A Lovely Day, Regardless

From all appearances, today was a terrible day.  From the moment my girl and I left, I wanted to be back home in my warm, dry house.  At least I thought that at first, because it was a grey cloudy day, and lots of rain fell from the sky.  I didn’t think to check the forecast before we left and the sweater I chose to wear was more cute than warm.

But in the same way you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a day by the way things start out.  While my girl attended her honors history class, I grabbed a cup of coffee and some steel cut oatmeal at Brew N’ Bake and read some more of my book, Epic Grace.  I’m really enjoying that book!

Rain was still pouring from the sky when I picked her up at the college, and we ran errands in spite of the storm.  She bought me lunch at Apples Way (thanks, Jami!) and then we went to Hastings to pick up some magnetic bookmarks and a planner.  While we were in there, the skies REALLY opened up and we were stranded.  Stranded in a bookstore.  What a terrible fate…. I do not know how those six books managed to make it to the checkout counter with me.  Hmmmm…

Finally we were able to run to Collins Music Center in Bay City to pick up some music books for two of her piano students.  She read aloud to me from The Blind Contessa’s New Machine, a novel by Carey Wallace, while I drove.  Some people do not read well aloud, but I really enjoy listening to her read aloud.

Home from all the errands, safe and sound in spite of the rain.  A really nice afternoon with my girl.  I am blessed.

Pop Tarts

I must confess, I borrowed this image from Google . . . and sadly, the blog where it first appeared no longer exists, so I have no way of crediting the photographer.
I must confess, I borrowed this image from Google . . . and sadly, the blog where it first appeared no longer exists, so I have no way of crediting the photographer.

Received the loveliest email earlier today.  When my girl visited her aunt in Washington, D. C. in July, her aunt took her to a little diner called “Ted’s Bulletin” the first night she was there.  Jami loved the food and was especially impressed by their homemade pop tarts.  So much so, that when she flew home a few days later, they stopped by to pick up a few “to go” for her to bring home to us.

The pop tarts were so yummy that I scoped out their website and ended up sending them an email to say how much we enjoyed them, and how we hoped to visit the diner in person someday when we visit my sister-in-law.  They replied that they were glad we enjoyed them, and they hoped to meet us in person someday.

But that’s not the email that I’m referred to . . . a second, unexpected email arrived today requesting our mailing address.  It seems that Ted’s Bulletin may be considering the sale of homemade pop tarts by mail order.  They need to test shipping methods, to see if the pop tarts will arrive at their destinations still looking like pop tarts, or just a box of sad pop tart crumbs.  So Ted’s Bulletin is mailing us some pop tarts and would like our feedback on how the pop tarts look when they arrive, and how they taste.

Maybe I should get a t-shirt that says “Ted’s Bulletin Pop Tart Shipping Research Analyst” or “Ted’s Bulletin Pop Tart Shipping Tester” . . .

Really looking forward to that box of homemade pop tart goodness.

Letting Go

So earlier this afternoon I did the unthinkable – I made an airline reservation for my sweet girl to go visit her aunt in a few weeks.  I, of my own free will, paid good money to put my girl on an airplane – WITHOUT ME.

I think I may need drugs, hard liquor, or both to get through those five days.

I’m kidding.  Really.


Sempiternal Heart

My daughter has moved her blogging adventures to WordPress.  Not that I’m biased or anything, but I think you should check it out and leave her some comment love, because she’s a very talented writer with a lot of interesting things to say.  Here you go:  Sempiternal Heart

“Dancing the Night Away”

As the clock counts down to high school graduation on May 10, we have so many things to take care of!  Finishing up lessons, preparing for the last piano recital, ordering graduation invitations, announcements for those who live too far to attend the ceremony . . . choosing special clothing for Easter Sunday, graduation, and last Friday’s prom.

Friday night was the home school “spring formal” or “prom” and it was such a wonderfully successful event!  My girl looked like a 1930s’ movie star, and her date had a delightfully “Whovian” flair with his suspenders and bow tie, coordinated with her beautiful gown (thank you, Marcelyn and Hannah!).  They had a great time together — he impressed us immensely by his attentiveness to our girl.  She said she didn’t open a single door for herself the entire evening, and he told me a few days before that he just wanted to make sure she had a wonderful evening.  He brought her a lovely wrist corsage that went with her dress perfectly.  Florists have come up with the neatest twist on the old wrist corsage:  now, in addition to having the stretchy bit of elastic that fits round the wrist, there’s a color coordinated bracelet that serves as a keepsake after the flowers are long gone.  Neat, isn’t that?

Here are some photos of my girl and her date:

Jami & Jasco
They remind me of the Doctor and Riversong from "Doctor Who"!
They remind me of the Doctor and Riversong from “Doctor Who”!
Outside Johnny Carino's before dinner.
Outside Johnny Carino’s before dinner.
Jasco & Jami, with their friend, Ginger
Jasco & Jami, with their friend, Ginger
Glamour Girl!
Glamour Girl!
They had such a good time!
They had such a good time!
One of my favorite photos from the evening!
One of my favorite photos from the evening!
Gotta' ditch the shoes, no matter how pretty, when there's serious dancing to be done!
Gotta’ ditch the shoes, no matter how pretty, when there’s serious dancing to be done!
A girl's gotta' save at least one dance for her daddy!
A girl’s gotta’ save at least one dance for her daddy!
Nathan McCall was the official photographer at the dance.  He ran the photo booth and took candids of the actual dance.  Here are Jami and her friends Meagan and Rachel.
Nathan McCall was the official photographer at the dance. He ran the photo booth and took candids of the actual dance. Here are Jami and her friends Meagan and Rachel.
Jami & Jasco
Jami & Jasco
Photo Booth Fun!
Photo Booth Fun!
More Photo Booth Fun!
More Photo Booth Fun!
And a good time was had by all . . .
And a good time was had by all . . .

“My Senior”

My posts are a little “senior heavy” right now . . . but I expect I’ll be posting less senior/graduation related material after May 10.  Then it will be college related material . . . just kidding.  I do plan on writing on more varied topics in the future, but right now, this beautiful girl is pretty much all that I’m thinking about:

Taken at the Galveston Railroad Museum.  Photo by Starling Hope Photography.
Taken at the Galveston Railroad Museum. Photo by Starling Hope Photography.
My girl.  Photo by Starling Hope Photography.
My girl. Photo by Starling Hope Photography.
Jami Webster Jinkins -- Photo by Starling Hope Photography
Jami Webster Jinkins — Photo by Starling Hope Photography

Kicking and Screaming . . .

but not really.

I’ve been going through photos for a “graduates” slide show that will play during the home school graduation ceremony in May.  I have to narrow it down to 13 photographs that will display while the audience hears a recorded message from me and AJ to Jami.  It is SO hard to narrow 18 years down to 13 photos.  And I haven’t even begun to write the message yet (which cannot be any longer than 90 seconds — thankfully, I can talk pretty fast, so I should be able to squeeze a lot in).

Since she’s going to community college for a year or two, it’s not like she’ll be leaving home the day after she graduates.  But I am still having a hard time with this!  I want to set the clock back, but that’s not the way life goes.  And I’ll be okay later.  But for right now, I do feel like kicking and screaming (quietly).

One of my favorite photos of my girl.
One of my favorite photos of my girl.

Proud Mama


Evelyn May’s Beadery

 My girl sold one of her jewelry designs through her Etsy shop!  She has a real fondness for “Alice in Wonderland” after playing Victorian Alice in a stage adaptation called “Alice in Wonderland with a Time Travel Twist” a couple of summers ago.  She created this cute necklace called “Off With Your Head!” and listed it in her shop.  Someone in Los Angeles liked it and bought it!  I get such a kick out of thinking someone on the other side of the country will be wearing one of my daughter’s creations.  I think she has lovely jewelry designs and I’m hoping this sale will encourage her to keep creating and listing her creations in her shop.

100 Things About Me, Part 1

I’ve been spending the last few days cleaning up my computer.  Through an “accident,” I ended up with two user accounts on my computer.  I decided to utilize this accident, and add a third account to compartmentalize all my interests.  So I have “business,” “photography,” and “writing” sections on my computer.  While I was moving things around from section to section, I found this and found it pretty entertaining.  I’ll work on posting the second half another day.

  1. I was born in a Texas town that celebrated its 200th birthday long before the United States Bicentennial.
  2. I love the color blue in all its various shades.
  3. I lived in the Virgin Islands for almost 15 months when I was in high school.
  4. The two times I’ve flown to Pennsylvania, my flight has been cancelled and I’ve been stranded there.
  5. I learned calligraphy when I was in high school.
  6. I drove the teacher to distraction because I sat Indian-style in the chair.  She emphasized good posture to achieve the best results.
  7. She was distracted because I proved her wrong by being a very good calligrapher.
  8. I hate the humidity of the part of Texas where I live.
  9. I’d like to live somewhere that enjoyed four seasons, but it will have to be within the Texas state lines.
  10. I have a large freckle to the right (my right) side of my nose.  In junior high, I took a modeling class through J.C. Penney’s, and the teacher thought it was a bit of foundation that I hadn’t blended in properly.
  11. I fancied myself a writer when I was younger.  My first “work” was a pitiful little story about the Bishop’s Palace in Galveston.
  12. I won an honorable mention in the Houston Post Scholastic Writing Awards competition in 8th grade.
  13. Lynn Ashby presented the awards and I got his autograph.
  14. I won third place in the same contest my senior year in high school.
  15. Leon Hale presented the awards and I got his autograph, too.
  16. I learned to scuba dive when I was 15 years old.
  17. Diving over the Cane Bay Wall in St. Croix, I almost gave my dad a heart attack when he saw my regulator float out of my mouth as we swam along.  I grabbed it, cleared it, and kept on going.
  18. I find scuba diving very relaxing (and thus have to concentrate on not letting that regulator float out of my mouth…)
  19. The deepest I’ve ever dove was 80 feet off the Cane Bay Wall, which drops to more than 2,000 feet from the surface.
  20. St. Croix is probably the one place that I would consider living, outside of Texas.
  21. I took Creative Writing my junior and senior years in high school.
  22. The second time I took it was when my physics teacher advised me to drop his class.  I ran to the counselor’s office to return to my favorite class.
  23. I was the editor of the literary magazine that year.
  24. I had a ridiculous crush on the same boy from 8th grade through my freshman year in college.  Thank God for unanswered prayers.
  25. When I was a child, I had a play house with real glass windows.  Three of us were playing together and two of us ran in and locked the door.  My friend tapped on the window with a stick right when the other child pressed his face against the glass.  The window broke and cut his forehead.  I thought it was my fault.
  26. I also had a Schwinn bike with a banana seat and tall handlebars.  The same friend who busted the window in the playhouse gave her sister a ride on my bike.  The sister caught her toe in the spokes, cutting it badly.  I thought that was my fault, too.
  27. I planned to be a school teacher until I realized that I would probably end up in prison for hurting someone’s “baby” for misbehaving.
  28. I’ve been to Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington State, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, New Mexico, plus British Columbia.  Granted, I only changed planes in Florida, North Carolina, and Oregon, and I touched my toes in Illinois and Kentucky on a driving trip, but I have been there!
  29. I love photography.
  30. I have five cameras that were purchased specifically for me.
  31. I also have a 1980 Olympic commemorative Canon 35mm that belonged to my grandfather.
  32. I enjoy scrapbooking, but have a difficult time finding time to do it.
  33. I used to teach scrapbooking classes.
  34. I would like to start cross stitching more.  I used to cross stitch a lot, but haven’t in a while.
  35. I was a perpetual student in college.  From August 1982 to graduation August 1986, I only sat out one summer session to go on a family trip.
  36. I earned my Associates Degree in 2 years — 62 credits were required, but I graduated with 83 credits.
  37. I transferred to Sam Houston State University and earned my B.A. (English major/History minor) in 2 more years.
  38. One of my great great grandfathers was named in honor of Robert E. Lee.  His first name was “Jeneral” and his middle name was “Lee”.  My middle name is Lee, too.
  39. I met my husband on the phone, initially.  Several weeks later I met him in a bar when I went dancing with some friends.  I didn’t make the connection between the person I spoke to briefly on the phone and the person I met in the bar until we’d been dating several weeks.
  40. We dated two years and broke up.
  41. After four years apart, our paths crossed again and we married eleven months later.
  42. I am glad our paths crossed again.
  43. My first job out of college was working as a circulation supervisor for Texas A&M at Galveston’s library.
  44. They did not charge late fees on overdue books and the stack of missing books was ridiculous.  I put a hold on all the records of those students with overdue books.  The graduating seniors hated me!
  45. I retrieved approximately 2/3 of the missing books and collected payment for the books that were never found.
  46. My then boyfriend (now husband) nicknamed me “Conan the Librarian”.
  47. After six months, I changed jobs and spent two years working in the rare book and archives collection of The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
  48. Then I got a REAL job.  I became a legal secretary for one of the big three law firms in Houston and made good money.
  49. And realized quickly that money isn’t everything.
  50. When my husband and I had been married for four years, our daughter was born and I quit my job when she turned one year old.

My Heart

This girl stole my heart from the moment I saw her 18 years ago....
This girl stole my heart from the moment I saw her 18 years ago….

When I first learned I was going to be a mom, I went into shock/panic mode.  I’d never really been around babies or even small children, other than my younger sister — and there was such a wide age gap, that I was busy with high school things while she was in her little kid years.  It wasn’t until my sister was probably 12 or 13 (and I was 22 or 23) that we really became close.  I didn’t know how to relate to babies or small children.  What does one talk about?  How do you play “baby dolls”?  I always had my nose stuck in a book throughout my childhood, so I was clueless on how one interacts with small ones.

I think it was about 3 months into it when I came out of the “Oh my gosh I’m pregnant what am I going to do? I can’t send it back!” phase.  Suddenly, I started getting a little more excited about things, but I tackled it from a very “Oh my gosh we are responsible for this small human being and must only purchase the best of everything” attitude.  And I’m not talking about designer baby clothes.  I’m talking “Has this car seat been tested and approved by NASA?  What ARE the best baby bottles?” and so on.

I was determined that if I was going to be a mother, I was going to be the best mother I could be.  But I was still afraid.  Her daddy, AJ, kept telling me things would be okay.  And even when it came time for her to be born and a c-section became necessary, he sat next to me in the OR holding my hand and telling me it would be okay.

And it was.

She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  In a nanosecond, I went from being afraid and worried that I might not even like being a mom, to realizing that I would do ANYTHING to protect this beautiful child that God had somehow seen fit to bless me with.

Over the years, I am sure there are some things that I/we could have done better as parents, but overall, I think we did okay.  It doesn’t hurt that she was pretty amazing from the very start.  She is a happy girl, rarely complaining (and when she does complain, it’s for a good reason and doesn’t last very long).  She’s creative – building wonderful worlds on paper with her command of language, making beautiful jewelry with her imagination, and filling our home with music at her beloved piano.  I love hearing from other people how much they enjoy spending time with her — she brings a lot of happiness into the lives of the people around her.

I just can’t believe she’s already 18 years old.

Where does the time go?

Happy birthday, to my beautiful Jami-girl.  I could not hope for a sweeter, lovelier daughter and I thank the Lord He chose me and your daddy to be your parents.  I love you.

— Mommy