Dinner with Friends

Jerry and DeAun Kiser invited BG and me to join them for a steak dinner at Sharon Allen’s Lytle Bend Steakhouselast Thursday evening.  Our waiter was a friend of the Kiser’s, was very knowledgeable about wines, and withstood BG’s bantering quite well. Following an enjoyable meal with fine company, we “porch-sat” on Riverside, listeIMG_2672ning to the waterfall and viewing fall’s beauty in a sky plumped with clouds.  Good times!



TK’s 4-year-old Parent-Child Monthly Activity Cards Scrapbook Project

I hope you enjoy these Early Childhood Parent monthly activity cards.  Parents write down or put a sticky on each tag listing a fun activity to do with their child each month. Your child pulls a tag out of the envelope one-time-per-month to discover the surprise activity.  Tags and envelopes can be personalized with stamps or stickers related to the child’s interests.IMG_1983IMG_1982


Disembarking from Riviera to our first port: Key West

Waiting for my celebrities to disembark the Oceania
Waiting for my celebrities to disembark the Oceania
A view of the front of our ship from the shore
A view of the front of our ship from the shore
A view of Captain Luca and crew's view of the ports
A view of Captain Luca and crew’s view of the ports
View of one of our lifeboats from the shore.
View of one of our lifeboats from the shore.
BG, Keith, and Mary disembark the Oceania(the Celebrities)
BG, Keith, and Mary disembark the Oceania
(the Celebrities)
BG, Keith and Mary posing for a photograph as they navigate the staircase.
BG, Keith and Mary posing for a photograph as they navigate the staircase.
Trolley from the Navy Basedock  to Key West
Trolley from the Navy Basedock to Key West



* Pieces of Jewelry tell your stories-stories of rapture, enduring love, connection, family, friendship, sorrow, and even pain. Jewelry expresses YOU- how you are feeling in one given day-professional, free-spirited, frolicking, serious, elegant, charming, colorful or simple!
*. All of my treasures displayed on a pegboard wall made by my husband.
*. Memorable
*. Eventful
*. Sparkly
*. Decorative
*. Flashy
* Charming
*. Fun
*. Tingly
*. Layered
*. Some costume
*. Some sterling silver ( most needing polishing!)
*. Picturesque
* Freshwater Pearls Necklace and bracelet, given to me by Billy and our boys, Brett and Brandon
*. Brandon’s gold bracelet-a gift to ‘Mama Terry’
*. Brighton Hearts Necklace, Bracelet and Earrings-purchased at a Brighton shop in an airport, as I traveled to different cities to give presentations about helping young children learn
*. Palm Tree Necklace and earrings purchased in an Orlando Florida Hotel, attending a National Head Start conference-I wear it whenever I am feeling adventurous or in need of discovery!
*. Watches without batteries-too many watches without batteries!!
*. Angela Moore heart earrings, bracelet and penguin necklace purchased in a small boutique in New Hampshire, while on a tour of New England with my mom
*. Green-and-black spotted heart necklace, bracelet and earrings purchased at one of our monthly bunko gatherings, made by a friend of my dear friend, Kelley
*. New Mexico turquoise earrings given to me by my brother while he was living in Albuquerque and turquoise earrings Found in New Mexico when presenting for High-Scope (brings back fond memories of the Southwest, exploring Indian ruins, hiking, and visiting with the Hopis in Farmington, New Mexico)
*. Turquoise bracelet purchased in Sante Fe, Mew Mexico
*. Colorado turquoise necklace and earrings purchased in Colorado while attending a Head Start conference.
*. Colorful Beaded Necklace given to me by Mimi-Billy’s mother.
*. Teardrop Necklace-James Avery, given to me by Sweet Billy, which I wear always.
*. Two pair of beautiful glass earrings purchased from a wonderful Save the Earth World Store in Sonoma, California, where Leanna May and I shopped, while the boys and BG were at the local brewery!
* Coldwater Creek Watch ( just because I liked it) and following the “all I need is one watch with a working watch battery” realization
*. BIG black and white earrings-I am often stuck inside a box of “sameness”, always wearing the same necklace and earrings repeatedly. My sweet daughter-in-law helps me “step out” by encouraging me to buy “big earrings”, like the round black-and -white ones!!
*. The very sad tale of the missing Silpada hammered silver earring-lost somewhere near the armadillo sculptor at Perini’s Steak house in Buffalo Gap-maybe we need to schedule another dinner date to see if the earring is still there in the red dirt??
With all of the stories generated by one piece of jewelry, wearing it can give you a refreshing new lens to look through each day, as you approach the world!!

Buttons, You Are Real!

Buttons and I visited his Mama Avonne in the nursing home today. It was a good day; some days we walk in the place and everyone is frantic and wanting freedom; while other days, we enter and a feeling of calmness permeates the walls. Today, everyone in the dining room wanted to hug Buttons. Could it have been the Beatle music playing in the background-a new twist for the new administrator? As we came in the front door, Opal, (who normally yells “Hurry; Hurry” at the top of her lungs) greeted Buttons and asked us to take her to the end of the hall and back. I hooked
Button’s leash to Opal’s chair and said “Let’s go!”. Opal said, “We are on the road now!”. I said, “Yes, Opal, we are really trucking'”. I pointed out to her that Buttons was pulling her down the hall. Opal said, “Oh, He is too little
to be a work horse.” But, when I told her Buttons really
liked her, she said, “He’s a sweet baby!”. Avonne was delighted to see her “baby dog”. I think Buttons secretly enjoys everyone thinking he is just a puppy, when he is
actually 11 years old. Avonne loves for everyone to see her baby. She wanted me to take Buttons over to meet the gentleman in the corner. Buttons and I met Marvin, who was
so excited to hold Buttons. He said, “Buttons, Get up here in my lap, you sweet dog!” Marvin then uttered the most
profound words to Buttons, “You ARE real!”. So many of the
residents came over to pet Buttons. Smiles were abundant. What a great little dog-so patient and attentive to every person who just needed his time!!


Well, as usual, Abilene creates new words for a thunderstorm and snow occurring at the same time:  Thundersnow!  But, alas, it was a wonderful snowstorm–very dry and it is still with us.  Hoping my rabbits and owls are doing well–7 degrees in the morning.  Another snow day–I guess we will be working over Spring Break, but I for one love the opportunity to look out at the drifts–yes Texas Drifts!  It was very cold today, but I managed to take a few pictures.

Do Squirrels Demonstrate Empathy?

Perhaps some clues to the answer to this question reside outside our window.   We were observing the “critter action” on the creek this week and were highly entertained by seven baby squirrels swinging from branch-to-branch across the old pecan trees, chattering and chasing each other up, down and around.  After several minutes,  we noticed a squirrel leg in full extension,  hanging from the barbed wire part of the bird house off of one of the big pecan trees; the remainder of the squirrel evidently inside of the birdhouse.  After several moments of no leg movement, we could only assume that this one particular squirrel had one leg permanently caught in the barbed wire of the birdhouse.  We watched in amazement as another squirrel kept trying to assist his squirrel friend, by pawing at his foot and using his teeth to try to free the other squirrel’s foot.  As he tried to help without success, we decided we would have to intervene before the squirrel broke his leg.  Armed with garden gloves,  needle-point pliers, and  stool, we proceeded to go outside to rescue the squirrel.  After several attempts at trying to free the squirrel”s toenail from the barbed wire by bending the wire downward, our neighbor came in to assist, as we needed more heighth.  He donned his gloves and climbed up on the stool, freeing the squirrel’s claw from the barbed wire.  The squirrel immediately scrambled back into the birdhouse.  We backed away and watched, as his squirrel friend climbed down onto the roof of the birdhouse and immediately stuck his head inside, chattering to the rescued squirrel.  After several minutes of conversation, both squirrels climbed out of the house and returned to their frolicking in the great pecan trees.  A loud chatter could be heard, as all of the squirrels “discussed” Fred’s adventure.  You decide the answer to the question!

Girl’s Road Trip-Thursday

Rather Sweet Cafe

Thursday morning, we woke up and headed out to the Rather Sweet cafe for a scrumptious breakfast of breakfast tacos, veggie muffins, peach scones, organic tea, etc.  A wonderful way to begin our day.  We were the first ones walking the streets, which was quite refreshing for some other trips I have made to Fredericksburg fighting the crowds.  The stores didn’t open until 10:00, so we window shopped and enjoyed the only slightly cooler morning.  We enjoyed a fun day of admiring and dreaming about fabulous quilts, changing our “color schemes”, etc.  We did make “a few” purchases and gathered a few gifts during our Main Street browsing.  I purchased a wonderful hat, after feeling the affects of the sun–stepping out of my box—enjoyed every minute of wearing it!!  Kay had a wonderful hat she bought in Australia, so we were definitely the hat ladies the remainder of the day.  After cooling off at the B&B, we headed for the Rockbox theatre for a two-hour return to the great music of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  It was too much fun.  Mark Best of Abilene treated the 400+ audience to an excellent James Taylor impersonation, with pure dancing on his guitar.   The guest artist was an excellent dancer, singer, and comedian.  We thoroughly enjoyed the show!

The Secret of the Sea by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

As I continue to scrapbook our trip through New England, I find that poetry by Longfellow describes our view of the power of the Atlantic so well.  Also, I though this poem was fitting, as I watch the Tale of Pirates on the Current News:

THE SECRET OF THE SEA by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Au!  what pleasant visions haunt me
   As I gaze upon the sea!
All the old romantic legends,
  All my dreams. come back to me.
Sails of silk and ropes of sandal,
  Such as gleam in ancient lore;
And the singing of the sailors,
  and the answer from the shore!
Most of all, the Spanish ballad
  Haunts me oft, and tarries long,
Of the noble Count Arnaldos
  And the sailor’s mystic song.
Like the long waves on a sea-beach,
  Where the sand as silver shines,
With a soft, monotonous cadence,
  Flow its unrhymed lyric lines;–
Telling how the count Arnaldos,
  With his hawk upon his hand,
Saw a fair and stately galley,
  Steering onward to the land;–
How he heard the ancient helmsman
  Chant a song so wild and clear,
That the sailing sea-bird slowly
  Posed upon the mast to hear,
Till his soul was full of longing,
  And he cried, with impulse strong,–
“Helmsman! for the love of heaven,
  Teach me, too, that wondrous song!”
“Wouldst thou,”–so the helmsman answered,
   “Learn the secret of the sea?
Only those who brave its dangers
   Comprehend its mystery!”
In each sail that skims the horizon,
  In each landward-blowing breeze,
I behold that stately galley,
  Hear those mournful melodies;
Till my soul is full of longing
  For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
  Sends a thrilling pulse through me.