Simple, Sweetie.

Gravity. Not my friend.

Aging has been working overtime on me, it seems. Good grief. Sagging parts. Wrinkles in the most unusual places. More chins than anyone would ever possibly need. Curious bumps and spots on my skin, some that can be frozen off by the derm doctor. Of course they find their way back to new locations, and bring their friends with them. Oh, but they are “harmless”. Except for the bruises to my psyche.

And then there’s the occasional unexpected meet-up with the ground, courtesy of gravity. Trips, but not the kind of trips I like to take. And not so very harmless. I’d show you the most recent scar, but it’s happily buried under the hair in my left eyebrow.

Continue reading “Simple, Sweetie.”

‘Sup? oh my….SUP

My oldest daughter has an SUP. Stand up paddleboard, in case you need to know. Her mother-in-law also has one. They rave about how fun they are, how easy they are to use, how great the muscular work-out they provide.

So I sure enough wanted to try and see for myself last November in the bay water of Palacios, Texas. Perhaps I should have received warning signals from the opposing phrases “easy to use” and “great work-out”. But, of course, I didn’t. Read on.

Continue reading “‘Sup? oh my….SUP”

Yaks and Origami

For most of the month of November we’ve been volunteering at a faith-based camp on the Texas gulf. Palacios by the Sea is a lovely little spot in the universe. So low-key and friendly. About 4600 folks call Palacios home. It’s bordered by a lovely bay that connects to the Gulf of Mexico. By the way, for those of you word nerds who need to know how Palacios is pronounced: Puh-lash-us

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Shakedown Shakes

We camp in a fifth wheel. We winterize our 5th wheel late fall every stinking year. Always with a sad face. Because we love to camp and the winter feels like an eternity when we can’t go camping.

Our part of the world experienced record breaking cold temperatures this past winter. And they lasted for a record breaking fourteen day period. Why does this matter? Well, it can mean winterization fails. AKA, cracks and leaks. Ugh.

Thus, our annual spring shakedown camping trip was taken with trepidation. Actually, for more reasons than winterization fails.

Continue reading “Shakedown Shakes”

Pep And Petrol

Small town America loves their school activities. That was certainly the case in my very small hometown high school during the 60’s and 70’s. Friday night football and Tues/Friday basketball would bring every loyal citizen who could still breathe and walk out to watch “their kids” play.

And for students, even if you weren’t part of the team, you were still part of the team. Some were in marching band. Some were cheerleaders. Some took turns working the concession stands. Some dressed up as the Lion Mascot. And the rest of us? Well we were part of the team too. Thanks to Pep Club.

Continue reading “Pep And Petrol”


I was the last chance.

My folks were the parents of three teenage daughters when, out of the blue (or pink?) I came along. Another stinking girl. I have mental pictures of my dad, age 47, going from the hope of hearing “it’s a boy!!” to “oh, well”.

I was the last chance for him to have a boy to hang out with and enjoy time together. A son, a kindred spirit, a little Benton. He had three teenage girls. Just wrap your brain around that fact for one moment. At least once a month you KNOW my dad wished he had sons.

Continue reading “Through”

Rising numbers. Rrrrrrip.

My collection of numbers has become pretty large. Too many birthdays has added a ton of numbers to my age. And I seem to have an uncanny ability to add numbers to my weight. Though it’s tempting to blame COVID19 and the whole stay-at-home scene on the weight dealio, that would be a lie.

All these numbers have resulted in gravitational effects and odd changes to my already unfortunate configuration of body parts.

Continue reading “Rising numbers. Rrrrrrip.”

Bunny, Bird, and Boo

Let me just preface this post with this statement: I love animals. Yes, I do. Now just plant that fact in your brain while you read the rest of this.

Our oldest daughter went off to college many years ago at Kansas State University and began dorm life. Our youngest daughter was four years younger, just a high school sophomore at the time.

Continue reading “Bunny, Bird, and Boo”

Mixed values; unexpected ho-hums

Got some time on my hands. You too? I refuse to use the C word or the P word though. If you’re reading this in say, 2030, and you have no clue what C and P words are, then you indeed are most fortunate. Be deeply thankful. And just go ahead and search for “historic events in the year 2020” if curiosity has the best of ya.

So while roaming about the house during the past week or so, organizing, cleaning, avoiding stir craziness, I came across a few items with stories to tell.

Continue reading “Mixed values; unexpected ho-hums”

Smiles, language barrier, and poop. Oh my.

A couple of days ago we found ourselves strolling through a local mall with the littlest grandboy. Malls have become pretty desolate, but there were quite a few mall-walkers utilizing the space on that day. As we were standing next to the little children’s carousel, a mall-walker woman looked our way and I smiled and greeted her. She started to walk on by then turned to speak to me. “Thank you for smiling. I’ve smiled at everyone in this place today and you’re the first one to return my smile.” I told her I understood what she was talking about and thanked her for her smile, too. She patted my shoulder and said “God bless you,” as she walked away.

Continue reading “Smiles, language barrier, and poop. Oh my.”

Would you like some whine with that cane?

Unless you are blind, you are fully aware that my husband and I do not have athletic looking bodies.    No one looks at us and concludes that we must work out many hours each day.

We don’t look like we would be hikers.  We look like walking to the fridge is our exercise of choice.  (oddly enough, as I typed those words, the hubby strolled by from the fridge with a nice bowl of ice cream in his hand) Continue reading “Would you like some whine with that cane?”

Unpredictable, innocent humor….oh, my sister

Since Mom’s death in 1993 I’ve been the family member most involved in my developmentally disabled/intellectually challenged oldest sister’s care.  Sharon has been so blessed with wonderful care where she lives in a group home.  (THANK YOU GOD!!!!).

Today I participated in a phone conference call to analyze and evaluate the care she is receiving.  My input was limited and really I didn’t need to say much.  They asked Sharon questions and she answered.  And I listened to it all. Continue reading “Unpredictable, innocent humor….oh, my sister”

Unfortunate LOL. And 911 Humor.

Have you ever found yourself laughing in a totally inappropriate setting for laughter to occur? Like loud laughter with potential snorting? And nothing you try can stop your laughter. With tears streaming. You might manage to stop but then right away have a trigger that starts it up all over again.  The struggle is real. Continue reading “Unfortunate LOL. And 911 Humor.”

Subliminal learning. The beauty of failure.

For the first twelve years of my education I attended the same school system.  Tiny little town, tiny little school, tiny little class sizes.  There wasn’t much mobility in family life back then, so for the most part the class members in Kindergarten went through all 12 years together and graduated high school together.  Continue reading “Subliminal learning. The beauty of failure.”

Pools of antacid and looking ahead to the future. Subtitle: So Cal, the grand finale of work travel.

With the hubby’s retirement date approaching with alarming swiftness, I opted to travel with him this week on what will be most likely his last travel trip to a luxurious location.  No offense to St Louis, where his current project is, but Huntington Beach California appears to be decidedly more appealing.  Because of one word:  oceanContinue reading “Pools of antacid and looking ahead to the future. Subtitle: So Cal, the grand finale of work travel.”

Recreational Vehicle? Depends on your definition of "recreation".

As I’ve mentioned countless times, we are campers.  Outdoorsy folks.  With limits, of course.  You will never see us riding a mountain bike up a 20% grade through thick forest and jumping the bikes over large boulders.  Or rappelling up a vertical slab of rock above a river of whitewater below.   We like to walk around on easy paths and occasionally flex our muscles in order to hoist up our smart phones and take a picture of some beautiful scene.  Yeah, that’s our style of “outdoorsy”.  Continue reading “Recreational Vehicle? Depends on your definition of "recreation".”

A Flush to Remember.

Tuttle Creek Reservoir, circa 1964. Brand new beautiful lake.  Summertime.  Most of our family loved to fish.  The few who didn’t (MOM!!) at least loved to be outdoors.  My sister had a super nice red ski boat that she had recently purchased.

So it just seemed natural that the whole bunch of our family should take a fishing trip to beautiful Tuttle Creek lake near Manhattan.  We could fish, we could ski, we could just have a grand time.

Continue reading “A Flush to Remember.”

Liquids and solids. Undoubtedly gas, too. Adventures in grandparenting Chapter 2

After a seven year gap of no tiny grandbabies to care for I now find myself immersed in the bliss of a new grandson.  He is sturdy.  He is happy.  He is delightful.  He is a breeze to care for on the one day a week that I watch him while mommy works.

But he is a bit of a human fountain and I have an age induced tendency to forget that fact while changing his diaper.  His mom even provides “pee pee teepees” for such tasks.  And of course, I think of using them too late. 

Continue reading “Liquids and solids. Undoubtedly gas, too. Adventures in grandparenting Chapter 2”

Cici’s no more. Adventures in grandparenting chapter 1


If you enter the doors of Cici’s Pizza in Topeka, Kansas there may well be a “Wanted” type poster with mugshots of myself and my two oldest grandchildren hanging at the entryway.  Probably with some sort of  large orange bio-hazard symbol on the poster somewhere near our pictures.   I can’t verify the existence of such a poster, but considering the events of my only trip to this restaurant back in probably 2010 it stands to reason that there should be one. 


The grandson was around 4 years old and the granddaughter was 2 and a half years old if memory serves me.  I decided to treat them to a wonderful meal at Cici’s followed by a trip to the park.


You can’t go wrong with pizza when it comes to my grandkids.


Or can you?


We arrived at the noon hour rush and the place was packed with people.  After finally making it through the buffet line with plates loaded with pizza of the pepperoni and cheese variety we found one place to sit in a very crowded area near the back of the restaurant.


I managed to get the table all set up with plates and drinks and a couple napkins.  The kids sat down right away and took their first few bites of pizza.


At this point somehow little T girl wiggled around in her chair enough to cause the chair to fall over backwards with her in it.  Her head hit the tiled concrete floor with a bit of a thud which of course immediately elicited loud screaming from her and terrified horror from the other folks dining nearby.  VERY nearby.


The place was packed and we were the center of attention.  Oh happy day.


I picked her up and put her on my lap right away and examined her head for bumps or bleeding of which there was none.  Her eyes looked fine and she was far from lethargic.   And she continued to scream at incredibly high decibel levels.


Folks all around the entire restaurant ceased eating, staring at us to see if T was okay.  I was sure she was but I held her close and kissed her little cheeks and wiped her tears.  And whispered gently in her ear.  To the onlooker it probably appeared that I was whispering stuff like “poor baby girl”.  And yes, those were my initial words of comfort.  Followed quickly by the quiet but firm plea: “please don’t throw up, please don’t throw up, please don’t throw up”.  T was famous for vomiting every single time she had a crying spell, with or without injury.


Her crying subsided a bit and she got off my lap for me to help her back into her chair.  And as she stood there by the table waiting for me to get her chair, suddenly, of course,  she hurled her tummy contents all over the table. All. Over. The.  Table.    Dripping onto the floor.


At this point big brother N, seeing the large pool of nastiness on the floor, jumped up to stand on his chair and in the process of doing so he tipped over his large glass of soda onto the already flooded table and floor below.  Then from his lofty position standing on his chair he proceeded to scream at his sister “T why did you do that, now you’re going to stink.  I’m not sitting in the back seat with you on the way home.”  And I firmly instructed him to be quiet and sit down right now.


Do I need to tell you that we were still the center of attention there at Cici’s?


A man at a nearby table felt sympathy for us and brought me over a couple napkins to help clean up the mess.   It was a generous and kind gesture, but, yeah, I needed so much more.


Somehow the restaurant employees hadn’t really noticed the debacle that was occurring in our neck of the woods.  A nearby customer watched the kids for me while I made my way quickly to locate the store manager and told him we’d made an epic mess and asked if he could get me a mop so I could clean it up.  He was very kind and told me they were professionals at handling messes of this nature and he right away headed in our direction.


We stood nearby as he efficiently cleaned up the mess.  By that time T was feeling much better and N had returned to his normal delightful self.  Remarkably none of the onslaught of fluids had soiled any of our clothing.  Or hair.  Or shoes.  So, yeah, there’s the silver lining in this little fiasco.  No wardrobe changes required.


What did we do next?  Well.  Uh…we were still hungry.  So we went back through the pizza line.  We sat down at our same table which had been all cleaned and sanitized.  We made it through our meal without further incident.   And then, as happily as we’d entered the building, we walked on back out and went to the park.


Pretty sure management was quite relieved to see us leave the premises.  Pretty sure I’ll never go back.  Even though we probably no longer resemble the images on the potential “Wanted” poster from that day in 2010…. It’s just a risk I’m not willing to take.