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

Sunday, January 24, 2016

National Seashore near Port A

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body 
love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.” 
Mary Oliver

“So I find words I never thought to speak

In streets I never thought I should revisit

When I left my body on a distant shore.” 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

hotel shampoo and all that

This was a Christmas gift to me.
R's sweetheart travels, doing MIS stuff for a company out of Atlanta.

I hoped he would remember how much I like to receive hotel toiletries.  I hoped for another box of these this year.  Look at that intense packing!  This box is as deep as those vials in the bottom left hand corner - about 4" deep.

When Momma was very near the end of her life, she and I stayed at the Christopher House in Austin.
It was a very difficult time for me.  I told my family how just a shower seemed to be profoundly "blessing".  When you are tending your dying people it's hard to have a peace-filled moment alone. At the hospice house they scrounged up a bar of soap for me, a tiny bottle of shampoo ... provided a hot shower. They gave me the moment I was so in need of.

I really appreciate the opportunity to give them this bunch of small things.

My girl said this gift represents the sweetness of being thought of everyday.   I love him too.

I love that he makes this possible for me.  I was just delighted when I opened the box. Smelled so good. I thought, a man who is capable of this level of thoughtfulness and can pack like a this (he said it felt like Jenga when I complimented him) ... this man can very likely take excellent care of my baby.

We dropped the box off today.  I smile to think that someone just like me, in that same place I  found myself in, will be blessed by something this small.  It's a big deal to me.

Franklin's BBQ - lotsa fun and pretty yummy

Texas BBQ 
list for us

Pictures from Alabama house camping trip

They were finding hilariously silly videos on their phones to laugh at
(Mighty Duck)

C was driving us crazy with her new high tech selfie stick
you can google most "googled" topics by State - that's surprisingly funny too

this is my first cup of fancy coffee ever
sugar free coconut syrup + sf white chocolate syrup +whole milk = amazingly delicious

the bathrooms at our rent house are not great
R gifted me with the best bar of soap ever for a nice
hot (nostalgic) soak in my bathtub

cot with air mattress
those flannel sheets were great

waiting for a table at The HOUND
that is a bacon infused bourbon bloody mary
(I had my doubts but it was perfection)

the closet door was one of my "home" projects
L is going over in February to  - among work things - install the quarter round
I replaced the rest of the duplexes and switches
and painted

and cleaned and finished packing up the garage
the only stuff left over there is the few things in the garage

...second cup of expensive coffee 
which was purchased right after sipping Chic-fil-a coffee
today I bought the two syrups at World Market.

the kitchen blackboard wall
I put the green light chalk on this house
I am ready for it to sale!

Spent the night in Bham with H and her family for an early morning departure
12.5 hours straight through!

Mississippi River bridge 

Welcome to Texas rest stop

Friday, January 15, 2016

birthday bouquet

card said:

"Just thought Tommy would want you to have some flowers today!"
 Deb and *Tommy

The girls (my three) call her "your Debbie"  - because the best of old friends are your very people aren't they.

It's just so sweet of her to do that for him for me.
I sure do miss him.

A special friend sent a box full of love last year - so unexpected, so gracious.

God is good to make His love felt through these sweet old friends who Tommy and I both grew up with.  I am grateful for these friends who look out for me on my birthday - I am blessed.

They smell fabulous ... lushly so.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hi V

Shadows leaned long and hard against the concrete barricade separating North bound traffic from those moving South.  I barely noticed them, the guys over there ... I was keeping a wary eye on the traffic around me, the traffic on my side of the Interstate. Most of these guys probably just made the drop off of the toll road (where if there is a speed limit I do not believe any one gives a little furry rats behind) I thought.  I consider myself a good citizen of the road.  I definitely do not litter.  I will glance at my phone for directional advice when it seems that google may be freelancing the route  (recently noticed that every "google aided" destination requires a toll even if it takes one off the most desired track to accommodate the flash.  Siri is an exceptionally aggravating fool of a tool. I have given up on her almost entirely), but, I don't text and drive.  I rarely use my phone in the car (except to snap a pic which I will do without hesitation).
Isn't that just lovely?  I started the day North bound (to intercept I20) car dancing with the shadows,  made the turn to the East early enough in the day to delight in light reflecting off every little water hole as silver as the bracelets jangling on my wrist.  Later everything tall enough, or only the tallest of trees, was painted gold.  Do they strain upwards just a bit as the early morning grass seemed to do?  I couldn't say, but it was fun to wonder.  Before dinner time (which was skipped anyway) I could have made hand puppets over the hood, on to the pavement just ahead.  Maybe I would have if I hadn't been driving alone.  Then it was dark.  Dark dark.  Deer dark.  I don't know why they are so tempted to crossover high speed ways at night.  By then I was headed South thinking only of what it would be like to be alone in the empty house for the night.

Here I am now (that was earlier when V asked me what I was doing).  
The house seems bigger.  It sounds big and very empty.  I brought along a really nice folding camp cot and an air mattress - it's all set up in my old bedroom.  In the den, I have a folding chair, the kind we used at the kid's sporting events, and I have flipped a plastic storage bucket upside down for my table.  There is a real table in the breakfast room, but I wanted a fire tonight, and that is sort of one with the four hour log.  It is a luxury to fix just corn on the cob for my dinner (and use a paper plate), I popped it in the microwave with the husk still on.  Delicious. The living room and dining room is entirely empty, as are the other bedrooms.  Earlier I thought they seem so big  filled of sweet memories.  I thought I was coming back to pack up the laundry room (it is loaded with hand tools mostly) but now that I'm here it seems like I'm really here to remember.  And smile.
Today, I saw my dentist and got my teeth cleaned.  I love to do that right before my birthday every year.  I need to find a new dentist at home.
Tomorrow I am going to get my hair cut.  The longest layer was down to my waist and I don't know what got in to me but all of a sudden I felt like one of those Harley guys.  The Harley guy with long stringy hair, probably bald under the bandanna with that pitiful meager braid dangling (yes limply dangling).  I leaned over in the bathroom and cut a good bit of it off one day last month.  V came around the corner and startled me like my momma used to do when I was up to something ... as I stood up it was apparent that I had 1) made a big mess of my hair 2) probably should have not been leaning quite so.  Some of it was still waist long, the shortest side was maybe mid shoulder blade.  She was stunned!  I couldn't help but laugh. Hair grows back.  It's not so easy to impress a 15 year old even if it is with how silly you still can be.  She spent an hour or so sorta evening it up and it's pretty good.  Children don't stop and stare at the grocery store, but I do expect my hair cut lady to be less amused (then I), more bemused probably. I'm going to try shorter (well, I have to, but I'm kinda pretending it was part of some master plan I guess).  In the laundry basket full of mail I sorted through earlier today there was a BHWM catalogue.  Those girls had choppy bottomed layered hair.  I'm going to see what she thinks of that.  If my hair will do that then that's what we will do.  My hairstylist is a genius at what she does.  Hurricane Katrina brought her up here and she has stayed for as long as she can bear to be away from New Orleans - she is moving back home (too). She has three successful business here which she said she'll turn over to other people and check in on them once in awhile.  I wish she had a salon in Austin.  I need to find a new hair cut person at home.
Wednesday is my birthday.  Other then packing up the few remaining pieces of our lives here, I don't have big plans for the day.  I'll be 57.  I'm getting my eye exam done (because I need to find a new opthamologist at home) and we'll discuss the tiny cataract that he spotted smack dab in the center of my eye last year.  Eventually I will have it removed and I sure do wish he was the surgeon.  Maybe I'll come back over here for that.  I would like to become better informed about the surgery.  He said the replacement lense will be 20/20.  Pretty amazing that we (humans) can "fix" problems like that so easily now.  

I do have a Wednesday night dinner date with Four.  My son's roommate's family has opened another nice restaurant in the old train depot and we are going to enjoy some time there.

Flew last week a bit at home.
That is where I get to walk now.
The building at the bottom is 3/4 of the way
up to where I most frequently turn around at .
Which is beyond the bridge, up there where the river appears to begin.

sometimes we climb the rock walled face of the dam
and follow the trail back (down in this picture)
up and around the road which comes over the dam.
The boat launch is tucked in at the point of the second finger
pictured on the left of this shot.  Sometimes we walk there and Sammy takes a dip.
I'm really looking forward to putting in  a couple of kayaks and paddling around.

I had not realized that the spillway way so perfectly rounded.
The (cut/ quarried?) rock wall delineating the green from the brown here is about four stories tall.
The spill way is a  perfect place for Sammy to be off lead.

This is just a peek between two broken layers where the best blue hides.
I think the dusty tops in the distance indicated an inversion layer
 - not seen very well here, but it was pretty.