Central Texas… where do I begin?

We have now lived in Central Texas for 5 1/2 years. In the beginning, everything was new to Husband and I. We left Chicago, Illinois for lots of reasons, mainly though, to get space from complicated families and to start a new chapter of our lives. Husband had just finished his Associate’s Degree, and I was laid off after seven years at my job. We moved here after having visited Austin for 5 days in 2009 and me spending two weeks while Husband spent six weeks in Austin in 2010. To clarify, we now live in Williamson County rather than Austin, though  I work in Austin and the difference now is negligible. This place is not what we though it would be, as the shine has worn off.

As much as I like the Central Texas sunny days and winters with little to no snow, I have a long list of things I am iffy about and even really dislike. Bare with me while I rant a little.

Is it too much to ask for people to exist without being passive aggressive? If you’re going to do something and be a jerk about, just own it rather than waving at me about it, like that erases your actions! Maybe Chicagoans and other Northern varieties of people are rude, but at least I know what to do with that. Enough with the fake friendliness! Send it back to California, or wherever it came from. The only good thing about the fake friendliness is that, if you can spot, it will alert you to the fact that this person is probably going to trick you, do a bad job on whatever work you are paying them for, or that you should just avoid them at all costs. I saw this after Husband I dealt with a leasing agent, a real estate agent, a painter, a music producer, a chiropractor, a tile salesperson, and some many others I can’t keep track of. The chiropractor did untold damage to Husband’s back, and good luck finding a way to sue her and actually get paid. The painter and his crew painted our house worse than a group of 12 year olds with no experience. Husband ended up hiring someone to re-texture our walls so he could repaint everything, which costs him double and saved us no time, which is why we hired a painting company to begin with! Oh, and the attorney we hire to get some of our deposit back, couldn’t even get the job done.

***Stay tuned more posts in the coming weeks***

 

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Walking Around the Texas Capital…. Merry Christmas!

I took a walk from my office in downtown Austin to the Texas State Capital building and grounds on my lunch break a few days ago. The sun was shining and the temperature was about 74 degrees, not bad for a December day!

I’ve been to the Texas Capital a few times but I wanted to see if there were any Christmas decorations, and take a look at some of the statues and plaques.  I captured just a few statures and memorials, as well as a few historical pieces while I got some exercise and enjoyed the beauty of the day. Texas is a state with a rich history, being that it was once controlled by Mexico before becoming independent and then joining the United States of America. It is also the second largest stated and has the second largest population.

I may have been born and raised in Chicago, but I am proud to be a Texan! As the saying goes, “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.”

Merry Christmas from Texas!

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

Moved To Tears… Happy cows

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Moved to Tears.” Describe the last time you were moved to tears by something beautiful.

This may be a big admission, but I don’t normally cry unless I am sad or frustrated. That’s not to say that I don’t cry. However, the occasion touching moment that really gets to me does happen from time to time. Not that I don’t have moments that touch my heart in some way, it’s just not how I express myself on a regular basis.

One moment that did move me to tears was watching dairy cows being let out to pasture after all winter. This came to my attention while perusing articles on The Blaze news website: Watching the excitement of cows put out to pasture after a winter inside. I read the article but didn’t have time to watch the videos. The next day at work when I needed a break, I used my phone to find the cow videos and found this one on YouTube:

This farmer also has a website I plan to look at a bit more: http://www.richardcornock.co.uk/#!

Watching those beautiful cows run about joyfully, eating freely, and seemingly joking with each other made me so happy. I even shared it with a co-worker who had a similar reaction on a stressful day, which also made me happy. Now that I live in Texas I frequently see cows grazing and napping in the sun and I find it calming and peaceful. While I live in a town, the country is a short drive away and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the scenery.

Boyfriend and I drove past a feedlot farm in West Texas on a roundtrip a few years… all I can say is yuck and how sad. We could smell the feedlots before we saw it and it seems to go on for miles. I was disturbed to see cows cramped into small spaces, some of the standing on mounts of excrement because there was nowhere for them to go. And to think that those cows and others treated the same way produce a lot of the  red meat that Americans eat everyday.  Not to get on my soapbox but, if there is plenty of land to keep building and building and building houses, shopping centers and other buildings while there are homes going unsold, vacant crumbling buildings in major metropolitan areas, and lots of people who can’t afford housing, we have plenty of space to let animals roam as they are meant, especially the animals that produce our food.

Photo0057Boyfriend and I used to purchase pasture-raised beef, eggs and ham from a farmer in Illinois, and loved the food his animals produced. The eggs are the yummiest with the most golden yolks I have ever seen, and I really miss the deli ham! I can also attest to his animals being well cared for and pastured-raised because we visited Nature’s Choice Farm. If you are near Chicago or the South and Western suburbs, you should check them out! Photo0056

I’m here… Part II

I started my blog in November 2014, and I am proud to say that I am still here. I have been writing about different things that I notice or have affected me personally, covering topics from my family and Boyfriend’s family, hobbies, politics, my hometown Chicago and my new home Central Texas, and life in general.

I have written in various forms for most of my life – poems, journals, stories when I was younger, and news articles for the school paper. I did it because I liked it and it helped to get thoughts and feelings on paper. I wouldn’t say that my poetry was great but I enjoyed writing it, and it helped me process life in my own way. I haven’t written poetry in a long time, maybe 2-3x in the past eight years, which I have tied to working in social services. My jobs have entailed lots of people time, sometimes dealing with lots of stress, and I would gain satisfaction from helping others but also be left drained mentally and emotionally.

I really enjoy blogging- writing blog posts and reading blog posts. I wish I had given this a-go sooner than I did but I am glad I am  here. Kind of reminds me of the saying about Texas, “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as soon as I could,” which also pertains to me. I hope to gain more comfort in sharing my thoughts publicly, though in a most anonymous manner, and I hope to develop skill at building different types of posts. I plan to continue writing about various topics, including family, life, politics, and other topics as they peak my interest.

Again, welcome to blogdaysofchrell!

My hopes for our leaders…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Dear Leader.” If your government (local or national) accomplishes one thing this year, what would you like that to be?

My hope is that the politicians we elected, at all levels of government will do their jobs by making decisions for the true good of the people, not for the good of only their families, their investment portfolio, a small group of society they think will vote for them, or for the good of the devil they made a deal with to get into office. My hope at the national level is that more Americans will come forward who are not afraid to ask questions, that our elected officials will put our interests, our rights, our economy and the problems of our people first and that they will let the rest of the world handle their own problems for awhile (Ron Paul commercial). My hope is that we, as a country, will exact less of our solutions when we are not solving our own problems or, rather, are creating our own problems. My hope is that our texts, our phone calls, our emails, our photos will be securely ours because, to quote Kentucky Senator Rand Paul at 2015 CPAC, “I believe what you do on your cell phone is none of their damn business.” 

courtesy of www.zazzle.com

My hope for this country is that we can appreciate why we exist and how we came to be, which was to be free from an oppressive government (See explanation on http://www.history.com –  American colonies declare independence). The Declaration of independence and the U.S Constitution and Bills of Rights are the result of a desire for freedom and liberty. I realize that they were written in a time very different from the present and that our forefathers were imperfect in many ways but these documents are still important and have stood the test of time. It is troubling to me that some groups of people would even classify our forefathers as troublemakers or terrorists for, without them, we would not be living in the United States of America.

 

As a Texan, my hope is that Texas will maintain it’s independent spirit. My hope is that the Texas Legislature will eventually pass Constitutional Carry, but I am pleased that Open Carry is making great progress and that Governor Abbott supports it. I believe that each American should have the right to defend themselves but that it should be his or her choice. Police typically show up after the fact, and I keep seeing stories of people with firearms protecting family, friends, fellow shoppers and their pets, which could not happen without the ability to legally possess a gun. My hope is that more Americans see value in having more choices rather than less choices, and that they will not over-regulate to the point that criminals, rather than good people, are armed. My hope is that Texas and my corner of Central Texas will not borrow us into the monetary condition of states like Illinois, which remains toward the bottom of the economic outlook list (48th in 2014). My hope is that Texas will protect itself from both intruders and the federal government, who seems to forget about states’ right when they make policy.

Overall, my hope is that all of the predictions of another economic collapse, another war(s), and further restrictions on our rights don’t come to fruition, though these events are likely to happen at some point, and my hope is that we can tip the scales back in favor of the people.

Liberty and Justice For All -courtesy of http://www.zazzle.com

Texas Flag – courtesy of clipartpanda.com

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell