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Thursday, December 27, 2012


“I’m confused.” It was a text message I seemed to be getting lately and, quite honestly, he wasn’t the only one who was confused! What? YOU’RE confused? How do you think I feel! Oh, you meant YOU are confused. Ok, well, then, I better start back a few days and bring you up to speed. Guess that’d be like watching a barrel racer run out of the arena with a leading time but the clock is still stuck on 0.000.

Now, let me set the stage for you: Brayden and I had recently made acquaintance in a western store and struck up a conversation. We exchanged numbers and emails and, almost immediately, I received the first message from him. For several days we kept up a constant stream of text and phone chats. Very soon after, he asked me out to dinner. Things went swell! He was warm, he was funny and, most importantly he was educated and employed… I call that the “Momma Trifecta” – that means you can take him home to momma and there’s a check in the ‘WIN’ column for each of those divisions on her scorecard. And trust me, that’s not an easy feat to accomplish.

The longer we talked the more I felt at ease with him. Sometime during the date he hinted that perhaps we could get together again. Yikes! This was going better than I anticipated! In fact, in the back of my mind I actually started thinking “Wow, we may really have a second date”. Well, since he loaded that thoroughbred into the starting gate, I figured I may as well ride it. Taking a deep breath and crossing my fingers under the table, the words shot out like that thoroughbred out of that gate “Hey, you know something? My friend is having a cook out next weekend. Would you like to go?”  Then I held my breath. I saw a light frown come across his forehead. “What day is it?” he asked. (That’s a question we usually ask when we’re devising the “I’m sorry I have to wash my hair” answer.) “It’s Saturday.” “Saturday huh?” More breath holding. For a split second there was that pin dropping silence. Then, it happened. I saw the smile first, “Sure, that sounds like fun.” Finally, I could breathe again. I felt like I had been training for a pool length underwater swim by this point!

So, to here, the wheels are still on the wagon. We lived a little distance apart so when we parted company it was back to texting and phone calls, which were numerous. Finally, Saturday gets here and so does he. We went to the party and, again, had a good time… How could we not? Good people, good food, good music and last but certainly not least “I WAS THERE WITH A DATE!!!” He was saying all the right things, things like “I really like you and enjoy your company and I hope you feel the same”, “I’d like to see where this goes for us. Why don’t we give this relationship a try.” Wow, I was walking a couple inches off the ground I was so happy.

Now here’s where the wagon starts losing an axle. After that night, he advised he was suddenly feeling ill and the beginning of what I knew from experience was the end was once again upon an up-to-then blossoming relationship.

Here’s how it happened: Remember the numerous calls and texts I told you about? Yeah, well, they declined quicker than Mel Gibson’s popularity. I would periodically text him and check on him asking things like “Hey, you ok?” or “Hope you’re feeling better?” and even “Well, if I were there I’d nurse you back to health lol.” His response? Let’s just say I could hear the Jeopardy theme music playing over and over. And axle number 1 is in the mud!

When it had been a couple of days with no word from him, I decided to finishing ripping the bandaid off, sending him a short and sweet text ‘I wish you well.’ Yep, you guessed it… Axle number 2 is in the mud! His answer “I’m confused.” 

I decided that ok, I’ll take the bait.  ME: “What are you confused about?”
BRAYDEN: “Are you dumping me? Why?”
ME: “Well, seeing as how I haven’t heard from you in 2 days when before it would be close to every couple of hours I figured you weren’t interested any more.”
BRAYDEN: “Gee, I sent you a Happy 4th text.”

Let me stop you right here… REALLY????? “A” message? Oh, where do I begin? Now your wagon is up the creek without an axle!

Oh, we understand during the day we all have to work and it’s not always possible to communicate. BUT, if evening rolls around and we still don’t hear from you well that quarter horse just turned into an Appaloosa of a whole other color. See, we take ‘in communicado’ as ‘uninterested’ or ‘otherwise occupied’ - either of which being about as acceptable as Kim Kardashian dateless on New Years Eve.

Guys, let me give you a couple of tips here. For one thing, minimums (meaning the LEAST you can get away with) are for government standards not for communicating with your girlfriend. Secondly, if we have to constantly prompt you to hear from you then to us that’s the same as reminding you to not to forget to remember us.

Moral of the story today: If you’re really interested in being with someone then leave the ‘minimum to get by with’ to HUD and send that special little lady a quick ‘thinking of you’ text. You’ll have more Brownie points than Betty Crocker! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Do I Have a Choice?

Saddle up boys and girls because boy do I have a campfire story for you all today! It’s been kind of a hectic time for me, as I’m sure it has for you all, too. Heap on top of that all of the evil that seems to have been unleashed like the Wal-Mart doors opening on the eve of Black Friday and it’s been a real roller coaster ride. Today, though, I’d like to talk about another type of evil – RUDENESS.

Yes, I consider rudeness evil. Why? Because like evil, a person chooses to commit it, that’s why. The only difference here is if you do it to me then everybody around the globe gets to read about it – including probably some of your friends. Geez, I don’t know what’s got into people these days and, yes, I’m talking about a specific incident involving a specific person.

Details? Here ya go! I had been corresponding with someone who for all intents and purposes seemed very nice, educated, funny, (and most importantly country – oh, wait, that one’s for me).  Anyway, time stretched on and he’d been saying all those nice things like “I sure would like to get to know you” and “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could meet?” and my personal favorite “Attraction is just the icing on the cake… I want the total package”. Yep, you got it! Falser words were never spoken.

So, I decided to take the bait and meet him. Oh, I was so excited and nervous and happy all balled into one that I probably resembled Lindsay Lohan getting a ‘get ouf of jail free’ card from the judge. Heck, I even wore some of my good perfume (no, not from Wal-Mart).

So, I’m sitting there in my truck waiting on his arrival to the restaurant where we chose to meet and, while sitting there, began running all sorts of negative scenarios in my head (you know the ones… a) he’s nothing like his picture, or b) he shows up with someone else, or c) he has the manners of a three year old. I’ll take c for $200, Alex. Honestly, I’ve seen three year olds with lots better manners than this jerk.

We met in the parking lot, he was walking up talking on the phone (to his mother which momentarily gave him 1 brownie point) and he extended an arm to give me a friendly hug (brownie point 2). Trust me… he didn’t get to 3!

We went in and sat down and a few minutes later a friend of his walked in and just happened to sit behind him. From that moment, it went downhill quicker than a Colorado avalanche! He spent the bigger part of the time with his back to me, turned around talking to his friends. He would momentarily turn around to stuff his face when our food arrived but then would turn around again. Determined not to stoop to his level of rudeness, I fought with all my might not to dump the rest of my beer in his lap (ok, I didn’t want to waste a good beer anyway). But, the point is, I was the bigger person in the situation. 

 Now guys (and girls too) let me tell you something right here, right now. If you’re not interested in someone, say so up front; don’t string them along only to ignore them in a crowded restaurant –for one they may not be as nice as I was and actually will dump that beer in your lap. And to those of you who are sitting there staring at the back of that person’s head noticing how their neck needs a good scrubbing – do the right thing: STOP THE WAITER AND ASK WHERE THE NEAREST FIRE EXIT IS AND RUN LIKE HECK! Trust me, if they’ll treat you like that initially then don’t worry it CAN and probably will get worse!

Moral # 1 of the story here: 4-wheel drive in your new truck is optional equipment…manners come standard.

Moral # 2 of the story here: I don't care how good looking you think you are there's always someone better and if they have manners - guess who wins? 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Believing IS Seeing!

Seeing as how my soapbox has asked for a day off to go to the chiropractor I thought I’d take this opportunity to write about something a little different today. As you know by now, I like to take a lope down memory trail from time to time. Given that it’s the holiday time of year, I guess this is as good a time as any to go for a trail ride.

I know we all have memories from Christmas (or Hanukah) as kids. There’s a line that I really like from the Tim Allen film “The Santa Claus(e)” that goes “Seeing isn’t believing…Believing is seeing”.  As kids, we understand that but, for some reason, as we grow older we lean more and more towards the ‘seeing is believing’.  To me, therein lies the problem. We go for the things that we can see at Christmas – whether it’s the Christmas bonus at work, or the newest computer, or the latest fashion craze – and the old ‘out of sight out of mind’ takes over.

What do you mean “I’m not seeing it”? That’s my point exactly. You’d think with all the new styles of glasses, lasik surgery and contact lenses they’d come up with something that’d help us see a soul as well as the stitching on that new saddle you had under the tree last Christmas. Come on.  We can hear that text come in we’ve been waiting for but not that bell being rang by the kettle worker outside Wal-Mart?

Hmm? Memory trail? I’m gettin’ to that. I remember one Christmas I wanted this Ballerina doll so bad that I bet I bugged my Mamaw and Papaw for it starting around Labor Day. Oh, how I loved that doll. She wore a pink tutu and had a pretty pink crown on her head with a knob that you could use to make her spin and dance.

Of all the Christmas trees over the years, I remember the tree from that year the most. We always had a real tree, fit with those multi-colored old C7 bulbs, bright red and green breakable ornaments, garland and, of course, tinsel. I still recall staring longingly at it on my way to bed that Christmas Eve night. Passing it in my mind’s eye even now I can still see it standing there, its reflection dancing off of the shiny hard wood floor in the den, and I can even still feel its warmth. 

That next morning I bet it didn’t take me four leaps to get from my bedroom to that tree… and there she was all ‘pretty in pink’. I could barely speak (of course my Mamaw’s version has me shrieking at the top of my lungs) when I saw her.  But looking back now, that doll represents something else much more precious to me.  It reminds me that she (like all my other presents then and over the years) were the product of love and sacrifice by my grandparents. I wish I could have seen that clearer then.  

We should all take a moment every now and then even after Christmas is over to remember those times as kids when we waited for Santa Claus, when we dreamed of dancing snowmen and flying reindeer. That’s because during that part of our lives we simply believed, believed with no pre-conceived notions and with no prejudice, in something much greater than ourselves.

I’m not talking about believing in the presents, I’m talking about believing in the love and the spirit behind them. I'm talking about not turning a blind eye to those who may not have it so good as you do.  And of course don't forget to remember your grandparents or that special aunt and uncle that even though they're older now never seem to forget you. I can assure you, I’d give back every Christmas present I got as a kid to see my Mamaw and my Papaw around my tree now.

Folks, believing really IS seeing. This Christmas, how about looking with your heart rather than your eyes? I bet you’ll be surprised at just how clear that panavision will be.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Someone mentioned to me that maybe I should do a chart.  It’d be kinda like the eye chart the eye doctor uses to see how bad your eyesight is. Only here rather than testing to see WHAT you can see, with this you can see IF you see… Get it?
1.     Provide transportation
10.  Require it
2.     Be cordial
11. Be condescending
3.     Look sharp
12. Look around
4.     Share dreams
13. Share the tab
5.     Call her darling
14. Call her sister
6.     Appreciate her appearance
15. Appreciate the waitress’ cleavage
7.     Show interest
16. Show off
8.    Respect her
17. Disrespect her family or friends (or both)
9.     Take her hand
18. Take a hike
Now, all of you who have been out with the majority of the right-hand column please raise your hand. Wow, that many? (Well, I no longer feel alone then.)  Those of you who have gone out with those in the left-hand column are probably still going out with them so I reckon this wouldn’t really apply to you.
What was that? The worse offender you ask? Well, recently I went out with someone who was numbers 10, 11, 16 and 17 all rolled into one – so you can bet that led to number 18 real quick. You know the type, no matter what you do, they’ve done it better (and don’t hesitate to let you know that).
Or how about this one: Every time you try to tell them a little bit about the people you know or the things you’ve done they pounce on you saying things like “It ain’t nice to brag” or “You don’t name-drop to sell a horse” yet for 15 minutes you’ve heard nothing but their recount of the people who think they’re great. Trust me, honey, those people may think you’re great but we won’t.
Ladies, one way to check them out is to watch and see their body language.  I’m big on watching facial expressions and body language for little discrepancies so here’s a tip for you guys: Don’t sit there making faces and roll your eyes when your date is sharing a story.  If you do, then I assure you she’ll be doing the same thing as she races out of the parking lot, leaving you sitting in the middle of a crowded restaurant and thinking to yourself: “Man, she’s taking a long time in the bathroom”.


Thursday, December 6, 2012


Well, you know how they say “feast or famine”? That seems to be the case for me and my love life (both are rather skinny these days). Why does it have to be that because you’ve had four kids, if you’re tiny and blond you must be anorexic or something? Yep, you guessed it, here’s another Wal-Mart story!
I was in line the other day at a self checkout in Wal-Mart minding my own business for once when I noticed the guy in line behind me kept eye-ballin' me - talk about the self check-out! I tried to ignore him but being stuck between a "Toddlers in Tiaras' level tantrum in front of me and  a guy who could've been a towee on "Lizard Lick" towing, the odds were not in my favor. And so of course it had to happen... he struck up a conversation opening with “Excuse me, mam, but are you single?” Not wanting to be impolite I did what anyone in my situation would do… I LIED and said “No.”  Oh, these conversations never end well!
Why is it when you’re in a hurry (or in an awkward situation) there’s no gaping hole to swallow you up when you need one? So I stood there patiently… ok, now not so patiently… waiting on the couple in front of me with the screaming toddler and runny nose infant hoping they didn’t need that cashier to help for a fourth time. And of course they did.
Finally, as the kiddy storm blew out of the store, I placed my purchases on the conveyor and began scanning. The guy behind me had continued babbling on apparently oblivious to the fact that I wasn’t really paying attention. Or, that is until I heard him suddenly exclaim “Wow, you eat THAT?... You sure are an itty-bitty thing. Are you one of them that eat then sticks their head in the toilet?”
Now, let me stop you here for a moment – in what life do you think that line of questioning will get you a date? Trust me, Charlie Sheen would have a better shot at a nun! What was that? What did I tell the nit-wit behind me? I told him if that was his idea of a compliment then I’d venture a guess his New Years date was playing dominoes with his mother.
Seriously, guys, if you want to pay a lady a compliment first rule of thumb is it shouldn’t include the word toilet. Otherwise, I can assure you that’s exactly where your chances are of getting a date!


Monday, December 3, 2012


Ok, Ok, get your mind out of the gutter (it’s crowded in there already). I didn’t mean that “IT”. And, NO, I’m not cranky because of a bad weekend. Actually, I had an overall good weekend. Friday night I hung out with a good friend (that’ll be another blog post – just a little tease there). Saturday, I went to the NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) finals in Oklahoma City where there were Wranglers for days! I mean, talk about your sight-seeing….! Of course there were some sights I’d rather have not seen, too (again, another entry there). And, Sunday, I spent at Southfork Ranch (where the TV show “Dallas” was filmed) with my daughter and a friend paying respect to the late Larry Hagman.
What? Oh, what I don’t get… yes… sorry, got side-tracked for a moment. Anyway, as I was saying, I just don’t get it. What ‘it’ is? Well, a couple of things that seem to go hand in hand: one is text etiquette (or lack thereof) and the other is negativity (what I like to call “David Downer”).
First, texting: Why can’t guys understand when you tell them “Please don’t text or call first thing in the morning because you know I’m working outside” you’re actually talking to THEM? They’re like a crooked Louisiana politician – they think the rules only apply to the other little politicians.
 And, have you noticed they’re the same guys who when they text you and you don’t answer right away you suddenly get what I call ‘text rain’? That’s where they rain texts down on you like the 40-day flood and they all amount to the same thing – you haven’t answered them within 60 seconds. Well, here’s a little tip: it’s a little hard to answer a text when you’re either on a four-wheeler feeding livestock in an icy wind or, as was the case on the return trip Saturday night, driving your boss’ truck barreling down the highway at 80 mph! I mean, really, guys, come on.
Now, another thing I’ve noticed that goes along with the “desperately seeking text” attitude is the “desperately seeking anyone” attitude. That’s the one where the person you’re chatting with starts to give you the impression that you could be anyone and they’d be happy.
What are the signs? For one, they always seem to be down or negative mostly because you haven’t messaged or talked with them 10 times a day. Do you really think answering “How was your day” with “Lonely” is gonna score you the happy face emoticon? Not with me it won’t. Nor will constant comments like “I don’t understand why you can’t just stop and talk whenever I call” or “It would only take a couple of seconds to stop and answer a text”… Yes, I’m gonna drop that fourth 50 pound sack of feed I’ve just unloaded right there in the barn alley and answer your one word text of “HI”.
And you seriously wonder why you’re single? Talking about not getting it… well there’s a surprise!

Friday, November 30, 2012


Wow, what a week! This has been a week with so many ups and downs for me it’s like watching a saddle bronc rider at the rodeo. But, I’m sure we’ve all had those. And if last night is any indication, it looks like I may end the week doing the old ‘flyin’ squirrel’ bucking horse dismount made famous by the great Monty “Hawkeye” Henson… Remember him? As they say: horse down, feet down! (Just hope I land on my feet like he did.)

Today, I celebrate my friends that have helped me through the bronc ride that is my love life – especially this last week. I absolutely know that no matter what, they have my back and I hold onto that like that bronc rider holds the rein. I love the fact that they always seem to know what to say (and sometimes more importantly what NOT to say) when I get in these moods.
 I have no illusions that I can be difficult at best from time to time to deal with. So all the while they’re telling me “it’s okay, you’ll get past this” or “don’t worry, it just means there’s someone else out there” I know somewhere deep down inside they’re probably resisting the urge to say things like “if you don’t straighten up I’m gonna put a boot up the chute” or “you’re so lucky; at least when you snore there’s no one there waking you up to tell you to stop”.
So, thank you dear friends for all of your kind words (spoken or not). You’ll be glad to know that this is today’s exercise for me:
Cross the arms...
Grab ears...
STEP THREE:         
Pull head out of rear. (If you hear a little pop, that’s success not a pulled muscle.) And I just heard a pop that was more like a Macy's Day parade balloon bursting... Oww!
As my workout idol Jane Fonda is famous for saying: “No pain, no gain”. Don’t you think that’s appropriate for the dating workout too? If you think about it - they both can leave you mentally and physically drained except for brief moments of endorphin highs... if you know what I mean!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Well, so, yesterday’s blog got me all kinds of comments, likes and, to be honest, a few dislikes apparently. I got one email from a guy I know (but to be quite honest have them nestled in the ‘friends’ category) to inform me that I'm being too picky because they were a ‘good guy’, they would be more than happy to cook me dinner or help me with the horses or whatever else I may want or need. They would be there, ‘willing and wanting to help’ (their words not mine). They offered what any woman would love to hear, including myself. So then why DIDN’T I want to go out with them?
It made me stop and think. Why wouldn’t I? Apparently I made such a big deal about searching for a nice guy that I overlooked a key part of the quest – desire.  If they’re not the one you can’t wait to get home to see or the one that makes you catch your breath when you think of them, then it’s about as believable as Lindsey Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor. And trust me, at some point you and the producers of that film will be asking exactly the same question: “What was I thinking?”!
Now, before you go getting all "don't go looking a gift horse in the mouth" on me, hear me out. I take back nothing I said about nice guys and how I'd like to find one of my own. I simply mean you have to be realistic about what it is you are looking for.
I guess in horse terms you can put it like this: it’s like trying to find that perfect balance between a halter horse (known more for looks), a reining horse (known for excitement) and a ranch horse (known for practicality and dependability). Now, if you could find me a guy with all of that it’d be like hitting the equine jackpot of love!
Again, for me anyway, it’s about balance here. After all, there is cold food and hot food but, when it comes right down to it, you can’t really have steady sustenance if you don’t have fire.  And that’s true of food AND relationships.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

They DO Exist!

You know that holiday commercial where the M&Ms and Santa Claus stumble onto each other and give each other the “He does exist”… “They do exist”… and faint? Well, that’s kinda how I feel when someone tells me their “Hey, can you believe my sweetie cooked me dinner and then did the dishes because I was working late” story.

Apparently, some of you think I have somewhat of a ‘jaded’ view of men these days… Wonder why. Never mind – that dead horse’s been beat enough.  Now, where was I? Oh, yes, my reminder. You see, I was chewed on like a cribbing horse on a carrot juice soaked post for lumping all men into that one ‘all men are pigs’ category (the old ‘the few pay for the sins of the many’ thing). Huh? What’s backwards? It’s important to say here however that the ones who were kind enough to point out that some men are good are those who are in relationships with them.

Don’t go fainting like the M&Ms now when I say this but here goes: “They DO exist.” Yes, I said that with a straight face. Even I know it’s a statistical improbability that you can lump the entire male species into the ‘jerk’ category. If you could, there’d be no reason for OB-GYNs to hand out pills because men could simply use their personality as birth control. Come to think of it, I do know a few that really should.

So, to those of you good men who ARE in the category of Santa Claus and talking M&Ms, I applaud you. To those of you women who are in relationships with them, I envy you. If there are any of those good men who are by chance single, please let me know because my flying reindeer need a landing strip.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Yep, I’m at it again.  While my friends have been surfing the web since Black Friday for shoes, electronics, toys (for their kids) and even jewelry, I’ve been using it to net a different sort of gem. And boy have I seen some doozies and floozies!

Having had a couple of days now to reflect on the events of last week has given me a much better perspective on things… not to mention more writing ammo! No, I CAN’T help it – not when what some of you guys send is so bad that for me it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

And, as for some of your opening lines well let’s just say that you want to be careful what you write to break the proverbial ice – you could end up going through it instead! I mean really – whose bright idea was it to send someone you don’t know a message that actually read “Hey, I really liked your ‘pic’ so I thought I'd write to break the ice. I was wondering how you would look in Victoria’s Secret rather than jeans. Honestly I wonder how you’d look out of Victoria’s Secret?” Really? You write something like that as an ice breaker and don't expect me to use it as a 'something else' breaker? Then by all means keep writing... I'm taking notes! 

On the up side, after what happened last week, I needed a different sort of a ‘pick-me-up’ (no not the 2 am lights on at the bar kind thank you very much). I honestly was just looking for giggles and grins and, like a Disney movie, considering the messages like the one I just told you about, the computer didn’t let me down. What’s that? Did I answer that one? What do YOU think? Ummm. NO!!

And while we're on the subject of 'shopping'... if there’s one thing I can put on your level in the context of the holiday shopping season it’s this: we’re NOT ‘Toys R Us’. We’re not here for you to take off the shelf in Aisle 8, only to handle us for a bit then toss us back on any old shelf in Aisle 10, because you just found the newest doll!

Seriously, that Victoria’s Secret doll you just picked up may be cute but odds are her idea of camping out is the Ritz Hotel without hot water. You realize the cost of that stay is about the equivalent of a downpayment on that bass boat you’ve been eyeing?... And in rough wake, you know you can count on that boat!


Friday, November 23, 2012


QUESTION: What does it mean when you break up with someone and you suddenly feel like a truckload of wet, molded hay was just lifted off your shoulders? MY ANSWER: It means the person you were with was about as good as that molded hay.

Guys, I’m gonna do you a little favor here… No not THAT kind of favor… mind… gutter… Ok, back now? Good. Oh, yes, favor. Now, here’s another question: What do you do when your girlfriend says “Would you rather watch to game or be with me this holiday?” If you’re hearing the Jeopardy theme music while you’re thinking, then that molded hay already looks better than you. IT’S A TRICK QUESTION to some guys apparently.

Guys, if your girl asks that question, there is only ONE right answer – anybody know what it is yet? Good for you! That’s right – the answer is “I can tevo that game and watch it anytime I’d much rather be with you”. Anything other than that and you’ll find yourself in the burn pile right along with the molded hay. 

How do I know? This happened to me, fairly recently, too. I was in a relationship with someone that I really cared about and thought for awhile they cared about me. Little by little, I was starting to see signs that something was ‘rotten in Denmark’. But, I really, really liked this guy and wanted things to work out. But, he DID choose the game over me and city girls would call him something like a “schmuck” or a “putz”. (Here in the country we call them much worse and believe me – I DID.)

Guys, do you have a clue how hurtful something like that is to your lady? What you see: “I just wanted to watch a game”.  What we see: “You chose tv over me so you must not want to be with me”.  Same picture, two different views.

Now, to the ladies, I must warn you: DON’T ASK A QUESTION YOU MIGHT NOT WANT THE ANSWER TO! Think about that very carefully. What you must put into perspective is if he’s showing signs that you feel the need to ask that question in the first place then odds are that football game is the least of your worries.

What did I do? Really, do you have to ask? Have you been reading my blog? I gave him the boot. Was I hurt? Of course I was. What girl wouldn’t be? I was extremely hurt to realize that the man I had fallen for was just a shell.

Moral of the story here:
GUYS: If you really care for your gal then show her - tevo the game and be happily by her side knowing you can go home and watch that game 3 times if you want to. And, I assure you, she’ll be very happy and thankful (if you know what I mean). But, if you're foolish enough to choose a game on tv with absolutely no merit to you over the one person who actually enjoys your company in real time, then your team's loss is nothing compared to yours.
GALS: If he chooses that game over you then I'd say that gives the phrase 'game changer' a whole new meaning. But, if he records the game and chooses to be with you, don’t take that for granted because you have no idea how lucky you are.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Ok, so you knew I had to do it didn’t you? I just couldn’t resist the urge to touch on the Petraeus/Broadwell/Kelly saga. Sorry but when it’s right there for the taking, resisting is like trying to keep a shopaholic home on Black Friday.  (You’d have better luck with the shopaholic). 

 Now, if you’ll just give me a minute to adjust my soapbox here… That’s better… Now, where was I? Oh, yes, right – the good ol’ three way. Shooters sometimes refer to their pistols as their ‘sidearm’ or their ‘side piece’ meaning that it’s just hanging there, at their side waiting for the chance to be used. Well, I can’t think of a better expression to use when talking about Paula Broadwell or Jill Kelly – can you? (And Kim Kardashian thought she had the market cornered on that!)

I know the debate has been raging on about whether or not the General’s private affair should be considered a matter of national security and to me, I’m kinda torn on the issue personally.  YES: he was the head of the CIA and should’ve known that he’d get caught – although it turns out that came about more as a matter of the old ‘hell hath no fury as a woman scorned’ scenario, ie, Paula Broadwell’s email to Jill Kelly. NO: it’s a wide creek to cross from bedroom to war room and I highly doubt when he was with Ms. Broadwell the war room was what was being discussed (if it was then he had a lot more serious problems to worry about given the looks of Paula Broadwell)!

Is it ever right to cheat on your other half? OF COURSE NOT! But at what point do we in this social media, papparazi hungry society draw the line? I was always taught you knock before entering someone’s bedroom. There is no more ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’. The sooner we all realize that the sooner producers of shows like “Cheaters” will realize they’re being replaced by Facebook (gives new meaning to ‘check in’) and Twitter (a little birdie tweeted that).

Moral of the story here is: If they did it with you, they’ll do it to you… and they usually do.  So, if you want the only turkey in your house to be the one on your dining room table on Thanksgiving, I suggest you cater only to your partner’s dressing!


Monday, November 19, 2012


I’m not just talking about the sugar in your Mamaw’s cornbread or the beer in your Papaw’s hushpuppies. And no, I’m not even talking about General Petraeus’ squeeze – although she does give new meaning to the phrase ‘soldier’s sidearm’ … that’s a whole other blog… coming soon to a sarcasm theater near you. This time, I’m talking about something a little closer to home. This time, I’m referring to that one thing you can’t put your finger on that just seems to be missing from someone.

Now, let’s go back to the sugar in the cornbread and beer in the hushpuppies analogies for a moment. Let’s say you have 2 pans of cornbread in front of you – one with the ‘secret’ ingredient and one without and you’re asked to do a taste test and see if you can tell the difference… Well, duh… of course you can (especially if you’re from the south). You see, while they’re both very good, the one with the sugar just has a little something extra, something that makes you go ‘mmm mmm mmm I’d like some more of that!’ It’s that something extra that is so good you’ll risk reaching for it if the lights go out with one slice left on the plate and everyone but you is armed with a fork.  Yes, been there done that, got the fork holes in my hand to prove it!

Anybody see where I’m going with this yet? I knew you were smart. Of course you do… relationships. Just like those secret ingredients, there’s something we’re always looking for in that special someone in our lives. Whether it’s an extra dedication to work, or the person who always seems to have a little extra time for their kids or their parents or close family members.

For me, my sugar is compassion. It’s that person who has the heart of little “Cindy Lou” as opposed to the “Grinch” from Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. Without compassion, children can’t be cured from cancer because no one would care to give. Without compassion, soldiers returning home from war would all be homeless and hungry because no one would care enough to see them and take them in. I look for someone who cares for more than just what’s in their immediate vicinity – for that shows the true depth of their heart.

To me, compassion is the sugar - the secret ingredient in a relationship. Like the cornbread with no sugar, if it’s missing, it isn’t good enough to keep me wanting more. There’s a saying that the most important ingredient in a recipe is LOVE. And here in the south that ranks right up there with the lard that goes into our homemade pie crusts! Why should it be any different in a relationship?  Without compassion, love is sugarless cornbread.

This week, especially, how about we all use a little extra sugar… and not just in the cornbread!


Thursday, November 15, 2012


Ok, get ready ‘cause my soapbox has had a good rest and I’ve got a good lesson for today! Now, this is something I’ve touched on in the past but I believe it bears repeating. Today’s message: ‘actions (or inactions) speak much louder than words. Yes, guys, we DO notice those things too.

Generally, it’s been my experience that if you want to get to know someone you ask them questions. To me, in fact, that’s a very good gauge for how much someone is interested. When I meet someone that I’m really interested in, I enjoy finding out about them, their life, what they want from it, that sort of thing. No, not like a job interview... although, I guess it could be considered that way. If I’m not that interested, the questions are about as plentiful as Coastal grass in the desert. So, naturally, I look for those same indicators from the person I’m with. You see, you can actually find out quite a bit more about someone by what they DON’T do or ask than what they DO. For instance, if they’re more interested in what you do for a living and why, if you can do more, things like that than what you are looking for in a relationship and out of life, well that should be a huge red flag. 

Another indicator – that they have no interest in your friends, family or activities outside them. If ‘something suddenly came up’ when you extend an invitation to them to join you and your friends somewhere becomes a recurring theme – you should probably subscribe to the Bill Ingvall theory of “here’s your sign”!

Now this is for those of us who are not married obviously but I suppose to a certain extent it could apply to all those, too. Let me set the scene for you: you’re having a conversation with your significant other… What’s that? Where? It doesn’t matter…Anyway, like I was saying, conversation.

Like Edith Bunker to Archie on “All In the Family”, you ask one simple question: “How was your day?” And with that, like Archie’s typical long-winded, one-sided response, they’re off. Then you’ve been sitting there for 20 minutes now listening to them go on and on about their day, their co-workers, their family, their life and it suddenly hits you - you’ve been sitting there for 20 minutes now listening to them go on and on about their day, their co-workers, their family, THEIR life. What about yours? So, when they stop to take a breath you interject a little tidbit that you think is equally as interesting from your day (I wouldn’t suggest leading with the office gossip about the party girl that sits next to you though) when suddenly, without warning, they’ve turned it back to them again. How did that happen? 

So, if you want to know if someone is REALLY interested in you, listen for what’s NOT being asked… You just might hear what's actually being said.

Friday, November 2, 2012


What do you mean 'that's not a holiday'? It should be don't you think? Seeing as how my soap box has a touch of laryngitis and may take til Monday to get better, I thought I’d continue on yesterday’s theme about friends. We’ve all said this phrase at one time or another I’m sure (I know I have): “We couldn’t be closer if we were blood-related”.  This expression got me to thinking. (I’ll wait while you get through with your ‘oh, so that’s what that smell is… I thought you were burning bacon’ comments.) All good now? Ok then.
We all have people that come and go in our lives, co-workers, significant others, acquaintances. What about those people, though, who seem to be able to stick with us inspite of us? You know the ones, those that have run to us moments after getting the text about the most horrible break-up you’ve ever had (even though it’s 1 am), or reached out to you even after you forgot something significant in their life just to see if you’re alright. They don’t do those things because of any blood relation, they do them because of a love relation… A true friend’s love.

I myself, as I said yesterday, have been blessed with very good friends along my life’s path. Some of from decades ago, some of them in this millennium.  But, all of them have one thing in common – they all are people that I know are genuine, kind, strong people (male and female).  One of them, my best friend Barbie, is just such a person.

She and I met about 8 years ago at a time when I was on another soap box (it was the first cousin to the one I have now but it had to retire due to stress fractures – I stressed and it fractured).  I knew right away the first time we spoke she was just one of those people that once you meet them, you never forget them. She’s not only a great friend but she’s also a great person and a fantastic mom and is a beauty inside and out. She’s absolutely one of my main role models for life. One thing I so very much appreciate about her is the fact that you don’t hear her putting other people down (umm, I know, I know, I could learn a few lessons there). Oh, don't get me wrong here - she most definitely will tell me what I need to hear not just what I want to - another hallmark of a TRUE friend - and I'm very glad she's that way. It's kept me from hitting more than one ditch over the years... yes, that IS ditch with a 'd' not a 'b'... although..... oh, sorry, that's another blogpost. Suffice it to say she's saved my bacon more than once! 

What was that? Is she taken? What do you think? Of course she is. She's fabulous isn't she? And I'm here to tell you, together they exemplify what a REAL relationship is. My observance of them over the years has served at times as a renewal of the hope that I too could find someone and for that I’m eternally grateful.  (You ever notice that the letters ‘r-e-a-l’ are in relationship – just a little mixed up?) Hmmm. Interesting…

Anyway, as I was saying, through all the years of ups and downs, life and loves, Barbie and I have been there for each other. Today is her birthday and yet I’m the one who feels like I got the gift – the gift of her friendship. 

If you have someone like this in your life, make this your “National Day of My Best Friend” and tell them “Thank you for the gift of your friendship and consider this my 'will be there' RSVP of mine to you”.



Thursday, November 1, 2012



Now, I know we’ve all heard that saying “up against the wall” and it’s one of those sayings that can have many meanings, usually something like you’re in a tough spot.  For me, it transports me back to the spring of 1980, my senior year in high school. Let me paint you a picture here – I think you’ll like the subject…

Like any other high school senior I was looking forward to 2 things – prom and graduation. You see, that year, I had a boyfriend… one I could actually take home to meet my mother… and he had agreed to take me to my prom. On top of that, I had many college scholarships offered to me so entry into college was secure.

The cherry on top of that triple scoop of ice cream was the fact that I had a couple of really good friends.  One of them (Paula), was definitely one of those people you want in the trenches with you if things got 'dicey'. (I think we hit it off because we were both a bit ummm outspoken.) Another of them was a guy (Greg) I had met that went to a high school across the river from me in Monroe, Louisiana. Greg was just one of those guys you could always count on, day or night, good weather or bad, to be there for you.  (I believe he was the original prototype teddy bear.)

Even back then going muddin’ or four-wheelin’ was the big thing to do (and you kids today thought you invented that) and he had a four-wheel drive that was a blast. So, we spent a lot of time riding around, talking about life, where we wanted it to take us, (not really caring how we got there). You know, the normal things teenagers that age think about when they’re too ‘old’ to consider themselves teens and not old enough to realize that’s exactly what they are.

Anyway... this particular friend... well there was just always something a little extra special about him and a week before my prom, he reminded me why. Remember that awesome boyfriend I was telling you about? HE DUMPED ME DAYS BEFORE MY PROM. I was a wreck.  

Deeply depressed, I cried loud and long on my friend’s shoulder. I don’t know if it was the fact he wanted to help me out or that he just wanted to stop my wailing but, whatever the case, in his usual quiet way, he said he’d be happy to take me to my prom. As usual, he had swooped in on his white horse (umm, more like a four-wheel drive) and turned my devastation into delight. 

We went to my prom and it is still one of my most cherished memories from my senior year. As we were leaving, the last song that was playing was the Jerry Jeff Walker tune “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother”. It may not have been the most romantic song but it was certainly fitting for where and how we grew up. Being there, with my REAL friend, I believe is what made it so special.

Greg and I remain friends today, I’m proud to say, despite the Texas-Louisiana border. I know some say women can’t be friends with men or vice versa but I’m here to tell you that’s about as wrong as picturing Santa Claus in a thong at the beach!

Let me tell you something, people: having a friend like that in your life, someone you can count on, cry on and, still to this day call on, is worth more than any stock investment. (After all, you’ll see plus and minus signs next to stock investments while friendship investments are ALWAYS positive - with interest.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012



EEEEEKKKKK! Good thing it’s Halloween – I’d hate for all this good fright to go to waste. Have you ever had the opportunity to read some of the text messages on your teenager’s phone, especially any that pertain to you? Well I have and talk about an eyeball-popping, blood curdling scream experience!

Seriously, if you EVER want to know how your kids feel about you, read their text. Believe me, they’re in too big a hurry to edit (or sugar coat) it. Now, hold on, save those pitchforks and cauldrons for trick or treating – I wasn’t just snooping. If the little darling isn’t wise enough to keep it put away from the prying eyes of school administrators then it’s fair game as ‘inquiring minds want to know’.

All I can say, though, is careful what you wish for, especially when the motto of the day is “TRICK OR TREAT”. Now, your experience could be different than mine; perhaps your young man (or lady) thinks you do no wrong and walk on water (in which case may I point the way to the Vatican in Rome as that’s where all saints go). My experience, however, was one that I could equate to kinda like loving chocolate but being allergic to peanut butter and getting nothing but Reese’s and Snickers in your Halloween pumpkin.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL… May you all have more treats than tricks (unless you prefer it the other way around in which case is a whole other blogpost!)



Tuesday, October 30, 2012


In light of the darkness brought about by what was “Hurricane Sandy”, or “Frankenstorm”, or whatever you wish to call it, I am overwhelmed by the gravity of the climatological catastrophe that will no doubt forever change the landscape of the Northeast United States.  But I also subscribe to that old saying: “If I don’t laugh, I’m just gonna sit right down and cry.”
Besides, one could make the argument that especially in the dark, levity does provide some light. I myself am no stranger to that concept, choosing to use humor as a defense mechanism in the face of strife. (Of course that may be why those around me say I have a sick sense of humor sometimes, too.)

I’ve been seeing all these ‘fake’ photos circulating around the web, allegedly showing scenes of sharks swimming through a neighborhood street or water washing waist high on the Statue of Liberty and they got me to thinking… I know, I know about time right?! Anywho… thinking… makes you think - those make about as much sense as the meteorologists standing knee deep in water, struggling against 40 mph wind gusts all the while reading cue cards telling us “If you’re in this area GET OUT”.  Umm… They call them cue cards for a reason people!

Oh, and speaking of cue cards (you knew I was gonna head my horse down this trail at some point didn’t you) wouldn’t they be convenient to have on a date! I’ve been in more than a few situations in the past when they would’ve come in downright handy. For instance, the time I agreed to go on a date with a guy that I met at the auto parts store only to find out he didn’t have a car. Non-driving auto guy - How’s that for an oxymoron… or just plain moron? Anyway, I sure could’ve used a cue card to get me out of that one.  

Anyway, in all sincerity, to all those on the East Coast, my thoughts and prayers go out for you. I hope for you the ability to see that yesterday’s landscape is now perhaps tomorrow’s canvas and that your heart and your strength are able to guide your brush. 


Friday, October 26, 2012


Ok, I’d like to take a poll here (I have to because my soapbox’s last Facebook status put it somewhere near Austin).  Anyway, like I was saying – a poll.  How many of you (men and women) are in some sort of a relationship?... Wow, that many?... Then let’s whittle it down a bit as my Papaw use to say. How many of you are in a relationship and have your real relationship status posted on your Facebook for all the world to see? I’m impressed. Now, one more question. How many of you are in a relationship, with your status posted for the world’s view and are accepting friends that your significant other has no clue who they are and THEIR status says… you guessed it… SINGLE?! I wondered where that cricket went! Well, then, here’s a better question… WHY?
 A friend and I were visiting recently and we decided to do some poking around on Facebook (no not the Facebook version) just to take a random sampling – kinda like the county fair pie judges do. To say we hit paydirt would be like calling the California Gold Strike a winning scratch-off ticket.
Now I realize there are those in the herd (mares and stallions alike) that change their relationship status so often it’s like breeding season at the ranch. Of course they would be more difficult to keep up with (like TMZ trying to keep up with James Bond’s girlfriends). But this isn’t really about that herd. This is more for those who really do at least make an attempt to have one filly (or stallion) in their barn.
So, now back to the original question of WHY. If their answer is something like “My computer did it”, well that’s the equivalent of “The dog ate my homework” (and about as likely). Ok, ok, ok, now stop that – that last tomato almost hit me! Yes, I realize there ARE exceptions and allowances like those people from work or in that person’s industry. Geez! I’m from the country not an Alaskan tundra after all.
To sum it up: Guys, if you’re in a relationship with an alpha mare but decide you fancy the filly with the stockings on the other side of the fence, then before the alpha mare turns you into the ‘literary’ gelding, you might want to make sure you're ready to clear the fence first. (Otherwise you could end up a gelding one way or another anyhow.) I hear a few of you mares whinnying at that so just hold up... If you’re happy with your own private treaty breeding program, then you might want to give your stallion the heads up if some little colt wants to meet you at the fence! (It can get awfully cold and lonely when you're the only one in your barn - and that goes for fillies and colts alike).

Friday, April 6, 2012


Well, here we are on Good Friday, the start of a beautiful holiday weekend full of family, fun, candy and eggs! It's a time to enjoy life and celebrate our families - not to mention overeat and overheat.  It's one of the few times a year that you and your ex should be able to put your differences aside and appreciate your kids - even if in the past you and your ex have tried to hire the same hit man.  Yes, that's right, today's lesson (ok, ok, 'sermon') is on peace and sharing.  Even the Middle East has had successful peace treaties from time to time so why not you? Fine... it goes for me too!

Have you ever really watched kids at an easter egg hunt? Ever notice that sometimes even when a somewhat older child finds an egg first, if they notice a younger child also eyeing it, they'll make a non-display about putting it in that little one's basket? Why can't we do that? Why do we always have to adhere to the "All eggs in one basket - MINE" philosophy? 

Think about it.  Let's say you're at Wal-Mart (I'll be there shortly) and it's the usual pre-Easter egg madness.  You're just reaching for that last box of discount easter egg dye when you notice a young mother with a couple in tow and one 'en route', about to reach for it. Your pennies are tight but obviously hers are bolted down.  What would you do? Would you extend that box or keep it? I'd like to think we'd all tap that young mother on the shoulder and say "I'm sorry, I thought it was something else".  I don't know about you but the feeling of happiness I'd feel passing that box of dye off knowing the color it would bring to more than just a carton of eggs would far outweigh the pinch of paying a little more for the more expensive box.  

Look at it like this: Doesn't everyone deserve a little bright color in their life? That's what I thought.  

Saturday, March 24, 2012


... More commonly known as my ever-current Facebook status. For the sake of this article, we'll call them "The M & M's of Dating".  Give me just a minute here, my soapbox is updating ITS Facebook status. Ok, now as I was saying... Misplaced & Mismatched.  What was that?  Do I have a example? Of course I do. I've got so much material on this I could write an entire album from it... Wow... album... I just dated myself didn't I?!

Let's start with 'misplaced'. In today's world there's a GPS for everything - your car, your pet, your computer and, even your kid. So tell me then why is there not one for a person's common sense?  I mean it. I've seen situations where I would actually like to ask someone "Say, fella, misplace your common sense or did it run away from home with your manners?"

I was at a local dance hall recently when a stranger came over and rather than extending a hand, a smile and a polite "Would you like to dance" he grabbed my arm, pulled me from my chair like a center hiking a football and bellowed "Come on. Let's go dance." I informed him he had a better shot at hitting Deion Sanders than he did me. And you think that would've phased him but, this is Texas, and it was 11 pm on a Friday night. Now, a guy who had worn his common sense (or at least put it in his back pocket - the one not holding his can of Copenhagen) would've figured out on the first try if you're going for a touchdown you better have an arm and a chance.

What about Mismatched? I'll continue to use that same armchair quarterback from the other night.  Now before you start emailing and commenting let me interject here that these situations are just as easily at the hands of women as they are men - believe me, I've seen those too. It's just at this moment I'm relating personal experience.

Now, mismatched. One look at that guy and I knew that it was a mismatch in the making. And I'm talking about one as bad as when one of my kids wanted to wear one Scooby-Doo sock and one Snoopy one when she was little... Her reasoning? They're both dogs. Same thing here. Apparently this guy felt because he was a guy in a bar and I was a girl in a bar that we were a match... Wrongo! Let's just say that if he had been wearing Scooby Doo or Snoopy either one, it'd have been an improvement.

So guys (and gals) here's the deal: If you want to put the odds in your favor when you go out somewhere, starch your common sense and wear it along with your dry cleaner jeans!