Plano Balloon Festival 2012


Truth be told, I was not so inclined to get up at 0500 hrs on my day off to see hot air balloons but the grandmother in me felt a need to experience this event with our 2 year old Annslee. 
 "Balloon Glow"... fired up the balloons before sunrise. Beautiful.
I wonder what time the balloonists get their day started.
She loved it.

A look inside.

 So, was it worth getting up at 5 am? 

Uh, yeah.

Bloggy Boot Camp


So I go to my first ever conference on Blogging yesterday. "Bloggy Boot Camp" offered by, a website designed to promote and educate women bloggers.

First of all...Well done Sits Girls! You took a group of 150+ women, fed, watered, educated and massaged us!

Assigned seating arrangements were brilliant! I met so many lovely, intelligent and interesting ladies all armed with business cards. Who knew? I was not ahead of that curve. Maybe next year.

Now, I do not mean to minimize the value of this conference but I've got to say that in addition to a lovely lunch served by the DoubleTree Hotel, attendees were fed biscuits, bacon, ham and coffee cake by Petit Jean Meats. Mixed fresh fruit, yogurt dip, hummus, pita chips, chocolate covered strawberries, mimosas, and "ice cream for the road" by Kroger. The kicker? Free scheduled chair massage also sponsored by Kroger.  My kind of store.

Speakers included The SITS Girls themselves, Tiffany Romero and Francesca Banducci, Laurie Turk, owner of, Angela England of and Elizabeth Jayne Liu of amongst several other excellent speakers who possessed full appreciation and knowledge of Twitter and whose vocabulary included acronyms like SEO and RSS.

All for only $99.

I am so inspired to learn what SEO and RSS mean...but not before I get a business card and learn how to tweet.

September 11, 2001


Toronto, Canada
Confused and dazed, I was alone and attempting to navigate myself through a sea of dismembered bodies, covered in dust, on the streets of the city. My thoughts were of... where to begin? How to triage? There were so many. So overwhelming. Hard to breathe. Almost impossible to see for the dust. The high pitched squeal of what sounded like a thousand birds chirping was deafening despite the otherwise silence.

6:00 am
I woke up panic stricken, sitting bolt upright in bed, bathed in sweat and short of breath.

My husband and I were in a downtown Toronto hotel room that day, with plans on returning to Dallas on an afternoon flight scheduled out of Buffalo, New York.

8:46 am.
After witnessing the jets crashing into the twin towers, a sense of urgency prevailed. Compelled to leave the city immediately and drive to the Detroit, Michigan border, I knew instinctively that crossing the New York border would be impossible.

Within minutes, firefighters were entering the World Trade Center. Carrying close to 100 lbs of gear on their backs, they began the arduous climb up to do their job.

This is where it became personal. My husband is a firefighter and I know he would never question the futility of this mission. This is what they train for and who they are.

It was my last real-time view of this tragedy.

No mention had been made of "Terrorism" yet. The Pentagon had not been hit and Flight 93 had not crashed. The Twin Towers were still standing.

9:37 am.
As we were checking out of our hotel, the desk clerk informed us of the Pentagon strike.

1:00 pm.
We arrived at the Detroit border. The US/Canada border crossing was slow but still open. Shortly after we crossed into the US, no one was allowed to travel into or out of the US/Canada.

Radio accounts kept us informed throughout our trip home. We were spared the first hand televised news coverage and for that, I am grateful. We arrived home, safe and sound.

It wasn't until I turned on the TV and saw...
People looking confused and dazed, attempting to navigate themselves, covered in dust, on the streets of the city. It appeared as though it would be hard for them to breathe and almost impossible to see for the dust. There was a high pitched squeal of what sounded like a thousand birds chirping

Was my dream on the night of 9/11/01 a premonition or a coincidence?

I asked my husband what the high-pitched sound was and he told me that it was the locator alarms that all firefighters wear.

The alarm sounds once you stop moving.

Paranoid in South America

Anticipating travel to South America was both exciting and scary. Admittedly, reports of muggings, kidnappings and police corruption go...