Sunday, October 30, 2016

October 29, 2016

A Very Nice Week
October 29, 2016

This past week has been filled with assorted activities.  I went to Harlingen for a doctor's appointment with the thyroid doctor.  She said the medication for the low thyroid level has brought the count to an acceptable level, so to please continue things as they are.  While in Harlingen I went by another doctor's office to ask for a refill on  a medication.  She sent it in, but the pharmacy said they already had a prescription.  I asked why the last bottle I got said no more refills.  She just shrugged her shoulders and said it is good for 6 more months.

One evening we met our friends for supper at Texas Roadhouse.  One day I went to lunch with a friend and we had a great visit.  It was good to catch up with each other - we have booth been very busy.  Great supper and a great visit.  On Friday evening for supper with Mom, we went to San Benito for a Bar-B-Q supper which was very good.  Then took Mom to Hobby Lobby in Harlingen to look for a couple of accessories for her costume for the Mother-Daughter party we are going to next weekend.  I think she will have her costume ready before I have mine ready.

During the work week, I went in to the office late most days.  I took care of a variety of chores.  Ron is going to have jury duty next week, so I will have to go in early.  Yikes! 

Today, Ron planted some zinnia seeds.  Don't know how they will do, but our days are still warm and sunny, so we will see how it goes.  I slept most of the day away and in the evening we went to a party at the home of a friend.  She has been hosting a Feast of Friends party for several years and it was well attended again this year.  I think there were at least 60 people there.  It was covered dish and we have some good cooks in the bunch.

My Cochlear cordless mini mic works well in most settings.  I am so thankful for it.  The only place that I was frustrated with the implant this week was the party tonight.  It is just too hard to hear in a large group.  I do the best I can and Ron was better tonight than sometimes, about telling me what I missed.  So many things were just a jumble of sounds.

In a lot of ways this past week was relaxing.  We were both home early one evening and it was just like surely we were forgetting something.   Our son and daughter-in-law had been shopping and selected some fabrics for me to turn into baby receiving blankets.  I got the box in the mail and it was fun to see what they had selected.  They also sent me a couple of thimbles for my collection.  I talked to our daughter-in-law this evening to tell her "Happy Birthday."
I am ready for another week that is not jam packed.   Ron is willing to serve on a jury panel.  We will see what happens.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 25, 2016

A Sunday Surprise 
October 25, 2016

Green Jay enjoying Sunday morning breakfast

Sunday morning we were running late for Sunday School.  When we arrived in class, someone else was teaching.  It turned out Ron had asked the man to fill in for him for last week and the dates got confused.  It may have been Ron's fault.  For 2 months before the trip we took, every time something came up about the trip Ron would ask me for the dates.

Anyway, Ron just let the man finish and he relaxed and learned along with the rest of us.  It was a good class and we had several visitors in the group.

When I got to the auditorium for the worship service I sat where I usually sit and in just a minute, our youngest grandson popped up in front of me.  He had come to town the previous day for a birthday party for a friend and then spent the night with him.  The friend's parents were going to take him home that afternoon.  We all sat together in church and it was a great treat to have him with me in church.  He was well behaved and is growing up so fast. 

That cute little grandson who was with me in church won't be the youngest grandson for much longer.  He better enjoy it while he can before his new cousin arrives in a few months.  Ron and I napped after lunch and got very little done the rest of the day. 

Monday was a back to work day and I got a few cleaning things done during the day.  I left the office early and went by the post office.  A package of fabric I ordered a couple of weeks ago was missing.  The mailman said he had left it at our office.  It turned out it was at the Post Office.  I also took care of an errand at the Post Office for Mom. 

Tuesday: temperatures were a little better today since we had cloud cover almost all day.  The middle of the day we had sprinkles and a couple of isolated showers.  In the morning at the office, I paid some bills, restocked some items on the counters and some of the key hooks.  I waited on a few customers, but that was about it.
The neighborhood bully came and chased the Green Jay away.
Just as soon as I finished my lunch I went to Harlingen for an appointment with the thyroid doctor to get the lab results on the blood tests I had done last week and am still bruised from.  The doctor said the new medication she had given me was working and to leave the dosage as it is.  She had hoped it would give me more energy, but I can't tell much improvement.

After leaving that office, I went by another doctor's office to ask for a renewal on a prescription that I am about out of and I don't have an appointment with that doctor until spring.  I spent the rest of the afternoon in Harlingen doing a little shopping.  Mom and I are going to a masquerade party next month and I needed ideas.  I got a few little things and some ideas.  We will see what works out.

On my way home, 2 or 3 miles from our house, I was stopped at a red light and was rear ended.  It was a man in a pickup truck pulling a trailer and he was not paying attention.  When he saw he was going to hit me, he tried to swerve into the lane to our right, but someone was in that lane and honked at him.  He ended up hitting the back right corner of my sturdy Suburban.  Not too bad, but it will need to be repaired.  It is easier to repair the car than to repair me.  I will be sore tomorrow, but not at all bad considering it was a 50 mph zone.  I will take the car in tomorrow morning and see about getting it fixed.

 At home, Ron and I had a yummy supper together.  That has not happened much lately.  It was good to relax with him over a supper of ham, creamed corn, carrots, and grapes. 
Juvenile Golden-fronted Woodpecker male out for the morning 
The accident late this afternoon again was a reminder of the problems with my poor hearing.  After the other driver and I each checked our cars, we pulled into a near-by parking lot.  He was so apologetic and eager to take the blame.  He was driving a company vehicle for where he works.  He spoke no English at all.  He got the owner of the business on the phone and she was also very eager to take care of the problems.  But it was so hard for me to hear her on her employee's phone beside a VERY noisy busy street.  Ron will call her in the morning and work things out.

At a couple of the stores I went to this afternoon, I had trouble hearing.  One was a very crowded store with a lot of children begging their parents for things they wanted.  I just could not hear the clerk.  If I could have Ron with me all the time, it would help, but then I would have no money for shopping.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

October 23, 2016

Updating My Blog - Part 2
October 23, 2016

Our son and daughter-in-law in Dallas
Before moving on, I have a comment to make about the banquet in the previous entry.  My sister-in-law had talked to someone to see if they would put my wireless microphone on the speaker's stand during the program.  That was very thoughtful and at first I thought it would be a good idea.  Then I remembered that when I am using the wireless mic, it brings the speech and sounds near it, into my sound processor, but I would not be able to hear anyone at our table.  The mic cancels out the other sounds. 

After thinking about it I decided that my brother should just take it with him when he went to speak.  In testing it before the banquet, I could tell it would work very well, but was not willing to sit there the rest of the evening unable to converse at the table.  Just before Gordon went to speak, I passed the wireless mic to him and I was able to hear him very well.  I appreciate when others think about ways to help me.  It would be great if I could hear from the Cochlear wireless mic and hear the sounds around me at the same time.
My brother's speech at awards ceremony
I was able to hear a lot of the program as the speakers were people who often speak in public and each spoke clearly, and not too fast.  It was a good evening and I am glad we were able to attend.

The next morning we left early to head for Dallas and a visit with our son and daughter-in-law.  On the way we got a text saying it would be a little later than we expected to see them so we made a brief detour to Crockett to check on some property.  When we got back on the expressway, it was just a short time before we were at a complete stop for almost an hour due to a bad accident just a little way ahead of us.
The property in East Texas
When they cleared the scene enough for us to pass the accident, our car did not want to cooperate.  So, 60 miles out of Dallas, we were traveling at 20 - 30 miles an hour.  Once we arrived, we had a late lunch and then Ron and our son picked up the trailer Ron had reserved.  Stephen and his wife had some things they no longer had room for and we were bringing them home with us. 

We spent some time working at the house, with the guys moving in the china cabinet and our daughter-in-law's mother and I filling it with things that were overcrowding the kitchen cabinets.  It was good, to all be working together, helping the younger generation get some things in place after months of remodeling.
Stephen and his wife, and her family

Sunday morning we met for breakfast with our son, his wife and her mom and step-dad.  We had a great meal and a good time, before we all went to Sunday School together.  It was a good lesson with great discussion.  After lunch together we returned to the house to do some more moving of furniture and I spent some time weeding a nice flower bed in the front yard. 
Ron and Stephen working on the china cabinet
Meanwhile, our car was still sick and Ron and Stephen got it to the car repair place early Monday morning.   Then they returned to the hotel to pick me up for breakfast at one of my favorite places, Panera Bread.  We all enjoyed sweet rolls and then we started doing a little shopping.  First stop was a store where Stephen wanted to show us some items.  The next stop was a new quilt shop in Dallas.  It has only been open 3 months and the lady in charge was very friendly and helpful.  I predict the shop will do well.

Stephen and I  (his wife was at work, but he had the day off) picked out a piece of fabric and then we went to another store before finishing our day of shopping at a quilt shop close to their house that sadly was going out of business.  I hate to see quilt shops fail, but this one had everything on sale for 1/2 price and Stephen was able to select several pieces that will keep me busy for a while.

Unfortunately, our car was not going to be ready until the next day so we returned to the house and did a little more work while we waited for Stephen's wife.  After that we went to supper and gave our good-bye hugs, because they both needed to be at work early the next morning (Tuesday). 
 Carolina Chickadee at my sister's house
Back at the hotel Ron contacted my brother-in-law, Joe Bob, in the Ft. Worth area to ask him if he could take us to pick up the car the next day when it was ready.  He was off work for a few days.  The next morning he came and picked us up so we could check out of the motel and took us to their home.  Mom was staying there for a few days.  Their home is so lovely and restful.  We enjoyed a short visit at their home before the mechanic called to say our car was ready. 
One of the many cute items in her yard
Back in Dallas, we picked up the repaired car and paid the a very reasonable bill before going to hook up at the trailer at our son's house.  We headed home, and arrived around midnight.  We stopped at Pok-e-Jos for Bar-B-Q in Round Rock.  Ron did all the driving. 
Sunset on our way home

In all, we were gone a day longer than we planned, but were very pleased with the mechanic.  Ron had taken the car in here three times to get the problem fixed after it had done the same thing a few months ago.

Our son and his wife are so good about using my wireless mic and passing it back and forth between them so I can hear them both.  Good visit!
Good to be home.

Friday, October 21, 2016

October 20, 2016

Updating My Blog - Part 1
October 20, 2016

The last couple of weeks have been filled with activities: a banquet, travel, car problems, seeing lots of family, sewing, packing, unpacking, shopping, laundry, celebrating some family birthdays, and on and on.
Debra, Linda (me), Gordon, 
Gordon's wife Linda, Our mom and Janet
Last week I was not in the office as much as usual and I am getting behind there.  Now that I am back, I got a lot done but there is still much to do to get caught up.  I have that same feeling about most aspects of my life these days.
Banquet Room
Ron and I left early Friday morning Oct. 14, and drove to College Station.  We arrived in the middle of the afternoon and many others in the family were already there or arrived soon after we did.  My brother Gordon was being awarded the Outstanding Alumni award for the architecture department at Texas A&M University.  There were seven from the department being recognized.
My brother with the award 

We visited a bit and then got ready for the banquet and a social hour before hand.  My brother's two daughters were there along with others in their families.  My mom was there as well as my two sisters and the husband on one and my husband and me.
My brother, Gordon Landreth

There were about 250 at the banquet.  The decorations were lovely, the people were delightful, the food was... banquet style.  We were not able to identify a couple of items, but what we did eat was good.

 Our main course

I enjoyed sitting between my husband and three of Gordon's delightful grandchildren.  The oldest was next to me and a good conversationalist.  
 The three children of one of my nieces.  They live in Mississippi.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October 12, 2016

Sleepy Time Gal
October 12, 2016

We have been having beautiful cloud formations this week.

Sleepy Time Gal is a song from about 1925.  The lyrics don't really match my sleep problems, but the title does.  This Gal (me) is sleepy all the time!

About a month ago I had a sleep apnea test that was done at home over 3 nights.  Today I went to the heart doctor for the results.  I think he was sure that was the answer to the problem, but he said it showed only a very mild sleep problem and that it was mostly that at times I would breathe too shallow.  He was about to send me for another type of test on it, basically to see if using the sleep apnea machine would help any.

At that point I reminded my doctor that I think it is due to too many medications that say, "May cause severe drowsiness."  He pulled up my list of medications and after reading them he said that I might be right.  He suggested that first we try replacing the allergy medication with one that is non-drowsy.  In a couple of weeks he wants to know if I can tell a difference. 

The timing on the appointment was good because I could tell him my recent experience.  Monday night I went to sleep about midnight and slept until 10:30 Tuesday morning.  Before noon I was back asleep and slept until 7:00 that evening.  The doctor looked at me in shock and said, yes that was excessive.  So even though I do not have the answer to the problem, I think I have the doctor's attention about it.

This morning I needed to be up early so I could take Mom and my sister to the airport.  I didn't have to get them there until about 10:30, but I had to be up and awake enough before Ron went to work that I would be able to stay awake and not sleep through the time I had promised to pick them up.

I will be away from the computer for a few days again and don't know if I will be able to post before the middle of next week.  This has turned into a busy month for us. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

October 10, 2016

Four days + Six Grandchildren =
  Fun!  Food! and Fatigue!
October 10, 2016

This is our sweet teenage granddaughter who spent her weekend making me feel special.  She would make my bed in the mornings, fold the end of the roll of toilet paper to a point every time she saw someone come out of the guest bathroom and just quietly do jobs without being asked.

Ballet class had her inventing her own dances.

The last few days have been spent in McAllen caring for six of our grandchildren while their parents are on a Get Away trip.  I went up Wednesday evening and came home this morning (Monday) when their other grandmother came to take over for the next three days.
I enjoyed watching and listening to the birds.
As the children get older, they are much easier to care for.  They help one another and can get what they need many times.  They can tell you what they want or need.  Of course, the older ages bring a different set of challenges, like, "May I invite my friend over for the afternoon?", or "Don't pick us up too early."  Actually the kids were great and I had a wonderful time.  I think they did, too. 

There were activities each day such as ballet, basketball, etc. but it seemed like a very relaxing long weekend.  They spent all of one day playing games with one another; the games and the groupings of kids would change, but they had a good time.

The only problem was that I woke up Thursday morning with a dizzy spell.  I don't know if is related to the earlier ear ache, or the dizzy spells I get off and on.  It was mild, but I was careful with what I had to do.  I didn't climb the stairs if I did not have to and I think maybe I only did it once a day or so.  It would be worse in the mornings than later in the days.

The kids played basketball a good bit.  On Friday we had a a storm that blew in with winds and rain.  I was playing games with two of the children when they jumped up and ran over to a cabinet in the corner beside the fireplace.  They started taking out all the games  and the bookcase holding them.  Then one of them ran out in the garage and came back with a pail that he set in one corner. 

When they first moved into this house a heavy rainstorm revealed a leak in that cabinet.  There was a tiny bit of water that fell into the pail.  Twice repairmen have tried to solve this problem.  They are getting closer.  A couple of hours later they got up and started putting things back but I suggested we wait until the next morning.  There was another heavy rain while they were at basketball practice, but only at the gym, with only a little shower at the house.

One little grandson has trouble keeping straight which grandmother is the topic of discussion  since there are two grandmothers and two great-grandmothers.  When trying to clarify the situation, when referring to me, he says the grandmother who has sugar?  I love to bake. 
 Rice Krispie treats were in high demand and won out over the requested pineapple upside down cake.  It was a great weekend and I am so glad I was able to go.  The other grandmother serves healthier choices.  Thankfully our daughter-in-law allows each grandmother to be herself.  One treat we had was Vanilla Wafers with a dab of frozen whipped topping, topped off with a slice of strawberry.  The little boy in the photo is the one who wants to be sure sugar will be available. 

A while back I bought some little kits for the two little boys.  I also had one of another kind for one of the boys, but ended up with the three youngest children home with me Sunday evening, so I asked the little granddaughter if she would like to paint a truck. 
 She was all for it and was extremely meticulous in her painting.  

The two boys painted small castles.  They worked on them for hours and headed straight to the school room to work on them some more Monday morning before I left.

Due to my dizziness, I took the four oldest children to church Sunday morning, but left them and took the two youngest back home to spend the morning with me.

I got a text while the older children were at church Sunday evening that the sky was beautiful.  That was correct.  I love that the children love so many of the things I love.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October 4, 2016

A Walk Down Memory Lane
October 4, 2016

Some of the neighborhood kids that we grew up with.  
Note that the boys really outnumbered the girls!  
I am in the red shorts.  The redhead is my brother.

This morning I went to the office about 9:30 because Ron had an early job.  He had two jobs in fact and was gone about 3-4 hours working on them.  It was very busy right after he left and then slowed down for a while.

At one point I went out to wait on a man and he looked a little familiar, but I could not place him.  We started talking and he asked if I was in the Landreth family and I said yes, I was Linda.  He then told me who he was.  We were in school together starting in first grade.  He must now be 70 years old as most of our classmates are.

He looked to be in very good shape, healthy and alert.  He was very eager to talk about the classmates that we knew.  I must admit, when he first told me his name, I replied, "Do you still get in as much trouble as you used to?"  (or something about like that).  He laughed and said, "Yes."

A funny thing is that over the years I have thought of this man often wondering how his life had turned out, because in all honesty, he was always in trouble at school.  If there was a fight on the playground, he probably started it.  If someone got kicked while we were lined up, he probably was the one who did the kicking.

We had a long talk - at least an hour - and he was very honest about those days and how angry he was with his life.  He lived about 3 blocks from our house and was right across the street from a good friend of mine.  My friend would talk about the trouble he would create in the neighborhood.  He came from a very large family.

He mentioned that he became a pilot in the service, during the Vietnam War.  He came back after his time in the service and became a pilot in Mexico.  I asked if the military straightened him out and he said no.  He shared a lot about those years and about the home life that led him to a life of anger and rebellion.  He has been writing books about those years and plans to bring me one to read.

After a long time of talking, including confirming that I know one of his sisters, I asked if in all those years in the service and flying in Mexico, had he ever found the Lord.  He quickly said, "No."  Yet as he talked about some close calls in life, he would mention praying.  I had to go help a customer and when I came back, he returned the conversation to the earlier brief discussion of the Lord.  He talked about not being interested in religion and I tried to explain it is not a religion that gets you to Heaven, but rather it is a personal relationship with the Lord.

Somehow, God turned the conversation (and I don't know exactly how He did it), and the next thing I knew I was telling him about the need to realize that he is a sinner and to ask God to forgive those sins.  He showed no real interest, except that he was the one who returned the conversation to talking about God.  I think God has kept him on my mind off and on over the years to prepare me for our encounter today, so that I could hopefully make him start thinking about eternity.  Interestingly some of the classmates he mentioned, I had forgotten, but I had not forgotten him.

He mentioned his 97 year old mother and I told him about my mom.  He remembered my mom and told me what a nice lady she was.  When I visited Mom later, as I told her about seeing this man today, she did not remember him at first.  Sometimes my mom feels she doesn't do enough to show God's love, but more and more often, my friends from over 60 years ago, will say they have such fond memories of her.  She was a lovely lady with a quick smile.  Sometimes we forget that some children never see that in their homes.  She gave our friends a feeling of being accepted, welcomed, and loved.  Sometimes that is the first step to them feeling worthy of being loved, when their home life was terrible.

My prayer is that this man will be surrounded by people who will have the courage to tell him about Jesus and that he will come to know the Lord as his personal Savior.  Again, I was thankful for my Cochlear Implant so that I could carry on a conversation.  God has so blessed me with this technology. 

Monday was a day of paperwork at the office.  I got a lot done.  Our friends were back for a trip to Missouri for a funeral and we met for supper since we did not get to do it on Thursday evening.  It was good to see them and hear about their trip.   

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October 2, 2016

Happy 13th Birthday to One
 of Our Granddaughters
October 2, 2016

The birthday girl
How did our granddaughter get to be 13 in such a hurry?  She is a lovely young lady, tall slim, helpful, a perfectionist, and kind.  She plays piano, takes ballet lessons, and loves to play on the basketball team that she joined last year.  She sews, plays with the pets, loves to add special touches to whatever her project is, and becomes the caregiver for her youngest sister when her mom is not home and I am there.  (She wants to do and and is so sweet to her little sister.)
The second oldest of the boys.  He is now the oldest 
of the children at home.  He broke his wrist 
recently and it will be in a cast a little longer.
Today after Sunday School, we drove to McAllen and had lunch with our son, his wife and six of their seven children.  The oldest child is away in college.  We had a nice visit while lunch finished cooking and then the adults sat down for lunch while the children continued to play.  About the time we finished, they came in to have their lunch.  We don't always do that, but often on Sundays they allow the children to use up some energy before they sit down for lunch. 
The baby of the family eating a bowl of fruit salad at lunch.

We all just had a relaxing time and tried to catch up on the visiting.  I will be going back up there Wednesday to stay while our son and his wife get away for a few days.  I predict we will all have a good time. 
This sweet boy (child #5 in the family) has 
become a great helper in the kitchen.
Yesterday I spent 5 hours shopping!  I have not done that since the Quilt show in Houston last year.  I found out I was out of condition for long shopping trips.  I guess this is a good year to skip the Quilt Festival.  I did birthday shopping, grocery shopping, and assorted other errands. 
Ron and our son visiting during the afternoon.
Friday was the end of the month and I got things ready for being able to print out statements on Monday morning.  I did a little cleaning but mostly bookkeeping chores.  It was a pretty good month at the office. 
Sunset on our way home
Thursday, I had gone to the doctor  with an ear ache.  It has been a long time since I had one, except for the one I had with the shingles a few weeks ago.  The was the same ear and it was swollen shut.  They gave me a prescription for some ear drops for an infection in the outer ear and would also work on the pain.  It is helping and I think I am about back to normal.

It has been busy the last few days, but I got several things accomplished.  That is always a good feeling.  I will try to get more regular in my postings, but not sure if I can post while I am at our son's home.