BACKGROUND

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Passage

Today I found out that my friend, Farah, passed the Texas State Bar Exam!! I am beyond excited for her. She took it for the second time in February and between then and now, we have had many IM conversations about it. She was so worried she wouldn't pass and I kept encouraging her and telling her I knew she had done it this time. And today, it was made official with her name in black and white on the pass list!

I have been praying for many months for this outcome and I am so very proud of her. Farah and I talked on the phone today and she was so relieved, so happy, and so giddy. And so was I! As soon as I saw her announcement on Facebook that she had passed, I actually said "YES!!" in a rather loud voice considering I am in Starbucks. But I don't care because passing the bar deserves at least that much.

I knew you could do it and I am SO proud of you Farah, ATTORNEY-AT-LAW!!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

FIESTA!!

I have been in San Antonio since Thursday night hanging out with Dear Husband, my dad, and our doggers. We are here for Fiesta! Fiesta is an 11-day celebration in San Antonio with tons of events. I have been coming up from Houston for Fiesta since I moved here in 2002. It always takes place in April and is just SO much fun. There is no way to participate in everything that goes on during Fiesta, but we always see either the day or night parade and we almost always go to NIOSA or Night In Old San Antonio.

NIOSA is a huge multi-cultural celebration that is staged in La Villita. Vendors set up all kinds of booths selling souvenirs, tons of various foods from Mexico, Germany, China, and more. It is fantastic and I always enjoy it. The great thing about Fiesta is that it feels like the entire city is celebrating. Everyone is happy, having a good time, and just present in the moment. It's such a reminder to just have fun and let go of worries and concerns. The whole city is happy and that is something wonderful to be a part of.

We spent Friday night at NIOSA and tonight found us on a riverboat tour of the Riverwalk and then the Flambeau parade. It was amazing with several incredible floats, marching bands, dancers, and other performers.

Fiesta officially ends tomorrow, which is a bit of a let down, but I'm already looking forward to next year!

Friday, April 17, 2009

When it Rains

I woke up this morning and it was relatively calm outside. I let the dogs out and they romped around the back yard. And then...the wind started blowing. The thunder showed up to the party followed closely by the rain. And then lightening made its big entrance.

Personally, I love storms. I always have. I love being home, curled up under the blankets with a good book or taking a nap and letting the storm lull me to sleep. Unfortunately, not everyone in our house is a fan of storms. Poor Norman, our little white shih tzu, is terrified of them. I was sitting at my laptop playing around on the net when Normie came over and begged me to pick him up. I did and snuggled with him for a bit. About five minutes into having him on my lap, a huge crack of thunder exploded outside. It even startled me and that's saying a lot since I am not generally surprised by that. It was SO loud. I was glad I had Normie in my arms at the time because the poor guy probably would have been freaked out if he had been on the ground.

Later, I tried to put Normie on the couch with his brother, Chip (another shih tzu), and his sister, Peanut, but he wasn't having any of that. Finally, I decided we'd all go take a nap and just cuddle up together under the covers. The kids were all kinds of happy about that and Normie got right up next to me. We all napped and then I made the kids go outside to do their business. They were not so much happy about that. Peanut was ok because she is tall so she doesn't get as wet and really, she likes to romp in the backyard no matter what. Chip and Norman were not having any of it until I made them go into the yard.

They were all quite happy to be back inside and who can blame them? The picture to the right is our porch area at the moment. Anyone want to go swimming?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ignorance uses less paper

So here's the problem with being involved in more than one profession - you join the profession's state or national groups for the benefits of access to research materials, networking, and discounts on hotels, car rentals, and so on. In some cases, there is no choice. Being an attorney in Texas means being a member of the State Bar.

I am currently a member of The State Bar of Texas, The American Bar Association(ABA), and The American Psychological Association (APA). Three groups for two professions and all of them send me a ton of material all the time.

The State Bar sends The Texas Bar Journal every month and Texas Super Lawyers once every few months. The APA sends GradPsych (four times a year), The Monitor (once a month), and the American Psychologist (nine times a year). The ABA sends The ABA Journal once a month. In addition to all of those, I receive the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) materials informing me of upcoming seminars and classes. Those show up about once a week.

With all that, people still ask me if I will go on to get a Ph.D. in Psychology. I don't think so - when would I have time to read all the material that would inevitably come with that?? I think I'll stick with the six periodicals that I don't read now.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Learned

I have three college degrees: two B.A. degrees that I earned at the same time and a law degree. I am working on my M.A. degree now. After three degrees and halfway through my fourth, you would think I would have learned not to procrastinate on my homework. But no. No. I have not learned this very simple lesson of keeping stress at bay by getting things done in a timely manner. I hope someday (soon) to finally learn this because last night and this morning were a nightmare thanks to my habit of procrastination.

Last night, I was working on a psychological report that was due in class this morning. I always underestimate the time things like that will take me so I was still working on it at 1 a.m. I finally finished it at 1:50 a.m. I went to bed, but couldn't get to sleep until 3:30 a.m. That meant I slept for a little over three hours before I had to get up and drive to Victoria for my class. That was a 2.5 hour drive. I am grateful to Casey Kasem and his American Top 20 countdown for keeping me company and keeping me awake on the drive.

Toward the end of class, I was so exhausted that I decided to just stay in Victoria for the night. My trusty Motel 6 welcomed me with a clean room and a comfortable bed, which I made use of fairly quickly. A two-hour nap helped quite a bit. I'm still tired, but I feel a lot better than I did. I will make the drive home tomorrow after a good night's sleep. And I will NEVER procrastinate on my homework again. Keep me accountable to that dear blog friends because this whole exhausted, no sleep, driving to class, feeling like death would be a relief thing is a real hassle.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Living History

Yesterday, I decided to take Peanut to the bluebonnet patch near my office. I see the patches of bluebonnets in the field across from my office every evening when I leave work. They are so beautiful and I really wanted to take her picture with them. Bluebonnets are a Texas tradition in the Spring. You can read more about that here.

I knew the bluebonnets were on private property and I didn't want to intrude without getting the permission of the owners. I drove down the long driveway yesterday and knocked on the door of the house at the end. It was a beautiful home and a lovely property. An older gentleman answered the door and introduced himself as Mr. Smith. I asked if I could take my dog's picture in his yard full of bluebonnets. He was SO sweet and said that of course I could and he even offered to take my picture with Peanut, which I was happy to have him do.

Afterward, he sat on the porch and we talked. It turns out he's 84 years old and a World War II veteran. He flew planes in the war as part of the Air Force. He was very sharp and we talked about history, which was a favorite subject of his. and mine. I asked him questions about living through the depression in the 1930s and he told me what that was like. It was fascinating! He is the youngest of six boys and he had six children himself. His wife came out and joined us and she was just as sweet and smart as he was. I'm a person who loves to listen to people's stories and I always ask questions so this was a real treat for me.

These two were full of interesting stories and facts. It turns out that they built the home I was sitting in front of by themselves! They hired some subcontractors to help, but essentially they did a majority of the work themselves along with their children. Mr. Smith acted as his own electrician and his children learned a lot helping to build the house. It was a real family project.

I absolutely adored the time I spent with this couple and Peanut did as well. They let her run all over their property, which she loved, and they gave her a lot of attention, which she was hugely excited about. Peanut is much like me in that she loves people and is very friendly with everyone. I finally had to leave, but the two hours I spent with the Smiths was wonderful. I asked if I could come back and see them and they said absolutely, they'd love it. They said they love young people and are happy to have visitors.

It was a wonderful day for Peanut and me and I feel so fortunate to have met this amazing couple from whom I learned so much in such a short time. I look forward to visiting with them again soon.