Sisters and Birthdays!

We had so much fun celebrating my sister’s birthday and Memorial Day at the same time!  Thank you #StateLineBBQ of #ElPaso for the delicious meal!


Survival Guide for Formula 1 at Circuit of the Americas

Are you planning on attending the Formula One Race event in Austin, Texas?  This year the weekend event takes place October 20-22 and it again will prove to be filled with fun and excitement.  In fact this year Circuit of the Americas has some fun new activities for both kids and adults.

In order to maximize your enjoyment at Formula One, here is a list of 11 things you should consider bringing with you, and 5 things you should just leave at home or in your hotel room.   I’ve also included other TIPS for the weekend!  See you there!

What Should I Bring?

  1. An empty or unopened water bottle.  Anything else will NOT be allowed by staff at the gates.  The empty water bottle can be filled at the Water Stations located thoughout the facilty.
  2. Wear closed toe or athletic shoes.  Circuit of the Americas, or COTA is almost 3.4 miles of circuit.  Your parking spot may not be close to the gates so you will need to walk.  Some events are spaced far apart and although there are shuttles, those only take you from one gate to the next.
  3. Bring a hat, cap, or visor and a pair of sunglasses.  Texas is hot and almost always bright and sunny!  All of the Grandstands and Lawn Areas are in the sun.  Only the Main Grandstand will provide some shade.
  4. Do not forget your SUNBLOCK!  It is best to lather it on 30 minutes before arriving at the gates.  I’ve seen many people red as a tomato by the end of the first day!
  5. Mornings may be cooler and it would be smart to not only watch the weather the night before, but also bringing a light jacket will help keep the cool morning air at bay.
  6. A few years ago we had one of our worst rain events in the history of COTA.  It rained just about every single day that year.  That should not happen again; however, I do recommend a foldable poncho, just in case of an unexpected rain.
  7. Dressing in layers will help keep you comfortable all day.
  8. Most people will bring their cell phones, but I’ve heard many say that they cannot get service: therefore, I recommend you bring a set of good old-fashioned Walkie-Talkies with a good range.  This is especially helpful if you and your family plan on going in diferent directions while at COTA.
  9. One of the most beneficial thing you can bring is a clear pocket lanyard.  Some ticket holders will get theirs with their ticket, but most will not.  Ushers will expect to check your ticket just about everywhere you go.  Having the ticket in the clear pocket will be easy for you to keep up with and  eliminate the need to dig into your pockets to search for the ticket every time you go to your seat!
  10.  Bring a light-weight lawn chair.  If you are a GA (general admission) ticket holder you will be allowed to sit anywhere there a lawn space availble.  It’s a great option since you can always get up move to another Turn when you get tired of the one you’ve been watching.
  11. A backpack or a crossbody bag that will hold everyone’s things is better than bringing many small bags and purses.  All bags will be searched so having just one bag will help at entry also.
This gentleman is there every year! Look for him!

What Should I Leave At Home?

  1. Purses that are heavy or too fancy
  2.  Large umbrellas are not allowed in the Grandstands because they obstruct the view of those behind you.  See #3 above.
  3. Shoes with heels or platform shoes.  Although they are fashionable, they are not functional for this event.  See #2 above.
  4. Bags filled with snack foods or drinks are NOT allowed inside the facitily.  You will be asked to leave them at the gate or to return them to your vehicle (I promise you will not want to have to do that).  The only drink allowed is water.  See # 1 above.
  5. Ice chests are also not allowed.  🏁See TIPS below.
The COTA Tower

Other TIPS?

  1. Consider leaving an ice chest filled with ice, drinks and snacks in your car.  Based on where you are parked you can take a shuttle back to your vehicle for a lunch break.
  2. Food prices range anywhere from $8 to $15.  Drinks range from $5 (soda) to $16 (alchoholic)
  3. Many people make most of their souvenier purchases on Friday, leaving Saturday and Sunday open to just view the qualifying races and enjoy the activities.
  4. Be sure to pick up a daily event schedule at the Guest Services tent near the gates.  This will help you plan out your day’s events.
  5. Autograph sessions fill up FAST!  Be sure to get in line early if you want an autograph from your favorite driver.
  6. The big concerts–Stevie Wonder and Justin Timberlake will be on the Big Stage.  Unless you have a specific ticket all others will be on a first come first serve basis.  Be sure to get in line early.

Adventures Of A Fluffy, White “Blankie”

There once was a beautiful, soft, fluffy, snow white blanket.

It was given to a baby, just 2 months old.

The baby gave the blanket so much love.

Baby held it close to her.

Baby loved to softly caress and sniff her blanket.

Baby kept her blanket by her side every moment of the day and night.

Soon Baby gave the beautiful blanket a name…Blankie.


One day, Mommy took the Baby shopping.  

Of course, Blankie came along as well.

While Mommy shopped, Baby fell asleep in her stroller.

Mommy continued walking throughout the big store, never noticing that Blankie had fallen out of the stroller.

After visiting a few other stores, Mommy returned to the car, only to find that Blankie was missing!

Baby (who was now 6 months old), was still asleep and did not notice that Blankie was missing.

Mommy re-traced her steps, throughout the stores, but never found Blankie.

When Baby awakened in the car, the first thing she asked for was, “Blankie?”

Mommy (heart breaking), pretended not to hear Baby but hurried back home to pick up her older daughter, Missy, who would help find Baby a new, fluffy, white blanket.

Both Mommy, Missy, and Baby drove to various stores in search of an identical blanket.

After driving to 3 different stores, an identical blanket was finally found!

 Mommy silently opened the package and gave the new blanket to the Baby, hoping Baby would not notice it was different.

“BLANKIE!”, baby shouted!


A grateful Mommy, Missy, and Baby returned home!


When Baby was a bit older, Blankie (#2), fell out of the car as Mommy and Baby were going to work.

Again, Mommy failed to notice that Blankie was not in the stroller.

When the lady at the day care called to ask if Mommy had Blankie, of course, Mommy’s heart broke again.

Mommy hurried out to retrace her steps, to find Blankie.

Blankie was not there.

Mommy began to think that it may be time to let go of Blankie, and simply remember it as a former best blanket.

About 1 hour after giving up the search, Mommy got a call from the front office.

Someone had found a “white” blanket in the parking lot.

They all remembered that Baby had a blanket just like that one and wanted to know if it belonged to her!

Blankie had returned again!

When Baby was about 14 months, the family went on a long road trip.

The first stop was at a Holiday Inn, in Louisiana.

Baby and Blankie slept together in a crib that night.

When the family was getting ready to leave that morning, Blankie was hiding among all the white sheets on the bed.

Rushed and in a hurry, the family left and did not notice Blankie was missing–again!

As the family was leaving the State of Louisiana, Baby began calling for Blankie.

After a search of the car, the family realized that Blankie may have stayed behind in the hotel.

Mommy called the Holiday Inn and asked if a white blanket had been found in room 234.

After several transfers, the Housekeeping Department came on the line.

They had Mommy describe the blanket.

The woman in Housekeeping said, “Yes, we found your blanket on the bed.  We will hold it for you until you come back through.”

Mommy told Baby that Blankie liked the hotel so much, it decided to wait for her there.

Although not too happy about not having Blankie, Baby was happy knowing that we would be picking it up on the way home.

And so we did.  

Many years later, Blankie is still with “Baby”(who is no longer a baby).

Blankie is no longer a fluffy, white blanket.

It is gray, tattered and torn.

It is, however, and always will be, loved and treasured by “Baby”, and her whole family.

©Cecilia Buckner,



What? No more school supplies?

My daughter’s preparing to enter her final semester at college.  Although we are anticipating her graduation with excitement, it is also a bittersweet time of life.
Gone are the “first day of school photos”, long gone are the “meet the teacher” events, and gone are the back to school shopping days.
This morning we went out together to shop for school supplies.   As we walked along aisles filled with school supplies, I was taken back to seeing her as a little girl eagerly looking at all the “cool” stuff for school.  I remember her eyes lighting up when looking through the shiny covers on spiral notebooks, or the big box of crayons with the sharpener on the back of the box!

Instead, today she is very specific in her selections—a 3 count package of black pens, a planner, and 4 plain spiral notebooks (one per class).  Sorry, but what fun is that?  She walked right past all the cute, colorful erasers, the boxes of markers, and the boxes of 24 count crayons!  Not even the zippered pencil cases got too much attention!

This is it! School supply shopping takes on a whole new look when it’s your last semester of school!
In order to help me deal with all of this, I found and purchased a super colorful notebook and pencils with “Xtra Sparkle”!
I made sure my pencils were extra sparkly!
I have no idea what I will do when she begins a “big girl job” and doesn’t even talk about school supplies any longer!  Lord, help me!