This is the real Christmas letter that I send to our friends and family – enjoy!
The title is deceptive – it was just to lure you in. The truth is that not much has changed from last year. Here are the best bits
- Andy turned 60 years old in April. He is just as grumpy and annoying as I thought he would be.
- I am horribly hormonal and bark orders at my poor senior spouse. Zits and wrinkles. Piss and vinegar.
- We went to Mobile, Alabama, to celebrate the above senior’s birthday and it was wonderful despite back seat driving.
- We are both working – enough said.
- Andy traveled to California, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Kerry went to Mexico, Nevada and Arizona. I ticked the Grand Canyon off my list and it was the trip from hell.
- WE GOT A NEW REFRIGERATOR IN BLACK STAINLESS STEEL. So much anticipation and excitement only to find it just keeps food cold.
- There were no hurricanes in Houston. There was a tropical storm on one of my VERY LONG work trips across the south of Texas.
- MILLENNIALS! That references the previous point. There are no Starbucks in rural Texas; deal with it.
- Andy is about to exhibit some of his wonderful photographs on stretched canvas.
- Kerry still writes nonsense on her blog and this year the fairy stories were popular but her fashion blogs even more so. Que?
- We both had new DNA tests to clear up some anomalies. Andy has found some biological relatives in – wait for it – PETERHEAD!! I am still Mexican and Irish. I like Tequila and potatoes.
- Kerry reduced Andy’s blood sugar levels – YAY! Some of this involved barking orders about food choices but now he is no longer pre-diabetic.
- We watched a lot of Netflix.
Here we are in Brenham just after Thanksgiving this November. One of the benefits of living in Texas is that it is warm in the winter time.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
From Kerry and Andy xxx
Toffee says Howdy!
READ THE NEXT PAGE FOR THE LESS HORMONAL VERSION…
Kerry’s hormones have balanced somewhat and I have stopped barking orders at Andy… ❤ We had a lovely evening showcasing Andy’s photos that we would like to exhibit in 2019. Andy has been successful at selling some photos through Getty Images over the last few years, so this is a fun new adventure.
Andy is standing next to his piece de resistance, a 12 image composite of Arches, a natural rock formation, in Utah. It is taken without a tripod – the composites are both horizontal and vertical. Doesn’t he look slim and handsome for a 60 year old senior; all that hormonal barking has paid off? 🐕
One of the images is Kerry’s; the crow in silhouette at the Western Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. This was on the aforementioned trip from hell to Grand Canyon. At least I got a good photograph out of it and potentially funny blogs in the future. I have taken a break from the blog but hope to get back to it soon.
WISHING ALL MY FRIENDS AND READERS HOPE, HEALTH AND HAPPINESS IN 2019
This is just for Leah – our forests look exactly the same. This was taken at Lake Bedias in Texas just after Thanksgiving. The sign at the start of the forest tells us to watch out for snakes, alligators, bobcats, coyotes (but no lions, tigers or bears…oh my!)
Look at that! A Texas sky and an old railroad with no barriers. Us Texans are brave…
I recently had the good fortune to travel to Brenham in the Texas hill country for work. It is a small country town, German in origin, north west of Houston. The last time I traveled for work was in the UK, to grim industrial towns in England. This trip was much better with perfect spring weather in Texas (hot summer weather in UK).
I used to be terribly frightened of railroad crossings but since moving here, I have had to get used to them. Most of them around me have no barriers so the train uses the horn for miles – a sound I love. Sometimes on a quiet night I can hear them at night about 4 miles in the distance. Now I just stop briefly at the railroad and check there are no trains (not everyone stops…) The crossing above was right in the middle of the old section of town.
Santa Fe Depot
These train company names immediately bring nostalgic memories of old American movies and I dream of jumping on a wagon to travel across country.
Abandoned train line
Or at least I think it is abandoned – it is sometimes hard to tell out in the countryside. As I child I would have constantly been on these train lines imagining the destinations.
This is just one part of a very long train that had dozens of wagons. They sometimes are so long that it takes 20 minutes for one to pass.
Wildflowers beside the Walmart
As I was leaving the Super Walmart I noticed this field of bluebonnets, followed by red wildflowers and finally yellow. The sky was very overcast and it gave a surreal feel to the field. I attempted a photo watercolor below.
Watercolor created by using Photoscape
This post is an excuse to tell you some random stories and wish everyone Happy Easter, Passover, Pagan spring thing or whatever. I hope you enjoy scampering naked through a field of wildflowers, eating too much chocolate or going to your church.
Katniss has Help…
As most of you know, we have a feral cat who visits twice a day for dinner. We named her Katniss and have a collection of little plates just for her. Rabies is quite common in Texas so I am very careful to separate Katniss’s plates from Toffee’s (our indoors cat from Egypt). I am also lazy and end up with a pile of dirty dishes after a few days. Then I will put them in a bucket of soapy, bleachy water to soak and then will clean them. A week ago, I forgot to finish my task and left the bucket outside overnight. I sleep with industrial ear plugs because Teddy really snores like a bear. He commented in the morning that he wondered what the raccoons had been doing in the night (how could he hear anything over the snoring?) He said that it sounded like they were breaking something and were chittering noisily. Later on, I remembered my bucket and went out to do the dishes but someone had beaten me to it. I looked at the bucket quizzically because the saucers were all placed tidily alongside. I burst out laughing when I realized that the raccoons had ‘washed’ the dishes for me. They are very smart little critters who love playing with water. They will dip toys in the water as well as their food. Our neighbor found them swimming in her pool one night, chittering happily. I wondered if I should get them a toy kitchen.
The back-handed insult
St Mary’s Catholic Church
I will be volunteering on Easter Sunday, as usual, and my doctor refers to it as my church service. I love that idea and the next time a rude customer asks me if I have nothing better to do on a Sunday, I will say I am at my church doing something more useful than singing hymns. Last week a pleasant older lady asked me where I was born (Scottish accent). I told her the long story short – Californian Irish Mexican hybrid. She looked at me carefully and then said, “You are a beautiful woman” “You don’t look a bit Mexican”. I really didn’t know how to respond to that ‘compliment quickly followed by insult’.
The real compliment
Bluebonnets by the side of the highway
On my recent trip to the Texas countryside, I was driving along the major route between Houston and Austin. The speed limit is 75 miles per hour but in Texas we read that as 85 or more; it is some kind of state dyslexia… I noticed a group of cars had stopped on the side of the road and then saw the reason – BLUEBONNETS!! To my own astonishment, I slowed down and did exactly the same. Every Texan gets excited about our wildflower season but bluebonnets are an indigenous little blue Lupine that sets our hearts aflame. Here is a link to a previous funny post about Bluebonnets. After acting like an idiot on the road, I noticed a field of them next to my hotel which was near a super Walmart and, even better, A THRIFT STORE! Kerry was in heaven, both with bluebonnets and cheap clothes. It was a treasure trove with rich ranchers’ cast offs. One top still had the ticket on it – $50 for $5. At the desk, the young girl tentatively asked me if I was over 55 (30% senior discount) and I brought out my driving license (yes, they really gave me one). She said that I didn’t look 55. As I related this story to my colleagues later they expressed surprise at my real age and willingness to admit it in this age obsessed society. Again I burst out laughing – I just told them I shopped at thrift stores so why hide my age. Dang it, I would do pretty much anything for a 30% discount…