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What I Heard This Week! July 19, 2018

What I Heard This Week July 19, 2018

This one was hard to write. A 29-year-old Corpus Christi woman was arrested after having sold her son, age 7, and was also in the process of trying to sell her daughters, age 2 and 3. I admit that there have been many times that I thought about getting rid of my children, but I swear, I never walked into my other office, filled out the classified ad form and paid my five dollars.


What a crazy week. My sister arrived from Austin this weekend to help me get the last of my mom’s stuff packed up and sent to either Mom’s new home in Waco, to other family members, friends or donated to a non-profit. We are fortunate to have so many non-profit resale stores in this area where you can donate and feel good about knowing that someone will love and appreciate that sweet little memory that you are releasing to a new home. In my own attic, I rediscovered a group of 5 vintage wood-carved sailors that I ‘donated’ to my sister and her husband for their new Rockport home since they lost everything in Harvey. (Now I know I have a place to stay in Rockport when I visit. wink. wink.) I am calling this my PRE-estate sale. So, Mom’s stuff is moved, and the townhouse is ready to rent. Well, almost. All was going well over there until the AC went bonkers (it’s ONLY 9-years-old) so I now must purchase a new unit, then the AC unit at my house got a less than a thumbs-up report card today, and the refrigerator in the rental unit is trying to die…a slow death at around $150 a repair job and its only Tuesday. But, when all is said and done, life is perfect, don’t you think.


Consequences: Houston Astros relief pitcher Ken Giles has, as I see it, been put in time-out for poor performance and acting out. When you’re 5 and you have a meltdown, it’s a timeout. Any mother will tell you that. When you’re supposed to be an Astros ‘team’ player and you misbehave by spouting a totally inappropriate, unflattering, four-letter directive to your team manager after he goes out to the mound to pull you from the game, you get demoted to Triple-A Fresno.  It gives you ample time to get your mind right.


In 2012, a girlfriend took a picture of her very proud boyfriend while he siphoned gas from a police car, then they posted it to Facebook and police arrested him soon after. Don’t you just love social media.


Shaquille O’Neal has listed his Orlando-area estate for $28 million. The 31,000-sq-ft property (my entire office is 2960-sq-ft. so does that mean that about eleven of my offices would fit in his house?) overlooks Lake Butler, has 12 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms (yikes, about the time you finish cleaning the last toilet, the first one would need to be cleaned again), 17-car garage, recording studio, fitness facility (no, not a fitness room, a fitness facility) and a 95-ft pool with hot tub and swim-up bar. Sigh. Oh, and the swimming complex is nicknamed ‘Shaq-apulco.’


CODE RED. CODE RED. You need to read this. SPCA of Brazoria County is filled to maximum capacityAll fees now associated with adoption of all animals is currently FREE and includes microchip, rabies and the spay or neutering procedure. What a deal! Adopt two kittens so they can keep each other company…our two Harvey rescue babies have brought so much joy to our home, filling a spot with love that we didn’t even know was empty. I went over to SPCA just a few minutes ago and took pictures. It is such a pitiful situation but most of all, it just makes me sad to know that there are so many irresponsible pet owners in our area that do not have their pets spayed or neutered. If you can’t adopt, then save your newspapers, old towels, blankets, cat and dog food, office supplies, hand soap…the list is endless. Please spread the word to your neighbors, friends, and family. Go. Today. 979-285-2340.  spcaBC.org


A group of 47 scientists are proposing that mankind sets aside half of the Earth in various reserves, in order to protect the dying bio-diversity and protect Earth’s animal and plant species. Interesting.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Children’s performer Raffi is 70. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is 69. Actress Anjelica Huston is 67. Writer journalist and columnist Anna Quindlen is 66. Actor Kevin Bacon is 60. Country singer Toby Keith is 57. Actress Katherine Helmond is 89. SOAP. She may be 89, but in my opinion, she was one of the sexiest women in television, in her day.

Actress Shirley Knight is 82. Singer musician Robbie Robertson is 75. Julie Nixon Eisenhower is 70. Rock star Huey Lewis is 68.  Attorney Gloria Allred is 77. Self-described feminist lawyer who has gone after OJ Simpson, Eddie Murphy, Tiger Woods, Michael Jackson, Anthony Wiener, Donald Trump, and Bill Cosby.  Humorist Dave Barry is 71. Talk-show host Montel Williams is 62. Actor Tom Cruise is 56.

Journalist Geraldo Rivera is 75. Singer John Waite is 66. Missing You. Rock musician Kirk Pengilly is 60. INXS. Former ‘First Child” Malia Obama is 20. Actress Joan Van Ark is 75. Boxing Hall of Fame Roberto Duran is 67. Remember his fight with Sugar Ray Leonard. Actor Ned Beatty is 81. Deliverance.  Former President George W. Bush is 72. Actor Sylvester Stallone is 72.

Actor Grant Goodeve is 66. Oldest son Steve Bradford on Eight is Enough. Playwright Tom Stoppard is 81. Shakespeare in Love, Anna Karenina, Empire of the Sun. Actor Donald Sutherland is 83. Camilla Duchess of Cornwall is 71. Actor David Hasselhoff is 66. Country singer Luke Bryan is 42.

Singer songwriter Bill Withers is 80. In July of 1972, Bill Withers stepped into a recording studio for the first time ever and just two years later he had written and recorded the #1-Hit, “Lean on Me.” His story is interesting. He was the youngest child, born in 1938 in a West Virginia coal-mining town, leaving school at age 13 after his father died. At 17, he joined the Navy and overcame his stutter, settling in California after his discharge nine years later. Although he wanted a career in music and had debuted “Ain’t No Sunshine,” he continued to work full-time in an aircraft factory assembling toilet seats because he had a hard time accepting his new career. “It was like I was on vacation from the factory and at some point, I would have to take my tool box and go back to work,” believing the music industry was fickle. Other hits included Use Me, Just the Two of Us, Lovely Day and Grandma’s Hands plus three Grammy Awards. One of my favorites.


Texas Highways was my magazine of choice a few days back and I was surprised to learn that James Avery, founder of James Avery Artisan Jewelry, died in April at the age of 96. Almost everyone has at least one piece of his jewelry. I have several and I have to say that “they’re all my favorites.” Avery earned a degree in industrial design and began fabricating jewelry in his in-law’s garage in Kerrville in 1954. He quickly found success selling his products through churches on consignment then opened his first store in Dallas in 1973. He said, “I’m not concerned about having eternal life at all. Man will be gone from this planet before too many more years. But while we’re here, let’s be kind to each other and help each other reach out and do whatever we can for each other.”


Bush’s Beans announced that Duke, the unofficial company mascot, died on June 27. Sam (his real name) was suffering from an aggressive form of cancer. Their commercials just won’t be the same.


Senator Rand Paul says he still has trouble breathing since he was attacked in his yard by his neighbor who was angry about Paul stacking yard debris near their property line. The neighbor was given a 30-day sentence, one year of supervised release, 100 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine which Paul thinks is not acceptable. He has filed a civil lawsuit against the neighbor asking for medical costs and attorney fees relating to the incident. That seems ONLY right to me.


The rescue of the boys from the Tham Luang Cave in Thailand affected me more emotionally than anything has in quite a while. Kudos to every single diver and volunteer from around the world (I heard there were over 200) that jumped in and gave everything they had, including the life of one diver, to bring the boys and their coach back. A real life ‘Dream Team.’ Finding and then freeing the Wild Boars and their coach proved to be an uncharted, unprecedented challenge because nothing like this had ever been done before. For a few long weeks their children were our children as we held our breath waiting for them to be rescued.  Success. These were the real Avengers. And btw, all the boys could swim.


In Georgia, a 14-year-old was killed when a tree fell on his tent at a Boy Scout camp. Sad. My son said that the first scout camp he attended, a huge tree fell 40-feet in front of him. I told him that things like that happen when you go outside in the real world. See above.


Remember me telling you about the fabulous new hotel in Houston that Tilman Fertitta owns…well, the construction company has filed a lien for $20 million because Fertitta’s company Landry’s has failed to pay the contractor and several of its subcontractors in a timely manner. Hmmm.


Researchers at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine are getting $5.3 million from the Patient-Center Outcomes Research Institute to study ‘medication-assisted treatment for pregnant women with opioid use disorders.’ Geez. I have a better idea. Let’s put tighter restrictions on the sale and use of opioids. Go for the drug companies and educate the doctors that are writing the prescriptions. There just must be something that can be prescribed that doesn’t cause a chemical dependency.


Chappell Hill Lavender Farm and Windy Winery will celebrate 13th Annual Lavender & Wine Fest in Chappell Hill, Texas on Saturday, August 11 from 9-3. Local crafts, lavender, plants, demo, live music.


In 2015, the FDA said they were banning all artificial trans fats from all food in the US with a deadline effective June 18, 2018. The time is now. Trans fats raise LDL “bad” cholesterol and make you more likely to get heart disease and lower HDL “good” cholesterol. Good job FDA.


Bayer (pesticide business) will merge with Monsanto (genetically modified crop portfolio) and will create the largest seed and agrochemical company on our beautiful Earth. Monsanto’s name will be dropped as part of a campaign to win back consumer trust (reference the alleged harms of pesticides and GMO’s.) Hmmm. Are our memories that short?


A Charles Schwab survey of 1000 adults show that 62% say spending time with family tops the list of things that make people feel wealth in their day-to-day lives.


29-years ago, Keanu Reeves & Alex Winter teamed for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure…. now they will reteam for Bill & Ted 3/Bill and Ted Face the Music. Means nothing to me, but you may be interested.


Bad News: The Monkees had to postpone the last four dates of their tour because guitarist Mike Nesmith had a minor health issue. Those were the days…Tiger Beat and Mickey Dolenz.  Nice.


National Moon Day is observed annually on July 20 and commemorates the day man first walked on the moon in 1969.  NASA reported the moon landing as being “…the single greatest technological achievement of all time.”  July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landed the first humans, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on the moon.


Thanks for reading this today. Have a great weekend.

What I Heard This Week! July 12, 2018

What I Heard This Week July 12, 2018

If you enjoy “nibbling on sponge cake” and like your “booze in the blender”, you can now look forward to retirement, because Jimmy Buffet is due to open his first of many senior neighborhoods loaded with beachfront access, live entertainment, lap pools, spas and more, but only for those of us that are 55 or ‘better.’ The first retirement community has been named Latitude Margaritaville and is located in Daytona Beach, Florida where residents expect to be moving in by late summer. There will be two-and three-bedroom homes from $200,000’s to $350,000. Do you think that they will have happy hour before or after Wheel of Fortune?


For neighbors and friends, each Christmas I try to make a homemade cooking item like beef stew seasoning, cinnamon extract and my favorite, Madagascar vanilla extract. To make it is quite simple – dark colored bottles, Madagascar vanilla beans and lots of liquor – the better the liquor, the better the extract. I’ve got the “buy 11 Gallons and get the 12th FREE” punch card at Spec’s. I just can’t imagine a world without vanilla extract. So boring. Remember Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies used it on her neck and wrists instead of perfume. I feel the same way. (I also believe they should bottle wood smoke for men but that’s another column.) So, in Madagascar, vanilla farmers are now having to stamp a code on their vanilla beans, so if a thief steals the crop, it can be traced. WHAT. Do you know how skinny a vanilla bean is? I was amazed and totally unaware that vanilla is such a big business now. It’s not easy to be a vanilla bean either. Vanilla blooms only once a year and for ONLY ONE DAY. It must be pollinated by hand and the fruit takes nine months to mature. New vines take three years to mature. Vanilla thieves now face up to four years in jail. One farmer said it’s not enough. She wants a life sentence. “You invest all your life in growing the vanilla, stealing it is the same thing as killing someone.”


An additional note on vanilla beans: I looked up the company OliveNation, where I have always ordered my vanilla beans and to order one bean is now $9.49 plus shipping and if you happen to need 11-pounds, you’re going to be out $5,822.49 plus shipping. Look out Homemade Vanilla Blue Bell.


Seventy-two years ago, in July 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveiled a daring two-piece swimsuit in Paris. It was dubbed “bikini” after the US atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week. The reason for the tiny swimsuit was wartime rationing of fabric. (Quit it. It was designed by a man.) Enough said. Reard had trouble finding a model to wear the revealing two-piece so he asked an exotic dancer who had no qualms about appearing almost naked in public. The bikini was a hit, especially with men, and became a mainstay of European beaches in the 50’s. His advertisements stated that it isn’t a genuine bikini, “unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring.” America was a little slower in embracing this new skimpy thing but the 60’s brought the hit song, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” and the beach blanket movies of Annette Funicello & Frankie Avalon, then The Beach Boys had hit after hit about California surfing and the bikini was truly born. My mother sewed, so she made my first bikini with chains of crocheted daisies in yellow and white. Funny how you remember certain things.


You must be famous if you’re known by only one name…Cher, Plato, Einstein, Mozart, Elvis, Oprah, Twiggy, Prince, just to name a few, but the most famous of all was Koko, the 280-pound gorilla who learned sign language, loved cats and learned more than 1,000 words, died in her sleep recently at the age of 46. Koko’s real name was Hanabiko, Japanese for fireworks child. She was born July 4, 1971, at the San Francisco Zoo. If you want to watch something very sweet, then pull up one of the many documentaries about this amazing animal.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actor-comedian David Alan Grier is 62. Boxer Mike Tyson is 52. Olympic gold-medal swimmer Michael Phelps is 33. Actress Mariette Hartley is 78. Actress Meredith Baxter is 71. Bridget Loves Bernie and Family Ties. Actor Michael Gross is 71. Steven Keaton from Family Ties.


Rocker Nils Lofgren is 67. Crazy Horse and E Street Band. Britain’s Prince William is 36. Actress Olympia Dukakis is 87. Singer songwriter Brian Wilson is 76. Actor John Goodman is 66. Actress Nicole Kidman is 51. Actress Kathy Bates is 70. Pro Football Hall of Fame John Elway is 58. Actress Mary Stuart Masterson is 52. Actress Nancy Allen is 68. Carrie. Reggae singer Astro is 61. UB40.


Actor John Cusack is 52. Randy Jackson is 62. American Idol judge. Actress Frances McDormand is 61. Actor Chris O’Donnell is 48. Actor Nick Offerman is 48. Parks and Recreation. Actress-singer Ariana Grande is 25. Rock musician Jeff Beck is 74. Musician Mick Fleetwood is 71. Actress Liv Tyler is 41.


Actress producer Mindy Kaling is 39. Singer Solange Knowles is 32. Actress Olivia de Havilland is 102. I could write a whole book on this interesting woman. Actor Jamie Farr is 84. Cookie-maker Wally Amos is 82. Dancer choreographer Twyla Tharp is 77. Rock singer actress Deborah Harry is 73. Blondie. Olympic gold-medal track star Carl Lewis is 57. Actress Pamela Anderson is 51. Hip-hop artist Missy Elliott is 47.


Actor comedian Dan Aykroyd is 66. Crystal Head Vodka and SNL. He would like to see Nupita Nyong’o and Taylor Swift cast in the upcoming, all-female reboot of his hit movie “The Blues Brothers”. Aykroyd says, “In this movie, these ladies inherit the franchise from Elwood. You know, they get the Bluesmobile. They get to drive the Bluesmobile, they get to fight the Klan and the Nazis – it’s really neat.” Hmmm.


This morning at my office, we jumped on the subject of ‘first phone numbers’. Four of us (all over the age of, harrumph, excuse me,) aww, let’s just say that we were very young and remembered when phone numbers had a prefix…for instance, PL-24252, which was my first phone number. The ‘PL’ stood for PLAZA which was the telephone exchange. These were hubs through which the calls were routed. Phone subscribers were given a unique 5-digit number which followed the telephone exchange. After that, our office conversation was on a roll, so we discussed party lines where if you were very quiet you could listen in to other conversations without anyone knowing. Somehow, the conversation then progressed to a young age when we called the 7-11 convenience store and asked, “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?” and if the clerk said yes, then we would reply, “Well, then let him out.” We were such hellraisers, as you can tell. 😊 All our dads smoked pipes (think Mad Men) so we thought we were really clever. For those that don’t understand, Prince Albert was a brand of pipe tobacco in a cute little red can with a flip-lid or the giant economy size that looked like a small paint can. I think my dad had a key to open it that looked like a miniature flat screwdriver. When the can was empty, you never threw it away because it became home for all your treasures. Like a cigar box. AND it smelled so wonderful. Even today, I love the smell of pipe tobacco. Isn’t it funny how smells bring back sweet memories?


On July 6, 1957, Paul McCartney and John Lennon met at the Annual Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete, where there was a dog show, a brass band and The Quarry Men. Fifteen-year-old Paul McCartney showed up to watch. Later McCartney just happened to play a few songs on the guitar that he just happened to bring with him. Two weeks later he was invited to join The Quarry Men. Yikes, that was sixty-one-years ago.


An e-mail announced this week that H-E-B has FREE 1-hr delivery on beer and wine but the offer only good until 09-03-18. It was easy to download the app called Favor. Really.


Speaking of wine, Haak Vineyards in Santa Fe, Texas did it again. At the prestigious Los Angeles International Wine Awards, they won 1-Gold medal, 1-Silver medal and 3-Bronze medals, then at the Lone Star International Wine Competition they received 1-Gold medal, and 5-Silver medals. You should hop in the car and drive over to Santa Fe for a sweet stroll around the vineyard or call H-E-B right now.


If you have been reading this column for any time at all, you understand that I think we could and should treat our Earth better than we do. One of the many things we need to work on is to provide for the butterflies and the bees. Every time I hear the mosquito-man, or the mosquito-plane come by, I worry for the bees. You can help by installing more bat houses and using less pesticides. With that in mind, remember that the Third Annual Honey Expo is July 21, from 11am-5pm at Brazoria County Fairgrounds. It’s free and in addition to classes in beekeeping for adults there are classes for kids on honeybees and pollination, demos, tastings, local honey, a butterfly tent, snacks, soaps, lip balm and crafts all relating to bees and butterflies along with how we can contribute something positive to our environment. Brazoria-county-beekeepers-association.com


The first drug in the US derived from marijuana, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Epidiolex will treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.


In July of 1953, Elvis paid $3.98 plus tax to make an acetate record as a birthday present for his mother. The two guys that recorded it made note of this incredibly shy young singer. When they recorded him a year later they were not terribly impressed until they took a break from recording and heard him “messing around” with a guitar, playing and singing “That’s All Right,” but he sang it at least twice as fast as the original song which had been written and originally performed by blues singer Arthur Crudup. After two more days of recording, they released “That’s All Right (Mama)” to a Memphis radio station, then two weeks later released it as a single with “Blue Moon of Kentucky” as the B-side. Rolling Stone magazine lists it as “#113 of the 500 Greatest Songs of all Time.” It was an instant hit, the rest is history.


On June 23rd, Zsa-Zsa, a 9-year-old English bulldog, won $1,500 as first place in the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest. Sadly, she died in her sleep this week with no known health issues. Zsa-Zsa spent the first five years of her life in a puppy mill in Missouri until she was put up for auction and bought by a rescue group. After being adopted, she spent her days in a very relaxed position unless food was involved. Favorite snacks were Slim Jim’s or a steak burrito from Chipotle. Left to cherish her memories, is her owner, Megan Brainard and last words…help promote pet adoption.


Six Brazoswood baseball players and one player from Sweeny have been named to the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association academic all-state team. Our congratulations to Bucs’ Tanner Bundick, Ryan Faltisek, Horacio Garcia Jr., Nash Neff, Tyler Reinhardt and Daryl Soliz Jr., along with Sweeny’s Jaden Bohlar. Way to go, guys. You have made your community proud.


To help protect the environment, SeaWorld Entertainment is now removing all single-use plastic straws and plastic bags from the company’s 12 theme parks. YES! Then, Starbucks decided to remove all plastic straws from their stores. What a great start to cleaning up unnecessary plastic from our Earth.


July 17th is World Emoji Day. Can you send a message using ‘just’ emojis? I’ve tried to do that in a text to my kids. They either thought I was extremely brilliant or really, really old. I don’t know which. Oh, well.


Thanks for taking the time to read this today. It is appreciated. Don’t you need to place an ad to sell something that’s just taking up space in your garage or attic? Call Connie, Pam, Patricia or Janice.

What I Heard This Week! July 5, 2018

What I Heard This Week July 3, 2018

In Georgia, a 46-year-old woman went outside in her own front yard to take a picture and a bobcat attacked her, so she grabbed the cat by the throat and didn’t let go until she choked it to death.  She was treated for rabies, a broken finger and several bite and claw wounds to her hands, arms, chest and legs. It just so happens that her father-in-law was once a bobcat trapper. What are the chances.


How to win the war on drugs: 1. Legalize drugs. 2. Require all drugs be purchased through your local cable company customer service.


A black felt Bicorn-style hat believed to have been dropped on the battlefield at Waterloo 203 years ago by Napoleon Bonaparte, was purchased at auction for more than $400,000. The buyer was an unidentified private collector from Europe.


If you didn’t get Napoleon’s hat, then there is still time to purchase a private jet once owned by Elvis Presley that has sat on a runway in New Mexico for nearly four decades. Red velvet seats may seal the deal for you. It sold last year for $430,000. Better hurry.


The Miss America organization has announced that the pageant will no longer judge contestants on their appearance. Swimsuits are out and “each candidate will participate in a live interactive session with the judges, where they can highlight achievements and goals in life.”

Golfer Bubba Watson has donated $200,000 to the Travelers Championship to support the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for seriously ill children. Pay it forward.


A woman has been ordered to pay more than $200,000 to her ex-boyfriend. Why, you ask? Hmmm…it seems that in 2013, when the boyfriend was accepted to study at Los Angeles’ Coburn Conservatory of Music, she intercepted his acceptance email and declined the “full” scholarship offer because she didn’t want him to leave her. I hope the girl will be able to get some help in the self-esteem department and eventually get rid of the huge “L” on her forehead.


Do you ever think about your own obituary and what it will say? I have a file in my desk that is titled, “My Funeral.” When I see something that I like; music, quotes, prayers, thoughts and more, I stick it in my funeral file. I believe I’m making the job easier for my children when my time comes. Well, in Minnesota, an 80-year-old woman died, and here are small bits of her obit: “She married…had two children, Gina and Jay. In 1962 she became pregnant by her husband’s brother…moved to California…abandoned her children…will now face judgement…she will not be missed…understand that this world is a better place without her.” Hmmm. A little harsh, perhaps. In Texas, the obit of a 74-year old male read…“a model example of bad parenting combined with mental illness and a complete commitment to drinking, drugs, womanizing and being generally offensive…he lived 29 years longer than expected, and much longer than he deserved.”  I just got back from a 10-day driving trip with my two kids. It was fun, but perhaps I should write my own obit. 😊


An American sperm donor, who has fathered 33 children, with 10 more on the way, has been banned from donating sperm in Israel. His nickname is ‘The Sperminator.’ Sometimes I have no comments that are printable. On a more positive note, just think of the lovely obit and all those children that he will leave behind. Surely, one of them will have something nice to say. If this isn’t enough information for you, then note that there is a documentary.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Singer Barry Manilow is 75. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is 75. Comedian Joe Piscopo is 67. Saturday Night Live when it was funny. Actor Thomas Haden Church is 57. Actor Greg Kinnear is 55. Tennis player Venus Williams is 38. Rapper Kendrick Lamar is 31. Baseball Hall of Fame Lou Brock is 79. Music legend Sir Paul McCartney is 76. Have you seen his ‘Car Karaoke with James Corden?’ It’s really good…a guided tour of Liverpool and some of the greatest hits ever, very sweet and very emotional.  


Actor Malcolm McDowell is 75. Remember A Clockwork Orange? Comic Tim Allen is 65. Tim the Toolman and Buzz Lightyear.  Actress Ally Sheedy is 56. The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire. TV anchor Hannah Storm is 56. Actor Chris Evans is 37. Captain America. Actresses entrepreneurs Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are 32. Actor Robert Englund is 71. Playwright actor Harvey Fierstein is 66. Mrs. Turnblad in Hairspray. Comedian Sandra Bernhard is 63. Singer Tom Jones is 78. He still looks and sounds sooo good. Actor Ken Osmond is 75. Leave it to Beaver. Actor Liam Neeson is 66. Vice President Mike Pence is 59. Rocker Dave Navarro is 51. Red Hot Chili Peppers.


Vanna White, age 61, became the official cohost of Wheel of Fortune in 1982, has worn over 6,500 outfits, never the same one twice and helped give away millions of dollars in cash and prizes over the past 35 years. The mother of two (age 24 and 20), says she is not going anywhere anytime soon. We all have a Vanna White dress in our closet and I remember telling my daughter to just get up on stage and act like Vanna White. What an icon.


Rock singer Ann Wilson is 68. Heart. Actress Kathleen Turner is 64. That husky voice. Romancing the Stone. Singer Paula Abdul is 56. Actress Zoe Saldana is 40. Star Trek, Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Infinity War. Rapper Macklemore is 35. Actress Isabella Rossellini is 66. Actress Carol Kane is 66. The Princess Bride. Country singer Blake Shelton is 42.


O.J. Simpson is 70. On June 17th, 1994, 95-million viewers were glued to their televisions as he led police on a low-speed chase along a southern Los Angeles freeway in his white Ford Bronco. He was arrested and charged with murder in the slaying of his ex-wife and her friend Ronald Goldman. Simpson shocked the nation when he walked out of court a free man in 1995 after his defense team proved there wasn’t enough evidence to find him guilty. The case cost nearly $20 million (in 1995 money) to fight and defend. While he was awaiting trial in prison, he was allowed to continue signing memorabilia as part of a marketing and merchandising plan by his defense team to generate money. He would sign cloth numbers that were later sewn on jerseys and sign leather pieces that were made into footballs. Later he landed in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping.


Richard Harrison, better known as the “Old Man” in the TV show Pawn Stars, has died at age 77.


Mark your calendars: The much-awaited documentary about the late comic genius Robin Williams will air on July 16, 2018 on HBO. Robin Williams died in 2014. The show is titled Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind.


LeBron James announced he is leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers – and, cough, cough, $154 million. I wonder how much that is per day. My son says it’s $105,479.45 per day.


Speculation is that Ewan McGregor is going to reprise his role as the iconic Jedi master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Star Wars 9.


A 46-year-old, well-known criminal in France, escaped after an armed commando landed a helicopter in the prison courtyard then carried him away. Officials believe that they had scoped out the place with drones. BUT, there is more. He had done it before. In 2013, he took four guards hostage, then used plastic explosives hidden in tissue packs to blast through five sets of prison doors, escaping from another prison. At one time he renounced crime and wrote a book that said his life of crime was inspired by American films such as Scarface and Heat. Hmmm. No more hall passes for this guy. This has Hollywood written all over it.


In June of 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of America.  The 450,000-pound, copper and iron statue, was reassembled and dedicated the following year in a ceremony presided over by US President Grover Cleveland and is known around the world as an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy.  French sculptor Fredeic-Auguste Bartholdi modeled it after his own mother. The statue alone (without the pedestal) cost the French an estimated $250,000, more than $5.5-million in today’s money. “Lady Liberty” was originally copper-colored, but over the years has gone through a natural color-change process called patination that produced its current greenish-blue hue. President Cleveland said, “We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.” 


US News and World Report’s annual list of Best Places to Live has several Texas locations including Austin as #1.  Other locations in Texas are San Antonio #14, Dallas-Ft. Worth #18, Houston #26, Killeen #90, El Paso #105, Corpus Christi #106, Beaumont #113, McAllen #115 and Brownsville #121.  Judging by the 5:00 traffic that we seem to be having lately in our small town, it must also be considered one of the best places to live.


In Richmond, Texas, three masked men kicked down the door of a home and held a 7-year-old boy in a bathtub of hot water to force his family to turn over cash and valuables. The boy was treated for burns. That was rather brutal.


In Italy, thieves used a blowtorch to pry open steel bars, then crawled in through a narrow window and stole a bunch of organic cheese. They did this twice in 24-hours. All in all, they made off with almost 25,000 pounds (271 wheels weighing 90 pounds each) of Italy’s famous Parmigiano-Reggiano with a total street value of $300,000.


People at Glenwood Caverns Adventure theme park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, were evacuated because of a wildfire that was quickly stopped by fire crews. That’s an adventure that could be skipped.


In Topeka Kansas, a law went into effect that protests Good Samaritans who break into vehicles to save overheating children, animals and vulnerable adults. Why the heck would anyone need a law to protect this?


In Las Vegas, the names of about 7,200 registered sex offenders are due to be posted on a state website beginning in October. Why wait until October?  The kids and I ended our 10-day trip and flew home from Las Vegas last weekend. After looking at all the billboards and “other” things, it’s no wonder that there are many sex offenders there.


Stay cool, and many thanks to the readers that missed this column and let me know. That made me feel good, but I was having fun on vacation and rocket launching in White Sands with my daughter. More about that next week.

What I Heard This Week! June 21, 2018

What I Heard This Week June 20, 2018

You must read this. It’s called “The Old Man.” An old man had lived all his life in the Florida Keys and is on his deathbed and knows the end is near. His nurse, his wife, his daughter and two sons, are with him. He asks for two witnesses to be present and to be videoed to record his last wishes, and when all is ready he begins to speak: “My son, Bernie, I want you to take the Ocean Reef houses. My daughter Sybil, you take the apartments between mile markers 100 and Tavernier. My son, Jamie, I want you to take the offices over in the Marathon Government Center. Sarah, my dear wife, please take all the residential buildings on the bay side of Blackwater Sound.” The nurse and witnesses are blown away as they did not realize his extensive holdings, and as he slips away, the nurse says, “Ma’am, your husband must have been such a hard-working man to have accumulated all this property.” The wife replies, “He had a paper route!” ha-ha


Seen on Facebook: giggle…The Coastal Bend Crawlers are currently seeking sponsors for their 3rd Annual Go Topless Weekend on May 18th, 2019. Hey, I don’t make the news, I simply tell you what I read this week and I read the above information. So?


Facebook: So apparently RSVP’ing back to a wedding invite ‘maybe next time’ isn’t the correct response.


An off-duty Houston police officer paid for a man’s groceries after the gentleman had a diabetic episode in a parking lot and collapsed.  While he was getting medical attention, his unattended groceries were stolen. Oh, no. Walmart’s surveillance footage was viewed but there was a visual obstruction in the way. The rookie police officer said that part of her job “is to care about people and to help people. I’m not just here to arrest people. I do care about this community.” She also said, “You have to treat people like they were your own family.” Years ago, a couple of people spray-painted some interesting graphics on my Volvo wagon and the police found them on Walmart video buying the paint. Love it.


George Strait is donating his services and leading a new tourism campaign called, “Find Yourself in Rockport-Fulton.” Strait says the coastal area, which was hit so hard by Harvey, is one of his favorite places.


Rosanne Barr explained her infamous tweet last month as, “Rod Sterling wrote Planet of the Apes. It was about anti-Semitism. That is what my tweet referred to – the anti-Semitism of the Iran deal. Low IQ ppl can think whatever they want.” This was tweeted on June 13, 2018. What? Rude is still not funny.

Lubbock, Texas: A land so flat you can watch your dog running away for a couple of weeks.


On September 24th and 25th, 2018, 80-year-old Bill Cosby will be sentenced for assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. The once beloved TV dad just fired his entire legal team and retained Pennsylvania attorney Joseph P. Green. Is an appeal possible? Will Camille divorce him? Is he looking back over his life and kicking himself in the seat of his pants. The front part. I have always told my children, “NEVER satisfy a short-term impulse at the expense of a long-term goal. Never do what feels good in the moment if it’s going to cost you something that matters a whole lot more in the end. The trade is never worth it.”


The new Post Oak Hotel, owned by Tilman Fertitta, will have a 22nd floor, 5,000-square-foot Presidential Suite that goes for $12,000 per night. It has a private elevator from the garage for those that need a discreet entrance. His own 10,000-square-foot personal penthouse will be finished later this year and will be available to anyone who wants to pay $100,000-per-night before taxes. Yikes. I couldn’t afford just the taxes.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Singer Stevie Nicks is 70. As a member of Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist she has produced over 40 top-50 hits and sold over 140 million records, making her one of the best-selling music acts of all time with Fleetwood Mac. Singer Hank Williams Jr. is 69. He says, “If you mind your own business, you’ll stay busy all the time.”  Actress Genie Francis is 56. General Hospital.


Singer-actor Lenny Kravitz is 54. President Donald Trump is 72. Singer Boy George is 57. Britain’s Prince Philip is 97. Attorney F. Lee Bailey is 85. Model-actress Elizabeth Hurley is 53. Olympic gold-medal figure skater Tara Lipinski is 36. Americana musician Bridget Kearney is 33. Lake Street Dive. ‘First child’ Sasha Obama is 17. Actor Timothy Busfield is 61. Thirtysomething. Actress Adrienne Barbeau is 73. Maude.


Rock musician Frank Beard is 69. ZZ Top. Actor Hugh Laurie is 59. TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz is 58. Actor-comedian Jim Belushi is 64. Actress Helen Hunt is 55. Actress Courteney Cox is 54. Actor rapper Ice Cube is 49. Actor Neil Patrick Harris is 45. Doogie Howser, M.D. He says, “Jim Henson was the only piece of fan mail I ever wrote when I was a little kid.”


D.J. Fontana was the last surviving member of Elvis’ original trio of musicians. He was a member of the Rock Hall of Fame and met Presley on the Louisiana Hayride, a country music program based in Shreveport and became his regular drummer in 1955, playing on more than 460 of Presley’s early recordings. Mr. Fontana died last week at the age of 87.


Blues Brothers Band musician Matt “Guitar” Murphy died at the age of 88. He appeared in the 1980 Blues Brothers movie and its 1998 Blues Brothers 2000 sequel. He also played in the Blues Brothers Band with the late John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd when the group performed “Soul Man” during a Saturday Night Live sketch in 1978 and stayed with the touring band until 2002 when he had a stroke and semi-retired.


Kristin Harmon, American primitive painter, actress and author, once married to actor and musician Ricky Nelson, died from a heart attack at age 72. I remember watching her on Ozzie & Harriet.


Stephen Hawking’s remains were laid to rest at a memorial service at Westminster Abbey, all while the European Space Agency blasted and beamed his words of peace towards a black hole, some 3,000 light-years away. Hawking’s work on black holes was among his most influential, building along with the ideas of Albert Einstein and challenging many scientific assumptions. His neighbors at rest will be Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton. What a Thursday night poker game that’s going to be.


Stephen Hawking predicted the world will end, global warming causes the Earth to become a fireball with a global temperature of 482 degrees and sulfuric acid raining form the sky. He predicted that humans will have to leave Earth and repopulate elsewhere.  He said, “The best hope for the survival of the human race might be independent colonies in space.” Hmmm. Let’s take better care of our Earth.


‘The question we ask ourselves is not “what we can do?” but “what we should do?”’ Apple CEO, Tim Cook


“Good friends, good whiskey and good lovin’, I want to thank you Lord.”-  Hank Williams, Jr.


All-Star pitcher Kevin Brown retired from the Yankees in 2005. Last week he saw two men in a white sports car taking mail out of his mailbox, then they sped off. The next day he waited with a gun and when they tried it again, he detained the pair (a little) while they waited for the law to arrive. The pair face charges of mail theft and forgery. Love it.


In downtown Lake Jackson, a different band plays every Friday night at the Civic Center. It’s quite nice to sit here and work and listen to background music. This past Friday evening, the band was playing “Should I Stay, or Should I Go?” when it suddenly came a torrential downpour. Were they singing that song for a reason…were they trying to decide whether to stay or go. When the rain came down, the music stopped abruptly. It was clever, so I was just wondering…


Tattoos are a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling. – George Carlin


Nine passengers were admitted to the hospital after the Sand Blaster coaster on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk in Florida derailed, sending two to the ground and eight other passengers that had to be rescued. This happened just hours after an inspection was completed. One woman fell 34 feet, bounced “like a ping-pong ball” between the rails and woke up with the coaster dangling over her head. Yikes.


John Wayne Walding – “Be a part of something bigger than yourself.”


Watermelon Salad – this is a winner at our house. Wash the watermelon with soap. Yes, wash it – it’s dirty. Then cut it in half (a round watermelon works best) horizontally. Place one half on cutting board, flesh down. Cut slices 1-2” wide depending on what size you want your sticks. Rotate the cutting board and cut slices perpendicular to the other slices. You now have sticks that can be eaten very neatly by children and adults because you have the green part to hold on to and now it’s easy to take the sticks and cut uniform squares of watermelon for your salad. Fill a bowl with your squares, add a cup or so of blueberries, a nice firm feta cheese (get a block and crumble it yourself – it’s tastier) then garnish with chopped mint leaves. It’s pretty and super tasty. You can also add thin sliced purple onions, fresh basil, kalamata olives, fresh lime juice, salt, pepper, or an olive oil vinaigrette or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. We use a good cherry balsamic. Leftovers last for a day or two in fridge.


“That’s the greatest award of all, isn’t it? Good children.” – Sylvester Stallone


Officials say three people were killed and over 300 injured in Western Japan after a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck Osaka.


Ocean’s 8 the movie – Danny Ocean, now deceased master thief, has a sister, Debbie (Sandra Bullock), recently released from prison, who attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City’s star-studded annual Met Gala. Her first stop is to assemble the perfect crew. She did. It was a perfect crew, a perfect cast, and they wore perfect clothes, but there was just a little tiny bit of something lacking. There was never the feeling of real peril and we wanted to feel danger because this great cast could have handled it. We wanted to see them put to the test. But, set that aside.  It was a fun and likeable movie. Gage and I enjoyed it.  Anne Hathaway showed what a great actress she is. It’s a thumbs up. It’s fun.


As I Get Older I Realize: 1.) I talk to myself because sometimes I need skilled and savvy advice. 2.) Sometimes I roll my eyes out-loud.  3.) I don’t need anger management, I need people to stop doing stupid stuff.  4.) My people skills are just fine. It’s my tolerance of nincompoops that needs work. 5.) The biggest fib I tell myself is, “I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.” 6.) When I was a child I thought naptime was punishment. Now it’s like a mini-vacation. 7.) The day the world runs out of wine is just too terrible to think about. 8.) Even duct tape can’t fix stupid, but it can muffle the sound. 9.) Wouldn’t it be great if we could put ourselves in the dryer for 10 minutes; come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller? 10.) “Getting Lucky” means walking into a room and remembering why I’m there. Sigh. Thanks for reading this. Lisa

What I Heard This Week! June 14, 2018

What I Heard This Week June 14, 2018

The original map of the Hundred Acre Wood from Winnie-the-Pooh is set to be auctioned in London next month with an estimated price tag of up to $200,000. Four other Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations are also being offered at the same auction. Christopher Robin, the film, is due to be released by Disney in August. With my kids all grown up now, I tend to miss Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet and Eeyore. Those were sweeter times than Grand Theft Auto and Battlefield 1 video games.


California will require almost all new homes to be built with solar panels by the year 2020. Why is California always light years ahead of the rest of us? Yes, what a great idea.


Mamoudou Gassama is a 22-year-old migrant from Mali who arrived in France in September without documentation. Some people in Paris are now calling him Spider-Man of the 18th, after he saw a child suspended from a balcony then scaled 4-balconies to the 5th floor to save the 4-year old that had been left alone by his father while he went grocery shopping and then stopping on the way home to play Pokémon Go. What! Not all heroes wear capes. So, our young hero is now being offered French citizenship. Someone needs to tell the dad that you don’t leave children alone ANYWHERE. Home, bookstores, bathrooms, grocery stores…ANYWHERE.


June 19th is National Martini Day. If you like gin, try Hendricks. In addition to the traditional juniper infusion, Hendrick’s uses Bulgarian rose and cucumber to add flavor. My mind says,” Cucumber. Salad. Healthy. Works for me.”


Former President Bill Clinton and James Patterson (who has written many novels including ‘The Quickie’ and ‘Kiss the Girls’) have co-authored a book, “The President is Missing.” Hmmm. In promoting the book, inquiring minds seem to be more interested in Monica Lewinsky and why Clinton never issued a private apology, as he insists that his public apology was adequate. Yikes. My mind imagines Hillary sitting at home watching the interviews on the telly, whispering to herself, “I should never have let him out of the house.” My son calls this book tour a ‘slow-motion train wreck.’ Someone should have worked with Clinton on some proper answers to the inevitable questions.


Near Baytown, a nine-month old baby girl was accidently left behind in a hot vehicle for three hours and died. Parents don’t forget your little ones. I heard you are supposed to put something next to the car-seat that you are not likely to forget. Like your shoe, because you won’t go anywhere without a shoe.


There may be ex-wives, ex-husbands, ex-football players, but there are NO ex-Texans.
In New Zealand, foreign property buyers must pass a good-character test. Matt Lauer, former Today show co-host, will be allowed to keep his ranch in New Zealand but the Overseas Investment Office does not condone the inappropriate way that Lauer behaved and will continue to monitor the matter.


“We don’t stop going to school when we graduate.” – Carol Burnett


Scientists are saying that the Kilauea volcano has now covered over 8 square miles. According to the US geological Society, the Kilauea volcano has erupted approximately 63 times between 1750 and 1982 and has been continuously erupting since January 3, 1983. Yikes, that’s 35 years.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: World Golf Hall of Fame Hale Irwin is 73. He says, “Feeling tired should almost never be an excuse, because your body has huge reserves of energy. But if you eat badly, stay out late drink too much and so on, you’ll pay a price on the course.” TV host Anderson Cooper is 51. Singer Ronnie Dunn is 65. Brooks & Dunn till 2011. Model Heidi Klum is 45. Singer Alanis Morisette is 44. Actress writer Amy Schumer is 37. Prince would have been 60. ☹ Actor Bruce Dern is 82.

Actor Parker Stevenson is 66. Actress Angelina Jolie is 43. Financial guru Suze Orman is 67. Jazz musician Kenny G is 62. Author Patricia Cornwell is 62. Actor Michael J. Fox is 57. Writer-producer Aaron Sorkin is 57. A Few Good Men, The American President, Charlie Wilson’s War, Moneyball. Actor Johnny Depp is 55. Actress Natalie Portman is 37.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is 95. Actress Lee Meriwether is 83. Actor Louis Gossett Jr. is 82. Actor Todd Bridges is 53. Willis Jackson on Different Strokes. Singer Nancy Sinatra is 78. Comic-strip creator Scott Adams is 61. Dilbert. Rapper and Mr. ‘Kardashian’ Kanye West is 41. Former President George H. W. Bush is 94. Last week the family celebrated what would have been the 93rd birthday of Barbara Bush.

Musician Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones’ is 71. He will release a new book in October and according to his website, “Ronnie Wood has chosen nearly 100 painted set lists to be published for the first time. Presented in chronological order, the collection follows the group’s travels to foreign rehearsal locations that were kept secret at the time. They reveal the songs rehearsed for historic performances, such as the Rolling Stones’ 2014 inaugural concert in Israel, as well as documenting the shows as eventually played. The colorful hand-lettering recalls Wood’s early art school days when he worked as a sign writer. The set lists are visually eye catching and filled with fascinating details. Wood’s calligraphy is interspersed with his own illustrations, doodles by fellow band members, and jotted notes that all add up to paint a picture of life on the road with the Rolling Stones.”


Legendary chef and TV and travel host Anthony Bourdain died at the age of 61 from apparent suicide while on location in Paris. “As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life and travel leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks on your body or on your heart are beautiful. Often though, they hurt.” – Anthony Bourdain


Jerry Maren, the last living actor who played a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz, has died at the age of 98. He was just 4’-3” tall and 18 years old and one of more than 100 actors who played Munchkins in the 1939 classic.


Father’s Day: I’m going to share this list of tool ideas that someone sent me…Mini Battery Tester, Yeti Bucket, Outdoor Knots Guide, Nebo Cryket Flashlight, Milwaukee Bit Set, Mechanix Fast Fit Work Gloves, ‘Man in the Mirror’ Book (solving the 24 problems men face), Makita Quiet Impact Driver Tool, Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier, BenchMade Blade Sharpener, Maratac AAA flashlight, Ironclad General Gloves, Kershaw Leek Blackwash Knife, KeySmart Keyring, Leatherman Sketetool, Leatherman Style PS Multi-Tool or you can just get him something really useful like a tie to decorate his closet.


June Weddings: Chocolate fountains are so 20th century. This is the future. At my wedding we’re having a queso fountain.


Ticks are supposed to be a problem this year. Yes, even in South Texas. Consumer Reports suggests the following things to ‘tick proof’ your yard without spraying. Since ticks like the shade of taller grass and cool damp areas on your lawn, keep your grass cut and bagged, trim or weed-wack tall grasses and weeds, blow away leaves or bag them to eliminate the damp cooler areas that ticks love, trim low-hanging tree branches to at least 18-inches above the ground, or lay a mulch moat; a 3-foot barrier of mulch (wood chips or bark, not shredded) around the perimeter of your yard. This creates a dry and hot obstacle to ticks. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and closed-toe shoes and always perform a tick check as soon as you return indoors.


The Freeport Re-Tail Shop is celebrating its Grand Re-opening On Saturday, June 16th from 10AM to 3PM. Located at 515 W 2nd Street, this SPCA of Brazoria County thrift shop offers a unique, ever-changing selection. The flea market type layout has a “Doggone Good Deals” main area and a more select side called “The Cat’s Meow”. Merchandise includes home goods, furniture, collectables, clothing, home improvement items, office supplies and more. The re-sellable stock is donated and much appreciated. Proceeds from sales support the SPCA of Brazoria County located in Lake Jackson at 141 Canna Lane. For more information about the shelter and all programs visit the website at www.spcabc.org. Be sure to say hello to the new director, Kristen.


Saudi Arabia issued the first driver’s licenses to 10 women as they prepare to lift the ban on women driving, but some women who campaigned for the right to drive, remain under arrest.


A study is now showing that most women with a common form of early-stage breast cancer can safely skip chemotherapy without hurting their chances of beating the disease. Staging and genetic testing will be used to gauge each patient’s risk. Hmmm. As a former breast cancer patient who went through months of treatment and years of recovery, this is good news, great news in fact because it will also save huge amounts of money and chemotherapy is so hard on your heart, but I can’t stop wondering if it’s for the benefit of the insurance companies. I’m just not sure what to think. It’s supposed to be put into effect immediately, so if you are diagnosed in the future, be sure to research and get the facts.


For Mother’s Day, my music-loving son bought two tickets for us to see one of my favorites, The Doobie Brothers. They were sharing the Smart Financial stage with Steely Dan and to announce this precious gift, Gage used my existing grocery list and marked out ‘bleach’ that I had written on the top of the post-it-note. Lying on the note was a twisted piece of aluminum foil. I was of course curious and asked about the foil. He told me to figure it out for myself. Still puzzled, he offered, “Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers. A steel doobie. Get it, Mom?” I’m so glad that to-date, his college education is so thorough. He’s a funny guy. Doobie Brothers was pretty good on about half the songs, but Steely Dan was a great concert from start to finish. Fun night. Thanks, Gage, for a very, very memorable Mother’s Day. You make my job as a mom, FUN. I’m so glad that I “force-fed” music to you every day and every night when you were little.


Happy Father’s Day to all the hard-working, loving and appreciative dads out there. Thanks for taking the time to read this…Lisa

What I Heard This Week! June 7, 2018

What I Heard This Week June 6, 2018

Senior Prank Day is tradition at every high school. Truman HS in Kansas City wasn’t the exception, but officials didn’t think it was very funny when 18-year-old, ‘A’-student, Kylan Scheele listed his high school for sale on Craigslist for only $12,275. The individual that saw the post took it as a possible threat and reported it. A threat?!? Well, it seems that the way he worded the ad was the problem. He listed all the amenities of the school then stated, “The reason for the sale is due to the loss of students coming up.” That statement was taken as a threat instead of the ‘loss’ being all graduating seniors. Good grief. I understand both sides but what has our world come to…Kylan says that if he had it to do all over again, he would still pull the school-for-sale prank but would use a better choice of words to make sure no one misunderstood him.


“Don’t ever confuse what is legal with what is moral…You’re either principled or you’re not.” Oprah Winfrey


Because of perfect weather conditions, the ‘Hill Country’ is having an exceptional harvest of peaches this year – the best harvest in years. Think back to that long cold Texas winter that we had…well, by peach standards, long and cold. I never even got my heavy coat out. The relatively dry weather meant natural sugars weren’t diluted by rain, making this year’s fruit exceptionally flavorful. Add wineries and German food to the list of things to do and it sure looks like a road trip may be in order. (There is also a guy in town that makes fresh sangria to order that is fabulous, but I can blame it on a peach trip.)


In 1973 the International House of Pancakes shortened its name to IHOP. Now, after 60 years, there is an announcement that they will change their name to IHOb on June 11th. Hmmm. What does the “B” stand for? Some suggestions were biscuits, bacon, butternut squash, bagels, beer, burrito and barnacles. I suggested breakfast, but according to the posts, the odds are against me. There is a way you can vote on their website which has a countdown clock to the announcement. Inquiring minds want to know.


Firefighters in England rescued a man who found himself stuck in a tree while trying to chase his large green parrot. It took 35 minutes to rescue the man but unfortunately the escapee remained loose.


Allergies might be on the rise because kids are too clean. They’re saying that kids may not have the necessary exposure to germs required to build up the immune system which could lead to something called hygiene hypothesis. Listen, right now I live with two cats, a 21-year-old male child and an 18-year-old female child. To even describe their rooms would scare you straight off this planet. But, if no one finds E. coli or salmonella in their rooms, things are ok. Not to mention all the money I’m saving on allergy meds.


Fashion designer and businesswoman Kate Spade (55) was found dead in her NY home and is reported to have taken her own life. How sad.  I have always loved her Kate Spade designs. Her newest venture was Frances Valentine, a shoes and accessories brand that she named after her daughter. The designer had legally changed her name to Kate Valentine in honor of the label.

“Surround yourself with the things you love. Discard the rest.” Kate Spade

“If you’re as honest and fair as you can be, not only in business but in life, things will work out. I hope that people remember me not just as a good businesswoman but as a great friend – and a heck of a lot of fun.” – Kate Spade


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Director actor Clint Eastwood is 88. Wait a minute. That can’t be. Singer Gladys Knight is 74. The Pips. Dr. Ruth Westheimer is 90. Sex therapist, media personality, actress, voice actress and author. Pro and College Football Hall of Fame Gale Sayers is 75. Actress Sondra Locke is 74. Willard, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Every Which Way but Loose, Sudden Impact. Singer John Fogerty is 73. Creedence Clearwater Revival and is currently touring with ZZ Top.

Actor Brandon Cruz is 56. The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. Country singer Wynonna Judd is 54. Actress Idina Menzel is 47. Elphaba in Wicked. Actor Anthony Geary is 71. Luke on General Hospital. Singer LaToya Jackson is 62. Singer Melissa Etheridge is 57. Actress Lisa Whelchel is 55. The Facts of Life. Rock musician Noel Gallagher is 51. Oasis. Musician Charlie Watts is 77. Rolling Stones. Actor Jerry Mathers is 70. Leave it to Beaver. TV personality Andy Cohen is 50. The Real Housewives.

NFL Hall of Fame Joe Namath is 75. That’s soooo hard to believe. Singer Augie Meters is 78. The Texas Tornados. Comedian Mike Myers is 55. Actress Octavia Spencer is 48. Rapper DMC is 54. Actress Brooke Shields is 53. Author Larry McMurtry is 82. The Last Picture Show, Lonesome Dove. Brokeback Mountain, Terms of Endearment. Rock singer Ian Hunter is 79. Mott the Hoople.


Robert Mandan, who starred as wealthy, womanizing Chester Tate in the 70’s sitcom Soap, has died at the age of 86. I loved that show.


‘We’re the ones who decide, “Do I hate, or am I filled with love?” ‘ Former US President Jimmy Carter


Flag Day is June 14th. In case you have forgotten or perhaps it’s no longer politically correct to teach this…the stars on the flag represent the fifty states, and the stripes represent the colonies. The red represents valor, displayed by soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who have given their lives, so our flag can continue to stand tall. Don’t forget to put your flags out next week.


Loch Ness is a large, deep freshwater loch (or lake) in the Scottish Highlands. For hundreds of years, people have described sightings of the Loch Ness monster aka Nessie. A New Zealand scientist is leading a team to the lake next month to conduct DNA tests and determine what species live there. He says he wants to take people on an adventure and communicate science. One theory is that Nessie is a long-necked plesiosaur that somehow survived the period when dinosaurs became extinct.


‘Embrace the mess…your life won’t always unfold according to plan.’ Betsy Devos, US Secretary of Education


Sephora has announced that they will offer interactive make-up classes geared towards transgender customers and those who identify as neither masculine nor feminine. In the US, about 4 percent of Americans identify as LGBTQ which is about 10 million people, which means tremendous buying power.


According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, there is a 70 percent chance of 10 to 16 named storms (where it is at least a tropical storm) during this storm season. NOAA experts’ based predictions on the average water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea combined with the possibility of a weak El Nino developing in the Pacific Ocean. New equipment and techniques make them more accurate each year.


A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at her.


Richard Gere, a very young and good-looking 68-years-old, just married a 35-year-old. That’s a big difference in dog years – heck, that’s a huge difference in human years. Richard, Richard, Richard. You could have had me.


A ‘federal’ jury ended a trademark battle between Buc-ee’s (with their round logo and a buck-toothed beaver in a baseball cap) and Choke Canyon’s Bar-B-Q (a round logo showing a lip-licking alligator with a hat that looks like a cross between a short brimmed retro cowboy hat and a fedora.) Jurors were asked to decide, “if Choke Canyon’s branding confused customers familiar with Buc-ee’s logo and merchandise and profited through unfair competition.”  Well, surprise. I wouldn’t have thought it was similar at all and all evidence indicated there was no confusion, but the jury that deliberated for six hours determined that the alligator logo too closely resembles the Buc-ee’s beaver.


There is a teacher in Louisiana who asked the students in her second-grade class to write about one invention that they don’t like. After four children wrote about the same invention, the teacher decided to post one of the essays. Misspellings included, it said, “I don’t like the phone because my panert are on their phone every day. A phone is sometimes a really bad habet. I hate my mom’s phone and I wish she never had one. That is an invention that I don’t like.”  Yikes. Every time I go out to dinner I see families where every single member is on a phone. Pay attention.


The Dallas Zoo has a new baby giraffe that was named after retired Dallas Cowboy star player Jason Witten. Baby Witten is very outgoing.


The lucky Houstonian who won $30.25-million in the Texas Lotto last month came forward to claim the huge, gigantic, unbelievable, prize which has a cash value option of $20,327,988.00. WOW! MJ’s All-Season Food Store received a $308,766.64 selling bonus.


Shiners Hospital for Children in Galveston will admit several children with burn injuries suffered in the volcanic eruption in Guatemala.


My clever son was able to get cheap, nosebleed tickets to see the Farewell Tour of Paul Simon. We are firm believers in ‘cheap tickets allow for more concerts’ and we love concerts. We arrived in good time, parked, went through security then made our way to the very top of Toyota Center with a quick bathroom and food stop. (We might still be feeling the effects of the chili-cheese fries.) We had been sitting for less than five minutes when a young man approached and asked, “Are there three in your party?” First thought…we were in the wrong seats. He tore off three of his tickets and invited us to join him on the 19th row of the floor seats. We were cautious, not believing that someone would be so kind, BUT WE GOT THERE ASAP. We introduced ourselves to Charlie, his aunt and uncle…our row mates for Paul Simon. Charlie said, “No offense, but I chose the people with the worst seats in the house.” No offense taken AT ALL. Thank you so much! Gage and I agree that Paul Simon was one of the best concerts with the best sound that we have ever seen. Many thanks to Charlie for making Audrey’s first arena concert a stupendous one. Hope he is reading this.


Music is moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. – Plato


Thanks for taking the time to read this…Lisa

What I Heard This Week! May 31, 2018

What I Heard This Week May 31, 2018

Be forewarned that you may consider this a bit mushy. My daughter/last child graduated from high school on Saturday evening, so I find my emotions to be a little raw right now. I was fine at graduation but there were so many friends sitting next to me, just watching for weakness, that I had to suck it up and be a big girl. 😊 But, two weeks ago as I watched her get off the yellow school bus in her cap and gown to visit teachers and students at Bess Brannon Elementary where she started public school in 4th grade, it was a different story. It pokes at my heart just to think about it. There are so many sweet memories with Mrs. Arthur, Mrs. Nordt, Mrs. Hendrix, and Ms. Kahanek-Janek.  Tiny little flecks of tears entered my eyes that day, but I wasn’t alone. This growing up stuff sure happens fast. Thank you, teachers! She turned out OK. Wink.


The aim of education is the knowledge – not of facts, but of values.” – William S. Burroughs


Have you noticed the flags in the medians in LJ? The Brazosport Breakfast Lions Club places these flags around town, 6 times a year. They look so good! Businesses and individuals sponsor the flags. You can sponsor one flag or several. Just call Ronnie Martin at 979-236-8817 or run by Grapevine Gifts and sign up. See page 12 of this paper.


You never realize how little self-control you have until the chips & salsa are in front of you at the Mexican Restaurant. This is so true.


Weeknight Roast Chicken: I found this recipe about 6 months ago. The kids and I use it often. It is foolproof and perfect. Place 12-inch oven-safe skillet on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees.  Take a whole 3.5 to 4-lb. whole chicken (I go organic because it’s hormone and antibiotic-free and I can taste a difference) and pat it dry with paper towels. Drying is an important step. Take a tablespoon of olive oil and massage it all over the dry chicken. The chicken will really like the attention so take your time. Salt and pepper. Pat it on. Tie legs together with twine (kite string at our house) and tuck the tips of the wings behind its back. Place chicken in the preheated, very hot skillet, breast side up and cook for 25-35 minutes. Turn oven off and leave chicken in the oven and continue cooking for another 35 minutes or until breast registers 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees. The drippings are fantastic and make great gravy, the skin is so delicious and every time I cook this I get brownie points from my kids. I roast vegetables on another pan so it’s an easy dinner worthy of company. Stuff the bird or sprinkle with lemon pepper, garlic, fresh rosemary or thyme from the garden. It’s all good. If you don’t use the drippings that night, don’t waste them. Store them in the fridge or freezer to use in something else. We used ours in pho the next night. Let me know.


On a First United Methodist Church sign in Texas: “Too hot to keep changing sign. Sin bad. Jesus good. Details inside.”


As I watch a TV report on Tropical Storm Alberto and all the flooding that it brought, I am reminded of the June 1st official start day of hurricane season. With our warming planet, it could be that the calendar may need some date changes in the future. We’ll see.


A Tesla sedan in Autopilot mode crashed into a parked car. No one was hurt. BUT, the parked car just happened to be a police vehicle. Hmmm.


Congratulations to Brazoswood Water Polo, both girls’ and boys’ teams. What a great year! Coach Brown – you’re the best!


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Singer Taj Mahal is 76. The American blues musician’s given name is Henry Saint Clair Fredericks. TV personality Tom Bergeron is 63. America’s Funniest Home Videos and Dancing with the Stars. Actress Roma Downey is 58. Singer-actress Cher is 72. TV-radio personality Ron Reagan is 60. Rock musician Jane Wiedlin is 60. The Go-Go’s.

Actor Tommy Chong is 80. Singer Bob Dylan is 77. Actor Gary Burghoff is 75. Priscilla Presley is 73. Actor John C. Reilly is 53. His new movie ‘The Sisters Brothers’ is described as a cross between a dark comedy and a western. The trailer looked great. Racecar driver Tony Stewart is 47. Singer Leo Sayer is 70. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing. Actor Mr. T is 66. Actor Judge Reinhold is 61. Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Director Nick Cassavetes is 59. The Notebook. Actress Joan Collins is 85. Alexis Carrington on Dynasty. Comic and TV game host Drew Carey is 60. Singer Jewel is 44.

Actor Michael Constantine is 91. The Windex bottle-toting Greek father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Room 222. Songwriter Bernie Taupin is 68. Best known for his long-term collaboration with Elton John. Model Naomi Campbell is 48. Actress Jennifer Goodwin is 40. Mona Lisa Smile.


The 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals is on ESPN on May 31st with a $40,000 cash prize. Then, June 1st, Cinemax will release C.B. Strike, a crime series based on J.K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike books about a peg-legged private inspector and his beautiful secretary. I didn’t even know that Rowling had written a series like this, but that’s because it was published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. On June 8th, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, a documentary about Fred Rogers, and Ocean’s 8 are both due to release. 


It is reported that Daniel Craig could earn as much as $25 million for starring in the new James Bond movie, Bond 25. When asked in 2015 whether he would star in another Bond movie, he replied, “Now? I’d rather…slash my wrists…” hmmm.  What a difference a day makes…and $25 million. That is a massive paycheck for driving fast cars and drinking martinis which now makes him the highest paid star in Hollywood.  Since 1962, there have been 24 movies and six actors have portrayed Bond with a combined gross of over $7 Billion. Ian Fleming wrote his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, at the age of 44. He also wrote the children’s favorite Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for his young son.


So, Anne-Elisabeth prepared for graduation with new red shoes (made from recycled water bottles – you can wash them in the washing machine), a beautiful embroidered dress, earrings that were a graduation gift from me and her brother, and her cap decorated to look like a Pantone color swatch in UH Cougar Red. She did not forget the words to the Pledge of Allegiance and I believe that she pronounced everyone’s name correctly, then smiled our way as our ‘family of friends’ hooted and hollered for her from the stands. A rainbow appeared as the choir sang and the thunder & lightning didn’t become obvious until graduation was over, when we were on the field taking pictures. The raindrops held off until we approached our car to head home. Classmates arrived at our house for movies and breakfast which was served until 4 am when I pulled out pillows and blankets for those that decided to spend the night and enjoy ‘leftover’ waffles, fruit salad and sausages the next morning. It was such a great night but I’m still so tired. No joke. I fell asleep on the floor the next day. Twice. You only graduate from high school once and I think hers was perfect, but I couldn’t help but have twinges of guilt every time I thought about Santa Fe and what their graduation ceremonies must be like this year. I can’t even imagine. In our new world, we need to take time to not only appreciate the BIG moments in our lives but the small ones as well.


National Hug Your Cat Day is June 4th. Watch out, Winnie and Sully, our adopted Harvey alley cats who have brought nothing but love and compassion into our lives.


Seen on Facebook. As we come closer to the one-year anniversary of Harvey here are 10 Things that some of us learned from the 2017 Texas Flood: 1. Social Media apps saved lives. 2. The Cajun Navy and Texan Navy are better equipped than the Federal Government and much faster. 3. Race does not divide us; the media divides us.  4. JJ Watt and Mattress Mack are faster than FEMA. 5. We will find the means to cook in any situation. 6. All Lives Matter…including animals. 7. No water is too deep nor too shallow for passage. 8. A Cajun and a Texan can launch a boat anywhere.  9. Our strength is “Togetherness.” 10. Under no circumstances will we be defeated. #TexasStrong


“Remember, half the doctors in this country graduated in the bottom half of their class.” – Al McGuire


At Miller Outdoor Theatre, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, based on the story of the “coat of many colors” in the Book of Genesis, is playing June 6-8.  


New explosions at the Kilauea Volcano continue sending more lava and toxic air into our world. Thousands and thousands of masks have been distributed because of the poor air content. There are more evacuations and serious health concerns as it seems that there is no end to this major natural disaster. Tourism is down on the islands 50%, even in the unaffected areas.


The American Cancer Society now says that people should start getting screened for colon cancer at age 45 instead of 50. The group lowered its guidelines after research showed people are getting colon cancer at younger and younger ages in the US. I wonder why.


Active Shooter is a controversial new video game that was due to be released on June 6th.  It is a School Shooter Video Game where players could choose to be members of an elite SWAT team or an active shooter. It will not be released after all. Gosh. Why was this ever, even a possibility.


ABC canceled “Rosanne,” the No. 1 show on television, almost immediately after Barr tweeted what is believed to be racist tweets. I think she is just plain mean, not funny. Rosanne apologized and blamed it on a ‘joke that was in bad taste’ and ‘Ambien’ tweeting. What?!? Drug maker Sanofi says, “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”  Now, just think of all the people that she left without jobs because of her narcissistic need to pretend she is funny. Free speech and tweeting (and everything else in life) should still involve manners. If only people would stop to think about how the consequences of their actions affect so many people around them, in EVERYTHING they do.


When my kids were little, they loved band-aids so therefore band-aids appeared in their Easter baskets, Christmas stockings; there are simply fun band-aids everywhere you shop. Some look like bacon, chocolate, pickles, tattoos, macaroni & cheese, cowgirls, princesses…you name it.  Recently, I was trying to use up an old can where the yellow band-aids looked like crime scene tape with, Crime Scene Do Not Enter written on it.  As I took out the last band-aid, (because I had succeeded in burning my leg with a soldering iron) I saw something rolling around in the bottom of the can. It was a little, bitty, tiny plastic gun to further the humor of crime scene tape. It was cute, but Santa Fe is still so fresh that it takes away some of the fun that was meant to be. How our world has changed recently.


Don’t forget to tear out the chicken recipe and thanks for reading this.

What I Heard This Week! May 24, 2018

What I Heard This Week May 24, 2018

A 51-year-old Iowa man says his dog shot him while they were playing and roughhousing on the couch. Ballew, a pit-bull-lab mix ‘must have disabled the safety on the gun in his owner’s belly band and then stepped on the trigger, then shot him in the leg.’ I would have been embarrassed to report that tale.


A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that ‘individuality’ is the key to success.” –  Robert Orben


“Poly Pop”Tiki Kitchen and Cocktails in downtown LJ just opened. After visiting them on Friday night, I know why my appraisal on my office property went up so much this year. The appraisal district thinks that one street over, I am selling $30 drinks, great food and turning people away each night. I should open a restaurant! Poly Pop has done it right with delicious food and I had a yummy Tiki Rita as my drinking buddy. We tried Paradise Pot – chicken, spinach, coconut rice, oranges, blueberries, avocado and pomegranate seeds with a pineapple citrus drizzle served with a purple orchid, and Vegetarian Ramen with brussels sprouts, roasted chickpeas, carrots, mushrooms and corn. It was perfectly wonderful. I heard that the Lavender Collinsvodka, lavender and soda served with a 6” sprig of lavender is a winner, too. Just letting you know.


Gel manicures have always been of interest to me because they’re so beautiful.  I tried them once and lost most of my nails, but the truth is, I’m really a “clip ‘em short, file them and if it’s Christmas or my birthday, slap on a coat of clear polish,” kind of person. (I was jealous of Cher for a bit back in the 80’s but I got over it.) Plus, I have always feared the acetone they use to remove the polish. Today I heard of a different danger involved…the UV rays from the curing lamps are four times stronger than those of the sun. Think skin cancer. Think melanoma. Naked nails are in so take advantage of this fad and let your gels go free.


Wine & Stars in the Vineyards at Haak Vineyards & Winery on May 25th at 6 pm.  It’s free but an RSVP requested so they can plan.  www.haaakwine.com or 409-925-1401. Remember it’s National Wine Day!


Due to lack of space I had to take out a wonderful recipe for Roasted Chicken. Be sure to look next week because it’s delicious, foolproof and guaranteed to win compliments at your next dinner.


The owners of a donut cafe in Reno found a woman stealing money from the tip jar on the counter so they posted the surveillance video on Facebook. This was not done to embarrass or bring the woman to justice, but because they wanted her to know that they started collecting food for her hoping that she would come back to the café, so they could help her realize that there are other ways to get help and find food. Customers were offered a discount if they brought in a donation of non-perishable food item for her. The owner said he has two children and wanted to help teach them to spread kindness. The woman did not return to the café, so the food was donated to a local food bank.


Santa Fe High School. This was at least the 20th school shooting in 2018. Prayers are still needed for our neighboring community. I stand behind my theory of “video games where you shoot people” being a real problem. In real life we shouldn’t shoot people, even pretend people. It was hard to send my child to school this week. Judge Judy was a morning talk show guest. I have always loved her no-nonsense attitude and tongue lashings that she gives people that are acting stupid. As a former gun owner, her opinion is that the minimum age for purchasing guns is raised to 21. YES! She also suggests that there needs to be huge consequences for owners of guns that end up in the hands of shooters. Agreed.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Musician Steve Winwood is 70. Actor Gabriel Byrne is 68. Actor Ving Rhames is 59. Mission Impossible.  Actor Emilio Estevez is 56. Actor Harvey Keitel is 79. Along with actors Al Pacino and Ellen Burstyn, he is current co-president of the Actors Studio. Singer Stevie Wonder is 68. I’m glad I got to see him in concert. Counterculture icon Wavy Gravy is 82. Actor Lee Horsley is 63. He recorded the audio version of Lonesome Dove. Football Hall of Fame Emmitt Smith is 49. The NFL released a highlight reel on his birthday to celebrate the all-time leading rusher during his fifteen seasons in the league.

Prince Charles is 70, or is he? Prince Harry and Meghan delayed their honeymoon to celebrate Prince Charles’ 70th birthday with a garden party at Buckingham Palace. Hmmm. Charles’ birthday is November 14th.

Actor Danny Trejo is 74. Actress Debra Winger is 63. Urban Cowboy. Singer Janet Jackson is 52. She was the first black woman to win the Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards last week. Political correspondent Tucker Carlson is 49. Boxing Hall of Fame Sugar Ray Leonard is 62. Regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time. Comedian Bob Saget is 62. Full House.

Basketball Hall of Fame Dennis Rodman is 57. He has a bromance going on with Kim Jong Un and now thinks he deserves some of the credit for brokering peace between North Korea and the US if a summit between the two actually happens. Rodman said that he helped Kim Jong Un understand Trump a little bit better by gifting Trump’s book, “Art of the Deal” for his birthday in 2017. “I don’t want to take all the credit…,” but then in a later interview he said, “If I don’t finish in the top three for the next Nobel Peace Prize, something’s seriously wrong.” Hmmm.

Actress Candice Bergen is 72. Her new movie is Book Club with Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda and Mary Steenburgen. Singer Billy Joel is 69. “Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways…it’s still rock & roll to me.” Actor John Corbett is 57. Partner of Bo Derek since 2002. Baseball Hall of Fame Willie Mays is 87. In 1950, when the Giants signed me, they gave me $15,000. “I bought a 1950 Mercury. I couldn’t drive, but I had it in the parking lot there, and everybody that could drive would drive the car. So, it was like a community thing.”

Rock singer Bob Seger is 73. Katmandu. Actress Julianne Phillips is 58.  First wife of Bruce Springsteen. Actor-director George Clooney is 57. Who cares about George! Did you see the smoking good looking dress that Amal wore to THE wedding? It was fabulous and is the most ‘searched for’ guest outfit from the wedding. Late Show host Stephen Colbert is 54. Actress-writer-director Lena Dunham is 32. Actor Robert Pattinson is 32.


Clint Walker, star of TV western ‘Cheyenne’ has died at age 90. Was he on the recent ‘cowboy’ list?


So, now I’m off to prepare to graduate the child that came out of my womb yearning for college. It’s all she’s ever wanted, and she has worked so hard.  I mean, really, really, hard. I know, I was there – helping anywhere I could help, just wanting so much to be good for something besides making PB&J sandwiches and she always allowed me to help. She listened. She applied what she heard. I couldn’t be any prouder of her achievements and she has so many, including a kind heart, great values and a most wonderful smile.  Anne-Elisabeth received the Tier I Scholarship to attend University of Houston this fall.  I am so proud. It all comes together when I get to see her as Student Body VP on the platform speaking at graduation. She hopes she doesn’t forget the words to the Pledge. I bet she doesn’t.


Thanks for reading this and being a part of the family.

What I Heard This Week! May 17, 2018

What I Heard This Week May 17, 2018

Some people really mess things up for the rest of us. The city of Houston had what I thought was a great idea to allow people to Adopt-A-Drain, encouraging residents to help keep their neighborhood storm sewers clear of debris and yard waste and prevent flooding during Houston downpours by cleaning 10ft on either side of their drain 4-times a year, allowing water to keep flowing and avoid back-ups, especially as flood recovery continues after Harvey. You can even ‘playfully’ name your drain – they have “Blue Eyes Crying in the Drain, Drainy McDrain Face, Thomas the Thirsty Trench, Snakes on a Drain and my personal favorite, Sterling Cooper Drainper Pryce. (Obviously, a ‘Mad Men’ follower.) Well, as in all good things, someone decided to mess it up, naming over 200 drains after an online sex toy retailer, then people were being directed to the website of this company. Houston hopes to have this problem worked out by the end of this week since there are still over 115,000 storm drains still available for adoption. So far, over 500 drains have been successfully and lovingly placed with a family of their very own. Yay.


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has rescinded the honors it awarded to Bill Cosby, the first time the center has taken such action. Aye.


One lucky woman, watching the Kentucky Derby at an off-track betting parlor in Texas, picked the winners of five straight races at Churchill Downs and turned her $18 Pick-5 bet into a $1.2 million payout. That’s nice.


“I’m not a trophy wife, I’m a commemorative plaque.” – Ali Wong


In March, a veteran who lost his genitals in Afghanistan has received a penis, scrotum and part of the abdominal wall transplanted from a deceased donor in a highly experimental 14-hour operation. The patient who asked to remain anonymous, is eventually expected to recover urinary and sexual function. He also received an extra experimental step, an infusion of bone marrow from the same donor that research suggests may help the immune system to better tolerate a transplant and would also allow him to take one anti-rejection drug instead of many. Amazing. The patient was quoted as saying, “When I first woke up, I finally felt more normal.”


The book, “Soul on Ice,” was checked out of the San Francisco Public library in 1970. It was an overdue book for 47 years, four months and 29 days, with a late fee of what could have been $1,731.70, but the library caps fines at $10.01. That’s a nice story.


Antonio Banderas is playing artist Pablo Picasso in National Geographic’s 10-part series, Genius. Not only does he share a Spanish heritage with Picasso, they were also both born in the town of Malaga where Banderas crossed the street in front of Picasso’s house, as a child.


It’s a fact that anywhere in Texas you can yell “The stars at night are big and bright” and random strangers will finish your sentence.


BrickWorld Chicago is five straight days of Lego play. Lego enthusiasts from around the world build, display, play, talk, swap and win Legos. Kragle is a bad word among this crowd (a tube of Crazy Glue designed to ensure that everyone touched by it is permanently sealed in place, for those that didn’t see The Lego Movie.) Don’t touch, don’t ask how long it took to build, don’t ask how many pieces there are and most of all, don’t ride your skateboard on the convention floor. This year’s convention is June 13-17. Be sure to tip the Lego bellman.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Rock musician Dick Dale is 81. The King of the Surf Guitar. Singer Rita Coolidge is 73. Country singer Tim McGraw is 51. Singer Toni Tennille is 78. Actor James Mitchum is 77. He is the eldest son of Robert Mitchum who died in 1997. Rock musician Alex Van Halen is 65. Actress Melissa Gilbert is 54. Singer Enrique Iglesias is 43. Rock correspondent Kurt Loder is 73. Editor at Rolling Stone, MTV.

NBC newsperson Brian Williams is 59. Actress Tina Yothers is 45. Jennifer Kees on Family Ties. Singer Adele is 30. Singer Donovan is 72. Actor Mike Hagerty is 64. Overboard. Inspector Gadget. Wayne’s World. Sports anchor Chris Berman is 63. Rock singer Bono is 58. U2. Model Linda Evangelista is 53. Actress Christine Baranski is 66. Fashion designer Donatella Versace is 63. Actor Dwayne Johnson is 46. The Rock. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge is 3. Singer Janet Jackson is 52. Actress Tina Fey is 48. Country singer George Strait is 66.

Filmmaker George Lucas is 74. Star Wars. “A special effect is a tool, a means of telling a story. A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing.” Director Robert Zemeckis is 67. Credited as “one of the greatest visual storytellers in filmmaking” with Romancing the Stone, Back to the Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbi and Forrest Gump. Rock singer David Byrne is 66. Talking Heads. Actor Tim Roth is 57. Actress Cate Blanchett is 49. Writer-director Sofia Coppola is 47.


Unless your name is Google, stop acting like you know everything.


A 33-year-old man in England was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering his 32-year-old girlfriend in 2017, dismembering her body, and then admitting to police he made a necklace out of her teeth. Ugh.


Texas: Some days you eat salads and go to the gym. Some days you eat 20 tacos and drink margaritas. It’s called balance.


The co-pilot of a Sichuan Airlines flight was sucked halfway out of the cockpit window after a loud noise, then a window blowing out. The plane was shaking so hard that the pilots could not read the gauges. Luckily the co-pilot was wearing a seatbelt and was pulled back in, suffering only minor injuries. The plane was believed to be 7-years-old and mechanical failure is to blame. This comes right after a Southwest Airlines pilot was credited with landing a plane after an engine exploded in midair, shattering a window, then sucking one passenger partially out of the plane. This passenger died soon after. What the heck is going on.


In Michigan, an engineering employee has been fired after police determined that she baked ‘laxative brownies’ intended for a departing colleague’s send-off party. Co-workers believe there might have been some tension between the two. You think. If there wasn’t, there is now. The employee wasn’t charged with any crime because she ‘fessed up’ before her co-workers ate the brownies.


Shop the 6th annual Artisan’s Market at Haak Vineyards and Winery on May 20th noon-4 pm. It features beautiful, handcrafted and homemade items from talented artists and of course, wine. It’s FREE but rsvp requested so they can plan for you. www.haaakwine.com or 409-925-1401. Go do something fun while you are still alive.


If you have the defective Takata air bags in your vehicle, seek repairs immediately. Use your VIN# and go to NHTSA.gov.


Nestle is paying more than $7 BILLION for the rights to sell Starbucks coffee and tea in grocery stores worldwide. Why? Because they have failed to pull in younger consumers. Anyone under the age of 60 thinks Nescafe is boring. Starbucks will focus on their more lucrative coffee shops and higher-end Roastery locations. They will also use the $7.15 Billion to fund stock buybacks.


About a mile from downtown Uvalde, Texas, there is the birth home of country-western star Dale Evans, Queen of the West. Inside the house, it’s dusty, all the furnishings are gone, doorknobs are missing and there was some discussion that the house should be demolished but it’s now on the market for $149,000 and there might be a buyer that wants to save it especially since it was designated as a local landmark last year by the city’s historic preservation board. When Evans married Roy Rogers in 1947, she was his third wife, but he was her fourth husband. They continued as a team until his death in 1998. She died at age 88 in 2001. Evans wrote the well-known song, “Happy Trails.”


Dang.  Add Roy Rogers to my list of cowboys and westerns from last week. Oh, and Gabby Hayes.


I think I messed up. Employee Appreciation Day is an unofficial holiday, the first Friday in March, and Administrative Professionals’ Day was April 25th. It is also called Secretaries Day or Administrative Assistant Day. I think I missed it. All of it. I’m sorry. The kind and loving people I work with everyday deserve better than this.  I had giant candy bars on their desks when they came in on Monday morning, that said “I appreciate you, Thank-you and You’re the Best.”


Things Texans Love: Whataburger, Kolaches, Cowboy Boots, Tacos, BBQ, Shiner, Blue Bell, Sweet Tea, Chips and Salsa, 85 MPH limits.


There is a Rolex watch called the Unicorn, perhaps one of the most expensive watches to ever go to auction, is a manually wound vintage Rolex Daytona made entirely of white gold and was a special-order piece produced in 1970. A collector is now willing to sell it and donate 100% of the proceeds to charity to help humanity. Because of its’ uniqueness, it is expected to bring over $3 million. The band is quite beautiful.


According to Time magazine, February temperatures were 27-degrees hotter than normal at Greenland’s Cape Morris Jesup, the northern most land-based weather station. Yep. 27 degrees. Having temperatures in LJ in the 90’s is horrible. Can you imagine 27 degrees hotter?

The Avengers: Infinity War took in $1-billion worldwide in the first 11 days, $450-million in the US.


Streaming music service, Spotify, is dropping R. Kelly from its playlist. Over the years, the multi-platinum recording artist has faced many accusations of sexual misconduct and was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008. Spotify says they want to choose program to reflect their values.  #MuteRKelly. OK. Let’s hold some more famous people accountable. Especially the ones that young adults and kids look up to. See Bill Cosby…


Rita Moreno is 86 years old and is an EGOT – that means she has an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award. The list of people that have received the coveted EGOT award is VERY short, as in only 12 people. So, when I heard that Moreno was on a recent talk show talking about how Marlon Brando was such a much better lover than Elvis, it took me by surprise. I thought she had more class than that. The list of people that do actually have class and show it, now seems to get smaller and smaller.


Exciting graduation and end-of-school festivities are upon us. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

What I Heard This Week! May 10, 2018

What I Heard This Week May 10, 2018

First off, Happy Mother’s Day to all great moms out there. Since both of my children will be in college this fall, I have to say that it has given me ample time to sit and think about the job I, and my village of friends, coworkers and others, have accomplished.  Well, I’m pleased with the results so far. People comment occasionally that I gave up my personal life to raise my kids. I didn’t. I simply took the job seriously and realized that I signed up for this – for better or worse, so I should work hard to make it better since I planned to be with these kids for a long, long time. There are no reruns in child rearing. Most important is to turn off the TV and spend TIME with them. If you don’t know how to do something, then read a book. I read, and I read and I’m still reading. Books on raising strong girls that will rock the world; strong boys that not only have respect for themselves, but for those around them, and vice versa. Gage and Anne-Elisabeth, I am so proud of you two and all the great things you are doing in these new chapters of your lives. Thank-you for allowing me the privilege of being your mom…it’s the most important job I have had or will ever have. I love you.


Here’s to STRONG WOMEN. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. – unknown


Don’t MARRY A MAN unless you would be proud to have a son exactly like him. – unknown


The very popular Yeti cooler company recently cut ties with the National Rifle Association and say that they will no longer sell products to The NRA Foundation. Huh?  Well, that’s their right. My gut tells me that this will not be a good business decision, but, I have always heard that success is about opportunity and timing. With that in mind, RTIC Coolers took advantage of this situation and posted the 2nd Amendment. Some Yeti owners, because of their unhappiness at this decision, have started blowing up their VERY EXPENSIVE coolers. Sounds silly. Wouldn’t a better idea be to donate them to your local law enforcement for their convenience and all the work they do for our community.


Former Marine colonel, Oliver North, who became a household name in the 80’s in the Iran-Contra scandal, has been announced as the next president of the National Rifle Association.


It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. – Frederick Douglas


In 1983, Magic Island opened in Houston. You remember the well-recognized building on the SW Frwy near Greenbriar, with the huge pharaoh’s head on the roof. It was a private club before going public and in its heyday, there were magic shows, music, fine dining and drinks. The building was loaded with Egyptian artifacts and was so much fun to enter the elevator and have it take you down (or was it up?)  The unexpected was a little scary, too. My son spent several birthdays there because he loved magic. The building has been empty for years. The inside is covered in crude graffiti, there was a fire during Hurricane Ike and scavengers and street people have done their damage and vandalized over the years with broken marble and glass strewn about. New owner, Mohammad Athari, an area neurologist, plans to start from scratch, tear everything out (there isn’t even any electrical wire left inside) and “bring it back to life just like it was when it was new.” I hope that his dream becomes a reality.


Senator John McCain is reportedly nearing the end of his life and wants it known that he does not want Trump at his funeral. I can think of a couple of people that I don’t want at my funeral, but my plan is to just haunt them after I’m gone. Move, hide things in their home and turn the TV back on during the night. Like a mischievous guardian angel. Hah. McCain also said that he wishes he had not picked former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as a running mate in 2008. Never look back. Read my lipstick.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Rock musician Ace Frehley is 67. Former lead guitarist and co-founding member of Kiss. Pop singer Sheena Easton is 59. U Got the Look, with Prince. Actress singer Anne-Margaret is 77. Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno is 68. Actress Penelope Cruz is 44. TV home improvement personalities Drew and Jonathan Scott are 40. I just love them. Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff is 80. Largest Ponzi scheme in world history and largest financial fraud in US history. Now serving a 150-year prison sentence. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is 64. Actress Kate Mulgrew is 63. Star Trek.

Rock musician Bill Kreutzmann is 72. Grateful Dead. Actor Michael E. Knight is 59. Tad Martin on All My Children. Architect I.M. Pei is 101. The Louvre Pyramid, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Comedian Carol Burnett is 85. I LOVE HER. First Lady Melania Trump is 48. Actor Channing Tatum is 38. Singer Willie Nelson is 85. Actor Perry King is 70. Riptide.

Recently retired actor Daniel Day-Lewis is 61.  He is one of the most celebrated actors of our time. The only man to ever win three Best Actor Academy Awards, who carefully picked his roles – he’s only starred in five films since 1998. My daughter and I just watched ‘Phantom Thread’ last week and we both agreed that it was one of the most beautiful films we had ever seen but also one of the strangest stories.

Actress Michelle Pfeiffer is 60. Scarface. Dangerous Liaisons. The Fabulous Baker Boys. Actress Eve Plumb is 60. Jan Brady on The Brady Bunch. Singer Carnie Wilson is 50. Wilson Phillips. Actress Uma Thurman is 48. International Tennis Hall of Fame Andre Agassi is 48. Singer Frankie Valli is 84. Singer Christopher Cross is 67.  Singer Lance Bass is 39. ‘N Sync.



Music legend Bob Dylan, turning 76, is now a whiskey distiller at a 140-year-old church in Tennessee.  It’s called “Heaven’s Door.” Dylan released a straight bourbon whiskey, a double barrel and a straight rye. Dylan knows his whiskey and says, “This is great whiskey!”  Sales of American whiskey has grown 52-percent over the past five years.


Mom Note #5 – You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. Anything else that you get is a privilege.


Found on Facebook: Co-Worker Says: “Have you watched anything good lately?” Mother of Young Child Replies:I’ve been really into Moana. Paw Patrol is getting kind of predictable but I’m waiting to see if season 5 is better. Also, the music in Trolls is pretty good.”  I remember those days. At our house, it was Little Bear based on character, honesty and love along with Duck, Cat, Owl, Hen, No Feet the snake & Emily, The Wiggles (we spent my birthday at a Wiggles concert one year), Arthur, the 8-year-old aardvark third grader, Blue’s Clues – an animated blue-spotted dog named Blue, Mail-time, mail-time, mail-time! Polly Pockets, Furbies, Game Boy, Babysitters Club, Babe (because baby pigs grow so fast, 48 little piggies were used during filming for the role of Babe), Mrs. Doubtfire, Home Alone, Toy Story, The Lion King, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. STOPPPPPPPP! I’m sorry. I can tell that I’m getting nostalgic because my daughter is graduating from high school this year. I’ve have definitely enjoyed being a mother!


When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always must think twice, once for herself and once for her child. – Sophia Loren


Recently, my daughter and I strutted our stuff through The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston to ‘ooh and aww’ at  The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta; a collection of nearly 70 ensembles once worn by celebrities, fashion icons and dignitaries. It was very nice.


Don’t raise your kids to have more than you had, raise them to be more than you were.


Raising strong boys requires knowing when to move in and when to pull back, when to rescue and when to let them fail. Dr. Meg Meeker


No one will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you’re the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside. – unknown


Remember “Overboard” with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. She was an arrogant, rich heiress who falls overboard, suffers a head injury then loses her memory, and he is the poor hired help that she treated so poorly. Because of the memory loss, Russell convinces Hawn that they are married so she is forced to see the world through his eyes. There’s a remake of the movie out now where the sexes are reversed; a little twist where it’s the rich Latin playboy and an ill-treated carpet cleaner who convinces him that they’re a couple.  What I heard was the remake is entertaining but dull and lacks believability. So, just rent the original and enjoy a good laugh.


Congratulations to Bob Sipple – new Mayor of Lake Jackson.


Bay Area Regional Health Care has shut their doors. It is the second closure of a Houston area hospital in the last six months.


All my life, I have enjoyed a good western. I guess westerns may not be that popular or politically correct now but there is something so appealing about a good ‘ol cowboy movie; it’s part of our history, all those cowboys and Indians fighting and killing each other.  I  don’t care, I just love the good, the bad and the ugly guys. So, who are some of the greatest “western” movie stars of all time. John Wayne gets my first vote. I bet if you Google cowboy, a picture of John Wayne will appear. Of the 140 films he made, 83 were westerns. I loved True Grit. My second favorite is actor and director, Clint Eastwood. He has given us some of the best movies of all time. Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Gary Cooper in High Noon. Jimmy Stewart in The Man Who Shot Liberty Vance. Henry Fonda in The Cheyenne Social Club.  Charles Bronson in The Magnificent Seven. James Arness in Gunsmoke. One of my personal favorites is Lee Marvin with that beautiful hair playing dual roles in Cat Ballou. I never, ever get tired of watching that movie. James Garner in Maverick. Steve McQueen in The Magnificent Seven. Ben Johnson. He was an actual world champion rodeo cowboy before he was a star. Chuck Connors in The Rifleman. OK, here’s another personal favorite – Sam Elliott. He is absolutely my picture of a perfect man. That thick mustache and deep voice; I think I’m perspiring. Walter Brennan. Glenn Ford. Robert Mitchum. Kirk Douglas. Roy Rogers. Robert Duvall. Lorne Green. Michael Landon. Lee Majors. Slim Pickens. Fess Parker. And of course, Paul Newman and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid which btw, also happened to have a small role played by Sam Elliott.  I know that really doesn’t count but it’s my column. Who have I forgotten? (Tom proofed my column and reminded me of Yul Brynner and James Coburn.) Heck, how could I forget James Coburn


Teacher Appreciation Week – don’t forget to hug a teacher. Their happiness depends on how well you are raising your children. Nurse’s Appreciation Week – don’t forget to hug a nurse. Sometimes they don’t have very nice patients.


Armed Forces Day concert at Haak Vineyards & Winery in Santa Fe, May 18th at 7pm. Tickets are $7. www.haakwine.com. If you’ve never been, I can tell you, go.


Remember, your greatest contribution may not be something you do but someone you raise. Have a great Mother’s Day and thanks for reading this. Lisa

What I Heard This Week! May 3, 2018

What I Heard This Week May 3, 2018

I loved this: In the 1960’s, people took LSD to make the world weird, Today, the world is weird, and people take Prozac to make it normal.


Riddle:  What has an eye but cannot see?


Kim Jong Un hopped over a concrete barrier to enter South Korea, becoming the first North Korean leader ever to cross. South Korean President Moon Jae-in greeted him with a handshake with both leaders stating their common goal of “complete denuclearization” and a formal end to the Korean War. Hmmm.


For the past 108 years, the Boy Scouts program has been known simply as the Boy Scouts. With girls soon entering the ranks, the organization will be known as Scouts BSA effective February 2019.


People in the courtroom gasped as the guilty verdict was announced for Bill Cosby. When prosecutors requested to revoke his bail because he owns a plane (and could flee), the comedian reportedly shouted in response, “He doesn’t have a plane, you a**hole.” Tsk-tsk. Someone should tell “America’s Dad” about consequences. Each count of felony aggravated indecent assault carries a sentence of five to 10 years, so the maximum Cosby could be sentenced to is 30 years, though it could be as little as five. He lived his entire life behind the image that he portrayed on TV exist in real life.  I feel for his family.  Families are always the ones that suffer because of bad behavior. He will be 81 years old in July.


Kendrick Lamar became the first rapper to win the Pulitzer Prize for music, which in the past has been given exclusively to classical and jazz musicians.


A massive alligator measuring 11 ft. 6 inches, was captured off Hwy 59 in Cleveland near Whataburger, creating a joint effort from 6 men just to load the hissing creature into the back of a flatbed truck. It was stated that only in Texas can you get a gator and a Whataburger in the same picture. Ward, the Tarkington cowboy who has wrangled about every kind of beast imaginable and was in the news during Harvey for rescuing cattle and horses in floodwaters, was called in to assist law enforcement in the rescue. He had captured a llama a few years ago close to the same location and said, “That llama was the worst, He was a wild llama and he tried to whoop me. I’d rather go up against a gator any day of the week than another llama.”  Only in Texas.


FYI: The city of LJ began a process of flushing and changing the chemicals in the water system. They said that residents can expect the color and taste of their tap water to change. This change ends around May 11. Questions or concerns call 415-2691.


Speaking of water in LJ…the city has been painting fire hydrants in my neighborhood. First, they painted them a messy solid glossy white, then a few days later, three city employees came back and added just a little bit of green on the top portion of the hydrants. I hope they’re not finished because they are currently very ugly. Yep, it took three city employees to make them look that ugly.


According to TrustedSec and Binary Defense, an information security firm, “Public Wi-Fi networks are like a modern Wild West – there’s nothing protecting your computer or mobile phone from those who want to steal your information.” Things like passwords and credit card numbers. It is safer to use places that hand out passwords, but your best bet is to pick up one of the personal mobile hot spot gadgets. If you ‘must’ use public Wi-Fi, don’t do banking or other sensitive work and avoid entering login information on sites.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Country singer Loretta Lynn is 86. Actor Anthony Michael Hall is 50. National Lampoon’s Vacation and Sixteen Candles. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is 41. Actor Billy Dee Williams is 81. Lando Calrissian in Star Wars. Brian’s Song, Lady Sings the Blues. Director Barry Levinson is 76. Best Director for Rain Man released in 1988. Actor John Ratzenberger is 71. Cliff Clavin in Cheers. Actor Craig T. Nelson is 74. Coach. Writer-producer David E. Kelley is 62. Actor Robert Downey Jr. is 53.

Magician David Blaine is 45. He is coming to Smart Financial Centre. Ethel Kennedy is 90. Actor Joel Grey is 86. Cabaret. Actress Jamie Lynn Spears is 27. Actor Steven Seagal is 66. Rock singer-musician Brian Setzer is 59. Stray Cats. Singer Mandy Moore is 34. Actor Haley Joel Osment is 30. Yikes. Country singer Maren Morris is 28. Actress Daisy Ridley is 26. Star Wars. Columnist Ellen Goodman is 77.  Actor Ed O’Neill is 72. Ed Bundy on Married with Children. Talk show host David Letterman is 71. Actor Andy Garcia is 62. Country singer Vince Gill is 61.

Recording executive Suge Knight is 53. I just found this online. “Former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight, who is awaiting trial for murder after being accused of ramming his truck into two men in 2015, killing one, was asked by a judge during a hearing to pick which team will win the 2018 NBA Finals in June. According to the Los Angeles Times, Knight, who was in a hearing for a separate case, began to answer the question, saying, “At this time …” before being cut off by the judge, who wanted a “once-and-for-all answer.” “Houston,” Knight said. “Alright, Houston. Good pick,” said the judge, concluding the unusual exchange.

Actress Ashley Judd is 50. Actress Kate Hudson is 39. Actor James Woods is 71. Ventriloquist-comedian Jeff Denham is 56. Talk-show host Conan O’Brien is 55. Actor Eric McCormack is 55. Will & Grace. Actress America Ferrera is 34. Actress Shirley MacLaine is 84. Actress singer-director Barbara Streisand is 76. Actor comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 54. Singer Kelly Clarkson is 36. Actor Jack Quaid is 26. Actor Al Pacino is 78. Actor Hank Azaria is 54. Actress Renee Zellweger is 49. She is performing an unbelievable transformation as she prepares to play Judy garland in a new film role.


Conductor and musician Andre Previn is 89. He was married to Mia Farrow and they adopted toddler, Soon-Yi Previn. In 1979, Mia Farrow divorced Andre Previn, fell in love with Woody Allen and was his partner for 12-years.  Mia Farrow discovered nude photographs of Soon-Yi in late 1991. I don’t think that went over very well. Woody and Soon-Yi dated for several years, then married in 1997 when he was 62 and she was 27.  It seemed scandalous in 1992 because I always thought that Woody was her step-father, but he wasn’t.


Use the same OxiClean stain remover you use to get rid of stains in your laundry, to tackle stubborn mildew on your bathroom grout and around drains. It’s supposed to work really well. I’ve never thought of using it.


“I asked my mom the other day if she could hear me?” She said, “No.” – Unknown


ABBA has written and recorded new music together for the first time since the Swedish pop group split in 1982. I love ABBA. Their hologram tour will feature digital versions of themselves.


The duke and duchess of Cambridge named their third child Louis Arthur Charles.


Remember to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.


I think it’s a miracle we made it out of our twenties. So where have all the rock stars gone? Gone to graveyards everywhere. NAH. Not really. They are so alive and kicking and dancing. Ozzy Osbourne (69) has announced his ‘No More Tours 2 Tour’ (he also did this in the 90’s).  Paul Simon (76) has announced his last run of shows. He was 26-years old when he so beautifully sang the song ‘Old Friends’ with Art Garfunkel with the words, “Can you imagine us years from today sharing a park bench silently. How terribly strange to be seventy.Anita Baker and Aretha Franklin have said that 2018 is the last year they will tour, and Elton John is following with his yellow brick road. Neil Diamond and rocker Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest have stepped back because of Parkinson’s disease. So, who is STILL rocking? ZZ Top says the best is yet to come as they start their 50th anniversary tour, John Mayer fills the void of Jerry Garcia with The Grateful Dead…Willie Nelson was born in 1933 in Abbott, Texas, which makes him 84. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith turns 70 this month. I saw him last year and he was great. Mick Jagger is 74. Al Jardine is 75 and still touring with Brian Wilson who will be 76 in June.  Graham Nash just turned 76 and sounds great. Paul McCartney turns 76 in June. He still puts on the best concert you’ll ever see. (Since his divorce from Heather Mills was settled for $48.6-million, he may have had to go back to work.) 😊  Art Garfunkel is 76.  Bob Dylan turns 77 this month. David Crosby is 76. Charlie Watts is 77 next month.  Ringo Starr is 77.  Smokey Robinson is 78. He will be at Smart Financial Centre this Monday May 7th. Frankie Valli is 83. He’ll be in Austin on May 10th. Little Richard is 85. He’s on tour right now. John Mayall is 84 and is touring Hawaii this month before he plays in California. Hope I brought you some happy memories with this paragraph. It sure was fun to look them up.


At a Clarion concert recently, I saw a friend as I walked around looking for my mother.  The friend said, “What’s up?” and I said, “I lost my mother,” and I kept walking. I saw the friend a few minutes later and she asked me if my mother had died. No, she just went to the bathroom and I haven’t seen her since.


When the Japanese mend broken objects, they fill them in with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful. It’s time we rethink our philosophy on aging.


Yesterday my mom moved back to Waco.  Four years ago, she had decided it was time to move to LJ, so we could be closer. I wanted to be a good daughter, so I moved her into my townhouse and I bought another home a block away, so I was close to her. I bought concert tickets, an Art League membership so she could paint, cooked for her, weeded her flowerbeds and did all the things I thought I was supposed to do, but she was never happy. She is 83 years old and wanted to be near what she knows and is familiar with.  I’m trying to understand. The new apartment is small, but they cook every meal for her. There is bingo, popcorn, movie day, and tons of other activities that she will absolutely hate. I am happy for her, but it will never be the same.


Here is an organic ‘Garden Pest Control’ recipe. Spray your plants once a week. Place 4 cups of water, ½ onion, 2 garlic cloves and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or any other hot pepper in a pot. Bring to a boil. Then grate ¼ bar of natural soap and add to boiling pot. Stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes, then remove from heat when the bubbles start to rise. Cover with a lid and let it sit for 20 minutes. Cool, strain and put in a heavy-duty spray bottle. Refrigerate any extra. Bon Appetit, bugs!


Answer:   A needle. Thanks for reading this today.

What I Heard This Week! April 26, 2018

What I Heard This Week April 26, 2018

A Michigan couple welcomed their new baby…their 14th child…all boys. They named him Sheboygan. Their story is that many years ago, a Native American chief was also father to many boys, but he was certain his last baby was going to be a girl. According to the tale, when that baby also turned out to be a boy, the chief named the baby Sheboygan, because “she is boy again.” Sounds like a family with a sense of humor.


A New Orleans resident who parks legally in front of his house has received ten speeding tickets from the city after traffic cameras that are located close by snap pictures of his parked car, then tickets are automatically sent out.


A 7-year-old boy was born with a cleft lip and complete Heterochromia Iridum – that means the iris of each eye is a different color. His mother happened to see a post on a mom’s group with a picture of a rescue cat who not only had a cleft BUT also had Heterochromia Iridum. Since the family lives in Oklahoma, their friends helped fund a road trip to Minnesota to adopt the kitty. Now, tell me how a cat in Minnesota ends up with a family in Oklahoma. Because there are no accidents. They named the cat, Moon.


When my son was in junior high school, his math teacher always had a riddle of the week. We always had so much fun discussing it as a family. Here’s your easy riddle: What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries.


Thank you, Dr. Pruett for the great idea for the paper. Thank you, Ms. Bahlar, for the nice card. The Source Weekly has the ‘best and sweetest’ customers!


Heinz has bottled a blend of mayonnaise and ketchup that it calls “mayochup.” They are letting the public vote on whether to put it on the shelves or not… of 930,000 votes, 700,000 have voted yes.


Half a million cars were reported as flooded from Hurricane Harvey. The Flood Guard is a waterproof cover that you zip your car into. Like a huge Ziploc baggie.  You drive in to the bag, zip it up, strap it, Velcro the padding, and attach the straps to either a post, tree or a fixed structure so the vehicle won’t float away. The car looks like the tenderloins that I vacuum-pack with my FoodSaver.


A thirty-year-old bag of Walkers Crisp Chips (like Lay’s) washed up onshore a British beach and was found by a 10-year-old boy while doing beach clean-up…cheese and onion flavored (with a touch of sea salt.) 😊 The bag dated back to the 80’s. This comes less than three months after another Walkers Chip packet was found on a neighboring beach dated 1997. Are you beginning to understand that we have a PLASTICS PROBLEM in our oceans?


The now famous Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is now estimated to contain at least 87,000 tons of plastic. That’s just in one area of the ocean.


A 33-foot-long sperm whale, not yet fully grown, washed ashore on the SE coast of Spain in February. He was rather scrawny so when they performed the autopsy, the reason became clear. The whale had 64 pounds of trash – plastic bags, ropes, netting and a plastic drum clogging its intestines and stomach because it could not process the plastic or pass it through the digestive system, causing severe inflammation as it starved to death.


Maturity:  At my age, getting lucky means walking into a room and remembering why I am there.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is 92. There’s a lot going on with the Royal Family right now. New prince (Arthur or Philip?), Harry’s wedding, a possible pregnancy with Kate’s sister, Princess Diana’s glamorous gowns unveiled to the public along with other royal fashion on display at Kensington Palace. Exciting times and we all enjoy them sharing it with us.

Singer Iggy Pop is 71. Godfather of Punk. Actor Tony Danza is 67. Taxi and Who’s the Boss? Actress Andie MacDowell is 60. I think she is the Queen of the Hallmark channel. Former NFL quarterback Tony Romo is 38. Actor Jack Nicholson is 81. He says, “I’m definitely still wild at heart.” Author Janet Evanovich is 75. She has over two hundred MILLION books in print worldwide and is translated into over 40 languages. Singer Peter Frampton is 68. Humble Pie, Ringo Starr & His All-Star Band.


Scientists tested 24 pairs of headphones/earbuds to see how gross they are just in case you wake up in the middle of the night wondering whether you should share buds or not with your best friend. Nothing really, horrible was found other than yeast (another word for fungus) but it would still be a good idea to wipe them in alcohol before you share next time.


Are smartphones keeping teens off drugs? Researchers believe that the possibility is worth exploring because interactive media appears to play to similar impulses as drug experimentation.


Remember the popular 2005, March of the Penguins? There is now a sequel…March of the Penguins 2. Did you know that a penguin’s coloring provides camouflage in the water? The dark back fools predators from above while the white stomach fools predators from below. It’s on Hulu.


An 18-year-old bragged to his father that he had “broken into 250 cars last week,” so the dad turned him over to the police. The dad says, “I love him, but he’s got to wake up from wherever he’s at right now.” “I would rather him be upset with me than me burying him because he was on a path to self-destruction.” Give that dad a pat on the back. Good job. Tough love is hard.


The Source Weekly was faced with some hard decisions in the past few weeks. Our printer of 19-plus years was closing in Texas City, and we needed to quickly find someone new to print us. We did just that, so you may or may not notice a few minor changes to the paper that you are reading today. Honestly, you probably will NOT notice anything different –  color is fabulous, and the paper looks great.


Blue Bell is still trying to recapture customers that they lost during the 2015 listeria outbreak. The company announced a new flavor, chocolate with milk chocolate chunks and pieces of peanut butter cookie dough called “Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough” and will be sold in our area soon. Yum.


Remington Outdoor Co., whose roots go back to 1816 and is the oldest firearms manufacturer in the US, has filed for bankruptcy protection after declining guns sales. The way I understand it is if Hillary had won then gun sales would be good, but because Trump was elected and is a friend of the National Rifle Association, then people are not now rushing out to buy guns. Gunmen opening fire in Las Vegas and at schools has also reignited the debate over gun violence.


Old tobacco barns in Kentucky are now housing sheep, rabbits and hand-painted murals urging people to quit smoking. Federal grant money has helped to pay for some of these signs. It is part of a campaign to help the anti-smoking message where they have one of the highest smoking rates in the country.


Riddle answer: A towel. (I’ll be making you think harder next time.) Thanks for reading this – we appreciate you…

What I Heard This Week! April 19, 2018

What I Heard This Week April 19, 2018

In Honor of Income Tax Week –I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need – just so long as I die by four o’clock.” Henny Youngman


There’s a new ‘solar’ garden robot named Tertill that looks like a ‘Roomba’ with a baby weed-whacker superglued on its belly. It’s weather-proof, lives patiently in your garden and was invented by the Roomba people. It knows what to cut based on plant size and only cuts plants smaller than an inch. You can put a collar around plants and it will know not to go there, you can use your Bluetooth to check and make sure it is behaving, it’s 4WD, and performs best, in home gardens (not farms), and costs $249.


A survey released on Holocaust Remembrance Day last week shows that many adults lack basic knowledge of the events that happened 70-plus years ago. I’ve said it before; The Holocaust Museum in Houston is a must for families. It’s not light hearted but our children need to know what happened.


An international committee of meteorologists have officially retired four of the 2017 names from the rotating roster of cyclone names. In case you haven’t guessed, they are Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate. The National Hurricane Center said that the names “don’t bear repeating.” Replacement names in the rotating roster will be Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but hurricane season starts on June 1. Sigh.  First name up is Aletta. I personally, would like to go back to the time when if someone mentioned Harvey, we all thought they were talking about the six-foot, three-and-a-half-inch tall invisible rabbit.


Just watched and listened to the Facebook LIVE Album Release of Blue Water Highway’s new album, “Heartbreak City” – these local kids are putting out some really great music. You’ll love their new album cover and I think you’ll all recognize the picture.  Look it up, I’m not going to tell you.


Earth Day is here, reminding us not only to celebrate our planet but to DO OUR PART. Why, you ask, do we only celebrate something as magnificent as our Earth, on just one day a year? I ask myself that same question every single day. Do your part TODAY and EVERY DAY to help provide a positive world for our children and grandchildren to live in. I’m going to hate to tell them that we could have done something, but we didn’t. We were too busy, too uninterested, or just didn’t think that it really affected us. Shame.


The moment has come…beginning now at age 5, girls can now join Cub Scouting. This will allow participating girls to work towards and earn Scouting’s highest honor, the Eagle Scout. Requirements will be the same for young men and young women and uniforms will remain the same, though the fit and styling may change. Providing good character and leadership opportunities will always be in style. For those of you that poo-poo the idea, I can tell you as the mother of an Eagle Scout, it is a family affair. It will be as much fun for your family as it is for your kids and you will love it. Even camping on the coldest night of the year has only positive memories for me, my son, and my daughter. If this had been available years ago, my 18-year-old daughter would now be an Eagle Scout. There is an ‘information only’ night for boys and girls on May 10th at St. Michaels Catholic Church in LJ. So, pull the kids off their cellphones and load them up. Something awesome is getting ready to happen. I promise. 409-750-3657.


A Florida couple found a letter in a bottle after Hurricane Irma hit last year. The bottle and message had been written by a child in Scotland then thrown into the North Sea in 1992, as a class project about pirates. Yes, 4,500 miles.


Local boy and musician, Justin Gambino, invites you to join him at his album release party at The Clarion on Friday April 27th. Download your FREE ticket at www.justingambino.com. Come support him.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is 91. Basketball Hall of Fame Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 71. Contributing columnist for The Washington Post and Time Magazine, now writes nonfiction and mystery books. Actress Claire Foy is 34. The Crown. Rock singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 75. Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. Actress-screenwriter Emma Thompson is 59. Country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton is 40. Actress Emma Watson is 28. Hermione Granger in Harry Potter. Columnist Heloise is 67. She attended Texas State University and full name is Ponce Kiah Marchelle Heloise Cruse Evans. She inherited the nationally syndicated column from her mother, Eloise, the original creator of the “Hints from Heloise” when she died in 1977.

Reba McEntire is 63. On Sunday, she hosted the Country Music Awards and sang a duet of “Does He Love You” with daughter-in-law Kelly Clarkson. Even better, was the fact that she was wearing the same low-cut, sequined red dress that she wore during a performance of the same song at the 1993 CMA Awards. The dress has been housed in a display at the Country Music Hall of Fame until McEntire retrieved it.  She looked GOOD.

Movie director Francis Ford Coppola is 79. Singer John Oates is 70. Actor Jackie Chan is 64. Actor Russell Crowe is 54. Mouseketeer Darlene Gillespie is 77. Singer Peggy Lennon is 77. The Lennon Sisters. Singer Julian Lennon is 55. Actress Robin Wright is 52. Actress Patricia Arquette is 50. Actor Sean Bean is 59. Ned Stark in Game of Thrones. Actress Jennifer Garner is 46.

Former Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon, 51, confirmed that she will run for governor of NY this year.


It took me forever to finish this. I started, then stopped so many times because it’s just heartbreaking and unfathomable to most human beings. I had tears so please be warned. In Brazoria County (November 2016), a boyfriend of only 2-weeks (Antoine Allen Gorman, 28) was left to care for a 7-week old baby boy and two older children, 3 and 4, while his girlfriend/mother of the children (Tashiay Nelson, 29) was at work. The mom returned from work, found the baby was not breathing and that the children had been left unattended. Hospital personnel attempted to revive the baby for more than 30 minutes. The boyfriend was arrested three days later in Houston. Prosecutors allege that the boyfriend grabbed the baby by the foot and dunked him in toilet water, therefore drowning the child. It was suggested by the Galveston County deputy chief medical examiner that forensic experts needed to test for the presence of ‘semen’ in a swab of the baby’s mouth that he had taken during the autopsy. The medical examiner had found fluid he compared to soap froth in the baby’s windpipe. No sample was taken of this fluid. The DNA swab (a swab…a Q-tip) contained five sperm cells, but this amount was not enough to identify who the semen belonged to. Sigh. The autopsy could not determine how the baby died, but pictures produced in court showed bleeding in the baby’s upper chest, lower abdomen and lungs. The jury reached their conclusion less than ‘60 seconds’ after they retired to deliberate the sentence. Life in prison. ‘Boyfriend’ raised his middle finger and rested it against his face during the reading of the jury’s verdict and then did it again as Brazoria County sheriff’s deputy placed him in handcuffs. He is also currently facing a third-degree felony charge for attempted sexual assault of another inmate. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for those jurors, the attorneys, and every single person associated with the case. The mom (who should in my opinion, needs to accept some responsibility) met him on dating app, Plenty of Fish. Enough said. There’s only one place I think they should send him and I can assure you, it’s not prison. And I would suggest surgical removal of a body part, and I don’t mean his finger.


A Chinese couple that had been trying to have a baby through in-vitro fertilization were successful four years after they were both tragically killed in a car accident. Four grandparents fought a lengthy legal battle to inherit the frozen embryos and won. Since surrogates are illegal in China, they had to travel to Laos, then the surrogate had to come back to China on a tourist Visa to give birth, so the child would have Chinese citizenship.


The Community Foundation of Brazoria County gave its Philanthropist of the Year award to Vernon and Joyce Stewart who had many of their four children, twelve grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren join them on stage to accept the honor. Also honored was Pearland resident and former Pearland Rotary Club president Craig Slater. Congratulations to all and thank you for being great volunteers in our community.


Volunteer Recognition Day is April 20th. Please thank a volunteer. Please be a volunteer. If you don’t know where to start, come by my office and we can talk about it for a few minutes.  “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” – Unknown


Forgot to tell you this is Vinyl Week. Columbia Records introduced a 12-inch, 33-1/3 rpm long play record in 1948. Lighter and less brittle than its predecessors, it dominated the recorded music market.


Lake Jackson celebrated again this pastweekend with the 75th Anniversary Pioneers Banquet. Former mayors and residents with stories and memories to tell, packed the LJ Civic Center and celebrated.


Huey Lewis just announced that he has lost most of his hearing therefore making it impossible to find pitch and must therefore cancel all future shows. The belief is that he has Meniere’s disease which causes vertigo and ringing in your ears, but in some cases the symptoms have been known to subside. ‘The Power of Love and I Want a New Drug.’


The Art Car Parade was last weekend. My son was running the fog machines in one of the cars, so I ran up to support him, never giving any thought to the fact that it’s one of my favorite things to do. I just love it! When my kids were little the parade was on Mother’s Day, so we spent the weekend at the Doubletree, doing downtown stuff before and after the parade. Gage and I shared a late outdoor lunch afterwards, so the day was perfect. Favorites were Rain-X mini car with an umbrella spraying water…the singing and dancing lobster and Big Mouth Billy Bass Volvo where the crustaceans and fish all move in unison. One truck was hauling a 12’x10’ full fountain, there was the dragon motorcycle, the traveling popcorn machine, the Astros fan who motorized his lounge chair to travel 20 mph. He crashed right in front of us. A John Deere riding mower with a baby grand piano attached and a tux suited gentleman playing. But my favorite was a skinny 18-20 ft. canoe that was traveling right down the middle of Allen Parkway. Heck, they were all my favorites. Fun day with a trip to Central Market before home.


Barbara Bush died. She reminded me so much of my grandmother that died about 21 years ago. She was something special. Feisty, proud of her grey, and always willing to do the right thing for her family. Here is a nice quote from Barbara Bush. “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent.”


Remember to do the right thing even when no one is watching. It’s called integrity. Thanks for reading this. Lisa

What I Heard This Week! April 12, 2018

What I Heard This Week April 12, 2018

A 27-year-old Russian woman undergoing routine surgery, died after her IV bag was mistakenly filled with a solution containing formaldehyde instead of saline solution.


The city of Austin is offering free chicken keeping classes as a part of Austin Resource Recovery’s Home Composting Rebate Program. Attend a chicken keeping class, buy a coop, submit a rebate application and receive $75 from the city. This way you keep food waste out of the landfill and recycle your food scraps while getting fresh eggs and creating healthy soil with chicken poop. Love it. They pay you to raise chickens. Brazoria County!?! I believe it is far better to ask for forgiveness than permission, so let’s do it.


An unnamed Texas donor has promised $9-million to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas to help construct two new health centers in West Texas next year. Nice.


I like martinis. They’re served with an olive, which gives me the feeling I’m eating right.


A Kansas State Department of Labor plans to conduct a full audit of Schlitterbahn Water Park’s daily inspection records before it reopens May 25th, after criminal charges were filed over the decapitation of a 10-year-old on the world’s tallest waterslide there in 2016 when the raft on the 17-story ride went airborne and hit an overhead loop.


Robert Pattinson – “Betty White is one of the sexiest women in America.”

You know I listen to books on tape. It is a main staple of my life. Betty White has written ten books total and I just finished listening to my second one, “If You Ask Me (and of Course You Won’t)” and I have to say that she is just so cute. The book is short and so very sweet. Just fun bits of her life, friends and aging. She says, “I have no idea what color my hair is, and I never intend to find out.” A winner.

Jamie Lee Curtis – “There’s a reason why there is only one Betty White.”


Be an involved parent. Download a parent-teen agreement from AAA.com/teens. Review it with you child to encourage responsible driving. There will be many new drivers on the road as we head towards the end of this school year.


Please do not offer yarn, string or human hair for birds to build nests. Sometimes the material can cause the bird to lose their foot or leg as it winds around, tightens and cuts off circulation. Do not offer dryer lint either. I always thought this was OK, but they say that it not only soaks up water but may have chemicals such as remnants of detergent and fabric softener that are unhealthy for the birds. Do not use pet hair that has been treated with specialty shampoos or tick/lice treatments. Instead, use small twigs under 4 inches. Supply a muddy spot as nesting material for swallows, swifts and robins. Lay out a small amount of grass to dry after you mow. In shaded areas, moss is popular with some hummingbird species.


Yikes. As I tried to figure out what to wear today because IT’S COLD OUTSIDE, I heard that Phoenix just had its first 100-degree day of the year.


CenterFest was great fun with food and beer from Wursthaus, fabulous artists and some of the best music Texas has to offer. Dale Watson was GREAT. We pleased many a young artist with art classes and fun things to do, but we froze our be-hinds off. What the heck happened to our weather?!? Even in the cold, we had a really special 3-day party at The Center for the Arts and Sciences. Mark your calendar to join us next spring…the weather is going to be beautiful.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: TV personality Willard Scott is 84. You remember him from the Today show but he was the creator and original portrayer of Ronald McDonald. International Motorsports Hall of Fame Janet Guthrie is 80. She was the first woman to qualify and compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500 and was originally an aerospace engineer. Entertainment executive Michael Eisner is 76. Walt Disney Company and Paramount Pictures. Pro Football Hall of Fame Franco Harris is 68. Pittsburg Steelers and Seattle Seahawks. Pro and College Football Hall of Fame Lynn Swann is 66. Pittsburg Steelers.

Actor Bryan Cranston is 62. What an actor. I’m not sure he gets the recognition that he deserves… Actor Michael York is 76. Movie director Quentin Tarantino is 55. Singer Mariah Carey is 48. Actor Chuck Norris is 78. Actress Sharon Stone is 60. Actor Jon Hamm is 47. Country singer Carrie Underwood is 35. Singer-producer Ric Ocasek is 69. The Cars.  Singer Chaka Khan is 65.  Actress Keri Russell is 42. Actor James Caan is 78. Hot-tempered Sonny Corleone in The Godfather. Singer Diana Ross is 74. Rock singer Steven Tyler is 70. Aerosmith.

Comedian Martin Short is 68. Country singer Kenny Chesney is 50.  Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is 87. I wonder how he is doing since marrying the much younger Jerry Hall in 2016.  Former ABC News correspondent Sam Donaldson is 84. Musician Flaco Jimenez is 79. Singer Bobby McFerrin is 68. Rapper BowWow is 31. Actor Emmanuel Lewis is 47. Webster. Country singer Mickey Gilley is 82. He played his own birthday party at The Clarion at Brazosport College a couple of weeks ago and it was a sold out super show.

Actress Michael Learned is 79. Olivia Walton in The Waltons. Dennis Quaid is 64. Actress Cynthia Nixon is 52. Sex and the City. Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is 39. Rudy Huxtable, the youngest child of Cliff and Clair Huxtable. Actress Kristen Stewart is 28. Twilight Saga. Former Vice President Al Gore is 70. Actor Christopher Walken is 75. Actress Rhea Perlman is 70. Cheers. Matilda. Rock musician Angus Young is 63. AC/DC.


John Wayne Walding – “We owe it to the fallen to live well.”  I was given a gift this week. Our speaker at The Women’s Lecture Series at Brazosport College was John Wayne Walding who was born on the fourth of July and is named ‘John Wayne’ – a true American. I was expected to give the blessing after his talk but had difficultly collecting myself enough to say the first word. He had us laughing and wiping our eyes for an hour. Mr. Walding lost the lower half of his right leg to sniper fire during an operation in the Shok Valley of Afghanistan yet returned fire for four more hours with the severed limb tied to his thigh. His awards and badges include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat infantry badge, Airborne air assault, and is the first amputee to graduate the Special Forces Sniper School. I felt privileged and honored to even sit next to him for just a short lunch. There is a book by Mitch Weiss and Kevin Maurer, “No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan,” that tells the tale of the Battle of Shok Valley. Thank you, John Wayne Walding for your service to our country.


Useless information: Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a Friday the 13th. ps – That’s tomorrow.


A Florida school superintendent was pulled over for illegally passing a school bus as police were running a bus safety campaign. Officers had issued 115 tickets and 14 warnings for failure to stop for a school bus during the campaign. Oops.


In Kentucky, a pizza deliveryman saw a mobile home on fire, ran in, shut off the breaker, then got down on his hands and knees, made his way back to the kitchen and got the home owner out and to safety.


A Kansas man was arrested after breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home and hiding in the attic several hours before falling through the ceiling. Giggle. Then a woman applying for a job at a jail in New Hampshire was arrested for a previous theft in Maine. Some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed.


You will always find a book on tape in my car. Since I work so many hours, I just don’t get to read as often as I like, so I listen to books. Always. I just finished Gene Wilder reading his autobiography “Kiss Me Like a Stranger.” It was great! In his book, he reads of finding these words in the kitchen of his future wife, Karen Boyer. It is titled “After a While” and was written by Veronica Shoffstall. It’s too nice not to share.

After a while you learn the subtle difference

between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning

and company doesn’t mean security,

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts

and presents aren’t promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats

with you head up and your eyes open

with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child, and you learn to build all your roads on today,

Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,

and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn

that even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So, you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure…

That you really are strong,

And you really do have worth.

And you learn and learn…

With every goodbye you learn.


Have a great week and as always, thanks for reading this…Lisa

What I Heard This Week! April 4, 2018

What I Heard This Week April 5, 2018

A couple of years ago, my daughter and I were often (very often) in the car driving to another town for water polo, so we listened to ‘Serial’, an investigative journalism podcast hosted by Sarah Keonig who narrates a nonfiction story over multiple episodes. The story was about Adnan Syed, who was convicted in 2000 in the murder of Hae Min Lee, his ex-high school sweetheart, whose body was found buried in a shallow grave in a Baltimore park the year before. Syed was sentenced to life in prison. His case made international headlines in 2014 when the Serial podcast profiled his conviction and cast doubt on his guilt. Syed has maintained his innocence throughout the years. On March 29th, Adnan Syed was granted the right to a new trial. It was stated that he received poor legal counsel because his attorney didn’t make contact with a key witness. It’s definitely worth listening to the podcast.


Since March 2016, China lost control and had not been unable to communicate with their space station, Tiangong-1, which translates to “Heavenly Palace” in English. On Sunday, the school bus-sized, 9.4-ton structure re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and the majority of the structure most likely burnt up upon re-entry. The rest of the space debris is believed to have fallen into the Pacific Ocean northwest of Tahiti.


It’s Prom season and it’s a really, expensive adventure for these kids so help them out. If you have ’prom’ things just hanging in your closet, call The Source Weekly to sell them and we will run your ad for FREE. 979-285-9200


Suspected mass murderer Nikolas Cruz, who allegedly killed 17 and injured 17 more with an AR-15 rifle at a high school on February 14, has been getting stacks and stacks of fan mail and love letters sent to the Broward County jail, along with hundreds of dollars in contributions from teenage girls, women and even older men. There are photographs, cards, and letters with some suggestive remarks, of course. Groupies are also joining Facebook communities to talk about how to help the killer. The public defender’s office says that they’ve never seen anything like it before. Cruz has not seen the mail because he is on suicide watch. Go figure why this would happen.


Blogger, Jennifer S. White – “I never thought dashing to Target without kids would feel like a mini-vacation, but it does.”  Jennifer, there’s not a mom around that doesn’t feel your joy! It has been called, ‘whimsical escapism” with an air of sophistication and serenity. Yep. Target.


Wisconsin police released body camera footage that captured the moment a suspect allegedly bit a K-9 dog. Yep. The ‘man’ bit the police dog.


Kidney disease has claimed the life of Ensa Cosby, 44-year-old daughter of Bill Cosby. She stayed out of the public spotlight for most of her life but did appear on The Cosby Show in a single episode in 1989. Jury selection began this week as the 80-year-old Bill Cosby now faces the charges that he drugged and molested former Temple University athletics administrator Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.


Hawaii lawmakers approved legislation that will make it legal for doctors to fulfill requests from terminally ill patients for prescription medication that will allow medically assisted suicide. Good.


Remember 2001 Space Odyssey? Well, this week is the 50th anniversary. Film director Stanley Kubrick hired NASA engineers and consultants to make the sets as authentic as possible. He even asked astrophysicist and author Carl Sagan for help in depicting extraterrestrial life. It was not a box office or critical success when it came out, but today it’s considered one of the most influential films of all time and perhaps the greatest science-fiction film.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Rock musician Eric Clapton is 73. He has been a member or played with The Yardbirds, Derek and the Dominos, Delaney & Bonnie, Blind Faith, John Mayhall & the Bluesbreakers, The Dirty Mac, Cream, The Plastic Ono Band, The PowerHouse, The Louisiana Gator Boys, The Immediate All Stars, Chick Shack, Sting and the list goes on. Actor Robbie Coltrane is 68. He was hand-selected by J.K. Rowling to portray Hagrid the Giant in the Harry Potter series. Perfect pick. Actress Doris Day is 96. Oh, my.

Actor-Director Warren Beatty is 81. Yikes. TV Host Peter Marshall is 92. Singer Celine Dion is 50. Actor Paul Reiser is 61. Mad About You. Singer Tracy Chapman is 54. Rapper MC Hammer is 56. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is 73. Country singer Reba McEntire is 63. 1984 Olympic gold-medal gymnast Bart Conner is 60. He is married to Romanian Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comeneci.

Rapper Salt is 52. Salt-N-Pepper, Actor Vince Vaughn is 48. Singer Lady Gaga is 32. Singer Emmylou Harris is 71. Yikes. I’m showing my age but that’s another one that’s hard to believe Singer Wayne Newton is 76. Actor Alec Baldwin is 60. Comedian Eddie Murphy is 57. Actress Ali MacGraw is 79. Rhythm & blues singer Rudolph Isley is 79.

Reggae singer Jimmy Cliff is 70. Along with Bunny Wailer he is one of only two living musicians to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honor that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievements in the arts and sciences. Movie Director Barry Sonnenfeld is 65. Men in Black. Singer Susan Boyle is 57.


Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, South Africa’s ‘Mother of the Nation’ died at 81.


After a frantic 12-hour search in the fast-moving sewage of Los Angeles, a 13-year-old boy was rescued by firefighters after being swept almost a mile away when a plank broke covering an access portal to the sewage. It sounded like the sewage system is a maze underground. What a nice outcome.


Remember hearing that a woman shouldn’t use hair dye while she is pregnant? Well, doctors are now saying that hair dye generally isn’t in contact with the skin on your head long enough to do any significant damage or cause harm. If you have any cuts or scrapes on your scalp, it could increase absorption, but it’s a no-brainer that you shouldn’t EVER be putting hair dye on open cut. But there are still a huge bunch of believers that say NEVER dye your hair while pregnant. It’s a good thing that grey is in style.: 😊


Tom Hiddleston – “Every villain is a hero in his own mind.”


Elvis Presley changed history on a Gibson J200 guitar. Eric Clapton’s famous solo on the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps’’ was played on a Gibson, and when young B.B. King fled a burning building and realized he’d left his Gibson behind, he risked his life by going back inside to retrieve it. The fire had been accidentally started by two men fighting over a woman, and King gave his hollow-body guitar her name – Lucille. Now, after 116 years, the beloved Gibson guitar maker is fighting for life while facing debt of as much as $560-million due this summer. What happened?


Since the worldwide success of Disney-Pixar animated fantasy film, Coco, traditional Mexican guitars (the Paracho-style guitar played a central role in the movie) have seen a surge in sales in the tiny Mexican town of Paracho where prices for hand-made guitars range from 2,000 Mexican pesos ($104) to 20,000 pesos for those made with finer wood.


Lucinda, thank you for the cake that you brought by our office for Easter. It was delicious.


These guys had waited for five months but right before the start of the game at Minute Maid Park this week, one by one the Houston Astros players walked up on stage to receive their little black box containing their 2017 World Series 10.55 carat ring with 214 diamonds and nine natural orange sapphires.  The rings are huge. They have to be, to have Minute Maid Park, the trophy, 2017, and Houston Strong on there – and that’s just on one side of the ring. Go, Astros. We’re so proud.


Art. Music. Fun. This week at CenterFest. Yes, there will be art but let’s talk about the music which will be fabulous. Join us Friday night for Dale Watson. Only $20 general admission. Watson is an silver-pompadoured American country/Texas singer, guitarist, songwriter from Austin that sells out wherever he plays, and believe it or not, HE IS PLAYING HERE ON FRIDAY NIGHT. He believes in authentic country music, calls it Ameripolitan music, and as a result has become a favorite of critics, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and alt-country fans. Pull up a video, put on your dancing shoes and I’ll see you on Friday night for craft beer, food, art and music at The Center for the Arts and Sciences. 979-265-7661. Saturday, we have family fun, more craft beer, Art March, art market, and music with Corey McGaughey at noon, Erica Honore at 3pm and Lost Vertigos at 6pm. Then Sunday is the E-Flat Porch Band at 1pm and Cole Degges at 4pm. I try to keep you informed of fun things to do but you have to turn off the TV, put up the lawnmower, grab your keys and get out of the house.


A note from my daughter: If you can, come on out and help Brazoswood High School National Honor Society make cancer history. Come to Slade Field on April 7th from 2-8pm and enjoy games, food, entertainment and more. Proceeds benefit cancer research at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Cancer has affected each and every one of us in some way. Let’s do our part.


San Francisco’s ‘Killing My Lobster’ troupe has a program that teaches sketch comedy to kids, then grownups take their work, rehearse it, add crazy props and perform it in front of a live audience. Now, that sounds like FUN theatre.


According to the new American Kennel Club rankings, Labrador Retrievers remain the country’s most popular purebred dog for the 27th year while German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers have the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. French Bulldogs are No. 4 with the Bulldog coming in as No. 5. The Beagle, Poodle, Rottweiler, Yorkshire Terrier and German Shorthaired Pointer are No. 6 through 10.


The BIG Lake Jackson 75th Diamond Jubilee Parade is set for Sat., April 14th. Everyone is invited to join the parade fun which will start at 11am at LJ Intermediate, travel downtown LJ, then return to LJI. Line-up begins at 9:45am. BISD is partnering to help with the parade, so our kiddos will be out in full force to be a part of this exciting event. Brazoswood HS and LJI bands will be marching with groups from all LJ schools and communities. Friends & neighbors from area businesses, industry, civic and community groups, come join in and honor the city. Get your fire truck, float, scout group, ball team, dance group, church members, clubs and decorate your cars, flatbeds, bikes or yourselves to walk in the parade, join city dignitaries, former mayors and Grand Marshall Grant Scoggins to celebrate rich history and honor LJ Pioneers. It won’t be much of a celebration without you so, come on. LakeJackson-Tx.gov


A Canadian teenager bought a $4 scratch lottery ticket and a bottle of sparking wine to celebrate her 18th birthday and as luck would have it, then had to decide whether she wanted the $1-million lump sum or $1000 per week for the rest of her life. She considered her options and her age then decided to go for the weekly sum for life. What luck.


Have a great week and as always, thanks for reading this…Lisa

What I Heard This Week! March 29, 2018

What I Heard This Week March 29, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa Baker

Mister Rogers, the gentle TV host who educated generations of preschoolers on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, has been honored with a US Postal Service stamp. Mr. Rogers died in 2003 at age 74. The stamp has a smiling Mr. Rogers in his trademark cardigan along with the puppet character, King Friday. Those were the good old days.


There was a passenger who was bumped off a full United Airlines flight and was given a $10,000 voucher after refusing an $800 voucher, then even refused a $2000 voucher. She told them that she didn’t want travel credit, she wanted cash. So, they offered a $10,000 voucher. Dang, they would have had me at the $2000 level. I am so easy. Actually, the flight wasn’t overbooked, just at capacity because one seat was broken, and could not be used.


Reminder: You don’t have to rebuild a relationship with everyone you’ve forgiven. Just because you’re at peace, doesn’t mean they’re not still toxic.


It was called the Million Dollar Mouse Project. After a 125-year infestation, more than 200,000 mice have been eliminated (exterminated) from New Zealand’s Antipodes Islands, an 8-square-mile island located 470 miles southeast of New Zealand. The story is that the rodents were accidently introduced in 1893 from either a shipwreck or by seal hunters and have since feasted on the island’s insects and birds, causing many local extinctions.


You can call him Sir Ringo or Sir Richard because Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) finally received his long-awaited knighthood from Prince William last week. Paul McCartney was knighted in 1997. Ringo says, “I had dinner with him (McCartney) last week and we were both actually laughing about where we came from, and we’ve ended up in the palace and its now Sir Paul and Sir Richard.” Let’s face it, you’ve been royalty in our eyes forever, guys.


Billy Graham – “Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”


Standing desks are very popular. Standing up to work was supposed to be so much better for you than sitting. Well, new research is showing that people who stand at work are nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease, back discomfort, and swelling of veins, as those that sit more often. Recommendation is now suggesting you rely less on standing desks and instead, take more walks at work. Sigh.


San Francisco has voted to ban the sale of fur as it now becomes the largest US city to approve the prohibition. The fur ban would apply to coats and anything else featuring real fur, including keychains and gloves. Business owners are concerned because the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce estimates that fur sales account for at least $40-million a year. The ban would allow for resale of vintage fur at places like resale shops. Is that like banning cowhides in Texas?


Frank Avruch, who played Bozo the Clown for over a decade, died at the age of 89. Whoa…wait a minute.  I remember Bozo and he lived in Waco and I got to go to the taping of his show for a birthday party when I was in first grade. I didn’t know that there was more than one Bozo. This is very upsetting. Another child fantasy squashed.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actress Joanne Woodward is 88. The Three Faces of Eve. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 84. His 1965 publication of the bestselling book Unsafe at Any Speed, a critique of the safety record of American automobile manufacturer became known as one of the most important journalistic pieces of the 20th century. Singer Josh Groban is 37.

Actor Timothy Dalton is 72. James Bond in The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989). He dated Vanessa Redgrave from 1971-1986. Actor Gary Oldman is 60. Comedian-actress Rosie O’Donnell is 56. Actor Scott Eastwood is 32. He looks just like his daddy. Designer Bob Mackie is 79. He was best known for his dressing of entertainment icons Joan Rivers, Cher, RuPaul, Barbara Eden, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Tina Turner, Carol Burnett and Mitzi Gaynor. He was the costume designer for Carol Burnett on The Carol Burnett Show during its entire 11-year run.

Singer Nick Lowe is 69. How do you talk to an Angel? Designer Tommy Hilfiger is 67. Actor Robert Carradine is 64. Actress Kelly LeBrock is 58. The Woman in Red with Gene Wilder. Actor Jim Parsons is 45. NFL quarterback Peyton Manning is 42. Olympic track and field gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee is 56. Sports Illustrated for Women magazine voted her the Greatest Female Athlete of All-Time. Former astronaut James Lovell is 90. Activist and author Gloria Steinem is 84. I bet she is not happy that Walmart just pulled Cosmopolitan Magazine from their check-out lines. I say, GO Walmart.

Singer Aretha Franklin is 76. Singer musician Sir Elton John is 71. Actress Marcia Cross is 56. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is 53. Auto racer Dania Patrick is 36. Actor Paul Michael Glaser is 75. Tell me that’s not so. I just loved him in Starsky and Hutch. His wife, Elizabeth Glaser was a major American AIDS activist and child advocate who contracted HIV very early in the modern AIDS epidemic after receiving an HIV-contaminated blood transfusion in 1981 while giving birth. Like other HIV-infected mothers, Glaser unknowingly passed the virus to her infant daughter, Ariel, through breastfeeding. Ariel was born in 1981 and died in 1988. The Glaser’s’ son, Jake, born in 1984, contracted HIV from his mother in utero, but has lived into adulthood and now works full-time for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Elizabeth Glaser died in 1994.


Hubert de Givenchy (1927 – 2018) was known for his effortlessly chic clothes with simplicity and elegance being the hallmarks of his designs. He dressed Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, Wallis Simpson, and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina, Funny Face, plus many others. He once said, “The little black dress is the hardest thing to realize because you must keep it simple.”  We all know how important the LBD is in our closet. He died at the age of 91.


Remember that April Fools is on Easter Sunday so if you wake up and see the Easter Bunny in disguise, you’ll know that he was just having a good day…


The Cape Town “Day Zero” has now been pushed back to around July 9th, the time at which all water taps across the South African area are scheduled to be turned off due to low water reserves. Residents and tourists have been asked to use only 13 gallons per day to preserve the remaining supply. Egad.


A 37-year-old Houston-area US Army recruiter is accused of sending a snapchat photo of his genitals to a 16-year-old HS student that he had met while recruiting in Deer Park. Shame.


The city of Houston has secured $9.4-million for the installation of high-water warning systems at 40 specific Houston locations to help drivers avoid dangerous flooding. Sensors, cameras and computer components along with warning lights and signs will be installed this year.


A Portuguese airline has apologized to passengers after they were stranded overnight after an airport staffer alerted security that a co-pilot was stumbling and reeked of alcohol. Security grounded the plane, and when one passenger called the airline out on Twitter, the airlines replied, “the flight was canceled due to the pilot’s incapacity and that they will go through an internal investigation process and act accordingly, taking the necessary and consequent measures.” I say, the airlines did the right thing.


Ethan Couch, the “affluenza” teen, who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs in 2013, driving on a restricted license and speeding in a residential area when he lost control, crashed into a group of people trying to help a motorist, killing four and injuring nine, was convicted and ordered not to consume alcohol. Two passengers in his truck suffered serious bodily injury, one with complete paralysis. He had stolen the liquor from Walmart. You know, a real classy kid. His slap on the hands was to receive ten years of probation. A video then surfaced showing him playing beer pong at a party, so he fled to Mexico with his mother (and his mother never went to jail, but that’s another story.)  Well, he will now be released from the Tarrant County jail on April 2 after serving only 720 days. A witness had argued at his trial that he didn’t know right from wrong. Hmmm. 720 days. I know why I never get called to jury duty.


My Christmas gift from my son happened to be tickets for the three of us to see the Lorde concert in Houston last week. Her music is described as Indietronica (indie, electronica, rock and pop music.) Not what I would typically listen to everyday, but when you’ve been invited to attend a concert with your kids, you get your pants on and get ready to go. I like Lorde, enjoy several of her songs and was excited to attend, but I am naïve, inexperienced and starry-eyed about today’s music, so I kept looking for the band. I finally swallowed my pride, took a deep breath and asked my daughter, all the while trying to look educated, sophisticated and worldly. No band. It’s all electronic music. That was a new one for me.


Last week-end, The City of Lake Jackson presented Coming Home, two concerts that celebrated 75 years of music and heritage for LJ. ‘Locally grown talent’ entertained us for two evenings and believe me, we were entertained. We sang along and danced in our seats with Robert Ellis, Cole Degges, Zack Kibodeaux and Greg Essington of Blue Water Highway, Will Hearn, Claire Kibodeaux of The Blue Jazz Faction, Christian Wiggs of The Vintage 15 and the Brazosport Big Band. There was live music on the patio of The Clarion before the show and after the show. Texas Beer Refinery and brew master John Hearn (also home grown) supplied wine and craft beer all while we were honored with the most memorable celebration of great music and entertainment from some of the finest talent to come out of The City of Enchantment. I was so proud of these ‘kids’ aka adults. There’s a BIG 75th Diamond Jubilee Parade set for Saturday, April 14, 11:00am. They need floats. Sign up.


CenterFest! April 6-8 is a huge weekend of FUN at The Center…art, live Texas Music, 2nd annual Art March (above) and food & drinks provided by Wurst Haus. Activities for your entire family. Kids 12 and under are FREE. I always try to keep you informed but you’re going to have to come see for yourself. I can only do so much without full access to your calendar and vehicle. This is a fun way to kick-off CenterFest! Create fun, wearable works of art with an old pair of shoes. Design your shoes then come show ’em off in our second annual Art March on Saturday, April 7. The winning 2017 entry from Lil’ Anna Klein is still on display in the lobby of the Center for the Arts and Sciences where our 2018 winner will be displayed. Entry is easy, no experience or training is necessary to have fun. www.brazosortcenterfest.org  


Thank you for reading this,

– Lisa

 

What I Heard This Week! March 22, 2018

What I Heard This Week March 22, 2018

What I Heard This Week by Lisa Baker

The lead engineer with the company that designed the pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Miami, killing and injuring several, had called the state two days earlier to report cracks in the concrete span, but he left a voicemail message that wasn’t heard until the day after the bridge fell. Not good. A witness to the loud boom that followed the collapse said, “it sounded like the world was ending.” The estimated weight of the bridge was 950-tons. Another witness said it sounded like a bomb.


The AstroDome, ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, will be designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, the highest honor the state can bestow on a historic structure. The Dome opened on April 9, 1965 to a sold-out crowd of more than 47,000 for a baseball game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. The Dome will be 53 years old next month and the county spends about $170,000 each year to maintain the Dome but they will begin their $105-million renovation in October.


Toys R Us says it will slowly shut all 800 stores in the US. There are 18 stores in Houston area. They filed for bankruptcy six months ago and have struggled to pay down nearly $8-billion in debt. Charles Lazarus founded Children’s Bargain Town in 1948 in Washington, then opened the first Toys R Us in 1957 and in 1965 Geoffrey the giraffe became the company’s mascot.


Don’t forget to feed the birds. Our feathered friends are now migrating, and some will endure a 600-mile flight over the Gulf of Mexico to Texas. I went to Tractor Supply this morning to pick up bird seed, corn, mealworms and sunflower seeds so I can do my part for their trip. After standing in line twice, I decided that the nicest people shop at Tractor Supply on Sunday mornings. They have a great assortment of spring vegetable seeds and products. Everyone in the store was happy, kind, and not hurried. There was the “store” cat that welcomed us with her friendly purrs at the checkout counter AND the baby chicks AND baby ducks were making such precious spring sounds. It was a really, nice visit.


A group of prairie chickens are known as a “little house” or a “pack” of prairie chickens. Thanks to the GCBO newsletter for this little tidbit of info and some gorgeous bird pictures.


Speaking of chicken…Chick-Fil-A just released their newest menu item, a seasonal beverage/dessert called the Frosted Sunrise, a blend of their signature vanilla Icedream and Simply Orange Juice. I say, just bring back the raisin & carrot salad AND the chicken salad sandwich and I’ll be happy. Who ever heard of a “healthy” chicken restaurant without a chicken salad sandwich?!?


It’s the newest thing: If you google ‘pickle flavored foods’ you will find Pickle-Ice Freeze Pops, Pickle Candy Canes, Pickle Cashews, Pickle Peanuts, Pickle Mints, Pickle Candy, Intense Pickle Doritos, Pickle Popcorn, Pickle Gummies, and Pickle Salt Shakers. In June, Sonic will unveil their Pickle Juice Snow Cone Slush. Tasters say it’s surprisingly delicious. Very sweet and tangy. I know that when working the concession at games, I always had requests for pickle snow cones, so here’s your chance.


Did you know that The Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show animals must have their urine tested for drugs? They also pluck the animal’s hair for a DNA analysis. The pig that I read about took an hour to relieve himself, having walked around with a clear bag tied around his belly to catch the pee. I just never thought about this. City girl.


A 32-year-old man has been charged with online solicitation of a minor under 14, accused of sending sexually explicit messages to a 10-year-old Pearland girl. The girl’s parents showed the Pearland Police the messages but are still wondering how the man got the girl’s phone number. Parents…are you listening?


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actor Peter Fonda is 78. Actress Patricia Richardson is 67. Jill Taylor on Home Improvement. Actress Kristin Davis is 53. Charlotte York on Sex and the City. Actress Dakota Fanning is 24. Actor Patrick Duffy is 69. Actor Kurk Russell is 67. Actress Lesley-Anne Down is 64. Cinderella in 1965. Actor Rob Lowe is 54. Singer John Sebastian is 74. The Lovin’Spoonful, Welcome Back, Do You Believe in Magic, Summer in the City.

Country singer Charley Pride is 84. Singer-actress Vanessa Williams is 55. Rapper-actress-talk show host Queen Latifah is 48. Rock singer Adam Levine is 39. Maroon 5. Actress Lily Collins is 29. Game show host Chuck Woolery is 77. Singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker is 76. Actor Erik Estrada is 69. Rock singer musician Nancy Wilson is 64. Folk singer Patty Griffin is 54.

Rock musician Wolfgang Van Halen is 27. Author Philip Roth is 85. Portnoy’s Complaint. Actress Ursula Andress is 82. Bond girl Honey Ryder in Dr. No and Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale. Actress Glenn Close is 71. Actor Bruce Willis is 63. Rapper Bun B is 45. Blues singer-musician Marcia Ball is 69. Actor William Hurt is 68. The Big Chill.  Movie Director Spike Lee is 61. Model Kathy Ireland is 55.

Actor Gary Sinise is 63. He took his Lieutenant Dan role in Forrest Gump, then formed The Gary Sinise Foundation, The Lt. Dan Band and has been helping our military heroes adjust to combat injuries, providing homes, boosting moral on military bases, educating the public and more, ever since.  

Actress Emily Blunt is 35. She will play in Mary Poppins Returns where the stories will be taken from PL Travers additional seven books. Michael and Jane are all grown up with Michael living on Cherry Tree Lane with his three children. Lin-Manual Miranda (Hamilton) and Dick Van Dyke will also be in it, along with Meryl Streep. The original Mary Poppins was set in 1910. This sequel goes forward to 1935. They plan a 2018 Christmas Day release, so it will be a while, but I bet it’s practically perfect in every way. I’m going to drive you crazy talking about this one.


Texas should have an especially beautiful bluebonnet season. Great for roadside pictures of the kids but be careful of fire ants, rattlesnakes and other critters that can be hiding in the pretty. Be sure to treat the flowers with care because every time you sit on one, you likely kill it. Do not pick the flowers (the seeds need to fall off for next year’s flowers) or pull them up.


Fleur-de-lis, or “lily flower” in French, is a symbol whose petals represent faith, wisdom, and chivalry.


Roses are red, violets are blue, your daisies are droopy, oh, what can you do? Mix two tablespoons of white vinegar & two tablespoons of sugar together and add to your flower vase water. Replace both the water and the vinegar mixture daily. This will keep your spring flower bouquet looking pretty for longer.  It is amazing how white and apple cider vinegar can be used for so many common household solutions.


Charles Manson died in a prison hospital while serving a life sentence for orchestrating the 1969 killings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and eight others. His body has been on ice since November 2017 while many came forward to claim his corpse. There were a bunch of wills filed and many claimed to be his heir. A grandson of the cult leader has now won the bizarre California court battle to claim his remains.


Cooking classes this week-end at HEB March 23, 6-8pm in Lake Jackson. Shrimp fried rice, chicken egg rolls and a homemade sauce. Stop by the Business Center and see if they have any openings. 21 and up only. $20 per person.


Walmart plans to expand grocery delivery to 100 cities. Order by 1pm – have it delivered in four hours.


Happy 75th Birthday Lake Jackson. This information was taken from the Lake Jackson Historical Association. In the early 1940’s The Dow Chemical Company, located in Midland, Michigan was looking for a site to build a chemical complex. Dow wanted to extract magnesium from seawater with technology based on its patents for extracting magnesium from the brines beneath the Midland area. Texas looked like a good choice. Dow narrowed the field of potential sites to Corpus Christi and Freeport. As the story goes, the Dow Board of Directors personally visited both locations. They arrived in Corpus Christi during the worst cold spell in decades. The hotels had inadequate heating and the automobiles had no heaters. However, when the Board of Directors arrived in Freeport, the cold front had passed, and the weather was sunny and warm. They then decided for the Freeport site on March 7, 1940. Even though the story is often repeated, in reality, the company had done extensive studies of both locations comparing land availability, access to raw materials, access to transportation and other factors before authorizing an $18-million plant. The first load of construction equipment arrived in Freeport by train on March 22, 1940. Workers soon began building in the area known today as Plant A.


WikiAnswers says that $1-million dollars in 1940 would be worth $22-million dollars in today’s money.


Coming Home, celebrating 75 years of Lake Jackson will be this Friday and Saturday evening at The Clarion. Wine, beer and great music from generations of musicians that are coming home to entertain us. Earlier in the day on Saturday, 9am – 2pm, is the Auto and Cycle Show family fun at the Civic Center. It’s not too late to show a car or be a vendor. There will be Pinewood Derby racing, door prizes and bounce house for the kids. Come help us celebrate.


Andrew Liveris is leaving DowDuPont after four decades and will be replaced by Jim Fitterling when Dow reclaims its name as an independent company next year. 56-year-old Fitterling is the first openly gay executive to be named CEO of a major chemical company and will continue as a vocal proponent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in corporate America.


What is Human Trafficking? A Nigerian woman on a cul-de-sac in Cinco Ranch was forced to work without pay as a nanny to five children – forced to sleep on the floor,  bathe in cold water, eat leftovers, work 20-hour shifts seven days a week, she could not take breaks, sit down or watch TV, could not use the phone (sounds like the job of a mother except for the following), see a doctor for an injured arm attend church regularly or walk beyond the immediate neighborhood with the young children. The couple slapped her, called her ‘the idiot’, withheld her passport and threatened harm if she did not cook, clean and tend to the children. The couple had helped the woman travel to the US from their native Nigeria by creating false documents that enabled the forced labor. They have now been sentenced to seven months in federal prison and will owe the woman $121,000 in compensation. A concerned, observant neighbor brought this situation to the attention of a human trafficking task force.


JoyBell C.-It’s not very easy to grow up into a woman. We are always taught, almost bombarded, with ideals of what we should be at every age in our lives: “This is what you should wear at age twenty”, “That is what you must act like at age twenty-five”, “This is what you should be doing when you are seventeen.” But amidst all the many voices that bark all these orders and set these ideals for girls today, there lacks the voice of assurance. There is no comfort and assurance. I want to be able to say, that there are four things admirable for a woman to be, at any age! Whether you are four or forty-four or nineteen! It’s always wonderful to be elegant, it’s always fashionable to have grace, it’s always glamorous to be brave, and it’s always important to own a delectable perfume! Yes, wearing a beautiful fragrance is in style at any age!”


Thank you for reading this,

– Lisa

 

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