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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Lucy Comes for a Visit

Friday was a special day as I joined with our son's girlfriend as she began planning a big 16th birthday bash for her daughter.  While we were gone, a pot roast and the trimmings were cooking in the oven.  All we would have to do was make the gravy and set the table when the trip to the venue was complete.  I am too slow was a little longer getting the last stuff done so Son took the daughter without her dinner to meet friends at the football game.  But it was still good as we 5 sat down for a meal together.

While we were eating a phone call came in from the youngest nephew.  Of course we would be glad to watch his puppy Lucy while he went to visit his niece and nephews.  Of course they are our great niece and nephews, too.  Lucy would spend Saturday and possibly Sunday nights with us.

Saturday morning we are up much earlier than usual.  We have a visitor to welcome!  Around 10 Nephew and Lucy arrived.  I call her Leaping Lucy cause she does.  Our living area floors are polished concrete.  They are slippery for Lucy.  I do have 4 small area rugs placed in different areas.  Lucy leaps from rug to rug when she is running.  From the living area into the sleeping area is about 3 -4 feet from the area rug to the bedroom carpet.  Lucy clears the concrete area every time.  With one more bound she is on the bed, another 4 or 5 feet.
Fourteen pound Lucy

She likes to be under covers when she sleeps.  She will climb in bed with me and snuggle down at my feet.  There she remains almost the entire night.  Lucy is no where nearly as large as DJ, the grand-dog.  Lucy fits nicely at our feet.  Or curled up next to me on the sofa.  Cover her with an afgan and she is out for a nice long nap.   She is so small Hubby and I lose her in the covers or under the afgan.

Tomorrow we are going to go to a festival in a small town about 30 miles away.  We plan to take Leaping Lucy with us.  I have a bag to carry her while at the festival.  Hope she enjoys it!  Now ya'll all go out and pet a puppy, kitty, chick or duck.   The world is a better place with our animal friends.

45 pound DJ

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thursday Evening

Late getting step count up lasterday (janice for yesterday).  Looks like I am on the way to doing it again or not.  The rotations were up to 110 rpm for about a minute or so.  Repaired knee woke me up to remind me not to go that fast again in the near future.  Today has been a move a little slower kinda day till the stiffness was loosened up some.

I started some of the laundry this morning.  The hubby decided to do the change over into the dryer.  He found my zip that had gone through the wash cycle.  It was still working.  Took a licking and kept on ticking.  Well, the clock is still working and counting steps.  It does not make an audible tick sound.

The apartment group has been cleaning and painting the parking garages this week.  Partly because of this incident.  The spraying and painting means our cars were parked where ever we could find room.  Kohl's parking lot was fine for mine.  The Jeep was there for one night then the hubby found an on site parking place for himself his pride and joy.  He moved my Icie to the same area this morning.  This afternoon the cleaning and painting was completed on our parking spot.  I went out and checked that the covered unassigned parking was complete, too.  Jumped in Icie and moved her to the assigned place.  Walked back to the Jeep and turned the key.  Not even a grind.

Why do we never believe that the battery is dead?  Why do we always take the key out, reinsert and try again with only the same result . . nothing, not a sound.  Not a click, nothing.  With all the gizmos that are in the Jeep I begin checking to see which may have still been plugged in using the battery charge.  Not the radio.  Not the chargers.  Not the ham radio.  Overhead lights left on maybe?  Well, it was much more simple.  Headlights left on because the fuse to remind a driver to turn off the lights was removed on Saturday.  Removed so we could leave the doors open during the futball game and not run the battery down......

We have AAA roadside assistance.  I could have called them and the battery issue would be resolved by now.  That is an unacceptable solution.  Instead a series of different scenarios will be used.

  1. Jump the battery using a 'spare, backup' battery that resides near Hubby's recliner.  This is used for power for one of the amateur radios on his chair side table.  (side note, my side table and surrounding floor space have an equal number of items I consider essential for my existence, too.)  I have no idea how the little back up battery will do this.  Remember I said not a sound.
  2. Use of a trickle charger.  Now this includes lots of yellow-orange extension cords and finding an available outlet.  The Jeep is not close to any building so I have to wonder if there may be some pushing of a Jeep to get near an outlet.  Or guarding the 300 ft. of yellow-orange extension cord till the battery charges enough to start.
  3. Call AAA Not an option and never will be.  Even though we pay for the privilege of not using it every single year.  Do not suggest it but once.  I know it will be shot down.  At least I get my $ worth by mentioning it ...  every time the battery dies.  That is why we have a trickle charger and a backup battery.  We carry AAA for me when I am alone on the road.  Or for towing never for battery jumping of the manly Jeep.  Woof Woof!
That is what is going on in Round Rock this Thursday evening.  Day of the autumnal equinox.  Equal parts day and night.  We are still in balance in here, too.  I found a dead battery, Hubby saved my Zip.  That's how it has worked for over 49 years.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Been a laid back, chill kind of day.  I did go out to check if there were parking places available.  The parking garages are being cleaned and new striping on the parking places. So my Icie is sitting in the Kohl's parking lot.  Now that lot is almost as close as the parking garage but not covered.  There was no empty parking any closer.  I took the opportunity to get in about 2/3 of my walking for the day.  As I strolled to the park was pleased to see the fountain is working for the first time since we moved here.

Hubby mentioned recently how Round Rock seems to be really good about maintaining their parks.  There were sidewalks that were buckled and dangerous in the next block west of the park.  Those areas have been repaired the summer, too.  Guess it is the year to spruce up stuff.  Since we move here in 2013 there have been multiple 4 and 5 story buildings, hotels and businesses built on the fields west of us.  That loss of habitat has sent the hawk that would sail over us each morning to a different hunting area.  The price we pay for convenience and progress.

We are not even having backup duty this week as Son is home this week.  I think he will be back on the road in another couple of weeks.  Almost have to use a spreadsheet to keep up with all their activities.   I have included a few pictures from when we were in Zilker Park last week on back up duty.  The heron was shot on the little retention pond across the street behind Kohl's.

I only have about 1500 steps left to walk to have my goal in for today.  Surely helps to break up the walking and biking into shorter times two or three times a day.  Pretty sure it is better for circulation, too.

Well, that is about it for chill out Tuesday.  I'll leave you with this last photo from a week ago, may it give you rest.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Well, It's Monday

Is she in this group?
What a busy weekend we had.  Saturday was another hot, humid day filled with cross country meets, soccer and birthdays.   By 8 AM on Saturday we were standing next to a running track waiting for our Bonus Granddaughter to cross the finish line in her cross country race.  We never saw her : /

We wandered over to the area where our oldest grandson was sitting waiting for his cross country race.  He said it would be an hour till his race.  Since we had not eaten we left to get some breakfast.  A nearby Starbuck's met the breakfast needs then we returned to the track to wait for Oldest Grandson to cross the finish line.  His 5 K had not even started so the wait would be quite a while longer.  In the meantime we received a text that Son could not find his cell.  Also, the reason we did not recognize Bonus GD was she did not run because it was her 16th birthday.  Well, I guess that made me feel better for not recognizing her.

After a break from the heat in Starbucks we headed back to the track.  Hubby perched in the stands while I stood by the fence.  We were both in full sun.  I wandered into the shade of the stands where different schools had tents for their athletes.  One young lady said she was up late the night before doing something I did not understand.  Her coach asked if she was "parking".  The whole group looked at the 40 something female coach like she had a second head.  "What is parking?"  Oh, my word!  Kids do not park any more.  What do they do now?  But I digress.

It that him? No, wrong shirt.

The announcer noted the large high school 5 K folks were beginning to head for the finish line.  I was by the last turn snapping away thinking I recognized the one guy in the center of a group.  Hubby was sure he saw him, too.  I took lots of photos.  Then it was time to head across town to watch  the 12 year old Middle Grandson play a soccer game.

Right shirt, wrong kid
MG is the goalie for his team.  His team was playing an up class team so it was a tough game for our goalie.  'Our' team lost 0 - 6.  While we were at the game our son asked if we saw Oldest Grandson finish his open 2 miles.  What!  We watched the 5 K finish and left.  He did not run that race.  Nope, was not Oldest I took so many photos of near the finish line.  So we had stood in the steamy hot, 36 C,  sunshine for 3 hours and did not see a single grandchild finish a race.  

From the soccer game we picked up Oldest Grandson and took him home.  At least we recognized him then.  Son had to stop at the local Braum's to pick up an ice cream cake for Bonus Granddaughter.  Once he arrived we then helped get the ice cream cake packed in a cooler to stay frozen for 3 hours in almost 100 degree heat.  Bonus Granddaughter had a soccer game to play then there would be a meal with some friends and Grappa.  We did not attend but stayed to take Middle Grandson to a different birthday party a 5 PM.  I fell asleep and Hubby took him then went back to pick him up at 7 PM.  Hubby then did a Steak and Shake run for our supper.  We stayed with Middle until our son returned home from Bonus Granddaughter's activities.  By that time it was around 10 PM.  Son and Oldest had been up since 5:30 AM.  Everyone was ready for bed!  The good news was the Yeti Son received as his birthday gift rocked as the cake did not melt.

Back home I needed to get more steps in for Saturday's numbers.  It took only about 12 minutes on the stationary bike to get to my daily goal of 7500 steps.  I am not that fast, we had walked a lot at the track meet, etc.  Fortunately, the bike is in a cold exercise room just a few steps from our apartment.  The hall was plenty steamy though even at 11 PM.  A nice shower surely felt good after this day.

Sunday we met our son and the family for Hubby's belated birthday brunch.  His birthday was earlier in  September while he was visiting his brother in another state.  The son had found the perfect gift for his dad, a coffee pot that looks like a science project.   After brunch we came home and the science of brewing coffee began!

Around 5 our nephew and his puppy, Lucy, came for dinner and a visit.  So very pleased to have such a delightful nephew in our life.  We ordered in Asian so this became an official 'no cooking' weekend.  Even enough left overs for Monday for all three of us.  Nephew and Lucy left with a to go sack around 9.  We moved our cars out of the parking garages.  Seems power washing and painting will be happening this week.  I check my steps and oh my.  There were hardly 2K.  So I began walking around the little park, the apartment complex and inside the parking garage.  Once I made it to 5K I headed for the cool of the stationary bike.

Watching an almost 70 year old fat woman on a stationary bike is not attractive.  I make sure the bike is pointed away from the wall of mirrors at the other end of the room.  Of course, the room is surrounded with windows on two walls.  So far no car wrecks caused by gawkers looking at the old woman on the bike.  It took 22 minutes, but I made it past the 7500 steps I have set as my goal.  Early last week I had done the recommended 10000 steps along with a couple of 9000 step days.  The left knee let me know that was too much too soon.  Got it!  Will stay in the 7500 step range for a month or two before working up to 8500.   Hopefully by then the temperatures will not be so high, either.

Now it is Monday afternoon.  In about 45 minutes it will be time to leave to watch Bonus Grandson's football game.  The heat is awful again today, 95 F that feels like 106 F.  So I had best take plenty of water, an umbrella and the stadium seat.  Hubby needs to stay home and rest is my opinion.  After all how much heat does a 76 year old need to try and endure..... I have only 391 steps so I had best get to walking!  See ya'll later!  Well, unless you have a birthday and do not need to show up ; )

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Feeding the birds at our apartment building after the whole rat visiting the feeder incidents was suspended last year.  Yep, not a fan of rats.  But a few weeks ago I decided to try it again to see how it goes.  I bought mealy worm cakes and suet.  The doves loved the mealy worms and the sparrows engorged on the suet.  The suet was gone in about 48 hours.  The mealy worms are still around the edges of the hanger feeder I bought in Door County last year.

Over the weekend I bought more suet and patio bird food.  PBF is waste free nuts and grains.  No shells, not husks makes for waste free.  I took the hanging feeder out to the oak tree outside our apartment.  Thinking Hoping this location keeps the rats away from us should the vermin decide to try to eat the food.  I really want it to be birds not rats.

Earlier today I sat in my easy chair enjoying the flurry of birds enjoying the food outside the patio door.  Nothing exotic, just sparrows.  About 15 or 20 flitting around the feeders.  Others feasting on bits that had fallen onto the patio.  They seemed happy though a couple were a little greedy trying to chase the others away.  That eventually stopped, too.

Wish we humans could move on that easily.  Birds and flowers do not worry.  Humans, well, we worry.  We worry about being 'on time' for appointments by showing up 30 minutes ahead of time.  We worry about how often to shampoo our hair (guilty as charged).  We worry about scaly skin, graying hair, cellulite, endangered species, how old the earth is, ad infinitum.  I worry about my husband when he is away more than an hour and a half without checking in.  As he is right now...

Think I'll put another cake of suet out for the non worrying sparrows.  Sweep the patio.  May send a text to Hubby.  Then it will be time for another cup of java as I wait for Hubby to check back to me.  Cause I am a wife not a sparrow.

PS:  He just walked in the door!  Now, can you find the gecko in this photo?  It visits my patio regularly.

Monday, September 12, 2016


If you follow me on facebook you may have seen this post on my feed:

'Dates in history has been a topic on my mind. Do you remember the date the US entered WW I? I did not so I looked it up on of course Google. "On March 17, 1917, Germany sank five U.S. merchant vessels, and President Wilson delivered a war message to Congress on April 2. War was declared on April 6, 1917." My husband's maternal uncle died of the flu just before he was to ship overseas. Most folks alive for that war are long since passed. Then there is the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Everyone in my parents' generation could tell you exactly where they were the moment they heard the news. My husband's paternal uncle in law to be was serving on one of the ships in the harbor next to the Arizona that fateful morning. He lived to raise 4 wonderful girls. Not so with thousands that gave their lives to defeat the Axis Powers. One of my friends was born on Dec. 7, 1946. 9/11 is my mother's birthday. Four planes took that simple date and changed if forever for the current generation. My simple prayer is that my grandchildren will never have to experience the horrific dates they cannot forget.'

The backstory is that I was watching 'Saving Private Ryan'.  As a baby boomer WWII was still very much talked of in our family.  Not necessarily specific details, more as a reference point.  'Before The War, after The War, during The War' as it was such a life changing event for that generation.  It was a time that was remembered as when all were pulling together.  

Of course there have been so many wars and conflicts since WWII.  Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam, Iraqi, Afgan, Bosnian, Sudanese, ad infinitum.  Someone needing to be all powerful.  Some religion needing to be The Religion.  Some nation needing to be The Nation.  Some economic system insisting all must live by that system.  Whatever then convincing just enough folks to believe the same way to mount attacks.  President Wilson had opposed going to war even after earlier attacks.  The president gave a 'Too Proud To Fight'.  In less than 28 days he was standing before the Congress requesting a declaration of war.

Friends and acquaintances were 'near misses' on 9/11.  One had rescheduled a meeting that was to take place on one of the upper floors of one of the World Trade buildings on that fateful morning.  Another on a whim chose a plane that left Boston at a slightly different time keeping him off one of the fateful flights.  Both men were left with questions of why they were spared.

I remember just trying to continue to work that day.  That was pretty useless as people kept calling with updates on what was going on.  Finally a TV was set up in the cafeteria so all could check on the status of the world as we knew it.  But as I write this I remember the shrapnel in my uncle's arm from his service in WWII.  It eventually disappeared without him realizing it.  Will the sight of the towers' collapse fade?  Or the sight of the Murrow Building damage in Oklahoma City fade?  Only time will tell.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hairy Man Road

One of the local roads in our area is named Hairy Man Road.  Obviously there is a legend attached to such a name!  All about the hairy man.  That road which is a narrow barely two land road.  It is being 'modified' this summer for improved traffic flow.

typical hair length

In the fall of 2014 I decided to grow out my very short hair to donate to locks of love.  Locks of Love will take graying hair.  Other organizations that collect hair for cancer victims wigs do not take as much gray as I have.

About a month's growth.
Helping our son into the
headless horseman
costume I made for him.
I thought as fast as my hair grows this would not be a problem....  Riiiight.  Shortly after I began to grow out my hair my son told me about Middle Grandson's favorite teacher.  She had just passed away from cancer. I decided to do the hair growing in honor of her.  That was a good decision because there were times when the length was a real challenge for me.

Mid December 2014
Feb, 2015
June, 2015 
August, 2015 
Middle Grandson at one point told me, "Grandma, you are not supposed to wear your hair long, only short."  I told him I was doing this for a program that helps cancer patients have wigs.  That I was doing it in honor of his teacher.  That 11 year old promptly teared up right there.  That image kept me going with this project any time I was frustrated with all this hair.  In the Texas heat it felt as if I was wearing a blanket on my neck!

December 2015 
Finally long enough to get off my neck! January, 2016
My hubby calls me Mutt, BTW, February, 2016
On the cruise ship in March 26, 2016
The blanket felt pretty good this past spring as we sailed the Rhine, Main and Danube in March and April.
Osejik, April ll, 2016

Sept. 8, 2016
I have become accustomed to the length now and the ease of just an old fashioned Granny Bun.

ponytailed granny

Preferred style, Granny Bun

I feel like a Hairy Woman if I just let it dry and not try to control it!
Hairy Woman, September 8, 2016
Today Hubby measured my hair and I still have about 1.5 inches to go before cutting it.  Now the race is on to see if Hairy Man road getting a remodel will be done before Hairy Woman gets to cut this mop!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Party Time!

For well over a week I have been caught up in family activities.  The last weekend of August was spent on the sidelines of soccer games.  Seven games and a portion on an eighth in two days.  Thank goodness the weather had cooled off some making it much easier to be outside.  Sunday evening I did take time to visit the local garden center to get a few goodies to add color to my little part of the world.  As with when we had a yard I worked potting the few plants in the late evening.

Hubby left just after lunch on Sunday for a trip to visit his relatives while my sisters spent most of the week with me.  Of course the apartment needed straightening before they arrived Monday afternoon.  Beds had to be prepared as well as extra space made for 3 sets of suitcases.  As I was worrying about how we would possibly manage living in the one bedroom/one bath apartment a thought occurred to me.  We are sisters.  We lived together, bathed together and even went to the outhouse together.  This would be a breeze.  After all the outhouse was indoors and flushed.  And there was more than just a Sears catalog for cleanup.

In order to minimize cooking Sisters stopped at The Village Bakery for kolaches. They visited The Czech Cafe in West, TX for lunch. Interestingly they discovered Youngest's SIL and her sister having lunch at the same small cafe.  The SIL lives in Houston about 150 miles from this little cafe.  Guess it really is sister week.

Sisters arrived at my home a couple of hours later, just as I finished the preps and had myself dressed.  Bags were brought in and the spaces provided for clothing were quickly filled.  A short rest and it was time for us to dress for our first night on the town.  To help you appreciate this, please, realize we are celebrating Oldest's 80th birthday.  We spent the first evening at the Highball Club in downtown Austin.

Dinner was an assortment of appetizers with a beverage apiece for good measure.  We had ringside seats as the evening progressed with swing dance instructions.  We were content to just chair dance as the youngest of us begins Social Security this year.  BTW chair dancing is patting feet, moving shoulders and an occasional hand clapping with the music.

Around 9 PM a splendid band began playing Motown music.  There were smiles and lots of clapping and even singing along with the lyrics.  What fun!  Youngest had let the folks know we were celebrating and 80th birthday.  After a break, the band opened the second set by bringing Oldest up front and singing happy birthday.  Everyone joined in and could hardly believe she was 80.  By 11 PM the age was telling so we called it a night and headed back home.

Sister enjoying my view from the patio
I'll spare you the details of three bladders aged 70, 76 and 80 sharing one potty.  But as predicted it worked fine.  Jammies replaced the evening clothes as bras were happily flung away.  Phones placed on chargers, walker placed as needed for mid-night loo runs, extra pillows for extra back and knee support and it was lights out.  Oops, back up cause I needed to have the coffee pot ready for a push button start for the two older sisters.  They are early risers while us 'younger' two sleep a little later.  Ok, now lights out.

We were a little weary the next day so options 1 and 2 for activities were nixed.  We opted for sitting around in our jammies while going through the last of our Mother's boxes of photos.  I was at the scanner while the other three sat and went through hundreds of photos.  Many, many photos of unknown scenes or people were tossed.   Many more were divided between the four of us for our personal collections. Pizza delivery kept the kitchen duty to a true minimum.

What fun to relive the trips, family gatherings, births, Christmas and other celebrations.  There was sadness as we held photos of loved ones no longer alive.  And laughter at so many silly photos from many, many years ago.  Photos with Daddy's handwriting surprised us.  That seemed a little out of character.  "Do you know who this is?" could frequently be answered by one of us.  It was more emotional than anticipated.  Left us tired and ready for a break.

Dinner with my son and his boys was just the pick me up.  The oldest grandson was a real chatterbox.  While middle and youngest grandsons were viewing their phones playing a game.  Until something was mentioned about the TCU Texas game this Thanksgiving.  Then the trash talk began.  Youngest sis said to youngest grandson, "You have not spoken 3 words tonight till you started talking trash about the Longhorns.  You little turd!"  Youngest snapped to saying did you call me a turd?  Then he was a live wire from then until we left the restaurant.

Back at the apartment it was the rotating bathroom use.  Pictures were cleared from the sofa and the bed in the living room.   I did remember to prepare the coffee pot.  A brief amount of visiting then it was off to bed.  The next day would be pedicures and massages.

The last of the photos were sorted the Wednesday morning after kolaches and coffee.  Dressed, off for pedis.  Next was a late lunch at Jack Allen's Kitchen.  Twenty minutes later we arrived at the Massage Sway.

We returned to the apartment around 7 PM and were ready for not much of anything.  Feet up, some birthday cake with coffee or tea and the Rangers game on TV.

Thursday would be our last full day together.  We drove out to Marble falls for lunch at the Bluebonnet Cafe.  Downhome fried food was the order of the day.   Too much food again was brought home in boxes.  By the time we returned from Marble Falls it was time to dress for another evening of fun.

We dined at Chez Nous along with my sister's son, my son and part of his family.  Older sisters could not walk the block to the next venue.  A ride in a pedicab was the perfect solution.  Our final adventure was spending the evening at Ester's Follies.  There we enjoyed magic, political mocking : ) of all candidates and one last salute to my sis for her 80th.

The show ended, hugs to the kids and it was back to the apartment.  It was late to jammers were quickly on and lights out.  Darn, I forgot the coffee again so lights back on and coffee prepped.

Friday was party over day.  Sisters were up and bags were back in the car.  One last photo of my last doll with her namesakes.  Her name is Elizabeth Suzanne.  That is a portion of each sister's name.  Hugs, kisses and they were on the road by 9:30 AM.  Did I mention we four sisters get along better than most siblings we know?  We have never had disagreements that resulted in not speaking.  Well not since we were just kids.  Now we are just glad to have each other in our lives.  To have the opportunity to set a new standard in how to celebrate an 80th birthday.

My blue eyed sisters.