Monday, September 29, 2008


Marlys Marshall Styne has posted a wonderful article on her blog about blogging. She quotes Anna Quindlen who wrote, "Bloggers old and young know that we are on the bleeding edge of a renaissance in personal writing. Our blogs will become as important to our current and future loved ones as handwritten letters were to people of another era."

I so totally agree with that statement and I save my blog entries both on my hard drive and my external hard drive to make sure that I have copies of what I have written. I am not sure how my loved ones will save these entries like I have saved letters written to me by my grandmother. Seems like blogging technology is a little harder to keep in a treasure box up on the closet shelf where I keep my treasured letters from years ago. Maybe when I am gone my family will just put my external hard drive up on their closet shelf along with their other treasures. Hmmm! Something to ponder further.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Quick Update

Some time ago I mentioned gathering my stories about growing up in the Texas Panhandle and self-publishing them at Well, that project is still in the works. I have gathered the stories and printed them out for editing. A couple of weeks ago my husband (a wonderful editor with a BIG red pen!) looked them over and made a few suggestions. I took them with me on our trip to Oregon and worked on them on the plane. I made a few corrections on some and a major overhaul on others. Then I had a few more ideas for stories and added them, along with a few recipes and more pictures.

This project is turning out to be quite a job and is spread out all around my computer chair now. I realize that October is breathing down my neck and I need to forget about my passion for perfection and just get on with the project if I want it ready for Christmas.

Sigh! Part of my problem is that I have too many projects and not enough time. However, I suspect that is better than having nothing to do and being bored!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Back Home Again

We had a wonderful visit to Oregon. I got to see the sunset on the Pacific Ocean one evening. The other evenings it was too cloudy to have a colorful sunset, but I took a gazillion pictures of the one sunset I did see. Maybe I can do a painting??
Then we ate and ate some more. We had salmon and tuna smoked by our host, halibut caught by our host, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet onions and new potatoes grown by our host, and filberts from their trees. We also had fried clams the size of my hand dug by our hosts, and venison steak shot and prepared by our host--the best I have ever eaten. Yum! The food was delicious! And for dessert--Marion berry cobbler and Tillamook ice cream, of course! I may have gained a few pounds on this trip!

We visited a few lighthouses, saw a couple of covered bridges, visited an aviation museum, and rode on a ferry a couple of times.

AND we did some shopping and more eating!

I helped pick tomatoes for dinner--and ate a few fresh off the vine--they were sweet as sugar, and then we gathered filberts.

The scenery was gorgeous! It was a wonderful vacation!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

On Vacation!

I am having a wonderful time enjoying some cool weather at a condo overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was supposed to rain all day yesterday and today, but we have lucked out and it has been beautiful both days. We have seen lovely clouds and cool temperatures and some sunshine, but no rain.

We are visiting friends we have not seen in several years, so we have lots of catching up and stories to tell. Today we visited some historic sites that dated back 200 years and marveled at the way people survived in this wilderness without modern conveniences, microwave ovens, cell phones and computers!

Lunch consisted of local oysters that just melted in my mouth and wonderfully flavored clam chowder! Yesterday afternoon for a snack we had smoked salmon (caught and smoked by our host) on Ritz crackers with small, sweet onions that he grew in his garden and capers and cream cheese that he bought in the grocery store. Last night we had "Fish on the Floor," a recipe our host brought from a halibut fishing camp in Alaska--he also brought the halibut that he caught there.

Tomorrow we will leave the Pacific Ocean behind and journey over the mountains to spend a few days inland where our host will take my husband crabbing. Yum! Not sure what we women folk will be doing, but it will probably be fun!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Last January my husband was encouraged by a friend to join a yoga class at the gym where we exercise. I went along out of curiosity and was amazed to find that it was a class of all men. Since then the class has balanced out with an equal number of men and women but I felt like a pioneer the first few classes until some other women joined us.

When I first started doing yoga I was in awe of the instructor who seemed to float easily from one pose to another while describing to us where and how to place our various body parts. I put my mat in the far back corner of the room where I ungracefully stumbled, creaked, groaned, struggled and gasped to place my body parts in the near-impossible positions that she was describing. The instructor was infinitely patient in helping me learn how to adapt my body to the moves.

Today in class I realized with surprise that I, too, was beginning to move smoothly through the positions with some semblance of grace and ease. I relaxed and enjoyed the class immensely!

Who says ya can't teach old dogs new tricks?? Or yoga poses??

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Surviving the Hurricane

Two of our children, Son #1 and Son # 4, and their families live near the Texas coast and both sons sent their wives and children (four of our seven grandchildren) to stay with us several days before Ike made up its mind where it was going ashore. My sister and daughter-in-law and her two grandchildren live near Houston, but they elected to stay put for the hurricane--otherwise, we might have had them here also. What a grand party that would have been!

We had fun while everyone was here! The first morning Miss Ella Bella woke up and climbed into bed with Aunt Tammy and a bag of books to read. Then she helped Granddaddy feed the deer before breakfast.
We decided to go to the zoo and met Miss Ella Bella's best friend (and mother) there. We visited the animals, oldest grandchild helped with youngest grandchild while some of us rode the train.

Back home, Miss Ella Bella wanted to have her own "glubs" so she could help Granddaddy work. He put her to work pounding nails into an old piece of wood while he helped Grandson #1 get a bike ready to ride. And Aunt Tammy got some quality time with her youngest nephew. We ended the day with cousins watching a movie together.

That night was interesting because Grandson #1 began sneezing and having chills and fever and Miss Ella Bella threw up most of the night, so the mothers and grandmother did not get much sleep. However, Miss Ella Bella was completely recovered by morning and Grandson #1 was relegated to a bedroom and with the TV for most of the day. The rest of us had some shopping excursions and fathers joined us to wait out the storm. We spent the evening glued to the various TV reports about the storm, wondering what it would do and whether property would be damaged.

I am happy to report that the hurricane completely missed the areas where our sons live but went right over my sister's house with no apparent damage. Thus our family hurricane watch was over this morning and both families began making plans for a quick return to their homes and lives, leaving us with a quiet house again. I am thankful that we all had this time together and even more thankful that everyone is okay!

I reminded my children that it is these events that make the stories that they will tell and retell over the years.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I am about tired of hurricanes! We have had way too many threaten the gulf coast where many of our relative live this year! The first one ruined my vacation to one of my favorite beaches where hubby was supposed to attend a conference, the next one made us uneasy while we kept one eye on the Weather Channel during a family gathering, and this current one cannot make up its mind which direction it is going to take. Therefore the phone lines are busy, busy with friends and relatives who live near the coast calling about the situation.

These storms have a hard time making up their minds where they want to come ashore and keep coastal residents on edge through August and September with their fickle ways. We residents farther inland prepare for evacuees and just hope for the rain that they might bring to our parched land in this drought-ridden area. So far the rains have not come, but we pray that this one will bring rain--not tornadoes, strong winds or flooding.

Oops! Time to run listen to the Weather Channel's latest update. This could drive me nuts before hurricane season is over! And I must put clean sheets on the beds for daughter-in-law #3 and two children who are evacuating in our direction tomorrow. Perhaps others will follow. Gotta fix a few casseroles for the freezer tomorrow and stock up on snacks and juice for the young 'uns!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Son #2's Triathlon Triumph

I am rather proud of Son #2 and the triathlon that he participated in yesterday. You can see his wife's (Kara) description and pictures of the triathlon by clicking on her name for the link to her blog. I was on pins and needles all morning until I heard that he had made it okay. Congratulations, Son #2! I'm very proud of you!


Barbara discussed talents, gifts, and abilities in her blog yesterday. In light of my struggles with painting, I began to ponder talent--or lack thereof! I have a granddaughter, Em, who can sit down and draw a picture that is an exact representation of something she has seen in the past. She really has a natural talent for drawing with ease and confidence. I, on the other hand, struggle with drawing and painting and writing--but I enjoy all three activities! I relish the creative process of starting with nothing and coming out with something that gives me pleasure. It is the struggle between beginning and ending that gives me more grey hair than I already have!

One thing I have learned over the years is that tenacity goes hand-in-hand with creativity. For me creativity is a process (writing, painting, drawing, etc.) and takes time. I do not whip out a painting in one sitting, but might work on it for months. I write, rewrite, and edit before I am satisfied with what I am writing. I tweak, adjust, rework and then finally declare a piece "done."
I suspect that one of my greatest talents is tenacity.

Perhaps you writers might like to make a list of your talents, gifts, abilities, then pick one to write about in more detail. Perhaps you might also like to describe the tenacity you have for completing projects you begin!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Barbara talks about aiming for success, not perfection in her blog today and I believe I needed to hear what she had to say. She talked about learning to play the piano, but quit because she had not achieved perfection. Well, I swore off painting this a.m. when a picture I have been working on for months just refused to be the color I wanted it to be. I stuffed my brushes in the drawer, put the picture in the trash and packed my paints away in the closet.

After reading Barbara's blog I decided that I better take my paints out again and continue painting. I might have to begin the canvas all over with the realization that not all pictures will turn out perfect. Our instructor tells us that all artists have a few disasters in their closet! The one in the trash will go in my closet and I might pursue the same subject again on a new canvas. Maybe the next one will be a success--if not the perfection that I always strive for.

Perhaps you writers might want to spend some time writing about projects that you have begun and then abandoned because they were less than perfect. Or perhaps you have a project that you began and eventually finished because you were striving for completion and not perfection.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I lead a couple of wonderful writing groups and I love what happens during the writing sessions between the people. I also enjoy the wonderful writing that is shared after a timed writing on a particular topic. Each writer in the group has a different slant on the subject and each one approaches the topic from a completely different perspective. A dear lady in one of my writing groups wrote the following and shared it with me. She gave me permission to put it on my blog:

"I am discovering that writing in community (all present to each other) is strengthening and leads to self-discovery. The big plus of doing it together and sharing 5- or 10-minute "sprints" of writing is that we then can all identify with each other's selves and expand our self-awareness that way.

The point of the short timed writings is that no one can become self-conscious in so short a time, and the eloquence of the open human heart is inevitable. Maybe you might like to try it. It's not about being a good writer. Worrying about being a good writer can hinder. It's about opening the heart. Writing about the most ordinary things does it -- no high or low subjects -- just an openness that comes through writing with love. "

Monday, September 1, 2008


Yesterday we went to visit Son #4 and family--LOTS of family! My daughter-in-law's father's family gathered for a viewing of our newest grandson who is a month old today. He casually slept through most of the festivities, but Miss Ella Bella entertained us all afternoon!

I got to hold Grandson #2 when I got there. I believe he was looking up and getting acquainted with me. Then he gave a big stretch--I love the shirt that says "I'm a Prince but Dad is the KING."

When it was time for him to eat, Miss Ella Bella got the Boppy, climbed up in a chair and offered to feed him. Unfortunately, she was not properly equipped so Mama had to take over, but Miss Ella Bella was very sweet and gentle with him. He is lucky to have such a loving sister to help take care of him.

We had to take a picture of three generations--Proud Grandmommy, Son #4 and Grandson #2.

And, of course, one with both grandparents. Unfortunately, we could not get Miss Ella Bella to join us for any of these pictures. She was busy entertaining other great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

We had a wonderful time and ate and ate and ate. Such delicious food, good company and precious time with the grandchildren!