Friday, September 17, 2010


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!  Right now I’m lounging lizard like on a beach in Mexico (unless it’s raining and then I will undoubtedly be table top dancing at the cabana bar) with several of my most favorite people in celebration of (dun, dun, DUN) the BIG 3-0.  I wrote this post in advance and scheduled it for today because I am fairly certain I won’t be able to cease shaking my tail feathers long enough to get this out, while on my SUPER DUPER Birthday vacation.

In honor of turning 30 (I am borrowing this idea from one of my most favorite bloggers) I am listing the 30 best things that have impacted my life.  (These are in no particular order seeing as its midnight the night before I fly to Mexico and I haven’t started packing, and we have to leave the house at 4 am….  AND it’s WAY too hard to differentiate between their levels of greatness.)

The Thirty Best Things

1. Being born!  Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have 30 years of wonderful experiences to draw from and you wouldn’t be reading this blog.

2. The day my Sister and I became friends.  It took a lot of convincing but she finally came around ;)  She is courageous, beautiful, kind, patient, tougher than nails, an excellent shopping guide as well as the best mother EVER.

3. Bella soul dog, poochie pants.  The love of my life.  I have some SERIOUS attachment issues with this dog.  I love her with all my being and it’s very hard most days not to squeeze her and hug her and kiss her tiny mouse face right off.

 4. All the days on which my nephews and my niece(s) were born.  (I’m keeping my fingers crossed for more)  I seriously LOVE being an Aunt.  I never knew the capacity my heart had for love until my first nephew was born. It’s overwhelming and ferocious and all consuming. It’s that 100% certainty that I would gladly step in front of a bus or a raging tiger and DESTROY them if they so much as thought about touching a tiny hair, on one of their tiny little heads.  I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!  Each of them is THE very best.

5. My dearest, wonderful JS and all the thoughtful things he does.  As much as I hate surprises, JS has mastered the art of FREAKING AWESOME surprises.  JS has helped me grow into a much better person and he has showed me the meaning of compromise, true love and patience.

 6. My Internship in Canada and the memories of the amazing summer I spent there.  Red squirrels, cottages on the river, kayaking, cross country courses and million dollar ponies.  I could totally get used to living like that.

 7. Graduating with a BS in Animal Science from Texas A&M. Longest 5 years of undergrad EVER.  This is also how I met JS and many of my best friends that I simply cannot imagine life without.

 8. Graduating with a Doctorate, the completion of THE most trying years of my life.  The highs, the lows, the tears, the weight gain (and then loss), the mental instability and the family I found there.

 9. Confetti horse.  In the 30+ years (and counting) of his life he has touched so many hearts and taught so many valuable lessons.  Humility, kindness, patience, forgiveness, courage, and love, are just a few I can name.  BEST horse EVER.

 10. My Life Coach, Nogie King.
With her help I am discovering all my inner strengths, digging at the dark scary bits, learning who I am and where I’m going next.

11. Starting and owning my own business.  My boss ROCKS!  (That’s me, in case you were wondering)  I’m so proud of myself for taking this leap of faith (again it would never have been possible without JS or Nogie) and for freaking MAKING it.  Boo YAH.

 12. Living in Austin, Texas.  There is absolutely not one thing wrong with Austin (For the sake of this post we are going to pretend I-35 does not exist and that we did not suffer through 30+ days last summer when the high was above 100F) and there are about 10 billion GREAT things to enjoy.  Bat watching, hiking, biking, shopping, eating, dancing, live music EVERYWHERE at all times, dirty hippies, art and films.  You name it we've got it.

13. Cheetos and Big Red eaten together.  Trust me.  (I’m a Doctor)  No, really…  They’re freaking AWESOME. 

14. Big Red Cake.  Although JS makes a mean version I’m pretty sure you can’t out bake the master.  The Warrior Princess’ Big Red Cake is to die for.  I’m drooling a little right now.  I’m totally making one (and I’m probably not going to share… unless Bella wants a tiny bite) when I get home from Mexico.  I wonder if I’m allowed to make special requests at this resort since I’m the birthday ‘girl’.  I’ll have to look into that…

15. Surprise Princess Parties.  For my 29th birthday JS surprised me by jumping out from behind the door when I came home from work, wearing only his under-roos, and clutching Bella closely to his chest.  He had laid out an entire princess themed spread, including a butterfly balloon, a tiara, a princess table cloth, a ribbon for my shirt and his AWESOME Big Red cake.  He also took me out to dinner with friends and proudly wore his tiara along with me.

 16. Surprise ponies for Christmas. There is simply no better present.  You can keep your diamonds because I want horses.  And hay.  And other horsey stuff.

 17. VACATIONS.  All of them.

 18. My family.  G, Crystal, Madre, Pops, Sister, JW and the munchkins.  All my aunts and uncles and cousins.  I am so thankful for each of you and all the fun we have together.  You guys are the best.

 19. JS’s family.  They’re the coolest, funniest smart people I know.  I love them so MUCH!

20. …..

To Be Continued at a later date.  JS has threatened to assassinate me if I don’t start packing immediately.  He said something about, he wants a few hours of sleep without me panic packing and shouting in the background, “Have you seen my swim suit!?”

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Greener Pastures

Christmas 2005 I found myself with an intense bout of 'horse fever,' (read: I lost my mind over this beauty).  I was completing my first year of Doctor School, depressed OUT OF MY GOURD, and after shopping long and hard on the internet I had come to the conclusion that I would simply DIE of a broken heart if I couldn't have this horse.

JS received roughly 800 phone calls, emails and texts daily regarding my master plan and acquisition proposal.  The plan was simple.  Buy her for me, feed her for me and I would live happily ever after.  Ta Da!  I was convinced it was well contrived and a completely logical plan.

As I drove home from school between Dallas and College Station, after finishing 7 finals in 4 days (I was legally insane) I gave the horse broker a call.  She told me the horse had just been purchased and even the offer of more money (JS's, not mine) could not sway the outcome.  I sat on the shoulder of the road until the hysterics subsided enough for safe driving.

The next few hours were spent in a haze of shock and grief over losing something that I was SO CERTAIN would change my life in amazing and unexpected ways.  I punished JS with intense moping and spontaneous bouts of tears/ wailing.  When he had me fed and somewhat less homicidal, he packed me up against my will and dragged me out to the country.  

He told me he wanted to show me a friend's new bulldozer (WTF? Right?) and I did everything but jump from the truck as we made the 30 minute drive out there.  I wanted to know how looking at a piece of big ass machinery was going to fix my big ass broken heart.  When at last apathy set in, we completed the trip in silence.

When we parked in front of a huge open barn, the night was growing dusky.  JS had to pry my fingers from the trucks interior and threaten my well being to get me out of the vehicle.  As I made my resentful trek closer to the building JS began to babble about bulldozers and his potential need for one and some other stuff that was quickly drowned out by the sound of a horse's neigh. 

I froze in my tracks cursing my lack of night vision and looked to JS.  Although I couldn't tell what color the horse was as she peered out of the darkness, one look at JS's face told me all that I needed to know.  This was THE ONE.  (JS, for that matter AND the horse.)

When my heart resumed beating and I stopped my hysterical leaping and crying and general mauling of JS with joy, I got to finally meet my internet romance.   

Although she had the name of a stripper or a trailer park heroine  'April's Misty Halle Lu,'  'Halle' had a beautiful pedigree.  She was fiesty and gorgeous and eventually, with a lot of work, turned into a really decent polo pony.    

She had a way of looking at me with those big Doe Eyes that just melted my insides.  Halle had a knack for mesmerizing kiddos and for getting herself into trouble.  She was a really great horse friend.  

Lupita my love, you will always hold a special place in my heart and I will always wonder what could have been.  I will treasure your memory.  Thank you for touching my life with your bright spirit and your beauty.  As I imagine you standing knee deep in one of God's green pastures, I can see you your sweet face and you are happy.

April's Misty Halle Lu
4/20/2001 - 9/11/2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

And Another Thing

After four days of Festivus I left my very sketchy looking retainer in a soap dish, in the communal bathroom...  Although it seemed like a good idea at the time  (surely I'll SEE IT THERE and remember to pick it up before I go)  to my dehydrated, completely hung-over and sleep deprived mind, clearly it was not.  I packed up my overnight bag, my skanky hat, 2 swimsuits, and an assortment of shoes and shorts I had scattered about...  And forgot my billion dollar, my orthodontist lives 2 hours away and he hasn't seen me in 10 years, toof gear.  Midnight on the Sunday post Festivus I shot off a panicked text to MKT, and a short two days later I was rewarded with this little beauty: 


Yes.  Yes it is. 

Yet, it's still quite effective.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Wish I Had Been There

I found these photos on Facebook when one of my friends (the Kid) was tagged in an album.

And I am stealing them without permission because I'm lazy.

Now I post them unselfishly for your enjoyment at the risk of being sent to the pokey...  Or whatever happens to lazy photo thieves.  Feast your eyes on this collection of magnificence.

I think I peed myself a little.  I hope my 60th birthday bash is this friggin AWESOME.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

River Festivus 2010

RF 0’10

Where does time go? No, seriously. “I’M BEING CEREAL!!!” WHERE does it go?

 Time continues to go speeding by no matter how much I want it to slow down.  This month I’ve felt just like I’ve been wearing a sassy pair of hot pink roller blades while barely managing to maintain a white knuckle grip on Time’s coat tails.  Luckily, Time decided to throw me a speed bump this past weekend with an unexpected four day holiday.

 Four day holiday, you ask?  Oh yes, yes indeed!  The Tinsley ‘Clam,’ my oldest and dearest friends, were kind enough to let me crash their 4th Annual River Festivus in Martindale, Texas on the San Marcos River.  I’m pretty sure they allowed me to tag along because  A) I’m a TERRIFIC dancer,  B) I’m a FABULOUS singer,  C) I’ve got a pretty great mobile crack shack service and  D) I’m not scared to get really silly, embelish some shizzle and provide unexpected entertainment.

 River Festivus 2010, hereafter referred to as RF 0’10, got off to a bitchin’ good time on a Wednesday with a Skeleton parade and wand waving birthday extravaganza.  Sadly I missed this event…  But luckily it was captured via film and its beauty can be treasured for all time.

All chil’ren participants were made to sign a River Festivus Contract which is so frickin AWESOME I think #4-9 shall become part of my daily manifesto.  Although #1-3 are admirable goals, I have no personal desire to refrain from eating other people’s food, to obey anyone over the age of 18, nor will I pretend to remember any of my annoying habits that you might want me to stop doing.  I shall however, substitute “life” for “RF ’10” and I WILL promise to have an awesome time.  I’m totally amazed at the brilliance of this contract. Kudos to you MKT.

I officially unofficially joined RF 0’10 Thursday when I met up with this rowdy bunch:

We headed straight for the marvelous waters with tubes in tow, where we unwittingly embarked on the longest float trip known to man.  The water was effing frigid, the sun roasty toasty and the cooler was very well stocked, thanks be to the Sweet Baby Jesus and or MKT. “Mmmm! I smell fried chicken! Is that you Tiny?”

 Floaters numbered 12 in total, intact non-leaky tubes numbered 10, and although it felt like we were out in the wilds for days, I think we completed our float in roughly 4 agonizing unforgettable hours.  Perhaps the fact that we started at noon without eating lunch, and tube lounging encourages ravenous hunger, contributed to the impatience that predominated the last hour and a half of our hairy little adventure.

The night before our never ending float, Tiny Tinsley, all hyped up on sugar from Dirty D’s magnificent washer cake and the lasting euphoria from the Skeleton Parade, decided to mash a little cake icing into Crazy J’s face.


Bad. BAD, HORRIBLE Idea.  The truly unfortunate bit was Crazy J’s retribution, which involved HOURS of poorly aimed mudslinging.  AND scary stick waving.  That man has an evil laugh.

As our tempers were growing shorter, floaters were abandoned in the slow eddies and at one point MGG Supernova, the guy with the coolers, was made to tow several non-paddlers through troubled waters.  When he came to the startling realization that he was the only person out of the 12 actually doing work, he taught us an important lesson by swimming away with coolers in tow.  I believe the lesson was:  Freeloaders will not be well liked and very often will find themselves thirsty…  Alas, all floaters somehow survived and after a marvelous dinner was feasted upon, everyone returned to merrymaking and once again friendships resumed.  The evening ended with much porch sitting and Washer Olympic watching.

There's a sausage/ taco joke missing here somewhere...

Friday found most RF 0’10 goers much too traumatized tired from the previous day’s float trip to gear up for another.  Thus we made a quick trip to Wal-Mart for night crawlers and supplies to make proper Hamster Buns.

The package claims to contain Hamster Buns.

Whilst driving into town for our wares we came upon a funeral procession after which Supernova regaled us with his Soap Box Preaching™.  It was well-worded and profound but since I can’t remember the exact deets, it basically boiled down to:  People should have a little more respect for the recently departed by pulling over, uncovering one’s head, and that it’s generally considered VERY poor form to blast past on the shoulder and or median to bypass the ‘inconvenient’ delay.  “For Goodness sake!  IMAGINE HOW YOU WOULD FEEL IF THAT WAS YOUR GRANDMA!!!”  Although I am unable to capture his twang and general peeved-ness, those that know him will totally get it.

All chores and sermons for the day completed, we returned home to the Reever for more ice cold beverages and to supervise the beautiful mud chil’ren swangin’ off a rope into the water. Our supervising consisted mostly of a stream of constant scolding for making too much joy splashing in our general direction.  Several Fesitvus goers also partook of the Rang Tang, an infamous vodka orange flavored beverage, which led to much singing, smooching, dancing and much less scolding.

Although this chick did not write a glowing review of the RT, you can learn more about its prowess here:

Or you can look closely at the next set of photos to catch a glimpse of Rang Tang induced shennanigans.

Tiny strikes a pose for GI Joey

“I think you need some SMOOCHES!  Come here to me!  I want to give you smooches! MMMSmooch, smooch, smooch, smooch, smooch!”

Rang Tang Dance

Friday night found the entire group much more hung-over sedate after 2.5 days of living ‘the good life.’  One noted exception to river lethargy was our Wee Show Pony.  Treasures pile up a plenty along a flowing body of water and the Wee Show Pony found herself a magical star wand.  This led to a preponderance of fairy blessings and bedazzled dance moves.  The Wee Show Pony found no task too challenging and was solely responsible for getting her Uncle Supernova’s truck to start, with a well directed wand waving, fairy blessing session.

 For real...

Saturday started early with the excitement of visiting San Marcos’ famous gift shop named Paper Bear.  It was a magical wonderland of junk, jewels, stationary, books, gag gifts, greeting cards, candy, toys, and everything else you can’t possibly imagine until you’ve been there.  I managed to escape with only one birthday card, a piece of ABBA ZABBA candy and a gator key chain.  My fellow patrons picked up their own assortment of treasures and we all rode home listening to an enormous iron crucifix jingle jangling in the back of the car.

Unfortunately all good vacations must come to an end…  RF 0’10 wound down on Saturday evening with an extremely short float, by which I mean there was only enough time to drink 1.25 adult frosty beverages.  This was remedied with an evening filled with more river lounging, pool playing, general shooting of the shit and an awesome time had by all.  Thanks to the Tinsley-Gardner-Roberts Clam for all of these amazing memories and the promise to start that hot dog stand (again).


So if you need me…  Don’t call, just text.  I’m going to be VERY busy drawing up business plans for “Gator’s Riverside Crack Shack and Hot Dog Emporium- Now Serving Cheeto Chili Cheese Pies.”  WORD.