Friday, December 30, 2011


“I don’t really want more time;

I just want enough time.

Time to breathe deep & time to see real & time to laugh long, time to give You glory & rest deep & sing joy…

I just want time to do my one life well.

Life at its fullest is this sensitive, detonating sphere —

and it can be carried only in the hands of the unhurried and reverential—

a bubble held in awe.”

~ One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

Friday, November 18, 2011

Europe Trip - Part 1: DC and England

August 31, 2011. Herein beginneth the journey. Successfully dodged a creeper at the airport, enjoyed Bloody Marys at the Earl Campbell bar, and now we're about 40 minutes from landing in DC for our 1 hour layover. Oh, Washington, DC. How I miss you...

And then the 1 hour layover turned into a 21 hour layover. We were stuck at Dulles with nowhere to go.. we were like cattle being herded from Gate C-20 to C-4, then back to C-20, then back to C-4, then back to C-20 (I'm not kidding). Picture the rage. People get upset when they have to sit on the tarmac an extra five minutes. Note to self: Continental Airlines is going downhill fast thanks to United, and no one seems to care. Add another airline to the list of airlines to avoid.

So then they gave us vouchers at Holiday Inn Express (Emily) and the Landsdowne Resort (Amy), so we opted for the Resort. Time check: it's 2 in the morning. Shuttle buses quit running at 1:45am naturally, so we had to pool our cash together to get a van to take us (Amy, me, and 3 other exhausted travelers) to the Landsdowne. One of the passengers was quite the know-it-all, traveling with his rather irritating hair slicked back into a tight ponytail, complete with ringlets.

Amy, when reliving the trip: "I just wanted to cut off his curly ponytail."

Upon arrival at the hotel, we asked for any sort of toiletries they had available, as ALL OUR LUGGAGE WAS STILL ON THE PLANE.. and the guy hands us each a toothbrush. "New technology," he bragged, "the toothpaste is already inside the brush."

Gee. Thanks.

So we slept in between trying to connect with Mom's sweet friend Patty in London to tell her we were going to be an entire day late.... got up, taxied in to town (hi $100 fare. Reminder: never fly into Dulles), and barely made it to prayer at IJM. How WONDERFUL to see them! This was my first time back to my old job since my ridiculously rapid departure last December. After prayer, we walked to Costco for DDL (Dollar Dog Lunch), and I soaked up as much as I could of these fabulous people.

Warmed my heart to see so many old friends. Made the ever-present Austin vs. DC dilemma all the more difficult.

We rode the Metro to the American History Museum and Old Post Office where I snapped my new favorite photo:

Amy: "All I gotta say is we'd better get the royal treatment. I expect a hot towel."

We watched Louis CK's "Everything is amazing and nobody's happy" routine a couple of times. Arrived in London AT LAST.

When debriefing the flight, specifically the family that climbed over us the majority of the flight:
Amy: "They might as well have taken an entire row. They had four children."
Emily: "And the dad had terrible breath."

Met up with Patty, Gregory, and Olivia Easter and headed over to a lovely little Italian cafe for breakfast... we had a whopping 2 hours time in London and sadly couldn't visit their home in Windsor. Patty looks exactly the same as I remember her, but the kids have grown up so much!!! (And yes, I've totally become a cheek pincher despite the fact that I am only 27).

King's Cross? Pancras? I can't remember. Something about the Olympics coming.

Yes, we backpacked... unnecessarily.

Precious family...

Ok, I was told by dweeby Harry Potter fans (yes this means you, Eray, Patrick and Traci) that Platform 9 3/4 had special significance in life. So here I am, doing what pretty much every other tourist (ahem, the ones who knew what they were doing) did: woowoo! Look at me! I'm pushing half a cart into a brick wall!!.

This is a big deal.... if you're into this sort of thing... which I'm not.

And then our two hours were up, so we said a quick goodbye and boarded a train (this tour would come to be known as the Modes of Transportation Tour.... ) for Edinburgh, Scotland. Four hour ride...and it was just marvelous outside.

Views of the sea are gorgeous.
On the left is freshly cut hay piled high,
paddocks lined in green
Steep hills almost ripe for harvest
lush fields chocked full of life
Quaint roads winding dark and steep
Old buildings - how old?
Trees stout and stumpy like green
cotton balls
Of course a brook
Fences made of little rocks
A pine forest? Sure.

I could get used to this place.

Ernest Henningway

Brace yourselves, folks.

There is a chicken (hen or rooster TBD) living in our backyard.

Yeah, crazy. I know. Its name is Ernest Henningway (because he/she is a rogue traveler).... not sure where it came from. Neighbors Maggie and Ashley saw it crossing the road, and instead of telling themselves the old joke that is just plain pointless and laughing (as I would have done), they took pity on it and put it in our backyard (they asked us, and besides, the feathers spewing from their backyard that would inevitably follow the introduction of the dumb dogs and Ernest would be all over our pathetic excuse for a yard).

So yeah, hyper-terrified-of-birds me has one in the backyard. This is progress. I've even been out back twice, witnessed the squawking and haven't a) shot it or b) run inside terrified.

Deep breaths. Small steps. There is a monster in the backyard. Knock knock.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"The Flea Party"

I've held my tongue -- you're welcome -- on this whole #OWS Occupy Wall Street joke, but I can't take it any longer. This sent me over the edge. Port-a-Potties are one of those "basic human rights"?!?!

Ok, big picture. They're putting on this show because they're ultimately mad at Congress/Obama for the state of this country. Misplaced blame is a pet peeve o' mine. Kinda like when people call their State Representative to complain about a bill that's before their U.S. Congressman, or blame aforementioned State Representative for voting for Obamacare. Really. It's like slovenly folk picketing in front of the makeup counter at CVS because other people are more attractive than they are when wearing makeup purchased at aforementioned counter. A stretch? Ok, I'll slow down.

But I will close with this: a list of Hollywood idiots to boycott. And I'm going to get serious about this whole boycotting-movies-that-star-ridiculously-good-looking-people-or-listening-to-and-buying-music-that-has-a-great-beat-but-may-be-spreading-anti-American-sentiment thing, because I've got my rights, and one of 'em is to keep my $10 in my purse and not hand it over to the movie theater, and keep my mind from wandering to stupid lyrics that so nicely accompany a song I like to hear...just because it has a good beat.

The list of celebrities who have visited and/or supported #OWS, the delinquent "Flea Party" <-- you have to admit, that's funny stuff):
  1. Kanye West (big surprise)
  2. Russell Simmons (go hang out with your fellow victim Warren Buffet. I feel so sorry for you.)
  3. Michael Moore (I DID sleight you/your Fahrenheit 9/11 by paying for a different movie and sneaking into your movie in 2004)
  4. Al Sharpton (you are a joke. Please retire from the need to be seen.)
  5. Charles Rangel (you too.)
  6. Tim Robbins (Well, I liked Morgan Freeman more than you in The Shawshank Redemption.)
  7. Penn Badgley (Um, you were apparently on Gossip Girl... and thus I am judging you for that anyway)
  8. Susan Sarandon (I know you're trouble. My love for Christian Bale trumps the boycott for 1 movie: Little Women. Marmie, I forgive you just this once).
  9. Yoko Ono (lady, sorry for your loss you've been milking for money for years now, but is the road to peace truly making a mess in a city park?)
  10. Alec Baldwin (you again. Your parody of Perry on SNL needs some work, but you totally nailed the hairdo.)
  11. Jane Fonda (wretch.)
That's all for now. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

2011 Fredericksburg Fourth of July Parade!!

It's no secret that the Fourth of July is by far my favorite holiday (see 2010, 2009 and again).... and the 2011 festivities did not disappoint. Here are some photos from the parade:

Things kicked off with an impressive flyover:

When I first saw this kid, I thought his t-shirt said "AC/DC," and I thought it was a bit inappropriate for such a little guy to wear not only sunglasses and a bandana hat, but really? AC/DC? Upon closer look....

Old vets waving. Gets me every time.

Oh pass the tissues.

Flags in face.

Reenactors from the Nimitz Museum... next reenactment is October 1-2!

Singing, check. Small flag, check. Sign with tinsel, check.

Be still my heart.

Precious little girl with somewhat creepy clown

Kid in a refrigerator box-turned army tank. How cute is this?!

Little kis in big trucks. Do we see a trend?

There are no words. Patriotism personified, folks.

This is also quite the dedicated parade participant.

Old cars.

Obligatory up close shot of old car

And again.

She loves the U.S. Constitution. Not sure who she is, but she looks like a visionary of sorts.

Look at the kid on the right. Entirely regretting his decision to kick and scream and insist that he too be on the float. It's just too blazing hot.

Spooky is a great word. This photo does not endorse nor recommend services of this DJ.

Much like the kid in the photo two above, this girl was regretting throwing that tantrum about the pony and the patriotic helmet... I'm pretty sure she was glaring at her cousin who was scarfing down some Blue Bell on the curb.

That's, all folks!

Oh wait, but that's the great thing about the Fredericksburg parade... they drive up Main Street then back down! Here's the Church's Chicken creepster car:

I'm a fan, too....(next one is June 8-9, 2012!)

Saluting the veterans...

Great afternoon snack of delicious watermelon on the back porch!!

Another good day in the life.

Off to the Races!

'ehhlo. I'm back. Forgive the delay. These will mostly be picture posts as it's been nearly three months and my memory isn't that great.

First up: the horse races in der Fredericksburg July 2-3!

....that's Professional Bull Riders... not the beer. I just liked the sky and the crisp little sign.

So yeah. There's a lot that goes into horse racing...and not just betting and winning (or losing terribly in the case of yours truly). Things like what these gents do... thought it's not exactly determinable what this is by this picture... I just liked the blue and green.

This little cowpoke was standing in line with his bettin' mom. Check out how worn out these boots are!!

Someone strategizing on the horses... she may have correctly bet on the right horse 3 races in a row!

Funny... and lots of white.

Heeeeeeere they are!

I love small towns.

"C'mon, Dover! Move your bloomin' ......"

Good times.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Stonewall Peach JAMboree

June 18. This is a slice of Texas.

First up: Mutton Bustin'! Little kids hang onto sheep for dear life...some are more successful than others:

Ok, kid, seriously. It's been 5 minutes. You're FINE.

Precious kiddos everywhere:

The crowning of the Peach Queen!

Star Spangled Banner gets us started for the real deal rodeo

Love this.

And then I asked myself, "Self?! Why do you to this to myself?!"

Attractive cowboy

Look at her little pigtails!

Crashing in slow-mo

Funnel cake. Good times.

Hello, sir: want to come to our Mustache party?!

This kid looks just like Ratley (Trey) did when he was little!

Gearing up for battle

Best buds

Leon the Clown (yes, the same Leon who is at the Houston Rodeo for all you Houston Rodeo old-timers!)... this is his jalopy "blowing up"...

Because wild cow milking is a totally normal thing to do...

Lost kid in the middle of the calf scramble

Can't get any cuter than this!

Bull was charging the clown!!

The end.

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