Thursday, March 30, 2006
Just another boring day in paradise
Haven't posted for the past couple of days because I've actually been off the computer a bit and enjoying our home. Plus, I'm sure you're getting tired of hearing about how wonderful it is here...lol.

Tonight, we had a flock of pelicans in front of the dock and I tried to take pictures, but it was just too dark. But following are a few pics of yet another glorious sunset, and a few that were taken over the weekend, when our friend John and his son Ryan came to visit.








John and Ryan


Ryan, catching a big one!


Scott and Ryan



First boat of the season!


Our cat, Misty


High Temperature: 73° F
Low Temperature: 49° F
Precipitation: 0.04 in
Written by Scott
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Saturday, March 25, 2006
Long post :)
There are about 60 homes in this community. Most of the full-time residents are older. We have a few teenagers and a handful of small kids, but young couples are definitely the minority. Many of the residents have stopped by at one time or another to introduce themselves, and that's really strange, since after living on 2 acres in Combine for 2.5 years, and apartment living prior to that for the previous 7.5, we're not used to having neighbors talking to us. It's a whole new experience and quite pleasant.

Today was utterly gorgeous outside. The lake was smooth as glass, the temperature was 64 degrees. People were outside working on their homes, or just enjoying the beautiful day.

We received some good news and bad news today. The bad news is that our AC unit has a leak, we just don't know yet how bad the leak is. The unit, which is a heat pump, will definitely need to be replaced within the next five years, and probably sooner than later. Not happy about that, but not surprised. We'll have to decide whether to buy another heat pump or a traditional furnace. The heat pump is supposed to be more efficient, but they have a shorter use life. They are also more expensive than a traditional furnace.

The good news is that we may be getting a boat pretty soon, and at a hell of a price. I don't want to go into details right now, and I sure don't want to get my hopes up, but if this goes through, I'll fill you in later. Cross your fingers for us!

This wasn't supposed to be a photoblog, but it sure seems to be turning out that way! I just can't help it - everything here lends itself to being photographed. And since this blog is read by many family members and friends who either don't live nearby....oh, wait, nevermind - that's everybody, since nobody lives nearby!!

I love sharing this part of my life. I love living here. Life on the lake is different. The air is cooler (well, right now anyway) and smells differently than city air. Spring has sprung, and everything is turning green. The view we saw last year when we initially signed the contract to buy this house is reappearing - if you don't know, we signed the contract on 7/31 - summer, with everything lush and green - but didn't actually move in until 12/18 - winter, and everything was bare and brown.

So, that said, here are the current pictures from Lake Tawakoni!


As you can see, everything is turning green. This is our home.


Just a vulture - but I think they're beautiful in flight.


My favorite photographic topic :)


And yet another sunset. Are you sick of them yet??


High Temperature: 56° F
Low Temperature: 30° F
Precipitation: 0.00 in

Written by Scott
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Friday, March 24, 2006
A quiet day
It appears that our plants survived the low temps last night...thank goodness!

The lake is calm and quiet tonight, so we're thinking the fish won't be jumping on the lines the way they have been the past few days.

Tomorrow morning will be spent cleaning house as we're having a bunch of guys over to...you guessed it...FISH!

I'm almost completely caught up on 6 weeks worth of soaps...only about 8 days to go, and I should have those knocked out by the end of the weekend. So, my question now is...what will I do next?

Yesterday (3/23) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 43° F
Low Temperature: 31° F
Precipitation: 0.03 in
Written by Scott
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Thursday, March 23, 2006
The biggest one yet!
I simply cannot keep Scott away from the lake! I don't mind too much though, it gives me time to watch my soaps ;)

However, it has paid off. Following are pictures of his largest catch to date, and a few of the smaller ones he's caught this week. He had to clean these and get them soaking in milk, preparing them for freezing.


This guy weighed 15 lbs!




Scott's had a good week of fishing!

It's supposed to freeze tonight. We discussed it and are taking a caculated risk of not covering the plants, since they made it through last night, and it dipped to 36, with a real feel of 21. I don't know if actual temperature is worse than real feel temperature as far as the plants are concerned, or if real feel is enough to do damage. I guess we'll find out. Prayers being cheerfully accepted for my poor little plants!

High Temperature: 52° F
Low Temperature: 36° F
Precipitation: 0.00 in
Written by Scott
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Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Last lake post, I promise!
I'm sure you're all tired of hearing about the lake, but it really has been amazing for this girl who comes from concrete and city noises, to watch the transformation of the lake and our community as Spring is breaking.

Here are some pictures that I took last night, with the lake still filling - although it does seem to have stopped now.

First, is the catfish Scott caught yesterday. He thinks it's around 10 lbs., and is his biggest to date.





The water is now about 30 feet from the shoreline.



Remember the neighbor's dock which is being built? The short poles are almost completely under water on the right (back) - and completely submerged on the left (front).



If you go look at that pictures on 3/19 again, in the distance you can see a barge pointing into the lake, and is completely grounded. It's now moved 90 degrees. I'm sure hoping it's anchored down!




High Temperature: 56° F
Low Temperature: 39° F
Precipitation: 0.00 in
Written by Scott
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Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Every once in awhile I come across a blog that catches my interest. To me, the only way to read a blog is from back to front, since new posts come out on top.

I just finished reading a blog from back to front, and found it fascinating. It is called City Bees. It is imformative and well written. While this beekeeper is very serious about her colonies, she approaches her writing with a sense of humor. There's some scientific stuff that may bog you down if you're not interested in beekeeping - but at the same time, I read every word of it - and being allergic to bees, I have no interest at all in beekeeping.

Anyway, I encourage you to check her out.

~~~~~~~~~

A very cool day in Dallas, but crisp and clear. No sign of the rains. The lake came up a little more since last night, but not a lot. Sorry, no pictures of it today - maybe tomorrow.

Yesterday (3/20) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 72° F
Low Temperature: 47° F
Precipitation: 0.22 in
Written by Scott
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Monday, March 20, 2006
After the rains...
First, please take just a moment of respect for Xin Du, a student at SMU, who lost her life in Dallas last night, because of the flooding at Turtle Creek. Her friend, however, was rescued, in a very amazing story.

Dallas received 9" of rain yesterday, while we received 3.68" yesterday and a total of 5" over the weekend. For the first time in a long time, the Trinity River basin is full, as you can see here.

What did all of this rain do for us? Scott went out at about 7:00 this morning because he realized he needed to move his poles which, yesterday, were about 10 feet from the water's edge. You can see in the picture he took that that was no longer true.

He turned around and took a picture from the water, looking towards our dock and the road, to show how far up the water had gotten. The gray at the back of the picture is our rock retaining wall. As you can see, it was pretty muddy, but the water really hadn't gotten too far up.

These pictures were taken at 11:00. As you can see, the water came up the bank several feet.


These pictures were taken at 6:30. Go take a look at the picture I posted yesterday, of our neighbor's dock that is being built. I'll wait. Notice where the water line is. I took that picture around 3pm. This is what it looks like now.

The poles on the far right of the picture are the last set of tall ones, closest to the shore.

The poles on the left side of the picture are the last set of tall ones.

And then, we got a gorgeous sunset!

We still need at least another 5-10" of rain though, but spread over a couple of weeks would be nice, rather than a couple of days.

And while it was a little difficult with the grass being wet, Scott was able to get the lawn mowed! We apparently have a lot of wild onion in the lawn, because we could smell it when he got done. (I still want to just tear the whole thing up and lay down sod!)


Yesterday (3/19) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 52° F
Low Temperature: 49° F
Precipitation: 3.68 in

Written by Scott
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Sunday, March 19, 2006
And what a storm it's been!
As I'm looking outside right now, the sky is almost pitch black at 3pm. It's been raining since Friday night. The lake has come up several inches, covering a minimum of 5 feet of the beach. I say that because we had a log placed 5 feet from the water's edge, and it's now getting covered.



In the past 24 hours, we've gotten 3.71" of rain, according to Accuweather.com. Weehaw!

A few pictures. This first one is our neighbor's dock, which is being built. Putting it here for reference purposes.



My fishing addict was positive that the fishing would be great today. I guess he was right!






High Temperature: 55° F
Low Temperature: 50° F
Precipitation: 1.19 in
Written by Scott
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Saturday, March 18, 2006
Aren't they adorable?!
Here's a picture that was taken at Christmas of me with my grandbabies (ugh...I still can't believe I'm a grandmother - three times over!!). I just got the picture yesterday, so I'm sharing ;)


It's an overcast day at Tawakoni - we had a nice light storm overnight. Scott's convinced the fish will be biting...so he's out with his poles. After some light housekeeping duties, I intend to veg all day - later!

Yesterday (3/17) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 67° F
Low Temperature: 45° F
Precipitation: 0.05 in

Written by Scott
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Friday, March 17, 2006
Happy Birthday Husband, Glad You're Home!
Dear Scott:

I hope this was a good birthday for you! You already commented happily on the fact that so many people called you today to wish you a happy birthday, and that you got two birthday cards in the mail. It was also very nice having dinner out with our neighbors...they're really nice people. And I know you'll love your present from me ;)

But the best part for me, is the fact that you're back in our home! This place was just an empty shell while you were gone. Since it's supposed to rain all weekend, I guess we'll just have to find something to do inside!


Yesterday (3/16) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 78° F
Low Temperature: 55° F
Precipitation: 0.00 in
Written by Scott
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Thursday, March 16, 2006
Yay, it's Thursday!!
Why am I excited about it being Thursday?

Payday!
Last day Scott is on call!
Almost Friday!
Going singing tonight!

I realized this morning, at 6:30 a.m., while I was out watering the gardens, that I have officially become a homeowner. That kind of dedication doesn't come easily...specially for someone who is running late for work ;)


Yesterday (3/15) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 67° F
Low Temperature: 43° F
Precipitation: 0.00 in
Written by Scott
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Blogshares is a fantasy stock market, where you buy and sell shares of blogs. I've been a member since 2/22, and I'm just finally starting to get the hang of the game (thank you, BB!) - it's a lot more fun when you know what you're doing.

You start with $500, and through trading, I'm now up to $2.3 BILLION...woohoo! Now, if I could only get my hands on a tenth of that in real cash, I'd be one happy camper! ;)

Anyway, consider checking it out... http://blogshares.com/?referer=43859


Yesterday (3/14) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 66° F
Low Temperature: 39° F
Precipitation: 0.00 in
Written by Scott
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Birthdays Galore :)
March 4th started an avalance of birthdays, and I get insane trying to remember them all, so I'm putting them here. I lost all the birthdays when my computer crashed a couple of months ago...thank God for the birthday alarm for most of them!

March 4 is my step-mother's birthday (and I forgot it!!). March 12 is my mother's birthday, and March 14 is my father's (Happy Birthday to you all!)

March 17 is Scott's birthday, March 19 is my friend Stacey's birthday, and March 21 is my friend Felicia's birthday.

March 26 is my son's birthday (26...OMG!) and March 28 is my daughter's birthday (24...OMG!)

I'm sure I've probably missed a couple.

Other than realizing that I've been a flake again for another year on birthdays, it has been a boring week! I really miss Scott, who is still staying in town. He'll be home Friday night, but I'm planning on spending Thursday night in town with him. But, at least I've had a great opportunity to get nearly caught up on my soaps ;)


Yesterday (3/13) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 74° F
Low Temperature: 47° F
Precipitation: 0.07 in

Yesterday (3/12) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 87° F
Low Temperature: 69° F
Precipitation: 0.00 in
Written by Scott
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Sunday, March 12, 2006
Uh...is there an A/C guy out there?
It's been warm here the past couple of days...really warm, since our A/C does not seem to be cooling the place. Fan is running, I can hear it, but I don't feel any air. For the first time, I can hear the fan running on my PC and the weather center we have set up says it's 84 in the house.

Can you say ka-ching?! I'm afraid, very afraid.


Yesterday (3/11) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 83° F
Low Temperature: 68° F
Precipitation: trace
Written by Scott
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Saturday, March 11, 2006
Friday
We stayed in Plano last night, since Scott is on call this week. He'll be staying at a hotel there all week and it's way too quiet here today! We went out and sang karaoke at this place in McKinney called "Big Tony's"...and it was about what you'd expect. It's a restaurant/bar with cheesy equipment but it was ok, until the DJ decided to take a break and played 5 hip-hop songs in a row...I can handle one or two, but five was 2 too many, so we left.

And of all the weeks for Scott not to be home - our "grass", such as it is - is almost two feet tall in places! It's mostly weeds though, and will still look terrible when it's mowed. I'd like to plow the whole thing under and put in sod...I'll be looking into the price.

In the meantime, the rest of the garden is doing well.

Jonah is settling in nicely to his new home...they just love him, and for that I'm glad. They let him have full house privileges yesterday while they were at work and other than chewing the faux fur off one of my friend's jackets (*gulp*) and dragging a frying pan (??) to her kids' bedrooms, they said he did really well. No "accidents" and I was very worried about that, since he hasn't always been reliable as far as his housetraining. The first night he was there, he tried to climb into bed with them, but last night, laid on the floor all night like a good boy. I think it's going to be just fine :)


Yesterday (3/10) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 83° F
Low Temperature: 50° F
Precipitation: 0.00 in

Yesterday (3/9) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 71° F
Low Temperature: 53° F
Precipitation: 0.69 in
Written by Scott
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Thursday, March 09, 2006
Of tails and twisters
Three little girls came bouncing out of a car, and saw Jonah at the same time he saw them. They met somewhere in the middle and Jonah was one happy dog. He got a little overexcited, but I think it's going to be just fine. When it was time to leave, the dog (who I always had to partially lift into the car) jumped into the front seat of my friend's car without even being asked.

I think he's going to be a much happier dog :)

~~~~~

Last night, we had a helluva storm here - thunder and lightening everywhere! It hit us hardest around 4:30 a.m., but had knocked out the power twice before that, like after 1:00 a.m. Around 5:00 a.m., we got nearly an inch of rain. The rain didn't last long though, only about 40 minutes. But the damage around here from the wind was significant - trees were down and a child's 2 story playhouse was knocked over! Scott swears when he was sitting on the steps at 4:30 a.m., he saw a small twister coming across the lake, sound of a freight-train and all!

Yesterday (3/8) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 77° F
Low Temperature: 64° F
Precipitation: 0.05 in
Written by Scott
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Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Jonah
We got Jonah as a 6 month old puppy in October of last year, thinking that we were going to be moving any day.

He's now almost a year old, and has to be crated during the day while we're at work (no fenced yard), and then goes down to the lake with Scott after we get home. But he's simply not getting enough "out of crate" time. A friend at work was talking about wanting a dog, and I told her about Jonah, and that if she was interested in him, I'd talk to Scott - who has been asking for the past two weeks that I do something about the dog. Scott agreed.

I was going to sign him up for obedience classes, but frankly, we live 30 miles from the nearest place for classes - and I can't stand the idea of making the drive home, picking up the dog, and then driving back in to town, spend an hour working with the dog, and then driving 30 miles home for 6 weeks. We half-assed looked into residential training (where they keep the dog for a certain time period and return to you a perfectly trained dog), but while the cost is reasonable, it's too much for us to invest in a dog right now. I thought we'd be able to fix the yard where he could be outside all day, but it'd require more work and money than we can put out there right now.

So, the friend and her family will be picking Jonah up tomorrow night and taking him for the weekend to see if it's a good fit.

I'm sad, but I honestly think this is the best thing for him. He'll have a fenced yard, and 3 kids to play with - that should settle him down fast. He's too hyper right now from not getting enough time to run and play, except on the weekends.

I admit it - I haven't made enough of a commitment to this dog to go out of my way for 6 weeks and get him trained - and for that I'm ashamed.

Yesterday (3/7) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 78° F
Low Temperature: 57° F
Precipitation: 0.00 in
Written by Scott
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Tuesday, March 07, 2006
More photos - "In progress"
Scott's getting home from work late tonight, and there's no way I'd attempt to finish this job without him, but I did want to get some pictures up of the work in progress.



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The upper bed has tulips, oriental lilies, one calla lily, and two Stargazer lilies. Only the tulips are blooming.

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Another picture of the same bed. The lower bed has nothing but two varieties of caladium bulbs.

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The pond - still in progress. We'll be filling in all the "holes" with Mondo Grass.
This pond sits where the tree used to be.

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Another view of the pond. It has a waterfall in it, that falls over the rocks.



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This is the circular bed that lines our driveway. Those plants are lamb's ear and
have already doubled in size since we planted them on Sunday.
It's a rapid grower, so this should be filled in soon.

More later!

Yesterday (3/6) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 77° F
Low Temperature: 53° F
Precipitation: 0.00 in

Written by Scott
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Monday, March 06, 2006
Photo Day
Scott went to check his fishing lines this morning and found a heron tangled up in one of them! He had to bring the bird up to the house to cut it loose. It took the procedure very calmly, and thank God, the hook didn't get him! I got a few pictures. I wanted to leave them big so we don't lose any detail, so follow these links to see them. If it asks for a password, it's "helen". You'll have to press the back button on your browser to return to this page.

We didn't have time to work on the yard tonight, so we'll get finished tomorrow and I'll take some "after" shots. But here are some of the "before" shots.

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Scott digging out the circular flower bed

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Front view of the house "before"

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This is the circular bed. The black hose at the bottom of the picture is our gray line. I planted elephant ears there to cover it up.

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Scott digging out the tree. You can see some of the tulips I planted.

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Another of Scott digging out the tree.



Yesterday (3/5) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 71° F
Low Temperature: 56° F
Precipitation: 0.00 in
Written by Scott
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Sunday, March 05, 2006
I'm soooo tired!!
It has been an exhausting weekend! But we have three new flower beds, one less tree, and a new pond! There is still one flower bed to do, which the plants are already bought for, and one flower bed to do that we had completely forgotten about...LOL.

And idiot that I can sometimes be, I didn't get "before" pictures of the majority of the work! I did get some though, and will post them with the "after" pictures in a day or two...you won't believe the difference!

In between doing all of this digging and planting, which we started Saturday morning, I had to run Shannon to her mom's Saturday afternoon, and then go pick her back up a couple of hours later, and on Sunday, we had to run out to Scott's mom's (70 miles away!), come back 40 miles and take Shannon to her church (visiting Lowe's and Home Depot while she was in church), come home and do more digging and planting.

The lawn itself still looks like hell, because we need to buy a new lawn mower, but the coffers are tapped for this week. Hopefully, we can get one next weekend.

Yesterday (3/4) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 71° F
Low Temperature: 49° F
Precipitation: 0.00 in
Written by Scott
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Saturday, March 04, 2006
Guest room 90% finished
Scott added extra shelves to the bookshelves in the guestroom, and new bedding has been put on the bed (the yellow in the previous photos was my old bedding). There is one more shelf to install in the "closet", which will be above the hanger bar and a TV installed. Then we'll need to figure out how to enclose the closet itself. These are tasks that won't be finished for a couple of months, but I wanted to show the 90% finished room.


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Today's task is supposed to be clearing out the flower beds that circle our driveway. Right now they are filled with weeds and bushes that I can't stand. I think we'll be putting down some type of flowering ground cover.

Yesterday (3/3) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 73° F
Low Temperature: 51° F
Precipitation: trace
Written by Scott
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Thursday, March 02, 2006
Housewarming?
Scott is ready to have our housewarming - or at least, start planning it. I'm not sure we're ready. Our yard is trashed. The previous owners had two trees cut out of the front (for which we could cheerfully beat them to death), so there are two very large holes out there which need to be filled. There are brick planters in front of the porch which need to be either repaired or torn down. The driveways need work - they are wayyyy steep and my car bottoms out every time I pull in - but if we wait until they're fixed to have the housewarming, we'll be ready to retire!

Of course, Scott says if we set the date, then he'll be pressured to get these projects done...and admittedly, he is pretty good about that! :)
So, I guess we'll figure out the date this weekend.



Yesterday (3/1) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 85° F
Low Temperature: 59° F
Precipitation: 0.00 in
Written by Scott
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Wednesday, March 01, 2006
One of the hardest things
Scott's mom is 63 years old. She has lupus, Sjögren's syndrome, fibromyalgia, and has broken her hip once, and had two heart attacks. As you can imagine, with all that going on, she has many doctor's appointments.

About 18 months ago, she had a small fender bender in Scott's car. It only cost us $572, but it was rather scary because she stated that she had "nodded off". At that point, we suggested that she didn't drive, and finally ended up with the car at our house (we had pretty much given it to her but it was still in Scott's name).

She's been fussing about getting the car back because Scott's been taking her to doctor's appointments, but his job has gotten so busy lately, that he's had to have her cancel several appointments. So tonight, we took the car over there and had her do a test drive with Scott in the car. When they got back, Scott told her he didn't want her driving...she had scared him, and he doesn't scare easily.

Needless to say, she was pretty upset. Our vehicles are our independence - and we were taking her's away. Nevermind that she hadn't driven in 18 months - it's the principle of the thing.

It's deeply disturbing to us to have to do this to her, but the risks are enormous. She lives in Arlington - a community well known for it's disproportionately high number of accidents. In fact, I was watching the news while they did the test drive - and out of the six accidents they showed, five of them were in Arlington...where she lives. It would be bad enough to have her injured in an accident, or God forbid, killed in one, but we would have to live with the guilt forever, if she hurt or killed someone else.

It is not at all easy to reach this point, where the child has to parent their parents. She's not going to be able to live by herself too terribly much longer, and because we're so far out in the country, having her live with us is probably not an option. Assisted living is probably the best way to go, but she's very resistent.

This is definitely one of the hardest things to go through!

Because we just got home a short while ago, my goals for tonight were shot - and now I'm bummed on top of it.
Written by Scott
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Goals for March
  • Finish cleaning up the junk out of storage and reclaim office.
  • Lose 10 lbs. *gulp*
  • Get Jonah put into obedience classes before we kill him.
  • Clear out the front flower beds and replant something.

Hm...That should wear me out!

To do tonight:

  • Clean out car
  • Walk 1 mile.

Yesterday (2/28) in Quinlan
High Temperature: 80° F
Low Temperature: 52° F
Precipitation: 0.00 in

Written by Scott
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