Texas on My Mind

I’m consumed with watching the news out of Texas this morning. For those who aren’t glued to the Weather Channel, parts of Texas that might see a dusting of snow once every ten years or so, are now experiencing freezing temperatures and icy conditions that would challenge even a seasoned North Dakotan.

We live in Florida now, but Studly and I were born and raised in Texas and most of our relatives still live there. Most of our folks live in the panhandle area which does get snow and ice during the winter and they’re better prepared to deal with the bitter cold. But in and around Austin, Dallas, Houston, and other locations, the infrastructure isn’t holding up.

Yes, we could blame the shortsightedness of certain GOP, libertarian, and Tea Party operatives who have this “every man for himself” mentality, for the mess, but that doesn’t do anything to help those who are freezing even within the confines of their own homes. While some people are ridiculing Texas and Texans, I’m just praying and hoping they get relief soon.

A playground near Houston, I believe.
Frosty the Cactus
Crazy!

Peace, people!

The Panhandle(s)

In my blog I occasionally reference the Texas panhandle as the land of my birth. I throw the word panhandle around assuming everyone knows exactly what I mean. But more than once I’ve had a commenter ask, “What’s the panhandle?” Allow me to illustrate.

Actually, someone already illustrated and labeled it for me. You see, the tan area? That’s the panhandle. At some point somebody thought it looked like the shape of a pan’s handle and named it accordingly. To me it seems too chunky.

Nowadays, I live in the Florida panhandle.

I drew a line around it for you. To me, Florida looks like a gun with the panhandle being the barrel and the peninsula the gun’s handle. I guess the term “Florida gunhandle” didn’t occur to those who had naming rights.

Other U.S. states have panhandles, but I’m tired and don’t want to bore you more than I have already.

Stay safe and warm no matter where you live.

Peace, people.

Something Old; Something Lost

One of my older posts popped up in my feed today and I thought it was worth reposting. “Old and Lost River” was inspired during one of my epic road trips. Damned Covid-19 has shut down my solo travels for the past ten months, so I’m reliving a few in my mind. I hope you’ll enjoy this.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2018/04/04/old-and-lost-river/

The Old and Lost River

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.