Archive for Time is Marching On

Spring

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 13, 2015 by drycreekherbs

EA6F_Pollen_01.jpgIMG_2498.JPGI am still dragging my wagon…I have had this crazy cough too long. Now I keep thinking lung cancer. Do NOT start with the stinkin’ thinkin’, Susan. I saw IMG_2477.JPG four doctors and a nurse practitioner in three weeks…Today was the last of the second set of antibiotics…it is the wretched tree pollen. If I am IMG_2487.jpg allergic to anything it is tree pollen and especially oak. The whole outdoors is gorgeous…if it can bloom- it is blooming now— huisache and oak trees, roses, bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, poppies, bastard cabbage (really the name), etc. I guess I will need to wear a mask.

I went SAT about 9 days ago…Bros. Bill had sinus surgery and I was wanted to help out. I was so busy coughing and hacking that I avoided contact with both Billy and Mom. Luckily Mom’s caretakers were there so my neglect was ok except for the emotional part…I don’t think she really got it though. This is a miserable place for her. Her hearing may be the worst of it. She feels ignored and neglected,

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Susan and Bill were in town for a couple of days—I enjoyed having a Mah Jongg brunch here…Susan spent one night before I needed to get to SAT.  

Moma owl is still in her house but no sign of babies yet. She isn’t keeping her head out anymore so I worried that she was gone. Max climbed up and she made her presence known…so maybe she is incubating the eggs?

Len took this photo of Diego….I love it; a bit reminiscent of an Olan Mills portrait. I wish he had on his bow tie.

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I Get so Mad at Me

Posted in Out and About with tags , on March 29, 2015 by drycreekherbs

I have so much to write about and need to write about –so much that I’m surprised I’m not leakin’ sentences. What I have been leakin’ is SNOT.IMG_2428.JPG

So, I am out on the back patio with my hound, a lovely breeze, a Mama screech owl nesting, and a ton of tree pollen.DSC_5108.JPGI am taking a big chance sitting out here for the sake of spring serenity. Also I am drying my hair that is wound up on enormous Velcro rollers. The price I will pay will probably be another two weeks of sinusitis. About every three years, I get a killer episode that lasts at least two weeks. This year I knew at the very minute when I became sick. Just as I was driving onto IH 35 North from the toll road I felt it coming. With that, I have been drippy, croupy, sniffy, sneezy sick. I am done with this. Although with all of this, I have dropped about ten pounds. Happily, I am on the mend. I am full of Doxycycline and at night full of Codeine cough syrup. IMG_2434.JPG Brother Bill, always compassionate, texted me the Camille image.

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A couple of weeks ago our Mah Jongg group, minus Jeton, went on a field trip to Wimberly for an overnighter. I facetiously referred to the outing as a tournament on Facebook — that causes a rash of responses. Pretty funny. We played two lengthy sessions of MJ, ate, shopped, talked, and laughed. I lot of chocolate and wine were in the mix. And a crown. Becky’s happily re-located…I(we) miss her. It was so much fun—and good to see Bob—I think I might like to move to Wimberly. Something to think about. The crown made all the difference to winning still another round! IMG_2410.jpg IMG_2418.jpg We take winning very seriously.

Yesterday Foy and I went to lunch at one of his favorite haunts…The Cappachino—there are several in Waco. He was waiting in the lobby of the Hewitt Senior Care Center—sporting a windbreaker and sunglasses-ready to roll and ready to boss. He allowed me to drive by the Stillwell Retirement Center—he is number one on the wait list. I was instructed not to slow down…he didn’t want ‘them’ to see him again so soon. He doesn’t want to seem to eager. Ha. I(we) had a few good laughs about getting him moved in. I suggested he call everyday to see how everyone was feeling…did anyone have a fever, etc. Needless to say, he was recognized by other diners at the restaurant…so he was required to table hop. I waited patiently. Of course, he didn’t introduce me as I was wearing jeans. While having lunch he gave me a run down on why women my age should not wear long hair, or wear shorts. I won’t wear shorts…he can rest easy. He also suggests I wear my hair parted in the middle. As in American Gothic. Anyway, he was in good spirits and is grateful for my little snack bags I bring him. He is happy with olives and cheese but wishes I would make him some more trail mix. I love Foy. Oh. He HAD to have ice cream since the restaurant had no pie but pecan and that he did not want anything to do with. So, I was instructed to only take the access road so we could stop for ice cream. I became heavy handed and said we would get some at Freddy’s next to his residence. Begrudgingly he agreed. We went in and there were 20+ softball players in line before us. I said, “Let’s forget it.” No. We got back in the car and went through the drive through for his double dip. He insisted we park so he could eat in the car. I will go back in a few weeks.

I am ready to break out of this ennui that I am stuck in. I need some happy excitement. Susan S and spousal unit are going to go with us to see Pink Martini in May. I hope I get to participate in the Conga Line. AND-Belinda and I are making our 2016 reservations to do a National Geographic Train tour of Norway. We are taking along our men on this trip. IMG_2457.JPG

I am reading too much…TV too. I read and reallllllllllly liked All the Light You Cannot See. I keep thinking about the characters. It helps that we lived in Germany during the early Occupation years. Leaving Berlin and Ordinary Grace were good too. Grisham’s Gray Mountain was ok. Just completed the US version season 1 House of Cards. The UK version seemed more sinister but I am hooked on this too. A fellow cinephile recommended a new BBC series-Wallander. Very good, filmed in Southern Sweden. I looooooooooves to watch and read in my Sleep Number bed. I crank the head and foot zones up to the top and chill. Len, aka the Prince and the Pea, requires the foot zone level….says he cannot sleep on his stomach bent backward. He hasn’t tried it, so how does he know? I will wait till he is soundly out and snoring then I will grab the remote and jack him up. That cracks me up thinking about it.

December 7th

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

…..Pearl Harbor Day. Pam died eleven years ago. She will be forever right there in my brain and heart.

I am not going to be a gloomy Gus tonight….I will just recount things instead of teasing apart each event and it’s emotional partner.

I am roasting ‘my’ famous Buckee’s Bacon Wrapped, Cream Cheese and Jalapeño Pork Roast that I didn’t cook on Friday.

There are lots of little things I can mention but the real biggies are Len and Mom. Len had a laminectomy on December 1…Wikipedia says it is minimally invasive….well he has a 6” incision down the lower part of his spine, 31 staples running up (looks like a zipper), and he is, of course, black and blue. Dr. H. shaved off the lower vertebrae and widened the spinal canal. So, I will leave out all the medical stuff that I can’t get right, and say that Len is doing great overall. He walks currently with a walker. BUT, he does have some pain….I couldn’t rate it….sometimes 0 sometimes 10. All those nerves have to knit back and that won’t be fast. He is pretty eager to see this behind him and it is difficult for him to be patient. If he is better tomorrow we will go on a ride….maybe out to Ft. Hood. He won’t be driving for at least another week.IMG_2001.jpg

Friday night Len said he felt well enough to have the Happy Hour folks over…the Lawson’s were here from PA and the Denton’s were driving up from Wimberly. Two hours before the guests were to arrive, Brother Bill called. Mom fell; used her Life Line to call for help; EMS took her to North East Methodist Hospital. Happy Hour cancelled and I hit the road. There is sooooo much that happens in a hospital event. So the outcome is that she fell probably because of feeling discombobulated due to an undiagnosed urinary infection. I took her home and stayed over the night. I don’t see how Mom survives. She is emaciated yet eats well. She has some kind of odd will to keep going that I don’t understand. She wants her flu shot and she wants to take her medications. As I see it, she has no quality of life. It isn’t my call. She does NOT want to relocate. Billy has several good leads he is researching for a sitter/helper in addition to Monica who comes two times a week.

December 11, 2014. Clearly some time has passed since I started this entry. There is so much going on and I seem to be floundering and can’t manage anything….maybe I never did. Len continues to improve….he is very pumped up about his doctor’s appointment tomorrow. Mainly he is hoping the staples are removed and he is given permission to drive. Yesterday we had his first outing to Walmart….he was zipping around the store using the walker….BUT he did need to stop and sit occasionally and he is being very careful about twisting, bending, and lifting. I have taken the temporary dog run duty….this includes taking the golf cart around the property so Diego can race around and burn up some energy…very important.

Tuesday night our Salado Book Club had our December soiree and also selected our books for 2015. These are the books we chose:

Me Before You

• Killing Patton

• The Light Between Oceans

• Ordinary Grace

• The Dinosaur Feather

• Eleanor and Park

• The Invention of Wings

• Claire of the Sea Light

• Leaving Time

• Her Fearful Symmetry

• All the Light We Cannot See

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Brother Bill is very good about calling me and keeping me updated on Mom’s wellbeing. I do my best to be a good listener and not assert too many opinions…he is doing his very best. Mom seems to be unraveling…she has lost her feeling in her hands so she frequently drops things….she has trouble eating, etc. She is particularly worried about her house and the furnishings. She seems to want Billy to move into her house after she goes…he doesn’t seem interested. Mom and I talked about it when I was home for her fall experience…actually I don’t know if we really talked about it. Mom cannot hear anything and she frequently misunderstands what is said to her. Her deafness has almost completely separated us. This pains me more than anything. Now we have someone who comes in to help her bathe. I think in the past three weeks Mom has lost so much ability. She told Billy this morning that she wanted to go to a nursing home….I think really assisted living. She is depressed, frail, weak, and anxious. This week Billy has been checking out different facilities. This is not going to happen easily. I will go home next week and help Billy look. We agree that Mom needs to be involved in the choice…I think it is the right time but I am afraid that when Mom sees what is available she will balk.

I love picking up pecans…better than finding sand dollars on the beach. We have about 5 native trees down by the derycreek but they produces fairly small nuts…this year a good crop. When I showed them to Len he said, “These make me think of Bob Wadley.” We used to send Bob tiny pecans for his squirrels in Amarillo. I like that Len remembered that.

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All the things I was going to write about seem insignificant.

I went to see Foy again on Sunday. He has lost a good deal of weight and has a bad haircut that makes him seem like a different person. He is much, much more accepting than I ever expected, although he says that he does not want to move and not be able to take his furniture. This must be a much bigger loss for older people than I ever realized. I am going to do my best to visit him every week. He told me how boring it was in the Rehab Center. I can only imagine how boring this is for him…he isn’t a typical fellow…reading British Traditional Home, House to Home, and the English Home. He also misses his garden and particularly he misses his piano…he told me that he always played his piano every single day. He wants me to bring him some popped corn and crackers. I hope he is having many visitors….he had Thanksgiving dinner with the former Swedish Ambassador and his wife who live in Waco.

IMG_2007.JPGToday was December Birthday Club…and next week I am reviewing Book Thief for Adelea’s Book Club. I have read it twice before—once just because it was recommended, the second time before I reviewed it for the Salado Book Club. Now the third time so I can review it for Adelea’s Book Club…since I am running out of time, I am reading it and listening to it….which is another reason I am not writing well. I am listening and writing…multitasking isn’t my strength.

Nice news: David and Frances are engaged!

IMG_2005.JPG Ok, time for a glass of wine and more listening to Book Thief.

If I Don’t Write Tonight I Will POP: In Dire Need of a Catharsis or Is It Purging?

Posted in Out and About with tags , on November 10, 2014 by drycreekherbs

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I have been home two days and of those two days, I slept 12 hours and volunteered at the hospital for four hours….so little time for an after-action review.

I will be making Korean Lettuce Wraps like Barbara ate at La Aurora or my version, anyway. I coveted her lettuce wraps.

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I hate trying to extract each bit of minutia – because I probably don’t have the ability and will it make a difference? The flight to BJX was greatly improved as AA is flying clean, new airbuses…and I received an upgrade. I am determined to use up my AA segments before they change the rules. This can happen at any time. I think there is software that finds new angles to gyp frequent flyers. Must consider how paranoid that sounds! AND on the way home, the flights from DFW were delayed 4 hours…so David, Alex, and I had two meals and good visitation at the BJX airport. When I finally made it to DFW, I had missed all flights to Killeen so I spent the night at the airport Hyatt—comfortable and verrrrrry expensive.

I am very taken with young Alex Stone, David Stone’s son. He is 37 and his own man. I like meeting adult children of people I know but not their kids. This sentence makes

IMG_1672.jpgIMG_1677.jpgNO sense. It is like when I finally met Jackie’s twins and Barbara’s Michalel. It is a new big dynamic. I shared a van with them to SMdA.

Barbara came in later in the day – Babs and I stayed on what I think is the northwest side of town…Organos 5…pronounced like the organ liver. The modernish house was very central and only 3 blocks from the Jardin. This was a very nice, eclectic house, albeit dark. The off site owners may be Canadian…we shared the property the last two days with a couple renting the attached casita. I barely laid eyes on them. Precious Dennis and Gay came out of retirement to be our off site hosts….they were/are perfect.

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I will make myself crazy trying to sequence the events so I will clump all together by category!   Camie knows no limits….how is it possible to keep upgrading the DOD tour? We had lots of new things to do…and the few oldies but goodies, Barbara and I just skipped. We did not go to the sugar market, the pilgrimage to the Panteon, La

IMG_1764.jpgGruta, church, nor the field trip to the country. We did our own outing to the artesan market and shopping in general in the Centro, IMG_1756.JPG organic market and well, any where they sold things and we were present…We went with the tour to different casas for comidas….all the houses were spectacular with magnificent catering. Open bar….always popular, and the face painting/altar-building/mariachi band/mojijanga event was just plain over the top wonderful! Oh, we went to a Sazon cooking class with the Sierra Nevada’s chef! It was the best yet…we all were able to participate and we were introduced to some new techniques and food items (corn smut). Gay and Dennis took us to visit the mask museum at the Casa de la Cuesta B&B. It appears to be the top rated B&B or waaaaay up there. This is was some kind of impressive mask museum.

Soooo, we had many new experiences and all grand. Jewelry and blouse shopping, divine food and drink, and maaaaaarvelous visits with old and new friends. What’s not to like?

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Foy suffered from one stroke and probably several TIAs leading up to the stroke. I can’t say enough about the care that his hosts provided as well as Camie and Larry, et al. Foy was understandably reluctant to give in to waning health but at several events he required assistance and care….EMS….etc. It was always frightening and he was always unwilling to take advice. His traveling days are done. We didn’t know if he could make the flight back to Texas but he did make it with the assistance of the airline and another tour member was on the same flight. I know she didn’t want that responsibility. I am realllllllly abbreviating all that surrounded his ‘spells’ in SMdA. He has now finished three days at Hillcrest Hospital in Waco and moved to a rehab center for the next 20 days. He will not like this. I spoke with Doris, his sister in law from Corpus Christi, today. The doctors say Foy can no longer live alone. His brother, Burt, will be moving him to assisted living or a nursing home in Corpus Christi. My heart breaks. Really breaks. Effectively, I’ve lost Lolly and now Foy. I feel like I should recount each episode but it somehow seems wrong and it stings too much. This is what happens. I’m cried out and empty. I think I am getting to the front of THE LINE and it doesn’t feel good.

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What have I learned? Keep having estate sales, maintain my MedJet membership, go like crazy; laugh like a loon, speak up about perceived bull shit, and love up on my dear family and friends. Dance during good weather, beg God to make you some kind of moderate Moonie, and possibly relocate during summer.

Photos will just have to be stacked because there are so many and I want to edit but just not enough time to make me look like Betty Grable. I think I am Olive Kitteridge.

I have to go to bed. Every single night of my life Len asks me what time I want to get up and it is a loaded question. He and Diego take it as a personal challenge to wake me up with lots of enthusiasm . Tomorrow I hit the road early for SAT. I am glad Len takes such loving care of me.

Great Thunderbolts of Jove! It’s Already Mid-October

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

It is so damned true…as I age, time FLIES. The last time I wrote I was puffed up because I was in the throws of downsizing—hauling things over to the estate sale location. Finally, the sale managers said, ‘No more submissions.” Actually the timing was good to quit..if the sale is sufficiently profitable I can sell more at other sales they have. I think I did a good job for a first of ten. The attic is almost empty and I eliminated about 90% of all Christmas decorations and decided to add the armoire to the deposit…hope I get something for it besides space. Yes! There is one problem…I want to open drawers and cabinets and see empty space. As much as I have purged, when you spread out the remainders it still looks like a lot. I really feel claustrophobic when I see stuff any more.

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This month I have seen my optician, had a sleep disorder consult, eaten out waaaay too much, observed migrating Monarchs, attended a wedding, visited my shut-in friends, driven to SAT two times (one more to go), and enjoyed a THS Home Ec teachers reunion. It has all been good.

I am planning a girlee soiree in November—complete with a ‘fashion truck.’ This is a first for me…I sure hope it isn’t like a Tupperware things…NO PRESENTATIONS, the owners promised. Mainly it will be parked out in front and guests can check it out or not, as they please….and no pressure to buy anything. I am going to have Mexican food and beverages…already bought the little Cokes and Coronalitas. White Wings, guacamole, pepper poppers, and Margarita Punch. Yup that will work.

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I am thinking about gratitude, gratification, and gratuity. I saw this piece at Scott and White and it started me thinking and with some cognitive stretching, I have had much to ponder. Grateful yes, but not sufficiently—I am frequently gratified but again, insufficiently; and in terms of gratuity…well, I just don’t give enough back for all I am given. Maybe only volunteering—money, to charities close to me, but again, insufficiently. I am on the short end of the stick and must work on these things.  

Since retirement, I rarely suffer from decision fatigue or mental either. I frequently think of what my old boy friend, Tommy, once told me, “Living without purpose is poison.” I need more purpose. I am going to try to call him this week. He might be dead. He was/is 8 years older than I. Ok, here is what this is all about. I listened to Billy Crystal’s new book, Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? At first I was not at all interested and was annoyed throughout at his claim of friendship with so many celebrities. It sort of felt like name-dropping but what the hell, I’d brag too. I am so smitten with my friends, I brag about them so ok, I will excuse Billy. Back to the subject. It was funny and I did laugh out loud often. There were some very poignant parts. I love listening to audio books. The all time funniest book is Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome or maybe David Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day.

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I haven’t been reading too much except for pop magazines…I NEVER, EVER read Oprah anything and brag that I have never, ever seen her show…but I did pick up some interesting insights in the November issue of O at the hair salon– about parent care. The Thanks Mom article reminded me soooo much of Mom. After getting my hair colored, cut, and coiffed…oh and a Frida Kahlo brow-job, too, I went to UT Ransom Center to see an exhibit about Gone with the Wind.

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Ooops before I forget….Gone Girl…pretty much a Hitchcockesque shrieker movie. Also saw The Equalizer….I will never think of Home Depot the same way again.

I was meant to live in San Francisco, just another of my favorite San cities. I was also meant to shop at Gumps for home furnishings and clothes.

I am just about ready to pack for Day of the Dead. I am laying out essentials such as black lace Catrina apparel for the parade. I am sooooo excited. OMG! I just did a quick Google search to see if I could find any images and LOW and BEHOLD, I came across this site…..I subscribed. Must ask Camie who the author is!!!! WOW. https://richland.wordpress.com/

There has to be a way to start a sentence or paragraph with something other than, “I ….”. So now it is time for a shower then wine. Len is doing the Livestrong ride in Austin tomorrow so I can bake apple bombs in a quiet house.   IMG_1470.jpg

How can I go to an Anne Lamott event?

I seem to have sciatica. I do not like it. Also I should never have made fun of the abdominal flap linen available in shops for the aged. As soon as I did, I grew one, and it is a whopper of a flap. Photos are unavailable.

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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

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.