Category Archives: The Daily Grind

Day to day life…

Praying in the Front Seat

Praying in the Front Seat

This morning I was dropping off my son’s medicine at the Junior High. I was rushing from school to school because it’s STAAR testing day in the great State of Texas.

I won’t bore you with my feelings about standardized testing. Not today. But for the record, I don’t believe the STAAR test is the right way to encourage achievement in education.

However, this morning my focus was encouraging my kids to do their very best. I wanted to send them to school full of beliefs. They are able to conquer STAAR Mountain!

As I came out of the Junior High I noticed a father parked in front of the school. Maybe he was a grandfather or an uncle, but for the sake of this story, he’s just Dad.  Read the rest of this entry


Say Hello To My Little Friend


There is something really wonderful that happens when your daughter becomes a mother. You get smarter. Really!

For 5 years past their expiration date I heard “If you had just let me go to this party” and “well you should have let me do that instead” and now that Ms. Presley Layne has hit her not-so-terrible two’s, it’s all “I’m so glad you didn’t let me do that” and “how did you know I’d go there?”

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We Can’t Make the Grade


I’m not surprised to see many central Texas schools receive failing grades on the new report cards the State of Texas sent out Friday. When will we learn? This is not the way to educate a smarter generation.

Here’s the result for my local school district:

Campus District School type 2016 Rating D1 D2 D3 D4
ROCKDALE ISD ROCKDALE ISD District Met standard* C C D A

The new report rates schools and districts in four domains:

  • D1: Student Achievement
  • D2: Student Progress
  • D3: Closing Performance Gaps
  • D4: Post-secondary Readiness

It’s no wonder that state teacher groups are calling for the legislature to repeal this new letter grade system, that will markedly affect most Texas schools. The question I have is why do we keep sticking a square peg in a round hole? Read the rest of this entry

Ready or Not, Here We Go


I’m not sure if I’m going to sit down and make any iron clad resolutions this year. Instead I think I will vow to count my blessings every single day. This past year I really learned how to let go and let God. I’ve been at the bottom of the barrel with the cutoff notices in my hand and no idea how I was going to manage them and instead of freaking out I folded my hands together and at every turn He provided for my every need. It takes a lot for a control freak to give into blind faith and trust that everything will be ok, but I’ve lived in this house 17 years and so far we’ve always had food and lights and clothes and gasoline in the car so if I’ve had to swallow some lumps, that’s ok, it was all part of the journey.

20141209_083117I know 2017 is going to bring a lot of new changes. In just a few short months my first born son will graduate high school and move on to new things. This house will change. I won’t have my Mr. FixIt all the time. And when he goes, Hercules will go with him, and I’m gonna miss his big sad eyes riding shotgun every morning. Read the rest of this entry

A Legend, A Bug, and a Disaster


The past month or so I have been doing some remodeling in my bedroom, which led me to decide I needed to declutter the entire house. You see, I’ve lived in this house for nearly 18 years. I haven’t moved from house to house so I haven’t dug out every closet and purged every cabinet the way a true Martha Stewart wannabe should. With Christmas around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to just do a major toss out.

Little did I know that one thing would lead to another and this project would take me nearly two months to complete. To make matters worse, one day my little grandbaby lost my cell phone just when the kitchen sink decided to leak and the dog chewed up a library book while I had made a pile of junk to get rid of in the front yard. I got really frustrated that day. I went into the laundry room, where the mountain lives, and tears started to pour out of my eyes. For a minute there I thought about quitting my job, but who would I give my letter of resignation to?

Dear washing machine, You’re on your own. Start if you want to, spin if you feel like it, rust for all I care… Read the rest of this entry

About Last Night


Yesterday my list was longer than the hours I had in front of me. I had work, one sick kid at home, two kid appointments, senior pictures (that were luckily postponed), voting, grocery shopping, making cheeseburger pie and keeping the grand-baby on the list. That doesn’t include the stuff I didn’t put on the list, like laundry, iTigers, lunch drop-offs, or desperately hoping to squeeze in a nap. Needless to say, it was a typical too-much-t0-do kind of day. Read the rest of this entry

It All Evens Out


Last night I heard yelling from my bedroom. “Hey! I accidentally paused the TV! How do I fix it?!” I couldn’t believe it was my husband asking this ridiculous question, but I went ahead and answered him. “Push play” I said. “It’s not working, I tried;” he carried on and on until he said “come fix it!”

“UMMMMMM NOOOOO! I’m pretty busy in here!”  Read the rest of this entry

If You Give A Mom a Paintbrush


Lately my life reminds me of that book, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, it’s just one thing after another after another. So, admittedly, I stole the mouse story and made it my own. It goes something like this:

If you give a mom a paintbrush, she’s going to want to paint her bedroom. You’ll have to go with her to Lowes so she can buy two gallons of color and a gallon of glossy enamel.


She’ll settle on a warm shade of gray and bright white gloss and she’ll break out her coupon for $5 off a gallon of Olympic. If she has a coupon for the paint, she’ll want to use her savings to add some decorative moldings.

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The Prince and the Showgirl and Me

The Prince and the Showgirl and Me

When I was 9 years old I remember going to our beach house with my grandfather. It was a special place- built by my Great Grandfather. He called it a fishing shack- a place to spend the day out on the bay on a boat named “The Finnegan Jethro” stringing together enough fish for a feast. (I just realized I’ve always wanted to know where that name came from, and the person I would most like to ask is no longer here). It was a bit musty with paint peeling from the boards that fastened together a two room cabin- but that simple little house could somehow sleep 40 people. Fancy furnishings of the 1960s scattered here and there showed that my grandmother had once tried to put her upper-class decorating spin on the place, and hence the shack was transformed into “the beach house”. Still, it was decorated with little people made out of seashells and googly eyes and strings of coke tabs folded into chains to hold back curtains and hang plants. I can picture my great-grandmother gluing those funny little eyes on her seashell finds of the day.

There’s a story in here somewhere that I really wanted to tell, but the more I type about my great-grandparents (Daddy ‘O and Mama Jimmie) and my grandparents (Softy and Robbie Doll), the more I’m overwhelmed by memories of just how special these people were and how lucky I was to be raised in such a family of jokesters, fishermen, poker players, magicians and fancy decorators.

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Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice


This is Texas, so the weather doesn’t exactly scream “Fall”. It’s still as hot as August but there are clues all around that it should be the season of changing colors. Most of those clues are up and down the aisles of Wal-Mart. It started with the pumpkins that replaced the watermelons at the front door. Then there were orange and red decorations on the end-caps. I noticed Halloween candy starting to fill up displays. Great, is it already time to start planning costumes and hayrides? Surely not… Read the rest of this entry