Archive from December, 2012
Dec 25, 2012 - Family    4 Comments

My Big Fat Texas Christmas

We really had a great weekend.  Very laid back. But then Christmas arrived and things got all cray.

First of all, Siegfried has finally caught on to this whole Christmas business.









“mokay” : as seen on


And then once we managed to drag Boy out of bed, the frenzy began.


Actually, neither one of them cared too much about what was inside the packages.  They just wanted to annihilate the paper.

And then we made Jesus a birthday cake…


…and we spent the rest of the time trying to save the toys from the toddlers.







….and then we drove to The Ranch and ate a ton of food right before a big fire broke out somewhere over yonder.


4 different fire departments showed up (mostly volunteer, one an old man and woman team who looked like they both might play the banjo….) and tried to get the blaze under control.  Our menfolk were out there too shoveling dirt on the flames.

It was good.

And just in case you missed some of my photos on various networking sites, here are a couple of pics.

Merry Christmas y’all.


NOT a morning hero….


Eatin’ beans on the deck….


Our 17-year wedding anniversary…


I love love love love love love palm trees.


Groggy Sig.


Siggys Christmas Bed.

The Lamest Blog Post in History (but the world only has 4 more hours to end…)

We are spending Christmas in the lovely Gulf of Mexico.  It would be all glamorous to say that we were in OUR beach house, which Siegfried regularly announces.  But we don’t own a house, much less a beach house.  But God has looked out for us, even in the non-vital areas of life.  So this weekend, we are chillin’ (like Bob Dylan) at The Beach House.  

(click that link for pictures)

I was going to finish a blog I’d started this week, but I forgot my stylus.  Waaa!

I tried a finger-painting….


…but that one totally didn’t work out for me.

This week has been crazy.

And by “crazy“, I mean “I’ve had 3 things to do.”

But they’ve all been at night (during my regularly scheduled “free time”) so I feel like I’ve been going non-stop.  I’ll post pics later on.  For now, here’s a preview of one of next week’s posts.


That picture will make sense to about 5 of you.  For everybody else….. Its a surprise!  Sort of like an M. Night. Shyamalan movie.  Only with 1/47 millionth the budget.  And half the cheese (or 10 times the cheese.  Depends on your cinematic taste.)

Anyway, the first thing I did when I got here today was string some Christmas lights.


And then the Dark Knight made some tomato soup from scratch.

Here. Look upon my food. It is nice food.  Pretend you care about that which I ingest.

Really, this is my most favorite place on the planet.  So glad to be here for Christmas (which we will celebrate on Sunday morning so that we can have a day or two of relative peace before they get tired of their new junk….)

Its a good place to be.

I’m a Loser, Baby. So Why Don’t You Kill Me.


My Immune System is an idiot.

In the past two years I’ve been all over the place with the afflictions.

Last year I actually had SHINGLES.  Who has that???  Isn’t that some kind of disease sailors get from witch doctors in Indonesia?  Or is that Scury..or Scabies…?  I’m not sure, but I DO know that you DON’T want to get shillings.  Scalies.  SHINGLES!

And ever since then my Immune system has been sleeping on the job.  I hadn’t had the stomach flu in 23 years and then BAM!


Twice in a row!

And then when I came back from Chicago my kids were sick and by Wednesday I was all…


But then by Friday I was suddenly….

…and my face experienced a vast range of undesirable cooties.

I’ve about had it with all that nonsense.

A Mixed-Bag Blog Post

I’m back.

From Chicago.

As you know, I’ve been cutting and washing and drying and shredding burlap in my home for over a month now. I am so burlapped out.  I shipped it all off and got on a plane (with my design for a 16 foot tree) and headed to Chicago.  It was for a wedding.  A friend was getting married downtown in a very cool loft space.  High ceilings.  Industrial, with long wooden beams and brick walls.

My youngest brother Adam met me there on Wednesday and Thursday morning we got to work.

The bride told me that she wanted a big tree. Or a forest.  Whatevs.  I’ve never built a tree before, but I thought, why not.

After a trip to home depot that put both Adam and I in a coma, we started construction.

We weren’t supposed to actually get into the space until Saturday but I called and cried on the phone, and the lovely Natalie at Loft on Lake let me into the space an entire day early.  Thank you Lord!  That saved me in a million ways. And if I hadn’t had Adam there to help me, it would have never ever ever happened.  He was THE man!

Now 16 ft, when written down on paper, doesn’t sound like much. But dude, it is much.


I almost panicked at least 47-million times.


And on that first day people were walking through the loft looking at the tree like it was on crack.


But then it began taking shape.


And Mysi, from Soda Fountain Photography, came in and was the first to appreciate what it was.


And that pretty much made my day.  This is a picture she shot on Instagram.


And as Saturday wore on, other people began to understand the tree.


And by the time we went back to the hotel to change, I was no longer breathing into a paper bag.

So we got all spiffy…

…and went to the wedding. Which was beautiful.  I’m not going to post the great photos of the final product.  I’ll wait for the bride to get the pictures out there wherever she wants them.

But here are a few grainy phone shots.

The Florist, Viviana, of Petal Play Design, really knocked them dead with her arrangements.  she made it spectacularly beautiful.

And when I introduced myself to her she gave me a big hug like she’d known me her whole life.  I can’t tell you how happy that made me.

Everyone who knows how much work I put into this asks if it was worth it.  Not even a little bit.  It was hours and hours of working with that nasty burlap.  I busted our dryer.  Then I flew out to Chicago and worked my rear off for 3 days straight. It was stressful.  And hard.

Even before the set-up I told people that if I ever did this again I would be charging….a lot.


The most wonderful part of the experience was being with my brother.

I was 16 when he was born.


A lot has happened since then.

And I never get him all to myself.

So this was our time.  We walked all over downtown.  The Christmas lights were out on Michigan Ave. The weather was mild.  It was heaven.


The strangest thing about being with Adam is just how much he reminds me of the other men in my family.  He’s 22 now.

Looks a lot like my dad at that age.


Aside from the fact that my dad is 5ft8 and Adam is 6ft3 and lifts weights.

He also looks like my grandpa.  

Only with smaller ears…..

Adam, thank you for coming with me and working SO HARD for nothing.  I owe you big-time.  I’ll make it up to you!

Another bright note was staying with friends.  We had not a nano-second of extra time so it was so nice to get to see them for a few minutes before bed and in the morning.  They have a 2.5-year-old daughter who ran down the stairs in the morning, wrapped herself around me and said “I missed you!”

She’s never met me before.

She also called me Fruit Heather the entire time, which made me thankful that I grew up eating Fruit Leather and could fully understand the misconception.  It melted my heart.

And then I came home after being away from my own midgets for 4 whole nights (for the first time ever).  They met me at the airport and their reactions were interesting.  Siegfried just about flipped his gourd with glee and Boy literally THREW himself into the air and kicked his legs out in a burst of fury, landed right on his rear and looked at me like, “This is what you get…..”