The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


One Amazon order too late this last box of "where's my..." was found.
Moving has been (and continues to be) a challenge. When we moved back to Texas after a 22 year absence we moved in stages. By that I mean, several trips over from Auburn, with unpacking (and organizing) in between.  I thought this move would be lots easier.  There is a 15 minute drive time between the houses.  I was wrong. It has been "trying".

I didn't know this, but I iron for comfort.  I thought I just didn't like wrinkles.  The iron had been missing since mid July.  Wrinkles were the least of my worries though.

The house we bought was what I would euphemistically call a mid flip.  There are several things to fix in the house, for example, none of the bathroom electrical outlets works.  The little reset lights are green, but there's not enough juice flowing to power a water pic much less a blow dryer.

My biggest concern about the house was it was painted the exact shade of rotten meat.  That disgusting grayish brown.  Every wall and ceiling in the house was that color.  It takes a lot of white paint to cover putrid brown.  I'm actually still working at it and while I paint, little else gets done!  That's not really fair to myself.  While it is true that the kitchen is the only room in the house that is functioning up to par, it is also true that we are making excellent progress.  It's also true that we've made several small vacation type trips since dumping, piling boxes everywhere.

Today I will completely finish painting the living room.  I have about a ten foot section of that ceiling beam to do.  That's it!  Then the air vent and electrical covers can go on.  It is my goal to get the living room "comfortable" this week.  I would also like to get the foyer painted and the light fixtures in there situated.  The door bell doesn't work ... all the weather stripping around the current door has to be replaced (not my job, and neither is the door bell ... yesterday we discovered that the wiring for the doorbell was pulled out and that became a bigger project than I can do) ... my job is to patch, and paint.  I'm glad I can paint.  I'm grateful that we can afford to paint over new paint that is unappealing.  That paint was never going to show wear because it was the very color of dirty.

(this is a picture of a door exactly
 like the one we are getting ready to install -
I haven't settled on a color yet -
soon though because it is bare wood right now)

This side of the living room is completed now.  We might have left the beam unpainted, but there was no removing the paint to make that choice.  The caulking up there is super hanky too.  Pure flat white covers a multitude of sins. 
part of today's to do

The kitchen cabinets are still that unfortunate color, but they will have to wait for their new paint.  I'm going to do them with Annie Sloan's light grey chalk paint.  The hinges, which were also painted by the flipper will have to be replaced and they're on order.  I really do love having a home to work in.

I am "guest" posting on my blog today.  I don't have the access figured out, but via my phone which was still connected to Blogger, I have invited myself.  It's not a complete work around because I'm limited to posting only with no dashboard access.

All of this house stuff has gotten me to wondering ... if I were a house, what would I look like.  I asked my husband that ... what would he look like ... he said he would be a massive concrete structure, contemporary, but like Wright's Falling Water.  I've toured some of the Wright structures and they are indeed quirky.  I think L intuitively chose a perfect representation.  I would be a tiny white house, with soft wooden floors and a wrap around porch with a swing.  I would have lots of windows which could be flung open ... and the house of me would smell like sunshine and mowed grass and gardenias. 

well - work time 

Btw - another thing I'd been looking for was that ice cream maker
we had a dessert of

piping hot apple pie
cinnamon ice cream
bubbly rum butter

while we were in Birmingham recently and it was the bomb!
It's on my list to perfect for Thanksgiving and I hope it takes plenty of tries!

Friday, September 15, 2017

When my brother was spending a lot of time in the hospital, I loaned him an iPad.  I deleted its "memory", set up his google email account on it for him, set up his Facebook etc., and just did what ever he needed me to do to make the device function for him. After he passed that iPad set unused for sometime before we wanted to use it again. I can't remember now if I forgot the password or what, but it took some effort to unlock the device. Apple was helpful and I did have to provide collaborating info to back up what had happen to make a device I owned "come on" for me. For one thing, I had "wiped" its memory again. Tedious story shorter - the google account on this blog somehow became associated with his name, my maiden name. I recently noticed that his name showed up as sender of emails sent from my google account. This is like two years later - so idk. Anyway, one of my kids wanted to use my laptop to sign in to their google account so they could send an email and I said, sure.
When I tried to sign back in - I can sign in to my google account but not his - and his is they one blogger thinks the account belongs to. My blog account.
I don't know how to solve this problem.
My phone is still signed in. That's how I'm noting this now. But I don't like to type blog stuff  from my phone.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Last week

At 25 of the 60/70 some odd miles in on the National Seashore (Padre Island near Corpus) I didn't expect to see so many tire prints.  While vehicles didn't hum by continuously, there was a fair amount of traffic.  Mostly trucks with customized fishing rod holders and kayak racks.  The wind wasn't blowing sand (even into my sealed Yeti tumbler) so it was a perfect day at the coast.  Except for one unfortunate turn of events.  My dog.  My dog Max cheats at Bocce Ball.  And to make matters worse, he doesn't "play" for my team.  He is a blatant and unrepentant scoundrel.  He attached my balls with glee costing me several rounds!

He's two full months short of his first birthday and shows every indication of maturing in to a fine dog.

See what I mean about fish in the water ...
 I don't like the idea of fish everywhere as much as sharks do (like the idea of fish everywhere).

Thursday, August 31, 2017

We fished there a lot, the family of little me, during the years while I grew up.

They fished there.  I never liked the idea of catching a fish.  I didn't even like the idea that fish were in the water close enough to nibble on the baited hooks they threw.  
I did love to cast though.  My line ended with an iron "sinker" that hit the water just like a period ends a sentence.  Plop.  Sometimes my dad would attach a "bob float".  That little red white ball was one of my favorite things in the tackle box.  When you pushed down a little top button, oh so very carefully, a tiny golden candy cane arose to nab your line and disappear.  I thought they were the smartest design ever and wondered why the Christmas tree baubles weren't made the same way.

I loved to stand with my family and cast my line (while sometimes dodging my brothers' shenanigans).  

I loved to sit very still and listen to the waves and the birds and watch my family fish. 

*HBDT my older brother who would have been 61 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

National Seashore - Camping out with some of the family -

Now that I'm back where iced drinks and hot showers may be taken for granted, I'd like to save some of the pictures taken on the recent campout.  A couple of our adult children, L and I spent several days at the National Seashore (near Corpus Christi, Texas).
This was the first time I have seen deer at the beach.  They were huge, like elk sized huge, and not shy at all.  They were grazing at dusk atop the dunes behind were we selected to set up camp.  I hoped they would return while we were there but they didn't.

Our campsite was 3.5 miles South of where the pavement stops.  I'm a happier camper when I can shower ... fortunately the Parks Service provides a pretty nice facility in support of that!  We did see a bit of traffic, mostly day fishermen who came and went.  Some traffic moved further South on the 67 mile stretch (too far from the bath house for me).  Here we are looking back up the way, Northward.
Four captured this shot and dressed it up with some filter app.

This pic is of the first day's sunset.  It was dark when we stopped (near the deer).

Both of these are around "sunrise" over the Gulf and are without filter or manipulation of any kind.

Surprisingly, both the kids were great at sleeping in.  My coffee bell rings pretty early!

Sometimes we would cover the tents hoping to keep sand out but it was so blowy that it was a losing battle.  After a few days even the towels were covered in sand and salt brine.

Fire building was a favorite pastime.  We collected wood there - some of it big, some small, all in various stages of still damp.  The kids liked the fire work a lot.  All I did was enjoy.

C, aka Four

Bocce Ball was a new game for me and lots of fun.
I basically rocked it.  

This kite has been with us for sometime.  Flying a kite at the beach is a tradition for us.
I really wanted to buy a new kite at a super cool kite store up in Boulder, but this one is still in great shape.  We did lose it's little spinning corkscrew tail on this trip.

This was taken from my cot.  The ability to watch the moon rise and arc across the night sky ... the Milky Way and all those stars ... probably my favorite part.  Not sure ... everything except the blowing sand was really cool.

It took three solid hours and 12 bucks worth of quarters to get the sand out of the car.  Yesterday we power washed all the gear.

 I'm actually almost ready to head down there again!  Next time I'm going to pack my change of clothes in ziplock bags!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Traveling a bit - last weekend was the annual girlfriend's weekend.  We hung out in San Antonio.  There is something precious about sharing time with people who have known you ever since when.

I came home wishing  Four and Five could see the long lasting  effects of hurtful words.  It's way too easy to see everyone's baggage when you were there when they first began to carry it along through life.  I can't see mine, but routine readers likely can.  Obviously, for me, there is the pain of being the only living member of the family of my birth.  My younger brother came up in one small conversation - someone said he was just epic back in the day.  He was outstanding at everything a boy becoming a man is measured by.  I didn't see it then but it's obvious now.  Back then I just liked him because he was funny and because he was my little brother.  It was good to remember the high school kid of him.  I remembered walking by the bathroom we shared and seeing him shaving his arms in the sink.  "What are you doing T-ray?" I asked taking it in stride, I mean, I didn't even raise an eyebrow even though he was using my newly acquired "Flicker" razor, I was used to him.  He was curious and able to focus, he was pretty intense.  I guess we all were.  Anyway, he hadn't begun shaving yet, but he wanted to see what it felt like so he shaved his arms from the elbow down to the wrist - both arms.  Why both arms I remember asking and he said because he liked it and because he thought both arms shaved would be less noticeable than having just one bare arm.  I said why didn't you shave your legs like I do and he said that would be weird and every kid in the locker room would find it troubling.  I laughed at that, but he probably wasn't kidding.

We have a trip over to Two's big event - Southern Maker's planned. Leaving early tomorrow for the rest of the week.  Next week we will be camping at the National Seashore in tents ... the cicadas seem to be singing about the shoreline right now.  Max delights in capturing then releasing only to snag again and again the locust who frequent these back yard trees.  I'm sitting outside (alone) while I write this tonight.  Larry is out with one of our daughters and the other (home from school for a few more days) is going through "her boxes" in her room.  I think she has enjoyed looking at the mementos of her earlier life.

I have been careful to keep their treasures safe but it seems to be time for the adult kids to take their boxes to their homes.  I had wondered why my mother didn't save "my things" and have decided that she got rid of them when she moved.  To say she wasn't sentimental would be an understatement.  I wish I had understood her rather than just know her.  It's good when your kids get you.

Well, here's Four now.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Tommy's bell

The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be

Yeah the wars they will
Be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
Bought and sold
And bought again
The dove is never free

Ring the bells 
(ring the bells)
 that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything 
(there is a crack in everything)
That's how the light gets in

Yesterday this picture was received in cell phone video format - I "screen shot" it, ran it through an app (PRISMA) to render this which I think captures the spirit of the bell as well as any image might.  It was sent to me from the best man at my brother's wedding to his last wife - Tommy inherited the grandchildren, so dearly cherished, after a time during that last union.  I think those little relationships were valued as truly precious and appreciated by him.  He was estranged from his own daughter for reasons beyond my understanding, tangled as they were by the hasty shotgun wedding followed by a nasty divorce some several years later.  He wasn't to meet his grandson ... or the granddaughter who arrived after his death.  I think time would have restored that relationship ... but time ran out.  The absent father of a step-daughter found in what turned out to be his last years, or maybe it was grace, provided happy faced grandchildren to ring this bell in remembrance of their Papa Tom as they called him. His friend, the kids other granddad, hung Tommy's bell.  Very sweet.

Monday, July 3, 2017

First "thing" for the next house (closing this month).

We saw these pendant lights at a shop in Boulder while up there last week.
  I call it house jewelry.

This is what the outside front yard currently looks like.
I love that it has no landscaping and is a blank canvas waiting to be "fixed".


It's going to be very easy to make it look something like this

We will do a new front door before we move in (it will be painted as will the new shutters).
My husband thinks cedar posts will be better than the heavier rock columns so replacing those is pretty high on the check list. It has a front loading garage and I want to incorporate a trellis over the doors that will also be built from cedar.   There isn't a walk way up to the front door.  

So - From the street I want to see mostly native grasses and Cactus.  Between the middle yard under the trees where the ornamental grasses will be planted, I want to create a more colorful view (as seen from the house looking towards the street.  The flowers will be tucked in behind the higher grasses.

Here are some of my inspiration shots:

coral honeysuckle and/or trumpet vine
on garage trellis and extended around corner beyond fence to the side door on trellis type roof.

The right side yard is wider and also has a gate to the back yard, but no walk way - I like the pavers but over all it will have a less formal feel - there are trees over there.  If we use this paver idea, we will also use them for the sideway to the front door ... they'll lead up to the covered porch and may enlarge it proving more space for an out door chair or two.

May have room for an ornamental tree in the front yard - if we do, it will be this.
Front right corner.

These are climbing roses for a couple of small wall trellises on the wider and unfenced side yard 

Almost exactly our front porch - I'll move the planting bed out considerably though, making room for the little flowers to be enjoyed from the rooms on the front of the house.

Yay!  They arrived safely and are waiting to be installed!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

~factors I'm choosing not to control~

Blackhawk, which I've never flown ... haven't even ever had a helicopter ride.   Some of my former students went the military route and love flying 'em ... and actually, one of my commercial instructors was a Naval Aviator who most preferred the whirlybirds. He was a bit of a butt ... bitter about a wife who remained married to him during her cavorting years as he steadfastly served our Country overseas.  I don't blame him, it just made the W/B (managing his baggage) overly complicated within the confines of a training environment.

That little pencil sketch was something I drew a long time ago - a self portrait of "little" me.

I'm amazed at how much flight training material that I have to throw away.  I can't keep on moving all this stuff around with me!  Because I taught ground school to large classrooms full of hopefuls in a University setting, my notes are more formal than a one on one type learning relationship would indicate.  No one needs my notes now.

My instructing days are behind me.  Today I threw away a 24" piece of fuel line.  Ironically, some very fine notes were refiled in a faded glory box and are awaiting the recycling pick up at the curb.  

factors beyond your control &
factors you choose not to control ... 

found written in my hand and neatly stacked in an accordion file full of lecture notes and carefully curated props.

I'd frequently have something like that written on a white board or projected on the big screen for the kids to think about while the room was filling up.  Sometimes I would "slide-show" poetically majestic full color pictures taken from a flight deck and carefully collected over time, sometimes the black and white of an NTSB accident report was a more appropriate way to begin a lecture.  Flying well is serious business.  I'm glad I got to work with aviation students.  It feels weird throwing that stuff away, like it doesn't matter, or is no longer important ... no longer relevant ... .  I'm waiting for that (good) feeling of having shed something one no longer needs.  Right now I just feel a little sick about it.

I have a lot of really good stuff - books mostly, FAA publications ... cool stuff, that I'd like to give to someone who will use it.  I'll keep a headset.