Wednesday, August 30

My Women's Cult

I remember one day, back in my previous life, I got an invitation on the mail to visit with a group of women during one of their regularly scheduled meetings. Someone had recommended I'd be a good candidate for membership to this group. To this day, that someone is still a mystery.
At any rate, I went. I visited... and the rest is ancient history.
This photo was taken the last time we all got together back in 2003. I had travelled back to Texas for my youngest daughter's graduation from high school and that mischievious redhead (second from left on the back row) graciously put me up for two days. I remember we had dinner out one night (Gossip Night, I think they called it) and I got to catch one of the lunch meetings while I was in town also.
I miss them.
Small group, but all females. We really got together as often as possible and had such a good time just being female. We were do gooders too, though.
One such instance, we all had a day at a Habitat for Humanity all-female home build. That day, Ann had to slip out early because she had an appointment with her manicurist (first one on right, bottom row). I had my first (and only) experience putting in insulation that day.
Each year at Christmas we adopted a single-parent family and provided wrapped gifts for each family member. The year I divorced my husband of 18 years, I was tasked with delivering a trunkload of gifts to the chosen family. Looking back, I wonder if they all got together and decided it was just "my turn."
My youngest daughter, Jeni, is the one that deemed this group my "women's cult." Whatever it was, it helped me celebrate being me.

Friday, August 25

Everyone Deserves a Blue Day

No matter how wonderful things seem, a little rain must fall to keep us on our toes.
We're moving along, seemingly making progress, and them two or three situations may hit us all at once... and BOOM! we have a bona fide pity party before it's all said and done.
It's all too easy to lose sight of progress if there's a few consecutive bumps in the road to rattle you out of gear. I had a day like that today.
I had some individual with his underwear (or her panties?) in a knot today, giving me crap I really didn't have the patience to deal with effectively. (It's an ebay thing.) I run a little short on patience most days anyway. Most folks, it seems today, want everything for absolutely nothing. When they find it's not possible, they blame the first individual in sight.
Then I had my youngest call from the school bookstore needing an authorization in excess of $400 for books for this semester. Let me interject: I am so proud of her. She is a junior this year and is damn near starving to death while trying to get her education. But see, my pity party had already started so I ignored her needs and focused on my own. I needed attention. I wanted her to tell me soemthing wonderful... like maybe she missed her Mom or some equally self-absorbed bullshit... Needless to say, that conversation did not go well. I inadvertently added stress to an already stressed-out kid. (I DID call back and apologize profusely!)
I went to the pharmacy to get my "crazy pills" (hormones) refilled. That went well, I think. They are going to call my doctor for a refill. What sane man will NOT refill a menopausal woman's hormones????
By the time my other half arrived, my eyes were leaking. He asked me what was wrong with genuine concern.
He then summed it up, just as he always does: "I go out and work and bust my ass everyday. I can't be coming home to a balling woman. This is bullshit. You need to get your act together."
I know it sounds a bit crass... but he's right.
We have three children between us. None together. One in school, one self-sufficient and one we're working to get that way. It could be worse for sure.
Bottom line: We all are responsible for our happiness. But for some odd reason, we think it's up to everyone else to make us happy and in turn, we think we are responsible for the happiness of everyone we hold dear.
Moral of the story: Deal with it. Do the best with what you have to work with...

Monday, August 7

Who Were You?

Who were you before you were you?

You see, we're all shaped by our environment-- whether we are willing to admit it or not. For more on this: visit

I could get high upon a soapbox about how children are influenced by the environment their parents produce. Geez! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to look around at some of the folks we encounter on a day to day basis and get a good notion what their childhood was all about!

It doesn't end there, though. Every experience, every encounter creates a wrinkle in the fabric of our lives. Some wrinkles end up permanent creases and others a damn big ole hole.

All is not lost, though. Maybe the fabric is just in need of repair. Shake it out, patch the holes, straighten out the wrinkles as best you can. Maybe get a bit crazy and add an applique or two.

Or as my other half says: "Make chicken salad out of chicken shit."

Saturday, August 5


Ah the joys of being a southern lady! You swap vegetables with friends and relatives.

I have an abundance!
I'm not complaining (or trying not to--I keep thinking of those people who don't have).
I am just trying to keep up. I've gotten very creative. Did a bit of research and found new and different things for cucumber.
I found a recipe in a Southern Living cookbook that is quite wonderful. I have found that Southern Living will never let you down. Anyway it's a cucumber sandwich recipe. Now, don't go turning your nose up until you try this---it's wonderful tasting and very light and refreshing.

2 packets Ranch dressing mix
1 8 oz tub of spreadable Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Miz these two items up really well. Then use this as the spread on whole wheat bread. Thinly slice cucumbers and onions. Crunchy, fresh and tasty.

I also have a cucumber spread that is great on crackers. Grate cucumbers (2 medium). Then mix with a couple of diced onions and 8 ounces of Philadelphia Cream cheese. Add Lowry's Seasoned Pepper. Chill.
If you want to get real fancy, you can put little cucumber wedges on your crackers, once spread.

I spent 20 years of my life in West Texas, so the surplus of tomatoes, peppers and onions are turned into Pico De Gallo.

But--I would love to have some new recipe for yellow squash!

Here's a little gardening humor:

Thursday, August 3

All that Energy and No Direction

I was reminded earlier this week, quite by accident, how important is to set boundaries and to appreciate the boundaries of others.
I have a relative that comes to visit quite often. Maybe too often. I've been coming up with all kinds of ways to drop subtle hints to let him know that a day to myself would be great. I have to remember that it is ultimately up to me to set those boundaries--and enforce them.

I introduced him to my neighbor. Now he has another stop on his list and less time at my house.

People only do what we allow them, right? (I tell my Mother this all the time and she gets a bit put out with me, I think).

It's too easy to spend all our energy getting upset, rather than using that energy in a more positive manner -- perhaps to focus on what we CAN change in an effort to alter the upsetting situation.