Those 70ish girls…Breakfast With the Lovers

Yesterday I attended an invitation only “Bow wow and Meow” Breakfast at a lovely hotel banquet room. It was for donors and volunteers. I drove along the beautiful Pacific Ocean for about 40 minutes in slow traffic, but I made it on time. After checking in with the SPCA workers, I entered a huge room with 32 tables set for 10 people each, white table cloths were laid out with glasses of orange juice, ice water, and plates, mugs and silverware set atop tables in an unusual manner: fork and knife aside a sparkling white plate, then another fork and knife laid across the top edge of the plate on the table. There was a large serving plate with pastries and another plate with sliced honeydew melon, fresh pineapple, and strawberries. Thermal type coffee pots were brought out also. I randomly chose this table with the board member’s name set up on a card in the center of the table. Her name was Joan and I didn’t know any of the nine people at my table but Joan took care of that almost from the beginning. I felt at home with fellow animal lovers and immediately started to relax.

Joan greeted me and made me feel comfortable and happy. She got me a name card and a server to send hot tea since I’m not a coffee drinker. She was a gem. Everyone started chatting about their admiration for what the SPCA does and how they themselves help either with donations or volunteering. One lady wore a beautiful beige and pink sweater set with stitching of dogs and dog paraphernalia all over it. She even had a necklace with a dog pendant and earrings to match. The other lady next to me talked about the four dogs she and her husband adopted from the SPCA. She explained their breeds and how she’s trained them and loves them. Another lady loves horses and another birds. They asked me about my dog, Ninny, and would I adopt any cats or more dogs but I said my husband wouldn’t approve that. (I often use him as an excuse for not doing things) We had fun together. We were all in love…with animals.

Can you spend time with me? I’m a good dog.

Huh, what? Yeah, I will be your buddy.

Where are you going? Throw the ball. I’m ready.

I’m ready to go! Can I be your friend forever?

The one nice older gentleman sitting next to me left for a minute and the handsome president of the SPCA sat down there to chat with the beige dog-decorated sweater gal. When the nice gentleman returned, he said, “I leave for one minute and you 9 ladies don’t even save my seat for me!” He said it in a funny way and was smiling. The president laughed and got up apologizing.

After we ate for a while and watched the large screens showing animals, rescue teams, and SPCA volunteers and employees over the years, the board president got up to speak and introduced the man who had taken the chair next to mine. He was the President and CEO for the entire SPCA and gave a great speech. We hadn’t had the Bow wow Breakfast since 2019 and now some people wanted it called the Bow wow and Meow Breakfast so he agreed. However, he would not let anyone add on The Whinny, Squeak, Tweet or Chirp Bow wow and Meow Breakfast. This got a big laugh.

He asked people to stand who have donated for 5 years then 10 years, 25 years and so on. Next he had volunteers stand and I proudly stood up. Then he had a rescue and animal officer who handles animals in danger or abused animals get up and speak. This young man told about horrendous rescues during the winter storms and after the levee broke on the nearby river, his team, police officers and National Guardsmen went out to rescue people’s animals. They had to use high water vehicles and sometimes wade through waist deep water to find scared and hungry animals. He said one rescue that stuck out in his memory was an older lady who had evacuated and whose house was flooded, calling to ask if the SPCA could find and save her older blind dog and her parrot, who were her only companions. They did end up rescuing her pets and many others.

I had one of my best days at this breakfast hearing stories about 250 animals rescued during the floods and how many pet owners relied on this great organization to save their beloved animals. Lastly, adorable pets were brought up onstage to our oohs and ahhhs! We all loved this part the best, especially seeing little puppies. (Please adopt when you can.)

I also ate quiche and home fries. It was all delicious. It was fun to be there with over 300 lovers of animals and share the love.

Love to eat breakfast with lovers.

It’s not just about bow wow. It’s about me. Meow.

How do you like my puppy eyes?

Those 70ish girls…Ben Wheeler and stuff

Today, I am sharing about this and that. I’ve included a little bit about Ben Wheeler, where our wheels are currently parked and an update on Kip’s recovery from back surgery. I am trying to get back into the swing of writing because I really enjoy this blog. I so appreciate that cousin Lav, (Valerie Halla), is now a co-author. I love her style and I love her!

Food and other observations…

Those 70ish girls…MG’s new Do.

First, I want to let everybody know that I brought Kip home from the hospital today. His back surgery yesterday went well. Now comes the hard part. Rehab and healing. Thanks, everyone, for your thoughtfulness and prayers. Keep them coming.

I made an important life decision. I’m going with my gray. I’ve been gray for decades, but only my hairdresser knew exactly how gray. I’m the old hair color stylist, but I’m done with the dye and down with the gray. I had the color lifted out – thanks Amanda at A Touch of Grace Salon in Ben Wheeler. You are the best. Heather knows her stuff, too. I watched her color and cut a lady’s hair while Amanda worked on me.

I highly recommend A Touch of Grace Salon. It was a fun experience, and I love the results. No more dying my roots every few weeks. I’m very excited about that! Though I tried to only dye the roots, the ends were getting really dark and dry.

I’ve included some before and after pics of my new do as well as some other local Ben Wheeler color.

A while back, a hair stylist told me that if you have dark hair, gray roots make it look as though your hair is thinning.
“What about black freckles on your nose…”
“The new MG said we will get used to the old MG. I don’t get it!”
I love the way Amanda styled my hair. I’m still practicing. One thing I have noticed is that the color lift took some curl out. It will probably return as the new gray grows.
MG wants us to get all of our hair on this towel…

Those 70ish girls…The Edge of night and the light of day

By the time you get to be 70ish, you have had a whole lot of life experiences.

A physical, or I guess what some would call a chemical depression, was a new one for me. I sincerely hope the only way most of you will experience this type of anguish is from what you are about to read.

All was well. Kip and I had reached our long awaited goal of selling our house and almost everything in it except for a few treasures we couldn’t part with like the things we need in our day to day lives such as clothes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, towels, our frozen dinners… you know.

We spent the 2 days before we closed on the house cleaning everything. The house, yard, garage, and cottage were spic and span. We drove to the closing with the 2 dogs in the back of the Jeep, collected our check, and drove to where the RV was parked. We then took the scenic route to Ben Wheeler, TX, to the RV park where we intended to stay until we left on our first of what we planned to be many trips across America. Our target date was April 1st.

To make a long story longer, as my mom used to say, things didn’t go as planned. It is now April 15th and we’re still here. Kip is scheduled to have back surgery on Monday. The surgery will be followed by 3 months of rehab before he’s ready to spend long days driving an RV. The good news is he will eventually be able to.

This was not part of the plan. I began to feel what I would call down in the dumps. The situation called for that, but I was not expecting what happened next. I became despondent. I did not want to get up in the morning and I couldn’t wait to take to my bed at night. I closed my eyes with a slight sense of relief that for the next 8 hours, I would not have to face anything. The next morning, I was overcome with dread before I even opened my eyes. I felt no sense of gratitude, compassion, love, hope, or excitement. I only felt fear and a sense of foreboding.

I had so much to be grateful for. I had friends who could tell I wasn’t being myself. They wanted to help, but no one, including me, knew what help would look like. My faith in God and self suffered, which only caused me to become wracked with pain and guilt. Kip tried to make sense of it all, but he could not.

I have a mental illness called bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed almost 20 years ago. I guess I have been in remission because I have been able to handle life’s challenges with some success. About like most people would, I guess. This episode was different. I called and made an appointment with my psychiatrist’s office. I had been seeing one for a while. In fact, she had recently changed my medication due to some side effects I had been experiencing. I have never felt medication made much of a difference. I only complied because I promised my husband and family I would.

When the doctor changed my medication, she intended for me to take 2 new prescriptions. I didn’t remember that, so when I got to the pharmacy, I didn’t question that I only got one. I took the one for six weeks. I have to be honest and say I was at the point of a breakdown when the doctor and I realized what had happened and called in the 2nd prescription. I began to feel better on the 2nd day of taking both prescriptions.

Why am I telling you all of this? It is to make you believe that mental illness is not a choice. No one would want to the feel the way I did…

And no one could be more grateful not to feel that way now…

So, I’m pretty much myself, again. I decided to dye my hair gray, (again…)

You have to wait for the big gray reveal…I found a wonderful hair salon right here in Ben Wheeler, TX
We’re happy Momma is back even if she is gray-headed

Those 70ish girls…It’s the Little Things

I have been thinking about what makes me happy or at the least, content, as I whiz through my 70’s and it’s simply put, simple. It’s little things in life. You would think that as we age we would want or have big houses, fancy cars, lots of clothing and jewelry galore, shoes and on and on- which is fine, -but for me I am celebrating little moments or feelings. Like the other day, I got a new mattress pad cover. I washed it, dried it a long time and took off the old, shredded, matted, dull mattress pad and threw it in the trash. Good riddance scumbag. I ecstatically shook out the new, fluffy, clean bright white one and gently put it on our queen sized mattress. It looked fabulous. Welcome, lovely, soft pretty new cover. I just left it all day, tucked neatly around the corners of the mattress, lying there perfectly spread out in it’s perfection. I didn’t put any sheets or quilts onto the bed which would cover this new glorious item. I left it like that all day and enjoyed walking into the bedroom seeing it. I stared at it. What a focal point. I was happy. Why hadn’t I replaced the crummy old mattress pad cover sooner? It was all so simple yet had taken me years to replace and all for $31.99. Simple.

There are many examples of times I have felt joy over just a quick fleeting moment of something easy and peaceful and beautiful. Here’s a picture of something that a friend gave me as a gift about two years ago, however, I tucked them into a drawer and forgot about them.


New, pink and purple and black feet hugging sports socks. Ahhh, comfy.

I was so happy to find a clean new pair of socks tucked under other clothes in my drawer. Who cares about the colors! Actually the zappy colors make me even happier. I texted my friend a thank you for the socks even though she had given them to me a couple years ago and I had forgotten about them. Doesn’t seem like much, but those socks made me smile as did my feet, if feet can smile.

But you say that these examples are materialistic. That is true. Even better in 70ish life, there are moments when one tiny thing happens and it brings pure joy and contentment. Like just hearing our grandson giggle is a fabulous picker upper, immediately immersing us in pure joy or seeing him concentrate while playing with his toy trucks and cars is another shared feeling of happiness. He is a clean slate of innocence and discovery. You can’t buy happiness given to grandparents from a little child. Simple yet joyful.

During our awful winter storms here in California and with rain coming in buckets, I kept seeing these ducks swimming out in the fields where we live in a farming community. I would drive by the flooded fields on the local highway and smile broadly as I saw the four or five wild fowl swimming around where normally onions or garlic or peppers were planted. I have always loved ducks and am a big fan of all birds. We raised chickens and baby chicks and ducks when our kids were little. So you can imagine my surprise when each time I drove by, observing these ducks, they would always be in the center of the flooded flat field. Then later I’d notice they were always in the same position. Then as the traffic slowed, I could see they weren’t moving. Could it be these beautiful creatures weren’t real? Could they be someone’s whacky joke? Were they decoys? No quacks coming from them. Yup. But you know, it didn’t matter to me. The ducks, real or wooden, had brought me real happiness. I’m at that age where even fake stuff can be uplifting not upsetting. Swim on, sweet featherless decoy duckies, and do your best to keep me looking out for you, because you make me smile. Thanks, ducks, for a bright spot in my dull days driving by. Ahhh, the 70ish life.

We’re real and feeling just ducky

Those 70ish girls…Lemon Squares Are Delicious by Lav

Step two is making the filling which you pour on top of the warm crust then bake for another 25-30 minutes at 300 degrees. You will need theses ingredients:

This is what they look like when finished except sometimes people sample the lemon squares immediately even though they’re burning hot. Someone took a few just as the photographer was setting up this shot. We will he searching for the culprit, but first we’ll taste test the lemon squares.

Grate the lemon skin and add to that:

2 eggs , beaten, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Pour that mixture onto the baked crust and bake it at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes

Lav is pouring the filling onto the baked crust but she has the order a bit mixed up. Who would put this last after you’ve already seen the baked lemon squares?! Don’t ask.

If you can follow this simple recipe that Lav has complicated for you, you deserve a big lemon square.

Those 70ish Girls…Lav Bakes


We have all heard the saying, WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS. Lav can identify with that phrase, because a few days ago her generous neighbor brought her a large basket of organic lemons fresh off the tree. This is what Lav did with a couple of the juicy lemons.

Another popular edition straight from the dishwasher!

Lemon Squares: Step 1 the crust.

Another crusty thing.

Those 70ish Girls…Lav bakes


We have all heard the saying, WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS. Lav can identify with that phrase, because a few days ago her generous neighbor brought her a large basket of organic lemons fresh off the tree. This is what Lav did with a couple of the juicy lemons.

Another popular edition straight from the dishwasher!

Lemon Squares: Step 1 the crust.

Another crusty thing.

Pat the crust down and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes

Next pour the filling on top of crust while it’s hot.

Bake at 300 degrees for about 25/30 minutes.

Delicious with or without powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

(Do not add the green leaves from the lemon. And do not eat them. I don’t know why but just listen to Lav, although she puts the pictures of the ingredients last after it’s too late to get started.)

Filling has lemon zest from 1 lemon, two eggs, 1 cup sugar, 2tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 2 tablespoons lemon juice – mix well and pour over crust. This is step 2 but you’d never know it.

Those 70ish girls..The saga of Empress the dancing pig

Tell me a story, Momma

I stopped by the Goodwill store to see what was newly old or oddly new. My eyes went straight to a ceramic pig. She was a bank, I think. Anyway, she was purple and she was wearing a little tutu….And..a shiny crown.

I took my remarkable find to the check-out counter where the clerk looked all over my purple pig for a sticker with the price on it. She couldn’t find one. She said the rule is…if there is no price tag, they can’t sell the item until the next day when someone prices it. I know why they do this. People take price tags off things hoping they can get a better deal. That might work at the Church garage sale, but it is a punishable offense at the GW store.

So they said….

I started to write a poem in my head about Empress the purple pig. I got so attatched to her that I actually decided to stop by and visit her after work. I would take a picture of her…yes! That was a great idea! I could show how I saved her from crashing to the floor in some little kid’s room and breaking into smithereens.

On Wednesday, I would buy her. (At this point, I was willing to pay any price..within reason.) I would take Empress home and introduce her to all of my Beasterhops and dolls and show her my crowns. But that didn’t happen.

“We sold her about 15 minutes ago,” a different clerk said.

“What?” I gasped. “Don’t you know the rules around here?” I frightened her, I think, but I had to leave anyway so she wouldn’t see me cry.

I thought it might help if I wrote a different poem about Empress.


I’m Empress the dancing pig. My agent thought he had me a gig.

But when it never did pan out, my owner kicked my pig can out.

She took me to the GW store…My price tag fell on the floor.

I fear no one will know my worth? My tutu barely fits my girth.

A real strange nice person wanted me. She said her heart was filled with glee!

‘Cause no one knew how much I cost. Another chance for me, was lost.

Couldn’t they just take a guess? Then I could be a great success!!

The stranger said not to worry, for tomorrow she would hurry.

She said, “I’ll come and buy you honey, shine your crown, and give you money to fill your empty hole inside. You’ll wear that purple crown with pride!

She said she’d take me off the shelf and teach me to self- help myself.


Well… that glorious life was not to be. Another person purchased me.

She didn’t give me a chance to show her how this pig can dance.

She took me to a real nice store. Will I stay here for ever more?

She gave me a close inspection. She wanted me for her collection.

It seems I’m worth thousands more, than the price she paid at the Goodwill store.

The above story is true..I found this pig picture on the internet.. Empress was purple. This one goes well with my Francis Plumbing and Heating ceramic commode.