2015 was filled with rough times at our house.  I actually thought about skipping my "update" page thinking it would be depressing trying to share our year.  But as I made my initial list of facts, stories and updates, I realized that the rough patches, while very rough in some instances shared a year with some amazingly good times.
Our Hearts Were Broken
In January we said goodbye to Julie (Micky's mother).  She was almost 90 but her health and mental acuity held on until the last few months. We buried her on a bitter cold day with a brutal north wind but like all things in her life, Julie would have never complained.  I will always remember that anytime I asked her for something she replied, "Help thyself."  Such a sweet way to say "of course I will share." 

Julia Mae Seaton Woodard

July 31, 1925 -

January 8, 2015


The day Julie passed away we put my mother in the nursing home.  She had pneumonia and needed time to rehab.  By April  her pain was constant and aggressive.  She entered the hospital with pneumonia and was transferred back to the nursing home.  A stroke and congestive heart failure were too much for her.  She passed on May 17.  Marvin and Micky did a wonderful job with the service reminding us of Faye's mantra,  "Just be nice."

Winona Faye Brown Self

February 1, 1930 -

May 17, 2015


In December my dad, Micky and I headed to Branson to see some shows and act like tourist.  While there my dad became ill and was rushed to the hospital.  He died December 20th in Springfield, Missouri.  He loved kids, animals, farming and baseball.  He took care of my mom when she was diagnosed with cancer.  He was a veteran and very proud of his service. He was the perfect mix of ornery and sweetheart.   Like Julie, his funeral day was brutal.  Fifty mph winds out of the north and a blizzard on the way.  I do not know how folks live in that weather!


J. L. Self


February 2, 1927 -

December 20, 2015'


The first of April found our little rescue dog, Pippen, very ill.  A trip to the vet and our worst fears were realized.  She had cancer and her time had come.  She brought so much joy to our house  We still miss her silly antics that made us laugh and her unconditional love.


???? -

April 2015


And There Were Miracles
In March we received every parent's nightmare; a late night phone call that Jamie had been in a truck roll-over and was being airlifted to the hospital.  Everyone that sees the photos of the truck are amazed he survived.  He is still dealing with worker's comp (yet another nominee for inept idiotic government agency) but in December - yes it took until December, they finally did a procedure to start the repair on his shoulder.  He is still doing therapy and hoping the procedure worked . . . .     And yes - this is a picture of the truck!
Grandson number 2 and grandkid number 4.

Gatlin Tate Land chose an amazing birthday  - Friday the 13th - which resulted in a unique birth date - 11.13.15.  Both are appropriate for an amazing and unique grandson.  He weighed 8 lbs 10 oz and was 21 inches long.  Michael and Bethany are still smiling, albeit they are usually yawning when they do.  A friend (Jan Morgan) once told me that the best thing about being a grandmother was watching your kids be parents.  I must say she knew what she was talking about.  All of our kids (and kids in law) are precious parents.

We Laughed and Smiled
Grammy (me) made the brilliant decision to expand GCamp to two weeks.  HCOAC what was I thinking?  We had a ball!  And recovered from exhaustion over time.  The kids painted, sewed, built, swam, danced and played.  I didn't even mind the little fusses they had  - just a good reminder that they are typical cousins.  Gramps and the girls dancing to "Micky you're so fine" on the patio was an embarrassment for Martin and a memory to cherish.  Casey hosted a family pool party weekend to close camp.  

And who knew glasses from the dollar store (with lenses removed) could be so much fun?

After two years and a whole lot of money (as in a butt load), Luchi has her work card.  I will say DHS/DOI goes in the same pile as worker's comp -  Government function at it's worst.  
In October my dad (J.L.) relocated to  College Station.  He lived about 6 blocks from us - so we could even walk over when the weather was nice.  We were proud that he helped us out by making it easier to check on him and spend time with him.  Except for his time in the Army he had never lived more than 15 miles from where he was born. He enjoyed for the first time central Air/Heat, cable TV and life in the city.  He was quite impressed with Little Caesar's $5 pizzas, Sonic half price burgers and Fazzolli's $2.99 Tuesday dinners. 
And We Traveled
In February we went skiing at Park City, Utah.  The snow and facilities are amazing. My ski talent was next to nil a few years ago and has now officially been downgraded to zero.  I enjoyed people watching with a cold adult beverage while sitting in the lodge.  After a long cold day on the slopes Micky ate fried mac and cheese with jalapenos.  He was thrilled with the skiing and the food.
March found us back in Vegas for the NCAA tournament.  Marvin, Linda and Colby joined us and we had a great time.  Everyone should spend some time in downtown Vegas - probably the only place where duct tape pasties don't even get a second look - except for a certain group of rednecks who were pointing and laughing and yes, sad to say, snapping pictures. Micky continues to validate the growth of his annual "token investment". 

  Ten years of friendship!

2005 - 2015

In June we finally made it to Canada to see the Buleks.  I have never seen so much water. There were lakes, waterfalls and rivers everywhere.  The Canadian Rockies are truly majestic and the glaciers are fascinating.  We ended our time in Calgary and Micky ticked one off on his bucket list when we made it to the Calgary Stampede.  The chuck wagon races are phenomenal.

"Hey Toto, we're not in Texas anymore!"


In August my dad and I drove to Colorado and spent a few nights with his sister, Aunt Deal.  The three of us drove on up to South Dakota and toured Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument.  It was a long drive, but an amazing and fun trip. In September we cruised with Gary and Vonaceil for their 40th anniversary (and our 23rd).  Micky has always wanted to learn to play 42 but we never seemed to have the time.  So . . .Gary traded vodka (from Mick's stash)  for 42 lessons and by the time we docked Micky was doing pretty good at 42 and  Gary was booking another cruise!
   In October my dad, accompanied by Marvin (my brother), participated in the South Plains Honor Flight for Veterans.  They flew to Washington and spent 3 days touring war memorials, museums, Arlington Cemetery and meeting congressmen at the Capitol.  It rained almost the entire trip, but both of them said it was still an amazing time.  They were greeted by a cheering crowd on their return to Lubbock.
Speaking of Micky and his travels,  he was one lucky man in 2015.  He made it to Minnesota, Denver, Waco, Amarillo and Austin on business travel.   In the future he would like to pick his meeting places and Amarillo in December is definitely not going to be one of them . . . Geez!  However there is not a lot of years left if he sticks to his plan.
 One last trip of the year, we are headed to Houston to watch the Red Raiders take on the Tigers in the bowl game.  Guns Up!!!
Looking Ahead
In 2016 we (of course) will head to Vegas in March.  We have stopped making excuses about why we go.  We enjoy the heck out of it and we want to go, so we go.  Over 80 college games for more than 10 years and I still lose more than I win.  Guess that is why it is called gambling.

In May we are going back to Mexico to celebrate another milestone - mine - but hey if you are gonna get old - do it on the beach :-)    Micky is close enough to retirement and it is a big birthday for me, so we decided to get our money's worth out of the airfare and stay a few extra days. 

In November we have booked what I am calling a "Protest Cruise."  A group of folks that are already disgusted with the election BS are heading out on November 5th and will spend election day on the beach in Jamaica.  We will spend the next day avoiding the media's rehash of the election in the Cayman Islands then on to Cozumel where we will once again avoid the continual commentary they call reporting.   Everyone is invited, the only requirement is no politics!  Here is a link to the information.

We plan to combine a trip to Vegas and Palm Springs in December.  Micky will check NFR (Naional Finals Rodeo) off his bucket list with this trip and we will get to meet the Bulek's new puppy, Harry.  We will also see how George's newly replaced hip functions on the dance floor. 

In Our Hearts and Prayers
Our grandkids are growing fast.  Natalie is almost 9, Katy is almost 8 and Martin celebrated 6 this December.  By this time next year Gatlin will be a year old, walking and dismantling the Christmas tree.  

For 2016 we pledge to spend more time patio sitting and less time "connected".  We will make more phone calls and send less texts.  We will stand in the shade and talk to our neighbors instead of liking their status on Facebook.  And of course we are going to eat healthier, exercise more and finish every project we start.  Now stop laughing and know that up until I got ridiculous  - - - it is an honest plan.

One thing we learned from 2015 is "don't take anyone or anything for granted."  Make the effort to spend time with the little folks, they grow so fast.  Make an effort to spend time with the older folks, they go too soon.  Tell your family and friends you love them and that you appreciate them. Travel, learn, experience  - and most of all do it while you have the health to enjoy it.   

We leave you with this thought:  "The best things in life are not things!"


We wish each of you a Merry Christmas

and a safe and Happy New Year.