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

Friday, June 26, 2015

Mid move update

I have been "putting this off" for quite a while now ... removal of the excessive bone growth  (an exostosis or torus - plural: exostes or tori) under my tongue and on the cheek side of both the upper and lower jaw. I was afraid of the surgery ... afraid of the pain.  Now it's done and it wasn't too bad.  My face is swollen and hurts when I get behind on the pain meds.  It's funny to see the shape of my face so different then usual.  My lower lip has almost disappeared.  The swelling is part of the healing process.  It's good to have this little thing behind me.

We are back in Alabama finishing up (I say that, but there is at least one more trip over here planned before the real "finished up") the move.  This morning I started packing the pantry ... which really does signal departure!  Most of the little tasks around the house are done. On Sunday we, L and I will pack the moving van ... it's mostly all little stuff, boxes and a few chest of drawers ... okay, and a large sofa and chair which are already in the garage ... and a bunch of side tables ... but mostly boxes. Today L dismantled the trampoline and moved all the outdoor furniture to the driveway.  This is a weird time for me to be mostly recuperating!  I can do little jobs ... the pain medicine makes me less concerned which is really weird!  

This is one of the Tyler roses which I planted in the yard last summer.  One of the bushes didn't make it. the other two are thriving.  I am thrilled for whomever ends up with this beautiful yard.  While I "relax" I'm re-discovering what works best in Texas gardens, and what deer don't prefer to munch on!  I am really looking forward to getting settled in over there.  It's fun to figure out how to overcome some of the drawbacks ... like that tiny refrigerator in the rental house.  I will miss my nice appliances!  But ... I'm going to love that great view of the river.  

Today one of my friends from high school invited me to join a few others of our friends at her home for an annual get together that they do.  It makes me feel very happy to know that I have old friends near by who are so gracious in welcoming me back.  It was difficult for me when we moved here ... it's a small town and the ladies were very cliquish.  In general, Texas women are very different then Southern women.  That came as a huge surprise to me.  Here, I didn't fit as well with the women of my own age group ... my friends were mostly older women.  The volunteer work was done mostly with women my own age, but other then the project at hand I seemed to not have much in common with them.  Even at church I felt like "the one of these" which doesn't quite belong.  On a superficial level this has been a very pleasant place to put down roots ... I'm just saying Texas feels more like home.

It's been fun or me to think about ways to make the rental house seem like home.  It's fun to move the furniture and household things around ... to "re-see" our things.  I am very excited about hanging lights in the trees that shade the back deck.  I'm thinking something like this ->
And guess what?!  Lighting bugs are everywhere out there!  And they even fly high up in to the trees which I hadn't seen before!  It is so cool to see so many of them at once.  

And ... I'm also excited about a trip to Denver that we are planning for July.  I think we will travel through Santa Fe and Albuquerque en route ... and maybe we'll even visit the Hopi cliff village in SW Colorado.  I love road trips!  We should be able to click off some of the far flung Texas Top 50 BBQ stops with careful planning ... I'm thinking re-enter the State up in the Panhandle. 

Little treasures like this pictured above make packing sweet ... these are of Daddy and his twin, my very special Uncle Terry, along with old letters from each of them.  I loved re-reading and I loved seeing how similar their hand writing is to each other (and my own).  And ... I didn't realize this before, but mu uncle enjoyed quotes too. 

Well ... enough of this "noting" for now.  Just an update to say - all is well (and the new Mother's Day slippers are like a cherry on top)!

Saturday, June 20, 2015


This was noted several years ago and I "put" it in the draft pile for awhile because it seemed too personal a thing to share.  Recently I was looking through "unpublished" stuff I've noted here and came across this and mostly ... it made me laugh ... my momma was a bit of a stinker, so what

I woke up this morning thinking about my mother. In a way I have been unfair to her here...she has been presented as one dimensional...partly because that is how I see her, but it is only fair to say - some people like her. She has some good qualities. I was born the year that the BarbieDoll was introduced. Women, like my mother, were busy playing bridge in their pointy brassieres under their "Jackie-esque" A line dresses. They wore their hair - big - lacquered - like margesimpson (just not blue). They watched "As the World Turns" and talked about Lisa as though she were a real person and not just a character in a soap opera. My mother kept our house impeccably clean. The smell of Clorox was pervasive and signaled a day well spent. My brothers wore jeans to play in that were starched, and I am not talking about this stuff we spray out of a can when we iron something. I'm talking about blue powder dissolved in the laundry and ironed after the spin cycle. You didn't have to hang my momma's ironing up - it'd stand on it's own before she was satisfied with it (just like her hair). My brothers would get outside - out of Mom's sight -and take off their blue jeans and wad them up, jump on them,drag them around - anything to get the "stiff" out. I didn't wear blue jeans. I was a barbie doll. I wore the truly most beautiful little smocked or appliqued dresses with matching "bloomers" (over my underwear). I cannot remember one single outfit that was actually appropriate for playing in. Momma noticed that the boys always came home filthy from playing outside (where all our playing was done). I learned to keep my little outfits tidy - of course I had a head start on my brothers because I could move around in my clothes with out stomping on them first. After several spankings received for tearing up my clothes while out at play (those cute little outfits took a lot of time to construct and I think were also symbolic to my mom of other things - like maybe what a great mom she was for creating such sweet outfits - and they were) I just started taking my top - usually a short dress - off, folding it or laying it out nicely and putting it on when the call came for dinner time. It made perfect sense to me and to my brothers and our friends. No more torn dresses from climbing trees or hopping over more grass stains or hand clothes looked almost as good as they did when I left the house that morning. (I have tried to remember lunches as a child but I don't - I'm sure she was feeding us lunch but I can't remember them - we always sat down to dinner together and seems like all were present for breakfast as well, but lunch I think we ate outside because I remember a water cooler on the back porch and I remember my mother playing cards and laughing with her friends at mid day ... I am sure we weren't missing meals, maybe my brother will remember.) My dresses started coming home in good shape because I took them off. There were a few things I didn't - all the dirt I was used to acquiring on my clothes was now on my skin - as were those little scrapes that sometimes tore my outfits - she noticed that when she supervised my bath but I guess she just didn't know what to think of that. The big light bulb moment occurred when she noticed that I had quite a lovely little tan above my very white little butt. You cannot imagine the uproar! She jerked me out of that bathtub so fast ... put me on my feet in a puddle of water and suds turned me round and around and told me to march straight to my daddy. Naked!?! I asked, looking for a towel - water all over the floor seemed almost as bad as a torn top. "March!" she commanded pointing to the doorway. I was petrified because I didn't have a clue as to what I had done now. My dad was surprised to see me too. Momma explained the suntan line and said some soandso had seen me out playing half naked and called laughing and the tirade went on and on with me standing there shivering - all goosebumps and big eyes. I didn't know what might happen but I knew my Daddy wouldn't spank me. I remember him looking over at me and winking - "she looks like that coopertone girl" he said "good grief, put her in something she can play in, she's a child for pete's sake". He laughed. He thought it was funny. "Why are you standing there? Go get your nightgown on", momma said. I was dismissed. I thought that was it. But next day - soon as Daddy was out the door - it was on! Momma didn't like being lied to and it was certainly a lie to leave the house dressed like a civilized little girl and then plan - PLAN - to play outside like a wild indian with no clothes on...just the top momma I'm sure I said...sassing - lying - embarrassing my family - embarrassing my brothers - making a laughing stock of her - the loud jagged words punctuated by spanking, slapping, pulling hair.  I was crying - she was screaming - we were all afraid of her. She probably scared herself. Eventually she gave up on me being the daughter she wished for...but it took a few more years. I was already "grown" and out of the house before I realised that she never hit us when my Dad was home. She never berated us when Daddy was home ... she was strict and not affectionate but not abusive. Daddy was her opposite - loving, fun, funny, amused by our antics and proud of us.

What good can I say about my momma? She did what she thought women were supposed to do. She was smart (kinda - we could pull things over on her pretty easily but I think that's because she didn't anticipate what we might be up to), she was an amazing over-achieving homemaker, her home was coulda shot a cleaning products commercial in any room in our house at any given moment - no notice required...she was always perfectly dressed and coiffed. She smelled better than anyone...she wore "My Sin, or Veil of Arpege" yeah - I snuck in there and looked at her perfume when ever I felt like it but you better bet I never picked up a bottle! She's 76 and still smells fabulous - I've seen her without all her make up on only maybe once ... don't remember when but surely I have right?!?! She was a wonderful cook too - that must have been her hobby. She was a lot of fun for my dad too - always laughing at his remarks and thinking of ways to make him feel good - or she was furious with him, packing us up in the station wagon and threatening to leave him for good this time...unless he straightened up... . My mom was a bully and a manipulator...guess that's why I don't like to hear myself lumped into "acting like a woman" it reminds me of when women did get their cues on how to act from the soap opera queens and it wasn't very real.
That's about all the good stuff I can think of about my Mom - she didn't care about other people - someone sick represented germs not someone who might need something.
I know something I really appreciate about her - she didn't teach us to hate people because of their race or religion...that might have been my dad because she does some trash talkin now.  She didn't care about God or church until I was about 12 - someone got her interested in the prosperity doctrine - where if you believe enough you can make God do whatever you want him to do - she's off that now because it didn't pan out. She's not really interested in anything except my brother and his business and what my children are doing that might be impressive for her to share with her friends. I call her with an update about once a month - I wish she liked to receive texts instead.
Guess that's my mom - She's pretty. She was always the prettiest mom in the room.

Monday, June 15, 2015

We found a home to rent in a neighborhood along the river.  Heavily wooded with old lacey oaks plus the bonus of moving water ... Sammy's bark echoes off the hard wall of the bluff amusing him and confounding the deer ... what's not to love?  Pretty soon, when we get better settled and have time to play, we'll get some kayaks and explore from the river.  I am looking forward to that.
One has been a huge help with both  the extra work and general morale. It's fortunate that he has been able to help.
This 26' U-haul (expertly packed) held maybe half of our stuff. Two spent the day with us in Alabama throwing things out.  Her ability to be decisive about what is no longer needed was ruthless and quite impressive. It seems that while I really like less stuff around in general, it's hard for me to just throw something out that seems like it might be still useful for someone else.  There wasn't enough time to get organized for a  Goodwill pickup.  Maybe the "stuff" was moved in to the garage for a later pickup ... I do not know ... I can't even keep up with the charger to my fitbit right now.  Tomorrow (Sunday) we will drive back over there and finish a few odd jobs for the house and finish clearing everything out.  Sammy and the cat's will stay here with One looking out for them.  

It's become apparent that I have a thing for dishes.  I knew I love to cook, but it amazes me how many different pieces of stuff support that passion (and I kept several of Momma's neat kitchen gadgets).  The rental house does not have a large kitchen.  In fact, it's galley style and serves double duty as a hallway.  It also has a glass electric cooktop which I'm inexperienced with.  Maybe I will really like it.  Maybe I just don't know what I've been missing.  It is easier to clean up.  The view out of the back of the house is staggeringly beautiful.  Maybe I'll stop cooking and spend that time luxuriating out on the back porch. I probably will re-hang all those blue and white plates ... .
pulling out

leaving Alabama

back seat ... pulling towel off of cat crate to find out their noisy business
The cats were "tranquilized" ... for one it seem to be an out of body experience.  He hunkered down in the forest reaches of the crate and meowed not a whisper.  The other opted for a more assertive approach, filling the litter box with incredible stink and "rarring" to high heavens, loud, very loud and obnoxious.  The vet said wait 30 minutes and give (cram) another half tablet down.  He continued to announce for quite a ways even with the added incentive to "chill".
Sammy eventually negotiated a comfortable spot and slept sporadically 

My Debbie called a few times ... here is her answer for what's for dinner.  At some point on these back and forth trips all you really want to be there.  I think life gets like that.  Moving is exhausting work.  I honestly am so tired that I could cry ... and I have bruises and broken fingernails ... and just general uck.
welcome to TEXAS
a bit of a blur like everything else

still hours of driving ahead
(glad I'm not truly wicked)
Between cat naps (ahem) he kept an eye on the road
taken from the back deck looking up through the trees

I sleep odd hours, I am wakeful - this was an up at night checking on things.  I heard all kinds of animals ... bull frogs, cicadas, ducks, deer (I didn't know they make sounds, but they do).  I thought it was around 4:30 surprised to see the moon at it's apogee. I liked the outside.  It's going to be a good spot.  Well, it already is - I'll like having some furniture out there, and maybe some fun lights.
Sunrise and East identified
weird how one gets a set axis to sleep align ... 

I had coffee in the go bag, but sadly ... no press!
Coffee for me, breakfast tacos for the kids and Larry.

This is the crossing near our house
Corp is doing a controlled release. Lotsa recreational activity along here.

River at our yard ... there is a Heron or crane nesting right along here
I've seen her only from the patio - she is magnificent!  Larry saw her land at her nest.
I'm really looking forward to that.  I want to put some chairs down on the water's edge.
River from the patio
Deer are frequently on that lower level.