  I screamed and Mom came running.  

The wringer was attached to the machine and could move to different positions.  We would put the clothes through the wringer into one of the metal tubs filled with clean water.  The wringer got out most of the soap.  Once in the first tub, we would swish the clothes around to rinse them, then swing the wringer around and put the clothes through it into the next tub.  Mom would sometimes put bluing in the second tub.  It made white things look even whiter.  The clothes would get another good swish around (second rinse), the wringer was moved once again, and the clothes went through the wringer and into a laundry basket sitting below it.

Mom had a little cloth clothes pin bag that looked like a little dress.  It had a wire handle that hung on the clothesline and she pushed it along ahead of her as she worked.  We used the clothes pins it held to hang the clothes.  I remember handing Mom each piece of clothing or towels or whatever, and she would hang them up.  Sometimes I handed her the clothes pins.  That way she didn't have to bend over and things went faster.  I was too short to reach the line, or she would probably have had me hang them sometimes.  (I did when I was older).  She taught me to overlap the clothes a little bit, so that two items could be held with one pin.  Oh, and we always had to wash off the clothes lines with a wet rag before we hung anything.

I didn't mind doing laundry when it was warm, but I hated it when it was cold.  Mom had some metal things that she stuck down into the legs of Dad's jeans.  It would stretch them and make a crease.  Sometimes she would bring the jeans in after they had been hanging outside on a really cold day and they would be frozen stiff.

But on warm, breezy days it was a pleasure to be hanging clothes.  They dried in no time in our Kansas wind, and they smelled so wonderful.

Then it was time for ironing.  My mom was an ironing fiend.  She even ironed the sheets.  I can still see her, standing at the ironing board with a basket of clothes at her feet, ironing, ironing, ironing as she watched As The World Turns.  She taught me to iron, and I still iron shirts the way she taught me, all those years ago.  Martha Stewart had nothing on her.  :o)  Oh, and she used a glass Pepsi bottle with a little metal and cork sprinkler to sprinkle the clothes before ironing.  Then she would roll them up to keep them damp until they got ironed.  Sometimes, if she got sidetracked or ran out of time, we would discover the rolled up laundry wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator.  :o)   

Thank you, God:  for my mother.  Please help her to be aware that you are with her every second of her life, and never let her be afraid.  Help me to be a better caretaker for her.  This I ask in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Universal Call To Prayer

I received this email today, from Brian at Catholic Vote.  Please join in prayer with the Cardinals if you can.

Dear CV Friend, 

Please pray.

For a moment at least. 

The Vatican has called the universal church to pray tomorrow at 5 PM Rome time, for the Cardinal-Electors who will soon select a new Pope.

That’s Wednesday, March 6th at 11 AM Eastern / 8 AM Pacific Time.

While the official start of the Conclave has not yet been announced, the Cardinals will gather tomorrow at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica for recitation of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and then Vespers.

…and the Vatican has called on Catholics around the world to join them in prayer. CatholicVote invites you to answer their call.

The latest buzz from Rome is that over 5000 media credentials have been approved from 66 nations in 24 languages. The world is watching because the world is intrigued by the mystery of the Church.

The world is watching because the world is seeking answers that are ultimately only found in Jesus Christ and His Church.

The Church asked for our prayers. Let's deliver them! 

Mark your calendar for tomorrow at 11 AM Eastern // 8 AM Pacific Time.

Millions of Catholics across the globe will be joining you, and so will CatholicVote.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy Birthday, Sandi.

Sunny, happy, pretty, determined daffodils, just like you.

They are your perfect birthday flower.

I hope you have a wonderful day and birthday weekend.

All of us send you lots of love.