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Mountains of Mercy, Piles of Principle (OS:S in the E-T on the 09/07/14)


From the 09/07/14 newsprint:

47 - Mountains of Mercy Piles of Principle (09-07-14)

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The Happily in Your ‘Ever After’ (OS:S in the E-T on the 08/03/14)

The summer that came in with a lot of quiet, steady sameness,

is rushing away in a swift current of changedness,

a ticker of new, fresh milestones running in day-to-day increments on

the ribbon that stretches back to our beginning.

Sometimes that ribbon gets twisted on itself.

Sometimes that ribbon gets whipped about in a tempest.

Sometimes we have to stop,

dig in,

patiently untangle,

smooth a frayed edge.

Sometimes we wonder what our girls will take from our example,

what they will have learned about the twisting and tangling,

and what they will have learned about the untwisting and the untangling.

And whether they will have learned that sometimes

we just have to tie a knot,

and hang on.

Some day it won’t just be a summer morning playing dress up in the back yard.

Brides (Summer 2014)

Some day it will be their own ribbons.

Their own twisted, tangled, wrinkled, frayed, wind-whipped, threadbare-in-spots ribbons.

And I hope that when they examine the imperfections of their ribbons, they see

patience in the untwisting,

steadfastness in the untangling,

courage in the wind-whippedness,

faith in the threadbareness,

beauty in the frays, and

love in all of the knots.

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Every single day, both of them (OS:S in the E-T on the 07/06/14)

She turned Six.

Other She turned One.

I stayed the same amount of mush.

45 - Every single day both of them (07-06-14)




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From Which She Is “Never Comin’ Down”! (Playset Makeover 2014)

The girls and I are workin’ this summer.

In May, we were fence stainers. (Mainly I was the stainer and they ran interference with their father and grandmother. They had a 100% success rate with their father, but a few times their grandmother slipped out, snatched up a roller, and went crazy on the fence too. I tried to be gracious and not to hog all the fun.)


Completing a fence staining project is apparently the equivalent of giving a mouse a cookie, because no sooner was the stain dry than Super Six and I realized how pitifully weathered and boring the playset was looking.

Before 1

Before 2

And so from every spare moment in June, we would squeeze time for being playset makeroverers.

Taking a good hard look at the leftover fence stain . . . and being over, over, over it . . . we decided to go in a totally different, colorful direction.

Complete with sample cards and prelim diagrams. And jazz hands.


I’ve gotten myself into a variety of paint projects over the years, and have learned that one of the most important steps in the project is to go confess to my local Sherwin-Williams professionals what I’m planning to do. Several times they have saved me from myself and I have always been pleased with their product.

This time, they gave me two suggestions for the playset: re-stain (and expect to do that at least one more time before the girls outgrow it), or oil-based primer and paint it (and expect it to last about as long as the girls’ interest in playing on it).

My skin still bearing a slightly-orange fence-stain tint in places, I happily placed my order for primer+paint.

The oil-based primer process though? Boring. Worth it, but borrrrring.

And slow-going.

The primer is thick;

the crevices, nooks, and crannies everywhere;

the available painting times before baby wakes, during baby’s nap, and after Mr. Goodbar gets home limited.

Super Six helped me pass the two-weeks of primering here and there by reminding me how unimpressed she was with the “ghost” playset.


When it was finally time to add color, I employed her assistance.

Sunrise Paint Party

Approximately half an hour later, she resigned.

Another two weeks later, et voilà!

After 1

Super Six went wild, spending her evenings swinging as high as she could while hollering about how “I don’t know how I got up here, but I am never comin’ down!” I’m not entirely sure what that is all about, other than it obviously being rooted in some kind of ‘awesomama’ sentiment.

After 2

In July, I’ve been a roofer (the in-office kind). Mr. OtherSuch hasn’t exactly taken to a ladder with excited sing-song proclamations verifying my gold-starness, but I’m sure that’s coming.

If not, my fallback plan is the official opening of a playset makeover venture.

As an introductory special I’ll probably even offer makeovers at the ridiculously unheard-of starting rate of 1,000 iced venti skinny caramel macchiatos.

Ridiculously unheard of on account of (1) a total bargain considering oil-based primer and crevices/nooks/crannies factors, and (2) the minimum, necessary amount of caffeine for me to ever complete another one of those projects again.

But the finished product, complete with giggles and songs and shrieks of  “woooo hooooo” really is quite worth it.

photo 1

Even if Super Six is never comin’ down.

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Annexation: Why It’s Not a No-Brainer


So . . . yes, I read the column in Sunday’s paper from Senator Glasgow wherein he expresses his amazement at my “continued critical rhetoric against Tarleton.” If you have not read it, you may wish to do so to give context to this post (column can be found here).

Obviously, I am far . . . → Read More: Annexation: Why It’s Not a No-Brainer

Whoa There Pardner: College Farm, Hunewell Ranch & the Water (OS:S in the E-T on the 06/03/14)

By wild coincidence (right, babe?), this spring’s local election cycle ended with my overwhelming delight at the voters’ mayoral and council selections . . . and with Mr. Other Such’s cardiologist writing my fella a prescription for blood pressure medication.

Really, the two are not directly related. Mr. Other Such is . . . → Read More: Whoa There Pardner: College Farm, Hunewell Ranch & the Water (OS:S in the E-T on the 06/03/14)

Wherein We Focus on The Good Ahead

Who among us was not exhausted by nightfall Saturday?

But you won, Stephenville: every single one of you who engaged, even passively, in the months of debate and discussion; each person who exercised their critical thinkers about our goals, our challenges, and how best to address both; and every voter who . . . → Read More: Wherein We Focus on The Good Ahead

Open Letter to Stephenville (05-08-14)

May 8, 2014


Sweet relief on the horizon: the May 10th finish line is in sight! Before we get there though, if you have the fortitude left, there are a few more things we ought to talk about—and for the sake of your blood pressure, I want to give you the signposts right up . . . → Read More: Open Letter to Stephenville (05-08-14)

Response to Senator Glasgow’s Letter to the Editor

Senator Glasgow directly addressed me in a letter to the editor.

My response to his letter is viewable on both the E-T website and in a public Facebook status at:


Post by Shelby L. Slawson. . . . → Read More: Response to Senator Glasgow’s Letter to the Editor

The Purple Council: Same Song, Second Verse (OS:S in the E-T on the 05/04/14)

I do not haphazardly enter the local political conversation.


Post by Shelby L. Slawson.

And I do believe this is a matter of importance (click to enlarge):


And I believe the exchanges with Mr. Cross on the E-T site both after my letter to the editor and the above . . . → Read More: The Purple Council: Same Song, Second Verse (OS:S in the E-T on the 05/04/14)