Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Some Lights Shine Bright

When I was young, putting up the Christmas tree was, of course, a family event. There was more to it than getting the pre-lit tree out of the attic. First, we had to pick out the perfect tree. That usually ended up being a really cold night at the Noon Optimist Christmas Tree lot.

Then, dad had to saw the tree and get it to stand up straight. That involved being stuck by the needles as the stand was screwed into the trunk.  Next he put the lights on the tree. Okay, kids, this is where it gets dicey. Actually he strewn the tree with the lighting wire. Then, we all put the bulbs in. The bulbs were the big ones and were red, green, blue, and white.  Anyway, no two colors could be next to one another. That might sound easy, but somehow or another, two of one color would end up to each other. Then we would have to start over.

Now it was time to plug the lights in and watch them shine. Again, problems ensued. Most times, they didn't work. That is because, in those days, if one bulb was out, none of them worked. So, you had to go through all the bulbs until you found the one that was blown. This kept up through Christmas, because one could blow at any moment.

Then the decorations were placed on the tree. We even got to use icicles, but they needed to be placed one at a time on a branch. No throwing like you see in the movies. I believe that those icicles had lead in them also.

Things are so much easier these days. No, not really.  We are having electrical issues. It all began with this great Santa that I found at CVS. We wanted to put him in the front window. But, of course, it could not be that easy. First of all the windows are tinted. You can't see Santa at night. So, lighting is an issue. Barry bought a spot light at Lowe's for Santa, and it worked fairly well. For one night, that is. Then the switch on the spotlight jammed.

The windows needed to be cleaned so, Monday, I washed them. This tripped a GFCI. We can't find this GFCI to reset it and are afraid that it is behind the shelving that we have put up in the garage. So, Santa, is in the dark as well as one of my wreaths. We can't put the outside lights up until the plugs outside are working.

So, if you want to see lights, go by Chris and Robin's house. It looks great. You might want to take some sunglasses with you. It is bright enough that Santa will have no problem finding it, come rain, fog, snow, or sleet.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Belated Thanksgiving Wishes

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope that your day was just what you wanted it to be.
As our family dynamics have changed over the years, we now alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas with our children's in-laws. We are very fortunate, as we get to see our children and grandchildren often, so this is really easy for us.

This year was the in-laws year for Thanksgiving. Joanie, Jacob, and his parents went to San Antonio to spend the day with his grandparents. Miles and Michelle traveled to Arlington to spend the day with the Schneiders. Shannon and Brett decided they wanted to have Thanksgiving at their new house, and included us with the McNeely/Abshier family.

So.... guess what? I have a few photos.

Joanie sent this photo via text. Ava and Lucy's turkey shirts were made by her friend, Jordan.
Jordan's applique designs can be found at Labels of Love
Here are four generations of beautiful Abshiers.

There was football,

a Connect Four tournament,

and some basketball. 

There was also frisbee and baseball. Why so many games? The balls kept going over the fence into the neighbors' yards, so games had to be changed.  Brett rounded up all the stray balls and frisbee at the end of the day.

Yea, Brett!

I am so thankful for my family and friends. I hope the rest of your weekend is fabulous!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Random List

One or both of us have been out of town the last three of four weekends, so I am working on getting back in the swing of things. It doesn't take much to get me off track lately. So here's a little list.

1. We know the sex of our next grandchild.

2. The puppy's name is Magic. I told Ben, Barry was going to teach him a magic trick. Ben thought that was hilarious. When it happens, I will video it.

3. Shreveport has some cute shops.

4. Race Way is not RaceTrac or QT and definitely not BUCKEE'S. Try to avoid the restrooms at Race Way. Gross! Love you, BUCKEE'S!

5. I received a text from Barry last night that he likes the puppy.

6. Barry was in his office, in our house at the time he sent the text, and I was in the living room.

7. The key to a successful marriage is communication, even through text.

8. I have taken a couple of people to yoga this month. They will thank me later.

9. Creature Comfort microchips all their clients' pets. Barry forgot to microchip, Magic.

10. (I am writing this to see if Brett and Shannon read my blog.) I am going to get Scarlett a cat for Christmas.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sad But True

You thought I was kidding when I said I was brain dead. In this lapse of better judgement, I got a puppy.

I didn't even pick a color that is easy to photograph. Today is his second day with us. Hopefully, I will come up with a name soon. Right now, we have these suggestions from friends, family, and grandkids. Feel free to make a suggestion.

BlackJack (staff at the clinic suggestion)
Meatball (which is what a grandchild was having for dinner at the time)
Floppy (because Barry says his ears are too wide apart and a grandchild went with that)
Bruno (Cinderella's dog-another grandchild suggestion)
Pain in the neck (Bingo's suggestion)

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Brain Runneth Over

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough (thank you, Barry) to attend a photography workshop taught by Me Ra Koh. I first saw her on Nate Berkus and loved how she actually did shots that I felt were achievable by an average photographer.  So for the past couple of days twenty two other ladies and I have been soaking up her knowledge and confidence. ( Her workshops are only for women. Girl Power!)

We practiced photographing babies and families. I found the babies the hardest. But, maybe that shouldn't come as a surprise as I found raising babies the hardest. Here are a few of the family shots I took.  Keep in mind that one of the things I learned from this workshop is that I have a lot to learn.

 So, family and friends, be forewarned. I WILL be practicing on you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Guest Post by Barry

Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for anything Barry says or does. jb

I’m writing this on toilet paper from my jail cell. As you might have heard, I lost my trial. Can you believe this trial, over a vehicle registration sticker, lasted from 10 AM until 2:30 PM? There were a few recesses and the jury was out thirty five minutes. While they were out, I took the opportunity to let the prosecutor know what an ass hole he was. He just gave me that, “I’ll get you in the end” knowing smile and continued to lie about things he told me at the original traffic court. Well, he did get me, the bastard. Now I will have this blight on my record forever. They had to restrain me when at one point I started shouting, “you can’t handle the truth”. 

I did have some really good advice from Jacob, my lawyer son-in-law. I asked questions of the jury; if any of them had more than one vehicle, etc. I scratched a few potential jurors, one because he worked in law enforcement. One because she was recently laid off and I thought I looked like a republican and another just because I didn’t like his looks.  Hell they gave me three strikes. Use them or lose them was my motto. 
I questioned the cop with many embarrassing, or at least out of character for me, leading questions. I was not allowed to call the prosecutor to the stand. I tried twice. He was a real manipulator and voiced so many objections to my opening statement and testimony that I couldn’t get my points across like I wanted. He also lied to the Jury, and it was too late for me to counter. Basically he took advantage of the fact that I am not an attorney and didn’t have one to represent me. 
So, Jacob, since you didn’t come represent me, why don’t you help me escape? I don’t think a file in a cake is going to work.  Maybe you can crack into their computers. Also, the ankle monitor is starting to give me a blister. Maybe some aloe-vera cream?  
Wait…what was that? I think the prisoner in the adjacent cell is trying to send me a coded message. What is di di dah dit, di di dah, dah di dah dit, dah di dah? There will be a small prize, maybe a personalized license plate, if anyone can decipher that code. ….. 
Oh my gosh, you are not going to believe this. I just saw Tim Robbins walk by. …. Earlier today I tamed a small sparrow, actually I’m not sure if it is a Five Striped Sparrow, a Fox Sparrow. Or a Lark Sparrow. Most likely it is a Five Striped because, after all, we are in a jail. My uniform is striped. I got my first prison tattoo today. I didn’t want to be anti-social. It is a heart with Modder in the middle. I couldn’t bring myself to correct the artist’s spelling.  Anyway, who is going to see it on my buttocks.? 
I have a choice in here. I can either join the Arian Brotherhood, the Black Panthers, the Latin Brotherhood or one of the many other groups. Actually, there is a group of Jewish lawyers and want -to - be lawyers called the Schmohawks. I think I’ll join them because we get special dietary privileges and I like the bird reference.
Well, now they are telling me it will be lights out in five minutes. I guess I’ll have to write again next week when we are supposed to receive a new roll of TP. Please send me a care package. I don’t know how long I will be here. All the guards are Iranian. Shalom.

Justice For the People

Today is the type of day that created this blog.

(Disclaimer: We are law abiding citizens and expect others to be too, but sometimes a man has to do what a man has to do.)

Barry is going to court, and he will be defending himself. I have already reminded him of the "a fool for a lawyer" quote but, he has had consultations.

In March, Barry was stopped for allegedly speeding. The police officer did not give him a ticket for speeding, but as is policy, he ran Barry's registration sticker. That is when it was discovered that the sticker was not for the vehicle (Tahoe) that Barry was driving. The RV and Tahoe registrations had come due at the same time, and Barry had affixed them to the wrong vehicles. The policeman ticketed Barry for the registration sticker and told him to just go get another sticker, take the proof to the courthouse, and all would be fine. (just like an expired sticker)

Barry decided to be proactive and went straight to the city to get the stickers straightened out. While doing so, the kind lady at the city advised Barry to just go ahead and pay a little extra and get the 2012 sticker. That would save him a few dollars in the long run. When Barry took the receipt to the courthouse, he was informed that by buying the 2012 sticker, he had somehow negated the 2011 sticker and would have to go to court.

Fast forward to his appointed court date. He leaves work. When he checks in the clerk tells him that they usually go in alphabetical order, so he shouldn't be there long. That was what he wanted to hear because little animals were waiting for him. Well, that day they went in REVERSE alphabetical order. So, Barry sat there through a lot, let me repeat, a lot of cases.

He began to notice a pattern. No one was getting their case dismissed. Sometimes the attorney would lower the fine from $350.00 to $275.00 or $250.00, but everyone was fined. One man was in his seventies and had never had a ticket. He was ticketed for running a stop sign in a residential area. The man had photos of the stop sign and it was hidden by a tree or bush. Barry had figured that the city had made $10,000 dollars by the time it was his turn. So by now, Barry feels he shouldn't be there in the first place, has waited a long time, and feels injustice to the people.

When it came Barry's turn, he explained that he had purchased the Tahoe registration sticker for 2011, but had accidentally put it on the wrong vehicle. He also explained what had happened when he went to purchase a new registration sticker and ended up with the 2012 sticker. The attorney said his fine was $350.00. Barry asked if there were other options. He was informed he could have a trial by judge or jury. Barry told the attorney he wanted a trial by jury, because he thought people would understand that it was just an honest mistake.

This made the attorney unhappy. He told Barry even if the jury found him not guilty he would tell the judge it was "blah, blah, blah" (That is some legal term I can't remember, but I do believe it had something to do with following the law), and the judge would have to overturn the jury.

This is where the whole thing became a little junior highish. The attorney went on to say, "then you will have this on your permanent record forever."

Barry replied, "You mean I will have a non-moving violation on my permanent record forever? I am sixty two. What do I care if that is on my record?"

So, my friends, today is court day. Barry and the prosecution will be picking their jurors and going to trial. Hopefully, the jurors will not be upset that they are missing work for this trial, see Barry's side, and win one for the people!

I am hoping that I do not receive a phone call from the Mansfield jail. I am keeping my phone, my ATM card, and camera ready just in case.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

TYP Greatness

I began practicing yoga at The Yoga Project a few years ago. I actually did a 40 Day Program at that time and found my love of yoga and TYP.

The first thing I noticed is that during class the instructors assisted you with poses. It is amazing how they can gently help you move into alignment, relax, or go farther in a pose than you have ever been before. They don't just call out a pose either. They teach you how to do the pose to the best of your ability with tips on alignment and breathing.

Secondly, at The Yoga Project, they help you with modifications. Our bodies are all different with different needs and these are addressed here.

The best thing of all, they call you by your name. Don't we all love to be acknowledged? It is a family at TYP.

The studio is heated and there are no mirrors. I had no idea how distracting the mirrors in the gym classes were until I practiced without them. Mirrors, for me, only place what I am doing wrong in my head. Que the psychologist here. I won't lie though, it took me a little while to get used to the heat.

However, as much as I love TYP, I am human and tend, at times, to feel bad, travel, and, (this is major), manage my time poorly. So, during the past few months, I haven't been going to classes on a regular basis.

On my first day back in awhile, Kristi was teaching. Class was wonderful. Then after class, as someone was leaving, Kristi called out "Bye, stay great". That is how TYP makes me feel. Great.

TYP is beginning a 30 Day Yoga project, and I am joining as this is a good way to get back on track. It is also a great way to begin yoga. So my tens of readers, if you want to feel good, work hard, and get strong, join me in this 30 day journey. You can go to TYP and get information.

Stay, great everyone.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Oh The Cuteness!

I love Halloween. I love how happy it makes children. Going out after dark, pretending with your parents, and getting candy, what could be more fun?

Here are some random children that I thought were really cute this year. 

This whole family was pretty cute. So I included their parents too.
Or maybe it is because I used their photo card. I am not sure.