Monday, February 18, 2008

To All The Moms I Snubbed Before

I didn’t tell y’all, but I spent several days last week with my nieces and baby nephew in Houston. Their mother had to go out of town on business for 2 ½ days, which left the girls extremely distraught – wait a minute, let me rephrase that: which left my sister very distraught about missing her daughters’ Valentines Day parties at school. And then the baby… This would be her first night away from the baby and she was having major mommy mood-swings about all of this.

So I decided to step up and come to the rescue …

I mean, come on – how difficult could it be to get the girls on the school bus and off to school, play and kiss on that sweet baby, and go to a Valentines Day party? Piece of cake. Day-2 would simply be a replay of Thursday sans the V-day parties. Again, no problem…

Thursday morning actually got off without a hitch. Miss High Falutin’ (the kindergartner) had some trouble with the red bow in her hair, but we finally got it propped up and pinned in okay. Where’s super glue when you need it? The baby was just precious and really loved his new rice cereal with a little smidgen of apple juice in it, and Miss Bean (the 2nd grader) was a helpful big sister and kept us all on track.

I got myself to the school in plenty of time to sign in at Fort Knox and present my drivers license, social security card, passport, birth certificate, background check, and fingerprints…. What has happened in our schools? Keep in mind I have not been in an elementary school since I was a student in my own elementary school, but I recall the bell ringing in the morning and the doors flying open and everyone just running in with no method to it at all. At the end of the day the bell would ring, the doors once again would fly open and all the kids would pour out, some running to the school bus, some to their bikes, some to waiting cars, and others walked towards home… How times have changed.

Anyway, I very much enjoyed the girls’ parties. I will say I was actually nervous as I entered their classes. And not because I had been all but strip-searched in order to attend their parties, but because I didn't know what I was supposed to do when I got to their classes. Stand in the back of the class and keep quiet? Sit next to the girls? Help serve ice cream? I was thinking to myself, how can I be nervous going into a kindergarten class, but having to present business cases to high professionals or conduct training classes to my peers doesn’t phase me bit? What’s wrong with me?

We partied our little tails off and then headed back to the house to start on homework and eat dinner. Simple. Easy. No big deal. Well, except for the fact that I now had a 5- and 8-year-old on a major sugar high. Come to think of it, I must have been on a sugar-high, too. But hey, it was a holiday for goodness sake.

So maybe we ate dinner an hour and a half later than what they’re used to, and maybe I forgot to stick Miss High Falutin’ in the bathtub before she crashed on the couch, and maybe I got a little carried away feeding the baby his cereal that he just really loves, and maybe I added a little too much apple juice to it, but he just really likes it that way and he looks so cute eating it… And maybe time got away with me while playing Uno with Miss Bean and I kind of forgot that her bedtime sort of came and went. I mean – come on, who’s ever in bed before midnight anyway?

For the most part, I would call day-1 a success.

Day 2 started really early. For some reason Miss Bean just didn’t want to wake up. In fact, she was just down right grumpy. When I tried to wake up the Miss High Falutin’ I noticed that she didn’t look quite right; I felt her forehead and she was burning up!

How did it all go so wrong? I had a kindergartner with a big time fever, an 8-year-old refusing to wake up, and a baby with some really, really bad gas. And it was only 6:30 a.m.!

Being a mom is a hard, hard job.

And that’s all I have to say about that …

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Romance That Never Dies

Because it's Valentines Day, I wanted to share with y'all the most romantic thing I've ever heard anyone say. This was actually said almost 15 years ago, but I can still remember it clearly. It was before I was married or even knew Jack, but it always stuck with me. Maybe it was one of those defining moments - you know, a moment that unexpectedly happens and you realize later, sometimes years later, that it made an imprint in your life. Whatever it was, it certainly made a mark with me, and something that defined to me what true love really is, and what I knew I wanted.

It actually involves Lisa's grandmother, Mrs. P. She was quite the character and quite the storyteller. She passed away about 4 years ago, but lived to be 102! Isn't that fantastic? It's so amazing to me to realize that she lived through two world wars, the first motor car and airplane; man landing on the moon, microwave ovens, computers... I could go on an on. It's amazing if you think what 100 years has brought. But with all that she lived to see, she said that the most amazing invention to her was toilet paper. I've thought about that a lot, and you know, I would have to agree.

Anyway, back to the most romantic thing I've ever heard. Lisa's brother, Mrs. P's grandson, had just gotten married. After the wedding and reception, some family and friends went over to Lisa's parents house for the after party party. There was a group of us sitting in the living room by the fireplace and we were all just gabbing about all the different weddings we had been to, who had been married to whom, how long ... You know, just gabbing about weddings and marriage.

Now at this point in time, Mrs. P had been a widow almost as long as she had been married; her husband had passed away in 1969. So as we were gabbing about wedding stuff, a young lady that was sitting next to me asked Mrs. P how long she had been married.

Okay, let me set this up for y'all. First of all it got quiet. Mrs. P's face got still and serious and she stared right into this yong lady's eyes while rasing her left hand showing the wedding band on her finger. This is what she said: "Oh honey, I'm STILL married. But if you would like to know how many anniversaries Mr. P and I celebrated before he passed away, well that would be 41."

And with that, I want to wish all of you a Very Happy Valentines Day ...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Hill Country Walk About

I had a really great weekend! And yes, I actually have pictures to chronicle my great day on Saturday. It’s just that it’s taken me a couple of days to figure out how the heck to upload the things. You see, I’m over the age of 14.

No wait. Am I over the age of 14? I’ve been kind of feeling like I’m 14 … My poor body is just confused; it can’t figure out if I’m going through puberty or menopause. Maybe I’m going through pubopause… Zits and hot flashes. It’s a wonderful combination.

Regardless, my great weekend more than made up for my hormone roller coaster rider. Do you remember my friend, Lisa? My friend since the 3rd grade? I reported a while back that she was becoming quite the impressive photographer. Well, who knew, but all visitors to Austin will soon be greeted with her photos at the airport. We’re so excited for her!

She came out on Saturday and we went on a mini road trip to take pictures. Actually, she said this trip couldn’t qualify as a road trip, being that we didn’t venture more than 30 minutes from Hummingbird Farms; so she’s opted to refer to it as a “walk about." And if anyone knows the definition of a road trip, Lisa and I do, being that we’ve been on something like 1459 of them. I don’t know if it’s a west Texas thing or not, but the girls I grew up with still love a good ole’ road trip! Being that we grew up almost 3 hours from the closest airport and an hour from a WalBall, we learned all our greatest lessons in life on the road. Or on the side of it…

You know what? Let’s just skip the road trip stories; I would like to maintain some sort of dignity with my friends in blogland. We’ll discuss road trips another day. Or never. Anyhow, let’s just talk about our Saturday ‘walk about.’

Because Lisa and I have never had trouble meeting people and talking to perfect strangers, we decided to venture out and chronicle a Hill Country day. It was a box of chocolates kind of day… We had no idea what we’d get. But, I’m glad to report that Lisa got some great shots, and I sure got some great stories… And more good memories!

So, for your viewing pleasure, these are some things you would see if you ever decided to come visit me, and then take a little Sunday drive going north on FM 1376 through Luckenbach and Sisterdale. Two of my favorite places!

And who knows… You might even see some of these pictures at the Rockin’ RB at the Austin airport.

As we were driving on the highway, we passed this beautiful lady, Mrs. Ruby, painting her fence. We were so taken by her. She was wearing a white skirt and had just had her hair done the day before. She was lovely! She told us that she had been living on that ranch for 61 years. She had a bit of an accent and Lisa asked her where she was from. She proudly said, "I'm from here, I was born just down the road by the bat cave in Fredericksburg." I had to remind Lisa that her German accent is quite common in this historic German settlement area.

Santa enjoys kicking back in Luckenbach during his off season. Who knew?

I'm so proud of Lisa on this shot. I love the black and white with the orange beaks and feet! These ducks were too funny! Who needs a watch dog when you can have a watch duck?

I wanted to take these burros home with me! They were so sweet... Note to owner of burros: We apologize up front for trespassing. Thank you for not shooting us. We just really liked your ducks and burros!

Only in Texas ....

I drive by this old house in Sisterdale a couple of times a week. No one has lived in it for decades. Each time I drive by I wonder about it's story...

And then when we got home we had to tell Jack all about our day and the people we met. It took an entire cigar for him to hear all the details. I just love Jack's hands...
It was a great day! I'm also so excited about watching Lisa grow with her photography. She's so talented!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Growing Old Ain’t For Sissies

Your skin may purge a bit after your treatment.

That’s what the cute little aesthetician with the perfect skin said to me after my sandblasting treatment. She lied.

I didn’t “purge a bit”, I’m having an all out 14-year-old identity crisis. Except I don’t remember having zits and hot flashes when I was 14… Why didn’t she just tell me the truth? This is what that perky little flawless skin know-it-all meant to say:

“Being that you were cursed with horrible acne-prone skin, you’re going to visit zit city in a few days – in fact, the more I analyze your extremely poor skin tone and horrendous pores, you most likely won’t be visiting zit city, but you will be moving there and taking up permanent residency. You’ve got a lot of crap hidden under layers of sun damage and years of cheap drugstore makeup. And really horrible genes. You’re really screwed. You should consider hiding out for the next month.”

Monday, February 4, 2008

Cozy Conrad Needs A Home ...

My friend Marie has a new foster dog, or foster Boxer to be exact. Marie LOVES Boxers and has been working with Austin Boxer Rescue for years to place these loving creatures in homes.

This is Conrad and he needs a family to love. If you live in the central Texas area, or know someone who does and is looking for a new member to the family, please let me know or contact Austin Boxer Rescue. I can also get you in contact with Marie who can tell you all about Boxers and Conrad; she's been a Boxer mom for years. Here's a note from Marie about Conrad:

Hi Deb,

Here is a picture of Conrad, my new foster dog, enjoying his newly discovered creature comforts. Until he came to live with me, Conrad had never lived in a house. Now that he has figured out the coziness of couches, dog beds, and beds he wants to snuggle all the time! He loves being part of a family and is progressing very well with his housetraining and home manners. He is crate trained and walks perfectly on a leash. He is wonderful with other dogs but shouldn't be in a home with cats. I've had him around children and he's been great but because he is clumsy and big I would recommend only having him in a home with children 5 or older. You can learn more about Conrad and all the other wonderful dogs at Austin Boxer Rescue at

much love,
Marie, Gemma, and Conrad

Friday, February 1, 2008

Because he’s just too darn cute not to show off …

It's my newest little nephew!

I thought I would let your ovaries tingle for a bit ...
And if you want to see his two big sisters and something really special, check out my sister’s blog. I’m so proud!