Sunday, August 31, 2008

Call to Prayer

I really fell led to be in prayer over the upcoming election. I can't tell anyone how to vote, nor would I do that. What I can say is that we should all be praying about it.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Our land needs healing, but there is a whole lot that goes before that.

We need to earnestly be seeking God's direction on how we vote.

Just as we measure ourselves by His Word, we need to measure those we vote for the same way.

Instead of being caught up in the excitement of either camp, let's be caught up in the excitement of seeking the Lord Jesus Christ and the direction he has for us. Humble ourselves before Him and seek His face. Trust Him to handle healing our land.

Lazy Sunday

Today was just that. We just sort of hung out and did a whole lot of nothing. We went to the pet store for puppy food and then stopped off at Target. Dean and I like to check the clearance. We picked up some folding lawn chairs for the back porch for those cooler evenings we are hoping to experience.

We also bought Ake a football. He had never played with one at all. He loves football. We came home and he asked Dean all kids of questions about how to throw and how to catch. While I made dinner, they went to the front yard and tossed it around. Ake was so excited. He really had so much fun. I took photos. I will pos them on my 365 photo blog.

Happy Birthday Nanny

Today is Nanny's birthday. She was awake when I called today, and I got to wish her happy birthday. She said she felt bad. I told her I had been praying for her to feel better. She said to keep praying because she sure felt bad today. She really sounded like Nanny today. She didn't fuss at me about moving to El Paso today. That was nice. I hate it when she fusses. It wasn't like I had much of a choice about moving.

This really could be her last birthday. It makes me sad, but I know she is tired and ready to go home.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hurricane Gustav

This looks like it is going to be a huge storm. The whole gulf coast could be impacted. I am viewing this from a totally different perspective this time. Well, I guess not totally different. My family is still in the path of bad weather. When you look at the projected path, almost everyone I love is in the path. Even my kids. Since JoyAnna is with mom, she is even closer to the coast than Eric. She is supposed to fly home next Saturday. Depending on weather and flooding, that could be a problem.

I was so glad to the see Mayor of NO issue mandatory evacuations. It should have happened last time. I won't get on my soap box about that one.

For now, all we can do is pray. I am a little far for people to come to as they evacuate.

New Shoes

My feet have been really hurting since we moved to El Paso. I suppose it is the concrete and tile instead of hardwood floors. I need to exercise. I really, really need to exercise. It is very hard to exercise when your feet hurt so bad. I was loving water aerobics - until the incident with Abe Lincoln. Now, I can't go because that is when I have to take Ake to school. I have decided that I will drop him at school then head to the Y for some workout on my own. I can use the machines and get a good workout. It is not like I don't know what to do. There is, of course, the matter of the feet.

Today Dean and I went to Academy to look at some long sleeved shirts. Fall is on the way and he needs to send some to Alisia to have his logo stiched onto. They were having one of thos half off the clearance sales. You know I love a bargain. I had looked at the shoes one other time, but not found any I just loved. Today they had added some awesome looking aisics - my favorites- on the shelf. I was so excited. They were the really nice ones. At half price they were what I usually pay for shoes, so I felt like I got a good deal.

Now, to get motivated and move.

Friday was a long day

It was also a hard day emotionally for me. I was on the phone a lot of the day talking to mom about Nanny. It is so emotional when you think of someone you love dying. Throw into the mix a variety of different personalities and you get way too much friction. Mom babysits kids all day, so she can't be at the hospital and has to get so much of her information 2nd or 3rd hand. She then passes it on to me.

I suggested that Mom call in hospice. I mean seriously, if she is as close to dying as they seem to think, then Hospice is the perfect solution and needs to be called. I am hoping that having Hospice as a part of the situation will help them make decisions based on information and not emotion. I hope it helps ease the tension.

I drove a car full of exchange students to New Mexico for a day of shopping and Mexican food. Neither was a big hit with them. We then decided to try the outlet mall. That was more along the lines of thier kind of afternoon.

JoyAnna was in Longview and got to see all my kids. I got to talk to them on the phone. There I sat in the plaza of Old Mesilla crying because I miss them so badly. Oh well.

Dean came to the mall and we enjoyed just walking and sitting in the food court and talking. We have had no time by ourselves in so long. It was nice. There was a windstorm last night, too. I loved listening to the wind in the trees. Those were the highlights of my day.

Mom picked JoyAnna up and drove back to Lufkin. JoyAnna started having those bad pains again. Here I am 800 miles away and she feels awful. Very hard on a mom. I think it was probably because of having to say goodbye to Steven again.`

I was pretty much emotionally drained when I fell into bed. I had managed to go to sleep when JoyAnna called to tell me they had made it. Then I was wide awake, so I spent some time praying before I fell back to sleep.

The Ever Changing Never Changing

On Thursday afternoon I had to make a run to the store. I decided to go to one a tad further from home since I like their veggies. I also like the view when you walk out the door. It really has that wow factor.

I was not having the best day. Mom had called and told me Nanny was in the hospital again. She said she was not doing well at all. Her blood pressure had really dropped and they were concerned that this time, it would be the end. By the time I went to the store, she was better.

I have mentioned before how much I really like looking at the mountains here. I hope it is something I never get tired of. They are a constant reminder of Psalm 121

I will lift up my eyes to the mountain;
From whence shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

When I walked out of the store and looked up, I saw the mountain. Once again it was a magnificant sight. The colors, and light, and shadow were awe inspiring.

And then it hit me.

Everytime I look at the mountain I see something different. It is ever changing in how I see it.


It is always the same mountain.

Then I thought about how God is a like that. He is always God. He never changes. How I see him, changes. Sometimes, I see Him as Father, Comforter, Providor, Creator, and it goes on and on. I am so thankful we serve a God who reveals himself to us in so many ways, yet is never changing- always our rock- our mountain.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The supper that wasn't

I worked a lot again today. Finally finished the ad for the office. That was a relief.

My computer keeps crashing. Several times today it different things and then either shut down or locked up. I must confess I am very frustrated with it. Here I am finally with a few jobs to do and the computer is acting as nutty as the dogs did yesterday.

I decided tonight I would cook a good supper and hope Ake liked it. If not, he does have other things he can eat now. I made alfredo sauce, baked chicken and prepared some noodles. That was when he said he didn't like macaroni. I am sure my Penne pasta was insulted to be called macaroni. I had gotten a late start since I knew Dean would be a little late today. At 6:15 when I called him, he said he would have to call back. About 6:30 he called back and said he had a meeting and I had been invited to go along. Now, it is not every day I make alfredo sauce and other things. Oh well. I put it all in Tupperware and stahsed it in the fridge. Since Ake wasn't planning to eat it anyway, I put it away. We got out his stuff and I hurried to dress. I didn't think my Tech t-shirt and tennis shoes would make the best impression.

We did have a very nice dinner. I had a very thick, rich tortilla soup. Very good. It was nice to meet the lady who runs the company Dean does so much work with.

Tomorrow we have supper already cooked :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rainy Tuesday

All day today it was a rather gray. Every now and then it would sprinkle rain. I am not sure what got them up early, but Razzle and Dazzle were up befor 7. They were so hyper all day long and destructive. Dazzle begged all day to go out side to play in the rain. I have pics for my 365 days of pics of her being sad. I will try to get them up tomorrow- only one day late- really, really good for me.

I worked on photoshop all day long. Ake had an afternoon activity for school, so I had the day alone - just me and two crazy dogs. After they went to UTEP, a group of them went to the mall. They ended up at academy. He called to tell me where to pick him up. I finally figured it out.

We went to eat BBQ for dinner. He liked it. I have figured out if he says it is ok or "I can eat," then he will eat it, but it is not necessarily tasty to him. If he says it is delicious, then I am on the right track. So now I ask "Ok or Delicious?" That is how I judge what to prepare for him.

I really miss my two today. Eric is in Shreveport with JoyAnna and Nana B. They are a long way from their mamma. I will see JoyAnna in about 10 days- Eric in about 2 months.

My eyes and hands are tired from photoshopping. I am going to head to bed.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Take me out to the ballgame

Last night we took our student and two others to experience the great American pastime- Baseball. We went to the El Paso Diablos' game. A sweet friend had given us 3 tickets so Ake could experience the game. We really had a lot of fun. I also realized exactly how odd a baseball game and all of the traditions and phrases surrounding it seem to someone who has never experienced it.

The Diablos and the Fort Worth team provided a very exciting game. A player for FW hit a grand slam. Another player broke a bat and it landed near third base. Those were pretty exciting.

We tried peanuts and cotton candy. Cotton Candy was too sweet. Peanuts were ok. The hotdogs went over well, but the crinkle cut french fries and ketchup were a big hit.

Then came the money machine- you know where the air blows money around and someone has to catch it? That was exciting. Then there was the seventh inning stretch. How do you explain that one? Thankfully, there was a baseball with arms and legs on the screen demonstrating the stretching.

The wave never really got to rolling last night. We did try it several times. We stopped on the way home and let them see the view from the mountain. I think they were impressed.

Today, we made a big breakfast with eggs, bacon, toast and fruit. Then, we decided we would take Ake, Razzle and Dazzle to the White Sands Monument. It was a long drive, but a very cool thing to see. We all enjoyed it despite the heat. After that we came home and had pizza for supper. Overall, it was a very nice day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I can't think of a catchy title today. I am really tired. Today we went on a hike with the exchange students. It was really hot. We picked a steep path. I was really having a hard time breathing as we came back up the hill.

I will go back a couple of days.

Wednesday was Ake's first day here. We drove to school and met the teachers. We also went to eat Mexican food. That was not a big success. He was not fond of the enchiladas. We will try something else another day. We tried riding the bus in the afternoon. He is supposed to use public transportation to get to and from school. After 40 minutes on a bus, I decided I would drive him next time. We were pretty hot and worn out from the ride. Ake was really tired and took a nap- a nap that last til late that night. When he got up, we tried several things and he finally decided on a pb&j- it was not a big hit. He has been really good about trying whatever we have.

The next day, I took him to school and picked him up. We met Dean at a salad bar place. That went over pretty well. They had pizza and he likes pizza. I made American chicken and rice- not a hit.

We did go grocery shopping yesterday. The chip aisle was WAY overwhelming.

Today, we went hiking and did a picnic. Again, not so good. I was afraid I was starving him. This afternoon, he suggested cooking dinner for the family. Wonderful! I mean that was a great idea and the food was wonderful, too. We went to the store and found the things he needed. He had brought some sauce packages, but needed some things to go with them. We had Thai dinner. It was really, really good. It was really, really spicy. Very yummy. Tomorrow we will so fried rice and pork. He doesn't beef. This Texas girl may be in withdrawal before 4 weeks are up.

He is so very sweet and polite. I am afraid he has spoiled us for any other students. He is so willing to help with anything. He offered to wash dishes. I told him about the dishwasher. He said in Thailand he is the dishwasher. Tonight Dean and I worked in the yard. He gave it a shot, but like our other kids, he is not really into yard work.

He brought me a beautiful scarf - red and black- my favorite combo. He also brought me a wonderful bag with elephants on it. He brought Dean a beautiful shirt with an elephant on it.

Today we watched someone roast chilis. We watched them pour concrete at Dean's job site.

I am about to head to bed. I am really missing my kiddos at school. Nicole called last night to tell me how much she is reading. Made my day, but now I am really homesick. JoyAnna is going to get to see them next week. I am sooo jealous. I am glad for her, but boy I am going to miss those hugs.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What time is Day and What time is Night?

You know those signs that say Day Speed Limit 80 and Night Speed Limit 65? When does day stop and start? No, I am not just wondering about odd and crazy things. This morning Eric was pulled over at 6:25 am for going 80 in an Day Speed Limit of 80. The officer informed him that it was 8 minutes before sunrise, therefore he had violated the speed limit. He was then issued a ticket for $250.00.

His mama was not happy. I, of course, got online and started looking up the law. The driver's ed book the state publishes says nothing about when day starts and stops. It does say that you must use your head lights until 30 minutes before sunrise and must turn them on at 30 minutes after sunset. If you can turn your headlights off 30 minutes before sunrise, why would you have to wait until sunrise to go the day speedlimit? I wrote a letter to the Justice of the Peace asking that the ticket be dropped since the day/night/ sunrise is so ambiguous.

The rest of my day was really long and quiet. Tonight we went to the airport to pick up Ake, our exchange student from Thailand. He is very nice. I need to learn to speak slower. Tomorrow we are going to go grocery shopping. We are also going to take public transportation. I have never used it. I can not put him on a bus without some idea as to where to get off of the bus. Should be interesting.

Tomorrow night we have a get together to meet the other kids. That should be fun.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Today was so much fun

We pretty much hung out here at home. We did go eat at El Taco Tote. It is one of our very favorite places to eat here in town. When the boys go back, it will be back to cooking at home again. I did cook supper here- lasagna for Eric.

It was so much fun having them all here. It was not like being in the old house, but it was fun all the same. We laughed and teased all day.

We had quite an ordeal packing all thier stuff in the car. I offered to switch and let Eric drive mine, but since there was not an easy way to switch them, it didn't work out.

Tomorrow they are going to leave bright and early- 5:30 am. They will drive through to Shreveport where Billie will have Johnny's Pizza for them. Then, they will leave JoyAnna with her and head on to Shreveport.

The weather is supposed to be yucky all day, so please pray for them as they travel. I am really going to miss them. The house will be really quiet. I will see JoyAnna in a little over 2 weeks, but it will be a little over 2 months before I see Eric.

Tomorrow night at 11:01, our exchange student will come. This is going to be interesting.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What a weekend!

And it is only Saturday night. :)
We picked up Eric and Dustin from the airport. We headed straight to Chico's Tacos. I posted about this place a month or so ago. Eric and Dustin really liked it. JoyAnna is not a fan, so we stopped for her to get Wendy's on our way to the airport.

We came by the house so Eric could see Ranger. Ranger has really missed him. We had closed the blinds on the back of the house. We had Eric go in the living room. When we let Ranger in, Eric whistled and Ranger went nuts. He found him and Dustin and was so excited. He could not quit playing with him. Last time he went away for a couple of weeks, Ranger was mad at him and wouldn't have anything to do with him. This time he was just too happy to be mad.

After a while, we got out and ran some errands, showed the guys around town and then met Uncle Jiggs, Aunt Anne, Jeff and Natalie for supper at the Little Diner- another must eat place in the EP area. After that, we really started having fun. Eric wanted to go to a ceratin store. Dustin had looked it up in the I phone. He told me where it was and we headed that way, even though I was fairly certain that area didn't have any store where we would want to shop. I was right- the I phone was wrong. I had an idea where it might be, so I used the old fashioned way of calling 411 and yep- that was it. We made it to the mall and were overwhelmed by the numer of people there. The mall on our side of town is not nearly that crazy. We managed to find the store and enjoyed that little shopping excusrion.

When we got home, the guys headed to Eric's room or the living room- not sure- just know it was not where Ranger could see when he came in. Usually, when I open the door, he loves on me. Not this time. He went on a dead run looking for Eric. He was so glad he had not left again.

We watched some of the olympics and headed to bed.

This morning we decided to head for Mexico. We got up really early and went to the international bakery for breakfast. Then we loaded up in the ban with Jeff and Natalie and off we went. Palomas is a very small town just over the border, but you have to drive about an hour to get there. There has not been nearly as much violence there. There is one really cool store there called the Pink Store. We shopped a couple of other smaller places before we got to the pink store. It is so much fun to go there. They have drinks for you as you walk around. The Mexican items are really bright and colorful and very nicely priced. JoyAnna got another little carved animal. Eric and Dustin got bull whips. Eric also got some things with Dustin for the 708 house. They are excited about that. We had lunch at the diner there. It was really good and cheap.

We stopped at the pharmacy/liquor store and bought Kinder eggs. JoyAnna loves them. They are more expensive than they are in germany, but it is cheaper to get Palomas.

The ride home was interesting. Everytime JoyAnna hiccuped, the boys would imitate her and she would hit them. I think Natalie was probably thinking how nice not to have brothers.

While the boys napped, JoyAnna, Dean and I went to the local King Tut Exhibit. We were really disapointed. I twas supposed to be a reproduction of his tomb. It was just not what we were expecting. We will see the real exhibit in October :)

When we got back, we watched the rain. some of the olympics, and I got Eric's phone switched over. JoyAnna wanted them to experience Capetto's since it is her favorite. We all had enough food to feed at least another person each. Maybe two. We'll eat it later on this weekned I guess. We headed back to the mall on the east side so they could look at running shoes. There is a shoe made in El Paso. They happened to be having a great sale. And no tax. Dean, Eric and JoyAnna each found a pair. Dean, always the bargainer, asked for an even bigger discount since we were buying 3 pair. The guy said sure, but he gave Dustin the 10.00 off an not Dean. LOL. It was so funny.

Tonight we watched more olympics. We plan to sleep late and then head to Carlsbad to tour the caves.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A look at Thursday from Friday

We had a really busy day. I had a meeting at the Assistance League- my first one. JoyAnna went to a friend's and then to a homeschool pizza party. It was to kick off some activities for teenagers. There don't seem to be many geared for teens. These kids are so not the stereotypical homeschoolers. They all dressed like others in the resturant and there was not one of the moms wearing a denim jumper. :)

They are all excited about doing things as a group. I am so glad. That will really help JoyAnna out.

We went to Pei Wei for dinner and ran into some homeschoolers. It was cool actually seeing someone you know out in the town- that has happened one other time since we have been here. I know it will get better, though.

Today Eric comes home. The day they leave Ake comes. I wish I had more time to unpack and make the house look homey, but I don't. We are more about the people than what is on the walls anyway.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Maybe tomorrow will be uneventful

Doubtful, but there is always a possiblity. Today was not uneventful.
I had to get up early because the landlord's worker was coming to install a new dishwasher. While I was waiting I got a phone call asking if we would be interested in a foreign exchange student. I got all the information, but had to talk to Dean and JoyAnna. We had pretty much decided against it, when I went to the office and heard that they really needed houses for 2 more 16 year old boys. I told her no first because of the timing. I didn't really have room with Dustin and Eric coming in for the weekend. When she said one was not coming until Tuesday, I agreed to it.

We had to go to a meeting tonight about hosting. I think it will be a good experience for all of us.

Tomorrow JoyAnna is going to a homeschool pizza party and I am going to go to lunch at the assistance league. Then, I need to hurry home and get the house ready for company and the foreign exchange student. Sounds like fun.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dean and his "have to be early since being on time is LATE"

Our flight home this morning was at 6:00 am. We didn't get back to our hotel until nearly midnight. We had been to the airport to drop off and pick up. It was so busy it took us forever to do that. Dean was so afraid we would miss our flight this morning since we had to turn in the rental, check in a bike, check us in, etc. We had planned to go to bed and then get up like at 3. Since it was so late, we decided to check out of the hotel, turn the rental in and nap in the airport. Great plan, but it didn't work.

We did get to the hotel about 1:40 am. There was no one at Southwest with whom to check our bags. Because of that, we could not go to the secure area where the comfy seats were. Because we had 3 bags, a bike in a box, a back pack with 2 computers in it, another bag with a computer, and a camera backpack, we were not very mobile. There was a carpeted area behind the southwest area, but since we had so much stuff, we decided to just hang out near the counter.

There was a small area with 4 seats in an L shape. That made a corner were we stacked the suitcases and stuffed the smaller things under the seats. We then put the bike box there in front of us. We had our own little spot. It was not comfortable. It was cold. I finally dug my flannel robe out of the suitcase. I Put my sweatshirt on the floor and laid on it, put my head on the camera bag and covered up with my robe. I slept for about an hour. At 4:15 people started lining up at the ticket counter. That mean we had to, too. We hauled all our stuff over and I sat down in the floor and drank hot chocolate from starbucks while we waited.

It was a long and sleepy day back. We slept most of the way home, but still do not feel rested.

Early to be tonight.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Waiting again . . . and more on Sunday

One of the parents had a really cool banner that she had ready. Dean held one end and she held the other. I ran down a tad further and climbed on a short wall to take photos. It was awesome seeing them ride in. Eric was near the front. They raced to the beach and dropped their bikes. I hurried over to Eric. He has always heard me when I was trying to get his attention at a swim meet. I know he knew I was there at meets, but was not expecting me here. I called out to him and he paused but didn't really look around. I ran right up to him.

He was like "what are you doing here?" He had not seen his dad holding the sign either. I think he was really glad we had done it. I sent him on to the beach to jump in with his friends. They had huge celbration in the water. Then he did the traditional bike over the head photo for me with the water and skyline behind him. They were all pumped and excited.

We saw him a little bit, but not much. They have formed their own huge B&B family - not that they were not including us, but they know their time is limited together. He called us later and we picked him up, went to the grocery store for them and went to the park to get the grills started. Eric and Dean and a couple of other father -son teams worked on grilling a lot of food for all of us. After everyone devoured the food, they had an award ceremony. They would tell about the rider before they said their name. Because of the blogs, quite a few of them I could figure out before they said their name.

I don't think the riders realized how much we all enjoyed their blogs. Quite a few of us read them regularly. One mom even asked what we were supposed to do at night now that we don't have blogs to read.

I am so glad we came. Some of the other kids said they really wished their parents would have shown up and surprised them, too.

Today Dean and I went down town to Pike's market. We really enjoyed just walking around and looking. It was so very crowded. I would have loved to have been able to take more photos - cool things, ya know, but it was just way too crowded.

After that, we came back to the hotel. After we got the car unlocked, we went over to where the kids are staying and helped pack bikes. We came back to the hotel for Eric to shower and then went back to eat fish and chips. I really like this kind of fish and chips- not catfish like Dean likes.

I have us all repacked and just about ready to head out. JoyAnna is packing at Dad's. We will be back together tomorrow. I have really missed her. We have been together 24-7 for so long now. We are going to drive one of the riders to the airport and then pick up Dustin and Lisa's brother. That should put us back to the hotel by 11 at the latest - we hope. We have to leave here by probably 3:30 in the morning. I don't have a book for tomorrow. I will probably sleep on the plane. I am going to be wiped out.

Waiting . . .and a little more about Sunday.

We have been waiting forever it seems to get the locksmith out here to unlock the car.

Since I have some time I will go ahead and post a little about the arrival of Bike and Build in Seattle.

Dean and I left early Saturday morning heading toward Seattle. We arrived and rain was the order of the day. We checked into our hotel and watched it rain for a little bit. When the rain slacked off, we made a mad dash to the car and strted out toward Seattle. We had heard so much about Pikes Market, we really wanted to see it. We didn't realize we had waited too late. Everything was closed.

We drove around and looked for a place to eat. After driving around a lot, we stopped and asked a very nice couple on the street if they could recommend a place. They gave us directions to a place called Rays. Thankfully, they exlained there was a pricey downstairs and a more affordable upstairs. We had a table by the window which meant we got to watch the sunset while we ate. Pretty cool. The food was good and we didn't break the budget, either.

Sunday morning dawned beautiful. We were so excited about the arrival of the Bike and Builders. We knew we needed to find something for breakfast. Ironically, the cafe we found was Salvadorean- we had a breakfast similar to what you can find in El Paso.

We arrived at the beach a little early. The email said they would be in around 11-12 and to get there a little early. Parking there is so tough, we decided to head down early. We got there and soon there were lots of parents, siblings, friends, and various other assorted relatives. We waited and waited and waited. Every now and then a parent would get a call stating they were 15, 20, 30, 45, an hour away- there was no rhyme or reason and we finally decided we would just look for them when we saw them coming.

Finally a little after 1, someone got a call they were on the harbor road. That meant they really were close. This was shortly after the drizzle had stopped. I forgot to mention that we had had a little drizzle start up.

I wish I could have shown you a photo, but it wouldnt do justice. We could see a very long way down the beach on a curve, the row of blue jersies, one after the other. Everyone was so excited.

I think the guy is here to unlock the car- more later

Good Grief

Dean locked the keys in the rental car. Here we are doing Seattle on a shoestring budget and we have to spend more than a nice dinner out on getting the car unlocked.

When you are already low on income, why does your outgo seem to compound?

I am so glad we came to see Eric come in, but the expenses of this trip were probably much more than we should have tried to do this summer.

Sunday- Wuick update

Dean and I are going sight seeing in Seattle today, so I don't have much time to post. Today is going to be sort of rushed as we have to help get Eric's things sorted and packed for us to take some back with us. We have to decide how all that is going to work.

Tonight we have to do an airport run to pick up Dustin.

I'll be back :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I didn't post we were going to be in Seattle for the weekend to see Eric arive to complete his trip just in case he read my blog. I figured it was doubtful, but it could happen.

A few weeks ago, they posted the details for the end of the trip. When I read them, I started crying. I was so upset that I was not gong to be able to participate. Dean knew how bad I wanted to be here, so he told me to go ahead and book the trip. I wanted to surprise him, so I did everything without telling him.

It was wonderful watching them ride in. We waited at the beach for 3 hours. It has been a very long day, and I will give a play by play later on. For now, I am about to fall asleep.

I will post again tomorrow or when we get home on Tuesday.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Photo Stores from the Dark ages

The debate of digi vs. film is probably one that will last a very long time. I shoot only digi - since that is the only camera I have. I decided I needed something from a camera store. I looked it up online last night to see the best things. I wanted to have some idea of what I needed to look for at the store. I looked up camera stores on the internet. El Paso has 800k people. I thought for sure there would be a camera store. Even Longview and Tyler have good ones. So what if Bob's Camera shop is in the back of the Hallmark store.

I was trying to not have to go all over town, so I checked the map and found 2 in the downtown area. One even advertises camera repair. Excellent!

I hopped in the car and headed that way. Parallel parked- thankfully the slot was HUGE - right in front of the store and walked in - to the dark ages. Don't get me wrong I LOVED it. There were no color prints on the walls, only very large BW - wonderful. There were gobs of old fashioned enlargers, all the gadgets for developing film. It was like walking into the home of an old friend. I just wanted to stand there and soak it all in.

There was an older lady behind one of the counters who was helping a man with a camera. A teen girl brought out an SLR to a man standing there. She explained what he was doing wrong with rewinding the film, and then she turned to ask what I needed. This is where things went rather downhill.

I asked her for something to clean the sensor in my camera. A blank look- that is probably the best description of her response. She asked the woman who said they had nothing. I said, well, what about a puff brush. That she had. $2.99. I also needed a sync cord to go with my studio lights. I asked for that and got another blank look from the teen. Then I was informed by the woman that I can't use studio lights with my digi. Well, ok, then. I have been for quite a while as so most other photographers. I explained it was an SLR, then was told I had to use manual settings. Darn if I didn't know that, too. I deicided maybe I would head home and order from the internet.

JoyAnna is in NC. She is having a grand time with my dad. Theyare looking at photos today. I mean some old ones, too - me when I was little. lol

Thursday, August 7, 2008

What a day- all over again

I hope tomorrow is much less 'exciting' than the last 3 days have been.

We got up really early. JoyAnna did anyway. I was a littel slower moving. We got almost to the airport and the step mom of the little girl she was going to escort called. The airline would not let JoyAnna escort her since she was not 18. None of us had any idea at all.

Since JoyAnna and Dad were so excited about the trip, she went on and boarded the plane. I feel so bad about it. Now they have to make other plans and get her there in a different manner.

After she left, I went to have breakfast with the others who were there to see the little girl off. We had a nice visit. I came home and work on the house some more. I am just about too tired to make progress. I had planned to meet a house/pet sitter this morning, but she canceled on me. I met her later at noon instead.

Eric called me today. He has major issues with chaffing at the moment. I sent him to the store for some Gold Bond. I should have sent it to him earlier in the trip. He said he had a little fall today. Yeah, it was so little he bent a wheel on his bike. He is borrowing one from a girl who is having to ride in the van because she broke her arm.

I am really lonely today. The animals are sleeping and everyone else is gone. Right now we are in 4 time zones. Pretty crazy.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Unpacking is the song that never ends

Since we moved into this house, the garage has been piled high with boxes, bags, baskets, etc. Because Dean went to Longview to get the last of our stuff from there, I had to make room for that. Since I can't sleep, I sat up really late last night and made major progress. I was going to sleep late today since I have to get up early to take JoyAnna to the airport. That didn't work. The environmental dept. guy came to talk to me about my complaint about the mosquitos at 7 am! Way, way too early.

Since I was up, I worked some more in the garage. Then I unpacked lots of boxes. It has been a long day.

Dean called from somewhere on I20 and asked me to go to his office and drop something off. This is the new one that is under construction. The one they have been spending a fortune on for the new polished concrete floors. When I pulled up, there were 4 teens skateboarding on the new floor. I dialed 9-11 and explained the situation. I pulled around the circle again and they were standing out near the dumpster. I was on the phone, so I guess they realized they were in trouble and left. The police officers were very nice. Pretty crazy afternoon.

I still need to do some more, but I am pretty tired.

Tomorrow during some of the day our family of 4 will be in 4 different time zones. We will be spread from the east to the west coast. That is something that has never happened with us before.

I don't sleep well

when I have too much on my mind. This post might really live up to the title of my blog about rambling.

I have so much going on in there that tonight it is even hard to ranble about it.

There's the house and the finality of that. Even though it hasn't sold, someone else is living there.
There is the unpacking. I am not sure I am ever going to finish. It is too hot to do much more than a couple of hours during the day. That makes it hard. Tonight, since I am not sleepy, I have been out there rearranging, bringing in boxes for us to unpack during the day. We can take a fan with us. I need a buffet or something for the dining room. I have all my china, my Christmas china, all the stuff I have for entertaining. Right now it is all stacked in boxes around the outside of the room. Maybe I could spraypaint boxes black.

Next are all the mirrors, paintings, art stuff, decorating stuff that are just lining the walls. I need to get Dean motivated to do that. I would like it to look a little more like a home before the boys get here. If not, I hope they come back about Christmas break time. Maybe by then it will have cooled down enough to get something done.

Then there is JoyAnna going away. Going to my Dad's. I know she is looking forward to it. So is he. My step mom is not staying there right now. That was a surprise to us when he called tonight. I am not sure what all that is all about, but that has JoyAnna a little bumfuzzled. You know how it is when you get an idea in your head, and then circumstances change. That is sort of the feeling she has right now. My youngest sister Sam is going to be there with her. Talking to him tonight was really different. He seems to have had an enocounter with God and is trying to make apolgies for things he did in the past. It was not the conversation I expected to have with him. Maybe I never expected it. As I told him, I don't hold anything against him. Years ago I worked that out between me and God. I forgave Dad a long time ago, even if he had never asked.

I guess that explains my sleeplessness. I have sweated so much over the last couple of hours, I guess I need a shower. I wonder if a cool one will wake me up. I might melt in a hot one.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

West Texas Whirlwind

Not a literal one, but today has felt like that. I posted about the house renting, but since it is part of it, I'll touch on it again in a minute.

I was planning to sleep in a little this morning. at 8:15 the doorbell rang. It was the maintanence guy from the rental company. I had asked for them to have him call before he came by. I was in my robe and the kitchen was not company ready. I had planned to make it such when I got up. It is very difficult to work in there right now. There is that clicking sound. I think I already posted about that. Sorry. Anyway, he came and stayed for a while - after I told him I needed 5 minutes to get dressed. Amazing how company ready you can get the house in 5 fast minutes :)

Then there was the phone call about renting the house. That got settled and then we had to decide about the stuff left in Longview. Dean needed some stuff from Dallas for the office. Since Longview is not much further, he decided to combine the two. We started trying to get a plan and a plane. We wanted to be as wise as possible with the money and the time. We looked at him flying to Dallas, renting a uhaul there . . .flying to Longview . . .flying to shreveport, and so on.

We finally found a flight from EP to DFW and then on to Longview for about 300. That seemed to be the best option. By the time we tried to book it, it wouldn't let us. We had already packed him, so we picked him up at the office and hightailed it to the airport. We arrived at 3:05 - 1 hour before the flight was to leave. We hurried in to the ONLY counter where you can buy a ticket on American. There was a lady with 3 boys- unaccompanied minors. You also handle that at that window. She was not happy her boys were gong to have to have a lay over and plane change at DFW. She got on the phone and called everyone she knew about the situation. The lady at the desk was getting irritated. Finally, she decided to go ahead and send them. Then it took longer for the paperwork and for her to pay for it, then to check their bags. We were all getting impatient. The clock hands were working their way around, and we were so afraid it would be too late to purchase a ticket.

Finally, she got the last bag checked and sent them on their way. Dean asked about the flight. There was only one seat left form DFW to Longview. Thankfully, that was all he needed. It was only 16.00 higher than online so he grabbed it. Because it was so late and he paid the higher fare, he was upgraded to first class. Pretty nice bonus, I guess.

In about 9 hours from the time I woke up, I have had a very full and exciting day. I hope this evening is much quieter for us.

Renting the old house

I knew it was going to be hard to sell the house, and renting it is still hard. We had to do it, though. We were sinking fast financailly. Because we were not planning to rent, we had left some things in the house. Now I have to hurry and find someone to haul it all out. Dean might need to go to Dallas and get some things for the office, so he may go on to Longview and move the rest of the stuff out.

Thanks to my good friend Molly who gave the people my name and number :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

The most beautiful place in El Paso

Well, at least the most beautiful place I have found. There is a canyon on the east side of town that has a state park in it. Amazing to have it right in the middle of the city. Of course it is pretty rare to have a mountain in the middle of the city.

I did a photo shoot there tonight. Amazing.

We had so much fun. The dad is shipping out to Japan tomorrow, so we did family pics tonight. His daughter is the one that JoyAnna is flying to NC with later this week. She said in the car on the way home, "I guess you could say we are related to them." Huh? "Well Aunt Pat is his step mom, so that makes him my cousin." Ok. We kind of laughed because Aunt Pat is not really 'aunt' Pat. I know she is Memaw's daughter, but despite the way we all feel about one another, we are only related by love, not blood. Still, we are family.

I am going to post photos another blog- it is part of the 365 Project. You take a year's worth of photos. I think you are only supposed to put one photo, but since I am going to use it as a photo blog for photo_graphics by Pam, I am going to post others on there, too. It is supposed to represent your life. Sometimes a photo shoot is what I did that day. How is that for trying to convince myself it is ok? Wonder why I have to justify myself as being right when there are really no rules to a situation and who is going to hold me to it even if there were. Well now I have even confused myself.

I am going to go play around with some of the photos. Maybe I'll post some here, but you can check my other blog if now. At least I think that is the right address.

Hot, Hot, Hot!

That is describing today in the house.
We got out and ran some errands since the a/c in the car is much better than in the house. It is really not that high in temp, but the humidity is high, thus the swamp cooler is lacking.

Went by the landlord's today. We have some major issues. The hall ceiling has a leak. The dw leaks all over the patio, and the stove top tries to ignite 24/7. Sounss like a ticking bomb in the
kitchen. Not that I have ever heard one in real life, but you get the picture.

We are going to take photos tonight in the canyon on the other side of the mountain. It is so pretty there. I am sure we will find some beautiful spots to shoot.

JoyAnna is pigging out on soybeans. There are a few of our favorite foods you can't get here, and they are all veggies. You can get a really amazing taco, gordito, or any other food in that category.

Silly Me

I read that it was too late, so I didn't even TRY to fill out the FAFSA. I called Tech today and was told I could fill it out.
Now, it is all done.
I am a little sleepy this morning. I sat up late chatting and watching HGTV.
I need to run a couple of errands today, too. I might try before it gets too hot.

I am excited about my first photo shoot in El Paso. We are going into this wonderful canyon and do them there. I will post photos on my new blog. It will be devoted to photography.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I really messed up this time

I have been so scattered since Dean was offered this job out here. I can't seem to get anything taken care of like I should. I have always done Eric's financial aid stuff for college. With the plan to move, moving, bike and build, etc, I forgot. Major oops.

When I finally realized it, the deadline had passed. Now, I have to figure out some other way to come up with money. I am hoping we can file for it by paper and just not online. I hope he can still get the scholarship from Tech as that has not been accepted either. I am going to get him to work on that tomorrow. If he can get that, most of his tuition would be covered. We might owe 200 each quarter. That would not give him any money for housing, books, going out, etc. That means I would have to pay for it. Great.

I called a friend who works at another college. She says we can do it on paper. I will have to call Tech tomorrow and get that worked out. Pray it works out.

Photos from our trip to Santa Fe


This is the river that had formed and was racing across the interstate.

Not the best photo, but it does show what the side of the road was like.

This is just out side of Truth or Consequences after a storm. Beautiful colors from the light.

Loved the levels on this hotel.


Ok, I know I should upload and post photos when I write the blog for that day, so I will try to do better. For now, I will just post a few random ones I have liked from the summer.

Random Photos from June and July

Inside the Inn of Cloudcroft

Bridge Trestle to nowhere- on the way to Cloudcroft. The day was really, really gray.

Looking into the beams in the tower at the inn in Cloudcroft.

This was an interesting window and light scene in downtown El Paso.

Jamie and Dee in the dog pen- they had so much fun together.

Pink Mountains

The View from the front door of the house.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Viva El Paso X dos

We really wanted to experience this, so we bit the bullet and spent $90.00 on the tickets and the drinks. Much more than we usually spend on one night of anything except maybe a hotel.

The show was great. They did a wonderful job on sets, props and costumes. The performers were just WOW!

I had called yesterday to see if we could buy tickets at the gate and save some of the money. I know I am cheap, but oh well. There are 2 numbers on the website- one is for ticketmaster and the other is a recording that says for tickets call ticketmaster. So, I took that to mean the only way to get a ticket was through ticket master- WRONG. They sold them at the gate. I asked about them and we would have saved nearly $20.00.

I took my camera of course. At the beginning of the show, they said no flash photography. Ok. I don't use a flash. There were some really cool costumes and a really neat fire pit. I was not the only one taking photos. I was, however, the only one told to put my camera away. Yep, in the middle of the show, a woman tapped me on the shoulder and said no photos or videos were allowed. I told her he said no flash and she said even without a flash it was not allowed.

There was another guy behind me using a 40D. She did not tell him no photos. I think it must have been the lens on mine. I use the lens shield so it makes it look huge- I guess more professional looking than the better camera behind me. Really did not make me happy. I asked the guy at the intermission and she had not told him anything. I asked him a couple of questions about his camera and lens. He had no idea. None at all about anything on his camera. Just crazy to invest that much money in a camera you have no idea how to use. I asked him which lens he had and he said "a zoom." Nice.

I was going to send a letter that they really should say what they mean- you know if you mean no photos say no photos- not no flash photos. Anyway, Iw as going to do it, but JoyAnna thinks she might want to audition for the show next year. It was such a great show, I think it would be a blast for her.

So, I guess I will suck it up and love the idea that I paid ticket master so much money.

Viva El Paso

We are going to see a musical production of the history of El Paso tonight. First we are going to go have dinner with Uncle Jiggs and Aunt Ann.

I am going to relax and enjoy myself. I am not going to worry about the house not selling, the stress of money, missing Eric, or Nanny.

I am going to sit for several hours on a brand of Abe Lincoln- if nothing else- THAT should take my mind off everything else.

I am finally downloading hundreds of photos. I have been very lax about photos. Maybe I will have some to post here soon.

my grandmother

My mom just called and said they are saying my grandmother has dementia. I am not sure why she sounds surprised. It does make me sad. Maybe it just the saying it- putting a name on it- putting words to it.

I know there are not a lot of 44 year olds who have living grandparents. Maybe being 44 makes it so much harder to lose. I have had her forever. She has always been a constant in my life. Even though I didn't live in the same town as her, she was always a part of my life.

I am the oldest grandchild. I have always felt as we shared a special bond. A bond of the heart.

When I was home last time and visited her in the hospital she was so cranky and fussed at me about moving to El Paso. I was already having a hard enough time. I knew when I said good bye to her, I mght be telling her good bye for the last time.

I am planning to go home for Thanksgiving. It makes me so sad to think when I do go, she may be there in body, but not in mind. I have watched my friends deal with their parents. I have seen Memaw and Depaw as she takes care of him and he doesn't remember so many things. I guess I always knew this was going to happen. There have been so many signs of it. But to KNOW it is so much harder.

So, I am sitting here thinking of the good fun times. Traveling with her when I was little. We would take an old portable reel to reel and we would make travel shows- telling about everything little thing we saw, acting silly and singing songs. She always sang songs. The saddest songs, but always begged her to sing them again and again.

Easter at her house. Christmas. Decorating the tree on Thanksgiving.

When I was in college, she would mail me a card with a dollar in it. That was a lot of money to a broke college kid in the early 80s.

The good memories are so many that I can't even list them all. I am so blessed that my kids have had the opportunity to make good memories with her, too.

So, instead of thinking of the sadness of this, I am going to remember the good, the fun, the funny and so many other things that make her Nanny.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Why does Texas have to be so big?

I would so love to be able to hop in the car and go see my grandmother. It is just too far and would take too long and I am not sure my Abe brand would let me be drive that far. I would need to stop and stand very often. My mom called and said they put her back in the hospital today. I love her, but we never know if it is for attention or if she is really in bad shape. I don't mean that bad at all.

Eric and Dustin will be here two weeks from today. I can hardly wait to see them.

I am really tired tonight. I hope I sleep better tonight. I skipped water aerobics today because of old Abe. I don't think that has helped me sleep anyway. Maybe tonight I will rest then I won't feel quite so down.