Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A White Texas Christmas!

God blessed us with a White Christmas this year. Snow during the holidays was not uncommon back in the mountains of California where I spent my high school years, but this has been my first white Christmas since coming to Texas over 10 years ago! We were spending the holidays with family in Fort Worth. The snow started falling mid morning on Christmas Eve and kept coming down all day. The wind made it hard to stay out for too long, but we still made a few ventures out and had a good snowball fight. It stopped snowing that night but the snow was still there Christmas morning. The sun came out and melted the places where the wind had swept most of the snow away, but where it had drifted up it stayed. The day was glorious...warm enough to go out and play but cold enough to let us enjoy the snow all that day.

Though much of the snow gradually melted, there was still patches left when more snow started falling yesterday. This snow falled slow and thick...coming straight down without any wind. Most was gone this morning, but it was wonderful while it lasted. All of it is gone now, except a little mound where my son's snow-man was yesterday, but this was the longest, deepest snow I've ever seen here. What a wonderful Christmas!


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

What's Hot and What's Not Wednessday

It's time again for What's Hot and What's Not Wednessday...that great little meme hosted by Loobylu.

Here we go...

A mid-day snow flurry in Texas, in December! Here in Waco it melted nearly as soon as it hit the ground, though the flakes were big and beautiful. Up in Dallas I heard it stuck for a little while! (Hey, if it snowed in your area too...leave a comment and let us know how much snow you got! I'd love to hear!)

Seasonal colds and fussy babies.

These alternative Santa T-shirts designs from A Christmas Trail! Love em, love em love em...

A very Texas Santa (though wait...Sun Glasses? He might just be a Texifornian!)...

And a Californian Kris Kringle...

So fun!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

What's Hot & What's Not Wednesday

It's time for Hot and Not Wednessday - I missed it last week, so this covers two weeks of what's hot and what's not.

Seasonal colds.

Thanksgiving plans that fell through, then fell together in ways I couldn't have expected.

My son's excitement over making pumpkin pie.

That in spite of being all excited about making it, he didn't much care for eating it. My middle child wouldn't even try it...and my husband can't eat it because of food allergies.

Getting to eat nearly a whole pumpkin pie myself, shared only with my 1 year old (the only one of the boys who couldn't get enough of the pie).

People mis-using the Bible and putting it on an T-shirt so others can do it too.

HOT ('cause it's not)
It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, even here in Texas!

If you would like to take part in What's Hot and What's Not Wednesday, head over to Loobylu's Mr. Linky and join in!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What's Hot - What's Not

Its time for my second What's Hot/What's Not Hot Wednesday ...thanks to Lubylu for getting me to post a post a week here!

OK, so here's whats HOT and NOT this week!

Whatever it was that had lunch on my feet and ankles when I dared walk barefoot through the Texas grass (what was I thinking...this is Texas for heaven's sake!) and the mosquitos which chomped all over my forehead while I tried to get to sleep.

Chiggerex Plus--the stuff that made my feet feel better when after itching woke me up in the middle of the night.

Realizing that I've grown to be such a cold wimp. Used to wear shorts and sorrels in the snow up in the California mountains, and now I'm feeling frrrrozen at 68 degrees! Sheesh!

Plans for a laid back Thanksgiving with my mom....without "all the fixens" (sometimes simple is better).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Prayers for Fort Hood

I just read the text of the speech Obama made Tuesday honoring the 13 people killed in the recent Fort Hood shooting. He named each of their names and told their stories, and I was saddened and moved as I read; Moved by the lives that they lived, saddened by the breadth of the loss. For those who pray, I encourage you to read this speech, praying for the families of each person named as you read...and for the Fort Hood community and the wounded still recovering.

I'd also like to share something a woman I knew shared with me shortly after the 9/11 tragedy. I was reminded of it as I wrote this today. The following is her words:

Trying to explain today's tragedies to my 6 year old son, I said, "Jonah, we need to pray to Jesus, because bad people have crashed airplanes into big buildings, and lots of people have had one of their family members die today."

Jonah said, "O.k. Mommy" and he folded his hands, then on his own initiative, he began to pray outloud. He prayed a prayer that both surprised me and humbled me.

Jonah said, "Dear Jesus, show those bad men your goodness. Blast the devil from their hearts Jesus, and blast it full of your goodness."

I was shocked. I had not asked Jonah to pray for the "bad men", in fact, it had not even crossed my mind to pray for the terrorists behind these awful events.

Just a few weeks ago in Children's Church, Jonah's memory verse had been "Love your enemy". Jonah had been very impressed by this particular verse, because he talked about it with me and his Daddy, and his prayer today proved that he took that verse to heart.

Today God used my son to show me that we are truly to be "as little children", and to put our trust in Him, our Father. In such a fearful time, He is the only one we can turn to who can bring comfort and healing to our hearts, and to the hearts of those grieving.

Only God can bring change to a heart, and God desires that we pray for all who have been effected by todays tragedies, the innocent hearts, as well as the guilty hearts.

With this in mind, remembering Jesus' call to love our enemies and pray for those persecute us, I believe that God would also want us to also pray for the shooter who caused the Fort Hood tragedy, Nidal Malik Hasan.

What's Hot - What's Not Hot

Decided to join in on a meme I stumbled on: What's Hot/What's Not Hot Wednesdays (even though technically it's not Wednessday anymore.)


A trip to Austin with no kids...first trip we've taken without any children since our oldest was born. And might I mention that Austin is the most un-Texan city I've been too. It's sort of like the artsier places in California...without as much of the Hollywood fake glam.


My husband, for various reasons!


My in-laws for taking the kids. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.


The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It's GORGEOUS! Check out the picture my husband took below.


Stumbling on the same little Mexican restaurant we had eaten at but forgotten the name of during our last trip to Austin (Curras Grill), and feasting on unique food the kids would have turned their nose up at.


The parking at Curras. They really need more parking...though I suppose it does keep the place from getting overcrowded.


Google maps on I-phone. Saved us from much mis-direction, traffic jams, and other frustration.


The weather! It's been wonderfully NOT HOT and NOT COLD! It's been gorgeous!


My living room, bedroom, bathroom, etc. They're a disaster. No, you can not see pictures.


The quantity of posts on this blog...sorry I've been slacking here. It's because I've been not slacking other places. Check out my Art Blog (and yeah...I did the hot/not hot meme there too, with a few changes).

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Cake Wrecks Book Tour !!!

Jen Yates of Cake Wrecks, which is possibly the most hilarious blog on the internet, recently wrote a book by the same name, and her book tour is passing through both California and Texas, giving me a perfect excuse to share about it here. Now, if you have never visited Cake Wrecks, you must. First time I visited I stayed up till 1:00 in the morning laughing so hard I cried. On her blog, she shares pictures of professional cakes that go horribly wrong (and a few Sunday Sweets that go amazingly right). The photos themselves are funny on their own, but it's her commentary that will make you fall out of your chair.

Anyways, here's when she's be visiting our parts of the world:

Petaluma (9/28/09)
San Francisco (9/28/09)

Dallas (10/3/09)
Austin (10/4/09)


88 Year Old Woman Comments on Texas Snowstorms (and other things)

A friend shared this with me...gather it's been around forever, but this is my first time seeing it. In it Ellen DeGeneres returns a call from a 88 lady named Gladys from Austin Texas. The whole thing is hilarious, but I especially loved Gladys' commentary on the hullabaloo over a snowstorm in Austin. Snow is more common here in Texas than in most of California (I was lucky enough to live in one of the few places that got it regularly when I lived there)...but the reaction to it is pretty much the same.

Anyways, enjoy!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Lost in Translation

There is this great site (great if you have time to waste and want a good laugh) where you can type in a bit of text and it will send it through a bunch of different language translators, translating it from English to another language then back to English and then into a different language, then back, and so forth. What comes out is somewhat like what you got playing telephone with your friends in grade school...and often hilarious!

Now what's this got to do with California or Texas, you wonder? Well, I typed in "I was born in California, but live in Texas now"...and this is what I got back:

"It had now been in which he tolerated Californian, but alive in Roofing tiles."

If you wonder how it went from my sentence to that, here is the full progression:

Original English Text:
I was born in California, but live in Texas now.

Translated to French:
J'étais né en Californie, mais habite dans le Texas maintenant.

Translated back to English:
I had been born in California, but lives in Texas now.

Translated to German:
Ich war in Kalifornien geboren gewesen, aber wohne in Texas jetzt.

Translated back to English:
I had been in California born, but live in Texas now.

Translated to Italian:
Ero stato nella California sopportata, ma vivo nel Texas ora.

Translated back to English:
I had been in which put up with California, but alive in Texas now.

Translated to Portuguese:
Eu tinha estado em qual tolerou Califórnia, mas vivo em Texas agora.

Translated back to English:
I had been in which he tolerated California, but alive in Texas now.

Translated to Spanish:
Había estado en cuál él toleró California, pero vivo en Tejas ahora.

Translated back to English:
It had now been in which he tolerated Californian, but alive in Roofing tiles.


Want to play around with language. Visit Lost in Translation...and if you get something you'ld like to share come back and leave a comment!

Gardening Tip

In a few weeks we will be moving into a house...our first house ever. So, I guess this means that I'm setting down some roots in Texas (well, we already knew that we were here to stay a while...though we kept saying we were going back to California for the longest time). I'm very excited about having my own space, no one living under me (so I children can stomp around to their heart's content), a separate room for my littlest (who's been sharing ours), and a long awaited REAL garden. I've gotten pretty good at container gardening, but it's frustrating that the plants that grow "wild" in the lawn downstairs from the seeds my potted morning glory drops do better than the ones I tend and care for upstairs. But I do have a few tips up my sleeve, and I thought I'd pass along one of the best ones to you all.

My favorite Texas container gardening tip is...get plastic plants! No, really, this is a real gardening tip...resulting in actual live plants!

Let me explain. For several seasons I tried to grow plants from seeds in containers on our sunny apartment porch. No luck. They would sprout, and then the first hot day would hit them and they would wilt and die. I finally gave up...stuck some plastic plants in a pot full of soil I had tried several times to grow seeds in, and let it sit there on my porch. Rains came. Sunny days came. And then one day I look down and see something sticking out of the plastic plants. It's a REAL plant...a petunia which grew from formerly planted seeds, protected from the sun by the plastic plants. I checked and there were several other plants growing under there (different kinds...I forget now which ones, because I had tried planting several). I left the plastic plants in until they were about the size of the store-bought varieties and then took the plastic plants out and they did great. Then I planted some seeds in another pot and moved the plastic plants over them...and once again, they grew and thrived.

And the great things about this method is that you don't have empty pots sitting on your patio while you wait for your seeds to grow!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

On May 9, 2009 you can join Stamp Out Hunger in providing food for needy families by leaving non-perishable food donations in a bag next to your mailbox for your letter carrier. What could be easier than that?

On a related note, did you know that canned food expires? YEP, that's right. So do many boxed products. I like to go through my cabinets once or twice a year, toss the stuff that's past the expiration date, and donate items that I might not get a chance to use before they expire.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What state SHOULD I live in...

Well, this quiz says Texas....

Which Large U.S. State Should You Live In?
Your Result: You Should Live in Texas

Capital Austin
Largest city Houston
Largest metro area Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington[1]
Area Ranked 2nd in the US
- Total 268,820[2] sq mi
(696,241 km²)
- Width 773[3] miles (1,244 km)
- Length 790 miles (1,270 km)
- % water 2.5
- Latitude 25° 50′ N to 36° 30′ N
- Longitude 93° 31′ W to 106° 39′ W
Population Ranked 2nd in the US
- Total 24,326,974 (2008 est.)[4]
- Density 79.6[5]/sq mi (30.75/km²)
Ranked 26th in the US

You Should Live in Georgia
You Should Live in New Jersey
You Should Live in Florida
You Should Live in California
You Should Live in Illinois
You Should Live in Michigan
You Should Live in Ohio
You Should Live in Pennsylvania
You Should Live in New York
Which Large U.S. State Should You Live In?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Was slightly surprised it picked Texas for me, even though I'm here and all. Though, I'm not going to take a quiz too seriously that picks NEW JERSEY for my second choice. Really? You think this mountain/ocean/open spaces loving girl would like New Jersey? I've never actually been there but I think the only nature they have is a swamp.

But of course these are taken with a grain of salt. There are several "What state should you live in..." quizzes around and others picked Alaska (love to visit, don't think I'd want to be there year-round) and Georgia for me. Ah, well...I was bored.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Californians are so Californian

A recent study that found that Californians are...well, Californian.

Dennis Tootelian recently announced the results of a survey that has people outside the state no doubt saying: "See, I told you." Among his findings: 63 percent of Californians have actually hugged a tree; 24 percent have surfed; and 21 percent admit to enjoying mud baths.

"It turns out that Californians actually do a lot of the things that make up the stereotype," says Mr. Tootelian. more about it here.

Oh, and thanks to The Common Room, the blog which point me towards this fun if not all that surprising story.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Free Wildflower Guide

Wildseeds Farms of Fredricksburg, TX offers a free catelog which also doubles as a Wildflower Guide. There's some seriously good info in there--8 pages of instruction on how to grow wildflowers, and 25 pages with pictures of wildflowers along with their foliage and maps of where they grow naturally (so you could use this to identify that pretty flower you discovered on the side of the road) .

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Texas Giveaway

Stumbled on this giveaway for the Disney on Ice Show in Dallas. It's a blog giveaway, so there's a good chance to win!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Craziness of Law

I've been following news on the CPSIA (a recent overarching law that is a real mess for children's hand-crafters, booksellers, and thrift stores). But anyways, that wasn't what I came online to chat about today. You see, one of the side affects of my research on that is I've discovered some really good blogs along the way. One of them is My reading there the last couple days lead me to some interesting news items related to California and Texas.

It's not unheard of in Texas for a small town to use motorists passing through to fund it's police department (I personally know of a little stretch of HWY 35 where the speed limit dips from 70 to 65 for no aparant reason except to trap moterists with tickets--and there's not even an offramp to the town that polices that stretch). Well, seems that the town of Tenaha, Texas, is going even further by using a law that grants authorities the power to seize property used in crimes to take stuff from people who were never even charged with one.

Meanwhile, there's a posibility California may be releasing 25% off it's prison polulation. heard that right. A three judge panel has concluded that because of overcrowing the only way to avoid unconstitutional prison conditions is to impose a "cap on the prison population." More on that HERE.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Texas and California Comics

Wish I could post it directly here...but I found this
Political Cartoon on Crawford, TX pretty funny. Living right around the corner from Crawford...I can understand this one. I heard the press HATED having to come out here to report of George W. every time he came home to "the ranch." (Not that I blame them, especially when the summertime heat hits over 100). Hmmm...I wonder if the thought reporting from Hawaii or Arizona crossed any reporter's mind when they were covering the recent election.

Anyways, here are some more Texas and California political cartoons from Cagle. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This Giveaway Is For the Birds

We have a winner! Congrats Jennifer57!
(Choosen randomly using

It's Bloggy Giveaway Carnival time again...where hundreds of bloggers give stuff away on their blogs, and much fun ensues.

This time I'm giving away something fun I stumbled on a while ago at CafePress. The shopkeeper who made these only offered them in sets of ten (as noted in the picture below--you can click on the picture to visit her site)...but I wanted one so bad I bought a set figuring I could always sell or give the rest away). If you've ever visited a Texas Mall during grackle season, where these little birds flock in hugh swarms, you'll see the humor in this:

For a chance to win ONE of these buttons, just leave a comment (and make sure to leave your e-mail address--if I can't reach you I can't get the button to you). US entries only please (for shipping reasons).

You can also get extra entries for each of the following. Leave a separate comment for each please or your extra entries won't count.

1. Link to on your webpage or blog, blogroll or lensroll then come back here and share the URL where you did this in a comment.. If you like to link with buttons you can find some here

2. Link to or blog about any of my other sites listed here.

3. I've been working on set of Squidoo Local CA and TX CafePress t-shrit lenses to benefit charity. These would be a lot like my general Texas T-shirt Lens and California T-shirt Lens. Since, of course, I'm not familiar with every place in Texas and California I could use your help. For an extra entry first go to CafePress and search their marketplace for your favorite CA or TX city or town. Then pick your favorite design or designs that come up, and share the link to them in a comment here. You can do this for several cities if you want and leave a separate link for each one for more entries. No more than 5 though please, thanks. (WARNING: CafePress is a marketplace with user generated content and there are quite a few items that are not kid friendly there. While I don't feature any of those on my sites, doing a search like I just mentioned could bring up a few, so be forewarned.)

You can enter through Jan 31. If you know of any other bloggy giveaways going on with a California or Texas appeal, please let me know and I will put a link to them on this blog (family friendly only). Thanks!


Don't you love Chick File? It was one of my great Texas dining discoveries. I love the food, their fun advertising, and how they support the community. I love the fun educational kids toys that come with their meals (unlike other places where I've avoided buying a kids meal so I wouldn't have to take home another piece of junk to clutter my kids room). Mostly I love how they let you come in and order a lemonade on a hot day while you watch your kids play in their clean well-kept playground.

And I just learned that they are now in California too! Rock on!

Monday, January 26, 2009

They're Selling Texas Weeds Again

Out when I was in California I worked in a flower shop. Another lady who worked there was though it was funny that we were selling Mexican Evening Primrose. "That's a weed in Texas," she said.

"Awfully pretty for a weed!" I thought (and I hadn't even seen these beauties swaying in pink waves by roadside yet...I'd categorize them more as a wildflower.)

Well, just today I stumbled upon the Amazing Tickle Me Plant!. It responds to touch, moves throughout the day, and has cool pink fuzzy flowers. (See movie below showing it move throughout the day...they had a movie of it responding to touch, but it wasn't embeddable (and it had an annoying sound-track).

...and for only $4.95 you can have a packet of 10-20 seeds so you can grow them yourself!

Or just visit Texas and grab some off the road-side, cause they're weeds here. Very cool weeds, I might add. A friend of ours first introduced us to them when we were walking up near the Wycliff Linguistics center in Duncanville. They have them here in Waco, too. There's a bunch growing in the lawn of the Mayborn Children's Museum (in spite of being frequently mowed). My kids love to play with them every time we go. how do I collect those seeds?