For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow

July 1, 2017

Or at least he’s a Glaucoma Fellow.  David has finally finished school, 16 years after graduating HS. And now he is unemployed, but plans to start his new job in September, if I recall correctly.  Congratulations to him!

In other news, it was cool an rainy again this morning, strange for the first of July in Texas, so I got up early and went birding.  Nothing spectacular, but here are a couple photos.


Cake and Cake

June 30, 2017

A friend at work bought me a booklet with cake ideas, so I”ve recently tried a couple of them out. The first one was a Peanut Butter and Jelly Cake.  Today’s was the blueberry one in anticipation of my upcoming birthday. We enjoyed it at work and Auntie Carol brought ice cream to go with it.

In other news, Rachel and I went to Target today and bought me a birthday present–two new matching cupcake pans.  The idea is that if both pans are the same material, the cupcakes will bake evenly and be done at the same time.

We’re kinda in the summer doldrums here.  One of Rachel’s jobs is on holiday so she hasn’t had much to do this week.  And we all leave for Washington next Tuesday so we aren’t starting any new projects until we return.  I have been working fairly hard to set up appointments to visit supporters, friends, and relatives during our 10 days away.  I think I’ve got almost everything in place, but not quite.  Another thing I did in preparation for the trip was to try out a slime recipe to see if it would be a fun activity to do with the grandkids.  The slime turned out more like bouncy balls, but that is fun too.

Happy 9th Birthday to Isabella

June 26, 2017

We were happy to get to Skype with Isabella tonight on her 9th birthday. She had a party with friends at at trampoline park on Saturday and they celebrated with a Grumpy Cat themed cake.  She does a pretty good impression of a grumpy cat herself. 🙂

In other news, I saw a Cooper’s Hawk on the picnic table recently as it was looking for dinner.

And I’d better throw in a photo of a Painted Bunting in the backyard, just because I can.

You Can’t Drive This Car

June 22, 2017

…until you learn to change a tire. That’s what my dad said. So I learned. So did my sister, but I think she also learned how to change the oil–I never did do that!

Anyway, today I had a flat tire just as I was pulling into the mall parking lot. I knew something was wrong by the sound, and the (not very) helpful security guard in his golf cart who drove up and said, “Hey lady, you’ve got a flat tire. But I’m not allowed to help you change it. Liability, you know.” Thanks a lot.

So after I had loosened the lug nuts and jacked the car up, a nice man came by and offered to help, which I was glad to let him do.  He told me I was doing it right.  🙂  Then I disappointed Rachel by not continuing on to the mall, but decided to head for the tire store instead.  The tire was ruined, the rim was bent, but they fixed the rim and replaced the tire with a new used tire in short order.

In other news, Andrew has blueberries growing in his yard.  I wonder if there will be enough for a pie?


Gary to the Retina Doctor

June 20, 2017

Gary was supposed to be in meetings today from 8am to 8pm, but he skipped out long enough to go to the retina doctor.

The appointment was really just done because the eye dr he recently saw for the flashers and floaters wanted to make sure there was nothing worse.  Turns out the retina doctor was the junior doctor when Gary’s Stargart’s disease was diagnosed 25 years ago, and we had his name on the pre-digital stationery to prove it.  He was a nice guy and got very interested when Gary mentioned “my son, the ophthalmologist.”  🙂  He asked lots of questions about David’s training and job and PhD research.  In the end, he said, “You don’t need me.  Your retinas are fine, except for the Stargardt’s.  No charge.”  Perhaps he was giving us the “professional discount,” once removed.  Anyway, we thank God for his provision.

Summer Is Upon Us

June 19, 2017

I was thinking about mentioning how hot it has gotten here, but then we heard on the news that it was 116 degrees in Phoenix today. I hope Grandma and Grandpa Simons are staying inside.  Rachel and I have begun our summer swimming plan, but we decided we won’t go until after 5pm to avoid the hottest sun.  It did feel good to get back into the water, even if it is already lukewarm!

Last week’s craft project was to make 4 aprons for Sarah (our auxillary next door daughter) who has built and filled a Little Free Library at her home in DeSoto. She bought three yards of Little Free Library fabric as well as some white fabric for lining, and I turned it into work aprons for the big and little Little Free Librarians.  The idea of a Little Free Library is you build a little place to store books in your yard and the neighborhood kids come and take one and then bring one also if they want to.  We donated a few of our kids’ books since we have little use for them here.

In other news, my computer updated over the weekend and it took so long, and restarted so many times and nearly didn’t restart so often that I though it was a goner.   It took so long even it couldn’t believe it, and it gave me this message.  (But finally it revived and we’re back in business.)

Speaking of computers, I felt quite accomplished today when I (finally) figured out how to get Gary’s and Rachel’s computers to print to my printer over our home network.  And I also figured out how to print from my phone, not that I plan to do much of that.

The lab results came back on my excised skin lesion and it was a basal cell carcinoma, but they got all of it, and it has healed nicely, so no worries there.  Tomorrow Gary goes to the retina doctor so we’ll see what becomes of that.  Speaking of Gary, we took him to the newest local hole-in-the-wall taco place for Father’s Day.

Happy Birthday, Micah

June 13, 2017

If Micah lived nearby I’d have grandpa play one of his famous compositions entitle, “Now I’m Six.”

Here’s a few photos from over the years to celebrate our grandson.



June 12, 2017

So far our summer has been rather cool. Nice, so we don’t have to spend so much money on air conditioning. It has also meant that I can go birding a few more times without melting.  Here are some photos from Saturday morning.  I also recently found a website called iNaturalist where people take photos of any wild thing and upload them and other people  identify them.  Petty cool.  I learned that the last photo below is of a Buttonbush, whatever that is!

I also got around to updating my grandchild photos, keeping photos of the age-2 watercolor portraits and adding recent corresponding photos.  Aren’t they some cute kids??  Micah turns 6 tomorrow.  He left Dallas on his first birthday.  (It’s been 5 years but I still remember that flight to Seattle to be the most miserable flight I’ve ever experienced–sitting on the tarmac for hours waiting for a storm to pass, running out of formula for Micah, poopy diaper and no way to change him, overnight flight with no sleep, etc. etc.)

In other news, Gary is having a little scholars’ workshop this week, part of his ongoing attempt to get the Pike Center for Integrative Scholarship off the ground.  He is also interviewing someone in hopes of they guy joining our Ethnologue team, and that meant a trip to Ton’s last night.

Rachel’s teaching certificate renewal has gone forward but no word yet on whether she has been hired for the job she applied for.  (BTW, it happened again today, as it so often does:  we were at Target (shopping for Isabella’s upcoming birthday) and 4 different children came up to Rachel and just clung on to her–kids she takes care of at on or another of her jobs.  They all just seem to love her!)  For some reason she is having a rather hard time again with pollen allergies.  Jan and Feb she was miserable, then April and May she was fine, then June 1 it got bad again.  😦

Pretty Cake

June 6, 2017

My cake, but not my decorations. Didn’t this turn out lovely?

In other news, Gary scored by getting Mark Noll to write a forward to his recent mini-book; Rachel discovered she actually already had enough professional development hours to renew her teaching certificate which expires soon, and I am getting a big ugly thing cut off my neck tomorrow, prior to going out for Rachel’s birthday lunch.

Update with More Cake

June 2, 2017

On Sunday after church I finished a little cake for a friend who was celebrating a bunch of different things with her family.

On Monday morning we got up kinda early and went birding.  The weather was still fairly cool, and pleasant.  We saw a few birds, but also walked into the mayfly hatch.  I think my grandma Shinabargar used to call them “shadflies.”

On Monday we fired up the smoker that we were given a few years ago and cooked enough meat to fill up the freezer. We invited Carol over to eat a little of it with us.

The rest of the week was the normal stuff like work and making cakes. Tonight we delivered an undecorated wedding cake to a venue a few miles south. It was raining so hard we nearly had to stop under the overpass. Thankfully I had purchased a storage bin that worked just right for transporting the cake in the rain. The mother of the groom plans to decorate the cake before the wedding tomorrow night, so I hope someone takes a photo.