A LOOK AT THE WORLD THROUGH THE EYES OF A CONSERVATIVE FREE-SPIRIT

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook: 17APR11

FOR TODAY
Outside my window...darkness. I always end up doing this blog at night, so the answer always seems to be the same.
I am thinking...that I wish I had more patience.
I am thankful for...the people at the Buna Church of Christ.
From the learning rooms...more guitar.
From the kitchen...three bean soup.
I am wearing...sawed off sweat-pants and a McCarty shirt.
I am creating...a surprise for Reagan.
I am going...to get the bills paid this month!
I am reading...a book about Louie Zamperini, an Olypian and WWII Army Air Force pilot
I am hoping...that I can have the strength to keep on keepin' on.
I am hearing...Daryl Hall and John Oates singing.
Around the house...Pop is refusing to go to bed.
One of my favorite things...chocolate. One of my faves is no-bake chocolate peanut-butter cookies which are resting safely in my fridge at this exact moment!
A few plans for the rest of the week: Hiking, guitar lessons, and knitting.
A Photo for your consideration:

an accidental shot somewhere in the Denver Airport. Wish I could remember what it is; however, that is unimportant because I love the colors and swirls just the way they are!

Things that are cool about Pop, # 34

He just cracks me up!!

We were watching the TVLAND awards and were listening to Daryl Hall and John Oates perform when 83-year-old Pop turned to me and said,

"This is just up my alley."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lackland Air Force Base--25MAR11
















Arriving on base about 7:00 a.m.


















The two previous photos were taken approximately 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning.

















An "action-shot" at the parade grounds.

















The drill sergents practicing their introduction march.












The numerous flags which fly at Lackland Air Force Base
















The airmen marching to their spots for graduation.
















This was Sam's flight, # 231
















Retreating Colors.
















Air Force flyer! ;-P












The Three-Hundred and Twenty-First Squadron where Sam lived for 8 weeks.









Basic Trainee flights marching to class.






321st motto.























Sam's desert camoflauge uniform.



The bay where Sam slept. The bay looked much smaller when seen through the eyes of a 41-year-old as compared to those of an 18-year-old. (at least my memory of what this 18-year-old saw).

07APR11 Herbs gone to seed

So, here is a big truth about me: I am not a good gardener. I want to be a good gardener. I continue striving to be a good gardener. However, I am not a good gardener. Here are several photographs of some of the herbs from last year's garden. The herbs made it through our pretty decent winter and have flowered out. I didn't know that herb will flower out. I sure think they're pretty flowers on these herbs, though. :)



















Chives have purpley-pink flowers!





I believe these flowers came from the cilantro plants. Even more reason to love cilantro, yeah?




The regular oregano--with tiny, tiny leaves--has white flowers also. I don't really like the regular oregano because the leaves are so small and it is hard to remove them from their stems to use in cooking. However, I do like the flowers AND this particular oregano plant is special to me cos I grew it from seed.

















This is a pretty pink flower, but I don't know from which kind of plant it comes. If you happen to know, please educate me!










Isn't this blue flowers purty! Again, I don't know from which herb this comes.










An herb with white flower!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook: 12APR11

Simple Woman's Daybook: 12APR11

FOR TODAY
Outside my window...dunno. The blinds are shut and it is dark outside anyway.
I am thinking... that I wish I could sleep.
I am thankful for...the fact that today (well, in 8 hours) is my day off.
From the learning rooms...whatever I read in Time Magazine
From the kitchen...comfort food--macaroni and cheese.
I am wearing...pajamas.
I am creating...same thing as last week--haven't made much progress.
I am going...hiking with Mrs. Fronaberger tomorrow morning.
I am reading...a Mary Higgins Clark mystery novel--well, I just finished it a few hours ago.
I am hoping...for some sleep.
I am hearing...my ears ringing--gotta love tinnitus, yeah?
Around the house...Snow White is growling in her sleep. It is interesting!
One of my favorite things...sleep. I think there is a theme here tonight.
A few plans for the rest of the week: finish knitting hats for the doc and his family, knit one for young Mr. Garner, clean my room, and practice my guitar.
A Photo for your consideration:


















P.S. I First learned of Simple Woman's Daybook from this blogger (thegreengreek.blogspot.com), however, she learned it from This blogger (http://thesimplewoman.blogspot.com/)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Vocabulary Lessons

Lana, Vicky, Douglas and I were sitting in my bedroom--plotting. We were trying to decide who we would send into Mom's room to ask if we could go swimming at the base pool.


Of course, the three of us girls wanted to send Dougie Paul. He was the youngest, the only boy, and--we were certain--Mom's favorite. We figured that if we sent HIM, we'd be at the pool within the hour!


In the end, Lana decided that we shouldn't send Douglas cos Mom would suspect that we had all conspired to manipulate her into taking us. If she DID suspect us, we knew she would shut us down--but quick!


We put our heads together and the powers that be (aka, everyone except me) decided that it would be ME who would be sent in to ask Mom what was certainly the most important question of the day. I'll admit that I was very hesitant about taking on such an important task. I was sure I'd muck it up. Eventually, though, I forced myself down the hall and into Mom's bedroom.

"Mom? Umm...We were all kinda wondering if maybe we could go swimming a little later on today?"

She responded immediately without looking up from the clothes she was folding.

"I doubt it."

I was so excited by her answer that ran into the room and crowed triumphantly--my fist punching the air, "She said I DOUBT IT!!"
Vicky and Douglas and I were jumping up and down gleefully. Our legs lost all their energy for jumping, however, when we heard Lans's next words.

"She said, 'I doubt it?' That means we're not going!"

Letter to a Sneaky Company

Dear Such and So Company,
I did some research today and came up with these figures:
$216 price per year (rounded down for your benefit) $18/month for 12 months.
25 The Atlantic Monthly
191
24 Outside magazine
167
30 Strings
137
10 Reader’s Digest
127
25 Knit N Style
102 Now this is the price what your company makes off of me per year, after you’ve paid for my subscriptions. It may even be more cos y'all might get a discount on bulk subscriptions.
And let's not forget $30 for Acoustic Guitar. (This one was offered as a free two year subscription. I researched it anyway and added it to the subtractions, just to be fair to y’all. Regardless, y’all are still making at least $72 every year off of me. I realize you have to pay the bills and all, but I gotta say, that seems like a little much for about an hour of work. Is this how you treat special, preferred customers--by charging them $72 a year for talking them into buying some magazines? And really, that isn’t my biggest problem.
Firstly, when the conversation first began after I answered the phone, it was intimated several times that—because I was a good customer—I was getting some sort of special deal or incentive, kinda like a “thank you” to me for being such a “good” customer. I’ll admit, the idea of being rewarded got my attention--in addition to the fact that Patrick was very friendly. So, I listened instead of politely turning him down—which is what I usually do. He began discussing 60 months of magazines, etc. etc. We discussed what I like to do and what kind of magazine I might like to read. We picked out several and—with a few stops and starts—we finally chose five which I would select.
Then the price was outlined for me. My sales guy was very clear in saying “Well, we won’t bill you the $4.++ each week. The monthly price is $ 18.++. I was fine with the idea, although somewhere in my head a little voice was whispering to me that I might be getting bilked. I pushed that voice aside, however, and continued listening. (The fact that I was able to push aside my tiny worries is a testament to what kind of friendly worker you have in Patrick, by the way)
Patrick then let me know that he would have to pass me on to someone in the billing department because he wasn’t able to process the order. He did mention that I would need to get my credit card out to pay for the first month. Now I don’t mind paying for the first month. I understand the bills have to be paid and all. When I mentioned that I had lost my debit card—which is true, by the way—Patrick was kind enough to let me know that they’d be willing to do a check by phone. Okay, no problem. Then he handed me over to the billing department. It was after I was handed over to the billing department that I started feeling a bit—well, shall we say—“grifted.” Now, I realize that the word I just used is not actually a real word, but I wanted to get across to y’all the sense of chicanery that I felt was used by your company. Once I was passed on to the man--the second one with whom I spoke--who worked in the billing department, I felt an immediate change in attitude, purpose, and intent. I’m finding it hard to explain how I feel, but I hope someone, somewhere in your company is getting it.
I wish I knew what Second Guy’s name was cos he is really where the problem started. I asked him twice what his name was and he kinda mumbled it in such a way that I never really got it straight, ya know what I mean? I finally ended up just saying, “O.K.” and pressing onward instead of trying to figure out what he was saying.
One of my problems is with this Second Guy. I’m not sure exactly how y’all train your employees. I know that y’all have certain little tricks and rebuttals you use in order to get past the person’s walls. I get it. But as I was listening to Second Guy, I heard them LOUDLY and it became a little off-putting, yeah? He was at the point where he was trying to collect the money. He was talking so swiftly, as if he were trying to hide the small print, that I immediately saw an image in my mind of one of those slick con men—kinda like Professor Harold Hill in ‘The Music Man’ except your Second Guy wasn’t as likeable. I had to ask him to slow down about three times. I had to ask him to repeat himself. I had to ask for clarification.
Then Second Guy began trying to sell me the REAL load of goods. It was clear that someone had worked on a way to make it seem like this next idea was really MY idea or at least that y’all were looking out for my best interest.
“Well” says he, “Most of our customers don’t really want to keep doling out a measly $18.++ a month. That is such a small amount and we realize it’d be a hardship on you to have to gather up so many pennies to pay this bill each month. And to have to do it EVERY SINGLE month for sixty months!?! Why that is a hardship to which we would NEVER subject our loyal customers! Instead, we’re going do you such a good dead! We’re going to let you pay $70.++ a month for only 15 months. Then—after that short, very un-bothersome amount of time, you can just kick those weary penny-searching feet right up on your desk, pick up one of our magazines, and relax.”
Well, as I am paying off my school loan to the tune of mumble hundred dollars a month, along with other sizeable bills, I simply could not afford the monthly fee which he was so graciously offering as a way to make my life easier.
I explained my situation and he—of course—gave me a counter offer: I could pay less money per month, but I’d have to compromise and give up some of my precious “feet up on the desk, worries over cos the bill is paid” time. For only $ 50.++ a month for XX amount of months (I don’t wanna do the math, y’all. It is almost 2:00a.m. I’m realizing that I’m getting tired), I could have this other--less wonderful--payment plan.
Then I had to explain to your Second Guy once more that I couldn’t do that amount. He went straight on to next phase of the spiel. I could pay $ 37.++ for a longer period and time, thereby giving myself less feet/desk/magazine time, but hey, I had to make some sacrifices here.
Finally, I interrupted Second Guy once again and said—in what sounded to me like a very weary voice, “Can’t we just go with the price you and Patrick originally quoted? You know, the $ 18.++ ?” His voice illustrated his displeasure that I was so cheap and wouldn’t ante up the larger amount which ANYONE worth their salt would have coughed up immediately for such a great deal.
“Well,” he said, with what sounded like a sigh, “I’ll have to run it past my boss. Will you hold a moment?”
Of course, I held. Then he came back and announced to me that–since I’m such a great and loyal customer and cos I’ll surely derive such pleasure from the magazines—they’d allow this one time deal wherein I could still snag this special “loyal customer” deal even though I was only willing to pay the measly $ 18.++ a month.
I’m sure you’re aware that I’m taking a little artistic license in this letter to y’all, but—really—it wasn’t that much of a difference. I guess the things I think you ought to know are these:
1. Y’all might want to consider spiffin’ up your spiel a bit. I’ll tell ya that partway into my conversation with Second Guy in the billing department, I was thinking, “I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a mistake. I’m getting an inkling that it is.” The Spiel needs some polish. Smart people won’t fall for it. ‘Course, maybe y’all don’t care.
2. I think the $102 in profit y’all make is a bit on the hefty side. I feel like I could order all those magazines myself for a lot less. I know this for a fact cos I did the research. Considering my financial situation this year, I don't think I need to waste that kind of money.
These two point combine to make a conclusion which I don’t think you’ll want to hear. Second Guy made me feel like this whole situation is just a bad deal. Therefore, I am—officially and in writing--informing you of my intent to to cease all business with your company. Well, excepting the business of y’all refunding my money, please. Y’all can keep your magazines and send me my money.
Please tell Patrick I’m sorry for cancelling. Though he never said anything about it, I have this feeling he’ll get docked because I'm canceling.

Sincerely,

Loralee

Friday, April 8, 2011

Colors Retreating




The Color Guard marching off the field after Sam's Graduation. How fortuitous that I happened to capture the shot just as they passed a plane, making it--in my mind anyway--a perfect illustration of some of the aspects of the U.S. Air Force: our flyers and our patriotism.
Notice the two men kneeling at the edge of the field? They are basic trainees, helping make the graduation come off without a hitch.

Family at Sam's Air Force Basic Training Graduation

Some of my clan at Sam's graduation from USAF Basic Military Training.
















Sam, Mom, Dad, one of Sam's little sister, Dawn (Sam's mother) and Amelia visiting with Sam just after his graduation. He had just beenp 'tapped out' by his grandma, Julia.
















Ryan at a great Mexican food joint!















Ryan and Great-Aunt Loralee at the grandstands waiting for the USAF graduates to march past us.















Sam, Amelia and I just after he graduated.















Mom, Daddy, and Ryan.















Ryan!












Ryan and his Grandma.











Sam and Amelia.
















Sam's Grandma, Julia, at Graduation.















A sleepy Ryan.















Ryan and his Grandma, my sister, Lana.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Things that are cool about Pop, # 33

Pop, trying to put his feet up on the fireplace: I think I'll sit here and relax.

Me: Good idea! And if you pull on the handle to your right, you can lift your feet up.

Pop: Okay, I will.

Me: And if ya push it back like this (I pushed my chair back into a lying down position), you can go to sleep and do this (I started fake snoring.)

Pop pushes his chair back into a lying down position, closes his eyes and begins fake snoring, too.

Things that are cool about Pop, # 32

Pop and I were sitting in the living room watching an old episode of 'Sanford and Son.'
I'd had a headache all day which I'd mentioned earlier to him.

Me: Pop, I still have a pretty bad headache. I'm ready for it to go away. Why dontcha blow me a kiss? It'll make it feel better, I'm sure!

Pop, smiling and obligingly blowing me a kiss: Well, there ya go. That oughta do it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook: 06APR11

My apologies for my lack of posting in the last couple of months. I've been dealing with depression or something which has made me not care one single whit about writing

FOR TODAY
Outside my window...It is sunny and VERY windy.
I am thinking...how sore I am from gardening yesterday.
I am thankful for...the fact that I can read.
From the learning rooms...not much this week
From the kitchen...Loralee's Famous Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I am wearing...Wallace Junior High t-shirt and red plaid pj bottoms.
I am creating...matching hats for my doctor, his wife, and newborn girl.
I am going...to go buy some bananas today before Bible Class.
I am reading...a Mary Higgins Clark mystery novel.
I am hoping...for...well, I dunno.
I am hearing...the wind-chimes on the carport.
Around the house...Pop and Snow are napping, and I ought to be doing the same.
One of my favorite things...Ding Dongs. And today, I read an answer to a post on Facebook and one guy didn't EVEN know what they were! Inconceivable.
A few plans for the rest of the week: hiking, cleaning my room, exercising.
A Photo for your consideration:



Look how CRAZY blue the sky is!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Things that are cool about Pop, # 31

Pop, pointing at a picture of himself and his wife about 60 year ago: Who is that couple over there in that picture?

Me, jokingly: Oh, that couple? That is Herman Younger and Mary Anna Whitehead. You know 'em?

Pop: Yeah. Pretty well. We're pretty close. Well, if they claim me. They might not.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Things that are cool about Pop, # 30

I was showing him where his room is tonight. When he noticed that he has a huge, extra-big bed.

Pop: I've got a big double bed here. Someone can stay here in it with me.
(he often thinks he is staying at a boarding house or something. So, I think that he is always willing to share the other side because of it.)

Me: O.K. Thank you for letting me know. If another man shows up at the house, I'll send him on down to the room.

Pop: Well, I'd be willing to share my bed with a woman if I knew her well.

Of course, he meant me. I was touched. He has had Alzheimer's Disease a long, long time before I ever became a part of his life. But now--after almost 11 months--he recognizes me somehow, way down deep. His wordology indicated to me that he wasn't thinking I was his wife or one of his daughters. But I was someone he knew well. It kinda made me happy to know that somehow he recognizes me.

Why can't upload a video?


Do any of my readers know how to upload videos? I've seen other blogs which have videos on them. I try to do it, but it never works. I think my computer automatically puts an .avi at the end of the video when I download it. Does it need to be some other ending?
HELP!!

Love,
ME,
Loralee :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Things that are cool about Pop, # 29

Pop and I were watching "The Secret Millionaire." It was during one of the "reveal" scenes that the married millionaire couple handed a check over to one of the non-profit companies. Tears were shed and smiles were flashed all around the place.

Pop: They sure have some pretty teeth!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring Blossoms in South East Texas




















All these flowers have bloomed here in South East Texas in the last month or so. Really beautiful! :)