Monday, March 26, 2012

Junk Zappers...Bzzzzy...Gotcha!

We got home last night from taking the first trailer down to the Mother Ship and y'all will be pleased as punch to flats!  Can I get a yee to the haw?

Have I mentioned Cat Daddy won't be at the show for its entire run this time?  I know ladies...y'all are crestfallen at this news, but try for just a minute to put aside y'alls disappointment and let's concentrate on ME...whatcha say?

I talk a lot about all the crazy antics we have...and we do have some doozies.

I talk a lot about all the Zappers I get to laugh and hang with...and I do 'til my sides hurt.

I'm a Zapper, C.D.'s a Zapper...wouldn't you like to be a Zapper too?

I talk about all the fun y'all are missing when you don't come...and you don't have any idea 'til you get yourself on down here.

What I don't talk about is how tough this show can be on the body and mind.

Doing a show this big and for this length of time requires a ton of volume and in weight!

We have a penchant for the pieces that are...ahem... a little big and the thought of trying to place those bad boys that are taller than me can be a little daunting!

Thankfully, my manly man and the Zapp Hall crew were able to put all the king's horses and all the king's men in place yesterday.

When I go back on Wednesday, I'll be flying solo until the weekend, but I won't be totin' furniture...just tubs of great stuff.

I say only like it's no big deal to empty all those tubs and find a place for everything that isn't all willy-nilly.  Done right, it is a big deal...huge!  I never like to cover my furniture with too many accessories.  You know the old saw "can't see the forest for the trees"?  That can happen with too many smalls piled on.  As in everything in's a process of editing and edifying.

It's also a bit of challenge to get the tent customer-ready while visiting with friends just stopping by. not even begin to think I don't want you stopping in for a sit-down...goodness no.  Law...I love seeing and talking with everyone who makes it by for a howdy-do.  Just don't be surprised if I hand you a plastic tub and expect you to start unwrapping!  Aw y'all...I'm just ribbin' ya.  I never expect a guest to work...unless they are just dying to!  Kiddin'...kiddin'...I promise up and down!

The other thing that makes this show so doggone hard is the weather.  (I know I'm gonna get me some amens from the choir on this subject!)

Here in Texas it can be hot as whodathoughtit one minute...cold as a well digger's bucket the next.  Out on the pastures, the wind can come howlin' in or it can play hide and seek until you're reduced to using a church fan for a little re-spite.  Dry...wet...all in a blink of an eye.

Snow...tornadoes...dust storms...drought...we've seen...and felt it all.  Just like I have to pack my entire closet to head down, the tent has to be set up to accommodate any and all weather changes.

Wind can take down mirrors...and a split second.  Dry ground can become slick, muddy messes around...and in some case under...the tent just as fast. You ain't lived 'til you've been a lifeboat for a swarm of fire ants paddlin' by!

Dealers have to be prepared to yank merchandise back under the tent in a moment's notice...and sometimes not even that.

It's work, but work with rewards...and not just monetary.  It's a satisfaction that comes from doing a job and doing it the best I know how.  It's the pride (yes...I said pride) that comes from having folks admire your style, merchandising, and product.  It's the bone tired weariness that covers you from head to toe at the end of the day from giving it 100% for 100% of the time we're there.

Doing it without Cat Daddy will be hard, but I've done it before and I'll do it this time.  It just won't be as much fun without having him there to cuss confer with...or fetch my pimento cheese sandwich.  Fact is...I enjoy watching him push that ol' Dolly Mama back and forth...especially when it's carryin' something headed to a new home!

If y'all don't mind...let me say something else about the weather.  Last fall, as you all know, we experienced one of the worst drought in years.  Last spring, the fields were scorched from the sun and the bluebonnets scarce due to a lack of rain.  By the time fall came around, there was dust instead of grass and the wildfires were running rampant.  Brown and grey were the only colors for as far as the eye could see.  I won't lie to was a scary time to be down there with only one road in and out.  It was also heartbreaking.

I love Texas with every breath in my body and beat of my heart.  To have to stand and helplessly watch her take such a beating was heart wrenching, but just as the seed of the bluebonnet is extremely hard and is Texas and her folks.

Thanks to God sending two times the normal rainfall this winter, a bumper crop of bluebonnets dotted the roadsides, pastures and yards, greeting us with their happy faces on our way down to Warrenton.  The green prairie grasses waving in the breeze, yellow broom dancing with the Indian paint brush, flowing creeks and streams...all were welcoming us home.  Renewing me...whispering that in all things...even despair...God is us hope...always hope.

Just as God placed a rainbow in the sky to remind us of His Covenant, so He spread a rainbow on the ground of my beloved Texas to remind us to never give up hope.  I have never felt so awed by the simple beauty of wildflowers and all the promises they hold. of the most beautiful words in any language.

I hope y'all get to come and see for yourselves the majesty that is Texas in the springtime.

I hope you bring a camera to capture that majesty.

I hope I get to see your faces in my tent and that you leave with a smile on that face.

I hope y'all know...with help from God...we've rolled out the blue carpet just for you.

~I've been sent to spread the message...God blessed Texas.~Little Texas

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cat Daddy Logic

Windin' up the round-up for the Greatest Show On Dirt.  We'll be headin' out come Saturday mornin' to take the first trailer and yeah...I'm plumb wore out.

So wrung out...I don't know if I'm a'washin'...or a'hangin'!

~If your a'waitin' on're backin' up.~

I'm finishin' up the last of the packin' and wonderin' who I'll get to see this go round.

~Can't hit ya for dodgin'.~

~Cowboys are like outhouses...all the good un's are taken.!

This is one of the biggest and best loads we've ever herded down to Zapp...I ain't woofin' ya.

Two trailers y'all!!!

~It's all very simple.  Keep your mind in the middle while your butt goes round and round.~

There's things that didn't get done, but I'm so far behind...I'm lookin' at my backside...and the view ain't all that great!  The strays'll just have to hold their water to get branded once we git there.

~Nobody ever drowned in their own sweat.~

'Nuff said Pardner!

~Hold her head up Ma...she's goin' to the barn.!~

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Pair of Pack Mules

I was asked recently what led me to start blogging.

Good question...with several answers.

One...SweetT told me to...and I always do as I'm told.

Two...God told me to...and I always listen when He speaks.  He knew I was going to need all the support I could get in the coming months and He was always.  Let me say right now...thank you all for the all the love that came our way during the months leading up to and following Bella's arrival.  I've said it before, but it bears repeating...I felt the prayers like a warm hug every minute of every day.  Thank you also for all the sweet birthday wishes for our little girl!  Y'all are the best!

Third...I wanted to create identity.

All my life I've been known by many names.

The girls...Kerri and Debbie...

Joey and Jenn's mom...

Danny and Debbie...the list went on...

and always there was an and included with my name.

I wanted a stand-alone identity for business purposes...mine and mine alone.

When I wrote my first post, that was my plan.  Talk about the antique business, things I love, and create this whole cool persona of myself for the shows.

That's what I thought I wanted, but one cannot be married for nigh on 40 years and keep a single person outlook.  It just isn't possible...although I keep threatening to let him try single for a while...especially when we're loading that trailer at night!

Cat Daddy infiltrated my blog just as he infiltrated my heart all those years ago.  We are a matched set of mules linked in the harness of life...complete with brass conchos.  We may balk and let out a bray from time to time, but we also pull the load quicker together than apart.  Just call us Jack and Jenny!

(Like scorpions, we travel as a pair.  If you see one...hang on.  The other one is just around the corner looking at something shiny!)

We finish each other's sentences, meals, and jokes.  If one stumbles...the other is there to pick up the slack.  By pulling in tandem rather than in opposite directions...we don't kill ourselves...or each other.  Do we always get along...heck no!  Only with patience and a lot of practice getting into those collars, have we managed to never lose a load...or deliberately kick hurt one another.

At times, our pace can be off.  We've been known to throw a hissy shoe, get a bit spavined from overwork, and be a burr under each other's saddle...but when that happens...we forget about being stubborn, cuss discuss what's wrong...fix it...and get on with the job at hand. 

Simple truth...try as I might to be just Debbie...I never will be.

These are the simple truths I've come to appreciate over the course of time.

I will always have an and in front my name.

Without each other, we are painfully hobbled.

I will happily always be the other half of this Cat dog and pony show known as Trash AND Cat Daddy...but at least for now...I get top billing!

There is one thing I managed to accomplish by blogging that I aimed for. I have met some of the nicest folks on the planet. I've also been fortunate to meet and shake howdy with a lot of y'all at my second home at Zapp Hall.

I sure hope to add to that list in about two weeks!

In the meantime...I gotta get back to work now y'all.  Cat Daddy has finished up his feed bag...and this bed and ship's galley rack ain't gonna load themselves!

When you get to the Greatest Show on Dirt...just ask for Trash and Cat Daddy.  Folks a'know who you're lookin' for and if'n they don't...just listen for the sound of braying laughter.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Meaning of Bella...God's Promise

March 12, 2012

Dear Diary,

As I sit here tonight, I can't believe it's been three years since that day Dr. Matthews told Jenn and Roby he was going to have to deliver their baby by C-section. Jenn's Preeclamsia was causing her liver enzymes to escalate, her blood pressure was sky-rocketing despite the meds, and a crash cart had been ordered.  Try as she might, it couldn't be delayed any longer.  A baby was coming at 23 weeks and 4 days.

With steady, calm hands Dr. Matthews quickly lifted the baby from Jenn and gently placed her on a stainless steel tray...all 10" and 15 ounces of Bella...our teeny. tiny micro-premmie.  Roby could only stare in wonder.

Now began Jenn's walk through fire armed only with prayer and a faith in God's perfect plan...her shields against the doubts and fears that could arise in the weeks and months to come.
Looking back Diary...I'm still amazed by God and His power to hold...and to awe.

In His perfect timing, had she been one week earlier, Bella wouldn't have been viable...four days earlier and she wouldn't have received steroids for her lung development.  That one week and four days increased her chance of survival from 10% to 53%.  God, breathing into her and over her, changed it to 100%...glory!

This wasn't a coinicidence...this was the power of God....and in His perfect timing, Bella grew stronger and bigger in the many days to come, proving the experts wrong...the statisitics wrong...and the existence of angels right. 
To stand and watch the miracle of creation encased in a tiny glass feel His awesome power fill the watch the nurses and doctors stand with amazed faces as Bella grew and flourished...I left the NICU every day humbled.  All the negativity and statistics fell by the wayside when face to face with a mighty God who held this tiny baby in His loving hands.

Diary, we couldn't contain our joy when that day came in August to take her home.  To have witnessed my own baby become a mother was a gift.  To see her become such a wonderful mother...a privilege.  Jenn never lost hope, holding fast to her God for the strength to face whatever trials and complications Bella might face once she was released.

And in Bella's beginning...God was in control.

Bella continued to thrive, staying on oxygen for several more months, receiving therapy to aid her in developmental skills, but with no major health problems.  Diary...I have to repeat those last four words and pinch!

Praise God! 
By the time Bella reached her first birthday, the oxygen tank was no longer needed.

Diary...she was a little behind on walking and talking, but if it meant carrying her for the rest of her life...we were all prepared to do it.  Whatever God called for us to do...we were ready.

But His perfect plan for Bella...He carried her...and us.

Her first birthday was a major milestone for this child of God.  If the therapists wanted her to start taking a few steps...she did.  Could she learn simple words like Mama and Dada?  No problem.  Solid food in addition to her special formula for weight gain...bring it on.  She didn't just flourish...she blossomed.

God holding her in His hands as she held our hearts in hers.  Whatever was asked of her...He helped her to not just attain it, but surpass her medical caregivers' expectations...time and time again.
Oh my goodness Diary.  Two was remarkable!  To watch as she began toddling around, making a mess as she went.  Reveling in the pure joy of her everyday routine.  Thankful for every little step, every little word, every little kiss.
To watch as her personality began forming and her sense of understanding growing.  To see her soak up the world around her like a sponge, her eyes taking in everything down to the tiniest detail.  To watch her eyes go back and forth when my hair wasn't in braids or I wasn't wearing my glasses.  Seeing her mind formulate an answer to her questioning eyes and then watching as she figured out what was different.  To be able to share in the delight on her face when she solved her own problems.  The simple things that somehow get lost in the shuffle of life were suddenly more important than anything.
Perhaps Diary, we paid closer attention because she is a gift...her life, a precious gift from God...not to be taken lightly.  But Diary...isn't that true of all children?  Through her, I have a different outlook on everything in my life.  I watch her, Graycie, and Brandon differently.  I try not to miss anything...down to the minutia of what happened in school during lunch.
Dearest Diary...through the weeks leading up to her birth and the months she was in the hospital,  this precious baby...this blog baby as she became known...touched so many people.  Strangers at the friends forever because of her and their hope and prayers for her.  A uniting of people that can't be explained except by the knowledge, this was part of His plan for all of us. She snuggled into their hearts just as she snuggled into ours and forever bound us across the miles and oceans by the love and prayers so generously shared.   
So I sit here tonight, transfixed Diary, smiling and crying while looking at images of Bella.  Lost in thought and forgetting to breathe from time to time.  Photos that capture my heart, make me weak in the knees, and thankful for His mercy.  I don't know the whys.  It isn't for me to know.  I do know that through His grace and by the blood of His precious son...I have been forgiven and I am saved.  I also know that I am charged to witness to the gift of eternal life that is ours through Jesus Christ.  Miracles do exist...and not just in the Bible.  Bella is my witness of His miracles.  He is the Great I am and I will forever with humble adoration...praise His name.  It is because of her, my prayer tonight and always, is for all to know the peace that comes from letting go and letting Him take control of our lives.

I can't write anymore Diary.  The tears are blinding me, but don't worry...they're tears of joy.  I probably should close this now and get ready for bed and my prayers.

You know me though Diary.  When it comes to how wonderful God is...I never want to stop talking.  Rest prayers will be about praising the magnificence of my Lord and His faithfulness before saying goodnight to this beautiful day.

~I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.~Psalms 139:14

Thank you Lord for all your gifts, for the friends who now share my life, and for this precious little girl you have blessed us with.

Your humble servant,


Friday, March 9, 2012

Dancin'...& Fiddlin'...With The One Who Brung Me!

Oh mylanta y'all!

As SweetT pointed out just this morning, we've got...gulp...3 weeks to finish getting ready for the Greatest Show on Dirt!

Like that ain't bad enough...time changes this Sunday and I'm gonna lose an hour.

What the hay?  Don't they realize I don't have an hour to spare, much less give back?  I need every single, stinkin' second I can scrounge up before March 30th!

(Personally...I think they should just choose one and leave it at that, but heck...they can't even leave the date for switching alone so why would I expect 'em to make it easy!)
So-o-o...not only is that hour stolen lost, but my friendly neighborhood weatherman is calling for rain all weekend.  People, people, people...what are y'all trying to do to this chubby lady?  Doncha know I'm dancin' as fast as I can?

What's a girl to do you ask?  Why she gets out the ol' Big Chief tablet, her trusty Berol Handhugger and she makes lists, prioritizing everything from what's trailer ready to what's suitcase worthy!

First order of the day...see to it the Man is duded up and decked out!
See that arm sticking out?  Yeppers...that belongs to the one and only Cat Daddy!
For those of y'all who are new readers, I think I need to stop here and explain a few cat facts about my very own Cat in the hat starting with this is no normal, flesh and blood mortal.  Oh no y'all.  He is the stuff legends are made of 'round Zapp Hall...and especially at T's blog party!  Don't believe me?  Ask her!
You mark my words unbelievers.  When the photos start filtering in from the show...I promise you up and down...Cat Daddy is gonna be front and center in more than just a few of 'em with some beautiful woman...or two...or three...draped all over him and lookin' all like the cat who ate the canary!
Some blame me for the madness he generates when he struts his stuff, but I ask you...
did I make him the strong, silent type of man women go crazy for?

No-o-o...I don't think so!

Did I infuse him with enough sex appeal for an army?

No-o-o...ain't a hypodermic big enough for that!

Tell me...did I teach him how to walk the stray cat strut?

No-o-o!  That walk comes from riding the rodeo circuit oh so many years ago.

Am I responsible for perpetuating the myth?

Ummm...yeah...sorta kinda...
but y'all are just as much to blame for his inflated ego big head rep as me!

You don't hear me squealing "Cat Daddy" when him and that dolly llama stroll into y'all?

No ladies...that would be y'all and all the crazy Zappers we play with at the show!

Who knew when I was exaggerating embellishing polishing his image just a smidge, that I would actually get so close to the truth.  He is a quiet man.  He does have a certain je ne sais quoi about him...and he does strut. he does strut.

  Those are absolutes.

Is he drop-dead-Johnny-Depp gorgeous?

Only to me...and himself...and maybe my sweet little Georgia Honey Baked.

Is he the king of the jungle?

No...more like lord of the flies!

Will I have him hosed down and spiffed up for y'all come show time?

You betcha!

The line'll start at the back of the show for hugs...but I am open to bribery for preferential placement.

And just so ya will not be held responsible for any eye scratching that may occur while waiting for the chance to pose next to the MAN!


Monday, March 5, 2012

When You Say Nothing At All

I was doing a little catch-up reading and it seems I missed a party last week.  Man-alive...I hate when that happens.  I even had a hat I coulda worn!   Laura did a post for the party (wise words to read when you get the urge for some intelligent conversation instead of my ramblings.  Psst... L.B., punch E3 on the playlist...that one's for you and your favorite dance partner...just 'cause I love you so.) and I thought I'd crash it...just for the heck of it.  After all y' middle name is Party.  The topic at hand...What do you want your blog to be when it grows up.

Even though I've been blogging for nigh on 4 years, I don't think my blog is anywhere near being all growed up.  Law...just the opposite.  I'm thinking I'm it's regressing into a second childhood!  I also don't consider myself an expert on giving anyone advice on how to grow a blog.  I just roll along in my own little world and really try not to concentrate on numbers.  Hair I can grow.  Blog...not so much!

Since I don't have a clue as to when or if I my blog will ever grow up, but because I dearly love the sound of my own voice, I thought (Yes y'all.  I have been known to think before I speak on occasion.) I might have a thought or two to spare share for those who are just starting out.  Let's call it a do as I say, not as I do pep talk...'cause goodness knows I do everything one isn't supposed to do when it comes to blogging...starting and ending with being too windy!

Trust your instincts.  If what you're writing appeals to you...chances are very good it'll appeal to others who share your aesthetics.  Start simple...find your voice tucked safely away in your heart...and don't fret if you don't get a lot of comments.  Like the proverbial ballfield...if you write it...they will come.  Maybe not in a string of car headlights a mile long...maybe not overnight...but they will come.  Trust me.  The sound of an honest voice can travel at...well...the speed of sound.  The best part?  The readers who hear you and respond will be kindred spirits...reward enough.
(Glance in a mirror right now and you'll know who I'm talking about!) 

Remember when starting set the pace.  What you start out doing, can and will be expected in future posts.  Not that a leopard can't change her spots.  She can...just not easily...and not without more than just a little fur flying.  If you're funny...aim for the back row.  If you're contemplative...keep on contemplating.  Whatever your choice of post topic...treat it with respect.  Work at it...hone it...polish it until it...and you...shine like new money.  Expect to work at it and give it all you've got...even if it's just for a personal journal.  Why shouldn't you give yourself the very best.  After all...aren't you the best friend you got?

Saying all that...remember this one thing.  Rules were meant to be broken.  Never paint yourself into a corner.  By that I mean it never hurts to step out of your comfort zone from time to time and shake things up just a bit.  I delight in seeing this on other blogs and your readers will too.  Everyone gets a kick outta the unexpected.

It also means time schedules are for trains, planes and buses.  Don't allow yourself...or guilt you into thinking you have to post on a certain day at a certain time and in a certain manner.  It helps...but it ain't gonna ruin anyone's day if your post isn't up at a predetermined day and hour.  If it does...heaven help 'em...'cause they need a life...and yours isn't up for grabs.

If you are planning on responding to all comments by e-mail...expect a certain amount of frustration.  Not all comments come complete with an e-mail address.  Do you have the time necessary to track 'em down and once you start getting beaucoup comments, will you have the time to respond to each and every one? case you were wondering...cut and paste e-mails aren't the same in my book.  For's all about keeping it real...keeping it personal...and that's why I don't always respond with an e-mail.  Not because I don't appreciate each and every comment, but because time isn't always my friend so I choose to respond with a comment instead.

That's how I roll, but set your own pace.  These are things you'll have to decide work best for you.  I do promise you up and down to respect your choices...pinky swear. 

Speaking of want 'em?  Give 'em!  Don't be afraid to go visiting and leave a little handprint behind to let it be known you were there.  I don't know of a soul who doesn't love comments.  Don't worry about sounding goofy or being intimidated.  Even the mighty need the affirmation that comes from comments.  Type a kind word or two...hit publish...and might make a new friend.  It's.just.that.easy...except for that new &*#@ captcha thingy Blogger has come up with!

Really it boils down to a few simple things.  Speak your mind.  Be sincere.  Make your readers feel welcome, comfortable, and at home.  Then friend o''re on your way.

Simply put?

Don't sweat the small stuff!

(Cross pillow and Home Sweet Home pillow Carolyn Westbrook Home designs)


Friday, March 2, 2012

Puttin' My Best Foot Forward And Dancin' the Cotton Eyed Joe

Y'all asked and since I always aim to please, I'm gonna attempt to translate the term  "grocery store feet" in somewhat...ahem...genteel terms.  I'm thinking a lot of y'all don't run around barefoot much...leastways not as much as me.

Down here in the South...

or maybe just in Texas...

or maybe just in my neck o'the woods...

or maybe just at the Casita de Trash...

come warm are optional.

When it comes to staying shod, I've been a hillbilly as long as I can remember.  (Love shoes...just don't want to wear 'em!)  Mother couldn't keep a pair on me to save her life...and law how she tried.  The bottoms of my feet in the summertime resembled shoe leather.  Hot asphalt, pebbles, mud...nothing slowed me down...'cept maybe the occasional Coke lid.

By the time I hit my teen years, it was all about peace, macrame, and going barefoot.  Goodness...threw on some frayed bell bottoms and I fit right in without trying!

Fast forward to my adult years and I gave new meaning to barefoot and pregnant!  If I was at shoes were in the closet.  If I put on shoes, the melonheads and dog knew we were going somewhere...and not just to the mailbox.

As I've gotten older, I've caved to conventionalism and only go paddlin' around barefoot here at mi casa.  My days of roaming outside without shoes are behind me now and sadly no more of "this little piggie went to market",


let me tell y'all...not everyone has the same hangups as me!

(Contrary to popular belief...I do care what kind of impression I leave behind...even on total strangers!)

On any given day, I'm willing to bet a dollar to a donut, you can go to just about any grocer's in town and more'n likely as not...there's gonna to be at least one person walking around like Fred Flintstone...or Yeti.

Picture if you will, feet blackened by dirt so deeply embedded, no amount of
Lava can erase it.

Heels calloused to the point, matches can be lit off 'em.

Toenails with vestiges of jungle red nail polish clinging to 'em like tiny life boats.

Feet...when strolled in for a pedicure...makes a manicurist run for the mouse sander...and rubber gloves.

That my a grocery store feet. 

Speaking of nutshells...Squirrel alert!
I've recently read on the Pinterest Help page about an option you can place on your photos/blog if you don't want your images pinned.  Some of y'all expressed concern over this, so if this is a choice you'd like to have, just go to their Help page and they provide a code.  Those Pinterest guys...they think of everything!

I ain't gonna lie to y'all.  My feet look pretty doggone raggedy...even with the addition of the proper accessories...and by accessories, I mean granny beads and a junker's tan.  Fact is, by the time we come home from the Mother Ship I will have pretty much cornered the market on dirt, dust, grime...and not just on my feet!

(BTW...the greatest show on dirt now has a new web page and blog.  Can you say Yee to the Haw?)

I hope this cleared things up for y'all.  Sometimes I forget not everyone is as messy or dirty as me!  I also tend to forget Trash-ese is a language not everyone is familiar with.
(Hmmm...wonder if I need to write a dictionary or at least a tourist guide for visiting here?)

In closing...I would like to add just one more little bit of info.  Grocery store feet should never be confused with Yellow Box feet.  Y'all...that is a whole 'nother post!