Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Not a One-Handed Turn


(School buses (one of my favorite things) at a recent basketball tournament.)

Life moves forward, even during the holidays.

It is that juggling at times that gets all of the balls out of order,

but it is that juggling that makes it great fun as well.

Basketball season has started for my nephew, and we are avid fans.

Traveling to a recent tournament in Driscoll (Texas), with my father riding shotgun, and my

recuperating husband in the back seat,

my father gifted me with a statement so


so profound,

I wanted to share it with you.

He has coined many phrases that my brother and I

hold onto as touchstones for living our lives.

“Keep a tight rein.”

“Did you learn anything?”

and the simple admonition

“You don’t have any business… (fill in the blank).”


As I drove, he first began with reminiscing , as he looked out the window,

about farming here or there,

buying land here,

selling it to move there,

he and mother living over that hill,

driving a maintainer and building highways here and there,

delivering fresh milk from their cows that he and his brother Rich had

milked early each morning,


riding horseback onto the Laureles division of the King Ranch

to visit his father, who was working there.

After a few miles of comfortable silence,

apparently my driving caught his attention,

as I was about to reach Riviera,

on the Falfurrias highway.

And he said:


Me: “Yes sir?”

“That’s not a one- handed turn.”



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Daybook November 29,2010


Outside My Window… is my latest flea market statuary that I bought in October.

It is on the small patio in front of the little house-

which my grandsons re-named the club house.

Getting it from the flea market to my house was another chapter in

my ‘getting things from the flea market to my house’ saga-

that plus explaining to my husband why a man in a truck is pulling into our backyard.

Here is the kind of guy my husband is:

He will roll his eyes at me and say things like

‘it is time to shut it down’,

but he will then turn and walk over to the man in the truck and help him.

This is the time of year I sometimes try saying

‘this can be our Christmas present to each other’.

I Am Thinking… that Father Earl’s message this morning to

‘be awake, be ready, and be hopeful’

is important for me to remember

and that my new devotional book

Jesus Calling


chiseling away at this rigid, got to get things done,

walking with my head down looking for snakes (a ranch habit) way of dealing

with life’s challenges,

which is a worn out way to live.

So this is what I learned from this week’s readings:

1.  In not knowing how to pray, begin by simply expressing thanks all day long.

2.  This expression of thanks will make the ‘scales fall away’.

I did and it does.

From the Kitchen…  I made Taco Soup.

Brown1 pound of ground beef with diced onion.

Add a package of taco seasoning and 11/2 cups of water.

I added corn, ranch style beans, Rotel tomatoes and chiles, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and a packet of ranch dressing mix.

I served it over cornbread.

That is soul food.

I  Am Thankful For…  my sweet , crazy family.

My girls understand, when in my drug induced haze, the day of my test at the hospital,

I texted them from the bedroom


‘take the pecan pie out of the oven even if it is still jiggling’.



Friday, November 26, 2010

Blogging Thoughts


I began blogging to write, and write I have.

I am grateful for this wonderful forum ,

and consequently, I am grateful for anyone who takes the time to stop by and read.

I have taken some missteps along the way,

when I periodically worried more about what readers thought than what

I wanted to put on the page.

I read the blog suggestion lists that all said

‘don’t make it too personal’,

‘readers do not

want to read about real world problems’,

keep it light’,

find your niche.’

And to that I say

what I said to my students

many, many, many times

(with great love and affection):

“You have got to be kidding.

You’re smarter than that.”

And so because you are smarter than that,

I invite you to not worry about this world of blogging, as my complicated thinking

has so often invited me to do.

Because it is when I do this that I feel all

girdled up

and not very authentic.

My language becomes a little stilted,

and the only word I can think to say, because I lost touch with

my favorite, funky,

dice-throwing words,



So …

Let’s do this.

We’ll do it together.

When you write whatever you think


whatever your creativity needs you

to write,

regardless of the number of followers or comments

your post idea garners or loses,

picture me,

sitting in my Ross Dress for Less caftan,

laptop in hand,

reading every single delightful word of yours,

smiling and laughing,

crying and nodding,

and thinking

you go girl’.

That is





Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Blessings and Letting Them Do it Their Way


Late Tuesday afternoon, I was informed that I needed a medical test done at the hospital.

The test was scheduled for Wednesday morning (yesterday),

the day before Thanksgiving.

Please think about that.

Not about the test (it was clear, thank you God and thank you praying friends), but

think about a counter full of Thanksgiving groceries ,

tables to be set,

desserts to be baked,

and a house to be straightened.

As a result,

I am in the midst of a great Godly lesson right now,

which is the hardest lesson for a someone

with my personality.

The lesson is

‘let it go Laura’.

And so in bits and pieces , I am.

It is 5:57 am right now,Thanksgiving morning, and my husband is in the kitchen

putting the turkey in the oven.

Last night, when he asked about unique seasoning ideas for the turkey,

and my right eye began to twitch at the thought of that,

God stopped the twitching, and I was able to say ,

‘whatever you think sounds good …’

Yesterday, after napping all day (can you imagine doing that the day before Thanksgiving?),

I woke up to the sounds

of music playing and daughters laughing in the kitchen.

I discovered a frenzy of cooking had taken place.

Lauren had baked a pecan pie, 2 flat apple pies, and a chocolate cream pie.

Katherine had made creamy mashed potatoes, prepped the ingredients for the

dressing, taken her nephews to get a hamburger, and

baked a beautiful pumpkin cake in a bundt pan.

I will confess,

I tried to text them from the bedroom, with

great words of advice,

but they shut that down quickly.

So my message is twofold this glorious Thanksgiving Day.

1.  Blessings to you dear Friends


2.  Let them (whoever them is) do it their way.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Amazing Thanksgiving Side Dishes



Scalloped Pineapple

Several years ago, a dear friend served this dish at a birthday celebration,

and I have been a devotee ever since.

If you like a cross between a cobbler/bread pudding/pineapple concoction ,

and you are serving ham,

you should try this.

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple, undrained

1 stick of butter, melted

1 c. sugar

2 eggs, beaten

3 c. bread cubes

1 c. mini marshmallows

dash of mace

Gently combine all ingredients except bread cubes.

Add the bread cubes and toss lightly.

Pour into a 13x9 inch lightly greased pan and bake at 350 degrees

for 45 minutes- or until golden.



Acorn Squash

Buy several acorn squash,

and do NOT tally the price.

It won’t make sense , and it is expensive.

Yesterday at HEB I entered into

a moral dilemma about whether or not to buy

acorn squash this year.

As I have shared before, I am a simple woman with simple needs


complicated thoughts…

I did not buy them.

I will probably change my mind.

If you do-

poke a hole into each acorn squash and microwave them for about 10 minutes.

Be careful.

Remove them from the microwave- again carefully (they are hot)-

cut them in half and scoop out the seeds.

Place the halves on a baking sheet.

Place a pat of butter in each half, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar

or whatever sweetener you like.

Heat in the oven and serve.


Tomorrow I will be reading my turkey thawing instructions.

Wish me luck-

or should I say,

wish my FAMILY luck!

My grandsons are here and tomorrow morning we are

having breakfast tacos. Life is good.



Friday, November 19, 2010

My Favorite Things


favorite things button



Melissa, at the wonderful 320 Sycamore, is hosting a party that I couldn’t resist.


Here goes: 



Revision Intellishade is an amazing tinted moisturizer. The color is universal.

You can not go wrong, and it has an SPF of 45.

I buy it on Ebay , and although the price may seem a little steep- it lasts forever.

It also has a very slight glow, and I am really into glow.

Trust me-

I grew up with the cardinal makeup rule of

not having a makeup line on your jawline

(were there really that many of us walking around with orange lines on our necks??).

This foundation is amazing.


I know the purists may be aghast at this, but when supper is going to be ready in 5 minutes and you are thirsty for iced tea,

you can’t beat this.

Plus, I buy decaffeinated.

I love it.

My Aunt Peggy made refrigerator tea with regular tea bags too.


Trucco Blood Red lipstick is the best red lipstick of all time, period.

I learned about it from my friend Kandy.

She knows her red lipstick.

I have to buy it online as well, but it is worth it.

I promise.

It may now be called Blood.

Charming, right?


And ,

Chanel Aqua Crayon Eyeliner.

Again, I , of the cake eyeliner generation,

which required the perfect combination of water and dexterity, have never been able to handle liquid eyeliner.

I love this eyeliner because it is a pencil that somehow works.

I do not know why.

Favorite color?  Steel, which has been discontinued.


And finally,

my best morning friend-

my Bunn coffeemaker.

As the water goes in, the coffee pours into the carafe.

Morning magic.




Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An Obsession, a Bargain, and a Quest


This morning at 6:30 am,

after getting home last night from our week away,

I was at the local HEB determined to buy some of my Thanksgiving groceries.

I had been to Chick-Fil-a, or as my youngest grandson calls it Chick-Away,

to get a large coffee.

I was ready.

Unprepared (no list, no menu), but ready.

I needed to get started.

And then I saw them…

the object of my recent affection and obsession-

creamy white bottle brush trees.


I am obsessed with creamy white bottle brush trees.

These were in the Christmas/Garden center at a price of

$3.50 for the small tree

and $4.00 for the small wreathe.

Now I am really obsessed.

I plan to experiment with changing out the red ornaments for all silver or silver and pearl,

or I may just leave them exactly as they are.


I don’t need 20, right?



While we were staying at our daughter’s house this past week, this sale circular arrived and

our grandsons did some circling.


Thank you Wal-Mart.

Now I am on a quest.


And little brother’s selection…


I may need to be at Chick Away again tomorrow morning.


I am linking to Faded Charm’s

White Wednesday.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Turkey Life Lessons and a Thank You


(Please keep reading for the thank you.)


I first made friends with a frozen turkey years ago in a small rent house, in a kitchen so tiny I could rest my elbows on all cabinet tops-simultaneously.

Opening the oven door, while standing in the kitchen, was an exercise

in hip placement.

Side note:  Young married people today skip vitally important steps in the early marriage process.

Whatever happened to living in a garage apartment teetering on top of a carport?


It was during those early days, my personal theory of turkey cooking was forged .

Here it is.

*A turkey is a turkey is a turkey…it is what it is… hence the Riverside turkey at HEB , is a respectable choice.

*Turkeys are so inexpensive, if I want to change my mind and buy a Butterball I can.

*I can create my own Butterball with a stick of butter.

*An alarm does not go off- nor do men in black suits and dark glasses appear at my door-

if I do NOT


the thawing instructions on the package.

*When returning from the grocery store, the trip from the car to the kitchen,

while holding onto a 25 pound frozen turkey,

is a lonely trip.

*No one in the house is listening to your screams for help.

*Thinking ‘I can’t drop this on my foot’ helps .

*Setting an alarm for 5:30 am Thanksgiving morning, to put the turkey in the oven, is an act of love.

*Removing the still partially frozen package of giblets, from inside the turkey, at that hour is something else entirely.

*Tenting a turkey perfectly, to keep it from browning too soon, is the common man’s (woman’s) culinary reward.

*An avocado green, 70’s electric knife is the best way to carve a turkey.

*The minute the football watchers hear that magical mini-chain saw sound, they begin to move.

I can’t wait.


A Humble Thank You

The day of my husband’s surgery, while sitting in the waiting room, I felt relaxed and even sleepy.

I wondered for a moment about this,

and then I remembered…

“They are ALL praying.”

YOU were praying…

with teachers and friends and priests and church friends and

daughters and educational facilitators and trainers and colleagues.

And then I thought of this.

          I sing a song of the saints of God, 
patient and brave and true,
who toiled and fought and lived and died
for the Lord they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
and one was a shepherdess on the green;
they were all of them saints of God, and I mean,
God helping, to be one too.

They loved their Lord so dear, so dear,
and his love made them strong;
and they followed the right for Jesus' sake
the whole of their good lives long.
And one was a soldier, and one was a priest,
and one was slain by a fierce wild beast;
and there's not any reason, no, not the least,
why I shouldn't be one too.

They lived not only in ages past;
there are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints
who love to do Jesus' will.
You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store,
in church, by the sea, in the house next door;
they are saints of God, whether rich or poor,

and I mean to be one too.

Thank you.




Friday, November 5, 2010

Headed Back to New Normal


Dear Friends,

We are headed back to New Normal this weekend.

My husband is having surgery again.

I will be reading , commenting, and gaining inspiration from all of your wonderful Thanksgiving preparations

and holiday blog posts.

I have my menu planned,

my dishes selected,


hope in my heart-

for my husband’s complete recovery.

Blessings to you dear friends,



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