end

 

 

 

Is it the end or the beginning? Depends upon how you look at it.

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Let’s think about the year.

Ready for a TMI post of my year in the rear-view mirror? If not, you’ve been warned. Exit now.

On an unusually warm January 2014 day, we headed to the ranch and came face-to-face with prehistoric artists. The petroglyph cave kept me wondering and researching.

Wall of prehistoric cave writings.
Wall of prehistoric cave writings.

March found me smoking and wearing lots of makeup for Threepenny Opera.

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Easily one of the best, most interesting days of the year was spent with artist, Andrew Scott DeJesse and his fun wife. We explored the petroglyphs and the ranch topography looking for inspiration.
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Boy, did he ever find it.

Simply stunning.
Simply stunning.

Found a springtime bird’s nest at the barn. I thought the horrible draught was never going to end. The little birds seemed a hopeful sign.
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A very special munchkin turned 1.
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Memorial Day found me at this beloved piece of heaven.
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Early summer meant branding time.
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Someone overachieved when frying chicken for the cowboys.
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End of June, I was trekking on the west coast searching for the perfect photograph.
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The wiener dog displayed her love of country on July 4th.
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Got a new lens for the big camera. What did I choose to capture. You guessed it.
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Fall 2014 found me wading knee-deep into a new project….Opera Goofa.
kathywithhornsFall colors spoke to me in Colorado.

A friend helped me spy this cool tree resin shot.
A friend helped me spy this cool tree resin shot.

Halloween 2014 brought Dorothy and her ruby slippers back.
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Oh…and 2014 was the year of the supermoon. How many did we have? I’ve lost count.
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And finally….whew!!…..if you’re still reading, you are either certifiably insane or a crazy wiener dog fanatic. Christmas 2014 with the fam.

The Texas is wearing a wiener wonderland sweater...you just can't see it.
The Texan is wearing a wiener wonderland sweater…you just can’t see it!

Thanks for counting blessings with me. Hope you had some interesting moments in 2014, and here’s hoping 2015 is a stellar year.
We’ll talk about goals/resolutions for the new year later. For now, I want to embrace two words for the coming year: dream bigger.

**raising my champagne glass** A grateful toast for you!  Thanks for being a friend of this quirky, old person blog. Here, here!!

Glass-half-full-love to all.

spirit

 

 

 

Christmas Eve finds my wrapping room looking like this.

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still have presents to wrap

 

Attempted to take my festive yearly weiner-dog tidings of great joy shot, but the pose wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.

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JOY!!

I swear that dog gets closer to the ground every year…even flat on my belly is not low enough for this portrait. Geez.

Made a nerdy Christmas shirt for the Grandson.

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Made it with left over fabric from his sister’s Christmas dress. I’m all about matching these days.

He pronounced it ‘comfy’. Success.

Waiting on some loved ones to arrive and make our Christmas celebration complete.

Random Christmas Rant: This Elf on the Shelf business is ridiculous, people. Let me get this straight…there’s an elf in your house the kids are not allowed to touch. He/she is spying on them and reporting straight to police Santa on their naughty/nice behavior. Then the despised beloved snitch-elf flies back to the North Pole after Christmas leaving the tiny tots in tear-puddles of abandonment. This is helpful during the Christmas season? rrriiiight.

May I offer a healthier option? Behold.

wienerinthewindowI’m calling her Weiner in the Window. The little doxy-reindeer never snitches. She greets your return with unbridled excitement. She doesn’t give a royal rip if you’re naughty or nice as long as there are abundant dog treats and a warm booty to curl up in bed with every night. You’re allowed to touch her all you want and she hangs around AFTER Christmas. She serves as a nice plate-licker, as well.

Weiner in the Window. It has a nice ring…..

Enjoy this day. Hope you will be blessed by the presence of the Christ-child’s arrival. Hope you always find something welcoming in your window.

Festive love to all.

 

 

the voice

Did you have me pegged as a Matt McAndrew fan?

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photos courtesy nbc.com

 

I know, I know….I’m way outside the expected demographic of this show

Who do you like? Damien?

damien

Or are you a fan of the 3-namers: Craig Wayne Boyd and Taylor John Williams?

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taylorEver notice the person with the best voice (technically) never wins these competitions?

As an audience member or a potential itune downloader, with what are we connecting?

Here’s my theory. I think we like and appreciate singers who aren’t technically perfect. We connect with the person comfortable in his own skin. A person who embraces his own imperfections/quirks and bravely bares them for the world to see.

A few seasons ago, I adored the quirky Nicholas David.

The Voice - Season 3

A bearded white guy singing soul music? Nicholas has a nice voice, but it was his interesting interpretation and 100% commitment to his singing that I admired. I’d buy a ticket to his concert. Any chance he’ll come from Minnesota to West Texas??

I’ve mentioned before that I sing on Monday mornings with a group of retired singers who visit retirement/nursing homes. Last Monday, several of our group sang Christmas solos for residents at the local veteran’s nursing home. If you’re not an aging vocalist, you might not fully appreciate how difficult it is to get the rusty pipes warmed up and ready to sing at 9 am.

Scott wowing the crowd with a beautiful solo.

 

singingstars 005aAs the holiday serenades washed over me, I was struck by the interestingly rich quality and warmth of the voices. These were tones of character-voices bespeaking a history. I imagined the laryngeal tapestry required to produce such sounds:  a bride resolutely saying ‘I do’ at the alter, a mom gently singing lullabies to her baby or perhaps vocalizing (loudly!) for her toddler to avoid an unsafe street, a young man calling signals for his team mates in a football game, an officer barking orders at soldiers in his charge, the cries and prayers uttered at the graveside of loved ones. These disparate elements are woven together producing a distinctly unique, imperfectly-golden sound. Perhaps these voices aren’t as nimble flitting up and down a scale as they once were, but they are the grace notes of a full life.

I guess we’ll keep squawking as long as a chair turns.

Imperfections? I’ve got ’em. Funny….they might just be my biggest strength. I’m unfurling the freak flag and running it up the pole. There’s room for your flag, too!

Hope you have a chance to add your voice to the wonder of the unfolding Christmas story.

Fa-la-la-la-laaaah-la-la-la-loooove to all.

 

stable

 

 

The fox must’ve eaten the chickens in the henhouse at the blog. Some of you have been kind enough to notice and you’ve mentioned my absence to me. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

I’ve been in a general blog/life funk.  I’ve been feeling broken and incomplete. How could anyone who gets life so wrong, so often have anything worthwhile to contribute? What leaves me feeling like a smelly gym sock? Here’s a few thoughts:

When the better choice is patience, I choose quick action.

When the better choice is love, I’m judgmental.

When the wise choice is silence, I say too much.

When I should be praying, my hamster-brain paints worst-case scenarios.

I’m writing today, cause I’m remembering this blog isn’t about perfection. That’s right, chicken-wingers…..it’s about the journey! The hot-fudge-sundae-days AND the bug-on-the-windshield days. It’s about days like today when we offer ourselves and our neighbors another spin at the roulette wheel of life. The only required buy-in is a tiny mustard seed of faith.

We’re on a journey to Christmas. Walk with me and we’ll trek to a stable. Aren’t you glad we’re not traveling to a palace? Our comfy, car sweat-pants might not be appropriate attire to meet a child-king, but we look great for entering a stable. Dirty, worn-out boots are welcome. This stable is brimming with the real aromas of cows, horses, pigs, hay and ummm….ummm….animal doo. You won’t inhale the scent of the most fashionable $75 Diptyque ginger-pear candle in this stable.

graham and pnut

No worries about chipping the dried excrement off our shoes before entering. We’ve stepped in piles of it lately but the beauty is….we’re still welcome inside. The only thing is….that overstuffed backpack of regret we’ve struggled under?  It has to stay outside. Along with the stinky gym sock.

Let’s go.

Traveling mercy love to all.