my type of excitement

Here on the blog, I endeavor to keep you readers up-to-speed on the latest trends. I’m your gal for all things dump,

dump-cakes

wiener-dog,

roxy

senior fashion

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and arts happenings in our town.

kathywithhorns

You’ll be relieved to know I’m taking time away from snapping heart-stopping photos for my new action-photography book, Captivating Drain Covers of the 19th Century, to pursue a new hobby. I’m sweeping aside (for now!) my research paper on the Breeding Habits of Dust Bunnies and I’m explaining to Benjamin Moore how I can no longer accept remuneration as the Official 2015 Paint Dry Timer. The Texan wants me to give up editing my new cookbook, 1001 Uses for White Rice, to free up more time in my schedule.

What’s the new hobby?

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I’m making homemade yogurt!! I know, I know….pop that nitro-glycerin tab now so your heart doesn’t explode from all the dairy excitement. I bought this yogurt maker from Amazon. It’s a neat little contraption and it ferments 7 perfectly wonderful little jars of tasty yogurt. Upon spying the organic whole milk in the fridge, the tall Texan cross-examined me.

What’s this?

It’s organic whole milk.

Why did you buy organic milk?!

You know….they say it’s healthier for you. It comes from cows that haven’t been treated with antibiotics.

So…you’re buying milk from only sick cows?

At any rate, I’m enjoying my creamy homemade yogurt. I eat it with a drizzle of honey topped with blueberries or granola. Better than ice cream and so good for the gut. Can you say pro-bye-ought-icks? Probably not, if you’re under 50.

As for arts happenings, I recently witnessed a certain individual discovering her favorite genre of music. This revelation made my heart soar as I discerned this was the type of music for which she was created. Who would’ve guessed? I thought she was created for square dancing. Boy, was I wrong!

The hips never lie. This gal lives for the blues. RIP B.B. King

Hope you are enjoying your inspiration this week.

Dance-like-no-one-is-watching love to all.

inspiration found

The Tuesday morning note from the universe:

The one thing all famous authors, world-class athletes, business tycoons, singers, actors and celebrated achievers in any field have in common is that they all began their journeys when they were none of these things. Yet, they still began their journeys.

A graceful hawk swooped from the morning crystalline sky and perched upon a naked branch. That was my view this morning as I sat in the hot tub. My inner voice harshly harangued me about being a lazy slug and starting my morning chores late. (stick it where the sun never shines, inner voice!)

The proud hawk buoyed my heart to new heights. Made me want to share with you where I’m finding inspiration these days.

I’ve been involved in rehearsals for Amarillo Opera’s upcoming production of Les Misera….bluh. Don’t think I’m going to be able to continue with the grueling schedule, but allow me to describe my uber-talented cast mates. Like the regal hawk, they provide plenty of reasons to look up in wonderment.

The Principles.

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You may describe them as our stars. These are the dedicated professionals who have spent their lives honing their craft. They are exactly as you would expect….off-the-charts-talented. They can blow the roof off a building with the air rushing through their vocal cords. Their acting ability can spike the stock price of Kleenex on the Dow. They are wonderful to behold. The path they travel is never easy and it’s brimming with rejection. I would enthusiastically storm the Bastille with them.

The ensemble. The community members. The rest of us. This is the group I’m treasuring today.  Let’s consider:

The community children/youth. They could be home in front of their computer screens, they could be texting, they could be involved in any number of things. Instead, they schlep to long rehearsals with school books in hand. They study between scenes and their parents run a continual carpool rivaling the busiest taxi service. They want to be involved in something bigger than themselves. I glimpse the future in their eyes. Let’s blast a rousing strain of Do you Hear the People Sing? in their honor!

The college students/young adults. This group packs tons of talent. Many of them are vocal/music students trying to learn about life in the business. They could be studying, dating, dragging the bars….but they bless us by being enthusiastically present. One of my favorite students is a young man who is working toward his master’s degree in choral conducting. He’s the age of one of my kids. I notice him not only because of his heavenly voice, but because he comes to every scene, every note, with 100% dedication and passion. I believe every measure he sings. I swear, if I touched him while he was acting I would scald my hand. He’s that red-hot! Let’s toss our berets in the air in celebration of this hard-working group!

The olders.

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This group includes those who sport graying hair, slipped discs, sore feet and hemorrhoids. They stubbornly refuse to believe the best days are in the past. The olders juggle grandkids, aging parents, day jobs and diminishing stamina. Consider one of our treasured olders; a lovely lady who lives in an outlying community. She makes the almost-hour commute every day. I worry about her lonely late-night drives home. During a break in last Sunday’s long rehearsal schedule, she took a nap in her car. Consider the construction worker who makes 300 mile+ work trips during the day. He attends rehearsal like he just woke up from a refreshing nap. I’m awestuck in the presence of these castmates. Let’s hoist the banner high for them!!

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You’re sure of my bias now, aren’t you? I admire-the-hell out of those who make their living in the humdrum and sometimes grayscale real-world, yet contribute colorful and uniquely textured yarn to our community tapestry. This is the cumulative art we call Les Misera-bluh.

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Your efforts enrich my One Day More immeasurably. Don’t ever give up on your art.

Amarillo Opera is proud to provide a mechanism and framework in which these noble artistic efforts can occur. Bravo!

Beyond-the-barricade love to all.

tickets for Les Mis-panhandletickets.com

a stick for what ails you

Don’t usually advocate products here on the blog. Unless it’s something spectacular like a Dump Cake, then I’m all over it. You guys are smart enough to know what you like.

However, there’s now a revolutionary new product on the market…..so sublime…..so manifique…..we should stampede our local walmarts to get one. No, it’s not the new iphone. How passé!

Is your window on the world a little dreary? Tired of gazing outside at naked trees and mountains of unmelting snow?

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Let’s be honest. Are your grandkids really not all that CUTE?

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Is your dog lounging on the sofa passing gas instead of performing picture-worthy stunts?

Our very own American Sniper. Good dog.

Tired of watching the endless videos of beheadings?

photo courtesy BuzzFeed
photo courtesy BuzzFeed

Spice up your life with a SELFIE-STICK. Finally….something worthy of a photo!!

When I viewed this video of President Obama goofing with a selfie-stick, I KNEW I had to own one!

http://thesource.com/2015/02/15/watch-president-obama-makes-faces-and-uses-a-selfie-stick-in-buzzfeed-video-to-promote-health-care/

I’ve been perfecting the ‘one eye tongue out’ look for days!

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photo New York post

No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to master this face. He’s probably spent hours….maybe days!….practicing. With commitment and hard work I WILL succeed. Practice makes perfect.

I still have trouble with Blue Steel.

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Don’t you dare ask me to show you my El Tigre. It’s nowhere near selfie-worthy yet. Maybe someday!!

Don’t want to be caught on the short end of the stick, so I’ll be capturing myself in the front row of cool sporting events.

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I’ll always share with you how fine I  look in my new new ride.

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Want to know how impossibly important I am? Yep, I can demonstrate that for you, too. Important-person-funeral selfie!!

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Fun times.

Maybe I’ll get really lucky and witness a car wreck or a burning building. How cool would it be to see me in front of that!??

You can purchase the selfie-stick at Walmart for $14.99.

Feel free to send me your favorite selfie in the comments section. I could look at selfies all day.

Snapshots of love to all.

 

surviving ordinary

Are you devouring your guacamole leftovers? Did you utilize the fire extinguisher to dampen the blaze the jalapeno poppers stoked in your stomach while you watched the big game? Thinking of a post-Super Bowl diet? I was…..then I ate two homemade chocolate chip cookies. Diet-schmiet. Don’t want to leave anything around to tempt the Texan. He’s skinny. I’m thoughtful like that.

Hmmmm…..first of February…Christmas is a blurry memory and we have another holiday excuse to eat chocolate coming up in Valentine’s Day. I’m anxious to get outside, but the groundhog says we have six more weeks of winter. Cold, dark, trying not to fall asleep at 9:30 pm winter. Ugh.

Want to know what is elevating my spirits during this ordinary time? Noooooo, not vodka, chicken-breath! I have an artsy and thoughtful neighbor who left a little tree lit with red sparkly lights since Christmas. Our neighborhood is pretty spectacular during Christmas season and lots of townsfolk make the drive to our enclave to view the festive lights. When things go suddenly dark after New Year’s, the view can be depressing.

Here’s the spunky tree from my bedroom window. (forgive bad cell phone pics, please)

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Do you spot the little red tree? Nothing very colorful in this view. bleh.

I think that I shall never see…….oh, never mind. When I’m in bed, I gaze out the window and see the festive tree shimmering in the darkness. I imagine it as a gleaming celebration of ordinary time. There’s nothing spectacular to celebrate, really. The crimson lights are all ablaze proclaiming we’re alive. The barren branches defiantly shake sapling tree-fists at darkest winter. It sparkles simply because our eyes enjoy it and we’re breathing. The bright red splits the blackness because we have a skinny Texan and a snuggly wiener dog next to us, and the littlest grand is out of the hospital, and our bed is oh-so-comfortable. Mundane things. Humdrum happenings.

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I think I’ll tell my neighbors ‘thank you’ for the cheery, red tree.

 

It reminds me of all the people who might enjoy seeing a fun red tree, but can’t because they are sick. Or they are serving in the military far away. Or they are too depressed to open the blinds. The uplifted branches call me to remember those who can’t enjoy the radiance right now. Can my gratitude for the tree honor them? I hope so.

The tree inspires me to decorate something in my yard in celebration of ordinary time and as a way of showing solidarity with my red-tree neighbor. Maybe I will. You will be the first to know, OK?

What helps you survive ordinary time? Do you have a red tree? I’d love to hear.

Enjoy-the-view love to all.

 

super friday

Gotta go to the grocery store today. Like you, I’m preparing for Sunday. I don’t care one whit about the football-cheaters or the deflated balls (I said balls!) or who is smack-talking whom. It’ll be the ‘pigs in a blanket’ showdown over here and I’ll snap to attention whenever a Budweiser Clydesdale or cute puppy appear on the boob tube. I brake for Dorito ads, too.

Thought I’d bring you up-to-speed on comings and goings.

Last week found us in Florida enjoying a vacation with lots of the fam.

Florida. Is it any wonder they have sinkhole issues?
Florida. Is it any wonder they have sinkhole issues?

There were activities for every age group.

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I enjoyed whacking the golf ball and taking a few golf lessons. That means I’ve totally changed my grip and swing and can now only contact the ball 1 out of every 10 attempts. ***sigh***

This guy’s little sis had to spend some time in the hospital recently, so he bunked with us for the night.

I love this interesting little guy.

We’re grateful and blessed the little girl is better.

It snowed. A lot.

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Ready for a lifestyle yarn?  We live outside the city in a rambling ranch house. We love it, but living in the serene country comes with tradeoffs. Recently, I’ve been battling mice. Think Don Quixote. Haven’t had any of the greasy buggers in a long while, but this winter they are determined to invade our space. I’ve fought them off with every kind of trap imaginable.

One evening, I flipped on a light in our kitchen and spied a nasty gray rodent peeking around the door threshold. Our eyes met. I froze. He froze. I did what I had to do………”TEX…..AN!!!!” The Texan leapt to my aid with the faithful wiener dog at his side. The wily mouse was still unmoving (was he sick, or what?). Should we grab the flyswatter, or a shoe and pummel the vermin to death? The Texan and I pondered for a split second before realizing the short answer to our dilemma. In unison we commanded, “Doxy! Skit it! Skit it, Doxy!!” With her green light, the fearless wiener immediately pounced on the offending mouse, chomped on it once and slammed it to the ground. She wiped her paws in victory and it was all over in literally 2 seconds.

Our very own American Sniper. Good dog.
Our very own American Sniper. Good dog.

Even though I have the protection of the killer doxy, I still set some sticky traps around the house. I wanted to wipe out any laggers.

Got really lucky when I checked my traps the other day. You’ll never believe it.

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Score!! I snared a goldendoodle. I hear they are high-dollar, designer dogs! Bet I can reap a pretty nickel from this catch.

I’m watching my sticky traps to see what I ensnare next. Maybe a fox…..or a bald eagle. Yeah, a bald eagle. That would be cool.

Enjoy your super weekend of hot wings.

Better mouse-trap love to all.

resolution fun

 

 

 

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Is resolving to more fully appreciate red wine a resolution?

I resolved to continue to get more familiar with the controls on the big camera this year (how many years have I said I was going to do this?! how dim am I when it comes to my dslr? don’t answer!) The mighty Nikon presents me with challenges and I’m certain I can overcome them.

Thought I’d try one of those annoying ‘photo a day’ challenges. The one I’m participating in (I’ve made it to day 7…yay!) is on Instagram. The hashtag is #fmsphotoaday. I’ve had fun, but I’m not sure I’m learning the Nikon because it’s so easy to snap an image on the cell phone. Thought I’d show you a few of the Instagram photo-a-day projects.

Photo challenge of the day….round

my interpretation of 'round'.
my interpretation of ’round’.

Square…exciting photography prompts, no?

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Currently reading

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heh.

In the process of trying to be all creative for my photo challenges, I discovered a photo editing app for my Android called Pho.to Lab PRO. For a measly $3.99, I’ve been able to create blockbuster images such as these:

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Me n my man Usher at the Grammys.
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I’m the groupie in the van. If you don’t recognize these hunks…you are old and out of it.
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Made the cover of Senior Maxim. This might have made me wet my pants a little. Luckily, Depends undergarments are big advertisers in Senior Maxim. Got plenty in my swag bag.

Not sure if I’m increasing my camera/photo editing knowledge….but it keeps me amused. It’s confirmed…I have the sense of humor of an 8 year-old boy. Can fart jokes be far behind?

I leave you with this.
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All together now…..awwwwwwwwwh. Cute overload! Love these munchkins. Here’s hoping they never discover my warped sense of humor.

You are special. You deserve your own cover. How about Mad?  Wait….I hear Alfred E. Newman already has that gig.

Maxim-y love to all.

 

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.