Thursday, March 31, 2016


I flew back late yesterday afternoon. Glad to be back... BUT SO GLAD I WENT!!!!!!!
(I spent a whole week with Laura and Ryan in Portland, Oregon.)

That is really a driving map,
but you get the idea.

I could NOT have had a better time... even if we'd found a hundred dollar bill on the Oregon coast!

It was a perfect time to be there.
Trees were budding, flowers were blooming... and the sun was shining a lot!

Here's a picture I took of a flowering Magnolia-type tree on Mt. Tabor...
I had told Ryan and Laura to go stand by that beautiful tree and "I'll take your picture".
I had forgotten to say, "Go stand there, FACING ME, and I'll take your picture."

But look what Laura captured...

Then Ryan took this picture...
I love that picture.

The next morning Laura and I had breakfast with Clint and Liz Parker...
That is Liz JACKSON Parker!!!
She and Laura were buddies since way back.
And they're both living in Portland now!
How great is that?!

My last few posts have been about my visit... but they were posted when I was THERE.
Now that I'm home it all seems like a dream.  A wonderful dream.

I keep saying it: I had the most wonderful time.
And I met the most wonderful people.
And the good thing about my memory still being good is that I have all the memories in my mind, still.

My next post will be about staying seven days in an art gallery.
Yes. I did!
You'll see.

I'll close with some pictures I got from home while I was in Portland...
That's my grandson...
who was wearing a cap I got for him when he was little.

I get to babysit him tomorrow night... and his big sister.
I can't wait.

Here he is being held by his cousin Cammie (Camryn)...
with Nell and the rest of his cousins on Bailey's side...
(From left: Liam, Cammie, Luca, Nell, Macy, Enza.)

And here is my family on Easter while I was in Portland...
What thrilled me is that Sam said that little Nell kept asking, "Where is Grammy?"
(It's all about me.)

I'll close for now... but stay tuned for the art gallery slumber party -
AND some Oregon trivia on Trivia Tuesday!

(Plus I have some thoughts about Portland
and how it differs from North Richland Hills, TX.)
Yes. I always have thoughts...
about everything!)

Oh, and I have this picture from Mt. Tabor overlooking Portland...
with Ryan and Laura...
(Portland IS down there.)



Monday, March 28, 2016

Having a great time... and I have one AMAZINGLY MIRACULOUS PICTURE!!!

I have been in Portland, Oregon, visiting my daughter and son-in-law.
I do NOT think I could have had a better time. And I have one more full day to go!

Here are some pics of our Saturday trip to Manzanita and then Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast....

We saw lots of dogs with their owners, more than I'd ever seen in one day!
Ours were the best, though.

Akon played with that ball a lot, with Ryan throwing it way far in the distance.
Then Akon had to rest, sweet boy.

Needless to say, the beaches were (are) beautiful, as were (are) the people (and dogs).

That evening when we came home I said to Laura, "We couldn't have had a better day today, Laura!"
"Well," she said. "We could have found a 100 dollar bill on the beach, you know."
"Oh, yeah, right. That would have made it better."

Then the next morning we went to a wonderful Easter service at A Jesus Church.
Afterwards we had a super lunch with Laura and Ryan's friends at their house.

I didn't get too many pictures, but this first one is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING...
Do you see that?!?!?!
DO YOU?!?!?
Olive is sitting right there with that food on the coffee table right there...
and she is resisting temptation.

(I was (am) AMAZED.)

Here's a picture Ryan took later...
I was definitely the oldest one there, but everyone made me feel welcome... and young.

I particularly enjoyed visiting with Olga and Lena...
Olga, on the left, is originally from Russia, and since I'd been there twice, well, we had things to talk about.
And Lena, on the right, is from Brazil, and well, boy did we have stuff to talk about!
I hate to say it but by the time the lunch party was over, I was hoarse!!!

When the day was winding down and we were getting ready for bed, I said to Laura, "We couldn't have had a better day today, Laura!"
"Well," she said. "We could have found a 100 dollar bill while walking the dogs, you know."
"Oh, yeah, right. That would have made it better."

Laura is so fun. And so is Ryan.
And my granddogs are so fun, too.
And I still have one more full day here!!
It will probably be super great like every other day I've had here, especially if we happen to find a 100 dollar bill laying around!!! 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

I didn't bring an Easter Bonnet...

... or even an Easter basket... but I am ready for an Oregon Easter!!!

Laura and I went Easter Lunch shopping at Fred Meyer Friday afternoon.
It's a grocery store that has everything.

Laura and Ryan (and I) are hosting lunch after church Sunday. Laura is cooking (baking) the ham, and other people are bringing various dishes, which are typical for Easter Sunday, like deviled eggs.

Me? I'm making the hors d'oeuvres, Texas style. That means I'll make the yummy queso (with just Velveeta cheese and Rotel tomatoes heated together) served with tortilla chips. I've never had that on Easter Sunday, but since I'm representing Texas it seemed appropriate. (And Laura didn't want me to overwork, since I'm on 'vacation'.)

The group coming is mainly from their 'Missional Community' group from their church, A Jesus Church.  It should be a fun meal together.  Laura and Ryan are opening up their house Sunday for those members that can't be with family members on Easter.

[As for my folks back home (Sam, Will, Bailey, Nell, and Liam), they're joining Mother at Parkwood for Easter Lunch. (Take pictures, y'all!)]

Thursday Laura and I had lunch with two group members/friends-like-sisters, Kylie and Esther ...
They are so fun and made me feel so welcome. 
(And I have a feeling they're going to really like my hors d'oeuvres.)

 Here we're coming home from the grocery store...
(Yes, everyone is into all kinds of recycling here in Portland.)
(This wasn't even trash day... just recycling day.)

Here's their house...
I like the shadows in that picture... of that huge tree and its branches.

Here's Laura by that huge tree...
She had just come home from a run, when I was out taking the picture of the house.

For supper we went to a yummy restaurant ....
Verde Cocina
I forgot to have the waiter take our picture.
But then, every single moment doesn't have to be 'captured' for posterity
- or the blog.

I can just BE in the moment.

And today I will BE at the beach!!


Friday, March 25, 2016

It's time for a W.A.L.K.

Dogs these days are smarter than ever.
Fortunately, though, they can't spell yet.

Here's daughter Laura with her dogs...
My granddogs are smart.
If they're lying around and Laura and Ryan say something like,
"We better take the dogs for a walk."
They both jump up, chomping at the bit to go!!!
So Laura and Ryan spell 'walk',
so the dogs don't get too rowdy indoors. 


Here's Akon being attentive while I'm blogging...

Later Akon was staring at Ryan.
Ryan said to me, "He wants a B.O.N.E."
I don't know if he got one.

Anyway, I'm enjoying my time being with the granddogs and their folks.

Laura is working at Artistic Portland today, so I will be here with the dogs,
holding down the fort.
Ryan asked what I was going to do all day.
He seemed worried that I was going to be by myself and well, get bored.
I have 2 books I'm reading, a journal to write in, a blog post to finish,
plus FB, and all kinds of news sites to read, a nap to take...
and I have a whole day to do them!!!
I'm having my own retreat here today.
And I have a cute mug to drink my coffee in...
I really like that.

 Then tonight we'll go out to eat!!!

Sounds like the perfect day!!!

(It's okay if you're jealous.)

Tomorrow we might go to the beach!!!
(Another perfect day!!)

And the main thing: I brought the right clothes!!!

I hope you have a Good Friday.

I put up this cartoon on FB this morning,
sharing it from my Aunt Helen (Ruth)'s post.
I think it is profound...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Special Week

I was talking to my niece Elizabeth Saturday about how Christmas can be a crazy time (in good ways and bad), but Easter is not celebrated nearly as much...
and for Christians Easter is much more important. 
(Though I do like when Santa Claus comes to town.) 

And today is the start of the week that celebrates it.

I really like this picture where each day is recognized...
Isn't that great?!

(By the way Holy Week goes from Monday to Saturday actually... with Easter Sunday a special day, and not the END of Holy Week. It is the beginning of a whole new week.)

So here we are in Holy Week.
You can click HERE to read about it in all-knowing Wikipedia.

In my own life I haven't really celebrated all of Holy Week.
I will seek to be more cognizant of it beginning today.

'Course I have already been to an Easter Egg Hunt... Saturday.

Here's Nell excited...

And here's her cousin Anna helping her find some eggs...
Can you see Anna pointing?

 And here's Nana holding Nell's little brother...
Awwwwwww.  That picture gets me smiling. Mm.

Here's the whole group...
Isn't that a great picture?
And it was taken quickly. 
By that I mean that the activities director at Parkwood (Mother's retirement center) was going around and taking pictures of families. She was getting close to us, so we very, very quickly got together and she quickly snapped a photo with her camera and then reached and grabbed my iPhone and quickly took that picture.

So clearly to get a good picture with children you need to do it FAST.
Well, that worked Saturday anyway. 

(Say yes.)
In other news... I am headed to Portland, Oregon Wednesday!
I will be visiting my dear daughter and her dear husband, and their dear dogs.
I. cannot. wait. 

Sam will stay here and hold down the fort (walking the dog, etc.).

Speaking of the dog, Shiloh's full name is Shiloh Holy Week Carmack.
We got him during Holy Week about 13 years ago at the animal shelter.
He was 4 months old and described as a Husky mix

Here he is a few years ago, tired after playing outside...

Our other dog, Marco, whom many of you knew, was picked out at the same animal shelter (in North Richland Hills, TX) and we called him Marco State Fair Carmack. We named him that because we got him the day the schools were out so the students could go to the State Fair of Texas. We didn't go, we went hunting for a dog! It took all day (I need to share about that some day), but we finally found a little black four month old Cocker Spaniel mix who had a sign on his cage,
"I need a home."
And he got one - for about 14 years!

By the way, both Marco and Shiloh already had those first names when we adopted them.

Here we are with Marco years ago...
I don't know how a dog - or person - could be better than Marco.
Shiloh is good, too.
And soon I'll see my granddogs... and they're good, too.

Well, I'm getting mushy.
I better go.

Stay tuned for pictures of my granddogs in Portland...
and other special people.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday's Six or Seven or Eight Bits of News...

1. My first TV crush died this month. He was 91.
He was Robert Horton from WAGON TRAIN...

And there's his autograph! (The internet has everything!)
You can click HERE for his obituary.

Yes, I had many TV crushes when I was young, but I will save the others for another day,
when I may be lacking for blog material (or they die).

2. In other news, I found out you CAN have too many exclamation points! Imagine that??!!!!!!
I was leaving a comment on Laura's blog post, and I was excited and well, I hit 'publish comment' and was immediately told it couldn't be published because there were too many exclamation points!
What??  I live by exclamation points!!!!!
Well, I deleted several. 
You can go to her blog post and see my comment, that looks anemic compared to how I had it look!!!
Here's the first picture of her post...
This may make you wonder why I had so many exclamation points.


3. In other news, I saw a cartoon that took me back to the mid 80's...
So what does this have to do with the mid 80's?
Well, we have a niece that was young back then, and liked to play 'Cinderella' at her Nana's house in Oklahoma. And through the years we'd hear Nana and Daddy-Bob talk about when they had little Marian for a week or two and how she wanted to wash the dishes and sweep the floors and wanted her Nana to tell her to work harder!!!!
She was being Cinderella!!!
What a great memory.
Well, Marian is one of these people who is so fun to be around.

Why, my next house-cleaning day I might have to call her up to visit me!


4. In other news, there was hail in Fort Worth Thursday and it killed some flamingos and ducks and a pelican at the Fort Worth Zoo.  How sad.

Here's the only picture I could find...
You can click HERE for a CBS report about it.

5. In happier news, I saw a lot of people wearing green Thursday. I only had to pinch two people. Well, there were many more to pinch, but my policy is not to pinch strangers.
6. In other news, I'm plodding along, finishing my twin book.
As I re-read the part about growing up
I keep coming back (in my mind) to this 'poster' I found a while back...
I am SO GLAD I had a twin.
How did you singletons make it through childhood, and the teen years??

7. That brings me to thinking about the part in my book about her dying.
And I think, "I am so glad I will never have to go through that again."
And she won't either.

Life is fragile.
I think, though, that if it weren't so fragile
we wouldn't appreciate it as much.


8. In totally different news,
I have decided to NOT fret about the Presidential election.
I can do nothing about it...
except pray.
And even if I don't know how to pray about it
I can say, "God, here is our country. Have at it."

That may sound flip.

It's okay.


And it is okay to have a great day today!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wednesday Whimsy...

...from LoneStar Antiques (5605 Denton Highway, Haltom City, TX)...
I need to buy this for Sam.

And finally...

Trivia Tuesday

Worn by women in the highlands of Bolivia and Peru, “bombins: are what fashion accessory? Bowler hats   With 800 nominations and 475 wins, t...