Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Lost My Respect

They are still pumping water from our parking garage. They brought out the Big Daddy of pumps today, FINALLY!

Last week we went to see Bette Midler. It was my first Bette Midler concert. She puts on a fantastic show. Here are some photos from that night.

We decided to boycott the Neil Diamond concert last night because one, we didn't have cars and a taxi would have been expensive and hard to get afterwards. Two, the mayor and fire chief of our city both asked citizens to stay off the road last night. People were traveling into the flooded Houston area from other towns, some of them probably elderly who were not familiar with our roads. High water is difficult to see at night. It was just plain unsafe. And rain was forecasted to begin again during the concert. Toyota Center said they could not cancel unless Neil did. Neil's folks put it back on Toyota Center, so we forfeited our floor seats. Curious how many people showed up. People were dying in their cars not far from the venue yesterday, and he's up on stage singing Holly Holy. Didn't seem right. Here's a tweet from him saying he wasn't going to cancel.

Today, Sweet Caroline came on my Ipod at work today and I cheerfully deleted the entire ND playlist. It felt good. It's going to be a long time until I can listen to him again. He has lost my respect.

Thanks for reading.


What the Hell?

Woke up to this yesterday morning. Mine is the white car; J's is the red Mustang. Let me back up a bit. We had one of the worst storms we've had here in Texas since I can remember. Flash flooding is no unusual in our city. We have underground parking where we live. Our condo manager parked her three vehicles there on Monday night. Rule of thumb: if her cars are there, our cars are safe. Not.

After a night of vicious lightning, rain and wind, I got up around 6 a.m. to walk the dogs before work. The elevators weren't working. Nothing new after a rainstorm. I had a stupid thought to myself, "I wonder if they're filled with water like on the Titanic." Remember when Rose goes down in the elevator to find Jack and the elevator and stairwells are filling with water?

So I took the dogs around to the side of the complex and went down the outside stair case to the first floor, cut over by the pool and opened a stairwell door which would take me to the lobby and parking garage below so I could then walk up the ramp to street level. (This is very confusing, I know.) Here is what I found when I went down the stairwell.

Reality hit that behind that door were our cars. J's was just paid off in December and I only had six payments left. When I finally made my way outside, I went up to a man who had surveyed the damage and asked him stupidly, "Which side of the garage is in the best shape? I parked in the back." I pointed. He said, "Ha! The entire garage is under about four feet of water."

So we have lost both cars; they still haven't gotten all the water out 36 hrs later. It took less than a minute of a waterfall of runoff from two of Houston's busiest streets to wipe out about 75 cars and one boat, including a brand new BMW and a Porsche. The water is contaminated with sewage and maybe even a snake or two. But we are the lucky ones here. So far seven fatalities have been discovered in our city; two are still missing. Thousands of people have been displaced, many losing their homes forever. And that's just here. Homes are still washing away into the river in the Hill Country.

So while we may have to put off our move for a few more months, we are simply inconvenienced, while others are in serious mourning.

I pray that wherever you are that you and your families are safe and dry.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Too Much to Talk About

Chris Botti was wonderful, as usual. We got in huge traffic jam on the way to Galveston, barely making it into the theater before the show started. I told J was should have been later because...

about 45 minutes into the show, a man and his wife came into the theater. Chris Botti stopped the show and said, "You're late!" The man said that he and his wife had a 2 1/2 hr drive from Orange, plus there was a 90-minute ferry wait. I believe it because I saw the ferry sign.

Chris Botti told them he would give them free tickets to his show anywhere. He also started from the beginning and played a few bars from each song he had already played. That's classy.

On the way back to H-town, we saw his black Lexus fly by, going about 90, towards the airport. I'm such a groupie.

We are still contemplating moving out of here. In my next post, I'm going to try to list the positives and negatives to help make a decision. Wish I had time to now, but I don't.

K21 got engaged on Christmas Eve and is getting married on the stage in the theater where she "met" her future husband while they were playing love interests in Fiddler on the Roof. Her marriage is in November.

Last Saturday, K24 was proposed to at sunrise on the beach in Surfside. Her wedding is in January.

Can you say wedding brain?

One of my pet peeves is people on Facebook who are constantly ranting about stuff. I'm not just talking about politics. I'm not talking about family illnesses or deaths or pets missing. I'm talking about being wronged by companies, sitting in waiting rooms, technology not working, cant' find this, can't find that. I'm not talking about once in awhile. I"m talking about that's the only thing they ever post.

So I've unfollowed a few friends, no unfriended. Sometimes I just can't take all the negativity, especially in such huge doses. When I get in a certain mindset, I go over to their pages, just to make sure I haven't missed something traumatic in their lives, like the death of a loved one, etc.

What I find is that I did the right thing by unfollowing them. They haven't changed. I used to post some negative stuff; now I'm trying not to. Why should my friends have to hear that crap? Ever since I saw Deepak Chopra, my mind is craving the positive.

Oh, and we saw James Van Praagh last week, too. Outstanding. Wish I could tell you about him but J and I have a date night at Luby's. Gotta run.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Shows! Shows! Shows!

We're going to see Lily Tomlin! I'm super excited! In the next couple of months we have tickets to also see: Deepak Chopra, James Van Praugh, Neil Diamond, Bette Midler and Chris Botti.

In the past year or so we have seen: Manhattan Transfer, Chris Botti, Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain, Vicki Lawrence, Carol Burnett, A Tuna Christmas, 102 Years of Broadway and the symphony several times.

I hope to start writing on this blog more often. I have been busy crocheting and working on my novel. I have another one planned for NaNoWriMo in November of this year and I plan to try NaPoWriMo in April, only a few days away. Eek!

As a reminder, here are my links.

Around and Around (OCD Blog)

Grandma's Beautiful Smile (Facebook Page)

My Novel's Facebook Page

My NaNoWriMo Facebook Page

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Well, that settles that!

I talked to the apartment manager this morning, and in order to move to the building by the street, our rent would go up $300, not to mention we would have to pay another $400 pet deposit. So it's to an apartment locator we will go at the end of February. A new place means new memories, so I need to get my mind in that mode.

We -- yes, "we" -- are invited to my brother's house on New Year's Eve for a party. He's making ribs, jerk chicken, and his famous cream of poblano soup. J and I are going to Unity first to attend our first burning bowl ceremony. I'm afraid if I was given the chance, I would fill the bowl completely all by myself; I have so many regrets to burn.

If all goes well, I will start Hatha yoga on Monday. In order to do this, we will have to eat light dinners from now on. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Right now I'm thinking chef salad, soup, baked potato, sandwiches, breakfast tacos. I need something that will take as little time as possible to prepare and we will be eating late, around 7:30, so it does need to be light. We prefer to eat together on those nights because on the other weeknights, J eats at her mother's. I will only cook full meals on weekends. Maybe this will help my waistline. I'm going to try really hard to order light meals when I get a free meal at work, like a bowl of soup or a scoop of chicken salad, minus their parmesan crackers that I love so much.

I'm supposed to be on vacation. My temp didn't show up yesterday and my boss had to go it alone. J graciously offered to temp for me today and tomorrow. This works out great because it will pay for our fabulous overnight in Galveston we had Sunday night. We think the temp left with a lot of our snacks but have no way to prove it.

Speaking of our overnight, we saw the Manhattan Transfer at the Grand and the show was fantastic. I could have done without some of the scatting, though; it's not my thing. We stayed at the fabulous San Luis Resort on the seawall. It was cold and rainy so the view wasn't great of the water, but we got a wonderful upgrade which included a full butlered breakfast and free champagne. It may not sound like much, but we are not used to such treatment.

Before the show started, we were discussing the Neil Diamond tickets J bought me for Christmas. She finally told me that we are also going to see Bette Midler that same month.

I hope each of you have a wonderful new year. 2015 has got to be better.



Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 is ending. Thank God!

2014 has been a year of ups and downs, one helluva year. I am ready for it to end and looking forward to new beginnings.

I got quite a bit of writing done this year. Reverse Skate is 99% complete so I have started on the editing, which for a person with OCD is extremely stressful. It's hard to stop editing. I've pretty much decided on using Create Space to self-publish. I have also started the research for my next book "Day Trip", which I hope to write during the next NaNoWriMo in November of 2015.

2014 was the second year without my maternal grandmother; I miss her so much. I still can't erase her contact information from my phone. I finally took her photo off my phone screen. I created a FB place to honor her called "Grandma's Beautiful Smile." You can go there and post things about your own grandmothers.

My paternal grandmother turned 98 in November. I'm not sure if she's going to make it to 100, and I'm not sure I want her to. She is so miserable. We moved her into a different apartment at the beginning of the year but she was so isolated and started going downhill physically and emotionally. We moved her into assisted living a few months ago, but she's not really getting any help yet. She wants to do everything herself, which is commendable, but I'm afraid she's going to fall. As of last week, she's almost completely blind. Go to my around and around blog (link at top of this page) if you want to read about my thoughts on Christmas Day of considering driving the two of us off a bridge.

My youngest, K21, became engaged on Christmas Eve. Let's just say I'd like her to wait awhile to marry. I'm going to leave it at that.

My oldest, K24, started a relationship with her first boyfriend this year. No engagement plans as yet, but the relationship is thriving.

J and I are going to Galveston on Sunday to see Manhattan Transfer. One of their singers dies a while back, but the show must go on. We will spend the night. We went earlier this year to see Vicki Lawrence; she was hilarious. I cannot tell you how much we need to get out of this city! I took a two-week staycation from my job; I don't think I realized how tired I have been. It's been heaven to be able to sleep in. I have eight days left; I don't want to go back. :)

My dad has been very ill since August after having what was supposed to be a routine rotator cuff surgery. He developed an infection that had nothing to do with the surgery, but settled in the surgical spot. He had intravenous antibiotics twice a day for three weeks, but then he developed a bacterial infection in his gutt and a yeast infection in his esophagus because the meds they gave him didn't work. Now the infection is back and he and my mom are so tired of dealing with this.

We are not sure if we are staying here much longer. I'm actually the one who's pretty dissatisfied with the place now. I talked J into moving here. She went along with it as long as we put a Charlie bar on the balcony door, the bar that locked me out not long after we moved here.

Our current place:

On the plus side:
1. cheap for where we are
2. lots of square footage
3. quietest place I've ever lived
4. very secure on the inside of the complex
5. security guard SUPPOSEDLY on duty from 10 p.m. - 6 a.m.
6. one housekeeping appt per month included
7. washer/dryer inside unit (but they are the extra small ones)

On the minus side:
1. common areas outside looking old and dirty
2. flower beds near our building seem to get the least attention
3. we are in the back of the complex (not as many parking spaces, takes longer to go on dog walks and sometimes I think back of complexes are more unsafe.)
4. I DON'T FEEL SAFE WALKING MY DOGS! This is the most important thing of all to me. Men walking up and down the street at all hours. I have to walk basically in an alleyway part of the way. Cars constantly splash us going 15 + miles over the speed limit. I have actually seen cars jump the curb before.
5. closet space sucks
6. carpeting - to have hardwoods costs $100 extra per month
7. parking lot floods at the drop of a hat

We decided to sign a six-month lease while we decide what to do. I would like to live in a house or patio home where I could let the dogs out into some grass after dark to do their business. J is not thrilled with the idea; and truthfully, houses, patio homes, etc. with small yards are out of our price range in our area.

We have another plan and that is to get on a waiting list for an apartment exactly like ours with hardwoods instead of carpet in the building at the front of the complex. J could stand on the balcony and watch me walk the dogs after dark. Drawback to this is there would be more street noise for Callie to bark at. Plus side is there is more parking near the front and less flooded area, wouldn't take me long to get in and out with the dogs, and I would be in J's sight most of the time.

I'm not sure if anyone is even reading my blog anymore, but if you are, I wish you a wonderful 2015.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dead Man's Car

Dead Man’s Car

On Wednesday night, at little past 10:00 p.m., my dogs and I were coming down the ramp of our parking garage from our evening walk. It was cold and damp and I wasn’t in the best of moods because the dogs were being frisky, pulling on their leashes, wrapping them around my legs. Our complex is extremely secure in that most people from the outside have any idea how to get in. It’s a complicated process, no matter which way you try to enter. It is even more complicated to get out.

I saw a man around 60 years old standing at one set of glass entrance door, punching numbers into a key pad. Somehow I could tell from a distance that he was in distress. I yelled at him from the ramp, "Do you need help getting in?" Just then, a woman answered on the speaker of the key pad, and he told her politely that he was sorry, he had dialed the wrong number.

The man went on to explain to me that he was worried about his friend who had not been heard from in "several days." "It’s not like him," he said. "Something’s wrong." He said he had called the police, but they wouldn’t come out because he didn’t know the apartment number. He told me he had been to the apartment a few times before, but for security reasons, our mailing address box numbers don’t match our door numbers. He said if he could get into the complex, he could walk right up to the correct apartment.

So, of course, yawning and tired, I volunteered to take him upstairs to the second floor. "You would know him," he said. "He’s lived here for at least six years. He’s a big guy." I explained to the man that I didn’t live in his friend’s building, and unless he had a dog, I probably had never met him as different buildings don’t share elevators or lobbies.

As we made our way up the elevator, I was struck by how calm the dogs were. They had stopped pulling on their leashes, and even Callie, who is normally growling, even at people she knows, was quiet and calm. Finn wasn’t jumping up for an ear scratch. It was as if they knew this was a serious situation. As we made our way across the catwalk towards the apartment, I asked the man if his friend had a history of depression or any sign in the past to make him concerned. He went on to say that, yes, his friend had been very depressed lately. I said, "Did he just not show up for work one day?" He told me that his friend worked from home. "If his car is in the garage downstairs, he’s in his apartment. He would never leave town without telling someone, never. This is just not like him."

We found the apartment and the man began knocking and calling out his friend’s name. No answer. The lights were off, except for the outside light by the door that always stays on for security reasons. It was a spooky situation for me. Part of me didn’t want the man to answer the door. What would his demeanor be? Would he be drugged? Angry? Holding a weapon?

I left the man at the door and went out to the front of the complex, looking for the security guard, of course, to no avail. Then I called J on her phone and told her to ask no questions. "I’m dropping the dogs off and leaving immediately. There’s a guy out here who needs help." I went to our building, dropped off the dogs and went up another floor to our manager’s door. I pounded on the door, yelling, "It’s me. It’s an emergency." Her dogs barked and barked, but she didn’t come to the door. I was pretty mad at her and then I thought, "Well, maybe she’s not home." So I went back down to the parking garage. Her truck was there, but then I thought maybe she went somewhere in her husband’s car, so I cooled off about it.

When I made it back to the man’s apartment, his friend was standing one door over to the left. "I had the wrong apartment," he said. The railing was on the left side when you’re facing the door. So he started knocking again. I told the guy that in the office was an extension ladder that would reach. I know this because it’s what they used to rescue me from the balcony several years ago. (See previous balcony lockout story for a laugh) The two of us were making so much noise on the cat walk that a lady from the first floor came out in her bathrobe and looked up at us.

"What’s going on up there?" she asked. So I explained the situation. "I have the security guard’s phone number," she replied. How in the world did she have the security guard’s phone number when I just found out last week that we even had a security guard? We have been living here five years and I hadn’t seen him until last week for the first time.

I called the security guard and he came up. I finally left him with the worried friend as they were going to go down to the parking garage and search for the car. I didn’t want to appear nosy and I really didn’t want to be there when they opened the door.

The next morning when I walked my dogs, I walked over where the man said it would be. The car. Chills ran through my body and I STILL can’t walk past that car. For privacy reasons, I am not mentioning the make or model.

On Friday, I finally found out what happened. They did find the man, dead in his apartment, apparently from diverticulitis. Don’t fool around with it if you have it. They didn’t go in until the following morning because the law states that you can only do a wellness check if you have permission from a family member or someone on the In Case of Emergency (ICE) list, which in this case was an ex-wife. It's a good thing, too, because he actually still had the wrong door. Had they broken in, the worried friend could have been sued by the tenants living there.

They had to get the fire department to come out because when he died, he landed against the bathroom door and they couldn’t open it. The daughter was supposed to come get the dead man’s car, but it is now Tuesday, and the car is still there.

I am telling you this story for several reasons:

1) If you suspect you have diverticulitis, see a doctor. Don’t let it go on without being checked. Flare ups are commons.

2) It bothers me that they couldn’t go in until the next day. He had passed about 48 hours prior, but what if, just what if he had fallen ill just a few hours prior? Could his life have been saved? I found out that if you are elderly or ill or don’t have a family or just plain want them to, you can sign something giving them permission to go into your place sooner without notifying someone first.

3) Check up on people more often who you know are ill or depressed. This could have very well been a suicide based on what his friend said of his friend’s demeanor.

I pray for this man’s family and friends. I know they miss him dearly. I hope this message helps someone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ebola and Other Downers

Ebola has come to Texas. J has to travel to Dallas soon, and I'm trying not to worry about it. Why are people being allowed into this country every day from countries where Ebola is killing people? Why were/are the Dallas patients not being flown to specialized facilities when doctors from across the border were and were saved?

Tomorrow my family is moving my almost 98-yr-old grandmother to assisted living. We have been dreading this day, but she's taking it pretty well. It's hard to part with material things that mean a lot to a person. Handmade furniture crafted by my grandfather, his rocking chair. Things, memories. She's probably crying and screaming on the inside, but she hasn't put up much of a fuss to our faces, which we were expecting. We moved her a few months ago from one apartment complex to another, which was a mistake. I didn't play a role in that move at all, but this time I have got to step it up. Went Sunday and my brother, mother and I packed, while my dad and grandmother supervised.

My dad is not in good health right now, having contracted pseudamonas (sp) after his rotator cuff surgery. No one can explain how he contracted it but it's kicking his 74-yr-old butt. The twice daily infusions give him nausea and loss of appetite. He's lost 14 lbs; my mom has lost 16. She's got low grade leukemia, and has been running him to daily infusions, infectous disease dr. and surgeon for going on a month now. And they're supposed to leave soon on a three-week cruise. Not sure that's going to happen because he hasn't even started PT yet.

I will be left "in charge" of grandma, have signed a medical power of attorney for her. I'm grateful that she will be in an assisted living facility now. Peace of mind.

Monday, September 8, 2014

They love each other

Who knew having two dogs could be so much fun. They are actually getting along. Now if we could just get Finn to go into the room where the potty pads are, we could leave him out 24/7.

Finn is so cute. Each time we step off the elevator, he turns to the right and admires himself in the mirror in the lobby.

On the way back from our morning walk today, I kept hearing click, click, click on the floor of the parking garage. Then it would stop and then start again. Finn had a rock in his mouth about the size of a quarter. He would drop or spit it out and it would bounce, and then he would go pick it up and repeat.

Got a lot of writing done this weekend despite the two women behind me in the library talking loudly about the ancestry of the Carter family. After 20 minutes or so of listening to the researcher's questions, I abandoned my novel and worked on my outline and checked the consistency of dates, etc. I estimate I only have about three more full chapters to write before I can really start tying everything up and editing. What does that mean?

It means I need to come up with some dinero for self-publishing. Not looking forward to that part of it. I'm looking forward to the book publishing party and celebrating a project completed. There probably won't really be a signing as it will probably be an e-book, but you never know. I just want it done so I can move on with my next one. Thought I had a new title but did a web search and there is already a book by that name. Ugh.

Enjoyed Unity yesterday and lunch with some new friends. Picked up our framed autographed Wicked posters. Boy, did that ever cost a lot. Will post a photo of our Wicked wall once everything is hung up.

I hope you are all having a great Monday. Don't forget to visit my other blog at .


Friday, August 29, 2014

A Wild Pitch

Things have been progressing slowwwwwly with my novel. If you want to visit my Facebook page please go here. I can definitely use the motivation.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a workshop given by a new thought publisher for an extremely discounted price. The last hour of the workshop was a time for people in the audience to pitch their books. There were about one hundred people in attendance, about 80 raised their hands to pitch. We were given a form to fill out beforehand: title, genre, audience, plot, why you're the best person to write this book, yada yada yada. The hardest part of all in writing this novel has been deciding on its genre.

Earlier in the day, he gave us an assignment. Go to a book store and find the shelf where your book would be located. I had no idea where it would go. It's a novel including many subjects: coming of age, child abuse, near death experience, OCD, Galveston history, 1970's trivia, and spirituality. I have always been told it couldn't go under Christian fiction (Christianity has now been taken out since I am into New Thought) because of the foul language and child abuse. It couldn't go under historical fiction or young adult because of the foul language and people might feel spirituality was being crammed down their throats.

Only eight people were chosen to pitch. The first three people who pitched obviously knew who their audience was, and the publisher kept pushing, "Who do you think will get the most out of your book?"

My plan was to raise my hand, not too high and not with too much enthusiasm, waving my hand wildly like the woman on the third row. "If it's meant to be, he'll pick me. If not, I'll just go home and keep going." Wouldn't you know it? The publisher announced, "I see someone in an SWT T-Shirt (he lives 30 minutes from San Marcos). I pick you." Yep, it was me.

So I stood up and spoke into the microphone, literally shaking so much that the microphone was bouncing around and hit my lips. So I stated my title, plot of the novel, and then like an idiot I said (yes, I really did), "Who do I think will get the most out of my book - survivors of sexual abuse."

BIG GASP BY THE AUDIENCE - Major.Fail.On.My.Part. It was not what I meant to say - I had scratched out what I meant to say. Another moment of second guessing myself and not trusting my instinct.

So he responded first by saying, "I can tell that the subject of this book means a great deal to you." Many "aws" could be heard from the audience now. Then he asked, "By show of hands, how many of you think this book will be read by survivors of sexual abuse?" I don't think a single person raised their hand. I wanted to crawl under the chair, after I threw up first, of course.

So I said into the microphone with as much confidence as possible. "That's the problem I've been having. I can't figure out my audience. This character is not me." I repeated it, "This character is not me."

He said that my novel would be considered a coming of age story. At first, I was disappointed with this answer, considering it an insult. But then I googled popular coming of age stories, and I have read many of them. People of all ages have read them. Many have been best sellers and on college reading lists. I don't want to be a famous writer and make a lot of money, but I would like someone to at least read it and get something from it.

The other thing he said about my book is that he doesn't like the title Reverse Skate because the meaning is too deep. Unless I make the protagonist a professional roller skater or put a lot more references to skating in the book, the title should be changed. Several times during the workshop, he mentioned the term "drowning your darlings", taking things out of your manuscript that you don't want to let go of. My title is my darling. I can't imagine a different title, so I am still pondering what to do.

That night, I went home and uploaded his one and only novel onto my Kindle. I didn't care for a lot of it, and I felt like he was trying to cram a belief down his readers' throats, something he stressed for us not to do. I'm wondering if he suggested that AFTER his novel was published because he felt like he made a mistake or if he just doesn't take his on advice. There were also many things about his novel I would have changed, especially some of the cheesy dialogue.

So while I learned a lot from this man, I still feel like I am writing this novel for me, not for an audience. Writing is not going to be my profession, so I can take the liberty of writing the way I want and giving my writing the title I want. If I sell enough to cover the publishing and marketing costs and help someone in the process, then it has been worth it.

And if you find lots of typos in this post, I apologize profusely. It's hard to balance a laptop and a dog on your lap while being on potty watch (making sure the new puppy doesn't pee anywhere) at the same time.


Grandma's Beautiful Smile

I wanted to give you a couple more links of mine. One is the link to Grandma's Beautiful Smile on Facebook. I created that page in honor of my grandmother who died last summer. It's a place where people can post photos and memories of their grandmothers. Check it out here.

Ups and Downs

This week has definitely been a week of ups and downs, hopes and dreams have been played with, teased and then taken away. Seems like we never get a break around here.

Unity or "New Thought" has taught me that we must move forward in life. We have to take what we have and make something of it. Only we can do that.  Here's a song they sung at Unity last Sunday that really touched me. I need to be reminded to live in the moment; this song is so true.

Since January I have been trying to cultivate a life outside of these four walls. I've joined a crochet group which meets every other Saturday and a yuppie restaurant in town. When you think of a crochet group, you probably think of a bunch of old ladies sitting around a table, needles clacking, gossiping about their children and neighbors, complaining about the food and their aches and pains. It's nothing like that at all. The women are amazing. They are of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds We have even had some children. There are about 20 in attendance each time, so many that we have requested one complete side of the restaurant in the back for next time.  The organizer of the group was hit by a truck from behind while riding a bicycle in her 20's and she incurred brain damage. Crocheting was suggested by her occupational therapist. She makes some of the most amazing creations you have ever seen.

One of the things I love about the group is that they work on a group blanket. Someone takes it home each time and crochets one skein; then brings it back. When completed, it is given to a hospital in our city. A lot of the women crochet chemo caps and catheter bags, also.  Here is a photo of my main project, the Lord's Prayer, done in filet crochet. I have been working on it since February. It will be about six-feet tall when completed.

Here are some dog sweaters that I made recently when I get bored with this large project:

I've also been going to the library twice a month on Saturday mornings to work on my novel. I'm calling it a "Write-In", even though I'm the only one who shows up. I'm hoping someone will join me one day.

I've also joined the choir at Unity and we rock, we really do.

This weekend we will be in the final stages of our spring cleaning in the summer, just in time for fall. Ha ha. The office is the only room we have left. We have now sent over ten bags to Goodwill, three boxes to Half Price Books, and one box to Movie Exchange. Now we will feel comfortable enough to start having people over again. Our first guest is set to arrive on September 20th.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

I am now on You Tube

Here's my first video on You Tube where I will be discussing OCD, so if you know anyone with OCD, please give them the link. Thanks.

Monday, August 25, 2014


We welcomed Finn, f/k/a Willie, into our home this week. His sister's name was Wonka. She was adopted first. Finn is a distemper survivor. He found his bed immediately when we walked into the apartment and went right to it.

He and Callie are getting along well. We were worried he would not submit to her, but he does. His head bobble is very pronounced when he is nervous. His hinds legs are weak, but once he gets up and stretches, he's ready to roll. He is not able to jump onto the furniture yet, but his back legs are getting stronger, as evident from him now lifting his leg to do his business. Jumping up on the couch is probably in his near future. Only one accident so far in four days, so we shall see about that. He will stay in the kitchen during the day until we are confident he knows what the puppy pads are for in case we can't get home in time.

Both dogs have enjoyed spending time on the balcony. We have never let Callie out there before because of my balcony incident. It's now cleaned off of dirt and debris. We put a potty patch out there, but so far, neither dog understands what to do with it. Would be extremely helpful until I get home to walk them or in case of thunderstorm, which is sure to happen during hurricane season.

Here's a good shot of his facial features:

Namaste to all,

Friday, August 15, 2014

Confrontation at the 99 Cent Store

If you know me at all, I do not like confrontations of any kind. I will do almost anything to avoid one. Our restrooms are being remodeled on the 9th floor, and the doctor doesn't want me to use the stairs because I have an ankle spur. Rather than get rude looks from people like I was getting when I took the elevator up or down one floor (Lady, why don't you take the stairs kind of looks), I sometimes take the elevator down to the 2nd floor. That's how much I hate confrontations.

But last week I had had a terrible day. I hardly ever go into our 99 Cent Store here because it's filthy. The one in my grandmother's town is much better. I had to have a disposable mop (you know, the one that's still in its wrapper leaning up against my bathroom wall with the door closed so Callie won't tear into it.) I was already angry because I had just been at Walmart looking for a specific kind of mop, which, of course, they didn't have. I grabbed the cheapest one I could find - $1.42 or something like that on the sign. Stood in line FOREVER, only for the damned thing to ring up at $4 and something. I was pissed. It was hot outside. And I was parked a mile away. Did I mention my foot hurts?

So I went into the 99 Cent Store (I had to drive right by it anyway) and got a cart in case they had something else I wanted, like puppy pads, which they didn't. My blood pressure went up the moment I walked in. The whole place was disgusting. Crap all over the place, food and God knows what else stuck to the floor. Old spills on the floor, counters and gondolas. I owned a clean store for 9 years - it just upset me so much. People were buying food there, not just canned food but produce, people. The whole time I'm going to the back of the store, I'm getting angrier and angrier. There's just no excuse for that. People shouldn't have to shop or work in such an environment.

So I throw the damned mop into my cart, with the handle down in the bottom of the cart and the head of the mop sticking slightly out the front. I had folded the child seat up. Stood in line for a long time, which gave me more time to see the dirt, dust and grime on the counters at the checkout. The conveyor belt at the checkout was so grimy, that I just held the mop while I checked out.

Now, there's a man standing directly inside the front door of the store. I said, "Excuse me." He didn't move. So rather than yell at him to move, I went around him to the left as he turned towards my cart. I didn't hit him with the mop; never even came close. Okay, the CART did come kind of close to him, but the mop did not. I walked around him, and heard him say in a rude manner, "Well, you could have at LEAST said 'excuse me"!" I replied, "I DID say 'excuse me'." I was seething inside because all I wanted to do was get in my car and go home.

He said, "Well, you need to speak up!" I started walking out the door, and for some reason - I don't know why. Maybe it was his attitude, the heat, the disgustingly filthy surroundings - I said, "Well, maybe you shouldn't STAND in front of the entrance, then!"

We took it outside, and he kept going on and on about how he was just standing there, waiting for his wife when I come barreling through with a mop sticking out (which it was not) and telling me, "You should speak up like you're doing now!" Telling me how to talk and push a mop in a cart.

I finally let him have the last word. Well, I did have the last word; he just couldn't hear it. So I got in my car and my OCD kicked in. I never did see his wife; I was so focused on him. But all the way down the street - which is one of the busiest and dangerous 6-lane streets in the city of Houston - I kept thinking, "He's following me home." I checked my rear view mirror until I had to turn left, about 5 stoplights down. When I turned, there was only one car behind me, and it had a Dominoes Pizza sign on top of it. It finally turned and there was nothing in my rear view mirror, so I calmed down a bit. Then I went home, called my friend V and cried.

I don't handle confrontations well, which explains why I haven't had the nerve to confront my boss about that raise he mentioned a few months back. I don't like his attitude when I bring it up and I am not interested in defending myself when he's the one who brought it up in the first place.

Everyone have a great weekend. I'm going to work on my novel tomorrow for a few hours and then go visit my grandmother.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

My Links

As my novel gets closer to completion, I wanted to remind you of my link. Here is the Facebook page for the book:

Reverse Skate

And here is the link to my OCD Blog - Around and Around

Hope your day is going great!



I wanted to share a few photos with you from the past year. Here's a photo of my soon-to-be 98-yr-old grandmother with my niece A2. The umbrella was a gift to my grandma from Thailand from my brother, who is A2's daddy. We had just moved my grandma into her new, larger apartment. She is almost blind but is still not in assisted living. We had so many problems with the place that we almost moved her back to her old place. She turned us down, however, because moving is very stressful to her. Not to mention that she would be living in her friend's old apartment who had just passed away, since grandma's old apartment had already been rented.

Here's a recent photo of me and J at the Vicki Lawrence show.

Here's a recent photo of K21. She is trying to change from red back to blonde. She now has a steady boyfriend and starts working at Starbucks on Monday while taking a math class. She will miss working at the theatre so much, but they were working her too hard with little pay.

Here's a photo of my attempt at painting at Pinot's Palette. Am wondering if you have places like this where you are where you paint and drink wine. Took K24 there for her birthday and she loved it. This is me without make-up. ACK! Below is a photo of K24 getting started with her painting.

Below is the outside of the beach house I rented in June for a writing sabbatical. Just me and Callie and the beach for three days. No problems with the neighbors until the last morning. The man across the street got quite upset when I was walking Callie in the empty lot. I showed him the poop bag in my pocket and assured him I would pick up after her. It wasn't his lot; the city owns it.

I got quite a bit of writing done on my novel and lots of inspiration. The ocean is a very soothing place to me, but I respect it since I almost drowned near there when I was 7.  There was a hot tub on the back deck. The bed was EXTREMELY comfortable. Would love to go back, but if we get another dog it would be a lot harder. Took me five trips up the stairs to get everything I needed into the house. The photo below it shows my writing area. The stained glass window is from a church. The house was built in 1913. The photo below that is Callie laying in the sun saying, "I want to move to the beach!"

Here's a photo of what I look like at work with my reading glasses on.

Here I am at Wicked in San Antonio and showing off my key chain and necklace. I accidentally ran over my necklace last week with my drink cart at work. :( It's not fixable. We also walked away with a poster signed by the cast. Proceeds went to the A.I.D.S. Foundation and a $20 program. Unfortunately, Jennifer DiNoia wasn't performing that night because she was getting ready for her wedding. Alyssa Fox was "okay" but not my favorite.

Well, that's all for now.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Vicki Lawrence

We had tickets to see Vicki Lawrence/Mama's show in Galveston Saturday night. We were on the third row and she was hilarious. Here's a video of the Mama Rap that she performed. It looks sideways, but it went turn when you click. Enjoy!


Have you ever taken a good hard look at your life and decided it's time to simplify things? Well, we did.

A couple of weeks ago, we decided it was time to get our apartment in order. Stress seems to snowball when you are constantly looking for things and moving one pile of things to another place. All you do is create more piles of things you never use 1) because you don't need them or 2) you didn't know they were there.

We started by creating a list of everything we wished we could change in our apartment from repairs being done by the maintenance man to expensive purchases. We *ed items we knew needed to be or could be done, i.e. afforded first. I'm happy to say we have crossed out about one -third of our original list.

The first week we were gung ho; the maintenance man was not. We purchased new pillows for our couch to match the blue in J's new recliner.

There are two more on the other end and one on her recliner. We got these at Garden Ridge for half price.

We also purchased new placemats, napkins and napkin rings with the goal of keeping things OFF our kitchen table and eating there more often together as a couple.

To help keep from dumping keys and mail on the table, we purchased a mail/key holder for $9.99.

InterDesign® Wall Mount Mail & Key Rack in Bronze
Not too pretty, but functional. We also purchased an over-the-door holder for my shoes to keep my shoes away from Callie (she has learned how to open our closet door.) $19.99

Real Simple® 24-Pocket Over Door Shoe Organizer

We also purchased a shower curtain. liner and rug to update J's bathroom. Here is a similar shower curtain:
Tranquil Stripe Seaglass and White Shower Curtain
And here is the bath mat:
Avanti Antigua Bath Rug
Her theme has always been ocean/shells, so these match her accessories nicely. I want a Wizard of Oz bathroom (I know, how childish of me), but am having trouble finding accessories I want. I don't need a shower curtain, and that's really about all they have other than some ugly bath mats.

We also had J's shell lamp re-wired (again, destroyed by Callie). I'll try to get a photo of that sometime. We need a new kitchen table as we can't stand ours. It's tall, and the chairs are more like bar stools. Two of them have broken and besides, they put your legs to sleep before you've even finished playing a round of Rummicube.

We have also been cleaning out closets and have made several trips to the Goodwill Donation Center down the street. We sorted CDs and DVDs. Some went to a resale shop; some are being downloaded on J's Ipod and then will be sold.

We have high hopes to frame and hang some photos and autographs soon. I like having projects to work on with J. It's exciting. I think she's excited about it, too.

Meanwhile, in all my spare time, I'm still working on my novel and crocheting a 6-foot tall Lord's Prayer

So as you can see, we've been extremely busy. Hopefully, I can add blogging to my list of things I'm doing. Two or three days this week already. Yippee! Until next time.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

This could have been me seven years ago. I'm so glad it's not. R.I.P. Robin Williams