Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday and I've been very lazy here

It's 1900 hrs and I'm still in the pajamas I wore to bed last night.

Eggs, bacon and potatoes filled our breakfast plates and that is the only thing I did until a few minutes ago when I finished loading the dishwasher after take out Chinese food. I didn't even order nor go pick it up. I'm that lazy!

I'm going to get into a hot shower and some fresh p.j.s. And that's my exciting Sunday!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Simple Saturday

It is cold around this place. It's not cold enough to freeze one's tongue on ye ole pump handle; it's not as cold as some of the days and nights  I've spent in Wyoming. My tolerance for cold weather is very low. I've been in the south way too long. The thought of temperatures dipping into the thirties sends me backing up into the house and slapping the door shut.
It's been very quiet around here today. Carrie is with her father and only the hubby and I are here. The hubby has been putting "running boards" onto his truck today and I've been staying out of his way. It hasn't went well. The first set he bought, he was barely into the installation when he found there was parts missing. He packed everything up and went back to the Performance Shop where he found there wasn't another set of them to purchase but "for an extra 50.00 he could get an upgrade on ones that are usually 100.00 more" and that's what he did. The salesmen assured him they would fit his truck although the packaging said they were for a 2009 through 2010. They didn't fit. We still have them sitting here in their box. The Performance Shop had closed so he rushed off to another place that was only open until noon to purchase another set. See why I have stayed out of his way today? I hid out in the bedroom and waited for updates on how it was going. I wasn't brave enough to venture out to where he was working to inquire. Sometimes it's just more pleasant to wait for an update. I would have been majorly frustrated at this point but he handled it with aplomb. Quietly he went about doing what had to be done to accomplish his goal.
One more addition to that truck and he will have it road ready. He may have to leave without getting the tonneau cover that he has ordered which won't be here until the middle of  next week.
The pot roast, pototoes and carrots capped off the day.
I'm ready for a couple of good strong Bloody Mary's. Being a quiet observer is a terrible responsibility! 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Truckin...Storms and Naps.

From where I sit I can see the rain falling, at times heavy, the thunder slips in an explanation mark to quantify the storm. The wind whips the ferns that sit in the urns across the front porch, getting a much needed drenching.
I'm warm and I'm dry and I have no desire to go anywhere in this storm. Earlier a quick trip to the manicurist to have my nails done and a stop to pick up some coffee and I was back at the house. The husband was already home from the Dodge dealership. His truck was transported from Arkansas yesterday and he was anxious to pick it up this morning. Running boards, bed mat, floor mats and a tonneau cover is being installed before he packs it up with all his supplies for a job that is his next stop. The rig is fishing so he has a few more grace days to get his new truck ready to go.
I got to take it around the block which will probably be the last time I'm invited to drive it. The husband is very protective of his ride. He spends a lot of time on the road and his truck is his second home. The 2007 Dodge that he traded in for this new truck was in show room condition. I hated to see it go and if not for the high mileage on it, he would not have had to let it go.
I am still in sticker shock on the price of a new truck or any vehicle for that matter. I can only justify this purchase by repeating to myself "this is a company expense". He gets paid mileage on his truck and the allowance is generous. He will make back the price of this truck in one year of driving it. The additional 5 yrs he drives it will pay for the next one. 
Soon I'll be strolling the car lots looking for a new vehicle. I only have one requirement...good mpg. The Grand Marquis I hate to part with. It's a very comfortable car and for it's size, it gets good gas mileage but nothing lasts forever and I know I will have to get rid of it soon. There won't be a trade in. I'll pass it along to someone in the family. Maybe I can borrow it back some times?
The storm has lulled for a bit. The thunder is now heard in the distance. I hope it calms down here as the daughter has to make a trip to Lydia to take Carrie to her dad's for the weekend. Hydroplaning in all the rain we get here causes me to worry about them on the highway. The daughter is a very cautious driver but she can't rely on the other drivers to operate the same.
I feel a nap coming on. It beats cleaning cupboards which needs to be done. Maybe tomorrow?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Discipline and Focused

"There is nothing more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. The world is full of educated derelicts with no real direction. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. Self discipline and consistent focus on being the best you can be will determine your personal and professional success."

The above statement found on the web from a man encouraging others to follow their dreams. He shared his story of his education, both informal and formal and the above sentence was his final statement.
I've met those same people or ones much like them. They are all around us aren't they?
We are missing the discipline and consistent focus. It starts are home with those things that might appear small and irrelevant to a child's future and are neglected. Teaching a child to be organized is part of discipline. "Put it back where it belongs", a chant too often not heard in homes. Setting schedules, ones that can flex a little in case of major plan changes and preparing the child to deal with this flex goes a long way to preparing them to face the outside world. Schedules also set a framework for small children which subtracts stress from their life. If they know that a certain chore is to be done at a certain time or on a certain day, they are mentally prepared, focused and disciplined to accomplish that goal.
As my husband likes to say "Nobody plans to fail; people just fail to plan."
We are the keeper's of our child's future. Their future starts at birth as well as their education. Teaching discipline and focus is a parent's responsibility. It starts 5 years before they reach the classroom.
Persistence added to discipline and focus leads to success and rewards. Don't lead your child to failure. Start early, set an example. Do it every day. The payoffs are enormous.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December 25, 2012

Santa had his snack
Still asleep beside the tree
Shane gets to rip a package


Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

A quick Christmas Eve post as I sit here watching television.
"Who was Jesus" is being shown on the Military Channel..of all places huh?
A huge storm has been forecast to arrive here tonight. Tornadoes are predicted which is very rare for this part of Louisiana. I have a hurricane lamp on the breakfast bar in the event of power outage. This is a strange Christmas Eve.
Carrie is at her house. I just spoke with April. They have been making cookies again.  She had to tell Carrie it was bedtime and she was holding Santa up as he had a lot of stops to make and her being awake was putting a cramp in his travels. She settled down in front of the Christmas tree with her blanket and pillow.

I remember those years with my brothers and sisters and Christmas Eve. The excitement builds as the day creeps closer. Christmas morning we rolled out of bed and stumbled half asleep to the steep stairs leading down to the living room. As the door swings open, we crowd together upon each other to get our first look at the tree to see what Santa Claus has bought. Usually the girls got the same thing. A doll would sit among two other dolls, our names on the one arm of them. I don't remember what the boys got as I was too excited about the baby waiting for me. One year I remember we three girls got batons. We never requested or demanded anything. It was unheard of to make a list or have certain demands but we did eye the "wish book" with awe.  The Sears catalog spread on the floor with bodies  in a spoke-like pattern around it left us breathless viewing the toys, flipping the slick pages and pointing at what was photographed there. 

Along with the one gift, a basket of fruits, nuts and hard candy signaled it was Christmas morning. Usually the weather was cold, snow covered the ground and we stayed indoors around the wood stove that claimed a corner of the living room.

For seven little children, Christmas was a family event shared and enjoyed with each other.

I miss those Christmases. Did becoming an adult signal the end of the excitement?  Commercialism has escalated from the Sears Christmas catalog to the airways bombarding the children with offerings for mom and dad to buy. Parents shower their children with so much that ripping one package open, they fling it aside to tear into another one. If you ask them what they got for Christmas a week later nothing makes a big impression on them. Will they have special memories of that one thing left beneath the tree for them?  Doubtful.
It's almost time for my Ambien. Merry Christmas. I'm done. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Movies, Football and Sundays

Sunday morning, a light drizzle and football. Carrie and I won't be watching football. She has a nice warm bath drawn and as soon as she tires of watching The Lion King, she will enjoy a bubble bath. Prying her loose from any activity she is enjoying to take a bath is a chore. Once in the tub, she will languish for hours. I start early with bath warnings and announcements. She gets a time, say "Carrie, when your movie is finished, you can get in the tub."

I remind her occasionally to get her mentally prepared. When the time comes she seldom argues as she has been prepped so well.

Today I want to get her dressed in something festive and get a picture of her beside the Christmas Tree. Jeans, shirt and a red elf hat will be sufficient. I didn't buy her a Christmas dress this year. No real reason except there has been so much happening that I just never got to shop for one. She is not unhappy and since Christmas is but two days away, I'll leave it as is.

I'm off to get my own hot shower and dressed while Carrie is entertained with her movie. It's quiet for a change here, No disasters reported and hopefully it will continue for a few days.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Wizard of Oz

The pizza box sits on the coffee table, gnawed on crusts discarded, pieces of the meat topping the only thing left of dinner.
 The furnace makes a "tic" sound signaling the beginning of warm air that will gush from the ceiling vents. It's finally time to don my pink fuzzy robe. It's that cold in here.
Carrie and I are beneath the plaid lap blanket on the sofa. She doesn't have a pink fuzzy robe. The TV is tuned to The Wizard of Oz. Right now the characters have entered Oz and are being pampered. This part of the movie I've never seen. I hear those shocked gasps of "What? You have never seen this movie?"
I must confess. I have never watched it in it's entirety. Each year I see a small part of it and somewhere during the showing I get distracted. I've never seen ET all the way to the credit roll either. Television has been something that I've discovered in my later years. I've always found something else to entertain me and it usually didn't involve being home in front of the TV. What is reruns to many viewers is all new stuff to me.
Carrie was excited. She watches it every year with her family. Tonight is our first viewing together. I may make it to the credits tonight! Just another thing to mark off my bucket list.

My history professor shared this meaning of this movie. It has been said it had a hidden meaning politially inspired. This link provides the story:

The husband ordered a new truck this afternoon. I was appalled at the price. Sticker shock. I believe that is what it is called. I keep chanting to myself "It's a business expense."
Sometimes it helps; most times it doesn't.
When did a vehicle cost more then a house bought 20 years ago? A sure sign that one has grown old is when one starts voicing what was once heard from our grandparents. "Why, I remember when gas was...... or "I remember when you could buy a car for $..00. I'm there.
Soon it will be time for me to head to the dealerships to scout for a new car. I'm not looking forward to it. Owning a new car excites me not. Buying a new car will be something I do out of necessity. I've had to have a few repairs done to the Grand Marquis. I don't know if I trust it now to take me cross country.
I'm closing this down now. I've already ignored more of this movie then intended. It would be great to finish this movie in 2012.

Friday, December 21, 2012

December 21, 2012

The world is still spinning; the Mayan's were wrong. The world did end for the 20 little elementary school children in Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. Funerals for 4 of them today and it was too depressing to watch. I have been staying away from the news channels.

This is our last night in New Orleans. We spent the morning at the WWII memorial. If you plan on visiting, I'll confirm it was worth the price of admission. The theatre show narrated by Tom Hanks was riveting. Lunch was at Wille May's, a place visited by Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain hosts a  television show on eateries around the world.

Chicken fried crisp is their specialty. It was tasty but nothing worth visiting again. So much for ole Anthony's recommendations. I prefer Tony Mandino's on Canal Street for some good home cooking relative to this city.

We stayed in tonight. New Orleans is one of those cities that has way too many cars and way too few parking spots. The hotel here charges 20.00 per night to park and if you collect your car to drive anywhere in the city, parking it will cost you another 20.00. Even the Museum charged to park in their own lot!

I'm out of here to find my pajamas. 20 years ago my night would not have ended this early in the lively city of New Orleans. Time passes and one passes out earlier and earlier!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Salt on you

As the Christmas lights on the tree blink a steady rythmn in the room, I can hear the rain rapping a tune on the concrete outside. The lightening flashes, the vibrations from the thunder cause a strum through the house. I like the rainy nights.

Carrie was expected tonight but she isn't feeling well so she will go to visit her doctor tomorrow.

 The issue on gun control screams from the tube. After each horrible incident of mass shootings, the gun control folks begin justifying their position on gun control. The NRA followers are wisely keeping quiet. 20 small children lost their lives and as I note the comments on Facebook  made by proponents of gun ownership, the cry is about the government wanting to ban guns. I just tonight realiazed this was a statement that was a bit skewed. Banning guns is a phrase used to scare people. Guns are not being banned in totality; the push is to ban assault weapons. Big difference.

I'm astonished at the use of words that are so misleading. One must read the small print in all instances. In this case, one must note the words used that incite people to go on the defense. Rest easy people. Does the  gun that is used by the military, the Swat teams and the police really need to be sold to every law abiding citizens until they decide to visit a classroom with it.

The second amendment assuring us the right to bear arms was written when muskets and single shots were the only thing manufactured. I don't imagine those forefathers could envision that an assault rifle was needed to defend the homes of that time nor this. I doubt seriously they had to contend with mass murderers wiping out a classroom of students.

Keep your guns. Restrict manufacturing of those assault rifles unless being used for military, police or SWAT teams.

Nothing will stop a terror attack and if any of those victimscould leave a message I'm  sure they would say they were terrorized.

I'm done.                            

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Early Sunday Morning, A quiet morning

The shooting in Conn. of those elementary school students has left me depressed. I've had that sinking gut feeling I experienced after the Towers were hit in NYC. I suppose it's a feeling of hopelessness and our vulnerability to  someone able to create so much damage. How can it be stopped? That feeling of not being safe struck me last night as I made a quick stop to Walmart to pick up a few things. As I stood in line behind the shoppers in the "fast checkout lane" which is a misnomer, I could see the glass front entrance into the store. My imagination was on free roll. As clearly as a movie screen in my mind, I could see a deranged 20 yr. old dressed in fatigues, shouldering a long gun with  an assault rife clutched in his hands. As he rushes into the store, he raises the rifle to waist height and the stuttering of the bullets as he sweeps from right to left leaves the shoppers sinking to their knees clutching their bellies, heads, arms and legs, a look of dawning recognition on their faces of what is happening to them.
This is how I see those little children in that classroom in Newtown, Conn. I see it too clearly and yesterday was a depressing day for me. The day this happened, I had went to Carrie's school to sit with her on her lunch hour. A stage sits at one end of the cafeteria. It was a bag lunch day that was held in her class room instead of the cafeteria which was being used by other students for a stage program. The little guys sitting close to me had much to say. They are comfortable with me from my many visits. Dragging bobble heads from their pockets, they held them out for me to view. They munched their sandwiches and chattered. I love watching them. Small faces unlined from worry, their world at this age is filled with innocence as it should be.
My next vision is of the parents of those children, returning home to the Christmas tree with the gifts under the tree for their child that won't be there to rip paper and squeal over their much awaited gift. I don't usually phone Carrie when she is visiting her dad on his weekends that he has her. I had to hear her voice  yesterday, even for a few minutes. I phoned and asked to speak to her. Our conversation was brief but it was enough for now.
I feel such sorrow and a great feeling of helplessness. People are protesting gun control as if they are threatened with losing their fire power. As I understand it, the word being used is "control" which doesn't seem to threaten the confiscation of ALL weapons. The assault weapons being removed from being owned is the 'control' the NRA is protesting? Why? Who needs an assault weapon? A policeman, a military man/woman?
The single mother of this 20 yr. old shooter had a small collection of guns; rifle, pistol and an assault rife. Apparently this was available to a 20 yr. old with some issues evidenced by him shooting her in the FACE before he went into that elementary school. Maybe her guns should have been more "in control" and inaccessible to a young man with some problems.
I spent many nights alone here in my house. My husband is gone to different states related to his employment. I contemplate at times, purchasing a gun and one with enough power to stop someone intent on assault. I'm not against gun ownership however some 'gun control' in this country might not be a bad idea.
I'm counting the days until Christmas has come and gone.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Brother By Marriage

A short homage to a brother by marriage, this note is to wish well to Ray.
I spoke with my sister tonight; she answered the phone at the hospital room where her husband Ray recuperates from surgery. She was tearful and worried.  After a nice conversation with her I promised to call back every day and check on them.
He won't remember I called. The pain administration  is being delivered via a pump and he is still in pain.
My best wishes to a good person who has been in our family since I was a teen. I'll return call again tomorrow. Get well my brother. We love you.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gumbo Weather

Three thirty? Really? I'm out of bed already? I really tried to close my eyes and go back to sleep but the brain was in gear and kept nudging me toward the edge of that bed. Facebook and coffee edged out the effects of that Ambien I swallowed just 4  hours ago. It appears to not have done it's magic very well. Now for something to do!

It's that time. The leaves have fallen from the mighty oak which is really a silver maple tree standing stripped on the front lawn. Mighty Oak just sounds more dynamic.  I don't know if the front grass section of this house qualifies as a "lawn" either. Sounds a bit pretentious to me so I'll just call it the front yard. I'm just thankful I don't have a live Oak laden with moss on that front lawn. The limbs on those trees are big enough to wipe out a house should a hurricane pass through and rip branches off them.

Gumbo. I have the roux cooking as we speak. It's at a slow rolling boil and will be for the next two hours. Learning to cook a Gumbo was a lesson in accepting defeat when I first moved to Louisiana. I would stand at the cook's elbow and watch as she put it together in the huge Gumbo pot. They cook a huge amount at one time. It's a friendly food that begs inviting friends and family over to share. Of course a potato salad is a must have side dish; some people even spoon it on top of their Gumbo and rice instead of eating it separately. I've had it both ways.

The big secret to cooking a roux is "time". My problem was, I would let it boil for 30 minutes then drop in the sausage and chicken, cook for a few more minutes and call it done!

Gumbo roux has to cook for at least two hours to get  the"burnt flour" taste from the roux out of it. You tuck that secret under your hat and use it. Gumbo is an easy dish to prepare but do plan ahead. 

I repeat: The roux MUST stay at a low rolling boil during these two hours.

I'm not afraid to put my Gumbo up with the locals now unless of course they have added Andouille to the pot. It's expensive. Sometimes I use it and oft times not.

When the weather plunges here into the thirties, the Gumbo pots appear. The house smells of roux boiling and my mouth waters. I've always liked all kinds of soup so Gumbo has become a favorite with me.

Another pot of navy beans simmer on the stove. Salt pork chopped in tiny pieces and fried crisp have been added to the beans. These will go with Carrie when she visits her father this weekend. He loves navy beans and salt pork. I'll send some Gumbo along with her too.

I must get up and get moving. Sitting still, I feel my eyes getting heavy and a slowness creaping in. Sleep now tries to visit and I'm not having any of that!

I've a list of things to get done today. I just didn't know I would start this damn early!

While the pots boil, I have plenty of time for a nice long shower.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Our conversations are sometimes short but never boring. She laughs, giggles and groans, a very animated person to have a conversation with and I'm always happy after the phone time we have had together.  
It's a wonderful thing to have some one in your life that can have this effect on you. She shares the news; whether it be from her Facebook account, television reports or her friends,  her opinions are always laced with a few lessons she has learned in her life. Listen closely. There is a lot to learn from this amazing lady.


I hear the rumblings. Today is 12/12/12 and anything ca strophic will be attributed to a line of numbers. I've forgotten when the world was supposed to end. Isn't it this month?
Yesterday a 20 inch gas line exploded underground in Sissionville, West Virginia. Flames shot into the air and homes were destroyed along with a pock marked I-77 which had to be closed to traffic. Contrary to some who believe this was  to be blamed on drilling and worried it would affect the drilling in the area, this is our infrastructure collapsing. Nothing to do with drilling but everything to do with transporting gas from one region of the country to another. Texas, one of our biggest movers of natural gas, has huge pipelines running beneath the ground and taking it to most of the east coast as well as Wyoming and Louisiana, two more big movers of the stuff. The pipes are rotting.

Huge explosions are now common across the USA. Reported and forgotten until it happens in your area.
Scary isn't it? The devout say this earth will be destroyed by fire. I'm sure a huge amount of those worshipers see a gas line explosion as a sign.
A healer made a visit at a church here last week. Of course the parishioners wanted to see some sign of his expertise. A grandfather holding his granddaughter, an infant, in his arm as she drifted off to sleep and her eyes rolled back as they closed in slumber was suddenly amidst the screams of a woman behind him. "She's having a seizure!" she screamed. She helped grandfather rush the infant to the front of the church where the healer "laid hands" on the baby.
"She's healed!" the crowd screamed as the child opened her eyes and appeared to be a lot surprised and begun crying.
I listened incredulously to this story. My first question was.."Didn't they call 911?" Nobody did. The child was taken home as the services were at an end. A few days later a doctor's visit was made. No signs of seizures. Go figure! I suppose the laying on of hands erased all signs and cured the baby. I was appalled at the ignorance.

When I question the devout as to whether they are superstitious, I usually get a resounding "no". I nod and smile and think about all the biblical stories that are taught at a young age and repeated by these children as they grow up to their children and I smile. Speaking in tongues, another event that causes me to keep a blank look on my face so as not to insult the person who is seriously expounding his/her beliefs. Hysteria. The human mind and brains washing. Start em early and repeat the same thing over and over and do it where others are there to reinforce your convictions. Isn't that called "church services?"

Excuse me while I climb down off this soap box.

I'm done!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Munchausin or Give Me ALL that Attention!

An interesting article. Go ahead. Read it.

I've found some interesting characters online. Oh the wonderful world wide web, you've entertained me for years and years. What did I ever do before your existence?

She mourns. She posts her mourning daily. After a few years, what comment can anyone make. It's now down to a "like" and very  few comment to follow her postings. Facebook has become her bulletin board. Her Munchhausen sympathy call; attention gathered, the spotlight to shine each day a few minutes on her.....and some people begin to notice.

He lost a son. The mourning publicly is daily. Two years have passed and still he posts his heartbreak. Along with these posts, he expresses anger at relatives for not celebrating the birthday of this son that has passed. His rants fill his Facebook page and are ignored.

Both of these people have their own guilt to deal with relating to these people they have lost. One was callous in her dealings with him; impatient and cruel in her verbal responses, the other encouraged drinking with his son at an early age and his loss of his son was directly related to alcohol he surmise.
Their pain from their losses are more severe they proclaim then what others suffer when they face a loss.  Every opportunity is taken to bring to the forefront of a conversation or even apparently a Facebook posting to remind others of their loss, their pain and their unhappiness. 

Attention seeking behavior and  relentless postings proclaiming their pain reeks of Munchhausen with a heavy dose of guilt.
This was bought to my attention from a post a few weeks ago on, where else, Facebook!  Someone posted an article. Apparently the two cases mentioned were not isolated examples.  The article posted mentioned Munchhausen was usually a female trait but not entirely limited to females and was used to define women that used their children as a means of attention  by causing to the child illness or injury, taking them in for treatment and collecting the sympathy of the staff and friends that were there for emotional support. The frequency of these incidents eventually alerts the professionals to what is happening.
Frequency. That's the biggest clue to be aware of. Normal grieving wanes. Though never entirely free of loss, an acceptance is reached.
An interesting article for sure. I've searched for it when I started writing this blog and should I find it at a later date, I'll do a postscript and post it here with a note to update.
I have a busy day planned. I want to do some cleaning on my 23 year old Toyota that the granddaughter drives now. Yesterday was spent putting new tires on it and today I want to change the oil and detail the interior before returning it to her. If time allows, I'll try to make it to Carrie's school to have lunch with her.
As we lay in bed last night, I listened to her conversations about people and friends. Carrie is an observer. She stands back and watches other children's behavior especially if it's unbecoming behavior. She recognizes the cruelness of some of the other children and doesn't participate. She observes and last night she was telling me of what she sees. I murmur softly, never offering any comment unless she questions. The more quiet I stay, the more she shares. Even seven year old need to vent; need to hear their own thoughts in words aloud and I let her have this. I learn a lot about this little girl this way. I'm so grateful that I have the time to just lay quietly and listen. No thought of  a job the next day or any mandatory activities fill my own mind. I can relax and give my time to this child and I love it.
Soon she will leave her bed and this house and be exposed to an outer world that we would have preferred to keep her sheltered from.  She must learn the ways of the world in order to make it along her own path and we have to accept this for her own welfare.
I must get started if I intend to make that lunch date with Ms. Carrie. The look on her face of pure delight when she notices me waiting in the hall for her is worth the drive and the time spent for lunch!

Monday, December 3, 2012

MS Word...a better idea!

With one keystroke the sentences vaporize. Though I don’t see a wisp of smoke or steam, the blank page stares back at me. Recreating the words just sprayed across the page is impossible. Sentences and paragraphs are never exactly recalled. I’m using Microsoft Word now.

My blog notes will be done on MS Word and copied and pasted to the blog site. Google provides a space for bloggers and I gratefully use their free service so I can’t complain about the glitches that occasionally invade and wreak havoc with my diary.

The Grand Marquis was returned to me today along with a hefty repair bill. I could shop for a new car but I choose not to. I’m perfectly happy with the Marquis and the roadster. All the ball joint and shocks were replaced last month and this week more work was needed. If it doesn’t need anything else for a few more years, I’ll count this as a good investment. I hate to spend half as much on a car as I did for the house I live in. I’m appalled at how much a vehicle costs now and I prefer to keep what have as long as possible.  The last car I bought was kept for over 20 yrs. The granddaughter has it now.

I’m ready to get the granddaughter into bed and join her shortly. It seems my bedtime comes earlier and earlier especially with daylight savings time in place.


I’m going to copy and paste this to blog spot. ..and was done!

Hammer and Naiil

While early morning voters were roaming the streets headed to their polling places, I packed more hardware, wood and tools into my car. I'm preparing for another day of home repairs. For the past few days we have been installing the trim work, quarter round and chair rail, and the results have been instant. The finish work in carpentry makes the whole job pop. A little more shoe molding should finish off the room we are working on.
The daughter and the son were to tear down some drywall in a bedroom last night so we should be able to hang the new sheets today and it will be ready to be painted. A few more days of repair work and the whole home will be ready to enter the decorating stage; the part I enjoy.
I can't begin to tell you how grateful  I am that power tools were invented. I remember the hammer/nails days and using a screwdriver that left blisters in my palms and took hours to finish a job. I used a brad nailer to put up some small trim work and a finish head nailer to put up the heavier stuff. This would have taken all day had I had to use muscle on a manual saw and time hammering each nail into place.
While I am working and marveling at these wonderful tools, my mind wanders back to the frontier days. The pioneer with his ax clearing a space in the woods and then dragging the trees to the place that will one day be the place where his cabin stands. After chopping down that tree, he would have to spend more time taking the limbs off of it. Soon it would be just a log. The first building block to his protection from the elements. As romantic as it is made to look in the movies, I would never have survived without Pella windows, a forced heat furnace in the winter and a 10 ton A/C unit in the summer. I'm not one of those people that consider this time in our history  as "the good ole days."
Not only were there no modern ammenities for heat and a/c but cooking is a whole other story. I'm not the chef type and if I had to go in the kitchen corner of that one room cabin to stoke up that black metal stove, a home cooked meal would never have happened. I would have to live off what the microwave could produce. ...WHAT? No microwave?
Well, hey..I want out of this movie. I've been miscasted. I can't work in these conditions." (I would have been a whiny pioneer anyway).
The day after the election and President Obama is not looking for a new residence! I couldn't be happier.
I'm anxious to cruise around this town today and watch the reaction to this election. I'm ashamed to say, the first term he won was met with outbreaks of destruction. Sometimes it's just embarrassing to live in a "red" state. I've always said I should live in California among by blue breathern! Oregon might be an option too.
It's time to do a tool check to make sure I have everything for today's work. I enjoy seeing the changes being made after a day's work. The ugly duckling is moving to swan status which is a very gratifiying feeling and keeps me motivated to continue this project!
I hope everyone has a productive day in whatever you are doing. It matters not how mundane, if it makes a small difference, it should be worth the time spent!

Up Tree ...UP!

Stumbling around in the little house, a building used for storing all those things one seldom uses, I pulled the Christmas from the corner of the room.  Dragging it from it's box, the three sections were successfully connected and upright in it's tree stand. Getting the decorations from the little house was a bit more of a challenge.  The crawfish pot has to be moved and along with that huge pot, the burner it sits atop had to be moved. One thing leads to another and now the little house has lost all semblance of organization. This happens any time anyone enters to collect something. I foresee rearranging and reorganizing in my near future.  It's time to pitch and haul.

The tree is up with Carrie's help. She was easily distracted as the decorations were unpacked. Some of the figurines she snatched and headed to the living room to find a spot for them.  Before the tree was finished, she was collecting her paints and brushes and was off  to do another project.  I didn't try to keep her on task. This was supposed to be a fun evening. Soon enough she will be back in her classroom tomorrow following rules.
(Continued on Monday morning)

I collected Carrie from her home and we rode to the bus stop together. She was wearing her new shoes and was not happy about them. I asked her why she didn't like them as she had been the one to select them on our shoe shopping day.  "They are too loose back here" she said as she pointed to the heel.  I adjusted the strings on them, looping them through the eyelets farther back to pull the heel tighter. Now she is complaining of them hurting. She points to a spot near her ankle and  I offered to loosen the laces a bit.  Finally she  explains, it's a mosquito bite that is causing  pain as the shoe rubs against it. I glance up and the bus is making it's first stop. Carrie turns to walk back to her friends waiting in line and I ease out and away. Hopefully being in school will be enough of a distraction and she will forget mosquito bites and "it's Monday".

It's Monday for me too. The garage just called with a long list of ailments on that Mercury and for 1899..00, I should be driving it again some time this week!  I'm waiting to hear from Jeff. He has both my laptop and my desktop computers. The year 2012 has been one of costly repairs. I should be all good for 2013.

I'm done here on this post because I have so much to get done around  the house. It's shower time and time to get dressed and busy. Hobby Lobby is on my list of places to visit today. I'm gone!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Old and Broken

I'm not voicing a complaint. It could be worse. I have my health or most of it., Everything else is going to pot. 

First the roof, then the a/c and more recently the home office desk top computer lost it's ability to translate information from the cpu to the monitor in a fashion that was readable. The video card has went the way of the roof and the a/c. May they meet up in that great repository in the sky.

Yesterday a big electrical surge visited right before we lost all service for the next 4 hours. My laptop refused to function thereafter. Clever deduction on my part reasoned it was fried. I loaded both laptop and desktop up today and made a drive across the swamp to the computer guy in the country. I left him with the information I thought might help him in his journey of discovery and headed home.  I'm now reduced to using only my iPad or the old XP programmed Dell in the office which is much like using dialup to get on the internet.
The trip into the country to get my computers to the tech went as follows: Road construction. Ahead of me large trucks sat straddle of both lanes of this gravel road. They had pulverized the base of this road into a fine powder and I was waved to a stop. One lane was cleared of  equipment and I was waved forward but told to proceed slowly. Slowly was the only way I could proceed. I'm in the roadster and it's low riding; the fine powder was scraping the bottom of my little car. Reaching the pavement, I gunned the engine and shot forward in a cloud of dust. The view in my rear view mirror showed the dust trapped beneath that little car escaping in a solid sheet of dust storm. I was creating my own road hazard. For the next 10 mies the dust filled the air. The little red roadster was no longer a bright red. 

As soon as I found a car wash, she was rinsed off. I'll have to run her through a auto wash to get the under carriage cleaned. 

Along with everything else that seems to have aged to the point of collapse, my Mercury was finally taken to the shop today to have the 02 sensors changed. An hour later the mechanic called to say his shop didn't have the equipment to change those sensors and I told him I would be over promptly to pick it up and deliver it to my regular place that sucks up all my car money.

This morning I braved this Dell computer that has been sitting in a closet for a couple of years and attempted to speed it up a bit. I've defragged, deleted and dumped and it's only a wee bit better. If I could capture the sound of the old "dial up connection" it would be appropriate for the speed this machine conquers. How impatient we have become. I can remember....ah but that was then...and technology has leaped forward  like a high speed monorail.

I'm waiting to hear the verdict on the laptop and the desktop; I might be getting a new something..something under that tree.

And a little update on the roadster. I peered beneath the hood and noted the thick dust covering everything so I dragged out the water hose to rinse it off and peeked beneath the grill to the radiator. All the front of that radiator was packed with that fine dust. Trudging out to the little house, I bought back the power washer and cranked it up and spent the next thirty minutes blasting that crud out of the radiator and beneath the car. The lawn was flooded with water and a large grey gooey spot. Whatever was pulverized and spread on that road, may have been being prepared to be solidified with water from the water truck standing close by. I'm wondering how many more vehicles drove through that mess not realizing what it was and the damage that might result from it to their cars.

I won't be taking the scenic route again to get to the computer tech in the country!

I'm off to try the Christmas decorating thing again. I failed to launch on that project so I'll try it again today.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tree Time

I'm cold. Being cold is good inspiration to collect all the Christmas decorations and the tree from the 'Little House" (storage shed). Sweat streaking down my face and saturating my clothes isn't a vision of sugar plums and reindeer. Living this far south, one has to adjust to warm holidays. Snow won't be ever anticipated for a white Christmas. It's not impossible but it's not probable either.
A corner of the dining area has been cleared of the 6 ft. tall white pedestal. Atop it sits greenery in a huge bean pot. I moved it cautiously to another area of the room. The tree will sit in a non trafficed area. Personally I think it is much too early to put up a tree. It's not even December 1st. Twenty five plus days till Christmas. Can I tolerate a tree for twenty five plus days?
I usually have all my Christmas shopping done at this time. I've decided to wait a while so as to be more "involved" in the holiday. Maybe that's not the wisest move?  No. I'll not wait. I'll just go stroll the mall and enjoy the decorations and watch the harried stressed shoppers safe in the knowledge that all my shopping is done and wrapped.
Now for that tree.........I'll be in the 'Little House" gathering those totes and tree.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

An Itty Bitty Note

I think being healthy might be the death of me. My little battle with breathing a few months back have been mostly resovled; I might be trying to make up for lost time. I was sofa bound for 4 months and Predisone and a few inhalers put me back on track and breathing. I was extremely relieved and ready to move again and I did.
I'm not working on the daughter's home right now. I'm on hiatus. That's when I noticed the baseboards at my house. I've been on a binge. I'm cleaning.  I'm waiting for all those visitors to show up and point and exclaim over the bright shiny look of them. Wait until they get a gander at the overhead fans! I'll be the talk of the town.
You must be thinking I'm a little over tired. You would be right. I'm going to take my little white Ambien and crawl into bed but not until I stand under a hot shower for some long minutes.
I'm gone.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey Dos

I'm clueless as to the adjective following the subject or vice versa in the Spanish language but today was the "dos" or "second" Thanksgiving meal I've cooked in less then 5 days.
The husband was in Kansas and enjoyed a meal of deli sliced turkey with mayo on bread. There aren't any holidays in the oil field. The rig celebrated the day as any other. They kept "making hole" as they say in the biz. The family spent the day here spread from the bedroom with an X Box, the living room with the Wii and the patio where a warm comfortable day was enjoyed. A little later we were all doing jello shots except for the underaged ones.
The husband left Kansas yesterday and put 4 hrs of the drive behind him and stayed overnight in Oklahoma City. He finished his 10 more hours of driving today at 1700 hrs. by arriving   home to find a turkey fresh out of the oven will all the side dishes set out on the  breakfast bar. A pumpkin pie and a pecan pie waited to finish off this second feast in less then 5 days at this house.
I'm more then a little tired. I've been on my feet since 0400 hrs this morning and I'm ready to  get a hot shower and into bed. I dismantled the vacuum cleaner this morning to clean it and replace the bag and filters. That went well. It was the work on the carpet shampooer that did me in. After removing a multitude of screws and figuring out how to pop off the plastic cover by pinching tabs hidden from view and only accessible by bending a few fingernails into the quick, I wasn't able to fix it. The rotating brushes no longer rotate. I dragged it to the "little house" and hit it with bursts of air from the air compressor. Dust and dog hair flew. Not my dog hair. I don't possess such an animal; it's from those that have borrowed this equipment. After a thorough cleaning and more time spent replacing the screws and bending a few more fingernails, the darn thing still doesn't have rotating brushes. I had to take a break and bury some frustration. Tomorrow I will try again. I'm just not ready to give up and chunk it into the landfill. Nothing lasts long these days. Look at the landfills for proof of this.
I'm off to get that shower.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hunter, Gatherer

If a gun or a trap was needed to snare the bird for the upcoming feast, we would all be eating Spam from a can or noodles courtesy of Mr. Nissan.  Cruising the aisles of Walmart and dodging the other shoppers intend on hunting down each lane and gathering and pitching stuff into their carts has been enough exercise for me.

I never remember that I crawled out of bed at the ungodly hour of 0400 and I really should be a bit tired by 1400 hrs.  I'm staggering around and cursing myself for getting this old and tired.  I need a nap. I need to slow down a bit. I have much to do. I'l slow down after this coming Thursday. That's what I tell myself but I usually have another excuse for ploughing full speed ahead. 

Right now I'm cutting the lights and the laptop. An Ambien is in my very near future!

From carpentry to cooking

The repairs are now but a painful memory. Oh sure, a few thing are left to do and they will get done but all the big stuff that was tedious and time consuming is finished.

We put a queen size bed in Ted's room after painting the walls in a grey/green color. I have to use a bit of restraint in decorating a young man's room. Throw pillows on his bed would have been an annoyance to him. New curtains are hung, a mix of soft green and light brown checks on a cream background, a king size bedspread in the same soft grey green color drapes the bed and covers the sides of the three mattresses that elevate his bed to waist height. During my one day shopping for his room, I found exactly what I wanted in one day. Amazing! Usually I have to hunt for days and days. A 5X8 rug keeps the area in front of his bed and his X Box a warm place for his feet when getting out of bed or sitting in front of that X Box.

For a chest of drawers, I bought a storage unit that is usually used in a garage or a storage shed. It's durable plastic, soft grey with 5 drawers. We moved his clothes from the clothes baskets into this chest and the clothes baskets out of the room. He gained vertical storage and more floor space. I'm happy with the way this room developed. Everything from new walls to fresh paint and furnishings make it a nice space for Ted.

Next week we will concentrate on painting ceilings. While the daughter paints the living room, I will be working on the hall bathroom. Hopefully by Christmas the rooms will be painted and we can clear all of our supplies off the deck where we have stored our supplies while working inside.
I've purchased some clear lights that will be strung across the rafters of the deck. I want to make a winter wonderland for Carrie to enjoy. Reindeer, lights and's the Holidays!
Right now I'm off to the market to purchase Thanksgiving dinner foods and dig out my recipes. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I have a personal relationship with my measuring tape .   After years of using a cheap metal tape that when extended over 5 ft, it would begin to seek ground level. This is not good especially if you are working alone.

I treated my self to a Fatty Tape Measure that costs well over 35.00 and it is MY tape with heavy emphasis on the "my". I keep it hidden in my tool carrier. It is never loaned and especially never loaned to the husband. I keep a one in his little shop area so he won't have to ask to borrow mine.

Why am I so stingy?  Cause people just don't take care of things as well as the owner of said item. As sure as it's loaned, it will be returned with a kink in it and it becomes useless to me.

I lost my measuring tape. I was heartbroken. I've been in and out of Home Depot for the past two weeks but when I recreated all those trips in my mind and ran them down the lanes of my memory, there wasn't a place there that caused me to pause and recall carrying my  meauring tape into Home Depot. I then gave my brain the chore of remembering the last time I had used it and immediately my brain rebelled. It knew it was sometime in this latest remodeling project so it knew the tape was at the daughter's house but more specific, my brain just sighed and refused to contemplate further. Occasionally my brain causes me to roll my eyes and bite my tongue. Angry comments, I've found, have no affect on it's memory.

Today I was in a cleanup mode and it was time for the overfilled garbage receptacles to be rolled to the road for pickup by the sanitation department. I bent over to pick up something from the ground and just by happenstance glanced beneath the deck. Nestled in the pine needles, the familiar black and yellow of my tape peeked out at me. Down on hands and knees, I crawled beneath the deck and retrieved my lovely tape.
My afternoon had a special lift to it. I had my tape back. Sometimes it's a special color lipstick, a hair conditioner that works wonders on ones hair and sometimes it's your favorite measuring tape  that lightens up you life. Kewl huh?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ta DA! Paint!!

Yes siree...finally. We have reached the paint stage in the remodeling process. While the daughter did the trim paint, I rolled the soft grey green paint color on the ceiling. I would have preferred a nice white pristine ceiling but my preferences didn't hold a lot of impact so green it was. The walls, two of them were swabbed with the same brush and both the daughter and myself were satisfied with the results. Even before the paint was dry on the walls we were getting Ted's bed back in place with fresh linens and a warm comforter.
I thought I was done with all the trim work in this room. I had to make a trip to Home Depot to pick up some baseboards, wall trim and some trim for the windows. Tomorrow that room will be the first thing I tackle which should take up most of my morning since all the trim will have to be painted too.
I started at 0730 this morning and shut down around 1600 hrs. Though I was paint spattered, tired and hungry, I forced myself to go to Home Depot to pick up the things I needed to get my goals accomplished tomorrow.
I don't plan on working all day. I have a friend whose husband is in the hospital and as soon as I get a little done on the remodeling, I'll make a visit to the hospital to lend a little emotional support.
I'm exhausted. I literally stumbled into the  shower where I stood and let the hot water kneed the muscles in my back and legs. The weather man says it will be down in the thirties tonight so I donned a pair of warm sweat pants and a t shirt to sleep in. I will be up early to pick up Carrie and sit in the car with her until her bus arrives.
We just aren't used to cold weather here. Those winter months spent in Wyoming have long since been forgotten. We have lived in the south for too long and Carrie has never lived where snow was the norm. I'm headed for the bed and my Ambien. I have another busy day ahead of me.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thank You so Much for Stopping By

Carrie is snuggled down in the King sized bed, usually where the husband sleeps when he is in town. Carrie sleeps in her bedroom on those occasions. She is beneath both the sheet AND the blanket this morning.
Our mornings are a bit on the chilly side now indicated by Carrie's use of both sheet AND blanket. Carrie is a hot natured child much like me. A little heat is sufficient for her and just a tad more is way way too much. I used to tuck her in after she went to sleep, fitting the blanket and sheet snugly around her body only to find on my final check of her before going to bed, the blanket and the sheet kicked of and sometimes even her gown was missing. When she gets hot, she immediately goes au naturelle.
Today she has selected a movie so this afternoon we will head to the theatre. I don't plan on doing much today or as little as required of me. Tomorrow will bring another day of construction.
There are a few more things that will require a saw and the compressor and nailers. Soon I will be able to pack all those things out of the bedroom Carrie occupies which is right now filled with everything related to this job.
The deck needs presssure washed and the outside of the home needs it. Hopefully, this week it will all get done and the bathroom remodel can get underway.
I'm out of bed much to early again this morning. I may need a nap around noon so I'll look for an early morning showing of the movie Carrie wants to see.
The husband remains in Texas on his job and it looks as though he may be there at least another 3 weeks. The problems have been sorted through and the client is calm. As I'm writing this, my eyelids droop and as my head tilts forward, I do that snap, raise, eyes open and find myself paused in my typing. I assume this means I should stretch out on this sofa and let nature take it's course.
On that note I'm outta here! 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Day Off

Wow...a day off! I loaded up the small lawn mower and headed for the daughter's house. We haven't paid much attention to the lawn while doing our week long marathon remodeling project and it's lookin a bit shaggy.
Usually the daughter mows when I deliver the little lawn mower to her. We keep it at my house in the shed to keep it out of the weather. It's so light that I can load it in the trunk of my car when her lawn needs mowed. Since she and Shane (her S.O.) were working on the wall behind the washing machine today, I loaded it and mowed her lawn. Not much to mowing and the only reason it needed done was not for the height of the grass but because it just looked unkempt. This will be the last time this year it will have to be done hopefully.
I stopped in to see how the repair job on the wall was coming along. I just stared and was silently thankful that Shane took this job upon and not me. Two of the 2X4's needed to be replaced and the wiring was almost bare that goes to the light switches. Along with sheet rock, 2X4's and insulation, he will have to do a bit of wiring and then build a support to attach the light switches to. This might be an all day job and one that I got out of doing. THANK YOU SHANE!
Finally the pressure washer was started. Something I failed to get done a couple of days ago when I wanted to use it. I power washed the patio and planned on climbing aboard the riding mower to mulch the leaves on the front lawn when I heard a mower running outside. Peeking out, I found my neighbor on his riding lawn mower doing it for me! Thank you James!
The daughter's drapes are in the washing machine as we speak. I wanted to shorten them so they wouldn't hang in front of the window a/c unit and need to always be tied in a knot out of the way. That "look" drives me crazy. I hemmed them by hand to hang just to the top of the a/c unit and as soon as the washer is finished with them, I'll hang them on the line and drive back to the daughter's to see how that wall is coming along. THANK YOU SHANE! Can you tell how relieved I am that I am not doing this!
And..that's my "day off" so far and it's barely 1530 hrs!

Friday, November 9, 2012

I Might Be Too Old For This

I'm dragging tonight. Ten hours spent cutting wood and installing it and sweeping up the mess after each session and I'm so tired I can't think straight.
Tomorrow I'm taking the day off. The daughter and I have been working for the past 5 days on her home. Trim work and repair after repair and the difference is noted.
This afternoon we were finally able to start doing some painting. The deep deep green that covered the ceiling and walls was covered with Kilz. That was a story in itself.
I thought the daughter had some Kilz in her storage unit but when she dug it out and I opened the can it was in chunks with a mold like scum over it. Trashing it, I headed to Walmart to buy a fresh can. I dashed into the store already exhausted from all the work done during the morning, I just wanted to get back and roll on Kilz. This has to dry before we can paint it in the color the daughter wants. The grandson hasn't been able to use this room and I thought we might be able to get it done today. I'm never very realistic about how long it takes to get things done.
I opened the new can and gazed in astonishment at the contents. It was a milk chocolate color. We reread the contents on the can and it assured us it was white and also blanco. A double assurance.
"Maybe it's like the pink ceiling paint. It's pink in the can and when it drys it turns white." says the daughter. She dipped a paint stick in it and took the hair dryer to it and it remained chocolate. Undeterred, I poured some in a roller pan and headed to the grandson's bedroom. The ceiling remained chocolate and I was on the phone to Walmart. Apparently someone at the store had tinted it and mistakenly placed it back on the shelf. Among the 10 cans of Kilz sitting on that shelf, I had to select the one that wasn't supposed to be there.
I'm tired and irritated and short with the sales clerk. He told me they would replace it. I wanted to ask if they would deliver it as I was too tired to make another trip to exchange the paints.
Tired as I was, I stumbled into the store and grabbed the new can of paint and headed back to try to get this room started. Tomorrow it should be ready for the  final coat of paint and the grandson can move back into his room.
I'm taking the day off. The daughter assures me that she can finish painting. Shane, her fellow, has promised to replace the two by four that has rotted behind the washer and hang a sheet of drywall. He will also replace the soft floor in front of the back door and measure for a new door that we will order. I"m so grateful that this is one job I won't have to concern myself with.
I'll get back there on Monday and start painting hall ceiling move along to the living room and the master bedroom. I am so excited. We are back on track on this project. As soon as the painting is completed and the back door is installed, the remodel of the master bedroom will be enough for this year.
It's Ambien time. The 3 ibuprofen should be kicking in soon. I hurt!