We escaped the hot Texas Panhandle for a mountain vacation over the holiday. Going to the mountains is a beloved summer tradition in our family. Here’s our THRILLING BEAR STORY from last m-day.

On Saturday evening, we received a call there was a wildfire in our neighborhood. Some family members tried to make it to our house to maybe turn on some sprinklers, but they were turned back by law enforcement and heavy smoke. The area was closed. What could we do?……nada. We had (very slow) internet access at the cabin and we watched the local news reports. The news was grim……103 temperature and winds in excess of 40 mph.

In short, our house blessedly escaped the fire scare. The main damage was just down the road.

At least their outbuilding survived!

Upon arriving home, we surveyed the damage. It left me speechless.

This was just one of a row of 5 or 6 homes that were completely gone.

This was one of my favorite houses to drive by on my way home. It was a gorgeous Tudor-style house with impeccable landscaping.

The gardens and the seasonal displays were always outstanding. I marveled at the lushness of these grounds in the arid Texas panhandle. Someone put in lots of loving care to make this house an oasis of beauty.

Imagine driving through your front gate and seeing this destruction

This was the home of a popular local veterinarian. He and his wife lived here for 30 years. There was a gorgeous 3-story prairie-style home nearby. It was one of my favorites as well, with it’s big wrap around porch and gorgeous windows. I could hardly find any remains of that house. The destruction was total.

I did what anyone would do:  burst into uncontrollable tears for these losses. The years of memories, the family photos, the mother’s day cards from the kids, the wedding photos, the favorite easy chair…..all ashes.
Made me think of this post about how much I love my home.

While much of the country is flooding, or being hit by killer tornadoes-the Texas Panhandle has received just 1/2 inch of moisture since January. The grasslands are barren and the cattle have nothing to eat. The wheatfields are generally total losses. The wind has been unending and it has been unusually hot. The day of the fires, the humidity was 7%.

Our gorgeous Palo Duro Canyon has not escaped the fire’s grip. Remember the gorgeous photos  of the canyon? Thousands of acres have burned around the canyon.

The hardy folk of the Panhandle are uniting to pray for rain. I’ve not seen conditions as dire in all my 34 years living here. I’m joining in the prayers.

Enjoy your home. Rising Phoenix love to all.

the wild bunch

Dogsittin’ the wild bunch while everyone is off watching the son-in-law be an ironman.

wiener, bichon, golden-doodle, bichon all looking for treats

The s-i-l finished the ironman with his best time EVER!
Good thing he wasn’t raptured….or is it? I’m still here….is that a bad sign?? Hel-lo….hel-lo (tapping the computer) anyone still out there?
Left behind love to all.

rockin’ with TSO

We did something fun.

Some out-of-town friends (big Trans-Siberian Orchestra fans) invited us to accompany them to the TSO concert in our town last Friday night.

My exposure to TSO consisted of hearing bits and pieces about their wonderful Christmas concerts. I’d seen a few videos….that’s about it.

We went and it was just….WOW! What they do is unique and thoroughly entertaining. The talent on display is stupendous. The visuals of the performers, the lasers, the stage lighting, the huge LED screens and the pyrotechnics combine to knock your socks off.

Wanna see some photos of TSO? Here goes.

The Narrator of our story

The title of our story was Beethoven’s Last Night. It was an imaginary journey into circumstances surrounding Beethoven’s talent and his unwritten Tenth Symphony. The narrator drove the storyline and set up the acts. This handsome fellow was mesmerizing. His voice bellowed through the auditorium in Shakespearean prose. We were all rightly smitten in the palms of his confidently upturned hands.

Our main character, Beethoven

Our Beethoven thrilled us with his passionate voice. This singer/actor had it all….he could sing opera-style, he could ROCK it, and he could break your heart and bring you to tears with his dulcet tones. I was in awe. His voice was inspiring. He really ‘did it’ for me.

Evil Mephistopheles

This guy is Lucifer personified….the handsome devil was always trying to trick poor Beethoven into giving him his music. There was lots of fire onstage when he sang. He possessed a hellacious voice.

A view of stage right.
Yep….we were on the front row!
Pyrotechnics. Don’t sit on the front row if you can’t stand the heat!
Look at this smile!

I adore this photo. Our violin man looks to be having the time of his life, yes? The expression is one of pure joy and all of us front-rowers were reflecting this attitude back to him. Does your job inspire you to smile like this?

The sultry love interest.

This young lady was simply bursting with talent and sexiness. Her singing was sultry and oh……that dress. PER-FEC-TION. At the end of the show, they introduced the cast. I didn’t catch her name but they said she was from our little town. I couldn’t believe it! Does anyone know her? If you do…..let me know. She had mad dancing skills, too!

Dancing girls.

As if the pyrotechnics weren’t enough, TSO sealed the deal with sexy dancing girls. Think the Laker Girls or the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. The were radically gorgeous and they did double-duty as singers.

The show-stopper.

I didn’t exactly catch her name, but this seductive red-head brought the audience to it’s knees with her third hand. Other than her saggy chin, I thought she was damn sexy and she rocked the crowd with her raspy voice. Could this concert end any more perfectly??

The Texan and I got home at ***gasp*** eleven-thirty! I’m talking in the p.m.!

It was a great night. Thanks Roddy and Donna for asking this boring couple to such a hip and fun show. We loved it and we love you for asking us. You’re rock stars.

Bic Lighter love to all this week.

how a wiener views a wiener

In an effort to bring you the latest in breaking news, Chicken Wing presents:

How does a wiener view a wiener?  or
It takes one to know one.
Thought we should have a record. Some evidence in case anyone asks.
You agree?? Thought so…..
Is this a set-up?

Bingo. Eye contact.

Sittin’ up. Sometimes good things happen.

Sweet aroma….so…..close.

Almost tasting it.
Ah…sweet mystery of life at last I found you (music swells!)
Hope you savor the rest of your week.
Thanks for stopping by.
Anything else important happens, readers of Chicken Wing will be the FIRST to know!
Nitrate-laden meat love to all.