real vs pretend

The Easter grand dogs.

Planned a relaxed celebration with the Sprouts and Grands on Easter evening. I knew everyone’s day would be filled with church and Easter lunch. Could we gather at dinner time for some grilled hot dogs and fun picnic foods? No one would be required to wear Easter finery.

After dinner, we had a very humble egg hunt for the 2 1/2 year old grand. It was raining.

Blessed rain. Getting new gutters on Monday.

We ‘hid’ our eggs in the great room. ‘Time to hunt!’

Granny KK bought some plastic eggs at the walmarts. Didn’t want to overdose the grand on nothing but candy, so I tried to find unique little things I thought he’d enjoy. It was a difficult task, because most things small enough to fit inside the egg presented a choking hazard to his little sister. What to put in the eggs?

The little rubbery bunnies were a big hit. They were colorful and fun and he squealed as he opened each egg. Ditto, the Pez candy. He adores Pez!

Luckily, rubber bunnies are perfecto for head-bonking.

I hid this monster.

The monster was a home run. He loved it. The minature magnetic trains were instant favorites.

The bubbles were pretty popular, too.
robertwbubblesLookin’ great so far, KK! Whew.

Then the little tyke expectantly opened an egg containing this paralyzing sight.

The Easter snake??

I can hear your accusations now. ‘What kind of insane granny scares her guileless grand with a scary snake?’

I admit it….the lure of the $1.00 aisle at the walmarts overcame my good sense. He’s a boy for goodness sake. I thought he would adore it.

Budding snake handler.
Budding snake handler.

The baby had no problem with it. Hhhmph.

Amid the boy’s screams and shrieks I tried to explain, ‘It’s not a real snake, it’s only a pretend snake’.

That’s when I remembered…..2 year-olds have no concept of real versus pretend. We have snakes at our house occasionally…rattlers….and they are all TOO real. What was KK teaching her grand baby?

Called the Sprout this morning with an apology for being an idiot. Instructed her to throw the snake away. She said it was too late. The toddler made them put the snake in a jar and he slept with it on his bedside table. Carried it around this morning and took it out of the jar with shouts of EWWWWW…I touched the snake! He put the snake back in the jar before he went to preschool. What have I started?


Mistakes vs forgiveness. Real versus pretend. It’s all very confusing.


It comes with the territory of being in a family, I guess.


Maybe the Sprouts will forgive me. Maybe I haven’t blended the toddler’s brain too badly. Yet.

I’m certain of one thing. There’s nothing pretend about Easter and the resurrection. His love for each one of us is immeasurable.

Hoping I can tell the grands about the authenticity of that event one day.

Amazing grace-love to all.


I know this thirst will not last long for it will soon drown in a song not sung in vain,

I feel the thunder in the sky, I see the sky about to rain, and I hear the prairies calling out Your name.

Rich Mullins, Calling Out Your Name


The view from my window took a decidedly interesting turn last week.


One week I’m playing a brothel whore in The Threepenny Opera.

threepennyandhannah 011aThe next week I’m guiding Amarillo artist Andrew DeJesse through the petroglyph cave at the ranch. Go ahead, reward yourself. Take a minute to peek at his art.

Andrew provided the interesting art gracing the cover of Amarillo Opera’s program last season. Seems our executive director, David O’Dell, wants Andrew to provide his unique viewpoint to our cover again this year. David thought viewing some ranch scenery and crawling through the petroglyph cave could fuel Andrew’s imagination. I became the chief tour guide.

Contemporary artist face-to-face with prehistoric artist.

Andrew was an excellent sport.

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On top of the art cave.

I enjoyed talking all things ‘art’ and ‘great plains’ with Andrew and his gracious wife, Elizabeth.

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In the midst of a three-year drought, browns are the predominant color in northern New Mexico. What could the artist possibly see in this stark environment?

Maybe I’ve enjoyed a day more.…but I simply can’t think of one right now.

We stopped at all my favorite places. Looking for inspiration on the Great Plains is not an activity for sissies.

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Rock pen.

Looking at the old rock pens, we spoke of wondering about the family who once lived here.
ranchesandrewdejesse 123aAt times I felt as if I should reimburse Andrew for the art lesson, as we discussed the many sources of inspiration for texture.

ranchesandrewdejesse 124aHe pointed out the inspiration for shape scattered around our feet.

ranchesandrewdejesse 129aHe helped me see how a jumble of rocks could be just as stunning as a beautiful bouquet of carefully arranged flowers.

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Nature’s bouquet.

I confided in Andrew and Elizabeth of how I like to have my camera slung around my neck as it forces me to see. To observe and not rush by.

Elizabeth and Andrew weren’t even the slightest bit irritated when I chirped,

Let’s go see the graveside. It’s just a five-minute walk!

ranchesandrewdejesse 178aAfter 30 minutes walking uphill in the wind and scaling a rock basket for a barbed wire fence, they remained unflappable. They possess the true wonderment of explorers.

Andrew explained he has a passion for this area of the country (he was born in New Jersey) and he wanted to move here. His muse is this land.

Come again, Andrew?? Were you out of town for the entire dust-bowl month of March?

Old rock storage shed on table-top pasture land. If you squint you can spot Rabbit Ear mountain.
Old rock storage shed on table-top pasture land. If you squint you can spot Rabbit Ear mountain.

Andrew’s knowledge of the history of this area is impressive. I prayed he wouldn’t ask me any ‘New Jersey’ questions. Garden state!!

I’m no art critic (a-men), but when I ponder Andrew’s art I see an artist with a profound talent for elevating the ordinary to the sacred. He never overtly sentimentalizes his subject matter. In fact, he says he tries to ‘stay out of it’. Much of his subject matter deals with the harsh realities of life on the Great Plains, but I think his art reveals his reverence for the area and the land’s hardy inhabitants.

ranchesandrewdejesse 188a
Swallow (mud dauber) nests along the creek bed.

To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Thanks Elizabeth and Andrew for the holy day. I’m grateful.

Hope you discover your muse this week, dear reader.

Sacred love to all.

pondering play

‘All brothel whores to the stage in five minutes. This is a five-minute call for the brothel whores to the stage, please.’

threepennyandhannah 009a
Two of the brothel lovelies.

Welcome to my weekend with the Threepenny Opera.

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The brazens.

Some lessons learned:

The addition of a stage cigarette can morph a character from mild-mannered to desperate with just one puff.

threepennyandhannah 013a

An uplifting bra (with added padding), eyelash glue, and safety pins are an absolute necessity when playing a hooker. A lack of normal modesty comes in handy, too. I had to crop the photo above. My bloomers were too big and dropped down embarrassingly low. Oops. Sorry, cast-mates. Accidents happen.

Kath and Nath.

Whores can be annoyed by beggars. Mainly because their ‘make-up application time’ is considerably less.

threepennyandhannah 004aMy ensemble-friends are a fun and talented bunch. Love them.

Play-acting is an imagination-stretcher. It allows you to inhabit a body/person you would never be in real-life. It’s fun. Sure hope the audience thought so, anyway.

Stomping out my stage cigarette and returning to my blessedly smoke-free real life.

Hope you embrace your opportunities to explore and play.

Threepenny-love to all.


pondering sexy

What makes something/someone sexy?

Defining sexy is like trying to hold a handful of jello. It’s one of those I know it when I see it kinds of things. Trying to explain sexy, or trying hard to be sexy decreases the sexiness component exponentially.

So without comment, I’ll show you some sexy, not-sexy things.


steve mcqueenNot sexy.

justin-bieberSexy song.


Not sexy song.



bb-s4-posterNot sexy.

miley cyrus

There’s a particular character trait I find unabashedly sexy. I’m attracted to people who possess this quality. Sexiness in a person (for me, anyway) has absolutely nothing to do with appearance and absolutely everything to do with being comfortable in one’s own skin.

Wanna hear the sexiest name I’ve heard in a while? This name even rivals the grandma/stripper monikers I wrote about in a previous post.


Amber Smoke. She’s a real person. And I KNOW her!

photo courtesy of

Amber is one of our visiting artists featured in Amarillo Opera’s Threepenny Opera this weekend. She exemplifies being comfortable in your own skin and I love her for it!

In fact, I think each of our visiting artists brings his own unique and oh-so-sexy style to our production.

A sexy group, for sure.

What does the term sexy mean to you? I’d love to hear. Keep it clean for KK (my granny-name)!

Let’s-stay-together love to all.