Sky High Beauty

March 31, 2011

Sky pictures from Oklahoma.

A Long Blink

March 30, 2011

They were sitting in the living room visiting.  The room was fairly dark except for indirect afternoon sunlight coming in through the windows.  He was sitting in front of the windows.  She was sitting on the sofa facing him, so he was backlit by the windows and his face was somewhat shadowed.

It had been a busy, fun but tiring week so she was thinking how nice a nap would feel.  But, gosh, they didn’t get to visit that often and he would be leaving tomorrow.  So, she decided napping would just have to wait until after he was gone.

They were discussing the Count of Monte Cristo — a book he was reading and recommending to her.  Even though she hadn’t read the book, she had seen two movies based on the book, so she was familiar with the main characters and plot.

All of a sudden she noticed he had stopped talking and was just looking at her.  So she said, “Well, it does sound like I would enjoy that book.”  And then she said she needed to go start preparations for supper, so they moved into the kitchen, where they continued to chat as she prepared supper.

Later, he mentioned to Dad that he thought maybe he and the kids had stayed one day too long.  When Dad asked what made him think that.  He said, “Mom fell asleep while I was talking to her this afternoon.”  He said this within Mom’s hearing and then gave her a little knowing smile.  Of course, she immediately denied the idea that she had fallen asleep (although she did remember that when she was talking to him, the light coming in from the windows made her eyes verrrry tired).  She asserted that actually she must have just closed her eyes to better picture the extra points of the story that were in the book but not in the movies.

Hummm, apparently her eyes had been closed too long for that boat to float.  He said, “Well, Mom if that’s the case, that couple minutes was the longest blink known to man.”  Then we all laughed.

The next day they were gone and I took a nap.  But I’m still glad I didn’t waste any of the time while they were here taking naps, notwithstanding that verrrrry long blink.




I phone, you phone, we all phone after getting a loan!

March 28, 2011

Reality check!  I just bought a new phone.  Cell phones have just gotten more and more expensive.  Unfortunately, you can’t hardly get “just a phone” any more.  And, truthfully, after my friend and neighbor, Belinda, showed me all the apps that she had on her i-phone a couple weeks ago, it kind of got me excited about having some of those abilities too.

So, I bit the bullet recently and bought a Droid.  As with most technology, I am only using a small percentage of the things the phone is capable of doing, but I am happy with it.

I like talking on a larger flat phone instead of the very small flip phone I had previously.

I am thrilled that I can now text mail — mainly because I can speak my text instead of having to type it on the very small key pad.  On the downside, I was contacted by my carrier a few days ago and was told that I had done enough texts in the couple weeks I’ve had the phone that I should buy a plan so that I wouldn’t have to pay 20 cents for every text.  So, I now have a five-dollar -a-month plan that will allow me to send 250 texts.  I just hope that’s enough. (Have I ever mentioned I have an addictive personality?)

I found an app called Memory Trainer.  I am enjoying “flexing” my memory “muscles” with it regularly.  And my success with these mental tests has convinced me that I am probably not early Alzheimer’s as I had begun to suspect.  That alone, is probably worth the cost of the phone!

And finally, the most valuable thing my new phone may be doing for me is preparing me for my next profession.  There is a game app called Bistro Cook.  On it you are a short-order cook filling orders which gradually increase in complexity as the orders also arrive at  an ever-increasing speed.

Did you ever see the I Love Lucy episode in which Lucy and Ethel had jobs in a candy factory and the assembly line they were working on kept going faster and faster?  Okay, then you’ve got a good idea of what this game is like.  But, unfortunately, I don’t have Ethel … or the cute hat.

Is that your cell phone I hear ringing?  You should go answer it … it’s probably a text from me.

“Yes God, with all my heart.”

March 27, 2011

When I’m concerned, worried or apprehensive about something, if I am very still I sometimes hear a clear voice in my head (and heart) that says, “Do you trust me?”

Whenever I remember that God is in control and that He loves me and my loved ones even more than we can love each other, my anxiety seems to melt away and is replaced by peace.

Of course, He asks the question already knowing the answer.  But He asks as a reminder.

And my answer is always the same, “Yes God, with all my heart.”

May your Sunday be blessed by His “peace which surpasses all understanding”.



Just like having dinner in a diner!

March 25, 2011

In the house my family lived in for the first nine years of my life, Daddy built a booth in a corner of the kitchen.  I remember that it was hinged at the wall so that when Mama needed to sweep under it, she could lift it up against the wall, sweep and then put it back down.  The seats were padded and covered in red Naugahyde.  I can still remember the kind of “plasticy” smell of the Naugahyde when I would lie down on the seat sometimes.

Martha Lou doing her homework in the booth.

Martha Lou, Jimmy, Daddy and me eating dinner.

When Daddy’s brother Uncle Jim lived with us for a while, my two oldest sisters were already out on their own, so the six of us fit in the booth for meals just fine.  I remember that Uncle Jim liked to stir the food on his plate all together before he ate it (or maybe he did that just to entertain me and tease Mama), but Mama wouldn’t let me do that with mine.  I also remember that Uncle Jim had a certain way of saying “One meat ball, pleeeeese.” (even when we weren’t having meatballs) that would always make me giggle.  He was such a fun-loving man.  I think my fondness for him may be the reason that I have always loved to laugh too.

I think I’m probably not alone in feeling that many of my best memories happened while my family sat around the kitchen table — or, in this case, in the kitchen booth!

Priceless Time

March 24, 2011

When I posted this picture a few days ago, I noticed something.

See the clock, partially hidden by things stacked in front of it, on the buffet by the kitchen door?

I now have that clock.

I remember Mama telling me that this clock was a wedding present.  I wonder who gave it to them? If you’ve read the story of my parent’s lunch-time marriage here, you know that there was no formal church wedding and almost certainly no wedding reception where gifts were given.  So, I would guess this was one of the few wedding presents they received.

I’m honored that the wedding clock now lives with us.  It still keeps excellent time while at the same time evoking memories that are priceless.

Breakin’ and Eatin’

March 21, 2011

Gunny, Nikki and Jay were here last week for their spring break.  Unfortunately, Dilly is the only one who doesn’t get a spring break, in fact that week is especially busy at the stores she manages, so it is even more important that she be there.

But, even though we missed Dilly, we were glad to get to spend some time with Gunny and the kids.  The guys did alot of shooting and Nikki and I did alot of shopping.  And we all, did alot of eating!

One of their first nights here, we had peanut butter pie.  They all really liked it, but especially Jay.  The way I know that is that he said, “Will you teach Nikki to make this?”  Ha ha.  I replied, “No, but I’ll teach both of you to make it.”

I decided we would make a pie for when Linda and Doug would be coming over.  One of my “student chefs” was enthusiastic and one was less interested in the “making” and more interested in the “eating”.  I think it’s pretty easy to tell which is which.

Nikki loves to cook, especially when it’s something that tastes so good!

Jay showed up, I think just to make sure Nikki was getting the job done.

But when his true commitment to the project was questioned by Nana, he made an effort to “help”.

Probably fortunately for the success of the project, Jay’s interest soon wandered and Nikki could get back to work without “help”.

Our plan was to save it for the next evening when Doug and Linda were going to come over to visit.  So when a complication arose and they couldn’t come until the next night, it meant the peanut butter pie had to remain untouched in the freezer for two days.  That took great restraint on the part of all of us.

But it was worth waiting for.  Nikki made an absolutely perfect peanut butter pie.

I told Jay that he had better start paying more attention to cooking, because there will probably come a time that he will live on his own and wish he knew how.  I said that I could picture him and Nikki both out of college and living in their own apartments and him calling her and saying, (in a pitiful voice, of course) “Can I come over to eat tonight?  I’m tired of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”

We all laughed at that picture, but I was only half-kidding. I believe it’s wise for everyone to know the basics of cooking and, of course, how to make peanut butter pie.

Friends Remembered from Long Ago

March 15, 2011

For the first nine years of my life I lived in Springfield, Missouri.  It just seemed normal at the time but I now realize it was a very idyllic life.  And the friends I made at Boyd School (which was still an elementary school looking very much the same as I remembered it when we saw it a few years ago) were ones I still remember well.  Why is it that I remember those faces and those names almost better than many that I have met during my adult life?

My friend Dana and I were Blue Birds.  She lived just down the block from the school, and her mother was our kindergarten teacher.  This was taken in about second grade, so I guess she and her mama didn’t hold a little misunderstanding on the first day we all met against me.

On our first day of kindergarten, when Mrs. D took us out to the playground for recess, I didn’t understand why we were putting on our jackets and going outside, i.e., the concept of a recess being a play break in the middle of school.  So, I thought it must be time to go home, meaning once we got to the playground, I just kept on walking and went home. (It was only a few blocks so I knew the way and it only took a few minutes.)

Mama was at home probably patting herself on the back that she had finally sent her last child to school.  She had proudly walked me there just a couple hours earlier so she was, of course, shocked to see me knocking at the door mid-morning (Hey, I was a little kid — I couldn’t open that big door by myself!).  And I, in turn, was shocked to see her shock and learn that I hadn’t, as I thought, already completed my first full half-day of kindergarten.  So Mama marched me back to school where recess was still going on and Mrs. D hadn’t had time to miss me.  I don’t remember hearing any conversation between her and Mrs. D, but Mama may have warned her that I was a slippery little devil and Mrs. D should keep a close eye on me, lest she “lose” me again.  That was one of my first school lessons learned — don’t go home until Mrs. D specifically says it’s time to go home.  This wasn’t a big deal back in those simpler times, but I’m sure Mrs. D was embarrassed that I had gotten away.

Some of the Blue Birds on a trip to the zoo.  I know it was on a Saturday because we would never have worn pants to school.  Blue Birds were to Camp Fire Girls what Brownies are to Girl Scouts.  There were two sets of twins in our group — Jan and Joan in the second row on the left, and Claudia and Clarissa who are the two in the middle in the front row.  I was always fascinated by twins.  I think partially because I didn’t have any siblings in my own age group, so having one exactly the same age seemed like it would be an instant, constant playmate!

We went to school together, had birthday parties together (This is some of the girls celebrating my 9th birthday) and many of us were Blue Birds together.

There is only one girl in this picture whose name I don’t remember — she’s second from the right.  It’s funny that I don’t remember anything about her, so I wonder if she was new to the class.  The others I remember first and last names — Betty H. (she wore hats most of the time and at the beginning of our first day of kindergarten she climbed under her desk and wouldn’t come out.  Obviously, that made a big impression on me since I still remember it happening all these years later), Paula S., me, I’m-sure-nice-girl-but-I-don’t-remember-her and Dana D.

Maybe I remember classmates so well because they were my first friends.  Friends are a blessing from God.  And the first of anything good is well worth remembering.

I’m so glad I took typing

March 9, 2011

Even though I insisted that I was going to go to college, Mama made the rule that  I had to take two years of typing and two years of shorthand anyway, “just in case”.  Smart Mama.

In order to get all the college prep courses as well as Mama’s business classes, I went to summer school every summer during high school.  (As did many of my friends — summer school was very popular then, not punitive as I think it is considered now.)  Well, I didn’t go to college, but because wise Mama had made me take those business classes, I was able to get a job and make a good living.

Hubby’s really glad he took typing too, even though at the time he considered it as just a “filler” class.  But not all guys took typing when we were in school.  After all, they weren’t going to be secretaries, so why would they ever need to know how to type?  Ha!  I would guess the majority of those guys at some point regretted that decision.

Back then, none of us could have ever guessed that there would come a time when practically everyone would need to know how to type (I guess called keyboarding now).

But those short-sighted guys who thumbed their noses at typing weren’t alone.  If all of us could have seen into the future, the Spanish classes would have been alot more popular too.

Drive ten blocks to save ten bucks?

March 7, 2011

We did!  Of course, there was no guarantee that was going to happen.  But when we got off the toll road yesterday badly needing gas and still a couple hours from home, the gas station right there at the exit advertised (proudly?) regular gas for $3.99.  Hubby said, “No way!  I’m sure we’ll come to another station soon, and if it’s $3.99 too then we’ll know that it’s just gone up that much today, and go ahead and pay it.  But I bet we can find it cheaper.”

Sure enough, about ten miles down the road we came to a station advertising $3.49.  We filled up and congratulated ourselves for saving $10.00.

I’ve always kind of thought it was funny how we all will shop around for our gas just to save a few cents per gallon.  But for the first time yesterday when this happened, I thought “Wow!  I’m glad we did shop around. That was worth it!”

I remember 20 cents a gallon gas when I was a teenager.  I was the only one in my group of friends who had a car, so they would sometimes pool their money and buy 50 cents worth of gas for my car so that we could “buzz” the popular drive-in restaurants in town.  And, just think, for that 20 cents a gallon, there was a filling station attendant (a part-time job for many high school boys) who pumped it for us, washed our windshield and checked our oil.  And, if he was cute, we would flirt with him too.  What a deal!