Sunday, July 31, 2011


It's time to get serious now!  Another day of over 100 degrees here in OK!  The forecast for next week looks even hotter. Weather records are about to be shattered all over the heartland.  Trees, flowers and grass all over the area are scorching and my potted plants require  hourly care.  Our water bill is soaring and there's rumors of water rationing in the coming weeks.

Now there's family talk of the whole tribe moving to Colorado by next summer!

Thank God for A/C. 

We need a good, slow, settled in for a day or two, RAIN! 

I'm calling on all my family and friends to begin now to dance for  RAIN!  Surely the steps can't be that difficult and it's worth a try.  Perhaps some dancers in the area can give us a tip or two.

 One, two, three,, two, three, four,  I think I've got it.  If I can keep my right foot off my left
big toe and remain upright  in the process, we should be seeing those thunderclouds building up in the west any minute now.

Surely a rain dance can't be as hard as Zumba, the Texas two-step, Swing, or the Electric Slide!

There was a time I could dance and feel the beat! That was about 1965 and in the privacy of my own bedroom with the "stereo" blasting.   Then came the Beatles, MoTown and Herman's Hermits.    I don't remember any drought back then. The rain came steady and often.  The flora and fauna smiled through pleasant summer days.

That's the solution.  The baby boomers need to put on their dancing shoes and get with it.   There's enough of us to cause the earth to move under our feet, the world to spin around, as we all come tumbling, tumbling down!  I predict a great effect on the gulf stream, the high pressure dome and La Ninya!

Babyboomers!  Thunderboomers!  Yes, I see the connection.

We're having a slow, HOT, Sunday afternoon. Can you tell?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


It happens every summer!  Teens and pre-teens, looking for something exciting to do, sneak out after their parents have gone to bed, roam the neighborhood and take turns ringing random doorbells.  Last year it made us furious because we had elderly neighbors who were not only awakened by the early morning noise, but also frightened.  (They have since moved to Idaho.)

This year the ring-a-ding doos are funnier!  The kids have been ringing our doorbell  occasionally between 2-3 a.m.   It's a little startling, but it's very effective at giving us the wide-awakes INSTANTLY!  I usually get up, take a peek out the window and see them racing off to the house next door to see if they can stir anybody awake there. They have no idea I'm watching and laughing.

I'm positive that the parents have NO IDEA this is going on.  They're having a real exciting time, racing across lawns and the golf course in the middle of the night.  They might be 14-15 years old, young boys making some memories.  It'll stop once school starts.

BUT....tonight OPERATION DING DONG goes into effect.  IF they decide to visit us tonight, Wing-Ding (that would be me!) is supposed to distract them  (???) so Ding-Dong (that would be Honeybuns) can quickly get his black cat burglar outfit on and slip out the back door.  He thinks he can "tail" the youngsters back to their house without being seen.  He plans to wait until they slip back into their home and bide his time hiding in the bushes.  After 15-20 minutes he plans to boldly walk up to the front door, ring the doorbell and surprise the PARENTS .  He will then explain his purpose in waking them up in the wee hours. While all this is happening,  I (Wing-Ding) is supposed to be waiting with my phone in hand  attempting to wake up  our neighborhood security man, aka Barney Fife.  I will tell him that Ding is on the hunt and  that he should drive around  the area looking for a tall man dressed in black following a group of teens.

I can't wait!  I hope they choose our house tonight!  We need to make some hot summertime memories, too. 
I have just a few hours to plan the DISTRACTION!

Maybe I'll just make some cookies and invite them in for a midnight snack!  Or better yet, I'll go buy some DING DONGS!
They'll LOVE IT!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


This news junkie is getting a little weary!  Debit ceiling?  Cap, trade, balance?  Taxes?  Blah, Blah, Blah!  It's getting a little old, Washington.  The political shenanigans are important in DC but here in the heartland the folks can see through that fog with crystal clear glasses.  It's all about who's going to get elected next time! I'm tuning it out for a while.  Maybe I'll check back in when or IF they decide to get serious about our national finances. 

We HAVE a debt ceiling at our house.   It's called NONE!  Nope!  Nada!  It's labeled the  "save it until you can pay for it" mantra. Capitol Hill  tried to copy us a few years ago and coined the phrase "pay as you go." No one there actually adheres to that policy but it sounded good for a while.

Our ceiling has  been in place for years.  (I'm am very grateful and humbled that "by God's grace" and through His unexplainable love and protection we can hold the line!  Tomorrow's circumstances might change everything but for now it's working!)

SO,  the argument over debt ceiling is a little mundane.  BUT the national conversation HAS sparked those creative bones within me.

YEP... I'm thinking we're going to raise the ceiling.  NOT the debt ceiling, but our living room ceiling!  Why not?  Can you see it?

I have visions! 

We could clean out the attic, jack up the rafters, and lift that thing 10 feet!  The project would involve new brick siding, longer windows, replacing the heating and A/C pipes and vent, new insulation, paint, and of course pictures to decorate the new higher walls.  A skylight might be nice.  The labor alone would help spark new construction jobs here on our street! Talk about progress!

When the dust settles we could sit in our recliners and stare upward.  Perhaps in a couple of years we could repeat the whole project and raise it AGAIN, another 10 feet or perhaps even 20!   There is NO LIMIT  to what we could do!

LIVING WITHOUT A  CEILING LIMIT!  Wow, now that's a thought! A dream! A worthy goal!

Having no line item in OUR budget for a new higher ceiling, I'm thinking we'll have to poll the neighbors and levy a tax on their income so we can begin.  We'll  convince them that OUR project is good  for the city. I'm positive this will work!

Now, I'm going to go have a cup of tea.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


 CAMP KIVU, CO is the most wonderful place to be when it's 107 degrees in OK! 
And rafting down the Animas River in the middle of Durango adds to the pleasure.

The whole kit-n-kaboodle went!  Andy loaded up the equipment, Jamie loaded up the Fab5 and we headed out for high adventure.
I was confident this would be a good day!

UNTIL....we got the blue boat IN the river and Andy started giving some
directions as to how this whole ride would proceed.   He seriously taught us, "If you sit in the
 middle of the boat you're less likely to fall out."    WHAT?  Fall out?  That's wasn't part

of my dream day floating down the river.  Then, "When I say paddle, DO IT, and don't stop."   OK, got that one!   The one that got me thinking that MAYBE this whole idea was a mistake was when he shouted out, "GET READY TO RESCUE!"     Everybody above the age of 4 grabbed an oar, tucked their feet into the sides of the boat for "fall out prevention" and we took off.  We were snug as a bug in a blue plastic rug!  The first couple of miles were uneventful,  a family enjoying the sun on the river.    THEN the rapids appeared on the horizon.  Andy started "instructing" again. Evidently if our boat were to get stuck in a whirlpool we were in danger of being sucked under, to where I wondered.  "IF you fall out, point your feet downstream and just float, we'll come and pick you up." (Feet first protects the head from rocks!)   WHAT?  How's a 59 yr old woman supposed to get her feet pointed in said direction?  I was doing good just holding on with my cramping feet SECURELY tucked INSIDE that boat! Now I had to point them downstream?  And how was I supposed to keep my wits when   that freezing cold water threatened to "suck me under."    After a few attempts of trying to bump BeBe out of the boat and laughing about it,  I TRIED to convince the whole lot that our goal of the day was to KEEP BEBE IN THE BOAT, high and dry!  We rode over rocks and Titanic sized waves, soaking me and Papa to the bone.  (That WAS the intention of putting us in the FRONT of the boat!)   The big kids jumped overboard and did a little splashing around at the quieter parts of the stream.  The little kids held on wide-eyed, not sure exactly what their guardians of protection were about to do to them!  We approached "SMELTER" the BIG RAPIDS,  known for upsetting the most experienced rafters on the river.  

Gabby was re-situated onto the floor and we all held onto our oars with a death grip.  Only those yellow paddles sinking deep into that water would save us now!

Andy yelled and we paddled with all our might.   I didn't know until later that he also yelled, "WE'RE GOING TO TIP OVER."   Hearing that in the middle of  trying to survive would NOT have helped the situation!

The water rose higher than our heads, the boat dipped downward  FAST and we paddled furiously.  Talk about FOCUS! 

After a while....PURE JOY!  We  were soaked but we made it!  The water calmed!  THANK GOD the littles were still IN the boat!  I was  alive! 

Everybody was smiling and laughing and shouting,  "LET'S DO IT AGAIN!"
Thank you Andy and Jamie for SUCH a good time.

It's a great day when you look DEATH right in the face and conquer it!   What a memory!  We'll be talking about it for years!



Me, "Line up kids, let's take a picture."
Dax, "I'll get in the middle, let's make an OREO!"

Sure enough, the sweet white center is flanked by the  two black fabulous bookends!
An OREO! How funny is that!  How remarkable!

These three know of no racial problems whatsoever!  They are best buddies that play together,  take naps together, eat together,  &  share toys (or not!)  They are inseparable because they love each other AND because they are siblings!  There is no doubt that they will grow up NOT colorblind but color-acceptable.  It makes absolutely no difference to them what color of skin one happens to be sporting!

Reminds me of the old song, "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world."

Not everyone can sing it!  Andy and Jamie tell stories of times they walk into restaurants and receive stares of obvious disgust.  They've been laughed at, pointed to and sent to far corners of establishments in order to be out of sight.  At one recent place someone actually came over to their table to TAKE A PICTURE ! (I wonder what those folks plan to do with THAT snapshot!)

Even though the "BranerPartyof 7" is aware of  the prejudices around them they don't let it affect their lives. They embrace the opportunites to model love and acceptance.  Before adopting two children from Rwanda became a reality those opportunities were not even considered.  The motive was simply to give two  lonely  little children a home.

Soon Dax, Tiki and Gabby will become aware that some folks are not kind.  They will have to learn how to respond to bigotry and deep seated hatred.  Their parents will prepare them and they will be strong!   Sometimes Daddy will ask Gabby, "Baby girl! Why are you so black?"  And in her high pitched sweet little girl voice with a smile on her face, she replies loudly, "Because GOD made me that way!"

You bet HE did , sweetheart and HE makes no mistakes. I love it!

These two blacks and that one white child are being taught to judge folks by the "content of  character" rather than color, nationality or ethic background.  (Thanks Martin, I love that phrase!)

CONTENT OF CHARACTER!  That's all that really matters,  isn't it?

I'm thinking that racial equality in America WILL become a reality one day.  AND just maybe these THREE will have a part in making it happen.  Perhaps the rest of us will learn a thing or two or three  -  from them.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Gracie is going to first grade at Providence  Christian School in Dallas this fall.  It's a wonderful place to be and she's already spent a year of kindergarten there.  The school's mantra is "parents and grandparents must be the child's primary teachers." I was very impressed by the teachers, administrators, and atmosphere of the campus when I visited them this past spring.

All first graders are to participate in a summer project before school starts.  Each one is to choose a grown-up to help them make something to share with their new class. Presentation boards complete with pictures of the process and the finished items will be on display at Grandparents Day in October.

Gracie chose to make a quilt for her American Girl Doll! She chose ME to help that idea become a reality. What an honor!

So, in addition to the regular activities of BeBe Camp, sewing and quilting class was added.  We went to the local quilt shop, picked out fabric, spent time cutting it into squares and hearts and proceeded to put it all back together.

What a good time!  It only took a couple of days to finish the project.

We've learned much in the process.  Gracie learned how to operate a very grown up dangerous machine, the meaning and techniques of sewing and quilting and the pain of pins sticking in your fingers. She knows the terms batting, seam ripper, bobbin and zig-zag. 

 I learned that she LOVES fabrics, colors and the thrill of creativity.

At one time she actually vocalized the words of frustration that millions of quilters have  at one time stated, "I have so many ideas, I'll never get all my quilts made!'  Now her favorite thing to do is to go into the sewing room and "practice" sewing straight lines all by herself.  She can do it!!!  She has made stacks of fabrics with themes and all color coordinated.  Everyone she knows has been thoughtfully chosen to receive one of her  future creations. She's determined to cover the world with patchwork, fat quarters and 100 % cotton.

It's official.  This week, A QUILTER WAS BORN!  She's going back home with the goal of convincing her Daddy to buy her a sewing machine just like BeBe's.  She wants a sewing room added to their house and thinks she knows a contractor that can build BeBe a Quilt Shop just like Mama Bear's of Berenstein Bear fame.  The girl has PLANS!

She is so proud of her accomplishment.  I'm stunned! Who could have predicted this? 

That ancient art of quilting has been passed on to a new generation!

What a good time!