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

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The What If Game

Several years ago I invented the "what if" game to play at work.  It's easy:  just think to yourself "what if I could" and then think of something you would like to do at that exact moment, but do it as part of your work day.  It has gotten me through many a boring day.  So today I'm sitting there and I had the idea "what if I could bring my sewing machine up here and just sit and sew up quilt tops."  I lingered over the thought and in my mind I saw myself sitting at my desk in my nice little business professional attire running fabric through my little Singer Featherweight.  Trust me, I would make this reality if I could! 

I can just see this little beauty sitting on my desk, running away!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to improve your computer's performance

My laptop is almost 6 years old, and yes I probably will have to replace it eventually.  I have the wonderful XP that is not going to be supported in another year or so and I'm going to use that as an excuse for a new laptop!  However, this thing had gotten slower and slower and slower.  Often I will turn it on and just walk away for a while and let it churn.  I checked the other day and only had 3% free space.  I knew I had a lot of pictures on it that I needed to move off to the external hard drive.  But what I didn't realize was that I had quite a little collection of e-mails.  I deleted 724 e-mails in the first round of house cleaning and probably another 200 or so before I finished.  They were all tucked snugly into their little folders waiting for me to read.  However, most were ads that expired a year ago and I had just not bothered to delete them.  I had no idea that I had so many e-mails!  I still have about 200 to look through before I'm done.  And yes, this laptop is now running a lot faster!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Last week I was following a black Ford Focus when I noticed the sticker on the back window.  It read:

            ....on Jesus

At first I thought, oh that's a cute word play.  But then I thought, wow, what a great thought to share.  I wonder what our world would be like if we all focused on Jesus more.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And the rain came down

(Just to note:  the video on the last post is now working)  As I noted in the last post I had 6 inches of rain last week.  Monday night they predicted rain, and sure enough around 10 p.m. it started raining at my house, followed by thunder and lots of lightening.  Tuesday morning I had 2.25 inches in the rain gauge.  But it kept raining and raining and raining.  I did not realize that it had rained so much until I got home.  My rain gauge had overflowed!  So between Monday night and Tuesday evening I had over 5 inches, probably more.  That makes a total of at least 11 or more inches of rain in just over a week!  Like we say around here, it is either feast or famine in the rain department!

But here's the fun part - my backyard was like a lake!  Normally the dogs hate to go outside when it rains, they do not like to have their paws wet.  But Sawyer, my lover of puddles and small streams, led the way right into the biggest puddle of water.  They had fun playing and running back and forth but they were a mess when they got through!

This is the water next to the house; there were similar spots all over the back yard. It was probably 2-3 inches deep in this puddle.

I'm very thankful for all this rain.  I have very mature oak trees that survived the drought, but were looking weak.  This soaking rain is just what they needed.  I actually do have a nice grass lawn in the front yard, and it looks beautiful this year, green and growing very nicely.  Of course, now I have to get out there and mow!  But that is just fine with me because I love the satisfaction of standing back and looking at the freshly mowed yard and feeling very satisfied with what God has given me. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Barking and tricycle chasing (with working video!)

The tricycle-note that it has been modified, there is no seat!
We had 6 inches of rain last week, no complaints from me!  It fell in small increments after the initial downpour that produced 2.5 inches.  It was wonderful.  But my deck was a mess so this afternoon I went out to clean it off.  Jaydon got his tricycle out of the garage and brought it to the deck.  Yes, he has a big bike.  I recorded his learning to ride right here on the blog.  For some strange reason he loves this trike and rides it all the time.  Even the neighbor boys like to hook it up to a wagon or truck and pull it around.  (It is the simple things of life that we love, right?).

This afternoon when he started riding it around on the deck Bentley went bananas!  It was so funny that I left my sweeping and got the camera to shoot video.


Bentley really has a deeper, throatier bark than on the video. This went on for quite a while and I made several videos.  This one makes me laugh because Bentley keeps biting Jaydon's back!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A little more Bastrop

Bastrop State Park opened in 1937 on land acquired from the city and private owners.  The Civilian Conservation Corp did the original work at the park.  Additional acreage was acquired in 1979 to make the size of the park 6,613 acres.  This area is known for its "Lost Pines"; the area is very sandy and the loblobby pines and oak trees flourish.  Or they did until last Labor Day when a wild fire swept through the park.  While we were there I asked at the headquarters what the cause of the fire was - it was caused by a dead tree branch falling on power lines.  I noticed that the LCRA power lines that run through the park now have a very wide clearance on either side.  The fire was fierce, jumping over 4 lanes of Highway 21 to race through the park.  Through tireless efforts of firefighters they were able to keep the fire from consuming most of the historic structures built by the CCC. If you want to read more about the fire go to

This was one of the structures built by the CCC.  I think it had a roof over it and was a pavilion.  You can see a burned beam on the left of the structure in this picture.  Note the blue stripe on the tree on the right - this is a signal not to cut the tree because it is still alive, just singed. 

This is the view from the Scenic Overlook now.  It looks like a winter scene.
These trees were untouched at the top by the fire.  I have always loved the smell of pine trees and these smelled wonderful; however, the smell of charred wood still lingers and mixed hauntingly with the fresh pine scent.
The ferns were beginning to reappear, I could only imagine what this area looked like pre-fire.  It will take years for the low growing foliage and wild flowers to regenerate and decades for the forest to re-establish itself.  I was saddened by the destruction but amazed at the emergence of new life.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Thanks for asking

I  have a co-worker whose father is fighting cancer.  He has been on hospice for two years after being unable to take chemo due to his weak heart.  I've known her for many years; we worked together at another firm and then followed our guys over to our current company.  At both firms we've backed each other up and we've traveled together at both firms.  However, she is a very private person and I've always respected that factor.  During these two years she has lived with her cell phone in her hand, waiting for a call.  She has taken off a day to meet with the funeral home to make arrangements.  She has come to me on several times, fighting tears, unable to talk, to tell me she had to leave.  From time to time we've chatted about her father, but then only briefly.  She knew that I lost both parents to cancer and I told her once that I knew the road she was walking.

She was out yesterday because her mother was no longer able to lift her dad and she had to help them.  I knew that they were trying to get him into a nursing home as quickly as possible.  I expected her to be out again today.  Late morning I walked by her desk and she was there.  I greeted her and explained that I did not expect to see her today.  She in turn explained that they had gotten her father into a VA facility and she had stayed with him for a while during the morning but he was sleeping so she decided to come on into work.  Her brother was coming for the afternoon shift.  She looked exhausted. We talked for a few minutes and then, with tears in her eyes, she thanked me for asking about her father.  She then made the statement, "I need to talk to someone, and no one has asked me about my father.  It's like no one wants to talk to me."  This very private person just needed someone to talk to.  We talked for a while and then I told her that whenever she needed to talk to just come down to my desk. A few minutes later she appeared at my desk and sat and we talked for a while.  She looked better.  

I realized something very important today.  I'm often hesitant to ask someone how they are, or how a family member is doing when there is a terminal illness.  I respect people's privacy so much that I don't want to intrude or upset them.  I also don't always know what to say.  I've learned in the case of a death to just simply say, "I'm so sorry."  But in the case of a terminally ill person I just didn't know what to say, until today. Now I know to just ask, "how are you" or " how's it going".  That opens the door gently for someone you aren't sure about.