Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Audacity and Auditions

So, this past weekend,
my mom and I enjoyed ourselves
in downtown Fort Worth.

I remember my Dad
conducting a wedding ceremony
down there
on one of the larger concrete blocks
back in 1984/85.

We stayed at the Sheraton Hotel
across the street
from the water gardens.

Saturday evening, we ate at the renowned
Joe T. Garcia's
... (since 1935) ...
located in the historic stockyard area.

After we ate, I took mother back to our comfortable retreat,
and I headed across town
to the storage unit
that held all of my/our earthly possessions.

This is the storage unit
that my middle miracle and I
tackled back in mid-June
... when we moved back to Texas
from Missouri.

I kinda blogged about all that here

it is time to transfer the stuff
to another location
so I pull into the storage facility
around 10:30 Saturday night
with another 17' foot truck.

By myself.

I planned to work through-out the night
with the sun asleep ...
there is no way in hell I could face another scorcher.

I open the doors, and this is what faced me.

I had to get real creative with the heavy/large pieces.

Please overlook the poor quality of the snapshots ...
I am still using my basic cellphone as my camera.

Here is an injury I sustained that night.

This is my left arm ... inside, at the bend of my elbow.

I was trying to lift an old rusted garden ornament
up, and over, a tall pile of stuff.

I lost my balance, and fell backwards with it, and it got me.

Got me good.

Here is the mean culprit.

This is the only decent picture I have of it
... it is buried into the ground ...
it was a large fire pit thingy before the bottom decayed.

It has jagged, rusty edges. 

Anyway ... enough of that audaciousness.

Before I close, I might as well tell y'all
that I am auditioning tonight
for a chance to go "in front of the crazy line" in Houston
to meet the producers of some new TV show
called The Voice.

I don't watch TV so I don't know anything about it,
but I am going for it.

If I am good enough to make the top 12,
KRBC will post the video of my audition online
for the public to make the final decision
on who to send to Houston.

I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Love y'all.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Palm Harbor, Predictive Index, and Psycho Babble ...Pfft

So I've spent the last couple of weeks
hitting the pavement, and trying to find a home and a job.

I cannot have a home without a job ...
you know, I have to prove income in order to be eligible
for consideration as a prospective tenant.

My freelance work
is not a legitimate job.

So, I've been looking for a legitimate job ...
and one job, in particular, was real promising.

Commission-based, Customer- driven, Direct sales.

If I just met the company's MINIMUM quota/requirement 
... of three sales per month ...
I'd be drawing an average of $7500-$9000 a month.

The job was so promising that I even began creating a blog
to boost exposure for my company, my customers, and my Self.

I had great contacts to propel me to the forefront of other applicants,
and my series of interviews were more than optimistic.

All I had to do to secure the position 
was take the "predictive index" test 
... a psychological test, of sorts ...
to see if I was driven enough, and to see 
if I had the right personality to fit the job and the team.

Here are my results of the official "Predictive Index" test.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Brooke will most strongly express the following behaviors
as a salesperson

* Relative persistence as she calmly pursues goals; 
keeps at it even when problems pop up; steady

* Somewhat casual with rules; more focused on the goal than how to get there; 
delegates some of the implementation details.

* Generally takes each day as it comes, greeting it with few worries
and a relaxed demeanor.

* Confident in her ideas and opinions; explains why "what she is selling"
is the best; unequivocal in her conviction.

* Probing, she will calmly ask broad questions
and suggest unconventional solutions.

* Calm and confident, she will guide the process 
in the way she perceives is best.

* Concise; she will speak calmly with a moderate pace
and with relaxed body language.

* Independent; she is confident in making decisions by herself
without a lot of input from others.

* Determined to win; she will be undeterred by rejection, 
failure, or criticism.

To maximize Brooke's effectiveness, productivity, and job satisfaction
consider providing Brooke with the following:

* Lots of room for self-expression, and for autonomy
in acting on her own ideas.

* Opportunities to solve problems, and to overcome 
challenges independently.

* An environment which is receptive to new ideas, and change,
allowing her to participate in setting goals for her work
and leaving her free to operate with freedom from
too much oversight and control.

* The opportunity to work alone,
unless she chooses otherwise.

Predicitve Summary

Brooke is independent, and individualistic in her thinking and behavior.

She has strong ideas and opinions, and expresses them 
with confidence, certainty and compassion.

Having a willingness to take risks, Brooke is likely to develop 
and act upon ideas that are distinctly new or unconventional.

This is a creative, and nonconformist, personality.

In expressing and acting upon her ideas, Brooke is determined
and persistent, and has the kind of confidence and nerve
involved in initiating innovation or change.

She is very determined and persistent, and once she sets a goal she will 
generally push hard to reach it, regardless of the goal's popularity with others.

Although sensitive, Brooke is relatively undaunted by criticisms and failures.

Dealing with people, she is frank and outspoken.

Expressing herself factually, and at times bluntly, she remains
committed to her convictions with compassion.

Patient and persevering, Brooke works at a steady, unhurried pace
at times developing new ideas which she presents 
in a self-assured and forthright manner.

She is serious and reserved; consistent and thoughtful.

Being more conceptual than detail-oriented, Brooke is fairly casual
in working with details. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So the above results from the "Predictive Index" was sent
to the company's human resource psychologist.

And this company psychologist looked over the above results, and came to 
her own professional assessment
... which is as follows:

"Brooke has a pattern that typically doesn't do well in sales.
Her strengths are that she is a good listener, and builds strong
relationships with people.  The concerns are that she
is more of a follower than a leader 
so she doesn't appear to be assertive enough
to persuade people to take action.
She is very patient, and focused on the details.
So most people with this pattern
do better with inside sales
or a more stable role than commissioned sales."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And with her prestigious, professional opinion
I was denied the job.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

I share all of this with you to see
if you see what I see.

How in the hell can/did she come up with
those private interpretations
based upon the results provided? 

She seems to contradict everything the
"predictive index" provided her.

What are your objective opinions
... based solely upon the above reports, 
not upon your personal "reading" of me 
through this blog's history.

Love you all.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Howdy Friends

The past three weeks have been wonderful.

I am thankful to finally have access to a computer
so I can share some of it.

Thank you for the emails ...
thank you for the increase of Facebook friendships.

Thank you for your love and patience, and understanding.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Life is such an adventure, such a blessing.

Especially mine.

My middle miracle and I loaded a 17' truck
by ourselves on the 15th of June.

It took us all day, and we didn't get on the road
until 8:30 that night.

I had wanted to see the scenery of the beautiful drive
down, and out, of the mountains
... but, it wasn't meant to be.

I drove that big truck, exhausted, well into the night
and didn't stop until 3:30 am for a soft bed in Arkadelphia.

We allowed ourselves to sleep in, and didn't hit the road
 the next morning until 10 or so.

As soon as we crossed the Texas border, we stopped at the FIRST
mexican restaurant we saw.

And we chewed through our giggles ... savoring every bite.

I think we made it to Fort Worth around 6:00 pm.

My youngest miracle laughed and sang the whole trip.

The next day, Friday the 17th, we unloaded the 17' truck
into an all-metal storage unit surrounded by asphalt and concrete.

106 degrees, with a heat index of who knows.

We were already burnt, and sore, and whooped, from the loading
... I don't have to describe the unloading, do I?

We didn't get to a cool place, and a soft bed, until 9:30 that night.

Saturday, the 18th, I hugged my girls good-bye as they headed west to Abilene
to spend their summer with family.

Mama had a mission:
to find a home and to find a job.

Sunday I called my father to let him know how much I admired him,
and then I recuperated.

Monday, June 20th, I hit the streets ... literally.

I still had no car, but still had lots of determination.

The first place I walked into, about a half-mile from where I was staying,
I was blessed with a temp job as a waitress.

Coincidentally, they were short-staffed at a very inopportune time
... pre-scheduled parties and such ...
and me walking into the door was a blessing for them.

I smiled, within, knowing
"Who Really IS in Control of Doors."

((( smile )))

So I was thrown into the fray the following Tuesday and Wednesday ...
thankful for my past restaurant experience, and thankful for the generous tips,
and thankful for being able to lend a hand ...
and I left knowing I could stay, if I needed/wanted to.

The staff was entirely Hispanic ... most, if not all, spoke no English.

But they took me under their wing with love, and their smiles
were genuine.

Reaching all the way up to their eyes.

And they fed me well.

I have never seen such a well-run kitchen, and I've been in many.

Language was our only barrier ... shame on me for not finishing
all of my Spanish courses in college.

(Not that I really had control of that time in my life, but I digress.)

I want them to know I love them, and appreciate them ...
I think my demeanor conveyed that.

Maybe language was not so much a barrier after all.


If you want good "mescan" food, and are in Fort Worth,
go to Oscar's on Old Denton Highway.

Be patient with the staff, and their limited ability to commmunicate
... and their seeming cluelessness ...
but enjoy your meal knowing the precious people in the back
take enormous pride in cooking for you.

So ...anyway, again ...
 it is Friday, June 24th, and  I am back on the streets,
and knocking on doors.

I walked and walked and walked.

In the heat of the day.

Sometimes dressed in black slacks, and sometimes dressed in skirts.

On Thursday, June 30, I suffered a serious case of heat exhaustion.

Some say it was an actual heat stroke.

Surely, it wasn't ... but I don't know.

I don't recall much ... all I know is that I stopped sweating, and went cold,
and then I blacked out.

That's really all I remember.

I don't remember fainting, or falling, or being tended to.

I don't remember telling everyone I was okay
... really, thank you, but I am okay.

I don't remember vomiting ...
so forcefully my contact somehow managed to scratch my eyeball.

(At first I thought I had bursted a blood vessel in my eye,
but it couldn't be that since the redness has gone down ... but
the eyeball still feels bruised and tender.)

One day I walked, at best guesstimate, four miles away from my starting point
... which means, with a four mile trek BACK, it was an eight-mile day.

I blanketed, and canvassed, for a job the old-fashioned way.

And I met so many nice people.

Needless to say, I spent the next few days resting.

Actually, I am still resting.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Today is Wednesday, July 7th.

It will take another post to cover what all has happened this past week
since the heat exhaustion incident.

I just wanted to let all of you know that we are alive, and still
facing life with optimism, and thankfulness.

As far as doors opening ...
one by one, they began flying open as soon as I quit knocking.

Or, maybe, as soon as I myself was knocked down.

I love you all.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quick Update

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I apologize for the delay in posting
... we have been busy packing.

And, I have been distracted.

Judith had asked for an update on the straw bale garden experiment.

It is going, and growing, well.

I can definitely see how the plants would benefit from supplemental nitrogen.

Some of the leaves are yellowing, but
I wonder if that is because I reduced my watering 
to every other day ... in order for the bales
to dry out so they can be transported to their new home.

Here are the snapshots I took this morning.

The pumpkins, squashes, and watermelons 
... planted into the sides ...
are doing excellent.

The cantaloupes, jalapenos, and tomatoes
are all flowering, and doing awesome.

The smaller seedlings are not fairing too well
... and, like I said, it may be due to cutting back on their water.

I don't know.

I am sad to not be able to see this experiment through to the harvest
... but I hope someone benefits from it, and enjoys it.

On a different, more exciting note, we are packing.

My house is turned upside-down, and is a cluttered mess.

Yes, we are moving back to Texas.

Fort Worth, to be exact.

Where I grew up.

I anticipate another delay in posting ...
I do not have a fancy, smart phone
(only a basic texter)
and I do not like how it mobile blogs.

However, I will have tons of updates on Facebook
... so add me, if you have not already done so.

My final night in Missouri, I treated the girls and my Self
to Benita's Cafe on the Square
in downtown Alton.

Miss Field Lab loved it ... the name won her over.

*big smile*

And here is our final series of sunset shots
... from tonight's walk home.

Goodbye, Missouri ... whew.

Love you all, and hope to see y'all again real soon.

Keep us in your prayers, please.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Good Morning!


This is my very first blog post from my cell phone ... this is a test.
Did it work? 
If so, know I love all of y'all and want everyone to have a wonderful day.

Monday, June 6, 2011

This Woman

Today, Monday, June 6th, would have been my Nanny's 81st birthday.

Peggy Muriel Johnson Brookreson-Brolls
June 6, 1930 - September 30, 2009

This woman is like a sleek, red-on-red '69 Corvair
languishing under arthritic mesquites over in Lawn,
scrapyard, Texas … and she sleeps peacefully,
rusting, beneath a roasting sun's dread … praying
her purr is not too long dead. And this woman

is like a platter of rib-eye steak with puddled juice
seeping into creamed potatoes … indeed, the
sourdough sops her up. Bath for the palate?
A slippery, wide-mouthed quart of iced tea with
lemon. Un-sweet, please. This woman is even like

Pee-Wee's ... the old rock gas station right before
the big oak-lined curve in the Gap ... that remembers
fifteen cent Dr. Peppers from the ice box, days of real
full service, and the billowing smokehouse out back
with its tree's swing still swaying as when baby Harry
hung himself from it. Yes, this woman is ever

so much like silver-streaked, seventy-nine years of
pure West Texas ... forty of which passed strolling
the God-forsaken wilderness in gallant blunder;
and she always took life for granted so long as her
four children were fed.

Shot in the head ... right there in the blue-n-white
striped VFW building that's next door to what's now
the all-nude Cloud Nine ... and somehow lived to
not want to tell a soul about it. This woman.

                                                                                        © brooke

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Thin-Crust Pizza ... Out of Flour Tortilla Dough

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For one pizza:

Melt 1/2 stick of real butter.

Add salt, and other spices 
... I used coarse black pepper, and garlic.

(Most times I use "salt only" if making tortillas 
... depends upon my mood.)

Then add 2 cups of flour, and 1/2 cup of hot water.

(Sometimes I need a little bit more water.)

Stir with a fork until crumbly.

Then knead, and let sit for five minutes or so.

At this point
 ... if I was making a batch of tortillas ...
I'd make balls of dough, and roll out on a lightly floured surface.

But, tonight I am making pizza.

So I'll roll out the whole glob, and place over pizza pan.

And rub with olive oil.

Trim off the excess dough from the outer edge
... set aside for a snack.

Place panned dough in hot oven, and bake until golden brown
... the longer you bake, the crispier it'll get.

Spread pre-baked dough with your sauce and toppings
... in our case, we wanted a simple cheese pizza.

Put back in oven.

While the cheese was melting in the oven, 
we made "snacks" with the leftover dough
that was trimmed off.

Flour tortillas :)

Some of them can take on very unusual shapes
... especially if children are helping.

They are delicious
... there is NOTHING like homemade flour tortillas.

I think the pizzas are ready ...

... yeppers, and they were yummy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Come Back to Texas

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Troy Aikmen wants you back
Willie Nelson wants you back
N.A.S.A. wants you back
And the Bush twins want you back
(La la la la)
And Pantera wants you back
(La la la la)
And Bluebell wants you back

I got a premonition
I'm takin' a petition
And the whole state's gonna sign

Come back to Texas
... it's just not the same since you went away
I bet you missed your exit
And drove right on through the Lonestar State
There's a seat for you at the Rodeo
And I've got every slow dance saved

Besides the Mexican food sucks north of here anyway

(Bowling for Soup)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Look at the Weeds I'm Growing

Last week, or so, when I burned the boxes
... I introduced to you all 
a friendly neighbor down the hill:

I haven't seen him since that day ...
which is unusual because he liked to walk up here 
to check the progress of the garden.

Anyway, today another neighbor came over
to look it over.

She had talked with Ted the other day,
and she asked him about it.

He shrugged it off by saying, 
"Aw, she's just growing weeds up there."

I planted my first seed seventeen days ago
... look at the weeds I'm growing.

Of course, to give Ted proper credit
... in that same blog I did confess
that he thinks this garden experiment is insane,
and he also thinks I am crazy.

I love it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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