Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Way back when the daughter was a toddler, this little reindeer delighted her, with its whimsically lit nose, the Christmas tunes it played and the movement of its legs.  Her Nana had bought it for her and its entertainment value diminished as our daughter grew older.  New batteries, a good dusting of its antlers and he is now entertaining another curly-headed sweetie.  His joints make a little more noise than they used to, but then again whose don't?  Twenty-five years old and he can still bring a smile to my daughter, "I remember him" when I set him down in front of the Grandlove's curious fingers.

My quest for the Fisher-Price record player was rewarded with a hands-on approval from the Grandlove.  He used his farm people to help him investigate the turntable.  The songs were familiar and he smiled his approval.  Made the hunt for the record player so worth it.

After enjoying a delicious meal, the two guys put their feet up and enjoyed a special movie.  Who doesn't like Mary Poppins?  It was a nice, quiet day.  In this hustle-bustle world we live in, it is nice to relax, share a good meal and appreciate the people in our world.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SWEET GIRL'S CONFUSING REQUEST: "Sing the bee song, Momma."

Growing up in a home where singing was a everyday occurrence, it followed that I would sing to my sweet little girl.  I learned the usual kiddie nursery rhymes, but some of the old classics that I enjoyed found their way into my repertoire.  When my sweet girl would stretch out her arms for me, she was met with a smile and my version of, "Hold me, hold me, never let me go..."  My mom would sing songs as she pushed our little curly-top on her tire swing, "He flies through the air with the greatest of ease..."  Snippets of songs filled the days and delighted our little one.  We all were happy with the arrangement, until one day when I was stumped by my little girl.  "Sing 'The Bee song', Momma." 

Thinking my mother had an extra song in her bag of tricks that I didn't know, I called her for the answer.  She was puzzled by the request, also, which only added to the frustration of the eager child.  I asked her to hum a bit, tell me more, or any hint that she could give me to find the right tune and she kept reassuring me that I knew it, it was "The Bee Song".  I finally promised that as soon as I remembered the elusive song, I would indeed start the serenade.  Watching my disappointed daughter leave the room, I racked my brain for any song with bees in it.  No "Sesame Street" songs that I could think of focused on the bees, she was way to young to want a song about" the birds and the bees", and so I finally concluded that it must have been one of my original songs that I threw together in a moment of fleeting creativity.

A few more days passed and we went to the mall, where there was a man who loved to demonstrate the musical instruments he sold.  Our little girl would dance to his music, which caused smiles all around.  She ran up to where he sat at the organ and requested "The Bee Song."  Imagine my extreme surprise when he smiled and began playing.  Who knew that there was such a song?!  Well, it wasn't exactly known nationally as "The Bee Song", but thankfully, the kind man started playing "Que Serra Serra".  That was the elusive song.  You know the line, "What will be, will be"?  That's the bee song and has remained "The Bee Song" in our family every since that curly-headed sweetheart twirled around with her dancing eyes and dazzling smile.

During the whirlwind of life, this jewel of a memory is what I treasure the most.  Sweetness, innocence and love.  I miss those easier days.  I miss my daughter's Nana and Papa.  I am blessed that with my Grandlove the innocence is once again embodied in a curly-headed child who can make people smile with their hearts.

May all of your Holiday wishes come true and the New Year be filled with Blessings for you and yours. 

Stay well and thank you for caring that a lowly Ferret enjoys writing about life.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Growing up with a mom who loved car trips, I have logged quite a few miles on the old asphalt throughout my life.  My mom had a "lead foot" and a bladder than size of Lake Erie, so we didn't stop as much as I would have like.  She would get her mind set on the number of miles she wanted to conquer in the day and ignore the usual kids' distractions that we would try.  But eventually, even she would give into the need to stop and we would keep our eager eyes peeled for the familiar signs of Stuckey's or Nickerson's Farms.  

Mom loved the pecan rolls at Stuckey's and we loved the gift shop.  Sometimes we were allowed a small purchase and we would choose the huge two-foot pencil, the plastic dinosaurs or a "cedar chest" to keep our tiny treasures safe.  If we didn't stop at Stuckey's then we would stop at Nickerson's Farms, 'cause we all loved the hot little loafs of bread with the honey butter. 
After we ate, we would watch the honey bees in the see-through bubble hive and check out the souvenir shop.  Before we all piled back into the car, bathrooms were used ("I don't care if you have to go or not, go anyways.") 
 Fast forward many decades and I find the road trips being a frequent occurrence in my weekly life.  Stuckey's and Nickerson's Farms have gone the way of leaded gas for twenty-five cents a gallon, but there is a roadside chain which has stepped up to the plate to fulfill the basic needs of travelers, both young and old.

Clean bathrooms, friendly staff, good food, souvenirs for any taste and best of all gas with competitive prices.  Buc-ee's are popping up in this pocket of the world, much like Nickerson's Farms did in the good ole days.  I know that families are experiencing the travel breaks at safe, clean places where one can stretch legs; empty body reservoirs; enjoy yummy handmade fudge; try Beaver Nuggets; fill up the car for another leg of the journey and then load back up with everyone ready to "hit the road." 

When I travel to the doctors' or the Grandlove's I like the feeling that no matter the weather or the time of day I can stop at Buc-ee's and get what I need to finish my journey. 

Thank you, Buc-ee, from your distant cousin, Ferret.  See you, soon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I saw on the news today that the most annoying word/phrase was determined to be:  "Whatever."  Well, it is a bit annoying, but trust me there are more culprits out there.  I will give you my top pet peeve words/phrases and I would love to hear about the ones that cause your eyes to squint and your neck muscles tense. 

When someone has done something for me, I acknowledge the act with either, "Thank you," or "Thank you, very much."  When I express my appreciation, I expect a simple, "You're welcome" not what I usually hear.  What a waiter says when I thank them for delivering my water, food, etc. is, "No problem."  Really, paying customers are a problem and now I know that your service to me is not a problem.  I thought that a server's job was to serve and me thanking was a courtesy.  This "No problem" response to a thank you is not restricted to service personnel, though.  In fact today I was in a locally owned stored and wouldn't you know, when I said, "Thank you" the sales person said, "No, problem."  Yes, she did smile, but that smile was over shadowed by the irritating phrase.  There are even some people in my life who say that phrase to my expression of appreciation.  What might happen is that I will stop thanking them for anything and see how much a problem that is. 

Some people cannot speak without using the word, "like" and I don't mean for expressing fondness for something.  People who pepper their speech with "like" make my eyes glaze over very quickly.  I  lose interest and what's funny is that usually they are unaware that I've stopped listening.

A phrase came into being a few years ago and it ranks right up there with words that could disappear and our collective IQ scores would increase dramatically.  "My baby's daddy" is a phrase that makes me flinch, because too many people find that a normal state of being.  What happened to "husband" or even
"ex-husband," if the marriage didn't work out?  How is it okay to have guys out there with numerous girls having their babies?  What happened to commitment?  What happened to devotion? Heck, what happened to birth control, if the girls can't control their primal instincts?  If the girls would even say, "My boyfriend" I wouldn't cringe as much.

There is one final word that some people use and it isn't even a word.  I even had a "superior" who would use this word on a daily basis.  He would get on the loud speaker and announce, "Quit conversating in the hallways."  Hey, Smarty, there's no such word as conversating. Conversing is what he wanted to say, but he continued to slur the King's English on a daily basis.  What's really sad is that I hear this "conversating" on television, in public places and throughout my day.  I try not to correct the person (don't much like the dirty stares or threats of bodily harm when people take offense to my innocent verbal redirection.)   A little side note here, the spell check just went crazy with my typing "conversating."

I'll be interested in your words/phrases that make your teeth hurt, you shoulders bunch up, or just irritate the heck out of you.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


When I am confronted by a challenge, the little hairs on the back of my neck start to rise.  When I am told, "I am sorry, Ma'am, but we won't be getting any more before Christmas,"my backbone become more rigid and I prepare for the challenge.  When all of the common resources have been exhausted, it becomes a matter of honor for me to conquer the insurmountable task set before me.  Defeated people fall to the wayside as I trudge forward to the goal.  This challenge of acquiring the unattainable fuels my determination.  I realize that this is part of my genetic makeup, because my mom wouldn't give up either. 

My first challenge was a couple of decades ago, when Cabbage Patch dolls first hit the market.  It didn't matter how much you were willing to spend, a person couldn't  find one.  When stores would have a shipment, there were actually fist fights among the harried shoppers.  (Remember this was before E-Bay, Amazon and all the other online purchase sites.)  Try as we might, we couldn't find one for our little girl for Christmas and then a little miracle happened in our world. 

My husband was laid off from the railroad and I was working in a clothing store to support our family.  At our local grocery store, there was to be a drawing every fifteen minutes to win a Cabbage Patch doll, but the catch was that you had to be present to claim the prize.  I left instructions that Hubby was to take our sweet girl to the store and wait the four hours for all of the drawings.  Every fifteen minutes a name would be drawn and a replacement one if the person wasn't there. 

After a couple of mind-numbing hours, Hubby zoned out. Luckily a little curly-headed girl brought him back in focus with, "Daddy, they just called your name!"  Sure enough, he got to claim the doll and brought a smile to our little girl's face.  He protected both the doll and our daughter as they went out to the car, because people were crazy about those silly dolls.

As I said, I was working in a clothing store and I didn't know what was going on in the drawing, until I walked into the shoe department of the store and there was a sight for sore eyes.  My hubby was holding our precious little girl, who in turn was hugging a cute baby boy Cabbage Patch doll.  My hubby provided something that even the wealthy couldn't acquire that year.  That red-sailor-suited little doll brought a smile to everyone's faces.

Now, forward a few decades and my daughter said that she wanted her little guy to have a Fisher Price record player.  No problem, right?  Wrong! That re-issued record player has been sucked up by greedy people who are turning around and selling it for two to three times its worth on Amazon and Ebay. 

Target stores are the exclusive carriers of this toy, with JCPenney offering it in their catalogue.  Daily checking with the store, online stores and finally Fisher Price itself told me that the record player acquisition was becoming a dream.  Not realizing my level of determination, my daughter told me, "Mom, it's okay, you don't have to get it, I just thought it would be nice.  Don't worry about it." 

Huh, me not worry about it or give up?  Really?  Not with the blood that flows through my veins.

I wrote down all the contact information for the Target stores within 130 miles.  I continued the web-search for JCPenney's availability.  No luck.  Getting people on the phone, netted me only a lot of, "I'm sorry Ma'am, but I don't know when or if we will be getting any more."  Fisher Price factory wouldn't sell me one, because it was a store exclusive.  Rolling up my sleeves, I went down the contact list once more Thursday morning.  Finally, I hit pay dirt.  I called a distant (hundred miles away)Target store and the girl said they had three.  Would she hold one for a couple of hours, until I could get there?  "No, Ma'am, not this time of the year."  Really?  I kept my cool as I asked for the manager; which she was and still no sympathy.  Finally, a little pleading  and, "I'll make an exception, but if you're not here by five, it's going back on the shelf."  No problem. 

Thank Goodness for Gypsy (GPS), because I didn't know the way to this town/Target.  Some of the roads I traveled were out in the middle of nowhere, barren landscape except for highway memorials with faded flowers and signs warning me not to pick up hitchhikers (because there were prisons nearby.)  A few hours later, I approached the Target office and when the girl behind the counter asked me, "So you really drove all the way to get this record player?"  I smiled and said, "Yep and batteries, too."

When I arrived at daughter's and she hugged the record player, she crooned, "It's just like I remembered."  The happiness radiating from her eyes reminded me of the joy I saw when she was little and her daddy hung the moon by winning the unattainable doll.  Maybe she's not a kid anymore, but the little girl is still alive deep in her heart and mine.

Monday, December 6, 2010


People are amazed that I have been happily married for so many decades, so I felt that it was time to share a secret concerning the longevity of our marriage.  Throughout the years my hubby has alerted me that I could be replaced, but only by a certain person. 

The "lucky" person has changed throughout our years together and I find it interesting when I'm alerted to the latest chosen one.  Early in our union, Crystal Gayle was the woman who could replace me.  Then there was Gloria Estefan.  The list has changed as the women have aged. 

My hubby's latest replacement is pictured here.  I have to admit that she is gorgeous and boy can she move in ways that are enticing.  Funny thing is that Hubby has aged, but his picks have a few qualities that remain the same:  Talented, musical, gorgeous and of course, unattainable. 

But just to be on the safe side, if you spot Hubby with Shakira, make sure he has taken his blood pressure medicine that day, will you?  He'd need it with this beautiful firecracker.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Spent a few hours with my Grandlove and that's all it took to give me peace, hope and the overwhelming feeling of well-being.  He is better than any prescription in helping me to know that good will prevail and the negative aspects of life will not be enough to squash me and mine.  Such a gift from God, my Grandlove. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


There are dear people in my life who are being pecked to their very core.  In the storm of the negativity my dear hearts are holding up their heads as well as possible, but it is only human to want to curl up and protect the vital parts.  If we lived in a perfect world, these nice people would be appreciated, cared for and rewarded, instead of being whittled away by the "powers that be."  It is extremely difficult to keep putting one foot in front of the other, complete the tasks set in front of them and put on their positive "everything is fine" face.  If I had the magical powers to ease their pain, I would in a heartbeat.  Unfortunately, I only have the power to provide a soft shoulder, an encouraging word, and never ending hope that the future will be brighter soon.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Being a fortunate child, I had a mom who loved to cook and boy did she ever know how to cook a tummy pleasing meal.  My favorite meal of the whole year was the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  She would get up before dawn, stuff the turkey with homemade white bread dressing, put it into the huge blue roasting pan and by the time I got up to watch the parade on t.v. the house was filled with the warm, mouthwatering aroma of roasted turkey.  Oven door squeaking alerted me to catch a peek of the lightly browned, crunchy skin on the turkey, as my mom would quickly take the lid off and baste the bird.  Steam bubbled up from the boiling turnip and carrots' kettle.  Deviled eggs were already made and back in the fridge until lunch.  Sweet potatoes were being candied in the cast iron skillet on the back burner (no marshmallows in mom's version.)  Homemade pumpkin pie was resting on the cooling rack, near the stove.  Giblets, neck bone and other "throwaway" turkey parts were being trimmed for the giblet gravy.  No one helped my mom and yet somehow dinner was always perfect.  It was as if she had an inner schedule that she knew exactly when to stir this pot; when to check the turkey to keep it moist; when she needed to add the flour to the gravy stock and when she could take off her apron and serve the most delicious dinner of all year. 

Up until her last few years, she made the deviled eggs and dressing and I made the rest.  Now that she's been gone for too many years, it has fallen on me to pay attention to that instinct that tells me when the potatoes are done and the turkey is ready to come out of the oven.  No matter how much I try, what spices I use, what ingredients that I add, my dinner will never taste as good as the ones that my mom so lovingly created.  She knew how to cook and feed her family with love.

With this remembering, I am reminded of all the blessings that I have been given and I am grateful.

Here's wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving.  May your plates be full, your waistbands elastic, your loved ones healthy and your friendships ever lasting.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I love these boots for the following reasons:

10. They repell wetness.
  9. They are cute.
  8.  They make money for a worth-while cause (breast cancer research.)
  7.  There is nothing on them that is designed for a specific town.
  6.  They could be worn to wade through the horse hockey that our town is full of.
  5.  They haven't been endorsed by Bise, Randy Vivian or any other local-yokels.
  4.  They look "girly".
  3.  They make a positive statement.
  2.  They won't go out of style next year.

And the number one reason that I love these boots is:
 1.  They aren't part of an expensive campaign that proves what a dirt-floor town we really are!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Today is a very special day for a very special friend.  She's remarkable in many ways.  I will attempt to list a few attributes that make her such a precious person to me.  First and foremost, she has carved out time for me and mine.  Her life is very demanding and yet she finds the time and energy for me.  We talk quite frequently and during our conversations we have pretty much solved all of the world's problems. 

Her way of looking at the world and all of its difficulties can be summarized by her favorite phrase, "It'll be fine."  That phrase has gotten me through some pretty difficult times.  We've been stranded in the middle of the ocean and her phrase (along with her arrangements) got my family safely home.  "I'm fine" has been used to reassure me that she could make it to her destination without falling asleep, falling over from illness or any other mishaps that she's encountered.  "It'll be fine" has given me strength to wait out life's difficulties that have bumped into my secure plans.  Sometimes the plans I've made encounter huge snags and yet, "It'll be fine" reminds me that the end will not be as overwhelming as I have anticipated. 

When she and I talk, laughter plays a huge part of the conversation.  Sometimes what she says or her response to me is downright hilarious.  We don't drink, but if one was to eavesdrop, you'd think that we had been nipping the spirits during the verbal exchanges.  Who says giggling is only for young girls?  Sometimes, we have to repeat what we say, because the laughing muddles the words, which makes it even funnier.

Our husbands do tolerate our conversations, which is good because a lot of our conversations are about our husbands.  They both are a minefield of good conversations.  We love them dearly, but that doesn't keep us from sharing their quirks, faults and silliness.  Heck, if the husbands only knew what we have shared, they would probably would blush.  It just makes our friendship even more precious, because not many people would understand how much we love our husbands, warts and all.  (No, not literally warts, just character flaws.)

We love the written word and when I've found a book that I think might tickle her fancy, I like to share.  Her sensibilities have turned me into a censor.  I've given her some books that look weird from the distant, since I've deleted the coarse words from them with markers.  Occasionally, I've missed a word but the effort is appreciated and the written work hasn't suffered from the black marks throughout.  It's out of respect for her and her beliefs that I do this.  If authors only would understand that there is an audience out there that chooses not to read coarse words, maybe they would use other words than common curse words.  (After all, I can't use markers on the library books I check out.) 

There are many other great qualities that I could write about, but her loyalty, generosity of spirit, and giving nature are what set her apart from many in my world. 

She is my sister by heart. 

Happy Birthday, to my friend.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


There are some comments on my blogs from DJ's Warriors which I find rather interesting.  I write the blog.  I publish my opinion, supported by facts.  I tell the story of the generational power trip that has been going on for a very long time in Victoria.  It seems that my blogs  have stirred up the pot a bit. 

For those of you who know me, you know that I write the truth and I am not intimated by angry outbursts. Not having much growing up and earning everything for myself has taught me that the privileged have an Achilles heel; they don't know how to handle "No."  They have been granted so much that once they hit a brick wall, they are dazed and scramble for understanding. 

The thing about my blog, I don't like to delete comments, but insulting comments can only stick around so long.  I will delete comments that are attacks against me.  If someone disagrees with me, then use common courtesy to state disagreements.  I would like to remind all, "Manners, people.  Manners."  Of course if you want to write your own viewpoint on what I've written, that is your choice, but please refrain from emptying your vile on my comment section.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I had a great laugh this week when I saw the food that was being served on board the stranded Carnival cruise ship.  SPAM, that slippery pork that was a cheap staple in many homes growing up, was airlifted to the stranded cruise ship. 

Mom would grab that release key, pull back the tin lid and tease the solid, shiny pork product out of its can. I would groan.  I hated everything about Spam.  Mom tried different ways of preparing it:  Frying it until it was crisp around the edges.  Slicing it and serving it as a cold luncheon meat.  Chopping it and adding it to scrambled eggs.  Chopping it and making ham salad out of it.  No matter how she sliced, chopped, fried or prepared it, I still hated the smell, texture and fake ham taste. 

Guess growing up through the depression, my mom appreciated the canned spiced ham from Hormel more than me.  She would never have taken a cruise, but if she did Carnival's Splendor would be her cup of tea.  Wait, they don't have hot water, so I guess that cup of tea would have to wait for a few more days.


When I have extra time on my hands, I find myself in public libraries.  Occasionally, the library is new to me, but most of the time we become fast friends very quickly.  When I walk into a library, there is a feeling of welcoming me home.  Familiar scents, sights and sounds greet me, even before I make it to the first book shelf.  Libraries have unique qualities that I could recognize with my eyes closed. 

There's the smell of printed paper,  whether it's the daily newspapers, the crisp magazines in their plastic protective cases or the books waiting to be explored.  No matter what brand, e-readers will never be able to replicate that "new book" smell. 

Running my finger over a page and experiencing the texture of the paper brings the book to life for me.  Some books have pages made of such rough paper that the words almost cut into the surface; while on the other end there are the books with the glossy pages and print to match.  Silky pages bring to mind the water and all that it hides beneath the surface.  My daughter used to only like the "soft" books, as she called them.  Her little fingers would kiss the pages as I read to her.  I got that love of texture.

People who have joined the biblio-lover club bring their own unique qualities to the library experience.  Some people groom themselves daily and come to the library with the freshly-washed scent of clean clothes and bodies; while on the other hand there are people who have already put in a full day's labor and come to the library before finding their showers.  Each person, whether dressed in business casual, beach wear, tube tops and tiaras is welcomed.  Everyone is greeted with a smile and helpful attitude by the people who work in the library.

Excited toddlers and their adult partners find their way to the glass-enclosed activity center and music starts for "mommy and me" time.  Strains of "Hot Potato" seep into the rest of the library which makes me watch the precious little ones following the librarian, who is leading the activity.  In our busy world, it is sweet to see the magic in the simple actions of following the leader in a learning activity. 

Electronic sounds serve as a background to all the workings of the library.  There are books being checked out; anti-theft electronic signals are deactivated with a muted thump; computer keyboards are clicking out hidden messages; printers are spitting out the requested pages nearby; conversations are kept low so as not to disturb other people; phone ringers are cancelled quickly; and overflows from earphones sometimes seep out to the neighbor. 

By the late afternoon, the patrons have changed.  In come the after-schoolers.  Older elementary students scramble to find the perfect book, the computer site with all the fun games or a quiet spot to challenge a friend to a board game.  Some high school students find a corner to help each other with class assignments; while at the same time sitting closer than school personnel would allow.

In the library, there is a feeling of ease; no one is in a hurry; life slows down and people can catch their breath.  It's as if when I enter the library there is a promise of more appreciation for all that is good in the world.  Words are powerful and when I immerse myself in an environment which celebrates them I feel hopeful, relaxed and energized.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


When DJ and her family move to our state capital next year, it will be interesting to keep track on their adjustment.  You see for almost sixty years, DJ has been able to get her way, because of her family.  Throughout her school years, her family's wishes were followed. Whatever she wanted as a "teacher" in the public school system, her wishes were followed, but that little journey has finally stopped.  She will now be moving to Austin, where it doesn't really matter which family is pulling the local strings, because Austin is a very large pond and DJ is just a little fish.  It should be interesting.  Her daughter might learn some manners from this reality jerk that has happened to her mother.  Cross enough people, burn enough bridges and people finally will get sick of the demands of the drama queen.


"Sanity doesn’t suffer, ever. A clear mind is beautiful and sees only its own reflection. It bows in humility to itself; it falls at its own feet. It doesn’t add anything or subtract anything; it simply knows the difference between what’s real and what’s not. And because of this, danger isn’t a possibility. A lover of what is looks forward to everything: life, death, disease, loss…anything the mind might be tempted to call 'bad.'Life will bring us everything we need, to show us what we haven’t undone yet. Nothing outside ourselves can make us suffer. Except for our unquestioned thoughts, every place is paradise. "

~Byron Katie

Lately, I have been struggling with some personal issues and today I stopped, looked around, took a deep breath and realized that I need peace.  Peace that doesn't come from money, possessions, job security, fancy environments, or anything that can be bought.  My peace comes from way deep inside.  It comes from the act of letting go of the struggles of everyday.  Magically making life easier for me and for those whom I love can't happen, so that has to be okay.  Employment opportunities aren't controlled by any force I posses, so they are out of my hands.  Health concerns are addressed and yet the outcomes are not determined by me.

Breathing, relaxing and accepting have helped me in realizing that what is important is the fact that I am blessed to have people whom I love and love me back.  Struggling in this world has taken too much energy and I have to approach this journey with more confidence, serenity and faith.

I realize that the bumps, detours and uphill climbs will still try to sway me from my goal of peace, but I am counting on the "GPS" of faith, friends and family to guide me and keep me on my path.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Houston Independent School District is in the process of developing a new teacher evalutaion tool that includes students' achievement/performance.  I wouldn't have a problem with that aspect of teacher evaluation, except that the teachers who teach the AP or GT classes have an easy-breezy time motivating their students to learn.  On the other hand, you have the middle-of-the-road and off-the-road students who just come to school for the free food, the time to socialize with their friends and catch up on the latest news from their homeboys. 

Those poor teachers can't hand-pick the motivated students; the students who care about education; the students who will try their hardest to complete the assignments; or even the students who come to school on a regular basis.  When the teacher is assigned the students, those students don't come with a money-back guarantee.  Students show up to class with factors that aren't measured by any standard that the district/state can provide.  If the student is homeless; pregnant; abused; abusing drugs/alcohol; surviving a home life that one wouldn't wish for anyone or any other negative aspect the ability to learn is affected. 

  • No where on the teacher's evaluation form does it take into consideration that the student who made a 55 last week has improved because the teacher has taken extra time to help motivate the student to care.

  • No where on the form does it take into consideration that the teacher has worked with that kid off to the side, who just arrived from out of the state, to help her catch up to the point the class is working.  She hasn't passed yet, but she has improved in the last two exams. 

  • No where on the evaluation is a place to mark that the students have improved in their school attendance, because the teacher is motivating them to achieve. 

Do you understand my point?  I think evaluations are wonderful; however, the factors that go into the evaluation should all be considered and not just students' grades.  In all my years of dealing with the educational system in Texas and the evaluations, I've yet to know of one bad teacher who was asked to leave, even when "growth plans" weren't followed.  Many good teachers on the other hand, resort to the "dog and pony shows" in order to keep their jobs.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


With all the stuff that has been happening in our little Hicktoria, lately, I almost forgot what really is important.  It took a trip to an enormous children's hospital to jar me back to my place of appreciation for all the gifts I have been given. 

Monetary gifts in my world are just a wild dream, so those aren't the gifts that I appreciate.  Aging has taken its health tolls with me, so a springy, vibrant body have long lost its possibility for me.  Fancy cars have never been a priority to me, which is great, since those would never be possible in my world.  What blessing do I value and need to be gently reminded of, you might wonder?  Well, when I found myself in an environment with critically ill children; children with heart conditions that impact longevity; children who are non-verbal because of autism; children who spend their days in darkness because they were born blind; children who are well known due to numerous hospitalizations; and of course the parents who must rely on medical advances to ensure just one more day with their loved one, then I know that I am truly blessed to have a Grandlove with manageable health concerns.  He underwent another painless test, yesterday and we were told by the Tech that it seemed to be within normal range. 

What did I take away from the long day?  I am grateful for all the gifts that I promise not to take for granted.  Family, friends, and Bentley have been given to me by a most merciful God and I truly am grateful for His Love, which is constant, even when my appreciation wanes and a wake up call is necessary.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Now that DJ has burned one too many people, we are beginning to hear from people who have been close enough to understand what really went on with drill team members and leaders.  Thanks to a former principal, there is a letter in The Victoria Advocate that is very clear about her experiences with DJ on her campus.  I appreciate her letter and her part in the reassignment, but it did leave me a bit confused.  The principal has been gone for awhile and yet the reassignment just happened.  How did what DJ do years ago have any bearing on the reassignment now?  If the accumulation was so heinous, why wasn't it dealt with years ago?  How many charges were there and how come a release of contract wasn't the result?  I have no idea of what part this principal played in the reassignment, although she claimed to have aided in this procedure.  Must have been an awful lot of stuff going on throughout the years that nobody was brave enough to deal with.  Those poor brainwashed girls and families who are still backing DJ.  It's almost like they need to go to one of those anti-cult centers to have their brains rewired.  DJ's motto is DDDR; does that stands for Damage Darlings Daily Repeatedly?  Her LEGACY is the damaged girls she left behind.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010



On my other blogs, I have gotten broadsided by some unhappy DJ fans.  Imagine that!  Their leader has finally been told "No" and they don't know how to function without her, except to strike out at anyone who tells the truth. These DJ fans have been blindly following her and her twisted reality for so long, that they are confused when their leader has been lowered from her pedestal.  Here's a hint, DJ Warriors, there actually is a world that doesn't involve line formations, high kicks, fund raisers and out-of-the world expenses for sets.  Find something for your family to do with your time and money that actually contributes to the world, not just the little universe that had DJ as the axis. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Well, what an interesting morning!

I attended the open Level III grievance meeting held in the board room of Victoria Independent School District.  This was my first time for being in the audience of such a meeting, so I paid close attention to all the rules and regulations.  Turn off cell phones, pagers, etc.  Find a seat and wait for the action to begin.  Once the board members entered, DJ was escorted up front by her husband.  She sat facing the board with the representative from her teachers' union.  (I didn't know why she didn't have legal counsel with her, advising her and presenting her case.  If she had a lawyer, then would have been the time to bring one with her, in my opinion.) 

The School Board President was very clear with her explanations of why the meeting was an open meeting and what behavior was acceptable.  DJ and her union representative had requested an open meeting and because of that, no mention of any names or identifying of students in any form would be allowed.  The consequences for even implying identifying comments would be a warning and if any names would be mentioned, the hearing would be ended.  Very clearly, the students and their families' identities would be protected by the Board.  All parties indicated that this was understood and compliance would be forthcoming. 

Everything went well for the next few minutes, until the quesiton was asked, "Do you know why all this came about, Mrs. Jaynes?"  She turned to her union representative and asked, "Can I say a name?"  He gave his permission and she said, "The issue started with [insert name here].."  Gavel came down and the Board President stopped DJ in her tracks.  No amount of apologies from her union representative could "unring the bell".  He said, "I didn't think you meant the family of the girl."  What?  Are you kidding me? 

Wait, it only gets better.

Then the union representative passed out papers to the board.  The Board President got her paper and she then admonished him, as it had the same names on it.  His excuse, "I didn't pass those out to the audience and we aren't saying the name."  The Board President told the board members to hand her the papers and one board member wadded up his paper and throw it across the table.  Gasps of unbelief rippled through the audience when the board member displayed his immaturity level, but wait, his immature actions were just getting started.  (You better have some soda to wash down your popcorn, now, 'cause we have a bit to go.)

*When the union representative was explaining that there are only eleven students at Mitchell for PE, that is a lie.  There are over a hundred students there.

*When the union representative stated that there was already a PE teacher there, that isn't true, either.  The man who goes there for a couple of hours a day has a full-time job in VISD and he is filling in there.

*When the union representative stated how much DJ makes and how long she has taught, it just takes simple math to figure out that if she retired, she would still be making more than a first year teacher makes a year.

Finally, the attorneys for the school district briefly spoke.  They made it clear that in the contract, it is stated that ANY teacher can be reassigned at ANY time by the superintendent.  No reasons are needed and the board does not make that decision.  When a teacher signs yearly contract that is something that is agreed upon. 

Since DJ had some time left, she was asked if she wanted to speak.  Straining my ears, I heard something like, I've always been told that I've done a wonderful job and there's never been any problems.  That was the core of what she said, and people in the audience believed her.  Well, most of the people did, but some of us know the truth and the trouble she has caused.

A call for a vote and a second started the Board's discussion.  The same board member who crumbled the offending paper turned to DJ and her union representative, "I've been contacted by all members of this discussion.  I am excusing myself from the vote, but before I do," he swiveled in his chair and faced DJ, "I want to say, HOW DARE YOU!  HOW DARE YOU!"  [I had to come back and correct the quote, as I remembered it slightly different.  So here's the correction.]  He got up and left the room.  Some people clapped.  I don't know why they applauded, whether it was because he said what he did or because he left.  By this time, I needed a program to keep up with the players. 

Discussion started among the board members about the issues and THEN an audience member shouted from the back, "Since, Mr. Klimist has left..." and before the sentence could be finished, the Board President brought the room back to order.  She said that audience participation would not be tolerated.  A few mumbles from the back and everyone got quiet. 

Discussion from the board members went on for a few minutes with admonishments from one concerning immature behavior of crumpling paper, throwing paper and speaking of children's names when told not to.  Being an example to our children was the goal of this board member.  Little late in this meeting.  Finally, a vote was called and all present board members voted to uphold the reassignment of DJ. 

DJ left the room, while cards, memory books and other gifts were thrust at her by her followers.  Her grandson escorted her from the room.  Her daughter, son-in-law, husband, family members led the way out of the way,  The police had to clear the entry way of the building, as the grief-stricken seem to lose the ability to put one foot in front of another and walk any further.

The weepy girls were watching, listening and glaring throughout.  "DJ's Warriors" shirts were in abundance, which made me wonder if the girls would be getting detention for skipping school.  As I made my way down the steps, zig-zagging around the girls, I heard one proud girl say, "And that woman who led the meeting, she was such a bitch."  No, Sweetie, she wasn't a bitch, she was a great example of how a person conducts a meeting that could turn nasty very fast.  Just because your "cause" lost, your leader broke another rule and she wasn't allowed to get away with it, that doesn't mean the person who conducted the meeting had a hidden agenda.  The rules were laid out and the Board President was very professional in her role. 

Good for you, Ms. President.  You took the "wet dynamite" issue and handled it with a calmness that allowed justice to be done.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Tomorrow, I'll will be laying the foundation for my new career.  I will be attending the open meeting where it will be determined what will happen to DJ Jaynes.  I'll be there taking notes and writing the next great novel, 'cause nobody would ever believe the time, energy, talent that has been wasted on this issue.  Check back here and I will gladly share the insights that I gain from watching the goings on at the meeting. 

Names, places and faces will not be changed for anyone's protection; as where would the fun be in that? 

Saturday, October 23, 2010



A short while ago, my daughter and I happened upon a car show that took my breath away with the jolt back to my childhood.  I remember my mom's car that was this same year, make, model and color.  If this doesn't "date" me, then you don't know cars.  The fifties had cars that were really memory makers for many of my generation.  Riding in one of these metal (not fiberglass, plastic or flimsy material here, folks) machines  made me feel secure, safe and happy.  My mom drove with a "lead foot" and one of her brothers referred to her as a gypsy, as we were always on the go.  Guess my DNA for moving comes naturally, then, huh?  All my memories wouldn't be appropriate for a "Happy Days" episode, but memories are good about easing some of the pain and magnifying the fun of childhood for me. 

I took more pics at the car show, but this car was the one that made me smile, inside and out.  Just wanted to share.


We have new schools in our town and yet, we haven't figured out that people will walk the shortest distance to get from point A to point B, whether it is safe or not.  There are three new schools on major roads and the students don't want to walk any further than possible to arrive home. 

From the school on John Stockbauer, we have students crossing in the middle of the road, rather than walk a half of a block to the corner and then cross at the light.  Geeze, have people not heard that obseity is killing the youth and a little extra distance to walk would be a very good thing?  It's not like there's four feet of snow with hills to climb.  Give the kids tickets for jaywalking and haul their lazy rears off to the pokey if the tickets aren't paid.  Can't afford a ticket, then pull up your breeches and walk to the corner, wait for the light and cross the intersection like a civilized human being.  Crossing guards have been suggested, but who will pay for that position and what happens when the kids are a few blocks from the school with no crossing guard?  These aren't grade school kids, for crying out loud! 

Now, as far as West High School, the parents over there are parking on the side of the road and waiting for their precious children to walk to the major highway.  These are not lanes for parking and tickets should be issued to  people who are too impatient to follow the direcitons and pickup at the schools.  Place "No Parking" signs and have a police officer ticket these people who are putting lives in danger because of their inability to go with the flow. 

Darting across major roadways brings to mind a video game, "Frogger."  Hearing and seeing the splat when the ornery frog attempts to defy common sense to dodge the flow of traffic is off-putting.  Maybe we should revise this game and give the ignorant people frog costumes as they create their own paths home.  Jay-Walker versus a vehicle, no suspense there, just one less ignorant person.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


We introduced writing in the bathtub and boy did the Grandlove take to it; sort of like a duck to water.  He loved the water and the markers that even worked on the bottom of the tub.  We are big believers that learning can take place in almost any locale, and this proved to be a success.  I just had to share his first encounter with bathtub markers.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Our little guy was plumb tuckered out, after a great seafood lunch.  He fell asleep in the car and let his Papa carry him from his carseat into the store.  As soon as we hit the store's entrance, those bright eyes popped open and the smile appeared.  We are teaching this little guy to have fun shopping.  The next generation of ladies can thank us later.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I realize that no one owes me an explanation of what is going on in VISD, but that makes my curiosity even sharper.  The Drill Team leader, who is to be reassigned, is still on campuses and still doing some of the same work she did before.  No, she's not out there making sure that the boots are polished and the hats at the proper angle, but she is still on her original campus and completing some of her previous duties.  Since all of the hoopla came out about her being reassigned, the fact that she is still working in the same capacity should surprise me.  But, honestly, knowing how VISD is, nothing about this whole matter should surprise me. 

Will it be published when she is reassigned?  Will the charges against her be proven to be false?  This town's little paper was over run by articles concerning this drill team leader at one time and now there doesn't seem to be any follow-up. 

Expecting The Victoria Advocate to follow up on a story, now that's somewhat unrealistic, too.  So, in the meantime, I'll wait.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Our sweet Grandlove was marked with the sign of Christ,  recently.   We've known all along that God has a special purpose designed for him, even before this moving event.  Our little guy speaks volumes with his smile, chubby fingers and determined facial expressions. 

Although his speech is a bit delayed due to a temporary hearing loss, he is able to communicate.  No, he doesn't use American Sign Language for his communication needs; it's more of unique sounds, facial expressions and hand motions.  He was fascinated with the minister's "headset" and before the religious aspect of the ceremony could even begin, the equipment was grabbed by the quick, little hands of our guy.  This innocent exploration caused the congregation to laugh at how fast he was; if they only knew all the "quick saves" his sweet momma has anticipated on a daily basis.  His curiosity in the world will benefit him, once he's able to hear language clearly.  By this time next year, we'll probably be saying, "If only he would not talk so much."  Until that time, we will make sure that he is exposed to a rich environment and keep dangers out of his reach. 

Monday, October 4, 2010


On Friday, our dear friend finally was released from her pain and suffering.  Ovarian Cancer took her from us.  She had fought so hard and suffered through so many different kinds of treatments, but as many of us know, Cancer sometimes is stronger than any medicine that can be used.  Prayers brought her peace; Hospice brought her rest; her wonderful husband brought her comfort; grandchildren brought her smiles; loving sons brought her reassurances; and then finally God wrapped her tiny, fragile, exhausted body into his comforting arms to take her home.   

We wept for our loss and rejoiced for her new life.  Rest well, my friend; you will be missed. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010


When I learned today that VISD had finally reached the conclusion that their TEFLON person in the district had to be put on Administrative Leave, I was so pleased that finally the superintendent had realized how truly toxic the whole situation was.  I do feel badly for the students and parents who work so hard and enjoy the drill team experience and blindly believed everything was above board.

Whenever a parent devotes money, time and energy to keep their child involved in an extra-curricular activity, they shouldn't have to worry whether the person in charge is putting the children's well-being above her need for recognition.  Competitions were very expensive and yet the competitions were not true indicators of talent, since the team was the only one to compete in their category. 

Fund raisers might not be a problem for students who came from families with connections at work, church and social organizations who could buy raffle tickets, sponsorships, etc. But  for the families who struggle to met their household obligations, buying/selling the merchandise was a major financial strain.  Didn't matter who you were, the fundraising was expected.  Didn't want your child to have to work at the TKB event, because beer was sold and consumed, then too bad for you. How does this say that the director cared about the students? 

If a family couldn't afford all the financial obligations, then they should just pull their child from the team?  Soon we would be left with the elite and maybe that was the plan all along.  Oh, now I understand the name of, elite and above the rules. 

Sounds like it's time to regroup and rename the team.  The "DDDR" is the Legacy?  Really, then I guess it stands for "Did Debbie Do Right?"  And the obvious answer would be a big, fat, dingle-berry, "NO!"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I love pictographs that pretty much tell a story.  On the left, we have a picture of a bull rider and on the right we have a picture of how profitable this bull riding experience has been for VISD's dance team members.  Parents and students worked very hard for many years to help at this bull riding event, so that the profits could pay for the dancers' expenses.  What has come out very recently, is that the bull riding event, where beer was sold, was NOT a profitable event for the drill team members after all. 

Hmmm, who made money on this event and why was it used by VISD for the last many years?  Did the fact that Bo Davis is related to the director come into play?   It would seem to any reasonable person that maybe if one year didn't turn a profit then it would be questionable whether all the hard work the dancers and families devoted was worth it. Give it one more chance?  Sure, but if no profit was shown, then it looks like other ways of making money would be used. 

How does one person have so much power to keep the bull riding event as a perceived help?  Was no one looking at the books, or where the Stepford dancers/families just believing all the hype? 

Friday, September 24, 2010


So, a few weeks have passed and it has become clear that the rumor concerning embezzlement of funds from the drill team has been exposed as a rumor.  Why did The Victoria Advocate allow the accusation to be posted on their website?  There is a person who sits and zaps comments that are not allowed, yet this was allowed to be seen by many people throughout the Nation.  Amazing what stays on the paper's website and what is zapped before the ink is even dry.  Come on Advocate, don't feed us lies, rumors and innuendos, we have politicians for that duty.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


When I was in Junior High, my mom left my step-dad and we moved from south Texas back up to Cleveland, Ohio.  Enrolling mid-semester in a five-story urban school created problems for all.  The counselors tried to find classes that would equal the classes I had back in Texas, which was the first obstacle in my educational process.  Showing up to unfamiliar classrooms was embarrassing enough and the material in some classes sounded like it was being taught in a foreign language. 

Math has always been a challenge for me, but luckily I was enrolled in a class with an understanding teacher.  He would work problems on the board all period and then at then end he would write three problems on the board for our homework assignment.  I dutifully copied those problems down and as I left the classroom, I quietly told him that we hadn't covered that back in my old school.  He smiled and said for me to do my best and when I caught up, I could turn in the work.

Each day I would go home and open up my binder and stare at the three problems.  I would try many approaches to solve the problems, asked my mom for help ("Honey, I haven't been in school for over twenty years") and then return to class without solutions.  At the beginning of the class, students would turn in pages of homework, which only added to my frustration.  How could I be so dumb?  Everyone else understood how to do the work?  How did the students get pages of work out of three problems? 

By the end of the week, I gulped down my nervous stomach juices and turned to the girl next to me and asked, "How do you get so many pages of homework out of three problems?" 

To her credit, she didn't laugh, but merely said, "What are you talking about?  Three problems?  What three problems?"

I pointed to the board and said, "Those three problems from yesterday." 
On the board was written:
PP 114-115 A, B, F
PP 116-118 C, D, E
PP 119-120 F, G, H

She explained, "That's pages one hundred fourteen through page one hundred fifteen and you do all the A, B, F problems.  Then you go to pages one hundred sixteen through page one hundred eighteen and do all the C, D and E problems.  Finally, you do the same thing with the last pages."  From then on I understood the math a whole lot better.  You see where I went to school in Texas, my teacher used the abbreviation pgs. for pages and not PP. 

When I am stumped why someone doesn't understand something that is so clear to me, I try to remember how maybe they haven't had the same life experiences as me and they don't understand the shorthand I use. 

Monday, September 20, 2010


When we went to brunch Saturday morning, the sweetest things in Cracker Barrel weren't on the menu.  My Grandlove and Heart passed the waiting time by coloring and checking out the activities nearby.  Once the food arrived, our little guy loved the meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, baked apples and biscuits.  As I looked across the table, I imagined that I was my mom and was transported back in time.  She would love our little guy, since his disposition is very similar to his mom's and in her Nana's opinion our little girl was perfect. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Today, I received an unexpected gift.  It was a simple, yet complex gift.  My daughter finally understood why I used to tell her that I couldn't go to sleep when she was out at night.  I worried about her safety and even though she poo-poohed me at the time, I would explain that until she was once again safely home, I couldn't sleep, so the curfew was to be honored. 

When she told me that she finally "got it", I asked her why and she explained that a drunk driver was in jail after killing someone.  This is not the first time (and I know it won't be the last) that a drunk driver escaped unharmed after killing someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It's just that now my daughter works in the place where that drunk is kept until trial.  So after all those years of sticking to my guns and praying for my daughter's safety has led us to this day.  The day that my daughter has matured into a place of understanding and appreciation.  I am grateful for her clear thinking and hope she remembers my way of parenting when in a few years she is watching over a precious boy who will want to go and explore the world. 

Stay strong, be firm and love him with the knowledge that the brain doesn't reach full maturity until the twenties.  Good luck, Sweetie.  If you thought, colic was tough, wait until he's thirteen and, "You don't know" is thrown at you.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


It has finally become crystal clear, why certain people in our community can get away with all that they do; they are been adorned with Teflon instead of the normal skin cells.  This coating comes in very handy when "normal" rules and regulations are too trivial or ordinary to be followed.  Rather than wearing off the Teflon coating, each time rules are repelled the coating in strengthened. 

From a young age, some people knew that they were better than others and relished the idea that they would not need to follow previous procedures.  When she was elected to a popular spot in the senior class, unfortunately someone of color would be in the picture with her.  No problem, have separate photos taken and placed on different pages in the yearbook. 

She was given the position of the dance team director for one of the high schools, then she carried on with the same name that has been around for decades.  That is understandable; however, when that school no longer existed due to consolidation, then the drill team name was to be changed to include both schools.  Girls from both high schools would be on the same drill team and the colors of the uniforms would be changed to match the consolidated school.  Style of the uniforms (dingle bells on matador hats remained) basically stayed the same and the original, albeit obsolete name remained on board, on line, on cars and on everyone's lips.  VICTORIADORES.....Past, present, future?  DDDR? 

The Raider Bells drill team had a history, and they were classy enough to go along with not insisting that RAIDER BELLS were maintained.  Class, you ask?  Yeah, it takes true class to move on, follow the rules and build new memories.  When the drill team director at Memorial thumbed her nose at authority figures concerning the name VICTORIADORES, this added another layer of her non-stick back.

MTV wanted to come and make a film about the drill team and this director so much wanted it that she stepped way out of line.  She didn't even receive a slap on the wrist for all the rules she broke.  She didn't lose her job, her authority or prestige in the town.  People rallied around her and supported her love for her girls and all her dedication for each and everyone. 

Costs to have a girl on the drill team were sometimes too much for families and if they complained, the wrath from others was laced with disgust at the lowly who actually struggled financially.  When the team needed money, BULLS, BEER and KICKING were enlisted.  Was anyone keeping up with the amount of funds that were made, because when the two schools split, half the money should have gone to EAST HIGH SCHOOL?  All the money that parents raised last year should have been split, since the team was split into two schools. 

Here were find the latest incident of rules, regulation and blow back sliding off of the TEFLON back of the drill team leader.  It has been reported that she has been arrested for embezzlement of funds.  Isn't that interesting!  No report on the blotter section in the Victoria Advocate.  The only comment concerning this has been deleted from the Advocate's website. 

I will not post on The Victoria Advocate, because the brain-impaired TSTORM will have my account deleted and he is so not worth it.  He will not hear anything that is based on facts, just the rah-rah that keeps everyone away from the facts that we need boots to wallow through.

When I saw Chris Cobbler in Hasting renting a movie and getting a breverage today, I was so tempted to ask him about it, but I didn't feel like having to do the Heimlich or listen to him stammer around the truth.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


This is a picture of my external daughter and her precious little son.  If she looks scared, that would be pretty true, since she had only been a mom for a little over three months.  Her mothering skills have become stronger and more sure with each passing day.  I admire the fact that she has taken all that she has learned and tweaked it into her own way of parenting.  It's difficult to remember that it's been twenty-nine years that I first looked at her tiny face and fell in love.  So many things have happened in our lives and yet the one constant is that my love for my daughter has grown each moment.  She does know where all my buttons are and she has engaged them more than once.  Even during our tense times, our learning times, I have never doubted that I have been blessed those so many years ago when I first saw that tiny, rosebud mouth and held her.  Colic, teenage woes, hospitalizations, surgeries, illnesses temper trials, college adventures, relationship difficulties, life plans dashed across the rocks of disappointment and all the times I was told, "You don't know" have only added to my appreciation of the strength of our bond.  I love her more than life itself and that was even before she blessed us when our little Grandlove.  He's the icing on the cake. 

Happy Birthday, my sweet girl.  You have brought so much joy, love and support to our family.  May your blessings always outweigh life's struggles.