Thursday, March 31, 2011


You have to balance on the risers to paint the side trim since the treads are off.
Best Picture I could get showing one part of the stairs. After the landing there is another section just like this one going up.

Today started after a better night's rest. DIL gave me some melatonin. I've tried this naural supplement before, but she has a higher dosage that I have used. While I still wake up a lot and had a VERY disturbing dream, I was able to return to sleep each time I woke up. WHOOOPPPPEEE!

Started the day with a run to the grocery store after I realized that tomorrow night's supper has to be marinated for 24 hours before slow cooking all day. The early morning traffic in Austin is a completely different post!

I then came back to prepare the marinade and sit around waiting for #1 to unlock the house for my painting job. He is not answering his cell and I am sitting here waiting. When he finally shows up, he informs me that he has already unlocked the door. I CAN NOT READ MINDS!

I spent most of the late morning and afternoon painting the last coat on the "Treads"-not the risers---I am a dummy! I then put the first two coats of primer and paint on the treads for the lower staircase and painted the trim on the lower stairs. I finished off the trim around the stairs, while balancing on "the risers" and hoping to not slip and go through the roof.

Came home and prepared marinated - grilled talapia with mango salsa and orzo with a side salad and toasted sour dough bread. For the recipe---look at the food blog.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


After only 4 hours sleep last night, I had a BUSY DAY! Today I painted at the boys' house that they have built. # 1 took the stair risers (steps) off and I put a coat of primer and two coats of paint on them. I then had to stand on the supports that hold the stairs on and paint the stair trim. That would not have been a problem-except # 1 told me to be careful that if my foot slipped, I would go through the sheet rock roof of the closet below. PRESSURE! I then touched up the paint on the master bathroom. It was then time to come home and cook supper for the family-Camp David Spaghetti (Look at the food blog for the recipe). EXHAUSTED is a good way to describe how I am feeling right now! I need to go to bed----I only did the first group of steps---another to go!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


SO what did I do today? Well the fun things-I went out to eat TWICE! We hit a Vietnamese restaurant at lunch and a Mexican restaurant for supper. Perhaps I will gain back some of the weight I have lost! I had a BIG day of getting the house ready for DIL's bookclub tonight. Started at the top and worked my way down. With 2 dogs in the house---WELL! Washed 6 loads of laundry, folded and put away. Made 2 Blueberry pies--go look at the food blog for the recipe. I am headed for bed---while all the chattering is going on in the living room. Don't think I have heard anyone mention the book yet!

Monday, March 28, 2011


I'm in Austin with the boys & the grandboys & of course my favorite DIL! These people are SO sweet! In an effort to keep me from being sad or depressed, they have given me something to do---so here is my day. FIRST-I went to the boys' house and mowed the yard and blew off all the drives-AFTER- cleaning out one of the flower beds.
Then I came and cleaned house.

Then I came home and mulched some beds and raked the yard. FUN TIMES! In between all of this, I cooked jambalya. Go to the Food Blog for that recipe & the picture. It was different & delicious!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


ONCE AGAIN---I AM WIDE AWAKE---AND CANNOT SLEEP---So I will just tell you about my day!

I road down---(you know any time in the South that we are going further South - we go down) to Natchitoches, LA today for their annual Master Gardener Symposium. NOW--I am NO Master Gardener-BUT they allow us novices to come garner some knowledge also.

We Southern Women garden--Don't You Know?----we are just supposed to do that! I learned my love for gardening from Mamaw James. She was a gardener extraordinaire! I still remember her beautiful flower garden on the North side of her house---a proverbial explosion of color in the Summer.

The first speaker of the day was a little old lady---well actually she was not so little---but I thought she was old--who owns one of the local nurseries in the middle of the state. She talked about container gardening with the fervor and excitement of Paula Dean for cooking----but with a sweet wispy Louisiana drawl---and not the brash style of Paula but more of an excited enthusiastic chatter of your sweet next door neighbor. She was a WEALTH of information and I cannot wait to do my next container after listening to her instructions.

The shock for the day though came when this sweet grandma of a lady told us her age. You could have knocked me over with a feather when she announced to the audience full of Belles With Dirt Under Their Nails that she was 66. OH MY GOSH--she is 4 years older than me. I AM OLDER THAN DIRT AFTER ALL!

Friday, March 25, 2011


I read the book---I know what it says---BUT if I am the only one that read it---IT DOES NO GOOD!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I am currently walking through a very dark valley. The waters of the fallen world are swirling all around me and I am doing my best to keep my head above the waters.

I was reminded today of one of my "Life Verses"---

"And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly, and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

All I ask is that you be praying that I can live this out.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


As I was thinking and praying yesterday, God revealed the greatest thing to me. I was examining my life and the sin (you know the sin I don't want to do-and yet do as well as the sin that I purposefully do). I was pondering the question of forgiveness and grace (our sermon topic Sunday). Wondering HOW DO YOU KNOW when you have truly been forgiven. God place on my heart-the 3 R's

Remorse----truly regretting my sin and knowing the harm it has done to not just me, but those around me--what I call the ripple effect--the wedge my sin has placed between me & God as well as those that I have sinned against.

Repentance---going to the Father and those that my sin has affected and asking for forgiveness with remorse and regret on my heart

Reformation----as the Catholics say in their confession (Go and Sin No More) Until I have truly made a change---my sin is holding me in bondage.

Such a wonderful thing that God revealed to me and a revelation concerning how to draw into a closer relationship with Him.


Monday, March 21, 2011


If you feel like time is flying----here is a SURE FIRE way to slow it down.

Have LOTS on your mind---sleep for about 4 hours after an exhausting day---wake up at 1----TOSS AND TURN FOR 45 minutes--get out of bed and go cruising on the WWW.

TIME ABSOLUTELY DRAGS in the middle of the night when you can't sleep--I PROMISE!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Friend Sonja told me if I went to the hospital they would wonder who had been abusing me. I have suffered two falls from the bicycle and my legs are literally black and blue from the bottom to the top. NOT A PRETTY SIGHT!

I will say that on today's ride I managed to stay off the ground. Perhaps I am making progress?

BUT ---"Don't get me started about my saddle sores!"

One more day of tutoring and encouraging my students. You might lift a little prayer Tuesday. It is a VERY important day in the life of the 4th graders!

Friday, March 18, 2011


BUSY week tutoring this week! EVERY day---always early mornings--THANK GOODNESS I don't sleep much anyway! The Louisiana LEAP test for the 4th grade is Tuesday. I tutor 4th graders---SO we have been working overtime with last minute instructions and preparations! For the first time, I have been also tutoring boys. Up until this week, I have only worked with girls for 2 years---THE BOYS---well lets just say--Boys have not changed much since my boys were growing up. It's definitely VERY different to tutor the boys.

I go back Monday for 2 more sessions-one with the boys at 7:45 and the other with my first student at 2:30. At this point it is just a reminder of the format they are to write in and a reminder to "Put Your Thinking Cap On"!


No passing to the 5th grade--even if your grades are passing-unless you pass this test-------PRESSURE & STRESS!

On a brighter note---I took the sister of my long standing 4th grade student to the dentist yesterday. Mom & Dad have just started a new job and there is no room for time off. The school nurse , Sonja, called me in and explained the situation--so off to the dentist we went. She was SO brave---braver, I might add, than many grown men and women are about the dentist. NO DEADENING for yesterday's filling and she did great. It seemed an Icee was appropriate for her bravery--so we made a stop on our way home. You should have seen the two of us trying to balance 6 Icees for brothers and sisters on the trip home! IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I CARTED KIDS AROUND!


Thursday, March 17, 2011


Just in case-you have not heard me shouting----HURRAHHHHH!!!!----ALL my lovely chickens and their chicks will be in ONE STATE NOW!!! NO more all day plane rides on 3 different planes-----I CAN JUST POP IN THE CAR AND IN A FEW SHORT HOURS SEE THEM!
My heart tells me -----START PACKING------just move to Texas. Wouldn't it be great to be in Texas just down the street from one and 3 hours or so away from the others?
If it were not for my wonderful friends and family here in LA and my sweet ministries-----I WOULD BE O U T of here!
THANK YOU Erie for taking care of my chicks in such a wonderful way for the past 4 years. I will always have a sweet place in my heart for you!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011



I AM SO SORRY---but I wrecked your wonderful bicycle. Only my second time out---I am trying to ride with the "Big Girls"---Perhaps this might have been a mistake? If if is ANY CONSOLATION---I was more worried about had I hurt the bike than why the blood was running down my leg!

I Feel Really Bad---but not bad enough to not ride again. You need to move South quick and reclaim your property before I do permanent damage!

I know you are really concerned about me---but not to worry--bruises and scrapes only---as I LOVE to tell your wife ----I've had worse on my lip and kept on whistling!

THANKS for allowing me to ride. I promise I will get my feet out of the stirrups LONG before stopping from now on.

Your FAVORITE Mother In Law

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I went for my first bike ride in a LONG time Sunday. A short 10 mile outing----fun on the SIL's new bike! It was SO tempting to go out blazing, but I knew I had to be careful and definitely needed to re-learn the gears, bike safety, dismounting, etc. before pushing for a longer ride.

It is SO MUCH easier to bike than to run and you start thinking this is NO BIG DEAL-PIECE OF CAKE! AND THEN---the next morning and you remember what really gets a pounding when riding a bike.......Underneath it all---there's always soreness!

Monday, March 14, 2011


The clock went off at the usual 5:00 AM today for my morning run. The only thing is that my body just KNEW it was 4:00 AM. Still I drug myself out of the bed-after all I have a buddy meeting me.

As I ran in the REALLY dark of the night, I became aware of how distorted the world looks in "The Dark". You cannot see the pot holes, the cracks, the bumps in the road in the truly inky black of the dark. Your vision becomes eerily distorted and things you think you see are not really there and things that are there suddenly appear from no where. The "Dark" distorts the true world and the path that we are on.

The only answer is "The Light". Once we are in "The Light", we know where the path is leading and we know the obstacles in the path as we travel. This doesn't mean that we don't have roadblocks, cracks, bumps, and pot holes to contend with-. It just means that "The Light" helps us to retain our focus and guides us down the path safely.

I am distrustful of "The Dark" and thankful for "The Light".

Thursday, March 10, 2011






After all we do live in the South!

Monday, March 7, 2011


A little poem for Ruby the Red Dog-
Even if there is a chicken
Who might need a licking
What ever might be the goad
Stay Out of the road!

Even if the bunny by you might run
Knowing the chase will be such fun
What ever might be the goad
Stay out of the road!

Even if a fox or two -ever so clever
might tempt you with great fervor
What ever might be the goad
Stay Out of the Road

When those deer call you-ever so prissy
And even tell you that your a big sissy
What ever may be the goad
Stay out of the road!

To play in the road with careless glee
Will lead to injury-don't you see?
What ever may be the goad
Please just stay out of the road

Sunday, March 6, 2011



It had warmed up enough for some of my plants to begin sprouting and coming out with buds. AND THEN----it is 39 degrees this morning!

We have entered the time of year when Mother Nature likes to fool around with us. REALLY cool at night and then warming up to the 60's or 70's during the day.

We actually had a fire last night and today in the fireplace.

JUST when I think----I hear the yard calling---BACK we go to Winter-well winter Louisiana style anyway!


Saturday, March 5, 2011


SLOTH--1. Aversion to work or exertion; laziness; indolence

I seem to be on a roll of missing early Saturday morning runs. My excuse for today-----going to bed at 10:30---getting out of the bed at 11----- -staring at the television until 2 AM. Turning off the alarm at 4:30--KNOWING it would not happen!

SO---I need a change in habits---I need to work on insuring 3 runs a week.

I am thinking of changing my LONG standing running schedule.M/W/S has been the pattern for longer than I care to remember. Perhaps I should go to M/T/T/S. This will give me a day to play with & if for some reason I run all 4 days---well all the better!

I don't want to become known as a "Back Slider"!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


While the Jennings crew were here, Adam got a new bicycle. IT IS A BEAUTY! All the latest bells and whistles and super light! In case you didn't realize, they are unable to ride bikes in Erie this time of the year unless they come with skis instead of wheels. SO I KINDLY offered to keep it here and bring it to him when they moved South. I am SUCH a sacrificing person!

I then casually asked, as I plied him with plates of food, if I might ride his bike while I have it. EVER so generous and probably thinking there is no way the "Old Lady" will be able to handle my "Super Machine", he sweetly said, "Yes".

WELL--it's warm here in LA & ALL the Buds are out riding bikes---AND I sold my hybrid bike---SO---I took Adam's bike and had it fitted for me. Although Adam is several inches taller than me, what I lack in height I make up in leg length. I think the young man at the bike shop might have mentioned-not being proportioned--RUDE! He told me if I buy a road bike, I could use a taller frame---WELL as I said L O N G legs!

SO I am ready for my inaugural ride. The bike shop guy did say, "WOW this is a really nice bike! Your son in law must really like you." Wonder what he will say when I wreck and put the first dent in it? Would that possibly diminish his great love and respect for me? TIME WILL TELL!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

LIKE A FINE WINE----------

This VERY morning as I met Susan & Larry for our 5 mile run in the COLD I commented, "I just get tired of getting up to run!". Some days I have to MAKE MYSELF get out of my warm bed. After so many nights of tossing & turning and not sleeping, once I finally do go to sleep-------I just want to stay in the bed and sleep after finally nodding off. AND THEN HOPE & ENCOURAGEMENT---

I came home and began reading an article in the AARP magazine--you know that thinly disguised liberal publication. "Super Athletes" communicates the latest discoveries by scientist of why older competitors are excelling in competitive endurance sports. It seems that muscle loss or sarcopenia is to be expected as we age--but past studies have focused on sedentary older people. The scientist are now zoning in on studying older athletes and have discovered with the activity their muscles are packed with the same mitochondria as that of young people.

SO--like a fine wine---with some work----I may be actually getting better with age. I finished a marathon last year at the ripe old age of 61----thinking "I'm done". NOW----well I will think about that tomorrow--but I am encouraged!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


We have entered the time of year here in Louisiana when Mother Nature begins to tease us! Sunday we tied a record high for February 27th---in the 80's. YES that is correct--the 80's! I sat on my back deck in the sunshine like some old dog soaking up the warmth in my shorts! WONDERFUL!

Last night it was in the upper 30's, after being in the 70's during the day. Today we are mostly in the upper 50's, with a brief glimpse of the lower 60's and a Spring wind blowing. The pear trees are blooming along with many of the shrubs including the quince. BEAUTIFUL!

Do I change out my clothes from winter to summer---What do I wear today when it starts out cold and ends up warm?---Is it time to plant? Time to clean out the fireplace and put up the andirons? PROBABLY NOT!