Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Virginia and I are lazing around the apartment today. She is sleeping on the clean towels on the shelves in Larry's bathroom. She makes me aware of her presence when she comes out and sits down and commences to stare at me until I acknowledge her. Then she chooses to ignore me anyway. Kitty then slips quietly into the kitchen to crunch a few bites of her amazingly smelly food. A few sips of water later, she pads out and walks by me without apparently noticing me at all. Back to the shelves she goes for more snoozing. When Larry returns home tonight, she will appear and act as if I had been purposefully avoiding her all day. She will plead with him with her eyes and voice and beg for playful attention. Out comes the laser light and off she goes. Her back paws will dig artfully into the carpet as she careens through the apartment avoiding hazards and possible collisions to chase the red light. After leaving her scratch marks on our beige leather chair, Larry has learned that he cannot shine the light on anything which might be damaged including me. Virginia has no front claws, but she still has her back claws which seem to be sharp enough for these daily rounds of Chase the Light. Larry replaces the light on the counter above the bookshelves and gives her praise for her fun. Several mornings we have found her mouse-shaped light on the floor which explains the midnight rustling in the kitchen. I am trying to figure out how she knew, but I guess she is smarter than what we give her credit for. Larry and I have also been using her collar and leash for an evening drag. We have met the new people on first floor because they have a white cat that Virginia was attracted to. Several children especially girls have admired Virginia from their balconies. Some guys have walked by us thinking "stupid people dragging around a stupid cat. How humiliating!" It is quite easy to read the minds of stupid guys. The baby bunny who lives by the swimming pool has been encountered more than once. I am not sure why the bunny runs away as if its little life is in danger. Virginia does not notice it even when we point it out. She could care less. Her instincts for hunting have not been exactly honed to a sharp edge. I have not had a cat for 26 years. I am surprised how easily I fell in love with Virginia after all that time. She is a change to which Larry and I have adapted quite well. She is perfect for us.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hot Changes

Well, we have been in Texas for a week. It has been hot. (Not just SD hot, but sweat-dripping cannot breathe outside HOT) Inside is not just more comfortable but absolutely necessary for survival. It is hard to understand how outside work can possibly be accomplished.
Dianna and Carrie and I went shopping at IKEA in Austin; we outfitted her apartment with kitchen necessities like dishes, glasses, silverware, pots and pans, hot pads, teapot, cups, colorful napkins. We also bought a modernistic desk and end table. My rule about desks is that the user should be able to spread material out and comfortably lean on it. Her desk really fits that quite nicely. The lamps we bought also provide adequate light, so eye problems will not be an issue. It was absolutely wonderful to be in that store. Carrie provided such leadership and explanation that we really could stay focused. I am so glad that we do not have an IKEA close to Sioux Falls. It would totally addicting. The bed had been ordered from JCPenney and arrived on time. Dianna and Larry put it together. The mattress was acquired from Sam’s club and appeared to be quite comfortable. Her bedroom is on the second floor and will provide adequate privacy for study and sleep. Target was also a stop for the bookshelves that she picked out in Sioux Falls. A nice young man retrieved what she wanted from the warehouse and off we went to find finishing touches like her favorite picture of Audrey Hepburn. Pictures are not necessary and walls be walls without them, but the soul requires them. Another trip to Target retrieved a blue bike for Dianna to transverse the campus. Finally, she is mostly settled.
Marc and Carrie have been so pleasant to get reacquainted with. They really know their town. They love each other dearly and are quite giving. Their cat Oscar was well worth the whole drive. He has a distinctive and loving personality and is so responsive to loving pats, words, tickles, and rubs. If he could talk, he would be a wonderful conversationalist. He is definitely a unique addition to their home. The new apartment is larger and really has the features that both of them need. They do sacrifice especially in the area of cable TV. I can tell that both of them miss it. They are generous in providing food and are quite relaxing to be with.
One of my favorite places has been the book store. I could wander around it for days at a time. The first time I took Dianna to get her books. She had been carefully collecting some at home but still had to buy a few. While there, I also found a scarf and a notebook for myself. The second time I brought Marc. He needed books for four classes, but we only bought for three because he has friends through which he can obtain some of his books. He was suggesting to me books that I might find interesting. They appeared quite deep and philosophical concerning those of the world who suffer greatly to just exist. It brings me into that place of thought that reminds me how fortunate I am. I have two exceptional children who through their own grit and determination and talent have ended up at a school that I could not even dream about. They both are so intelligent and seek to apply it for others. I must always fully appreciate them for the people that they have become. I do have a third child who is not intellectually gifted like his siblings, but he is one of the best teachers I know. He teaches me constantly about communication, appreciation, and sheer enjoyment. He has achieved so much more that I ever hoped. He really has tried to teach me to avoid his petty quirks. He has compulsive disorders which are better left alone than corrected. He loves to hug and smile. The lessons about life that he teaches to me each day are invaluable.
Leaving. It may be easier this time because Marc and Carrie are established and will be able to be a help to Dianna. My heart truly aches for not having them close enough for daily contact because they are all so interesting. Being a parent means creating a being that can and will go a separate path. We are bonded but yet separated. It is as it should be.

Friday, May 30, 2008


I am definitely in a pensive mood today. I had a severe allergic reaction yesterday morning. It actually began the previous day but had worsened considerably overnight. The medicine made me feel better, but I feel a little wrung out. Larry took me to the emergency room when he saw and heard that my tongue was swollen again. I am lucky-supremely lucky. I know that and am aware of it every day of my life. To know he cares and that he shows it without contemplation of how it affects him makes me feel safe. After almost 40 years, my heart still jumps a little when he comes home from work. His eyes are still the young eyes that I fell in love with so long ago. He still shows the same happy spirit and kind heart.
This is Dianna’s last week of class at USF, and graduation is Sunday. It is hard not to feel slightly sad. She calls often to keep me informed of what is happening in each class. I am so proud of her. Possibly when she relays the updated report, it feels more real to her, or she could subtly be checking up on me; showing me her love in her own way.
MJ is moving soon. Every day for me is an act of control. I know he has to pack and do it his way, but placing miscellaneous objects into half full boxes and declaring them ready for the garage drives me to the brink of lunacy. I pack carefully with similar objects together and careful labels, but these are not my things, not my turn. He must do it like the song-I did it my way (not my mom’s). How long will it be before it gets so quiet that I miss his loud off-key singing, his mess from breakfast, his snitching my potato chips, his hugs, his tickling of my feet, his keeping Dad busy, his weird television shows, and his loving generous yet sloppy kisses?
School has been wonderful. These are mostly ambitious students who want to learn and succeed. They might just be pulling the rug over my eyes, but at least it is enjoyable.
Part 2 of Pensive:
Dianna graduated. She looked lovely with her eyes glowing. Her little dance was energetic and happy. The reception with her friends was hotter than anticipated. We walked in to set up, and it was already 81.9 degrees. It did not cool off until Clay came. He works there and knew how to regulate the heat. The food was yummy; MJ was crabby; and the girls loved it. They all know some very handsome young men.
Since Monday was Memorial Day, school actually began on Tuesday which throws off my whole system. I actually was quite tired.
THE YANKEES ARE HERE!!!!! Daddy and I had planned to go to Minnesota and watch them. We are sitting on the couch and watching from home. It actually is a money-saving idea since I am taking part of the summer session off. Right now they are tied four to four with the Twinkies. Jeter close-ups are clearer this way. He is so cute! The Yankees just went ahead with a hit from A Rod. Go team! I am sure that my team is on the path to a win.
Daddy and I went to the hotel furniture outlet place this morning and found four chairs for MJ’s table. They are mauve but in good shape.
Last weekend we played cards with Mike and Denise. Girls versus guys. We had some power hands. The guys won two games to one. We had snacks and great laughs.
Well, I am not so pensive anymore. Life is good. Betty

Friday, May 2, 2008

Just Thinking

Just Thinking
Last night a violent storm ran through Sioux Falls with a couple of tornado sirens. Dianna called once or twice; it was not quite the same. She and I used to stand on the deck and watch developing fronts. Her excitement would become almost electrical (pardon the pun) as we watched the lightning. Time passes. Life changes. Soon Dianna will graduate from USF to join a long line of Anderson graduates. A firm foundation for the future comes with the diploma; however, a foundation is only that. It is a beginning, a start, a commencement (pun intended) for something called life. It takes so much more than a college diploma to be successful. Now a graduate degree has gone past highly recommended to absolutely necessary. Learn more. Accomplish more. Add more to the already growing academic prowess. Baylor has been chosen for this next step and has graciously accepted the challenge. They will be getting one of the best. They already have two of the best of which I am very proud. Because I am a mother, there is a sense I have which others do not possess. I sense that Dianna does not always feel up to the task; I see her eyes cloud over momentarily. The control and confidence return, and the eyes fill with the sureness of a female in charge of her life. At these changes in life, it is often difficult to maintain the equilibrium of positivity. It is normal (oh, how I dislike that word) to feel this way. What is needed? What can be done? Be yourself is the only answer that this humble (?) mother can give. Being yourself will give strength, happiness, and peace. Then when another time like this comes again (and it will), you will know how to rediscover strength, happiness, and peace.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Second Thoughts

Dianna always did have fire. I know the Republican ideal has been trounced of late by members of both parties. It does deserve some of the trouncing. McCain is a very liberal Republican who is now leading the party into a fray that probably will not be won. It is difficult to be truly Conservative when the platform of the party has been shaken for so many years and so many reasons. I cannot believe in abortion; sometime when she is older, I will explain to her why. I cannot believe in wholesale governmental spending for programs to save people at the cost of their dignity, conscience, and pride. I cannot believe in pork barrel politics such as Murtha purports. I cannot believe in wholesale immigration without laws or rules. I cannot believe in attitudes to let people be anything they seem to want to be in a sexual vein. Even the vocal leaders of late have set aside what true Conservatism may be all about. It believes in the dignity of people who work hard, have solid beliefs, and usually have faith in a strong God. The party will be rattled to its bones this year and probably deserves it.
My daughter has been raised to do what is right, to follow her conscience, and to express herself intelligently. We did a good job. Her choices seem to be well thought out and supported. She is obviously her own person. Bravo.
This has been the culmination of a tough weekend for me. I definitely worked hard on my 112 class and made it perfect. The new program will not let me save any of my assignment list entries for my 111 class. I came up with an alternative which works for one day. I do not know whether to start my 080 class because I do not want to be more disappointed. I feel that I am having another bad start on a quarter that I sorely needed success. I feel like just going home; but I have office hours right now.
Well, I had best get back to work.

Friday, April 4, 2008

First Ideas

I can read. That very skill often fills my soul and yet often makes it feel empty. I read Dr. Dyer’s blog about community. I have established a little family-only three children and mom and dad. It has been the best thing in life that I have ever done. This is not to imply that I have ever done it alone. My little family gained one and lost two when Marc got married and then a year later left for Texas. In three months Dianna will be lost to the great and wonderful idea of graduate school in Texas. Her reuniting is my separation. I thought I was fine with this until MJ moving to an apartment came to the forefront. He is an innocent of life. By innocent I mean one who takes people for what is on the surface. He cannot tell when people are telling lies and being untrustworthy. Thus comes the idea of community from Dr. Dyer’s blog. The community understands and even accepts the liar and the untrustworthy so long as they are consistently so. It is the fluctuation that they seemingly cannot accept. Consistency is easier to cope with or to accept. Then one can count on that person. MJ cannot make that judgment; he cannot tell when he is taken advantage of. He feels hurt when being called names or being left out. He cannot, however, manage one of the saving graces of life-to see and understand that which must be seen and understood. When advantage is out there to take, there are those who will snatch it up and use it for their own gain. He has met people like this before, but his protective shields have been there to step in and make decisions. Now we won’t be there. Will he eventually learn it which like all learning of this type comes with hard lessons and tears? Even if the hard lessons present themselves, how do we know that he will learn the appropriate lessons? He is not even capable of that complicated mental and emotional capacity of self analysis when combined with others who manipulate and use unfairly.