Sunday, January 19, 2020

Cookie Time!

Well, folks, it is that time of year again!  Girl Scouts are out everywhere selling cookies to support their camping habit.  Our girls are doing the same as they are raising money for their first cabin camping trip to Stevens Ranch, one of the Girl Scout camps here in North Texas. I went to Outdoor Camping 101 training and learned all I needed to know about outdoor camping.  I won’t be going I don’t think.  Time will tell but the stories about the spiders were enough to turn me off.

Anyway, yesterday Bean had her stash of “Cookie Now” cookies which are 12 cases checked out to individual girls to have an individual booth or walk their neighborhood or whatever.  They are theirs to sell on their own.

So, Bean had a booth at a large shopping area.  There was great foot traffic, the weather was sunny but cold and windy and she managed to sell 121 of her 144 boxes there.  Then, when that was done she walked my street and sold 7 more in orders and then she walked her street and she sold 31 more in orders.  All in all a good day.

The morning after?  The adults can hardly move and the pollen in her hair has caused Beanie’s allergies to flare up so while we did well, there is a price, other than the $5 per box, to pay.  The troop sales start next week and I pray for good weather.  This time of the year is always iffy.

I put Bean’s blog on the side panel of mine so if you want to visit, just click on The Life of Bean and it will take you right there.  I think she is a little disheartened to not have any visitors so feel free to stop by and say hello to her.

Ok, time to get the day started. Our grandson officially becomes a teenager today — 13 years old — hard to believe that tiny little baby I held and took care of is now a 13 year old with a changed voice and taller than his mom.  Time flies when you aren’t watching it for sure.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Weather is Driving Me Insane

It is not a surprise to anybody that I am a spring/fall kinda gal.  Summer is way too hot up here in North Texas and winter is just annoying all the way around.

For instance — it was 81 yesterday.  I woke up thinking I had teleported to San Antonio it was so humid.  Today it is cold and wet and not going to get above 49.  I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled I am with this sudden, drastic change.

Trixie got a hair cut — an extreme makeover if you will.  I got her all geared up to go outside this morning — her quilted coat and her heavy leash.  Yeah, she stuck that nose out the door and just about pulled me to the ground trying to get back in and she only had two feet on the patio.

She was shivering.  She had to do her business.  I was giving silent thanks that we have learned to use potty pads.  She is a champ at it.

But.....she was shivering.  So, out come the onesies and she is dressed for the day.  I can’t believe they don’t make pull on white t-shirts for babies anymore but they don’t but anyway she finally got warm, got relieved and let me take some photos of her.

I am so unmotivated in cold weather so the most I have managed today is dealing with Trixie and sewing Girl Scout patches on Bean’s vest.  I will be going out in a bit and have plans later in the day but it is very icky out and I won’t be enjoying it.  I will make the best of it however.

In the meantime, here are some photos of the puppy....

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Blessed and a New Reality

Many years ago, when I was just small I asked my mother if she could feel her heart beat.  She answered in the negative, asked if I could and looked a bit panicked when I said yes, all the time.

Fast forward to 1973.  I was on an awkward telephone call and my heart started pounding to the point that the bed I was sitting on was moving. It scared me so bad that I made an appointment with my childhood doctor the next day and went to demand that he tell me what’s wrong with me.  “Nothing is wrong with you, never has been and I have known you since day one.  It is atrial tachycardia.  Nothing serious”.

1975 found me in my on-gyn’s office at the beginning of my first pregnancy and the doctor says “your heart is beating hard and fast”.   “Yes, it does that a lot”.  “Hmmmpppp, atrial tachycardia, it’s nothing”.

1979 was a repeat of 1975.

Fast forward to 2006 and after my husband had bypass surgery I had an event where my heart went out of sinus rthym and that began a series of events that continued until last week.  I was sure I had aFib — an arrhythmia caused by any number of things and it seems to run in my family.   A while back my cousin called to tell me what was going on with her — yep, aFib — a hospitalization and a couple of procedures.  She encouraged me to check it out since I was doing pretty much the same thing.

I did.  I visited the cardiologist on December 12 and had an EKG which was normal.  I then wore a heart monitor for a week, returned to the doctor two weeks later and had an echocardiogram which was normal.  The report from the heart monitor showed the arrhythmia and the diagnosis is atrial tachycardia.  Not aFib.  Not particularly serious but more bothersome.

Atria tachycardia is treated by the use of beta blockers.  I have been prescribed a common drug — my husband takes the same — and within hours of the first pill all the drama and fluttering and racing in my chest had stopped and hasn’t, knock on wood, come back.  I have slept well, I feel good and I feel blessed that it wasn’t anything worse than that.

Now I have a Fitbit to track my movement which isn’t great due to the gimpy knees and trying to lose a little weight — my decision, not doctors.  It is a fun device — and I am always looking for fun.

Last night I attended Girl Scout Outdoor Training 101 in preparation for camping season. Haha haha— what a hoot!  That is a post in and of itself but I just can’t imagine me camping — unless it is at a Hilton or Marriot.  We will see about that!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Plantation by Dorothea Benton Frank

I just finished “Plantation” by Dorothea Benton Frank.  It was very engaging, colorful and well written as are most of Frank’s works.  It made me cry.  I actually did.

This is the first adult fiction book of my Goodreads 2020 challenge and it took me longer than I thought it would because it was quite long — over 500 pages.  But, it held my interest and the last two days I couldn’t put it down.  So, yes, I recommend it as I do all of Frank’s books.

Also, Bean has started her own blog and would love some visitors.  It is called The Life of Bean.  Feel free to stop by.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Use It or Lose it

When I was young I loved to make lists and catalogue things.  I used to sit and practice different styles of handwriting.  I loved to write stories.  I enjoyed the physical action of writing. When I was in school I learned to type and as I progressed through the educational system more and more things were typewritten.  I went to work and typing was what I did.  Now with computers keyboarding is even more a part of my life

So, as I was thinking about my Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge I started thinking about keeping a record of what I have read in the past, how best to organize the information so that I don’t repurchase books or start books that I have already read and have forgotten (me, forget?  Never! Right.). As you  might have noticed I have been keeping a running list here but it is getting a bit too unwieldy so I thought I should build some sort of a notebook.

Off to Target I went for a binder, some paper and dividers and new pens.  I sat down to make a page for each author I have read and and list the books on the page.  Sounds doable, right?

Well, I can’t write anymore.  I have arthritis in my hands and I can hardly hold a pen for any length of time.  My handwriting doesn’t even remotely resemble my handwriting and it didn’t take too many pages for my hand to start cramping up.

It makes me sad because I was looking so forward to making this notebook to keep up with my reading.  I did finish it but it looks like a little kid wrote it and I didn’t enjoy the process like I thought I would.  So, annoying!

So, while we are becoming more and more technological remember that if you don’t use it you could lose it and I think losing the ability to write is a huge loss. So, every now and then sit down and just write to make sure you still can!

Friday, January 03, 2020

Good Reads Reading Challenge 2020

For this years reading challenge I have committed to 36 books to be divided evenly between the genres regular adult fiction (probably including cozy mysteries), children or YA, and non-fiction.

I have completed my first book. It is “The Boy on the Porch” by Sharon Creech.  It is the story of a mute boy being left on the porch of a young married couple to be tended to until his parents return to get him.  He was left with a crumpled, poorly written note with no end date.

He stayed.  The grown ups became attached and, as you would figure, his father showed up to get him after he had been there a long time.

How did he affect their lives?  How did his going affect their lives?  And.......did he come back?

I don’t think this is a book that children would enjoy even though it was very well written.  I read it in one setting but I found it repetitive. It was interesting enough for me to keep going but I don’t know if I would recommend it.

New Blog

Hi all!  After her first post to the Bean and Me Book Club, Bean has decided to start her own blog.   It is attached to mine for security and the title is The Life of Bean and you are invited to read what she has to say.  Not sure how long it will hold her interest but we will see.  She loves to read and has always written stories so we are hoping she will use this venue to hone her skills!

Welcome to The Life of Bean!

Bean and Me Book Club — Say Hello to Bean!

Hi it’s me, Bean.This my first time doing this.  At home I have a guinea pig named Dot, and you probably already know about Trixie.  So anyway, I am reading a book called A Whole New World.  It’s about Aladdin and if he never found the lamp.  I have not finished it yet, but it’s sooo good so far.  I am not telling you any more because I don’t want to spoil it.  Bye!

It is Abu.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

January 2 — And the car is ready — almost

Just before Christmas the car did something horrible.  It has been making a noise and then one day the a/c and the power steering stopped and there was this dreadful stench of something burning.  We managed to pull into a service station and Hubs discovered that the serpentine belt had broken and, in the process, it broke the bracket that held the whatchamacallit that held the whole thing together.

We made it home but couldn’t get it to the dealer for the repair so it had to be towed.  It has been there ever since.

We just heard today that it is almost, very nearly ready, but the computer console is out (we knew that, thank you Caliber Collision) and the check engine light is on — we didn’t know that because it wasn’t that way when we sent it.  So, they are doing diagnostics on it.

Somehow I don’t feel very secure anymore and it is a Subaru which is supposed to be a very reliable car.  I now really have the new car bug.  Sigh.

I am in the market for a copy of our church’s new prayer book, the 2019 Book of Common Prayer ACNA.  We started using it in church a few weeks ago and it is much the same but yet so different in a few aspects but I need a copy to really be able to sit down and compare.  I looked at Amazon and it isn’t available yet so I went to the publisher and I can get one from them.  I don’t want a pew edition, I want a nicely bound one and they do have that so I will be thinking about ordering in the near future.

I have started my Bible reading.  Of course, I have read the Bible in spurts, in parts, all my life but I have a goal to actually sit down and read it.  I recently purchased a copy of the English Standard Version and find it reads really well so this morning I had a perfectly enjoyable read right after breakfast.  A few years back my husband bought me this beautiful study Bible with lots of info about the regions, the life at the time — just a lot of stuff — but the print is so light, sort of a light taupe on white that I can’t read it.  I do love the book though and the information therein but the format is terrible.  This one is much more “user friendly”.

So far my new plan is working well.  The street tacos were yummy, the kitchen was cleaned immediately after dinner (not after I “rested”) and my night time routine went off without a hitch.  I like routine and I like getting back to one.  It sounds silly, I know, but I have always changed the sheets on Monday (crib sheets were daily).  If I can stick to the Monday sheet thing I feel in control.  My sheets were done on Monday and all is right with my week! Silly old girl I am.

Have a wonderful Thursday! My kitchen is clean and I am going to the pet store to try to find some indestructible toys for the girl he

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Good Morning and Happy New Year!

Well, we are having a gray, icky start to the New Year here in North Texas.  I think it is supposed to evolve into something better later today but right now it is a little iffy.

We had our usual New Years Eve celebration last night meaning nothing.  We did nothing.  We went and got a hamburger which elevated Hubs sugar too much and then we watched an episode each of Jane the Virgin, Atypical, and The Crown which I have started over because I never went past the first season. I then took the pupper to bed because she didn’t like the fireworks and I went about my new nightly routine and took myself to bed with my book.

I haven’t signed up for my 2020 Goodreads challenge yet.  I am trying to decide how I want to do it.  I am thinking of following my daughters lead and read an adult fiction, a YA or children’s fiction and a non-fiction book each month.  That is a lot of reading but that is my escape of choice so I should be able to do it.  I am currently finishing up “Plantation” by Dorothea Benton Frank and the autobiography of Freddie Mercury.  I won’t have any problem finding children’s books because Bean keeps me well stocked on those and most of what she reads are really pretty interesting.  My daughter has already suggested a non-fiction book issued in England to explain to the British people exactly what was going on with Hitler and why they were going to war.  It is supposed to be a really good read so that might be one I add.

Sugar.  The only thing that I am doing that is going to look at all like a resolution is to reduce my sugar intake.  I had done well with that but somehow backslid and here I am eating too much again.  I don’t look at that as a resolution, though, more like just a change of habit.

I am working toward meal planning and tonight we are having street tacos.  I love tacos.  I have always loved tacos.  Tacos will pretty much fix anything.  So, we are having tacos on these cute little street taco tortillas.  Growing up in South Texas and eating in public schools pretty much wired me for Mexican on Wednesday is Wednesday and it is Mexican and that is part of my new plan!

So, on that note, I am going to put in another load of laundry and read a chapter in my book after I see what the dog is so viciously chewing on.  It could be my chair.  Who knows.

I am leaving you with this — a photo of my first cuppa of 2020!  Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Bean and Me Book Club — El Deafo

The Bean and Me Book Club has been on hiatus for a bit while the Bean works on getting her OCD under control.  Anxiety in an old lady like me is one thing, but in a 9 year old who is supposed to be enjoying life, well, it hasn’t been a fun time.  Steps are being taken to deal with her issues and make life easier for her to learn to cope with her little overactive, worried brain.

Things seem to be getting better though and she is beginning to enjoy all the things she used to before       OCD became a part of her life.   One of those things is reading.  She always wanted to read and once she could, it was her main activity.  Now her goal is to surpass one million words on her AR tests by the end of the spring semester.  She is, once again, sharing her books with me and we are reading and discussing them as usual.

My latest read is “El Deafo” by CeCe Bell.  It is the story of CeCe who contracts meningitis at a very young age and, while she survives and thrives quite well, she is left hearing impaired.  It is the story of her journey through the process of discovering her deafness, learning to live with it and learning to live in the world as a child with a challenge.  It is a great story of acceptance. It is also a great story of learning about people, their strengths and their shortcomings, and how to discover and deal with the people who come into your life, how to choose your friends and do what is best for you.

This is a very good book, especially for a child going through a challenge but it is an excellent read for any child learning to understand people with differences — we all have them, right?

So, yes, this is a definite recommend for all ages and being written in the graphic novel style, it is a quick and fun read.  And, there are enough “adult” references that make it tolerable and not oh-so-serious for adults as well.