Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Decided to Return to Blogging

I decided blogging was good for me.  Not that I ever do anything, go anywhere, have anything to write about worth reading but it was good for me to force myself to do it so here I am again.   I have had a heck of a past 6 months of just not doing good with my various mental illness issues and withdrew into my shell to try to recover but that didn't work so well, so on to plan B..... Try to join the living again.  I tried to fix my background here and do some other things that I just couldn't get to work for some reason so I gave up and created a new blog ..... this blog is moving to this address....        come on over if you like.  If you read my blog please leave me a comment ... just nice to know someone is out there.  Have a wonderful day!

Friday, April 6, 2012


Kathleen, I got your e-card but no, I don't know your blog address or how to get in touch with you.  Miss you!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I guess you need my email address

RE: last post......Don't leave your email address here since everyone can see it ... send it to

Saturday, March 24, 2012

OK, Figured Out What I Am Going To Do

  1. I am going to cancel internet for a bit and get it back when my son moves to Washington, assuming he gets accepted at U of Wa...won't know until late May...or when I think I can afford it again, find the best deal, and if I even miss having the internet at home. Meanwhile, will see if I can find a cheaper provider, and if you know of one let me know.  When I put the trailer on this lot a couple of years ago I did not pay to have telephone wires brought to the house.  I don't remember exactly why...cutting costs probably.  I knew I planned to just have a cell phone.  Seems like I was going to have them run but the driveway concrete was already poured and they were suppose to be run underground right there....or I just dreamed that up.  Lordy, too much bad stuff has happened since then for me to remember but the important thing is I do not have phone service connections to my house so that means for the most part I have to have a sattelite internet service.  And if I am confused about that then tell me.  I currently have Clear.  It works, except occassionally it won't, but for the most part it works, but it is slow.  The service is not the best.  I have spent half my life (OK, that is an exageration but it sure seems like it) trying to get them to fix it but the people I talk to just say something like (when they check my pings) "HUH, that IS bad service....and s.l.o.w. and you are only a mile from a tower.  You should have great service.  Pings are sure slow.....yeah, you are right, this is not working well....." but that is as far as we have ever gotten.  and it is $35.61 so if you know of another provider for me to check out that might be cheaper please let me know.  I will check my email every few days.  I can use the library computers or take my laptop and access the library net from the parking lot even.  I can take my laptop to several places in town, like McDonalds, which would also get me out of the house, so not a bad deal.  I'm wondering if the cost of gas to drive into town to one of these places will add up to price of net though, unless I have my laptop and stop on the way home from babysitting (and yes, my son has net but I am not getting on it while I am suppose to be babysitting...Taylor and I have too many other things to do while I am there...she gets my undivided attention). 
  2. I am going to write what would have been a blog post for a few people who seem to care and have said they will miss it. Probably just once a week.  If I have your email address I will send it to you IF YOU TELL ME YOU WANT ME TO.  YOU MUST GIVE ME YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS (i have one for Tish,  Hope, & Tammy  so if that is not you then I don't have an email address for you).  If you don't want my blog post thoughts coming to your email IT WILL NOT HURT MY FEELINGS IN THE LEAST, I realize they are not prize worthy writings, are usually l.o.n.g. and are just me letting things flow out of my fingers mostly for therapy, and life is short. And by the way, Kathleen, got your invite to follow you on twitter but I don't twitter so I can't keep up with you that way and the email address I have no longer works.  I miss you so let me hear from you.  I want to hear all about Yellowstone for sure! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

This is probably the last post

This is probably the last post.  Thank you to my readers.  If you want to stay in touch leave a comment and I will check back when I can and I will make sure you have my email address or something.   I made some friends through this blog that I really treasure and that was pretty awesome.   I am just tired  exhausted. Mentally unstable.  Overwhelmed by  Sad. In the depression hell hole. Not well. And with the price of gas, groceries, etc going up I am financially screwed unless I can get healthy enough to get a job, and that (both lack of money, need for a job) brings on additional worry and stress.  Trying to live on the equivilant of minimum wage with a house payment, car payment and support two dogs (worth their weight in gold) is just stressful.  I can no longer afford the internet at my house so as soon as I can get one of my sons or daughters to handle the shutting it off for me (pretty simple task but too overwhelming for me to handle right now) it will be hard to post on the blog so this is probably goodbye.  I can check my email at McDonalds or a local bookstore so I will be checking it when I can though, probably once a week or less. The residual effects of the big panic attack from a few weeks ago are just hanging on.  I want to sleep constantly. I can't get anything done at home that needs doing.  I am having anxiety issues left and right.   It really seems like once I let the Pandora's Box lid open enough for one full blown major panic attack at the library the other day dozens of other anxiety issues want out of the box too and I have to squish them back in the box.  Actually, all of those things have been a big problem since last August when I went off the medication I could no longer afford.  I have actually been a total mess since then, just no one sees it unless you are actually with me, and my psychiatrist is just going to have to figure out something.  I am only good when I am with my grandchildren and I go into "use everything bit of strength I have to be the good, responsible Grandma I know I can be" mode, so thank God for them & the ability to pull up enough umptf to function when I am with them. Today I decided enough is enough.  My goal this week is to figure out what I need to do to get things in my life straightened out as much as I can.  I can't, don't want to, continue on with the anxiety problems like I have for the most of March.  I want to be able to do whatever I want ... volunteer, or have a part time job, go to church, whatever I want without suffering fake heart attacks and anxiety for weeks.  I see my psychiatrist next month and doubt I could get an appointment any sooner since it is at a free clinic but when I see her I have a written list of things I need to talk about with her.  I just have to have help to get better because this just isn't working for me.  I want to rejoin the world as a functioning person, or at least more functioning than I have been this month.  Anyway, if you want to stay in touch, leave a comment (if you want it then ask for my email address) and we will email if nothing else.   It will be several days until I can get someone to handle cancelling the internet probably so I will be checking to see if I have comments or emails.  I will also have one of my kids cancel my cell phone but my daughter is going to put me on her plan and I think it will have unlimited text.  She is doing that for me because I don't have a house phone.  Won't know about the unlimited text til we actually do it, or if my number will change. Thank you for all your kind words .... you can not imagine what a difference they made some days.  I read a lady's blog and today she had the most perfect thing.... a you tube video of Helen Reddy singing I Am Woman (you can hear a version at the link below).  That song became popular the summer I graduated from high school.  Throughout my entire life when I felt like I accomplished something I would joyfully sing that song to myself when I was alone ( I can not carry a tune in a bucket so I don't sing in public too often) or sing it mentally in my head if I were at work or something.  More often, during times when I needed encouragement and felt like I could only count on myself I would sing that to me and tell myself to believe those words.  Many a day, heck, most days, I sang that to myself on the way to work when I was suffering with depression to remind myself that I could handle one more day. 
 If I have to I can do anything. I am strong. I am invincible.     

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring Break

      Hi y'all!  I got rid of that yellow and gray background because it was just depressing to me and I can be depressed easily enough on my own. :) 
      After having the major panic attack over trying to volunteer at the library I have spent the past two weeks trying to recover.  It is sort of like give anxiety an inch and it takes a mile.  Headaches, anxiety, worry, stress, jitters, depression, feeling like I am having a heart attack all during the past 2 weeks. I am sorry I opened the Pandora's Box to free these anxiety/panic/heart attack feelings again.  I am really, really sorry.  I know some people think I made a mistake in not forcing myself to go ahead and go volunteer at least once but I know I made the best decision.  My body can not take this kind of stress anymore.  I have to get it under control and I have to do only things that bring me joy, peace, calm, whatever is the opposite of stress.  I'm trying.  I have to get the lid shut on this Pandora's Box of horrible feelings.  I have to recover.
      Feeling all those things above just exhausts me and then I sleep.  I have slept like a bear in hibernation.  When I have not been asleep I have been with my grandkids.  It is spring break and the weather has just been the 80's.  Could not have been more perfect.  My grandchildren are my saving grace.  They keep me laughing, bring me joy, happiness, unconditional love.  They are precious.  We played games.  My grandsons still let me read chapter books out loud to them.  We watched Mr. Popper's Penguins.  It was great.  I really enjoyed it (and I never expected to even like it). It is not the book of course, but a good family movie.  My youngest grandson had his birthday party at a bowling alley.  I didn't get to go ... there is no way on earth my nerves could have taken little boys and bowling alley noise!  I would have been bawling by the third frame.  I started trying to potty train my granddaughter.  She accomplished the task several times so it is a start.  My daughter-in-law and I talked about it might be too early, Taylor is 15 months old, but she seems to be indicating that she is ready so we thought we would give it a try but not push it if she can't control those muscles.  She obviously has the desire so we will see.  Her mom took her to a park this week that had baby swings.  She said Taylor belly laughed the entire time she was swinging.  If the weather is nice next week Casey and I will take her to that park.  Taylor spent this weekend with her other grandma in another town while her parents went to Dallas.  On my last day with her I cut her fingernails and toenails and polished them with pale pink polish.  She thought that was something! She would be playing with something and then come over and show me her nails.  Personally, I think the Lord should have put some kind of system in place that did not allow finger and toe nails to grow the first 3 years or so....or maybe ever!  I haven't met a toddler yet who was patient when someone was cutting their nails! 
      Today I made tuna salad for sandwiches.  I use to cook all the time. Big meals. Desserts. Snacks.  I just can't cook any more.  Making tuna salad was an accomplishment this week.  The "I am REALLY having a heart attack" has struck so many times over the past two weeks it has just been miserable.  My daughters and grandsons were coming for lunch today so I decided to make tuna salad.  Usually I boil an egg and chop up in there but today that was too much, too overwhelming so we did without egg.  I did chop up pickles.  It doesn't sound like much but when the tiniest things are overwhelming I take the steps I can take. And yes, I know how incredibly stupid that sounds. It is too overwhelming to put an egg in a pan of water and boil it, yet I can tackle the job of cutting nails on 20 wiggly, 15 month old toes and fingers?  I can't explain it any more than I can explain the tics my kids live with constantly, or any more than I can explain why my eyes don't see 20/20 or why the weather makes my daughter's fibromyalgia flare up.  It just is the way it is.  Some ... lots ...of very simple things are just overwhelming to me and feel exactly like someone telling me to push a 2 ton boulder up a mountain, in ten minutes or something horrible will happen.   I bought things to make strawberry shortcake since my grandsons really like that, but that too was too much for me to get done so my grandsons baked cookies from a "break apart the dough and place on a cookie sheet" package. 
      I read some good books over the past couple of weeks (you can see the titles up there on the right...books I have read in 2012).  I started a new series and I really liked the first book in the series.... Mama Does Time by Deborah Sharp.  I have just started the second out of 4 titles and I hope it is as good as the first.  This is how the author describes the series ... "They're traditional, with a Southern-fried edge: Think Agatha Christie, if she had a couple of cousins named Bubba."
      I LOVE Pioneer Woman.  If you didn't read her post Has That Ever Happened To You? under confessions then please read it if you like humor.... she is just so funny.  I love people who can laugh at themselves!
Birthday boy being goofy
10th birthday
Mason is 11
Taylor's kissy face

Saturday, March 10, 2012

If You Build It They Will Come

Using books to build community     <--- Please click on this link for a lovely story.  I LOVE this idea!  I would build one in my yard if my 2 dogs and the neighbor's 5 dogs wouldn't bark like crazy.   I never buy books since I use the public library constantly but if I had a "little free library" a bag of paperback books to stock it would be  cheap when they have the Friends of the Library book sale.  My sister used to live in a little bitty town that did not have a library.  I can just imagine a little place like that having "little libraries" here and there up and down the streets.  What I would especially love is if neigborhoods had them with children's books.  I used to go out to schools to do library programs and I would always ask "who has a library card" or "how often do your parents take you to the library" and it was truly heartbreaking to see how few children get to have the library experience.

Like I Said, I Amuse Myself

"Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we shall never cease to be amused."

Author: Unknown
Since the last Morton's Neuroma flare-up I haven't taken anything for pain, like Tylenol.  After my major panic attack, mini mental crash the other day I have had a headache though and have thought about taking something.  Anytime my brain thinks "Tylenol" I think of the old days at the library.  There was a time when the library administration secretary kept "single serving" packets of pain medication in the office supply closet.  After I typed that I thought "dosage" would be more appropriate but I like single serving better.  Anyway (and any time I type "anyway" in my brain I hear Ellen's voice as she says that at the end of her show's credits) ... have I lost you yet??? Anyway, library employees used to be able to go to the admin secretary and get some kind of pain medication (and anyone working with the public on a regular basis has need for pain meds).  She stocked three kinds, Excedrin, Tylenol, and a combo pain reliever called Pain-Ease.  If you had a major big headache or cramps of some sort go for the big guns and start with Pain-Ease we used to say.  Well, I worked with a young woman, probably 18 years my junior, at one point.  I was about 38 at the time, making her most likely 20.  Mothering is what I do so I often "mothered" her.  This one day she had a headache, cramps, Aunt Flo was visiting and she just felt crummy so I said you need some Tylenol ... you sit down and I will go over to the office and get some for you.  She said no, get Pain-Ease instead.  OK.  I trot off to the office.  Before I get there let me tell you a bit about me .... I am clueless in many ways, I am naive, I speak with a funny combination ---- I sometimes talk really fast but people tell me I have a southern drawl, as in I really pronounce my vowels.  I'm guessing when I say Pain-Ease it sounded something more like Payyyn-Eeese, except sorta fast too.  Well, I get to the admin office and the supply closet door is locked.  It was lunch time and the secretary always locked up when she left her office for lunch.  OK, fine, the receptionist or Adult Services Coordinator in the ajoining office also had a key and so I looked for them.  No other woman was around.  I prefer to deal with women.  Men used to terrify me.  Oh, I should also insert that at that time of my life male authority figures really intimidated me.  Ok, back to my story.  Couldn't find a woman to ask but the assistant library director (a man, who sat in on my evaluations, who was my boss's boss) was watching the office reception area from the open door of his office.  He asked if he could help me and I said no I will just come back when the secretary is here.  He said something like well I would be happy to help you, what did you need from the supply closet? Obviously he heard me try to open the door. (Picture me sort of stuttering and intimidated by this -just-under-the-big-boss-in-authority male)   "OK, well, I was looking for some Pain-Ease."  He looks at me with a really weird look on his face, followed by a moment of silence, and then he says "Uh, Carol, I don't think we have any in the supply closet."  (me) "Oh, I've always been able to get some." (him) silence .... slowy says "well, I don't know where they would be" (me --- thinking what is wrong with him, duh, they have always been right there on the shelf at eye level) so I say "you know, right next to the Tylenol."  He says "ohkayyy", and gets up, goes to the supply closet, sort of not looking at me and unlocks the door.  He steps in the big walk in closet, looks at the shelves and I point and say "see, Pain-Ease, right there."  He picks up a packet, sighs a big light-bulb-going-off sigh, gets beet red in the face and says "OOHHH, okay. Here you go."  I thanked him and got the heck outa Dodge!  As I walked back to my department I was going over that scene in my mind wondering why in the heck he was acting so weird when I just asked for some Pain-Ease and why would that make him get red???  And then it dawned on me ..... he must have been hearing me say I need some panties.  20 years later and any time I think of any kind of pain reliever, or think of panties, I relive that sensation of wishing the floor would open up and swallow me, as well as often laugh at myself til tears run down ... my face, silly.   :)


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In a Couple of Weeks I Am Sure This Will Be Funny

Today was suppose to be 80 degrees and as far as I know it was.  My grand-dog, Andy, lives in an apartment but he loves to come to grandma's house and play with my dogs, Zoe and Gracie.  Since it was going to be pretty outside today, and suppose to snow on Thursday I asked Casey if Andy would like to come spend the afternoon with us and burn off some energy wearing my dogs out playing.  I brought Andy home and ~ as pride goeth before a fall ~ I was pretty darn proud of myself for remembering to put him in the front yard instead of the back yard when we got out of the car.  My dogs have a doggy door that allows them to go in the back yard.  They only play in the front yard when Andy is visiting.  My next door neighbors have 3 dobermans, a pit bull and a schnauzer (and at any given time seem to have a litter of puppies).  All 5 of the grown dogs hate Andy.  The little schnauzer is just vocal and she is ok but the dobermans and especially the pit bull charge at my chain link fence and if only their teeth could bite through the fencing Andy would be an appetizer for them.    Andy thinks it is a great game, run like crazy the length of the fence ~ 110 feet ~ with these snarling, snapping, teeth baring, barking dogs running with him.  Andy barks his foghorn beagle bark egging on the 5 neighbor dogs, who have barks that do not sound even as playful as a rabid wolf.   His tail is wagging. Theirs is not.  Andy is a one year old beagle and can run like the wind.  The doberman's legs are about 4 times as long as Andy's so everyone is running at a pretty good clip.  Grandma is an overweight, out of shape, flabby woman who does not run.  This is why I was so proud of myself for remembering to put Andy in the front yard.  If he gets in the back yard the assault at the fence is on, Andy suddenly has selective hearing and can't hear me yelling at him to get in the house.  Ok, fine.  I put him in the front yard.  Mentally patted myself on the back and unlocked the front door.  What did Andy do? Went in the front door with me and ran like his tail was on fire to the doggy door and out to the fence to meet his "friends." Well, I am the only human here and the barking was loud enough to wake the dead in the closest cemetary--oh, 10 miles or so down the road--so it was up to me to go corral Andy and get him back in the front yard.  Did I mention the pitbull and dobermans like me even less than they do Andy? And the schnauzer, being a schnauzer like mine, adds her voice to the noise whenever I am in sight just on principle.  Here we go....of course my two dogs have joined in the chase and barking show....a total of 8 barking dogs and me running up and down the fence.  Me, running sort of bent over with my arms outstretched trying to catch that short, dadgum rotten Andy, puffing, panting and yelling for him to stop.  It was so noisy even my neighbor came out to see what was going on.  She never comes out.  She smokes.  Have I ever mentioned that smoke closes up my asthmatic lungs like nothing else and I would prefer the smell of  buzzard road kill vomit then the smell of a cigarette?  Ever notice how one filthy cigarette can pollute the air for a very long way? So, here is neighbor lady, no---she has never told me her name---out at the fence, puffing on her cigarette and watching me, NOT doing a darn thing to call her dogs away from the fence, mind you, just watching me in my pathetic bent over run trying to catch Andy.  Picture me panting out "hi" (puff puff pant pant) "just trying to catch my granddog" (pant pant)  "gonna get him in my front yard" (pant pant cough sputter).  She never says a word, even though she is not 6 feet from me, at least when I am down at that end of the fence.  Finally, my girls decide to run inside through the doggy door so Andy, bless his heart, considers following them.  He runs up my steps to the door, me hot on his heels lest he change his mind, when he whirls around to go back to the fence and I dive at him to stop him.  In the process I fall on the porch (pride goeth before a fall didn't I say) and I jam the toe of my shoe into the metal railing of the trailer house steps...or the end of the concrete sidewalk that is right there, I am not sure.  I just know my foot hit something solid with a good bit of force and whatever it hit stopped my foot on a dime.  Through my shoe it felt like my big toe either broke or jammed really bad.  The entire rest of the day I could barely stand to walk on that foot and laying here in bed with my laptop it is trobbing.  I am sure in a couple of weeks I will see something funny in this but right now not so much. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I Didn't Just Chicken Out or Give Up Before Starting ~ or What The Fight or Flight Response Does To Your Body

          A couple of posts back I talked about not only going inside a library but asking if I could volunteer .... and the branch librarian agreed I could come on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons to shelve.  He is a real nice guy.  I have friends there.  It should have been a good place for me to be. I love to shelve.  I love putting books in order on the book truck.  I love straightening shelves.  I am the only person I ever heard of that actually enjoys reading shelves (checking to make sure everything is in order.)  Well, I made a mistake in asking if I could volunteer.  I should have just left well enough alone with going inside a library for the first time in a year.  I was not "myself" from the time I entered the building, talked to my friends, while asking the branch head about volunteering or when checking out.  Everyone there was super nice.  Warm. Welcoming. Friendly.   I was so on edge it was crazy.  I felt testy and I am not a testy person.   I felt so testy I could not even stand myself.  A reaction called the Fight or Flight Response kicked in.  My body is acutely familiar with it, unfortunately. Purple text is what I experienced those 10 minutes or so I was in the library and then the past 24 hours. Blue text is from an article on the internet on fight or flight response in humans.  The problem is the part of the brain the initiates the automatic part of the fight or flight response, the amygdala, can't distinguish between a real threat and a perceived threat, therefore physical changes are the same.  In the library my heart started racing and pounding and beating like it would pop out of my chest at any moment.  My friend, Carmel, knows some sign language and when she said something about it was good to see me I did the sign for heartbeat and knowing me she would know what I meant.  I had only been in the library maybe 45 seconds and it had already started. The cardio-vascular system leaps into action, with the heart pump rate going from one up to five gallons per minutes and our arteries constricting to maximize pressure around the system whilst the veins open out to ease return of blood to the heart. This can be an increase of 1200%. Not a pleasant feeling but I know it is because of the anxiety issues I have.  Mentally I know I am not having a heart attack but emotionally I think I am.  It feels like my heart will just explode.  Got in the car to leave and the panic attack was so fierce.  I felt so clammy and I wondered if I looked pale & sweaty. I felt grey. Blood vessels to the skin being constricted reducing any potential blood loss. Sweat glands also open, providing an external cooling liquid to our over-worked system. (this makes the skin look pale and clammy).  I expressed to Carmel that the library was soooo hot and she said within the hour the A/C would have cooled it down ... it was warm because they just opened.  No, I meant it was HOT but I know it is that my senses were on alert. I always feel hot during a panic attack.  Too bad my sense of hearing can't awaken and become better. Our senses sharpen. Pupils dilate (open out) so we can see more clearly, even in darkness. Our hairs stand on end, making us more sensitive to our environment (and also making us appear larger, hopefully intimidating our opponent).  I was so jittery inside I could barely stand it.  I hate that jittery feeling and once I get jittery it just goes on and on forever like the Energizer Bunny.  The respiratory system joining in as the lungs, throat and nostrils open up and breathing speeding up to get more air in the system so the increased blood flow can be re-oxygenated. The blood carries oxygen to the muscles, allowing them to work harder. Deeper breathing also helps us to scream more loudly!  Jitteriness results from activated muscles.  Remember I said I felt testy? I think stupid things probably came out of my mouth because I didn't feel like me or "sound" like me when I was talking. The natural judgment system is also turned down and more primitive responses take over–this is a time for action rather than deep thought.  When I have a panic attack I just feel like running...overpowered by the feeling to just run. Like I have enough energy to run all the way to the state line. That definitely is NOT a normal feeling for me.  Even as a kid I didn't like to run. Fat from fatty cells and glucose from the liver being metabolized to create instant energy  My mouth was so dry I couldn't stand it and I immediately drove to a Pak-a-Sak to get a Dr Pepper.  For once, instead of Dr Pepper I really wanted icy, icy water but I can't stand "store bought" water, I want plain old Lake Meredith or pumped-from-underground-&-filled-with-clorine tap water.  Actually I first got a drink from the fountain in the library but the desire to "flee" meant I couldn't stay there and drink until I was no longer dry mouthed.  Blood vessels to the kidney and digestive system being constricted, effectively shutting down systems that are not essential. A part of this effect is reduction of saliva in the mouth. The bowels and bladder may also open out to reduce the need for other internal actions (this might also dissuade our attackers!).  Thank God for small favors---I have never peed or pooped during a panic attack....yet, anyway. However for days after a panic/anxiety attack I have terrible stomach cramps, nausea and gastro-intestinal problems. There is at least one more physical change in the body but I can't really vouch for this one, except a  painful headache almost always follows a panic attack.  Endorphins, which are the body's natural pain killers, are released (when you are fighting, you do not want be bothered with pain–-that can be put off until later.)  By bedtime last night my body just ached and my muscles hurt. An alternative response which often comes before fight or flight is freezing.  Our muscles tense up to keep us still, causing knots in muscles.  It has been 28 hours since I left the library and my arm muscles still feel like I have been carrying around 100 pound lead weights.  Last night I also had a bombardment of suicidal thoughts...just for a few moments but I don't want to have them for even that long.  Two years ago I was bombarded with suicidal thoughts from January through April.  Feeling the pain brought on by fighting off those thoughts was horrible.  I cried all the time from the overwhelming pain.  I am positive most people commit suicide because they are bombarded by those irrational thoughts that are not there own, and it is so incredibly painful to fight them they just want the pain to stop.  That commercial that says "depression hurts - Cymbalta can help" - it means it when it says it hurts - there is pain, physical and emotional pain. I will not do anything I think might open that door again.  I am stronger than the thoughts, I will never commit suicide ... won't do that to my children or grandchildren ... and had the thoughts not stopped after a few moments last night I would have probably gone to the hospital.  I know that is the way to stop the pain ... go to the hospital and get help.  I had not had any suicidal thoughts since I left the hospital in 2010, that I can remember right now anyway, and I am not going to stress myself out until I have those thoughts constantly.  Never.Again.  Last night when I was fighting the thoughts and the depression and the stress and the tummy ache I kept telling myself it will be ok because laughter releases stress and I laugh a LOT while I am with Taylor.  I just had to make it til morning when I could go take care of my granddaughter and we would laugh.  Between my home and hers the most direct, fastest, and most sensible route goes right past the library where I worked for almost all of my 20 years.  I started crying when I saw it and cried for 10 minutes all the way to a Pak-a-Sak near her home.  I stopped there and got a Dr Pepper and a Donut Stop cinnamon roll and pulled myself together.  I decided I will not volunteer ~ just because I would love to do it does not mean it would be worth the stress.  I hate hate hate hate that my old self is gone.  I don't know if she will ever come back, but she isn't back yet.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Love Amarillo Weather

Tuesday we should reach a high of 80 degrees!
On Thursday? A high of 36 and snow! 
The place where we buy sunscreen and de-icer to use within a 48 hour period.

6th Street Trolley

Beilue: Man nears trolley vision | Amarillo

A trolley.. of sorts ... is coming to 6th Street (Historic Old Route 66) in Amarillo!  I can hardly wait! I have emailed some girlfriends to see if we can get together and ride the trolley and "do 6th Street" --- stroll through the antique shops, etc some warm day before temperatures decide to hit 100 and stay there.  At Christmastime, the trolley owner wants to take people through Wolflin ... an area of very large homes that decorate beautifully for the season.  Awesome! I want to go! I have always wanted to ride in the horse drawn carriages that tour Wolflin in December but they are way out of my budget.  The trolley sounds like it will be more in my budget.  I am happy!

An Absolutely I've-Died-And-Gone-To-Heaven Porch!

   If I should ever win the lottery or Publishers Clearing House (doubtful since I don't ever buy a lottery ticket and only occassionally enter PCH online, but still ...) I am going to have a house with a back sun porch and a front screen porch.   I have a Pinterest board of just porches and I must be one of many who likes porches because it gets repinned often.  I stumbled across the most awesome porch ever as far as being the kind I just dream of living on probably oh, 24/7, with a good book, plate of warm-from-the-oven cookies and a glass of Dr Pepper.  If you would like to see it to then click here
--> then click on home tours. Next scroll down (there is quite a bit of white area there, at least on my screen, that looks like nothing happened) click on  the photo of that first porch for the photos and description of the porch that inspired the blog.  It is great ... she shows different angles and describes what you see, what she chose and why ... really an interesting blog. 

I Can't Help It ...

I can't help it .... it is March .... today it is 73 degrees ..... but in 3 days we are suppose to have snow ... another 8 weeks and I can plant flowers ..... after last summer's drought and horrible heat I wasn't going to try to grow anything this year.  I just can't help it ... I am pretty sure I am going to have to plant something.  I know I will be planting Lantana somewhere, and Verbena in my tipsy pots.  Last year I planted over 300 Morning Glory seedlings that I grew in the house.  They all died in the heat but I will try again because I just have to have Heavenly Blue Morning Glories.  Oh, and cherry tomatoes.   I received 3 seed catalogs in the mail today.  I never plant from seeds, I buy bedding plants from a local greenhouse, except for some things like Morning Glories and Cosmos.  I am saving toilet paper rolls to use for planting Morning Glory seeds.  If you live in my town and will save toilet paper rolls, or newspaper for me I will use them to make seeding pots. 

I Did It!

    Next month it will be two years since my breakdown.  I can't believe two years has gone by. During that time I have been in a library maybe 3 or 4 times.  My daughters pick up books for me after I go online and place holds on the titles I want.  At first it was just too painful to even see the library building.  I loved working there and could not believe I am no longer able to work.  Just crushed me to no longer have that job. For the first year just seeing a library building made me cry.  This past year has been crying when I drive by ... well mostly not, but I still have not wanted to go inside and see someone else in "my chair."    I had a big bag of books to return to the library today.  I met my sister from N.M. this morning at a Dr's office parking lot while her husband was inside and then I had to go to Target to pick up a prescription.  On the way home I was going to put the books in the return book drop at a library branch where several friends work.  I decided dang, it has been two years, it is time ... so instead of putting my books in the drive up book drop I went inside.  I started getting the I'm-going-to-have-a-heart-attack feeling but I talked to one of my friends who was working there and it wasn't too overpowering.  The branch head is a man I have known since 1990.  He is nice.  I asked him if I could possibly volunteer to shelve books.  I love to shelve.  So --- not only did I go in a library, but I am going to be volunteering on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons.   I had been thinking about asking to volunteer at a library for a while now.    As soon as I got in the car I wished I had not asked to volunteer. The anxiety level went wayyyy up, heart attack feeling intensified, panic attack mode in full blown aauugghhhhhhhhh.  I am really tired of this feeling but I AM going to show up Saturday to volunteer.  Stay tuned.  I may been in the ER with a heart attack by lunch time Saturday but we will see. :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ellen Degenneres

I absolutely love Ellen.  I love that she ends her show by saying something about please be kind to each other.  I have always thought she was so funny, and seems to be a genuinely nice person.  She and I don't see eye to eye on everything ... some times her humor gets a little silly for me.  I don't want to know anything about her personal life.  She seems good to her momma, though.  That is enough for me.  My theory is that if you start with the things you have in common or like about someone and go from there we are all alot more alike than not.  Most people are basically good.  I like pretty much everybody.  Once I get to the point ... rarely ... where it seems like a person is more bent to be mean, critical, sarcastic, controlling, harsh, talk ugly or whatnot then I move on.  Pretty often I find plenty to like about a person.   Ellen is gay. I am not. My favorite aunt was gay.  I loved her to pieces.  My next favorite aunt was not gay.  I loved her to pieces too.  I have enough to do with trying to take care of my own life to have time to be judgemental about someone else.  Not my job.  Because I think it is not my job I have a hard time understanding why some people were in all the awful uproar over JCP, formerly known as J. C. Penneys, hiring Ellen for their latest ad compaign.  I LOVE the ads.  Every one I have seen has just been a hoot.  If I ever get stuck in an elevator again (at my library I got stuck in our cranky elevator more than anyone else but that is another story)... but back to my thought, if I ever get stuck in an elevator again I hope it is with Ellen because she just cracks me up. And JCP, I love the ads. 
To live by


The kind of scary stories books tell each other!The kind of scary stories books tell each other...

Thought For The Day


The author Jeffrey Zaslow

Product Details      I just finished reading The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish For Our Daughters, (2012) by Jeffrey Zaslow. This is a tender, gentle, loving, funny, touching, inspirational, thoughtful work.  As I just now typed those words I thought that those would be some of the same words I would use to describe what I know of Mr. Zaslow.  Those are the words I would use to describe the type of man I admire in the world.  And I sure am an admirer of Mr. Zaslow and his writing. 
      Mr. Zaslow wanted to write a book about the kind of married love parents want for their children.  He found an interesting little shop in the middle of nowhere and that is the background for this book.  In Fowler, Michigan he found Becker's Bridal ~ a shop that stocks approximately 2,500 gowns ~ more than twice as many wedding gowns as the number of residents of the town.  The shop has been owned by the same family since 1934.  The building was formerly a bank.  What was once the vault has been turned in to the Magic Room.  When a bride narrows down her choice of gowns to one she is then taken to the Magic Room ~ a room with mirrored walls, soft lighting, a pedestal on which to stand to make sure it is the one.  It is in this room where brides, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, siblings and friends often can not contain their emotions.  A special room, used when making a hopefully once in a lifetime purchase. Thus, this book is about the Becker family, the shop, the business, the brides.  It is specifically a book about 6 brides chosen by Mr. Zaslow and their stories.  It is the story of the love between parents and daughters, daughters and grooms and the beginnings of commitments. It is a story of hope.  I highly recommend it.
       The first thing I ever read of his was  The Last Lecture (2008) with Randy Pausch.  I consider it one of the best books I have ever read.  It was an honor to read that book.  The Last Lecture is the type of book that, if read with an open heart, changes you for the better.  It was with amazement that I experienced how Mr. Zaslow and Mr. Pausch could take mere words and touch every ounce of emotion in me.  Both men among men in my eyes.   Mr. Zaslow wrote The Girls from Ames (2009) and I read it, but that was during the dark days after my breakdown and I don't remember anything except the title.  I will have to read it again soon.     Mr. Zaslow also co-wrote  Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters with Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger (2009); as well as Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope (2011) with Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.  I have not yet read these books but they are on my list of must-reads.
             I am very sad to write that a month after The Magic Room was released Mr. Zaslow tragically died in a car wreck.    He was returning home from a book signing in Michigan February 2012 when he lost control of his car in a snowstorm and hit a semi.  He was 53, and left behind a wife and three daughters.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Turning 10

My grandson, Travis will be 10 on Monday.  He and his brother spent the night with me Friday night and we had  broke out the Dollar Tree presents ... glitter, glow sticks, balloons, ribbon, for some crafts we had planned and he is holding a $1 - 100 piece Star Wars jigsaw puzzle that glows in the dark.  Now how cool is that for the low, low price of one buck.?  I also picked up 4 books for him .... $1.99 Hastings Bookstore used books  ....but not so much that you could tell they had ever been open ... Hardy Boys.  That is my grand-dog, Andy.  Beagles don't want to miss out on any goings on.

Dogs and Veterans

If you have a soft spot in your heart for dogs, or Veterans, or both then please read the article in the link above.  Have tissues on hand, and a checkbook if you can afford it.  And pass it on.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

"From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere."

- Dr. Seuss

Quote of the Day! :)

If you like, here is a link to an article I read in our paper today.  It is an inspiring one but one line in it cracked me up and so it is my quote of the day ...  Re: their marriage of 54 years...Sherry Civil says “I married Bob for money and I’m going to stay with him until we get some.”  I love it!  :)

Jon Mark Beilue: One-handed 'adventure' as woman overcomes stroke to reclaim quilting hobby | Amarillo Globe-News

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I Was Jealous, But Now I Am Not

             The news is on but I really wasn't paying attention  until I looked up and saw this scene ~~~ a beautiful room, a fire burning in gorgeous fireplace with very pretty decorative things on the mantel, a table adorned with more beautiful, expensive looking items next to a handsome chair ~~~  not the kind from a cheap furniture store ~~~4 women in view, obviously a grandma, two middle aged women, and a young woman.  In the split second that I took in that scene I was jealous.  This was not a room in a single wide trailer house like the one I live in.  This was a room in a house I can only dream of, can't even imagine actually living in or claiming as my own. You know how your mind works, you can think thoughts at the speed of light. I was jealous.  Then I heard the words Early Onset Alzheimers.  The reporter was interviewing a beautiful, vibrant looking woman, 52, that has Early Onset Alzheimers.  She had been a nurse for 20 years.  Now her mother, daughter and sister take care of her.  I think this is one of the most frightening diseases there is.  Not to make light of cancer in any way, but at least with cancer sometimes the tumor can be removed, poison can be injected into your bloodstream and called chemotherapy, and some forms of cancer have a good survival rate.  With any kind of Alzheimers there is no survival rate.   

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Apologize If You Got a Nonsensical Text From Me!

LOL!!!!  It is too bad my mind does not work well when I have not had much sleep!  I am sitting here....just me and my dogs ... laughing out loud at myself!  This afternoon my son just showed me a text I sent him today and when I read it I laughed at myself until tears came!  Let me back up ... I am seriously sleep deprived.  I can not sleep well when the wind is blowing like a hurricane, and it has blown like a hurricane for a good five days now.  Studies show that high wind DOES have an effect on your brain and your mood.  It sure does me.  Add that to the fact that I have suffered with insomnia for a couple of years and am constantly fatigued from the effects of depression and you have one tired woman.  Last night I laid in my very comfy bed, in a dark room, good room temperature, my dogs with me for comfort and for a burgler alarm, and I just laid there.  Laid there. Laid there.  11 p.m.  midnight.  At about 12:40 a.m. I thought of something so I texted my daughter since if she is asleep a text will not wake her up.  one a.m. two a.m.  2:30 a.m. same daughter calls me.  She can't sleep either.  3 a.m. Some time after 4 a.m. -- I am guessing after 4:30 a.m. I finally fell asleep.  When the alarm went off at 6:30 a.m. I turned it off, two alarms in fact and went back to sleep.  I don't remember a thing.  At 7:30 a.m. I woke up suddenly and realized what I had done.  I am suppose to be across the city at my son's home to babysit between 7:00 and 7:15 a.m. so they can leave and get to work on time.   Takes me a good 20 minutes to drive it. Went into panic mode, threw on clothes and drove to my son's home.  Taylor kept me awake because she and I stay busy playing but I sure was hoping she would be ready for her morning nap early.  When she takes a nap I take a nap too.  I always put a blanket on the floor right next to her crib and sleep next to her since with my hearing impairment I would not hear her wake up if I were in another room.  When she wakes up she yells and wakes me up.  If that does not do the trick she throws her empty bottle,  her doll, or a stuffed animal at me and that for sure wakes me up!   Our routine is have breakfast, play, have a bath, play, watch some Sesame Street in there, read some books, and when she is ready for her nap she does the sign language for sleep and says night-night and we go off for a nap. Usually by 10 a.m. she is ready to go to sleep.  This morning I was soooo anxious for her to take that nap ...3 hours of sleep last night just did not do it for me .... I was just so tired I could not think.  I texted my sister, daughter and youngest son to tell them don't call or text and wake her up.  She wakes up at the slightest sound, and once she wakes up she has been supercharged and nap time is over.  I mean for a good hour I had been praying Please Lord, don't let anything happen to wake her up before she and I get that 45 minutes of sleep because I really, really need it.  Did I turn my cell phone off?  Why, noooooo.  Did I take it out of my jeans pocket?  noooo  All I could think was text everyone who might call or text and tell them not too!  Even though every other morning when we go to lay down I turn my cell to vibrate without even thinking about it.   LOL!!!  Never crossed my mind to turn it to vibrate today.  I was just in zombie mode!   When I got her to get in her crib I was laying in the floor next to it sending one of those don't call texts and before I could push "send" my daughter called. Up popped my granddaughter.  I just about cried.  Got her down again. A friend texted.  Did I have my phone on vibrate? noooooo Did Taylor hear that little beep? Yessssss  Did I about cry?  surrrre  Miraculously I got her to try for a nap a third time.  That is when I texted my son a completely gibberish text.  We had made plans last night for him to come over and visit today and I didn't want him to call, text or come over until we got that dadgum nap!!!!   We didn't get much of a nap because of someone coming to the door and another text so I finally gave up and let Trey know it was ok for him to come on over.  When he got there he said let me show you this text you sent me.  About 6 lines that made absolutely no sense, especially since none of it actually contained a real word or even a close-to-making-sense abbreviation!  He said, when he got the text, he thought to himself either Mother is really really tired or she has finally taken up drinking!   ROFLOL!   I am so tired that just REALLY cracked me up!   He stayed about 3 hours with us until Casey got out of school and came to babysit.  Tish, I knew for sure you could relate! :) I am off for another nap now. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


       Aaarrggghhhhhh!!!!!  In an important part of the story, ABC news broke into Body of Proof to say "it looks like Romney won in his home state." Really?!?!!  I want to see my show!!!  I can hear about politics in 45 minutes when the news comes on!
       I am so sick of the wind.  It has blown with winds 40-56 mph with gusts into the 60's just allllll dayyy longgg.  Blew my lawn chairs and dog house across the yard.  Good thing I have a fence. Blew the padlocked doors off my garden shed.  They are laying in another part of my yard, still padlocked together.  Some things from my neighbor's yard blew into mine over the 6 ft fence.  Lots of branches from their trees have blown in my yard as well.  Horrible noise. Something hit my house ... actually, several times I heard things hit my house, and one of them woke me from my nap.  (Ha Ha --- I am adding this later while the weather is on --- the weatherman just said we all need to go to Oklahoma City and see if we can find all of our stuff that got blown out of our yards today.  He also said the wind topped out at 64 mph)
       I started reading a book today.  I was so excited because I love series and I was able to get all three in the series so I was all set to sit down and read all three of them over the next day or two.  That is my preferred method to read series, one right after another, immediately.  Not one here, then another one next year when it comes out.  Welll....another aarrgghhhh!  (yes, I know, I have truly serious problems...not)  As soon as I opened the first one I realized it was a book I had tried to read at some earlier time ... and I did not like.  I thought maybe I was in a bad mood when I tried reading it the first time so I thought I would give it a couple of chapters to see what I thought this time.  I don't like ugly language.    After I read a couple of chapters I knew I didn't want to read it so I put it down and took a nap.  The funny thing is that the story in the book takes place in England.  Written with alot of British slang, terms, etc.  When I was sleeping the wind woke me up, but I woke up kinda slowly ... you know, still dreaming but waking up.  The dream and the noise of the ferocious wind blending, and as I woke I realized I was still dreaming and it had nothing to do with the book but I was dreaming with a British accent.  LOL! I don't believe I have ever done that before.  That was weird.
    Jan Berenstain passed away Friday.  She, along with her husband Stan, and her son Mike, wrote 330 children's books.  If I had a nickel for every time I shelved a Berestain Bear book in my 20 year library career I would be in high cotton!  Kids have loved their books since 1962.
       The dried onion soup chicken & rice recipe I posted yesterday?  My daughter made it last night and brought leftovers for me and my granddaughter (her niece) to have for lunch today.  Taylor is 15 months old and never had anything but baby food until December.  Oh my goodness, she loved that chicken & rice! I realize that recipe with all the soup may have a lot of sodium ... I will have to check but I was happy to find something she really enjoyed.  Actually, the only thing so far of "people food" (rather than baby food) that she has not liked is fried okra.
    Here is another cheap comfort food recipe of sorts that I made tonight. really will be full of sodium since it involves Ramen Noodles (which I love). My sister reminded me of it last week...she loves it too, and I made it then for the first time in years since my kids were not a big fan.  I don't know why, I think it is delicious.   I ate it like there would be no tomorrow, even if it was beef.  I am having a hard time making myself eat beef or chicken lately.  Anyway I made another batch tonight..... I did not look up the exact recipe either time so possibly my sister will leave a comment and share how she makes hers if this is not close.
Ramen Noodle Beef
  • Brown some hamburger --- a pound or so, with diced onion, & pepper. Drain. 
  • In another pan saute sliced zuchinni ... I'd say 2 or 3, in oleo until almost tender. 
  • Steam or microwave a big bag of frozen stir fry veggies, or broccoli & cauliflower. 
  •  To the hamburger add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  • To the hamburger & water mixture add 3 packages of Oriental flavor Ramen Noodles with the seasoning. Cook 3 minutes or until the noodles look done.  
  • Add the cooked veggies and mix well with the hamburger mixture.   
It makes alot but it is good left over.   What do you like to make that is inexpensive?

and a photo of my granddaughter just because she turned 15 months old on Sunday. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

I Live Vicariously....

My sister and her family went to Lamy and Santa Fe, NM this weekend.  I love the color of the sky. I love the chili's hanging at the doorway.  I love the adobe.  I would love to see inside.  Vigas I bet! I wonder what the bushes are on either side of the entryway.   I am pretty sure I would be real happy living here.  

I am positive that I would be totally happy living in this house below....look at that porch! (I am swooning!)  Well, it is hard to see but it has a wrap around porch.

 I can see the photos, my sister said she can't when she opened my blog.  Can you see them?

What's For Dinner?

      Not much is as scary as wildfire and this time last year we were having wildfires left and right... From today's Amarillo newspaper...."Last year started with fires ravaging Mesilla Park, Palisades and Lake Tanglewood on Feb. 27, charring 25,500 acres and destroying 70 homes. The year ended with more than 85,000 acres blackened in Potter and Randall counties and 83 homes consumed by wildfire. The local cost of fighting all that fire was about $1.1 million."  The three areas mentioned are very small communities, just outside of Amarillo. Lake Tanglewood is probably the farthest from city limits, about 11 miles.   I have already blogged about the kennel that burned last year.  The kennel is rebuilding right now.  Some of those poor people who lost everything they owned when the 83 homes burned have rebuilt in the same places.  The newspaper and local news have been reminding us to be prepared and to be careful as this is the time of year when we have such high winds and everything is dry.    I have blogged about 72 hour kits for humans and for pets and I hope everyone has one.  You just never know.  You guys stay safe.
     For dinner tonight I made a cheap comfort food recipe....and it just takes one pan
Tomatoes and Macaroni
  • In a large dutch oven cook a box of Barilla Bow Tie Pasta (or shells, noodles, whatever shape you like)according to pkg directions, drain.
  • In that same pot saute a cup or more of diced onion in oleo until onions are translucent
  • Add one 28 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice, heat until boiling.Add the cooked pasta 
  • stir until pasta is blended with tomatoes and heated.  Sprinkle with pepper. 
My daughter just called me for another recipe we really like and it too is fairly inexpensive considering the number of servings it makes.  I could eat the entire pan...  I got the recipe from my mom or sister I think and I don't know where they got it.  I don't know what it is called so for 40 years or so I have called it
Dried Onion Soup Chicken
In a large dutch oven mix and warm just until heated & well blended:
  • 2 cups of Minute Rice, dry not prepared
  • Cream of Celery Soup
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 soup cans of water
  • 1 pkg of Dried Onion Soup Mix
  • pour into a 9 x 11 inch casserole dish sprayed with nonstick spray
  • lay salt & peppered boneless, skinless chicken breasts on top
  • melt 1 stick of oleo and pour over chicken pieces
  • bake at 350 degrees until chicken is done.  I can't tell you how long because what I have written down is one hour but that was for using whole pieces of chicken with bones and I much prefer the boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Please don't hurt

What? Did I REALLY Hear Him Say That???

I am not highly educated or super intelligent but as someone who struggled to go to college while working full time, and the parent of adults who did or are doing the same (trying to work and support themselves while going to college) I have always felt we ... the United States .... would not be lagging behind other countries so much if college was more easily obtainable if not downright free.  College has to be cheaper than prison and in my naive little world I think if more people were educated less people would end end up as criminals, or receiving public assistance of some kind.  And yes, alot of college degreed people are criminals or receive public asstance for some reason --- let's don't go there right now.   Probably from an outside observer it might look like I do not value education since I do not have a degree and only one of my children has one of any kind, so far.  Don't write them off yet, though.  We have done the best with the challenges we have.  I DO value education.  If I had had a different chance, different advice, made different choices I would have loved to have gone to college straight out of high school.  Anyway, I was stunned when I saw this politician's remarks on a youtube video posted on another blog and then just now saw it on CBS Nightly News.  Here it takes just moments to watch this so turn your sound on ........
I can't believe I heard that, and I can't believe those people applauded.

Good Weekend!

        I had such a nice weekend.  I had cookies, chocolate chip cookies!  I know, it doesn't take much to make me happy.  :) Pinterest has just driven me crazy with photos of desserts.  I want them all!   When my kids were home I tried to have a well balanced, home cooked dinner and a dessert every night.  Yes, too much dessert, but none of us is obese so I guess it wasn't too bad.  After the kids grew up I quit making desserts because with just me at home it was up to me to eat the whole thing, which I gladly did.  It is just easier to not have those kinds of things in the house than resist the temptation to just chow down. Anyway, my grandsons spent an afternoon with me so we had chocolate chip cookies. Not exactly home baked, unless you count taking them out of the package and putting the pre-made squares on the cookie sheet and baking, but they were sooooooo good.   My grandson's 10th birthday is next week so my youngest daughter,Casey, grandsons Mason, Travis and I went shopping this weekend.  I told Travis with the price of gas and everything else I can't afford to go into town shopping more than once this week so I would let him pick out what he really wanted.  Travis wanted an easel, paints and art paper.  I told him I could not afford an easel, even with my coupon from Michael's, but we would look.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a little one suitable for him for under $10.  It thrills my heart that he wants to paint.  My younger son, Trey, and I taught ourselves to paint .... somewhat .... by reading library books of course .... oh, about 15 years ago.  We used watercolors and enjoyed it so much.  Trey was a pretty decent artist.  I have always loved to draw and later paint but life got so busy I just put it away and haven't done either in a very long time.  Thus, I am delight to see Travis is interested in art as well.  I let Travis set up his paper and easel, open his tempera paints and paint to his heart's content, then we packaged it all back up so I could put it in a recycled gift bag for him to open at his birthday.  (thank you for my birthday bag, Linda---it was the perfect size)  LOL!   That is just the way I roll!  Life is short....what if I get run over by a bus this week and missed out on the painting that is now on my fridge?!?!?   My grandsons and I then got on the computer and looked at all of the things I had repinned on Pinterest to my board "Things to Do With My Grandkids."  We picked out a few crafts to do next weekend.  They will be spending Friday night with me so on my way home from babysitting sometime this week I have to stop at Dollar Tree for a couple of things I don't have on hand. That makes me happy to do crafts with them.   
     I read a couple of cozy mysteries and I just love them.  Not so deep that my depression fogged mind can't handle.  I love reading. 
     I played around on Pinterest alot.  I can't explain my enjoyment with Pinterest.  It just relaxes me so much, I truly enjoy looking at everyone's boards.  Am I ever going to do those crafts? The adult ones, probably not but it doesn't hurt to think maybe someday.  The kid ones? I will probably do every single one I have pinned with Mason, Travis or Taylor eventually.  The quilts I have pinned? I would be making a quilt right now except it is a horribly expensive hobby, so, no, I am pretty sure that won't ever happen.  Do I love looking at those quilted pieces of art? You bet.  My garden board? My yard will never, ever look like those.  I live in a drought ridden, windblown area and the water it would take to make it green would just cost too much, but I can dream! :)  I have a board called "Every house should have a porch."  It gets repinned often.  I am soooo lucky to have this cheap single wide trailer I live in that came with two metal and wood sets of steps... literally 3 steps at the door and the likelihood of me ever living anywhere else is nil.  Having one of the porches from my board? Never gonna happen but I would love a porch, I dream of a porch, I have just a sliver of a glimmer of hope.   I think that is what Pinterest is. It just comes down to hope ... and without hope things are pretty bleak.  Do I hope someday to have a beautiful yard? Yes.  I mean, alot of people here DO have beautiful yards. I just enjoy looking a beautiful things, even if I know I can't have them.   
       This weekend I enjoyed exchanging a few emails with a friend I used to work with at the library.  It was good to hear from her and I enjoyed her catching me up on her life since we last emailed maybe two weeks ago.  On a friend's blog I got into a discussion on social media.   I grew up back in the olden days when we wrote letters, stuffed them in an envelope and stuck it in the mailbox.   I love hand written letters but email is so nice in that it is instant, or close.  During my teenage years I spent hours on the phone and then up until about 15 years ago I used to get on the phone with a girlfriend after her husband went to bed and we could talk for 2 or 3 hours easily, but I can't hear well enough on the phone anymore.  Anyway, the point is, having grown up with written letters my main social contact, and then email for over 50 years it is not weird to me to consider that as "visiting with friends" and just as valuable to me as seeing them in person.  Actually for me, more valuable.  I HATE to go to restaurants with people because of my hearing impairment (well, there is also that can't afford a restaurant thing).  With the background noise there is no way in heck I can understand what anyone is saying, even when I wore hearing aides.  Add music and it is truly impossible.  It is just a frustration with a capital F.  If you read lips that means that they have to be facing you, preferably without food in their mouth, for you to understand.  If you have 3 or more people around the table they can't all be looking right at you when they answer someone else.  It is just soooo frustrating I will not do it if at all possible.  I would love to go to a movie if I could afford it but without captioning it is a waste of my time and another frustrating experience.  Plays? I used to love to go to plays at the college here.  A couple of times I was able to see a play at the Amarillo Little Theater and I absolutely loved it but again, now, with my hearing impairment it would not a fun evening.  Sitting in some one's living room visiting?  The only way I can keep up is if someone sits next to me and every time someone says something the person next to me faces me and tells me what they said.  I do with my family but other than that, I would really rather just be home, reading an email, instant messaging or a blog.  It just works for me (and I can wear my pj's).  Driving around going somewhere? I can not understand the people in the back seat if I am in the fron,t and talking to the driver?-- not good since I need them to face me.  I'm happy with email  but I guess I am weird.  The discussion I had with a person on a blog..... was this person stressing the importance of real, live, in-your-presence-friends vs social media friends.  She had many good points.  We also touched briefly on the age of friends, kinda.  LOL! I am 58  but at work and at church I enjoyed people of all ages and it never crossed my mind that I might be old enough to be their mother, or gasp, grandma maybe.  My friends from the library, my co-workers and the ones I laughed til I cried with almost daily, my partners in crime there, truly my friends, were almost always somewhere between 10 and 30 years younger than me.  There were several closer to my age, and some older than me, that I just treasured but we were all friends.  We had a really good time together and some of them still email me and keep me posted on their lives, whether they have young children or empty nests.  One of my closest buddies at the last branch I worked at had her first baby the year I retired.  She is the one who has invited me to get together most often.  I found nothing weird about the fact that we considered, and still do, each other friends.  Once you are an adult I just see everyone as "adult."  Once at church in a women's group .... I was about 38 and this other woman was probably 58 ... this woman said the truth is everyone once they hit about 35 mentally feel that age the rest of their life.  Physically they don't but mentally they do.  As I have aged I have thought about her saying that and for me it is true. 
        OK, a poll ....
1)  how often do you see friends in person, outside of work, in a week? 
2)  Do you have friends that you enjoy visiting with that are much younger or much older than you? 
3)  Which do you do more of in a friends, talk to them on the phone, or see socially?  
4)  If you had an errand to run, not an emergency but something you needed to do, in the middle of a weekday how many people could you call to ask for a ride, and get a "yes they could help", if you didn't have transportation?
        Okay, that is my rambling on and on for the evening.  I apologize for going on and on and on and on.  Please leave a comment of some kind or the other and everybody have a good week! :)
and my responce to the poll is:   1) other than family, zero usually    2)yes   3)email   4) other than family, zero
Oh, and according to my counter, typically 35 or so people will read this blog in the next 24 hours.  I suspect at most 3 people will respond to my poll so ... please, prove me wrong!!!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Be Fearless

The phrase "Do not be afraid" is written 365 times in the Bible.  That is a daily reminder from God to live every day fearless.
   I don't know who said it so I can not give credit where credit is due (I just saw it on Pinterest). 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Real Heroes

   Someone left a comment on my last post about who the real heroes are, and I agree.  When I worked in the children's dept. at my library I would get so saddened when kids came in for a book on their "hero." Here where I live it is a yearly thing for teachers, 4th grade or so, to assign a project....dress up like your favorite hero and bring a book about that person to class.  Kids would come in, tell me what they needed and why, then ask for a book about the most current sports person, musician, fake wrestler.  It really saddened me.  True heroes are soldiers who protect our freedom, fire fighters who run into burning buildings to save a life, police officers who protect our safety, nurses who see us at our very worst and still treat us kindly, EMTs who arrive at wrecks and do everything they can to preserve lives under terrible circumstances.

Mumbling About What I Saw On TV

       On our local nightly news tonight it was reported that a teacher here had been arrested for selling drugs to an undercover cop.  A few months ago, a local teacher was arrested for having an inappropriate relationship with a group of teenage boys.    I live in a fairly small city, in Texas, in the belt buckle of the Bible belt, for Pete's sake (no, I have no idea who Pete is...that is just what we say here, sometimes.)  I am just stunned.  I realize I am an old fogey, and it has been 4 decades since I last toodled down the halls of my high school but for the life of me, I can not imagine even one teacher in the school system I attended that would even consider doing such things with students, or selling drugs to anyone.....or doing anything that might harm a student.  I may just be hopelessly naive but when I think back on my teachers I just see goodness.  I wonder what the world is going to be like for my grandchildren in a decade or two.
        On ET or Insider Edition, or one of those type shows that comes on right after the 5 p.m. news where I live, the person was touring the home of Vera Wang......who is worth approximately 100 gazillion million dollars, or there about.   After we saw the beautiful home, the young woman on ET or whatever, said to her co-host something like "and Vera Wang's home was so immaculate....not a piece of mail anywhere or dust on anything."  Well, if I had 100 gazillion million dollars I suspect I would have my mail sent to some manager instead of it stacked on the counter waiting for me to figure out which bill gets lucky enough to be paid this week, and I would have a maid to keep the dust under control. Really?? This was you comment?  I'm going to read a book now.
       As you know, unless you have been under a rock somewhere for the past week or so, Whitney Houston passed from this life. Someone, evidently a family member or friend, took a photo of her in her casket and sold it to the National Enquirer....because, I guess, enquiring minds want to know, and her dignity was worth some dollar amount to a friend.  I have very rigid opinions about someone who would do that....1) take a photo of a corpse first of all (shouldn't one get permission from an adult before one takes their photo in most circumstances...well, she could not give you her permission) and 2) for then selling that photo.  That is bad enough, but now every person, and their kids, who has to go to the grocery store or Walmart this week is going to see that corpse.  I don't want to see it but I know I will because it is a lot like a train wreck....hard not to at least glance, especially when it is on a gossip rag cover 3 feet in front of you as you are wedged in the checkout line waiting your turn.  Besides, I have already seen it on my TV screen before I knew it was going to be the next shot or had a chance to turn it off. 
       Another thing I saw on tv this week when I would have turned it off had I known what was coming up was ... in my view, just horrible.  Before the early evening news a commercial ran ... and has been running but now I know to turn it off.... some politician who is against abortions and feels the need to show us multiple aborted fetuses.  Here I was watching Jeopardy! one minute and then next horrified at the fetuses on the screen.  I am really glad I didn't have my grandsons with me to see that. 
        This has nothing to do with what I saw on TV this week, just seeing that photo of Ms. Houston in her coffin on tv made me think....just so you know, you are not invited to my funeral or to take photos. I have told my kids there will be no funeral.  I do not want anyone taking a photo of my corpse, looking at my corpse, or anything else.  I don't want my kids to spent $15,000 on an expensive coffin, vault, & funeral when I know I will already be gone and I won't appreciate that satin lined coffin.    Currently for $1,000 I can be cremated, which I want done and then instead of spending money on a funeral I want my four kids to go to the mountains in New Mexico, or to the Durango, Colorado area for the weekend, have a wonderful time with each other and their families, tell every funny story they can think of about me, consider that closure and then  just dump my ashes out somewhere in the mountains.  I already have a little wooden box they can put the ashes in and they know where it is.  LOL! It is a box that was on my boss's desk for 20 years.  All during my children's childhood they would come to the library and he or I would take them into his office and let them get a miniature candy bar out of that box.  When he gave it to me when I retired I told my kids I wanted it to be used for my ashes and one of my sons (an adult even) said "what if you still have candy in it???"  He wasn't alarmed that I would be dead, just concerned about any remaining candy, I guess.  I told him well then divide the candy bars up and y'all eat them first.  I imagine I will know I am about to kick the bucket and eat all the candy bars that may be in there before I leave anyway.  But back to my non-funeral.  I want them to play some card games and dominoes for me and everyone have a Dr Pepper, a big bowl of ice cream and some chocolate covered graham crackers and call it good.
     my computer's battery is bye, and tell me how you feel about seeing those things

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

One of My Favorite Things to Photograph

Is it me, or is there a lot of static in the air?

Grandma, am I going to have to take that camera away from you?


Does this barrette match my shirt?

Grandma likes to read Very Hungry Caterpillar and Good Night
Moon to me but what I really want to read is this article
on cowboys & ranch management in Montana

I tell ya, Grandma just wears me out.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Shivering is Over!

I haven't been able to get my intake of protein up to 70 grams a day, and probably never will but I have increased it by a lot.  More than I have ever eaten in my life and the freezing cold, miserable shivering, goosebump thing is over!  I have also been taking the B-50 vitamins my Dr said would give me energy but that hasn't happened yet.  Probably because my depression has been so bad and depression causes severe fatigue.  Doubling the antidepressant seemed to make it worse not better. Hmmm, or without the increased antidepressant maybe I would have really been in the toilet.  Come to think of it January and February two years ago is when I got really, seriously bad before finally going to the hospital so maybe I am actually doing ok. Does that make sense? I'm really bad depressionwise but not as bad as I have been in Jan & Feb?  I hope I am never as bad as I was that year.

Today's Post is Sponsored by the Letter S

If you recognize that phrase in my post title you too watch Sesame Street on a regular basis! :)  The letter S today means sinuses, stress, silly, sugar, sunshine, spring, sewing, storm.
     Just watched Dr Oz---I love that guy!  This weekend I had a sinus headache that just wouldn't quit so my ears perked up when Dr Oz mentioned this method of helping sinus problems...   Dr Oz says hum for an hour a day. Doesn't cost you anything and has no bad side effects.
    I am just stressed out, but that is the story of my life. No point into going into why....mostly the lack of money and the ever raising cost of living. Between Disability check and my little retirement my income is equal to living on minimum wage and I am sure everyone who lives on minimum wage is stressed in this economy. SS Disability check did go up $39 starting in January and that is a blessing, will almost pay my water bill.  I just refinanced my house to lower my interest rate so that will help so there is light at the end of the tunnel.
   My silly dogs! I do not know what I would do without them!! I miss my Max Schnauzer terribly...he was my constant companion for 11 years and had a personality that was just awesome.  Gee, I loved that dog.  He was more human than dog.  Zoe and Gracie are good dogs, just not like Max.  They do make me laugh though.  I had $23 in my checking account this weekend to last through the end of the month and I should have saved it for groceries but I spent $10 of it on the girls (my dogs) and it was money well spent.  My daughter needed to go to PetSmart for a new leash.  She lives in an apartment thus has to walk her dog and his old leash broke.  I went with her and while she was looking at leashes on one side of the aisle I looked at dog collars on the opposite side.  They had $11.99 collars on sale for $5.  Zoe has grown so much she really needed a collar.  Gracie is just little and will always wear a size small but her old collar was kinda ratty so I bought them each a collar.  These silly dogs!  When they get new collars they act like kids at Christmas!  New collars = excitement personified!  They love doggie toys but they don't react nearly so much to new toys as they do new collars!  I don't know what they think! It starts the second they see new collars come out of the shopping bag.  They jump and bark and dance around. They actually get big doggie smiles on their faces. When I take their old collars off and put the new ones on they prance around, bark, smile like LOOK at me and my new clothes!  They are just goofy children.  Actually I call their collars "clothes" in when I give them a bath & dry them as much as they will let me I get their collars and tell them "let's put your clothes back on, you look naked!" and they want them on and make sure the other dog is getting hers too.   Too funny!  It was worth the $10 to laugh as much as I did at them. 
   I don't know what is up but I am craving sugar like I can not believe.  I hardly ever have cake or pie in the house....I can't even remember when I have had a cake, other than birthdays, since last summer when I made strawberry shortcake real often.  I didn't even make pies at Thanksgiving, I sure don't remember when I last made a pie.   Breads? Pumpkin bread, banana bread, cinnamon loaf bread...I doubt I have made one since D-B day (depression-break down).  Suddenly, I want pie, cake, sweet breads, cinnamon rolls, brownies --- something with SUGAR that you have to chew!!  You know what it is?! I just figured it out --- Pinterest!  I am addicted to Pinterest and while I seldom repin any recipes I see all of those photos of desserts.
   The black cloud of depression has been looming over me for the past few weeks.  I know what I need is some exercise and some sunshine.  I love being out in the sun and it has been a long time since I have been outside.  Today we have sustained winds of 25 to 30 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.  Too windy for me to be outside.  Between the cold temps and wind I haven't been on a walk outside since I am guessing October.  I need a walk and I need some sunshine. There may have been times I could have taken a walk early in the mornings before the wind gets up but I have been so depressed for months I just want to stay in bed. I remember last summer spending 3 or 4 hours easily out in the sun and that is what I need. Sunshine and fresh air and no wind.
   I am just sick over my yard.  It is just dirt.  When I put the trailer house here I had the back yard sodded and the cost of fescue sod in the house loan.  It was absolutely beautiful until the drought and horrible heat we had last year...which was the worst year since they started keeping records.   I just hope my crepe myrtles and lilacs survived and am anxious for spring to see what comes to life.  Spring is typically our windiest time of the year so I dread that but I just love to plant things and see flowers bloom.  This year I just can't afford to spend much on bedding plants and nothing on grass but I am going to fix just one flower bed and concentrate on that bed plus try to get my morning glories to live this year.  The first summer here my chain link fence was covered in Heavenly Blue morning glories and made me so happy.  Last year I planted about 300 seeds in dixie cups in the house and then transplanted outside.  The months of 100 degree weather eventually killed every single one of them.  It was so heartbreaking.  I need color and flowers.  And I need to plant something.  Just wish it could be a yard full of grass. sigh.
     I used to sew 30 or 40 years ago ... dang, I am old ... and I wish I still had my sewing machine.  I want to make some bigger bibs for Taylor.  She is 15 months and those baby bibs of hers just don't cover enough.  Pinterest...I'm blaming you for the urges to eat sugar and sew! :)
   News just came on and a dust storm from the high winds caused zero visibility on a highway near us just a little bit ago. 5 tractor-trailer rigs and multiple cars wrecked.  So far in the short 2012 we have had bad wrecks from visibility problems due to dense fog, wildfire smoke, snow, and now dust.  I think we have it about covered.
  Now I need to get up and get my hands in some dish soap, clean up the kitchen and I think I will go to the store and get ingredients to make Taco Casserole.  I think everyone in the world makes this but if you don't it is an easy casserole to throw together and is my kind of comfort food.  Serve with salad, guacamole & chips
Taco Casserole (which I guess should be called Enchilada casserole but taco is what we have always called it)
1 lb or so of ground beef
1 can Old El Paso Red Mild Enchilada Sauce
1 onion, diced
1 can chopped green chilies
1 dozen corn tortillas
salt & pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 can pinto beans
1 cup milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup  (truthfully, if I have soup I add it, sometimes I leave it & milk out, sometimes it is 1 can of mushroom and zero chicken)
lots of grated cheddar cheese
  1.   In a large dutch oven brown the salt & peppered ground beef, drain.  (Pinterest tip...line a cup with foil, put your drippings in there, let it get cold and solid, then wad up foil and toss)
  2. Add onion & garlic to beef and saute til onions are transparent.  Add green chilies, enchilada sauce, soups, milk and beans.  Heat and stir until well blended.  In a casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray layer: tortillas, meat mixture, lots of cheese. Repeat layers.  Bake at 350 for 15 or 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
If I have the ingredients I make this corn side dish ..
Indian Corn
In a saucepan saute 1/2 cup diced onion and 1 zucchini, peeled and diced, in some butter or oleo until zucchini is tender, stirring often.  Add 1 can cream style WHITE shoe peg corn, and 1 can WHITE whole kernel shoe peg corn, drained . Add salt and pepper, heat until corn is hot and serve.