December 31, 2007

2007 OUT

So long 2007. It's been a weird year. I am glad to have lived through you. I am glad to have grown through you. And I am glad for you to become a memory.

No doubt, 2007 has set the stage for 2008. Good and Bad. But at least it's unknown to us now. We have an inkling of the things to come in '08, but we can only trust and follow and have faith. And tonight I am going to enjoy my wine and the company of my sweet husband and my puppies and be hopeful of the new year.

In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.
John Steinbeck

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.
Battle Hymn of the Republic

The angel thrust his sickle into the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God's wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses' bridles.
Revelation 14:19-20

From the terrible winepress will come terrible wrath. But also deliverance.

December 12, 2007


Aaron and I have a new favorite phrase at our house: "This has been a weird year."

We can go back to January 2007 and begin our list of trials. But particularly in the last three months, whether it be from our friends, family or ourselves, it seems we've been hit with sad, bad, troubling, stressful or unhappy news almost weekly. Serious illnesses, divorce, friends moving away, and job loss top the list. Our world has been rearranged, turned upside down and knocked around quite a bit lately.

I have to say, however, that through it all, even on the darkest days when nothing made sense, when our souls were weary and we were sapped of every last inkling of physical and mental energy, the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, has guarded our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7).

We are ever thankful for our families and friends, and for the abundant blessings God has given us. We are ever aware of the hunger and disease, the poverty and wars raging around the world; and the freedoms we enjoy in this country. We are mindful of the prayers we pray and the provisions God supplies every day.

I write all this to say: I know for a fact Aaron and I would not be where we are individually or as a couple if not for these struggles and blessings; and we would not have made it through the last year, individually or as a couple, if we were not trying every day to build our house (individually and as a couple) on the Rock; trying every day to live an obedient and faithful life.

The below is from my daily devotional today. A nice reminder, at the perfect time for Aaron and me, because our Father always knows what our hearts need, that following where God leads, doing our best to walk the walk, and putting all our faith and trust in Him is what gets us through this life and to eternal happiness in Heaven.

Faith Weathers Every Storm
by Mark Kelly

"Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse, because it is built on rock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash." (Matthew 7:24-27 NLT)

A hurricane rages off the ocean onto land. Winds in excess of 150 mph and a powerful storm surge blast the village that sits on the beach, splintering bamboo huts and throwing the pieces in every direction. But in the midst of the destruction, one house weathers the storm intact. The difference? This house is solidly built with a foundation set down into the bedrock. The roof is gone, but not even a Category 5 storm is going to shake the foundation.

All of us know firsthand about the storms in life. Relationship problems. Financial setbacks. Betrayals of trust. Health crises. The awful consequences of bad choices. Everywhere we turn, we see lives and families destroyed by a storm. God’s desire, however, is that our lives and relationships survive the storms because of a strength that fills us from within. That power is released when we step out in faith and let Jesus live his strong life in us. The switch that turns on the power is obedience.

The wise soul is someone who not only listens to what Jesus teaches but also builds her life on the foundation of obedience, allowing Jesus' powerful message to make a real difference. The foolish soul doesn't apply Jesus' wisdom to the way he lives. The difference is revealed when the storms of life rage. The person who lives by God's Word can withstand any storm.

PRAYER: Lord, it seems like the wind never lets up. Some days it blows so hard I don't think I can stand it anymore. Please fill me with the strength of your Spirit. Help me find the peaceful spot in the eye of the storm – the confidence that comes from trusting you and walking in your ways.

This is a song we sang as kids in Bible Class. Funny how when you're eight, you don't realize the wisdom and truth of the fun songs with hand movements and sound effects. And that those same simple songs can be your lifeblood when you're grown. And Thank You, Mom and Dad, for laying our solid foundation.

The Wise Man and the Foolish Man

The wise man built his house upon a rock.
And the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down and the floods came up
And the house on the rock stood firm.

But the foolish man built his house upon the sand.
And the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down and the floods came up
And the house on the sand went ploof.

So be wise and build your house upon the rock;
On the rock of the Lord Jesus Christ.

December 10, 2007


Aaron and I went to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center "Luminations" last night. It was so much fun! The paths are lighted with luminaries, the Bailey Middle School Steel Drum Band was there playing lively Christmas songs; we had tamales and hot chocolate and sampled some Snake Bite (jalapeno) pecan brittle. I even met Frosty! Luckily it was cold enough in Austin last night that he didn't melt away.

December 06, 2007


Counting the days until we meet the newest member of the Silverthorne family.

November 29, 2007


This is probably my most favorite Christmas decoration. About seven Christmases ago I was being crafty and making ornaments, and Aaron joined in and created this reindeer. It is really delicate, but I've kept it all these years, packing it safely away each January so as not to lose an eye or a leg or the tail. Among the ornaments we hung on the tree when I was a kid is a Santa Claus my Dad made when he was in grade school. It's an egg shell with cotton for his beard and hat fur, and sequins for the face. Pretty amazing it lasted, intact, all these years. We always take great care with it. The fact that I even have a picture of it should say something. I know it may be hard to believe, but I don't actually have pictures of all the ornaments ever hung on our Christmas Trees.

November 26, 2007



My first reaction was love at first sight.

Then I remembered how much I love the weight of a few hundred pages, the smell of old or new, physically holding onto a single story when it's over and relishing how it touched me, seeing titles stacked on my nightstand on the bookshelf on the kitchen counter in my car by the computer, loaning my favorites to friends, improving my posture by balancing words on my head, the fluttering tickle across my thumb and the ticktickticktickticktick as pages fall against one another, spending hours at BookPeople and walking out empty-handed but feeling completely satisfied, reinforcing tattered covers and worn spines with Scotch tape, finding Charlotte's Web in a box under the bed and seeing my name in my third-grade handwriting on the inside cover.

Would I give all that up? Would I become a slave to technology? Have vinyl lovers given it up to the iPod? What happens to you in the name of convenience and portability?

It's not just about the words or the stories or the reading.

I LIKE my books. No. I LOVE my books.

November 24, 2007


One million and one things to be thankful for.

Aaron and I spent Thanksgiving Day together at home this year. While we missed our families and sweet potato casserole, it was a lovely day. We had a traditional turkey dinner, minus a few of our favorites, at Hyde Park and I saved room for a scrumptious brownie instead of pumpkin pie for dessert.

Bryan called and put Aubrey on the phone for a minute. First she said "uh oh" because she'd accidentally hit a button on the phone and it made some noise; then I think she said "Turkey?" because I heard Bryan in the background say "Actually it's Aunt Gi."

On Friday, we drove down to Baytown to visit with some of Aaron's family. I had never met the family that lives there, so it was a real treat to hang out with them. We watched videos from when Aaron and the other kids (his second cousins) were young. Aaron was the cutest little boy, with his same sweet smile he has today. Then we went back another fifty years and watched film from when Aaron's mom and her sister and cousins were little. It was so cool to see Longview and East Texas in the '50s and '60s; and to see the styles of clothes and toys and houses. We were watching 8mm film that had been converted to VHS, so there was no audio with the video, which makes it even more priceless. We laughed and giggled and reminisced.

On the drive home today it was raining and we saw a guy hydroplane and crash into the concrete barrier on I-10. It was so weird to see it happen; of course I freaked out and started yelling "Call 911! Call 911!" But Aaron said, "It's ok, he got out of the truck. He's ok. See that other truck is pulling over." The man was in front of us when he started to hydroplane, and Aaron switched lanes to get out of his way and we passed him just as the truck slid across the highway into the barrier. Luckily he was not going that fast, probably 40mph or something. Not awesome to hit a wall at 40mph, but better than 65 or 70. I felt really strange after seeing it and said a quick earnest prayer for our safety and that the man was not hurt too badly.

The baby-dogs were so happy to see us when we walked in the door. How can you not love coming home to jumpin' bean body waggin'finger lickin' tail spinnin' puppies? They were well taken care of for the whole 29 hours we were away; but you would have thought we'd left them for 72 days 6 hours and 41 minutes with no food, water, toys, warm blankets or poop breaks. And you know what? I like it like that.

So our Thanksgiving holiday is winding down. Bellies full of grilled cheese and tomato soup, house beginning to look like Christmas, inside warm and dry, together...

November 21, 2007


Happy almost Turkey Day! I hope you are planning to eat some delicious turkey and all the trimmings. Then I hope you watch the football game on Friday and root for the Longhorns to beat those Aggie turkeys while you eat a leftover turkey sandwich and pumpkin pie. And if you watched Rachael Ray today you would have seen her use leftovers to make turkey Stromboli! But mostly count your blessings and be thankful for your turkey and your family and friends and that you live in the United States of Turkey, errr... America.

Turkey Talk

What It Means: expression for speaking plainly

Where I Heard It: I actually haven't heard this term before. I just happened to come across it in my Why We Say It book and thought it was appropriate for the day! But here's an example of how Aaron might use it: "Let's talk turkey and make a deal on the purchase of this deep freezer."

Why We Say It: Half a dozen anecdotes seek to explain this expression for speaking plainly. Most of them recount a conversation between an American Indian and one or more white settlers. Discussing the division of game bagged in a joint hunt, the native insists that his comrades talk turkey and hand over to him the biggest bird shot during the day.

These entertaining frontier stories bypass a skill that was long familiar--and important--to veteran woodsmen.

Many a fellow reared in the woods became an expert turkey caller. That is, he so skillfully imitated sounds made by the big wild birds that some who heard at a distance came within gun range. It was this bona fide turkey talk, not banter at the end of a day's hunt, that spawned our American expression for speaking in a clear and forthright manner.

P.S. If you watched Rachael Ray today you also saw two ladies from the Butterball Turkey-Talk Line who have been giving tips on cooking turkeys for more than twenty years!

P.P.S. I do not make it a habit of watching Rachael Ray, or DVRing her show(s). I just happened to start my Turkey Holiday early and was sitting on the couch at 3pm waiting for Oprah to come on at 4pm, so I had to fill the hour somehow.


We went to see Kevin Fowler at Nutty Brown last Saturday night. Fun times.

"Beer, bait and ammo yeah they got everything in between"

"I was born with a shot glass in my hand"

"She’s my little butterbean. The cutest thing you’ve ever seen"

November 20, 2007



29. He's kind of cute.
28. He can whistle very loud.
27. The dogs told me to.
26. His DJ mix master skills are outstanding.
25. He will not kill spiders smaller than his hand.
24. He watches campy action movies with me.
23. His favorite fall food is Frito Pie.
22. He's kind of funny.
21. I like German Chocolate cake.
20. He remembers to take out the trash.
19. He makes me mixed music CD's.
18. He's kind of sweet.
17. He can back the boat up the driveway with no do-overs.
16. He can find fossil prints in the stones on our house.
15. He says "booger" a lot.
14. He leaves funny messages on voicemail.
13. He wears breathe-right strips so I can sleep soundly.
12. He explains football to me.
11. He's kind of smart.
10. He brings home the bacon.
9. He records COPS on the DVR.
8. He's kind of sneaky.
7. He finds trash and makes it treasure.
6. He experiments with different kinds of deodorant.
5. He believes in Big Foot.
4. He can draw pretty well.
3. He does not like tomatoes.
2. He is laid back.
1. He is pretty darn special.

November 17, 2007


A lot has happened since I last posted.

We found out that Justy Tator has a brain tumor. It is scary and weird and shifted our world tremendously. But he and Audrey are shining examples of optimism. Taylor will have surgery after Thanksgiving to remove the brain booger; and will know much more about the road ahead once they have the tumor out. Please keep them in your prayers.

I also found out that I did not get accepted to the teacher certification program to which I had applied. I'm pretty disappointed on the one hand, you know. I was really excited about the prospect of going back to school and teaching by next August. But on the other hand, I just feel ok about it and I know I'm really where I'm supposed to be right now. I know God wanted me to make that commitment and decision to become a teacher and apply for that program and spend these past few months waiting and thinking about becoming a teacher and being excited about it. So the fact that this isn't the exact route or the time for me is ok. I know His plan is at work; maybe my focus will be needed elsewhere in the coming months. I gained a lot of momentum to pursue my teaching career, and I have not lost that. So all in all, I'm just at peace 'cause I'm trusting God to keep guiding me to where I'm supposed to be. Don't get me wrong, I am disappointed. But it feels more like I was really excited about going on a trip, and the plans changed.

Last Friday Aaron's company was a sponsor at a Golf Tournament, and the tournament needed someone to measure for the "longest ball" shot. Aaron got the job, so spent all day on the golf course.

Then Saturday morning, we were playing with the dogs and discovered two tics on Scoopie! EWWWWW! It makes me crazy to think there are tics around, so I had to do a thorough inspection of both dogs to make sure no gross little suckers were hiding. Aaron thought it was a prime photo op.

Aaron took Scoop to the vet yesterday because her little bottom was red and she was licking it too much for my liking. She did indeed have Swollen Anal Glands and had to have them expressed, which I think is very funny because Aaron was the one at the vet with her, and if you know Aaron, he has a very sensitive gag reflex to anything stinky and remotely having to do with bodily functions. So he had to stand there holding Scoop while the vet expressed the nasty, stinky liquid from her glands. When I got home, Aaron was showing me the medicine we have to put on her, excuse me while I giggle, anus. Of course, Aaron had out one of his leather work gloves because there was no way he was touching her poopoo-parts..heehee... but I told Scoopie it was ok, I would apply her medicine sans glove because that's what mommies do.

After the tic inspection, we headed out to the Texas Tailgaters for a little pregame fun. Scott and Gillian invited us to the game, which was a blast, especially since the Longhorns showed up and played a good game against Tech. It was the last home game of the season, so the stands were packed and the fans seemed particularly enthused. I was thankful the weather was beautiful and warm. For a mid-November game, we couldn't have asked for more perfect temperatures.

Bree and Megan were also in town for the game, Bree is a Red Raider, so we hung out with them at Scholtz's after the game. And, of course, we met for Las Manitas brunch on Sunday.

I've also started a Boot Camp class. Twice a week during lunch we run, squat, lunge, sprint, hop, lift, crunch, curl, hold, press, stretch, push, rinse and repeat for 45 minutes. A few ladies that I work with are in the class also, so we have a good time and talk about how sore we are the next day together. It's fun and it feels good to be back in the groove of some intense physical activity.

Aaron rented Spiderman 3 for me last night! Can you even believe I had not seen it yet?! Summer was kind of crazy with the opening of Pirates 3, Shrek the 3rd and Spiderman 3. We aren't the biggest movie-goers, so after our Pirates adventure, the other two tri-quel movies kind of slid under my radar. Anyway, S3 was good. I liked the twist of Peter Parker/Spidey battling an alter-ego, and that sometimes your worst foes become your best friends.


I apologize for Why We Say it Wednesday appearing on Saturday. I could give some excuses, but really, there is not one good enough.

Moving along.

Aaron worked in Dallas most of the past week. He was there training some people on a new software the company is using. It's pretty cool. I can see how Aaron would be a great teacher/trainer. And he knows this software inside and out. A few months ago, he even prompted the software company to create a whole new version of the software because it wasn't meeting his needs. So he told his software rep. what he wanted it to do; and Voila! the company adds the features and puts a new version out to the whole country!

Each evening after training, Aaron went out to eat with some of the guys to talk about how the training was going and lay out his game plan for the next day. They were sitting around shootin' the bull one night, talking about company procedures and politics, attitudes and the cliques that form, common denominators found in the people who are successful or not successful and how they behave and influence one another to behave.


What It Means: a popular or successful movement, idea or activity that gains support from those who believe they will benefit from it or gain advantages from it

Where I Heard It: "If you think those guys are doing so well, why don't you go ahead and jump on that Bandwagon?"
- A. Bussey

Why We Say It: America's first great showman, Phineas T. Barnum, didn't wait for the public to come to him. Instead, he took his attractions to the people. Arriving in a city for an engagement, he would hire a high wagon of the sorts used by local bands of musicians for outdoor performances.
Parading through streets with odd-looking men and women aboard wagons, "Barnum's Great Scientific and Musical Theater" (a Freakshow, maybe?) was a sensation. Onlookers were encouraged to hop on the bandwagons in order to ride with the performers and add to the excitement.
Many political clubs built bandwagons of their own, then gave rolling concerts to publicize candidates. The impact of Barnum and elections on speech proved lasting. Any person who agrees to become a part of a movement, campaign, or simply joins the crowd is described as climbing on the bandwagon.

November 09, 2007


My friend, Britt, and I have been wanting to visit the new candy store that recently opened on S. Congress. With it's old fashioned candy displays of vintage, hard-to-find candy, any flavor jelly bean you can imagine and genuine mahogany soda fountain where you can order a Root beer Float, Ice Cream Sundae or your favorite soda flavored with your choice of syrup (think Cherry Coke or Vanilla root beer), I was excited for my first trip to Big Top Candy Shop.

We went for lunch today. So we walk in the door of this old-time circus themed candyland and begin giggling, oohing and ahhing over the fun candy that brings back childhood memories, international treats Britt is delighted to find in the U.S. (she's Danish), and the icky stuff we couldn't imagine eating. So we're browsing around, we order "lunch" -- One Cookies 'n Cream shake and one Coke Float please -- and outside the storefront a curious group is assembling, and a camera crew.

Ok, first let me say, we live in Austin. We are not unaccustomed to seeing "weird" people. Furthermore, we are in a store on S. Congress, smack dab in the middle of the zip code that created the "Keep Austin Weird" campaign. Again, not unusual to see a unique group of people.

But this group is special. Let's see, there was a midget woman in a bustier, a large limping man with big fleshy bumps all over his neck and head, a woman with a claw like hand (as in, she didn't have five fingers, and the fingers she did have were formed more in the shape of a claw), a woman with two legs but of vastly different lenghts, a few young (seemingly normal) children, a woman with dreadlocks wearing a pirate-slash-ringleader-slash-corset getup, a man in pin-striped pants and long coat over his bare torso topped off with a red hat.

Ummmm, can you say Freakshow?

By this point, the group had made its way inside and the pirate-slash-ringleader-slash-corset getup woman was ordering ice cream floats for her posse. Well, the curiosity cat crawled up my back, and I approached the claw-hand woman to ask what they were doing. She answered with a genuine smile: "We're a freakshow. Here, let me get you a flyer. We're performing tomorrow at Rutamaya."

KaiYa! They ARE a Freakshow. It was so fascinating. We didn't spend a lot of time chatting, but the whole group seemed nice enough; they were joking around with one another, and the young'ens were like kids in a candy shop...oh, wait.

It was one of the most exciting lunches I have ever had. I mean, seriously, when you are on a jaunt to an old-timey candy shop where carnival-gypsy-circus music is playing from gramophones and everything is kind of curious and surreal anyway. . . would you ever expect to run into a Real. Life. Freakshow?! It was bizarre and titillating. I'm still reeling.

I love Austin.

A bit about my very own Freakshow:
The 999 EYES Authentic Freakshow explicitly celebrates real genetic diversity by showcasing amazing feats performed by LIVING HUMAN ODDITIES! The freaks share real stories of what it is like to be born truly different from the average 10 fingered and 10 toed genetic blueprint for humanity – giving folks from all corners a chance to realize that what is different is beautiful. In this show, one must be born physically and obviously different from the vast majority of humanity to be considered a true freak. The 999 EYES freaks are performers who choose by their own free will to celebrate their medical anomaly on stage.

November 07, 2007


Last weekend, my girlfriends and I learned that one among us knew a secret. She knew whether Baby Clay Numero Dos is a GIRL or BOY. But like the loyal and trustworthy friend she is, she kept her lips zipped.

Spill the Beans

What It Means: to release information that wasn't meant to be released; indiscretion in revealing information; confess to something

Where I Heard It: "Y'all can ask me all you want, but I won't spill the beans."
- K. Brewer

Why We Say It: Early Greek secret societies had strict membership requirements. A candidate for admission was voted upon by members, and only a few adverse ballots were required for disqualification.

In order to keep voting secret, white beans were dropped into a container by those who favored the candidate. Brown or black beans constitued negative votes. Only officials were supposed to know how many of these negative votes were cast. Occasionally, however, a clumsy voter knocked the jar or helmet over and disclosed its contents. It was embarrassing, to say the least, to spill the beans in this literal fashion.


Saturday night, like good pirates do, my Lovely girlfriends and I stayed up into the wee hours of the night gabbing and giggling, eating muffins at midnight and refilling our wine glasses probably too many times.

So when 6:45 a.m. rolled around, we were barely rolling out of bed to join the Komen Race for the Cure. After contemplating Sleeping in for the Cure instead, we decided to buck up and join the other 23,995 pink people.

Our team, aptly named Pink Pirates for various reasons depending on who you ask, also made t-shirts Saturday night, after refilling our wine glasses probably too many times. The result is what you might expect of five giggly girls ironing pink and polka-dot letters onto t-shirts.

We were chauffeured to the race by Justy Tator, and began our walk at a brisk 1 mile per hour pace. Audrey had predicted it would take us 3 hours to walk the 5K, to which some pirates had scoffed. Oh, wise Audrey, you are a regular Confucius.

About, oh, let's say a 1/4 mile into it we begin to realize that the Pink Pirates are really hungry and on the verge of hungover, meaning if we didn't do something fast, this day could go downhill quick. So as soon as Las Manitas came into view, we left our place among the Cure walkers and found a table at the back of the restaurant.

We spent the next hour Eating Breakfast for the Cure.

After huevos and beans, tortillas, chips and hot sauce, we took a shortcut back onto the Cure trail and crossed the finish line, like good pirates do.

November 03, 2007


Here are the first of my favorite Halloween Costumes 2007. Hopefully I'll have some of Z-bug and Caden Clay soon!


SUPER SILVERTHORNES! Sweatin' to the Oldies with Wonder Woman


October 31, 2007


The past few weeks have been kind of uneventful around the Bussey house.

Saturday night Kristen and Rhett went to Fredericksburg for an anniversary getaway, so Zoe, Audrey and I had a slumber party. We played outside, watched Sesame Street, and ate chips and queso. Zoe was a delight and made us giggle as only babies can. There was one diaper incident that almost put Audrey and me over the edge. Zoe had one poop that was so stinky I had to run upstairs to the Diaper Genie while Audrey finished the wipe and dipe. As I was at the top of the stairs, Audrey yelled up "Oh, I think I jammed the Genie this morning with that morning pee diaper!" Oh No! If there is one thing you DO NOT WANT when holding a stinky poopy diaper, it is a jammed diaper Genie. In the end it was really funny and we survived the stink bomb.

I also hosted the first Westview Estates Book Club meeting at our house. Myself and four other ladies from our neighborhood got together and chatted about the book Redeeming Love, and got to know one another. (very good book, I highly recommend it) It was so nice to meet some of our neighbors. I feel really blessed that this particular group of ladies has come into my life. I think I will learn alot from them and they will become good and trusted friends.

Aaron put the cover on the boat on Sunday. I guess boat-season is officially over.

Aaron and I went to Atlanta a few weeks ago for a work conference I was attending. Stay tuned for a post about that.

Our neighbors, Dave and Kellie, have a 5 month old little boy, Ethan. Kellie just brought Ethan over to Trick-or-Treat and show us his awesome Ewok costume! Ethan's grandma has a tradition of making each of her grandkids their first Halloween costume. Let me just say, she is an awesome semstress, and this costume is so great, I can see why she would only committ herself to one for each grandbaby. Ethan the Ewok rocks!

And just in case you were forgetting how brilliant and awesome our favorite niece is, and how BIG she is growing, here's a recent photo of her latest creation. She had the idea to stack things on the base of the fan and was so smart to figure out how to do it successfully! Gotta love her!

And I had to post this one because she has a PINK CUPCAKE on her shirt!

That's about it for now. Check back soon for the Atlanta post and pics of my favorite Wito Ones Halloween costumes of 2007!


Happy Halloween! It's All Hallow's Eve, the night before All Saints Day. Traditions developed to celebrate this Eve came from older Pagan traditions and old Irish Gaelic Festivals. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops. Maybe it's the night all Hell breaks loose. Or it's just a good excuse to dress up and collect candy!

We missed the annual Hill Country Halloweeneirs' Night Out this year, traditionally hosted by the Peters. And although I lobbied hard, Aaron vetoed a dog dress-up party. So our evening will be fairly tame, spent as usual with our dogs (not in costume) whom we lovingly call, Our Best Girl and Hell on Wheels.

Hell on Wheels

What It Means: refers to a really bad situation, place or event; used to label incredible skill as well as extremely rapid movement

Where I Heard It: "Uh Oh. Here comes Hell on Wheels!"
- A. Bussey

Why We Say It: Western lore has it that as the American transcontinental railroad was started in 1860, the railroad laborers were followed westward by fellows determined to separate them from their hard earned money.

Many long stretches along the rail line didn't have a single outpost; but that didn't stop canny operators from the East. They rented flatcars and used them to haul tiny brothels, saloons, dance halls and gambling houses. Pushed to the railhead, or halted anywhere else that potential customers could be found, one might believe that all of man's sins compiled at one of these makeshift rigs literally constituted hell on wheels. Spreading slowly back to civilization, the vivid expression proved just right to label any awful place or event.

Today the meaning has expanded and has become complimentary--used to label incredible skill as well as extremely rapid movement, whether on a basketball court or by a crazy bird dog.

October 24, 2007


In Max Lager's American Grill in downtown Atlanta, Georgia you might find two couples playing a game of darts. Let's call it Team Tex vs. Team Bama. Team Tex has two sturdy throwers, consistently hitting the board; however not hitting anything that counts towards a win. Team Bama has one leg-flinging thrower with good aim and one petite fast-ball thrower, nicknamed "Nolan" by the end of the game. Nolan's throws are less often hitting the board, but when they do, man, they are dead on.

Bull's Eye

What It Means: The center of a target. A direct hit.

Where I Heard It: "Double Bull's Eye! That's game!"
- C. Robertson

Why We Say It: Until it was outlawed in 1835, bull baiting was a major national sport of England. Always, some put their money on the dogs, while others preferred the bull. Just as present-day racing enthusiasts often put their money on a horse's nose, British sports were prone to put a crown on the bull's eye.

Since the coin equivalent to five shillings was roughly the size of an eye on which it was wagered, it took the same name. Targets developed for marksmen came to include a central black spot about the size of a shilling. Using the sportsman's label to designate the coin-size spot, the center of any target became it's bull's eye.

October 17, 2007


Like many bloggers, I've been inspired to start a little once-weekly special themed post of my own. Welcome to the first Why We Say It Wednesday.

Each Wednesday, I'll post the fascinating story behind an everyday word or phrase. I will try to make it a word or phrase I've recently come across in conversation, to give us that personal edge, ya know. So be on the look out for a quote by you in the Where I Heard It section.

Why Why We Say It Wednesday, you say? (nice sentence, huh?) I'm so glad you asked.

If you know me and you know my brother, you may not be surprised to read that I was inspired by Bryan. We have the same quirky (ok, sometimes dorky) sensibility for and fascination with random (ok, sometimes useless) information and things. So he's always inspiring me. For instance, this whole Why We Say It Wednesday thing was sparked because Bryan wrote in an email
". . . X might not be all it is cracked up to be. {What the crap does that phrase even mean? I never thought about it till now. Cracked up to be?}. . . "
Of course, now also pondering that question, I went to the reference section of my home library to consult the book Why You Say It: The Fascinating Stories Behind Over 600 Everyday Words and Phrases.

I found the answer and emailed him back. Voila! The idea for Why We Say It Wednesday was born.

Thanks, bro. I love you!

So here goes, the very first Why We Say It Wednesday phrase is (drum roll please!)

"All it's cracked up to be"

What It Means: something that is not all it's cracked up to be is something not as good as people say it is, something not as good as previously reported, something not as good as one expected

Where I Heard It: "After reading all the stuff online about it, I have this little tiny feeling that the Maker Faire might not be all it is cracked up to be."
- B. Silverthorne

Why We Say It: Sitting around the cracker barrel in a general store and swapping yarns, some idlers always evoked laughter. Others who told stories got only stares in response--the listeners didn't crack a smile.

Since hearty laughter constitutes a signal that a tale--or its teller--has hit the bull's eye, cracked faces came to signify "first class." Once that usage was established, it was an easy step to label anything inferior as "not what it is cracked up to be."

Check back next Wednesday and find out if Why We Say It Wednesday is all it's cracked up to be.

October 16, 2007


Yes, our back porch is a veritable wonderland for finding your beloved childhood creature-friends.

We have a pet frog on our back porch now. We actually call him Fred, not Kermit. No, I didn't rescue the little amphibian from the busy street so he wouldn't meet the fate of his brothers we find all the time on our walks. And no, I didn't fall in love with him at a pet store. And no, I'm not looking for a new Prince Charming.

Fred loves our back porch because we keep a nice fresh tub of water there for the dogs. Each evening, we find Fred soaking his tired hoppers in the water. Which also means, each evening the dogs find Fred soaking his tired hoppers in the water.

What ensues is always a good ten minutes of entertainment for Aaron and me.

It begins with Sadie and Scoop sniffing and snorting into the water forcing Fred from one corner to another until he finally decides to make a jump for it and LEAPS over the edge. From there, he makes a B-line to a chair where the dogs can't quite get to him. They are basically in a frenzy the moment Fred leaves the water tub, pawing, whining, circling.

Eventually Fred makes his way out from under the chair and plays his own real-life game of Frogger until he makes a triumphant LEAP off the porch.

He soon realizes these giant beasts, too, can jump off the island into the hot lava! (did you ever play that game, where you had to make your way around via climbing on furniture and never touch the hot lava floor?)

Sadie pounces and barks at Fred. Brave little dog, she is. Get that fierce frog, Sadie! Get it!

Scoop poses in downward dog with her nose so close Fred could lick it, and whines until Fred bravely JUMPS! and Scoop hurls herself backwards away from this flying long-legged mystery.

So, they follow Fred around the yard in this manner, pouncing and barking, whining and hurling, sniffing and snorting and pawing. . .through the grass, under the gutter drain, over the retaining wall, in the woodpile. . .

Inevitably, Scoop catches Fred and as he's splayed out flat (maybe a frog-reflex?), all four frog legs sticking out of Scoop's mouth, Aaron or I come to the rescue of our friend Fred and make Scoop drop him before she can do any real damage.

Scoop foams at the mouth, then returns to her water bowl to wash the chicken taste out of her mouth. The circle of life.

And there ends the evening's Fun with Fred the Frog.

See you tomorrow night, Fred.

October 15, 2007


I got home from work on Friday to find a FedEx package awaiting me. Exciting! But I couldn't think of who would be sending me a package or for what reason.

I opened the small box and this is what I found:

I immediately cracked up laughing. I didn't even have to read the note to know who it was from.

Aaron's step-dad, Mark, is a die-hard OU fan. He flies an OU flag on game day, his truck is deep red, even the ring that one hears when calling his cell phone is the OU Fight Song. Yes, I mean when YOU call Mark, you have to listen to the OU Fight song until he answers!

Now the tissue box has a proud spot on the cabinet so every time I blow my nose, I think of you, Mark.

October 10, 2007


We all get them. We've all sent them. Don't lie. Don't be ashamed. At least ONCE in your email-life you've done it.

You Forwarded on an email you received via a Forward.

Warnings about the latest ploy to kidnap you and steal your car by having you sample perfume in the mall parking lot. How to tell if someone is having a Stroke. A shout-out to all the beautiful, funny and fabulous women in your life. The guy who won the Idiot of the year award. A call to ban Wal-Mart. Why men should keep a stash of chocolate around for their ladies. A slideshow about God loving you forever. Caution against opening email attachments "toe banjo player" because a devastating virus will blow up your computer. Winners of the sandcastle contest. Claims of immeasurable generosity by Bill Gates, AOL and Microsoft if you'll only forward an email to ten people. And of course, a foreign car commercial that causes you to pee your pants when a skeletor girl screams in your face.

Sometimes these emails are a treat. They make you laugh, inspire awe, occasionally you learn something new.

But sometimes these emails are a TRICK!

That's right! Don't be fooled! In the last two days I've received two TRICK emails via Forward. I fell for the first one about these adorable abandoned Labrador puppies. Heartbroken for these helpless babies, and wanting to do anything I could to help their plight I forwarded the email to Aaron. He forwarded it on around his office and even received a string of emails back that made it appear someone had contacted the folks with the puppies and had found a shelter in San Antonio to take the dogs! Success! I thought. I was so impressed with the power of the FWD and ecstatic that I had a hand in the saving of God's little creatures. I mean, really, what if I had not forwarded that email? What if I had just deleted it like I do so many others? What would have happened to those precious pups? I was blown away thinking of the world today and what can be accomplished with email and technology.

Later, Aaron figured out that it was a hoax. Well, maybe I shouldn't say hoax. Snopes says the email originated from a true Craigslist listing; but that it had morphed into this false email about lab puppies. Still a mean trick. I was seriously having to convince myself that we do not need a third dog.

Then today I received another email supposedly from a desperate mother looking for her missing son. I was wiser today, however, and Snoped it immediately! TRICK!

Later this afternoon Aaron FWD to me the below email about the benefits of drinking water. Fortunately, it is all true. So rest easy, friends, and bring on the H2O.

This was received from my doctor

The following will probably amaze and startle you.. ..

One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University study.

Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses o f water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or

Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day?

So what is the lesson to be learned? In this high-tech Trick or Treat world, keep your detective tools handy.


Happy Birthday to Audrey! Today she has been on this earth for 28 years. Beautiful as ever. Classic as ever. Lovely and inspiring as ever.

That's Miss Bitch to you

October 07, 2007


Aaron and I went for an early morning boat ride on Sunday. We camped at the lake with friends, and got up with the sun (and the dogs, they still haven't figured out this "weekend" thing), and took the boat out for a cruise in the cool, quiet morning on the still smooth water.

It's amazing how peaceful one can feel surrounded by the hum of the motor and wind rushing past your ears.

The sky was hung low with gray clouds and the water reflected the color of steel. We shared the lake with a few lone fishermen and the occasional dedicated skier who couldn't resist the glassy water. We spotted a school of fish skimming the smooth surface. We flew across the water keeping pace with a Hawk above us. Our dogs stood at the bow, tails wagging, faces in the wind. I watched my husband scan the horizon in his quietly content way. Speeding along we smiled at one another; and were thankful.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God with reverence and awe.
Heberews 12:28

October 02, 2007


Top Ten Reasons I love Fall:

10. Halloween!
9. The Holidays are just around the corner
8. Time to bust out my cold-weather clothes
7. Chili
6. Campfires
5. Wearing boots
4. Aaron's birthday
3. Fall colors
2. Season Premieres
1. Football

September 28, 2007


Because I'm a one-stop-shop kinda girl, I've set up our Flickr account so that you can get to our pictures from the Blog. Click the link on the right side of this page under Randomclicky called Photos Galore. Then click on the small photo and Voila! you're in.

On the main photostream page, pictures are in the order in which they were uploaded which means right now they are quite out of order and there may be pictures from long ago first in the photostream. A fun and easy way to view the pictures in which you are interested is by clicking on a Set along the right hand side of the main Flickr page.

Eventually, after I get all our old pictures uploaded, there will always be recent pictures on the main photostream page. So check back often if you want to see photos galore!

Flikr On!

September 27, 2007


I apologize for the absence of posts this past week. All of my extra Internet time has been spent uploading photos to our new Flickr site. Bryan and Andrea gave me a "Pro" account for my birthday, which means I can upload thousands of pictures! It's been fun to go back and see pictures from the last eight or so years; and really fun to organize them all into Collections and Sets. (That's dorky Flickr speak. Holla to my Flickr Peeps!)

So what is up in Bussey world?

Well, I've had a birthday. Yes, I had a great year 28; and have become a fine 29. My friend, Stacy, made the most delicious PINK cupcakes and brought them to me at work. That's right, I had three pink cupcakes for breakfast on my birthday. What a great way to start the day! My Mom, Dad, Bryan, Andrea and Aubrey came down for the weekend to help us celebrate. We had a nice time just hanging around the house, eating out at some of my favorite spots including Amy's Ice cream, and visiting the Farmer's Market. It became apparent over the weekend that Aubrey is kinda partial to her Uncle Buss. (Darrell, don't be jealous.)

Aaron and I got to go to the UT vs. Rice football game last Saturday. We went early to tailgate with Trisha and Daryl and the infamous Texas Tailgaters. This group really knows how to do it. They have been tailgating UT sporting events for at least fifteen years! A big BBQ Smoker pulls up on a flatbed trailer to cook up enough food to feed an army. Tents are set up to shade the chairs gathered around the flat-screen t.v. which is tuned in to other football games until the 'Horns kick-off. The Texas Tailgaters set up right at Trinity and MLK, basically across the street from the stadium - prime spot for hootin' and hollerin' with all the fans on their way to the game. TEXAS! FIGHT! We had a lot of fun at the game. In addition to beatin' the white off Rice (I heart Colt McCoy), we saw a camera man be knocked over by a shot from Smokey the Cannon and Aaron learned all the right times to "Hook 'Em" during the fight song. Texas Fight! Texas Fight! Yea Texas Fight!

What else? OH! We had new carpet put in our bedrooms! YAY! The old carpet was soooo ready to go. It told me. It was stained and worn out. Rhett was able to get some extra carpet at no cost to us (or him) from a house he was building. So that made it especially nice! Sadie approves of the soft new floor.

On Sunday, we had what Aaron sadly believes, will be our last lake day for Summer 2007. Granted, technically it was officially the first day of Fall, but we all know that in Texas, "Fall" don't mean squat. It was a beautiful day on Lake Travis. Not too crowded as most folks are in the back-to-school routine; not too hot, because it was, after all, a Fall day; the water was perfect; great friends. This time we had two tubes going behind the boat. It was DOUBLE the fun to be out there with another person. Aaron and I were even able to tube together. Of course, he fell off before me.

And I'll leave you with this sweet picture of Aaron and his baby-dog. Sometimes I think Scoop gets more cuddlin' than me.

September 19, 2007


Ahoy mateys!
Shiver me timbers, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Give me creaky bones somethin' ta dance about, and all you Sassypants come en celebrate with me!
Don't be a landlubber; git ye a Grog and see to it that you don't find yourself in Davie Jones' locker.

September 18, 2007


A few weeks ago, Aaron and I got in bed and had this conversation:
Aaron: I couldn't fall asleep last night.
Angela: Really? Was there something on your mind?
Aaron: Not really. I was figuring out this math pattern in my head. It's like when you multiply a number by itself; then you cross multiply that number with the next highest number and itself, and you multiply your original number and the next highest number, and you add the two numbers directly across. . .I can't explain it I'll have to write it down and show you.
Angela: Zzzzzz

So the next evening, Aaron shows me this:

Aaron: What do you think it means?
Angela: Ummm, I think it means you're a Genius! I can't believe you figured this out in your head!
Aaron: What? It's not that hard.

Here's a list that was linked from Mental Floss today: Ten Easy Arithmetic Tricks. I sent the link to Aaron, but then I realized he probably wrote the list. He really does know all kinds of math short-cuts and tricks. He's always doing math problems in his head.

I guess we compliment each other like that. I do words, definitions and spelling; Aaron does numbers, measurements and spacial stuff. He is also creative, resourceful and a better than average artist. And that's what makes him a genius - BOTH sides of his brain are big.

Yep, I married a big-brained genius.

September 13, 2007


"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men."

Happy Birthday to Roald Dahl, without whom we would never have met

The BFG,

Charlie Bucket,


and my personal hero, Matilda Wormwood.

September 10, 2007


SuperScoop put on her special mask this weekend to deal with a mystery critter she's been stalking around our yard. Saturday night, Aaron and I returned home to discover that SuperScoop and Sadie were up to some serious reconnaissance while we were out.

This was their mission:
1) Confirm identity of mystery critter: skunk

2) Establish a standard M.O. for provoking a skunk to spray all members of reconnaissance team

3) Determine the quickest way to spread skunk smell

4) Prove how much your humans love you by being allowed to sleep inside; even if you do smell like the most rotten egg ever and they have to sleep with the windows open and hold towels over their noses while they try to fall asleep

September 09, 2007


1. Load the trashcan into the back of your new handy-dandy mower trailer.

2. Secure the trashcan so it doesn't slide around in your new handy-dandy mower trailer.

3. Hop on your mower with the new handy-dandy mower trailer attached and head for the curb.

4. Unload the trashcan from your handy-dandy mower trailer and leave the can at the curb.

5. Hop back on your mower with the now empty new handy-dandy mower trailer attached and head for the house.

6. Convince your cute wife to take a ride in your new handy-dandy mower trailer instead of trekking back up the driveway.

7. Wonder if your neighbors are watching and wishing they had this much fun on a Wednesday night (with their new handy-dandy mower trailer).

August 30, 2007


I am here to report that a new addiction has taken over my life. Books are being left half-read on the bed side table, dust is collecting on the mantle, phone calls aren't being returned, dinner has been reduced to grilled cheese (not even w/tomato soup), my running shoes are feeling neglected (ok, that's really nothing new), my sleeping patterns are disrupted, even the dogs are suffering.

What is it, you ask, that has me in a headlock? Why do I feel like I've been body-slammed by the big boot and legdrop?

Hi. I'm Angela. I'm a Hulkaholic.

That's right folks. I'm addicted to Hogan Knows Best.

Let me define addiction: the intense feeling to race home from work and settle into my over-sized chair with a grilled cheese and find out what's happening at the Hogan house; the inability to do anything else while I have access to the DVR; staying up way past my usual bedtime to watch "just one more" episode; Aaron pointing out that I grin cheesily at the television screen as the Hogan's lives are played out.

I've been addicted to TV shows before. There was the Sex and the City run Renee' and I had when we lived together in our tiny one-bedroom apartment with no cable. And also the Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica fix, which was also co-chaired by Renee'. But it's been a while since I've fallen off the wagon. And I never fall for reality shows. (oh, wait, except for that Newlyweds thing.) Usually I just have an intense liking for shows (Grey's Anatomy, House Hunters, Dirty Jobs). Maybe those were just gateway shows. This is beyond intense.

So how did it begin? Where did I get my first taste of Hogan? It all started when Aaron innocently set the DVR to record Hogan Knows Best, just to check it out, see what it was all about. But isn't that how all addictions begin - what's one time gonna hurt? I'll tell you what one time will do! It will hook you faster than you can say Thunder in Paradise!

Although the show is in its third season, and the first taste was a Season 3, our DVR caught a re-run marathon and recorded the first 36 episodes. Yeah baby! That's what I'm talkin' 'bout Brother!

Really, though, Terry "Hulk" Hogan is a surprisingly normal, sensitive guy. Yes, he still sports the handle-bar mustache and yes, he only wears shirts without sleeves, but he is a genuine person and a great dad to his two teenage kids, with a bandanna-clad headful of great advice and sound parenting. "Fight the fight when you know you're right" was his battle cry in the episode where the city of Bellaire was trying to make the family get rid of one of their pets (gasp! can you even imagine?!) so they would be in compliance with city ordinances.

His wife, Linda, is really great too. She is the typical do-everything Mom. She's funny and laid-back, but passionate and loyal. So what if she has platinum hair and a chest as big as the Hulk's? She loves her kids, respects herself and does not overdo it in so many ways she could.

The kids are pretty normal too. Well, except for the whole thing about Brooke trying to break into the music industry. During the episode where the family goes to L.A. so Brooke can record her debut album, Aaron said to me "If she can release an album, you could release an album." Geez, Aaron, have you been drinkin' haterade? (but really, he's right.)

Overall the whole family seems to have a genuine respect and caring for one another. They have their moments, but they are a tight bunch.

This morning I found out that Nick Hogan was in a pretty bad car accident earlier this week. Luckily he's ok. Whew.

I really have to go now. I'm starting to have withdrawal.

I'm going to go tear my shirt off now. Grrr.