Friday, September 22, 2017

Keeping My Harvey Evacuees

In the days since Harvey hit the Texas coast, things have been very busy, as I imagine it has been for most Texans.

I have read that 46% of the population of Texas was affected by the hurricane so it is safe to say that the rest of us that were not, all KNOW someone who was affected.

After our son and his wife and family evacuated along with an entire nursing home of residents (his wife is a charge nurse of said nursing home), their lives consisted of living out of a motel to the point that he wound up having to  come and bring the kids and stay with us for a time just so he could give them some place to play. It was all good though, I welcomed the chance to see him and the grandkids.

My daughter has been with us too and caring for the kids during the day and the grandkids have had some fun adventures at the park. One day she had them playing in one particular stream where she knew pyrite could be found. Searching for pyrite crystals kept the kids busy for a good long time.

Other days they stayed at my house and played with the dogs and made playdoh and kicked the soccer ball around and did whatever.

I got to enjoy the kids after work and read them bedtime stories.

They recently went back home and started school yesterday.  School had been delayed due to hurricane damage to most of their schools, but at least their town fared better than the neighboring town of Rockport who had to close their schools indefinitely.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Harvey Scramble

Yesterday hubby drove to Port O Connor, which is on the Texas coast, to help secure things at the water plant the company he works for manages there. At the time he said he might not be back till Saturday.

Tropical Storm Harvey is expected to strengthen to a Hurricane and drop 25 to 30 inches of rain depending on the area, and tidal surges of 6 to 10 feet.

My phone has been lit up with texts this morning.

First I heard from son and daughter-in-law. Son was heading inland with their kids since they live on the coast in the predicted landfall area, and his wife, who is a charge nurse at a nursing home was already at work and they were busily making plans to evacuate residents from there.

I heard more from hubby this morning and apparently they have done what they can do to secure the water treatment facility but with the amount of rain expected, there was no point riding out the storm, so he is heading back now.

Here where we live, the forecast is calling for a nice 1-4 inch rain which we very much need. I just wish it were not at the expense of waayyyy to much rain on the coast.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Toy Aisle

I went to the store one day last week to pick up some gifts before going to see my 5 and 9 year old grandchildren.

My first stop was the boys section and I was really disappointed with the offerings; especially for the age range that my 9  year old grandson has reached now.

There was an entire row devoted solely to Legos. Legos are fine. I don't have anything against them, but really, is that ALL an active 9 year old wants to do? ....play with tiny plastic blocks?

The next aisle had movie based figurines mostly of the fantastic, fictitious or grotesque variety on one side and cars and trucks on other side. There again, they are okay but none of these things really do much to spark imaginations.

I moved on to the girls section where there is a plethora of dolls, ponies, puppies dress up type things. There actually was a little more variety in the girls section. 

I finally landed on a gift for my 5 year old granddaughter and yes, ended up getting Legos for grandson and just hoped he would be more excited about them than I was.

I suppose my daughter-in-law is right in that most boys are playing video games at that age more than they are playing with toys.

I tried to think back to Christmas catalogs of my childhood and what the offerings were for boys back then. I couldn't remember that well because frankly I was looking for the things I was interested in, but I did find some pages online that give some idea of different offerings of toys back then and the search results seem to bear out that there really was a lot more variety for toys back then than now.





Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Missing Ceilidh


There have been a lot of things going on this summer. Things that have been, quite frankly very hard to deal with. Things that I am not quite ready to discuss, but it seemed to all begin with losing Ceilidh.

I have had a lot of pets throughout my life, but not many that I have raised from a puppy and there is something about the bond that you form when you have had a pet from the age of 8 weeks AND they live indoors with you.

Back in April, I had just had Ceilidh groomed and had gotten home from work and was holding her and admiring how pretty she looked, when she went into a seizure.

My mother-in-law and I took her to the emergency room at the nearest location and Ceilidh was immediately taken back and given anti-seizure medicines and we were put in a waiting room.

Over the course of what seemed hours, it was conjectured that she might have a brain tumor and a couple of tests were run but still nothing was decided for sure. They wanted to keep her over night.

I called my husband, who was out of town, to get his okay on the expense of it all and while doing that, Ceilidh went into another seizure, threw a clot into her heart and died. She was 12 years old.
It was all just so sudden. No warning.

I was heartbroken when the Vet told me how scared Ceilidh was during the seizures, and heartbroken when I had my last few minutes with her after she was gone.

I sometimes think about getting another Pomeranian puppy but at this stage in my life, I don't think I want to go through all the puppy stages and I just don't think any puppy can fill the void my sweet little Ceilidh left.

Do I still have dogs? Yes, I have three wonderful dogs; two rescues and one other I was fortunate to give a home to and I love them all very, very much.

I have lost some other dearly loved dogs that broke my heart, but as I said, I had Ceilidh all her life. We were all she knew.

I watched her tremble when something frightened her. I took her on road trips. I watched how uniquely she communicated what she wanted. We had a lot of good years together. She was like a baby to me. I will miss her always.


Ceilidh's baby picture

 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Project Day

The rainy weather makes this day a good one for doing projects.

I started the day out poking around looking at fabric I have on hand and then reprinting the manual for a new-to-me sewing machine that my sister gave me. I don't do a lot of sewing, but with the meager offerings I am finding lately for clothes that I like and as long waist-ed as I am, I think it is time to get some sewing done.

Next project was to take photos of a bunch of my Mom's Barbie Dolls. It has been 10 years since she passed and I am not a doll collector so it is time to do the research needed to get them sold. Taking the pictures and looking each one up to try and determine values took quite a bit of time but I got the batch done that I have here and once I deal with them I will bring back more from storage and start the process over again.

My back rest pillow was getting pretty lumpy and "settled" and needing more stuffing so I picked up the pillow stuffing I needed a couple days ago and this morning I opened up the seam on the back rest and filled it up some more and sewed it back up; there is no point throwing it out when I can fix it cheaper than I can replace it.

Next on the list is going through a box of my Mom's old sewing patterns to see if there is anything I can use and if not put them in a pile to donate.  Have a blessed day!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Wild Parrots and a Pet Parrot Named Killer

While perusing an article about things to see and do in Texas, I saw mention of the wild parrots that could be seen in and around Oliveira Park in Brownsville, TX.
The article reminded me of the time when we lived in Harlingen, TX which is not far from Brownsville.
The neighborhood we lived in was full of wild parrots and as it so happened we had a parrot in our home, a left over from a pet shop we had owned. I hesitate to call him a pet because he had a nasty temper. He was a beautiful double yellow head parrot though and we thought we would always have "Killer" as we called him because he made every attempt he could to bite us.
Well anyway, Killer got real excited every evening when he heard those wild parrots outside and he would screech and carry on until the noise was unbearable.
We decided he needed a new home but weren't sure about just letting him loose after being in a cage for so long.
We finally landed on the idea to donate our parrot to the zoo in Brownsville, which we did and they were happy to have him. It gave him a chance to be with other parrots and still have a certain amount of protection compared to the wild parrots that he liked to talk to so much.
As I thought about him today I realized that, assuming he is getting the good care I am sure he is, he is likely still there; his life expectancy is around 60-80 years.
If you get the opportunity to make a trip to the Rio Grande Valley, take time to look for the wild parrots. They are a feast for the eyes!
And if you are interested in the article with the list of things to see and do in Texas, well here is that link for you as well.
Awesome Things to See and Do in Texas

Monday, November 14, 2016

Holiday Winds Are Blowing


The holiday winds have started to rise and with them comes a great whirlwind of activity that will reach tornadic levels by the time Christmas gets here.

Most of us love the holidays and we like a little chaos as well but it can easily get out of hand and leave us wondering where the days went, feeling let down a little and feeling like we missed something.

When I was a kid my Dad valued his quiet time. He had some outdated (or were they?) rules about certain times and days for quiet activity. We knew when we could talk, be loud and crazy and we knew when to settle down to do something quiet or reflective. During those quiet times, I read, I learned to draw and paint, and I wrote in a journal.

Sometimes Dad took us out to look at the night sky and although we talked and asked questions at those times, we mostly just stared in wonder at the vastness of the sky and all the stars in it.

What does that have to do with the holidays you may ask? Well plenty actually, because it is a good time to teach our children (and ourselves) to stop and take time to reflect; reflect on the birth of Christ and reflect on what character traits to encourage in our children and grandchildren in the days ahead.

Also, it's good to remember to give yourself time to just breathe and be thankful for what you have and not stress about what you do not have or what you think the kids need to have or what entertaining you think you need to do.

Be thankful at Thanksgiving and be joyful at Christmas; most of all teach yourself and your children to slow down and have some quiet times. Life is not supposed to be an endless series of tornadoes. Take time to enjoy the calm weather too.