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

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I've recently discovered several dachshund blogs and through them found this thing called Wordless Wednesday.  If I've got this right it is just a picture with no caption that you put on your blog on Wednesday, after all a picture is worth a thousand words.  Since I've occassionally done a picture of the week I decided Wordless Wednesday would fit into the blog very nicely.  I couldn't decide on just one picture to start with, so here I offer three.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Changing the view orientation on a computer

Tonight I had many things to do.  I had made one stop on the way home, then picked up Blossom and made a run to PetsMart.  There is a thunderstorm going through the area (or in my case, it is just a windstorm) so I turned on the computer to check the National Weather Service while I made myself something to eat.  The laptop was sitting on a chair, happily doing it's little lengthy boot up, at least until Sawyer and Bentley thought I was about to sit down and they jumped on the chair and the laptop.  Next thing I knew the screen had rotated itself into a sideways view.  Nice, right.  And the mouse was really unmanageable.

Hmmm, now what do I do?  So the keyboard is facing one way and the screen is the other way.  I tried everything, then searched everywhere.  Forget Microsoft help.  All I learned is that they are not going to support my version soon.  So I looked in the laptop owners manual, forget that, after all this is a Dell laptop (boo, hiss!). I tried under the control panel, too.  At this point I was no longer aggravated with the dogs, I was after Microsoft.

So finally, in desperation, with my head facing sideways to my hand and my head pounding I went to Google.  Found my answer in Yahoo!Answers, quick as a wink.  Someone back in 2008 had the same problem and some smart genius (probably a Microsoft developer in disguise) gave the answer:  Hold the Alt and Ctrl keys down while moving the arrow keys until the screen is oriented to your liking.  How simple, of course!  Now you know what to do when the dogs change the orientation of the computer screen! And, now I continue on with my chores only delayed by an hour.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sweet, sweet, sweet

I've kept these two little sweet girls for the last three days.  It's been fun, but it is double the work, too!  I had had the vision that I would dress them up in one of their cute little outfits and do a photo shoot...hahaha.  I didn't have time for that.  But I did snap a few pictures so I had to share this one.  Emma was almost smiling, but Ellie decided it was time for a little snooze. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


The condo that Jaydon and I stayed in at the beach last weekend was very comfortable and decorated in a very relaxing style. Jaydon explored every nook and cranny and opened every drawer and looked on every shelf in the unit.  I looked around, too.   I was glad to see books by Max Lucado and Rick Warren (and others) on the bookshelf.  But the most amazing discovery was when Jaydon opened the doors on the cabinet that the television was sitting on.  Inside was a beautiful set of Encyclopedia Britannica! 

I had to explain what they were, and we spent some time looking up several things.  Although the Britannicas are a little technical and more suited for an older student, we still found a few things that interested Jaydon.  He likes light and we found a section that had some cool pictures about the nature of light.  I'm knitting with alpaca yarn and we tried to look up alpaca.  We also read a little about volcanoes.  I wished that they had been World Book Encyclopedias as those are a little more inviting.  I remembered spending more time than I probably should have as a young student browsing through encyclopedias.  Today's kids have the internet to browse, but somehow it just isn't the same.  Something about turning the pages of a never know what will be next and what new world will be opened to you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Phone Books

Phone book?  What is that many of the younger generation ask.  We all know, they are those big books printed on cheap paper that we chunk into the recycling bin and think about what a waste they are.  Or so I thought.

We have one of the guys that still uses the phone book (yellow pages) regularly.  He is my age, but got left behind when DOS went out of use.  He is not real technology savy.  So he uses the yellow pages to look up everything.  Recently his wife called and asked someone to please look up a phone number in the phone book for her.  She was on the road and needed to call her doctor's office.  But hubby, thrifty guy that he is, had told her not to use directory assistance on the cell phone because it was too expensive.  So she called the office.  The assistant, of course, went to the internet for the number.  As she was looking up the number she was talking with the wife.  The wife then asked, "are you looking on the internet for this number?"  Yep, wife is not in the technology loop either.  We had a good laugh about this!

But a week or two went by and the same assistant asked me if I knew of a good florist.  They needed to send flowers to a client.  Yes, I knew of a florist but couldn't remember the name.  I searched the internet, thinking that I would recognize the name if I saw it.  But no luck.  So, guess what I had to pull out....the yellow pages!  I was slightly horrified but it was the only alternative.  I found the florist, recognizing the name just like I thought I would.  I called the assistant and told her how I found the number and we really had a good laugh.

Ah, modern times.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Picture of the Week

Jaydon and I went to the beach this weekend.  I hadn't been this summer and I asked myself several times why I don't go more often.  It isn't that far, and it is so relaxing. 

I love to watch the waves and enjoyed this view with my morning coffee both mornings.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How Did I Ever Do It?

Jaydon has been staying with me this week. We've had a busy week, Monday night was pizza and homework, Tuesday night Jaydon went to school with me, tonight was Open House at his school. I'm having flashbacks to when my kids were in school and I often felt that I was living in my car. We've had the pizza one night when it was fresh and then left over tonight. Last night was definitely a fast food night. And, I'm not used to having to be somewhere in the morning at a definite time so I've had to really discipline myself to watch the time in the morning (we have a 25-30 minute drive so there is no delay in getting out the door).

What I'm wondering is, how did I do it when my children were small? I worked until 5 p.m., drove home, picked them up from after school care when they were small, put a meal on the table, and then headed out the door to dance, Scouts, soccer practice, baseball practice, choir parents, and I don't remember what else. Oh, yes I remember...I made costumes and assembled homecoming mums during the evenings. And, then I came home and got them bathed and in the bed by their bedtimes (when they were small). There was very little fast food or eating out but by the time Stephanie was in first grade I did have a housekeeper of sorts. But I still have to wonder how I did it.

I remember a lot of times that I thought about the old expression about meeting yourself coming down the road and wondered if it would happen to me. Those were busy years, but good ones. I've told myself that it really wasn't any different back then than it is now. I just did what I had to do and it got done. No different than this week. Except I haven't made any homecoming mums.

And, here's a picture of two fine boys!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Right Place To Be

The day of September 11, 2001 was a long day.  It started like any other day, until a little after 8 a.m. when one of the guys, who never raised his voice, yelled frantically for me to come in his office.  There on his TV was the image of a burning World Trade Center (later I learned that his sister worked in that building and she had not yet arrived in the city when the attacks started).  It was a gripping morning.  At one point I went back to my desk to attempt to work, but no one was calling and work was pointless.  As the day wore on I finally had to put on my distance glasses since I was watching so much TV, glued to the set was more like it. 

One of my co-workers and I had signed up to take a quilting class in a neighboring town and we wondered if it had been cancelled.  So we called the shop, they called the teacher and she said she would teach if anyone wanted to come.  I debated about going since it just didn't seem respectful, plus my church was having a prayer vigil.  I really should be going to church, I thought.  But I went on to the quilt shop, and afterwards I knew it was the right place to be that night. 

When we all arrived the first thing we did was hug each other, total strangers except for my co-worker and myself.  Not the normal way to start a class.  Then we discussed the events of the day and how exhausted and stressed we all felt.  But we quickly fell to the task of choosing our fabrics and starting the class.  The building we were in was built around the start of the 1900's and as we worked I felt those tired old walls speaking to me.  They had seen bad times and uncertainty.  Two world wars and other conflicts, the Great Depression, the assasination of a president, and other bad news had passed through the doors of that building.  I felt the walls saying, "it's ok, we've seen trying times before and our country will survive this horror, too."  I felt comfort in the squeaking old wood floors as I remembered the squeaks in my grandparent's floor.  The boards age had given them a warm patina and I knew that those boards had had other shoes pass over them in times of trial and tragedy.  I also felt comfort in touching the cotton fabrics.  They were soft to my fingers and I knew that probably much of that cotton had been grown and ginned right here in our South.

While we worked we discussed the day and our emotions.  We all agreed that God was watching over our nation and no matter what horror the next days might bring we would get through this.  We all hugged again and left for our homes.  I drove home, listening to the radio and hanging onto every detail, and I knew that that shop was the right place to have been that night.  There was comfort there in that old building, with other women who shared a common bond of quilting, and I will never forget those feelings of reassurance.  Everytime I look at the quilt that I started that night, I am reminded that it is my 9/11 quilt. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years Later

As everyone knows, tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America. Until that time September 11th was just another day.  Several weeks ago interviews and TV specials began airing about that dreadful day.  At first I was appalled and couldn't help but think that the media was just capitalizing on the event and that they would dishonor a very solemn occasion.  But I read an article this week that put everything into perspective for me.

The article was an interview with the pilot of Air Force One who was responsible for President Bush on that day.  His mission was not only to fly the Commander in Chief but to keep him safe.  He recounted the events of the day, dealing with uncertainty, rumors, and not knowing what was really happening at times, trying to keep a level perspective and think through each situation.  He told of the eeriness that afternoon after U.S. airspace was closed - they were the only plane in the air and the air traffic controllers basically told them they could do what they needed to do.  There was no conversation with the ground as they didn't know who might be listening.  And, as he approached Washington he didn't know what was waiting for them there.  Had he done everything he could do to keep the president safe?  Then the fighter jets rolled up on his wing, saluted and took them all the way to ground and to safety. 

As I read this article I remembered every one's uncertainty.  What would happen next?  Were we under attack?  Is this really happening?  As I remembered the emotions of that day I decided that maybe it is a good thing to recall that day with interviews and recollections.  Every time I see an image of the World Trade Towers in those final moments, I cringe.  That is a vision that will forever be in my memory, along with the emotions of that day.  But I also remember how Americans came together very quickly and the unity of people after the attacks.  In the uncertainty we gathered together, in the days after we had a new perspective on our patriotism, and tomorrow, ten years later, we will remember.

May God Bless America and Keep Us Safe

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I Feel A Change

I had promised myself that I would not do another post about the weather, no more whining I said.  But this isn't so much a whine as it is a comment.  So here goes. 

We've had the worst summer hot hot hot hot dry dry dry.  But Saturday night as I took the dogs out before bedtime I thought I felt a hint of a change in the air.  Just a hint, I was sure it felt different somehow.  Sunday morning when we went out I knew for sure, I felt a hint of fall.  A few minutes later the wind picked up and I knew the change had come.  Yeeeeaaaah, the heat is gone.  I feel fall!

So Tuesday morning I had to put gas in the car.  And of course, I'm running late for work and just wanting to hurry and get it done.  As I was filling up I looked out across the hillside (the service station is up on a hill and looks out over the airport and part of the city) and I realized that the cool breeze was just fall all over.  It felt so good on my face.  The morning also just had a look of fall.  While the gas tank filled I thought about fall.  Pumpkins on the porch, grey mornings when the leaves fall, football, and Thanksgiving.  I decided right then as the gas was pumping that I was going to do everything possible to enjoy this fall. 

I'm loving these cool mornings, slipping a shawl around my shoulders while I sit on the deck sipping coffee before dawn.  I'm loving these evening walks with the dogs and feeling the cool night air descend.  I'm loving the late afternoon shadows, the sun seems to have shifted early this year (I know it hasn't but still the shadows already have that long look).  Even though it is hot during the afternoons the humidity is low, and I can imagine that it really isn't hot, it's just a warm fall afternoon.  I can't wait to get the fall decorations out and get this season started. 

After all, it's fall!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I just realized that watermelon is one of life's small simple things.  Why?  Well, it is one of those things that you either like or you absolutely do not.  I love it!

Jaydon and I had bought one at the farmers market on Saturday.  I had chilled it down and cut it on Sunday afternoon.  Jaydon watched me do it...I spread out newspaper on the breakfast table and took a "big ole knife" (as Jaydon commented) and cut it open.  Jaydon was impressed!  To me it was a simple thing, done many times before.  We cut it up and put in zip bags.  After everyone ate supper the boys each had a piece.  Cameron loves watermelon and I knew it would be a treat for him, and it was!  I sent a bag home with him for later snacking!

Tonight I ate a piece and was it good!  So cold, juicy and sweet.  As I ate it I couldn't help but think of so many watermelons I ate while growing up.  My grandfather had great big fingers (or so I thought as a child) and he knew just how to thump a melon to tell if it was ripe.  He was never wrong, either!  I especially remember how good those watermelons that had just been picked and chilled down tasted.  Was it the red dirt of Mississippi?  Not sure, but as I ate my piece tonight I decided that the sweet taste of watermelon is just one of life's small, simple pleasures.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This is what dogs do for fun

This is what doggies do for fun when Mama is gone!  The paper is what is left of the instruction manual for my food processor.  What I can't figure out is how it got off the counter and into the dogs' area in the kitchen. And then how it got into the living room.  Bentley and Blossom had escaped from the kitchen, so did they go over the gate with the book in their mouth?  Or did they go under the gate?  This was NOT what I wanted to come home to after school tonight! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Just a Post

Finally, this dreadful August is over!  I thought September would never come, but now that it is here I know that it is still very hot and very dry outside.  This August beat the August of 2009 for the hottest August on record, whoopee I say.  I just don't think the drought will ever end, I'm sick of it and would happily leave this desert if my life wasn't here.  But instead of whining I decided to do a "5 things" post since I haven't done one in a while.  So here goes:

5 Things I'm Thankful for Tonight

1-Finishing my assigned reading for the week, now I can start on the paper and speech that is due!
2-"Homemade" ranch dressing on the wrap that I made for my supper.  Yum!
3-A hot bath (and comfy pj's!) after being outside in the heat tonight.  Clean feels so good!
4-Four warm little dogs (and one kittie that wandered over) snuggled around me on the sofa. 
5-That it is the Thursday night before the Friday before a long weekend!  Thank you Lord!