Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31, 2017

A Quiet Week for a Change
July 31, 2017

Even the clouds were "peaceful" this week.

Since this blog talks a lot about my deafness, I should probably explain that our "quiet" week did not have too much to do with my hearing.  It was actually a week that was not over booked with activities, grandchildren, and commitments.   I did send our daughter-in-law in McAllen, a text early last week telling her that our house sure was quiet.  Two grandchildren had been with us the previous week and three others joined us briefly at the end of that week.  That made this past week a drastic change from the previous one.
White-winged Dove
I had a variety of reasons for being extra late getting to the office each day.  Thankfully my boss (my husband) very rarely complains.  We had more time to talk this last week and try to make some plans for various necessary trips in the next few months.  Ron is a private pilot and every two years he has to go to a certification class.  This fall is when he needs to go.  Normally he goes to Corpus Christi in November or December and sometimes I go, but I have not the last time or two.  Since it is close to Christmas, taking a weekend to be out of town is hard.
White-winged Dove
Then I would like to go to the Houston Quilt Festival this fall.  At this point I am trying to go every other year.  Again, this is the year for it.  I also need to go to Houston for my yearly trip to see the audiologist about my sound processor for the Cochlear implant.  We try to do that when we go the the quilt show.  So, today we made hotel reservations in Houston for the quilt show and in Austin for his flight certification class.  They are no longer doing the classes in Corpus Christi. 
Baby Oriole
Now I need to get the class reservations for the quilt festival made.  Ron is planning to take one class on maintaining Singer Featherweight sewing machines.  The ones I am interested in are already full, but I hope to take one 1/2 day class.  Ron's is an all day class.  We got our reservations at the same hotel as last time we went ( 2 years ago) and if the weather is good, we can walk to the convention center.
Sparrows and Oriole
 (probably an Orchard Oriole - but correct me if you think I am wrong)
Ron had talked to our daughter-in-law in McAllen last night and she will be making a trip to visit her dad and to pick up a car for their oldest son to take to college.  The one he has is not up to the trip.  So I will be at their house most of next week.  Our son will be in town, but at work all day.  The kids and I will have a good time and try to do some of the things we did not get done last time.
White-winged Dove and Starling
This morning I went to the doctor's office to get some blood work done and the nurse did a much better job that usual.  So far, no bruise and she got it on the first try.  I go back Friday for the results.  I had been there last Friday for results from some sonograms and all was well with them.
Sparrows on the birdbath
Ron spent a lot of time in the yard this past weekend and this evening.  The rains we had earlier this month mean that the trees, shrubs, and vines are taking over the back yard.  He is in the process of giving the yard a good soaking.  But rain is in the forecast for tomorrow. 
Golden fronted Woodpecker
My weekend was a lazy one.  I read a lot, slept until noon on Saturday, and did a a little sewing and a little housecleaning.  I am putting the binding on one of the quilts and probably have just about an hour of work left on that one.
Current quilt project
This weekend was very hot.  Saturday it was 97 degrees with a "feel like" temperature of 110 degrees.  It was a drier heat than usual and I told Ron it felt like someone had opened the oven door.  I only stayed out about 20 minutes, cutting back some hibiscus plants that were blocking my view of the birds.
Close up
Speaking of the birds, we had a lot of them in the yard Saturday and Sunday.  They were at the feeders and the birdbaths.  We had several Green Jays, grackles, wrens, orioles, sparrows, kiskadees, hummingbirds, kingbirds, starlings, mocking birds, thrashers, and a few others.  I took some time to photograph some of them. 
 Close up

I went to the grocery store for a very quick trip Saturday evening.  I got enough for a few days.  We had tacos tonight and they were great!  We do like our Mexican foods!
Saturday bath time for the sparrows

This area is a unique blend of what we call Tex-Mex.  It refers to the food, the language, the culture, the music, etc.  This evening I finished reading a book written by a friend, Rebecca McLendon.  The book is titled Whispers from the Valley.  Becky (Rebecca) and I graduated together.  I don't know when we actually met, but probably in Junior High school, or maybe in girl scouts earlier.  If you grew up in this part of South Texas and graduated in the early 1960s you will really be glad she has a good memory because she brings to mind so many activities we were involved in during that time.
Getting a drink
Even though I knew, and admired Becky, as we grew up, I did not know her real well.  She wasn't in the band and that is where most of my spare time was spent.  The book helped me learn a lot more about her.  She shares a lot of things that were unique to her life.  It is well written and I am glad I added it to my Kindle a few days ago.  If you are interested, you can get it through Amazon.
Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Monday, July 17, 2017

July 17, 2017

Thankful for Blessings
July 17, 2017

The last few weeks, we have been busy with a variety of chores and activities.  It would be easy for me to think about all the work I needed to do to clean my house.  Instead I was excited to do it to prepare for a visit from our youngest son, his wife, and their 5 month old son.

Ron spent time working in the yard.  We had been out of town so much during the Spring, that he had not had much time to take care of things in the yard and garage.  As he would work on things that had to be trimmed back, I would think about how thankful I was for the rains that had come recently and that the drought that had plagued us for a while, was not currently a problem. 

Just the last few days have been packed with activities.  When our youngest son and his wife arrived they said they might just stay until Wednesday or Thursday.  Then they decided to stay until early Friday morning.  We were delighted with the extra time with them.  Our son and his family really enjoyed the back yard while they were visiting.  Our son showed his young son the birds in the yard.  When others in the family enjoy the birds as I do, I am blessed.

Our son in McAllen was having trouble with one of their cars and we offered to let them use my mom's car which had been sitting in the garage too long.  I had planned to get it out and use it just so it could be run for a few days and it worked out better for him to use it.  We agreed to meet Thursday evening about 1/2 way between our place and theirs to deliver the car to him.

We met at a pizza place where we had met a few months ago.  We had a great evening with good visiting and good food.  Friday we were up very early to see our youngest son and his family off as they were headed to visit his wife's grandmother and aunt on their way home.  We played with the very happy baby while they loaded the car and I got the baby to sleep just before they left.   Thankfully they were a long way down the road before the baby woke up.  He was exhausted.

Friday night we had supper with friends and Saturday morning we went to McAllen so Ron could help our son there with some projects around their house.  It was so good to have additional time with them.  It turned out that the three youngest children were to be baptized at church the next morning.  It was too late for Ron to get a substitute for his class, so I drove up there for the baptisms Sunday morning, and after church we went out to lunch and then back to their house so the two children who would be spending a few days with us could pack.

These last few days were overflowing with activities, but they were also overflowing with joy as we rejoiced for the three young grandchildren who had invited Jesus into their hearts and have made Jesus the Lord of their lives.  That does not mean they will instantly be perfect, but it means they will look to God's Word, the Bible, as a guide in their lives.  Just before church started, the 11 year old girl went to do something and I picked up her note pad.  She had notes from the Sunday School lesson and drawings illustrating the lesson.  Her notes were excellent - sentences of truth about God and his blessings.

We are so surrounded by blessings we just sometimes overlook them, or maybe take them for granted, but I am hoping to focus on the good and not the bad.  I seem to be having a little more trouble with my sound processor some days, but I met a man Saturday and we had a rather long discussion and after about 20 minutes I told him about my deafness and the Cochlear Implant.  He was astounded and said he never would have guessed I had any hearing problem.  Discussions one-on-one are when the system works the best.  My talk with him was nice and I did not spend all the time asking him to repeat things.

Life is not without problems and challenges.  My mother went to North Carolina for a granddaughter's wedding near the end of April.  Then she and one of my sisters traveled in that area for an additional week.  She went home with my sister to Idaho.  While there she had trouble with her back and then one additional problem after another.  She is still in Idaho instead of being here in Brownsville as planned.  Thankfully, my sister works in the small hospital in her little town so she knows all the medical people and has been getting Mom the help she needs.  Again, that is a blessing in the midst of Mom's problems.

I hope you are enjoying blessings in your life.  Sometimes we allow the hard things to overshadow the good, but if you aren't already looking for the blessings, please give it a try.