Wednesday, November 30, 2005

One of the things that I enjoy doing while I'm on vacation, if time and situation allows, is to read a book or books that go with the surrounding area.
A few years back when my family and a couple of others went down to Baja, I read "The girl of the Sea of Cortez". It helped me understand the area better and I appriciated the mysteries and the nuances of that place and culture.

While in Texas, Jim loaned me a much loved William James book. It was a horse and cowboy story and I promptly finished it in less than two days. (I read alot at night.) I have always been partial to western stories partly because I really like animals and Horses are just such amazing creatures, and partly because that life is sooo far different from my life and I have kind of always had a deep down craving for something harder or more rewarding. The truth is I probably couldn't hold up under that kind of lifestyle but never the less it still fascinates me.
The first book that I borrowed was meant to keep me busy on the plane but because I finished it so fast I had to start another one to do that.
The second one that I borrowed and just now finished was called "Sand". It was a great story of a man who's life has been quite privilaged and who never had much to work for or live up to. Up until then he had been spoiled, aimless and indulgent. He gets lost on the plains and comes across a cow-drive and from there, he sets out on a path to find what he needs to do to become a man with purpose and character. He turns out to have "sand" or gumtion to stick to what needs to be done.
I'll probably be on a "western stories" kick for a while and I'm always up for a good book.
Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The pictures below are a sampleing of my stay in Texas.

1. Jim and Erin discussing the complicated map.
2. Very creepy spiders congergating in the outside sink.
3. The bright and cheery entry way to the Barnes house.
4. The fantastic Thanksgiving feast we had the day I arrived. Yummy!
5. Me and Miss Lindsey. (She was the principal of Lindsey schools for many years and I taught Kindergarten for her one year. She just moved to Waco, Texas to be near family.
6. The stock yards in Fort Worth. There was alot of cowboy history there.
7. A little run down B-B-Q hut along the road to Waco.
8. The cozy family room.
9. In Texas the gasoline prices were a bit lower than in L.A.
10. Erin and Jim in front of their new church.

Here are a few pictues of my stay in Texas.

The Thanksgiving weekdend was spent with Erin and Jim who recently relocated. They are much missed here at the "mother ship", so it was quite fun to get to spend a whole long weekend with them. I loved seeing their beautiful new house and exploring the area where they live. It's really quite difficult to move away from everything one knows and start completely new. In being there, it really hit me how hard it is to do what they are doing and how over history many have done the same thing.
The story of the Pioneers and others who left family and friends in search of a better land were frought with casualties and suffering, but then again there were no Wal-Marts or Sonic Burgers along the way....
All to say "Erin and Jim, you are complete troopers!"

Sunday, November 13, 2005

This weekend it was my niece, Madelines turn to come and visit her auntie. I had her sister Abigail in early September and the time was finally right to have Madeline come and visit.
Here are a few pictures of our time together which included manicure and pedicure, cookie baking, dinner at mimi's cafe, playing with the chincilla, seeing the movie "Dreamer" (highly reccomended), and just having a really fun time.

Madeline cooking and showing off here pretty nail polish. She liked it when Grandma and Grandpa stopped by so she could show them as well. =)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

O.K. I just needed to post something new. The Halloween picture was getting a little old and... a bit creepy.

Sad news...... our dear and loyal family dog Brittney (a very sweet Brittney spaniel) has gone on to the land of endless table scraps and raw hide bones.
I haven't written about it until now because, frankly I wasn't quite able to. Although she was a stinky outdoor dog she was much loved and fawned over during her happy life.

Originally she was brought home as a puppy to be a hunting companion for my dad. She got outfitted with little booties to protect her paws from the sharp brush, she had hours of specific hunting dog training including one un-orthodox method of teaching her to "whoah" (stop) which included rigging her to a tree and pulling her up off the ground and then putting her down slowly while saying "whoah". (I'm sure the neighbors had some fun stories to share with each other). I have to say that we all benefited from her meticulous training. She was a very pleasant and well behaved dog..... usually.

After all the attention and care she recieved regarding hunting it turned out that she had hip displatia and and an allergy to fleas that cut her promising hunting career short. In the end she found her place in our family as a little personality that knew how to work the system.
Some of her favorite past times were, running into the house when she thought nobody was looking, chewing on ice, sitting contentedly next to one of her "people", chewing rawhide, inhaling scraps thrown to her during dinner, getting groomed by Erin, shadowing dad or any one of us through windows in the house, barking at people walking by, walks in the hills, walks anywhere, waiting for directions from dad, getting scratched on the belly.

She will always be remembered with fondness.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Halloween found me with time on my hands and no big plans so...... I fixed that, and Chris turned out to be a really good sport. About halfway through our relaxing Monday, I realized that there was nothing planned for this holiday.

Growing up, we always came up with some interesting/wierd/creative homemade costume and it was usually on the actual day of Halloween. We would dig through the costume box and our closests trying to compile the perfect ensemble. The creative rush at the last minute was what made the holiday fun. Yesterday I had the manic desire to rush around and put something together.
It started when I spotted the "mega white trash wig" at Party City..... then the idea grew when Chris found the "JD mullet wig" and bubba teeth. With a few Wal Mart details our costumes were complete. Here is a list of a few key items.

- t-shirt for Chris (one size too small)
- pink plastic high heels - false eyelashes and gobs of makeup
- hideous but fabulous "bubba teeth"
- dangly colorful earrings

- wigs (that will be used alot in the future)
- trashy tank top and sweat shirt

A truly white trash Halloween......

It really ended up being alot of fun and I have to say that Chris threw himself into the festivities with zeal despite a bit of reasonable doubt early on. Sooooo fun.