James

This is our oldest grandson, James. He joined the Navy last week after a year of college. April 10th was coincidentally the day his grandfather reported to both his subs, one in 1964 and the other in ’65!

ty1

He’s going for SEAL training and they’re sure he’ll get it. We couldn’t be prouder. But then we’ve always been proud of him. They’re getting the best we’ve got, believe me.

He’s almost 19 but when I think of him I can’t help but picture that chubby cheeked little munchkin he was as a toddler.  It was ever thus, eh?

And yes, I resisted the urge to post baby pictures… 😉

Shine

I was born in California, but my father (from Texas) and mother (from Oklahoma) uprooted the family just after I’d turned seven. We were one of the tumbleweeds rolling southeast on I10 in 1964, complete with a Dachshund named Blacky. Perhaps you saw us blowing through New Mexico, ’53 Chrysler station wagon pulling a cute little camper?

Guess they relocated for the same reasons as other people – be closer to family, maybe have a better life? Instead of renting a nice house in La Puente, they bought a run down shot gun shack in Conroe – but it came with land.  They had friends and frequently threw parties in California, but all that changed after we moved. I don’t know why. Children don’t think about those things until it’s too late to ask the reasons. Or maybe that’s just me.

I missed those parties, because they always let me stay up to partake of the festivities. I don’t know if my brother still has them, but there were reel-to-tapes of the fun. I always think of them while listening to Dave Brubeck. My favorite people were always there; Irene and Nadine, the lesbians who gave the best gifts… and the Mexican woman who lived on the next street… whose name escapes me.. that wonderful lady cobbled together the best meals of anyone, anywhere.

So now you know: It’s all about the gifts and food.

Well, poo. This is not about my family. I only started with the move because that’s how I came to live in Texas, about 40 miles north of Houston. That’s where, in second grade, I met one of my best friends.

Her name was Gwen and she and I struck up an instant friendship, as little girls are wont to do. We chased boys on the playground, ate honeysuckle off the vines on the fence and often had sleepovers at each other’s homes.

4th Grade
4th Grade First row: ‘boy’, Gwen, Pam

I went through high school with these people, yet I can only name three of them. Too much time has gone by…

Gwen… and my natural urge is to wax rhapsodic here, about her fire red hair and indomitable spirit… was just another little girl of course, but she and I went through much together. The highs and lows of growing up.

She dropped out of high school in our sophomore year and I saw less and less of the still red hair. I heard things, but discounted any rumor I couldn’t substantiate.. but it was distressing.

I went my way and she went hers. Hers included drugs and motorcycle gangs while my way was all about school and jobs. She did get clean, years later, but the hard living had taken a toll on her health.

I went to Texas in November 2005, right before my mom passed. My brother took this picture of us. I’m on the left. Of course our hair isn’t light blonde and fiery red anymore.

pandgn

Almost immediately after this, her first foot had to be taken off. Then the second.  It’s been such a horrible, pain-filled life since… in and out of hospitals, almost dead several times… until she passed recently on February 20th.  I miss her.

I hope she’s running through a vast, lush playground, tasting honeysuckle and chasing boys…

OH, people called her ‘Shine’ later in life, but she’ll always be Gwennie to me.

Blackout

car

I’m on a social media blackout for Lent, so here is Mike’s little car, taken with my phone, through the front window.

It’s our dry season, so I’ve been working in the yard. Just cleaned this mess up:

0885

 

Needed a palate cleanser. Anything would do, really.

Poppet

I can’t really talk about this with anyone IRL because everyone knows everyone else… but this rage has to be quenched or it will spill over…

This is our granddaughter Amber. Picture was taken 3 years ago, but she basically still looks the same.

amber627151
Don’t worry, I got rid of that fugly rug.

Now a happy, lively 11 year old. Creative, empathetic, intelligent and I think, pretty. Cute as a bunny’s nose.

Always sewing or wanting to cook, she did make a dish for her family night before last. The bitter, twisted crone that is her live-in grandmother pronounced it “the worst thing I’ve ever tasted” and then proceeded to tell Amber that she is UGLY.

Amber cried for an hour.

God forgive me for what I’ve been thinking… all the ways to cause that woman pain… She needs to suffer. She’s never been what you might call ‘nice’, but that was horrible. And I can do nothing except love on that beautiful little soul when I see her this weekend.

What is wrong with people??

Playing

Playing with lights, that is. I have a weakness for fairy lights and even though the holidays are behind us, have them everywhere.

My Lampe Berger. Much too fancy for me, but wot the hell.

lampe

 

AND my sugar bowl, a gift from Oldest Daughter.

bwl1

Joanie! Don’t you love the bokeh on the counter?! It just kills me. 🙂

 

Joyeux Noël

Arthur brought home flowers for Christmas. We didn’t have anything to unwrap because his gift was a new video card and it was installed immediately… and mine from him was a down vest (and I snuck in another little jacket).

You may wonder why I would want outerwear. After all, this week’s temps have been in the 80’s. But… we won’t always live here… fingers crossed til they bleed, baby.

Two Cakes

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is upon us once again. Gifts have been sent and received, but this year I’ve opted out of a tree.

charlie-brown-christmas-treeNo idea why. Just too lazy, probably. It’s just the man and I, so why bother? Last Christmas was overly emotional for me, so perhaps abstaining from a freshly cut fir is more about my mental health than anything else.

I would like my creche out, but again… too lazy to look for it.

Not much has happened since I wrote about the crazy people, who are luckily giving us a wide berth.

After 7 months and several ridiculous meetings, the new windows have the stamp of approval from the city. Never mind some of the sills remain broken… and one won’t open. I was just so ready to get on with it. Now we turn our attention to doors.

I’ve made two cakes within 30 days… that should say something… scream, actually… about my state of mind. Still working out, but let’s get real – there are only so many calories I can burn in one session. Plus, this lazy thing is really putting a damper on life. I’d rather be curled up in bed that anything else. And no, I don’t think I’m depressed.

So there it is: Two cakes and Christmas.

Happy Holidays.