Archive for September, 2012

Stayin’ in Bed All Day: Reflecting, Reading, and Relaxing

Posted in Uncategorized on September 29, 2012 by drycreekherbs


I make lists of things to write about in my journal. There is soooo much to write about. Sometimes I want to have these memories even though writing about events does give me the ‘feel’ of the moment…this is sometimes good and sometimes bad. As a young woman I realized that after a break up with a significant other that someday it wouldn’t hurt. Len took this photo this morning…raining outside, windows open, surrounded by technology, catalogs, and wearing my pedometer!


My body is deteriorating. I am a mass of veins, lumps, and moving skin. I am in need of some positive self-talk. I went to yoga last week for the first time in years. The teacher said I did very well for a first timer…well, in this decade a first timer since I used to go in the 90s. BUT, getting on my knees for the child pose now is agony. Like kneeling on rough-cut gravel but it is just my knobby knee caps. Len bought me a weeding knee pad that might help. I have to like me with an aging body and I need to be wise.

AND, writing of my worn out body reminds me of a new phenomenon. I am suddenly receiving age-related catalogs, such as Helpful Products for Independent Living and Guide to Better and Happier Bunions. OK, not the latter, but yes, to the first. I dog eared 5 pages in the first catalog but stopped in my tracks when I saw the item, IMG_4146.jpg Pambra’s Tummy Liner. I was stunned. Mainly stunned because I think I might need to order a multi-pack. I don’t want to have these issues. Nooooooo! It is a, “…a soft liner that absorbs perspiration, and helps prevent heat rash, and fungus that can develop under the abdominal fold.” I hate my abdominal fold and hate worse that I may be ordering liners for it in the near future. I think this picture of the Pambra Tummy Liner looks like an oriental wood block. Ok, where is that list of things I want to write about….Not in order of occurrence.



Yesterday I went to Lake Austin Spa on my own. Usually go with the posse—this time was quiet, quiet, quiet. I think it did me some good. Here is a photo that will help me remember how glazed over I can be after being salted, oiled, pummeled, steamed, and cooked. I read a lot and basically tried to make my brain be still—maybe even blank. That’s hard for me. After each session the attendant offers you a basket of inspirational cards that you select randomly. Each card I chose seemed to resonate some encouragement over some one thing or another that I struggle over. Not power, I don’t care for that but I like the part about being in the present moment and thinking positively.

IMG_4170.JPG IMG_4171.JPG

On the way home I stopped for a couple of bottles of prosecco. I drank one last night just because. I am reading a book called The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman…I like it a lot. It is about choices. It isn’t a happy book but compelling. Next I want to read a book about Israel and Palestine…How Israel Lost by Richard Ben Cramer, a novel but with meat, I think. I am not a non-fiction girl so maybe this will sneak in some history. Who knows? Then I want to read Geraldine Brooks’ Caleb’s Crossing. Just finished fathermothergod, a woman’s memoir about leaving Christian Science and I am listening to Elizabeth George’s Believing the Lie, a whopping 20 CD audio book.

Although I am committed to laying in bed all day doing NOTHING, I am wearing my new hearing aids….just in case Len decides to talk to me from his den….which I still won’t be able to hear because the human ear is not supposed to hear through walls and down halls. He just thinks I should be able to hear him. Not to long ago I really irritated him….he said he thought I had selective hearing loss. Who pretends to be deaf? Anyway, the hearing aids that the doctor ordered were not what she intended and readily admits it to be her error….so I have on demos. I hope this doesn’t mean someone else has worn them. Yuck. Back to the fitting. It hurt! Apparently, the only svelte thing about me is my right ear canal! She showed me the impression of my canal and another….it is a whopping difference. Made me feel almost petite. But not only is it skinny, it also spirals up before going down. So it is sort of like putting in a cork screw. She warned me to wait a few days before putting them in because she was even putting it in wrong and that my ear was reeeeeeallly red. AND, that you do not want a scab in your ear as it heals poorly because it is so much cartilage. All I want to do is be able to hear.

I love Camie. I talked to her yesterday and she is just damn smart to be a mere 56.99 years old. Maybe Pam sent her to me. She is like Pam. Her birthday is in 2 days. Anyway, I was thinking about her and how she has such wisdom….most people don’t know it when they are wise which is very nice. Once in a while I think I am wise but bet I am not in the least….I am trying anyway. I wonder if wisdom helps you make correct decisions? Hmmmm, that one I will have to let percolate a while. Time out for Mighty Fine White Orchard Light Caffiene tea with agave nectar. Ok now I am back. I was remembering that last visit to San Miguel, Camie and I went to a new (to me) hot spring. And again, although in a new spring, she suggested we sing Amazing Grace…it sounds very acoustical in the cavern and it is pretty darned spiritual too. And we sound pretty good—like singing in a shower.


All of this San Miguel reflection reminds me of how much I need to open that brand new, cellophane-sealed Rosetta Stone Learn to Speak Spanish software that I bought two Christmases ago! Last time I was in SM I started to feel linguistic—I said “Asta Lego.” to a shop owner…meaning of course, “ Hasta Luego.” I have also asked for Casscarones which are confetti eggs when I wanted Japonése which are chilies. I need to stick with German.

Oh and more SM….I received an email thank you from Fr. M….newly retorted, he is living almost down the street…well, IH 35 anyway. I think I will call Foy–maybe he will be interested is an outing to Pfluggerville for lunch. Also I am going to encourage Foy to have a reunion of Texas based troupers. Or I guess I could do it….hmmmm, will think on that too. I could get Babs, Jackie, Belinda, Susan, Lolly, Susan H., Joann, John, Fr. Michael and Cheri, Sally and Dick, Debra Ann, David, Kay, Lucy, and other’s from up north that I can’t remember. I wonder if I could get Carol to come? This could be fun. I am pumped about this….

Len is out running errands which he loves to do and is very good doing it. We capitalize on Iphone usage….I take photos of items to be purchased along with lists. He will surely buy something for Diego too.

Susan and Bill will be here Monday-Friday….they are staying with us so I can get a Little Suz booster. She is also wise. We will learn how to make origami cranes while she is here. OK, time to read and find good photos to go with this. No editing.

This, That, and the Other!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2012 by drycreekherbs

I am a mad woman once again. I’m in SAT for Mom’s 91st birthday….I have been mistakenly saying she is 92 because I cannot subtract, or for that matter, add, multiply, or divide. I am committed to not understanding it or caring about it. Hence the shopping intrigues. People give you goodies for paper and coins. It is very stimulating and fleetingly fulfilling.

Back to Moma! I like to call her that….mostly I refer to her as Mom or Mother but remember when I used to call her Moma. Sweet. We have done nothing much. Brother Bill has been over here quite a bit to visit. Things aren’t going well at his house. Friday when I got here he had a Tri Tip Roast in his head that meant he was going to cook one for us. I wasn’t interested in it until he put in front of me…very tasty. My contribution was a skillet of blistered Shishito peppers that I learned about while in San Miguel. Now I can’t get enough of them. They are totally sweet with no heat at all and rich in vitamin C and A. I count it as salad.


Mom: She is still beautiful, an invalid thanks to that damned stenosis of the spine, and smart, smart, smart. She reads every word in the paper and likes to tell me things she has read. Since I never read the paper, I am always surprised. Who knew? Oh, yes, I do like the San Antonio Express. Always good to know about recent sightings of the Virgin Mary on garage doors and the like. IT is like reading the Star with real live neighbors as the celebrities. I don’t ever want to make the headlines.

I have been making a list of funny things Mom says and does. I will try to get a few down for my memory bank…never hurts to make a deposit when I can remember to do it.

Mom and I recently were talking about baby animals….she loves to talk about how all baby animals are cute..especially kittens and puppies. I added bunnies. She just looked at me more or less annoyed and said, “Well, I don’t know about that.” She added, “When was the last time you saw a baby hippopotamus?” This is how deaf I will be soon. I get my hearing aids next week!

Mom on black and white animals: I have NEVER, EVER been with Mom when she hasn’t seen a black and white animal and said within 1 minute, “You know, I just love black and white animals. They always look so clean.” She loves clean. I wish I had been born with black and white hair; she would love me even more.

Mom on hemlines: She told me recently that she is getting used to ‘fish tail’ hemlines. That is a term I have never heard, but then she does read the San Antonio Express and I only read it once a month to keep up with the sightings and drug deals.

Mom on fashion: Last time I was home I came out in a spiffy ‘Lagenlook’ (German for layered look) short IMG_4143.jpg dress with zippers all over it. As I came in the den, she dipped her head so she could see better over her readers and laughed saying, “Honey, that is just shocking.” Wasn’t the comment I was going for. I took spiffy dress back to the store. I will do a different approach to lagenlook.

Mom and more fashion commentary: Mom looooves pretty clothes and jewelry although she pretty much doesn’t dress anymore….more house robes. If she knows I am coming…and she always does now….she puts on the purple, Ralph Loren PJs I bought her for Christmas a couple of years ago, make up and earrings. Then she wants me to do her hair. She has fantastic hair. I like to remember that I was 14 when she first cut her hair. Daddy was pissed, Billy cried, and the General’s wife told Mom she looked like everybody else with it cut! Also when they cut her hair it weighed eight pounds and was at least 3 feet long. Photos prove it. After the hair cut, she suddenly had wrinkles on her forehead. Proof that wearing 8 pound weights on your hair will make you look younger.

Back to Mom and jewelry. She is always eager to see what I am wearing in the jewelry department even if she thinks my clothing choices are outrageous. I love to make an entrance into the den donning something new such as earrings or bracelets. She likes to say, “Honey, I think you need to buy some more jewelry.” I love that kind of encouragement. Good genes, I guess.


Mom’s Recollections on Dress: Mom stills enjoys her favorite ‘outfits’ as she likes to call them. Her most favorite was a black velvet dress with a fitted top and scooped neck and ¾ sleeves and a flared skirt with green velvet ivy coming from the hem to the waistline. I remember it too. She was stunning in it…very 1950’s. Another favorite was a black and white plaid sheath with a square neckline…it had a bolero jacket. Sometimes she will even tell me what jewelry she wore with these ‘outfits.’ I came by my vanity legitimately.This is a photo taken right after Len and I got married and we were about to leave for Germany. I didn’t want to go…I wanted to stay with my Moma!

Damn, I do love my Moma. Even when she is makin’ me nuttier than a fruitcake. Example: I cannot multi task and because Mom can’t hear she doesn’t really always know if there is something going on or if another conversation is taking place. One day we were on a ride in the car and I was driving and looking at a map….yes that is very bad for my health and others’ too. Anyway, she just starts talking away about this, that, and the other. It made me crazy and damn, I do love my Moma.  

Mom at Justine's .JPG


Posted in Uncategorized on September 24, 2012 by drycreekherbs

My first ever 500 pc jigsaw puzzle I have completed all by myself. Pussy cat has taken the last pc. IMG_4134

Evolution of Friendships/Relationships

Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2012 by drycreekherbs

Peggie sent me this as one of those email things that normally drives me crazy but this sort of summarizes what I think about the evolution of friendship.ßå

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that Person…

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support,

To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.

They may seem like a godsend and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,

This peson will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.

Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done.

Some people come into your life for a season, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.

They bring you an experience or peace or make you laugh.

They may teach you something you have never done.

They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy…

Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

Lifetime relationships teach you lifetime lessons.

Things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.

Love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

sOvertime things change…as a woman without children, my significant family relationships are with my friends. I can remember a thousand years ago thinking nothing could ever change the relationship I had with any one of them…..only to discover that in fact, any and all relationships can and do change! Jackie told me once about a friend she had years ago and they were thicker than thieves, the friend moved and

It Has Been a Rhubarb Kind of Day

Posted in Uncategorized on September 15, 2012 by drycreekherbs


I guess I am just on a streak! I woke to a wonderful gray, cool, RAINY day. Oh happy me. We had the windows open so it was just heaven to wake to the sound of rain. As a kid, I used to be terrified of rain, even drizzle, even mist….I am sure it had to do with toilet training that my Mom probably started way too soon or something of the like. But now, I just love rain and a good thunder boomer to go with it. All this cool autumn ambience just made me want to cook. Soooo, it required three trips to the grocery store….and I ended up with meat loaf, Creole sauce, rhubarb nut bread, and rhubarb sorbet. Meat loaf and mashed potatoes with the Creole sauce and Shishito peppers for dinner and the Rhubarb dishes for Mahjong tomorrow.

When Len and I were in South Dakota we stopped at the Red Ass Winery where we purchased a half dozen bottles of Rhubarb Wine—just perfect for sorbet, I think. I guess I will find out tomorrow.

This week was just packed full of social activities. Jackie and I went to Austin Thursday night to hear Grisha Gory.jpg Goryachev, the classical guitarist. It was awesome even though we missed the flamenco dancers. I want to take Flamenco lessons—and while there I saw my chum F from the chemo center. She looked awesome…tomorrow is her last treatment.

Also this week was book club….this month we read Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. It was a very stimulating discussion—I think we probably drove Sara nuts all talking at one time and hardly giving her a chance to lead the discussion. I really liked the book although at the onset I thought I might go nuts reading it. We are a pretty raucous group….Len always says, what do you all find so funny and why are you all so noisy? We are very opinionated and a disparate group. I love us.


Len and I have not done a good job of working with Diego on his training. He is too smart. He performs beautifully for treats but if there are no snacks he is incorrigible. I bet Steve, the trainer, is going to chastise us—worse still is that Diego will end up being the dog from hell. Len sits with him outside all the time so that is nice for both of them.

Friday the KISD Human Resources girls all met at the Olive Garden to IMG_4115.JPG celebrate Bill’s birthday. It was great to see everyone—now that I think about it, I wish Bill could have sat in the middle because at the head of the table, I doubt he could hear or even participate in all the conversations. He is looking very fit and is so proud of his progress. I think it has been nearly 5 or maybe 6 years since his stroke.

Now, about my water exercise. I am hell bent to go at least two times a week—in Temple at Sammons Swim Center. The teacher is — she is mean. I keep wondering why I keep going—she is just plain ornery. I was telling the Happy Hour gang about her Friday night when Tom said, “Oh yes, she is mean.” I was thrilled for his affirmation. He goes there too but at the crack of dawn. But at one time he tried her classes…she is just a rough cob. I bet she believes in throwing babies in the deep end to teach them to swim.   She was giving me what to about my lack of ability, so I told her I just finished chemo…sure, it was over in December but she doesn’t need to know that. It didn’t phase her a bit. I like teachers who are kind. Oh well, either way, I am burning a few calories. I wouldn’t use her for a reference that’s for sure. She would call me a weenie and say that I can’t follow directions.

Belinda Found This—Napping is Good for Me and other Breast Cancer Survivors

Posted in Uncategorized on September 9, 2012 by drycreekherbs

I Call This Over Kill

Posted in Uncategorized on September 9, 2012 by drycreekherbs

IMG_4075.jpgCome on now… many vicious warnings are necessary for one new cushion? Terrorists don’t have this much to fear.

Sunday Morning’s Thoughts on Diego, Jigsaw Puzzles, Nail Color, etc.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 9, 2012 by drycreekherbs


No church again. It has been months since I have been. I sleep late, late, late and then I streeeeeeeetch and it feels wonderful.   San Miguel chum calls skipping church, “Worshipping at St. Mattress.” I think that is pretty clever.

So here I am on the porch listening to the fountains, birds, and Diego…on occasion he likes to chew on furniture….grrr. Len went to HEB to shop for dog toys…he loooooves his dog. Diego likes it all—especially his pool and in a pinch the deer’s water trough.


Why we keep the trough is a mystery since Diego’s main claim to fame is herding all the deer away from the area. That dog can run like the wind. He also chews anything including people, terrorizes the cat who does NOT want to be herded, and chases cars. We go to our first private dog training Tuesday then two more before we go to Massachusetts….then Diego stays with the trainer and gets 2 hours of one on one training a day. This is an expensive dog. Belinda and James have agreed to be Godparents in case he needs to be relocated–he can go to Lavaca county for a few days. I wouldn’t really do that to them! Their cattle and horses would never be the same.

Jigsaw Puzzles. I have NEVER, EVER, been a jigsaw puzzle enthusiast. I don’t recall our family ever having one….but I did start buying little 52 pc puzzles at museum shops when I ran out of other purchasing options. I liked them….fast, easy, big pieces. So I have tried over the past three or so years to branch out. I did a 150 pc with relative success…I think it took me a week of total absorption. During this period I found out that Suz, is a whiz at them….small wonder. If I had one out during Mahjong she would walk by and put in about 20 pcs randomly with no concentration at all. It made me nuts. I was filled with envy. I started telling her if she put any together she had to take them apart so I could say I did the entire puzzle. That makes sense to me. Now, it has all changed. I bought a 500 pcs puzzle at Yellowstone National IMG_4088.JPG Park of a beautiful blue hole. Internet search calls it a Grand Prismatic Spring. Bet it freaked out the pioneers and Native Americans. Anyway, It took me about 2 weeks to put the outside edges together—not sitting there for hours, but not in an hour either. I can’t figure out why it is so hard for me. I have a doctorate degree and I am an idiot about Suduko, and all other puzzles. Ok, here is what I have learned: If you walk away, clear your head, turn the puzzle, stand up, and don’t think, the puzzle pcs are much easier to place. It is incredible. Especially important is not to think. Next thing I know I am popping a pc in nickity split. Ohhhh, that is such a sensational feeling. I would really like to have a PET scan while doing a puzzle. I would like to see what part(s) of my brain light up when I am concentrating on the pieces and when I am not. I bet putting a pc in correctly lights up the brain like sex! At this point, I am thinking of offering to pay Suz’s air fare to come down here and jump start my puzzling—hell, she can finish it if she wants. I might need the dining room table for another long term project, like sewing up the eyelet dress I cut out 6 months ago.

Hair update: I am looking like Lyle Lovett or a rooster.Lyle.jpg IMG_4083.jpg

I am intrigued with tattoos. I can’t have a tattoo because I am fickle and as soon as I selected an awesome design and suffered through the process, I wouldn’t like it any more. Also, Mom would disinherit me. Anyway, I am pretty good at convincing people that my spider veins are modern art tattoos. Ok, if I can’t allow myself tattoos, I can allow myself to wear curious nail color. Recently, I am wearing gray….not like Michelle Obama. I had mine on before her speech in Charlotte. Actually, I am not wearing my ‘Fifity Shades of Gray’, but rather something called Pumice. I love it. Mom even liked it, I think. I am sorry I never wore rubber gloves my hands are so ugly.

I am trying to lose weight again. This is what I do in life….My tombstone might say something like, “Over 85 years, she lost and gained back 200 pounds.” This time I am not doing Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. I always like to say when I am trying to be clever, that, “I am a life time member of all major weight loss companies.” That’s a pretty sad commentary. Ann did give me a name of a place in Austin called My Fit Foods where you can buy healthy prepared meals. They have very good-looking photos of the meals and spiffy names. They are, however, mostly made of ground turkey. That doesn’t interest me much. I still might do the 3-day Challenge. This morning I was eating my Over-night Oatmeal….a pretty tasty serving except I have been making it with almond milk. I think it would be tastier made with Half and Half or cream.

I think I lost my train of thought. So to lose weight, I am walking a lot with Diego, walking at the old mall, and doing water exercise. The water exercise is very effective but it is such a giant effort. I have to wear my big girl suit and water shoes! I didn’t know they existed. It is working although I hate all the analysis I have to do to squeeze in the time and location between lunching with the buds and working at the hospital.

Hospital: I love it all except for the required turquoise shirt. I would much prefer to dress-up just enough to fulfill my love of costume but still be able to swab down a chair. Here is what I like. I get to chit chat with people who are genuinely grateful for my attention and also who haven’t heard my stories before! I think of myself as a social worker of sorts!

In order to feel productive, I am going to finish Tung oiling the outside furniture. I think I will rubber gloves.