You Might Live in Texas If

Jeff Foxworthy, famous for his "You might be a redneck" routine also does a comedy bit about folks from the Lone Star State.

Sometimes, like when I go to the small town near our house in the country, I think I get humorous material Mr. Foxworthy might like to have.

For instance, Jeff Foxworthy said, "If someone in a Lowe's store offers you assistance, and they don't work there, you may live in Texas."

OMG! How true—and it applies to big stores in big cities and small stores in small towns.

Humor Comes From Life

We were buying groceries in the small store near our country house. I said to Darling Husband, "I wonder where the bread is."

A shopper pushing a cart past said, "It's in the far corner of the store just pass the ice cream. Unless you want bread like canned biscuits, and they're in the dairy case just pass the rack of high school tee shirts."

When I thanked her, she beamed and said, "You're welcome, dear."

Later, at the checkout stand, the cashier commented on our groceries. "What kind of lettuce is that?"

Me: "Romaine."

"I've never had that before. Is it any good?"

After I told her the attributes of romaine over iceberg, she and the high school girl bagging our groceries told us we should get the Butter Crunch Blue Bell Ice Cream because it was to die for. (I later discovered they were right.)

Yes, they still bag groceries there!

As we were leaving, she told us to try the baked potatoes stuffed with chopped brisket at the local barbeque joint because it too was to die for. She was absolutely correct.

The giant Idaho spud with BBQ brisket piled on the hot fluffy potato was mouth-watering delicious and large enough to feed 3 hungry people!

Weather in the Lone Star State

Jeff Foxworthy said, "If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you may live in Texas."

Yep. I've done that, and so have most Texans I know. Autumn weather is arriving as I write this. I'm wearing shorts and a long-sleeved tee shirt. I guess when you're accustomed to 90+ degree temperatures and high humidity, the brisk autumn breeze chills.

So long sleeves and shorts kind of balance each other. If it were cooler, I'd probably pull a sweat jacket on too.

Long Distances

I say if vacation means going on a car trip that lasts 6 to 8 hours or more, you may live in Texas.

We went to Midland last year. That's in far west Texas. We left in the morning and didn't arrive until evening. Never left Texas.

We measure distances in time, not in miles, and that's another aspect of living in Texas.

Jeff Foxworthy said, "If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Texas."

Guilty. You never know when you might need them for your own vehicle or someone else's.

Traveling takes time in Texas. The speed limit may be 55 mph, but most drivers assume that's a guideline to be followed if you see a police cruiser. 

If you go 55 on most highways, everyone else will be passing you as if you're standing still. Distances are so vast that some parts of the Interstates have speed limits set at 85.

Takeaway Truth

I like how Mr. Foxworthy ends his routine. "If you actually understand these jokes, and share them with all your Texas friends, you definitely live in Texas."

(Or you want to. Just saying.)

Hang on to your Stetson as the fun and games begin in a sexy romantic comedy hotter than a bowl of Texas chili!

The Trouble With Love
, a romance that's as big as Texas, is a Kindle Unlimited FREE read.

Or buy this rompin' stompin' romance for $4.99 and put it on your keeper shelf.

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Grammar Anxiety

If you're ever uncomfortable when speaking or writing because you have grammar anxiety, I have a solution for you.

Grammar anxiety is the worry that you're not using the correct verb form or incorrectly using me when you should use I, or who when it should be whom. 

This book is for anyone who is a little uncertain about his/her grammar skills. Honestly, that's most people in today's world because grammmar really isn't taught extensively in public schools in today's world.

Here's a book you might like to have.

Complete English Grammar Rules explains everything in simple terms. All the rules of English grammar, explained in simple, easy-to-understand terms.

"The grammar book for the 21st century has arrived, from the language experts at Farlex International and, the trusted reference destination with 1 billion+ annual visits." 

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Just The Facts: CoVid Research from Medical Experts

Whether you are vaccinated or anti-vax, you should read this. Being informed is the best thing you can do to understand CoVid19 which seems to be the perfect killing machine.

When our oldest daughter was hospitalized with the Delta variant of CoVid and almost died, I felt helpless. I turned to the only thing I could do: research.

(Image at left by Fotoshop Tofs from Pixabay)

I couldn't be with her at the hospital, but I could read and learn all I could about this horrible disease as well as acquaint myself with what lay ahead.

Fortunately, our daughter survived, but she is still trying to recover. She has a long road ahead of her.

My cousin's 41-year-old son did not make it. Neither did an author friend's 39-year-old-son.

My friend and former neighbor is in her 2nd month of hospitalization, trying to beat CoVid. That's right 2 months with most of that on a ventilator.

By the way, neither our oldest daughter nor the three patients mentioned above were immunized. Just saying.

Why Does CoVid Kill Some Perfectly Healthy Adults & Not Others

The first thing I wanted to know was why CoVid kills some people and not others. I wanted real facts from doctors who treat the disease and microbiologists who are conducting research studies around the world.

I also wanted it explained in easily understood language since I'm not a doctor. I started out with Google Search Engine Results Pages, but those SERPs were all written in technical language. That wasn't what I wanted.

I went to YouTube and found a wealth of solid information that I could understand. There are many doctors vlogging about CoVid. 

Two channels I found that gave stunning information in a format that is  easily accessible were Dr. Mike Hansen, a Board Certified Pulmonologist who is also Board Certified in Critical Care and Internal Medicine.

Dr. Hansen has an entire CoVid playlist of his videos discussing the disease. I subscribed to the channel and went back to the beginning of the CoVid invasion then watched all of his videos in order.

I wanted to have a thorough understanding of what happened and when it happened. I also wanted to understand the progression of the disease, treatments that were tried and discarded and why they didn't work.

The other excellent source of information is MedCram, Medical Topics Explained Clearly -

MedCram dissects CoVid19 research studies from all over the world as well as other studies. 

Of particular interest are these videos:

Our Future With CoVid

On June 15, the CDC listed the COVID-19 delta variant as a "variant of concern." On August 1 is when our daughter in Texas contracted the Delta variant. Its more contagious, more dangerous, less susceptible to available treatments, and harder to detect until it may be too late.

Her disease progressed fast. She was hospitalized a week after getting it.

You may not know but CoVid19 mutated into other variants fairly quickly: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. It's continued to mutate, combatting the treatments that researchers find. It's changing fast, and that's bad news. You'll be shocked to learn that there are 8 other VOIs, that's Variants of Interest, out there.

Mu is the latest to cause alarm. It was added to the WHO (World Health Organization) list on August 30, 2021. It was first found in Colombia in January 2021 and has now been found in 39 countries, including the U.S.

If you want to know more about the variants, visit this ABC News Link: Is the mu variant worse than delta? Warning, there are a lot of pop-ups and ads, but it's worth scrolling down to find the information about the variants.

Bottom Line Truth

I worry about people who have preconceived ideas about immunizations. Especially if those ideas are  based on what Facebook groups and friends or relatives say if those people are not medical professionals backed up by dozens of factual studies.

Statements that are nothing but opinions based on fear and personal attitudes toward the government, the medical community, conspiracy theories, and authority figures can be dangerous to one's health.

Do your own research—real research backed up by facts, not opinions and fear mongering. Whatever you find should be affirmed by similar studies from many different doctors, microbiologists, epidemiologists, and other researchers—not by 1 doctor in Idaho or a celebrity you like and admire.

If you are basing your health information on anyone who does not have proper medical credentials, you could be putting yourself and your loved ones at risk. 

Takeaway Truth

Regardless of what you currently believe, keep an open mind. Know your enemy, and make no mistake. CoVid is the enemy. Only with true information can we defeat this life-altering/life-ending virus. Or at least survive it as it continues to mutate. Be safe, not sorry.

Font and Design Mistakes on Websites

Do your eyes get tired when you read a lot online?

Mine do. I spend about 8 hours a day online. Yes, that's a lot, but every day I'm writing and/or reading for information or entertainment.

I've found that websites with difficult fonts and/or backgrounds make my eyes feel as if acid has been poured into them.

In fact, I've got where I avoid websites with those problems.

(Image at left by magnetme from Pixabay!)

Plan your website well and always with consideration for those you hope to attract to it.  According to website design experts, readability is of primary importance.

10 Things to Avoid in  Website Design

1. Website themes with black or dark backgrounds and white or other light colored fonts.

Some think a dark dramatic background is evocative. Have pity on those who spend a lot of time reading online. This white text on black tires the eye.

2. Run from fonts in fluorescent orange, yellow, lime, etc. Those colors make the font seem to pulsate before the viewers' eyes.

3. Please don't use different fonts for everything on the virtual page. That's simply not good design. In fact, it looks "busy" like plaid or stripes on broadcast television. Pick 1 font. Use bold or italic of that font for specific elements on your website.

4. Avoid using weird fonts like 28 Days Later, Black Adder, Old English, or Vivaldi. Those fonts are difficult for most people to read.

Rather than be glued to your virtual page, a web visitor will simply move on to an easier to read website.

5. Use a sans serif font like Arial or Open Sans so that those with reading disabilities can access your content.

6. Use a resonably sized font like 12 or 14 point because not everyone online is under the age of 30.

7. Make use of white space. Content with huge text blocks tend to look like a gigantic page stretching from top to bottom. Web readers' eyes glaze over.

8. Break up your text into short paragraphs because web readers read "vertically" with their eyes scanning for the salient points.

9. Use relevant images to break up the text and add interest to the content.

By the way, I frequently finding myself using eyedrops. The eyedrop I've found that works best for me is Systane Gel Eyedrops. They're pricey at the drugstore so I've been ordering from Amazon. 

Takeaway Truth

Make your website easy on the eyes and appealing to the brain, and you'll have plenty of website visitors who return often.

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Choose the Right Word

Paraphrashing Mark Twain who once said the difference between the right word and a similar word is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

I was thinking about that last night after working through my clogged up Inbox. One email was the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for August 1 of this year.


That was the word. It means beauty and comes from the Latin adjective pulcher, meaning beautiful.

The English form of the Latin adjective is pulchritudinous, the verb form is pulchrify, the noun is pulchritudeness or pulchritude (same meaning as pulchritude), and the English adjective is pulchrous.

Have you ever heard a word that sounded less like its meaning than pulchritude? I think not. When I hear the word, usually from a comedian, it makes me think of putrid.

Lord Byron did not write, "She walks in puchritude..." did he?

It's weird when words sound so different from their meaning. Can you think of a word like that?

Takeaway Truth

Always choose the right word—and make sure when spoken aloud that it sounds like what it means.

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Review: What Would Jane Austen Do?

If you love Regency novels, and you don't require a novel set in that era to be absolutely perfect with Regency details, then open your heart to What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown.

About the Book

Eleanor is an expert on Jane Austen and the Regency period. When she arrives in England to make a presentation at a  conference, she discovers her reservation has been canceled.

Given a room that's not usually offered because of its reputation as being haunted, Eleanor is delighted to accept. After all, there's no such thing as ghosts.

To her surprise, she meets the ghosts and agrees to help them by going back to Jane Austen's time. 

Unfortunately, even though she's an Austen expert, she finds it's harder than she'd expected to stay true to the language, attitudes, and behavior of that era.

When she meets the captivating Lord Shermont, a renowned rake and womanizer, she finds it difficult to believe he could be a murderous, cold-blooded spy. She's drawn to him, but the handsome, charming Lord Digby complicates her life.

To Eleanor's relief, the real Miss Jane Austen lends a hand with sound advice and helps Eleanor make her way in the nobility's countryhouse society. Will Eleanor choose the right man? Will she reveal the spy? Will she find her way back to her own time? Or will she stay with the lover she's found?

Bottom Line

Don't be discouraged by the mixed reviews. This is a delightful, light-hearted story that will keep you entertained even though you can see in advance how the story will work out.

It's not a book that mimics a Jane Austen novel. It's an entertaining story about a woman who is smitten with all things Austen. 

Eleanor and the ghosts—and their real life counterparts in the 18th century—as well as Shermont, the passionate, sexy rake are such fun characters. You'll enjoy them and the predicament in which Eleanor finds herself.

Takeaway Truth

Get a copy of What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown for your weekend reading pleasure.

Annabelle, who loves Regency novels by Jane Austen, is the heroine of Last Christmas, a romance about love at first sight, heartbreak, revenge, redemption, and second chances. A  dash of humor and a pinch of mystery complete this passionate, sexy romance—a story that's  good any time of the year—not just at Christmas! (Kindle Unlimited free or $2.99 to buy.)

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Review: This Is Pop

From my couch potato weeks of watching far too many movies, TV series, and documentaries, here's a review.

This Is Pop, a 2021 rockumentary now streaming on Netflix, was fascinating in the way it analyzed how music changed from the sixties to current day.

Unfortunately, this film is not available on Amazon. If you aren't a Netflix subscriber, find a friend who is. You'll want to see this.

If you've had the thought, "All these songs sound alike," then this documentary is for you.

The 8-part series highlights the invention and use of Auto-Tune, and the dance club scene in Europe that gave birth to the song factory in Sweden that generated hit after hit. Those who trained in Sweden are now music producers everywhere it seems.

The episodes of the 8-part series are:

Boyz II Men Effect (Philly sound meets Motown.)

Auto-Tune (The little invention that changed the music business will shock you.)

Stockholm Syndrome (That songwriting shop mentioned above.)

When Country Goes Pop (The rise of the crossover artists.)

Hail Britpop (Pop music re-imagined as grunge.)

Festival Rising (Performers connect powerfully with massive numbers of fans.)

What Can a Song Do (Change the world, bring down the Berlin Wall, topple governments, and change the public's perception of just about everything?)

The Brill Building in 4 Songs (These singer-songwriters powered rock and roll in the beginning.)

Takeaway Truth

If you're a music fan, you must watch this documentary series. Two thumbs up. Enjoy!

Surviving Life Challenges & Hurricane Nicholas

Tropical Storm Nicholas became a category 1 hurricane in the wee hours of this morning.

Thankfully, a Cat 1 is relatively mild, and this hurricane became more of a wind event than a rain one. The picture at left, not a local current photo, illustrates what is meant by a wind event, and a mild one at that.

Still, when we awoke this morning, about half a million customers south of I-10 were without power. 

That's down to about 400,000 now, still a lot. According to the power company, many of those homes and businesses will be without power for a week or longer.

We feel really fortunate to have kept power and to have had very little rain. I never want to experience another event like Hurricane Harvey. Once in a lifetime is more than enough.

Why I've Been Offline

I've been off-line for the last 3 weeks because each day was tough to get through. 

(1) Our older daughter survived CoVid pneumonia and is home now. She's still fighting to get back to normal health.

There may be cardiac damage, but that's a long story I don't want to think about. We'll know more after she has an echo cardiogram.

(2) Our younger daughter and her husband who were vaccinated contracted CoVid. Their biggest ailment was extreme tiredness. However, our daughter who has a genetic condition that makes her immune response problematic developed bronchitis. She's negative for CoVid now but still bothered by the bronchitis.

(3) Our friend and former neighbor has been in the hospital nearly 6 weeks, hanging on in her battle with CoVid. She was not vaccinated.

(4) Home remodeling took a back seat to all the CoVid bad news. We were exposed to CoVid via our younger daughter, and we had to self-quarantine for 2 weeks so we had to call a halt to all the work on the house.

(5) Remodeling also has been extremely slow due to contractors unable to obtain materials. For example, it took 6 weeks from the time we contracted with a guttter company for them to be able to obtain the metal needed to install the gutters.

(6) When we were clear, our electrician team got started. A couple of days later, our electrician had a health scare and was put on a heart monitor. He got the all clear to return to work so half the kitchen lighting was done last week. Yesterday, he canceled so he could get his boat out of the water at Port O'Connor. He lives south of I-10 and now has no power so he won't be back until power is restored at his home.

Missing My Bounce-Back

The last few years have been challenging for family and friends with cancer, surgeries, bleak futures for some, and deaths and then with our older daughter in the hospital fighting for her life, I found myself missing emotionally spent.

A couple of weeks later, I realized my ability to emotionally bounce back was strained. To be honest, I've spent most of August and into September feeling negative and blue.

I've had no urge to write and even stopped reading for a while. Instead, I channel surfed in an effort not to think and worry. I officially told family and friends I needed a break from everything.

Doing What Made Me Feel Better

Surrounded by packing boxes, I turned my attention to doing something to make me feel better. We hadn't unpacked because we kept waiting for the remodeling to be finished so painters could then get started.

I figured at the rate the remodeling was moving along, painting is still several weeks away. So I said the heck with it and started unpacking. I've even hung the paintings and done other decorating.

We've weathered the first hurricane in our new home. For the first time, this house is beginning to feel like home because it's starting to look like home! 

Takeaway Truth

Life moves on, and I'm moving with it which is why I blogged today.