Tuesday, September 29, 2015

On My Reading List

Thought I would share a couple of books/authors that I have been reading lately.  This morning I had to spend about 30 minutes finishing a book that I just could not finish last night as the Sandman interrupted.  If you have not found the author Kristen Hannah I suggest you find her and soon.  Man she is good.  I started her latest, The Nightingale and kind of took my time getting into it but this weekend at about 43% through I could not put it down.  It's about the French Resistance basically and the women involved in helping during WWII.  Oh, absolutely heartbreaking and beautifully written.  I also recommend her book Winter Garden.  That one stayed with me for a long time as will this recent book.  A fantastic author.  

Another fav of mine is Elin Hilderbrand who wrote A Summer Affair which I loved.  I love the beach books and hers are much more than beach books.

So some of my favorite authors:

Stuart Woods - Chiefs and Palindrome (the early stuff, FANTASTIC)
Kristen Hannah
Elin Hilderbrand
Mary Kay Andrews
Julie Hyzy
Tatiana de Rosnay
Greg Iles
Chris Bohjalin
Harlan Coben

There, that should get you started!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Ramblin's

Good morning one and all.  It is a glorious morning and has been since 5 am.  I really am getting tired of the usual and would like NOT to get up that early.  Even the weekends aren't much better as I am rudely being jostled out of wonderful dreams by my bladder.  Plus little Clayton is of course wanting his breakfast at 5 am.  It's hard to nod back off then as the sun beckons me to GET UP!  This morning though it was dark, dark, dark.  

I've been a bit on the ill side for the past couple of weeks as The Hubby decided to share his cold with me.  Great, just great!  Yesterday though I think it has morphed into a sinus infection but not a bad one.  This has kept me from visiting Daddy as I do not want to make him sick.  I'm sure he is telling everyone I don't come and visit at all.  Since he fell and broke his hand I have to write his checks and pay his bills for him and I'm sure there are some to pay.  Hopefully this week I will get there.  

Yesterday I had The Hubby's family over to celebrate the sister-in-law's birthday, B's birthday, Snicklefritz's upcoming birthday and my mother-in-law's 88th birthday.  The plan was to make spaghetti but as I am puny and obligated to this shindig I opted for Oliver Garden takeout!  SCORE!  It was perfect with leftovers for lunch this week.  Clean up was easy and I was in bed early to get the rest I need to beat this crap in my head.  

My mind today is with my friend though.  One of my painting friends Linda and her husband James.  James' parents lived in Louisiana and were in horrible health shape so they moved them here to be close instead of driving to Louisiana every single weekend to deal with stuff.  They installed them in a wonderful retirement place but it was soon evident that his father was not on the good side in his mind.  They had him evaluated and sure enough, Alzheimer's. The evaluation process was a problem as it was at a different facility which did not treat him right (I smell a HUGE lawsuit) and now he is back in the assisted living but the poor guy sees things and is terrified and combative.  So this requires that James and Linda, at least one of them has to stay there 24/7 as they can calm him.  They are waiting for him to be placed in a more expert care facility to move him to.  It is so very sad and exhausting for them and I fear for their health now.  What do you do in a situation like that.  This past year and a half has been hell for them both and I hope they can be strong and hang in there.  Breaks my heart.  Alzheimer's is a horrid and evil disease.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Art Stuff

Just a bit of art stuff...

This is sweet Vera, B's 17 year old kitty.  She got Vera when she got out of college from a rescue group, Street Cats.  Vera is the sweetest cat and is having a lot of senior health issues now.  B2 took this photo while she had a brief time outside which she loves.  I love the photo and wanted to paint it.


Also did this a couple of weeks ago.  It's in San Miguel, Mexico.  Photo is by a friend that has a house there.  I loved it and wanted to paint and she said "YES."

See the map......next year we will cruise the boot (follow the yellow line) with friends.  Can't wait to get more photos to paint. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Granny In Awe

 That granddaughter, oh that granddaughter, I don't see her for a few days and I miss her terribly.  She is such a joy in our lives and I love her dearly.  

We got to play paint toenails last week.
Last week when I was watching her The Hubby wanted to take her out to lunch at this new cafe close to the shop called the Freeway Cafe.  The walls have shelves and shelves full of model cars and she and her granddad LOVE cars.  She plays with cars all the time and loves to buy them for her.  She was awed.  She had this HUGE plate of spaghetti which was pretty much left uneaten.  Mostly she ate my salad and one of the gigantic rolls they served. 
Later that afternoon B took her to visit Daddy (her GreatPaPa) and his cat Susie.  He was excited to see her and bought a special box of Fruit Loops (Brahams brand) to share with her and ice cream. 

Wednesday at the office she was so quiet after lunch that I thought we might get a nap but alas that was not to happen.  Right after her lunch she started looking at some of her books and spent an hour going through this story book, turning each page and studying them.   Monday we read several stories out of the book.  She loves to be read too.

Then she got this coloring book that has special markers and spent a good amount of time coloring in the lines.  Amazing for a nearly 3 year old to have that kind of focus.  We painted a bit too on Monday and she was amazingly focused on each and every stroke she make on her tiny canvas.  She will be wonderful in school. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Birthday Girl

 No, I'm not the birthday girl...it's my oldest B...
Today she is 36 years old.  I can't believe that I am that old or that she is that old.  Not that 36 is old or 59 for that matter but time certainly flies.  Just seems like yesterday she was a baby.  This girl has truly amazed me in her life path and I could not be more proud of her.  I love her to the moon and back. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Diet/Food/Fat HELL!

I've been thinking about this diet/food/fat thing a lot lately.  Well, really, it's ALWAYS on my mind and always has been.  The idea that I am basically obese is a thought that has been on the forefront of my thought process for years and frankly, I'm tired of it.  I can't seem to get started again on the exercise program and I do eat fairly well, but this idea has popped into my head and I have to share.  

You don't put a drug addict in charge of a pharmacy do you!

You don't put an alcoholic in charge of a liquor store do you!

THEN WHY IN THE HELL am I, a food addict, in charge of going to the grocery store, planning meals, cooking food, making my own choices!!!!!  WHY, WHY, WHY!  

I know you have to finally heal yourself from your addiction by staying away from the thing that makes you an addict then you can hopefully be around it in "social" situations, but with food.  Man, it is all around us, constantly bombarding our every sense.  Television commercials, billboards, fast food places on every single corner and street, it's everywhere.  

When I grocery shop I'm pretty good now, talking myself out of candy bars, cookies, chips, dips, just crap.  I actually talk to myself in the store.  I usually have a grocery list ready for the exact thing I need and I try NOT to go when I am hungry.  It's best when I have already eaten.  99% of the time I can get through the whole gauntlet of end caps and register temptations without buying that thing I should NOT have.  

The last time I was in my doctor's office he said it might be time to consider taking a pill like Belviq, which curbs appetite, and most of the prescription ones that is what they do.  I DON'T have a problem with that I have a problem with being a sedentary person most of the time.  Maybe I need to go to a hypnotist to put the suggestion to WANT to walk or exercise or get up off my ASS!  I need to find a group thing again that fits my needs.  Jazzercise for nearly 15 years, in a group setting was wonderful but my knee can't do that anymore.

I also do not want to take pills that could possibly have side effects. Years ago I did the Phen-Phen thing and luckily I did not get the heart damage that others did.

I've talked about this before, but when I was 11 I broke my leg very severely and it was at a time when kids are very active.  There was track, softball, baseball, basketball, riding bikes, etc.  I walked, yes I walked because that was the only way to get to school or my friends house that was halfway across town.  I hate to walk!  I used to ride bicycles when a kid, but now I'm afraid of falling off of the damn thing.  Hey, maybe I need an adult tricycle kind with three wheels.  Would love that but I also have to have the URGE to do it!  

The one thing I did love was swimming.  We had a pool two houses ago and man I loved swimming.  I was in that pool every single day in the summer.  It's wasn't big or deep but it was round and I could swim around it.  As kids we swam at the public pool or at the Boy Scout Ranch pool that was open to the public.  I had my Senior Life Saving patch and was an extremely strong swimmer.  That is probably what helped me when my brother and sister were involved in other sports.  I would love, LOVE to have another swimming pool but The Hubby says he would NEVER EVER have another pool again.  He hated cleaning it out and it was a vinyl liner pool that was a pain in the butt.  We have the perfect yard for a lap pool, if we took the huge oak tree out?!?  The next best thing is that I decided, just now, to check out the YWCA that I drive by every single day.  Our friends Beverly and Kelly do water aquacise there and that MIGHT be my option.  I have checked out the schedule and will look into that.  It also means I have GOT to get a new bathing suit.  EGAD!  The only problem with the schedule is that I watch Rio at that time.  Rats...

Hitting a few road blocks...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Monday Ramble

Definitely going to ramble today...hang on!

Sold 4 paintings since last weekend! SCORE!  Nice when that happens.

Daddy fell.  Yes, last Friday afternoon I guess he was taking some limbs to the curb and he said he slipped and fell.  Face planted on the drive and using his hand to break his fall, breaking his hand and busting it open.  CAT scan and stitches and a removable cast and he is good.  No surgery for the broken hand, THANK GOODNESS!  Sadly, I did not know about it because we were at the cabin and cell phone reception is bad so I usually turn my phone off.  I turned it on Monday morning to get the pictures and text message from my brother.  They spent hours till about 10:30 p.m. in the ER.  Bless all their hearts, including my sister-in-law who endured the time too.  I'm afraid we are going to have way too many times like this more often now.  He was more upset that he could not use his computer.  Really,   I feel bad that Bro has had to take the brunt of taking care of Daddy lately as I've been out of pocket and watching Rio.  She will be in school sometime and that can make it better.  

I had an incredible HANKERIN' for Momma's fried chicken last week so I busted out the cast iron skillet, one mine, one granny's.  I bought a whole chicken because I also wanted to cut it up myself.  Sadly I realized that my knives were very lacking so the next day I went out an bought a couple for the next chicken.  I cooked it just like Momma used to with salt, lots of black pepper, flour and oil.  She would cook it pretty hot and fast to get the color then turn the heat down and put a lid on it, soft crust fried chicken!  PERFECTION!  I also had mashed potatoes and gravy.  

The next night I wanted to try something new I saw on Facebook.  It was from MyRecipes.com and called Cajun-Style Shrimp and Grits.  OH MY GOSH they were so easy and so very good.  The only thing is I did NOT add the tasso ham.  
I was on a roll last week with cooking.  It felt good.  I love to cook but just don't have time to put into intense meals.

Brother-in-law is hurting and I wish I could help.  Had surgery and the results are not as expected and the places they went in are not healing.  He's on my mind.

Friday was National Wear Teal Day to increase awareness of Ovarian Cancer so I wore this shirt in remembrance of my friend Jamie who lost her battle a couple of months ago.  

Yesterday the niece spent the day in the ER because she apparently was bitten by a brown recluse spider in her bedroom!  Let me tell you she posted the picture on Facebook and it gave me nightmares.  Plus she posted that they had to put her IV in her neck because of her drug use caused her veins to be to small.  Luckily she is still clean but she is still having a ton of issues in her head and life.  She has lost yet another job and of course it is not her fault.  I so hope she can get her life together but I'm not too keen on helping her anymore because she has burned me a couple of times and you just don't know when she is telling the truth anymore.  Lying is just second nature to her and I don't even know if she can tell the difference.  So sad.

On a good note, I finished a couple of books I enjoyed, Still Foolin'  'Em by Billy Crystal and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.   

Also a couple of paintings finished:

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Garden Disaster

Yes, I said garden disaster because that is what happened this year.  Even though we needed the rain, it messed up most everyone's garden this year.  Last year my garden went gang-busters in the tomato department but this year we've hardly had a bud, except for cucumbers which love the rain.  
It started out really nice and my hands got all dirty for the cause, but produce abundance just didn't happen. 
(Don't you love the mirrors!  They are all around our fence.  The Hubby finds them at the flea market and they look great on the fence.)
It's nothing but lush green weeds and overgrown tomato plants with no tomatoes.  

Years ago when my first garden in our first home was huge probably 10x20 sq. feet. and I tilled the entire thing myself.  I had no idea about how to do it.  My mother was awesome in guiding me.  I read constantly and watched The Victory Garden.  
In fact, I became so enthused with gardening that when I finally got the chance to go to college my very first class was horticulture which I aced.  I was going to be a horticulturist.  Sadly, that was the only class I took for a few years as I had another baby and the business was booming.  I kept gardening but we then moved and the backyard we got had a pool and a tiny corner raised bed.  I continued gardening successfully in that little corner.  
Ten years later we moved again (we tend to move every 10 years and we are in our 4th house now right at 10 years there) but the yard had no appeal to me and I just got too busy to garden.  I epically failed in this yard.

We moved yet again after 10 years into the house we have but the yard did not lend itself to a "garden," and The Hubby was not about to let me dig in the middle of the yard where there was a maze of a sprinkler system.  That was a good thing, a sprinkler system as I got very tired of dragging hoses and watering.  On the downside of that is that if it is programmed the plants can be over-watered and add to the over abundance of rain this year, well, none of the produce as was last year (see pictures!!!)

This photo is of the son-in-law's previous garden, I reference this to show the TG&Y tiller we gave them to use.  It is circa 1979 and still running to this day!
Best laid intentions but not planted this year.
Sad that this is just about what I have this year, NOTHING but weeds.

Next year!!!!!

This blog post idea comes from the lovely Mama's Losin''  It! Go visit and read more!

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Oh my goodness, perfect timing I think.  Mama's Losin' It! blog post suggestions this week arrived in my email box and as I was reading them the very last one caught my eye and stabbed me in the gut: 

 6. What is sabotaging your plan to drop 5 pounds? (Actually for me 100 pounds)

Yup, really what I needed to think about since I haven't thought about losing weight in the last 5 minutes for the past 30 years or so!  

When I was a kiddo I really didn't have any issue with weight at all.  That didn't stop my bro and Daddy calling me fatso for some reason.  I expect it from a sibling, that's just kids but my Daddy, not sure why.  
I had the usual child plump but as I got into junior high and on I kept it down, I also didn't eat well or much.  

Watching what I eat started when I was in 6th grade when I broke my leg.  It was a hugely traumatic event in my life and being in a cast for nearly 6 months took a toll on my mobility and growth.  It was at a time when your body is moving and grooving and I didn't move or groove.
High school rolled around and I was definitely curvy but I also ate sporadically and not much.  I LOVED food but I didn't eat.  I lived on popcorn, Dr. Pepper, occasional cheddar cheese or Momma's fried chicken.  I also did 100 sit-ups every single night.
It worked but was not healthy.  
We didn't grow up with fast food at all, there just was not availability in our town at that time.  So when I met The Hubby he opened up my life to fast food and we ate at weird times.  That was the first time I had to have Tums because of the level of food we ate.  I don't want to blame it on him I blame it on fast food.  I was bitten by the fast food bug.  
I got caught up in fast food, Dr. Pepper, and Twinkies and Ding dongs (The Hubby liked them in his lunch, I just liked them.)  Chips, dip, Taco Bell, I was a mess.  That first year of marriage I started going to Weight Watchers.  We really couldn't afford to eat out so I learned to eat right at WW.  That was when you ate a can of dry tuna, a lot of tuna.  I lost about 20 pounds and looked great and felt great.
Then babies came and I had the old-fashioned thought, "I'm eating for two." Boy did I eat for two.  Back to the Twinkies and Taco Bell.  After the birth of  B I got right back to WW and also started to actively garden in the backyard,  I had a huge garden.  I tilled it myself with a TG&Y tiller (we still have) and the thing just about beat me up.  I got muscled up and was in the best shape I had ever been in.  I was so strong and looked great.  Baby #2 and I let myself go again.  Not as bad and I actually lost a good part of the baby weight, not all but a lot.  

I was not happy and so food became my go too.  We were in business by the time the first girl arrived and he was working 7 days a week 12 hours a day.  I was lonely.  We lived in a part of town where I knew NO ONE except my next door neighbor.  I was lonely.  I ate and my food-drug of choice was fast food, Taco Bell and McDonald's.  I also had a friend who ate and sympathized.  Sadly she passed away from a heart attack at the age of 49...EYE OPENING!
I did do Jazzercise for about 15 years every single day and then a trainer but as of last year I have stopped.  I am not self-motivating and I know that.  I am lazy, flat lazy and I LOVE food.  Over the years I've let my knee problems dictate the lack of exercise but I'm LAZY.  I don't know if I actually sabotage myself but if you want to call being lazy sabotage then there you go.  

Doesn't really help that to work out I have to do it the first thing in the morning and frankly I don't have time in the morning anymore.  I'm usually running to the office to watch Snicklefritz or to art class or just work.  By the end of the day I am pooped.  I still am getting up at 4:45 every single day but I am enjoying my early morning to read blogs, post, read Facebook and emails, or just wake up.  Now that age 60 is looming in my very near future I know I need to get it together, but there goes all my best laid plans.  I'm a good talker yet I SIT and do nothing.  

I have discovered something though.  Last month while I was getting my monthly massage and facial I got a B12 shot they were offering.  I remembered my mother-in-law talking about getting them when she was trying to raise three rough-n-tumble boys and needed the energy.  I thought, "Why not!" Let me tell you, I didn't necessarily notice the energy but my KNEE!  The swelling and heat from the inflammation had almost disappeared!  WHAT!  I'm taking the stairs in a different, getting into a standing position is a breeze.  WOW!  Will have another one today.  

So did I answer the question?  I think I did, my Laziness sabotages any attempts to lose weight.  

Monday, August 24, 2015


It was a huge SUCCESS!  We surprised The Hubby!  He fell for all the stories and we surprised him for his 60th birthday!

The place was PACKED with family and friends and when he walked in the door he actually thought he was attending a "benefit".  


He got to dance with B and little Snicklefritz!  A & N Facetimed so they could be included!  It was a WONDERFUL evening.