count dachula

scary doxy

And the Wiener, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted – nevermore!

rising above

Booted the Texan out of bed at 5:30 in the A.M. yesterday (Sunday) to accompany me to Palo Duro Canyon to photograph the Pirates of the Canyon Balloon Rally.  I think every man, woman, child and yayhoo owning a camera or camera phone was in the canyon.  I’ve never SEEN so many cameras and tripods! 

All of us camera aficionado yayhoos were there to witness the spectacular balloon colors rising in one of the most underrated scenic places on earth.  Our Palo Duro Canyon is sometimes described as a ‘mini’ Grand Canyon.  One of the features making it so fantastic…so unbelievable is this:  one drives and drives on many a mile of treeless, perfectly table-flat farmland when approaching the canyon.

Where is this canyon, Texan, you keep talking about?  There is nothing but sky!  Nothing.  But…then….WHAM!  You see it and you drive down, down, down into the purple spanish-skirt walls and the cottonwood lined creek.  The canyon meanders for miles and miles.  It has a rich history of explorers and famous Indian battles.  If you ever find yourself in the Texas Panhandle…you should see it.

We got there BEFORE SUNRISE. Sorry to shout, but that’s motivation! Capturing the sunrise would be a challenge.
While Mr. Sun was rising in one horizon, Mr. Moon was trying to disappear before I caught him.  Not so fast, mister!
It was a stirring sight witnessing the behemoths rise from the ground.  Oh, the vividness of the colors and the loud PSSHH, PSSHH of the fire above the baskets!  Look how the tall Texan is dwarfed by these giants!
The weather was pristine, crisp….softly memorable.  Although the climate seemed perfecto-the balloons did not fly.  They stayed tethered safely to the ground with ropes.  The light wind was in the wrong direction.  The chase vehicles could not follow where the wind would take the balloons.  Didn’t matter.  The oohhs and aahhs of the young ‘uns was a recipe for my dumb grin.  A Sunday morning not soon forgotten.  When the time came to leave, we loaded our canines and began the ascent out of the canyon.

Our star boarder….grand-dog Rose.  She enjoyed the morning intensely.  Time for another longing look.

Of course, dear reader…..there’s one more.  The wiener dog spent the cool morning in her lovely faux- shearling lined dog coat (fashioned to resemble a horse blanket) with the Roxy Doxy monogram emblazoned across her back.  She’d boldly sniff unsuspecting people’s ankles, but if they acknowledged her or said a friendly hel-lo, she would scamper back to our side.  Snob dog.

I’m grateful for the day.  Hope you enjoyed our little balloon festival and you didn’t mind having your ankles sniffed.
Wishing you untethered flight this week. 

marrying Trader Joe’s

I adore Trader Joe’s.  I want to marry him.  Seriously (sorry, Texan), I have a ‘thing’ for the odd guy in the loud Hawaii shirt.  Regretfully, ours is a long-distance love affair.  One of those ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ relationships

Trader Joe’s does not live in my town (sniffle).  I must drive four excruciatingly long hours (Albuquerque) to steal a visit and spend quality time with him.

What do I love about Trader’s?  Let me count the ways, honey……..

Value.  Trader’s does not charge those crazy ‘health food’ store prices.  The items are priced competitively with other supermarkets, except for one big difference.  The products are WAY better.  Delicious.  Fresh tasting.  Not a lot of added gunk…just good stuff.

Wine.  They carry wine from all over the globe.  Again…tasty and cheap.  I’m proudly low-class and I enthusiastically imbibe ‘two-buck Chuck’.  Charles Shaw.

Nuts.  Spiced pecans addictive as meth….really!  Honey-coated peanuts.  They’re never far from my side-I keep a bag in my car at all times.  Must keep my fat and blood sugar levels climbing!  These two are my faves, but for you chocolate-lovers, there’s every variety of nut coated in any kind of chocolate you desire.

Soups.  You’re thinking hyperbole, but the Creamy Corn and Roasted Pepper Soup is to..die…for.  I fainted just thinking about it.  Luckily, the Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup acts as smelling salts and promptly revives me.  I even turn cartwheels.

Sauces/Dressings.  The Salsa Verde is a regular on eggs, enchiladas, meats, ANYTHING at my house.  Got carried away and laid some on the wiener dog the other day…horrors!
doxy profile
All of the marinaras and other tomato sauces are top-notch.  They simply taste fresher….like homemade….than anything else I have ever laid a taste bud upon.  My favorite dressing is the Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette.  Perfect for the popular Asian-themed salads.

Baked Goods and Cereals.  Not low-cal, but incredibly delicious.

Sweet Potato Fries.  Need I say more?

Since I’m shopping from out-of-town, I don’t usually buy things in the perishable section of the store.  I don’t know much about the meats, cheeses and such-but I’d love to try them.  I was in Santa Fe a couple of weeks ago.  Trader and I enjoyed a quickie.  I swept up and down the aisles grabbing handfuls of aforementioned foodiful dee-lights.  It was so satisfying, I slowly savored a cigarette in my vehicle afterwards.  I lovingly made a Trader Joe’s cache of delights in my pantry.  Looks like I’m planning for a long, snowy, hard winter.  Be prepared…my motto.  Shhh…..I’m showing you (cuz you’re special) my stash, but don’t be knocking on my door this winter looking for corn soup.  I’ll feign ignorance.  Behold!!

Trader’s are you listening?  A hungry woman in West Texas is yearning for more of you.  Missing you.  Savoring every last condiment and nut from you.  Make an honest woman of me.  Please….can we set a date??

Savor every last morsel of your weekend.

slip of the tongue

Happy start of another week.  Here’s a short political video I found online this AM.  It made me giggle.  It’s short.  YOU MUST WATCH IT.  A fresh breath of honesty amidst a stinky, stale wind of political discourse.  Gotta love a women who tells the truth!   Enjoy!

This slip-up reminds me of how massively I stressed over the pronunciation of a name at my big emcee gig recently.  I sweated bullets (and shotgun shells) over this name.  This individual is wonderfully nice, but in a pickle of stress and stage-fright, one could go tremendously WRONG in the articulation of this man’s moniker.  What was the tricky name I navigated flawlessly?

Prenis  (pree-nus).  Could you pronounce this in the big, hot spotlight??

sunset 1

Wishing you calm in the spotlight this week.

gracias Senor!

All of you witnessed it.  The capsule being hoisted out of the ground with a previously entombed miner.  Thirty-three times (plus the rescue workers) we witnessed a miraculous rebirth.  Another chance at life.  Miners pointing to the sky, or making the sign of the cross, or kissing Mother Earth.  Some miners fell to their knees in humble, thankful prayer.  Made me think I should spend more time there….not in Chile, but on my knees.

The shirts with the word Gracias Senor! (thank the Lord, or thank God) emblazened across the front seemed appropros.

Lots of dedicated folks deserve a big Gracias shout-out.  No doubt about it.  Thanking El Senor is a good place to start.

I haven’t been lifted out of a dark, hot mine into the blinding light….not literally.  But most days I recognize the blessing of warm sunshine in my life.

So…today….Friday….is Gracias Senor! Day.  I’m giving the Big Man a shout out for those miners.  I’m giving Him an extra shout out for the love of my family.  I’m even shoutin’ out for the opportunity to blog.  Yup….and for you, too.

You got a gracias for El Senor?   Don’t be shy….leave your shout out in the comments and we’ll all be grateful together.

Have a glorious weekend.

sunset windmill

run for your life

Played golf in the Land of Enchantment last weekend.  The scenery, food, company and golf courses were first rate.  Some of the signs around the course amused me.

Does the Texan look like he is staying aware or does he look scared s**tless?  He ain’t afraid of no venomous snakes!

Moi….staying aware.  They really don’t want you to waste time looking for lost balls.   Snakes here, don’t bother searching for errant balls….move along.  Be aware-not afraid or running around like a chicken with his head chopped off!   Calm awareness is key.
Here are some other potential dangers to bring to your awareness.  Try NOT to be frightened.


Sorry, Texan.


Caught this criminal one evening while I was trying to trap ANOTHER feral cat who shows interest coming in my doggie door. I released him for good behavior…he inhabits the hill behind my house.

Fair! 114a

This awareness poster somehow reminds me of the next awareness poster.

Fair! 007a

No blog post is complete without

card shark1

The card shark wiener dog!  I KNEW you’d complain if I didn’t include her in your awareness.

self portraits 062

Be VERY afraid.  Run for your life…….


Remember…..practice calm, safe awareness the remainder of this week. Hopefully, you won’t meet a rattlesnake or a runaway golf cart.  Stay safe, people.

winner’s circle of life

(A wonderful mare I owned who shared some of Secretariat’s bloodlines.  Do you like my goat?  This was taken in 1996…explaining the horrid ‘mom jeans’)

Happy Monday all!  Hope everyone had the opportunity to see the new movie Secretariat.  You must see this movie.

Most of you know I ride and show Quarter horses, so I am unabashedly biased in my love for all things equine.  Even if you don’t know a stirrup from a girth strap, you will enjoy this movie.  The movie addresses the quality of greatness.  We see greatness in the horse, in the stubborn faith of the owner Penny Chenery Tweedy.  We see greatness in the wacky, unconventional horse trainer and in the grit of the petite jockey.

Check out this wonderful blog post addressing the leadership principles from the movie.  It’s an enlightening and inspiring read.

One of my favorite quotes in the movie states “It’s not whether they think we won.  It’s whether we think we won.”  This resonates with me because in the fickle world of horse showing, one minute you’re the blue ribbon-the next minute you’re the dookie pile.  You do your best.  You put yourself out there.  Who knows what will happen?  But, you know what?  I’m a winner every time I throw my leg over my horse.  That’s right……I’m a winner because I’m out there…doing something.  I have faith I’ll grow in knowledge and increase my skill level.  I’m a winner because I’m not home napping on the barcalounger.  Lastly, I’m a winner because I’m privileged to ride one of God’s greatest creatures.  It’s always a privilege and a blessing.  I’m grateful.

Another powerful movie scene shows Secretariat’s trainer burning all the old news clippings of his famous failures with past horses.  He’s done with clinging to the failures of the past.  How about you and I gather our past failures, regrets and disappointments and toss them into a bonfire and torch it today?  They’re gone….outta here…burned to ashes….scattered in the wind.  Our lessons are learned, but we never cling to failure….nope that’s not the way we roll.

I think every one of you is doing something today that classifies you as a winner.  Believe it and take your rightful place in the winner’s circle.  *****flashbulbs popping*****look at you*****aren’t you something?!*****
Winner’s circle love to all this week.

addictive as crack

Our argument started over these innocent objects.

I’m emceeing a popular fund-raiser for a local charity.  The charity is called Opportunity School.  Click the link….it’s an incredible school and it has helped many children in our community.  I had the emcee gig last year, as well… it was nice to be invited back.
This event includes a lovely dinner, cocktails and then a show consisting of funny, or novelty lip-synching acts performed by local ‘celebrities’.  It’s called LIPS.  It’s been a highly successful event and this is the 18th year!  As emcee, I try to keep the energy and the audience ‘up’ between acts.  I have to talk or do SOMETHING for around 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.  Sounds easy…but it’s daunting.
This is when the wiener dog inquisition ensued.

What’s with the severed hand?

I’m doing a spoof of the Beatle’s hit…I Wanna Hold Your Hand.  I might dance a little, too.

The pick and the waxed paper??

Playin’ audio kazoo trivia with the audience.  I’m humming classic TV themes and they’re supposed to guess the show.

The coonskin cap is passe.  Who cares about Davy Crockett?

Actually, it was Daniel Boone…..but I may not do it….

The blond wig….you’re doing Gaga aren’t you?  Tell me you’re NOT doing Gaga!….you’re coming out as Lady Gaga with a steak on your head.  That’s a lame excuse for her and her awesome AND fashionable meat dress!

Doxy….you might be a little biased….

How so?!

Meat….you adore meat!  Whether it’s laying over Gaga’s backside or resting between two buns….you’re always pro-meat!

If you’re gonna do Gaga, at least let me show you how to pose like her in Bad Romance.

Ummmmm….O.K., I’ll take that under advisement.

You’ll do ANYTHING for a laugh, you know.  Humiliate your family….your friends….your blameless pets!!  You have a problem-admit it.  You’re……you’re…….. a laugh-whore.  You’re ADDICTED to trying to make people laugh.  I think you’re a pun prostitute!

I like to think of myself as an innocent, carnard call-girl.

It’s not funny….it’s a serious addiction.  You’re a tall-tale tart, a microphone maniac, a ha-ha hussy!!

Can we STOP already with the alliteration?  I have to do my best to entertain the crowd.  If it humilites you, I’m sorry.  Doxy…..Roxy-Doxy?Are you still listening??  What in the hell are you doing?

This is how you should play Poker Face…….

Leapin’ what? 6 lessons we learn from frogs

Welcome tadpoles!    Remember me mentioning the wacky, screaming frogs living at my Mom’s retirement center pond?  Spent some time showing them my Nikon.  Discovered the frogs got it ALL goin’ on.  Listen to their chirpy, bug-eyed testimony.
Speak frogs!  We await at your webbed feet for wisdom.

1.  Become a good swimmer.  They’re not talking dog-paddling, floating on your back with a Bud Light, or general lollygagging in the water.  They’re talking swimming from point A to point B in an efficient and timely manner.  It’s fabu exercise, easy on the joints and fantastic for the heart and lungs.  Practice those swimming skills….you’ll be one-third ready for your triathlon.  Ever seen a frog with arthritis, eh?

2.  Take time to stop and sit on the lily pad.  Is there something stunning you’re overlooking in your own pond?
3.  Work on improving your kissing skills.  The practice is fun and you’re sure to make a grateful splash with your Prince or Princess!

4.  Look both ways before crossing the street.  Your mother is right……a-gain.  Another retirement home golf cart vs. amphibian tragic encounter.  Feckless frog never knew what hit it.  Hope he was wearing clean underwear.  
5.  Learn to be comfortable in your own skin….WARTS and all.  They swear this quality is the root of real attractiveness.
6.  Go ahead.   Take a giant leap of faith.  You’ve gotta dive in.  It’s okay if you scream or croak (or worse!) before taking the intimidating vault.  Besides, one can’t discern urine on a wet swimsuit…can one?!   Doesn’t really matter if it’s fear or bravery motivating your jump-you’re getting the feet wet all the same. You’ll bob up for air immensely wiser….you’ll see. 
Was gonna rub my legs together and sing you a  love song.  Oh wait…..I’m confusing frogs with crickets
Amphibious affection to all this week.