Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Update on New Routine

How long does a new routine have to be followed before it isn't new anymore?  As you know, we have been following a new routine and it is working well.  The last several days have been challenging but we have managed to eat our main meal at lunch although a few of those meals were restaurants which we are trying to avoid.  However, we did keep to our plan to eat our large meal at lunch and I think we are both feeling better for it.

We were remarking, on our way home from our daughter's house today, that neither of us was ravenously hungry.  When we were eating breakfast and a light lunch we were starving by the time we were leaving our daughter's house for home and would then still have to cook which sent us to the restaurants every night.

By eating lunch we don't have that long stretch without food so we are able to make it until we get home and can have a light dinner.  I think it is a win-win.  I have lost a bit of weight and I just think going to bed on an emptier stomach is a good thing.

The last several days have found me cleaning out the closet and I have taken two bags to the drop off place for donated items.  I have two more bags to take as well.  Then randomly I am going to tackle the kitchen drawers -- they need it.  I am very excited to be getting things cleaned out and organized -- it makes me feel good and I have come to realize it is a never ending job so I don't need to feel bad about it not being finished -- it isn't ever going to be finished!

I am still reading the F. Scott Fitzgerald book but I am about done and I am ready to be done.  I have enjoyed it but it hasn't gone quickly and I am wanting to get started on some of my other new books.  I am reading books lately rather than my e-reader because the e-reader books have gotten so expensive! I really love Half Price Books and I can find whatever I want most of the time.  I have decided that during the summer I am going to visit the library, as well.  I miss the library and would like to go more frequently.

I am proud of myself that I have kicked the cookie habit.  I am a serious cookie addict.  I can pass up anything else but cookies are just too enticing.  But, I have managed to stop eating them and haven't really had any (except for the madeleine at church) for almost two months. I feel so accomplished! I have weight issues and honestly, sweets are the problem.  I have broken the addiction to sodas (that was a big one) and now cookies (the other problem) and I feel so much better for it.  Not that I feel better physically but emotionally because I actually took hold of the problem.  Yay!

I have been binge watching "As Time Goes By" on Britbox and am loving it.  I have watched this series many times but never in order and it is quite fun.  I think I might start on Dr. Who when this one is done.  I would like to start EastEnders but I don't know how easy it would be to start a soap opera.  I did watch Coronation Street a bit when I had Hulu but I stopped.  I will see how that goes.

So, that is me up to now.  Oh yes, Bean decided to write a book -- her life up to now (she is 6).  On the first page she said "I was born when Mommy got me out of her tummy".  And then asked me what happened next.  Not much progress has been made but she makes me smile.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Little Couple

For the last several summers we have had families of cardinals living in our yard and the one next door.  I noticed our latest couple a few days ago but managed to get some snaps this morning.

They are very pudgy and the cool weather this morning has made them very frisky - if you can call a bird frisky.  At any rate, they are all over the yard and burrowing down in the jasmine -- I wonder if they are what is stealing my strawberries?

So, anyway, meet the little couple!
The Mister

The Missus
Sorry for the poor quality of the photos but I was inside the house and every time they saw me move they took off so this was the best I could do!


My husband and I have always been a pretty good match in all areas.  I guess that is why we have stayed together for so long.  However, as we have gotten older we seem to have different ideas of temperature.  He is always cold.  I am always hot.  Now, during the day that doesn't seem to be a problem but at night....totally different story.

I have always liked comforter sets  -- you know, with the matching components but I really don't like pillow shams.  They are a nuisance.  So, three or four years ago I bought an American made heirloom bedspread.  I had two of these when I first married and I really liked them, too.

This is the exact bedspread that I bought-- a Bates-style bedspread which you can get with pillow shams or long enough to cover the pillows.  This was important because my husband is paranoid about having the pillow covered. He seems to have a "thing" about dust.

The only problem with this is that my husband wouldn't sleep under it -- he said it was too heavy even though it is one of the "lightweight" bedspreads offered.  So, he would roll it all the way down to the foot of the bed and then pile a quilt on top of him.  Sometimes two.  No, I didn't understand either.

Because he is so cold all the time we also have two cotton blankets on the bed as well.  Needless to say that I -- in my permanent hot-flash state -- was miserable and I told him we had to do something so off came the quilts and I have forced him to sleep under the blankets and the bedspread.  He has adapted.

However, I have been thinking about a down alternative comforter and a duvet cover.  I like the way Europeans use a bottom sheet and the duvet and that is all.  Simplifies bed making for sure.  However, not a problem here because our rule is the last one out is the one who makes the bed and it is NEVER me -- I am an early riser -- or at least early enough to not have to make the bed.  Haha!

So, we went looking and then I went to reading.  After reading several articles I have decided to stick with my bedspread/blanket combo. There were a lot of negative reviews of duvets and honestly, I can't imagine wrestling to get the comforter back in the duvet each time I wash the sheets.  Yeah, no.

So, I have decided to stay with what I have but I still have the problem of too-cool-hubby and too-warm-moi -- So, what did we do about that?

Since it is now early summer here in Texas (seems we didn't feel the need to do spring or winter this year) I have insisted on turning on the ceiling fan.  I woke up to find Hubs with all the layers of bedclothes pulled up to his chin.

However, he isn't complaining so I am leaving well enough alone.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

I Have Failed at the Art of Tidying Up

I have read articles about Marie Kondo and the Kon Marie method of keeping yourself together.  My cousin even bought me the book which I have read.  However, the book didn't address the concept that some people might be drawer-dysfunctional.

That would be me.

If I can't see it, I forget I have it.

Case in point.  Two days ago I went looking for my pajamas.  I have taken to retiring in athletic shorts and t-shirts because they are quite comfy for this perpetually-too-warm body.  However, I decided that I need to sleep in real pajamas and I knew I had them but where?  After a brief study of the situation I went out to buy some more sleeping duds -- not athletic shorts.  I came home to put them away and when I opened the very last drawer in the dresser in the closet what do you think I found?  Yes.  My pajamas.

No, I didn't return the new things. 

So, yesterday I started cleaning out the disaster that is my closet.  Here in Texas they tell us to go into the closets during a tornado.  My closet look likes the tornado followed me in.

Not anymore, though. 

However, I have a large dresser with 8 drawers (my husband has a matching one with 12 drawers -- yes, it is a large closet) and I am unable to store anything in them because I forget it is there.

I found t-shirts neatly folded in the Kon Marie method -- they look lovely.  I have my personal garments folded the same -- except for what I found lost with the pajamas.  And I uncovered six pairs of shoes.  I guess I didn't need them since I wear the Tieks most of the time.  However, I feel a little crazy.

My husband's side of the closet is an equal disaster but it is a disaster with his own stuff.  My side of the closet has also been turned over to things like extra blankets and quilts, the boxes of family photos, the Nintendo Wii box, you know, stuff like that.  I am going to be merciless and just ditch it all. 

I was so good yesterday.  I had two grocery bags (paper) full of neatly folded clothes for donation.  Remember when you could donate things to the little donation bins in the grocery store parking lot?  Well, those little bins have been popping up all over the place again so I thought it would be easy to find someplace to donate the clothes.  I was wrong.  There were two in our Target parking lot just a few weeks ago and now they are gone.  We actually drove all over the place looking for one.  I finally found one but I am not sure it was a good idea to leave things there. I need to find another place because that one gave me the heebie-jeebies.  All I did was open the chute and I felt the need to drown myself in hand sanitizer.  When I opened the chute I was met with all sorts of food trash -- is somebody living in this thing?  I don't know but I will find someplace else.

So, this morning I am back at work re-inventing my closet.  Oh, and the shirts that are too big?  Well, I uncovered one that is the smaller size (never worn, BTW, but it was neatly folded in the drawer) and it fits perfectly.

I have decided to keep the larger shirts because when I tried to re-order them in the smaller size they didn't have any of the designs I wanted so next time I order things, I will remember to buy the smaller size.  Blah.  Maybe they will shrink in the wash.

So, today I am continuing to tackle the closet -- hanging everything in my sight so I won't lose things.  I am sort of beginning to worry about forgetting things.  How can somebody forget their pajamas?  Just doesn't seem right.

However, now I am well stocked on pajamas.  Yay.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Yes, two posts in one day by moi! The world must be coming to an end!  But, I am annoyed.  I buy most of my clothes online.  Why?  Well, I don't enjoy shopping and they have closed all the reasonable stores close to me like Dillards and Macy's.  So, since I don't like to shop anyway and I don't particularly like driving across town in DFW traffic, buying online seems to be a good option for me.

So, in March I placed an order for several things and I got them in a timely fashion.  However, I didn't try them on in a timely fashion.

I tried them on today.

The slacks fit fine but the shirts are too large.

So, what am I complaining about?  Who complains about too large?

Seems I just assumed they would fit so I threw all the packing material and return labels  away.  I have the pouch they were mailed in but no paperwork.

I contacted the company and they assured me there was no problem, just print a new label from the website and send them on.

I really wanted these shirts -- so I jumped online to just re--order them in a smaller size and guess what!!???

None of the patterns I purchased is available anymore in a smaller size.  Not sure if they ever will be.  So....that is why I am annoyed.

I would be less annoyed if it was THEIR fault but it is my fault so I am REALLY annoyed.

Guess I better go print that label.


Little Bo -- the Story of Bonnie Boadicea by Julie Andrews Edwards

I am still chipping away at "This Side of Paradise" (not such a page turner but not willing to give up) but I decided to take a second-long break and read a children's book titled "Little Bo--The Story of Bonnie Boadicea" by Julie Andrews Edwards.  Yes, that Julie Andrews.

It is a children's book and it is large and has pictures which I guess qualifies it to be a picture book but it is lengthy for a picture book, almost 100 pages so I think it is a tad more than a picture book.  My granddaughter brought it home from the school library so I had to read fast as it is due on Thursday.

In any event, it is the story of Sarabande and Bounder -- she being the gorgeous Persian cat belonging to Mrs. Edge and the street cat -- Bounder -- a sort of feline Lady and the Tramp, if you will.  Sarabande has a litter of kittens and Mrs. Edge who is very hard-edged decides to keep the one that looks like Sarabande and tells her mean hearted butler to take the rest to the pet store.  As it happens the pet store won't take them and the butler, who didn't like them anyway, had a bicycle accident and the kittens all get away.  It was a dark and rainy night and they all scattered for parts unknown.

The story focuses on Boadicea -- or Bo for short -- as she is the smallest and most helpless.  Lest you think she drowns in the gutter or something I will tell you that she is rescued and goes on an unbelievable adventure and scores herself a human that has strong values. I won't say anymore, however, because it is a good book and I recommend you reading it for yourself.

I did think it ended rather unceremoniously and a bit flat, leaving the reader to want more.  However, after a bit of research, there is more.  There are other "Bo" books out there and I, for one, am going to read them.

Monday, April 17, 2017

It Is All in the "S"

Sorry I haven't been here in a few days but I have been nursing the latest allergy attack along and really haven't felt like doing much.  However, I am bored with not doing much so I am ignoring the allergies -- seems like the thing to do!

One thing I have been doing the last few days is surfing the internet about skin care and how French women take care of their skin.  Several months ago I stumbled across an American skincare line that I really like, First Aid Beauty, and have sort of gotten on the skincare bandwagon.  My skin was never, even in teen-age years, tragic.  I never had a lot of problems with it and that hasn't changed.  The thing I have always had a problem with, however, is makeup.  I don't play nice with makeup.  So, I decided to see if I could improve my skin to the point that I don't actually need to wear much makeup.  I have been told by skin care "people" that I don't need it but I was never comfortable.  I always have always felt like I need to do something and I decided that something would be skincare.

So, I was doing a little study of the products that French women use and I ran across micellar water.  Now, I have used micellar water before but I wanted to try what the French women used.  Seems there are two brands --Bioderma and Vichy.  So, I ordered the Bioderma online because it can't be purchased locally and this is what I got--

cute little wrapping paper in a plain brown box

more packaging-- bottle wrapped in brown paper, tied with cream and black cord and nestled in copious amounts of black tissue paper -- felt elegant

Viola -- the bottle

Two days later I walked into Walgreens and found the entire Vichy line right there -- no ordering!!! That sort of thing always happens to me.

So, I have been doing the skincare thing but in reading about French women I learned that they always choose a signature scent and stick with it.

My aunt, who was very glamorous and a fashion buyer for a large department store, had a signature scent.  It was called Fleurs de Rocaille (Rock Garden).  This is a scent that I will never forget -- ever.  She wore it so much it permeated everything she owned.  I loved it.  At some point it became difficult to find so I asked my husband to buy me some on one of his trips to France.  He did.  It was wrong.  It didn't smell the same -- AT ALL.  Apparently there was a new (1994) formulation aimed at the American audience and that is what he bought.  I went to a perfumerie here to by some of the "original" stuff for my cousin and was assured it was the original formulation (1934)  but it wasn't.  I bought it anyway thinking I just couldn't smell anymore.

So, the other day when I was doing all my research on French women I started looking for this perfume.  It seems that the 1934 formulation was called FLEURS de Rocaille.  The 1994 version is FLEUR de Rocaille -- just one fleur.  So, I went to a site called Lucky Scent and found the 1934 version which is still being manufactured and I promptly had them send me a sample.  I was ecstatic when I got it in the mail today.

I just knew I was going to pop the lid off that tiny vial and be transported to my youth and be in the presence of my aunt again.  I didn't even smell it in the vial I just put some on my wrist and guess what -- it is WRONG.  It isn't anywhere near the scent that I was so familiar with. I was so disappointed! After a while, it was so strong I had to go wash it off.  So, I decided a little spritz of Chanel #5 was in order.  Even that was too strong.  I haven't really worn perfume in a long, long time for a lot of reasons and I guess my poor little nose just can't handle it anymore.  By the time I got the Chanel washed off I was sniffling and my eyes were running and, well.....

I guess I am just never going to be a French fashionista.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Happy Thursday! Or Random Post Because I am All Drugged up on Allergy Meds

Good morning! I am trying to sound perky when I am really not.  I have seasonal allergies which seem to span almost all four seasons now and I take Claritin everyday.  For the most part it works except for when it doesn't.  That would be yesterday.

Our pollen count is off the charts, the wind has blowing gale force and, of course, I had to venture outside.  And breathe.  So, yesterday morning I got up having a horrible allergy attack.  I took the Claritin and bingo! Nothing happened! I just got worse.  Finally at about 7 p.m. I took some Benadryl and was down for the count.  I slept nine hours.  I feel better but not great.  I am out of benadryl and don't really want to stay drugged all day so I took the Claritin as usual this morning.  Hopefully I can hold it together until I get some more Benadryl and it is time for bed.

In other news -- I have a new project for Hubs.  Hubs loves projects.  Hubs needs projects.  If he doesn't have projects he shops -- worse than a girl.  So, this morning I got up with this brilliant idea about battery operated lamps.

We have a circular entryway.  It is two story and sports a very large, very lovely chandelier.We rarely use it because it just isn't the sort of lighting to warm up a spot.  We have a small chest in there along with two curio cabinets, unlit.  I need a lamp.  So, what is the problem you might ask?  Well, the brilliant builder decided that there only needed to be one base plug in there and not in the right place.  Yes, Hubs could drop a line but that would require cutting sheetrock and I hate cutting holes in walls.  I also hate hanging pictures and such because I just don't like holes in walls.  So, anyway, that made me think about battery operated lamps.

I looked online and there are a few, some quite acceptable, options.  However, I then ran across a tutorial about converting a regular lamp to a wireless lamp using batteries and led light strips.  My husband loves led light strips and has just installed some behind out television. can see where I am going with this.

He isn't awake right now but when he gets up I am going to let him know what his next project is.  I am sure he will love me for it.

An update on our new eating plan --

It is working well for me.  I haven't lost a lot of weight but something is changing because all my clothes are loose -- don't understand that -- but I will take it.  It is much easier cooking a large noontime meal than an evening meal.  I don't know that Hubs is really doing as well with it but I feel better so I will keep it up. It has certainly helped with between meal eating.  I haven't had a cookie in a month and haven't had to fight the craving -- there hasn't been a craving.  I think that is more mind over matter but whatever it is, it is a good thing.  My acid reflux is non-existent.  That is a relief for sure.

My energy level has increased by leaps and bounds and I am not sure why changing our eating schedule would have anything to do with that but it seems to.  I am getting things done in the morning (I am a morning person anyway) and I am keeping up with things.  I seem to have a new discipline that I never had before.  It is amazing.  I know that sounds silly but it is amazing to me. I guess you really are never too old to learn new things.  Hmmmm.

So, now I need another cuppa.  I have a sore throat and my nose is still runny and it just really aggravates me so I am sure another tea will help.

Have a nice day and I will let you know how the lamp project goes. 

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Teaser Tuesday

Ok, my "teaser" is still coming from my current read "This Side of Paradise" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, page 85.

"Then tragedy's emerald eyes glared suddenly at Amory over the edge of June. On the night after his ride to Lawrenceville a crowd sallied to New York in quest of adventure, and started back to Princeton about twelve o'clock in two machines."

So,  what do you think happened?  How was  Amory involved/affected? 

This book is not a long book, 282 pages actually.  It is taking me forever because there is so much description, so many words, you have to read slowly to not miss anything that might be meaningful.  There is no such thing as skimming this book, for sure.  The prose is beautiful, the descriptions grand but it is just taking a lot longer to read than I thought it would.  I am not quite halfway done.  I need to get busy because I really do want to know what comes of Amory.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Unconscious Mutterings

Unconscious Mutterings is a free association meme hosted by LunaNina at  Check it out if you would like to participate.
Week 739
I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Sticky :: wicket
  2. Purpose :: Driven
  3. Foul :: icky
  4. Unbelievable ::amazing
  5. Currently :: right now
  6. Resume ::  job
  7. Media ::  social
  8. Quick ::  bread
  9. Quit ::  job
  10. Joyless :  sad

Churches -- Historial and Otherwise

I love churches.  Having been a church goer all my life I have spent a good deal of time in churches.  I have been in historic churches, modern churches, pretty churches, not so pretty churches -- but they are all still churches with their own unique personality.

On our way home in the afternoon we pass a little church in Watagua.  We turn before we get to it so we have never really taken a good look at it before.  The other day we decided to take the time to stop -- there was a historical marker which is always interesting.

This little church was originally the Watauga Presbyterian Church but is now the home to a hispanic Christian community.  Isn't it just a lovely little building?  Can't you see this being the center of activity of a small community many generations ago?  I can.

Then there is this church.  Bethel Baptist Church in Scranton, Pennsylvania -- the church home of my great-grandparents James and Dinah Davies.

This is how the church looked when my grandparents attended there

A bit later

much more current
Sadly, this church ceased being a church back in November (2016) when they decided that the population had dwindled to the point that the church couldn't be supported. At that time there were 10 members.  I think it would make a very lovely house.  Of course, I never saw it in person but I think it is a perfectly lovely little neighborhood church.

This is St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Elk, TX.  It is the church that my husband's family attended as they lived close by.  Clearly this is not the original church but it is the one I am familiar with.  There is also a cemetery on the property behind the church.

This is my current church here in Fort Worth.  It is absolutely beautiful and when you walk in there is no mistaking that you are in church.

 It is truly one of the most beautiful churches I have ever been in.

The church I was married in -- Concordia Lutheran Church, San Antonio --

yes, that is me and Hubs taking our vows -- did I really promise to obey?  Hahaha!

The church I grew up in as a child, Asbury Methodist Church --

And the last church I attended before we left San Antonio -- Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church --

And the first church I attended in Fort Worth -- Christ Lutheran Church --

Lots of churches, all lovely in their own way, all full of history.  Hoping to find some more churches to photograph and learn the history of.  Sounds like a road trip!