My True Love


Your name is on my lips a thousand times a day. I try to think of other things but it’s you, always you dear sleep, that I want with all my heart. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Is that why I’m so fond of you?


You’ve woven your spell around me. I know I shouldn’t crave you so, but every fiber of my being cries out for you. Try as I may to make do without you, in the end my will is weak. Just like every other sorry addict out there, I always give in. And no matter how much of you I get, it’s never enough. I always want more.


Last night I gave in completely. I let you take me and you had me all night long. I believe I even dreamt of you. I didn’t know it was possible to have you and dream of you at the same time, but that is exactly how wonderful these past nine and a half hours were. It was glorious.

And then, fickle girl that I am, I woke up with only one name on my lips:


State of Being

This might come as a shock to some people, but I am a beer. You know how there are always two kinds of people in this life? Givers and takers, lovers and fighters, finders and losers, keepers and weepers…? Well, of the doer and beer genre, I’m definitely a beer.

I’m not what you would call a mover or a shaker. I’m more of a sitter and a liver. I just be here in the life that I’m in and I live along with it. I notice it especially every year this time of year. The lush greenness on the trees comes back and provides glorious shade from the harshness of the violent overhead light. The wildflowers on the sides of the Texas highways come back and provide ointment that soothes as it seeps into wounds I didn’t even know I had as I drive along. And I realize that I don’t really remember getting here. I don’t remember leaving it behind last year and I don’t remember the earth turning and completing yet another rotation around the sun and I don’t remember how it was exactly that we completed yet another school year in the Linebarger household. I’ve just been here, being.

But here we are again. Suddenly I notice that the little girl that started eighth grade (yesterday?) is now a lovely young woman about to enter high school. She’s got big hair and she likes to wear her dad’s shirts and she talks to boys. And the little girl that started sixth grade is about to enter middle school. She likes her room really clean and she writes books and every time I open my cell phone, there’s a new funny picture of her on there to greet me that I never even saw her take. And the littlest girl that was so scared to start third grade because of the TAKS test that she’s been scared of since kindergarten, not only survived both the TAKS test and third grade, but she now blow dries her own hair in the mornings and she plays the piano and she runs across the street to play with her friends after breathlessly asking if she can go since her chores and homework are done.

And suddenly I feel like I can’t breathe.

And I don’t know what to do about it.

And even if I did, I wouldn’t.

Because I’m not a doer.

I’m a beer.

It’s what I do.

Leslie & Callie

Confessions of a Chocoholic

I got a date with my husband today, which was really, really nice. He finished his first seminary class at Cranmer and we decided to celebrate by going out to an early dinner. This celebration accomplished three things:

1) I got to spend some much-needed alone time with my beloved. It’s been crazy around here this month, and I’ve really missed him.
2) We’ve put ourselves on a strict budget and have been doing great with it and actually still had money left in our dining allotment for the month so we decided to do it nice and go to our favorite steak place.
3) He finished his class! Did I mention that already?

So anyway, yesterday I made this killer chocolate cake because my brother was in town and there was still some left today. Last night I had a couple pieces and I wanted more, but I practiced restraint by telling myself that I could look forward to having more the next day. I fell asleep with visions of killer chocolate cake dancing in my head, knowing that it would be my motivation for waking up in the morning. I got up, had coffee, daydreaming more about how I couldn’t wait to have dessert after dinner tonight.

Well, then Chris called on his way home from class, with his plan of sweeping me away for a celebration date to the place that has one of my favorite desserts ever: Jack Daniels Chocolate Chip Pie. Suddenly I was torn. Was a dinner date with my husband worth the sacrifice of everything I had been dreaming of all day long? And then he tells me he’s hungry now, and could we just go out for a mid-afternoon meal? I have to admit, these were my exact words:

“Yes! That’s perfect because if we eat dinner early and have the Jack Daniels Pie for dessert, I’ll still be able to have a piece of chocolate cake later before bed!”

Now I’m off to get that long-awaited piece of cake. I’m going to heat it up slightly so that the dark chocolate frosting (with strong coffee in it) starts to glisten and slide off to one side. And I’m going to have a big ole scoop of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream on the side.

All my dreams came true today.

Full Emptiness

If my stomach gets too empty, it starts eating at itself.

I feel it, rumbling and roiling like the black smoke snake on Lost, searching in vain for something to eat and ultimately deciding to turn on itself. It’s not really fun when it gets to that stage. And the thing is, I feel like I am a pretty self-aware person. It’s not like I’m off in la-dee-da land, forgetting to feed myself because I’m so busy working on my mad scientist projects. No, I notice things like hunger. And numb gums when I run. And my heart, when it beats two beats right on top of each other, forcing air out of my lungs involuntarily, regardless of whether I’m standing in line at the DMV or not.

It’s just that my hunger mechanism never gives me enough warning. I feel the hunger, I instantly head toward the kitchen and by the time I have the fridge open, it’s too late. The feeding-on-itself frenzy has begun. And what’s so frustrating about it is that by the time it gets to that point there is no going back. I can throw some food down the hatch, but it doesn’t appease the monster. Food that would have been perfectly acceptable ten minutes earlier has now just been added to the volcano that is my stomach spewing out hot lava and taking everything down with it; even perfectly good food.

If I can stay a step ahead of it and eat BEFORE I get hungry, all is well. But that just doesn’t seem like the right order in which to operate.

If my life gets too full, it starts eating at itself.

I feel it, thrashing and freewheeling like the rickety old Texas Giant, searching in vain for peace and deep breaths and ultimately deciding to turn on itself. It’s not really fun when it gets to that stage. But we plow ahead valiantly, knowing that next month will bring at least a small measure of quiet. And we take what we can get around here. Small measures accepted. I only hope I don’t self-destruct completely before being able to enjoy it.

I want to enjoy camping with the family, eating meals outside, not driving on the freeway four or five times a day, letting kids stay up late and sleep in later, reading good books, seeing my husband more than twice a week and going out for ice cream daily. Yes, I said daily.

I wonder what’s wrong with my stomach.

Mother's Day

Me and the eldest to which I am mother

The other two, with their cousin’s feet as well

Mine own sweet mama, with her sweet youngest grandson, Baby Mack

My brother and my dad


Our pastor from Oregon was in town, with his lovely wife and daughter

My sissie-in-law, with her own sweet mama

A sweet little Chapincito, with his own sweet, pregnant mama

Another sissie-in-law, with the youngest to which she is mother


The middle to which I am mother, looking a little like a sasquatch


The youngest to which I am mother, along with her cousin and the man I am in love with

A newly walking nephew to which I am aunt

Our friend, Kathleen, with Baby Mack

Good conversation plus good food that I didn’t have to cook equals a really, really great day…