Wednesday, August 31, 2011


With the drought in the Holy Ghost Canyon that was bad enough to close the forest for the month of July, I worried about the health of the endangered Ipomopsis. I love that bubble-gum pink flower, and the lack of water could not be good for it.

Or so I thought.

Last week I went back to the cabin for a few days. The rains had returned, and the canyon was as green as ever. There weren't many wildflowers - even the purple fleabane and aster that are prolific at this time of year were sparse. It appears as if there will be few rose hips in September, and the other fall flowers were in short supply. This did not bode well for my Ipomopsis.

Or so I thought.

When I took my traditional walk the morning after I arrived, I was shocked to see Ipomopsis in places where it had never been. Although I know some of it was planted in a few of the places, I know for sure that it wasn't all planted by hand. The plants in the traditional places were more full of flowers than I have ever seen, and many plants were in unexpected places. They were so beautiful!
My picture does not do the plants justice, but you can pick up their beautiful pink color amidst the other greenery on the hillside.
This picture is just one plant . . . and it is not the pinkest, fullest flower there. But see how many blossoms are on it? Most years, only a few plants bloom so beautifully, but this year, most of them were like this. It appears as if the Ipomopsis likes drought.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Quarter Century Old!

Well, today my girl is a quarter of a century old! How can it be? That little girl who played kitchen for hours, read anything she could get her hands on, and sang to her heart's content has become a beautiful, Spanish-speaking woman, accomplished and well-spoken. In the blink of an eye.

Happy Birthday, Di! We are so proud of you! Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sometimes I Just Don't Get It!

Sometimes I think I am from another planet. Well, maybe I am, but in this instance, I think most people will agree with me . . . but maybe not.

Last Saturday we went to the RV to start getting it ready for tailgate season. Unfortunately, we had waited too long, and the batteries were dead. We didn't have jumper cables, so we headed to WalMart to get a pair. Fifteen minutes later, we were back at the RV. Don opened the "new cables" only to find that they had been used, broken and complete with battery acid still on them. We can only suppose that someone purchased them, and after they got their car going, returned them. WalMart accepted the return, and promptly put them back on the shelf for another sucker to purchase. We, of course, took them back, bought a new pair (checking them to make sure they were new), and returned again to the RV to jump the batteries. What should have been about a twenty-minute operation took over an hour.

What kind of people return used items? Unfortunately, many. I have heard of (thankfully, though, I don't think I know any) women who buy an outfit, leave the tags on, wear it, and then return it. YUK!

Although it would be easy to blame the retailers, for the most part, I blame the consumers. There are legitimate reasons to return items: they were broken, they didn't fit, they were the wrong color. But some people have become so jaded and selfish, that they don't mind ripping off a business . . . even if it hurts someone else. I would love to see this kind of behavior stop . . . but I am not optimistic.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Knew I Was in Trouble!

Who cries during a movie preview? Well, usually I don't, but when the trailer for War Horses came up, I found myself scrambling for the Kleenex. Something struck a nerve, and I had a hard time turning off the waterworks. That's a movie I can't go to! But this should have been a warning to me for what was to come.

When the main attraction came on, I settled in for what I knew would be a good show. I had already read The Help, so I knew what was coming. What I didn't expect was how much I would cry at the end.

The movie was so well done. I loved Aibilene and Minnie, and surprisingly, the director made Cecilia a much more likable person than the book did. Equally, Hillie was much more unpleasant than I had picked up in the book. The Hillie in the movie, I think, was more what Ms. Stockett had in mind - I just hadn't paid enough attention. She was a bully in the worst way - but in sheep's clothing. I was glad the movie made her as awful as it did.

Ms. Stockett's story is one that needed to be told, and she did it well. We can't change history. . . but we can promise never to allow such behavior to continue or return. I hope her book is a good start!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Diana's New Home!

The move to Texas went smoothly. Diana now has a new home - both a new place to live and a new place to learn.

She will be spending her day-time hours at Benedict Hall on the UT campus. It is right near the large fountain that we hope will sometime be able to be turned back on - once the drought is over. It is a lovely fountain in a park setting, and it will make for a pleasant place to eat lunch or go for a walk when studying is too intense.

When she isn't in her IKEA office at night, she will probably be in her bedroom, snuggled in her new bed with her new t-shirt quilt! We still had a ways to go toward decorating, but we ran out of time. I suspect within the next few weeks, however, this space will become much more livable.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hello Holly!

When Diana was looking for a place to live in Austin, she kept coming back to this one house. She thought the situation sounded wonderful, and there was an additional incentive - a golden doodle dog! She decided to pursue the rental, and eventually she signed up!

When we moved in, Holly, the golden doodle dog, was the first to greet us. What a darling dog she is, too! She is well-mannered and friendly, playful but not rowdy. We loved her!

The night of the IKEA marathon, we came out of the office to find Holly casually sleeping on the couch. What a funny girl!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We've been IKEA'd!

We took Diana down to Austin for her PhD program, knowing that we were going to have to purchase some furniture for her once we arrived. As we were driving in, it was impossible to miss the extremely large IKEA sign on I-35, about 14 miles from her new home. So Saturday, after her bed was delivered, we headed to IKEA.

I had never been to an IKEA store. When we arrived, the spacious parking lot was nearly full . . . which was not a good omen. We walked in, not knowing exactly what we were in for. We found that we had entered a maze filled with furniture. After about two hours, we packed the car and headed for home. Yikes!

And this carload did not even include one chest of drawers. They were out of that one, and Di is going to have to go back next weekend for it.

When we got home, we began to put the furniture together. Yikes, again! It wasn't really very hard, but the two items with drawers were definitely more complicated. Diana and I had to take her nightstand back apart, as we had inadvertently turned the sides upside down - oops! But within six or so hours, we had put together a file drawer, a night stand, three bookcases, and a desk. Whew!

I easily understand why many people love IKEA. It is affordable, and the furniture does go together well. The holes are where they are supposed to be, the fasteners are accurately counted, and only basic tools are needed to put it together. I doubt Diana will need any more furniture, but if she does, I know where she will go!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Highland High We're Loyal to You

Last weekend I went to Albuquerque for my 40th Class Reunion. I used to think people who went to 40th class reunions were really old. Funny how young people are who go to 40th class reunions!

I have to say it was really fun! Amazingly, I remembered many of the people there, and visiting with everyone about what they are doing now was great. Many of us are now retired, others are into their second careers . . . Everyone has gracefully aged, but several look like they are still in their 20s or 30s. Oh that I should be so lucky.

The best part was getting together with four of my best friends (the fifth couldn't make it.) Now that all of our children are grown, we have begun to see each other more often - at least once a year. This may be our yearly get-together, though three of us are going to meet this fall at Chicken Annie's in Pittsburg - about a 2.5 hour drive for each of us! We are a lucky bunch to have each other!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hello Dear . . . or Deer!

After it was 111 degrees for the fourth or fifth time, I decided to leave early for my high school reunion and stop at the cabin. They had opened the forest on July 30 since enough rain had fallen, so by the time I got there on Wednesday, the grass was beginning to green up again. There were noticeably few wildflowers since it was so dry for so long, but at least the grass was green.

On Thursday, I came home to find two dears waiting for me. Sepster can't just wait at the door. He has to crawl upon the wood box so he can look out the screen. I think it is so cute.

Then Thursday afternoon, I looked outside to see two other deer very near our back door. So close I didn't even have to "zoom in" on the camera. Don suspects that the grass is greener right outside the door, which is why they were so close to the back door. I am pretty certain the smaller one is a young fawn because I could see some remnants of spots on the back.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

1980 Revisited

The summer of 1980 was a monster. Forty-five days over 100 degrees. I thought I was going to die, and I never wanted to experience another year like that.

Fast forward to 2011. Deja vu. I can't believe we are having another year like it. Although we haven't eclipsed the 45 days, nor the 50 days from 1950, we are coming close. And there is no end in sight.

Today's 112 degrees nearly sent me over the edge. Even watering the yard nearly every day, our yard has many brown spots. And the tomato bushes are suffering mightily . . . it is awful.

So pray for a hurricane in the gulf. I think even Texans would welcome a hurricane and its rain.

I also think the heat has expired any creative juices I had left. So until it cools off, I doubt that there will be any new posts from here. :(