Janice Williams Loves Austin And sometimes I write about it.

January 1, 2013

New Year Books

Filed under: At home,Austin,Reading — Janice @ 11:28 pm


My nephew asked me over Christmas how many books I read in a year.

“12?” I guessed. “50?” I have no idea, really.

I am not a voracious reader. I wish I were. I wish I were like my brother-in-law with a book nearby at all hours of the day and night, while watching TV, while eating lunch, while stuck in traffic. Mark reads a lot, too. He always has a book with him and reads through his lunchtime. That’s something that became a sacred ritual to him when he worked a hot, sweaty job in a knife shop and the best part of his day was when he was able to eat lunch in an air conditioned restaurant and indulge in an hour of reading. Now that he has progressed to working in a hot, sweaty drum warehouse, he still treasures that time with his book. My mother and sister are both big readers. My sister gives me stacks of books she’s bought and read and I know that is just a portion since she has them on her Kindle and from the library, too. I don’t know how she does it.

I don’t think I am a slow reader. I took the SRA tests in school like everyone did and we had those little devices that forced you to read faster and faster by showing just a few words at a time and projecting them on a screen and you had to keep up and then be tested over the content for your reading comprehension. There is no doubt I CAN read fast, but whether I do or not is a different question. And, I’m sure, I waste a lot of my reading on the Internet. I’m reading news, blogs, articles, and funny things and can’t count that toward the number of books I’ve read.

I wish I kept better track of the books I read. I try to do it each year. Every diary I have has names of books in January and February, but then I get forgetful and don’t put their names down. This year I did take note of reading the Bill Bryson book “A Walk in the Woods.” Truly the best book I read all year long. And it is one of those books that I even hate to tell you the subject because you might go “Oh, that doesn’t interest me.” That’s what I had said for years. I saw that book’s title on lots of best-of-the-year lists and didn’t think it was for me. I’m so glad I finally got to it.

Lately I’ve read 2 and almost 3 books loaned to my be my friend Lu. The Film Club was excellent. I like the nonfiction books that read like a novel. And Comfort Me with Apples.  Another nonfiction. Now I am reading Little Bee. It is fiction and at first the subject didn’t interest me (a Nigerian refugee), but now I can’t wait to read tonight. Lu has great taste in books.

I read an article this week about a man who read a book a week for a year in 2012. I don’t even want to commit to a book a week in 2013 because I don’t want to feel rushed. If I like a book and it takes me a month to read it, there is no problem in that. I read at night before I go to bed and sometimes it is only a few pages before I get sleepy and have to stop for the night. I don’t want to read a comic book and count it as a book just for the joy of attaining a big number.

And I don’t think I stand a chance on getting to all the “best books” of 2012 or of even a week.  This guy, Largeheartedboy, has so many lists of the best that you’d never finish the books on one of them, much less all. And whose to say someone’s list is better than anyone else’s? Unless they have read ALL the books published and have tastes very similar to mine, I don’t know if I can trust their list.

The picture above is from flickr.com, a picture posted by MyEyesSee of a wall of shelves at Larry McMurtry’s bookstore in Archer City. I’ve never been to his bookstore, or even Archer City, and that is a plan I want to make for this year. And I want to read Duane’s Depressed, another of his books with the characters from The Last Picture Show. I keep hearing of good books, reading about good books, ordering good books, and I’ll never get to them all. I have another 5 or so coming next week from an order I placed late in the night the other night. And the pile beside my bed just keeps getting bigger.

December 2, 2012

The Texas State Cemetery

Filed under: Austin,Family — Janice @ 11:51 pm

Today was a beautiful day to be at the Texas State Cemetery. I didn’t take many pictures of the scenery as I was there and the pictures don’t do the fall colors justice anyway.


I took my sister there. It was her first visit. It was the first time that I finally remember to look up and find the location of a cousin of mine that is buried there. Minerva Fannin was the daughter of James Fannin, the Texas hero you studied in seventh grade in Texas history class who died in the massacre at Goliad. His wife had died before he did and his daughters were in care of the McKinney family (the family that McKinney Falls near Austin is named after). Minerva was a mentally disabled child and eventually she was sent to the Texas State Lunatic Asylum in Austin (now the State Hospital) to live. She died there, but she was buried in the State Cemetery. This is my sister next to her grave. She is buried right up on Republic Hill near Stephen F. Austin and directly next to Barbara Jordan (which is odd since there was so long between their deaths). What is odd is that most of the graves face east, but this grave faces west. This is my sister beside the grave.


There are many more stories and pictures I need to put here. We’ve been on a wonderful vacation and I’ve decorated the house for Christmas. The “holidailies” are approaching so maybe that will get me motivated to at least post these short little notes often.

November 27, 2012

So Much To Be Thankful For

Filed under: Travel — Janice @ 12:12 am

We got home from our Thanksgiving trip on Saturday and we had had a wonderful little 3-night vacation. I won’t go into it all now because it is late and I am tired and there was just too much to tell. Instead, I’ll post a picture and hope it begins to tell the story. This is from the Caverns of Sonora. I had maybe vaguely heard of the caverns before I happened upon them as I was planning this trip. They happened to be close to where I thought we might spend the night on Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving, and then I noticed they were even open on Thanksgiving Day! What a find! So this is where we spent the first part of our Thanksgiving. We walked about 2 miles within these deep dark caves full of stalactites, stalagmites, and helictites – a term I had never even heard, but now I love it! It is similar to the others except it follows no rules! Unlike the stalactites that form as the water drips from the cavern ceiling, the helictites push out from the walls and then may grow up or in a pretzel shape. They may grow off of the side of a stalagmite. They are very rare, but there are millions in these caverns so we learned a lot about them from Steve, our guide.

So here is me and Mark looking scared and looking like we are in a very narrow passageway – neither of which is true:


November 19, 2012

Behind Closed Doors

Filed under: Music — Janice @ 9:13 pm

There used to be things that nice people didn’t talk about in public. I am quite happy that many of those things went away with the 1950s.

But I think the time has come to bring back the idea of discretion for a bunch of them again. This was just brought on as I read down my Facebook newsfeed and I started reading a post – I kid you not – about ovaries and cycles and that was as far as I got. The person writing is a woman I barely know. I have met her 2 or 3 or 4 times over the last 10 years. We have been associated because we were bloggers before the rest of the world knew what bloggers were. She is an interesting, funny person, and I fully support her right to talk about her ovaries and her cycle and her attempt to get pregnant and any other deeply personal thing she want to share with the world in her blog. But on Facebook? Come on now!

November 18, 2012

Post-Election Now

Filed under: Family,Genealogy,Politics — Janice @ 11:06 pm

After I wrote that last blog, I kept thinking of more of the reasons why I voted for President Obama. And more and more reasons why I couldn’t fathom why someone would vote for Mitt Romney. Fortunately, that is all water under the bridge now. I was so incredibly relieved that the election was not close and there were no (major) shenanigans that affected the outcome of the election. I was really shocked it was called so early. I had to have my little celebration quietly because Mark had fallen asleep on his chair. Maybe an hour or so after it was called for Pres. Obama, he turned over and seemed to be in a lighter phase of sleep so I let him know at that point that we had four more years of Obama and he raised his head up enough to say, “Really? Cool,” before he fell back asleep.

I will go back to not talking politics here. I do worry, at times, that something I write here will affect me in my job or in future job searches. Everyone reads about employees that get fired for things that are on their Facebooks or things they write on their blogs. I know I will not be fired for lewd photos since none exist, but since we have seen employers already laying people off since the election because of politics, the possibility is always there, I suppose. I will hope for the best and hope that, it it were to happen, that I would make headlines and freedom lovers and first amendments supporters would rush to my aid.

Back to other topics of my life as I try to get into a writing rhythm again…

My Uncle Dick died at the end of October. I don’t believe you’ve ever read about him here. He was the younger brother of my grandfather. He was not just a little younger, he was a LOT younger than his 3 older brothers. My grandfather was born in 1908 and he was the second oldest. Dick was born in 1923. The 3 older boys were out of the house, married, and gone before Dick was even in school. This is my favorite picture of their family from that era, just because it does show the drastic difference in their ages:


I’d say this was about 1927. A pretty prosperous looking bunch. My grandfather is the second from the right. Dick is the little one.

I’ve kind of been watching over Uncle Dick for the last few years and I’ve been his medical power of attorney. I was the one who had to sign all the paperwork to let the hospice people take over his care in his last week or so of life. Up until then he really was in his right mind and I never had to make any medical decisions for him.  My dad was only 5 years younger than his uncle and at some point in the 1990s, Dad insisted the Uncle Dick come and live in a nursing home near their house. Dad was good to visit him on a weekly basis and was his only male relative and only friend in the world. When Dad died in 2006, I couldn’t take over that role, but I did try to visit him from time to time (more like once a year instead of once a week) and send him a card occasionally.

Uncle Dick was really odd and not someone that we looked forward to seeing. And I don’t just mean because of the nursing home atmosphere. He was raised as a Mama’s boy and he lived with his mother his whole life. His own father died when he was only  11 and with his brothers all grown and married, he was left to help take care of the cows and the farm. He left school in about fifth grade (though he had fallen behind and was older than his classmates then) and never got any more education. He did get married once, but the story I heard was that she came to live with him and his domineering mother (my great-grandmother) and it wasn’t long before neighbors across the road heard her hollering one night, “Doyle!” (his real first name was Doyle) Doyle, we’re going in to town tomorrow and we’re getting’ us a divorce!”  And they did. I don’t know how much of that is true, but I got it from a very reliable source.

The story that I love to tell about Uncle Dick, though, is about his encounter with “them men from outer space” (I think that’s how he put it). I had heard my Dad comment sometimes about Dick having seen aliens, always scoffing about it, of course, but I had never heard the stories. I hadn’t seen Uncle Dick at all in the 1980s and 1990s, I don’t think. He wasn’t the kind of uncle that you brought out to the house to join us for family events. After Daddy died and I began visiting Uncle Dick, I asked him to tell me about that encounter. Imagine if you went in and asked your uncle to tell you what he had had for lunch and he said, “Oh, I had a ham and cheese sandwich on toast and some pickles.” Uncle Dick told the story with about that much credibility. It wasn’t oversold or hyperbolic. He didn’t have to search his mind for details or think about things. He didn’t embellish in any way. He just told the story.

The story he told was that he was working as a janitor at a K-Mart in Burleson in the 1970s (he gave a specific year – see? his memory was better than mine). The store was near an air base and he frequently heard large transport planes fly over during the night. One night he heard a large vehicle flying over, but having some sort of engine trouble and he took note that it sounded like it might be in trouble. Then he saw a lot of lights from the front of the store. They were near a highway and he assumed it was a highway patrol with a traffic stop on the Interstate. But then the lights in the store all went out and he was in pitch black. So he made his way to the front of the store and those lights and he saw a space ship in the parking lot with the lights on it. And there were “them outer spacemen” up closer to the store looking at him. He said that they were on the other side of that big sidewalk in front of the store and he motioned for them to come closer to the window so he could see them, but they didn’t. They just stayed there on that side of the sidewalk “dancing around the way they do.” At some point they go back to their space ship and they fly away and lights come back on. And a policeman comes along and asks Uncle Dick if he saw a spaceship and outer space men and he told them that he had and the policeman drove off. What is interesting (well, it is all interesting)… I have a friend that is a science fiction writer and she writes about aliens a lot so she has studied all the alien sighting stories and I told her about his description of the aliens and that “dancing around the way they do” and she said that that description of the dancing around and sort of working in tandem as a group is a very common description of a certain type of alien that seems to have an “ant-like” mentality where they work together and function together like ants.

When most people die, it takes several members of the family to make a lot of calls and ask those people to call members of their family to let people know about the death. With Dick, there just weren’t many notifications to make. I had called my mom when hospice called me and said it was close, but didn’t call her back when he died because it was late. I called her the next day and told her. My sister was in Italy with her family so I waited until they were all home the next week to tell her. The only other relative that really cared was my cousin Nancy. She was his actual niece, the daughter of the man on the right in the picture above. She lived near where he lived and had visited him and been very sweet to him and had even taken her mother from her nursing home over to see him in his nursing home. I have only known this cousin a couple of years, but we have bonded a lot in that time. I called her as he was getting sicker. I asked her if she thought we needed to have a funeral. To my great relief, she said she didn’t think so. We felt like the two of us and maybe our husbands would be the only attendees. I made all the arrangements long distance and we will get together at some point in the future and pay our respects.

I’ll close with another sweet picture of Dick as a kid. That’s him on the right with my dad on his shoulders.


November 5, 2012

The Election

Filed under: Politics — Janice @ 12:00 am

I can’t let Election Day get here Tuesday without telling you that I have voted and I have again voted for President Obama, along with a straight-party ticket of Democrats. I have voted a LOT of different ways in all my voting years. I have been one of those “it’s not the party, but the man” voters, too. Finally, in middle-age, I realize that the party DOES make all the difference. And there are things I agree with Republicans about completely. And things I disagree with on the Democratic agenda. But, all in all, I am ecstatic to have a president that said he would get us out of a war and has done it. Can you remember anyone before ever even getting elected with that promise? I can only see more war and more involvement in causes that do not benefit us as a country if we elect a Republican president this year.

The Democrat’s whole-hearted support of women’s issues including equal pay for equal work and a woman’s right to have medical procedures that she and her doctor deem necessary – THAT ARE PERFECTLY LEGAL – without interference from the government is my number one reason to be a Democrat. I could go on and on about my disgust with all the references to “legitimate rape” and “that rape thing” and the categories of rape that Republicans have decided to label women with. I worked for Rape Crisis in Amarillo and Dallas. It was an incredibly hard volunteer job and that is why I haven’t done it in 25 years. I admire the people that work with rape prevention and rape counseling organizations. They are desperately needed. But the comments this election season have taken me back to the training sessions I went through and the victims that came and spoke to our group about their experiences – not just with rape, but with the court system, the medical system, and the police. And then when I began to meet and talk to victims that were only hours removed from the experience itself… I can promise you that any candidate that starts classifying this rape as “better” than that rape has never sat in a hospital waiting room and talked to the husband, sister, friend, daughter, or GRANDCHILD of a rape victim. It seems they have the “typical” rape victim in their mind and there is no such thing.

Okay – I didn’t mean to get off on that tangent.

Mitt Romney is a businessman, he claims. I see it more as a speculator. Whether you call him a businessman or a speculator, we have had some of those in office before … Herbert Hoover, for instance. More recently George Bush and George W. Bush. They had businesses. They ran oil companies or baseball teams (wait, what WAS W’s business again?). I don’t recall the economy doing anything consistently spectacular during their terms that would make me rush to put a businessman back in charge of the economy. And being able to order a business to lay off workers or hire workers or build a new plant or borrow money or do any of the functions of a businessman don’t necessarily translate to improving an economy. And when a president begins to order Congress around as if he were their boss, then you’ll quickly see how unlike a business it can be.

If I had doubts or disappointments with the four years President Obama has spent in office, and if I weren’t happier with the Democratic platform than with the Republican, I still could not support Mitt Romney. Fact checkers have pointed out the misinformation from both campaigns and both candidates all through this year. There are shadings of the truth from both sides to make their case seem stronger. That is politics. But time and time again I have heard flat out lies from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. And I am no political genius or pundit. But when I can hear a speech and hear something that I think sounds wrong and immediately go to the Internet and find the actual facts from which they are diverging, it appalls me that they can lie so easily and then deny it. When Mitt Romney claims he never said something when there is video – yes, even unedited so it isn’t pulling out a single sentence out of context – I wonder if he has never heard this magical thing called YouTube. Seeing him say that he doesn’t care about the 47% was eye-opening. It wasn’t said in a speech televised while he was on the campaign trail, it was said when he’s talking to wealthy donors. Whether he said it because he thought it was what THEY wanted to hear or whether he said it because it is what he believes is inconsequential. Just the fact that a presidential candidate would write off half of the population (whether he is really referring to people who don’t pay taxes – which includes members of the service, the working poor, retirees—or just about people that vote for Obama or even if he is truly referring to poor people that are stuck in a cycle of poverty and need the government assistance because there is no other way to survive) is an attitude I would expect from a man that has never been laid off from a job, never had to cash in coins to see if he could pay a bill, and never took on a second job or a third job because times are very hard. But it is not an attitude that a president can have when he is leading a country that includes millions of people struggling to make it through another day.

I hope election results will quickly and easily point to an Obama victory on Tuesday night. With the voter manipulation and efforts to keep as many voters as possible from even making it to a voting booth this year, I have worries. I do not trust that the system is not rigged. If Mitt Romney becomes our next president, I do not think there will be rioting in the streets or the world or our country will end. I do think that the next 4, 8, 12, 16 years will only get tougher. I was laid off in 2001 and 2002 and then 2007. I have had a moderately good job for 2.5 years now. It pays considerably less than my last job, so I have two side jobs to help add to the income. Still, together with Mark and his two jobs, we are not making anything like we were making for a short period of time when the economy was doing well. And our 401K took a huge hit in 2008, too, of course. I can definitely say we are better off – day by day — than we were 4 years ago, but we have not caught up from all the down times and any upcoming bad times will knock us clear off the rails when it comes to retirement.

I do hope you have voted or will vote on Tuesday and I would like you to vote for President Obama to return to office. But if you feel differently because there are issues that are non-negotiable to you and the Republican platform matches your views, I can understand that. We do have free speech in this country, too, but if you feel the need to rebut my thoughts, please do it on your own blog, not in my comments.

September 27, 2012


Filed under: Austin,Bluebonnets — Janice @ 9:36 pm

Everyone in my family and my circle of friends knows how I feel about bluebonnets. I go a little bit crazy when it comes to our state flower. That’s why I did my little happy dance this morning when I walked outside and found this in our little garden:


We have a garden by the front walk and it has flagstone in the middle so you can walk out into the middle of the garden. Most mornings I do walk out into the garden and check out “how my garden grows.” Right now things are healthy because the temperatures have come down and we had a good soaking 3-inch rain about 10 days ago and it is happy. I just didn’t realize how happy until this morning. First I saw spiderworts. That two-bladed plant close to the bottom of the picture is a spiderwort. There were several big ones growing in the flagstones. I stepped in to inspect them and see if that was what they were and then I saw the bluebonnets. Usually I catch them before they start putting out the second set of leaves. Actually (and I had to go look this up, but I used to know it), the first “leaves” aren’t really leaves, they are called cotyledons and they are part of the embryo of the seed and that is why they look completely different. In the case of the bluebonnet, they are rounded and there are two of them. Then the true leave form with their characteristic points and creases and they are easy to spot. These have all obviously sprung up from the rains last weekend.

I have explained the way bluebonnets work to a lot of people who try to plant them in the spring because they bloom in the spring. That doesn’t work though. You have to plant the bluebonnets, like, right now! Or even a month ago so that they are in the ground when these first fall rains come down and they have time to get established and put out some roots and this greenery. People ask if they will freeze in the winter. Maybe they do. I don’t know. But if they do, it doesn’t seem to hurt them, they bounce right back and can still have a beautiful spring. Obviously, I’m no expert and I haven’t studied them in great detail over hard winters. It seems like hard winters are often very dry winters, too, so it might be hard to tell if it was the freezing or the dryness that kept the bluebonnets from blooming.

Bluebonnets are very smart, though. If the conditions are not right for them to bloom and produce and make seed, they won’t. They will stay underground and wait. We had planted bluebonnets and put out bluebonnet plants down here several times with no luck. A few years back Mark bought some seeds at the Wildflower Center of the Wildflower Farm of Fredericksburg and was determined to get some going. He planted them in the fall, but nothing came up in the spring. But it was also a lousy year for bluebonnets every where. But that fall, the bluebonnets began peeking out and we have a great crop the next spring and each year they have been coming back, over and over. We are very careful to let them go completely to seed and let them fling that seed wherever they may go. They can throw their seed up to 50 feet, they say. Fortunately, lots of it still lands right where we had them before, as the picture is shows. I think the bluebonnets like these flagstones because they aren’t going to have a hoe disturb them. Not that hoes often get used in my garden, sadly. In the garden beds themselves, there were plenty of bluebonnets coming up, but there are also lots of grasses that need to be pulled, but now I’m leery of messing with the roots of the bluebonnets.

Mark it down, we are less than 3 months this side of Christmas and the bluebonnets have appeared. Within 3 months the OTHER side of Christmas, we’ll have blooms and springtime in Central Texas.

September 10, 2012

Bread Boards

Filed under: At home,Childhood Memories — Janice @ 10:25 pm

Be forewarned I am about to fall asleep at my keyboard right now so the may not even make sense.

But this morning I was thinking about bread boards. I don’t really know why. Sometimes my mind is like those Pop Up Videos that used to show on VH1 where there us just a constant stream of something going by and facts and information and questions and thoughts are popping up in bubbles constantly. It is really a bother and I wish I could switch channels. Something made me think of MY bread board.

And when I say bread board, I don’t mean something that is in a computer with circuits and stuff. I Googled bread board and apparently that is what a bread board is today. I never heard of such a thing. My bread board is a big piece of board, about 2 foot x 2 foot, probably that particle board stuff, covered in that vinyl kind of stuff that is sometimes used for cheaper countertops. I don’t know where it came from, but it was around the house or garage one time and I wanted it first as a drafting/drawing board to use with a t-square (someday I’ll write about my frustrated dreams of being an architect), but then it ended up in the kitchen.

If you were thinking bread board like a cutting board that you cut a loaf of bread on, that isn’t what I mean either. I call those cutting boards and I have four good heavy plastic ones that I really like, 2 big and 2 small.

This big bread board is what I use when I make bread and need to knead the dough or when I make a pie and need to roll the dough out with the rolling pin. There is nowhere that I have enough counter space to really do this well and with the bread board I can do it on the kitchen table, which has a surface totally unsuitable for those things.

In the house I grew up in, there was a bread board built into the kitchen. It was just under the counter and it pulled out like a shelf. It was very handy. From time to time we did use it like a shelf. When we did things like pit cherries with a cast iron cherry pitter or we ground ham or cranberries or anything else with the cast iron grinder, we used the bread board to clamp to. There was no other place in the kitchen that those things could clamp on to and be firm and tight. When we made bread, we pulled the bread board out completely and put it on the kitchen table so we had a firmer surface to work on.

I say all that just because I was realizing that there are things that were commonplace to me in my growing up world that probably were no commonplace to most people my age since very few grew up in houses built in 1902. And though we didn’t make ALL our family’s bread (like my friend Sandy’s mom did – yum!) and only rarely made it, I know most of my friends never had any homemade bread growing up and never make it for themselves today. I don’t blame them when there are so many great bakeries so close by.

I told my nephews that eventually I need to take pictures and write things down about the things we have in our house so they’ll know what is important to keep or what is valuable enough to sell and what is worthless and can be tossed, etc. I’m sure they will have no idea why there is a big white board between the refrigerator and the pantry in the kitchen. This blog entry will let them know that it is IMPORTANT and SENTIMENTAL and VALUABLE and that is the first of many many things they absolutely cannot get rid of. Oh the joys those boys will have one day…

September 3, 2012

Labor Day/Labor Free

Filed under: Music — Janice @ 9:41 pm

What a nice relaxing Labor Day weekend. It all went by too quickly, but it was a good one.

The highlight of it all was a very special concert in San Marcos for my friend Lucky Tomblin. Lucky and his wife Becky are friends of mine because of my friends Marsha and Denise. I remember when Marsha booked Lucky’s band at our music series many years ago and I had never heard of them at all. They were not in the same Texas music scene that most of our artists were in (there are SO many Texas music scenes!), but I quickly learned how deep Lucky’s commitment to Texas music was and how hard he had worked over the years to promote Texas music and, better yet, to encourage art.

This concert was a big thank you to Lucky and his family for all they’ve done for musicians, for their community, for the organization CASA, for the public schools in San Marcos, for Texas State University, and on and on. Everyone had a story about Lucky’s generosity. I’ve seen it myself in many ways and heard stories of it. Of course the stories are always from the one who received the benefits or someone they told about it. Lucky and his family do it quietly and behind the scenes and without a second thought or expectation of return. 

The music was provided by so many musicians, including the Lucky Tomblin Band with many guest musicians including my sweet husband Mark, and Teri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines and Ponty Bone, Delbert McClinton, Shawn Sahm, Lisa Mills, and an all-star blues band with Denny Freeman and Derek O’Brien and Frosty on the drums. And there were many more. Oh, and I forgot Pianorama and that was my favorite part! Five pianos going at the same time with some of my favorite piano players: Floyd Domino, Earl Poole Ball, Emily Gimble, and Nick Connolley.  And it was in a beautiful venue, too, the Texas Music Theater on the square in downtown San Marcos. A great night from start to finish.

August 26, 2012


Filed under: At home,Normal Life — Janice @ 10:23 pm

Time does not fly. It crawls by at a snails pace… When I’m waiting for a check or when my eyes won’t stay open and I’m still at my desk at work or when I’m wide awake and it is 4:30 a.m. and my mind is racing. Yet it speeds along like a freightliner on tracks slicked with lard when it comes to evening hours to be productive or weekends or anything resembling personal time.

I’ve decided my favorite time of the day is my drive home from work because that’s when I can see possibilities. As I drive home and it is edging up on 6 o’clock, I’m thinking, “It’s early yet, the sun’s still up, I have a whole evening ahead of me!” I am so exhausted I first think about how wonderful it would be to just go home and take a short nap, just to get my energy back up. But wouldn’t it also be nice to maybe pour  myself a cool beverage and just sit on the porch and enjoy the late afternoon and let the cats out in the fresh air for a while? That would do us all some good. I think about how I will finally update my blog. And of course, before I can comfortably do that, I need to clean and organize this office a little bit because it has gotten out of control. And how about some dinner? We haven’t had a good dinner in ages. That thought might send me for a stop by a grocery store for one of their great pre-made meals (that still always involves a lot more work than I would hope for) or some ingredients. A stop at the mailbox and I pull in the drive. Hooray, I’m home.

I get in the house and am surprised to see that we’re edging up on 7 o’clock now. How did that happen? Nap goes by the way side quickly. Cats are starved, so they get their dinner. And the cat boxes get cleaned. And I go to check something in my office and remembers I have 2 side jobs that I didn’t think about at all on that drive home and I have to figure in some time for them. I go back into the kitchen to think about dinner and it is edging up on 8? How did THAT happen? Maybe I get something started on this dinner. Most likely I shove the ingredients in the refrigerator and hope for a better night for cooking. I go to the office, ignore the mess around me, type some reports, do a radio show. By this time Mark has probably come home and is forlornly eating peanut butter in the living room, wishing there were dinner in this house from time to time. We say hello, maybe we watch my evening news from earlier that I record, and then I go to bed.

I don’t know why I feel that the situation will improve with fall and the sun setting earlier and the night being longer. School starts tomorrow and fall is officially less than a month away. We’ll see. Again I will hope.

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