Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Oh My Goodness! I have gone into slacker mode!

 I can’t believe I haven’t been here in almost a month!  Well, what can I say, life has gotten out of hand.

We have been caught up in health issues.  

The weather has been lovely so we have been out and about.

My arthritis issues are worse so that is keeping me down but I decided this morning not to complain, just get one with it.  Nobody likes a complainer.

I am off my reading routine which is disturbing and not like me at all.

I have ditched my anxiety journal which isn’t a good thing for me.

And, yeah, I think I have just been lazy.

So,  yeah, trying to get back into my groove.  

I have watched a bunch of movies — I actually watched The Hunger Games and I didn’t hate it.  Odd.

So, yeah, that has been my February so far— so boring I am even boring myself!

Monday, February 05, 2024

Reviews — Books and Mugs

 Today I am going to review two things — a book and a mug.  Hmmm,,, which first.

Ok, the mug.  As I mentioned in an earlier post I was looking for a mug to make toting a cuppa upstairs easier.  I decided on the hydroflask 12 oz mug in black.  The cute little, ever popular pink one was going to take two weeks to get here so I vetoed that because I am an instant gratification sort of gal.

So, I ordered, it came and so far I am impressed.  It is insulated, supposedly BPA and lead free, with a lid that can be completely closed.  I am having my first up of coffee in it right now and it is staying toasty warm even though I don’t have the lid on it.  It is very lightweight which is good for me because my wrists, especially my left, don’t handle bulky, heavy cups well.  The handle is easy to grasp and feels good in my hand.  It holds 12 oz which is a nice, good cuppa.  I am pleased and, so far, recommend.

As you know, I read a lot.  I list my books on my Goodreads page and also this blog.  I don’t usually take the time to review books, really but I am going to this time.  I follow a facebook page that talks about nothing but books and great selections come up multiple times a day.  One book that has been making the circulation is “Things We Never Got Over” by Lucy Score.  In a nutshell it is the story of a set of twins, one good and one evil.  It is a good story, engaging plot, great characterization, picturesque setting — all the things I love in a book — and I give it three stars on Goodreads.

Why only three if it was that good?  Well, I have certain standards with the books I read.  I won’t read books about cruelty (the Holocaust for instance), crimes against children, grisly murders, you get the picture.  I usually do a good job of checking out the books I read so I don’t get involved in things that I know I am not going to enjoy.  I mean, if that happens and it is a library book or one I have borrowed from Kindle Unlimited then I can just return, but I am not going to pay good money for something that I am going to really dislike.  

However, with this book, it was so popular and so well received that I just didn’t question it.  I got it off Kindle Unlimited and forged ahead.

From the beginning I noticed that there was a lot of language that I don’t use and don’t like hearing.  I realize we live in a much more casual world but old habits die hard and it just isn’t something I grew up with in my day to day life.  But, because I was invested in the story, I just sort of let my eyes fly past the words and went on - it only got worse.  

Then, a little past half way, the graphic sexual encounters began.  Now, it wasn’t anything illegal or heinous, not criminal, completely consensual but…..I didn’t need to hear about it …at least in such detail — more than once.

Now, maybe in my younger years I might have found it scintillating but at my age now - yeah, that ship has sailed — give me a good story and leave all that stuff out.  Honestly, the story was good enough that it didn’t need the graphic illustration of what was going on.  I am not saying the romance should have been left out, of course not, it was integral to the story but the details needed to be taken down a notch or two or 10.  

This was the first book in a series.  Don’t you hate it when that happens?  What happened to stand alone books?  Anyway, I am pretty sure I am not going to move forward with the rest of the series.  I would love to know how it progresses but the language and the graphics were just too much for me.

I am now reading “Stargirl” by Henry Winterfield.  It is a children’s book about Mo, a little girl alien who finds her way onto earth and meets new friends.  My cousin had the book, when we were children, and I always read it when I went to her house.  I have a physical copy but I now have it on my iPad and I intend to enjoy it to the fullest!

I look at it as a literary palate cleansing after the last one I read!

Saturday, February 03, 2024

More on the Game Room Redeaux

 Ok, so I have been doing more thinking about the game room upstairs that I am rearranging and repurposing.  In order to access the upstairs we have to climb the most ridiculously steep staircase I have ever seen.  There is a bannister only on one side which means that sometimes I use a walking stick to help myself.  My husband does ok, slow but ok, and I worry Trixie is going to fall and break her back and I sure can’t carry her down.

So, all of that brought my thoughts to “how am I going to get upstairs with a cup of coffee”?  I have a tremor in my left hand that has only gotten worse since I broke my wrist so carrying an open cup of jiggly coffee is not going to work.  I thought about buying a small coffee maker and turning my sewing machine cabinet into a coffee bar but decided against that and, instead, decided on this

I decided a cup with a lid would work well.  I opted for an insulated cup because my coffee gets cold before I can get it finished and it has a girth fitting lid.  It is by hydroflask.  They have three different size mugs — 6 oz., 12 oz and 24 oz.  I chose the 12 oz.  I wanted the pink one but it was two weeks out for delivery and I wanted it quicker than that.  I ordered from Amazon yesterday and it was on my porch at 5:30 this morning.  I had hoped to get it from Container Store yesterday when I bought the Bisley cabinet but they had the brand, just not the item.

Considering the current Stanley cup controversy I chose to stay away from that brand and go with this because it is BPA and lead free.  I got the black because, well, it could get here and it doesn’t really matter.The goal is to get up the stairs with the coffee in the cup.  I haven’t tried it out yet, I will do that later.

I am now sporting a new fragrance — Eau de BenGay.  I have officially gone over the threshold and now smell like my grandmother.  But, all kidding aside, I read an article about how when the fancy meds don’t work, try the old school stuff, like BenGay for arthritis pain and I have to say, yesterday, between the Excedrin and the BenGay my knees almost felt like they belonged to a human.  I will be reapplying today as we have a short jaunt to Walmart which I dread at best so I may as well make it the best I can.

Have a great day everybody!

Friday, February 02, 2024


 Kids.  You gotta love ‘em.  And I do, I really do.  I have been so blessed in the grandkid department, I couldn’t have asked for more or better.

So, current situation.  My decreasing mobility is making everything a little more difficult and definitely more S - L - O - W — as in I have to rest a lot and take breaks and it just makes the smallest thing seem monumentally difficult.  So, that’s me.

I have finally given in to the notion of needing help, at least for bigger projects.

Cue Bean.

Bean needs something to do to get her off her phone and less attention paid to the boyfriend.

Solution?  I am breaking up my needs into projects and giving her a job every afternoon after school since she is here anyway.  

So, yesterday we went upstairs to my play place — a very large game room that has become an enormous dumping spot — my husband and I are great dumpers — and it is to the point that we can no longer enjoy the space.  

When we got upstairs we talked about what needed to be done, she assessed the situation and we made a plan.  We cleaned off the coffee table and then she said she wanted to tackle the craft table.  That was quite a chore.  I should have taken photos.  

So, tackle she did — keep in mind that most of the stuff has to do with card making and there is a lot of it.  A LOT of it.  So, she separated all the paper, hands on hips she sighed and said “Nona, you have an absolute tree farm here”.  Bless her little heart.  And then I have a 7 day chest of drawers with more stuff, she opened the drawers and said “Nona, what is all of this — so much, and more of the same thing”.  Sigh.   What can I say, my name is Melissa and I am an addict — and a hoarder — really bad combination.

The top of the table is clean, the trash tossed, the paper still needs to be sorted and I need to find a place to store it logically.  But, it is looking better.

I have hope for the space.  We talked about it and we are going to move the furniture around to make it cozier.  It is an enormous room — large enough for a pool table or possibly a snooker table.  Everything is just lined up around the walls with this big open space in the middle of the floor.  Not inviting at all.  We have nice furniture in there, lovely art work, the carpeting is good and we have a large tv but the arrangement isn’t conducive to wanting to curl up and read or watch tv.  Not to mention the monumental mess — but Bean is taking care of that.

The next project is to sort cross stitch stuff.  I am going today for another of these —

I have one in a lovely green and I am thinking of getting this one in pink or maybe orange — not sure — but it stores bobbinated embroidery thread beautifully and I have a ton of skeins of thread that needs to be dealt with.  SO, the Bean is going to be putting the thread on bobbins and storing by number.  She is gonna hate me — 

So, I should have taken photos of the “before” but honestly I am so embarrassed by what it had gotten to be that I just couldn’t do that.  I will, however, take photos of the after and you can just use your imagination in regards to “before”.

If I don’t get back to card making soon I might rehome all those supplies and just focus on cross stitch.  My quilting days are over and cross stitch is about all I can manage right now — and a bit of sketching now and then.

So, anyway, that was yesterday — I am so looking forward to cleaning out the craft “stuff” and having some empty space - you know, empty drawers are a thing of great beauty.  

Have a good day! Getting ready to hobble to the Container Store for an overpriced, very small, cabinet of drawers.

Thursday, February 01, 2024

Good Morning! Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

 It has been gorgeous here the last couple of days in my little corner of the world.  The temp has been in the mid 70’s, the sky a beautiful blue, the breeze mild and all is right in my world except —

One thing —

Night before last I slept like a stone. I don’t think I moved all night.  When I got up (actually surprised I COULD get up) my left leg was in sad shape.  My knee was really hurting and my thigh felt like I had done a half day worth of lunges.  My calf muscle was also really tight.  I got up and took the excedrin like I do every morning and hobbled about muttering unspeakable things under my breath.

We went to Target.  More hobbling.  Finally —


I iced my knee for about 2 hours! It finally felt better but my thigh still hurt — reminiscent of when I was expecting my first little bundle of joy and had severe sciatica pain.  I did a google search to see if arthritis could cause sciatica and by golly, yes it can. 

So, here we are.

It is almost 6:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning and here I sit with a cup of green tea, an unhelpful dog and an ice bag on my knee.  It seems like all the pain is coming from the knee so that seems the most logical.place to put the ice unless I filled the tub with ice and just put the whole me into it.  

Anyway, that is the state of me today — not looking promising, is it?  

I will leave you with this —

Have a great day, all! I am going to go sit out in the sun while we still have it!

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Before and After

 So you don’t have to wait — here are the before and after photos —

Trixie after her spa day and in her new car seat

Before her spa day — she looks like a bear

This was the first time in her new car seat and she fussed for the whole 15 minute drive to the groomer.  However, on the way home she figured out she could actually sit down, be quiet and enjoy the scenery.

She is now down for the count. 

Apparently she behaved well and it was a winning situation!

Friday, January 26, 2024

Ah, Warmth!

 I am happy to report that we are out of the deep freeze, finally, and I am very relieved.  I can do cold, I can do wind, I can do rain, I can even do snow/ice (within reason) but I can’t do all at one time!  I think the worst is behind us but we DO have February and March to go through yet and it IS Texas so, honestly, it could turn to summer or we could all be out building igloos.  I mean, it is dicey but for today we are thawed and I see sun and that is good enough.

I am going to touch on a subject today that I don’t really talk about too much and Iam not sure why, maybe I just figure it isn’t an interesting enough topic or, perhaps, people really aren’t into pets but today is the day for —


I can see her on a Tik=Tok video singing “I am a potato” because she very potato like.

(BTW — the mug photo is from Etsy and the mugs are for sale.  I might buy one.)

  If she were smaller she would be a baked bean.  However you describe her, however, she is a Giant Yorkie.  She was supposed to top out at about 8 lbs as per her breeder but she is at 18.8 now and she waddles.  We love her even if she is completely out of spec — no long hair, no straight hair, parti-colored, LARGE,  Just not your common, garden variety Yorkie.  But she is our child, the one who isn’t going to grow up and run off with a significant other (we took care of that), she keeps us busy and is humorous —

Trixie listening to me make a grooming appointment — do you think she is concerned? Laying with her head in the corner and splooting?  Hmmmm……this will be our fourth groomer …..

Trixie taking her 14th nap of the day on a cold day in Texas.  She knows how to hunker down in her heavy blanket

Trixie in her sweater chewing on a bone — she loves her sweater and this is the only thing that fits her anymore

Trixie says good morning — this was two days ago

About a week ago Trixie was asleep, like in a coma, on the sofa and I was in my recliner which sits perpendicular to the couch — she must have been dreaming and something startled her because she flew off the couch, much like this little fella in the picture and landed across my ankles on her tummy and just rolled off on the floor.  I couldn’t catch her but we checked her over to make sure she was ok.  She was.  She just sort of waddled back over the couch, jumped up and continued her nap right where she left off.  So, I told my friend about it and she sent me the above photo — that was exactly how she looked. It was hilarious but thankfully not injurious.

So, that is Trixie Teena living her best life.  Today she looks like a bear, tomorrow she is going to look more like == well, an uncooked pinto bean.  I will share the “look” tomorrow —- hopefully I don’t have to look for groomer #5.

Trixie says it is time for her mid morning nap.  Have a good day y’all!

Friday, January 19, 2024

Love Hate Relationship —

 My title sounds like something out of a Harlequin romance novel—remember those?  Well, it isn’t. It is something much more mundane than that.

Calendars.  Planners. To Do lists.  

I love planners.  I love buying them, I love setting them up, I love basking in all the organizational promises they give.

I just don’t like using them.

Or carrying them around with me.

So, I have tried to go digital.  I still carry a little pocket calendar (paper) with me but I am finding that I am getting used to my google calendar on my phone.  It was hard at first but it is getting better.

A few months ago I started an anxiety journal — in a little pink notebook — and the concept was working well for me until—-

My husband spilled a cup of coffee on the notebook.  I know, I know, not earth shattering but it just wasn’t the same.  

So, I have been looking for a way to do my anxiety journal digitally and even add a couple of elements to it, like a gratitude journal and my daily prayer list.

Without spending money.

So, I decided to explore the options on my iPad that just come with it, no extra pay out.  

I find my google calendar really does work well for me so I decided not to mess around with that.  I have gotten used to it and I see no reason to change it - if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

So, that brought me to my anxiety journal.  I looked at all sorts of apps and came across a list of the best best journaling apps out there and lo and behold GoodNotes was on the list.  I use GoodNotes with my cross stitch patterns and it is great so I thought, why not?  See, when you download the photo of the chart you can click on it and blow it up so you can easily see and you can use the writing tools to mark off what you have done.  It is genius.

Why not, indeed.  So I started a new page, labeled it and opened it and started my anxiety journal.  Now what is in my anxiety journal you might ask?  Anything that helps me feel like I am in control of whatever I need to be in control of.  I list my morning and evening routine so I can check off when I do things — makes me feel accomplished.  I list my goal(s) for the day.  I list my food for the day so I can at least try to be accountable for what goes into my mouth.  I opened a second page and listed my gratitude for the day (a good mammo report  —- yay!) and my prayer list that I get from church.  And I just started checking things off and the feeling of anxiety (out of control) just melted away and I can now add this new thing to my gratitude list!

I love my iPad.  I have been all up into technology since I got my first computer but I never have used it or explored it fully to see what it can do.  So this morning, in making this notebook in GoodNotes, I played around to see what I could do and here is a sample of my notebook — 

I need to explore how to use different types of pages, like lined paper rather than the grid paper but it is ok as well.  You can also use the keyboard but the handwriting, while not great, makes me more engaged it seems.

So, anyway I think I have found a way to make my planning situation a lot more “love” than hate.  Now I just have to figure out how to do cute little stickers.  It is always something, isn/t it?

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Strange Things —

Ok, let’s review — I am a highly sensitive person, I am an introvert, I am extremely empathetic so THINGS bother me! Not things like the fact that I still haven’t vacuumed the floor (I know, I know) but things I can’t explain.  I can explain the non-vacuuming — lazy—but I can’t explain what happened last night and it is bothering me.

I went to bed about 10 and put my book down about 10:15 or so and fell right to sleep, soundly.  At 11:20 pm I woke up to a strong, male voice calling my name.  I don’t remember dreaming and this voice was like it was in the room with me calling me.  I went from a sound sleep to wide awake in a nanosecond.  It scared me because I just knew it was my husband who quite possibly had fallen. 

However, I looked over and he was sound asleep, in bed, wrapped up like a mummy in the covers.

I shook him to wake up and see if he knew if he had called out and he said no and I don’t think he was thrilled to be awakened — I don’t blame him.  He went back to sleep.

I.  Did. Not.  

Well, until 4 a.m.  Everything that I could worry about I did.  Everything I could fret over I did.  And I just couldn’t figure out what or who that voice was.

I am still bothered by it not to mention being very tired and sleepy.  Yesterday was a very bad day because it was so cold and I found myself just sitting most of the day, my knees hurt, my back hurt and it was just non-productive.

Today has to be better.   Not going to mention vacuuming.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

And……..there is this!

 This is Texas — albeit NORTH Texas, but Texas nonetheless.  This is not the norm but here it is —

There wasn’t much,  you couldn’t make a snowball or a snowman but you could get in a multi-car pileup or fall down and break something.

Clearly the trash wasn’t collected and when the sun came out later in the day it all melted - the snow, not the trash.  Whatever was left refroze, of course.

Schools were cancelled for today because of the power grid issues and because they needed to check for broken pipes and such.  That is ok because again, the streets.

My granddaughter got to have her guitar lesson on a zoom call.  Modern technology makes it impossible to have a good and proper “snow day” but I would imagine that was fun.

I know to my friends up north or in farther flung areas this doesn’t look like much but it is enough to paralyze the entire Dallas/Fort Worth area and create all sorts of chaos.  On the news this morning they were reporting major water main breaks in both cities.  So, while we are conserving energy this morning to keep the grid going we will probably also be boiling water.  I knew it was a prudent thing to do to buy that case of water.  It is a good thing I have a prepper mind/heart.

Ok, so going for the second cuppa.  Doggo had me up at 4:55 again which is really not my gig so I have to start moving or I might go into a coma — like yesterday.  Eventually I am going to get this floor vacuumed.  


Have a great day and stay warm and safe!

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Well Folks — It Was Inevitable

It has been a couple of years since the great frozen disaster known as Texas in the winter — record cold, collapsing power grid — you know all the things.  Well, it has been a nice ride but here we go again.

There is a FB site called North Texas Weather Center and they have been posting some things that will help the world understand what life is like here in Texas.

Four minutes ago they posted this —

Sounds like a wonderful January day doesn’t it?

Last night, however, they blessed us with these —

This was after we experienced unusually high winds - 60-80 miles an hour a couple of days ago.  Yes, the trampolines went flying, the Christmas decorations that were still up went flying — a reindeer down the street blew over and got it’s neck broken — I would take a photo but it has been removed.  It is windier up here in the Fort that it was down south in SA so we are used to looking like we never comb our hair but this was ridiculous.

Then, as the reports of the approaching cold fronts started pouring in they share this with us - it made me laugh — but it is so painfully true —

Yeah, there is a reason for the high number of dented cars in the area — and snow is not our friend.  We don’t have snow plows because — well, we are in Texas and it doesn’t snow here — right, keep telling yourself that and maybe one day it will be true.

So, as the two upcoming cold fronts get closer the drama at the television stations escalates.  They are leading up to the event.  They are instilling the fear of the impending doom - WINTERY MIX — in every report. I went to Target and Kroger yesterday and there is already evidence of the panic buying beginning.  There was no bread.  Just sayin’ — that is a sign that by tomorrow there will be no toilet paper.  I am ancient, I have seen all this before.

We had a snowstorm in San Antonio in 1985 that was unsurpassed - over 13 inches of snow!  My kids loved it! I hated it! I don’t like winter, wind, snow and especially not ice which is what we usually get.  I have plans this week and it is all going to get messed up — I already know.  But…

We are stocked up for a few days — the crock pot is at the ready — I have my books, today everything is getting vacuumed and dusted and I am settling in for the duration.

Of course, there is always the chance that nothing will happen.

And that is life in Texas.

Oh My Goodness! I have gone into slacker mode!

 I can’t believe I haven’t been here in almost a month!  Well, what can I say, life has gotten out of hand. We have been caught up in health...