Breakfast with Santa 2008

December 15, 2008

Saturday morning on South Padre Island there was a chance for kids to have breakfast with Santa at Schlitterbahn.


The fine folks at Schlitterbahn piped in wonderful Christmas carols and created a beautiful Christmas scene so everybody was in a festive mood.


Of course the big moment was Santa’s arrival.


Island Princess Face Painting had lines of excited kids as usual. 


 We called this the “Wassup Santa.”


 cause good Santas are badass.


 This cutie seems to be thinking, “You mean all I gotta do is write this down and the dude behind me delivers?”


 There was Christmas storytelling


 and some of the most adorable kids you could ever see.


 downright cooolllllllll……….



Their artworks were prominently displayed and will be at city hall as well.

Like, duh, why wouldn’t it be? They’re masterpieces right?


Mrs. Santa was so pretty. So is Island Princess, Jr. there on the left.


This Santa couple was the epitome of Christmas class and made it a complete success again.


South Padre Island is a great place for families with children. You can find out more about South Padre Island here.

Willie Nelson in Concert

November 2, 2008

Today featured the highlight of the South Padre International Music Festival.



The sky was so blue and clear.








Can you believe this is NOVEMBER?

You can when you realize this is SOUTH PADRE ISLAND we are talking about… paradise in South Texas.

This is just one of the HUGE speakers they used.


Mayor Pinkerton greeted the crowd before the concert.

People of all ages had gathered for the culmination of the music festival.

There were lots of cold refreshments.


Notice the guy in the bottom left corner of this picture below.


What do he and this woman have in common?


When I heard screams, I knew who was coming. He was flanked by security guards.


It was none other than the king of country.

The crowd sang along during, “Beer for my Horses.”


“Whiskey River” was a crowd favorite.

as was, “Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.”


The sandcastle was not featured in red lights as it was for last night’s metal acts.


Quite a few people showed up to dance, sing, scream and clap along to Willie’s hits.

“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”


“Good Hearted Woman”


“If You’ve Got the Money (I’ve Got the Time)”

He threw his bandana into the crowd near to a blonde girl who had been holding up her shoe the whole concert with a sign that said, “Sign my shoe?”

Blue Oyster Cult in Concert

November 2, 2008

South Padre Island is a veritable paradise with its balmy weather and spectacular sunsets.

Golden, spectacular sunsets are the norm here.









What is out of the norm is seeing really great big name rock-n-roll bands.

The Last Vegas played at Schlitterbahn and tore it up!

This was a high energy rock band.

They were from New York and had everyone screaming, jumping around and banging their heads.

The singer literally bounded around the stage with all his energy

and boy were the girls screaming for him!

I noticed that the huge red face with the dark, empty eyes looming over the crowd was only the sandcastle lit up in red.

The highlight of the night was seeing Blue Oyster Cult Saturday night.

Eric Bloom (above) was on vocals, rythm guitar and keyboards.

The famed Buck Dharma made his excellence on guitar look effortless.

He kept the crowd mesmerized with his guitar mastery.

 When they played, “Godzilla,” the crowd went wild.

“Don’t Fear the Reaper” had everyone singing along.

Buck Dharma was nothing less than awesome.

 Their presence was made possible because of the South Padre International Music Festival.

Another Hurricane in the Gulf

September 8, 2008

I went to Schlitterbahn to have a good time today and get my mind off of a hurricane that is presently slapping Cuba in the face. His name is Ike and he was a Category 4 before he hit Cuba. I bought some season passes for Schlitterbahn, our local waterpark, and have not used them but once this whole summer.

It was hard to keep my mind off the possibly impending storm when there are directional signs all over the park with the rides’ names on them like: Tempest, Sea Blaster, Gale Force and other such horribly ironic names. Needless to say, I did not have a fun, carefree time. I love South Padre Island and everything about it and I do not want more damage to it. As I floated in the strong current I could see small, telltale signs that a powerful storm had come through and pried off patches of the thatched roof.

I mostly prayed as I looked up into the beautiful blue sky. A friend of mine told me her mother prays about four rosaries a day and said, “I am not up to that level of faith.” I think it is the quality of the prayer not the quantity, though there have been times in my life where I have known nothing else to do but pray my ass off.

Now there is another behemoth out in the gulf.

OK, you won’t believe this. I went to the dock in our backyard and I just saw a fish jump at least one foot up out of the water. He jumped twice actually; when he landed the first time, the splash he made made me look. He jumped again and I saw him leap up out of the water the second time. How sad even the fish love it here so much, they are jumping for joy. I sure hope that storm doesn’t come here and devastate us. That would be horrible. All I can do is pray.

Always Keep Good Records

August 24, 2008

I received a strange phone call yesterday. My husband’s phone rang and when he said, “Hello,” they asked for me then hung up. Again, the phone rang. My husband said, “Hello.” They asked for me and then hung up.

I’m thinkin’ I’m lookin’ really bad right now. I said, “Honey, if I were having an affair, I’d be having the pool boy call me on my phone.” Then my phone rang. Fantastic. Would this happen were it anybody else’s life?

I answer the phone and a man said he was the D.A. I wondered, “What ticket have I not paid or what friend of mine is in trouble now?” He starts out with, “Mam, I think you have been the victim of fraud.” I said, “Oh, no. What do you mean?” He explained that some season passes to the local waterpark Schlitterbahn were apparently sold fraudulently. I said, “Are mine good?” He said, “Yes, but they are fraudulent. Could you please tell me where you bought them?”

“Sure,” I replied, “I bought them at HEB. We had to go to the next town to buy them because this town’s HEB was sold out.” He said, “Let me remind you, ‘mam, that you are a victim here and not a suspect.” I said, “I know. We got them at the store.”

“Let me remind you that you are a victim here and not a suspect in this case,” he said. “So can you tell me again where you bought them?” he asked. I said, “I told you we went all the way to the next town to get them because this one was sold out. It was the HEB on …” and I tried in vain to think of the name of the highway that I used to know as 802 but was renamed in honor of somebody who had lived some kind of remarkable life. He repeated, “Let me remind you that you are a victim here and not a suspect.” I said, “I know. I am trying to think of which HEB it was. We bought it there are the store office.”

“They don’t sell this kind there, Mam. Could you please tell me where you got them?” he said.

“I told you, we got them at HEB in Brownsville because this one was sold out. We got in line at the customer service center and are on videotape buying them. We have to be. They have cameras everywhere there because it is the office.”

“Mam, let me remind you that you are a victim here and not a suspect,” he reiterated. “Just tell me where you bought them.” I said, “I told you where I bought them… at HEB, in Brownsville, at the store’s office in line with everybody else.”

“Mam, they don’t sell those there. Could I remind you that you are a victim here and not a suspect.” He went on, “We have it narrowed down to two people you probably bought them from.” I said, “I bought them at the store in Brownsville, in line with everybody else. We have to be on camera buying them. I know we bought them there. Didn’t we?” I turned to my family who was intently listening to my end of the conversation.

I looked at my family questioningly. Was I losing my mind? I asked them if we went to Brownsville to buy those Schlitterbahn season passes. They assured me I had not lost my mind yet. I told him, “My family remembers going down there and buying them,” then realized that would have no impression on him either. A family of scoundrels produces scoundrels so I’m sure he thought he was dealing with another Ma Barker. I pictured myself coming out on the 10 o’clock news in a few days, handcuffed and chained to the other people who were really involved in this.

I was telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and so help me God this guy wasn’t believing a word of it. I was getting frustrated because the truth was NOT setting me free. I thought, “This is what it feels like to be accused of a rape, convicted of a rape and sent to prison for a rape you did not commit.” I dejectedly said, “Maybe we have some proof here somewhere,” and I hung up.

My better half said, “Maybe I have the receipt,” when I told him what was going on. I said, “Yeah, sure. Who is going to have a receipt for something from five months ago?” He pulled out his anti-Pandora’s box of important documents, started digging and lo and behold.. there it was. An HEB receipt that when unfolded almost began to glow with its power. I clutched it and said, “Thank you God!” I hugged and thanked my husband for saving me yet again from a hell I didn’t even bring on this time.

Redemption in hand, I called the detective and told him I had found the receipt and told him the date of the purchase, the time and even the name of the cashier. “I’ll send somebody out to get it,” he mumbled disbelievingly. I hung up and realized that I was going to be asked to hand over the only evidence I had of my innocence and that if the other authorities involved were as trustable as this guy, I’d better go protect myself and make myself some copies of this document vital to my freedom. We went to HEB, of course, where we told the manager of the brewing scandal, and asked her to make copies of our innocence. She gladly disappeared into the back of the office and came back with two copies, for good measure. We went home and waited, relishing in our redemption.

When the two lawmen came over, I invited them into our innocent home and sat at our innocent table where I showed them the copy of the receipt. He repeated assuringly, “I want you to know that you were always just a victim in this situation and not a suspect.” “Can it!” I wanted to tell him but smiled kindly and understandably and said, “I know.” Of course, I had to show him the original receipt which we ended up handing over because we had copies and witnesses now to the validity of our claim. The four of us in the room knew our involvement in this scandal was over.

The detective who so loved the phrase, “I need you to know that you are a victim and not a suspect in this case,” handed me his card and said, “If you ever need anything…” I countered by handing him my card and saying, “And if you ever need anything…” We shook hands and I walked them to the door gladly closing the door behind them and the trouble they had tried to bring into my world.

When the scandal breaks and it comes out on the newspaper or on the evening news, I am going to know how close I was to being sucked into that horrible mess and how easily one can go from being a victim to a suspect… for lack of a tiny piece of paper. I am going to save all my receipts now, no matter how insignificant they may seem for it is alot easier to save a receipt for ten years than to do ten years.

Finding Happiness

August 17, 2008

Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit
of happiness; it is generally the by-product of
other activities. Aldous Huxley

When I begin to feel downcast, I must immediately turn my thoughts to other positive pursuits or chains of thought or get dragged down into the depths where Satan wants me. For example, one day I told my daughter that she was not going to have the same childhood I was; I used to think it was cool to not be involved in anything at high school. I did what was necessary to pass but did not really put in the effort in excelling so I decided that I was going to make sure that my daughter was going to have a productive and rewarding youth. I called the SPI Chamber of Commerce and got in touch with the people who were in charge of the children’s activities center at the Christmas parade. Even though I was told that there were five other parties who were going to be doing face painting I still asked if I could come which was a good thing because when the day came, none of the others showed up. My daughter and I were suddenly the star attractions. You should have seen the line. The line of kids waiting to see me was 30 deep and my daughter’s line was just as long. Those poor little kiddies waited so long that I couldn’t bear to even take a 1 minute break because I did not want to risk making any one of those precious babies disappointed. They were watching us work with huge fascinated eyes and would bunch around while we worked. They came up with neat designs themselves, for example, I had a dolphin as one of the designs they could select. A cute little girl asked, “Can you put a Santa hat on him?” I said, “Good idea!” and it began. Next a boy wanted a spider, that was not on the list of cute Christmas-themed designs I had displayed. Luckily, I am a spider-making expert and I drew an awesome spider on his hand, and to save me from getting in trouble with his mom, I added a Santa hat for good measure. I am sure he wanted a spider for the shock effect but that cute red and white Santa hat turned that terrible tarantula into an adorable arachnid.

So we realized we were good, really good, as a team and as painters. I chalked this experience to one on the “Good Mom” list and put up the paints in a place where I would remember for next Christmas at Schlitterbahn.

5 months later on a warm spring day, my boyfriend, Terry was driving me to Brownsville for a good ol’ dose of downtown treasure hunting when the phone rang. It was a man asking if he could meet with me that afternoon because he liked my resume. “Thank you, God!” I said then we went on to Brownsville to get the items we needed. Of course, I was gathering things we did not need and trying to convince Terry how much we did need them when I saw a beautiful set of paintbrushes at a ridiculously downtown Chinese Brownsville price. I figured, “Oh well, as long as I remember where I put them, I could use them for next Xmas.” We got back in our trusty little car and headed back for paradise island and my phone rang as we went down Hwy. 48. The caller asked if I was the one who did the face painting at Christmastime. She said we did a great job and wanted to know if we would be willing to be sponsored. Apparently the good people at the Texas Surfrider Foundation in South Padre wanted to know if we could help their booth be the best and we could and did. They were the nicest folks! One thing I love about South Padre is that people are genuinely kind and caring. All day long we did nothing but have a good time out there in front of Louie’s. There was a general excitement in the air as there were pirates everywhere. (It was South Padre Island’s 35th birthday and they had quite a bash!) Pirates and scalawags were everywhere! Everybody was decked out in their pirating best. We put in a good long day for the kids’ sake and headed home, tired but it was a good tired.

It turns out that the by-product of my conversation with my daughter about how she was going to have a more constructive and productive adolescence than I, was a new adventure. Turns out that with practice and tips from the pros and some investments into professional equipment, we are now  doing birthday parties, church youth group activities and are going to bring smiles to children’s and parents’ faces at the awesome South Padre Island International Music Festival over the Halloween weekend this year. It feels good to have a talent that brings joy to many others and I only discovered this hidden talent when I was searching for a way for good to take the place of bad, or blah, in my daughter’s life.

A dating friend of mine is having trouble finding the right man. I tell her, “You will find him when you are not looking for him. Be involved in other things and you will meet him somewhere somehow. It will happen.” For happiness is not found in the pursuit of it, but is the by-product of other activities. It is kind of like when God shuts a door, he opens five windows, never just one as other people say. Don’t believe God opens just one window. When He shuts a door, it is usually because it would lead to somewhere dangerous or ugly so He shuts a door but opens all the windows in the room.