Friday, June 26, 2009

How cute!

A picture of the FIL at a play he was in. They think it was My Fair Lady. I love his gloves. So cool!

Another fun old picture

My dear husband is hiding in the back. I have never seen him without facial hair! Isn't his mother the most stylish thing you have ever seen? She still looks well put together even when no one is around.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An old picture....

Of my new father-in-law. Can I say WOW! He was quite the dapper fellow and even at 90 he can sing!!!!


I haven't had the energy to post about our honeymoon/meet the inlaws/trip to Palm Springs yet. But tonight Dave and the Boy went to see Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood because one of our most favorite friends had to go to China at the last minute and he gave us his tickets. I would have LOVED to go but since the Boy just turned 15 on Sunday I really thought this would be a good bonding night for them.

SOOOOO..... I have a blissfully quiet evening all to myself where I'm not doing laundry, dishes, cooking, worrying about the boy....yada yada yada....and to be fair Dave is AMAZING at doing all of the above items. We just usually do them together. Teamwork baby!!! Teamwork!

So back to our trip....

We were rushed to our seats when we got to the plane because there was another big storm coming and they wanted to get in the air before we were delayed. You would have laughed to see how fast people found their seats and got buckled in. I have to say it's the fastest I've ever seen a plane get in the air.

Once we got in the air the clouds were beautiful and ominous but mostly beautiful.

The airport in Palm Springs was pretty cool. It was much smaller than I thought it would be but very nifty. We stayed at Caliente Tropics which is an older hotel that Nancy Sinatra lived at for a while and as the web site says "Elvis visited". Ummm...yeah...I bet he did and I bet it wasn't someone he was supposed to "visit".

I was a little hesitant when I saw it just because this is supposed to be part of our honeymoon and I was being a little wierd about it. But it turned out to be perfect for our needs. We were only there to sleep, the rest of the trip was to visit with his family. The hotel had a really nice hot tub and pool, the room was comfortable, the mattress was really comfortable (very important to me) and there were little tiki men everywhere.

The tissue holder. It really looked funnier after you would pull one out.

Picture of the hotel from the hot tub.

Palm if you didn't know what those were.

Dave modeling my sunglasses.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sun spots?

We had quite the weekend.
Friday night Dave went to get a massage. On the way back home our Passat dropped it's transmission. That was definately NOT the way we wanted to start our weekend. On the bright side the lady that he got the massage from saw him walking (yes, my husband is one of the 6 people out there that refuses to get a cell phone!)and came back to pick him up.
Saturday started out a little better. Dave had surprised me with a massage scheduled for mid morning and it was GREAT! After he dropped me off at the house to take a nap he went to take care of Zig (his name for the VW). When he got back in our fairly new Honda to meet with the tow truck the engine light came on. Thank goodness he has a little pickup that he keeps around to haul stuff in.
In the meanwhile my Gallopin' Ghost with 291,000 miles is still chuggin along (knock on wood!). She just needs an oil change.
Our neighbor swears it's because there have been sun spots lately.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

And we ate here.....

It was my very first In and Out burger...double double animal. We split the fries and a pink lemonade. I'm still full and for some reason my pants don't fit.

We hung out with this guy in Palm Springs.....

Pretty cool....

The SS came home Monday night. Yesterday morning I took him to get enrolled in the summer program they referred him to and he was pretty stressed. So we talked through how his day would go, what to expect, maybe some things he could CHOOSE to do that would make it less torturous. I reminded him that it was ONLY a half of a day then he would be home.
By the time we got home last night the SS had mowed our front yard and one of the neighbor's front yards (the other one had company or he would have had it done too). He met me at the door in a really good mood. Said that he had had a really good day and expected tomorrow to be even better. Holy COW!!! Is this the same kid?
Even better than that is when he proclaimed (a couple of times) that dinner was "PERFECT".
YEAH, It was a good day.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Headin out!

I am completely worthless at work today. I'm making lists of what I need to pack (definately the camera and a swimsuit), what to buy (magazines) and what I really should do the minute I get off work at 12:00 (my toe nails in not really a waitress red)
The husband is already packed, 1 pair of shorts, 1 shirt and his swim suit. Of course he doesn't have to worry about making a good first impression because it's his family, AND he has been to Palm Springs and surrounding areas too many times to count. So as I panic about what to wear he just sighs and rolls his eyes.
I hope we get to the airport early enough for a couple of bloody mary''s my preflight routine before the preflight massage. I don't think we'll be lucky enough to have the new body scan machine in DFW yet.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Henry....

Henry is my best friend's dad. I've been friends with A since we met in a potato field at a farm outside our hometown when we were 4. As A and I got older I was always at their house. I was just one of his kids. He had 9 of them...who would notice one more!?!?!?!?
He was always generous with hugs and nice things to say. Something I NEVER got at home. A's mom was sick with Huntington's. By the time I was old enough to drive she could barely hold a cup. So we (A, me, her mom B, and usually her 3 brothers) would spend Saturday afternoons sitting around the dining room table playing trivial pursuit. Dang B was GOOD at that game! Then Henry would come home from working in the fields, filthy of course, and we would tease him about being a dirty old man then watch 60 minutes with him.
After we graduated from high school, moved away and A's mother passed away I always made an effort to stop and say hello to Henry when I would go back home. His routine hadn't changed much from when I was in high school so I knew when he would be in the fields near my parents home or when he would be having lunch at the little cafe with the rest of the little old farmers. If he wasn't there I would keep my eye out for that old blue farm truck that was traveling slow. Sometimes I would just get to wave at him as I passed by but at least I got to see him.
From time to time when he "went to town" (that would be the next town over where you had to go to buy groceries and go to Wal-Mart) he would run into one of my family members and ask about me. Dad would usually call me and say "we saw your boyfriend today!" They know how special he is to me so they would always give me an update on his health and how he was getting around.
Henry is in his 80's now. He was thrilled when he got our wedding invitation. I've been told he drove all over town showing it to people. I had planned to make a trip to OK after the wedding to see him because I knew there wasn't any way that he could make the trip down for the wedding. I was so happy to be wrong!!! A asked if it would be OK if she brought him with her the Thursday before the wedding and let him hang out with us while we were doing all the last minute things. I was so touched that she would do that! She flew Henry down to Houston, picked him up at the airport then drove up to Slocum. While we worked on decorations, tables, flowers etc Henry was parked in a comfy chair and spinning tall tales for us all. That boy sure knows how to elaborate on a story! LOL! He was hugging on all the ladies and telling them how pretty they were. It was just a lovely getting to spend this time with him.
I don't know how many years we will have him with us but I will be forever grateful that he got to be front and center at my wedding.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009



Everyday is Earth Day

An amazing man that I had the honor of knowing passed away recently. And since I can't seem to get my blog to take links you'll have to copy and paste this link.

And this is a really nice article that was written about him not very long ago. It's humbling to see all that he accomplished in his lifetime, and how his passion inspired so many.

If you are ever down in Costa Rica look for the trail that they named in his honor. Now go out and do something nice for the Earth in Dr. Joe's memory.

For former Nolan ecology teacher, every day is Earth Day


Dr. Joe Kuban’s speech loss is hard, wife DeLane says, "because he has so much to say." S-T/JOYCE MARSHALL

Nolan Catholic High School’s field biology class was returning from a summer trip to Port Aransas when a familiar voice suddenly pierced the silence.

"Stop the bus!" the teacher called out.

Dozing students sat up.

A black-bodied bird stood in the road, its curved beak pecking at roadkill.

Dr. Joe Kuban recognized the species immediately.

It was a crested caracara (Polyborus plancus), and the instructor saw this unexpected sighting as an opportunity to tell his students all about the migratory pattern and diet of this colorfully named member of the falcon family.

Katie Newman smilingly recalls Kuban’s excitement.

At school, and on excursions to the Gulf Coast, Big Bend National Park and the tropical rainforest in Costa Rica, this animated, exuberant educator always made the world of nature interesting and fun.

Kuban and his students turned over rocks. Identified trees, flowers and marine life.

They viewed sunrises and sat in the glow of a crackling campfire as their teacher played his guitar under the stars.

In 1974, Kuban founded what is believed to be the longest-running high school ecology studies program in the United States.

The Nolan alumnus taught generations of students to appreciate flora and fauna and impressed upon them their responsibility to serve as stewards of the land.

Among his saying, known as "Kubanisms": "If you’re not recycling, you don’t deserve to use any of the Earth’s resources."

For Kuban, every day — not just April 22 — is Earth Day.

"Dr. Kuban," Newman said, "was the most incredible teacher I ever had."

Now a senior, Newman is president of Nolan’s ecology club. She plans to study environmental science and elementary education at Saint Louis University.

She and others students in Nolan’s senior ecology program, now headed by Ellen Browning, made another trip a few weeks ago, to a modest brick home in south Arlington.

The resident met the visitors at the door, his whiskered face beaming.

He can’t hike miles of mountain trails, as he once did.

Kuban, 58, uses a wheelchair.

Although his mind is still sharp, in recent months he has lost the ability to speak.

"It’s frustrating," said his wife, DeLane, "because he has so much to say."

Still, his positive nature remains unwavering. Ask how he is doing, and Kuban lifts his left hand and gives a thumbs-up.

About 2  1/2 years ago, the Kubans learned that Joe has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS, which affects about 30,000 people in the United States, causes loss of muscle function and eventually paralysis. Patients typically live two to five years.

Kuban continued to teach at Nolan after his diagnosis, zipping along the hallways on a motorized scooter.

Students decorated the vehicle and equipped it with a horn.

"Joe never went through a denial phase," said Brother Al Kuntemeier, a longtime Nolan teacher, counselor and coach, and the bus driver on Kuban’s field trips. "He just kept saying — his words — 'I’m going as long and as hard as I can.’ That’s what he did."

The popular teacher gave up his calling last spring. Now he spends his days at home.

"He loves those kids," DeLane Kuban said. Their visit "meant the world to him."

Nature and music

Growing up near Lake Worth, Joe Kuban possessed an interest in nature.

He once glued a string to a tortoise’s shell and tied the other end to a tree. The boy wanted to track the reptile’s travel. Did a turtle possess wanderlust? Where would it go? And how far?

Next day, he discovered the string wrapped around the tree. The turtle had circled it like a maypole.

Kuban’s life followed a purposeful, straightforward path. He received two science degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington and later earned his doctorate at Syracuse University. For his dissertation, he returned to Big Bend — his favorite place — where he studied the century plant.

Kuban also pursued his love of music. In high school he sang and performed with a rock band. After returning to Nolan as a teacher in 1973, he started an annual tradition by writing a song dedicated to each senior class.

In recent years he has composed and performed ballads about the beauty of Texas, particularly Big Bend. By the time Joe Kuban and The Lost Chizo Band recorded their second album in the summer of 2007, the lead singer was already experiencing the debilitating effects of his incurable disease.

Frank Kuban saw his brother’s determination.

"It was a little difficult," said Frank Kuban, a member of the band. "But Joe wanted to get these songs out."

Kuban’s music and his former students are testimony to his environmental legacy.

John Styrsky, a 1988 Nolan graduate, is an assistant biology professor at Lynchburg (Va.) College. He took Kuban’s senior-level ecology course and happily anticipated the field trips. They explored the Big Thicket National Preserve in East Texas and studied the coral reefs and marine environment around the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.

"Dr. Kuban set me on that path," Styrsky said.

Tiffany Bright studied wildflowers in Tandy Hills Park, a nature preserve in Fort Worth, and experienced the wonder of floating in a small craft along meandering canals in Costa Rica after dark, listening to nature’s nocturnal serenade.

The 1994 Nolan graduate still can see their guide aiming his flashlight into the jungle.

"We would see these pairs of eyes looking back at us," she said.

Bright, 32, now works as an environmental engineer for a consulting company in Dallas.

The apprentice

After his ALS diagnosis in the fall of 2006, Kuban began looking for someone to carry on his work at Nolan. He found that person while serving as an adjunct professor at UT-Arlington.

A graduate student, Browning shared Kuban’s interest in bobcats and love for Big Bend. In the summer of 2007 she accompanied the professor to the national park. Browning had considered a career with the National Park Service or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but when Kuban asked whether she would agree to replace him at the high school, she was surprised and honored. She couldn’t say no.

Browning spent the 2007-08 school year at Kuban’s side, observing and learning. She witnessed his special relationship with students and saw, and heard in his voice, his passion for protecting the environment. During her first week at Nolan, Browning and Kuban went to lunch. That hot August day, as they drove away from the school, Kuban spotted workers seated on riding mowers, cutting the grass.

"I told them not to mow in the afternoon when it’s an ozone alert day!" Kuban thundered.

He appeared visibly upset.

"I thought to myself, 'This guy is the real thing,’ " Browning recalled.

Kuban’s educational contribution hasn’t gone unappreciated. At Nolan’s Fort Worth campus, a plaque celebrates his teaching, music and conservation efforts. Members of Kuban’s graduating Class of 1968 are funding two $5,000 college scholarships in his honor, one for excellence in science, the other in music.

The ecology classroom where he taught has the feel of a museum. It is filled with items Kuban collected through the years. A library of reference books, with titles like TheNaked Ape. National Geographic magazines. Globes. Long-handled nets. On one wall hangs a long, woven basketlike nest of the oropendola bird from Costa Rica.

There also is a signed photograph of Jane Goodall.

The renowned primatologist visited the class after Kuban received the 1995 Goodall ecology award.

'There’s a reason for this’

DeLane was living in Houston when her sister in Fort Worth urged her to meet him.

"He’s geographically unacceptable," DeLane said.

"You don’t have to marry the man," her sibling reasoned. "Just go out to dinner."

As DeLane related the story, she gazed across the kitchen table at her best friend and husband of 11 years.

"And, here I am," she said to him.

At first they thought the weakness Kuban felt in his right leg might be a side effect of his cholesterol medication. Later, his fingers started twitching. Then, after neurological tests, they learned the awful truth.

"I knew what ALS was," DeLane said. "But I never had a patient. Until Joe."

Unfortunately, her skills as a physical therapist cannot reverse the damage or hold the relentless disease at bay. Every day she witnesses her husband’s strong will, his quiet courage, his good nature, the steadfastness of his faith.

"Joe told me, 'There’s a reason for this. I just don’t know what it is,’ " DeLane said.

She paused and manufactured a smile.

"I’m the one screaming at the heavens."

On Wednesday, they plan to attend an Earth Day event at the Nolan campus. In Kuban’s honor, faculty and students will plant a young evergreen tree that will be lit each Christmas.

On this spring afternoon, this exceptional man looks silently through a glass door and gazes at the potted red geranium DeLane placed on the back porch. There are no crested caracaras. A feeder attracts other welcome visitors, though — chickadees, sparrows, the tufted titmouse, an occasional finch.

All carry a song, but none is purer than Joe Kuban’s last album track, a gift to his companion, sung with all the feeling and strength his faltering voice could muster:

You may weaken my body

Make me stumble when I walk

My right hand’s tremblin’

And I slur words when I talk

You might steal my last step

You might rob my last breath

But you can’t take the love

You can’t take the love of this woman

From me.


Understanding ALS April is National ALS Awareness Month.

The ALS Association’s "ALS Across America" campaign recognizes people like Dr. Joe Kuban of Arlington and other Americans who are living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease. As many as 30,000 people in the U.S. are affected, and about 5,600 cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.

Survival averages two to five years after diagnosis.

ALS is not contagious. There is no known cure.

Information: or 800-782-4747

Monday, June 8, 2009

Another little Honeymoon trip....

I was looking online for some information about Palm Springs and Joshua Tree for our trip this weekend. I found this great picture of Joshua Tree by Scott Mansfield. It ALMOST makes me want to go hiking through the desert. ALMOST.
I'm REALLY nervous but definately looking forward to our trip to see Dave's family. We are flying into Palm Springs friday evening. We should get into town early enough for dinner and some window shopping (I hope). He thinks we are going to spend the evening sitting in the hot tub. I am good with about 30 minutes of hot tubbin then I'm all wrinkly and done.
Saturday we are driving out to his parent's place that is (somewhat) near Joshua Tree. They don't know we are going to be there for his Dad's 90th birthday luncheon. YAY FUN!!!! I hope he likes surprises! I haven't met any of them yet so I'm probably going to be a nervous wreck right up until we get there.

Friday, June 5, 2009 this REDNECK????

Can you hear the chanting in the background? CHUG!!! CHUG!!! CHUG!!!

Round 20 something.....

I know y'all are getting tired of these....

I don't know how I ended up with 2 glasses of wine...

More pictures....

No....I'm not wearing white hose. Yes....I REALLY AM THAT PALE!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Feelin Fuzzy.....


A close up....

of the old silver forks that were engraved "Slocum".

My best friend bought several "lots" of old silver flatware off of Ebay. One of the lots had 3 forks with that engraving. We gave one to B&B along with a shadowbox to hang it at the cabin in Slocum. The other two were the forks that Dave and I used at the wedding and are put away for us to use whenever the mood strikes. It was a pretty cool find.

The making of our large family style table....