Holiday Spirit

It’s 10 days till Christmas, and I’m not sorry to admit that the Season has left me a little flat.

I’ve started to decorate today. I got my SANTA Clauses out to decorate the mantle. I’m happy with myself that I made a little effort.

A tree might be too much temptation for Max. And I just don’t feel like getting everything down from the attic.

The stockings are hung by the Chimney with care. That’s about it. That’s enough for now, we will see what tomorrow brings.

The presents for my Niece and Nephew, Brother and Sister in law went out in the post last Thursday.

I’ve attended a Cookie exchange and got hopped up on Sugar and Champagne.

I’ve got one more client luncheon to go to on Thursday. My oldest comes in on Friday, and we’ll start the birthday celebrations for my mother in law and husband.

My forced smile makes my face shake.

And it’s all OK.

I think it will be just fine to take the boys shopping for their gifts. We will make something fun here on Christmas for just us. Or maybe we will just go see a movie.

We’ve not had a “just us” Christmas in quite a long time.

Where ever you are, and whatever you are doing, be it a Big Christmas, or a quiet Season, enjoy. Let it be authentic to you. It’s all OK.

Grateful

How can you look at his face, all intense, with his ear folded back and not just giggle?

Max is so mouthy. He’s grumbling and growling at me, his little vocalization are full of personality, spunk, and just hilarious.

Today I’m grateful for an evening to hang out. I’ve got my mouthy puppy, my big dog who is annoyed with him, and an evening to watch some Mrs. Maisel.

Memories

It’s been a long time since I’ve lived in the north, or in the snow.

Lately, in my dreams I’m walking in snow, deep snow.

The dark, Steele grey sky is still.

The snow has a crunch and resistance as my boots push down.

I step, and push my foot through….the crunch, almost squeal that the snow makes is tattooed in my mind.

The sound of snow is unique in all its forms.

Quiet when it falls, loud when it’s stepped on.

Dry powder, or heavy wet slush…snow is such an amazing phenomenon.

The swoosh of skiing on powder is a sweet, sweet sound.

The grind of tires in packed and dirty drifts can raise your blood pressure.

Lately, since my dad is on my mind. I remember him in snow.

I had double bladed skates when I was 4 or 5, that he hated! They would get gummed up with snow and he’d dig the blades out with his keys…fussing and cussing. The lake where we lived in Ohio was so pretty. The families would clear the ice with paths lined with luminaries and the nighttime skating was so great.

My dad, with a ladder out against the house, pretending to put carrots on the rooftop for the Reindeer at Christmas.

My dad, walking home from a New Years Party in Chicago. They had left us home, me in charge at 10 years old. My brother was 4. It wasn’t a great thing to do. I called the neighbor’s house in tears. My dad came back. I watched from the window of my bedroom. He walked back in the night. The street lights, the snow made his walk look like something from and black and white movie. His coat moved about him as he walked. His hat, cast an odd shadow. He looked like Humphrey Bogart, In Charge. He calmed my brother down, got us tucked in bed. He was my hero.

There is something about this time of year.

It makes me think of Steele Grey days, hot chocolate, layered clothing, the cold stealing your breath, numb fingers and toes, and my dad.

Snow. It is heavy with memories.

Max is getting big.

Here he is, today, snuggling in with the rain and cold pelting outside.

His snout is getting longer. His legs are getting longer. His body is as long as my leg from my hip to my knee. He fits right next to me in my chair. He’s developing some charming habits. He steals my underwear and socks, and hides them under the coffee table. He finds that amusing. I couldn’t understand where they were going, until I found his stash.

Here he was in September, all cute puppy-ness. Pre-laundry-raiding days. The only thing under the coffee table is one of my weights.

My sweet boy. I do enjoy when he’s being snuggly. We will have to keep the baby gates up to protect my laundry until he learns some better habits.

Date night and old rockers

Early last year, my husband and I made a promise to get out more together.

We got some tickets to go see some concerts. We went to see Clint Black and Trace Adkins. That was fun.

We went to see Lenny Kravitz, that was fun too.

Last night we went to see Kansas. It’s their 40th anniversary of their Point of No Return album.

It was a good concert. They opened with an acoustic set, then their drummer appeared dramatically to take them into full rock mode.

We were 8 rows back from the stage. My husband was in his element, having done lights and sound for bands in the 70’s.

It’s fun to see the gray haired rockers jam out, having fun, and needing us in the audience, as much as we need them.

Message being…Never Surrender. I kinda like that.

Where you from?

I have been told this is an interesting phenomenon.

People abroad, asking travelers from the U.S. where they are from, will say “the U.S.” or “the States”. Except people from Texas. We always say we are from Texas. And what’s funny? Texas is known World Wide for the most part.

I didn’t move to Texas until I was 12. I had lived in Cleveland, OH, San Diego, CA, and Chicago, IL before we moved to Dallas. I’ve never wanted to leave. My Dad and his wife moved to North Carolina when I was 19. Obviously, I didn’t go with them.

I may not have been born here, but I wasn’t ever willing to leave Texas. I’ve lived in Dallas, Nacogdoches, and Houston. For the last 30 years I’ve covered the entire state as my sales territory.

Little known Facts about Texas:

1. The DFW airport is larger than the island of Manhattan.

2. The Capital Building in Austin is taller than the U.S. Capital Building.

3. The Texas Flag is the only state flag that can be flown at the same height as the US flag, because Texas became a state under a Treaty, not annexation.

4. Texas was the only Confederate State during the Civil War not to be invaded by the Union.

5. While the US repealed prohibition in 1933, it took Texas an additional year to repeal, since they made prohibition a state law as well. The Texas legislature only meets every 2 years. They were back in session in 1934.

6. From Wikipedia

Economy of Texas
Texas flag map.svg

As a stand-alone country, Texas would be the 10th largest economy in the world.
Statistics
GDP $1.803 trillion (2018)[1]
GDP per capita
$62,801 (2018)
Population below poverty line
15.8% (16.5% considering cost of living)[2][3]
0.474[4]
Labor force
13,126,900 (January 1, 2015)[5]
Unemployment 3.4% (Oct. 2019)[6]
Public finances
Revenues $71.5447 billion[7]
Expenses $71.4094 billion[citation needed]

The economy of Texas is the second largest in the United States. It has a gross state product of $1.803 trillion (2018),[8] the second largest in the U.S. As of 2015, Texas is home to six of the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500 list and 51 overall (third most after New York and California).[9] In 2017, Texas grossed more than $264.5 billion a year in exports—more than the exports of California ($172 billion) and New York ($77.9 billion) combined.[10][11][12]

As a sovereign country (2016), Texas would be the 10th largest economy in the world by GDP (ahead of South Korea and Canada).[13] Texas’s household income was $48,259 in 2010 ranking 25th in the nation. The state debt in 2012 was calculated to be $121.7 billion, or $7,400 per taxpayer.[14] Texas has the second largest population in the countryafter California.

Our demographics are changing a bit with the influx of Californians who want to turn Texas into something they are more comfortable with. But you can still find pockets of True Texas Americana, by taking a short drive out of the major metropolitan areas, where they still display Merry Christmas, and a Nativity scene in the town square at Christmas time.

The new Gym

I’ve been working out at the Yoga and Fitness studio for 3 years. They started cutting back on the TRX classes that I really enjoyed.

I saw my strength, and endurance really improve with TRX, and I really enjoyed the instructor.

When it became evident that the studio was going in a different direction, I went a different direction too.

I didn’t realize that I was so complacent at the yoga place. This little work out kicked my backside. I was sore for 3 days.

It has inspired me to push myself a little harder, and see what I can really do with a little professional assistance.

My gift to myself is a month of personal training.

Staying strong, fit, and active is important. Meeting new people, doing new things is good for me too.

We will see what the next 25 days will bring.

The First Thanksgiving was in Texas?

FIRST THANKSGIVING ON AMERICAN SOIL WAS IN TEXAS

Did you know the very FIRST Thanksgiving on American soil was NOT at Plymouth Colony in 1620, but 22 years earlier in Texas?

On April 30, 1598–22 years before the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Colony–a Spanish expedition led by Don Juan de Oñate crossed El Paso del Norte (the northern pass–now El Paso, Texas) into Texas. Oñate ordered his party to rest and celebrate a mass of thanksgiving for their journey thus far before continuing north across Texas and into what is now New Mexico.

SO… THE FIRST THANKSGIVING IN AMERICA WAS ACTUALLY IN TEXAS!

Thank you Philip Leonard for sharing the link to the story.

El Paso actually celebrates Thanksgiving twice. Once in April, and again in November.

https://texasalmanac.com/index.php?q=topics%2Fhistory%2Ftimeline%2Ffirst-thanksgiving

Support

My work family is very sweet. They sent messages, and calls, and support like I’ve never known.

As the drama over my dad’s remains still stands in the air.

My brother and I are keeping our sense of humor.

If your family sucks, go find a new one. It’s not you…it’s them.

It’s a good thing I work out, this was a two arm bouquet from my work family. It made me cry, in gratitude for their support.

Since my my dad’s wife won’t have a funeral, memorial service, or give an obituary for my dad….and won’t give us his ashes! my little mind is going into overdrive.

She can’t keep my dad’s memory from me, and she can’t dictate who I share it with.

Ashes or not, I will memorialize my dad, one way or another.

I’ve written an obit, and contacted what’s left of my dad’s family.

Do I send it to the social circle where he lived the last 30 years?

My father “fell” from a second story balcony in February. After his rehab he went into a nursing facility where he was taken off of all “life extending medications” including his Afib meds, Parkinson’s meds, which are not life extending. But he was taken off of them any way.

His wife abandoned him, moved to Las Vegas in July. She put their condo up for sale. https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/308-Desert-Falls-Dr-E-Palm-Desert-CA-92211/18081002_zpid/ the market.

Claimed to have had multiple falls, couldn’t be there for his final days, hours. Now that he’s dead, she’s fine, coming home, all is well, aren’t we all so happy? Isn’t it just wonderful? We should be happy for her, shouldn’t we?

The Lord rebuke her… and the Lord please help me.