Thursday, December 31, 2009

The New Year is Nearly Here

As I think about this last day of this year I hope that all of you will have a year that is better than the one ending tonight. For some, 2009 was good, others not so much. There is no sense in rehashing what went right or wrong. All we can do is say we survived. Hopefully we all learned something during the long(or short) days and nights of 2009. We must all learn to be content and at peace with ourselves. None of us know how long we will be here so we must vow to be and do the best we can.

In this coming year give someone a smile, say please and thank you. That costs nothing. When you have the urge to lash out in frustration or anger, stop and think, is this the best I can do? You will make mistakes. Learn from them. None of us is perfect. Remember your family because they are not always right and they frequently make you mad, but they are your family. Sometimes you want to disown them. Just remember they hurt and heal just as you do. Time and patience are the great healers.

Enjoy your friends and cherish them because if you don't they may vanish like smoke. Remember friends are never earned, they are a gift from a loving God.After all those friends picked you to be a friend. Treat your co-workers kindly too. Some of them may not be as smart as you are. Give them a break even though you might want to smack them on the back of the head.

Live each day as if it were your last. You never know, it might be. Smile at yourself when you look into the mirror. After all, you will be another year older sometime in 2010.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Sometimes I Know How She Feels!

An elderly woman in her nineties had a visitor from her church come to see her at the nursing home.

“How are you?” the visitor asked.

“Oh,” said the elderly woman, “I’m just worried sick!”

“You look like you’re in good health. They take good care of you here, don’t they?”

“Oh, yes, they take good care of me here.”

“Do you have any pain?” the visitor asked.

“No, I can’t say I do,” the elderly woman replied.

“Then what has you worried sick?” the visitor asked.

The elderly woman leaned in and explained, “All of my closest friends have already died and gone to heaven. I’m sure they are all wondering where I went!”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chloe's Gift- With a Little Help From The Biggio Elves

Her name was Chloe and a form of cancer took her just two days before her ninth birthday. With the help of her family, her friends, and Craig Biggio and his family, Chloe's spirit lives on in each teddy bear handed out.

It happened Tuesday morning at the Clinical Care Unit at Texas Children's Hospital. Build-a-Bears for every sick child and it was all Chloe's idea.

"It came straight from her head. Build-a-Bear was one of Chloe's favorite things to do, to go to the stores and build bears. The first time she decided to do it for the patients was her first year that she spent in the hospital on chemotherapy which was December 2006. She said she knew she would be in the hospital that Christmas, but she also knew that she would not be the only one there so she wanted all the patients on the floor to have a bear. That's how it started," said Chloe's mother, Joyce Castillo. "Chloe physically went around and handed out the bears."

It just so happened that at the same time Chloe was in the hospital, Craig's son Connor was in Texas Children's successfully fighting a blood infection.

"We got a knock on the door and it's Chloe and her Dad. She doesn't recognize me, but the Dad does. He says, 'Chloe, this is one of the Astros.' And she goes, 'Is that my favorite player, Jeff Bagwell?' And I go, 'No I'm not, but he's my favorite player too," said Craig Biggio. "That's how we started a relationship. She's a very special girl. Unfortunately, she's not here anymore, she lost her fight, but we didn't want to see this go away."

Craig and Patti's daughter Quin had a birthday party with her friend Kaitlyn and instead of gifts, they asked for Build-a-Bear certificates and everyone made a bear. So did Chloe's friends and family and Tuesday they brightened up a lot of faces at that special time of year.

"It makes me feel really great to make other kids feel happy, even when they're sick," said Quin.

It's a tradition Chloe started and her family and the Biggios will see to it that. That's what Chloe wanted.

"We lost Chloe about 18 months ago, We want to continue to honor our daughter and her legacy. We know how much this meant to her," said Castillo.

Craig said, "One of her last days here, I brought Jeff Bagwell up and she got to meet him. They're a very special family and she was a tremendous girl."

For everyone who's helping continue Chloe's dream, one little lady said it all.

"Thank you!" she said.

Craig helped Chloe get involved with the Sunshine Kids and she participated as long as she could. A big heart in a little girl who was thinking of others. It's a real Christmas story.

(Copyright ©2009 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Easy Come, Easy Go- Well Maybe

I have survived the first week of Nanny Duty. Right now it is eerily quiet because they are now watching a cartoon show instead of racing around the house. First they emptied the toys out of the toy box and used it as a hiding place. Then the three year old decided to race his litle Nascar 24 around the house. He can't be Spiderman today because his little costume has a number of holes. Actually if he sneezes it might just fall apart. He just doesn't get the fact that without his costume he has no powers. Oh well powers come and go with kids.

After several years without money, it was good to have a little extra. Of course that little extra came and went quickly. Funny how that happens. We decided to use the extra money to get new sheets and a comforter set for the bed. After eight years it was time for something new. The last new set we got was around the time my grandson Brad was born. Eight years is a long time for a bed set. The skirt was so ripped up I tripped and bitched a lot. So we splurged on a new set. We went from green cotton to brown suede. We bought some light chocolate milk sheets which were 400 thread count, very soft. Now I wonder what the 800 count feels like.

We also bought some dvds and cds which I had been looking at for a while. I'd been debating with myself on getting this and when I found a good deal, I took it. I also salivated over PCs and laptops at Fryes...Hey Santa...Sigh.

Then I thought of easy come, easy go. A week's work done and so was the money. It's a good thing I'm part Scottish. In other words tight with money. Now I have to wait another week. Funny how things add up. I just thought all that money was mine...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same.

I knew what to expect when I moved back to Houston for the most part. Houston traffic has not changed. The Texans are still waiting to improve. In other words, no championship again this year. People are still the same. The dogs, Lady and Daisy got right back into the rhythm of things. Of course now they have to put up with Rowdy. Two girls against one boy. And of course now there are two cages in the dining area with two rabbits in them. Well, after all it did freeze and we didn't want the rabbits to get too cold. I can't believe the dogs haven't try to bother them.

Sometimes things just fall into place unexpectedly. I started work as a nanny for Amanda's boyfriend's kids. He's had some problems with childcare, but he's lucky because his company is very understanding about his situation as a single dad. It was timing I guess because I was thinking of trying to figure out how to make a little extra money. Amanda asked if I would be interested and of course I said sure. So I go to their house and watch the two little ones all day while dad works and the older child, David goes to school. The two younger ones are a boy,three and a girl, two.

Sometimes I do feel like SuperNanny Jr. At two and three, the kids think that can do what they want. I sometimes think that the older one thinks he can push me around. Ha He apparently has never met the immovable And of course the word "no" seens sometimes to be spoken in a foreign language to him. If I say no, or stop, he just looks at me...Yeah, just keep pushing kiddo. I do think that after a couple of days he is begining to realize that I don't play that game.

Amanda texted me the other day to ask how it was going. I said fine. I haven't killed the kids yet and the house is still standing. Of course that was before I untied them and pulled the tape off their mouths. No, I didn't really do that! I do remember those days when my kids were little and tried to battle me. They lost that war too.

It's not a bad gig for some extra money. Now where did I put my extra set of eyes...oh yeah! Hey kids quit swinging from the ceiling fans!

Monday, December 07, 2009

What Do You Mean I Can Only Pick One?

I'm getting back into the swing of things here. Lady and Daisy have a new playmate. Rowdy is a tiny mini dapple dachshund. So far they seem to get along. I'm not even going to try to explain the rabbits. Yes I said rabbits. I don't plan to walk them.

Part of getting back into the routine has been watching football. Until this last game I really thought the Houston Texans had a chance to get into the playoffs. Now it's just another version of wait till next year. But I have discovered that I am in the middle of a serious conflict. No, not between Jimmy and me or the three dogs, but football. I've tried to keep up with the progress of my two favorite college teams,Texas and Alabama. All season long Florida, Texas and Alabama continued to win. Florida held the #1 ranking all season, followed by Texas and Alabama as either #2 or #3. Each took on their rivals and won the games. Sometimes they won pretty, other times they all won ugly. As good as Florida has been over the last couple of years, I was positive they would win the SEC Championship, putting them against Texas in the BCS National Championship game. But oh no, the Football Gods had a wicked sense of humor. I knew it would culminate with the annual conference championship fight of Florida vs Alabama. Florida, being the better team, would beat Alabama. I would be sad, but I figured Texas could beat the Gators for the National Championship. At least my Horns could be #1. So who is the idiot who threw the monkey wrench into the mix? What I didn't expect was for the Crimson Tide to roll all over the Gators! I watched the game and could not believe what I was seeing! Bama had not played this well all season as far as I could see. Now things started to get dicey. Huh?? Alabama beat Florida??! Hum, now what? I assumed that Texas would beat the 9-3 Nebraska team for the Big 12 title. Once again the Football Gods played a dirty trick on me. The Longhorns actually, to me, lost that game! With one second left in the game the Horns kicked a field goal to win the game. The whole game was hard to watch. Talk about a nail biting type of game! Yikes! How in the world...???!!! I had visions of the BCS folks pulling their hair out. If Texas lost, chaos would have erupted like a volcano. TCU and Cincinnati would have screamed for a shot at the championship. Even Boise State would have said they deserved consideration. But by the grace of the Football Gods, the Horns eked out a literal last second win. Whew!

But alas I now find myself with a question. Who do I pick to win? All year I watched my teams continue to win. Now that they are playing each other for that football trophy and bragging rites of "We're #1!" I'm conflicted. Texas or Alabama? Longhorns or Crimson Tide? Why me? Why do I have to pick one over the other? I'm a longtime Texas fan and I'm a lifelong Alabama fan. What do you mean I can only pick one?! Ok, which one?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Back Home in Houston- So Where's the Snow?

I think it's called back to basics. I'm trying to remember what and how to do things here. I haven't cooked in over eight months. So how do I turn that stove on?

The neighborhood hasn't changed much but I'm not thrilled with what has been done with the street at the front of the neighborhood. The powers that be have finally decided that the street must be widened. Perry Road is a very busy place for sure. But by widening it we've lost our yard. The dogs have no place to walk other than the neighborhood streets. I'm not thrilled about that and neither are they.

When Lady and Daisy walked in, they discovered a new dog in the house. That must have been a come down. Rowdy is a male mini-dachshund, dapple colored. He thinks he is in charge.The girls don't think so. They are getting along well though. But Rowdy does not seem to get the message that he is supposed to do somethings outside. Of course dachshunds are stubborn. But so am I.

Oh there are two more additions here. Two dwarf rabbits that were Amanda's but she didn't have room for them when she moved. Now they have taken up residence on the patio. Let's see- three dogs, two rabbits and two fish tanks. Just your average zoo.

All week long the weather forecasters talked about snow on Friday. How come it always snows around me but not where I want it? It snowed here last year on Dec.10th. With today's snow it is the earliest ever snowfall. So where's mine? It snowed in the little town where we used to live and it still falls. So far, I'm disappointed cause I've only seen a few flakes. So where is the 3-5 inches in my neighborhood? Ah ha! I see two flakes flying freely. Hey! Come back here! Drop all those inches right here! I want to see what three little dogs would do in a snow drift! Would you believe disappear?

Oh joy, now the dogs want to go out. Oh wow, what do I see? Another flake...