Saturday, December 25, 2010

Now that they all showed up...everyone except him?

The kids are here. Their kid is here. All is good. The fire is still crackling and Willie is on the radio. Have you taken a sniff of the air outside? It smells of the mountains and cold weather. Finally the weather feels like Christmas, cold and a light wind. There have been many years we had to have the air conditioner on in order too light the fireplace. But we didn't's south Texas. At Christmas you just need a fire. We've had dinner, now we waiting on Santa and then we'll have dessert. So pull up a chair, enjoy the fire, watch the unwrapping, and one more time Santa comes.

Friday, December 24, 2010's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

The weather has finally gotten a nip in the air. The wind is howling in the trees outside. The fire in the fireplace is crackling. Christmas carols are in the distance. Presents are under the tree and the stockings are hung. My niece has been cooking in the kitchen all day....amazing stuff. The best being some stuffed jalapenos with who knows what inside them. Then they are wrapped in bacon. Oh, my. She made dips and sauces and veggies and more. So now bring on the people. While oddly enough we had a house full of folks earlier in the day and my sister got a nose bleed. I'm not talking about any ole nosebleed, I'm talking one that would not stop. She finally ended up in the emergency room and things have finally returned somewhat to normal. She is on the way here, to our cabin in Wimberley with my brother n law and things should start to bustle again pretty soon. My other niece will be here soon as well. My kids are coming tomorrow but until then I will celebrate with the rest of them. We are excited to be in this place together and Christmas will come and go, no matter what. Blessings and Christmas eve gift from our family to yours.

Encourage One Another

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Spring in December

What is it about Texas that lets you have spring in the winter? Consider that Thursday and Friday were really cold, windy, maybe in the 40s and 50s. Yesterday it was cool, and windy. I definitely needed gloves and a wrap. Today on the other hand I needed sunscreen! Short sleeves, bright sun, cool breeze, absolutely fabulous. Mosey and I took a long long walk through the fields. They have harvested the cotton so the fields are bare with just stubble to occasionally trip over. There were several riders with their horses on similar trails as us. We spoke but kept going our different directions. Mose always has to look and glare and gawk for a while at the horses as we pass before he will just move on out. He was a gentleman today, quiet and easy to ride. Occasionally I listen to music while I ride these days. Today was one of those days. Sometimes I just enjoy the quiet. Riding calms me, even if I have some issues to mull over in my mind. That methodic motion, the rhythm of his gait are sort of like rocking in a rocking chair, soothing, comforting. I love watching his mane blow in the wind. It's long and elegant, salt and pepper in color. So we just plod along, blowing up a little dust as we go, and enjoy the weather, and are grateful for the "spring".

Encourage One Another

Friday, December 17, 2010

Be Blessed

Today was different. I've been working in social services for over 25 years. I've dealt with a lot of things that for most people would be intolerable. I managed to handle it and keep moving forward. Today while I was sitting in my office someone was almost beating on the glass door to get in down the hall. The just keep on and on and I finally headed down the hall sort of yelling "ok ok". I swung open the door and a lady was standing there. I said "your suppose to use the phone". She said "I can't read or write. My mother stole my money, she stole my food stamps; I slept on the street last night; I don't have a place to live or stay". I was stunned. I asked her who she came to see. She didn't know there name. The police told her to come here. She said something about Adult Protective Services. I asked her name, told her to have a seat and I'd try to find someone to help her. I found someone in the Aged and Disabled area who came with me to talk to her. She was gone. We rushed down the elevator as we saw her walking out into the parking lot. When we got outside I called to her "Terry, come back". She did. She said "I was going scared me". I apologized. She was tearful. We sat and gathered more information from her. She described her mother putting her check into her bra and as Terry asked for it she swung and hit Terry accross the face. The more she talked, the more I felt for her. She had stayed at the shelter but had gotten all kinds of bug bites (bed bugs), had a reaction and had to go to the hospital. She no longer had her Medicaid card; her mother kept it. She was hit by a drunk driver years ago and had a let that "was not all hers". It had taken her 5 years to learn to walk again. She had nothing to eat. She had no money. She said she had been told she had cancer in her stomach. She asked if we had a blanket. I called a few shelters and they were not helpful. My friend had reached her APS caseworker and she was going to come pick her up and take her to a shelter in another town. My friend had also called the restaurant down the street and they were going to give her a free burrito. I found some gloves, a hat and scarf and gave her. She was again tearful. This time in thanks. She LOVED them. I took them apart and she put them on and wore them out. I gave her some cans of soup, some crackers, and a blanket. She was appreciative. She continued to apologize for knocking so much on the door. I continued to apologize for being rude and scaring her. I finally said, "we don't need to apologize to each other any more. We will just be friends" and I shook her hand. She went away happy. Happy with her new items and happy she was going to get something to eat and that her caseworker was on the way to pick her up. It's going to be 18 degrees outside tonight. When I think about her and I think about me we are worlds apart. She is grateful for the smallest thing...for a burrito to fill her belly, with a new glove set from Walmart. I find myself often complaining about the smallest thing. God will put someone or something in our lives to see life different. This woman was a blessing to me today. Tonight I hope she is someplace with a full stomach and has a warm place to lie down.

Encourage One Another

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gift Bag Shopping

Have you ever been shopping just to purchase gift bags for gifts you've already bought...? Your looking at your list, trying to imagine the size. You look at the bags to see if you think they will fit. It really is much easier to save some from last year and match them to this year. Problem is I just don't want to go to the storage unit to get them. Call me lazy. Didn't put a tree up either. Same lazy to go to the storage. I don't want to dig through and find and haul home and then pack them all back up and take them back to the storage when I'm finished. I've done a lot of packing, purging, reselling and moving stuff this year and that storage unit just isn't someplace I want to go. And probably I'll just give all these to my daughter who will be there for Christmas and has already unpacked and put out all her Christmas stuff...she'll have to pack it all back up anyway. So no more unpacking and packing for me until next year. I just hope my gifts fit in the bags!!!

Encourage One Another

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Who Was That Man Who Gets the Big High Five?

Ok, a second first was accomplished yesterday. T-Paw and I took the boy shopping. OK, T-Paw and I haven't even done all that much shopping together in our lives, however, I thought we did amazing. Getting the boy and our stuff in and out of the car each time was sort of like a Chinese fire drill. We would continued to round the car from side to side getting stuff in or out, then going to the other side to get something out or put something in. T-Paw commented, "we look sort of "rookieish" doing this. B makes it look so easy". I said, "she has had weeks of practice now and when I have been with her she won't even let me help. I think we are doing fabulous to not have ever done this". So we just kept on keeping on and shopped the day away. On one occasion there was a decision for me to go in and do the deal real quick and he would stay in the car with the boy. Next thing I know, I look out and he's in the back seat with the boy. Everything is quiet. "Paci" is in his mouth and there is not a hint of crying! I finish up and off we go to the next stop...clothes shopping for T-Paw. Out we go again, shop a while, the boy sleeps the whole time. He is such a good shopper. T-Paw got lots of cool stuff. We load up again and I'm thinking he's going to be getting hungry pretty soon. When we get to the restaurant, T-Paw says "I'll take him to the table and you just order for me." I'm ok with that. So I get our food and about that time the boy wakes up. I pick him up and hold him while I eat. He just looks around at the sights and sounds. I finish my lunch and feed him...perfect. There's no changing table in this restaurant...bummer. So we head to the car to attempt a diaper change. Other than him trying to push himself off the seat, we got that done without much trouble. He seems pretty happy so we decide to try one more for me! Well, the boy gets unhappy on the road. Here's another miracle. T-Paw leans totally across from the front seat to the back seat and talks, coos, puts the paci in and out, and quiets that boy down. T-Paw comes back to the front and settles in...but here we go again. Once again T-Paw goes without suggestion across from the front seat to the back (in case I haven't mentioned he's 61 and I have to be honest, a little slow). I was truly impressed. I said "think we should just head on home?" He said "I think I got it." And he did. The rest of the way all is quiet from the back seat until we get to the next stop. The boy was fine in the store. He and T-Paw went to the "man cave" area and just talked and hung out a few minutes while I searched for thing to try on. Just about the time I started to try on my items noises started to be heard from the "man cave" area. The boy started crying and although T-Paw tried to quiet him, he was just tired of being in the car seat. We got him out, quieted him down and decided to just put everything back and head out. Shopping for me will have to take place another day. Just a few blocks out of the store the boy gets REAL upset in the car seat. There goes T-Paw over the seats again. After a few minutes he has him soothed again. He's getting really good at this. Do I dare say he's a natural? I mean truly this was just miraculous. You have no idea. I don't think I know this man. Mostly because it's so far outside his box. For me, yeah, it's all new, or relatively new since I haven't done it in 26 years. However, I'll catch on pretty quick and I'm not gonna break anything I don't think. (OK, we did have one big faux pax, we strolled him backwards in the stroller! Sorry B!) But truthfully, I don't think T-Paw ever, no let me re-phrase that, I know T-Paw, who was once "daddy", never did anything like this. If he did, I've totally lost my memory about it. I'm sure he has too, if he ever did. He was amazing. I was pleased and impressed, and truly blessed by him yesterday. It was something I think we have both dreamed about, "grandparenting" our grandchild together. "T-Paw, we did it. I give you a big high five for the day."
When I told this story to B, she said "I think this is his attempt at a "re-do" (which I call a do over). "What do you mean?" She said "since he didn't do anything with me (when she was little)". Sort of takes the air out of my bubble. But the truth is the truth...and the truth will set you free.

Encourage One Another

Friday, December 10, 2010

Me and He, finally alone

Today was a first, a fabulous first, me babysitting alone with my grandson, my first grandson my only grandson. My daughter and her husband went out for a date night, their first since the baby was born. And I got to keep my boy.
So far so good if I do say so myself. Albeit a bit funny however. I'm sure the neighbors could hear my offbeat, out of tune singing of words and lyrics I really don't remember. My play list consists of old church hymns, little 'Jesus Loves Me" type songs and Christmas carols. I'm sure my boy was wondering what in the world he had gotten himself into. I mean "where in the world are my parents" he must have been thinking. However, he remained calm, looked me in the eye and keep sucking that "paci" like it was going out of style. My mission was to keep him awake until it was time to eat dinner and then go "bedtime". Mission accomplished! We played on the floor, bounced in the bouncer, walked the room, rocked in PaPa's recliner, and watched the fan circle. It's all good. Once it was time to eat there was first a diaper change. Then he drank his whole bottle and burped twice. Next I successfully managed to get him in his little swaddler blanket and kiss his neck goodnight. I laid him in his bed, turned on the little sheep sounds and off to lullaby land he went...just like that. Nothing to I have been doing it for years. Well I guess years ago I did do it....for years. Until she grew up and had my first grandchild! And the world goes round and round.

Encourage One Another

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's All About Attitude

Ok, really. It's all about attitude, right? If we have a good one, if we think positive, if we dream big…we can have a huge effect on our outcome. I really do believe that. I mean you read it all the time. It also effects our mood and our relationship to others. Do you really want to be around someone who complains about everything? Do you want to listen to someone who cannot find a right thing in their world today? Day after day they stammer that life isn't treating them right, that someone is to blame, that the weather sucks. No. The people I want to hang with are generally in a good mood. They see life as a blessing. They can tell you at any given time some of those blessings. They smile and laugh easily. They may not always be on top of the world, but generally, they see their life clearly. They are in charge. No one else is to blame for any of their misfortune. Those are the folks I want to spend my time with. They lift us up. They help us see our blessings. They are hopeful and help me be hopeful. They also see God. They see that he blesses us everyday, even in our difficult times. Those are the times for lessons learned and efforts to keep us moving forward. Those are times when we reach out to God and it strengthens our relationship with him. So for today, smell the roses and look for the rainbows on the horizon. You'll be blessed.

Encourage One Another