Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Here is WISHING everyone a BLESSED and MERRY CHRISTMAS with a wonderful NEW YEAR! See you in JANUARY!

Et Salut

Monday, November 23, 2009


Below are some photos of me that were taken at various times in my life. I was looking at these photos and wondering where the time went. These were taken over a time span of about 15 years.

It saddened me to look at these because I knew I could no longer go back and be the person in these photos. I have changed and I would like to think that I have taken with me a new and better person. That I have used this time to re-evaluate things and situations in my life taking what was most useful to me and leaving those parts of me that no longer fit with who I have become.

I remember something my mother-in-law said to me years ago when I was in my early to mid 20's. She said that she was an "old soul" and it wasn't until she was in her mid 30's that she found herself. It was her thirst for knowledge and the many books she read that had changed her. I remember she credited the writings of Thoreau, and Hemingway for her new found self and it was shortly thereafter that I started reading books. Most were spiritual and philosophical in nature with two books, The Anatomy of the Spirit and The Heart of the Soul influencing me and starting me on a process that has eliminated what seemed to fit for me and what didn't. Sometimes it meant letting people and situations go by the wayside...but in the end it was what "fit" me and where I wanted to be.

I am sure my mother-in-law did not realize at the time how powerful her words were and the effect they would have on me. I never got to tell her that if it had not been for her "words of wisdom" I mostly likely would not have become the person that I am. It may not be any of these books that start you on your personal journey and it really doesn't matter which ones you credit, only that you are true to yourself.

I look at life differently now. It may not be the way others look at it but it is "right" for me.

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Patio With A View

When we sold our home and moved into an apartment in Dallas, we found it very challenging to find a patio that overlooked something other than a parking lot or the window of another apartment until...we found this view. (Click to Enlarge Photo)
This overlooks The Sculptured Garden in our complex and I must say sitting on our patio has never been more enjoyable. With trees nearby, we often see squirrels scurrying around up and down the trees and because this is Texas, our weather even now is barely chilly enough for a sweater or light jacket.

Prior to moving to Texas we lived in the Midwest, the northern most part of Indiana. It was only an hours drive to Chicago, Illinois. The spring and summer months were usually very nice...warm but not like the Texas heat. But come October and until the mid part of May the weather was terribly cold and snowy with more cloudy days than sunny. The snow was the worst part of it. When it arrived (and you could be certain it would) it seemed to last forever with mounds growing as high as our mailbox. Shoveling was backbreaking work as the snow was usually very wet and heavy(the kind that could give you heart attack). So, moving here was like giving candy to a baby. Oh how we loved the heat especially in January when the snow was really just starting to accumulate.

So, when I look at these pictures taken in the last couple days I cannot help but marvel at how green the grass is and how scenic this view of the sculptures are. With this view, I cannot help but to be grateful for the peace and serenity I feel when walking out on our patio and how glad I am to be here in Texas where the winter is more like spring than winter and gloves, snow shovels, and heavy coats are no longer needed to survive an outing. SIGH It doesn't get any better than this for this 50's something lady.

Et Salut

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Winter Wonderland... Inside Skating Lessons

Oh to be a child again (sigh). I never learned to ice skate but I can roller skate. Given that, we and by we I mean our son, and the both of us decided to see if the grandkids wanted to learn how to skate. So ... we enrolled them in lessons. Once a week on Saturday for the next 6 weeks Josh and Isabella will be trying to learn how to ice skate. Each session is 30 minutes long and is probably a good thing for beginners as trying to stand up on the ice is a bit frustrating to say the least. Here are a few shots of them in action. (Click on the pictures if you want to enlarge them)

This picture (below) is of the ice rink where they take their lessons.

Because Christmas is right around the corner, they are setting up the christmas tree in the middle of the ice rink. Very picturesque wouldn't you say?

Josh skating without help from instructor.

Bella in the line-up getting ready to try it on her own.

Both kids down for the count. (Ouch)

Bella starting to balance and glide.

Josh getting his legs and balance figured out.

A very silly Christmas picture showing amazing energy still after skating, playing, walking through the mall for nearly 3 hours (wish the adults had that much energy at the beginning of the day!).

So, there you have it! I have yet to put on ice skates but am wondering if it STILL might be possible for a 50's something women to try? What do you think?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Book Review " Help" by Kathryn Stockett


As I promised, here is what my take on this book is:

This book starts out in the year of 1962. It is a book about three ordinary women who's lives take a turn when they decide to work on a secretive project that will not only change the way they view each other but also on how the outcome of this project changes their individual lives.

Aibileen, a black maid who is a servant for the Leefolt family who is raising her seventeenth white child, a baby girl named Mae Mobley Leefolt. After the death of her only son, something shifted inside her. She is devoted to this little girl but knows both their hearts will be broken.

Minny, Aibileens best friend, who is short, fat and very outspoken is also a servant who cannot keep from opening her mouth and getting herself into trouble. She loses job after job but boy can she cook!

Skeeter 21, who has just returned home from graduating Ole Mississippi college. She grew up on a cotton plantation and has a mother who won't be satisfied until she has a ring on her finger. Normally she would find solace with her beloved maid Constantine but she has disappeared and no one is willing to talk about the circumstances of her departure.

As different as these three women are, they manage to come together to work on this clandestine project even at the risk it will bring to them. Why?

This book best describes the racial times in the early sixties and how black servants and blacks in general were treated. It is an enlightening book that will at times will anger you and yet other times bring sadness to your heart. I remember the early 1960's because I was around 10 years old at the time and the boundaries between whites and blacks were still very much marked. It goes to show that while things have improved they are still not where they should be.

I found this book to have some amusing parts which somehow makes it easier to swallow but it does not take away from the seriousness of the subject matter. Once I started reading this book I could not put it down and finished it in three days. I would give this book a rating of **** out of a possible 5.

Reading this book has given me some food for thought. I cannot help but wonder how I would have felt if I had been treated in this same manner. If, after reading this book, you come away from it not feeling some shame for how black people were treated then I will wonder if you even have a heart.

Happy Reading.

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's been a moving experience!!

My Goodness!! It has been soooooo very long since I last posted and I have plenty to share with you. First off, we have finally sold our home and moved into Dallas, Texas. We were never really very far from here anyway (around 2 1/2 hours). It is good to be here near our grandchildren and son. We are now watching the children daily and they have been staying with us at night as our son has started a remodeling project in his home and the dust has been flying... Everywhere!

He is having new cabinets, countertops, flooring, tiled back splashes and crown molding put in downstairs and a new shower, bathroom vanity, sinks, fixtures, tile and light fixtures upstairs in both bathrooms. Phew! So, needless to say, his house looks like a dust bowl with everything covered and moved askew. The renovation should be completed by Christmas...at least I hope so.

Our move being completed now, I am finding time to write again. I have just finished a wonderful book called Help by Kathryn Stockett. It is by far one of the best books I've read lately. I am hopeful that I will be able to give you a review on this book within the next few days so check back for my opinions on this book.

With fall here already and Thanksgiving on it's way, I am reminded of being thankful for everything we have. It is all a gift, you know and I sometimes forget it's the little things that we should be most grateful for i.e. good health, eyes with which to see the world with, a good working heart not only for physical reasons but for those "heartfelt" tugs we sometimes feel when something touches us to remind us that we are a human being with feelings.

As I have grown older birds seem to call to me as I watch them eat and soar through the air wondering how they know when its time to travel south, how they travel in formations with many, many, birds in flight and how they search for worms after a rain that have come to the surface. There is a commercial on TV that is for Dawn dish washing liquid that shows people using this product to clean ducks and other animals who become covered in oil after a spill. This commercial speaks to my heart and I become filled with happiness knowing that they were able to save them.

These are just a few of the things I am grateful for and if I listed all of them I'd be here for days because you see, it is the small things that touch the human heart. What are some of the things your feel grateful for?

Et Salut,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Computer Down Time


It has been a very long time since I posted anything due to computer problems which required us to replace our Dell with a new computer, an Apple I Mac. It has been an easier transition learning this system than I thought and once you learn the in's and outs, it is very user friendly.

So, with that being said, I will fill you in on the various things that have transpired since my last posting. We spent a week in Dallas, at our son's home while he and the grandchildren were on vacation in Chicago, Illinois (our old stomping ground). While they were away, we tackled many household chores that he has been unable to attend to due to working and taking care of the children. Needless to say, we ended up pooped with achy muscles and sore joints from all the bending, stooping, and doing the low crawl to get to areas that needed attention. But we completed our tasks and returned back to home ready for a restful week when the Realtor called and said she had placed an add for an Open House for the upcoming weekend!!!!! "Oh no," my body yelled "so soon"??? So again we spent this past week pulling weeds from our lifeless garden (due to no rain) as well as scrubbing the patio and windows that face the back yard. On to the inside from cleaning hardwood floors, kitchen tile, dusting, and vacuuming, to sprucing up the bedrooms, living room, and dining room. Well, at least we had a fantastic showing with 8-9 families visiting and rummaging through our house to see if it fit their needs. Out of this group all were serious buyers but two were ready to "take the plunge" and purchase a home. I'm sure our home is one of many they have visited over the last few weeks trying to decide which home they prefer. So, keep your fingers crossed for good things to happen for us.

Prior to visiting our son's home for a week, we had a 2 day "Moving Sale" which yielded us a fairly good return on our items. But, it too, was very tiring and took it's toll on us as we pulled out clothes, household items, furniture and odds and ends that we priced to sell. You just hope that there is nothing left over to deal with as it usually means another trip to Goodwill or can end up back in the house...NOT the case for us. What did not sell, we are going to send to auction saving us time and energy even though we have to pay the auctioneer 1/3 of our proceeds they deal with a different crowd people and we are hopeful that they can bring some new interest in our otherwise old items to sell for a better price than we could at another Moving sale. So, that is the highlight of the time frame from my last posting until now.

Our granddaughter, Isabella is celebrating her 4th birthday on Saturday and having a party. I hope to take pictures and try my hand at attaching them to the posting for you to see.

I hope this finds all of you having a great summer and looking forward to the fall of the year when the glorious autumn leaves began to fall.

Et Salut,