Why I’m Sad to See Winter Go


Disclaimer:  I live in Texas where these are our seasons: 1) almost summer,  2) hotter than H-E-double-hockey-sticks, 3) still summer, and 4) a little cooler than summer.  Keep your snowballs to yourself.  They would just melt before they hit me anyway.

Yes, I’m sad to say goodbye to Old Man Winter.  Spring is threatening everywhere with blooming daffodils, budding azaleas, and people wearing flipflops and shorts in 50-degree weather.  Why am I sad?  Let me count the ways.

1.  Snow.  I’m still waiting!  We haven’t even had a good ice storm this winter!  I’ve got grandchildren who’ve never even seen snowmen in person.  A few years ago we had snow in March.  It’s getting pretty far into March now, though, and no weather person has mentioned any ice storms coming in the near future.

2.  Allergies.  Here, allergy season goes into high gear in the spring.  The weather turns nice, the flowers start blooming, then, just as you start thinking about doing some yard work, that thick yellow stuff called pollen coats everything from vehicles to cows and sends you running back into the house for Kleenex and Chlorpheniramine.  Try sneezing and saying that at the same time.

3.  Boots.  I’ve managed to accumulate several pairs of boots over the years and I really like to wear them.  My toes and roadmaps of veins hide pretty well in boots.  I would even wear them in the summer if they also didn’t serve as ovens in hot weather.  Someone should invent tiny air conditioners for shoes.

4.  Winter clothes.  So much more attractive on older, heavier bodies than skimpy summer styles.  Who wants to see upper arms and legs over 50?  That’s why shrugs and capri pants were invented, people.  But sometimes it gets so hot you just gotta.  I know!  I’m right there with you!  Forget about swimsuits.  Unless you have to take grandkids.  Then what do you do?  You resort to suits with skirts and baggy coverups and hope you don’t have to get in the water, or at least deeper than your ankles.

5.  Blazing fires.  Not a good thing in summertime when the air already feels like you’re standing near a fire.  Great in the winter.  Who doesn’t love a roaring fire in the fireplace or firepit?  You get to wrap up in a blanket and sip on a warm beverage.  Nothing better.  In the summer just stare at the sun or its reflection on car windshields.  But not directly, of course.

That’s about it.  I’ll have to paint my toenails, break out the sandals and capri pants, put the boots and sweaters in storage, and resign myself to another six months of scorching heat.  That’s all right, I suppose.  I’ll try to squeeze in some yard work before the sun burns everything up.  Now where did I put the Flonase and tissue?  Achoo!

How do you feel about winter?



Stella: Feelin’ Wella Good (apologies to No Doubt)

Who’da thought when we picked out this adorable Boston terrier puppy back in March we would end up putting her through risky surgery to save her life?  She seemed so healthy.  Until.

Precious puppy!

At four months we took our newest family member to the vet for spaying and docking her unusual long tail.  Boston terriers just aren’t supposed to have long tails, and Dr. B. said since the docking wasn’t done shortly after birth, it could easily be done while she was under anesthesia during spaying surgery.  As much as we hated to put her through that, we knew she would heal quickly. She went through the surgery like a champ and challenged us, even dared us, to keep her quiet the first week of recovery.

Comfy in her kennel with her pink blanky

The time passed quickly, however, even with her having to stay in her kennel more because she tended to be too playful.  I had noticed that she seemed a little thin, and that when she inhaled during breathing, her sides would suck in harder than seemed normal.  Dr. B.’s new colleague, Dr. H., noticed the abnormal breathing as she examined Stella’s incision.  She wanted to take an x-ray, and her suspicions revealed a hernia in Stella’s diaphragm that had allowed her abdominal organs to move into her chest cavity!

So playful!

The doctors think that the surgery caused a difference in pressure which sucked the intestines, liver, and other abdominal organs through the hole in the diaphragm and around her heart, collapsing one lung. At first we thought we would have to take her to a specialist in Dallas but Dr. B. decided he could perform the surgery, and we trusted him to do it.

All tuckered out.  Look at that tongue!

To watch her now you’d never know how close we came to losing our sweet baby girl.  She’s just as active and mischievous as ever, thanks to two perceptive and skillful veterinarians. We hope to enjoy little Stella for many years to come.

Looking very thin before her problem was identified.
Now healthy and happy with Daddy.


#Bostonterrier #puppy #dog #veterinarian #pets #veterinarysurgery #congenitaldefectsincanines

Life Uncategorized

I’ve Fallen, But I Can Still Get Up!

Every time I go to the doctor’s office, they pull out their list of questions.  One of them is: have you fallen recently?  My answer these days?  Probably.

It seems that I can’t seem to stand on my own two feet sometimes.  And my poor knees are taking a beating.  At this rate, I’m going to outlive their usefulness.

When my daughter was a baby thirty-plus years ago, I carried her out of the bathroom where I had been giving her a bath into the tiled hallway.  I suppose water from the bath dripped onto the hard tile hallway floor because next thing I knew I was falling—with a tiny baby in my arms!  I managed to shield her but my right knee took all our weight.  Ouch.

Another time I was playing baseball with the kids and I slipped on a homemade sheet metal base and cracked the same knee again.  Ouch.  Ouch.

Fast forward a few years.  I am now wearing trifocals.  They tend to become necessary with age, unfortunately.  I believe they may be responsible for my recent mishaps. 

I wanted my free birthday bundtlet from Nothing Bundt Cakes so my husband and I stopped for some treats.  I missed the step to the sidewalk and cracked that old knee.  I also ruined a new pair of boots.  The girls in the cake shop saw the whole thing but they still made us pay for the second cake.  It was embarrassing but messing up my new boots hurt worse, I think.

Last December I was in an airport at baggage claim with my son and his family when my grandson ran in front of me and knocked me down.  Yes, on the same knee.  In a crowded airport.  I was able to get up with my daughter-in-law’s help and act like nothing had happened.  I wanted to jump on the conveyor belt, disappear behind the flaps, and cry.  Instead, I put on a brave face. But boy, did it hurt. 

I don’t think I am completely recovered from that injury.  It still hurts when I kneel on it.  But did that keep me from falling yet again?  Nope.  I was outside a few days ago washing an outdoor chair and a Cozy Coupe when I stepped off the walk into a hole and hit both knees on the pebbled rough surface of our sidewalk.  This time my poor knees bled profusely as I hobbled back inside to wash and bandage them.  I am approaching the milestone birthday between 50 and 70 with skinned knees.

My poor knees.  Don’t judge.
My daughter fears I will fall while carrying her two-month-old or her two-year-old.  I’m too careful for that, right?  I just hope when I turn 70 I’ll still be able to get up.

#nevergivingup #nevertooold #oopsshediditagain

Do you ever fall?

Here’s to staying upright.

Life Memoirs

Hang on, Mama!

Step on the brakes!  Your baby has made it all the way to his last year of school.  This is the year you have been working toward, the culmination of all those years of trudging through his childhood, buying that mountain of school supplies every August just to find out that by October he was all out, buying school clothes sometimes several times a year because he just Would. Not. Stop. Growing.  Not to mention those endless nights of homework, after school practice, ball games, and the myriad other activities that keep parents on the road seven nights a week.  What happened to not scheduling activities on church nights?

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Here you are, in the last year of her school life, navigating cap and gown orders, graduation invitations, and senior pictures.  She likely has her driver’s license so you don’t have to be the driver any more.  Your angst at getting in the car again for another trip to school has been replaced by the worry that she will be in an accident in her own car or yours.  You don’t know all her friends any more, much less their parents.  You have to trust her to make her own decisions, because that, after all, is what you raised her to do.  She doesn’t need you as much now, or possibly she needs you more, if only in the background as she tries her wings.

Brake and brake often.  Savor these last few months of their childhood.  After graduation they may leave your nest for good, like my oldest child did.  As I happily celebrated his graduation and helped him prepare to move to an apartment and go to college 100 miles away, I forgot to brake.  I forgot to hold on.  It’s been fifteen years and he has never come back, except for visits that are way too short.

My son and his friends gathered around our dining table.  He’s in the white shorts and blue shirt. 

I was fortunate enough to teach in the same high school he attended, and one of my fondest memories is watching him coming down the hall with his friends to greet me with their own unique salutation.  They were full of youth and energy and they made me laugh.  How forlorn the halls were the next year without Matt and his friends.

I recall the many nights when he and his friends would crowd around our dining room table talking and laughing.  I never thought I would have enough food for them all, but they managed to entertain themselves and get their fill of snacks. 

Hubby and daughter Natalie on her graduation trip to Pensacola Beach
These times, though often making for worrisome late nights, were short-lived.  Far too soon he was gone, finished college, married, and now has a child of his own.  No regrets, only the knowledge that I didn’t realize how much more I should have savored each moment.  My daughter graduated a few years later, a year early in fact, and it still felt like a whirlwind.  Natalie and her friends were fun as well, but soon they scattered as life has them do, leaving me with an empty nest but a heart full of wonderful memories. 

So hang on, mamas and daddies of high school seniors.  It’s a fast and furious year, and it takes no prisoners.

Life teaching

Why I’m Happy School is Starting Again

Ah, back-to-school time.  That season of the year when store shelves are brimming with shiny new pens, markers, notebooks, and lunch boxes, and clothing racks are stuffed with fashions for going back to school.  Parents groan because of the expense of equipping the kids with everything required for the new school year–but those shoes fit in May!  Kids groan because their summer is too short, and the reminders start in July with back-to-school sales–can’t they at least wait until August?  Teachers groan because their summer is too short–wait, I need more time off!

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The rest of the world–civilians as I used to call them–gives a sigh of relief that life will finally settle into a familiar routine of the kids being off the streets, out of the shopping centers, and in the schools for at least eight hours a day.  Sorry, teachers, I feel your pain.  After all, I was one for 30 years myself.
That is the number one reason I’m happy that school is starting. . .
1.  I’m retired!  I don’t have to worry about endless staff development meetings when I would rather be in my classroom preparing for the first day of school.  I don’t have to spend money buying extra school supplies for the students in my classes who won’t have them.  I don’t have to wonder when I’ll find the time to prepare my lessons, grade papers, schedule meetings, call parents, and worry about ARDs, LEPs, IEPs, STARR, ADA, AEIS, RTI, TEKS, TELPAS, STEM, BS, and CRAZY!
2.  Fall is around the corner.  Sayonara, summer, with your 100-degree temperatures (I shouldn’t complain–we’ve only had one day of those so far this year!). . .bring on those dead leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, boots, and sweaters!

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3.  I can go to the store during the day and every aisle won’t be filled with parents and children getting in the way. . .IF I go before 3:00 p.m.
4.  I won’t have to compete for doctor and dental appointments with teachers and students.  I’ll be able to get an appointment for whenever I need it. . .maybe.
5.  Those school facilities I pay enormous taxes on will again be in use.  (How many times did I hear this when I was teaching?  Ugh.)
6.  Tax-free weekend happens in August (at least here in Texas), and you don’t have to be a teacher or student to buy clothes or supplies minus the sales tax.  But it’s crowded!

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More info here
7.   Back-to-school shopping means a sneak peak at the new fall fashions. 
8.  After the back-to-school season comes Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, the good, better, and best parts of the whole year.
Those are the reasons I am glad school is starting back up again.  I’ve always been happy to see school start, ever since I was old enough to start getting new clothes and school supplies.   I guess I have teaching in my blood.
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What about you?  Is back-to-school a good thing for you?