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.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Revisit and Plan

It is getting to that time of the year that we all sit back and take a look at the year we have just lived.  I don’t much believe in resolutions because I tend to break them before the ink is dry on the list.  I do, however, like to look back at what worked, what was successful and what needs to be re-evaluated.

I have been doing some thinking about planning — planning meals, planning my days, planning projects — just planning in general.  I buy lovely Erin Condren  planners every year and I do use the calendar section for the ever increasing doctor appointments and school schedules and such but I think I could benefit by using the other sections for meal planning and housekeeping schedules.

Now, you are probably wondering why an old lady like me needs to plan things.  We are retired, shouldn’t I just be able to “be” (as my daughter likes to say).  Well, the problem with that is that when I just “be”, nothing gets done except tv watching and net surfing.  Before you know it, there is nothing in the house to eat and the laundry has piled up and I can write my name in the dust on the furniture.  But, the net has been duly surfed.

I find all of this just makes my anxiety and my depression explode.  It has come to my realization that just because I don’t have children in the house doesn’t mean that I don’t need a schedule.  I have also realized that, because of my mobility issues, I put things off until I have a monumental task to complete and not nearly enough energy to do it.  So..........I must rethink things.

Now, since Hubs stroke and hypoglycemia issues, we have been following a much better diet and things have been going well with that.  It does make cooking easy because there is more of a formula and he is helping by grilling a good deal.  Steak or chicken with salad and a vegetable and a small amount of carb is the order of the day and is much less taxing on me but my problem is that I don’t plan and I am always forgetting something at the store which means I don’t always have what I need and that is frustrating.  So, I need to plan my meals.  We are eating out again but he is making good choices and his blood sugar has been in excellent control — to the point that his meds have been reduced and he might even be able to get off of the injectable.  So, that is great and the eating plan is making it easier for me.  But, I still need to plan.

The housework is a big problem for me.  I am lazy.  I don’t like to dust and dragging a large vacuum cleaner around is not my idea of something I jump up in the morning and yell “yay, let’s vacuum”.  So, I bought a Dyson cordless stick vac — the one for animal hair even though the Trixster doesn’t really shed.  It is a lifesaver.  And, the canister releases from the “stick” and I can use it to vacuum the furniture with the nifty little attachments.  It has been a good thing.  I have also gone from mop and bucket to the Bona floor care system.  It is helpful as well — especially with the untrainable Miss Trixster.  She is doing better with the potty pads and almost always “hits” them — expect for when she doesn’t but things have improved.  I feel accomplished in learning these new ways to do things but now I have to continue decluttering.  Today I am going to work on the massive magazine collection.  I love to take magazines but I need to move past saving them.  I have gotten to the point that I read them and toss them but I do have a rather large basket full of them to plow through.  That is on the list for today.

So, while I am not contemplating sharing any huge resolutions with you, I will be sharing changes I am making in my day to day life to try to make things easier for me as I age (yes I actually said that) and am finding things more difficult.  I don’t want to have to struggle and I don’t want to wallow in depression and anxiety because life is changing, I want to find new and better ways to do things so that I can continue to do the things I enjoy.

On that note I am off to Walmart! I never thought I would say that — I don’t like Walmart but the Hubs has a mission so off we go.

Have a great day!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Post Christmas Review

Well, Christmas 2019 is in the books and I have to say I am glad.  This whole year has been a challenge and I am ready to bid it adieu.  I have been absent from my blog for a long time and for good reason other than trying to type on an iPad is icky. I have been struggling with anxiety and depression, brought on I am sure, by my worsening arthritis and increasing immobility.  So I am hoping for a better go in 2020.

I have done a lot of reading lately but failed to meet my Goodreads goal.  I will do better in the coming year.

I have started seriously decluttering areas of the house.  I have learned there is a significant link between anxiety and clutter and I am making an effort to declutter on a daily basis.  My closet has gone well as has my makeup drawer but the craft stuff is going to be a bear.  I am passing on a few books but those are the hardest to get rid of.  I really value books, even yellowing, brittle paperbacks but there is only so much room.  I have succeeded in lessening the amount of reading material coming into the house by using my kindle or my kindle app on my iPad but I will never quit buying books.

We did a little dressing up of the upstairs craft room to make it more kid friendly. I have my craft table which is really a work bench but it looks really nice.  We got it at The Container Store.  Then we added a red leather sofa and a coffee table.  We took some of our paintings out of storage and hung them, refurbished some lamps, added a new, larger tv and voila, a good place for everybody to hang out.   I will take some photos the next time I venture up there but right at the moment my joints are laughing at me even thinking about going up the stairs.

I might go later and buy a keyboard case for my iPad to make typing the blog easier than this one finger hunt and peck action going on.  I have thought about buying a new computer but can’t get excited about it at the moment. Maybe later.

So, anyway, I thought I would check in to let everybody know I am still amongst the living although I am not very mobile at the moment and less motivated.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Hello, All!

Good morning!   Finally had a few minutes to chat for a bit.  Things have been very active of late between doctor appointments, trying to help get Bean straightened out, having some work done around the house and forever trying to housebreak this little fur monster we live with, it is never ending.

I had my annual oncologist appointment and all seems to be well, don’t need to see him for another year. I do believe I need to visit a cardiologist though, and I am due for an eye appointment. I dread the eye appointment because it is all the way across town by our old house and I really want to find somebody closer but I don’t care for breaking in new people, do you?  I have given up on dealing with my knees and just figure they are part of getting old.

The hubs has been painting the inside of the house which is going much quicker than I thought it would. Several weeks ago we ordered plantation shutters for the windows and they have been delivered and installed.  We need to work on the bathrooms which are covered in rather dated wallpaper. Dealing with wallpaper removal is dreadful. We might end up just re-papering over it. A pain either way.

Girl Scounts has been particularly active.  We had a birthday party for Juliet Gordon Low, the founder. It was supposed to be outside but the weather had turned so we had 17 girls and a few parents in the house. It worked out ok though.  Not Scout related but Bean made a lovely Evie for Halloween.

The pooch is getting better about her business. She has finally gotten what the puppy pads are for so the moment some of the frantic pressure is off her.  She is ringing the bells more often than not and the accident are few and far between but when there is one she manages to make use of the pads so life is easier.

So here we are, already November.  Can’t believe this year is going so quickly!  Not ready to think about the holidays yet even though my neighbor has already put up lights. Too early in my book.

For now that is all the news.  That is ok with me, I like a little calm.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

My Absence

I haven’t been around my blog much lately and it isn’t because I have lost interest. There are two main reasons — one, my iPad and the second is my granddaughter, not in order of importance.

My laptop bit the dust a while. Back and I replaced with a more powerful iPad.  I am finding it to be difficult to use for my blog. That makes it a lot less fun to do.  It is more work and it has sort of put me off but I have no intention of not blogging. I will make it work.

The other thing that has been taking a good deal of my time, thought and energy is the Bean.  She has been diagnosed with  Obsessive Compulsive Anxiety Disorder.  Looking back she was probably born with it.  It appears to be genetic and I know the disorder existed in members of my family and still does.  Something caused a flare, however, in the last school year and I believe it was an unfortunate teacher.  I know it is easy to blames somebody like a teacher, my daughter gets that all the time, but this particular teacher was a real train wreck.  She would say inappropriate things and have full on panic attacks in front of the children.  It was horrific yet she retained her job through the entire year.
We felt this year would be a new start but, alas, the  demon reared its ugly head and now we are all working to make things better.

The way this presents in her is different than you see on television programs —she isn’t oddly tidy, she doesn’t aphabetize or count or line things up.  She has intrusive thoughts that she can’t control and they keep her from concentrating on what she should be thinking about.  The thoughts concern the weather and her health.  She is terrified of stormy weather and she is worried about being electrocuted or having her arms dislocate or getting a concussion.  This comes directly down the DNA pike from my grandmother who was terrified of weather and her health.  My daughter says she wishes she were tidy.  Oh yes, my daughter is clearly OCD as well, even though it presents differently in her, there is some overlap and yes, she is tidy.

So, the Bean is under a doctors care, receiving medication and seeing a therapist to help her control  the situation.  She has a new friend  at school who has the same thing although it presents differently in him but they have become each other’s support group and it is working well.  She is back in school, her grades are good, she has taken up dance as a new endeavor, she seems to be back to her old self and doing well but oh my goodness, this has all happened so quickly and so intense, it has made this Nona’s head spin.

She is reading again so I hope to have some more entries in the Bean and Me Book Club soon.  She will be fine, not sure about the rest of us.

On a more upbeat note, autumn has arrived here in North Texas and it is glorious!

The Secret Orphan by Glynis Peters

The latest book I have  completed for my 2019 reading challenge is “The Secret Orphan” by Glynis Peters.  It is the story Elenor from Tre Lodhen, Cornwall and Rose, a child from Coventry.  It is set in World War II Britain.

This is a historical novel chock full of mystery, espionage, secrets and a little romance but it definitely isn’t a romance novel.  I think it provides a small window into the lives of the British during  that very frightening time and gives good examples of how resourceful they were.

For me this was a page turner.  I simply couldn’t put it down and I recommend as a great read for all.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


I feel I must apologize for not being here.  It isn’t that I don’t want to be but there has been a lot going on lately and I am not really doing anything of importance or interest to write about. Even my reading has hit a lull and my crafting has ceased altogether.

As .you know my husband had a couple of diabetes related issues back in the spring.  Well since then we have been to a specialist and seen a diabetes counselor about his diet and I have to say it is all going very well.  His blood sugar is staying quite normal and his doctor visit this week was stellar.   It isn’t a bad eating plan and we are living very normally now although I never thought I would see the day when he would eat yogurt and oatmeal but here we are.

We sold our former home recently which is a big relief.  I loved the house but it was a bit smaller than we needed and the distance from the kids was taking a toll on our energy and our gas bill. So now that we have completed the sale we are embarking on some much needed projects here in our current home. The Hubs has painted over half the interior, we have changed out a number of light fixtures and we have ordered shutters for the windows. We are painting the interior the same color as the old house which is called Wise Owl.  The trim will be white to match the shutters. It is going to be lovely!

I will share photos when the shutters arrive and all the clutter is cleared away.  It won’t be long.

So just letting you know I am still kicking but more than a little tired,

Monday, August 12, 2019

Another Manic Monday

It is hard to believe it is Monday again, much less that it is mid-August AND the first day of school for the Bean!  I know, I know, before long it is going to be Christmas!  Not ready for that but I am ready for some cooler weather.  We have bee under heat advisories for several days with more to come.

It looks like my blog plan didn’t work so well, can’t stay on task or really focus lately,  Things will be better when this house sale is completed.  It seems to be sapping all my physical and mental energy.  Hopefully the 23rd will come and go without issue and we can pass the ownership over to somebody else.  Yesterday was strange because we went to check the mail and there were six cars in the driveway and people all over.  Seems the buyers had family in town and wanted to show them the I know that is allowable but it seemed strange.

Today is errands and back to picking up the Bean from school.  All four grandkids are going to be in the same school so I will probably see all of the at some point.  That is going to be different but they are looking forward to it.  I wish they didn’t have to go back so early as it is just too hot.

So, off to make oatmeal and get the day started.  The morning will go fast and I have to make a grocery run and a trip to the bank.  So uninteresting!  I will try to do something exciting for the next time.  I promise you Trixie’s life is much more interesting.

Monday, August 05, 2019


Needless to say life around here has been a bit wonky lately.  I have been spending the majority of my time in the back yard holding a leash muttering things like "potty" and "do good girl".  I am sure the neighbors think I am certifiable.  I think Trixie is beginning to get it or maybe I am just reading her better but things seem to be improving.

The selling of the house has hit a snag. It sold the first day on the market and we had the inspection but either the inspector is stupid or they are trying to put one over on us but they reduced their offer price and are requiring us to fix things that aren’t broken. So, the saga continues.

Today we meet with Hubs endocrinologist to re-evaluate his situation and see how to continue moving forward.  We are also meeting with a diabetes counselor which is new to us.  With all that is going on I am probably going to have to meet with somebody with a couch and some happy pills.  Hopefully all will go well today and hopefully the house situation will work out.  I am feeling very Pollyanna today.

I have finished reading "Wish" and have now started another Made in Savannah cozy mystery.  They are very relaxing and that works well for me right now.

So off to see the doctor in a little while.  Will be back with any news.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Little Off Course

Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men.......seems my blogging plan has gone awry.  Not without good reason though.  We have been prepping our other house for sale and have been away from home and when I get home I am too tired to even care so I am falling behind.
Also, in addition to Trixie, I am caring for Bean’s pets while they are away.  I have a hamster named Sprinkles and a guinea pig named Dot here.  The hamster isn’t difficult at all but the guinea pig takes more time and care and affection.  Yes, affection.   So, between brushing the pig, cuddling the pig, washing vegetables for the pig and giving her hay, I am really up to my ears in guinea pig care.  I will post photos later.
I have to speak to Bean about her participation in the book club postings.  I think she needs to write her opinions as well as me.  So, going to work on that when she gets home which will be soon.
I thought Trixie killed herself this morning.  She was jumping up to grab a dog biscuit from me and slipped on the kitchen floor and banged her head on the tile floor.  She didn’t miss a lick though and got right back up and continued jumping so I guess all is well.
Well, off to meet the realtor so fingers crossed this house sale will go quickly.

Monday, July 15, 2019


I am having trouble posting on my iPad.  Seems that blogger and iPad don’t play well together.  So, I downloaded the blogger app and now I can post but i cant read the blogs I like to visit everyday.  I have to figure this out.

The Trixie Chronicles

Hiya! Everybodee! It’s me, Trixie!

This has really been a week! I have been a very busy terror  uh I mean terrier.  My Hooman mommy has been getting lots of exercise with me.. Did I tell you her knee has flared up? Did I do that?  Probably.

Anyway, we have been doing lots of potty training.  Mommy Nona put a Christmas bell on the door but it sounded like a bomb going off so she bought these -- proper bells.

They sound better and I actually ring them when I need to go out.  Not all the time though but I am

getting better.  I had one accident free day but slide back once but I am getting there.  Especially
 with these nifty bells.

Another thing that happened is that I had to stay home all by myself for a long long ticme whIle the hoomans did something else.  They have been very busy and have gotten very tired.  Even Mommy Nona has been whining.  It is sad.

I think I have grown.  I look a little porky.  Mommy Nona can’t figure out if I look more like Alf or Chewbacca.  Whoever that is.  I think I am beautiful.. what do you think?

Oh, I have lots of toys but this is the best ever and I found it all by myself!  I am so resourceful!

So, that has been my week!  Wonder what is going to happen this week?  I heard the word bath.  

Friday, July 12, 2019

Diolch (Gratitude in Welsh)

I was never so aware of feelings of gratitude as I was after I got sick.  Getting sick can be very
humbling.  You need help and when you get it the feeling of gratitude is almost unbearably overwhelming.  This all happened quite a long time ago but I still have a heightened awareness of the feeling of gratitude.

Every morning, without fail, I am grateful for another day.

Then each day has its own opportunity to feel grateful.  It might be small or it might be big but it is always there.

Today I am grateful that my kids got across the great pond without issue and that the Bean is spending some time  with her other grandparents.  They have a number of neat things planned to do so they should have a good time.

This sounds silly, but I am grateful that Trixie seems to be catching on to going outside.  That is one of the little things.

And I am grateful that the Mister is doing so much better since his episodes in March and April.

All that and it is just 7 am.  I am so blessed.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Hot Mess

I received a request to show my “hot mess”.  Well, here it is.

This doesn’t look like the well planned clutter of the Gilmore Girls.  Granted four grandkids left stuff out but that maddening stack on the end of the table belongs to the Mister and he likes it there.


For some reason I am still interested in homekeeping.  I read lots of blogs and magazines and I have even explored Marie Kondo’s method of tidying up.  The thing that really has my attention, however, is television programs and set designs.

I recently watched the entire series of Gilmore Girls and was totally fascinated with the Gilmore house.  Nothing matches, it defines shabby chic and is so welcoming and doesn’t look the least bit cluttered even though it is.

Now I am watching Parenthood.  I have loved the Braverman house since I watched it originally.  Again, it almost looks like the clutter was purposely designed that way.  I guess it was.  Again, it looks warm and homey and inviting.

I have tried to aspire to the minimalist agenda but I know my pack rat husband just can’t do that.  It would take about five seconds for him to clutter up a minimal coffee table because he is very dysfunctional with flat surfaces — he likes to see them covered in stuff.  I hate it but I have never been able to change him.  At this point in my life that struggle is over.

So I have been trying to create a warm, eclectic living environment that is welcoming and comfortable. What do I call it, this style?

Hot mess.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


Getting older has some perks.  Some of those perks are time and opportunity.  We have the opportunity to be around our granddaughter on a daily basis.  We have the time to spend with her and to share her life experiences with her.  Because we have fewer obligations now than we did with our own children, we have the time to spend with her and see her through good times and bad.

We live at the tail end of tornado alley and we can have some really rough weather.  Bean is totally afraid of storms.  Recently we had such a storm while she was here and her behavior completely astonished me.  Now, she has been in church since she was born—we are active, practicing Anglicans.  She has been Catholic School educated since age 3.  The child is well indoctrinated so it shouldn’t have been such a shock to me but the thunder started and I watched her as she fell to her knees, crossed herself and started praying furtively through the tears.  Then she came to the table where we were all sitting  and asked us to please pray with her.  We did, of course, and then took the pets to the safe place in the house and as the storm subsided we learned that there was a small tornado that went through her neighborhood and did some damage.  She asked why her house was spared.  I asked the question back to her and she smiled and said “because we prayed”.  

The next day or so a friend of mine who has an uncanny knack of posting scripture that is just what I need to hear when I need to hear it posted this—

“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I am” — Psalm 61.2

How could I not think of my sobbing, frightened little granddaughter when I saw that?  She knew exactly what to do when she couldn’t do anything else. She was overwhelmed and she went to the rock.

I am so glad to be at this time in my life where I have the time to sit back and watch and wonder at the growth and development of this young mind and heart.  I am so glad to have the opportunity to witness her faith in action.,

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

The Bean and Me Book Club

The Bean and Me Book Club is a joint effort of my granddaughter and I to read the same books and review them.  Obviously these are youth books but don’t mistake that for being childish or simplistic.  Some of the books Bean brings to the table are really good and very engaging for an adult as well.

Right now I am reading “Wish” on her recommendation.  It is about Charlie, a girl who has been shipped off to live with her aunt and uncle because her mom is severely depressed and can’t get out of bed and her dad is in jail.  She doesn’t fit in very well in her school and she has a chip on her shoulder as big as the county.  She has become obsessed with rescuing and caring for a stray dog that has been lurking about trying to get her attention.  Her uncle and her friend Howard, who walks up down (limps) are going to help her.

That is my stopping point.  I am hoping that today they figure out where the dog goes when he is hiding out!  So far it is a good story although some of the circumstances are a little adult but certainly not unrealistic.  Bean handled it well and didn’t get bogged down in the sad parts.  She won’t tell me what happens so I guess I am going to have to finish soon so I can find out for myself.

I will let you know!


I read some really lovely blogs.  I love visiting with my blog friends every day and seeing what is going on in their lives.  I love seeing all the photos as well.  It makes me think about my own blog and not in a very good way.

I enjoy playing with the layouts and color combos.  I get a kick out of different fonts. However what doesn’t seem to be as good as it should be is the content.  That is sort of a big deal because that is why people visit blogs.  So I am thinking about being a bit more organized about my writing.  I am thinking about assigning a topic for each day of the week.  For example, Monday could be The Trixie Chronicles, Tuesday could be the Bean and Me Book Club, Wednesday could be about cardmaking, Thursday could be about faith (that should actually be first), Friday could be about cooking or fashion or something.  Anyway, you get the picture.  So, since yesterday I introduced The Trixie Chronicles, I think today will be about the Bean and Me Book Club.

I have always thought blogs should be sort of random but that makes it difficult sometimes when there is no direction.  I really enjoy blogging because it gives me a venue to write.  My goal in life was to be a writer and, of course, that didn’t happen but I still like to put my thoughts down on paper. Sometimes it is a great way to clear your mind.

So, I am hoping to be a better blogger with a plan.  We will see how it goes.

And here are some photos for you — my fairy gardens in pots

Monday, July 08, 2019

The Trixie Chronicles

Hi there! My name is Trixie and I am a 4 month old Yorkshire Terrier.  I came to live with Mommy Nona and Grampsey two weeks ago.  I came from Cleburne where I  lived with my four sisters.   I am  not much dog —less than five pounds —but I am so much more than that.  I am a supreme escape artist, a potty training challenge, a cuddly ball of fluff and an Olympic grade runner every night about 8 pm.

I am also a practical joker.  The first two days I was here my human folks thought I was so quiet and polite.  I didn’t let them hear my big threatening bark for the first week.  I had to laugh because the first time Mommy Nona heard me she wasn’t sure it was a bark!  I really only bark when they put me in my crate and I don’t want to be there.  Seems they think it’s ok to ignore me.  Hmmmmp.

Mommy Nona is really beside herself because no matter how hard she tries I still have accidents in
the house.  I am really stealthy like.  So today we went on an outing to Petco.  I went and even got to ride outside my crate.  BUT, when we got there she bought a big box and some pellets and she thinks she is going to make me potty like a cat!  Haha, Mommy Nona is so fun——-ny!  We all know that isn’t going to work but we will play the game for a while because apparently she doesn’t have anything else to do.  It does look like the laundry is piling up though. Oh, the pellets are really tasty too.

So, the last two weeks have been interesting.  I have been loved on (that’s nice), yelled at (just once), taken outside a bazillion times and told to “go potty” more than that.  I am pretty independent, really slippery, rather tiny and loved by everybody even if I have no intention of ever telling them when I need to go out.

Well, it is past my bedtime.  So until the next time......Nighty nite from me, the Trixster!  Oh, hi Jack!

Monday, June 24, 2019


Today this happened

Meet Trixie Brinkley.  I hope I get some sleep tonight.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Summer Has Arrived

Not much has been going on — thank goodness.  We had a tornado that tore up the street behind my daughter and broke a big tree in our yard.  I will never get used to the weather in North Texas.  Girl Scouts is over for the year so that activity is on hiatus.  One set of kids has already been to Disney and the other set is getting ready for the UK.  It will be quiet around here for a while.

It has taken me since April to get my husband an appointment with an endocrinologist.  It has been like pulling solid teeth but we are going next week to see if we can get his blood sugar under control again.  I am trying to decide if I want to go to an eye doctor close to home or go back to the guy I have been going to for years. I really can’t decide but my cute, trendy glasses are driving me crazy.

And.......I am thinking about getting a dog.  It is a toss up between a Maltichon (Maltese/Bichon Frise  mix) and another Cairn Terrier.  I have been reading about the maltichon and it seems they are adorable, companion dogs that make good support dogs BUT they can be needy and anxiety ridden.  Just what I need, another anxiety ridden something in my life.  The Cairn, well I have had one before and she was lovely but I think I am at the bottom of a very long waiting list.  Whatever I get has to be hypoallergenic which there really is no such thing but, well, we have too many allergies.  If I were a younger, non allergic woman, I would have a labradoodle but....yeah.  I would love to have a Norwich Terrier but they don’t grow them in Texas.  I think I am fixin to go down the rabbit hole.

So, that is what is going on here when things get slow.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

See the Nest

See the nest at the top of my page?  Well two of the four eggs have hatched into little baby cardinals. It must have just happened because they look REALLY new.  I will try to get some photos later!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Today in the Garden

Storms are coming so Hubs is rushing to get the trimming finished. This week has been our big spring clean up week and we are getting done just in time.

Bird nest in bush

The deck from the yard

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Sunday, May 26, 2019


And this was today. “Pinocchio” at Bass Performance Hall.
 Fantastic! Thank you kids!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

I just finished “A Spool of Blue Thread” by Anne  Tyler.  I have read several Anne Tyler titles and have had the same reaction to each of them. As I am reading I am thinking how tedious and mundane the story is. It is compelling enough to keep me reading but I am struck as how the story is so ordinary.

And then it ends and I am sorry because I am struck about how powerful the story really was.  This was the case with this book as well.

It is the story of the Whitshank family—Red and Abby and their four children. The story travels back to the story of the previous generation as well.  It is the story of everyday life and death, coming of age, secrets—the stuff of life.

I recommend.

My little book buddy is a little bear called Flags.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Snowball, Computers and Hubby

The day of the funeral for Snowball there was much concern around her actual demise. In explanation, she didn't look deceased in that way that hamsters do.  So, after much deliberation amongst us adults, the decision was made to wait another day to see if possibly she was hibernating.  She wasn't.

So Friday, after girl scouts, we laid the poor little thing to rest.
I have plans for a marker but it rained so it has been out on hold.  I will post photos when we are done.

My laptop has died. Writing this on a tablet is difficult.  Not sure what I am going to do .

Husband's sleep issues are solved with the removal of Lantus from his med routine but his blood sugar is high .We have been referred to an endocrinologist for evaluation and hopefully quick resolution of the issue . I will let you know how that goes.

I really don't like autocorrect.

Thursday, May 16, 2019


Bean wanted a pet.  She is allergic to dogs and cats.  So, about a year and a half ago she got a hamster named Sprinkles.  Sprinkles is a winter white dwarf hamster and is very small. Sprinkles adapted well and is quite happy in her home.

Fast forward about six months and Bean thought she could handle a second hamster.  Enter Snowball -- another of the same variety but really rather huge and quite the acrobatic comedian. She has been quite entertaining and a joy to have.

Moving on to yesterday -- they all returned home to find Snowball asleep on top of her bedding, breathing very shallow and unresponsive.  Crisis ensused.  Daddy was summoned from the grocery store to deal with the unthinkable.

After much research, Daddy decided that Snowball might be hibernating, something that even  hamster house pets can do even though I had never heard of it.

So, Snowball was covered with a little fleece blanket and watched to see if warming her up would produce a miracle.

Apparently she moved out from under the blanket during the night but when they looked at her this morning she was no longer breathing and her ears were flat.

Daddy still thought she might be hibernating so he covered her up again and put a warm water bottle in the cage with her to see if he could warm her up. 

That was the last I heard.

My daughter doesn't think she is hibernating, she believes she has gone to hammy heaven.  I have no clue because I have never heard of hamsters hibernating even though I have had many hamsters in my children's lives. 

The funeral is planned for this evening in my back yard.

Unless there is a miracle resurrection.

I will let you know. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Not Gone

I am not gone, just  preoccupied with the stuff of life.  On March 23 my husband had a stroke from which he completely recovered with no lasting effects.  Then on Easter Sunday I had to send him back to the hospital with dangerous hypoglycemia.  His blood sugar had tanked.  They took him off his insulin and he hasn't had it happen again but his blood sugar is running too high and we are trying to adjust his diet and exercise to maybe make a difference.

So, I am up to my eyeballs in exchange diets and trying how to make fried chicken without actually frying it and -- well, you know -- trying to keep him alive and happy. 

So, I will be back with a couple of book reviews.  Otherwise all is well, just swamped.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Bean and Me Book Club -- The War That Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won

Recently I read two of Bean's recommendations -- "The War That Saved My Life" and it's sequel "The War I Finally Won" by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

In the first book, "The War That Saved My Life", we meet Ada, Jamie and Mam.  They live in London's East End in a tenement slum.  Ada, born with a club foot, is older sister to Jamie and their mother, Mam, is a cruel, abusive mother.  It is set at the beginning of World War II.

When the children were being evacuated from London to the English countryside for their safety, Mam didn't want Jamie to go and she wouldn't even think of Ada going, she was so ashamed of her being a cripple that she locked her in one room all the time and she wouldn't even consider them going.

But....the kids had other ideas.

I don't want to say too much because this is definitely a worthy read -- it flows, it reads well, it is truly a page turner.  It is emotional and satisfying all at the same time.

Then, moving on to the sequel -  it brings the children and the people in their lives further into the war with some frightening events but you see how they grow and learn how to make do, do without and still learn to love.

I absolutely loved these books.  Even though they are written for ages 9-12, I was totally taken in by them and enjoyed them thoroughly and recommend without reservation.

Bean's description  --  "these books are amazing!"

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Bean and Me Book Club -- Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

I just finished "Pugs of the Frozen North".  It is the story of Shem and Sika, two children who during the True Winter decide to take Shem's 66 pugs and a sled on a sled race to get to the Snowfather. Sika wanted to ask the Snowfather to heal her grandfather and make him well to be able to make the race himself during the next True Winter.

The children met with all sorts of peril and danger along the way.  My favorite was the Yeti Noodle Bar where one could get trapped forever if one was not careful.

The Bean loved this book but she is perplexed that it has taken me weeks to finish it and she accomplished that in an hour.  It is a cute book, good message and great illustrations. 

I would recommend for school age children and adults who want to get lost in the fantasy.

Temple Secrets by Susan Gabriel

As you probably remember, my family vacationed in Savannah, Georgia last year. I was completely taken with the place, the culture, the food, the architecture -- yes, I could live there -- well, in the winter anyway because I understand that the summers are pretty bad with the heat.

So, since then, I have been reading a lot of books that involve Savannah.  The latest is "Temple Secrets" by Susan Gabriel.

It is the story of the Temple family -- a generations old Savannah family with connections to slavery and a whole lot of secrets.  The family is a blended family -- black and white -- wealthy landowners and slaves in the past and this is the modern day remnants of that family.

The main characters would appear to be Iris Temple, along with the  daughter and granddaughter of the some of the most influential men of Savannah at their time.  However, Iris's demise takes her out of the story pretty early and the attention goes to her half sister, Queenie, and her granddaughter, Violet.  Queenie is the daughter of Iris's father and Old Sally, a black housekeeper at the time.

Then there is Rose.  Rose is Iris's daughter with her husband Oscar.  She is Violet's half sister with Queenie being Violet's mother and Oscar being Violet's father.  History repeating itself.

And I thought my family tree was confusing.

And then there is the Book of Secrets.  It is a ledger that was kept of all the indiscretions of Savannah's rich and famous over the decades.   This book takes on a life of its own.

And Edward -- what an idiot.

And the ghosts.

I will just leave that here.  If you love Savannah, the south, ghosts or a humorous, messed up family story this is the book for you. 

Next on my list -- the sequel  -- "Gullah Secrets". Hopefully it will be just as enjoyable.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Food as Medicine or Is It My Imagination?

Ok, since my husband was released from the hospital  we  have been following an 1800 calorie diabetic eating plan.  The first few days were a little daunting because I haven't meal planned in forever.  I also haven't weighed and measured food since my last attempt at calorie counting.

Fast forward to today -- it has gotten much easier, Hubs is eating what I cook, I am learning some kitchen tricks to keep myself sane and I am not dreading the activity quite as much.

However, I have noticed something that is sort of surprising.  I feel completely different.  I have lost seven pounds and I feel like my digestion has improved.  Those are things one would expect when changing your diet completely.

But......what I wasn't expecting is that my joints are so much better. I am less stiff. I even got on the floor to look for something under the bed.  I was shocked.

Is it possible that changing a diet could make your joints quit hurting?  Very interesting.

Just thought I would share.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Can't Catch a Break

Ok, we have done the two follow-up appointments for my husband with the cardiologist and the neurologist.  Both appointments were positive, no restrictions on him and future appointments made. 

Then we discussed the "sleep" issues he is having and they are going to schedule him for a sleep study.  It is two parts -- one overnight for sleep apnea and then one during the day.  Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

So, in the middle of it all I had to take the Bean to the doctor yesterday for a cough she has had.  Doctor said she has a cold, it is viral, go home and let it run its course.

Fast forward to today -- I had to go get her early because she is running 102 fever. 

We are back to the doctor for a whooping cough test. It is going around the school.

Really?  Seriously?


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Lord, Please Give Me Patience

Right before I got married my future mother-in-law told me "I tried to teach him to eat.  It's your problem now. Good Luck."

We are several days into an 1800 calorie diabetic diet. It is a very, VERY balanced diet.  Almost anything can be enjoyed on this diet in the portions allowed on the diet.  There is only one snack and that is in the evening.  It isn't a bad diet, I am following it as well and have lost five pounds.  The thing to get used to is having just a small amount of starch and not eating between meals. 

Ok, so my husband has done really well but he is now beginning to balk about the food.  I am not a chef.  I am not even a very good home cook.  I mean, one time when I was pregnant with my daughter, we ate boxed mac and cheese five nights in a row.  Doing all of this is clearly out of my comfort zone.

So, he complained about the green beans at lunch and offered to take me out to dinner.  He said I needed a break.  I think HE needs restaurant food which we are supposed to be weaning ourselves from.

I had to have our daughter "speak" to him.  Sad.

I am thinking of sending him for a little visit to his sister.

Friday, March 29, 2019

The Case of the Dysfunctional Housewife

I have been married FOREVER -- 47 years in July.  I have been a stay at home mom for 44 of those years.  You would think I would have learned something, wouldn't you?

Fast forward to now.  I don't care for cooking and Hubby doesn't really care of my cooking.  In all honesty, I don't really blame him.  The reality of it is -- I don't much care for anything that goes on in the kitchen.

However, after his small stroke last week we have come to the stark realization that we have to mend our evil ways.  After a dressing down by the general practice doctor I have pulled out all my diabetes books and, following the eating plan they had him on in the hospital, we are now following an 1800 calorie diabetic plan.

I am eating the same food and not doing too badly planning the meals according to the exchanges.  We certainly aren't hungry and I have been reasonably successful in making it palatable enough for this meat and potatoes guy.

So, why am I dysfunctional?  It has been so long since I have done anything like this that I don't think about cooking anything until it is time to put it on the plate which means nothing is thawed out, nothing is washed and prepped, and here I stand .....

So, I am having to think ahead.  I am having to restock my kitchen and find my storage dishes.  I am also aware that I am going to have to buy more measuring utensils so I don't have to keep washing them as I prep.

And the dishes --oh the amount of dishes is much more than I had figured.  Prepping three meals and washing the dishes is like taking me all day.

There has to be a more efficient way, I just haven't figured out what it is yet,

Now, make no mistake, I am not complaining.  I am so thankful this man is still here for me to measure out his cereal and weigh his vegetables that there are no words to express my gratitude.

But, oh my goodness, the dishes!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

If It's Not One Thing It is Another.....

my aunt used to say that all the time and it appears she was a very wise and knowledgeable little lady.

It happened again Saturday morning.  We were just getting into our day when my husband walked into our study to look at something, came back to ask me a question and discovered he couldn't speak.

He has an evil sense of humor and I thought he was playing with me.  Upon further observation, I discovered he wasn't.

We got dressed, called for an ambulance and headed for the hospital -- one that specializes in stroke care because he was exhibiting all the classic symptoms of a stroke.  Oddly, however, he walked in, got dressed, combed his hair, brushed his teeth, gathered his wallet and other items, put on his shoes and socks and waited for the ambulance to arrive.

Halfway through the 20 minute drive to the hospital the situation resolved itself and he was speaking plainly, laughing, talking about our granddaughter and signing papers.  Immediately upon arrival they started doing stroke assessment tests and he had no deficits and never experienced any symptoms again.

He was tested, MRI'd, CT scanned, walked, prodded, drained of blood, questioned (raise your eyebrows, stick your tongue out, follow my finger, touch my nose, now touch your nose, what is happening in this picture I am showing you) and assessed.

He was sent home yesterday without restrictions.  We had lunch and went to Target. 

The most bizarre situation I have ever seen.

Why did this happen?  Probably an acute blood pressure spike incident.  Diabetes that is not well controlled could have been involved. 

So, meds have been changed and fiddled with.  We are now following a diabetic exchange diet which we have never used before so it is a learning curve for this old brain but not too terrible.  We are visiting with our family doctor today -- I am sure he isn't going to be happy with us but oh well. 

His blood sugar (my husband, not the doctor) has been falling very low in the mornings.  He has also been having some rather disturbing symptoms of a sleep disorder.  After watching what went on in the hospital I was beginning to conclude that the sleep disturbances were due to something physiological -- oh, say, blood sugar that is too low.  So, I asked the neurologist and she assured me that it could most definitely be connected.  I asked the dietician (who looked like a 12 year old) and she also assured me that the blood sugar issues could, in fact, cause such symptoms.

So, we are now on an exchange diet which is proving to be a bit of a challenge for me.  However, I saw a huge difference this morning.  He woke up normally and, even though he wanted to go back to sleep, he had his wits and control enough to make himself get up and get busy (I mean, seriously, NOBODY wants to get up do they?) and his blood sugar was a much healthier number which just sort of proves what the doctors said.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't tired.  I am but I am so very thankful that this wasn't worse than it was.  I am thankful that the hospital was specialized, that he was thoroughly tested and we have the opportunity to try to get things under control.

I have said that I think this was a blessing in disguise, God's little tap on the shoulder to say "hey, Al, you need to get your stuff together, you just ain't living right".  While that may sound silly or extreme to some, it is what I believe. We are blessed.

God is good ALL the time an God's way is the right way, ALL the time.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Did You Miss Me?

Last week was spring break here in most of Texas.  My daughter decided to do a repeat performance of last  year and take her daughter on a Girl Scout patch/badge seeking adventure across Texas.  Texas has lots of history so there were quite a few opportunities to learn the history and to earn more bling for the GS vest.

We decided to tag along and were also joined by our son and his family.  That is the first time for this sort of adventure with all of us together.

We were gone for eight days and visited a number of places in several cities.  I will share this trip across several posts.

We left last Saturday morning and headed South to Austin where we toured the Capitol building.  I had never seen the Capitol and I still didn't see it because the walk to the building from the parking garage sent my knees into despair so I sat out the whole thing.  There were benches in the rotunda though so I had a nice view of things and a comfortable place to hang out.

After the Capitol we toured the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum located close to the Capitol.

Thanks to my daughter for sharing her photos with me.  I charged my camera overnight but apparently my battery was "exhausted".  I have ordered a new battery.

Tamara's Child by B.K. Mayo

I recently completed "Tamara's Child" by B.K. Mayo.  It is an award winning YA novel.

I enjoyed this book a great deal -- it was intense, engaging, a bit frightening and rather sad.  For me, it was a page turner.

"Tamara's Child" is an apt title -- it is the story of Tamara, a troubled teen running from a bad situation into a worse situation which I am sure is not uncommon.  She is pregnant with no place to go until she lands at her step-brother's house.  Her stay there was no walk in the park.  She finds herself in a twisted plot situation and in trouble with the law. 

Events advance, time passes, and the book ends with Tamara as a middle aged adult coming to terms with her past.

I don't want to divulge too much information because this is truly worth the read.  I enjoyed it although it ticked all of my emotions but then, that is probably why I enjoyed it.

I recommend this book without reservation.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Bean and Me Book Club--The Iron Man by Ted Hughes

Bean recommended that I read "The Iron Man" by Ted Hughes. Ted Hughes (1930 - 1998) was an English poet and children's author.  He held the title of poet laureate from 1984 until his death.  He had very impressive credentials.

However, this was a very odd book.  I kept thinking that it was very 1984ish.  I have looked for any analysis that would clue me in to what it REALLY is about.

I am going to have to think about this book before I say much about it or recommend it.

It was odd.

That's all.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Photo Heavy -- Again with the Crafting

It is cold.  I have been playing.  I am finding that you get really good exercise if you put in a load of laundry and run (not really run) upstairs for 30 minutes to craft and then back down to put the clothes in the dryer and back up -- and repeat -- all day.

Here are the fruits of my efforts.  None are really finished yet. 

An Easter card using a digistamp

Another digistamp and unusual color combo

trying my hand at a water color background.  It looks like a bruise

another watercolor background

I think the sun should have been lower

Easter Card but I need something at the top. Probably the sentiment.  

Time to take the laundry out of the dryer

A Day Late but.......anyway

I should have written this yesterday but it was a long day and I fell asleep.  My bad.

March 3, 1898 this lad was born in Sabine County, Texas. His name is Aaron Patrick Boyett.  He is my grandfather.

His parents were Robert Edgar Boyett and Clarissa Abi Conn Boyett.  They were East Texas farmers.

A.P., as he was called, lived all over Texas as an adult.  He had a tailor shop in Junction, and worked as a game warden in several areas including Possum Kingdom and the San Marcos area.  He also drove a big rig for a while.

He married my grandmother Phyllis Giles in 1922 and they remained married until his death in 1956. In addition to my dad, they had a daughter, Marice, born in 1933.

I adored my grandfather.  I didn't get to see him as often as I would have liked because we didn't live in the same city but I really enjoyed it when he came to visit.  I am glad I had him until I was old enough to remember him.

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Bean and Me Book Club -- Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillio

Ok, I finished "Because of Winn Dixie" this morning and I have to say it is a bit of a tear jerker.  I loved it.  Clearly, it is a book for young people but it is well written and the lessons it teaches are so well developed. 

I was almost done yesterday so Bean and I sat down and had a discussion about it.  I was at the point that I didn't know if Winn Dixie was gone for good and I was a little anxious about it.  She laughed and said I would just have to finish and find out but then she gave in and told me. 

But, I won't tell you .

Quick read, well written, beautiful characterization and setting.

Yep, I recommend.

I might start reading YA books exclusively!

Saturday 9 -- Haven't done this for a while

Saturday 9: Come Saturday Morning (1969)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) What are your plans for this Saturday morning? 

Soon I am going to make a cup of tea and look at laundry.  I may or may not do said laundry but I am going to look at it.

2) In this song, a man sings of going away for the day with a friend. Where did you go on your last day trip?

 I have no clue.  We don't go on day trips.

3) The lyrics say, "we will remember long after Saturday's gone." What's something you've done recently that you predict you'll remember for a long time to come?
 Well, it isn't really recent but last spring break we went on a road trip with our daughter and granddaughter.  We did Girl Scout badging from here to Savannah, Georgia where we ultimately visited the home of Juliet Gordon Lowe.  This year we are going to do a similar thing here in our home state and will be visiting several spots -- some even I have never been too -- in the quest for more Girl Scout badges and an indepth understanding of Texas history.

4) This song was the Oscar-nominated theme from the movie The Sterile Cuckoo. What's the first movie song that pops into your head?  "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" from My Fair Lady.

5) In the movie, Liza Minnelli played Mary Ann Adams, an eccentric girl everyone called "Pookie." Have you ever been known by a memorable nickname? Who gave it to you? mother tried to call me Missy (short for Melissa) but my dad decided that Messy would work better.  She didn't like that.  So, I was ultimately called Liss -- or Lissie -- or Lissie Lou -- the Liss stuck and it still does.

6) Today's group began their career as The Grads. Recording artist/producer Herb Alpert liked their sound but hated their name. Alpert picked "sandpiper" at random out of the dictionary. Do you still have and use a bound dictionary? Or do you rely on the internet for word searches and spelling?  I have several but I tend to use the internet

7) The biggest news story of 1969, the year this song was popular, was one of the biggest news stories of all time. On July 20, Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon. Other than the moon landing, what's the most consequential event that you've seen in your lifetime. How do you feel it changed America, and the world? The JFK assassination and 9/11.  I don't really know how it made the country as a whole feel but I felt very vulnerable.

8)1969 was a big year for music festivals, with Atlanta, Toronto and Woodstock all holding famous fests. Have you visited Georgia, Ontario or New York (state)? I have been to Georgia.  And I loved it.

9) Random question -- According to some plant enthusiasts, house plants do better when they're spoken to. Do you talk to your plants? I don't have plants -- I don't do well with them.  I have been thinking about trying though.


Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Bean and Me Book Club -- Because of Winn Dixie by Kate Di Camillo

My granddaughter is an avid reader.  I am proud of this and thankful for it because it is my belief that if you can read you have the world in your hands. 

She is now 8 and is reading fairly advanced and sophisticated books (i.e. Harry Potter).  She has asked me to read some of the books that she has found particularly compelling.

So, we started the Bean and Me Book Club.  This is how it works.  She reads the books, recommends them to me (and loans them to me sometimes -- the kid has an impressive personal library) and then I read them.

Our most recent read is "Because of Winn Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo.  I saw the movie years ago and enjoyed it and am really looking forward to starting this book.  I am sure it will be one of those I can't put down and it will probably be a quick read.  It is on my Kindle and I always read faster on the device. 

The queue is growing and I was told this morning what I will be reading when I am done with this.  It looks like a good variety.  I love that we are able to share this love of reading.

I might even start a blog devoted completely to his book club.  I have to think about that.

The Water Tower Club

I just finished reading "The Water Tower Club" by B.K. Mayo. I discovered this book when it was reviewed on my cousin's blog (  Michael gave it a very positive review and it sounded like something I would enjoy so I purchased the book for my Kindle.

Now, it didn't hurt that the author, B.K. Mayo, was an alumni of my high school that I had met once when Michael married my cousin Joy in San Antonio.  It also didn't hurt that the book had San Antonio ties.  So, forth I charged.

The main character of the story is Darryl Coombs, a transplanted San Antonian who was in a rather complicated relationship with Charlotte.  The story revolves around Darryl Coombs returning to his hometown of Grotin to try to save his sister, Libbey, who had, for some unexplainable reason, decided to attack City Councilman Bobby Hobson with a nail file and had been arrested.

Along the way, as Darryl tried to uncover the reason for the bizarre attack launched on Bobby by his sister,  he was forced to revisit his difficult youth and come to terms with all the ghosts he had shoved in his the back of his mind. 

And what did he learn about the attack waged on Bobby?   I am not going to tell you. You will have to  read the book but it is well developed and isn't at all contrived and chock full of secrets as well.

As the book progresses he deals with this past demons, gets his sister out of jail, makes amends with this mother and journeys home to San Antonio and to Charlotte, anxious to share his new  feeling of freedom from his past.

But, Charlotte isn't there.

I am not going to tell you where she is either.  You will have to read the book. 

I didn't know what to expect when I started this book but I have been very impressed.  It is so well written it just flows well.  So, I purchased another of Mayo's books -- "Tamara's Child" and am looking forward to it. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

It Is Wednesday and What Do We Have?

A relapsed Bean.  Temp of almost 101.  No headache, no sore throat, no body aches.  Just a fever and general malaise. 

I took her temperature myself.

I gave her ibuprofen at 1 p.m. and before it could even get into her system, the temp had broken and she was bright eyed and bushy tailed.

I said before this was the oddest flu and strep I have ever seen.  She has run fever for just a few hours twice since this started a week and a half ago and she didn't have a sore throat.

I am one baffled granny.

So, here we are. 

Monday, February 25, 2019

Good Morning, Monday!

It is Monday, the sun is shining and all is well in my world --I think.  The Bean is on the mend and destined to return to school today, we have a new clock which is helping Hubs with his sleep inertia -- I think, and we have sunshine and warm temps in our immediate future.  I couldn't be happier.

The weekend started with a Girl Scout meeting held in a local park.  The theme of the meeting was "letter boxing".  It is sort of like geocaching but without the co-ordinates.  Instead, it used instructions that you get off the internet.

 It was cold and it was dark and apparently, somewhere just beyond our route was a cow with glowing eyes.  They squealed with delight and "udder" fear -- get it?  We were only out there for an hour which was good since most of them had been battling illness and didn't need to be out in the damp, foggy weather.

They were cold and scared but they had so much fun.

Yesterday we spent at our other house doing some cleaning and getting ready to meet with our realtor.  Finally.  I have some observations about it that only come with age.

I grew up in post WW2 housing that had 8 ft. ceilings in the rooms, hardwood floors, tile kitchen counters and bathrooms and bathtubs that would not be confused with a swimming pool.  My mother was very short -- 5'1" -- and all she had to do was stand on a kitchen chair to change a light bulb.

Young people, when buying houses today, should recognize that they won't always be young and agile and they should assess whether what they are buying is going to be "do-able" when they aren't young anymore.

My poor husband was on a step stool and almost on the bathroom vanity to change out the light bulbs in the fixtures. One of those handy dandy gadgets that allows you to stand on the floor and grab the light bulb won't work in these small fixtures.  So, with his diabetic neuropathy, his arthritic hip and knees, there he was teetering around trying to put in a light bulb.

I climbed into the 18 inch deep jacuzzi tube (that I have always hated) to clean it out and I couldn't get back out again.  Climbing in was easy compared to climbing out.  The tub is a two person affair (laughable) and it is almost  impossible to clean by just wiping down.  I can no longer get on my knees to do that sort of thing and even if I could, my arms are too short to stretch across because it is a corner unit.  This doesn't address the massive glass shower enclosure that has to be cleaned constantly because of the lime scale. 

I know my mother complained about tile and cleaning grout and she was thrilled when formica became vogue.  I agree with the grout issue but I am not thrilled with the granite/marble used today either.  In my bathrooms at the other house there is black marble.  We have hard water.  It is impossible for water marks to not show up on that black marble.  Granite takes a lot of care and the pattern we have doesn't allow you to see anything that might be stuck on it.  You have to clean by touch.  My current home has formica in the kitchen and honestly, while not as fancy and impressive, I love it.

The floors in the "old" house are travertine marble which is very easy care and looks lovely but it has done a terrible number on my arthritis and is contributory to my current condition.  But, it looks impressive.

So, as I prepare this house to sell I am thinking longingly of those 1950's houses that were so simple and easy to take care of.  When we bought the house 14 years ago, it was advertised as being a community of garden homes, minimal care, perfect for retirees and empty nesters.  Well, it is a garden home community and they (the HOA) Do do the yard but as far as that minimal care -- not so much.

So, youngsters, if you can fast forward yourselves to an older, yet still awesome version of you (look at your parents or grandparents) make wise choices or one day you will be longing for a simple little bungalow with a plain bathtub and shower curtain and light fixtures you can maintain without having to hire somebody to do it.

Jumping off the soap box now.  Oh, wait, not jumping -- more like hobbling.