Sunday, February 23, 2014

girl days...

I have 4 wonderful grandchildren... and luck (?)  would have it... 2 boys and 2 girls.  How about that? Anyway, they are all beautiful well-behaved children (most of the time) and I'm very proud of each of them.

But having said that, DH and I returned yesterday evening from Weatherford, Texas where oldest grand daughter (12) was having a cross country training session.  The weather was in the 60's most of the day so it was perfect for walking around this equestrian center and watching the girls train their horses on the various jumps.

I took about 50 pictures with my digital SLR of grand daughter and her horse, Hemi.  Of course I won't bore you with more than 3 or 4.... but it was enjoyable to watch. Both she and Hemi (who is very young) did well.  One of the girls' horse refused most of the jumps - and when we left, they were still working with him.  To the best of my knowledge, Hemi only refused once... and then took the jump the second time. I know my daughter and grand daughter were very pleased with his performance.  They should be out there again this morning training a bit more. Since it is almost a 2 hr drive, we chose to go yesterday and forego this morning.

(If you click on the picture and enlarge it, you get a better view of the action...)
slanted jump

slatted jump

wide jump 

wide jump

There were many other jumps and obstacles that the horses (and riders) were being taught not to fear... such as jumping into water or down and up an incline, etc.  And truth be told, I was surprised that Hemi didn't balk at this wide jump.  He'd never been to this place before and he'd only been to one other cross country training class. So we were all very proud of him... and her (as when asked if she thought he would take it, grand daughter didn't hesitate... and said, "Yes!".

On the way back home, we passed the Dallas Skyline... and since I had my Zoom lens on my camera, took a quick shot as we drove by. You can see what a clear day it was...

And now a few pics of youngest grand daughter taken during the week. She is 15 months.

grand daughter's curls


 thinking about *knitting*... 

Well, that's my Sunday morning post.  It's been a busy week and I've got a lot of catching up to do. But that's what's great about retirement. There's always tomorrow... (that is - what's the expression? - "God willing, and the creek don't rise...")

(To be fair... there are pictures of the boys (grandsons) to the right here... but I will have to take some more recent ones and give them equal time in a later post.)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday... Monday...

Julie and bay leaves

This morning DH cut some bay leaf branches  from our bay tree out back.  He was commenting to me how it looked very healthy after this cold winter as it had been looking a bit distressed last summer.  Julie (our small female black and white - who has many names - one of which is "Julie, Dam-it, get off the counter!") decided she would hide behind the branches. When I came into the kitchen and saw her, instead of fussing at her, I had to go get my camera.  Here's a close-up:

and following up on Ghost's recovery:

Rose, Ghost, and Tux

She is now joining the group on the rug by the Aga... whereas when she was sick last week, she stayed curled up on my bed. She has also regained her appetite... which can only be described as ravenous.

I am sad to report that my youngest son reported losing his 20 year old cat this weekend. I had noticed that she was getting very thin and frail last time I saw her. She and Molly (our 20 year old) became a part of our families about the same time. However, even though Molly is showing her age, she still seems to be full of energy, has a good appetite, and has kept her weight pretty well.  She occasionally miscalculates when jumping up on something and has to do it again, but otherwise, seems fine.


There's not a lot to report here... except that the weather has been wonderful... sun shining and in the 60"s and 70's this past weekend.  And if we can trust the weathermen, it's going to remain this way all week!! It makes it hard to believe all the snow and ice around the world that we're seeing on the TV (and they're beginning to mention "Climate Change"... ya think???)

My pottery classes have resumed (although we've missed some due to school closures), but in general we're back in the swing.  Our project this year is another dinner set, but we haven't gotten the 'particulars' yet... meaning our instructor wants us to make something that would be used to serve a specific guest (she is going to give each of us a name sometime this week... yeah, a bit weird).

Oh, and I'm playing around with filet crochet (I think that's right?).  I made a crochet bag from some old blue cotton yarn I had left over from another project. It didn't come out too bad since I kind of made it up as I went along and didn't have a pattern.

Well, I hope you are all enjoying the Olympic Games.  DH and I were watching the pairs skating (dancing on ice) this morning. It's so amazing...

PS:  Thanks for all your comments on my dilemma.  I really appreciated the input... and it helped a lot just writing it out.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

strange dilemma...???

I'm going to write this like I was writing to a Therapist or Advice Columnist.  It's something that has been bothering me for a while now and I'm not sure how to handle it.  I've always been of the philosophy that it's *how we handle things* that decide our character. So here goes (and know that the persons' names have been changed to avoid further difficulties.)

Dear Cosmo,

Several years ago a very dear friend of mine passed away. She and I had become very close since retiring and talked almost daily as well as met once a week for tea and conversation. DH and I even shared many a Sunday dinner with her at our house. During these conversations Harriet revealed a lot about a family member that she loved, but who constantly caused her unneeded stress over her (Charlotte's) financial situation. Harriet helped when needed, but due to her own financial burdens (being a widow and on SS), spent a lot of time trying to get this person to budget better (since she did actually have a very good paying job), but to no avail. Financial advisors as well as friends tried to tell Harriet that she was basically *enabling* this person and not really helping in the long run. And she did agree that this was true, but in her heart could not do nothing when the need arose. And it always did because Charlotte seemed very adept at waiting until it was too late to do anything else... but be bailed out.

Over the years we could all see the toll this situation was taking on Harriet. But again... there's only so much a friend (or friends) can do. Well, up until Harriet became ill, most of us had never set eyes on Charlotte. She lived in another state.  At one point she wanted Harriet to sell her house and move in with her. But Harriet's feelings concerning this were that Charlotte needed someone to cook and clean for her... and she was too old for that...besides,  her friends were all here.

When Harriet passed away, she had quite a large group of friends who attended her funeral (people she knew from church as well as those from her work or just the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived for years).  She was such a 'good person' that I used to call her my 'angel friend'.

Now the dilemma:

Since Harriet's passing, Charlotte has occasionally called me... usually with something she wanted to know or something she needed done. And since Harriet was such a dear friend, I was more than willing to aid Charlotte with these requests... since all had to do with Harriet's funeral and will.  After all, she was Harriet's 'family'.  But on at least one occasion, Charlotte had asked for something to be done, which was done... but
Charlotte never followed through (not surprising, but still...).

Now after several years have passed, Charlotte has begun to contact me again. Knowing her history from Harriet and not wanting to 'befriend' this person, I have struggled with how to handle this.  So far she has called 3 times and I have not responded.  In my heart I feel that this is 'rude' and a bit 'unkind'  - as I've always been taught that if someone needs help, we should help them. But my gut feeling... as well as DH's... is to 'let it be'.  We feel that it would be kinder to just let her think that possibly she simply can't get in touch with me than to actually tell her that I do not wish to be be friends with someone who caused so much pain for someone who was truly a dear friend.

I would love to know how others might handle a situation like this?  When it comes down to it, I would say that the whole situation was none of my business since it involved family members, except that Harriet made it my business by sharing all of this info with me over the years. I guess the options are: to confront or not to confront... and it seems useless to confront at this stage of the game. The fact is : I don't want anything to do with Charlotte. She was never my friend and could never be.  Simply not responding to repeated calls should get that message across. Yes?

*Sorry this is so long... hard to explain... and a very emotional subject as I still miss Harriet every day.*
And please do not feel that you have to respond as it is a tricky situation and although I want to do what is right - what is right (being kind) and what is good for myself and my family - seem to be at odds.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day 2014!

Jack (who we lost last month) with his arm around his brother, Tux

Happy Valentine's Day!  

Just a short post today.  This picture of Jack and Tux was one I really like.  They had such a good bond. If you will notice that Tux (cat in front) has no whiskers... it's because Jack constantly cleaned Tux (DH used to say that either Tux was a very dirty cat or else he must taste really good).  But Jack always cleaned the whiskers right off Tux.  Now... with Jack gone, it's so strange to see Tux's whiskers growing back in...

My only other report for the day is that we had a scare with Ghost this week.  She is the grey cat with the genetic kidney problem. Well, she has always had a really hardy appetite, but suddenly stopped eating last Sunday. We watched her and she continued to drink her water and use the little box, but spent all of her time sleeping on my bed... and refused all food.  This lasted from Sunday through Wednesday.  Just when we were struggling with the decision to bring her to the Vets, (we hate to do this as she is an easily traumatized cat and going to the Vet doesn't help this condition), I decided to try placing some 'chicken broth' near her water dish... in the hopes that perhaps she would drink this and it might jump start her appetite again. Well, either it worked or she finally got over what ailed her as she did drink a few sips of it Wed night, a little more on Thursday, and today is eating both the chicken broth and her KD special diet. We will continue to watch her, but it seems that she is on the mend.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

snowing here...

Snowed here in Dallas (Richardson) this week

I know it's nothing like most of you guys are getting in other places, but it's so strange for us to go from 70 degrees one day to 16 the next (or thereabouts). When we woke up Thursday morning, DH looked out the window and said, "It's snowing!" and I responded with... "No way...".  But it was and it kept coming for most of the morning. It was light swirly snow... not big flakes... but it did cover our lawn and backyard and because it was only 16 - 27 F that day, it did freeze on the roads and made for interesting driving.

We took off for the grocery early because we were afraid that it would be worse by Friday.... and saw 2 cars slide off the road and onto the curb (one was stopping at a red light and when he braked, slid right up the side of the curb - and one right in front of us was turning into the grocery parking lot and went off to the left -again right up the curb). Problem is that people around here don't know how to drive on icy roads. We know to go slow, drive in the ruts, don't hit the brakes, turn into the slide, etc. - but that's about it. DH and I didn't have any problems (except getting traction to go again once we'd stopped).  However, I find driving in these conditions a bit nerve-racking. 

grocery parking lot

Looking at some of the pictures of the really snowed in places around the country and around the world and I wonder how you guys do it.  Seriously I'd have to hibernate through your winters and wouldn't dare try to get out in some of those weather conditions. But I guess it's all in what you are used to.  I do thank God that we went to Alaska last Spring as I at least have long johns, boots, and ear muffs and know how to layer.  (I have on 4 layers right now - and that's in the house)

Tux and I reading by fireplace

This is where Tux and I spend our time when it's really cold outside.  Ghost has been joining us lately.  She is very interested in the fire and will sit and stare at it for long periods.


And then there's Rose.  She's 19 - 20 years old and although always a cranky unpredictable cat (we found her in our rose garden back in 2001 and the Vet thought she was 6 or 7 at the time), she has mellowed a bit lately - allowing us to pet her and joining the other cats when they are huddled together.


and I will close today with a photo I took last night at bedtime (with my iPhone). I was reading and Ghost waits on the bed each night  for me to come and settle in.


I  really wonder with all the strange weather happenings and this really cold winter (all over) if the world is in for a climate change that (whether we are responsible for it or not), will warrant being prepared.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

she does love cats...

Grand daughter and Ceramic Cat

Grand daughter and Tux 

First of all, I have to explain to you that Grand daughter is 13 months old and loves cats (wonder how that happened?).  But she is learning to be 'gentle' with them.  We tell her to pat them gently and they won't run away.  Tux is a really good cat.  As you can see, he doesn't respond negatively (except for that face that says it all) to rough treatment. You might even think that he was just lying on her lap except for the angle of that back leg which explains how he was lying quietly on the rug when she decided quite abruptly that her lap would be better (she had a good fist-full of cat in those 2 little hands).   In her defense, she did lean over and kiss his head right after I snapped this pic. And Tux was well rewarded with praise and treats for his patience and good behavior.

Well, it's Sunday morning and the day of the Big Game (SuperBowl).  We don't party at our house, but my son and grandson are coming over this afternoon to watch with us.  I am interested, but don't generally sit down and watch.  Spend most of my time either in the kitchen fixing snacks or in the den (half watching/half knitting or crocheting). So far it looks like it's going to be one of those gloomy overcast cold days with rain off and on throughout the day...  (good day for a fire in the old fireplace to warm up the room and make Tux happy).

If you haven't noticed previously, our cats love my fisherman's afghan that my friend made for me years ago. I love it too, but have to fight for it since the cats always seem to have dibs.  Here is a pic I took last night when I went to sit on the sofa and get cozy with my afghan.

hey, guys.... it's my afghan!

Close up of Ghost's eyes says it all...

Well, Have a great Sunday and Enjoy the game!