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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.