Friday, May 26, 2006

Heaven Done Sent Another Blues Stringer Back Home

Those are the words of Jimmie Vaughan and they are fitting tribute to Clifford Antone who departed this world a few days ago. Thanks to Clifton working at KUT and getting things off of the news wire, he emailed me and I knew about the death within five minutes of the official announcement. My first thought was one of real sadness. My second thought was "dang, I wish I could go to that is going to be AMAZING!"

Antones is one of the places that has made Austin, Texas the cool, live music capital that it is. It was the stuff of legend.

I had some of the most fun ever at Antones. Especially during the summer of 1998 when it was so unbearably hot and I was living in Beth's converted shed with an air conditioning unit that didn't work. It was much more pleasant listening to hot blues in the coolness of Antones, so I got to hear a lot of great music that summer.

I heard Storyville's final concert (twice!), Pinetop Perkins, Galactic, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, and a bunch of other great musicians and Clifford Antone was always there holding court. I miss those times.

Clifford Antone ~ may he rest in peace.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Countdown is On...

This picture was captioned, "Ruby takes after Matt's side of the family." I think I resent (or is it represent?) that comment!

I can't wait to see this little s-w-e-e-t-i-e pie tomorrow night.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Yore Diddy


A true original.

Has been around for a lot of years, running strong, wracking up lots of miles while coming and going from so many interesting destinations. In better condition now, than ever. Withstanding sun and rain and storms and maybe even a little hail, some years have caused more rust than others. But always polishes up to a bright, bright shine. Always has been a crowd favorite, standing out among others. Not the flash-in-the-pan popular of the hot rod or the overexaggeration of the muscle car or the nerdiness of the Pacer… but a Real Classic.

Almost everyone wants one, but only a few have one. Has been a real hit with the family. Fun, rare, valuable. Gets lots of thumbs up from those who pass by.


And the ’56 Chevy isn’t bad either…

Toot Toot Tootsies

Some women spend so much money on personal pampering and salon beauty treatments ~ hair cuts and elaborate color, facials, Botox, chemical peels, tanning beds, liposuction, elaborate makeup, fake fingernails, waxing, eyebrow shaping, permanent lip and eye liner tattoos, mud baths and on and on and on. Expensive stuff. Granted, maybe if I did invest in some of these things I would feel a lot better about myself, but that's for contemplation at a later time. But the one pampering indulgence that I LOVE and look forward to every month is my PEDICURE.

I've only been getting pedicures for a couple of years because, before then, just the THOUGHT of someone touching my gross feet was enough to send me into a self conscious fit of self loathing agony. I have big feet, I'm cursed with Webb toes, I don't have actual nails on my little toes, I've had corns, you could drive nails through plywood with the callouses on my heels, and now thanks to my ankle sprain last winter I look like I'm storing a grapefruit in my right foot. So there was absolutely NO WAY I was going to have someone mess with my feet. Then, about two years ago, a miracle occurred....I somehow, someway, with little effort....just got over it. Maybe it was Beth's constant cajoling or maybe it's because my feet just felt so bad, but I just got over it and have been getting pedicures every 4-6 weeks ever since.

And they are wonderful. Soaking and scrubbing and clipping and trimming and rubbing and scraping and moisturizing and painting.... 1 hour and $20 later, I walk out with brand new, baby soft feet that feel really good. And the best thing? I've sat by some women who have downright scary looking feet, so all things considered, mine aren't that bad!

Monday, May 22, 2006


I'm revisiting this topic because I've hit the jackpot! Here's the deal...

I completely wore the Dotopotamus out yesterday ~ I try to wear her out on the weekends with lots of exercise and play because I don't always have the time to do that during the week ~ and on Sunday, I succeeded. (She got a trim and bath, too, which is always an ordeal.)

On our morning walk I found 2 pennies, which is considered a score, and it was something I really needed.

Reminder, "prosperity" ~ and all of its different meanings ~ has been top of mind for me lately. When I see a penny I pick it up and take a moment to recognize, and be grateful for, my many blessings. It's especially nice when this happens while I'm in the midst of negative thinking, worrying about a problem, feeling anxious over something, or feeling bitter or sad. It's a physical reminder that I have so much to be thankful for, and it is the good in my life that will ultimately outweigh the bad. I look at pennies as God's way of saying that it's going to be okay. It seems that I need these constant reminders...

So on our evening walk yesterday, we were venturing past a place that we walk by at least once every single day, sometimes more often. It's a pretty nondescript section of the street that goes through what I call "Mad Dog Alley" because there are so many fenced in, barking dogs on that block. I happened to look down and saw a penny - yea! - but then I saw another, and another, and another. In all, I picked up 19 pennies in that spot! It was like I had hit the jackpot of reminders that all is going to be okay.

I'm sure I looked pretty weird picking up all those pennies and cracking myself up while doing so. How did they get there? Did someone just randomly throw out a handful of pennies? Or were they placed in my path because I was struggling a little bit and needed a pick-me-up? I don't know, but it was pretty cool.

Almost as cool as finding the dollar bill a few months ago -- but that was before I had turned my thoughts to prosperity, so I just spent that dollar on a diet Coke.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Red Bird

While walking Dot this morning I saw another Cardinal. I LOVE cardinals and when I see them I feel a little rush of joy. I see them more at the Last Stop then I do in Oklahoma, but I seem to see them longer into the spring and summer here than I do in Texas. There isn't a better sight then looking out at the birdbath at the Stop and seeing a bunch of them together. We didn't have Cardinals in Montana or Colorado, so I have distinct memories of seeing them in Texas when we would visit. I specifically remember seeing one when we visited Sissy and Jigs one time. It perched in their persimmon bush.

It's always great to see these pretty red birds.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Get Along Little Dogie...

Thanks to my friend, Tim, we welcomed three new long horn cows (with one, possibly two, more on the way) to the Last Stop. Phana, Gala and Rena will join Miss Moo, Dandy and Laz and the thundering herd grows. I had a lot of fun with dad the day we brought them down from Oklahoma. I hope they do well!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Living Strong

Susan Trotter is making and selling these necklaces to raise money to support breast cancer research. I admire Susan so much - her energy, positive thinking and faith have not waned one bit ~ and actually seem to have become stronger ~ as she has faced her cancer over these past six months. I'm holding her in my heart as she begins the process of recovery and healing.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

You Can Do 26.2!

Technically, I could conceivably "do" a marathon ~ 26.2 miles ~ and based on my 5K time, with no stops, bone breaks or melt downs I could finish in just under 10 hours! (The winner won in just over 2 hours.)

I was much happier participating in the 5K portion of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon a couple of weeks ago. My biggest victory wasn't that I participated in, or finished, the race, but it was that I actually showed up and was in place by 5:00 a.m. An estimated 12,000 people of all shapes, sizes and abilities participated in the different races and I walked the 5K in about 50 minutes. And the real rub? I enjoyed it. The elite runners amaze me -- by the time I finished walking my 3.1 miles, the man who eventually won the marathon was almost half way through -- he had already run about 10 miles. Good grief.

You can see my medal in the picture ~ I laughed out loud when they handed me a medal for basically leisurely walking the distance I normally walk the Dotopotamus on Saturday mornings...but I guess you have to take your victories where you can get them.

Monday, May 15, 2006

What is Art?

What really sets humans apart from other animals? Is it our opposable thumbs? Our ability to reason? Our spiritual nature? Or is it man's desire and ability to create art? Who knows -- probably a combination of all those things -- but I do know that without art, in all of its forms, life would be pretty boring.

The Oklahoma City Art Museum does a spectacular job. From their building to their collections to their special exhibits to their gift store to their cafe to their film program -- it's top quality all the way. It's the one thing I've enjoyed the most about living here and for a mere $40 annual membership, you can go as often as you want, so you can take your time and spend 4 hours or 30 minutes...I like that. Plus, they've kept "modern art" at a minimum, thank goodness, because that stuff usually just irritates me.

Yesterday I went to see one of their rotating exhibits, "The Tempest", which is a collection of maritime paintings. Very stormy, ships-bashing-on-rugged-cliffs, ominous clouds and killer waves kind of stuff. The oldest painting there was 400 years old. When I look at a painting I spend more time thinking about the artist than I do the actual subject matter. How in the world do they do that? How do they capture an image with light and shape and perspective using paint brushes? Those paintings that don't show any brush strokes amaze me the most. Oops...embarrassing flashback of the alarm going off at the Smithsonian when I got too close to the painting because I couldn't see the brush strokes...

The OKC Museum of Art has the world's largest collection of Chihuly glass and I've decided that every last piece of it is a phallic symbol... but it's pretty!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I've been thinking about you all day today ~ feeling very fortunate that you are mine. But how do I begin to describe how much you mean to me in a unique and fresh way, different from the ways I've told you before? How can I truly express how important your influence has been on me in a way that conveys my true sincerity? How do I adequately share all of the emotions I feel for you ~ love, pride, respect, envy, adoration ~ in a 500 word blog entry? It's impossible. Someday I may try to write these things, but for today I am narrowing the focus or I will be left speechless.

As I was walking with Dot this morning, I was thinking about what it is I like and admire so much about you. I've decided to choose "fun" (other close contenders were your "sense of style", your "musicianship" and your "energy"... But I'm going for fun). You truly are so much FUN, mom. And you are FUNNY. You have always been fun. You make events and outings and occasions and conversations fun. You make people laugh. You can laugh at yourself. You can make me laugh so hard that I'm reduced to tears. People love you for being so much fun ~ it's what sets you apart and makes you special. How do I even begin to choose one example to share, or two, or even twenty? Again, maybe someday I'll try to come up with a "top 10 list" but it's virtually impossible to pick a limited number of fun mom memories. Is it rattlesnake hunting at the Last Stop? The retelling of the infamous West Texas incident? Being pulled over in your Cha Cha Digragorio get-up? Providing Cowboys training camp color commentary for Oldies 103? It's endless...

Your sense of humor is awesome, mom, and it's what makes you so special to me, your family and your friends. I'm thrilled that Macy and Ruby will know what fun person you are, too. What great times they will have having fun with their Grammy. I think that's so cool and the image I've added to this post really speaks volumes to that point.

I've known you longer than I've known any other person on the planet, mom. Thank you for your love and friendship, and for the fun you've added to my life. Happy Mother's Day, Alice Ann Webb Holliday.

Love Always,
Your Number One Child

Nine Lives Times Two

Who knew that these bad boys would be able to survive fire, a mother who abandoned them, nourishment from an eye dropper, ear mites, the Dotopotamus, a couple thousand-mile road trips, one month with Aunt Lori, nights on the prowl at the Last Stop, ear mites again, near dismemberment, hip surgery, and 10 months in the wild - most of which was in zero-degree, 40-ft. snow drift weather? By my calculations, collectively these little buggers have about 3 more lives between the two of them! Mungojerry and Rumpleteaser, were a notorious couple of cats...and so are Ashes and Cinder!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Nothing Better

The Dotopotamus LOVES a good belly rub and my friend Sam is good to indulge her.