Welcome 2019! Time for Focusing…

greetings patient readers,

This is the time of year when the Texas weather decides what we do: 

On cold rainy days, we pack the Christmas decorations.

On warm days, we clear the dead timber out back.

And so far, this year, every day, I consider throwing my unreliable PC and laptop into the Big Brush Pile, waiting for a dry day to Burn That Sucker Down.



To be honest, my absence here is part computer/laptop malfunction frustrations/avoidance (CLAMFA) and part Binge-ing on DVDs from holiday gifts. (Season 3 of The Last Kingdom and Season 2 of Timeless).

By the way…

Living in the sticks means there’s no streaming from Netflix/Hulu/Roku/Hari Kari. (I don’t see how you people who can stream just about whatever you want, get anything else done.) 

Before the Christmas season…

we went cruising around the Caribbean, down to the Panama Canal and back, of course, still on the Atlantic side. I was going to share some fun lessons with you, but all my inconceivable, geek-stumping computer problems have caused me to rethink priorities. What’s most important to write? So no more frivolous, fun posts! 

In 2019 I’m going to start focusing on more serious topics. But! Since I had fun writing the following, why not share it? Then we can get down to business with the next post. (I know! Boo!)


so Why is our cruise news to you?

Well my dear husband, fearing bandits and rustlers (and the odd hooligan), was loathe to announce our absence from El Ranchito.


I see his point, but if I’d announced our impending trip, I would have simply mentioned that we hire a very conscientious young man to house/pet/sheep sit (careful there). Let me tell you about young Attila.

He would do anything to protect our property. Anything.

Attila’s joining the Navy soon. He’s big and works out to be in even better, bone-crushing, ship-shape… shape.

He practices target shooting out back, and spends his evenings tenderly cleaning his guns and watching our war movies. His friends (Genghis and Kroll) drive over to practice knife (and hatchet!) throwing, create violent video games, compare assault rifles, and crush six packs of beer cans against their six pack abs.


Before we left, Attila came over to get the deets (details for you older generations):

Me: (stretching my 5′ 7″ frame on tippy toes to give him a hug) Thanks for coming so early.


Attila: No problem, ma’am. I know the sheep’ll be lambin’ soon, and you’ll want to show me how you protect the plants if it freezes.


Me: (noticing what he’s carrying) Cool, you brought a stack of the 5 Home Alone movies. Have you seen ’em yet? I doubt you were born when the first one was made. (1990!)


“Yes, ma’am, I’ve seen ’em all several times.”

“So it’s a Christmas tradition to watch ’em again?”

“Not really, they just inspire me while I’m booby-trappin’ your house against burglars. You don’t mind if I assess the layout and utilize the unique available resources, do you?”

Me: No, not at all, have at it. But I hardly think anyone will come way out here.



“Yeah, but if they do, I like to play with them… keep ’em busy tryin’ to get in the house while I supply my positions outside.”

Me: (laughing) Oh, and do you plan on calling 9-1-1?

“Yes, ma’am, once the bad guys realize defensive elements are in place, I usually shout to ’em that I called the police.” (He chuckles) “It’s more fun givin’ the bad guys hope they’ll get rescued before I catch ’em.”

Me: Oh, you have a SOP (standard operating procedure). Good. Cuz I suppose it would take a while for the police to get out here.


“Yes’m. I want to give the cops a fair chance to catch ’em first. Um, do you mind if I ask Genghis and Kroll over to brainstorm the best defense and a gradual, escalating offense?”


“No, not at all. That sounds fun, to come up with the best ideas.”


“No, Ma’am, don’t mean to disagree. It’s more like they help me be a little more humane. Have better fire control. Not so trigger-happy.”


“Uh, OK, Attila, you do what you need to do to be safe. Just clean up when you’re done and remember, cold water gets the blood stains out.”


“Yes, ma’am. I learned that early.”

Ha ha ha. I’m exaggerating. A little.


When I read this to my sons, the Marine rolled his eyes, shook his head, and sighed, a veritable hat trick of embarrassment for his idiot mother.

They asked, “Who is this guy you hire, and his friends?” and laughed when I told them they were their old classmates (one who legitimately is big and going into the Navy!)


“Hey!” I defended. “They’re serious hombres! They’ll mess you up!”


Snickers and guffaws. It was going to be a rough holiday.


Hope yours was great.


And Welcome to 2019!