Tag Archives: Texas Panhandle

I Can’t Say, “Yes!” to the Dress… Yet.

Eldest is getting married to a pretty cool guy in two months. They have been engaged for many years and their relationship has survived both living 1700+ miles apart, living together and then some additional separation while he’s an OTR (long distance) semi driver. There are many relationships that can’t handle the separation, but they make it work. He’s from a loving family and his parents are pretty great. I’m very blessed Eldest is becoming part of their clan and her fiance is becoming part of ours.

However, I have a stupid problem. Surgery issues aside, I am trying to find something to wear for the wedding which will be held at Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon in the entire country. It’s one of my favorite places, truth be told. In college, I spent many hours hiking the various trails, riding horses along trails and creek beds and I also spent time with some really great friends there. There’s something special about it that I can’t exactly pinpoint, but it exists. But with the “magic” comes the Texas Panhandle weather. It can be very warm and windy where the Pavilion is located. Ahhh… the joys of Texas. If you have never visited PDC, it really is pretty after some rain. There’s also the musical, appropriately titled “Texas” held in the natural amphitheater of the canyon. People come from all over the world for the experience.

Lighthouse Trail at Palo Duro Canyon
The Mack Dick Pavilion in Palo Duro Canyon after the canyon has received plenty of rain. (Also known as the wedding venue)

Sorry. Once again I totally digressed. Squirrel!

Getting back on track – Finding the “perfect” attire is contingent on a number of factors the least of which is the aforementioned heat and wind. (I don’t want a Marilyn Monroe moment as no one needs to see the extra fluff I carry around.) I also don’t want to “match,” but compliment the wedding party colors. My daughter is wanting a Derby Day kind of feel, but right now, I rather feel like a horse after the race.

Photo: Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY

Fact: I hate dresses. I literally despise them. I’d rather rack up frequent flyer miles to Dante’s 1st level of hell. I’ve worn a few. Literally. A few. I think I can count about 12 from the time I was 15 on. I didn’t even wear a dress to my own wedding. I wore a skirt suit and as hot as it was, shorts and a t-shirt would have done nicely. I honestly don’t even know why I purchase dresses other than jeans aren’t socially acceptable to certain events.

SO…. then the question of the day: Why is it so hard to find something appropriate to wear as the “Mother of the Bride?”

Insert Long-Winded Diatribe Here: UGH…….

Eldest and I went to just two stores one day this week because that’s really all I could handle post-op. I tried on several things. There was one I loved the color of, but it was ill fitting and fated back to the racks. There was a dress that looked like I was wearing a bib. I’m well past the age of wearing a bib. There were other dresses I may have liked, but as I’m fluffy, they were ill-fitting to say the least.

In my internet travels around the world, I have seen more than TWO THOUSAND dresses & “dressy pants suits” in the past few weeks. No. That is not an exaggeration in the slightest. There are some really beautiful dresses and outfits, but none that scream “me” let alone “mother of the bride” or rather “me as a mother of the bride” to me. And those that bear the claim “mother of the bride,” Oy vey. Let me tell you…

I don’t feel any inclination in shoving my extra fluff into body-hugging sausage casing. There’s also no need to let the girls hang out nor let my belly button show. Pleats belong on Catholic School Girl uniforms, certain Kilts or Brittany Spears. I really don’t need a slit in a dress clean up to my hip. Lace. There is so much freaking lace. WHY? It’s often itchy, is easily ripped, and did I mention the “itchy factor?” Velvet / Brocade in June is just untenable. Feathers?!? Oy. Mesh / Tulle is also uncomfortable and I’m definitely not looking for anything that is see-through or that you could use to sift flour. Sequins are probably great for illuminating the runaway for a Boeing 777, (and I actually kind of like them – shocker, I know.) Leather? In June? (Did you ever see that episode of Friends with Ross and the leather pants? That would be me.)

Then there’s the cuts. (I’m not talking steak here, but now that I mention it, a good Ribeye sounds good.) I’m talking about A-line, Mermaid, Ballgown, Sheath, Column, Fit & Flare, Maxi, Mini, Empire, Revel, Wraps, Halters, Tunics, V-Waists, Body-Cons, Peasant, Prairie, Strapless, Two-Piece, Grecian … oh … let’s NOT forget the dress cut wanna-be’s: jumpsuits, your second worst enemy in a bathroom emergency. The first is shape wear often just referred to as Spanx. The less said about that, the better. But if you don’t know what this rather uncomfortable shape wear is, here’s just one of the “samples.”

Assets by Spanx

Finally… the colors and sizes. I was blessed with my mom’s eye for color and my dad’s build. The dresses/outfit’s I’ve deemed tolerable don’t even come close to the colors in Eldest’s wedding and those that do – don’t come in the size I need. (I’m trying to “downsize,” but post op it’s difficult.)

Do you know who is going to stand out like a sore thumb when this is all over?

This girl.


In short… In a few months, I’ll likely be the girl in the very, very sparkly hot pink dress wearing matching Converse tennis shoes and a feather boa whilest drinking schnapps and wondering just what happened.


The Sound of Thunder

Did you every play that “game” “Would You Rather?”

From time to time, I play it in my head and I have one question that I have never been able to answer. If I had to lose either my sight or my hearing, which would I rather lose? I know. It’s a great question. And anyone would say, “Neither.” However, that’s not an option as the question must be answered.

This question popped into my mind while listening to the long, rolling thunder making its way across the Texas plains following on the footsteps of a brilliant red sunrise. A little thunderstorm popped up and as it inched closer to town, the long lead up became a more frequent clamoring, sound and fury, signifying rain. I can feel the storm through the deep, rumbling bellows shaking the house. I can smell the moisture in the air. A single, cold raindrop kissed my hand as the crimson dawn drew her face behind heavy gray skies.

I think the better way to phrase the question is which would be easier to bear? I think we all can agree that either would suck in ways I cannot truly conceive. However, this morning I thought I would give it some extra thought (and still not come up with an answer.)

The sunrise was visually stunning – a scarlet ball coloring the world red just at the horizon. To never see a sunrise, sunset, my Hubs, my children, the grands, the pups, the world ad infinitum, to never read a book (gasp) is rather unthinkable. On the other hand, to never hear the sound of thunder, airplanes flying overhead, the birds, laughter, music (gasp) and more is equally an untenable thought.

I’ve been awake for about 24 hours now and this question is what my sleep-deprived mind is focused on. Right now, my cautious answer is I think it would be easier in the short term to lose my hearing, but long term, to never hear music again, may drive me slightly mad. After some sleep (and after the thunderstorm passes) I may have a different response.

So my question to you: Would you rather lose your sight or your hearing? It’s not an easy one, is it? ~ Celeste

A Horse is a Horse, Of Course

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body 

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

call to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.” 

It’s been a long weekend at the OK Corral.  I’m still battling this plague that has taken root and refuses to subside.  And with the assistance of the chilluns and my sweet hubby, I have achieved a long awaited goal: shaving down all four fur babies for the summer. Oy! With all of the fur, I’m pretty certain Cruella De Ville would have been pleased with the new coat. 

And speaking of getting the animals ready for another hot, dry summer here in the Panhandle.  I was watching part of a series tonight that intrigues the daylights out of me.  It’s “North America” on the Discovery Channel.  Tonight one of the sequences included the wild mustangs in the southwest US.  Amazing creatures running with their manes flowing behind them across the open land – wild and free.  


Occasionally I sit and think what the US used to be like. Yes, we have all of the modern “conveniences and luxuries.” However, imagine what it was like for the settlers in their wagons or on horseback.  And before the dawn on email, was snail mail.  We joke about it today, but once upon a time it was the only way to communicate long conversations long distance. 

Pony Express stations were placed at intervals of about 10 miles (16 km) along the route [1], roughly the maximum distance a horse can travel at full gallop. The rider changed to a fresh horse at each station, taking only the mail pouch (called a mochila) with him. The mochila was thrown over the saddle and held in place by the weight of the rider sitting on it. Each corner had a cantina, or pocket. Bundles of mail were placed in these cantinas, which were padlocked for safety. The mochila could hold 20 pounds (10 kg) of mail along with the 20 pounds of material carried on the horse, allowing for a total of 165 pounds (75 kg) on the horse’s back. Riders, who could not weigh over 125 pounds, were changed about every 75–100 miles (120-160 km).

This makes me want to ask really important questions.  125 lbs? How many grown men weigh 125 lbs? Were these adults that ran the pony express? I don’t believe so. I found some information on the internet that indicates boys as young as 11 rode the Express.  Picture it… an 11 year old averaging 10 days on horseback through some of the roughest terrain on earth (From St. Louis to California.)  This totally dispels the notion I had in my head of a big rugged cowboy riding through the open range to get the mail to where it needed to go.  

I believe in many ways the Express was actually the precursor to horse racing.  Today’s jockeys weigh between 115 and 125 lbs, but many try to keep their weight about 110 lbs for the big races (the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes.) They also have to be at least 16 years old. 

One of these days I’m going to go to the Pony Express Museum and check out the exhibits and maybe learn a little more about our history. I’m a sucker for that kind of thing.  The museum is located at 914 Penn Street, St. Joseph, MO 64503 and also on the web at www.ponyexpress.org