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

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Homestead Heritage - a Village NW of Waco












Weekend in Austin




[II (A) plus]

[I and III]
Nice, like happy dance great, to have lots of the kids home for the weekend.  One thing they have underlined for me is we really need a kitchen big enough for everyone to cook in.  It is one of my favorite things to cook with my people.  These guys with their hairy faces would be a source of amusement for Uncle Tommy ... I can hear "scruffy, very scruffy" on the breathe of a chuckle.  These few are some of the best days!  (Missing you C.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

These sugar cookies are soon much more trouble then they look like they would be!  I can see why I don't bake.  First, the dough has to chill. It's temperamental!  Mine was, according to V, "overworked".  I used the mixer rather then stirring it by hand,  then they were undercooked - then burnt.  My son asked me if they were gingerbread when he saw them.  The frosting gets crusty. It's super sugary and you have to constantly wipe little bits away.  Brownies are better.  I think I am done with sugar cookies.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


Sammy startled him!
I know he might be there so I have the camera ready.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Just silliness for today

While my husband is away the "ugly house" has seduced an admirer and is now pending (it really might not pass inspection so I find that  interesting to watch).  Finding myself both relieved and some what disappointed, I'm 100% back in the quest.

Meanwhile, L is back at our old house tending to office type work and tinkering around the house. As I walked Sammy yesterday, this popped in:


I would say that although the topics are rich in their variety, that this is a typical "type" conversation between us.  Now that he spends a good deal of his time away from the office I am learning how to cope with all the special attention.  While I "rat out" my family members might as well go all in.

"I"
"II"
This I absolutely adore because I am not near enough to "do" a cake and it's tremendously delightful for me to see big sister step in to do this labor of love for a younger sibling.  She does create the most amazing cakes!  Even when we were all nearer she often baked for the family.  Just sweetsweetsweet.


"III"
He hasn't seen this house.  I am interested to see how much like home it can feel for him.  His special request is lots of home cooking.  That we can do!


"IV"
Her pharmacy defaults to my number even though we have requested a change several times.  I like to send picture messages in lieu of the 100 words.  She cracks me up!

"V"
And the mystery of the missing sock is solved.  For some reason she can text off and on during the school day.  I actually like it.  This one is already getting four or five solicitations from Universities every day.  I can feel the nest getting ready to empty.  Several years ago II's little slicker hanging on our covered back porch became a nesting place for a momma bird.  It was left hanging to dry where we could look out the breakfast room window in to the hood and watch the eggs progress all the way to chirping little hungry birds.  I was standing on the porch when they all made the flight from the nest.  The sweetness of the memory still brings tears to my eyes.  Ah ...

Whatever did we do before texting made connections so easy?




I am staying busy around the house mostly.  It feels good to have things set straight.  I have some cleaning to do later today - and a walk with Sammy.  Every time a plane flies over I wonder why I am "putting off" going back to work a few mornings a week as a flight instructor.  I am dieting - that's true and it does make me a bit tired and maybe not sharp enough to keep an eye on things in the air.  I am losing the weight I put on while sitting with Tommy.  Yesterday a picture of L, Tommy and I appeared between two books.  I do not remember anything about the picture at all.  Nothing looks familiar about it except the three of us.


Based on my glasses I'm guessing vintage 1985 ...
L still had a full head of hair, I was paying double for spiral perms,
and Tommy seems to be sporting bike helmet head!
He would love seeing this every bit as much as I have!
~ still sorting through the big unpack in Texas!
 Lately, I have begun to feel more like myself after the trauma and stress of the past couple of years.  I am totally looking forward to trying out the local gliding activity.  
For now I seem to be happiest reading, walking, cooking, playing ... getting ready for three of my kiddos to come in for a visit at the end of the month.  I really hope I start wanting to fly regularly again. 



Saturday, February 6, 2016

house hunting ... not so much fun!


bathroom of a home we were shown last week
I really love (considered and it isn't too strong a word here)
the recycled glass countertops

Those counter tops are about the same price as other solid surface tops. About half the price of marble or granite.


This home had a lot going for it, but for me it seemed to be short one or two rooms.  It's at the top end of my price range and per square foot - high for my area. (The entire house was painted pink or turquoise ... I like white/grey.)



master bath at another house I visited last week
This home is at the lower end of our price range (which is good), has a very desirable location, and acre of land, several really great trees and comes with a lot of BUTS.  I can definitely see structural problems and possibly mold.  It hasn't been updated since the year it was built (1982).  The closet which is accessed from the bath is about three times larger then we need - plenty of room for a great shower.



The bathroom is begging for a nice tub like this.  None of the builders here seem to be using freestanding tubs.  Even in that very nice bathroom shown first it's all about those big non-jetted Jacuzzi tubs.  I think this one is both aesthetically more appealing and would be lots easier to clean.


The foyer on that ugly house could easy look like this.
My husband likes travertine floors and we are comfortable installing them DIY.


I believe the doors in the house (which are very nice solid wood) could be striped, bleached, pickled or whitewashed and look just like this ... all the existing wood doors and trim has turned orange-y with age (poly) ... they despair for  fresh air.






I'm a huge fan of these very light (and not at all yellow) wood floors  I think the chevron will be dated pretty quickly, but it is fabulous in that picture.  I lean towards wood floors or concrete but I like travertine (without grout).  I'm researching how to take care of it.  It was in a vacation rental house in the Keys and I thought it was beautiful.  I also like the wood ceiling treatments in these pictures and would like to use that in the foyer and den of the ugly house.  It really could be quite special.


I would also want to replace the french doors and even the breakfast room window wall with this type black steel door/window treatment.  


That houses a really bad kitchen - well here's a pic:

Hoping the kitchen can be totally gutted.  If that doesn't fit in the budget it's a deal breaker.  I cook.

Two of my kids know we are considering the fixer upper.  They say "run" ... they say Dad has better things to do, will soon remember that, and I will be stuck with a big ugly brick shack!  My husband doesn't like to hire help!  also, I didn't mention, the yard is entirely unlandscaped and the concrete driveway is in pebbles.  It's a real mess.  The realty says they are asking too much for it in it's present state.  In the mean while, I clean and reorganize my little rental refrigerator and look out the back window to see white egrets flying high over the river.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016




Magnolia Silos in Waco with V and niece on Saturday - sweet times.



Back when I first starting flying, I thought about learning how to golf instead.  My husband likes to golf and I thought it would be nice to become a "golf buddy" for later - nowish, actually - when he would have time to play pretty much whenever he wanted to.  He basically said, in a kind perhaps pitying, my memory fails, that no matter how hard I worked at it, no matter how good I got at it, that I would never have a chance of winning when we went out to play (unless he "gave me the win"). I do remember how I grimaced as those words sunk in.  I would never win.  I would always lose.  No thanks! lol.

He hasn't been able to golf much over the years.  I think it's one of the activities that he enjoys the most, but tending to us has kept him busy.  I was really surprised and thrilled to see how good he seems to be at making the ball fly.  He was critical of something about his swing, something about his elbow and the follow through the ball ... idk.  I really enjoyed watching him.  $20/hour before noon.

Cover

fresh air on the wind 00025

Went down to Port A for just Saturday checking out the camping areas.  Once it warms up a bit we'll head down there for a few days.  I loved being at the coast.  I have high hopes that camping out will really rock.  I'm also a bit anxious that I'll absolutely not love it.
Trying to dissuade husband from going all in on a camp stove for the first trip.  On the other hand, he realizes how important a "first thing" cup of coffee is to me and it is a kindness to accommodate that.
We always get out very early to walk along the shore.  Usually we see the sun rising.
We've never gone out without a mug of hot coffee in my hand.

A couple weeks ago someone was talking about diversity (in support of Dr. Martin Luther King Day).
He made an interesting statement (I thought), basically this - God is three, Father, Son, Holy Spirit: distinctly different yet one. He said that supports a look at what unity amidst diversity might look like. I wasn't thinking about black/white stuff precisely (though I should have been had I not let my mind wander).  I like the idea of this in that context, but I was really thinking about it in light of how diversified strength sets enhance pretty much every situation.  Rather, they could. They would if it wasn't so hard to let people bring their good stuff to the table without getting feathers ruffled. I have seen and/or participated in some really outstanding team work over my life time.  Mostly though, I've seen people unable to communicate, unwilling to participate ... people have a hard time with cooperating.  Seems like.

Recently, in a totally different setting (church - sermon) the idea of us hiding our uniqueness was mentioned.  He said something like : when Adam and Eve sinned they realized they were naked (exposed) and they thought to hid themselves.  The clothing (which God made) covered something which they felt needed covered.  Everyone, God, Adam, and Eve, were fine with them being au naturel  before.  Someone suggested (not at church and not on this topic, it just fits for me within the recent stream of thoughts) that we do not celebrate our uniqueness.  We have clothes which identify us, status symbols within various groups, just so many different ways to communicate - this is who I am.  And a lot of times it's underlined with I am important (more important then you guys).
I mentioned in conversation with a friend that I could be exactly who I am ... exactly me ... but with a full sleeve of tattoos and pink tipped hair; and  I would be perceived as significantly bit different then I am.
One of my kids said in passing, "I used to buy the clothes that everyone (young professionals) like me is buying.  Even if I didn't like it, I'd buy it and wear it.  Now I am wearing only things that I actually like and people like me are finding me." She's a little "arty".  Fortunately for her she works in an artistic profession and I will say she wears the cutest shoes (but they are not pumps).  She finished school, got the job, bought the clothes.  Now she's fine tuning her uniqueness back in.

I saw a couple of kayaks on a truck rack at the beach.  I wanted to ask the guy who got out of the truck if he had good success using them in the Gulf side or if they were only launched in the Bay.  They were smaller then the ones we've been looking at.  Turned out the guy loved to talk (which was nice, I love to listen).  He told us all about his kayaks.  And all about his kayak shop (which he opened with a guy who knew all about kayaks but needed a financial partner ... he was the money man).  He walked us around his truck with the camper on back.  I call it a camper ... it was a cover.  Let me look up what those things are called. Okay - definitely not called camper.  Apparently that implies a sleeper or kitchenette ... . His truck had a cover
almost exactly like this.  And he opened it up to show us the paddles that he prefers.  The over the top OCD style packing inside was perfection.  I somehow resisted the urge to survey my husband's face.  He is more of a chunk and dunk style of packer (yeah, that's what I really think.  He did say it was impressive when I asked him about it several days later.)  Longish story to say, this guy seemed to find it very important to communicate that he was a person of means.  I mean, he said they had been living out of the truck for eight months.  It seemed incredible important to him let us know that his lifestyle is an adventure of choice (and he is not some homeless beach bum).  Why would it be important to tell a couple of strangers that you're the money man in a business, that your art collection is in temperature controlled storage along with your other sixty surf boards, etc.?  He shared excellent advice on the kayak question.  He was generous with his time. I think he might have felt somewhat "naked".

I admire a person who will, when they are able to do so responsibly, explore possibilities.  I think it's neat that people ... sorta and only sometimes, have an opportunity closer to the end of life to see who they have become.  I think how we spend our time (at the time we begin to realize that time runs out) is a demonstration of what we value.