Wednesday, August 27, 2014


The air conditioner in our car is ... well, not quite "broken" but sort of fritzy.  It isn't quite what it once was.  So, recently, we have been driving with the windows down.  This is something I was actually quite accustomed to as a child, but in the decades since then, I have become a "windows up" driver pretty exclusively.

What I have found is amazing.  Wonderful.  Sure, you have to make sure there aren't any loose papers in the car, but otherwise I love it.  The journey to take my husband to work (15 miles away) and the return to get him in the evening is an incredible sensory experience.

The first thing that caught my attention was on an evening trip.  Driving past restaurants at around 5 pm is beyond words.  The smells are intoxicating.  Steaks, onions, peppers...anything being cooked on a grill or griddle that needs to vent to the outdoors is available.  Last week when we had to drive downtown (unfamiliar territory for us) we tried to guess what restaurants we were near by scent.

   "I definitely smell onions grilling.  Oh, there's a Mexican place.  That could easily be fajitas."

   "Do you smell Chinese food?  I smell Chinese food."
   "There's a Thai place on  the corner.  That's probably it."

   "Can you tell we're in Texas?  Smell that steak!"

Try it in your town.  All it costs is some wind-swept hair.

This morning was different.  The "feast for the senses" was not aromas this morning.  It usually isn't.  This morning there were wonderful sounds, everyday sounds, that just somehow seemed ... more than everyday.
The best times to try were at red lights.  The wind itself gets very loud, plus the sound of our own car's engine.  But at the stops...a small dog barking...someone playing a radio in their we got closer to his office it was more commercial and less residential.  My second favorite was the sound of the expressway we were not on, but next to.  Occasionally there were not brakes or horns, just the sound of the cars driving by.  It sounded like a river.

Then, after he was gone and I had gone home alone, past a fire truck with its siren on, I got to my neighborhood, passed a lawnmower and weed-eater, and to my favorite sound of the morning.  Elementary school recess.  Laughter, squeals, running sneakers, all brought a smile to my face and a nice start to my day.


State and national flags at the rest stop in Mississippi just before we crossed the river, taken on the day we moved.  Nice and breezy, good for taking photos of flags.  I should find a nice Texas flag and get a photo of it.  Shouldn't be too hard.  Texans are proud of their flag.  The things are everywhere.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Settling In

It has been about a month since we moved to the Dallas / Fort Worth area.  I love our rental house.  It is big and lovely, and very empty.  To save space (and money) on the move we didn't bring a lot of our furniture.  We decided to either do without or buy more in Texas.   So far it has been mostly doing without.  Over the next few months we will be getting new furniture a few pieces at a time.

I love Plano, and like the Dallas area as a whole.  It is taking some getting used to, but I suppose if there is a metropolitan area I would fit into with little or no culture shock it is... Atlanta...with Dallas a close second. 
Family Game Day April 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Things are going well.  I don't want anyone to read the previous post and worry about us overmuch.  We have a decent savings tucked away for just such occasions.

DH hit the job market hard.  He had contacts from a couple of years ago, plus an attitude of not letting this snag him.  We decided what we wanted in a city and he decided hat he wanted in a job.  There have already been leads that got turned down because they didn't meet what we want.

Currently it looks as if we will be relocating to Dallas, TX.  It isn't definite, but it is almost there.  Sometime next week, early, we will be going to Dallas so he can have in-person interviews to follow up the video-call interview that happened last week.
   We were hoping to get it all scheduled Friday and be there on Monday, but that didn't happen.  We'll likely hear from them on Monday and either have to hit the road immediately or the next day.  At very least we'll know more than we do now.   I am looking forward to the trip, but also feeling a bit nervous.  Dallas is a bigger city than we have ever lived in, or even visited, really.

   While he is interviewing, I am tasked with checking things out in general, and the housing market in particular.  I have been doing some online research, but there is more I can do there in person.  So, I get to explore the Dallas area on my own while he lets some managers in on the secret that he is the guy they need in their department.

Every time I see this picture,  I think dd15 is in there center, until I notice the braces.  Pictured- dd16, dd13, and dd15.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pack it up!

My husband came home at lunchtime yesterday.  It seems that the company laid off roughly 25 people, all across the departments, etc.  OK

Well, we have a nice bit saved up for emergencies, and he'll get a severance, and things look bright for him finding another job in the near future (rather than the far future.)  No worries.  (Well, maybe not NO worries, but less than if, say , we were living paycheck to paycheck with nothing squirreled away and were heavily in debt.

I have not been liking living in Oxford for a few years now.  We have been here since 2005 and I don't feel like I fit in.  But one doesn't just uproot for no reason.  Now we have good reason.  Since the odds of finding work in Oxford are very low and Mississippi in general doesn't look good we are almost surely moving.  And the fact that I WANT to move only makes it more certain. 

I just wish I knew where to.

I guess that remains to be seen.

 I am not really "worried" so  much as uncertain and curious about where we will be going. 

And even excited.  (I hope I like it.)

More random photo fun...
Car window (from inside the car) a few months ago.  Frost!

Don't feel like it

I gave up the drawing practice after two days because I wasn't having fun.  I can't say it'll be forever.  I may give another try in the future.

RANDOM PICTURE!!!  (not really random, just having nothing to do with blog post)
 I was an incredibly cute kindergartener.  1978

Thursday, February 6, 2014

AH hahahaha!

Looking back at my last post and seeing my complaints about the cold make me laugh now after feeling the effects of the POLAR VORTEX.   (I also laugh at my plans to take so many photos during the holidays.)

Sure...go ahead and plan, Past Me.  We both know the odds of it coming to pass.

The Holidays went well, but seemed to go quickly.  We put off decorating for so long that by the time we did get out tree up it felt like it was coming down immediately.  I will try to be better prepared this coming year.  (Please do not laugh at me, Future Me.)

Wild subject change coming in 3...2...1...

I saw a YouTube video of a TEDx talk last week that got me to thinking.   The speaker's point was that the amount of practice it takes to be passably good at something has been wildly exaggerated and that if people realized how possible it was to learn something new they would be pleasantly surprised.   (20 hours, rather than 10,000)  So, armed with that, I plan to expand my universe this year by taking up things that interest me but that I have, in recent years, felt that I had let too much of my life pass to take up, like drawing, or playing the mandolin, or painting, or...(insert something else awesome)

I do hope Future Me is laughing at how awesome it was to learn these things and not the audacity of  me planning something.  Naw, I am not going to HOPE for anything from Future Me.  I am going to make her look back on Present Me with awe and respect.   She'll owe me a lot!  But I don't expect anything in return, no.  She should pay it forward to Future Future Me.

Anyway, dd13 (that's the youngest) got a book on drawing cartoon people as one of her holiday gifts, AND I had an idea for a holiday card (or group of them) that involved cartoon drawings, SO...for my first 20 hours feat...SOUFFLE BAKING!  (Nope, just kidding) CARTOON DRAWING.

An hour a day should have my 20 done by the end of February.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Now, for your post-holiday enjoyment, Me with some of my gifts!  A Dressy Bessy doll, and a crochet hat and scarf.  I got more than that, but that is what is shown.  Judging by the size of Me, I'd say 1975 or 76.   Also pictured, The Big Chair and My Mother's Arm.