Friday, August 21, 2009


You know that ratcheting sound that you hear when you are on any sort of a thrill ride? The one the car makes as it is slowly inching its way up to the peak, right before you go hurtling down again, and your stomach ends up in your throat? I've been hearing that in my head, ever since I got to Dallas. Things are just going too smoothly right now, and you know it can't last.

Oh, we've had the usual little problems: trying to get all of Mom's stuff cleared out and packed up, with her refusing to help, or to part with a thing - not even trash; her insisting on taking every stick of furniture in the house that was ever hers, knowing that it can't possibly all fit into her tiny efficiency apartment, and that she's going to turn around the minute the moving truck and all our brawny helpers have disappeared, and insist that Carolyn come back and get it out of her way this instant; her asking us over and over again to go check and see if they've painted the walls in her apartment terra cotta yet, though we've told her every day that it ain't gonna happen cause it's against the rules there. (This isn't dementia, I promise you. This has always been her way of dealing with an answer she doesn't like, hoping she will eventually wear us down. Unfortunately, she usually does.)

Overall, however, she seems remarkably upbeat about the whole situation. It can't last. ratchet...ratchet...ratchet...


Hot Diggety Dog! I did it! I actually managed to get my sister's new monitor hooked up all by my itty bitty self! Picture me proud. Too bad I don't have time to write anything just now.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Boo Whole Foods. Yea Wal-Mart! Who'd of thunk?


Know what I love best about this blog? It forces me to practice gratitude.

In her book Simple Abundance, Sarah Ban Breathnach explained that the first step towards a sense of abundance is learning to identify and be grateful for the blessings that are already present in one's life. This really struck a chord with me, for I have always believed that happiness is a choice. We have all come across people who have little or nothing, but who still manage to stay upbeat and cheerful most of the time, just as we have known people who have much to be grateful for, but who just can't see it. I have one friend, in fact, who in all the years I have known her, has never once answered my simple "How's it going?" with , "Not bad. Can't complain." I finally came to the conclusion that she's just not happy unless she's got something to be un-happy about. We all know people like that. We call them Drama Queens.

Sarah strongly urges us to keep a "gratitude journal", where we make a conscious effort every day to focus on what is positive about our lives, and to give thanks for it. I can't tell you how many times I have started one of these, only to run out of steam mid-way through. I'm forever scrounging around my shelves and cabinets, looking for a spare notebook for one purpose or another, only to flip one open and discover the words GRATITUDE JOURNAL written boldly on the first page. It usually gives me a good chuckle, but then I almost always end up taking a moment to sit down and read through some of the things that I was thankful for at that particular time. I guess Sarah was correct in her belief that gratitude leads to joy, for each time I do this, I actually end up feeling happier.

So, what has any of this got to do with my blog? Well, yesterday we received the sweetest thank you note for a wedding gift, that we have ever received in our lives. In it she said simply "I hope we have as much fun in our marriage as y'all have." Now, I've no way of knowing - she may have said that to everyone - but if she really means it, how does she even know how much fun we have? She hasn't really been around us much since we lived in Indonesia. Then I remembered, she was one of my very first friends on facebook (back when there was no one my own age there to play with), so perhaps she follows the occasional links I post there, back to my blog.

I guess it would be easy to read these postings and assume that our lives are a whirlwind of non-stop fun. Some might even think I lead a charmed life, but Beth, if you are reading this, I just want you to know, there is no such thing. Every person, and every marriage, on this planet will encounter both good and bad in their lives. I could just as easily write a blog where I did nothing but whine. Instead, every time I sit down at this computer and think about what to write, I make the conscious choice to run back through my day and focus on what was good about it, and to feel grateful for it, which leads to feelings of joy, and thus, to a sense of abundance.

Well what do ya know? Guess I've been keeping that gratitude journal after all!

Monday, August 17, 2009


On Wednesday I will be heading up to Dallas for about a week. It will be a bit of an adventure, as we are moving my mother into assisted living . This is a woman who, not only has she never lived alone, she rarely even spent a night apart from my dad except when he was stationed overseas during WWII (and she moved back in with her parents then). Even when she was in the hospital, she almost always had one of us sleeping in the room with her. Right now I think she is kind of looking forward to it. She pictures it as being sort of like a nice hotel, with lots of people around 24 hours a day, to cater to her every whim, and they won't be deserting her all the time to go off to a silly job the way my sister does. I think it won't take more than about 24 hours though, for her to realize just how wonderful my sister really was, and decide she wants to go back. Sorry Charlie! So, the week may involve a touch of drama.

Now, I believe I may have mentioned that I used to be a complete technophobe. I checked emails about once a week, and other than that, only used the computer if I absolutely had to for work or school. Then John made me switch from my little spiral notebook journals to a blog. Then I discovered the blogosphere. Then I somehow wound up on facebook, and, well, one thing led to another (though I still can't turn on John's TV or Stereo, or Twitter, or do anything with my phone other than answer it). But, I didn't think I was all that dependent on the computer - until this morning, anyway.

It all started when I got this message from my sister: "You may be real upset with me. My monitor has gone out and I'm not in a position to replace it right now. Chris is going to try and get me a used one thru his work but it looks like you won't have access to a computer while you are here. I'm so sorry that my timing wasn't better. But we really are looking forward to your visit. "

I told her that was not a problem, but that I would send a message to John, to see if he happened to have a spare monitor he could give her. He can usually build an entire computer out of stuff he's got stashed in the closet of his bat cave downstairs, but no, no spare monitors right at this moment. Her reply was "So glad you aren't upset about no computer, I was real worried." Sheesh!

A few minutes later I got a note back from John, saying that he has ordered a brand new monitor for my sister, and that it should be at her house by the time I get there. It got me to thinkin', am I really so addicted to this thing that nobody thinks I can survive five or six days without it? If so, I need help!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Hmmm. Just realized that my new sketchbook is a tad larger than the original, and doesn't quite fit on my scanner screen. Oops. (click to enlarge)