Saturday, June 30, 2007

Guilt Driven

I started to write the "I hate family reunuions" blog but after writing awhile I realized how ugly I must sound to eveyone about not wanting to be with family. And how inconsistent that must sound when I know I have talked lovingly about my family. Most of us don't like family renunions but....we love our families, we love our is just the mandatory gathering of the family who seem like distant relatives and people we don't know that we object to.

I could make a long list of things I hate about family reunions and I'll bet if I asked you to add to my list you could find something to add to it.
  • I hate meeting people who still call me Carla 36 years later.
  • I hate eating strange concoctions made by someone cleaning out the refrigerator before the reunion.
  • I hate getting stuck in the strange bathroom with latches that take a weight lifter to unlatch.
  • I hate eating with those plastic utensils that are seemingly safe but nearly cut the end of your finger off when you try to take them out of the plastic envelope.
But I have discovered that all that hate of the family reunion is a bonding experience with those family members who felt guilty enough to go just to please the oldest member of the family who called us all to get us to go.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Day One

Finally, the remodeling has actually begun in the house. Last weekend we pulled off the bricks around the window that has to be replaced but inside nothing had been done. Today, we pulled up the old carpet, removed the 1976 floor tiles along the perimeter of the old living room to make room for the new kitchen cabinets to go in and started studding out the small pantry closet.

While I am writing this post poor Einstein is looking very confused and rather put out. First there is no carpet on which to shorten his nails, his chair was moved, and what are these strange looking, funny smelling things sticking up all around. He has certainly noticed the differences and checked out every inch of the room, sniffing every board, every tool and walked in and out of new structure in the room before finally settling on the ledge of the window that by the way, will be replaced on Saturday.

I can picture it all in my head and it is going to be beautiful!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Doves Cooing

I love to hear the sound of doves cooing outside in the early morning.

It never fails to remind me of my childhood when I would wake up at the lake house. The place was covered in cedar, mountain laurels and now, I am assuming they were small oak trees that grow in the rocky soil up in the hill country. Birds were especially happy up there. The cooing of the doves was the wake up call of the lake like roosters crowing in the morning in the country.

They probably cooed all day long but in the silence of the morning the cooing was a welcome sound as much as the smell of bacon frying in the kitchen.

This morning the doves are happy and herald the start of a wonderful day, a summer day.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Look quick! It is sunlight streaming in my window!

We have become the Texas tropics.

It has rained every week at least one day a week and often more. It has rained enough to keep the sprinklers off for the most part. It almost got too hot and dry one or two days last week but we have now had enough rain to make up for the hot day or two.

Everything is green!
I love it!

But have you ever seen so many webworms? I was grilling sausage the other day on our grill under one of our trees. Webworms kept dropping on me or they would drop to the patio below and begin crawling up my pants leg. A few got a free ride into the house via my clothing.

I did not know I needed my umbrella for the webworms.
Keep your umbrellas handy even when it is not raining.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The New Look

I apologize to anyone who might have been on my site while I was going through my "transitional" period. I have long wanted to create my own look with the site so have been playing. I had to find a template that would not interfere with "my look".

We, art people, have a hard time leaving things alone. So expect that I will continue to move things and upload more of my own pics. One day may be dramatic like today's and tomorrow it may be pink zinnias. It just all depends on what I feel like doing.

The only thing I can not figure out is how to drop the text in my header so that it will be in the dark area instead of the light area. I ended up having to make my photo narrower than I wanted in order that it be somewhat legible.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Challenge

I listened as my mother "challenged" my dad seemingly unintentionally about his capability to do some things so soon after hip replacement. Was she being a sly fox or just unintentionally challenging him?

Some years ago the school employed a carpenter to build cabinets for my art room. The carpenter placed a huge cabinet in my closet although actually it was for student use and belonged in the classroom. He claimed it was such a struggle to get it in the closet and was so proud of his accomplishment. I praised his handicraft but suggested to him that it would better serve my purpose in the room rather than the closet.

His response was "It's too late now. You can not get it out of the closet. It will not fit through the door".

As he left I meekly called my co-teacher who was within earshot but not in my room. I wondered if the man thought I was an idiot. He got it IN the closet why did he think I could not get it OUT of the closet.

What?! Did I hear a challenge? Hump!...

The teacher next door had been quiet but I knew she could hear the conversation. Now that he was gone we went to work. We knew exactly what our task was. It took just a few minutes and a few grunts and groans and we had the huge cabinet just where it should have been placed to begin with.

Now, I am not sure this is an endearing quality I have or not but it is mine.
I have seen it in others and can recognize a challenge when I hear one.

I believe if I can not do something it is only because I have not learned how YET!
Give me a minute!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Down Late Up Early

Have you ever been in a place where you are not supposed to fall asleep but can not seem to keep your eyes open?

I stayed up late last night. The Spurs were playing, the guys were watching and I was reading my Bad Girls book and peeking over the top of it occasionally. Once everyone else went to bed I finished up my chapter and went to bed also. But once I laid down I could not sleep. I did so much physical labor working in the yard during the day and lost of lot of fluids while out in the sun that once I got to bed I was in need of replenishing my fluids and could not sleep. So I got up, got a bottle of water and started working on my workbook expecting I would eventually get sleepy but it did not happen. Finally, at 3:00am I forced myself to go to bed. At a quarter to six this morning Lee was ready for me to get up so like a dutiful wife I found my way downstairs and to the kitchen.

So now, here I sit at the shop in the quiet and cool place with very little traffic in and out today, trying to keep my eyes open. I'm afraid I will fall asleep, start snoring and someone will walk in and I will not wake up.

Now that would be embarrassing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bad Girls of the Bible

I enjoyed having some of the ladies over to kick off our Bible study of the Bad Girls of the Bible. There is nothing wrong with living here with three men but I must say it was very pleasant to have women around my table.

Today we received our books and I will begin to read it this evening when it is dark outside and I can settle down to a quiet evening.

I am intrigued by the title.
What are we going to learn from the bad girls?
Sounds fun.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

iGoogle page

Okay, maybe I am a little slow but I have JUST discovered the iGoogle page with all of the stuff to add to your Google page.
I spent hours yesterday playing with it and setting it up. Okay, maybe one hour.
I added all the blogs I read and put it on my Google page so it alerts me when there is something I have not read. I added a daily Bible verse, a quote of the day, a calendar, a baby ticker (like Jaci's), email notifier and google talk that I use to keep in touch with my friend Kandi. And there is so much more I could add.

I have had the gmail account for years now but never used it for all of this. Also, using an Apple computer I do have widgets on my dock that are like these things but this is better because I made Google my homepage (sorry Caleb, I had royalframeworks) so every time I go to the internet I have it at my fingertips.

Pretty cool.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Years go by

Remember how long summers were when you were a child? Now they seem to fly by? But when you were a child every day was yours. Now that you are a responsible adult it is a search to find time that you call your own.

If I could just buy back those wasted days of my youth I would use them differently. I guess that is one of the changes you go through as the years pass by. You sleep less, rise earlier and use every minute until you have to sit down and put your feet up.

I do find that my life is much more interesting (to me, not other people) than it was when I was young.

When I was a child, I thought "when I am a teenager then it will be cool and I will be happy" but when I was a teenager I thought, "when I get out of school, then life will be more fun and I will be happy".

Then when I got out of school I thought, "when I get married then I will be happy".

When I got married I thought, "when I have a child then my life will be complete and I will be happy".

When I had a houseful of children I thought, "when they get out of school then I can rest and I will be happy".

They grew up, left home and made homes of their own and then I was alone and a little sad because I wanted to be with them. But the lesson I learned is I am happy. I don't have the energy of my youth, or the body of my youth, but I have the knowledge of experience and the wisdom of how to apply it.

Not that I have "arrived" but the journey is the interesting part and I have learned to be happy today.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Sweet Sounds

I learned to fish long before I learned to swim but I was afraid of the water and fish were cute. They stink but they are cute.

On the weekends when we would go to the "cabin" at the lake. My grandmother would walk us down to go fishing . Going to the cabin was a family event. Usually my uncle and his family were there, also. What fun. But it is my grandmother whom I remember taking us fishing. The men would go in the boat and we girls would sit on the big rock clift overlooking the deep waters. I can not remember catching anything much but I remember how I loved to go. My grandmother's chuckling laughter is forever etched in my memory.

This summer she will be 99. She is still the same to me even after all these years. I can hear her laughter even now.

Sweet sound!

Sunday, June 3, 2007


I love to watch my Sunday morning gardening shows on HGTV.

This morning they were talking about Gravelia, this beautiful Australian tree that has huge red blossoms. But again, their seeds are so well protected by a huge woody covering sort of like a pine cone that it actually depends on forest fires and then heavy rains to wear down the woody protector to be able to get to the seed.

Another real life example of building character through trials. Without the fires and rain the seed would stay hidden away, never to become a tree.

Isn't it interesting how many parables are out there just waiting on us to recognize them?
How can anyone doubt God when they look at nature?

What sort of people would we be if everything went our way always?
I am thinking maybe shallow rooted like spring flowers in a extra wet spring. Once the heat comes they die because their roots are at the surface instead of deep where the moisture can be found.

The Misfortunate Adventures of June

June has started off to be as busy as May but much more fun.

I have had some degree of family around since Thursday. I went to babysit at Leann's and ended up coming home with two boys plus my nephew who went with me. We decided to go fish in the tank that evening and in the morning we got up early and went again. We did not catch anything but we got a lot of practice in casting and in patience. The moss is so bad that we have decided on a group project to work on later....a dock. If we could get ourselves out farther so we could get past the moss maybe then we could place our hooks where we can catch some fish. All in all it was a pleasurable time.

Leann came on Friday morning and Carl and Lisa on Friday evening.

Before suppertime Leann and I and all of the boys went to Walmart. The boys searched the fishing gear and we girls got food for supper. When we got back home I put some suasage links on the grill for an easy supper. I went inside and put some vegetables cooking. In the mean time the sausage was cooking outside. I checked once, flipped them over and returned to my vegetables. I guess time got away from me because by the time I returned to the sausage it was flaming. There was no saving this sausage. We had hamburgers.

Lisa loves to play on our huge inflatable waterslide. We aired it up, found leaks, patched the leaks, waited an appropriate length of time, then aired it up again and began playing. Even the big kids get involved in playing on it and I mean big kids....Caleb, Daniel, Carl, Lisa....
I guess the abuse it got last summer was just too much for it. After a little while the seams gave way, ripped open and the slide collapsed.

It seems that the devil was prowling in my backyard these past few days trying to work our patience. Fortunately his bait was recognized and we worked our way through it. In fact, I believe there were more happy sounds all weekend and very few moans and groans.

There is nothing better than having family around.