The best magic show ever

Over the Christmas break my family was treated to the performance of a lifetime by my nephew Harley, I mean Hobo Joe the Magician.

Move over David Copperfield.

Hand over your wand Harry Houdini because Hobo Joe is in da’ house.

Hobo Joe began with humble beginnings living in a cardboard box that was discarded after Christmas of 2013. But as fate would have it, his wonderful auntie (that would be me) bought him a magic show kit for Christmas and encouraged him to put on a show for the family.

Hobo Joe diligently learned his tricks and was ready for performing the very next day.

Admission was reasonable and well thought out for a 10 year old lad.
General admission—-$1.00
Kids under 4 (his brother and Emma)—free
His grandmother was free, ‘since she’s a senior citizen’, he added.
His dad was free because he owed him four dollars. Now his debt is only $3.
Teenage girls were $5 each. (He had 3 cousins in this category).

He lost his magic wand before the show and even after offering an award for free admission to the person who found it, with no success, he carried on without.

Hobo Joe will not be stopped by something so trivial as a lost wand. The show must go on.

Hobo Joe turned his cardboard box upside down for his table, threw a table cloth over the top, and began the show.

We all assembled to watch his debut performance.

The audience was wowed by illusions, coin tricks, and sleight of hand. We laughed and cheered and oohed and ahhhhed. And when Hobo Joe got frustrated and threw his trick and said he quit, the audience chanted Hobo Joe, Hobo Joe, Hobo Joe, Hobo Joe till he mustered enough courage to carry on.

It was the best magic show ever and I honestly can’t remember a time where my family laughed together so much. Truly an experience I treasure.

On a side note, Hobo Joe is no longer living in a box and is saving up for a tuxedo.


Here Hobo Joe is thinking of a number or a color or something that Emma picked.


Hobo Joe poses with a picture with his dad, whose been there for him since the beginning (taken before he lost his wand, obviously).

A Post Where I Make Fun of my Niece and All Teenagers In General

I have a teenager in my home.  She’ll turn 14 in about 2 weeks.

Just in case, you don’t have a teenager in your home, let me tell you what these strange creatures do.

If they have any type of electronic device, they spend hours taking self portraits (selfies) with various faces, and posting them on social media sites near and far.  They are then to be “liked” and obviously the more likes you get taking pictures of yourself, with various faces, the greater the intrinsic reward.  I know this to be true, I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

The teenager who lives in my home is away visiting her grandmother right now.

Today she got a haircut.

And I got a picture text, of course.

A selfie, of course.  Along with the text, “What do you think of the haircut?”





I actually received two pictures.  She’s got to show all angles.


It’s a beautiful haircut.  She is a beautiful girl.

But what is with these faces?

We’ve talked about it before.

me:  Why don’t you just smile, you know like normally?

her:  that is my smile.

me:  really?  you raise your eyebrows and do your lips like that when you smile?

her:  yeah.  See?  {click.  another selfie}

Today, after receiving her picture texts, my husband and I immediately began making jokes.

J-Dub thinks she looks like she’s sitting on the toilet, although that’s not exactly his choice of words, when she raises her eyebrows and strains her face all up.

And then there’s the pucker, the “duck lips” as I’ve heard them called.

So, we decided to text her back and tell her we thought her hair was beautiful.  We also asked what she thought of Jason’s hair in these couple of shots.



Oh my, we were laughing.  I don’t know how he kept his pose or how I kept the camera from totally blurring we were laughing and snorting so hard.  Tears were flowing down my cheeks which isn’t hard to do when I get truly tickled.

EK was all up in our business during this charade.

She thought she needed to have some duck lips too.


Just in case I needed a reminder that she will be a teenager one day too.


And already playing the part.



Picture Perfect

After we buried my dad February of last year, I drove back to Texas basically with a pickup, plants, and a photograph.

The pickup still sits in front of my yard, longing for a spin around town.

The plants, I’m proud to say, are flourishing.

And the photo sits on a shelf in my dining room.

It was one of his favorites.  At one point, being technologically disinclined, he asked my sister to put it as his profile pic on his Facebook page.  I don’t know how he expected her to do that, as he had the picture in a frame two states over, but nevertheless.

It’s a tiny picture, maybe a 3 X 5 in a cheap brass frame with parts of the frame chipped.  It displays a much younger us.

I remember the day.  Thanks to a generous landlord aunt, my sister had recently scored a cheap one bedroom rent house, albeit in need of some TLC.  I was helping her paint, when our dad showed up to check on our progress.  I’m covered in paint.  He’s not.  The hat I’m wearing leaves me to question.  Was I painting in that hat or was it on his head and I put it on mine?  I don’t recall the detail.

On the back, he’s written, “me & ang, yukking it up in ’91”

I can’t remember the exact conversation, but I know it went something like this:  my sister holding a camera, my dad draping his arm around me, my sister telling us to say “cheese”, and right before the camera snapped, my dad sucked in his gut, and I busted out laughing.

“Yukking it up in ’91” he called it.

If I’d  known then that we had only twenty more years together.  Twenty years.  It sounds like a long time when you say it, but it sure goes by fast. What would I have done differently?  Anything?

Throughout those years, we had many more times of “yukking it up”, and I’m grateful for every one of them.

But I can’t help but wish we could have one right now.

Miss you dad.