typing this with a kleenex stuffed up my nose

I know you are dying to see pictures and hear stories about my visit to the south plains of Texas, but you will just have to wait. Apparently, I have lost my magical teacher immunity and managed to catch a little bug.

I'll be back as as soon as I finish the paper that is due Friday evening. Gotta love summer school.


The first man I ever loved

"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." -- Sigmund Freud

Sigmund definitely had this part right... there isn’t anything quite like being able to melt into your father’s arms and knowing that everything is going to be okay. The world could be falling to pieces all around me, but I always know that my dad will be there – to stand strong, to offer advice, to comfort me. Growing up, I didn't realize that his advice was something that I needed to listen to.... but as it turns out, he's ALWAYS right. I am truly blessed.

Thanks Dad.


barely making it

It almost isn't Friday anymore, but I'm filling in the blanks...

1. When I'm nervous I
turn bright red and talk too much.

2. My favorite item in my closet is probably my aqua Nine West heels. I love those things.

3. Vegging out on the couch with a book and/or a marathon of some mindless TV show is my favorite thing to do when I need to relax.

4. My favorite childhood memory is getting a "My Little Pony" cassette player. I was having a slumber party and we took it on a walk like it was a jambox. I'm guessing we were either listening to NKOTB, Tiffany, or Debbie Gibson. (Out of the Blue...)

Also - cleaning my room (that I shared with my sister until I was 18.) At the time, I hated it of course.... but now I remember it well. When we were really little, my little sister and I would make a giant pile in the middle of the room and I would say - okay, grab all the shoes. Now let's put up all the books. Now grab the shirts.....etc. Our room used to get so messy, that one time my dad used reverse psychology on us. He told us to clean our room and I got all sassy and said, "I like it messy." So he just calmly walked in and started dumping out dresser drawers saying, "Well, if you like it messy, let me help." (or something to that effect.) Jessica and I were AGHAST and crying. However, it worked. We cleaned the room.

5. Something you may not know about me is I wore a back brace from 7th-9th grade because I have scoliosis .

6. A true friend is one that you can go months without talking to - but never doubt that the moment you talk again, things will be just like you saw each other yesterday. A true friend sees you at your best and through your worst - and in between, he/she reminds you of who you are underneath it all.

7. Something I hope people think of when they think of me is that I am dependable, loyal and genuine.


this picture makes me laugh

My sister is looking at Larry like, "That was kind of funny but I'm also really confused and/or uncomfortable."
You can tell by the squint and gleam in Larry's eye that he thinks it is hilarious, whatever it was.


you should blog about this

My Larry loves to say, "you should take a picture and blog about this!" Little does he understand that you have to feel the blog - for me, it should flow easily once I put my fingers on the keyboard. However, there are some things that I come across and consider posting about, but they never quite make it. For instance....

My niece, Annie, took a bath while the rest of us were socializing, and her dad made sure she didn't feel left out:

I had to go to Knoxville for grad school when Austin got a "snowstorm." I told Larry to take lots of pictures so I could see it. This is the snowman that he built on the hood of his truck. He used berries from a bush as the buttons - cute, right?

We intended to go out and do the full "central Texas wildflower" experience, but we never got around to it. However, we did go out to Burnet one day and find a field of bluebonnets. I can't think of very many things that are more amazing than a field of bluebonnets.

My sister and I went to New Jersey for a cousin's wedding. We seriously met cute mafia boys named Guido and Giuseppe. (Jessica, am I right? For some reason I can't remember if his name was really "Guido.") Their late brother was named Mossimo. After the wedding, there were about 50 people in a tiny hotel room and a bathtub of beer.
Finally, I was cleaning out my "make-up drawer" and discovered that I am a mascara hoarder.
(Don't worry, I wasn't using any of them. They were all old tubes that for some reason I hadn't thrown away.) I suppose it is obvious that I am very brand loyal when it comes to mascara. L'oreal Voluminous all the way. I tried their "Feather Lash," pictured at the far right but was not a fan. The one time I had my make-up professionally done, she said that when you find a mascara you like, you should stick with it. I listened.

Just for giggles, I am going to go to my pictures folder and upload the first picture I click on:
Sarah and Dale at Sarah's birthday dinner. That is how you say "3" in American Sign Language.


filling it in

I'm hooked on the fill in the blanks Fridays at thelittlethingswedo.blogspot.com . She didn't do it today, so I found one of her old ones. I decided that the reason I like them so much is because it reminds me of the bulletins we all used to do for myspace. I miss those.

1. The best piece of advice I was ever given was
Being submissive to your husband doesn't mean that you are a servant or a doormat. It means you pick your battles and don't make a big deal out of things that really aren't a big deal. You don't always have to be right. (It takes some pride swallowing, but it makes for a much happier relationship.)

2. If I had a million dollars to give to one charity I would give it to Catholic Family Services, because I know they are legit and honestly helping people who desperately need it. And then when I had another million dollars to give to one charity I would give it to responsible cancer research.

3. If I got to choose my "last meal" it would be I'd start with a cheese plate with assorted hard and soft cheeses and a glass of the finest red wine. That would be followed by Larry's BBQ babyback ribs, my mom's potato salad, Logan's Roadhouse rolls with cinnamon butter, and a grilled artichoke. Dessert would be an assortment of mini cupcakes including carrot cake, red velvet and one that combined chocolate and marshmallow.

4. My hair is something I don't spend much time on. It is really curly in the back and straight as a board on the sides, so I can't wear it curly, but it takes forever to straighten correctly. Therefore I usually wear it in a ponytail.

5. If at first you don't succeed you probably didn't listen to the way I told you to do it.

6. I have always been very blessed. In a way, I feel guilty that I've had it so good. But it also scares me - I know that one of these days I will have to experience real, raw fear or pain... and I wonder if I'll be strong enough to handle it.

7. Oh....and by the way.... I found new kitchen rugs today and I'm very happy with them. They remind me of a fiesta. .


Ooh rah

We have great neighbors. On one side, they are named Lyle and Susan. Lyle prefers for me to call him “Lyle,” but he is a retired Colonel in the United States Marine Corps, so I usually call him “Colonel.” (That is a whole other story. I mean….really, English language? How is c-o-l-o-n-e-l pronounced “kernel?”) Colonel loves his Marine Corps. And it isn’t like just ANYONE can be a Colonel, so that is pretty admirable. He still pretty much acts like an Officer – especially with those high school boys that he hires to do his yard….. but anyway….

They are good people. In fact, we were at another neighbor’s house this weekend and I said,
“Colonel, I’m sure glad I know you. Because you give the Marines a good name. My ex-boyfriend before Larry was a Marine and he was pretty much worthless.”

Colonel: “Is he on active duty?”

Me: “No.”

Colonel: “Well, that’s too bad. If he was, you could’ve just given me his name and I’d have him taken care of.”



fill in the blanks

I'm jumping on the bandwagon... "Fill in the Blank Fridays." I don't know if I'll do it every Friday, but am doing it today. You don't have to have a blog, but I would encourage you to think about the questions. It's fun.

1. My dream vacation would be an all-expense paid one. Or Italy again, complete with a driver to take me to my little villa in the countryside where I have a pool, wine and plenty of cheese. The driver is KEY, because A.) I don’t read Italian, B.) the roads are a bit crazy and C.) did I mention the wine? I used to want to go to Egypt really bad because I think the pyramids are incredibly amazing, but now I think I would rather just watch them on PBS.

2. The best trip I've ever taken was most recently - probably Scottsdale, AZ last August with the magical white guy. We had no expectations, and were just going to try it out. Yes – it was at least 105° every day, but that was pretty much the only downside. (And it truly was a “dry” heat.) It was just so relaxing, so unassuming and full of surprises. (Cucumber and jalepeno margarita? Sure! Pink Jeep tour in Sedona? A+! Trader Joes and Sprinkles cupcakes on the same street? Yes, please. Guy in the hotel bar that used to be in a Journey cover band? Why, yes....I’d love to sing along as you play the piano without permission. )

3. The most important items to take on a road trip are beef jerky, one water, one diet coke, and gummy life-savers. I knew a girl that always carried toilet paper in her trunk, just in case. Oh, and a spare tire if you’re the type that changes your own tires.

4. The next trip I'm looking forward to is going to West Texas to see most of my family. After that, I look forward to wherever I book my August vacation. My sister and I want to go on a “mom and daughter” trip, so I want to get that one booked too. Oh! And (insert crossed fingers) hopefully I’ll get to see Amy, Alan, Adam, Anaya and Audie in Hawaii next summer. Guess I better start saving...

5. If I had to pick one CD to listen to for a long road trip it would be probably a “mix cd.” But if that is cheating, then I’ll choose Pat Green, because nothing says “road trip” like Pat Green. If you don’t agree, you probably did not go to a university in Texas in the 90’s.

6. The biggest disaster I've ever encountered while traveling was As a kid, I remember being on Sandia Peak in Albequerque, NM in a rental car with my family when the brakes went out. I honestly don’t remember much more than that, except for the fact that our guardian angels were working overtime and got us down safely. I’ll have to ask my dad about that when I go home.

7. My favorite traveling memory is driving from Texas to Michigan in a VW bus….2 parents, 5 kids, about 10 duffle bags and no A/C. We camped along the way – except for one night when it rained, and we all crammed into a little roadside motel. We would sing the song: “Oh, we ain’t got a barrel of money… maybe we’re ragged and funny… but we travel along, singing a song, side by side….”

(If the first link isn't working, the blog that supplies the questions is: thelittlethingswedo.blogspot.com )


only the best for my vanilla fields perfume...

My niece got a Caboodle for Christmas. And it was so cute, because if she got a new lipgloss or perfume or anything, she would "put it in her caboodle." Hearing a 5 year old say "caboodle" is quite cute.

I got my first caboodle for Christmas when I was about 13 I think. I wish I had a picture of it - it was black on top and white on the bottom. LOVED IT. At the time, I think they were like $25, which is quite a bit to spend on one present. But I definitely got my money's worth! I mean, that thing carried all of my beauty secrets....my exclamation and Electric Youth perfume and my favorite Wet n Wild nailpolish and lipglosses. I also had some of those really cheap eyeshadow sets that break immediately - as a result, the inside trays of my caboodle were stained in various shades of shimmer. Anyway, I don't know what made me think of it, but I googled caboodles. And OH MY GOSH! They have updated them! They are all fancy now! Check it out! This is just one of them... it is called "Sassy."
I approve.