Archive for December, 2010

Christmas Photos 2010

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 26, 2010 by drycreekherbs

We are home from Mom’s…it was pleasant and short. I loved seeing David and Justin/Rachel. It kinda freaks me out. They are totally adults. I think they might think that I am sort of not ‘with it.’ They could have something there. But isn’t it odd? They were just kids now they have opinions that sound legitimate about national debt, of all things. I sat and listened to this conversation while glancing at a photo on an end table of David with a lizard hanging off his ear at age 3. This kind of blows me away. Maybe we are changing places. i like the idea of having a lizard hanging off my ear. It beats thinking about national debt. I think the photo of Len admiring David’s new pipes is hysterical.

Now home taking a few Christmas-ish things down and putting them away at my leisure. I skipped church for the umpteenth time today because I thought Anna, Mac coach was coming over…but that is tomorrow, not today. So here I am dressed and waiting around to go to Dana’s Open House for her newly weds, Scott and Amanda.

I had a quick visit with Carol–I want to make sure we aren’t going to make them nuts with a visit right now in the middle of the holidays, their moving, Al’s convalescence, a death in the family, and a blizzard. I think our timing is lousy. But they are a family to rival the National Guard. She insists we come…and we love them madly ,so of course, we plan to go. Len bought a coat and I can wear Mom’s vintage mink.

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This is what being a homebody is all about.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 23, 2010 by drycreekherbs

Ok, I have been home 9 days and I consider myself a homebody or a shut-in. Tomorrow I leave for Mom’s and will be back home Christmas Day. David, AKA Baby David, is already home for the holidays and Justin and Rachel will get to SAT on Christmas Eve…Len will come in Christmas Eve too. We will not have a formal or even informal, traditional holiday dinner. Instead we will order take out. Mary and I like that just fine. Mom is just unable to muster her troops anymore. We have totally bailed out on he when it comes to Walton-style holiday meals. Regardless, we will have fun.

Hmmm. So what has been going on that I will want to remember in 15 years or 15 days or 15 hours, for that matter? My brain is working poorly these days. Happily, I don’t care too much. Everyone I know is to some degree memory impaired. Makes for interesting hootenannies. Nina, Lolly, and I tried to sing a song on our way out of the Cracker Barrel restaurant the other day. I think it was Yellow Bird. yellow-bird_1706.jpg We have always liked to sing that song acapella or any other way for that matter. In the olden days we knew one verse. Now we only know the tune and “Yellow Bird…up high in banana tree”. The rest of the time we just sing, “Ta Da, ta dah, da da, Yellow Bird, up high in banana tree.” Then we just fall over laughing. Very nice purge. Nina and I are going to take Lolly out every couple of weeks….we love her so much.

So in these past 9 days I have had my book club’s holiday party, happy hour, and Mah Jongg all here at the house–trying to show off my 7 foot DSC06845.jpgDSC06846.jpgIMG_0793.jpg Christmas tree that Max put up for me. Very spiffy, I think. It even rotates. We will throw out the 12 foot tree that has lived in the attic for the past 3 years. Besides ‘folksy entertaining’ we went to our old friend, Renee’s graduation party, I went to Foy’s Open House, I had two outings with Lolly and Nina, lunch with Barbara, and Len just made a cameo appearance at an office party! I should mention that I was the outlier at Foy’s party. The mean age must have been 80. There were several folks napping by the fireplace. Soon enough it will be my turn. It was a lovely, lovely open house and Foy was, of course, a gracious host.

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HOWEVER, here is a news flash. Len and I went to a movie….together! Next we will be expected to renew our vows. I don’t really know what possessed him to go. He must be very bored. Now that I have written this it doesn’t sound too much like I am a homebody. Oh. I made chicken soup. I am a homebody. I drink decaffeinated coffee. IMG_1293.jpg

  

When WAS Tom’s Birthday?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 23, 2010 by drycreekherbs

It was July 31st…now I remember–five months ago. I didn’t just remember it, I had to look it up on my old calendar pages. At any rate, we had such a fun time. Tom is now 70.48 years-old. Dang, I must remember to tell him how well he is holding up! Then I will duck! It was a nice and fun party that his kids had for him at the Hyatt Resort in Bastrop? All his grandkids were there and all of Tom’s lady friends. We love Tom and we loved seeing old friends we had not seen in a while. I like the photos of Susan and Becky holding babies who appear very contented. The one I held tried like Houdini to get away. Maternal I am not.

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Holidays.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 12, 2010 by drycreekherbs

I am so greedy and I know it. I don’t write the dark things in my journal not because I don’t think them but because some people actually read this. I really do think serious thoughts. I think about my ‘gratitudes’ and I have more than I ever will deserve and why did I get to live in the midst of all this bounty? Today Marsha M. and I were talking about acts of personal kindness. It made me think about how I don’t do anything magnanimous. I know people who really do nice things for people all the time. I used to. I think the older I get the more I become narrower and less moved to be kind. Shelly says as you age your super ego either fades or gets bigger. I can’t remember which it is. So this is why old people become testy, cranky, and plain-spoken. Crusty. I am crusty.

When I get home I am going to get Shelly S to explain to me in bullets only, the tenants of suppressing trauma. Any trauma I have is self-made but it could be a useful tool. HOWEVER, now that I think of it, once I had my handwriting analyzed by a handwriting expert for McClennan County Courts….it was very cool, except that she said I had been traumatized. I wonder if I missed it! Maybe it is just that I am such a drama queen I make everything seem like a trauma. Bet so.

Tomorrow Len will drive down to Mom’s. I am here already and working up my “Why I Don’t Like the Holidays” pitch and fervor. I get so dark. A few years ago I was invited to Lolly, Nina, and Jackie’s Birthday Club, Christmas Party. I used to be invited. Now an explanation of the past tense. The group very generously included me since I had so many good friends in the group although I was/am clearly not a Killeen native. One of the core group graciously asked me, “Are you looking forward to the holidays?” I responded in boil-like fashion. “I hate the holidays; I am miserable the entire time and I can’t wait till they are over.” That sweet woman looked like she had just seen a rape. She could hardly fashion any response. It took her a minute to break the conversation and move on to something more joyous. Maybe putting down pets.

El Paso and now I am fat again!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 12, 2010 by drycreekherbs

I cannot help myself. I am weak of the flesh…I admit it readily. Back to the point. I went to El Paso a day early so Jackie and I could see the sighs. She has been longing to see it and John has had no interest since he did his basic training there a few decades ago. His memory is correct. There is a lot of desert out there.

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At any rate we did have a grand time being touristas before we started our work for MCEC. Day one we went over toward Las Cruces but mainly to Old Mesilla for lunch at La Posta. After a verrrrrry delicious lunch we walked around the square before heading back to El Paso so we could do a quick visit to the El Paso Museum of Art. Jackie loved it….especially the Border Exhibit, I thought it was ok….a little too political for my moderate zealism! Up and at ’em early the next morning so we could get to Alamogordo and White Sands National Monument before we picked up Charlotte and Mary Pat at the airport. Alamogordo was pretty much a bust except for the Watermill Express. Jackie gave me a lesson on Facebook’s ‘check in’ feature and where better for a candid tourist photo? It seemed to be the funniest thing in the world to us at the time. We do know how to have fall down laughing fits. Anyway, I looooved White Sands….we rented sleds at the gift shop and went for a couple of quick spins down the dunes. Photos prove what a disaster it was for me. For the life of me I can’t remember what was so hysterically funny but it was a Depend moment for me! It was so pretty and quiet and looked like lovely dry snow and it wasn’t cold. I would go back. We spent more time than we meant so we ended up not picking up chums but rather asking them to take the shuttle. We are so pitiful. We actually were more or less lost and running absolutely parallel to the border. I was SURE I didn’t want to go across to Juarez.   

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The next two days were spent at the ESC Region 19 for LINN training. Mary Pat and Charlotte are naturals that complement one another beautifully. Jackie was a diligent support person….I did coaching and supported the support person! We had a deeeeeeelightful meal at Los Bandidos De Carlos-Mickey’s restaurant. OMG, best carnitas in the world. I am a giant chunkier woman again.

Santa Fe and Workshops

Posted in living to the hilt on December 7, 2010 by drycreekherbs

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I arrived at the casita pretty early, thank goodness. It would have been very hard to get in after dark…just too hard for me to see and not knowing what I was doing would only make things more complicated. Greg, the next door neighbor had the heat on so it was nice and toasty…everything went very well until I turned the heat up in the bathroom, turned on all the lights, showered, and put on my PJs. Then whaaaap.! The fuses blew. I was in complete darkness. Pretty discombobulating. Luckily I always wear an LED flashlight on my pedometer and of course I always wear my pedometer on my PJs (and it has nothing to do with racking up mileage at night!). So, anyway, I used the light to find my shoes and a jacket then began to search for the circuit breaker. At last it was located outside the front door but I couldn’t get the switch to flip. So I made my way down the alley in dark except for the LED light to Greg’s house. Problem was I couldn’t get anyone to answer my knocking at the outer gate, so i went into the courtyard. I could go on and on. Bottom line: I roused him out and he came over and showed me a new trick. Now I know how to flip the circuit breaker. I like it here….in fact it is perfect for me while I am here for the classes

Hmmmm, what next. Well, I have made multiple trips to Trader Joe’s to load up on grub. Gourmet and exotic grub. I have triple cream Brie, portobello mushroom soup, prosecco, pears, olives, hummus, hearts of palm and artichoke salad. Finally I was able to prowl around town. I had a magnificent breakfast at Cafe Pasqual then shopped. Ooops–bought some awesome silver earrings. I have also discovered a verrrrrry cool pawn/consignment shoppe that I will revisit tomorrow.IMG_0667_2.jpgIMG_0646 2.JPG

I headed home before dark, then made an omelet, then showered, then to bed and woke up to snow! Nothing significant but enough to get me out to the car to defrost and scrape! Once the car was clear, I went up to my class which was located in Old Santa Fe in the Carmelite Monastery. There were 8 participants in the PhotoShop class and it was non-stop. My brain was so full I don’t know how I am synthesized anything. Here is what I know…I couldn’t do more than just go to class. I couldn’t play and take a class unless it was a semester class. There is no internet anywhere predictable. I’ve been in more than a few parking lots. During lunch we can go to the Monastery courtyard and trap some wireless waves….it is still iffy. I felt out of touch.

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Followup: OK, I am home but I want to get down the recollections while I can recollect them. That is an issue these days. So, both classes were reeeeeeallly hard for me. Not hard like impossible or likeAlgebra, but hard because I had to really learn it. With Algebra, there is NO learning it. The PhotoShop class was the hardest. I just can’t quite figure out the difference between layers and masks. But I did have fun making composites, that is merging two photos. I put Dennis M. in a fountain aka feutes! That was fun. In time I might learn to do body slimming which I am verrrrrrry interested in learning. The book class was not a challenge in terms of the Booksmart software workflow. What was hard was using Bridge and PhotoShop to manage the files: resizing, managing color, and sequencing before importing the images. I made an enormous mistake by being first to introduce myself to the class and share my experiences. I sounded like a priss. I am not a priss. What I did learn easily is to be humble in the presence of so much talent!!! Thank goodness I was making the MCEC corporate gift book…with kids’ art and NOT my photographs that look like they are taken by a Kodak Brownie compared to these really slick photographers. I think I will post covers from some of the books to show just how proficient these classmates were/are.IMG_0684.JPG

The long and short of it the week: I liked it a lot even though I was hyper-vigilant and hardly had any down time. I am convinced it is really good for me to stretch like this. It takes me off my center zero and makes me see the world differently.