Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dee Dee!

Today we celebrated Dee Dee’s birthday.  It was a pretty quiet little party…Mom has not been feeling so well lately.  She already has been struggling with some thyroid problems (they have found some nodes growing on it), and she will be having a biopsy performed at the end of the month.  Last Sunday, she and I spent the day in the Emergency Room of the VA Hospital, not sure whether or not she was going to have emergency surgery for some abdominal issues.  Although emergency surgery was not required, she will be having surgery for those problems in the near future.  So we were grateful to actually be celebrating her birthday, and glad that Mandy and her little family were able to join us.
Here’s a picture of Dee Dee when she was just a wee tot living in Dodson, Texas (her sister, Jan is on the left and Mom is on the right):
And here is a giggly high school Dee Dee (on the left) with her best friend from back in the day:

Mom was 33 years old when she joined the Army (I am so impressed that she made it through Basic Training so well!):

And here’s her picture from Christmas just a couple of years or so back:

It’s been hard to see her struggling with these health issues and feeling so miserable.  We are really hoping and praying that she will be back to her old self soon and really be able to enjoy time with her family again.
Of course, even though it was Dee Dee’s birthday, the most beautiful girl in the world stole the show.  She posed with her Uncle Vinny in her new UT hat while we were waiting for the spaghetti to finish cooking:

After stuffing herself with spaghetti and bread, she had a ball eating birthday cake!

Paisley was right in on helping to make Dee Dee’s birthday dinner a real celebration and she certainly helped to make Dee Dee smile!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Midwife

I try to let the girls roam free in the yard every chance I get.  There are times that we will be outside and Ruby disappears.  A look inside the coop will show that she is in her nesting box, and that can only mean one thing – a fresh egg is on its way!

I don’t know if all chickens are this way, but our girls are very protective of each other.  Neither Ruby nor Opal has any qualms about chasing away one of the dogs if that dog is dumb enough to get too close to her buddy.  The closeness they share exhibits itself even more strongly when it is time for Ruby to lay her egg each day.  (Opal CAN lay eggs – I’ve seen her do it – but she rarely does.  She better be glad that she is my cuddle chicken!)
With all of the clucking that occurs during egg-laying time, I have concluded that laying an egg must be for a chicken what having a baby is for us.  Looking at that big old egg and that little old chicken makes me think that this is a logical assumption.  Therefore, I always thank Ruby for her efforts as I remove the egg from the nesting box each day.  It’s only right.
When Ruby is in her nesting box, Opal watches very closely.  If you happen to enter the coop before Ruby is finished, you will find Opal standing over her.  I have actually seen her “nuzzle” Ruby while she is working so hard, as if to say, “Are you okay?  You can do it!  Just breathe!”  Don’t even think about disturbing Ruby during this delicate time!  Opal will be there to stop you.  Here she is, protecting her best friend this morning:

What a dedicated midwife!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Finally Fall!

Across the country, the arrival of fall is heralded by the changing of the leaves, the first frost, or the passage of migratory birds overhead.  Not if you live in Texas.  Even at Christmas I will be raking leaves, with a good half of them still clinging to the branches of our mighty oaks.  The first frost (if it has happened at all) will have been nothing worth noting, and the migratory birds don’t seem to go any further than the feeders in my back yard.  Therefore, I have to rely on other things to let me know that fall has finally found us.
This year, our first indicator of fall’s arrival was the arrival of Alan, back from Yellowstone.  Albertson’s was happy to see that he had returned and offered him a job on the spot.  It’s a mutually beneficial relationship: he is here, needing a job, just when they need a little extra help to get ready for the holiday season.  About the time he leaves for Yellowstone, the high school students who work at Albertson’s are getting out of school for the summer and are ready to work more hours.  Here is my boy, on his first Sunday home, ready to head to church (and so thrilled to have his mother snapping pictures of him once again):

Nothing says “fall” like a trip to a pumpkin patch.  Paisley’s parents took the most beautiful child in the world to the local pumpkin patch and her mother took a few pictures:

(Just a note:  If you like the "candy corn" dress that the most beautiful child ever born is wearing, I wish I could say that I made it.  Not true, I'm afraid.  My sister's co-worker makes all kinds of wonderful things, and I had her make it.  She has an Etsy shop.  To learn more, you can visit her blog, "Blingin Blooms".)
On Halloween, Little Red Riding Hood did actually make it to Grandma’s house where she donned her outfit, ready for “trick-or-treat” action:

"I've got to get this load of chocolate to Lolee's house."

"I seem to have lost my way!"

"I think I need to go in that direction!"

"I see her!  I see her!"


So there you go:  the signs of fall are everywhere….a wonderful time of the year!