Saturday, January 28, 2017

Late Five-On-Friday: Needless Worry

I'm late for writing Five-On-Friday since it's Saturday, but I'm doing it anyway. Amy's blog party is open to join until Monday after all, so I don't think she'll mind. You can pop over and see what others are posting at Love Made My Home

One. Still Sorting Out: I'm taking 5 minutes to talk about sorting through our children's stuff and sometimes seeing what was there all along. During their growing up years, I had to limit the things I kept for my three daughters by putting the 'best' in a box for each of them, which they received when they were older. At that time, I found I couldn't part with the oldest daughter's handmade Kindergarten Christmas decorations and a paper from each of the younger girls, so I kept them for myself. I came across the two papers while cleaning out my desk. Looking back at their early writing styles, I'm amazed at what their writing tells about the adults the two youngest girls would become.

Two. Middle Daughter's first grade paper: When she was six, there didn't seem to be much hope for Middle Daughter when it came to spelling. I'm not showing this to embarrass her, but to give hope to all you other mothers of children who aren't natural spellers! 

Middle Daughter graduated college with a degree in English with University Honors, studying more the technical writing side of English. She writes highly technical documents, first with a major telecommunications company and then for the last three years with a large computer systems company. I am totally confused when she tries to explain the work to me. 

You can see below that even at six, she wrote in a no nonsense - just the facts - technical style.  See if you can read her first grade paper...Please note she did try to use punctuation though it's hard to tell if those are periods or commas. 

Three. Younger Daughter's Note To The Tooth Fairy: Younger Daughter graduated high school at 16 and went to Argentina (at that young age) as a foreign exchange student. I cried the whole time she was gone. She graduated college with a degree in English with writing honors for her poetry. Obviously, she tended toward the creative writing side of English while pursuing her degree.

As I understand it, her work now involves tracking projects, but she's able to use her creative writing skills to write publicity releases, reports and speeches for the president of the large company where she works. 

Around age six, when she didn't have her tooth to put under her pillow, she wrote the Tooth Fairy on card stock using both sides, with a pretty blue marker for flair and using no punctuation, but lots of creativity.

Four. Needless Worry:  I've always gotten quite a kick out of these two pieces of writing, and I truly cherish them. Somehow, until just recently, I never related their early writing style to the adult writers they've become. I do remember how much I despaired over Middle Daughter's lack of spelling skills when she was in first grade, and I see now it was all for naught! 

Truthfully, when I look back at my life I realize most of the worrying I did was useless. What will be, will be!

This is the saying I now try to live by:

"Worry Is Interest Paid On A Debt Not Yet Due"

Five. A Link, Dr Spock, And We 'C' Students:  While looking for inspiration on the web this week, I happened upon this post about how not all students should be A students. That post got me into all this thinking about life...and grades...and worry. 

It also made me think of the great baby specialist, Dr Benjamin Spock, who wrote the best-selling baby book of all time.
Benjamin Spock
Benjamin McLane Spock (1976).jpg
When a smart aleck news reporter tried to embarrass him about his less-than-stellar college grades, Dr Spock stated he got The Gentleman's C.  He said a grade of C showed a student cared enough to study, but still had time to learn about life. Dr Spock felt he wouldn't have been as successful in life if he had always been striving for the grade of A. 

Who knows which way we should go? Too much studying or too little? What I know for sure is that I could've used that Dr Spock reference to defend my own sad high school grades.

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Five On Friday: Red-Foiled Candy

Joining Amy this week for Five-On-Friday at Love Made My Home.

In the supermarkets this week the Valentine's Day candy is out and on full display. For the first time in 23 years, I didn't cry when I got my first glimpse of the red-foiled chocolate candy. That's what my five is about this week.

One: The Hospital  On January 18, 1994, my father called to tell me he was in the hospital.  I was at work in the same town as the hospital, so I left quickly to go see him and stopped at a market to buy a deck of cards on the way there. They were putting up a big Valentine's Day display in the store, so I bought a large bag of red-foil-wrapped chocolate pieces for him to share with the people who stopped by to see him. 

Two: How To Win  At the hospital, his two older sisters had just left and my father and I were alone. We both loved playing Black Jack, so we started a game. Since we didn't have many coins on us, we decided to use the Valentine's Day candy as betting "chips". We finally ended the game that night when he had all the candy pieces. It was late, so I headed home...and that became our ritual. 

Every afternoon after work I (an over-worked, 40-something divorced mother) went to the hospital after other family members left and played Black Jack with my dad until he (usually) won all the chocolate pieces, then I drove the 30 miles home to the town where I lived and got up the next day and did it all over again. I hope, when I was with him, that I didn't show all the pressure I was feeling. 

One night, when he had won my share of the red-foiled "chips" yet again, I said:
"Dad, sometimes people let their kids win a game or two!" 
And he replied:
" know...they're showing their kids how to lose.  I always tried to show you how to win."

Three: Diagnosis  After almost a week of nightly Black Jack, my father had exploratory surgery. I was by myself in the waiting room when the doctor came to say there was nothing they could do. Later, I sat in his room staring at the red-foil-wrapped chocolates while he slept.

Four: 6 Months  Dad went home with hospice soon after the diagnosis. A friend drove him to his doctor's office visit on Friday, February 4th. Dad walked into the doctor's office perfectly fine by himself. Dad called me that evening and we had a long, clear conversation. He told me the doctor said he had 6 months to live. We agreed I'd be over the next morning with my daughters and we would make plans.

The next morning at 9, my girls and I arrived at his house (about 45 miles from where we lived) while the hospice nurse was there. We found that my father had no idea who we were, could not walk without us supporting him, and would eat only if his granddaughters fed him...and then only pudding and mashed potatoes. Dad died in the hospital the next day, Sunday Feb 6th, probably the shortest 6 months on record. I believe he willed himself to die. He won.

Five: A Sweet Memory  Since I wasn't much of a match for his card playing skills, I wondered at the time if he was bored while playing cards with me in those last days of his life. After his death, at his memorial service, I mentioned this to his two sisters. My aunts looked at each other and smiled, then told me when he was in the hospital he asked them not to eat the red-foiled chocolates because he wanted as many "chips" as possible to make our games last longer.

I'm sharing this with you as Valentine's Day approaches because I hope when you see those red-foiled candy pieces this year, it will remind you to slow down and love someone a little bit harder, a little bit longer, a little bit better. That lifetime you see ahead could easily turn into just 6 months or maybe even just 2 little days.

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Laundry Room Signs

Here's a cute sign I spotted on our last road trip. I think it was in a Cracker Barrel restaurant, that Mecca of all things cute and crappy just waiting to catch a ride home with me. Sorry if the photo is a little fuzzy. I took it with my phone camera right after a carb-overload meal!

I would've bought it too if I didn't have that disease called I Think I Can Make Anything Even If I Can't Disease. That disease has saved me from quite a few purchases though but, honestly, my projects are piling up on me anyway!

This picture will join my Pinterest board so I can find it when I'm trying to remember how it was made. I'll bet you do that too, right? So much easier than actually making it...

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Five On Friday

I'm joining Amy at Love Made My Home for Five-On-Friday.  My five this week are from a road trip we took mid-December. 

One:  I'll start with the pretty. A bank of Poinsettias in a store put a smile on my face. I love them all bunched together.

Two:  The Illinois roads were very slippery the afternoon we left. Out in the middle of nowhere this poor guy was calmly standing by his overturned car calling for a tow truck. We stopped to see if he needed help, but he just waived us on. I still wonder how he got out of the car.

Three:  This is one of our wheel wells on the pick-up truck. When we got a little farther south, the ice that had collected started to melt. We could hear "clunks" as the pieces fell off in chunks. We were in a drive-thru waiting for our order, and it was a little embarrassing when big chunks dropped off all at one time.

Here's the wheel well after all the ice melted. In the southern states like Texas, the roads are sanded to reduce skidding. In Illinois, they salt the streets. That's salt residue on the side of the truck. We stopped at a car wash as soon as the temperature was high enough.
Car washes don't usually operate when the temperature is below a certain point. In Texas they close when the temperature is below 42 degrees. 

Four:  Speaking of the drive thru. This sign should be perplexing, but unfortunately it's not uncommon.

Five:  Lots of eye candy from a stop at the little downtown in Franklin Tennessee, just south of Nashville. 

But the only souvenir I brought home from the road trip was this T-shirt. 

Hope you'll stop by Amy's for Five-On-Friday and add your five to the party.

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Oswego Illinois And Hudson Design House

While visiting in Illinois during December, we took a trip to Oswego to see a store I follow on Facebook. The store, Hudson Design House, had a variety of vintage and new things available for sale.

Our plan was to travel down to Tennessee after our visit in Illinois. If we had been headed home, one of these china cabinets would've made its way into the bed of our pick-up truck. The prices were low, which made it very hard to pass up this grey one.

The old hotel advertisement sign hanging high on the wall was on my radar too.
And this old fashion bed...Wild Bill just doesn't share my love for old things...was indeed love at first sight.
Since it was early December, I was smitten with the animal heads, all things plaid, and of course all the Christmas decor. Their hand-painted signs and homestyle pillows were well made and adorable.

Oswego is a charming little town. If you're a fan of It's A Wonderful Life, you'll know what I mean when I say it reminded me of Bedford Falls. 
Before we left the little town, I talked Wild Bill into taking a drive around the streets near the old downtown. Bill thought I was looking at the pretty houses in the snow, which I was, but I was busy looking for "For Sale" signs too.

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Saturday Snow And Freezing In Texas

Well, it's down around 10 degrees here in NE Texas and the snow piled down on us all day yesterday and into the night.
Our house was built with a tankless water heater, which is in the attic above the garage. All the water pipes run through the attic and the pipe to our shower froze during the last big freezing snow storm in 2013.
It turned out to be no big deal...It just meant we couldn't shower for a few days until the weather warmed up. We did call the plumber first thing that morning (in a panic if I remember right) and he laughed and said "Just wait until the weather warms...I've got lots of customers who need me more!"

So not wanting to be without a shower this time, I turned the bathtub, which is next to the shower, to a really slow little drip. That's what they say to do, right? A slow drip will keep the pipes from freezing!

Feeling smug this morning, I turned off the drip and turned on the shower next to it...NOTHING! No water. The pipe to the shower was frozen! 
So be aware that if you are leaving a drip, make sure it's the last pipe in the system that drips. The bathtub is closest to the water source and then the shower is at the end of the line. Dripping the bathtub didn't keep the water moving at the very end in the pipe to the shower. DUH!

Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January's Dreams Of New Landscaping

How about you? Are you already dreaming of Spring planting like me? I'm not really a gardening-type person, but I do admire other peoples landscaping at this time of year.
My biggest landscaping dream is to remove some of the lawn on our corner lot and replace it with mulched beds. This landscaped bed at P F Chang's restaurant in Allen, Texas, tickled my fancy as my mother used to say.

All the lawns have gone dormant and are brown here in Texas this time of year. To me, this type of bed looks a lot better than brown lawn. I think this is 'the year' we'll replace some of that lawn, at least I hope so. 

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Blog Post You May NEED To Read

7 Life Lessons From A Man Who Can't Move Anything But His Face

I happened across a random post by Laurel Home on Pinterest titled The Best Blog Post You'll Ever Read. Coincidentally, Laurel's blog is on my blog list.

So of course I thought "yeah...right" because I'm always skeptical of anything with The Best... in the title. But halfway though the post, I was already creating a list of people who need to read this gem from a blogger who uses his mouth to write because he can't move anything else! 

If you read his post, it may change your may change your may change your life. Happy New Year!