A Big Loop…

Towards the end of October Hubby and I went on an adventure.  We set off with our little dog, a tent, an air mattress, and some supplies.  We went north a bit and then straight across Interstate 40.  Each night we stopped, set up our tent (not without a lot of grumbling from yours truly), had a small dinner and went to bed with the sun.  We woke up with the sun, listened for a while and when we were brave enough to move in the early morning cold, we got up.

We did this each night except one, in Tucumcari, NM.  There the campground was on a high plateau overlooking mountains and it was gorgeous.  It was also so windy that we knew a session of putting up a tent would do us in.  So, hubby, being a wise man, opted for a cabin for us.  It was like heaven for me.  Inside, just pulling out our sleeping bags and having something to sit on.  There was a small front porch with a swing and we sat watching the sky and snacking.  It was a piece of heaven for me.

The next night we were in Flagstaff, AZ.  The campground was surrounded by mountains, and it was a lovely place to stop.  Of course, the overnight temperature was in the low 30’s, but we did stay in our tent.  I was a bit leery at first, but we were toasty and warm and it was an adventure.

The adventure paused for a few weeks while we welcomed our Little Miss, born on Halloween.  A little pumpkin at 5 lbs 13 oz..  She had a bunch of black hair and she is sweet.  She was early and arrived three days after we arrived, so we were able to spend some time getting to know her.  She is funny.  She coos but also grunts.  She makes faces and would rival any of the photos of girls with the pouty lips, she has that down already.  She smiles sweetly, yes, mostly from gas, but they are sweet smiles nonetheless.  We stayed for a couple of weeks.  We loved each moment of getting to know her.  Then, with tears (mostly me) we said goodbye and headed home.

On the way home, hubby, again being wise, went to hotels.  We traveled the southern route of Interstate 20.  We had never travelled that way before and saw many wonderful sights.

There will be stories coming from this trip, but, for now, I wanted to get back onto my blog and catch you up.  Thanks for stopping by, I have missed you all.  DAF

Words used without knowing meaning…

I haven’t written much this week.  I have read blogs, commented on blogs, but really haven’t wanted to write.

I have been in a funk.

Since I have been this way most of the week, I figured I would write about it… so, for inspiration I looked up what it meant to be in a funk.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary online it means, “to be very unhappy and without hope:”.   Wow!  Who knew?  I didn’t.

So, after reading the definition I realized that I am not in a funk, because I have hope.    I feel like this year is a year of hope for me.  I am hopeful for many things.  Guess I need to define all my moods to really be correct.

So, since I am not in a funk, I looked up that word I really haven’t wanted to use to define how I am feeling.  But, here it is.  I am grumpy.  I looked that word up, and sure enough, that word describes me.  According to dictionary.com, grumpy means, “surly or ill-tempered; discontentedly or sullenly irritable; grouchy.”

Yep, I definitely need to keep a dictionary handy and look up words as I think of them.  I know there are other words I use often that may not accurately mean what I mean.

Hopefully, after this Oscar (the grouch) stage I will go on to look up other descriptors, such as contentment, joy, laughter and peace.  Until then, I think I am going to go find something else to  be irritable about.

Thanks for stopping by… DAF


I am tired today.  I was up each hour last night.  Not on purpose, either.

I am grateful for my car.  It provides me with transportation, it works well and it does what it is supposed to do.  However, and this is a big however, it has a very sensitive alarm on it.

I don’t know why it does, it just does.  Hubby, who is a car repair genius, cannot figure it out either.   My car is a Subaru, as all our cars are.  Hubby is also a fanatic about that too.

Anyhow, when a Dodge or a Chevy hit their alarm in the area, my car starts to go off.  Not all the time, mind you, just when it feels like it.

I was once called out of Wal-mart to turn off my car alarm.  That was bad enough, but it was also a rainy day and so I was just starting to dry off when I had to traipse out to the parking lot to turn the stupid car alarm off.

Last night around 10:14, the car started beeping.  We figured a neighbor had come home and so, hubby, grabbed the keys and turned the car off.  That was just the beginning.  Each hour, on the hour, at 14 past the hour, the car started honking.   I took the nighttime duty as hubby really sleeps soundly and we didn’t want an angry neighborhood at our doorstep early this morning.  So, today, I am tired.

I put the keys on the table beside me and I lay down.  I would just be drifting off to sleep when at 14 after. the car would beep.  Not just one beep, like ‘excuse me, you are getting into my lane, ‘  but an incessant , ‘would you watch what you are doing?  why do you even have a license?’ type beep.   The first few hours I would go to the front door, aim the remote and silence would prevail.   At the 4:14 noise I discovered that I could go to the bedroom window and if I aimed the key fob the right way, silence would come.

So, that was my night.  Hubby got up after the 8:14 racket and I attempted to truly get some sleep, but, alas, at 9:14, I knew I was beat.

Hubby thought maybe someone was messing around with us, but, doing this every hour on the hour?  That’s just plain sick.  But, whatever the reason, it is now 10:30 and the car has been quiet since the 9:14 annoyance.    By the way, when could I take a nap without looking pathetic?

Thanks for stopping by today, DAF

Checking in

It has been a while since I posted anything.  Honestly, my brain is fried.  We are still in the throes of moving.  We still do not know where.

Yes, this has caused great concern on my part, but dear hubby, bless his heart, is confident.  He knows the perfect place will come at the perfect time.

Me?  Well, think of that cartoon character, the Tasmanian Devil…. yep, that’s the image.  I am like a mini cyclone, spinning from one room to the other.  Packing and checking things off my list and unfortunately, harping about the time passing quickly.

I know I don’t do change well.  This amazes me since I am a retired Navy wife.  I guess my sense of adventure is waning.

I feel sorry for those around me.  The way I have been has not been pleasant.  But, I felt I needed to write something.  I feel this because, under the panic and the nervous energy, I know without a doubt that God has this all under control.  I know, that I know, that I know.

I figure if I honestly wrote about this now, you will be able to join in with me and agree that I was all worked up over nothing.  After we have moved into our new place and I am relaxed and able to see what all the Lord has worked out in our lives, I know I will write on our new place.   So, dear readers , I thank you in advance for being able to say to me, “I told you so”.

Just a quick check in tonight.  I have been so blessed by reading other posts.  You have all said so many wonderful things in your writing.  You have encouraged me with your words.  You have given me strength, laughter, love and a feeling of well-being.

Until I start to unpack, thanks for being you!  DAF

My younger sister

I am a middle child.  I love that fact.  Middle children are the most quirky of kids, in my humble opinion.  We have been known as the peace makers, we try to please everyone.  We don’t have the responsiblity that falls to the oldest and yet we are never in possession of the ‘cuteness’ factor that most of the youngest children have.  We are in the middle.

I have great sisters.  My older sister had the grim duty to assume motherly duties when my mother passed away.  This was hard on her and she still teeters on that fine balance of being a sister and a mother.  I never know when I talk with her if she is in sister mode or mother mode.  I prefer sister mode, as this is a better fit for her.  Sisters were not created to be mothers to their siblings.

My younger sister is so dear to me.  She is as close to a living saint as I have ever met.  She inspires me and encourages me.  I love her dearly.  She has four children.  Two are married to beautiful women, her youngest son is discovering who he is and doing a great job at that.  I love my nephews.  They bring me joy in just thinking of them.  They are all talented and very good-looking.  They have personalities that don’t stop and they love me as a goofy aunt.  My sister’s fourth child is my niece.  She is incredible.  She is my energizer bunny on steroids.  She does not stop.  She does not quit.  She is a childhood brain cancer survivor.  That in itself is an accomplishment, but she was also the victim of radiation poisoning as a child.  She was not expected to survive past 5, then 10.  After that she wasn’t expected to do much with her life.  She was prom queen, she was Miss Handicapped Maryland, she is an author, speaker, and a senior in college.  She is incredible.

She is also just a part of why I think my sister is inspiring.  She took care of her daughter with such care and love.  She encouraged her to live.  She did this while also caring for my brother-in-law who was dying of ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s.   He survived with this horrendous disease for eight years.  She nursed him, raised wonderful sons, cared for her daughter with brain cancer and taught second grade.  She did this all with grace and humor and determination.

When things get difficult in my life, I look at a few pictures in my home.  One of my sister and I at my daughter’s wedding, another of both of my sisters and I at my nephew’s wedding, and finally I look at my niece’s high school graduation photo which is sitting by her book.  They remind me that nothing is too difficult.

My niece will be the first to give God glory in her survival.  My sister, also.  But, ever the practical Irish woman she is, she ends any conversation where frustrations and feelings of being frazzled have been spoken, with this little gem of wisdom, “Six weeks from now, we will be fretting over something different, and this will be far from our concerns.”

Oh! How I love my sister for this.  This morning while walking with my dear hubby and our dear puppy, I grumbled and complained.  This is a shame since it is a perfectly lovely day out.  I couldn’t see the beauty though, for my grumpiness.  As the morning progressed though, I looked at the photos and could hear my sister lovingly screaming in my ear (as only sisters can do), Six weeks from now, you will be fretting over something different and this will be far from your mind.   Thanks for the kick little sister, you have a great aim and a long-range kick in you, and for that, I am glad.

Thanks for stopping by, I so appreciate your visit.  DAF



gag me now….

Did you ever have one of those days? You know those type where just saying you woke up on the wrong side of the bed doesn’t really describe it?

That has been my day today. I shouldn’t have just gone back to bed this morning, I should have been locked up, bound, gagged and knocked out so that I couldn’t open my mouth at all. Yes, it has been that kind of day.

I didn’t set out for it to be like that.  I woke up, took the dog for a short walk because we had bought tickets for a pancake breakfast for our neighbor’s youth group fund-raiser this morning.  Pancake breakfasts are never really great, food wise, anyhow.  But, off we went.  It was nice, we know our neighbors appreciated our being there.  Their son was proud of the fact that we came and we encouraged him in all he was doing.  He is just now starting middle school and beginning to become involved in all that will continue through high school.  He is at that awkward age where he is still a kid, but not really.

So, we went and ate and talked and left.  That is where I should have been put into the closet and gagged.  Maybe it was the real coffee that I drank that was the problem.  I haven’t had caffeine in a few months and I had a large coffee with my pancakes.  Maybe that is where I went wrong.  I don’t know.

But, it was one of those  days.  Where whatever I said was either wrong, taken wrong or just not spoken well.  Trying to fend it all off, I cleaned the house, did the laundry, fixed the pot luck dish for church tomorrow and tried to overcome.  No success.

We did an errand and I returned and managed to continue in the downhill spiral.  If I was at an amusement park, it would have been a great ride.  But, alas, it was no roller coaster experience ~ it was just one of those days.

I went into the shower to get cleaned up and to pray and cry and try to overcome.  I did get clean, I did all that I thought I would, but the over coming was not to be had.

We met at a friend’s house late this afternoon.  They had received tickets for four for an oyster roast on the water this evening,  and we had made desserts to share after the roast.  The silence on the ride over was deafening and as we waited to be let into the house my poor hubby was being glared at by whatever had over taken me.

The oyster roast was crowded and nice.  Personally, I don’t eat oysters, they sort of gross me out.  Fortunately hot dogs and chili was available and they were wonderful.  We watched a beautiful sunset over the water and somehow that helped.

Dessert and conversation by the fire at our friend’s house was delightful.  I laughed.  I laughed some more.  I began to feel like my gross, grumpy shell was melting away.

Getting into the car, I looked at my hubby and remarked that maybe, just maybe we really needed to get out into the world a bit more.  We even saw a family of deer prance beside the car  and into the wooded areas around our friend’s house.

There was a full moon, and somehow, this day which has been one of those days, was over.  Maybe we all need those kinds of days to make us realize how wonderful our normal days are.  Maybe we need to have those days to rid us of pent-up frustration and fears and anger.  Or, just maybe, the chocolate mint pie is really a mood changer and I should have had it for breakfast.

Proverbs 15:13

A glad heart makes a happy face;  a broken heart crushes the spirit.  (New Living Translation)
Thanks for stopping by and listening to my rant…   DAF

There’s a pair just like that

(I know I have already posted today, but, this is what I had originally decided to write on today.  When I saw the daily prompt, I had to follow through on that one.  I mean, who hasn’t thought of writing their own eulogy?)

When I was a sophomore in high school, I took plain geometry.  It was a nice class in that I was fascinated by drawing the angles and triangles.  Granted, I had no clue what I was doing and I couldn’t make sense of it at all, but I managed to pass with a high C.

My geometry teacher was a man named Willis Webster.  We used to call him Willy, not to his face, but that is how everyone referred to him.

Mr. Webster was a middle-aged man who knew his geometry.  He had children whom he called his ‘little monsters’.  Of course, my older sister who had gone through high school four years before me, had Mr Webster also.  She said he referred to his children then as his little monsters.  They were in high school at the time my sister was in high school, so his ‘little monsters’ he talked about to our class were in college.

Besides all that, Mr. Webster was color deficient.  In other words, color blind.  He would sit on his desk to teach and we would all look at his socks.  Daily they would not match.  It was distracting and fascinating and funny.  If someone mentioned his socks, he would just say, “I have another pair just like this at home.”  I will never forget Mr. Webster.

In my junior year of high school, I started dating my dear hubby.  Shortly into our dating time, I realized that he, too, is color deficient.  I knew this and it was obvious when I would wear certain clothes and he would comment on my brown shirt that was actually green.  He had a few stumbles in matching clothes while we were dating, but nothing serious.

Once we were married, I discovered that people with problems seeing colors are great camouflage people.  This I found out when my dear hubby would grouse about stains that I could not see at all.  He would then point them out to me in disgust as the stains were very obvious to him.  Many a laundry argument happened because I could not see what he was talking about.  We later decided that dry cleaning was best for his shirts as then, the stains were their problem, not mine.  I also would remind him that to the ‘naked eye’ there were no stains.

We have managed for the past 38 years to live with colors.  I now know that pale greens on walls look like dirty walls to him.  So, I avoid painting rooms in green.  He now knows to ask sales people what color clothes are when shopping for me.  This, or he takes either a friend or one of our daughters shopping.  This is after receiving a gift of pajamas, robe and slippers from him.  He was so proud of giving me an ensemble for lounging and sleeping.  The slippers were brown, the robe orange and the pajamas were pink.  I wore them proudly, although the combination was a bit much.

Lately we have not had much a problem.  Since he is not working (due to illness), he does not need help with shirts and ties matching.

Yesterday we had an appointment.  I was trying to get ready and he pulled out his sock drawer.  After rummaging through it, he pulled out two socks.  They both had a white band on the very top of the cuff.  I looked down and said, ‘yes, that’s brown’  and went on my way.  Later yesterday he removed his shoes.  The light in the room was perfect for him to clearly see colors.  He looked at his feet.  There, on his feet was a brown sock and a navy sock.  He called me into the livingroom.  I looked down and laughed.  He was not smiling…  I looked at him and said, “Well, you have a matching pair of them upstairs.”   Somehow, he didn’t think it was funny.

I did.  I wonder how Mr. Webster is doing these days…

Thanks for stopping by, DAF

Slow Dance into Fall

In mid August I wrote a post about autumn approaching.  How there was a nuance of its impending arrival… well, here we are in late September and the temperature is still in the mid 70’s creeping up into the low 80’s.  Autumn, when are you going to fall?

As I was walking my dear little puppy this morning, I was thinking of this.  I am tired of the heat.  I yearn for my jeans and sweatshirts.  Mostly, I am tired of the mosquitoes, that somehow don’t realize that by the end of September they should be gone, munching in some other tropical locale.  But, no, here they stay making a mid morning snack on me.

But, I digress.  There are hints of fall in the air.  I know this from sneezing at absolutely nothing visible.  So, I know there are dying leaves somewhere.

The air is warm, bordering on humid still.  But, there is a respite when you walk into the shade.  It toys with you.  You feel a slight temperature drop, you feel a gentle breeze.  It reassures me that, yes, fall will be here.

The leaves are starting to be tinted with the colors of fall.  Like the Lord using a small tipped paint brush and gently shading in the edges of the leaves.  Just enough.  Teasing me, taunting me to write and complain once more about the warmth.  Yes, I know, give me a few more weeks and I will write on the wind whipping through my jacket and my cheeks burning with cold air.  What can I say?  I’m weather fickle.

Fall is one of my favorite seasons though.  It is beckoning the arrival of the holidays.  I am glad to see it coming.  I know it is doing a slow dance to get here, but personally I would like to see it jitterbug its way here already!

Thanks for stopping by… As always, DAF

Life Changing Adventure

This week my dear hubby and I will embark on our life changing adventure.  We will be travelling a bit and staying still a bit and sight-seeing a bit.  In between those bits we will go to a wedding and our lives will be changed in acquiring a new niece that day.  I already consider her my niece as she has dated my nephew for a long time.  She didn’t take long in finding a place in my heart as when I first met her she had her arm stuck in my sister’s stove.  Yes, you read that right.  I walked into my sister’s home to visit and there on the floor was my niece and another girl (I will call K).  Baking pans were strewn  around the bottom of the oven part of the stove (where there is a storage drawer for such things).  My niece jumped up and greeted me and then introduced the girl with her arm lodged in the storage drawer.  K looked up at me, smiled and we all started laughing.  Thus, she found her way into my heart.  It seems before I had come in, my niece and her soon to be sister in law were in the process of making brownies for my visit.  A baking pan got cock-eyed in the drawer and trying to get it unstuck , K put her arm into the mess and got stuck herself.  My niece got several of the pans out-of-the-way, but it didn’t help much.  I dropped my  bags and went over to add my two cents to the dilemma.    We managed to get K’s arm free and that was the beginning of a lovely relationship with my nephew’s girl.  This coming Saturday she will be married and become a legal part of our family.  I am so excited for this day as it has been at least six years since she had her arm stuck in the oven drawer.

After the wedding, Hubby and I are heading to Gettysburg, PA. .  We love this area and have visited there often.  My dear hubby takes tons and tons of pictures each time we visit.  Our visits are usually squeezed between other stops.  We have never had a full day there and this time we will be there for at least 3 days.  I told him he could photograph each and every monument of the battlefield down to the boots of each general memorialized.  I may live to regret that statement, but I am determined to give him this time to thoroughly enjoy this segment of the trip.

After that, we will head to my sister’s home and visit a few more days.  We will be able to talk about her son’s wedding and just catch up, as only sister’s can.  I am looking forward to sitting around her kitchen table, talking and drinking a glass or two of wine.

From there (if all goes as planned) we will head down to await the birth of our grandson and visit museums that we have long thought of going to.

This is all the itinerary I have in my mind.  All of this could change in a minute if our little baby decides to come early.  Ultimately, he is in charge of this entire trip.  We are at his beck and call.  Our cell phones are on high alert and we go nowhere without them.

I have thought of this trip so lovingly, in my mind it is laced with sweet lullabies and little flower petals drifting down from the sky in slow motion.  There is a quietness to the adventure, it is a wonderful day-dream.  Unfortunately, it is a trip, and like most trips there are frustrations and times of loud groaning and complaining.

My dear hubby could not find the brake pads he needed to replace.  He had them a week ago and couldn’t find them until this morning.  He made his frustration known.  In fact I am certain you all must have heard him complaining.   The weather has not co operated, it has been so hot that I am certain even hell must seem like a tropical resort.  Other things have popped up on the radar unexpectedly, but they are what I consider the norm in the scheme of things.

The feelings I have battled today have caused me confusion.  One on hand I have not so lovingly thought of giving my husband a flight to the wedding without the use of an airplane.  Sort of like Ralph on the Honeymooners, “Pow!  To the moon Alice…”  Only his name is not Alice and I seriously would not do this however much I am tempted…

I know, by the time we leave we will have several times of frustration and flared tempers, but I also know that once on the road, calm will prevail and eventually we will even smile at each other.

It amazes me that we look forward to vacations and journeys with such anticipation.  We plan, we dream, we make lists, we count down days.  Then it approaches and the flood gates burst open with flooding of emotions all over the place.  I often wonder why this is.  Is it because we are anxious to get going?  Is it because we really do need a rest and break and it’s not coming soon enough?  Am I the only one to experience upheaval before a trip? I certainly hope not.

One thing is certain, this adventure will change our lives.  We leave as parents and friends, we will return with new titles that will forever be with us, Grandparents.  Has a lovely ring to it, doesn’t it?

I plan to take my camera and document our trip with pictures.  It is also my hope to blog while we are gone.  I have great plans, now I just need to get them going.

Thank you for stopping by, as always, DAF

The Bane Of My Existence

There are few things that really get to me.  Most times I am easy-going and can handle most things thrown at me.  At least, that is how I perceive myself, I may be way off in left field, but, don’t tell me otherwise.  I like living in the land of delusion.  The voices in my head and I get along well, so this is my story and I am sticking to it.

There is one thing, though, that I cannot and will not like.  I know hate is a very strong word and emotion, but this is what I feel.  What, you ask could spark such a tirade?  It is easy…. mosquitoes.

This winter was a very mild one.  We had maybe a couple of days of real cold, but for the most part it was only light jacket weather.  Because of this weather phenomenon, the mosquitoes from last summer never died.  They thrived.  They multiplied.  They joined forces with other mosquitoes.  They banned together and made a war plan.  While I had some moments of sleep, one came in and painted a bull’s eye on me.  It is a large bulls eye, only visible to mosquitoes.  I can’t wash it off and spray does no good.  I am doomed.

I walk my dear puppy, who, by the way gets a magic pill that protects him against said pests, and they land on him, but do not bother him.  They treat him like a taxi, they land and he brings them to their destination – my home.

Each time I go out of my house I can count on at least 5 or 6 more bites.  I am covered, literally, covered in bites.  I am going to a wedding in a couple of weeks and have determined I need either a long sun dress or pants to wear, because my legs will detract from the beautiful bride.  People will be aghast looking at the welts on my legs.

I am now known as that crazy neighbor who walks her dog and slaps herself as she does it.  Take a step, slap! Take another step and slap a different place.  Heaven forbid when they fly up and inside of my tee shirts, I just look demented then.

Well, that was my rant for the month.  Had to get it out while I scratch my head, legs, arms, well, you get the idea.  Just for further information, I have tried several different sprays, lotions, soaps, food, dryer sheets and nothing works.  My dear hubby says I am sweet meat… hmm… don’t know if I agree with that.  So, if any of you hear the legend of the jittery slap happy woman walking her dog, know that it is me, just trying to get some exercise and walk my puppy.


Hope you all have a great day.  What is the bane of your existence?  DAF