Thursday, July 27, 2006


My neighborhood is quiet and safe. But then really, crime can happen anywhere I guess. Our neighborhood association has sent out some rather alarming emails lately about break ins. For the first few days after I read these reports I was scared, but then I went back to my usual thinking that nothing goes wrong in my 'hood.

Yesterday as I was driving to my Wednesday night class, I saw a man running between 2 houses across the street and then into my little 80-something-year-old neighbor's yard. It was one of those instances where I'm sort of singing along with the radio, getting the a/c in my car cranked, and not really conscious. So I just watched him as he loped across the street. But then I realized, "That's sort of weird. He didn't look like a jogger. He didn't look like a neighbor. And HEY WAIT, what the hell is he doing running into Louise's backyard anyway????"

So I backed up my car, and looked right into her yard where he had made his cut thru. I noticed a neighbor across the street witnessing the same thing. "Do you know him?" Neither one of us did.

I called 911 because that's what my neighborhood crimewatch told us we were suppose to do if we saw any "suspicious activity." Was this suspicious? A man running in between houses? I have to admit I felt a little lame making a call to the Dallas PD about a man running thru my neighborhood.

I've laughed before at some of our neighborhood crimewatch emails. One in particular was so stupid in it's reference. It said, "Be on the look out for 2 black men." What kind of a description is that? It sounded so redneck! So when the 911 operator asked me for a description I hestitated to say "black man." I said, "He was tall, and really skinny with black track pants and no shirt." And then she asked, "Was he black, white, Mexican?..." Ok, there. She asked, whew.

Then I saw a car driving around up and down my street a few times. This guy who was driving seemed to be involved. He was driving fast and he seemed to be freaking out and very hyper. He yelled out from his car, "Where did the black guy go???"...I just said, "That way...."and pointed and then asked, "...and who are you?" as he sped off. But then my neighbor and I looked at his licsense because he too seemed awfully suspicious. I thought maybe he was the get-a-way car driver for the runner. My neighbor thought maybe he was in an opposing gang looking to hurt the guy we had seen on foot seemingly running for his life. Again, I called 911 and reported this guy as well.

Clearly, imaginations can run wild. I had decided my neighborhood was out-of-control dangerous. The only reasonable thing to do is to put our house on the market immediately. It's just not safe here anymore.

Well, as it turns out, the first man I called 911 about, the black man that is, had shop lifted from my neighborhood Tom Thumb and the second man I called 911 about, the Mexican man, was actually an undercover cop chasing him.

Whew. Sigh of relief. This wasn't a burglar of the neighborhood, or a gang related problem. I can keep living here. I can keep my house.

But today I got an email that someone's house was broken into on MY STREET yesterday morning.
There goes the neighborhood... My quiet, safe little neighborhood isn't as safe as I had thought. Crime happens everywhere.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Book Reviews in the Diddly

I wrote a post a while back about the Diddly News, titled "The Un-News Paper". The Diddly is a smokin' hot paper. Not one sad story of crime in it that I know of. Around the time I wrote that blog, I also wrote them a fan letter and asked to be a contributor. I didn't really know exactly how or what I wanted to contribute, but the first thing that came out of my mouth once I was talking with them was "Book Reviews". I love to read. And when I find something I love, I love to spread the news. It made perfect sense.

So now I am the Diddly News book review girl. Every week I have a little column that they call "Bookland Adventures". How cool is that?!

Next time you see a Diddly Newspaper, please pick it up, and check out my reviews. I eventually put these reviews on my site as well. Just click on "reviews" and then the books and you'll see it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


I don't know if I've said it in any of my blogs before, but whenever I see a cardinal, I make a wish. I can remember when I was a kid, my mom would point out cardinals and say, "Make a wish." I hadn't seen any cardinals in years and years. Or at least I hadn't noticed them. But lately, I guess in the past 6 months or so, I've seen them pretty frequently. I feel like my mom is whispering in my ear, "Make a wish." In fact, appropriately, I saw one the day before my birthday. ANYWAY, I'm good with seeing a cardinal and feeling like it's lucky.

However, this "LUCKY" thing I'm blogging about today isn't so cool. I have heard before that getting pooped on by a bird is good luck. I don't know where this idea came from. Maybe someone made it up so if you were ever unlucky enough to get crapped on, you could balance it out and think, "Oh, but this poop will bring me LUCK".

So the other day, I was riding my bike (Mom's bike, that is) and it was REALLY hot. I thought, "Not only is it hot, but my thigh feels like it's on FIRE", and I looked down at my thigh and saw it. BIRD POOP. Oh gross. I tried flicking it, but it just smeared it around my leg. I wiped it off with part of my shorts. Ewww, gross. This sucked!!! But then I remembered, this isn't just bird poop, it's LUCKY BIRD POOP. YAY!!!!

I decided to just leave it alone until I got home and could shower. I think the longer the poop stays on you, the more lucky it is. I expect some really good things to start happening to me. Of course, I didn't see the bird that laid this on me, but maybe it was a cardinal?!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Led by the Angels

Like so many days, my mom is on my mind today. When I wrote the song "Upside Down" about her years ago, I wrote a line that says, "I'll spend my best days with you...and I'll need you on my worst." Those words have turned out to be truer than I even knew at the time.

My best days and my worst days are when Mom seems to be the closest to me.

Today is a big day for me. I'm playing at Uncle Calvin's tonight. WOW. Big, big deal for me. I'm excited, I'm nervous...
When I rode my bike this morning (which is my MOM's bike that she told me she wanted me to have just a few days before she died) I had a conversation with her in my head. It seemed real. She gave me a pep talk. When my part of the conversation said, "I wish YOU could be there", her part answered, "I will be."

I am a subsciber to an email that gives weekly writing prompts. I decided to busy myself with one of those. And the topic was, "What was your favorite first book and WHY." First, I wrote about the childhood favorite, "Ramona the Pest." But because I couldn't remember much about it, I then wrote about my favorite adult book. A Prayer for Owen Meany. As I wrote about why it was my favorite, and my experience with it, it stirred up more memories and emotions related to my mom.

I read the book and LOVED it. I recommended it to a book club group Mom and I were in years later. Most people in the group didn't like it as much as I did. But Mom did. She loved it too. She loved it so much, that when her own mother died, she wrote one of the ending quotes we loved from the book, "...into paradise may the angels lead you", and put it in her burial. Just days after Mom died, I was digging around through some of her stuff and I saw where she had written that down and I remembered what she had used it for. My family and I put that quote at the top of the invitation we sent out to her friends for her Memorial.

So it's just so coincidental (and I know there ARE no coincidences!) that I was led to write about that book today. I wonder all the time where Mom is. It's so hard for me still to comprehend that she is somewhere far away from me. I love the quote. And I hope it is the answer to my question of where is Mom. She's in paradise...and she was led by the angels.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Panera Bread Co.

Here's my latest, greatest discovery. Panera. There aren't THAT many of them around, but there is one very near to my house. One day I got a coupon in the mail for a free Crispani, which is their weird little name for thin crust pizza. Anyway, that got me in- the Crispini was crisp AND ani! I've since been back a whole bunch of times. Their panina sandwiches are great, and their salads are pretty good too. You can do 1/2 sald and 1/2 sandwich, which is my favorite. NO, actually the Crispani is my favorite, but it's only served after 4pm.

They also have free wi-fi.

They serve breakfast.

There are options of sitting at tables, booths, or in comfy chairs.

They have coffees and teas.

AND they put of samples of their yummy fresh bread.

It puts la Madeline and Corner Bakery to shame, in my opinion.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

My Bloody Knee

I have, on occasion, seen other people fall when they're jogging at White Rock Lake. When witnessing such lack of coordination I have thought "What is their problem? What is that all about?!" I thought maybe they were dehydrated. Or having low blood-sugar. Or just spastic.

Well, today I FELL. I was just jogging along slightly off the paved trail and on the gravel. I don't think I tripped on anything. Just all of the sudden, I was out of control!!! I broke my fall with the palms of both of my hands and my right knee. Well, ok, I didn't really break the fall. I sort of skidded. ROAD BURN!!! Ouch.

I don't think this scene was witnessed by anyone. I don't think I even let it break my stride I was so quick to get back to the run. I was so embaressed. I blamed it on the ground and gave it a menacing look. I think my adrenaline kicked in because I picked up my pace to more like a run than a jog, and this was 50 minutes into the run, and it was HOT. No one would ever suspect I had just fallen, would they?

I had to pull over about 4 minutes later because I realized dirt was all over my knee, and blood was running down the front of my calf. If anyone saw my knee, it was obvious I had fallen. And I wasn't wearing rollerblades so it had to have looked pretty stupid. But I had a kleenex with me, so I cleaned it up somewhat so as not to gross everyone out. (Did I learn to have Kleenex at all times as a Brownie?)

Next time I see someone fall when they are running I will probably start laughing my head off. But it won't be at them. It will be at the memory of this blow out I suffered on the road today!

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Luck of Diabetes

I read a blog called "The Happiness Project". The author of the blog is going to write a book about trying out all the "be happy" tips, books, etc. she can get her hands on during the year and I guess write about what she learns in implementing these ideas.

I consider myself a very happy person. I certainly have my bad days, but the good far out-weigh the bad. I usually like her blog topics. Today the title of her post was "How To Stay Happy When Something Bad Happens- Like Diabetes". Her sister has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and she writes about how difficult the day-to-day living is with such a disease.

I know all about this particular disease. I have it! I remember when I was first diagnosed I thought it was really going to be horrible- I could loose a leg? I might never have babies? I would always be different and sickly? That was before I educated myself. Oh, and as far as giving myself shots everyday? That sounded dreadful.

As strange as this may seem, I actually LIKE having diabetes. It ended up being a great disease for me. I love the challenge of adjusting carbohydrate intake with how much insulin I inject. I don't mind checking my blood sugar. They have come out with so many things that make the disease less uncomfortable on a daily basis over the past 10 years or so: short needled syringes, glucose testing kits that don't hurt when you prick yourself, other stuff I don't even know about because I'm not bothered by it really so I don't check out all the latest gadgets.

I've always been into "fitness", and diabetes just encourages that whole lifestyle. I take VERY small amounts of insulin, and it has a lot to do with my frequency of exercise. I never skip a day of exercising because I know how much better I feel by doing it, and I know how good it is for my overall health. I run most days, lift weights some days, do a lot of stretching and at the very least I walk my doggies.

I don't plan on getting any of the "complications" that you may have heard accompany diabetes. I plan on taking care of myself by eating right, exercising, checking my blood sugars often, going to my doctor's appointments, etc. I bet I take even better care of myself now than before I had diabetes. So ultimately, I'll probably live an even longer and healthier life because of it. And, as far as the "being different" thing, well, yeah...I am a little different. In a whole lot of ways!!! And YAY for me!

That is truly my take on diabetes. So I hope that once this girl's sister adjusts to being "diabetic" she'll realize it's really NOT a bad disease to have. It's a disease you can control. My mom had ovarian cancer. If she could have watched her diet and given herself daily shots, etc to control it, I know she would've considered herself LUCKY.

Thursday, July 6, 2006


I never wrote a blog on last months performance at Uncle Calvin's. I think I was afraid to touch it. I didn't want to change it by accident. I just wanted to leave it right where it was. But now I at least have to make the reference to write todays blog. Ok, SO:

June 23rd, which happens to also be the day before my birthday!, I got to play at Uncle Calvin's. WOO WHO! That in and of itself was just a big accomplishment for me. I've seen a few people I just love at that very place. The sound is so clear, the audience is so attentive- It's just a great thing. Well, I played a short set. Just a few minutes long it felt, but actually about 1/2 an hour. My overwhelming feeling during most of the night was, "My mom would've LOVED this. My mom would've been so proud of me." The last song of my set, was "Not Enough Time", which is a song I wrote about my Mom and Dad...And just MOM- Not Enough Time. Serendipitously, a cellist was their to accompany the headlining act, and she was nice enough to accompany me on that song. I am a huge fan of the cello. You've probably heard me say that my dream is to have a cellist and a percussionist play with me. The cello was just so beautiful. Between what that song means to me, and what the sound of a cello does to me, I nearly became a puddle on the floor. I pretty much had to disassociate myself from the whole experience for a few moments just to get through it. There's no way NOT to think about Mom at a beautiful moment like that. She must have been there. But she wasn't there in the way I wish she could have been.

So that night, was just ALL THAT for me. By far, my biggest accomplishment gig-wise.

And NOW here's the craziest thing!!! Uncle Calvin's books there artist's WAY in advance. I was just the opener and was booked at least 6 months ago. But I got an email just yesterday from them. They had a "last minute" cancellation for an upcoming show and they invited me to fill in. "Yay!", I thought, "I get to do that all over again!" But as I re-read the email, I saw that I wasn't being asked to be the opener and play for 25 minutes, I was being asked to do two 45 minutes sets. This is my DREAM. But I had a moment of hesistation. "I am NOT ready for this!"

But why aren't I? Just because I'm scared doesn't mean I shouldn't do it. In fact, it probably means I SHOULD!!! And I AM!
I am beside myself with excitement! If only I could call up Mom and tell her all about it! And I know JUST what she'd tell me..."YOU ARE READY FOR THIS".