Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I Keep My Calendar In My Head

In May of 2012 I wrote a blog about the sameness 
of my life every day--especially every morning.
Responsible for no one but myself and Charleigh-Girl,
I said I am not only on a fixed income,
I am on a fixed routine!

I groggily hoist myself out of bed.
I pad my way to the kitchen, with an already
perky C-G on my heels.
I open the kitchen window shutters, 
 grab a glass of water and start downing it.
I turn on the coffee maker.
I get the doggy food out and measure it
into her bowl, then try to get it to the floor
before she knocks it out of my hands.
I turn off the outside lights and the alarm.
Every morning.  Day after day.
Exactly the same.

Yesterday vividly showed me that I MUST 
add something to my routine.
Here's why...

I have lunch once a month with my FOLS.
(That's "Friends of Long Standing")
(In lieu of Old)
We meet at the Rose Garden Tea Room and
dine and visit for hours!

Yesterday was the day.  
We show up right at 11:30 and even have
"our" table reserved in a corner.
We've been doing this so long that we also
have "our" server, Juanita.

Juanita seemed confused when she saw me.
And Sandra (one of the FOLS) had not
reserved our table.
And it was so unusual for me to be first.
But...I sat down, got my Rose Garden tea
and began munching on the wonderful munchies.

After a few minutes, I texted Beverly and
asked her if they were paying me back for last month.
(I had forgotten last month and was actually
in the Milwaukee airport, delayed in my flight
 to New York on Southwest Airlines, when they called.)
I didn't hear from her, so what did I do?
I also texted Sandra and Barbara!

Well, well, well.
At some point--I don't know when,
I don't know how,
I realized that today could hardly, any way, possibly
be the first Tuesday in July!!!!!!!
Yes, that's when we meet.
The first Tuesday of the month. 
And ohhhh, how humiliating.
Juanita knew all along!!!

So, you ask, what am I changing in my morning routine?
I am adding a step.
"Look at your calendar, Linda!"
"Stop depending on your memory, Linda!"
"It's no good, Linda!"

And...remember...there's always always
something to be thankful for:

1.  I realized the error of my ways before Beverly
called me back.
2.  I don't mind eating alone.
3.  The special of the day--salmon croquettes--
was delicious.
4.  I had the munchies all to myself.

Gotta go.  Already forgot to check my calendar
this morning. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The State of the Lake Address

So many of you have been kind enough to inquire
how I am faring here on the banks of Lake Arlington.
I am blessedly free of flooding problems.

I personally have never seen the lake this high before.
It was even higher, I believe in 1990, but
Jack and I were in Atlanta, where he had a
problem job.
I believe several houses north of us did flood,
and our kids (or more likely Jack!) 
were beginning to talk of moving furniture to
our second floor.
Thank goodness that was not necessary.
The water never even got in our back yard.
Jay and Rob did put sandbags in front, as the
water was running at least curb deep on our street.

Because of that prior event, I was never really
concerned about my place flooding.
I didn't even have second thoughts about
having dropped my flood insurance!

So, thank you for all your concern.
I am blessed, grateful, more blessed, and more grateful!
And heart broken about the tragedies the
storms brought about.

I only had two very minor problems.
The first: pesky and difficult-to-find water leaks.
My poor Sam-of-all-trades has just about
stopped answering my calls!

The second:
People are pigs.
Yes, that's my second problem.
Let me show you.

This dock belongs to my neighbors, 
Scott and Coral Bradley,
and her picture shows the extent of the nastiness
better than mine.


There were hundreds of styrofoam and plastic cups,
bottles, even coolers.
Hmmm.  At least there wasn't a single tire this time!

even my minor irritation has a happy ending.
Much of the debris in that first picture is
behind the home of my neighbors,
 Heather and Myron Martinson.
When I got home from church today, 
they had become the lake clean-up squad.
When the water receded a bit, a ton of trash
was left on the rocks.
And that's about how much they gathered up
from their lake footage--
and that of this widow lady next door!

I took some pictures of their results, but
my computer has been "upgraded,"
which has set me back!
I can't find the pictures I took of the
four giant recycling bins from the
city of Rowlett, which Heather and Myron 
pulled from the lake, two of which they filled 
with debris, along with several
garbage bags.

Now we only need Joey Bradley to once again
work his magic and make all the tree limbs
and logs disappear!

P.S.  Be sure to click on my pictures so you
can get the whole nauseating effect
of what we were greeted with!



Saturday, May 23, 2015

"What's It All About, Alfie?"

"Is it just for the moment we live?
What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?"

So is it just for the moment we live?
Not for me.
But, do my actions bear out my belief?
Not always.
Does my heart?
Yes, I pray that it does, because
that's the part of me at which God looks.

At this age and stage in my life, this is a battlefield.
I've said that I want to be able to sign God's
name to the end of my day.
Too often, however, I see my name there.
I do too many things that furnish me only
momentary pleasure.
And too few things that store up treasure in heaven.

I find comfort in these words of the amazing
apostle Paul:
"I do not understand my own actions.
For I do not do what I want,
but I do the very thing I hate."
Romans 7:15

Oftentimes, I just fail to pick up the phone and
call someone who needs to hear from me.
I procrastinate and find excuses not to go visit
someone who is lonely.
Just in general, I fulfill my own needs first
when I have claimed,
"I am Third."
(God first, others second, myself third.)

Guess what I find brings the most true joy?
Definitely NOT living "just for the moment, Alfie!"

Something specific caused me to wax poetic
on this subject today.
Last night I went to Sam Houston High School
to hear their choirs in concert.
I had committed to being there, but--you guessed it--
at the last minute I was tempted to be lazy and selfish.
supporting these kids is a project
of the Fielder Church choir.
A project in which I wholeheartedly believe.
(And, it helped so much that Susan and Rob
offered to pick me up!)
So...I went, and
I whooped and hollered after every number!
What a simple way to add to my heavenly treasure.
Lovin' on these kids just with my presence
and enthusiasm.
And a hug from one of the darling choir
members on the way out made it very 
rewarding in the moment, too.

Everything I try to hold onto I will lose.
Only the things I give to God will be mine for eternity.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Speaking of Jeopardy!...

My VCR is set to record it daily.
I've always liked the show, but cousin Sarah is
actually the one responsible for adding it to my queue.
Even though she left, it stayed.

I don't know exactly why I like Jeopardy.
I guess it challenges my brain, but
those moments when I can come up with an answer
are few and far between.
Approximately once I have jumped
out of my recliner and shouted out the answer to
the "final Jeapordy" question when the
contestants did not know it!
I sure wish I could remember what it was, cause
I'm even suspicious of this myself!

I have discovered one thing from all my Jeopardy watching.
If any answer pops into your mind, you might 
as well give it a try.
Often, it will be right.  Well, maybe occasionally
might be more like it.
But...this brings us to Alex.
Heaven forbid that you are wrong.
Alex might just laugh you out of the studio!
"Wrong continent, hahaha!"
Or shake his head somberly and say,
"Ohh, noo.  Wrong century!"
(And you'll be able to sense the unspoken "you dummy!"
at the end.)
 Alex is very handsome and evidently very smart.
And full of himself IMHO.
Sometimes he expounds on the subject--
just to let us know how knowledgeable he is,
not content to simply supply the correct answer.

I would never be able to be on Jeopardy.
There are a few lot of frequently used subjects about
which I know absolutely nothing.
For example:

Greek Mythology
Astronomy and Astrology
World History
U. S. History and Presidents
Okay...All History
Pop Music Stars
Literature Classics
Okay...that's all I'm willing to admit.

What am I expert upon?
In high school days it was English grammar.
I've told you before I was a grammar nerd.
The only problem is that I've never seen
English Grammar
as a category on Jeopardy.

I like to think I know a good bit about the Bible.
Of course, I feel terrible pressure when
a question about the Bible comes up, 
absolutely panicked that I will not know the answer.
And I would be so crushed and embarrassed
if I missed it!

And John Grisham.
I've read all his books enough times that 
I should be an expert on him.'s very easy to get confused... 
The Apprentice, The Associate, The Brethren, The Broker...
Hope there's a good hint in the clue.

My travels have definitely expanded my world
and do allow me to come up with an answer occasionally.
Again, I wish I had some examples to provide,
but I guess you'll just have to take my word for it!

And then there's "buzzer style" to be considered.
If you've watched Jeopardy much you'll
know what I'm talking about.
Some contestants are so hysterical about pressing
the little handheld buzzer that it drives me nuts.
Jumping around all wide eyed 
and punching it frantically over and over
 even after someone else has beaten them to it!
Others are so subtle and suave 
that you never even see them "buzzing in."
I would hope I could be the latter, but I'm not sure
I would be willing to risk being suave.

I have discovered a way I might be able to be
a successful contestant on Jeopardy.
If I could become real famous, I might be able
to compete on Celebrity Jeopardy.
This special edition was on all last week,
and the questions were so dumbed down that
even I could answer most of them!!!
And Alex is a lot nicer to the celebrities! 
The problem:
I just may have waited a little late to start
becoming famous. 






Friday, May 15, 2015

I Took One For The Team Today, Mates!

Now be truthful.
Who among you has not wondered what the
"5 ways to reduce belly fat" or the
"5 foods you should never eat" are?
Have you ever relented and clicked on one of those
tempting sites?
 If so, you've probably discovered the
answers are so buried in gobbledegook 
that you've given up before being enlightened.
(I know this because I did one time.)

Until yesterday.
I couldn't resist checking this email out--for you.
The sender: National Health Solutions
The subject line:
Urgent: Milk worse than smoking?
Now my friends, don't you agree that I did
you a favor by checking this out???

So...I settled in to catching up with my missed recorded
episodes of Jeopardy (I was up to about 20),
started the stop watch on my phone,
and chose the "Read Transcript" version of
this Urgent video.
I would glance at my computer screen off and on
and make notes occasionally.
All for y'all!

Well, as it turns out, milk can not only be worse than
smoking, it can be worse than smoking
4 packs of cigarettes a day!!!
Not 2 packs, not 3 packs, but 4 packs.
(Personally, I would hate to be the attorney
trying to prove this in court.)

After many minutes spent trying to convince us
that smoking is bad for us, 
we finally get to the particulars about milk's badness.
We were to go to our refrigerators and check to
see if our milk has the letters
on the carton.
If so, you best be calling your mortician.
It comes from genetically modified cows
(or something like that.)
Of course, there is no milk (or anything else)
in my fridge.

Then, you need to know that milk is not the only thing 
you're killin' yourself with.
Just know that almost everything else you eat is
GM too.
The description of genetically modified corn was
so gross that it may take me a day or two
before I'm able to eat it again.

Anyhoo, after about 50 (fifty!!) minutes, we
get to the crux of the matter--
you need a monthly subscription to
Brad Henley's Natural Health Solutions.
It will set you back the bargain price of 
$49 per year (billed automatically to your credit card
and automatically renewable, of course!) also get 4 books free!
One of them shows you how you can gain
"food independence" with your own
garden in a 4' X 4' plot.
(Please trust me.  Don't plant corn.)
Another is Sin Foods for Healthy Living.
(Don't be expecting any ice cream.)
A third book will give you
77 Censored Cures.
(A cure was promised for absolutely everything.)

Oh, I almost forgot. 
This info is based on 44,000 pages of
"internal government files that they never wanted
you to see!!"
And this video could be withdrawn at any time!
Yes it could.  Are we you not the lucky ones?

Okay, about 5 commercial free episodes of Jeopardy later,
I shut off the stop watch.
One hour and twenty three minutes!
Who in the world would really watch this stuff
that long?

There was one thing that caught my attention,
but of which I have no knowledge.
One of the books promises to eliminate
man boobs from the comfort of your couch.
If this is of interest to any of you, contact me.
I haven't deleted the email yet. 

You're so very welcome.
Any time never again.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Cataract Surgery, Part II...

was a piece of strawberry cake!
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition fork!

We arrived at 6:30 A.M., and we were home by 8:30!!!
I had a different nurse, but just as sweet and
just as good as last Monday.
My blood pressure was still high, but
no one expressed great concern.

(I had to explain to my nurse that there was
actually a good reason for my blood pressure to be high.
Charleigh-Girl Stovall escaped from the back yard
and Susan and I had to track her down
before we could leave. 
She bought it!)

I also had a different anesthesiologist.
And a quite different trip home.
I remember far less about the surgery 
than I did last week,
even though my nurse said I would probably
remember more.
I remember being wheeled into the laser room and
 obediently focusing on the ring of
lights over my right eye,
 and I remember being at home.
That's it.
Absolutely nothing between.
When I called Susan to relate, oh I'd say,
about my fourth story, she told me
(very nicely and kindly)
 that I had told her all these things on the trip home.
 So I guess this anesthesiologist was a
bit more zealous!

One of those stories I was telling was that 
"My cataracts were probably not all that bad yet,
since I don't see a drastic difference in colors
or brightness."
Of course, I might need to take into
consideration that I was "testing" myself with
my sunglasses on and my eye still
hugely dilated!

My left eye is abrasion free and seein' good!
I can't wait for the right to get "undilated."
I'm totally optimistic!
Only one mountain left to climb.

Friday night I go to Madeline's Ransom Notes concert
in Austin!
Sunday is Mother's Day!

This is one of those times when I think it 
would have been better to
"ask for forgiveness not permission!"


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Cataract Surgery, Part 1

It was a piece of cake.
Sort of.

My left eye, which takes care of my closeup vision,
was first.
My appointment time was 11:05 last Monday.
Susan and I were early.
We had been told to expect to be there from
1.5 to 2 hours.

When I signed in the first question by the 
receptionist was, "Please confirm that we are
operating on your right eye today."
"Well, I can't do that because
it's supposed to be the left."
After a little stutter stepping and attempt at
explanation, I'm good to go--just
hoping the doctor is not similarly confused. 

Being needlephobic, my main concern was the
insertion of the IV.
It was the best, easiest, most painless EVER!
My prayers were definitely answered in that regard.
All geared up and ready to go...
well before noon I would guess.

I had no watch or clock, but I remember someone
outside my cubicle asking what time it was.
At some point the anesthesiologist came in
and briefly introduced himself.
And I waited.
And waited.
  And waited.  

I prayed.  I breathed deeply.  I lectured myself.
Then repeated the above sequence.
My blood pressure didn't get the message.

Finally, the curtain was thrown back and it was my turn!
Nothing to the surgery!
Then Susan was there, and we were on our way.
It was after 2:00.
And we carried a note instructing us to have my 
blood pressure checked!

When we got home, my eye was killin' me!
Like a rock was in it.
But I am a sucker for anesthesia, so I dozed all afternoon.
And took Advil.
And, blessedly, slept all night.

When I went in for my post-op visit early the next
morning, I found out that I had an abrasion on my eye.
Oh, goody!
The doctor applied a "bandage" in the form of
a contact lens.
Blessed relief.  I was then fine! is my situation and request for you,
my dear friends.
This was a piece of cake--
but maybe fruitcake!!!
Perhaps I could use some prayers for this Monday
as I go in to have my distance vision corrected.
(At 6:30 A.M.!!!--sorry, Susan!)
Please pray that this time will be a piece of
strawberry cake--
my favorite.

P.S.   My blood pressure is now fine.