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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Ok, Let's Start Right

It is so near the end of the Julian calendar year it is almost scary.  I am pretty sure 2017 started only a few weeks ago, maybe?  But no.  It has been 363 days since that happened.  What a year in our personal life.  We celebrated 50 years of marriage all summer long.  That trip to France in July was a real highlight.   The trip was follow up by a bang up party in August.  Then hurricane Harvey in September.

That stinking hurricane was the cause of my stressing and tearing a muscle.  So I have been in recoup and rebuild mode since early October.  Just as I was being able to get almost a full mile of constant walking each day, I was hit with a flu/cold/respiratory bug in late November.  After coughing through most of Christmas celebrations, I finally gave up and set up an doctor's appointment.  Good thing, too, as the night before three times I was being unable to get enough air to even cough.  Turned out that was caused by a bronchial spasm.  "Drop your drawers" was the command for the steroid shot in my bohunkus.  It worked and only one spasm since the shot.  Also, a couple of meds to deal with the excessive drainage and I think I will live.

With the weight loss programs we have been using for evaluation purposes for our DILove, we each have dropped a full clothing size.  Hubby probably even a little more than that.  This means we will begin 2018 already in a better state of health than at the beginning of 2017.  In addition we have continued to slim down our possessions, too.  More trips to the Salvation Army are in the near future. 

As for the unfinished projects from 2017, I want to get those wound up by March.  Let me see if I can remember what they are.  Oh, yes, scanning all the photos and documents for two families.  Then compiling a book of our mother's letters to the grandparents during WWII.  Finish the slide show of our trip to France for easy sharing with our cousin who will be coming in March.  Thus the deadline of March.

There is one more big adventure on the horizon for 2018.  Son would like to see us purchase a lake house with him.  It would be listed on HomeAway and hopefully pay for itself by the time I die.  Ha!  That would be a decent thing to leave our half for him.  DIL has some ideas on the color scheme.  Her dad is retiring, selling his home and relocating to Costa Rica!  I know, Costa Rica.  Anyway, a lot of the furniture for the lake house will come from him.  And a few things we have been holding onto with this in mind.  Oh, well.  A new adventure for a couple of retirees.

We may join the Baca center.  There are activities and some volunteer opportunities.  The kids are encouraging us to get out among the people.  I still need some more convincing on this as I do love some lots of alone time.  It is an election year for Congress so I may want to spend my time campaigning for some not bat shit crazy people for office.  Because as I said in the beginning, this has been quite a year.

Have a great weekend to all out there.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Post Christmas

Well, it is done and over for the most part.  Will watch the Adcock grandsons open gifts on Jan. 4.  We had a wonderful Christmas Eve with our son, daughter in love, her dad and two children.  Dinner at the fanciest place I had ever been to for a meal.  First ever coat check taken by the waiter.  Tasty and perfectly cooked food was just the backdrop for a fun evening of conversation.  Back home I shaped the yeast breads.  One kind was ready to bake by the time I had shaped the second batch of breads.  So I cooked the bread while I iced the cookies.

In bed by 2:45 and back up by 7:30 to bake and ice the remaining breads.  Dress, load gifts and food in Icie and we were on the way to the FAB household for Christmas stockings, gift exchange and brunch.  We did have a cup of coffee and sample the coffee breads I had brought before opening gifts.  And what a delight to watch the family seem to enjoy the gifts I had chosen.  And we were all showered with so many great gifts.  New sheets, chimes, clothing, coffee, gift certificates for the movies and manicures.  So excited to get the enjoy these in the near future.

I would post photos but we failed to take any photos.  bummer...  But we do have the great memories.  Well, for as long as we have our memory brain function.

Happy New Year.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas Preps and Celebrations

The weeks leading up to the Christmas celebration are filled with preparations.  Gift purchases, greeting cards addressed, decorations for the home and gift wrapping.  Baking is something I have
doing in years past.  I would still enjoy but for one thing, calories.  Hubby and I are both working to get several pounds lighter.  I could bake and then give away but some always finds its way into my mouth.  Homemade goodies have a way of doing that, getting in your mouth.

Saturday, Dec. 16 is my extended family's Christmas gathering.  Family from Oklahoma and around Texas will gather at my youngest sister's home for the day.  This year we have decided to have fried chicken and the fixins.  We will not be cooking ourselves but instead will purchase from Grandy's Fried Chicken.  And we will be using money from funds we sisters had contributed to an account for our mother's use.  She passed before all the funds were used.

There is special significance for using Grandy's chicken.  That was a business located across the street from Daddy's appliance repair shop.  Many a Sunday and other gatherings Daddy would load up whatever grandchild was near, crawl into his pickup and head to Mckinney to get a bucket of chicken for the meal.  What made it even better were Grandy's hot rolls.  The rolls were always fresh and yeasty good.  My son has special memories of riding on Grandaddy's white tool box in the front seat on the way to get the chicken.  My son especially loved the yeast rolls.  Daddy always bought extra just for him to have to eat on the way back to Allen.

The rest of the meal will include homemade items from the various family members.  Some dips, chips, desserts and cookies for munching before and after the main meal.  I am taking small tarts of cherry, apple and mincemeat.  The tart shape makes for easy munching without the need for forks or plates.  Hubby will be making his yummy mashed potatoes.  I am pretty sure there will be a pound or two added by the end of the day. 

After the meal Santa will pay a visit for the young children.  He will take orders and give small gifts to each child.  Those smiles will be priceless!  Time for a little more grazing and visiting.  Next up will be the Dirty Santa/Grab and steal gifting fun.  There is usually about 25 participating in this activity.  Gifts are opened by one person.  The gift can be stolen twice then is belongs to that last person.  It can be quite fun especially when a gift is really good or really bad.  Always lots of fun.

At some point during the day one of the family will read the Christmas story.  Momma had started that tradition back in the 1960's.  The day will be filled with the making of new memories.  It will also carry with it an air of Christmas past.  Grandy's chicken, hot rolls and the love between the prodigy of Arleigh and Mary.

May your weekend be blessed with love and family.


1967 Christmas Rogers gathering at my oldest sisters's home.

Monday, December 4, 2017

DJ, Grandma and a Rabbit

Over the Thanksgiving weekend our son's dog, DJ, and the foster dog, Christina, were in an argument over a couple of bones.  DJ did not want to share.  Christina showed her who was boss.  Emergency vet trips, lots of $$$ later and we were asked to help supervise the two dogs while Son and DIL were working.  It was decided the easiest thing was for us to bring DJ to our apartment.  DJ, who is a Staffordshire terrier, is usually too confined in our place.  But with the pain meds, she mostly wanted only to sleep and follow close to us.

That was for the first 3 days.  With the swelling being reduced and antibiotics staving off infections, DJ was ready to move more on Thursday.  Of course there had been the necessary pit stops all along but Hubby was the one doing the walking.  The only way I can walk DJ, who is stout as a horse and weighs 60+ lbs, is with a muzzle.  The injuries on her face, head and neck would not allow the walking muzzle to be put on her.  By Thursday evening I decided I would give Hubby a rest from the walk and take DJ for the pit stop.

south courtyard

I almost went to the park but decided to just stay in the fenced courtyards of our apartment complex.  With DJ on her leash and a supply of poop bags, we walked into the north courtyard.  DJ did the usual doggie thing of finding where every other animal has eliminated. Then she must mark it, too.  This had been going on for a few minutes when I saw it.  The bunny that is living around the apartment complex.  I was gathering in the leash and heading back to the apartment when it happened.  DJ got wind of the rabbit.  I was just slightly in control of the dog as it pursued Bugs Bunny.  And then I was not.  I was stumbling being pulled by the excited dog.  The leash ripped from my hands in time to keep me from falling.  Or maybe I just let go.

Either way, the dog was loose and Bugs was running for it's only life.  As I yelled for her to stop I lost sight of DJ when she and Bugs rounded the corner into the south courtyard.  A gentleman up on the parking garage walkway noted the dog was in the south courtyard.  I thanked him and said she was chasing a rabbit.  He wished me luck in catching her as "she is really, really fast."  No kidding.

 BTW, apartments open into the courtyard and there are patios, etc. where a crazed, bunny driven dog could cause havoc.  I knew it would be hopeless to run after her as she was indeed really, really fast.  I settled for the cut her off at the pass and step on her leash tactic.  Got her.  But she was still in catch rabbit mode.  I could only take a step or two toward the hallway entrance before she was attempting to bolt again.  Our apartment was less than 50 steps away by this time.  It was obvious that I would never be able to control DJ.So as any person would do, I called Hubby and told him of the situation.  He said a bad word and added he would be right there.

He was not right there.  I do not remember if I called him or he called me.  He had gone to the park just knowing the dog was loose and would be killed.  No, dear, she is with me in the courtyard.  Ok, will be right there, was the response, again.  If only he would listen to what I say and not what he thinks I will say!  In the meantime I am still dealing with this dog that is standing next to the rabbit trail.  She goes behind the shrubs and is content just smelling the trail.  Then not content smelling but  m u s t run again.  Not this time, little girlie.  Sit and S T A Y.  In the process of dragging the dog out of the bushes and away from the scent trail, a rather large holly branch broke off underneath her collar.

By this time Hubby is coming through the gate.  It took Hubby's strength and command over DJ to get her back to the apartment.  Obviously, DJ was well on the way to recovery.  Hubby missed seeing the holly branch stuck in the dog's collar.  She had looked like the little dog (only not so little but the branch was really big) in How The Grinch Stole Christmas.  I had to laugh at the sight and the ridiculous situation we had gotten into because of DJ, Grandma and a Rabbit. 

Related image

Step Count

Without a regular sized house and garden to maintain I was doing way too much sitting.  December, 2014, I was given a fitbit Zip.  Over the last three years I have been working to increase my step count.  It has been met with challenges.  Knee pain in 2015 caused me inconsistent walking.  Not to mention the two falls when I hit my head causing concussions.  Dizziness and walking are not good partners.  In January, 2016, a total knee replacement had me looking forward to increased activity.  During the trip to Eastern Europe in March and April of that year, I was on the road to a 10,000 steps per day.  In February, 2017, a foot injury had me immobile for 6 weeks.  Back on my feet with new orthotics and support socks I was able to get to the goal of consistently 3 to 4 miles a day.

September of this year brought another setback, chronic IT band stress and a torn muscle.  Physical therapy and determination has me back to walking in 1000 to 2000 steps at a time.  Even though yesterday with a major head and chest cold I accomplished a total of 5000 steps for the day.  With minimal pain and stiffness.

Now I must confess that some of the steps were achieved in a slightly different way.  I had walked 3,123 steps.  I removed my clothing to do some laundry.  I managed to get another 1250 +/- 30 steps by doing the laundry.  That's right.  I failed to remove the Zip from the pocket.  So to not be cheating on the steps, I did another walk, counting my steps till I had the number of steps.  Really.  And I only felt a little agitated.


I have a new addiction thanks to YAM, a blogger friend over in Scotland.  It is a certified addiction.  If I am not puttering around the apartment, I MUST do this.  Click here.  Since introduced to this site I have worked around 150 of these puzzles.  It is a great distraction from the politics of the day.   Also another fun way to sit and just pass the time.  Middle Grandson has joined into the fun and we have worked a few of the puzzles together.

When Farmville first came to facebook, that was an addiction for several months.  I would set an alarm to get up and harvest.  Really.  I told you it was an addiction.  Of course, food is an addiction for me, too.  Maybe it is just eating that is the addiction. 

Addictions come in so many forms.  Photography can be an addiction as well as writing, blogging and even birding.  So what is your addiction?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Knock Knock

The posts are becoming less and less interesting for folks to read.  No photos, no great truths just words.  Words as I work through the recovery of a torn muscle in the back of my leg.  Guess I am just being a whiner.  The leg that is having issues is the one that had the knee replacement in 2016.  While the knee has worked great since the replacement the muscles, tendons and ligaments have never really settled down.  Most days there would be just slight discomfort when lifting that leg and moving to the side.  The movement one makes climbing into the passenger side of a car is an example of the movement.

As I continued to push for the 10,000 steps on a daily basis, the discomfort was more frequent.  But I did not stop.  I did pull back to just 3 miles a day walking.  That helped but that sudden shooting pain that left me yelling for Hubby to help me back to the chair was the final blow.  The leg had been warning me that something needed to change.  As usual I had ignored it.  Now seven weeks later I am still fighting through recovery.  I did not go slowly enough with activity over the weekend and now I am back to where I was about 3 weeks ago in discomfort level.  What a pain, literally.  Very limited stairs.  Just enough to watch #3 grandson play football.

BTW, speaking of grandchildren, three of the five are 'sidelined' this fall.  Granddaughter received a head butt during her second soccer game.  This has resulted in a third concussion.  She is still having headaches.   Oldest grandson, #1, has a hernia and is awaiting surgery.  No cross country running nor lacrosse for him.  Next grandson, #2, first had a hairline wrist fracture so no football for 3 weeks.  Then a cracked rib took him out for the season.  That just leaves #3 and #4 grandsons uninjured.  Not a great fall for the FAB family athletes.

Let's look at some positives for a bit.  Hubby's brother, his only sibling, arrives tomorrow for a few days.  Hubby has tickets for a local live music show for us to attend on Thursday.  Wednesday evening will be pizza with the FAB family.  This will be the first time they have met this great uncle.  I have not been informed what Friday and Saturday will bring but I am sure it will be fun.   Maybe watch bats fly out from under a bridge.  Old people are easily entertained.  Whatever happens, I'll be sure to pack my camera to get a few shots for the blog.

In the meantime, y'all take care.  I'll update you with all the activity as I get inspired to write.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

In The Moment

Still recuperating from torn muscle and chronic IT band syndrome.  Had been doing really well then made a choice that set the recovery back several days.  Going down stairs will not be done again for a few months.  It felt in the moment that it was good and probably one flight would have been fine.  But no, I did 4 flights.  On two separate short walks in one day.  However .... as I was getting in bed and that discomfort in raising my leg to the side grabbed me, I knew in that moment stairs are out for a while.

There are other moments I can enjoy as I sit with the heating pad on my leg.  The beauty of the leaves on the trees as they prepare to die.  Will I give pleasure in my last moments of life when it comes time for me to die?  Mind you the leaves are not the beautiful gold, red, yellow nor orange.  Just a change to a more subtle grey-green.  Just enough difference of color to signal that life is fading.

In contrast to the grey green leaves across the street are the few zinnia blooms on the patio.  An occasional monarch butterfly comes to dine on the zinnia nectar.  Seldom do I glance up from reading that I do not see either white winged doves, cowbirds, shiny crows, bluejays, and multiple varieties of sparrows just outside the door.  These are the moments I enjoy living in these days.  These calm moments instead of the machine gun effect of political moments.

Here is hoping you can find the moments of quite and calm to enjoy during this season of changes. 


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Working Better

A few days after Harvey visited Texas like a bad visitor we had to move our dresser out of the bedroom.  Used our little glides under the feet and were moving along quite nicely till we hit the fifth leg.  I was pushing to I gave an extra big shove and thought, hmmmm.  We finished getting things our of the way so the carpet padding could be replaced and the carpet cleaned.  Later that day I stood up to go walk.  Two steps later a shooting, stabbing pain in the back of my leg left me calling for Hubby to help me back to my chair.

That was about 6 weeks ago and I have been icing, heating and rolling that leg ever since.  Instead of walking 8,700 average steps per day for the week of Harvey's visit, the average is 1750 for an entire month.   There were about 3 weeks where the average per day count was under 400 steps.  Part of the time I had to use a walker as the leg was not hold me securely. 

Now, I am here, today.  And the last few days.  I am walking as many as 900 steps with little to no discomfort.  I will have to maintain a very slow pace to get back to the 8K average.  Today I believe it will happen eventually.  Of course that means a series of stretches twice daily.  Continued heating of the tendons and rolling to get the 'kinks' out and patience.  Patience to not walk too much too quickly.  Patience with my body and mind.  Patience is not my strong point but then neither was walking two years ago.

One of the best things about not being able to move about much was to sit and watch as a Monarch butterfly sipped on the zinnias I planted last spring.  Zinnias that had to be transplanted when the landscaping was redone in July.  Zinnias that looked withered in the 100 degree days of late July, August and into September.  But they survived and have served their purpose.  Now I must just continue to work at it, too.  Hopefully to serve a purpose for which I was planted.

Friday, October 13, 2017


How will the next few months be seen in history?  Will it be a nuclear winter?  The year all the Confederate statues were removed to museums?  The year the neo-nazi's took over the US government?  Or will it be how more hurricanes ravaged the islands in the Caribbean?  How earthquakes and fires ravaged California and Mexico.  Only time will tell.  Of course there seem to be plenty of political fodder to keep us all either busy fighting on Facebook or just plainly closing our minds.

After a day of EOs rescinding more progress made to help the poor and needy of our nation I am just in total shock.  I am worn down by the gun owners having the need for more guns.  I have no funds to donate to the Puerto Rico recovery.  A voice to speak to representatives is drowned out by roar of people chanting archaic slogans.  Why would I want the south to rise again?  Yes, I am worn down and not ready to fight another battle.

I mean how can I continue to fight so many of my friends and relatives?  I do not want a fight.  I would prefer discussions with give and take.  But I am tired of being the one that seems to give.  With this in mind I was thinking about why we wish to use such an old fashioned method for protection.  Surely there is a better way to protect ourselves than old fashioned walls and guns?  Surely there is something positive in having birth control available at affordable prices?  How can those simple things be so difficult?  But they are.

A statement was made to hubby just one week ago by a devout conservative Christian.  "These young girls just dress in a way that tempts men and then they complain".  So how shall we dress? In hijabs?  Evil, selfish men will men will accost and rape not just grown women but children and men.  Why?  Because off the way a person dresses?  Shall we now discuss the rape of elderly women in nursing homes.  Stupid, sexy old woman lying in a gown with an adult diaper just tempting those men.  Poor, defenseless men.

Guess we better let them have all the guns, walls, and pregnant barefoot women they need.  After all we would all still be in Eden were it not for Eve and that delicious apple.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

frustration > : {

For well over a year I have been limiting my calories to less than the daily calorie output.   Sure there were the occasional binges.  Weight has come done about 9 lbs.  In August just before our 50th party I started on a new program under evaluation by our DIL in her current job.  I was doing a 75% in on following all the rules and a few more pounds came off to within 2 lbs. of an interim goal.  Then the weight began to climb again.  Yes, climb again with eating less than the caloric output according to the tracking system. 

This is just so typical for my body.  When some women would lose weight on the 1,000 calorie diet, I would have to go down to 750 to get the same result.  The new system was to reset my food need point.  Yesterday morning I was back to within a couple of lbs of that elusive number I have been striving toward for over a year.  The last five days I have been meticulously following the plan.  No sugary sweets.  No caffeine.   Today I was up 4.5 lbs.  I mean really.  In. One. Day.  This swing is twice in the last 8 days.  So I think I am very frustrated.  I fell off the wagon, ate sugary fig bar and drank two cups of coffee.  I mean 4.5 lbs. 

I'll climb back on that wagon and work on the program yet again.  Will chew s l o w l y  taking 10 minutes with 5 minute break and another 10 + minutes to eat until satisfied.  Total amount should be no more than the size of my fist.  No eating until hungry, level 3.  Drink mostly H2O or H2O with orange juice at a 1 part OJ to 7 parts water.  And I think I will never weigh again till my drawers fall off my flabby rear end.

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, September 16, 2017

My Soul Is Sad

One of the last of the folks that had an impact on my teen and early marriage years has passed today.  Dan Strong and his wife, Mason, were youth leaders during my last years in high school.  I moved on to being a 'grown-up' by becoming engaged on December 31, 1966.  Mason was one of the ladies at the church that sponsored the wedding shower for me.  Dan and Mr. Boyd were busy building the new church building for our church that year.  As it turned out due to delays, I would not be the first wedding in the new church. 

Dan Strong was a builder.  He was instrumental in moving the little farming town of Allen into a revival of sorts.  Hes company, Strong Built Homes, built many of the new homes in the developments that sprang in the 1960's and 1970's.  Of course he was not the only builder but he was definitely very productive.  With the growth of the little town the need for appliances and the other items needed for home building increased.  Dan and Mason opened a floor covering and decor store. 

Mean time in my life hubby and I were being sponsors of the same youth group at the new church building.  Married for 2 years, we had decided to begin trying for a child.  That proved to be more of a challenge than one would imagine.  After research, we were told having a child probably would not happen.  I had left my job at Collins Radio and was in need of a job.  Again our lives intersected with Dan and Mason.  They asked for me to come work part time at the carpet shop.

Over the course of the next two years I worked for but much more with Dan and Mason.  Always excited and energetic, Dan was a force unto himself.  He and Mason were more than employers, we became friends.  We visited their home and that of their friends, Ken and Sue.  Chili dinners and other such good times were common.  Dan and Mason began a new home and I was able to help with the decorating.  It was shortly after the completion I had to quit working for Dan and Mason.  Seems the adoption agency required the wife to be a stay at home woman. 

I know, really?  Yes, really, a church adoption agency required a woman to not work.  For the next year ++ I would baby sit for some spending money.  We were eventually in line for a placement of a child.  That is when the miracle happened.  Undergoing our exams for the adoption, I mentioned I was late with my period.  Well, a test was taken and just before Christmas a call confirmed I was going to have a baby.  We laughed and said we felt we had been expecting for about 2 years already.

Mason was, again, one of the ladies that hosted a shower, a baby gift shower, for us.  Life happened and we moved to Missouri.  Mom and Dad had their house remodeled in the late '80's.  Dan did the remodeling work.  It was the usual excellent quality.

Dan was a true craftsman.  He showed how to miter a joint once.  I never saw a joint more perfectly matched before or since.  Always a ready smile and a genuine handshake.  He loved mashed potatoes and dumplings, a kind of noodle.  Having grown up in Iowa he was not a fan of some of the southern cooking.  Dan was a good man.  May he rest in peace.   But he will probably be looking for some project to work on with his hands.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Not A Fan

"The Apprentice" is a show that I never watched an entire episode.  I am not much of a fan of reality shows probably because they are not reality at all.  "Survivor" was all the rage before I retired.  Again, I could not get interested in who beat whom.  And in that last sentence I had an ah-ha moment.  To watch someone win means someone has to lose.  I find that concept not very entertaining.

I have lost many more times than I ever won in my life.  I never made the highest grades nor ever won races.  If the Cowboys or the St. Louis Cardinals lose a game or the entire season, my life continues.  I do like those TCU Frogs but, really, "life goes on long after the thrill is gone" to quote a song.  Guess by most definitions that makes me a bonafide loser.

Yet I do not feel like a loser.  I feel like a winner.  I have a husband that allows me to love him and he returns the love.  The same can be said of our son, my sisters and so, so many friends.  By pure accident we seem to be okay in retirement.  Not rolling in the dough but far from the need to stand in the soup line.  Family and friends that allow me to love them.  Sisters that love me in spite of my grating personality.

Not a fan of name calling from a leader.  Whether the leader is a parent, teacher or president.  Not a fan of people thinking that calling a person a retard or fatty is some sort of right they have.  That is nothing more than being a mean spirited human. As a person of faith this type of attitude of name calling pretty well goes against the whole 'do to others as you would have them do to you'.

Having said all this, then it is time for me to consider for what I do cheer.  I cheer for my grandkids to play their best in a fair way.  To lose with grace, not in anger.  I cheer when a person overcomes an obstacle in their life.  I am a fan of young parents as they work with their children.  I cheer for the older person undertaking a new challenge.  I cheer when another endangered species is able to rebuild enough to no longer be endangered.  I cheer when I lose a pound. 

I keep hoping beyond hope that our President will not tweet some unhelpful comment after a tragedy.  But, no.  He has to tweet that possibly Scotland Yard is not doing a decent job.  Apparently he was never taught to say nothing if you cannot say something nice.  To follow that advice I will say Congrats on becoming grandpa again.  One more person depending on our president for leadership. 

As for that person in North Korea that seems to want to have a war, well, what's next?  Or the fact that Russia is still supporting them by purchasing coal?   Not the first time I have lived in a time of nuclear war threat.  Wonder how many will die during this current time?  I am sad we are going through this craziness once again.

I have no influence nor control over either of these leaders of nations.   So all I can do is pray for peace.  Holding onto the faith that promises,

 "For truly I say to you, if you have faith as of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. And nothing will be impossible for you." 

May your weekend be safe.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mom's Letters and Cards

In January of 1942 my Mom, Dad, Uncle Clay and two sisters up and moved away from Texas to California.  Mom had two older brothers (Fred and Jim) with wives and families that lived in the LA area.  Dad had a sister, her husband and toddler son (Amelia, Claude and Phillip) that had farms in the Corcoran area.  These "California" families had painted California as the proverbial gold mine in wages.  The Great Depression still had a grip on rural Texas at that time.  Mom and Dad moved looking for the gold at the end of the rainbow.

With only cards and letters to stay in contact with families and friends back home, Mom wrote frequently.  Grandma Chandler held onto those cards and letters.  Recently in going through Mom's family things I uncover a stack of these writings.  I spent a day and a half reading the letters.  The voice in my head as my mind processed the words was Mom's.  Occasionally it was Daddy's voice as he sent a letter or two and scribbled a paragraph along the edges on a couple of the letters.

Mom's early writings were filled with emotions about missing her folks, friends and the Texas dirt.  As they settled into the new area they went on daytrips into the mountains with Aunt Sissy.  Mom's words were excited about the beauty of the mountains.  And the snow higher than her head!  There was the familiar teasing of Uncle Bud and Aunt Opal about their dating girls or boys Mom knew they did like.  Notes about purchases of linoleum rugs, an electric ice box even the cost of milk and bologna were scattered in the letters.  As weeks drifted on there was a change in Mom's tone.  Instead of a sense of adventure and excitement mixed with homesickness fear and anger was becoming a dominate tone.  I checked the dates on the envelopes and I was shocked.  Mom and Dad moved just 6 weeks after Pearl Harbor was bombed.

Mom had hardly mentioned the war at the beginning.  She spoke of the Jap lady that ran a grocery store.  She wrote of men back home she heard had been called up to serve.  A sub being sited in the Gulf of Mexico brought her comment that, "..looks like the war is closer to you all than us".  One of my sisters fell in the irrigation ditch but was grabbed quickly by Dad.  It was the usual chit chat of a young Mom isolated from the majority of friends and family.  Then Uncle Bud was called up for his exam.  She began writing how she hoped he failed the physical.  The day she received the letter saying Uncle Bud was going into the service she was devastated.  The letter she wrote the next day was filled with sadness, fear and fits of 'squalling', which is crying in Mom's language.

Uncle Clay was still living with Mom, Dad and my two sisters.  Mom became increasingly irritated with how Dad's brother in law, for whom both men worked as farmhands, was treating Daddy and Uncle Clay.  "Clay told Claude that he could go to h*** and take his job with him" was one line in a letter.  Daddy and Uncle Claude increasingly "had words".  Daddy had to work Sundays at times which was totally against his upbringing.  It seemed about the only thing toward the end of the letters that kept Mom going became a sort of anger.  Truth was when Mom felt emotions that she could not handle, she would get mad.  The stronger the emotion the more angry she would get.

When word came that several of Uncle Clay's friends were pulled The letters ended in August 1942.  I really do not know exactly when Mom and Dad moved back to Texas.  Their original plan was to stay a year.

This post was started back in June as I was working to finish a certain amount before a trip to be with sisters.  I have not gotten back to the letter and photo scanning project.  Possibly in the next few weeks.  My walking wings have been clipped for a bit due to irritated tendons in the knee.  Seems 71 year old with two replaced knees needs to try more that just walking to stay fit.  Guess it is a good reason to begin the scanning again.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Harvey Came To Visit

As a youngster there was a movie starring James Stewart and his 'imaginary' friend, a 6 ft. 3 in. rabbit.  The film's name is Harvey.  A totally different kind of Harvey has been visiting the southern parts of Texas since last Friday.  I am sure that most readers have seen the photos of the terrible flooding in Houston and the lesser suburbs in that area.  The areas of the state where the category 4 storm crossed onto land are left with considerable wind damage.

My oldest sister's BIL lives in Rockport.  He had evacuated so he is safe.  Have not heard about his property's condition.  My youngest sister's husband has a brother, nieces and other relatives in the Houston suburbs.  No water in their home but there is no way out as all the roads are under water.  Finally this afternoon the storm moved away from the Houston area.

We live about 175 miles from where the eye crossed onto land on Friday.  The storm slowed to a crawl sending the swirls of the rain filled clouds swirling across our town starting Saturday afternoon.  Our 5 inch rain gage was filled rather quickly.  Winds buffeted the walls of our building.  We remained inside, safe and secure.   I stepped to the sliding glass door to peek out just before going to bed and stepped in a puddle of water.  Once or twice before we had experienced water coming in through the sliding door some how.  At least that is what we thought.

We pulled out towels and soaked up the water.  Added dry towels in the event it continued to seep in then went to bed.  Promptly to sleep only to be awakened by the storm alarm beeping.  Hubby was up and dressed.  Actually he was waking me to say not to be frightened but firemen were on their way.  The noise was our smoke alarms.  Hubby had been up trying to get them shut off and finally gave up.  After all maybe there was a short someplace.  The firemen arrived and began checking.  They found water leaking into the fire alarm in our bedroom.

More lights turned on and sure enough our dresser had a puddle of water.  After the firemen left, more towels placed in areas.  A ladder with a bucket to catch the drip and back to bed.  A few hours later we were up and more water was seeping across the ceiling.  The wall in the bedroom now had areas the size of a half dollar up and down where there appeared to be wall studs.  The area around the smoke detector was now about 11 inch diameter.  The drip had become a stream from the detector.

It was time to move furniture and valuables away from the moisture.  So now we have Finally Sunday afternoon the rains and wind died down to just the occasional gust.  Water kept seeping into the bedroom carpet overnight on Sunday.  By Monday the ceiling was no longer dripping.  It looked like Harvey was done with the visit to our home.  We now have part of the bedroom furniture in the living area till the carpet is dry.

The corporate folks have been looking over the apartment building.  The plan is to resolve the root issue of the leaking in the walls.  Once that is resolved, the cosmetic things will be repaired.  Till then the furniture will be in slightly new locations.  This inconvenience is helping me look at further downsizing/decluttering.  

As I think about the slight inconvenience we have experienced I can only imagine the folks in Rockport.  In Houston.  In Galveston.  In Spring and all the other suburbs that are in that area.

Prayers and peace,

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The 50's Party for our 50th.

The Saturday of the Big Party started with us 4 sisters at Youngest Sister's home.  Breakfast is a must to get us all going.  My camera was being contrary and would not focus past the stove where the cooking was happening.  Guess it was hungry.

 Once breakfast was eaten and kitchen put back together the steaming began.  The fifty year old wedding gown, Mom's dress she wore, my going away suit and one other outfit all required the steam treatment.  Table cloths and other types of stuff to just give everything that extra little touch.
Our Son, DIL, grandkids and Youngest Sis had worked for weeks gathering goodies and deco for the event.  And since it was a 50's party there were costumes to gather as well.

Hubby and I were responsible for picking up the cake and dropping off other items like the 50 year old dresses at the restaurant.

As Hubby and I headed out for our hotel and the cake pickup, the sky became threatening.  To complicate matters, the 'quick' way via the toll road was closed for construction.  We spent 30 minutes going a mere 10 miles.  Finally reached Elizabeth's cake and headed not to the hotel but straight to the restaurant to have the cake refrigerated.  We unloaded the cases of records, picture albums and dresses and headed to the reserved room.  That was filled with people having another party.

We had the room reserved since March for this event.  An the 'new' manager said the other people had reserved the earlier time and we were just going to have to wait to decorate.  I called Son and he said he had been told 3 times in the last week the room was empty all day.  We could decorate whenever.  Sister was already on the road by now just in front of the rain storm.  After a few discussions via phone, I explained we needed room to do work.  There were flower arrangements to be completed.  The manager said we could have the room at 5:30 and no sooner.  He did give us space in a large, empty room to leave my stuff.  He promised that area could be used for all prep and the staff would help with the move.

We unloaded all but one suitcase of stuff and headed to our hotel to dress for the event.  DIL wanted us to be surprised by the room.  We arrived back at the restaurant with the suitcase in tow.  It had the last table cloth that was needed for the cake table.  Guests were already waiting.  So I did not have time to take in the full beauty of the room before I needed to greet our guests.  Thank goodness our sweet DIL took great photos of everything so we could enjoy later.  We did get to look at the setup during the party, just wished I could have absorbed it a little more.  So here are the photos for your viewing pleasure.
Welcome table with book and cards to sign telling one story about us.

A little closer look.

The chrome chairs added to the 50's feel.  And this tray of glasses were for all to wear!

Each place setting had an old record with our photo in the center.  How cute is this!!!!  BTW Son told me this was his most favorite photo of us he had ever seen.  Love that man child.

Each table had these adorable centerpieces.  The children of friends and family got to take the cars home as well at the glasses.  Love the arrangements that looked like soda fountain drinks.

The center dress is what Mom had made for herself to wear.  Just beautiful work.  All the others were 'store bought'.

The lace table cloth and under cloth were Mom's while the runner belonged to Hubby's grandmother, then his mother and then it hung in our house for decades.  Love having the past with us on this occasion.

Yes, the original topper from 50 years earlier.  And a gardenia topiary as I carried gardenias as my bouquet.
Now for the fun 50's styles our friends and family wore to the sock hop!

Our God daughter niece and her three children.  My Mom had made the poodle skirt the great niece is wearing for her mom, our niece.  Niece sent a pic of her ready for the party and said I would not go out in public like this for anyone else.  Must really love Aunt Janice and Uncle Gene.

Our bonus grand daughter and grandson.

All our wonderful grandkids!!!!  Love, love and more love for this bunch.

Our token nerd from the '50's complete with taped glasses.  Love our youngest nephew!  The two ladies are my sweet Aunt Opal's daughters.  They were wee little girls at our wedding and always a part of our family gatherings.

My sisters and I posing with our daughters.  My sisters each had two sons and one daughter.  I now have a sweet DIL and
grand-daughter.  My life is rich in love.

The host and hostess of this bash, aka, Son and DILove.  My heart is so full.

 Now for just some random photos of the crowd and room.  If you have been a reader of this blog you may recognize some of the names from previous posts.

Long time friends visiting with Son.  These folks drove from Missouri to surprise us and they surely did!

Our Grands, again!
Son reading emails from friends telling stories about us.  Some were a little off color cause that is me.

My friend from high school.  We called ourselves Sally Sadass and Patty Pickup when we met guys while
cruising the streets in my folks 1959 turquoise Ford Galaxy 500.   Never give your real name, girls.

This is a family circle, clockwise from 9, oldest niece, Son, BIL, Oldest Grandson, Bonus Grand daughter, DILove.

Youngest to oldest Sisters thumbing a ride!

Reba Jane being silly in our lovely hats.

Some visiting time with long time friends.

Oldest Sister being the statue of liberty.  This girl turns 81 the end of August.

Four sisters AKA, Arleigh's Angels and we never did get a ride.

Youngest Sister's family.  All out for the 50's.

My baby Sissy admiring her daughter and granddaughter.  

This table had nieces, nephews sisters and great nephews sitting and laughing together!

Reba Jane snapping a photo of a wreath that has the original invitation, gloves and other things from the wedding and honeymoon.  Andy Williams album was a bonus find from Son that had our Hawaiian Wedding Song on it.  Son, DILove & Grandkids made the collage of photos from our 50 years of pictures I scanned and printed for them. 

Hubby and I thanking the folks for coming.  I basically said that making it 50 years is not done alone but with the help of every person in the room.  People that were there to rejoice in the good and care in the bad.  Friends, family and loved ones.

Twin great nephews.  Seniors at UT Austin.

By the end of the evening the rain storm was in full force.  All the stuff we had carried in would be wet and most of us soaked.  The younger ones would not let us old folks do much of anything.  They did let me take down the wedding gown and dresses then pack them.

It has been a little over a week since the party.  Hubby and I flew to Missouri to be at some close friends' 50th.  Now back home and savoring the new memories of our own celebration.  What a summer, what a 50 year ride and what a life.

Thanks for stopping by and joining the party.  Keep coming back as we work toward our next big celebration.

Peace and love
Janice & Hubby