I’m too Fat for my Ukulele (and Other Stories from the Road)

No bull! 

At the Houston rodeo. I’d have won my event, except that my bull wasn’t real.
Apart from the skirt pulled up way too high–Erkel style under my boobs and the dainty sandals on my pretty feet I look like a real life bull rider. Right? Right? Why do I hear crickets?

I own a ukulele now, purchased from a shop in Amarillo. So far, I know two notes, but the ukulele is small and my body is bulky. Together we look odd, like the instrument is being absorbed into my flesh. Like Jabba the Hut swallowing a little invertebrate whole. Gulp.

I’m not going to let appearances prevent me from learning to play the ukulele. Nossirree. But I might need to purchase a muumu just to complete the whole vibe.


 Each day, the tattoo my nephew Russell bestowed upon me becomes prettier. I’ve tried to explain my feelings about it which go above and beyond anything I expected. 

Having never been a particularly attractive woman, it pleases me more than I can say to have such a beautiful piece of art adorning my body. It makes me feel happy. And just a little bit special. I only regret not having it done sooner. 


One friend asked what I’d listened to during my adventure. If I were to try and list my choices in some kind of order, it might look like this:

Howard Stern on Sirius 100


John Fugelsang on INSIGHT Sirius/XM 121

Diane Rehm on NPR

An audiobook by John Scalzi
A V.I. Warshawski novel by Sara Paretsky
I also listened and sang along to the Classic Vinyl station, as well as the 60’s and 70’s stations on Sirius/XM. The comedy stations helped me cover many miles as well.

And then there were great distances without any sound other than that of my tires on pavement. Driving through the cities of Nashville, Kansas City, Dallas, and Houston required a great deal of concentration, and radio silence was a balm for my soul and a boost for my driving skills.


Being home feels good. Today is a day for tackling mountains of laundry and snuggling cats, and for reading blog posts. I’ve been a terrible follower these past two weeks, clicking through blogs with nary a comment.

Thanks for all your positive vibes and support during my journey. Here’s a little Simon and Garfunkel to tie things up.

Peace, people!



As a native Texan I’d heard tales of the mythical Houston Rodeo–an epic 20 day extravaganza featuring competition between the top cowboys and cowgirls in their respective events. Now at the age of 59 I finally got to savor the experience first hand. And what an amazing experience it was!

My brother, Kelly, works with a man who has volunteered at the rodeo in various capacities for more than two decades. This man has two sets of season tickets that he offers to friends during the event. We were fortunate to get incredible seats close to the action so there wasn’t a calf roping or bull riding that we missed. 

The pageantry was “over the top Texas” with fireworks and wagon races, mutton busting and a host of other events.

Once the rodeo events were completed for the night country singer Jason Aldean took the stage and rocked the house from a rotating stage. There were no bad seats for the concert.

We drank copious amounts of beer, consumed peanuts, nachos, fried Snickers and fried pecan pie. 

And smiled.


My brother Kelly and sister-in-law, Susan
My goofy self and brother Kelly
My handsome son, Jason who came from Dallas for the rodeo, and me.
What a great evening! And I didn’t even relate my bull riding experience. That’s coming in another post.

Peace, people!