Sunday, November 30, 2008

Huh? Wha happened?

I don't know how it happened, but suddenly I blinked and it was Sunday night already! What the....?!?!? Where did my holiday weekend go? Did the tryptophan put me in a turkey-induced stupor and I have lost all track of time? I know I did some stuff - my house is all decorated for Christmas, and there's a load of laundry drying in the dryer. But I didn't blog. I didn't e-mail. I didn't grocery shop. I could swear I have another day of weekend left before we're back in the swing of things. I just can't believe tomorrow starts a whole new week.

What? A whole new MONTH???

Good thing I didn't sign up for NaBloPoMo in November.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Why I stay home on Black Friday....

"A man working for discount retailer Wal-Mart was killed on Friday in a
stampede by frenzied shoppers who broke down doors and surged into a Long
Island, New York store, a police spokesman said. The 34-year-old man was at the
entrance of the Valley Stream Wal-Mart store just after it opened at 5 a.m. and
was knocked to the ground, the police report said. The exact cause of death was
still to be determined by a medical examiner. Four shoppers, including a
28-year-old pregnant woman, were also taken to local hospitals for injuries
sustained in the incident, police said."

What has this world come to? Are wide-screen TV's and video gaming systems worth this type of behavior? Worth someone's LIFE? It just makes me sick.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Congratulations Brooke and Derek!!! You deserved the win!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Moscow - Amazing Race Leg 9

Just a few Teams left and D... and I are still in the Race! We didn't spend long in Kazakhstan - a mere 24 hours and we were outta there! At 10:47 p.m. we tore open our clue that told us to fly to Moscow, Russia! When we landed, we had to travel by taxi to the Krutitske Podvorye Monastery and light a candle to receive our next clue.

With the only flight to Moscow being offered by Air Astana departing the next day at 6:05 a.m., we all had time to hang out together at the airport. Dallas and Starr spent a lot of time together - you'd almost think they were a Team!

Stupid frat boys Andrew & Dan had left their shoes at the puppet theater in the last leg, so they started this one wearing hotel slippers that they took from the maid. What dorks! As luck would have it, the shoe store in the Kazakhstan Airport was open in the middle of night, so they spent a big wad of their money on new shoes.

D... and I slept as much as possible so we would be well-rested when we got to Moscow. And it's a good thing we did!

Wow - Moscow is beautiful! Have you ever seen anything like this????

We didn't have long to sight-see, however - we had to jump in a taxi and head off to that monestary! Communicating with the taxi driver was hard - he didn't speak English and we certainly don't speak Russian! But somehow we managed to get there, light our candle, and receive our next clue.

The clue told us to take a taxi to the outskirts of Moscow and find Kolosok Camp, a decommissioned military base. Our taxi driver had waited for us, so we quickly got back in the car and were off!

It was a long drive in heavy traffic (again with the traffic!!) but once we were there it didn't take us long to find the clue box - and the next task was a Detour - a choice between two tasks, each with its pros and cons.

For both sides of the Detour, Teams had to properly don a military uniform including traditional foot wraps. In Boots, Teams needed to join a training squad and learn a traditional parade march. When they thought they were ready, Teams had to fall in line with a troop and march one full lap of the parade grounds. If the drill sergeant was satisfied with their performance, they would receive their next clue. In Borscht, Teams walked to the mess tent to serve borscht (bleah!) to a company of 75 Russian soldiers. Once each soldier received a bowl of borscht, the teams would receive their next clue.

We quickly decided to do Boots - I was in the drillteam in high school, and D... was in the marching band (nevermind that she couldn't march and play at the same time - she marched and faked playing, so she looked good!). We wrapped our feet in the foot wraps (dude, someone needs to teach those Russians about SOCKS) and put on our uniforms. We looked SO CA-YOOT! We were like G.I. Jane, except not bald. And we marched like pros!

Dan & Andrew had all kinds of trouble, and we saw them trying to march. Dan has ZERO coordination, and he looked like a such a dork trying to march! Even the Russian soldiers began snickering and outright laughing at the strange contortions Dan made with his body as he tried to march in rhythm with everyone else. They finally gave up and went to serve borscht, but it cost them a lot of time.

Our next clue told us to travel to the town of Zhukovsky and find the Zhukovsky Bakery, where we would find our next clue.

Another long taxi ride later, we arrived at the bakery to find a Roadblock, a task that only one person can perform. In this Roadblock, that team member had to unload fifty 55-pound bags of flour from the back of a truck and deliver them into the bakery.

Dallas was already there, hauling two of the large, heavy bags at a time off of the truck and into the bakery. It wasn't long before Rat-Faced Cheater Ken showed up and started in right after him. D... and I didn't know what to do - neither of us is very strong, and we both have bad backs. This was not good. Whatever would we do????? We began thinking that this task could do us in. Finally we decided to take a time penalty and BOTH do the Roadblock. It was the only way we were going to get it done.

We were exhausted and covered in flour, but we finished. Yay us!! That scary Russian lady handed us our next clue - travel to the next Pit Stop, the library at Neskuchny Sad Park, a popular park in Moscow’s city center! As we were leaving, Dan & Andrew showed up, and Dan was moving quickly unloading those bags. He may not be able to march, but he's a good work-horse. We were worried.

We got to the Pit Stop ahead of Dan & Andrew, but with our time penalty, they got ahead of us, making us........last. We were crushed.

But then Phil told us it was the second NON-ELIMINATION ROUND!!!!! WOOT!! We were still in the Race! We will have to face a Speed Bump in the next leg - an extra task that only we will have to complete - but we're thrilled to still be here!

We don't know where we're headed next, but tune in next week to find out!

Where We've Been:

Leg 8 (Kazakhstan)

Leg 7 (Still in India)

Leg 6 (India)

Leg 5 (Cambodia)

Leg 4 (New Zealand)

Leg 3 (Bolivia)

Leg 2 (Brazil)

Leg 1 - We're off!

Team Profile

It's not Turkey Day!

This week as we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, the turkey and dressing and cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie and oh my goodness could we have MORE food?, the Macy's parade, the football, the family, the sales...........please remember that NONE of that is what this holiday is about. Thanksgiving is about - duh - GIVING THANKS. Please take time to thank God for the many blessings in your life. Times are hard, indeed, but the mere fact that you are able to read my blog tells me you are blessed. A fun tradition is to put three kernels of corn beside each plate at the Thanksgiving table, then go around the table and for each kernel of corn, each person must name something they are thankful for. I could go thru a whole bag of corn, I'm sure, but these would be my three things this year:
  1. I am thankful for my health and the health of my family.
  2. I am thankful that I have my family close to me.
  3. I am thankful for the many friends I have that love me.

I could go on and on - when you stop to think about it, we can be thankful for SO MUCH. Going thru a hurricane this year reminded us of how much we truly have to be thankful for - things we often take for granted. My prayers are with those who lost so much in that storm, for those who are losing jobs because of the economy, for those who struggle with health or financial issues - but even those people are blessed in some way. I pray also that they are able to see that.

Blessings to you and yours this week - enjoy all that the holiday has to offer, but most of all, thank God for all that He has offered you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Camera Critters #33

I thought ostriches had legs???

Friday, November 21, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

I found this fun meme over at Forgetfulone's place - she didn't tag me, but I decided to play along anyway!

This meme allows your Bloggy neighbors to get to know a little information about the town or city you live in. State the name and then post 10 facts or observations about the town you call home.

Home for me is Clear Lake City, TX - a suburb of Houston. Been here all my livelong days!
  1. Clear Lake City is located about half-way between downtown Houston and Galveston Island.

  2. Clear Lake City was originally developed by the Friendswood Development Company on land sold to Humble Oil and Refining Company (now ExxonMobil) by James Marion West in 1938. James West's mansion still stands, overlooking Clear Lake; for years, the Lunar and Planetary Institute was housed in the mansion until it moved to a bigger, more modern building. The property was recently sold to former basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon's property management company for future development; it now sits vacant.

  3. The city was named for Clear Lake, a lake south of the Johnson Space Center that separates Harris County from Galveston County and connects Clear Creek to Galveston Bay.

  4. Clear Lake City was annexed by the city of Houston in 1977 despite a grass-roots campaign by its residents to stop it. When Kathy Whitmire was elected Mayor of Houston in 1982, in large part because of voting support from Clear Lake City, she promised to disannex us; she did not keep her promise, so technically I live in Houston.

  5. Clear Lake City is home to NASA's Johnson Space Center, where my daddy worked for 40 years (his entire career). I grew up with astronauts' children, and know several astronauts now.

  6. Because we are adjacent to Galveston Bay, we have delicious seafood, a huge boating community and beautiful nature preserves.

  7. When I graduated from high school in 1987, there were two high schools in the school district; the area has grown so much there are now four high schools, with plans to build another. My husband graduated from my rival high school in 1983; I didn't know him then.

  8. My granddaddy built the first movie theater in Clear Lake City - it had 2 screens, and we always got in for free. The building was turned into a country-western nightclub, and that is where I met my husband. Now it is a Chinese restaurant.

  9. The Clear Lake Area is also home to Ellington Field, formerly Ellington Air Force Base. The airport supports the operations of the United States military, NASA and a variety of general aviation tenants. The field is a base for NASA's administrative, cargo transport and high-altitude aircraft, which also includes NASA's fleet of T-38 Talon jets, the Shuttle Training Aircraft, and an NKC-135 aircraft known as the Vomit Comet, a zero-g trainer. The Texas Air National Guard, Texas Army National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard also maintain a presence at the base, with the Coast Guard facility known as Coast Guard Air Station Houston. Ellington Field is also home to the largest flying club in Texas and the annual "Wings Over Houston" airshow.

  10. Living in Clear Lake City gives us the best of both worlds - we are close to the big city of Houston, and also the quaint, historical sea-side city of Galveston (granted, they're not the most beautiful beaches, but I still love living near the water!).

Since I wasn't tagged for this, I won't tag anyone, but if you'd like to play along, please do! Leave me a comment so I can come read about YOUR hometown!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - Cousins

My dad's parents had but one granddaughter - ME! They also had two grandsons - Bubba, seven years younger than me, and our cousin, two years older than me.

I was about 9 when this was taken. Do I not look thrilled to be having my picture taken with the boys?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Haiku: Courage

Life's hardest battle,
Three times fought and three times won.
She is my hero.

**This is for the "Courage" prompt at One Single Impression this week - be sure to stop by there and see all the wonderful poetry!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kazakhstan - Amazing Race Leg 8

It's getting down to the nitty gritty here on the Amazing Race - there are only a few Teams left, and D... and I are excited to be one of them!

We cleaned up as best we could at the last Pit Stop - then spent another day in India resting and recuperating. After our mandatory 12-hour rest period, we were able to finally leave at 10:43 p.m. We ripped open our clue to find we had to fly 1,000 miles to Almaty, Kazakhstan and travel by taxi to the Alel Agro Chicken Factory.

Um....Kazak-what? Sounds Russian. OK, we're off.

Twenty-four hours later we landed in Almaty. Only three other Teams were on our flight with us - the rest caught later flights. We all rushed to the taxi area and got to that chicken factory as fast as we could. And damned if we didn't get there to find out it doesn't open until 7:30 a.m.! We spent the night camping out at the entrance, where, of course, the other Teams all caught up. Snap! To kill time D... and I told jokes about why the chicken crossed the road. We were cracking each other up. Everyone else? Notsomuch.

Finally they opened the gates and it was a mad dash for the clue box. D... tripped some people so we were able to get to it first. The clue was a Roadblock, a task that only one person can perform. Before we decided who would do the Roadblock, we also discovered the second of only two Fast Forwards on the race. For the chance to skip all other tasks and proceed to the Pit Stop, a Team had to travel by taxi to a restaurant where they would join in a traditional Kazakh feast. What they would find out at the restaurant was that the main ingredient in the meal was the fat from the rear end of a sheep. When both Team members finished their serving, they would win the Fast Forward.

D... and I are not stupid - we know not to attempt anything that has to do with food, and having to go to a restaurant was a good tip-off that this was NOT for us! Besides that, two other Teams took off to go for it. Since only one of them could win, that would mean the other would have to come back, so we were automatically ahead of them. We were going ahead with the Roadblock.

It was D...'s turn - she had to enter the marked chicken shack and search among 30,000 chickens (ew!) for one of only seven golden eggs. She was nervous - D... has this phobia about roosters. When she was 5 years old she lived in Corpus Christi on a horse ranch and farm; she went into the chicken pen one day, and the rooster jumped on her and started pecking her chest!!!! But these were chickens, not roosters, so she was OK.

And she did GREAT! It didn't take her long to find the golden egg, and we quickly received our next clue - search the grounds of the chicken factory for a giant crane truck, then use it to travel to Koktobe Arch at the foothills of the Tienshan Mountains. Then we would have to follow a marked path that would lead us to a Mongol warrior, where we had to wait for our next clue to arrive.

The marked path was very steep, but beautiful. When we reached the Mongol warriors, we were amazed to see a trained eagle leave its perch in the distance and fly over to us. It landed on a warrior’s arm with a clue attached to its foot. D... ducked - I think she thought it was going to land on her and peck her chest. She's definitely had enough birds for today.

The next clue was a Detour - a choice between two tasks, each with its pros and cons. In this Detour, Teams had to choose between Play Like Mad or Act Like Fools. In Play Like Mad, Teams had to travel by taxi to the Museum of Folk Musical Instruments where they would learn to play a simple Kazakh tune using two traditional instruments, the Dombra and the Shan Koby. When the instructor felt they learned the song well enough, he would send the Team to the park to play for tips where they would have to earn the equivalent of one and a half dollars for their next clue. In Act Like Fools, Teams had to travel by taxi to a puppet theater, find the wardrobe department, and put on a two-person cow costume. Then, dressed as a cow, they had to walk the streets of Almaty to a marked stall where they had to drink a glass of milk. After finishing the milk, they would find the name of the next destination printed on the bottom of the glass, Zelyoniy Bazaar. After traveling in costume to the bazaar, the Teams had to locate a butcher stall where they would receive their next clue.

We didn't even have to think about this one - D... and I are good at acting like fools! Remember this?

And this?

Oh, I could go on and on. Good times.

OK, so Act Like Fools it was.

There was some discussion over which of us would be the front of the cow and which would be We did Rock, Paper, Scissors and I got to be the head. But that in no way means I think D... is a cow butt. Just sayin'. We had the Best. Time. Ever. walking around dressed up like a cow! We really played it up, mooing and making people laugh! I drank the milk up lickety split, and we headed off to the meat market (ew!). There, the butcher gave us our next clue - travel by foot to the next Pit Stop at Old Square!

Still dressed like two halves of a cow, we took off - and we came in SECOND PLACE!

Nick & Starr had won the Fast Forward and come in first for the fourth time in a row. Those dumb Frat Boys Andrew & Dan came in fourth, but then found out they had not read their clue correctly and had taken a taxi to the Pit Stop - they had to go all the way back to the meat market and come back to the Pit Stop on foot. They were so mad! But they managed to get back in time to retain fourth place - Terence & Sarah came in last, and were eliminated from the Race.

So here we are in Kazakhstan, waiting to see where the Race will take us next! I think D... is doing a great job with the pictures, don't you? We're having a blast. Tune in next week to see where we go next!

Where We've Been:

Leg 7

Leg 6

Leg 5

Leg 4

Leg 3

Leg 2

Leg 1

Team Profile

Friday, November 14, 2008

As You Like It

Last night was the opening night of Daughter's first drama performance in high school - Shakespeare's As You Like It. Only four freshmen made the cast - the rest is upper classmen. Daughter didn't get a speaking part this time, but she plays both a villager and a forester (thus the "dirty face" look in the picture, from living in the Forest of Arden). She does several dances and is on stage quite a bit. Of course, I thought she was the best one!

The story is a confusing one, as are many of Shakespeare's, with numerous plots and sub-plots. But the underlying theme is LOVE, and who doesn't love a good love story? It helped to bring me out of my funk, and to realize that my life really is as I like it. Because even tho "how full of briers is this working day world" (1.3.13), I know that "sweet are the uses of adversity, which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head; and this our life...finds...good in every thing."(2.1.13)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Like being pecked to death by a chicken...

I'm out of sorts tonight for no good reason. All the little things in life are just getting to me. No one big thing has me down, but the little things are ganging up on me it seems. It feels like I'm being pecked to death by a chicken. And that's no fun.

I have a blessed life for sure. I have nothing to complain about, when you get down to it. But those little, nitpicky annoyances of day-to-day living are just more than I want to deal with some days. A lot of days lately. So my tolerance level and my motivation level are both running low.

I think I'll go soak in a hot bubble bath until I feel better.

Maybe I'll be out next week.

Monday, November 10, 2008

STILL in India - Amazing Race Leg 7

We hate India. I'm sure there are plenty of people who like India, who find it fascinating and interesting and who would love to visit, but D.... and me? We don't care if we ever come back. It's nasty here. And we haven't gotten to ride an elephant OR do Bollywood dancing. This sucks.

We were disappointed when we opened our clue at 9:10 a.m. to find that we were staying in Delhi. Sigh. It told us to travel through the congested streets of Delhi to find the central park of a sprawling apartment complex called Deshbandu Apartments. We quickly found a taxi and took off.

The traffic here in unbelievable. D... and I were having Hurricane Rita Evacuation flashbacks, and it wasn't pretty, let me tell ya. We BOTH had to pop a Xanax right there in the taxi. We saw an entire family riding on a motorcycle - a man and his wife and TWO kids, one of which was an infant! Craziness! We thought this was interesting, too - wonder why the woman doesn't get a helmet?

As we ran into the central park of the Deshbandu Apartments, we saw an explosion of color and festivity. From first appearance, it looked pretty fun! Little did we know....

Our next clue was a Roadblock, a task that only one person can perform. The question on the clue read, "Who's ready for a colorful experience?" We decided I would do it.

In this Roadblock, I had to take part in the traditional Indian celebration known as the Holi Festival. I had to make my way through a crowd of revelers who were pelting me with powdered dye and water in the festival’s tradition. When I reached one of three ladders at the center of the celebration, I had to climb the ladder and search through hundreds of envelopes marked “Try Again” to identify one of only six labeled THE AMAZING RACE. This specially marked envelope contained our next clue.

Ya'll, this is the most ridiculous celebration/ritual/WHATEVER in the world. I was PELTED with the powdered dye and water - it was crazy! My hair, skin, clothes - everything was covered. It was in my eyes, nose, mouth - it was horrible. D... even got pelted with the stuff just waiting for me to finish! Thankfully I found the envelope pretty quickly and we didn't have to stay long. I don't think Kelly & Christy read their clue right, because Kelly kept running in, grabbing an envelope without even looking at it, then running back to Christy. Since she wasn't looking for the marked envelope, she had to go back in several times. When we left she was in tears, and we felt kinda bad for her. But we were ahead of them, so we didn't feel TOO bad. It IS a game, you know.

The next clue told us to travel to Old Delhi and find the Charity Birds Hospital, a haven for injured birds, and search through the cages for our next clue. Fortunately we had asked our taxi to wait for us, so we were on our way quickly!

The Charity Birds Hospital is in a temple, so we had to remove our shoes to go in. Walking around amongst all those birds in our bare feet was a little bit skeevy. I kept thinking I had bird poop between my toes. But the chirping of the birds was beautiful, and thankfully D... had a quick eye and spied the clue in the bird cage before too long. We tore it open and found a Detour.

A Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its pros and cons. In this Detour, Teams had to choose between Bleary Eyed and Teary Eyed. In Bleary Eyed, Teams made their way to a street corner to help the Department of Power. From street level, Teams had to follow a power line keeping track of the small numbered tags that sporadically appear. Then, they had to find a man with a sewing machine and give him the list of numbers. If their list was correct, the man would direct them to a shop across the street where they would plug in a musical Ganesha to receive their next clue. In Teary Eyed, Teams had to make their way to a spice market, pick up two 40-pound bags of dried chilies, and deliver them on foot one quarter mile to Sharwan Kumar & Sons. Then, they had to use a mortar and pestle to make enough chili powder to fill up a container to the designated line.

Now, D... and I are Texas girls, and we know all about chili peppers. Which means we know not to mess with them. Anyone who has touched a hot pepper of any kind and then touched their eye can tell you that. Hot peppers are not to be trifled with. So, even tho it sounded hard, we chose Bleary Eyed.

The power lines in Delhi are nothing like what we have back home. They are a tangled, jumbled MESS!

We tried to stay focused, and followed along the line, writing down the teeny tiny numbers as we saw them. We were doing really well - keeping up with Nick & Starr and Toni & Dallas (who were working together, but wouldn't help us!!!) - and then this guy distracted us:

So we had to start all over. But we got it our second time thru, and finally received our next clue: travel to the Pit Stop at Humayun’s Tomb, a 16th Century collection of mausoleums commemorating past emperors.

We grabbed a taxi and off we went! The traffic was horrible, and we knew we were behind Nick & Starr and Toni & Dallas already. Where were the others? We would soon find out.

When we stepped on the mat at the Pit Stop, Phil told us we were Team number THREE!

What a relief!! Terence & Sarah came in right behind us, and they had done Teary Eyed. And they definitely were teary eyed! They looked horrible! Sarah told me, “If somebody said to me right now, ‘Put cow manure on your body and it would make you feel better.' I would lather myself up with that.” We told her to go take a long shower and she'd feel much better. We're sure glad we didn't do that one!

Kelly & Christy were the last Team to arrive, and they were eliminated from the race. D... and I liked them - they were funny and witty, and we got along well. Sorry to see them go. But not too sorry. It IS a race, you know.

Tune in next week, when hopefully we'll be getting out of India and on to greener pastures!

Where We've Been:

Leg 6

Leg 5

Leg 4

Leg 3

Leg 2

Leg 1

Team Profile

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Soul Food

I love my church. We are there nearly every Sunday, and not out of a sense of obligation but because we love it and we want to be there. But this morning as I sat in church, my mind wandered. As we prayed, I thought about how I need new jeans, and wondered if I could work that into the budget this week. As we sang and the words of the praise songs came out of my mouth, I thought about how maybe we could work an Astros spring training game into our trip to Florida next March. For some reason, I just wasn't "into it" this morning.

Then our Director of Women's Ministries got up to give the sermon this morning, and once she began, I was rapt from word one. Because - and I swear this happened - she said, "Bubba's Sis, this message is for YOU, because it is something YOU need to hear! So pay attention!" I looked around to see if anyone else noticed. They didn't appear to. But her words rang so true to my personal life right now, I'm certain she was speaking straight to me. How could this be? How could she know that, like the Samaritan woman at the well, I am thirsty? How could she know exactly what I struggle with, and that the "well" I go to Every. Day. is not quenching my thirst? That if I would only realize it, Jesus is waiting for me at that well, waiting for me to accept the Living Water that only He can give me, the only thing that will quench my thirst? Her words cut so deep into my soul that tears sprang to my eyes, and I could not keep them from spilling over. Yes, God truly spoke to me this morning thru her, and fed my soul so much of what it needs right now.

I love it when that happens.

After church, we went to lunch - and it was soul food of a different kind! Delicious fried green tomatoes, crawfish etouffee, and sweet tea. I love living in the South because the food? Is heavenly. I even had enough left over to bring it home and eat it again for dinner.

I love it when that happens, too.

Yes, my soul was fed today, not once but twice. That's a good day, indeed.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

Victory is sweet!

Big fun at the Homecoming game tonight, and my team won! Hubby is taking it well. He's such a great guy!

P.S. He did sit with us!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Homecoming Spirit

home·coming (hōm′kum′iŋ)
1. a coming or returning to one's home
2. in many schools, colleges, and universities, an annual celebration attended by alumni

This has been a fun week celebrating Homecoming at my old high school - the school my daughter now attends. She has had fun stuff going on at school all week, the businesses in the area have their windows painted and decorated to support the team, and last night we attended the big Homecoming parade, pep rally, and bonfire!

The parade was a fun one - led off by the ROTC, followed by the band, the drillteam, the cheerleaders, the Homecoming Court, the football teams, and various other school teams and organizations, each with their own float, throwing beads and glo-sticks and candy, candy, candy! More candy than the crowd could even collect - we brought home so much it looked like our trick-or-treat stash from years past, and when we left there was still candy all over the street. And good stuff, too - Reese's peanut butter cups, Three Musketeers, 100 Grands! Laffy Taffy, Skittles, Air Heads, and Tootsie Pops! You could smell the sugar in the air - we were giddy!

The crowd followed the end of the parade to the junior varsity football field just as darkness fell. Hundreds of glo-sticks shone in the night, and as we filled the stands on one side of the field, we could see the school's name spelled out in luminaries in the stands on the other side of the field. As the band played, they turned off all the lights, and for the whole pep rally all you could see were glo-sticks and the luminaries. It was awesome!

Then the band led the crowd to a nearby field for the bonfire. Can I just say that there's nothing like walking along to the drum cadence of a marching band! I felt like I was rushed back in time to my drillteam days, marching along with them. As the spirited crowd awaited the lighting of the bonfire, the kids started breaking their glo-sticks and sprinkling the insides all over themselves, making glowing glitter on their clothes, skin, and hair. Then they started throwing them up into the air so the stuff inside rained down on the crowd like glowy stardust, and we all had tiny glistening specks all over us. It looked like we were all covered in fireflies! The bonfire was lit and the band played some more, and not until the final embers were burning out did we leave for home.

Daughter and even Little Son had a great time last night - and if you couldn't tell, so did I! Tomorrow is the big game, against the rival high school, and you can bet we'll be there cheering on our team! And of course, there is a Homecoming Dance.

It's funny how even tho it has been 20-something years, certain things can just bring me right back to my high school days. I can't remember what I did last week, but I can remember high school like it was yesterday. Some of those memories are good, some not-so-good. But it seemed like such a simpler time. I'm sure my parents felt the same way. And some day my kids will, too. I hope that someday they are doing this with their kids. That, like me, they'll celebrate coming back home.

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - Homecoming!

I know I've posted this pic before, but this seemed like a good week to bring it out again and laugh at it fondly remember. For this week, my friends, is my old high school's HOMECOMING!

I believe I have also mentioned here before that Daughter now attends my old high school. I'm loving it! We've got school spirit out the wazoo around here at the Bubba's Sis house. Well, except for Hubby. He went to my rival high school. I didn't know him then, but still. He's one of them. Back when we were in school, there were only two high schools in the district - his and ours. So of course we were bitter rivals, and even tho there are now four high schools in the district, that original rivalry continues today. And guess who my alma mater is playing for their Homecoming game Friday night? You guessed it! Them!

Twenty-two years ago, I was a senior in high school. I was on the drillteam; my boyfriend was on the football team. And of course, we went to the Homecoming Dance.

I'm diggin' that gold belt. And those matching gold shoes. I believe I'm also wearing some massive gold hoop earrings. I'm sure I carried a gold purse. Ooooooo - shiny!

Tonight was this year's Homecoming parade and pep rally and bonfire - more on that later. Friday night I'll be at the game - just as I was 22 years ago - cheering my team on to victory! I told Hubby he has to either cheer for our team or go sit on the other side with his team. I'll let you know what he decides!

Beat 'em up! Beat 'em up! Rah! Rah! Rah!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Where were you?

Last night as history was being made in our country, as the American people voted into office our first black President, I was not at an election party celebrating victory or even bemoaning defeat. I was not at home watching non-stop coverage of this momentous occasion. No, on Election Night 2008, I was grocery shopping at Wal-Mart.

I hate Wal-Mart. With a purple passion. But dammit, their prices are just lower. And when our cupboards are looking like Mother Hubbard's and we're all sharing the last roll of toilet paper, a Wal-Mart trip is the economically smart thing to do. Sigh.

I took the whole fam-damily with me last night - why should I have to suffer thru it alone? But bringing extra people does exponentially increase the amount of time it takes to get thru the store. And no, the kids are not really the problem. It's Hubby. I'm just sayin'. We were in Wal-Mart for Two. Hours. When we finally got out of there, I needed a drink.

By the time we got home, America had elected a new President. It was an historical election, to be sure. I made sure to impress upon my children that they were witnessing history. As they unloaded our haul and put things away. So years from now, when this is one of those "Where were you when.....?" moments, we can all say, "When Obama was elected President....we were in the Wal-Mart!"

God bless America.

**Well Behaved Krissy has a great post up this morning about the election results - go by and read it - you'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

I'm so glad today has finally come. Why, you ask? So I can cast my vote for the candidate I support and believe in? Nah. Just because I am Sick. And. Tired. of all this election crap, and I'm ready for it to be over. Done. Finished. Shutupaboutit already.

Found this political funny over at Jenny On The Spot and thought it appropriate for today. So Happy Election Day, everyone - get out there and VOTE so we can get this damn election over with!


SARAH PALIN: Before it got to the other side, I shot the chicken, cleaned and dressed it, and had chicken burgers for lunch.

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!

JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One! that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn’t about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where’s my gun?

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he’s guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn’t that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken 2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken 2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never crash or need to be rebooted.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

Monday, November 03, 2008

India - Amazing Race Leg 6

By the time D... and I got to the Pit Stop in Cambodia, it was lunchtime and we were POOPED! We ate a strange but tasty meal, and took a good, long nap in preparation for the next leg of the race. And it's a good thing we did! When we left at 11:34 p.m., our clue told us to fly over 2,000 miles to Delhi, India! Once there we had to travel by taxi to an area called Zamrud Pur and find Moonlight Motors.

India? We better get to ride an elephant or do some Bollywood dancing. Cuz we can't think of anything else appealing about India.

All the Teams caught up at a travel agency, where we all got tickets on the same flight to Delhi, that arrived at 4:15 p.m. We had a lot of time to sit around and do some internet research on Delhi, eat, talk about with the other Teams, and even take another little nap. I stayed awake on the flight after what D... did to me last time. That Sharpie mustache was just starting to be not-so-noticable. D... and I noticed a little flirting between Dallas and Starr - we think that's so cute! Too bad Dallas' mom was hanging around so much. She probably doesn't make the best wing-man, if you know what I'm sayin'.

When we landed in India, the first thing we noticed is it is HOT there! And CROWDED! The traffic was absolutely crazy, and it's a wonder we both didn't toss our cookies in that taxi. Between the heat and the smells.....ick. And there are cows EVERYWHERE! Since they are considered holy in India, they know they will not be harmed, so they go wherever they please!

Craziness. We were lucky to get a taxi driver who knew where he was going - I think some of the other Teams weren't so fortunate. When we found Moon Light Motors we discovered a Roadblock, a task that only one person can perform, with the question, "Who's got an artistic flair?" D... and I are both pretty artistic in our own ways....she with her photograpy, me with my writing...but this had something to do with cars, and since my Hubby is a car man, we decided I should do it.

In this Roadblock, I had to paint a black and yellow auto rickshaw, also called a tuk tuk, green to signify that they now run on natural gas. However, before I could paint, I had to mask the yellow exterior and interior with newspaper. When I finished masking and painting the rickshaw, I would receive our next clue.

This one wasn't so much hard as it was time-consuming. Some of the Teams didn't handle it so well. Terence bickered at Sarah the whole time, and Tina did the same to Ken. I was like, "Shut. Up. Already!" I had to tune them out the best I could so I could get my job done. It was hard to see because it was dark, but D... held a light for me, and I think I did a pretty good job! Yay! We finished about 3rd and got our next clue: make our way to the Ambassador Hotel and search the gardens for an Indian doorman, who would give us our next clue. Off we went!

Again with the traffic. And it's the middle of the night! This place is crazy.

The gardens of the Ambassador Hotel were lovely, and the Indian doorman easy to spot. We think he was checking out our boobies, tho. He gave us our next clue, which was a Detour, a choice between two tasks, each with its pros and cons. Our choices for this Detour were Launder Money or Launder Clothes.

In Launder Money, Teams made their way to a banquet hall and created a wedding necklace decorated with Indian money known as rupees. The necklace had to have exactly ten individual rupee notes that added up to the sum of 780. Teams would have to find ways to exchange money from their own stash of cash for the right combination of rupee notes. When the necklace was finished they had to find a waiting groom and trade it for their next clue. In Launder Clothes, Teams traveled to a laundry shop, chose an ironing station, and used a traditional charcoal heated iron to press twenty pieces of clothing. When the laundry woman determined that the clothes had been properly pressed, she would hand them their next clue.

Umm.....iron? What's that? We were confused. Having no idea what an iron was, we decided to make the wedding necklace. Besides that, weddings are fun! And would you believe that we had just the right amount of rubees in our stash that we didn't have to waste any time exchanging money! Whew!

When we got to the banquet hall we were stunned - it was CRAZY crowded with people!! Like Disney at Thanksgiving crowded. Who has a wedding reception in the middle of the dang night? Neither D... nor I do well with crowds. We're just short enough that our noses are at about armpit-level with all those crazy Indian people jumping and dancing around. It was crazy, I tell ya. Crazy. We finally got thru the crowd and to the necklace-making station. It was easy-peasy! We didn't even have to hot glue anything - it was all attached with staples! Then we had to go back into the mad crowd to find the groom. Oh, ya'll, it was bad. D... and I were being shoved left and right - we could barely hold on to each other. Someone grabbed my butt. I don't think it was D... And the smell. Oh lordie. We FINALLY found the groom and gave him the necklace, and he gave us our next clue: travel to the Pit Stop at Baha’i House, the national headquarters for the Baha’i faith.

We jumped in our tuk tuk and off we went! Nick & Starr got in ahead of us, as did Kelly & Christy (they both did that ironing thing, whatever that was). But we came in a solid 3rd place! Woot!

Ken & Tina were the last Team to arrive, but fortunately for them this was a non-elimination round, so they are still in the race. Some time during the next leg they will come up against a Speed Bump, an extra task that only they will have to complete. It may put them behind - even out of the race, but they're still in it for now. Those lucky dogs.

Well, we didn't get to ride an elephant today (altho we saw one at the wedding reception!), and we didn't see any Bollywood dancing, but we did make it thru this leg mostly unscathed. We're tired, and we need baths. And food. And sleep.

Tune in next week to see where our adventure takes us next!

Where We've Been:

Leg 5

Leg 4

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Is it hot in here? Or is it just me?

A letter I received in the mail the other day:

Dear Bubba's Sis,

We are a company that matches interested people with clinical trials (also known as research studies). We are currently working with a pharmaceutical company to find women who are interested in participating in a clinical trial for the treatment of hot flushes.

As a doctor, I know that women with hot flushes can feel sudden sensations of heat accompanied by sweating. Hot flushes can even disrupt sleep and leave you tired and irritable the next day.....

You may be eligible to participate.....blah blah blah.....


We Think You Are Old

WTF? I'm still in my 30's (barely, but I am!). I know I am hawt, but it doesn't come in flashes yet! And there is no cure for Hawtness. I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Camera Critters #30

We've been enjoying the beautiful fall weather here in SE Texas! Last weekend Hubby and the kids and I decided to have a picnic. The park was still closed for hurricane clean-up, so we headed over to the campus of U of H-Clear Lake and found a lovely spot on the banks of Armand Bayou. The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect, and we enjoyed our lunch in the beautiful outdoors - but we had company. Keeping a close eye on us from the water were two of these guys:

They weren't very big - 2½ or 3 feet long maybe - but we kept an eye on them, too. They didn't bother us, tho, and we even gave them each a tater tot before we left!

Later, Gator!