Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the tag “miss texas”

Pros and Cons of Bowleggedness

For my entire life, I have been bowlegged.  I did not have rickets.  I attribute the condition to riding horses and genetics.  Many fine athletes, such as Gale Sayers and myself, are bowlegged.  It gives us a better base for our superior balance than if we were, heaven forbid, knock-kneed.  Tacklers find it much easier to tackle players whose knees collide anyway.  One might be able to tackle a knock-kneed player with one hand, the knees being so close together and all.  As everyone knows, Gale Sayers and I can only be tackled with great difficulty.  An opposing player can barely reach around both knees at the same time.  I don’t know if Gale likes to ride horses, but I do.  Again, the advantage for a bowlegged rider is obvious.  But enough about me and Gale.

Let’s contemplate the legs of my lovely wife, Miss Sugar.  I doubt that prior to this very day she ever desired to have bowed legs.  For example, when she won the swimsuit event in the Miss Texas pageant, she did not have bowed legs and it is possible that she might not have won had she had bowed legs.  Of course, that is speculation, but nevertheless, Sugar has never seemed envious of my legs.

Today Sugar learned that her legs, as good as they might look, are not as functional as the bowed legs of me and Gale Sayers.  I will tell you what happened today.

As we were talking to a lady in the front yard of a suburban neighborhood, she told us to watch out because a loose dog was coming towards us.  The large dog approached from the rear.  Suddenly, he was in front of me, having passed between my legs.  It was like going under a  bridge.  I do not recall feeling any contact.  He just walked through.  I had an adequate inseam as well as space between my knees.

Then he tried the same thing with Sugar.  It did not go so smoothly,  The dog nearly knocked her down when he tried to go between her legs.  He did not have room to maneuver once he tried to squeeze through.  He got into the tight space and panicked.  Sugar had to move forward with him to try to keep her balance because he was so tall that she was almost sitting on him.  It was like she was riding him.  They moved forward together for nearly ten feet.  Finally, the dog was free again.  Sugar kept her balance.  The danger had passed.

Sugar might be re-thinking which of us has better legs.


The photo above was displayed for weeks at a gallery of photography.  It was larger than life-size in the front window.  These are Sugar’s actual legs.  They served her well for modeling and girly things but, let’s face it, as Gale Sayers could tell you, they really would not work for a running back in the NFL.  Just sayin’.

coffee at church

I am the fella wearing a blue shirt and white hat.  Note how a large dog could run between my legs.

Kim K Copies My Fashion


Very recently, I saw a photo of Kim Kardashian wearing jeans with holes in the areas of her thighs and knees.  My first thought was that she must be bucking bales of hay because I have over the years had many pairs of jeans with that exact same look.  I suspect that Kim and other fashion leaders noticed me at the feed store or while I was doing chores.  I know I look good in jeans, but I always believed women were studying my Wrangler butt.  Apparently, they study my thighs as well.

Here is how to get holes in the thigh area of one’s jeans.  As you lift bales of hay, use your leg to help bring the bales to your middle area immediately prior to using your arms to lift the bales above your waist or even head, depending upon how high you are stacking the bales or throwing them onto the hay wagon as another person standing on the wagon aka hay rack (as in hay rack ride), to stack bales there.  I perfected the technique as a young teen trying to keep up with older fellas picking up hay bales from the field and then handling them again to stack the bales in the hay loft of the barn.  “More bales!” we would yell, implying that the other cowboys were not keeping up with our respective selves, the superior workers.

Kim did not explain the worn-out jeans that she was wearing so she might not want me to explain the process of achieving that look.  She does not seem the type to throw bales of hay, but now you know.  I see her in a whole different light.  What a hard-working cowgirl!  I had previously thought she shopped on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills or Hollywood or wherever it is.  I do suggest she get more sensible footware.  I wear cowboy boots.  They have heels, but not spindly ones such as Kim wears above.  I doubt she wore those shoes in the hay fields.

I hesitate to publish this because I fear that a bunch of California girls will be contacting me to ask about stacking hay bales.  I will have to reject their assistance.  After all, I am married to Miss Texas and she looks good in her jeans with or without holes in the thighs.  Kim could learn a lot from Miss Texas but I wonder if she is capable of grasping what Miss Texas knows.  Miss Texas is way out of Kim’s league.


scamp bowing

Take a bow, Miss Texas!  (I doubt Kim can ride a trick horse).

Girls’ Afternoon Out

My lovely wife, Sugar, aka Miss Texas, on occasion goes to a nail place for manicures and pedicures.  Some women do that.  Girly ones that is.

As you, dear readers, know, it is a universal truth that manly men do not get pedicures, nor do they get manicures.  It is also an undisputed and widely known fact that I myself am a manly man.  Well, until today that is.  This very afternoon I committed an act which likely will lead to me being required to turn in my manly man club membership card.

But I can explain….

Several years ago a horse stepped on my left foot, resulting in an injury to my big toe.  I don’t rightly know whether it broke my toe because I am too tough to get it checked out by medical personnel.  I just know that the subject toe turned black and blue and the toenail fell off.  The injury affected my gait for awhile causing me to go on “injured reserve”  which as you can imagine prevented me from playing in any NFL games for that entire season, whichever season that was several years ago.

Unfortunately, that severe toenail injury resulted in the replacement toenail growing back in thicker and misshapen.  Up until then, my appearance was without flaw.  Since then, I have been unable to model sandals.  Losing gigs as a sandal model has been costly by limiting my opportunities to earn a decent living.

So, out of economic concern, when Sugar, who was sharing a car with me, thus stranding me at the nail salon, suggested that I get a pedicure while I was stuck there waiting for her anyway, I conceded.

So I did, very self-consciously, take a seat in one of those pedicure chairs, carefully watching the front door in case someone I knew came in.  I was ready to duck.

That toenail on my left big toe now looks and feels mahvelous!!!!!!!!!

Hey, before you judge me, walk a mile in my boots.  It was pretty difficult with that thick, ugly, jagged toenail tearing holes in all my socks.  Now my boots are more comfortable and, darn it, I am more secure about my masculinity than ever.  (Just promise to not tattle to the National Football League Players Association.  I don’t want to be laughed out of the locker room).





This is a re-blog of a story that fits the subject matter of Deadly Dangers at Cross Creek Ranch, yesterday’s post.

Shootin' the Breeze

My trophy wife, Sugar, was outside with the dogs while I watched Chisum.  As it turned out, viewing the John Wayne movie was a good way to prepare for my imminent deadly showdown.

I heard my wife’s alarming scream.  Then she called out to me, “Al, come out here.  Hurry!”  I moseyed up from the couch, ever obedient, ever vigilent.

I still did not know what she was frightened about.  (Girls can be overly dramatic and mysterious).  I empathetically inquired about what was troubling her.  Her response was not responsive to my question.  She uncalmly commanded, “Get a gun.”  Well, that was the main idea.  She was much more eloquent.

As an aside, in order to give some background to the scenario, I want you, gentle readers, to be informed that Sugar grew up in Texas.  Also, she is of Italian extraction.  You may combine your prejudiced stereotypes as you imagine  her emotional communication.

Further, Sugar’s…

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What Women Want

My Dad and I used to shave together. I started at an early age, around two as I recall.

The house in which I grew up had only one bathroom. My father would get up around 6:30 a.m. So would I. As he shaved at the sink, I joined him. Being too short, I stood on the toilet next to the sink so I could peek in the mirror as we both shaved. Dad used a shaver with real blades. In my early years, say two to six years of age, I used a plastic “electric” razor. It had a thing to wind up and it would make a buzzing noise for awhile. It also had a string attached to it, to act as the “cord” and at the end of the string, instead of an electric plug, it had a suction cup to stick to the mirror or even tile. No need for an outlet.

After we finished shaving, Dad would put on Mennens aftershave. It comes in a green bottle. He would pour some in one of his hands, rub his hands together and kind of slap it on his face. Then he would put some in my hands and I would copy him. That is why we both smelled so good.

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher, Mrs. Grebe, noticed how good I smelled. She did not keep her thoughts to herself. She commented to me about how good I smelled. I already knew it, but I accepted her compliment. I am pretty sure all the girls in the class noticed too. I told my Dad. He already knew. He said that girls like to smell Mennens. It is probably why my mother married him.

So, I kept it up. I continued to use Mennens aftershave. It is probably why my wife married me.

Many of you who have seen photos of my wife and of me have been wondering how I got a beauty pageant queen to go out with me, let alone marry me. I have been told that I married above my station in life. Now you know the secret to my success. No brag. Just fact.
valentine date

Valentine’s Day

It is almost Valentine Day again. I’m glad. I am blessed to have the same girlfriend as last year and the year before and so on and so forth. Lucky me!

Shootin' the Breeze

Sugar and I got engaged on Valentine’s Day.  I know what you are thinking — how unoriginal!  Yeah, I suppose Groundhog Day would have been more unique, but I am part of The General Public, and many of us in The General Public think it is romantic to propose on Valentine’s Day.

It is also a convenient way to remember the day of engagement for those who mark anniversaries of important events.  If we had gotten engaged on Super Bowl Sunday, for example, it would be difficult to keep track of the specific date, since the NFL has changed it over the years.  The Super Bowl used to be in January.  So if we had gotten engaged on a Sunday in January for the Super Bowl, the date would not always fall on a Sunday and if I waited for the Super Bowl in February to recognize the anniversary of our engagement, I…

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Sugar’s Job Offer

Miss Sugar is an artist. She is also a promoter for other artists, putting on shows and arranging for them to hang artwork in venues in our town, ranging from a bank and restaurants to even a veterinary clinic. Last week she rented her own studio within a gallery run by a group of artists.

I support Sugar in her art endeavors. Last night, however, I drew the line at what I could not support.

I helped her set up her studio by putting up a hanging system which is too complicated for those of you not familiar with art galleries to fully grasp. Let’s just say I used an electric drill, screwdriver, hammer and a saw. I’d like to give the impression that it was a job for a manly man such as myself, but the rest of the story is that Sugar, who is not manly at all, had to kind of tell me how to set it up. I might be stupid, but I sure am strong. Plus I can reach pretty high without a ladder.

Sugar also cut a piece of carpet to fit in a spot in the larger gallery, but then we needed a transition strip where the carpet met a wood floor. Let’s just say I cut the wooden strip with a handsaw, something a girl like Sugar would have trouble doing. She hammered the strip to the floor. Big deal!

We were at the gallery last night and I was sawing the wooden transition strips as Sugar was in her studio painting a watercolor. The gallery was closed, or so we thought. Some men came in for an after-hours class. It was a figure-drawing class. The students were there, but no model had yet arrived. Clearly, I was the maintenance man. Sugar came out from the room that is her studio to see who came in. Who was she? One of the men asked whether Sugar was the model. She said she was not.

“Sometimes our model does not show up.” One of the other men told us that with a worried look. He pointed out some of his drawings from earlier sessions. It was, I could see, a nude figure-drawing class.

The men did not know this, but Sugar won the swimsuit portion of the Miss Texas/USA pageant “back in the day.” In connection with that, the Kim Dawson modeling agency recruited her as a swimsuit and lingerie model for both “print work” in catalogs and newspaper and magazine ads, as well as runway work at the Dallas Apparel Mart. It is not only my opinion, but the opinion of modeling professionals, that Miss Sugar is above-average in the looks department. She continued modeling after moving to Colorado — for a classy dress shop. She even modeled for them at bridal fairs when she was approaching 40 but still looked 20. She was in their newspaper ads for years.

The men did not know that I am Sugar’s husband as well as the maintenance man.

One of the guys, tired of waiting for the model to arrive for the class, had an idea. It was for the good of the artistic community. After all, the class had assembled.

“Would you mind modeling tonight?” he asked Sugar. “We pay $25.00 for an hour class.”

I played dumb, which is easy for me to do. I made like he was talking to me and I answered in her stead. “Thanks for asking me to model, and $25 is surely more than I’m used to getting for taking my clothes off, but we have to get home pretty soon.”

I also added, “In my modeling days, I insisted on a warm room and it seems chilly in here.”

My sense of humor only goes so far. The man with the good idea did not clarify that he meant for Sugar, not for me, to be the model.

I am pretty sure he “got the picture” that I am her husband and did not approve of his idea. He might have also noticed when I arose from working on my knees on the floor that I am a fairly big guy.

If you ever have a bachelorette party at which you want me to pop out of a cake, I will do it for $12 plus mileage. You will need a pretty big cake.
Miss Sugar modeling a bride’s dress in Colorado many years after the Miss Texas pageant and while mother of a teenager.

Persistent Patriotic Flag Display

We used to fly a flag from a pole on our porch. It was nice. It was easy to stick in the holder and to remove it at night.

A couple years ago, we bought a 25 foot telescoping flag pole. In a blog shortly after the purchase, I wrote about the pole being bent to the ground by high winds. My sturdy installation, by putting it in a PVC sleeve in two feet of concrete below ground worked — for the part of the pole in the ground. The aluminum, or whatever the telescoping part was made of, bent at 90 degrees at the ground.

The manufacturer had a guarantee. So we took it up on that and got a second pole. Not surprising, we got the same result when high winds came. We did not ask for another. Maybe third time would be the charm, but I doubted that.

We went another route. We used iron irrigation pipe. It was one solid length of pipe and did not bend, but it was only about ten feet long, not twenty-five. It did fit in the same PVC concreted into a two foot deep hole in the ground. The problem was how to secure the flag to the pipe without the fancy rope and clips and stuff that came with the genuine flag pole.

The fourth step in my development of the perfect flagpole for our location was when I tried putting the irrigation pipe as a lining in the surviving pieces of the telescoping aluminum pole. It worked as far as it went since it could not go through the bent section at the bottom, nor the narrower upper sections. Consequently, the pole is now maybe fifteen feet, ten of which are reinforced with the irrigation pipe inside. So far that has worked.

Now the pole does not bend, but the flag takes a beating in the wind. We know it is disrespectful to have a shredded flag, so we have to replace damaged ones. We also know that unless a light shines on the flag at night, it needs to be taken down at the end of the day. We took the lazy route, and got a solar light.

I am looking at it right now. God bless our U.S. flag!

We also have a Texas state flag. I am not a Texan, but I married one, so I tip my hat to it too, and to Miss Texas.

How to Impress a Girl

The summer after my freshman year in high school, I worked at a horse camp for kids, as a counselor. It was called The Lazy H Dude Ranch for Kids. They had over 90 horses, including foals, yearlings and two year olds, which were not ridden by the campers. There were about 50 kids a week attending the camp and enough gentle horses for them.

My cousin Heidi got me the job. She was the head girls’ counselor the year before, when she graduated from high school, and returned every summer during college. She is four years older than me, Uncle Jack’s daughter. I was happy to get to have a job riding horses everyday.

Plus, I was allowed to bring my own horse, Gypsy, about whom I wrote in another blog post, Hot Girlfriend At that stage of our lives, I had just turned 15 and Gypsy was 3. The camp kids thought Gypsy was the coolest horse. She was pretty, a blood bay, and fast, always the first to run in from pasture. She was spirited, which does not make for a good kid’s horse, but is an impressive quality for a counselor’s horse. The kids enjoyed it when she tried to buck me off on certain occasions. It was good for Gypsy to get ridden for hours every day.

There was another girls’ counselor, Mary, who liked to ride another horse we brought to the ranch, Heidi’s black gelding, Domino. So, at the end of the summer, I lured her to visit me to go for a ride on Domino. She was my age. Neither of us were old enough for a driver’s license, so Mary’s brother drove her across state lines from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Nebraska, and I got another horse for him so he could accompany us on our romantic ride.

Since we were no longer at the Lazy H, we were where I knew the territory and they were unfamiliar with the area. So, accordingly, as host of the event, I led the way. For awhile.

I led them on a shortcut behind some houses that backed on the field. I showed off a little by galloping across the field. Gypsy was, as I said, fast. She was half Thoroughbred, racing stock. (The circumstances of Gypsy’s conception is another story, but I will say that Uncle Jack was surprised by her dam’s unplanned pregnancy.) See

So, as I swiftly led the way, full speed ahead, Gypsy changed direction from forward to up, then down, when a dog came from one of the backyards and ran at Gypsy. Gypsy’s “fight or flight” responses were cross-wired. Similar to the time she dumped me onto the hood of a car by bucking towards it rather than fleeing, Gypsy again chose to buck. Her bucking was not to get me off, I like to think, but to stomp the dog. I say that because after I went out of the saddle over her head and on to the ground, she kept bucking. I know that because I looked up from my back (having instinctively broken my fall as I’d learned in judo) and unhurt looked at the underside of my horse and quickly noticed a hoof coming at my head. So, without pausing to gather my thoughts, I quickly rolled out from under the horse, but not quite quickly enough because that hoof landed on my jacket and, in that instant, it tore because it was held briefly by the force of the hoof hitting the ground softened by the jacket being pinned as I rolled. Get the picture? The fact that the jacket was too large for me probably helped since I was not occupying the part that was stepped on.

As was her custom, Gypsy eventually stopped and waited for me to remount. It would have been more embarrassing if she had run home, riderless. She had unseated me before and, apologetically, always waited.

I remounted and, as if nothing had happened, rode on. However, something had happened. Besides the brief event itself, there was a reminder that could not be ignored. The jacket I was wearing was my father’s college letter jacket. He was not in college anymore, and it was very cool for me, a sophomore in high school to wear a college letter jacket. Wearing a torn jacket, however, was not nearly as cool. It was decidedly uncool, a totally new and unique experience for me.

I don’t remember ever seeing Mary again after that day. Her brother drove her back across the river to their home in the neighboring state. I made no more long distance calls to her. She did not return to the Lazy H the next summer like Heidi, Domino, Gypsy and I did. It seems she did not care about Domino as much as she had indicated. Poor Domino! He felt kinda rejected.

I didn’t like Mary that much anyway. And that is a good thing because, years later, when I met Miss Texas, I was available.

Miss Texas, aka Sugar, has seen me get bucked off too, but she stuck with me anyway. That is the kind of girlfriend to have. No brag, just fact.

I don’t wear Dad’s letter jacket anymore. I got one of my own. What I can’t figure out is why mine is too tight now. It probably shrunk in the wash.

Jersey Girl

My wife and I went to the movie, Jersey Boys, last weekend.  We really enjoyed it.  The singing group, The Four Seasons, produced many enduring hits. 

I did not grow up on The East Coast and so the Jersey scenes did not bring back childhood memories for me.  Sugar, however, felt some connection because, though a Texan at heart, having grown up (mostly) in Texas, she was born in New Jersey and lived there until she was in third grade.  Her parents are both from that area, so she still has many relatives there.  Half of those relatives are of Italian heritage, like all the members of The Four Seasons.

My Miss Texas is bi-cultural.  She also is capable of imitating a Joisey accent as well as the Texas accent at the other end of the linguistic spectrum.  I kinda like it.



Apache and me

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