Thursday, July 30, 2009


This is our one and only Grandson, Jonah, fondly known by all the family as “Jonahbear”. He is four. Since Sunday. He is wiggly. Since before birth. (Most of his photos are blurry.) He is funny. Since before he could talk. He is strong willed. God made him that way for a good reason. (to be known in the future) He loves to talk. Only if he is awake. He entertained us royally today while his Mama taught violin lessons.

In the interest of quiet lessons and a nap for Gracie, Muffin and I took Jbear to a movie in a nice, cool theater. It is 115 degrees—too hot to shop, go to a park, swim, or think of anything else to do. Trying to think cool thoughts, we decided on ‘Ice Age’ at a theater not too far away. Here is just a very small part of the “conversation”, if indeed it was a shared experience.

Jonah: “How long is it to the movie?” (how long will I be in this car?)

Grandpa: Not too far—about 25 minutes”

J: I’m hongreeeeee! (Polished off lunch at school, 3 rice cakes and some peanut butter when he came home.)

Marmee: You have snacks in your backpack and we’ll open them at the theater.

J: Well, actually, I can reach my backpack now.

G: Leave it closed until we get inside the theater, Jbear.

J: Well, how long is it to the theater.

G, opening his iphone to Google maps, finding our location on the map, showing Jbear: Look at the blue blinking dot. That is us in the car. The red dot on the map is the theater. When the blue dot travels to the red dot, we’re there.

J: Why isn’t the red dot blinking?

G: The red dot doesn’t blink. Just the blue dot that is us.

J: I want the red dot to blink.

M: Jbear, look at the brown street signs. The numbers will tell you when we get close to the theater. When you see “101” we’re almost there.

J: What brown signs?

M: Brown signs are above the street beside the traffic lights.

J: That brown sign has an 8 on it.

M: That’s right. Watch for the 101.

J: The blue dot is closer to the red dot! Why won’t the red dot blink?

G: The red dot doesn’t blink, J, just the blue one that is us moving in the car.

J: I want the red dot to blink!

M: Watch the brown signs J.

J: I don’t see any brown signs.

M: That’s because they are green now that we’ve passed into another city.

J: Why are they green?

M: Because that’s the color the city wanted.

G: Watch the blue dot, J.

M: I see a sign with One Zero…

J: One! Where’s the movie?

After parking the car, going inside the theater, and being seated.

J: I’m hongreee!

M: Use your quiet voice, J. I’ll open your backpack.

One hour and a half, two packs of raisins, one package of cheese crackers and another rice cake later…

J: I’m tired. I’m hongreeee. I don’t like this movie. I want my home.

G: Would you like to sit in my lap?

J: OK.

Ten minutes later, on the way out the theater….

J: I’m hongreeee!

G: OK, we’ll go to Trader Joes.

J: Trader Joes!!!! I love Trader Joes!!!! They have these little baskets!!!

Thirty minutes, one blue slushy, one small cup of soda and one small cup of vanilla cookie samples later….

J: Grandpa, I have to poop! Give me some privacy!

G, Waiting outside the door of the men’s room: Jonah, little boys in public restrooms only get a little bit of privacy and that’s all!

Coming out of restroom and seeing a boy about his age, J:

Hi! My name is Jonah! (gives bewildered boy a hug)

G; Let’s go find a little basket while Marmee finishes shopping, Jbear.

J: Let’s go sit on the bench!

Steers Grandpa to the exact bench and stretches out with hands behind head and feet hanging off, where I found them five minutes later.

M: Jonah, lets have breakfast for supper tonight. We’ll make pancakes and cook bacon.

J: I LIKE pancakes!!!

Leaving store, Jonah spills blue slushy in his car seat and thinks he is in big trouble.

J: Oh no! I spilled!

M: It’s no big deal. We’ll just wipe up blue slushy with a blue towel.

J: But my pants are wet!

M: Sit on the towel.

J: Grandpa , you can’t go this way to my house! You have to turn on a different street.

(Jonah, it seems, is exactly right, and we did have to backtrack.)

M: What is the name of your street?

J: (Correct answer)

M: What is the name of your city?

J: (Correct answer)

M? What is the number of your house?
J: I don’t know.

M: You can learn. Repeat after me.

J: Why doesn’t that red dot blink?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gracie Grace

Muffin and I are visiting Boo, our second born and her family. Just before we arrived Gracie had her first birthday. You can see the celebration here.

We came just to play with her and spoil her--from the tip of her ruffly head to the seat of her ruffly bottom.

She smiles almost all the time. Even upside down!

She moves almost all the time, too. that's why so many of my photos of her a blurry--just like her Mama's photos were at the same age.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just because

It has been years and years since I had a summer with free time for lots of consecutive days. Every year I have been busy teaching, learning, traveling to see the newest grandchildren, helping with my Daddy, or committed to something that met weekly. This summer is different. Really different. Just because I have wanted to, I have...
Gone with my students to perform in five places
Started Pilates training, both private and in a mat class
Had coffee with friends
Read blogs written just for entertainment
Read some books outside the "normal" genres of interest
Written creatively
Read about foreign countries
Started a study of Sozo
Strolled through a few shops
Browsed many web sites
Listened and purchased many different genres of music
Taken some naps I really didn't need
Just sat and watched my hummingbird visitors
Spent two days at the hospital with a friend recovering from surgery

I can't begin to describe how decadent I felt when first sampling this newfound freedom. It was uncomfortable to lose track of time and not be working. At the beginning of the summer I would fall asleep for 20-45 minutes while trying to concentrate on even a simple pleasurable past time. I would hurry through a class, or drive myself to compete with the clock and then sudden realization would remind me that I just didn't need to do that. I constantly reminded myself to return to tutorials online or to books I had committed to read because friends requested that I do so. But, as I listed the things I have done "just because" I also feel a great sense of accomplishment. Perhaps I am learning in this stage of my life to be still. After all, that is one of God's commandments.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

As the World Turns

Vertigo Poster - Click to View Extra Large Image

Thursday I had a headache. Thought it was the heat and allergies. Thursday night I had a bit of dizziness. Friday morning when I got out of bed, it was more like vertigo, but passed quickly and I had a full day of activity, including Bodyflow at the gym. Last night the vertigo re-turned. This morning EVERYthing turned. This afternoon Muffin turned into the Doc-In-the-Box and held me up while I walked in to the "walk in clinic".
`Hi Doc. I'm not blonde, but I sure am dizzy.
`Stop the world! I want to get off.
`I'm not spinning a yarn, here. I need some help.
`Can you 'top' this off?
`Let's keep 'rolling' out the paperwork.

Forty five minutes later I was shot full of decadron and had a prescription for a Z-pack and a cortisone pack. Lots of fluid is sloshing in my ears and pressing my sinuses. I've never had vertigo like this. Am I in a movie? Is this temporary? When will the meds 'get around' in my system? Why was it my 'turn' to have vertigo? This is true. I'm not 'tilting windmills'.

Really tired of this!

Last week my dear sister in the Lord, K, was planning a Chrysalis. As Lay Director for that event she had put together a team, prayed, met, made beautiful gifts, prayed more, had more meetings, and was growing more excited each day about the opportunity to pour love into sweet lives of teenage girls who are hungry for more of God.
Last weekend K's Mom died. She had lived a full life and was ready to change her residence to heaven, but that doesn't mean that a family doesn't grieve. K fell ill, thinking she had a 24 hour virus, and couldn't go be with her Mom in those last hours. On Monday she came to our Emmaus reunion group meeting, bringing fresh food from her garden for us to share, saying she had to leave a bit early to go to a doctor's appointment. The doctor ordered tests. He was suspicious of appendicitis. Tuesday night she experienced more sleepless hours in pain with other symptoms. Wednesday, late in the afternoon, she was rushed to emergency exploratory surgery.
Shortly after 8 pm the doctor delivered the news to her husband, sons, and about twenty five Christian friends who had gathered.
K had a malignant tumor the size of a fist removed from her colon. Eighteen inches of her intestine and other tumors attached to the liver were removed as well. The doctor reported "seeds" of other malignancies also. No radiation treatment is recommended. Chemotherapy is advised. She is lying in the hospital, resting under the influence of morphine.
A new director for the Chrysalis is chosen.
K's Mom was buried today. Her memorial service was cancelled.
K's husband must work, so we, her friends, will stay with her at the hospital. He is tired, a little shocky, and we will lift him up in prayer.
K's youngest son, newly married for six months, and his wife, just moved two weeks ago and began new jobs. They need to leave, although the new boss has been very generous. They refuse to accept a dismal, negative outcome.
K's oldest son just graduated from college and is moving to start a new job as well. He has been a warrior and protector for the family and will continue in that capacity.

I am sick and tired of this kind of onslaught against my friends and family members! I hate the works of the devil which Jesus came to destroy! I hate the stealing of lives full of God's promises and destiny! I detest the lying whispers in their ears telling them they should give up and be sick! I am furious that dreams, ideas, lives, missions, and countless other precious treasures have been killed by the diseases and circumstances and words and wounds and entanglements and ambushes and wrong beliefs born of ignorance and misinformation! I am as angry at the forces of darkness in my friends' lives as I was at the terrorists who acted on September 11, 2001! You are in for a big fight, but you might as well surrender, because the blood of Jesus has won this and settled it for eternity!!!!! K and her family are going to win big.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Heated "Up"

After going to the gym, shopping for groceries in 101 degree heat, and playing for a wedding outdoors in the previously mentioned heat, Muffin and I went out for dinner and a movie on Saturday night. Seriously, it has been so hot and dry here that we are losing plants in our yard that we've had for 20 years. It's been so hot that we take our ice chest with us to the grocery store so the cold food will still be cold when we arrive in the garage. It's been so hot that if you don't use the windshield sun screens in the car when it is parked, that the steering wheel and seat belt buckles are too hot to touch. It's been so hot and dry that the sky and the earth are almost the same glaring shade of whiteness. It was so hot at the wedding that the ring bearer stayed busy trotting up the aisle to the steps on the patio porch to the water cooler, hauling cups of cold water toward the bridal party. They all looked like they would like to interrupt the preacher and drink, but were too polite to do so. It was so hot that I was seriously concerned about my violin varnish being damaged by the heat and perspiration and dry air. It's so hot that the tap water is officially "warm". I think you understand.

So, back to dinner and a movie. We had a very pleasant dinner of citrus shrimp and scallops on rice pilaf with garden salad and vegetables. Our waitress was a darling college student who wanted to visit about ministry opportunities, rather than her major. Our city has three universities, each founded by a different Christian denomination, so lots of students find that they are drawn to ministry while working on their degrees. Isn't that fabulous?

The Pixar flick, "Up", has been out for many weeks, and we have intended to see it every weekend since it opened. We were anticipating it. We were pumped. I was surprised. In fact, I felt like a train hit me in the opening moments. I really do understand that it is an uplifting movie, pun intended. I get that we should not be encumbered by our possessions or life's circumstances and that we should always let our spirit of adventure move us forward. I just didn't expect to be reminded of so many people that I know who are not living freely in that spirit of adventure. And I began to cry. Then I cried more. Finally I was just a blubbering mess and wept out of control on the way home. Not a pretty date for Muffin at all. I don't cry pretty. I'm not the "let the tears roll down your cheeks past your lovely waterproof mascaraed eyes type". I sob. I snort. I grab whatever is handy--sleeve, napkin, tissue, upholstery. Well, maybe not upholstery. Poor Muffin. He loved the movie and always sees such richness in the graphics and storytelling, drawing, and imagery. I just see the story and beyond--to the prophetic meanings in the lives and events of the characters. I tried really hard to look at the mechanics and not the heart rending story, but I was a goner. Happy Anniversary, dear. Boo hoo, waaaaaaa. snort. sniff sniff.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Reality vs Imagination

This is Muffin, posing as a Sun Warrior in fine form at the home of the Rowdy Girls
a few weeks ago.

This is NOT Marmee. But Roo thought perhaps it was.
I was so honored.

This Day in History

The year: 1972
The time: 1400, or 2pm, CST
The place: Asbury Methodist Church, Lubbock, TX
The people: Muffin, Me, family, friends, and two preachers
The occasion: Our Wedding Day!

It was simple. Two shades of pink homemade dresses for the bridesmaids. Lots of music, of course, but I stuck to mostly Bach, a bit of Schumann, and hymns. "O Perfect Love" and the prayer of St. Francis (set to music by Olive Dungan) were sung by a dear friend, whose Daddy was one of the preachers. The other vocal solo was from a song cycle, about the ring on the finger of the the newly married girl singing it. Naturally there was a piano, an organ, and a violin playing. The flowers were basic pink carnations and white gladiolus. The former because Muffin sent them to me frequently when I lived in the dorm. The latter because they have always spelled S-U-M-M-E-R to me. The reception was in the parlor and all the food was handmade by my parents and brought from out of town. Muffin's baby sister, his only sister, his only sibling, was six years old. She was the flower girl and didn't speak a word all day, but she was adorable with her long blonde curls.

Favorite memories:
Coming into the sanctuary with my Daddy and seeing Muffin for the first time that day. I knew again that he was the person I wanted to grow old with and sit with on the back porch, looking at the sun go down.
Aforementioned musicians trying not to cry when we said our vows
Previously mentioned baby sister with chocolate cake all over her face at the reception
Second preacher nearly blasting us out of the sanctuary in his zeal to be sure the congregation hear every word he said. We heard!
Baby buggy and lots of shoe polish writing on the little brown Pinto in which we drove away
An awful polyester pant suit, made by my own two hands, in white with gold buttons, as a "going away outfit". Eeeeuwwww! What was I thinking?
Stopping in a small town for a milkshake on our way to our honeymoon destination and discovering dried cake frosting on my face. Muffin hadn't said a thing.
Remembering late in the day that I had a good friend from the music department who was in the Miss Texas pageant that same day
Thinking how very fragile my parents looked as we drove away
Knowing I had married my very best friend, given to my by God, the one who my heart loves.

Happy thirty seventh!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A "Grand" Fourth

When I say "out west", I mean past the trains and the wind turbines. Northwest. Not as north as Cary Grant North by Northwest, but "out there".

Muffin and I packed and saddled our Toyota and headed out West on July 3rd, spending the Fourth at Nana's house. After just a few hours at Nana's, Muffin was cleaning out some brush and something fell in his eye. We spent an hour at the local emergency clinic getting it checked out. He has a small abrasion on the cornea. The doctor deadened it, examined it for debris, flushed it with saline, and wrote a prescription for antibiotic drops. We were home in two hours even with the pharmacy visit.
We were not alone with Nana. When we arrived the Rowdy Girls' and Company had been there almost 24 hours, and were loving the backyard and the second and third generation toys. We laughed, talked, played the piano, ran and played outside, and got a new dog. Yep, Maggie Dog has a new sister. She looks remarkably like Maggie Dog, but much skinnier from malnutrition, recently lactating, and heartworms. 'Mo', as she has been christened, is receiving lots of TLC and heartworm treatment, and is a very sweet tempered dog who is gentle with the girls and doesn't even try to hide that she already loves JB. His cousin found her on the side of the road last week, and a vet checked her out before she headed home with them.

Although Nana and Mo are pleasant company, the Grand girls are the real entertainment. Miss Roo, below, does love her hats. If one is good, two are better. The one modeled below was Muffin's when he was just a pup. Roo loved wearing it around while dragging another one with wide red ties on it which to her meant "walking the dog". Roo and I sang and played "Do Re Mi" at the piano. Ver' cute! At one point she stood up in a dining chair--totally against all the rules-- and CB told her to sit down. And she said, "Eulalie, Sit Down!" That would be a direct quote from "The Music Man".

Em loved playing "I Spy" and kicking the ball outside. She also let me play with her lovely silky hair for awhile and make a pony tail. You can see her lounging on the air mattress, glamour-girl style, after a nap. That girl like's her Marmee's pasta salad! I made it with fresh cucumbers, celery, broccoli and basil and thyme from the garden. Mini farfalle and sun dried tomato dressing perfected it. Em's favorite line from The Music Man is "Where's the Band? Where IS the band??" She almost gave Mo the name "Maggie's Sister" too.

Roo in Muffin's Hat.

Em as Glamour Girl.

Although we missed the fireworks, being on the road that night, God provided an exceptional lightning show. A grand Fourth was celebrated by all.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


As one of Beth Moore's Siesta readers (that's "sistah" blog reader, if you are among the uninformed), I spent the afternoon reading through the comments on today's post. There are hundreds of them, but it was no hardship because this is July 1st. Let me explain. On the 1st and 15th of each month this year, we report to Beth, as comments on her blog, the scripture, along with its address and Bible version, we will memorize during that half of the month. At the end of the year we will each have memorized 24 scriptures. It is pure joy to read the roll call, because every comment is from His Word, our daily bread. Here are some of my favorites from July 1, 2009.

Beth's: Say to wisdom "You are my sister" and call understanding your intimate friend. Prov. 7:4 NASB
Awesome! We have a sister and friend in wisdom and understanding.

"Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way."
Psalm 119:37 (NKJV)
His ways are always worthwhile.

Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
~Deuteronomy 6:7-8 NIV
Speaking of God's Word, of course.

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Proverbs 30:5 NIV
I can always use a shield to deflect those fiery darts!

Colossians 2:2 (The Message)
I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God's great mystery.
I love being part of a tapestry of love!! Love it!

My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth—-I can't stand the taste of evil!
Proverbs 8:7 (The Message)
No calories in truth, and so very satisfying. Yum!

Isaiah 45:2-3 NAS
I will go before you and make the rough places smooth;
I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.
I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden wealth of secret places,
So that you may know that it is I,
The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.
Now this is a true Superhero!

He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him. I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers, You have given me wisdom and power, You have made known to me what we asked of You, You have made known to us the dream of the king.
Daniel 2:22-23 (NIV)
...a Superhero who also reveals mysteries and things hidden in darkness because He IS the flashlight!

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
My personal verse for this half month.