Monthly Archives: December 2017

Saturday, December 30, 2017 – The Last Saturday of the Year.

It is the last Saturday in the year 2017. Tomorrow begins the countdown to a New Year beginning with the month of January. This begins the month of celebration for those of us fortunate to be born in the month named allegedly after the Roman god Janus.

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past.

Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace. The doors of his temple were open in time of war, and closed to mark the peace.

New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection and contemplations. Being a Capricorn born in January I am very good at looking backwards (history nerd) and envisioning the future (educator).

Thank you to all of you who follow Here’s What I’m Thinking. One of the things I will be reflecting upon tomorrow is “why?” I do hope it makes you smile/laugh and/or think.

So HWIT on this last Saturday of 2017. Here’s to US as in all of us and the United States of America. For the year 2018, let us smoothly pass through new beginnings, doorways and passages to achieve the sacrifices that freedom and justice demand.

Conroe, Texas. Photo by me.

Stay warm. Stay safe. Be sure to cover your petunia. See you next year.

But two items before I sign off: 1. Baker Mayfield – in today’s interview, you look like an old fashioned Oklahoma cow paddy. Hope you got the grit to do in The Dawgs.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017 – Merry Christmas from the Family

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 – Merry Christmas from the Family

Merry Christmas from the Family. Thank you, Robert Earle Keene for such a lovely song that describes the social institution known as The Family during the holiday season.

And thank you to my family for such a wonderful Christmas. I love my pajamas with tree lights pattern. I was wondering if they come in black. HWIT – I could pretend they are black slacks and wear them everywhere.

I was honored to sit in chair formerly occupied by my dear sister, Dale. Previously, I sat on the floor so this is a big leap.

For the next hour we oohed and ahhed over various unwrapping of boxes. I so love the portraits of the former Presidents on the greenish rectangular paper. I especially like the bill that has one of two portraits of a non-president. Hint: It is not Alexander Hamilton, but his pic looks pretty good in my wallet. Bonus: In 2020 a third non president will be featured on a US Currency. Do you know who it is?

As usual, I was thankful that no one who ate my cooking had to go to the ER or had to spend the night in the bathroom. I do not think the gumbo was my best effort this year. Maybe because I knew Dale would not be there to eat it. More than likely it was because I forgot to add a bunch of seasonings. Oh well.

It was a calm and peaceful Christmas filled with love and memories. Of course that could have been due to the bottle of Prozac I dumped in the gumbo.

Merry Christmas From the Family.

The GNieces and GNephews and the cutest GGNiece. Photo by me. Christmas 2017.

What Do You Mean?

December 25, 2017

What do you mean a large fat man in a red coat was in our house in the middle of the night?

Moo Moo Under the Tree. Photo by Kristen.


December 23, 2017 – Christmas Eve Eve Trivia

December 23, 2017 – Christmas Eve Eve Trivia

The Final Jeopardy Category is Famous American Poems.

The Final Jeopardy Answer is:

This is the title of the famous poem that ends with the following lines.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.

Player # 1-You – What is The Night Before Christmas?

I’m sorry. That is incorrect. How much did you risk? $5.00. OK

Player # 2-You 2 – What is T’was the Night Before Christmas?

I’m sorry. That too is incorrect. Oh. You risk everything.

Player # 3 – Me – What is A Visit From St. Nicholas?

THAT IS CORRECT! What did you risk? A smiley face because I get you every year with this classic Christmas trivia question.

Nevertheless, Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.

Photo by me

December 22, 2017 – Old Soldiers Never Die; They Just Fade Away

December 22, 2017 – Old Soldiers Never Die; They Just Fade Away

J.V. McClanahan

Born: November 4, 1925

Died: December 22, 2017

While most think of the quote “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away” is attributed to General Douglas MacArthur, it is actually from a song. It is posted at the end.

Mr. J.V., it was my honor to escort you to see your monument on the first Honor Flight out of Austin, Texas in 2012. Thank you for being part of The Greatest Generation that helped make the world free.

HWIT, Old soldiers never die: they just fade away and into peaceful rest.” But the memories last a lifetime. J, V., Doc, and Ray – The Boys from Luling, Texas are all gone now.Here’s to The Greatest Generation and to every military person today who keeps us safe. And Here’s to you, J.V.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017 – Got Your Petunia Covered?

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 – Got Your Petunia Covered?

This is station HWIT wishing you a good morning! It is a balmy 72 degrees this morning in The Lone Star State. And the sun is shining in a cloudless blue sky.

If you are headed to Texas for the holidays you will need to pack the following:


Tank tops

Flip flops



Fleece lined shirts




Hats with ear coverings


The morning temperature five days from now for Christmas Day morning in the Houston area is predicted to be 28 degrees. So prepare to protect your petunia. Cover it and keep it warm.

That is a good transition to Story Time with your host Fanny Faust. I understand, Fanny, that you are going to give us the background of your family’s story of “Cover your petunia.”

That is correct, Unnamed DJ. The origin of the petunia covering saying began sometime in the 1930’s in Flora, Louisiana. The bustling town of Flora served as a pumping station for Standard Oil and served as a sawmill town owned by Weaver Brothers Lumber Corporation. Side bar: Standard became Exxon-Mobile, Chevron, and BP depending on where you live.

The handsome hunk, fourth from left was the bookkeeper for Weaver Brothers, Randall E. Duffey

Like most sawmill towns there was a commissary. While the Weaver Brothers Commissary served as the store for general merchandise, it also served as the gathering place for the town folk to catch up on the local happenings and to pick their mail at the post office. Think of it as the social media of its day.

In most general stores of the day there was a large log burning pot-bellied stove that served as the heat for the store. Like most fires of this type used for warmth, one tends to freeze on one side and scorch on the other.

I am going use the person’s real name because she has been long gone and lives only in the petunia story. I am not certain how far Margie Cook had to walk from her house to Weaver Brothers Commissary, but one frigid bitter cold morning she rushed into the store, ran to the stove and hiked up her skirt to receive the warmth of the fire.

As warmth was achieved she dropped her skirt, gave a contented sigh, turned around and announced for all to hear “It was so cold last night my petunia froze!”

Sadly for Margie Cook the petunia story was frozen in time and history. The postal clerk had just put up the mail and the entire Weaver Brother’s Commissary was filled with town folk from Flora who just witnessed Margie Cook flash her petunia and announce just how cold it was in Flora, Louisiana the night before.

For decades when the weather turns cold (like 40 degrees in Texas) family members communicate to ask “Got your petunia is covered?” I hope yours is covered.

Thank you so much Fanny. I will need to double, maybe triple my petunia coverings this Christmas. That’s all for today. Station HWIT – Peace and Petunias Out!

Monday, December 18, 2017 – The Revival of the Christmas Letter

Monday, December 18, 2017 – The Revival of the Christmas Letter

Years ago I began a Christmas Letter. Those who were fortunate to receive one might recall. Some who were very fortunate to receive the entire book of Christmas Letters for years 1996 through 2008 might still have their copy.

I am not sure why I discontinued doing my annual Christmas Letter. I looked over the topics during those years. They ranged from poignant holiday memories to political satire to state parodies. As with HWIT today, even back then I was an equally opportunity snark. I dished the Clintons, the Bushes, and the state of Texas, commercial Christmas, the Republicans and Democrats. The letter of 2003 marked the year the Texas Democrats left in the middle of the night and took the bus to Ardmore, Oklahoma. This caused whatever bill that was up for voting in the Texas Legislature to fail. The Holiday Inn in Ardmore even had a sign “Welcome, Texas Democrats.” It was one of the funniest political moves I have seen.

Ya’ll, come on back, now, ya hear? It is 2018.

It has been nine years since I discontinued The Annual Christmas Letter. Therefore I am reviving my annual Christmas letter. Regardless of topic or point of view a common thread ran among the topics.

The world is in crisis; the New Year brings hope and we all long for peace. O was the Christmas Letter for 2008. Oh now I remember why I discontinued.

But here’s to the 2017 Christmas Letter. Feel free to refer to it in whatever holiday is your celebration at this time.

Christmas Letter 2017

To: The World

From: The Inhabitants of The World


Please send understanding, compassion and love. And please send a big load of common sense.

Thank you.


Friday, December 15, 2017 – WE THE PEOPLE SAID NO!

Friday, December 15, 2017 – WE THE PEOPLE SAID NO! The Barricades Go Up!

Help me Austinites! Who was the Esther’s Follies comedian who had the “Damn it! I’m mad!” routine? The late great Kerry Awn? Would love to see what one of his routines would look like today. Wow!

Damn it! I’m mad too! There are so many reasons, but today I am going with net neutrality. This is not a bipartisan issue. When three APPOINTED people make a decision when 83% of WE, the PEOPLE said “NO,” then we no longer live in a democratic state.

New time for a web page to load under no net neutrality. Photo by me. Anchorage, Alaska 2014.

When the sycophantic leader of the FCC then dances on the graves on the freedom of speech and freedom of the press in a mocking video, we live in a a reign of tyranny with a despotic ruler. The system is broken!

Austin, Texas 2012 photo by me.

Let’s just fast forward this revolution and let Napoleon crown himself via Twitter and let the barricades go up! Note: “and the barricades go/went up” is history talk for revolutionary actions such as, protests, marches, take overs, riots, statue take downs, heads rolling (literally and figuratively), torch toting, glass breaking, and all the other methods used throughout the revolutions of history. Historically, we know that the revolution continues until a broken system changes.

Thank you Alabama voters. I hope you are the first state to lead the rest of the states back to decency, common sense, courage and country over party.

Type Amen and Share on FB, Twitter and YouTube while you still can and not pay for it!

Thursday, December 14, 2017 – Here’s to Sam Houston State University! Go Bearkats! And Wheeling Jesus?

Thursday, December 14, 2017 – Here’s to Sam Houston State University! Go Bearkats! And Wheeling Jesus?

Even though I often write about sports’ teams, I do not write about one of my alma maters often enough. My SHSU sheepskin is the middle one.

Let’s go Bearkats! This is your year to beat the Bison in Fargo, North Dakota. You Betcha! You’re darn tootin’!

I am really counting on you. I want to have a National Championship T-shirt from each university from which I graduated. So far I have the National Women’s Bowling Championship from Stephen F. Austin. I would like to have at least two T-shirts with National Football Championships. This is your year, SHSU. Jimbo, you are up next for the T-shirt.

Both Sam Houston and North Dakota are 12-1. This is the NCAA D I Football Championship – Semi-Final. It is on ESPN2 tomorrow, Friday, December 15 at 7:00 PM CT. Go Sammy!

In other sports news, it is cold as a witch in a brass brassiere here and that means basketball season.

With my first sip of morning coffee I click on my tablet’s ESPN app. We all know how we are until the caffeine kicks in and our eyes focus.

Before that happened this morning I was scrolling through the Big 12 Men’s games to see in my unfocused state that the University of West Virginia was playing Wheeling Jesus University.

Now that will certainly pop open your eyeballs. Turns out the university is Wheeling Jesuit University located in Wheeling West Virginia. Go Cardinals!

To Sam Houston State University Bearkats:

BTHO North Dakota!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 – Happy Hanukkah

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 – Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah! May this Festival of Lights light the way for the world to sing in peace and with a song in our hearts.