Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Newsletter 2013*

*Sometimes you gotta read between the lines.

Greetings All!
Wow...2013 has flown by and there is so much to tell of our year. I hardly know where to start.
Hidy y'all!
Wow--it's almost 2014 and I haven't done one darn thing I thought I would in 2013.

Henry and I decided 2013 was the year we would start to live a healthier lifestyle beginning with our diet. We found we had so much energy and were able to get a lot more done with just a few simple changes. With my new found energy, I even landed a job working as a consultant for a major firm. Staying current with trends is my passion and I can honestly say, my world is now technicolored!
Well wouldn't you just know it.  Henry got fired--again. That man couldn't hold a job if his hands were covered in Gorilla glue. A beer bottle, yes--a job, no. It was hard enough trying to keep food on the table, what with the price of groceries and all, but now? Guess I'll have to get out and hustle back my old job at Lowe's working in the paint department. But in the meantime--Hello Ramen noodles, my old friend.
I managed to squeeze in an exciting 8 day, 7 night stay at an exclusive spa.  Between my spa visit and the lifestyle change, I lost an amazing 240 pounds. I can honestly say Henry and I are now a new man and woman.
After being incarcerated for a week in Bellview, just because I was caught trying to smother Henry with his pillow, I finally said enough is enough. I called a lawyer and got the divorce papers filed. I've threatened it for years, but I just got so sick and tired of supporting his dead weight--all 210 pounds of it--that this time I actually followed through!  'Course, I called the lawyer to cancel it after Henry realized I wasn't bluffing and really meant business this time. He is now gainfully employed and even helping some around the house. Sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

The children have been quite busy as well.
My kids are driving me to drink with their antics. Can I help it they inherited the crazy gene from me?
Henry Jr. and his wife, Trixie have decided to down size while waiting for word upon his promotion/relocation. They have such a knack for balancing time between work and the children.
Henry Jr., Trixie and all the young'uns have moved in on top of me. Seems he quit his job to become a circus clown. That nut didn't fall very far from the tree, but in the meantime I've got kids hanging from the rafters while he attends clown college. Of course that leaves me as the full time, free babysitter while Trixie works double shifts at the Stardust Lounge. At least she's got her act together---and I hear it's a doozie.
Henriette's graduation will be in the spring with a degree in performing arts. She's worked so hard and we are all so proud of her for following her dreams. After pulling some strings, several opportunities are opening up for her, including the chance to work outside the country in an exotic locale. It will be exciting to see which path she chooses.
Henriette will finally be getting out of school after 8 long years of changing majors. That girl has the attention span of a gnat. So far she's been offered a job backstage in a puppet theater or starring in a movie for a sketchy production company in some remote part of South America. I'm really pushing the puppet gig.

The grandchildren are a delight and keep me young.
Forget gyms. Chasing a buck nekkid 4 year old down a sidewalk is exercise enough for me.
The oldest, Henry III, is in 5th grade and made the Principal's List for his science fair project. I see another Einstein in our midst.
I don't have a clue where he got the idea silly putty and hydrogen peroxide would mix (he mumbled something about my Pinterest board) but after his volcano blew up all over the Principal's Santa costume, he is now in detention for the rest of the school year.
I really must run now. Christmas is next week and there are cookies to bake, gifts to wrap, and cards to mail.
Oh good gosh. Christmas is next week, the kitchen is filthy, I haven't done any shopping, and I have to mail out this silly newsletter to all my relatives.
I wish you all the best in the coming new year.
No I don't. I hope your life is just as chaotic and less than perfect like mine. I'd hate to think I'm all alone in this boat called life.
We wish you much joy and love this Christmas surrounded by those you love.
I wish you much joy and love this Christmas surrounded by those you love.

And even though I sometimes feel like Custer at Little Big Horn, surrounded by my throwed off family, I wouldn't have it any other way. They are near and dear to me. Just wish they weren't quite so near.  Little Henry--you come untie me right this instant. You hear me?  Little Henry?
Christmas hugs,

Friday, November 22, 2013

Profiles In Courage

Today, a memorial service is planned to honor the 50th anniversary of the passing of a great man, John F. Kennedy.  November 22, 1963---a dark day in American history and an even darker day for Dallas.
Today, a private time will be spent honoring the 25th anniversary of the passing of another great man., V.J. Callahan, Jr.  November 22, 1988---a dark day in our family history and an even sadder day for the family left behind.
One can't help but wonder what the world would have been like had JFK not been shot that cold, fateful afternoon in Dallas.
I can't help but wonder what my life would have been like had my father not suddenly died that cold, dreadful evening in Quinlan.
In the wondering, I'm only sure of one thing---God's hand chartered both their lives.
Both charismatic men.
One known the world over.
One only by but a blessed few.
I am thankful to God for both and the impact they had on me.
I am honored to have called one Mr. President.
I am eternally grateful to have called one Daddy.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Conundrum Wrapped in an Enigma

I don't believe in coincidences. a matter of fact, I believe in God's plans and the whispers He makes to encourage those plans. That is no coincidence or lucky accident, but a full out "on purpose".

I do however believe things often come in threes, but only because sometimes it takes that many times...and then some...for us/me to sit still and listen to what God is telling us/me.
Yesterday, three things came together and took that third time for me to finally go...Oh okay God. I see what you want of me.  Forgive me for not paying attention and getting it the first time.
1.  There was a game going around yesterday on Face Book where you were instructed to write X number of things about yourself that folks didn't already know.  As if I hadn't thrown my dress up over my head too many times before and shown my raggedy underwear, I now had to come up with more? Oy Vey indeed...and this from a woman who loves nothing better than talking about her favorite subject...herself!
2.  While I was scratching my head, trying to come up with 10 things I hadn't already told off on myself, a memory came back to me.  It involved a friend of mine who years ago was on an elevator at Sears when the doors opened and a good looking man got on.
As she tried not to stare, she kept thinking she knew him from somewhere.  Just as the doors opened and he started to step hit her.  Being a gentleman, he turned to say "Have a nice day." and all she could stammer out was "'re...!", to which he replied with a big smile "Yes, I am."
It was Roger Staubach.
3.  Then last night I was channel surfing and came across an old Johnny Carson clip with Kirk Douglas as the guest.  Johnny was asking him what prompted him to write his book The Ragman's Son.  Kirk...I call him Kirk 'cause we are just that close...shared a funny incident that happened while he was filming a movie. Long story short, the gist was it involved being in costume, stranded in a bar, and surrounded by gawking strangers. Finally one of the strangers walked up to him and timidly asked "Do you know who you are?" He went on to say he had been asked that same question countless time before and up until that time, he thought he did...Kirk Douglas, actor.  But sometime afterwards it got him to rethink the question and decide if he really did. The book was the result of that revelation.

As I sat there in the darkness, it suddenly hit me what God was asking me.
"My you know who you are?
And the truth was...No.  Besides the obvious...wife, mother, child of God...I didn't have a clue.
I knew who I wanted and tried to be.
I knew who I presented myself to the world I was.
I knew who I pretended to be from time to time, but as to who I was really?
I didn't have an answer, but it was high time for me to find out.
To search my inner self, to do some deep soul searching, be honest with myself and face those things I am least proud of or happy with...this was His command to me.  To either accept them or change them...that was my challenge.
As I set out on this journey of self discovery, I'll share with y'all what I dig up and out...some of it pretty...some not for the faint of heart.  
Umm...note to self:  Maybe not everything...'cause my mama always said not to air my dirty laundry on the front porch for everyone to see.
But those things that turn out to be life changing?
Those, you can bet your booties on, I'll shout from the rooftops...if my old self gets out of the way long enough to let my new self crawl up there.
And just for gits and shiggles, I'll leave you now with one question.
Do any of y'all know who you are?

Linking to Common Ground-Be Inspired

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fan Club

By now I'm sure y'all were all convinced Cat Daddy had dumped me in a cow pasture somewhere in Central Texas and I couldn't find my way back home.
Not so.  He ain't gonna get rid of me that easy by cracky.  After all these years, not only am I the permanent dog poo on his work boots, but I've had 40 years to harden into something akin to concrete.
(This family is always on hand to greet us each morning as we head out to the job site.)
 But just to be on the safe side, I always leave a trail of Twinkie crumbs in my!
Let the record show the Greatest Show on Dirt is still the greatest!
Except for a couple of out-of-our-control setbacks, we had a good time and sold down to two pieces of furniture. Had I not been in the Hall with a wood floor under my feet this go round..that would equate to our "selling to the dirt"!

(90% of the stuff pictured here is going, going, gone...sold to America!)
We set a personal best in load out time at just under an hour.  Personally, I like the sound of a bouncing trailer on the ride back home, but back to those set backs.
Would it surprise anyone to know I got sick early on?  Didn't think so.  Yeah...Cat Daddy had to bring me back to Dallas the first Sunday of the show, but I couldn't stand not being there, so Jenn took me back on Tuesday.

(Every little starlet deserves a beach chair this cool. Our baby trashette is anything but camera shy!)

 My favorite little red.neck came down to help her Kitty Cat Daddy out until I returned and Jenn stuck around for a few days just to make sure I was gonna make it.
God love 'em, I don't know what I would do without my girls...or my Cat Daddy.
Second set back...the weathermen lied.
We were promised a cool front and it did finally arrive...closing weekend.
Before it did, to say it was hot would be an understatement.
There's hot and then there's Texas hot.
Let me try and explain the difference.
Hot is just
Texas hot is what a lobster feels just before becoming someone's entree.

(This is how one travels by the seat of their britches if one wants to do it in style!  Rodeo Royalty had this vardo at the show and other just as fabulous mdse. You can find her on Face Book.)
 It's steamy, clothes drenching, hair sticking to your neck, can't think straight, grumpy britches miserable.
 At least when it's cold, I can add more layers. When it's sticky, muggy hot, there ain't a thing I can do about it except stand in front of a fan and pray I don't stop sweating.
Oh I suppose I could pull some clothes off, but last I checked there's a law against indecent exposure.  On me, even a tank top is indecent in one size does not fit all and just 'cause they make it in my size doesn't mean I should wear it. Tube tops become belts on me if y'all catch my drift.
But survive we did and in spite of the heat, had a great time in the process.
Being in the dance hall made for an easy set furniture shims needed. I was right by the big fan...thank you Lord...and a hop, skip and a jump from the vendors' restrooms. It was so nice to go back to the cabin at night and not have to worry about covering everything up.  When the rain finally did roll in the wee hours of the morning, I just rolled over, snuggled down, and breathed a quiet thank you.
The shoppers who came out were there to shop and I want to thank each and every one who came by to see us.
You betcha!

The Duck Dynasty wives and Miranda were spotted roaming the fields and tents. And of course our own personal Zapp Hall celebs, the Junk Gypsys were present and accounted for...praise the Lord and pass the biscuits.  The girls opened their JG World Headquarters during the show and oh mylanta...the store is over the top.
(I wish I had taken a photo of the huge, ginormous fan that was on the wall in this area of JGWH...killer!)

 Jenn and I snuck away to have a look see and I can't even begin to tell you how many folks were there...with good reason.  At one point I think the waiting line was an hour and a half, but no one seemed to mind. They just kept smiling and talking, patiently waiting their turn. The girls really pulled out all the stops with their displays. Jolie said they've been squirreling things back for a while and believe you showed.

Kim Hanauer had stolen my heart with these unique ear bobs she designed,  so naturally I had to have 'em.


Then after receiving them from Kim, the amazing jewel thief, I spotted this pendant at JGWH, so naturally I had to buy myself a souvenir from the girls to match.


Doncha just love it when a plan comes together?

(I just love jewelry where one size really does fit all!)
 We all have bucket lists.  On mine is to travel to the Pacific Northwest and visit Monticello Antiques.  The talent in that neck o'the woods is phenomenal. Who among us didn't get excited when the Barn Boys did a show and wouldn't we all get so antsy waiting until the photos started flowing in showing gorgeous display after display?

(Now lest you get to thinking "Oh lordy...she's off on a squirrel chase", there IS a caboose to this seemingly off the tracks train of thought.)
For me, a personal thrill this show was meeting someone I consider a celebrity in our antiquing world, the Queen of Tarte herself, Cindy Dockins. She had travelled from the PNW to shop the show, came into the hall and proceeded to make my day.  Cindy's style and her signature grey and yellow color combo are inimitable and I have been a huge fan since I began blogging. Getting the opportunity to meet her in the real world (which btw...she is that tiny and she is that gorgeous) proved once again, blogging opens doors to a much bigger universe than I could have ever imagined.
See...these are the folks that impress me. Keep your stars of the film industry...and give me the movers and shakers of our industry. I may not recognize Matthew, but I know an artist when I spot her!

And on that happy note I'll close with...

That's a wrap!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013


This is gonna be a quick post y'all...complete with misspelled words, dangling participles and incomplete sentences. But I really wanted to finish off my advice series with one last post before I head out the door to The Greatest Show On Dirt.
My job as an antique vendor is to do my darnedest to bring the best merchandise I can find and afford....your job is to try and negotiate the best price before purchasing it from me.
While none of us really like to discount our stuff, mainly because it's getting to where it's so cotton pickin' hard to replace with the same quality at a fair price...both for me and you...most of us do at least a little.  Basically, the more I have to will you. Factor in time (which BTW for me averages out to 50 cents an hour!), operating expenses, show fees, fuel etc., and you can see, I'm not exactly raking in the do-re-mi.
And...contrary to popular belief...the best things are seldom found on the side of the road or in dumpsters.  Unless, of course, a film crew happens to be following one around and then anything is possible in the world of "Reality" TV.
My point is, I understand haggling is part of the game and I like a good game as much as the next girl, but there's a fine line between getting a good deal and beating me up for a deal.
So for what it's's a few guidelines when you are, boots on the ground, out in the fields of any antique market.
1.  Know your price points. I know mine.  Know ahead of time what you can reasonably expect or are willing to pay for that one of a kind jack-a-lope trophy.  If it's out of your pocketbook range to begin with...chances are it still will be when trying to negotiate.  Save yourself some disappointment and keep looking.  You never know what will be just over yonder.
2.  If you come into my booth and immediately make a mad dash for a comfit I have perched on a table...that's a dead giveaway.  Think of bargaining as a poker hand.  If I see you salivating, chances are I'll give you the best price I can, but some will see this as an opportunity to stay firm.  Practice your poker face in the mirror before venturing out and for goodness sakes...don't blink!
3.  Speaking of poker, if you do make a dealer a fair offer, don't be bluffing. You've made your wager, they called it, now buy it.  Please don't say you'll have to think about it.  Chances are...
a. It will be gone when you've made up your mind and...
b. If it is still there when you return, chances are slim and none you'll get it for the price you wanted.
4.  A lot of dealers, myself included, tend to offer deeper discounts when a shopper is buying in piles.  I don't know about others, but I actually prefer this method for both buying and selling. It allows me to give you the very best price by reducing my margin.  Frank on American Pickers thinks this is his idea..."bundling"...but we've been doing it for nigh on 25 years. One caveat...if I give you a multi-discount and you decide you only want two or three things in the pile...that's okay, but the price will be different.  I give quotes based on the prices of the overall pile. Keep in mind, buying one or two items is not going to get you the same deal.
4.  When you are in a booth and looking at a certain item, please do not say loudly you can buy it across the road for a lot less...or worse that it is over priced.  No one know what a dealer had to pay initially for their product or the time and money put into it to get it ready for a show.  It's absolutely A-OK to ask the provenance of an item, but please, please, please...don't pick it apart and show me all the flaws in it.  It's old...just like me.  And just like's got the wrinkles to prove it.  Those well worn spots only add to the value.  And for the our business...rust is an expensive commodity.
5.  Lastly, but most importantly, don't bust out your velvet hammer and start beating me over the head with it.  I don't respond well to cruel and unusual punishment and chances are I'm only going to go up rather than down.  I'm not too terribly fond of pop knots on the top ofmy head...thank you very much.  And while we're at it...never beg. I've had folks do that and believe you ain't pretty and the only thing it accomplishes is to irritate the heck out of me.
I hope these buying tips help. They aren't carved in stone...or at least I don't think they are.  These are just a few of the things I myself practice when out shopping.
It's important for the vendor and the shopper to both remember two things.
1. Always be polite.
2. A smile and a friendly attitude...or as I like to say...CAT-titude...goes a long way in helping to arrive at a happy sale and maybe a new friend.
Now I've got to scoot, but if you do get out to Antique Week, please drop in to see me. I'll be in the Zapp Hall, just inside the front doors.
I promise you up and down, I won't try to sell you anything you really don't want...she says with her best poker face!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall Guy

As I was taking a break from packing C.D.'s underroos, a thought occurred to me...did I mention we're setting up inside the hall at Zapp?
No. bad.
You'll find us just inside the porch of the hall...if you come looking for us!
Consider it mentioned and with that info update, I think I'll continue my spiel sharing of things you can expect while at the Greatest Show on Dirt.
Want to know an added fillip to the shows...besides great shopping?

Photo courtesy of Red.Neck chic.
Celebrity sightings...or as I like to call 'em...UCS...Unidentified Celebrity Sightings!
You just never know who you'll be shopping the fields with...shoulder to shoulder....cart to cart...eye to eye.
And speaking of eyes, it's best to keep them peepers open and focused.
These people travel incognito.
If you're thinking famous people shop the shows ball gown and Red Carpet ready...think again.
Trust me...Sandra Bullock does not look like Sandra Bullock when she's out in the middle of a cow pasture.  Neither does Miranda. I mean...c'mon folks, this ain't the Oscars or CMA's. This is where the cool kids come to shop and play and there ain't any cooler than these two.
Case in point...
A couple of shows ago, Matthew McConaughey was in my booth wearing a wife-beater and shades.  I hear a lot of whispering and giggling around me, but I don't pay it no never mind. With his whole fam-dam-ily in tow, I helped him like he was any ol' junker out for a day of pleasure in the Texas sun.
Did I notice all the gals around me foaming at the mouth? Nope.
I just went about my business doing what I love to do...talking.  It wasn't until he, his wife, kids and MIL stepped away did somebody bother to tell me.  Make that a whole lot of drooling somebodies!!!
Oy vey!
Not that I would have bothered him by asking for him to take his shirt off an autograph, a kiss photo-op or to take a look with me at what I had tucked behind the tent just for him anything like not me.  Nor would I have treated him any different...except maybe with a tad bit more muchness and a whole lotta eyelash batting while moistening my lips seductively.
Just because these folks make like a gazillion dollars doesn't mean they don't want to enjoy their privacy and the They are not out schlepping the fields to be hounded, but like the average person...looking for a unique treasure to take home...along with some memories. I doubt if being ogled is high on their lists of things they love...if at all!
It's just that it would have been so helpful to have gotten a heads up. A little fair warning so I could have run around behind him, discreetly licking everything he touched...that's all.  Nothing too obvious y'all!  I am, after all, the height of discretion.
'Course not all celebrities who venture out into our playground are reclusive.  There's always got to be a Tory Spelling, tramping the grounds with her entourage, camera crews, and release forms, filming.  Not that I'm criticizing.  A poor girl's gotta do what a poor girl's gotta do to make a living.  Besides...we can't pay for that kind of exposure and advertising!
But enough about that...she says while wiping the sweat from her brow while visualizing M.M. shirtless...yum! are not excluded from the costume party.
No sirree-bob.
I expect to see all you fellows dressed to the nines at least for one night...the Junk Gypsy Prom.
The night of nights.
Where even the sanest of the sane lose their minds and dance 'til the cows come home.
I've seen men...grown men mind you...arrive en masse as Elvis.  Or is a pack of 'em considered Elvi?  I forget.
I've seen Brave heart (sans underwear and don't ask me how I know that. It was a windy night is all I'm gonna say.), The Village People, women impersonators, doctors, lawyers and Indian Chiefs.  Heck...I've seen more than my share of half nekkid men...enough to last me a lifetime of nightmares.
FYI...All men are NOT created equal. Bare chests on men belong only on the Magic Mikes of the world and should never be accompanied by a beer belly or a vest of shoulder/back hair. I'm just ain't pretty.
My point is guys, do your part...and I don't mean parting your shoulder hair.
You can let your hair down (I repeat...but not the hair on your back) and perhaps meet your next wife while doing so.
Drag out those boots, dust off that cowboy hat, slip on a Scully...leaving just one or two snaps undone...speaking for women everywhere, we like that...and join the parade.
But more importantly...get yourselves on down to Zapp Hall...where I always say...
Come for the junk ...stay for the party!
No reservations needed...pun intended!
Just two more little things and I'll wrap this one up for the record books.
1.  I hope you come see us at Zapp Hall. The show opens Friday, September 27, prom night is October 3 and our show closes the following Saturday, October 5.  We'll be there from can 'til can't and hope to see you or some other equally famous VIP!  Bet your boots though...I'll be saving the best seat in the house for you.

2. Today is Cat Daddy's birthday...hence all the photos of my handsome man bedecked in his favorite finery. For those of y'all who wonder why I call him "Cat Daddy"...I think the photos speak for themselves!  Only a true Cat Daddy can pull off some of his get-ups with that much aplomb...and swagger-ease.

Happy Birthday my big ol' hunka hunka...
and as for the rest of y'all...
catch y'all after the bull riding with one more post before we head off into the sunset.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Falling Into Place or How To Fit a Square Peg...

This Sunday, the 22nd, marks the beginning of the Fall Equinox....although one would never know it here in the sun belt where temps are setting records for the month of September.

Here in my part of Texas, we rarely see a true "fall" where the leaves turn to beautiful shades of orange, yellow and burgundy.  To see those brilliant colors, y'all would have to travel to East Texas. What we do see in my neck o'the woods is a lot of in dead grass, plowed under crops and tans.

Fact is, here in Texas our four seasons consist of Football, Christmas, Summer and Show Time...all of which allow for the continual wearing of flip flops!
My personal favorite time of the year is Show Time when there is a plethora of fairs, festivals, and antique shows boiling up across the state like a mess of greens floating in pot-likker.
How do y'all like that 10 dollar word plethora? Just another fancy way of saying a "mess of"!
There isn't a town, city or metropolis that doesn't have some kinda festival.
We celebrate cotton, salt, yams, syrup, pecans, peanuts, wine and just about anything that gives us an excuse for a party. Heck, we even got ourselves a fire ant festival.
Come to think about it...there is even a festival planned in Mineola that will have Big Foot as a special guest.
Like I said...any reason to party is reason enough.
'Course for me...the biggest party is the one starting next week in the junker's Neverland...Round Top/Warrenton.
Can you hear the excitement in my voice...she says twitching like a Chihuahua!
I've got the suitcases out and I'm getting ready to head to my happiest place on earth, the Greatest Show on Dirt...Zapp Hall.

Before I do though, I thought I might impart some that "older than dirt"...advice to some of y'all that have never been down that red, dirt road to the most glorious cow pastures this side of the Brazos.
As you turn onto Hwy. 237 (which two lanes), prepared to be shocked and awed.
You are going to see more antiques, junk, people and boutique clothing in just a few days than would normally take at least two lifetimes to see...and that's just the start.
But today, what do you say we talk about the people and clothes...two things that are near and dear to my heart. So what say y'all we slap some red lipstick on, pull up a chair and start some backtalking?
This is probably one of the best people watching opportunities in the history of ever. From the corner of your eye you may spy Dale Evans and to your left Brave Heart.'s just that diverse.
So tighten up those bra straps before dismounting from your vehicle, slap on a smile and please...leave your inhibitions in the car with your three piece suit.
 This ain't the time to be stuffy...or bashful.  Y'all are here to relax, party and have a good time...remember?
Think of the shows as one long excuse to play dress up instead of playing it safe.  And by that I mean to dress the way you would if no one was looking.  You can be as gaudy or bold as you dare and the only thing limiting you is you.  Trust me...outlandish is the order of the day. It's all in the attitude.'ll stick out more in your normal attire rather than in a get-up.  I mean really...where's the fun in being "normal" and besides, aren't you here to break free of your routine...even for just one day?
Yes you are here to search for that one "find", but more importantly you're here to smile out loud.  Reimagine yourself as an archaeologist. Get yourself a fedora and a multi-pocketed vest or just pull on a pair of khaki shorts with grungy Doc Martens...and start digging. 
Getting gussied up doesn't mean you have to dress uncomfortably. Aw contrary mes amies. This is Texas and as you may or may not know, Texas in the fall can be quite...ahem...warm.
But just because it's cooler in jeans/shorts and a wife-beater doesn't mean you can't accessorize to the hilt.

~Don't exercise...accessorize!~Talking Trash
Throw on a pair of Jackie O shades, make that hat count, bring some leopard Converses,
fringe out your back pack, but for gosh sakes...never kick style to the curb over comfort.

And at night...throw caution to the wind.  'Cause that's when the call of the wild means putting on the dog.

Blow the cobwebs off those cowboy kicks and get 'em dusty with some genuine Texas dirt.
Now is the time to drag out those holey jeans you just thought needed patching.

Stack every bracelet you own clear up to you al-bows. Put a little jingle in your jangle to let 'em know you are ready to rumble rhumba.
I know...I know...all the etiquette books say never to wear white after Labor Day, but y'all...this is the Greatest Show on Dirt where we never say never.

You want to wear white?  Well guess does everyone else...24/7 twelve months a year!
Etiquette books?
We don't need no stinkin' books on propriety.
We just make up our own rules as the days roll on.
Wear white, wear black, wear red.  It's night time and under the Texas stars everyone is beautiful in their own way and anything goes.

Still don't know what to wear. Simple...wait 'til you get there and treat yourself to gorgeous, one of a kind creations.  Cowboy hats, gauzy feminine wearables, boots, jewels out the wazoo...all just waiting on you to come fall in love with.  You can always tell your accountant to  file it under business expenses!
Do y'all get what I'm laying down?
As the Nike ad says...
~Just do it!~
You can thank me after you get back home with your truck bed filled with junk, your head full of dreams and your suitcase stuffed with memories...all because for one brief moment in time you were a brave heart.

Next up...UCS!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Under The Texas Sun

You know her from her line of beautiful decorating books.

You know her from the timeless appeal of her now classic bed linens and pillows.

You know her from her impeccable taste.

You know her from her quintessential style.

(Least wises, I think you do...unless of course you've been living under a rock!)

Well my friends, here is your opportunity to own a little of the magic that is Carolyn...summer magic that is.

May I present for your summer shopping delight...

For one day only...

the amazing Carolyn Westbrook Home Summer Market.

Summer never looked so good!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Summer Lovin'


To some it may appear as just another number.

To others, 40 pounds of trouble.

To me, a most important number.

                                    For 40 years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness.

 Moses was on the mount for 40 days before descending with the 10 commandments...twice.

It rained for 40 days and 40 nights to cover the earth in a flood.

David and Solomon each reigned for 40 years.

Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness and also ascended to Heaven 40 days after his resurrection.

(See where I'm going here?)

All were periods of testing and challenges to be faithful.
~Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.~Proverbs 3:3

The same can and is true for marriage.

We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this past weekend with a gathering of friends and relatives.  We also renewed our wedding vows to each other, but this time around...we actually knew what the words meant and what we were promising to each other.

~To have and to hold~

Life can and will knock us all down from time to time, but if we're lucky...make that find the right someone, we're never down for long.  A husband and wife should take turns picking the other up when life gets to be too much.

Bad day at the office?  Offer a sympathetic ear.

Week going to hell in a hand basket?  Send yellow roses "just because".

Life as a couple is tied up not just in the big game changing details, but in the little irritations that can derail a marriage quicker than finding out you're 5th cousins...twice removed!

~For better or worse~

For you who are just married or about to get married, let me be the first to tell you sometimes it's gonna seem like there is a lot more "worse" than there are "betters".  You think you're prepared to handle it, at least I thought I was, but it's takes a lot of practice,  patience, and prayers.

What I've learned over a span of 40 years is there is only three reasons for divorce....and they all start with an A.

1. Adultery with no hope of reconciliation

2.  Abuse, be it physical, verbal, or neglectful.

3.  Addiction and by addiction I don't just mean alcohol or drug.  Anything that separates you or your spouse from each other is robbing you of intimacy and should never rule your life or your marriage.

It is possible with counseling and a lot of prayers, these obstacles can be overcome, but first there has to be a firm commitment from both.

Anything else is just a lot of words and excuses lawyers have came up with.  Truth is, sometimes it's just easier to walk away rather than stay and work through the problems...and there will be bumps along the way...that's the only guarantee there is.  But the end result is worth it.  Success doesn't come easy in life so why should marriage be the exception. 

(Don't hate me for this.  It's just my own personal opinion I'm spouting.)

~For richer or poorer~

It's up to you to decide the definition for poor or rich.

One can have deep pockets, but doesn't make them rich.

While standing on the gazebo with Cat Daddy, I glanced out at the faces smiling and crying with us and knew we were rich beyond words.

Our children are our success story and as they stood up with us, their children our living testimony, I knew he and I had wealth untold.  My beautiful sister's tears as she held my hand...sparkling diamonds of love.

Oh...our checking account may have a negative balance every now and then, but learning together to stretch our money, taught us how to bounce back when times were tough.

When asked if he had bought me a bigger diamond, I answered no.  I didn't want another ring.  This man I call Cat Daddy had spent weeks prior to our wedding date on crutches looking for the ring of my heart.  When we got married the first time and asked if it were to be a single or double ring ceremony, he had answered a "no ring."  But he never gave up and presented me with the ones I wear now about a month later.  That folks was the promise of the man he was to become...devoted.

This symbol of eternity I wear has only left my ring finger twice since he placed it there.  First when the doctors made me take it off for surgery and this past Saturday night for C.D. to place it on for the last time.  It has served us well.

~In sickness and health~

This doesn't mean just the couple's health, but that of their family as well.

It means comforting each other when a beloved mother, best friend, or little schnauzer has gone to the better world a'waiting.

It means a father, in the middle of the night,  holding his little girl's hair back as she throws up.

It means sleeping many nights in a fold-out chair in a hospital room, scared to leave.

It means holding hands while waiting for a biopsy result.

It means rushing to wrap a knocked out tooth in ice before rushing a 10 year old boy to the dentist.

It means always caring and always being there.

~To love and to cherish til death do us part~

Do I need to spell this one out for y'all.

Passion is fleeting but love and friendship is forever.

Wives forget how to flirt with their husbands.

Husbands forget wives need to hear she's the most beautiful woman in the world.

Both need to know they are the most important person in each other's life.

Wives lament their husbands aren't romantic...except on Saturday nights.

Husbands lament their wives never wear a dress except for Sunday mornings.

Both are honest complaints, but maybe if the wives would greet their husbands in something other than a mismatched set of p.j.s they might get that romance.

AND...if the husbands would try tuning in to their marriage rather than Nascar, their wives might be inclined to put on nothing but a smile and some music.

I used to fuss that C.D. never put the seat down on the toilet for me until he pointed out I never raised it for him.

Hmmm...good point. works both ways.

Give and take...that's the key.

 Well that and a sense of humor!

50/50 splitting only works on pies...never on hairs.  Someone is always going to skim a little off the top.

Love and cherish with every fiber of your being, even in those moments when you'd like nothing better than to smother them with their pillow.

When asked why we were renewing our vows, the answers were simple.

We weren't the same people we were 40 years ago.  We had grown and matured.  Changes for the good had came along the way.

We are no longer two strangers stumbling our way through a strange land.  We are as one, finishing each other's thoughts, sentences and dinners.

Neither of us were perfect when we married and we still aren't.

The difference is now we are perfect for each other.
'Til Death Do Us Part.