Recently, there was a little holiday wherein the common practice is to exchange gifts.  I usually take on the role of my dad's elf during these times, and this year was no exception.  After I solemnly promised to act incredibly surprised by his thoughtfulness and generosity in the selection of my gift, I proceeded to purchase myself on his behalf a gift card to DSW Shoe Warehouse. 

The holiday came and I opened my gift and exclaimed with glee, "Dad!  You shouldn't have!  I LOVE IT!"  And he smiled with self-satisfied pleasure and asked, "Great!  I am so glad!  What did I get you?"

A couple days later I showered and prepared to reenter general society.  I applied makeup, kind of blowdried my hair and grabbed my gift card.  Off to DSW I went!

I am not generally much of a shopper.  I am a buyer.  I know what I want, I walk into the store, I go directly to the target item, I pick it up, I walk to the register, I pay for the item, I walk out of the store.  Shopp…

Dear Stop Sign

Dear Stop Sign,

I need to tell you a story.  For some time now I have been chasing a shadow.  I once knew this girl who was fearless, healthy, and strong.  I have been convinced for quite awhile that she might never be found, but today I thought I might have seen her.

She was the very definition of fierce independence.  She believed what she did not know could be learned.  She was never afraid to try.  She truly did not know that there was anything she could not do if she set her mind to it.  Her mother instilled in her the mantra:  "Figure it out."  If she wanted to see something, she went and saw it.  If she wanted to do something, she went and did it. 

She was in the prime of her life. 

She rock climbed in the dark.  She rappelled with abandon.  She rafted rivers at their peak.  She loped around center field, leaping and climbing the fence and  snatching home runs away from big men with bats.  She fired from second to home, hearing the umpire shout, "OUT!  D*%^ that …

Insuring Mayhem

Halloween was met with much anticipation by the kids this year.  Each child put much forethought into the costumes of choice:  Little Sunshine decided she would join the Minion ranks, complete with a homemade Minion choker, and Number One Son (Jake) decided he would be.......wait for it........Jake, From State Farm.

I, however, was just not feeling it.  I struggled to put out decorations.  Today I just could not make myself dress up (even thought my office usually goes over the top in their costumes).  I went dressed in all black and when asked just referred to myself as "Sadness".  I mustered up the energy to not dampen the kids' enthusiasm.

We're nearing the age where Number One Son will not enjoy the pillage for candy, so it was fun to watch him help his sister and go up to the door with her.  She was full steam ahead down the sidewalks, but when actually confronted with talking with strangers, she sometimes needs a little goading.  She believes, like her mother, …

Texas, Our Texas!

Fires, tornadoes, drought, and now a hurricane.  It has been a rough time for our Lone Star State. I felt like she needed a love letter.

Early in the year, fires in the panhandle had trucks come up the highways and interstates providing assistance to panhandle families who had lost family, herds, fences, and feed.

Now, in the wake of Harvey, those trucks have been turned around, and the Panhandle sends them back full to the coastal families who now find themselves in need.  (Our mamas taught us you never return a dish empty.)  Our hearts ache for our fellow Texans on the coast.  We know too well the feeling of loss.  
Regardless of the challenges ahead of us, we Texans generally manage to rise to the occasion.  We don't have time to worry about those things that really don't matter.  We have a job to do.  I'm proud of my state and her residents.  Those of us who trace our lineage back to the very founding of this Great State have had it bred into us:  True Texans will no…

Fluffy Slime and Cherry Red Lipstick (a.k.a. The Working Girl's Blues)

Little Sunshine brought home a science project assignment a couple weeks ago.  She had volunteered to make "fluffy slime".  I did not know there was such a thing.  But apparently it is a YouTube video staple.  She excitedly told me that she was going to do "research" on her tablet to find a video to help us.  She made a list of ingredients and very seriously and slowly (sometimes I am insulted by her estimation of my intelligence) explained to me the importance of making sure I went to the store to get everything, and she meant everything, on the list.  I think she even shook her finger at me.

I resisted the urge to cross my eyes and stick my tongue out at her.  I must admits she gets it from me after all.

So the next day during my lunch hour, I went to Walmart and quickly gathered the list she had given me.  MOM OF THE YEAR!

When we all met at home that evening, I proudly handed her the bags with all of her supplies.  She grabs them and tells me, "Oh, I forg…

Sleeping Beauties

It is 4:48 a.m.

This is generally not a time on the clock I usually see.  At least not for any good reason.  But, it appears in a moment of pure insanity a few weeks ago, I agreed to let Little Sunshine have a slumber party for her birthday.

I mean, really, how hard could it be?  Girls are the gentler sex.  They are predispositioned to be dainty and clean and genteel.  They are sweet and quiet.  LIES, I TELL YOU, LIES!

Let me back up a little bit.  In the aforementioned moment of insanity, I apparently also agreed to assist El Hubbo with a brisket/pork butt smoke.  So, on Thursday night we smoked pheasants, german sausage, ears of corn, 12 briskets and 12 pork butts.  This is an all-night process, that admittedly I work only until midnight.  El Hubbo stays up all night.  I get up and get him coffee and breakfast and resume assistant duties until everything is done, packaged, delivered, cleaned up.  So, this process began about 5:00 on Thursday and went until 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

At 6:…

Tumbling Tumbleweeds & Face Palms

I'm returning to reporting the more humorous events of the homestead.  I have a couple short stories for you about the offspring.

El Hubbo is off on the stock show circuit.  And since we no longer have pigs, (see prior post), I have been re-relegated to the role of Stock Show Widow.  I am barely holding it together y'all.  Bible class, church service, chores, domestic animal care (the four-legged kids who mind), basketball games, basketball practice, karate practice....I'm forgetting something.....oh yeah!  School and work!  I'm EXHAUSTED.

But if I had to spin this for the positive, the chats with the kids in the car are priceless.

Tumbling Tumbleweeds

As I was driving Little Sunshine to a practice of some sort (I can't remember, it was dark, we are in the country, every night drive looks the same.).....I had to use my masterful defensive driving skills to dodge something in the road.  Good thing my reflexive responses are not declining as quickly as my night visi…