Friday, October 7, 2011

One More thing about Flip Flops

They used to be called thongs.  A story I have been told by my parents was about a pair of thongs.  I must have been very small as I cannot recall this on my own.  They had bought me a new pair and apparently I loved them.  I wore them all day and that night I insisted on wearing them to bed.  As I would fall asleep, my feet would relax, and they slipped off.  I woke each time and cried until they were put back on my feet.  What patient parents I have!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Flip Flops

Flip flops are on my mind.  I have an orange pair of rubbery flip flops that I wear around the house.  Have had them going on three years and they are in pretty good shape.  That, of course, is a matter of opinion.  But, hey, they match my swimsuit.  This past week I bought a leather pair for $52!

Why?, you ask, would I purchase such an expensive pair?  Well, this past summer, and maybe even before that, my eldest son, John, said I needed new ones.  Mind you, he cares not that they are in pretty good shape.  He thinks the orange is too much.  Too much what, I don't know.

So, a year or so ago, my daughter and I were at Target shopping.  She needed shoes and found a pair.  I was admiring the leather flip flops and she saw and bought them for me.  I thought, great!  New flip flops and leather to boot!  So, this pair in my mind should serve to hush John.  He has seen me wear them and he approves but, I don't.  They are heavy, too heavy to wear comfortably.  I feel like they are dragging me down.

Back to my children and their flip flop advice.  Grant is no help as he wears the rubbery kind until there are holes, then he buys the exact same kind again.  Jen is a flip flop guru of sorts just like John and she's a girl of the female persuasion like me so that is actually helpful.  But I digress.  She tells me of a brand that is leather and at the flip flop shop at the mall.  John has also been touting the leather.  Alas!  They are expensive, $52 expensive.  So, I linger in my orange rubbery pair a while longer.  John sees me in them and I am chastised again.  I promise I don't wear them outside of my home any longer and he shakes his head in dismay.

Last week I am in Dallas for a conference with my BFF, Jill.  The hotel we are staying at is inside the Galleria mall.  We decide after dinner one night, in the mall, that we will shop.  I had spied the Flip Flop Shop (actual name of the store) that morning and thought I might as well take a gander at those expensive leather ones again.  With Jill at my side, maybe I would be brave enough to actually make the purchase.  The rest is history.  I purchased them and am trying to break them in.

They are lighter and will eventually conform to my feet or so I am told.  Ater the flip flop purchase we head over to Jill's passion, Teavana, a tea store extraordinaire.  She has $100 worth of tea to prove it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

September and Laundry

Finally, it is September in North Texas!  We have had 70 days of 3 digit temps here this year.  The record was 68 days and we broke it earlier this week.  I think it was about 64 this morning.  It is now 84 this afternoon.

The newlyweds were home last weekend.  They brought all their laundry.  Some things never change.  Kids doing their laundry at our house has been the norm around here until these two got married and moved away.  One weekend back and laundry was moving and grooving all day Saturday.

Our poor old washer broke down about 3 weeks before.  The repairs cost more than a new washer, so the new washer was broken in last Saturday by the all day washing marathon the newlyweds put it through.  Amazing to me it was.  Three very full baskets of dirty clothes arrived and three baskets full of neatly folded clothing, towels, etc. left Monday morning headed back to Little Rock.

Well, we enjoyed them muchly.  We owed them a little money from wedding deposits they had made on our behalf so we purchased a washer/dryer set for them this week.  It arrives Monday next week.  They will probably not need to bring home their laundry any longer.  Another thing that ends when you have an empty nest.

I must say that my laundry can be done now in half a Saturday.  Between hubby working at home and 2 kids gone within the last year and a half, it has been a breeze to complete the laundry so much more quickly.  And yes, while they lived here I did their laundry.  Oh, they did their own as well, but hey if I was doing mine, why not pitch in and do theirs too?  It's what us mothers do.  Getting laundry done must be therapeutic for me.  It feels really great to get it all done for the week ahead.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


So, to continue the story of Jill, here are a few things we discovered that still blows my mind.  She was back in Euless briefly for junior high but a different junior high than I attended.  Her oldest, a son, lives in Hurst near us with his wife and twins.  Her husband was born and raised in Simi Valley, CA where we lived for 3 years and had our first child.  She and her husband now live in Tacoma, WA just 3 or 4 miles from where we lived in Steilacoom for one year way back when my husband re-joined the Army.  She and her family had lived in Oklahoma for years (just hours from her son and me) and just recently sold that house to her daughter and family.  She met her Army husband in Germany while she was a senior in high school.  They married right after her graduation.  She has a boy and two girls, all older than our kids if I remember right.

We probably were in Simi Valley at the same time at some point since her in-laws still lived there when we did.  She said they visited a lot back then.  They have both since passed away.  No doubt she comes into our area very often via DFW Airport to see her grandbabies in Hurst and her daughter in Oklahoma who now has a boy, another grandbaby to visit.

And then we are in the same field.  She is the guru for Pierce County Library Sytem in Washington and is in charge of all things Polaris.  I am in a single building library but I am also in charge of Polaris.

I think what is most interesting is that God knew all this but our paths never crossed where it was logical, Simi Valley, for instance or Hurst, Texas.  He made it so that there was no other way to explain our meeting but Him.  Syracuse, New York?  Who would have thought?  God had ordained this meeting so that all honor, praise and glory was given to Him where it belongs.  And we do give it all to Him!

Back to the meeting in Syracuse.  I left for the airport that Saturday afternoon and Jill stayed on for some additional training the next week with Polaris.  We had exchanged email addresses and Monday morning one of us wrote the other.  Don't remember who wrote to who.  But I do remember that we were still discovering so many things about each other that she was quite emotional.  At one point she said to me, "Becky, I have to quit doing this until I get home cause the trainer can see me crying and he thinks something is wrong."  Or something to that effect.

As we continued to communicate, we just would get overwhelmed with how unlikely it was that we would ever meet again, much less in the circumstances we did.  She told our story on a local radio station and I called in our "friend" story on a Christian station here.  It just amazes us still how God works.  He must have had a lot of fun getting us back together.

So now when we go to PUG, we share a room and stay up every night for hours talking.  We still have so much in common, like military husbands, grown children, and grandchildren.  We have empty nests now to commisserate over.  This year the meeting is in Dallas.  I think I will room with her at the hotel so we can talk late into the night.  She will spend one night with us in Hurst and actually visit the twins and their parents for a while too.  She is making a week of it.  God is good, all the time!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Childhood Friends

I had a lot of childhood friends.  It seems as I got older I brought home strays.  There are two of these in particular I remember.  One was Frankie (a girl) and one was Nancy.  These two were the unlovely, poor kids.  I found them in elementary school around 5th-6th grades. Nancy lived in our neighborhood if I recall and would come over to play. Frankie was a foster child if my memory is correct.  I only knew them for a short time and never saw them again.  Since we were not close, I don't think about them a lot.  The reason I remember them is their poor family situations and that theirs was so different from my own.

Then there were the friends from church.  My best friend in high school was Liz.  I found her at church when we were probably 4 or 5 years old.  We remain good friends today but in high school we were very close.  I had other friends from church too.  There are a few I stay in touch with via Facebook.

Then there were two friends I met in my younger elementary days and for whatever reasons they both moved away.  Martha and her family moved after 3rd grade.  Our mothers were friends from church and the neighborhood so we stayed in contact over the years off and on.  She was at my wedding.  I lost contact with her after that and have not been able to locate her though I have tried in years past.  Jill and her family moved away after 2nd grade to Guam as her father worked for the military.  We wrote letters for a while just like I did with Martha for a while.  Then we lost touch and I guess sometime in 3rd or 4th grade there were no more letters to and/or from Jill.

Over the years I have thought about Jill a lot.  My thoughts have been mostly about where she is and if she knew Jesus.  Martha knew Jesus and no doubt we will catch up in heaven if we don't see each other before.  But with Jill, I had no idea.  Honestly, I cannot remember when we first met, if it was 1st or 2nd grade but I know she moved away after 2nd grade.  So as I say, over the years I have wondered about where she is and what she is doing and mostly if she knew Jesus.  And to that end, I prayed for her when I thought of her.

Fast forward to 2002.  I work at a library with the computers.  We use Polaris, an ILS (Integrated Library System) for our checking in/out, etc.  My boss and I go to Syracuse, New York that October to check out the possibility of putting together a user group for the software.  We are there when Polaris Users Group (PUG) is formed.  The group meets annually in Syracuse and now in a different location every other year.  For 2 or 3 years after that my boss went alone.  She then became pregnant with twins and I took her place and I think it was either 2005 or 2006 while the meeting was still held exclusively in Syracuse.  I have not been there for at least 2 years and so I discover there are many new faces.  

The meetings/conference lasts from Thursday to Saturday at the hotel where we stay.  So most attendees are in one location.  On Thursday one lady in particular caught my eye as she seemed very knowledgeable about Polaris.  I thought to myself that day that I should get to know her better.  You know where this is going, right? 

By Saturday morning I had not seen her again.  I came to breakfast at the hotel and sat with some acquaintances.  There is just a half day left before I can head home.  Suddenly the lady I had wanted to meet shows up next to me and asks if she can sit with us.  I tell her of course and we get to talking.  Our name badges indicate our first names boldly, our last names smaller and our library under that.  She begins asking how long I have worked in Euless.  I tell her I also live there and have most of my life.  She says she went to elementary school there.  I ask which one and pretty quickly we divulge our maiden names and are in complete awe that we are Jill and Becky, best friends from 2nd grade.

As we are talking we decide we will attend the rest of the day together and try to catch up.  Nearly impossible after 38 years!  We both tried not to cry and from my point of view, it was quite cool that we found each other after so long.  Definitely a God thing as far as I was concerned.  Apparently, it was a pretty big step of faith for Jill.  She had felt isolated and alone for a while in her spiritual walk (thank you, Jesus she knows you) and let me know right away that she was pretty much obeying God when she asked to sit with us.  She is so glad she did and we are both blessed that she did. 

This is already so long, I will begin another entry to tell you the rest of the story.


Friday, July 29, 2011

One Week Done

Well, not really.  The newlyweds have only been gone for two days.  But the week before that they were on their honeymoon, so it feels like one week is complete.  They are settling in nicely.  I got three texts this morning with pictures of the apartment.  They have done a really nice job decorating.  Purchased a couch this morning.  Coffee table and end tables are on the schedule for tonight.

They live in northwest Little Rock.  On the third floor, their choice. To eliminate noise overhead from upstair neighbors.  So I asked if the couch was delivered.  It was not.  They had a "little workout".  But as my mother said, "they're young."

Jen was interviewed yesterday afternoon for an outpatient clinic job at Arkansas Children's Hospital.  She felt really good about how it went.  She is in the running as one of the top three candidates for the job.  Prayers for all that to go as God intends.  Kyle begins his August rotation on Sunday.  Praying that goes well for him.

On the homefront, I am doing fine so far.  Dad is not so good.  A little emotional about the baby girl being married off especially since she is not nearby.  However, he is in no way unhappy about her choices.  Kyle was meant for Jen and Jen was meant for Kyle.  God has seen to it that they found each other in His time.  It has been great to see.  Looking forward to seeing them grow as a couple, a new family.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Less Than Two Weeks

I have not posted in a while.  Much too busy to think about it.  But I realized today that my blog's name, Almost Empty Nester, will no longer be true in less than two weeks.  Our youngest child and only daughter, Jennifer, will be getting married July 17th.  This is Wednesday, July 6th, so she marries a week from Sunday.  We are very excited for her and Kyle.  They have both sought God first and found each other in His timing.

Jennifer is very happy and very excited.  She and Kyle will be honeymooning and then return to Texas briefly before making their first home in Little Rock.  They are both anxious to get there and begin their life together.  We are very excited for them as well. 

But then the other day, Jennifer asked me if I was going to be okay.  I said I would but admitted to her there are times I get teary-eyed thinking about this new chapter in our lives.  I will miss her tremendously, especially since she will not be nearby.

So now I will have to change my blog title to Empty Nester.  Somebody remind me to do that after the wedding!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Horse Incident

I cannot tell you when this happened, but there was a horse incident.  I was in elementary school, at least 3rd or 4th grade, probably.  A good friend from church, Diana, asked me to spend the night at her house on Vine St. in south Euless.  We did not go to school together, just Sunday School.  Anyway, at the time, at the end of Vine was some street, Pipeline? maybe.  Don't know but there was pasture there with horses owned by an older couple from church.  Apparently, Diana, her sister Donna, and their friends were allowed to play on the property as long as the couple knew they were there.

Much to my dismay, Mother had me pack shorts and sandals for the overnight instead of jeans and tennis shoes.  I was definitely prissy looking and uncomfortable in the sandals.  We got up Saturday morning with the intention of playing in this pasture at the end of her street.  I was in shorts and sandals!  We walked there and the fence was what you think of on a ranch, wooden with three rails between the posts.  So we just slithered between the rails as we were skinny little things.  On the property was a wagon, I guess like the bottom of a buckboard wagon with real wagon wheels.  We had been playing around it or near it or something when the horses on the property wandered near.

I had, at this point in my life, zero experience with horses which means I was terrified of them.  I don't remember verbatim what was said but we ran to the wagon from where we were playing and climbed aboard for safety so the horse wouldn't get me.  At this point there is only one horse hanging around.  Well, I am ready to get out of there.  I would guess it was around fifty yards or so back to the fence from the wagon with one tree between the wagon and the fence.  While the horse is not paying attention to us, we run for the fence.  But we scramble up the tree for some reason.  Safety is what my head is thinking.  Now I can climb the tree, no problem but I am wearing sandals!!  And because I am in sandals I cannot seem to get higher in the tree than the lowest branch.  My feet are sweaty and sliding around in the sandals and I am scared out of my wits.

Then the horse parks his hind end right beneath the branch I am trying to stay on with sweaty slippery sandals on my feet. I am squatting on the branch in the sandals looking down at the horse when one of us notices a hornet land on the horse's hind end just beneath my feet!!

Pretty sure I am crying by now and scared to death that if the hornet bites him, he will buck and kick me out of that tree.  Had I dangled my feet, I could have stood on the horse's rump as he was that close!  We decide to jump and hightail it to the fence before that can happen.  And so we did and made it through the fence and walked back to Diana's house.  My feet were all nasty with a bit of pasture dirt and sweat.  I remember great relief to be on solid ground and out of that pasture.  Probably still crying, too.  However, I was not invited back to Diana's for a sleepover.  I was too much of a scaredy-cat, I guess.  We remained friends and I keep up with her on Facebook.  Wonder if she remembers the horse incident?

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Neighborhood

My memories of the neighborhood are all jumbled up.  I have no idea of the time frames of these events or everyday occurrences.  Before we got a fence put in, I recall telling all the kids, even older kids than me, to stay out of my yard.  I was pretty bossy about it, as I recall. 

I was a tomboy through and through.  I climbed trees, wore blue jeans, and dug in the dirt a lot.  Mother says she would have to sneak my jeans to the laundry as I would wear them every day.  I hated wearing shorts and sandals and being prissy.  To this day, I love a pair of blue jeans and a tee shirt.  I am all about comfort.

There was a kid that lived behind us named Brent.  He and my brother Timmy and I would play "Big Valley" like the TV show.  He was always Victoria.  Go figure.  Timmy and I had the run of the backyard and we had a swingset and Brent had a swingset so we ran between the yards playing "Big Valley" on the swingsets.  Not sure why we did that but I remember the two swingsets being a part of our play.  One day, Brent got a brand new puppy.  We ran to his patio door to see the puppy.  I picked it up to carry down to our patio to show Moma.  The puppy had diarrhea down my shin on the journey.  Pretty sure I cried all the way home after dropping the puppy.  That is a yucky memory.

Across the street from us lived an elderly couple named Freeman.  They had no children so they adopted all the neighborhood kids.  They passed out popcorn and would have a backyard party at their house complete with watermelon, two of my favorites.  There is at least one picture they took of all us kids in their backyard.  In the 1960's that was a lot of kids!  Must have been 20 or more!

Down the street from us lived the Jacksons.  Cathy was my age, Georgann was right between Timmy and me, and George was Timmy's age.  I became fast buddies with Georgann, not Cathy.  Fine with me.  She was good friends with their next door neighbor, Jodi.  Jodi was older and cool.  She knew all the latest stuff, fashionwise, I am sure.  Georgann and I loved going to each other's houses for lunch.  I preferred her house because there would be fruit with sandwiches and chips.  I can't remember why that was better than home, but to me, it was.  We spent the night at each other's houses too.  I remember building a tent in her bedroom and playing records on her record player.  We mostly listened to Glen Campbell.  We both had crushes on him.

One year I got a bicycle for Christmas.  Daddy put the handlebars on backwards.  There is a picture of that somewhere.  Anyway, I remember riding my bike all over the neighborhood, literally.  I did two things after school, read and ride my bike.  I think riding my bike was how I stayed so slim.  It was great exercise.  Now I read all the time, which does not help you stay slim.

As I got older, I wanted a 10-speed.  If I remember it right, Daddy offered to get me one if I would earn half the money.  I think that was how I got my 10-speed.  I earned half of the cost myself.  Then I flew on my 10-speed all over the neighborhood every day.

Timmy and I rode our bikes to school and we sometimes walked to school.  I always felt responsible for him.  Good times!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

1963-the Year I Turned 5

After the move in June of '63, I don't remember much until the weekend of my 5th birthday.  My birthday is November 24th.  So, now you know how old I am!  Anyway, the TV was on 24/7 because John F. Kennedy was shot on Friday the 22nd.  I just remember it being very somber around the house, but I was going to be 5!

Daddy worked in downtown Dallas and had seen the presidential motorcade from  a downtown street corner, probably near Pearl or Elm street.  He says, "We were given permission to leave the office in order to see better.  I remember seeing the backs of their heads as they went by ( Connally & Kennedy)."  He did not see the assassination.  Momma had the television on that day and I just remember her continuing to do the laundry but not saying much at all.  There are pictures of my birthday party but I really don't remember much about it. 

The day of the funeral for the slain president was another solemn day and one of television being on all day.  I don't know what day it was.

Mother tells me that I thought when I turned five, I would have arrived!  I would say that I can do this or that when I'm five.  When she told me no to a request, my response was that I could when I'm five.

Friday, February 4, 2011


In 1963, we moved from Haltom City to Euless in North Texas.  Do you remember when you first had memories?  Between ages 2 and 4, my memories are still a bit sketchy but once we moved to Euless in June of 1963, I could recall more and more.

The memory of the move I have is of driving in my Granddaddy Taylor's pickup truck. He was my mother's father.  He was driving, I was in the middle, and my Dad was in the passenger seat.  Back then, a 4 year old could climb all over the car without restraint since there were no seat belt laws.  So, I would turn around onto my knees and look at our stuff in the bed of the pickup.  We were driving down what is known now as Highway 10, a little one lane road that took us to our new neighborhood in Euless.  My interest was mainly in my kitchen riding back there.  I had a cardboard kitchen with a sink, stove, oven, and refrigerator.  It was pink and yellow.  While I was watching, the little pink plastic sink flew out of the truck onto the side of the road.  I may have yelled or cried but I know I told my daddy what happened.  Not sure who convinced my Granddaddy, but he stopped and my daddy walked back to where the sink lay and got it for me.

The new house was on a block with no other homes around it at first.  Our front and back yards were dirt, no grass.  There were no fences either.  At some point, a small bulldozer fixed our backyard so there were two levels to the yard.  We watched out the patio door as it moved the dirt around.  Not sure of the time frame at all, but eventually houses were built around us, grass came in, and sometime after I started to elementary school, we got a cyclone fence put in.

Timmy and I got our own bedrooms at the new house.  My room was gigantic!  I had my twin bed on one wall and my kitchen on the opposite wall.  I had a built-in vanity that I was too small to appreciate then but later it was really cool.  My bedroom was in the front of the house, Timmy's in the middle of the hall, and our parents' bedroom was at the back of the house.  We had a formal living room with nothing in it because we didn't have that kind of furniture.

My parents added on to the house later, so it is hard for me to recall exactly how it looked when I was little.  But it was a big move for us to be in the middle of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Daddy worked in downtown Dallas so it made a lot of sense to move to Euless.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

More Early Memories

The other memories I have from before age 5 are mostly about a house on Katrine in Haltom City.  I remember a lot of random things about that house. The part of the street it was on was near an intersection that was a triangle.  It had a cyclone fence that I played Barbies through with a girl next door.  There was a sidewalk in front of the house and I think my mother and I would walk next door on occasion.  We walked to the triangle area too.  The front porch was small with about five steps.  The posts were iron railing with scrolling leaves or something on them.

Inside the house, I remember the hardwood flooring throughout the house.  I remember the hall closet because there was a clothing barrel in there with my toys in it.  I would jump up with my stomach on the edge and lean down into the barrel to retrieve my stuffed tiger.  If you know me at all, you know I love the big cats and the little cats.  The tiger was my favorite stuffed animal.  It was smallish and yellow with black stripes like a real tiger!  After my little brother, Timmy, came along we shared a bedroom with twin beds.  My picture in my head of that room is the doorway from the hall.  You could see in there and see the twin beds.  They had wooden headboards in a light color varnish.  That is my memory, not sure how accurate the description is.

There is a memory from that time frame that is a story told by my parents. Saying that to say I am not certain I remember the incident or if I remember the story my folks tell.  It was summertime, I think, and we had relatives or close friends over but I don't recall who.  Mom, Dad, and the guests were inside playing 42 or something.  Timmy and I were either in bed or just playing in our room.  Apparently there was a scream outside coming from across the street.  All the adults went out on the front porch to see what the commotion was all about.  Not sure if someone at our house or a neighbor called, but the police were called.  911 was not dialed, as that did not exist.  You actually had to call the police station.  Anyway, the story went that a teenage girl and a friend had staged a pretend kidnapping at a car across the street.  The girl was admonished by the police that this was not funny at all.  She was trying to get some attention from her parents I guess.  Anyway, I remember this as a highlight of our time at the house on Katrine.  We lived there until June of 1963.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Earliest Memory

Picture in your mind a stark white room with very bright lights.  That room is my earliest memory.  I was lying on a table and the lights were in my eyes.  My parents were in the room and so was a man in a white outfit.  He put a tissue over my eyes and told me he was taking a picture.  That is all I remember.

My parents tell me what happened that day.  This part is not my memory but theirs.  It was a Sunday morning and I was 2 years old.  My parents bed was next to a window and I was jumping on it.  Then I fell and hit my forehead on the window sill.  Apparently I bled a lot.  So they took me to the emergency room. I got a butterfly type bandage, no stitches for the tiny cut in the middle of my forehead just below the hairline.  The scar is still there but you have to be looking for it to see it.

So, just a few years ago I asked my mother about that picture they took.  I told her what I remembered about the tissue and the man placing it over my eyes.  I wanted to know where it was.  Did she have it?  I don't remember her exact words, but no she did not have that picture.  That was an x-ray, not an actual picture.  I was, I don't know the word I'm looking for here, but I was upset that the picture didn't exist!  Wounded or mortified?  One of those words.  How dare them!  Not my parents but the doctors.

That memory is so vivid that I truly believed there was a picture somewhere I had not seen.  Between 2 and 4 years of age, I have no vivid memories like this at all.  The trauma must have somehow caused me to remember that incident above all else.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Memories and Writing

My sister and I were chatting on FaceBook one night quite a while ago and our chat was about writing books.  I have always dreamed of being a writer and actually have a few ideas so we were just chatting about writing.  We thought we might collaborate on a book one day, came up with a name or two to write under combining our names.  At the same time, I was also chatting with my eldest son.  He asked what his aunt and I were chatting about and when I told him, he said he did not know I wanted to write. And he said he probably did not know some other things about his mother.

So, somewhere down the road, he mentioned that I should write about my life for my kids.  He had become interested in some of our family history at that time and had done a bit of research so he was in that frame of mind.  Now I have been telling stories about our family and myself for years and thought my stories were infamous.  But I digress.  So, I credit this longing to put my stories in writing to my son.  He then began writing a blog about his life as the dad of a toddler which inspired me to begin writing my blog again.  I had begun this blog as a library study but just went ahead and continued here on the same blog.  I renamed it and here we are.

Since my son mentioned that I should write it all down, I have done a lot of thinking.  I questioned myself on how I would write.  Use a word processing app?  Use this blog, that can be published as a book?  Where would I start?  My first memory?  Do I know what that is?  What do I remember?  I decided to at least begin writing here and see where it takes me.

I have been leaving names off here in the interest of security and privacy but if I am to write my memories, names will be important.  So I will be using first names only as I write.  With all of this foundation set in my head, I think I can start.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pets We Have Had

In thinking about our family, I think about our pets.  We have had many and I will try to remember them all.  When we first married and lived in Arlington, we got a cat named Leo.  He was an orange tabby.  When we moved out of state for the military, we handed him off to sister.  He was a wild one and a neighbor lady had him carted off to the pound - sad day.

When our second son was a toddler, we got Ginger.  She was a shetland sheepdog also known as a sheltie.  She was an outside dog and very protective of the kids.  She died at age 13.

Before Ginger died, I got a hankering for Siberian huskies.  So I set out to find one.  Located a female, red and white with blue eyes.  No papers, but she was a beautiful dog.  Then one day, she attacked Ginger over a chicken nugget and freaked us all out.  Casey had to go.  And so she was sold to someone with no other dogs.

Before Ginger got too old, we got Zack.  He was originally named Pork Chop, I think, but our daughter fell in love with him at a family reunion.  He was free and a mutt.  Poodle, shihtzu mix or something.  He is still living and is 15 years old.  He has cataracts and hearing loss, very weak now.

Our oldest son, at some point, decided he wanted a dog of his own.  When a fireman was giving away a rat terrier, he or maybe I, decided to take her.  She is a paranoid little thing and is still with us.  She is going on 10 years old.  Our son never bonded with this dog, didn't like her much.  Our second son did.  He couldn't take her with him when he got married so we still have her.

In between all the dogs, I got rabbits from the same family reunion location, and killed them both.  The first one ran around the house eating dead roaches and got poisoned.  The second one died out in the weather overnight one night, it may have froze to death.  But I can't remember their names.  Somewhere in there we buried a couple of hamsters and a guinea pig.

Then my daughter got her dad a cat right before she left for college.  She knew we both enjoyed cats so a high school chum's brother had brought one home and his mother wouldn't allow it so that's how we got Riley, a beautiful cat that is part Maine coon, according to the vet.  He is multi-colored.  He pretty much only loves my husband.  He takes to all the males in the family and is finally warming up to our daughter now that she has been home a while.

Then I thought Riley needed a companion so the guy that cuts my hair was giving away kittens and I took one.  He is a black cat named Ty.  Very loving and snuggly.  Since Riley didn't take to me and is not a lap cat by any means, I needed Ty.  He is my cat.  Sits in my lap all the time and sleeps at the foot of our bed every night.

We did get to have one more Siberian husky in the household for a brief time.  Our oldest son was given a female black and white, one blue eye, one brown eye husky by his soon to be wife.  She is still living and is almost 9 years old, I think.  Her name is Kiara, but they call her Kiki.  They also have a younger male husky named Koda.

Second son and his wife have a beagle named Lexie and a cat named Bella.  We sit for Bella from time to time.  Watched her while they honeymooned.

We have decided we are cat people, not dog people.  So, when the last two dogs pass away, no more dogs for us.  I think we will like having just cats.

Monday, January 17, 2011


My husband is well, many things to many people.  He has been a bivocational minister in the Baptist church for many years, meaning he is a part-time minister with a full-time job.

He has worked as a youth minister, education minister, and children's minister.  He has worked in the inner city, rural community, and the suburbs.  Only one church has been near where we live.

Due to full-time job responisbilities, he just resigned as children's minister at his most recent ministry job.  It was a most difficult decision for him.  The children boo-hooed and so did he.

That's the latest stuff.  Here's the early stuff.  We met at college and dated for about four months, then we got engaged and married eight months later.  He returned to the military after we had been married about six months.  He stayed in for four years and then we moved back home. 

At some point, he felt called to ministry and attended seminary.  He has two Masters in Christian Education and is a doctoral candidate.  He will try to finish that now that he will have a bit more time.

I think he is looking forward to our empty nest as much as I am, though he wishes sometimes that the kids were little again so he could hold them in his lap.  I told him that is what grandkids are for!  And, hopefully, there will be more of those sooner rather than later.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My (our) Kids

My husband and I have 3 kids.  They are all grown now.  The youngest, our daughter, still lives with us - hence the title of my blog.

Two boys and a girl.  Both boys are married, our daughter is getting married in July this year.

Our kids are wonderful kids and a blessing to be sure.  All have come to know Jesus as their Savior and all are trying their best to serve Him as we taught them.

Our oldest is married and the father of a 2 year old son, our grandson.  His family has been in flux the past year or so moving and dealing with marital separation.  They are on the mend now, but it has been a rough road for them.  We have, as a family, also struggled with their situation.  I question myself all the time about whether or not I handled myself in the right way for them.  Nevertheless, our son is being the husband and father he should be.  It is quite wonderful to see.  So proud of both he and his wife for trusting the Lord in all they are doing.  We continue to pray for the healing of their marriage and family.  

Our second son got married in January last year and just celebrated their first anniversary.  He is a great guy.  He is our miracle child that God gave us. As a 9 month old, he was diagnosed with cancer.  His right kidney was engulfed by what they call Wilm's tumor.  He went through 15 months of chemotherapy and some radiation right after surgery to remove the tumor.  He has had checkups throughout his life and is cancer free.  He lived with us right up to the day he married.  He just finished his bachelors degree in history with a minor in secondary education.  Very proud of him.  Looking forward to seeing how he and his wife take on the world.  She is a registered nurse.

Last but not least is our daughter.  She turns 24 this week. Wow!  Hard to believe.  She is marrying her "boo" this summer.  She is also a registered nurse.  She is funny, witty, and charming.  It has been a joy to have her living with us.  She got her BSN at Baylor University and lived away from home for four and a half years during that time, two and a half in Waco, and two years in Dallas at the nursing school.  Wedding planning in full swing!

We have had all three of our kids and a daughter-in-law and grandson living with us at some point or other all our lives.  But I believe that is about to end for real now that our daughter is getting married.  Once she marries, we will truly have an empty nest for the first time ever, completely and totally.

I have always prayed that God would grant us enough time on this earth to raise our children to adulthood, and to be growing, serving Christ followers.  I believe He has answered my prayers.

I have also told my mother for a few years now, ever since I saw the light at the end of this tunnel of raising kiddos, that I could not wait until they are all grown, gone and on their own.  I may live to regret those words just a bit.  I truly want them all to be out there and successful without us but pretty sure that now it is eminent, upon us, if you will, that sadness may creep in a bit.

Tearing up just thinking about it.  Ah, well, we will enjoy it once we get used to it.  The boys live nearby but sweetie daughter and her "boo" will be in another state for about a year while he finishes pharmacy school.  Such is life, and I am truly grateful to God for my life.  I am blessed beyond measure....

Friday, January 14, 2011


A very young me right after I started working at the library, circa 1996


Library's 10th anniversary in new building, circa 2006

2010, city's ice cream social

So, I wish I was still skinny as in the first pic.  I should always wear lipstick as in second pic cause it looks good. The third pic is pretty much how I look now.  Definitely need to start walking, dieting or something!

The Folks

Our folks are good Christian people and raised us to be good Christian people.  I call them Mother and Daddy or Mom and Dad, depends on what is going on.  My dad is retired from the federal government.  Mom was a stay at home mom until after I married.  She worked for a pharmacy and then a local pediatrician's office and quit when Dad retired.  They are busier now than when they worked!  Mom sits my grandson once a week and makes my brother's piano tuning appointments.  Dad takes care of his mother's finances (she is 96!) and my sibs tax returns.  Dad still plays softball.  I have lost track of how many teams he is on currently.  He plays in a seniors league.

They are active members of their Sunday School class.  They stay pretty busy.  They host 2 birthday get togethers each year and Thanksgiving every other year.  Our tradition for Christmas is to gather at their home on Christmas Eve. 

What else?  My dad has 2 brothers and 1 sister all younger.  His sister has 3 kids, all married with kids of their own.  One brother has 2 girls with kids and a grandkid.  His youngest brother has 2 boys, one about to get married in May.  His dad, my granddaddy passed away in April, 2001.   Mother has five siblings.  Two of her brothers have passed away, one nephew, and brother-in-law have also passed away.  She has a sister with 4 kids and tons of grandkids and great grandkids.  She has two brothers left and they each have one kid, neither are married.  My mother's parents passed away in 1977 and 1988, her dad, my granddaddy first, and then her mother, my nana.  Her brothers that have passed have 3 daughters between them. 

So, there is a lot of family! Our folks love the family stuff, getting together and visitin'.  I enjoy it too.

We, my family, use to live around the corner from our folks.  We moved less than a year ago to a neighboring city.  We were there for more than 19 years.  Sometimes I miss the ease of going through the gate in the backyard to their back door.  Especially when I need to "borrow a cup of sugar"!  I think Mom misses it too.  But I love our new home and visits are special.

Maybe I will get to my kids tomorrow...

Thursday, January 13, 2011


This is my grandson.  He loves watching cartoons.  He just turned 2 and his favorite movies are Cars and Bolt.  He also enjoys Lady and the Tramp and possibly Lion King.  This is at my house taken while he was watching Cars.  Just remembered I could post pictures on my blog.  So I did.  And this is currently my profile pic as well.

The Four of Us Memories

The four of us had a lot of good times growing up.  One thing we did was play Nerf ball on Saturday mornings.  Girls against boys, of course.  We threw a Nerf ball at each other, sisters trying to hit brothers and brothers trying to hit sisters.  The thing was we ran all over the house throwing this spongey orange ball at each other.  Jumping on and off the beds, and running, lots of running.  Don't remember how long it lasted but we laughed and played and had a great time.

Another thing the four of us did was spend Christmas eve in the same bedroom, my bedroom.  Sister and I got the bed.  Brothers got the floor with sleeping bags.  I think one year they argued and argued and got the bed that one time.  Sibs will have to verify that.  Anyway, it pretty much turned into a giggle fest.  We talked of bodily sounds a lot and the brothers could produce the sounds on command.  We would talk of incidents at school and family gatherings where the bodily sounds were particularly funny.  We would talk late into the night and giggle.  Dad would occasionally have to come in and tell us to get quiet.  Those are good memories!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Twins

My youngest brother and sister are twins.  She is 5 minutes older and for years lorded that fact over our brother.  Now, not so much.  They are in their mid-forties now and she doesn't want to be older anymore.  So many stories here to tell.  I only lived at home for their first 12 years, so some of the memories are from after I was married.

One memory that stands out is chicken pox.  I got it over Christmas break in 2nd grade.  Just younger brother got it two weeks later and the twins got it two weeks after that at age 6 months or so.  I was able to go back to school on time which was probably a great relief to my mother who dealt with chicken pox for 6 weeks!  I remember the itching, the baking soda baths, calamine lotion, and the fact that the twins got it so young.

Both brothers seemed to disappear after supper when it was their turn to do dishes.  If I remember correctly, one girl and one boy did the dishes every other night.  My sister and I both ended up doing the majority of the chore as both brothers needed the bathroom at the exact moment they were to help us with the dishes.  Boys....

Another memory is of twin brother and eye surgery.  My husband and I were in California, he on recruiting duty for the Army when Mother called to say he was to have eye surgery.  One of his eyes wandered because the muscle needed reattaching.  It may have been both eyes, that part I can't remember but I remember praying that he would come through it all right and that it would correct the problem.  One of his grade school pictures shows just how bad it had gotten.  It was indeed a success.  Amazing what a simple surgery can do!

Dr. Pepper wars!  When I would come home to visit and when we got out of the Army and lived with the folks for 6 weeks or so, I learned of the Dr. Pepper hoopla.  It seems that Dr. Pepper was purchased for the twins on a weekly basis.  They each were allowed so many but apparently brother took sister's when his ration ran out.  For all I know, she did the same to him.  It got to the fighting stage so someone, not sure who started it, would mark their initials on all the DP cans they were allowed for the week.  So all cans had either his or her initials.  Problem was, brother would still take sister's initialed cans.  This caused yelling and hollering at each other and denial, denial, denial on the part of the accused.  I suppose some of this may be exaggerated as I don't remember all the details.  Just know that occasionally at a family get together the Dr. Pepper wars are mentioned.

More tomorrow on Saturday morning Nerf ball and Christmas eve!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


So, on to my brothers.  One is two years younger and the other is nearly eight years younger.  My sister and youngest brother are twins.  That will be another day, another story. 

I fought with my two years younger brother all the time but never, that I can recall, with my youngest brother.  I could not tell you why we fought or what it was about.  I always felt so responsible for him when we were at school or even at church.  Older sister has to take care of younger brother.  Because obviously he could not take care of himself.  That was my thinking.  My mother never said to watch him or check on him or anything like that.  So it was my own brain telling me I was responsible for him.  No doubt that there were times I was responsible for him, like the day I picked him up from junior high in my car.  There were a couple of other kids from the neighborhood hitching a ride with me that day.  One was our preacher's daughter, same age as my brother.  And, of course, with brother and friends in the car, I get pulled over for speeding and get my first ticket.  I was so upset.  I am sure I picked he and his friends up many times but that is the only time I remember.  He is now an accomplished piano tuner with his own business.  He can do anything with a piano.  Repair, tune, refinish, fix anything on it kind of guy.  This job suits him very well.  He is a perfectionist.  He is also the builder of his own computers.  I don't think he has ever bought a computer from a company.  He has put all his personal computers together himself.

Youngest brother was how do I describe it?  He was like my baby doll.  I think I carried him around all over the house.  I don't remember ever fighting with him.  The only things that make sense for this are that he was not a sister and he was not just two years younger than me.  I think that is why we never fought.  He didn't come to my room and pester me like the other two.  Anyway, he is married now and father of two sons.  His eldest is in the Navy serving our country.  His youngest recently graduated high school.  His wife works for the school district.  They live a little farther away than the rest of us but we get to see them a few times each year.  He works for a financial company and is a manager.

In a day or two, I will talk about our folks and probably the twins and chicken pox.  Good, clean fun for the whole family!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Starting Over

Inspired by my son, I have decided to begin posting to this blog again. I changed the color scheme from green to watermelon. I will eventually change the name of the blog. It started as posts for a library reason. Now it will be geared toward family maybe or personal, not quite sure yet.

So here goes.

Starting with my sister. She is a school teacher with two girls and a wonderful hubby. Her oldest just turned 15 and her youngest is 10. Both lovely girls, my nieces. My sister and I have become very close over the last 2 years. Pretty much due to my daughter and an ex-boyfriend that my sister and brother-in-law introduced to my daughter.

We stay close because we communicate, no longer about my daughter's love life, but about everything. We are nearly 8 years apart. Some of my memories of growing up revolve around my sister. She and I, being the girls in the family, were allowed to have our own bedrooms. But that did not mean that we slept in our own bedrooms. She would, invariably, on stormy nights in North Texas find her way to my bed. Our parents' made her ask permission, of course. She usually had to wait on me to return from a date to ask. When I married at 20, she was 12 so as my husband and I got to the serious stage, she had to stay up later and later to get "permission" and eventually she just got in my bed anyway. She will tell you something entirely different to be sure as neither of us recall anything 100% correctly anymore.

Amazingly, as adults, we never fight. Pretty sure I fought with all my siblings growing up except my youngest brother. A story for another day. We do tend to call each other for advice or just to have someone hear what we are saying . Don't get me wrong, our husbands are both great guys ready to listen to our woes. But there is something about telling your sister what's going on that is a comfort.

Last night I was in bed late and couldn't sleep. She texted me about something and I told her I was in bed but not sleeping. She said the same was true for her last night. We said a couple silly things and ended with LOL!!