Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011, or I hate scary things

Post # 195
Tonight I made the soft pumpkin cookies I listed a couple of posts ago.  They are NOT real sweet cookies....I wish I had posted that because I am afraid someone might have made them and did not like them.  It is perfectly fine to say what you think.  I am just paranoid that way...and if you made them and did not like them please say so before someone else makes them!  My family likes them because they are soft, spicy and "breadlike" for lack of a better word.  As I said, I used to drizzle a powdered sugar frosting over them but we prefer them not so sweet.  SO .... here are pics....they are not just the prettiest cookies either.  The dough is very stiff.  My oven has next worked properly so I just bake them until they look "right" and the bottoms are do not want to overbake. 
 This is what they look like baked. 
I heard that my niece made the pumpkin snickerdoodle recipes from the link I provided and they liked them real well.    I did absolutely nothing for Halloween this year.  Actually, I haven't in years.  I hate Halloween.  One year ...back in the '80's, a mom was murdered in our town directly after leaving a school halloween fair.  Our schools have not done Halloween parties since then.  My dad died of a heart attack on Halloween one year.  A few years after that my mom got really scared when she was alone on Halloween and several adults that were dressed up came to her door trick or treating.  Halloween just no longer was fun.  Halloween does not have good memories for me.  Well, some. When my kids were little I dressed them up and took them to places.  I have a huge rubbermaid tub full of photos from my children's childhood.  My goal this winter is to go through that tub and scan all those pics.  I dug for about 5 minutes trying to find a particular halloween photo that I wanted to share.  I did not find it before I decided to quit looking but I did find these....About 27 years ago, and 65 pounds ago, I grew enough pumpkins for every child in my daughter's preschool class to have one.  That was a real fun time of my life.

My son in the red fireman hat will be 26 in a couple of weeks.

My daughter in the witch costume now has 2 boys, 9 and 11

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A True Story about My Sons

Post # 194
   My two grandsons are here spending the night with me.  While one was playing on the computer ...Legoland.... the eleven year old got in my big chair with me and let me read him four chapters of a book before bedtime (Ereth's Birthday by Avi---4th in the Tales from Dimwood Forest series, one of my favorite series for 8 to 12 yr olds, or grandmas like me).  Yes, he can read just fine by himself.  Yes, reading to children no matter what their age is important.  Yes, it is a tough job but someone has to do it :) and I am always ready!
     I worked at a public library for 20 years and met many families that loved to read as much as I do.  One of my patron families had a library in their home.  I never saw it, but they described it to me and I thought oh my blessed this family is! Not because they lived in a very nice house near the college where the father was a professor....although all of those houses in that area are just beautiful. Not because they have a library in their home, although yes, that was a blessing. They were a blessed family because the family would gather in that library, in front of a fireplace, surrounded by bookshelves full of books, a family together and the dad would read out loud to them every night. Even when their daughters were in high school.  Teenagers! Really. Teenagers who even told me how they loved to hear their dad read to them.  I really, really wish I had been born in a family like that.  I know another family, without a huge 2 story house with a fireplace and library, but every summer as a family they read To Kill a Mockingbird aloud.  I don't know what their family story is that they read the same book.  There must be a story there but maybe it is just because it is such an excellent book, because of the lessons it teaches, because of the story, or language.  I don't know, but what a blessing that they read out loud together.  I really, really wish I had been born in a family like that.  At the library I was the story time lady for 18 of those years.  Back before stay at home dads were even remotely common there was a dad with two young sons who faithfully came to story time each week.  Afterwords he would take his sons over to a corner, or to the old fashioned bathtub full of pillows we had in the library and he would read to his kids, then they would leave with a backpack full of books to check out.  He was almost always the only dad there.  I thought he was a wonderful, brave, caring father and I loved to see him teaching his sons to love books.  I really, really wish I had been born in a family like that.   In my religion, families that truly practice our teachings gather as a family and read scriptures together every night. Really. Little kids. Teenagers.  Big, busy familes. Little families. It is one of the reasons I love my religion. I really, really, really wish I had been born in a family like that, where a loving father gathered his family together and read them scriptures of any kind.  I admire strong father figures that want to read to their children. 
       As a single mom, financially challenged, and very tired I couldn't do everything I wanted for my kids but we did read books.  I read, and read, and read to my children.  They all became readers.  We read far more than we ever watched TV, or anything else.  When they were teenagers they seldom let me read out loud to them, but I tried.  Shoot, they are in their 20's and 30's and I sometimes still ask "can I read this to you?"  (they usually say, Uh, no, I will read it myself).  After they became old enough to read chapter books on their own they were eager to read by themselves and while I still wanted to read to them I loved it that they wanted to read more than anything else.  We had a lot of good discussions about those books. At dinner as often as not we each had a book with us.  In the evening we all were in the living room together immersed in books. It was just what we did.  To this day my 30 year old daughter and I will read a book and then hand it over for the other to read.  I bet she and I have read 2 dozen of the same books this year.  
     I have a story about my two sons that  I told as many people as possible that came through the youth department where I worked.  I told it not so they would be impressed with my children but so that they could see what they could do for their children.   The summer my sons left 2nd and 3rd grades I enrolled them in a reading class.  One of my favorite elementary school teachers was teaching a reading comprehension class for elementary school kids at the community college that summer.  Her objective was to test them on the first day, test them on the last day, and over the 6  week period  raise their reading comprehension one grade level.  My ex-husband worked for the college, therefore our children could take those classes for free and I was eager to have them in the class.  My friend called me after the first class to talk about my sons.  I thought OH NO, what have those two done! First class and the teacher is calling me! Turns out it was good news.  She told me I could keep sending my sons if I wanted to (I did) but they both tested at post-high school reading comprehension level.  They just left 2nd and 3rd grades.  Now, I know my sons are intelligent but in my heart I know that they did so well on the comprehension tests because they had been read to all their life. The same was true for their older sisters.  I read to those kids constantly.  Not just a little bit but every day, every possible moment I had.  If I could do it anyone could do it.  I had four children within 6 years so I had a houseful of little people and it was a very busy time of my life.  I didn't grow up in the type of family where the dad read to us but I was somehow born knowing books, and reading, are important and I knew to do that for my kids.  I read my children library books, Little Golden Books that I bought at a discount store because that is what I could afford, scriptures, encyclopedia articles, and even when they were infants (a captive audience!) I read the newspaper out loud to them!  OK, fine, I still read the newspaper out loud to them on occassion!  As a mom I did not do everything right, but this is one time I hit the nail on the head.  I also read to my grandsons every chance I get.  My grandsons are now 9 and 11.  They are readers. When they were little they spent a lot of time with me and I had a corner in my apartment fixed up as a reading area.  We loved it! 

Umbrella? Hat? Yes, this reading corner was inside my apartment. Why do you ask?

my grandsons in the tub at the library---Travis must be saying "good grief, will Grandma EVER quit taking our picture??" (the answer is no)

Product DetailsThe baby shower present I gave my daughter-in-law was a box of board books for my granddaughter.  For my son's 1st father's day before Taylor was born I gave him a board book - Guess How Much I Love You  by Sam of my very favorites.
I started babysitting my granddaughter when she was 8 months old and we have read books every day.  Sometimes she will let me read one before she wants to hop down and do something else but most often we read at least 3 or 4, sometimes a whole stack!  When she is with me she will pick up a book before a toy almost every time I put her in the floor.  Even when she is busy playing with toys she will stop and pick up a book and bring to me.  I think she loves the cuddling in my lap as much as the story. 

     I chose the  titles I bought for my granddaughter  carefully because  :)  I knew would be reading them dozens of times, and because  I wanted to know she would enjoy them and would want them to be read to her.  Because I have three decades of experience reading to children at home and then at work I think I know some of the very best ones for toddlers.  In case you want to read a book or two to a young child here is a list of the board books I think you both will enjoy.  They are the titles I bought my granddaughter before she was born, the ones I have squirreled away this year to save for her first birthday next month and for Christmas, and the titles still on my wish list for birthdays and Christmases to come over the next few years for her while she is a toddler.  There are so many good books that do not come in board book format so I will be working on a list for later years.  Right now I want board books so she can touch them all she wants, love them and no one is constantly fussing at her for ripping pages.  With IPads and Kindle becoming more popular I wonder how soon it will be before printed books are a thing of the past.      my board book list:

LOL! I think  my dog, Max, likes books as well!  He is "reading" with my daughter.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pirates of the Canyon festival

Post # 193
I live 30 miles north of Palo Duro Canyon State Park.  If you are ever in this part of the world I think you would enjoy going down in the canyon.  In October is a hot air ballooning event (see link).  Tonight a balloon glow was scheduled at dark in a big park here in Amarillo but with all that snow yesterday that melted today the muddy park was out.  They moved the balloon glow to the Lowe's parking lot.  Worked just fine.  I was there early and left before dark --- when they would really have been beautiful lit up after sunset ---because I don't drive well in the dark but I did get some good photos....
the blue is a giant tarp laid on the parking lot and then the balloon stretched across it to be inflated.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

First Snow

My dogs woke me up about 1:30 a.m. wanting to go outside.  It was snowing big, beautiful flakes.  When I left home at 6:50 a.m. to go babysit there was a LOT of snow on my car but it was too cold and I didn't have enough time to measure the snow.  I got home about 1:00 p.m. this afternoon and could see that some of the snow had melted but the snow in the seats of my lawn chairs was a little over 5 inches!  Pretty good for a first snowfall!

Are You My Mother?

Opposites attract: The kitten raised by a crow MNN - Mother Nature Network

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Anything Pumpkin!

I love anything pumpkin!  Everyone in my family loves pumpkin bread.  Oh, gee, I wish I had some for breakfast tomorrow.  One of my daughter's favorite desserts is a pumpkin cake rolled up like a jellyroll with cream cheese filling...I don't know where we got the recipe, we have made that for years and years..  My favorite is a soft, fat pumpkin cookie...recipe from my mom and I have no idea where she got it.  We have made that forever too.  My grandson and I love pumpkin pie, made according to the directions on the back of the can.  I follow another blog written by a woman who quilts beautiful quilts and has written quilting books.  She also has many really good recipes.  This week she posted a pumpkin snickerdoodle recipe....I have not made them but they sound good.......thought you might like to have the recipe too....again from Judy Laquidara's blog.........  (am I a quilter? no.  I just like to look at her quilts and those her followers post.  They are just beautiful.  I wish I had the money to quilt and I would love to give it a try)  OH MY GOODNESS!!! talk about snickerdoodles!!  Look what I just saw on Pioneer Woman's blog....
Anyway, here is the the recipe for the cookies I love......similar to the snickerdoodles....we have made these a hundred times and they always turn out big, fat, soft....and very delicious!

2 & 1/2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
Stir together in a large bowl.
In another large bowl ...
beat 1 & 1/2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, softened)  until well blended.  Beat in 1 cup Libby's canned pumpkin, 1 egg and 1 t. vanilla.  beat until smooth.

drop by rounded tablespoon onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake @ 350 degrees 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm.  Do not over bake.  Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Since it specifies Libby's pumpkin makes me think the recipe probably came off the label of a can of pumpkin.  I used to drizzle a powdered sugar glaze over these---was pretty, but I prefer them without the added sweetness.  Note: these cookies are more like a bread than a sweet cookie

Taylor is 11 months old

What happened to our baby?! She is growing up!

Winter is coming!

Yesterday at this time I had on shorts and the A/C was running.  It was something like 86 outside.  Today when I got home from babysitting and running some errands around 1:30 pm the sky was clear and beautiful blue like this....(no, i didn't take this pic today, but the sky looked just like this, exactly). 

 The weatherman SAID we were going to have rain/snow mix this evening and i thought so much for that forecast but wait...5 hours later....I took a picture out my front door and the sky looks like this and it is freezing.  Well, not really freezing, it is 46...but 40 degrees cooler than this time yesteday is somethin'. And I guess we might have some snow in a bit. 10 p.m. the weatherman said we probably will get 1 to 2 inches of snow tonight.  I hope so...we need the moisture here so bad. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I am just not a sports loving person

Me and one of my two favorite football players
LOL! My friend left a comment on the last post asking were those helmets my grandsons were holding in the pic I posted really that big! LOL! Yes, those helmets are huge! I am glad...I hope that means lots of protection.  Last year in Texas 9 children were paralysed playing football.  This year I just know about the one young man in the little town near us, Thank Goodness. I worry about my grandsons.  The younger one is very small for his age anyway and I am not convinced he is all that excited about playing football.  I have not expressed my opinion to them like I have here on my blog.  They do not read my blog, don't have a computer in their home, don't know about my blog and in their presence I am as supportive of them as I can be, whether it be playing football or doing a craft.  If they ever ask what I think I will tell them.   Anyway, the boys came to my house after a game not long ago.  I had not known they had games that day or I would have been there because I do go cheer them on but anyway....they came in and I asked my youngest grandson if they won their game and he said yes...with as much enthusiasm as if I had asked if he liked the flavor of toothpaste in the bathroom.  I asked him what he liked about playing football and he said it makes people proud of you and snacks at the end.  I told him I was very proud of him when I saw him reading a book so I would give him $10 and all the snacks he wants next year if he will not play.  He said maybe, but I imagine his parents will sign him up. Like I said, no one asked for grandma's permission to let them play, and this is Texas, where football is what you do.  I am far more interested in seeing him find what he really likes and pursuing what he loves, yes, even if it is football.  It isn't.  A couple of years ago he played soccer.   A family member had played soccer on a team from age 4 to last time I saw her 20's... and she was his soccer coach that year.  It was obvious that soccer was not really all that interesting to him one day when a game was going on, the kids were at the far end of the field and my grandson was in the middle of the field by himself, in his own little world, oblivious to the game, twirling around and around.  He was having a ball! (pun intended)  I was happy and proud!  He was being himself!  I suspect twirling is alot more fun than soccer and football combined!  I just don't think he is that in to sports.  And I am his biggest cheerleader.

I took this pic at my grandson's game the other day. My grandson is #8....the game is going on to the right of this picture...  I don't know what he is looking at off to the left.  Have I ever mentioned that Ferdinand the Bull by Munro Leaf has always been one of my favorite books?  And if you don't know Ferdinand, no matter how old you are, you need to read Ferdinand. 
I live where weather is funny.  Monday we will be 84,  and then Thurs it is suppose to be a high of 43 and snow flurries.  I am not sure I am ready for snow flurries. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Just some photos

I have some new closest neighbors to the south....
I have 3 dogs and they have to roam in a pretty small yard considering they can't be in the back yard because of the the pit bull and 7 dobermans next door that meet them at the fence so ALL of them can bark and growl but anyway, small front yard and 3 dogs so why on earth would I just have found my 3rd box turtle in that little yard this year??? I'd think the turtles would be afraid of the dogs, but no, evidently not because here is number 3.  I picked him up with a shovel and put him outside of the fence. 

MY boys of fall

she is walking!!!!

Controlling Mom, thy name is Carol

When my daughters first started dating I was a single mom.  Well, I am still a single mom but that is neither here nor there.  My four children were, and are, precious to me. I did not want to have a pregnant teenager.  I knew teenage boys thought a single mom was nothing to be worried about.  For me that was pretty scarey.  Well, I pondered on that and tried to figure out some leverage.  I was also terrified to let my baby girl get in a car with a teenage boy and drive off.  Terrified.  This was way before cell phones.  Once they left the driveway I might think I knew where they were going but as soon as they turned the corner I was no longer in control and that teenage boy was at the wheel.  Pondered on that a good while. This is what I did.  If my daughters wanted to date then their dates had to pick them up at my house most of the time and this was the deal because I loved them (if my girls were at their dad's home and had a date pick them up there I have no idea what took place, but he lived across town so that wasn't something that happened too often).  I had a little 110 camera -- this was also way before digital cameras -- and I would have it, a pen and a 3" x 5" card ready.   Never did I let a boy honk in the driveway.  Never did I let them meet a boy somewhere (that I know of). They had to  pick my daughter up at my house and they had to come to the door.  The boy would ring the doorbell, he would have to come in and meet me, and I would say OK, let me take a picture of the two of you.  Smile. OK, fine...(grab my pen and card) and I would say to the boy OK, now what are you driving? (write that down)  What is the license plate number? (send boy out to the car with pen and card) OK, now what is your mother's name? address? and her phone number? Can I reach her at this number at 11 p.m. because my daughter has to be home at 11 p.m. in the same condition in which she left so ---- if you are not here at 11 on the dot I will be calling your mother. And if you are late I have a photo in this camera here that I can give to the police along with your license number so go have a good time and I will see you at 11 p.m.  No one ever came home late, drunk (that I could tell or smell anyway) or pregnant.  If they wanted to date then my daughters had to put up with me as long as they were minors.  My daughter's weren't allowed to date until they were 16.  We were Mormon and that was a church policy and most of their close friends were in the same boat so that wasn't too difficult to enforce. If the photo/mom's info would have worked I would have continued that practice after they were 18 but they wouldn't cooperate anymore.  Sigh.  It didn't keep things from happening that I don't know about I am sure, but it sure as heck did help.  We had a pretty uneventful couple of early dating years.  They dated and had a good time.  I never had to call a boy's mom.  My daughter dated one young man, he graduated from high school and went off to the Marine Corps.  Some time passed and then he started writing her letters (yes, this was slightly before email and cell phones....Lord, I am old)   They kept in touch while he was in boot camp and then where ever he was assigned.  Then 9/11 happened.  He decided he wanted to get married.  He proposed to her on the phone.  Had a 3 day pass to come home and get married.  Honestly, I did not remember the young man.  When he came home to marry my daughter I told him I was sorry, I didn't remember him and he said "I remember YOU.  You took my picture."  I am sure I probably laughed and said well I bet you brought her home on time!  I shudder to think what it is like to be the mother of teenagers in this day and age. This may be the 21st century but I would do the same again, except this time I would have email addresses for him and his mom, cell phone #s, name and #'s of 3 best friends, tell him I'd need to check his facebook page so come on over and sit down beside me in case I had any questions.  I heard Dr. Phil say one time when his sons were teenagers he paid for their cell phones and he told them any time he called that number they damn well better answer the phone.  If I had teenagers I would be saying the same thing.

Rice Socks

Other than my dogs I sleep alone and in the winter my feet just freeze.  Rice socks fix that problem.  Take a clean, white, heavy, tube sock and stuff it with uncooked regular rice.  Tie the end securely and microwave for 2 minutes or so.  Cuddle between your feet.  Also good for anywhere heat would feel good.  My dogs love these too.  Absolutely wonderful if you want to be frugal and keep the thermostat turned down.  I have rested one on my shoulders or in my lap while I sit and watch tv and the warmth is just wonderful.  I tried making one out of a pretty, soft, socks-to-stay-home-in sock but the weave was not tight enough and rice came out.  You can put one over your athletic sock of rice though I would think.  If I had a sewing machine I think I would take a piece of flannel and make one for my granddaughter's crib.  Would not want a regular sock that rice could possibly leak out of for her to choke on.  Do you think a flannel envelope with the rice sewn inside would work?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

God Bless Khiva Shriners

Khiva Shriners help injured Vega teen: After a tragic accident on the football field, one Vega High School student, Luis Morales, remains unable to walk -- paralyzed from the waist down.
When I wrote how I felt about letting our children play a game requiring an ambulance on the edge of the field two posts ago I did not know about this child's injury.  Vega is a little wide spot in the road about half an hour away from me down Route 66. Small little 1 sq mile town, maybe 250 families.  Their boys play ball. Of course this tragedy is a horrible life changing accident for Mr. Morales and his family, but it will be felt by every single person in this town.    According to there are 300,000 to 1,215,000 high-school football injuries each year in the United States. I remain the mean ole mom ......and God Bless every Shriner and for their hospitals.

Reward for losing weight!

One day this week I woke up and weighed...Dr Oz says weigh at 6:30 a.m.----I wouldn't get up just for that but since I am up----and i weigh 189. One eighty nine! That is a whooooo-hooooo not a boooo-hoooo because i weighed 204 not that many months ago.  My body latches on to every little fat cell and holds on for dear life so losing 15 pounds is a big deal.  To celebrate the occasion .....this is just the way i roll..... i bought the ingredients to make banana pudding.....this is really, really, good banana pudding.  Recipe courtesy of my sister.....

Elsie's Banana Pudding

3 small boxes Instant vanilla pudding
4 cups whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1-9oz carton regular cool whip
box of vanilla wafers
lots of bananas
Mix the pudding, milk and vanilla until well mixed. Stir in sour cream and cool whip.
make layers of pudding,  sliced bananas and vanilla wafers. Repeat. repeat again if you still have ingredients.  Cover. Refrigerate. Just enjoy and don't worry about calories.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

a black week

writing is therapy for me.  whatever crosses my mind that i can blog about for a few minutes helps me focus...something i have a real hard time doing the past couple of years.  blogging helps me focus on happy things, helps me release things i need to release from my mind, helps me cope with whatever i have to cope with.  i have tried to make most posts something happy or funny or ordinary and keep the sad ones to a minimum.  sometimes the sad ones have to come out.  if i miss a day, or several, of blogging it is because i am too depressed to come up with something not sad, or i am having so much trouble focusing i can not cope with trying to write a paragraph that makes sense, or can't cope with the long process of spell checking and going back over to make sure what i have written has made some sort of sense since i have so much trouble concentrating reading and writing and talking sometimes.  if i published what i typed before all the editing it would be such a mess you would have no idea what i was trying to say. please forgive things like lack of capitalization, some times it is just not worth the energy it would take.   SO ,,, this is one of those really hard but theraputic posts because it has been a rough week in carol's world.  My feet, the Morton's Neuroma...I guess that is the problem, have hurt so bad by the end of the day I don't know what to do but bawl.  They hurt so bad that when my little granddaughter reached out and touched my toes gently with her baby hand Friday morning I could not help but let tears slip down my cheeks and hold the urge to loudly moan inside.  She didn't pinch, scratch, squeeze....she just touched.  That a gentle touch by a baby hand hurt so bad made me wonder if this is a different nerve disorder, something like my daughter's fibromyalgia.  I don't know.  I don't have insurance any more and I have been to numerous Dr's over the years since I was first diagnosed with Morton's and we never have come up with much to do for it but live with it .... as mentioned in previous posts.  By the end of the day just the thought of having to get out of my chair and walk the 15 feet down the hall to the bathroom makes me nauseous.  really.physically.nauseous. To stand on my feet feels like thousands of big fat needles being repeatedly jammed into every surface of my feet, nonstop. to not stand on them still feels like hundreds of needles jabbing me.   the first hour or two in the morning is bearable but then the pain starts and lasts until i fall asleep that night.  At night I sit in my recliner with my feet up to watch TV and the only way I can stand it is to take lots of over the counter pain reliever and put a bed pillow on the footrest to place my feet on to cushion the pressure.   I wonder if being in emotional pain makes the physical pain more intense.  a baby died.  last Sunday morning an 11 day old baby in my town died.  she was in a bassinet right next to her  mom who was sleeping on a couch with a pit bull/mastiff mix dog at her feet.  in the wee dark hours of the morning the mom woke up and could not find her baby in the bassinet. something horrifically tragic happened. the baby did not survive.  neighbors said it was an old, sweet dog, never aggressive.  the thought of what happened has haunted my every waking moment this week.  i have bawled many tears for that baby, as well as for the mom who she herself had to pry the dog's jaws apart to free her baby.  i wonder if my physical pain makes my emotional pain more intense.  my emotional pain is just raw.  in my town there is an organization that raises money to send World War II veterans to Washington DC to see the memorials and sights.  Texas Panhandle Honor Flights it is called.  i love that someone does that for these veterans. a free 3 day trip for a soldier and companion on a special group flight/tour/trip. my dad was a veteran.  he would have enjoyed a trip like this, with other soldiers of his era. next year they are expanding to provide this honor for veterans from other wars as well.  anyway, a group returned from Washington this week.  On our local news it was announced that citizens were invited to go to the airport to welcome them home.  It was requested that one wear red, white or blue.  Soldiers, the Flag, red, white and blue, taps....those things stir up my emotions. To hear them say wear red, white, blue made me bawl.  i would like to have gone but i know i would have been bawling like a baby and unable to drive myself home.  Today was homecoming for the local university. (this is Texas where football is .... well, FOOTBALL). I've never been to a college football game but I would like to.  saw a clip on the news tonight. The clip of that game made me bawl over 3 things....the college band playing the fight song. bawl.  the site of the ambulance on the sidelines.  bawl.  does this not disturb anyone other than me that we send our children out to play a game that requires an ambulance on standby right at the edge of the field????? (well, not ME, i was the mean ole mom who said over my dead body are you playing a game where concussions are routine...but my little grandsons play, grandma's approval was not in Texas flag football leagues begin in 1st grade---you are 6? well, what are you waiting for, grab a helmet, suit up and let's work on scrambling that brain!!!) ah, Texas, land of football and cheer leading...  my granddaughter had a  toddler size Texas Tech cheerleader's outfit before she was born, a shower present.... but back to me bawling.... I watched a bit of the homecoming football game highlights on the news.  The color guard was flown in by helicopter and landed on the 50 yard line.  To see those young men in uniform step out of that helicopter made me.... bawl.  I have two grandsons, 9 and 11.  Friday school was released at 12:30 for parent/teacher conferences.  On the ten o'clock news they said a 12 year old boy from the same school district my grandsons attend was missing. had not been seen since school let out at 12:30.  almost 10 hrs.  I did not know the child or the family but that did not matter.  I bawled for the poor scared kid and the poor scared family.  I was just beside myself with desire to go out and help look for that kid.  it could have been my grandson. i would want someone out looking.  the news did not mention a search party or anything. I can't see well enough to drive in the dark, i don't know where to look, i just felt helpless to aid that child. the good news this morning was that shortly after the news aired Fri night the child was located at a friend's house.  I do not know how it went down but this might be a good guess....picture 2 people watching the 10 o'clock news...the missing kid's photo fills the screen....  daddy & momma look at each other and say hey, isn't that the kid that has been hanging around here all day???   Jr, get in here and bring your friend!!!!  but back to my ranting...the kid is found safe and sound.  and i was so relieved i just ....bawled.  Steve Jobs dies.  reportedly wrote a love note to his wife and framed it, apologizes to his wife for having to leave this earth so soon. says they had good times, they had hard times but they did not have bad times. me--major, major bawl.  yet once again people in the news choose to say derogatory things about my religion.  While I personally do not understand why other people who proclaim to be Christians feel the need to constantly partake in Mormon bashing, here in the "Bible Belt" it is popular sport and I am used to it, but it saddens me.  However, I am glad that we live in a country with freedom of speech and that they have the right to voice their opinion.  I am also very glad when I hear people encourage others to "not give voice to bigotry."  From the Dallas Morning News Wayne Slater/Reporter  quote...Author and former Education Secretary Bill Bennett had stern words for Dallas megapastor Robert Jeffress this morning at the Values Voters Summitt, saying he didn't help Rick Perry by attacking Mitt Romney's Mormon faith. Bennett told the crowd of evangelicals Saturday morning, "Do not give voice to bigotry. I'm thinking of the words of Pastor Jeffress. Do not give voice to bigotry." In endorsing Perry on Friday at the Values Voters conference, Jeffress said he doesn't believe Romney is a conservative and thinks Mormonism is a cult.  From the stage Saturday morning, just minutes before Romney's arrival to speak to the group, Bennett said that Jeffress' remarks stepped on the message of Perry and the other Republican presidential hopefuls who spoke Friday. "You did Rick Perry no good sir, in what you had to say." close quote. When initially asked by ABC News whether Gov. Perry agreed that Mormonism is a cult, Perry spokesman Mark Miner said: “The governor doesn’t judge what is in the heart and soul of others. He leaves that to God.”  bawl grateful tears that someone would say don't voice bigotry, don't judge -- leave that to God.  (and yes, Mormons are Christians.  The name of our church is not Mormon but The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Actually we prefer to be called Latter Day Saints.)  if you want to know what true Mormons believe please go to    this week someone severely hurt my feelings. (if i did not have a discussion in person with you about something on Sat. afternoon then you weren't that person and what it was about does not matter to you).  My therapist would have been proud of me.  I told them how i saw the situation and how their comment hurt me.  it just might have been the first time in my life that i have confronted a person and said this hurt my feelings. bawl. i called a former co-worker at the library this week to tell her my daughter would be bringing a baby present by for her but that i just couldn't do it myself yet....go to the library.  she said to me Carol, it is just a building with books.  she has said this to me twice now over the past 18 months (but who is counting?) since i last worked and i know that she means it as a way of comfort or support to me but ... to me it was not just a building with books, it was my life. bawl.  I bought that new has a CD player! my 13 yr old car that I had been driving didn't even have a radio thanks to local thugs.   I was at Kohl's and for $5 they have a Christmas goes to charity so I splurged and got one.  My old boss used to say Christmas music should always be played in any month ending in "ber".  First of all, just ---forever--- whenever I have heard Christmas carols or hymns of any kind my body has wanted to tune up and bawl.  did i mention my emotional health is just raw, always has been to some degree? I can't tell you how many times i have sat in church with tears running down my face because the spiritual feeling i get from hymns is so strong.  Anyway, I have been listening to those Christmas carols as i drive.  If I am driving for very long I have had to take the CD out because no one wants me driving and crying!!  Kenny Chesney singing O Little Town of Bethlehem, bawl.    The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health has a grant to provide mammograms for women.  "The program’s goal is simple: Fight obstacles to ensure that more women receive mammograms. That includes women who can’t afford it.  The program’s most common patients will be women who prior to the program launch fell through the cracks; those women who couldn’t afford care because their income is too high to qualify for government assistance"   Since I don't have health insurance I qualify.  Every Saturday morning in October a team from the institute will be at one of the Amarillo and Lubbock wal-marts to sign women up.  The members of the team I spoke with today were so nice, just awesome women.  I appreciated their kindness.  was hard work for me to not bawl right there in walmart as i talked to them.  Sat. afternoon was just awesome.  Cool weather has arrived.  50's. I felt really chilly with my windows open and the breeze coming in.  I got a fleece throw to wrap around me while I .....what else in the fall in Texas....watched football on TV.  (never watched much football before but between the depression, anxiety, physical pain I just can not concentrate enough to read and understand what i am reading so....for half a century i read through football season but now i am watching).  just to feel "chilly" after our hotter than hell summer made me bawl.  i know, bawling because it is chilly.....this is really out of hand.   Tonight i discovered mouse poop in my home. the thought of coming up with the energy to clean out cabinets, and be on my sore feet to do it, is almost more than i can handle. bawl.  an awesome woman in town collects coats to give school children that need one.  I saw a commercial for her coat drive. bawl. Just a fraction of the bawling i did this week.  Gee, this would have been a long post if i had kept a list. BUT, YOU KNOW THAT OLD SAYING "IT IS ALWAYS DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN"?.....I got an email from the Texas Mental Health place and my number has come up.!!!!!!!!!!!!   Monday I get to go see my caseworker who will then get me in with a psychiatrist and they will help me get some medicine! Yes!  I didn't want to get back on any kind of medication but this week of continual bawling has been difficult.  And the "ber" months are here....I have Christmas carols to listen to!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meet My Neighbors

Post # 179
September 29th    Yes, this is posted AFTER a 10/7/11 post....i wrote it, thought i posted it, but i didn't so now i am.   My Crocs came!  I am sooo happy with them! Heaven on my feet! When I got home today I was hoping to see the box in my driveway but no box.  Checked my mailbox and there was the little slip from the mailman saying I could pick my pkg up tomorrow at the P.O.  I knew I had to have just missed him so I got back in the car and toodled around the neighborhood looking for the mail truck.  Found it just a few streets over and got my package from him.  Made me happy! When I pulled over to cut off the mail truck ---yes, I did, was NOT gonna let him get away! :)---he was in front of a house where a big bird lives.  I don't live in the country but I live on the north edge of town.  Sorta where "the country" meets "town."  Here is a photo I took today of their bird.  I took the photo from inside my car.  I am not a big fan of birds. Especially big birds.   Unless they are yellow and live on Sesame Street.
Why, yes, I do always have my camera out ready to take pictures of the neighbors, why do you ask?  But back to my post.  I live on a really long block.  These are my closest neighbors to the south...
I am sitting on the I-27 frontage eastern side street looking west.  That row of trees intersects the block down the middle, there is a creek there, dividing the block in half.  If you had really good vision, or if I had a really good camera, you would be able to see some horses and cows back there towards the line of trees.  East to west is the narrow part of the block. The east length borders the highway frontage road.  I have measured it and from one corner to the other is a half a mile, i think, if i remember correctly.  Anyway, along with the horses and cows there also lives a small herd of sheep. Going around the corner is a couple of horses....again.....if i had a better camera or if you have great vision you would see some horses there  in the right corner

and galloping down the street (view from my front door)

and right next door 3 dobermans, 4 doberman puppies, a  pit bull and  a cute little schnauzer...(here are two of the dobermans and the pit bull)
 I hear that the emu is the best "watchdog" of the bunch!

Groundhog Day??

Post # 178   I get confused easily but this is October 7th,  I just checked to be sure.  The new season for fall tv just started a few weeks ago but ... unless this is like that movie Groundhog Day, the big 3 are ALREADY showing reruns??  Tuesday I watched my Tuesday shows..The Middle, Modern Family. Today is Friday, I turned on the tv, there was Modern Family. Wait, this is the wrong night.  Wait, this is the same show I saw a few days ago.  A rerun, already??? October 7th?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

You just never know what is in store once you get out of bed

Post # 177     Remember the other day I got the butterfly bushes for 99 cents on the clearance table at one of my local home improvement stores?  I stopped by that same store again one day this week.  Look what I found! and look what I was able to get in my little Ford Escort all in one trip!  LOL! That car has hauled more shrubs, trees, dirt, landscaping materials than most pickups in town! Large lilac bushes-- $7 instead of $24, $2 trumpet vines, $2 honeysuckle and $2 crape myrtles plus the tall thing is a globe willow tree.  They are considered trash trees around here but I like them and it was $15.  You just never know what the day will bring.
My sweet grandsons cleaned all the potting soil & mulch out of the car for me....
We took the car to that new Toot n Totum....their vacuums are awesome! Here is a photo just in case you think I made up that name! My son calls it Fart n Fetch'm.  As it turns out it was really nice that my car was cleaned up so well because as things around my house took a bumpy turn I realized for my sanity I need a car that isn't 13 years old, doesn't scare me to death by dying constantly at street lights and in the McDonald's drive up, doesn't need alot of mechanical work that I can not do, that does have some luxuries like A/C and a dome light, and that since I can afford a car payment my old Escort would be a blessing to someone who could not afford any other car at the moment, so, long story short, I bought a car.  It is used, a 2009 Kia Rondo. This is the second car I have purchased from Pete's CarSmart Kia.  That car dealer has been very good to me.  The first time I bought a car from them a decade or so ago I was a single mom, low paying job, in debt, not a very good credit score, no down payment money, in desperate need of a cheap car to get me to work and alot of help to get someone to finance it.  They  were good to me.  This time if I could have bought any car I wanted I would have purchased an American made car but.....I am single grandma, living on retirement and SS disability, in debt, better credit score, no down payment money, in desperate need of a car that starts when I turn the key and doesn't die at every streetlight and will get me to my son's house on time every morning so I can babysit and they can get to work.  I tried another dealer first.  Dang, I really, really hate the car buying game at some dealers.  After a couple of hours, that seemed like days, at the other dealer, I left there and went to Pete's.  I really wanted an American made car but this is the real world and I needed a good but cheap car and I needed a relatively stressfree buying experience.  My depression and anxiety has been absolutely awful this past couple of weeks and I can not handle any hassles.  Considering I am doing without medication right now I need to be at a place where I am as comfortable as possible, I trust them, I don't feel taken hostage, I known I can tell them how the cow ate the cabbage (lay out the facts) and they will do the same and we can strike a deal in a really short amount of time and get me out of there.  I did, they did, I was out of there in a very reasonable amount of time and I am super happy with what I got.  The bank requested I get an extended warranty for the vehicle, so the dealer requested they give me a lower interest rate to keep my payment down.  I appreciated that.  If you need to buy a car, want a good deal, to be treated respectfully, and want a pleasant purchasing experience then let me suggest you give Dustin Tebo a call ... Petes Car Smart Kia, 4701 S. Soncy Road Amarillo, Texas 79119   806.351.1122 Office         210.268.3479 Cell    Not a paid endorsement, I am not his mother or anything, just a satisfied customer.  If you do call him tell him I sent you, maybe he will give me something out of the gift shop! :) my idea, not anything he mentioned.  Love my new-to-me car.  And one of the coolest things??? They have a gift shop inside the car dealership, with lots of cute things, not overpriced (such as a pretty, flower shaped spiral pad with a little pen and a clip so you can put it on your visor for under $2) They also had sock monkeys.....