Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Well if I had money
Tell you what I'd do
I'd go downtown and buy a Mercury or two
Crazy 'bout a Mercury
Lord I'm crazy bout a Mercury
I'm gonna buy me a Mercury
And cruise it up and down the road

If you read my blog, you know that a few weeks back my husband googled Mercury Comet's and the Mercury Comet we owned while living in Georgia popped up and it was for sale! We loved that car and were heartbroken when we had to sell it when moving to Massachusetts. We knew the harsh weather up north would take it's toll on the Comet's paint. I've only gotten to ride in her two times since we've brought her home ... but I often sneak into the garage and look at all the cool details that cars lack these days. Here's some of my favorite intricate features of the COMET ....
The front side panel

The original hub-caps

The rear tail lights ... so cool!!!!!

The back windshield is amazing!!!!

The steering column ... 

The radio -- which has been updated -- there's a hidden cord to
plug in your iPhone -- or you can play 8-tracks!  lol!!!!
 The speedometer

The MERCURY guy on the middle of the steering wheel

The seats and middle glove box

The original engine!

The MERCURY guy on the sides near the back window (he's on both sides!)

Thursday, October 23, 2014


After the book festival, I was super tired and REALLY hungry! So I trudged back to the hotel, dropped off my stuff and went down to the CAFE CORTEZ and had steak and eggs ... it was soooooo good ... and was FREE because I was comped two free dinners from the hotel! I then decided to do some HIGH ROLLING ... well ... not really -- I sat down at a cute slot machine that had wolves on it ... put $20 in and in about 20 minutes had $41 and some change!  I quickly cashed out and was feeling great that I had WON in Vegas ... I was going to go walk around and take more pictures and I went outside and looked down and there was a 5 dollar bill ... I picked it up and decided to go back to this other CUTE MARTIAN slot machine and see if lady luck was still on my side .... I started playing and was UP and DOWN and UP and DOWN and UP .... about 30 minutes of playing that 5 bucks ... I had $12.76 ... I decided that BEATING VEGAS was fun ... so I cashed out! So I made about 28 dollars from my HIGH STAKES gambling!  lol!!!!
I had seen Container Park out of my hotel window and decided that it was the place I wanted to check out ... Right outside Container Park was this HUGE preying mantis. He is run by a person and his antennae are flames that truly explode once in a while ... it's CRAZY!!!!
Container Park was really very cool. All of the buildings are CONTAINERS and all of the decking, "grass", and tile are made from recycled materials. The stores all sell repurposed items. My favorite was the jewelry made out of grey goose bottles. Container Park was celebrating OKTOBERFEST while I was there and what better way to celebrate than with a GERMAN band.
In front of the stage is repurposed "grass" and a big play area for kids ... all over are couches and chairs for adults to listen to the music, relax, and watch their kids play.
One of the containers.
There were many restaurants in Container Park ... but this one had the BEST name ... I think it's the BEST name EVER for a restaurant!!!  If I hadn't already eaten -- I would have definitely eaten here!
I decided to give the FREEMONT STREET experience one more whirl before I packed it in.
This girl was Wowing people ... but many of those people had had LOTS to drink ...
I'm pretty sure she's sitting in a balanced chair that's hooked to her cane and the big base under her rug ... I know -- i'm a KILL JOY!
This guy was super talented ... he painted these paintings in about 10 minutes using spray paint!
They were really awesome and cost $40.00 ... I was tempted to buy one but didn't want to ruin it on the way home .... he was fun to watch!

Heart Attack Grill is another GREAT name for a restaurant ... I also love that they put a hospital gown on you to eat! I was so tempted to get a milkshake from here .... but worked so hard all summer to lose 10 pounds that I figured I'd pass!

AND ... if you haven't lost enough of your money already .... there are slot machines ALL over the Las Vegas airport! I was tempted to gamble my BIG winnings ... but then decided to quit while I was ahead ....
I had a great time in VEGAS
next time I'll take in a show and maybe be a bit more brave and try my hand at higher stakes gambling!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

VIVA Las Vegas Valley Book Festival

I have never been to Las Vegas ... so when I had the opportunity to attend the Vegas Valley Book Festival I felt it would be an interesting and FUN weekend! The Festival was held in Downtown Las Vegas in the historic district ... I was away from the "strip" but was near LOTS of interesting people and things! Here is VEGAS from my eyes! On the way to my hotel, the cab driver stopped in the PAWN STARS parking lot so I could take a few pictures! This was just a few blocks from my hotel.

I stayed at the El Cortez Hotel and Casino -- it was built in 1941.

I stayed on the 15th floor (which was the TOP floor) and I was in one of their high roller suites -- basically a normal room! But I had that contraption on the right ... a P H O N E!

 View from my window.

I walked down to that pink, green and white lighted area in the bottom
right of the pic above the band ... and I found this band. They were
awesome! Stayed and listened to them play for about 30 minutes.

One of my favorites from OLD TIME Las Vegas!!!!!
 On to Freemont Street

HOLY MOLY .... the worlds biggest big screen ... this place was totally insane!

Cloudy skies for most of the day -- it drizzled a bit and kept the temperatures cool!

Vendors setting up
Here are a few of my new READERS! 
Amanda purchased A Simpler Time .... I hope she enjoys it!!!

Ty is 14 and hopes to become a writer ... he looked through The Life of Bud
and had to have it ... I just LOVE seeing young kids have a love of writing!!!
Good Luck TY!  Let me know how you like BUD!

This little cutie is Estefania and her mom purchased A Simpler Time for her.
She was very excited and couldn't wait for mom to read it to her!  ENJOY!!!

 Cat In the Hat

 Curious George

Clifford the BIG RED DOG!
Clifford endorsing the MUFFIN book!
I had a wonderful time at the Festival and met some wonderful people!!
Having fun, meeting new people and selling books always makes for a wonderful book festival!
Thank you for having me!!!!! 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

UPDATE -- Monarch Migration


UPDATE -- A naturalist came to our school to talk to the 2nd grade and we found out that the plant that the migrating butterflies are on is called the POVERTY BUSH -- they are actually uncommon in the United States, but the Monarchs have been flocking to them this year because of the killing off of the Milkweed plant. The naturalist said that the flower from this plant produces an oil that was used during the depression to help light oil lamps. But here is some information about this plant -- we truly are witnessing HISTORY because this is very UNCOMMON for the butterflies to even be on this plant!
Here is some more information on the Poverty Bush ...
Eremophila alternifolia or ‘Poverty Bush’ is an erect, open shrub growing in height from 0.5m to 4m. Its flowers are profuse and cover the bush in shades of white, cream, yellow, red, pink or purple from June to March. Eremophila alternifolia has a wide distribution in Western Australia through the arid zones, from Cue and Wiluna in the west, south to Esperance and east to Eucla. It has a variety of habitats including woodlands and hills and shows a preference for red or stony soils. The name ‘Poverty Bush’ is applied to many Eremophila species and refers to their ability to survive in very dry, inhospitable environments.
The Aboriginal name for this plant is ‘Tarrtjan’, meaning Goldfields, an area which comprises a large part of its range. Medicinal uses include a mixture made for colds and sore throats (but used in small quantities), while an infusion of the leaves encourages deep sleep and pleasant dreams. Bark from young twigs, along with dry leaves and flowers can be rubbed onto the skin to relieve skin disorders.
Many species of Eremophila are available from local nurseries, and as they belong to a drought-tolerant, bird-attracting genus, at least one species of the wide range available would be ideal as an inclusion for almost any garden.

Yesterday -- October 15, 2014, I witnessed a natural phenomenon that I could have sat and watched for hours! The school that I work at is in the middle of the CITY and in the backyard of the DFW Airport! But, nestled in some beautiful bushes that are directly behind our school and just happen to be in full bloom right now, monarchs decided to make them their home for a few days! The bushes are also full of bees and wasps. What was really cool was that you could walk right up to the bush and view the bees and see their "cheeks" FILLED with pollen! It was really incredibly awesome! Enjoy the pics!!!

  The monarch next to the light pole was truly spectacular!
If you click on the pictures you'll see butterflies and bees living in harmony!

Aren't they gorgeous!!!  Not sure what this bush is ... but it smells INCREDIBLE!

They are having lots of fun drinking in that nectar!!!!
Monarchs are so beautiful!!!

There are a couple bees in this picture with the gorgeous butterfly!

Yes ... that's a BUSY BEE!!!!!