Thursday, January 31, 2013

FULL STEAM AHEAD----

The REALLY good looking radiologist called me today---the news is that I will be around a few more years--unless one of you run over me when I am out on the road!  I have to admit--I was concerned---if you have ever done the "Stress Points" the test that indicates your likely hood of having a major illness--you know my points are over the top with all the life changes I have had in the very recent past.  SO--there was every reason to think there was the possibility that I might ---WELL I DON'T!  

SO---I am in the "Moving Mode"!  Scheduling the time---with the mover-the realtor--the former tenant---ETC ETC.  PACKING AGAIN---Oh Fun!  The good news---I seriously culled everything 18 months ago when I moved out of my home of 28 years.  BUT I will have less space--less storage---you get the drift---SO I am looking again with a more critical eye!

Turning on and turning off utilities---looking for a cable service---SUDDEN LINK---S----!  SO looking forward to being in a city where there is competition and better prices and better service!  

LOTS TO THINK ABOUT!

After NOT moving but a handful of times in my life---I seem to be on a "Moving Roll"!  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

IT IS REALLY GOING TO HAPPEN!

The buyers of my home have sold their house---LOOKS LIKE IT'S REALLY GOING TO HAPPEN!  I've rented a duplex in a 1920's house right by TCU and close to downtown.  Only catch it is even smaller than my home- has 2 not 3 bedrooms and 1 not 2 baths---SO I am downsizing again.  WAIT---I seem to be moving backwards!

Let's see  I started out in a 2000 sq ft house--lived there about 11 years
Moved to 2900 sq ft--lived there 28 years
Moved here to 1850 sq ft--been here 1 1/2 years
NOW I am going to 1500 sq ft.

Perhaps this is what happens in life ---never really expected it--but prepared to embrace and enjoy it.

My apartment is upstairs---someone told me today I would get plenty of exercise--something tells me they are correct.  I will be close enough to a grocery and pharmacy to walk  3-4 blocks, restaurants 2 blocks---right in the big middle of it all.

I've never lived in a city---so I am excited and petrified at the same time!  Security has never been an issue in R---but I will have to think about that now.  It is going to be a huge change---and VERY SOON--working out the details of moving as I write!

Cowtown here I come!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

IN CASE YOU DIDN'T KNOW!

JUST IN CASE-you didn't know---MEN invent all the medical machinery used for women!  IF a woman had invented them---they would be MUCH more sensitive to the pain endured.  IF a man had to have his most sensitive area tested, there would NEVER be ANY pain or discomfort involved!

SO--I went today for a little testing.  A WHOLE NEW EXPERIENCE---NOT all good!  In the past, I have had a couple of biopsies done---not a bad experience at all.  Someone comes in and puts you to sleep and the next thing you know---WAA LAA---it's a done deal.  A little soreness afterward--but no mental trauma involved.

WELL---it seems my doctor---A MAN---thinks I should have this less invasive test done----SO much better for you.  He OBVIOUSLY has never done anything like this to his parts!  SO anyway----you lay on your belly on a HARD FLAT table with a hole cut out of the middle of it--for obvious reasons.  They crank the table up---not unlike a hydraulic lift at the service station---BUT they DO NOT change your oil or rotate your tires!

They spend what seems like hours lining everything up just so--taking image after image ALL WHILE you are in a vise grip set to squeeze hard.  They finally get everything perfect and tell you whatever you do ---DON'T MOVE!  Great!  AND you don't move for what seems like hours!

Then they start the numbing.  SUCH FUN---Their words "It will sting a little"  YEAH RIGHT!  They do this for not one---but 3 layers--going deeper each time.   NOW---those that know me well---KNOW- I don't have a lot of real estate and there was NO need to deaden THAT deep!  

THEN they turn on the roto rooter---SUCH FUN!   What real estate there was has now been severely decreased!  I kept hearing---3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, 9 o'clock, 12 o'clock.  They left the room--the came back--and then I hear 4 o'clock,7 o'clock, 10 o'clock, 1 o'clock.  They left the room and THEN they come back for 2 o'clock and 8 o'clock.   WHY DIDN'T THEY JUST TAKE THE WHOLE CLOCK TO START WITH.  Oh--by the way--did I tell you the roto rooter is a hollow core needle?  Then they put a titanium marker in so they will know where they drilled!  If you find no oil at this spot, you try another next time.  YEAH, THEY ARE GOING TO GET ANOTHER CHANCE!

FINALLY---your done--THEN to add insult to injury---they put you back in the HARD squeeze to stop the bleeding.  HOW KIND!  Ice and bandaging and sit and wait.  She finally comes back in the room and says---we just need to do a couple more "squeeze pictures"--you women KNOW what I am talking about.  THANK THE GOOD LORD FOR DEADENING!

As I said---SOME MAN--came up with this form of torture!!!  SUCH a FUN Tuesday!  

OH --BY THE WAY---if you happen to see me out and about---I am NOT lop sided---and I have NOT grown---it's swollen!

Monday, January 28, 2013

YUMMY---AND EASY!!!


Like Spicy?  Like Easy?

HERE'S YOUR TICKET!



Sunday, January 27, 2013

SMALL GROUP

How does one make lifelong friends----the kind of friends that listen to what you are saying---care about what you are feeling---will be there for you in thick and thin?  I have many many wonderful friends---including two sets that come as a group-due to like pursuit.  Of those two--tonight I had dinner with my Small Group to welcome me back to Ruston.  

It is a wonderful blessing to have studied, prayed, served and lived life with this group.  We have "Officially" disbanded---but though not functioning as a study group together anymore--the bond has been formed by all these years together.  We have worked sided by side and eaten more meals than I can count.  Laughter is always included---in each and every gathering.  What a great blessing!

Most of us find ourselves in the same season of life---many with grands, some with great grands, retired or nearing retirement---some alone--some still a couple----ALL love the Lord.  It has been a wonderful part of my life for the last almost 10 years to grow to know each of them and grow to know the Lord in a deeper way with them.

I will miss them tremendously. I am blessed that they have been by my side though and thank God for putting us together.  BUT I'm not gone yet---and something tells me there will be a few more meals together.  I just really love them all----more than I can say.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

WHAT ABOUT LIVING IN RUSTON

I had someone ask me this week---"Since you are leaving, would you give me your honest thoughts about living in Ruston."  I didn't mind doing that and don't mind putting it on my blog.

I told them that it had taken many years, but I had grown to love Ruston. It's not unlike any other relationship---there have been rough patches--times that I wanted nothing more than to move.  There were times that I thought I would like to live in a different town--all over the country-for a year at a time.  That has all passed----Ruston and I have grown quite fond of each other.

Ruston has the wonderful quality of being small enough that you know MANY of the citizens---call many friends---but most just acquaintances.  Those that you do call "Friend"---well there is just something about Southern small town friends---there is nothing quite like them.  They will laugh with you, counsel with you, cry with you, and live life with you.  You know they have your best interest at heart.

Ruston can also be a difficult town-especially for newcomers.  There is sometimes an air of non-acceptance that comes from some.  It is sometimes impossible to penetrate the circle of "Old Ruston"--and for some reason it matters.  We all like to stay in our comfort zones and grow fond of the familiar.  We sometimes forget--to look around for the person standing alone and seek them out.

I finally came to peace and began to love Ruston when I accepted who I was---sought out those that appreciated me for that, and didn't think about the rest.  We can't all be friends---embrace those that God has placed in your path---be the best friend to them that you can and hope that the others are doing the same for each other.

So I do love Ruston---and I will miss it greatly---but I am thankful for a short drive and family and friends that will always be just a few hours away.  Ruston is what you make of it---not unlike life---it's all what you make of it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

CITIZENS ARREST!

So---you might wonder---how does the Fort Worth Code enforcement find out your car is parked in the grass?  It turns out there are various "volunteer" neighborhood patrol cars.  They have magnetic signs on their doors and drive around--checking out how you are maintaining your property--where you are parking---etc etc.  Sort of reminds you of "Big Brother"---only without the enforcement power.

They call the city code regulation department and report the problem---then you have a visit from the official regulation guy.  NOW---I totally understand trying to maintain the integrity of your neighborhood, BUT wouldn't it be nice if you stopped by your neighbor's home before calling the code police?  There might be extenuating circumstances such as a new baby and a mother staying to help for a while.  

Next thing you know the they might just pull up in your drive and yell,

"CITIZENS ARREST---CITIZENS ARREST!!!!"


Thursday, January 24, 2013

ODE TO MY BED

There is really nothing quite so sweet

As when my body and my bed do meet

After 5 weeks on the daughter's couch

My back had become quite the grouch

So I embraced the firm but soft beauty rest

A good night's sleep makes me my best

I love the grands and all the fun

But that couch was hard on my bun

Back to Texas soon I will be

This time with my bed --you see!










Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WATCH FOR THOSE CAMERAS!

We actually have these at home also, but I have never seen them work before.  It's the little camera attached by the red lights around town.  They actually have them hooked up and working here in Fort Worth--- so the Jennings tell me. 

If you run---you pay---$75 per dash under!  The light changes--the camera is activated and you receive a notice in the mail with your car running the light and then your license plate clearly showing.  They even ticket you for a right on red if you do not come to a complete stop---so Camille tells me.

It is all outsourced.  Some company WAY OFF is reviewing all these camera shots and sending you a dun after looking you up on Big Brother's computer.  SO careful Rustonites---you NEVER know when they may discover a huge source of revenue in Ruston and get those cameras hooked up and working.  I've certainly seen PLENTY of you running those lights!

Monday, January 21, 2013

THE COST OF HELP!

I worked in the Jennings yard again today.  When the 2 big boys saw what I was doing--they RAN to get their equipment to help.  Some help can be detrimental to progress!  I was cleaning out a LONG overdue bed which was full of leaves.  As I raked the leaves out, Henry spotted opportunity.  Before I knew it, he was flying from the backyard with his excavator, front end loader, bulldozer, and dump truck.  He was SO much help---and then he got his rake!

He and Elliot undid---as fast as I could do!  The last straw was when he turned over a bag full of leaves that I had just filled.  I looked at him with my "stink eye" and told him "THAT WAS NOT FUNNY!"----He cracked up and said, "YES IT WAS!"  It's very difficult to keep a stern countenance when we are all having so much fun!

I am exhausted-BUT WHAT FUN!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

CALL ME CINDERELLA!

Busy day here in Fort Worth---I worked in the yard today--along with doing the laundry, cooking supper, straightening up the house cleaning the kitchen, and baby sitting. 

 Camille and Collin went to visit with her old college classmates this afternoon.  As Henry was leaving with his Dad & brother to go to the zoo and ride the train, he said, "Next time you might can go with us, Lulu."  As I dragged the limbs around to pile for pickup after trimming the crepe myrtle.

I MUST be Cinderella!     WHERE THE HECK IS PRINCE CHARMING!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

SUPER STAR LULU

It doesn't take much to be a super star to your boy grands.   Here is the recipe:

One flower bed---that has seen a better day--cleaned out down to the dirt

One roll of fabric bed liner--like used by landscapers

Few bags of sand

Bag of River Rocks

Bag of Gravel


Place the bed liner in the flower bed with really large rock anchoring the edges.

Place the sand---anyplace on the fabric

Place the rocks and gravel--anyplace on the fabric

Give boys tractors, trucks, and shovels--they will mix well and have TONS of FUN!

Recipe for a GREAT day and many more to come!


Friday, January 18, 2013

IF YOU COME SEE ME---I PROMISE A TRIP

Tonight as  a treat---The Jennings & I went to "Uncle Julio's" for Mexican food.  SO SO SO GOOD!  To start with their salsa is not like ANY you have had before---it has a smokey veggie flavor with not a heavy tomato base.  Their chips are so light and crisp and hot and mouth watering.  I had the combination enchilada dinner---beef and cheese and onion----DELICIOUS!  

This is a Fort Worth icon---been around a LONG time and everything we had was delicious--on top of that great ambiance.  I plan to do a culinary tour of the restaurants while here. 

Come see me and I will let you participate in my odyssey of discovery---well if you aren't adventuresome--we will go to Uncle Julio's---PROMISE!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

WANTING ME----

DEEP DOWN---WAY DOWN----at the bottom of it all---we just want to be wanted!  We all want someone to love us--cherish us---smile when they see us drive up.  That's my experience here in Fort Worth.  Driving back after another flying trip---this time 28 hours,  Mr Elliot ran to my car at the end of their drive to greet me with "LULU!!!"---he had to climb in the car and ride the 30 feet to my parking spot (NOT IN THE GRASS).  MELT MY HEART!!!  

NOW the news-----I have a contract on my house---it has a contingency---BUT move is coming---it's really real!  I have SO missed my friends while here---NOW it looks like my missing will be permanent!  The good news--the work I have lined up that I will have to be in Ruston for----It's ONLY a short drive and ALL on interstate!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

GLIMPSES OF JESUS---

Today was another flying trip back to Ruston----the best thing about driving time---it is excellent thinking time!  While driving today, I began thinking about how I have seen God and Jesus on this earth.  I have definitely had answered prayer---and known that only God could have provided the answer. I've been blessed by others who have been the face of Jesus for me and pointed me toward God.   

In many--many cases---others and especially the non-believers see Jesus through us--the believers.  I began thinking about how many times had someone else seen the face of Jesus when they looked at me or saw my actions?   Have my words and actions glorified or pointed others to Jesus? 

HARD QUESTIONS I am asking myself! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

WHO ARE YOU????

I've lived in Ruston for more years than I will recount---just suffice to say that I came to Tech at 17 and am still here.  I am used to people knowing who I am or at a minimum who my people are.  I've had a "Big City Lesson" this week.  They don't know me over here and need to check me out.

LONG story--not ready to share the entire thing yet---it's coming---but while dealing with some business over here---I met the brick wall of "Credit Reports", "Background Checks", etc.  Totally understand--but will have to really get used to being just another face in the crowd!

There ARE some really good advantages in living in a small town!

Monday, January 14, 2013

EMOTIONAL SEE-SAW!

It's not easy being 3!  Today's range of emotions went from---

Arms spread out as far as they would reach-
"Lulu, I love you this much!"  and then a huge hug---this was early this morning---perhaps the blueberry muffins got me some points and the fact that I will sit with the big boys in my lap and watch tractor videos and cartoons in Korean for what seems hours.

To coming home from a morning of hard play with Daddy, Momma & brother-

Slamming the door of his bedroom in my face and telling me,
"YOU CANNOT COME IN HERE!"  We had to have a little talk after that!

I always take into account--how tired he is---but tired is no excuse and being unkind to others is certainly not acceptable.  So we had to talk about the consequences if he didn't let me in and then why we don't yell at people and asking nicely works much better.  I told him that I didn't mind him being in his room without me---just ask me in a nice way.

THANK THE LORD---for nap time and a regroup.

Camille and I have talked about how hard it is to learn to self-regulate when you are FULL of energy and especially a little boy.  He's a sweetie --even when he's a pill!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

NEW LANGUAGE SPOKEN IN FORT WORTH---

After watching tractor, grader, excavator, dump truck, front end loader, etc etc videos for HOURS on end and now knowing ALL the working parts and just how they are operated---we have branched out and are exploring new frontiers here in Fort Worth!  We are now watching said videos in KOREAN----when I asked Henry did he know what they were saying, he said, "No".  As Camille explained it's not unlike when my children were small and we watched Charlie Brown for hours on end---Did you EVER know what the teacher was saying?  ANOTHER foreign language, but the explanation was in the scene--no real needs for words after all!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

JOCKEYING FOR POSITION

A couple of observations in the lives of the 3 Boys---

#1 is not jealous of the baby at all and is even SO sweet to "Baby".  Seems strange since he will not hesitate to plow down his younger brother at a moment's notice.  When I would ask him before the baby was born what his brother's name was going to be he would say "Pootie".  We would crack up and it became a regular question to get the laugh.  His first day back at mother's day out, when asked by his teacher what his new baby brother's name was, OF COURSE, he responded "Pootie".  The story was repeated by the teacher in front of all the other moms when Camille picked up that day.  All eyes turned to Camille when the teacher inquired, "Is that his name?"

#2 ignores the baby for the most part.  It has finally dawned on him that he is not getting the attention from his Mom that he has been.  A couple of days ago during the time that Camille was feeding #3, # 2 had a slight melt down over something.  He looked at his Mom and said "Lulu Baby"---in other words give that baby to Lulu and YOU pick ME up!

The really FUN new toy the boys have discovered and spent time playing with---the breast pump----that's really all that needs the said about their fascination with it and all that concerns it.

Camille is doing great and survived the first 36 hour "Alone" trial quite well.  Soon she will be on her own, and she is already pushing for a quicker move for me to Fort Worth.   PRESSURE!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

HERDING COWS IN COWTOWN

I'm back in Cowtown and once again brilliantly got to the metroplex right at rush hour.  I took a new tactic this time---I decided since I was in "Cowtown", I would just consider myself on the saddle of a horse instead of behind the wheel of a car and that I would herd all those other horses around me until we got to where we were going.  WORKED---I'm here---sure hope they all got to where they were going! 

36 hours with 9 of those driving makes for a FAST trip to R town!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

FLYING TRIP

Time for another flying trip home!  I left at 6:00 AM KNOWING I would beat the rush traffic!  WRONG!!!  55 minutes of bumper to bumper in the pouring rain---driving like maniacs--WHAT FUN!  When I finally got all the way on the other side of the metro-plex--I peeled my fingers out of the ridges they had dug in the steering wheel.  

The fun WAS NOT OVER!----My little Camry is NOT a heavy car, but it will move along quite swiftly!  The ruts in the interstate were full of water and if I didn't stay out of them--I would find myself out of control skidding across to the next lane---it was like flying! After seeing 2 pickups in the median with wheels sunk all the way up to the truck body, I slowed my self down.

FUN---all the way home in the rain----SLOW trip by Lulu standards---but I made it to work---after working all day---I came home to take down the Christmas decorations---ON JANUARY 10th---NEVER happened before!

Volunteer duty at the school tomorrow --then back to the "Big City"  and those 3 grands!


Monday, January 7, 2013

BLOW OFF THE STEAM!

#3 Grand, Henry is teaching me a few things about life.  When he is hurt----the ENTIRE town of Fort Worth knows---well certainly everyone within earshot!  It doesn't matter how trivial the injury--he yells, screams, cries, moans, groans---ALL at the top of his lungs.  He is indignant that he is in pain and wants everyone around to know just how hurt he is and sympathize with him.

Momma gave "Stoic" lessons from an early age---so you had BETTER NOT cry unless you had a REALLY good reason AND you certainly under NO circumstances EVER yelled or screamed!  Hold it all in and keep a brave face about you while doing it.

Henry is on to something---I notice that once the episode is past---he is completely over it.  He has expressed his pain and anger and is ready to move on to the next fun thing. Life Lessons from a 3 year old!

Friday, January 4, 2013

SLEEPING WITH ANOTHER MAN!

The 3 year old is NOT cooperative at bedtime!  A couple of nights ago----I was in his room until 9:30 and finally gave up and just threatened him if he got out of bed again.

Last night---good sense flew out the window and when he made his re-occurring appearance, I asked, "Would you like to sleep with Lulu?!     WHAT WAS I THINKING!

I sleep on a couch---a regular sized couch---SO there is limited room for one---much less 2.  We started the night out with #1 telling me---he wanted me to be on one end and him on the other--NOT big on snuggling!  THEN he told me he did NOT want my feet by his face....WELL that left little choice about where to put my feet---hanging over the edge of the couch.

FINALLY I get him covered and settled and after a LONG day---I am exhausted--but he is doing everything but slap himself in the face to stay awake.  He has me curled into a fetal position on one end of the couch with space about the size of a postage stamp and my head in a curled position with my neck in the position of a fish hook.  I begin drifting off---in this position of torture---and JUST as I nod off--#1 says---"LULU---I don't like you snoring!"     Secret is out of the bag---when I am curled into a fetal position with my neck in the fish hook position--and head curl under---I SNORE!  IMAGINE!

Reminder of WHY a bed alone is NOT always bad!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

LOUISIANA FUGITIVE FROM TEXAS JUSTICE

WELL---it seems I may have a small problem with the Texas law officers!  AS you remember, not very long ago--I received my 1st speeding ticket EVER going through some little small Texas town when I lost patience with the Granny from the West for going 25 MPH for about 45 miles and decided to pass her.  NOW I have been chastised by the Fort Worth authorities!

IT SEEMS they have a law over here about parking on the grass in your own yard---it's against local ordinances!   WHAT!!!!!  All red necked Louisiana citizens know that when you run out of room in the drive---you just pull over in the grass.  It seems they frown upon that in these parts and even threatened a $75 ticket if I didn't move my car.  I NEVER!

You CAN park anywhere on your concrete drive--so I suggested we cement the entire side yard as a solution.

WHY every red blooded citizen of the South KNOWS that you put all your extra vehicles--including those that might not run anymore in the grass beside your house.  These people may be a little uppity or not have enough to do if they are driving around and checking out who is parking their car on the grass in THEIR OWN YARD!  

WHAT MUST THEY DO IF YOU ROB A BANK OR WORSE SHOOT SOMEONE?


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

KING HENRY'S REIGN--

Don't be fooled by the innocent expression in this picture---KING HENRY is a demanding royal!

"Lulu, get me chocolate milk."  Lulu, put my cup on the table."  "Lulu, I don't yike (like) that (WHATEVER I cooked for supper!), fix me a---------.  "  "Lulu, cut the crust off my bread"

DEFINITELY--a first born!  "Here Brother, take this little undesirable car and I will take the large hugely desirable one you are currently playing with."   'I WIN!"  is heard a lot from his mouth---as well as sticking the arm out for a stiff arm stop if brother is threatening to pass him up.     HENRY HENRY---got to love King Henry--first in line to inherit the throne!

Then the sweet side shows up----and your heart just melts!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

ANTICIPATION

I've spent hours playing "Tickle" with the 2 older grands--especially the 2 year old.  He NEVER tires of the game--I just finally have to call it quits.  As we've played, I noticed most of the fun comes in the thrill of the anticipation of the tickle to come----he gets this huge smile on his face and begins laughing before I ever dive in for the tickle.

I am tickled tonight also at the anticipation of what God has planned for this new year!  I have a huge smile on my face as I search His word and anticipate just how He will use me next and what blessings He will heap upon me.  The thrill of what tomorrow and the 362 tomorrows after it may bring is almost as joyful as the day itself will be.  The anticipation of the unopened gift of each day of this year is as much fun as opening my eyes each morning to enjoy that gift as it unwraps.  I am positively breath-less from glee knowing the best is still to be!