Category Archives: Family

No Fun

Slight interlude from bible study. Dale had surgery to repair two hernias on Wednesday and had a few small complications we are dealing with. We go back to Dallas Tuesday so prayers would be appreciated. The two hour drive is hard on him right now and it is supposed to be very cold Tuesday morning. Prayers also for some improvement between now and then. It’s hard to watch someone hurt and not be able to do anything about it. Still, we have felt God’s presence in friends who have called, prayed, brought food. We will get through this.

Summer Passing

The summer is fading away into this heat that makes me sluggish and unwilling to go outside unless necessary. Trying to strike a balance between keeping plants alive and not wasting water is tricky. Even early morning and late evening are unpleasantly still and warm. I saw hopeful clouds this morning about four-thirty and scanned the weather report for a sign of rain but there was nothing close by.

I have not written much this summer. It seems that my muse packed it’s bags and took a vacation, leaving me here to remodel a bathroom and now, train a puppy (or be trained by one!) I am learning to take her outside (often) and fetch her stuffed monkey and throw a ball to her. Hopefully she approves of my progress. Roxie is gracious enough to allow me to sit in the chair with her and watch tv though I must be boring because she goes to sleep until she rolls over and waits for me to figure out that she wants her belly rubbed. We will need to work on the leash situation. She does not care for it at all but it is one more new thing in her life. If anyone has tips for being trained by your Mauxie, I am up for suggestions.

Progress continues on the bathroom. We stripped the wallpaper, prepped and textured the walls and will begin painting today. Time to get out of this chair and gather paint supplies.


and one more



I will try not to bombard the internet with pictures…

Healthy Skillet Supper

It has been awhile since I posted a recipe and the other day I found one on Pinterest that I wanted to try. I did a little bit of creative modification but it turned out delicious and made several meals for Dale and I. The original recipe used white minute rice in the skillet. I used brown rice for less carbs and served the mixture over the rice. I added the corn and seasonings.

You could substitute yellow squash or eggplant and try adding some cilantro and lime juice.

Easy Skillet Supper

While the skillet is cooking put on some brown rice to cook – it takes about 45 minutes and should be ready by the time the rest of your meal is done.

3 medium zucchini, washed and cubed
1 medium onion chopped
saute in olive oil with a little cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper

drain one can of black beans and one can of whole kernel corn
add to the skillet and add a little chili powder
stir and cook over medium heat for a few minutes
add one can of mild rotel tomatoes
stir and let simmer for about ten minutes

Serve over brown rice with a little shredded cheese. Garnish with sour cream.

I Am Still Here…Really!

It’s been kind of sparse around here, I know. I was sick most of the month of December where I learned that antibiotics can make you well and more ill at the same time. I got better. Christmas came. Christmas went. Six hour drive to family for New Years. Six hour drive back.

Dale’s leg hurts. Then swells.

Go for transplant check up. (90 mile drive to DTI) Sonogram on leg. Go to hospital. Swelling due to very large blood clot. Admit Dale. Drive 90 miles home to pack. Drive 90 miles back. Stay for the weekend.

Frequent blood draws to check levels. I’m talking like three in the A.M. blood draws…

They accidentally had him on a diabetic diet. He is NOT diabetic. Food was low sodium (as in no salt) and diabetic so very little sugar. I question the whole hospital diet thing however. It was pretty carb heavy. It was not heavy on flavor. Grumpy husband food.

Then there is the chair bed. Or bed chair. Actually both are incorrect. It is neither a good chair nor a good bed. Just saying. It was not comfortable 4 years ago and while technology marches forward at a very rapid rate, hospital furniture design does not improve with time.

Came home from the hospital. Went to get prescriptions filled. One prescription – ONE WEEK supply – generic mind you, 200 dollars.

Call “insurance pharmacy that shall not be named”. Yes this is the price. No it doesn’t matter what pharmacy – UNLESS you use THEIR pharmacy through mail order. Yes the insurance company and the pharmacy are together. Just like this (insert imagination picture of fingers crossed over each other) Okay. It will be about 59 dollars for one month. (Keep in mind that they are also the ones who dictate the price of retail….not that I am ungrateful for the major price difference of about 700 dollars which is a lot of hamburger) Got the doc to change the prescription over of to the “insurance pharmacy that shall not be named”.

Checking the website, looking at the dates and adding up the time it normally takes to process, then the number of days it normally takes to deliver and I am disturbed because this looks very close and I would like to NOT pay another 200 dollars for another week for this prescription. Call “insurance pharmacy that shall not be named”. The lady was very nice. She put an URGENT code on it. Said if I didn’t hear from them in about 24 hours to check back.

24 hours later. Check the website. Still processing. Call “insurance pharmacy that shall not be named”. They need some more clinical information from the doc. It is now after five. Try calling the doc but of course the office is closed. Call “insurance pharmacy that shall not be named” back. Talk to a new person. Put through to a pharmacist. Explain the situation. Get through everything (what it is taken in conjunction with, why it is being taken, how long, how often testing will be done) and he is going to go ahead and put it through. He asks my title. My title as in my title at the DOCTOR’S OFFICE…. oops. I explain that I did not mean to impersonate anyone – this is just not my first rodeo, I take notes, ask questions, and I have GOOGLE for heavens sake. We are four years out from transplant and this is the first hospitalization. We are ninjas!

I think someone is getting yelled at.

Still going to expedite it with me promising I will call the doc in the morning and ask him to please call them so they have the documentation.

Total time spent on this prescription so far…about five hours.

This might even be amusing if it was on television. I think I need massive amounts of red wine and 24 hours of Big Bang Theory playing on the telly.

Next episode?  The hospital bill. That one should be a scream.

We Wait for Joy

Oh God ! You are a bird of the sky
and I am chained to earth
by the gravity of my soul.
I can barely gaze on the high
places where you have left
your footprints in the dew.
I feel you in the warm breeze
that moves across the grasses
where I walk in the morning,
though I would run like a child
to catch you; my steps are small
and the dandelions catch my eye.
I lie in the meadow and catch
your smile in clouds piled on
clouds, banked and traversing
heavens that make me wonder;
how did you think of blue?
You sparkle in the evening stars
as though the planets were
not enough. You scattered
gems like grains of sand to you,
and dressed the sky in your
finery.  A curtain drawn
across the heat of the sun you
give us rest and we wait for
you, for morning, for an end
to mourning
For flight.
For joy.

Photo Credit: This photo was taken by Timmie D. McEachern of Minden, Louisiana. He and my husband went to school together and recently reconnected through Facebook.  Timmie takes wonderful photos of local wildlife hopefully, with his permission, more will find their way to this blog.

see more pics here

Cleaned Up Family Conversation

Hubs: I hate this thing!
Me: What?
Hubs:  This stupid website.  If I have igoogle open as my home page and click on gmail (from inside igoogle) I can’t send anything!
Me: Just look at the top of the page and where it says gmail, click and open it in another tab.
Hubs: Why do I have to click something else?  It’s a pain in the butt. I’m calling google and gripe them out.
Me: I don’t think your finger will break out in a sweat if you click an extra button.
Daughter: Call the google!  “Operator?  Give me the google!” Wait. No, don’t.
Me: You’ll make the google mad!  That’s kind of like making a world power mad! (laughing)
Daughter: That’s kind of like pissing off 4chan.
Me: Who is 4chan?
Daughter: They are the internets.  They declared war on the Westboro Baptist Church for protesting funerals and stuff and shut down their website.
Me: Oh, so they use their powers for good?  We don’t want to piss them off then.
Hubs: I’m still calling google.

Destruction Begins

We are scraping the texture from the kitchen ceiling.  The plan is to scrape and paint the ceiling with new texture paint, replace molding, sand and refinish cabinets, replace countertop and sink and then flooring.  Wish me luck – I will post pictures when I can move my arms again 🙂

Return To Civilization

Not sure how glad I am to be back.  I will post more pictures later but these are views from the cabin.  There was no one but us and our friends for a radius of 2 miles.

Early morning mist

Later in the day..


We pack up tomorrow and Tuesday start heading home.  It has been a blessed trip.  Reconnecting with old friends, Rambling around the mountains, downtime with no phone, no computer, nothing but mountain air and beauty all around 🙂

Rocky Mountain National Park

The day was beautiful – perfect weather.  When we got up to the top there were clouds around the peaks.  I was sitting on the little concrete wall looking out at the mountains when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye.  I am posting a picture that I found online because I wasn’t fast enough to take one.  Pika slipping in and out of the rocks – little ninja pika. They are fast!

Cute little dudes!

Rocky Mountain National Park (click for bigger)

River of snow ending in a little glacial lake.

Bye for now 🙂

Another Letter To The Editor

It would seem that both my children believe in freedom of expression in the press 🙂

Published June 24, 2010

I am a 2009 graduate of North Lamar High School, and am more than ecstatic for the One Act Play and softball team on their State Championships.

However, I am not at all thrilled with this city when it comes to academic recognition. There are students at North Lamar who have been crowned UIL State champions in debate for two years in a row. There are students who have made All State Band twice, and are only sophomores. Where is their recognition? Where is their city-wide rally celebration?

This town needs to get its head out of the sand and realize that these kids work just as hard as any athlete or actor, and deserve just as much recognition by not just the school or The Paris News, but by the City of Paris as a whole. If you’re going to honor one group of kids for being state champions, you need to honor them all.

Jessica Martin


Letter To The Editor

Letter to the editor in yesterday’s paper.  Why would I print it here?  The author is my son 🙂

Letters to the Editor
May 19, 2010

I am a North Lamar High School graduate and the training on the NL debate team under Kristi Hodgkiss is why I am debating in college.

Recently The Paris News recognized the UIL achievements of Chisum students and NL One Act Play state championship. While I applaud those efforts, The Paris News coverage of academic achievements of students seems uneven.

Billy Goette, NLHS senior, twice state champion in Persuasive Extemporaneous Speaking and the second student to bring home a state championship in three years, defending state champ, rose to the challenge competing for his second UIL state gold medal and competed at the National Forensics League national tournament three years.

Each student deserves recognition. Public support sends a message to incoming students. Competing in UIL competitions requires many practice hours, beyond regular academic requirements. Students are often involved in several UIL events. They practice after school and compete on weekends.

Support academics and actively encourage students to become involved in programs that prepare for college and present scholarship opportunities. Teachers and students of Lamar County are a great resource. I’d rather read positive stories about our community than lists of indictments. I challenge you to pursue and print those stories.

Kinsey Martin


It’s all about the numbers this week.  This is my 700th post.  More important than the number of post is the number of comments.  I can’t begin to say how grateful and baffled and encouraged I am from all the feedback.  It keeps me rolling and I hope that I give back at least a portion of what I get.  It’s truly a joy. (Tony when you helped me start this did you ever think it would become my obsession? Can’t let this go by without a thank-you and I can’t wait to hear about the class!)

Today we had our Teacher Appreciation celebration.  I have been in my current position for ten years and when I measure that by my kids it seems much longer than just counting.  My children were in elementary school when I started and are in college now.  That is a lot of living and changing. Next year we will be in the new high school so more changes on the horizon. I think the new building is going to be beautiful and it will be fun to start with everything new and shiny.

This week also marked our thirtieth wedding anniversary.  To my lurker hubby best friend who reads and sometimes edits for me – it’s been a helluva ride babe – hang on because the coaster is building up speed again – we’ll just hang on to each other in the curves and scream through the scary parts!


Ten Things For Tuesday

1. I learned how to install a new hard drive in a laptop (my son’s)

2. I learned how to use a new toy that lets you get data off the old hard drive and put it on the new one  (Thanks Tony!)

3. I learned that if you look for hard answers then you will get nothing but hard answers

4. I learned that pressing F12 to get your laptop to boot from the cd drive may not be all you need to do – you may have to change the boot order in the bios to make the cd drive priority (Thanks Eddie)

5. I learned that if you have to do all these things in a hurry that it will be stressful and not go as smoothly as you wish

6. I learned that if you think you are done, something else will happen (like your daughter’s car will fall apart)

7. I learned that if you help your son and his roommate move, the roommate will have a lot more to move than you think and everything will be on the second floor

8. I learned if you wait til the last minute to do everything – a last minute is all you will have.

9.  A mustang does not hold very much if you are moving with it

10.  I learned that the term summer vacation is relative…


I”m starting to feel the summer circling the drain and it will be time for school to start before I can blink.  I’m looking forward to getting back to work and at the same time, dreading the end of summer vacation.  I get to used to staying up, sleeping later if I want, not worrying what day of the week it is.

This week we will move number one son into his apartment and number one daughter will go for freshman orientation and get her classes scheduled so the sign is on the wall.  Fall is around the corner.

Son’s laptop has major problems and I’m ordering a new hard drive for it in the morning.  I googled how to install a new hard drive and I think I can do it myself.

I’ve committed to being involved with the church webpage so I am working on getting up to speed with Joomla, the content management system they use.  Today the host migrated it to a new server and upgraded to a newer version of Joomla which means that for now the original site is still in place while we choose a new template and do some rearranging on the new site before we go live with it.  It will be a bit of work at first but once it is set up the way they want it it will be easy to update.

My quote of the night from Big Bang Theory (yes it was a repeat, but a good one.  I am sooo ready for the new episodes!)

Shelton: No you can’t go on a quest to the Black castle – you’re only a level 25. Those Hungarians are just using you for dragon fodder!

Penny: Boy you think you can trust a horde of Hungarian barbarians.

It has been a hectic day and I am curling up with my book and going to sleep.  Currently reading “Finder”  by Emma Bull.

Goodnight blogosphere 🙂

Summertime And The Living Is Easy

It is time for an update.  I know I have mostly posted my writing here lately  but life is going on in the background.  It’s just that like everything in my life, when I discover something new, I obsess about it – Dale calls it “one-tracking” which made me mad until he explained that it was a compliment.  When I decide to become involved with something I will research, read, practice – whatever until I have had enough.  If I ever get my nose chopped off for having it poked into the wrong place it won’t just be the tip – it will be the whole thing!

Today is the first day of summer for me.  School ended yesterday, even though I have to go and take care of things that I couldn’t seem to accomplish with kids there, I will do it on my time, in peace and quiet.

Peace and quiet – yeah.  This morning I got up, drank my first cup of coffee, ate my oatmeal, grabbed the mp3 player and did a mile and a half while it was still less than 70 degrees out.  Sun was shining and not too many folks stirring.  Brandon Heath singing “Give Me Your Eyes” in my ears and now finishing my second and last cup of the day.  Life is good.

Daughter graduated, a few scholarships we didn’t know we were getting and her laptop arrived.  She has a job for a month so all is good there.  Son is home for the summer and has a job.  It doesn’t pay a lot but anything is better than zero.  Still waiting to hear on his financial package for next year so pray.  He has been going at it the hard way and it would nice for him to catch a break.

The old blazer finally died and Dale found another Impala, a little newer than the one we have.  I’m expecting an “occupant letter” any day since the front yard now looks like a used car lot with everyone home.

I’ll be at school Tuesday waiting for the truck from the prison but the Lord was looking out for me when I faxed them my request this time.  I asked for laptops for UIL and flat screen monitors.   The only thing I will have trouble hauling will be some network printers but there won’t be many of them.  I’ve already got a forklift lined up so it’s all good.

I still have computers to load with operating systems and software. I have replaced two entire rows in the lab and am in the process of distributing the older ones to classrooms  I will work on that this summer too.

I have some projects I want to get to around the house too – like cleaning out closets and the garage.  I have some books to return to a friend and I need to help daughter do some major cleaning out and organizing to get ready for college. There is also a stack of books to read next to my nightstand.

Last night I did something I have never done before.  I read an autopsy report.  Spent some time on google trying to figure out what some words meant.  Didn’t seem like much to tell about a living person who just a short time ago was making me laugh til my sides hurt.

For today, however; walking, some laundry, a spinach salad for supper and some sitting on the back porch surveying the kingdom will be good enough.

Maybe I will write a little too 🙂