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November 26, 2005

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

I had some really great food over the weekend! I can't decide if it's because I didn't have to cook a big meal or if I just like turkey and dressing...probably a little of both. I watched my daughter-in-law fix dressing her way and noticed that it was considerably better than mine. I was so glad I didn't try to impose my recipe! She's a great cook and my son is indeed fortunate to have had the wisdom to choose her as his bride! He eats well! She and Hannah had made corn husk dolls which composed the centerpiece of our table. Even the napkins were graciously gathered by green satin bows. Nice presentation!!
Fredericksburg was ready for the seasons...I pluralized that because there were decorations up for Thanksgiving, banners and signs for holiday craft shows, Christmas everywhere, and every third person I passed was wearing camouflage clothing. Deer hunters were being welcomed to the area on every restaurant and motel marquee. We saw plenty of deer on the way over...most were standing out in a field but there were also a few on the side of the road. They make up almost as much roadkill in the hill country as armadillos do down south.
I lost a dear cousin-in-law over Thanksgiving and couldn't get my ducks back in a row to attend the funeral. I'm sorry he's gone but glad he's not in pain. He's found my mom and several other relatives by now and I'm sure they have a poker game going...if we get to play poker in heaven. I get a little more "homesick" with the passing of every family member and friend who gets to heaven ahead of me.
If you watched the UT/AM game, your heart had to race a time or two no matter whether you were hooking 'em or gigging 'em. Great game!
Nothing much else to say...just a few thoughts from Thanksgiving 2005. Pray for my preacher friend in Ethiopia if you think of it...he does good work!

November 23, 2005

Walk a Mile in His BrunoMagli's

This morning I'm feeling so much pity for Tom Cruise! What?...sorrow for an ultra rich movie actor with a gorgeous girl, great career, and tolerably easy on the eyes? Yep, I say I'm feeling pity for the poor dear.

You see, as Christmas approaches, I'm stewing here over who needs to stay on my gift list, what gift will I give them, and how I will pay for all this stuff. Not such a big deal. The kids love books and toys (no underwear, please), Jeff will always take $$$, Mike is content with a carton of cigarettes or new socks. My Christmas is pretty mundane in the gift giving department.

But poor Tom...what a crisis he's had to face this season!! He's pretty much tapped out his creative resources when it comes to gift giving. He's given Katie a child (out of wedlock but isn't that splitting hairs these days?), a 20 million dollar jet (who wouldn't love one of those in the driveway) so what could he do to top that? I heard this morning that he thought of something! He's buying Katie her very own ultrasound machine! In a gesture of charity, he's noted that it will be donated to a hospital somewhere when they're through with it. How nice. The baby will now be bombarded with soundwaves whenever mom and dad want to take a looksee. Can't a baby get any privacy anymore? I'm not sure if it's even healthy for a baby to have soundwaves shot at them on a whim. Maybe there's a doctor or nurse out there that will weigh in on that aspect.

As it is, just when I thought I had gift giving issues, I can face Christmas knowing I don't have to think of a gift to top an ultrasound machine or a jet for that special someone on my list. Ahh, I love this season!!!

November 22, 2005

My Favorite Things

Yesterday afternoon was Oprah's "Favorite Things" show. We had thought we might waste a few minutes watching but we had a closing and had to do what they actually pay us for. So I missed seeing what Oprah's faves were for 2005. It did make me think about what my favorite things are. What with it being Thanksgiving and the Christmas season already being sung about, I made a list of MY favorite things. I'm leaving Jesus off the list as He's naturally #1, family is #2, freedom #3. I'm really talking about much more mundane things that make my life happy and bring a smile to my face.
1. Daisies - there's something about daisies in a garden that makes me happy
2. Prisms - I think from the first time I saw Pollyanna, I've loved prisms; I even like saying the word, "prism". I love the rainbows they make.
3. Cellophane paper - from along time ago. It was fun to look through and it tasted funny. Why I ever put it in my mouth, I'll never know.
4. Pins - there were these little pins in the form of clothes pins and you clipped them on the collars of your blouses. I loved those things! Circle pins too!
5. My kids VBS and school work. Still have some of their ornaments.
6. Fizzies - I think I liked the root beer the best.
7. Eating off campus at Foster Tebbe's grocery store - elementary kids were turned loose to leave the campus at Travis and go eat there or at Dairy Queen. I can still taste those hot dogs and cokes...$.15 for both!...and money left over for candy!!
8. Little Women - loved the book and both of the movies
9. End time eschatology - I was born the same year as Israel. I'm looking up and I love to talk about it, read about it, and listen to sermons about it.
10. Oven toast - nothing else comes close!
11. Singing - I'll be croaking along with Lawrence Welk in a nursing home in my 90's.
12. Bright clothes - love it more if it has a sequin on it!
13. Going to sleep with easy listening (elevator) music - John Tesh rocks!
14. Sheets dried on a clothes line
15. Swings
16. Starbucks Caramel Macchiato (sic?)
17. Driving by myself
18. Walking on the beach - hate doing it anywhere else
19. Sweet iced tea with mint
20. Being right! - best feeling ever!!!

I've got more I'm sure, but you get the idea. That's the wonderful thing about blogging, I've got the platform to go on and on and on. Be grateful I stopped with just 20!

November 21, 2005

Sticking with Fish

A fairly new friend of mine was explaining the reasons for Eastern Orthodox Christians starting advent early and other sundry things this morning. He mentioned fasting. Growing up Baptist, I don't remember learning or hearing much about fasting. Being pretty fundamental, most things were sin except for eating (well, not the gluttony part) so we did that...alot. There wasn't alot of talk about dietary restrictions either. Except for one.

In the school cafeteria at Travis Elementary, Friday was always fish stick day. The Catholic kids couldn't eat meat so we all got fish sticks. Everybody ate them, the Baptists, the Lutherans, the Methodists, even Johnny Bedri, the lone Jewish boy in my class. I don't recall thinking much about it. We knew we had them because of the Catholic kids, but it was just the way things were. There wasn't anyone complaining about all the fish sticks or why we ate them or whether or not God was happy/unhappy with the arrangement. We just did it.

Were we politically correct in our tolerance of eating fish sticks? Were we pushing one religion's meat ban down every little WASP throat? Were we incorrect because we allowed the obvious mixing of church and state in school cafeterias? I think we just did it to get along. It's a shame we can't do that today. We seem to tolerate everything but common sense when it comes to the things of God. And may God help us if we kick Him any further to the curb in our schools. We'll be lucky to get fish sticks!!

November 16, 2005

In This Corner...

Last night I had a new adventure, I went three rounds with a stinkbug. I think that's what it was. It was shaped like an old time shield and had a pointy nose. It was David and Goliath, but Goliath and an old TV guide won the match this time.

I heard him before I saw him. Getting ready for work yesterday morning, I found him seemingly trapped in the cover to the overhead light in my little TV room. Mikey likes to leave the doors open to catch the breeze and the little nuisance must have flown in by mistake and been unable to find his way outdoors again. I started to spray him then but was in a hurry and figured he might get lucky and disappear before I got home. Last night while watching "My Name is Earl", I heard him flying again. Drat! There went my concentration on the plot to Earl as I searched for the bug. I found an old TV guide in the trash can. Properly armed (I thought) I sneaked up on him as he lit on the closet door and WHAP, WHAP, WHAP!!! He fell to the floor. Good eye, good aim! I went back to Earl. Not ten minutes later, I see the same bug climbing up my pole lamp. I hadn't killed the beastie, I'd only knocked him out!!

Again, I reached for my trusty TV guide and whacked him again. Again he fell motionless to the floor and I gave him another couple of shots to make sure I killed him this time. Figured I'd clean up the mess during a commercial. Earl was winding up and now I guess I'm going to have to catch the rerun as I missed some funny stuff. I segued into "The Office" which is only mildly amusing compared to Earl. I was getting up to go get ice cream and would you believe??!! That darned bug is crawling up the light pole again. What a stupid bug going back to the scene of the crime!! This time I was ready. After giving him a couple of sharp slaps with my weapon, he fell to the floor. I tore a page out of the TV guide and squished what was left of his little life out in 14 different directions and threw him in the trash.

As Boston Legal came on, I sat in my chair warmed by my final victory and surrounded by an awful stench. I guess he got me after all...did I mention he was a stinkbug?

November 14, 2005

To Know, Know, Know Me......

Several years ago, someone told me that high schoolers in a creative writing class were asked to write their obituary. That's rather morbid, but I'm sure it made the kids stop and think about what they had accomplished. I had to do something similar the past few days. I was asked to submit an article and write a brief biography to accompany it. The article wasn't too terribly taxing, but the biography!!!...I had to look over my whole life and pick out the good stuff. For some reason, I felt a wave of modesty that was completely out of character for me. After 57 years, I had to look back at what I've accomplished and write it down. It was harder than I imagined. There are no letters or titles after my name. I was never a candidate for "Who's Who." I deal more in the area of "What's What." What HAVE I been doing all this time?

My bio tried to portray my finer qualities. Shoot, it was hard to think of more than one, but I'm told I can be amusing. I had to appear interesting but not pompous. People who know me well, know I love to be pompous, makes me feel superior. I tend to agree. But I don't know about admitting to that in an open forum. Putting it in print is another ball of wax. What if someone reads it and laughs? What if I forget the one really great thing I'd like to be remembered for? What IS the one great thing I'd like to be remembered for? The scrutiny is unbelievable!!

I've decided that this was way too draining. My dreams of writing that great American novel are now behind me. I couldn't take the pressure of the jacket cover. And I'll leave my obit to my friends!!

November 11, 2005

Love Freedom?...hug a Vet!!

My daddy was a red, white and blue flag waver from the get go. Over and over we heard of his adventures on the U.S.S. Mississippi. I think he said he loaded the big shells in the cannons mounted in turrets. Once, they were indirectly hit and when he looked over at his buddy, the buddy's eye was hanging out of it's socket. They both recovered, but every time the weather would change, Dad would rub his shoulder, his "war wound." I think he was always a little sorry that his shoulder had just been dislocated...he'd have loved to have had a scar to show off. He talked about the fellow sailors who lost their lives and painted word pictures of sunset burials at sea . I have one letter that he wrote from his ship shortly after they'd been hit and he talks about what good men they lost. It was Christmas Day, 1944. He'd been to church and was looking forward to lunch. You could tell he missed being at home. Besides the stories, I remember him singing us awake with
"Rally 'Round the Flag" or "There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere." We learned early on about Gold Star mothers as old Aunt Deely's son had died in a submarine. We went to church with her. Her boy signed up with Dad and some other friends. They all wanted submarine duty but Aunt Deely's son was the only one who got assigned to a sub. They all came home from the war.

Unlike WWII, we get to debate and second guess our commanders-in-chief and generals and admirals and such. We get to watch skirmishes and battles every night on the news. We're able to see a smart bomb hit it's target in real time, just like if we were on the battlelines. I guess that's all right, I appreciate freedom of the press. I have to wonder, though, if we haven't become desensitized and a little jaded with the magnitude of having Americans fighting and dying; like it's some video game we can turn off after the 10 o'clock news and sleep well without another thought.

I'm glad that Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Veteran's Day into being in 1954. It gives us one day to be reminded to thank those Veterans still alive who put their lives on hold for months or years so that we CAN sleep well in our own beds at night. Veterans from WWII are passing away at the rate of 1500 per day. If you know a veteran, spend a little time with them this weekend. Tell them thanks and listen to their stories. They're a precious American treasure!!

November 10, 2005

First Things First

Well, the Nov 8th election is over, my cold isn't, and I'm in a mood to whine a bit. Check back tomorrow if you're not in the mood to listen.

I went and stood in two pretty long lines to cast my ballot because I fiddled around and didn't early vote. One of the propositions was to approve funding to reroute trains. I voted against it. I'm not saying that getting trains out of the hearts of major cities in Texas isn't important. I've spent my time sitting in rush hour traffic while these locomotive snails inched across congested roads and streets. I appreciate their function in our society. Waiting on trains is part of the price I pay to be able to go to my favorite WalMart and buy stuff cheap.

I think our legislature (you can include state and federal here) needs a short course in prioritizing. I have to do it every day. If I have a $20 bill and I can buy my prescriptions or dust cloths, I have to make a choice as to which is the greater need at the moment. If someone has tracked mud into the kitchen and I need to wipe the blades on my ceiling fans, I make another choice as to which is more pressing. Can't we expect the same from the people we elect and the projects we support? I'm sure we need to reroute the trains. We also have a crisis in school funding. Is this the best time to start digging up money for new train trails? I'm sad to hear that the funding for I-69 is not forthcoming or has been delayed but we've got roads already...I believe 281 runs from the Valley practically to Canada. Let's take care of the poor, the schools, the veterans, the children and then worry about rerouting trains, planes and automobiles! that off my chest! Now for my next priority...lunch!

November 9, 2005

Too Cute!

Our precious market rep just reported in passing that she just doesn't feel cute today and asked me if I had days like that. Days??? I looked her over. She's young, has long dark hair, the kind of eyes that romance novelists describe in paragraphs, and a smile big as Texas. I made a quick assessment and voted on her shoes/boots as being the offending factor of her "cute" quotient. They're clunky and round toed but comfortable. Back in the 20's or 30's, flappers looked cute in round toed shoes. I have old pictures of my dad's seven sisters wearing them. But I've never liked the style and having small feet, they made me look funny. I associate round toes with ugly saddle oxfords and orthopedic lace-ups.

I don't think too much about being cute these days. If my lipstick is on straight, I'm set to go. I remember feeling cute once in high school at the Senior Candy Dance (where we sold boxes of candy to raise money for polio or March of Dimes or something). I was a go-go dancer and we had these red sheath dresses with white fringe shimmying along the hemlines. I felt really cute that night. The cutest I believe I ever looked was at least 30 years ago...maybe closer to 35. I'd bought a darling slack set at the Diana Shop. It was white and had textured daisies on the top with colored centers. With my multi-colored flats and frosted hair, I felt "cute" with a capital C.

These days I've traded cute for comfort, elegance for elastic, and haute couture for hot flashes. I think I should make a run for cute at least once more. Maybe that 40th class reunion coming up. I'll work on that.

November 7, 2005

Tier Drops

I was catching up on my Monday morning blogs and was reading anonymous of my favorites! He was doing a Q & A session with some of the fan mail he gets. One question was from someone who said that they attended a third tier law school and could they apply for a job with the anonymous law firm. Anonymous lawyer said don't bother.

It made me curious as to why anyone would attend a third tier law school, which university has a third tier rating, and who sets the ratings. If you know that you'll spend two extra years at a third rate school and the good jobs go to first and maybe second tier graduates, why bother? What are your alternatives? Do you become an ADA? Do you work for an altruistic organization?...hang your own shingle perhaps? I would think that if your tests scores don't get you to the top, why not find some other field that you can excel in? Why not apply to be a top flight para-legal?

I know that engineers like to have those UT or TAM sheepskins. Teachers wannabes used to flock to San Marcos because it was "first tier". Now I hear that San Marcos has a great art department also and they've dropped "Teachers" from their old name of STSTC. When it's all said and done, $$$ is still $$$ and I'd want to get the biggest bang for my buck. I don't know that spending all the time and money on a third tier school is such a good deal.

Of course, this is coming from a college student of one semester at a 29th tier college with a C in French! What do I know?

November 3, 2005

It's Snot Funny!

I'm fighting a cold, or flu, or allergies or sinuses...with the same success the Astroes had fighting the White Sox. I don't know why people continue to flock to regions that are highly polluted by nature or by men and tolerate this stuff! But I did and so have alot of other people who come sneezing and snorting into my office each day. I think my congestion might just be a late summer cold (I do most things late). I haven't been prone to allergies before. I asked my mother once why none of her kids had allergies when so many of our friends did. Some of them even had to take shots. She said we were too poor to have allergies. Suited me...didn't like shots anyway. Hopefully this will be over soon...I'm not in the mood to be sick. Shoot, I'm not even in the mood to whine about it. I'm taking two aspirin and I'll write you in the morning!

November 2, 2005

Advertising Adjustment Needed

Lately I'm experiencing a few unpleasant side effects of aging. Nothing life threatening mind you, but little changes that remind me I'm not 21 anymore...or 31 or 41 or 51! I'm wearing glasses and fully understand the oneliner, "You know you're old when you can go without sex but not your glasses." I can still hear, but it's important that you speak clearly to me or your words are just so much white noise. I'm not alone. I'm part of that great, aging mob affectionately referred to as Baby Boomers. As a group, we're still a huge financial boost to the economy having begun to retire and have our bills paid...mostly. I say this because I don't think Madison Avenue has clicked to the fact that people with the most disposable income have special needs.

For one thing, do away with the fine print. We can't see it. Have you noticed a fairly new phenomenon of prescription ads with two pages of very fine print which extols the virtues of the product along side the warnings? Who are they kidding? I'd like to meet the person who can read that without a magnifying glass. And I'd like to shake hands with the person who understands it. If I'm paying all that money to go to the doctor, HE should be telling me this stuff in simple terms. I'm paying exorbant fees because he went to medical school...he should use that knowledge so I don't have to read fine print. Same goes for insurance policies. If there's something I should know, please have the courtesy to put it in large print.

The second thing is my hearing. I don't yet need the volume on the TV maxed out to enjoy Desperate Housewives. But those ads on radio and television where someone is yakking on and on at warp speed is annoying to say the least! What ARE those hawkers talking about? They could be telling me NOT to buy a certain product. They could be telling me that the sky is falling or Big Brother really is watching me..I'd never know. Obviously, the speed of sound and the speed of discernment aren't anywhere close. I have no idea whether to buy or not to buy that medicine, car, vacation trip or use that credit card to make those purchases.

Cut me some slack! Send me to a 1-800 number or a website which the disclaimers are printed or spoken at an intelligible level. Please???

November 1, 2005

Sincere, Seasonal Schmaltz

Be warned, I'm feeling Thanksgiving-ish!
I was watching my roof leak from the rain we had last night. We really need to get that fixed. As I was mentally griping about the sorry state of my roof, it occured to me that at least my problem was a fixable one. Enlarging on that theme, I began to think about all of my current problems and annoyances, and I can fix them if and when I get motivated to fix them. My roof, my weight, my finances, even my attitudes! They can all be fixed. It put a new spin on my outlook.
Years ago, a family friend was saying the blessing at mealtime and she thanked God for everything they had...and everything they didn't have. I thought about the guy who cut me off and then slowed down in front of me. As I muttered under my breath, we passed a motorcycle cop, in a school zone, that would have nailed me for sure. I'm grateful. I don't have any of the weird viruses going around, my home wasn't flooded, I didn't go through a divorce and I'm seldom more that 14 days away from another paycheck. I'm grateful. My husband still choses to live with me, my children call and check up on me, I have friends who would worry if they didn't hear from me on a regular basis. I'm grateful.
To top all of this off, I'll be eating turkey and dressing in a few weeks. I'm VERY grateful!!