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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!