I always go back--and this year it's back to my old blog---and read the year end postings to see what I said and what I promised.  This year's annual December 31st post is on the new blog---in the hopefully soon to be new city.  I have found myself pensive and a little blue today---but I blame that on seasonal light deprivation and no exercise to create those happy endorphins---and then I look at the blessings that I have been showered with.  I am blessed!

It has been extremely difficult to start anew---not think of the past---and hope for what will not be.  The hours I have wasted trying to figure out just what is wrong with me---are just that --wasted time.  There is nothing really wrong with me---for I am created in His image.  The one who is more beautiful than all the wonders combined---who is more lovely than the softest breeze---who is more eternal than the waves sweeping the beach---who is more timeless than then moon and stars in the sky.  He created me and declared that He had plans for me.  Plans to use me for His great glory.  What greater destiny than knowing He loves me and desires to be in my presence every second of every day. 

So when Camille asked me what my resolutions were---I told her I had none--I only have my life verse to declare today as my hope for 2013--

"And what does God require of man?---to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God."  Micha 6:8   My 2013 promise is to strive with my whole being to fulfill these words.

SO   Happy New Year Dear Friends!  

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, 
and give you peace. 


I am convinced there is another family living in the attic at the Jennings abode!  At least a family of 3--maybe more--that I never see---but they are the only good explanation for the mountains of laundry around this place!

I spent the day---AGAIN---doing the laundry---it totally amazes me---I wash, dry, fold and put away several loads a day and when I go to bed---ALL is clean---all is stored in its proper place.  AND THEN the next morning---there is another mountain!

Why there is NO way that a tiny baby, 2 small toddlers and 3 adults who barely have time to change clothes could be dirting all these clothes.  THERE MUST be others contributing to the cause!

Off to bed---I sleep better under the delusion that everything is clean and put away!


Quite by accident I have stumbled upon the phenomena of the day--at least! It seems that the coat I wore today and the shirt I donned BOTH have this marvelous magnetic quality about them---that I never realized before!  It seems that any bodily fluid from anyone 3 and younger are magnetically attracted to the material!  It's really and truly amazing!

Your nose needs wiping---well the top of the arm works really well---your tears need drying--the shoulder is quite absorbent----you need to spit up after Mommie fills you over the bream---any where down the front OR even over the shoulder and down the back----you need to wipe that ice cream sandwich off your fingers---well you get the picture!  It's really amazing---I have the entire "Food Pyramid" as well as fluids from almost every orifice of the body on these two garments.  

It's so amazing that I am thinking about applying for a patent--immediately after finishing the wash!



LESSON #1---When driving in the city---DO NOT---I REPEAT DO NOT---unless absolutely necessary get on ANY interstate around 5 in the afternoon---and I am assuming 7 in the morning!

Lesson was learned today when I arrived in the "Mid Cities" area a few minutes after five.  I will say the traffic never stopped---if you consider 10 MPH still moving.  It's the strangest thing---I have seen this over and over---all traffic is at a virtual standstill---bumper to bumper--creeping along for miles---ALL of a sudden things pick up and you are all speeding down the highway at 70 again.  WHAT CAUSED THE STAND STILL?   You never spot anything---there is no merging traffic that you see---for some unexplained reason---it just came to a stand still.

SO---I brilliantly timed my entry into the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex at the WRONG time today!!!  Lesson learned!

ONE OTHER THING---when there is a sign that says 


Obviously that only applies to cars with out of state license tags---EVERYONE from Texas seems to ignore that "Law"   or perhaps it is just a suggestion.  YES---we don't have traffic laws in Texas---only traffic suggestions!


If you hear a rumor that I was seen in R---tonight or tomorrow---IT MIGHT JUST BE TRUE!  Flying trip from TX---arriving around 7----Working tomorrow and then back to TX.  The "Littlest Man", who is growing but still a "Sleepy Baby" went to the doctor's office today for a little check up.  Could I just tell you how much things have changed since my little ones were going to the pediatrician?  NO sticks to check for bilirubin levels---they have this scanner thing they just hold against their head.  FASCINATING!

SO--the good thing about this flying trip----NO COUCH FOR ME TONIGHT--I'll be in my wonderful bed!  


As Christmas draws to a close and the house is quiet for the first time today---I have stopped to remember the empty space in our lives that most of us have today---once filled by another.  I have stopped and prayed many times today for my sweet friends that are acutely aware of the emptiness and asked that God would fill that void with sweet memories of the years that space was filled with love and joy.

One of the facts of life is that we all will lose someone dear to us---if we stay around long enough--and the longer you are here in this world--the greater the chance that you will lose those that are dear to you.  I have no answer except the promise of eternity. 

I have decided that it is better to have loved and lost---than to have never have loved.  Grief is painful---but the joy of having loved ones in our lives is well worth the pain we must endure when they leave.

SO  ---there are empty spaces in my life---quite a few--but I am who I am because of the love I have shared with those that are now gone.  As the wind moans mournfully outside my window---I look to God and thank Him for the gift of loving others--those present and those that have left.  He is teaching me---giving me a glimpse of how important I am to Him and the promise that there will never be an empty space with Him--He will be with me always.

A Final Merry Christmas & Happy Christmas Memories of Today and Yesterday!


What better Christmas gift than another grandson?  It has been especially sweet this Christmas!  To see Henry jump up and down and clap when he opened the helicopter from his "Memmaw & Dude" was pure joy.  We have played and eaten and enjoyed each other's companionship today.  Uncle Gabe is here--so the boys have another playmate--the extra set of hands has helped and then the Jennings came over and the fun really began!  It has been a good day and I am looking forward to tomorrow as another day filled with "Making Memories".  It is never work---but only joy when you serve those that you love.

I am especially thankful for the gift that God gave us all those years ago----the gift than was promised before time began---our redemptive gift.  We are celebrating with birthday cake tomorrow---

"Happy Birthday, Sweet Jesus!"  Another gift more precious than gold--that all began with a baby entering the world!



Get up early---with some little one asking are "Lulu are you up?" or another calling "LULU LULU"---day full of activity--don't stop--cook, eat, clean, wash-eat-play--rock---IT'S ALL GOOD!  

FALL in the bed at the end of the day---IT'S ALL JOY!


LONG FULL DAY---but I must stop to brag.  I think you all know that I don't usually brag on my wonderful family---but I must tell you about #1 daughter -who is #1 Mother to her 3 sons.  It is AMAZING to behold!  I am continually amazed at her patience---love and mothering skills.  Think about it---you have a 3 1/2 year old, a 2 year old and now a newborn.  She has not blinked an eye--just taken to this latest addition like it is NO BIG DEAL!  Makes me tired to think about it and tired to be doing the part I am to help!

WELL this day started at 5:30 with a major house cleaning, grocery shopping, garage and porch cleaning--cooking supper--washing another mountain of laundry--rocking --playing---reading to ---this sweet family.  I am POOPED and guess what---I get to do it all again--tomorrow---BLESSED!


EVERYTHING IS BIGGER AND BETTER IN TEXAS!!!  The wind blew So hard last night that I couldn't sleep----BIG EMPTY HOUSE---with the sound of a wind that could blow the shingles off the roof ALL NIGHT LONG!

I spent the day with Sweet Baby Collin--who seems to be beginning to wake up--found his voice today!  He is a sweet--precious--tiny baby---we don't quite know how to act when they aren't half grown when they get here.  LOTS of visitors---LONG DAY---AND they are headed home tomorrow---getting all ready for the Jennings Family of Five to be "At Home".

It will be BUSY---but that's better than this empty house tonight!  I will not have time to turn around---just what I love!


Grandson # 5 is HERE!  7 lb-9 ou  which is a shrimp in the "James World".  He is "His Own Man"---don't really see anything that says---"I look just like"---yet.  He is snoozing away! Babies born early tend to be that way.  So after naps==well #3 refused to take a nap---but #4 took a brief 1 hour 20 min snooze---I took the boys to meet baby brother---# 3 gave him a brief nod and a short nod---# 4--TOTALLY IGNORED HIM!  He has GOT IT FIGURED OUT--this baby MEANS TROUBLE!

NOT while Lulu is here though!

God continues to teach me lessons in extending mercy and grace to others.  My Godly friend, Brother David, told me, "It's not about how you feel or how you've been treated, but it is about how we are commanded to act."

JUST WANT TO WARN YOU PEOPLE--I am praying for a little reprieve from God's lessons and asking Him to look around---I am CERTAIN someone else needs some attention!


Events come along in life that cause a loss of our status or position in life---many times these happenings are totally out of our control.  I rocked #4 before bed time tonight---he is a sweet cuddle bunny!  This will be his last night as the baby of his family and the baby of my grands.  #5 will make his grand entrance tomorrow and become the "New Baby".  Something tells me that #4 is NOT going to be happy!

What makes my day----when I go into another room and #4 walks around the house saying "Where Lulu?"  AWWWW---I'm a sucker for that kind of treatment!

SO it's been a LONG day since 4:15--a busy but good day and tomorrow my blessings will increase.  Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!


In case you missed the news flash---today is my birthday!  It has been a good day---a great day---so WHAT made it such a great day?

A good brisk 5 mile walk with good friends with lots of conversation

A good day at work--using the brain and talents that God gifted me with--enjoying the relationships of 3 new friends that I would have never met without my business

A great visit with a sweet friend after work--where we laughed and laughed---and told secrets---on ourselves and laughed some more

Dinner with my sweet "big" brother and my saintly sister in law (stars in her crown for putting up with "the brother")---more good conversation--laughter-- and fun

Hearing from "My 3 children and my favorite DIL who all called with birthday wishes"

Talking to my 4 grandsons  who all had sweet birthday wishes and even a 3 year old version of Happy Birthday ---the only one that sang to me today--
"Happy Birfday, Dear YuYu" (can't get those l's out)

MANY wonderful birthday wishes from countless friends--texts, calls, emails, cards, and facebook messages.

The reminder once again of how truly blessed I am---it's the simple things in life that make me happy---the relationships---that is what is most important.

SO--early to bed---VERY early rising----THANK YOU ALL for making it a Blessed Day!  Love you more than I could ever say!


Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the momentous occasion---64 years ago that began the trip down this road that I call life.  What do I treasure most about the trip down the road?----ALL THE LAUGHTER!  

Last night---when not exactly in a good place---my sweet friend started messaging me---from 10 PM until midnight we messaged and laughed---I am cracking up sitting here all by myself!  She has a WILD imagination and a way with words!

Today at lunch after a rather somber service in light of Friday's events and a fun time teaching the 3 year old class---INCLUDING a dancing session---I lunched with two friends.  We laughed and laughed---I must admit slightly at the expense of another---BUT HEY--what they don't know will not hurt them!

What a wonderful gift---laughter----I have spent many hours laughing with others---MANY MANY loved ones---If they could JUST bottle it---it would be the medicine that cures it all.

SO I am going to be another year older---BIG DEAL----I feel young---I still act --and play young---I AM as young as I think!  It's NOTHING but a number--Would not change most of it---but even the part I would change--it has made me who I am---I AM A BLESSED DAUGHTER OF THE KING!  HE LOVES ME BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS!  



I have spent a lot of time today thinking of the MANY families that are reeling in the utter despair of profound---unspeakable heartbreak tonight.  How do you move past this heartbreak---how do you return to normal?

You don't--life will never be the same--the tidal wave of grief will wash over you over and over for a LONG TIME---and then there will be the waves--continuous never ending waves of memory, sorrow, and loss.  There will come a time when you can finally smile and laugh at fond memories of what was and it will get easier---but there will forever be that huge sink hole void created by your loss.

What good could possibly come from your loss---what possible good could ever come from what man intended for evil?  The realization that God does love you---that even though He knew before it happened that it would---He still loves you beyond your wildest imagination.  That there can be eternal consequences for His glory for the unspeakable horror you are enduring.

SO---there are no good words---no good explanation---you have to hold onto the eternal truth that God is all wise--all knowing---all loving---and HE knows your pain---His son has experienced all the anguish and pain we will ever know and HE is our advocate to The Father.  May Jesus be the balm in the days to come to the many---in Connecticut and in many other places for the great gulf of pain and despair endured each and every day.  I pray that He will be your answer to how to make the next step and live the next day---He is the only answer.


One of the things I have told myself over and over---is there are worse things than where I find myself.

The most horrible thing I can imagine is losing one of my children.  I am praying---but I have no words for the place the CT parents that lost their babies are tonight.  My silence is appropriate.


On the Twelfth Day of Christmas---
My Christmas Elves Brought to me---

12 pieces of fruit
11 Candy Canes
10 Fresh Eggs
9 Chews of Gum
8 Christmas Cookies
7 Red Apples
6 Cans of Pop

5 Debbie Cakes

4 Rolls of Tissue
3 Boxes of Jello
2 Rolls of Tape


My Sweet Bennett Elves!


I spent the day trying to finish getting ready for my trip West next week----but in the back of my mind---I KNOW that today is the 12th day---the last day---Would the Elves reveal themselves---Would it remain a mystery?

Not long after dark and after all the Christmas lights had automatically come on---the doorbell rings.  THERE ARE THE ELVES---AN ENTIRE FAMILY OF THEM!

They came in---I gushed---they gushed over the decorations---we visited and they brought the last of the Elf Gifts:

A wonderful bowl of fruit with this Rhyme attached:

"On the twelfth day of Christmas Twelve fruits you'll find in here,

Sent with love and the hope we've brought a touch of cheer.

And as a final note we add, 'Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.' "

I was totally surprised---I had suspected someone from church, but I must admit had NOT considered this family--after all they are BUSY PEOPLE!

That made it even more special!

Merry Christmas ---Chris, Tracy, Manning, Max & Myles Bennett-----YOU MADE MY CHRISTMAS!


I find myself a little sad tonight----ONLY ONE MORE DAY----I have SO loved the Elf/Elves coming!  I haven't had this much fun at Christmas in a LONG LONG TIME!  

SO--I may and may not know the identity of my Secret Elf/Elves---BUT they have made my Christmas brighter & happier---I am BLESSED and grateful!

Today when I got home from 2 JOBS---my package was by the front door.  It's the first thing I look for when I come home!

Here's my rhyme:

"On the eleventh day of Christmas it was hard to choose

But by giving you Eleven candy canes, we felt we could not lose."

AWWWW!!!----It's the little things that mean SO much!


I posted TOO quick---I lacked faith----


AND---WAS BRAZEN AND BRAVE----RANG THE DOORBELL---when I finally managed to get to the door---they had disappeared---AS IF----they were swept away by FLYING REINDEER!!!!

Today's Missive:

"On the tenth day of Christmas,Ten  (marked out with a 12 written in and a  :)  ) eggs (not quite a dozen)

To scramble, fry, or use in baking or any way that you love them."

TWO MORE FUN DAYS----I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow!


I went to work today---keeping "The Boys" straight is my task on most Monday's.  I am training a replacement---this job will soon be over!  Eagerly drove home---today is DAY 10---couldn't wait to get home and see what the elf/elves brought today-

  There was no poem---there was no rhyme
   No Christmas at home---but WAIT there is still time!

SHOULD I BE CONCERNED??  What happened to my elf---we were on the downhill slide---SUCH FUN---WHERE OH WHERE IS MY ELF???

I am NOT GOING TO PANIC---Elf/Elves have 6 more hours before the day is done---BUT I AM nearing the panic button!!!


WELL---in an interesting turn of events---today the elf/elves did NOT bring something with the count of 9---INTERESTING!

I made my usual Sunday rounds---left for early services, taught the 3 year old class where the answer is ALWAYS   "JESUS"---had lunch with friends---

I came home to find the cutest cloth Christmas bag with a beautiful net bow (NOW DOESN'T ALL THIS SOUND LIKE A FEMALE?)

Here is today's rhyme:

"On the ninth day of Christmas we know you're on the run. (MUST KNOW MY Sunday Schedule)

So we want you to stop, relax, and have a chew of gum."

Inside the bag was a Christmas pack of gum.

HUMMM---no longer counting the number of items,  still a we,  knows my schedule---


SO in a surprise turn of events---the elf/elves came early last night while I was out for dinner with sweet Sheila and Rob, AND left a hand written note on the rhyme  (Early 8th Day).  VERY neat hand writing---so I thinking probably a female---NOT that my male friends are not neat printers--just not usually.

The Elf/Elves must be busy today---as I am also---but before I begin whirling about---here is the rhyme:

"On the eight day of Christmas we're nearly out of rhyme

But here's Eight nice cookies to enhance your Christmas time."

AWESOME---a tin with eight chocolate chip cookies.  SO appropriate---I logged 8 miles this AM--SO I will eat the 8 cookies for breakfast--after all they do contain all the required foods---eggs, flour, AND CHOCOLATE!


Once again---the elf/elves managed to leave a package while I was home----SNEAKY!

"For the seventh day of Christmas we wondered what to do,

But then we found these apples and we're giving them to you."

I am baffled---BUT I have loved everyday of the 12 days of Christmas so far---something to look forward to--each and every day!


JUST as I thought I had a grasp on maybe who the elf/elves might be---

I came home to today's gift:

"On the sixth day of Christmas with six more left to go,

Take time to trim the Christmas tree and hang some mistletoe.

We're sure by now you need a break to have a nice cold drink.

Six cans of pop is sure to help, at least that's what we think!"

SO it's still a     "WE"

BUT if you know me well---you KNOW my drink of choice is a 


BUT maybe they were going for the Christmas Can that Coca Cola has?


I SO look forward to coming home every day to see my surprise and spend time thinking about the "WHO is the Mystery Elf/Elves?"


Today's visit from the Elf came with a HINT!

"On the fifth day of Christmas Five treats of sugar sweet

We hope you will enjoy the taste that can't be beat!"

MY emphasis on WE----it's more than ONE!!!!

HUMMM--the plot thickens!

WAIT---what did you say?

You want to know what treats The Elf/Elves brought?

WHY A five pack of Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes OF COURSE!

In an effort to explore for MORE CLUES---I will eat all 5 tonight--JUST IN CASE there is something hidden in their middle!


I was at home working on a project until around 11--when I left to go to a client's office.  SO---Elf doesn't know my schedule after all (who does but me?)---BUT managed to make an appearance and leave a package in the garage without me hearing a thing!  S N E A K Y!

Today's message & package--

"It's the fourth day of Christmas and I bet you thought we'd miss you.
We didn't though and here you have Four rolls of bathroom tissue."

CRACK ME UP----on top of my car with the garage door open is a 4 pack of 
"Angel Soft" toilet tissue.

SO NOW I am GOOD TO GO--when it comes to "Wiping with a cloud"!

This is the MOST FUN since I played Santa LONG AGO!


LONG day at work---come home with your brain not fried--but crisp around the edges----AND GUESS WHAT----


Today's package---

"On the third day of Christmas, Three packages of Jello---
The light dessert, the bright dessert, red, green, and yellow!

I'm OFF to have a Jello Party-----PARTY DOWN!

Bless you, Christmas Elf---the highlight of my day!!!!!


The Christmas Elf arrived again----well it's someone that appears to know my habits.  I leave for church at 8:50---attend the early service, teach the 3 year old class (MY people) and out to lunch---almost EVERY Sunday without fail.  Sometime during this period, a package was left by my garage door.  Today's message:

On the second day of Christmas, Two rolls of sticky tape
To help you wrap your Christmas gifts for that extra special date!

Two different people claimed to be "The Elf" at church today--so someone does read my blog----BUT then they laughed and said, "No it's not me".  I am narrowing down the field!


The three year old little people are beginning to catch on----today---ANY question you asked them--they answered--


That answer is ALWAYS correct!


I've been at my home---all day today---running tomorrow---SO I had a visit from a "Christmas Elf".  Cannot figure out how this happened and I didn't know someone was here---UNLESS it was while I was in the backyard picking off frost bitten leaves from my jasmine---one at a time (Carol of the OCD).

I had the nicest surprise when I went out my backdoor to get the mail.  There was a foil wrapped package with a bow and a tag.  The tag reads:

"The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas I've often heard it said

It's nice to give someone you love a loaf of homemade bread."

AWWW---someone does love me!  I am thinking through who could have been so sweet---has to be a baker---that narrows down the field---AND of course someone that loves me---What's more important.

SO----Little Elf----THANK YOU---for helping me remember what Christmas is all about!


SO recently I had some blood work done----the doctor called me that very day----it looks like you have a big problem----you need to go see your primary care doctor immediately after the holiday.  This needs to be addressed---and we need to see how extensive the damage is.

SO---I went to Dr. Good Looking and Sweet today and we talked about the test and the events surrounding immediately before the blood work.  TURNS OUT---there is a possibility that my 7 mile run right before the blood work COULD very well affect the results---SO we are re-doing the blood work on a day that I don't run/walk.

I texted my children to tell them that news---my REALLY WISE #1 texted back--

"The Very Reason I DO NOT Exercise."!!!

My children are SO WISE!


I am leaving December 18th to stay with the Fort Worth family while Momma is recovering from Baby #3----BUT the realtor is having an "Twilight Open House" tomorrow evening-----SO we agreed it would be a good touch to have things decorated-----I MUST HAVE A SCREW LOOSE!!!

SO I started dragging stuff out of the attic---out of the storage house---out of closets---putting normal decor back in the attic--in the closets---in the drawers---and began decorating for Christmas---

Is it OVER THE TOP if there are 21 Santa's within a 10 foot range?  I did have the good sense today to say ENOUGH----It was that or change my name to Ms. Griswold!


SO---being the professional woman that I am---I put on my POWER GIRL pants and went to a meeting with the CEO of a multi-state----multi-division BIG Company this morning to talk about doing some contract work for them.  I am feeling confident and trying to talk a good game---with him and his CFO---a young professional woman. 

Leave there and go to another meeting with my newest client and spend an hour talking high level finances--including budgets---computer program capabilities and various other "Accounting VooDoo" that I would explain to you---but then I would have to kill you---It's ALL high level secrets!

Leave this meeting and look in the rear view mirror as I am backing up----my lipstick looks like a 3 year old put it on---REALLY!  Am I BLIND???  It is in a major wad on one side and hardly on the other side.  WHAT must these people have thought.  Something like "Poor Old Lady---her vision must be going!"



I went for my once every 3 years visit to the doctor last week.   SO FAR--I have had about a call a day about what is wrong with me as the tests come back----

WHAT---I feel fine!



It wasn't enough to gorge ourselves with turkey and all the trimmings Thursday and yesterday----today we have spent the day cooking!

DIL---and #2 baked the scratch cake shown---with layers of strawberries and whipped cream---and yummy light cake.  They used EVERY bowl in the kitchen---BUT OH SO WORTH THE MESS!

Then #1 and I spent the day making Lulu's famous chili!  He is becoming quite the cook!  You should have seen his eyes when I taught him the measuring in the palm of your hand.  After I gave him a demonstration, he couldn't wait to do the same trick.  #2 (Mr. EXACT-O) said, "We have measuring spoons."  I explained measuring spoons were for baking----COOKING was by the seat of your pants---OR the palm of your hand.

We ate 1/2 a stock pot of chili---SO it MUST have been pretty good!  LOVE cooking with my family!


Gabe & I went to lunch together today and had REAL Mexican Food-----when you walk in the hole in the wall dive and it is full of workers from South of the border---you KNOW you are in the right place.  Verde sauce with Mexican cheese topped my enchiladas----YUMMY!

We went for a drive around a few of the lake neighborhoods then and I must say---I am NOT sure I could ever afford to live in Austin----we ended the ride at the estate for sale on the side of the hill (BIG HILLS IN AUSTIN)---it was really something AND they only want $14K for it---WHAT A DEAL!  

WHAT do the people here do for a living?????



WHY do boys LOVE to wrestle?  I have my own idea---they love each other, but are not comfortable showing affection----SO there answer is a good wrestling match.  #1 & #2 are caught in the act-after a huge Thanksgiving meal and a movie---they are in the middle of the floor wrestling.  It all starts very innocently---they are just by each other---but before you know it one has his hand on the other--and then a foot---and it just moves on from there until we are in a full out rolling in the floor combat.

I sent Camille this picture with the comment, "This is what you have to look forward to" .  She replied, "I think I am already living it."

Wonderful day---delicious food---sweet company that I love dearly---It doesn't get any better---



I am continually amazed at how God works in my life and those that he uses to ensure His will is done.   LONG STORY---but AWESOME evidence of HIS hand on me----

SO  I put my house on the market about a month ago---it has not shown a single time.  I talked it over with God recently in the middle of the night---asking HIM---if this is Your plan for me to move--I am leaving it up to You to open the doors---

A few days later I had a casual conversation with a friend who is a mortgage lender about the market--and what is happening--mentioning to her that I have my house up for sale.  Thought no more about it.

I received a text while Camille was here that someone wanted to show my house---GREAT!  I see the same mortgage lender the next day while at work and mention to her that my house is showing the next day---she says--Yes--Real Estate Agent X is showing it to a single lady.  Turns out the lender and agent are good friends and when he is discussing with her that he is showing this lady around--she says you need to show her Lora's house.

They come today---my realter calls me on my way to Austin and says the lady is very interested---no commitment---but this lets me know---God is directing this operation and it will sell.  What a great God!

As I ponder the fact that this is really going to happen and I am going to leave my lifelong home in Louisiana---I am a little apprehensive---and then I look up and see the night sky and remember---The SAME God that is watching over me in Louisiana is here in Texas and will be watching over me here as well.  THAT IS COMFORTING!

Good Starry Night From Deep in the Heart of Texas.


I've seen God working in my life today.  He continues to amaze me---but rather than give you those details----I leave you with this---the story is so simple---and yet SO amazing!


Camille & boys came to see me this weekend.  IT WAS AWESOME!  We were busy every minute---playing---visiting--just being together.  I can't tell you HOW MUCH I LOVED every second of it!  

I have laughed and said---someone will want to see my house while they are here---well God gave me a reprieve---but I did have a text from my awesome realtor today---someone wants to come Wednesday.  

Camille and crew pulled out of the drive at noon and I went into overdrive---putting everything back up where it goes---sweeping up the crushed Gold Fish--washing towels-sheets--sweeping up bird seed---picking up rocks---

and-then---all was quiet again---I was alone---

BUT SOON---VERY SOON---I will live close to all the grands---I am EXCITED!


IF You Claim to Have Sensitive Ears---DO NOT listen!  

TRUER than we care to say!


I have a few runners that I greet with a "High Five" when we pass on the streets in the early AM dark.  ONLY PROBLEM---I have horrible hand - eye co-ordination---so 90% of the time--I miss or at best get a High couple of fingers.  SO embarrassing---but I stink at bowling--can't catch a ball--can't make a goal--can't get close at horseshoes---even stink at croquet!  WHAT CAN I SAY?

SO---if you see me and try to "High Five" me---don't be offended when I don't "Slap Hands" with you---I'll try--but probably I will be fanning you as our hands pass in the breeze.


EACH and every time Camille tries to call me---if the little darlings are awake---it is a fiasco.  It seems they look up and discover she is on the phone and the fun begins --ALWAYS ending with "I have to call you back, Mom"  SLAM!

There is the tactic of 

Needing to have their own conversation with Mom

Having a pressing need for something---anything

Wanting to hold the phone themselves and heavy breathing while I prattle on to them--OR pushing the keys so it causes ear damage to me.

Sitting on---pushing---hitting---grabbing a toy from Brother

Discovering dire Hunger or Thirst--that MUST be quenched-fulfilled.

ON and ON and ON---

so while I am in Fort Worth for Baby #3---don't call me and expect to have any chance at a conversation---OR if you are in dire need for entertainment---call---You can count the method of interruptions as we speak!


I have learned my once a year lesson---not sure WHY I must repeat it EVERY year---but most years I have to relearn it.

I THOUGHT I was being smart--by ordering the little boys Christmas on line---but then I discovered the price tag on the freight and thought---"Oh I'll just run over to Monroe & pick it up---NO Big Deal"  How much trouble could that be and I'll save that $50 freight bill.

I looked up the dimensions---measured my trunk---had the paper work in hand--and took off as soon as I finished work.  Well I FIRST stood in line at the toy store--to remain unnamed---except for the initials TRU----for 45 minutes---I thought I was in the express pick up line---turned out it was the put your toys on lay a way and argue about their price line also.  FINALLY I get to the front and my transaction seems to puzzle the cashier who has to ask her manager-----She fools with the computer a few minutes and says-"Alright" and I say, "Alright what?"  She says they are bringing it.  I stand around for 30 minutes with the same lady--NOT busy now ignoring me---FINALLY the manager notices--takes my paper and gets on the walkie talkie and gets someone to bring it.

He starts out the door toward the car and my heart sinks---the dimensions were wrong---I have to go back into the store--put it on delay pick up--another line involved-----and start back to R--with NO toy.  I get the brilliant idea to call my friend who graciously loans me his truck.  I head BACK to Monroe--and this time there is not a problem and the nice manager takes pity on me and does not make me wait in the long line again.  

I head back to R--man (or woman) handle the box out of the truck---go put gas in the truck to replace what I used and take the truck back.

SO let's see---to save $50---I made 2 round trips to Monroe, stood in line for 1 hour and 15 minutes--made a round trip in my car ---put gas in my friend's truck---and in total spent about 4 hours picking up the toy.PERHAPS $50 was cheap!

THIS WAS MY LAST TRIP to a store for Christmas---I will order everything on line---and remember this lesson--for this year anyway!


NOTE TO SELF----repeat after me---I am only responsible for me---can't control what others do or don't do---only answerable for my actions---don't judge others for their unwillingness---

I find myself sitting here with my tail in a knot---I MUST remind myself of the above---but sometimes---just sometimes---it gets on my LAST nerve and I would SO like to rebuff those "No's" that I hear.  BUT I have been praying about and am working on judging not---lest I be judged

SO---please don't give me your reasons--just say "No"----I don't do well with excuses!  



We celebrate the great men and women in our country that served in our armed forces who fought to preserve our freedom.  We all have men or women in our lives who filled the ranks of freedom protectors.

My Daddy---served during World War II in the European theater---I have read a few of his letters to Momma during this time and remember hearing the stories of that time in their lives.  What it must have been to endure that LONG war!  What a sacrifice SO many made.  Daddy came home physically intact--who knows the emotional toll it took on him and many others.

My Uncle Bruce served in Korea---one of the things I remember most was him talking about how cold it was.  He died a premature death---we will never know if that "conflict" had any impact on his early leaving.

My peers served in Vietnam---we lost one of our Farmerville natives that was about my age over there.  His picture was in Look magazine during that time and then he was gone---a statistic in the numbers of the years that were lost protecting our freedom.  Many of my classmates and friends served--with eternal consequences to them.

SO--thank you to all those that have served and especially to the families of those that were lost.  It is a debt we can never repay.


My quest for a pony tail has finally been answered!  ALL DAY today I have had my hair up in a pony tail----it started with putting it up for my 5:30 AM run----AND it only requires 3 clips to keep it up now---I've come a LONG WAY since I started out with about 6 to keep it up a month or so ago.  I gave the Olympic gymnastics a run for their money when it came to the number of clips.

I have had a BUSY BUSY day----but through it all---the pony tail stayed in place with no rehashing putting it up.  I've lusted after all my friends---and non-friends easy hair-do's--it just looked SO SIMPLE and CAREFREE

WELL---I have arrived---my own pony tail- be it ever so short--only thing is---here I was thinking all the fast girls had pony tails---I was wrong---I'm NO FASTER---still just muddling along putting one foot in front of the other---but MY TAIL IS SWISHING BEHIND ME!


After Grand #4 was born---I often talked about the baby and called him Bubba with #3----Sweet-sweet Camille--nipped that in the bud---told me she did not want that sticking and did not want Little E called Bubba---I gave in--finally---and now we call him Brother---cute---but it just does not have the charm (redneck) of Bubba.

After work today, I was out planting a few more pretties in the back yard.  The neighbor from behind---whom I have never seen----has a little dog that started barking when he heard me.  He started questioning the dog about what he was barking at and I stuck my head over the fence to tell him I was there.  I introduced myself and low and behold---Bubba told me his name too.  I guess Camille was correct---these names can stick for a lifetime.  

What was puzzling about he entire encounter----Bubba-who incidentally has looks that fit his name, has a little white Frau Frau dog---and he is a single man---GO FIGURE!  An Enigma in my back yard!


The television is off---I am not reading the papers---I do not need anyone to tell me what is going on and why the election came out like it did.  I looked at the red/blue state map and that explained it all.

SO---I am praying for our nation----God IS in control---but He DOES sometimes demand justice----BUT as I have seen from a personal point of view---HE is the Judge----not us-----SO I trust Him---I love Him and I will listen for Him.  At this point---not sure what good it does to rehash it all over and over.

As I have learned during the past few years---try to move on and do the next right thing.


I LOVE the stimulation of working!  I worked with a new client today----a rural health care agency.  It gave me pause to think about our current state of health care.

If you live "In the City"---there are MANY options and MANY doctors.  The fact is that most doctors---due to level of technology---support---and even economic reasons--prefer to work in large cities.  If you are fortunate to live in the large city---AND have good health insurance---you have MANY options to select from.

We are NOT a large city here in Ruston, but we do have options--and a high level of technology for an area of this size.  We don't have the cutting edge in latest finds---newest treatments---but we have many doctors and a good hospital.

When you live in a rural area--you are not so fortunate.  I learned today that many that live in these rural areas are suffering from many and varied illnesses and conditions. They see a nurse practitioner who is backed by one physician.  I am NOT debasing the NP or the GP that provides her backup===BUT the fact is the level of care afforded by living in a large community with specialists on every corner and large MEGA hospitals and research facilities is not available in Rural America.

It was eye-opening and enlightening---thankfully with governmental assistance---they do have this level of care--I'm not sure they would even have what they do if not.  I am not sure the nationalization of health care is the answer is the answer---in fact it is NOT the answer---BUT I am not sure is what is.


ONCE UPON A TIME---A LONG TIME AGO----there was this thing called "The Oil Embargo".  Oil was in short supply SO Uncle Sam in ALL his wisdom decided that we would all benefit by changing the time in the summer so that we had longer daylight hours and could spend more time out of doors during the hot time of the year.  

SO they changed the time---we ALL sit on our lazy butts IN the air conditioning during these wonderful daylight hours in the HOT summer time---NOT saving energy.  BUT after a a few months---it was actually a shorter period of time for many years---now it's 6 months of the year--we would go back to the "Real Time"?

SO we just get used to the time being one way--our bodies adapt and BAM we change back.  My head knows that I got another hour of sleep---or actually FINALLY got that hour I lost back---BUT my body does not.

MY TAIL IS DRAGGING!  Is it alright to go to bed at 7 PM?  This is what happens when Uncle Sam starts seizing control of our lives---A MESS!


I have a sweet little house---and it is amazing to me that no one has even looked at it yet---BUT God is teaching me AGAIN---

His timing is perfect---mine is flawed---I need patience and trust.

He sends a prospect of a new job---a welcome thought---with Christmas coming soon.  His timing is perfect.

I confessed at Bible Study tonight that I have an idol in my life----I thought that the one idol in my life had abandoned that throne---but now I find with careful self-examination I have another idol---financial security.  How long will God have to continue to work on me.  HE will provide---I need to NOT spend any time worrying----HIS plans are the PERFECT plans for me!

I am a work in progress----perfection will not be accomplished this side of Heaven!


Do you remember back in the late Spring----I won the lottery---I was given a spot in the NY Marathon----the one last marathon I would run.  After LOTS of prayer and thought----and THEN announcement that Grand # 5 was on their way.  I deferred until the following year.

I did tell you about the announcement that #5 was coming?  When I found out I was one of the lucky runners, I asked Camille would she go to NY with me since no one else from Ruston--at the time---was in this year's marathon. LONG STORY---GOOD STORY--for another day about our local "Wonder" who also got in---AFTER I had deferred.  After weeks of agonizing about whether or not I could do this year's marathon and obsessing about the cost---I called to discuss it with Camille.  She asked me "When is it?"  I told her the first weekend in November.  She said, "Well I'll be in my third trimester and probably not able to travel."   WHAT!!!!  SURPRISE   for ALL OF US!!!  Good Surprise!

SO at that point---I KNEW---DEFER!

NOW Look at what has happened to poor NY and surrounding areas----and the marathon has finally been cancelled----GOOD CHOICE---NYRunners Club---BUT---I have once again---seen How God is Protecting Me!  Thank You, Lord.  Forgive me for my doubt---and increase my faith---that You Know before I could possibly even be aware.  AND YOU ARE PROTECTING ME!


There is not one thing---good or bad---even the worst you can imagine--that can EVER take the sweet memories we have.  The Blessings that have showered down upon us---the birth of our children---the birth of our grandchildren---innocent sweet times together---glorious over the top--trips----sweet hours by the fire---meals enjoyed---laughter shared---the list goes on and on...

No Matter What is Said---No Matter What Shall Occur---NOT ONE Thing can take those wonderful---happy memories from me.

MY COSTUME--------

I've had my costume on ALL DAY!  I got up this morning and put on my work out clothes for my 5 mile walk.  Put my hair up in a pony tail (very small-low pony tail)-----and off I went.  It is now 13 + hours later---I have NOT had a shower---I HAVE been in the yard a lot of the day.

SO my costume is dirty/sweaty/smelly work out clothes and OH YES---I did put a hat on at some point---to hide the lovely hair---  Hopefully I will get in the shower at some point before bed---but I am greeting the LEGIONS of Trick or Treaters AS IS!

One good thing about being alone---there is no one to remind you that you don't smell so good or look so good----if you can stand yourself and don't look in the mirror---WHO IS TO JUDGE!

SO---Happy Halloween----there goes the doorbell---need to greet the little darling ghosts and goblins----if you have candy in your hand---they don't run off screaming from the sight and smell!


Dear Friends---I HAVE VOTED----SO no need for ANYMORE political emails-messages-posts on Facebooks---THE DEED IS DONE!  

As I was voting absentee late this afternoon, it occurred to me this could very well be my last time to vote in Ruston/Louisiana.  To know the election officials and have a conversation---to strike up a conversation while waiting and find a common thread to talk about.  More than likely---I will not be voting here---UNLESS

The current housing market is VERY slow---NO lookers---so there will not be a move until God's perfect timing is complete for me to move.

There will be many lasts to come----just as the first year alone was full of many firsts--LIFE IS ABOUT CHANGE!


One of the not to be named neighborhoods in Fort Worth that Camille is encouraging me to look at is a LOVELY part of Old and Downtown Fort Worth. Some houses are approaching 100 years old---small lots---sidewalks---older trees---the feel of a city neighborhood.  Many of the houses have been remodeled while still maintaining the feel of the period.  I LOVE this area.

We were discussing all the possibilities Saturday night and Adam mentions that the neighborhood has a large population of "Alternative Couples".  I must admit---I didn't even blink an eye---just said that would be fine---I like diversity.

BUT now that I am thinking about it----not to be cliche or stereo-typing BUT---it would be nice to have neighbors that are manly enough to help a lady out with a few chores that I struggle with---and I could use a helping hand with decorating and choosing the right things to wear and how to cut my hair---and what fun to cook with someone who also loves to cook AND best of all----someone that wouldn't mind discussing our feelings.



I've been experiencing Fort Worth since Wednesday late----I have toured the inside of The Jennings' refrigerator and their laundry room.  I have viewed --reviewed---and restocked various toys numerous times.  BUT---the biggest part of the trip has been exploring areas of Fort Worth to live in.

My current home was bought specifically because it was relatively new and I would have no major expenditures for quite some time---KNOWING that I planned at some point to move.  At the time I had no idea--that I would be ready so soon.  SO when I started talking about houses in FW--I thought I would like to be another one that is relatively new.

The BIG thing to consider is where The Jennings are now and where they think they will end up.  Camille especially is a "People Person" and likes the charm of living in the midst of LOTS of people.  Turns out---at heart --she is a city girl.  I am sure you are aware---there are very few new homes being built in the city---they are all in the burbs.  That is too far away---remember the point--stay close to the family.

So I have had a change of heart and am now looking at houses in the city---that have been remodeled in the recent past.  Not ready to buy---have to sell a house first, but after a little talk with God about where I need to be--I woke up this morning convinced that I should live in the city.

The next hurdle is the price of real estate in the city.  It is MUCH more per square foot if you are in the midst of things and WHY Camille felt the need to point out all the areas that I will NEVER be able to afford--I don't know--but she did.

SO I have had to have a reality check and remember my finances---and drop my "Want" level.  I looked online at a few houses this AM---and I think I will be fine----

Going to Embrace The City and learn what it is like to live in the big middle of LOTS of people---Looking Forward to the learning experience!


SO as I am driving to Fort Worth yesterday---with each new mile---my throat gets sorer and sorer.  I have taken 2 doses of pain reliever---and it STILL hurts!  I am thinking---WHY on my way to see the grands does this happen?  Of course, I am exposed to a room full of 3 year old germs Every Sunday AM---but WHY now?

I stop at the first pharmacy that I pass after exiting the interstate and load up on drugs.  Trying to ignore the pain---and discomfort and possibility that my throat may be swelling closed---I await Dr. SIL's arrival at home.

Dr. SIL comes in after 9 PM after a 17 hour stint in SICU.  He hugs his favorite MIL & we exchange niceties.  I then tell him "I have a very sore throat!"  He glances my way and says, "Mine has been really sore for a week."  THAT IS IT!!   NO sympathy--NO miracle drug--just I AM IN MUCH MORE PAIN THAN YOU ARE!

I am looking for Dr. Compassion to be my new doctor here in Fort Worth---Dr. SIL---is fired before he even got out of the block!  There is NO honor among relatives of a doctor!