Sunday, December 31, 2006

So Long, Damn Saddam

I wasn't going to get into this. I was going to just ignore the whole thing. That didn't last long.

I'm FOR the death penalty and I'm amazed at just how fast they carried it out. Bravo! I watched a show on TV last night about a crime that occurred more than 25 years ago and the one that did it has never been caught. They think he might already be on death row for other crimes of that sort ...... TWENTY FIVE plus years on death row in Cali-weirdo-fornia! Give me a freakin' break! The woman killed was found horribly slaughtered by her youngest SON when he returned home from school and this clown gets to live on and on. There is no justice in America.

Back to the execution of the Butcher of Bagdad..... this is from a great site called ScrappleFace:

WMD Found Hanging from Rope in Iraq

(2006-12-30) — The Pentagon announced this morning that a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) was found today in Baghdad, hanging from a rope on a platform.

“This particular WMD,” a Pentagon spokesman said, “is known to have killed thousands of Iraqis, as well as Iranians, Kuwaitis and some U.S. troops.”

The weapon is described as “a nasty, corrosive agent which kills indiscriminately and without warning.”

“A lot of folks — including Hans Blix, the United Nations and the Democrats — said there were no WMD in Iraq,” the Pentagon source said. “Perhaps they were just looking in all the wrong places.”

According to Iraqi government sources, the WMD has been contained, neutralized and prepared for burial.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Way To Go Harris County's Finest!


$40 million of marijuana seized in northwest Harris County

Officials seized tens of thousands pounds of marijuana Wednesday night in northwest Harris County.

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the narcotics unit got a tip that Louis Mendez was allegedly in possession of the drugs and driving a tractor-trailer.

A K-9 deputy saw Mendez driving away from a warehouse in the 7300 block of West Road without headlights and pulled him over. Officials said they found a small amount of drugs in the truck, giving them a reason to search the warehouse.

They found 502 bails of marijuana inside of the warehouse, valued at approximately $40 million.

"I think somebody's upset because up to $40 million in marijuana, $40 million out of the back pocket -- I believe I'd be a little upset about that," Harris County Lt. J.D. Glesmann said.

A vehicle and an assault rifle were also taken from the scene.

The drugs are encased in calcium carbonate, profesionally wrapped and covered in charcoal. It amounts to anywhere from 14,000 to 23,000 pounds.

"We're just shocked," Lt. Glesmann said. "I've been in narcotics since '93, and I've never seen a load of marijuana as big as this."

Investigators believe the warehouse was a distribution point. The bundles were labeled with "Camaro" and "Ford," which indicate they may have been bound for shipment in nondescript cars across the country.

Mendez has been charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

He is in the Harris County Jail.

Deputies will drill into the bales to take samples of the marijuana, and then they will burn the rest. (Hmm... everyone see that video that going around about the reporter reporting on such a thing and getting high as a kite? FunKnee stuff!)

BTW the Chronicle's version has pictures, but I'm not sure if I can 'steal' them for republication even though I'm super good about giving credit to everything I borrow.... the bad part if that link will die off pretty darn quickly .....

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Nebraska Jail Serving Up Farts To Inmates!

I love stuff like this!

Brian Bruggeman caused a stink at the Lincoln County Jail earlier this month and will now have to answer for it in court. Another inmate, Jesse Dorris, alleges that Bruggeman's flatulence, passed in close proximity to Dorris, sparked a Dec. 14 fight between the two at the jail.

Now Bruggeman, 38, faces a Jan. 11 preliminary hearing on the state's complaint of assault by a confined person. It's a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Bruggeman is accused of injuring Dorris, his cellmate, when he pushed him into cell bars. Dorris, 26, was not charged.

The two began scuffling, County Attorney Jeff Meyer said Tuesday, because Dorris was fed up with Bruggeman's flatulence.

Jail fights are common, Meyer said, but the cause of this one was rather uncommon.

"It's usually about someone hogging the newspaper or someone not happy about what's on TV," he said.

Bruggeman, of Hershey, is serving a 90-day sentence for violating a protection order.

"He compounded his problems," Meyer said.

Dorris, of North Platte, is awaiting a January trial on a charge of aiding and abetting robbery.

Hmmm..... I wonder if he said "Hey, Dorris, pull my finger!".......

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Or whatever you call your holiday during December..... don't want anyone to get bent out of shape over it.

It'll always be Christmas for me because Christ is the reason for the season. Instead of the traditional holiday songs they really ought to sing "Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus" because that would make more sense. I don't think that song would make me cry either not like hearing "I'll Be Home For Christmas"! That's the ultimate depression inducing song IMHO. When one gets old and has lost family and friends along the way it just GETS to you to hear it. People that can't get home are equally up the creek so to speak. But that's just the way the old fruitcake crumbles and I'm not going to wallow in it.

My kids are all coming over in a bit and we're doing a simple meal and gift exchanging and that will free them up so that tomorrow they can spend Christmas day in their own way. God love my daughter that has to work tomorrow! She's a hospice nurse and a Monday is just a Monday in that profession. I'm just happy that Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday so she could enjoy it with us .... same goes for her husband .... he works ALL the time and when he's not AT WORK he's on his cell phone because of work.

Everyone drive and drink safely and NOT both at the same time, please. You can always have another drink after you arrive safely, but if you get yourself killed the bar is closed in the hereafter! Don't let that last drink be your last drink!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Do You Believe In Angels?

I was reading about a poll that claimed the majority of Americans believe in angels. 'Course the highest majority of those are white evangelical Christians, but that's okay, I fit in that category. Another way it was divided is a tad trickier ...
Protestants, women, Southerners, Midwesterners and Republicans were the most likely to believe in angels, although strong majorities in other groups also shared that faith. Belief in angels declined slightly with advanced education, from 87 percent of those with high school education or less to 73 percent of those with college degrees. Overall, 81 percent believed in angels.

Well lemme see, I'm a woman, and Southern and have been known to swear, after Clinton, that I'll never vote for another donkey again. I've got some college .... just went long enough to earn my MRS degree. I guess I fit in that group too. As usual for pollsters they only asked 1000 folks what they thought and they didn't call me, but it's still enough inspiration to cause me to break out my keyboard and get fanciful.

I've known a few angels in my time and some devils too. It's more difficult to actually say what an angel is .... I think an angel is someone or something that watches over you, but it's not an invisible force field can still make a choice to endanger yourself and accidents are entirely possible. Come to think of it, I'm not too sure how many people believe in accidents now days. Seems that too many folks encouraged by the attorneys that dwell closer to the bottom of the pond have convinced people that someone has to pay for any and all affliction. Accidents are not profitable. Unless it's a TRAFFIC accident and then it's not really an accident it's an opportunity for someone. I wonder if anyone has done a poll asking who still believes in accidents and what the race and education breakdowns on THAT would be.

But, as usual, I digress. Angels keep us from being all alone. I like that notion. When I get lonely I like to think that's just a temporary situation and that I've still got my little angel keeping me company and gently guiding my paths. I think some angels used to be living beings and those beings led such a good life that God was pleased and let them decide if they wanted to sit around on a cloud all day strumming a harp or if they'd rather watch over people and get around more. Most importantly I'm sure that those that go before us keep an eye out on us as long as we need them and all you have to do to tap into that spiritual resource is to think of them.

Ok, I know that all sounds bizarre. I can just hear my pal now saying "oh, brother" and rolling his eyes. He prides himself on being the cool voice of reason and his picture is in the dictionary under "logic". He'll do everything but reach out and pat me on the head and say "now, now, calm down you're getting fanciful"... but what's wrong with my ideas giving me comfort. I'm a great believer in comfort. All I have to do is watch 20 minutes of the nightly news and I'll want to wrap myself up in some comfort and seal all the doors and windows to keep out the evil. I'm trying hard to lay off the food comfort these days so it's only right that I take my comfort where ever else I can find it!

I guess I'd better fess up and admit that I'm listening to Josh Groban on my iPod and one of my favorites is To Where You Are and he pretty much nails what I believe with these lyrics...
Who can say for certain
Maybe you're still here
I feel you all around me
Your memory's so clear

Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You're still an inspiration
Can it be (?)
That you are mine
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up above

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn't faith believing
All power can't be seen

As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
'Cause you are my
Forever love
Watching me from up above

And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave

Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile
To know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

I know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

Merry Christmas to my forever love, John, my own angel, thank you for watching over me for another year.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It Was Time To Re-Up My Texas CHL

For anyone that doesn't know, "CHL" stands for Concealed Handgun License and they expire on your birthday every four years. This was the 2nd time I've had to renew. This year we went to Jim Pruitt's Guns and Ammo CHL class and it was great. The class is held by Jim's son Sam and he did a bang up job (every pun intended!). I wrote about Jim Pruitt back in October. When I went to his webpage today to get the link for this post I discovered a brand new look!

The history of the Texas CHL is interesting - this was published in 1998:

In most ways Texas was typical. The push started with proposed laws in 1985, 1987 and 1989 (the Texas Legislature meeting only on odd numbered years). The 1991 attempt came closer to passing, but failed to gain enough support in the legislature, and was amended to death.

In 1993 CHL was back again, and this time the big state media let loose with the typical "blood in the streets" predictions, both in quotes of anti-gunners and echoed on the opinion pages. They called for the people to contact their legislators.

We did. I really think the popular support for the law caught the media by surprise. Then the Governor, Ann Richards, weighed in with the news that she would veto any CHL law the legislature passed. Politically, that should have been the end, but popular support would not let the bill die. Trying to find something the governor would sign, the Legislature ended up passing a law that only called for a statewide referendum on CHL, not authorizing anyone to actually set up any program. Governor Richards vetoed it anyway, saying that the people of Texas didn't need to vote on something like CHL.

Two years and a new Governor later George W. Bush signed the 1995 Texas concealed carry bill.

Throughout the long struggle to get a concealed handgun law passed for Texas there were a number of people who risked their political lives to accomplish what many thought might be an impossible task. Two stand out.

One is Texas Senator Jerry Patterson, who sponsored and shepherded a number of the bills, including the successful 1995 effort and the equally important 1997 revision. He happens to be a classmate of mine from Texas A&M University, Class of 1969.

The other is Susan Gratia, who rose from the tragedy in Killeen to provide essential testimony at a critical time. She has since, as Susan Gratia-Hupp, become a Representative in the Texas Legislature.

The law went into effect September 1, giving the Texas Department of Public Safety about three months to write all the procedures, design the paperwork, and train enough Qualified Instructors to teach the required course DPS wrote. They did it.

A loophole creating a conflict between concealed carry rules and alcoholic beverage license regulations made a revision of the law necessary. That was accomplished in 1997, and went into effect 1 September of that year.

Two years after it started, with 1,800 instructors and over 180,000 licensed persons, the Texas violent crime rate continues to drop. As happened in all the other CHL states, concealed carry is working.

For me personally, when Ann Richards said she'd veto any CHL law that was passed a red flag went off in my brain. I pulled out my word processor and started firing off letters. I decided then and there to never vote FOR her reelection. I feel that she committed political suicide by taking such an ignorant stand on a person's right to protect themselves. One of the key reasons besides the Luby's massacre that made the licensing a reality was the 1991 death of Harris County Sheriff's Corporal Roxyann Allee.

Corporal Allee was off duty and shopping at Greenspoint Mall. When she left the Mall and headed towards her van she was abducted at gunpoint by three men. Her van was found burning on September 30th and her body was discovered about a mile away on October 1, 1991. Like all cold cases, this one will never be forgotten and maybe someday the person who hired the hit will be convicted. Her death impressed upon me as few have that she was a law enforcement professional and yet she was taken by force and killed. If it could happen to her what chance did the rest of us have? As the case unfolded and the years have passed it's become increasing clear that her abduction and death was not a random act of violence, it was a hit on her specifically. I never knew her, but I'll never forget her and I pray that her death will be avenged and that her soul will rest in peace. In the mean while I'll keep my right to bear arms and do the best I can to protect myself and refuse to be a victim. I urge all women in Texas to do the same!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Remembering December 1996

Ten years ago. Ten LONG years ago I had a heart attack one day and lost my husband the next. I've survived both losses. Don't know why I was spared and he was taken, but every day I thank God, my late husband and my cardiologist for the gift of continued life.

The 'scary' part about the heart attack was that it was 'silent'. No pain of any sort, just some shortness of breath on exertion. I thought I was just getting fatter and older, both of which would of been true and I didn't think any more about it until AFTER the fact. The night of the day my husband died I was trying to sleep and my heart kept 'bumping funny'....I'd lay there and could feel it bump and double bump and pause and then jump around some more. I thought to myself "self, that's odd" and finally decide to get it checked out in the morning. I even thought about going to the ER in the middle of that night, but for the fact that my kids were sleeping all over my house and they'd of panicked if I'd of taken the car out of the garage - not that I could of gotten my car out since all of theirs were blocking the driveway. There was NO way I was going to wake them up and voice any concerns for MY health either. They'd been through plenty that day as had I. If fact I kept telling myself that it was the stress that was causing the bumping and jumping. I'd just go to the family doctor and he'd give me some pills and I'd get through the ordeal of funeral planning and hold my family together in grief.

Well it seems that the family doctor heard something when he gave a listen and he sent me to the cardiologist. In fact he called ahead and got me in without delay. I was irritated, I went because I've been conditioned to do pretty much whatever a doctor advises, but I kept saying over and over to anyone that would listen that I had to make arrangements for my husband's funeral and I didn't have time for any of this. They'd just listen and murmur how sorry they were and then do what they had to test wise. The heart doctor ended up telling me he wanted me to go across the street to the hospital and have a cardiac catheterization and angiography. Again I said I didn't have time for any of this! He just sat there behind his desk and said he understood, but that'd he hate to think about me driving home and BLAM ending up in a ditch. When he said 'blam' he hit his own chest and the implications were crystal clear to me what he was inferring. AGAIN I thought my kids would literally shit a brick if something happened to me the day after something had happened to their daddy.

I guess I should really thank my kids everyday too because they were my prime motivation to get out of the hospital so we could have the funeral. I had that whole mom's stiff upper lip thing going, never ever show fear in front of the kids, it's in the Mom's and Dad's handbook that we SHOULD of been given when they were born. It's the same rule that applies when there's a terrible thunderstorm and if you had your druthers you'd be UNDER the bed with a stuffed toy, but because you are the Parent In Charge you have to fake it until you make it.

My kids have been a Godsend to me. They have all loved me, helped me, encouraged me, checked up on me, fought battles on my behalf and been the motivation that's kept me going. They've also smothered me, monitored my comings and goings, nagged me and panicked when they couldn't reach me immediately. I got a cell phone because of them and they fuss all the time because they can rarely reach me on it. I've told them a million times I got it in case *I* needed to make a call. My thinking was the occasional women calling the cops from the trunk of her own car scenarios. To me that's the ultimate in cool!

In 10 years time my life has changed in a thousand ways and yet I'm still me. I'm stronger than I ever dreamed I could be. Deep inside I've always considered myself a gutless wonder, but when life takes you by the scruff of the neck and gives you a good shake you can only pick yourself up and dust yourself off and give it the finger and go on or you can curl up and say 'I quit'. I might be a gutless wonder, but I'm by damn not a quitter. I'm going out kicking and screaming none of this "gentle into that good night" stuff. 'Course like everything else I reckon God has the final blueprint for my life and my job is just to live life to the best of my ability.

Monday will be six weeks since my surgery and I'm down 24 pounds since the surgery, 46 pounds since my first evaluation at the surgeon's and 53 pounds for the year 2006. My Hemoglobin A1c test was 5.2. That's consider within a normal range. I'm only taking one of my former 'heart' drugs and nothing for diabetes. No pills, no shots, no shit! 2 months ago I was taking SEVEN injections a day. Now they say my pancreas will begin to regenerate itself and my diabetes is in remission. It's a miracle to me. I'm in awe of my own body's ability to heal! I feel like the Energizer Bunny who got knocked on it's side for a few years, but then someone came along and put it back up and off it goes again! The wheels were spinning the whole down time, but it wasn't going anywhere and NOW it can make new inroads and see what there is to see and go where there is to go!

The Cure For Diabetes Type II Is Here!
RYN Post-Op Progress Report
Dogs & Hearts - My Own Story
Get Checked
A Single Dove

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sure Am Sorry To Hear About This One

The son of Harris County Sheriff Tommy Thomas is in trouble with the law again.

In 2000, Brent Grady Thomas faced charges related to the accidental shooting of a friend.

He got two years probation.

Thomas, now 26 years old, was arrested again Saturday. He was picked up by Precinct 5 deputy constable in Harris County.

He got out on a $2,000 bond.

He's charged with possession of less than a gram of drugs.

Thomas went to court Monday, but his court date was reset for Jan. 4.

Neither he or his attorney made any comment Monday.

A spokesman for the Sheriff's Office said the elder Thomas loves both of his sons and supports Brent while he is going through this process. Other than that, he said it is a family affair.

-lifted from

It is a family affair, but that doesn't stop me from saying I feel badly for the family! I hope young Mr. Thomas can get his act together and quit embarrassing his good name. My family has seen similar grief due to drugs,immaturity and unwise choices and the problem was resolved by the addicted one before the bottom or jail time was reached. You can lead a horse or lock them up or council the poop outta them, but until they decide to quit messing up it's just an exercise in futility and frustration.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Memories 3 – Presents!

I love getting presents. You can’t insult me with too many of them either. The best presents I ever got were from my husband of 33 years. He loved to give me jewelry and electronics. He almost never gave me clothes because the time or two he did I had to take them back and he hated that. He’d give me nightgowns, robes and houseshoes instead. One year he gave me a complete Cannon A-1 camera and all the bells and whistle attachments. I was stunned and thrilled. He said if anything happened to him and I had to work that maybe I could become a photographer.

He called me his ‘teddy bear’ and gave me hundreds of bears and bear related items over the years. All my friends and kids gave me bears too. I have display cabinets full of bears. Since his death I started collecting police memorabilia and my favorites of those are bears that are also cops! I need to add on a room just for my collections! It all goes hand in glove with my excessive-compulsive character quirks.

But I digress, the topic was supposed to be about CHRISTMAS presents. When I was young I got lots of dolls. Every year I got a doll and haven’t kept a one of them. I had dolls that cried ‘momma’ and wet themselves. They ate food and almost walked around. They were my confidants and friends. I had tea parties with them and spanked them when they misbehaved. To my Mom’s credit she would also give me some of the stuff I asked for… a microscope! I remembered sitting for what seems like hours trying to prick my finger so I could look at my own blood. NOW it’s nothing to prick my fingers for blood glucose testing, but I also have a handy, dandy pricker tool to use instead of the bare needle back then.

What I always wanted was a BB gun and an Erector Set. My brothers got those and I never did. I asked and asked, but that wasn’t gender appropriate…..they didn’t use those words (NO ONE USED THOSE WORDS BACK THEN!) but the message was loud and clear just the same. You are only a girl, you can’t have manly toys. So one day I married my prince and HE gave me guns! By then I didn’t need an Erector Set as I was into the baby making process and that’s all the construction I had the time or the energy for! I also inherited his Red Ryder BB gun and it’s an awesomely accurate piece of metal. To this day I’d rather hang out in a computer store or an office supply store or a gun store than any of the gender specific frou-frou shops!

The one thing I remember the most about my husband was how much he loved to give gifts. He’d get so excited he’d want me to open his gifts the minute he had them wrapped. The kids would be jumping up and down wanting to open all theirs early and he would be jumping up and down wanting me to open all his first. We’d allow the girls to open one present early and usually one more on Christmas Eve, but I wanted to wait and make Christmas Day special. We’d let the kids tear into theirs first and then it was our turn. I’d give him a present and he’s day ‘open that one’ and I’d say ‘open yours first’. The kids spent every Christmas watching us opening presents. Mine took forever to open because there were (are!) always so many. I’m surprised the kids don’t hate me to this day!

I love to give presents too, but I hate to shop. I don’t ‘do’ the mall. I prefer online shopping or just giving them green. I make fudge and sometimes chocolate chip cookies and those that I love the most get those to sweeten their gifts. I’m trying to cut back on the goodie making this year, but the whining has already commenced so I broke down and bought the ‘makin’s’ for a select few to appease their sweet tooths.

It’s taken me most of my life to realize that the joy in giving gifts is in the giving. What someone does with that present once it becomes theirs is their business. My husband never wanted anyone to part with anything he gave and I can appreciate that sentiment, but if you give a gift freely then it should be without any strings attached. You shouldn’t get all weirded out if someone doesn’t quite treasure your treasure the way you do. Your job was in the picking out and giving, now it’s their job to decide if they want the gift or can use it or if they want to return it or put it up on EBay or sell it at the next garage sale. It should not be a slap in the face or rejection of you as a person. It’s a difficult concept to embrace through, I’ll give you that.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Christmas Memories 2

I remember going to midnight Mass and just loving the Baby Jesus in His manger and all the pomp and pageantry surrounding His birth. I loved smelling the incense too. I never understood much of the Latin, but when I fell away they up and changed everything and the last time I went to Mass I felt as alien as the last time I went to a non-Catholic service. I missed the old ways that I’d grown up with. So now my church is with me, it goes where I go, and that way God knows how to find both of us.

I remember my Daddy’s mom always got whiskey for Christmas from at least 2 of her 4 sons. I remember thinking that odd because I never saw her drink anything stronger than iced tea. I overheard her saying though that she drank 3 fingers worth every evening before bedtime. She lived to be 83 so I guess she was doing something good for her heart. There’s a LOT of heart disease in her side of the family.

My favorite grandparent was Josh. He was my Mom’s father and he wouldn’t allow us to call him “Grandfather” or anything else like that. He’d give me the change out of his pocket when he came home and say “Call me ‘Josh’” …… I loved getting his change and I’d of called him Mickey Mouse if that’s what it took to get rich! He always had a Fox Terrier dog that he named “Shorty”. Over the years there must have been a half dozen “Shorties”. The one I remember the most was a vicious little beast when he wanted to be. I was leaning over the bed talking to him (he was ON the bed) one evening and without warning he leaped up and bit me on the face. It stung and made me tear up, but didn’t do any lasting damage. I was hurt emotionally though because I thought the dog liked me. It was years later that I figured out he probably didn’t like me talking into his face and the air currents that produced. Or he could have just been a moody vicious little beast!

None of us ever knew our Daddy’s daddy because he died when my Daddy was just a boy. I always thought that was so sad because everyone should have a daddy. How does a boy learn to be a man without a man’s examples to follow? My Daddy didn’t play any sports that I can recall. He never threw a baseball to me, but he loved baseball better than any other sport. He kept statistics on the games. His mind must have been like a computer long before there were computers. When the Astrodome was built in Houston the slogan was “Make Your Home In The Dome” ….. Daddy took that to heart and did his best to live there until the day he died.

Back in Longview we had real Christmas trees because there just weren’t any artificial ones. I remember one year when we were startled awake to a loud crash and upon investigation discovered the tree had committed suicide. I was horrified and terribly worried that Christmas would be called on account of this unnatural disaster. As it turned out all it needed was up righting and adjusting and the broken ornaments replaced and Christmas was back on. Santa didn’t even know about it as far as I could tell.

Once we moved to Houston in 1960 Daddy went out and bought our first artificial tree. I’m not sure if the first one was the aluminum one or not, but that shiny silver tree was the one I remember above all others. This is what I found that explains the tree to perfection:

The mid-1960's saw another change. A new world was on the horizon, and modernist ideas were everywhere. Silver aluminium trees were imported from America. The 'Silver Pine' tree, patented in the 1950's, was designed to have a revolving light source under it, with coloured gelatine 'windows, which allowed the light to shine in different shades as it revolved under the tree. No decorations were needed for this tree.

I loved it when the tree turned blue, but all the colors were fun to watch. It was better than TV! I’d sit on the couch or lie on the floor and watch the colors changing for hours on end.

Once I got married we went back to real trees until my kid’s allergies made that difficult. The first Christmas in our ‘new’ rent home I sent my husband off with a friend to buy and bring home a tree. We’d discussed the need for a smaller tree as we didn’t have many decorations and the room wasn’t all that large. I felt confident that John would follow the plan since his friend’s vehicle was a Volkswagen bug and he was to bring the tree home atop the bug’s roof. When they rounded the corner after the quest for the perfect tree you almost couldn’t see the car for the tree! He ended up having to chop off more of the trunk just to make it fit our 8’ ceiling! He was so proud of that HUGE tree! It was a nice tree too. Our baby and soon all of us were coughing and sneezing and wheezing, but it was quite the largest Christmas tree we ever had. After that year I went with him to pick out the tree!

Here’s picture of Josh and a Shorty that got a hearing aid in 1969.

Christmas Memories 1

Attila The Mom at Cheaper Than Therapy wrote: “If anybody has a funny, touching, inspirational, silly, etc family story to share---write it up on your blog….”

Alas, the mood I’m in all the family Christmas stories I can think of are small slices of trauma from my earliest memories. Every year we drove from Longview up in East Texas to Houston so my parents could spend Christmas with their moms. We’d have to get up at the butt crack of dawn because Daddy wanted to get on the road early. Mom would drag around and make us late by Daddy’s schedule and that would set the tone for the entire journey. They’d snap at one another the whole trip. And they’d ask one another if the other had turned off the gas space heater and locked the doors. I remember one time when we turned around and went back just to be sure all was secured. I remember another time when they were fighting and Mom grabbed the keys out of the ignition, rolled down her window and let them fly! Daddy was really mad, but he never laid a glove on her. SHE would hit him, but he’d never strike her back. His way was more passive aggressive, but I didn’t know that at the time.

Around the half way point we’d stop and get breakfast. Invariably I’d pick pancakes and sausage with lots of butter and syrup then I’d end up getting sick from the motion of the car. The only way I could avoid motion sickness was to sleep. I can remember when my oldest brother would ride with us I’d be in the back seat with my Mom because *he* always got the front seat. One good memory was that I’d put my head on Mom’s lap and she’d stroke my forehead and play with my hair and I liked that a lot.

When we were probably an hour of so out they’d start fighting about whose mom’s house to stop at first. My Mom and I and sometimes my brother Bill would stay with my Mom’s mom and Daddy and my oldest brother would stay with Daddy’s mom. That never varied. I was convinced my Daddy’s mom didn’t like me. I was fat and she was always comparing me to my skinny neurotic cousin who’s parent would beg her to eat something…..she got chocolate milk especially prepared by her doting parents. I got regular milk. Half way through the meal my Grandmother would make it a point to tell that cousin she ought to eat like me. I don’t know if it was real or merely perceived by me but I swear I could hear “oink, oink, oink” instead of what she was actually saying. My cousin would give me a look as if to say “I don’t want to be FAT like you! Besides I get all this attention from being picky and YOU get ridiculed and humiliated by our own flesh and blood”…. I couldn’t wait until I could go to my Mom’s mom’s house and enjoy my food!

At my Mom’s mom’s house there was always LOTS of good food like cakes and pies and fried meats with mounds of potatoes and gravy. I could eat as much as I wanted however midway through those meals my Granny, who had Type II diabetes only then they called it “sugar diabetes”, would start in on how I was going to get IT like her and have to stick myself every day with NEEDLES. Then she’d offer me some more pie. That never varied either. It was either offers of calorie laden carbs or the needles in my future. She herself would eat pie in the kitchen as if that didn’t count so long as she wasn’t sitting at the table like the rest of us.

Food was comfort and love. Food never judged me. Food only made me sick when there was conflict in my atmosphere or motion that I couldn’t sleep away. My Dad was overweight and he loved to eat. I learned to like what he liked except for buttermilk and minced meat pie. His mom made the best potatoes I’ve ever had. They started out being mashed and then she’d put them in a loaf pan and probably added cheese and bacon pieces and cooked them into a loaf with a slight crusty, buttery top. I’ve never had anything like them since. I’m sure there was some sort of secret ingredient that only she knew about. I miss those potato loaves to this day.

I don’t remember where Santa Claus would find me. I know I got presents at both grandmother’s houses, but I can’t recall if my Santa stuff was hauled with us or if I got it when we went back home. I do remember messing with a present or two under the tree at Daddy’s mom’s and making the tiny hole bigger and bigger. I was very sneaky that way! My oldest brother who was a Nazi spy for my grandmother told on me when he discovered my deeds. I got fussed at, but mostly I didn’t like being exposed as a ‘criminal’. I’m sure my perfect cousin would have NEVER done such a vile thing to her presents.

Wow, this was not what ATM had in mind I’m sure, but Lord it was so cathartic I think I’ll write another one soon. Stayed tuned.

Here we are in my Grandmother's "dining room". From L to R is my Mom, my Daddy, a sullen 15 year old me and my Daddy's mom. I don't know where the food is....this looks like it might of been breakfast. The empty plate in the fore ground belongs to the Nazi spy, the official photographer and family historian. He still is. (A photographer not a Nazi .... funny how when I grew up HE did too!)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Suburban Goddess's Freedom Of Political Correctness

Suburban Goddess: Freedom of Political Correctness
Thursday December 07th 2006, 12:18 pm

"I was watching a Carlos Mencia (dee dee dee) comedy special about a year ago. At the end of his routine, he was ranting about freedom of speech, and closed his act with five minutes of racist, bigoted, biased nicknames for basically every single race & religion on the planet. He then challenged the audience to go into work on Monday & try to say the same things he had just said.

It was a brutal realization that I have absolutely NO freedom of speech. I couldn’t even get the first two out of my mouth before someone would grab me by the hair and hurl me down the stairs towards the HR Department. Not that I would say any of those things anyway, but honestly… even if you wanted to… you CAN’T. In ANY context. And that got me thinking just how hypocritical this country has become...” [Click the link to read the entire post].

At the bottom the Goddess said:
But it seems that political correctness is not helping anyone’s situation. Unfortunately, it does not appear that diversity & tolerance are two principals that can peacefully coincide. Rodney King was completely profound in his simple statement, “Why can’t we just all get along?”

Why can’t we?

I'll tell you why we can't. M-O-N-E-Y and P-O-W-E-R. For instance people in the upper echelons of the black movement [the ones that claim to be religious] are very apt at stirring the pot of hatred because it's to their benefit that they keep the division apparent. Good Lord can you imagine how difficult it would be for these men if they actually had to go to WORK to make a living? If everyone lived in peaceful harmony there'd be no more photo ops! There'd be no more speaking engagements! There'd be no more cash contributions!

And what's more you can substitute any other color and any other group and come up with the same bottom lines .... The Jewish Defense League, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), even the vile KKK. It's the same for any of the hot button polarized subjects ... gun control and the right to bear arms; abortion and the right to life and so on and so on .... the biggest of the big is Republicans vs. the Democrats. God forbid those two should reach common ground and actually work for the benefit of all the citizens!

It's the proliferation of hatred and fear that generate money. Division is a cash cow.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Blogger: Dashboard

Blogger: Dashboard: "Your new version of Blogger is ready!

The new version of Blogger now has all the original features you're used to, plus new post labels, drag-and-drop template editing, and privacy controls. And, it's a lot more reliable.

After you switch you'll need to sign in with your Google Account, but your blogs will stay the same. Their content and layout will not change."

Blogger is buggin' the crapola outta me over this whole new version deal. The key word is "beta". I don't want no stinkin' beta! Let someone else work out all the bugs and THEN maybe I'll switch (if I have to).

This is almost as irritating as the nag screens that MickeySoft can throw at a person. I'm not interested in any part of Vista until I have to be. I don't use the Internet Explorer browser unless I have to and it griped me royally to have to figure out how to get rid of the nag screen and not install it within the latest upgrade. I ended up going to the 'security center' and turning off automatic upgrades. I'm the original cut off my own nose to spite my face gal! I've been burned too many times to not have learned to leave the match playing to others!

HOUSTON METRO | | News for Houston, Texas

HOUSTON METRO | | News for Houston, Texas: "Since Houston annexed Kingwood 10 years ago, The Woodlands has been looking over its shoulder expecting a land grab.

But residents of The Woodlands who were against annexation could breathe a sigh of relief after an agreement was announced Thursday by Sen. Tommy Williams and Houston Mayor Bill White.

It’s a dream come true for residents of The Woodlands. Houston has agreed not to annex them, but because of that residents there might face higher taxes."
"Never" is a nice word in a case like that. My water district struck a deal with the city a few years ago and got a promise of not annexing any of us in the water district that aren't already in Houston for 25 years. Part of the deal was to furnish water to a section that is located in Houston's city limits and under development. I don't recall the exact details, but I know the city gets a piece of the utility district's taxes too. If I wanted to live in the city of Houston I'd of stayed in Spring Branch. My neighborhood is not the greatest in the area, but it's not the worst either and the location is great. I sure don't want to move out any further than I already am. It's taken years and years for us to NOT be in the sticks! Be it ever so humble.....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Update - HPD's Comida Food Drive Is Here Again!

And I'm the lucky reluctant Store Captain for the Fiesta store located at F.M. 1960 and Hwy. 249. I'll be there the 30th, 31st, 1st and 2nd with cup in hand begging for moola and canned goods.

With any luck at all I'll have some other volunteers from the Houston Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association, various area churches and some good looking, well armed men and women in blue to watch me watch the cash.

I've exlained to the powers that be about my recent surgery and how I'm going to be parking it in a chair whenever possible so I can make the entire 8 hours each day and they said that was cool. In fact, they even said I didn't have to be there at all just agree to be the store captain. Duh? Huh? Isn't that like saying you'll have sex and then not being under some guy when the time comes? (Only *I* could bring sex into a conversation about canned goods!).

So hope to see you there. Or if not, go to the Fiesta store closest to you and give to a worthy cause. Thanks!

HPD & HCPAAA's Comida Food Drive & Me (December 7, 2005)


It's over for another year! Yea! We did pretty good at 'my' store too. Total for the 4 days was $1942.96 and 17 boxes of food. It wouldn't of happened without the help of 3 area churches who send a dozen or more volunteers to hand out flyers and generally gently bug people about giving. These same churches and more are also the recipents of the food drive. Months and months before the actual drive the churches submit their needs to the powers that be and get on the list of those in line for the benefits.

Thanks to the Houston Police Officers that worked along side of me too. I considered them my "hired guns" and felt much safer being in charge of so much money with them around. It occurred to me that people tend to be more generous when they saw the uniforms and badges and all the officers were friendly and helped hand out the stickers, pencils, pencil sharpeners and rulers leftover from HPD's DARE programs. Thanks to HPD Officers Bob Smith, Brett Tatum (and his lovely daughter!), Joe Pennington and Ed Hall for their time and help cleaning up each night, storing the 'goodies' and making sure I got the day's cash donations safely stored in Fiesta's vault.

Thanks to my fellow Houston Citizen Police Academy Alumni Debbie Harlow for coming out part of Thursday and Friday to help and keep me company. All the officers and volunteers nearly frozen our own cans off during the 4 days! It was truly a labor of love to endure the first really impressive Artic blast this year. We set up our table right next to the ready-to-eat chickens and often used the hot lights to try and keep our hands warm right along side of the poultry!

Katrina Is Still Causing Damage

This is difficult to write because I know for a fact that not all Katrina evacs are pieces of low life shit. Most have blended well into the environments they were thrust, went on to find jobs and slowly start trying to put their lives back together again. This post in no way reflects on them, they are a tough bunch of folks who deserve respect. This post is about the evacs that get the press for their criminal ways. They are truly pieces of shit not worth spit. Louisiana is better off without them and God knows Houston would be too.

One such family moved into a rent house four doors down from my own. They seemed like nice, quiet people. I'm not sure exactly how many were in the family, but I'd seen 2 or 3 male children, one female, a momma and a poppa at least. The mom was a teacher and the dad left the house each day and I'd assumed it was to go to work. There was one incident whereby the mother and one of her sons got into it in the street. I'd come home from the grocery store and found the teen sitting on the curb between my driveway and my neighbor's front yard. When he saw me turn in he moved across the street and again sat on the curb. His mom came out of their house and was hollering at him. He hollered back. She had a substantial stick in her hand and she advanced on him all the while chewing him like a cow with it's cud. He'd retreat, she'd advance. It was an odd game they played for about 20 minutes. I called one of our deputies on his cell phone and described it to him and he said not to worry. Seems the 'teen' was older than he looked and they'd had a lot of trouble with him. They'd been urged to just kick him out and they didn't follow that advice. After awhile the daddy came home and peace ensued once again.

Well the story today is about how one day they were just gone. They must of moved out in the middle of the night. I saw him a time or two checking the mailbox, but had no clue as to what had happened until recently. The owner of the house lives in the suburbs of Chicago. He'd cleaned the place up and redone it a couple of times after renters had left it badly. I've seen a couple of men in there working and thought they were not unusual since someone had again moved out and left the place in need of refreshing. Come to find out the evacs had been evicted after non-payment for 3 months. They evidentially did not take kindly to this legal move and yet they still had custody of the keys to the place. The landlord did not immediately change the locks. His bad. It seems that within days of their departure they went back inside and completely trashed the place.

They totally destroyed one of the bathrooms and severely damaged the other one. They knocked holes in all the walls. They busted out all the windows in the back of the house. They even took a hot iron to the carpeting. I don't know for sure, but I'll bet the homeowner didn't even try and contact the authorities. He says he'd bought the place as an investment, but now he's had enough of it. It's costs him money and he just wants to get rid of it. It should be on the market soon. That'll be three houses in a row for sale, but that's another story for another day.

Oh, one other thing. The neighbor on the North side is the kindest older man in the neighborhood. He's always got a smile and a kind word of everyone he sees. The daddy from next door knocked on his door and asked to borrow some jumper cables. The nice man went and got his and handed them over. The evac said thanks and starting walking down the street away from the house. The nice man hailed him and asked where the car was and he was told in Kroger's parking lot. To make a long story shorter, the evac was given a ride to his car and it was jump started off of the nice man's car. Then the evac asked if he could borrow the cables a day or two until he could get a new battery. He was granted his request and the nice man has never seen the cables since! That was a few days before they up and vanished. Jerk.