Save the Date!

The Testicle Festival is back on. I know how eager my readers are to sink their teeth into some fine bull testicles, often referred to as Rocky Mountain oysters, calf fries, or huevos del toros (literally “bulls’ eggs), among other euphemisms, and here’s the opportunity.

The festival is scheduled for August 1st in one of my favorite places in Texas, the great town of Fredericksburg. “Go for the testicles, stay for the beer,” is what I always say.

I kid, but the festival looks like a lot of fun. If it weren’t for Covid-19, I might attend. And if you’ve never visited Fredericksburg, I suggest adding it to your “to do” list.

https://thebestoftexas.org/texas-testical-festival/

My, Grandmother! What large testicles you have.

Much more palatable looking once they’ve been deep fried.

Peace, people.

Georgia on My Mind for all the Wrong Reasons

Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, is opening up businesses in his state beginning Friday, I believe. Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons—will be considered essential.

Now, you might ask, “Why should that worry you? Don’t you live in Florida?”

Well, yes I do.

In the map above, locate Tallahassee. We live just north of there, and south of Quincy. Georgia is just a few miles north of Quincy. Lots of folks who live in my part of the state work in Georgia, and a bunch of Georgia residents work in Florida. So, you see why I’m concerned, right?

Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis is a Trump sycophant, so it won’t be long before he follows suit, opening our beaches and theme parks before the Corona virus has reached its peak.

At least DeSantis hasn’t yet said we should be happy to die if it means saving the economy as Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick has declared on more than one occasion. Florida has way too many elderly people in residence for DeSantis to say such a thing out loud. But you just know he’s thinking it.

I don’t know about you, but this 63-year-old isn’t sacrificing herself to make Trump’s economy look good. Pardon my language, but fuck that noise.

Peace, people.

Worst Hair Day

Typically I’ve only worn hats while at the beach or when I’m suffering from a bad case of helmet head after riding my motorcycle. I look like a doofus in a hat. But finally my hair has completely gotten out of control, so today I donned a hat.

You have no idea how many pictures I had to take before I didn’t look like a crazy woman. Oh, and I couldn’t find my regular mask, so I had to take the souvenir Luckenbach, Texas bandana from its frame in my Texas bedroom for a face covering.

The ghost of Billy the Kid called. He thinks I’d make a fine outlaw.

Peace, people.

March 2nd: I’d Rather be a Fence Post in Texas

March 2nd is a day dear to the heart of every native born Texan, or at least to those of us who paid attention in fourth grade history class. On this day in 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico and became the Republic of Texas, which it remained until 1845 when Texas became the 28th state in the union.

The Alamo
San Antonio

I was born in Lubbock, Texas, well after the Republic became a state; although, some days I feel like I might be old enough to have witnessed Sam Houston being sworn in as the first President of Texas.

Sam Houston
Coincidentally, Sam celebrated his birthday on March 2, making the day a double celebration.

Sam really wanted the state’s capital to remain in his namesake city of Houston where it had been established during the Republic’s existence. After much wrangling, though, the Capital was moved to the more central location of Waterloo. Thankfully that name didn’t stick, and the name was changed to Austin, in honor of Stephen F. Austin, Texas’ first Secretary of State, fondly thought of as The Father of Texas.

Continue reading “March 2nd: I’d Rather be a Fence Post in Texas”

Love in an Elevator

I assure you this story has a point.

I once nearly lost a hand in an elevator door. True story. A group of coworkers and I were staying in an elegant older hotel in San Antonio. We’d just checked in and were waiting for a group to exit the elevator so we could enter. As the last person left the lift, the doors began to close, I waited a beat before sticking my right hand out to keep them open, then Bang! The doors snapped shut, just missing my outstretched fingers.

For the rest of my stay I took the stairs. I never try to catch and hold the elevator doors anywhere, having learned my lesson. Half an inch and two seconds were all that prevented my nickname from being Lefty instead of Nana.

These were not the offending doors, I just liked them.

Once on a solo motorcycle trip from my home in Mahomet, Illinois, to my son’s home in Dallas, Texas, I stopped for the night in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I’d been on the road all day under the hot summer sun and was ready for a shower.

I checked into the hotel and unloaded the gear from my saddlebags. I’d packed light and was able to carry everything into the hotel in one trip. I entered the empty elevator and fully relaxed for the first time that day. This was my first major solo ride, and I’d been on high alert for many miles.

As soon as I relaxed, a poof of gas was forcefully passed from my backside. Yes, I cut the cheese. It was totally unintentional, but that didn’t keep it from smelling to high heaven.

“Thank goodness,” I thought. “I’m going up and the elevator is empty.”

Except that a well put together woman stopped the elevator on the second floor and rode up with me to the third. I was torn between apologizing for the smell and trying to mime blaming it on the previous occupants. Instead I just suffered in silence until the doors opened and I could escape. I think I heard her gasp for air as she went in the opposite direction. Probably scarred her for life.

The elephant did it!

Now, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry wrote the song “Love in an Elevator.” I’m thinking of writing one called “Lefty Farts in an Elevator.“ It should be a hit, don’t you think?

Peace and love, people!

A Texas Sized Love

Today in my February celebration of love I am featuring our Texas grandkids.

That’s D, above. D is our eldest grandchild. She’s 17 and a junior in high school. D is a talented tennis player on her high school’s team. She’s also developed an interest in baking, and has a weakness for macarons. Oh, she has a pet hedgehog and several cats. I’m not certain where this picture was taken, but it looks groovy.

J, her brother, is 13, and the next to the youngest of our five grandchildren. He plays trumpet in the school band and is a serious skateboarder. The kid taught himself to swim when he was just a little tyke, and he is fearless both in the water and out. He’s got a fine collection of knives, some of which he’s found while exploring at estate sales. He’s a motorcyclist, too. I think this photo was taken at a concert.

The two of them are smarter than I am. They get jokes that go over my head, and they actually get along with one another. I’m more than a little proud of them. I just wish I could see them more often.

Peace and love, people.

Looking for Love

I was an ugly duckling in my school days. I’d love to tell you I blossomed into a beautiful swan, but that would be a lie. I guess I ended up as a plain ol’ hen. Just one more duck in the flock.

But for an ugly duckling in a small town dates were few and far between. There were boys I liked a lot, but no one I felt was “the one.” The big L was evasive, and I had no indication that college would be any better. I was plain and more than a little weird. Not a great combination.

Then my family moved to Dumas, Texas, from Floydada, Texas, just as I began my senior year of high school. The high school was bigger. There was a larger dating pool. I went out with a few young men, but they just didn’t cut it. I might’ve been plain, but I still had standards.

Then, Studly Doright and I met. I’d encountered him on the condiments aisle at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store that my daddy managed and where Studly worked. Later, miracle of miracles, I encountered him outside the physical education locker rooms after second hour. We had P.E. class at the same time; although, boys and girls were segregated into different gyms in those days.

After many days of innocent flirtation, he asked me to attend the homecoming football game, and I accepted. During the first sweet goodnight kiss at the end of our very first date I was caught off guard. I’d tell you that I saw fireworks and that bells rang, but I did not. Instead, I just had this feeling of peace come over me, like I’d found a piece of heaven right then and there.

After the kiss I went inside the house. I closed the front door and leaned against it. Mom was sitting there waiting up for me with a questioning look on her face.

“Mom,” I said. “I think I might be in love.”

She didn’t laugh at me, or tell me I was being silly, or that it was just a first date and too early to know. She just hugged me.

I guess I’d been looking for love, but hadn’t really expected to find it. I sure recognized it when it arrived, though.

Peace and love, people.

The Worst Hard Time

Yesterday I shared a poem I wrote called, The Dust https://nananoyz5forme.com/2020/01/14/the-dust/. It was inspired by memories of my childhood in Floydada, Texas, when the wild winds blew stinging dust into every little nook and cranny of my world. I hated the dust and the dry Texas winds. They drove me slightly mad. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

And as a young wife, I grew to hate the wind and dust even more when on two separate occasions the back door of our rental house in Dumas, Texas, blew open while Studly and I were at work. We came home to find inches of dust on our floors, our furnishings, and inside of our cabinets. I cleaned for days and still found dust where dust shouldn’t be. I cursed the dust.

When Studly and I moved away from the Texas panhandle I missed the family and friends we left behind, but never the wind and the dust. I could live there again if I had to, but I pray I’ll never have to.

While living in Illinois I joined an informal book club. We drank a lot of wine and sometimes even discussed the book we’d been assigned to read that month. One that made the biggest impact on me was The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan.

The book chronicles the Dust Bowl era of the 1930’s through interviews with those who lived through that time. I knew every town mentioned in the book. And as awful as my memories of windy, dusty days were, they were nothing compared to the nightmare of the Dust Bowl years.

One lady in the book club complained that the book went on about the dust way too long. I countered with, “I think that was the point.”

If the author had glossed over even a bit of the despair caused by the weather conditions he’d have missed his mark. She also asked if anyone still lived there.

“Well, yes,” I said. “I have family and friends there along with hundreds of thousands of other hardy folks.”

“Unbelievable,” she said.

There is a lot of beauty in that part of the country–days so perfect, sunsets so gorgeous, you could almost cry. But I always remember the dust.

Peace, people.

The Dust

I know a thing or two about dust

A Texas panhandle childhood taught me its sting on the playground

Grit-filled eyes and sandblasted legs

Days of dust

And tumbling weeds

When gray choked skies obscured and

Scouring winds grew teeth

I thought that was how the whole world worked

Nature’s castigation

For our sins.

(I do not miss those days.)

Signs of the Apocalypse?

Studly kept me busy Friday afternoon taking apart a 1976 Honda GL 1000. I’m not sure I was much help, but I had a lot of fun.

After we removed the Corbin seat, the pipes and a few other choice bits, we loaded the frame, along with a variety of other pieces and parts onto Studly Doright’s motorcycle trailer and drove over to a salvage yard in Tallahasse.

Now, Studly has a fondness for places that deal in salvage. His grandad, Benjamin Bernard Noyes (aka Papaw), owned a salvage yard in Hereford, Texas, and Studly spent hour upon hour there from the time he was a small child on into his teens. Papaw put him to work getting the copper, brass, and aluminum out of the pumps and motors that came into the yard. For his efforts Studly was paid enough to keep him in spending money. That yard was his world.

When we drove through the gates of Leon Iron & Metal and saw the towering piles of scrap iron, I could feel his excitement. I have to admit, it got me pumped up, too. I cannot explain the beauty of the place, so I took photos.

The little scooter in the bottom right was something we added to the pile.

Mr. Claw was ready!

The little splash of yellow and the tire are what’s left of our old GL 1000.

The two photos above made me think APOCALYPSE!

We had to remove any batteries from the scrap, so they could be weighed and disposed of safely:

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign…

https://youtu.be/oeT5otk2R1g

As we left the salvage yard, savoring the hefty pile of cash we’d earned from our afternoon of hard labor (okay, it was $30), I had just one question for Studly:

“What else can we take apart?”

He just laughed, but I swear I noticed a little gleam in his eye.

Peace, and junk, people!