Thursday, September 29, 2011


Finn ran upstairs the other day crying, stating that he needed to go to the dentist. His tooth was wiggling which can be quite disconcerting for someone who had plans for keeping all of his baby teeth. I reassured him that losing teeth was normal for all children. I showed him pictures of a toothless Audrie, and we laughed.

The next day, Finn bit into an apple. His tooth succumbed to the pressure and bent forward and began to bleed…a lot. This, of course, produced more fears and tears. I reassured him that this, too, was normal as I tried to keep from passing out at the sight of the bloody, dangling tooth.

The next day, while eating a wholesome breakfast of powdered donuts in the car, his tongue finished the job of pushing that tiny tooth out of his mouth. And just like that, Finn hit another milestone…he lost his first tooth.



nessa dee

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

At the park

This is what we do while Audrie is at piano lessons…





unless it’s 100 degrees. Then you’ll find us at Target.

Today I decided not to change out of my painting clothes before we went out in public. Neither of my kids told me that I had a big hole in the back of my paint covered stretchy pants. Real classy, especially when you pair it with the child in a mid drift tank top. In his defense, Finn was dressed as an army man. I had no excuse.  When I sat on the ground, the ants saw my holy pants as an invite to a nice, shady world. I found myself hiding behind the playscape trying to dig out the culprit who was happily stinging my right cheek. I realized too late that I was still in view of the people driving by the park who caught a glimpse of the crazy hobo woman with her hand down the back of her pants.

It was not my proudest moment.


nessa dee

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ranching 101–Part 2

If you recall from part 1, we had just taken a cow to the vet to get a little nip and tuck. As soon as we got home, my dad got a call from another ranch hand that a cow was bogged down in the mud. So we loaded back up, and went back out to the ranch to get her out.


The poor thing was up to her stomach in mud from a broken water pipe. To get her out involved tying a rope around her buried back legs and dragging her out with a truck.


The kids and I were quite entertained watching these three men attempt to maneuver through the mud. DSC_0154_thumb2 

Their first attempt to pull the cow out ended in a broken rope, but thankfully, the second attempt was a success, and Audrie…well she made a new friend.


After the rescue, we ate a late dinner at a restaurant, the guys still covered in mud, went home, and hit the hay, knowing we would be getting up at dawn for another adventure.

The next morning was met with excitement as we would be watching the guys herd cattle with this:


The helicopter has made a cowboy’s job a lot easier. It does the job of a whole team of horses and riders in a fraction of the time it would take to locate and round up all of the cattle. And it’s a trip to watch. I would show you some awesome pictures of the helicopter right over head, ducking down in trees, and hovering just above the cows except that my camera quit just as it was taking off. It decided to work again right as they were bringing the last herd up to the pens, so here’s what we did manage to capture…



It really is an amazing thing to watch.

After the helicopter landed, my dad saddled up his old grey horse, Lonesome Joe, and got to work separating the cows from the calves.


[Picture of Lonesome Joe by Audrie]


Even with modern technology, ranching is hard. I was glad the kids got to see how hard ranchers have to work. It’s easy for us to grow accustomed to a leisurely way of life not getting a taste of plain old, gritty, hard work. I want the kids to appreciate such labor. I want them to be able to get in there and get their hands dirty even when the work’s tough, the days are long, and the weather’s hot.


No one ever says that doing what you love is easy. My dad sure works hard…


but he loves being a cowboy.


nessa dee

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


:: My studio is so messy right now, I can barely walk through it.

:: I made my kids waffles with whipped cream and syrup just so I could steal some bites.

:: I have a major case of artist’s block.

:: In a little over a week I will be displaying my art at a coffee shop downtown. I haven’t near enough pieces painted yet.

:: I lost my Diet Dr. Pepper somewhere in my house this morning, and I’ve yet to find it.

:: I might have finished the Diet D.P. and it’s now in the trash. I can’t remember.

:: I drink sodas so fast that I don’t remember if I’ve finished them. 

:: I now eat peanut butter mixed with plain yogurt. It’s kind of gross, but I look forward to it every day.

:: My door knob falls off my front door every time we shut it. It’s been this way for at least 3 months.

:: I didn’t brush my teeth this morning.

:: It took me 2 hours to get my camera battery off the charger into the camera. Somewhere in the walk from the charger to the camera I misplaced the battery because I forgot what I was doing and started cleaning.

:: Somewhere between cleaning the bathrooms, I misplaced the bathroom cleaners because I forgot what I was doing and started to blog.

:: I finally found the battery in the bathroom only to put it in my camera and find that the camera was still dead. Cursed camera! I put “buy a new camera” on my to-do list.

:: I’m wearing the same clothes as I was wearing yesterday. The sad thing is that I got up, changed out of my pjs into workout clothes to go to the gym, came home, took a bath, and made an effort to dig the clothes out of the dirty laundry to put them back on. Sigh.

:: Sometimes I wish I didn’t have a dog. It’s mainly when I find dog hair in my paintings, bed, food, hair, bath, etc. etc.

:: I just noticed that I never plugged my battery charger into the outlet, hence the dead camera. Cursed brain! I put “buy a new brain” on my to-do list.

:: I think it’s time for ice cream.


nessa dee

Monday, September 19, 2011

For some friends…

and their new sweet little girl.





Congratulations Erik and Abby!


nessa dee

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pure Sweetness

Finn + Daisy



nessa dee

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hello, Monday!

This morning…

:: I’m giving you a peek at our backsplash. Though it’s been done for a couple of weeks, I can’t seem to find enough time to clean and stage my counters for pictures. Here’s what you get for now, with the dirty stove cropped out.


:: It took a few days, but I’m finally liking…no loving these stripes…


I just need to find the gumption to finish the touch-ups.

:: Maybe Fred will help me…


:: Maybe Fred will help me finish these baby gifts, too…


:: School was going along swimmingly until…



I think I might have upset the sheriff with my angry eyes.


I’m sure that sticking a camera in his face helped to resolve the situation.

Happy Monday!


nessa dee

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ranching 101 - Part 1

Our trip down to my hometown of Cotulla was fast and furious. Though we didn’t race any cars, or do any Tokyo drifting, we did have quite an exciting time.

Cotulla’s been going through a lot of changes lately because of this:


No, it’s not home to the newest theme park. This little town has nearly doubled in size because of an oil boom. This rig in the picture is right across the street from my old high school. And, since my house is two blocks from the high school, we can hear the rig running all night.

The field behind my house which once was the brush covered backdrop for many childhood adventures has been cleared to make room for trailers that house oil company employees.


In fact, any bit of free space in town now has a travel trailer parked on it. Every hotel room in town is booked for several years. There are two new hotels being built in this one stoplight town. There’s actually traffic!

But despite all of the oil activity, some things have remained the same. My dad still houses enough animals to rival Jack Hanna; the kids think this place is better than Sea World [though they’ve never been to Sea World]; and I  get stuck with the task of explaining why we can’t take that dog, or cat, or donkey, or baby calf home with us.


This trip in particular was filled with some planned and many unplanned activities right up until we left. My dad, besides being super busy as a feed salesman, has also taken up a job as a ranch manager. From the moment we arrived, we were schooled in the art of ranching…which my kids soon found out was no easy task.

Cotulla, like just about every other place in Texas, is going through a major drought, which keeps my dad’s feed business in overdrive. When he’s not hauling feed, he’s on the ranch, trying to keep the numerous cattle fed and watered. The first morning there, we accompanied my dad to go burn pear cactus, in which he burns the thorns off of the plant so the cattle can eat it. It’s not a pleasant job by any means, but especially in 100 degree weather.







This, as you can imagine, is a hot job. The kids sat in the truck a good portion of the time, munching on ice. My dad was sweating through his Carhartt jacket, which is like sweating through whale blubber….not easy to do. The kids weren’t too keen on this little venture, but the biggest weenie was this fur ball:


She was terrified. She sat in the floorboard of the truck the whole time, wouldn’t drink any water, wouldn’t even eat the beef jerky I offered. To say she’s a spoiled little city dog would be an understatement.

After burning pear, we helped my dad load up a cow to take to the vet 30 miles away. This poor cow had a prolapsed uterus. If you want to see something really gross, look that up. I wouldn’t recommend it, though. It might steer you away from ever having kids. I could barely look at the poor thing. Her calf, on the other hand was beautiful. Moonpie Alice Cooper, as we named him, almost made the trip back to Austin with me. Just look at that sweet white face and black eyeliner:


While his mom was getting fixed up, we stopped into DQ for some ice cream.


30 minutes later, we loaded the momma up, and headed for home, where we were met with a whole new adventure. I’ll tell you about that in Part 2 of our ranching adventure, otherwise this post would be the size of a novel.


nessa dee

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day of School

Today marks our official first day of school this year. It’s also the first year of officially teaching two kids…eek! I’ve had an easy road teaching one kid who was always willing to sit and do her work. We’ll see how it works teaching two, one of whom can’t even sit through a meal without getting up to expend some energy at least five times. ‘Twill be a challenge I’m sure.

Here’s my big 5th grader:


And my silly Kindergartener:


Since I’m getting this posted so late, we’ve already finished our school work for today. My biggest challenge was getting Finn to pose for these pictures.


nessa dee

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hello, Monday!

This morning…

:: We’re enjoying how nice a cool 74 degrees feels. I actually wore a jacket for about 5 minutes.

::We’re trying to solve this puzzle of a desk system.


:: Stripes are nice. If I could get someone to paint them, that would be nice, too.


:: Crafting’s taking place.


:: So is mess making.


:: I finally cut someone’s hair. He said, “I look so different, but I still look like the same me! I still remember myself”


:: Ninja moves are a must.


:: Documenting everything from every angle, no matter how goofy you feel, also a must.


:: I really need to take my camera in to get fixed. It’s having trouble focusing on its work.


It also likes to just quit in the middle of a job. I think it needs some serious therapy.

Happy Monday!


nessa dee