Wednesday, August 31, 2005


...send your prayers, your positive thoughts, your money, your love, your compassion - whatever you've got to give - to our friends, neighbors and family on the Louisiana and Mississippi Coast and everywhere that Katrina wrecked her havoc.

Thank you.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The End of the Weekend 

OK...I think I've finally reached the age of being too old for the MTV Video Music Awards. I just could not get into it at all tonight. I tried! I really did! The only performance that meant anything to me was Coldplay and I didn't think Mariah did a bad job. However, the rest really sucked as far as I was concerned. Oh well!

I am "Guest Blogging" on my sister's blog while she and the Captain journey to Nova Scotia for a combination honeymoon/vacation/1st anniversary trip. Drop by if you'd like! My nephew is allegedly going to guest blog as well.

I was wandering around a shop today that had cards, mugs and journals with little inspirational sayings on them. The following really stood out to me and I thought I'd share it with you in hopes that you might get something from it as well:

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched...but are felt in the heart. - Helen Keller

I hope your week starts out wonderfully!


Sunday, August 21, 2005

Scenes from a Reunon: Look at how beautiful and colorful we are? This is one of my favorite pictures from the weekend. Posted by Picasa

Reunion Post Mortem 

I've been back from my High School reunion for 2 weeks and I still have not done laundry. Scary, huh?

Some random thoughts I've had about my reunion and then I'll quit yammering about it: It was so cool to listen as a wife of one of my classmates talked about how her husband planned an elaborate birthday surprise for her. He sent the kids to friend's houses, he cooked dinner, he gave her a manicure and pedicure and a massage and did them all in different voices. I thought that was so incredibly sweet what he had done and it made me proud to know such a caring man.

I listened as 2 friends discussed how they are trying to encourage their sons to read better. They both lamented that they didn't feel 100% comfortable with reading, but they didn't want their sons to feel that way so they were working extra hard with them. I was touched because I didn't know my friend's struggle when we were younger and I was touched because it was so apparent how each of my friend's adored their children.

I became transfixed with watching the hands of a man I used to date when we were kids. I remember studying his hands when I was dating him and how those same hands look different but the same to me now.

I hugged a friend that you could tell really needed a hug. I have been known to give pretty good hugs in my day, but it was more a real need for affection, and as I pulled away and looked into their eyes I think there was a glint of tears there despite the smile.

I looked at scrapbooks of my friends and saw pictures of myself where I couldn't recognize myself. When I finally realized I was looking at me, I was shocked at how skinny I was. I wasn't anorexic by any stretch of the imagination, but I was thin! I thought I was such a huge cow at the time and it made me so sad to think how little I thought of myself back then. It makes me cry to just sit and think about that right now. How different of a person would I be now if I realized how beautiful and valuable I was back then?

Don't get me wrong - I value the lessons I've learned to get to be the person I am today, but sometimes I still ache for the younger me that struggled so hard and seemed to learn most of her lessons the hard way. If only I had known then what I know now?

I was so glad to be able to have the experience I did going home for the reunion and I'm so thankful that I went. I do believe I'll be back for the 25th or the 30th.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

The first leg of my trip... 

I didn't think I was ever going to get out of work on Monday with my sanity in tact, but I managed to do so. I went home and sat on the couch and watched TV. Had I done any packing? NO! So why was I sitting on the couch? I have no good idea. I have this affinity for doing that before a trip - staying up all night and packing at the last minute. I ended up falling asleep on the couch and waking up at 3:30am and THAT'S when I began packing! Geez!

At the last minute, my friend A decided that she wanted to ride with me to Texas so she could visit her sister. I was all for that because it meant I could make the trip straight through without stopping for the night in Jackson, MS.

I got to A's house at 6:30am and we were driving away from the Greater Atlanta metropolitan area by 6:50am. The drive was long, but it wasn't bad at all. We didn't run into any extreme traffic or weather, which was wonderful!

Right before the trip, I received an IKEA catalog in the mail. When A took her turn behind the wheel, I was looking at it and it darn near made my nipples hard it was so exciting! I can't wait to check out the new store!

We got to Dallas about 8pm and I dropped A off at her sister's house. I was then off to H and K's house. They welcomed me with open arms and filled me full of homemade roast beef and potatoes and mac and cheese. OH. MY. GOD. Did I mention that K is an amazing cook? H is too, but K had made the roast beef and I was in heaven!

The next day I just messed around while H worked. She works from home so she was able to sit and talk with me over breakfast and end her day early. She had scheduled herself a massage and surprised me by saying I was scheduled for one, too! Since I was a "Massage Virgin," I wasn't ready for stripping down to my knickers and laying on the table, so I got a fully clothed "Chair Massage." WOW! Was that nice! Afterward, as I sat in a sort of "afterglow" I asked the massage therapist what she learned about me. She said, "Well, have you thought about having a breast reduction?" She went on to explain that I hold a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders and she was betting that a big chunk of that was due to holding up my large mammary glands.

Now, this suggestion of a breast reduction was not a foreign one to me. I'd LOVE to have one, but hearing her talk, I might be able to prove that it's medically necessary and have insurance pay for a bit of it! YAY!

After our massages, H and I floated back to the house and found K resting as she had just gotten home from work. She got cleaned up and we went to dinner at this very authentic Tex Mex restaurant called "Ojeda's" DAMN! That was some good eatin'! I ordered Fajitas and had plenty of left overs even after stuffing myself.

On our way home, we stopped at Tom Thumb and K went in quest of ice cream for all. She emerged with pints of Ben and Jerry's: Cherry Garcia, Phish Food and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

We went back to their house and squeezed ice cream into our already full tummies and K and I made stupid jokes while H rolled her eyes at us. It was great fun!

The next morning I had leftover Fajitas for breakfast, loaded up my car and left H and K's house for the next part of my adventure.

2nd Leg of my trip... 

I drove to Ft. Worth to my life long friend A's hotel. She is the manager of a hotel and was being kind enough to allow me to stay there for the remainder of my trip.

I got to glance at A briefly before she had to scurry back to work, so I checked into the hotel and made the trek to my step Mom's house. I spent the afternoon with her catching up and reminiscing some about my Dad. It was really good to see her.

From there I went to visit M & G, who have known me practically since I was in the womb as they were friends of my parents. M and Mom met while being co-leaders of a Camp Fire Girls troop that my sister and M & G's oldest daughter were in. I have a lot of really wonderful memories of them and their house when I was growing up.

This visit was just as wonderful as L, their youngest daughter, came with her husband and 2 beautiful daughters to eat dinner and visit. We had a wonderful dinner and great conversation and before I knew it, it was 11:00pm and I needed to head back to the hotel.

The next day, after sleeping in a bit, I got to hang out with A after she left work early. We went to lunch, did a little shopping, and drove around a bit before she brought me back to the hotel so I could get ready for the first event of my 20 year high school reunion.

The Happy Hour 

The drive to Granbury from the hotel is not that long - maybe 30 minutes - but there are a lot of memories that you can think of in that 30 minutes! I was wondering who I would see and thinking back on all my times in high school.

In my humble opinion, our class is a special one. We grew up in Granbury when it was still small enough to only have 2 fast food joints, a Dairy Queen and a Dairy King. We thought we were something when we got the Taco Inn and we had REALLY hit the big time when McDonald's finally came to town!

The majority of the people in my class had been there since elementary school. Some since kindergarten. So we literally grew up together. We may not have been born from the same Mom and Dad, but we were still brothers and sisters. So in a sense, this was not only a 20 year high school reunion - it was a FAMILY reunion.

I finally arrived at the Cajun Oyster Bar on the lake where we were having our informal Happy Hour. I checked my lipstick in my rearview mirror, ran the brush through my hair, took a deep breath and walked toward the establishment. I turned around the corner and heard Jeanette's distinctive shriek and several people shouting my name. Many hugs later, I finally was able to put my purse down and I stood back and looked at all of the beautiful men and women that I grew up with.

There were a few that I wasn't able to recognize though! There was one very attractive man that I kept looking at and then walking away from several times. Finally, I just walked up to him and said, "Do I know you?" "Yes, Joan you do," was his reply. I was floored when he told me he was Carl! I couldn't help myself when I blurted out, "I hope I don't offend you when I say you turned out to be a very nice looking man!" "Subtle" has never been an adjective used to describe me! LOL!

There were several moments during the night that I had just step back and sit down for a minute. Some of it may have been the 4 margaritas I drank mixed with the Texas heat, but the majority of it was just being on sensory overload.

The night ended too quickly and we all headed to where we were staying for the night. I asked Mechelle if she wanted to go get some breakfast somewhere and she advised me that I was not going to drive back to Ft. Worth, but stay with her in a hotel room in Granbury. We finally started driving around to the hotels and Mechelle finally got the last room at the 3rd hotel we checked.

From there we went to Whataburger and met up with Christina, her cousin and a guy named John from the Class of 84. John was kind enough to buy our breakfast and regaled us with stories from the Class of 84's reunion the year before.

We finally made it back to Mechelle's hotel room at about 2:00am and at about 3:00am Mechelle announced that she was going to sleep. I woke up about 5:00am and crept out of the room and down to my car to make the trek back to Ft. Worth to my hotel room.

The Party 

After getting back to my hotel room and out of my clothes and under the cool sheets at about 6:00am, it was tough to wake up just 5 hours later, but that's what I had to do. I had made arrangements to visit with my Great Aunt and Uncle during the afternoon before the party.

The party was going to be at the De Cordova Bend Country Club and my Aunt and Uncle live at De Cordova Bend. I hadn't seen my Aunt and Uncle in several years so it was great to sit and visit with them for a while. They invited me to get ready at their place and then sent me off to the party.

People who had not been at the Happy Hour were showing up for the party and it was fantastic to see everyone. There was a questionnaire that we had to fill out once we registered and I was dutifully doing so when I heard a voice say, "Oh my god it IS you!" I looked up into the eyes of my dear friend Stacey who I hadn't seen in a really long time. Along with her was Teresa who I hadn't seen in an even longer time. I instantly thought back to the days when Stacey, Teresa and I spent our Saturdays together working at the newspaper and getting into all sorts of trouble.

Then I saw Eddie, who was one of the most, if not THE most, intelligent people in our class - and one of the most fun. When you are super intelligent and going to school in Granbury, you get kinda bored and need to have other outlets. Eddie ran with a group that, among other things, painted a car with house paint and thus the "Batmobile" was born.

One weekend night when we were in high school, a big group of us took the Batmobile and a couple of other less cool cars to see the midnight showing of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Halfway there, we stopped in Cresson on the railroad tracks and danced on the Batmobile. We thought it was very "Footloose!" The rest of the night was a haze as there was Cherry Vodka involved, but we had such a blast and many of us count that as a favorite high school memory.

Eddie was at the party with his beautiful wife, and we all found it funny that Eddie and I were wearing the same shirt. In fact, we were both wearing black shoes, black pants and purple irridescent shirts. If he had long brown hair and boobs, or if I had been bald, we could have passed for each other! LOL!

Even though I had been "Mistress of Ceremonies" all evening, I didn't think anything of it when Paula said she wanted to announce the winners of the prizes and that I would give out the medals. The last award given was the Most Eligible Bachelor and Bachelorette aka Mr. and Ms. Hottie award. When Russ came up to accept his award for Mr. Hottie, I asked him to marry me with a wink. He said something about it probably being appropriate since I would likely win the Ms. Hottie award. I laughed a hearty "Yeah, RIGHT!" laugh. Wouldn't you know it that Paula announced that I won the Ms. Hottie award? I thought that was too hilarious! Had I been that loud about not being married?

The night finally wore down and people were going their separate ways. I motored back toward Ft. Worth smiling to myself about funny things that were said through out the night. I also thought about all of these wonderful people that I grew up with and how different our lives were from each other, but how alike we were. Some of us had doctorates, some of us hadn't gone to college, some of us had lots of kids, some had none at all, some had left Granbury right after high school and others still call it home today. However, our common bond is being born when we were and having been raised where we were. I, for one, am truly grateful for the circumstances that bond me to my sisters and brothers of different mothers - The Granbury High School Class of 1985.

With much love,


Monday, August 01, 2005

It's been TWENTY years! 

I'm off to my 20 year high school reunion tomorrow, so I'll be out of touch for a bit, however I'm sure I'll come home with lots o' stories and pictures! In the meantime, I'll leave you with this question:

If you call a goat a pig, what have you really accomplished?


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