Monday, July 27, 2009

Lifelong Friends

I am very blessed to have many (almost) lifelong friends. A couple of them came to stay with us this past weekend. I consider Jennifer my very best friend. We've been very close since we were 12 years-old, having met in 7th grade band. Kent has been my husband's friend that long as well. I don't remember how we met, but she says that I asked her what kind of shampoo she used! We all married within a few months of each other, and we lived next door to each other at the beginning of our marriages. Our children are similar ages, although they had a 4th child while we abstained! As you can imagine, we've been through a lot over the years. We don't see each other often because we live a couple of hundred miles apart. But, when we get together, it's just like we've never left. We love them, and pray blessings and protection over them every day. They are really more a part of our family than just friends.

Jennifer has a younger brother, Jeff, who has been singing and playing the guitar pretty much all of his life. I met him when he was 8, and he was singing then. He's grown into an excellent singer/songwriter and appears at various venues in and around the Austin area. His band is called Double R Nothin. If you are in the Austin area, check him out. It will be an evening well-spent.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Miss Kitty

Miss Kitty died yesterday.

She adopted us about 5 or 6 years ago. When she came to our house, she was a baby, and very shy. It took me a very long time to get her to realize that I was not going to hurt her. She knew I was the one feeding her, but wasn't sure if she could trust me. When she finally did, she became the sweetest cat that has ever owned me.

She was a hunter, and I'm sure was the property sheriff to many an interloping mouse, snake, bird..and yes, even a rabbit once, who came on her turf. But to people, she was sweet and shy. My baby granddaughter loved her, and Miss Kitty tolerated some rough love from her, or would just get out of the way. She loved to jump up wherever I was sitting and take a nap. She was a talker..always letting you know she was there and needed some sort of attention.

Miss Kitty was just a good cat. I am sad about her being sick, and I will miss her. If you read the bible, you'll find that there are animals (horses for sure, anyway) in heaven. I'm not sure how all that works, but I choose to believe that Miss Kitty is there now, happy and well, talking and cat napping in perfect peace.

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Beach Vacation

It's my personal belief that it's mandatory for me to spend a few days every summer at the beach. It probably comes from the fact that I spent a lot of time at the beach growing up, and my parents ended up with a cabin near Galveston, TX. When my kids were little, it was the cheapest vacation we could take! I love the mountains, but I must have my sand, surf, and shelling adventure each year.

The beach is messy and hot. It usually takes a few days after you've left to get the sand out of everything. Sometimes there's a little sunburn souvenir to take home as well. But, lie on the beach with nothing to do but people watch and talk; to hunt shells for an hour or so, to sit in shallow water and have waves wash over you, to read a book totally for that's the kind of therapy that should make psychiatry nervous.

We take our summer beach adventure each year with my husband's brother and his wife. My SIL and I have developed some routines/traditions that we don't allow anyone to mess with, and that we add to (we're into growth and improvement) each year.

This year we decided it was important for us to set up a comfortable/cute (if you don't have cute, what do you have?) little camp for ourselves. We have a colorful umbrella, colorful chairs, and we laid a floor with a floral tanning mat. I bought us a little flag that says "Beach Bums", but forgot it at home. We have plans next year to have a main camp and a satellite camp. Such is the nature of the things you think up to do when you are truly vacated from your real life!

My husband rented a pink golf cart one of the days. When I was a kid, it was cool to have a Dune it's golf carts on most beaches. We tooled around in our cart on the beach to see what we could see, but mostly we just sat on that beach. We went from pajamas to swimsuits and back. At night, we played dominoes. Our husbands went to buy supper...we didn't even get dressed for that. It was fabulous! I hope everyone out there has a wonderful getaway this year.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

We Dedicate The Pool To.......

My grandson, whom my husband affectionaly calls C-man, is an incredible person.

I remember when he was baby boy. He was such an easy baby! He didn't mind playing all alone in his baby seat. He was no trouble at all. In fact, as he grew, I began to wonder why he wasn't more trouble. He was precious, but it seemed like he had some difficulties and wasn't interested in things that other babies were interested in. My daughter moved away when he was a baby so that her husband could go to P.T. school, so I didn't see him often. But, I remember one time I stayed overnight with him. When it was time for bed, he got under his bed. I tried to get him out, but he would just cry and couldn't tell me why he wanted to stay under there.

As a special educator, I was working in a school that had a classroom that was especially for children with autism. I began to get upset when I would go into that room, because I was beginning to recognize some of the same characteristics in him. I would have to pray to go in there, because I was afraid for my grandchild. What if he really had this and couldn't tell us what he needed?

Eventually, we would all come to realize and accept that he did have this condition. It was just like the story called Welcome to Holland, with the twist of watching your precious daughter and son-in-law have to work through it.

Don't get me wrong...we thought and think he is wonderful in every way. In fact, none of us can imagine our lives without him, exactly as he. But we worried about the future.

Fast forward 12 years or so......and what a difference time and the Lord make! C-Man has grown into a smart and talented young man. He has his opinions, but he also knows how to be polite. He paints beautiful paintings and he amazes us with the intricate LEGO creations he builds and the computer wizard that he is.

A couple of years ago he started being uncomfortable about being at our house. He would come in with all his stuff, put it on the dining table, and pretty much stay in there waiting until his mom would tell him it was time to go. Then he'd pick up all his stuff and out the door he'd happily go.

My husband and I couldn't stand this and tried to think of what we could do to change the way he felt. Since he loves to swim, we decided that we had to build a pool. Of course, we would all enjoy it, but C-Man would be the master of it. We decided he would love to come because he could be his fish-self all day long if he wanted. We really didn't care how much it cost, or how much trouble it would all be worth it to watch him enjoy his time here. So...

C-Man...because we know you and your God well, we know that He has a plan to use your life in a mighty way. You are smart; no telling how smart. We are so proud of you and we love you more than you can ever know. You have a productive and miraculous life in front of you. We can't wait to see what awesome things you will do in this world. We dedicate this pool to you, sweet grandson, boy-man, artist. Swim and play and enjoy your time here. That will be the very best part of this pool to your Honey and Gramps. TLGPITWWW

Friday, July 3, 2009

There's Water In The Pool!

Well, today is July 2, almost exactly two months after I wrote this: Lazy Summer Days, and now, the pool is ready for a swim! It's just in time because we planned a 4th of July party this Saturday for family. I'm really pleased with every phase of the work. Because we live on a fairly large piece of land, and it's raw hill-country, there is still a lot of work to do to make things look like the picture in my head. But, now we can cool off after the work!

You know, there's always those "over-the-budget" costs that come along when you do any type of remodeling work. Well, here's one we didn't think of...because we are in a drought, we have to buy water, 12,000 gallons to be exact! All of a sudden I'm feeling sort of politically incorrect about having a pool. I'm sure I'll get over it soon......