Thursday, March 30, 2006

Love and Romance After 36 Years

The 28th was our 36th anniversary. I came home from work with an upset tummy--went straight to bed, and to sleep. Not much romance there.
Last night we went out to eat, to celebrate belatedly. Wick & I have been on a low carb diet since New Year's Day, and have been doing well--blood sugar down for both of us, both losing weight and inches, both feeling good, more energy. So where did we go? Did we stay on our diet? Of course not!
We went to On the Border, and had Margaritas and Tex-Mex. We both love Margaritas--in fact, Wick ordered plans from an on-line site for building our very own Margarita machine this summer. Now, I am restricted to only two or three drinks--not because he is controlling, or because I have such self-restraint--no, it is because I am a cheap date. I am drunk after three drinks. So Of course, I ordered the large Margarita, which is the size of a small bird bath. I swigged it down like I was dying of thirst, and gave myself brain freeze. Oh my goodness, it tasted sooooooooo good! We ate nearly three baskets of chips with salsa, and ordered huge platters of food. We had really looked forward to this meal, to eating all the things we have not eaten for 3 months.
Unfortunately, after three months of low carb eating, we just can't eat the way we used to. After all those tortilla chips, we couldn't finish our meal. We had even planned to order a dessert (just one, to split--after all, we *are* on a diet), but since we couldn't even finish the empanadas, beans, rice, cheese enchiladas, chile relenos, etc., we passed on the chocolate fudge brownie sundae. Sigh.
We held hands on the way home, and talked about sitting out on the boat dock and looking at the stars. We also talked about our honeymoon.
We started out with a one-bedroom apartment, the bed and dresser that had been in my room at my parents' house, and twenty cans of cream style corn--Ten cans for a dollar, what a deal, how could you pass that up?
We went to San Antonio for one night. We ate at a Chinese restaurant--a *Chinese* restaurant, in *San Antonio*, where there are dozens of great Tex-Mex restaurants. What were we thinking?
Not about food, obviously. After we left the Chinese restaurant (I had never been to one, or eaten Chinese food before), we went to the Alamo, the zoo, and downtown San Antonio. then, because we had practically no money, we went to a grocery store, bought a package of bologna, a loaf of bread, and a jar of mayonaise, and went back to our motel room to watch old movies on t.v.
We had to leave the next day to go home, because we couldn't afford for Wick to miss a day of work. We pretty much lived on love, which was a good thing, because all I knew how to cook were scrambled eggs, and steak. Wick only liked fried eggs, with runny yolks, and we couldn't afford steak, so .... I had to learn to cook. Once, I boiled a roast. Another time, I cooked a pot of beans but didn't put in any salt or seasoning. So it was back to bologna sandwiches, while I read cookbooks and did science experiments in our tiny kitchen. I learned to make a tuna noodle casserole that would feed six people--unfortunately, I couldn't find six people who liked it. I made a salmon in cream sauce that was poured over buns; the neighborhood cats haunted our trash can for weeks afterward.
Fortunately, Wick already knew how to cook, and he managed to keep us fed until I managed to find six recipes that were edible. That's one for every day of the week, almost--That seventh day, we had hot dogs.
romance? oh husband can be truly romantic. Once, he ran me a bath with bubble bath in it, dried me with warm towels (fresh from the dryer), and when we went into the living room, I found it lit with myriad candles, a quilt spread on the floor, and wine already poured. So what if the wine glasses were plastic, and the quilt was necessary because the house we were living in and building at the same time only had subflooring, no carpet?
When the man I love takes my hand, I feel 16 again, and head over heels in love.
Sorry for the mushy stuff, but after all, we have managed to stay together for 36 years, and that is reason enough for celebration.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Under Granny B's House

Have I mentioned that Pride & Prejudice is one of my favorite books? It's also a favorite of daughter Jeana, and now her Katie is reading it. I guess that is what got me to thinking about the first time I read it.
my grandmother's house was a frame house set on bois d'arc posts. Since it sat on a slope, one side was practically on the ground, and the other side was high enough to stand under. In this part of Texas, we just don't have cellars or basements (oh, except for storm cellars, which are usually not under the house). That space under the house was always cooler that outdoors in the summer. Granny B had shelves there where she stored her home-canned fruits and vegetables, potatoes and apples, and other stuff she didn't want to get rid of, but didn't have house room for. As the oldest grandchild, I was often sent under the house to get a jar of spiced peaches, chili sauce, or bread and butter pickles. I can remember how those jars glowed in the cool dark space, like jewels in a cave.
I also discovered books. Lots of books. Smokey the Cow Horse. The 'Nigger" of the Narcissus (Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness author). Old literature textbooks. And Pride and Prejudice. My daddy's theory was that kids should be allowed to read any book in the house, because you never know what they will get out of it, and if they are not ready, they will put it down and come back to it when they are older. So nobody told me I was too young to read these books. I admit that I didn't understand everything (I had some *major* questions about Joseph Conrad, the title of his book, and racism). But I fell in love with Pride and Prejudice. In the long hot sunny summer afternoons, I would disappear under the house and read, and read, and read.
Mama woud take us to the library every week, and I discovered that those authors whom I had met under Granny B's house had written other books! Wow! What richness! I checked out a laundry basket full of books every week, and read my heart out.
The drawback to checking books out from the library was that Mama wouldn't let me take them up under the house, because she was afraid I would get them dirty, and then we would have to pay a fine to the library. I don't think the librarian would have noticed. She was too staggered by the sheer volume of books I read. She told me once that I should not check out so many books at one time, because no one could read that many books in one week. Mama had to explain to her that I read that basket of books in *one* week, and then read them again the second week, while waiting for the next trip to the library.
I loved reading under the house. It was a treasure cave, a port to other places and other times, a doorway into amazing adventures, and a cool retreat on hot summer days. I kind of wish I could still crawl up under Granny B's house and read.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Strange Dreams

We went camping with Wick's brother this weekend. It was freezing cold Friday night, and I just couldn't get warm, even standing right by the fire. So we went into Tommy's trailer, and he turned on the heat pump. Which seemed to me to be blowing cold air. So I went back to our RV. Two quilts, my knitted shawl over my feet, the little electric heater blazing its little heart out, and I was still freezing. I dreamed I was stranded in the Arctic, and our Pomeranian was pulling our sled.
Sat. turned out to be a pretty nice day. Sunny, warmer (for a few hours anyway), so we stayed outside all afternoon. Then it got cold again. Our sons were sitting on the tailgate of the pickup, drinking beer, and our little nephew was begging us to take him down to the water to see a dead fish (again), and I drank so much coffee I couldn't go to sleep for hours after I went inside and went to bed. I dreamed about making coffee and serving it to dead fish.
When we got home this evening, we backed the RV over the water connection. Water sprayed everywhere, Wick used some choice words, and almost ran over Frankie when he repositioned the RV.
Wonder what I will dream about tonight?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Hi Y'all

First, thanks to everyone who has commented on my posts. I am overwhelmed! Jeana is going to teach me how to put links on my blog to your sites, and I am going to try to answer each of you in the next few days. However, this weekend we are camping at Lake Texoma with Wick's brother, and I won't be sitting at the computer for a couple of days. I just had to check comments though, since Jeana called and told me y'all were responding. This is soooo cool!
It is freezing cold this weekend. What a winter. We had icy roads right at the beginning of winter, and lost a school day because the buses couldn't run (we teach in a rural area). Then it was warm and mild almost all winter. Now, the first week in spring, we are having freezing temperatures, frost on our windshields in the mornings, and digging out the warm clothes I just packed up for storage two weeks ago. Jeana warned me I was jumping the gun a little, but since we live in our RV, we don't have a huge amount of clothes storage space, and my summer stuff takes up a lot less room that my winter stuff. I know some of y'all think that Texas doesn't really have different seasons, but we do--sometimes all four seasons in one week. Some years we are wearing shorts Thanksgiving weekend. Other years, it snows on Easter. You never know what to expect. And yes, like Jeana, I do keep a jacket and jeans around during the summer, and shorts and t-shirts in the drawer in winter. A couple of years ago, we had all our kids and grandkids at the lake over 4th of July, and Jeana's dear husband was wearing a sweatshirt! on 4th of July! in Texas!
In this part of Texas, temps often go above 100 degrees in summer; and down below 20 is not that unusual in winter. And sometimes in the 40's in summer. or the 90's in winter. How do you know how to dress, with weather like that?
When we planned this trip, we though we could expect warm weather, after the warm winter we've had. You know, jeans, t-shirts, maybe a light jacket. Last night, we had a bonfire, I had on a fleece jacket with a knit shawl over that, and stood practically in the fire, and was still shivering. Poured down the hot coffee till I thought I was going to be sick, and still couldn't feel my toes. Still frigid this morning, but the forecast is sunshine and 66 degrees. I'll believe that when I see it.
Well that is enough rambling for this morning; Ive got to take Frankie outside (he's the amazing shrinking Pomeranian mentioned in one of Jeana's posts) before he had a conniption fit.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Have you ever noticed that people differ greatly in how they give directions? There are those, like my husband,who think in terms of compass points. You know, as in "go 2.3 miles and turn north. Then proceed 1.8 miles. Turn west." I can figure out the 2.3 miles part, that is, if the little dookickey on the dashboard is working...(which in our 1991 Honda happened about once a month, so was totally unreliable as a measuring device--or for telling how fast you are going) but since we don't happen to have a compass in the car, how in the world am I supposed to know which direction is north? My daddy once upon a time managed to pound into my consciounes the following information: face north, and your right hand is east, and your left hand is west. Now, as I remember it, the reason you face north is so that your family and friends have your back, and you can see what those sneaky northerners (known in these parts as yankees, or d___yankees, said as one word of course) are up to before it is too late to run for cover (or load your weapon) . But I still haven't figured out how you know which direction is north, if no yankees happen to be coming over the hill at the moment that you need to know which way north is?
My way of giving directions is something like this: start slowing down when you pass by where the old Piggly Wiggly used to be--no, not the new old one that is out on the end of Morton St., that's where the old one moved when it moved from this street--the old one, the one where the Goodwill was after the Piggle Wiggly moved to Morton St., and then it was a tire store--well, anyway, slow down when you get to where the old Piggly Wiggly was, and watch for the house with the bright red door--oh, they painted it purple? I guess I haven't been past there since they painted it. Did they paint the trim to match, or just the door? I always thought the red door with the orange trim was sort of gaudy .... oh yeah, well, after you pass the house that used to have a bright red door,.......well, you probably get the idea.
I like to think that God sometimes gave directions in a similar way-- after you pass the burning bush and themountain where Moses got the stone tablets, it will take you about 40 years to cross the desert, and there you are in the Promised Land. And by the way, don't forget about the Ten Commandments. Of course, there He was much more specific--which is probably a good thing.
I do admit that I have no sense of direction, since any time I go into a building, I am totally lost if I come out a different door. In fact, my husband once took advantage of this weakness, or at least he tried. We were on vacation with our son and daughter-in-law, and three babies under four years old. The babies, DIL, and I were all asleep in the back of the Suburban when husband and son stopped to get gas (we left on our journey at some ungodly hour well before dawn, as is usual with my husband--two hours on the road, and then we might stop for breakfast). I got out, looked at son, who was pumping gas, and said,"I'm going inside to use the restroom." When I came out, no Suburban was in sight. So I went back in, walked through the whole truck stop, and went out the other door. Still no suburban. So I walked all the way around the truck stop, just to be sure I was not overlooking a black Suburban (sort of like not seeing a tank parked in your yard). Son later told me the part of the trip to which I was not a witness. About 30 minutes down the highway, Dad says, "Where do you want to stop for breakfast?" Son says," I don't care." Dad says, "Ask Mama." Son turns around to look in the back, then turns back around without saying anything. Dad says, "What did she say?" Son:"She's not back there." Dad:"What do you mean she's not back there?"
I don't know exactly what else was said, but it then took them about another ten minutes to find a place to cross over and go back the other way, to the truck stop. When they got back to the truck stop, Dad says,"Go in and get your mama." Son: "I'm not goin' in there! You go in and tell her you forgot her!"
So husband comes in, finds me drinking a coke and looking at birdhouses, cheese domes and other fascinating souvenirs in the truck stop gift shop, and says, "hey, honey, did you go out the wrong door again?"
I may have no sense of direction, but so far I have never left a loved one at a truck stop.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Starting a blog

I have had a personal website at geocities since 1998. I didn't design it myself--I had a lot of help, some better, some worse. . . the most I can take credit for is the content--that is, the writing. Other people, who know more than I do about html, whatever that is, added all kinds of graphics, music, pictures, and colors, for which I do not chose to take credit. My daughter Jeana (daystocome) introduced me to the blog concept, and I love the idea of people being able to respond to what I write. After all, writing is a kind of conversation, and if no one responds, how can I know if what they read is what I thought you said? After all, what you thought I said may not be what I meant at all. To get back to daughter Jeana, she helped me name this blog. I sent her a list of possibilities, and she said this one made her laugh, and sounds just like me. As my husband will tell you, I am totally random and abstract. Whereas he is just the opposite, totally sequential and concrete. So we sort of complement each other. Jeana has four young children, and home schools, and is of necessity one of the most organized people I know. I think my mind works sort of like what she calls rabbit trails--I write in more or less stream of consciousness, which is always random, usually abstract, and almost always abstracted--that is, I get side-tracked easily, and forget what my point was. But I usually do have a point, and eventually I remember what it was--most of the time.
I plan to gradually move the contents of my website to this blog, so just imagine what you have to look forward to, if you are still reading.