January 17th, 2012

GW (from chair in family room): What are you doing, Babe?

Me (in the other room):Who, me?

GW: No, the people down the street!

Me: Huh?

GW: Of course you. What are you doing in there?

Me : Nothing.

GW: I can hear you doing something. Is that a tape measure I hear? It better not be a tape measure I hear.

Me: Um…of course not. Why would you think that?

GW: Because I know what a tape measure sounds like. What are you measuring?

Me: Nothiiiing. (Much). Why?

(I hear a long suffering sigh)

GW: Because every time you get the tape measure out, you get into trouble.

Me (as indignant as I can):I do not. I know how to measure. I’m just measuring the floor in the foyer.

GW: Why?

Me: So I know how big of an oriental rug we need to buy to replace the other one.

GW: We need another oriental rug?

Me: Yeeeessss. When we moved the one we had in the foyer to the other room, we now need another one to replace it.

Silence for a long moment

GW: I was wrong.

Me: (trying to hide my grin. I’m not right very often.) Oh, yeah? Why is that?

GW: Because whenever you get the tape measure out, it’s not you that gets into trouble. It’s ME!

~Sandy

January 14th, 2012

Last night GW reminded me that it’s been several months since I last blogged. October 11 to be exact.

There was a time when I wouldn’t go to bed at night until my daily blog was completed and scheduled to be published come morning. Now, there is always so much to do, that I put it last – which sometimes means never.

When blogging first became popular, EVERYONE was blogging. To gather a following, you’d visit other blogs, comment on them and most of the time, they’d return the favor. It became like a community of friends. You’d have the ones you’d read without fail every day and some you visited on a weekly basis. You’d have your favorites, from the humorous to the serious to the educational.

It was a way to discover new authors. Or new people with the same interests as you. Or a way to learn something new. It was a window into other people’s lives.

It became a journal for me. A way to express and share what was happening in my life. I’ve said many times, I love to laugh and I laugh at myself as much or more as I laugh at others. Through the blog, I could share the silly things as well as the philosophical and the serious.

But soon, as all good things do, a fad fades into the sunset.

It became difficult to find the time to read them like before. You could spend all day reading blogs and get nothing else done. And always, newer and faster technology become available.

No, blogging is not dead. There are still hundreds of thousands blogs in the cyber universe. I still read a few of my favorites along with recipe blogs and crafting blogs.

But the world is different. Other social media was soon born onto the cyberscene.

First there was MySpace. Which didn’t last long. And, of course, I had a My Space page. It really was fun designing and easy to keep up with.

Next came Facebook. At the present time, it’s still popular and easy to use to share your life and even play games with friends and family.

Twitter became hot (and still is). It was a way to reach thousands and not have to write but a few lines at a time. Faster, concise, shorter, time saving.

Now, I don’t get twitter that much. It may be because I don’t quite understand it and it’s hard to keep up with it. If you don’t keep a constant eye on it, you could miss a tweet from someone you really wanted to read. It reminds me of the ticker tapes at the bottom of screens (sort like news flashes, stock quotes, etc). It goes way too fast and I don’t have as many of the followers, some into the thousands, that a lot of tweeters have. How they keep up is a mystery. And, again, you could spend hours glued to your computer or smartphone.

But that’s just me. And maybe there is a way to group it or categorize it or something to make it easier to read and keep up with so you don’t miss your favorites.

There is also Pinterest which is a major time sucker (or again, is it just moi). I could literally spend hours and hours on that site.

Don’t look for it! I guarantee you’ll be hooked also.

Blogging is still my favorite. Although a lonely avenue sometimes, it’s still a more personal one for me. Even though my blogging takes mini vacations, I probably will never completely stop.

Speaking of mini vacations, that brings me to the original question.

Next post I’ll let you know where I’ve been.

Besides Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, that is…

~Sandy

October 11th, 2011

Over the summer, I bought one of my favorite plants, a beautiful flowering plant that loves the hot Texas sun called purslane and planted them in our front flowerbed. The way our house is arranged, we’re still learning which areas get sun for how long, and which areas need what kind of plants. I decided to plant only one to see how it does.

Found an area that gets sunlight most of the day. After digging through the hard dry Texas clay, (remember we had a million days of over 100 degree heat and no rain) I got that puppy in the ground and sat back to watch to see how it did.

The next day, it looked a little puny. I chalked it up to being in shock after being transplanted so I just watered it and talked to it nicely and made a note to check on it the next day.

Come day 2 and the flowers seemed to have fallen off and disappeared into the wind. Okaaay….let’s water it again and surely by tomorrow, it will have settled in, perked up and be blooming with new growth.

Not so. Day 3 – no flowers, no perking up, and the plant seemed to be a lot smaller than when I’d planted it. Weird!

Day 4? No frickin’ plant left in the ground! There was actually a small hole where the plant had been!

I happen to look across to the neighbor’s yard and among their bushes I detected some long ears and a twitching nose and, I swear it’s true, the rabbit was grinning at me!

We had seen rabbits quite often in our yard, but it never occured to me they’d eat my flowers. What was I thinking!

So, fast forward to last weekend. I also love pansies and like to plant them in the fall because some will last until spring even with snow and frost. One of the nurseries was having a sale on them, so off we go and loaded up on several plats of colorful flowers. We trek home and cleaned out the containers in front and planted some and was pretty proud of how they looked. Still having lots of plants left, I got all my gardening supplies together and started an assembly line all the way across the front flower beds.

Scoop away the mulch, dig through the now WET, heavy clay, throw a little potting soil in hole, add a bit of fertilizer, plant flower, fill in hole with more potting soil, respread the mulch.

Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.

And GW helped. Since it was supposed to rain that night, he spread fertilizer in the yard and then watered the plants as I planted them. And then lay in the grass next to me until I’d say something like, ‘Babe, I need more potting soil in the bucket.’ or ‘Babe, what’s this gross white worm I just dug up?’ or ‘Babe, rabbits don’t eat pansies, do they?’

Of course they do. So GW gets up, goes to the garage and comes out and starts spraying something near the first flowers I planted. The wind had been gentle breeze, and being upwind was very comfortable while I labored over a hot flowerbed.

Until I smelled something that reminded me of a wet diaper, but stronger and stinkier.

‘Babe, what’s that smell???’

He remembered we’d bought a can of Rabbit Repellent. Smart man.

So far, the rabbits have left the pansies alone. Smart rabbits.

~Sandy

October 3rd, 2011

I adore you!

Let me count the ways:

1. Much cooler weather (of course, anything below 90 here in Texas is considered ‘not hot’). That delightful crispness in the air that sometimes surprises with a ‘bite’ to it. The wind whipping a kaleidoscope of fallen leaves around the neighborhood and the crunch of them under your feet.

2. Changing of the colors – brighter and more vivid with everything everywhere. Reds, golds, orange, yellows, browns. Just don’t blink because it doesn’t last long around here. But it does happen and it’s definitely worth the not blinking.

3. Fall decorations. At night, pumpkins and scarecrows and hay bales and ghosts just magically appear on lawns and porches.

4. The craving for my husband’s bean soup chunked full of veggies and ham. Or my chicken and sausage and okra gumbo. And don’t forget pumpkin pie, apple cobbler, banana bread and anything cinnamom. YUMmmm…!

5. My Starbucks order that changes from an icy cold, tall, skinny cafe vanilla frappucino to the hot, creamy pumpkin spice latte or the salted carmel mocha. Or whipped cream atop hot chocolate. Sometimes with a side order of a pumkin cream cheese muffin. So very decadent!

6. Sandals and capris, tennis shoes and shorts morphing into jeans and those cool boots that are so popular and never go out of style. Wearing socks around the house.

7. The sound of football game each Sunday. Notice I said ‘sound’ of. Not that I like to necessarily ‘watch’ the games, although I do pull for the Cowboys. But just having it on it’s so, well… fall-ish. And traditional. And who can give up tradition?

8. Snuggling together in front of the fireplace with hot chocolate or cider or a glass of wine, and watching TV, or reading a book, or just laughing and talking the night away.

9. Halloween! My favorite! The pumpkins, the decorations, the fall flowers, the trick or treaters, the costumes, the candy!

10. And last but not least, knowing that holidays are just right around the corner. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years.

Autumn! The best time of year. How can anyone NOT love you!

~Sandy

September 30th, 2011

Did you know worry can kill you?

I hear the gasps in the cyber crowd now.

I worry… you worry… we all worry. We can’t help it. It’s in the genes. We worry about our family, our careers, our finances, you name it and we can find a reason.

But according in an article written by C. S. Clarke, PHD:

‘Worry as a stressor is a direct source of headaches, insomnia, ulcers, and other gastric distress, paranoia, generalized anxiety disorders, depression and phobias. Most stress experts believe that it is an indirect source of disorders involving the immune system, such as cancer. We can literally worry ourselves to death. For example, when worry leads to depression and the depression becomes deep and unrelieved, our immune systems break down to the point where even a cold virus could become a killer.’

Gasp again!

Whether this is a medical certainty or not, those of us who worry (hello, my name is Sandy and I am a worrier…), can relate to the physical manifestation constant worry can bring. Just ask anyone who developed problems like mentioned above. Or worse. Most can attest that worry played a big part of the medical history.

How does this pertain to writing?

Worrying means having a lack of faith. So when it comes to my writing (since it is on my list of top ten things to worry about) it implies I have no faith in my ability to ever be published.

Webster’s dictionary defines worry as ‘a mental distress or agitation resulting from concern, usually for something impending or anticipated.’

Bottom line: I’m killing myself by worrying because I have no faith in something that hasn’t happened yet.

Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

So go forth and write without worry. Save your health. Save your life.

Besides, I also heard worry causes wrinkles.

Gasp!

~Sandy

September 26th, 2011

Had a wonderful birthday weekend! Couldn’t have asked for anything more! Not. One. Thing. More.

Thanks to all my friends and family who called, texted, emailed me…I so appreciate and love you guys!

Thanks to M & L for helping us celebrate that night. Always fun to be with special friends on special occasions.

Many, many thanks to my sweet, adorable, funny, brilliant husband, GW, for making the weekend so special in so many ways.

Loved the ‘pre-birthday’ card. Babe, you always make me laugh! REALLY loved the ‘real’ birthday card – will always treasure it. And the wonderful present! You didn’t have to, but glad you did. :-) Thanks for just vegging with me all day and doing what we never take time to do. Doing absolutely nothing felt so good all day Saturday. And the birthday dinner Saturday night complete with the 47,978,321 layer chocolate cake at my favorite restaurant totally rocked! YUM!

I love ya, Sweetie!

Sandy

September 8th, 2011

It seems fall as arrived! After 68 days of over 100 plus degree heat, the long Labor Day weekend was a pleasant low 90′s.

Felt. So. Good. In fact, felt great! So did the long, long weekend.

We ran errands, saw a softball game, went to see a movie (The Rise of the Planet of the Apes was surprisingly really good!), took a friend out to eat for her birthday (never mind her birthday was in July), worked around the house, worked in the flower beds (I attacked the weeds, but the rose thorns attacked me. Ouch!) and took leisurely afternoon naps.

Ahhhh…such is the life!

Got some writing in.

Before we knew it, the weekend was over.

Not much more to report. Staying busy. Staying good.

~Sandy

August 29th, 2011

…a game called ‘What If’.

Couple of weekends ago, we were fortunate enough to travel to the Texas Hill Country again. We were surprised when the same friends we traveled to Napa and to the Texas Hill Country asked us to go with them and help celbrate their anniversary. We always have such a good time around them and have decided we make aweome traveling companions.

This time we visited different farms, restaurants, and such that we didn’t visit the last time. We even toured a Distillery that made whiskey and got to taste the mash and the White Dog (warning: Do. Not. Smell. It. In fact, don’t taste it either, but definitely don’t smell it. Can you say goodby to any and all nose hairs?) Ouch!!

One winery we visited had a small graveyard on the premises with an old cyclone fence protecting the graves from outside intruders. The graves dated back to the 1800′s, some of the engraving faded to where you had to trace the letters with your fingers to make out the writing. Watching guard over the tombstones was a large stately tree, it’s branches tall and strong, and surprisingly in good condition considering the Texas draught.

Having permission from the owner, Tracie and I respectfully and quietly tiptoed into the sacred grounds and went from grave to grave reading what was written about the deceased.

The first one was for a baby. Nothing more was stated except the little girl’s name and that she was only two years old. So sad. Our imagination was peaked and we wonder what happened to her.

What if it was due to an accident? Or what if she caught a disease like cholera or influenza that struck through the area killing babies and adults alike? Or a disease like the measles that is so easily prevented nowadays with vaccinations?

Next to her lay who evidently was her father. The name was listed along with the date of death and then strangely and weirdly enough under that was ‘killed by’ and the killer’s name listed.

Wow!

What if they listed the killer’s name so all could remember who did the awful deed of killing another human being? Or what if the deceased was totally the scourge of all who’s bad and the person who killed him was listed for bragging rights?

Next to him was his wife and evidently the mother of the little girl in the grave. According to the date listed of her death, she lived another thirty years after the death of her daughter and husband.

Tracie and I continued to the remaining few graves and although the names were different from the first three, we couldn’t help but wonder if they were all related in some way.

What if the mother/wife remarried and the rest were her new family? Or what if she never got over their deaths and never remarried and the graves belonged to other members of her family. Again, so sad.

The most interesting grave of all was the one right in the middle of the graveyard. All the graves had headstones and small footstones exactly the same as this one did but with one exception: The top of the grave – the entire length of it – had a large cement slab over it.

This dude was definitely not rising from the earth any time in the next eternity or so!

What if he was buried with something that was so priceless they hoped to deter grave robbers?

What if he had a terrible disease (I think of diseases a lot, but only because of my medical backgound – just sayin’) and if dug up would cause a world disaster like in the movie Contagion.

What if it was a monster buried under that cement slab?

We finally left through the rusted gate, our imaginations running wild.

But so did GW’s and Paul’s. LOL! They thought they way we were rooting around the graveyard for so long we’d dug someone up!

See how easy and fun it can be to play ‘what if’?

Asking ‘what if’ has caused many a story to be weaved. I bet even Harry Potter started out by JK Rowling thinking ‘What if there was a little boy with glasses who lived under the stairs and was a wizard but nobody knew…’

Now you try it. ‘What if’….and you fill in the blanks. And let your imagination soar. You’ll be surprised where it can take you.

~Sandy

July 9th, 2011

To celebrate the July 4th weekend, GW and I took a long weekend to head south and visit some old friends I haven’t seen in quite awhile.

Saturday night started out by going to a honest to goodness real cowboy saloon. I wasn’t aware of exactly where we were going so had on my white jeans, black top and sandals. Kinda looked a little out of place on the dance floor among all the blue jeans and cowboy boots. Surprised to see the new (or new to me) trend of the girls now wearing short-shorts with their cowboy boots. Some looked pretty good and, of course, some couldn’t pull it off. But I believe that if it makes you happy and feel good about yourself, wear what you want.

We shared appetizers (the brisket nachos were my favorite. Thinking of trying those at home) with a few drinks and I stuck with my White Zin. I wish I could drink beer, but just don’t like the taste. A longneck brew just seems the appropriate drink for a place like that. You know, when in Rome and all that.

The dance floor started out being a little lonely, but it wasn’t long before the regulars were out there in full swing. Literally, almost. GW and I danced to one of my favorite slow songs and, let me tell you the man can dance. Of course, he proved he could hold his own on the dance floor at his daughter’s wedding. The photographer even included a short video of it in the video collage he put together.

Who knew?

Anyhoo, we discovered the darts area and all of us separated into teams and played a few games. This was the first time I’d played a real live game (although we’d put up a ‘real’ dart board in the garage over a year ago) and we all had a blast. I ‘doubled-in’ (don’t ask) once on a 17 and was feeling pretty happy about that although my team still lost.

After another white zin, it wasn’t long before the girls and I were on the dance floor line dancing and laughing ourselves silly. The guys just watched and laughed themselves silly at us. I promised GW I’d teach him how to line dance, but need to brush up on the old ones and learn some of the new ones.

Sunday night was spent at a barbeque eating ribs and chicken and grilled corn on the cob and an awesome salad. It was awesome just visiting and catching up.

Monday night was spent at another barbecue (different kind of ribs, different seasoned chickens, different type of grilled corn on the cob so everything was wonderful and, well, different). They had a pretty impressive firewords display at the end of the night.

It appears everyone had a great time getting to know GW. But I expected that.

Next day came the long ride home. Poor GW. He puts up with me either talking my head off or not saying a word, my head deep in a book or doing some tweeting or some such. But he never complains, he just smiles a lot and says he finds a lot of ‘humor’ in what I do.

Thank the good Lord he likes to laugh because I seem to do a lot for him to laugh about.

All in all, we had a great time and looking forward to our next trip. In the meantime, will be working on my dart game and my line dancing.

~Sandy

July 1st, 2011

…GW and I are headed out for the July 4th weekend!

Going south and seeing friends I haven’t seen in 4 years!!! I’m so excited!

Details later…

Happy Fourth of July!

~Sandy

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