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!


Big Day

What a wonderful day for something new! I spent last night with my son Jason and my daughter-in-law, Liz, at their home in Dallas. The three of us ate dinner at a great little restaurant, Goodfriend Burger and Brewhouse,

where I enjoyed a Barbecue Grilled Cheese. Oh my! Think of perfectly cooked brisket between cheesy goodness on grilled bread. It was the sandwich to top all sandwiches.

My son and I then went to a late showing of Deadpool where I laughed way more than perhaps a woman my age should have. For those of you who haven’t heard of the film, Deadpool is a fun,  irreverent look at the world of super heroes. 

This morning I waited for morning rush traffic to taper off before heading to Houston where I spent a couple of interesting hours getting a beautiful tattoo:

I don’t know about you, but I think my nephew, Russell Bagwell, did an absolutely beautiful job bringing my glimmer of an idea to life. His shop, Royal Avenue Tattoo and Piercing is the place to add a little (or a lot of) ink. The whole procedure was relatively pain free, and I love the results.

After my tattoo I headed to my brother’s home in Houston and had a relaxing evening with him and his wife. We ate at the amazing restaurant, Coltivare. 

I should probably forgo food for the next two weeks. But I won’t. 

Tomorrow evening is going to be spent at a rodeo and concert. Someone should pinch me. This is all too cool. Right now, though, I’m heading to bed. All this excitement has worn me out.

Peace, people!

Tattoo Dreaming

My 59-year-old, lily white skin is unblemished. Kind of. If one ignores the C-section incision, the old scraped knee scars, and a multitude of freckles, then my epidermis is almost pristine.

Recently, though, I’ve been considering the addition of a tattoo. It’s no longer taboo for a woman my age to consider getting inked (note the hip jargon) and a tat would be an interesting way to mark the end of my fifth decade on this earth.

Plus, I have a nephew who is an exceedingly talented tattoo artist. Russ Bagwell, and his wife Ashley, have a top notch studio, Royal Avenue Tattoo in Spring, Texas.


An example of Russ’s work on model Veronica Lowe.

Now lest you think I’ll be going all out like the young woman pictured above let me reassure you that I’m getting a very simple tattoo. I’ve asked Russ to design something special, but for now it’s a secret.

That being said, I had a realistic dream several nights ago in which I finally got to view my new ink. It was already on my body, just above my right hip. Apparently in the dream I hadn’t previewed the design, so I was somewhat shocked to find this:

I guess I am the softer side of Sears.

Russ Bagwell, I will be previewing my design. 

Stay tuned. I might just come back with a bit of art.

Peace, people.