Monday, March 25, 2019

A restaurant with a history in Lewisville

Last week, one of our former Coppell neighbors, Susan, and I met for dinner at a local restaurant in Lewisville, Tierney's Cafe and Tavern. The information on the menu told us that the building had been built as the home of a local medical doctor in 1885 (that's pretty old for Texas!), and that legend says that Dr. Kennedy would sometimes provide medical care for Bonnie and Clyde (after being blindfolded and kidnapped to be taken to the hideout). It was a neat local restaurant - always fun to find this kind of place!



Sunday, March 24, 2019

When is the "h" pronounced?

I have recently become better acquainted with a lady at church for whom English is not her first language. She mentioned the difficulty in knowing whether to pronounce the "h" in English words - sometimes it is silent. I had not even thought about this before (I would have thought it may have come up in ESL, but I don't remember it).

Read through these, is the "h" sounded or is it not?
  • honor
  • humility
  • have
  • hope
  • hover
  • hand
  • hour
  • how
  • hospital
There are other examples when the "h" is not the first letter: ghost, rhythm, exhausted.
And one of the websites mentioned that there are words where the "h" is pronounced when the word is emphasized, but not when it is unemphasized, like "his" - "It isn't mine, it is *his* book." versus "We are going to read from his book." (saying it casually rather than emphasizing)

As a native English speaker, we just "know" how a word is pronounced, and we know how to spell it even if the "h" is not sounded... it does not appear that there is a good rule to follow with regard to this!

Some websites for further study:
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/explore/words-with-silent-h/
https://theaccentsway.com/the-h/
https://jakubmarian.com/list-of-words-with-a-silent-h-in-english/

I think I'm glad I learned English as my first language, though I really wish I was fluent in some other languages as well!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Christian Women's Job Corps

Peggy, Dwayne's step-mom, invited me to join with her Sunday School class today to hear from the director of the Dallas Christian Women's Job Corps about what they do and how they do it. I had never heard of this ministry, so I found it to be very interesting.
https://dallascwjc.org/

Christian Women's Job Corps has locations across the US (and Mexico and South Africa). There is also a Christian Men's Job Corps. The parent organization is Women's Missionary Union. From their website (http://www.wmu.com/?q=simple-page/christian-job-corps): "Christian Women’s Job Corps and Christian Men’s Job Corps equip women and men, in a Christian context, for life and employment." The Dallas group offers 3 8-week training sessions per year, helping with job readiness and life skills. Their students may come out of addiction, probation, or even loss of a spouse forcing them into the work force for the first time or for the first time in a long time. The classes are also approved by CPS for mothers who are attempting to regain parental rights for their children.

I enjoyed hearing from Vanessa about their ministry - and thought that some of my readers might be interested too. You can contribute via their website, and they also make and sell candles that provide funds for their programs too (http://www.prospercandles.com/).

Monday, February 18, 2019

Willow Grove Park

I made the remainder of the drive through Dallas and to Lake Dallas to Willow Grove Park. I was able to get the Jeep unhooked and get backed into the site without too much trouble. The site has a great view of Lake Lewisville - Dwayne would have liked this view, though it is much colder than he would have appreciated, and tomorrow is supposed to be cold and rainy, and he certainly would not have liked that!
View out the front window of Miss Doozie... I can see from this view that I need to get the Jeep to a car wash! The tree in the campground in Houston did a number on the Jeep!


Sunday, February 17, 2019

On the move

If you are also following our CaringBridge site, then you know that the hiatus in updates on this blog are due to the final illness and death of my sweet Dwayne. Dwayne passed away on Thursday, his 73rd birthday, now the date of his entry into the reality of heaven. I know that he is in heaven, and that one day I will join him... but it is honestly difficult to feel like continuing on. For now, I plan to continue living in the RV and traveling.

I am making my way from Houston towards Dallas. I was planning to make the whole trip on Monday, but decided it might be better to get out of Houston and a little ways up the road on Sunday.

Folks from Texas might recognize where I stopped to get fuel...

It is Buc-ees!
I thought this was a cute sign alongside the driveway in the dog walk area...
I asked in the store if I could park in their lot overnight - they don't allow it, but I had already checked with the Walmart in Madisonville, so I've driven there and am parked for the night.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Perspectives on aging

I'm not sure why I'm posting "aging" information... but I saw this recently and thought it was funny and the points are on target!


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

A funny story - NOT about me!

I saw this story on a friend's Facebook - I don't think it is their story... and probably not anyone's real story, but funny nonetheless!
"$5.37!"
That's what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell said to me.

I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher.

Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid, with the Elmo hairdo, said the hardest thing anyone has ever said to me. He said, "It's OK. I'll just give you the senior citizen discount."

I turned to see who he was talking to, and I then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me.

"Only $4.68" he said cheerfully.

I stood there stupefied. I am 56, not even 60 yet? A mere child !   Senior citizen ? Noooooooooo way !

I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Elmo.  Was he blind ? 

As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil.  
Old?    Me ?

I'll show him, I thought.   I opened the door and headed back inside. 

I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile. Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted by some trinket!

What am I now?    A toddler?

"Dude! Can't get too far without your car keys, eh?"

I stared with utter disdain at the keys.

I began to rationalize in my mind ! 

"Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly!
It could happen to anyone!"

I turned and headed back to the truck.

I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn't turn.

What now?!

I checked my keys and tried another.
Still nothing.

That's when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror.

Then, a few other objects came into focus:

The car seat in the back seat.

Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard.

A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard.

Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle.

Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. 

That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach:  hunger!

My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found.

I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time. 

There Elmo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish. All  I could think was, "What is the world coming to?"

All I could say was, "Did I leave my food and drink in here"? 

At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits.

Elmo had no clue. 

I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. 

He was holding up a drink and a bag.

His mother explained, "I think you left this in my truck by mistake."

I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized.

She offered these kind words:

"It's OK. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time."

All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40 mph zone.

Yessss,... I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius.

And no, I told the officer, I'm *not* too old to be driving this fast.

As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall.

I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket.
I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blankey.

The good news was that I had successfully found my way home.

Did you chuckle? Do you know any other "seniors" who would enjoy this story?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

An interesting rig

When I went back to the campground on Saturday to get some things done, there was an interesting rig in the campground. I was lazy and just took pictures from the Jeep...
It is a big "Super C" (on a truck chassis - it looked like it had a part of the RV that raised up in the back, but...

From the side view it appeared to be an open ramp that was under the back part of the RV.

And probably this small car rides in that "garage".


Sunday, February 3, 2019

The influence of attitude

When we were in Virginia and Dwayne was in the hospital, during one of the blood transfusions, a nurse and a nurse-in-training stayed in the room with him during the first 30 minutes to make sure all went well. Dwayne was asking them about why they chose to go into nursing.

The nurse told us that she had been very ill as a child and had to spend time in the hospital. She saw the difference that the nurses made - that their attitude could turn the day around. She wanted to be able to make a positive difference in patient's lives and thus went into nursing.

We were thinking about this in the past few days - we've had nurses who bring our feelings up just by their walking into the room. We've also had nurses who are just a challenge to be around and drain our energy just by their presence. We cherish the nurses who are boosters and endure those who are drainers.

I was reading some materials that a friend sent us on being a patient advocate - one of the things that it says is that every 12 hours is like a "groundhog day" (referring to the movie from several years ago) - Shift change with new staff is at 7am and 7pm at the hospitals where Dwayne has been, and although there are lots of records about you in the system, the staff cannot internalize it all immediately (they probably could not internalize it all even within their 12 hour shift).
 
This set of pictures is on the bulletin board outside the waiting room for the ICU. "I am an ICU member. I save lives and provide comfort. I care. I give. Your well being is my reward. I am your advocate. When you are alone, I am there for you. When family is gone, I will be there when you are scared. When you are weak, I will carry you. I'll give you my best while you are in my care. Critical care is my skill, but caring is my profession."
If a person who is with us for 12 hours can either boost or drain us, how about our interactions with those that we are with every day? Do we boost them or drain their batteries?

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Hmmm... I wonder if Miss Kitty and Tabitha could learn new tricks

When I went back to the bus on Thursday, I noticed a new rig in the campground...
Amazing Acro-Cats!
It seems that they are performing here in Houston on February 1&2: http://www.circuscats.com/

I wonder if they could teach Miss Kitty and Tabitha some new tricks?!?!? Or just "a" trick - the only "tricks" they seem to know have to do with nagging for food.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Things that make you wonder...

When taking the elevator earlier today, I noticed...
There is no button for the 5th floor...
The sign giving information about what is on each floor...
...includes nothing for the 5th floor.
Things that make you wonder!


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Vision testing

A few weeks ago I was reading about the history of the eye chart for vision testing and the different forms for non-literate or children to use. I can't find that article - looking for it... I found this:
https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/eye-chart-facts-history

I was thinking that I should include something to learn about vision testing instead of this post just including a cartoon...

You may have to look at this one for a moment or two ... or maybe you only have to do that if you are sleep deprived and it makes sense immediately to everyone else!


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Freezing weather

I saw this on a friend's Facebook - and since many in the US are experiencing cold...
Thankfully, Houston is not too awfully cold... not going below freezing!


Monday, January 28, 2019

Seasons

When I used to travel for work, it was common that some places in the northern part of the US would indicate that they had two seasons, winter and construction.

I guess I should know this from living in north Texas, but in Houston, it just appears that there is one season: construction!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Pictures from the last few days

For anyone who is not also connected with us on CaringBridge (https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/dwaynecartwright), Dwayne was admitted to St. Luke's hospital here in Houston on Friday for high heart rate, shortness of breath, and exhaustion. He is still in St Luke's though he may be transferred to MD Anderson soon... but as a result, I haven't been posting on the blog...

But, I've taken some pictures to share, and here they are!
Reflection of the Saturday morning sunrise on Texas Children's Hospital out Dwayne's window on 7th floor of St Luke's

Tabitha and...

... Miss Kitty - taken to send to Dwayne when I stopped by the bus on Saturday afternoon.

Cafeteria sign on Saturday - I was so excited to get Peach Cobbler Soup! It doesn't count as a dessert, right?!?!?!?

I had seen information about the DAISY Award when Dwayne was in Bon Secours in Virginia. I was thinking that it was a recognition within their hospital system, so was surprised to see it here at St Luke's (which is part of CHI (Catholic Health Initiatives) and Baylor) -- by the way, the sign at the corner of the hospital identifies it as "St Luke's Episcopal Hospital" -- combining Catholic, Episcopal and Baptist (Baylor) - ecumenical, wouldn't you say?
 Anyway, the DAISY award... on that sign, it says, "In Memory of J Patrick Barnes", so I looked it up, https://www.daisyfoundation.org/

An acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem, The DAISYFoundation was formed in November, 1999, by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). The nursing care Patrick received when hospitalized profoundly touched his family.
J. Patrick Barnes was actually treated at a hospital in Seattle and that is where the program started, but the program has spread to hospitals across the US and beyond.
I particularly noticed because Dwayne's nurse from Saturday morning has been recognized with a Daisy award!

This is a work of art on the wall on the way to the cafeteria. These remind me of Chihuly's work, but I am pretty sure that they are not (I couldn't find any identification plaque).
Anyway, I thought you might enjoy some of my images from the last few days!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Stamps

Did you know that the US postage rates for Forever stamps will be going up on 1/27?

Somehow, that just penetrated my consciousness a couple of days ago. I have had a LOT of Forever stamps and I don't use a lot of them, so I haven't bought stamps for a while... but I thought that maybe I should get a few before the rates go up... so today I went to the post office.

The pickin's were pretty slim, in fact, they only had one stamp available, a Santa stamp... I don't use Santa stamps even at Christmas!

So... I decided that I can continue using the few Forever stamps that I have until they are gone, and then get some at whatever the going rate is at that time....

But! As I was typing this I remembered that I can order stamps via usps.com... and they had a full selection! So, I ordered stamps at the $0.50 rate. What a deal, right?

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Longevity

I recently read this article about a worker who has worked at Highland Park Cafeteria (a cafeteria in Dallas) for 62 years!

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2019/01/18/dallas-87-year-old-worked-restaurant-job-6-decades

This cafeteria used to be one of our favorite places to eat... Dwayne was telling me that he used to go there with folks from the singles ministry at First Baptist before we ever met.

I can't imagine working anywhere for 62 years (of course, it would be particularly hard for me as I am not yet 62 years old!).

Monday, January 21, 2019

Suffering

I have long enjoyed/appreciated the writing of Randy Alcorn (he is one of our favorite fiction writers - I think his book Safely Home is about our favorite of all fiction books)... he has a blog associated with his ministry, Eternal Perspective Ministries, and today's entry was particularly on target for us...

https://www.epm.org/blog/2019/Jan/21/good-we-never-ask-suffering

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Zimbabwe

I have been reading about Zimbabwe this week - if you haven't heard, from what I've read, they are having a lot of unrest, and the government initially cut off all communication (internet, cell phones), when they turned it back on, they disabled a lot of social media access.
https://www.sapeople.com/2019/01/19/letter-from-zimbabwe-the-silencing-of-our-voices-by-cathy-buckle/?fbclid=IwAR2UGQG5zWiRNog34renlSob5tipRiNm7GJRYp74azAkTUh8Zs8mJaiLULw

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/18/zimbabwe-reimposes-internet-blackout-crackdown-anti-government/?fbclid=IwAR3gL_BLGtWE7aFZU3uHdagZVrXpMZB_mlLKJZ4JyjM0X28P2psyxV4xzXY

The president of the country is visiting other countries, I guess in an attempt to bring investment and jobs to his country (or, that is what he indicates). One of the ironies was that the president issued a statement on Facebook asking for calm, during the time that the people of his country could not access the internet or Facebook...

I don't pretend that I understand all that is going on there, but I can pray for wisdom and peace.

It just so happened that this morning, this song came up from one of my friends - from what I have found, it turns out that this group is from Zimbabwe.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VlhPd9OiIQ
I loved the words and the harmony of the singing.
I've heard them sing "He Paid The Price"
and "Jesus Bore It All"
I've heard them sing "I'm Coming Home"
and "Hear The Master's Call"
I've heard them sing the modern songs
and songs of long ago
But "Amazing Grace, How Sweet The Sound"
is the sweetest song I know
Amazing grace (Amazing grace, how sweet the sound)
How sweet the sound (Oh how sweet is the sound)
No sweeter song (sweeter song, sweeter song)
Could e'er be found (In this life could be found)
I've heard of a fountain (Heard of the dear Savior's blood)
Filled with blood (That washed us white, white as snow)
But "Amazing Grace" ("Amazing Grace, How Sweet The Sound")
Is the sweetest song I know
It was the song my mother sang
in sweet and humble voice
Like music from the world above,
it made my soul rejoice
Its soothing words and melody
like rippling waters flow
But, "Amazing Grace, How Sweet The Sound"
is the sweetest song I know 


Saturday, January 19, 2019

Things about Houston

Since we're "living" in Houston now, for at least a little while, I'm trying to learn my way around the area, at least the area near the RV park.

The fellow who drives us over to MD Anderson shared with us that the roads are pretty much in a grid pattern, with just a few abnormalities - one of which is just north of us, and the road that the CVS is on that we are using: Buffalo Speedway. Isn't that a funny name for a road? It is a curvy road, and we all agreed that speeding buffalo must not run straight!

He also told us that the RV park will get very full in a few days as many folks come into town for the rodeo. It is evidently a huge rodeo. Dwayne and I thought we would look into getting tickets, but what we could find were tickets for concerts... we asked Corey about that when we got a ride back to the RV park, and he said, yes, the tickets are for an afternoon rodeo followed by a concert.
https://www.axs.com/venues/126512/rodeohouston-houston-tickets?skin=rodeohouston&aff=HLSR_website&_ga=2.138861488.249823871.1547942291-641729451.1547942291
The "rodeo" culminates on March 17 with a George Strait concert, for which there is no rodeo event, only the concert, with the "bargain" prices of $135-$5200 per ticket. Does that seem strange to you?

However, we also found that there are some horse and livestock events that go on at the same time as the rodeo, but which do not have the high cost of a concert ticket to attend... things like a "ranch rodeo" and cutting horse competitions, that I think sound interesting - so we might try to attend one or more of those, depending on Dwayne's stamina level.
https://www.rodeohouston.com/Visit-the-Rodeo/Livestock-Horse-Show/Horse-Show
https://www.rodeohouston.com/Get-Involved/Exhibitors-Participants/Livestock-Show

The NRG Park is very close to where we are staying, between the RV Park and MD Anderson, so it is interesting to look into what things are going on there.
https://www.nrgpark.com/event-calendar/
The Houston RV show will be coming up in February - again, something we might enjoy, depending on Dwayne's energy level.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Pictures from Dwayne - North Dakota

North Dakota
Visiting with Bluebird friends

In and around Theodore Roosevelt National Park...


















Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Pictures from Dwayne - Itasca

In August, 2017, after enjoying the Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque, Iowa, we decided to visit the headwaters of the Mississippi near Itasca, Minnesota.





Walking across the Mississippi


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Pictures from Dwayne - July, 2017

I'm continuing to post some pictures that I had found a while ago from Dwayne's camera - these are from July, 2017, in the area around Dubuque, Iowa and just across the river in Wisconsin.

Campsite at Corps of Engineers park on Wisconsin side of Mississippi across from Dubuque

The lock and dam at Dubuque




Birdhouse in shape of tugboat - notice al the birds around it!

Doesn't look like this one is as popular...

Nor is this one...

But that one is popular!

Grain heading south....



Pleasure boats heading north...



Coal heading north...


Patti having a conversation with Mark Twain...

Beautiful fields in Wisconsin