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December 4, 2006


Lest we forget...this is your timely reminder for the upcoming holiday that we should all celebrate as it is a life-changing event in modern society. You might think I'm talking about Christmas; but I refer to a little known holiday on Wednesday that is overshadowed by the larger spending spree going on during this time of year. December 6th is Microwave Oven Day. I hope you plan to buy ramen soup for all your friends and have them over. You can take turns nuking your bowl. I prefer to buy the kind in a cup rather than use a bowl I'll later have to wash.
Since I'm on a roll here, I'll also mention that the 13th is National Clip-On Tie day. Now's your chance to remind the recipients of all of those tasteless ties you've given through the years to get them out. Here's their chance to wear them. Should anyone ask them why, they can give the excuse of celebrating the holiday. Remind them to also blow the dust off of them before wearing.
Of course you'll be wanting to have guests over for high tea on the 16th as that is the day of the Boston Tea Party. On the 18th of December, slavery in America was abolished. Try convincing the mother of a large family of that! Then on the 21st, we celebrate the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. It might interest you to know that the Pilgrims strictly forbade the celebration of Christmas. But they gave us Thanksgiving a year or so later so we can forgive them that. Want to keep up with this stuff? Click on your calendar if you have AOL and you can have it post historical facts, religious holidays, wacky days of note and more. How convenient! I must go...I have to send out a card for National Tick Tock day on the 29th!

November 20, 2006

Count Your Many Blessings...

Isn't it frustrating to give somebody a gift and not receive any acknowledgement? If I've ever done that to you, I apologize because it's one of my pet peeves. I don't expect a parade everytime I do something nice but it's nice to hear a "thanks". I like clerks who thank me for my business. No one will ever get rich off of anything I'm buying, but they thank me all the same and I like that. I can always shop elsewhere!
One of my goals is to be more grateful...for the gifts, for sure. But to also thank that person who's called me just when I needed to hear their voice, for that friend who knew I didn't have money for lunch and bought mine, for the gentleman who let me cut in line in traffic when most wouldn't, and for the checker in the store who's developing varicose veins while they're checking me out. These little opportunities to show gratitude mean alot to the person on the receiving end and they are making me a nicer person also.
I'm grateful to God, of course, for another day, another breath, another second to enjoy life. I'm grateful to my sons...who have given or are about to give me grandchildren (3 new little Lacy boys within 7 months!). I'm grateful for my husband who's given me this glorious opportunity to come sell real estate in such a beautiful place near both of my sisters. If you're reading my blog, thank you!
And on.....and on...........and on!

November 17, 2006

Twinkle, Twinkle

Baby Sis and I stayed up late last night. Very late! After midnight!! We were on a quest to see how many shooting stars we could see. It's time for the Leonid meteor shower and there's good news and bad news. Good news is that a) there was no moon so it was darker than it's been in years for the display and b) Baby Sis lives in Laguna Vista and the golf course has very few street lights so that the homeowners can enjoy the spectacular night sky! Lucky us!

I started meandering out at about 11 p.m. in case I caught sight of an over-achiever. Nothing. Well, except for the neighbor's sprinkler that came on and scared me silly. I just knew that it had to be the alligator hissing at me. (We have an alligator in the lake behind us and the ducks were making funny duck noises too) Nothing at 12 p.m., 12:30 p.m. or 1 p.m. I did notice that South Texas has more than it's share of airplanes flashing their presence way up high. I had to wonder if any of the passengers knew about the shooting stars.

Baby Sis saw the first one. She saw the most. I saw the biggest!! And I think some of hers were specks on her glasses. We packed it in about 2 a.m. We'll do it again tonight...maybe with lawn chairs and hot chocolate. Join us...if you're awake!

November 10, 2006


It's that time again to pause at 11:00 a.m. on the 11th Day of the 11th Month and pay our respects to our Veterans. I never tire of this. I've mentioned before that my dad, Ross Johnson, served on the USS Mississippi in WWII. He and three of his Harlingen buddies joined and intended to serve on a submarine. Only one of them made it to submarine duty and he lost his life when the sub was hit by a "trash can" I believe Daddy called it. The other three served on the battleships and returned home when the war was over.

Dad used to tell the stories of being on the ship, of being attacked, burials at sea at sunset. He never mentioned being scared, but I can't imagine that he wasn't. He did his duty anyway, scared or not. So did the men and women in the European Theater. So did the military in WWI, Korea, Viet Nam, and the more recent conflicts. I'm blessed, we're blessed that our nation has never run away from hard times because of fear. We buckle down, we make sacrifices, we pray...but we don't run.

May God richly bless those who have served and those who continue to serve. I salute you all!

November 7, 2006

For (Older) Women Only

It could be that I'm the only aging diva in the world with this problem. If so, let me vent. If not, tell me your secret.
I was getting dressed this morning and (again) I put my bra on three times. It wasn't hooked up yet but I had it strategically placed and ready to secure. When I looked down, I thought it was inside out. So I took it off. I flipped it and put it on again. In securing it, I could tell that I had it on inside out. Looking down, the seams were obviously showing, but then, that's the way they had appeared the first go 'round. I switch it again and with the seams still not looking right, I managed to get the darned thing hooked properly.
I guess I need to inspect my undies a little better before buying them. Or the bra-casters need to print "inside" and "outside" on the cups...upside down so I can read them correctly when dressing. Don't suggest front closing bras. Nothing says "You're an old woman" quite like front closing bras. I think the problem lies with the seams being stitched with fancy patterns. This doesn't make them look nicer, it just confuses me.
Marilyn Monroe didn't wear underwear. Maybe I should follow her lead! Or maybe I should quit buying my bras at the Dollar Store!!

November 2, 2006

Where's the Beef?

I mentioned in yesterday's blog that there was something about the whole Dia de los Muertos that rattled my cage. Here's my beef.
The lady who was showing us how to decorate the sugar skulls AND the gentleman who gave the lecture explaining what all of the hoopla meant both mentioned that they did presentations in schools. They go to classrooms and decorate skulls or give talks. Remember that we're told that they believe all of the altar making is to summon the spirits of their dear departed. They pray to them seeking answers for problems during this time thinking that they'll get an answer from the spirit(s). After the celebration is over, children are given maracas, eggs with the insides blown out, filled with candy, and set in a little cone making them rattle like maracas. The children rattle these and the spirits are chased back to where they came from. Then the things are thrown on the ground and the candy falls out of the broken shells. This is part of the traditions...being discussed in schools...
...the same schools which have taken out any reference to Christmas, Jesus, etc. See where I'm going with this?
If we can't say "Merry Christmas" in school, if the two week vacation is now winter break, if we can't sing Christmas carols or say a prayer...where do the schools get off allowing someone to come in and teach little children that it's okay to summon back the dead in the name of a "cultural" tradition?
I may just have to write a letter!

November 1, 2006

Something for Everyone

I grew up in the Valley and I swear, I never heard a word about Dia de los Muertos...I think I got that right. Sure, we had Halloween and we'd go to the school carnival and trick or treat all the way back home. But I don't remember anyone even mentioning Day of the Dead. More recently I'd heard of it but figured it was just the Hispanic version of Halloween. My mistake.
My cousin and I went to the Pt. Isabel museum to check this celebration out. Here's what we learned. First, we went upstairs and decorated a sugar skull about the size of my fist with icing. Supposedly, these treats are made for the holiday and children eat them. This season is truly a dentist's dream.
Then we went to another part of the museum and watched children making altars to their dead relatives and in some cases, pets. You make your altar using the elements of earth (usually flowers), wind (those placemat looking things with designs cut out or some fringe...things that would move in a breeze), water (a glass or vial of water) and fire (a candle). Place pictures or heirlooms or little trinkets representing things the deceased loved along with their favorite foods and beverages. Seemed like beer and tequila play a part. The flowers are usually marigolds as the scent of these open a pathway to the spirit world and make it easier for the deceased to return. The candles or incense leads the spirits back home. (Up until now I thought this was just like a 3-D scrapbook...didn't know about the spooky stuff with dead spirits and all.) Many use little skeletons dressed in costumes with the most notable being the Katrina...a skeleton in a dress and hat representing a woman...usually one of loose morals.
Then Cousin and I went to a lecture where the whole thing was explained. In many nations, death comes more often and people could lose several friends or relatives a week. To cope with this, they began rituals mocking death which have evolved into the celebration today.
We saw some strange things and I'm still amazed that this whole thing has come into place right where I grew up and I never knew it.
Tune into my next blog to get my opinion of this and how it relates on another front.

October 27, 2006

Mea Culpa!

I did a really stupid thing today. I won't go into what exactly I did, but it was the dumbest thing on record so far! The minutes I did it, I was sorry...not just sad for my lack of judgment, but really, grieving type sorrow. I've apologized to the party concerned, but the point I wanted to make was that it made such an impression on me. An impression not to repeat that behavior...ever!
I've been reading The God Chasers by Tommy Tunney and I highly recommend it if you've noticed something missing in your walk with the Lord. One of the points that he so adeptly makes in the book is that coming face to face with God is not the same thing as being under the anointing. I've been in those very special situations where the anointing was strong, either on me or around me, and it is glorious. It's like the old song "Mountaintop" by Eve (did I spell that right?). You get under that cloud of glory and you never want to leave.
The book mentions Isaiah's encounter with the Lord (He was high and lifted up and his train filled the Temple) and the first thing he says is, "Woe is me, I am a man of unclean lips." The nearness of God is most uncomfortable for the flesh as God demands holiness. Isaiah is in no way comfortable with the magnitude of his vision. The angel comes down to Isaiah and touches his mouth with a hot coal from the altar of God.
I'm reading along, praying as I go that I could get beyond the outer court, the inner court, and into God's presence. I think it's working to a degree because I felt so inadequate, so guilty, so in need of a cleansing today. I'll never be perfect in this lifetime, but I'm at least striving to be made more aware than ever before of the areas when I need to repent. I'm not as near perfect as I've lead myself to believe! I'll get to that glorified state one day in heaven...but in the meantime, "Woe is me!"

October 24, 2006

Coffee with the Coots

We finally got moved into our new digs out at South Padre Island Golf Community. Actually, it's about 15 miles from SPI by road, less by boat. But who'd want to make a big trip to Laguna Vista for anything? The town has two churches, a police station, Pasquale's Italian food/pizza & karaoke on Fri & Sat AND a nice little deli. Some apts, condos and houses and the Golf Community. Not bad...but I digress.

Baby Sister's new place is on a man-made lake. You have wonderful views from one bedroom, the living/breakfast area, and the master. The first morning or two we were there we got to see the alligator which I thought was just a legend. Not so! He's about 5-6 feet long and according to the neighbor, probably has to eat about a half dozen ducks a day to stay healthy. If he's doing that, the ducks, whistlers and plain old ducks, don't seem to be too worried.

The other morning I had a few extra minutes and took my coffee out to the patio just to watch the activity on the water. No alligator, but the prettiest little coots. coots are in the duck family I guess...feathers, long bill and paddle around with webbed feet. But they are the Cadillac of ducks in my book. Their feathers appear to be very soft and grey. Their little heads are black and look like velvet. I do say they are the prettiest ducks on the lake. And my new morning coffee partners. Well, they will be when we get a new coffee pot and I can make coffee on a regular basis.

October 9, 2006

Endangered Species

I got to thinking about things you don't see anymore. I was on one of my nostalgia benders and along with Bass Weejuns, pop beads, and 8-tracks, I thought of something else that's in short supply these days. Bachelors. I'm not talking about the pretty boys they trot out on that riduculous reality show. I'm talking about confirmed bachelors. And, lest I be accused of being sexist, spinsters. (Ever notice that the tag for an unmarried male has class but an unmarried female just sounds pitiful?)

The last bachelor I knew personally was my brother-in-law. He was quite a piece of work...brilliant, handsome in his younger days, and freewheeling. He worked overseas alot and had some really good stories to tell about other cultures and how he viewed them. He wasn't gay and he wasn't weird although some might argue that last remark. He was very passionate about whatever intersted him at the moment, be it golf, the stock market, or high school sports. He was quite a guy who led a life that pleased him outside of conventional norms.

Unlike the old days, if you're not married by your 30's, society tends to look at you with that slight hesitation, "Are you in a closet?" At the least, you're pitied for not finding a mate and there's a tendency to set you up with everyone's friend...who usually has a great personality. We just can't leave well enough alone.

I don't know any bachelors you?

September 22, 2006

Yadda Ad Nauseum

Way back when Sex and the City was popular, I missed the whole shebang because we only had basic cable. I never new anything about the stars or cared about Mr. Big. What I didn't realize until lately though was how Sarah Jessica Parker's voice over rattled on at the beginning and end of the show. Well, once Pandora's (squawk) Box was open, that's all we've had! Now we listen to a voice from beyond the grave on Desperate Housewives; we have poor, pitiful Meredith on Grey's Anatomy gushing angst over the cast of their show; and then last night I heard some guy heralding every nuance we might have missed on 6 Degrees. I don't think there's time to properly develop ideas so we need this extra explanation at the end in case we missed the point of the episode and to whet our appetite for next week's installment. The advertisers have whittled the actual programming time down to about 20 minutes for every half hour of actual showtime. Where are the protesters for that? I remember when Lucy and Ethel could get into a mess, get caught in a mess and get out of the mess because they had ample time. Ricky wasn't there to set the story up or put it to bed at the end. And we did just fine! Ah...I miss the good old days. 'Nuf said!

September 11, 2006

I Stand Corrected

Not that it matters much, but when I posted that last blog, I was overcome with the notion that I might have attributed the quote, "Nice guys finish last" to the wrong person. Letting my actual work slide just a bit today, I took a few minutes to look that particular quote up and, sure enough, I was wrong. It wasn't Dizzy Dean who made the famous "nice guys" quote, it was Leo Durocher in 1946 when he was with the Brooklyn Dodgers. When you have some spare time, look up his quotes, he was a hoot!
So was Dizzy Dean. Look him up too while you're at it. I found a quote I intend to use extensively in the future. He said, "It ain't braggin' if you can back it up." Isn't that great? He also remarked once on a play saying of a player, "He slud into third." He must have been roundly trounced by English teachers of the day because another quote has him explaining why he used the term "slud" in the first place. To paraphrase, he thought it was sliding into the base with an attitude. You have to love a man who thinks like that.
On a side note, just put in "nice guys finish last" and look at all the angst from people who've been disappointed with nice guys. Nice guys must run in small herds.
And they evidently do finish last.

September 9, 2006

The Nice Family

I am currently living with the nicest family on the planet. They show their niceness in the sweetest ways. For instance...a few days ago Baby Sis made some of her famous chocolate chip cookies that everyone loves. She made them during the week before Grandson #1 came down. During that short interval the rest of us would grab a cookie whenever we wanted and we wanted one everytime we walked by the plate and saw them sitting there. It's not like a horde of locusts went through the place, but they did dwindle down to a precious few. I figured that when Grandson #1 got here the few remaining would immediately disappear. He really likes Baby Sis's chocolate chip cookies! Interestingly enough, he's too nice, and they're too nice and I'm too nice to eat the last one. I notice now when my eye wanders to the plate that little pieces of the cookie are gone. No one wants to be the one who eats the last cookie. So we're all picking into oblivion. I've seen this phenomenon before with no one wanting to eat the remaining piece of pie, barbequed rib (although people are less nice when it comes to ribs), or maybe the last fried chicken drumststick. It's a form of etiquette to prefer the others at the table. However, that last little piece of cookie knows I'm sitting here and it's calling to me. And like Dizzy Dean said, "Nice guys finish last."

September 4, 2006

A Rose By Any Other Name

Not that I listen to her advice on blogging, but Baby Sis has informed me that I need to update my picture, talk more about real estate since that is what makes me money, and rename my blog site as "GrannaSez" doesn't convey much interest. So ~
I'll be emailing an updated picture to my very generous friend who knows how to do these things (get ready anonymous pastor).
If you don't know, I sell real estate on South Padre Island. If you're interested in fleshing out your portfolio, I'm the one to help you. Right now you can still buy some stuff for under $100,000 but I'm not so sure you'll be able to do that much longer. The more you spend, the more I make and the sooner I get my own place (which might just be Baby Sis's motivation to have me mention my work more often in here). Have I piqued your curiosity? Post any interest here in the comment section and I'll get in touch with you.
Thirdly, when my grandchildren were born, I discovered that I couldn't abide being called anything that sounded old. I toyed with "Big Mama" because that was my grandmother's name. I figured right away that Mikey would have way too much easy fun at my expense so I jettisoned that one. Didn't like Grandma, Granny, Mamaw or anything like offense to anyone who goes by that name. I picked "Granna" because it rhymed with my granddaughter's name and because it sounded a little sassier. The "sez" part just came because I always have something to say and am quick to offer an opinion...wanted or not. So...having explained the name of my blog, I'm certainly open to renaming it if anyone can come up with something that conveys the essence of me and makes readers want to stop and check out my blogsite.
Let the games begin!

September 1, 2006

Seller by Starlight

I had an occasion to watch tv again late into the night. I have got to quit drinking caffeine after 3 in the afternoons! I was amazed at what people are missing out on by sleeping the night away. I may have mentioned buying some books about what the drug industry doesn't want me to know. I did that in the middle of the night. But that was for my health and it might have some remedies for drinking caffeine too late in the day. I'll get back to you on that when the book comes in.

Last night I learned that I can send money in varying amounts and clean my colon, get my finances in order, buy real estate with no money down, get a sweeper to end all sweepers that don't have wheels but gliders (I'm considering that at 2/$19.99 plus shipping and handling), slice and dice in less time with less effort, improve my sex life, improve Mikey's sex life, buy "toys" for the aforementioned conditions, juice any plant on the planet, and find free money from the government. There's more I'm sure but I finally drifted off to sleep.

I mention this in case you need any of these products. While you're sleeping the night away, there are people with jewelry to dazzle, products to heal, gadgets to cook with, and places you can own for no money down and you'd never know it. I never see this stuff when the sun is up and I can think clearly. I think it's a conspiracy to keep us sick, poor, and sexless but until America wakes up and investigates this nighttime phenomenon, we'll just stay that way.

August 25, 2006


I've been having alot of trouble with my computer lately. It's slow, doesn't always do what I've told it to do and it doesn't protect me from spam like it's supposed to. Different people had different opinions as to the root of the problem. I needed more spyware, get rid of the spyware, dumb AOL, get a new computer. defragment (I didn't even like the sound of that one), and lots of other things. After having a computer geek take a peek, he said that I had too much going on in my hard drive for the memory I had. Now, that'll preach! That I understood.

My eldest was here for a few days and was able to take out a part called a memory stick. We toddled over to Best Buy and bought a better memory stick with more byte to it and he came back and stuck it back in place. Voila! My computer is humming along now and it doesn't take AOL 30 minutes to jump from one place to another.

Thinking about how easy it was to solve the computer memory issue made me more than a little jealous of it. I find that I'm moving a little slower, takes me longer to accomplish what I set out to do, I forget what I've been asked to do and things happen to me that I can't fix as easily. I can sing the body electric, but I think my own body has a short in it! I need a bigger memory stick. Where can I get one?

August 7, 2006

Time in a Throttle

I was thinking the other day as I sat at my computer about how the business of real estate, and I guess everything else, has changed with the advent of this machine. Around the time of the new millennium advent, some radio station had a quiz and promised a prize for anyone who could name the largest change in the office. People guess computers, but even in 1999 they weren't as widely used as they are today. The winning answer was the ballpoint pen. Amazing! Didn't you start out using the old ink pens with ink bladders and different nibs? Blue/black ink was my favorite.

But I digress.

I got to thinking last week after getting a listing and getting it over to the seller for signatures, to the office and the board office and into the MLS system that I'd done an awful lot of work in a very short time. The whole procedure used to take much longer...and longer than that if you had an out of town seller, which I did. The computer made it a cinch to pull up the forms the seller needed, email them to him, get signed copies around to pertinent parties and move on to the next project. So, now what. That one project alone would have kept me busy for at least a day or more in the 90's. Now, it was done by noon. How could I fill up the rest of the day? I know, I need to do MORE work. Is this what this little time saver on my desk was really designed to do? Instead of making work get done faster, it simply gave me more time to do more work? I'm fortunate to work in an industry where I can set my own hours. What about the people who work 8 to 5 doing jobs that used to literally take from 8 to 5 to do? If the boss catches you playing freecell or exchanging jokes and chain letters, he can make you pretty miserable. So...are you working harder? Is it a chore to think up things to do to look busy? I'm just sitting here between listings pondering over the extra time as a blessing or curse, or considering if it really exists. has a screen to play on that looks like a spreadsheet. But you didn't hear that from me!

July 26, 2006

I Don't Get It

Since moving to South Padre Island, I've had to relearn alot of driving. I've mentioned my attitude adjustment I had to make after driving in Houston for years and then driving down here. I've had to learn to exercise so I can climb stairs to show property. I think most of my buyers like the higher altitudes in the condo complexes...haven't shown a first floor unit yet!

The big mystery to me now is something I read about in the newspaper all the time. It's called "Catch and Release." The idea is to catch some great fish, take a picture, and then release it back into the water drooling blood. Is that a sport? When I was growing up, I did very little fishing until Mom and Dad got a cabin at the Arroyo. We would go 4 or 5 nights a week, catch all the trout and redfish we could, Dad would filet them on the spot and the only thing we released back into the water was the carcasses of the fish for the crabs to feed on. Then we fried the cornmeal coated filets until crunchy and ate them like potato chips. I don't think we ever even thought of taking pictures and then throwing perfectly good fish back into the water. And if I'd ever caught something big and noble, I'm sure it would be hanging stuffed over a fireplace somewhere.

What would it be like if we wounded our beef just for sport and then turned them loose back in the pasture again? Or shot at deer and let them limp back into the brush? I thought the point of going after game of any kind was to bring that sucker home, fry it up in the pan and eat it...with tarter sauce or gravy. But catch and release? I don't get it.

July 13, 2006

Who Me?

I've been really fussy about a few people lately who seem to be going out of their way to irritate me. My preacher friend has done an excellent series on forgiveness and I understand the principle of forgiving others so I can be forgiven by God. I've also had all of the teachings about praying for your enemies and heaping coals on their heads...which at times has seemed too good for them. So I have to dig a little and remember all of the sermons I've taken in on the subject of mercy. What I'm saying is that I KNOW all of these lessons. Walking them out is another matter. The most important thing is for me, believe it or not, to have a pure heart before God. I've often wrestled with this because I can make myself do the right thing at a later date after having a few days to vex myself over the wrongs they've done to me (and what I'd like to see happen to them) the flesh of course. THEN...I take it to the Lord.

It has become increasingly clear that God doesn't approve of this plan of mine. It also occurred to me that in praying for the offenders I have to have give them to God and He might not handle them with the severity they deserve. I'm sure it's just my old carnal self that really wants to see them at least suffer a little. But then I have to go back to what's important and that would be my pure heart before God. Once again I repent, I ask forgiveness, I ask for the strength through the Spirit to take those thoughts of my wounding captive when they surface. And then I pray...for them. It also occurred to me, who might be praying for these people on any given day for any given reason? Hmmm...I think I know who ought to be!

July 8, 2006

Updating the Downtime

I miss writing here. It's like learning to eat a new dish of some sort. I eat it twice a week for several months and then...nothing...not a bite, not a serving, not even a thought. When I started blogging, I had lots of time and lots to say. I still have lots to say. No. 1 is don't eat at the Chinese Garden on the Island until I get back to you. I got a go plate today, a "C-3" plus soup. It was pepper steak, sweet 'n sour chicken, rice and egg roll. I ordered the hot & sour soup extra. $7.19 later, I'm at the office and I got fried rice and pepper steak, soup, two fortune cookies, no spoon, no egg roll, and no sweet 'n sour chicken. Oh, I've got lots to say about that when I go back again (the food wasn't awful, just the service). No. 2 is that the fireworks here over 4th of July were pretty darn spectacular and I was wishing my grandkids were here to watch them with me. There's more, but I digress.

My issue today is how I've let this wonderful outlet slide. I love my small but devoted fan club (which doesn't include Baby Sister) and I love stringing words together to make a point, tell a joke, or encourage a heart. I just noticed that the original punch began to fade. Maybe it's like falling in love, all hot and heavy in the beginning, then interest fading just a touch, then morphing into a comfortable partnership that wears like an old pair of slippers...not much to talk about but impossible to live without. I can't imagine not writing something at least every now and then. My passion for it isn't there. Maybe it'll return when I get my business in more of an orderly pattern. That's a pretty ambitious goal for this Realtor. Reading my friend Bob's book he wrote as he turned 40 made me realize how much I missed checking in. He wrote a fictional diary to his pastor. Pretty funny stuff.

I'll get my groove back and write more. I think I may redo my picture. I've been talking about it. Think I'll work on that during my next quiet time at work. Stay tuned!...if you're still out there!

June 24, 2006

Because I Said So!

I would love to return to the good old days where some things existed because they had never been questioned. Like phrases. Like "because I said so." As a child, I knew that there was no reason beyond that response to my questions ("can I have another cookie?...can I stay up for one more hour?...can I walk to town?...can I have someone spend the night?). It's not like my requests weren't answered with a "yes" when a "yes" was appropriate. But when they were answered with a "no", I wanted explanations. For instance:
Me: Mom, can I go out for a coke?
Mom: No.
Me: Why not?
Mom: Because it's a school night.
Me: But I'll be home by 9.
Mom: You have homework.
Me: I just have one chapter to read. Can I go?
Mom: No
Me: Everyone else is.
Mom: If everyone jumped off a roof would you do that too?
Me: Mom, please can I go?
Mom: No.
Me: Why not?
Mom: Because I said so...
...and that was the end of the discussion. No matter how many good comebacks I still had yet to use, I knew that I had hit the wall with Mom and I might as well give it up. Unreasonable? You bet! Unchangeable? No way! As a parent, I often resorted to that same phrase with my own and it was a reliable answer when I didn't want them to do something, have something or go somewhere and didn't have a reason for saying no. I could tell even then that the power of a parent's "say so" was waning though. The boys were quick to inform me that NObody's parents still used that, just me. NObody's parents said no for no reason, just me. I was the last hold out to use my say so as the final word.

I never hear that phrase being used today. I don't know if it's outlived it's bluff, it's punch, it's strength, it's clout or what. But try and remember the last time you were in a checkout line with a kid screaming for candy and the mom or dad ending the discussion with, "Because I said so." That's what I thought!

June 19, 2006

Onward to 45!

I perservered through my 40th class reunion and had one of the best times of my life! We probably had close to 100 people (including spouses & friends) who attended the 2 day retrofest. Thursday we made it through a get-together at Jesse's Cantina which was way too warm for this lady. Friday night was the first big party and we ate wonderful food. I was so jazzed that my stomach knotted up and I got about three bites of luau food down before I had to quit. We played some silly games. Lots of people griped about the kissing game but I got to kiss some pretty swell guys so I only token griped. No one was toothless so it wasn't so awful.

The main highlight of the weekend was the Saturday nite launching of The Malibus "That Was Then, This Is Now" tour. Well, it should have been a tour. David, Tony, Mike and Jay had us all alternately rocking and swooning...the Senior Candy Dance all over again! The groupies were cheering wildly. I had expected them to do a couple of songs and then drag their winded selves back to the table. But nooooooo! They were in fine fettle and did three sets bringing back musical memories of Gloria and Louie, Louie. I danced like a madwoman having fits...probably looked like one too! The geriatric gyrations were not so far from our styles of 40 years ago and I thought we basically did serviceable homage to our twist 'n shout days. Didn't see anyone using oxygen either! We had the manager of the hotel come in and let us know that the people in the rooms above our meeting room were complaining. Yeah baby...we can still get rowdy!

I loved seeing old friends again...some I haven't seen in 40 years. Didn't seem like it had been more than a few days. I'm already looking forward to the next one. Maybe I'll have that weight off before the 45th!

June 14, 2006

It's Here!

Well, members of the Class of '66 are starting to trickle in. We've got about three days or so to party and reminisce about the good old days. It's still hard to believe that any of us are old enough to be attending a 40 year reunion. My nephew will be here on the island attending his 20th reunion. I don't know which makes me feel older!

I didn't lose the weight, didn't make the big money in real estate or buy a '66 Mustang...all goals of mine when the reunion talk first started. Still, those goals won't determine the fun I'll have. I sometimes think goals are overrated. Necessary, maybe, but overrated. If I had a nickel for every goal not met in the world, I'd have the Mustang and the money. I'd still be battling the weight though.

As it is, Cardinal spirit will be alive and well on South Padre this weekend. We'll sing and dance to the music of the Malibus and mist up when it's time to sing the Alma Mater. We'll hug and kiss and promise to get together again. I love reunions!!

June 8, 2006

06.06.06 on 06-06-06

Well, whaddaya know! 06-06-06 came and went without any hoopla and the world didn't end...again! The moment didn't go completely unnoticed though.

I was riding over the causeway to WalMart with Baby Sis and her grandchildren. They brought up the time of day and the warnings that at 6 minutes, 6 seconds after 6 p.m. on the 6th day of the 6th month of 2006, the world was supposed to come to a climatic end. Hard to imagine as the evening was beautiful, temperatures were semi-mild with a soft breeze moving lazily across the bay. We're driving into the sunset and from our vantage point atop the causeway, all was right with the world.

But just in case it wasn't, I asked the kids (with the countdown to destruction at T minus 3 and counting) if there was anything on their minds...any last comments just in case it was the end of the world. After a few moments of introspection, 14 year old Johnny piped up, "Well, Aunt Sara, you know I've really never liked you with short hair."

And there you are!

May 29, 2006


I'm just back from a week in League City. Making the drive alone is a pleasant experience for me. I can listen (or not listen) to whatever I want on the radio. I can take a side trip or stop to eat whenever I'm ready. I make the trip from the island to League City in about 6 hours and that's some really good down time for me.

This trip I made some observations that demand to be recorded somewhere...might as well be here. I'm talking in particular about road signs. Coming up through Harlingen and past Combes was a shocker. Combes was just a little blip on the map, a very small town boasting of Holida's gas station and little else besides First Baptist Church. Lots of farmers in and around Combes, but had they not needed a closer space to pick up mail, I doubt that the town would have ever even existed. Anyone knowing any history is welcome to post a response. My eye caught one change that I will have to further investigate next time I'm in town. There are now 3 (three...count 'em...three) business exits to Combes. I don't think there are many more than that into Harlingen or San Benito. But Combes has three exits dedicated to taking you into the business district. I've got to check that out! Bet it's overrun with Currys!!

Next grin I got was in the King Ranch. There are several rest stops/picnic areas there where you can stop and eat a sandwich and drink a coke. Some even have little barbeque pits which strike me as funny because what thinking person is really going to take hotdogs and a bag of charcoal to picnic in a rest stop? They also have signs warning unsuspecting party animals to keep an eye out for rattlesnakes. What would a fete be without snakes? By the way...stay tuned for my snake adventure. It just doesn't seem like a spot reserved for taking a break to relax a few minutes ought to come with a snake warning...maybe it's just me!

One other sign made me smile. Now, I know what it meant to say. But the presentation had to make you wonder who's HMO really sucked. It says, HOSPITAL
You have to assume that it means that there is a hospital and also camp grounds in close proximity. But the sign says hospital camping. It calls for all sorts of bad jokes and scenarios that I don't have time to go into. Enjoy making up your own!

All in all, it was a nice drive and it won't be long before I make it again. Have to wait until the price of gasoline drops a bit. There went my smile!

May 19, 2006

Aging on the Curve

Satchel Paige asked the question, "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?" Good, thought provoking, question. My simple answer is that you know you're old when you don't measure age by your years on earth anymore. Here's a few ways you can tell how old you are.

1. How old are your children and grandchildren? I figure that if they're aging, I must be aging too. My middle son is 30 today...or, as of about 12:15 he will officially be 30. I don't feel old enough to have two sons in their 30's. My youngest turned 27 this year and that made me think I should feel older. I don't, but I should. My oldest grandchild turns 10 this August. I remember being 10 and telling my mother she only had three years to teach me anything before I became a wild teenager. (Mom should have heeded the warning!) What is surreal is that I remember the afternoon so clearly, so it can't really be 48 years since I uttered those profound words!

2. What are your interests? Have you learned anything new or are you still at the place you were when you got out of high school? At the time I graduated, I figured I had all of the knowledge that any Johnson brain could hold and eschewed higher learning for a job. What a mistake! I didn't know at the time that as long as I lived, I'd be learning something. I should have taken advantage of the college opportunity. Not that it's too late! I read alot and over the years my interests have taken some interesting turns. I went through my craft season (remember tracing pictures on glass and then gold/silver-leafing them?...someone must still have the windmill I did). I organized the first two versions of our family cookbook complete with current geneologies and wrote songs and skits and poems in my writing phase. I sewed briefly and recovered my dining room chairs in my nesting years. I've recently discovered the joys of birding (did I mention seeing the green jays sitting on the javalinas backs last week?). If I don't keep moving and growing, I spend too much time thinking about how old I am and what hurts this week!

3. And how do you feel? Here's where it gets tricky. Being down here on the island where we have a great influx of Winter Texans and retirees, I've had a chance to see how well you can live and get around well into your 80's and beyond! I see women old enough to be MY grandmother out singing karaoke and dancing up a storm. I also know that with my aches and pains, I've felt like I couldn't possibly last another month! I've started walking and spending my evenings (not all of them) doing something besides sitting in front of the television. I'm trying to eat better. Why, just today I drank a low fat, low sugar Frappacino...100 calories and only 12 grams of carbs. It's not much, but it's a start!! I rarely feel just terrific, but I don't let that get in the way of doing what's good for me. Well, I mostly don't!

My body and my emotions seem to direct my age as much as the chronilogical years. I don't want to be a young, vibrant 58 year old woman trapped in a bitter, 90 year old body. I'm sowing happy thoughts and healthy patterns into my life now so I can be the 100 year old embarassment doing the chicken dance at my great-granddaughters wedding!

May 15, 2006

Computer Tutor

I need one! A computer tutor that is. I remember when my sister's church got her a computer and I wondered what she'd done to make them mad at her. She obviously wasn't doing a good job if they had to buy a machine to help her along. She would tell me (as we talked on a regular phone connected to the wall) all of the things she could do with pictures and newsletters and newsletters with pictures. I just said "uh huh" and proceeded to thank God that I didn't have to learn all of that just to be functional. Jumping ahead some 25 years or so, I sit here at my computer that I have a love/hate relationship with. I love the speed and convenience that it offers. I just bought two parrot-faced mouse pads for my office all online...couldn't do that 25 years ago. A mouse pad at that time was the little hole in the wall where Jerry hid from Tom!

I am getting frustrated with my lack of skills though. I can't even change the picture here on my blog yet without asking my friend to do it for me. I'm signed up with a service that shall remain nameless because it has no name anyway, just initials! I'm hooked up with it's security service package and now, when it sends me stuff, it won't open up the pictures attached because it doesn't recognize where they came from. They sent the stupid things...they don't know who they are?? And I'm paying them money?

On the upside, I've learned how to make postcards for my business. On the downside, I've lost the pictures the kids sent me from Disney World because I'm not sure where I saved them (I think I'm up to three places to put pictures). On the upside, I can blog. On the downside, only a few of my nearest friends read it. My own Baby Sis won't read my blog...or anyone else's.

Think I'll be buying a copy of "Computers for Dummies" next time I'm at the mall...or can I find that on eBay?

May 4, 2006

But she's got a great personality!

I think I might have mentioned that my 40th reunion is coming up. I think I might have mentioned losing weight to look like a fox again. Well, I have about 6 weeks to go and this fat fox ain't gonna hunt! I did manage to lose enough to notice that a few of my clothes are hanging a little looser. But good grief...I've nearly starved myself and I walk every morning with Baby Sister, who's always a step ahead of me. I've been at this now for about 10 weeks and lost a whopping 5 pounds. At this rate, I'll be in a coffin by the time I get to what I want to weigh. I'll have friends standing over me saying, "Gee, look how thin she is, she must have been very sick."

I know all about metabolism as you age and what my genetic disposition is to being shaped like a fruit. But I was sure wanting to look hot at the reunion. Once again I'm going to have to rely on my winsome personality. Gotta go bone up on knock-knock jokes. Heard any good ones lately?

May 3, 2006

I've Done a Flip Flop

With summer starting in February this year, I feel like I've been sporting resort wear forever. I've discovered the freedom that is sandals, slides, flip flops, thongs (the kind for feet)!! I love it. I have a pair of blue Nike flip flops that are comfortable enough to do my daily walk in. I don't use them every day, but I'm not opposed to it either. Down here, all of the shops carry cute little shoes in every color of the rainbow and I admit to a new addiction. I'm in the process of buying a pair in every color...with beads...and sequins! I fairly dance into work in the morning.

Imagine my surprise the other morning when, after showering, I notice lots of dead skin while lathering up with lotion. I thought I was doing a pretty good job of massaging all sorts of lanolins and aloes into my freed up tootsies. Evidently not! I've avoided pedicures for the most part thinking them a nice, but unnecessary luxury. I'm not real keen on soaking my feet in the little spa tubs and having a stranger poke around and clip around my nails after watching that gross report on 20/20 or whatever that show was. You can get all sorts of strange stuff from some of those places! However, I think push is fast coming to shove as I can't imagine going back to regular shoes. And what would I do with my cute little obsessions? My appointment is tomorrow afternoon!

April 27, 2006

Oh Happy Day

Today is a good day on so many levels. I closed my first sale and put the money in the bank. But not before heading out to birdwatch with Baby Sis. We saw stuff I'm going to need a book to identify. The birds experienced a "fall out" where the wind comes from the North and forces them to stay put until it blows from the South again. I saw several indigo buntings, hooded orioles, some orangy warbler, and two birds that had black and white mottled wings, one with a white belly and one with a yellow belly. There were also the tiny Lincoln sparrows and a little green thing I've not seen before. This is a great place for birding!!

Then, at work, I'm listening to my radio and heard a "muzak" version of "Sukiyaki." I don't know why, as I've already told a friend, but that song makes me happy...even the version of the guy singing the words in Japanese. I have to wonder if it's really about a plate of food or if "sukiyaki" means something significant in Japan. I don't have a special memory, it wasn't "our song", I just like the way it sounds and it puts me in a good mood when I hear it. So does "59th Street Bridge Song." "Summer Breeze" is my all time favorite for taking me to my happy place. Am I the only one affected like that? Am I just easily amused? Don't know and don't really care. I just know that today is a happy day!!

April 24, 2006

Conjugating Visits

I am a right/left brained person. Pick the one which means that I like English as I forget which side dominates that preference. I think that's part of the right/left thing anyway...I don't focus. At any rate, I used to love to conjugate verbs. I studied the parts of a sentence and to this day love to use the phrase "dangling participle" in a conversation. I've forgotten exactly what a participle is and why anyone would leave it dangling, but I love the phrase all the same.

I am curious though at some of the past tense verbs that you never hear anymore in articles, books or in speech. For instance, can you conjugate the verb "stink" or "swim"? Wouldn't that be stink, stank, stunk and swim, swam, swum? When was the last time you saw stunk or swum being used?

Anyone have answers? Inquiring minds, mainly mine, want to know!!

April 19, 2006


I've recently notice a phenomenon that probably isn't news to anyone but me. I've been busy lately so I'm not as sharp as usual...maybe that's it. I was reading the paper and happened to catch several references to Winter Texans...notice the capital letters. When I left the Valley nearly 40 years ago, they were snowbirds, lower case. Capitalization for both words is in order I guess since winter is not just an adjective but has been joined with Texans to describe the wonderful people from far away who come down to enjoy the mild winters here, In that case, it should be capitalized. winter Texan wouldn't look good in print. You might get the idea that we should also be looking for spring Texans looking for birds or summer Texans looking for a tan. Now, unlike TV's, CD's, & SUV's, we haven't yet shortened the Winter Texans to WT's, but check back in a few years.

Capital letters used to be only used grammatically for names, the first words of sentences, titles (like MD's), and in military jargon (GI Joe, JEEP). Then, they gained prominence for emphasizing words in a sentence when a point HAD TO BE MADE. From there the capital letter enjoyed a season of prominence as people could TYPE IN ALL CAPS, FINDING IT WAS EASIER AND FASTER. Alas, with the advent of email and a whole new set of etiquette rules, the use of all capital letters has fallen from grace as it's considered SHOUTING TO TYPE IN ALL CAPS! Who came up with that rule? Probably some soft spoken WT!

April 10, 2006


Baby Sis and I were out for our morning constitutional and were nearing the home stretch. Heading toward us were three young men all bright and smiley and ready to meet their day head on. I suggested to Baby Sis that we ought to suck it in as they approached so we'd look less like old dowagers out for an airing. As the boys got closer, I noticed one was holding a beer can in his right hand. It was 8:45 a.m.! The grinner greeted us with a friendly hello and proceeded to ask for our help. We stopped and heard that he "needed more beer and couldn't buy it himself...could we help him out?" I laughed and told him I didn't think he needed more beer. Baby Sis held up her cell phone and let him know his mama had just called and told her not to buy him more beer. He was out of luck as he laughed and continued down the street.

I mention this because it caught my attention that the young man didn't say that he wanted beer. His request was made because he "needed" beer. Not even 9:00 a.m. and he "needed" beer!! I don't think so!! I propose that we often use words totally out of context and we do it so often that it loses it's punch. I thought about the things I love...tacos, kitties & puppies, shopping. Yet to love something, according to Webster, it to attach great emotion to that person, place or thing. Loving spaghetti seems a mite strong although I enjoy it very much. I love my children and grandchildren. I love the looks of the new pair of shoes I bought. Love is used so often it's diluted by it's repetition. Same with "need." The boy said he "needed" beer. He might have wanted beer, but he certainly didn't need any, especially being underaged and considering the time of day. I "need" more money, I need to have my hair highlighted, I need to expand my wardrobe...or do I just want this stuff. Again, I use "need" so much that it's meaning is lost in a myraid of wants.

I'm going to watch my words a little more. Hopefully I'll mean what I say and say what I mean. When I say, "I love you," it will carry more weight than my joy over a new purse or dessert that I enjoy. My wants will be wants and my needs will be needs. I might just think before I there's a thought!

April 6, 2006

You Can Go Home Again

I went home to League City for a week and just got back to work. I was glad to go home, glad to come back, and I'm looking forward to the next trip back. When I moved back to the Valley, I referred to my move as "going home." It felt like home when I saw the first palm trees up by Raymondville. I'm thoroughly enjoying being back in my old stomping grounds. It was good to leave the Valley and it's good to be back. I noticed that when I began to talk about going back to League City that I told everyone I was "going home" for a week. It felt like home when I turned down Calder Road and headed for the house. Before I left there, I was telling all my friends that it was time for me to head home and get back to work.

They say that home is where the heart is. A piece will always be here in the Valley. Another is in League City. A big chunk is in Fredericksburg where my grandkids are. There's even a part in Heaven with my family.

Lucky for me, I've got a big heart!

March 23, 2006

Things That Go Bump...

I'm not so naive that I don't understand that Hollywood starts most of the trends we follow in America. Ladies wore their hair over one eye to imitate Veronica Lake (by the way, once she cut her hair, her star status began to fade). Everyone wore shoulder pads ala Joan Crawford and I still like that look. We saw guys wear tee shirts with their cigarettes rolled into the sleeves like James Dean and pompadours were popular thanks to The King.

The current trend I see in my trashy mags is my new pet peeve for the day. It's the obnoxious reference to pregnant movie stars as having or showing a "baby bump." Variations to "the bump" appear daily on websites, magazines and in entertainment news being spoken by seemingly intelligent people. Having carried children, I can assure you that "bump" is a stupid term for the appearance and the feeling of carrying around an extra 20 to 30 pounds. A "bump" is a mosquito bite, a zit, a rash, a measle, or a road obstacle...but certainly not a baby!!

C'mon Hollywood and everyone else who uses this ignorant term...just stop it! It's demeaning to the mama and the baby. And it's passe. Drop it already!! There ~ I feel much better!

March 21, 2006

Breaking Spring, Breaking Hearts

Although springbreak is still officially going on for another couple of weeks, Texas Week came to an end and the hordes of hormonically driven teens have mostly left the Island. They left a sea of trash on the roads, beaches and parking lots but the city workers have miraculously made it disappear. There's still work to be done, but it's safe to go back in the water again.

My heart is sad though. There were two deaths which is two too many. The young man who fell to his death was staying with his fraternity at a home around the corner from us. We had heard them partying all week and they were having a good time. I heard the carousing that evening but never heard anything including the ambulance after I went to bed. I kept wondering how the other boys must be feeling knowing that they had no idea when they checked in that they wouldn't all be together at going home time. The other young man was swimming in view of the shore with friends but still got caught up in the current and drowned. Neither was doing anything that hadn't been done by lots of other partiers on the island. But there are two mamas and two daddies who started out last week with sons and began this week planning funerals. My heart goes out to them. They never expected springbreak to end this way. I'm praying for them all.

Young people always think it won't happen to them, that they'll live to see another day, that they'll grow up, get married, have their own kids...doesn't always work that way. Teach your children well!

March 14, 2006

It's Not Just Bells that Bong

I had to work last Saturday. The phone rang just enough during the day to keep me from nodding off. Even other agents weren't showing property and trying to maneuver clients around springbreakers!

I started the day off by getting some keys made for a new listing (thank you Jesus and Baby Sister!) and went by the ACE Hardware Store on my way in to the office. I was laughing with the checker about the fact that they were even open. Springbreakers were everywhere and it wasn't even 9 in the morning yet. She said that they had been really busy. The day before, she said they had made about 14 keys for breakers who'd been on the island less than 24 hours and had already lost their room keys. The motel owners charge you a hefty fee to replace a key. They did better paying a couple of bucks at the hardware store!

That wasn't the only money not going for cheap tee shirts and plastic beads. I had driven by one of the many souvenir shops and noticed that they were selling "beer bongs" for $.99. I never did drugs, but I thought bongs were for smoking dope. I figured that these smartie pants college kids had figured a way to smoke beer. Who'da thunk it??!! I mentioned this phenomenon to the checker and the manager who was making my keys. They said that bongs are tubes with a funnel at one end and someone's mouth at the other. Partygoers pour beer in the funnel and it goes directly into the swallower. That little sport has been enlarged to having the swallower on the ground and the tube rising upwards of a second or third story balcony. Now isn't that just about the most stupid thing you've ever heard of? I guess they never consider the choking and possible drowning that could occur. And by the way, the manager said that they had sold tubes in 30' and 40' lengths. Checker reported that they had sold out of funnels.

All of this at a hardware store! Wonder if the shell shops are doing as well?

March 10, 2006

Drawing a Bead on Spring Breakers

I have to laugh. This morning Baby Sis and I changed our regular morning walking route and walked home on the main drag of Padre Blvd instead of the quieter Gulf Blvd. The time was about 8:10 a.m. and we were solving the problems that we didn't get to on yesterday's walk. From out of nowhere comes this black car full of young boys who seemed awfully full of piss and vinegar for that hour of the morning. They were hooting and hollering at us like we were some kind of wonderful. The thought ran through my head to flash them and see if they threw any beads at us. Blessedly the thought exited my brain before I had a chance to act on it. Wouldn't that have set those boys back a few years??

Then, at lunch, we were at one of our favorite places trying to eat before the spring breakers woke up and jammed the place. They were playing Beach Boys music pretty loud for the crowd that was there at the time. The owners had an area set up outside and a big sign that noted there was no cover charge and you could eat until 2:00 a.m. I don't think my crowd was their target. You know what happens when we try to eat at 2:00 a.m., assuming we're even awake! At any rate, once we got our tea, we're looking around the inside of the restaurant and saw an even bigger sign promoting tonite's panties contest. I asked what you had to do to enter and was told that you just have to pin your panties to this big board they had. I asked if Depends counted and they laughed...nervously.

In truth, you KNOW I'm not going to flash young boys for beads or pin my panties anywhere but on a clothesline. Still, it's nice to be asked!

March 9, 2006


Well, the island is bracing for Texas Week, March 13 - 17 and maybe the weekends before and after. I have heard horror stories about the traffic here during that time. It will be interesting to see what all goes on. There are quite a few springbreakers here already from other schools, some from as far away as Ohio. I have to question where they get the money to fly down here from Ohio, get rooms which aren't cheap and party like there's no tomorrow. I know they're spending lots on booze. I don't think there could be a spring break without Budweiser! The truck is usually restocking the little Citgo store across from the office when I come in. He's even had to come back a time or two during the day. That's too much dang beer!!! The bungee jump thing across from Louie's Backyard is already open. There are these contraptions made from chain link fence that are already in place up and down Padre Blvd. in anticipation of the traffic jams. There are a couple of girls renting the house next door and their stupid car alarm goes off night and day. They'll be here for the month of spring break. I have heard that I will be mooned and boobed...or whatever you call girls flashing their, well, boobs for cheap plastic beads. Now, won't that make some mother proud!? And me with no beads. I'm probably not going to be their big target anyway.

They say that the trick is to get your running done, buy earplugs, rent movies, and be home by 2:00 in the afternoon. Guess I'll try that. Ahhh...I love this place!

February 28, 2006

Having a Heat Wave

Baby Sister, a new friend, and I had lunch at Kahuna Beach today. The tacos were wonderful! Talk turned from work to kids to hormones. The latter catagory took up most of lunch as we compared sweats, flashes and HRT. Seems that my own brand of relief from symptoms is made with horse urine. Now isn't that nice? Wonder who the guinea pig for THAT was? I can just imagine a bloated volunteer sitting in the doctor's office asking, "You're injecting me with whhhhaaattt???" You have to understand that when your ears are lighting up, you'll just about do anything to make it go away. The friend said that she went to the pharmacist and had him make up a synthetic concoction which barely worked but helped her drop the weight that the horse urine had packed on. She got off of it anyway after 20 years. Baby Sis won't take anything and prefers to just gut it out. Poor Baby Sis...poor brother-in-law!!

I'm wondering as I type this, where are all the brave men who faced this middle aged crisis before anyone could spell PMS? How did my grandfather deal with my grandmother when she was hot..........then cold..........then hot...then cold, then hot? What do you supposed Harry told Bess when she told him to turn the fan just on her? I admire these men who charted the course for understanding when their wives hit menopause. Today, women are doped up at the first sign of a temper tantrum and risk all sorts of bad things by medicating themselves through the change. We need men today who'll just stand up and let us slap the tar out of them! Are you out there?

February 23, 2006

Big Bang Theory

I'm getting acclimated to my new digs. Up until yesterday, I had no complaints. Well, maybe just a little one named Lady. She's my sister's huge yellow lab whose hidden agenda is to stand next to me no matter where I am and trip me. I think she's jealous that I've invaded her house and as a newcomer, have more privileges than she does. I can stretch out on the couch and she can't! And I smell better!

Anyway, yesterday I was half awake in the bathroom getting ready for work when this Big Bang jarred me into reality. I ran out the back door and looked up at the huge transformer located just on the other side of the fence. Hanging upside down like a cartoon character was a little red winged blackbird. least he didn't suffer. Janet called the power company who came out and had us up and running within 30 minutes. During the whole process, we noticed that all the other sparrows and blackbirds who come to feed at Janet's feeder sat like little mourners near the transformer watching the disposition of their late friend by some guy on a ladder.
End of story.

Until this morning. I had at least taken my shower when BOOM!!! Again my heart was jumpstarted by the shock and I ran out to see yet another red winged blackbird hanging upside down on a wire attached to the transformer. This one didn't fare as well and wasn't completely intact. I noticed his friends all viewing this tragedy from the neighbor's section of the powerline. At least they seemed to know not to get too close to the transformer. Now the power company is blaming the situation on something the birds must be doing to cause the power outtage. Right, blame it on the poor little birds!

I think that there is a loose connection and when a bird lands on the wire, he's toast. I can think of all sorts of lessons that could be learned here. I hope the power company or the birds learn those lessons pretty quick...another jolt and I might be looking for new digs...hmmmmm...I may have another theory!

February 13, 2006


I tell you, I'm just getting one revelation after another since moving to the island. Not all are particularly wonderful but most are. This latest one falls into the N.P.W. category.

Mikey came down this weekend to celebrate my birthday (thanks to all who sent cards and emails ~ you made turning 58 not so awful!). We went out to eat Friday at Dirty Al's which I recommend next time you're on the island. Saturday, Baby Sister cooked some "mankiller chicken" and was it ever lip-smackin' good. Then Sunday evening the party continued at Coral Reef, a little club around the corner from Baby Sister's place. They were having karaoke and you know I have a thing for mikes! I did my usual stuff and had a ball. New audiences are always fun. Then, this guy gets up. He's 65 if he's a day and has a beautiful head of white hair. He'd already offered decent version of "New York, New York" and I expected to hear another old standard.

He broke out in a rousing rendition of "Born to be Wild" followed by "Touch Me" by the Doors. Have you ever had a sense of motion when you weren't really moving? I had one of those sitting on the bar stool watching this old man singing a couple of the anthems of my era. It was just too weird! I didn't know whether to flash back or flash forward...I nearly fell off my perch. I applauded wildly when he was through because he hit most of the notes right and almost made me want to get up and dance. I gave him a "9". However, I think maybe I won't prance around so much next time I belt out my version of "You're So Vain."

February 8, 2006

Time & Tide

Chaucer said, "time and tide wait for no man." After two weeks on the island, I've discovered that to be true. "If you snooze you lose" is another great quote but I'm not sure where that came from and it doesn't sound near as classy as Chaucer. This place is smack dab in the middle of the land of manana, but I've pretty much stayed on the run since I landed here. I'm hoping to take my test next week...just got my okay from the state in the mail.

What's been rattling around in my head is that I considered, pondered, weighed pros and cons for months before making the decision to uproot myself and come down here to sell real estate. While I was home in my comfort zone, the pace was slow, predictable, and I had all the time in the world to think about things. Once the die was cast and I headed south, the time and tide issue began to loom large on the horizon. Every day I drive to work and pass the Realtor offices, see the signs, go on the tours and set up listing and showing appointments. Every day that I'm not licensed, I see the industry moving along without any regard of my intentions. I need to get this show on the road!!!

Whatever you're considering in life, keep in mind that the tide will roll in and then you can watch it roll away again. Today is the day to get up and take a class, make a change, color your hair, call that old friend, whatever it is that's been calling to your heart. Clocks will never run backwards and tides come and go ~ ready or not!!

February 2, 2006

Punxsutawney Phil Has Nothing on Me

Got up this morning, walked out on the patio and saw my shadow...didn't need a groundhog to tell me we're in for 6 more weeks of winter weather. Big difference is, Phil is in Punxsutawney PA and I'm on South Padre. It won't mean the same for me and the locals and the lucky tourists who chose February to come down. The weather is supposed to stay in the high 70's today and it's glorious.

I am concerned about the size of my shadow, though. Baby Sis and I have started walking and it's such a pleasure. I have found my comfort spot here because there are several people out walking at any given time of the day or night. What's better is that so many of them are similarly shaped like me and you know what? one notices. I think I might have died and gone to heaven!!!

Hopefully, my groundhog shape will soon morph into a svelte ferret. But down here, who cares?...the sun is still shining!

January 30, 2006

The Seagull Has Landed

The excellent adventure begins! I got to the island last week and was at work the very next morning. Janet stays busy as a one-armed paperhanger and her phone rings constantly. That bodes well for me. We will be a dynamic duo once I pass the test and get my license. I get a little discouraged reading and studying and wondering if I'll ever remember all I need to so I can pass the test. Then I remember some of the putzes we worked with up in my area and figured if they got a license, it shouldn't be too hard. Hope I don't have to eat these words!!

I should do fine if: a)I don't get a speeding ticket, b)I pass the real estate test, c)I get my pills in the mail, d)Mikey gets down here, e)I quit eating!!, f)I walk more, and g)learn where all of these darned condos are located...there must be a million of them.

The views coming over the bridge to the island are spectacular, the water is wonderful, the birdwatching is plentiful and I love hearing the seagulls and ocean in the evenings. My soul is at peace! Come join me!!

January 20, 2006

In Her Shoes

I can imagine how Abraham's wife, Sarah, felt when he told her they were going to pack up and move. "We're doing what?" "We're going where?" "You don't know but you're sure I'll love it!" "Right!!" What God had promised and how it played out in her life is one terrific example of faithfulness. Would she have been so agreeable to move if she'd known that her husband, to save his own skin, would not once but twice hand her over to a foreign king? Would she have embraced the adventure if she'd had the slightest clue that once she left her wonderful home and position in the community that she'd have to deal with battles, keeping the dust out of her tent, receiving angels as guests and having those same guests tell her she'd be a mother!!! Wonder if she'd thought that handy little maid of hers would one day belittle her? And I can't even imagine what going through childbirth at 90 must have been like when it actually happened. Yet she was the mother of the nation of Israel, she lived in prosperity, she was blessed even in her trials and I'm sure one day, when I ask her, she'll say the trials were nothing compared to the richness of God in her life.

Today is my last day at work. I'm leaving to follow my dream of returning to the Valley to spend time working and worshipping with my sisters. I haven't got a clue as to what lies ahead (except for the selling real estate part), but I can rest knowing that the Lord has had every opportunity to close this door and hasn't seen fit to redirect me in any way. I'm excited about His plans for me in the next few years. I'm confident in His confidence in me that I'll finish the race and accomplish what He has in mind. There may be some battles out there, but He'll carry me through. At least, I don't have to worry about that pregnancy thing...and the rest is just details!!

I'll be back here later on next week...don't go away!

January 18, 2006

Mystery Solved

Now I know why we die. It's not necessarily disease or accidents although those are the mechanics of why we die. The REASON we die is because God loves us. He doesn't want us to face making all those decisions about which of our possessions we should keep, toss, or pass on to someone else. Then they can decide the appropriate disposition of our junk. Remember how stressed I made myself a few months back trying to decide what to take along on my infamous hurricane road trip? Well, the same angst is back with a vengeance. Maybe the hurricane was just a gentle prompting for me to make some hard decisions. I didn't and now I'm facing the same stuff all over again. I hope you're taking notes here.

I have to clean out my desk before I leave my job Friday. This isn't so hard. What's mine goes and what's theirs' stays. I have to delete files, too...and what if I need something out of them and I'm on the island. I think the IT guys will dump anything left in the computer. On the other hand, I could print copies of what I have stored. That's alot of stuff to have to print out. And is it stealing if I print this stuff on their paper if I know it's personal and I'm leaving the premises? You can see my dilemma. At the house I'm looking at clothes, books, shoes, pictures...I don't have to have it ALL boxed to go, I guess. In fact, I probably need to leave a few pairs of undies here for when I come back from time to time. All of a sudden there's much to do and I don't know where to begin. I hate this. Then I think of how much fun I'll be having a week from now and it's not so bad. Shoot, I may leave my stuff here and just get what I need when I get there. Not unlike going to heaven!!

January 17, 2006

Is That You, God??

One of my favorite examples of our humanity is in the 12th chapter of Acts. Peter is about to go on trial before Herod and is chained to two soldiers and has guards standing on duty to keep an eye on him. Not much chance to dodge this bullet. But the church was earnestly praying for him. The chapter talks more about Peter's bondage than it does the prayer group up to this point ~ except for that one sentence. Sure enough, an angel appears, wakes him up, the chains fall off, tells him to dress, put on his shoes and coat, and follow him out the door. Peter wasn't even sure this was real but he followed the directions anyway. He and the angel walk by the first and second guards and wind up in the street before the angel leaves. His first move is to go to John Mark's house where the people are praying and let them know he's free. He knocks on the door, Rhoda (the servant girl) sees him and freaks out. She runs to the group praying for his release and tells them he's at the door. Here's where it gets good. They tell her she's crazy but Peter's still knocking so they go check it out. Imagine their surprise when they see him standing there, in answer to the prayer they were just offering up for him! If you noticed, the Bible said they had been in earnest prayer. They could believe in God enough to petition but it took a little more to believe in God's answer. Pretty human behavior to me!

I've said all of this to say that I've been in earnest prayer about some things in my life for quite a long while. I've asked God to show me a way out of debt, to help me draw closer to Him, to develop the plan He has for my life. Well, He has. And it's so wonderful I can scarcely believe it's Him!! I have the opportunity to move to South Padre and sell real estate with my sister. It still sounds absurd to say the words because it's everything I've prayed for and now, it's the time to see the answer. Like Rhoda, I'm seeing it, but still can't believe it. What a wonderful Lord I have to bring so many answers together in such a neat way that will be both a blessing and a path to a new level of reliance on Him. If you've ever been in sales, you understand that you can stay very busy and not prosper. I know that it will be God's hands blessing my efforts. God promises that our latter days will be greater than our former ones so I'm looking forward to a new job, a new location, a new place to serve Him, and a deeper relationship with Jesus. Pray for me in the days ahead. And come see me if you're on South Padre at Coldwell Banker Goodman. I'll be there shortly!

January 9, 2006

Merry Kwaanzannakuh!!!

Happy Holiday madness is over thank goodness!! While this season brought joy to lots and lots of people (mostly under 4 feet tall), it will have to go on record as creating the biggest tempest in a teapot known since the birth of Jesus. I had a classmate of mine send me a trivia quiz on what exactly the Bible says about Jesus and the Nativity that we love to celebrate and sing about. I figured that being such a "know-it-all" I'd score big. I made an embarrassing 75. What I found out is that the Bible is silent on so much of the symbols we take for granted that you'd hardly recognize the event without Madison Avenue. For instance, one question listed several animals and asked which ones were present when Jesus was born. Technically, the Bible doesn't mention any animals. How many Wise Men came to worship? Technically, the Bible doesn't mention any number either, just three gifts. See? A friend of mine mentioned that we must have gotten our doctrine from Christmas carols!! I tend to agree.
I also read a little book about Christmas traditions that states the celebration of Christmas as we know it is actually only a little over 100-150 years old. Family get-togethers and such were introduced into England when Queen Victoria married her German cousin, Prince Albert, who brought his holiday traditions with him. As the English watched the Royals celebrate, they began to adopt the customs into their own culture. The Puritans strictly forbade celebration and punished anyone they caught doing so. Not until "The Night Before Christmas" was written did Christmas as we know it kick into high gear. Now, this is a really brief "Readers Digest" version of the information. But you get the point. Whether celebrated religiously or secularly, this Christmas is a fairly recent phenomenon in history.
So, I come to the main point. Christmas is a heart and soul affair. It doesn't much matter what you say or what you sing. If Jesus isn't the "reason for the season", this whole 6 week period is just a nice way to eat to much and go deeper in debt. I can write Merry Xmas knowing that "X" was the early Christian symbol for Christ and not an attempt to "take Christ out of Christmas." The phrases, "Merry Christmas," "Season's Greetings," and "Happy Holidays" have been staples of our communications for years. Again, it's not what comes out of your mouth but out of your heart that gives meaning to Christmas. If He's not in your heart, He's not in your holidays!