Sunday, June 28, 2009

Meet Crawfish Jack and Curly Sue

I spent this last week in Albuquerque, New Mexico with my husband. He was working, I mostly shopped and rested, although I worked with him on Saturday. We drove so that he could haul all of the things he needed to set up his booth.

Sometimes I forget how enormous Texas is. We live in the center and drove from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. to get to just past the Texas border. It's always good to go one else is, and so the traffic is minimal. For miles and miles in West Texas, there is nothing but brush, cactus and mesas. The joke that you could stand on a tuna can and see forever is pretty accurate. We did go through one interesting area between Sweetwater and Lubbock that had literally hundreds of windmills all within a stretch of a few miles. This has apparently changed the entire economy of Sweetwater, TX and the area surrounding. Other than that, there's not much to see driving in that direction.
I love New Mexico, there's no other place like it. I've made short visits to Taos, and Albuquerque, and longer visits to Santa Fe and Ruidoso. As a child, I lived in Roswell for a time (Alien fame). Each of those cities is so different from the next. But, I've never spent any quality time in Albuquerque, so I was glad to go. Our niece recommended that we go to Old Town to shop and eat at the Church Street Cafe. She also told us that El Pinto was a great restaurant. We did all of those and she was right.

My husband, who is a retired teacher/coach/principal, now sells western belt buckles for Lone Star Silversmith. He worked at a ranch where the 28th annual End of Trail shooting event was being held. The people who participate in this are hard-core, pistol-shooting (I'm talking REAL guns, REAL bullets), period dressing, alias-monikered cowboys (and girls). They were lots of fun and very serious about their sport. Some of the people we met had names like Fishcreek Charley, T-Bone Dooley, Fancy Florence, Ringo Fire, Buffy Logal, and Prairie Flame. Since I don't like to be left out, I decided that my husband and I each needed an alias. So we are now Crawfish Jack and Curly Sue.

The members of the club are serious about their dress and have to follow certain clothing rules to shoot in certain events. Almost all of the vendors sold vintage western clothing. Let me tell you, it's pricey to be a vintage cowperson! Needless to say, my outfit from Ross bought at the last minute didn't quite meet the standards...but I wasn't shooting!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's Not All About Us!

We need to think generationally.

I like to listen to Joseph Prince. He is a pastor who leads a church in Singapore and is passionate in his effort to tell people about the love and mercy of God...he calls it the message of radical grace. I recently heard him say that when Abraham tithed...Levi (born 4 generations later) tithed within him (Hebrews 7:9-10). Deutoronomy 7:9 talks about God blessing 1000 generations after those who love and walk with Him. What we do has an effect not only on us today (for good or bad), but for the generations after us. It made me think about a story I heard about Jonathan Edwards.

Jonathan Edwards was a theologian/missionary living in the 1700's. He had eleven children and reportedly tried to spend an hour each evening with them, teaching them about God and his word. Here's how his actions affected his generations:

Of his 1,394 descendants ( this was reported in the year 1900), 1,295 were college graduates, 13 were presidents of colleges, 65 were professors in colleges, 60 were doctors, 100 (or more) were clergy, missionaries or professors at theological seminaries, 75 were officers in the army and navy, 60 were prominent authors and writers by whom 135 books were written, and many important peridocals were edited, 100 or more were lawyers and professors of law, 30 were judges, 80 held public office (one vice-president of the US), 3 were US senators, several were govenors, members of Congress, and mayors of cities, many were managers of railroads, banks and insurance companies. (Popenoe and Johsnson, NY, 1920, pp.161-162)

How are my choices affecting my generations?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On My Deck...

It is 9:10 p.m. I am sitting on my new deck (wireless working) listening to the Cicadas and trying to relax after a very difficult day at work. I love the Cicadas...they mean that summer is really here. This year they are pretty noisy. Each year I look forward to them just like I look forward to the first cool front, or the first spring bulbs blooming. A fresh, new season. Too relaxed to think of anything else to write......

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Last night we went to the birthday party of a good friend. This was a person that we met when we first moved to Central Texas in 1997. Back then, they had just moved here too, and along with my husband's brother and wife, our lives were one big adventure!

Back then, we were both living in apartments and didn't have homes to keep up, our children were pretty much grown and gone, and we didn't have a lot to do with our time but explore. We went to all the festivals, we went to plays and tons of new restaurants, and we explored all the little towns in the hill country.

But, eventually, Central Texas became home. We all bought or built houses, and life settled in. Of course, some of that is natural, but we were guilty of letting life in general, jobs and homes get in the way of friends, fun and laughter. We also let it get in the way of taking care of friends...being there to talk to when there was a problem or rejoicing over the good things.

The birthday party was a great party, small and intimate. It was outside on a beautiful deck, and there was live music. But most importantly, the party revived that connection that we once had with one another. We had a wonderful time and we have made a commitment to these friends to get together at least three times in the next year.

Earlier this spring we connected with another two couples that we've pretty much lost touch with over the years. We had such a good time with them, that we've already set a date for our next year's visit.

It's painful to share this, but during this party my son called me to tell me that his 35-year-old friend had died from a heart attack. My son was clearly hurting....his friend wasn't here anymore, and he wouldn't be able to spend any more time with him.

Friends are so important and I hope that I can remember not to take that for granted from now on. To develop any kind of relationship takes time and I don't think I've spent that part of my time very wisely. My daughter and husband are really good at working on friendships. I pray that I will become more like them.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I Have An Interview Tomorrow...

I really hate those words! If I had a nickel for every interview I've had in the last 5 years...I'd have 40 cents. Well maybe that's not that impressive on paper, but trust me, interviews in my world are pretty expensive (emotionally speaking), serious stuff. (I actually got three of those jobs but only took one of them).

I spent most of the afternoon and evening on Friday finding the perfect skirt, which is nearly impossible...too short, too long, too sexy, too frumpy. I must be a weird size because I always have to do something to the skirt to make it fit. Luckily, my grandmother taught me to sew so I can do that. This one needed hemming and two new darts.

I never wear closed-toe shoes and pantyhose...but I will be tomorrow, and why is it that I will definitely shave my legs in the morning? Do I think that's going to make a difference in the outcome?

Today I practiced answering questions that I assume I will be asked, I've also spent a lot of time praying that I will not embarrass myself. That may sound weird to you, but it's what I've done and I know that my God always intervenes when I ask.

Whatever the outcome, there's something inside of me that keeps making me "put myself out there". It's not that I like torture, at least I don't think that's's just that I want to achieve everything I can in my career before I retire.

I'll let you know how all of this goes...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Miracle in the Woods...

When I first moved to Central Texas, I couldn't get over the deer. They were everywhere! I saw them in town, once in the parking lot of my school. I saw them in neighborhoods sitting around like dogs in people's yards. I'd stop my car to look at them, it was fascinating to me. I didn't think I'd ever get over it....and then I tried to landscape a yard in the heart of deer country.

If you've read any of my blogs, you know that I have managed to get over my deer fascination. They have the nerve to come into my yard (which I guess was really their yard before I got here) and munch on my plants way too often. They've eaten a peach tree, a fig tree, some mums, lots of basil, and lately they've munched my dahlias down only to find out they didn't like them...and spit them out! They have been enemy #1 of my efforts to turn this place into the Hill Country version of Martha's Turkey Hill. (I cannot even write that without seeing my husband rolling his eyes at me).

Anyway, it's all been so frustrating to me that we've decided to spend a boatload of money on deer fencing. The fencing is coming, but in the meantime I have been trying to find ways to salvage my dahlias. I bought some of that "liquid fence" to spray on the remainder of them and it smells so foul that I can barely stand to be outside after I've sprayed.

But today, just for a little while, they redeemed themselves as I witnessed a little deer miracle in the woods. When I got home from work this afternoon, I saw something moving under an old cedar tree outside of my kitchen. Out here, that could be anything. I've seen foxes, wild turkeys, armadillos, and your run-of-the-mill racoons, possums and squirrels. But this looked different.

It took me a minute to focus, but then I realized it was a doe licking her two brand new fawns clean! I couldn't believe she had them so close to the house! I've been wondering how the bird feeders have been emptied so quickly, and why there was no water in the saucer I keep out there for them. She set up camp for a couple of days. When I first saw them, they couldn't stand and were dark and wet. Within a half-hour or so, they were wearing fresh spots and standing on their own thin, wobbly legs, just like Bambi. They are much smaller in person than they look on the pictures.
I realize the pictures are poor quality, but I didn't want to get too close and scare them. If you click on them, they will enlarge. I wish my dad was around to see this, he would have loved it. What a blessing it is to live in the country!