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Dancing September 5, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Dancing, Feelings, learning, life, random, thoughts.
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Earlier as I was watching “Meet Me In St. Louis” and it was at the part of the Winter Ball and everyone dancing. It got me to thinking that I don’t know how to dance! All I pretty much know how to do is head bang (that’s a metal head for ya) and sway. That’s all. Pretty sad, once ya think about it. At 24, I should at least know how to slow dance but I’ve never had the opportunity so I don’t even know how to do that. Well, I do know how to do the Electric Side but doesn’t everyone?

I would love to learn how to dance. I don’t mean the kind of stuff you see in the clubs because I would die if I ever had to grind on someone just to get them to notice me. I got a personality for that. But I would love to learn how to slow dance, like you see in movies because I think it’s so graceful how they move like their on air. I really don’t want to learn the ChaCha or Tango because while I have rhythm, it’s mostly sitting down and there is little chance of my feet getting tied up and falling. Line dancing probably wouldn’t be a good idea either because even sober, I look crazy dancing. I know it’s not hard to learn how to slow dance, but I’ve never had someone ask me. I sometimes have dreams that I’m slow dancing with someone and I’m so good at it, but I realize that I stink at it.

Maybe one of these years I will eventually learn the simple task of even just learning to dance without looking like an idiot because I know that’s what I must look like while dancing. I can’t head bang the rest of my life!

Late Night Thoughts September 2, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in dating, Feelings, learning, life, love, relationships, thoughts.
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Once I get in a mindset that I’m gonna do something, unless nothing else major is going on, its usually the last thing I think of as I drift off to sleep.

As I was laying in bed to fall asleep last night, my thoughts once again turned to relationships. More specifically, where my past ones went wrong. I know its not good to dwell on the past, but this wasn’t reminiscing- it was taking notes. As I thought through every past relationship, I realized it wasn’t my fault they ended. It was their’s.

Why do I say that? Because even with my first relationship at 21, I was more mature. He was a tall blond 30-something that played video games constantly. We never talked seriously. The next relationship came a year later and only lasted 5 months because he thought he was better than my family and I. Same thing with the next one. This past relationship ended because we were just too different. He was a thug that used to steal while I had my head on straight.

I’ve realized that I have to be picky about beaus. While I’d love to still consider “Cyber Guy” (the one I had the HUGE crush on), he just lives too far. I’d never see him and phone cards cost too much to talk on the phone every day. Not to mention we hardly talk. But I still think he’s sexy. Hehe

I’m usually not picky about looks because I would hate someone to judge me because of the way I look. As far as personalities, as long as they were nice to me and my family, I didn’t mind. Maybe that’s where I went wrong. Sure, they were good-looking (as far as I thought) and they had nice personalities, but a nice personality can get you so far. As I get older, I’m starting to realize that maybe I can start being a little pickier on who I choose. I want someone with an amazing personality and a smile that makes my heart skip a beat. And maybe a goatee.

Fall is coming! Fall is coming! August 31, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in fall, Feelings, fun, life, random, Seasons, summer, thoughts, winter.
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Sometime last week (I think it was Thursday), a “cool” front came through Central Texas. While it isn’t exactly “cool” by any means, except a night, it certainly has made it less hot! We have taken a break from those continuous triple digit highs and are now in the lower to mid 90’s. While most people tend to think that it is still hot while in the 90’s, it is like a sigh of relief for us Texans. After 60+ days with temperatures over 100*, 90’s are a pretty exciting thing!

Last night, around 7 pm, we took Zeus outside to play in his pool. As I stepped outside, it felt like Spring! It wasn’t humid or muggy. It wasn’t unbearably hot. It was so nice and had a little cool breeze blowing through! I didn’t want to go inside. But since Zeus got too excited and wanted to bite, we had to bring him inside. Another exciting factor is that somewhere in Indiana yesterday at like 1PM, they were at 64*! And leaves are starting to fall in other parts of the country. Yippie!

That means Fall is coming sooner (since we had such an early Summer) and that gets me excited! Goodbye flip flops, hello hoodies! While I could live in flip flops, I patiently wait for the day I can get rid of shorts and wear pants, sweaters, and my lovable hoodie. I love the feel of a chilly Fall as it sends a chill up and down my spine. I love the cool wind blowing my long black hair across my face, making my face cool. I love seeing all the trees change color. I love seeing all the little woodland (okay, city woodland) creatures come out and gather their food for the winter. And early Fall also means one thing- an early Winter! That would mean that by the time our birthday rolls around in December, it should be frigid- just like when I was younger!

I cannot tell you how excited I am that Fall is finally coming! Summer was too hot. We had little to no rain. We couldn’t take Zeus out very often (except in the evening) because of the heat so he had a lot of pent up energy in the house. All the cats did was sleep. Maybe now we can take Zeus out a couple of times a day and the cats will start running around like they used to. Yippie! Fall is coming! Fall is coming!

I think I’m Ready August 29, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in dating, Feelings, learning, life, love, random, relationships, thoughts.
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You know what is so weird? That after everything my family has been through this year, I think I am ready to fall in love once again. I have matured ever since my last relationship considerably and have set my priorities straight.

My last relationship started off great- had a lot in common, enjoyed each others company, and just fell head over hills in love. I thought he was the one but as our relationship went on, I started to realize that maybe he wasn’t the one. I should have known that when we broke up, I didn’t cry much. I maybe cried one day and one night, but it wasn’t like many relationships before where I was an emotional wreck.

So why would I want a relationship after everything my family has been through? I’m much stronger than I’ve ever been, and can hold my own side of the relationship instead of doing what they want to do. Sure there will be times when I wouldn’t mind going bowling (as long as no one is behind me) or the movies. But if I just wanna hang around the house with the family, he can come, but he has to realize that most of it will be spent WITH the family and not in another room. Plus the living room has a bigger TV. With football season in season (well atleast pre-season), that’s the spot to watch the games!

I know my time will come when I find a boyfriend but as most of you have probably come to realize, I’m not a very patient person. But I don’t want to rush love- bad idea. Been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. Maybe if I stop looking or expecting something to happen, I’ll let it happen naturally. Kinda like waiting for Fall- you wait, they will come. Or something like that.

TB Articles: Living on A Budget August 26, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Ecnomony, life, money, shopping.
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I may be young, but I’ve understood what it is like to live on a tight budget. Now that unemployment has risen the the economy is recovering too slowly for many people, living on a tight budget has become “the norm”.

When it comes to groceries, coupons have become wildly popular. But most of them are for name brands and those tend to run on the expensive side. Don’t be afraid of store brands. In some cases, they can taste the exact same as the name brand version but at a cheaper price. And sometimes, generic store brands have larger casings or packaging, making them last longer. Cap’n Crunch may taste great, but Malt-O-Meal has a bigger back with the same great taste. It may cost more, but you’ll save money when you aren’t buying the name brand box every 2 weeks. If you only get paid every 2 weeks and need to stretch the food out, stock up. Instead of buying 1 gallon of milk, buy 2. Instead of buying one box of Pop Tarts, buy 2. You might not be saving a lot of money, but you’re saving yourself a trip to the grocery store and whatever money you have left, that can used towards other things.

Speaking of trips, setting aside gas money for a week or two is a great way to save. It cuts out the desire to spend the money for something else (unless it was needed) and you know exactly where it’s going. If you spend $20 every week for gas, take out $40 for two weeks. Label an envelope “Weekly Gas- 2 Weeks”, and place the $40 in there. That way if you get the impulse to buy that DVD, you will know that it is to be used for gas or emergencies.

If you feel you can’t pay a bill or have problems buying food, don’t underestimate the power of help. There are thousands upon thousands of people who go through the exact same thing every single day. There are problems that are available to help pay a bill or even help with food. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce if you want to know what programs are available.

Living on a budget doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Reinventing the way you make pasta or even buy groceries can bring new ideas, making a tight budget seem less suffocating I promise.

TB Articles: The Summer Heat August 24, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in fun, Ideas, learning, life, Seasons, summer, thoughts.
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NOTE: I have decided that I am going to start writing “articles” so that my readers don’t get bored with the same posts over and over again. Not only that, it will help me develop better writing skills for when I go to college. If you need more information about the articles, refer to “TB Articles“. If you are interested in becoming a guest writer for Texas Banter, refer to this page.

The temperature is rising over 100*, the sun is burning down from the clouds, and you’re hot- very hot. You’re so hot, you DREAM of the day that cooler weather arrives. Having lived in Texas my whole life, I have become somewhat of an expert on trying to stay cool. While they might not work for everyone, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try, right?

If you’re inside and it seems like your house isn’t cooling as it should, think water. Gather up several plastic water bottles, fill them with water, and put them in the freezer. After 4 hours in the icebox, move them to the fridge and grab one for yourself. You now have cold water available for “on-the-go” and it’s a lot easier than trying to lug a gallon of cold water out of the fridge just to fill up a glass. It becomes so helpful, especially if you’re doing chores and you find yourself getting sweaty. You don’t want to become dehydrated even if you don’t feel hot because the symptoms can be fatigue, and many think that they are tired because of the chores. In most cases, it’s that they are dehydrated. Aside from keeping you hydrated, the cold water will cool your core temperature down a few degrees, and it help you from feeling physically hot.

Since our house doesn’t have insulation, it tends to get burning hot in the Summer and near-dead freezing in the Winter. In the Summer, when the temperature in the room is 83*, I like to use the shower. I don’t mean taking a shower. I mean getting my hair wet by bending over the edge of the tub with my head under the shower. I don’t panic if my clothes get wet because I know that eventually I will end up sitting in front of a fan or air conditioner, making me feel a lot cooler. I suggest that you don’t do it every hour or too frequently because you can end up with a heat rash. While they can be treated by topical baby rash cream, they are kinda painful. Also with that, you can actually get too chilled if your core temperature drops drastically low in such a short amount of time.

I’m sure that I don’t need to remind you what to do if you’re outside- it’s on the news all the time! You know the drill: drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks, if you get too hot, move to an air conditioned building, etc. It’s been ingrained in us since we were little. But another thing they don’t tell you is not to soak your whole body, including your clothes. This will bring on one mean heat rash that is extremely painful. Those are worse than the ones you received from “wetting your hair” too much. Also, the reflection of the sun can intensify the sun’s burning rays, making you sunburn a lot quicker and a lot worse than without the soaked clothes and skin.

Let’s face it- Summer is here for a few more weeks. If none of the suggestions haven’t worked, then maybe we should look to Summer’s best friend- ice cream! Now there’s an activity I can enjoy!

We Say Goodbye to Patches August 20, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Animals, cats, family, Feelings, life, thoughts.
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I regret to inform all of you that Patches, Mom’s 4-year-old and Smokie’s cat, passed away unexpectedly this evening. She didn’t show any signs, and we’re all shocked beyond belief.

She was from Smokie’s 2nd litter and for some reason when we decided that Smokie’s kittens needed good homes, nobody wanted Patches. I couldn’t figure out why- hell, she entertained herself. But, we decided to keep her. Patches and Mom grew close and because best friends. Patches was quirky and really weird sometimes. She wasn’t always healthy and often had skin irritations, but she always bounced back. Her and Smokie, during the Fall and Winter months, would always race back and forth from room to room early in the morning while we were all asleep. How do I know that?  They didn’t give it a second thought to jump on the bed. Like Smokie when she was little, she too would scale curtains. Patches was a jumpy cat, but that’s what made it so funny- she would be sleeping, someone would pet her, and she would jump a mile high. One time, she jumped from the shelf to on top of the television and skated right off. It was like the videos you would see on America’s Funniest Videos.

After everything we’re going through, this put me, Manders, and especially Mom over the edge. We don’t know if we can truly handle everything. Patches was only about a month away from turning 5 years old. We will forever miss her for she was a special kitty.

Smokie Talking to Patches

Smokie Talking to Patches

Back To School: Extraordinary Teens August 19, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Book Reviews, Books, Feelings, learning, life, School, School Supplies, thoughts.
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With everyone going back to school, it’s so much easier to remember the clothes, school supplies, and even money set out for lunch. But one thing that parents tend to forget: motivation. Since teens are often boggled down with school and extra-curricular activities, it’s quite normal to think “What am I doing this for?”. Believe me- I’ve been there.

But thanks to Chicken Soup for the Soul, your teens can have the motivation they need to go out into the world and do something- if even not everyone agrees with it. If your teen wants to start a business helping people decorate for the Holidays, then this book is for this. Chicken Soup for the Extraordinary Teen is chock full of stories from teens that had no idea what they were doing but succeeded in doing it anyways. There are even stories from some of the most famous teen celebs- Ryan Cabrera, Julie Marie Carrier, and even Mythbuster Kari Byron. All of the stories are heartfelt (which Chicken Soup for the Soul is known for) and so inspirational that no teen will close the book untouched by the stories from these amazing teenagers.

chicken-soup-for-the-soulWhat I loved is that I could remember what it was like at that stage- awkward, uninspired, and just tired of school and nothing to go along with that. I wish I was as creative as the teens in this book. Each story is unique and each story has several sentences bold- true words of wisdom. This guarantees that each and every person that reads it will leave with a little something in their heart that says “I may not be a teen. But I still have plenty of time to do what I want- even if that means starting a business to help people decorate for the Holidays!”. I will warn you about something though. These kids achievements by themselves are staggering so if there are any teens or Moms who are sensitive about their academics, this may not be the book for you. While it it amazing some of the achievements mentioned, sometimes it can get a little overbearing.  But also with that, you can just skip over that box if you wish to read it.

Did I learn anything from it? I may be turning 25 this Winter, but I still learned a lot. I’m not too old to do this or accomplish that. If I can dream it, it can happen. Same goes for everyone who reads this- You’re not too old to do this or accomplish that. If you can dream it, it can happen.

Bye-bye eBay- Hello Amazon! August 19, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Amazon, eBay, Feelings, life, random, shopping, thoughts.
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Through a stroke of good luck, I won a $50 gift card to Amazon. At first I had trouble figuring out what to buy because I wanted to buy this and I wanted to buy that but luckily, I thought of a movie that my family loves and decided to buy it. It was Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas Celebration. When I first saw it when I was a tot, I absolutely loved it and didn’t get it on VHS until a few years ago but that tape has since been lost and we’ve been without our Claymation Christmas!

Claymation Christmas Part 1

So thanks to this gift card, I was able to buy it. The thing on Amazon said it should be here by September 8th, but I was expecting it to ARRIVE ON September 8th. I purchased it on the 16th and it arrived today! Talk about some fast shipping! That’s even better than eBay and I used the standard shipping! I love Amazon a lot better than eBay because while Amazon has its fair share of crooks, you can search for something better and eventually find it. Not to mention that 85% of companies/users fulfill their requirements as to eBay, where you have to sometimes wonder if they’ll actually send the darned thing. With Amazon’s universal wishlist, I am able to add things to my Amazon wishlists from different websites instead of bookmarking each page. With eBay, you have to “watch” the item and grow in disappointment as you watch the bids get higher and knowing you can’t bid on it. With Amazon, you just add it to a wishlist, wait until you can buy it, and away your order goes! I have a couple of more things coming (even 1/2 of Mom’s Christmas gifts). I should get another tomorrow (Mom’s gift)- yippie!

I know it’s 5 months early, but I know what I’ll be watching later!

Kitten Cuteness August 17, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Animals, cats, family, fun, funny, kittens, life, random.
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I have to say that the kittens (temporarily named Brother and Sister) are thriving and really quick, too!

Brother is what people call a “Mama’s Boy”. He wants to be near Smokie a lot and will whine if Sister or Smokie get out of his line of vision. But he still likes to walk around and play with either Mommy or Sister. Sister, on the other hand, is definitely the more adventurer of the two. She doesn’t give it a second thought about walking around all over the bed or biting Brother. Both of their baby teeth are starting to come in and Brother is actually drinking water- sometimes. He’ll drink a drop and go for nursing. But of course, they’re still in the “need Mommy’s milk” stage. They are walking around for as well as they can. They are still a little wobbly and can’t quite run yet but they’re a bundle of energy.

If they are anything like Smokie was when she was a kitten, they will be Tarzans and Janes. When Smokie was a kitten, she had no problem scaling the curtains and just hanging there. I’ve opted to call one “Monkey” because I thought it was just weird and cute- which is totally me. But Manders said we would have to talk about names. We will most likely end up going with mythology names like we went for with Zeus.

I bet ya’ll want to see how big they’ve gotten, right?

Brother and Sister sleeping

Brother and Sister sleeping

Sister

Sister

Brother and Sister playing

Brother and Sister playing

Organized Chaos August 5, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Animals, cats, dogs, family, Feelings, kittens, life, thoughts.
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Have you ever felt like your slowly losing your sanity? Like everyone is out to destroy your day? Well, it’s somewhat like that for me. Except destroying my day, the pets are out to drive me crazy.

Because it’s been too hot to train him, Zeus has had super energy and no where for it to go. So he barks at us and barks at the kitties. When we try to put the muzzle on him, he goes berserk. So whenever I feel like I’m not going to rip my heart out, I start training him again today. Last night, I finally taught him patience for food. I’ll work on it again today so he does it without being asked. He can still shake hands, but of course, he still needs reminding. Right now, he’s asleep, which I am so thankful for that. Maybe tonight, when it finally gets below 100*, we can take him outside and let him run all of his energy out. Yea, I like that idea- a lot.

Smokie gave birth to a small white kitten around 6:30 AM on July 30th, while we were waiting for some severe storms to pass through. She usually needs help but as I was watching TV, I peered into her nesting box to see if she needed help. Much to my surprise, she didn’t need help and I saw this adorable kitten! I picked it up to see how healthy it was- does it have a set of pipes! It started squealing and squiggling … It’s pretty damn healthy. We thought she was going to only have 1 kitten. Then on Friday morning, as I walked into the bedroom after a shower, I saw a strange kitten. She had another one! It was white, just like the first, but a little darker. It is healthy and just as loud as the other one. Last night, I saw a kitten pant. I reached my hand into the box and realized that it was blazing hot. So I took their bed and put it under the air conditioner. I realized that even Smokie got to hot in the box and that’s why she didn’t stay in there long. She slept with her babies all night. When I went into the bedroom this morning for the iPod, I noticed she moved a kitten but found her and a baby as Smokie peeked around the corner of a box. I grabbed the kitten, explained to Smokie about the heat, put it on the kitty bed, and went on my merry way. Then, as I went to check on them, I realized she had moved BOTH kittens. I checked her regular spots but because Manders is asleep, I can’t search for them until she wakes up. With triple digit heat all week, I don’t want to risk the kittens getting sick or Smokie getting too hot. Here is a picture of one of the kittens sucking its thumb:

Pictures Aug 2 09 068

Then of course, Princess and Patches aren’t sure what to make of our newest family additions. Once the kittens get older, they’ll realize they have now have a new lifelong play buddy. Yep, Mom said we could keep them. Woohoo!

Still haven’t gotten the site up yet. Still having trouble figuring out what the heck to do with my DNS settings. I try to ask but their too technical and I have no clue what they’re talking about.

It’s not exactly crazy, but organized chaos. But I sure wish it was organized in a different way.

CIJ: Favorite Songs July 31, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in blogs, Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, fun, holidays, life, music, Siblings, sisters, thoughts, twins.
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Thanks to Confetti Dreams, I thought I would end Christmas In July here at Texas Banter with some of my favorite songs. I know it seems like I am copying her, but c’mon! She’s my twin! She has some of the best ideas!

But it was VERY hard to choose my Top 10 all-time favorite Christmas songs. It’s like asking someone who loves chocolate to choose their favorite piece. It’s impossible! But here goes:

10. The Christmas Song by Luther Vandross – I consider Luther Vandross a legend when it comes to love songs. While “The Christmas Song” isn’t exactly a love song, it can sure turn into one. When I hear him sing it, I just want to sit by a fire with someone and cuddle. It’s always been a favorite of mine, even if it isn’t sung by Vandross. But his rendition will always remain a favorite of mine.

9. Christmas Cookies by George Strait – I am not afraid to say that I listen to country, especially George Strait. We own every Christmas album George has put out and know every song by heart. While “Frosty the Snowman”  and “All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth” are so greatly sung by this King of Country, I prefer “Christmas Cookies”. It’s hilarious and you can just feel the Christmas magic when you hear it. Sure he doesn’t talk about Christmas trees or decorations and it’s more about cookies, you know it’s Christmas.

8. Let It Snow ’98 by Brian McKnight – I absolutely love Brian McKnight. When he sings Christmas songs, you get the feeling of Christmas. It just feels a lot more like Christmas when you hear him crooning out songs that are filled with magic. And considering he sings it with Boyz II Men just makes it that much more wonderful!

7. O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night by Trans-Siberian OrchestraYou’re probably wondering why I didn’t choose “Wizards in Winter” from Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Well, it’s widely used and not a lot of people know about their other works, which are amazing. I have this CD and I have loved it ever since. I wish I could see them live.

6. Believe by Josh Groban – This is from “The Polar Express”, which is an amazing movie. But this song is so powerful and you can just feel what Groban is feeling. This song gives me chills every time I hear it. It will forever remain a favorite and one that I will play for years to come.

5. Heavy Metal Christmas (The Twelve Days of Christmas) by Twisted Sister -I am a metalhead through and through. But because I enjoy all kinds of music, this ranks #5 on my list. I love Twisted Sister’s Christmas album “Twisted Christmas” because its Christmas and it’s metal, what more could ya ask for? But this song is somewhat humorous. Instead of 5 golden rings and and 2 turtle doves, Twisted Sister gets 5 skull earrings and 2 pairs of spandex pants. It’s heavy metal the magic of Christmas! Oh yea!

4. This Christmas by Jagged Edge – Now you should already know that Jagged Edge would have been on the list somewhere. This isn’t the song you hear from Elliot Yamin or Chris Brown. This has different lyrics and a different feel, but one that I enjoy so much. Their harmony just brings out the song that no one can compete with. Once I play it on my iPod this Holiday season, there it will stay!

3. Here Comes Santa Claus by Gene Autry – Manders forgot about this one! It’s a classic and I love classics! I remember when I was little and our parents had an old record player and old Christmas records. Every time Christmas came, we would put that album on and turn it to this song because we just loved it. In 1946, he wrote the song because of a Christmas Parade in Los Angeles. Pretty cool, huh?

2. Winter Wonderland by George Strait – You can’t deny that George Strait is great! I love this song, especially when George sings it! He brings a fun vibe and it just feels like Christmas! I’m surprised Sissy forgot to add it to her list! But then again, she wouldn’t have to. She could just add every single Christmas album by the King of Country!

1.  Here We Come A-Wassailing – So many people sing this but I still love it! It’s a fun song and so much fun to sing! It’s joyful and so cheerful, that you can’t help but feel happiness when you sing it with friends. No one knows exactly when it was written or it’s exact origin, but to know that it is still sung through the centuries just to show that it’s such a great song!

I appreciate everyone joining all of us for our first Christmas in July event! It was so much fun that we have decided to do more events! We will have a Halloween event starting the first week of October, maybe a Thanksgiving event, but definitely Christmas will be our 3rd major event (considering Manders and I love Halloween and we plan to make it a major event as well). We hope you enjoyed everything and our memories!

CIJ: Retro Christmas July 27, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas decor, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, hilarious, life, memories, thoughts.
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I was watching the Christmas in July special they had on QVC yesterday and the day before. Yesterday, they had a special segment called “Christmas Memories” where they brought out all sorts of retro Christmas ornaments and decorations. While I don’t remember having any retro Christmas decorations, I thought it would be neat to have a retro Christmas this year!

Instead of putting up a big artificial green Christmas tree, I love the idea of putting up an aluminum Christmas tree with the color wheel! Mom told us about them and ever since that story, I wanted one! I thought it would be so cool to go retro for Christmas, but that also includes the tree! Every year, it frustrates us because we can’t get the lights to go the way we want. They’ll blink when we don’t want them to or they won’t blink when we would prefer they do. So to counterbalance all of that, I want an aluminum tree!

When I was little, Mom used to have this HUGE collection of Santas. I mean, there were a lot. They were given to her as gifts or she would see it, and say “I have to have it!”, thus ended up buying it. But a house fire in 2001 destroyed it all, including everything we had. So one year, Manders and I bought her this beautiful and colorful ceramic Santa that stood a little over 12 inches. Mom loved it. So she put it on a shelf. But one of the cats we had at the moment (I hope it wasn’t Smokie!) jumped on top of the shelf, where we thought they couldn’t reach, and knocked it over. It was broken into a million pieces. So one day, Manders and I decided to start re-collecting Santas for Mom. But this time, I would love to give her a retro Santa! It just brings back that magic that Christmas held close as children.

I don’t know if anyone remembers these, but way back when, they started making plastic Santas that you could put out in your yard and there was a light so Santa could shine. I believe they also had Frosty and Toy Soldiers. As I was watching QVC’s “Christmas in July” event, they had a Toy Soldier ornament. It brought back the image of those plastic Toy Soldier’s outdoor decorations and I thought it would be so neat, if I can ever find them, to snag 2 and place them outside. I know as older people drive by, they will be reminded of Christmases that features these outside their home. It would bring back a lot of memories.

I would love to buy all the retro Christmas decorations I can and just make on Christmas completely retro- down to even the tiniest decoration! I think it’s because it was a simpler time when Christmas didn’t mean the hottest iPhones or the coolest toys. It was about family and being together. I think most of society has lost that idea and I would like to see it come back!

“V” Shape July 26, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Animals, Autumn, dogs, fall, Feelings, life, random, Seasons, Texas, thoughts.
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It’s been a few days since Zeus has been outside due to the fact that Mom and and I haven’t been feeling our best the past few days. We both suffer from ulcers (which is normal for some who have had their gallbladders removed), and on top of that, I was having issues with my sinuses. Of course, for us sinus sufferers, this isn’t something new. Summer always brings out the worst of allergens and I am always sniffling or stocking up on tissue. I hate Summer. LOL Have I mentioned that before?

geesev_bigSo last night, Manders and I decided to take Zeus out to play in his kiddie pool we had bought for him. As he splashed around, getting us wet, I looked up at the sky and saw birds flying in a “V” formation. A chill ran down my spine. Seeing that, for me, means cooler weather will soon be here. It has also been getting darker sooner. That’s another great sign! Texas has had such a brutal Summer that any sign of cooler weather just sends our hears aflutter. Most Texans enjoy the Summer, though I’m sure they changed their minds this time as temperatures easily hit 108* by the time it’s 3PM. As I look to see what the temperatures are for the rest of the week, I can’t help but smile. It seems as if the triple digit heat will leave us alone atleast until Friday.

I love Texas in the Fall. It’s absolutely gorgeous. As the setting Sun hits the oak tree in the back in November, its as if the tree were on fire. Seeing the kitten that lives outside play as the leaves fall around him, not sure which leaf to play with since there are so many. Watching a squirrel forage for food before Winter arrives as he brushes past huge bundles of fallen leaves. Watching the trees change from Summer green to burnt orange right before your very eyes.

Texas is beautiful in the Fall. I love Texas.

CIJ: Fave Tradition July 24, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, holidays, life, Siblings, sisters, Texas, twins.
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Everybody has to have a favorite Christmas tradition. I know I sure as hell do. Well, actually, it’s more like several. One tradition is Manders and I decorating the outside of the house every single year. If you’ve heard that song “12 Pains of Christmas” and that guy is getting mad because the outside lights aren’t going as planned? That’s us. We won’t want them to blink and they’ll blink. Or putting them above the porch only to find there aren’t enough nails. But we are proud of ourselves, even if did spend almost 3 hours outside trying to figure it out. Even when Manders and I move to college, we’ll still do that every year because it’s tradition.

Another one of my favorite Christmas traditions is going to Nature in Lights, which is a  drive through over five miles of holiday- inspired scenes. We do it almost every other year and it is so much fun! It’s at the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area, which is usually cut off to civilians since it is on Fort Hood but the open it during Christmas so that they can see Nature in Lights. In fact, we went last year and took tons of pictures, which I turned into a slideshow. Feel free to view it and bask in the wonderfulness that is Christmas! We try to go a little before or a week before Christmas. It just doesn’t have that Christmas feeling if you go afterward. But it always gets us looking forward to Christmas because it’s crisp, we listen to the Christmas music they play, and we all wear our Santa hats.

We also have smaller traditions but we don’t usually do them every year. It really depends on how tall our Christmas tree will be that year, or how we’re feeling, or just the general overall feeling of Christmas. Sometimes the feeling of Christmas isn’t what it should be so we wait for next year on the traditions. But those traditions span from pictures in front of the Christmas tree, goofy Christmas pictures, or candid pictures while someone is dancing to a Christmas song.

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