July 26, 2010

Cowardly Chicken

"Coward: One who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs."
--Ambrose Bierce

The apartment is clean. Vacuumed, dusted, dishes put away, laundry ironed, bathroom sanitized, everything is in its proper place. I have done my hair & put make-up on so Jordan does not come home to a scary/crazy looking person as his wife. I know what I am going to make for dinner & am waiting until the appropriate time to start preparing it. I have some time to kill. I choose to start a new book Eat, Pray, Love. As I read I feel at one with the world because it pleasantly starts to rain. I can hear the rain & it sounds so peaceful. I open the blinds to their full capacity. I sit down & continue reading. I occasionally look up at the beautiful view, shake my head in awe at my serene surroundings.
Then...the thunder starts.
Wait, no, I was just having a perfectly peaceful afternoon, go away.
More thunder. Followed by a lot of lightening. I hate thunder & lightening. I am like the family pet, quivering legs, & on the verge of wetting myself (excuse the image, but it is true!). The lights start to flicker. I can no longer read my book. I decide the only way to get my mind off the violent storm, going on right outside my front door, is to sit at the computer & blog about it. I decide I need pictures, because blog posts with no pictures are kind of boring.
So I introduce you to the cowardly photographer - Me.
Here I sit, in my big comfy chair, reading, looking up distracted by my fear. I fear of lightening entering my home through the window & murdering me. You can't exactly see it, but it's there...in my eyes...Fear.

Looking nervously out of the blinds I was so excited to open moments earlier to get a better view of the rain - NOT the lightning...go away! Looking outside in contemplation of opening the front door to get a good shot of the rain. Am I brave enough?! Surely, I will get struck by a bolt of lightning & die...but, the blog...the people need pictures!

I open the door, vulnerable to certain death when the loudest crash of all occurs. Thunder. Darn it! It must have known I was trying to be brave. I skeedaddle out of there, but not before I got the shot.

Limbs quivering as I type. A few moments ago, I was at peace with mind, body, spirit. Now, I want to jump out of my own skin & curl up in fetal position. What a chicken - feathers all over my body!

These rainstorms in Texas are for the birds. Too bad I'm a cowardly chicken.

July 25, 2010


Jordan & I watched the movie Invictus tonight.
I had heard it was less about Rugby & more about Nelson Mandela - - which is an A++ in my book.
What an amazing person.
When the movie ended I asked Jordan, "Do you think there are a special handful of people who, just quite simply, have God whispering in their ears, guiding them? Like there is something in life that they all just Get, & the rest of us don't?"
Well, I believe that.
What an amazing man.
He spent 27 years in prison - I have not even spent 27 years on this earth.
He came out of prison with forgivness for those who imprisoned him.
Then became President of a broken South Africa.
"In my country we go to prison first and then become President."
He wished to fix the country he loved. He knew a God who had the same wishes.
So God whispered in his ear & told him the steps to follow to mend what was broken.
"I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man."
The people of South Africa hated eachother.
"If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgivness."
& so a very wise man in alliance with God fixed the hearts of God's children.
"Never, never, and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another."Invictus
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thanks whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath & tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

-William Ernest Henley

If you have not seen the movie, see it. It is less about rugby & more about Nelson Mandela. Which earns an A++ in my book.

July 22, 2010

Modeling Career

Remember how I went to the Happiest Place on Earth with my sister & her cute family at the beginning of the year?!?!I just sat down at the computer tonight thinking of those fond memories, even exclaiming to Jordan..."Do you even know how much I love Disneyland?! I would go all the time if you let me."

I was sitting down at the computer & then proceeded to check my e-mail. There was an e-mail from Disney offering discounted rates & it got me thinking even more...
I remembered how Bethany & I were walking along, dragging 3 semi-grumpy kids through the park [I think Adam was grabbing the stroller] when we were approached by a Disneyland employee. She asked us if we would be willing to ride the Storybook Land Canal Boats [the ride that goes into the whales mouth - I didn't know what it was until I saw it] & allow our pictures to be taken for the Disney website, which they were in the process of updating. We thought it would only take a moment of our precious time so we agreed. Bethany signed release papers while they made Adam de-logo himself. He zipped up his jacket to hide a Billabong logo on his shirt & removed his Quicksilver hat. Then they bought him a new hat to cover-up his hat hair. Picky, picky! It ended up being a bigger ordeal than we had originally anticipated. They moved us "models" to the front of the line [poor non-modeling people had to just standby & watch it all happen]. We rode the ride once & the photographer didn't think the boat looked full enough, so they enlisted another family. The photographer positioned us in such a way that made me a wee-bit uncomfortable. You see, she sat me next to my brother-in-law, Adam (AKA: T-Rex, see March 22, 2010 post), & Bethany was across from us with the kids.
My thoughts are as follows:
Oh, Dear...I can see it now...6 months from now, when they update the website with these new pictures...there we will be...Adam & I sitting together...looking like a couple...this outta be good.
We rode the ride a total of 3 times.
By the end of it the lady told us to check the website in June for the changes & maybe our pictures would be up.
Later, Bethany & I discussed why our little family was chosen to model out of the hundreds of people walking around. We started observing the people around us, walking to & fro, & decided there a lot of freaky looking people at Disneyland.
Never noticed? Take a gander next time you are there.
We simply looked the most normal/average/sane/G - Rated.

So here I sat tonight thinking about Disneyland when my memory was sparked to check the website. Each ride has a slide show of pictures & as I glanced at the pictures of Storybook Land I was feeling a tad let down that our pictures did not make it to the website...
When finally this came up!!!!Closer up view - - Yeah, that's me...with Lucy & Bennett!Happiest day of my life! I made it on the Disneyland website!
~Sorry Bethany, Adam, & Nora~
Only the most beautiful could make it on the website. Just kidding.
Click here if you would like to see the real deal.
Oh, & no awkwardness with Adam & I because they did not use those shots. Maybe the uncomfortableness showed on our faces. Pheew!

July 19, 2010

Antique Shopping

Dad, Mom, & Ben spent another week with us that was full of antique shopping & a lot of driving to get to antique store destinations.
So while Jordan went to work, Dad, Mom, Ben, & I navigated our way to the small towns surrounding Austin in search of treasure.
Dad & Ben were good sports & I enjoyed getting out of the house to see the area a little more.
Antique shopping in Texas is different than antique shopping in Arizona. There is a lot of good stuff for a fraction of the price.
Jordan & I are only here in Austin for 1 more short month & only have so much room in the car, but if I had the extra room...{insert daydreaming}...I would for sure be headed home with new [I guess technically old, but new to me] furniture.
A darling shabby chic dresser in Arizona would cost you about $800!
In Texas, a mere $125!
I am so sad we do not have the room to bring home any of these great deals. I did make a few purchases.
Treasures I could not live without.
They are beauties I know will fit in the car for the ride back home.
Shop 'til you drop was the motto of last week, & boy oh boy was I worn out after each day, but I had a lot of fun.
Now my antique shopping buddies have left us & are on their l o n g journey home & today I am a little sad.Thanks for coming to visit us & entertaining me the past 1 1/2 weeks.
♥ ♥ ♥ I miss you already, but we will see you again soon. ♥ ♥ ♥

July 12, 2010


My fabulous family came to enjoy the beautiful city of Austin with us.We did all sorts of very exciting things. We tubed down the Guadalupe River one afternoon. Luckily it was not as busy as this picture shows.
It rained a little bit on us, but just enough to make the adventure even more fun. Unfortunately, there are no pictures to document our travels down the river because none of us wanted to get our cameras wet. Good times & I hope to do it again.
After tubing the river we finally saw the
~Best Movie of the Year~It did not disappoint!

On Saturday, we did a Duck Tour. {A Duck is a vehicle made during WWII that can travel on land & in the water} It gave us a great tour of the city & its history. The University of Texas campus looks beautiful & has some very loyal fans. We got Jordan a hat so we could blend in well & look like true Texans. After seeing the sights in downtown Austin we took the plunge in Lake Austin.
The dam helps control the water levels & prevents floods from entering downtown Austin. Look at that beautiful sky. I can't get over how blue it is (no pollution cloud as found in the Valley of the Sun) & those puffy clouds...I can't walk outside without commenting on how beautiful the sky is here.
After the Duck Tour I finally made it to fliphappy Crepes. I have been trying to make it here since we arrived over a month ago. They have funky hours & Jordan & I have never made it there. The crepes are lovingly made by 2 women who are constantly being featured on Food Network & the Travel Channel. The crepes were sure tasty - - but, way too small just to have one. Live & Learn.We wanted to show everyone the Capital building & this time I remembered my camera. Again, check out the happy clouds. Can you see us?

We are 4 stories high & there are still at least 12 more stories above us [we are only allowed to go to the 4th story].Jordan in front of a picture called "Dawn at the Alamo." The Capital building is so pretty! It is 11 feet taller than the Nation's Capital building. Everything has to be bigger in Texas. A little Skip-Bo to polish off the evening...I was not having any luck & lost miserably each round. On another evening we went to a park just north of us. I have been saving an old loaf of bread for weeks so I could feed the ducks.
These snobby little ducks weren't even hungry! They didn't want my old bread - so sad.

Bringing the bread wasn't a complete failure, at least the fishies ate some of it. Jordan & Elyce happily feeding the ducks/fish.

A happy looking Daddy!
Another fun thing at the park...playing Teeter-Totter with the deck.
Totter. Must have been all that Chuy's Tex-Mex we ate.
Three times in four days sounds a little obsessive don't you think?!?
It is THAT good though.
Before Elyce & Anita headed to the airport we had to celebrate a very special 69 year old's Birthday!
Happy Birthday Big Daddy! I you more!

July 5, 2010

Celebrating Freedom With Some Okies


Can you hear it?!

You know what I mean?

The song. THE song.

O---klahoma, where the wind comes sweeping off the plain
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say
Yeeow! Ayipioeeay!
We're only sayin'
You're doin' fine, Oklahoma!
Oklahoma O.K.

Well, I heard it [in my head] the entire drive up to Oklahoma this past weekend to visit my Aunt & Uncle & some cousins who live in the very small town of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma.
And look who I found there too!
Dad, Mom, & Ben!Jordan had a long weekend off work & I really wanted to visit these special folks while we were in Austin this summer, since they would be a hop, skip, & a jump away. The only cousin I have that is my age [on my mom's side of the family] has always lived eons away.
Pismo Beach, California. Muskogee, Oklahoma. Santiago, Chile. Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
Fort Gibson, Oklahoma.
You get the idea...I NEVER see her!I spent a month (longest time I was away from home before now) in Wisconsin with these fine people the summer before I started Junior High. Good memories.
We had a very nice weekend. The girls went antique shopping,while the boys stayed home & rode quads in the rain & mud. I never got to see the boys with mud all over them, but I can imagine they looked somewhat like this...We got home from shopping and had a Fish Fry.My grandma used to have Fish Fry's whenever my grandpa went fishing - probably somewhere in Mexico. The whole family would gather at Grandma & Grandpa's house & there was plenty of crispy, golden-fried fish to go around. Grandpa would always say, "I wonder what the poor folks are eating?"
I have very fond memories of those special times as they do not happen anymore. I have not had a Fish Fry in years (seriously, well over 10 years).
A Huge thanks to these 2 ladies, especially Miss Kathy who slaved over the hot stove while we devoured the most scrumptious dinner ever.
Oh, & my cousin David for catching all the fish, he was also a very important piece in the equation.
We had an extra special Fourth of July in Oklahoma.
My Uncle Gary is 1st Counselor in the Bishopric & was in charge of the meeting on Sunday. He organized a very special program with the organist to help celebrate the Fourth.
I, personally, have always been sensitive to the power of music & I have never been so moved as when I heard Come, Come, Ye Saints & The Star Spangled Banner played in a small church in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The organist & the chorister were father & son & they played with such
Power. Vigor. Soul. Spirit.
I wish I could have half as much passion for anything as they displayed for us what was obviously a passion & love for music.
My Uncle Gary is also the Director of the Chamber of Commerce in Fort Gibson & helped raise money, put together, provided the music, & announce the Fireworks Show for the community.
Like a dummy I forgot my camera, so these picture were taken with Jordan's phone, but here I am with Lindsey (her hubby, Rodney, in the background). We are decked out in our Red, White, & Blue.Mom...& Dad, sort of.I have never been that close to the fireworks. It was so much fun. I could even watch the young man, Aaron?, run around to light all the fireworks, what a workout! What a great country we live in. We are so blessed to have the freedom we enjoy. Thank you to all those who have & do & will make it all possible. We are forever indebted.
The after party fireworks show was provided by this crazy
pyromaniac/fireworks addict.& supervised by this tough looking guy & others.The after after party included a concert provided also by Beninem. Listen here.
& a viewing of What Lies Beneath. Some of us were braver than others. Ahem, Mom!
We picked up some new rides while we were there too.
Do you like them?
My uncle likes to collect cars & Jordan liked to drive them.This look is accompanied by shaking his head and saying "Ooff, I like this."Thank you for the fun weekend Gar-Bear & Miss Kathy. We you. Come see us in Austin.
Can you tell I am the favorite niece?
Well, I am.