Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World Series in Town

We are enjoying all the hoopla that comes with having our local Texas Rangers in the World Series. Will we all be sneaking tiny radios in Bible Study tonight?

Last night, I wanted to see the weather reports, so I turned on the 9pm news on channel 4, and they usually talk about the weather early on. But, because of all the World Series hoopla, we got stories on the team, the coach, the press interviewing the players, the players hair, a treatess on spitting and weather was pushed to the end.

Blizzard conditions in North Dakota today...and a low with a barometer pressure lower than most hurricanes...and we need to learn about spitting.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My life. Boring alert. But, this is where I dump stuff.

I have decided that the post office folks need something to fuss at me about, so I have decided to leave something off on purpose and then they will have something to fuss about. They will be happy. They will justify their existence, and I will have helped make them happy. This morning, I mailed the "Christmas" package, and had failed to sign the custom form. Voila. James may get a smile out of the Christmas cards I included. Packages to deployed soldiers must be mailed by November 10th. Done. ha. I may mail more what if they don't make it by December 25. Most packages are making it within two weeks. That is good enough. I can live with that. No home baked goodies, but I don't bake much, anyway.

We will bake James a pineapple upside down cake when he gets home. It is fun, trying to fill all the nooks and crannies with little hand cream, dinfectant wipes, dark chocolate.

And armed with my knitting, and a small radio and ear phones, I showed up at the Toyota dealership for our 45,000 mile oil change, tire rotation, fluid check and pesky dashboard light indicators. They tried to sell me on the $275 plus stuff, but I kept repeating: no, just the oil change, check fluids, tire rotation, and anything we HAVE to do to keep it under warranty. I handed them the "passport" book that they stamp, and where I keep all the receipts, and handed them the coupon we get in the mail. When I was "done" an hour and a half later (dishrag knitted) I went to the window to pay, and they start in again about replacing the brake fluid. A brake fluid flush. I asked: if I had that fancy coverage from the beginning that covers ALL oil changes, would you be bugging me about the brake fluid flush?? They said no. I rest my case. Must not be THAT important. Two clerks, and two salesmen started in on the importance of the brake fluid flush for some 2,000 mile coverage. Huh? I swear, they have to be getting a cut or a percentage to be pushing it so hard. I am going to ask Bob to take the car in at 50,000 miles and let them talk HIM into this stuff. I give up. The more they pushed, the more I just wanted out of there. I had to pay over one hundred dollars for that oil change, air filter, fluid check, tire rotation and pressure check, and oh, a "free" car wash. Seriously. And that is with the coupon.

Brake fluid is clear. How in the world could I tell they actually flushed it?? If it needed topped off, then that is covered in the fluid check.

And what is this asking me if I had an appointment? I said no. Did I need an appointment? Was this a bad day for them? no. They just did not want to be stepping on anyone's toes? When I asked whose toes? I was just confused with the whole exchange. Change the oil, please, without lip. Without a sell-snow job. Reset the dang dashboard indicators, because I cannot. (tempted to tape over them)

If/when we ever buy another car, I will insist on buying the oil changes up front and get it over with. Leave me alone. I feel like dealerships are not honest up front. They sell you a car for $20,000. But, for $750 more, we could have bought the full service package, and not been taken to the cleaners with each and every oil change. The tune ups---yikes. How can people afford them? It ought to be part of buying your car. I don't mind bringing it in. I don't even mind waiting for an hour and a half. I cannot work on my own car, and I figure the dealership should know how to keep their own cars under warranty.

I get letters, coupons, etc., from the dealership almost every week. I try to stuff them into the glove box so that I am ready. I have made the mistake of waiting until you pay to pull them out. That somehow negates them. So, I pull them all out at the start...much to the impatience of the salesman. I sense a disconnect between the folks that sell you the car, and their own service department. Seems like if you had a good service agreement up front, they could not keep changing the rules on me.

And next the car where you plan on getting it serviced. The one time I have travelled back to where we got it (30 miles west) they gave me a loaner car. I did not have to sit around the waiting room. One lady today had to insist on her loaner. The saleman conveniently "forgot".

My life---dealing with the post office, getting the oil changed. I keep thinking these things can be conquered. ha

I got the driveway blown off better. It only unplugged itself once, and I only dropped the heads at the end of the job in the garage, so I did not have to chase it down our steep driveway. Less hilarity for the squirrels. One of these days I will figure out how to belay the shop vac such that it does not take off down the drive all by itself. I am glad the oak trees directly above the drive are males. The put out galls, not acorns. Acorns hitting the roof and rolling down happens on the other end of the house.

Tempting to go vote early and irritate Mark Davis. He is all against early voting. He allows absentee, if you are a trucker or thusly employed such that you cannot vote on THE day. Why do it when you have to stand in long lines??

I am enjoying Bryson's book on how we got the house we have today. Why is it configured the way it is compared to the "hall" of our ancestors before chimneys were invented.

Later: 20 minutes later: just got the mail, and lo and behold, yet another letter from Toyota--the dealership I was JUST at, telling me they only charge $109 to purge, replace, brake fluid, and test drive. (with illustrations of "dirty" fluid versus "clear" wow. And the $25 percent coupon is attached for "any servie" but must be presented "during writeup" there in the small print. I will keep it in the glove box for next time...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

When a doggie licks your toes during grace...

When a doggie licks your toes during are gonna giggle.

We are so enjoying our daughter-in-law's visit. She brought her cute little doggie that looks like Toto. He licked my toes while Bob was praying before we ate our lunch. I thought I was going to gafaw out loud. Surely, God understands.

We got to see our youngest yesterday, too. He came up for some doctor appointments and we went out to his favorite place for catfood on Fridays: Cracker Barrel. He told us of his life as a college student. Funny stories. And he was very excited about the 107 on a math test. He said it is eighth grade math.

And we got to see our deployed son today on skype. So sweet to see him and his wife praying together on skype. Always good to see him smile. And laugh at his jokes.

And last night---the firstborn skype-ed in and let us watch our granddaughter open a package from us. She loved the pillow pet ! Had to run get her other unicorn so that they could be together. So fun to see how she likes to line up her stuffed animals into families. And we got to see the precious one week old little guy. He tried to wake up for his debut, but his Momma had just fed him, and he was feeling very sleepy... So fun to see Lauren's MOM have a good time. An extra pair of hands, and eyes, and an extra heart, to give the young parents the opportunity to shower or nap or share their joy. Snow on the mountains out their windows...and the geese and swans are heading south.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sweet Warbler

Last night we got a wonderful call from our firstborn as he and his family were traveling home from BabiesRus. So sweet to hear the granddaughter say, "hi, GrandDad" and then the grandson started waking up, and revving up his little vibratto. So cute. The first time we heard his voice. Firstborn tells us that the new little grandson has his days and nights mixed up. What? he parties all night? What? he keeps his parents up all night? Whoa. Hard to believe.

Abby starts giggling---she finds her brother's cries funny. I love it. And I ams so relieved. Some siblings find their baby brother's cry irritating. Better to find it funny. Too cute. And to get to hear his voice for the first time on Bob's sisters' birthday. Awe.

Watching the Live Rescue of the Chilean Miners

wow---such a good news story. So easy to sit here and cry as I watch these miners being pulled to the surface. The Chile flag is so similar to the Texas flag---it makes one do a double take. The story reminds me of the rescue of little baby Jessica back when our boys were little. Baby Jessica fell into a dry well shaft near Midland some twenty years ago, and rescue workers worked night and day to bring her out alive.

Carlsbad caverans is cool, temperature wise. I wonder why this mine in Chile is so hot and humid.

Watching Ustream live...I have no idea what they are saying, as there is no translation on this site. Amazing to see workers going down...quite a few of them, so these will need to be hefted to the surface, too.

I cannot imagine being trapped underground for months. I don't know how they did it mentally nor physically.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stubborn Granny: That's me!

The post office has been advertising these nifty priority mail boxes---what a crock.

At first they had three sizes. Then they pulled a fast one---the "small" got tiny, as in the size maybe three DVDs. The "medium" size became small, and the "large" the medium size.

At least they give us a two dollar discount for shipping things to APOs. (as long as you fill out the customs form, and declare weight and content---all must be done with a LIVE clerk)

They installed this automated machine at our post office which almost replaced the clerks. (see paragraph above this one)

The machines are touch screen, and usually working. I like them because you can buy stamps, and mail a bunch of packages all with one swipe of your credit card. No lip. As long as you are not sending anything to an APO or overseas...

So, yesterday, I decided to mail a package to Alaska, using said automated machine, as it was a pretty simple transaction. But, there was NO way to actually give them the package. The post office actually blocked the big bin where you insert the package. I kid you not. I tried another post office, and they too, have blocked big slots. I guess they are combatting vandalism or bored criminals who want to insert stuff into the post office bins. Strange.

So, I have to wait until 9am this morning to hand them the package I have already labelled, stamped, and prepared for delivery. 9 AM. What do people do who have to work?? And have to be at work before 9 AM?? And we wonder why the post office is going under. I predict they fold within a year or so. Why not sell the post office to private industries who care and introduce competition into the mix. Anything the government does, be it drivers license, mail, passports---they do poorly. Time to close them down. Let free enterprise take over.

This has been your post office rant.

Next day: I actually went back to mail a package to our son deployed. I had to wait in line just to get the customs form, and so I dutifully went back to the end of the line again, as they were so rude to anyone not following their directions. I hate to hear elderly people spoken to in a rude manner. Yikes. Folks just wanting to ask a question were told to get in line like everyone else. I have never seen such rudeness. Bob thinks I should record it for You Tube. I don't have a camera.

Everyone is asked---anything liquid, perishable or hazardous? And if you dare say, no it is just a knitted dishrag---one clerk comes back at you with: that is not answering my question. It is a wonder the customers do not go postal.

But, another package of goodies---fig newtons, dark chocolate, instant Starbucks coffee, and socks I bought at the Army Navy store, but these socks shrunk down to child size---so maybe our son can find a child than needs them this winter. Here I thought I was helping by washing and drying them. I used warm water, like the instructions say to do, but I guess the dryer got too hot. And these socks are obviously made by the lowest bidder. Our son said his socks were disappearing in the laundry---I bet they are all shrinking and being lost thataway. Yikes. I will try ordering from Ranger Joe or something.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Eight thousand days

Playing around with the Wolframalpha site where calculations are easy.

If our new grandson David decides to be like his Dad and his Mom's Dad and go to A&M and be in the band...he would be putting on his boots at a senior at A&M in 8,000 days.

I know that life with a newborn is challenging. Tiring. Being alert 24/7. With what seems like no end in sight...but it passes too quickly. Soon they are grown. And we literally work ourselves out of a job. God gives us a precious little baby and we get to hold them, feed them, teach them, and watch them grow. At age 18, they are technically, legally adults. They go away to college, and we still get to help financially, and encourage them, but they are mostly done with us by then. ha

In eight thousand days, David may be putting on those senior boots and march into the now old Cowboy Stadium. Having met the girl of his dreams...and wondering why there are tears in our eyes.

All this to say...we have the gift of our children for such a short time. Though they wear you out, and though you can't wait for the next stage when they can sit up or eat regular food or walk or quit playing in the potty... my prayer for my sons and their wives: I pray you enjoy each moment. Each day. Each week, and milestone. I hope and pray that when they no longer need you that you look back with fond memories, cute stories, and a legacy of love and pictures in your mind as well as albums brimming with the gifts of each day, each moment.

Let us not rush through life. Let us savor each day as a gift.

I remember standing at Kyle Field watching Andy go back inside the stadium with the light shining out around him in the golden glow of sunset and hearing the roar of the crowd thinking---this is what heaven must be like: the glad celebration of being together, great music, great Light, Love, happy for Andy to be doing what he enjoyed, all grown up... but the light coming into the Cowboy Stadium was intrusive, mean, too bright and it blinded the players, and coaches, and fans. I wondered why the stadium was aligned to catch that light. That light is a weapon. Part of me also hopes heaven is like the quiet scene of getting to hold and kiss a tiny baby on the head. And marvel at the miracle they are. We would no more take a baby onto a crowded football field as it is a dangerous place, even for padded players. But, I think it is okay to raise a child in light of where they might go and what they might decide to become. It is not my choice, for my place now is in the stands. Cheering. Dreaming.

We want God's Best, God's plan for each of our children and grandchildren. My Mother's Dad lived to be almost 100 years old. 36,000 days. Two of my great-grandmothers lived into their ninties. And my grandchildren are being born one hundred years from their great grandparents---so even as Abby's birthday was 2007, so her great-great grandpa's was 1908. And David's birthday year, close to one hundred years from his great-grandmas. Neat math. So, if the Lord does not come back for another fifty years, my great-grandchildren will be born close to one hundred years from my birthday. (give or take 15 years) Even as my great-greats were born in the 1850s.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Grandson Named David

As our daughter-in-law suffered all weekend through on and off contractions, and my husband's nephew's wife seemed to be going through the same things, it was like a race developing and we wondered who would give birth first.

The birthday 10-4 reminded me of the old truckers code, so I googled what all the other numbers meant. I learned that:

10-1 means "receiving poorly"
10-2 "receiving well"
10-3 "stop transmitting"
10-4 "okay" or "message received"
10-5 "relay message
10-6 "busy, standby"
10-7 "out of service, leaving air"
10-8 "in service, subject to call"

there are more, but I liked 10-11 which means, "talking too fast" and 10-12 "visitors present"

Well, on Thursday morning, I got up, checked facebook, and noticed that there was chatter between our son and a babysitter. I thought it curious that Abby was staying overnight with someone who had a daughter close to her age. And what fun they were having...not to they are sleeping soundly. They only fought over one toy, a pillow pet. (I had to google pillow pet, having no clue)

So, I called our son's wife's mom, my dear friend from our teen years (we attended the same church, and had sleepovers). My friend had received a tantalizing message at midnight their time and they could hear the grandson's heartbeat swooshing away in the background. So, we knew she was in labor, and in the hospital hooked up to monitors. We did not have to wait long. My firstborn called me from Alaska about 8:30am our time with the good news: the grandson had been born at 11:32 pm while we slept. Mom and baby were doing well. And we were given his name: David Mace Williamson. My friend had guessed it days before, but had been told, "you are very, very close." David is a family name on the bride's side going back generations, in fact, my friend told me that she was suppose to be a David if she had been a boy.

I had to google what a mace was. It is so easy to type in: picture of a mace, and get instant mind improvements.

But, sworn to silence, my son said to wait and let him call the close relatives first. He sounded so groggy from their all nighter. But, back to facebook, I was able to message chat with the granddaughter's babysitter.

Noon came and went. I went on to the chiropractor, and got some lunch. I called our other dear daughter-in-law hoping if she had gotten a call, surely, the message was going to be one we could shout from the rooftops...but, when I called our son to check, he still had not reached all the grandparents. (there are four sets) And the dog needed let out...and he was going to take the granddaughter to meet her brother. I hope they got pictures. And I hope she was not dissappointed---word was that she was expecting a baby sister, too.

I was glad to hear that our daughter-in-law was getting to eat a big meal for the first time in days...and more calls to her mom gave me the cute reports of much cooing and enjoying that baby boy.

Back to the trucker's code. To be born on 10-6 was kinda cute: for indeed he kept them pretty busy as we were all on standby. David was born on my Great Uncle Ralph Harvey's birthday. And my friend, Nancy's son, Cameron's 32nd birthday---I remember Cameron when he was four months old!

And I kept checking facebook for news of the other lady-in-labor, Bob's nephew's wife, also expecting her second child, but they knew she was going to be a girl. She had been scheduled to be induced at 7:30 on 10-7: Emily had a date with the doctors, and eviction notice in many ways. They broke her water, and labor started without drugs, but Emily was a nine pound, two ounce baby. Yikes. Labor took all day. Born at 3:13 pm Georgia time...I did not get word until hours later after talking to our nephew's mom by phone. By 3:18pm, my son had released me to brag with a facebook "chat" message. So, I had started emailing, and stole the picture off my son's facebook page to send around. In that first picture, David looked so much like his sister at that age I was suspicious my son had downloaded an old picture of the granddaughter!

It was fun to see the congrats roll in via facebook and email. I tried calling a few folks, but some were not home, or I got caught in long, boring stuff...and my mind was so easily distracted.

I did learn some serious news---my aunt has a blood clot in her leg. Not good. Yikes.

And phone chats with Bob at work as well as emails to try and keep him up on the latest...and what a beautiful autumn day to be born! 10-7 in my Grandma James' birthday. She would have been 97. She died a few years ago on my brother's birthday. Technically, with the time changes and daylight savings time, it was her birthday in Illinois when David was born in Alaska. I hope she knows about him. I think she would like that. As farmers, it must have been difficult to have a birthday during the harvest.

Our middle son's wife is next---her baby is due in January. I went out and bought two more sets of children's blocks. I had put up the granddaughter's name in blocks on top of my yarn keeper in our living room. Now I have added David and baby James the second. I may need more shelves!

And another little cousin is coming in May! Bob's first cousin's only son and his wife are expecting. More Williamsons!! Yippeee!!!

David was born fifteen hours ahead of Emily Williamson if you read their birth certificates. But, 11:32 pm Alaska time is like 3am central time, and 4am Georgia time, so technically, they were only born 12 hours apart. Just on different days. David was lighter. Seven pounds, 15 ounces is almost eight pounds, but Emily was over nine pounds.

I like what my daughter-in-law's mom said: there are two things a woman does not want to hear: that her hips are wide enough a ten pounder, and that she is having a ten pounder. I agree. My firstborn was nine pounds ten ounces, and the doctor had to spend half an hour stitching me up. Our hips may be okay with passing a nine pounder, but our lady parts are not. The doctor apologized to me after our firstborn came into the world---he said, if we had known you were having such a big baby, we would have done a C-section. My middle son was an emergency C-section when the monitor indicated his heart rate dropped, and then our youngest, born 14 months later, was a "planned" C-section where the anesthesia did not work. I guess they had trouble giving me enough, and were afraid of giving me too much, but it was like I was down in a well. I could hear what everyone was saying in surgery, and I could feel them cutting and taking him out... So forgive me if I shudder when people brag about having their babies at home. There is just so much that can go wrong.

I am so thankful our daughter-in-law's epidural worked well, and she only had to push once after two hours of hard labor. That is an answer to prayer. I am so glad she has relief from that little soccer player. He was a kicker! And there was just no more room in there. I wonder if she will soon forget the weeks and weeks of pain, sleepless nights and indigestion, nausea.

From the email and facebook updates, the other lady in labor had quite a long day and lots of pushing to get that big girl out. While I am thankful she did not have to have a C-section, I wonder whatall she did to her mom's plumbing. yikes.

Can't wait for more pictures. And a skype call or two...

Until then, 10-19: nothing, returning to base

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Our kids are gonna think we are crazy...

I have been nagging my husband, Bob for years to download skype on his case my computer is not working or something, then we can still see the granddaughter.

And I should add that I had given our only working camera back to James as it has video features, and Amber needed it.

Well, our Firstborn, is playing a game: guess the name of the grandson due any day now.

His latest tantalizing clue was about a score of 164. He knows we play Scrabble a lot, but when I pointed out that proper names are not allowed in Scrabble, he said that my rule is not valid---and indeed, there are boys names that also work as verbs, like: Mark, Will, Warren, fact there are over a hundred of them.

Well, me and my big mouth pondered aloud last night how cute that would be to put on a Scrabble board. Bob instantly sprang into action: he just had to do it. right then.

So, now he is downloading that we can take a picture of his work.

Aunt Sally is not going to believe this, but we skype together!(in the same room, seated not three feet away from each other!)

Five minutes later: we did it! Bob has his screen grab of the Scrabble board, and this is the second picture I took of Bob! Cute little wooden heart pull for the light above his head, eh?