Janice Williams Loves Austin And sometimes I write about it.

December 12, 2009

Saturday Status

Filed under: Cats,Family,Food,Music — Janice @ 1:43 pm

I thought I would be a funeral today instead of here at home, but with the rain and the cold and the drive, I decided to not go. My cousin Effie Birdwell died in November in Mineral Wells. She is one of my very distant Cunningham cousins and a fixture at the reunion each year. She is one of our more eccentric family members, in her men’s clothing and gimme caps. She was quick with an opinion and didn’t mind letting you know how she felt about anything. She was a great historian and genealogist and that was one of her primary passions. She filled me in on many family details that I didn’t know. I never visited her except at the reunion and a committee meeting maybe. She was an interesting character and I think our family is losing some of the interesting characters. Maybe I say that because I just don’t “see” them now. Someone coming into the family in their 20s, like I did, may see all sorts of interesting characters I just accept as family.

My cats are being very loving and peaceful right now. My office has a big windowseat that faces the front lawn and the street. Nathan used to make that windowseat his home. There hasn’t been nearly as much use of it since he has been gone. But right now, Willie, the big yellow cat, is up in the window seat taking up most of the space, and Little Bit Phil is up beside him, head to head, both dozing. They were cleaning each other and doing a tiny bit of playful resting, but now they’ve both dozed off.

Phil has been so full of energy the last few days I wish we could install a meter and use some of it elsewhere. Mark was gone for a night and that seemed to amp up the energy even higher. Phil continues to amaze us by playing fetch just like a dog. He’s getting better about even putting the cloth mouse into my hand instead of just dropping it by my hand. When Mark was gone I played fetch with Phil in the living room a long time. Then I moved into the office to do my typing and he was on the keyboard, opening new windows on the screen, adding words that don’t exist to the copy, batting at the cursor on the screen, etc. I got the cloth mouse and would throw it down the hallway and keep him fetching and type as fast as I could while he scrambled off to get it. Then we went to bed and he was still full of vim. I threw the mouse a few dozen more times, trying to read a paragraph or two while he fetched. Finally, he calmed down enough to sleep for a few hours. It is sweet to see him sleeping now, but I know he is just recharging and I’ll be throwing a mouse again while I’m trying to type and cook and clean up the house.

Mark worked yesterday at Fort Hood for their “Community Strong” USO event. It was on the news this time since it is the first event of this type since the shootings last month. They do it on a regular basis for the troops and their families, but it got a lot more notice this time. The Lt. Dan Band played again. That band was formed by Gary Sinise, the actor who played Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump. He performs for the USO quite regularly, it sounds like. I think that is such a nice thing. I wish Access Hollywood and E! News would take note of things like THIS instead of their usual fodder. The Zac Brown Band also played and Mark was very impressed with them and I’m glad. They certainly have made some great songs for radio and I like every one of them, so it is good to know they are a great performance band, too.

What Mark really liked about the Zac Brown Band was their “Meet and Eat” after the show. Many performers have “Meet and Greets” where they allow fans from their fan clubs or radio station winners, etc., to come backstage and meet them and get an autograph and a picture. This band feeds their fans! Mark said they travel with two big busses and each has a big trailer. One has their gear, the other is a mobile kitchen and they carry a chef. For this show he set up his stoves and cooked a HUGE vat of gumbo. Mark and all the crew and backstage help got to eat, along with about 100 fans of the Zac Brown Band. They said that their goal for next year is to feed ALL of their fans at their shows. I don’t quite know if they can achieve that. They are on track to be playing stadiums and arenas by next year so I don’t know if they can handle thousands, but that is a neat deal. Another NICE story that someone should cover.

1 Comment »

  1. Hi,
    My name is Adam Velek, I was hoping to get in touch with a family member of Effie Birwell. I did a searh on-line and your blog was posted. I am not sure if it is the same Effie that I am looking for but I wanted to check with you. I work in Oil and Gas research and I am trying to locate an Effie Birdwell and Lemiul Birdwell, children of Marie Martin Birdwell. If possible please let me know this is the same family, I apprecatie your time.

    Adam Velek

    Comment by Adam Velek — July 22, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

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