Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas, Dear Readers!

Since just before Halloween the Canadian geese have been floating into Lubbock County heralding the coming of the holiday season.  The weather turned crisp as West Texas welcomed these our long time winter visitors.  The cacophony of their greetings serve as the ready-set-go for the busy-ness of getting ready for the celebrations to come.  By the hundreds, they bob in our neighborhood playa lakes whiling away the hours.  

While the geese have lingered by the ponds, I have been busy with busy-ness.

baking pretty cookies.





(for every beautiful cookie I decorate, there are 17 un-pinworthy ones)


























And some rather unfortunate-looking snowmen that had to be consumed immediately.











decorated some marshmallows just for the fun of it.

decked our halls.
























and, wrapped some gifts.



























I love all of the trappings of Christmas.    As my firstborn used to sing when he was a preschooler, "It's thuh mote wannaful tine of thuh ye-ah."  Joy.  Goodwill.  Family.

I'm all done.  Wrapped and ready.  The refrigerator and pantry are abundantly full.  The table is set for our Christmas Eve dinner.

Now, it's time to take a deep breath.  Time to focus.  To listen to the geese as they remind me of what's important.  Ah, yes.  I can  hear them in the distance.  I can hear them as they skim along just above our house.  "Re-Mem-Ber.  The.  Rea-son."

 the reason for the season.



But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid!  For behold, I bring you good news of GREAT JOY which will be for ALL PEOPLE!  For today in the city of David there has been BORN FOR YOU a SAVIOR, who is Christ the LORD.  This will be a sign for you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths.  Lying in a manger.
Luke 2:10-12

Merry Christmas, Dear Readers.  You are loved.
cel

Monday, November 3, 2014

tHe B.i.R.d.S.


If you stroll down the alley behind my house and look up into the towering pear trees that line the fence, you will see an odd sight.  There is something strange lodged up amidst the branches.  You will stop and scratch your head, then shrug and continue on down the alley.

"Come here.  I need to show you somethin'."  That's all Alan said as he headed out the back door to the alley.  "What? ..... Did I back into somethin'?"  Silence. "What? ..... Did the cats do somethin'?"  "Just follow me.  I'll show you."  "Is it gross?  Is it somethin' really gross?!    Seriously, Alan.  You're creepin' me out right now."  He stopped by the dumpster and pointed up to the pear tree saying nothing.

"Whu...I...Uh...I just...don't understand.  What IS that?"




"Come here.  I wanna show you somethin' else."  I followed wordlessly trying to sort through the strange thoughts of government...or perhaps alien...surveillance devices that were swirling through my mind.  

He stopped again on the driveway and pointed up.


By now, my confusion rounded the bend towards thoughts of little cracks in the gravitational force just above our trees causing random items to be yanked up skyward.  Then, I remembered the evil apple orchard in The Wizard of Oz.  A chill ran down my spine.

"What's goin' on here?  Why is there a broom hangin' in the tree?  I am SO CREEPED OUT right now!"

He simply pointed down.  I saw and understood.  "You're losin' the war, aren't you?" I asked feigning concern.

Alan has a personal deadly vendetta against birds.  He is convinced that they have a personal passive-agressive vendetta against him.

Our next door neighbors have a wonderful, Snow White-esque relationship with all winged creatures.  They fill up their bird-feeders throughout the long, cold winter.  I'm certain that little bluebirds come and warble sweet songs to them in the early morning hours.  "We love you!  You feed us!  Come out and play!  We'll have fun all day!"

Then, the little buggers flit across the grass to our sidewalk and do this...


And this.


Alan's war has been raging for YEARS.  HE.  HATES.  BIRD.  POOP.

A few years ago, he bought a big plastic owl and put it up on the fence posts in the back yard in an effort to scare the birds away.  He strategically moved Sir Scary Owl around the yard so that the birds wouldn't figure out that Sir Scary Owl was a plastic imposter.  We all know that birds are smarter than that.  They actually pooped on the owl.

When my mom moved from Waco to Lubbock, we ended up with the 3" thick 8-foot long wooden dowel rod that had once held up curtains in her living room.  Alan stomped around the yard with that mighty dowel whacking the tree branches while yelling skyward.  "Get out of here!!!  GET.  OUT.  OF.  MY.  TREES!"  The tiny winged monkeys simply flew across the street squawking wildly waiting for Alan's oh, so predictable retreat.  Not a proud moment for Mr. Lackey.

For several seasons, the magnificent, maleficent dowel was kept in one of the tree wells leaning up against a tree as a constant reminder to the birds of the power man thinks he has over beasts.  One day during a dowel-wielding rant, a particularly robust whack against the trunk of an oak tree broke the mighty sword in half.  The birds are STILL telling the story.  "You should have seen the guy's face when the top half of his weapon went flying across the grass!"  Little reenactments of the historical event take place daily high in the branches of the red oaks in our front yard.  "He was all...whack!  whack-whack!  Then, he was like...whut thuh?!"  "Squawk!  Squawk-squawk-squawk-squawk!"  

One Father's Day, I bought a big ol' slingshot and a bag of dried pinto beans for Alan.  "Let's see how many of them birds you can git with this!" I announced proudly.  I reasoned that it would at least keep him busy and that no birds would be harmed in the process.  I don't know what happened to that sling shot.  I haven't seen it in a long while.

Standing in the driveway staring down at that disgusting bird poop with Alan, all of the mysteries were solved.  Oh, how I wish that he would have invited me to the alley the day he was walking to the dumpster with the empty kitty litter bucket.  I would have thoroughly enjoyed watching him haul off and fling that bucket up at the birds.  The strength he possessed, born out of anger, propelled that missile deep into the branches of the tree.  Alan against small, but powerful Goliaths.  Alan against the winged Argonauts.

Now, about that broom.  I probably won't get to use it again until all of the leaves have turned russet and fallen to the ground and a blue norther blows mightily across the Texas plains releasing it from the clutches of the frozen branches.  Until then, it will remind me of the years of having little boys thundering out the back door in their Power Ranger Halloween costumes to battle the invisible bad guys who have overtaken the wooden fort.  "Come on!  Let's get 'em!!"  Mayhaps, this Father's Day I should surprise Alan with  a new sling shot, a giant bag of dried lima beans and a manly sized Power Ranger costume.  You go, Al.  You go.

I simply can't help lovin' that man o' mine.  Lord, thank you for giving me Alan.  He truly is my mighty warrior and protector.




Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Golden Greens Part 2

Heartfelt thanks to the people who sent me pictures of the Golden Greens!!!  I couldn't get all of the pictures to save to my computer.  I just wish that all of you Baylor Homecoming Parade curb sitters could have heard Bettye talk.  She has a spectacular West Texas (yes, it's different from East Texas, South Texas, and Central Texas) drawl.  She would be proud and happy to know each and every one of you!  Just as proud and happy as I am knowing her.
-cel











Monday, October 27, 2014

I {heart} Halloweeeeeeen!

I love Halloween.  I love the colors.  I love the costumes.  I love the candy.

Alan's mom, Mary, and his sister, Stacy, are aficionados of vintage Halloween decor.  Their collections of witches, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns are spectacular.  The few vintage Halloween treasures I own were given to me by Alan's mom or his siblings (out of the 4 siblings, Alan is the ONLY one who does not love antiques - go figure).

My friend, Shanna's, home magically transforms into an amazing display of Halloween grandeur at 12:01 on the 1st of October each year.  From mice running up the broad staircase to the life-sized "Lurch" at the top of the stairs, her home is a treat for the eyes.

And, then, there's me.  I'm still in the "collect and design" phase of decorating my home for Halloween.  Below are some pictures of a few of my favorite things.  

The very last 2 pictures are a couple of my all time favorite Halloween pictures!  
Then, there's a little treat for you to enjoy!

Meems and Leonard at a Raider Ranch Halloween Party.
This is Meems' Second Place costume.
She's worn it for the past 2 Halloween parties at Raider Ranch.
She won Second Place for Best Costume both times.
She's gunning for a 3rd - Second Place this year.
Keep your fingers crossed!

Happy Halloween, Dear Friends!  Enjoy each of the trick-or-treaters that come to your door!  Years ago, one of those trick-or-treaters was YOU.

I leave you with a poem.  Meems read this to us every October when we were children.  Bill Kerr's rendition sounds much like Meems' did.  I think that she used it as a cautionary tale to tide us over until she could start telling us that Santa was watching us.

PS.  It is almost as good as my performance of the poem in George Stoke's speech class way back in the '70's at Baylor...


 An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
      Ef you
         Don't
             Watch
                Out.










Friday, October 24, 2014

The Golden Greens


On Saturday, November 1, 2014, in Waco, Texas in the cool morning air, crowds will flock to Austin Avenue.  Sprinklings of families will begin curb-sitting at the corner of Austin Avenue and 17th Street.  Small children dressed in Baylor green and gold will be craning their freshly-scrubbed necks to see if the time is drawing nigh.  The crowd will wax and wane up Austin Ave until the turn at 4th Street.  Rounding the corner onto 4th Street the river of humanity will thicken and thin like the Brazos River.  At the corner of 4th Street and I-35, the pitch of the crowd will begin to heighten just before the route hooks a Louey onto 5th Street for the triumphal entry onto the Baylor campus where the sidewalks will be jam-packed 5-deep with devotees clad in all sort of green and gold fashions.  The  curb spots in front of the Student Union Building and the Hankamer Business School will have been claimed since 8AM.  This is serious business in Bear Country.  It is the Homecoming Parade.

(from Wikipedia)
I know.  I know.  I'm wearing Texas Tech colors.
But, it was such a cute outfit.  I will choose cute over team spirit every time.
Strolling along 5th Street on the sidewalk behind the wall of parade watchers, you will always see proud young parents debuting their young.  This a time-honored tradition.  A sort of Lion King moment amongst humans.  "I.  HAVE.  BROUGHT.  FORTH.  OFFSPRING. AND.  THEY.  WEAR.  THE.  GREEN.  AND.  GOLD."

Alan and I have returned to Waco for many, many Baylor Homecomings over the years.  The Dallas days were easy.  When we moved to Lubbock the long drive to Central Texas coupled with the fact that our boys played YFL football meant that our pilgrimages to 5th Street became fewer and farther between.

We will not be curb-sitting along the parade route this year.  I CAN'T EVEN BEGIN TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH I REGRET MISSING THIS PARTICULAR HOMECOMING.  I'm going to miss one of the most important parade entries ever.  I'm going to miss cheering for the 
Golden Greens.
If you don't watch carefully, you may miss this auspicious parade entry.  Most people will  give a polite glance in the general direction of the couple waving from the back seat of the convertible and perhaps smile absently before looking down the block to see which float is coming next.  To the untrained eye, this little couple will be about as interesting as a Fire Marshall riding down the parade route in the back of a pickup.  No offense to Fire Marshalls, but the little couple in the back of the convertible are accomplished promise-keepers.  They commit.  They follow through.  They are loyal to the bone.

Bettye and Harold Green
(from Baylor Proud)
Dear Friend, I beg you to stand up out of respect and take notice when the Golden Greens float past your curb campsite.  For before you will pass a couple that represents the very best of Baylor and all that is good and great about West Texas.

This precious and outstanding couple has attended EVERY SINGLE Baylor Homecoming since they graduated in the 40's.

I kid you not.  Every year.  



They have attended 68 
CONSECUTIVE  Baylor Homecomings.

Come rain or snow or sleet or hail, the Greens have driven from Tahoka, Texas, to Waco for Homecoming (and most all of the games because they are season ticket holders).  Through raising children and being active in the community, they have driven to Waco for Homecoming.  Even more intriguing is that they have been happily married for 68 years.  They come from solid West Texas, Greatest Generation stock.  The best of the best.

So, on Saturday, November 1st, if you attend the Homecoming Parade, would you do me a kindness?  Please pay deep respect, stand, and cheer for the...
Golden Greens.

And, please, oh please, take a picture of them for me!

I will proudly post the picture you send me (celackey@suddenlink.net) on Finding the Funny!

Here's a shout-out to my dear friend, Bettye Green:  Love you, Bettye!  Practice your Beauty Queen wave!  Throw candy to the curb sitters!!!


You can read more about Bettye and Harold in this fine article:
Baylor Proud article

Monday, October 6, 2014

Who Dat Rigor

Update/Confession:  I just stepped out of the shower.  All of a sudden out of nowhere (AKA my brain), a chilling realization nailed me to the wall.   Yesterday, I once again called "Kim D___" by the wrong name!!!!  It's "KIM S___!"  Whoa, Nellie!  Rigor-ing out right now!!!  My apologies to my precious brunette, sweet smiling friend, Kim S___!!  Jesus, come and get me now!!!

About 4 times a week, I experience the sudden feeling of being frozen in place, my palms sweat copiously, and my cheeks flame with embarrassment.  It's my arch enemy come to visit - The Who Dat Rigor.

rig·or1
ˈriɡər/
noun
  1. MEDICINE
    a sudden feeling of cold with shivering accompanied by a rise in temperature, often with copious sweating, especially at the onset or height of a fever.

It rarely happens to me when I'm cloistered in the security of my home-sweet-home.  That's one of the few places on the planet where I feel safe from those sudden sick feelings of panic.  I have a front door with a lock.  And, I know how to use it.  If I can't see people, they can't mortify me.

It happens to me in the strangest places at the most unpredictable, inconvenient times like when I'm standing over the avocados in the produce section trying to remember the trick to choosing an unbruised speciman; or casually opening the door to the post office for a random stranger; or pensively leafing through a rack of blouses at Steinmart.  As sudden and unexpected as the jab of rattlesnake fangs in tall weeds, the rigor tears into my brain.  

BAM!  
FLOORS SHAKE.  
MY WHOLE LIFE PASSES BEFORE MY EYES.

Floods of embarrassment pour from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.  I march into panic mode.  The fight-or-flight response commands my toes to tap-dance on the pavement.  

I go into a full-blown technicolor WHO DAT RIGOR.

It usually goes down like this:


(source unknown)
Someone from behind me in the produce department sings out, "Well, hello, Carolyn!"  With fear and dread, I turn slowly towards the voice like a crazed woman in a horror movie and reach out to steady myself on the closest stable object.  While the voice continues to speak - "Long time - no see!  What have you been up to since I last saw you?!" - the Who Dat Rigor kicks in evaporating all mental capacity within my skull.  All I can think is...  

Who Dat talkin' to me is?!!

As I sputter simple responses - "Oh, not much!"  "How 'bout yourself?"  "Well, how in the world are YOU?!" - my mind goes W-I-L-D trying to figure out who the heck is standing before me.  I'm talking cat-in-a-tub-o'-water W-I-L-D.

Taking slow deep breaths as I buy time with idle prattle, I begin looking for context clues.  Is there a slightest-ish family resemblance indicating the presence of a kinsman?  [Being born into the same clan as me  does not enter your name into some sort of data hard drive in my brain.  All bets are off when it comes to my memory data hard drive.  There are NO familial back ups.]  Does the person resemble any of my boys' friends possibly making her the MOM of said friend?  [Wait, wait, wait!  She looks like that kid named Cody!!  Cody...uh...Jones!!!  Something baseball-y!  That would make her...oh, Jesus, have mercy upon me...Ann Jones!  Ding-ding-ding!]  Breathing a sigh of relief, I actually include her name in my next question, "Well, Ann, are you surviving the empty nest?!"

This past weekend, I went into the MOTHER-OF-ALL-WHO-DAT-RIGORS.  I was out of town  - a situation that creates a vacuous place called "out of context."  I was in a cute little store being lulled into a dreamy shopping reverie by a rack of brightly colored 1.75 reading glasses.  Then, without warning, "Hey, girl!"  Innocently, I turned towards the voice. My heart filled with the sweet familiarity that a friend's face brings.  I quickly said, "Hey, Lori!!"  Her eyebrows wrinkled.  Little beads of sweat began to dance a polka on my palms which I pressed on either side of her face.  I dug my pit deeper.  "LORI SPEARMAN?!" I said thinking that she was giving me the Which-Lori-Quiz.  Her confused countenance rounded the corner into that look of concern given to an elderly person who is trying to remember whether or not it's Tuesday.  Softly she replied, "No, I'm Kim."  "Kim?!" I replied in disbelief.  "Yes, I'm Kim D__."  Falling short of asking her if she was SURE she was Kim D__, my hands fell to my sides and, my body almost fell to the floor into a puddle of I-needs-me-a-keeper confusimentation.

I KNOW this woman.  I've KNOWN her for YEARS.  She goes to my church.  We recently worked together on planning a bridal shower.  I KNOW her.  I know her husband.  I know her sons.  I KNOW her.  And, she only mildly resembles Lori Spearman.  They are both brunettes with sweet smiles.

I'm shuddering as I tell you this story.  I'm 57 years old.  I'm reezunably intellergant.  I still drive a car.  I have sharp knives in my kitchen.  No one even blinks at the thought of me wandering the streets of Lubbock, TX on my own.  And, yet, sometimes people I know and love escape my short term memory by camouflaging themselves with unfamiliar faces and fleeting memories.

God gifted me with a HUGE propensity for loving people.  With his boundless sense of humor, he left off my ability to remember names.  Oh, He teases me often and well.  I can still remember the name of the girl that sat behind me in study hall my senior year:   Sharanda Reed.  Haven't seen her since May of 1975.  But, if I saw her picking over avocados in a produce department, I would be all, "Hey, Sharanda!"  Conversely, I have only a handful of cousins that I wouldn't be able to introduce to my next door neighbor, what's-her-name, if gun was held to my head.

Now you know.  I, Carolyn E. Lackey, suffer from acute Who Dat Rigor.  Would you please do me a kindness?  The next time you see me out and about, would you please say, "Hey, Carolyn!  It's me!  We have known each other since kindergarten.  My name is Alice."  If I reply, "Oh, Alice, I sure as heckfire remember you!!! Bing!" I'm probably lying.  Bless my heart.  Just give me 10 clues and 30 minutes of think time.  Your name will come to me eventually.  Or, it won't.







    









Tuesday, August 26, 2014

AND NOW, FOR THE HARD OF HEARING


This is our Sunday morning routine:  Drive to Raider Ranch.  Help Meems and her BFF, Leonard, get into the car.  Buckle their seat belts.  Drive to church.  Unbuckle their seat belts.  Load Meems up in her little travel wheelchair.  Wheel her into groovy church with Leonard following close behind.  Get them situated in their seats.  Go get their donuts.  Meems wants 1/2 a cup of decaf and 2 donut halves.  Leonard prefers a juice box and a bottled water with his 2 donut halves.  Deliver donuts and drinks.  By the time we've done all of this, the service has started and before we have time to sit down, it's time to stand up and sing.

The best part of the morning is the time we spend with them in the car.  It goes something like this:


Me:  Mom, how did you sleep last night?

Leonard:  YOUR DAUGHTER WANTS TO KNOW HOW YOU SLEPT LAST NIGHT?

Meems (in her tiny voice):  Fine.

Leonard:  Your mother says she slept just fine.

Meems:  When is my next dentist appointment?  I know I have one, I just can't remember when it is.

Leonard:  She says she wants to know when her next dentist appointment is.  She says she knows you told her, but she can't remember when you said it is.

Me:  Mom, it's in January 2015.  You'll be 89 years old then.  I'll keep you posted.

Meems:  Oh.  

Leonard:  YOUR DAUGHTER SAID THAT IT'S NOT UNTIL JANUARY OF 2015 AFTER YOU TURN 89.  SHE'LL KEEP YOU POSTED.

Meems:  Oh.

Sometimes, Leonard takes it upon himself to let us know about any health "issues" that Meems hasn't mentioned to us.

Leonard:  Your mom has the constipation.  Can you get her something at the store for that?

Alan and I look at each other choking back laughter.  Eye rolling happens.

Me:  Mom, did you run out of fruitcake?  (She likes to keep Collins Street Bakery fruitcakes on hand year-round because of their tasty laxative qualities.)

Leonard:  DO YOU STILL HAVE SOME OF THAT FRUITCAKE?  DOESN'T IT HELP YOU GO TO THE BATHROOM?

Mom:  I'm almost out of it.  Oh, wait.  I may have another one in the freezer.

Leonard:  Your mother says that she may be almost out of it, but she might have another one in the freezer.  (turns to Mom)  DO YOU WANT CAROLYN TO COME IN WHEN THEY DROP US OFF FROM CHURCH TO SEE IF SHE CAN FIND A FRUITCAKE IN YOUR FREEZER?  

Mom:  No.  I'll find it.  But I don't know when my next dentist appointment is.



And that, my friends is why I take a Sunday afternoon nap.

AND THAT, MY FRIENDS IS WHY I TAKE A SUNDAY AFTERNOON NAP.






Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Aunt Mamie's Heart

Many of you have inquired about how Meems is doing.  She's doing pretty well, thank you for asking!  She had a mastectomy 2 weeks ago and has been recuperating at my house ever since.  She is on her 2nd box of Raisin Bran.  

Mr. Pete, Mamie, and Grandma
I have developed a new, keen appreciation for people who are caretakers of invalids.  Take my Aunt Mamie, for instance.  I'm guessing at the number because I'm too lazy to go looking up death certificates, but I daresay that she spent the last 20 years of her life caring for loved ones who were nearing the end of theirs.  She took care of my grandfather as he approached the pearly gates.  Then, Uncle Red was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.  It goes without saying how much of her life's blood was dedicated to his every need.  Last, but not least, was my grandmother.

Aunt Mamie's house served as both Hospice and funeral parlor.  (Don't even get me started about how scared we kids would be when we stayed at her house in Sour Lake the night before a funeral.)  It occurred to me that she spent all those years trying to keep people alive, keeping people comfortable in the face of the inevitable, and clinging to them as they laid in state in her living room.  Dispensing medicines.  Bathing.  Cooking.  Cleaning.  Sickness.  Dying.  Death.  It's no wonder that she kept a jug of medicinal wine in the cabinet below her sink.
Grandpa rested peacefully in the living room
while we kids lay awake all night in fear that his
ghost would come wondering into the guest room
not 20 feet away.


There were times when Aunt Mamie lost her temper with my grandmother who, overall, had a pleasant disposition but unfortunately had histrionic tendencies that would put even Mother Teresa to the test.  Ever so often out of nowhere grandma bust into long sessions of loudly wailing over the loss of my grandfather.  "I miss Mr. Pete...don't you miss him...do you miss your grandpa..."  First of all, his name was not Pete.  It was Alfred.  Second of all, it had been at least 10 years since his passing.  "I miss your Uncle Red...he was really good to Mamie...don't you miss  him...don't you miss Uncle Red?"

As a child, my little heart would recoil when Mamie snapped, "I'M COMIN' - I'M COMIN' - I'M COMIN'" OR "QUIT YOUR CRYIN'!  I'M SICK OF HEARING YOU CRY!"  Don't get me wrong.  Aunt Mamie had a heart of gold.  Loyal to the end.  But...ever so often.

"Do you miss Mr. Pete?"
This morning, when Meems toddled out of the guest room simply said, "Coffee," my heart wrapped around Aunt Mamie's and held tight with an understanding as deep at the bowl of Raisin Bran I was about to serve up.  I'm talking Jethro-sized bowls of cereal.  Sometimes I simply turn on a dime and execute the given command with a smile.  Sometimes that smile is pasted on my face.  Sometimes it comes in the form of gritted teeth.  Other times, I sweetly tease her.  "I'll bet you meant to say, O Beautiful and Precious Daughter, might I have a cup of coffee?"  She softly laughs, "heh.  heh.  yes."

About an hour after she downs the giant bowl of Raisin Bran, she asks, "What's for lunch?"  "Mom, you're hungry again?!"  "No, I just like to know what I'm having."  After lunch, it's "What's for dinner?"

A few days ago, she decided that there was an urgent need to replace the bromeliad that died of dehydration by her very own hand.  "Mom.  Seriously.  You want to kill another innocent bromeliad?"  "I'll water this one."  "But you're not even home to water it."  "You could water it for me."  She even asked Alan if he would take her to Holland Gardens to get a bromeliad.  We're talking about a woman who is still sleeping the day away and only walks to the supper table and back to bed.  She wants to go wander around a nursery?!  I'm chalking it up to dementia.  I promised I'd get her a silk bromeliad.  "hmm," she says.  Just "hmm."

On Monday after her doctor's appointment during which more fluid was drained from her incision site, I asked her how bad the procedure hurt.  "Bad.  Can we go get my plant now?"  With both hands on the wheel, I looked straight ahead and gritted my teeth.  "We'll see...we'll see..."

She has a sweet temperament.  She's chowing down on Raisin Bran and eats 2 ice cream sandwiches every day.  She doesn't speak much, and when she does, her voice is soft and small.  At the end of the day, it's her hugs, kisses, and I love you's that melt my heart.  

I get it, Aunt Mamie.  I finally get it.  I'm glad that your "servant's heart" courses through my DNA.  But, dear Auntie Mame, I am happy to report that I have yet to resort to keeping a jug of medicinal wine under my sink.  

_________________________________________

Soon, my friends, I will tell you the Story of the 4th Day.  It's a tale of crazy talk, shaking floors,  singing choirs, and The Meems.  Not to be missed.




Tuesday, May 13, 2014

So, You Want to Know How to Decorate Sugar Cookies...

I've had a lot of requests for cookie decorating lessons.  Many of you don't live in Lubbock.  So, I thought I'd share with you what I've learned over the past year.

My biggest "secret" is The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle!  This lady is a cookie artist!  She has lots of tutorial videos on her site.  I've watched MANY of them.  The Texas Country Reporter video below tells all about this amazing Seminole, TX girl!



Let's begin with the cookie itself.  Surprisingly, I've never used Sugarbelle's recipe.  Alan loves the recipe I've always used.  I've just tweaked it a bit so that the cookies keep their shape better while baking.  Here's the printable version of my recipe.  If you try her recipe before I do, let me know what you think!

I do use Sugarbelle's royal icing recipe!  The meringue powder give the icing more "body."  This icing is very easy to work with!  You will add more water as you begin to ice the cookies.  More about that in a minute.

2 Tricks I Learned the Hard Way About Making Icing:
  1. Place 2 pieces of Press and Seal plastic wrap on either side of the beater of your Kitchenaid mixer.  Seal the plastic onto the bowl.  The plastic should meet in the middle creating a "lid" for the mixing bowl.  The beater will be able to move just fine.  The sealed bowl will keep you from disappearing in a cloud of powdered sugar once you turn on the mixer.  The Kitchenaid pouring shield?  Not so much.
  2. Keep a spray bottle filled with water handy for when you need to add a bit of water to thin the icing.  This is life-changing, people!  Spritzing water from a spray bottle gives you so much more control over how much water you're adding at one time!  (I also use it to spritz any leftovers that I'm warming under foil in the oven.)
To learn about royal icing consistency, check out this Sugarbelle video.  This is where that spray bottle comes in very handy!


Now, go to youtube and search "Callye Alvarado."  She taught me everything I know.  It takes lots of practice, and somedays, my decorating flops.  I only take pictures of my absolute best cookies.  You should see my "out takes!"  Once you start decorating, I want to see pictures of your creations on Finding the Funny's facebook page!  We can ooh, ahhhh, and laugh together!! 

Thanks, Callye Alvarado, for bring me so far in the world of decorating cookies!!!

Visitation

Meems had a very special visitor this weekend.  Our friend, Laura Ard, flew down from DC to spend time with her.  Laura lived next door t...