Blog Patrol Counter

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Stuff I know

Here's what I know today.  Today I know that what ever is supposed to happen, will.  I can do everything or nothing to prevent what's meant to be and it's still going to happen.  That's why I've decided it's just easier to go with the flow and ask in my prayers for "the right thing" to happen.  I can get specific if I want: color, make, model, destination, event, etc., but usually that's just for fun.  I'm not fatalistic--I just honestly believe something greater than me has got my back.  That power is going to do what ever is best for me no matter what. 

I don't need to worry, sweat, angst, or anything else.  I just need to focus on where I am this moment and do, focused, what I need to do next--no matter what that is.  If I choose to get all yikesed out, I burn a LOT of energy I could really use later.  No amount of sweat has ever been worth the energy I've burned unless I was on the treadmill-- and that was my intent.  Otherwise, no way.

It's just not worth the drama, the headache, the hassle.  I'd lots rather have fun, be me in the moment, and just see what a power greater than me has in store for me.  Today I know to enjoy my life.  IF something works out, I can promise you it's not because of anything I've done to make it happen.  If it doesn't, it's because there's something else down the road waiting for me that's even better.

My job is just to suit up, show up, and do the deal.  The results are not up to me.  And as Martha Stewart would say, "that's a good thing".

Happy Sunday to all and now, pass the fried chicken!! 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

My simple solution

I have an idea and I think it makes plenty of sense.  See what you think.  My idea is to have people vote on issues by body part.   If you have or ever have had a uterus, you can vote on abortion.  If not, no vote.

 If you have or have had a prostate or a jim bob and the boys, you can vote on issues around circumcision or prostate surgery, ED medications or any other pecker legislation. there's not any of that?  That's interesting.

My body, my business.  Your body, your business.  You don't vote on mine.  I don't vote on yours. Case closed.

And that's just how I see it.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Dit and Jay


Today is going to be bittersweet.  My niece, Dit, and her hubs, Jaybird, are having a goodbye celebration this afternoon in preparation for their move to New Orleans this weekend.  These two are about the cutest pair ever and have been the best aunt and uncle for the Smalls (Hudson, Hadley, Avery) that anyone could ask for.  While we will all miss them like crazy, I figure NOLA is just a short South West flight away and and and a great excuse to go visit.  Starting a new married life away from home is a gift and everyone should be that lucky.  Family is wonderful-- and cementing your relationship without distraction-- is even better.  Bring on the craw fish and dirty rice!

I will always have a little piece of Dit here at my house--or at least for a good while longer.  You see, Sis was named after Dit.  I'm serious.  Dit used to be known as "Blister Sister"--among a thousand other nicknames-- and I just shortened it to Sister, although the blister part does apply to that black old hound dog in the bed underneath me.

I've always felt like The Ditter Bird was part mine since I don't have any girls.  She is a smart, capable, hands on kind of gal that would make any momma proud.  Mole, her mom, has always shared her with me so what's not to love?  

Now for Jay.  OMG.  Sweetest thing in a pair of pants and the perfect fit for Dit.  Smart, funny, with a depth and ability to write that makes me love him even more.  He's an attorney but mark my words: he will be a famous author someday.   He is everything you'd want for your niece and more, and his family is just as precious.  'Nuf said or I'm going to get all boo-hooey.  I can't wait to hear all the funnies that unfold with their new lives in NOLA.  I am already laughing in anticipation.  This is gonna be a hoot!!!

 Let's get this partay started!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sharing? No way

Sharing.  It gets a lot of hype but I don't like it.  Nobody I currently live with knows how to do it anyway so for me it's just an exercise in frustration.  Sis doesn't.  Put her in bed with you and you are going to wind up falling off the bed to get away from her hot, dog, self.  Not the wiener part--the heat.  That girl is heaven when it's 12 degrees outside but the rest of the time, no thanks.  You have to be half frozen for her to get an invite and even then when she stretches out, you're still hugging the edge of the bed.
 I don't want to share her food or water so we're good there but try sitting in a chair with her and you're just nooooot gonna like it.  She hogs.  Period.  She didn't even share with the elderly gentleman, Wiggles.  She pushed his old bones out of bed on more than one occasion and made him get in the smaller bed so she could s-t-r-e-t-c-h out.  She never shared her toys either.  They were always just ALL HERS.  Ditto bones.  Wiggles finally gave up and so did I.  When you don't have enough teeth left to really chew a bone, I'm not going to the mat for you.

As for the guy I live with, he doesn't share.  He's clueless and for heaven sake-- never-- and I mean NEVER share french fries with this man.  YOU will not get any.  Order your own no matter what line of crap he's trying to sell you.  He eats them by the handful and swallows his food without chewing.  I've seen him down a burger in four bites and head straight for the fries.  Ditto dessert.  He claims it's from growing up with brothers and that snarfing is just part of the guy thing.  Fine.  Whatever.  Just order your own....everything.

As for me, sharing stinks because somebody on my team (me) always eats slower, sees the logic in sharing, but has learned the hard way there's really no such thing as sharing.  Not with my people anyway.  It's all a big fat hoax.  And I'm not playing.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Oh, yeah Baby!

This says it all for me.  Thank you, Dr. Frosti.
And thank God Proposition 8 has hit the wall.  Finally.  It's a new day.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fox 4...NOT

Today I'm a little befuddled.  I got an email from the Plaza yesterday saying some entertainer was going to be there today and Fox 4 would be filming it.  As a result, if you wanted your love one present, you'd need to sign a release form since your family member could wind up on TV.  Luckily, there was a deadline to return your signed consent form--yesterday by 2pm--and I WAY over shot that, thank goodness.  I don't know all of the specifics--all I do know is that I'd rather be dipped in pig snot than have my mother on TV.  I don't care if ELVIS is there to entertain.  Good Lord.

I sure hope they prep some of those camera people and especially the entertainer because he or she is about to get an eye full and not in a good way.  Mom would kill me if I let her be seen on TV and I can't blame her.  I'd kill me, too.  I realize I'm a little bit raw around the edges were death and dying is concerned.  It's just that some of those little oldsters over there have become special to me....I feel very protective of some of them.  Especially Mr. B.  I won't give his name but he's the one that yells God damn it sometimes.  I've watched him slide over the last two years and it's heart breaking.  I used to see him out with his daughter for lunch at Corner Bakery but he can't do that any more.  Mrs. B, the one who always asks whats going on.  And A, mom's klepto next door neighbor.   As my brother would say "the class of 2013 is fading fast".  I concur so maybe that's why any thought of them being on TV just fries me right now.  I want them to be given the dignity and privacy they deserve.  Granted your loved one doesn't have to be on TV.  I get that.

 I simply feel Fox 4 should go film in the Independent Living area where most (but certainly not all) residents still have their wits about them.  Not in Memory Care.  That's just not anything people need to see.  So there.  Take that, Fox 4. 

Monday, June 24, 2013


Whoa.  What a weekend.  It began with a Meat-Capade at a co-worker of Bruce's house Saturday and ended early this morning with an ambulance across the street, and Bruce with unrelated to the party, food poisoning.  (That's generally what happens when you gamble on questionable lunch meat, Harris.  You lose and lose BIG.)  But back to the Meat-Capade for a minute.  Think a giant smoker/grill, towed by a truck and parked in the hosts driveway puffing away, with every known meat imaginable.  A misting fan to attempt to keep the cook from melting, and if you were brave enough to put on a swimsuit, a luscious swimming pool in which to cool off.  All of it was fabulous and the salads were as good as any I've ever had.  Read food hangover, post party, but wayyyy fun.

Still not sure what happened across the street at the Mean Lady's house this morning with the ambulance, but she's been up and out already so it couldn't have been too big a deal.  She's weirder than weird so we may never really know.  I will say it added little to the ambiance at 3:45 AM.

But on a much happier note, look who is home and cuter than cute!!  Eyes open. 
Eyes closed.
Cutest baby girl ever!!  I've named her M3 because Mary Margaret Michelson is sort of a mouthful for such a tee tiny young lady.  Deeeelish!

** Pictures courtesy of her very proud and oh, so in love, Aunt Daley. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Teenage Rat

You know I'm hurting for something to discuss when I talk about my new little friend, a teenage rat.  He's been around for a couple of weeks despite my call to our pest control people to come re-bait our rodent boxes with a more satisfying (and permanent) bait but, alas, he's still kicking.

I know he's a teenager because you can tell from his body and I had this confirmed by our pest control guy.  Apparently the older rats send out the teenagers to check out the hood before coming out themselves.  If the teens don't come back, well, there ya go.  This teen is dumb as they come.  He comes out in broad daylight, skitters across the planter next to the window in the front yard, and has run across the driveway patio x 2.  Last night, we spotted him running up the tree in our neighbors back yard.  NOOOOO!!!

Enough already!  I know it's the same one because he 1) looks like an adolescent 2) is still so stupid 3) well, because I just do.  Do not even try to suggest that there could be more than one of him.  I am still trying to hang on to my denial.  Don't blow it for me. If I don't find his pitiful dead carcass by Monday, the pest people will be hearing from me again.

On another note, my plans and prep for the 4th are in full swing.  My bunting is up though someone had to adjust it last night because it was sagging.  That's just disrespectful to have a saggy.  Not sure what flavor of ice cream will be on the agenda, but you know there will be one.  The traditional one has always been Mexican Chocolate but change is good so any suggestions, comment with them here. 
Just makes you want a spoon, doesn't it?

Friday, June 21, 2013

The N word

The N word.  Is it appropriate to use?  Of course not.  Was it OK way back when I was a kid?  Not really but legions of old timers used it then and it still slips out of the mouths of some today.  Intent, here, is the question.  Is a person using it as a racial slur or is it used in a very different way in the minds of old people who really may not even realize what they are saying and how offensive it is these days.

I remember hearing both my father and my father-in law use it.  My dad used it to refer to an old family retainer and it was said lovingly and with a huge big smile.  My dad adored this man.  Granted this was well over thirty years ago.  My father-in-law's slip was in the car with just Bruce and myself, doing about eighty mph on a farm road and let's just say it was not used lovingly, but whatever. ( I have to say I was stunned but remember it like it was yesterday.)  That, too, was twenty plus years ago.  Their's was a different generation.

Enter Paula Deen.  Did she say it?  Sure she did.  She's admitted she did.  Is she a racist?  I really don't know.  Basically, only she can tell you her intent.  Did she mistreat African Americans working for her?  I don't know that either.  I will say there's probably not a one of us who hasn't said the N word at some time or another, either in a joke or in seriousness.  The point is, our culture has changed.  We no longer say it today, hopefully, nor do we condone any type of racial discrimination.

If Mrs. Deen said it way back in the day, it's not OK, but let's don't lynch her for something we all have done, too.  That's a tad hypocritical.  For garden seed....she's 66.  Let's all give her a minute to be as human as we are.  I'm not perfect and I'm not thinking she is either.

If she says it again, then all bets are off.  For now, let's just live and let live.

And that's just how I see it.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gazpacho time

It's hot and sticky and that can only mean one thing--time to make some gazpacho.  If you happen to have fresh tomatoes from Mr. Lemley at the Farmer's Market, you are all set.  (Get the ugly ones for gazpacho.  They're going to get chopped up anyway.)  I made a batch Sunday and the end result was three quart sized containers.  We are already down to one. 

We didn't even try it until Monday night because it just gets better then longer it stays refrigerated and you need to give it time to do it's thang.  I did not add all the garlic the Barefoot Contessa's recipe called for simply because I had a feeling it could get....overwhelming.  I also improvised in a few other areas as well.  I added a seeded jalapeno and was planning to add cilantro, but forgot.  I basically used her recipe as a guide and did my own thing. She adds two red onions but I went with one yellow one and I'm sure glad I did. The point of gazpacho is NOT to clear a room the minute you exhale.   

 Mine's got a nice tart kick to it and I like it.  Apparently, so does someone else around here so that's good.  Cold summer soups are just hard to beat.  Good cheese, good crackers, and a cup of  spicy cold soup and honey, that's lunch or dinner around here.  Throw in a glass of wine if that's how you roll and you have lift off in my book.   

On a more somber note, RIP James Gandolfini.  Nobody was a better mobster and could scare me silly with just a look.   Admit it....he scared you crazy, too.  He scared everybody.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Welcome, Leigh!!

This blog just added a follower and if you know me, that's big stuff.  Anyone who would voluntarily sign up to follow what I write, I personally consider an honor.  Even my teachers in school got paid to read my drivel.
I have known Leigh since at least high school--maybe even earlier-- and she was always the best dressed gal with the nicest cars.  A nicer soul there is not.  Welcome, Leigh!!   

Crypt 4 Sale....omg


Just when I thought I'd seen or heard just about everything, I got an email yesterday that blew my socks off.  A guy in my high school graduating class is trying to unload a single burial crypt and has offered it up to any one from our graduating class who might be interested, before offering it publicly.  Now, all my smarty pants and funny as crud high school friends are making comments about it and some of the funniest guys haven't even commented yet.  I can already tell today is going to be really fun.

The more I think about it, the funnier it gets.  So, you're going to have to lie beside a bunch of people you don't even know, all by yourself, if you purchase this crypt?  Hey....these aren't even your people....why would you do that?  Maybe it's in the high tone section (Skyway area?) of Sparkman's Mausoleum so the guy selling it figures you might want to be with him and his kin.  For eternity.  What I want to know is, who bailed?  Why suddenly is there an extra crypt?  What did they know, that we don't?  No offense to this guy or his family, but no dice.

I'm not being buried anyway and you can bet I don't want to be buried/walled beside people I've never even met.  Eternity is a l-o-n-g time and since death and being buried/walled is a pretty permanent event, I'm sticking to my willed body plan.  I don't want to be shoved in the ground/wall, period. I don't care where it might be or, with whom. No thanks!

Monday, June 17, 2013

She's here.....!!!


This little bundle of love arrived last night and because she's here early, she's a tee tiny little thing but definitely a keeper.  She slid into the world at 9:35pm weighing 4 pounds 13 oz.  The plan is for her to fatten up some in NICU and get ready to come home later.  Preemies have a tougher time regulating their body temperature since they don't have 1) as much stored brown body fat as term babies 2) their little system hasn't had time to mature since they got here earlier and have to now do it on their own.  Even healthy term babies can have a hard time regulating their temp at first .  Preemies also have to "remember" to breathe, not loose too much weight after delivery (which can be caused by several factors,) and they just basically need help getting their show on the road.  They have lots of other obstacles to over come and they do.  They just need a little extra help.  You don't want all the technical stuff and my fingers are too lazy to type it, so there.

The good news is, girl babies are often tough as a boot and scrappy little fighters.  Boy babies can be, but statistically speaking, if you're going to have a preemie, hope it's a girl.  Boys often just don't fight as hard to be here as girls do and don't EVEN get me started on that.  I love both and I just know the numbers don't lie.  (The boys just like to lie around and the girls are all business. )  :)

Anywho, welcome to baby Mary Margaret Michelson and congrats to her mom and dad (Megan and Blake) on a job well done.  She's presh!!!!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Chocolate Almond heaven

Man, oh man....lots going on.  Now that Father's day is in the can, this next week hits the real gas.  One of my niece's begins her Residency in OB/gyn here at UTSW, another is scheduled to have a baby, another one is doing the final pack up to move to NOLA, and another one is at the beach with my favorite small people.  The word on the last bunch is they plan to visit the Duck Dynasty warehouse on their trip back from the beach and I'm counting on video and lots of pic's of that little endeavor.

My pal Jodi comes in early Monday morning from Flagstaff to pack up her house for the movers and will be back to close again in a few weeks--or at least that's how I think it's going to roll.  Another friend had a hip replacement, had a complication and had to go back to surgery to fix the problem, so it's been a real fun weekend for her.  Another friend (and former Harris relative) dad died, and my sympathies go out to Ann on her loss. 

I had the not so brilliant idea to watch Anna Karenina on DVD and let's just say I am 1 for 3 in the movie department this weekend.  That one must have gone straight to DVD.  Flight, with Denzel Washington, was good and John Goodman was hilarious as Denzel's drug dealer-- if a drug dealer can be seen as funny.  Sure makes you wonder how many pilots fly impaired but then the same could be said for just about any job.  Doctors, attorneys, air traffic controllers, bus drivers--you name it--it happens.

On a culinary note, in a weak moment, I made the no cook chocolate almond ice cream from the Southern Living (2004) recipe I found online.  You knew I was going to.  Lord, love me it killed and was so easy it was ridic.  Anybody planning to make ice cream for the 4th, let me know if you want the recipe.  And, if you don't have one of the Cuisinart ice cream makers, get one.  Those babies are life altering.  Here's a pic of how it looks and if you think it looks good, imagine how it tastes. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

OOO, la la....look who's back!

Ohhhh, happy day.....look who is back in production.  One of the gardenia gals is healthier than her sister so she's put out three blooms so far, with a couple more getting ready to pop open in a few days.  Her sicker sister has net zero but considering I was about to dig them both up, I am thrilled.  Now I just have to nurse these two until I can get them back where they were when I bought them.  I may have to pow-pow with my neighbor again on whether to re-dose them with more soil acidifier to make them happier.  The sicker one has some little yellow leaves so it could be time to re-dose.  Jeeze, louise....there's a veritable ICU on the east side of our house.

My grandmother, Mimi, (mom's mom) used to have several gardenia bushes at her lake house that exploded with blooms every June. That is until the deer started munching them.  Good, Lord...deer will eat anything.  They are kind of like goats.  Mimi had a little fence put up but after a while she just 1) got too old to care 2) would have rather gone fishing than sweat it so the deer eventually won.  Once she died, Bruce and I would pilfer blooms from a lady's house on our walk to the clubhouse.  She was never there so I didn't feel too bad and I justified it by telling myself better me than the deer.  I would literally fill mom's house so that when you opened any door to come inside, a blast of frosty cold gardenia smelling air is what hit you.  Pure dee luxury.  For hot, sticky, east Texas, it was a little slice of heaven.

I just called to get mom's weight and got "crazy Fazy" on the phone.  She's the Nigerian weekend RN who hasn't got a lick of sense.  Last month she tried to tell me mom was "eating great and had gained 23 pounds in a month" when that was the previous year's (2012) weight.  This time she says mom has gained 4.2 pounds and while that could be correct --fluid accumulation ?--I'm doubting it.  Poor Fazy....she could tell me it was hot outside and I wouldn't believe her.  Mom cannot have gained 4.2 pounds not eating, unless it's fluid.  Or the scale is off.  I may just quit asking.  Does it really matter?  Heck no.

FYI: do not watch/rent Identity Theft (movie).  It is lousy--just not funny at all even though it has Melissa McCarthy in it.  We lasted a whooping 10-15 minutes last night before we gave it the hook.  I was hoping for great belly laughs and it just wasn't there.  I love her, so I'm not giving up.  It's hard to be funny with crummy lines.  Next movie, please.  Helloooooo, Denzel.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Someone I know told me last week she's been invited to take the place of her friend's husband on a cruise to Mexico.  Here's the catch: it's on the Carnival Ship Triumph.  Yeah....the floating toilet that had to be towed back into port after everything went berserk after a fire.  Yes, it's been cleaned but seriously....would you go?  I'm honestly not sure I would.  OK...I know I wouldn't.  I think it would just freak me out, knowing what I saw on TV, and the grunge factor.  I just don't think they could clean it up enough for me. 

Yes, they are going to tell you it's clean dumb are you anyway?  I'm just not buying that.  There is no way to accurately assess the scuzz factor.  You don't know what they did to clean that thing but you do know they cut every dollar corner imaginable.  After hearing that raw sewage was running down the walls, and toilets were backed up all over that ship, I say sink the damn thing.  Ain't NO WAY I'm getting on that floating toilet.  Nuh, uh.  My friend was all " It won't happen again" and I was screaming laughing.  You're damn right it won't happen again because I won't be on it.  See ya.  Let me know how it goes.  May the force be with you.  Adios.

Which brings me, somehow, to Southwest Airlines.  Now, I don't care what anybody says, give me Southwest Airlines any old day.  I love it because everybody already knows the drill, and that's why they fly it.  It's the cheapo no frills freight hauler in the sky that gets you there on time, and because you've dragged your bag on board, they can't lose it--unlike American Airlines.  You already know you are going to get peanuts and/or pretzels.  That's it.  You want something else, bring it on with you.  This isn't some flying restaurant and " No, we don't have Ranch dressing." (family joke)

Everyone already knows to get on fast, stow your stuff ASAP, and sit your butt down so we can push back from the gate and GO.  No diddling.  No waiting to get into your carry on until you board, blocking the aisle, because you might need your face mister.  If you've got a problem, get off and catch the next flight 'cause we ain't waitin' on high maintenance little ole you.  If you're the type that needs to fly wrapped in cashmere and in first class, honey, this is not your airline. We gotta go so shut up, and buckle up.  It's so simple.  I like that. 

SW Airlines personnel also have a sense of humor vs that pinched look you get on other carriers.  Flying back Wednesday, one of our crew chided the entire plane.  She asked people on the right side of the plane to raise their window shade, and look out.  She commented "You see all that luggage? Somebody over packed.  Once we get all that stuff loaded, we'll be on our way".  I snorted....for once, it wasn't me. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013


We went.  We saw.  We loved it.  It was a total blast with the two best tour guides ever.  The food, the fun, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry(GOO)--what more could a gal ask for, anyway.  Oh, yeah....Rascal Flatts.  That. I guess I could have asked them to give a big rats rear end about their performance because they clearly didn't.  They sang five songs and only one really sounded like them.  The other songs?  They just phoned 'um in.  Guess that's what happens when you get so famous that the Grand Ole Opry stage becomes hum drum to you on a Tuesday night, and I just happen to be in town.  Their energy just wasn't there.  Flatt(s) is right because they sure were.  They didn't seem linked up, nor did they seem to really care.  Oh, well.  I guess everybody can have an off night and thanks, fellas, for blowing on my night to visit. It's always all about me, isn't it???

Since the CMT awards had been a few days before we arrived, we got to see what remained--the big white tents, beautiful hanging baskets all over downtown, and similar promotional stuff.  (If I see another Carrie Underwood billboard promoting her current tour that just started, I swanny I will up and move to Oklahoma.)  I did enjoy seeing her costume display in the Country Music Hall of Fame dubbed the "Hi-low" collection by Andrea.  High (short) in the front, low (long) in the back, these were some dark and twisty dresses.....whoa.  All black and Goth, these were just not what I think of when I think of Carrie Underwood, but then this right after American Idol so maybe she's grown since then.  And gotten a stylist.

Bruce and I went to tour the Hermitage Museum (Andrew Jackson's home) on Wednesday morning before we left, and may I just say the humidity was so thick I thought I was in Louisiana......I kept thinking there had to be a swamp nearby for it to be that thick and goopy outside, though I never actually saw one.

 Bruce would have stayed for hours (days) reading and taking it all in, but by then I'd have died of a heat stroke, so we agreed on the abbreviated tour version.  Two showers before noon was not part of yesterday's itinerary and we both would have needed one if we'd done the s-l-o-w version.  If you've seen the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, you've essentially seen Andrew's, too, so save your dough and just do one.  I liked Belle Meade better anyhow.  That's it here.

Last but not least, there's the Grand Ole Opry  and I just have to say I never expected it to be right next to a giant shopping Mall(???)  I was expecting sort of a barn looking place that was all Minnie Pearled know what I mean...all honkey- tonked up and old.  I had no idea there was a new and improved GOO, with jumbo TV's such that there's hardly a bad seat in the house.  Makes sense though.  With that kind of a cash cow you can't afford too get to kitschy.  Say what you will but John Q. American definitely wants his money's worth.  Andrea told us the wood circle in the middle of the stage is a cut out from the old GOO stage, so when you stand there to sing, it's the real deal--part of the old and it's history in the new building.  Thank you, bathroom trivia. (There's a TV in the bathroom with GOO trivia to keep you entertained while you wait.)

Nothing like a trip out of town to breathe some much needed life back into your world.  Stay tuned.  I have lots more to gab about.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


I should be packing and getting organized but I'm not.  It's Sunday and that means piddling.  Piddling is important and I have to be sure I get enough worked into my day.  This morning I received an email from Benji and Andrea outlining a possible itinerary for our visit.  The problem??  I want to do it ALL.  Sounds way too fun.  They are such hoots.

On a different topic, this is sort of private but then it's really not, so I guess I'll just say it here.  Friday I had the most mind blowing conversation with mom ever.  It all started due to a chance conversation with a friend Thursday, whose dad had recently died.  She had no idea her dad was dying--no one said anything to her and they may not have known, either--but he had pneumonia.  She and her husband went to see him, had a great visit, drove home and as they drove in the driveway, her phone rang.  Yep...he was gone.  She said her dad waited for them to leave, to die.  Always the dad, protecting her.

Cut to mom.  I realized Friday morning I had never asked her if she wanted me (us) there as she's dying so I high tailed it over there to ask her.  I was pretty sure I knew the answer, but didn't want to assume I knew.  When I got there, she was all gibber-jabbering but clearly knew who I was, so I told her I'd never asked her this question but wanted to know what she wanted.  Answer back: gibber-jabber.  But, her body language was unmistakeable!!  Full upper body shake from side to side, head pulled back, eyes flashing.  It was a HELL YES if I've ever seen one, and I told her "I'm taking that as a HELL YES" and we both screamed out laughing.  She jabbered on and she was trying like hell to tell me how much she wanted us there, loved us, etc. but the words just wouldn't come--only the jabber.  That was fine.  I UNDERSTOOD....and I told her that. 
 I told her that was exactly what I'd thought and that my plan was, depending on how things go, if it's late and she's still trying to die, I'd just crawl up in her lift chair/recliner with a blanket and spend the night with her, so she wouldn't feel rushed to die.  My mother alllllmost fell out of her wheel chair laughing and when I told her we'd have a slumber party, she cried.  Out of no where clear as day she said "I want you to help me " and I told her that there was simply no way I'd put a pillow over her face, but that between me and the Hospice nurse, we'd make her trip out as lovely as possible.  And that's when she said "It won't be long".  I told her I knew that, and that it was just fine.  I told her to let go whenever she was ready because I didn't want her hanging around one second longer than she wanted to be here.  I also told her that since neither of us knew exactly how this might play out, that if she and God decided for her to slip away in her sleep, that would be fine, too.  Again, I'm not going to be choicey.  

 To say that this conversation was mind blowing to me is an understatement.  I've already told all of our family all about it and my sister and her daughter, Dit, went by yesterday just to have some time with mom before Dit and her husband, Jaybird, move to New Orleans soon.  They started talking about who in our family way back when were "coonasses", so I fully expect to get a phone call this week from the Plaza telling me mom has called someone over there a coonass.  

Bottom line here is, when someone is dying, they often want to talk about it with family.  Once you open the door, it's really lovely, so don't be afraid or shy away from it.  Some of the biggest gifts come our way when we lean into our fear and just go with it.  The memories are worth it.  Take it from me.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Vrrroom, vroom....

We are heading for Nash on Monday for a visit with Andrea and Benji and let me just say the clock is ticking w-a-y too slow for this gal.  I'm ready to roll.  I'm ready to play.  We are going at the beginning of the week because that's when Benji's schedule is the most flexible.  Weekends he is usually on the road so that explains that.  We are seeing Rascal Flats while we are there so that will be extra fun.

Andrea's mom and dad were in town briefly this week so Thursday nite we met them for dinner at Hook, Line and Sinker--the place on McKinney with all the outboard motors on the fence.  I can't look at that place and not laugh. It's just so sweet tea and fried everything.  Yes, you can have your fish grilled, but really...why would ya?  This is TEXAS.  We fry everything.
 Andrea's mom and dad were good and had their trout grilled, but I knew he wanted one of my hush puppies when he asked how they were....  As I handed him one he broke into a big old grin.  If  I hadn't already snarfed the others I'd have shared more.  They are truly two of my most favorite people and who knew we could ever be that lucky.  Friends and family.  Man o' man.

I'll have lots of scoopage from Benji on Scarletta's travel schedule this summer and all the fun places they are going later in the week.  Marianne, Andrea's mom, always knows the latest and greatest about where they are headed next, but then she has a daughterIt's been my experience that son's don't relay a lot of information to you--that's just not what Y chromosomes do--so oddly enough, that's really OK for me.  That's all I've ever known so it's just comfortable somehow.  From what I heard Thursday night, Spain and Italy are on the list and perhaps the Middle East.  I think these are Military bases so that makes me feel a little bit better about the Middle East.  Not great--just better.

As my other half mows the front yard, Sis is patrolling and happy as a pig in mud.   Once that black suit of her's heats up, she'll be at the back door wanting in.  Since it's nice and shady in our yard, that may not be for a while.  She'll hang outside until she's inches from a heat stroke.  The lure of the alley is just more than she can stand.  Too many smells to investigate. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday's funny

I heard this yesterday from a guy whose grandmother lived in West Texas.  She said "West Texas is so flat, you can watch your dog run away for three days".  Ain't it the truth.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Blackberry Farm

Yesterday afternoon I carved out some time to do something 1) I wanted to do and 2) already knew could possibly have disastrous results.  I made a lemon chess pie.  I had a recipe from the cooking show where the Vermont guy wears the bow tie--America's Test Kitchen--and it was easier than the one in their cookbook.   (Not sure what that's about.)  Anywho, this one only had 5 or 6 ingredients total so I decided to confront my previous pie making paranoia and give it a shot. I'd made one other chess pie and it was so wretched I fed it to the trash.  Do that few times and you'll be ready to hang up your cup towel, too.  Oh, the angst and shame of dumping an entire pie in the trash.  It is just unnerving.

Now, for full disclosure I did use a frozen pie crust.  That cuts the risk factors dramatically and in the interest of eating a piece after dinner, that's the only way this was going to happen.  No time for a scratch crust this time.  Dang....I was surprised.  It was pretty good!  I may adjust and play with it a little further but at least I now know I CAN make at least one.  Woo hooo!!

I'm all about trying to face my fears these days and pie making has always made my eyes roll.  Think  wild animal and that's me...afraid it would just be a gloppy mess.  Epic failure.  You get it.  I've finally decided so what if it is...ditch it, re-read, figure out what went wrong, and do it again.  Or, honey... pick another recipe.

This morning my sister and I are going to a program on Blackberry Farm.  It's on my bucket list and I know after she see's this it's going to be on hers.  We are having lunch afterwards with a bunch of friends we both know so that will make it even better.  In view on the ongoing slippage of mom, I'm trying really hard to grab fun and joy where I can find it.

Want to go??

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Breaking the rules

Breaking the rules take enormous courage.  Especially when the rules are long established ones you may have grown up with and accepted until you realized they just weren't who you are now or want to be.  Carving out that space for yourself to be truly your authentic self takes loads of work and willingness to walk your own path--sometimes alone.  That can be a little scary but so is the alternative.  If staying where you are makes you unhappy, and your inner "knower" knows what you really want and need, start walking. 

Grab someone you trust and ask them to "accompany" you along the way.  Do not rely on your own ideas or thoughts--bounce them off someone else--before you act on them.  Pause.  Think it all the way through before you do something.  Ask for guidance from whatever source you believe in.  And most of all, honor who you are and your own path.  Break any rules that do not work for you any longer.  Say "No".  It's a complete sentence.

We are not all the same.  If we were, that would be an entirely different story--and a very boring one.  You have your own gifts.  Use them.  What other people think of you is not your business.  I believe we each have a job to do on this Earth that only we can do.  Go do yours.  I'm going to head out and go do mine. Let's both go be who we were created to be.

And that's just how I see it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Simply gorgeous!

If you haven't been outside this morning grab your coffee and GO.  Work can wait 5-10 minutes while you go appreciate God's handiwork.  It's cool, breezy, and exactly as perfect a gift as God would want all of us to enjoy.  Ringing phones can wait.  So can your boss if he/she is even in yet.  Mornings like this wait for no man or woman.  Go getcha sum!!                                                             

Monday, June 3, 2013

Movie weekend

While my quiche finishes up doing it's thing in the oven I thought I might blog a minute.  I watched two good movies this weekend and if you are up to speed on your movie viewing, don't even read this because you saw these ages ago and I'm just now getting to them but then that's just how my life is sometimes.  First, I watched the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and while it wasn't at all what I thought it was going to be, I still liked it.  Sort of a metaphor for real life.   Two of my Downton Abbey gal pals were in it and that made it fun and anytime I can watch Dame Judy Dench read a menu out loud, you can count me in.  Ditto Dame Maggie Smith. 

In Best Exotic I loved seeing the people who coped and the ones who found peace and joy in their situation, and the ones who just couldn't let go of their negativity--no matter what. I've always wondered what makes some people seekers and others not.  I'm thinking it's determined by your own personal FEAR level and how you cope with it, that determines your particular outcome.  Choices based on/in fear seldom work out well.  You may learn a lot but it's generally not a fun ride.  People who aren't in touch with themselves will have no clue what the hell I'm talking about here and that's OK.  If you do, good on you and come on over here and sit by me, and let's talk.  I will cop to feeling a little (ok... a LOT) claustrophobic in the crush of people in India and the noisy traffic scenes, so now you know one of mine.  If you'll just pass the curry, though, I'll be OK.

Next I watched Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and loved it.  I found both movies to have a very spiritual message and similiar in some ways.  Good triumphs over evil, guy gets girl, love is love no matter how you slice and dice it, and mean girl(s) get the hook.  I simply loved everything about Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, including living like the Sheik.  The photography was splendid and working for him (and spending his moola on his ideas) would have been a blast.  He was a really spiritual man and I liked him.

Last night, Benji and Andrea and I did Face Time with my phone for the first time.  We had both forgotten about calling until Benji texted me to be sure I was still up.  It took me a few minutes to figure out how best to hold the phone--techy I am not--but hands down the funniest was Fred's reaction (Sci-Fi nerdy) when I hollered to him to come talk. Benji and I were texting back and forth about it this morning, laughing.  We'll be there this time next week but seeing them-- from now on-- is just the best. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Loooove this boy!!!

It has begun.  The yearly mosquito onslaught and battle for protection.  I got my first two bites last night on our walk with Sis.  Never mind the standing water at our curb that both us and our neighbors have pointed out to the City of Dallas.  They are not concerned because "it's not at least two inches deep".  Sooooo, let the West Nile fight begin.  We can spend a part of every day out there sweeping the standing water towards the sewer (while being feasted upon) or we can just let it go, and hope bug spray works.  The lady who monitors us for the City said she'd put those little anti mosquito donuts in the curb water and we just rolled our eyes.  Knock yourself out, lady.   I can remember when the worst thing I had to deal with all summer was stepping in dog doo bare foot.  My, haven't things changed.

On another note, this was on my FB page yesterday and speaks to the sheer thrill of the last day of school.
Hudson and three of his pals.  Gotta love it.