Thursday, December 26, 2013

Things You Only Learn (mostly) on PBS

Things I learned on Public and CBS radio today, mostly in chronological order:

Shirley Jones sang and performed some wonderful roles I was aware of. Now, approaching 80, she has written an autobiography. And Diane Rhem asked her, politely as is her way, and bluntly, why she included so much information on enjoyable sex with her two husbands. Jones said everyone knew her public and professional persona. She wanted something in it that reflected her private, personal self that the world didn't know. Funny, that made sense to me.

Rhem asked her if she remembered her speech when she won the Oscar, and she did. She said, she remembers, "This is the best moment of my career." Afterwards, she said, her husband asked her why she didn't say the best minute of her life. She answered, "Because it wasn't. The birth of my children was that."

Diane Rhem said swiftly she understood. So do I. An Oscar isn't necessarily life-changing, though she felt it extended her career. But children change everything.


Bo Jackson. I know a con artist who goes by that name. Today I found out why.  I was too young to know Bo Jackson. I learned about him today.

NPR told his story against the musings of whether spite was involved in his choices, and whether he benefitted or was hurt. A man who made choices almost impossible then. Could it happen today? No, because neither baseball nor football would let go today to let him excel in both. I have more to learn. I loved what I did learn. Wow.


I'm slow, okay? I didn't know about the pigtail bonus. I had been puzzled by references to pig tails. I read omnivorously, sports and celebrities only when they interest me.  We have so many hogs here. I wish we could find some way to harvest, assess, prepare the meat. Why can't we? So much food we are letting rot. Yes, I know rules and regulations are in place. Surely practicality could do more. It's been done before. I've read about it.  It was a while ago.

anecdotal information:
So many employees worked extra hours this year, meaning postponement of so many "Christmas" celebrations. We will get together over New Year's. A clerk told me today he still hadn't been able to visit family for Christmas, which includes more than food and what-did-you-get-me? At least, for most.

My neighbor told me he talked  to an employee who worked till 11:30 pm Christmas Day for either UPS or FEDEX, and said his friend had only caught up to Christmas Eve. They still are frantically delivering gifts. News has the rest of the story.  Speaking of rest, when do these people do so? It sounds brutal.

Several family members are in law enforcement. I remember when eldest grandchild was 3-4, her dad was off work Dec. 26. Mom was off both days. 

So we told her Santa came Christmas Eve, Dec. 25. Worked great. She had a great time.
I am sure some infant prodigies do remember dates. I didn't, no one else in our family does either. I am not sure any of us has ever told her that story. She's probably ready now to hear it.

And that last paragraph was not it what I learned today. When I heard persons whining and whimpering about their "ruined holiday", I did think of it.

I do think Americans in general have more grit, more goodwill, than showed up on tv media bytes.
Look at the aftermath of any tornado.

This close to The Holiday?   Not a chance.

I don't have stock in anything, but Kleenex may have bumped today.

Life does go on, people do keep loving one another, sooner or later they catch up on lost sleep.

We will continue to care about one another.

I hope that reduces the anxiety on television.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

So Little, You have to look for it


Just re-read my last post.

Sounds like Christmas means packages under a non-existent tree.

Today, and tomorrow, it is doubtful. I will see another human being.

And it will be Christmas.

Not family time. Not present time. Not eat everything in sight time.


Love. Hope. Christmas.

Like that.

If you get the flurry, the family, the wonderful food, so much the better.

But first, a touch of wonder, a drop of love, a blink of hope. And that---is Christmas.

And I forgot. First, you have to save it. So it will last all year.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday Behavior

I love the holiday this year. it all done by Christmas morning for most.

I have another week. Love it!

I am loosening up.

I always wanted Christmas on Christmas Day, at home. No cruises for me. Uh-uh.
Actually, that hasn't changed much. Until this year.

I have the joy of my granddaughters every day. This year, their grandmother in Austin gets the privilege of having them at her tree, her table.
She invited me, but I told her I would do critter duty this year with the cats and chickens. Christmas at Jo's is a wonderful thing. I have loved my holidays there.

I will see my family at New Year's. Hopefully, by then I will have purchas3ed my gifts either at last-minute sales or after-Christmas sales. Without browsing.

I have all the ingredients for stellar black-eyed peas, good luck charms hereabouts. I will have hot cornbread, cold coleslaw, and..maybe other stuff.

I don't have a large family. I suspect that is unusual everywhere. I will be alone on Christmas.

I have sniveled about it before. This year I will celebrate. I will sleep late, fix huevos rancheros for breakfast, feed my grandcats, walk my dogs, read books I have saved for Christmas, and do nothing useful. I also will eat dark chocolate.

A week later, a new year, I will exchange gifts with family.

I understand long-term planning and have done so in the past.
This is shortterm. Very.

The next few days are holiday, meaning time to celebrate. I hope you do, and are happy after as well as before.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Short and Sweet

I never can remember whether it's Google or Yahoo password I use for access to the blog, but I have been "out" so long, the system warns me I will have errors. The explanation given had something to do with a time sequence and made my eyes cross.

Encased in ice for 5 days straight recently, one would assume my house would be sparkling, that I would have spent my time baking goodies for friends and, given the deceptive white stuff covering the ground outside, I might even haul out my tree and decorations.

Nope. I ate, watched television, read a ton of books I had thoughtfully checked out of the library beforehand. (You do your emergency preparations, I'll do mine.)

Tomorrow, I finally will start Christmas shopping. I'm hoping for some good bargains retailers are promising to get us late shoppers in. I don't think anything electronic is on my list. Barnes and Noble, however, features prominently. Maybe Amazon. I have shopped Amazon before, happily. This year everybody says don't use a debit card. Well, I don't have a credit card. Makes me nervous to go online this time. Finally I have a list of sorts. I would think of something, then find someone else in the family had already bought it. Serves me right for being a slowpoke.

This year, I may take in the after-Christmas sales for one or two things, since our family exchange will be New Year's Day.

In my small neighborhood, my granddaughters have friends across the spectrum economically. I think it's pretty great that they all make things for each other--a coffee cup full of hpmemade candies, a clever sketch by the one who's an artist, chocolate dipped pretzels, hair bands--Small tokens, all. It is a pretty large group.

I have a list finally. My shopping style is to go straight to the store or counter in that store where I can buy it, and leave rapidly. Meandering around a store looking for inspiration is not my idea of fun.

I withheld the urge to buy a mega-million lottery ticket, although I had an earworm in my head for a day singing, "If I were a rich (wo)man..."

May we all have laughter and good times with good people of the next 10 days...and then again for every day to come.

Friday, December 13, 2013

In the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, we have not had a sleet storm like this in years.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A young woman I know sailed into the grocery, snagged a bottle of wine, and said that was all she needed to sustain her through a North Texas ice storm.

"What's the deal?" she asked on Facebook, " two days

Friday, December 6, 2013

My version of a Tweet.

Just an observation.

Wednesday it was 80 degrees, sunny and clear.

Today it is 25 degrees, cloudy, 2.5 inches of sleet, treacherous.

Stayintg this way for three more days.

Just sayin'.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Accepting the Inevitable

Well, I missed the 10 pm news and weather. Well, shucks. What does it matter?

Weather? it happens. Is happening, can't stop it, can't change it.

Checked outside. Sleet still shushing down. Temperature still in the 20s.

You Yankees are pretty conservative. Would YOU buy expensive ice moving road machines you used once in two and five to seven years?
Didn't think so. So pardon us while we grind to a halt for 2-4 days, which, by the way, I have noticed icy norms have done time to time to the
East after bad storms.


I am, basically, housebound for four days. I can get in my car and go to the drive-in for a sandwich, but I can't walk on this stuff any more. I still can drive on it.
I no longer want to.

The ice and sleet comes. so many activities cancelled.

My youngest granddaughter's concert was cancelled.

My eldest granddaughter came home early , worried if she will have regional try-outs Saturday. I would bet not.

No school tomorrow.

Fun run Saturday and Christmas parade later. Both cancelled, I expect.

All in all, disappointing.

Not catastrophic, but thank God, they haven't experienced that yet.

This will be the messy Christmas.

I am so thankful for my home, food, dogs, blankets, all of it.
And family next door.
I used to take it for granted.
Now I often deal with those who are homeless.

I know how blessed I am. How rich my life is.

It affects my holiday in ways I didn't expect.

A certain peace. A lot of joy. A lot of smiles for kids and parents and grandparents everywhere.

I have a list I would like, but won't get 1) because I expressed it and it won't be a surprise, and 2) because I think they would like to get me something nicer.

Gracie has eaten most of my terrycloth dish towels and I would like more. Actually, she's chewed on bath towels too, so one or two of those would work--red or blue.

I've never had a to-go cup that didn't come from fast food. Every one I find is $8 and I just can't pay it.

I will bet you I get none of these things.

I will be happy with what I do get. People I love will pick it, and they may pick a joy I haven't noticed. The best?

People I love gave the gifts.

Getting stuff for Christmas doesn't make me happy per se. Even as a kid, I enjoyed them, even delighted in my bicycle and saddle, but over all, enjoyed.

It never seemed the point. I loved decorating the house, the tree, making cookies, helping, wrapping. I loved all of that, I think, more than what I got, much as I enjoyed the books, games, clothes. Were there clothes? My Mon. Yes, there were clothes, probably some I wore through college and into the work place. Mother had great taste. I could show, and feel, pleasure. I just never could get excited about them. Later on, I loved the opal ring, the gold necklace chain.

In 70 years, what Christmas gifts made me cry out in joy? The opal ring, the suede coat, and the cut down saddle. The bicycle didn't create joy because I knew it would be there. It's absence would have caused pain. The dishwasher, installed by my son additionally, was a very sweet surprise. And yet, being with my family as they opened their treats last year, followed by the snow--that was the best Christmas ever.

I guess I have lost the true spirit of the holiday, I said sarcastically.

Getting hugs? Yeah, I like those. Homemade stuff? Pictures? Food? Now you're talking.

I apologize. It's me. I am one-handedly ruining the economy.

I look at all this STUFF and usually just think , "Why?"

Don't book me for your party unless you want, you know, 1850 Prairie style. I can't tat but I might manage a good cake or pie.

Enjoy your holiday. I am enjoying mine. Just quietly.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What is the Weather Going To Do? How do I React?

In other parts of the country, California, for instance, or New York. You get weather. You know what you are going to get.

You lucky dogs, you can plan for it.

Texas, not so much. Actually, we have some pretty good technical reasons, but let's skip those.

Two weeks ago, we were supposed to get an ice storm, but a nose of warm air--that's what the weatherman said--prevented it so we got cold, nasty, wet, but no ice.

Being North Texas, we have been in the 70s for three days. Tomorrow, highs in the 30s. And maybe? freezing drizzle.

So maybe we are getting miserable and wet, cold and dry, or cold with glare ice. Take your pick. We are 12 hours out, maybe 16, and no one knows.

Will schools be closed Friday or not? Northerners sneer, but we aren't buying that equipment for what happens every five years on average. Saturday. If we have glare ice and no warm up, do we have our Christmas parade? Dallas has 25,000 people coming in for the marathon Sunday. Will we have it?

I can drive in this stuff, but I don't want to imagine what a fall would do. So my volunteer job on Friday? Will I or won't I make it?

If we get freezing rain, the temperature may not go above 32 degrees for four days.

Can you spell Housebound?

Great minds have considered and do not know.

Absolutely no one knows what is going to happen. We plan for the worst--housebound, and hope for the best.

We don't know. At all.

The last ice storm never happened.

Stay tuned. It won't be disaster footage per se.

Just a lot of people trying to cope with life as it comes.

So far, technology isn't helping all that much.