it's about life.. down here in ...

letter F Cast Iron Capital Letter R (North Scituate, RI) alphabet series - e letter N C letter H L metal verdigris letter I typewriter key letter Q U white paint on blue - rusting chocolate letter E

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Will Texas Secede the Union.... again?

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I received this email from one of my very dear friends, who also happens to be a very-very Texas Gal, born and bred in the country, on a ranch, in South Texas... and while this is "tongue-in-cheek", it's not too far off the beaten path of what some real Texans really think... If you doubt the truth of these words, click here to read Texas Sucession Facts. Texans are a different sort... even down here in French Lique...

* * * * * * * * * * Here's the email...

Hmmmm, let me think about this a minute.....Maybe History can repeat itself.

From The People of Texas

We Texans love y'all, but we'll have to take action since Obama won president over McCain. We'll miss you too. Texas has given all those complainers plenty of time to get used to the results. After seeing the whiners along the campaign route, the folks from Texas are considering taking matters into our hands.

Here is our solution:

#1: Let Barak Obama be President of the United States . (All 49 states.)

#2: The Republic Of Texas elects it's own conservative President.So what does Texas have to do to survive as a Republic?

1. NASA is just south of Houston , Texas . (We will control the space industry.)

2. We refine over 85% of the gasoline in the United States .

3. Defense Industry. (We have over 65% of it) The term "Don’t mess with Texas ," will take on a whole new meaning.

4. Oil - we can supply all the oil that the Republic of Texas will need for the next 300 years. Yankee states? Sorry about that.

5. Natural Gas - Again we have all we need and it's too bad about those northern states. John Kerry will figure a way to keep them warm....

6. Computer Industry - we currently lead the nation in producing computer chips and communications: Small places like Texas Instruments, Dell Computer, EDS, Raytheon, National Semiconductor, Motorola, Intel, AMD, Atmel, Applied Materials, Ball Semiconductor, Dallas Semiconductor, Delphi, Nortel, Alcatel, Etc, Etc. The list goes on and on.

7. Health Centers - We have the largest research centers for Cancer research, the best burn centers and the top trauma units in the world and other large health planning centers.

8. We have enough colleges to keep us going: UT Texas, A&M, Texas Tech, Rice, SMU, University of Houston, Baylor, UNT, Texas Women's University, Ivy grows better in the south anyway

9. We have a ready supply of workers. (Just open the border when we need some)

10. We have control of the paper industry, plastics, insurance, etc.

11. In case of a foreign invasion, we have the Texas National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard. We don't have an army but since everybody down here has at least six rifles and a pile of ammo, we can raise an army in 24 hours if we need it. If the situation really gets bad, we can always call Department of Public Safety and ask them to send over a couple Texas Rangers. (OH NO, DON'T FORGET THE LARGEST ARMY BASE IN THE FREE WORLD, FORT HOOD !!!)

12. We are totally self sufficient in beef, poultry, hogs and several types of grain, fruit and vegetables and lets not forget seafood from the gulf. And everybody down here knows how to cook them so that they taste good. Don't need any food. This just names a few of the items that will keep the Republic Of Texas in good shape. There isn't a thing out there that we need and don't have. Now to the rest of the United States under President Obama: Since you won't have the refineries to get gas for your cars, only Mr. Kerry will be able to drive around in his 9 mile per gallon SUV. The rest of the United States will have to walk or ride bikes. You won't have any TV as the space center in Houston will cut off your communications. You won't have any natural gas to heat your homes but since Mr. Gore has predicted global warming, you will not need the gas.


The People of Texas
Have a nice day!
PS... I wasn't born in Texas, but I got his as fast as I could... *wink*wink*smile*

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from French Lique

Photograph courtesy of Mr. Norman Rockwell
Dixie is currently busy organizing and decluttering her home office. She will be back soon with more stories from the Texas Cow-Country, right here in French Lique.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Original

I had to go to the grocery store this morning. I've decided to make Marshmallow Treats for my grandkiddos, for Thanksgiving. I called all 3 of my adult daughters this morning for various getting it together reasons... and all 3 told me the same thing when I told them of my culinary surprise... "bring enough for the big kiddos too!" So off I went to the store at 7:30am, to beat the crowds (which I did).

Well, I like using the "original brand name" cereal, not the store brand. I've found that the original is crispier and tastier... and heck, I only make the treats once or twice a year. When I found the "brand name" cereal, it didn't have the recipe on the box. The store brand did, but I didn't want that cereal. I knew what the ingredients were: puff rice cereal, marshmallows, butter... okay... got those... but no recipe.

Well, thank the Lord and Al Gore for the internet! I found the recipe and printed it for future use. So here dear friends, is a link to "The Original" recipe for marshmallow treats. Use it in good health!

and yes... Still thinking about food down here in French Lique...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An organized desk in French Lique...

I recently participated in a linkie: Show Me Your Desk, posted by one of my favorite bloggers, Organising Queen, Marcia Francios. As it turned out, I probably had the most cluttered, disorganized desk posted that day. I have since undertaken the task of decluttering and organizing my home office, beginning with, step 1, the desk. Here are the pictures, proof that I'm making progress! Thank you for the inspiration Organising Queen. I am forever indebted!

This photograph makes my office look positively serene!

No more clutter!

and no more disorganization!

Now all I have to do is finish the other side of the office, and decorate. Steps 2 and 3... stay tuned... lots of decluttering, organizing and decorating going on here in French Lique!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When I decorate, I always seem to need an inspiration piece. I've already decided to decorate my office in black and cream with pale yellow walls. I've purchased Waverly Metro Draperies, a cream colored chenille chair cover for my side chair, dark coffee colored bookshelves and a creamy-white Flokati rug. I still needed some inspiration. I was searching "black toile" on eBay and ran across this wonderful throw pillow... Ahhhhhhhh Inspiration! I start my project Saturday. I can hardly wait to get my office organized and decorated... especially now that I've found my inspiration. (Bumble Bee with Laurel Leaves... How French!)

I love toile fabric! This is the back of the pillow, which is a Waverly toile.

This lovely pillow came from eBay seller treadleart*boutique.

On a decorating/organizing frenzy down here in French Lique...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fall Harvest in French Lique

We got ourselves a little freeze here early Sunday morning. It got down to about 30-degrees (about -1 Celsius) in the wee hours just before dawn... and it didn't stay there long... at 6:30 a.m. when my feet hit the floor it was up to about 38-degrees (on the plus side of Celsius, but I don't know where). The temperature was down there long enough to get the summer squash and the tomatoes (Ricky covered the tomatoes from the frost... but it didn't help with the freeze.)

So early afternoon Sunday, I went out and picked the last of the Summer Squash. This is it. I'm thinking casserole... yummy eatin' down here in French Lique...

ps... I seem to be on a food theme this week. Wonder if it has anything to do with Thanksgiving? Food for thought down here in French Lique!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The last piece of pie...

No matter who you are or where you live... it always comes down to this. The last piece of pie.

Ricky and I both love pumpkin pie. This time of year, they are plentiful. Every week, I buy a pie somewhere... (sorry Joan, I never seem to find the time to bake one!). Along with the pie, I buy a container of Coolwhip Light. Somehow, we manage to finish the pie and the Coolwhip at the same time.

This piece of pie was mine (we also split the pie evenly - Ricky gets half, I get half). What usually happens though, is that Ricky finishes his half first... over a period of 3 or 4 days. Then, that last piece of pie sits for a day or two, until I know he can stand it no more... and I always do what I did last night. I tell Ricky that I just don't want that last piece. "Are you sure?" he always says... and I always reply, "yes dear, I'm sure... you go ahead and eat it before it goes bad". And, he does.

Isn't life funny... year after year we go through this same little ritual and it never gets old. I just love sharing my pumpkin pie with my "Big Pumpkin" down here in French Lique...

Friday, November 14, 2008

but my business office desk is Really organized... really!

When I was in my late 30's, I had a boss that was a VP who was the most meticulous person, male or female, that I'd ever known in the workplace. Joe's organizational skills were second to none. One day he came to my office, where, there on my desk as usual, were piles and piles of paperwork. He asked me for a document that he needed, and I, with great confidence, pulled it from within one of the several piles and handed it to him.

He then asked me (rather sternly) to find a place in a file, labeled, for every important piece of paper on my desk. He wanted to be able to find paperwork even if I weren't around. Imagine that! I later found out that he'd spent the better part of a day, earlier in the week when I was on a business trip, looking for that same document that I had just handed him. He was very frustrated with me and my "filing system", and I had to admit, it did lend itself to a certain amount of job security. I spent the next weekend in the office organizing. The following Monday morning, Joe came into my office and congratulated me on the organization of my files. Then, he fired me.

Since that day about 16 years ago, I've had one singular guide that I've used when it comes to a work office/space. I keep everything 100% organized, and I never bring more personal items into the space than I can get into one small records box. I keep the records box under my desk. When I leave, I'll leave with my box and I won't look back. So here's my very well organized work desk.

There are almost NO personal items on my work desk. The pictures are of work friends/events, not family. The bookends are a gift from a vendor. The clock & business card holder are gifts from my company for achieving certain levels of sales. The only personal item I keep is a tiny yellow enamel cross that I got at church one day.

I don't plan on leaving this job - I plan on retiring here, but if someday my boss comes in to congratulate me on my great organizational skills, I've got my box, and I can pack it in less than 5 minutes. Then, I'll just bring it all home to
French Lique.

ps... inspiration supplied by Organising Queen. Thank you.

Hi-Ho Hi-Ho It's Off To Work I Go....

I'm a morning person. It might be because of my grandparents farm. When you spend a lot of time on a farm, you learn to get up early and get moving. Grandpa was always out of the house before daylight... and that was after Grandmother had cooked him a big country breakfast (every single day), and they'd sat together and drank a cup or two of coffee and discussed the day ahead. If you wanted to be a part of the morning with those two, you got up early. So, I'm a morning person.

This week, I've not gotten home until after 8pm two nights in a row. Last night, at a dinner meeting, I literally spent the last hour propped up on my left elbow, and in my right hand - sipping a glass of Merlot. I really don't like working late.

When I got home at almost 8:30pm, Ricky was in his office searching eBay for tractor parts. I walked into his office and said, "stand-up, I need a hug!" (and of course he obeyed.) I miss him when I'm out in the evening. In my world, I like to be home by 5:30 at the very latest.I like to eat supper with my Ricky, relax together watching the news and whatever comes on at 7pm; then snuggle with my poodles while reading the book of the week... turn in about 11pm and snuggle with Ricky. (guess I like the snuggling).

When I'm out of the house until 8 or 8:30pm... it really messes up my life... I'll be having a talk with my little boss today... we won't be doing anymore night work in my world for the rest of 2008. I'm a morning person... how about a breakfast meeting at the farmhouse out here in French Lique. I'll cook!

Update: Friday evening, 10:08 pm
- I got into the office about 10:30 this morning (remember, I'm commissioned sales... no appointments - no paycheck - no need to hang out there). Anyway, my little boss came to my "space" and asked how I was doing... I told him, "Well, you've had me out till after 8pm the past two nights... I'm tired!" to which he replied... "Yeah, I know. I'm sorry. That's it for 2008 though, okay?"... Guess I told him!! (dream on Dixie) I've got 'em on the run down here in French Lique!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What was Ricky thinking...?

Last night I had to work. About 4-times a year I'm required to present a seminar,"The Fundamentals of Investing", for the financial institution I work with. I didn't get home until about 8pm... "why is this important?" you say. Well, when I'm not home, Ricky is on his own. But let me back up about a day....

Tuesday night I received an email from my sister-in-law, letting me know that the cookie-dough I'd purchased from my little niece would be delivered to my in-laws home on Wednesday (yesterday). Knowing that I'd be working, presenting the aforesaid seminar, I forwarded the email to the office next door... Ricky's office, along with a note..
"Sweetheart, please deliver the birthday card to your dad's tomorrow evening, and pick up the cookie-dough... reminder... I'll be working...". (Ricky and I each have our own home office - I work... he shops on ebay... it's a long story which I'll save for another post...)

Yesterday on the phone at lunchtime, I reminded Ricky about the birthday card delivery and picking up the cookie dough... Ricky seldom forgets anything... but just in case, I also wrote it down on our "reminder board" in the kitchen by the back door...

Last night, about 10:30 pm... I in my office... Ricky in his... I heard... "SHOOT! What was I thinking!?!" This one deserved my personal attention, so I walked next door and said... "What's the matter dear?"... to which he replied... "I forgot the dang cookie-dough!"... Now, I wonder what made him think about that??? More later... from here in French Lique...
ps.. Dad lives less than a mile away...

UPDATE Thursday 10:20pm cst: We figured it out! Ricky wasn't suppose to pick up cookie dough until Thursday...(today) all is well again in French Lique....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An organized desk... not my forte' here in French Lique

This is actually my home office work desk. I do a lot of work here... including business and personal. It works for me because I keep stuff that I use immediately on top of the pile... and as long as I have a nice glass of wine beside me...
Actually, I've got 2-printers, one is on the small bookcase to the left; the other is on the shelf just below the hard-drive. I always keep a spiral notepad right in front of me to jot down reminders to myself, a calculator for work purposes, Rolodex for business and personal, mail file (to the right of the monitor) that holds extra notepads, ruler, book light, address labels, journal... eeeeee-gads!... stapler, staple puller, glue, 3-paperclip holders, magnifying glass, CD player, 3-hole punch, extra ink for printer #1, business card holder, 2-checkbooks, 2-digital cameras, ... to the left, reference books, electric pencil sharpener, bulletin board with calendar and other stuff, printer paper and ink for printer #2... hummmmmmmmmm... Did I mention the laptop that is in it's case right now but is often on the desk... well... I think you get the picture... no pun intended...

It doesn't work because it's too cluttered and so I just use the little space right in front of me rather that utilizing the space in it's entirety. It's been on my "to do" list, for the past 6-months, to redecorate and organize my office. We're only looking at the desk... you should see the closets and bookshelves!

The cause of all this mess... perfectionism... yes, hard to believe, but that's it. I recently read that perfectionist have trouble completing tasks that they don't think they can do perfectly, so they just procrastinate. Well, that's the excuse I'm using... Now, pray that the public humiliation of it all will cause me to tackle the task and post a new pic, when it's all done, of my new perfect desk/office! I posted this second pic to show you why it doesn't bother me... this is the normal amount of light I use while in my office in the evening... see... can't see a thing!

Just whining about nothing at all here in French Lique... (thanks Organising Queen)
UPDATE 11-15-2008: I've posted a picture of my office work desk... just to prove I'm not a complete and utter disorganized mess!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

Project Legacy is sponsored by The History Channel. Their mission is to preserve the legacy of our soldiers by archiving "letters home" from soldiers during war time. What a wonderful way to honor our soldiers.

Happy Veteran's Day Uncle Alex and Dad Alfred, and all the soldiers everywhere, from we grateful citizens here in French Lique...

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Bucket List...

Ricky and I have a "Bucket List"... Tonight, we added something to it... But Ricky says the "Bucket List" is getting too long... We don't disagree very often, but this time I have to disagree...

  1. Spend 2-weeks traveling the country-side in southern Ireland

  2. Visit Ricky's ancestrial beginnings in Poland

  3. See Paris in the springtime with my sweetie

  4. See Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  5. Visit a winery in Tuscany, Italy

  6. Go to Mass in Vatican City

  7. Go boating in the summer on The Great Lakes

  8. Have A white Christmas somewhere in the mountains

  9. Watch a Hawiian Volcano erupt

  10. Take a Train ride through the mountains of Canada

  11. Watch the whales migrate while on A cruise to Alaska

  12. East Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

I think thats a good start... more later... from right here in French Lique...

and if you LOVE the bucket... here's the link for the "How To's"...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Did somebody say "Cold Snap"!

Cold Snap = Norther...
Pronounced Nor-ther for those of you in Rio Linda (tks Rush)... We get 'em down here this time of year. The sky clouds up, and the colder weather comes in. I looked outside today and there they were... those dark bands of clouds that come in ahead of the cold. It's funny, I grew up in the Southeastern U.S. where the trees are tall and the sky rains at least a couple of times each week. In Texas, the trees are short... and the sky... big. I don't know why really, but it just seems like you can see so much further in Texas... and you can see those Norther's comin'.

By next Sunday morning, we're expecting our first freeze. Now, down here that probably means that the thermostat might tip down to 32-degrees Farenheit, but doubtful it will stay there long.

Macy's, in San Antonio, got it's Christmas Tree today (it was a big news item at 10:00 pm) - takes 'em about 3-weeks to decorate it... Then we'll have the big Christmas Lighting at the SA Riverwalk on Thanksgiving weekend. (it's a big deal down here, ya know!)

It's beginning to smell, feel and look a lot like the Holidays are here... down here in French Lique...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Notes to self...

Just about every day, I jot down notes on a steno pad... my "notes to self". Sometimes it's a word or phrase that I want to "google" in the evening when I get home. Often, it's a book title that I want to remember to add to my "reading list", or to try to find cheaply on ebay... or the used book store... sometimes it's a reminder of something I need to pick up at the store. Today I noticed that the pile of steno pads is up to six... Normally, when I finish filling one pad up, I get a new pad, review the old pad, tear out pages or transfer notes... then get rid of the old book and begin to use the new... I haven't done that in a while...

So here are today's "Notes to self..."

1. "...doomed to repeat it"...
2. "cold snap"...
3. A Prayer for Owen Meeny... by John Irvin
4. Hair spray & mousse
5. Lladro outlet sale
6. steno pads... purge...

Well... got plenty to do this weekend... down here in French Lique...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Brock Obama is the President for the 6-year old crowd...

My oldest daughter called me today to share a conversation she had with her daughter, my only grandaughter, the Panda...

#1 - "So Panda, do you know who won President this week?"

Panda - "Yes Mama, 'Brock' Obama won."

#1 - "Did you talk about the election at school?"

Panda - " Yes, I said I wanted 'Brock' Obama to win."

#1 - "Panda, why did you want 'Brock' Obama to win?"

Panda - "Well, I like how he looks; I don't think I would want a dollar with the other guy on it. I like how 'Brock' Obama would look on a dollar."

#1 - "Hummmm... interesting thinking... but Panda... his name isn't 'Brock' Obama, it's 'Ba-rack' Obama.

Panda - "Oh. Well, that's okay."

Out of the mouths of babes... Thanks Panda for telling it like it is. Grandma and Grandpa really love you a bunch down here in French Lique...

Ps... Panda, you've got a point about the dollars ...
Pss... to dear readers... the Panda has a little friend named "Brock"...

The blessing of rain... in French Lique...

The windows were open this morning when I woke up to the pitter-patter of rain outside. I love the sound and the smell of rain. Ricky came into the bedroom and I told him "it's raining, you might want to park that motorcycle this morning and take the truck to work"... to which he replied.... "Naw"....

Ricky left for work, on the motorcycle of course, and I sat down at the front porch table to enjoy the rain with a nice hot cup of coffee and the morning newspaper. About 5 minutes later, he was back... and soaking wet. It was just drizzling at our house... but a couple of miles down the road, it was pouring... So he came back, gave me another kiss good-bye, and took the truck to work.

One of these days that man is going to listen to the wisdom of his wife... just biding my time down here in French Lique...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

God's House here in French Lique...

I love this photograph of the inside of our church. Our parish is over 150-years old, and Ricky's family has been a part of this parish for most of those 150-years.
His family has celebrated births, baptisms, weddings and anniversaries here, and when the time comes, they celebrate life and honor death here at funeral mass.
This is a beautiful house... it is God's house... and we honor this place here in French Lique...

Obama wins... Fox News calls it at 11pm EST

The first black American elected to the presidency of the U.S. It's been a long time coming, and while you may not agree with his politics, you have to admit that it is time.

So what does this fellow have in common with the rest of us? I think this picture tells it all, and so; we're going to respect the office, and the people's choice. We're going to pray that God gives guidance to this man and protects him and his family. Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States.

and hey... he wore a pretty good-lookin' cowboy hat while down here campaigning in Texas... we like that look here in French Lique...

Monday, November 3, 2008

A world of our own down here in French Lique...

Texans live in a world of their own. They don't spend much time thinkin' about the rest of the country. We're more interested in thinking about the simple life - family, friends, rodeo, planting the garden, goin' to work, and gettin' home... We don't tend to get overly excited about things like elections, because we pretty much feel like we'll just keep doin' what we're doin'. Problem is, that ain't necessarily so.

This country, like Texas itself, was founded on beliefs of God given human rights. While we have stumbled sometimes, we always seem to be able to "right ourselves". With the presidential elections tomorrow, I've spent a fair amount of time in "worry" and in "prayer". The worry doesn't do any good, but it reminds me to pray.

Regardless of tomorrow's election outcome, I have to believe that if things go wrong, we'll be able to "right ourselves" once again, and return to being the greatest country on earth. We have much to offer here, much to share, much to give. Let us not lose site of what we are, and better yet, what we can be. God Bless the USA, God Bless Texas! and God Bless French Lique...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ricky D gets a new toy...

Richard is lovin' his refurbished Allis Chalmers lawn tractor. He loves it so much, he bought it a new part. He found a composter on ebay and only paid $*** for it... wow... what a bargain? (I could have gotten a real nice new wine refrigerator with those $$$'s)... but I digress...

Anyway, in our front yard we have three 30-year old Sycamore trees with leaves as big as a 5-inch saucer. Every fall, Richard rakes the fallen leaves into several giant piles and then hopes the wind will come and blow them across the road instead of back into our fence. Sometimes it works... sometimes... not so much... Which brings me back to the fabulous buy he got on ebay...

He received his wonderful new pride and joy piece of equipment today via UPS, and promptly hooked it up to the front end of his refurbished Allis Chalmers lawn tractor. Then he put a big pile of leaves in to chop.

Wow, garden mulch!

Now I'm impressed... guess I'll be waiting a little longer on that wine fridge....

Just sippin' wine on the front porch this evenin' with my sweetie... down here in French Lique...

All Souls Day... Day of the Dead...

Following All Saints Day (which is today), is All Souls' Day. All Souls' Day is also known as the Feast of All Souls, Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed. Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos or de los Difuntos) is used in Spanish-speaking countries, and here in South Texas where we have a large Hispanic population and culture.
Catholics, and some other Christian denominations, traditionally have some activity revolving around placing flowers on the graves of loved ones, at the Church or local cemetery, on this day. The Spanish culture is a bit more festive... Just thought you'd like to know what's going on down here in French Lique...

Got my Rodeo tickets!

The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo happens here in South Texas every February without fail. There are lots of activities that revolve around the SA Rodeo such as "Cowboy Breakfast" - which has now moved so far northwest of San Antonio that we'll probably never go to another one. By far, the best part of the SA Rodeo, is the Rodeo itself and the entertainment that follows. Ricky D and I try to go once or twice every year, to see the exhibits, the livestock, the country store, the booths full of Texas stuff that you can buy... and of course to watch some great Rodeo-ing and listen to some great Country Music. Last year, I really wanted to go see Josh Turner... but I messed around so long tryin' to get better tickets... that I ended up with no tickets at all. Today, the ticket sales for the 2009 SA Rodeo started. Ricky n' me got on line at 8 a.m. and purchased the best tickets we could get... for Reba (McEntire for those of you in Rio Linda - thanks Rush), Brooks & Dunn, and yes... Josh Turner. Now while they are not the best seats in the house, by golly they're not bad. And, at least this year, we'll get to hear them sing even if we can't see 'em. Just celebrating Rodeo a little early down here in French Lique! Yee Haw!