Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday before the storm

We have been enjoying balmy days of spring like weather. Tomorrow, winter returns, and it may not get above freezing on Wednesday. The weatherman is using words like sleet and snow and bitter cold. Things should warm up by the weekend (Super Bowl in town).

Yesterday, after church, and lunch, Bob and Ben finished the two lights that fit up in the ceiling. Bob had to spackle and patch one of the holes, but light bulbs illuminate my kitchen! The blue masking tape even gives the ceiling a blue light special. fun!

I have been glued to the internet news on Egypt this weekend, trying to wrap my brain around what is happening. Mark Davis interviewed a Coptic Christian from Egypt on the radio which was very informative. When you are born in Egypt, they label your birth certificate/ID card as Coptic Christian or Muslim. And the Copts have no rights. This guy said they are descendants of the apostles who evangelized Egypt in 38 AD...way before the Muslims were even invented. Lately, after a rousing Friday sermon at the mosques, the Coptic Christians have been targeted, many murdered.

But, the radical Islamic groups would love to take advantage of the uprising. So there is real danger there. We also have 50,000 Americans in Egypt. I follow an Army wife who blogs and facebooks from there. Her husband works at the embassy. I have not heard from her in almost a week now, as the internet was cut.

Off to the store. I am out of bread and veggies.

It sure was fun to watch Ben at work all weekend. He gets so focused, it is hard to get him to stop to eat and drink something cold like a glass of water. It was super hot up in the attic. And full of itchy insulation that Ben blew into last year for us. So, after each trip, Ben came down with insulation clinging to his clothes and hair.

There is lots of patching and painting to do, but Bob wants to tackle that. Ben says he will come back next weekend to install the old light from the kitchen in the garage over the washer and dryer for me. Sometimes, I have to open the back door to shine enough light on the washer and dryer. We used to have one up there, but Bob took it down. Ben loves all things electrical, so he wants to install it up there for me. yay.

I finally got Bob's hair cut in the back yard yesterday afternoon. There was a north wind, so we sat on the south side of the house to get 'er done. It had been three weeks, so Bob was looking shaggy.

I am so thankful for more pictures of the newest Williamson on facebook! yay!

And a picture of the newest Anchorage Williamson under his new blanket---I printed out that picture to send to my friend who made the warm quilt for the little guy.

This is the last day of Jan-Jew-Airy. We love the way our granddaughter pronounces it. Next year, she will have forgotten, maybe. I don't want to forget. We now have three Williamsons with Jan-Jew-Airy birthdays: Abby, and Baby James and GrandDAD!

More later.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Male Bonding: Electrical

Yesterday, Ben called. He seemed unsure as to whether he'd be coming home this weekend. I told him that the electrical stuff could wait. I don't mind a bright orange extension cord snaking through the living room into the spare room.

But, unbeknownst to me, Ben called his dad, and they discussed the solution to the electrical issues in the kitchen. Best to get 'er done while climbing in the attic while the climate is condusive to climbing in the attic.

So, this morning, there has been much drilling, measuring, unscrewing of electrical boxes, use of gadgets that light up, and they are now off to the hardware store. I think this is how men bond. Father and son. And since Bob is an electrical engineer, and Ben is studying to be an electrician, they use a whole new vocabulary. I am so thankful God has given them this to bond.

Bob was also trying to separate the receipts for taxes, so whenever Bob made some comment about my filing skills or lack there of, there was a snort from the kitchen. Maybe he needs to see us not being the perfect couple. But, at this rate, Bob is getting yogurt for supper this week if he keeps it up. And rice crispie treats.

Overlapping receipts are confusing. I just paid the taxes, property taxes, on the house, but they are last years' taxes. They don't count on this year's because I paid it mid-January. Where to file it so Bob will have some hope of finding it??!!

We do not itemize, but save receipts none the less just in case we are ever audited, and need to prove where it all went.

The windows are open. It is a beautiful day. The pollen is making us sneeze. I need to give Bob a haircut.

We are enjoying a few days of spring like weather. Winter returns on Tuesday.

Poor Ben is having to part the seas of blown in pink insulation he put up there in the attic last year. Itchy city.

Our frig is the culprit. It needs its own circuit. Our frig trips the fancy GFIC or is it GFCI outlets. And Ben found the leak on the frig. A once-every-thirty-seconds drip where the copper meets the plastic hose. (a hose that I thought was capped off--to the old, broken icemaker)

ah-sink-run-us motor. squirrel cage.

The guys are back. The blinking appliances give away where they have been working.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Spring Time in Texas not Germany...

Yesterday and today and tomorrow are the kind of days that we all exult living in Texas. Temps in the seventies, windows open, dandelions blooming. And the purple hen bit it blooming. Heavenly. Cool mornings. Full sunshine. ah. I just want to sit in the sun like a mud turtle.

Yesterday I also felt the need to shoot my self in the foot metaphorically speaking. While I was flattered that my dear middle son would call me about the newborn crying and keeping his Momma up all night, I did not think it was the right thing to do as his in-laws are there. I want him to be sensitive to their feelings. And they have so many more children and grandchildren and experience. While I'd love to hear from him, tapping into the wisdom of the newer moms is better.

I emailed my firstborn's dear wife, and found out that the arching back thing is often a sign of acid reflux. I think we called it collic. Or, maybe collic is different. There is medication for that. But, keeping the newborn propped up in his car seat or swing for thirty minutes might also do the trick. Just make sure they do not flop forward. And Lauren remembers her babies keeping her up all night when newborns. Going from the womb to breathing on their own and being outside, they somehow have their days and nights mixed up. And she told me how David fought the wrapping for a few nights, but enjoys it ever since, and she still papoose wraps him at night. otherwise he flips to his tummy already. wow.

Lauren also told me about something I had never heard of: tracheal manascia or the softening of the vocal chords where they sound like they are whoop-wheezing. She said it took a few visits to the doctor to get it diagnosed. It is not hiccups. Her little David is the best baby, and when we skype, you'd never know he has had any problems. And four year old Abby was literally jumping up and down last night. So much energy! And it was infectious--our son started jumping, too, and we noticed a thinning on top of his head. He blames parenthood, but I think you get baldness from your momma's genes. Sorry babe.

I just want to remember these fun times. The good and the bad. While I ach to hold Baby David, and Baby James...there are times when the mommas are sick and tired of all the advise and interference and just want people to go away. I'd love to hold Abby, too, but first I'd have to chase her down. And she has more energy than all of us put together. Her being held time is quickly dissappearing. wow.

I hope Abby likes the something pink we snuck into the blanket my friend Suzanne quilted for Baby David. And the pictures. I love sending Abby mail. Little kids ususally do not get much mail.

I wonder if James and Amber got the pictures I snail mailed them?? I am not gonna call and interupt someones nap. New parents need their rest.

We are out of bread. So, to the store I go.

I love having the windows open, because I can hear the doves, and the other song birds. Is it the amorous time of year for cats? I noticed that the pride at the end of the street seem to be in those strange mating lurking--and ever once in a while you hear them snarling.

Cold weather is due to revisit next Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baby James on Wednesday

Happy Birthday Bob !!!

Bob is 59 today. Fifty-nine.

The third son of eight brothers and sisters.

Born in January. He complained he never got a snorkle, since snorkles are given to summer babies.

Bob says he is in his PRIME. It is a math thing. 59 is a prime number.

Next year, he says, he will be 60, which is divisible by almost everything.

He has requested apple pie for his birthday. Maybe we can guilt the grandchildren to skype with us, being his birthday and all...

He only got one lonely birthday card from his ever faithful sister, Barbara who sends cards every year. Now, Bob will sign a card if I address it for him, and hand him a don't cry for him, Argentina.

In fact, if I am writing cards, Bob will agonize about just the correct sentiment for hours while I pump out ten cards to his one. I accept that about him. Bob is an engineer, and correctly worded things are his love language. Whereas, I think Ben's love language is acts of service, and Andy likes gifts. What is James' love language?? Jesus Christ had them all, being the perfect man. And some people have a combination.

To remember the five types, I put them in an acrostic:

H is for Hugs (touch, embrace, physical affection)
E is for Extra special gifts
A is for acts of service
R is for woRds wRitten
T is for Time, quality time spent

Hey, I made it up myself to help me remember.

When we were first married, I did not know about love languages nor what his love language was---even though he had written the wittiest letters all during our courtship and engagement. One day, I came back to our newlywed apartment and found one lone rose and a note telling me he was sick in bed. I couldn't believe he was very sick, as he seemed to have gone to so much trouble with the rose, and note. That was my second clue, and it still took me years to understand. I almost killed it in him, as he continued to write funny cards and notes. I did not appreciate the cards and told him to stop. So, he did. I killed his gift giving, too. He bought me a sweater one year for Christmas and it either did not fit or was not to my liking, so I took it back. So, he gave up trying to buy me presents.

He said he got a birthday greeting on facebook from Leah and since she forgot a comma, he wrote back that his hair was too short for a birthday bob. Took me a few minutes to get that one. (bob as in haircut. is it spelled bob or bobb? should be spelled boob to snark at people who take the time to wish you a happy birthday).

I am trying to be a better listener. Understanding my very complicated husband has been a thirty-three year quest, and he keeps suprising me. I don't think I tell him enough how much I appreciate him. He goes to work faithfully every day. He does all the yardwork, and repairs stuff, and soon he will figure out how to plug the frig into a different outlet so that the extension cord can be put back into the garage. I don't mind the bright orange cord snaking across the room, but I sure hope Ben comes home this weekend...ha. I have an electrical engineer husband and an electrician son. I am blessed!

Happy Birthday comma Bob. I hope you can go to the Bahamas someday on your birthday and snorkle. (but, Bob does not like summer, so going to the Bahamas may not be the they snorkle in Alaska in wet suits?) To have been given a newborn grandson just four days before your birthday means we may celebrate y'alls birthday together in the future...especially if I am lazy.

I Can't Believe My Son Actually Did This:

During the last weeks of my daughter-in-law's pregnancy, she suffered swelling in her hands and feet and was embarrassed that she could not wear her wedding rings. She was afraid she'd lose them if she worn them on a necklace, and when I stayed with her, I suggested we buy one from Walmart. My hands change size with the temperature, and I had bought a spare at Walmart to wear when my wedding band was too tight.

When James came home, I told him how it would really mean a lot to Amber if he bought her a ring. So, one day at Walmart, they picked out a silver wedding band. The clerk was skeptical and assumed they were not married, which embarrassed Amber. And then James got down on one knee right in the middle of Walmart and asked her to marry him feeding the incredulous clerk's suspicions. Amber laughed. I think I would have punched Bob if he had pulled that on me. Yikes. Poor Amber. How will he ever make it up to her? Better yet, how can she get him back?

Monday, January 24, 2011

King David's Prayer: I Chronicles 29

verse 10 - 20: David praised the Lord before the entire assembly:

O Lord God of our father Israel, you deserve praise forevermore!

O Lord, you are great, mighty, majestic, magnificent, glorious and sovereign over all the sky and earth! You have dominion and exalt yourself as the ruler of all. You are the source of wealth and honor, you rule over all. You possess strength and might to magnify and give strength to all. Now our God, we give thanks to you and praise your majestic name!

But who am I and who are my people, that we should be in a position to contribute this much? Indeed, everything comes from you, and we have simply given back to you what is yours. For we are resident foreigners and nomads in your presence, like all our ancestors; our days are like a shadow on the earth, without security.

O Lord our God, all this wealth, which we have collected to build a temple for you to honor your holy name, comes from you; it all belongs to you. I know, my God, that you examine thoughts and are pleased with integrity. With pure motives I contribute all this; and now I look with joy as your people who have gathered here contribute to you. O Lord God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, maintain the motives of your people and keep them devoted to you. Make my son Solomon willing to obey your commands, rules, and regulations, and to complete building the palace for which I have made preparations.

David told the entire assembly: Praise the Lord your God ! So the entire assembly praised the Lord God of their ancestors, they bowed down and stretched out flat on the ground before the Lord and the king.

I Chronicles 28:19-20 David said: All of this I put in writing as the Lord directed me and gave me insight regarding the details of the blueprints. David said to his son Solomon: Be strong and brave! Do it! Don't be afraid and don't panic. For the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not leave you or abandon you before all the work for the service of the Lord's temple is finished.

I Chronicles 17: 10- Moreover, I tell you that the Lord will build a house for you. ....I will set up one of your descendants after you, who shall be of our sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.

(I love the word play on the word house. David desires to build God a House and God turns it around and promised David that He would establish David's house/dynasty or lineage forever. Jesus Christ became that Son of David. Jesus Christ will rule forever. And now as our sons have sons and daughters, they depend on God's Word and principles found in the Word to raise their children with integrity, courage, and honor...establishing a house. Our houses of brick and mortar and sheetrock and paint and tile house the real house--the family that is our home. And we look to God for direction, purpose, with thankfulness in the blessing of healthy babies.)

Newly Born

Baby James

His little hands are covered to keep him from scratching his face. But, it looks like a little salute. Or, maybe an, "oy, vey...what a day !"

The video is the first time I got to see him. After 22 hours of labor, and being induced, they decided to do a c-section. So, Amber was put under, and did not get to see him at first like we did. Surrounded by family and friends, they brought her back to the room, and she finally got to see her baby. And hold him. It was love at first sight. She could not take her eyes off of him.

There are no such thing as visiting hours anymore, and everyone was allowed in their room. She had a huge double room with windows on two sides. Amber's folks, and sister, and nieces and friends were all there and we were all taking pictures.

I love how James calls him his little buddy and comforts Baby James with his voice. James got to cut the cord, and be the first to hold him, and dress him and take care of him under the warming lights until they brought Amber back into the room. It was so special to watch.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cooling Off

I worked on the kitchen floor again. Found this cement cleaner at Walmart that helps get up the goop, but is not as toxic...still, I opened the windows just in case. I wanted to get under the sink clean. To the guys, why bother, as no one sees under there...until there is a problem, and then you have extra dangerous mess. The wood under the sink rotted away years ago, and so it is bare cement, just like my kitchen floor. I removed the wooden board I always stub my toe on as it was nasty dirty and hard to clean around. I will ask Bob tonight if it is necessary for structure for the cupboard doors and walls of the cupboards. There is this nice space between the kickplates and the cupboards that feels like it goes back all the way to the front wall of the house. I never knew it was there. A dozen mice could hide in there and I'd never know it.

Getting down on all fours is sure hard on the knees. And I used an old chizzle to chip away at some hidden black tar. And the hammer to loosen the board---once yellow, now stained with the chemicals Ben used on the floor.

I want the floor clean enough for toddlers to eat off of---for soon we will have them visiting, and it has to be safe. If a ball or banana rolls back under the cuboard, it must be clean enough for little guys.

Super cold air is moving into our portion of the country today. At 3am, I heard the radio weathermen say it was 55 degrees. I think it is below freezing here now because ice shards are forming on the outside trash can. I won't drive anywhere unless the streets dry. Why risk it. There is a trip to Fort Sill in our future tomorrow, as baby James has a date with the doctor. Fun. Fun. The weather is suppose to warm up tomorrow, so we should be good driving.

Baby James must like it where he is. Nice and warm and hugged. What a miracle to go from a water world to breathing on his own. Tomorrow he will breathe air and feel cold. Poor baby to be born when it is so cold. All my babies were born when it was hot. Bob's birthday is the 26th. And Hannah's on the 28th.

Baby James: you are so loved already. The fourteenth grandchild on your Momma's side. The third on your Daddy's side. Cousins and aunties and uncles...oh, my !

Your story will begin: Your Daddy was on his first deployment to Afghanistan and came home on R&R just to see your Momma and be there when you were born....

Jesus wants me

Grannie on Dogwood: Did I tell you about Jacob singing, "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam?"

Jacob: "A zombie, a zombie, Jesus wants me for a zombie..."

Jacob: Mom, why does Jesus want me for a zombie??

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Taste testing

I just went to Walmart and bought the Wholly guacamole 100 calorie packets and the Walmart cheaper-by-a dollar store market brand. no taste difference. The store brand packets seemed a little bigger, but then they do not brag about being 100 callories. I just love this size, as the huge ones were a whole meal for me. And guac does not keep.

Ben brought some home from Chipotle and it turned brown and was gonna be a science project soon. So I threw it out. These little snack size packets are the best! no waste. no mess. no waiting around for our avacadoes to actually ripen. wow

What will they think of next?

And for cute, try out the website that makes fun of parents who text:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Let's hear it for leftovers!

My eyes were bigger than my stomach this weekend. I brought home sample size pieces and froze them. Today at lunch, just me (Bob gone to work) I popped those frozen leftovers into the glass covered cassarole dish and into the microwave, and voila---wonderful lunch of comfort food. yum.

this has been your boring blog of the day.

We had such fun eating with Ben this weekend. As I consumed the piece of the two meals, I remembered Ben and talking with him. He is all grown up. An honored guest, and yet more...we desire the best for him: a loving, godly wife, and cute babies, and a job he enjoys to do as unto the Lord, a long life dying at a ripe old age surrounded by his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Even as we desire this for each of our sons. Last night we got to skype with Andy in Anchorage, his dear wife and four year old and 3 month old. The four year old has so much energy. And the three month old is so alert and entertained by the constant parade of sister, dog, loving parents, voices, and he has found his hands--his thumb and his fingers. Growing like a weed, that one! A dream baby--so good, then falls asleep, and then wakes up for more. Amazing. I think they'd have more if they were all guaranteed like this baby.

But, some babies cry. Some have collic. Some have allergies, and issues, and some are not as easy. I have read two blogs of two different families raising feral children---wild, wild little girls that do the most astonishing things, who are nothing like their own sisters. One mom put it thusly: "they march to a different drummer who we suspect is high on crack" (the drummer, not the child, of course.)


Why does my youngest son want to color his hair??

Ben went to work right out of high school. I don't think they worried about hair color at the movie theater, but Pizza Hut had some standards. And then working on roofs installing solar panels and photovotaic was still kinda edgy, artsy---so his long, long locks of sun bleached golden brown got him so many compliments from the ladies that he let it grow and grow.

Now back in college, he has decided to play with the color. He has been black, maroon, red, and now pink-orange.

Thank heavens for facebook, because he had posted the newest "do" Saturday night, and since he gets himself up for church, when he came in and sat down, I was ready having seen the newest hue on facebook. Whew. It was funny watching people's reaction as he walked in---and then as different ones who know Ben noticed. The music director piano player was visibly shaken. I thought she was going to faint.

I have seen this color on punk rockers with drug problems. But, Ben is a good kid. He studies hard. He works hard. He loves to fix and remodel and install stuff. Bob and Ben have been installing tiny glass tiles in our kitchen. What started as a need to cover some ugliness behind the stovetop wrapped around the walls under the cupboards, and over the sink, and along the wall by the trash can. It looks great.

And Ben worked so hard to suprise us when we were staying with Amber after Christmas to build me stands for my front loaders, and remove the old linoleum asbestos tiles from the kitchen floor. When we were gone for a few days to Austin to see the granddaughter a few months ago, Ben completely painted the kitchen and living room.

I have never seen such a hard worker.

Do we not give him enough attention?

Why mutilate himself with wild hair colors?? I would not think it safe for him to be out and about as some may hit on him. When I voiced these concerns, Ben said he has no worries in that department.

Someday, he won't have much hair---like his Dad, and uncles, and grandpa. So, maybe he is enjoying it while it lasts. He was always drawn to the misfit pink haired girls in high school in the drama department.

If I had a daughter, I'd chalk it up to oh, well, I did it, too.

What did I do when Ben sat down next to us in church?? Kissed him on the head, like I always do, and asked why it was not purple, as he had talked about trying purple. He said they were out. TCU fans had scarfed it all up, I guess.

Taking a Break

Cooling down.

Windows open.

I just mopped the new cement kitchen floor. Ben had removed the old linoleum tiles and asbestos and then used keroscene to pull up the black tar. Now I have this smooth cement floor. It is soft, smooth, and feels good to my bare feet.

Why do I like these simple floors?? I noticed that every grocery store I shop at has a simple cement floor. Yes, theirs are sealed and buffed. I like their character. And a dose of vinegar whitens it up. And hopefully cleans it of some toxic chemicals...but I may be making more.

When wet, it looks like a mirror...or a street in the if there is another alternate world below my feet.

I think the frig is leaking. Bob and Ben insist it is the pan under the frig. But, every time I move it, there is a puddle.

Poor Ben tore up his knuckles using the heavy duty chemicals guys at Home Depot talked him into removing the tar with. Yikes. He worked so hard. And even grouting and sealing the grout---the guys got so sweaty. My comments of wanting caulk here and there instead of quarter round was not appreciated.

But, the tiles look great. So fancy!!! We are still having electrical issues with the plug, so that is a mystery that only re-wiring will solve. Should have re-wired before tiling, but, oh, well. My guys are imaginative. I would suggest re-wiring and hiding the outlets on the bottom of the cupboards, but I will problably be laughed at, or told I won't like it. Thataway the wires can be hidden in the cupboards. Just an idea. Just a thought. Sounds easier to me.

Time to mop up the vinegar. I want the floor safe for little bitties.

The back of my stove top used to be ugly, and now it is fancy. I will try to post pictures.

whew---only one uploaded upside down. maybe Bob can fix it for me later.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


It means rest and recouperation in military terms.

What does R&R look like to the parents?

We get a break from the tense waiting: waiting for emails, phone calls, word. We go from daily updates and contacts to "yay" and then to silence. As it should be.

We are so thankful they are home safe. We are so thankful we can take a break from the news about Afghanistan and Iraq. We no longer have to comb the web for stories.

I am so thankful my son made it home in time to feel his baby son move, and experience this stage of his dear wife's pregnancy. That is an answer to prayer by so many. We are so thankful.

But, now the quiet. I am glad we have some home remodelling projects--something to do while we wait for grandchild number three to make his appearance.

Bob said that delivering three soldiers to their wives on Friday was THE BEST DAY EVER. Christmas times three. When James got off the flight from Ireland Friday morning, it was not "Hi, mom" but "can you take me and two buddies to Fort _____ today?? So, we packed them in the car, handed them bottles of water, I shook their hand, and Bob took off. He had them in their wife's arms by noon. I drove Bob's other car home. (as he was planning to just go into work, as we thought James was wanting to fly on to the Army post) But, we could get him there quicker, and were glad to help. Parents of adults gotta be flexible---ready for any contingency. Keep that van full of gas, and the tires aired up. The only thing I forgot to send with is a camera. And extra phone.

As they neared the Army Post, the men called their wives, as one needed an address. His family had finally gotten on post housing, so he needed to call and find out exactly where they were. The phone cut out just down the street. If only I'd sent the other phone, they could have finished the call. But, they did find the house...and with little kids peeking out, Bob said it was so neat to see the wife fly out and hug her soldier.

Then to James' house. And his waiting, very pregnant wife. Her sister took video--and even their little dog was so glad to see James. It might not have been the homecoming Amber imagined, but at least she did not have to stand around an airport waiting.

Bob tried to load more minutes onto his phone (unsuccessfully---) and I was given a glimpse of this scene when they skype-ed in, and I could see James and Amber hugging, and Bob working on his laptop. I kept telling Bob to come home. Forget about the phone. Get outa there. You are no longer needed nor wanted.

Bob came home, and Ben drove up from college, and they glued the tiny tiles onto the backstop behind the stove. We found these tiles on sale (being discontinued?) and scarfed up all they had. They attached tiles behind the sink...and on around to behind the trash for my basketball trash throwers. Covered that stain behind the trashcan that works as a backboard for those shots that bounce off the back wall before scoring into the trashcan.

The tile looks great! It is a dark tile with copper streaks. It is called "nocturnal tiger's eye" and it makes the bright cupboards look dingy yellow. So, now what color to paint the cupboards?? Ben suggested I enlist the experts: Aunt Sally and Aunt Wendy. Many of my appliances are black, and since Ben removed the old linoleum asbestos tiles on the kitchen floor for me---I have a smooth, soft-as-butter cement floor in the kitchen.

Yesterday, Saturday, they grouted. Wow. That is hard work. Much sweating. Pushing grout between the teeny tiny tiles. Bob says he is Bob from Texas, not Sore from Grouting. ha

Three soldiers died in Afghanistan on the 12th. We grieve for their families as we sigh in relief for ours.

We called our firstborn in Alaska. So good to hear a little baby cooing. Baby David was born in October, and has the best disposition. I wonder if they are tempted to have more if they could be guaranteed another David?? "He is awesome" Andy says. And there is a picture this morning of our granddaughter petting her dog on facebook. Facebook is so kind to grannies who like pictures. We are so thankful. Our cup is full. Overflowing.

Facebook also gave us a heads up that our youngest dyed his hair pink last night. He has tried black and red. I thought he was gonna try purple. He needs maroon for when he visits Alaska during his spring break.

When we talked to Andy on the phone, we were all watching the same football game. I was remarking on the long hair on some of the players now. One player's hair looked so dirty and stringy. Andy said that our granddaugher wisely noted that they are girls playing football. From the mouth of babes: yes, Abby, they have women's souls. Real men don't bother about their hair.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Coldest Day of the Year

It barely made it above freezing yesterday, which is unusual for our part of the country. They count it by hours. Some fifty odd hours of below freezing temps. Folks just east, where the snow still sits upon the ground have seen seventy some hours of below freezing.

I am thankful it is dry. The streets are dry. So, I was able to venture out and drop off bills needing to be mailed yesterday. And purchase some birdseed.

My cough is almost gone. But, when a friend called yesterday, she asked to speak to Joyce Williamson, because my croaky voice was not one she recognized.

Gotta be careful how I word things around here. When I asked from the deep recess of the covers this morning, "how about some coffee"? Bob assumed I'd be getting up and making some. ha. How I should have worded it: "Will you be making some super strong coffee for your old woman this morning??"

or: "Would you be so kind as to start the coffee??"
or: "Hebrews! Hebrews!"

Quilts are effective lap robes in front of a fan! Our computer gets hot, and shuts down, so we set a fan going on it. Feels good most months of the year. Not so much now. I have tried wearing a couple of layers. But, this lap quilt my sister found in china somewhere actually works almost tooo good. Amazing how quilts hold that pocket of warmth. Gotta get me some more quilts.

Our middle son is winging his way home for R&R. A helo ride to an airport somewhere in A-stan, to a flight to Germany or Kuwait...then DFW. Can't wait. He may catch a flight directly to his waiting wife and home. Or, if we can get him there quicker, we will. We are ready, willing, and able.

Bob has Monday off for MLK. For years, it was a floating holiday, and even some colleges celebrate it, some don't. If James is "home" then we could drive up for a quick lunch and hug or something. We will see. Or Bob may be busy on the kitchen tile project. All set to go there. Found these tiny glass tiles with copper swirls in them. At first, just tiling the back of the stovetop was the goal. But, why not the whole space under the cupboards? And above the trashcan as a backboard for the ones who see a trashcan as a basketball goal?? Or, I could just repaint the stain, and put a poster up there. I suggested putting the glass tiles on the wooden window sill as that is where I place my candle holder collection, but I was laughed at. And I was told that I would not like it. It is no fun being told what one will and will not like.

I have set the packages of tile (still in their plastic wrap) around the edges to get a feel for what it will look like. It is gonna be one dark dungeon kitchen. With bright canary yellow cupboards. We painted the cupboards thirty years ago when we moved in. I kid you not. I love yellow, and it was a reaction to the parade of neutral apartments we had lived in until that point in time when that firstborn needed a yard. It is time to paint them again, as some cracks have appeared above the stove. (needs a vent hood to the roof and outside) Ben suggested taking the doors off, which I would love, but things would get dusty. Maybe we could just be slow to put the doors back...

Home remodelling consists of jobs regetting jobs. Paint this room, and that room now looks dingy. Paint the kitchen, now the cupboards look wanting.

And to find that balance of upkeep and safety versus insular rearranging chairs on the Titanic. $200 on tiles better spent sent to missionaries?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Menopause alert: read at your own risk

Blogging has become a very convenient online journaling venue for me. I blog for me. If it helps someone else, then, good. But, I gotta dump somewhere. And I know how to type.

What did women do one hundred years ago?? one thousand?? Especially where water is scarce? I am experiencing a flood of major proportions. It is gross. I am on my third pair of pants and sitting on a towel. I am constantly doing laundry. The washer has a cold water soak cycle which is so handy to just throw bloody, stained clothes in and when a I get a full load---wash it. I am blessed to have a working washer and dryer.

What in the world did women do down the centuries?? I thought my period was ending. I went all of November and December. I had been skipping every other month for a year. I thought things were just slowing down in hop and skip, jerky method. But, this is ridiculous.

Thankfully, the pad people made a new extra long pad that comes in a purple pouch. So convenient, but getting over allergies or a cold, I have a cough, so when I cough, I pee. Incontinent. Hence the towel. Hence the fear anywhere I sit.

I think I am so ready for menopause. I think I am so ready for the end. Ceasation of the monthly curse. the monthly cycle. There are times (few day before, usually) when I cannot get warm. Most of the time I am hot. sweating. warm.

And I realize that hormonally, I cannot trust my thoughts, so I am in constant prayer---please, Lord, Your will. Your thoughts. I don't trust my own. Am I being picky, moody, unreasonable because of you know what? or am I just a bitch? a sinner in need of a minute by minute repentance and close walk.

Maybe if men did this, they would invent walk through showers with pressure sprayers crotch level. Maybe if men menstrated toilets/toliets would come with bidets.

Maybe ladies who live near the ocean go for a daily swim...but how do they keep the sharks at bay? We all need a private river. A private planet with special plumbing.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mystic Nail. Just one.

My daughter-in-law introduced us to the comedienne (Anjelah Johnson) that pokes fun at the nail salon service workers.

Well, I will have you know, that those places actually exist! Much to my amazement (being an old lady of 54, and having raised three boys) the whole fingernail and toenail salon experience has passed me by. Yes, I knew those places existed. But, to actually sit and knit while waiting for my daughter-in-law to get a much deserved pedicure, I watched the parade of ladies come in the door and ask for a certain service---say, for example, eye brow waxing. They were then directed to the back after signing in. And in just five minutes or so they would emerge all red around the eyebrows. And they would pay for this service.

Some came in for toe nails or finger nails---and the drill included signing in, then picking out "color" from a macabre display of single plastic fingers lined up on top of the desk like a freak show. Rows of desks with workers in facemasks, and dental drills awaited some customers. Rows of easy chairs on pedestals behind the full sized fountain held victims of all ages---even men!

And the name of the place? "Mystic Nail" Just one. Singular.

If all the workers were with a customer, the closest one to the door would yell out: "Sign in, ten minute." And no matter how long it took...or how busy...everyone was told the same, "ten minute." I guess most customers can wait ten minutes. Only one little gaggle of young girls walked out when their "ten minute" stretched beyond a literal ten minutes.