OCTOBER 6, 2016

As usual it’s been a LONG time since I posted anything. That’s partly because there hasn’t been a lot to talk about. And partly because I’m lazy. So there. I’ve said it.

Mike and I have been faithfully and consistently riding our bicycles.  Or, should I say, he’s riding a Bicycle and I’m riding my new TRicycle.  Yes.  I have an adult tricycle.  Here’s a picture of it:

trike

I get a lot of strange looks.  But I really don’t care.  I laminated a sign to put on the back side of the basket that reads:  “Never underestimate an old woman with a tricycle!”  When I’m riding past a house and people stare at me with a ‘you look dumb’ look on their face, I just smile and wave at them.  What I really want to say to them, however … as they’re sitting in their garage with a beer in their hand watching football on the big screen is:  “Don’t laugh.  At least I’m not sitting on my fat ass in my garage drinking beer and watching TV.  I’m at least trying to exercise!”  Yeah!  Take that, you losers!  Ha!

I try to ride about 50 miles per week.  I haven’t been real consistent yet because I only have 5 days out of the week that I can actually ride.  I go to a class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings after work so I can’t ride those days.  Once those classes are finished I can ride every, single day.  Hopefully I will be able to build up my riding time to more than 50 miles per week.

My daughter and son-in-love have bought themselves their first house in Colorado Springs.  I’m very excited for them.  They will officially close on October 17th.  Mike and I plan to drive up Thanksgiving week to spend Thanksgiving with them.

Until next time … whenever that is …

AUGUST 8, 2016

As usual I’ve not visited my blog in quite awhile. To be honest with you, I forget! And speaking of that, I’ve had quite a few senior moments lately. Sheeesh!

The worst and most embarrassing one happened last week.  Micki, my co-worker, has her leg in a cast so when I go out for lunch I usually offer to bring her something back with me.  One day last week we decided that we’d do Schlotzsky’s for lunch.  So she wrote down the kind of sandwich she wanted.  I think I’ve only been to Schlotzsky’s maybe two times in my life.  So I looked at their menu on line, decided what I wanted, and took her note and headed that way.

The drive-thru is on the back side of the building and it was a rainy day so I decided to use that.  I pulled up to the speaker and the nice, young lady asked if she could help me.  Here’s how the conversation went:

THEM:  May I help you?

ME:  Yes.  I’d like a regular combo with potato chips and an extra large drink.

THEM:  [Silence for a moment]  Ma’am, did you say a regular with chips?

ME:  Yes…. [by this time I realized we were having a misunderstanding]  You know what?  I’ll just pull around front and come inside.

THEM:  OK

So I park out front, go inside, and there stands the manager.

ME:  I think I confused your young lady when I ordered at the drive-thru.  I’d like to order a regular combo with chips and an extra large drink.

MANAGER:  We don’t have chips.  Would you rather have french fries?

ME:  Really?  Then why does your website menu list chips?

MANAGER:  Ma’am … Carl’s Jr. has never had chips.

At which time I realized I was in the wrong restaurant! SCHLOTZSKY’S IS NEXT DOOR TO CARL’S JR!

Yep … I actually did that!  I apologized profusely and headed next door to order from Schlotzsky’s … getting old isn’t for sissies!

Until next time …

JULY 13, 2016

I’ve had time to recoup from my emotional weekend. And while my heart still hurts for all those involved, I am slowly getting back to calm. For those of you who prayed for me … thank you.

Last night I attended my CPA [Citizen’s Police Academy] advanced class.  It’s a free class for anyone who wants to learn more about the City of La Porte.  We meet on Tuesday nights at the police station.  Our guest speakers last night were the Fire Marshall and the Emergency Operations Manager.  I learned a lot about fires.  We were shown pictures of fire scenes and taught how the investigators go about the process of determining whether the fire was accidental or intentional. The most interesting speaker, however, was the EOC Manager.  I learned so much about how our City manages when a disaster strikes such as a hurricane or a hazmat [chemical plant problem] issue.  Being the EOC Manager is definitely a daunting job!

Until next time …

JULY 10, 2016

This has been an emotional week for me. The shootings in Dallas have literally made me weep. My heart is broken. To think that a black guy deliberately set out to kill white cops … the very cops that were there protecting them/him as they protested how bad white cops treat blacks … just blows my mind! Why?! The hatred is out of control. I fear that the race wars are only beginning.

I don’t feel comfortable talking about this on social media [i.e., Facebook] because being the kind of person I am, I don’t want to deliberately cause strife or make someone think I hate them.  And someone I respect made it clear that if any of his friends on Facebook posted anything to keep this stirred up, he would “have a talk” with them.

But this is my personal website and I WILL post my feelings here.

Tonight, those feelings are two-fold.  Part of me is sad.  Sad for the loss of life of all involved.  Sad because people are willing to expend so much time hating.  And the other part is mad as hell.  Mad because I have good friends in law enforcement.  Mad because I know that when they put on that uniform each day, they pray that they return home to their loved ones.  Mad because of the death threats … yes … death threats my friend has received this week.  Seven of them!  Seven!  And one of them to her face!  And I stood and held her and cried with her this morning.

I grew up in a family that taught prejudice against anyone that was different in color.  I am now almost 64 years old and have worked extremely hard during my lifetime to overcome what I was taught.  I raised my children to have respect, regardless of a person’s skin color, because God made us all.  And by the grace of God, my children have grown into awesome adults.

I am a broken woman, living in a very broken world.  God help us all.

JUNE 28, 2016

Isn’t it strange how something that happened over 40 years ago can still dredge up unpleasant memories? Maybe that means that even though I feel as if I’ve dealt with it, I really haven’t. Today has been one of those days.  We had a lady come into our office who was fleeing from her abusive husband and it came flooding back to me.

First, though, let me give you some background.  I got married in 1972 to a man [not my current husband] who was an abuser … of women.  I was barely 19 years old when I married him.  He was 26, had lived a very colorful life, and I’m being polite by calling it “colorful.”  I was extremely naive, having been over-protected by my parents.  I was totally unprepared for the real world out there.  Paul was an alcoholic, but I didn’t know about any warning signs to look for so I just thought he liked to drink.  And to be honest, I felt a tad bit rebellious and dating him was exciting.  I was doing all the things my parents had told me not to do.  I was drinking, staying out all hours of the night, and riding Harley motorcycles with an unsavory group of people.

Not long after we were married Paul’s verbal abuse and jealousy turned to the physical.  It started out with being slapped in the face … one time so hard that my eyeglasses flew across the room and broke.   Then he began to monitor my time.  I had to come straight home from work and if I was 5 minutes late, he accused me of stopping off to meet another man.  He isolated me from my family.  When I was allowed to be around them, he was with me and painted a picture of a loving husband.  He chipped away at my self-esteem until I began to believe every word he said about me.  “You’re fat and ugly.”  “You’d better be thankful I married you because nobody else would want you.”  “You’re stupid and never do anything right.”

The crowning blow for me came when I got pregnant.  I was 4 1/2 months along.  One night Paul came home from the beer joint.  He was drunk [as usual] and mad about something.  He started arguing with me the moment he came in the house.  Before I knew it, he had punched me with his fist … in my stomach … and I landed against the wall and slid to the floor.  The next morning I was bleeding.  The day after that I had a miscarriage.

So, to go back to my original thought when I started typing … when the lady and her two small children came in, my heart broke for them.  And all these bad memories came flooding back like it had just happened yesterday rather than 40+ years ago.  Some days I’m thankful that I have a caring heart.  Some days I wish I didn’t.

Until next time …

JUNE 16, 2016

More random thoughts … brought to you by Jeff Foxworthy:

By Jeff Foxworthy:

If plastic water bottles are okay, but plastic bags are banned, — you might live in a nation (state) that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots

If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for entering and remaining in the country illegally — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or to take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you MUST show your identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor, or check out a library book and rent a video, but not to vote for who runs the government — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If the government wants to prevent stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds, but gives twenty F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If, in the nation’s largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not one 24-ounce soda, because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If an 80-year-old woman who is confined to a wheelchair or a three-year-old girl can be strip-searched by the TSA at the airport, but a woman in a burka or a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If a seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is “cute” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government regulation and intrusion while not working is rewarded with Food Stamps, WIC checks, Medicaid benefits, subsidized housing, and free cell phones — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big-screen TV, while your neighbor buys iPhones, time shares, a wall-sized do-it-all plasma screen TV and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If being stripped of your Constitutional right to defend yourself makes you more “safe” according to the government — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

Now let’s see if I got this right …

  1. IF YOU CROSS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YEARS HARD LABOR.
  2. IF YOU CROSS THE IRANIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU ARE DETAINED INDEFINITELY.
  3. IF YOU CROSS THE AFGHAN BORDER ILLEGALLY, YOU GET SHOT.
  4. IF YOU CROSS THE SAUDI ARABIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE JAILED.
  5. IF YOU CROSS THE CHINESE BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU MAY NEVER BE HEARD FROM AGAIN.
  6. IF YOU CROSS THE VENEZUELAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE BRANDED A SPY AND YOUR FATE WILL BE SEALED.
  7. IF YOU CROSS THE CUBAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE THROWN INTO POLITICAL PRISON TO ROT.
  8. IF YOU CROSS THE U.S. BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET …… A JOB, A DRIVERS LICENSE, SOCIAL SECURITY CARD, WELFARE, FOOD STAMPS, CREDIT CARDS, SUBSIDIZED RENT OR A LOAN TO BUY A HOUSE, FREE EDUCATION, FREE HEALTH CARE, A LOBBYIST IN WASHINGTON, BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS PRINTED IN YOUR LANGUAGE, THE RIGHT TO CARRY YOUR COUNTRY’S FLAG WHILE YOU PROTEST THAT YOU DON’T GET ENOUGH RESPECT AND, IN MANY INSTANCES, YOU CAN VOTE.

I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE I HAD A FIRM GRASP ON THE SITUATION !!!

JUNE 14, 2016

My heart has been heavy the last few days since learning of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. I have so many conflicting emotions at the moment. For starters, my prayers and sympathies go to the families of all those who were killed or injured. Regardless of their choice of lifestyle … being at a gay club … they did not deserve to have that happen to them.  So, I’m just going to put my thoughts out here.  Random as they may be.

  1. I am a conservative, Bible-believing woman and my faith teaches me that homosexuality is a sin.  But my faith also teaches me that I am to LOVE the sinner and not the sin. So many Christians get that all wrong, I think.  No sin is bigger than another.  Some people sin through greed or gluttony or one of the other 7 deadly sins the Bible talks about.  I’m so thankful God loves me in spite of my sin.
  2. I don’t hate those of the Muslim religion [or any other religion/denomination for that matter] but I will say this.  Any religion or belief that calls for you to murder people who are not like you is wrong.  Not all Muslims are terrorists … but almost every terrorist is a Muslim.  What does that say to you?
  3. When will gay people realize that the Muslim religion is not their friend?  I saw pictures of gay people marching after the shooting with signs saying “we love Muslims.”  Don’t they realize that one of the tenents of Muslim faith is that homosexuals are to be murdered?
  4. I’m sick of double standards in today’s world.  Examples?  Okay, why is it okay to be proud that you’re gay but not okay to be proud you’re a Christian?  Why is it okay to have black pride or mexican pride but be called racist if you have white pride?  Why is standing up for your belief considered bigotry but another person’s belief is praised?  These questions bother me and keep my spirit and soul disturbed.
  5. And let me add something about all the political correctness in our society today.  I don’t agree with just being rude and ugly to someone who’s different than myself but why aren’t I entitled to my opinion just like they are?

I have such different opinions of things in today’s society yet I’m afraid to express them openly.  I have to ask myself “what does that say about me?  Am I spineless?  Am I a coward?”

Like I said … my heart and soul is troubled … so much to contemplate …

JUNE 8, 2016

A couple of random thoughts today …

This week is Vacation Bible School at our church. Each year I host a special place for the teachers and volunteers that I call the “Relaxation Station.” The room I use is very quiet and I keep the florescent lights off. Instead, I place small wattage lamps throughout the room. I have peaceful, serene music playing softly in the background … waterfalls, the sound of the ocean …  I also provide snacks for the teachers.  We have small groups take turns bringing the snacks each night.  Usually we get chips/dips, luscious desserts, vegetable and fruit trays, etc.  While the teachers’ kiddos are in recreation time, the teachers come to relax and rejuvenate.  It is something that I enjoy doing for them and something that they look forward to each year.

I recently started using essential oils.  A friend of mine had a party and it piqued my interest.  So I ordered a kit and I have to say, in spite of the fact that I have tried to disprove their medicinal value, I have not been successful!  I’ve learned a lot about the different ways essential oils can be used for every day aches and pains.  My daughter and son-in-love were down here a few weeks ago and she got sunburned pretty bad.  I looked up “sunburn” in my information, put together some oils in a spray bottle, and we sprayed her sunburn.  I’m not kidding you.  She was red, red, red before we sprayed the oils on her and by morning she did not have any redness.  The daughter of my best friend suffers from migraine headaches.  She has about 13 or 14 of them each month.  They pretty much incapacitate her.  So I found a “recipe” to put together a pain relief capsule for her.  To be honest, I really didn’t think it would alleviate her migraine.  But, guess what?  It did.  She was a happy camper!

Until next time …

MAY 31, 2016

This past weekend, Mike and I spent 4 days at a small cabin up in East Texas.  It was a time for us to reconnect with each other.  We’re empty-nesters now and we both realized that we had devoted so much time to raising our kids that we had neglected our relationship.  We had a great time.  It was so far out in the “boonies” that we had no cell phone or internet.  The cabin was one of those tiny cabins you read about.  It sat on about 20 acres.  This cabin was only 300 square feet but it had all the comforts of home.  It had a front porch with a patio table and chairs on one side and a small BBQ pit on the other end.  There was a fire pit with a couple of chairs near a tree.   Inside was a queen size bed, a couple of chairs with an end table, a sitting area that was bar height with two bar stools, a FULL SIZE kitchen [refrigerator, stove], and a bath with a shower.  Everything was provided except the food.  We sat on the front porch early in the morning and late in the evening and about 100 yards in front of us, we could see part of the Big Thicket National Preserve.  It was very relaxing.  We did venture into town [Woodville] a couple of times…once to eat breakfast and another day to visit Heritage Village.  It has a restaurant called The Pickett House and they serve the same thing every, single day … fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes w/gravy, pinto beans, homemade rolls and peach cobbler.  It’s an all-you-can-eat place.  They give you each of the items off the menu and when you want more, they bring you whatever you want for seconds [or thirds].  We ate way too much!  Heritage Village also has a collection of old buildings from the late 1800s and early 1900s that you can tour.  That was interesting, too … a dentist office, a doctor’s office, a school, a church, a livery stable …. and so much more.  Looking at the things they had to deal with in those days made me really thankful that I live now.  Here are some pictures:

001 002 003 004 005 006 007 heritagevillage.01 hertitagevillage.02 mama.jacks cabin.01 cabin.02

MAY 9, 2016

I did not intend to wait this long to post on this blog! Time has really flown by, I guess.  I’ve been busy at home and at work.

After a few weeks of having my house in a mess, I now have a brand, new kitchen and beautiful bamboo flooring in my living room, dining room, and kitchen.  I saved my social security checks for quite a few months in order to pay for this upgrade.  We bought the house 15 years ago but it still had the original cabinets from when it was first built in 1978.  Needless to say, it was time to get into the 21st century.  We found an absolutely awesome contractor who was a joy to work with.  I picked out the flooring I wanted and tried to pick out the cabinets I wanted.  I said “tried” because every time I went to the store and found a style I liked, I was told it had been discontinued.  Which begged me to ask, “If it’s been discontinued why do you still display it!?”  Right?  So after two failed attempts at finding cabinets, our contractor said his cabinet guys could build me the same thing for just a little more than I could find in a store … and we said yes because we knew it would be built from the best wood, not particle board with laminate over it.  He did not disappoint us!  I love my new cabinets and I can now say that nobody else has any that look exactly like mine.

Here are some BEFORE pictures:

BEFORE.05          BEFORE.02       BEFORE.01

First picture:  I had the wall above the bar removed.  My kitchen and dining room are both small and I felt that removing the wall/cabinets above the bar would give both rooms a more “open” look and feel.

Second picture:  A view with the cabinets above the sink/bar area [showing how “closed off” it feels] along with the old imitation butcher block counter tops.

Third picture:  A view of the opposite side of the kitchen.

Here are the AFTER pictures:

BLOG.After.01       BLOG.After.03       BLOG.After.02

First picture:  Minus the wall/cabinets over the sink/bar.

Second picture:  View into the dining room minus the cabinets over the bar/sink.

Third picture:  View of the new kitchen side with a new microwave above the stove.

It’s safe to say that I’m happy with the kitchen.

We also had new bamboo flooring put down … you can see some of it in the kitchen picture.  Here’s a picture of the dining room with the new flooring:

BLOG.After.04

The same flooring flows into the living room.

Whew!  I’m glad that’s all over, though.

Until next time …