Thursday, November 30, 2006


Today, we had a snow day. I won't complain that AISD didn't cancel school until I was dressed WITH MY BOOTS ON and that my car had already been warming up for about thirty minutes...I'll just gratefully take the day off and put up all the Christmas decorations--after I finish playing with these adorable dogs.

Misha went PLUM CRAZY when she saw the snow, romping and cavorting like she was a puppy again. (May Bee just thought it was something new to eat and did her best to consume a yard full of the white stuff.)

We played basketball...

And tennis!

Every dog's favorite--"Fetch (and fight over) the Stick!"

And who can forget the Tug-of-War rope? (It was frozen solid until Misha warmed it up with her slobber...)

Oh, and Squishy Whiffle Football, too.

You don't see many Abilene weather reports where the meterologist can hold up a snowball!

Our front yard and icy intersection.

But the best place to be on a snowy, cold day is in your basket...

Off to whip up another sugar-free hot chocolate...and READ!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Karen's newest family member!

Check out my new "nephew"! Isn't he adorable?

Last night, Karen and I met a WONDERFUL lady in Weatherford who sold Karen a precious Golden Retriever puppy named Nemo. (Jury's still out on whether or not he *remains* Nemo.) Kate has done a wonderful job training him...he has impeccable manners! And check out the pure BLISS on my sister's face!

Everyone in the family loves him already, but Molly, in particular, is over the moon. This morning, she sat outside with him in the cold after his morning romp. He's a giant love sponge and just absorbs all the love and affection his new humans have to offer.

Christmas came early to Breckenridge, Texas...thanks to Kate, a.k.a. Mrs Claus!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Finally...Michigan pics.

The limo driver snapped this one!

If you look carefully, you'll see me working on my laptop...
and yes, I packed a mouse because I have a mouse addiction.
(Don't judge me.) :-)

Whee! I finally have some posts of Michigan to post, thanks to Sara Johns' generous offer to let us copy her Flickr pics.

BTW, I got to meet *Sara Johns* AND *J. Linda Williams*, y'all! Sara is shown in the photo above with the amazing UberLibrarian George Bishop. Sara is President Elect of the American Library Association's AASL division--the American Association of School Librarians-- and Linda was president last year.
(This is the equivalent of meeting Robert Plant for other people. Or Yo-Yo Ma. Or K-Fed, if you're weird.)

Michigan was fun and cold and beautiful and I GOT TO WEAR MY SCARF AND GLOVES and for the first time in my life, I'm really excited to watch a *televised* football game (I always get a little excited about the ones I attend in person, especially when it's my students or nephew on the field...or when my baby was in the CHS marching band!). Today at 2:30 is the Game of the Year between undefeated Michigan and undefeated Ohio State; last weekend, the whole town seemed to be gearing up for Game Day, and I think a little of the anticipation wore off on me!

Carbs ahoy!

Cheese curds are REAL! (And delicious.) I'd always considered cheese curds the "jackelope" of the food world because I'd *heard* about them, but had never actually seen them served...

Check out the high-tech conference room!

I can't tell you how cool and interesting this was...

Oh, and I didn't just come home with Game Fever, either...I'm sure I put on a few pounds after all the amazing food. ProQuest took great care of us...Zingermans and Bella Ciao are burned into the part of my brain reserved for Great Food Experiences. Oh, and the pizza at Cottage Inn? Possibly the best I've ever had...with golden sesame seeds toasted right into the buttery crust.

But the BEST PART of all was being able to attend the Library Advisory Board meetings of ProQuest...and not just because they served great coffee and had their own private pond and we were able to see Canada geese and ducks (and one heron!) come in for landings outside the conference room windows. Everyone was so smart and funny and creative and even if they never ask me back I don't was an honor and a half just to be asked! I'm insane crazy for eLibrary and have had an account, either a personal one or one provided by my school district, since about 1998 (back when they were owned by Infonautics!).

Bella Ciao, baby!

Our terrific waiter & bartender! We had the second floor to ourselves...

Bella, bella!

Ann Arbor was so cool. It even reminds its citizens to respect nature by not dumping waste into the city's ornate drainage grates...

What a wonderful weekend. Michigan rocked.

P.S. Run, do not walk, to see Will Ferrell's Stranger Than Fiction. Emma Thompson was amazing, as usual, and you will love it. (Look for the cameo by Tom Hulce, Mozart in 1984's Amadeus!)

***Update: Here's a snip of an email that came in about an hour before the game from my friend Cali Gonzales. (Remember that name...he's an amazing author who flew to Abilene to speak to my seventh graders two years ago. We're currently working on getting him back via Distance Learning!) He and his wife met while attending the University of Michigan...and the story of his entire South Texas family's trek to The Mitten State is one of the funniest I've ever heard!

Sandie is stuck in an inservice until 4, so she's missing the first half of the game. I told her I'd think of her at kickoff!

Pizza at the that brings back some memories. I think I'm the only cowboy you'll ever meet who had the grilled chicken/feta cheese pizza. It was great, especially when the north wind is blowing just outside the Inn. It's a good place to fall in love...

I think Michigan is the best place I've ever lived...that wasn't home.

Just so you'll know: I just sold a 2800 word feature to Sport Fishing magazine. If Texas Fish and Game is comparable to Texas Monthly, then you could say I just sold a story to Time.

So now I'm watching football and buying a copy of Sport Fishing magazine? What's next? Waders? A truck? Ammo? (Oh, hold on...I've actually purchased ammo...don't judge me!) :-)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Jiggety jig.

Home again! Happy to be back in Texas...even though Michigan was a blast.

Oh, and the food. The. Food. Today I had two of the best slices of pizza ever. (And yes, I'm including the Italian restaurant where I used to waitress in Shillington, Pennsylvania.) It *might* have even been as good as Victor Emmanuel's in Reading. Full details tomorrow!

Exhausted...and going to bed at 8:40 at night,

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ann Arbor, Baby!

Hey, y'all! I'm in Michigan!

The flights were uneventful (just the way I like 'em!), the limo ride was sweet, the hotel is beautiful, and I'm supposed to meet everybody in the lobby downstairs at 6:00 for dinner. (Oh, and I'm on Eastern time here, btw; good thing I found out before I arrived an hour late for dinner, wondering where everybody was!) :-)

Oh, and when I checked in, the Front Desk clerk handed me a goodie bag from the ProQuest company, complete with a little University of Michigan stuffed bear inside!

There's a pond with Canada geese right outside my hotel window, and it's supposed to SNOW tonight. (
Yippeee!!!!!) The Weather Channel just showed a national weather map, and it was snowing on The Mitten State.

Happy as a clam,

P.S. I'll post pics when I return...forgot the USB cable. Duh.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Two a.m. Friends

Tonight's sermon was about the healing of the man whose friends lowered him through the roof to Jesus...the only one who could forgive the man's sins & heal his body, too. If they had lowered him through the roof of any other house in the world, he would have remained bedridden.

And the preacher reminded us of the importance of close friends, too...not just friends who are a step above acquaintances, but real companions--"two a.m. friends" who will
come help you in the middle of the night, if you need it. Friends who will get you to Jesus in any way they can...and that you will carry back to The Great Physician, if they ever need it.

Oh, and we learned about the word "Hallelujah" and its meaning and its beauty and its use in the Bible.
And the hymns tonight were amazing. (Church tonight was beautiful, btw.)

And speaking of Two A.M. Friends, here's a picture of one of mine:

Oh, and here's a picture for my brother, who graduated from AHS:

And here are pictures for all the dog lovers in my family:

I leave Friday for Michigan...full details when (if) I return!

Your two a.m. friend in Texas,

P.S. Thanks, Mom & Dad, for TWO of my "two a.m." friends! :-)