Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Stop me if you've heard this one

When I was in seventh grade we had a week long period with no electricity. In the winter. With 6 feet of snow over a layer of ice. Blew the town generator. I don't remember the temperature and I'm sure that as a 7th grader I wasn't as worried about it as my mom. I was missing a dreaded science test, after all. Life was good. 

Here in central Texas we have had no loss of electricity, thankfully. But last Friday, after frozen rain, sleet, and then snow, we awoke to this wonderland:

By my Iowa Root Standards, this is nothing. But here in the land of the Nearly Tropical, this is A Pretty Big Deal. Today is Tuesday and we finally have sun. But the temp is in the teens, so melting is going to be slow. The main road is not terrible...according to my neighbor. I haven't ventured. But the county road by our house is apparently rough. We've had no mail since Thursday. That means no Netflix. Which is only an issue because we were SUPPOSED to have cable installed on Friday. And this morning Cuddle Buns used the last of the coffee. So things are close to desperate. 

Desperate only if I really wasn't having a seventh grade fun flashback. I'll send Cuddle Buns to Rosie's on the corner for coffee in the morning if I have to! 

So what have we been doing?

Cuddle Buns has been bringing in the Christmas decorations a box at a time. (We were both sick at Thanksgiving so it didn't get done.) I have very slowly put a few things up.
Garlands above the doors and windows.

The pyramid from Germany. I love this thing.

The stockings my mom made. I had them framed several years ago since they were starting to be quite worn. I love how the sequins sparkle.

And we've watched both of the most recent Star Trek movies. Streamed episodes of Leverage and X Files. (Which seems even more bizarre now then when Cuddle Buns was addicted in the 90s.)

I have knit. Finished my set of Knitted Knockers...breast prosthesis for cancer patients after mastectomies. I am almost done with a scarf for Special Olympics. I started a Christmas present for a friend. I swatched (technical knitting term) for a sweater for me. And I knit a wreath.

I've baked cookies.

I've pinned like crazy. And found a home made starch recipe on Pinterest to block my snow and stars.

And Rudy? He is not a fan of ice and cold. He'll run out to take care of business, but that is it. The Princess blanket is his spot of choice. 

And if he can get under it, all the better.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Snow Day Activities

All church functions were canceled today. The roads are still ice covered although the temp did get into the 40s. Cuddle Buns ventured to the corner store. I chose another day in.

I decided that if I were going to continue to "pin" things I should really try one or two. So I made this cool star today. Isn't it cool? And pretty easy.

Snow days should be kind of productive!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Rudy's going to be spending more time with his daddy

Cuddle Bun's retirement party from Pileco was this afternoon. It was a good time. We were both wonderfully surprised with a new address marker for our place.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


was retired by the time my middle schoolers would have been epically using that word. Thankfully. But in the true definition of the word, we just had epic hail. Epic.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

So I'm in the big city today

And what is in the mall parking lot?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I'm home now, but while I was away I bought a new vacuum

I was back in Kingwood this week where, yes, once again I got sick. I'm never going back. I know I said that last time, but this time I mean it. OK. Maybe once more to help Cuddle Buns pack up, but that's it. Maybe again when The Grand Princess graduates. Houston has 10 years to get it's smog and other allergens under control.

I have been eyeing a stick vac for our hardwood floors and decided to pick one up while I was there. Love it. And so did the Grand Princess. To all 7 of us at dinner that night at Manuel's (WHERE ELSE??) she announced that 

"Gramma's new vacuum is AMAZING!"

I wish you could have heard the declaration. It was hysterical. 

It is a pretty amazing vacuum.

Rudy liked it, too. Or hated it. Hard to tell.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I just saw the coolest thing

Probably wouldn't have been so cool had I been in the middle of it.

I was looking out the living room window in anticipation of incoming visitors and I saw a dirt devil. Is that what they're called? A swirling mass of dirt going right down the gravel road.

It was pretty cool.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Weather Started Getting Rough

The tiny sip was tossed. (Remember when I sang that to your class DH?)

Cuddle Buns got here early today. Along with MT and the Grand Princess. I was in the city (Stephenville) getting a hair cut and picking up a few groceries for Cuddle Bun's and SIL's birthday celebration tomorrow. 

The celebration will not be as awesome as The Harry Potter Experience, but how could it be? 

ANYWAY Cuddle Buns had the boat ready for a three hour cruise when I got back. So off we went. I commented that there was a 50% chance of rain. It was quickly dismissed. We've had no rain when the chances were 100%! 

About 15 minutes into our little excursion we felt rain drops. In this parched part of the world, rain drops are always a reason to celebrate. We turned away from the rain, but it caught us anyway. The sun was still peaking through. We were sure it would pass. 

It didn't.

We decided to head in.

Now I've been practicing taking the boat off the trailer and guiding her back on, and as we dropped Cuddle Buns at the dock to get the trailer, that was still the plan. For about 10 seconds. The rain started pelting us from behind, the sun was gone, the temp dropped, and visibility was zero. I quickly gave up the helm to our second mate, MT. I huddled over two soaked and shaking dogs and one little girl who was not very happy that she was getting drenched. In her swimsuit. At the lake. Poor thing.

Fortunately, as Cuddle Buns backed the trailer down the ramp, the sky lightened just a bit, MT guided her on, and we road up the ramp. 

Cuddle Buns truck won't dry out for days. 

Good thing he got fancy floor mats for his birthday.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Our kamikaze cardinal is back. Actually started beating himself into the living room window the day after I thought he had quit. Either the kids moved back in or the little woman is barefoot and pregnant and back in the nest. Shouldn't she be beating her head against the window too? 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wishful thinking

Wouldn't it be nice if the barbed wire would keep them out?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day TWENTY FIVE of the Kamikaze Bird Problem

All is quiet.


Either the poor guy knocked himself senseless, or his children have flown away.

HHHMMMMMM....now I understand.....

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Yes....we're scrapping in our PJs

About 4 years ago I made a baby book for Rudy. My friends very kindly looked at it and made cute little noises over the photos of my new little guy. And Zoey begged to look at it every time she visited.

For her birthday I found a chip board bone book for her new puppy's baby book. (Barkley...the dog formerly known as R2d2.)

Zoey is visiting for a couple of weeks. We picked out the photos the first night she was here, picked them up yesterday, and today she started taping...

And embellishing....

And she proudly finished it.

Notice the name spelling change. She was insistent. Reminds me of when Care Bear decided her name was to be Bonnie. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sleepless in Dublin

I guess that title conjures up pictures of me pining for Cuddle Buns who is at the moment "Across the Pond." Yes. I miss him. But sorry, honey, not enough to be awake at 2:40 am. But two dogs and the Grand Princess in bed with me all conspire to keep me restless. Why do all three drift to my side of the bed??

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Kamikaze Update

So we had a bit of an early morning rain last weekend that washed some of the soap off one set of windows. You guessed it. My little red friend was back in the early morning defending his young. More soap. As we speak Cuddle Buns and I are watching TV after a little work outside in the heat. Every few minutes this little guy is still beating his head against the window. He isn't looking too good.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Since our move to the country I have so enjoyed the birds. Hearing them in the morning when we have the windows open. Being startled by the bright red of a cardinal in the winter gray trees.

Here's a twist.

Two mornings ago at barely light, a time I DO NOT wish to be awakened, I am startled by something hitting the window at my head. Repeatedly. To my amazement, there is a beautiful red cardinal....male...flying into the window, sitting on the fence post chirping away, flying into the window, hanging to the screen and pecking, hopping to the ground, and FLYING INTO THE WINDOW AGAIN. I am fearing self inflicted brain damage but after awhile decided it was too late. The poor thing already had a bit of a learning problem.

As the day continued, the poor little guy repeated all of this behavior but by dusk seemed to be done with it.

Until before 6 am the next morning. The whole thing started over. Needless to say that while I was chuckling about his bizarre behavior I was also a bit annoyed. Ask Cuddle Buns what happens if he happens to move in the bed during those early morning hours. It isn't pretty.

So while at breakfast with my good scrapping buddy LC who was visiting for the week, I decided to Google this behavior. Seems the male of the species makes it a habit. Only during nesting season. His objective? To scare the bird he sees in the reflection away from his beloved's nesting area. Now in this poor guy's defense, our windows do have that sunscreen film on them and from the outside it is like looking into a mirror. But at what point will he get the hint????

So. I thought about how I could deter this obviously challenged little guy and looked for suggestions. I decided against several ideas that were kind of time intensive on my part. (Did I mention I had a scrapbooking friend visiting and we had a scrapbooking convention to attend?) So I soaped the windows. Just the top because I was too lazy to take off the screen and what were the chances?

This morning before 6AM the little guy is grabbing onto the screen and pecking for dear life.

So I took the screens off. And got the Dove back out of the shower.

And now he is dive bombing the other set of bedroom windows. Not sure he'll be alive after tomorrow morning. Cute little thing.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The newest World War II exhibit opens in England

The grandsons are on term break. A rainy day kept them in today, but they were busy! Grandson #1 sent me a video of the WWII museum he has set up in his room.

Might want to take some Dramamine....

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Somebody has to do it...

I'm off to Florida. Haven't been there since a college spring break road trip.

Now....in case you just raised an eyebrow...my sister, a senior in high school at the time, went with me. How in the world mom gave permission for that one, I'll never know! But we were traveling to Gainesville in a van packed with I don't know how many other people. We were dropped off at a high school friend's dorm while the rest of the herd went on to beaches unknown. And who knows what else unknown. We had a nice visit with Marilyn. (Marilyn...I'm sorry we lost touch. Where are you?) We then drove back to central Iowa via New Orleans. That was quite an eye opener for me.

ANYWAY, this time in many ways promises to be like spring break. I'm not going by van, but who knows how many people will be packed on that plane. I am going with my sister once again, because her second born is to be married there.  We won't be staying in a dorm room, but in a lovely beach house. I know there will be spring-break-like behavior by some we are with. But, hopefully that will be mostly confined to other accommodations, or at least other parts of the house at bedtime.

And, this time we'll be on a beach. Hopefully, a QUIET beach after the ceremonials. With books. And bathrooms close by. And much bigger beach cover-ups than in '72.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Best Birthday Ever

Yes. I am getting old. I turned 60 while in England. GASP! Truth be told, there is no other age I'd rather go back and be. How blessed I am! Fairly healthy. Three grandkids. A dream place in the country.  Not to mention that retirement is far more fun than employment. Until the money runs out. Then I might have to work, but we'll see how that goes and cross that bridge whenever. 

So, on my birthday, I was surprised with a trip to The Making of Harry Potter in London. Now, some of my friends, being muggles and all, thought this a bit strange. Was this more for the grandkids? Really, this is something I wanted for my birthday? Why, yes. Yes it was. I was giddy. I AM giddy. People around me are getting tired of hearing about it. As a matter of fact, there are probably few people I know who HAVEN'T heard all about it. Cuddle Buns asked that we go a day with no Harry Potter reference while he was with us in England. Couldn't be done. And, my daughter and both of her boys are big fans. It would not have been nearly as fun going to this event if they weren't. There are only some who "get" my knitting, and only a few who "get" Harry Potter. It's nice to share your interests with other enthusiasts. And I can't think of ANYONE I would have rather been with to share Harry Potter.

My Hosts and Hostess in front of Hogwarts:

Gryffindor Common Room:

The Invisibility Cloak. Apparently it doesn't really work. I am so disappointed. They weren't available in the gift shop, either. Didn't stop me from spending a fortune. I suppose if they had been available people would have been able to put them right on and leave without paying for their purchases. Then where would JK be?? Disappointed to know the wands for sale didn't really work, either. With the prices they were charging, they should have!

Dumbledore's Office and Hagrid's Hut:

 The cardboard model of The Burrow, home of The Weasley's, and then the actual set complete with Mrs. Weasley's knitting:

Me at the door to The Chamber of Secrets

Special Effects: Book of Monsters, Dolby, and hands from somebody. Creepy. The rubber creatures were amazing. Amazingly Creepy.

Butter Beer. No worries. Actually Cream of Soda floats. Very yummy. I will try to create this concoction at home! It may become a new birthday tradition.

In front of Lily and Jame's house on the Hogwarts bridge that Neville very bravely blows up at the end.  In a cardigan. I love Neville Longbottom.

It was a great birthday. Dare I say magical??

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Not keeping up....

I awoke this morning, the second-to-last morning here at my daughter's in Merry Ol' England, with conflicting thoughts running around in my head. I'm tired. We did a whirlwind day in London yesterday, which is how I'm guessing London is "done". So I'm tired. And I'm ready to get back to my slow paced country place. And I'm dreading leaving my daughter and grandsons here. And I'm never going to be able to share here all the cool things we've seen and done. 

So, for this morning, a shot from Will Shakespeare's birthplace.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Just saying...

A yummy oasis in the middle of Oxford. Our first stop. Afterall, sustenance is necessary for sight seeing, right???

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's a GO!

Do taxes: CHECK

Do laundry: CHECK

Vacuum and dust: OH WELL

Pack knitting projects to last at least a month: CHECK

Drive to Houston: CHECK

Eat last TexMex for 3 weeks: CHECK

Cuddle with GrandPrincess for a bit: CHECK

Get Rudy settled at SisterChick's place: CHECK

Put Cuddle Buns on plane to Iowa for his mom's 96th BDay: CHECK


Monday, March 11, 2013

Guest Author: The Grand Princess

We    Have     A     New     Dog   In    The   Family      His    name    Is   BarkLee      Gramps   Gave   Him  To      Me.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Dog Formerly Known as R2

I have been remiss. R2 has officially changed his name to BARKLEY. And he has gone to live with the Grand Princess. And they are coming today for a visit. Rudy and I are GIDDY.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Enough Said

(For those of you who don't get this you need to immediately go watch "The Princess Bride". Do it before the time changes.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's been awhile....

...since I had to use the timer to enforce sharing of the dog. Or toys. Or anything.

We did two five minute rotations.

...since the sitting room looked like this:

...since I didn't have a leash in my hand while walking to the lake.

...since playing echo games in the slide.

...since we've collected for a treasure jar. (The rocks are safely tucked away Maddox. Promise.)

...since there has been a mandatory nap time here.

...and since I've wiped someone else's nose with my shirt.

Good times.

(PS. These are friends from church spending the day with me. We've had a great time!)