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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

It Comes and Goes

The desire to write has been coming and going.  It never stays long enough for thoughts to become worth putting fingers to keys.  Sister #1's two adult children with the help of Sister #4 have sorted and distributed all of Sis #1's remaining possessions.  A huge bag of clothing came my way.  I worked through the pile.  Some I kept, most went back in the bag.  True to my requirement of one thing in one or two things out, my closet is less full.

There is a plastic tub of items sent to my family.  There are several bird figurines that are going to BGdaughter.  Her Grappa is an avid birder so she felt good about taking some of my mom's and sister's collections.  I took a crock pitcher.  Son asked for something else.  I haven't gotten up the gumption to get the items sorted.  Part of the issue is my right adductor tendon/muscle is giving me fits if I am on my leg too long.  The orthopedic doctor has me on limited activity till January.  Bummer.  Any activity I do has to be on a day that not many other things are done.  Oh, well.  The severity of the discomfort comes and goes.

It occured to me recently that the 'new' century is already over 1/5 over.  My mind did not want to grasp that reality for a bit.  How could it be that it seems like only a while back I was a king wondering how old I would be at the turn of the century.  I remember thinking that I would be really old at 54 years of age.  Then there were the months prepping for the unknown of what would happen to all the computers when Y2K became a reality.  Now we are almost 23 years past all that.  Emergencies come and then are gone.

We had errands this morning so both of us are not doing much more than keeping the recliners from floating to the ceiling.  Hubby turned the radio to an oldies station.  "Moments to Remember" came on and I was immediately sad thinking of Sister #1.  The song was popular the year she married at the young age of 19.  My Christmas sister gifts came this morning.  Only two gifts this year.  Just like everything in this world lives come and what seems the briefest of time, they are gone.  

Take care,


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Unintentional Narcs

Son and DIL
This past weekend was another DJ, Lyla, Norma, and plants care weekend for us.  Son and DIL were in Montana for Parents' weekend.  To say Bonus/GS #2 is happy is an understatement.  BGS #2 is not in love with the out of doors.  He can hardly wait for the snow to set in.  We shall see how he feels about that along about the end of March or April of 2023.

BGS #2 at 
When BGS #2 and DIL visited in February it was soooo cold.  Like  -14.4℃, 6℉.  Yes, it will be even colder with -℉ numbers being common.  So long as he is happy and the grades stay acceptable it will be good.  DIL noted that most of his new friends all grew us in areas where skiing and snowboarding were normal.

Hubby always likes to check around Son's home to see if there is something he can do for them while we are house setting.  There is usually a recycle bin needing attention.  I took care of that before Hubby had the opportunity.  He did remember DIL's closet light had issues.  He first tried the small step stool.  He is over 6 feet tall but still did not feel comfortable on the top step of the stool to reach the 10 ft. high ceiling fixture.  He helped himself to the tall ladder in the garage.  That worked fine.  He had asked me to spot him on the step stool so I just continued to hang around.  And tattle to the kids that he was on a ladder.

Hubby successfully was able to remove the fluorescent light tubes.  A trip to Home Depot, another climb up the ladder, and the light project was finished.  Except the old lights contained mercury so a special recycling place needed to be found.  Online info noted Home Depot did recycling.  After going to two different locations, Hubby found that was not possible through Home Depot.  Lowe's proved to be the company to provide that service.  Hubby was able to do the Lowe's run on Monday afternoon on the way home.

We had noticed the last couple of times we had been at Son's, one of the end tables seemed extra wobbly.  I just thought it was a loose screw.   I noted the wobble to Hubby as he was still in 'fix-it' mode.  Upon inspection, it was obvious the table support system had suffered a major injury.  There were attempted repairs made at some point.  They were insufficient as boards were split and needed to be glued back together.  Hubby gathered the parts of the table needing repairs to take home.  He has glue and clamps for these types of projects.  The table top was placed in Son's closet.  We failed to mention this to Son and DIL.

BGS #2 & Son
Son and DIL returned to Round Rock Monday night, mid-evening.  Today, Tuesday, late-afternoon Hubby received a text from DIL.  She wondered where her table was.  Hubby told her he had parts of it here to repair.  He noted it appeared to have been damaged.  Shortly Hubby's phone rang.  Oops.  Seems the damage was unknown to the parents.  With three boys that have been in the area of the table, facts are unknown.  There are suspicions about one particular BGS #2 as he was alone a couple of weekends.  But nothing conclusive.  

Did not set out to narc on anyone.  As stated, nothing is conclusive.  In a few years, maybe the truth will come out with an amusing story.  That is usually how it works.  And Grandma will be a narc in the story. Ha!

Bonus/Grandson #2
Take care out there!

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

This and That

There has been no squeaking around lately.  The last DJ sitting was even uneventful.  Part of the reason for that was we sneaked her in at 10:30 each night and then take her home before 7:30 the next morning.  Most of her previous antics had been late-night adventures in her own yard.  Well, there was the night she pooped in the living area and Robbie the Robot made a mess of that.  Now we turn Robbie off in the event of another accident.

On the 15th the social committee of PEO met for a bit of a project.  We were making Christmas card invitations to send to the ladies in our chapter.  It was fun just being ourselves with each other as we work/giggled through the project.  We only needed to make about 32 cards.  We only finished 24, I think.  There were no adult beverages involved, only women doing something out of our comfort zone.  

Last Wednesday our 2014 TV died.  Hubby says the backlight went out.  There had been slightly darker spots appearing for well over a year.  Thursday in the middle of Ken Burn's newest project the screen flashed a few flickers before turning completely black.  Having known for the past few months that death was inevitable research was done by me.  Hubby would put in some points along the way.  We had a fair idea of what would be wanted.

Thursday morning started the search in earnest.  Once more we looked at the pros and cons of QLED and OLED technologies.  I gave Hubby a web address to visit to read about the two one more time.  He liked the OLED the best.  Hubby stated he had been very pleased with his Samsung phone.  So the TV search was narrowed down even more.  We know we did want about the same size of the set as before.  With all the criteria in place, it was time to find the exact model.  To stay within the pricing, which was one of the biggest criteria, we went with 4K.  The OLED's smallest size from Samsung was 55", 5" inches bigger than the burned-out LG.  We just compromised and decided on the 55" Class S95B OLED 4K Smart TV (2022).

With the model found, pricing arranged, and everyone okay with the decision, the purchase button was enacted.  Delivery would be on Monday.  Good.  Those days would give us time to remove and dispose of the old set.  We, also, wanted to install wheels on the credenza that sat below the TV and sound bar.  Hubby asked if there was something I wanted to do on Thursday afternoon.  "Nope, I am too tired out from all the shopping."  I had not even moved from my recliner the entire time.  Decisions can be tiring.

Friday morning found we were ready to tackle the beginning of the project, removing the TV from the wall.  The simple removal required moving all the decorations off of the credenza.  Remove pictures that were hanging.  Emptying all the stuff in the credenza and putting it in boxes.  The device the old set hung on was a heavy weight.  Hubby wanted to try a different way to take the TV down.  I should have listened cause the hanger was really heavy.  However we did it, it was done.  Before we could actually get all of the above tasks done, there was a knock at the door.  The new set had arrived.  

Okay.  So much for spreading the work over 3 or 4 days.  We hopped to the tasks and had everything ready to install the hanger on the back of the new set.  I had missed one criterion.  Dimensions of the set mounting holes.  Nope.  Was not going to fit.  Fiiiine, we will set the TV on the credenza.  Now what to do with all the decorations.  That even includes the items on the wall.  Ugh.  There was only time to place the TV on its stand, which was a whole nother project.  With the Tv finally on the credenza, it was time to rest.

Not so much.  It was time to get dressed for Grandson #3's football game.  Also, Grandson #4's choir was singing the national anthem before the game.  We made it to the field in time to stand at the ticket stand and listen to the music.  Ugh, again.  We did see Grandson #3 come rushing on the field with his teammates.  We had forgotten our stadium seats so it was 3 hours on aluminum bleachers.  And btw, it was in the high 90's.    It was going on 11 PM when we finally arrived home.  We collapsed into bed very soon.

 #3 G is in there somewhere.

Neither of us got out of bed till almost 11 Saturday morning.  We both dozed on and off all day Saturday.  Then slept in again on Sunday morning.  We were a bit more alive on Sunday but not by much.  Monday we finally took the LG to the recycling center. Rearranged enough stuff in the storage room to store the shipping box to use when moving the new TV next year.  With all the box dust it caused a breathing problem for a bit.

It is Tuesday afternoon.  The wheels for the credenza have arrived.  The shaft is too long.  Hubby plans to cut the screws shorter.  That will have to wait until #4 GS is picked up from school and taken home.  Until then the living area is not open for guests.  In addition, about every level surface has something piled on it.

Hubby made it home.  The screws were cut to length and filed for smooth installation.  An additional platform that had previously sat on the credenza is lifting the TV for easier viewing.  I still have to decide how and where to place all the things that will no longer be set on the credenza.  In addition to the TV stuff, I have been doing laundry.  Nutrisystem dinner was served and now all I want to do is sit in my recliner.  We still have to figure out where to put the soundbar.  We are both not prepared to do anything else tonight.  

All I can think of is how on earth will we ever get ourselves moved.  Ugh.

Take care out there.



Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Book Club

Today was the monthly PEO book club.  I had never been to a book club until last fall.  I read what interested me but seldom talked to folks about what I read.  I've never been one to recommend books or restaurants.  The few times I did folks told me I was wrong.  I realized my standards were/are different from other folks.  This month's read was Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine.  It was a recommendation of a former member of the group.

The first question that was asked by this month's leader was did we like the book?  Opinions differed.  Most said it was a bit of a difficult book to read in the beginning.  All agreed the main character was really quirky.  The man, Raymond, was a 'typical' IT type.  They finally began to enjoy it somewhat. Were 'into it by the end'.

Finally, I spoke about my preference.  "I totally identified with the book".  Judy's response was, "Well, of course, you did!"  JoAnne leaned into me and said something like you're not nearly as quirky as the main character.  Seems they have my number.  I almost pulled out my squeaker and squeaked them!

Y'all have a great day!


Friday, September 9, 2022

Squeaker III

The squeaker showed up again on Tuesday.  A follow-up mammogram and sonogram actually allowed for two more times for fun.  With my appointment being in the afternoon, the technicians had already seen their share of women with requirements for a second look and immediate assessment.  It was my job to help make their day a bit brighter.

Not mine but similar
The follow-up mammogram was for my left breast.  (Why was the word breast hard for me to type?  Old hangups, I guess.)  There were different size plates used.  The first was about 10 inches wide.  The pressure on that one was not so bad.  The second plate was about 3 inches wide and more focused.  In addition, the pressure was more like the mammograms from the 1980s.  Ouch.  And one must hold one's breath so there is no breathing through the discomfort.  It was definitely squeaker time!  The young tech started looking around and searching her pockets.  I fessed up and of course, she cracked up with me.  She thought she had managed to bring one of her toddler's toys with her to work.  She gladly took the squeaker to 'have some fun at work'.

From the mammogram room, I went to a waiting area with other women in bathrobes and/or hospital gowns.  I could see the worry on some of the faces.  We were all waiting for the next phase to determine which door our lives would take.  Would we be released after the sonogram with good results?  Would we be given back to our doctor to schedule the next step of biopsy and/or surgery?  I did not use my remaining squeaker but shared what I had done.  We all had a giggle.  Then a twenty-something lady came into the room.  Her countenance was filled with fear and she needed encouragement.  She noted how painful the procedure was.  All us old pros started talking about our past experiences.  We did our best to give her support.  Because cancer is scary.  All the while I kept hearing the occasional squeak out in the hall followed by laughter.

The waiting room ladies were called one by one to have the next exam.  New women came into the small room.  At times there was not enough seating.  My name was called.  Just to confuse things there were two of us "Janice" in that small room.  It was not my turn, wrong last name.  A couple more of the ladies left.  Then, finally, my turn.  I wished the twenty-something good luck with the results.  I had even shared about the ex-DIL having the same situation just 2 or 3 weeks before that 1996 wedding day.  All had been fine after the biopsy showed the tumor was benign.

Let me give a bit more, probably unwanted information.  Breasts are categorized.   It is not cup size but density that makes the difference when screening for tumors.  Read here for more information.  My breasts are considered dense, level 3 the techs tell me.  That makes me 4 x more likely to develop breast cancer.  Yeah!  In addition to the silly, no longer useful things that have caused distortions in my bone structure from bra straps, now this.  Yearly mammos it will be for me.

So much for that.  On to the sonogram room.  On my back with half of me exposed.  In addition, my dense but saggy boobs were halfway into my armpit.  I could apologize for that unflattering image but more important things were at stake at that time.  A squirt of the warm lubricant and the sonogram process began.  The tech was having difficulty locating whatever it was on the mammogram.  I did the squeaky thing and she laughed.  Said she had heard about me.  We chit-chatted while we both looked at the monitor.  Still nothing.

I said it had probably slid into my armpit.  She answered that there was very little probability that anything had spread into my armpit.  I smiled noting I was not talking about a cancerous tumor, just my orange-in-a-tube sock boob.  Most of it was in my armpit.  Well, that cracked her up.  "Most people come to this room either planning their funeral, or crying, or dreading telling family members.  No one comes in cracking jokes."  I told her my family met adversity with humor.  "You are now officially my favorite patient today".

Once she had enough photos of my tube sock for a boob, she went to the specialist for a reading.  I gave her a squeaky toy.  She said the specialist was a bit grumpy this time of day.  She, also, noted that if she ever had a bad read, the specialist would be her pick for the reading.  In the time she was gone, I just did not do much.  Looked at the room, checked my phone, and prayed I would not have to tell my sisters we were going through another cancer treatment as a team.  

The tech returned.  Get dressed and go home, all is good.  That was for sure!  I dressed and started walking down the hall.  At different stations, the technicians had smiles and giggles going on.  Seems that had all been having a bit of fun with the squeakers.  It was a glorious way to end the visit.

Stay safe out there.  Don't forget your mammograms, colon checks, and other things that could avoid cancer.



Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Rainy Days and Stormy Nights

Over the last week or so we have been experiencing waves of rain storms.  The first of the storms left cities flooded all across the state and US.  The major storm has passed now we are just having small, widespread showers.  Yesterday's total was only about 1/4 inch.  Temperatures have moderated, also.  Of course, lower temperatures mean less loss of moisture.  Very much needed change as our lakes are low.  The two main reservoir lakes are at 51% full.

A boat ramp with no water in sight.

As I was just checking the current conditions, I noted the Austin area had been placed on a flash flood watch for this afternoon.  The weather is certainly showing the effects of climate change.  Since I am not a scientist, I shall remain neutral.  I was just looking at several studies from Texas A&M.  I do not wish to attempt to decipher the information at this time.  If you wish to peruse the data, here is the link.

Here is another interesting article about findings south of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex.  Seems there are all sorts of things are being found with the widespread drought conditions.  Lake Mead is one of the reservoirs that has been receding for the last 22 years.  Lake Mead was created when Hoover Dam was built on the Colorado River.  This year alone, five bodies have been found as the waters recede.  This link speaks to the bodies that have come to light.  Some are boating accidents, others appear to be mob hits.  The lake is near Las Vegas.   A second link shows a ghost town that is now visible.

Not much going on today at the Adcock household.  Just confused about the days Gpa is to pick up Grandson #4 from school.  When there are divorced parents involved, life can be a moving target.  Especially when one of the parents is a person that wants to be in control of everything.  So long as we all go along with her way.  Divorcing never ends the difficulty of two people, it just washes over to anyone nearby.  It is sad when one who was originally so dear to us feels manipulation is a good way to relate.

Well, there are two things I cannot change, the weather and an ex-DIL.

Y'all stay safe out there!


PS:  replacement squeakers due to arrive Saturday.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Oh, My Hair!

Monday was a well-organized morning.  The first order of business would be the permanent crown installation at 8:30 AM.  10:00 AM was scheduled for a long-awaited haircut.  The last organized item was a grocery pickup between 11:30 to noon.  That order of the morning would put me home in time to watch Mr. Dillon on Gunsmoke.  With all these places being no further than a mile and a half from home, the plan was very manageable.

Manageable if everything went on schedule.  I arrived at 8:30 but was not called back until 9.  I knew it would be best to let the hairdresser know I could run a bit close.  A quick text to let Misti know was the fastest approach.  Within minutes Misti was calling me.  She was in Houston on a family emergency.  She did not know how many days it might take before she could schedule a haircut.  I asked if she was okay and she began crying.  I told her to take care and let her go.  I still do not know what the issue is but I do know that her beloved grandmother is near 90.  The grandmother has been having health issues.  My haircut was the least of my concerns now.

It was a bit after 9 when I was called back for the procedure to begin.  The assistant reached into my mouth to remove the temporary crown.  It would not come out.  Repeated attempts by both the assistant and eventually the dentist proved unsuccessful.  Out came the drills and grinding instruments.  Even one of his tiny saws had to be used to remove the not temporary cap.  I joked that I came to the Castle, the name of the dentist's office, to get a crown and become queen.  The dentist laughed and told his new assistant, "This lady always makes up happy and makes me laugh when she comes in!"  There are worse reputations one could have. 

Instead of following the now-defunct plan, I drove back home.  I ate a bit of breakfast and settled in to take a look at emails, Facebook, etc.  I found a puzzle in need of assembling and promptly fell asleep.  I was startled awake at about 11:35.  Time for the grocery pick-up run.  And off I went.  Since the market is only 1.8 miles away, I arrived within the time frame.  As I was returning home a vehicle was blocking one lane.  Obviously, stalled.  I drove past the car along with the rest of the line of cars.  My conscience knawed at me so I turned around and returned to help.  Either someone else had helped or the car started as it was no longer near the intersection.

Back home Hubby was waiting by our assigned parking place with our cart.  The tubs full of groceries were placed on the cart and Hubby wheeled them in.  Once unloaded and put away it was time for Gunsmoke.  Another puzzle and no more naps.  I did not do much for the remainder of the day.  Not long after Gunsmoke was over my call rang.  It was the facility where last week's mammogram was done.  Seems there is something on the left image that needs to be rechecked.  That was not on the program.  I wonder if the "thing" was my squeaker.  Next Tuesday afternoon we will know more.  Till then I'll just keep on putting my puzzles together and try to not go crazy with my hair being too long.

Y'all take care.  I need to get myself busy figuring out something for Hubby's upcoming birthday.


Saturday, August 27, 2022

Squeaker II

Thursday afternoon was scheduled for my yearly hearing aid checkup.  My regular audiologist had a family emergency arise earlier in the week.  A call gave me the opportunity to schedule a week later or use a different professional on Thursday morning.  I chose the Thursday morning appointment because my left aid had not always charged properly.  In addition, the left aid did not always connect to my TV.  The hearing aids had a TV hearing transmitter included at the time of purchase.  This allows me to listen to TV programs without blasting out Hubby's ears.  But I digress.

Thursday morning was the time for the appointment.  I was quickly greeted by Rebecca, the alternate audiologist.  We chatted as she sat about cleaning and updating the software for my hearing aids.  While the update was being done electronically I had my raw hearing tested.

If you have never had the procedure of a hearing test this is a brief description of the process.  You enter a soundproof area about the size of a shower stall.  There are windows to avoid the feeling of claustrophobia.  Earphones are placed on your head.  Now, these are serious headphones, not your K Mart blue light specials.  You are handed a buzzer button much like you see used on Wheel of Fortune.  Only this buzzer does not give you the chance to win anything.  One just presses the button when sounds are heard.

At first, the sounds are a series of short beeps at different frequencies and tones.  Some are high pitched while others are more toward the bass side of sounds.  The ringing in my ears made distinguishing the tones a bit more difficult.  The sounds are played in one ear at a time for a precise evaluation.  The next step is repeating words said by the audiologist.  Most are simple words such as dog, search, hair, etc.  I did not see my particular score after completing the test.  Rebecca did say there was just a slight deterioration of my hearing.  A slight deterioration is good since my Mom said she could hardly hear herself think toward the last few years of her life.  This is an inherited trait for Candler descendants.

Once the test was completed we returned to the consulting desk in the same area.  I had been wearing my cross-body purse the entire time.  Since I had just been having a listening test, I ask Rebecca if she could identify a noise.  I pressed the squeaker.  It was in the outer pocket of my purse.  She began looking around and I squeaked the thing a couple more times.  I finally raised my purse for her to see and pressed again.  She said that was hysterical!  After a conversation about how I came into the possession of the squeaker, I gave it to her.  She planned to harass her 13-year-old son with it that very evening.  Paying forward is not always about food, it needs to be about fun, too.

Now I'll just need to get DJ to destroy another toy!  Or I can buy a supply of squeakers from Amazon.  I think I have found my new life calling.

Take care,


Wednesday, August 24, 2022


While Son and DIL took G#2 to college as noted previously I spent several days house, dog, cat, and turtle tending.  Each of the things had its days of being like a squeaky wheel needing special attention.  Yes, even turtles need attention.  Her light has to be turned on and off each day.  The feeding of 8 morsels of feed broken into small bites is an every other day routine.  Cannot have a fat turtle, I guess.  This time turtle care was a bit of a challenge.  

The biggest concern for Norma the turtle was she would not eat for the first 2 or 3 days. I would break up the pellets.  Drop one at a time in the tank and point to it.  Norma would take it in her mouth and then immediately spit it out.  That action had never happened before during the many times I had fed her.  I wondered if she sensed that Grandson #2 was gone. 

In addition to her not eating, the water in her tank was low and the pump was making strange sounds.  From past experience with fish tanks, I knew not to put straight tap water in the tank.  Sent a text to DIL and Son.  They said there was distilled water in a closet, please add some.  I did.  Not only did the pump begin sounding normal, but Norma also began eating.

There was the house and plants to care for, also.  On Saturday the house cleaner was to arrive early.  I knew it would be easier to just remove DJ from the house.  I brought her to our apartment knowing full well it was against the rules.  Mid-afternoon DJ and I returned to a spotless home.  I went to check on Norma and could not believe the condition of the 'kids' bedrooms'.  In every room the entire floor was visible.  No clothing, no wires, no video game controllers.  The place was showing signs of being an empty nest type of home.  Grandsons #s 3 & 4 will continue to spend the first and third weekends there.  Still not the same as full-time residents.

Lyla the resident kitty is a beggar.  Her meows announce her need for food.  The meows began this time at about 4:30 AM and again around 4:30 PM.  The AM meows were announced to my face as I slept.  I would not immediately respond which led to the usual kneading of my head, shoulders, sometimes my face, and basically all of me.  Some mornings she would give up for a bit and I would fall back to sleep.  Honestly, most mornings I just gave up and fed her about 5:30 - 6.  That is terribly early for me!  Lyla's meows were her squeaky wheels in the afternoons, too.  Feeding was the best solution to stop the squeaking.

Then there is DJ.  She is like an entire freight train of squeaky wheels.  Not only does she find mischief outdoors, but she also has a basket of toys inside.  She digs through the basket until she finds the exact one she wants for her play.  Note that the play is almost never a solo activity.  Grandpa or I were chosen to either play tug of war or toss the toy with her.  When a toy has one of those squeakers hidden inside, she will intermittently chew until the squeaker is removed.  Of course, she did that successfully this past week.  I quickly had her spit out the squeaker lest she choked on it.

The doctor had requested the yearly mammogram and bone density tests.  Today was the day.  I thought yesterday was the day and showed up.  Oops.  I returned today with a little mischief in mind. I arrived and was shortly called for my tests.  Once I had donned the proper attire it was time for the mammogram.

The technician took me to the room that contained the smash my boob device.  The right breast was placed exactly where needed for the best image.  The tech then pushed the button to lower the plastic boob smasher.  As the smashing began, I squeezed the squeaker toy retrieved from DJ the previous day.  The tech threw her head back with a huge smile on her face.  "This is the first time I have ever had that joke pulled on me.  I was having a horrible day and you just made it better!"

There are times a squeaker is the best thing that can happen.

Take care,



Monday, August 22, 2022

Cat in the Hat or What!!!

Since Thursday last, I have been camping at Son's home watching TV.  Maybe a bit more than that as the animals need to be fed.  Plants need to be watered.  Except for one day when it poured rain.  That is about the first measurable rain in 50 + days.  Combine the lack of rain with the 68 days of 100+ ℉,  38+ ℃, temperatures, and everything is brown.  Lawns crunch like stepping on cellophane.  There has been a bit of greening in a few areas since the rains but not much.  The forecast gives a break in the heat with temps reaching only the low to mid-nineties this week.  We are not alone in the world with these temps but we do have air conditioning which helps us old folks.

Last evening around 10 PM I could not find DJ.  She was nowhere in the house nor in the yard.  Well, it was dark so hard to see where DJ might be hiding.  I kept calling and whistling.  I returned to the house to see if I could find a flashlight.  Within a minute or so DJ came through the doggie door.  The only description I could use to describe her was sheepish.  She walked in front of the fireplace and opened her mouth.  Out dropped what I thought was a mouse on the floor.  Yikes!  A closer inspection made me think newborn kitten.

Fortunately, it was hardly moving so I ran to get something to carry the critter outside.  A few paper towels should work.  By the time I returned, less than a minute, DJ had the critter back in her mouth.  Really?  She dropped the critter on command.  I grabbed the whatever, carried it outside, and tossed it over the fence.  I felt cruel but knew that if it was a kitten, I would never find the mom in the dark.  Back inside I closed the back door to avoid further encounters with unwanted visitors.  At least it was not another skunk encounter like in March of 2021.

This morning I was still curious about the critter from last night's adventure.  I knew I had let DJ out one more time last night as she was whining at the door.  One more potty time.  I did not let her go alone.  When I called her she came from the direction of the trampoline.  That was the only clue I had about where to look this morning.  However, first I checked for the critter in the area where I had tossed it over the fence.  Nothing in sight.  Okay.  Did a varmint eat the helpless creature?  I am so very sorry.

Continuing the search, I moved over by the trampoline to see if there were more small kittens.  Nothing.  Then I noticed DJ sniffing in a certain area.  The area was dug up and what appeared to be a small tunnel.  Could the critter have been a mole?  That made much more sense.  Now to google for photos of moles.  Absolutely no mole photo nor newborn kitten looked like what I picked up and tossed out of DJ's reach.  Finally, a photo with comparisons of moles, gophers, and voles gave me the answer.

The small creature did not have the vicious claws of the mole nor the pocket gopher.  It was a vole.  Yes, that is what DJ had detected, dug up, and brought into the house.  Life is always interesting when I care for Son's and DIL's animals and plants.  

Last time I overwatered the hydrangeas and killed one.  I did buy a replacement that looks fine.  A second one is still not looking too good after swimming in the water before I realized what was happening.  If my track record of skunk sprays, overwatering, and vole adventures continue, I will probably get fired.  At least my price is right, snacks and maybe a meal out.

At least DJ is a good dog, just a bit adventurous.  Oh, before I forget, The turtle named Norman.  Seems research by G #2 found it to be female, not male.  So Norman is now Norma.  Like I said, always an interesting adventure.

Peach and love!

Thursday, August 18, 2022

New Chapters

Yesterday was the first day of school for the local school districts.  Grandson #3 began his senior year (grade 12) in high school.  Grandson #4 began his sophomore year (grade 10) at the same school.  Granddaughter #1 earlier in the month began her final year at university in Arkansas.  Grandson #2 spent his day packing to leave for his first day at university in Boseman, Montana.

With Boseman being 1730 miles (2784 km) there will be limited visits with Grandson #2 over the next years.  His mom is going to miss this sweet guy.  He has been making a point of spending time with her over the last several months.  Unlike most guys ready to 'take flight', he has not been rebelling, arguing, or just being difficult.  That always makes the departure a bit easier.  DIL had mentioned she was really dreading his leaving.

L to R, Grandson #3, Grandson #2, and Grandson #4

Grandson #2 (aka Bonus Grandson) requested one last family dinner before his departure.  I had made a special pillow for Granddughter when she left for college.  It had a picture of DJ curled up asleep on her pillow.  Pillows are not the cool thing for guys.  I mean, don't even think about that, Grandma.  What little thing can we give a guy?  Since DIL had asked me to pick up a couple of things at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I did a quick browse.  And there was the answer, an extension cord with USB ports.  The smile on his face was confirmation that we had nailed it!  Whether needed or not, one can never have too many extension cords in a dorm.

The dinner together was so pleasant.  Unlike when the guys were younger, there was no fighting or goofing around.  The three grandsons just visited and talked about all the things guys discuss.  G#2 is a car guy so he talked cars.  G# 3&4 are both sports guys.  They each shared stories about stuff going on.  Of course, there was lots of talk about the university G#2 would be attending. 

Yesterday was, also, the anniversary of another beginning.  Son and DIL recognize it as their anniversary.  The day they committed to each other as a family.  The day we gained a granddaughter and another grandson.  The beginning of the FAB family.  The FAB acronym is the last name of DIL, Son, and DIL's children.  The FAB family is the blessing of our life.  The joy of our souls.  Even as they become scattered from Montana, Colorado where G #1 lives, Arkansas, and central Texas the FAB family is still the core of our life.

So raise a toast to new beginnings for all of us.  Cheers.

Hubby at the farewell dinner

Stay safe and love!


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Just A Quick Note

Up earlier than usual as today is Stretch Lab.  The last few minutes of the 1950s TV show, Leave It To Beaver, were playing on Me TV.  Recently Tony Dow who played the older brother of The Beaver passed away.  Sort of weirdly, Tony's wife sent out a report of his death about 24 hours before he actually passed.  I can understand that mistake.  Those last hours are an anxious time.  There are periods of time when the patient appears to not be breathing.  That's enough about Mr. Dow's death.

During my tween years, I faithfully watched The Beaver in order to see Tony Dow.  I was crushing on him in each episode.  I managed to nab a photo of My Guy Tony from some magazine.  I pinned this photo to the wallpaper in my bedroom.  Oh, the better to dream of us dancing together.  Maybe even walking on that street in front of the big house.  Of course, he would be carrying my school books.

In the last few minutes of today's episode, Walley and The Beav were in their bedroom.  Walley was being the wise older brother as usual.  Nice big room with twin beds and an attached bathroom.  

Now the Cleaver house was not a small house when viewed from the street.  If you compare it to today's typical homes, it would be really small.  But this morning I began to have a new thought.  (That may happen when I get up too early.)  Why did the boys have to share a room in such a large home?  Why am I even thinking about this as it was never a real home?  Think how much $$ was saved by having just one room.  Also, most people in the 1950s had children doubling up in a single room.  Guess having the boys in one room would make it seem more relatable.

But I still wonder if the writers really thought two boys could live happily in the same room for so many years.  Of course, having an on-suite bathroom was pretty awesome.  Still, just wondering.

Y'all stay safe.



Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Today, and Then Some

8 AM is not a great time of day to see me as I am usually in my pjs watching Perry Mason reruns.  Not today.  8 AM I was reclining in a dental chair.  Just a cleaning.  But no time for the extra treatments as I had a PEO meeting at 9:30 AM.  I would take the P.E.O. books with me to the dentist.  That would give me plenty of time to make both appointments.  Well, of course, the PEO yearbook was hiding from me.  I gave up and headed to the dentist.  While my mouth was filled with the dental tech's fingers and equipment I recalled placing the PEO stuff in a different place than usual.  By the final wash-out of the polishing compound, my mind remembered placing the PEO items near my sewing machine.

Upon returning to the apartment for my yearbook, there was just enough time to check my emails.   If all went according to plans, there would be sufficient time after PEO to ride with Hubby to his 1 PM Cpap check in nearby Georgetown. That town is one of the areas we are considering for a new apartment location.  An email was sent on Tuesday requesting to tour of the 62 + apartment community.  The request was for 3 PM.   No email answer.  Fine.  We will just stop by after the appointment, anyway.  Old people can get away with so much.

Why did Hubby need to check his Cpap equipment?  Seems Medicare does not want to pay for a machine if it is not being used.  What?  He sleeps with it every night and takes with on trips!  Turns out the doctor had the data from the machine on file.  Came in from the machine via the internet.  Why Medicare does not have it is an issue to be resolved another time it appeared.

Once Hubby had completed his appointment, the address for the apartments was put into Waze.  We were only 2 miles away from the place.   The manager found my email request and apologized for the inconvenience.  No problem.  I had come prepared with documents for the qualification of our finances.  We passed muster.  A great-looking place with all the conveniences one could ask for in an apartment home.  Unfortunately, the wait lists are closed as the wait time is 2 years.  Yes, two years.  

I told her I had heard about the wait lists. We were searching months ahead of our need.  As for the waitlist, she said they purge it as places become available.  Often folks no longer wish to reside there.  The net result is a shortened wait.  Good thing we are looking at other locations.  Now to get our name on hopefully a few more waitlists.  That is where the 'and then some' comes into play. 

Oh, I'll be lying in the dental chair tomorrow at 8 AM again.  Have to get a crown replaced.  Ugh.  So that is a strike out on the apartment and a foul tooth at the dentist.  At least the PEO meeting was pleasant.  Seeing new friends, a productive business meeting, and we made greeting cards as the program!  At least the day was not a total strike-out.

Y'all stay safe out there.


Tuesday, August 2, 2022


This morning I went into the YouTube rabbit hole.  It was started by going to a music clip one of my nephews-in-law posted on Facebook.  Mack is a musician by hobby and now by trade.  At 62 he retired from an 8-5 job and is now working with the high school band program.  Mack is in love with this new job.  Being both a composer and performer, Mack is enjoying helping young people explore their talents.

Once I finished watching/listening to a few music videos, I was drawn to a tribute to Mohammad Ali.  The person giving the tribute was Billy Crystal.  Click on Billy's name to see the entire tribute.  There was a point in the tribute where Crystal recounts Ali giving him a hug.  Then Ali whispered into Crystal's ear, "You're my Little Brother."  That recounted gesture sent me into tears.  

Immediately I recalled my last goodbye to Sis #1.  It had been less than a month since Sis #1 had held my hand tightly.  She called me her little sister.  Then she said, "you'll never know how much I love you."  Finally, the tears flowed.  Tears of grief, sorrow, but mostly love!  Love for my Big Sissy.

That's all I have to say now.


Sis #1 holding me.  Sis #2 to the right of Sis #1  Cousin to the left.

Sis 2, Sis 3, me, our angel Sis1

Saturday, July 30, 2022


Mom and Joe, aka Rathole, Covington
 Do you have a nickname?  There was a family in the rural community where I grew into my teen years that had nicknames for most of the family.  The Covingtons had Doodle and Tootsie, two I recall at this time.  Oh, Cub was another of the brothers as well as Rathole.  Jet was the mom's nickname.  Doodle gave my Sis #1 her nickname, Racehorse, cause she could outrun everyone else.  She was thin and had long legs.  

During one of the last two sister times in McKinney, we sisters were discussing one of the Covington family's granddaughters.   Suddenly, Sis #1 asked, "Did Doodle die?"  I could not help myself.  I started giggling and rapidly repeating the question.  Then all of us four began laughing.  It was the kind of laughter that allows some of the stress to flow away on the gales of laughter.  Sis #1 grabbed her phone and within a minute had the answer.  Doodle indeed had passed away just a few days before our gathering.  The answer came, "Doodle did did".  

Strange how some words or phrases will stick with us through the decades of life.  Words we utter as children become catchphrases within a family.  Our son said rainbrella instead of umbrella;  bagoose rather than caboose.  He called Sis #1 MakMak instead of Margaret and Sisue instead of Suzie.  Nandad for Grandad and the list goes on.  So Sis #1 is called MakMak by many in the family.  Others called her Maggie.  Suzie is actually a nickname for Sue.  Machew Pow is actually Matthew Powell.

In my 'I don't care' stage

Needing to be a  girl stage

Daddy gave me the nickname Sam.  It has not one thing to do with my name, more my attitude, I guess.  He even had a rhyme to go with the name.  She's Sam cause she doesn't give a damn.   Once I hit puberty I informed the world I did care and I wanted to use my girl name, Janice.  For a the most part, folks complied with my demand request.  But there is still one guy, Joe Covington that still calls me Sam.  Yes, he is Rathole.

Just for the record, I have entered/returned to the I just don't give a care stage.  You can call me Sam, Jan, Wench, whatever.  Just do not forget to call me for supper.

Take care and love,

Friday, July 29, 2022

Eighty-three Years Ago

Hubby's folks were married 83 years ago today.  That is July 29, 1939.  Carl had an eighth-grade education.  Edna had completed high school and attended business college.  They made a great team working together for the almost 66 years they lived together.  He took correspondence classes for radio and television repair.  He felt an entirely new world opened up when he learned how to do square root equations.  He always pushed any young person to learn square root.  One of Son's favorite memories of his Grandpa.

Edna would work first as a hired hand for a farmer's wife in Kansas.  Cooking for the men working in the fields.  She came home to visit her folks living in Missouri.  Carl's aunt invited Edna to a party at a friend's home.  That is where the two kids met.  They must have hit it off cause when Edna returned to Kansas they began corresponding.  (We still have a few of those love letters.)  Edna convinced Carl to come to Kansas to work for the same farming operation where she was employed.  And as the folks will say, the rest is history.

All you fine folks out there, take care.  Take every opportunity to fill the world with love and laughter.


Friday, July 22, 2022

Birthdays and Such

Grandson #3 turned 18 on Wednesday.  Son, DIL, Gson # 2, #3, #4, Hubby, and I gathered at Pluckers for the celebration.  Chicken wings with various sauces are the main focus on the menu. DIL and I opted for a salad apiece.  They turned out to be huge.  We brought the salad leftovers home and they were enough for dinner.  

Pluckers have a special song for birthday people.  The birthday person is asked to put pointed cups in their mouth.  That is supposed to look like a chicken's beak.  A large menu is held in each hand.  As the song is sung the birthday person is to flap their arms like a chicken.  It is a sight to behold.  

Mom and Daddy renew their vows at their 60th-anniversary party.
Thursday was my folks' wedding anniversary.  Eighty-eight years since they drove into town and the Baptist preacher said the words that united them.  The preacher's wife was the only witness.  

For Mom and Dad's 60th anniversary we sisters decided it would be fun to surprise them with a ceremony to renew their vows.  Mom's ring was worn through so Daddy planned to give her a net set.  Well, we girls convinced him to do it.

We made Mom a veil and bouquet.  Mom's brother, Uncle Clay, walked her down the aisle.  Clay carried a shotgun so it could be a shotgun wedding.  BIL #2 was a pastor, so he performed the ceremony.  Mom had always regretted not getting to have family around for her and Daddy's wedding.  Mom finally had her wedding.

Mom and Daddy lacked 4 months to make it to their 70th anniversary.  That was because Daddy passed away. Someone once asked Mom how they managed to stay married so long.  "Pretty simple, divorce was never an option, and killing him would have landed me in jail!"

Earlier this week Hubby had his 6-month doctor visit.  The doctor told Hubby that his A1C was way too high.  The doctor said no more meds to attempt to control the problem.  A change in diet and more walking exercise for Hubby was the prescription!  That means a lot fewer sweets, white potatoes, chips, etc.  Change is on the way.  Maybe I'll even lose a few pounds, also. 

Now it is Friday.  Usually, Hubby makes French toast for French toast Friday.  Not today!  The change starts now.  That is all that is going on in the little apartment home in Central Texas.  Hope you are staying comfortable and safe in this extreme heat.


Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Visits from Another Continent

 Our little part of the world has visitors today.  Visitors in the form of minute grains of sand. So in addition to the temperatures today being 104 ℉, 40 ℃, the air quality sucks.  At least the humidity is only 33 %.  I presume these current conditions give just a taste of what desert living might be like.  Hot, dry, but no air conditioning.  We, thankfully, are still blessed with cooled air.  Sometimes I wonder how we lived back in a time with only an oscillating fan.  Then my mind wanders to centuries ago with only a hand fan to provide air movement.

Hubby has a weather station on our patio.  It transmits to a tablet-looking device that the manufacturer calls a terminal.  Hubby has the terminal sitting on the table next to his chair.  If he puts his glass or cup on the table it blocks my view of the display on the terminal.  Oh, no, I have to move out of my chair to check the temperature,  humidity, wind speed, and various other weather details.  I do have an app on my laptop that allows me to see the readings without moving.  Only the terminal is not talking to our router.  I am not sure why they had such a falling out but they did.

Since returning from the stretch lab the two of us worked to get the two devices to talk to each other.   The process is almost as unsuccessful as nations negotiating oil prices.  Really.  Regardless of all the things we have tried today, the silly devices are not any closer to talking than the Republican and Democratic parties are in working out immigration policy.  We shall try a couple or three other attempts to encourage the devices to talk.  If those do not work I guess the devices will drift apart like Sahara sands over the Atlantic.

Take care, y'all.


Monday, July 18, 2022

Ashes to Ashes

Today Nephew #4 picked up his mom's ashes.  That is Sis #1 for me.  It crossed my mind about all the living, happy, sad, and dangerous, that she had lived.  All that energy that had been a part of my family's life.  Energy spent raising three children only to watch the oldest descend into alcoholism.  She was his home health person for at least 7 years of his life.  She was at his bedside, alone as she wanted it to be, as the life support was removed from his septic body.

Saying bye as we leave after our 1971 visit.
I am in a striped shirt.
She married young, 19 years old.  That marriage lasted 25 years but the alcohol curse that claimed her son's life had ended that first marriage.  Till her dying day she still loved the father of her children.  During the 25 years, they built a family.  Jack, #1 BIL, was a rising star in the world of a specific type of insurance, something planes, ships, and cargo.  Jack was promoted and transferred to Portland Oregon in 1969.  They purchased a home across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington.

The 3 years they lived there were probably the best years of their marriage.  A great group of neighbors.  One group's husband would go salmon fishing then smoke and can the salmon.    Sis #1 was always talented and with Joan G. she began tole painting.  She was wonderful at painting.  In 2018 when our Sister time was a trip to Oregon, Sis #1 spent the last 3 days of the trip with Walt and Joan.

Both Jack's parents and Sis #1 and my parents constantly begged them to move back.  Eventually, they could not stand all the tears and asked for a transfer back to Texas.  After that is when the drinking took over and the marriage began a descent.  By 1979, Sis #1 had moved out of the house.  A year later Jack filed for divorce.

Sis #1 would marry four more times.  She did not make good choices.  The first man pulled a gun on her.  She divorced him.  The next man turned out to have cancer that was in remission.  They lived in a home near a river.  Their home flooded one spring causing her to lose all her children's photos, etc.  A couple of years later Joe's cancer returned.  She cared for him until his death.  

The next relationship with a man, CW, was a casual arrangement.  They cohabitated never marrying.  CW was a good man.  He eventually left her his house and a warehouse that could be leased.  Before his death, Sis had found another man to marry.  That was marriage number 4.  JC seemed nice, taking care of her.  Later he became very possessive and would knock her around.  She finally got the courage to leave him only to have him shoot through the garage apartment where she moved.  Even threatened to run his truck into the garage supports and cause the place to collapse.  The police became involved.

Once Sis was out of that disaster, she worked for the Tarrant County transportation department.  Basically, she was in charge of the smaller buses used to transport the handicapped, elderly, and otherwise those in need of transportation.  She had to attend meetings at the state capitol, budget meetings, etc. At some point, the county changed services or transferred the services to private companies.  Sis rebounded by getting a job with a local newsgroup.  

Around 2004 Sis reconnected with Johnny, a friend from the early days back on the farm in Chambersville.  They began dating.  He lived near Wichita Falls, too far to drive home at night.  They spent several years together, even sharing the home that CW willed Sis.  Johnny was a former alcoholic and a heavy smoker.  He developed cancer.  Sis spent time caring for him until he moved to his daughter's home here in the Austin area.

While working with the transportation group, Sis became acquainted with a gentleman, Mr. Calhoun.  They worked together for several years.  He was married but then his wife became ill and passed away.  Sometime later he and Sis started dating and later married.  They remained married until he passed away in 2012.  

Sis began a new job in 2011.  She worked as a receptionist at Carter Blood Center.  Her Facebook posts were filled with people she met there.  Those posting saw her as a very special person.  Here is one picture and post sent during Sis's last weeks:

  "I remember this day so clearly 7 years ago (I kind of coveted that scarf) that smile can light up any room. You gave me my congrats on 4 gallons card and I cried. Thanks for being part of my miracle Maggie. We love you!"

Sis was a good grandmother and great-grandmother.  I could write my opinion but I'll let her youngest grandson have the last words.  

"It’s sad to say but I lost someone who meant the world to me. We both helped each other through the death of my dad but now I have no clue which direction to go. She was a woman who loved unconditionally and always spoke her mind. She cared for me as if I was her son but I wasn’t her responsibility. She guided me through a darkness and showed me the light, and I never paid her back in full. There are a million ways to cope but none of them are effective when you lose a diamond. Margaret, and it feels weird saying that instead of Memaw, you gave the world so much and expected nothing in return. I’ve never heard a negative thing spoken about you, as it should be. You loved everyone as they were and I can’t express the amount of grief and turmoil that lingers from your passing. But I know I need to be strong, like you always were. I know it’s lame to say but this isn’t goodbye but rather I’ll see you later because I know in my heart we’ll see each other again. I hope you’re having the time of your life up there with my dad. I love you Memaw."

Sis #1 loved people, flowers, sunrises, sunsets, family, casinos, banana ice cream, banana pudding, and having fun.  Now all of that energy is condensed to ashes in an urn.  RIP Sis #1.

Y'all stay safe and as cool as possible.


Sunday, July 17, 2022

How Much Did I Miss?

Yesterday I put together five 300-piece puzzles online.  This has become such a habit over the last few years that I spend hour after hour 'puzzling.'  Not always the best way to spend my time.  There are so many sewing projects I could be doing.  More scanning of photos would be very productive, too.   But I do puzzles and watch old TV shows.  And read a lot of books, too.  That was till this week when I subscribed to Hulu so Hubby could watch his beloved Cardinals.  Still did not get the baseball game.

Yet somehow in doing these puzzles while watching old TV shows, I've missed lots of good comedy. The one I am streaming now is "Only Murders in the Building".  I cannot stop.  Nor can I stop laughing.  Nor waiting for the next turn and twist. Cause it is not all funny but still quirky.  Steve Martin and Martin Short play off of each other so perfectly.  Both SNL alumni.  And Ms. Gomez is the right mix with the Old Timers.

Several years ago Son gave me "The Handmaiden's Tale" in book form.  Since the book has become a Hulu series, why not binge on this, too.  I have found it can only be taken in small quantities.  Very intense.  A little too real with all the January 6 meetings going on. Along with the overturn of Roe v Wade and gun laws.

Pretty sure I have missed a lot more.  But who cares, there are always puzzles to be assembled.

Take care,