You’re going to want to do some light stretching before this…

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Gentle Reader,

(Andy, it might get a little bit esoteric here.  Maybe.)

Two things happened this weekend.  (Well, two interesting things.  “Interesting”.  I did brush my teeth and obsessively try to pluck my gray hair and put on socks, and I’m sure I could wax about this for hours, but I’ll spare you the pain.)

The first is that a friend of mine got some extraordinarily awesome news about a tiny blessing waiting for her across an ocean and a large continent.  We anxiously await further details.  And people like me do NOT like the unknown.  We plan for contingencies.  We need to know precisely where things are going and what’s going to happen when we get there.  But right now?  This is a giant, looming unknown.  I sincerely hope my friend is better with surprises than I am.  (She’s a mama, so I’m betting that she is.)

And for the second time in my life (details on the first time coming in two weeks, when daddy celebrates a milestone that fills me with joy and with worry) I find myself thinking a LOT about people I don’t know.  (My friend has been thinking about this for a very long time, I’m sure.)  I pray that the arms that hold this blessing right now are loving arms.  I pray that the hands that care for this blessing right now are gentle and Graceful.  I pray that those that know her over there are beacons, I pray this blessing trusts them and loves them.  I pray that this blessing has not witnessed the fallenness of this world first-hand.  I pray that she gets to observe that with loving people around her to reassure her that we are not lost.

The second thing that happened was we had a bridal shower for my soon-to-be cousin M.  I was surrounded by those that I call my family, even though I shared DNA with nobody at the shower.  I’m pretty sure you know it by now, but my daddy’s family is gigantic.  As a bunch, we can overwhelm people unaccustomed to our energy and zest.  And I love us.  They (and my mama’s side of the family which is a solid medium size right now and isn’t quite as overwhelming if you just learn to go along with the “call everybody your cousin” trick and don’t think too hard about the family tree) are my loving arms and Graceful hands.  I am extremely lucky.

So all of this to say, I’ve been thinking hard about the nature of family this weekend.  The amazing bond, which flexes when tested, but doesn’t break (hopefully).  The love that reaches across oceans.  The belonging even when you are in your own wilderness.

What I do for a living?  I come in after families are shattered.  I come in to the hurt and the anger and the want.  At the end of the day, even if I have done my job PERFECTLY (which, nope, not yet) the cataclysm necessitating my involvement still happened, and nothing will undo that.  So family and security and love are things that are beyond sacred to me.  And unlike so many, these have never been denied for me.  I am extremely grateful.

Plus, at the shower, Troy Aikman was at the next table over.

 

(We were TOTALLY discreet about snapping photos.  It just so happened that 25 women and teenaged girls needed to take a phone call simultaneously and pointed right at his table.)

(No, he did not come over and check out M’s suh-WEET new frittata pan.  I can’t, for the life of me, understand why.  But don’t worry, M, I’ll still let you make me a frittata at your reception.)  (Maybe with some nice spinach and mushrooms?  I’ll leave it to you to decide.)

But not even Mr. Aikman could compete with The Sophia Show.  (I LOVE The Sophia Show.  This kid?  Quality entertainment.  And she’s not at all like me whatsoever.)

 

Here she is in an understated little frock that she whipped up while the presents were being opened.  She’s like the MacGuyver of dresses.  (I promise that she has a head and it’s a darn cute one, too.  I just cropped that part out because mamas tend to get protective of their cute kiddos and their privacy.)

And that was my weekend.

Goodnight,

Wordie

 

It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of the Year!

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Gentle Reader,

Not a list this time!  (You’re welcome!)

But before we dive in to today’s riveting topic, I feel the need to share with you the most recent photographic evidence that The Boys are, without question, smarter than Scout the Ranch Cat/Trained Killer.

Image

 

She’s been staring at that thing for the majority of her three waking hours per day for at least two weeks.  It’s starting to get creepy.

To answer your question, no.  We have no idea why.

The Boys, on the other hand, stare out the window on guard against the many, MANY threats that exist out at the Ranch.

Good Boys.

(But she’s got her socks on.)

Anyway-let’s talk television.

I love this time of year.  Except it seems like Mack Brown’s strategy this year (and so far, I’m being charitable when I call it a “strategy”) is to load up the front end of the season with games against The Little Sisters of The Poor Teachers College’s practice squad and The Irwin County College of Chicken Husbandry and then move on to the bigger talent later in the season, when we’re MUCH more rested and less likely to have injuries.  This doesn’t have “disaster” written all over it.

(See-this is the ONLY time of the year that I can say things like that and it won’t matter that I am not exactly “proficient” in football analysis.)  (Seriously, Miss Cleo has more football cred.)

And, (oh, Andy, let’s just go ahead and face the fact that I will indeed live up to my name with this post…) let’s talk for a second about Texas’ other football team.  (No, not Tech.  I suggest that we sell Lubbock to Oklahoma and use the money to buy us all some great handbags.)  As a dyed in the wool UT gal, I’ve previously been contractually obligated to dislike that school in College Station.  (Aside-I’m watching “King of the Hill” on Netflix and the episode where Peggy and Min get into a blood donation contest because they both want a “Gallon Club” coffee mug?  HI-larious.  No matter how many times I watch it.)  (I really am from Texas, aren’t I?  We’ve mentioned the talking, the UT/A&M rivalry, how none of us understands why Tech bothers, and King of the Hill.  All in one paragraph.  Wow.)  (Let’s complete the cultural stereotype–does anybody know where the NRA Second Amendment seminar is next year?)

Where was I?  Oh, right.

So with the departure of A&M to the SEC, I’ve had thoughts.  While my heart will always live in Austin, the fact remains that I did not attend UT for any of my post-secondary studies.  I went to Vanderbilt for my undergraduate degree, and my introduction to the glory of college football took place in the SEC.  Also known as the best football conference, EVER.  And since I went to, well, Vandy (“Everybody’s Homecoming Team”, as my cousin Claire calls it.  And she went to Ole Miss.) I can root for other SEC teams.  (No seriously, it’s written on my diploma.)  So, my idea of perfection is a great tailgate on The Grove, with chandelier (because we’re not savages here, people), followed by an afternoon in Tuscaloosa.  Roll Tide Roll.  If the ‘Dores win?  So much the better.

I love my SEC because we have our traditions.  We dress for football games (it’s just so much more civilized to attend a football game in a little black dress, your modest strand of pearls, and kitten heels–face paint does NOBODY any favors, especially when applied to both the face and the torso…), there’s the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, the Grove, the entire universe that is Bear Bryant, and, well, I think Kentucky plays some basketball.

And so when A&M announced their departure to the SEC, my initial response was pretty much the same as everybody else here in The Great Republic.  “WHAT WILL WE WATCH BEFORE THE COWBOYS GAME ON THANKSGIVING???”  I actually can’t look too hard at ESPN.com because THERE IS A GIANT HOLE IN NOVEMBER THAT NO AMOUNT OF CONGEALED SALAD CAN FILL.  And, if I’m not properly prepared for the shock, I start crying all over again.

But, ever searching for the silver linings here, I have figured out that the A&M defection might not be the gigantic ball of awful it might seem.  (Aggie friends?  You’re going to want to bookmark this page so you can come back and read it later.  I just took a peek at your schedule and I’m thinking that you’re going to need the 12th through 57th Man to get through November.)  (The awesome part about your school is that if that really were to come to pass?  You’d totally be there, and bring along a 58th Man, just in case.)  (Consider doing this.  Please.)

The SEC, while being a breeding ground for football legends, is also famously loyal to her traditions.  (If I’m correct, there is an actual NCAA rule about one school and her proud cowbell tradition.)  A&M, you can teach them a thing or two about tradition and what it means to be a fan.  I think that other than the actual football?  This union is already a fantastic idea.  The football bit?  My fervent prayer is that y’all ramp up quickly to minimize the fractured and mangled limbs.  But, they now make maroon Sharpies so if need be, you can sign your team’s casts in school appropriate colors.

And I’ve always been a little bit awed and, oh I’ll go there, jealous of the A&M traditions and community.  Do not misunderstand, “The Eyes of Texas” brings tears to my eyes.  Bevo is like a beloved pet.  I root for UT.  Always.  But my idea about A&M began to change after the bonfire tragedy.  The Aggie response?  Made me dang proud to be a Texan.  The UT response?  Ditto.  I think we were all Aggies for that game, that year.  And I realized the depth of the A&M community, and I liked it.  Texas’ loss is the SEC’s gain.  And since y’all are now a part of the SEC?  I can cheer y’all on, AND STILL keep my devotion to UT.  Except if one day we find ourselves pitted against each other for the BCS Championship.  That day?  Burnt Orange forever.  (I honestly couldn’t type that without giggling.  While I’d be tickled to have that eventuality happen, I’m not betting on that for the next few years.)

And I started out this wandering journey through the barrens of my tiny brain wanting to talk about fall television.  I thought that I had a lot to say about that, and the more I think about it, I don’t.  I’ll summarize:

-Glee is dead to me.

-I miss Dr. House.  Deeply.

-American Horror Story?  Do we have a support group out there?  Because I’m just not sure how I’m going to be able to stand it until the premiere.  The teasers?  BEYOND creepy, and I WANT MORE!!!

-Breaking Bad?  WHOA!  Game changer, hmm?  We are also going to need a support group for that, because I hear we have to wait until NEXT SUMMER for the rest of the season.

-The rest of my viewing habits remain unchanged.  Both the shows I tell people I watch, and then the ones I don’t actually admit to watching.  I’ve watched a couple of the new shows, nothing really speaks to my soul.  Does anybody have other thoughts?

Goodnight,

Wordie

HOORAY! Another list.

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Gentle Reader,

1.  WELCOME TO THE WORLD, WCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You have two singularly AWESOME families and we’re all just tickled to death that you’re here!  We love you a WHOLE BUNCH!!  (But send a gal a photo at some point, m’kay?)

2.  The Sir,

 

(Now, really, people, I have a photo of my dog in my bed.  The new baby?  Well why ON EARTH WOULD I HAVE THAT?????)

But anyway, The Sir has determined that his half of the bed comes from the middle.  Apparently sometime around Sunday at like 3:00 in the morning.  I awoke yesterday to my back reminding me of every single time I have abused it in my near 19-years on this earth.  (I’m sticking with my earlier assessment about myself and numbers.)  And today, it was worse.

I’m counting on modern parmaceuticals, via the doctor via the pharmacist, to make it better.  If tomorrow I post as Dina, my alter ego who is on tour with Miley Cyrus?  You’ll know it’s working.

(But if I post photos of myself in anything from Forever 21?  You are hereby instructed to come to The World’s Smallest Apartment and remove ALL communicative devices until it passes.)

3.  (Or 2b?)  In relation to the second item, it has been decided that until I am able to provide him with the king sized bed he was promised during grad school, The Sir cannot sleep in the big bed with me any more.  I know, it’s his constitutionally guaranteed sleeping right.  I will field the phone calls from Amnesty International tomorrow, when I’ll be so drugged up I don’t care.  So I decided today that I would employ the “spray bottle” method of diversion.  Par example:

Me:  asleep

Sir: hops up and snuggles in somewhere between my kneecaps and shoulder blades

Me: SQUIRT

Sir: hops down, offended.

But as I was waiting at the pharmacy today, I forgot to get a new spray bottle.

4.  The only spray bottle I have that doesn’t have some kind of caustic chemical inside of it (I don’t want to hurt the boy, I just want my back to be straight.) is my leave-in conditioner bottle.

5.  The answer to your question is yes, yes he is a first world dog, being trained with Leave-In Conditioner as a threat.

Goodnight,

Wordie/Dina

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Gentle Reader,

Tomorrow is a very special day!  My version of a big sister is turning 35!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (I’m a history major…I don’t have to understand how numbers work!)

We love you to pieces, S, and we are so blessed to have you and your best beau as our family!

(And, may I just say?  I’m moved to tears by your grace and love, particularly as demonstrated on October 15, 1997 at approximately 7 in the morning.)

(I’d do the same, in a heartbeat.  😉

We love you,

Wordie and Mama and Daddy and C & C and, if we must, Scout