Thing I Miss about Old School Christmases:

1) Granny's chocolate covered peanut butter balls
2) The antique angel on top of mom's tree (we won't tell about its demise)
3) Christmas records
4) Our homemade stockings
5) Santa letters
6) Candycane stickers to track my good behavior (which I would give up doing by Dec. 12th)
7) Cotton ball santa beards glued to construction paper
8) Drawing triangulated Christmas trees
9) Snow
10) Trying to figure out what was in the package while it rested under the tree

Dear Santa,

I'm getting gray hair, Santa. I know, I know! I should not be telling this to you, of all people! But I wanted to let you know that my red hair is sprouting some crazy grays. Most of them are resemblant of Albert Einstein. He was a fine fellow, but it is pretty well known that his hairstyle was not envied. Can you please give me some advice?

I've been trying some wash-out glazes, but I've been getting opinions from the Peanut Gallery. Within the same week, I was told my hair had gotten both lighter and darker. I
forgot what shade of red I am. I am really having a hair-dentity crisis.

Please leave some bottles of the what I should try under the tree. I'd like to keep my hair red, and not experiment to the point it turns green--even though both represent Christmas colors. Hair products are very expensive, so whatever you bring, I will be most appreciative.

Oh. Also, as usual, I've been very good. If you hear any differently, please send me any complaints in a written email to the address you have on file.

Much love and Merry Christmas!

This post is basically just a letter to myself. But, if you would like, feel free to address it to yourself as well.

Dear Beth,

I love you. I really do. I know you workout and try not to ingest the illegal amounts of cookie dough you would like. I've seen how you've turned your head when passing by Sprinkles. I heard you use the word, "skinny" before ordering many of your favorite Starbucks drinks when I know you hate artificial sweetners. I've also noticed how you've attempted to eat more fruits and veggies this year.

Let's not ruin this.

The average American can gain between 7-100 lbs during the holidays (figures may or may not be accurate). Do not be a statistic.

What are the "harmless" things that can cause this to happen to you?

  • Sugar cookies decorated to be cute little snowman and Christmas trees.
  • Gravy. And more gravy.
  • Pies. Flaky amazing pies.
  • Chocolate in so many forms I can't fathom them all at this time.
  • Stuffing. Pay attention to the name of the game for this one. Stuffing is for Teddy Bears only!
  • Peanut butter fudge. Fudge makes pudge.

And the list goes on...

How could anyone possibly pass this test?! It seems impossible, but, Beth, you will be okay. I suppose the key is moderation. Sample a little here. A litte there. Do not leave yourself in a room alone with any of the above items!

And if you blow it--which you might--I still love you. The treadmill will always be there.

Beth, Happy Holidays! Happy Thanksgiving! And Merry Christmas!


I love Central Market. I really do. I have friends dispersed in every department. It's like a living example of the Sesame Street song "These Are the People in Your Neighborhood."

But something new has made it's way to Houston: Trader Joe's.

I first discovered Trader Joe's in California. It was small, but bustling with food activity. That was about 15 years ago, and then, I didn't really have a grasp on organic or specialty foods. I had just left college where my diet consisted of children's breakfast cereals and Kraft macaroni and cheese.

My friends in other states have shared stories of Trader Joe's that have wet my appetite for the store over the years. But, Trader Joe's couldn't find it's way to Houston. I had heard rumors for years it was coming. And now, it's finally here!

I decided to fight the crowd, and visit the store opening weekend. I went late on a Saturday thinking that everyone else would be out doing something besides going to a grocery store. I was wrong. Everyone and their grandmother was there. I carried a small basket and basically had to carry it on my head in order to maneuver through the crowd. I hadn't seen crowds like that since Cabbage Patch Dolls went for sale at K-Mart.

Items disappeared off the shelves. I found myself wanting to get my hands on anything I could. I grabbed some random items and waited patiently in the velvet roped line for about 20 minutes or so. It was so worth it.

My visits back have been kind of the same shopping method: random. I don't really have a flow to my shopping routine for the store as of yet. I usually know the products I like best from certain stores and can easily make a plan of attack and exit. Trader Joe's is still new to me--and every thing seems like a new product--a dangerous situation for a foodie!

I will admit, I miss my peeps at Central Market. I know that Marvin in the produce section will ask me where I've been. He'll be upset that he hasn't gotten to hear about my new boyfriend. And he'll probably be able to tell me the last time he saw me in the store.

I'm just checking this Trader Joe's thing out. I'll still be loyal to Central Market. But I do feel a bit like a traitor. Sorry, CM!

I don't think I'm getting the new iPhone 5. I don't really need it. I am eligible for an upgrade, but my iPhone 4 is still very handy dandy. So far, it's in one piece. Somehow, I've managed to care for it better than my iPhone 3GS. It had all kind of bumps and scars. My iPhone 4 still functions fine and looks rather new.

I got to see a real, live iPhone 5 yesterday. The screen is bit longer, as well as the phone. It does have nice brushed metal on the back. But I don't see anything that will improve my quality of life or those around me.

My coworker has said the biggest difference is the speed. I said, "So the only major improvement is the speed?"

He replied, "Yes. It's fast."

I said, "And that's it?"

He replied again, "It's really fast."

I can live at a slower pace. I'm still not convinced.

On the elevator leaving work on Friday, I found myself encapsulated with one other stranger. She was an African American woman possibly in her early 40s wearing a patterned work dress and staring blankly at the buttons on the right side of the elevator as I stood on the left with a mirrored appearance. We briefly made eye contact, and then she spoke.

"It's gonna be hard to say goodbye to my friend, the iPhone 4," she was gazing into the screen as she spoke loud enough to include me in the moment. Then she became more antimated and busted out saying, "But it's okay, because I'm getting an iPhone 5!" She did a bit of a quick stationary dance to emphasize her excitement.

As we walked off the elevator, our conversation continued, "Yes, it's strange the attachment we have to those phones."

She quickly replied, "Oh, they have adapters! I'm going to have to buy several--one for my car, for work, for home. They're not too expensive."

I just nodded. She was too in the moment of the iPhone 5 high to understand what I meant.

Whatever the case (or iPhone cover), I'm holding out for iPhone 6--I'm looking for a phone that can warm my coffee and do a cool R2D2 hologram. I might do a dance on an elevator for that.

I got to be a rep for YoungLife this week for the Reagan High School open house. I was kind of glad I had prepped myself with some answers about what YoungLife was before I went. (I actually read up on it on Wikipedia)

I throw around the phrase "YoungLife" on a daily basis. Sometimes things that are really familiar can be hard to break down in words, so the Wikipedia entry was helpful to be able to communicate to parents and students the joy, laughter, craziness, and friends that YoungLife represents in my mind.

I love YoungLife. I was officially introduced to it way back in 1998 when my roommate, Brenda, shared with me the purpose of her job. She was on staff with YoungLife. Many of her days consisted of meeting teens at the high school for breakfast, going to high school football games, and coming up with crazy costumes.

I was always jealous of her schedule of fun compared to my schedule of "blah" being a first year elementary school teacher. Eventually, I joined in the YoungLife fun as a volunteer. The people I served with in that ministry are forever dear to my heart. It seemed like a ministry made for me. Loving Jesus and loving to laugh--my loves.

While volunteering in North Carolina, I had heard legendary stories about "Urban YoungLife." These tales were about kids that were from huge cities and included rumors of city craziness that the suburban life could never imagine. In my wildest imagination (and I have a good one), I could not envision, that I would one day be an Urban YoungLife leader. For starters, I was missing the "urban" part.

After settling in for a few years with Houston as my new home, YoungLife found me again. It has been a beautiful and amazing journey of getting to know the dynamic life of Urban teens. I am so blessed by my friendships with them and how they help me to keep discovering a deeper love and continual need of Christ and of community.

What is YoungLife? YoungLife to my besties may mean that I can't hang with them because I'm being a teenager--which can be a very busy lifestyle! But if I rattled off the answers brainstorming in my mind -- it's dancing, laughing, singing, sometimes crying, messy-games, funny faces, funny phrases, teenagers, volunteers, discovery, friendship, camping, hiking, coffee-time, pizza --and it's lots and lots of love.

I have a new nephew. A GREAT nephew! Eeeck!! How old am I? Well, I will say, that my brother (the grandfather) had children young, and my niece (the mother) is also young, so maybe I'm not that old. They're young. I'm just medium. (That makes me feel better.)

When I was in high school, I deemed myself "Beth the Great." I don't know why, but I would frequently sign my name as such. I made have taken it from the Judy Blume book, Sheila the Great. But now, I really am a "great." 

I love being an aunt. I became an aunt for the first time at age 15, and it forever changed my life. I fell in love immediately with each niece and nephew that God brought into my life via my brother and sister. They are full of fun and any time I spend with them, I try to soak it up.

I love the people they are growing to be. It's funny to see bits of my smile or haircolor or silliness in them. And it's even sweeter to see bits of God overflowing in them as they love those around them and figure out their places in this world.

I haven't got to meet the new baby, my great nephew, in person, but via social media he is becoming known in the world. He must know that the competition on social media sites for baby pics is pretty competitive these days, so he's already taken up smiling! He was doing this before he is a week old. He is already advanced. (pic below courtesy of a family member via Facebook)

Dear Baby Finn,
I pray that you grow wise and strong. I pray you would have a blessed childhood and that the smile sneaking up on your face would be a precursor to the joy in your heart that will be with your all the days of your life. Remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength! Seek the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind.
I welcome you, Baby Finn, to our family! We are a funny group that love God, life, friends, and each other with great fervor!
Great Aunt Beth

The time is almost here. I have convinced my youngest cousin that I will be able to sing at her wedding. I'm so excited!

Besides maybe being a bride one day, the wedding roles I have most envied are the wedding singer and the flower girl. Being a bridesmaid is not cool. Been there. Done that. And the cake cutter and register signer are so boring.

The wedding singer is where it's at. I am trying to work out bringing in a spotlight to the church for added effect. We'll see how that goes.

To practice, I sing in the car while sitting in traffic on the way home from work. I really wish I had tinted windows. But, my car makes a perfect roving studio.

I'll be sure to give an update and let everyone know if a record label happens to be in attendance at the wedding.

I moved! Basically just a few miles down the road, but it's a pretty big life change for me.

I am very blessed to have had many helping hands throughout the process. I even basically had my own project manager directing traffic and keeping me on task! It was a hard and exhausting weekend, but good.

This was probably the most "grown-up" move I've ever had. I hired movers and had real furniture (okay, "real" from IKEA). I used to just move in the back of my Jeep.

All that I have left to unpack are some random items and some glasses. Nothing was broken in the process. Miracle!

The new place is one level and very open. The only door is on the bathroom. The old place had multi-levels and defined rooms. My body is so confused. I no longer go up and down stairs looking for things, but I do more of a wandering-type motion.

It feels quieter, too. In the old place, I basically spent every morning in the bathroom along with my neighbors. I often wondered if I should answer them back when I heard them talking. And I woke up throughout the night with their toddler. So far, it's pretty quiet in the new place. I'm finding myself on high alert for signs of noise.

I'll be missing my Whole Foods boyfriend and my gangsta barista on the other side of town, but I know that the new side of town will bring new friends and some familiar friends as neighbors. I do feel a bit like a new kid on the block.

[note: For address information, unless we are on a Christmas card basis, or I owe you money...that info will stay unpublished. HELLO! Stranger danger!!]

Four year olds are some of my favorite people. They are full of imagination and vocabulary which creates interesting dialogue. And the best part is, they can be so cute.

Queen Victoria is now the sweet age of four. On Mother's Day, she and I reflected back on her birth.

Me: I remember that we waited and waited forever for you to be born.

Victoria: (while swinging) Oh, yes, I was living in my mommy's heart and my daddy's heart.

Me: (watching her swing) Uh...yes.

Victoria: (continuing to swing) Yes, I was just a twinkle in my mommy's eye!

I could see this birth story was beyond me. She had it all figured out.

At the beginning of the week, I had the verse "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" at the forefront of my mind. It must be a key verse for the world this week, because I keep seeing it pop up.

I've also been reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan and came across a passage about this: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." [Jeremiah 1:5]

Wow. Victoria really does have it figured out. A four year old has a much better grasp than me of what it's like to know that you were known even before you were born.

I pray she knows for all her days that she was a twinkle in God's eye and in His heart. And that I would one day be able to recount so easily God's knowledge of me.

I heard about this website via a friend, and if you are a decorating junkie, you just might love it. Click here.

Central Market has a new theme this month. It's all about France . I stopped by the market today to pick up some lunch to-go, and I was lured by all the French offerings.

There were special labels of all products from France. I forgot to check the French fries, but there were other cool products like yogurts, butters, cheeses...all my favorite high-cal French ambassadors.

On the way out, I grabbed some pre-made crepes with chicken. And I also got a quiche. Maybe it's all those years of high school French and my three day tour of France, but I cannot say crepes like an American anymore (crapes -- like grapes). I must say, "creptz." I feel like a weirdo when I say it, but I can't help it!

So, my desire to retour the land across the pond might not be a reality any time soon, but all the parts of France I love are pretty much at my back door now, without all the "fume."

Joie de vivre!

I love food. My father loved food. My mother loves food. It's in my genes (or overflows from my jeans--hee-hee!).

Here's some food that I love from places I love:

1) Old Hickory Bar-B-Que - I know that I've blogged about this before--but you really need to go visit Owensboro, Kentucky, (the birthplace of myself and Johnny Depp) and try a chopped mutton sandwich. Also, get some burgoo. It is sweet, savory, with just enough pepper. I love this stuff! But I'm glad I only partake in it on visits home--otherwise, I would need a coronary bypass since I'm past 35.

2) Lupe Tortilla's - Houston has amazing fajitas all around--each place has something that makes it special. Lupe's offers an amazingly delicious marinated fajita beef. Soooooo good! It's always sad when the skillet is empty and my belly is full, because I want to relive the moment again!

3) Onion Creek - For some reason, I'm addicted to their hummus wrap. I love hummus. And this wrap hides in vegetables that I eat without even realizing it! It is dee-lish and makes me think I'm healthy.

4) Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria - Speaking of hummus, Barley's in Asheville has some awesome black bean hummus. This was probably the first hummus I ever ate. I love their pizza slices and the hummus is always great to share.

5) Laughing Seed Cafe - This is another Asheville spot I miss. I absolutely loved the Low Country Roll-Ups from the Laughing Seed. It's basically like Sloppy Joe tofu in a whole wheat wrap--this was the first time I ever knew that tofu could taste like something else besides styrofoam.

6) Catalina Coffee - You will find a beautiful latte. I searched for a pretty latte all over Houston and this place has excellent coffee and will make you a pretty latte.

7) Niko Nikos - Since I've been in Houston, I've seen this restaurant expand (and possibly myself). It is one delicious place. I can eat a gyro, a chicken barbeque pita, a chicken parmesan pita, or pretty much anything I want. But my deepest love for this place is the fact is has an amazing lemon chicken soup (avgolemono). It is what I want the most when I feel sick. The lemon is healing. The chicken broth hot. And it is the comfort of all comfort foods when you have a cold. It's a beautiful thing.

I've lived in Houston for many years now and figured out that there a few ways I've changed since I've been here. A few friends from my hometown county have journeyed down this way, so if anyone else decides to do the same, here's how you become a Houstonian.

1) I know what the loop is. And I try to stay in it.
2) I need a jacket for 60 degree weather--also, I also have an emergency cardigan.
3) I prefer corn tortillas for enchiladas; I only like flour for fajitas--and that is if they are homemade or prepared in the restaurant.
4) I don't watch the news because it's too scary.
5) I avoid Wal-Mart (for the same reason as above).
6) I don't pump gas at night.
7) Going to the super market is like an event.
8) Continuing with the statement above, I shop at HEB, but love, love, love Central Market.
9) I can move over seven lanes of traffic in one sweep and survive.
10) I have cowboy boots and treasure them.
11) My heart warms at the site of the skyline at night.
12) Crowds don't intimidate me, but lines annoy me.
13) I am a breakfast taco aficionado.
14) I can two-step.
15) I know the hand signs for all the major Texas universities.

I love to work out. I live very close to a YMCA, so I can just pop across the street and get my workout groove on. I normally use the same types of machines at the Y. I really like using the new elliptical/space machine (not the official name). But it makes my feet go a bit numb. I'm not sure why.  But it's a bit more challenging than your run-of-the-treadmill elliptical. And--it makes me feel like I'm running on the moon.

When I do a workout, I feel so much better. My body needs it. My body craves it. But sometimes, the busy bee and couch potato that live inside of me just refuse to work out. I wish I could get those two in gear! Then, I would be like Miss Universe or something.

The first time I had a wedding bouquet, I was about four years old. I think someone actually gave it to me during the reception. I'm not sure I really caught it, but I have a picture documenting it. I kept what was left of that bouquet for many years in my keepsake box.

When I finally reached the age of a wedding guest that was the legal age of marrying, the bouquet toss became an extremely embarrassing affair. I hoped that I would be in the bathroom during that time or anywhere but in arms reach of someone dragging me to the toss. All the single ladies were gathered as a spectacle for the rest of the group to watch. I hated the pose where the photographer would make us raise our hands in the air pretending to want it. I usually wound up hiding in the back just hoping the moment would pass so I could refill my punch.

At a certain point in my 20s, I decided that I would no longer fear the bouquet toss, but I would seize that bouquet every time. If I had to play the game, I was going to win. At one event, I was so eager to grab it, I made a fellow single lady bleed from my fingernail skimming her wrist. After that, I decided maybe fierce aggression at a wedding was not a good look.

I attended a wedding last weekend, and I got a bouquet again. It was pretty much by default. At our friend's wedding a few years ago, she and I have a picture together pretending to fight over the bouquet.

There wasn't an official toss, but the bride was kind enough to let me have the bouquet in a Mean-Joe-Green-Coke-Toss kind of fashion. It was a special catch--because I knew she'd been there like me many times. It felt like I was being handed the baton or something. I don't know if this means that I've had enough bouquets in my possession, I will finally get married, but whatever the case, it's a lovely bouquet and it's stayed fresh all week.

I like the concept of Groupon, but there seems to be a disconnect between me and it. Good deals are great, and I am drawn to them like a bug to a light. But I struggle with actually using the Groupon. Perhaps that is the purpose of the concept. It lets people envision that they will actually use all the services--and then they never have time to.

I bought a Zumba coupon, and I was determined to use it. I had to make sure that $20 was not wasted!

I've been to class a total of three times now. It's a bit interesting. The weirdest part is the Zumba facial expressions. The instructors looks a bit like they are on a Shakira video and the people participating look a bit like they are in shock. I try to block that part out and move whatever body part they tell me to move to the correct beat. Somehow, I leave sopping wet with sweat.

I love to move to music, so it does help me to move, but I am very afraid that someone is getting a secret Zumba video that is going viral and officemates are gathered around laughing--and I am the center of the video. It's probably not happening like that, but the possibility is always there.

I've been listening to a morning radio show on the way to work. The focus this week has been on heaven. When I got bored with the daily request for donations for the non-profit program, I turned onto the local Christian station and heard a familiar song, but this time, I paid attention to the words. The focus of the song was about achieving all your what?

All of those things together struck a chord in my heart...suppose I check off all my goals... Suppose my bucket list spills over with completed tasks. Suppose I have adequate food, clothing, and a job... Now what? What else is left?

The song said over and over, "Your love. Your love. The only thing that matters..."

The radio program beckoned, "There is more to life than just what we see on Earth."

Life can seem like a constant race or goal or unmet desire. But when I take a step back, what really matters? What will last beyond my final early breath?

The love of God is eternal. Heaven is forever.

My priorities have to be refocused on a daily basis--well, maybe a hourly, no-- minute-ly, no-- secondly basis.


It's not a bad thing to have goals or dreams. I believe God puts those in our heart. But the main goal is Christ.

Where is your focus today? What is overtaking your mind and/or your time? How does that fit with God's agenda?
(questions I am asking myself)

The cool thing is when I am able to able to refocus--things are much better. I like knowing a big God watches over and cares for little me. (oh, and you, too--no worries.)

1) Run faster.
2) Do a backbend kickover without hospitalization.
3) Pray more.
4) Read more.
5) Figure out what constitutes classic pieces of clothing for me.
6) Get better sleep.
7) Figure out where my affordable dry cleaning place should be.
8) Spend more time with YoungLife kids.
9) Put God's word on my heart and mind better.
10) Dance and/or sing each day.

Thirty-six, I bid you adieu.
It was a pretty good year for me and you.
We met some new friends and had some adventures.
I'm still aging, but I don't yet need dentures.

This could be the year I finally settle down.
Meet a good-hearted man from a nearby town.
Or it could be the year I sail the seas,
On a Disney cruise to some place like Belize.

Whatever treasures the next year holds,
I know good & well I'm not that old.
I still got some glamour; I still got spunk!
The haunting of forty will not put me in a funk!


It started out with a free rainbow slinky. I love slinkies. They bring back good memories of childhood trying to get that crazy thing to travel smoothly down our staircase. But this slinky led me on a bad path.

I remember I was visiting an off-campus college bookstore trying to get some used textbooks for a better price. While there, I was lured to a credit card representative that would give me a free rainbow slinky and discounted plane tickets for signing up. Little did I realize, that those "free" items would costs me thousands and thousands of dollars in the years to follow.

My purchases were maintained and orderly for many years. I knew what debt was--my father was an accountant. I knew I didn't want it. So, I would faithfully pay off each balance.

Life took some unexpected turns in my early twenties. I left my teaching job in North Carolina to move home and pursue a more advanced degree. Then, within a month of making this decision, my father was diagnosed with cancer.

We moved to Houston for his treatment. I started going to a large church that was very welcoming and loving, but also filled with many people who seemed to have way better paying jobs than I ever had. And at that time, I had no job.

So, Houston had all kinds of new adventures and possibilities. And I had few funds. I did not want to keep asking my parents for money, so I used my plastic. The balance wasn't horrific, but it was like a starter kit. Then, I found myself in a relationship with a someone who tried impressing me with fine food, gifts, and trips. After the impressing stage of the dating relationship was over, we started splitting our costs 50/50. My half was pretty much plastic.

After the big spender got cut from my life, the plastic became my emergency spending account. And it seemed like there were always extra emergencies.

Years later, my church went through a campaign to raise funds for a redo of our sanctuary. We were asked to pray about how to give extra. I kind of felt like my contribution would be like the widow's mite. I still prayed about how much to give and was given a number that was a little uncomfortable. And then in frustration--or maybe in obedience--I got out all my bills and sat with them spread out all over the floor. And I prayed and cried out to God asking for help.

I prayed about becoming a more cheerful giver--which seemed a weird thing to do when you are trying to pay off debt--but it was a very crucial part of the lesson I learned. I've had many great examples of cheerful givers in my life. And I've been challenged by people who live this out.

The way I see it, God has all the money in the world, and he chooses how to distribute it. That money can shift from one hand to the next. If I have a lot of it or a little of it, it's not mine. It's God's. And what he does entrust me with, I need to be wise about how I use it. (note: I am still not the queen of wisdom in this area)

Sometime after I prayed, I was pretty much miraculously blessed with a new job and a raise, and I made a decision to get control of the plastic. I felt those things were an answer to prayer and God taking care of me. I'm happy to say, as of last Friday, the plastic is now paid in full! I'm no longer an American statistic. It feels good.

I want to thank God for being gracious to me by teaching me how to grow wiser and more discerning in the crazy world of money. Our world is full of lures, and shiny, plastic money can help bring temporary relief--but I warn you, it comes with a high interest rate. Be careful and prayerful. (I feel a bumper sticker coming on!)

College students: avoid the rainbow slinky!!!

I want to go to the rodeo, but somehow life keeps holding me back. I had a few opportunities at the beginning of the rodeo season, but I did some other things...and now, I have a pending trip home with very few days left to visit the bulls and cowboys and fried food fixers.

Honestly, I'm almost in a panic. I have to get to that rodeo!

I feel like a cowgirl version of Cinderella. To complete that storyline, I also don't have any boots to wear! Do you know how embarrassing it is to be a Houstonian without a good pair of boots? I bought a pair of boots several years back that have been worn until the heels are just wonky and both unfixable and unwearable.

If you've never been to the rodeo, you have to go. You need to get over the traffic and the crowds and the funky smells, and just take it in. The rodeo is the place where country comes to town. I know I can get some good fried crawfish some place else, but I really want it from the rodeo. I want to see those high school kids chase the calves and get pulled all over Reliant. If I miss the rodeo, it's like skipping a monumental seasonal change--like missing the Starbucks Holiday drinks or something.

Rodeo, one way or another, I will be there with boots on. Regardless or not of bippity-boppity-boo sweeping a wave of bedazzlement cowgirl glory on me -- or if I just have to wear some city slicker wear, I'm going.

In honor of the approaching holiday, I wrote a poem about one of my forbidden loves--it was a young love of which my parents never seemed to respect or understand.

To My Beloved Goob

Goober Grape, Goober Grape.
You are my sweet escape.

Are you peanut butter? Are you jelly?
I don't care. Just get in my belly!

Goober Grape, Goober Grape.
It's too much sweetness to take!

When we're together, I'm not alone.
Uh-oh, I think I got you on my phone.

Goober Grape, Goober Grape.
I've loved you since I was eight.

My momma said no at the grocery store.
But now, it's you and me. Forevermore.

I don't have cable. I'm not home enough to really soak up the cost of having cable television on a full time basis. But, I did invest in a small Roku box last year that enables me to stream the internet through my television. I've purchased Netflix (which I will probably cancel very soon) and Hulu Plus. I use Hulu Plus the most. It's basically like having a DVR of sorts. I can watch shows that have already been aired anytime I want.

But the bad part of this, is that I have become a t.v. junkie. I also have both of these methods on my iPhone as well. So t.v. is available to me at anytime.

I've always been drawn to the t.v. But before I had the Roku, I would just wind up addicted to reruns of Frasier and Everybody Loves Raymond, so maybe it's not as bad as I think it is. [CLASSIC DENIAL]

If you are looking for some shows to explore to waste time, I've included my reviews of the shows of which I'm most addicted. I do not have any reality shows in the mix, because by watching these shows, I'm supporting actors and writers and not reality television. I don't want to watch real life. If I'm going to entertained, I need a good story--not clever editing! (I'm a t.v. purist.)

Modern Family
This show makes me laugh. I love the craziness of the situations. My favorite character is Phil Dunphy. He has such a great heart, but he's an odd bird. It makes for a great combination. "What's the plan, Phil?!"

Parks and Recreation
This show didn't interest me until I was prompted by family members who told me it was funny. I think it's a great idea for a show--because who would think to have a show about a Parks department? And it's based in Indiana! Not many hit T.V. shows go for those themes. But this works.

Arrested Development

I tried to watch this show a few years ago, and I thought it was boring. I couldn't catch the humor. The colors of the set seemed blah and I didn't know why everyone else liked this show so much. So, via Hulu Plus, and also prompted by the recent announcement of a possible movie, I watched the first episode. I am now working my way through the seasons, and I'm hooked (no offense to Buster!).

Once Upon a Time

I was in a friend's home and a commericial for this show appeared on t.v. and my friends started buzzing about the latest episode. It's from the creators of Lost. I thought the plot sounded ridiculous--two worlds are crossed: fairytale world and modern day Storybrook. But I love this show. The acting and writing are so-so, but the scenery of the fairytale land is beautiful. It's made me think about how we, as humans, have a spiritual world around us that is very real, but we never see. And how we are more than what we appear to be--anyway, maybe I'm reading too much into that show! Whatever the case, I like it.