Monday, December 29, 2008

Wait a second

Wait a second

Wait a second

Look here,

You’re telling me

I get an extra second?

2009 is a Leap Second Year?

News to me.

I can see it now,

Times Square on New Year’s Eve

Thousands waiting, counting

down the brilliant ball


Wait a second!



Happy New Year!

My recliner is my Times Square if I’m awake.

May I grab my second from those New Yorkers ?

Even better, from Sydney way down under?

No, wait til midnight I am told.

What to do with this magical gift?

Kick the cat?

Sip some wine?

Blow my nose?

Write a line?

I will put mine in a bank, I think,

A bank of seconds for future use

To shoot the finger

throw a kiss

add one last breath

or take a piss.

Wait a second!

Hear me now!

Don’t forget!

I want those old seconds I have missed.

I’ll bank them like found money that

gathers interest every day.

Watch them grow into minutes, hours, days

Until at last it will be time

to say goodbye to 2009.

Happy New Year!

Kay L. Cox


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Best Movie in years

"Doubt" onclick="javascript:document.embedForm.embed_code.focus();;" readonly="readonly" type="text">
[Meryl Streep]This movie will leave you talking and questioning for days to come. Academy Award wins for the whole cast. Magnificent screen play. Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman's finest acting ever.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! And it has been and still is. What a great week of parties and family and friends. My daughter and I looked at each other over the big breakfast she cooked this morning after opening gifts and thought "How could we possibly think of eating another big meal?" We have been eating wonderful Mexican food for three days....two yesterday. It is traditional in our family to have tamales on Christmas Eve...sure beats the oyster stew my grandmother always fixed (not that it wasn't good but the kids never liked it). So after another big lunch with my niece and partner at Ninfa's we had company again last night for tamales, beans and rice. You have to understand, being born and raised in Texas one grows up as a chili belly. Tex-Mex is a staple in our diet and we are indeed a family of chili bellies.

Tuesday was cookie decorating day when my friend, Susan, came over to teach us icing 101. Above picture is some of our creations. It was so much fun we will have to make this an annual event. The desserts are piling up...cookies, pecan pie, apple pie and soon pralines.

SOOooo we looked at each other after breakfast today and said, "Let's have Christmas dinner tomorrow when more family is coming and go to the movies today." So there we are and I'm even going to get a nap.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Slick and Peanut are just exhausted after a hard day of wrapping packages. They had to jump in empty bags, snatch ribbon, crumple paper and unroll the wrapping paper. Whew! They are just pooped.
Posted by Picasa

The sisterhood of the traveling jean jacket

Well, sadly, the jean jacket was entirely too big for my grandaughter (what was I thinking? it had belonged to her mother in a previous life). By the time she would have grown into it, she would have a brand new idol. SOOOSSOO.....grandaughter opted to share it with my friend, Nanci, whom it fit perfectly with encouragement to add on if she wished. Thus there is now "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Jean Jacket." A happy ending for all with the agreement from Nana to work on one of my grandaughter's current jackets and "please, Nana, no lace."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The jean jacket

This is the jean jacket I am recycling with added embellishments for a grandaughter's Christmas. She is a fan of Taylor Swift so that is her picture on the back. There may be more additions but my fingers are needle sore right now...hand stiching through denim is tough.
It has been a fun project...I just hope it isn't too big for her.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas down under

Christmas in Australia
click to enlargeNuytsia floribunda Loranthaceae

When I was living in Western Australia while teaching at Edith Cowan University, I was charmed by this Christmas tree (it is actually called Christmas tree). It is a parasite and only blooms at Christmas time...big, clusters of yellow flowers. It has roots that tenaciously can grow for yards and yards underground and pop up a new tree a long distance from its mother.

Christmas season seemed alike but different in some ways from the USA. Santa Claus showed up in the mall and stores were decorated but there never seemed to be the prevalence of crass materialism that prevades the States. Stores would have a small display of cards and ornaments and lights but not racks and racks of glittery stuff which was really nice.
What was really fun was the big parade in downtown Perth with bands and fire engines and of course, Santa but what a difference in the crowd. We were all wearing shorts, sunscreen, sandals and Santa hats. Fun with the spirit of Christmas no matter what the temp.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Here comes Santa Claus

One of the fun things about living in a small community is the annual neighborhood rituals and events. On the second Saturday in December each year Santa Claus rides through the streets of El Lago on a fire truck while firemen throw candy to the onlookers. His potential arrival is announced by the sound of the fire siren and horns approaching from blocks away. Kids and grown-ups alike race to the curb to wave at Santa and get their share of candy. This year some yummy pieces of chocolate were included...a sign our neighborhood is aging.

Meet Lurlene

This is Lurlene. She is getting ready to order at Cuisine of India. Lurlene is a house-warming gift to my dear friends, Ann & Dennis, who had the nerve to retire and move to north Texas. They made an all together too brief a return but it was great to enjoy dinner with them and a few of the Violet Flames on a snowy night. I found Lurlene at our church garage sale months ago and snapped her up in anticipation of their move. What else to give to the couple who has everything and more? The group went together on a Lowe's gift card which I tied around Lurlene's neck with a big gold bow. Dennis seems to be quite taken with her...not sure what I think about that. She is charming I'll grant you and looking forward to being in the land of Billy Bob's Texas, Ft. Worth's renowned honky-tonk.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


It is snowing! Yep, right here in Seabrook, Texas it is snowing. For all you folks up north please don't laugh at me. You have to understand that I have lived here 46 years and this is only the 4th time it has happened. I had dinner at a local Indian restaurant with my Artist's Way group and when we came out, our cars were covered with snow and it has been coming down every since. My grandaughter called me so excited...she is 11 and has never seen snow before. I may just have to stay up all night to watch it. I want to make a snow man but nobody in the neighborhood seems to be awake. I hope it doesn't all melt quickly in the morning but it most likely will. But in the meantime let it snow, let is snow, let it snow. I'm going for the hot chocolate. Yippee!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Welcoming Amelia

Yesterday I was privileged to be part of a welcome to the planet party for a blogger friend's new baby. It was so delightful to be among all these young mothers and some new babies. Amelia is just so beautiful and I got to hold her for a while...hold her and smell her, nothing like the smell of babies. Obviously I miss having babies in the family as all my grandchild are way past the baby stage. And what a lovely group of friends had gathered to celebrate reminding me of my old neighborhood where my children grew up and the fast friends we made in that group. And I got to meet Amelia's adorable sister and dad and dog, Henry so now when I have a image in my head when I think of her.

It took me forever to travel the 75 miles to the party as I got lost in their town. Never trust Map Quest! It left out one important street totally and sent me in circles. But two calls to the hostess set me straight. Good thing I didn't throw out cookie crumbs as they would have led me into circles of unwanted territory. Fortunately thanks to Amelia's mom's great directions I was able to find my way out easily. She even called to make sure I made it home okay.

I left with a lot of hope for America's future. These young women are strong and going to work balancing kids and jobs with amazing hope and optimism and are great support to each other. They have built strong ties within their little part of the world that I think will see them through the good times and the hard.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

All in the name of beauty????

I never ceased to be amazed at what is marketed telling us we are never enough. This is hilarious and yet disturbing with its message that our physical bodies are never quite right. Too weird. Auburn with pink and black dots?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Garlands of gratitude

This was discussion Sunday at our spiritual community. The month of November our focus has been on gratitude and today I led our group in art experience expressing our thankfulness. It just so happened that we were visited today by a family with small children for the first time in a long time and this was great timing. I asked them to come to the front to help me demonstrate the making of a paper chain as I considered them experts on something that most grown-ups had forgotten how to do. We adjourned to the classroom tables with the instructions that members were to write on each slip of colored paper something they were grateful for and make the slips into a chain. Later each person was invited to add their chain to the community chain telling one thing that they are grateful for. The chain grew quite long and will be used to decorate the Christmas tree at the party next weekend. The two small folk did a great job and were eager to share their gratitudes which was remarkable I thought in front of strangers.
It was also birthday Sunday for November honoring all members who had November birthdays and one of the kids just had a birthday. He got the first piece of cake and altogether had a wonderful time which of course led to all of us laughing and having a fun time. The Universe does indeed have a divine plan if we pay attention.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree

Geez, but I love this new tree with all its pre-lit lights. Every previous year I swore DH and I were going to kill each other just trying to get the friggin' lights on the tree. That is a test equal to hanging wallpaper with a spouse. Now this glorious thing just unfolds and plugs in. Holy Moly...we shoulda done this years ago. So there she is...ready to be adorned tomorrow. I might even make cookies for the crew!

Black Friday

Black Thursday magnify
It's been a while since I blogged I know but life has just been kinda hectic. And I never thought I would do this but there I was at 5:45 am in line at our local Home Depot in the throngs of the bargain hunters feeding our materialistic souls in search of the greatest bargains. I managed to drag DH out of bed to go with me on this adventure into the dark of night. Home Depot had 7 1/2 ft prelit Christmas trees for $49 and poinsettias for 99 cents. This is the weekend the kids will come and help decorate the tree and house. Our old tree was getting rather tired and haggard like its owners and I was determined to get a new one. Success! We were let in at 6 am and the frenzy began as folks grabbed shopping carts and raced in snatching poinsettias on their way to trees and power tools. The bargain hunters became bargain snatchers. It was amazing and it was a good thing DH came with me as I could not have negotiated that tree box by myself. So one tree and 6 poinsettias later we are home. Two plants are on the porch and the tree is up with the cats sniffing and sniffing....they haven't torn it down yet but we will have to keep an eye on them. I love this tree! The rest of the poinsettias will go to the church.

Yesterday was delightful and I'm still stuffed! But my dishes weren't as wonderful as I had hoped. The pie I made from Cooking Light didn't look at all like the picture on the cover and I thought tasted awful. The cheese grits recipe I usually use I couldn't find and substituted one from which was way too heavy on the salt but didn't taste too bad. The pumpkin spice cake recipe I cut from the newspaper turned out super. I never bake any of this stuff for just us as we just can't eat it all. So....I end up experimenting on groups, poor things. But nobody seemed to care and everyone loved the cake. It was just fun being with family and we have much to be grateful for.

I hope everyone had a great day full of love and abundance.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Home at last after a wonderful trip. But it is a long way by car. 1270 miles in two days. On the way from Houston to Charlotte we went our usual route along I 10 which turned out to be a nightmare of construction and traffic reduced to one lane over and over. We had some business to handle before we left which took us all over Houston in the morning traffic so it was nearly noon before we got out of town. We made it only to Gulfport the first night and dragged our tired bodies into Miguel's in Charlotte around 7:30 Saturday night to meet our son and family. Two 12 hour days in the car but it was worth it.

We rarely ever experience anything like autumn here so I was enchanted by the fall colors all the way through northern Alabama, Georgia and then into Charlotte. So beautiful. And my son's home is just wonderful and sits on a bluff over Mountain Island Lake on the northern edge of Charlotte so each morning we could sip our coffee on their balcony overlooking the lake through the colorful trees.

We met the newest member of the family, Gatsby. He is a delightful beagle who just sorta showed up in the neighborhood and they adopted him. He and Daisy, their other dog, are like an old married couple...pretty funny.

Kate is still taking riding lessons and is doing very well. The picture is of the stable where she rides out in the country side not far from their home. There are always multiple cats and kittens around. Kate is playing the flute this year and we went to her first band concert. Later we went to Sam's soccer team banquet where he got a medal. As you can tell, most of our time was spent around the grandchildren's activities.My son has been with Wachovia now for several years but with the take-over by Wells-Fargo is facing a possible or more likely probable lay-off. I can read the stress on his face but he is handling it all pretty well and his wife is supportive of whatever they need to do even if it means moving. So we shall see.
We stopped overnight on the way home in Meridian, Mississippi. What a beautiful town and the Quality Inn we stayed in was far and above what we had experienced from that chain before. We will go back. And driving a more northern route on I 20 was a much better and easier route through beautiful mountains and autumn colors. We will do that again even if it is a little longer.

Monday, November 03, 2008

North Carolina at last

I'm upstairs in the play room of my son's house on the lake in Charlotte, NC. Out the window is the most beautiful array of, red, orange...the full array of autumn. We are relaxing here after a really tough few days. We were to leave last Wednesday but after my husband's visit to the tax accountant it was obvious that he was missing a bunch of stuff. His mind isn't what it used to be (at 77 whose is?) and he lost some major components. We spent 3 days running around Houston resurrecting what was needed and finally finished on Friday mailing the last piece on our way out of town. This will not happen again as I am taking OVER! Geez, men and their control issues!
The journey was full of delays and frustrations and 12 hour days of driving and driving. Our usual route along I 10 was loaded with construction all along the way around every major and minor city...lanes reduced to one and it is a major trucking route. I have to do most of the driving as hubby fatigues easily and his vision isn't all that great. In Atlanta as we got to 85 going north there was a shutdown of the whole northbound lanes. We waited almost an hour at a standstill and never did figure out exactly what had gone on. What a mess and very stressful! By the time we arrived in Charlotte and met my son and family for Mexican food at the wonderful Miguel's, I was a wreck. We missed Halloween with the kids which was a big disappointment but we finally made it.
But it just feels so good to be here where someone else is in charge. This has been a hairy month or two...first packing for a possible evacuation from Gustav, then the glorious Alaska trip, home for 1 1/2 days, packing and evacuating for Ike, home to put the pieces back together, oldest grandson in some big difficulty (he's bi-polar), more Ike stuff, catching up on everything missed while gone and/or without electricity for two weeks, taxes, art and poetry deadlines, best friend moving, and so it goes. Whew! Now I can take a deep breath and leave the Universe in charge as if it wasn't anyway. Working on maintaining an attitude of gratitude...I am warm/cool, dry, fed, clothed and have a roof over my head, friend and family that love me and that I love back, and my mind still seems to be in reasonable shape, though my poetry says otherwise. Life is good even it gets hairy at times.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Poem

Return to owner, please

My mind is gone...
left with Ike
Blown out with the surge
gone with the leaves and birds.
Perhaps it will be found
among the soggy bits of dry wall,
broken twigs and branches
in the debris pile at my curb.
My sense of time and space
sits beneath the water's surface
like a sunken boat
leaving an emptiness among the bones
waiting for something
something safe and sure.
I should have labeled it, I know.
My Social Security number etched
upon the right temporal lobe.
Return to owner, please.

@Kay L. Cox

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween is just my absolute favorite of holidays. I love decorating for it and getting out my collection of witch hats and ghouls and I love greeting all the kids at the door. We are blessed with a neighborhood full of children and that is safe enough for them to go up and down the streets Trick or Treating. Parents are usually in the background with flash lights but what a creative tribe...some of the costumes are so imaginative that my artist heart just swells.
Saturday my grandaughter brought two of her friends over to create Halloween ATCs. We had so much fun and the kids stayed for hours . I love 5th graders...they can do so much and yet haven't gotten to the reticent "I am too grown up" stage to try something fun and new. Taylor and I had gone to Hobby Lobby and gathered up a couple more rubber stamps to add to my collection and some more stickers. I had cut out the cards from orange, black and white card stock and they delved right in. It was interesting to watch them work...John loved rubber stamping and whizzed along; Michelle loved collage and was quite selective in her choices working slowly as she experimented; Taylor's were a mix of stamping and collage and stickers. I gave them all official sleeves for their cards and baggies to cart them home. After cookies and a few phone calls from moms they hurried off on their bikes agreeing to meet today for their trading.
We leave for Charlotte day after tomorrow and I am excited to be spending my first Halloween with my other grandchildren. It will take us a day and a half or so to get there and we will be back home on the 11th. It will be fun to share election day with my son and his wife as they have been really active in support of Obama so we will have a lot to celebrate on Nov. 4. I'm hoping that Texas will return to being a Democratic state which it was for all the years I was growing up. How could one grow up in Austin and not be interested in politics? I think it is in the water and Molly Ivins, bless her departed soul, will vouch for me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

More of Ike

In case anyone has forgotten us, this is a reminder that there are still thousands homeless and devastated by Hurrican Ike. This picture was taken this morning a couple of miles from my house on a street that runs along the Bay in my small community of Seabrook. Just one of many that were thrown off their piers or wiped out. Everyone seems to be at the mercy of FEMA who makes the decision on whether they can rebuild. It is hard to explain how or why some homes nearby seemed to come out unscathed while others are flattened or just flat disappeared. The clean-up and rebuilding will take years.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Princess Star

Buchart Gardens

One of the highlights of the cruise for me was in Victoria, BC visiting Buchart Gardens. I could have spent days in there. This is a dahlia like none I had ever seen before. Some of the dahlias were the size of soccer balls...amazing. I would so love to go back to Victoria and spend a week. We only had a few hours so we had to breeze through the 53 acres.

More of the atrium

This is a close-up of the ceiling. On formal nights a photographer set up on the bottom floor and every evening there was a pianist playing.

The Princess Star

This ship is so beautiful. Amazing decor and so clean. This is a shot of the artrium...a little over the top, huh! Shops all around the second level and usually tables of vendor all around. Geez...who buys all that jewelry? Why would anyone buy diamonds on a cruise? They weren't even great bargains. There is a whole part of the female population that I've never been a part of and just don't get. It's been years and years and years since I have been to a "style show" and guess I've just developed my own sense of what I like to wear and feel good in. I love handmade clothes like Blue Fish and hang on to those wearing them for years and years and years.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Alaska rocks for Obama

This sign was near the entrance to the salmon hatchery where thousands of tourists go every day. Ha! We never saw any McCain/Palin signs anywhere in Alaska which makes me question just how popular is she?The salmon hatchery was very interesting as we learned how they gather salmon eggs, hatch them until they are about 6 inches long and then turn them loose after clipping a small dorsal fin near their tails. When fishing for salmon, it is okay to keep a hatchery salmon identified as such this way but one must throw back the wild salmon. The NY Times ran a picture of Sarah Palin, her daughter and their salmon catch spread before them. Three of the salmon were obviously wild. This woman does seem to do whatever she wants to whomever wherever. We saw lots of salmon in the fresh water creeks who were loosing skin and dying. Evidently the females lay eggs and then die and only the guys get to go back into the ocean. Another interesting bit of salmon trivia is that when leaving the ocean for the fresh water streams, they swim into a mix of brackish and fresh water where they rest for a while and physically adapt to the change growing different gills, etc. Then do the reverse when returning to the ocean. I was disappointed that we didn't see any whales but I did see a seal near Victoria, BC. We did see a brown bear on the road gathering berries when we toured on the Klondike Highway into the Yukon.
Tags: Edit Tags
Saturday October 11, 2008 - 12:15pm (CDT) Edit Delete Permanent Link 1 Comment
Leaving Tracy Arm for Juneau

It was amazing to me how this huge ship could turn around in this narrow channel but it was so fine as everyone got a view of the glacier and the ice flow.
Tags: Edit Tags
Saturday October 11, 2008 - 11:57am (CDT) Edit Delete Permanent Link 0 Comments
What a treat!

We arrived in Tracy Arm early in the morning to view the glacier and ordered a champagne breakfast served on our balcony. So all bundled up ( it was in the high 40s) we sipped and dined and thought we had died and gone to heaven. Then I remembered I'm not crazy about lox.
Tags: Edit Tags
Saturday October 11, 2008 - 11:36am (CDT) Edit Delete Permanent Link 0 Comments
The blue glacier

This was as close as we could get to the glacier up Tracy Arm as there was so much ice coming off of it. It is a lovely blue between these mountains and is melting at an alarming rate. Go soon as it may not be there in a few years thanks to global warming.
Tags: Edit Tags
Saturday October 11, 2008 - 11:29am (CDT) Edit Delete Permanent Link 1 Comment
Check out God's painting with light

Now here is a view!

Hey Sarah Palin (with lyrics/subtitles)

This pretty much says it all.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Was that a debate?

After last night, the Saturday Night Live clip seems not so funny after all.

Well, like everyone else I suppose, I watched the VP debate last night though I can hardly call it a debate. Palin was a huge disappointment. I thought she had more in her than that but I guess I set my expectations too high. I hear some had such low expectations that they were thrilled she didn't shoot herself in the foot. I felt I was watching a high schooler on her first debate team outing. She didn't debate! She came with a well-rehearsed, memorized speech that she was determined to get through somehow. She responded to every question with another one of her canned prepared responses. At least she was honest enough to more or less announce that is what she was going to do. I felt like I was watching the vice-president of the elementary school PTA enjoying her 10 minutes of fame chairing the school carnival BUT I'm sorry...I expect more than that from someone who wants to be a breath away from the President of the greatest country in the world. She gave no specifics really and scares the living daylights out of me. She stands for losing nearly everything that my mother, grandmother and I have worked so hard for these generations to gain rights for women. Having been to Alaska where I encountered women who had struck out to create new opportunities on the frontier, it surprises me that she serves as governor. I thought Joe Biden did an incredible job of addressing specific issues and reining in himself in what must have been a challenge facing this woman.

And Hillary, where the hell are you? You are the one Democrat who could legitimately go after her woman to woman. I was willing to vote for you if you had been the nominee but now I am SO disappointed that you have put yourself off the radar. Obama can't do it...Biden can' least not in the way that you could. Come on, Hillary. You pledged to support the ticket.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Back to the Alaska adventure

Back to the cruise

The Princess Star at boarding in Seattle
Our flight to Seattle was uneventful but crowded. On arrival we nabbed a taxi (I hate the Seattle has to trek up and across with luggage to get any ground transportation) and headed for the best kept secret in Seattle...the Executive Hotel Pacific downtown. Old hotel but very nice rooms and very reasonable. Leaving our luggage until check-in time, we walked over to the Seattle Art Museum which had an amazing installation of white cars with beams of light hanging from the ceiling. After checking in, we went in search of food and found a rather trendy spot called Purple with a huge wine rack in the middle. We were pooped and the food was just fair. Off to bed.
The next morning we left our luggage in the hotel's care and went off to meet Tom, a blogging friend. We sat for hours talking in Starbuck's...very interesting guy with his fun Kindle...very enjoyable way to start a vacation. Then off to Pier 30 to board. Boarding went quickly and well organized and we were led to our cabin.
Talk about being pampered! We were upgraded to a Premier Suite which meant we had a double balcony, a living room and bedroom and a huge bathroom with a jacuzzi tub and walk-in shower, 2 TVs and a wet bar with fridge. OMG! Chris and Karen had arranged for flowers to greet us and after meeting our cute steward, we went off to tour the ship and find food and drink, of course. It's a cruise...isn't that part of it? Even after days on board we still got lost or turned around.
The entertainment the first night in the Princess theater was just fair in comparison to what was to come but it was fun and we learned to get there early if we wanted a seat. Casinos aren't our thing so we went for the entertainment and there was lots of it. Nice bars with small bands and singers. Not being much of a drinker I managed to nurse a drink all the way through one set.
Then we were on our way to Ketchikan with beautiful scenery on the way.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

More after Ike life

Frog finds lost sofa

Ike plucked this sofa from someone's home and frog found it on Nasa Rd 1 and claimed it. Rather poignant, don't you think?
Life here in our house is getting back together. The debris is gone, the frig is running, laundry is done. Parts of the fence are still missing and there are some large branches dangling from our trees. Our insurance adjuster is scheduled to come Tuesday and I'm trying to be optimistic in spite of reports from other folk.
But life around us is still lagging behind. There are still people without power, water, and often jobs. Our favorite Mexican restaurant is still closed and it is doubtful that Margarita can reopen. She was struggling as it was and the present state of the economy doesn't help. Such is the story of other businesses in Ike's wake. Our nearby grocery finally opened to a waiting group of loyals and I noticed a woman living in her car in their parking house, no $$$ and likely no job. I saw another doing the same in the parking lot of a local least the lights of parking lots offer some degree of safety. A friend who lost everything was offered 6 months of housing in Alpine, TX by FEMA. She would have to quit her job and move hundreds of mile west of here. FEMA claimed that was the closet hotel housing they could offer. I am aware that our economy is getting ready to break but Ike's wrath has seem to have fallen off the radar here.

But back to the economy, we spent yesterday packing up a friend who has gone bottom up in this economy. He has worked hard all his life, great guy and is courageous enough to take a hard look at how he got to this point. He is temporarily taking a sabatical to the North to help a friend with some rennovation and we wish him well though we will miss him.
Geez...this is a rather gloomy post. I am off to church and perhaps will return in a lighter frame of mind and get busy posting pics about our Alaska cruise which has been rather overshadowed by Ike I'm afraid.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More on Ike

We have electricity! AC, drinkable water, Dancing with the Stars, laundry and ice cream. Awesome!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This picture was taken at the entrance of our little village of El Lago in Seabrook after Hurrican Ike gave us a visit. Boats are everywhere while others remained moored...go figure. Big, big clean up necessarythat will take months if not years. Directly behind this stack of boats one can see the mast coming out of a huge boat that has sunk along with a couple of others. It is all surreal...the condo complex, The Landing, adjacent to this marina has been condemned. After we were able to get back into our area our local pub, Boondoggles, offered a burger and a beer for a $5 donation a few days ago where we met a cute young couple. He is 22, worked hard and had just finished redecorating his condo at The Landing and paying off his $55,000 mortage. It is now condemned; it will may be months before insurance and FEMA pay. He was to start fire fighters' school the following Monday and had to find somewhere to live. His dad's law office was wiped out along with his parents' home. The stories go on and on, many of them of miracles, many of them very sad.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 20, 2008

After Ike

After Ike
What a week! We are fine and our house is FINE! Amazing grace...we have so much to be thankful for. Thanks to all of you for your good thoughts, concern and prayers...they worked. We had no water in our house, no trees on our house. We returned home last Monday and began the clean up. We had many big limbs down in our yard and a yukky refrigerator/freezer to clean out which took several days and help from my next-door neighbor. Our fence is down in several places. Like many other neighborhoods our neighbors have been just wonderful and generous with their time. One community member drove by and stopped to see if she could help. She had finished at her house and knew there were elderly residents that could use a hand. She raked and bagged piles and piles of leaves. She works at the Galveston Yacht Club marina which had burned and may have lost her job. Her husband came by and he was a manager at Landry's in Galveston on the Seawall which was wiped out. He can't move to the Landry's in Kemah because the Boardwalk is under 2 feet of mud. They both are facing the possibility of no work.
Now it is late Saturday night Sept 20 and we are in Austin after the big clean-up. Our son, Chris, and our grandson, Sam, had plans to fly into Austin from Charlotte to attend the UT game and invited us to come up and enjoy some air-conditioning. We jumped on it and therefore are able to get online. We still have no power at our home and still have to boil the water but slowly El Lago's power is coming to life. We plan to return on Monday power or no power and try to get our lives back together. And so grateful to Chris for this break away from the chaos and are loving being with them. We haven't seen them since last Thanksgiving...way too long ago.
I have no complaints...the first day we were allowed back into our street the National Guard drove down our street making sure we were all okay and handed out cases of water and MR3 rations. The next day FEMA set up pods and we were able to get ice, water and more rations every day. It has been amazing out here though I hear it hasn't gone so well in Houston. Our neighborhood pub offered our community a burger and a beer out of a makeshift kitchen for a $5 donation which was so welcome after a few meals of potted meat and vienna sausages. A few groceries opened....Kroger opened with no power allowing 10 folks in at a time to shop for 20 minutes and we were able to pick up more batteries and soft drinks. No fresh produce anywhere. But all in all we are just so fortunate though surrounded by what looks like a war zone.
Closer to the bay in Seabrook two of my neighbors and good friends lost their businesses...across Clear Lake friends lost all their downstairs, cars and trucks and one lost everything; another, I can't reach. All of you have probably seen more of the devastation via TV than we have as we've had no electricity. The Universe provided us with a cold front with dry air and cool night temperatures so we could sleep with the windows open the first few days. Our cats have another story to tell of their adventure in being boarded near my cousins but that is a story for later.
A big frustration was nowhere to recharge my cell phone. Our land line will be out as along as our electricity is out. I was able to charge my cell once at my cousins' via a neighbor's generator. Finally I located my car charger and am back in business. We went to bed a little after 8 as there was nothing else to do. The mosquitos are too bad to stay outside and I soon gave up trying to read or write by flashlight.
While going through all this aside from getting pretty grumpy and a few bouts of frustration, I was pretty calm for the most part with only a couple of melt downs. The first came while hugging the National Guardsman who handed me the rations....I was just so moved that he was going door to door to help and probably a little in shock from the devastation seen on our way in...trees on houses, huge power lines down, sides of buildings missing and numbers of huge boats wrecked up against each other at the edge of our development.
The second melt-down was on our way here. We stopped in Columbus to eat and when I saw the buffet with all the salad and veggies, I was just overcome with the thought of real hot food. But it didn't keep me from finishing a full plate. Why does it take something like this to have this awareness of the many in the world who greet hunger every day! I still stop while brushing my teeth looking for the bottled water.
Life is looking up and though we are still reeling a little (we've lived in the area for 42 years and have never seen anything close to this kind of disaster), we are looking forward to hugging some folk and helping others who suffered much. Thanks again for all your good thoughts...we are in good shape and very grateful. Photos will come later.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This hilarious card was sent by a dear friend congratulating us on our 50th wedding anniversary. She and I have a standing running joke about our memory loss. I don't think we miss our minds very much...only when trying to find the car keys.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another rainy Tuesday

A rainy Tuesday, again

My sinus infection seems to be improving thanks to the antibiotic from the doc...went in yesterday feeling crappy with it and a little paniced. I can't be ill now...we leave for our cruise on Saturday!
And added to it we're halfway in prep for Gustav's landfall just in case it should arrive in our absence. Part of the prep was retrieving a reject from a show at Brazosport Collete today with my friend, Adelyn. Geezus but it is a long way down there to Lake Jackson...thought we would never get there through the flat, flat treeless grassland that makes up the coastal prairie. The volunteer at the Gallery was very nice and accomodating but we thrilled to find that Adelyn had won a $400 first prize and nobody had bothered to let her know. Weird. Anyway the picture is of one of my quilts that was prize but it got in.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm hooked! and need a nap!

I'm hooked!
Not enough sleep for 3 nights in a row but it was worth it! I'm hooked on beach volleyball and just loved watching the US teams play. What an exciting game! Fast and full of strategy and finesse. I had no idea but now I can't stop watching. And the US teams, both men and women, won the gold. And it wasn't just a walk-away...they worked hard for them. May-Treanor and Walsh had to play in the rain and Dalhauser and Rogers played in 100 degree heat. Wow! Sure beat anything TV has had to offer all summer. I loved it but will definitely have to take a nap. This is one time I wish I were 20 years younger and could try playing the game on the beach in Galveston.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

If pigs could fly...

This is a picture of the bonus room I painted for my grandkids in their last house. I've always loved the saying "If pigs could fly..." and took it as the theme. Their other grandmother helped with painting in the clouds and we had such a great time doing it. On an opposite wall we had a sign for Pig Field where they could land. I guess the people who bought liked the room as well as they had small children.

Posted by Picasa