Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Smoke Signal to You

We had our Christmas Eve service yesterday evening, which ended with singing "Silent Night" by candlelight. After everyone had extinguished their candles and left to finish last minute wrapping and cooking (at least that was my plan), Savannah came up to me holding her candle.

"Mom? If I blew out my candle and lit it again, is it still holy?"

"Sure," I responded. I couldn't see how her intentions would be anything but.

"Good. I want to take it outside and blow it out and send the smoke up to Jesus for a present."

She touched my heart and I'm sure put a smile on the one who came to us as a baby many, many stars ago on this day.

I'm sending out a smoke signal to all of you; you who still come to see what I have to say despite my absences.

I hope you have a blessed and joyful Christmas and a happy and safe new year (but I plan to talk to you again before then.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

City Woman

Savannah is crazy for animals. She is a sweet and gentle soul who loves all, er…most animals. Her goal is to become a veterinarian, animal shelter owner, grunt, or volunteer – however she can get in the place - or a marine biologist.

Oh yes! Or a singer!

Pretty hefty goals if you ask me, and I know she can do any of them.

Of course she has the typical love for dogs, cats, and birds. But she goes crazy for dolphins and horses. Unfortunately, there are no dolphins close by that we can introduce her to, but horses are another story. At least that’s what we recently discovered.

There is a very cool couple in our church, Angie and Frank, who own two horses. Frank grew up with horses, but four years ago Angie discovered them for the first time and fell in love. They ended up selling their house along with most of their possessions inside, bought their horses and built a barn with part of it being their home. They literally built it with their own four hands.

Talk about living your dream! They discovered what they wanted and went for it, no matter what the sacrifice. They’re my new role models.

It’s a shame I didn’t get pictures of their home. It’s absolutely beautiful…and very small. I think Pat and I would kill each other in a month’s time.

They invited us out after church yesterday so Savannah could be with the horses. It was wonderful watching Savannah sit atop Sundance, a beautiful creamy Quarter horse. And he was so sweet with her. Angie said he’s usually easy to get along with, but not as calm and mild as he was with Savannah. I think he knew what kind of person he had on his back: 1) a brand new rider, and 2) one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. I can’t believe she came from me sometimes. I’m foul mouthed, impatient, hot tempered, and…

definitely a city girl.

Now I spent time in the country growing up. My family comes from the piney woods of East Texas. We chopped down our own Christmas tree behind my grandmother’s house and we listened to Willie Nelson. If that doesn't make you country, I don't know what does.

Plus, when I was around eleven my father moved back to East Texas from the city after my parents divorced and I spent every other weekend and many summer days poking around with cowboys and my very country kin. I’ve always prided myself that I could switch from city to country in the 3-hour time period it took to go from one to the other with a stop at Dairy Queen on the way.

Yesterday, though, I realized just how long it’s been since I’ve been, well, countrified. I got dressed for church that morning, keeping in mind that I would be going out to see horses later. When it came time to walk outside with the Quarter horses and our gracious hosts, I looked down wondering why I was having such a hard time. Hmmm…I wonder why I thought leopard print flats would be good for the dirt and sand. Plus, my open-holed crocheted sweater didn’t do much to keep the cold wind out. Oh! And I held a baby wrapped in a “I’m a Rock Star” blanket.

Then there was Savannah. She had on Levi’s – very appropriate - with a beautiful, thin blouse – not so appropriate, but luckily she had her hoodie to keep her warm – and her Ugg wanna-be boots. Not appropriate at all! And we had Sarah running around in a dress and keds.

They wouldn’t write a country song about us. We would be the Lifetime Channel movie about the family that takes a trip to the country and all mayhem ensues. I don't think I could have convinced anyone I've spent time outside the city lights.

But the cold wind and the sand in my shoes were all worth it. Savannah couldn't keep the smile off her face, and Sarah was in complete awe of the mighty creatures. We managed to get her up on one for a short while before she wanted down, but Savannah stayed up as long as they would have her.

That's Angie with the girls sitting atop Sundance.

Look at that blue Texas sky! You don't always have that in the city.

I still can't believe I wore leopard print flats. Good grief!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I’ve been the victim of a hideous, senseless, moronic, and immature crime.

My computer was slammed, crashed, and broken down by a virus!


Maybe a little.


Oh yeah!

Everything came to a work, my writing, and most importantly, my surfing.

What I don’t get, though, is what gain do these anonymous attackers seek? I realize some are after money and try to hack in to your bank or credit accounts, but all this particular virus (and I’m told it was a nasty one) did was tie up the screen and then it went black. So what does that get them?

Satisfaction that someone has been inconvenienced?

The pleasure in knowing someone’s work has ceased?

You know that last one isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you work in the corporate world. I know I enjoyed my 36 hour break.

But seriously, what kind of person works to make others miserable? It’s very Grinch-like if you ask me. I envision a pear-shaped man with bird legs sitting in the corner rubbing his green hands together with a creepy smile slinking up his face.

Dude, get a life!

It’s really a sad existence when you think about it: living just to make others miserable.

After the smoke cleared from my ears and I rode out the frustration, I started to feel sorry for whoever is responsible for my computer’s illness. I didn’t lose any documents or important photographs – at least not this time. I just went technology-free for a while. I even took the day off from work yesterday and spent it hanging out with my husband and two younger kiddos. We had some great Thai food and a few laughs together, and I was able to relax for a little while.

Maybe I should thank this bird-legged Grinch. His work to inconvenience me just gave me a little breather I needed.