Monthly Archives: May 2014



This is a true account of a mass murder. No disrespect intended to anyone, if you or anyone you know who are reading this was affected by this or any other horrendous act of murder.

Glass shattered, and bricks flew everywhere, as the blue pick-up truck came crashing into Luby’s restaurant. People were hit by the truck and debris, then gunshots rang out, again and again. Everyone scrambled for cover under tables, in a freezer…anywhere they could hide from the gunman.

Methodically roaming the restaurant’s dining room, firing round after round,  and yelling that all women were vipers, the gunman murdered 23 innocent people, before taking his own life.

It began as a nice fall day…October 16, 1991. It was ‘bosses day’, and several groups of school administrators were dining in that day. Other diners included a local veterinarian, a chiropractor, housewives, mechanics, and employees of Luby’s. The mass murder left everyone and everything in shambles.

In the days to come, the crime scene was inundated with all the major, national news crews, with their satellite trucks, reporting on the murder. They were there for days on end…and then the funerals began.

It was a tragedy that will never be forgotten.

Those are the facts.

This now, is my personal memories of that day. We lived on base at Ft. Hood, at the time. Killeen, Texas is an Army town, right by the base. Luby’s restaurant was right on the highway, across the way from the local Wal-Mart that I always went to, and just down the street from Killeen High School. My daughters were in school that day. 

The first I heard of the shooting, was when I was at a small convenience store on base, not far from the house. My husband was at work. People were acting strange in the store, and I heard confusing snippets of conversations about a shooting…and about a mad-man going around shooting at several schools.

I hurried home and turned on the tv. The local stations were already covering the incident. They said it was just rumors going around about the schools. I was still nervous, though. Finally, I saw the school bus come down the street, letting the kids out. I don’t think they’d even heard about the shooting. I was very relieved.

This was in 1991, and still to this day, I am hesitant to sit by the windows at a restaurant. In my mind, I feel it could happen again, at any time. I mentally check for hiding places, and where the exits are, every single time.

There were heroes that day. The mechanic threw himself through another plate-glass window to create an opening for people to get out. His name is Thomas Vaughn. Another hero, in my opinion, is the woman who lost both her mother and father that day. Suzanna Gratia Hupp, later campaigned in the Texas legislature for the gun laws in Texas to allow concealed-carry. It passed.

I will not mention the gunman’s name, as he does not deserve any recognition.


An excellent book detailing this tragedy is “Anatomy of a Massacre” by Jason Karpf and Elinor Karpf.   




Would you travel out of state, just to look at a parking lot? Evidently, some people would.

For a long time, we had a lake in the middle of a parking lot, here. It was at the mall, and was located pretty close to the Dillard’s Department store. It became known as ‘Dillard’s Lake’.

Now, this lake was not supposed to be there, and at times would disappear. For some reason, that area of the parking lot sloped downward, making it lower than the surrounding paved areas. When it rained, it would collect the overflow from a nearby playa lake.The water would stay there for long periods of time, until it dried out. This has now been resolved, with the installation of a drainage system.

What was funny, is that it bacame a sort of tourist attraction. Lots of out-of-towners had heard of ‘Dillard’s Lake’, and came to see it for themselves. I don’t think the Dillard’s store was very fond of it though, as it took up at least 200 parking spots that their customers could have used.

Now, it is gone. All we have is memories of the parking lot lake, and a fun story to tell. 

For a couple of pictures, and the news story of the lake in the parking lot, you can find it here.  🙂 



Do you remember the story of “Jack and the Beanstalk”? He was the boy who traded his family’s cow for some magic beans. His mother threw them out the window, she was so upset. However, overnight one of the beans, being magic, grew into a really tall beanstalk. He climbed it way up into the sky, and found the giant’s house. After tricking the giant, Jack was able to escape with the goose that laid the golden egg. He and his mother lived happily ever after, on the riches the golden eggs provided.

I think my cats hope something like that happens when I give them their crunchy cat food. They eat it all, except one. All four cats have a habit of doing this. I don’t knw why, but could be they think if they leave one, it will be magic and make more crunchy food appear. Most of the time it works.

Eventually, I’ll add more crunchies to the one left behind…and, just like the cats planned, the magic crunchy made more for them. Now, if only it would grow a big, tall, crunchy tree for them to climb, they would be even more amazed. 🙂   This is Cricket!Image



The third true story of my misadventures with Mexican food, I’ve named…


This time, my daughter and I were at a restaurant. We’d just finished a great Mexican food meal, which included a unique dip to have with the tortilla chips…a creamy jalapeno concoction, that is very good.

We were sitting at our table, the place was crowded and noisy, with people talking and cool music playing. The waiter came bustling by to ask if we needed anything else, and to take away our empty dishes. He stacked up an armload, and just as he turns to leave, all the dishes he was holding, toppled over…onto my daughter.

The plates and bowls were mostly empty, but there was some of the jalapeno dip left, and it went splashing everywhere. It was on the table, the floor, and all over my daughter, from head to toe…in her long hair, on her clothes, and on her sandaled feet.  We grabbed what few napkins were there, to try and wipe it all off. The waiter was all apologetic, trying to help wipe her off, then ran to get more napkins.

We did the best we could, then paid for the meal and left. Maybe we should have been compensated for the meal after that? The waiter did offer to pay for any dry-cleaning, though.

Now, back at the car, we were laughing about the incident, calling it the ‘Jalapeno Dip Flip’. We still had places we had to go, and so we did, even smelling like jalapenos. I don’t know if everywhere we went, the smell was noticible. If people did notice, they didn’t mention it.

Now, whenever we have Mexican food, we are on high alert for weird disasters to happen. 🙂Image



This is the second true story of my misadventures with Mexican food. As I mentioned in the first one, “Tamale Tumble”, strange things happen when we have Mexican food. I don’t know why…it doesn’t happen with other types of food.:)

This one is what I like to call….


“Oh, my God! The enchiladas exploded!” we screamed, and dodged, as hot glass and enchiladas went flying off in all directions.

Talk about a ‘hot mess’, we had one.

Grabbing the cats out of the way, so they wouldn’t step in or eat glass, we put them in a bedroom.

Looking at the huge mess in the kitchen, I was thinking all that work of planning, cooking, and decorating is now ruined. But what could we do? Shaking our heads, and laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation, we began the clean up.

It was me, my daughter, and her fiancee, trying to wipe up hot glass and enchiladas, without burning or cutting our hands. The deconstructed enchiladas were everywhere…on the stove, the cabinet, and the floor. There may have even been some on the ceiling, and I saw shards of glass in the side dishes of beans and rice.

It looked impossible to get it all wiped up. We must have used a whole roll of paper towels.

It had started out as a fun evening. My daughter had brought her fiancee over for a meal, for the first time. I’d gotten industrious…figured enchiladas would be just the thing, since we make them all the time, and they turn out great. I even decorated a bit, hanging up some sombreros, and putting a tiny pinata on the table. I’d used a colorful horse blanket for a tablecloth.

Now, look at what a wonderful first impression my future son-in-law has had of me and my cooking. He was a good sport about it, though. As we finished cleaning, we all wondered what we were going to eat, since the explosion had effectively ended my plans.

We looked at each other…”Pizza!” we decided. My now son-in-law was the hero that night. He went and picked us up a wonderful pizza, and even paid for it. We sat there at the table with the Mexican decorations, and enjoyed our meal, as we talked about the crazy thing that had happened.

The night of the exploding enchiladas is now just a funny family story we like to tell. 🙂Image




I love to eat Mexican food. Whether making it at home, going to a restaurant, or getting take-out, it is all good, to me.

For some crazy reason, though, there are incidents…strange things happen. The first of three, true stories, I call…


We wanted Mexican food, so my daughter and I drive over to a restaurant to get take-out. As we waited in the long line of cars, at the drive through, we decided tamales would be good. We were getting three separate meals, which came with the tamales, refried beans, and rice. We also got tortilla chips and containers of salsa.

They put it all in a large plastic bag, handed it out the window, and we left. I was the designated bag holder, on the way home. All was going great, the food smelled delicious, and we were almost home.

Suddenly, we had to brake hard to avoid another car. In that instant, the plastic bag of food slid off my lap and into the floorboard of the car. The styrofoam containers flew open, spilling hot tamales, beans, and rice, all over the place. Mostly on my feet. I was wearing flip-flops…the food was hot and squishy between my toes.

What could we do? We cackled with laughter, turned around, and went back to the restaurant for more food. We were determined to get some Mexican food that night.

So, we go back through the line, and the cashier looked at us funny, but we didn’t explain why we were back for more, after only a few minutes.

I kept on squishing the beans between my toes, hoping they’d hurry up and cool off and stop burning me. Finally, at home with the new bag of food, we pull into the garage. I open my door. The cat jumps into the car and immediately starts licking the beans, tamales, and rice off my toes. The hot salsa didn’t even stop him.

In the end, we got the cat out of the car, I washed off my feet and the floor of the car, and we could finally sit down and eat Imageall that yummy Mexican food.

It was so worth all the trouble.

~ Stay tuned for the second true story of my misadventures with Mexican food.



Yeah, up above where I’m supposed to put a title to this piece, it says ‘title optional’…ok…but I don’t like to leave it blank. I’ve spent way too much time trying to think of something catchy, so I’ll just say the truth. I can’t think of one, because this is just a bit of randomness that happens here…one little episode, that reveals what my ADHD brain goes through on a daily basis.

This one starts out with cats, and evolves into cleaning out my purse. So, see…try to think up a title for that. Anyway, here goes…

I’m going around the house, picking up all the little cat toys. They are all over the floor, in several rooms, because, well, I throw them at the cats. Not actually at them…well, sometimes I do, but for the cats to chase. Except mostly, they don’t chase them. They just watch me throwing toys in the air. Oh, they may take a half-hearted swipe at one, if it lands right by their feet. I think they enjoy watching the ‘crazy lady’ that plays with cat toys.

Ok, so I’m picking them up (the toys…not the cats) using the long wand thing with pinchers on the end – the gopher, picker-upper tool – and putting them in the cat’s toy basket, which is on a little table. My purse is sitting by the basket, and I think, hey, I should clean out my purse.

So, I start taking things out. It’s like one of those clown cars, where more and more clowns come out of the little car. Well, more and more things come out of my purse. It isn’t really a big purse…just medium sized, I’d say. How can so much junk accumulate in there? Well, because I’m disorganized, for one thing.

Disorganized, distracted, and I tend to stuff lots of things in there. I tell myself it is for those ‘just in case’ type of days, but really, there’s hardly ever an ‘in case’ moment that actually happens. Other times, I’m in too big a hurry to put something away, so in the purse it goes. Then it is forgotten, until the next time I happen to clean it out.

And now, I’m standing there pulling out random items, until I have a large pile, there on the table. At that point, I go get a plastic bag to put trash in, and most of it is just trash I’ve been hauling around. It’s no wonder my purse is so heavy. By now, I’ve gotten tired/bored with the whole thing, so I just dump all of the items into the plastic bag. I say I’ll go through it later. Now, it is two days later and it is still there where I left it.

My projects have little chance in being finished…ADHD won’t let me focus long enough. Halfway through, I’m getting antsy, have to move on to something else. Doesn’t matter…it’s already forgotten, and I’m on the move again. Anyway, since I’m writing about this purse episode, let’s get back to the formerly forgotten plastic bag.

Want to see what’s in there? Are you curious/brave enough to stick around, while I reveal what was in my purse? If not, look away now…it’s ok. Here goes…

  • microfiber cloth
  • a pair of socks
  • a pair of underwear
  • 2 – 39 gallon trash bags
  • pkg. of hand wet wipes
  • 3 extra pks. of wet wipes
  • stretchy hair band, purple w/skulls
  • 3 wrist bands from the hospital (from
  • surgery last week) I.D., Fall Risk, and
  • Allergy
  • 14 grocery receipts
  • 5 grocery lists
  • 1 Dr. appt. card
  • 7 peppermints
  • 3 pennies, 1 nickel, 2 quarters (found)
  • 3 unused gift cards,
  • billfold, keys, sunglasses, pill container
  • 3 e-cigs, reg. camera & case, & disposable camera

Pretty crazy, huh? And the worst, sad, horrifying thing about it, is what is ‘not’ in there. There is no paper or notebook to write on. The one most important item a writer should always have with them, is something to write ideas on, quickly, before the thoughts evaporate. How can this be? Oh, yeah, I’m forgetful…forgot to put one in there the last time I changed purses. That’s why I sometimes write on napkins, or receipts, and have to check them before I throw them away, just in case I wrote on them. (no, I don’t have one of those phones that you can type a list on an app…is that a real thing?)

So, now that we’ve all had a good laugh, care to tell me what you carry around…just in case? 🙂

P.S. I started writing this earlier this morning, halfway through…Image left it to go to lunch, and appt. and grocery store. Hey, at least I finished it! Yay 



A cliche is an expression that has been overused in speech and writing. They go so far back in time, that they have lost their original meaning, yet still have a grain of truth to them. We’ve all heard them and use them in our everyday speech, but I’ve read that it is not a good idea to use them in our writing. The phrases are thought to be stale, unoriginal, trite, and commonplace.

There are hundreds of thes cliches, and being from Texas, I hear and use them all the time. I don’t know if other regions use them as much, or if they have certain ones that are used more frequently. I think they are funny, and of course recognize them when I hear them or see them written.

I don’t quite understand why they are such a bad thing to use in writing, in moderation, of course. If your character is speaking to someone, they more than likely will use a cliche at some point in the conversation…that is if you want them to sound authentic. People’s conversations are not formal and stilted.

I know, I can hear you say they’ve been over-done, used too much, they are boring, come up with something more original. Well, lots of words have been used over and over. What about hello, good-bye, I love you, how are you, good night, and many more. Are you going to stop using them, just because you’ve heard them a lot…probably not.

Is it because cliches are a bit funny? I think they are, and love to hear them, and recognize when someone is saying them or writing them. It’s a sort of touchstone to be in sync with the speaker or writer…you both understand the meaning behind the phrase.

Just for fun, I’ve listed a few, and some thoughts about them. First of all, why do so many refer to fruits, vegetables, and animals?

1. we ‘veg’ out in front of the tv, 2. she is ‘nutty as a fruitcake’, 3. he’s ‘nuts’, 4. that’s ‘no beans’, 5. that’s ‘cool beans’, 6. ‘she eats like a bird’, 7. ‘he eats like a horse’, 8. ‘they multiply like rabbits’, 9. ‘bless your pea-pickin’ heart’, 10. let’s ‘talk turkey’, 11. we ‘soar like a eagle’, 12. ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’.
What if you substituted another word in the saying? People would look at you strange if you were to say, ‘we soar like a buzzard’, or ‘they multiply like mathemauntitledtitions’
What are your thoughts on using cliches? As for me, I’m not going overuse them in writing, but speaking is ‘a whole ‘nother ballgame’, and I won’t ‘avoid them like the plague’.



Do you enjoy watching soap operas? How many of you admit to watching, and even enjoying soaps. Did you watch them in the past…do you still catch an episode now and then? Tuning in to ‘the stories’ has been a favorite pastime for many years, first on the radio, then on television.

I watched quite a few of them over the years. Only recently have I stopped.That’s because one by one, my favorites were cancelled after such long-running series. I’d watched “All My Children” since it’s beginning, in 1970, hardly ever missing a show. Then, after 41 years on the air, it was gone.

Soap operas are a fantastic feat in storytelling. The writers may have changed over the years, but from it’s inception, “All My Children” remained true to it’s creator’s vision. Agnes Nixon, who conceived of this soap opera, among many others, began just like all writers do to this day. She began with an idea, a vision of a story in her head. Putting pen to paper, she created the world of Pine Valley, and populated it with interesting characters.

There were many family groups, each with their own trials and tribulations, storylines, and more drama than any family should ever have to deal with. Eventually, all the characters in this imagined world, would come to know each other, and interact in all types of situations. During it’s run, it was a forerunner in bringing to light, many of the world’s concerns, and among the first to bring awareness, on air, to such groundbreaking issues as…the Viet Nam war, abortion, homelessness, racism, mental illnesses, diabetes, homosexuality, domestic violence, aids awareness, drug and gambling addiction, sexual harrasment, and many other topics in the news of the changing times.

To have kept the story going all those years, and to have kept the audience interested and coming back for more, is a bit of writing genius, in my opinion. Can you imagine doing that…keeping your novel going for 41 years, writing a chapter each and every day, keeping the characters and plots moving forward? On top of all that, Ms Nixon and her team, managed to do the editing, rewriting, scripts, scenes, hiring of actors, television crews, and all others involved, and keep writing the story to make it all come together to meet the daily deadline.

Such is the world of soap operas. I applaud Agnes Nixon, for her dedication to her craft, for being such a wonderful storyteller, and for keeping me, and many thousands of soap opera fanatics, happy to tune in for another episode of the continuing story.

Here you can find more about the soap opera, “All My Children”.

Happy reading! Comments welcome!

Peace, Love, & WritingImage   



Take out a nice piece of stationery and a pen. Get comfortable. You are going to write a letter. Take your time transferring your thoughts onto the paper. Is it a love letter you are writing? Are you writing to a far away relative, letting them know how your family is doing? Whatever form your letter takes, you are continuing a long tradition of communication.

In this age of the fast paced, immediate way of sharing your ideas with others via the internet, on FaceBook, Twitter and emails, actual letter writing is now a rarity. However, there is something satisfying about writing, sending, and receiving personal, handwritten letters.

Don’t you secretely hope, when you check your mailbox, that there will be a letter or card from a friend or loved one? Why don’t we write more letters the ‘old fashioned’ way? Is it because the price of stamps have gone up? Is it because it takes several days for a letter to arrive?

Have you saved your love letters in a packet, tied with a ribbon? Have you treasured old letters you’ve found from a long gone relative? What will future generations have to remember our past thoughts, hopes, family news, and celebrations?

They will only have electronic missives, that are there on your computer, yet not there…just lost in the thousands of other emails and direct messages. Why don’t we all try writing actual letters again. Find some pretty or cute paper, add some stickers, maybe a card, use your imagination to make it personal.

Surprise someone with a letter in their mailbox. I can assure you, they will smile. Maybe the next time you open your own mailbox, you will be happily surprised.Image