It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Made in....where?

I didn't think I would ever even think of writing something like this but here goes...last Friday night Jaydon and I went to Academy to pick up a few camping items.  We walked out with more than I had on my list, but that was to be expected.  Two of the items were blue enamel ware mugs (I love enamel ware!).  When we got home I filled the sink with hot, soapy water to wash them.  I turned the cup over, and as expected there was a label to peel off before washing.  But what jumped out at me were the words "MADE IN CHINA".  I don't know why that jumped out, but it did.  And I thought, grrrrrrr.  Then I started looking at all the things we had bought and everything, except the 2 gallon Igloo water cooler, was made in China.  Everything! 

I remember that my mother used to read the "made in" labels and generally would not buy something that was made in a foreign country if she could find what she wanted that was made in the USA.  I remember a particular story about some socks that she went all over Jackson looking for because they were made in the USA!  But I never dreamed that I would start doing the same thing, but I am!  And it is very disturbing to see that so few products are made here in the states.  So, the purpose of this post is to tell everyone to check the "made in" labels and buy American!

And, just for the record, the Igloo cooler was made in (praise God) Katy Texas!  Three cheers for the Lone Star State!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Spring Campout

Jaydon and I went camping this weekend. Our first stop was at Pedernales Falls. This picture was made from the top of the hill before you begin your descent. Since we have had no rain in months the falls are not flowing very much, only in a few places. I've always wanted to see the Falls after a rain, but no such luck. Our family camped here several times years ago, it is really a great place. Jaydon wants to come back for an overnight camp.

Jaydon loved climbing on the rocks!

He spent quite a while trying to catch tadpoles, but no luck!
He was successful in climbing up this big rock!

This was Sawyer's first campout.  He loved the water and even jumped in briefly for his first swim!  I'll put a post on the dog's blog about his camping adventures.
After we got to Blanco Jaydon couldn't wait to go swimming in the river. We walked across the little damn to an area that was like a walled in swimming area. He swam for a few minutes but the water was cold so we went hiking around the park for a while.

Blanco State Park is a small park but was a nice place to camp. The park was full, but very quiet and peaceful. I saw a sign on the pavilion that it had been built by the CCC in 1933-34 so I suspect that the park was built around the same time.

I'm not amazed that Jaydon loves to play with the fire, so do I! We built a nice fire and roasted hot dogs (Jaydon actually did the cooking) and made s'mores.

The title of this picture has to be "Misery". It had been thundering and lightening while we enjoyed our campfire and as we went to bed the storm hit. We were dry and fairly warm in the tent. But Saturday morning it was chilly and damp and we only had shorts and t-shirts to wear. And to compound Jaydon's misery....silly Gammy forgot the propane for the Coleman stove so there was no bacon and eggs for breakfast! We did get a charcoal fire going and managed to heat water for coffee and a flavored coffee beverage that warmed us. Needless to say, we broke camp early!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Jaydon and I went camping this weekend.  I've just spent an hour and half (maybe more) trying to do a post about the trip.  I could not get my images to post on the page.  They will upload but not show on the final post.  I went through the help section and tried a few things.  Finally I checked the "Known Issues" section and here is what the first item is:

Some users have reported that images are not displaying on their blog when uploading or editing from the new post editor in IE6 or IE7. We're investigating right now and will follow-up with more info as we have it.

So, LOL!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Survived!

 I have survived my first college class in thirty some odd years!  I took the final tonight, turned in my book and left...went to Sonic to celebrate, too!  I'll get the grade next week and then start the next class the following week.  So I'm going to get used to this routine, I hope.  But this is something I must do, and I want to do, so on I press.

But I do have to comment on some of the differences between the "old" days and the modern times.

In the "old" days grades were posted using your Social Security number.  In fact everything was done by your SS#.  I thought nothing of giving it out to a classmate to look up something for me.  It was just the way we were identified.

There was no internet.  Yes, there was no internet.  PC's were still a year or two away and then they would be a novelty.

I typed my last research paper on a manual, portable typewriter.  Word processing was still in Beta, electric typewriters did not correct, and MemoryWriters were still a few years away. 

While smoking was not allowed in classrooms, it was allowed in hallways and most public places.  And everyone smoked, yes everyone but me.  Ugh!  No wonder I had lung problems!

In the library, we looked up information on....micro fiche machines.  Another ugh!  I think I almost ruined my eyes and had a chronic headache from using them.  Do these things still exist?  And, we used encyclopedias and reference books to do research.

If I needed to call home, I used a pay phone.  What, what is that you ask?  No, there were no cell phones in those days.  We paid 25 cents to make a local call at a pay phone.

Registering for classes was a half day affair.  No, it was not done late at night on a computer.  It involved going to the school at a specified time and then walking around a large room, or several rooms, or the convocation center, going from department to department and collecting punch cards for the classes you wanted.  Not as easy as it sounded because if a certain class you needed only met at a certain time or was full you then had to go back and start over to re-arrange the other classes.  Then you took the punch cards down to where ever the monstor sized reader machine was located.  Then, after standing in a never ending line, you got a print out of your classes...then you went to pay.  And we paid with a check,  yes a check.

Ah, the good old days.  Gone with the wind of progress, thank goodness!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The busy world

I should be working on macroeconomics homework, but I've got this thought in my head.  During choir practice tonight I remembered that every Sunday for years our worship service ended with a little song.  I always loved it and thought it was so appropriate.  Now we sing something different every few weeks that usually matches the theme of the messages and the worship service.  But I thought I would put the words to this song here since they have a nice message for Lent.

Let us now depart in thy peace, Blessed Jesus.
Send us to our homes with God's love in our hearts.
Let not the busy world claim all our loyalties,
Keep us ever mindful, dear Lord of thee.  Amen
(Found on page 668 of the United Methodist Hymnal, this is a New Mexican folk song)

It is hard sometimes to keep our minds on God.  The busy world clamors for our attention and we rush through our days and nights without a thought for God, unless we have a crisis and call out to him quickly.  During the Lenten Season we do need to be mindful of God's message to us and the hope of Easter.

And now, back to macroeconomics.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pet Walker Plus

I know, you are wondering what this is.  This is a Pet Walker Plus, a lead designed for walking two dogs at the same time.  It is wonderful!  I had seen something similar in a catalog or somewhere, and then couldn't find it again.  But this is far better, I'm sure.  The leads are connected to a swivel device so they don't get tangled.  And you can unsnap one lead if needed since there is a clasp on either end of the lead.  I bought two of these at the local dog show on Saturday, and it was money well spent.  Last night I walked all four dogs and was able to unclip Bentley when we started out since he was a little frightened and confused.  He was quickly in the swing and I clipped him back on.  But then trouble started...I clipped him onto the wrong lead so I had three dogs on one walker and only one on the other.  To compound the trouble I had both handles in one hand.  The ensuing mess was a big tangle, although by the end of the walk this brought them all within about 6 inches of each other so it kept them together!  However, as it had been demonstrated at the show they quickly came untangled.  The nice part is that when properly used the dogs can walk independently of each other while being controlled with one lead (or in my case, two leads).  Great product, I highly recommend! 

And, yes, I know this is a dog post on the non-dog blog.  I'm including it here for all dog lovers with multiple dogs to walk. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pictures of the Week

Cameron thought that the little mouse attached to this learning computer was a phone.  How cute!

I got lucky tonight and got three great pictures of this cute little guy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Many of my co-workers went to church today and had ashes imposed on their foreheads.   They are giving up something for Lent and are not eating meat on Friday.  I have to provide breakfast for a meeting on Friday, so I consulted with one of the ladies to make sure that I provide a proper Lenten breakfast.  I didn't go to church and I doubt if I will give up anything this year.

You see, I did not grow up in a denomination that participated in Ash Wednesday or Lent.  As a child I heard others talk about "giving up something for Lent" but really didn't know what it was all about.  I had attended the "old" Methodist Church (prior to the merger when we became "United") for a while as a child and I'm sure that Lent was not observed.  When I returned to the Methodist Church I was surprised about a lot of things, and the observance of Lent was one of them.  (Just for the record, for several years after I did give up something during the 6 weeks of Lent, and it was hard!).

I think the concept behind fasting and giving up sweets or something that you enjoy is excellent.  We are in a time of preparing ourselves for Holy Week and for receiving the gift of Easter and it is very appropriate for personal denial and sacrifices at this time.   But I had to wonder today, did my co-workers really understand what Ash Wednesday is all about?  I know this is the only day of the year that some of them go to church, so I had to wonder if their giving up something really has meaning.  I hope so.

On a final note, one of the devotional books that I read had an interesting article today.  The author suggested that instead of giving up something we should resolve to do something good each day.  She  gave an example of calling a friend or sending them a card.  I think this is an excellent idea for this season of Lent.  Let's share God's love by serving him!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thoughts for Shrove Tuesday

I'm finding it hard to believe that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten Season.  But then again, it is March and some years at this time we are already well into the Days of Lent.  I found something interesting last night so I thought I would share it here.

I love clothes.  I'm not one of these people who live to shop, but I do like to wear nice clothes.  I'm not sure if I like working or if I just like getting up and getting dressed up every morning!  I love clothes.  So in reading Colossians 3 I was surprised to find three references to clothing ourselves in a spiritual sense.  Three times Paul makes reference to clothing ourselves:
  1. verse 10, clothe yourself with a new self (the preceeding verses discuss getting rid of the old self)
  2. verse 12, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience
  3. verse 13, above all, clothe yourself with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony
Some good things to think about as you put on your clothes in the morning, right?  During Lent remember to put on your spiritual clothes, too.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Sure Sign of Spring

I snapped this picture this morning with my "purse" camera, which I think needs to be retired after seeing this picture.  It may not be the best of shots, but I thought I would put it on here anyway. 

It is a sure sign of spring when you see the red bud trees bloom!