Sometimes (more lately) I like to sit take a look back in gratitude over the things I’ve gotten to experience in my life: trips I’ve/we’ve taken, time spent with friends, general experiences and concerts we’ve attended. Maybe you’d like to do the same? I find it helps to fight the “we are in a rut”, “holy crap we are staying in AGAIN this weekend”, “I’m effing old” blues. It also helps to jog an over-taxed memory, if I’m being totally honest, I am OLD afterall.

Bands or musician-type people I’ve seen in concert (in no real order because I am forgetting people as I am listing them)

Kenny Loggins
Dead Milkmen
The Rave-Ups
The Meat Puppets
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Kings of Leon
Duran Duran
Quiet Riot
Enuff Z’nuff
Dave Matthews
Depeche Mode
Kid Rock
Damien Rice
Garth Brooks
Reba McEntire
Suicidal Tendencies
Blue October
No Doubt
Crystal Method
Abra Moore
Cowboy Mouth
The Old 97’s
Matchbox 20
Seven Mary Three
The Hunger
Tori Amos
Maroon 5
Ian Moore
Ben Harper
Black Sabbath
Johnny Goudie
Red Wanting Blue
Ben Kweller
Rocco Deluca
Honey Honey
The Burden Brothers
The Decemberists
Snow Patrol
The Mighty Orq

I have thoughts on family and friend dynamics

especially around the holidays but I can’t seem to get my head round them properly to put them out there…here. What I really need, I suspect, is some good couch and coffee time with a girlfriend to flesh that out, but well, friend dynamics…so.

Enjoy my year in photos because too much bad shit happened for me to do the actual wordy version others are doing.

It takes one minute and covers trips to Fredericksburg, Austin, Kerrville, London, Wales, Dublin, San Jose, doctors, hospitals…

Features our dogs after their surgeries, family, friends, new car, old car…

Sprog life events like graduation, turning 18, first time in first class and using his passport…

Two of three quote alongs, two of three costumes for the year

See it here

Song, appropriately, “Hell of a Season” by the Black Keys


in defense of “Perfect”

There has been a lot of conversation in my corner of the internet about people only showing the “perfect” sides of their lives on the internet. How people clean before taking pictures of their spaces. How they aren’t taking pictures of themselves sans make-up or without their hair done. How they aren’t snapping pics of their kids while they are tantruming over there on the floor. Which…hey, valid points but I’d like to present a different side of that coin, the perpetually sick side.

It gets really fucking old being sick all the time. When you are struggling with daily sinus/migraine/whatever else bullshit you get TIRED of your own life. You get fed up with hearing your own complaints. You feel ANNOYING and PATHETIC and if you are tired of yourself, how in the hell would you expect anyone else to want to be involved in your life? And that’s not even talking about the life you wish you were living. How you wish you were getting to be more active, how you wish you were doing all the things you love to do without being afraid of the pain or the pressure or wanting to crawl into a dark room and hide.

It’s exhausting and in a year or five years when I hopefully don’t feel like this anymore? I DON’T WANT TO REMEMBER IT. I DON’T WANT IT DOCUMENTED. I DON’T WANT THIS LIFE, YOU KNOW? I feel like this life is the lie. This feeling like crap all the time is the facade because this? THIS is not how people live. This is not how I should feel after spending $3000 for surgery, taking meds every day of my life, spraying crap up my nose every day, trying hippie solutions, buying large-scale equipment for my bedroom, etc.

So yes, I will be showing less of these pictures

where my face is so swollen that my top lip is disappearing, trying to put make-up on hurt and I cried in my hotel room trying to pack and get out for the day and more of these

where I went to some crazy replica of Stonehenge with my husband that same day.

or these where I saw my first field of bluebonnets in the 20 years I’ve lived in Tx





I want to remember that I lived my life, regardless of my stupid illnesses and I will have my “perfect” pictures that prove it.

the costume closet

I’ve had a BFF in Arizona since the third grade, her name is Jamie and since we are both turning (I already turned) 38 this year that means we have known each other 28 years. TWENTY EIGHT YEARS. There are a lot of awesome things I love about her and our life together over the years (because seriously, we have lived A LIFE by now) but one of the things that has always stuck with me is her mom’s closet. Renee, oh Renee, lover of all accessories and always completely accessorized with matching (clip) earrings, necklace and bracelet sets had a closet of wonder. My senior year of high school I got a wild hair that I wanted to go to school in costume for Halloween. You are all shocked. Anyway, I didn’t have access to anything or the funds to buy anything, living on my own at the time, so I went to Jamie’s house and asked for help.

It was FANTASTIC! Renee starting pulling option upon option from her closet and piling them on the bed. It was like the Rachel Zoe of costume moments! I could be Pebbles! I could be a Fighter Pilot! I could be a Hula Girl (complete with coconut bra)! I could be a Clown! I could be a Flapper! I could be Pocahontas!

Ultimately I went with the last option which included wearing Jamie’s fringed white boots from middle school (our feet are vastly different sizes even though we look enough alike that people mistake us for sisters on the regular) and that day I SWORE that I would be just like that someday. I would be able to slap costumes together from the depths of my closet at any given time. It has always been my dream and so far, I have been living it. One year for Halloween I was able to make Sprog a fairly passable Slash from GnR in under ten minutes just from stuff in my closet and one of the guitars in the house. He even wore a pair of my platform stompy boots, a wig I had and a top hat we had from another costume.

This past weekend we attended a Dazed and Confused Quote Along at Alamo Drafthouse.
Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 8.26.25 AM

Perfect opportunity for a last minute costuming.
Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 8.28.00 AM
My initial plan for my outfit included a Jordache shirt, but in reality it was too short for my low-slung flares so I had to swap it for an equally 70’s esque shirt instead.

Final outfit
Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 8.27.40 AM
How can you go wrong with colored eyeshadow, turquoise, braids, a flow-y eyelet embellished top, flares, fringed leather bag (that i am still carrying btw) and platforms? NAILED IT.

Let’s talk about the shoes for a hot second longer okay?
Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 8.28.34 AM
Because, right? They are EVERYTHING. You will be seeing them a crap ton this summer. BANK ON IT.

As much as we are scaling down, de-cluttering and purging, I will ALWAYS have my costume closet. I ALWAYS aspire to be Renee in this small way.

anniversary cherry

I don’t tend to think about that little girl, very often, the one with freckles and a huge smile, excited about going to the tobacco shop with her father to pick out the next flavor for his pipe.

The odd little vignette playing out with regularity…a large burly man his huge bristly beard trailing down onto his puffed out chest and his flowing, graying hair trailing down onto his back dressed in typical biker attire of jeans, boots, a leather vest over some black t-shirt and hands protected by leather fingerless gloves into which the little girl had slipped one of her own pale and tiny hands. She also had long flowing hair but hers, dark and obviously too much to deal with, had been braided and probably not by skilled hands as little wisps of hair here and there, slipped out about her face and neck. The girl with a glint in her green eyes was talking at a rapid pace to an even smaller little boy which she dragged along behind her and who obviously would’ve rather listened to anyone but her, as is often the case with siblings.

As soon as the shop door closed behind them, the telltale chirp announcing their presence to the shop clerk, the man allowed the little girl’s hand to drop and walked away from her, in search of the shop-keep. Possibly for a new pipe or to get one repaired..who knew the goings on of adults? The children scarcely took notice. The little girl, as if a seasoned old pro, briskly made way for the large jars stacked at the back of the shop, ignoring her brother’s protests all the while. In a moment, lids of jars were removed and inhalations could be heard followed by exclamations of YUM or YUCK.. depending…of course. Each lid in succession was smelled first by the girl and then by the little boy and agreements or arguments would then follow. Sometimes they would find a new flavor they demanded their father try…but always, always they agreed on the cherry. Black cherry, plain cherry, cherry vanilla or anniversary cherry (the clear and consistent winner) was purchased.

The shop-keep would watch the children carefully and with full concentration smell and re-smell lid after lid and wait for their decision even though he knew (they all knew) eventually it would come back to the cherry. The man would rarely if ever smell any of the lids on his own and would rarely if ever buy anything other than what the children selected. And once home, the children would periodically check the wooden box to see when it was time to go back to the store and look for new jars.

And so it went, as was their ritual…until the girl was no longer little and neither was the boy and the man was no longer a father to them.

But even though I rarely think of her, I’ll always have the cherry, it always comes back to the cherry.

and there I stood

Apparently it’s meme week at Just Expressive, this one is ganked from Sensibly Sassy.

*By my “dad’s” side when we disconnected him from life support and he took his last breaths
*At 14,110 feet, in the snow, with a cup of hot chocolate and a gorgeous view
Me and Sprog @ Pike's Peak
*Saying wedding vows under live oak trees that are hundreds of years old
The ceremony under the live oaks
*On a train looking 1053ft up in the air, in the Royal Gorge
On the train in the Royal Gorge
*Next to a few famous people
Hi Ted

Me with Sen Kerry

Me with Lit
Me with Kinky
*Where people fought for something and lost their lives
Windy at the Alamo
*On a path that made me giggle like a 12 year old boy
Hehe Blue balls
*With thousands of other people to walk against breast cancer
Jess sammich
*Hoisting a sail on Danger Charter in Key West
Hoisting a sail 2006
*Overlooking one of the most gorgeous scenes in Big Sur with my two favorite boys
Us on our hike in Big Sur
*Seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, the same time as my son, even though I had lived there from birth to eighteen
2006 Grand Canyon
*Before a church full of people, at a funeral, saying the things I wanted to say to my step-father that I didn’t get the chance to while he was alive

*On a bar in a giant foam cowboy hat, dancing on a pole, in New Orleans.

*In the sand with my roommates, at BlogHer 2008
Roommate feet

5 Years

House of Blues
photo by Everette Gray

Photo by Everette Gray
photo by Everette Gray

Five years ago today we said words I don’t remember underneath moss filled trees that have seen more history than we ever will. Five years ago today we joined hands and exchanged rings that we take to the jewelers every six months to remove all signs of wear. Five years ago today we had more pictures taken of us than have been taken in the years since. Five years ago today we fed each other cornbread before cake. Five years ago today your hair was longer than mine and I was still towering over my son. Five years ago today we had never lived together and still had two separate residences. Five years ago today we got the best and worst advice on marriage we’ve ever received.

Five years ago today WE became real.

glassine reflections
of happy days and times
jasmine scented inhalations
of tenderness and love
barefoot under the live oak trees
afternoon breezes
carry the song of us
I do
I will
Love forever
shutterclicks present
the gift of forever
captured in a smile

things that are new and things that aren’t

My new LG Xenon phone. Finally, I have received my phone from the clutches of Hayden Panettiere (if you are on my FB you know this already) and no longer does my poor husband have to deal with me yelling at the tv when her commercial comes on anymore. LOVE!
Seriously AT&T over one month past when it’s supposed to be available and when it’s actually out and the black one is STILL not avail?

My Wellie Umbrella Stand from Z Gallerie. This item is out of stock online but is still avail in some stores. I got it for 20% off which equals $10. Hooray. I LOVE IT. It’s currently holding my huge white and blue striped golf umbrella and looking very dapper.

Not so new but not showcased on the blog (at least that I remember)
The little patio's umbrella
a patio umbrella for my little patio. $39 from Garden Ridge. Also note the containers in the bottom corner: cinnamon basil, broccoli and strawberry around the corner is my tomato plant which just bloomed this morning.

and finally, Happy Engagiversary Love! 4 years ago today this happened and it still makes me a bit swoony.

i can’t believe it’s been a year already

The Disco Ball

I was going through the archives today looking for a post and I realized it’s been a year since the embarrassing childhood photos contest over at Clever Blog Name Here.

For those of you that were here at that time, I am dredging this up so y’all can have another laugh at my expense…for those that weren’t: enjoy!

The first post about the subject.

The all glamour shots edition.

I’m off to San Antonio for two days at Sea World and a dinner on the Riverwalk at some point in there, if I wasn’t too lazy on Wed (I am SOOO FREAKING TIRED FROM THE ZOO and we have a concert Wed night @ HOB) there will be a post for you on Friday as well; I guess if something shows up in your reader tomorrow, you’ll know the answer!

edit note: Concert was AWESOME! Check out Rocco DeLuca and The Burden if you haven’t already

sometimes, you just want a popsicle

Mmm popsicle

So the Zoo was…a Zoo. When we got downtown there was a line that went round the zoo and extended over a block down the street, the cops had blocked off the road that lead to the Zoo parking lot and traffic was an utter hateful bitch. Apparently everything downtown was packed, Herman park, the museums and the Zoo, it didn’t much matter. Eventually we were able to make our way to a surface lot and then find our way to the proper Metrorail station and take that back to the Zoo. The line had diminished some but not by much and thankfully, the helpful people out front told me the lines were for people buying their tickets so we didn’t have to wait. Then came the drama of trying to find my sister who had LEFT HER PHONE IN HER CAR amidst the throngs of people.

In short, it was a LONG DAMN DAY but the weather was perfect and the kids had fun, so I guess that is all you can hope for in that situation.

That Orangutan up there was certainly enjoying his popsicle and I’m not going to lie; it made me want one.

When I was a kid, we made pistachio pudding (from a box so 80’s) and then froze it in ice cube trays. It was one of my favorite treats in the ungodly heat of an Arizona summer. We also regularly made frozen grapes. I’m sure I will be making both of those things very soon.

Do you ever get nostalgic for treats you had as a kid, like that?

It’s not even just frozen treats either, any time I put a toothpick in my mouth, I instantly wish that it was the cinnamon variety I used to buy from the ice cream truck regularly parked outside of my Junior High School. I’m sure that was of the utmost in tack factor but I LOVED those things.

more pics from yesterday over in flickr