Friday, September 30, 2011

What a Great Idea

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Last night on the NBC nightly news there was a story about a food bank that requires the people who use it to step up and give, as well as, take. The store has clothing and shoes along with fresh and canned food. Everything in the store is free, but the patrons are required to pay a $50 yearly fee and to donate time working in the warehouse, and attend a finance class to teach them to manage their money in a productive way. The man who started the program lost all of his money when he was 40 after years of alcohol abuse. He wants to help others learn what it took him a long time to figure out. What a great idea.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011


I've been reading Larry McMurtry's books this past summer. I'd read Lonesome Dove and the one after that, but not the two prequels to them. After reading the first book I have no idea how the West was settled at all. It wouldn't have been by me for sure. I believe all the situations he set up in the books. When I was doing some genealogy research a number of years ago I got all caught up in Colonel Jack Hays. He was a relative of my husband and he was one of the first Texas Rangers. I found the book about him in a small used book store after I'd read the copy in our branch library. I bought it for my father in law for Christmas that year. Captain Jack was something else and his friend and fellow ranger was Samuel H. Walker, the co-inventor of the Walker Colt handgun. There are Walkers in my family and there have been Sam Walkers and I had a grandfather who was a Texas Ranger, so that led to my reading a number of books about Texas militia and wars. How cool would it have been for him to be one of my ancestors and Captain Jack to be one of my husband's. Well, it was not to be. Sam Walker was killed before he could sire any of my ancestors. Oh well, a brush with greatness was fun and my husband is still a descendant of Captain Jack. There are portraits of both of them at the Ranger Hall of Fame in Waco.

One of the books I read about Sam Walker's adventures during the Mexican war told about the Texas prisoners being marched to Mexico City. A great distance from anywhere in Texas. Actually I think they caught him twice and made him walk. I guess it was a good thing I was born a girl and a century later. I'd not have made a good pioneer woman.

Captain Jack and his band of Rangers chased and killed the Comanches around San Antonio and central Texas until it was somewhat safer for settlers. Actually not all that many were killed.  The Comanches were wonderful fighters, great horse thieves, and could blend into the environment so well they couldn't be seen until it was too late.  Many a settler or ranger found themselves afoot when the Comanches were around.  It was not safe at all back in those days for many reasons, but the Comanche braves were a big part of it. Part of my family settled around Austin and while reading books about early settlers in that part of Texas there were a number of stories about families who were brutally killed by Indians. If there had been anywhere else to go but into the wildness that was where these people were trying to make a new life, I would have stayed where I was or gone back to where I came from. I would not have made a good settler, but I'm glad they did. I'm also glad my ancestors settled here finally. I love it in Texas, even if it is still sort of wild. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Things that make your ears go "huh?"

I got my husband to run into Target this afternoon to buy the new Tony Bennett cd that came out today while it was on sale. (it is really a good one) Then I drove around in the parking lot at the grocery store while he ran inside to pick up some things for dinner. While driving in circles in the parking lot I heard this song on the radio and it cracked me up. It is a song by Joe Diffie and is called "If The Devil Danced in Empty Pockets, He'd Have a Ball In Mine". I was listening to a real country music station and this is a real honky tonk song. Made me wonder why the heck we pay for Xtortion Music radio that doesn't really understand country music and from what I've seen the other genres that much, either. This is something I need to discuss with hubby; we could save a bundle. I have every cd we have ever owned on my Ipod, so that should get us anywhere we want to go with music all the way. Anyway, this little song took me back a few years and put a smile on my face.

If The Devil Danced In Empty Pockets
Diablo motors had a hell of a sale, downtown yesterday,
Word got around, no money down, take years and years to pay.
When I got there the lot was bare, but the salesman said hold on.
For a little cash, I gotta two-tone Nash out behind the barn.

If the Devil danced in empty pockets, he'd have a ball in mine.
With a nine foot grand, a ten piece band and a twelve girl chorus line.
I'd raise some loot in a three piece suit, give 'em one dance for a dime,
If the Devil Danced in empty pockets, he'd have a ball in mine.

Well he said friend it ain't the end let's see what I can do.
If you own a home, I've got a loan, tailor made for you.
Then above the racket a voice in my jacket said, "I'll tote the note."
The devil made me do it, talked me in to it, and that was all she wrote.

If the Devil danced in empty pockets, he'd have a ball in mine.
With a nine foot grand, a ten piece band and a twelve girl chorus line.
I'd raise some loot in a three piece suit, give 'em one dance for a dime,
If the Devil Danced in empty pockets, he'd have a ball in mine.

They say debt is a bottomless pit where the devil likes to play.
I'd sell my soul to get out of this hole, but there'd be hell to pay.

If the Devil danced in empty pockets, he'd have a ball in mine.
With a nine foot grand, a ten piece band and a twelve girl chorus line.
I'd raise some loot in a three piece suit, give 'em one dance for a dime,
If the Devil Danced in empty pockets, he'd have a ball in mine

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Thunder Rolled

Finally we got cool weather yesterday. It was such an abrupt change it felt like early spring all of a sudden, not fall, spring. The wind was almost chilly. We went to the garden center of my choice and bought some plants to help cheer our sun bleached/dead landscape vegetation. Mums, marigolds, ixora (bright orange flower), a blue one and another one and we had a good time. Everyone there was sort of quiet and subdued. It has been so hot for so long and yesterday was about 25 degrees cooler than it had been the day before.

And then...

And then this afternoon late...there were clouds and there was thunder and lightning and finally it rained and rained and rained. Well, only an inch where I live, but oh my it was a wonderful sound to hear the sound of rain and feel it splash up on the patio onto my leg and face and all parts in between. It was a soft slow rain and not a wild gully washer that runs off right away. If there hadn't been lightning I'd have gone out and danced in it...well, not so much danced as hobbled, but I'd have been in it.

They have been showing on the news large cracks in the ground that people could step into and break a leg. They are trying to fill the ones on baseball fields and soccer fields with dirt for now. Where we have a stone path from our backdoor to the driveway the stones have pulled apart more than 2 or 3 inches from the soil shrinking. Hopefully, that is behind us now.

When it first started to rain it didn't smell like rain. It smelled like dust for some that reason would have been over three months of dust without rain to wash it away. We have been on a strict watering schedule of 2 times per week, and still will be until lake levels refill. One of my daughters lives in Austin and it hasn't rained there since last October, nearly a year now.

Anyway, that is why I haven't been around the past day or so. We spent all afternoon out yesterday and believe me when it started to rain we were both outside grinning like possums.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Things that make you go hmmm...

For all your taxidermy needs...hmmm

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Video Interuptus

Last night was one of those nights where I could not get to sleep no matter what I did. In a last ditch effort to nod off I turned on the tv. Roger Daltrey was on Leno and was about to sing "Pinball Wizard" He began to sing and I was getting all into the song and suddenly silence and an infomercial came on! It was such a shock. This afternoon I found the same video and when it began to play there was a sudden silence when it froze. Maybe I was not meant to hear this today. I'm off to take a nap. I've still not slept.

Roger Daltrey - Pinball Wizard 2011 by IvorTheEngineDriver

Tony Bennett's new cd Duets II has a duet with Amy Winehouse, among many others. It is such a shame she could not control her substance abuse, whether that was what killed her or not. She had a beautiful voice and they both seemed genuinely pleased to work together.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


*sizzle* Today's high was 107F. Happy Fall. One hundred and seven degrees, September 13th. There is hope of a cool front tomorrow evening. Please, Lord...and I still haven't found the rain stick, either.

*sizzle2* Our governor, Rick Perry, did mandate that 12 year old girls have the Gardisil vaccine against HPV, but it is not a law that girls get the drug here. Saner heads prevailed about that one. Some girls got the vaccine before parents got upset and called a halt to the nonsense. Then it all went away, until the other night when Michelle Bachmann got ahold of it again. At least that is what I thought. In my opinion that is one immunization that has not proven itself and should not be used indiscriminately.

I do think it is essential the vaccines that have been around for a very long time should be given to children. Whooping cough is making a comeback and it is a disease that had been eradicated in the US until recently. When I was growing up polio was still a real scary disease. I have a friend who was stricken with the disease and has begun to have post-polio syndrome. When the polio vaccine came out I was in the third grade. My mother was so conflicted about whether or not I should be vaccinated, because she, too, had had a mild case of it. Later when the Salk vaccine was being given to adults when I was older and on my own, I got my sugar cube with the vaccine on it. By the way, I got a flu shot yesterday. Have you gotten yours yet?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001

In memory of those lost in the 9-11-2001 attacks on our country

and to the innocence lost at the same time

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How Cool is That

The burning sun has modified its intense heat for the past few days and it was so nice I just said No to spending time posting on this blog. We got out and enjoyed the dry cool temperatures of the days and in the spirit of the past few cool days I'll stick with this same vein of relaxation. It is starting to warm back up again, half of Texas has burned up and there is no rain in sight for the next week. So, if you are a little down about remembering 9/11, need something to take your thoughts off of where and when you might get another job, or anything that's got ya down here is a sweet little video that made me smile today.

Friday, September 2, 2011

And the Heat Goes On with a Spin and a Twist

Now there is tropical storm Lee in the Gulf of Mexico spinning around to go along with all of the crazy weather we are having. It will impact New Orleans the most...can't they ever catch a break? It won't help us with the drought we have been experiencing, but maybe it will help the Houston Galveston area some. Our daughter lives down there.

And then there is this bit of happy news from the Dallas news service that the much anticipated cool front combined with easterly winds from the tropical storm will make our already tinderbox fire status even worse. Oh mercy!

I think a lot of people really don't understand how huge Texas really is. One of my friends had a relative come here to Ft. Worth to visit from the New England area, and told Judy she was going to run up to Amarillo for coffee with a friend that morning. Her reasoning was that it was just a little ways on the map. We all burst out laughing when Judy told that story. It is a 342.2 mile drive or six hours to Amarillo as calculated on Google maps from here to there. But that might have been before they increased the speed limit.

We live up in North Central Texas in that busy looking mess of red sort of on the right of the map. Houston/Galveston is down on the curvy part next to Louisiana, and Austin is sort of in the middle. That is where the youngest lives. It is a really fun town or was when she lived there before. I hear that 6th Street is much calmer these days. Anyway, hopefully you can sort of know where my family is and when I tell you about weather conditions you won't have to worry. I'll be letting everyone know if it rains or gets cool here! By the way the fires are west of us...fairly close but no danger to us. Our son and his family live just a little southwest of us. Amarillo is up in the panhandle part way northwest of us. See Google map linked above.