Thursday, November 29, 2007

Locker Rigging

I lived in a small town in Texas when I was in high school. It was nice. Only 43 in my graduating class, we all knew each other, hung around together. I was the new kid in town, having moved there from California (West Covina, 23 Degrees! I forgot to answer your question!), and for awhile was the focus of attention, just because of being new.

This newness brought about a some unwanted attention, I must say. After awhile, though, it did seem normal. It's not as though I was hated: I was on the drill team and later a (yes...I admit it) cheerleader. (I had to try out in front of the ENTIRE STUDENT BODY!!!) I had friends. Really.

But our school had this thing about rigging lockers. There were no locks on our lockers (we didn't lock our front doors, either, and we left the car keys in the ignition so we wouldn't lose them! Imagine that!) which meant they were just waiting to be tampered with.

The year my locker was next door to the Science lab, I had a dissected pig hanging in my locker. That's what started it all.

There was the time I found a live chicken in my locker. I still got in trouble for not bringing my English book to class! "Mrs. Brown, I couldn't get it! There's a chicken in my locker and it keeps pecking my hand when I try to get my book!"

There was the deer's ear. I know it sounds morbid, but it was during hunting season. You just have to expect things like that during hunting season.

Then there was Roy Campbell. Yup. Someone asked me to borrow a pencil, I said I have one in my locker, we walked that way and I noticed a crowd standing around watching. I opened my locker and there was Roy. Sitting on my books. He just raised his hand and said, "Hi."

Don't get me wrong. I learned to give as good as I got. I was smart. I hooked up with the angel-faced valedictorian. No one ever suspected us, and she had a knack for genius contraptions. Did you know Cheerios, Rice and Spaghetti all make great material for rigging lockers? I know it. Angel Face taught me. Synchronized watches, bathroom meetings, hall was great fun.

OK. 'Fess up. What type of pranks were you known for in high school? College? Now?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Early Morning Melancholy

I woke up rather early this morning, around four-ish, and was pleased to hear the sound of rain. Nothing strong or dangerous, even though this is probably from a local typhoon that's skirting the island, but instead it's a slow, easy downpour. The air outside is crisp and cool, and laying here listening to the rain pound out a tune on the pipes outside is kind of nice.

I'm friends with rain. I have always loved it. In California a rainy day meant staying indoors in the classroom, playing board games or Head's Up Seven Up. It was a change of pace from the usual routine. You bundle up a little bit, get a little closer to people around you, talk a little more, relax a little more. It's nice.

I'm sure I'll have my problems with it a little later. Slippery tile outside the classrooms, stepping quick-paced through the gaps in the overhangs on the way to the office, but overall the rain leaves me a little melancholy today...and that's a nice change of pace.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Time of Thanksgiving.

It's that time of year, the time for family, food and giving thanks. I think I like this time of year so much because I have some great Thanksgiving memories with both sides of my family. On my dad's side, we had the Ledbetters, a rowdy bunch (and I do mean BUNCH!) that got together in any one of our small houses to feast and watch football. Everyone had their own things going on during the year: Dad pastoring, Uncle Otis touring with his choir, Uncle Bill and Aunt Jo working with their church in Bakersfield, Uncle Terry and Aunt Linda working with theirs in Oildale, and of course Mimi and Papa in Fresno. Uncle Mike, Aunt Teri and Uncle Johnnye were also in there doing their things. But we would manage to gather, feast and give thanks, and because of that there are some great memories.

The Ferrell side of the family was smaller, but no less rowdy, especially when it came to football. We'd meet at Mamaw's tiny house, but I say tiny now as an adult. It didn't seem tiny then. We had pallets all over the floor at night, sofa beds spread out, but it was the mornings I loved there. We always woke up to homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, sausage gravy and bacon. And coffee. I didn't drink it then, but I loved to smell it. And Mamaw always started cooking two weeks before anyone arrived. She knew all of the grandkids' favorite foods and deserts and made sure we had it. We also had plenty of my favorite meal: black-eyed peas, cornbread, squash, carrots and zuccini. I'd choose that even over a turkey dinner! On Thanksgiving day we'd lay everything out on the table, give thanks for all of the blessings in our lives and then feast. But that wasn't the end. There was always an inevitable game of tag football in the yard. It's the stuff home movies are made of. And great family pictures. It's where we get the great photos of Ledbetters making their silly faces, or Ferrells posing with the winning football, everyone laughing, joking and enjoying the celebrations.

Now we are charged with making the memories. I have provided a few of my own, mainly for the mishaps. Let's just say I'm not known for my ability to cook turkey, and the one time I did get it right I was accused of ordering in. But they are memories and our kids will someday look back fondly at the different places we have lived and talk about their extended families. The ones here who are like family and the ones we share our lives with here.

We are blessed and we have much to be thankful for. Here's to wishing everyone a blessed and happy Thanksgiving, from our house to yours.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just about the funniest thing I've ever heard:

Click here to listen to this eyewitness account to a car accident.

New Look at an Old Site

You have to go see my other site: It's our family blog (the one that got me started in the blogging world) that we use to keep family and friends up on the things going on in our lives.

Susie did a great job on the site. She has an eye for these things, don't you know. Just take a look around at her site to see her talent! She does amazing work.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

He Kept His Word...

Mike over at Ozark Photo has a passion for photography and his surroundings, and documents them well. Since Fall is one of my favorite times of year, and because I went to college in the same town where Mike lives (Springfield, Missouri) I asked Mike to post some pictures of Fall when he could. It's been many years since I've been able to see colors in trees this time of year, and his pictures bring out such good feelings when looking through them that I boldly asked him to take some Fall pictures for me. Boy did he come through.

Click his name above or go to and browse through his pictures. I also like his collection of porches.

Thank you so much, Mike! The pictures are beautiful and I always appreciate the view through your lense.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

They call him Bruce Willis.

The first time we experienced the "Bruce Willis" phenomenon was in Thailand. We went to get our haircut (Big Dad of course sat reading a magazine during the event) and the workers kept whispering and pointing in his direction. Finally, one of the people came up to me and asked if he was Bruce Willis. "Sure," I thought, "And I'm Demi." (They were still married then.) But after looking at Big Dad in a new light, it was true. He does look like Bruce.

Fast forward a few months, and we're in a village in China. Yes, a village. A remote one. Did you know Hollywood makes it to remote villages in China? It does. And with translation. So we're sitting in this little restaurant eating noodle soup, and again with the staring and pointing. Finally, we hear the name. "Bruce Wirris" Big Dad and I looked at each other and busted out laughing.

Fast forward a couple of years, and we're in Taiwan. We go into a local store to check into getting something repaired, and the guy behind the counter asks, "Are you related to Bruce Willis?" At this point, we decided to roll with it. "Yeah, he's my brother," Big Dad said. "Would you like me to put in a good word for you?" The guy was incredulous. I finally had to tell Big Dad to tell him the truth. He was just getting too excited.

So this is my man. Mountain man, Bruce Willis look alike. And he cooks, too! How about that?

Once Upon a Time

Craver put a meme out there for anyone to take part in, and this one sounded good. We are to think back to what we were doing 30 years ago, 20 years ago and 10 years ago. I like that. Here's mine.

30 years ago I was 12 and in the 7th grade (I think). It was a rough year. Middle school is rough anyway. My future sister-in-law came to my rescue and allowed me to hang around her during recess so that I wouldn't be tormented anymore by another middle schooler. Funny that's what I remember. Maybe that's because I'm working closely with middle schoolers now. I'm sure we were getting ready for one of those Ledbetter Thanksgivings, with lots of yelling at the TV while watching football, our own football game later, and I was probably following Aunt Teri, Michelle and Leigh Anne (cousins) around like a puppy!

20 years ago I was 22 and working 3 jobs while going to college full time. I'm sure I was wishing I was home for Thanksgiving. I can't recall what I did then. It's a blur!

10 years ago Big Dad and I were in the throws of parenthood. Nathaniel was on a prairie riding a mule (wasn't born yet) and the others were young, crawling, walking, climbing, and leaving Legos all over the place.

Wow. It's kind of fun looking at things like that. I tag Leigh Anne , my new blogger cuz and Colleen, because she never posts anything!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

It's definitely Fall

Nothing on this scale, but the weather is cool, which is making our evening walks so much more enjoyable. We have a local Taiwanese striped dog, Ban Ban, that walks with us. Well, at least part of the way. He's feeling it, too. Rolling in the grass, stealing the baseball Big Dad and Timo throw around. Then we have the festivities coming up: Professional baseball games, the Junior Carnival, Thanksgiving, softball season. It's getting good and we're loving it! Of course we don't have pumpkins like these posted, but we do have some gourds that look like pumpkins. At this point, that's all I need. Because really, the weather has a lot to do with Fall, and the leaves and such, but more than that it's about family, extended family and friends, and just being together and enjoying the weather. And being Thankful. We are definitely thankful.

Blessings, and have a great Fall day!