Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorable Day

Yesterday evening our son invited a good friend and former university roommate over for a grilled steak dinner. The friend's girlfriend had something else to do, so he brought along two buddies. 

As usual, it was a UN delegation around our son's dinner table. Dutch, Dutch/American, African/American, Thai/Mexican/American, Puerto Rican, and American. The guys had fun munching delicious grilled steak and teasing each other about how much meat they were eating.  

After our meal, the guys went up to the "movie theatre" and watched a really loud movie while Flip hid under our feet downstairs and tried to sleep. 

We are back at home now, and our pup has finally dozed off from a busy "memorable" day weekend.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Harrier or Beagle?

Last evening "in the big city neighborhood" my hub and Flip talked with a neighbor and his white dog. The other dog owner said that Flip was too big to be a beagle and must be another breed, but he could not remember the name. When I heard that, I googled "big beagle" and came up with "harrier."

We found lots of photos of beautiful dogs like our Flip, but we are still not sure. Flip is 1/2 to 1 inch shorter than a harrier, and his hair is silky smooth, not rough. As for the rest, he looks like a harrier. Since harriers are reasonably rare, that is the reason our vet did not recognize him as a harrier. According to what I read, most vets rarely see a harrier.

Whatever he is, Flip keeps us busy.


 Flip by the back door in the Big City.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Was This the Book?

Once in a while I go back and read a couple of blog posts from 2012. 

In most instances, I am quite amazed that they are actually written well. 

Some have a good beginning, middle, and end. Most are written with voice (mine, of course). 

Others are way too brief, but I could go back and "fix" that. But I won't. And all of them are fun to go back and read. 

Especially the ones that make me remember our last year and that make me laugh (or at least smile).

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Almost Home Alone--Canine Variety

Yesterday morning around 6:15, Flip woke me that he was ready to go outside. 

Thinking that he would be back home in a couple of hours, I let him out and I went back to bed. When my hub and I got up and started getting things ready for our car trip, Flip was still nowhere to be seen. 

I had not planned this very well. After calling, whistling, phoning neighbors, driving up and down our lane and the main road, and visiting our other neighbor who has a female terrier, we resolved ourselves to the fact that Flip would not be going with us. Not now and maybe never again.

But we set up a "doggie bed and breakfast" on the front porch with his dog barn and food and water, and resolved ourselves to the fact that he was a dog (and not our human child) and could take care of himself for a couple of warm days. 

Hub still wanted to wait to leave at 1:00 pm, but we drove out of the driveway around 12:30 instead. As we turned the corner behind our neighbor's house, there Flip was. Just walking slowly and tired from over six hours of "hunting" and "swimming" in the area and ponds.

No one informed him that we were planning to travel. (Our son used to accuse us of forgetting to inform him, too.) We headed back home. Hub threw the dog-bed into the backseat of the truck, and Flip hit the showers (garden hose). After a good dry down with old bathroom towels, we were on our way.

Two hours later we were stuck in a long traffic jam on the highway. I think there was a bad accident along the way that we luckily missed, because we were waiting on Flip to come home. Who knows? Maybe he saved our lives.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

450 and Still Blogging!

Numbers again. This is my 450th blog post. Some days I can't think of anything to write, so I don't write. Pure and simple. But today is a milestone. At least 450 times I have gotten out the iPhone or iPad to compose. Sometimes I have even added photos to the posts.

Today I received the sweetest email and darling photos from our Dutch nephew's wife (guess that makes M. our Dutch niece ;) ). M. sent an early morning photo of her two cute sons all dressed up for rainy weather where they live in Germany. I will not include the photos until I ask for permission, but the youngest cutie is dressed in a pirate raincoat that we gave him back last fall. The eye patch is a "killer." The older sweetheart is keeping off the raindrops with his sports umbrella that he also received as a gift from us. 

Buying clothing gifts for children is fun, but I never know the correct size. So some friends and relatives receive too big items, while others are probably too small :( . Luckily parents know that clothes gifting is a risky business. 

If it doesn't fit, just pass it on to some other kiddie.

With permission :)))), the photo of our little Dutch great-nephews S. and C.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bats, Peacocks, and Scorpions

When you live out in the country like we do, you are never surprised at the critters you see.

Two nights ago, Flip and I were greeted by a low flying bat when we went out the back door around 10:00 pm for Flip's pit stop. I was surprised, while Flip did not seem to notice. Birds or flying things do not bother him much, since he has found out that he is not able to catch them anyway.

This morning on the way to pick my mom up for her doctor's appointment, a peacock calmly scurried across the highway between our house and the P.O. At first I thought the fowl was a wild turkey, but it was a peacock (or maybe a peahen). Wonder who is raising that exotic bird?

The really shocking critter was the visitor to Flip's bed last night. Around 11:00 pm, Flip stood up in his bed and started staring at something. As my hub can see Flip sleeping on his bed, Hub jumped up to see what was causing the unrest. When he said "scorpion," I jumped up from my easy chair to see if I could help catch it. We actually caught the insect in a fruit jar so that I could try to identify it. Who knows how it came to be on our Flippy's safe bed in our front hallway?

I saw a black snake slither into the pond a couple of evenings ago. Another night my hub and Flip witnessed a possum shopping for grapes under our grape arbor.

Bring on the dinosaurs!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Conflict at the Beltway

Hm. I can't overlook what is going on at the Beltway apartment. On one hand it is disturbing, but on the other hand it is amusing. And it all began with a parking place!

This situation makes me glad we do not have an HOA (Home Owners Association). In the past, we have had enough problem with the neighboring landowners (not our dear Neighbors!!!). But that is in the PAST.

The Beltway situation is Present. It seems to be a Them vs. Us. Them being the HOA board and the Us being at least three different apartment owners. As you can imagine, we are included in the latter three. Yesterday my hub and I decided to just "let it be." Well, this morning we woke up to new developments. (All over a parking place!!!!)

So I looked up a way to try to solve such differences. These are the high points of a great web article:

Deal with it. Most people prefer to avoid conflict.

Conflict needs to be dealt with. If you ignore or avoid it, it can lead to increased stress and unresolved feelings of anger, hostility and resentment. 

Think it through. Before addressing the person with whom you have a conflict, consider discussing the situation with an objective friend or family member.

Talk it out, face to face. Meeting in person can be intimidating, but it is often the best way to go. 
E-mail and letter writing should be avoided.

Use a mediator if necessary.

Apologize when appropriate. Be aware of your own part in creating the conflict.

Choose your battles.

Work to minimize conflict.

Work on your own communication skills.

Avoid troublemakers as much as possible. 

A side note: My son said I left off "Punch them in the face!" Hee Hee. Actually, I thought of that for the pond paparazzi as well as the Beltway HOA. 
Guess that would not be too civilized. ;)

Friday, May 17, 2013


Check out this new video. You will be ready to travel.

Women (and maybe men, too) of a Certain Age

I have noticed two types of "elderly" women. The types are Nice and Not-So-Nice. 

The nice type are pleasant to be around, sometimes bake cookies, and genuinely lovable. 

The other kind are real witches ( or was that the B-word?). The not-so-nice type stare out their windows, tell little children to keep out of the flowerbeds, and tattle to authorities.

Lately we have seen evidence of the B(w)itched variety both near our pond levee and also near our garage at the Beltway apartment. They both have common characteristics-- staring, telling, and tattling.

Hm! Wonder what that "certain" age is?

Is it getting ready to greet me in about one month's time?

Nee hoor! (Nope!)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Big Bang Theory's Flash Mob

Enjoy! http://youtu.be/sGC2lZXNmNY

Closure. The Last Chapter of the Book

Blogging is still the only writing that I do. That book that I want to write is still not ready to be written. And who knows, maybe it never will be written.

But last evening I finished the last chapter of my teaching career. Now there is closure. 

Last evening I attended the high school graduation of my "last class." When I stopped teaching almost exactly five years ago, those young men and women were 7th graders. Last evening they were the same loving and personable beings that I remembered. And now they are adults.

The smart, attractive girls were still gathering the scholastic accolades. The huge and funny athletes were still huge and funny when they hugged their principal on stage. And the rest were polite and attentive as they had been years before in my classes.

For five years I had felt that I was missing something. Last night I found it.

Closure. The last page of my teaching career. 

A Happy Ending!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Who's Your Mother?

Yesterday our son accused me of being a "Tiger" mother. 

Actually, I see myself as a "helicopter" mother for my son. Then I can hover when needed or elevate up high when I am not. My only problem is that I do not always have a handle on the controls. So he warns me. Just like yesterday when he arrived for the weekend.

My own mother accused me of being too "mothering" back in the 70's when I telephoned her and my dad every Sunday to check up on them. Being in their late 40's and early 50's, they were not always happy with my mothering, I am sure. But I really think I was just checking in with them because no one was checking in on me. (Those were the Seventies!)

Lately I have taken on more of the "mothering" of my own mother. This week it was cataract checkup, and soon it will be a specialist appointment and cataract surgery of the other eye. She doesn't complain much about my "smothering" anymore. 

Oh well, just a little bit. Don't ask her if she has the key to her house when she pulls the door shut behind her as we leave to go to the doctor. Too s'mothering!

Who's your Momma?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Our New Mantel--6 Years Too Late

Before I lose this post, let me publish a photo of our new mantel. Yesterday I lost my entire post due to someone or something changing the way I am used to posting my blog. The someone is probably I. The something is that Blogger seems different. 

Anyway, below you will see a photo of our fireplace mantel that took almost 6 years in the making. Actually it took our Mennonite cabinet maker only one month to make it. The rest of the time we spent waiting for some other cabinet makers to get their acts together. Which they never did!

The tiles have been in place for over two years.

The fireplace insert has been in place for four years, at least.

So it was time for the mantel, don't you think?

Now to get the old Dutch metal barn window sandblasted and mirrored so that we can finish off this project. In the meantime, I have got to come up with a better decoration. ;p

And I did:

Friday, May 10, 2013

Lost in Space

I just typed a long blog post with photo of our new mantle. Before I could save it or publish it, it disappeared. 

Lost in Space. I will try again another time.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Flip, Was That You?

Most of our family and friends know that we did not choose our beagle Flip. He chose us. He just showed up on our porch two years ago.

Could the photo below possibly be the reason Flip's former owner gave him to us? He has never tried to bite my iPad, but he has sent a couple of email messages when he tried to get me to play ball with him or feed him.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

My Crush on Candy Crush

Or rather I am getting crushed by Candy Crush.

When my Dutch friend M. asked if I had heard about the game Candy Crush, I became interested to see how to play it. My niece W. mentioned it on Facebook and seemed convinced the makers are charlatans.

Actually this kind of computer game fascinates me, so I am "hooked." I am up to level 29, and I really look forward to the timeouts. Otherwise, I would never get anything accomplished around here.

And I haven't spent a cent ( or 99 cents)!

Give Candy Crush a try.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

No Antiques Roadshow Tickets (Sigh)

Well, we were not chosen to receive tickets to the Antiques Roadshow Tour in Baton Rouge this summer.

But no need to despair. We are going to have a family Fling It on Mother's Day.

After I recently gave my grandmother's sewing machine to my interior designer niece, I started seriously thinking about what will happen to all of these "things" I have collected over the last 65 years. (Gulp!)

Our single son may be interested in some of the vintage family treasures, but the rest will probably go straight into the garbage. Look out landfills!

So this is what I organized:

Spring Fling It

Time to clean out that drawer, closet, room, or storage shed. We are going to have our first Family Fling It.

What??: Fling It --A Thing Swap ( not chunking or throwing. Sorry.)
Who: Our family and guests
When: Sunday, May 12, Mother's Day/Memaw's Birthday Party
Where: Uncle F. and Aunt M.'s home
Why: Because Aunt L. wants to get rid of some things, and maybe you might want them.

Simple guidelines: If you want to participate, you must bring some things. It is a "swap" after all. It is recommended that you bring at least one item per category, but bring as many or as few as you like. (No bringy, no flingy, pure and simple.)


Bon Appetite
Sportz Center
Primped and Pampered
Kidz Zone
This and That

PS. W. wanted photos, but that might ruin the fun. And please do not go out and buy something for this Fling It. The idea is to get rid of your old/gently used clutter.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Road Trip or Sleigh Ride?


Our son and his Canadian friend are crossing Canada from East to West and have hit a wall of snow in Thunder Bay, Ontario! This morning he greeted us with a photo of their vehicle in the snow. (see below)

My hub and I had just been talking last evening about how the road trip was headed right for the snowstorm, so we weren't too surprised with the photo.

For my blogging friends up that way, keep the faith. Spring will eventually come and then summer will be just right around the corner. ;)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Internet Weather Forecast

Having the weather forecast at your fingertips can be a good thing or a not so good thing. Since we still do our own lawn maintenance and gardening, we are weather watchers. All day every day from April to October!

As we were pretty sure that rain was coming our way sometime later today, we got out in the midday sun and heat and filled in the two raised veggie beds that really needed a "lift." Lift in the sense that they were no longer full of planting soil and lift because the soil that was in the two beds was no longer nourishing the plants.

Before the rain came, my hub transported with his tractor over five loads of rice husks compost to the beds. We raked out the big clumps and picked out the almost cement clay bits, and then the little electric tiller did its work. Of course Hub was guiding it along inside the beds, and I was managing the electric cord and picking out large pebbles. Where do those pebbles come from? I have no idea.

While I fertilized and smoothed out the new and improved raised beds, my hub mowed with the finishing mower on the tractor the large part of the yard down to the pond. If we have significant rainfall, he has to wait for at least five days of dry weather to use his tractor.

Ten minutes ago a deluge of rain beat down on the yard and garden.

Whew! We finished in the nick of time!