Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Now, I know this is gonna be a tricky subject...Allah forbid we O-ffend anybody...but sombody's got to say something about this deal. Well, I'm willin' to walk the plank and see what comes up.

New York City has never been my favorite place. I have not-so-fond memories of a brief trip there sponsored by my highly regarded prep school for students wishing to study Theater. Bein' from Texas and all, it was an extremely uncomfortable experience. The skyscrapers blocked the sky and created intense claustrophobia in me, bein' used to wide, open spaces; I was nearly run down by a yella cab, a near miss on the street by a Frito-Lay truck, and if that weren't enough, my fellow classmates and I were informed most shockingly by a group of pill-hat wearin' ladies at the matinee that us girls were lodged at a house of ill-repute...The Taft. I kinda figured something was weird about that Hotel. Our group was to gather in the lobby each evening and wait for our faculty chaparones to embark on our evening at the theater. We streamed into the lobby waiting area and waited. I noticed there were several men of Syrian descent pacing nervously and jingling the change in their pockets. Back and forth, back and forth and finally I commented to one of my friends, "Man, these guys up here in New York sure are kinda jumpy". I learned later that that whole change jingling thing was a pick-up signal for workin' gals.

I feel no special need to return to NYC...Home on the Range works fine for me...but that's just me. 
I remember being awakened by a colleague on 9-11 at seven or so in the morning. My frantic friend screamed "Turn on the TV!!!, the Twin Towers !!! Planes!!! Oh my God!!!". Sure-'nuff, a tragedy of untold magnitude unfolded before my bloodshot eyes as I was gripped by what I was seeing. People diving out of skyscraper windows. Shocked, stunned masses covered in ash trying to walk home. Body count rising. Firefighters lost and dead. And in the devasting aftermath, family members posting pictures and descriptions of missing loved ones on a wall. My perspective on life in general changed and I felt as if I had to grow up all over again and fast; try to take away a deeper appreciation of what really matters and really, what doesn't. I remember one of my sisters calling me that same morning wanting to revisit some sarcastic remark I had made to her that still had her irked. I interrupted her rant and quietly said I would get back to her on that, just as soon as they recovered the 2,000 plus dead from the rubble. Her reply? "Oh, yeah, right, you're right".

Now, I really don't care what you pray to or for; I've made my individual choice on that matter and, frankly, its my business. But, I gotta say, the whole Mosque endeavor in the BIg Apple bothers me on several levels. First off, its too close to Ground Zero and while I understand the proposed site is private property and the whole freedom of religion thing, it just still doesn't sit right.

A TV commentator said something that I think I kinda agree with. If Muslims are all about peace and gentleness and all that soft, passive Kleenex stuff, why are they belying that faith by infuriating other people? Should we consider parachuting the Pope off a plane into the wilds of Afghanistan? This is such a hot potatoe, frought with deep-felt controversy, not to mention the down-right resentment of the family members still mourning their lost ones. It smacks! It stinks! There's something wrong here.

Some radical voices are going so far as to say under their breath Yeah! go ahead, build that thing, pack it full and once you're all in there, we'll blow it up!! A Holo-Mosque. Now that's just not right by any standard. The last thing Ground Zero needs is more bloodshed, more activism, more hate, more tears.

We need some cooler heads to prevail here because so far it would appear that we, and I mean humanity, are sliding down a razor blade into a pool of rubbin' alcohol. Simple self-destruction. Collective, mass self-destruction. Who have we become, or rather, what have we become???

Is this country going to practce religious tolerance? Are the Muslims going to practice peace and passivity?  I don't know. What I do know, is last time I checked, ya cut anyone of us open and we all bleed red, the same. I just can't find a comfortable, acceptable position on this. What do you think?
Where's John Wayne when we need him most.


I'll be around.
The Ex


Saturday, August 21, 2010


At the risk of dating myself, I am reminded of and old hit by the Fantasics. With appologies to the group, it went something like this:

Try to remember
The end of September
When we were young
And love was tender

Try to remember
And if you remember 
I was just a callow fellow 
and life was mellow...."

Something like that anyway...but with a little poetic license I suggest we try to remember upcoming November! Life is certainly not mellow nor tender and there's no shortage of callow fellows in D.C.. But a great decision we must render. The Guvmint has been running amock like a bunch of crack-house rats caught in a maze of their own making, scrambling to steal that last piece of by now smelly cheese that was once the American Dream, Land of Opportunity, you know, Liberty and Justice for All and all that Tumbleweed stuff.

House and Senate could be on the rails and the fever of the Tea Party is still rising and looming large, rattling the cages of the likes of Pelosi, Reid, Boxer, Dodd, Bayh (or is it Bayh-Bayh?) and that woman from Arkansas whose name, among others, escapes me.But really, they have so much left to do with these baseball pitchers and and players and this whole steroid issue. If they have have time, maybe they can grill Tiger Woods over the coals as well. Your tax dollars at work folks! Used to be it was "throw back the little ones and pan-fry the big ones". Hmm.

And hopefully, eventually, the head chef at the White House will be polishing up his recipe for humble pie; although I can only visualize somebody trying to push a bite of the pie into the apprpriate mouths as they sit there, lips stubbornly persed and heads darting side to side to avoid the fork.

Or, rather, we could follow our illustrious Fair First Lady and just go to Spain! (Okay, so she's notexactly, technically "fair...but since when has that had anything to do with anything...kinda like actual citizenship).
After all, "the rain in Spain stays mainly on the PLANE!" Presidential plane that is! Surely the taxpayers won't mind another international jaunt on their dime, so long as we appologize on behalf of America for the error of its ways. We got some 'Spainin to do Lucy! Hey! gotta a robe and a ring and some unpronounceable name/title? Well, shoot bang, let me just get down here and bow and fondly stroll with you, hand in hand, through the devilment of the world.

One place we do need to go is to the polls in November and try to get this thing out of the ditch. Forget the Dems and Repubs, the donkey and elephant...what we need is an Ox! Hey! that would be a great mascot for the Constitutionalists and the Tea Party! A big strong Ox tp pull us out of the mire. We can at least try with our vote before that right is vaporized as well.

My beloved grandfather crawled out of a prison camp in Bataan during WWII, emaciated and terribley inferm with malaria. He survived and ws commisioned inthe field as Lt. Col. He used to sit in his favorite chair with a stoic calmness about him. As kids, we used to get up on his lap and try to get him to smile. He tried hard not to but his eyes always gave him away with a twinkle. Once we got him to smile, we devilishly double-crossed him and began a long if not potentially endless lament of all our troubles; how wrong life had been to us and slighted we felt. "So unfair!!" we wailed through crocodile tears, snickering under our breath all the while. He was on to us and in our mock disbeleif that he didn't care whatsoever, his reply was always the same. "You can't fall out of a basement window."

Dare I say this country and our Constitution are most definitely in the basement. The only way out is the voting ballot. Make this a November to Remember. Buckle up, its gonna be a bumpy ride!


I'll be around.
The Ex.


Sunday, June 6, 2010




By now, I'm sure the news has cozied up to your ears and you are aware that I am no longer the Mayor of Chappell Hill. (Never fear, there's a twelve step program out there somewhere to help with the withdrawl).
However, I am most pleased and delighted by my succesor:

She sports a vast resume, including President of the Chappell Hill Chamber of Commerce, high-up in the Historical Society, a prof at TAMU teaching teachers how to teach Aggies (a daunting task, to be sure, but that's just the Longhorn in me...). She's dear person with a impish smile and a tireless spirit.

Just before the bidding began and the folding chairs had finally stopped squealing across the floor to find their spot for the evening, a felt a little tap on my shoulder. I turned to see Mary Tom, twinkle in her eye and a friendly smile and she said to me,"I'm bidding against you, just so you know". Kinda like being warned by Glenda, The Good Witch of the South, smooth as silk, but very serious. I'm thinkin' "Bring it on!".

I made my way to the podium and thanked the Fire Fighters,collectively and individually, and had these fine men stand in front of the podium facing the crowd. I gave my speech and at the shank said it was only proper the CHVFD have a mascot Dalmation Dawg to ride along. Chief began to sweat. Folks were lookin' around in great anticipation. So I asked, "In whose trustworthy hands may I place this precious mascot Dawg?". For fear of dragging the mystery out too long, I revealed the Dalmation Dawg; a mini-BeanieBaby Dalmation Dawg that will ride the dashboard in the new engine to keep our guys safe. Chief was relieved it wasn't a real Dalmation, but I had 'em goin' for a while.

Auctioneer lit up like a Christmas tree! It became readily apparent that my friend MTM was committed to this effort and her eyes literally had flames in them! Ready to leap out of my folding chair with my bidding paddle,MY DEAR HUSBAND tugged my skirt and pulled me off the track, dousing, extinguishing my competitive spirit. I stitched my lips together and sat on my hands. Just to be sure, MY DEAR HUSBAND would not turn a-lose of  my skirt; that may have been an overture of a different kind, but I digress. The crowd got fired up and we all got behind MTM and cheered her on!

Once again, the gavel fell and a new Mayor was born.  On the way home, I dabbed a tear and was all calf-eyed for a while, but yet I am pleased for MTM. She really wanted it and everybody deserves their moment in the sun! (Remind her of that at the 4th of July parade!) Expect great things from your new Mayor. I, of course, am awaiting my appointment, purely an advisory position of course, to help with protocol etc... such as how to most gracefully board the big fire truck in the blazing July heat for the parade and so on.

The cook-off was a big success, biggest turn out for contestants ever! I was a judge on the BBQ ribs challenge.21 samples! Now, I'm not one to turn down a good rack of ribs too often, but if I don't see one again any time soon, its okay. My colon was swollen.

Moving on to Memorial Day weekend: Big shout-out to Kathy and Clay Parker for their incredible open house celebration! Outstanding food, breath-taking home and collections. Truly a special place. The Parkers are perfect hosts and not surprisiingly, their beautiful home was filled with happy, friendly, familiar faces. Another reminder of just how lucky we are to live in our MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGE.

Yes, it's true; I was sad to see the Mayor's hat go; but as they say,"to everything, there is a season". 

Like a grief-stricken widow, I sorted through my keepsakes and came upon my original hat. The Crab Hat. Born under the sign of Cancer the Crab and the simple fact that My Dear Husband can attest to my most rare and infrequent tendancy to being quite crabby, I surmised that now, with that lickity-split, oopsy-daisy oil spill in the gulf, I figure this hat will only increase in value due to the inevitable sky-rocketing price of sea food. The crab hat is not for sale, nor are the opinions expressed by the head that donns it. It is inarguable. Look forward to the "long arm of the claw". Don't let the crab-grass grow under your feet!

The OL' Gray "Mayor" She Ain't What She Used To Be, but she is in sole possesion of the coveted Crab Hat.

(Bidding opens at $2,500)


I'll be around.


Saturday, April 17, 2010



It is with deep sadness I must inform you that I, my very mayoral self, have been victimized by a computer hacker. It started with a false email sent to me from "windows live members services team" advising me that my email account would be permantly cancelled if I did not verify and confirm pertinent information. This hacker has hijacked my email and is puported to advance his sinister ambition towards my bank account and credit card. Being the ever gulible,trusting soul that I am, I responded. Needless to say, I am among the jaded, walking wounded. 

However, I persevere.  Despite the impending demise of my stint as Mayor of Chappell Hill, and I do hope you all donate generously to the CHVFD for the cause, I will continue to provide you with humorous, if not sometimes meaningless entertainment.

From here forth, you may reach me at this email address: And the blog is still virginal and remains the same: However, once I am de-throned, That address may have to be changed. 

Unless, of course, there emerges a ground-swelling, grass-roots, tea party movement to invite me to a second term. (HINT-HINT)!

The Bluebonnet Festival was, by all accounts, a huge success! And the vendors, patrons and wildflowers did not disappoint! Hot dogs, Kettle Corn, Lemonade...I was puffed up like a sea frog!

Also, I must add, the Kingfisher Ranch provided an additional festival of perfect proportion. My DEAR HUSBAND and I participated in the armadillo race (of course I won, despite DEAR HUSBAND'S attempt to sabbotage and cripple my armadillo).  
I passed on Larry the Camel Guy ride, DEAR HUSBAND took a wild spin at break-neck speed on the souped-up, tricked-out ATV with His Most Gracious Former Royal Air Force Pilot, Sir Roger Imm and the curtain call was the indelible sight of Sir Imm spiraling his airboat across the    place. It made me so nervous, I feared I might hurl my BBQ sandwich. But the MOST PLEASUARBLE Mrs. Paula Imm, said, "Ah! That's nothin'...He was one of the first pilots on the scene after the twin towers fell and landed on practically nothing but rubble!"

If you don't already know these folks, do so. Amazing, interesting people. Part of the reason our MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGE is so fascinating! And a great place to live and breathe freely.



Friday, April 9, 2010


Fellow villagers:

The time is nye. Festivals, picnics, tourists brandishing cameras and BLUEBONNETS!!!! Reach deeply into your compassionate hearts for the sadly overlooked and mostly disregarded Indian Paint Brushes; always the bridesmaid, never the bride but most beautiful,and this year we have extra.

 Also in the air, is a bumper crop of, streets are covered with it and I have yet to have a conversation with anyone that's not interrupted by a few sneezes, a scratchy throat and watering eyes. I, myself, suffered severely swollen, watery, itchy eyes after an afternoon tending my garden, horses, goats, donkeys, cats and dogs. I looked like I'd been in a prize fight and didn't win the purse nor the belt. Fashionably disastrous!

 The good news is that folks are out and about in this lovely weather and enjoying our MOST  WONDERFUL VILLAGE.  Our Beloved CHAPPELL HILL CAFE will be buzzing, tending most cheerfully to the vast array of visitors, from bikers to beat-nicks, cowboys to cheerleaders and the unknown masses sporting jeweled flip-flops and wheeled suitcases to ferry their chosen arty-facts from the festival to the mini-van. And then back again.

Our dear friend Mike will have to do double time to crank out enough "Teckla Original" sausage. But don't feel sorry for him, he loves it and his most beautiful wife, Emily, will be there ever at his side with a sharp eye and focus on customer satisfaction

 Also in the air, love. Our stallion, Moose, is loose and back with his 'wimmin',  Amadeus "Goat-zart" is back out courting his herd of girly-goats. The mares are foaling precious babies, six or seven so far. My DEAR HUSBAND even has a small glint in his eye!

 The only draw-back is my cat, Sweet Melissa, who is also effervescing in the season of love and keeps me up at night with her caterwauling plea for a mate.


Enjoy this wonderful weekend at the festivals, the gatherings, the cafe...because, trust me on this, we'll be bitchin' in August!



Sunday, March 28, 2010




Today I hitched a ride to town to get my hair cut and buy some band-aids. Since I have been a-foot of late, I've got myself a couple of blisters. Long story, another time.

Thankfully, with a little salve and band-aids these little abrasions will heal rapidly.

The bigger blisters require bandages and salve not readily available. And they reside, most uncomfortably, not on my body, but on my mind, a collective mind, from the chaffing and rubbing that has occurred in our Nation. I guess we could try to stitch the wounds up, but I suspect it require surgical staples instead.

N-Kay. So here we are. I still at least still have the "FREEDOM" to choose from the variety of band-aids. The salve is, of course, optional. At least, so far. Am I soon to be required to purchase salve in addition to my band-aids? Oh, and should I happen to pass some uncertain, unfortunate, hapless stranger with a paper cut on his/her finger on my way out, am I required by law to freely distribute and share my band-aids? And what about the salve? The salve might be considered a luxury, probably falls into the category of Specialist Medical Treatment, preserved only for the affluent. The good folks at Neo-Sporin must be bitin' their nails!

Just what in Jimmeny Crickets is going on!? Well, that's really a rhetorical question.  The Right Reverend Al Sharpton and the unfortunately afflicted with perennial FOOT-IN-MOUTH DISEASE..(is that covered or pre-existing?) VP Joe Biden both answered that question for us. And poor Nancy Pelosi, will we have to pay for her inevitable Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from waving and wielding that lumber jack gavel in her moment of fame. Is Tunnel Vision covered?

Speaking of insurance coverage; is anybody taking out a life insurance policy on the Constitution Its on a respirator and somebody's got their foot on the hose. If you take a quiet moment you can hear its final gasps for breath and life. The skeleton staff at the guv-ment run hospital are scrambling and responding to "CODE BLUE". But before they can break out the defibrillator paddles and gun 'em up, they have to stop and wait for Guvmint approval. Meanwhile the patient lies dying from lack of oxygen and cardiac arrest.

Of course this is a metaphor. But what if it were you, your wife, husband, father, mother child? Perhaps your toddler made its way mistakenly into the swimmin' pool at your apartment complex, not breathing and turning blue, will you have to wait for some foot soldier to answer the "Bat Phone" to give the go ahead to instigate life saving measures? Or might that just be too costly, best to send in the END OF LIFE COUNSELORS; THE CZARS OF EVERGREEN..And at that point, hypothetically, does this EOL Task Force counsel the dead one or are the surviving family members just collateral damage? Oooh!~ An opportunity: The Czar of After-Life Counseling. Chief Czar of Post Mortem...Now accepting applications. Commission based salary, no benefits.

Make no mistake...I am not without compassion for those cannot afford insurance. However, as the old saying goes:" You give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day,TEACH a man to fish and he can eat forever"....(well, that is, unless if we let those little minnows suffer) And, of course, let us not overlook those amongus who'd 'just a-ssune'  NOT carry insurance, stay beneath the radar and avail themselves to the rensentful
charity of Mercy Hospital ER.

My guess is we're headin' for lock-step, lock-up or Loch Ness Monster. Buckle -up friends, the ride's gonna get bumpier, as in the words of our wise law enforment officials "Click it or Ticket". Drive safely and be careful in them waters! And remember, a small blister can be a painful thorn in a mighty lion's paw.

And what about those pesky Polar Bears? Not only are their glacier pods melting, they're grabbin' up all the salmon!! And the Penguins are now morphing as well! They've shed their normal tuxedo attire and now are sporting all black feathers. True story. They look rather funerial. Talk about lock-step!

Everything's gonna be okay.



Sunday, January 24, 2010


Fellow Villagers:

Somebody go run and fetch us a big, ten-gallon,
white hat for Mr. Charles McDaniel and a sporty, more fashionable one for his beautiful wife Lana! Outstanding host and hostess for the Wildlife Conservation Committee of the Chappell Hill Chamber of Commerce meeting, "Partners, Parcels and Persistence: Keys in Restoring Quail Habitat" on Saturday at their ranch, High Meadows, in Chappell Hill, a place that can only be described as heavenly.

Nice, large turn out, close to 100 good folks with one goal in mind, to regenerate the wildlife in Washington County, particulary the the Bobwhite quail. The Committee was formed to promote responsible land stewardship with regard to complimentary agricultural and conservation practices. A core Committee goal is the retention and reintroduction of native wildlife species including Bobwhite Quail, the Eastern Turkey and species of migratory waterfowl. The Committee hopes to bring together like minded people in a collaborative effort. This seminar was one of a series of seminars that will be hosted by the Committee during 2010. Attendees were asked at registration to express their interest in a number of potential seminar topics and the Committee is very pleased to see that there indeed is interest in a number of the Committee's proposed topics for 2010. The next Committee meeting will be held on February 16th at 6:30 PM at the Chappell Hill Volunteer Fire Department.

The guest speakers did a fine job in their presentations, which included dissecting previously frozen quail with latex gloves and surgical scissors. Special mention to Dr. James C. Cathay, Biologist, Texas A&M, "Quail Biology & Management", Mr. Larry Pierce, Washington County Extension Agent, "Understanding Quail Inside and Out Necropsy,Mrs. Stephanie Damron, Texas Parks & Wildlife, "Working With Neighbors and Wildlife Associations".I admit I had to skip the necropsy part. Just bring me mine cooked, on a plate, with green beans and mashed potatoes and a large tea. I really don't need quite that level of intimate knowledge of a quail but there were plenty in the crowd who participated in the experience and now I know who to call if I ever need a quail cleaned and who not to give a pair of scissors to. For a brief moment, the place looked like a triage unit, each with their dead quail and scissoring away. In the corner, there was a cage with several live quail...they seemed kinda nervous.

Special thanks to Johnny and Carolyn Kopycinski, David and Geneva Smith, Chappell Hill Bank, Becky and Rodney Hanath, Lana and Charlie McDaniel, Barbara and Howard Schultz, Tom and Dixie Stevens and the Washington County Wildlife Association for their generous donations and sponsorship and all the volunteers for such a well organized, educational event. The Committee's one regret was the inability to trap a wild hog for "Chef Donna" to prepare for the seminar lunch. That shortcoming has been promised to be rectified for the next event! Long as we don't have to skin it!

Also a big thank-ya to Mr. David Chisholm of Rocking C Ranches for providing his out-of this-world, all natural beef from choice cuts of Black Angus; no hormones, no antibiotics, 100% native grass fed. As a former cheeseburger aficionado, I can tell you there IS a difference! Fast food burgers rapidly evaporated from my memory after one bite of Mr. Chisholms's all natural hamburger meat. What was I ever thinking, let alone putting in my body, from those drive-thru joints? Mr. Chisholm is readily available at Our own beloved Bever's Kitchenfeatures his top quality beef as well as other dining establishments. Our dear friend Alejandra Ray, head Chef and Owner of Bever's Kitchen, swears by Mr. Chisholm's beef and it is now featured in all her beef dishes. At the risk of dating myself, a while back there was a TV commercial featuring a cranky grandma complaining about a burger chain and her quote was "Where's the Beef"?

Well, to old granny and to everyone else, I can tell you exactlly where the beef is: David Chisholm's 100% natural black angus choice cuts, double ground. I urge you to contact him and place your order. Once you taste it, you will never think about beef the same way. In an attempt to lower cholesterol, my Dr. said, "Lay off the cheeseburgers!" But this beef has about as much cholesterol as chicken! I could even have one for breakfast, but I guess that's overboard.

It is so heartening to see neighbors and friends in a collective effort, and this is a really good one. That's one the best things about living in our Beautiful Village. We really can pull together for a good cause and I, for one, treasure the friends and neighbors I have out here. I strongly urge you to support this effort. You'll make some great friends and you won't be be disappointed.

Once again, big thanks to the McDaniels and the committee members and all the volunteers for a great event.

Oh, and by the way, that spectacular German Shepherd puppy at the McDaniel's....If her precious self should turn up missing; "I swear it wasn't me (bark, bark), "What dog?, Hush, puppy...(bark, bark).."oh, no, that's my parrot, he mimics German Shepherds. I'll sure keep an eye out for her, (wink, wink)". I guess I'll have to make do with the Glamour Shot I took of her! Just beautiful!

Thanks again to all involved.