Monthly Archives: May 2013

A Good Panhandler’s Story

Usually when I am approached, I say I don’t have cash when a panhandler approaches me.  The police officer at the crime watch meeting has told me to call 9-1-1 and report panhandling.  I have done this and it was weird calling emergency for a panhandler.

Most times the panhandler will just ask for money.  Maybe there will be a statement on needing the money for the bus.

Sunday as I came out of Walgreen’s, a well dressed woman came up to me almost in tears with an empty plastic tea bottle.

Her story was she had dropped off a co-worker and needed to get to Irving.  She had just moved to the area,  son is out-of-town. etc.  Co-worker was supposed to give her gas money but went into the house and wouldn’t come back out.

Now the interesting part of this story, I even thought so at the time was that she was further east than where she said she dropped off the co-worker.

However, I did have a $5 and I pulled it out and gave it to her.  She had shared that she had also been buying lunch for the co-worker.

So as I was handing over the money, I was telling her, “Don’t give other people your hard-earned money.”  And I realized I was handing over my hard-earned money.

I have decided that the story was worth the money.  Can’t go to the movies for that amount.


A Couple of Birds

Yesterday was windy at the garden.  There were many harvesters for the amount of food we had to gather.  So I was asked to play.  My favorite part of playing the violin is when I am playing from memory.  I have 5-6 songs in my repertoire.

My sister reminded me that Twinkle, Little Star is also the Alphabet Song and Baa, Baa Black Sheep.  So after I played it once.  I told the ladies that it was Twinkle, Little Star and now I’m going to play Baa, Baa Black Sheep.  That got a laugh.

While I was playing Come Thou Fount, I noticed a Mockingbird came and sat on a post and listened.  I stopped and asked it if it was going to learn the piece as well.  I kinda felt like Katniss in Hunger Games when the Mockingjay learned her tune.  When I stopped playing, it became disinterested and flew off.

One of the gardeners gave me a couple Jewel of Opar plants to take home.  I decided to plant them in the front.  While I was busy, I kept hearing a baby bird cheeping.  I thought maybe I had a nest in the eaves.  So I maneuvered a patio chair and prepare to stand on it.

Then I saw the bird on one of my pots.  The momma bird, a Cardinal flew up and watched me closely.  The baby then flew to the wall.  The picture is below.  Then it flew into the tree.

The momma and the poppa kept a Mockingbird away.  I watched for a while, but I had work to do so I went back into the house.

The nest is in the creepy neighbor’s rose bush.  I think the baby made it back to the bush for when I left to juggle, creepy neighbor and his kid were peering into the rose bush.

I hope they leave the birds alone.  These are the first Cardinals I’ve seen in the neighborhood since I moved here.

Baby Cardinal

Baby Cardinal




At the Edge of the Path

At this point in my life, I feel that I am standing on the edge of a cliff.  The task set before me has been completed.  Most days,  I think, well done.  Other days, I want to renegotiate and have a bit more time, back there.  Not only is cremation irreversible, so is death.

And now, at the edge I stand.  I don’t move forward because I don’t know if I need to build a bridge or a boat.  Am I facing a chasm or an ocean?

If I choose poorly and build the wrong one, disaster will befall.  Though I think falling down a chasm in a boat would be worse than standing in an ocean holding a rope. (It would have to be a rope bridge because I don’t know how to solder).

I was really happy with the little life I had with Gpa and really don’t know if I want to go further down the path.

I may just take the wood and rope (I seem to have at my disposal) and build a little hut and hammock .  That would suit me just fine.

Life as a Scavenger Hunt

Had a violin lesson yesterday.  My teacher is fourteen.  You should see how excited she gets at my progress.  And she always sends me home with something to practice.

The Suzuki method introduces children to music at a very early age.  Our class was introduced to orchestra in the 5th grade.

I didn’t start playing the violin until December of last year.

It’s like we all got a scavenger hunt list.  Each one is to go down their list and see, do or be what is on it.  Feels like I got a different list than everyone else.

I mean really, how many other 50 year old’s are learning to play an instrument from a 14 year old?  Would love to meet you and compare notes.  Maybe even get together and jam.

And until then, I’ll be working on the next thing on the list.



Those Who Have Gone Ahead

Telling a story about my dad to a friend, got  the response that she doesn’t think of me having a dad.

She’s only known me and Gpa.

The grandbabies refer to me and Gpa as, Grandma and Grandpa.  But my sister and I and my children knew George and Lela to be Grandma and Grandpa.

Dad has been gone since 2000.  Has it really been 13 years?  No, I don’t talk about him much.

Mom and Gma have been gone since 1994.  Almost 20 years.  Where has the time gone?

Makes me wonder what I’ll be writing about 20 years from now.  The babies will be turning the same age as my children are now.  The kids will be in various stages of their 40’s.

Oh,have I told you that they have started calling me while they are in the back yard playing?  Almost like being there.

Joey wants to know if I have a pool.  He quickly got off the phone when I said no.  I’m sure I would have had a longer conversation if I had said yes.

Paper, or Plastic, or Bring Your Own

America was built on the idea of people having choices. I like that about America.

But our choices are going away, or at least being limited.

Recently I heard on the Radio that Austinites, or is it Austineers will now have to start bringing their own bags when they shop. My initial reaction is I will never live in Austin.

Well, there is a Dallas City councilman wanting to remove plastic bags from stores.  Um excuse me?  I don’t know what I would have done if I couldn’t get plastic grocery bags to reuse to dispose of Gpa’s soiled disposables.

I like paper bags to put items I take to Goodwill.

And though I bring my own bag most days, I do like I can get a paper or plastic bag when needed.

We recently voted for our city council members.  I found it very frustrating that the only information I could find is basic name, rank and serial number.  More specifically, name, length lived in Pleasant Grove and government experience.

That isn’t enough information for me to make an informed decision.  I want to know if you plan to restrict my choices or create an environment where I have to do what everyone else is doing.

Cue Malvina Reynolds ‘Little Boxes’

Two Rules

I keep it simple at juggling class.  We have 2 rules.  Some days I may add another one. Like if the equipment hits you and it hurts, rub it out.

The 2 rules are :

It’s OK to drop.  If you drop, pick it up.

Have fun.  If you are not having fun, come see me and we’ll figure out something fun.

Last night I had 16 kids show up.  Only four of them had been before.  I don’t have enough equipment for that many kids to have 3 of anything .  I have to come up with activities to spread the equipment around.

Lots of kids, lots of noise, lots of things in the air.  Chaos.  Loved it.

At the end of class, I asked “Who dropped?”  All hands raised, many tentatively.

Then I asked, “Who had fun?” Hands raised and many nods.

“Yay!  you all followed the rules!”



Friday Night Opera at the Ft Worth Bass Hall

Gpa loved the Bass Hall.  He even let us take him there to see the Flying Karamozov Brothers.  But that was many years before the dementia.  What a trouper he was!

I have a friend that has season tickets to the opera and she asks people to go based on which opera they would like.  We saw “Daughter of the Regiment”

Delightful.  Made me think of Shirley Temple movies, especially Suzanna of the Mounties.  Though I’m not sure either the opera performers or Shirley would like the reference.  But that is how my mind works.

While I didn’t put on a formal (I do have one in the back of the closet just in case), I did put on a dress and heels.  It’s nice to be a girl once in a while.   And going out is a great excuse for dolling it up a bit.

Anyway at one point during the evening, I was sharing a Gpa story and my friend pointed out that I was using the present tense.


I’m not sure how to respond.  I guess I’ll be more mindful.  But he’s still very much in my thoughts.  And his loss has brought Mom, Gma and Dad into my thoughts more as well.  Though they’ve been gone long enough I’m sure I don’t refer to them in the present tense.

With Gpa, it’s kinda like he is perpetually at day care and I’ll be getting back to pick him up soon.

What I Lie About

If I don’t want you to know that I’ve been crying and you ask why my eyes are red, I will tell you I have allergies.

But if I’ve been outside and it’s hot, my face will get red.  And Texas summers can get hot.

I don’t have a problem telling you my age.  I like hearing that I don’t look old enough to be a grandma.  And I love being a grandma.

I have been losing weight because I haven’t been eating cookies in the middle of the night, the day or on an hourly basis any longer.  I am glad I have the memories.

I don’t have a scale so who knows how much I weighed.  I had an opportunity to get on the scales the other day and oh brother, am I ever sorry that I did.  I was about 15 pounds more than I had when I left my job and would have thought I was closer to what I weighed when I left.

So I had to go get my driver’s license picture taken to renew for this birthday.  When the lady asked me if my weight was still xxx (15 pounds lighter)  I replied, “Oh, Yes.”

Just rolled off my tongue!  That was easy.  They tested my eyesight was adequate with my glasses, I am so glad they didn’t make me get on the scales.

Um, but when I looked at the picture, I could tell, it didn’t lie.


Listen to the Mockingbird

Mockingbirds are known to repeat what they hear.

I had a friend share that one would wake her up in the morning crowing like a rooster.  Drove her nuts.

I tend to copy them. They sing and I whistle back.  I do that with cardinals as well.

But yesterday, I took my violin to the garden and played in the pavilion after church. I noticed a mockingbird, came and listened.  The bird did not sing at all, just cocked it’s head.  I played a variety of songs.  I will pay attention in the future to what the mockingbirds sing in the garden.

Makes me want to be mindful of what I play, is it worth repeating?