A Few Updates

In my effort to try to do better about updating you with the stories I start and never finish . . like someone is sitting by their computer all day just wondering what’s going on in my life! : )  I know that’s not the case but I often get asked about things I’ve mentioned and realize I should do better about continuing with followups so here are a few.

Speck – Not good news!  After we took him to the vet over the weekend, he seemed better.  He had a nail that was hanging up on the carpet so I figured I should get his nails trimmed.  I always tell them about his bad shoulder/elbow and they still hurt him.  He’s really in pain today.  We got the report from the orthopedic vet and are seeing a different vet here in town this afternoon.

The House – Due to several factors (no houses that fit our needs, the economy and drought in this area being the main ones), I think we’re just going to rent.  I hope Vince will get with the owner of this house and try to work out a long term lease.  I’ve always wanted to go back to Louisiana, and Vince just isn’t sold on the idea.  Toledo Bend Lake is just minutes from where my grandparents lived (like 5 minutes to the water), but their land isn’t on the water.  Living near there would put me 2 hours from my parents, my niece and her family and my friends where I grew up.  Last night Vince and I were talking about it and he said he would move to Toledo Bend but he might want to be on the Texas side.  That’s close enough to home for me.  He was looking at real estate online.  We may decide to buy something there, take most of our “stuff” there and then rent something here that’s much smaller than what we have now.  We could even rent in town and that would be much closer for Vince for work.  I could spend my time between here and there and we’d have our retirement home all set and maybe Vince will retire sooner rather than later.  There are a whole lot of “ifs” in there but at least it’s another option and something to think about.  As many of you have mentioned, when it’s this hard to find a house to buy, in this economy, maybe there’s a reason we shouldn’t be buying a house here!  Should the drought end and the perfect house come along – on water or with a nice pond, with a well, with a quilting room, with a nice kitchen, at a reasonable price, we will consider it but until then, we’re out of the househunting business.  I like to garden and grow things too much to live in an area where you cannot water and nothing survives — except cactus, mesquite and those green grasshoppers!  🙂

The Longarm – Vince thought he had found the back handles to my machine and I got so excited but they weren’t the handles!  🙁  I talked to APQS and I can quilt from the front of the machine without harming anything.  I wasn’t sure because there are all kinds of wires that need to be plugged in to the back handles but they said ok so I did it and did get my piece quilted to send to the magazine.

Other things that I haven’t talked about but some of you have mentioned:

The Wild Fires – The closest major fire to our area is about 2 hours.  There are so many horrible fires burning and so many popping up.  Please continue to pray for rain for our area.  This is the site I use to track the fires.  It seems to stay pretty up to date but I surely don’t count on that as my only fire info.   If you enlarge the map and look a little south and east of Abilene, you’ll see Brownwood.  You can also look almost due west of Waco and find us.  As you can see, currently our area is ok.

The Glass Top Stove – All the moaning and complaining I did about the glass top in MO, this house has one and it’s totally different!  Same brand (Whirlpool) but this one gets HOT and it gets hot fast!  I can’t believe the difference in the two stoves.  I’m not going to say I like this one but I could surely live with this one.  I’m not going to can on it because if I break it, I’ll have to replace it (not that I wouldn’t have replaced my own had I broken it) but there’s nothing to can anyway but . . I’m betting it wouldn’t be so hard to can on this one since it gets and stays so much hotter than did the one I had in MO.  Not all glass tops are created equally it seems.

OK . . that’s all I can think of.  I have a quilt to bind so I can get it in the mail.  Sure wish you could see it!  🙂


  1. 1


    Sounds like you and Vince have made a very good decision. You’ve been so patient with this house business; I would have been ranting all over the place.

    • 1.1


      We’ve definitely been through some trying times with this move and it’s something I hope we never go through again. Moves are always a bit difficult for folks like me who like staying in one spot but this one has truly been one for the record books I believe. We’re lucky in so many ways . . things could have been worse but I think from the beginning, we knew this one was going to be one of our hardest and it surely has been.

      We will survive but we just don’t want to make any decisions that make things worse than they already are.

  2. 2


    I’m so glad we will get to see it in the 100 Blocks issue though when it comes out. We can wait a few months…Congrats on getting it quilted! I’m not too good at keeping my projects secret, but the McCall’s Contest has helped me get better at not showing until it’s time.

  3. 3

    Marge says

    Sounds like you and Vince are going to be having some fun mini/weekend vacations to the LA/TX border looking at property. Your dreams of retiring in LA just might be coming true.

    • 3.1


      I’m not getting my hopes up. That man changes his mind faster than any woman ever! And, if he came across something he perceives to be a bargain . . Louisiana, Texas, Missouri . . doesn’t matter where, that’s probably where I’m going to be living when we retire.

  4. 4

    Mona R says

    Best wishes for sweet Speck. Well, I feel so much better about your latest housing plan 🙂 I’m a native Texan and there are some places here I wouldn’t want to live. Retirement is all about getting what you want all the time. Yaaay! Do you think our interest in your life is some kind of avoidance for dealing with our own? :))

  5. 5

    lw says

    I’ll keep Speck in my thoughts.

    I think your idea of Toledo Bend Lake is a really good one, especially if you’re close to retirement. You can get started on the fruit trees and the garden early so they’ll be producing well by the time Vince retires.

  6. 6


    I agree with the house plan you have come up with, with retirement just around the corner it will be a good fit for all.

    You are right about the glass top stoves, not all are created equal….I have a glass top and I could never understand why you hated it so bad. I have done canning on mine for years with none of the problems you were encountering!! Its good to hear that you don’t hate them completely.

    I wish Speck a speedy recovery!!

  7. 7

    bcinindy says

    I am hoping that Speck gets better soon. He is tuff and I know you are doing everything that you can think of to help him. Best wishes.

  8. 8

    pdudgeon says

    most definitely smarter to rent than to buy in this situation.
    re your black handles–can you just order another pair and have them sent out to your house? if it can break or get lost it’s always smart to have a stand-by pair ready.
    re. Speck and the nail trimming–i wonder if they have laughing gas for puppies. seems like it would be much easier to deal with happy dogs when trimming nails.

      • pdudgeon says

        WOW! i guess not!
        maybe if the movers knew the value of what they were handling they would have left well enough alone.

  9. 10

    quilterbee says

    Sending prayers for Speck. How soon can Vince, transfer somewhere else for his job? I agree leave everything packed and get out of there as soon as possible. Does he have to move every few years with his job or is it by choice? Not to offend,Texas, it just doesn’t seem like a good fit where you are. Too bad you can’t go back to MO. close to Chad. You all were so happy in that house with your chickens and your garden.

    • 10.1


      Not for a while. He loves it here! He never has to transfer. He can stay as long as he wants and this is probably the place he’ll want to stay forever . . just my luck!

      That’s what I say. The Fed Ex man told me yesterday he might move to MO and I said “Come get me!”

  10. 11

    Hilary McDaniel says

    Judy, I’ve lived here all my life and this is the first time I can’t garden. I have a dream garden. It’s been on 4 garden tours. It’s quite magical most years. We’ve never had a year like this one. I was 5 the last time we had a drought like this. The cycle will change and you’ll see the beauty of Texas. We have the largest amount of imports (not all Mexico) moving here as the opportunities and normally weather are wonderful. It’s a shame you had to pick the worst year ever to move here. Otherwise, I think you’d have loved it. I can garden 12 months a year and get bumper crops most years.

    • 11.1


      Do you have a well? Those around here who garden, even in years when there’s not a drought, if they’re on city or community water, tell me their water bills run $500+ in the summer. I just don’t know that it’s worth it to have a garden if water costs that much.

  11. 12


    I know you are making tough decisions and I think what you have decided is a good compromise. I know that the fires are two hours away, but for a spark that is not far. I personally would not be happy where you are living now. Wonder why Vince is so happy?

    I do hope maybe the antibiotics will help Speck as well as the treatments.

    • 12.1


      Vince loves his job here. He loves his boss and the folks he works with. I’ve always said that so long as I have a good sewing room and a decent kitchen, I could be happy so it’s time to remind myself. I have a much better sewing room/quilting room here than I had in MO. The kitchen is decent so . . I’m happy! 🙂 See the smile? I’m happy. If I say it enough, it will be true!

  12. 13

    Cindy from California says

    You said that you might only stay for two years. Does that start from when Vince first started working in Texas?? If so, you only have 18 months left!! If this is not a location that you LOVE, I would certainly rent – particularly given the difficult real estate market in Brownwood and the uncertain outlook for real estate across the country (especially for the next several years).

    I think that your idea to plan ahead to your retirement and purchase/remodel/add-on to a home that you BOTH can love makes total sense!!! All the better if it is a “lake-side”/”holiday” venue. You could plan “vacations” 6 times a year to visit your “future home” so that you can appreciate the weather/tourists/etc year round. You would have LOTS of time to configure any house to your requirements and make sure that it is REALLY a place you want to live. Just take your time and consider ALL possible locations!!! Location, weather, garden-ability, water, chicken laws, tax rules, medical services, distance to relatives, distance to shopping, etc are all important considerations for a retirement site.

    Good Luck!! I look forward to following your journey!