• Family Matters,  Life Lessons,  Newsbreaking Hair News,  The Desert,  travel

    The unraveling

    the-unraveling

    I am unraveling right before your eyes. Someday this is all going to be a funny story but right now I am hobbling from day to day.

    west-texas

    Last week I flew to West Texas for my brother’s wedding.  It always feels good to be with family in hard times. This was a happy time: celebrating a wedding but for me it was more. It was me going back to my roots, spending time with the people who really really love me. EVEN WHEN I BLEACH MY HAIR BLONDE AND IT LOOKS TERRIBLE ON ME!

    walking-the-fort

    I know it doesn’t look so bad in photos but in real life it is awful.  It’s dry, brittle, it doesn’t have any of its old waves and I have no idea how to style it. I feel like a lousy combination of Charlize Theron in Monster and Kurt Cobain. But this post isn’t all about me and my hair! (Or is it?) This was about flying to Texas to be with my family.

    Texas and I are not fast friends. We should be. Texas was there for me in some dark, dark times (shout out to my good friend Heather), but in my old age, I’ve gotten more liberal (as most artists with feeeeeeeeeelings do). My brother is a gun-toting redneck conservative. You know how it goes. We politely ignore each other’s opinions of Trump to save the peace and we never talk on Facebook. As my brother always jokes: “We only have one thing in common: my mom and dad.” He’s funny. But surprisingly, when we get into intense discussions, we usually find common ground that we agree on. We are both guilty of being on opposite sides for too long and haven’t listened to the other side much.

    texas-stuff

    The first thing he showed me when we got to his new wife’s house (Did I mention they live in officers’ quarters in a fort!!) was a cannon. Yep. That’s my brother. It’s not *his* canon, but he gets to work on it and maybe handle it during reenactments or something. You can probably tell I didn’t pay attention when he was talking to me. Guns schmuns, they’re all the same to me. They shoot people and kill; therefore, I hate them. But whatever! I do believe in the 2nd amendment, I just don’t like guns personally.

    dad-and-blair

    Then we walked the grounds. It’s huge! Like everything in Texas. My brother’s job is the groundskeeper of the Fort and he gets to mow the vast lawns with a driving lawn mower and switch sprinklers off and on. It’s his dream job.

    me-and-suki

    I got to hang with my niece Suki and her little girl.

    fort-stockton

    The skies were so big, and I loved being out in the evening air. The only thing I liked better than walking around outside was walking around his historical home.

    this-old-house

    It had a huge front porch with rocking chairs, and inside, everything felt like a museum. His wife’s mother owned the house and had a vast collection of art and artifacts.

    sleep-tight

    I slept in the office and kinda got the heebie-jeebies looking at all these artifacts around me. Didn’t we take all this land from the Native Americans and wouldn’t they be haunting a house like this and wanting it back? When I closed my eyes, I saw all kinds of weird visions which makes me think I might be psychic or something but amazingly, I slept well. My brother’s wife says there is no bad juju in the house and I think she might be right. I didn’t feel anything bad when I was there.

    picturesque-church

    The following day my dad and I walked the town. It took about five minutes.

    wide-open-spaces

    Just kidding. It took longer than that, but it was a quick walk because the town is quite small. We even went to the park and took a few turns on a zipline.

    Friday was the day of the rehearsal dinner, and I wasn’t needed for anything. Weird, I know. I thought I’d be helping with dishes or flowers or potato salad or something, but everything was already handled before I got there so I did what I always do when I’m in a new place.  I yelped “local flair” and saw that there was a famous art exhibit two hours away.

    drive-to-marfa

    Two hours is pretty far to see an art exhibit, but when I expressed interest, my dad signed up enthusiastically. That is my dad for you. If I want to do something, he is always on board, no matter how silly it is. It helps that he used to be a truck driver and driving is like walking to him but still, two hours to an art exhibit?!? And it wasn’t like it was the Louvre. What I wanted to see was pretty much a box in the middle of the desert. No shops around it or places to have lunch. It didn’t even have a gift shop. Just a box in the middle of nowhere with miles and miles of desert all around.

    prada-marfa-me

    Yep, I’m talking about Prada, Marfa. It’s famous! It really is as silly as it looks. It’s a fake storefront with a non-working door and 2005 Prada shoes inside. It’s incredibly ironic, and I love it. At first, I was bummed when I saw the window boarded up on one side. That was going to ruin my photo! But then when I read more about the artist’s intent and how he wanted it to de-gentrify naturally, I started to get it. It will look like part of a ghost town someday, and it’s a big funny joke. Prada way out here in the middle of NOWHERE? Why? That’s exactly the fun of it. Why not!  And even though it’s not an *actual* Prada store, and you can wiggle the front door in vain, and it will never open, it’s still *cool* just to be there. That’s how much clout the Prada brand has. Humans are so funny.

    dad-at-prada-marfa

    Even my dad got it. My dad is pretty open-minded for a boomer.

    dad-photographing-a-yucca

    Speaking of open-mindedness, we stopped at an ice cream shop on the way back. We were hungry for lunch, but apparently, everything rolls up at three pm when you live in the middle of the desert in the middle of nowhere.

    waterstop

    It was great. I think I found the artsiest town in all of West Texas. I’m good at finding my people.

    so-open

    Across the street was an LGBTQ store, and I went in, of course. Not that I needed any gay merch, but just because it’s pride month, and I wanted to show my support. You’d think my dad would have a problem with this, being the devout Christian that he is, but he is incredibly understanding, and we had the whole drive to talk about passages in the bible that refer to sodomy. Talking about the bible is one of my dad’s favorite things to do. Yes, I find it annoying from time to time when he tries to “save” people, but my dad is one of the kindest people you will ever meet, and he really does listen.  I can put up with his fever over the bible because he listens to me when I tell him I don’t trust Apostle Paul’s teaching. He’s patient with me. It does make me sad that he is disappointed with my life choices, but if anyone understands my choices, it’s my dad. He’s been there through all of it.

    you-belong-amoung-the-wildflowers

    So yeah, two hours of talking about the bible! It was great, actually. I can talk to my dad about anything.

    we-walked-the-whole-town-in-two-minutes

    The next day before the wedding, we took another walk around town, just my dad and I. We pretty much did the “driving tour” on foot.

    anthropologie-backdrop

    This crumbling building reminded me of an Anthropologie backdrop.

    colors-of-yesterday

    Colors from another time… I love that I can always find things to photograph when I travel. It is my favorite thing to do.

    this-goober

    I also got to spend a lot of quality time with this goober. She was magical at grabbing my Apple watch and my iPhone. She can reprogram any Apple device in under 30 seconds. It’s amazing. I have a lot of pictures of her grabbing at my phone as I’m taking pictures of her. I also have about a million selfies that she took of her chin.

    my-brother-got-married

    Then it was time for the wedding. It was small and humble but so sweet. My brother is such a softie; he cried through the entire thing. Like he did at my wedding years ago, he’s just a big sentimental puddle inside a giant hairy man.

    lovebirds

    He adores his new wife. I’m so happy for them.

    all-that-matters-is-family

    It was good to be with family. I’m glad I went. It was a quick little respite from the trainwreck that is my life back home.

    failure-is-necessary

    But things are getting better. I have interviews lined up next week and I’m starting to get used to my shocking hair. Every day I contemplate shaving it, though… so the crazy is not over yet!

  • Family Matters,  heavy on photos,  my books,  Niece-com-poops,  out out out of the house!,  party party,  place holder posts,  Shop Talk,  The Desert,  The Zoo

    Life in My Fast Lane

    walks-with-dad

    It’s been a busy few Mondays so I haven’t really shown up here as I’ve planned. I’ll just ramble through these pictures to catch up.

    First up: since summer vacation started (and I don’ have to play Muber and take Bug to school every morning), I have been popping my earbuds in to talk to my dad and walking the nearby park. It’s great. We’ve walked every morning for two weeks straight. We both are early birds and we both like walking and talking so we get a lot of gabbing and steps in early in the morning. Sometimes afterward I get some more steps in and hit the local Starbucks for a latte in a *glass* cup because everybody knows coffee tastes better in a glass cup.  It’s not my favorite mom-and-pop coffee shop but at least it’s a little more charming than the usual to-go routine.

    banyan-tree-of-orange

    One of those days last week Bug and I went to Orange Circle for some thrifting. Lately, I’m on the hunt for “fabulous” costumes for my upcoming birthday party. (I’m planning a photoshoot as part of it.) I’m super nervous about everything and trying desperately not to spend too much money in the planning stage. It’s just what I do. Over-think, over-spend. It’s a really bad habit to break. Kind of like biting your nails.

    puzzling-2022

    In other news, I have started a new puzzle. Leah told me about this really cool puzzle board that you can use to keep your puzzle contained. It’s great! All you have to do is slide the side panels in and then close it up tight with special velcro flaps and no pieces can escape. Unfortunately, the puzzle board arrived a little banged up in the mail and it’s warped in the middle. It still works but it would be nicer without a hill in the middle. I’ve got an email into them but so far no response.

    huntington-gardens-1

    Bug and I are crossing off summer bucket list adventures. Our first adventure was to The Huntington Gardens. I love the gardens so much. We’ve got an evening stroll planned too. I would definitely get a membership here if it wasn’t a two-hour drive away. (crying face emoji here)

    huntington-gardens-2

    We took Bug’s boyfriend and a friend with us. I love hanging out with teenagers. They are so funny and we have the best car conversations.  They put up with me surprisingly well, of course being the one with wheels keeps me in close proximity. That might change once they  get their driver’s licences but for now I’m basking in their youthful energy and approval. Funny how it’s such a priviledge to be appreciated by the young. It makes me want to rush out make more older friends and let them know they are just as fabulous.

    mazestone-village-street-fair

    Oh yes, the street fair at my parent’s mobile home complex. It was a blast. I sold a lot of books! Who knew! I’ve done craft fairs before and made no money. Of course having my parents as my number one fans and advertisers helps a lot and the fact that a highschool friend dropped by and scooped up quite a few. Shout out to Jenny!

    It was also 103 degrees F. Yowzers. We stayed in the shade much of the time but had to close up shop before the fair ended so we didn’t get heat stroke.  Dry desert heat is much more bearable than humidity but even this desert rat has her limits.

    happy-auntie

    It’s been a busy few weeks as you can see. After the street fair we went back home and hosted a double birthday trip to the local zoo for my great nieces! I am a double great aunt to my niececompoop’s two daughters. I LOVE these babies!!! They are so adorable. Whenever one of them wanted me to hold them I did not say no.  How could I???  Their mamas were more than happy to have me hold them. I got my baby cravings filled and they got a little rest. And then I got a backache the next day! Shout out to all those older mamas hefting 20 babies out there. Stay strong!

    santa-ana-zoo-1

    Our local zoo is very small but that’s about all the bandwidth we had anyway. Between heat and toddlers attention spans, a small zoo is perfect. We saw some birds and some monkeys, an ocelot and some camels and that was great.

    santa-ana-zoo-2

    Then we went home for dinner and cake!

    b-n-b-in-vegas

    The following weekend I took a road trip with some friends to Las Vegas for a Sting concert. I couldn’t quite swing a hotel stay (they are mucho expensive right now) but that was fine because one of my best friends, Bethany (not BethanyActually but my highschool bestie since 9th grade!!), lives in Henderson which is just a hop from the strip. I love staying with Bethany. We’ve been friends forever (and roommates during college ) so it’s like having a sleepover with your best friend and spending all your time laughing and talking non-stop. She also has several reptile pets so it was kind of like staying in a zoo. I got to watch her feed her snake and let her bearded dragons out for a morning sun bath and constitution. I can now add “lizard farts” to my strange story collection.

    sting-concert-in-vegas-2022

    The Sting concert was awesome of course. I’m not as huge fan of Sting as my friend Teresa (she’s a die-hard fangirl) but I definitely enjoyed hearing my old favorite songs and watching him interact with the crowd. I love how some musicians seem to be energized from the audience. It was his last concert in residency for the year and you’d think he’d be exhausted after playing the same songs night after night after night, but no, he was loving every minute. Seventy years has not slowed him down much at all.

    And that’s that! All caught up. Now it’s time to get to work!

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