Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lovely August

Ah, I note this is the last day of July; the last month I truly count as "summer'. August is peeking around the corner; a month that should have it's own seasonal designation. It's not a month that we think of as a "wedding month" as June and July are. What do you think when you think of August. For me, it's certainly NOT with the adjective "lovely" attached to it.

Is there anywhere in the world that August is anticipated with excitement? Isn't it winter somewhere in the world during this month? Maybe in that country August doesn't make a blip on their radar of sweat and humidity scale. Get me a ticket. I want to board that flight and spend it there so I may use the  words "lovely August" in a sentence.

Though August will soon pass as did July, we still have at least two more months afterwards of hot weather. It gets less brutal toward the end of September but by that time we are limp from the summer heat and we have to duck and roll through October.

I'm suddenly wondering when we get licensed to start complaining about the winter months? I don't have a lot of complaints about the winters here in S.W. Louisiana. A light jacket and and a pair of sweat pants; you're good to go. There are even days when you might have to give up your sandals and wear socks and cover your toes with some shoe leather. It passes quickly. The sun returns and the temperatures climb to a happy mid 70's. I'm waiting. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

U Tube

You can learn anything on You Tube. Surgery? No problem. DIY surgeries videoed among friends. One holds the camera filming while the other uses an exacto knife to lance the skin; much laughing, groaning and moaning and that's from the "surgeon". I've been searching for videos on joint replacements. Think of the money I could have saved lately!

At the height of my boredom, a You Tube search will eat up your time in 4 minutes or less increments. Don't ya just love the internet? I was thinking today and I must was painful at times but never the less I persisted. I was thinking of the first 10 years of my life and this past 10 years of my life. I was comparing those times in matters of technology. Even when my daughter and I had our tonsils out at the same time, Tylenol was given for pain. Today it's Lortab elixir and the veins in the throat are cauterized. Lasers were not used when ours were done. The giant steps forward in medical knowledge is amazing let alone the computer/internet explosion. Cell phones? We were lucky to be on a party line when  I was a child and no..a party line isn't what it sounds like. In case you are young enough to NOT know, it was a telephone line shared by many. No private conversations. Your phone calls could be overheard by the other people that shared that line. See why a cell phone for me is a novelty; a giant leap from that party line years ago. 

I'm outta here to type something funky into the search engine on You Tube; it's amazing what you can find by randomness.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Secret and TOP Secret

Should I giggle? I was watching Jon Stewart, that wile comedian commentator that puts a comical spin on the daily news. In fact the show is called 'The Daily Show'. The subject today was the security leak of a vast number of secret papers that was posted on the web. Apparently those papers were classified "Secret".  His guest said "Top Secret Clearance is enjoyed by over 800,000 workers, while Secret Clearance is everybody but you, while gesturing to Jon Stewart.

Are there levels of "top secret clearance? Is there something called..."Top Secret 1", "Top Secret 2" and so on where highest clearance allows you access to the Vatican crypts, the White House Toilets, the Pentagon sun room? Would Top Secret 2 clearance allow one to roam freely through the malls shopping the sales before the rest of us bombard the aisles? Where does that leave those employees with just "Secret Clearance"? Are they allowed to whisper in places that would be frowned upon by those of us not blessed with SC?

I want a definition of what "Top Secret" and "Secret" really covers and since there are over 800,000 of those 'Top' guys and gals roaming around the USA, who is keeping an eye on them. Who determines if they have breached their TS (top secret) status. Do we have a branch of TS monitors?  Who monitors the monitors? This could be endless. But then that explains a bureaucracy more or less.

Excuse me while I scour the net for what constitues TS and S clearance.

FYI: after net search:

Confidential: This clearance refers to material which, if improperly disclosed, could be reasonably expected to cause some measurable damage to national security. The vast majority of military personnel are given this very basic level of clearance. It must be reinvestigated every 15 years.
Secret: Unauthorized disclosure of the information this clearance covers could be expected to cause grave damage to national security. This level gets reinvestigated every 10 years.

Top Secret: Individuals with this clearance have access to information or material that could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to national security if it was released without authorization. This level needs to be reinvestigated every five years.

Ah, now it's perfectly clear and the differences are staggering aren't they?
I feel so much safer knowing there are over 800,000 of those TS employees attached through contracted labor or vested employees to protection of our country. At least they hired enough of them huh?

I'M Grounded!

My wings have been clipped. I'm on restriction, time out, on my knees in a corner. Daughter has declared that I have been too lax in monitoring Ms. Carrie since she has been ill and now Ms. Carrie thinks she is a queen and we are her court that must bow down to her when we aren't rushing around to honor her commands.
Daughter said Ms. Carrie needs a reality check; no spoiling today. She must stay home and learn to walk to the refrigerator all by herself to get something to drink; there will be no one now to race around fetching and carrying for her. "After all" says the daughter "she had her tonsils out; she didn't break her leg."

Just yesterday before Carrie went home, I tried to have a little "come to Jesus" talk with her. I warned her that her mother wasn't too inclined to be her servant. I tried to tell her that giving a demand to her mother when she got home might get her into trouble. She just grinned at me; I know she understood what I was saying but she didn't heed my advice. Today when I called the daughter, I found that the husband and I were banned. We had been too good to Carrie which wasn't beneficial to Carrie living amongst other humans, mainly her family. I do believe Carrie must have gotten a little bossy when she returned home which was her downfall.
I have promised the daughter that I will try to be meaner when Ms. Carrie is visiting. I will ignore her requests to me to "hurry it up, I don't have all day" and "I'm the boss, now go".
Her Poppy, the husband, will be harder to retrain I'm afraid. He is a big woose when it comes to Ms. Carrie. Her wish is his command. Silly man. We have not to wonder why she prefers to be with him over everyone else.
I miss you Ms. Carrie. We will sneak off tomorrow..ok?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And They Said

it was easier the younger you were when you had your tonsils removed.

I was up at 3:30; Carrie spent the night. She woke whimpering and in pain. I hurried to the kitchen and grabbed a Popsicle out of the freezer and handed it to her. "Eat this while I get your pain medicine" and without having to tell her the why  of this order, she chomped down on a huge chunk of that Popsicle. She already knows that it will soothe until the Lortab kicks in.
We moved from the bedroom to the sofa and turned on some cartoons till she drifted back to sleep. I so want this to be over. Ted is doing much better then Carrie. He is eating now and is not taking anything for pain. Carrie is still on Lortab  every 4 hours. This morning I medicated her with 1/2 the dosage and in 2 hours I will give her the other half. Maybe medicating every 2 hours will give her better coverage then the full dose every 4 hours? We're gonna try it.

I weighted her this morning and she is down 4.5 lbs since the surgery. That is not uncommon and I'm not worried about her food intake as long as she continues to drink liquids and eat the Popsicles. She will get into a tub of warm water and lay down without any urging. It must feel good on her skin and help relieve the itching from the Lortab.

She was just medicated at 1000hrs and she is sitting beside me with a grin on her face while watching cartoons. What a beautiful sight that is!

I'm outta here to make another Popsicle run. It's a busy day when Carrie is here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Cold Idea

Soft, white, thick and noiseless, it appears like confectioners sugar, covering the bright green grass and grey concrete. Barefoot, we step outside to bury our feet in the coolness.  The hair on our arms rise up on the goose flesh from the chilly air.

I haven't lost my mind, and no, it isn't snowing here though if wishes were horses I would own the biggest quarter horse stables in Kentucky. I can dream and if I dreamt that first paragraph, I would try to stay in that dream.

I'm not tolerating this weather well and it wouldn't help if I was "up north". Up north is as hot as it is here. It's that non existent "global warming" that the conservatives are in big denial on. All the weird storms in the Midwest causing flooding this summer, tornadoes, record breaking heat in the summer and the long overly cold winters might be a clue that the ozone might be protesting pollutants.

I'm going to the farmers' market in search of some fresh green beans. It's the big plus side to having to endure this heat. Fresh vegetables and fruits!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Storm, Some Seafood, Some Hot and Some Carrie

Another hot day and it seems that the temperatures are determining what I will be doing for the day. Staying inside has been my normal day; it's my only way to beat the heat. Now we are waiting on Tropical Storm Bonnie to make her appearance. She's due in on Tuesday. The Gulf is being emptied of all non essential rig personnel; a typical procedure when a storm is crossing. I spoke with Peg this morning and we were discussing the beaches and the oil leak. I told her the daughter was in Destin,Fla. and the beaches were clean. Same for Fouchon, Grand Isle and most of the water front on the Louisiana coast. We wonder where the media are getting all the information on the beaches that are covered in oil and not suitable for vacationers. Though they may not actually say that vacationers should stay away, many do because of their fears of dirty beaches and water.

It's amazing to think that almost one year ago I was at the beach in Destin, Florida with Ted and Carrie and the crowds were plentiful, the waters an azure blue, soft winds and a warm sun. One year later and the whole beach scene has changed, disrupted and out of order.

The seafood has been declared safe and can again be harvested. Do we feel it's safe? We are skeptical. What about all the chemical dispersants that were sprayed into that water? The seafood I'm the safest with eating is from Delchambre which is on the south western part of Louisiana. 

I fear many residents and visitors will feel the same way; it may take years to restore confidence in the beaches and seafoods.

Carrie just arrived and is seated in front of the television where she is watching Dumbo on CD. She doesn't normally sit still for long but since the surgery she is happy to lay around being less her active self. She just had a dose of Lortab which contributes to her calmness; I'm watching for her to drift off to sleep soon. I'm ready for a nap too.

Friday, July 23, 2010

And I Thought It Was Just Me

This is one of the hottest summers on record? Our a/c unit is barely keeping up and certainly not at the 74 degrees that the controls lock in for room temperatures. Curled up with a book, I stay comfortably cool but moving around doing chores causes the sweat to pour and eventually the hair around my neck and face become saturated. I'm really looking forward to fall and winter along with the rest of the overheated populace.

Carrie requested I pick her up around noon. It was really her mother that called. Carrie was crying and telling her mother 'she couldn't do it right" and she wanted her Nana.  What else to do but drive to her house and collect her; back to my house and into the darkened bedroom for some rest and television. Eventually she fell asleep for a few hours. When she woke up, she was cranky and crying and finally admitted that she hurt. I had to pour the Lortab and though she didn't want to take it, she did. She knows it will stop the pain so she swallows quickly and chases it with another Popsicle.

I'm looking forward to the day when she doesn't talk like the cartoon duck and she is up and around and her usual endearing, exasperating self. Being a pediatric nurse was never a career I aspired to.

I'm outta here to pour some antibiotic for her 2000hr dose. It's a shame to have to disturb her pleasant affect.

All Done?

An ending to her marriage is being contemplated. Continuing from the story of a few days past, she has decided to end the  tale that was her marriage. She spoke to a paralegal and as soon as she scrapes up 1000.00, she will start divorce proceedings. Depending on how soon she can get the money, an official ending could be available by the last of October; sometime around Halloween. I shied away from the obvious thought following the date of this divorce.

He contacted their daughter last night. She told him she was angry and his reply "I thought you would be over it by now." She replied "You just don't "get it'.

A compulsive liar doesn't see the damage caused by living a lie? Apparently not as this man thought his family should be "over it" and when questioned about other things he gives an answer and then seeing the expressions on their faces he taunts "What, you don't believe me???" or "Why ask? You're not going to believe me anyway."  No remorse or regrets or even owning that lying to his wife all these years was wrong, he has made requests for one of the vehicles so he won't have to ride the bus. This vehicle was to be used by his daughter to get to her job and should she be able to borrow money, she will be going to school. There is no help from Veterans Administration for her as he didn't serve enough "active duty".

Have you watched the "Lifetime Channel"? Stories like this one you might encounter on that channel. Who woulda thought, though those stories claim to be true, and that they really are.

I take a renewed look around my neighborhood, and friends  and within my family unit and there I find more  members that would qualify for a one hour debut on the "Lifetime Channel.

We see what we want to see; we believe what we need to believe. Maybe being in the center with your life whirling around you, the big picture remains elusive. The stories spun for you are something you accept; no questions asked and when the story proves false and is replaced by yet another story to explain and convince you willingly accept that story too. Who's to blame. The liars or the person that consistently accepts and never confronts the liar. Maybe the confrontation would be more painful then knowing the truths? We believe what we need to believe; we bury the niggling doubts deep and we quit digging for truth when one of the "stories" doesn't mesh with what we "know". Coping. Self preservation.
Hopefully, the truths won't ever rise up directly in your face  to make it impossible to side step around them and continue with your life. 

We do what we have to to maintain our comfort.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Day After

Of course today's post will be a report on Ted and Carrie's condition. They are lethargic and spending a lot of time sleeping. Carrie is not her usual perky self when awake. She is listless and the only thing she has had to eat today has been popsicles. My first attempt at giving her the liquid Lortab caused many tears to fall. Though she was in pain and crying, she still resisted. After taking the medicine, the pain was relieved and she understood that it was the medicine that helped so four hours later when the Lortab was due again, she took it with far less drama. As her eyelids drooped, her words slurred and she stretched out beside me on the bed to await her mother's arrival. Occasionally she would rub her face and neck saying "It's the medicine that makes me itch." I still find it amazing that a four year old comprehends, reasons and understands such things.

I peeked down her throat with a small flashlight. Ringed around the area of the missing tonsils, the flesh is white. Laser burned. No bleeding noted. Her voice sounds tight; a cartoonish duck like speech.  Apparently her brother sounds the same. She enjoyed a cool bath and had her hair shampooed before she left for her home. I'll go pick her up again tomorrow to spend the day here. She is healing nicely and in a few more days, she will be back to her active self.
I'm done for today. It's Ambien time for me and soon I will be as "loopy" as Carrie on her Lortab.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Post Op Carrie

I haven't seen Ted post op though I stayed with him until they came for his gurney and wheeled him away and down the hall toward the surgery suite. Carrie was delivered back to us as soon as she was alert enough to be released from the PACU. She remained groggy; slept when no stimulation was supplied to her and within 1/2 hr. after being back in the room, she was loaded into a wheelchair and escorted to my car. The daughter stayed at the hospital awaiting Ted's surgery and PACU stay. We knew it would be a while until he was back so the decision was made to take Carrie to my house where she could be medicated for pain and sleep comfortably instead of waiting in the waiting room for Ted to be ready to come home.

She was carried into the house and deposited on the sofa, barely registering that she was being moved from the car to the house. She took her pain medications without protest and promptly passed out. Covered with a light blanket she remains asleep on the sofa; I'm not far away should she need something. 

Hopefully this surgery, having tonsils and adenoids removed, should cure her sleep apnea. Both she and her brother suffered the same problem and today both of them were relieved of those tonsils.

2100 hrs
I just returned home from delivering Carrie back to her mom's house. She wanted to spend the night at her house and her wish was granted. I gave her a dose of her liquid Lortab; she cried and begged to not take it. I reminded her of the promise she made to take her medicine yesterday. We discussed her surgery and the medicines she would have to take. She nodded and amid the tears, she swallowed and a popsicle was given to clear the taste and sooth the throat. I looked in on Ted while I was there. He denied pain, was watching his televison and looked comfortable. He had just taken his pain medication.
Pic of Ted prior to surgery:

It's done; everyone is mending and for this I'm grateful!

Goodbye Tonsils

Yes, today is the big day. In about an hour we will be at the surgery center with Ted and Carrie for gland removal. Carrie will be the first one up for surgery, then Ted will have his turn. I know it's not major surgery and the surgery part doesn't concern me. It's the anesthesia part that always makes me nervous.

Time seems on fast forward this morning. One more cup of coffee as I slip into a pair of shorts and a t shirt, and sandals and I'll be on my way to collect everyone for the ride to the surgery center.

I'll have my cell phone along; a book in hand for the time spent in the waiting room. It's time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quiet,It Was

Usually it sat quietly on the end table just at the area back of my left elbow. From the corner of my eye, I could use my pheriferal vision to spot it's location. Usually it was quiet, seldom broadcasting it's presence though I always knew it was there should I need it. If I roamed from room to room, another was available in each of those rooms. I don't have a good reason for keeping it. It was a habit.

Yesterday I called the telephone company and had my house phone disconnected. I didn't expect it to be a traumatic affair. It was. It has left me with a feeling of loss. Though I have a cell phone, the house phones resting on tables throughout this house were always there. A fixture has been removed and I miss it. I've had other people tell me the same thing when they decided to go land line less. My friend told me she left her phone plugged in for a few months though there was no service to it and about three months later, she packed her phone away.

I didn't wait. I went from room to room and disconnected them then hauled them to a container for storage. Having a land line appears to be a habit of a certain age group of the population. It was reported lately by a research group, that young couples starting a life together enter that relationship with cell phones, commence to co habitate and never have a land line in their new residences. I decided to give mine up also.

Both the husband and I have our cell phone. Most of the calls we get and place are using these cell phones. I cut the cost of that 60.00 a month on that land line; unplugging 7 phones from their power souce may cut some energy use also. Though it may not be a staggering amount, every little bit helps with the air conditioning unit  that is running all day.

Silliness. Have you heard? The surveys show that the younger population are smoking and the blame can be laid at the doorstep of the convenience stores. Apparently the youngsters see the cigarettes in those stores which leads them to smoking. I'm calling Bullshit on this one! My feelings? Their friends lead them to that cigarette. Peers and parents. I don't know if I can blame it very much on the parents as most teenagers would rather jump off a cliff then emulate their parents at that age. I've often wondered what the tattooed, pierced teen would do if they woke one morning to find their mother in the kitchen sipping on a cup of coffee, a tattooed sleeve on one arm, a kabala symbol artiscally burned into her face; nose, tongue and lip and eyebrow  decorated with rings and spikes with her lovely pink hair spiked around her face. Few teens would think this was kewl. The object is to be "different" from the parent, not a copy. Your friends look kewl smoking, not your parents. Teens will emulate the look of their peers and run screaming from any thing their parents might deem appropriate.

I could be wrong on this. Thankfully a lot is not riding on my opinion. It's just that. My opinion.

Monday, July 19, 2010

And He Said

The marriage wasn't perfect but then whose marriage is? Two children, jobs and obligations of paying for the support and maintenance of the family kept the couple busy. The years passed and the children grew up while the couple grew apart. Outwardly to family and friends they appeared the perfect couple; when the split happened it was a shock to one and all.

It started or maybe it ended this way.  Nights out with the ladies became a weekly thing for her as his weekly night out with his buddies and eventually notice was taken of that guy in the corner for her and the female  sitting alone on the bar stool for him. The children though growing were a long way from adulthood. The eventual split was devastating for both of them. The son went to live with his father while the daughter stayed with her mother; the son was bitter and blamed his mother for the divorce.

The father had a new woman in his life which the son, as often happens, refused to accept. Meanwhile the mother with her new man, becomes pregnant and times grow more difficult for her. Money is scarce and as so many times happens, her standard of living took a quick decline with the divorce. Struggling to support her daughter and coping with the pregnancy drained her of all her strength. Days went by when with  her pre teen daughter, they grazed the vegetable aisle at the grocery stores. Barely enough money to pay for the apartment and even less for groceries, living was a daily struggle for both of them. Her new man was around though I don't know why, with his help, she still had to struggle. Maybe he had lost his job? I am vague on this part of her life. Her ex husband eventually drifted away from his ex family and developed a life with his new wife. We lost track of him.

For her, the child was born, a baby girl and eventually the son moved back with his mother and now he had two sisters. Her new husband  now filled the spot in the extended family that her ex husband had vacated. She worked full time but found that her new partner, didn't have the same work ethics she had been raised with so times were good and then times were tough; the tough times were when he would quit his job that often times he managed to keep for only a few months. She continued to support her family through these times on only her paycheck. 

She loved her man and turned away from his faults. He blamed much of his problems on the months he had spent in Viet Nam. His stories of the battles he fought, the friend that died in his arms, the medals he acquired, she listened to and when the Viet Nam memorial passed close to her town, they visited. He stooped low to the ground in front of the monument and with a piece of paper and a pencil, he transferred the name of his dead friend for his keepsake. He wept profusely and openly in front of this monument; tears for his buddy. Time passed. 
The son and daughter moved on with their lives and the child they shared between them grew to be a fine young woman. 

As young people do, the daughter joined Facebook. Her friends searched, found her and befriended and her list of friends grew. One day she received a message from someone inquiring about her last name. They shared the same name. Questions were asked; information was shared. They were sisters. There is more. One more. She had two sisters of which she knew nothing about. She is 19; the sisters are in their mid 30's and haven't seen their father since they were infants. He never contacted them; staying hidden  and avoiding child support was his goal.
She shared this information with her mother who questioned her husband.  The lies began to unfold. He had never voluntarily paid child support. He would work 6 months then quit before his social security number showed up and child support deducted. He also didn't want to work weekends as that was when all the family get togethers were and he didn't want to miss the party. He would quit his jobs without consulting her and tell her he had been laid off; job had terminated; cutback in staffing, etc. The last job was in a prison cafeteria overseeing the prisoners. He told her they had attacked him and showed her the lump on his head. Fearing that he might be hurt, she told him he had to quit. He was never attacked, this we now know, though we don't know how he acquired the lump on his head. Was it self inflicted?
More years, more lies, lost jobs, house repossessed, savings used up, retirement fund depleted and the relationship continues to falter. The excuses he gave for losing his jobs were lies. There were no layoffs or cutbacks. He quit them. She continued to support the family though the money she made was stretched to meet all the obligations and with only one paycheck, health insurance was unaffordable. Occasionally her lung ailments would cause her to miss days from her job; the paycheck wouldn't cover all the bills that month. The health bills escalated.

Again unemployed, he stayed home. The economy had taken a nose dive.  He was to be a house husband now. He could take care of the house and yard. He didn't. Television occupied much of his time.  Three months pass and each time she looked at him, the anger grew. The lies, the lack of affection and his refusal to contribute took it's toll on her feelings. She asked him to move out for a while; she needed time apart to assess the situation.

Their daughter had been waiting on him to contact the V.A(Veteran's Admin.) in the hopes of assistance with advanced schooling. He always had an excuse for not contacting V.A. After he left, mom took the initiative; she acquired the V.A form online, completed and mailed it. When the papers were received by the V.A, the information was mailed back to her. 

She was devastated. He had never been in Viet Nam. More lies. There had never been a soldier that died in his arms, he had never jumped out of a helicopter, trampled through jungles and rice paddies and there was never a bronze metal nor a purple heart medal(he said he couldn't bear to look at the metals so he had pitched them in a river). Those tears he shed were worthy of an acting award.

Today she called him. He asked if he could come back home. He wanted one of the cars she was making payments on; he must have known more lies were close to being revealed;  she asked him if she knew all his lies. He said "yes" and then she asked about Viet Nam. Caught. He stuttered and became quiet. She told him it was over and she could hear him yawn. She asked if she was boring him to which he didn't reply; she began looking for boxes to pack his clothes. 

20 years. Yes, there were clues. She chose to ignore them. I quietly listen and let her vent. I'm saddened for this woman. Kind hearted and generous, she was victimised. She just wanted her marriage to work. She wanted to believe in him. He was the father of her child. Today she faced the truth and  painful as it was, she said goodbye.

I don't believe this is over yet. To be continued....maybe.


It must have been my turn to be in the kitchen. Granted, it has been a while since I rattled the pans or flipped on a burner on that stove so since the husband had been out in the yard doing the work of gardening, I reluctantly approached the stove with my culinary skills which usually are lacking in any imagination when it comes to cooking. Breaded pork steaks, cheesy potatoes, corn on the cob and biscuits whipped up in less then an hour, 20 minutes to clean up the kitchen afterwards and I was back out of the place I least desire to enter. I can't complain about the drudgery of cooking this meal. After all, I had the small TV on the counter top tuned to a movie I had been watching in the living room so between cutting, chopping and stirring, I never missed a scene of that movie. 

Personally, I think summer is an excellent time for cold salads and cold sandwiches, some jello and iced tea. I only need a refrigerator. We could disconnect the stove and wait for winter to reconnect it. Summer time should be a matter of opening the fridge door, selecting the cold colds and condiments and of course it's up to each person to maintain his own food selection and preparation. It's summer after all. It's hot. Eat light. Eat cold and eat out whenever possible. 

Carrie comes home today along with her brother and her mother. I'm excited. It seems that when she is actually out of town and not within that 3/4 mile area from my house where she lives, I become anxious and miss being able to call and dash over to pick her up and bring her back to my house. It's all about availability it seems. It's never boring when Carrie is around and for this I'm grateful.

I'll be pouring myself that second cup of coffee and catching up on the news and then I'm going to dig out my sewing machine, some fabric and make a table cloth. I think. It sounds like a good idea. Let's see now if I follow through as I haven't done any sewing for years. I used to enjoy covering chairs, ottomans, and making throw pillows and other fix its/decorating items. It might be time for me to try to get in touch with my domestic side again.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Almost Cool

Here it is, yet another Sunday but very different from last Sunday in that it's only 80 degrees, overcast and drizzling rain.  I haven't broke a sweat all day. It's a thankful Sunday today for me. A few of the neighbors could be seen emerging from their houses early this morning for their weekly worshiping. If I find the church is air conditioned, I might have to put it on my list of things to do while staying cool. My list is short to almost non existent on those things; staying inside is at the head of that short list.

The husband is outside working on some project he has going on entailing digging dirt, laying landscaping bricks and mulching. I don't do those things. Mainly   because it might cause me to sweat and you already know how I feel about being hot. 

Carrie and family will be home tomorrow. In anticipation of those tonsils  being removed and sore throats that will be scratchy, I've stocked up on snow cone makings and ice cream. It's a party......NOT. 

A new Mexican food restaurant opened where once was a steakhouse and last night we decided to give it a try. We didn't have high expectations so we were pleasantly surprised to find the food was as good as any that we had in New Mexico and Arizona. We finally have a place to enjoy some good Tex/Mex food without having to cook it ourselves. We will be regular customers.

I'm off to visit some blogs, surf some net and then watch a movie. High excitement here; I might need a nap to take a break from all the activity. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Success! The first attempt at making one of these left it cracked in half when it was removed from it's mold. This one the husband did and he used a strainer to take all the rocks out of the rediMix. We should have bought Quickrete and we wouldn't have had to do any straining of rocks but it won't go to waste. We will strain the mix stuff and make a few more of them and hopefully they won't fall apart. Carrie is bringing some sea shells from her trip to Destin which we will use.

And now far removed from our little project is pictures of bigger projects in the area. Excessive much?
A close up of the details on the front of this house. If you click on the above picture, you can see the angels across the front.
And yet another monstrosity:
and there are still bigger McMansions in that neighborhood. Occasionally we drive over to this area to watch the progress on the house that is equivalent to a Ramada Inn and if not for the zoning I would swear it was a hotel.
It's fun to look.

BP, Busted Pipe? Beach Petroleum?

or Bottled Petroleum? The cap or BOP is in place and the oil has stopped flowing into the Gulf. You have heard huh?  A sigh of relief that at least it has been stopped though the cleanup remains huge, no new oil is being released. We are still waiting on the repercussions that may be years in the making.

The daughter, Ted and Carrie are headed for Destin, Florida today. They have a six hour drive in front of them; they will be staying the weekend. Next week Ted and Carrie will have the surgery on tonsils and adenoids so this trip will end their summer fun for a few weeks. This weekend the temps are predicted to be in the mid 80's! A cold front ....almost. It will seem that way to us anyway.

The husband headed for the coffee pot this morning while asking what I wanted to do today. Since I had already checked the outside temperatures by doing my arm wave out the door I replied "nothing!". It's really too hot for a vacation unless I want to head north of the U.S. borders. He, instead, went to his shop and I headed for the store to buy ice cream. It's on sale and what better sale item to buy but some ice cream. I may pour it all in a tub and take a bath in it. Ok, maybe it's not THAT hot. 

I'm thinking about doing a rain dance but that would only end in heat AND humidity. 

Before I really start complaining about the weather, I'll get out of here and be thankful we don't have a hurricane in the Gulf. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Too Hot for Gumbo

I made a giant pot anyway. Even the sausage that I used in it was hot and spicy. I cooked the roux for hours and hours and finally added the chicken and sausage and cooked it for another hour and it was perfect. I poured most of it in a tall plastic container and delivered it to the daughter when I took Carrie home. The daughter will make some rice and potato salad to go with it.

The husband's job completed and he made it safely home. Since he may have a break before another assignment, we are talking about a trip north. The Outer Banks was a trip we did a few years ago and I would like to do it again.

Right now, I sip on my coffee and wave an arm out the door to check the temperature. I'm sure we didn't have a cold front that stalled over this pit of steam. I have to say, it hasn't been humid but it has been hot so I should be thankful for this little respite from the humidity. I haven't done a lap on my bicycle for days now. Maybe I'm over it? No, I'm waiting for cooler weather.

I need 60 lbs of Quickrete and maybe I'll pick up a bag today. Carrie and I are going to make some concrete stepping stones with pretty colored glass embedded in them. We found some stones at Hobby Lobby that say "Grandma", Grandpa, etc. so I thought it would be a great Christmas gift for those great grandparents that have everything. They wouldn't have to find a place inside their house for yet another unneeded item but could place this in their yard or garden.

Carrie is excited about the project though she doesn't really understand what we are going to do yet. She does like the colored glass and beads that she will be using. Since the husband is home, this might be a perfect day to get started on this. Watch for pictured updates!
I'm off here to sweat quietly.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Worth A Fig

Have you ever heard that expression? My grandparents used it when something was "not worth a fig" and I have no idea why. Figs are in season. I know you must be wondering where this is going so I'm going to tell you.

Dee (the neighbor) was blessed with a huge container of figs that her father thought she might enjoy. Dee wonders how much fig preserves one family needs for a year. She didn't want to make them into preserves so instead she decided to bake fig cakes for everyone she knew even if she only slightly knew you. I'm thinking she wanted to rid herself of these figs.

She delivered one to me and since I didn't know if I was going to like fig cake, I was a bit hesitant about even answering the door. I did and hauled it to the kitchen, took a small slice and let the goodness explode in my mouth! Who knew fig cake could taste so good? I had a few slices then took it to my daughter. I shared the few slices with Pat and her friends and suddenly everyone wants the recipe for the fig cake made by Dee. it is.


Cook figs in small amount of water with sugar till soft and mash SLIGHTLY.

Batter: MIX BY not use electric mixer

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. salt

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs

2 cups of the cooked mashed figs

Pecans optional

Mix all the dry ingrediants in one bowl.

Mix the oil, vanilla, milk and eggs in another bowl.

Blend both bowls together then add two cups of mashed figs.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour in greased and floured 13X9 pan, bundt cake pan, etc.

Here and There

Yesterday was a day that can only be described as "sporadic". Quick stops, quick starts with no prescribed destinations that weren't spontaneous.

I was happy to be back home though 1900 hrs was late for me to be home after a day of going from stores to friends houses and back to those same two destinations over again. I'm tellin you, it was a day of disorganization.

I was more then ready to get something to eat and find my bed. I started on some new medicines yesterday to see if it would help with the sinus stuff I seem to have that is messin with my ears. That and a flexeril was enough to place me in bed early.

This morning is almost not HOT; I'm  heading for the little house to get the lawn tractor and race around the grass on the back yard. Maybe I can get it done without sweating thereby causing a water saving technique called "not bathing" and with all this rainless hot weather, we all should be conserving.

Note: two things I can't tolerate. The heat and no bathring.

I'm outta here to mow!

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's 4AM; It's 89 degrees

How can that be? The high today is supposed to be 93. That's not a big jump from where it is right now and the sun isn't even up yet. Though it will be another hot day, it still hasn't been as miserable as the north eastern states and that's just abnormal.

I have my yearly gyn appointment today and that's always something I look forward to with relish. Not really relish. Who takes relish to a gyn exam? I do think I should be invited to dinner and drinks if that man gets to get that intimate with me. I've always wondered what he and his wife discuss when he returns home from work after a big day of exams and delivering babies. Maybe she has learned not to even ask how his day went? I have often wondered what I would say to him should I run into him at, shall we say, a nice restaurant or at the grocery store. Would he even recognize me? Hasn't happened though it has been something that I have thought about each year when it's  time again; time to visit his office and relinquish my clothes for that horrid gown and the stirrups that aren't attached to a saddle, if you get my drift.

I have an early appointment as I like to get distasteful activities finished early in the day. I'll have it behind me for most of the day instead of something I have to confront and anticipate all day long.
A shower and I'm gone!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Have I Mentioned?

It's a bit warm today, she says as sweat drips onto the keyboard making typing this a slippery chore.

I went shopping. I know the air conditioning must have failed in the store. Now, I don't expect to drip sweat while looking for ways to relieve myself of some money. What's up with hot stores? I found a pair of Sketcher's sandal/flipflop like shoes. The ones that are supposed to give you a workout and actually, I think that is what they named them.  "They" being those oh so bright marketing geniuses at the Sketcher company. The soles are nice and thick and walking in them takes a few minutes of acclimating to the squishy feeling when you step. Odd feeling but they do have thick soles and that was my aim in buying them. I really don't think they will make my butt look better (seriously, that's what they advertise) but I'm hoping the thick soles will provide the cushion my feet crave.

I'm fearful that I may have another bone spur  in the bottom of my heal on my left foot. I'm going to do some exercises to stretch the tendon in the bottom of that foot and wear a night splint before I get geared up for another surgery. Who knew feet could be such a problem?

It's a lazy Sunday, it's hot and everybody must be hiding out in their houses. When it gets too hot to grill out, you know it's hot. I feel a nap coming on.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Hot Cruiser

My neighbor called me yesterday with an invitation. She was babysitting her two nieces and since they were close in age to Carrie, she invited Carrie over to  spend the afternoon. Dee recovered from the attic some of her grown daughters toys and moved them to the rug in the living room where the girls promptly spread them over the floor and enjoyed a feast of different things from a doll house, to Barbies to plastic cars. Carrie had a great time, played nicely and was exhausted by days' end. Right before her play time was over, Dee loaded all three into her car and they made a visit to the park to swing and feed the ducks. When they got back I called and had them come over for snow cones; they were allowed to use the little snow cone maker and grind their own ice and add their choice of flavoring. A good time was had by all. Carrie could barely keep her eyes open and barely made it through her supper. That was yesterday. Today she is on her way to visit her father and spend the night. I didn't do much cruisin' yesterday but early this morning I bought the green machine down off her kickstand and went for a spin. My "spins' are short right now. Just a few blocks to give the legs a chance to work some kinks and cramps out and the heat here leaves me with sweat soaked hair and clothes in just the short amount of time that I am taking this little ride.

How I wish it were fall! There I go wishing my life away again, and though this summer is flying right by, I can't help but wish for days when I could be outside all day in a light sweater and jeans.

I'm going to look for a place to get a haircut. Maybe getting sheared will make for a cooler me.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Remember these? No fancy gears, sprockets or chains on these babies. If it was old and beaten down and a boy's model, it would look like the bike my older brother had when he was a child. We had to beg him to let us give her a spin. We lived in the country so the bike was ridden down a gravel road and the road rash acquired when we took a tumble left us with pebbles embedded in our skin. Kids were tough back then. If we had complained, the bike would have been taken away and we all knew to endure and move on.

I visited my neighbor Pat yesterday and in the course of conversation, she mentioned the Schwinn Cruiser she had bought a few years ago and that it was stored in her shed. I took a look and told her I would be back soon and borrow it so I could begin riding. I'm "storing" it for her here until further notice. This morning I walked to her house, removed it from the corner of her shed and aired the tires up. I "cruised" home on it. I didn't know if my knee would flex enough to pedal it. Not only did my knee flex enough, but the seat was comfortable too. Ya gotta love those big fat seats.

I want to set a schedule for early mornings and late evenings to ride around the neighborhood. This will hopefully build up the muscles in my legs; a rehab ride. I have a stationery bike but I never use it. I can't stand anything boring and sitting on that bike to no where is just that. I would prefer some excitement; dogs chasing me, dodging cars and joggers sounds much more entertaining.

This afternoon when it cools off, I will be taking the Cruiser cruising. I hope I make it more then two blocks.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Matter of Taste

Growing up in the hills of WV, six siblings and mom and dad, 9 mouths to feed was an accomplishment. Though my father owned three farms, cash was a scarce commodity. Everything that was on the table came from the fields on the farms he owned except for pinto beans, salt, sugar, cornmeal and flour. Daily meals were mostly beans and potatoes; the beans bought in huge sacks and stored for use. Weekends and usually only Sundays were meat days. Chicken freshly slaughtered and cleaned and fried, the potatoes mashed and the usual pinto beans and cornbread or biscuits were a treat. A treat because meat wasn't served daily.

In the fall a pig and a  cow was slaughtered and packed away in one of the three freezers scattered around on the property. Even with the freezers full, the meat was used sparingly but more often then just on Sundays.

Three meals a day were served. We didn't know what a sandwich was except for the occasional sandwich we would have served at the school lunches.

When I would spend the summers with my grandmother, the menu was an expanded gourmet of sliced white bread and sandwiches. Grandmother would make ham salad sandwiches and they were delicious. She would buy bologna unsliced and grind it up, add some boiled eggs, sweet relish and salad dressing.

Yesterday while at the grocery store, I noticed a chub of bologna. Not just a hunk of unsliced bologna  but a whole chub. Thinking about the ham salad from my youth, I bought it home. Today I spoke with Ms. K who also grew up eating these "ham salad" sandwiches and we both laughed when she said "I thought that was how ham salad was made", though we both knew ours was made from bologna.

I ground up the bologna in my Cuisinart food processor and added all the other ingredients. I toasted some whole grain bread and sat down to enjoy my sandwich and it was just as delicious as when I sat at that table covered in a plastic tablecloth at my grandmother's house.
It must have been a regional recipe? I surfed the web and found the link that I have posted at the beginning of this blog. There it was; a recipe for the bologna "ham" salad and some of the people that left a comment on that site called it "ham" salad too.

DME (Durable Medical Equipment)

I had no idea this was so prevalent until it happened to me and of course, me being the inquisitive sort and having a medical background, I started observing and questioning the need for what I was seeing being supplied to the patient.

DME or durable medical equipment is the term given to braces, splints, wheelchairs, etc. These things are ordered by your doctor as needed. Apparently, these things are a big money maker for some physicians. Sometimes it's not about what you "need" but what they can net from ordering and charging your insurance company or medicare.

I searched and searched the Internet for hours and hours and eventually I hit upon the right term to find information on this and that term is Durable Medical Equipment. Searching under "medical supplies billed to patient" didn't work. I used many search terms until eventually I found the DME which explained much of what has happened to me lately. Clearly it is stated in a legal determination that the doctor should offer alternatives to the patient ie. prices and places to get the equipment needed at a better price if available.

The link I have supplied at the beginning of this post describes how medicare was supposed to work. People complaining about it being ineffective need to know the "why" of this. Everyone (doctors,suppliers, etc) have dipped into this agency for everything they could scam out of it. They count on the majority of the population to not recognize when they are being used to deplete illegally these government offered medical relief to it's citizens. The patients don't question as the services offered are being charged to medicare. The privately insured don't question as it is being charged to their insurance company. The uninsured are beginning to question.
Though I have insurance, it is limited to inpatient and outpatient hospital care. This makes me question everything the doctors propose which doesn't make for a happy doctor. They aren't accustomed to being questioned though they are quick to get you to sign agreement for each service. They are quick to present you with this document should you question later the charges.

Who is to fault? I find that much fault lies with the consumer. If everybody had to pay cash, no insurance involved, you can bet we would be comparison shoppers; we would question what we were being told to buy; we would research, question and compare. Would we pay 595.00 for a frac boot when the procedure was to remove bunions? to pin a broken toe? Wouldn't we question the need? My sister in law in Arizona had to take her daughter to the doctor for a broken ankle. The doctor ordered a frac boot for 350.00 (same boot my doctor uses). Sister in law informed the doctor she had no insurance and couldn't afford the 350.00. The doctor dropped the charges to 150.00 and he still made a profit of almost 100.00!!!

My wish would be to have the medical consumer wake up a bit. Watch, research and question that physician. They are NOT a god.

The next time you want to complain about paying into this agency and it going broke, look around you and identify who and why have caused this to happen.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dr. Baronne, Lafayette, La.

After thinking long and hard about this, I've decided to pay the doctor so today I wrote a check and mailed it along with this letter. I'm very disappointed in this physician's behavior:

Dr. Baronne:

This is payment in full for services that were not covered by insurance.

I sat in your waiting room and noted the patients there in fract boots (not cam walkers), in splints and in the knee scooters, all supplied by your office at highly inflated prices. All these items can be ordered online for a fraction of what are being charged to these patients and their insurance companies. Sadly, patients trust their doctors and do as told without questioning whether they really need that 595.00 boot for a bone spur removed on their little toe or for that bunion that was removed.

The splint that you made sure your staff had me sign for in the event my insurance denied payment and which I was assured by your P.A. that a letter would be written to my insurance company verifying the necessity of this and it would PROBABLY be paid was in fact a lie. No letter was written and your staff from the office staff to the P.A. knew this wouldn't be covered. This splint cost 56.00 online; I was charged 345.00 for it.

The fract boot (which I supplied) had I accepted it from your office would have been charged to me for 595.00 but online the same boot costs 85.00. I couldn't justify wearing that boot. It is a boot for fractures to immobilize. I was told to use a band behind my toes and exert pressure to do flexion and extension exercises 6 wks. post op. Why would I then be ordered a fract boot to wear? Is it the 595.00 sale?

The knee walker you charge your patients 800.00 for can be purchased online for 1/2 that amount or rented for a much more reasonable amount. Why do you deny them using a wheelchair? Most of these people could borrow a wheelchair for the short time needed. I borrowed a wheelchair for the times I had to get up from lying down with my foot elevated above my heart as ordered. I borrowed that wheel chair and thankfully I did because you would have charged 800.00 for the knee scooter you were recommending and supplied by your office. Your side business and your outrageous prices are disgraceful and could be described as a conflict of interest.

I have placed notices on the web and about town on every bulletin board I can find notifying everyone of my experiences and of the better deals they can find online should they find themselves in need of splints, boots and knee strollers. I won't recommend you to anyone I know and finding someone that plans on visiting you, I will let them know what to expect.

I have found out from much research on the web, that the podiatry profession is well known for this behavior.
I will use an orthopaedic surgeon should I need any further attention.

You can do searches on the net for other suppliers. This is just an  Example of options: Jansen Medical Supplies/Houston,Tx.

The Body Armor Walker does it all; engineered for orthopedic and sports medicine benefits. In addition to consisitent compression, it also provides a custom insole system for pressure relief.
Special Features:
•Locking clips assure an exact fit, while side channels hold straps in place.
•Multi-density insoles may be customized for offloading ulcers, fractures and pressure points
•Rocker sole assists patient through gait pattern.
•Breathable built in liner
•Flexible upper with built in liner allows easy access.
NOTE: Because of hygiene reasons, this item is not returnable.
Price: 87.00

Market price: $69.99

Our price: $56.70

save 19%
This  doctor charged me 345.00 for this splint!

Good Morning Wednesday!

I'm sitting here looking at my freshly polished toenails and the view is so much better then yesterday morning when I was looking at the results of Carrie's attempts at a pedicure. I finally got to the Vietnamese ladies for some much needed "me" time. It has been months since my last visit and the bottoms of my feet felt like the ridged back of an alligator. I could walk on hot coals and never feel pain. We're talking some major callous build up on those feet.

My next destination will be for a haircut. That's all the excitement I can scare up around here.

I did walk outside to chat with my neighbor. She and her daughter were doing some early morning yard work and during that minute or two outside, I started feeling sticky and hot, sweat beading and running down my face. Back to the coolness and a shower.

The skies have started  to move the clouds along and the sun has disappeared for a while. Rain is beating down and blowing in sheets across the yard. I stood in my window and watched the lawn service people across the street mow in this downpour and wondered how many lawns she must have lined up to get to today that would cause her to mow in a deluge of rain.

This town seems to be in a holding pattern. It's very quiet lately and I wonder if it's because of the problem in the Gulf. Are all the oil people waiting on the ends of their jobs to finally reach them? The stores aren't doing a booming business and I fear it's because everyone is trying to hang on to what money they have. Usually there are all kinds of service industry jobs but right now it's difficult for the students out of school for the summer to find a job. My neighbor's son has been looking for a month now for a minimum wage job and has come up with nothing. Ted, the grandson hasn't found a job either. This is so unusual for this part of Louisiana. The minimum wage jobs were plentiful as most of the mature workers were offshore working around or on the rigs. Times, be a changin around here.

The elite neighborhood of River Ranch is now flooding the market with houses that are upside down on their mortgages and eyeing the disaster in the Gulf and what it may mean to their income. It's time to cut and run?

I'm watching quietly from the sidelines and keeping a keeping a tight rein on my purse strings.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tea Time

I'm not the only one enveloped in the heat? I'm watching the weather channel and listening to all the warnings in the north east on this heat wave. It's not just the south that is hot and humid and miserable. Right now it is raining and the thunder can be heard grumbling in the distance. It's summer. Should I expect any less then the heat and humidity? Another 3 months of this and fall will arrive but before then, hurricanes will be a threat to survive. I need to appreciate the weather I have now and realize what could be. Yes, it's hot and humid but I have electricity. Not so with hurricanes. Then I'm hot and humid and have no electricity so I guess we don't have it so bad right now.

Carrie came to visit after her trip to Lydia. She was happy to be here with us and to celebrate, I gathered up a tray, a teapot and some teacups and saucers. The look on her face was priceless when I walked into the room posing as a servant and serving the mistress her "tea". She giggled. She reached for the floral teapot and I showed her how to hold the lid on with one hand while she poured with the other. The floral sugar bowl with the lid had chocolate Nestle's Quik in it and a spoon rested on the floral saucer that held the small floral teacup. She delicately dipped the spoon into the chocolate and deposited it into the teacup where she stirred it with the milk and before taking up the teacup, she placed the lid back on the "sugar bowl" as a proper young lady would do. Taking a sip of her "tea" she held the cup in one hand and used the back of her other hand to wipe the "milk" off her lip and smear it on her shirt front. A little more training in using her napkin might be needed?

She enjoyed her little tea party and wants to recreate it for her friend, Ms. Dee, next door.I've promised her to invite Ms. Dee tomorrow to a tea party where she will be the hostess. Little girls are so much fun!

For Reference

(I don't think this got posted. I was using my laptop and typing it in "Word" where I thought I would be able to copy and paste in my blog. It didn't work but here on this desktop it allows me to transfer it. This was the first day of the Arizona trip. Late I know.)

0330 and I'm awake so I might as well crawl out of bed which is exactly how I do it these days. I'm not complaining as each day I notice a marked improvement in my gait and stance. My surgeon/doctor was impressed with my progress when he examined me yesterday. We looked at the X Ray and he showed me how much bone was removed and how he reshaped my heel, removed the spur and detached and reattached my Achilles Tendon. He did a lot of sawing and said that I was progressed much farther then what is normal for a patient at this stage of the post operative healing time. I neglected to tell him that I pitched that boot and started walking in sneakers 5 weeks ago instead of just the past two weeks. I've been practicing a lot longer then he is aware.

I'm ready to run though I know I won't do that. My knee prevents me from running and running was never a sport I engaged in. It's tough on the knees and the tendons; so was skiing.

As I was saying when I started this blog, I was up early so I tidied up the kitchen and checked my suitcase, packed up my laptop and camera equipment. When the husband awoke and was making coffee, I slid through the shower, got dressed and finished with the hair and makeup. I got a haircut yesterday and sometimes that's not the wisest thing to do right before a trip just in case the haircut was less then a desired result. I never know exactly how it will go until I shampoo and direct the hair dryer and round brush at it. I look tidy. How's that for a glowing testimonial to my new haircut?

We were on the road by 0600 after much checking of the house and luggage and rechecking to make sure the coffee pot was turned off, the trash taken out and all the lights turned off. I left a key with my neighbor just in case I need to have her do something for me. She will do a walk through to check to make sure the water heater in the attic doesn't fall apart and leave the house engulfed in water. I worry. I worry about everything and listening to Ms. K's tales of a trip taken to come home and find her water heater had exploded and water had provided her with an indoor pool doesn't help to relieve any of my worries.

It's raining. Earlier it was REALLY raining and so much so that we pulled off the interstate and sat beneath an overpass till it eased up a bit and that is where we are now in the rain. We can see the highway though it's still raining and foggy. The sky is dark and the clouds are moving forward and not swirling so there isn't a funnel to be seen. I'm watching for them. Have I mentioned that I worry?

We have room reservations at a Holiday Inn in Ft. Stockton, Texas for tonight. Our GPS tells me that we should be there around 1630 this afternoon which will be just in time for some pool time and dinner.

I'm typing this in Word Pad and saving it to transfer to my blog later today when I can get online. I'll never remember by this evening what I wanted to say if I don't do it this way. The husband is driving while I sit here typing away, one eye on the computer and the other on the sky. I take my co pilot duties seriously.

I'm ending this at 0800 and may add more to it later. Adios!

I'm back. Adios? I signed off with Adios? It must be because I'm in Texas. We had a few hours of rain free driving but now it's back with a vengence. The traffic is light and we are out Houston and into the prairie so the rain hasn't affected us much. Within 45 miles we will be in Luling, Texas where we will have lunch. Usually we have barbequed meat at the shed like building there but since we have been eating Luling barbeque for the past two days, we've discussed finding a Tex Mex restaurant for lunch. I need to find a book to read before we leave San Antonio which is west of Luling and the last bit of civilazation. It's many miles and many hours across the barren boring desert without a book to get engrossed in to help pass the time. I've made this trip many times and it's only my fault that I didn't pack a book.

Enchilada Verdes, beans and rice at noon stop in Luling and I have to say, it was just yummy and all for 4.99. It was an authentic Mexican food restaurant where the server spoke Spanish along with most of the patrons. My kinda place for good Mexican food. We have been steadily heading down the highway since lunch and are now about 200 miles from Ft. Stockton which is our destination for today. Surprisingly, the desert is green. Mesquite, sage and Century plants are an intense green which means there has been a lot of spring rains. Soon the landscape will thin out to sand and desert landscape. Gas at the last stop was $2.89 a gallon up from the starting price in Lafayette of $2.57.

I'm looking forward to that stay over in Ft. Stockton. 8hrs of travel is enough for me. At the stops for gas, I slide down from this tall 4 wheel drive truck, give my leg a chance to stretch to full length and by the time I make the trip inside the little store and back to the truck, the leg has loosened up enough to walk without discomfort. Then I'm back in the truck where for the next hours of inactivity, it stiffens up once again. Sitting still for hours on end isn't the best for that leg.

Tonight in Ft. Stockton, I will look for a book for the next 8 or so hours we will be traveling tomorrow.
After our visit to Casa Grande we will go off on a little "vacation" before heading home. We don't know just where that little trip will take us but I wouldn't mind visiting the Grand Canyon again and traveling into the badlands of Utah. Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon and Lake Powell would be within driving range of where we are. I'm sure the husband would rather go to Vegas. We shall see. I sorta like not having any definite plans yet.

Ft. Stockton, Holiday Inn, shoes off and laptop connected. I'm home folks!