Urine luck, Bucee’s Nearby

Alright, I’ll admit that this post might seem strange considering the subject matter. But it means something to me, and it makes me happy. In my last few posts I’ve talked about my great affection for Texas, and I’ve unwittingly taken you on a journey through fond travel memories. It wasn’t my intent to make a series out of my many trips through the Lonestar state, but here we are.

Anyways, on with the show…

One of my most favorite-est places to stop in Texas is a place called Buc-ees. No, it’s not a restaurant, it’s not a cute thirft store. But it’s a gas station. Yup , you read that right, I go out of my way visit a gas station. But it’s not just a gas station it’s a Fun Store! And their mascot, is an adorable beaver…

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And he’s ready to greet you with a welcoming hug and a winning smile.

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Once you walk through the average convenience store automatic doors, one is struck by the size of this place. My favorite location is the one in New Braunfels, between San Antonio and Austin. It happens to be the largest convenience store in the world at 68, 000 square feet! When Texans do something, they don’t do it small that’s for sure.

This place offers so many amenities, but before I go into those, I’ve got to talk about the #1 priority, as well as the #2. The restrooms! Yes, we’re gonna go there. Buc-ees bathrooms are so clean they’ve won awards for them. So, if you ever do get to visit one, make sure you come with a full bladder too! (Wink-wink, also sorry for the potty talk Mom). But really, the restrooms are a big draw. They advertise themselves and their gloriously clean bathrooms for many miles along I-10. With signs that totally speak to my inner 10-year old:

“Urine luck! Buc-ees right ahead!”

“Restrooms so clean, We leave mints on the urinals!”

“Buy a gift, leave a gift.”

“Epic Flush”

No, I didn’t make those up, those are part of the Buc-ee’s ingenious ad campaign. If I were in marketing, I would totally wanna work with these guys!

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After you’ve discovered the joys of such a rare thing as a clean public restroom, with actual locking doors and Buc-ee’s branded soap, it’s time to get your shop on.

At Buc-ee’s you can buy everything from the normal convenience store fare, to specialty items. They’ve got the best selection of Icee’s I’ve ever seen. My favorite is the Big Red Icee, but you can choose from various other Icees in soda pop form to the regular blends such as Cherry and Blue Coconut.

The stores them selves are huge, and resemble a cross between a grocery store, a regular convenience store, and one of those kitschy tourist stops. It pulled me right, in like the fish chasing a worm…

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There are walls upon walls of snacks, with Buc-ee’s knowing smile staring back at you. He knows he had you at the funny billboards and the fulfilled promise of clean restrooms.

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His sweet mug is on pretty much everything sold at this haven of kitsch.

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Even on the strangest of items…

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But it’s not all trail mix and Beaver Nuggets (Nope, not making those up either. They’re caramel and butter glazed corny puffs of heaven!) They also offer hot freshly prepared meals as well. I only had the chance to try this fare once, it was 11:30 at night, and the hot foods section had just closed up shop. I ended up with a brisket sandwich and a coleslaw. Let me tell you, that was the best BBQ I’d had all day, especially considering the sandwich had been sitting under a heat lamp for the better part of an hour. It was so good, I didn’t have time to take a picture of it, too busy munching.

When you do find yourself at a Buc-ees make sure your bladder is full and your car is empty, because they offer 154,939 gas pumps for your convenience.

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But don’t forget the gift shop! Apparently, I say this a lot, if you’ve spent any amount of time in or near Texas you’ll understand.

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Guys, I think I found my people! If you need me I’ll be in a Buc-ees restroom…munching on some Beaver Nuggets or taking a nap.

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The Great Pretender

Recently, I’ve been re-evaluating my career choices, and I’ve come to realize that I’ve been pretending to like something that I really don’t like. So, I’ve been mentally trying different jobs on. And wonder, would this job fit? Would it be too snug, like an uncomfortable pair of shoes? Or would it be too comfortable, like my favorite yoga pants? A career, job, whatever it is you have to do to earn money, should be something that’s challenging, but not too challenging. Slightly structured but not too structured. It should be juuuussst right…maybe that makes me a career Goldilocks. But, this mentally trying on of careers has raised the question , am I pretending in other areas of my life?

I pretend that I enjoy being with certain people, when really I just want to punch them in the face, doing so with all the love of Jesus in my heart. Instead I smile politely and tolerate their presence. (Don’t worry, these people know who they are. My polite smile is pretty obviously a fake one.) I pretend to enjoy certain activities, when all I want to do is sit on the couch with my Oero’s and binge watch something on Netflix. I pretend to enjoy subject matter to try to better my career, but all it does is make me want to take a nap. Some of this pretending is to be polite, but some of it, I wonder if it’s me lying to myself.  Either way you cut it, the pretending is getting to be a bit much, and makes me wonder if my entire life is one big game of pretend.

When I was a kid, my favorite game to play was “House”. You were all kids once, I’m sure your familiar…it’s a game of pretend, you make a pretend life, with a pretend house, a pretend job, pretend kids, it’s all pretend. Sometimes, this game was acted out with Barbie and Ken, sometimes, if there were enough friends around we’d play the roles ourselves.  In my games of house, I was always an educated career woman, who had both a fulfilling career that she loved, and a loving family to come home to. She had a big yellow house with a wrap around porch, went to Disneyland whenever she wanted, and had a rockin’ pink corvette (just like Barbie). She also had big curly hair treated hourly with Aquanet and always wore puffy sleeves, it was the 80’s after all. It was fun, it helped me shape what I wanted my future to be. But it was fun, pretend, but fun.

Real life, is nothing like the pretend game I had envisioned in my 8 year old head. Real life doesn’t have weekly visits to Disneyland, a pink corvette, definitely no big curly hair treated hourly with Aquanet, and for me no yellow house with a wrap around porch. Real life, although full of many many blessings, also holds uncertainty, self doubt, anger, jealousy, and pretending, but not the good kind.

So, with all of this worry about pretending, I do what any  Christian does in this situation. I pray about it, I take it to the Lord. And he assures me, that I can’t pretend around Him. He knows what’s in my heart, and He knows where the “just right” place for me is in this world. He also tells me, that this world is not my home, so everything will feel like those uncomfortable but cute pair of red heels, wearable but still a little snug. My home is where He is, my home is in Heaven, where He has prepared an awesome mansion for me. I can stop pretending, I can be myself.

Now, if only I could get my heart to believe what my head thinks…

That’s where faith comes in, switching it up a little,  letting your heart lead, and making your head follow that lead. And that’s where the pretending can finally stop. When you follow your heart there’s no way you can pretend, because your heart and your calling never lie. See, your calling is from God and God never lies. We lie to ourselves, we lie to each other, we have perfected lying, but God…He’s the only one that will be honest. The only one you don’t have to pretend around.

So, kick off those uncomfortable but cute red heels, maybe pull out the orero’s, relax, listen to your heart, and stop pretending!

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Romans 12:2 NKJV

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P.S. If you like Bluebonnets and various other wildflowers. I will be posting about my tour de Tejas in a few days. There will be flower photos a plenty!

Made Fresh Everyday

Well, spwint has come and gone along with March, and much of April…I haven’t been keeping up with my online accounts. And honestly, I won’t make promises that I’ll keep up with it here on the blog. Life keeps happening, and sometimes, you just have to let it happen.

I’ve been considering starting up a new blog, a fresh start. One that is more centered on photography instead of a personal account of my life. Actually, this new blog  would probably still be a little personal as I enjoy capturing photographic evidence that things do happen in my life. It would just be less words more pictures. Again, let me go back (circular thoughts are awesome)…there will probably be words, as I LOVE words. But sometimes, trying to come up with a blog post and photos that match, has just become a bit tedious for me. And I don’t think a hobby should be tedious.

On top of that, this blog has been feeling stale the past couple of years. I can’t really explain why it has started to feel like a fast food salad tastes. Maybe I’ve been keeping this blog at room temperature while the instructions on the box clearly read, “KEEP REFRIGERATED”. But it doesn’t bring me the same amount of joy it did in the past, and I think it’s time for something different. That something different may not happen for a while. I’m still thinking about it, letting it stew a little bit. Hopefully soon something will be fully cooked, and I can keep it refrigerated for some yummy left overs later on.

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Time is not on my side

Time, it’s constant, never stops, but I’m always surprised when so much of it has passed. Funny how time seems to go by so slowly when you’re living it, but then when you look at the time that has passed, it’s unbelievable how fast it went.

I realize I haven’t blogged since this past July. I thought I’d let it go, and move on to something else. But lately, I’ve found myself re-visiting my old posts, and remembering those times in my life and even remembering how nice it was to blog about those times. So, I’ve decided to give it another go-round. I don’t know if I’ll be consistent, apparently, consistency seems to be a hard concept for me to understand. But this blog thing, it might be just the thing I need right now.

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Weekend Happenings: Wild and Crazy

How’s this for a week that’s already off kilter? Thrifting Thursday on a Monday and a weekend review on a Tuesday. At least, I’m blogging this week! So, I’d call the first two days of the first week in February a success! (By the way, why is February so hard to spell? Every time I try to spell it on my own, spell check kicks in and gives me the dreaded red line. I shouldn’t be surprised since most of the time my posts are covered with red lines. Thank you spell check.)

Anywho, on this Tuesday I’ve got the past weekend still on my mind, maybe I’m hoping the next weekend will get here a little faster. Actually, I should rephrase that, I am happy with where I’m at right now, which happens to be in the middle of a work week. And thank goodness, I have work to keep me busy during the week. Even though the prospect of having a life of all weekend seems pretty enticing, there are little things to worry about like eating and paying bills. Ya know, the small things in life.

But back to the happenings of the weekend:

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I started a new crochet project, this time it’s a kid-size blanket for my soon to be 6 year old niece. Once it’s done I’ll tell you all about it.

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We ate pizza and salad, yeah I know me and the hubs live on the wild side.

And last but not least….

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I read a magazine and took a picture. This post gave me the great idea. Aren’t you glad I have follow through?

Hows that for a wild and crazy weekend from one wild and crazy gal? (By the way that was typed with the same accent Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd used in this SNL skit.)

Christmas at the Office

Well, my house isn’t so Christmas-y, but I’ve made my office very sparkly.

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When the sun shines in at just the right time and angle, it’s like a disco party.

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And the disco trees aren’t the only sparkly and jolly decorations going on.

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My cube has also been jolly-fyed.

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Not exactly magazine worthy, but it’s made the office seem a bit more holiday-rific.

How to Crochet the Lazy Girl Way

Lately I’ve been trying to be a little craftier, apparently idle hands are the devils playground. At least that’s what my grandmother used to tell me. So, I’ve taken up crocheting in the evenings while I watch re-runs of Friends and impatiently wait for Season 7 of Doctor Who to arrive on Netflix. Because ya know, I can’t spend the $14 to buy 6 episodes of my most recent television obsession, that would be too easy. Anyways, during my TV time the past couple of months I’ve been making this:

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A baby blanket, a WHOLE baby blanket. That’s like 20 scarves all put together! I’m a beginner when it comes to crocheting or crochet?? What would be the proper terminology here? See? I’m that new I don’t even know the proper verb or pronoun whatever the correct terminology one would use in this situation. But I digress, I’m new to this craft and have only really mastered the single crochet, so that’s how this blanket was woven together (and love, woven with lots of love, you can’t have a handmade item NOT contain love!). Nothing but single crochet stitches and the chunkiest and softest yarn I could find, Bernat Baby Blanket, in Baby Pink. I found the cheapest selection at Wal-Mart, it was $2.97 for a 3.5 oz skein. Certain colors can be purchased in a huge 10.5 oz skein, which is what I did with another blanket I’m currently working on, but that’s another story.

singlecrochetblanketI LOVED working with this yarn, it’s the perfect material for a beginner like me who tends to be a bit fumbly with the crochet needle. By the way, I used an N needle with this super chunky yarn, so the project was super easy and super fast. If I had worked on it for more than an hour or two at a sitting and if I were more nimble in the fiber arts I bet this could have been churned out in  a lot less than a month and a 1/2.

But the one caveat I have about using this yarn is that it tends to be a little knotty, and I don’t mean it stole grapes from the grocery store for “tasting”. There were random knots within the skein, like they had knotted two different skeins together. Maybe it was just that I purchased my yarn from Wal-Mart, which sometimes doesn’t have the best quality of merchandise or maybe it’s just the nature of the product. By the way, I’m not slamming Wal-mart. They do tend to have the best deals on certain products. And yes, I realize there are lots of people out there who are very anti-WalMart, I can be one of those people at times, but I also like a good deal. Either way, the knots kind of annoyed me because it made the final product look a little messy. Or maybe it was just me making it messy with my beginner crochet-er ways.

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But all in all I am happy with the final product, and have happily wrapped and shipped this handmade gift to a friend of mine who is happily awaiting the arrival of her new baby girl in just a few short weeks.

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Have you started up a new hobby? Or have you mastered an old hobby? Any crochet tips from the pros out there??

31 Days: Plans

I suck at this 31 Days of Getting it Done series, I haven’t done 31 things and I haven’t posted about the 31 nonexistent things within the bounds of 31 days. Yes, I wrote out a plan, and yes, I had planned on getting some projects done before the 31 days of October came around. I had also planned on getting my house all neat and organized like Jules did over at Pancakes and French Fries. By the way, she’s totally my hero and  does a great job of “getting it done”. She has based her 31 day series (and last years series) on the famous William Morris quote, but you’ll have to skip on over to her blog to find out more.

Anywho, I’m stuck in a disappointing and annoying loop of the same old I’m-tired-from-work bug that I always tend to catch, I also have the it’s-fall-and-I-need-to-soak-up-as-much-warm-sunshine-as-possible-before-the-time-change-turns-me-into-a-vampire-itis, it’s a real disease I swear, look it up! I say all of this because, really, I’m not getting “it” done. I’m getting important things done, like workie things, and chores, and walking the dogs, and Netflixed Doctor Who episodes watched. But the “it” of Getting it Done, yeah, that’s kind of been put aside and smooshed into the corner of the closet along with that half finished Pinterest project and the “skinny” jeans I’ve been saving back for when I am “skinny” again.

But never fear, I have a plan!! (there’s always a plan) The plan is to get back on schedule, to get “it” done before the end of October, to finally and victoriously finish a 31 day series in 31 days!!! Wouldn’t that be nice? If it does happen I shall celebrate with cake and a marathon of Netflixed Doctor Who.

In the mean time, while I ponder if and when I should be caught up on my getting it done posts, I’ll be enjoying a nice flick in the backyard.

Obviously, I need to use my tripod more liberally.

By the way, we watched Jurassic Park, I don’t recommend watching such a suspenseful movie within earshot of neighbors that can hear your shrieks of terror every time a dino rips someones head off. I’ll stick to sweet non-scream inducing Disney movies thankyouverymuch.

31 Days Day 5: Lolita and Car Repairs

So far this week, I’ve introduced you to my plans for tackling 31 projects within the month of October, I got to complain about waterlines running annoyingly through the middle of a flower bed my clearance plants were to be planted, and you got to see how I made my living room and front porch look autumn like and such. Not exactly meaty topics, I realize it may be a bit of let down, it’s a let down for me too. I didn’t realize how much time it would take to have a project done everyday, and share that project with you, my awesome and ever so patient readers, with an awesome, intelligently written, picture laden post. ( Could that sentence have more commas in it?) Apparently, it will be one or the other around these parts, so it’s your choice, a project done with one picture and very few words, or a non-project with lots of words.

Anywho, I mention all this to say, I don’t have a project done to share with you. So, it’ll be a wordy post today. Aren’t you lucky?

But I did have to get the fuel pump replaced on my car. And I have the bill to prove it. That should count as a project.

I’m $1,000 lighter now, but my car has a working fuel gauge and the check engine light isn’t on all the time. Which means, I was able to pass my emissions test, which means, my car is legally registered now. I was a day late in renewing my registration, which bugged me to no end. Everytime a police car got near me I’d get a little sweaty. Oh, and if you are lucky enough to live in a county that doesn’t require an emissions test, here’s a little background…

An emmissions test consists of five parts:

  • On-Board Diagnostic 2 – Tests vehicle emission control equipment functions
  • Tailpipe exhaust analysis – Measures carbon monoxide and hydrocardon emissions
  • Pollution control equipment – Verifies equipment installation and connections
  • Visible emissions – Checks for tailpipe smoke
  • Gas cap pressure – Ensures cap holds tight seal

All this to say that if your car’s check engine light is on, you won’t pass the emissions test, which means you won’t be able to get your car registered, which means you’ll be driving an illegal car, which means they will catch you, and haul you off to jail, which means your cell mate, Lolita will cut you. Which means, I paid $1000 to get the fuel pump fixed, which means I finally passed the emissions test and got my registration, which means my car is now legal, which means I won’t get caught, and hauled to jail where my cellmate, Lolita would have cut me.

Which means, it’s Friday, and I’m out of words.

Happy Friday, I’ll be back tomorrow with another life changing post! And fewer “which means”.

Pretty Pics from Pinterest: Humor Edition

The end of the work week brings with it the joys of the coming weekend, and with the weekend come plans on how to use that precious non-work time. Every weekend, I set a goal on how to properly and adequeately squeeze as much as I can out of that non-work time.  Last weekend I wanted to make the sunroom more inhabitable, that didn’t happen. Instead I ended up spending my time doing chores that were screaming for attention, like the ever growing pile of laundry and the fur bunnies that often propagate under my couch. (A note on fur bunnies: if you have large dogs that have fur, then you will have fur bunnies, not dust bunnies,fur bunnies. And I can’t forget to mention the fur tumble weeds, those are the most distressing. End Note)

So this week on Pretty Pics from Pinterest, I’m not going to set any type of virtual goal for myself. My only goal is to relax, oh yeah and finally do the dishes. Can you believe the amount of spoons and bowls we use in my house hold? I would swear we eat more than just cereal and porridge! Anyways, I wanted to end this very busy work week on a light note. Instead of pretty pictures, let’s look and things that make us laugh shall we? By the way, if you want to see the original source, click on the image.  To the best of my knowledge these are the original sources, but I can’t make any guarantees.

Via I Waste So Much Time

And with that I wish you a tail waggin’, ears flappin’ in the wind weekend!