Saturday, December 31, 2011

Weird Things That Cross My Mind # 1

LOL! My sister said I needed to put this on my blog....  I have had 16 mammograms and every single time once they get me positioned and uh, compressed in that machine I think I hope to heck the electricity does not go off and me stuck here!!!!


HAPPY NEW YEAR everybody!!! 
     My sister asked me what New Year's Resolutions I was going to make.  Well, actually, I don't do resolutions because I never keep them and then I just feel bad about myself but I can take a stab at it I guess...I will just adjust them so I don't set myself up for failure:
  1. Try to cut down on my consumption of Dr. Pepper and Coke (that would be Coca Cola type coke) which reminds me of a funny story.  This is from way back when my kids were teens or preteens, all lived at home and people still wrote personal checks to pay for their groceries.  The 4 kids and I had gone to Safeway to buy least A dozen years ago (yep, I have been trying to kick my coke habit that long!)  The lady in line in front of us had purchased a carton of cigarettes. I don't remember what it cost but it sure seemed like alot so as she walked away and I stood in front of the cashier I turned to my kids and....since I am always consumed with guilt over somethin' I obviously had just thought about the expense of my cokes... I said something like "Wow! That makes the price of my coke habit not seem quite so bad!"  Not being a drug user, Coke has always meant Coca Cola to me, or being from Texas/New Mexico Coke means any dark carbonated beverage, not an illegal drug.  When we walked out of the store my kids expressed their horror.  MU-therrrr......that cashier has our address from on your check, probably the police will be at the house before we are to arrest you for your admitted "COKE HABIT."  LOL! The police did not show up but my kids would not have been surprised. 
  2. Listen to more music....maybe for at least a bit every day instead of oh, once every 6 months.  I thought of this one because I just heard The Band Perry (one of my favorites) sing "If I Die Young" (also one of my favorites) I truly believe music does a body good.  I have a little iPod shuffle and have it loaded with alot of country music I downloaded (legally) for free from my library website.  I am paranoid about my being hearing impaired.  My kids can open a door and walk in my house making all kinds of noise but unless I am in the same room as the door I will not be able to hear them and that bothers me.  If a burgler were trying to quietly break in I sure wouldn't hear that.  Now that my beloved Max has passed away I am left with my two girls, Zoe and Gracie, to be my guard dogs and truthfully, they are a lot more scared than I ever am.  The whole point is if I have my earbuds in my ears listening to my iPod I have to have it turned up really loud to understand it even with earbuds and hearing anything else is not gonna happen...but I am going to quit worrying about what might happen and just listen to music. 
  3. Write down every penny I spend.  Maybe I would be more careful with money if I have to see exactly what I spend it on.  When you live on SS disability you just don't have any extra money to lose or waste or spend foolishly. 
  4. I am not going to mention the D word (diet) but I think trying to eat healthier would be a good idea. The past 6 months I have cut way down on the amount of fast food I eat (although if I didn't already have my pajamas on that last Big Mac commercial might have convinced me to hop in the car and go waste some money...).  My meals consist of primary Dr Pepper, pop tarts, Donut Stop cinnamon rolls, shredded wheat, stew, beans and cornbread or scrambled egg sandwiches (cheap food).  Stew and beans/cornbread have been favorites of mine all my life and I never get tired of them.  I hate eggs but can swallow them scrambled until they are dirt dry and hidden between two pieces of toast.  A luxury is Oscar Meyer precooked bacon microwaved and strips covering my scrambled egg....ooh, love that bacon.  Dang, wish I had some of that bacon right now.  First craving a Big Mac and now bacon, obviously I need to get up and eat something.   My favorite meal is a sirloin, really well done, big baked potato, and a salad....I could eat that every day too but I just get it every blue moon in a month of Sundays.  I also love to go to the Plaza Restaurant here and get full on the chips and salsa before my food ever comes and then bring home most of the chili relleno meal I ordered for another meal.  LOL!!  I do that more often, maybe twice a year.  Yep, I know, I get out of the house way too much.   Anyway, I need to eat more fruit, and more veggies than the potatoes and carrots in my stew.
  5. Drink more water.  I used to drink water like a camel.  Since August I have seriously slacked off and I have to get back to drinking water.  I really like water if it is icy, icy cold.  In August I started babysitting my granddaughter and at the same time a new convenience store opened a few blocks from my son's home with any size soft drink 79 cents.  My car automatically turns into the drive up window lane and I order a 44 oz Dr Pepper.  I babysit 4 days a week so I am spending a minimum of  $14 a month (and actually more like $30) just on Dr Pepper.  That would buy alot of apples and oranges and broccoli.  Besides that, I know I am dehydrated.  You know how you can do that pinch the skin on the top of your hand by your knuckles and if it stays pinched up you are dehydrated. Yep, I am way dehydrated.  I need to drink water.
  6. Take my vitamins  I am horrible.  I have a basketful of vitamins, multi, E, C,  flaxseed oil, etc that I purchased with good intentions but I don't take them.  I think later tonight I will go get that basket out and see if they have expired and fix my pill boxes.  Really, before my nervous breakdown (from now on will be referred to as D-Day for darn debilitating depression) I used to do things like take my vitamins and fix my pill boxes.  I need to get my act together. 
  7. Try to read something spiritual or inspirational every day.  My sister suggested getting back to reading scriptures every day.  I used to read them first thing in the morning and then some time before going to bed but for a l.o.n.g. time after D-Day I couldn't read and comprehend anything much less scriptures so there went that habit.  I used to love my church magazine but it made me feel guilty that I quit going to church after D-day so I stopped reading that too.  Maybe instead of starting with trying to read scriptures every day I will just read something inspirational from my church's website.  Guilt, guilt, guilt, get thee behind me Satan.
  8. Find my sign language book and teach myself a new word or phrase at least a couple of times a week. Since I first purchased hearing aides in I think 2000, I could have learned a lot of sign language in this time.  I know some but not nearly what I should.  Why don't I do the things I know I need to do????  Maybe Taylor and I can learn together.  She is 13 months.  This month I taught her the sign for thirsty.  If I do that sign while I am feeding her she will pick up her cup of water and get a drink.  Not every time, but almost -  and frequently enough that I KNOW she understands the sign.  By now I should now every sign known to man (did I say I am plagued with guilt over everything)
  9. Fold my laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer.  I know, this is stupid, but I hate to fold laundry.  That isn't true, I like folding laundry, I just don't do it because my table is never cleaned off and I have no place to do it.  The couch smells like dogs and I don't want to fold my laundry there.  Or, the dryer goes off and I am busy playing Mahjongg on the aarp website or reading a book or napping or sitting in a depression stupor holding one of my dogs and doing nothing so the laundry eventually goes in a basket and sits in the floor or on a chair until I dig through it for things to wear.  This is so lame, I feel bad being rich enough to own a washer and dryer and water and detergent and I don't fold my laundry.  Guilt, I feel guilt. 
  10. Get back on the keep-your-house-clean schedule.  I swear, if you do her approximately 3 minute swish & swipe the bathroom thing your bathroom is never dirty. Her shine the sink really makes mornings alot more pleasant.  Her suggestions for the whole house are like that....quick, easy, pleasing, encouraging, confidence building. I need to  I have always been housework challenged.  That is just me.  I don't like it.  I mean I don't like not being a housework whiz.  I love a clean, tidy house.  I hate to do housework.  I am a mess. I wish I had a maid  Not really, I would be embarrassed.  Well, I could get over that probably.   If you don't know flylady then go to her website, start with baby steps and she will help you get things under control.  The bad part is you can't just read it, you have to get up and do it.  That is my problem. In 2012 I am going to do something to clean house every day...I mean besides load the dishwasher (all I do on a typical day now).  I am rich enough to have a home, a vacuum, PineSol, my wonderful beloved steam mop.  Oh, dear. Now I really feel guilty. 
  11. Write in my journal every day.  I really believe in doing this.  Before d-day I did that too.  If nothing else it is good to look back and see what you did when, who said what, what was good, what was bad, what worked out, how prayers were answered, how help came when you needed it.
  12. Give my dogs a bath once a week.  I don't like to bathe dogs. I don't like to smell dirty dogs.  Well, I don't like to smell wet dogs either! I don't have grass so my dogs have dirt in their fur all the time.  My girls are really good about getting a bath.  I have this spray nozzle thing in the hall bath and it makes bathing them really easy.  I am just a bad dog mama.  I can do better.  It takes all of 5 minutes.  Oh, great, more guilt.
Okay, a dozen guilt provoking resolutions is enough for me.  I will report back every Sunday night, how is that?  So, what are your resolutions????????  and here is something to make you laugh, roll your eyes or somethin' ----- I am watching a New Year's Eve program and Justin Bieber is singing "Let It Be" ---  I LIKE that kid!  Yes, I AM 40 years older than his next oldest fan!!!!  LOL!  He is a cutie and I liked how he sang that Beatles song. 
   I have cupcakes on my blog because this is the month my friend Debbie celebrates a birthday and me too.  I will be 58 on the 30th.  How on earth did that happen?  58???? Really?????

Monday, December 19, 2011

Really, I'm hiding my laptop

Okay, it is down to crunch time and all I want to do is sleep. sleep sleep sleep eat read sleep sleep sleep. Nights I can't sleep but I can read and daytime I need to be doing things but all I want to do is sleep, or play mahjongg because I can't play that game and think of anything else and i don't want to think so I I have to take some drastic measures and try to get my body on a normal sleep schedule and get some much needed things done around this house.  I will just have to put the laptop away...the number of hours I have played mahjongg this week is just crazy, insane, embarrassing (I tell myself it is my brain exercise....well, my brain is welllll exercised this week). I also tell myself I will just check my email....5 minutes on the computer.  No, doesn't work that way....then I tell myself I will play just one game of mahjongg, check the local paper online, check CNN sometimes, check the tv schedule, read some of my favorite blogs...and it turns in to hours so I have to get myself together.  Plus Casey and I seem to have picked up another stomach flu type bug. Yuck.  Or our nerves are just shot and we have queasy tummies.  Has rained all day and is suppose to turn into snow....oh you should see my carpet and floors.  Casey came over with her dog so the 3 of them have tracked in mud like crazy on my white kitchen floor and oyster beige carpet.  I got messed up and missed my antidepressant medication Saturday and Sunday and that is really NOT good.  i was already in the depression hell hole pit just because of the time of year, my dog dying, my meds too low a dose (but I see the psych in 3 weeks and she will raise it) and life in general and screwed up brain chemicals in particular so missing meds is not good at all.   Casey is reading the weather report off the internet to me.  Still expecting 10 inches of snow by morning and roads are starting to be closed in New Mexico not all that far from us so I guess the snow is moving this way.  Tx panhandle is suppose to have a lot of wind with the snow with means whiteout driving conditions, horrible roads, and big snowdrifts.  Not weather to be out driving in.  Stay inside if you are in my neck of the woods and be safe wherever you are.   I have lots I need to do this week so, after this afternoon there really will be no posts for a week or so but MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE.

What a treasure friends are, and the most valuable thing I own

i just got the loveliest email from a friend...all about her Christmas activities and things going on around her house and funny things about her new puppy.  What a treasure that was...just normal stuff going on but how nice to be included.  It reminded me of the letters people used to write 40 years ago....I had several friends I exchanged letters with and it was so fun to open the mailbox and find a letter from a friend or from family.  My youngest grandson told me at school their teacher had them write letters to their parents as a gift.  What a lovely idea.  One year, and I have probably written about this before, but one year when my kids were all in early adulthood my younger son built a box just a little larger than a legal sized envelope and had his brother and sisters write letters to me to add to his in the box for a present.  It is the most valuable thing I own.

I Lied......

       Yep, I lied......I told you in November that I would not be going back "to town" or Walmart until 2012, totally skipping going even close to any place that would have holiday shoppers.  This weekend, yes, the last Saturday before the Saturday that will be Christmas eve, I went "to town."  My youngest daughter, Casey, had put off shopping.  Back in November when I did my Christmas shopping she saw a glow worm at Target and said oh she loved her glow worm when she was little and wouldn't Taylor like it (her niece, my granddaughter).  That was the day I bought the doll Taylor fell in love with right there in the store so I told my daughter get it now because if she waits she will never find one again and besides, who wants to go shopping in she got it.  That day my grandsons also showed her what they wanted for Christmas from her but she didn't get it because they were with us, and unlike Taylor, they are old enough to realize she put it in the basket.  I might add, at that time back in November the shelf was stocked with plenty of the items they wanted for Christmas.....a Hero Factory thing.  I don't know what they are other than a Lego thing so I won't even try to explain but the boxes have different names on them and you collect them all of course and they asked for specific ones.  Okay, here we are 6 weeks later....Saturday the 17th of December and I ask her if she ever bought presents for the boys.  Uh, no, but she will next week.  Seriously, the week of Christmas????  I pointed out that we are suppose to have 10 inches of snow Tuesday morning, does she really want to put it off? so here we go.  We go to our big Toys R Us.....parking lot was full, there were 3 empty baskets in the store, and wall to wall people.  Guess what?  They had about 3 Hero Factory boxes on the Mason wanted but they didn't have the specific one Travis asked her for.  Get the one and we go to Target.  Guess what?  parking lot was full.  There were 3 empty baskets in the Target store (3 seems to be the magic number for baskets in this story) and wall to wall people.   Their supply of Hero Factory was similarly depleted and they didn't have the one Travis wanted but she got one of the other 2 or 3 they had and we hope he doesn't already have this guy.  Then, also this weekend, I realized I was almost out of dog food and that blizzard is coming so I told my other daughter I was going to PetSmart.  She told me Mother, you have no business going in PetSmart.....people will have their dogs in there (meaning you will see a schnauzer and you will turn into a bawling mess because Max just died and you won't be able to drive home)...told me I needed to go to Walmart instead.  Did I take her advice? Yes, I went to Walmart, the Saturday before Christmas week.  Well, oh my gosh, I should have gone to PetSmart.  It couldn't have been as packed and I was about to bawl when I saw Max's favorite kind of doggy treats on the shelf and thought how he always loved getting new toys for Christmas when the kids opened their presents.  And have I mentioned that Casey and I both suffer with anxiety and hate to be around people, crowds, mobs and truthfully, if we had our druthers would just stay home in our pjs and shop online like sane people, but since we are insane.....
   Yep, I lied.....I said I would NOT be getting on this computer until my entire house had been cleaned top to bottom, end to end.  Well, here I am.  I forgot......
     Yep, I lied......I said I was going to clean house like a mad woman.  Well, not yet...  Saturday I slept until 11:30 a.m. because I stayed up most of the night reading, crying over Max, thinking, reading, laying there trying to go to sleep then Casey and I went to town and stayed until time for supper then she came home with me and we watched one of our favorite Christmas movies. Saturday night was a repeat of Friday night....I stayed up playing Mahjongg on the aarp website, reading, thinking, laying there trying to go to sleep.... and slept til 11 a.m. Sunday morning.  Got up when my youngest son called to see if I would have lunch with him, did that, then he and I went to my oldest son's house for a bit, went to my oldest daughter's house and hung out with my grandsons for the afternoon.  Finally, the time had come when I had to tell them about Max......we can't keep them from coming to my house much longer.  They are 10 and 11......we have had Max all their lives and they loved him dearly.  By then my youngest daughter was there too so both my girls, me and my grandsons cried and cried.  By the time I got home from that it was time for supper and collapse in my chair from the exhaustion of telling the boys and us having a cry.  I watched The Santa Clause 3, read the New Mexico magazine that came yesterday and didn't do anything else.  Oh well, the weatherman says it will start raining in the morning, rain all day until night when it will freeze over into black ice on the streets, then it will start to snow and by Tuesday morning we will have 8 to 10 inches of snow...16 inches for the area in the panhandle north of us.  I will have plenty of time Monday and Tuesday to clean house as I won't be getting out.  I already told my son that  won't be babysitting Tuesday if we have 10 inches of snow because I won't be able to get out of my driveway.   I am actually looking forward to the snow.  We need the moisture and it will be so very pretty.   It will seem like Christmas.  Wait, I lied....what am I thinking, I am not looking forward to 10 inches of two little girl dogs won't want to go outside and when they do they will track mud in on the carpet for a week or two.  I will have to get through it to take the trash and get the mail (my mailbox is across the street), I will eventually have to get out and drive in it, all that frozen rain on the trees and electric lines means power might go out and my house is all electric meaning my pipes will freeze, and I will freeze.... okay, I am going to stop borrowing trouble now and go play mahjongg.........

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I'm Fine.....

Just wanted to let you all know that I am fine, pretty much.  I have not slept much all week long, just a few hours a night.  I am so glad this is Friday and I can sleep in late tomorrow.  Usually I just get to sleep between 4 and 5 a.m. and then the alarm goes off at 6:20 so I can be babysitting my granddaughter by a little after 7.  I can stay awake while I am watching her because we are constantly playing and if she takes a morning nap...usually does for 45 min or an hour then I sleep with her, then I come home at noon and take a nap.  Today on the way home I was too sleepy to drive safely and realized I have got to get some sleep. I have had insomnia for a very long time but losing Max was a very hard thing and has not helped me sleep....I just lay awake thinking about him, bills, my kids and grandkids, the nice things all you guys have written me and the encouragement and words of comfort, what all i need to be doing around here, wondering if I will ever get another job, etc...just think of anything and everything but sleep but I am hanging in there and every day is better as far as me bawling....I didn't cry once today so, there.  All my adult life I have had trouble sleeping at night but in the daytime all I have to do is shut my eyes and I am out.  My internal clock is just out of sync I think.  I am not scared at night...just wide awake.  Tomorrow I simply must clean house like a mad woman, like I told you I was going to do last Saturday but then I didn't and Max started having his seizures Saturday night and my life went to hell in a hand basket but......Christmas is coming and I have things I have got to do so I have got to make myself get up tomorrow and clean this house from ceiling to floor, end to end.  Sunday my daughters and grandsons are coming over and I hope to have that marathon day of playing games that I planned for last Sunday.  I will be making chili and cookies and I think some more of that honey popcorn I wrote about several posts back.  I am through with my Christmas shopping...I just get presents for my grandkids so I just have to wrap those and I will be done.  I would like to take my grandsons to see Christmas lights Sunday evening if we can.  It is suppose to start snowing Sunday night and Monday.  Weatherman says this storm could turn in to a big one and parts of our area could get 10 inches if conditions stay just right.  I don't mind a lot of snow like that except worry for everyone who has to get out and drive in it....which would be me every morning that I babysit.  If I were king of the world whenever it snowed I would shut everything down.  We don't get snow here that often and to me it is just crazy for people to be out driving in it.  Since we don't get snow that often my city doesn't have the snow equipment places up north probably have.  We have dump trucks loaded with sand to sand the streets and road graders but only enough that they can do the major streets.  When I worked for the library we would have storms making streets so unsafe that the city buses would not run but yet we had to be at work at the library.  I never quite understood that......too dangerous for buses to run but ok for employees to be out drivng in their cars to get to work.  Oh well, anyway, you may not hear from me for a few days while I am cleaning and doing things with my grandsons and then coping with lots of snow but I will be back eventually.  I am going to force myself to stay off the computer until I get my house totally clean.  When I am depressed or worried or stressed or my dog has died and I want to NOT think about things I get on the AARP website and play mahjongg....for hours on end...I can not play that game and think of anything else so I find myself just playing and playing, even when I no longer really want to....I tell myself just one more game and an hour later I am still playing.  Anyway, give me a few days to get some things done but don't worry that I am not posting.  I am fine....missing my Max baby, but I so appreciate all the emails I got and the comforting words.  They really do help, and I needed to hear from you so thank you.  Now, since it is almost 1 a.m. I am going to make some sleepytime tea and try to go to sleep.  Have a good weekend, y'all.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'm Proud of You, Trey

Trey & Max

My son just earned his Associates degree from Amarillo College.  I am so very proud of him.  Next he is applying to the University of Washington in Seattle to earn his Bachelor's degree and then earn a Master's in Library Science.  He has loved books and libraries since he was old enough to know what a book was, and I could not be more pleased.   

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Card From My Veterinarian

I received a card in the mail today.  I appreciate my vet and his staff for the good care they have always given my dogs and the compassion they have extended to me.  On the front of the card it says:

Just this side of Heaven lies the Rainbow Bridge. When a beloved pet dies, it goes to the Rainbow Bridge.  It makes friends with other animals and frolics over rolling hills and peaceful, lush meadows of green.  Our pets do not thirst or hunger.  The old and sick are made young once more; the maimed and the ill become healed and strong.  They are as healthy and playful as we remember them in days gone by.  Though happy and content, they still miss someone very special, someone they had to leave behind.  Together, the animals chase and play, but the day comes when a pet will suddenly stop and look into the distance...bright eyes intent, eager body quiviering.  suddenly recognizing you, your pet bounds quickly across the green fields and into your embrace.  You celebrate in joyous reunion. You will never again separate.  Happy tears and kisses are warm and plenty; your hands caress the face you missed. You look once more into the loving eyes of your pet and know you never really parted.  You realize that though out of sight, your love has been remembered.  And now, you cross the rainbow bridge together...
                                                                  M. A. Preston
On the inside it says:
Our loved companions never really leave us.  They live on in the happy memories of the times shared together.  Please accept our sincerest sympathy for your loss.   Dr. Wise and staff

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day in my world

I have bawled since Max started doing the seizure thingys saturday night at 10:30.  Dr Wise is a real nice vet, prob my age or older and has a practice out here in the middle of us poor people.  He was very compassionate.  I think Max knew he was going to die that day because Monday morning he woke me up about 1 a.m. and he wanted to eat...when he wanted something he pawed me in a certain way and I would say do you want out, do you want to eat, do you want a cookie, do you want under the blanket....until I guessed right and he would let me know.  He was really a smart dog.  Anyway he ate in the middle of the night for the first time in 24 hours or so, and then he wanted in my lap and gave me lots of kisses and hugged me and we talked.  He and I stayed up most of the rest of the night until about 5 a.m. and we both went to sleep.  When I finally got up and put him and the girls outside he seemed to be doing real good, walked all over the yard and checked everything out and smelled everything...stayed outside more than he has in a long time.  When I put the leash on him to go to the vet's he was excited to have a leash on because he knew that meant going for a ride or a walk and beat us out the door.   At the vet's he walked just fine, not wobbly like he was Sunday morning .... had plenty of energy to hop off the scale and take off into a doorway next to the scale.  He had his ears perked up like when he felt good while the vet was examining him and taking blood.  Acted much better than he did on Sunday except for his body cavity was so bloated looking.  When the vet discovered his stomach was full of blood he told me Max was going to die before night unless we could stop the internal bleeding.  He told me we had two options, he would do exploratory surgery and if there was something he could do he would but if not he would just sew him up and call me, or I could have him put him down right then but that it was critical that we do something for him right then or he would just bleed out.  Because of his lab work they did real quick he was hopeful and said if he could remove the tumor that was bleeding out Max would have quite a few years left even though he was 11, so casey and I were really hopeful too and opted for the surgery.  When they took Max off to prep him for the surgery Max looked me right in the eye and I told him it was going to be all right and he was a good boy.  I asked the vet if I could take Max to a park one more time and to let Trey see him just in case but the vet said no we really didn't have time, he would bleed to death first.  Said he would call us in about an hour when he saw what was in there but it was just 30 minutes when he called and said Max had cancer just everywhere and there wasn't anything he could do for we told him to go ahead and put him down, he said if he didn't max would die shortly anyway and I didn't want him to just lay there and bleed to death.  We had just picked up Trey when the vet called so we came home and Trey and I dug a grave, we went to the vet's and Casey and Trey went inside and got Max.  He was in a black trash bag inside a box but when Trey set him in my lap I opened it up.  Max didn't look dead.  I could see his big brown eyes.  He was limp but it was my Maxie.  I told Trey and Casey I didn't think he was really dead but they kept telling me yes he was.  Trey said he didn't have a pulse and Dr Wise would have made sure.  I just didn't want him to be dead.  When we got home I sat on the swing outside and took him out of the box and held him so my girl dogs and Casey's dog could smell him.  I had heard that if you let them smell a dead dog the other dogs would understand that he was gone but I don't think my dogs got it.  The girls obviously were looking for him when we went to bed last night and when I came home from babysitting today.  After the dogs smelled him and I cuddled him awhile and Trey hugged him we wrapped him in a blanket and Trey, Casey and I buried him.  It was just awful.  It has been drizzling and misting and cold ever since and that is pretty much how I a cold, dreary, sad, drippy day. Max hated being cold.  I wish I had cremated him instead but it all happened so fast I didn't call about it before we buried him.  I don't know what I would have done without my daughter and son.  After we finished Casey and I took Trey home and I texted my daughter-in-law to see if I could come hug my granddaughter since we were so close.  It was the only thing I could think of that might make me feel any better. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Max Has Passed Away

2000 - 2011

Max was truly the absolutely best dog in the world.  He started off life with a couple who thought they would breed him and make lots of money.  Trouble was they didn't really want a dog.  They put an ad in the paper after having him and a female dog for just a few weeks.  One of my daughters saw the ad and even though we had a schnauzer she thought we needed to go see this one.  After much begging from my children I told them okayyy, we will go look...(yeah, right)..  The couple who had him "just got tired of messing with them."  It was a cold November day and they took us outside where the dogs lived.  Hiding underneath some lawn furniture was this tiny little ball of light brown fur, just a baby.  He had so many dead leaves matted in his filthy fur he looked like he had been tarred and feathered.  They had named him Boonie because they "had to drive way out in the boondocks" to get him from a breeder.  The female dog they also didn't want was named "that squattin' dog."  These were not dog people.  My son, Trey, told me Mom, we can't leave that little dog here to go through life being called Boonie so we brought him home and named him Max.  I took him to the groomer and when she brought him out to me I said no, that isn't MY dog.  She said sure it is, we just cleaned him up!  Here was a beautiful, snow white, absolutely gorgeous dog.  Those people have no idea what they threw away.  He was the smartest, sweetest, gentlest, loving dog ever....and gorgeous.  He is the only dog I know that actually gave hugs.  He would put both his feet around our necks and press his cheek to ours.  He loved his family and had the greatest personality.  He thought his role in life was to let people pet him.  He never met a stranger and loved to go for walks.  He loved people food, the milk left after I ate my cereal, and going to a park.  He did not know he was a dog.  He wasn't just a pet, he was my very best friend, confidante, companion, hugged me through many heartaches and let me cry into his fur.  He brought me a lot of joy, laughs, love.  He gave me kisses and loved me unconditionally and you can't ask for anything better than that.  Rest in peace, Max baby.  I will never stop missing you.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Help,,,the movie

We just finished watching The Help.  It has been 2 years since I read the book and I don't remember it exactly but I can tell you the book is always much better than the movie....and this was a really good movie.  I am glad they skirted around violence and didn't actually show it.  The movie takes place in the south in the 60's and deals with the mentality of the area in that time.  Southern men evidently took the Lord's name in vain often.  That was the only thing I didn't like about the movie.  I guess that is the way it was but I wish they had used other words.  I loved the actors that portrayed Minnie,  Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis who plays Aibileen.  This movie made me want to go to my son's home and hug my toddler granddaughter tight.  It made me want to call up my black friends and apologize for what their ancestors had to live through.  It made me want to applaud when Minnie takes a pie to a former employer and when she leaves her abusive husband.  It made me want to embrace women who feel left out and made to feel inferior and befriend them. It made me want to encourage everyone to follow their dreams.  it made me want to read the book again.  And, LOL, it made me really crave my momma's chocolate pie! 

Poor Max; and 7 Layer Dip or burrito mixture, and my weird sense of humor

Well, scratch the grandsons are coming for 9 hours plans and a marathon of game playing at my house.  My daughter got her shift changed so she could be home with them...which is good because I don't want them to see Max today.  He had another go round of seizures last night.  One around 10:30, midnight and around 3 a.m.  We will be at the vet's when he opens on Monday.  It is scarey and traumatic for Max and for me.  He is very wobbly the few steps he will try to take so I carried him outside to do his calls of nature and that all seems to be working fine, and have him on a soft pillow by the heater vent.  I stayed up until about 4 a.m. holding him in my lap until he stopped breathing hard and seemed to want down so I am worn out today.  Casey is on her way over and we are going to watch The Help and eat 7 layer dip.  Surely you make 7 Layer Dip???  If not here is what you do:
1.  take a large can of refried beans and warm in a saucepan
pour into a dish...I suggest a 9 x 11 cake pan
top with:
2.   lots of shredded cheddar cheese
3.  a can of diced black olives
4.  a can of chopped green chilis
5. Pace Picante sauce, homemade, or my favorite, a local brand Tascosa Picante Sauce
6.  guacamole
7.  sour cream
          layer those in any order you want but I like my cheese on top of the hot beans so it melts
serve with Tostitos Brand Scoops or any tortilla chip of your liking along with Dr Pepper to drink and that is just a pretty darn good meal.
     Actually I never layer this in a dish because one son doesn't like black olives or guacamole and my grandsons don't like sour cream so I just put all the ingredients on the counter, set out bowls and let everyone make their own dip like they want it.  I prefer guacamole made with fresh avacodos and one of those packet seasoning mixes that you can get at the grocery store but if avacodos are too expensive (I don't live where they are grown so they are trucked in and are often high or don't look all that good) I buy ready made is in our produce section right by the lettuce at my store and the brand name is Wholly Guacamole all natural Classic.  While you are at the store buy some flour tortillas and use the leftover dip to make the world's best burritos.  If you have leftover taco meat you can add that to the mixture for your burritos.  I like onion in everything so I add diced onion to mine.
    Thinking about Dr Pepper.....twenty or thirty years ago I read this entry in Readers Digest Life in These United States column and it just tickled my funny bone.  I have a weird sense of humor I gather.  Sometimes something tickles my funny bone that doesn't seem to crack other people up that much.  The RD entry was a frazzled business woman who was in an unfamiliar part of the country for a meeting.  She went to a fast food place and ordered a meal.  The order taker asked what would she like for her drink and, not knowing what was offered in that part of the country...Coke, Pepsi, Dr Pepper, Mr. Pibb etc so she asked for "any dark carbonated beverage".  When the employee...who obviously thought her request was humorous... handed her the drink he said "and here is a complimentary white paper cylinder sucking device."  (Yes, I remember when straws were made out of paper).  I know, I'm weird but that just cracked me up!  Even now, every time the lady at the Toot n Totum driveup window hands me my 44 oz Dr Pepper and what I see as my "red plastic cylinder sucking device" I smile!   :)  A couple of years ago the library got a new book...Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong by Jen Yates.  My daughter was driving us home and I was reading it in the car.  It not only tickled my funny shook it silly.  I laughed so hard I just roared, hiccuped, tears poured down my face.  I laughed so hard I was gasping for air in the middle of an asthma attack but I kept reading it out loud to her and laughing til my daughter told me "MOM! Put that book down right now before you die! We will have to put in your obituary that you laughed yourself into a deadly asthma attack!" I didn't put it down.  I just laughed, cried, gasped for air and enjoyed it.  I don't know why it struck me so funny but it did.  I bought a copy for my sister.  She thought some of the cakes were funny but she didn't laugh until she cried and gasped for air.  Months later I checked it out again and yep, it still struck me insanely funny.  I am just weird that way.  Did you laugh, cry, gasp for air, ROFLOL???

Saturday, December 10, 2011


My sister just asked for this recipe...... it couldn't be easier and is soooooo good.  We eat it with apple slices and think it tastes like carameled apples.
1 (9 oz.) jar marshmallow creme
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
Combine marshmallow creme and cream cheese in bowl; blend well. Chill in refrigerator. Serve with pineapple chunks, mandarin orange sections, strawberries, grapes, bananas (i have never successfully dipped a banana but it would be good on a cookie) and apple wedges.  If you so inclined you could make a sugar cookies.....don't overbake so they will be soft, frost with this dip and place little slices of fruit on top for a little fruit pizza..... an eat-as-you-make-it cookie as if you let the fruit sit for long it wouldn't be very pretty and you don't want to leave the cream cheese mixture out of the fridge for hours.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cookies! Games! Grandkids! Good Times!

Oh my goodness!  These are GOOD cookies!  And all you have to do is heat up the oven, open the package, break apart the pieces and bake.  I never met a cookie I didn't like, I don't think, and I am not even all that big on mint and chocolate combo but these are really good cookies.  At my Wal-Mart they are $2.50 a pkg for 24 cookies. 
Taylor had her first choc chip cookie this week.  Yes, I was the one to give it to her!  She is no longer a baby but a toddler and it is so fun to see her turning into a little girl.  She got a tea set for her birthday.  The little tea pot makes gurgling sounds when you "pour."  She pretends to pour, drink, and then turn her cup upside down and "spill" it and then grabs a wipey or blanket or whatever she can reach and pretends to wipe it up!  She likes to clean up "spills."  I love our botanical gardens.  This week they are open in the evening so that people can come out and see the gardens covered in Christmas lights.  I would love to go but it is very cold here.  Today we had what the weatherman calls frozen fog all day was scarey driving at 7 a.m. and then coming home since we don't have fog like this often and certainly not all day long.  The "frozen fog" lightly fell in what the weather guy described as powdered sugar snow. It is 28 now and will get down to 18 degrees later.  Neither of my daughters thought going to the gardens to stroll around in the 20 degree weather with frozen fog falling sounded like something they wanted to do. It is at times like these that I wish I had a husband, if he could be an exceptionally good man and who enjoyed going places.  I purchased my annual gift to myself, a Mary Engelbreit wall calendar.  I love her illustrations....they are just happy!  I love new calendars too...all those blank squares to fill in with family members birthdays and such. My project for the weekend is to transfer every photo I have taken of Taylor this past year to disks to give to my daughter-in-law, her mom and her cousin that lives with them.  I have never saved photos on a disk so I will have to see if I can figure it out.  I made a photo book at from her very first photo to 1st birthday pictures and got it ordered.  Since I am almost 58 the odds of me being here when Taylor is in her 20's is slim so I plan to make a book for her each year so she will know all the things she and I did together when she was little.  Hate your job?  On the news just now they said a water main has broken in our town and city crews are out working on it.  As I said, it is 28 degrees, pitch black outside (it is a little after 6 p.m.---no telling how late they will be working on it), the frozen fog is thick, the wind is blowing...not fiercely but any wind in this temp would be miserable AND to be soaking wet working on a broken water main???? I can't imagine much that would be more miserable tonight and they don't make much money, either!  My other weekend plans?  Saturday clean house like a crazy woman, do some decorating, see if my daughter will cut my hair, watch The Help if a dvd is available to rent close by, put stew in the crockpot for Saturday dinner, and make a pot of chili to have for Sunday when my grandsons will be spending 9 hours with me.  While they are here I plan to play games all afternoon, make sugar cookies, let them wrap the presents I got for them to give their mom,  and watch a Christmas movie if there is one to be had at the neighborhood redbox dvd rental. 
LOL! This pic is upside down and I don't know how to turn it! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

She won---again!

My daughter went to her work Christmas party tonight and in a drawing she won a tv!!!  She was very excited, and I was excited for her as well.  She is finally getting her life together after some very rough times and I am proud of her for how well she is doing.  She recently moved into a nice home --- which she has not had in a long time --- and she has room on her kitchen counter for this little tv and it was just a nice thing for her to win.  When she called to tell me about it she sounded so was good to hear her sound happy.  The funny thing is that this is the 2nd tv she has won in her life.  Several years ago her apartment complex had a drawing for those tenants that paid their December rent on time and the prize was a tv.  She won that one!    I went to Wal-Mart today and did the last of my Christmas shopping for my grandchildren today.  On the way I saw Clifford! You know Clifford, the Big Red Dog from children's books?  A car dealer had an old a model T but I am not sure if that is what it was but an antique car parked in front of their office with this huge, gigantic Clifford sitting in it.  Tomorrow I am going to go back and take Taylor to see if we can take her picture with Clifford.  Whem my grandsons were little I bought Clifford stuffed dogs for them on Ebay----first thing, and probably only thing, I have purchased off Ebay.  They were so cool.  I got these two big Cliffords...he is laying down and about 3 feet long.  If you squeezed a paw he barked.  When Mason and Travis were about 2 and 3 they did the funniest thing with those Cliffords.  One boy would get in a bedroom and the other boy would get in a bedroom on the opposite side of the apartment, both "riding" a Clifford and they would run towards each other.  They would meet right in front of the entry to the kitchen in their apartment, crash into each other, dramatically fall off their Clifford's and roll, get up, hug and say exactly the same thing every time.....(Mason) "I'm sahwwy Twavis, I didn't see you thewe" (or however you spell 'there' when you can't pronounce r's) then Travis would say...every time "it's okay, I wuv you anyway."  They would hug tightly, turn, get on their Clifford's and ride off in the opposite direction.  Then they would do it again.  Say the same exact thing, crash in the same exact place in the same exact way.  It was a hoot.  For months they would do that over and over and over and over every day.  They are now almost 10 and 11 and they still have those Cliffords on their beds.  For Taylor's birthday two weeks ago they gave her much a smaller Clifford and his friend, T-bone.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mrs Jeffries

Mrs Jeffries is a character in a cozy mystery series by Emily Brightwell.  Out of 5 stars I would give the 4 titles I have read each a 5.  I love them!  They are so sweet, fun, interesting mysteries and I would love to read every one of the 29 titles she has written.  Bummer! I just checked my library website and they only own 10 of the titles.  I am SO disappointed.  Inter-library loan might be able to get some of the titles for me but they won't order paperbacks since the postage costs as much as a paperback and the service is no longer free here so I won't be trying that.  Dang it! And it is such a good series.  If I would just win the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes I would buy the library all 29, in large print.  (amongst other things I would do if I won!!!!!! ... I have been entering that contest for 40 years, I think it is my turn, don't you think???) I will just have to find another series.... but if you like cozy mysteries give her a try. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

A balmy 15 degrees here...

a balmy 15 degrees here with snow and wind making the wind chill factor -1 degrees.  I do not like any temp with a "minus" in front of it.  It has snowed all day but with the wind it has blow horizontally so at my house at least we don't have but maybe 2 inches or so on the ground.  If it had all fallen straight down we would have foot of snow easily.   it does seem Christmas-y though.  That plus I just watched A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Just me and the dogs, no kids around but I love A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Not Much Excitement Around Here

We did not get any of the snow were were suppose to get.  Instead of snowing for 4 days as expected we just got some sleet and cold, windy days.  The high today was about 35 but tomorrow the high is only suppose to be 25 with snow tomorrow night.  If it is going to be cold I wanted lots of snow this weekend while I did not have to get out in it.  Today I:
  • read a Mrs. Jeffries book --- I really like that series
  • read the Sunday paper and got depressed over all the Christmas things I can not buy
  • had sloppy joes and french fries with my daughter
  • applied for a job online
  • watched White Christmas for the umpteenth gazillion time
  • told myself I could play just one game of Mah Jongg at the AARP site.....aarrgghhhh, I played probably 20
  • and my accomplishment of the day----bathing my three dogs (not my favorite job)
11 p.m. and it is snowing! Very pretty!!! But Ugh! Weather guy just said low will be 9 degrees Wed morning with negative degree wind chills.  When it was over 100 degrees for -- what was it --- 51 days? last summer -- and I said I would never complain about winter weather again?  I did not mean it, the heat had fried my brain.  I really don't want it to be 9 degrees and the wind blowing. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Honey Popcorn

Tonight I may have gained back the 26 lbs I have lost.  On another blog I read the lady has repeatedly mentioned making homemade carmel corn this fall and tonight I caved.  I didn't make her recipe but one I use to make for my children all the time.  It is so easy and if you like honey this is the recipe for you.  When I received this recipe probably 25 years ago it was a recipe for popcorn balls but I have never been able to make balls out of it.  (maybe because I don't measure the popcorn and have the exact amount).  We just eat it with sticky fingers.  Anyway, pop your popcorn.  Remove all the kernals that did not pop so you don't break a tooth. The recipe calls for 10 cups but I have never measured it out.  In a small saucepan put 3/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup of honey and 2 Tablespoons of butter or oleo.  Heat and stir until it starts to bubble and everything is melted and well mixed.  Pour over the popcorn. Mold into balls if you can, and if you can't then just dig in!  I should have waited and made this when some of my kids or grandkids were here because I ate half of what I made. Oh well, I hadn't made it in years and it was really good.

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Max

This is an old picture of Max and me.  He is 11 years old and the best dog ever born.  He is the ruler of the roost around our home and is smarter than the average bear.   It is a very cold day here and Max just did something that is so funny.  He pulls this on me every now and then.  When he wants to go outside he scratches on the door.  Alot of dogs do that and that isn't what is funny.  When Max wants MY chair he scratches on the door...knowing I am going to get up....and then he runs and gets in the warm spot I left in the recliner.  If one of his sister dogs is on the couch in a spot he wants he will do the same thing....Max will go stand at the door like he is planning on going outside, scratch on the door, I will get up and open it and say "Max wants outside, who else wants to go?" and  he knows that Zoe will always, always go....then instead of him going out the door he will stand there, Zoe will push past him and he will run jump in the spot on the couch she vacated!  Once he gets settled he looks at me like "Good girl! I finally have you guys trained!"

Spoiled rotten Gracie

Max and Zoe

I'm glad I saw this---it makes me feel better

‘It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop’ Confucious


Well, I have to get up at 6 a.m. and it is almost 1 a.m. so what am I doing awake?  I don't know.  Happens all the time.  After laying in the dark for 3 hours I finally got up, took something for the bursitis-like pain in my hip (I'm old, the bitter cold does this to joints sometimes) with some cranberry juice, and now I am eating toast with honey while waiting for some sleepytime herbal tea with honey to steep.  So, ... 
      Someone asked me what tv shows I like....I like Harry's Law (love Kathy Bates), The Mentalist, 48 Hours Mystery and Body of Proof are the ones I never miss.  I usually catch 20/20, 60 Minutes, Extreme Makeover: Home edition.  Sometimes I watch the CSI's and NCIS.   I don't have cable so I just get the big 3 networks.  I watched Dancing With the Stars this season.  About the only situation comedies I like are Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory.  I guess I like Tim Allen's new comedy.  I wanted so badly to like Mike and Molly but it annoys me that they sleep together and they aren't married.  (yes, I am an old fogie).  I like to ready cozy mysteries and biographies.  I like to listen to country music, and sometimes classical or jazz.  I like food of just about any kind other than seafood.  I like sphagetti,  lasagna, posole, fried rice, and just about any kind of Tex-Mex.  I like casseroles, stew, roast, BBQ, fried round steak just like the picture on Pioneer Woman's blog, chicken fried steak, fried chicken breast, and especially pinto beans, chow chow and cornbread.  A sirloin really well done and a baked potato are a rare and welcome treat for me.  I am pretty certain I would not like anything considered gourmet food...I am more a plain, comfort food, southern cooking type of gal. 
    Someone else asked if I have decorated for Christmas. No and I doubt I do this year.  I just am not myself yet and have no desire to decorate.  I just can't picture it this year but maybe I will, maybe it will make me feel better to really clean house then decorate and things be pretty instead of cluttered. Now, just to find the energy for all that.    Previously I liked to decorate and put things up on Thanksgiving night...the tree, lights in the windows and outside, my snowman collection all over the place, Christmasy little votive candle holders here and there, cinnamon scented pinecones in a basket, Christmas placemats and centerpiece on the table, something Christmasy in every room.  In fact, if I lived in a different world (one with money) and had what I think of as a big old grandma house ( picture a two story house with a big front porch complete with porch swings and rockers) I would have a Christmas tree in every room.  In the kitchen I would want one with Christmas cookie decorations....ornaments that look like decorated sugar cookies and gingerbread men, cranberry looking garland and clear twinkly lights.  In the dining room I would want a big real wonderful smelling tree with red chili pepper lights and ornaments that look like little cowboy boots, tin stars, rustic ornaments.  In the living room I would want a tree with frosty white balls and balls in different shades of blue with blue and white lights.  The grandma house would have a family room off the kitchen and in that room would be a big tree .... an artifical one that looks like it has snow on it with multi-colored lights and old fashioned ornaments.... glass balls in jeweltone colors, glass candy canes, glass icicles.  In my room I would have a tree decorated entirely with snowman ornaments and blue lights.  On a bathroom counter I would have a little tree decorated with little red and green balls and white crocheted snowflakes and clear lights.  Somewhere else I would have a small real tree but scruffy, sort of a Charlie Brown tree, but sturdy enough to hold red and green bubble lights, red and green loopy construction paper garland and paper ornaments my grandchildren & I would make.   Somewhere I would have to have a little tree with little red bows, ornaments tht look like little  doggie bone shaped cookies, and little dog ornaments...schnauzers of course in white like my Max, grey like my Fred, Maggie and Lucy (all deceased) and black like my Gracie. 
     I think the sleepy time tea has helped so I am turning out the light and trying to go to sleep again...especially since it is now 20 til 2 and I have to get up in 4.5 hours.  oh gee............ and it will be about 18 degrees and my windshield will be coated with ice a half inch thick probably. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas books

      My first two suggestions are for adults.....The Modern Magi & A Stranger for Christmas...both slim little volumes by Carol Lynn Pearson but two of the best Christmas stories I have ever read.  When I worked at the library I kept them displayed on my desk to hand out. Otherwise, they were so small and slender they would have been overlooked---and in the library world overlooked books that never get checked out get weeded out (tossed).  My goal, and it always happened, was to keep those two books in patrons hands from Thanksgiving through December.  Other good ones for adults are The Christmas Jars by Jason Wright, Skipping Christmas by James Grisham, The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans, The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg,
        These are picture books for children
The Night Before Christmas (my favorite is Mary Engelbreit's)
Harvey Slumfenburger's Christmas Present
Santa's New Suit
The Gingerbread Doll
Too Many Tamales
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher
   and a children's chapter book to read aloud.....The Worst Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

You Know, It Just Isn't Necessary

I don't like ugly language.  I just don't.  Last night I finished reading Wicked Autumn by G. M. Malliet.  It was a good book.  I really enjoyed it, did not figure out who committed the murder (I like it when I can't), I can't say that the characters ever developed enough that you could relate or empathize with them too much but still, I would recommend it several places the author felt the need to add the F word.  Why?  Really? Do ugly words ever "add" anything? Improve? Make it better? Uplift?  If I were reading a story that takes place in the middle of a fierce battle fight in a warn torn country, or a story full of abuse, drug lords, unsavory lifestyles I could see the use of that kind of language...I guess...I don't read those kinds of things.  By definition a "cozy mystery" is one that is not explicit, gory, or has that kind of language, and I heard about this title on a cozy mystery website so I didn't expect it.  That is the reason I love cozy mysteries, 99.9 % of the time I know what kind of material I will be reading---the kind I like and enjoy.  I hope this is not a new trend in literature that cozy mysteries are going the way of the world and including language that just doesn't add anything positive. 

For December let's all just be nice