Archive for August, 2014

Kolbe: My Mentor

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 18, 2014 by drycreekherbs

I like to think I have had lots of mentors. Dr. Helen Campbell, Chair of the HE Dept at SWTSU who believed I was smarter than I thought I was; Dr. Dale Hardin, former Chair of Consumer and Family Science; Dr. Linda Jones, Dean of Graduate Students Stephen F. Austin; Ann Tishon, English Teacher Kaiserslautern American High School; and Mom, of course. BUT the major mentor is Bill Kolbe.

He was my art professor at SWTSU and friend from 1966-. Patt and I adored him, quoted him, copied him, purchased his paintings, and loved it when he ‘took’ to us. After we graduated, he would come by our apartment for dinner and drinks on his way to his extension classes in Uvalde. Oh we thought we had died and gone to heaven…one time I was whining about my ineptitudes and he said, “Why do you even entertain thoughts like that?” I got it. I still do that but more often than not I realize that doing that kind of stinkin’ thinkin’ is murderous…it is self-talk and it is convincing. He also taught me that it was great to be out of the box….I had been trying to squelch that for years…I guess he encouraged me to ‘come out’ and be outrageous if it felt right.

When I went back to teach at Texas University it was such an honor to be his colleague—sadly we didn’t see each other that much. Over the years I check in and he is always so supportive and appreciative. I worry that people will go without knowing the extent of my gratitude for their sponsorship and affection. So on my way home from SAT I called and arranged a visit. It was delightful two hour chat. I want to repeat every word he said and be as smart as he thinks I am. I loved meeting Ella, his charming and lovely wife of 62 years. They renewed their vows a few years ago. I am sending them a card today——Thank you Bill, you pulled a rabbit out of the hat. A85BD3AC-D551-4E38-AFA9-021596C21FE4.jpeg IMG_1189.JPG IMG_1187.JPG 82-old-and-newsmall.gif 83-moon-glow-small.gif 080514.F.ST_.Kolbe anniversary_0.jpg

Summer Thai

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 18, 2014 by drycreekherbs

While I was in San Antonio I went to a Central Market cooking class—I have been to many classes at the Austin Lamar store but never the one in SAT. Perhaps because I had such low expectations, it was faaaaaabuuuulous! It was a ‘hands-on’ class with only 6 registrants and presented by 3 chefs. As far as I knew, I didn’t just love Thai food. BUT, the menu didn’t have fish in it so I signed up….

What was better? The classmates or the food? So first the classmates: A middle-aged female attorney who went back to law school after starting out as an elementary teacher; a young female mechanical engineer; a young accounting student and her handsome boyfriend, a manager at USAA; and a 60+ gerontologist who teaches at UTSA Medical School. I was in hog heaven….So I elected myself to be the group facilitator and started extracting life information. Really, I was so stimulated. Obviously, the gerontologist had the most interesting info. He teaches advanced clinical cognitive diseases. These are things I learned from him: Drawing a simple clock and setting the hands at specified times is the single best indicator of declining cognition (AND NOT a good party game); exercise is the only proven hindrance to the development of dementia; researchers are very close to identifying a solid treatment for Alzheimer’s; interlaminar stabilization decompression is a very good way to treat spinal stenois (for Len’s back); Incarnate Word has a great nursing home; and it is good that Mom is so engaged with the Spurs. I also learned from the group that none of us were in the Witness Protection Program and all are life long learners. I sure did get my money’s worth.


The class was awesome. The chefs divided us into two groups of three—so we were really able to participate. They had all the ingredients nicely prepped so we didn’t have any grunt work but that will make the at home preparations significantly less fun. We made Summer Rolls with peanut dipping sauce, Drunken Noodles, Todman Khao Phot (Spicy Corn Cakes), Coconut Beef Satay; and Thai Fried Bananas with Coconut Ice Cream. Every bit of it was delicious. So I am inspired to have a Make-Your-Own-Summer Roll happy hour. I think it will encourage people not to do the same kind of pairing up and talking about the same topics. Yep, I am going to do this. First I will do it for happy hour group, then birthday club. This is very energizing. Nothing like a themed event to get me going.

I have the Central Market Cooking School schedule—so I will plan to take something as soon as possible when I am back in SAT. Actually, I am going back in 10 days so Billy can go visit David…but nothing is offered then….I want to do hands-on Asian Noodles, Risotto 101, Dumplings of the World, and Gnocchi 101.   

IMG_1165.jpg IMG_1174.jpg IMG_1172.JPG IMG_1177.jpg IMG_1184.JPG IMG_1183.JPG

Mom’s Aliases

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 18, 2014 by drycreekherbs

Beulah L. Bump

Lee Maynor

Lee Hilliard







She will be amazing until the end. Currently we are having difficulty with differing signatures. Obviously Mom never liked the name Beaulah Bump…she was named after my Grandmother’s best friend….bad, bad move. So she went to the, much preferred, middle name, Lee. With this and two marriages her signature changed and that is playing havoc with legal documentation. Hellish bureaucracy. Especially since she no longer writes legibly. It is almost as bad as the Texas Drivers License…lessons learned: Never, ever let any license expire even if not used and always use the same exact signature….and best don’t give children middle names. Jack Sprat is a good name…John Winthrop Douglas Sprat is a bad name.

Back to Mom’s health. To my way of seeing things, she is nearly at death’s door. She is emaciated, 99% deaf, and speaking is difficult. She coughs all night but can’t take much medicine because it knocks her out for 2 days regardless of amount taken. I won’t even address it all because it is so damned depressing and just wrong. She was and is an incredibly good woman. There isn’t a drop of justice.

I know that when I am home she feels ignored because if anyone else is there she can’t participate in the conversation…Everyone tries it just doesn’t work. If it is just the two of us it is the same because I can no longer scream loud enough…and the dry erase board works best for concept topics. The best is just writing it all out and printing it up for her to read and re-read….but you can’t skip anything or generalize too much or it baffles her.

She likes a ‘field trip.’ We have done Randolph AFB and Lackland AFB; old neighborhoods, the San Antonio Mormon tabernacle; Normandy Terrace; the AT&T stadium; the Broadway Condos; and La Cantera. These are strictly car rides except for the visit to Belinda’s condo. I thought I had run out of ideas but then I had an epiphany as we were watching the Animal Planet channel’s Too Cute Kittens. I will take her to the Animal Defense League for kitten and puppy petting! I KNOW she will love this.   

I Better Write This FAST

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 12, 2014 by drycreekherbs

When I write in my journal it is for me…granted when you put something OUT THERE people can read it…I like it when some people read it–like my friends…and sometimes even friends want to bring me back to center…the point is this: when I write in my journal this is me where I am on my own timeline…it is one-way therapy…me out…not me throwing out a net to be reassured or cajoled. Just my vehicle for dealing with thoughts and ideas and experiences.

I received a response from a person I don’t know regarding a journal entry from way back when. Her response seemed angry and I am sorry for that because life energy is so precious…I loved Brogdon Hall and a lot of the people I knew then. It was a time of my personal development…In respect for her opinions, I won’t add them to my commentary…her experiences are not my experiences.

In the Olden Days Families took Refuge from the Heat in the Mountains

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 12, 2014 by drycreekherbs

Oh how I want to take refuge somewhere cool. This hasn’t been the hottest summer ever…I remember when it was triple digits for 20+ days…that or more. But the variables have changed. I feel cooked in a tortuous way…meanly. Like I could collapse kind of heat. I don’t go outside that much—just to water the plant or check out the tomato crop. Is it my age that has left my body intolerant of the humidity and heat or is it more humid and hotter? I only know this—I go outside my hair and body is DRIPPING.

Len usually doesn’t say much about the heat. Last week I had a text from him. He wrote, “I am moving to Canada tomorrow.” I would go with him in a minute.   

We were going to take a road trip to North Carolina this month but it was bad timing so we postponed it and…that is another sign of the heat-induced ennui. We just can’t get energized.

I sleep with three fans on high and on ‘cool’ sheets. I even tried a ‘chillow’ but it was like laying my head on a frozen brick…not at all like the ‘As seen on TV commercials.’ Plus it leaked.

My body and soul are in alignment with the earth…disrupted, scared, and fractured by heat and overall gloominess. My new word for it—Putinesque. Putin looks like a pit bull. Actually, pit bulls are better looking. I think I will become fixated with Putin as my hate object. I am glad I live in the US because I probably would be arrested in Russia for saying that. After getting arrested the Ruskies wouldn’t send me to Siberia but to Death Valley or another hotter place.

Ok, how can I squeeze this in and get it correct? Susan’s brother Norm wrote this little ditty…or something like it….

C M Putin?

M N O Putin.

M R snake

C M’s B D eyes?

All of this–then losing Robin Williams. It just seems so damned sad. I need a purge in the form of a screaming’, cryin’ fit.