Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I've got this dull headache that just won't go away. I guess it stems from my sadness over the sudden death of my dad's best friend and roommate, Olan Brewer. Thankfully, Dad talked with Olan on Friday evening, just hours before he ended up in the hospital. They had a really good conversation, which ended with Dad tentatively making plans to see him in Austin over the weekend. Unfortunately, that visit never happened, since Olan passed away on Saturday afternoon.

Dad's been pretty quiet about his feelings since we found out. We took him to Beall's last night to get something to wear for the funeral. He made a comment about not wanting to get too much, since " I might be playing dominos with Olan next week." I know that is just his way of dealing with his friend's death.

For 57 years they met at the State Fair for the Texas -OU game. They didn't talk much during the year, except in the last few years. I think that had something to do with them both having cell phones. They would talk for hours and reminesce about Austin in the 1950s. Olan told me once that he knew powerful politicians, influential sports figures, and wealthy men, but that my dad was his best friend in the whole world.

He called my dad Outhouse Mouse, (I never knew why and he didn't say). He told stories about my dad when they were college roommates (allnight poker games, double dates in convertibles). He loved Texas sports just as much as my Dad does. Dad told me once that Olan had been charged with babysitting his young kids one evening when the horns were playing basketball. He decided to bundle them up and take them to the game- unfortunately he was found out by his wife, when the TV camera zoomed in on them cheering at the game- in Pajamas!

When we saw him at the Fair several weeks ago, Scott commented that he didn't look good. He seemed weaker to me, but I was so happy to see him that I guess I didn't recognize how sick he must have been. He wanted to hold Rees, and he kissed her and said to me "This right here is what it is all about. This is the secret to life."

God Bless You, Olan Brewer. I know you'll be pulling for the Horns in Heaven.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Have to Shout Above the Din of My Rice Krispies

Today I continued my quest for an elusive box of Count Chocula and Booberry cereals for the Red Menace and Dread Scott. Believe it or not, while Halloween decor is everywhere, these Halloween-esque cereals are absent from the supermarket shelves. After trying both the big and baby Krogers and Fresh Harvest with no success (and a little nervous-ness at Fresh Harvest when I observed grain moths on the cereal aisle), I headed out to the Big W.

Ahh the W, where the parking lot is teeming with humanity even at 3 p.m. It takes a lot for me to go there especially by myself. I grabbed my Eco-Friendly shopping bag and headed in, forgoing a shopping cart since I was only getting 2 boxes of cereal if I was lucky.

Silly girl, big box stores know how to pull me in...their end-caps filled with impulse buys (of course the BROWNIE mix belongs near the ice cream..) Maybe it was the hyper fluorescent lighting or the over-conditioned air. I spent an hour in the place and almost made it out without the 2 things I went there for. What, you may be asking yourself, captured my attention?

First it was the tidy stack of my new favorite hot cereal: Quaker Oats Simple Harvest Multigrain cereal. Let me tell you , this stuff is good. With real pecans and non-gluey grains, it is the perfect fall breakfast. The only problem is that this stuff costs $4.88 for 8 servings at most stores. Ahh.. but the W had to do it.. I found boxes for $1.50 each. Wow!

At this point I should mention that i was trying to navigate the clogged aisles with my eco-friendly bag but no cart (by now I was juggling lightbulbs, organic milk, six boxes of oatmeal and a pack of sponges). I gave up and went to the front to get a cart and then I saw it - the small sign advertising fresh sushi! I figured the sushi would be in pre-packed clear boxes and guessed correctly that it would be found near the fish counter. What I didn't expect was 3 impeccably dressed Asian men, jovially rolling sushi at a new counter near the lobster tank. They were so friendly and happy that I had to pick up a Dragon Roll. Yum! Darn You Wal-mart.. with all your organic food products now you have to go and add delicious FRESHLY MADE sushi to your offerings.

A call from Scott telling me the Snapper was ready for her afternoon tea broke the hold that the W had over me, and I remembered to go look for the Count Chocula and Boo Berry Cereal. Thankfully I found both and was able to get out of there before the impulse buys emptied my wallet. Apparently General Mills only releases the " Monster Cereal" line for Halloween. Who knew?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

These folks ain't right..

Something must be terribly wrong with us. We have WAY too many pairs of shoes for two people. The honey and I spent a couple of hours tonight going through our closets and culling out shoes. It was easier for me than I thought it would be. If they didn't fit, were damaged beyond repair or desire to repair, or just didn't do it for me anymore, out they went.

It felt so good to get my closet into shape, that I moved on to another closet and discarded old t-shirts, worn out sweaters, and stuff that was just plain raggedy.

Some shoes were either never worn or barely worn, and I've got a few pairs up for grabs, so if you are interested and wear a size 8 let me know. Otherwise they'll be out the door to the women's shelter on Friday. I will hand deliver any shoes you may be interested in (within the Naconowhere city limits). For your viewing pleasure:

Worn once.. Slightly worn Never Worn

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Hoochie Mama Shoes

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bed's too big without you

When I got to work this morning, still thinking about how much fun I had a CRAFT NIGHT last night, the first thing in my e-mail inbox was a message with the subject "Find Someone to Sleep With Tonight"

I get a lot of these Spam messages. I'm sure you do too. Usually I just delete them and go about my happy way. Which is what I did with this one. Except the subject line continues to intrigue me.

It's true - Sleeping alone isn't much fun. I've only ever slept alone for a brief time in college and post college when I returned to live in my parents house. Growing up I shared a bedroom with my little sister, before that I shared a bed with my parents. Now my bed seems to feature more characters than a one act play. Pre-Snapper it held me, Scott, Pogo, and three cats. (well, actually just two unless it was a chilly night). Now that the Snapper is here, the bed is off limits to the cats, and Pogo seems to have jumped ship, preferring his bed on the floor. The Snapper finds her way into the bed, usually around 4 am (her new wakeup time). And last night because is was slightly cool, Pogo joined in too.

All of these bed partners make for an unseemly mattress cover. Scott has suggested documenting what stains are what.. baby, Pogo, Cat. I'm not sold on the idea.

I do know one thing- the spammer who sent the "Find Someone to Sleep With" Email is barking up the wrong tree.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Fried Guacamole and Root Beer to Drown my Sorrows

The bad news: Texas lost.
The good news: I watched the game with the Snapper, Red Menace, and my Mom in the cool comfort of the Women's Museum. They have this awesome fundraiser every year where they sell memberships in exchange for yummy snack, beer and cookies, plus a great place to watch the Texas-OU football game. The museum itself is worthy of a post dedicated only to it. What an incredible place.

The bad news: Olan looked frail and his declining health really upset my dad
The good news: He made it to the fair to celebrate his 61st Texas - OU game with my dad. His daughter (ex-wife of a Dellionare ) hooked him up with a room at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, plus a limo ride right to the fairgrounds. I was really glad for him, because it would have been hard otherwise. He seems reluctant to admit that he could benefit from an electric wheelchair and insisted upon sitting in his seat in the stands at the Cotton Bowl instead of sitting with my dad in the wheelchair area.

The bad news: I spent way too much money..Way Way too much. With admission costing $44 for 2 people for two days, $20 on parking, $100 on a football ticket and who-knows how much spent on fair food and midway rides, the State Fair was not a cheap endeavor.
The good news: I tried fried guacamole (Yum), Fried banana pudding (yum) and had root beer, fresh squeezed lemonade and a couple of Fletcher's Corny Dogs. I also replenished my supply of Quick N Brite. The wonderful non-toxic miracle cleaner, not sold in stores. If anyone wants to try some of it, I'm happy to give you a sample. It cleans anything and everything, and is great for tough laundry stains.

The bad news: The Snapper had a minor melt down as we left the fair late Sunday evening. The day had been too hot and stimulating for her (and me too)
The good news: There were lovely tents available with rocking chairs, changing tables and fans especially for nursing moms, so that made things easier. Plus, she stole the show everywhere she went.

A Fantastic time was had by all!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Brother can you spare a dime (or 140 dimes)?

While I'm thinking about food - I was reminded today that it is cookie dough fundraiser time at the Red Menace's school. I have to admit I haven't done a good job pushing the dough this year. Its not because it isn't good. It is actually delicious. In addition to the standard Choco chip, they are selling white chocolate macadamia, Oatmeal Raisin, Pans of turtle brownies, cranberry oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chocolate chunk, and my favorite - soft ready to bake pretzels.

The dough comes in 3 pound tubs of pre-shaped nuggets. All you do is bake the desired number that you want. I think each tub makes 3 dozen. Now I know that $14 bucks for 3 dozen cookies seems like a lot, but the proceeds go to updating the playground equipment at the school. A very worthy cause indeed. Unfortunately, they don't offer vegan dough - too bad!

The best news is that the dough will arrive Nov 5, just in time for the holiday swirl of drop in guests and holiday crafting parties.

If you're interested, let me know. I'll personally deliver the dough directly to your door. Now that's service!

Get me to the Fair on time..

It's that time of year again.. The Great State Fair of Texas is officially open and yours truly is headed to the Big D this weekend. For our family, the annual pilgrimage to the State Fair and the Texas-OU game is more sacrosanct than Christmas or Easter. Perhaps it is because my dad hasn't missed one since 1950 (seriously.. this is his 57th TX-OU weekend).

Dad has been meeting a group of his college roomates at the same place on the fairgrounds for as long as I can remember. They only see each other once a year, but they have an incredibly strong bond. Over the years, the group has dwindled. In the last few years, it has just been my dad and his best friend from college - Olan. Dad has been in a wheelchair for 11 years now, but his buddy has resisted. This year is different. His friend is not well at all, and I think it is taking a toll on dad too. For over a week, they've been plotting and figuring how Olan will get to the fair.
"Can he rent a wheelchair there?" "Where could he park?" all of these questions have been up in the air this week. I think we finally got it all figured out. The weekend is as important to Olan as it is to dad. He's been going to the game for 61 years, and I think he's worried that this might be his last. I think dad is worried too.

So think of us this weekend, dear readers, as the old and the young hit the fairgrounds. This will be the Snapper's first taste of the fair. She's too young for fair food, but I'm not. I've already set my sights on the fried banana pudding and fried mac n' cheese.