Wednesday, December 30, 2015

End of Year Hodgepodge

This is our last hodgepodge for 2015. So let's see what Joyce @ This Side of the Pond has in store for us!

1. Share a favorite memory/moment from the week of Christmas.
My FAVORITE moment from Christmas is spending time with my family. 

Me with my grands! I love these little ones!

My sisters and I getting pedis and wine before we cooked Christmas Eve dinner!

We played minute to win it games: Boys V Girls... Girls rule!

They had to shake their booty to get the jingle bells out of the tissue box!

The goal is to get your Oreo cookie from your forehead to mouth with no hands.

We even had Daddy participate! My 81 yr old father sucked up ornaments and dropped them at another location.

We only give gifts to our great-niece and nephew. Miss A is into unicorns. I got her this puzzle. It has bigger pieces and she has already put it together like 10 times! She's too smart.

2.  If someone wrote a book about your life based on the past year, what genre would it fall under? What would the title be?
Story of my 2015 life would be a drama. I have no idea what the title would be.

3. What made you feel patriotic this year? Meeting an WWII POW veteran at my school. I listened to his story and then talked to him afterward. His story was interesting and he deserves accolades even though he doesn't want them. It is his stories that we need to continue to tell.

4. What experience from this past year would you like to do all over again?
Having a year of concerts. I love to listen to music and have really enjoyed my year of concerts! 

5. What song lyric sums up or is a reflection of your 2015?

Changes by Tesla

Changes, time's makin' changes in my life
Rearrangin', can't seem to stop the hands of time
I remember, I was so young, I was much too young to see
Now I'm older, growing older, and I see things differently
Oh can't you see, it's changin' you and me

 6. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate 2015?  (10=stellar) Why?My perception of  2015 was and I put it about a 5. You all know about my mom and watching her be defeated by cancer and then taking care of dad. In reality it should be about an 8 or 9 because I have all those memories of mom and then new ones I am making with dad. I know the year was more than mama's sickness but my vision hasn't expanded to see it all. Even with all the crap our family is going through, I am grateful for many things and need to keep positive!

7. What part of the upcoming year are you most excited about? Getting married (no date yet). Also seeing what 2016 has in store for me. My word has chosen me so I am looking at what balance is going to look like.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
True story! I dealt with them all in my town except the blizzard. Yes. We rode out a tornado! You can read about it here.

Tornado in December at Christmas

Yep, you read that title right!

The day after Christmas, LT and I enjoy hanging out together (I spent a week in Oklahoma with my dad) in our lazy boys (well mine is a lazy girl, but whatever). We found out we are in a tornado watch, but not concerned. Watches mean something might happen, but rarely does. And it's December! How can you have a tornado in winter?

Well, the day was about 70 degrees and a cold front was barring down on us. We expected the rain and were ready for it. LT and I were watching TV and it was looking pretty bad on the news about the weather. I told him we needed to get prepared: put on shoes, gather my purse and his wallet, get Gavin in his harness with his leash in the closet. I also grabbed Mama's wedding ring. It was a little silly, but then the electricity was dimming and coming back on and it was really faint. In my mind I questioned what I was seeing.

Then it happened. The electricity went off and the tornado sirens went on. To the bathroom the three of us went. We had our phones, but didn't get cell service, only text messages. My sister in Oklahoma was keeping us informed. My other sister was in the bathroom at her house 10 miles away, alone. We tried not to use the phone much because the battery would drain. So on the floor we sat. And listened. Then I heard it. The train. It didn't last long, but I heard that roar of the tornado. Quiet followed. Still no electricity, but everything was good at the house.

On a side note: Gavin did awesome in the bathroom! He just laid there and let me pet him. Heck I think he might have been taking a nap!

When LT and I went outside to see what was happening, it was surreal. Complete darkness. A couple of flashlights moving down the street. We decided to head towards the main road to see if we can get out of our neighborhood. Walking down the street we start to see Styrofoam here. insulation there. Gutters. Metal. Fences down. Tree branches hanging. Generators humming at the hospital. We get to the main road and there are cars driving around so there was some light.

Walking in a parking lot, we take in awnings down on businesses, metal roofing off, debris everywhere. The funny thing about walking around is you get tunnel vision. You are in awe of the damage all around and you don't pay attention to what is in front of you. Luckily I saw we were walking straight to a down power line. After we maneuvered around, electric poles were snapped in two everywhere. That is when we decided it was stupid to be out and to get home.

That little bit of damage we saw was nothing compared to the destruction two blocks away. As of right now we have not assess any damage outside our neighborhood. Most roads are either closed or so congested it would take hours to get around and back home. We are hoping to get, and see what is going on in our city, and get some groceries.

It is weird. We are going on with our everyday life (now that electricity, cable, and internet is restored), but two blocks over, there are people who have no idea what they are going to do, where to go. Grateful is a small a word of what I am feeling. I know once I get a full visual of what is going on it will really hit me.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Santa Baby


How much fun can a person have? I don't know but I think I was in the zone last night!
A couple of coworkers and I went to a Painting With a Twist party and painted that little cutie patootie Santa! The best part is that I pushed down my type A personality and just went with it! Best part was it was pre-drawn which too the pressure off of me!

You know I usually go into these types of things worrying about what I look like, how well I am going to do, what other people think of me. Last night, those thoughts were on a very low volume. Let's face it, I can't get completely away from those voices overnight! 

One thing I learned was to walk away. Instead of trying to make it like the picture in the advertisement or the class, or like my neighbors, I would tell myself to walk away. Every time I picked up my brush to "even" something out or "add" some shading, I would stop myself and walk away. This is HUGE! In my mind (thanks parental units for doing this to me) I had to be perfect. I am learning it is what it is and it is the way it is supposed to be. If you jack with it too much, it gets jacked! (I just made that up on the fly and like that saying. i wonder if there is a market with that saying on a card?)

The other thing I learned was to loosen up! Who cares what people think! This is another hard one (thanks again folks) because I am always concerned about what I look like (usually look like a fool!). Come to find out, I am pretty foolish and funny, but it allowed others to be that way too! It seemed they needed someone to do it so they knew it was ok to do it too.

We were the Scooby Doo squad! I am Daphne on the end. We were supposed to be scared. I don't think I am looking in the right direction, but oh well. We laughed so hard after!
Ho! HO! HO! A little Christmas fun with Santa an the Grinch. I was roped into being Rudolph
I don't think I had a problem being Rudolph do you? Just as a side note, most of my photos has my mouth open. Don't ask....
Moral of my night out: Go have fun. Don't think, just do. Don't over analyze, just go with the flow. And finally, just put down the brush and enjoy. 

I think lately we have our heads in our phones and not taking time to be in the moment. It doesn't matter if we are alone, with friends or colleagues. We need to learn to enjoy were we are, Find the laughter and joy, and make memories. I know this is what I did last night and I had one of the best times! 

(By the is ok to laugh and smile at my Rudolph. I had fun and want to share it with y'all! I just don't do parites lol!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Coloring Hodgepodge!

Where does Joyce find these questions? She is amazing. Check her out at her blog From This Side of the Pond to see what she is up to and to join her hodgepodge!

1.  Many families have a story they love to tell every year around a holiday. Does your family have one? Are you the star of that story, or does another family member take center stage? Share your story if you want.

My family LOVES to tell stories and they are usually the same ones over and over again. Daddy is the one that starts it off and whoever he is talking to is the topic of the story. More often than not I am one of the starts. I guess I am a pretty funny gal!

2. Are you afraid to speak your own opinion?

Yes and no...mostly yes. Here is why: I don't want to hurt peoples feelings I would rather deny my happiness for others (and have). I have also felt the results of said opinions especially at work. Let's just say you don't get the plumb assignments when you state your opinion.

Mostly. if I don't know you, I will let you know what I think. If I know you, I will somewhat keep my trap shut and deal with whatever. This has not worked out for me well in certain areas, and that is something I am going to work on in the upcoming year.

3. Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2016, and for the first time have chosen two shades-rose quartz and serenity. Hmmm...did you know serenity was a color? You can read the thought behind their selection here, but essentially it's blending the warmth of rose quartz with the tranquility of a very soft shade of blue. So what do you think? Are these colors I'd find in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in these shades to either place in the new year?

1st I didn't know there were colors of the year and honest, don't understand why we need it. I do know I want to be the person who comes up with color names, case in point: serenity as a name.

2nd the colors are fine. Nothing life altering. I don't care for them in my home or in my closet because those are just too light for me. I am a jewel and earth tone type of gal. 

3.rd I do like the balance concept of the two types of tones (warm and cold). Makes me think of our society of not hurting ANY ONES feelings no matter what has happened or they have done. Let's just stay down the middle and everyone wins.

4. If you could be in a Christmas carol, which one would you choose? Why?

In the story A Christmas Carol? Christmas past to relive family times and be able tosee everyone who has passed on and no longer with us. 

As in a song? "Mary Did You Know" because it would be wondrous to see it act out.

I am unsure what this question is about and think I am taking it too literal so I will leave it at that (See question #2) I am sure I will read what others wrote on this question before I post. LOL I am terrible I know!

5. December 9th is National Pastry Day. Will you celebrate? When did you last purchase something from a bakery? What's your favorite treat that falls under the heading of pastry? Do you make it yourself or buy from the professionals?

I love pastries! Cookies and cakes oh my! But atlas my bum (my butt not LT) has told me nay nay on the sweets. 

If I did sweets, it would be at Corsicana Bakery (worth the 1 hour + drive) to get their cookies and red velvet cake! If I wanna stay closer, Sprinkles Cupcakes will do very well.. All red velvet, of course!

6. When it comes to holiday decorating_____________________________.

I do not have the spirit this year. I do have a bare minimum up, but with issues with foundation and some leaks from the heavy rains, I do not want to decorate.

7. When did you last laugh so much it hurt? Explain.

I guess it was a few months ago in the middle of the night. You see LT had a dream. Long story short he tried to push himself out of a car in the dream. In reality he pushed is body up the bed and hit his head on the wall. Scared me at first but when I heard the story, I busted a gut so much I couldn't breathe! I still giggle when I think of it.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Preparing myself for the new year of 2016, what I want to accomplish and what I want to focus on for myself. Also there is only one more week of school and two weeks off to recoup! So many things I want to do and prepare for next year!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Resolve to End Resolutions!

2015 is creeping to a close and it is usually around this time we start the panic of what is on my list for the new year? Let's be honest, we do not follow those lists we make in January. I'll prove of hands who 1) knows what was on their list in January 2015 and 2) stuck with it. Yeah, that's what I thought...not many if any can answer these questions. And if you did, it is because it is the same resolutions you have every year so it is just ingrained in you! Be honest!

Why do you do that to yourself? Why do you set yourself up for failure? You do realize you fail right when you set that goal. Why even set a goal? Why not have just ONE word that will resonate within you for the whole year. That is easier than beating yourself up because it is December 7, and you haven't lost those 30 lbs you wanted to all year and now you feel like a loser. Break the chains, my friends!

I will let you in on a secret.... I stopped doing resolutions and now follow one word for the year. You can find all about it on my blog. Here are two of my words I focused on. BRAVE 2014 and LIVE: 2015. Usually in December my word just comes to me...BAM!

Now that is out of the way, let me interject some insight. 2014, I totally rocked my word. It kept springing up everywhere. I kept focused, had a bird symbol throughout my house and job to keep me on track and immersed myself in my word.

In 2015, my word sucked. I felt I just grabbed some word to make it work. It didn't "fit" me. I guess maybe I was trying to say I want to "live" while mama was dying. I never "lived" or focused on my word and I floundered that year...bad!

My word for 2016 is....

Cliff hanger!

Do you do a word of the year or resolutions? How are either of them working out for you?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

About Me in Threes

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook and it looked kinda cool, but I am not into doing it on Facebook. I have never gotten into doing those. Then a light bulb about burnt my hair...Do a blog!

We love to get to know each other, so let's do it!

1. Laura (Daddy calls me Lauralee)
2. Lolly
3. Kitten

1. Kansas
2. Georgia
3. Texas

1. School System
2. Clothing stores
3. Movie theater/drive in theater

1. LT playing bass guitar
2. Fire in the fireplace
3. Gavin running around or just being cute!

1. NYC
2. Europe: England, France and Italy
3. Mexico (Cancun on the beach, baby!)

1. Mexican Food
2. Tacos from Kate's in Dodge City, Kansas
3. Salt: Pistachios, nuts, chips

1. Getting my new recliner
2. Getting married (sometime!)
3. Holiday vacation from work!!

Now it's your turn! You can put your list in the comments or on your page, but be sure to let me know so I can come and check it out!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hello December Hodgepodge!

I am alive! I may not be well, but I am alive. As I stated, I had acute upper respiratory infection and I have been to the doctor for the second time. I am hopeful! The bad news is I gave it to Dad! I think he is doing better than be and I am fine with that!

So on to the Hodgepodge! Thanks again to Joyce @ From This Side of the Pond for her every wide range of questions! Please join us!

1. Did you watch The Charlie Brown Christmas special Monday night? Who's your favorite Peanuts character and why?

I watch a little while I was cleaning! I would have to say that I love Snoopy and Woodstock and their relationship!

"Most psychiatrists agree that sitting in a pumpkin patch is excellent therapy for a troubled mind."~Linus  

Would you agree? 

Of course! First you HAVE a troubled mind to be sitting in a pumpkin patch and all that waiting, what else will you do but think and work things out!

2. Describe a sound from your childhood. What does this sound bring to mind? 

Easy peasy: Catholic Church bells. I grew up to this sound. Mom would let me wonder the neighborhood, or my little world, as long as I was home when the church bells rang! Whenever I hear the bells, I think of my awesome childhood!

3. You've won a trip to a winter wonderland...would that excite you? Which one of the following would you most want to experience (or which one would you dislike the least)-see the Aurora Borealis in Norway, stay in Sweden's Ice Hotel, go dogsledding in Lapland Finland, take a winter wildlife safari in Yellowstone or celebrate Winter Carnival in Quebec? 
Definitely want to see the Aurora Borealis. It is on my bucket list! Least favorite would be to stay in and Ice Hotel in Sweden. I'd love to see it but not experience it. I am so cold nature. I want warmth! This is not idea of fun.

4. Who or what keeps you humble? 
LT. He definitely keeps me grounded and humble. I am not sure if this is a good thing...LOL!

5. What part of preparing for Christmas do you like the most? Explain. 
The Nativity scene I put out. There is a history to it. You see when I was like 6 or 7 Mom, Dad and I went to Jr's house to dinner. While the adults were in the kitchen learning to cook grits, I was playing with Jrs' Nativity scene. He saw the joy I got out of it and just gave it to me! It holds special meaning because of this. It is well over 40 years old.
On a side note, my folks were talking to Jr within the last 10 years and told him what joy I get out of that Nativity every year and he goes "Is that were it went? We never remembered what happened to it." He refused to take it back and said it was a gift. (Jr. drank in those days!) 

6. Gingerbread-yay or nay? Is making a gingerbread house part of your family holiday tradition?
Gingerbread cookies...bring it on especially with apple cider. Oh the memories in New Yiork. 
Gingerbread house...not so much. Pretty to look at but no patience to make.

7. What's one thing you want to start, do, or complete before the calendar rolls into a new year? 
I'd like to say all these lofty and amazing things: clean out closets, put all decorations up, organize kitchen, make something new, but I think picking out my new word of the year will be about as far as I go.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
I feel like I am leading two lives. One with LT and one with Dad. I am not sure the solution, but I know I have to get some priorities and make some really really hard decisions and live with the consequences...and trust me people will be disappointed no matter the decision. I HATE that! I am the type to give up my happiness so others are happy. This isn't really going to end well, will it? 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Ode to December

My little Ode to December, you know to get into the spirit of things! 


Driving to see Christmas lights and family celebrations
Embers of the fire glowing warmth
Christmas songs playing throughout the day
Enjoying the magic of Jack Frost chocolate to warm up the insides
Brrr...cold weather taking breaths away
Excitement of the season...and presents!
Rushing around forgetting the reason for the season

What would be in your Ode to December?

Being Sick...Memories of Childhood

As kids, we want to skip school, especially during that test we know we won't pass. In my house, you were questioned as to the extent of your sickness.

You see in my house, if you were too sick to go to school, you were too sick to do ANYTHING including anything after school. When I was sick, I had to really think is this worth it? Most of the times it wasn't. I got to the point, unless I had a fever or vomiting, I went to school.

This has carried on into adulthood. I rarely took any time off of work, unless fever or vomit. Then, Mom got sick and I learned to take time for myself. Now we are back full circle and I don't time off. Here I am, sick with acute upper respiratory infection bronchitis and I have not taken any time off of work. Sure I was sick during the holiday break, but still I should have taken time off to get better.

It is like I tell my students. We all have choices to make and we have to deal with the consequences. I have chosen not to take time off and my consequence is a long recovery with the threat of additional sickness and more money spent of prescriptions. I really prefer the choices that gives me good consequences. This just isn't one of those times.

So while I sit here and type, cough, spit and blow (sick I know), I wish I could throw it all to the wind and take a day off to recoup. Maybe during my conference I can go into dream land where I am laying on the beach, the sun baking my chest and healing me while the waves relax me to a comatose state.

Until then, I am feeling better to be at least be posting! I am already for tomorrow's Hodgepodge!

Enjoy your first day of December!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Horrible Holiday Vacation

There is always been one of us who gets sick during the holidays. This year, I was the lucky one.

I drove up Saturday to OKC do on Sunday papa and I could travel to Kansas and  winterize the house.

I had been coughing but it was mostly allergies. But I also know myself and how easy I get sinus infections and bronchitis.

I tried how go to a clinic in Kansas but it was a 4 hour wait! I'm not staying with all those sick people so papa and I drive back home and I got a clinic there. Now I have to note that it is a 4 hour drive from Texas to Oklahoma and another 4 from Oklahoma to Kansas. And I'm sick. And my 81 yr old father doesn't drive much.

Let's just wrap this all up. I am typing this on my phone while laying in bed with acute upper resporitory infection and will be like  this, all week. I won't be driving back to Texas until I'm better and no longer contagious

Awesome. Good news I get  out  of cooking and clean up. Bad news I'll probaby be in bed the whole time and won't get to see LT. I made him stay home so he won't get sick

So for this Thanksgiving I am not really thankful for much right now except I'm not in the hospital. I'll have to work on that.

Got a feeling y'all won't hear from me all week. If I get to feeling better, I'll give you a shout out. Have safe travels, loads of laughter, and multitudes of love and blessings whatever you do for the holidays.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Patriotic Hodgepodge

This is truly a hodge podge of questions! I love when Wednesdays roll around and I can answer some questions. Let's be honest, there are times when it is hard to come up with something worthwhile to write. Wednesdays take the guess work out. So here we go...

1. In two or three sentences tell us what Veteran's Day means to you?
It means honoring those who followed their calling of keeping our country safe and our freedoms in tact. We should always honor our veterans. I make a point to shake their hands and thank them for their service. I think of the Vietnam Veterans who were never thanked or appreciated and it makes me want to make up for that slight. To me veterans are true heroes and deserve more than what they are getting, but not getting on a soap box.

2. What's your favorite film with a patriotic theme woven into the storyline?

American President, hands down. It is one of my all time favorite movies. I own it and watch it over and over. 

The other movie would be Independence Day.

3. Flu shot-yes or no? If you answered no, do you plan to get a flu shot? If not, why not? Have you ever had the flu?

Yes. It is a must in my family. LT and I get one every year. Since getting the shot, I have not had the flu. I take other precautions as well and not just the shot. I HATE being sick and I think I am one of the worst patients out there!

4. I've seen lots of people posting pictures of their Christmas trees up and decorated. Many stores have had Christmas on display since well before Halloween. Red cups are back at Starbucks, sans the holiday decor, and that has some people up in arms. What are your thoughts on all the holiday ruckus this second week of November?

Personally, I don't decorate for a holiday until the beginning of that month. Each holiday should be individual. My decorations also depend on my mood. This year, I am not feeling it...understandably. I will probably throw something out in the yard and maybe a few things in the house. 

As for those red cups...they are cups. It is something petty and trival and so not worth the breath it takes to complain. If ya don't like it, don't go there. Show with actions not words because as Sweet Brown says...I ain't got time for that!

5. What 'critter' are you most afraid of encountering unexpectedly? Why that one?

Probably that a critter? They are fast moving, slimy, dangerous. They just totally freak me out. If snakes aren't "critters" then opossums. They look mean, nasty and dirty. They have beady eyes, pointy nose and teeth. They just always look like they are ticked off and gonna take it out on you!

6. Do you like building things? What's the last thing you 'built'?

I like to think I am crafty, but I don't really think I am. I would love to say I actually built something physical but that is not the case.

So I would say the last thing I "built" was the beginning of a rapport with some new students. I totally believe in success depends on the rapport built and I am laying the foundation.

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude...what are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?

Nature. I have been blessed to live near a lake and we do have trees even if they won't change colors. There are a few houses with colorful leaves so I get my baby fix. Nature is just beautiful in any season!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

On Monday, I was selected for jury duty in Dallas for the federal courthouse. When I got ready to drive down there (after pre-driving my route) I received a call the case was cancelled. Did me a little jig in the parking lot, went home and went back to bed! I had the rest of the day off and did nothing of importance or significance! I am still "on-call" the rest of this week. I am still in the hoping and praying mode. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Jury Duty on a Monday

Call every day after 3 pm, cross your fingers and toes, pray to God, and celebrate success with arms pumping, jumping around and yelling "yes!" multiple times.

Yeah that is how my days have been for a week. Finished week one, feeling pretty confident. Had a super busy Friday getting out of town to see my dad and didn't make that last phone call. And then it happened...

You have been summoned to appear for Federal Jury Duty in Dallas on Monday morning.

What a way to ruin a Saturday morning and a weekend. The stress and tension of finding your way downtown Dallas, in rush hour traffic, find a parking spot, make lesson plans, and prepare for a sub has descended upon me.

Special love and thanks to LT for driving with me downtown and helping me find my way around and where to park. Has eased the stress but anxiety is still lingering. All those one way streets has me freaking out! Honestly I would rather be at work (and ya kinda know how I feel about that) then be at the court house sitting around, waiting.

In honor of this momentous occasion, I got out my funny bone and went in search of things to make me bear this burden better (check out that alliteration!)

I wonder if this would work??


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Abundantly Hodgepodge

I love November! It brings the crispness of autumn, long shadows, colorful leaves and Thanksgiving, which leads me to gratitude. I try to be grateful every day of the year, but November makes us take stock in naming our blessings. So today I am grateful for Joyce @ From This Side of the Pond and  her endless supplies of questions that keep us together and allow us to get to know each other. Have you joined? Please do!!

1. Besides Thanksgiving, something you're looking forward to on your November calendar?

Other than Thanksgiving and the time I will spend with family, the next thing I am looking forward to is the Jackyl concert and and EdCamp in Dallas (I chickened out on the one in Lancaster!)

2.  If I gave you a thank you card right now who would you send it to and why?  

My mama for instilling a sense of family so we will continue to gather together anytime even when she is not here with us.

3. Of the breads listed, which one's your favorite...bagel, cinnamon, sourdough, garlic, banana, biscuit, pita, Naan, or plain old fashioned white bread?  

Not a big bread fan, but I do love me garlic bread if I eat Italian and a warm homemade banana bread with melted butter is pretty awesome. I don't go looking for bread but if either are sitting there warm and ready, I will pounce on it!

4. What's something you have in abundance? Is that a good thing?

I would love to say money, but I am a teacher and that statement makes me laugh and cry at the same time. So I am going to go with blessings. God has taken care of me. I want to be thankful for what I have and not what I want. If I focus on those blessings, how I could I not live an abundant life?

5. November 5th is National Love Your Red Hair Day. Are there any redheads in your family? Who's your favorite redhead?  

Aunt Phyllis is on the left and my mama on the right.
No natural red heads in my family, but there is one who loved her red hair and that is my Aunt Phyllis. I never realized she was my great-aunt. She was mama's aunt, her favorite aunt, and you can tell those ladies loved each other. We lost Aunt Phyllis a few years ago to an undiagonised pancreatic cancer. I know mama and Aunt Phyllis are having the time of their life being reunited!

6.  The travel website Busbud recently calculated the most Instagrammed spot in every state. Go here to see what made the list where you live. Are you happy with your state's #1? If not what do you think should be the most photographed spot in your state? Have you snapped a photo there? If you live outside the USA answer as it relates to your state, city or province.

 I have never heard of Circuits of Americas. I googled it and saw it was in Austin and it is some sort of car racing, place, thingy. I can understand Austin...I had thought maybe San Antonino River Walk 

or Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Huh, I guess I need to get out into my state more!

7. I'm going to try to have something related to gratitude in this spot each week during the month of November. Here's this week's question-
What's something you've learned about yourself this year that you're grateful for?

Adaptability. In the sense of my job, I totally rock this because it IS the job. But I have never taken it in to my personal life. I have had to adapt to the passing of my mama, the mortality of my papa, the new dynamics of the family,  how to adjust and accept a different position at work and how much stress in my life has given me the excuse to not care about my health. I put myself last on the list. It may seem like I am not able to adapt (see photo below) but when things change in life, you have no choice but adapt. Doesn't feel like it, but it does and I am grateful I can bend and adjust as life happens.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

November is going to fly by people, so buckle up and enjoy the ride! OK at least buckle up...

Friday, October 30, 2015

Rain, Rain and More Rain

Texas is getting hit yet again with rain. No complaints here because we need the rain! But in the hill country they are probably not excited about it. Interstate 45 was closed down two different times last week!

In honor of our rain...

Love Texts from Dog!
What is your weather doing? Are you gonna make me jealous?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

National Cat Day

Me-WOW! Today, October 29, is National Cat Day...according to Facebook. I am not a cat person...not because I don't like cats; I do! It is just I don't want to be the one to empty my cat's "business in a box".

In honor of those independent feline, here are some lovely and delicious funnies about them! The last one is the BEST video depicting the difference between dogs and cats. Enjoy!!



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Forgotten HodgePodge

Busy week and I forgot about the HP!! Good thing I have a minute, or two, to answer those questions you are dying to know about!

1. Are you comfortable with silence? If you're home alone, do you like silence or do you need regular background noise? Do you seek out times and places to be silent? What's your favorite place to find silence/be silent?

I actually enjoy silence. I am a book reader so silence is my friend. LT is not. I swear that man talks just to hear himself and I love him for it!

My favorite place in the house is my bedroom. This is were I am usually found. LT will be watching TV but I'll be holed up in my room reading....with my little Westie at my feet (or side)

2. October 28th is National Chocolate Day. Can't let that go by without a mention now, can we? Will you celebrate? How? Let's say you can have one of the following right this very minute... a cup of hot chocolate, a strawberry dipped in chocolate, a bowl of plain chocolate ice cream, or a slice of chocolate pie...what's your pleasure?
I did not know this. I better go out and buy a Mr. Goodbar and enjoy! 

I am really not a chocolate eater/drinker. I may get a hot cocoa from Starbucks when it finally gets cold here in TX. I also eat crave chocolate once a month, other than that I am good. Trust me...if it is front of me I will eat it!

As for my options, I would go with a just made, out of the oven, chocolate pie. Don't worry about that meriguine. I will just take it off. Don't want to taint the pie! LOL

3. How do you feel about blue jeans? Favorite thing in the world to wear or nope, don't own a single pair? How often do you wear blue jeans in a typical week? Do you own a blue jean jacket?

Blue jeans...oh how I love you. If you find the right pair, they are just as good as a pair of yoga pants! I live for Fridays because I FINALLY get to wear them to work!

Jean jackets are awesome with a cute little dress. What a great way to transition from spring to fall! I wonder if I can fit those that are in my closet? That will give me a new outfit!

4. Are you superstitious? If so, in what way?

Kind of. Not the typical walk under a ladder, black cat, step on a crack type superstition. I guess it is more like omens. Like the other day LT and I went to dinner at Lubys. We were in a section all by ourselves. All of a sudden this woman heads straight to LT and said the Lord told her to tell LT that He has got this. Not to worry about it the Lord will take it away. Then she proceeds to preach to him and give witness to him about her cancer and how God took it away. Now, I know LT and I am keeping from laughing. He is not an outspoken guy and likes to stay in incognito. He also is very respectful and just sat there and took it.  I could not make eye contact with anyone because I would have busted out laughing at the freakishness of it all. The point is earlier LT said something about those who are very religious but yet don't walk the walk (I agree) and then this happens! It was just too coincidental and I told him it was pay back. He didn't agree. LOL 

I love making memories. 

5. If you had to come up with a costume using only things you have on hand right now, what could you come up with? 

Holli @ Holli's Hoots and Hollers
Holli and I with Chucky doll! Scary!
A teacher! LOL Actually I would put my monkey mask on and have a field day! Or go as a beatnik like I did at Holli's Holliween party! All you need to do is wear all black!

6. What scares you a little? What do you do when you feel scared?

Things that could actually be true. You know watching Criminal Minds. Sure it is a TV show, but some of those things really could happen and here I am in the dark house at midnight doing a marathon of Criminal Minds. Not smart!

Clowns. I hate those freaky things! Do not send me clown pictures. I will disown you!

Geckos jumping off my door and landing in my hair and I can't get them out.

I could go on, but I want to save face! I really don't like being scared and won't go to haunted houses or see scary movies. So I guess avoidance is my got to when I start to feel scared. I hide under the blanket or put the pillow over my eyes. If I don't see it, it's not happening!

7. Perhaps today will be the day I _______EXERCISE________. 

Don't could be true...maybe.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
It's almost Halloween! Here are some random pictures that makes me smile!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Time Warp Hodgepodge!

 Le'ts do the Time Warp again! It is getting closer to Halloween and with us talking about "Back to the Future 2", where they travel to 2015, what better start off than this song! Yes, I love Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Thanks Joyce @ From This Side of the Pond for another wonderful Hodgepodge! What a great way to get to know each other! Come on and join!!

1. October 21, 2015 is Back to the Future Day. Did you see the movie? The sequels? In the second film, Doc takes Marty into the future to prevent Marty's future son from making a mistake. They leave 1985 and land on a 'skyway' on October 21st, 2015. So tell us, what were you doing in the fall of 1985?

Yes, I have seen the 1st one...loved it! And I did see the 2nd one. It was ok. Never saw the 3rd and I am fine with that! 

1985, I was a sophomore in high school. I grew up in a very small town (800ish) people with a graduating class of 18 (5 girls). It would have been a very big deal to get the parents to let us travel to Dodge City, Kansas (closest town even at 25 miles away) to see any movies. I was probably doing the school thing and going to football games. I really don't remember what I was doing, but just hanging most likely. 

2.  If time travel were possible, would you want to go to the future? The past?

I would want to go into the past....not my past though! I am a HUGE history buff so I would want to go to some of those things. Who wouldn't want to meet Leonard da Vinci or look into Galileo's telescope? What about see herds of buffalo running? What about participating in Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech? 

The future is yet to be written and I don't want to know what it holds. God has that plan and I don't want that knowledge. Could you just imagine, knowing the future, but can't change it? If you changed it, then it could be worse and not just for yourself!

3. We're not flying cars, but some of the technology imagined in the 80's film has indeed come to pass in real life 2015-flat screen TVs on the wall, tablets, fingerprint recognition, video conferencing, online banking, 3-D movies, motion controlled video games, drone cameras, and smart glasses (Google glass).  Do you worry technology is growing at a rate so fast we'll soon be unable to keep up with it's demands? Do you think the Internet does more harm than good? 

I really don't know. Isn't this similar to Da Vinci? He was an amazing inventor and yet things took time to catch up and catch on. There are so many ideas that are untapped or unrealized. Sometimes I feel we are going to fast, but I will not be giving up my cell phone anytime soon! I think with anything, you have good and bad. Knowledge has it's place but can be deadly. 

4. Your favorite dish prepared in a slow-cooker? Your favorite fast food?

 I am not much a cook...I can cook, just don't. There are just two of us and we don't do left overs much HOWEVER...when I do a crock-pot meal, I rock a really mean Chicken and rice recipe. I use a combo of brown rice and quinoa rice. Raves all around. 

 My least favorite fast food...Mexican. That just seems like an oxymoron to me. Plus it is not quality that I have found.

5. No time like the present, down time, face time, pressed for time, in the nick of time, make time, mark time, or just in time...which timely saying most relates to your life right now? 

I am living for some down time in the sense of Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays! So maybe I really am marking time until some down time which will be just in time to keep my sanity!

6. Tell us about a place you went as a child or younger person that's no longer there or is now something else. How does that make you feel?

 This is a toughie! I guess, when I was a little girl (under 10 maybe?), my parents took my sister and I to Dogpatch USA in Arkansas. It had some rickety roller coasters (ALL coasters are rickety to me!) and different characters ie: Lil' Abner, Daisy Mae, etc. I remember it being cool (for my age) and I do have some memories (like dad talking me into taking my first roller coaster ride and then he never got into and told them to take me up on my own! I screamed bloody murder until momma rode it with me. Why I never got out I do not know) When I researched this attraction, it said it was opened in 1968 and closed 1993.

 Here is an old brochure I found on the internet. Not the best, but you get the idea. 

Here are some of the casts that I found on the internet. OMG I LOVE THE SHMOO!! (It is that big white "thing" in the middle. I loved on that Shmoo when I went there!)

7. Describe your comfort zone.

I have this box. It is a lovely box, so very comfortable. It is the perfect size and it has even had a littler renovation and add an extra room onto it because I have gotten outside my comfort zone. I love my box. I don't leave my box for just anyone or anything. I have dipped my toe out and survived, but  don't think I will be doing that crap any time soon! 

Can you tell I don't like change much? 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

You have GOT to see this Halloween move with Mel Brooks and Leslie Neilson. It is called "Dracula: Dead and Loving It". It is one of the funniest movies I have every seen!

Other Halloween movies that should be on your must watch: Practical Magic, Hocus Pocus, and Beetlejuice. Notice there are NO scary movies on this list! Me no likey scary! 

Do you have any other Halloween movies to recommend? scary!! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Patiently Hodgepodging!

Hey, welcome back! Glad y'all stopped by today. I hope you like today's Hodgepodge. Joyce @ From This Side of the Pond is also doing a word of the day for the month. Her focus word was "patience" Cool how things all go together!

So let's get this party started. I hope you join us!

1. What's something that has recently 'tried your patience'?
Ummm...setting a wedding date? Still no news on that front. Sorry people! 

2. Do you think patience comes to us naturally or is it something you have to learn as you grow? On a scale of 1-10 generally how patient are you? (1=I blow up at the drop of a hat and 10=I've got all the time in the world).

I think it is both. Sometimes you are just innately patient; it is in your nature. But I believe in certain situations you patience is tried and tried again. Things like standing in line when you are in a hurry (or have someone incompetent working), or maybe with your own children/spouse you lose patience quicker. 

I know for me I have more patience at work than I do at home or on the road. I will admit to road rage, but just do what you are supposed to do on the road and we will both be happy! LOL!

If I had to scale myself I would put it about a 5-7 depending. I don't blow up easy (yeah, talk to Lt and see what he says!LOL) but I don't lay down and take it either.

3. Share about a time when you felt like you could fly. Or a time you wished you could fly. Or a time you felt like you were flying.
I wish I could fly right now to the northeast for some fall leaves and cool weather! Texas is back in the mid 90s again! Ummm, when are we going to get autumn started down here?

4. Your favorite song with the word fly in the title or lyrics, or your favorite song that relates to flying in some way?

Fly From the Inside by Shinedown is the first thing to pop into my head. I love the bass in the song and when LT slaps his bass to it...oooooweeeee is it sexy! Sorry for the TMI, but there it is!

But that might be a little too hard rock for you so my next choice is "Fly Like an Eagle" from the Steve Miller Band. Great song from across the ages! 

5. What's in your fall picnic basket and where are we picnicking in your neck of the woods this time of year?
Picnicking in Texas will deal with shorts and sitting inside or in the shade! But in my basket would be some BBQ and Shiner Bock. Both are 100% TEXAS!


6.  Carpentry, electrical, plumbing, landscaping...which skill would you most like to possess and how would you put that skill to use today?
Carpentry because we have things around the house that needs to be taken care of like some foundation issues that are starting to show. Texas is infamous of their shifting dirt and settling houses. Ugh!!

If I was a carpenter then I would make cool things for the house like a headboard, coffee table, and cute shelves and things.

7. What's something you think is too expensive to justify buying lately?
Tieks shoes. I am out of control for these black Tiek shoes. It is hard to justify spending $175 on a pair of ballet slippers even if Oprah says they are the best thing she has ever owned! I will confess to already owning a pair and love them. I am needing a new pair of black flats, but dang this is hard to swallow! Honestly....I will eventually buy them. I want them that bad!

 8. Insert your own random thought here. 
Next weekend is my friend Holli from Holli's Hoots and Hollers Holli-ween party and I can not wait to go!...Hence the reason needing the black ballet shoes from Tieks! Dang you Holli forcing me to buy shoes! LOL I love ya girl!

Oh and I have to give a presentation at work in front of my colleagues. It is part of a book study. At least one other person in our 4 person group helped out! I hate these kind of days!