Purple Lumberjacks in Nacogdoches!

Dorm 17

Nacogdoches, founded in 1779, is considered to be the oldest town in Texas. Don Antonio Gil Y’Barbo is known as the founder of the town, but the earliest settlers were the Caddo Native Americans. They lived in the area well before the Spanish ever arrived. A Caddo tribe Called Nacogdoches came to East Texas around 800 A.D. Unbelievably, the Caddo continued to have a settlement in the area until 1716.


But, this is not why there are purple Lumberjacks in Nacogdoches!


Around this time, the Spanish started building missions in the area because they wanted to maintain ownership of East Texas. The French also arrived at the same time to begin an exploration of East Texas. As time moved on, more and more people arrived in Texas and conflicts were beginning to be frequent. The Spanish lost ownership of Texas and Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican Revolution. Disagreements about colonization laws and land titles among other problems were the beginning of a downward spiral in the tenuous relationship between Mexico and Texas. Their first major clash was the Battle of Nacogdoches in 1832. The Texas Revolution lasted until the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836. Texas became a republic in 1836 and a state in 1845.


But, this is not why there are purple Lumberjacks in Nacogdoches!


SFA fountain

By the 1880s, Nacogdoches was a fast growing town and the railroad lines were on the way. As the new century came along, the citizens of Nacogdoches decided to ask the state to open a teacher’s college in the town. The college, known as Stephen F. Austin Teachers College, opened in 1923. The college continued to grow and offered increasing course offerings beyond the education of teachers. Thus, Stephen F. Austin State College was born. As the student population grew by leaps and bounds, the college achieved university status in 1969. After attaining this status, Stephen F. Austin State University began the rise to educational excellence.


This is the reason why there are purple Lumberjacks in Nacogdoches!


The Lumberjacks became the school mascot and the school colors became purple with white. Stephen F. Austin (known as SFA) offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. There are 120 areas of study including a nationally recognized School of Forestry…thus The Lumberjacks mascot name! SFA athletic teams compete in Division I for all varsity sports. The football team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. The Lumberjacks basketball team has made four appearances in the NCAA Division I Tournament, with two upset first-round wins in 2014 and 2016. SFA currently ranks #25 in the 2017 U.S. News report of Top Public Colleges and Universities (Regional Universities-West).


This is the real reason why there are purple Lumberjacks in Nacogdoches!


SFA cheerleaders and flags


Nacogdoches is an important place to me because I graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University! My college experience was the best possible because of my outstanding experiences in the Journalism/Communications department, the opportunity for a newspaper internship, the incredibly friendly students and the wonderful location. Just a few hours from Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston, SFA has a small town atmosphere with the city not too far away!


SFA is often called the most beautiful university campus in Texas. The campus is like walking through a continuously changing park…tulips, azaleas and dogwoods are literally everywhere in the Spring. With the incredibly tall East Texas pine trees, walking across the over 400 acres is like walking under a tree canopy! I still have a warm, happy feeling when I see those wonderful trees!


And that is the totally real reason why there are purple Lumberjacks in Nacogdoches! I am proud to be one of them!




Pigtails and Frog Legs. Kid’s Cookbook.


Pigtails and Frog Legs

Pigtails and Frog Legs is a “family” cookbook published in 1993 by Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas. If you ever find one in a used bookstore or on eBay, think about buying it immediately! The colorful illustrations by legendary animator-director, Jack Jones, are worth the purchase of the book. However, the recipes are simply ideal for placing children on an exciting road to enjoying good food, fun and cooking! As the dedication page in the cookbook states…

Dedicated to everyone who was a kid…who is a kid…who will always be a kid!

I had no idea that the Neiman Marcus cookbook people knew about me!

This dedication describes me exactly! And possibly it describes some of you too! Cooking in the kitchen with children is fun and messy and worthwhile… I guess that is why I am drawn to children’s cookbooks like a magnet! I obviously have a symbiotic relationship with cookbooks since I have such an essential need for them!



I bought this book at Neiman’s when the cookbook first came out. I spotted the book while taking our children to lunch at one of my favorite places…The Mermaid Bar at Neiman Marcus, NorthPark in Dallas. My mother and I always had lunch at The Mermaid Bar when we were shopping in Dallas. Described as an “enchanted eatery”, The Mermaid Bar is laid-back and as the store says…it has a “magical ambience”. Plus, they feature a kid’s menu…that even the “absolutely only chicken nuggets” child will like!



Mermaid Bar at Neiman Marcus at NorthPark, Dallas

I distinctly remember when I bought the book because our daughter shook her head back and forth and said out loud and with a sigh…”Not another cookbook! Help! Someone get us out of here!” Our son immediately said to the salesperson, “We were really supposed to buy Legos!” and I knew that I better hurry out of the store. He was sort of past the Legos age, but never really outgrew them! Just like I never outgrew children’s cookbooks!

mason jar one

There are so many recipes that I would like to share from this book, but the following is one that everyone likes to help make! Have fun making JAR BARS with the children who spend time at your house…your own kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and the children who just drop in when something good is cooking!


mason jar two

Jar Bars


2 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

1 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt


Break eggs into a quart jar. Cover tightly. Shake ten times. Add oil and sugar. Cover and shake 20 to 30 times. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and shake 40 times. Pour into greased 10×7 inch or 8×8 inch pan. Spread evenly. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Cut into squares when cool. Serves 6.

Bars can be iced with favorite frosting and decorated with sprinkles!!



The “Disabopped” Kindergartner…


goldfish snacks

One of my first posts last year…just a few weeks after I began writing my blog. Five year old children can be so funny and serious at the same time! Trust me…their opinions are never, ever meaningless!!!



If you are five years old, it is quite easy to become disabopped on a moment to moment schedule. This emotion may occur as you get out of the car at 7:20 in the morning. Just the fact that you are out so early in the real world can cause disabopping behavior.  Not to mention the fact that your mom forgot to wave good-bye. I worry. How many times did I cause my own children to enter the school building in an obviously disabopped state of mind?

I can’t worry about it now. When they grow up, children can so easily make their own disabopps. I make mine all the time. Listed are some of my most monumental and current disabopps:

  1. I drop crumbs in my car continuously. I said that I would never, ever eat breakfast on the way to work in my new car. That lasted…

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Music…Not So Ordinary After All!

Listening to Bruno Mars singing Uptown Funk takes me back a step…to Michael Jackson, to choreographed dance steps by singers, to guitars, a horn section, the strong beat of a drum. Uptown Funk is not just another song… it is a performance. The song makes me want to get up and dance, to laugh with friends…the song makes me just plain happy!

I have been writing this blog for over a year. In that time, I have realized the extent that music turns the very most mundane and ordinary happenings in my life into far from ordinary heights. I have included songs and references to songs so often in my posts that I start to think…”Whoa! people must be getting very tired of hearing about yet another melody or lyric from me!”…that is just how I am!

I have felt some sort of vindication from an article published in Psychology Today (What is Music…Exactly?, written by David M. Greenberg, 8/3/2016). The article is part of a series titled The Power of Music. I just happened upon this article and the words delve deeply into the meaning of music in our lives. A few interesting paragraphs from the article…


“Music is essential to many of our lives. We listen to it when waking up, while in transit, at work and with our friends. For many, music is like a constant companion. It can bring us joy and motivate us, accompany us through difficult times, and alleviate our worries.

Not only does music reach us on intellectual, social and emotional levels, but many describe it as spiritual or mystical. The use of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic devices in music can induce a psychological state in both the musicians and the listener that is beyond words to describe. Music can bring us back to ourselves, be our mirror, and show us a side of us we may have long forgotten or never knew existed.”


Music has been at the center core of everything that I have every done in my life. I like the melodies, the harmonies, the lyrics, the instruments blending with the voices, the choreography of musicians with dancers and…most of all…the vibration of the sounds resounding through the world. Like the article from Psychology Today says, music brings me back to myself. Music is a mirror to our past, our present, our future. I learned the following quote when I was a child…


“The world is like a mirror, reflecting who we are and what we do. So, give to the world the best that you have and the best will come back to you.” 


I do not know who originally wrote the quote, but I do know that it is very true. Music can be a catalyst to bring us to the point of giving our best. Sometimes…the best ideas sound naive and simplistic. However, if something works…then go for it!


I do honestly believe that music is the universal language of the entire world. It just might be that we need music like we need sunshine in our sometimes self-imposed busy lives.

Music is never ordinary to me. Music is the at the very essence of our existence…an important explanation of who we are and what we are and what we hope to be. Music is simply not just an ordinary part of our lives…it is an extraordinary part of our lives. Thank goodness for music and the way it can move our deepest emotions and our constant decisions!




Remarkable Vacation Symptoms.


Listen…people are starting to talk about you. Yes…you! They know good and well that you need a vacation. Not just a fast trip around the block to a neighbor’s house or a weekend foray to see the Bluebonnets…or whatever wildflowers grow in your area.

Even seeing the flowers would not be enough. You need a real vacation where you can sleep late, have dinner when you want to have dinner, read a good book (or any book) by the lake…just do exactly what you want to do…not what THEY want you to do. Come on now…you know who THEY are! THEY are most likely on vacation right now and flew there on a private plane. You need out of this town immediately and pronto!
































Super Engaging Children’s Book #11

Bear's New Friend

Bear’s New Friend by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman will keep your young listeners glued to every page as you read. The story is something that a child can easily understand because…

1. The story happens in sequential order.

2. The story continuously adds new animal characters.

3. The text is fun and moves at a fast pace.

4. The illustrations are truly enchanting.

5. The story teaches an important friendship lesson.


An important friendship lesson from Bear’s New Friend…some friends are shy and quiet. We need to learn ACCEPTANCE so that we can appreciate our many differences.



YouTube video of Bear’s New Friend…





Find a little friend or two or three to share this fun book with you!!




Tiny Houses…Yes? No? Maybe?

Tiny House Logo

Or maybe a better question would be…why?! Why have a completely minimal amount of space? Why sleep in a loft where you cannot sit up without almost smashing thru the roof? Why have a kitchen that is really a living room that is actually a bedroom that is also a closet? Talk about an open house plan! In a tiny househardly anything is closed off…most everything you see is what you get! 


What about gaining freedom from too much of a mortgage…or freedom from paying rent to someone you might not even know or…what about freedom from paying a fee to an architect!


Ah!!! Possibly no debt for your living space. And that idea pays off in extra money to live the life that you perhaps have always dreamed about. Take off for NYC to see a Broadway show? Sure! Ride a donkey down into the Grand Canyon? Sure! This weekend? Travel to Savannah, Georgia just to have lunch at Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room? Certainly!


A Gallery of Tiny House Interiors…



On the other hand, living in a tiny house makes life very simple. You might not even want to travel and see the world. You might want to give of your resources and your time to important causes in your area. Whatever your life choice…it is highly likely that you will be adding positive feedback to the environment. Think about the results of living in a tiny house…you would have less water usage and the possibility of generating your own electricity.


And how about putting your house on a trailer and moving from place to place? Hey! Now that is an idea!


A Gallery of Tiny Houses…



Really…a tiny house might not work at all for us! However…I can see one at a lake in the Ozarks or in the Blue Ridge Mountains! A little place to enjoy the peace and quiet of the beautiful outdoors…another idea to think about!