Hippie shoes

I have tried on about 20 pairs of shoes in the past few days. You see, I am still healing from my "bunionectomy," so I have to be careful what shoes I wear. I've been wearing my big, clunky, white tennis shoes for the past month and I'm sick of it. Since I'll be dressing up more than normal at my conference this week, I at least needed a wearable pair of black shoes. I bought a really cute pair of black ecco sneakers, but when I got them home and tried them on again, they were just too narrow. I need my toe to not be squished at all so that the bone will heal correctly. It is really hard to find a pair of shoes that doesn't require your toes to lean in a little bit. But there is one pair out there. I found them. I spent more than I should have on these eye-sores, but you have to understand - I am desperate to wear shoes other than sneakers. These shoes are ugly. They are not shoes I would have ever bought if I had a choice. They are weird and I don't like them, but they are the only ones that work for me at this point in time. Here they are:

Do you see how they have a weird sole in the front? When I walk towards you, it looks like I'm floating. Supposedly they are "engineered to roll naturally, reducing heel and central metatarsal pressure," but I think I look like a fool. They have all sorts of technical features that are supposed to be really good for you - they better be! Otherwise I'll just look like I've gone granola. And granola does not suit me.


Words of wisdom

They make a Valentine version of those peppermint taffy candies like they sell at Christmas. You know, the ones with red stripes on the edges and a tiny christmas tree in the middle? (I just found a picture and discovered they are called "Christmas Nougats.") I love those things.

Well, do NOT eat approximately half the bag in one sitting. Seriously.

And I'll be leaving Sunday morning for a conference in Houston, so I probably won't post for awhile. Be good.


Make your own d@#n money

Just out of curiosity, what does one buy at a Sams Gas Station for $99? My debit card got "compromised," as the lady from Wells Fargo said. (So did my little brother's - so if your last name starts with a "B" and you use Wells Fargo, make sure you look at your account.) It was used twice before I noticed it on Saturday morning. Here are the charges:











Do you think they fill up the tank and then buy a bunch of beer and cigarettes? Or is there somebody in Glendora with a lifetime supply of Fritos and bean-dip? Maybe twinkies and fried burritos? Just wondering.

I'm waiting to hear back from the "fraud officer" to find out if/when I get my money refunded. I keep meaning to stop by the police station so I can file a claim that they will send to the Glendora, CA Police. Not that anything would come of it, but it would make me feel better.


The song remembers when (TIMED)

Do y'all have favorite lines in songs? You know - where you crank the volume and sing extra loud to one particular part? Usually, for me, the songs remind me of a particular time of my life - I can name an exact moment and memory for each - and I could probably make a really long list if I took the time. But I'm going to just list whichever lines come to mind in the next 10 minutes.

The room gets suddenly still and when you'd almost bet you could hear yourself sweat, he walks in. - Neil Diamond

And all I taught her was everything. - Pearl Jam

It's a two-day old burrito and a luke-warm beer to go. On the Sunday side of a road trip weekend and Lordy I was feelin' so low. - Pat Green

But you must always know how long to stay and when to go - Dixie Chicks

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose. Nothin - and that's all that Bobby left me. - Janis Joplin

I've found you find strength in your moments of weakness - Rascal Flatts

If you got nuthin baby boy you better get up, get out and get sumpin. - Jay Z

I want you to notice when I'm not around. - Radiohead

I'm weak. I'm poor. I'm broken, Lord - but I'm yours. - Jennifer Knapp

And there ain't nobody wants to mess with 23! - SheDaisy

Let your hair down, wear something pretty. Don't you know that you make us both look good. - Pat Green

If you think that a kiss is all in the lips, c'mon, you got it all wrong man. - The White Stripes

Okay, it has been 10 minutes. I just thought of another one, but I'll save it for next time.

Congrats on making it through another Monday.


I'm a Panther

Grad school officially starts tomorrow. I win the award for seeking the degree with the longest name ever: Online Master's of Science in Administrative Leadership (Concentration in Adult & Continuing Education Leadership): Focus on Human Resource and Workforce Development. Since I teach classes at night, I had to find an online program and will be "attending" the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

Of course, being the brown-noser student that I am, I've already completed my "orientation week" assignments - well, everything except the reading assignments SINCE MY BOOKS HAVE NOT ARRIVED YET. Lesson learned - I will order them all straight from Amazon next time instead of a third-party vendor.

I'm taking 6 hours this semester: Seminar in Human Resource Development and Using Technology With Adult Learners. And




I know once I get back in the swing of being a student it will be fine, but I think getting started is going to be tough. I've decided that I will - at a minimum- work on school work until 6pm every night after work and for 2 solid hours on the weekends. We'll see.

Anyway, I'm glad that I'm finally starting this chapter - I've wanted to get my Master's for awhile. Wish me luck!


the Brave choice

I'm not really a political person. I have my beliefs that I hold to, but I don't talk a lot of politics and I've certainly never been an advocate for anything. But I will say this: I know a thing or two about abortion - what it can do to the mother, what it can do to the father, and what it does to the baby. (duh) I've been close to more than one person who didn't know what to do. I'm not naive, and if you ever really want to discuss it, I'll be more than happy to. (Well, maybe after a glass of wine.)

But this post in particular is to show my admiration and appreciation for my sister. She made a "choice" that most people aren't brave enough to make, and it has made the world a more beautiful place. Her choice has a different last name than her, and he lives in Ohio, but he has the same curls in his hair and sparkle in his eye.

This was her choice:

And these are his parents:

And that, my friends, is one of the most compelling reasons to be an advocate. http://www.fightfoca.com/


An open letter to Michael Dell

Mike -

May I call you Mike? Because I feel like I can, but please correct me if I'm wrong. I just feel like it's time we had a little chat.

Do you remember when I bought my very first laptop? How the internet wouldn't work no matter what settings it was on? And how, when I called for tech support, I was connected to your little office over in India? By the way, thank you for that voice recognition technology that allows the thick Indian accent to be "translated" into a Texan accent. It made the conversation *SO* much easier to understand. Regardless, we got that fixed, so no big deal.

And then, do you remember the time when I was paying for my laptop and my interest rate skyrocketed to almost 30%? Fortunately I was in a position where I could pay off my laptop and not mess with the interest rates, so again - no big deal.

Oh! And what about the time when the computer just kept CRASHING? Do you remember that? Probably not, because instead of calling tech support, I just had my big brother do whatever he does to fix computers. (aka: Hacking) At this point, I was a little miffed, but my brother returned my computer good as new, so I got over it.

I will NOT blame you for the time I dropped the laptop and shattered the LCD screen. Or whatever happens to the screen when you drop it. But I ordered a replacement screen off eBay, mailed them my computer, and they fixed it and mailed it back to me within 48 hours. That was 100% my fault, but wanted to throw it in there.

However - what happened over the past month - specifically the last week - has pretty much done it for me. I got a nice 20% off coupon for ANY product ordered through Dell, so I got Larry a Garmin GPS for Christmas. I ordered this product while I was recuperating from surgery on November 14, wrapped it up, and put it under the tree. Little did I know - Larry had gotten ME a Garmin for Christmas, and we decided we only needed one. I wanted to return my Garmin to Dell. Little did I know that there is a 21 day return policy. Period. Even if the box the product was shipped in hasn't even been opened. I found this out after 3 phone calls and 40 minutes. The first phone call, I couldn't understand who I was speaking with, but was very patient and waited for them to "access my information." Until I got hung up on. Then I called back, and the system didn't recognize my account number, so I was transferred to 4 people, including the manager, who never answered. So I called back again. I somehow was routed to Tech Support, although to give that guy credit, he is the only one who helped me. Needless to say, we now have a GPS in both vehicles, so at least we will never get lost.

But if you ever wonder why your stock has fallen to $10/share, you might want to re-read this little letter. Just saying.



Being an Aunt: Volume One

In my effort to be a good Aunt, I am going to do a post for each one of my nieces and nephews. We'll start at the very beginning....

(Editor's note: My oldest nephew is actually Dawsen - he became my nephew a couple years ago when his momma married my brother. But since he and I are just starting to get to know each other and I don't have many pictures of him yet, I have opted to save his blog for a little further down the road.)

I remember EXACTLY what I was doing when I found out my oldest brother and his wife were expecting my first niece/nephew. I had come home from Austin to visit - my parents weren't home yet - and I walk in and hear a message on the answering machine from a certain somebody who needed to be bailed out of jail. (You're welcome for not broadcasting your name.) So we were in the midst of that fun experience when Adam called and told me the good news. Pretty good timing, if you ask me. It kind of deflected some of the attention away from the other "incident."

Adam and April are masters of willpower - they decided not to find out the sex of the baby. (They've managed to do this with all 4 of their kids!!!) So it was a surprise. On November 8, 2001 - John Christian was born. Here I am changing his diaper when we was just a wee lad: (Don't pay any attention to my shirt - courtesy of an ex-boyfriend and a biker bar.)

John was the only baby for several years, and he was so cute. His little personality showed that he was going to be a force to be reckoned with once he was older, but look at this face!

The time came when he became a big brother, and he was so good. He would be so gentle holding his sister and was so helpful to his parents. As he has gotten older, he is also what you would call "strong-willed." I've been witness to several of his tantrums - he doesn't give in easily. But that doesn't define him - he is smart, creative, excellent at legoes and has a laugh that can melt a heart. Plus, you gotta love anyone that can pose like this in a rental tux:

So, John, this one is for you. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Nephew #1!


What breed are you?
Dachshund (aka: weenie dog)

How old are you?
I'll be 5 years old on March 5. (Shout out to my siblings: Turbo, Chuy and Junebug!)

What is your full name?
Blossom Weenie Pumpkin-Head "Stretch" Behnke Hermance

Do you have any nicknames?
B-dub, Weenie, "The fastest wiener dog in the world"

Where do you usually sleep?
In my king-sized bed in the master bedroom. Burrowed under the covers. Occasionally I allow the humans to sleep next to me.

What is your favorite thing to do?
Sleep. At least 20 hours a day. The other four hours, I enjoy going potty outside, eating and playing fetch with the rope/football/basketball/toy of the day. Oh, I also enjoy chasing squirrels and Asian golfers.

What is something unusual/interesting about you?
I am allergic to shots. So - hypothetically - if my mom took me for shots when I was a puppy, my face may or may not have swollen up so that I looked like a Shar-pei. Now I cost extra so that I can be given benadryl and "supervised" for at least 4 hours after all shots.

I can sing the theme songs for Two and A Half Men, CSI and CSI:Miami.

I enjoy "sunning" on the deck and sitting in my lounge chair.

Also, I had surgery on my foot and had to wear a little cast. When the medical tape was taken off, it took off some of the fur on my arm. The hair grew back, but it grew back grey, so I have little grey spots on my right front arm.

Who is your best friend?
My king sized bed.

Did you go to obedience school? If yes, were you Top Dog or did you flunk out?
I went to "Weenie Boot Camp" courtesy of my dad, Larry. He taught me how to stay in the yard since there is no fence and how to go outside to potty. He and my mom sing a little song - "Little weenie wanna go outside, little weenie wanna go outside," and I run to the back door and go potty. So yeah, I was pretty much Top Dog because I learned all that in two weeks.

Can you do any tricks?
At the risk of being repetitive, I can sing the theme songs for several tv shows, I can pretty much potty on command and I can wake the dead with my breath.

Any last comments?

Those black things with white stripes are NOT kitty-cats.


Cuz if you liked it.... (UPDATED)

I can't get this dang song out of my head.

And while I don't really care what the ring looks like, I'd just like one within the next year or so. (I realized six months isn't really that far away, so I stretched it out a bit.)

Although, on the way to Dallas, I saw a billboard for a jewelry store in Salado called Gregory's, and it had a giant picture of this Claude Thibaudeau (?) ring:

It suits me, no?


Aunt Indulgences

Here are my nieces and nephews. (Except for Dawsen and William.)

I want to be a better Aunt this year. Vincent, the one I am holding, asked me FIVE times: "What your name?" Seeing as how he, John, Mary and Sarah are spending almost a year in South Africa, staying in touch could be difficult, but I am going to download skype and get a webcam so that I can talk to them. But Annie and Molly are both within 400 miles, so I plan on seeing them as much as possible.

That's all.


Jack La LAME

The juicer is going back. Good deal or not, I'm just not willing to spend 45 minutes making 1/2 cup of juice. (Although said juice is absolutely fresh and delicious... but the clean up is NOT.)

Just thought I'd let you know.


Shame on me

We FINALLY put up the Christmas stuff today. (It was all taken down last weekend, but has been sitting in the laundry room, waiting to be transferred into plastic bins and loaded into the attic.) While we were in the garage, I started going through a few things and found a Nike shoebox full of cd's from back in the day. I thought, "I should go load all of these into iTunes in case I ever want any of the songs."

To my chagrin, (I've always wanted to use that word, I hope I used it correctly...) There were some good ones in there. Well, I guess "good" is a relative term. I should say that I was happy to find my "Grease" soundtrack, my "Best of" George Michael 2-disk set, my Dixie Chicks and Stone Temple Pilots. However, here are some of the other treasures I found:

- Snoop Dogg - The Doggfather
- Marcy Playground
- Duncan Sheik
- Paul Brandt - I know, WHO??? I had to listen just to remember who he was. (Once I listened, I realized he sang a song called "I Do" that I loved when I was about 20.)
- Mindy McCready
- Creed !!!!!

And the piece de' resistance....
- Ricky Martin !!!!

I know.


Juice, anyone?

Today is Dale's birthday. Here is my favorite picture of him, taken on MY 30th birthday. He is pushing me around in a shopping cart. (Don't ask.)

(photo courtesy of his wife, SarahenityNOW!)

So Sarah emails me at work today to ask if I have any extra Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, because she wants to buy Dale an attachment for the awesome mixer she got him for Christmas. (He is a really good cook. And I am a collector of Bed Bath and Beyond coupons.) We have a conversation via e-mail about how Larry will put the coupon in the mailbox and she can go pick it up after work, blah blah blah. She was trying to decide what attachment to get, and at one point, sends me this:

>>> Sarah Webb 1/7/2009 2:55 PM >>>
Now I think I may get him the juicer attachment. Mmmmm, fresh squeezed oranges!

And I reply to her with this:

From: Rachel Behnke Wednesday - January 7, 2009 2:57 PM
To: Sarah Webb
Subject: Re: juicer
OOOOhhhhhh, good idea. Larry wants a Jack LaLane(?) juicer so bad. I'll prob get him one one of these days!

Well, Sarah picks up the coupon from my mailbox and goes to Bed Bath and Beyond to get Dale's birthday present. And guess what she finds on the "AS IS" markdown shelf? Yup. A Stainless Steel Jack Freakin' LaLanne juicer.

Original price: $149.99. Markdown price: $69.99. So she calls me, because - WHAT ARE THE ODDS? I mean, how often does a person mention a juicer in an email? She asked them to hold it for me and I went by and picked it up on the way home. After a 20% off coupon, that sucker was $55. (Marked down because it has a scratch and is missing the instruction booklet. Um, hello? Have you heard of the internet?)

So anyway, I've decided that I have a kitchen appliance fairy. Next e-mail I plan on casually mentioning the Rachael Ray pasta pot . Just sayin'.


The blog post where I share my secrets on how to be a cheap date

Some may say I am walking a thin line and that I am dangerously close to becoming full-blown white trash.

I say, "I saved at least 20 dollars on that tab!"

Look and learn:





Now, I don't always sneak liquor into places. In fact, the pictures above are really the only times I have tried it. (Although Lana says I did it at her wedding, but I don't recall that. But I drank LOTS back then, so no telling.) But it really does come in handy - for instance, those drinks in Vegas are high dollar, you know? And on New Year's Eve, my plate itself was over $30 - just imagine what it would have been if I had ordered cocktails! Granted, if I don't want to spend money on drinks, I could just NOT drink, but what fun would that be? I just wish there was some quality wine that came in mini bottles. That's where they really get you. $7 a glass for Blackstone Merlot? I beg to differ.

I would recommend trying this "sneak alcohol in" method of thriftiness somewhere safe to begin with. After all, it is illegal. Dangit, I guess I just blew my chances of ever running for public office.

Stay tuned for the best way to hang foil over your windows and tips on planting flowers in an old toilet.


Just this one last thing, then I'll quit talking about my dog.

The Dachshund was developed in Germany over a period of several hundred years for the primary purpose of hunting badgers. The dogs were specifically bred for the strength and tenacity to handle a badger and the body style to "go to ground" (burrow down a badger hole) after his prey.

A more humorous carryover of the Dachshund's burrowing... he is often found 'burrowed' under a favorite sweater laid carelessly on a chair, an heirloom quilt or his own blanket." http://dachshund-rescue.org/dachinfo

The other night, there were no blankets on the couch, just my sweatshirt. I saw Blossom pawing at it so that she could get underneath it and didn't think much of it, as she always does that. However, when I called her and she lifted her head, I saw that she had burrowed herself into the sleeve.

C'mon. That is funny, no?


What chin?

Here is the picture that the AT&T booth took of L and I this morning before the game. (We stood in front of a green screen and they imposed the Cotton Bowl behind us.)

Here is a quick retouch using Picasa 3. (Unfortunately it doesn't have any options for me to make my hair look any better, but whatever.)

My team may have gotten smoked in their game today, but I'll be looking a whole lot better in my pictures from now on. Just sayin'.

I have Christmas vacation pictures and stories to tell, but I'm done for today, so good night.