15 years and how it now rolls off my back

Posted on Friday 8 July 2011

It just occurred to me yesterday that I have been publishing this newspaper for 15 years. Greg and I bought the newspaper on July 1, 1996.  Today I ran across my journal recording the decision process leading up to that significant event.

Rereading what I wrote  reminded me of how much my life has changed since purchasing the newspaper. For one thing, I restyled myself. I went from suits, high heels, and pantyhose to blue jeans and Birkenstocks.  Then my pace slowed. Those first few months in Spur, I would literally have to tell myself to walk slower. Mentally I had to decrease the speed of my thoughts and adjust my expectations for the speed of others. Both were welcome changes for this career girl who, at one time, had been intent on climbing the corporate ladder.

But the best changes for me have come in the lessons I learned here at The Texas Spur that revamped me on the inside. My patience grew as I learned not to take things others said so personally. I came to terms with the fact that criticism came with the territory, or should I say with the news ink. My mother always told me when I was a teenager that I had to learn to “let things roll off my back”.

I love “A-HA” moments. You know, those instances during which you suddenly realize that you really do get it?! One of those came when I got a nasty email from a local reader who was unhappy about where I put her grandson’s photo (who, by the way, didn’t even live here) when he got a sports recognition. She had gotten on my case once before about a similar thing, and it really upset me. This time, though, instead of doing it verbally she sent it in written form. I didn’t even finish reading the email before I trashed it then deleted it from my “trash” file. It felt good!! And I didn’t even brood about it afterwards.

I know I have made a lot of mistakes, but I have also done some things right. I’ve written stories that were considered controversial, but I learned it isn’t the messenger, or in my case the writer, who makes the story that way, but the situation I’m writing about that creates the contention. So I learned as I went, and the past 15 years have been my most productive years personally.  And yes, Mom, I finally learned to let it “roll off my back”.

cindit @ 3:17 pm
Posted under: Uncategorized
Who had the last laugh?!

Posted on Friday 13 May 2011

Since the Royal Wedding two weeks ago there have been many references to the similarity between Sarah Ferguson’s daughters’ attire (especially the hats) and that of the ugly stepsisters in Cinderella. Has anyone, besides me, thought that the similarities were more than coincidental? Check out http://www.popeater.com/2011/05/03/sarah-ferguson-beatrice-eugenie-hats-wedding/. I think Fergie and her girls were laughing about their appearance long before we were. And the media played right into their drama.

cindit @ 11:30 am
Posted under: Uncategorized

Posted on Friday 29 April 2011

I confess I am one of the 2 billion people who woke up at 3:00 a.m. today to watch the Royal Wedding. Tease me unmercifully, but my mom and I watched Charles & Diana wed, and I had a pajama party with friends for Diana’s funeral, so I was not about to miss the wedding of Kate and Will.

Two things made getting up to watch worthwhile.

1. Kate and Will seemed sincere when they took their vows unlike Charles who didn’t love Diana and Diana who barely knew Charles.

2. The HATS! Need I say more. Some were quite chic, others, well let’s just try to say something nice like “Now THAT’S a HAT!”; or “Lovely weather today. We’re fortunate that the wind isn’t blowing!”

It appears many of those head pieces, particularly the one worn by Princess Beatrice (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/gossip/2011/04/princess-beatrice-hat-facebook-royal-wedding-philip-treacy-hat.html), were designs inspired from the movie, The Grinch.

cindit @ 4:35 pm
Posted under: Local Life and Uncategorized
Making “scents”

Posted on Thursday 31 March 2011

I think things (i.e. situations, circumstances, occurrences) that are similar come in groups or “waves”. Lately I seem to be followed by smelly people. I’m talking about people with body odor (B.O.). It all began about a week ago while I was grocery shopping. I headed down the aisle when I detected a rank B.O. smell which kept getting stronger the further I went down the aisle. I looked around trying to figure out just who could be permeating the air with such a foul aroma. I went on to the next aisle and the stench became fainter when suddenly there it was again just as a gray-bearded gentleman turned down the aisle behind me. Now I knew who to avoid, so I quickened the pace and shot down another aisle a few rows down to escape. Resuming my shopping brought me to a back aisle running horizontally with the rest in the store. I hung a right, and he popped out from behind me. I just had to get away, so I started trotting pushing my basket ahead of me hoping not to draw attention to myself. But then what was I worried about. Anyone within the atmosphere of this fellow would know exactly what was going on. I only hoped I wouldn’t create a marathon, leading the way as people tried to get away.

This incident has been followed by several since then. Most recently, today I sat in a restaurant in a booth next to a guy who reeked. Needless to say I lost my desire to eat.  Maybe I am just more aware of B.O. now, since the first episode, but I really don’t think so. I think that as temperatures have increased some people have forgotten that they really do need to apply antiperspirant and shower EVERY day. Makes “scents” doesn’t it?!

cindit @ 9:50 pm
Posted under: Local Life and Uncategorized
Who’s afraid of Elizabeth Taylor?

Posted on Wednesday 23 March 2011

This morning I was standing in my kitchen drinking coffee and watching the news on CBS. They were interviewing the parents of Taylor Anderson, a 24-year-old teacher in Japan and a U.S. citizen, who died in Japan’s earthquake and ensuing Tsunami. Suddenly the interview was interrupted with “Special Report” and accompanying music. I thought, “Oh no, what’s happened: a terrorist strike, a war in Libya, another earthquake?! What?!” I thought surely  something really, really terrible was happening, when correspondents came on to announce, “Elizabeth Taylor has died.”  What?! I mean, I’m as big an Elizabeth Taylor fan as the next gal, but was this really “BREAKING” news that was so urgent you had to interrupt the interview with Anderson’s grieving parents?! Perhaps if Taylor’s death had been followed by her being miraculously brought back to life, then the announcement might have warranted “Breaking News” status, or running it across the news ticker would have sufficed until an appropriate moment to physically announce it.

I guess CBS News thought we would all need to know immediately if not sooner that a 79-year-old famous actress had passed away. While I was relieved that this was not a matter of national crisis nor national security, I certainly would have survived without knowing this until later in the morning or during the day, maybe the noon, or even the 6 o’clock news. But then maybe it was a national crisis for some people.

cindit @ 11:42 pm
Posted under: Uncategorized
Gossip-mongers and other nuisances

Posted on Monday 7 March 2011

Apparently an article in last week’s issue on funding cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and how that MAY affect rural health clinics has lent material for editorial insight by gossip-mongers. Unfortunately those who have so much time on their hands to create such fictional fodder never use it to actually get the facts.  If you READ the article it says nothing about the clinic closing nor does it say that the clinic’s nurse practitioner, Jennifer Warren, is leaving.  But there I go again putting ideas into idle minds. If they read this they will only see “clinic closing” and “nurse practitioner  is leaving”. So have a ball and assume all you want, because “assume” only makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me”.

cindit @ 11:32 am
Posted under: Local Life and Uncategorized

Posted on Friday 4 March 2011

I made a gross error and printed the wrong figure in the 3/3/11 article regarding the Spur ISD bond proposal. I wanted to get the word out asap, so I am posting it here and on our Facebook page.

A figure used in the 3/3/11 article about the Spur ISD bond proposal was grossly incorrect. The construction costs for the gymnasium and the auditorium would be $4 million, not $414,401,607 as printed in the March 3 article. The latter figure is the 2011 valuation on property  in the school district.
The Texas Spur apologizes for the misinformation.

cindit @ 11:12 am
Posted under: Uncategorized
Where’d all the good people go?

Posted on Thursday 3 March 2011

If you’re a Jack Johnson fan, like me, and, like me, contemplating yesterday’s Supreme Court decision regarding Westboro Baptist Church’s protests at dead soldiers funerals, the song, “Where’d all the good people go?” is humming inside your head if not on your lips. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0kZGb0R-AQ)

I own a newspaper. I write news and on occasion, my opinions, so I am in full support of their decision to uphold the first amendment. However, I do not support the lack of civility or malicious actions committed when people exercise those rights.

I don’t think our forefathers who authored the constitution ever dreamed that this particular scenario would be addressed as a “right” to free speech. The difference between now and then is obvious. Our forefathers exercised regard for people, unlike the parishioners from Westboro Baptist Church did when they protested at the funeral of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder who was killed in Iraq in the line of duty.

In case you missed it, here is the case: Lance Corporal Snyder’s father selected the Catholic church in the Snyders’ hometown of Westminster, Maryland, as the site for his son’s funeral. Local newspapers provided notice of the time and location of the service. Phelps became aware of Matthew Snyder’s funeral and decided to travel to Maryland with six other Westboro Baptist parishioners (two of his daughters and four of his grandchildren) to picket. On the day of the memorial service, the Westboro congregation members picketed on public land adjacent to public streets near the Maryland State House, the United States Naval Academy, and Matthew Snyder’s funeral. The Westboro picketers carried signs that were largely the same at all three locations.They stated, for instance: “God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11,” “America is Doomed,” “Don’t Pray for the USA,” “Thank God for IEDs,” “Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” “Pope in Hell,” “Priests Rape Boys,” “God Hates Fags,”“You’re Going to Hell,” and “God Hates You.”

The  church notified authorities that they planned to picket, and they did abide by the law by staying 1,000 feet away and complied with police instructions. Even though their protest was backed by law and their first amendment rights, it does not excuse their actions. I suggest Westboro parishioners and Rev. Phelps remember only God reserves the right to judge. They might also return to His teachings, like when Jesus said: “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2

And like Jack Johnson’s lyrics say:

Sitting round feeling far away
So far away but I can feel the debris
Can you feel it?
You interrupt me from a friendly conversation
To tell me how great its all gonna be
You might notice some hesitation
‘Cause it’s important to you, it’s not important to me
Way down by the edge of your reasons
It’s beginning to show
And all I really wanna know is…

Where’d all the good people go?
I’ve been changing channels
I don’t see them on the TV shows
Where’d all the good people go?
We got heaps and heaps of what we sow

cindit @ 6:21 pm
Posted under: Uncategorized
Cotton-pickin, I never know who I’m going to tick off

Posted on Thursday 20 January 2011

One of my Facebook friends posted that she drove to Lubbock recently and imagined that the cotton dolloped along the sides of the highway was snow. I understood her reference as I, too, often imagine that myself around Christmastime, and since she is from Wyoming, I’m sure she does miss the snow. Her post also reminded me of a series of letters to the editor I read in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal a few years ago. It started with one letter writer’s complaint that the cotton which slips from the cotton trailers during ginning season to find its way to ditches along the highways was litter and no different than the plastic sacks and other trash which are carelessly distributed by passing motorists. I found it amusing since most of us who grew up in this area tend to overlook the cotton on our highways, especially since it provides a base of livelihood for us, our family, or our friends. The letters to the editor following that one responded to that person’s complaint and became entertaining banter for a while that ginning season.

I was reminded of those letters again this week, when we received the 1/10/11 Jayton City Council minutes for publication in this week’s paper. Apparently a representative from TxDOT was summoned to the meeting to discuss how they handle cotton dispersed on roadways as well as flooding on city streets and residents’ yards. My staff and I found the cotton topic amusing especially since the TxDOT representative told the council that they have no control over people not tarping their cotton for transport,and, furthermore, were not required to “prevent cotton being spread all over the highways and in people’s yards”.  I admit it was a bit snarky of me, but I am in the business of selling newspapers, so I put a headline on the minutes that said: “Jayton City Council told TxDOT not required to move cotton off roadways”. Apparently the Jayton City Council did not appreciate it. I received a message on my cellphone this morning from the city secretary, obviously calling on behalf of the council, asking me to put only “Jayton City Council Minutes” on the minutes from their future meetings.  I have taken that suggestion, as I do all suggestions, under consideration.

cindit @ 11:17 am
Posted under: Uncategorized
Diving for Fish

Posted on Thursday 22 July 2010

Sorry for the absence from blogging, but I have been consumed by trout. I just got back from a second fly fishing trip to New Mexico this summer where I again tried to catch trout on a lengthy thin pole with even longer line between episodes of tangled fishing line. I have learned the best thing for performing this new hobby is to hire a fly fishing guide. The obvious reason for this is their expertise, of course, but I also find them useful for other reasons, too. My favorites:
#10.A guide can find a path down a steep canyon where I can’t see one.
#9. A guide can hold my fly fishing pole for me while I crawl over boulders to get to the next fishing hole.
#8. A guide can support me as I wade a fast current in a river up to my hiney.
#7. A guide can tie those tedious knots needed for tying on a fly and do it without cussing. I wasn’t taught this in Home Economics.
#6. A guide can untangle fishing line a lot faster than I can. Detangling necklaces never prepared me for this.
#5. A guide can see fish, pointing them out to me. Only I fake seeing them because, after all, how does he do that?!
#4 A guide carries lunch for me in a backpack.
#3. A guide will take care of me while my husband goes on downstream without being disturbed to unsnag my line.
#2 A guide, unlike my husband, will never be impatient with me about my sloppy casting ability. The guide will also offer helpfiul suggestions.
And the #1 reason to fish with a guide is he keeps me from drowning when I dive in for the fish I just lost while my husband was trying to get a picture of it.
So just do it! Call the Taos Fly Shop for your next gig on the river.

cindit @ 3:06 pm
Posted under: Uncategorized
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