Tuesday, September 30, 2008

in a few hours--i will be an Auntie

My sister is having her baby today---on her 40th birthday---! She just went into labor this morning; she told me, "I think I'm in labor because there are pains and they are intermittent." I said, "uuuuhhh, yeah, that usually means the baby is coming." She thinks it could be a false alarm. I don't think so!! I cannot wait to kiss my little niece. Got to go! Will post more later.


Monday, September 29, 2008

i wasn't playing

If you don't believe me when I say I fight in good faith with my hair, it's true. This weekend, I tried to make a nice bun-in-the-back, you know, show a little class and chic (ok, that term just dated me)--but nooooooooo, I could not get it to do anything but puff puff puff puff out and out and puff all the way the hell out! I am tempted to go back in time and pull out a straightening comb---yes, the metal kind--my mother gave me after cutting my dreads. Umm, yeah, she was trying to say in a straightforward way: "do something with your head!" So, maybe this weekend, I will fire up the stove, and hotcomb my hair---and I will not feel an once of shame regarding all that talk about "standards and stuff." I will put heat to this head. Just a little though. Just enough to get that nice Gweneth Paltrow bun-in-the-back---standard stuff out the window--I shall not be moved!!! Keeping it real with a little help.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Rarely do I post on the weekends. Today, I am working in a very low income housing area (when I was younger, we referred to the housing as "The Projects." The library is actually located in the Cavile Housing Community--aka Cool Library. It's very tiny and full of children, lots and lots of children who all seem to want attention at the same time. This library is different from the others I have worked--I'm accustomed to translating Spanish between patrons and co-workers, but today, I'm in a different region. My temporary position ended Thursday, but I was fortunate enough to be called in for today's service. It's been very very interesting. I've never put myself into a volunteering/community service kind of environment---this has been a neat turn towards hopefully more days of being called in.

Engaged to wait and while most of the children have vanished--a 1:00 p.m. block party down the street with a jump house, free food, games, prizes and music, I created yet another Wordle. This is my friend's fault. She started it and now I can't get a way. Wordle sort of reveals one's mood; I think. It's very therapeutic and just downright fun.

I promise these are the last.....




Wednesday, September 24, 2008

friends teach

ok--is it really a sign or just the times?

the toy that haunts

Yet another day, a different time, the same little car. Even if gas prices hike to $5.22 per gallon---I WILL NOT BEND!!!!

a trend?

Mr. Odell's horse's friend tied to a tree like the old western days. Sometimes, cowboys ride past our house, park their horses in front of the gas station, load up with a box of beer and ride off into the day. Even though my blog suggests otherwise...really, I swear, there is more to Texas than horses and cowboys--for those of you who have never visited my region. But this is just too much fun---showing the rural.

Monday, September 22, 2008

three days later

Clearly Mr. Odell's horse is trying to tell us that our yard needs all the help it can get. We might as well claim her because she continues to come to our house to grub. We felt so bad---we actually decided to mow the lawn this weekend.

gera's answer to our van 'guzzler'--our only wheels

No matter how much we suffer from the high gas prices---AGAIN---, I refuse to drive a car that looks like a child's toy. Gera keeps teasing me saying, "There you go honey... that's the perfect car for you!" He's so dead wrong! It ain't hardly happening.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

horsing around

Mr. Odell's horse in our front yard chowing down on our grass. Good thing too. It was high and full of weeds. She ate for hours and hours and hours, down along the side the house all the way into the backyard. Hours and hours and hours of chewing. I waited for her jaws to tire, but they never did---we don't need the lawnmower for a while.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Hurricane Ike came through and left its prints all over north and south east Texas. We were lucky enough to receive the rains and fresh winds with humidity. The folk down south were not as fortunate; they were near the eye if not under it and have massive damage. Others escaped with mere power outages, but then, the rains that followed once Ike passed over caused severe flooding.

Hurricanes and tornadoes are extremely dramatic and can be quite exciting--at least for us natives. But if you've never experienced this kind of natural havoc, it can be scary.

We were out in the middle of it on Saturday sitting in the van, talking and laughing, watching rain and winds, waiting to go into a restaurant for fried catfish, salads and beer. It is so amazing to see the sky turn from a light blue to gray to a dark grayish blue and when the rains are warm and the air is humid, you just want it to stay like that forever. It's difficult not to stare and wonder how it all happens, even though this type of weather system is so dangerous. It's captivating. In the past, I have seen the sky go green-black, dress colors of a strong tornado.

There is a little beauty that comes in the end; the sky becomes more specific in its canvass.

This was taken yesterday on the eve of nightfall. This is a view of Ike's very last trailing tails. These clouds appear so close, as if you could jump up and touch them.

Other effects: my hair puffed, my plants are green and healthier, the birds are thrilled about pools of water--accumulated, the air condition in the house is off (saving energy), my allergies are calm

We will see what happens next.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

i love women...i think we are damn amazing but this is perspective---rather frightening too

Matt Damon, "she [the hockey mom] will have the nuclear codes...will face Vladimir Putin..."

short reading list for the month

Dark Reflections by Samuel R. Delany
How Fiction Works by James Wood
3 Junie B. children's books in Spanish
* Junie B. Jones busca una mascota
* Junie B. Jones y el negocio del mono
* Junie B. Jones el cumpleanos del malo

Friday, September 5, 2008

projects completed

I mentioned a while ago Gera built a small deck last Fall for our reading tutor and her husband. Finally found the pics.

The funny thing about houses here in Texas, in subs, is they are gorgeous on the inside, but when you step into the backyards, its like walking into a good sized closet with an open view to the sky. Seems the focus on home building has placed an emphasis on families staying in and spending time inside as opposed to outdoors. There is no room to run around and even the dogs' legs tire of circles. Then I wonder....hmmm....am I envious of those who have vaulted ceilings that rise to enormous slants and angles, stainless steel refrigs, marble kitchen countertops, storm windows, ongoing hallways and wall space, bath tubs that drop down into the floor---a shower separate to the side....maybe a tad, but not that much. I have lots of backyard, enough that we built a second little house in the corner. Oh but this is not about me and my big crib envy.

follow up things to do : letters from a seamstress

needles, thread, and fabric

[Couldn't get her other letters uploaded :( -- will try again at another time, with a pic]

Of my grandmothers, and God knows I have had a share, my maternal grandmother was my ultimate highlight. She was an “oh-my!” She moved to Fort Worth from Crockett, Texas (named for Davy) and worked in a factory as a seamstress: curtains and upholstery. She purchased her first home on her own—at a time when my culture was not considered a part of humanity. I never heard her speak against another culture and she never made it past ninth grade.

Her personality was out of this world. She cussed all the time; she drank beer nearly every day and smoked cigarettes into the wee hours of night with hard core blues playing in the background (but this is not new news). She taught me how to dance and sang a lot of love songs---to me. She had gold teeth. She was married more than twice and one of those was common law.

After my daughter and I moved to California, she was not the same. She was happy for us, but tried and tried to get us to come back home. I learned so much from her; through her trials, her vibrance, her pain, I learned about the world during our many living room settings: the beer, the cigarettes, the blues—just us two—I listened to her; I watched her all the time. Every movement she made, everything she ever did, she was a story. She never stopped being a story. Sometimes she was a tragedy---sometimes she was a triumph.

When I recently re-read her letters (and remembered I had never seen her write anything longer than a few words), I feel that part of my story where even words are at a loss and meaning...there are none to describe the love I have for her; there is no language to describe this kind of nostalgia. She was not a usual kind of grandmother and my brother and I called her simply “Big.”

Rhoda Nell 1932—1993.