I love traveling. The thought of heading somewhere new just intrigued me, every time. Vintage pictures – Mad Men-style – make me smile. (Wish I could say I look this polished – rocking the Lululemon slouchy pants today!)

Right now, I am sitting on the plane, heading eastward – quiet flight, aisle seat (YES) – and thinking about my morning. I really haven’t had that eventful of a day – no traffic, found a parking spot easily, checked my bag with no issues, and only three people ahead of me at Starbucks. I was feeling pretty decent about life, to be honest.

But earlier, as I was sitting at the gate, waiting for my zone to be called, I found myself watching CNN on one of those big screens that they have throughout the terminal. I watched our president talking about the journalist, James Foley, that was killed yesterday. And no one around me was paying attention.

I felt a little sick. This man was killed in such a horrific way – and it was FILMED and distributed as propaganda. I can’t even type out how he was killed. It’s horrible. And no one was watching the president talk about this. Not a soul.

My immediate family and friends don’t get worked up about freedom of the press. It just doesn’t affect them. For that matter – it shouldn’t affect me. I don’t work in any capacity as a journalist anymore. I don’t write daily, I don’t report on community events, I don’t keep my ears perked up for freedom of speech…but yet, I am still affected.

Praying hard for the safety of brave men and women who are telling the world about the wrongs AND the rights that they see.



Gritty women

Aunt Martha

My Aunt Martha – those eyes!

I come from a long line of headstrong Texas women – the kind of women who think people who don’t like Dr. Pepper are not trustworthy, knows that the way to a man’s heart is to keep him well-fed, and most of all, to get yourself a degree, for goodness sakes.

My Aunt Martha was one of those women. She had twinkling eyes, and always seemed like a joke was on the tip of her tongue, if you would only get her to sit still long enough to tell it. She died when I was 22.

She brought 5,000-plus acres of dry Texas ranch land to her marriage with my Uncle JE – Montell, the ranch where I will never forget my father saying that was the place where you didn’t have to grow up. After they got married in the late 1940’s, Uncle JE took her around the world – Libya, England, all over the Middle East – he worked on the oil fields of Khadaffi. When he finally brought her back home to Texas, she stayed there till cancer took her – living the rest of her days with laughter, good food, and prayer – pausing only to shoot the occasional rattlesnake that dared to cross over her limestone patio.

She made many wonderful meals at Montell – small meals with just the immediate family and plenty of chocolate cake, massive family reunions with fried chicken – fried EVERYTHING – and lots of love.

One of her dishes was Cheesy Grits. I like to imagine her making this humble little dish while she lived overseas – thinking of a little bit of Texas while she made it.

Looking out over Texas Hill Country.

Looking out over pretty Texas Hill Country.

Cheese Grits

6 cups water
1 1/2 cups grits (the Blue Box quick grits)
Stir them till thick.
1 stick butter
1 lb. Velveeta Mexican Mild
3 eggs, beaten

When all melted, put in greased pan and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes – do not cover.