Saturday, August 26, 2023



I went to Colorado in June & used my GPS to get everywhere I needed to be, mostly without incident.  I had some issues with it taking me some backroads because of flooding. I figured out where I was way off track going & coming back was a breeze til I tried to cross from New Mexico into Texas & it sent me backroads then for some reason.  It had me on a farm road that was horrible...but I'm fixing that. 

I'm planning a small trip next month to Ruidoso & decided I needed an atlas.  I actually found a New Mexico map in one of my files but then I ordered a used atlas from Ebay.  It's a 2018 but in great shape & I'm pretty sure nothing has changed since then, roadwise. 

GPS does a great job telling me what road to go on & that in 56.2 miles I need to turn but it doesn't tell me what town I'm going through.  Even worse, I stopped at the Sonic & a gas station in one town & asked the kids working what the next town was & they didn't know.  Holy cluelessness a super power now?  

My atlas & I are going solve all those problems.  Yay!

I have to thrown in that when I got the atlas in the mail I thought of my friend Kyle.  He passed away about a year ago & my heart still hurts.  But Kyle loved, LOVED maps & atlases.  He'd sit & go through them for hours .  He was my atlas dude.  

Monday, August 21, 2023



My friend Deb brought me some wild plum jam that her company had purchased from a local vendor for a dinner.  Just had some & it was yummy.  

Growing up on a ranch, wild plum jelly was a staple in our house.  We had wild plums that grew on a creek bed that ran through the property & we'd all go down & pick into 5 gallon buckets.  Mom would boil them down to juice & then mom would make tons of jam to last for the year.  I checked with the current owner of the property a few years ago to see if there were plums & I could go pick but he told me they had all dried up or he'd be happy to let me.  So sad.

I've canned a couple of things over the years.  I made regular plum jam with Costco plums a couple of years ago & made cherry jam for my friend Deb last year.  A few years ago I made corn relish which was delish.  It made about 8 jars each time & I gave most away but not everyone likes things like this anymore.  And I don't eat many things like that anymore either.

Deb made pickles a couple of years.  She grew the cucumbers & made jars & jars of pickles.  She gave me a couple of bread & butter pickles, my favorite.  I think I still have a jar in the pantry.  I actually love pickles & if there is one on my plate, I eat it first. But it seriously never occurs me to open the refrigerator & put one on my plate. 

I wish I lived in an era where I canned & pickeled but if I did I'd be overrun.  I am making a big effort to cook at home everyday but even with that I can't really eat that much canned food.   Last year, for some reason, I had a freezer full of corn.  And it took months to eat it all. Today I have 1 bag of Birdseye corn in my freezer.  

My dad had jelly at at lease 1 meal every day.  On toast,biscuits, cornbread.  That was dessert even if there happened to be another dessert.  Both he & mom grew up in an era where it was a true treat. 

I'm thinking about making corn relish again.  It was so good & now that I can make beans (see Father's Day post) that relish would be really good with my beans. 

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Empty Tank

The whole world paused this morning.

Do you know why? Because an 8 year old’s tank was empty.

The boys had already started their school day at their desks and I was preparing to leave for work when I noticed my littlest standing in the bathroom wiping his face.

I paused at the door and asked if he was okay. He looked up with tears silently dripping and shook his head. When I questioned if something happened, again he shook his head.

So I sat on the side of the tub and pulled him in my lap. I told him sometimes our heart tanks feel empty and need to be refilled.

He cried into my chest and I held tight.
I asked if he could feel my love filling him up?
A nod, and tears stopped...

I waited a minute...

‘Has it reached your toes yet?’
He shook his head no...

‘Okay man. We will take as long as you need. Work doesn’t matter right now. School isn’t important either. This right here, is the most important thing today, okay? Filling you back to the top. Is that good?’

One more minute...
‘Is your heart full of mamas love now?’
*looks in his eyes* I see it shining in there, you’re full to the top, and you’re smiling!

Y’all. You may not be 8- you may be 28, 38, 48 or whatever- but ALL of us run on empty just like he did. His weekend was so busy and so full and his little soul was just dry!!!

We all have to pause, and take a moment to refill with the good things. Scripture, prayer, sunshine, worship, song, laughter, friends, hugs. Refill your empty, or you’ll find those emotions (tears, anger, snappy words) overflowing with no reason why

Take a moment. Refill. It’s the most important part of your day!

Reposted from my friend Dianne's Facebook...from someone named Chad Smith. I don't know if he was the author...

Wednesday, August 16, 2023


 I read an article yesterday about something called "glimmers" which are the opposite of "triggers".  Glimmers are little things that make you happy without a specific reason just as triggers are things that upset you without a specific reason.  

Because I'm trying to have more positivity in my life instead of just the negativity that we are bombarded with everyday.  I need balance.  I'm going to try to find a glimmer everyday.  

Here is my first glimmer:

This is Layne.  She is my great-great niece & I got this picture of her on my birthday.  She is wearing a onsie that I sent her. ❤   This is a glimmer.

For the record, I think people share too many pictures of their kids on the internet.  I love seeing the pics but I think it's a dangerous practice.  If Layne were older, if a location of her was possible to learn, I would not post it. But I think this one is safe.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

High Tech Redneck

 This is a needle threader.  I don't sew but I do crochet & usually just fold a little tiny piece of paper to thread my tapestry needle when I'm done with my scarf.  But today I found this at Walmart.  I've never owned one before.  

I'm officially high tech!

Okm my picture is blurry so I'm reallyy not that high tech.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Racing mind today

I can't sleep, as usual.

I have eliminated overt caffiene in my diet though there is probably some hidden stuff.  

I stopped drinking soda's in December though I do drink some some fruity carbonated sugar free drinks. Just one a day.  Basically every ingredient has 0's...Probably still not good for me but hopefully not hurting too bad.  And  I get tired of water all the time.  And I drink a lot of water & I like it.  To be fair to me, some days & even weeks are just water days.

I'm intermittant fasting.  I eat only between 10 am & 6pm. I can eat what I want but only during those hours.  It's been pretty easy so far.  I started Monday at 148.5 pounds.  I want to below below 130.  I'd be happy with 129.9.   But I'm not going to beat myself up.  I've happy where I am but losing 20 pounds would be great for my blood sugar. Plus I found 3 shirts on sale last week that fit but would look better 20 pounds less. 😅

I'm watching My 600 pound life so I think about weight.

One lady was adopted & the doctor told the adoptive parents that the birth mom was a large woman & the baby had same tendancies so a pediatrition put her on diet pills at age 3.  Now she weighs 678 pounds.  Or did then.  Show is older. 

A few years bariactric surgery was a fad at my office & our insurance paid for it...but I didn't qualify because I was under 200 pounds at the time. I'm glad I didn't do it.  Not sure how exactly but my weight has dropped to where it is now & I've maintained it for at least 13 years. It's a mystery.

I remember weight guru Richard Simmons said he was sent to a weight loss group as a teen & if someone gained during the week they had to wear a badge with a pig on it.  

How are people so cruel?

I'm cooking at home now.  No fast food sounds good, except Schlotskys & it's across town.  Today I made my favorite meal: pan fried steak, mashed potatoes, biscuits & gravy.  It's normally not that big of a meal but I have plenty of leftovers so it wasn't a complete pig fest.  And I had an apple & a granola bar for supper, ending at 5:55.  😇

I also cooked pinto beans in my instapot today.  I tasted them but didn't really eat any.  That's lunch tomorrow.

I did eat out yesterday...enchiladas at the Plaza & about half of a banana split at Braums.  But it was my birthday.  

Sounding a little piggy 🐷🐷 but it was an unusual weekend.  I promise it's normally not this bad.

I need to write about this but I'm going to try to not only obsess about it.  I'm going to try.  I will admit that I plan food in my mind. I'm already planning on beans tomorrow.  But to be fair, I eat the leftovers so I'm saving money & don't have a new meal every day.  See, I can justify anything.

But I feel the urge to move, which is strange.  I'm trying to get a lot of steps in every day.  My Fitbit reminds me & I'm trying.

Gosh, I sound stressed about it & I'm truly not.

I talked to Kaye & told her I'm not coming back to work.  I enjoy being at home.  I'm going to miss it but think it's best.  

The truth is I'm over too many people every day.  I'd like a person or 2 occasionally but I need them to be real friends, not users.  

My former friend Donna was in the hospital last week & may still be. We've been friends for a long time but she is a dyed in the wool Democrat & does not like that we don't agree on politics.  I don't discuss them with her & can live with that but she cannot. So they have ignored me for the past year & a half. Which is seriously not anything new...she's only ever cared about herself & her family.  She used to call to talk about them but never once asked me about anything in my life.  I was her friend, she was never really mine.  I hope she's ok but I don't need her in my life.  

I'm trying read more.  I'm having trouble settling my mind as usual but the last couple of weeks have been good.  I finished 2 books, I'm in the middle of one now. 

I need some balance & variety in my life now that I'm home all the time.  I've turned into my mom...I don't like much TV noise anymore, in spite of watching My 600 pound life at this moment.  I can't handle it for long.  Ready for a bath & my book after this episode finishes.

And I'm binging a British crime drama called Shetland but not tonight.  It's set in the Shetland Islands in Britian & it looks like it would be a very cool place to visit, except for all the murders! 😅

I might have worn down here.  Or I might be back.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

I'm in Pain (The Ranger--book review)

 I just finished a book called 'The Ranger' by Ace Atkins.  It's the first in a series of books about a army ranger named Quinn Colson.  In this book he returns to his hometown for a family funeral & runs into drug dealers.  We finally end with him back on base but injured on desk duty.  I picture him moving home to be the new town sheriff.  I can only surmise that because it's the last book in the series I'll be reading.  

Holy cow.

The writing is awful.  There are waaaaaaay too many useless characters, everyone but Quinn & Deputy Lillie a complete idiot. The dialogue is repetitive.  There are complete chapters that are completely unnecessary.  It's setting is a Mississippi small town full of rednecks drinking nothing but Mountain Dew, living in squalor & throwing their trash along the side of the road.  

I don't know where Ace was born but he went to school at Auburn so I assume he is a southerner.  I'm personally insulted by his portrayal of small town southerners as ignorant hicks with no pride in their lives, homes or towns. 

To top it off, the writing is just plain bad.  One instance is described a drug dealer's car as a "cherry red EL Camino"...which was great the 1st time but he used all 4 words every other time he described it.   Dude, we got it the 1st time. Cherry red.

And I had to read a couple of chapters a couple of times to even figure out who or what he was talking about.  

The boy needs an editor.

I at first thought it was self published because I could not figure out how he got past a real live publisher.  But it was published in 2011 when publishers had less strigent standards & before self publishing became a thing.

I became acquainted with Ace because when one of my favorite authors, Robert B Parker died, his estate, in a bid to keep the money train running, hired Ace to take over Parker's character, Spencer.  He did a pretty good job, though the last 2 books were kind of lazy & unimaginative.  Plus,in the last book he called God a she, gave a Hawk a daughter & killed a semi regular character for no reason. Granted he was not a hugely important character but he was a legacy guy who showed up several times over the years. It's pretty evident he's over the character. Luckily, he's announced the last book was his last book in the series.  He's passing the torch to another author who too over some of Parker's other characters.  I have not read him but may give him a look.

Truthfully, it may be time for Spenser (with an "s" like the poet).  It's been 50 books, he no longer points out that he's "dressed to the nines, armed to the teeth".  Mostly he spends more time with boring Susan who sips martinis,nibbles on peas & gives sexual innuendos.  Hawk still grunts & dresses well.  And of course all the dogs named Pearl in Boston.  The thrill is kind of gone.

I wrote a post about Ace & RBP earlier that said he did a pretty good job & I meant it.  But it's obviously he can take an established set of characters & keep them going.  But he has an inability to develop characters or his owns stories.  Maybe he's gotten better since his first book.  But he & I are done.


Thursday, August 3, 2023



I made an impulse purchase today...this jigsaw puzzle, from Costco.  When my mom was alive, we did a lot of puzzles, but 300 piece puzzles, not 1000 pieces.  And I enjoyed it because I got to be with her.  I like them too but I'm not very good at them.  I have problems seeing things in pieces & seeing a finished picture.  I also can't do the puzzles where I'm supposed to find 4 teapots in a big picture.  My brain just doesn't go there.  But I love Vegas & this looked fun.  I already missed several side pieces already & if I finish this, it'll take me a year. But...on I go. 

My sister Cathy always loved Vegas too & I thought of her today as I worked on this.  She was not a lucky person & would run out of money fast. "I'd play, but I don't have any money...(insert sad face) I'd give her half of what I had.  But I was ok with that.

Mom liked going too & we always got to meet Cathy & usually her daughter Karla or some friends.  Cathy's big thing was saving money on hotel rooms & she was ok with 6 or so people in one room.  I always got another room for mom & me...Cathy never understood why but I wouldn't sleep for a month with that many people around me.  Always made us all laugh.

I'll post a picture if I ever finish the puzzle.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Texas Tech Centennial

Texas Tech was established in 1923 so we are in a centennial year. Lots of celebrations are going on all over the state.  At the Tech Museum there is a commemorative exhibit of the University.  Today I went to the Museum to check it out.  It was pretty impressive. I read all the stuff & looked at the pictures & took a few.  Mostly, and sadly, the pictures I took were mainly sports.  I graduated from Tech but it's the sports that cause the memories.

Ok, this is not athletic related.  I feell a little better.

Model of Administration Building
Construction started in 1924

Here are the 1993 Lady Raiders basketball team, our first National Championship ever in any sport. It was a season to remember. The star player's name is Sheryl Swoopes. She was only at Tech for her last 2 years of school.  I had started to notice they were doing well so I went to a few games her junior year.  I was excited about the I bought a season ticket for the next year. We were still in the Lubbock Colesium then, AKA 'The Bubble".  I paid $75 for that ticket.  First game out, Sheryl hit one of the pylons that holds the basket & crumpled. I remember thinking I'd just blown $75.  Then one of the assistant coaches went out & picked her up in his arms & she put her arms around his neck & buried her face in his chest. He sat her on the bench & the trainer checked her out  & then she went back out & scored like 30 points. I breathed a sigh of financial relief.  

The team lost 3 games that season.  Truthfully, I only remember 1 loss but I'll go with the internet on that one.  They rolled through the post season for a Sunday afternoon in Atlanta.  It was glorious.  The coach was Marsha Sharp.  The city figuratively canonized her, even naming a freeway after her.  She never again had the same glory though she possibly could have.  Sadly, her later star player ended up pregnant & didn't mention it to anyone til it was too late to redshirt her.  I can only imagine as a 19 year old, she was scared & confused.  I certainly would have been. But the rumors I heard is that Saint Marsha berated & humiliated her & not only did she leave but her remaining teammates took it all a little personally.  They didn't leave but the spirit & trust of the team was broken.  Saint Marsha's days were numbered. 

The program fell into disrepair & sadness.  A couple of years ago, Tech hired one of the members of the championship as head coach.  She seems to be doing well.  I'd like to see that 1993 magic again.

Swoops went on to  be the 1st player drafted in the WNBA.

1993 Lady Raider Basketball

In 2001 Tech hired Legendery Men's Basketball coach Bob Knight.  We'd had some ok years with James Dickey but he had a good recruiting class coming in & I truly believe he could have turned things around. The University, namely AD Gerald Myers did Coach Dickey dirty.  He went out & hired Coach Knight before he fired Dickey.  It was a big old deal.

Coach Knight was both famous & infamous.  He was a tough taskmaster & his players loved him.  He made them go to class.  He taught them that not everyone was going to be playing money ball & that they needed to take advantage of the education Tech was handing them. When he ended up leaving, his son took over the program. Pat Knight was not his dad & was kind of a disaster.  I never heard anything official but I think the agreement was for a limited time to get Pat the job.

Coach Knight was rude & crude in some ways.  He did not suffer fools at all. And I get that because there are fools everywhere.  I liked him.  I always loved it when they said "Texas Tech head coach Bob Knight".  He deserved his solo picture in the centennial tribute.

Coach Bob Knight

In 2008, we had us a football team.  A real one. Mike Leach was out coach & we had a team that could score crazy points. It was awesome.  And when the dreaded evil empire, the University of Texas, then the number 1 team in the nation came to town.  We were undefeated til them (#7 I think) but definite underdogs. But that didn't sink in to Graham Harrrell or Michael Crabtree because they scored the most amazing final TD ever in our history & sent the bovine home crying.  Of course, we lost to Oklahoma the next week like 55-0 & lost the bowl game.  But that game was soooooo good!!

In 2014 Texas Tech Baseball under coach Tim Tadlock went to the College World Series for the first time.  We've been 4 now.  I'm calling it...we will win it all one day.

And 2019.  Holy Cow...what a year.  We had a magical Men's basketball that went to the National Championship March Madness game. I've written about it before.  They played great but Coach Beard was outcoached & they lost the game.  It broke my heart in half.  I can't say anymore.

I also loved 2 more pictures.

The top is the first appearance of the Masked Rider who leads the best entrance of any team in college football ever.  It was in 1954 at the Gator Bowl.

The last is the words to the Matador Song. I had no idea it'd been around since 1952. And it warms my heart every time I hear it.