Saturday, February 25, 2017

Baylor Basketball and Curbside to You

What do you do on a Saturday that has no activities on the calendar? And, you are tired from a long work week that started after a three-day weekend in Nashville with friends?

You don't go to the grocery store.

Nah, you order from home and then pick up at a scheduled time. I feel as if I've written about this before because I talk about it all the time. It is amazing. It is life changing. It is the sweet precious miracle for which I have prayed.

I. Do. Not. Have. To. Go. To. HEB. Ever. Again.

(And, it is free the first four times.)

(Yes, you save money and you don't have to pay for the service. You also don't tip.)

(And, the app holds on to your previous orders so you don't have to make a list.)

(Savings all around.)

Curbside To You is one of the greatest inventions I've ever experienced. Adding in that you can buy sliced bread (you know the greatest thing since kind of statement) from it makes it even more a gift.

OK, so we went to Trader Joe's anyway. I needed wine and we needed some Trader Joe-only things such as sparkling lime water, personal cheese pizzas, almond milk and yogurt. That doesn't add up to $50 but somehow other things made their way into my child-sized cart. Caroline helped me shop, while Camille stayed at home. That meant, Caroline had a nice 'example' snack while I sampled a couple of wines. Nice Saturday.

That all came to a halt when we got home and G announced, 'Baylor is on TV.' When I asked the score, he replied 'tied up' at halftime.

And, because I cannot keep my eyes off a potential train wreck, I had to watch the game. Why oh why did I do that?

I know. I'm forever hopeful that this is our year. I'm forever a believer that we will win or continue winning during a season. I'm forever the one who has Baylor winning it all.

As a result, I'm forever crushed.

We were winning and then I started to watch. Then, we started to lose. Then, we turned it over a few times at critical times. Then, we couldn't get a rebound. Then, we lost.

Even with a late run, I knew it was not going to turn out as I hoped. This team. What would it be like to be a fan of a consistent team -- one that wins consistently, not one that consistently wreaks havoc on your heart and soul.

It's time again to buy football season tickets so I looked at the 2017 schedule and thought to myself, there are quite a few games we can make. We can even maybe spend a weekend or two in Waco instead of just driving up and back on game day. And, we play some big games at home so we have that home field advantage. We have a great new coach and recruited well. (I didn't look closely at the ticket prices. I'm assuming they are staying the same).

Look at that hope reaching up. Feel that surge of positivity. Every year. Every season. I'm forever hopeful that this is our year. I'm forever a believer that we will win or continue winning during a season. I'm forever the one who has Baylor winning it all.

Where did I just write that or read that? Oh, yeah, a few paragraphs above. I followed it with something terribly pessimistic. I won't write that yet because the football season is just dates on a piece of pretty green and gold paper . . .

Ah, Curbside to You is calling. That's a place to put your hopes and dreams. That's something to believe in.

That's some kind of fourth part gift.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Lasagna and Running on Empty

Some fourth parts require a lot of effort. Not just planning or organizing, but true effort. I'm talking rent a car, drive five hours, work for four hours and then drive another two hours kind of effort.

Tonight's fourth part was simple on paper. I wanted to make a lasagna for my son and his roommate. Not one to freeze and ship from San Antonio to Lubbock. But make one in Lubbock in my son's apartment with ingredients purchased from the Wal Mart in town.

That took effort. And, man, was it worth it.

I've never been a road-trip kind of gal. I think growing up, we drove to Pennsylvania once or twice and would make road trips as far north as Dallas or Texarkana and south to the beach or Laredo. We didn't do the cross country trips. I can only imagine it had more to do with my sisters and I drawing lines between us in the back seat and being a bit much than it did my parents' desire to take us places.

Now, we fly places. We've driven to Memphis and all over the state of Texas, but never packed up the car and let's say, head to California. I have a sister and brother in law who've done that all over the U.S. to watch major league baseball games. They've driven from San Antonio to Toronto. Y'all, that's Canada.

I envy those road trippers imagining great stops at roadside attractions and Dairy Queens. Then, I think the reality is Whataburger scents for days and a lot of crankiness.

Recently, we've taken a few trips to Lubbock to register Chris and to move him into his apartment. That's a six-hour drive. It's easy because the roads are great and not much traffic. But it's looooong.

So, when Chris needed golf clubs and a co-worker willingly offered up a set from her husband, I said, 'let's throw them in a car and I'll drive them to him.'

Conveniently, I've been spending time in Midland for work and that's only a hop skip and a jump from Lubbock. Let's be clear, Midland is still a good distance from San Antonio. Like right under five hours of distance. But, no worries, I'll rent a car, schedule meetings to start at 1 p.m. and then after working, head up to the land of Red Raiders.

Car rental, check. Loading up the rental, no sweat. Leaving and getting on the road, problem free.

It was so breezy and easy and lemon squeezy. I listened and laughed to a favorite podcast along the way.

Then, I noticed . . . low fuel. 36 miles left. What? How? I thought this rental got great gas mileage. I never even thought about needing to stop and pump along the journey. Plus, the low fuel indicator didn't bother me. I was in oil country. Pumps everywhere. Trucks hauling big containers of fluid that contribute to the creation of gasoline.

No gas station anywhere. Aahh, but an intersection of two highways that was 35 miles away would provide that fuel and I'd be on my way. Yeah, no. Not in this neck of the woods.

I ran out of gas at the corner of 137 and 158. Translation 'middle of nowhere.'

When a truck driver pulled by me and he kindly rolled down his window asking me what's wrong, I said I needed gas and he said, 'well, all I've got is diesel.' Ugh.

Triple A to the rescue with the words from the dispatcher sounding something like 'it will be almost an hour before someone gets the gas to you.' Ugh, again.

There is work to be done and golf clubs to be delivered. This is not going according to plan.

I did not call my husband as he would have worried and lost his mind with me. (I'm good at getting really low on gas and maybe, even running out.)

I waited. Put on my makeup. Listened to the podcast.

Then came William Starnes. My angel. He was in flip flops and a road hard kind of shirt that had been hung out to dry. He was not with Triple A but had a container of gas in the back of his pick up that he willingly funneled into my tank . . . without a request or expectation of payment. He didn't even want to give me his full name or address.

I got the contact information out of him because, well, I need to properly thank him with a note and a gift card. I was raised right.

I cancelled the Triple A help and went on my way. Had my meetings -- where co-workers enjoyed the story -- and then gassed up to get on the road to Lubbock. Yes, I filled up the car (which was only 13 gallons -- that should be indication of the tank size and how it could not make the journey to Midland -- but how would I know that!?!).

And, at 6 p.m., my fourth part really began. It started with a hug and a smile from my son. We progressed to shop for groceries and then I even did laundry. Tonight, these were fourth part activities. Remember, a fourth part is the time I have for me to do what I want and what refuels me. Seeing that boy and walking the aisles of Wal Mart buoyed my spirits. I even bravely decided to tell G about the running out of gas moment (with Chris standing by me).

As Chris and his roommate watched a basketball game, I made lasagna and put fresh sheets on his bed. I even cleaned a bit.

Before I got back on the road to Midland because I've work tomorrow and a hotel bed calling my name, I got another hug. Another thank you. Another smile. Another re-fueling moment.

I didn't get to eat the lasagna but it wasn't for me. I wasn't running on empty anymore because seeing him filled me up.

Yeah, I stopped to get gas before leaving Lubbock, but I probably could have made it back to Midland on the fuel I got from being with him.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Valentine's Day Boxes and Cleaning Bathrooms

An activity-free Saturday. Nothing on the calendar. No events. No parties. No games.

It's potentially a fourth part all day.

(I mean we have laundry and grocery shopping and feeding children. And, making beds. You know, the life stuff.)

Oh, but wait.

G headed out early for a high school coaches meeting. (The most exciting part was he heard my new Baylor football coach speak. I asked if he took a picture, shook his hand, introduced himself, mentioned I'm a Baylor alum, told him we are season ticket holders, said we love Baylor football. Can you picture the glance I received?)

I have to clean the bathrooms. As part of a cost-cutting measure, we no longer have our housekeeper. First-world problem, I know. But still. Oh, and when I write 'clean the bathrooms,' I mean pulling out some Clorox wipes and going at it with vigor.

We have to negotiate our Sirius and Time Warner, now Spectrum (I mean how many times do we need to see that commercial) bills. I still remain a bit confused that all of these bills are negotiable. It's like buying a car. I mean, if you pause long enough, say you are going to cancel, tell them you are switching providers -- they start knocking off dollars. Why. Don't. We. Start. There.

And, this is the real event, we need to make Valentine's Day card boxes. Two of them. Boxes for the cards they receive from their classroom friends. Boxes. Decorated. Pinterest-like activity. The already-turned-in boxes (they aren't due until February 10 people) are as grand as a box decorated with the Marvel superheroes and an elephant with a 3D trunk.


Where are the days gone by of brown paper bags with a red paper heart and a few marker-drawn hearts? Or a red wrapping paper wrapped box with a doily heart?

Nope. Not this year.

Count my sleeping past 9 a.m. as my fourth part because we moved full on into box decorating and bill negotiating before noon.

Box number one was designed by my traditionalist with pink tissue paper and hearts. The flourish is a six, 'count them again mom,' six pipe cleaners with paper hearts attached flying out of two very large paper hearts glued on to the ends of the box. Done.

Box number two was made by my artist. No simple hearts and pipe cleaners here. She chose an under the sea theme which requires cut out fish, seaweed and a hand-drawn, will be cut out later, mermaid. This box is wrapped in sparkly seafoam green tissue paper that we had on hand. And, my little sweet creative found the one piece of green construction paper from which we (yeah, I helped) cut out three little fish and the seaweed. She carefully drew fins and eyes, which were hearts (remember, it is a Valentine's Day card box), on the fish. Almost done.

The bathrooms are calling to be cleaned and that feels like something I would rather be doing and then my artist says . . .

'I love these kind of mornings.'


The bathrooms can wait.

My girls shared scissors and glue sticks. It was nice and peaceful. And, we've got some boxes mostly complete.

'This is what I like as a family.'


The girls willingly cleaned up their work area and changed into play clothes.

When I asked for a few uninterrupted moments to take care of the bill paying and negotiating, I received a 'yes m'am' in two little precious voices.


I love these kind of Saturday mornings. This is what I like as a fourth part.