Bedtime

Lying on the bed, we listen to “You’ve got a lover” by Shake Russell. It was not planned. I was just looking for a YouTube version to send to someone who loved it when we had sung it the other day. But I listened to the whole thing after sending it to her. We listened. And it was a beautiful bedtime meditation. Thank you, Shake Russell. And thank you, God, for such amazing creativity and talent and artistry and work to be shared with the world and with us specifically. Amen. Amen. Amen. Praise be to God. And thanks be to Shake. Amen.

Now, go listen to it yourself: “You’ve got a lover”

Post-a-day 2022

Rodeeeooooo

And so, it shall begin… tomorrow is or first (and second!) shift of the rodeo for our rodeo committee this year. My mom and I are delighted – it has been so long…

May Houston and its people and animals and visitors be safe and welcoming these next few weeks as we revel in the reestablish meant of this wonderful tradition in Houston. HLSR, here we come!

Post-a-day 2022

P.S. Rodeo actually starts next week, but the Barbecue Cook-off is this weekend, which is what kicks off the rodeo season every year.

Max

It looks like three hours is my max drive time for what I can consider ‘an easy trip’. Going back to Houston last night, then turning to come right back tonight was tough, especially with most of the driving being done at night, and a good chunk of it past my regular bedtime.

Anyway, I’m here now, alive and well. So, that’s good and I am grateful. However, I shall sleep hard core now.

Thank you for the safe travels . Please, bless me tonight and tomorrow that I might be your love. Amen.

Post-a-day 2021

Happy Blue Bell and ice cream!

In the Spring of 2015, Blue Bell closed production and recalled all of its products from stores. The Southern staple remained entirely absent for the following few months, and many were concerned about the possible permanent shutdown of the Texas company. It had been around for just over 100 years (founded 1907, I believe), and was a prominent fixture in the lives of moth Southerners. We felt a personal hit by the closure – even those of us who rarely even ate the ice cream anymore – and we all felt the risk of losing a whole piece of ourselves, should the company shut down permanently.

However, on August 31, the first phase of redistribution began, and Houston was graced once again with those beautiful tubs of ice cream on its grocery shelves. Once things calmed a bit, and it was again an accessible commodity – though the ice cream sandwiches took another few years to return to grocers (April of 2019!!) -, a friend of mine decided to throw a party. She especially was beside herself with joy at the return of Blue Bell. So, we all gathered somewhat spontaneously at her house one Saturday evening to revel in the delights of ice cream.

Of course, ice cream doesn’t exactly make for the greatest of meals. However, such forethought is not exactly one of this particular friend’s fortés. Therefore, amidst the indulgences of ice cream and happy conversations, it was determined that pizza would be the easiest solution, mid-party. So, we ordered some pizzas to go with our Blue Bell. Thus began our yearly celebrations of what we unintentionally called for years “Blue Bell and Ice Cream”, but technically had named “Blue Bell and Pizza”. (Now I remember what we named it, and know that we accidentally said it wrong for years without noticing. However, I prefer our Freudian initial naming, and so still use it most of the time.)

Alas, tonight was our yearly celebration, and so I, once again, had my yearly serving of Blue Bell Cookies ‘N’ Cream, and had some fancy schmancy pizza that was gluten-free yet delicious. (Naturally, I feel terrible compared to how I typically feel on any given day. However, it’s only once a year, so I don’t mind it too much. Especially when it means I get to dive into my historical regional identity for a bit, and also reminisce on some great parts of my childhood.)

So, Happy Blue Bell and Ice Cream, folks! Seven years strong, and we finally have real ice cream sandwiches again! (Seriously, if I’d gotten a box of those, I’d have eaten almost the whole thing myself. And I only say almost, because I know my mom would have demanded at least a couple for herself. Those things are spectacular, and slightly addicting. No joke, either.)

Post-a-day 2021

Alas

It seems my brother has finally made the official move back to the USA. I picked him up at the airport tonight, and dropped him off at his dad’s house (after a stop at Whataburger, that is), before heading back home myself. It was a lot of driving, to be sure, but who else would do it in the middle of the night (quite literally: midnight 03 was the scheduled flight arrival time)?

In a way, his expat days are over, yet, have re-begun.

I wonder how hard it will be for him. I spent a year in Japan, after having lived in various European countries for various amounts of time (though each less than my time in Japan), and it was tough for quite a while for me at first. He’s never lived in another country and come back home before this, and he was gone for eight years, almost exactly. (August would have been eight years precisely.)

Fingers crossed!

And I’m here for him.

Hopefully my sister-in-law will take advantage of my being here once she arrives. She has a whole ‘nother world coming to her, for sure.

Post-a-day 2021

Childhood parent

Today, I got to hear a recording of my mom when she was 15, turning 16. It was a tape recording of a phone call for fathers’ day, and her birthday was going to be the following day. The recording started with my Opa, her father, talking to his father. He then handed the phone off to my grandma, who sounded a lot like my mom sounds. Then my two uncles went on, in age order, and then my mom. I cried, and so did my mom, when she started speaking. I somehow felt myself wanting to give that little girl a hug…

I had never heard her voice other than how it had sounded in my lifetime. I had heard people mention that she had gone off to college (at Rice), and had come home sounding all snooty (versus the strong southeast Texas accent of where she’d grown up and where my grandparents remained, even after their children had grown up and moved out). To me, my mom has always sounded like the regular Houston accent. Whenever she is with her family, she always ends up talking just like they do. However, she otherwise speaks with the extremely neutral Houston accent. (Truly, even US Americans find it hard to believe that Houstonians are from the South, because we really just don’t sound like it. Only our use of “y’all” makes it clear that we are southern.)

However, on the recording today, I heard a bright-eyed, teenage, southeast Texas girl speak with delight. I almost couldn’t hear my mom in her at all. She most certainly was southern and from southeast Texas, but I was shocked at how little she sounded like my mom.

On the second listen, though – it was only a minute or so that she was on the call – I began to find her in the girl. The way she spoke, and the intonations, the cadence and emotion – those were all clearly my mom. But that accent and voice… I could tell she was a lifetime away, unaware of what life would bring her beyond age 16 and a driver license after her drive training over the next couple weeks…

It was bizarre, but I would love to hear more from her. The tape had a whole section of her and my aunt, who is younger, singing the songs from Godspell (my uncle was in the musical back then), and I really heard my mom there, in the singing. That was super cute.

Anyway, I am wiped, and on multiple levels, so I’ll go attempt sleep, now. (It’s set to 79° in here, because my grandma doesn’t have the body structure and function to keep the body heated anymore. Apparently, she even uses a heated blanket to keep warm enough overnight… with the 79° air…) We’ll see what happens…

Post-a-day 2021

Volun-cheering

Today was awesome, yet stressful, but both in very good ways.

First, I had an awesome time volunteering with my gym at sunrise for the Bayou City Tri Series 2021 Sylvan Beach Paralympic Triathlon. We had the honor of physically and verbally assisting paratriathletes in their transitions, as they worked toward earning points to be part of Team USA. I think we all look forward to the next such opportunity – it was a blessing and a blast for us all. ❤🤗🙏 💪👊🏻

And it brought me to tears multiple times, it was such an honor to be a part of it all.

It also brought back memories of my many sports volunteering days, and had me wondering yet again if I don’t want to find actual work in that world, somehow… There was a lot that, unfortunately, had not been sorted out properly for the event as a whole – there were other races happening this morning, too. Our little crew took it upon ourselves just to go ahead and handle many of those things, making a tremendous difference for all athletes that were out there racing today. And I enjoyed doing even that stuff.

From there, after the sun was well over the horizon but not all that far up, I headed to a karate tournament that was nearby. It was my first one in roughly 18 years, and my first one ever in the adult division. I was absolutely nervous, but I had all day to get even more so, since my division wasn’t until mid-afternoon. But I had volunteered to take photos, and so I got to enjoy working with that throughout all the kids’ sparring all morning and midday.

I did take a good couple minutes at one point in a private room with myself to talk and make noise and jump and move, fully on my own. And I did give myself close to a minute to go ahead and experience all the pent-up emotion that had been building all day, just a short while before my category was going to be up. (Aka I cried brief tears of stress and anxiety, and let a lot go with them as they lightly tripped out of my eyes.)

I had someone record my match for me, and he did so well enough. It turns out that I actually did better than I had thought I’d done at the actual time of the match. After watching the matches of the adults at the end, the highest ranked individuals, I have been able to see styles of everyone, and how much comfort makes a difference in a match. When someone is comfortable, he or she almost always does very well. When someone is uncomfortable, he or she usually does not very well. That isn’t to say win versus lose – I mean doing well, sparring well, technique-ing well (both attack and defense). Yes, that usually also results in winning, if those are all done well. But it isn’t about winning to me these days, so much as it is about doing well. Winning when doing well, however, just adds to the fun and joy of it all.

I have some specifics on which I want to work – reacting with a point-earning move to being blocked, practicing different point-earning trio combinations, and backward spinning kicks (one would have created a beautiful point today, but I had neither confidence nor comfort in it, so didn’t even consider it – only the video afterward showed me the opportunity [I’d spun and everything, but didn’t even try to hit her with the foot]). Now, just to find the partner to work with me, and the place to do it.

Oh, and this was one of the very few times that I 1)didn’t lose a match at a tournament, and 2)didn’t cry after the match. Good start in my eyes, even just for those two facts! ;P

So, yeah… today was a really great-for-me day, all of its stresses included.

Post-a-day 2021

Today

Today, I attended two baptisms virtually, one in the UK and one in OK.

They were kind of really cool, yet still quite bizarre in the whole situation of each of them. I am glad, nonetheless, that they each happened and that I attended each.

And that I was invited. 🙂

So, I’m officially a godmother now… doesn’t really feel any different than yesterday felt. Although, I do feel as though I ought to have my financial stability settled, if I am to be in such a supportive role (even though it has almost nothing to do with money). I suppose that it merely due to my expectations that adults have finances sorted out – a viewpoint that I, no doubt, developed in childhood via assumption.

I’m not sure I want to know how many adults don’t have their finances sorted out, especially right now.

:/

On a separate note, I keep thinking about teaching I want to do in prisons… hmm… is that part of what’s next, God and Cosmos??

Help me to see, please, or, at least, to step forward confidently where I am best to go next.

In gratitude, amen

I had an early dinner and a game evening with a new-ish friend – the one from brunch from high school! – and her boyfriend and pets and, just at the start, two others, including a year-and-a-half-old child today, too. And it was awesome. Just where I felt was perfect for me to be. Especially when certain conversation developed with the friend’s boyfriend – These are good people, I found myself feeling and thinking, meaning ‘good people for me to have around and be around’. I had simply reached out yesterday about a potential future plan for something else entirely together, and she invited me for some food today. I almost hadn’t sent that message, for nerves, but it had felt right finally yesterday. So, I sent it, and we ended up with an awesome evening tonight, lives merging ever so much more. I am grateful for it.

Post-a-day 2021

Are the satellites even out there?

Okay. Power just went out at 7:58pm. Not sure what the deal is or for how long the power will be out. I had stopped to play guitar for a bit just now, and was thoroughly enjoying it. The plan was to do at least one more category of tidying – letter-writing materials and tools – if not two – also Japanese art supplies. However, I will do neither tonight. I pulled out the rest of everything (I think, but will do a final check in the morning) for the letter-related stuff just now, after lighting two candles.

I’m hoping the water pressure will return in the very, very near future – I prefer flushing the toilet to pouring water into it. I was contemplating this all earlier, how we are what is call a first-world country. That involves civility, – lacking a lot this year with all the violence and hatred from both ends of the spectrum – electricity, – just over 57% of Houston has no power – and clean drinking water – a huge chunk of Houston has no water at all. So, it seems we have gone this year from a first-world country to …. what? Pathetically incapable of being self-sufficient? Utterly miserable due to our reliance on being a first-world country? Yes, I suppose. Yes, indeed.

Well, the satellites surrounding or planet are still allowing a signal through this phone, so I shall finish this business while that connection still exists.

May we all have calming, healing, empowering, and magic-like nights tonight, that we may awaken rejuvenated and filled with light and love. And dear Lord, please allow us to have that include electricity and running, clean water.

Gratitude. 🙏

Post-a-day 2021

^Easy peasy this time, for some reason 😛

Are the satellites even out there?

Okay. Power just went out at 7:58pm. Not sure what the deal is or for how long the power will be out. I had stopped to play guitar for a bit just now, and was thoroughly enjoying it. The plan was to do at least one more category of tidying – letter-writing materials and tools – if not two – also Japanese art supplies. However, I will do neither tonight. I pulled out the rest of everything (I think, but will do a final check in the morning) for the letter-related stuff just now, after lighting two candles.

I’m hoping the water pressure will return in the very, very near future – I prefer flushing the toilet to pouring water into it. I was contemplating this all earlier, how we are what is call a first-world country. That involves civility, – lacking a lot this year with all the violence and hatred from both ends of the spectrum – electricity, – just over 57% of Houston has no power – and clean drinking water – a huge chunk of Houston has no water at all. So, it seems we have gone this year from a first-world country to …. what? Pathetically incapable of being self-sufficient? Utterly miserable due to our reliance on being a first-world country? Yes, I suppose. Yes, indeed.

Well, the satellites surrounding or planet are still allowing a signal through this phone, so I shall finish this business while that connection still exists.

May we all have calming, healing, empowering, and magic-like nights tonight, that we may awaken rejuvenated and filled with light and love. And dear Lord, please allow us to have that include electricity and running, clean water.

Gratitude. 🙏

Post-a-day 2021

^Easy peasy this time, for some reason 😛