Friday, January 30, 2009

Oh Where, Oh Where Has Pete's Aggie Ring Gone?

(Sing to tune of nursery rhyme "Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?")

Oh where, oh where has Pete’s Aggie ring gone?
Oh where, oh where can it be?
We’ve searched high and low, backtracked our steps
And still wind up empty-handedly.

Come back, come back dear old Aggie ring,
Come back to Pete quickly!
We are not the same without you in our lives
And by our sides faithfully.

A Proud Tradition

This is a picture of a great accomplishment taken at Thanksgiving when my nephew, Matt, who is a senior at Texas A&M University was home. He had just gotten his senior Aggie ring, something we Aggies take very seriously. Now Matt could join Pete and I as proudful owners of not only a beautiful gold ring, but a symbol and reminder of the wonderful time spent at A&M. When Pete and I got married, he didn't have an Aggie ring. I was astounded, yet understood that he hadn't had the extra money to buy the expensive ring. My parents had bought mine, and since Pete's parents are deceased, they were unable to buy him the ring. It really saddened me that he didn't have the ring he so deserved. I was still teaching at the time, so I took it upon myself to get Pete an Aggie ring. I had to be real sneaky when I got all the necessary information that was needed to order it, but I knew it would be well worth it. I even bought a special box to put the ring in as an added bonus. Pete was so surprised and he has worn it on special occasions for the ten years he has had it. Until now. I am saddened to say that the ring is missing. The last time Pete wore the big hunk of gold was before he went on his business trip. We have searched high and low, through things unimagineable and still haven't found the prized possession. Pete has put ads on-line and even registered through A&M's lost Aggie ring web-site (lots of heart-warming stories there). Well I hope WE have a heart-warming story to tell, so please pray for us that we may find Pete's ring.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Endless Journey

Here is a poem I wrote yesterday for Poetics Aside blog. I hope you enjoy it!

Around the World

I travelled the oceans far and wide
from sea to shining sea,
swam with the dolphins
surfed big waves
lolled in the sun happily.

I climbed mountains high
in cold and rain
from plateau to snow-capped peak,
skiied up and down through twists and turns
each experience, bold and unique.

You, too, can journey this big wide world;
see creatures and vista's nooks,
just find a spot to relax awhile
and get lost in your favorite book.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Oh, How I Love My Pets

I know it has been a while since I blogged, but my sweet, loving, adorable dogs that I love so much chewed through the internet cable. Yes~can you believe it? They have also ruined everything in our backyard. Beware if you come over~your foot might get tripped up from one of the many holes that they have dug. Yesterday, when I was fretting over Nicholas' cough, Snowy threw up on the living room carpet. This wasn't some small spit up, either. She really got after it. We all just stood there, frozen in disbelief, as we watched her upchuck everything in her tummy. And it was like a gold mine, all the different things I noticed as I was cleaning it up. I'll spare you the details, but who said pigs are the only ones who eat everything? The next time I misplace something, I will have to take a closer look at the poop before I scoop! Gotta go look for some gold...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Oh, How We Love to Write

This is a picture of my critique group. We meet once a month to share our progress, review each other's projects and simply chat. A common bond we have, the four of us, and although we are different in so many ways, this deep bond~the love of writing~unites us and brings us together. I look forward to our meetings and am so thankful we have been drawn together during this time of our lives. I hope these special ladies know how much of an inspiration they are to me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Family Feels Incomplete Without Pete

Wednesday morning, just as I was getting ready to leave the house, Pete pulled into the driveway, cell phone to his ear. It was only 10:00 A.M. He told me he had to go to Savannah RIGHT NOW. His plane was leaving from Houston at 1:00. Okay~I thought.
"The kids will be upset you didn't get to tell them goodbye," I said as he rushed out the door.
"I know- there's not enough time..they'll understand. I'll call you this evening."

Well, when I picked the children up from school, they were very sad- in fact Katie started crying (I think she is reaching that hormonal/emotional roller-coaster age, but that's a story for another time). So I have done my best to make this time without dad as fun as possible.
We've been going out to eat. The first night we went to Luby's and I was quite surprised at how much the kid's meals had gone down in price. The four of us ate there for $15.25! Last night we had Taco Bell for @$12.00. I was much too tired to cook after teaching preschool art all day. The funny thing is that I had gone to the store before Pete left and had been planning on making homemade lasagne as a surprise. I guess that will be his welcome home meal! Today is Friday, and I told the kids I would take them bowling after school. They are so excited. Since they have been bowling so much on the Wii, they want to see if they have improved in real life...we'll see.
Anyway, we are trying to pass the time without daddy quickly and haven't even felt the urge to get a new pet (the kids and I got Jake as a puppy when Pete was in Greece)...yet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Best...

Did I ever tell you I have the BEST husband in the world? Well, I DO! You know, Pete is so in tune to my needs and wants, he might know I need something before I even do. When the kids were babies, he would come home early from the office often so I could take a break and get out of the house. At the time I didn't know I needed some "me" time, but once I got away, I realized how nice it was to have a few minutes alone. A happy "me" makes a happy mom, and a happy mom makes a happy home!

My husband also knows how to take subtle hints. The other day I was dusting and decided to get rid of some empty perfume bottles I'd been keeping (I had thought they were too pretty to throw away). I put them on the dryer instead of in the trash can in hopes that Pete would see the empty bottles. Of course he did, and when he asked me about them, I was a little snappy about how he had never bought me any perfume.Well yesterday, he came home and nonchalantly handed me an empty perfume bottle box. He asked me if I thought it smelled good. " smells beautiful," I answered."Good, then go look on the mirror on your dresser," he said. Sure enough, there was a small bottle of perfume standing there. How lucky I am to have a husband like that(even though he can be a clown)! Thank you God!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Just Like the Olden Days..."

I have a confession to make. When Nicholas woke up feeling bad this morning from a cough and a cold, I did not hesitate one bit to say, "Okay you can stay home." Wouldn't that mean I could stay home, too? No worries about who is barging in on my art classes or how I'll get everything ready for the upcoming art show (didn't I mention the teacher who quit sent ALL the year's work home, so we are starting from scratch?). So I called my wonderful supervisor who is so very understanding and voila - I was able to stay home with Nicholas. He laid on the couch, eyes watery and coughing quite a bit while I tried to catch up on some writing and laundry. Then I told him he was experiencing history today and made him watch Obama's inaguaration.

By 11:45, while engrossed in the presidential inaguaration, Nicholas looked at me and said, "I think I'm better now. Let's go do something." He had enjoyed the music played by the trio and written specifically for this occasion, which he called "Japanese"- don't ask me why, but by the time we got to the poet (which of course was the highlight for me) he had had enough.
I looked at him and said, "You really didn't feel that bad this morning did you?"
He answered, "Well, no. But it's just like the olden days isn't it?"
I gave him a big hug and said, "Yes it is. I have a secret for you, too- I really didn't want to go to work either."

So we popped some popcorn and watched the rest of the inaguaration until it was time to go get Katie and Andrew, and just like the olden days, we took the DVD player for the car and the same movie we took everyday last year, and watched it while we waited for school to let out. Oh how I love days like this!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ms. Angelle's Latest Drama

I know, I know- two posts in one day is a rare occurance for me, but I just had to share with you the latest on Ms. Angelle. The other day she called me and she was very upset. Apparently the guy who had been renting her garage apartment moved out overnight without telling her goodbye. She knew he would be moving soon- he was getting married and had gotten a townhouse. But Ms. Angelle didn't think he would leave like that. I remember when I took her to Sam's not long ago she had bought him a pack of underwear. She loved talking about her renter, and although he was barely ever there, she said she felt comfortable knowing there was a car in the driveway at night. Can you believe that Ms. Angelle, who is almost 94-years-old, would wash his clothes, iron them and change his sheets and towels? She is a spunky old lady, that's for sure. Perhaps the thing that really upset her the most was that he had taken one of her pillows. She was appalled and felt like she had misjudged him. In fact, she called me several times a day to vent about how she had been robbed. You would have thought he stole all her furniture, or that her only pillow was gone. But that is not the point. The point is that she is old and feels vulnerable and naive.

So I had a little conversation with Pete who knows the guy and asked him to please find out what the deal was. Pete hinted to the guy that the pillow was very important to Ms. Angelle and asked him to at least call her and tell her if he needed a pillow. Well, he did and not long after that, an exuberant and joyful Ms. Angelle called to tell me the sweet young man hadn't robbed her after all. He had just needed to borrow it. She was so happy not to feel used, that she found two pillows that she had never even gotten out of the package and put some fancy high thread count pillowcases on them for the poor young guy. I sure do hope he stops by to at least give her the chance to tell him goodbye.

We never really know how important we are to other people.

Small Lessons, Big Difference

Here are a few difficult lessons I've learned today:

1. Never play WII bowling right after you put hand lotion on.
2. Don't freak out when you hear your boys say, "I killed all those roaches for you." They are probably just playing the computer game, Spiderwick Chronicles and referring to the bad guys.
3. If your daughter spends the night with a couple of her friends, don't let her go over to her grandmother's house the next day. She'll probably take a LONG nap and wake up very cranky and disoriented!
4. Never serve crispy french bread after you spent all day cleaning the house (don't keep the dogs outside all day either- they'll just track in dirt).
5. Or, better yet- why clean the house when you have three kids and two dogs?

Perhaps the most important thing I was reminded of today is to enjoy every minute of everyday with your children and family- you just never know what tomorrow might bring. (I miss you Mary).
What did you do today, on this MLK day, to follow your dream?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cardinals Swarm My Yard in Praise of Award

Today after I gave Jeni the "Sisterhood award" cardinals started appearing in my backyard! I am not talking about just one or two cardinals. No- there were many more. Male and female cardinals were all over the place- on the ground, in the trees, on the powerlines, on my fence, grill and patio furniture. I have never seen so many cardinals in my yard at the same time- the bird feeder was even empty! Can you believe these red birds let me take their pictures, too? Usually when I want to get a picture, the beautiful bird flies away before I can get it. But today I was able to capture quite a few of the cardinals. I posted some of them. At first, I took a few pictures from inside (here's one)...

Then I decided to open the door and take the chance that the birds would stay. They did! I was filled with joy and happiness as I came to realize that Mary was thanking me for giving her big sis this award. Thank you for filling my yard with LOVE!

Drumroll, Please...

Today I am going to pass along this award to a great friend with a wonderful blog. Jeni's blog, is dedicated to her sister ( and my friend) Mary, who died last March. The name of the blog is Memories to Cherish. I sure do love this blog and I am sure you will, too.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Flock of Birds

I am so grateful that everyone on flight 1549, the plane that went down over the Hudson River, survived. I get chills just imagining what these people went through when they heard the words of the heroic pilot call out, "We're going down!" This brings back the memory of a similar situation I experienced in college. Let me share it with you...

I was on a plane from College Station to Lubbock to visit friends. The UT/Texas Tech game was that weekend, so their were a lot of other college-aged kids on the plane also. I situated myself in my window seat over the left wing and put my headphones on to listen to music. We had been in the air for a little bit, when I noticed something fly off the wing. The businessman behind me noticed, also. He tapped on my shoulder and asked me if I saw that, and when I said I did, we told the flight attendant. The pilot made an emergency landing at DFW airport, where we were layed over for several hours. When we got back on board, the pilot shared with us we had gone through a flock of birds! "Free drinks for everyone!" He said to calm our nerves and compensate for the inconvience. I remember a sweet old lady who was petrified to get back on that plane, but did so she could see her grandchildren (the free drinks sure did help her). The rest of the flight and weekend was fun. The incident made the news and I was (and especially am today) grateful we had made it to Lubbock safely.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Delete Complete

If you happened to read my blog in just the right "window of opportunity" then you would have seen something I wrote that is no longer here. Ah, the magic of the infamous delete button.
Anyway, it was about a few things that got on my nerves at work today and Pete said I should write about that stuff in my journal, not publish it on the internet for everyone to see- I wouldn't want to publish something I'd regret later.
The problem is that sometimes, if I get upset enough, I will SAY something that I regret. But there is no delete button for words. Yes, there's "I'm sorry" and "can you forgive me?" yet are those words ever truly forgotten? I try to bite my tongue to stop those words, but sometimes they just come out anyway. To tell you the truth, I think I spend more time ruing and fretting over my blunders than the victim does.

One thing I do know is that God has the power to change anyone. I know that because He has changed me drastically over the past thirteen years. And if I try real hard to take care of myself both physically (not get too tired, hungry, angry of lonely) and spiritually (pray and meditate), then the chances of me becoming snappy are very slim. I'll try harder tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Resolutions Update and An Award For Me

Today is January 14 and I have to admit I don't think I am doing very well with my new year's resolutions. The month is half-way over and I haven't had time to do more for my family. I haven't started walking (does getting a WII fit count, because I have been doing that a lot).
I have been praying and meditating more, though. In fact between the WII fit yoga and my meditation exercises, I have started having muscle spasms in my chest. The first night, I thought I was having heart palpitations, but by the second night Pete assured me they were muscle spasms. I sure am glad I didn't have to keep waking him up like I so often do. So, you see, I have done half of what I want to do for the new year, but I guess it's okay. New habits take a while to form and old habits die hard, right?

The good news is that I received this wonderful sisterhood award from my friend and fellow poet Rachel over at . If you haven't already, please check out her blog at . It's one of the one's I visit regularly and I love it. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am so honored to receive my first fellow blog award.

P.S. I will be passing along the award to a new recipient within the next couple of days. If you are interested, please leave me a comment and let me know.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy or Sad?

I am amazed at how well my day goes when I start it off with prayer. Yesterday I was challenged, turned to God, and He gave me strength to do the next right thing. You see, I was going through some of my poetry and came across a lot of poems I had written right after Mary died. After reading them, I was very sad and said some prayers. Then I went to visit Ms. Angelle. She needed to go to Sam's, so we went. She is getting to the point that walking is very painful, so I pushed her around in a wheelchair cart. Well, that got so full I had to go and get a regular cart, too. I am sure we looked hilarious pushing two carts side by side! When we got back to her house and had unloaded everything, we ate a nice lunch together. I am so grateful for my 93-year-old friend!

When I got home, Jake and Snowy did not greet my from their doggy hole. I went outside and they weren't there, but the fence had been pushed back and I knew they had escaped. Again, I was at a point to either panic or pray. I prayed. Then I called for them from the back and front of the house. Moments later, they appeared in the front, wet and dirty. I was so happy to see them (thank you Lord). Of course I had to bathe them. That reminded me of Mary, too, because she gave Jake a bath once. But this time it was a happy memory.

The rest of the day was good- picking up the kids and doing things with and for my family. I thanked God for the wonderful day- one that could have been sad, but turned out happy!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Job Joy

Today is my first day back to my new part-time job as a preschool art teacher. You should have seen me last night- prancing around the living room, rejoicing to the fact that I am a "working woman" again and get to go to work the next day.

Wish me luck. What could have happened before the holidays did, plus more. Let's see- where do I begin?

1. The first day's lesson required GLITTER, cotton balls and glue. Need I say more?

2. Oh, the last class of the day had a glitter party on their own accord- art is so fun.

3. The next day we dealt with paint and an unhappy coworker (- I forgot about working with a lot of women).

4. Then there was the day I had the big bucket of soapy water for the little kiddos to wash their hands in that was accidentally spilled all over the floor (last class again).

Yet, I am very optimistic about my day today because I have had a nice refreshing break and have been praying constantly. I love the kids and they love me- isn't that all that really matters anyway?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wrong Number

Now that I'm back in the groove of things, I noticed there were some things that needed quick attention. One of those being library books. I had taken the children to the library during the holidays and the books were due- today. I knew Katie wasn't finished with hers (she gets a bunch of thick chapter books), so I decided to call the library and renew the books over the phone. Did you know you can do that? Anyway, when I got out the phonebook and looked in the yellow pages under libraries, it gave the main downtown number only. I guess they want you to call them and ask for the other number, I thought as I dialed.
"Hello?" said a female voice.
"Uh, is this the library?" I asked.
"No. Wrong number."
I hung up and looked at the number again. It looked like the one I just dialed, but maybe I pressed a wrong number or something. I dialed again.
"Hello," said the same voice.
"Ooh. I guess the phonebook made an error. I'm so sorry," I began.
"No. This has been going on for a long time. I have tried to get them to correct the error, but it never gets changed."
"So you must get a lot of calls for the library. Do you know the number?" I thought I'd ask.
"No. I used to have a library card, but I don't know where it's at."
"Well, maybe you should write a letter to the phone company this time, with your signature on it, stating that the main library number is listed wrong and it's your number." I couldn't think of anything else to say.
"Yeah. I might try that."
"Bye," I said as I hung up. I proceeded to look for the number in another phonebook, and after checking three different ones, I found they all had that number! The other number they listed was out of order. I finally had to call information to get the number to the neighborhood library. I wrote it on our cards with a big marker so we won't ever have to do that again. Then I had to come and blog about another quirky library story. Some things never change.

Please Help!

I feel like I have been out of sync with life lately. Sunday I woke up dizzy and sick to my stomach (don't worry, I'm not pregnant). I slept all day long and through until Monday @ 10:00 A.M. I stayed in bed most of yesterday and then went back to sleep at 8:00 P.M. and slept until 7:00 this morning. I am still a little light-headed and weak, but am over the worse part. I used to get this as a child every three months without fail. When I was 12 or 13, my mom took me to an ENT doctor who said he wanted to hospitalize me and run a whole bunch of tests on me. The nurse said it would be a "horrible nightmare" for me, so mom said no. Then I outgrew it while in highschool and college and early 20's, only getting this inner-ear imbalance if I was exhausted (like after finals) or run down. I go through periods of not getting this dreaded disease, then it seems to pop up every now and then. I've had it once before since I started blogging and that was after I had mowed the lawn. Saturday I took down Christmas decorations and dusted and cleaned- perhaps that gets me started- like a sinus problem?

I need help! Does anyone out there know anything about this and have some suggestions? I would greatly appreciate some advice.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I'm embarrased to admit that I finally got my car inspected. I should have done it in November (I know, I know) but unfortunately I have gotten out of the habit of paying close attention to my car upkeep. When I was single and living on my own away from family, I was always vigilant about getting the oil changed every three months and getting the car inpected on time. I could always hear my father's voice in the back of my head, reminding me to do these things and, well, I guess it worked. I am so thankful that my parents held me responsible for taking care of my car. Even when I was in town visiting, I still took care of my car. I was reminded of all this today as I stood outside the car shop waiting for 45 minutes. A man was on his cell phone and when he hung up, he was obviously very upset and "put out." I didn't say anything, but he started talking to me anyway. Apparently, his son needed to have his car inspected before he went back to college. The car had just gotten out of the shop after being hit in a parking lot and the dad was frustrated that HE was having to take care of everything. He even said, "How can I teach my son the responsibility that goes along with having a car?" Then he laughed and said that he guessed he wasn't doing a very good job since he was doing it all for him. You think?

Thanks, mom and dad for teaching me to be responsible. I hope to pass that one on to the kids.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year Acrostic

Happy New Year

Happy is
A way I
Plan to feel this year.
Part of that may come this
Year from praying through my fear.

Next I hope to
Exercise each day and
Walk the blues away.

Yesterday and tommorow I won't
Ever fret or make a mess
About. Living in today, without
Regrets, I will love more, worry less.