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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Just Soccer

We left home about 9:45 this morning to watch Youngest Grandson play soccer.  We rode in the Jeep with the top down as the temperatures are finally good for open Jeep riding.  If we were younger we could have done it sooner but we are not!  the heat can really get to us at times so we choose our times.  I could tell you how beautiful it was with all the fall leaves but that would just be a lie.  No color and some trees are losing their leaves.  That is fall in Texas.

After the game, which was won by the Grandson's team, we made a run home for a bite then it was time for the next game.  We showed up at the field at 1 PM as confirmed at the first game.  There were neither cars nor soccer players in sight.  Hubby's cell was turned back on after being on the charger. Text sent and text received.  Game was moved to a different field at 2:00 PM.  That just meant more ride time in the Jeep.  We bypassed the tollways and freeways for the Farm to Market roads.  Had time to stop for gas and some soda pops to sip during the game.  We still arrived at the field 20 minutes ahead of time.

While the temperatures were still very pleasant, the sunshine was intense.  We chose to just enjoy the game from the raised roadway.  That is a great way to watch a game, in the shade in comfortable seat with a cold drink.  This game which was Middle Grandson playing as goalie was one for the loss column.  He was not thrilled but still good for a hug after the game.

Hubby had been wanting to visit a local meat market in the town of Hutto.  As the market was only a couple of miles away that was the next stop.  Oh, look, a barber shop was next door.  Now Hubby has a nice haircut to go with the nice cuts of meat.  We were off again to gas up the Jeep and pick up a couple of things at the grocery store.  There was a delay as a major accident had happened at the grocery store intersection.  As badly damaged as the autos were there had to be injuries.  A silent prayer for the occupants and their families.

Finally walked back in our little place around 6 PM.  Dinner, easy chairs and the World Series takes us to bedtime.  But I still need to get 2500 more steps.  I'll say good night and head for the exercise bike for some riding.  Y'all take care and come back again for a little more visiting.  I need to hear what is happening with you!


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Party Follow Up

Here are the pictures of some of the prep and the 16 th party and the stuff the DIL, a friend and I made.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Got Something Tonight

In 1948 my mom was the first woman bus driver in Collin County Texas.  Her first cousin, Lucille, owned her own store in the little farming community of Chambersville before WWII.  As my BFF, Reba Jane, (Lucille's daughter and my third cousin), puts it, 'Our moms were ahead of their times.'  They surely were.

Lucille always appeared pretty even tempered.  Reba Jane and I ran Lucille's well dry of water making mud pies one day.  We had had a wonderful day playing in the water.  Crook, Reba Jane's dad, came home from work and found the well dry.  He lit out after us two girls with fire in his eyes.  Lucille came to our rescue opening a screen on a window and sending us running.  By the time we were called back in Crook was calm.  We did get a scolding but that was it.

My mom on the other hand could be a real hell cat if she got her dander up just right.  Remember, this is the woman that single handed picked and brought in the first bale of cotton one fall.  No simple feat while feeding a family, driving a bus and picking cotton in between.  Yep, Mom was made of some tough material.  One day on the school bus as we were making the afternoon rounds she saw a lineman installing telephone wires to a neighbor.  She stopped the bus, swung open the door and asked the lineman how far he was running the line.  It stops here was his reply.  Our house was about 1500 feet beyond where the line was to be installed.

Oh, my.  That poor lineman had no clue what was about to happen.  She told the man we had a radio phone.  She then noted very sternly this neighbor that had never had a phone was getting an electric phone.  Mom told the man to either bring the line down to our house or pull our phone out.  Mom did not care about orders, equipment or any other logical reason the man could not run the line to our house.

"Mame, I'm only here to put this line in and have orders to stop here" replied the bewildered lineman.

"You either come and take the phone out or I'll yank it out myself.  Then I'll throw the damn thing in the front yard!", Mom shouted.  Seems it was less than a quarter mile to our house.  Mom finished the afternoon run taking the school bus full of startled kids to their respective homes.  We returned to our house with no phone.  The poor lineman had taken our phone.  I do not remember how soon the phone line was run to our house.  Mom had made her statement. That was the mid 1950's.

Mom made lots of statements.  Like when she was having to mop floors at TI because they had run out of supplies to build a certain type of device.  The young male techs that were new hires were laughing at her and the other women as they did the mopping.  Wrong move, guys.  One of the 'big wigs' of the company came by and said, "Well, hi, Mary, how are you doing."  Again,  he did not know what he was stepping into at that moment.  She let him know she was not pleased to be mopping at 64 years old while those boys were standing and laughing.  Next day the boys were mopping and the ladies were watching.

Well, I am pretty sure Mom would have been told she was harsh by a certain presidential candidate.  He probably never had to train man after man after man to be a supervisor over himself.  I know many women that did that very thing to boys with no more education than the woman.  I was told more than once that a woman could not do a particular job simply because I was a woman.  Like my vagina would preclude me from developing film.  Yes, really.

So, Mr. Trump, my mom was a harsh woman because she lived in a harsh world.  She raised three other girls besides me.  We are all harsh women.  We get things done.  We step up and do hard stuff.  We sacrifice, work, raise kids, teach Sunday School, cheer at soccer games, babysit, be den mothers, help build businesses and we vote.  My sisters, Reba Jane and I will proudly vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton because she is tough as nails.  She doesn't whine when behind in the polls that 'things are rigged'.  In other words she takes it like a woman, not a spoiled, pouty brat.

Peace out sisters and brothers!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Just Me

I am a United Methodist Church member as was my mother, her father and generations before.  Followers of John Wesley's approach to Christianity.  In tracing my husband's lineage, his niece discovered a connection of his side of the family to Francis Asbury.  The multiple-great-grandfather was a Methodist minister in Tennessee under the leadership of Francis Asbury.

The Wesley tradition is deeply woven into my makeup.  My BFF, Reba Jane, and I traveled the same spiritual path as children.  Reba Jane was really much better at living her faith even then than I was.  She was good to the core.  Still is.  I on the other hand have been anything but good.  I have not lived a faithful life.  There had always been faith but not the witness that should have been.

Quick tempered and mean spirited out bursts would be how many co-workers would describe me.  Impetuous, headstrong, going off the deep end would all apply to me.  While reasonably intelligent, I never learned to channel these abilities consistently.  There you have it, an imperfect person.

Yet there are people that still choose to be around me.  It always surprises me that anyone sees much to want to be around.  For what ever reason folks so choose, I am eternally grateful.  Grateful for friends that overlook the worst in me and choose to see the good.  The joy of seeing so much good in people, so much love and even when we do not share the same political views.

It brings me to a blog that I follow.  Here in the US there is a presidential campaign going on, in case you are living under a rock and have not heard.  This is being a particularly venomous campaign.  Not unlike campaigns of old in the US.  The divide in the country has spilled into the United Methodist Church.  As for that blog I follow, here is a connection to one post that nudged me to remember that George W Bush and Hillary Clinton are United Methodists, too.

George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton
Former President G. W. Bush and candidate Hillary Clinton at
Nancy Reagan's funeral  Credit:  Courtesy of David Chalian/Instagram
The issues of abortion and sexual orientation now threaten to split the "united" church.  Whatever the outcome I will still pray.  I will still worship that which I identify as Creator.  I believe that Being, Essence or whatever reaches all persons through different ways, different people, different spiritual practices and journeys.  After all, who am I to tell the Great I Am what to do and who to love or with whom to connect.

Peace and blessings,

Monday, October 17, 2016

Glow Party

Yesterday was the day for celebrating a 16th birthday for only bonus granddaughter.  There had been preparations for the last few weeks.  Stuff like this from pinterest:
When a girl moves up to Middle School and has lots of new friends to get to know, what better way to do it than with the coolest party in town...! Almost one hundred 11-year olds, dressed to the nines in neon and anything else that might glow in black light, partied and danced and, dare we say it,…                                                                                                                                                     More: I made stuff like the hanging streamers with glow lights attached.  there were glow sticks, makeup and all sorts of posters and glowing dishes.  Son and Wife did a great job on all kinds of effects.

We used balloons in ways not originally intended.  We had wanted to have glow sticks inside balloons.  But there was no place that would do that.  So we have now learned that if you buy the packages of balloons for $2.99 for 6 you still get to pay $0.99 each to get filled with helium.  Should have just bought the helium canister myself and we could have filled however we wanted......

We had the 30 balloons inflated and needed to transport in our Cmax.  Yep, Hubby, me, 30 inflated balloons, 1 rolling bag, one 55 gallon container filled with decorations, 3 hula hoops with attached streamers, and a cart to carry all the stuff into the venue.  Wish I had a video of our getting the balloons into the car with all the other stuff.  Oh, and one 36" x 48" birthday poster......... to not get wrinkled.  Pretty funny.

My body was exhausted as was Hubby's by the time we returned home at around 1 AM on Sunday.  Exhausted but so pleased to have been included in the Bonus Granddaughter's celebration.  After all how many grandparents get invited to a glow party?!?

Monday, October 10, 2016


Watched the debate between the two candidates tonight.  Not sure why.  Guess I wanted to see if The Donald would try to make any moves on anyone.  He did not.  Guess none were beautiful enough to attract him.  Well, except his daughter.....  Why would a human even say something like that?

I will vote for Hillary but I really wish she had not even run.  That was nothing but a mud slinging match in the making.  All of the philandering, etc. was just more fuel.  I delete emails.  None of mine are classified.  The problem with Ms. Clinton is not her ability but the baggage that just will not go away.

Long before The Donald ever became a political being I did not like the persona he projected.  He treatment and demeanor toward people came across as a privileged,  self aggrandizing ass.  I actually called it the Trump syndrome.  During my working years I saw similar traits in many of the 'men in power'.  They saw nothing wrong with anything they chose to do.  They had their kingdoms and they were the lords!  It was yes sir or you were replaced by someone that would say yes sir.

There were tons of really nice guys with whom I worked.  They treated coworkers with respect and dignity.  I fear I as a female was not always nearly so respectful of coworkers as the Terry Smiths, Chris Masseys, Mike Davis, John Dillons and many many others were.  These men may have used locker room language, probably did at times.  But there was an air of decency about them that one could sense.

Then there were the Trump Syndrome guys.  There was not doubt they saw people as things to be used for their own pleasure or betterment.  Their egos were to be fed at whatever cost.  One such man eventually became the president of the small division for whom we all worked.  His insistence of building only boards at cost for the backpanel division in a large part led to the demise of the company.  His general manager encouraged doing additional businesses types with no success.  Bob O'Connell should have been the president and Bob Shutz should have had his Trump syndrome excised.

As with everything, the men (and some women like me) are not all !00% saints nor 100% sinners.  Trump's "locker room banter" while being interviewed, what was he trying to accomplish?  Impress Billy Bush?  Only Trump knows and that is just one more example of the total syndrome.  Powerful people are driven people.  Falling victim, choosing to become consumed by their own self.  It appears they can do anything, say anything and get by with it.  You know, like Alec Baldwin talking trash to his daughter.

I fear that the Trump syndrome will take the country down, not just a company that employed 1200 people.  And before you say, 'What about All That Bill Clinton Did?"  I get it.  He was impeached by one house of Congress.  So why would we want to elect another man just like him?  Just asking....

In closing, I am really tired of all the attention on sex in politics.  I say the first requirement for political office of any type should be castration .......  That would sure as hell narrow the field.

Blessings and peace.  janice xx

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Talking to Myself

Talking to myself is a common occurrence.  Not sure why I do it but I will correct myself.  "Now look what you just did."  Talking to my self in the third person, even.  That probably means I am crazy or something.  "Let's see, where did I put" whatever I am looking for at the time.  And speaking as if I am multiple beings.  Yea, crazy is probably an accurate assessment.

So is blogging sort of like talking to one's self?  It is when there are no comments.  Well, except the one I leave myself on the Google + prompt.  Well, actually, even when I talk to myself there are times I answer myself.  And I hate it when I do not understand what I just said to myself.

"Janice, it is time for bed.  Tell the folks good night and get to bed."  Fine, just let me read one more post from overseas......

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Pretty sure Webster would have used 'Janice' as a synonym for out of shape.  Between the first knee surgery in 2012 and the second one in January 2016 exercise greatly diminished.  Especially after the move away from a yard and home to maintain.  Sure, for a while we walked a mile each day.  To do that meant climbing a hill no matter which direction we walked.  We live at the top of a hill.  It took 30+ minutes for us to make the mile loop.  Then I tripped and fell.  Bruised the daylights out of my body.  Everywhere.  That was in early September 2014.  From then till January 2016 there were several more falls.  Three of the falls including hitting my head with two requiring stitches.  It reached the point I was afraid to walk.  Simply stepping outside could mean another fall.  We thought I was just becoming more clumsy.  Never occured to me that possibly the left knee could be causing problems with balance, etc.

Almost 9 months ago the pesky left knee was replaced.  Therapists helped me rebuild the muscles.  Then the trip to Europe only 8 weeks following the surgery pushed me even further.  After a little time to rest from the trip, I built up the daily step count hitting over 10,000.  But that was too much too soon.  I backed off to 5,000 to 7,000 steps.  During those months most of the steps were bike peddling. Now, most days 2/3 of the steps are walking inside the 4 story parking garage.  The remainder of the steps will be on the stationary bike.  The first week after the surgery I could barely make the bike light up with my peddling speed.  Last night I averaged 81 RPM over 12 minutes.  The setting was for endurance building.  The highest resistance was 6 out of a possible 10.  The 6 was up a notch from the comfortable 5 I had been doing.  By the time I went to bed the FitBit ZIP had recorded over 9,000 steps.  Muscles are a little sore today but no pain.

Pain will get worse unless iced or rested for a few days.  I learned that lesson.  Soreness will work out with continued exercise.  The other lesson learned is not to push to the next level too soon.  I'll stay with the 6 resistance till I do not notice the change in resistance.  Then it will be time to step it up to 7.  BTW, the surgeon said the stationary bike was the best for building resistance and caused less stress on the knee as it continues to heal.  But the rear of an old out of shape lady gets grumpy sitting on that tiny seat for 45 minutes which is how long it would take to get 7500 steps on the bike.

Saturday I walked on grassy, sloped areas,  walked 1/2 mile in about 10 - 11 minutes and not even a hint of stumbling.  Walking no longer frightens me as it did at the start of the year. Now, it can feel good most days just to walk in the garage or over to the office.  Stamina has improved and overall I feel so much better about myself.  The ZIP tells me have several steps to go for today so I had best get to moving.  Hope you have a good evening and are able to get a few steps in, too.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

just another day in paradise

Yep, that is what they say.  Just another day in paradise.  Paradise looks like sunny skies with a nice breeze.  A husband that is having fun playing with rope.  He is measuring it into 100' lengths.  He has some project in mind.  He is done and just sat down on the sofa next to my chair with a plate of nachos to share.  That may not sound much like paradise to some but I know it is.

Let's not compare because there will always be those with more and those with less.  Let's do consider Aleppo, Haiti, Iraq, Korea, etc.  War, hurricanes, war, more war and so much death.   Then there is just the daily living of those in the 'civilized nations'.  One can feel so helpless in the midst of all this happening across the world.  Unfortunately this is not a new condition.  One could throw donate some cash to help the hurricane victims and others in need.  That may buy a meal or two for some.  That certainly beats doing nothing.

It is time to go get my steps done for the day.  In an air conditioned exercise gym.  To return to the apartment that is safe, cool and ready to have a meal prepared.  Yes, I live in paradise.  I am fortunate to be having just one more day in paradise.  Hope your day is going as well as mine here in paradise.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Wendish Festival

I started this post a couple of weekends ago after spending a Sunday attending a festival in a small community about an hour from our home.  The trip over did not allow for photos as Leaping Lucy was along for the ride.  LL needed to be in my lap with my arm around her, so not photos of the cotton fields we passed that were ready for harvest.  Those fields sure looked familiar.  The field behind the house in Chambersville was usually cotton.  But this post is not about cotton, it is about the Wendish community we visited.

Texas is made up of many nationalities. According to the Wikipedia article the 2010 census had identified the diversity as follows:
"As of the 2010 US Census, the racial distribution in Texas was as follows: 70.4% of the population of Texas was White American; 11.8% African American; 3.8%, Asian American; 0.7%, American Indian; 0.1%, native Hawaiian or Pacific islander only; 10.5% of the population were of some other race only; and 2.7% were of two or more races. Hispanics (of any race) were 37.6% of the population of the state, while Non-Hispanic Whites composed 45.3%.
English Americans predominate in eastern, central, and northern Texas; German Americans, in central and western Texas. African Americans, who historically made up one-third of the state population, are concentrated in parts of eastern Texas as well as in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston metropolitan areas."  

Most folks think of the Latin American population and its influence.  I mean who does not absolutely love TexMex!  If you read the entire reference above you will find the huge influence of the German and Slavic immigrants on the 1800's on central Texas.  The influence in central Texas for the Germanic Slavic settlers is almost as obvious as the Hispanic influence.  Which brings us to one such group of settlers, the Wends which you can read about by clicking here or here.

Pete_unseth photo
Sunday, September 24, at the encouragement of a dear friend, Hubby, Leaping Lucy and I climbed into the Jeep and headed for Serbin,Texas.  Serbin has signs pointing to it.  You will not see much more than a farming and ranching area surrounding a Lutheran Church, former school buildings, a graveyard and The Texas Wendish Heritage Museum.  A church was often the centerpiece of a community of settlers in the 1800's.  In my childhood it just happened to be a Methodist Church that was the center of activity in Chambersville.  The feeling in Serbin was so much the same as my childhood home church.  St. Paul Lutheran church is one of the painted churches in Texas.  Such a lovely little church.

The activity that drew us to Serbin was the 27th Wendish Festival.  The festival is a celebration of the original Wends that came to the area in the 1850's.  On the festival grounds were a few tents with crafts for sale, a band in traditional garb, and other activities like washer toss and stick horse races.  Folks were working under the arbor where the traditional food buffet was available for the price of a ticket.  Others folks were in the nearby open air kitchen where the to go orders were filled.  There were rows and rows of wooden picnic tables and benches filled with folks eating.  One gentleman had settled in for a nap!

Hubby headed for the ticket table while Leaping Lucy and I tried to stay near a dining table away from the main area.  Hubby came back with the tickets and I sent him back to get his food.  He had declared his hunger while we were getting lost on back roads on our way to Serbin.  Back with his food, he took LL's leash and sat down at the table.  When I returned to the table with my food, Leaping Lucy had already amassed an audience.  The three kids were thrilled to watch her while we ate our lunch.  Sausage, sauerkraut, beets, green beans, pickles, bread and drinks were complimented by the sound of polka music from the band.

Turned out the dinner bench with the cool breeze and tent for shade attracted more folks to eat.  All were as friendly as the 3 kids playing with LL.   Not sure if it is because they were native to the area or what but they sure were open about their lives.  In 30 minutes we learned where they and their parents grew up in Texas.  We learned where they went to school, the number of many children and grandchildren they have as well as where they all lived.  That one son's wife could not bear children so they have 3 adopted brothers from Russia.  The friendliness was so familiar.  Farming communities tend to bring that out in people.

At 1 o'clock the youngsters lined up for a stick horse race.  Here are a couple of gif files of the races.  What fun watching the children laugh and run.  Some needed a mom to run along for encouragement.

 Once the stick horse races were over we wandered around the area with the tents and indoor plumbing.  From there we walked to the nearby church.  The same friend had encouraged us to visit the church.  While not the original church build in the 1800's due to a fire, it was still a very nice building.  Obviously lovingly maintained.  There were parishioners inside willing to answer your questions.  I snapped away hoping to get a series to make a panorama.  Found one online that looked better than mine and it is posted at the top of the post.  These interior shots are mine.
the marble effect is paint

Ceiling detail
Entry window
Wendish pioneer log cabin on the grounds of
St. Paul Lutheran Church. Cabin was home of
John Kilian, as well as serving as school and church.
(source: Wikipedia)
By now our legs were saying that by the time you return to the Jeep, you will have done plenty of walking for a while.  Besides the sky was looking threatening again.  We had been rained on already several times in the Jeep and once while waiting for the races.  Sure enough we made it back to the Jeep and headed out only to get caught in a frog strangler of a downpour.  Shortly we drove out from under the cloudburst.  Lucy and I settled in for the drive home.  Lucy was one tired little girl as I am certain for every step I had taken she had taken 10 running from side to side to the full length of the leash.
Thanks for coming along on our little trek over to Serbin and the Wendish Festival.  A time for celebration of some of this USA's great melting pot of glorious traditions.  May we all appreciate our own heritage and appreciate the uniqueness of our fellow peoples heritages.  Blessings on your day.  
                                              .............................  Janice