Wednesday, August 26, 2009


A Cake Walk.

So much in this life happens that we wish with all our heart we could take back, change or live-down. Far too much time spent in regret, in my view, but nevertheless, its part and parcel to our "experience".

For instance, on one occasion of the birthday of my Most Cherished Mother, (the actual year of her birth we are not privy to), my sisters and I, with the treasured help of our Nanny, secretly baked her a cake. It was such an event, my sisters fluttering about and our Dear Lannie making sure the frosting was just right. The cake was completed, candles and all, and stowed away in a cabinet in the kitchen awaiting the big moment. All was going well, everyone was prepared and the four of us girls waited with grand anticipation for Mother to return home from the Beauty Shop.

We had it all timed out. Well, really and truly Lannie and my sisters had it all timed out, and when Daddy arrived, his job was to contain the "wild card". Meaning 4 year old me. He came in the front door, glee and excitement all over my sisters' faces, and he immediately scooped me up in his arms in an effort to squelch the enthusiasm. My Mother arrived home, fresh from the Beauty Shop, coifed and curled and sprayed and the moment arrived. Perched on the steps to the breakfast room and kitchen, my sisters prepared for the presentation of the cake. Daddy had a momentary lapse and failed to halt the spontanious outburst of his youngest girl: "I SMELL CAKE!! I SMELL BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!" That was it. Can never be taken back and a surprise Birthday party ruined single-handedly by a four year old.

I'll never live that one down and I am frequently reminded of it...So here's what I suggest:
NO MORE BIRTHDAYS! In fact, as Mayor, I propose a moratorium on birthdays, surprise or otherwise.


As of this date, all birthdays beyond the actaul age of 45 shall be

eliminated,unrecognized and regarded as unlawful and without merit of any sort. All good

citizens shall remain 45 years old in perpetua given the age of 45 is just sufficiently beyond

the carelessness and wrecklessness of youth and sufficiently steeped in some wisdom minus

the synicism of a more advanced age.

It is further Decreed and Declared that all Driver's licenses and passports shall be renewed

retroactively and shall report year of birth as 1964. This will eliminate the reviled, of late, so

to speak, proposal of subjecting aging and/or ailing citizens to "End of

Life Options and Counseling".

Alternatively, "Endless Life Options and Counseling" shall be made available through

qualified professionals with services including, but not limited to, "The Proper Use of

Sunscreen"; "Maintaining That Youthful Glow"; "Gray! Gray! Go Away"
(a home study

tutorial) and a special series, "The Eternal Flame: How To Keep The Love-Lamp On".(also

available on DVD with musical soundtrack featuring Barry White and Marvin Gaye).

Further Ordered and Decreed, any individual requiring attention to special needs, whether

physical, visual or mental, that are not "age appropriate" will be dealt with with the utmost

consideration and complete discretion.

With regard to Birthday Cake, no restrictions, except the number of birthday candles which

shall not exceed 45.

It is further Ordered that the actual counting of the number of candles be prohibited.

Birthday candles can continue to be "blown out".

Requests for birthdates prior to 1964 shall be considered and contemplated on a case by case

basis. For obvious reasons, this shall be treated as a request for assisted suicide, "first come, first serve", as this can be construed as a time sensitive issue.


(Ladies!, Think of the money we'll save on anti-aging eye cream and face lifts!! 75 will be the new 45! Hey, the Guvmint lies all the time, we can surely take a dusty leaf from that book and lie about our age and I, for one, will want to see proof of just how old this "counselor" is while advising me of the most cost-effective way to die! I suspect he or she will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 45-ish.

Go on and celebrate your birthdays, but don't COUNT those candles before you blow them out! Be judicious and modest or else they could wind up as simply Candles in the Wind. In this case, less is truly more.


Friday, August 14, 2009


When I was just a kid, my Dad used to tug me out of bed at the un-christian, yet crisp hour of 3:00 a.m. to go fishin'. He always made me eat a peach in an effort to stave off sea-sickness. It never worked and without going into detail, it is the reason I cannot stand peaches. Even today, lo these many years later, the sheer sight of a peach or the scent of a peach flavored candle can send me to the rail. But by the time we got out of the bay and into the Gulf of Mexico, all was right again with the world. Great therapy; lapis blue water, endless sky, a nice fishin' pole and rod n' reel, a can of worms and some chum and hours to spend with my Dad perfecting my cast. I got pretty good at it, the casting and catching part, but deferred to my father to do the scaling and all that other surgical stuff. "I'll catch 'em if you clean 'em" we used to banter back and forth and it always made us chuckle. Sometimes, if luck was on our side, we'd catch enough to snack on Ceviche with some Saltine crackers. We'd get back to the bay house and my mother would complain about how sunburned I was and fussed my Dad to hurry and shower to get that fishy smell off of him. Best fish dinners I can ever recall.

But, nowadays, goin' fishin' has taken on a more decidedly sinister meaning. We are now apparently supposed to report any communication, by e-mail or an off-hand comment made at the grocery store or by any other means anything that might be "fishy" with regard to the policies of our Guvmint ; turn that hapless person into some Guvmint agency, providing them with email addresses, content and identity. WHERE ARE WE? That this notion could even be bandied about is pretty frightening. WHAT IS THIS? Some Maritime version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"?

I smell peaches, where's the rail?!

I am reminded of the one time my fishin' trip with my Dad turned ugly (not counting the peach ritual). We were way out in the Gulf, and since my Dad had caught a beautiful Blue Marlin and had it mounted, I wanted one, too. At last, I hooked a big one! I pursed my lips and gritted my teeth and fought that fish for what seemed like hours. My arms were tired and heavy but the dream of a Blue Marlin was motivation enough. Well, that and the fact my father wouldn't let me quit. That rascal fish darted under the boat more than once and my fear was my fishin' pole would snap. Exhausted, but exhilerated, I got the fish to the surface and Daddy lept to the side of the boat with the net. I had gotten lucky because the fish had swallowed the hook and had no escape but to break the line or the pole. Daddy reached down and netted the fish. Mopping sweat, I was sure my eyes were foolin' me. That fish was no Blue Marlin. In fact it was the ugliest creature I had ever seen; a Hammerhead Shark. Daddy cut the line and said " Maybe next time". I curled up and cried all the way back to the bay.

Anyway, I guess I tell you this because I am concerned with all this reporting of anything "fishy". Sometimes what you believe is a Blue Marlin is actually a Hammerhead Shark. Don't take the hook, I say, and by all means don't swallow it.

But if you find yourself 'wishy to report something fishy' , remember the old sayin', "A fish stinks from the head down". Start there.



Saturday, August 8, 2009



I'm sure you all have been watching and/or reading about the TOWN HALL phenomena moving across our Nation over this Healthcare business and our Congress responding to our right to free speech with schoolyard name calling the fine folks an Angry Mob. I, too, have been covered with it like Grandma's Smothered Steak and at one point, I really thought I had had enough. But even with all the redundant reporting, it began to stir up something else and it got me to thinkin'.

Why can't WE have a TOWN HALL? Do we have to be incorporated to have a TOWN HALL? We have Banquet Halls, Fellowship Halls and have oftentimes used the Catholic church, Museum and Rock Store for occasions of import for our citizens. We can't have a City Hall, but couldn't we have a TOWN HALL, as long as we don't stutter and accidently call it a City Hall? A place for gatherings, a source of pride and, well, dignity, a symbol of substance. We could use it for all kinds of things and events, meetings, classes, presentations and so on. And, if our Great Villagers should decide decades from now that they do want to incorporate, it could be converted into a City Hall! UH-OH. ( Simmer down, I'm not tryin' to open old wounds, I'm entirely nuetral on that issue). We could hold fundraisers to help get it off the ground; and we all know how successful our Wonderful Community is at fundraising. ( just ask the CHVFD and my Dear Husband).

And really, truth be told, haven't we all deep down, secretly wanted to be part of an real Angry Mob? Ya know, a real Rebel Rouser, a Freedom Fighter...somewhere inside all of us want to be "The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance"; righting wrong despite the name-calling. I know some of you remember the 60's and 70's, well, maybe you can't remember everything, but I'm bettin' you were out there protesting something, civil rights, war, women's rights and so on. Lookin' back on it, it was kinda fun, being part of a movement. We wore P.O.W. bracelets, developed the peace symbol, slogans and songs forever memorializing the culture. And some women even burned their bras! (In my view, that's a real bail-out! One alot of us could get behind, or wait, in front of, no, wait....oh nevermind!).

Oh well. I guess we'll have to make do with the media coverage. Unless.....How about a Virtual Town Hall? With a Virtual Angry Mob, sleeves rolled up and fists all balled up in a collective effort, non-violent, of course, to alter this slow slide down a razor blade into a pool of rubbin' alcohol; refusing to ride shot-gun down the avalanche. A civil but unignorable act of defiance. We could get us a Virtual politician to come our Virtual Town Hall meeting and we could ask Virtual and poignant questions and maybe get some Virtual answers. All in one most appropriate Virtual structure in a most appropriate Virtual location.

At the end of the day, I am still completely content to live in our Lovely Village Respecting Chickens, with or without a TOWN HALL. We're good folks and life is too short to shout. Besides, think of all that Virtual BBQ we'd have to impose on our friend and neighbor, the Royal King of BBQ and his wonderful Queen to prepare for such a Virtual event. And I'm guessin' Virtual beer isn't too tasty.


Saturday, August 1, 2009


The intersection of Hwy 290 and FM 1155 has become so mercurial, quick and changeable, it is difficult to understand what is going on.

First the advent of the Mighty Shell station buzzing with commuters and Kolkhorst fuel trucks filling the pumps as fast as they can, the wonderful blended aroma of diesel and hamburgers hanging stagnant in the hot summer air and a bank.
Speaking of empty tanks, Robbie left town but left his butt-ugly building behind much to the delight of the daytime drunks, hobos and others applying their somewhat dubious skills in sales. Not only is this fossilized former fuel stop and C-store an outright eyesore but a hazard to our Lovely Community.

Now, I genuinely understand the owners of that corner wanting to hold onto the lot, but what, pray tell, intrinsic value is there in that run-down building? Guys! Robbie is gone! He's not coming back! Even Robbie didn't want that hunk-a-junk building and it had his NAME on it! At the very least, I would've taken my name off of such a disgrace before leaving town. Or maybe it was Robbie's way of thumbing his nose at the Shell 24-7. A most noted resident, who possesses an acute observational acumen, reports that as of this very morning the name Robbie's has been painted over. A beginning I suppose, but better to have let the name fall into debris and rubble during demolition of the whole rat-hole. Have they even vacuumed out the old fuel? I guess its another case of GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. Or perhaps in this instance its gone AND forgotten.

I remember the slow and painful death the Mexican food restaurant suffered there where the Shell etc... now resides. Plans were made, deals agreed upon, handshakes, all fell through and it took years to resuscitate that corner. We just didn't know it would come back to life with such a Belch! For some reason, the street urchins, at least not to my knowledge, never adopted the abandoned Mexican restaurant. There must be some kind of magic at the empty Robbie's because the stoop is filled with "the regulars".

I just don't get it! There are plenty of possibilities for that corner, saving another gas station or bank or burger joint or cafe or meat market. Okay, so there aren't plenty of possibilities but surely another "visionary" will emerge and do something! (Save your rotten tomatoes folks, we might need 'em if another visionary shows up with a bad idea!)

Maybe there have been some ideas tossed about; perhaps the terms were too tight or could be the reticence on the part of investors given the disappearing dollar and its mystical way of cloning itself into more worthless paper. I dunno, but I, for one, am sick of looking at it and watching it decay along with its unfortunate evolution into the decadent haven it provides for the unsavory characters that "hang" there. It is downright irresponsible to do nothing.

Also still empty, is the once highly anticipated business going in the new building just down from the Chappell Hill Cafe and Meat Market. Our Beautiful Village was all a twitter with the rumor of a new BBQ spot, complete with sausage and jerky and baked goods, maybe even some dry goods. A lot of us Villagers already had imaginary BBQ sauce on our shirts and could visualize ourselves workin' on the fourth napkin. But alas, we still are waiting, clinging to our smoked, grilled dreams. We think we know one thing about this endeavor and its possibilities. Judging from the color of the structure, it must be the dream of a Longhorn fan with grace and welcome extended to Aggies and all other Alma Maters and current co-eds from any and all institutions of higher learning. I hope it succeeds and I know some, including my Dear Husband, imagines he could purchase the steak of his choice at the Chappell Hill Meat Market, then walk it next door and have it grilled at the BBQ place. What a deal that would be!

But keep your eyes peeled, maybe something good will happen there at the old Robbie's, maybe not. Just don't peel your rotten tomatoes! It’s always good to have a back-up plan.