Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Three women in a suana









Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Is It Friday?

Wow, only one day back at work and I'm pooped. Of course I did go home and plant 6 holly bushes, 3 Hostas plus dug up one flower bed in preparation of planting some more plants. Don't know why I'd be tired this morning. ha. I have a late night at work today with 2 board meetings this evening so I'll really look haggard in the morning. Now there's something to look forward to. I about flipped when I saw myself in a picture recently. I knew my hair had turned (what I thought) was a little more grey but whoa nellie I wasn't expecting that helmet head of silver threads. I was actually shocked by just how much silver there is in my tresses. I may consider the whole coloring issue again. If only I just wasn't so lazy......I hate keeping it up. My daughters are returning from their Sea World adventure tonight. I can't wait to see the videos. I wish I had something of interest to report but hey when you are my age you can only take excitement in small doses.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Vacation Is Over

I'm back to work after taking a week off to paint my house. The bathroom is complete and work has begun on the the kitchen and dining room. I think we are nearing the finish line on all this renovation work. My daughters are at Sea World in San Antonio this week at a teacher camp. They are having the time of their lives. They are working at the park for a week and developing curriculum to bring back to their classrooms. What a great experience. Since I'm way behind on work I guess I'll get with it and try to catch up. This should be a busy week!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Health Warning



Old age, I've decided, is a gift. I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometimes despair over my body ... the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long. I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avant-garde on my patio. I am entitled to overeat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging. Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 a.m., and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love... I will. I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set. They, too, will get old. I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten and I eventually remember the important things. Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when a beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect. I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. I can say "no", and mean it. I can say "yes", and mean it. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong. It is for all these reasons I like getting older. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Anyone got a light?

Well, the contractor finished his part of the makeover yesterday. Everything looks good and I'm ready to move on to the painting. Last night I went to turn on the light above the sink and it didn't work so I changed the light bulbs and flipped the switch....nothing. I then flipped the switch for the garbage disposal and both it and the light came on. Guess we have one minor glitch. Kinda funny though. I doubt I'll call him back for son-in-law can probably fix it for me.
I'm trying hard not to get overwhelmed with all the projects I have going right now. I have a tendency to want everything done immediately. I don't have much patience when it comes to getting things accomplished. I just need to slow down and finish one room at a time. Easier said than done but I'm going to try.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Zoo

Just thought I'd share a few pictures from the zoo trip on Saturday. The gorillas were fascinating to watch but the hit of the day were the chimpanzees. It seems they had some kind of turf war going that day. The other picture is of our walking team.

Closer to the finish line

OK...the tile is up on the walls in the kitchen and bathroom. It hasn't been grouted yet but I think it is going to look pretty good. I didn't end up with the look I thought I was going for and I've learned some valuable lessons during this renovation. The biggest lesson I've learned is next time hire a decorator to pick EVERYTHING out. I absolutely do not have the skills required for this kind of job. Fortunately, I think I played it pretty safe and I didn't ruin anything. The bathroom has been greatly improved. I started out with pink and green tile on the bathtub surround (1960's) and believe it or not orange/gold counter top on the sink. It is now bisque bathtub surround and brownish/tan counter top with neutral rock tiles on the back splash. Everything is very neutral. Makes it easier to add color on the walls. Which I intend to paint a dark sage green. I also replaced all the cabinet doors. Big improvement..... Now the kitchen is another story. I had to change the back splash to white subway tiles. Everything was just too busy with the counter top. Now the white cabinets look really awful so they will have to be repainted. I plan to replace the cabinet doors in there later down the road. It will all look better once the room is painted. Today should be the last day for the contractor. He's finishing up and will I'm sure present me with the bill. I have to brace myself for this.....I know what the initial bid price was but there were some added changes and a few materials purchased that will cost extra. Oh well, nothing comes without a price.

Monday, April 14, 2008


So hard to come back to work after the weekend. I had a great day Saturday. A co-worker and I participated in the Multiple Sclerosis walk at the Okla. City Zoo. It was a little chilly in the morning but by the time the walk started it had warmed up a bit. It had been so long since I'd been to the zoo I forgot just how much fun it is. I am definitely going back again soon.
I spent another day looking at tile for the back splash in the kitchen. My contractor somehow convinced me that my counter top is green. (NOT) He even had me convinced that the manufacturer had sent the wrong counter top. (NOT) He's a good guy but I'm beginning to think he's color blind. I think I finally have the whole tile thing worked out and either way I'm just going to have to live with it. I think it will all come together and look really good. I'm sure ready to finish this project. My son-in-law is going to help me with the painting so maybe things will come together quickly now. I sure hope so.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I should have been a Grandma

Yesterday I had the pleasure of picking up my 10 year old great niece from school. I brought her back to work with me for about an hour and being out of touch on just what a 10 year old enjoys I took the safe route and bought her a Dr. Pepper and some chips and let her watch tv in the conference room. I had no idea that I was so rusty with kids. After all I have two girls of my own and have spent hours upon hours listening to the latest gossip and romances. The problem is that was over 30 years ago and having no grand children of my own I've lost touch......I'm no longer in the know! After work I took Sophie with me to Walmart. I asked her what she enjoyed looking at and she quickly responded something like "Floppies, Flirties, Fubby's, I never was quite sure. She darted down an aisle and brought back a package of stacking erasers in various colors in the shape of cartoon heads with confused looking faces. The package indicated that they were fruit scented. How thoughtful! OK I thought....only in the mind of a 10 year old would fruit scented goofy faced erasers be the bomb. So we threw them into the cart and resumed shopping. Once to my house I was really at a loss. My home is not exactly the cool hangout for prepubescent girls. I have long since cleared away the remnants of the giggly girls who once lived there. Their absence was replaced with a newly acquired obsessive compulsive need for order. I kept thinking this kid must be bored out of her mind. Even floppies, flirties, or whatever their names won't save her now. She's stuck with her 59 year old great aunt who doesn't even have cable tv to rescue her. Desperate to entertain I began forging through a bedroom closet until I found some long forgotten peanuts character dolls. I wasn't even sure if kids even knew who Lucy, Linus and Charlie Brown were anymore. Isn't this too lame for a ten year old today? I brought it to Sophie and together we set up the dolls and their school house scene. Suddenly Sophie asked if I had any brownie mix. Of course being the middled aged woman that I am and having been on a diet for the past 35 years I do not have anything in my home richer than key lime pie flavored low fat yogurt. Feeling so sorry for this poor little girl stuck with her out of touch, less than cool, great aunt I would have signed over the title to my car if she had asked for the keys. But instead we just posed the dolls while I told her every story and memory I had of her mother when she was a little girl. How she talked me into going to a haunted house on her birthday with all her friends and I screamed until I wet my pants and how she would eat cold English peas straight from the can. Before long my niece arrived to pick up her daughter and you cannot imagine my delight when I heard Sophie ask her mom if Aunt Dani could pick her up again from school tomorrow. Now I've got some shopping to do....brownie mix, ice cream and oh yes, fruit scented erasers. They are all the rage you know.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Last Lecture

If anyone didn't see the interview between Dianne Sawyer and Dr. Andy Pausch then you must watch his "Last Lecture" below. I had already watched his last lecture on Youtube but still found the interview moving as well. Now that the Last Lecture has been published as a book I ordered a copy today as well as a dvd copy of his lecture. If only we could all leave this world with such dignity, grace, and our humor still intact. If only we all followed our dreams.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

picture perfect

I was asked yesterday whether we have a policy in our hospital that requires tattoos to be covered. I thought wow....we'd have a hospital full of younger workers covered in band aids. Since this is a children's hospital the only requirement we have is that if the tattoo is obscene or involves nudity it should be covered. This whole discussion got me thinking. Since I know that I'm from another generation I try to keep the whole thing in perspective. When I was in high school it became popular to pierce your ears. Girls were piercing each other's ears in the school bathroom and it wasn't long before I decided I too had to have my ears pierced. My grandmother was absolutely aghast at the idea of putting holes in my ears. In her day only ladies of the evening had holes in their ears. Here we are have more self acquired holes in their heads than natural orifices. When I look at the rings in their lips or the buttons on their tongues or those giant disc shaped holes in their ears (big enough to drive a smart car through)it just looks uncomfortable to me. The tattoos....don't really bother me but I can't help but imagine nursing homes in the future full of wrinkled old bodies with faded pictures on their butts. Those pretty young girls of today with their elaborate tattoos on their lower where do you think those will end up. You'll have to smooth out the wrinkles just to tell what it is. The question in my mind is if I were 20 years old today would I look like a walking comic strip myself. I was never really one to "follow the crowd" but who knows. Just something to ponder.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Making Progress

Well, the new counter tops are done. They look great. Still have the tile back splash to do but I think it will all look fantastic. I purchased a granite composite sink and it looks really good with my stainless steel appliances. When the tile work is done I will finish the walls. They have to be re-textured and that is going to really be a job. I can't wait to get everything painted and back in order. This will probably be the last major renovation I do in my life time. I'm almost 60 years old so I don't see too many remodels in my future. I just wanted to get everything done before I retire. House paid off and fixed up. That will make retirement a whole lot easier. I'm having fun seeing the transformation take place. It is looking really good.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Too Old To Be A Stripper

Not what you think. No danger here. I wouldn't strip if my clothes were on fire. The kind of stripping I'm into these days is wallpaper. AND....what WAS I thinking when I put that stuff up in the first place. I sure wasn't thinking oh gee, won't this be fun to remove 16 years from now. Now that I've almost gotten it all off the walls I'm not sure what to do next. Since I did such a bang up job sanding off all the texture from the walls I now have to figure out how to put it back with as little effort as possible I might add. From now on it is PAINT only. I hope the contractor made it today to install the new counter tops and sinks. I'm ready to get finished with this project! I had to pack away everything from under the sinks (bathroom and kitchen) as well as everything on top of the counters. I have a lot of work to do!

Friday, April 4, 2008


My daughter has a learning disability. I remember the parent/teacher conference I had with her 3rd grade teacher. After two years of attending a special reading lab I was aware that my daughter was struggling. I had also noticed that she didn’t write if she could avoid it. She was always getting her twin sister to write for her. I went to the conference that day ready to ask a lot of questions. I couldn’t figure out why she was making A’s in everything but didn’t really seem to know how to read or write. I wasn’t prepared for what her teacher would tell me. She began by saying, “Oh, Julie can’t learn, but that’s OK, she’s a pretty little girl and will grow up and get married and be taken care of so don’t worry.” Well, that was just the beginning of a battle that would last all the way through school and beyond. Eventually Julie was tested and it was determined that she had a severe learning disability. Because so much time had elapsed and because of the insensitivity of her classroom teacher she had lost a lot of ground and we basically started over. I have never seen a child work so hard just to keep up but she was the most determined kid I’ve ever known. Sometimes we would be up until 1 am working on homework. She would get so frustrated she would explode. No matter how tired or how frustrated she was she wouldn’t give up until she had everything done. When she was ready to go to high school we met with her counselors to prepare her class schedule. Trying to be sure she had all the required courses for college entrance we asked if everything was in order. They responded, “Why, these kids don’t go to college”. I couldn’t believe it. I asked if anyone had ever asked her what HER plans were. It just seemed to be a struggle every year. We had to literally fight the system. Julie did go on to college. It wasn’t easy but she went through with the same determination she has always shown. I recorded all of her text books on tape each semester. Services for the blind would have taped the books but you had to submit the list of books 6 months in advance. Often the text books would change at the last minute and the tapes would be no good. She also taped all of her class lectures and then she would send them to me by mail and I would transcribe them. We used the transcriptions to outline notes and it also allowed me to quiz her orally on the information. There were so many times that I thought if it had been me I would have quit a long time ago. I was never sure just how far she would be able to go but she never once entertained the idea of quitting. It took her 8 years to get her degree in education but she graduated with a 3.85 grade point. Today she is a kindergarten teacher. She has defied every educator that said it was impossible. Her students and parents love her and I know why. She has the ability to relate to children and especially those that may be struggling in one way or another. I can’t explain it but it is truly a gift. We all have challenges of some kind or another and some far worse than others. But, we have also seen people overcome adversities we couldn’t even imagine. My daughter is my hero and my admiration goes way beyond just being her mother.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Living On The Edge

Last night I watched the ABC special on living to be 150 year of age. It was fascinating but a bit unsettling as well. It is hard to imagine living that long but according to scientists we might be chronologically 100 year of age but functioning at a much younger physical age as much as 40 years younger. Scientists will have the ability to replace organs that wear out, cure or prevent diabetes or other aging diseases and perhaps make us spiffy dancers as well (that's just my own wish). Imagine the number of widows....women already outlive males and they indicated in order to find companionship and love women may turn to elderly lesbian relationships. Now, that I can't imagine......not that there is anything wrong with it! In fact there have been times in my life when I thought it would have been easier had I been attracted to women instead of men. At least I'd have a fighting chance of understanding one.