I’ve got a big day next Saturday. I’ll be at the Book Nook in Sugar Land from 12 to 2 signing books with a lot of other authors. The book store is on the corner of Hwy 99 and Hwy 90A. I used to live in that neighborhood.
Then at I’ll be giving a talk about “How to Make Twitter Work for You” at the Loosecan Library on Willowick from 3 to 4:45. Looks like I’ll be a buzzzzy bug that day.
I’m sending out a “newsy” letter by snail-mail about the family, my books, and Britt’s new office. Excuse me if you get this twice but here it is. Yes, I know it isn’t Christmas. It isn’t even Halloween. But I needed to get this out early. At least you get pictures. Those I’m mailing it to don’t.
Dear Loved Ones,
This is a really late 2013 Christmas letter, or an early 2014 one. My mother passed away last December. I didn’t have the heart to write. The last few years she and I had grown quite close. I still miss her.
Our son is 30, but I assure you that his mother does not feel that old. He is busy with his job and his friends, but finds time to spend with his parents. We are thankful for such a sweet son.
Our daughter works as a microbiologist. She has found her job description expanding into food safety. Her generosity and upbeat personality are wonderful.
The Grand girl is three years old. Her speech is surprisingly sophisticated and adorable. She’s the light of our lives.
Mama Nolen (that’s me) has published two novels. The Dry came out in November 2013 and Deadly Thyme came out in May 2014. I’ve included postcards with their descriptions. Please get them (on the internet or from your Barnes & Noble), read them, love them, and pass them on to your friends. I would love reviews on Amazon, too.
Papa Nolen has opened a new dental practice. Nolen Dental is located at 415 Westheimer, Suite 209. His office number is 832-301-3617. If you, or someone you know, needs a dentist in the Montrose/Mid-town area please call or pass the number along. His website is nolendental.com
His mother and step-father are struggling with health issues but continue to enjoy life at their senior apartment complex.
Have a peaceful, healthy Christmas. Enjoy God’s blessing with your family in the coming new year.
No, I didn’t really lose two pounds. I might have been wearing my jacket when I was weighed before.
Today wasn’t so bad. I wrote down everything I ate. Breakfast: Oatmeal with cranberries and 10 almonds. (450 Cal) Lunch: raw carrots, raw peas with light Ranch dressing. 1/2 cup whole grain wild rice with ground meat (650 Cal) Supper: 6 Cold shrimp on bed of lettuce and spinach with sliced raw sweet pepper, green onion, celery, sugar-free mandarin oranges, with Vidalia onion dressing. (750 Cal) A glass of Merlot: 95 Cal
I’m learning that I must eat whole foods rather than processed. I’ve got to start reading labels! I brought home some “butter buds” today and my daughter pointed out that the number two ingredient is soy and the number three ingredient is corn syrup.
I also learned that pre-menopausal women produce a type of estrogen called estradiol. Estradiol tends to put fat on hips and butt but this is a good fat helps with insulin response. Estradiol also helps regulate hunger, so you can stay lean. Whereas post-menopausal women tend to produce estrone which shifts the fat from hips to belly. This fat works to store insulin so the body doesn’t even know it’s there so the pancreas produces erratic amounts and the blood sugar goes wild and the fat at the belly stays put and will NOT be moved. The IMMOVABLE FAT will not go, Marvin K. Mooney. I could eat a ham sandwich with mayonnaise and gain five pounds overnight, but I could quit eating for a week and not lose one pound.
Now I’m not given to posting disgusting anythings but a funny thing happened on the way to Saturday. It was Friday and time to get my bladder tested. Lately, I’ve had some routine-if-you’re-over-fifty tests and I don’t know but if that isn’t the weirdest test out there I don’t know what is. I felt like a pin-cushion and science experiment all at the same time.
Except for the antibiotic shot, it didn’t hurt. Not in the traditional sense of pain but let’s just say, it weren’t comfortable. Yeah, bad-grammar squirming uncomfortable. It wasn’t a test to sit and read a book during either. Wish it had been.
After many tubes were hooked up, attached, and added the nurse told me she had five questions for me. The test started out like that. Nice, you know, pleasant, apart from the discomfort. I thought – Oh, questions. That’s nice. I like questions.
But after the first question, “When you feel your bladder fill about how long before you think you need to find a toilet?” it was all downhill. Let’s just say, not the pleasant conversation I had thought it might be. Plus the fact that I am totally, completely, and constantly aware that I’m sitting on a padded chair with a hole in it and a pee bucket underneath. Never-mind.
Because of a routine CAT scan done before my colon-scope, a kidney stone made itself evident to the doctors. It was news to me. I saw the scans, the thing was a bright white dot. Yep, there’s a kidney stone. That wasn’t all I saw. Wow, the clip the surgeon left where my gall-bladder used to be thirty years ago is not unlike one of those pincher-like devices I used to use in my hair. I searched but didn’t see the spot on the lung that the radiologist noted on the written report. I won’t know about that until further tests after the kidney stone removal in two weeks.
After all these tests I hope I’m more educated and more informed. I think I’m smarter for it already. On this one I won’t get the test results until Tuesday. I hope my bladder passed. Heh. Heh.
While reading “The Anatomy of Motive” by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker I can’t help but wonder what ever happened to the “peeping tom” from my old neighborhood.
Back in the seventies, I lived in a one-bedroom duplex with three other girls on the East End. I am modest to a fault but in those days probably more so because I remember getting dressed in the bathroom. So I don’t believe I was ever a victim in this story. The duplex was tight living quarters for four girls. I slept on a mattress in the living room. The kitchen had a stove and a refrigerator. The stove had two burners that worked. I remember making my specialty – bean stew – in a crock-pot. The only reason I remember the incident of the bean soup is because we all got sick from it. Sorry, Roomies.
Late one night, one of my roommates slunk into the living room and turned off the light. “Becky,” she whispered. “I just saw a shadow on the curtain.” The other roommates were out and the two of us were alone. I glanced out the curtains and didn’t see anything. She was clutching her throat, a gesture I’d seen her do before when she was truly frightened.
I tried to reassure her. “It’s just someone trying to scare us.”
“No, I’ve seen the shadow before. But this time, I could see more. Someone was watching me undress.”
When the other roommates returned we discussed all of our options. In the seventies in Houston, calling the police would have resulted first, in the policeman calling us “little ladies” in as condescending a manner as possible, and secondly, our never actually seeing a result, a report, a follow-up, nothing. Instead, we called three guy friends who lived a street over, told them there was a “peeping tom”.
They hatched a plan that involved sitting in the bushes outside our window with a flashlight and a double-barreled shotgun.
The next evening the four of us girls couldn’t decide if we wanted to put extra curtains up or dress with the lights off when suddenly, there was a shout, and a KA-BOOM!
Outside, one of our guy friends was sitting on the stoop, with his head in his hands. He told us what had happened. The three of them were in the bushes well hidden in shadow when they saw a fourth guy stealthily slip up to the window and stretch to look. Our guy friend pointed the flashlight at the stranger’s head. The peeper turned. The guy holding the gun yelled, and apparently was so startled he pulled the trigger. Luckily, the shotgun was pointed at the sky.
The peeper took off down the street in the dark, the rest of our “watchers” after him. The shooter, our friend told us, was startled because the peeper was someone we all knew, from church.
The end of the incident went like this. They guys caught the peeper when he tripped on some railroad tracks. They took him to the elders of the church who told him if he ever peeped again they would have to ask him to leave the church, and it would be their civic duty to report him to the police.
The peeper moved away. That might be an unsatisfactory end of the story, but it wasn’t the end. The end being far more unsatisfactory.
A few years later. Still the Seventies. Same neighborhood. I was living in a little bungalow next door to another friend. Her’s was a large house converted into four apartments. She lived in the downstairs left corner apartment. The peeper, for that is how I thought of him, lived above her. One evening while relaxed in her tub, she was staring at the ceiling and saw a board slide across what she had thought was an old hole. She quickly dressed and called the police.
The police came but told her that they couldn’t do anything because the “peeper” wouldn’t answer his door. She would have to come downtown to fill out an incidence report. She did. They told her that because he hadn’t touched her, they couldn’t do anything.
A few weeks later, the girl in the apartment across the hall from the peeper, was brushing her hair and saw a movement behind her in the mirror and turns. The peeper had scaled a pole and was looking in her window.
Police said they couldn’t do anything.
The peeper moved away. All the secret passageways he had created in his old apartment included not only the crawl space between floors but holes in walls and floors of the attic.
We thought that was the end. That wasn’t the end.
Fast forward to the Eighties. I was attending a different church and was having a church spaghetti dinner at my apartment on the other side of town. It was Houston, a big town. Guess who shows up? I told the peeper if I ever caught a hint of a breath of his presence in or around that church or anyone in that church I would reveal all.
So while reading “The Anatomy of Motive” where the writer talks about the “peeping tom” being one of the early steps of a downward progression into serial rape, I wonder about the peeper I knew. Where is he now?
And while I haven’t seen anything of him in these past twenty years I wonder, has he seen me?