Saturday, January 31, 2009


Spending so much of this week trying to recover from the Crud...and last week trying to heal a sprained back, I have watched waaaaaaaay too much television. And, I tell you, friends, it is not a pretty picture. Just a few observations...

1. HGTV needs to make some new shows. Most of the ones playing now are on their 4th or 5th go around. If they can build that Dream Home, you'd think they could turn loose of some money to make some new shows.

2. One of the few new ones they have made is Decorating host. Not good, not good at all. Big mistake!

3. Why would anyone want Billy Mays to to hawk their product? He has the most annoying voice ever. I wouldn't buy anything he is selling, just because they should know better than to hire him.

4. A close second is Anthony Sullivan. Awwwww! My ears are hurting.
5. Just how many times a day can a commercial be run? I'm here to's way too many! I am so tired of Marie Osmond and Jill Barberee, and that other girl talking about NutriSystem and Jenny Craig. That other girl, yeah Valerie Bertinelli, has a friend with her now.

6. There is a new show on called Lie To Me, that is all about reading facial expressions. It is really pretty good.

7. Lost is back on again. This is one of the best shows on television. What makes it so good (besides the hunky men) is that you are sure you have it figured out...and something happens to show you that you haven't got a clue. Excellent writers...excellent show!

8. It is a sad thing to me that out of all the 3 major networks, none of them have a news team that I have any trust in. I lost all confidence in them during the past election.

9. I really enjoy watching Mike Huckabee on Fox News. And, Shepherd Smith can really be a hoot. Nancy Grace needs to take a chill pill. I wonder if she ever relaxes. Bill O'Reilly can be very obnoxious.

10. Oh, and Proactiv...sick of hearing about it again and again and again and again...

11. Have you seen the new commercial playing now where women scream like banshees, and go tearing thru town chasing after a truck just to get at the 100 calorie Oreo Cakester? Stupid!

12. Does anyone really need one of those blankets with sleeves in it?

13. Stacy London of What Not To Wear...can be really overbearing and unkind at times. Clinton Kelley is usually much nicer. Stacy seems to not have much use for someone who is not as fashion savvy as she.

14. There is no way I believe that a fishing boat out on the high seas will have some frozen fish sticks from the 'Gorton fisherman' for dinner.

15. My favorite commercial of all time is the one where the mom opens the door and a snowman comes in and sits at the table. She serves him Campbell's Soup and slowly the snow begins to melt. Lo and Behold...her son is under all the snow! Cute, cute commercial.

16. I have met some very irritating and obnoxious doctors through the years. However, Dr. House trumps them all. I do like to watch that show. I always try to catch that moment when the diagnosis becomes apparent to him. Brilliant! The show, not him...cause I know he's not real, but the writers...brilliant!
17. Vern Yip seems like a really nice person. I like the carpenter, Ian, on Color Splash, also.
18. OK, that's enough for now. I'm feeling a little sick of know...kinda like a cherry overload! Oh, and your pet is NOT free from tick, fleas and heartworms in the winter.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Here in my home town, there is a malady common to many. It can strike any time, and anyone. But, we've all had it, and though it may differ a little from person to is known by one name to all...The Crud. You open your mouth to speak and someone says, "You got the crud?"
You cough, and sneeze, and someone else says," Oh, no, you've got the crud?" Even, "Oh, you poor thing. Go've got the crud." We all know what it is. Oh, not the technical...the medical name. But, that matters not. We ALL know what the 'Crud' is.

First you feel just a minor problem with your throat. It could even pass unnoticed...but for the fact that it is a familiar felt it many times before. Next comes an ever so slight problem with getting air through your nasal passages. And, you know, you feel it deep in your bones...the crud is on the way.

You will then start to feel that tightness in your chest as if there is something in there that shouldn't be...and you're right. Thus begins the coughing...very slight at first...mostly just a tickle. A mere annoyance. And, you know, you feel it deep in your chest...the crud is on the way.

Soon you experience a totally stopped up nose. Which causes the head atop your shoulders to begin to ache...and move on quickly to a hurt. And your poor nasal cavities do not know what to do. They are alternately flowing like a river and stopped up like a dam. Before you know it there is so much 'yuck' living in your sinuses, you wonder how it could grow so quickly. And, you wonder if there is room for any brain cells in there. You can blow and blow and blow until you are seeing stars and light headed...but, it keeps on coming. And, you know, you feel it all the way up your nose...the Crud is here!

Now the 'yuck' in your chest begins to break loose. Oh, misery! You have to must. It will not be quieted. However, if you are a woman 'of a certain age' must beware! Unless you are very careful, you will wet your pants during the coughing spell. And, as far as walking and coughing...don't even try it! You've been there. And, you you're changing clothes...the Crud has struck!

You may or may not have fever, you may or may not ache, but, for sure you are still coughing, and wiping, and holding your head. And, if you happen to be a teacher of young children, you may hear these prophetic words, "Mrs Owens, you sound like my Grandma...she's dead!" And you know, deep in your heart...that children don't lie. You sound terrible. Positive diagnosis...the CRUD.
And, because some idiots decided to make meth with the OTC drug that works best, you must go through an act of Congress, get fingerprinted, show your driver's license, and offer up your firstborn, just to get the simple remedy to open up your nose. It is not quite as hard to get the cough meds...if you can just manage to decipher the bottles to decide which one you need.
And, you wait...and wait...and wait. And slowly, you begin to feel slightly normal again. And, before you know it...all is well. Life is good. The sun comes out, the clouds float by, the birds are singing. Breathe deeply. Enjoy it. And wait...cause 'round these parts...the Crud will surely come again. Bummer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


If you could only shop at one department store for the rest of your life...which one would you choose?

Zogby International, a marketing research and polling firm asked this question to 24,964 people, and this is the result:





Kohl's...........5% each

Neiman Marcus,
Bloomingdales.....2% each

Interesting, isn't it? I would have to ask one question before I could answer their question. I would need to know if that is ONLY STORE I could shop at or just the only DEPARTMENT STORE I could shop at.

If it was the ONLY STORE I could shop at, my answer would be Target. Because they have a pharmacy and food and garden center. And, I have been really impressed with the selection and quality of their merchandise since they opened here.

But, if it was the only DEPARTMENT STORE, I am not really sure. Our town doesn't really have much to offer as far as major department stores in other cities. We have a Belk, Dillards, Kohls, Sears, and JCP. I really enjoy shopping at Macy's when I shop out of town, but I also have been pretty impressed with Kohl's since they opened here recently.

Interesting survey, and it was taken over a 2 year time period. But, it would make me very sad to have to limit myself to one store from now on. What about you? What would you choose? And I'll make it easier for you...I'm speaking ONLY of department can still go to any drug store or grocery store you want to.
(Information on poll from Wallet Pop)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


A few weeks ago I got a lovely e-mail from a lady named Rachel. She was apologizing to me for using the name 'Gatherings' for her blog. Even though she didn't intend to name it's just these darned computers that sometimes tend to go their own way instead of following our lead. She was baffled as to why she could not change the name to her intended name. And, I understand that so well. How many times have I asked this computer to please do the right please obey just make sense of the craziness I typed in and read my mind and do what I want. I KNOW some of you have been down that same street.

Anyway, today, I went back to her blog and began reading her stories. Friends, you have to go there and read. BEWARE! You will stay a long time because her writing is so captivating. And, as I told her, when I asked her permission to send you there, I know these people she writes probably know them too. If you have had any dealing with folk from the 'country'... or if you grew up there or even visited there, you will relate to her well. This is a quote from one of her first posts:

"And that is where my voice is---the South, in the old days and old ways, with visits to older kinfolks, one with his own still, another who ran a gristmill and supplied several counties with meal and grits. Years of Church suppers and small town showers and gatherings and preacher poundings and weddings and funeral feasts and looking after the new mothers by supplying their families with three meals a day til they were "back on their feet" have sealed my voice into a time and place that is mostly memory, mostly centered around kitchen and table, and all about Family. I'm the Peas and Cornbread voice, mostly, upholding the plain and the simple, because that's who I am and what I know."

So, you will find Rachel's blog here. The name of her blog is Lawn Tea. I will send you off with one piece of advice...start at the very beginning. I did yesterday, and I laughed, and remembered things so similar to her experiences. You will not want to miss any of her posts!

Monday, January 26, 2009


I got up this morning
And what did I see?
A fence with a gate
Waiting for me!

I jumped up with joy
I cavorted with glee
Cause when Scooter goes out
I know where he'll be.
Look! It is finished. There is a gate. And the fence completely encloses the back yard. The only problem is that on one side of the house, the gate is off the ground high enough for Scooter to go under it. So, we must do something about that. But, it is so much easier now to let him out. He was so excited to be off leash, he just ran all over the yard. He kept coming back and looking up at me like,"Are you sure this is OK?" He has much to explore.

That is my little potting shed in the middle picture.
There is one more area to finish up with fencing. Only 1 buddy showed up this morning to finish...don't know how that will work out.

Several years ago, Don, Alex, Ian, and I took a trip through California. We went to San Francisco, and Monterey, to Carmel and to Sonoma. We stayed in bed and breakfasts in each place. It was delightful! Every one of the places was owned by the same family, and each was unique in its own way. The one we stayed at in Monterey had a neat feature in the bedroom. You could walk out of French doors to a tiny secret garden. It was completely enclosed by brick walls about 12 feet high, and of course, no roof. It was only big enough for a small bistro table and chair, and a lounge chair. The ground was covered with a ground cover, and there was ivy climbing up all the walls. Several big pots sat in the corners, just brimming over with colorful blooms. It was such a peaceful place. There was no other door, so the only way to enter was through the bedroom.

Don and I remembered this and when we started building, one of the things we told our architect we wanted was a secret garden. And that is what we will have...when the fence is finished and some planting gets underway. You can enter it through our bathroom, and it is completely enclosed with cedar fencing. We even have a rainfall shower in it. Ours did have to have another door in it, but it can only be opened from the inside. Just a little peaceful retreat area. I will show you pics as it actually becomes a garden...right now, it is just dirt, and an almost finished fence!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


We have been living here in the Creek House for about a month, now. I love it! I love being here, I love coming home here, I love walking in the door here, I love resting here, I love sleeping here, I love getting ready for my day here. HOWEVER, I do NOT like having to take Scooter out for a 'potty break' here. But, I do, because, our fence is STILL not completed!

I do not know who is putting up our fence...but, if I ever had to have another fence put up, I would find out who they are and NOT use them. They will show up, and work for maybe 4 or 5 hours, then they are gone! They have been working on this fence since a few days after we moved in. We do not have a giant should not have taken as long as it has. I will watch them sometimes, and I think they have a 'buddy system'.

One works while his buddy watches, then they will switch. Why they can't both work together is a mystery to me. Why they can not work a whole day is a mystery to me. Why this does not bother my husband, who usually has no sympathy for this type of thing, is a mystery to me. Maybe if HE was the one taking the dog out day AND night, it would bother him more. Oh, dear, do I sound bitter?

The sides and back of the fence are cedar, but, across the front and attaching to the house is iron. When it is finished, it will add a very nice accent to the yard. Also, Scooter will thoroughly enjoy exploring and sniffing to his heart's content when he can be off leash and free. I am writing this on Saturday morning, and TO MY AMAZEMENT, the fence fixers are here...and working!

Will wonders never cease? I do NOT think Don called to complain...I think the good Lord lit a fire under them. Because He knew I was going to BLOW A GASKET very soon if the fence wasn't finished. He knows that this is not a pretty sight, and someone usually ends up saying things she shouldn't and acting in a manner unbecoming to a nice, Christian lady. I wouldn't want to point fingers or anything...that's just not becoming. I'm just saying. So...

"Work on, fence fixers!
Fix my fence, I pray!
Make it safe for man and beast,
Finish! Please, TODAY!"

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I do not know what this is all about. Neither do I know why it is saved on my computer. But, it is an interesting picture. So I'll share it with you can ponder it with me!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I had said that I wasn't going to watch the inauguration. I was being a sore loser. And, I still am not thrilled, but I changed my mind and watched it anyway. It seemed like the 'American' thing to do.

I only want to comment on the music in this post. I may or may not comment on some other thoughts later.

First up was Aretha Franklin. She attempted My Country, Tis Of Thee. Now, Y'all, she was not good. Even if you like her style of singing...she was not good. She was way off pitch several times, and she didn't come close to hitting some of the higher notes. Plus the fact that she added in all those riffs that are not part of this traditional American song. I like Aretha doing Aretha songs. Now she can do those just fine, BUT, this time...she blew it! And the hat...words fail!

Next was a beautiful quartet made up of YoYo Ma,cello, Itzhac Perman, violin, Anthony McGill, clarinet, and Gabriela Montero on piano. The song was "Air and Simple Gifts" and it was arranged for this occasion by John Williams. It was beautiful.

You may be familiar with the song "Simple Gifts' is an old Quaker Hymn. The words are especially beautiful. Simple Gifts" was written by Elder Joseph while he was at the Shaker community in Alfred, Maine in 1848. These are the lyrics to his one-verse song:

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.
Several Shaker manuscripts indicate that this is a "Dancing Song" or a "Quick Dance." That is apparent with such lines of the song as "turn, turn will be our delight" and "turning, turning we come round right". These are dance instructions.

Two additional, later non-Shaker verses exist for the song, as follows:
'Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,
'Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn,
And when we expect of others what we try to live each day,
Then we'll all live together and we'll all learn to say,
'Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be,
'Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of "me",
And when we hear what others really think and really feel,
Then we'll all live together with a love that is real.

The United States Navy Band, the Sea Chanters, did a beautiful job on the Star Spangled Banner. It was sung in the normal traditional way, with nothing added...the way that song should always be sung.

The Marine Band also performed all the other musical selections.

I know there were many concerts and musical affairs going on all over the city. These were the only ones I can comment on. However, if you did not hear the quartet do "Air and Simple Gifts" it is available on You Tube. You owe it to yourself to hear this beautiful work.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


In the light of all the celebration surrounding BO's inaugaration, I feel little has been said to properly honor President George W. Bush.

I searched several newspapers, and other publications to find a favorable report of his presidency. I am well aware of the fact that the 'majority of Americans' feel like his presidency is nothing to honor. However, I disagree with the'majority of Americans', and I feel George W. Bush is owed quite a debt of gratitude by this same 'majority.

I did find an article that I agree with...but, it wasn't an American is The Telegraph in London, England. This was written by Andrew Roberts 1/15/09.

"In the avalanche of abuse and ridicule that we are witnessing in the media assessments of President Bush's legacy, there are factors that need to be borne in mind if we are to come to a judgment that is not warped by the kind of partisan hysteria that has characterised this issue on both sides of the Atlantic.

The first is that history, by looking at the key facts rather than being distracted by the loud ambient noise of the
24-hour news cycle, will probably hand down a far more positive judgment on Mr Bush's presidency than the immediate, knee-jerk loathing of the American and European elites.

At the time of 9/11, which will forever rightly be regarded as the defining moment of the presidency, history will look in vain for anyone predicting that the Americans murdered that day would be the very last ones to die at the hands of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in the US from that day to this.

The decisions taken by Mr Bush in the immediate aftermath of that ghastly moment will be pored over by historians for the rest of our lifetimes. One thing they will doubtless conclude is that the measures he took to lock down America's borders, scrutinise travellers to and from the United States, eavesdrop upon terrorist suspects, work closely with international intelligence agencies and take the war to the enemy has foiled dozens, perhaps scores of would-be murderous attacks on America. There are Americans alive today who would not be if it had not been for the passing of the Patriot Act. There are 3,000 people who would have died in the August 2005 airline conspiracy if it had not been for the superb inter-agency co-operation demanded by Bush
after 9/11.

The next factor that will be seen in its proper historical context in years to come will be the true reasons for invading Afghanistan in October 2001 and Iraq in April 2003. The conspiracy theories believed by many (generally, but not always) stupid people – that it was "all about oil", or the securing of contracts for the US-based Halliburton corporation, etc – will slip into the obscurity from which they should never have emerged had it not been for comedian-filmmakers such as Michael Moore.

Instead, the obvious fact that there was a good case for invading Iraq based on 14 spurned UN resolutions, massive human rights abuses and unfinished business following the interrupted invasion of 1991 will be recalled.

Similarly, the cold light of history will absolve Bush of the worst conspiracy-theory accusation: that he knew there were no WMDs in Iraq. History will show that, in common with the rest of his administration, the British Government, Saddam's own generals, the French, Chinese, Israeli and Russian intelligence agencies, and of course SIS and the CIA, everyone assumed that a murderous dictator does not voluntarily destroy the WMD arsenal he has used against his own people. And if he does, he does not then expel the UN weapons inspectorate looking for proof of it, as he did in 1998 and again in 2001.

Mr Bush assumed that the Coalition forces would find mass graves, torture chambers, evidence for the gross abuse of the UN's food-for-oil programme, but also WMDs. He was right about each but the last, and history will place him in the mainstream of Western, Eastern and Arab thinking on the matter.

History will probably, assuming it is researched and written objectively, congratulate Mr Bush on the fact that whereas in 2000 Libya was an active and vicious member of what he was accurately to describe as an "axis of evil" of rogue states willing to employ terrorism to gain its ends, four years later Colonel Gaddafi's WMD programme was sitting behind glass in a museum in Oakridge, Tennessee.

With his characteristic openness and at times almost self-defeating honesty, Mr Bush has been the first to acknowledge his mistakes – for example, tardiness over Hurricane Katrina – but there are some he made not because he was a ranting Right-winger, but because he was too keen to win bipartisan support. The invasion of Iraq should probably have taken place months earlier, but was held up by the attempt to find support from UN security council members, such as Jacques Chirac's France, that had ties to Iraq and hostility towards the Anglo-Americans.

History will also take Mr Bush's verbal fumbling into account, reminding us that Ronald Reagan also mis-spoke regularly, but was still a fine president. The first
MBA president, who had a higher grade-point average at Yale than John Kerry, Mr Bush's supposed lack of intellect will be seen to be a myth once the papers in his Presidential Library in the Southern Methodist University in Dallas are available.

Films such as Oliver Stone's W, which portray him as a spitting, oafish frat boy who eats with his mouth open and is rude to servants, will be revealed by the diaries and correspondence of those around him to be absurd travesties, of this charming, interesting, beautifully mannered history buff who, were he not the most powerful man in the world, would be a fine person to have as a pal.

Instead of Al Franken, history will listen to Bob Geldof praising Mr Bush's efforts over Aids and malaria in Africa; or to Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of India, who told him last week: "The people of India deeply love you." And certainly to the women of Afghanistan thanking him for saving them from Taliban abuse, degradation and tyranny.

When Abu Ghraib is mentioned, history will remind us that it was the Bush Administration that imprisoned those responsible for the horrors. When water-boarding is brought up, we will see that it was only used on three suspects, one of whom was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al-Qaeda's chief of operational planning, who divulged vast amounts of information that saved hundreds of innocent lives. When extraordinary renditions are queried, historians will ask how else the world's most dangerous terrorists should have been transported. On scheduled flights?

The credit crunch, brought on by the Democrats in Congress insisting upon home ownership for credit-unworthy people, will initially be blamed on Bush, but the perspective of time will show that the problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started with the deregulation of the Clinton era. Instead Bush's very
un-ideological but vast rescue package of $700 billion (£480 billion) might well be seen as lessening the impact of the squeeze, and putting America in position to be the first country out of recession, helped along by his huge tax-cut packages since 2000.

Sneered at for being "simplistic" in his reaction to 9/11, Bush's visceral responses to the attacks of a fascistic, totalitarian death cult will be seen as having been substantially the right ones.

Mistakes are made in every war, but when virtually the entire military, diplomatic and political establishment in the West opposed it, Bush insisted on the surge in Iraq that has been seen to have brought the war around, and set Iraq on the right path. Today its GDP is 30 per cent higher than under Saddam, and it is free of a brutal dictator and his rapist sons.

The number of American troops killed during the eight years of the War against Terror has been fewer than those slain capturing two islands in the Second World War, and in Britain we have lost fewer soldiers than on a normal weekend on the Western Front. As for civilians, there have been fewer Iraqis killed since the invasion than in 20 conflicts since the Second World War.

Iraq has been a victory for the US-led coalition, a fact that the Bush-haters will have to deal with when perspective finally – perhaps years from now – lends objectivity to this fine man's record."

I like Mr. Bush, and I think he was a fine President. I felt confident that he sought proper counsel on major decisions...and the highest counsel of all on all decisions. He is a Christian, and not ashamed to say so. I wish him rest and peace in the coming months. And, I wish him proper recognition and honor in coming years.
Thank-you, Mr. Bush, I have been proud to call you my President.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I am not a cook. I do not like to cook...never have. And, I do not see that changing any time in the near future..

Today, I was browsing through the January issue of G**d H*usekeeping. On the front cover there were the words: EASY Winter Recipes...14 one dish dinners your family will love. Now that sounded that something I could get my mind around. I love to make soups and stews and things in the crock pot. (But, I don't really call that cooking.) Here is just a sampling of what I read.

1. Beef Carbonnade..".dark beer gives this a deep, rich taste." What exactly is dark beer? Is it different from light beer?

2. Black Bean Tortilla Soup..".chicken thighs, lime juice and poblanos boost the broth of this crowd pleaser." I do not even know what section of the store to go to to look for 'poblanos'.

3. Veal Shoulder Chops Osso Buco Style...who can explain 'Osso Buco' style?

4. Chinese Red-Cooked Pork opposed to...say green-cooked or blue-cooked?

5. Indian Cauliflower Curry Stew...the list of ingredients calls for garbanzo beans, cilantro, curry, and yogurt. Yogurt? With Cauliflower? Now you know that does not even sound good.

6. Lamb and Root Vegetable Tagine...'Tagine?'...what would that be?

7. Peruvian Fish Soup...I know fish, and I know soup, and I know where Peru is. But, look at these ingredients: jalapeno chilies, clam juice, limes, cod fillets ,scallops, cilantro AND 1/2 pound cleaned squid, bodies sliced crosswise into 1/4 in. wide rings and tentacles cut into pieces. I don't know about you, but I don't think I could even buy squid in my town. And, if I could, I wouldn't. And, if I did...I would not clean it and slice it crosswise into1/4 in. rings or go messing with his tentacles!

8. Ropa Vieja...the explanation of this recipe is..." the name of this Latin-style braised beef literally means 'old clothes' because the meat can be shredded into what resembles a pile of rags." YUM-MY! I know that sounds appetizing!

The only recipe that looked remotely like anything I would or could try was an advertisement for Campbell's soup. Their recipe for Hearty Chicken and Noodle Casserole was written in plain English and contained only the ingredients the majority of American women would have in their pantry.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Yes, I do know Christmas is over. But, the memories and pics linger on. I did not get these posted before Christmas, but I had promised my 3 little buddies I would put these on my blog. So here they are...better late than never!
My K-4 kids on stage for their program...

K-4 teachers: Jana, Dawn, the old lady, Donnell, Debbie. No one told me about the vests...

Me and Mack, my sweet friend in K-3

Benj and Luke and me...ready to ride with Santa...don't ya think we'll fit right in with the other reindeer?

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Does anyone remember this song? It was the song to a regular spot on the old TV show HEE HAW. The fact that I remember the words after all these years must say something about my life. Here goes:

"Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep dark depression...excessive misery.
If it weren't for bad luck
I'd have no luck at all.
Gloom, despair, and agony on me."

Yep, those are the words and believe it or was a comedy skit!

Someone who lives in my house with me and is 2 years older than I, has been complaining that there were still boxes in the garage. And, that person was right. However, I have been going through them a few at a time and sorting and putting things away. Obviously, not fast enough! Anyway, I tried to just move one of the boxes into the storage room to get them out of his line of sight. Bad decision...very bad. I knew immediately that I had messed up. My back screamed at me,"Why did you do that? Don't you know better? I'll show you how I feel about you lifting that box!" And, so the pain began. And it has not stopped. For two days now, I've been taking muscle relaxers, and pain meds...but so's no better.

I was hoping to go to Birmingham this afternoon with Ian. He is having some quite serious sinus surgery in the morning. But, instead of taking care of him...I am flat on my back.

So, if you have a little space at the end of your prayer list...please add me and Ian. My son, my back and I thank you very much.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Part of our furniture has arrived! The COUCHES for the den came today and they look even better than I thought they would. These pictures do not capture the true color and richness of the fabric. When you see just a swatch of fabric, it is sometimes hard to imagine it all over the least it is for me. But, I am very happy with the way it blends with this...

MY CHAIR! I love my chair! Our architect and designer found this and said it would be perfect for the room. We went to see it, and he was right! At least I thought so. Don...not so much. To be fair though, it really didn't fit him as well. But, I looked divine sitting in it and it fit me to a 'T'! The back and sides are horse hair!!! Can you believe it? But, no animal was sacrificed for MY chair. This horse lived out his days quietly munching apples from a tree in the pasture, with an occasional lump of sugar from the adorable kids who lived nearby. A kind and gentle woman would rub his coat down at night and cover him with a lovely hand stitched blanket. Then she gave him loads of fresh hay and sang him to sleep. She ever so kindly left a tiny night light on in his stall for comfort. He 'jumped the fence' to that great pasture in the sky quietly and without distress. At least that's what I think the lady at the furniture store said.

Our bed has also arrived. But, still waiting for the rest...and still looking for chairs for my beautiful table!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Late last evening as I was getting ready to take Scooter out for a 'stroll', I discovered that he had thrown up...sometime earlier. I was sure of this because I had to scrub the floor to clean it up. But, clean it up, I did.

This morning, soon after I woke up, I realized that I was not going to be leaving my house any time soon. Let it suffice to say that the reason I was spending so much time in the bathroom had nothing to do with decorating! Oh, the agony! You've been there.

A little while later, Alex calls to me, saying he needs help, "NOW!". I go to his room to find him holding towels saying, "Scooter just threw up again. Here, I cleaned it up." And, I took the towels straight to the washer.

Meanwhile, I was alternating between trips to the bathroom, and stopping by the kitchen to take another Imm*dium. After about 4 (Imm*dium, not bathroom trips), I began to feel a little better. A little.

Moms can not rest, though. No matter how bad they feel. Time for Scooter to take another trip to the 'great outdoors'. Now, I do not want to be graphic here, but, it was obvious. as I waited on the other end of the leash...that Scooter and I were experiencing something in common. Only...his had progressed to a dangerous stage. I came in and called the vet and they said they would see him right away. So, saying a quick prayer for the good Lord to put a stop to 'things' for me, I took off to the vet. Seems he ate something that did not 'agree' with him or it could just be a virus. Oh, he was a sick dog. Two shots, some internal meds, and 2 more prescriptions for the next few days. He has spent the afternoon laying around on the floor or in his bed.

I have spent the afternoon laying around on the couch or in my bed. Today was not a day fit for 'man nor beast' (or woman nor dog, either)!
Alcohol...Coffee...Onions...Garlic...Grapes...Chocolate...Macadamia Nuts...Yeast

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Several months ago, when I first realized we would actually be building a house, I began looking for storage solutions to make my life...AND MOVE...easier. This is a Rubbermaid box I found at K-Mart or Wal-Mart. It is called a Keepsake Photo and Media Box. It helped me get all my music organized and confined to one place. The boxes hold 27 DVD's or 32 CD's or 15 VHS tapes. I used mine to hold my CD's. I bought 12 boxes and labelled them according to type: Christian Men, Christian Women, Christian Group, Oldies, Pop Men, Pop Women, Pop Group, Instrumental, Christmas, Children, etc. Then I sorted and loaded.

When we started building the Creek House, Don wanted a nice sound system in the house. That was fine with me, but waaaay over my level of understanding. I have just loved my old CD player that I could load 5 CD's into at once. I could carry it around anywhere I wanted to go. Then I learned how to load CD's onto my laptop and listen from there. That's worked well for me, also. Now, I don't know what all is involved in this sound system that runs through this house...but, it must be a cool thing. I have seen too many folk's eyes light up when they see all the guts of the thing. I know where it is...and I know it has many parts...and I know there are many lights on it and words scrolling by. And, the sound can come out in any room I want it to...if I knew how to make that happen...which I don't. Which is why I love my old 'boom box'. I know just how it works and just where to whack it when it jams up. We have an understanding.

The young man who has been working in our house on this system for the last few months told me it was possible to load all the CD's that I have into this system. Then, when I want to listen to one of them, I can just pull it up on the keypad wherever I am in the house. They would also be listed by artist or album title, or genre. "Excellent," I said. He promised that he would give me all the lessons I needed until I learned to work it. I did not realize that I would be investing so much time in getting to the 'listening' part!

It turns out that before we could load them into the music system...they first had to be loaded onto the computer...then transferred to an external hard drive...then into the system. That, my friends, is about 3 steps too many for me. Anyway, for the last month I have been ripping CD's onto my laptop...everytime I opened the computer. Every. single. time. And, I have finally finished! That would be 12 boxes full. That would be 12 boxes X 32 CD's in each box! That would be approximately 384 CD's! But, I am finished. Done!

Now, Alex takes my computer, and he puts them onto the external hard drive. (I went to the store with a note in my hand saying what to buy...I really have no idea what an external hard drive is.) Next they will be loaded onto the system and forever more I will have my music at my fingertips...or at least at my keypad. And, I will listen to beautiful music through the speakers that dot every ceiling in my house.

I remember the first transistor radio that I had. I thought it was the grandest thing that I could listen to all the cool music on the radio from this little box I held in my hand. I discovered that I could even turn the volume down very low and put it under my pillow and listen to it all night...or until the battery died. That was a rude awakening for me when I discovered that to be able to listen to the had to buy the batteries. And to buy the had to have money. And, if you were not wise enough to save some of your were doomed to a life without the glorious sounds of 60's and 70's pop music. Bummer! My parents were very good about teaching us and showing us these hard life lessons. And, my little sister would NOT let you listen to her radio...even if she was not listening to it!

I remember 8 track tapes and how excited I was to have a tape player installed in my car. 8 track tapes cost more than batteries. Funny how the older you get, the more your toys cost, huh? Then the cassette tapes made the 8 tracks obsolete. And it was oh, so much easier to carry around the little cassettes. Then, there were the Walkmans, and the CD's and the ipod...and on it goes.

Today, I asked some of the kindergarten students what they got for Christmas. Several of them got ipods! I told them I had one, too. I did not, however, tell them that I did not know how to work it! It baffles this aging brain of mine to think of how they will get their music when they are What will be the next big thing to make our music available to us? If we knew, we probably could not even fathom it.

Oh how far music has come since someone long, long ago first noticed the sound the wind made as it blew across the top of a reed growing by a stream. Music...we gotta have way or another.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

JOY OF MOVING....Part 5...

This 'moving' thing is getting expensive! Things you don't think about before you move in. Light bulbs, certain type of picture hangers, bathroom supplies. Then there are door mats.

Let's see...let me count...10!...there are 10 doors in and out of here that need mats. Well, I bought 1 real nice mat for the front door and 4 more for the other doors.
I thought that would be enough. That was before I counted the the doors. Not too bright...I know. However, the 4 mats that I bought won't work because they slip when you walk on them. So, I guess it IS a good thing I did not buy 9 of them!

Yesterday, I picked up a new mat for the outside of Alex's apt. because when Scooter and I come in from our nightly strolls through the forest...sometimes, our feet are wet. I checked to be sure this mat was rubber on the it would not slip. Adam was here when I got home and was helping me with my packages. "I hope you got a better mat than those others," he he was removing it from the car. Next words..."Mom, you bought the same mat!!!". Yes, I felt very, very dumb. And, I'll admit I did not check to see what I had bought before I left. But, I did check to be sure I was buying one that would not I thought. At least I only bought 1...which makes a total of 5 slippy, unusable mats at my house.

Then today, coming home, I stopped in at Lowe's to get a floor cleaning kit for stone floors. This is a different one than the one for the hardwood floors that I bought last week. Who knew? Thinking smart...I said to myself, "THINK...what else do you need while you are here?" And, I answered, "MATS...that do not slip!" So over to the mats I go and find a very fine selection. I checked this one and that one and then another one and tried to be sure they would not slip. I even put them down and tried to make them slip. They did not. Feeling very pleased with myself, I bought 3 mats and the floor cleaner, and headed home. I have no idea why I only bought 3 just felt like a good number at the time, I guess. Taking them out of the car, I thought, "These are some very fine mats...those guys will be impressed with my excellent shopping skills." Adam looked at the mats...then he looked at me. The look on his face was not 'GEE! MY MOM IS AN EXCELLENT SHOPPER! SHE BOUGHT SOME VERY FINE MATS!' No. No, that was not the look at all. It was more of a 'WHAT PLANET DOES MY MOM COME FROM? SURELY IT IS NOT THE ONE WHERE GROWN UPS KNOW HOW TO BUY MATS!' kind of look. He took one of the mats...and walked to the garage door. Laying the mat down, he showed me in one quick move just how badly it would slip. I can assume the other 2 will do likewise.

And so, I will take those very fine mats back to Lowe's tomorrow...and I will not...under any circumstances buy another one...of any kind...ever. Unless I can find this one:
Then, I'll have to get it so they can laugh while we're giving them 'the slip'!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

BIG THANKS ! Adam. Isn't this heading pic fabulous? It is one of my favorites. Adam continually scouts out places that are undergoing renovation or are being demolished...looking for the unusual or interesting. He was so taken with this place which was actually in our deteriorating downtown area, that he and Suzanne contacted a local bride they had shot recently to come and have another pic made there. She was excited and so were they. He went down to check his lighting before she came...and it was already torn down...gone forever...except for this wonderful pic. They were all so disappointed. It is actually the space between 2 old buildings they were taking down.

Thanks, Adam, it looks terrific!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Today's the day...I have to get back in the routine of school. Wow, much has transpired since we started Christmas vacation. I sort of wish I had another week..or month!
By the IS warm enough to wear short pants here today!

By the way #2...I WILL get the Christmas header down computer mastermind of such things has been very busy...watching washing machines! :) Love you, Adam!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Every time we return to the former house, we find dirty clothes! So, my new washer and dryer have been getting a real work out! It is one of these new front loading kinds, and so far, it seems to be working well. I never seem to see any water in the clothes, I'm not sure what it uses!

Today, Adam came by and visited with Alex for a while, then I heard him call me from the other room. "Mom, have you watched this washing machine work?" he said. As a matter of fact, I had not. I just throw my clothes in and leave...believing it will do what it says it will do! But, I got up and went into the laundry room. There, sitting on a step stool right in front of the washing machine, sat my 33 year old son. Head in hands, he was watching the washer as it went through the cycles. I laughed and asked him if he knew how he looked sitting there in front of a washing machine fascinated by its operation. He laughed and said that he had just never seen one like this before. Then he began to tell me the things he had observed sitting there...and I found my self getting pulled into this show in the laundry room. Yes, I pulled me up a stool, too, and together we sat there amazed at how this thing was cleaning with so little water! It turns one way and stops and then turns the other. He discovered that the timer that sets at the beginning of the load, does not just count down. It adds minutes sometimes, too. Why do you suppose it does this? Do you think it senses the clothes are not clean enough? And how does it know this? I suppose it must be like those electric blankets that 'sense' when you are warm enough and then turns itself down. That kind of thing just rattles my chain. I know when I am warm enough and I think I know when my clothes are clean enough. Or maybe I just always thought they were.

Oh, well, this is waaaaay more thought than I ever wanted to be giving laundry today. But, the point of this post is not what the new washer and dryer can do. It cleans and dries clothes...that is enough for me to know. But, this boy of mine...the one who is most like me...has my temperament...and my eye for the unusual. (Yes, there are some 'not so great' qualities he got from me, too...but, let's just not think about that. M'K?) He took the time today to sit and marvel at the intricate working of a machine. Something about that fascinated him. Something about the workings of it intrigued him. And, I am proud as can be to say that he took the time to sit right there and marvel at it for a little while. Don't we all get so caught up in our busy-ness that we have little time left for WONDER? Do we just let it all pass us by, and accept that it is something new...but, forget to marvel at the minds of men and women who continually reinvent the products we use?
Do we think we will seem 'childish' if we express that wonder?

Well, Adam, never, never, NEVER lose the sense of wonder! It will keep your mind will make your soul sing...and it will bring a smile to your face. Thanks for reminding me of that today.
EDITED TO ADD: My sweet DIL just told me that this washer 'knows' that the soap is not out of the clothes and that is why it adds more time. Maybe I am using too much detergent. Thanks, Suze!


Do you want to repaint your living room or kitchen this new year? According to Pantone, the company that aids designers by predicting future color trends, yellow is to be the big color for 2009. “I think it’s just the most wonderful symbolic color of the future,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “It’s invariably connected to warmth, sunshine and cheer — all the good things we’re in dire need of right now.”
And here I sit...less than 2 weeks in my new home and not a 'yellow thing' in sight! I'm behind before I even get started! :) That's just fine with me though. The home we just moved from, had a bright, yellow kitchen and grandroom. So, I guess that kinda makes me 'ahead of my time', huh?

Friday, January 2, 2009


Here is sit in my studio at 4:22 this morning...Jan 2. It still does not feel comforable to sleep here. Many strange noises and sounds. Also, I find myself waking up and following a path to the bthroom that I would have taken before we moved. I am ending up out in the hall befor I wake up and realize I am quickly becoming senile!

I am very, very happy with my house. It is quickly becoming a I lay in the treasures I have collected through the years. My BFF, Shirley, came over on Sunday fternoon and stayed until Wednesday morning! She lives to have a project! And this was one more project. She can do more that 10 other mere mortals ever thought about doing! She started on my studio shelves soon after arriving, Tina came over, and befor the night was was the studio!! It looks wonderful! It looks fantastic! It looks terrific!

The next morning, Monday, Tina had taken off the whole day, so they had as their mission the Sheep Suite! I have always adored sheep, and have collected some very nice ones through thee years. This guest bedroom is where I decided they would be displayed...thus, the Sheep Suite! The banished me to jobs in other parts of the house such as sorting books in the library, and going through boxex in my closet. They had the fun part! Does this look like a place you could come and spend the night?

Then came Tuesday. Shirley was here alone, cause Tina had to go back to work. I had spent Monday evening separating all the books into categories, and labelling the artifacts to be displayed. But, I was unable to help. I had woke up feeling bad and only got worse as the day continues. So, I hit the couch in the studio. Shirley spent about 5 hours fixing the shelves in the library. They are amazing! Look!

And, in between all the big projects, we worked on the kitchen and dining room, too. Here are some pics of it:

These are NOT the chairs that will go with the table...but some we are using until we get the right ones!
This is all I have for now...more to follow!