Sunday, November 29, 2009


HOT FLASHES!!!! They are AWFUL! Shortly after I started experiencing them, a few friends of mine were talking about HOT FLASHES and one younger lady in the group who had never had them asked what they were like. Sue, one of my friends, said that when you have a HOT FLASH, you just want to take off all of your clothes and lie down on the COLD mall floor!! And she is right! I was talking about hot flashes the other day with Bob's sister-in-law and we were comparing notes. She told me that she always gets a hot flash when she is putting on her make up in the morning. I do too!! I told her that I don't even put my top on until I'm finished applying the make up. Well, I decided to Google "hot flashes" and read what the authorities had to say about them. I found out that there are triggers, such as caffeine. Well, I do drink hot tea in the morning, usually before I apply or while I am applying my make up. I know that Sandra drinks coffee in the mornings. And I can almost set my clock when it is bedtime by the hot flash I'm going to have. The website I read said that when you are fatigued you get them. And the most common time of onset is between six and eight in the morning, and between six to ten at night. Yep! This is when I get them. During the daytime when I'm sitting at work, I rarely get a hot flash. And of course, the website said that stress causes them. What DOESN'T stress cause??? And it said that EXERCISE can help to alleviate them. And what DOESN'T exercise help??? It also said to cut out the fat from your diet and lose weight. UGH! OK. I didn't read any further. Lose weight. Exercise. Better diet. No caffeine. Don't get fatigued. No stress. It sounds like I'm going to have HOT FLASHES for a long, long time!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dallas Trolley Ride

My Aunt Eileen who lives in IL is visiting her son, my cousin Larry and his daughter, Katie, in Austin this week. They came over to Dallas today to visit with us. Katie was standing on our balcony and asked about the train tracks that she could see and we told her the tracks are for the McKinney Street Trolley. She told us that she had a list of "Ninety Things To Do Before She Turns Ninety" -- Katie will be twelve next week. -- and one of those things on her list is to ride on a trolley. After lunch at Luby's, Aunt Eileen's favorite restaurant, we all got on the trolley and rode it from McKinney Street -- a block from our apartment -- to the end of the line at St. Paul and back home. It took us about an hour for a round trip ride. It was a very interesting ride. The driver told us that the trolley car we were on is the newest one in Dallas and it was built in 1920. He had been driving for 35 years and he is one of eight licensed trolley car drivers in the United States. I wouldn't want to ride on the trolley if I was in a hurry to get anywhere, but it was a lot of fun for a leisurely afternoon ride. We all enjoyed it!

Thanksgiving 2009 -- It's nice to be with FAMILY!

Bob and I drove up to Tulsa for Thanksgiving dinner with Bob's brother Nick and his wife Sandra and her son Seth and his family. Stephen & Jenny joined us there. I didn't get photos of all of us at Nick & Sandra's house. Yesterday, we met Corbin & his family for breakfast and then Amy and her family for lunch. It's always wonderful to be with family for the holidays!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Move Is Over -- Back to Beading!!

Last night I finally was able to get my beads back out. I haven't done any beadwork since the first week of October. I put my beads away when we went to Illlinois for my uncle's memorial. When we got back to Dallas, I went right to work on a temporary assignment with Lone Star Funds. I also got a sinus infection and I didn't feel very well for several weeks until I went to the doc and he gave me prescription for Z-pak. Then, we decided we had to get out of the Dallas Power & Light apartment building and move to The Mondrian, where it is much quieter -- NO DJ playing on weekends! We did this in two weeks time. So, between all of that, I had no time to get out the beads to make any new projects. I have plenty of new beads and I have been itching to use them. I found some beautiful vintage beads on Etsy that I have purchased, so I will be using them soon. DeWayne, the recipient of Cavan's liver and left kidney, who lives in Jacksonville, FL, also sent me some beads. He said that he had planned to make some jewelry, but never did. So, he sent some of them to me. He sent me some coral beads, scarabs and garnets -- my birthstone. He told me to make some pretty jewelry and sell it. A couple weeks ago one night when I couldn't sleep, I got inspired on a design for a necklace with the garnets that DeWayne sent to me. When I get an inspiration, I want to sit down with my beads and make it right then. But, I wasn't going to get up at 3 a.m. and start beading. So, last night I finally made my garnet necklace. It is hard to see in this photograph, but there is a smokey crystal teardrop at the top of the garnet circles. I might have to keep this one. Thanks DeWayne!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rainy Day

It is a Rainy Day in Dallas today. But, I am enjoying it for a change. I usually don't like getting out in the rain if I don't have to. Bob and I have been walking back and forth from the DART train station to go to work and I was dreading having to walk if we were having bad weather. Bob took our car into the fix-it shop yesterday and it wasn't ready to be picked up last night. So, here we were stuck without our car and a Rainy Day. It is a warm day and the rain is just a slow, steady rain, so it really wasn't bad walking in the rain. I find it almost . . . calming. I can think of three instances when I actually enjoyed walking in the rain. The first time we weren't walking, but horseback riding. I was with my mom, dad, sister and brother and we were vacationing in the Smokey Mountains. I was in high school and I thought I was too old to be going on a vacation with my family. I wanted to stay home, but Mom & Dad thought otherwise. We decided to take a horseback riding tour with a guide and it started raining. Daddy started making jokes about it and soon we were all laughing and having fun. We were stuck there and we all just decided to make it FUN. The second time was when Bob and I were living in Dallas. We had decided to walk five blocks from our house to Greenville Avenue to listen to one of our favorite singer/guitar players at one of the bars. It started to rain right before we were going to leave to go home. It didn't look like the rain was going to quit any time soon so we decided to go ahead and walk home. We started out running, but we were so totally wet (and out of breath), so we just walked and decided to enjoy it. The third time I enjoyed being in the rain was when my friend Mary came to Sarasota to visit us. The day she arrived was a beautiful day and we enjoyed walking on the beach after dinner that night. The next day Hurricane Jeanne hit Florida. It was supposed to have gone up the east coast, but it came up the west coast instead. We sat in the house all day and I could tell that Mary was worried. I'd been through a few hurricanes already so I knew what to expect. The winds calmed down in the late afternoon, so Mary and I decided to get out of the house and take a walk. Well, we found out that the winds hadn't calmed down all that much! We ended up holding hands like grade school kids do when they are on a field trip. We walked a couple of blocks, holding hands, getting wet and laughing all the way. So, if you have a Rainy Day, get out there and enjoy it!!! You might end up liking it!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good-bye DPL -- Hello, The Mondrian

I HATE MOVING!!!! What an awful job! We had movers help us out on Thursday and three men moved all of the furniture and heavy boxes. And our friends Barry & Pat have a truck and a dolly and they helped us with a big load of stuff on Thursday night. They wanted to do more, but Bob and I were too exhausted. Bob and I spent Friday night and most of Saturday packing up stuff the movers didn't take. We made about five trips with the car filled to the hilt with STUFF. And we spent over four hours today with both of us working to clean the DPL apartment. We stayed in our NEW apartment at The Mondrian the past three nights now and it is very QUIET! The Dallas Power & Light building, where we moved from, is old, dark, smelly -- the dumpster is in the same area as the mailboxes!! -- and NOISY! The Mondrian where we moved to is new, bright, nice smelling and QUIET! We had some good times at DPL and the night views with the downtown lights were especially nice. There was always something going on in downtown Dallas. But, we are ready for PEACE & QUIET now. As you can see by the photo, we have a lot to do in the weeks ahead with all of the unpacking. I need to get rid of a lot of STUFF too. I never realized how much STUFF we had until we had to pack it up to move. And I start a fulltime job DOWNTOWN tomorrow! I'll have to take the DART train, but it is only two stops away. So, it might takes us a couple of weeks to get things put away and pictures up on the walls. When our new apartment is presentable, I'll post some photos. But, for tonight, it is a lot of REST!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day in Dallas

The Dallas City Hall building is located right behind our apartment building and I am watching and listening to the Veteran's Day celebration. There will also be a parade that I will be able to see from our apartment windows in about an hour today. I won't miss the LOUD DJ music on our pool deck under our bedroom window on the weekends when we move into our new apartment, but I will miss the Dallas City Hall events that we can see from our windows. God bless all of our veterans!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm all for Organ Donation

My son Cavan saved the lives of these two men. Michael is on the left and DeWayne is on the right. When Cavan died, the doctors asked if he was an organ donor. Lauren said he carried a card in his wallet. Michael has Cavan's right kidney and DeWayne has Cavan's left kidney and liver. About a year after Cavan died, I received a letter from Life Quest telling me who had received these organs and that I could write letters to them through the organization. Until just a few months ago, all I had were first names. I started writing letters and I received a few letters in return. DeWayne and I had exchanged our three required letters and a few months ago, we both decided we wanted to know the personal information on each other. We filled out the required forms and sent them to Life Quest. DeWayne and I have been talking on the phone with each other and have exchanged photos. I've sent him a lot of information about Cavan. Yesterday, I received the personal information on Michael after our three required letters and forms that went through Life Quest. We had a nice chat on the phone and he sent me his photo through email. DeWayne doesn't own a computer so we are still corresponding via the USPS mail and phone calls. Neither of these men would be alive today if it hadn't have been for Cavan's donated organs. I am now an organ donor myself. I encourage everyone to become an organ donor. I will be meeting Michael and DeWayne for the first time when we go to Florida in January. Can't wait!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

All I ever really needed to know I learned in Kindergarten

I found this in an envelope while I was packing boxes. I thought I'd share it with you.

Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.

These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work some every day.

Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup - they all die. So do we.

And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK . Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation, ecology and politics and sane living.

Think of what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and clean up our own messes. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Anniverary dates are hard sometimes

Today is the 4th anniversary of Cavan's death. On Nov. 6th, 2005, Cavan went with his friend Dale to a motorcycle racing track in Jennings, FL for practice day. Cavan called me the night before and told me he had finally built a motorcycle from scratch and that he was going to race it the next day. Bob and I received a phone call from Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL at about 2 p.m. that Sunday afternoon that Cavan had been in an accident and he had a grave brain injury. Bob and I threw some things in an overnight bag and drove three hours to Gainesville. We prayed all the way there that he would be alright. We met all of Lauren's family and several of her friends there. Cavan & Lauren were married four months prior. We all waited throughout the night for anyone to come tell us that Cavan was OK. Bob and I tried to sleep in the waiting room chairs -- with the light on. The next day, November 7th, we were all called into a large conference room where several doctors told us that they had done many tests and that Cavan was no longer living. We all were devastated to say the least. I went back into the hospital room where Cavan was lying and told him "good-bye". This was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

Since no one actually saw the accident happen, the racers at the track can only guess. Cavan's friend Dale said that he and Cavan were trying to get around a pack of racers on the track and that Dale got around them, but when he looked back, Cavan wasn't there. Dale searched on his own for Cavan, then he contacted an official. The race that was going on at the time had been stopped and everyone looked for Cavan. He was found "deep in the woods" that surround the track. They think that the brakes on Cavan's motorcycle had failed and that he went off the track at a curve. That curve now has an air net on it.

This photo was taken in Monterey, CA where Cavan was living for a year when he went to graduate school. He built this bicycle that he is sitting on.

Friday, November 6, 2009

$1,000 for TWO Cats!

Bob and I think $1,000 for deposit and fees for two cats is a bit much. We received the letter from The Mondrian and this is what it will cost to move Buster & Rowdy with us next Thursday. I can see maybe paying a $500 deposit and $500 in fees for DOGS. Dogs are much more destructive than cats. My kitties have never chewed up a baseboard or clawed any walls or doors. They don't even have any front claws. They might hack up a hair ball now and then, but that is easily cleaned up with some soap and water and a cloth. One time Bob closed the door to the guest bathroom where we keep their litter box and one of them pooped on our bathmat in the master bathroom. Why the cat chose to do it there is anyone's guess. But, at least it was easy to clean up! The bathmat went into the washing machine (after removing the poop!). One good thing I can say for living where we do now in the DPL building, it has stained concrete floors and all marble counter tops. We will have carpeting in our new apartment and I suppose the owners of The Mondrian want to keep their carpets looking nice -- hence the $1,000 deposit and fees. Anyone want a couple of nice cats? Just kidding! I think they are worth $1,000 and MORE!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fall in Dallas

It is Fall in Dallas. I can tell by looking out of our 17th story apartment window onto the City Hall plaza across the street and looking at the color of the leaves on the trees. Living in downtown Dallas, we see mostly concrete. There aren't many trees in the downtown area and I don't get out of the downtown area very often since we have nearly everything we need right here. So, I don't see the beautiful colors on the trees, except those I can see from my apartment windows. And Dallas has a lot of Live Oak trees that don't change colors in the Fall. When we drove to Illinois three weeks ago, we saw a lot of the changing colors of the leaves. Just when I decided to take photos of some trees, I discovered that the battery in my camera was dead. So, all I could do at that time, was look at the beautiful trees and admire the colors. I think it is time for a car trip to where I can see more changing colors of the leaves on the trees. And this time the battery in my camera will be charged up and ready to take some photos!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day of the Dead/All Saints Day

Today is the Day of the Dead/All Saints Day. Our church, Emanuel Lutheran Church, celebrates this day, as we have a large Hispanic congregation as part of the church. Usually we have an English service at 9:30, then the Hispanic service at noon, but today there will be a combined service at 10:30. All of the liturgy, sermon and songs will be in English & Spanish. Yesterday, some of us built altars at the church to our loved ones who have passed on. I built my altar to Cavan. I used his bicycle racing trophy, as this was the start of his racing that he so much enjoyed. He was 11 when he won 2nd place at this race in Jenks, OK. I also put up several photos of Cavan with his bicycle or his motorcycles. My sister, Cindy, has a Day of the Dead class that she teaches in ceramics. She made this statue of Cavan on his motorcycle and the vase with photos on it as examples to show her class. She sent them to me to use in my altar. I also included my recipe book that I made for my boys in 1999 and it is turned to the page for the recipe for Manicotti. This was Cavan's favorite food. I am taking Manicotti for our potluck dinner after the church service today. I also wrote a page and included some photos, telling about Cavan and how he started racing motorcycles. And I wrote about how Cavan was an organ donor and about DeWayne, the recipient of Cavan's left kidney and liver. DeWayne would not be here today without Cavan's special gift. Cavan's family and friends miss him very much, but a part of him is still alive.