Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Babysitting for My Grandkids -- AGAIN!!!

Bob and I got asked to babysit AGAIN for Caty, Carson & Christian this past weekend!! What FUN! Corbin and Christy went to a wedding and stayed downtown Tulsa in a hotel overnight on Saturday. The kid's other set of grandparents live a mile away and they get to babysit a lot, but Bob and I have not been able to sit much since we live in Dallas and they live in Tulsa. So, I started begging to let us sit for the kids. I didn't mind that we had to drive four hours to do this. We were going to spend quality time with our grand kids!! I found some paper dolls online at www.makingfriends.com and printed out some of the paper dolls and their wardrobe. The girls and I spent all of Saturday cutting them out and playing with them. I showed Caty & Carson how they could put cardboard on the backs of the dolls with an "X" at the bottom so they can stand up by themselves. The girls got creative and even made a Christmas tree with ornaments and presents! Then, they took the paper dolls upstairs to their playroom and played with them in their doll houses.

I remember when my sister and I used to sit for hours to play with and cut out paper dolls. We made the paper dolls and clothes ourselves and some we cut out of the Sears and J. C. Penneys catalogs. Our Grandma Purdue used to get the out-of-season pattern books from Haines and Essick in Decatur and Cindy and I would sit at their dining room table and cut out the ladies and clothes.

I remember a car trip we took when our family had a station wagon. Cindy and I sat in the back end and played with our paper dolls. I have no idea where we went or what we did. I just remember playing with the paper dolls.

Christian wasn't interested in the paper dolls, thank goodness. That would have been a mess! He hung out with Bob on the swing set in the backyard, playing in the girl's Barbie motorized cars and watching Nick Jr.

It was a wonderful, quality time with our grand kids!!

You can see more photos from our weekend in Tulsa at http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8EbMmLJq3aKLyw


It was hard for me to find a photo of just Rowdy, as he and his brother, Buster, were always together. They were litter mates, born the middle of January in 1998. We got Buster & Rowdy from a lady who worked with Bob at Marsh. She had several cats and when we went to her house to get ONE, she asked us which one we wanted. I told her that whichever cat came to sit on my lap, then that was the one I would take home. Well, Buster got up on Bob's lap and Rowdy got up on mine. So, of course we had to take BOTH of them home with us! She told us that the kitties who were eight months old at the time, were in separable. It took us a few days to give them names, but Bob came up with Buster and Rowdy. The names seemed to fit. They went with us to Sarasota in their carriers when we moved there in March 2001 and back to Dallas in October 2007. A few weeks ago Rowdy was getting sick in the mornings and I took him in to the vet. The doctor told us he had a hyperthyroid and I had to apply ointment to his ears twice daily. This was NOT fun! Rowdy would run and hide from me and I found myself crawling under the end table in the living room, moving furniture out from the walls and once dismantling our bed to get to him. Whenever we left for overnight, we had to take Rowdy to stay at a kitty condo at the vet so he could get his medicine. It would be asking a bit much to ask a friend to come over to the apartment to crawl under the table to give him the medicine! We dropped Rowdy off at the vet this past Saturday, as we were driving up to Tulsa to babysit for my grand kids. I could tell that Rowdy wasn't his "normal self", so I asked the doctor at the vet to take a look at him. Rowdy had been going downhill rapidly and looked very old. The doctor called us on the way home on Sunday to tell us that Rowdy had either liver cancer or cirrhosis of the liver. Neither are curable. We could have had an ultrasound to see which disease he had, but we decided it wouldn't do much good, as Rowdy still was going to continue to go downhill and we didn't want him to suffer any longer. On Sunday, August 29th, we made the decision to put Rowdy to sleep. I'm not sure if Buster misses his brother. It is hard to tell. Buster was always the alpha cat -- eating before Rowdy did, sitting on my lap before Rowdy took his turn and generally doing everything before Rowdy had his turn. I think Buster is now enjoying being King Kat and having my lap all to himself. I miss my little Rowdy Kitty.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Prairie Home Companion

Last night Bob and I went to the new Winspear Opera House to see "Prairie Home Companion". The show was very funny and we both enjoyed it. This was the "Summer Love Tour" with Sarah Watkins and Garrison Keillor, in his white suit, red shoes and tie. They both did a lot of singing, but of course, Guy Noir made an appearance and Garrison Keillor did a monologue on Lake Wobegon.

I became acquainted with "Prairie Home Companion" around 1984 when I lived on Quincy Street in Tulsa, OK. Our neighbors next door were Tom and Sue. Tom enjoyed woodworking which he would do in his garage. Tom, who is friendly and gregarious, and me being the same, enjoyed time together chatting in his garage as he was making wood into beautiful furniture. Tom always had the radio on the NPR station and he enjoyed listening to "Prairie Home Companion". I enjoyed listening too and I looked forward to the stories from Lake Wobegon and Guy Noir.

Bob and I listen to "Prairie Home Companion" mostly when we are traveling in the car. It is relaxing to me to escape to Lake Wobegon and forget about the stress of expressway traveling.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Russell Farm Art Center

My friend Annie talked me into teaching a jewelry making class. Annie is a ceramist who lives in Burleson. She has a studio at Russell Farm Art Center where she teaches classes in pottery making. On Saturday, October 16th, I will be teaching a class there from 1 - 5 p.m., using three techniques -- paper beads, felt beads and shrink plastic. You can read more about the class at http://www.russellfarmartcenter.com/display-page-nm.php?pagekey=2

Please contact me if you are interested in taking this class. It will be such FUN!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Emanuel Lutheran Church Back-to-School Carnival

Today at the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Dallas, there was the Pat Painter Memorial Back-to-School Carnival. Pat Painter, who died of cancer, started the back-to-school carnival in 1990. The carnival has continued for 20 years. The neighborhood children come to Emanuel Lutheran Church each year to receive school supplies as prizes for the games they play. They play games and eat hot dogs and tortillas with grilled meat in them. The members of the Emanuel Lutheran Church, as well as members from area Lutheran churches help with the carnival. This is one of the community services that Emanuel Lutheran Church provides. There is a donor who buys all of the backpacks that are handed out to each child who comes to the carnival. Today there were 430+ kids who attended the carnival.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dinner at Nick & Sam's

Last night Bob and I went to dinner at Nick & Sam's here in Dallas. This was a business dinner with one of Bob's clients, Otis Hatcher with Chartis. I usually do not get asked to go along when Bob has his business dinners, but I was certainly thrilled to go! Bob and I were not the only ones who were asked to go to this dinner. Another underwriter and a visitor from the New York Chartis office were there too. They talked a lot of business, but that was OK with me. I just enjoyed having some good salmon for dinner in a beautiful setting and being able to get dressed up and go out. I would have whipped out the camera on my phone and taken some photos, but I know Bob would have died of embarrassment, so I spared him. I hope I get asked again sometime.

Monday, August 9, 2010

It worked for me!

Last Thursday evening, I went to one of our local Whole Foods stores to pick up my FREE ticket to see the "Eat, Pray, Love" movie and I had some time to kill before they started handing out tickets. By the way, I was the first person to receive my ticket! Can't wait! My friend Kathryn and I are going to see the movie this Thursday night at 8 p.m. before it is released to the public on Friday. But, back to my story about the tea. I got to the Whole Foods store early to be able to get my ticket and I had some time to kill. I love this store and the different products on the shelves. I don't see a lot of unusual items at our Kroger grocery store where I do my weekly shopping. Or, at least I don't take time to look for any. I usually buy what I need and get out. Whenever I am in the Whole Foods store, I love to look around at the different items I don't find at Kroger. I ended up in the tea aisle on Thursday. I bought "Get Some ZZZ's" tea by The Republic of Tea company. I am sure this tea is sold at many grocery stores, but I had never seen it before. There are nights that I toss and turn or my mind goes a hundred miles an hour thinking of things I want to do or things I didn't get accomplished that day. I really wanted to have at least ONE night that I slept very well! Last night I remembered that I bought this tea and I brewed a cup to drink while I was watching TV. The tea has organic Rooibos leaf, orange peel, spearmint leaf, Chamomile flower, Passionflower and Stevia leaf in it. It tasted OK without the honey that I like to put in my morning tea. Well, the tea worked! I don't remember much last night, except that I did get up a couple of times for trips to the bathroom. I feel very refreshed this morning too! If you would like to try a bag instead of buying a whole can of this tea, let me know and I will be glad to send you one.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Did You Know?

My friend Jeanette, who is a nurse, talks a lot about Chef MD (www.chefmd.com). She sent me a link to his book that I bought. Within the first hour of scanning over the book, I learned:

*If you cook a pizza HOTTER or LONGER, it give you more antioxidants. Baking a pizza crust at 550 degrees for 7 minutes instead of 400 degrees for 14 minutes, increases antioxidants up to 45%.

*If you eat a handful of almonds twenty minutes before you eat a meal that is high in saturated and trans fats, such as a burger and fries, the antioxidants in the almonds begin to block the artery-stiffening and inflammatory effect of the fats.

*That cold cooked potatoes' resistant starch instead of hot potatoes causes a slower glycemic response to a meal, so your blood sugar doesn't spike.

And this was before I even started Chapter 1!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Florida Navy Moms

When Bob and I lived in Sarasota, I joined a Florida Navy Moms group after seeing an article in a newspaper about the group. I joined in September 2004. The Florida Navy Moms (FLNM) have reunions at different locations around the state of FL and when I joined, the group was meeting in Bradenton, so it was convenient for me to attend. I went by myself and I didn't know what to expect that first time. I had lunch with the ladies and chatted with the ladies who sat at my table. Then, I filled up a box of goodies to send to my sailor -- Cavan. I didn't know what else was planned, so I left the group and went home. I kept in touch via emails with Peggy, one of the FLNM mom who was living in Bradenton, but I didn't do anything more with the group until Cavan had his motorcycle accident and died on November 7, 2005. I notified Peggy shortly afterwards. She collected money from the FLNM to buy a magnolia tree in Cavan's honor and she and her husband brought it to our house and planted it in our front yard. I started attending the reunions and getting more involved after that. I met the most wonderful group of women who shared a common bond -- sons, daughters and family members who are in the Navy. We were given a banner to wear to the reunions and to put the FLNM pins from our various reunions on it. I keep my FLNM banner in my dresser drawer where I see it whenever I pull it out to remind me of my terrific FLNM friends I have made, and of course, of Cavan too.

Eat, Pray, Love

For those of you who have seen the book, "Eat, Pray, Love", but have not read it or maybe you have heard about the movie with Julia Roberts starring in it and you aren't sure if you want to see it or not, I thought I'd give you my opinion. I just finished reading the book and I loved it! I have friends who have read the book and liked it and others who didn't like it at all. One friend told me she thought the author was "whiny" and "self-indulgent". Yes, Elizabeth Gilbert the author, IS "whiny" and "self-indulgent", but she is writing about HER experiences with bad relationships, HER discovery of God and HER travels. I'd probably sound whiny, self-indulgent or self-centered too if I wrote a book about myself! I'm not sure that Julia Roberts fits the part of Elizabeth Gilbert and I will reserve that opinion until after I see her in the movie, which I plan to see when it comes out. I found out that the Whole Foods store on Park Lane is giving away FREE screening passes on Thursday, so I plan to go get mine. Anyway, if you want a good book, I think this one was terrific!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Babysitting for My Grandkids

Bob and I drove up to Tulsa, OK on Friday to babysit with my three grandkids for the first time! Well, we did stay with them a couple hours one night when Corbin & Christy went out to dinner over a year ago. This time it was overnight. Corbin & Christy went to Lake Hudson to stay in a friend's house and spend some time in a boat on the lake. I took my Barbie & Ken dolls that I played with when I was a young girl. I knew the girls would enjoy playing with them. I received my Barbie doll for Christmas when I was ten. I have a second edition Barbie doll and a first edition Ken doll that I got when they came out. One of the Ken dolls belongs to my sister, but she lets me keep it with my doll collection. I also showed the girls how to make Shrinky Dinks with plastic strawberry containers. We strung some of them on leather cords with beads to wear as necklaces. It was too hot to play outside, but they love playing in the water with the hose, so Bob and I watched as they had fun with that on Saturday morning. The girls went to see a movie with Christy's mom on Saturday afternoon. After Christian went down for his nap, so did I! I was exhausted! Corbin & Christy came home last night. We all had a fun weekend! You can see more of my photos at this Shutterfly link --