Friday, March 9, 2018


We moved here to Taos, NM almost 2 years ago.  I'll admit that it has not been an easy or graceful transition for me, as the altitude is about 7800'.  That's quite a stretch from the 50' elevation of Spring, Texas.  I do have some health issues involving breathing anyway.  Well, here's the deal.   My jeans, though they seem to fit fine are not the norm for this area.  Women (and some men) wear what's known as leggings.  Until now, I've been just wearing what I wore when we lived in Houston.  I just turned 70 in January.  I noticed that when wearing my jeans that I can't breathe when I bend over.  They sort of cut me in half.  Turning 70 made me more aware of things that have been relevant for a long time,l but magnified up here int he mountain canyon.  1.  Every little wrinkle.  2.  Cellulite.  3.  Breathing issues.  4.  My lack of exercise.  5.  ....and other health issues.  So (step 1.) I've followed "fashion trends" here in Taos, which is a very wide range and always very colorful.  Anything goes.  I ordered 5 pairs of leggings in assorted colors.  

Today I donned the darkest pair....dark navy.  I believe I'll be needing some more longer tunic tops to cover my assets, especially as it's really cold up here in the winter, and you could freeze your assets off if you don't cover your tender vegetation.  WOW!  They really feel good!  I knew I'd get some stares from the Royster, so I went ahead and asked, knowing he'd go for saving his own ass by saying "You look just fine....."  and he did.  That was really the best he could do, considering what he had to assess and comment instantly.  He was fast.  I mentioned that all of the women we know up here in the canyon are wearing them, and they're our age.....I think they look terrific! 

Non-the-less, I still feel a little self conscious wearing these.  Part of my plan was to have them to wear to a Yoga class or Pilates class.  It hasn't happened.....yet, but my intentions are good.  Did I say they feel great?  The biggest trial is getting the sincere opinions of my girlfriends.  After all, they wear them too, for every day.  

So, here goes.  I've come to the conclusion that I don't look terrible in these leggings, and I've become accustom the climate, and the "Taos Way" in the short time we've lived here.  Now it'll be interesting to see what our grandchildren think.  

Saturday, June 24, 2017

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I woke up this morning at about 3:00 with these words tramping through my mind, “Flying Pig Wishes”. It was very compelling. So, I tossed and turned thinking about what the message could be in that gifted thought from my dreams. Finally, I pried myself from the sacred sleeping place and cranked up the coffee pot. Still, Flying Pig Wishes haunted me. What could it mean? Let’s see……                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             There are prayers, wishes, dreams, hopes and now, Flying Pig Wishes. Here’s what I’ve sorted out so far.   Prayer is talking to and/or meditating with a higher power or God. My daily prayer usually begins with “Please help me do a kindness for at least one person today.” As we all know, the rule here is that the kindness must be deliberate and untold / touted. No telling anyone else. Wishes are illusive (to attain). “A wish is a dream your heart makes.” Little will happen unless you take the steps to make it so.Dreams, to me, are messages from day-dreaming or sleep-dreaming. If you are lucky enough to remember to write it down, you can have something to chew on all day long. That’s why I write.   Hopes are like wishes, in that little will happen unless you take the steps to make it so.                                                                                        
So, I’m thinking that Flying Pig Wishes are a combination of all the above. And 
again, nothing much will happen unless you make the effort to make them so. FPW’s 
are a bit far-fetched, but not impossible. Unlikely attainment comes to mind. Non-the-less, 
it IS what it IS.   It’s okay to be self-indulgent with these FPWs. So, I got to work thinking 
up 3 or 4 FPWs that I could work on. Health came to mind here; breathing, vision, sharpening 
mind, and scouring my spotted soul. Again far-fetched. Here are some things I came up with to 
help fulfill my FPWs. 
1. Regarding my breathing, which is impaired by COPD and long-ago surgery to deal with lung 
cancer will be a challenge. We also moved from 50’ above sea level to about 7800’ above sea 
level. I think I’ll look up some Yoga classes. 

2. Vision impairment is age related, and some cataracts moved in, but there was a tumor 
complication that has since been dealt with. I’m going to consider Lasik. We’ll see how that 

3. Sharpening my mind means staying busy and interacting with others. Also, Yoga will be 
a big help. 

4. Walking daily and meditating will be a big help for all the above.

Back porch sitting is a big part of our new life here in Taos. It’s magical, and messages abound with every new experience. I still here the trees talking. 

I know that sounds crazy, but I am the only one I’ve ask (so far) that can hear this natural music that these trees make. It’s more soothing than unsettling. I think it’s part of the enchantment and charm that’s connected with this part of our country. 
I will continue with my prayers, wishes, dreams, hopes and FLYING PIG WISHES. And, hopefully, through these, I will be able to continue doing at least one kindness a day for at least one other person every day. Long live FLYING PIG WISHES! Make it so.

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Yes, it's 3 a.m., and I'm awake.  I tried to go back to sleep, but, like an old Briggs Stratton engine that continues to rev, even after it's been turned off I'm wide awake.  I had to start writing because everything's fresh, and racing. soon I'll be busy loading up my suitcase to pack into the car for our Christmas pilgrimage to Omaha to share the festivities with our daughters and grandchildren.  It's true that our brains function much better in the early waking moments.

Back to my racing brain.  Royster and I discussed with one of our new neighbors yesterday about how we have a basic core knowledge by which we know more than we suspect we know.  I know that sounds a bit deeeeep, but I'm sure it's true of all of us.  We have a basic knowledge of everything.  I think that sometimes, we don't know how to tap into it.  When I wake, my brain signals that there are things to do, and things to look up, because my mind is that curious as soon as I wake up.  

Just an example, is this morning.  ZING!!!!!!  Wakey, wakey!   Royster was awake too, and he graciously got up to turn on the coffee.  Sitting here with my first cup of coffee, I turned on my home page newsy stuff.  While I reminded myself that we wouldn't be able to sit here long this morning before embarking on our journey to Nebraska; I scanned through some of the headlines.  Hmmmmmm.......a new prehistoric creature was discovered........Angelina's divorce papers reveal.......Mass firing in the senate...........U.S. refineries.    I check out the massive prehistoric creature, apparently newly discovered in Montana.  Wonder how big its brain was.....apparently related to the triceratops.  Well, that ought to get me ready for our trip.

I am excited about our Christmas trip, and am so relieved that I have everything bought, wrapped and cookies made.  This is going to be a wonderful Christmas trip.  Let's get this show on the road!

More as the season takes us to the New Year. 



Sunday, September 20, 2015

THE GUMDROP TREE (Brenham, Texas 1951)

The Gumdrop Tree
(Brenham, Texas 1951)
     “He told me you’d come, and Lawd, here you are, Child!  I’ve been waiting out here for you!  I made you this pretty gumdrop tree!”   It was small white limb from a tree that she had cleaned off and stuck gumdrops on the end of each branch and twig.  It was beautiful and very alluring to any child!

            I must have been 3 years old.  Dad was a salesman for Corning Glassware, and he had been transferred to Brenham, Texas.  I remember the old house as plain as day; a white Victorian style built on a rock bed summit.  The road in front to the house was graded.  There was an old black man everyone called Sargent that rode his horse down the graded road, and pulled a pony behind him, for any child to ride for a nickel.  He also whistled a tune, but I don’t recall what it was.  I got to ride the pony once after I’d pestered Dad to ride so many times.   That was my very first smell of horse.  He actually made a big production out of it, pulling and squeezing his nose until a nickel fell out.  “You kids are going to drive me to the poor house!”      
             I climbed the wooden steps up to the old woman’s front porch.  She chattered happily and handed the gumdrop tree to me, which I gladly took and started eating the gumdrops.  I couldn’t believe that this woman was giving me candy on a tree!  I sat on that old woman’s front porch and talked to her until she told me that my mother was probably worried about me.  The old woman cautioned me not to eat too many gumdrops, that it would spoil my appetite before for dinner.  I scooted down the wooden steps on my bottom with the tree in my hand, and skipped back up the graded road to the house happily carrying the gumdrop tree high in the air.  I was eager to show it to my sisters and Mom and Dad.  I was greeted with an admonishment from Mom, who was in tears and very angry with me.  “I had no idea where you were!”  “Where did you get that?”  “I’ve told you never to talk to strangers!”  I tried to explain that a nice lady gave it to me, but she cried and fussed even more; and the gumdrop tree was taken away.  “Who knows what’s on it?   My young world was forever changed.  I will note right here that I do understand why she took it away.  Polio was rampant at that time, and Mom sterilized everything.

             There were two women that came to the house two or three days a week to help Mom with the laundry, housekeeping and managing 4 children.  She was pregnant with number 5 and it was hard to keep up with that many and see to the upkeep of the family and house.  They were Dozzie (for Dorothy) and Marie .   I remember too, we all went barefooted playing in the yard.  We were cautioned stay in the yard and not too close to the graded road.   I remember going to the edge near the road.  I’d stepped in a big red ant bed.  Dozzie came running out to rescue me.  She started gently swatting the ants off of me.  I thought she was mad at me and started crying.  She carried me in the house, and dotted my ant bites with Calamine Lotion.  Though I was just scared, Dozzie soothed me and told me to stay closer to the house where she could see me. 
              Dozzie and Marie had 2 milk cows that they often brought to graze in our yard.  I remember them drinking water out of our big square, galvanized tub that they sometimes bathed us in.  Dad managed to squeeze three of us (Joanie, Ann and me) in that tub for a picture.
              I think about this part of my life often, though it was about 64 years ago.  I believe it’s a gift that I can remember things so distant in my childhood so vividly.  I have many, many memories like this, and I wish my older sister, Joanie was still here to reminisce about these old memories. 

Monday, March 25, 2013



Roy finally retired a little over a year ago.  We've always loved our road trips, and have taken many.  But, when he retired we doubled our time on the road with his retirement agenda, which is photography.  He bought me a wonderful little Canon with automatic as well as manual capabilities.  I’m having a ball with it, but I don’t have the patience to mess with anything more complicated.  My gifts lie right here with my writing, and whatever “project” I have going at the time.  Right now, it’s beading, and that’s subject to change.

Our travels have taken us to new levels of dining.  With Facebook, it’s taken on a new dimension.  I realize that one only need post a phone photo of food to start a firestorm of Food Porn on FB, and I am loving it!  How much fun is that?  With our traveling, the menus and venues are so diverse that it’s imperative that I share it with my friends and family.  I love the responses of online recipes and drooling.  WHAT – A – HOOT!  I automatically “share” these recipes just so they will show up on my timeline/personal page……just in case I want to make them.  Be assured I’ll do the cream cheese cherries and coca cola cake recipes.  Come on!  Bring ‘em!

This brings me to the reasoning of body image vs. Food Porn.  I've been pretty good about keeping my weight down to a reasonable weight for my 5’9” frame of 65 years old.  NO, I will not tell you what that is, but be assured; it hasn't varied much over the past 5 years one way or the other.  Here’s the thing………..It just relocates.  Annnnnnddd, the cottage cheese effect remains wherever it relocates. It never leaves from my thighs.  I used to find this very distressful; however, I’ve finally started accepting the fact that I’m 65, and (though inside I am still 26 years old), my body is going to do this with, or without my permission or my efforts to keep it down to my 26 year old weight and shape. That’s just not going to happen.

Which then brings me to this………..I finally caved in and bought some SPANX.  After having watched all of the female news people stand or sit in front of the camera, I've wondered how they can stand there in those tight little dresses and skirts without first smoothing everything out with the SPANX.  I know that they cannot all have these sleek lines naturally. 

The price tags are still on them (2 pieces), but I’m going to use them first to sort through my closet to see what I can squeeze into, and what is absolutely out of the question, EVER!  At least I can contain all of this stuff in a tighter “skin”.  There will be no mirror in front of me while I struggle into the revered SPANX.

Soooooo……I’m going to venture into trying on this new “skin”; but I need some encouragement.  Maybe I’ll step on the scales…….haven’t done that in a couple of months.  That should be some incentive.  Maybe I should talk to someone (my age) who’s successfully ventured into the SPANX world.  But FIRST, I’m going for a Mani-pedi just to get me started.  That should at least make me feel better about getting on the scales.

And….by the way.  I’m making that coca cola cake tomorrow!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Our retirement has taken us in so many directions.  Royster has chosen photography as his retirement occupation. He's really serious with it, and has even given up his beloved 28 year old Harley Davidson to take on this love for photography.  He has an eye for a good picture, and takes some excellent photos.  Royster bought me a really nice little camera that has both manual and automatic settings to mess with, so that I can join him in this venture.  I'm really happy with it, as it takes excellent pictures, and, thankfully, not too many buttons  to do too much to get the picture I want.  I like to snap pictures of things that aren't likely to run away quickly.  And, for the record, these photos are mine! 

For the past year, we've taken on a "See America First" tour.  Admittedly, we've dipped into Canada to see what's there.  It's been totally worth it, as there is some of the most beautiful, unspoiled country up there that I've ever seen.  Though in September, the weather on Vancouver Island, B.C. was pretty nippy.  We were able to go on a bear tour to photograph bears, eagles, dolphins and whales.  We were not disappointed at all on any account.  We also stayed in a cabin at Tofino on Vancouver Island.  I was intrigued with the whole thing. It was all so beautiful.  The beaches were pristine, and there were things I'd never seen down here on the Gulf Coast. In the mornings, I'd don a coat, flip-flops and grab my camera to take pictures of tidal pools.  There were lots of sea anemones, starfish and muscles.  There were gulls, crows and ravens that had no fear of humans.  We did witness crows and ravens take advantage of a picnic basket that had been left for a brief time while the owners explored the beach.  What a huge mess the birds had left.  I have to chuckle at the birds, after witnessing what humans leave behind along the roadsides.

Also, in the past year, we've been from coast to coast; and it never ceases to amaze me that there is so much we take for granted ... things we just don't see on a day-to-day basis.  On our last trip, we "cut a circle" from South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.  We've been there before, but we always see things we haven't seen before.  In every place we've been. I've always encountered the beautiful Ravens.  At Bryce and Zion, they've followed me around from station to station to get the crackers that I carry in my pockets; clearing the parking lots by pecking at fenders and bumpers of cars that had just pulled up.  As fierce as they look, they gently take the crackers from my fingers.  They will call  from 80' up on a dead tree to talk.  All a person has to do is answer them.  They will talk...tell all.  I feel very drawn to these beautiful avian creatures.

As we drove through the Tetons and Yellowstone, there were the beautiful elk and buffalo.  We bowed to their right of way.  Everyone should see this.  Again, this is stuff you just don't see while sitting at your computer, or at your local mall.

On one afternoon, we were blessed with buffalo commandeering the road.  We bowed to their  strength and ownership of the space.

I think we'll be heading east on our next tirp...or will we?  We'll be talking about this through Thanksgiving.  We've been east before, but there is a lot we haven;t seen....Maybe the upper east coast will hold more discoveries in the spring.

Between the two of us, we've taken thousands of pictures.  Some of the best are the wild life photos, but there are also candid shots of people, and the joy they experience daily.  I'll have to post some of those too.  In the mean time.  We're planning our next adventure.   

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Television originally started out as a means of entertainment, and quickly developed into “entertainment with sponsors to pay for the air time”.  There was Annie Oakley telling us all about Wonder Bread with the red, yellow and blue balloons on the wrapper.  There was, “N-E-S-T-L-E-S….Nestle’s makes the verrry best, Chooooocolate!” Those ads prevailed, but they never interrupted the program too many times for very long.

However, I just saw several ads in a row that are aimed at people to make them unhappy with themselves, or to scare them in order to sell a product.  If you drink juices or sodas, your teeth enamel will soften and wear away, the ad tells you to buy a certain toothpaste to “prevent this”, if you must drink juice or soda.  Another ad showed a woman with spots on her skin…obviously altered in by the magic of photo-shop technology.  The kicker is that she was holding a Dalmatian puppy, to accentuate the dreaded “spotty skin”.  These ads start working on women as early as the age of 25 about their wrinkled skin.  Another ad brags that it can cover up your unsightly grey hair.  I have seen an ad that uses alligator images to promote skin moisturizers.  Yet another ad was simply the capper on my day.  ARE YOU PLAGUED WITH FEMININE ODOR?  Fine!  So, I have unsightly spotty skin….grey hair, and unwanted feminine odor.  I should be totally unlovable and must run out to buy all the products that will make me more desirable and lovable.

Since TV ads run about 9 min. for every three minutes of actual programming, television is no longer for our entertainment and/or education.   It’s all about how many sponsors will pay how much to place an ad that will draw consumers in.   There are the ads for drugs that include disclaimers that are longer than the ads for the product themselves. These ads claim to put you to sleep, wake you up, clear up your depression, sinuses, acne, give prolonged sexually activity, and/or fix your leaky bladder.  On the downside, these disclaimers say that you should be aware that any one of these products could cause symptoms that might give you unwanted brain tumors, unwanted facial hair, sleep walking / driving, and discomfort after more than 4 hours, tendencies to suicide, farts, fits and freckles, and possibly death.  What could the FDA be thinking to approve all of that crap?!!  Oh! …There it is … MONEY.  It’s marketing smoke and mirrors aimed at getting you to part with your money.  Obviously, they convince some people that they NEED this crap.

It used to be that doctors, lawyers and pharmaceuticals (besides Alka-Seltzer, Pepto-Bismol, Milk of Magnesia and Bayer Aspirin could not advertise on TV.  When the law was passed ; and I don’t know exactly when that sneaked up on us, it opened up a huge can of worms….or a Pandora’s Box.  The ambulance chasers just grind my teeth, and media that reports crazy claims…..”Coffee is bad for you!”….”No!  Coffee is safe now!”…. “No!  Coffee is GOOD for you,”  Some of the hysteria attempts are just downright hysterical!  One woman declares that the shape of hot dogs and bananas should be changed because 2 year olds can choke on them.  What about pickles?  What about using common sense when feeding your 2 year old?

Since we live in a country that allows Americans to sue anyone for anything, everyone seems to have to cover their assets.  Nothing is advertised that there isn’t a disclaimer included, or a long list of exceptions to the rule.

The food industry is totally busted on this smoke and mirrors advertising.  Everything is processed so much that there is little nutrition left in anything.  They aim and promote the unhealthiest foods at children.  Everything that they want you to buy is placed strategically at eye level, and they even psychologically map out your path through the store, so that, If you don’t know any better than to just go for what you have on your list, they will take you into the interior of the store, where they have the most expensive impulse items.  Meanwhile, you are their salve, and will pick up at least 10 unplanned items.

There are no more “Mr. Woods”, who drove down the street ringing a cowbell to sell his home grown vegetables;  no more local milk trucks, or local bread makers to deliver the freshest and healthiest foods.  You must go to a grocery store and follow their arrows to buy the product that will pay them (the grocer) the most to put on the shelves of that grocer.

I haven’t even gotten into the rant I have stored up about the “Free Sample” industry, which will send you a “free sample” if you pay for (via credit card) the shipping and handling.  If you don’t make plans to send it back (unused portion) within a certain allotted time, they will charge you $80.00 for the next monthly installment.  I do have to stop there.

Let’s just get real about this.  Squint your eyes and see through all of the ads, and then do what you know is best….and I wish it was just that simple.  Meanwhile, we are barraged with the sales pitches of today’s industry.  These days, we can record the programs we want to see, and either fast forward through the ads.  And, I think we can even record them sans the ads, which would be my choice.  Or, we can do what we used to do, and use the commercials to get up and do something else until the commercial is over.  That one always worked for me.