Sunday, September 29, 2013

brief glimpse into my weekend...

Babysat grand daughter this Friday morning.  10 months is such a cute age.  She can get around by crawling and stands on her own, but doesn't walk yet.  She picks up the TV remote and looks up at the TV, clicks it, and when it doesn't do anything (it's an old one), she throws it down in frustration... or hands it to me with the look like 'maybe you can make it work?'  She crawls around and plays 'peek a boo' around the corners. And the funniest thing of all was when her daddy came home and she heard his voice in the kitchen, she immediately took off at her speedy crawl for the kitchen. Once he had picked her up, she nestled her face in his chest and looked at me and DH and waved bye-bye! We all laughed... like that was 'subtle'.

Peek a boo!

Then this morning we went to 6 year old grandson's soccer game.  These are usually quite funny as the kids are so young and full of energy that it hardly matters which ball goes into which goal.  But this was a fairly good game.  The kids were well matched and the final score was 5 to 4.  Our grandson was goalie and did a really great job.  Once the ball hit him in the face, bounced off the pole, and before it went back into play, he  fell on it and saved the day!  I don't have any pictures as I forgot my camera and even if I hadn't, it was drizzling most of the game.

Older grandson was playing his baritone sax at some sort of band competition Saturday afternoon.  The marching band has a lot of activities (there was also a football game Friday night). Anyway, we didn't go to this as not only was it supposed to be raining at that time, but also the LSU/Georgia game was on TV. As it turned out, the competition went on but from what we were told, not to about 4:45.  Here is a pic of grandson and sax that my son took.

At the moment as I'm writing this, DH is watching the LSU/Georgia game and it is a close one.  At one point DH was holding his chest and I asked him if he was having a heart attack.  Too busy to even take his eyes off the game, he just shook his head no. I don't sit and watch football games.  I will check in every once and a while to see how it's going and what the score is, but can't just sit and watch all the plays. Now being at the game is exciting... but watching on TV... not so much.  

I started this on Saturday afternoon and am finishing up now - Sunday morning.  Unfortunately LSU didn't win... but it was close game and obviously a good one.  DH has been on the phone discussing it ever since.

So, while my weekend has been busy with family, it doesn't make my blogging too terribly interesting... but that's life here at our house... and I'm happy to share it.

I'll close with a picture of our cats checking out a piece of furniture that we're saving for older grand daughter. She needed a desk and our neighbors who were moving didn't want to keep their now grown daughter's bedroom set.  So we saved it.  We are storing it in a corner of our bedroom and almost all the cats have checked it out.

dresser, mirror, headboard and desk and chair

cats perusing new stuff...

Sorry the color is bad in the second pic, but I moved it from my iPhone and had to lighten it a bit to see Ghost (the gray cat on the chair).

Friday, September 20, 2013

Reflections on the past...


Recently I've been thinking about past retreats. It used to be that I made a silent retreat for 3 days out at Montserrat every year for about 10 years. It's been quite a while now since I've been there.

When my mother moved in with us (1994), I tried to get her to accompany me thinking she would enjoy the retreat also... didn't happen. Mom was a wonderful woman, but she was never fond of being 'out in nature' and the retreat house was out among trees and a lake.  Also being 'silent' was almost if not completely impossible for her. And lastly one is expected to spend time 'alone' on a retreat so that communication from within is possible without distraction. (I loved this part). Mama didn't ever enjoy being alone.  She wanted to be with me and she wanted to talk. So, it soon became obvious that retreats were a thing of the past.

Now that my mom herself has past (going on 5 years now), I could start going again. But so much time has gone by, that I'm not sure if I would still enjoy it.

I think that this reflection on past retreats came about due to a recent visit with my childhood best friend who has moved into our area.  We grew up together on the same block, went to grammar school and high school together and even went off to college (LSU) together. Then we both married (were in each other's weddings), and moved away to start our families.  We've kept in touch over the years, but only occasionally.  And we have seen each other for lunch  if we were ever in the same town.  But now, almost 50 years later, we are again living in the same place.

Are we the same people anymore? I mean, after all those years, who we were then is probably not who we are now.  But after having coffee and a long talk yesterday, I would have to say that we really haven't changed that much. And I find that I still care for her as I always did. It's a nice feeling.

Maybe it's this 'age thing' or maybe it's just melancholy, but it seems to me that we ought not to let our friendships slip away. And just possibly it's a 'woman's thing'.  Women need men - true. But I find that women need other women more.  Why?  I'm not sure, but maybe because (from my own experience) men may provide the financial security, but women provide the emotional security. And who's to provide the emotional security for the woman - but other women.

I've lost my mom, dad, sister, and brother over the years. About 2 years ago, I lost a dear friend. You would think that as we get older, we would be stronger, but it seems to me that as we get older, each loss hurts more.  And when we start anticipating future losses, it's almost unbearable. So what do we do?

I know the most likely answer... *appreciate what we have now*... thank God (or whatever Source you wish) for each day. However,  it's easy to say, not so easy to do.  I'm thinking that we actually have to work at it... make ourselves aware and choose joy on a daily basis... like the saying, "Beyond the gloom of this world lies joy, take joy!"  I do. I will. I'll try...


Saturday, September 14, 2013

the end of a busy week...

restroom in restaurant - see plumbing fixtures? (also see me in mirror taking pic?)

OK,  this past week started out a bit difficult as I vented on the last post when I couldn't find a parking place for my Monday class.  The rest of the week was OK... although a bit stressful as my son was out of town on business and I stayed overnight at his place while he was gone.  His place is very nice and extremely comfortable, but I just don't sleep well when I'm not at home and without DH. But because I'm used to at least 8 hrs sleep these days (since retirement) and only got about 5 those nights (had to be up at 5 to get grandson to school for early band practice), my head was achy for a few days. Because of this headache, I wasn't able to get much done on my pottery.  I tried - went in Monday afternoon,  Wednesday morning, and Thursday afternoon - but found that with my head hurting, I couldn't find my zen.

Wednesday evening DH and I took grandson out to dinner.  His dad was due back later that evening. If I've learned anything about 14 year old boys, no matter where you take them, they get a hamburger.  This time he got a bacon cheeseburger.  It looked good.  And must have been since it was gone rather quickly.

Thursday morning I met a good friend for coffee at Starbucks. She and I used to work together and retired at the same time. She was actually an Art Major at one time in Taiwan.  I'm trying to get her to take some art classes with me over at the College.  I think she would enjoy both the art and the comradery. And since we're over 65, it's FREE.

And Friday my dear friend came over to help me with my machine quilting again. She makes such beautiful quilts and she is a very patient teacher. After we worked on my quilt for a bit, we headed out to try a new restaurant for lunch (new to us).  It's pretty cute.  Called Whiskey Cake. Very Urban Green.  Everything made from scratch, really different decor... plumbing fixtures everywhere. Huge industrial screws used as napkin rings, etc.   Here's a picture of what we ate:

Garlic hummus and pita bread

whiskey cake

After the restaurant, she went with me to a meeting with an Attorney where some notarized forms needed to be signed.  J is a lot more savy about these things than I am, so her presence and support was well appreciated. Later both our husbands met us at Salt Grass for supper. We hadn't been to Salt Grass in ages and really enjoyed it.

Oh yes!  And DH and I grocery shopped at Central Market this weekend.  Apparently Fall is near and Halloween is around the corner as - the pumpkins are out!

Aren't they gorgeous?  I love it when they mass them out like this.

These are the odd ones...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday morning venting...

My daughter called yesterday 'to vent'...    Apparently she and my grand daughter stopped on the way home from a riding lesson to pick up a few things at the grocery.  With 2 horses trailered in the heat outside, they chose to use the 'less than 10 items' lane (they had 12).  For whatever reason the lady who came up behind them took offense and tapped my daughter on the shoulder to ask her if she realized that she was in the '10 items or less' lane.  B said that she did... and the lady made some comment like  "as long as you know'. B asked her if she'd like to go ahead of her.  The lady said no, then said something like "as long as you can live with yourself".  To which B replied, "oh, I can live with myself just fine." Both B and my grand daughter were biting their tongues at the retorts that came to mind, but said nothing. I myself told her that she should have said, "oh, sorry, but would you mind waiting while I put two items back"... and DH said that she should have said, "oh, I only have 10 items, my daughter has 2.  And we'll gladly ring them up separately if that's what you would like."  You know....  I know that there are people that 'take advantage'... but really, it's amazing how easily some people are offended.  And I praised my daughter for holding her tongue.

Now my turn 'to vent'...  This morning I should be in pottery class.  However, after driving around the parking area (actually 2 parking areas) at the school for 30 minutes and not finding a parking space... even though I get there 35 minutes before class, I gave up and came home.  I followed 2 students to their cars only to have them pick up some item out of their cars and then go back to class and I followed 2 others to their spaces only to have another car quickly barge into their spot in front of me.  I decided that if I didn't leave then, I would probably use that old adage, "you may be younger and faster, but I'm older and have more insurance" thing and hit the next car that tried it.  So I came home.  I will miss the class (texted my instructor as to why), but will go back this afternoon to work on my cylinders.

Thanks for listening...   ; )

Needed something to make me smile...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Changes... not ready

first machine quilted square

Friday afternoon a friend of mine came over with her portable sewing machine and proceeded to teach me how to *machine quilt*.  I've been reading a quilting mystery series by Clare O'Donohue, and it has renewed my interest in quilting. I did hand quilt a valence for our upstairs guest bedroom a few years ago and 'almost' finished hand quilting a queen sized quilt for the bed. However, I got frustrated with the tiny hand stitches (too tedious) and it has been sitting in my closet unfinished since. So I thought maybe I'm not cut out for the hand stuff... and should give the machine a chance.  To be honest, it was incredibly easy... after getting past the fear of this complicated looking machine (I've never used a sewing machine, can you tell?).  These squares were just some pieces of extra material that apparently quilters have an abundance of.  I may put the batting on and the backing and then keep this square as a reminder of my 'first attempt'.

BTW, I think I mentioned that our next door neighbors of almost 30 years have decided to sell their home and move to either a retirement community (very large upscale community built around a golf course and country club) or possibly to Austin to be closer to their daughter.  Well, their home sold and they closed on the sale yesterday so I guess they are actually going through with this.  It will be sad for us to see them go as they are good friends and neighbors and we will miss them. But since they are newly retired, they feel it is the right time.

DH and I talked about this and decided that it certainly wasn't the time for us.  We are content to stay right where we are for the time being.  Things are changing fast around us... grandkids growing up - grandson had his first high school football game where he got to be on the field with the marching band last night (hadn't been to a HS football game in 'like forever' and it was kind of fun, youngest grand daughter having her first birthday soon, etc.  I'm afraid that DH and I are not 'active people'.... not 'socially inclined'.... spend more time alone or with family or close friends, like our personal space? Whatever... maybe the time will come when a change is necessary, but definitely not now.

High School Band

Grandson is in the middle third from top with the large baritone sax...

I have to admit that even though I like to live a 'slow pace' for the most part, I do enjoy keeping busy and occasionally find it hard to 'keep up'.  However, as far as retirement goes, the best part is waking up to knowing that I don't have to do anything if I don't want to today. DH and I have settled into our own routines and although there are occasions when we have to move out of our comfort zones for whatever reason, it has worked out fairly well.

Plans for this week:  make chicken and sausage okra gumbo, finish next 10 pottery cylinders, continue with my piano lessons, knitting, and quilting, and start thinking about painting our master bedroom. Combine this with visiting with kids and grandkids, coffee with friends, and oh yeah... taking care of the cats and house-hold chores... and although not exciting stuff, definitely enough for me.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Victoria magazine, cookies, and finding my zen...

Victoria magazine and coffee table book

This is a wonderful magazine that I used to have a subscription to... but no longer do. But I do occasionally pick one up when the mood strikes me.  This particular edition had to do with Romantic England... and also had this section (open page) on Vancouver and the Public Market.  I still have all my old Victorias as they are a magazine that you can pick up and enjoy even if it's 6 or 7 years old. And there's not a ton of advertisement like most mags.  The increased number or advertisements in mags and commercial time on TV really bugs me.  I know that the mags and TV stations need the money, but I hardly ever buy any mags  now because of this and I miss a lot of TV shows as the commercial time is so long that I fall asleep before the show resumes (thank goodness for DVR's or I'd never know how things ended). 

As for my headache Tuesday, it lasted most of the day, but was gone by evening.  I didn't get to go to the pottery studio to work, but did go out with DH and youngest son's family for a birthday dinner (DIL's birthday).  Grand daughter is 9 months now and crawling like a trooper.  She can also pull herself up and stand for a few minutes before falling back on her bottom.  And she was very good at supper last night, sitting in her high chair and eating Cheerios (well, eating some and throwing some on the floor).

I did make cookies yesterday afternoon to mail to my cousin.  They are packed up and will get to the Post Office tomorrow. She loves chocolate and coffee as I do so I made her Espresso Shortbread and Chocolate Espresso Delights. (Actually she may read my blog... if so, sorry... spoiler alert: there's a package of cookies coming your way!)

And since it is already Thursday evening and I haven't published this post, I will add here that I've been diligently making my clay cylinders (have 20 done, need 10 more) to get back in the grove of using the pottery wheel (not that I've ever really gotten the hang of it).  Our Instructor told me Wednesday that I need to find my zen...  so-oo I've been working on that. Put ear phones in my ears today and listened to my quiet music as I turned.  It worked fairly well. I got another 7 cylinders done.  For those of you who 'spin', my problem seems to lie in the 'pull'.... as I pull up, it's goes wobbly (usually on the 3rd pull?).  I think it has to do with the position of my fingers both inside and outside the clay...   Anyway, I am determined to keep at it until it comes naturally (could be years?).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

truck kitty...

outside kitty on truck wheel

Well, it happened again.  I wrote an entire post and when I went to remove a picture, it removed the entire post (even though the post was saved previous to adding the pictures?) Guess I'm going to have to write my posts on Word and then copy and paste them here as Perpetua suggested. The thing is, I've never had this problem before now...

I also should be at the studio this morning working on my pottery cylinders. Unfortunately I woke up with a headache, so I doubt that I would get much done.  I think the headache is due to my spending too much time knitting lately.  I find that if I knit for a long time and concentrate on counting stitches, I tend to get a headache.  But I did finally finish my baby blanket that I've been working on - on and off - for a while.

This is a picture of it. Don't know if you can see the pattern well, but it's kind of a basket weave.

 Another view...

And this is the next pattern that I would like to make.  It's a knitted patchwork.

Another view...

How was your Labor Day?  I needed to run some errands so I texted my grandson to see if he would like to  go with me and we could pick up lunch while we were out.  I told him that it was fine if he had other plans (14 year olds may not want to run errands with their memaw). Fortunately he said that he would really like to do that.  So we had a nice time and got to talk a bit since we haven't had much time for that lately.  My grandkids are at the crossroads this year with  one starting highschool, one starting middle school, one starting elementary school, and one turning one year old!

Well, I think I'm going to spend the morning making cookies to send to my cousin in New Orleans for her birthday next week. Then if my head feels better, I'll think about going to the studio this afternoon.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Trouble with posting...

This is the 3rd or 4th time I've tried to post between yesterday and today.  I don't know what's wrong, but it seems to be with Blogger.  When I go to delete a picture, it deletes everything and I'm left to start the whole post over.  This is my last try today. 

The top picture is one of a past Night Bloomer.  Isn't it beautiful?  The petals are like delicate feathers. 

The next picture is a better one of my fake crow in the tree by our entry.  As you can see his tail feathers are a bit frazzled with the rain and the weather.  But I still like him.  If you have never seen the Nature Special on Crows, you should.  They are amazing, intelligent birds.

And last is a picture I snapped of Ghost taking over the baby area after grand daughter left for the day.

I'm actually afraid to write much more or it will all just disappear again. So I'm going to close with this:

Happy Labor Day!