Stuff Around the House

It’s that time of year at our house. The time of year when everything we own begins to fall apart. Yep. When it’s that time , there is no winning against home products. I have to admit this time has lasted a lot longer than previous eras.

Okay, so one day when everyone (read the whole world) was at my house, the Keurig coffee pot decided to quit making coffee. I have one of those small ones, red, if you please, not the full size Keurig. Our full size Keurig lasted about three years ,which is a record for me and a coffee pot. But, this little red Keurig I bought that day lasted only a couple of months. I would put the water and the coffee in the pot, turn on brew and nothing. I’d try again and it would brew. The next time, nothing, then, brew. This went on and on until I finally got an old fashioned (which not so long ago was the standard pot) coffee maker. Oh my! I was so spoiled by the Keurig. Perfect coffee everytime. Standard pot? Not so much. Either it was too strong (my husband loves strong coffee) or it wasn’t strong enough.  How did I ever survive with a Mr. Coffee pot? The world will never know, I’m afraid. At any rate, my Keurig finally just gave up the ghost. Or so I thought.

As I was preparing to write this  blog, I was looking for images of things that had broken around our house. I wanted this to be a pretty visual blog entry so everyone would know the chaos that has ensued at our house. What I found was a photo of a broken Keurig with someone sticking a paper clip in the orifice. I brought up the photo and there was, lo and  behold, an article about Keurigs you thought were dead. I read the article in hopes of reviving my poor little Keurig (and me). According to the article, I was to put said paper clip in the orifices and turn it round and round, thus dislodging any bits of coffee, debris, minerals from water, etc from the orifice. Then, I was to descale it with vinegar and water. I was somewhat sure nothing would help poor old Mr. Keurig, but to my surprise, when I put the water and vinegar in, it started  boiling the water straightaway. Previously, this step was skipped in the brewing process, and so no brewing took place. But, I had brewing going! Still skeptical, I let it brew with the water and vinegar, turned it off, poured out the vinegar water from the cup, filled up the Keurig and did it again. IT WORKED! But, I was still not convinced and ran it two more times before trying to brew a cup of coffee. The coffee was made and it was the perfect cup. Mind you, I’m still a bit skeptical that it is well and truly fixed. But, we’ll see with time.

So, my original blog post will stay in my head, but if you have a Keurig and you think it may be broken, get a paper clip, stick it in the orifice that punctures the coffee container, wash everything you can wash, use half water, half vinegar and wash that thing out!  For those who already knew that, no “i told you so’s please. I already feel kinda dumb that I didn’t know to do that, and kinda smart because I fixed it! I’m so excited.

Note to my husband: Honey, you make the best coffee when you know it’s for me, but when it’s for you, it’s just tooo strong for me. But, I love you!

 

 

Beyond Words

I am hardly ever at a loss for words. I’m a natural talker and words are always my best friends. But, last night, my friend, Kim, sent me this photo her daughter took of the marquis of Half Price Books Flagship store in Dallas. It’s me! On the marquis! I was so surprised. I have a book signing for The Conservative Congregant this coming Sunday, so the store was advertising it.

I was so shocked! Needless to say, I’ve never had my name on a billboard, marquis or anything other than the role at school. So, I wanted to share this with you . I don’t want to toot my own horn, but it’s pretty cool!

 

 

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Which leads me to talk a little bit about marketing books. I’m trying to learn how to do this as Independent authors do not have the luxury of a publicist or marketing director. So, I thought, “What better way to advertise than to use my husband.” It was brilliant when I saw the advertisement for the shirt. I had to buy it. It was his Christmas present this year. He laughed when he saw it and said, “It’s really all about you, isn’t it?” Well, maybe  not all the time, but it’s fun when it is. Enjoy his promo ad for me.

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What Happens at Walmart….

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It all started Sunday afternoon when my son and my husband set up a swimming pool at our house. It’s one of those pools with a pump – not very deep, but just about the whole neighborhood could fit in it. Kinda like a huge spa. “Redneck Riviera” – that’s what Stephen calls it. 

like he says, "Redneck Riviera"
“Redneck Riviera”

I wanted to try out our new toy, but realized I had no swimming suit. Grabbing my coin purse, my keys and my flip flops, I was out the door on my way to Walmart. My son and daughter in law coming toward me got a quick hug and kiss and I asked if she wanted to go with me. She declined. I would too. Who wants to spend a Sunday afternoon at Walmart ,of all places! 

I had a simple plan. Run in, get a swimsuit, run out, get home, jump in the pool and relax. But it was Walmart and a Sunday afternoon-school supply weekend, of all things. Anyway, I didn’t find much in the way of swimsuits. Picked up some swimsuit bottoms and a few pair of scrubs and I was off to the self-checkout. As I put my clothes down, panic ensued after realizing my coin purse was not with me anymore. Where could it be? Where did I drop it? I didn’t feel myself drop it. Did I lay it down somewhere? My debit cards were in it, over two hundred dollars was in it – farrier money for my horse’s shoes, my drivers license and donor card- my whole life was in it! I combed the store- went back to every place I had been -all to no avail. Customer service had not had anything turned in and the ladies I asked out on the floor- employees, you know- were less than interested in helping me look.”I haven’t seen a coin purse, but then I wasn’t looking for one either,” one said with a bit of a whine in her voice. Whatever. I called my husband, panicking and crying. “There’s over two hundred dollars in there for Rigo, ” hearing myself whining now. “Just come home – there’s nothing you can do now. It’ll be ok.”  I left the building, grateful I had my car keys at least and praying my coin purse would be found.

Once at home, I decided not to dwell on the whole thing. I felt stupid for losing it. I mean, how could I drop it and not know? Or maybe set it down somewhere and walk off? That’s just dumb. (I can hear my mother saying it now! )

The next morning, I had to get ready for work early and decided to stop by Walmart. I went straight to customer service, finding for once, no line. I explained my plight and one of the ladies went into the office to check for my coin purse. In just one minute, out she came with my purse! I was so relieved. I opened it immediately to see if anything was still in there and lo and behold all my money was there, my debit cards- everything! Tears filled my eyes as I looked to the woman and said, “My money is still there. ” She said, “See, not everyone is bad” and smiled a sweet, genuine smile. 

In a bit of a stupor, I was able to push the button on my telephone and call my husband. He was as amazed as I .  Normally, I might say “What happens at Walmart should stay at Walmart.” But, i think this time, it should be told.

Thanks to the lady at Walmart and thanks be to God for answering prayer. 

My Life in Pictures or…. What Makes Me Happy

My husband
My husband
Wedding at The Gathering
Wedding at The Gathering
silly cartoons
silly cartoons
Sunbeams
Sunbeams

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beautiful sunsets
beautiful sunsets
baby donkeys, adult donkeys and cartoon donkeys
baby donkeys, adult donkeys and cartoon donkeys

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practicing agility with Licorice
practicing agility with Licorice
our children and grandchildren
our children and grandchildren

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people watching
people watching
the moon
the moon
sunflowers
sunflowers
all of our dogs
all of our dogs
this little girl!
this little girl!
surprise artwork for me from my best friend
surprise artwork for me from my best friend
sitting in the pasture
sitting in the pasture

My 'Sexy Horse Pose"

Rev. Charles Keen listens while the Word of the Lord is being read.
Church- The Gathering , downtown dallas
my art
my art
more art
more art
creating art
creating art

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My crazy husband and beautiful daughter in law
My crazy husband and beautiful daughter in law

Labor of Love

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Last night, after I wrote my blog, I was pretty tired and decided to go to bed. It  was a bit late- not too bad though. I crawled in bed and watched all my late night shows. Stephen, by now , had been sleeping soundly for a while. His steady breathing, rhythmic, his snoring… well, loud. 

We had brought our pregnant dog in the house earlier that morning after noticing she was separating herself from the other two outside dogs -even snapping at them when they came near. I had a feeling it may be time for her to deliver, although we hadn’t even realized she was expecting except for the ever filling teats she had been recently displaying. 

She slept in the laundry room, in her crate, quietly all day. Stephen let her out just before bed and let her stay in the bedroom. Well, we really had no choice after she scrunched under our bed and proceeded to carry on a little conversation with me in order to inform me it was about time for her to deliver. Soon after she quieted down, I thought I’d heard a little squeeking sound, but couldn’t believe it had been that fast for her first puppy to come. Pretty soon, I got up to look, poking Stephen and hollering, “We’ve got a puppy!!” Twig is an off white Pyrenes/Shepherd mix and this first puppy was jet black. Interesting- interesting indeed. We had seen a black dog earlier, but neither of us recognized it. It had a red collar, but could it be the dad? We just didn’t know.

Next, came a kind of mottled puppy , a blonde, three off white puppies like her and her brother and sister (whom we own as well), a gray puppy and another black one. Eight puppies? Where the heck had she hidden them? She didn’t look pregnant at all. Especially with eight puppies.

I’ve owned a lot of dogs, but have never had the opportunity to see any puppies born.It’s such an amazing process. Of course, I couldn’t help but think about God while Twig was delivering her little litter. The little puppies were delivered in a bag of sorts and Twig would lick the bag off- giving her puppies the “kiss of life.” God does that for us when we are born into our family of origin and again when we are reborn into His family. We have life already, and when  we join God’s family, we have life more abundantly and everlastingly. 

After joining in the family of God, it is our job to sort out how our own lives can bless God and bless others. Being nice to each other is helpful, but is it enough? I don’t think so. I feel like it is my job to make my life sing God’s praises. Anything I do is because God has given me the ability to do it. Left to my own devices, I know I would fall short of His expectations. I love that everyday God breathes new life into our bodies, opens our eyes to new opportunities to show His love through our actions, words and deeds.  Is that what you love in your life? Do you love to find something new God has in store for you? He may well take you out of your comfort zone. He has definitely done that for me. The funniest thing happened when he did- I felt more comfort than I ever had before! Hope you do too!

Telephone Etiquette? Say What?

One of the things my mother taught me was telephone etiquette. Remember, when answering and talking on the phone owned it’s own set of rules? I am not sure parents teach their kids that kind of stuff anymore. For one thing, it’s not really a top priority- not something we think about now. Most younger people would rather text than talk . Not me. I can type fairly quickly on the computer or typewriter (remember those?), but  a phone is too small and my fingers are too fat. Especially my thumb. Who are these folks whose thumbs can go 90 to nothing texting ? 

Nope. I’d rather call someone . It’s easier for me to dial a number and run my mouth for a few minutes or more. Not only is it easier, it’s faster. “State your business and get off,” is my husband, Stephen’s, motto. He talked on the phone all day, every day for a living. So, he never liked talking on the phone. As I remember (and quite fondly, I might add), he never liked talking on the phone. But, I digress.

Some kids I grew up with were taught to answer the phone thusly: “SoandSoResidence?”  At our house, a polite, “hello?” did the job just fine. After the person stated who they would like to speak to, one was to answer, “just a minute,please.”  Of course, after that, we kids screamed, “SoandSo!!!!! it’s for you!!!!!!” We knew better, but no one wanted to take the time to actually go get the designated person. 

I have to say though, my biggest pet peeve is for someone to call me and then talk to someone else in the background. Have you ever had that happen?  I’m in the middle of a conversation and suddenly, the person I’m talking to is mumbling and I can hear someone mumbling back. “Sorry? What did you say? Are you talking to me or somebody else? Didn’t you call me? ”  Pregnant pause. “Can you hear me? Who are you talking to? ” 

phone

My daughter, Amanda, is the world’s worst! Oh my gosh! I taught her phone etiquette, but, maybe she was busy or tuned me out during the lesson. She’s good at tuning me out when she wants to. Obviously! She does it when she calls me! Okay, I might exaggerate a little- not much, though! I do tend to get quite frustrated though because I don’t want to listen to anyone talk to someone who is sitting right there. The other person knows the caller is on the phone, but seemingly doesn’t care. Or, it could be they are just nosy and want to horn in on the call.  

So, for those of you who are guilty of this mortal sin , stop it now! Finish your convos with the folks in the room with you before you make a call to – say – your mother, grandmother or any older person (who knows there is a sort of etiquette that should be followed). We are old. We get confused. Talking to someone else while we are hanging on the line really is kinda rude, crude and socially unacceptable.