Monday, January 16, 2017

Mid January

It is the middle of January and the temperatures are back into the 70's.  I should be happy to be getting the 7500 steps done.  But I really just want to watch TV.  The few Christmas decorations that I put out need to be boxed up and stored for next year.  I just do not want to do the stuff.  That is called lazy.  Just plain lazy...

I did notice a tinge of guilt over the stuff piled on the chair.  Not enough to get up and get it put away.  Probably a 20 minute job.  Less time than it takes to write this blog post!  I am about to talk myself into getting it done.  Since sister is coming to spend a couple of nights it would make sense to get the stuff out of the way.  I mean not that many square feet available.

Hubby on the other hand is once more caring for Son's auto.  Seems there had been a knocking under the hood even after the oil change.  The different service center found nothing to be causing the sound.  He does the cars, I do the dust.  The never ending auto upkeep and dust.  Dusting is much less expensive than auto upkeep.  So long as I do not bend improperly

Finished one of the books I received for Christmas.  Written by Robert Wagner and Scott Eyman I heard Wagner's voice as I read it.  "I Loved Her In The Movies" is a recount of Wagner's take on women from the 1920's thru 1980's.  He knew so many of them from being in and around the movies himself.  A good read for dreary days though is seems a little pretentious at times.  You know how Wagner knew and loved or slept with one big name or another.  Similar to the character Wagner played on NCIS.  Still interesting to read about the famous ladies of Hollywood.

The next book hopefully will make this blog more interesting.  "On Writing Well" hopefully will bring a new level of reading for you folks.  I have been lacking in inspiration of late or possibly a lack of direction for the writing.  So for now I shall close and get to reading.  See you in a few days.  Meeting friends from Missouri and us will be dining together.

Peace and best wishes!
Janice

Friday, January 13, 2017

Pilgrimage

While reading the haiku responses to the current month's challenges over at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai one in particular prodded the old brain.  The challenges this month are coming from reading selections from the novel "The Pilgrmage" by Paulo Coelho.   Themes such as rebirth, learning and letting go are just a few of what will be covered during the virtual pilgrimage.  This pilgrimage is the along the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain.



Were I 30 years old or even 30 years younger the pilgrimage could be a fun adventure.  Plenty of time for soul searching.  Long enough to develop callouses to replace early blisters.  Certainly experience a different culture as well as history.  The route follows an ancient Roman trade route as well as the connection to St. James.

Elsie Hagley is one of the other folks in the haiku kai.  She is in her 70's and lives in New Zealand.  Now would that not, also, be a great place to visit!  I digress.  Elsie wrote the following in response to living in the moment:

retirement time now
walked the path of work for years
be with the moment
time to return to rebirth
spiritual growth starts today

Elsie Hagley

Those words got my mind to thinking about retirement.  With retirement there comes more free time.  There likewise comes a body that moves a little slower.  That body aches a little more and takes a little longer to heal or even recoup from a trip to the grocery store!  But that does not stop retirees from working to look for new things.  Or just have time to complete things they started 40 years earlier.  Some retirees start entire new careers.  I am content to stay at home and be on call for the kids and grandkids.

Retirement has afforded time to travel at a more leisurely pace.  Personally I began writing a blog, doing some photography and learning about haiku.  Moving to be closer to our son has left me more isolated from people and friends.  That is almost a choice, though, to not start new friendships.  I do have blog friends that I visit virtually most days.  The river cruise in the spring of 2016 will probably be our swan song for 'big trips'.  As noted above if I were younger a pilgrimage through norther Spain could be grand.  Ah, but I am 70, out of shape and out of time for such an adventure.  I shall be pleased just to write haiku about such a pilgrimage.  After all 70 years of life on earth is a pretty long pilgrimage.....

Peace and love,
Janice


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January 20

I am watching President Obama's farewell address to the nation.  His hair is so much grayer as every president becomes.  He is challenging us to get off the computer and talk face to face with those who do not agree.  Get busy working to be the change one wants to see could sum up what he is saying.  Looking back over the last 8 years and seeing the positive that can happen.  That is the best of what we call the United States.

There are close friends and family that are sort of throwing up as they listen to the speech.  Folks that detest the President, not just his policies.  Sort of like how I have never liked even one little bit PE Trump from his early days on TV to this moment.  That is okay that we all have different feelings about the same people.  Like them or not they are the leaders.  The ones that are to be prayed for on a daily basis.  To be resisted when necessary and to be encouraged when needed.

This means I will continue to write government officials as I have since the 1960's.  I will express my opinion, hopefully with respect.  I will listen to opinions.  I will not give credence to those Facebook reposts from groups that just want to spread hate and separation.  That means the left as well as the right.  Yes, I am a wild eyed liberal.  That does not mean I do not have a brain.  Not all the left pushes fits my beliefs.  The alt-right beliefs are just too out there for me.  (You know like Michelle Obama is a transgender.)  I will continue to read some of the conservative information that is vetted.

And I will stand shoulder to shoulder with other women outside the Texas Capital building on January 20.  Cause there was a man that hated Obamacare and voted in politicians to dismantle it.  Terror then struck him when he realized ACA and Obamacare are the same thing.....  Obamacare/ACA needs an overhaul so lets work together to make it work for the good of all.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Winter!

It is definitely winter in Central Texas today.  Temperatures hovering below and at the freezing mark.  I know that is nothing like the single digit and minus 0 temperatures of many but with a wind chill of 15 degrees it is cold.  A very cold day to attend a graveside service.  This is the day a friend's ten years old grandson is laid to rest.  The cloud cover adds to the dreariness of the day.  And the chill accentuates the coldness of a grave.

Reading facebook to catch up with family and friends across the world is a good way to distract from the sadness.  Snowfalls of varying amounts give rise to kiddos on sleds.  All bundled up against the cold winds with wide smiles peeking our from the hoods.  One friend has his only grandson and his parents in for the Christmas/Winter break from their home in China.

This grandpa and grandson have built a small cabin in the back yard of Grandpa's home.  The building took a couple of vacation visits to reach its current level of comfort.  It is equipped with bunk beds, electricity, heat and most amenities. The one exception is bathroom facilities.  This morning's post by Grandpa included comments about the chilly walk to bathroom facilities in the nearby garage.  A heated indoor john.  Such luxury!  Grandpa then commented on the path he would use as a kid growing up in the 1940's and 50's.

We in the US can sure forget how short a time it has been since 'modern' conveniences have become the norm.   Such conveniences as running water, electricity, graveled or paved roads and indoor plumbing did not reach into the rural communities till the late 1950's and 1960's.  Hubby and my home built in the 'country' in 1969 had the luxury of 'city' water as a result of federal water programs begun in the mid 1960's.  The water programs were similar to the rural electrification program (REA) of the mid 1930's.  Yes, that first home had 3 indoor commodes....  And a septic tank with lateral lines to process the wastes.  I do enjoy the conveniences of this modern life.  

This post was started in the morning of January 6.  A cold, blustery wintry day.  A day for the burial of a 10 year old child.  The grandson of a high school classmate.  We dressed in our cold weather clothing from living in Missouri and drove the 90 minutes to lend support to our long time friends.  The ceremony was deeply moving with tributes from the Texas Army National Guard and many others whose lives were touched by Rowan.

From the graveside we headed back to Round Rock.  I had an appointment with my 10 year old grandson.  No way would I miss this opportunity to spend time with him.  He wanted to sew on the machine we had given him for Christmas.  And sew he did learning as we went.  Once the simple stuffed bear was completed he was ready to go play Pokemon.  Then his older brother was ready for some sewing lessons.  Finally at almost 11 PM Middle Grandson says, "Grandma, you look tired.  You need to go home and rest.  And would you bring some stuffing and material so we can sew some more?"

Back home I needed to prepare to leave the next morning to head 200 miles in the opposite direction for a classmate's funeral.  First I had to gather a bag of material, some needles, more thread and the stuffing all to be left on the porch of Son's home as we left the next morning.  Cause while I may be in the winter of my life, the future is in these wonderful grandsons in their spring of their life.  The life they still have to enjoy.  And we must live to honor those that have passed from this life.

Peace and love to each of you.
Janice

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Some Days.....

The end of the year tributes to all the famous folks that passed in 2016 left me realizing my age.  I know some folks call 70 the new 60 but it really does not matter.  It is when the icons of your child's childhood start dying that the age hits one.  Prince, George Michael, Carrie Fisher were icons for my son's age while the likes of Pete Fountain, John Glenn and Debbie Reynolds came from my aunts and parents era.  My life was spread across these decades to include David Bowie and Patty Duke era folks.

Death is just part of life or the end of it.  It is one thing when it is the names of stars or people one has seen from afar.  It is another when it is my own aunt that passes.  Even more when it is the 10 year old grandson of a high school classmate.  Those two losses were the last of folks I knew personally that passed in 2016.  Then today came with the first for 2017.

A year ago I reconnected with classmates from my high school graduating class.  There were originally 15 in the class.  About 4 decades ago we lost the first, Donna, in a car accident.  In May, 2007, Sue did not wake up from a night's sleep.  An email came today that now a third has died, Mikel, a man of very few words.

Friday I will go to the graveside service for Rowan, the 10 year old grandson of Judy.  A friend I stood with the day she was married 51 + years ago.  Saturday I will then attend Mikel's funeral service.  Some days are like that.  You stand with friends in their joy and later stand with them in their sadness.  Yes, some days ......

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Not much time to write as we must head over to Son's home for a bit of a beach party.  Sunglasses will cover the ugly red bleed in my right eye.  It keeps happening.  Yes, I have been to a specialist.  On steroid drops along with multiple wetting drop applications during the day.  Seems the corner of my eye lids have decided to attach to the eyeball.  This causes a pulling effect on the eyeball veins.  Oh, snap!  And another blood red eye.

So if you see me with my glasses off and my eye is red, it is not a new year's hangover.  Just another weird thing going on with my old body!  And another year to look forward to so many great surprises!

Keep up the hope and positive thoughts.  Laugh as much as possible cause there is always something funny to think about in our lives.  Like did you just discover that missing sock as you put on your pants this morning?  Or did that sock just drop out as you were walking into say church?  Or did you belch loudly as you opened your mouth to yawn at that restaurant?  I mean there is always something.  Personally I have walked full speed into screened doors, gone to the wrong wedding, set off alarms at the airports ... with my underwire bras, and the list goes on and on the longer I live.  So I laugh at myself and spread the joy as often as possible.

Go in peace and have some fun today.

Janice

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Let It Snow?

Yeah, that is not gonna happen this year in Central Texas on Christmas Day.  Probably competing with the folks in Australia for high temps today.  Their summer, our early winter.  My Hubby was remembering early this morning when he first arrived in Texas the Christmas of 1960.  He had left his army assignment in South Dakota by way of his home in Southwest Missouri.  There was snow in the ground in South Dakota, none in Missouri and 78 degrees in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.  He remembered being in shock at the temperature when he reported for duty at the missile base outside Dallas.  We are that warm again today. For sure, no snow.

We started the Christmas morning a little differently this morning.  Up at 6 AM to prepare a dish to be taken to a women's shelter.  As we really only needed to be up by 8 we would up having time to exchange our gifts and eat the quiche breakfast.  The Waldorf salad was prepared, proper dress and we headed for the little church that would be delivering the food.  We have not become attached to a church since our move but I am ready to commit to this little congregation.  It seems a good fit as it is a Reconciling Ministries church.  Any who, we met the small group of ladies that would be taking the food.  After introductions, some chit chat and a prayer followed by a photo op the group headed into Austin and the women's shelter.  Hubs and I headed to our little home.  A call and the plans changed to drop in on our little family as they were opening gifts with the DIL's daughter and father.  A cup of coffee and a cookie later, we left as they were ready for their breakfast.

After the short visit we drove by the home of a couple of Ham Radio operators just to view their antennae.  Now isn't that something that is pretty specific, antennae envy.  There was no visiting or saying hi just a drive by siting of towers topped by lengths of pipes that are tuned to receive signals.  Not a single one was decorated for Christmas or anything!  Just weathered aluminum, fiberglass, coax wire and nuts and bolts.  Great beauty in the eyes of the radio crowd!  After 50 years one learns to be excited by such things.

We were having to use the air conditioner in the car as the temperature mixed with the high humidity was uncomfortable.  Hubby commented on the temperature and spent some time figuring out that first Christmas day he came to Texas back in 1960.  Then it hit him that 56 years have passed since then.  Next we realized an engagement ring was placed on my finger 50 years ago in just a week.  His next comment, "Dang, I'm old."  Yes, and it beats the option.  And that option reared its head 9 2/3 years ago, April 20, 2007, in the form of a massive pulmonary embolism, a lung infarction and ruptured lung.  Let's just say we are choosing to celebrate life and not worry about the temperatures and lack of snow.

Merry Christmas!!!
Janice