Monthly Archives: November 2011

Strong Powerful Women and also Tall

I like University of Texas football and all and I did enjoy last week’s win against A&M even though with 2 minutes left to go I said I would never watch football again because it might give me a heart attack. I got over it quickly, though, as the football sailed through the uprights as the clock ticked down to zero and we won. Hook ’em Horns.

University of Texas women’s volleyball is different. The stage is smaller. You can see the players up close. You can sense more directly the speed of the serve and the nearly instant, rock-solid response of the defense. The hitter strikes the ball with such force and speed, you have to watch closely or you will miss it. Cheerleaders cheer. The band plays. Sparkles and I went to a game last month and it was a pretty sweet time.

(OK, we did get there late which is how we got these not-so-special, general-admission seats with the less-than-perfect view. And we had to leave early due to attention span issues. But it was still a pretty sweet time.)

Besides my awe at the sheer athletic ability and the team spirit and determination on display, I enjoy the games in another way too.

I grew up in the time when men played sports and women cheered from the sidelines most of the time. Now women play too – strong, powerful women. (In this case, they are also very tall.) I’m not sure how often this happens, but I’ve seen men from the UT swim team show up in their speedos to cheer on the women. I get a kick out of that. Here is a video of their excitement after ANOTHER win against Texas A&M a while back.

Another good reason to bring this up now is that the UT Women’s Volleyball team just won the Big 12 Championship. Hook ’em Horns again. AND, they #earned the #1 seed in the NCAA Championship Tournament. AND, UT is hosting the First and Second rounds of the tournament this weekend in Gregory Gym.  AND, instead of the crazy prices and crazy you-can’t-get-a-ticket-at-all football business, you CAN get a ticket to a volleyball game for as low as $5. Tickets may be purchased at

Go Lady Longhorns! Just don’t give me a heart attack. 🙂


It Slipped Through When I Wasn’t Careful

I’m grounded.

I have been for a while.

I have too many hobbies and I’m not allowed to have any more and I cannot, under any circumstances, sign up for anything new.

But I have a condition. There should be a name for it. Things tend to slip through when I’m not careful.

Sparkles took me aside the other day when I picked her up from day care. I knelt down beside her. She whispered her story. She said that sometimes parents come to the day care to talk about a country they have visited. She said that the parent gets to tell her story from the front of the room. And, this is the important part, the child gets to sit right next to her parent, also at the front of the room.

She asked if maybe I wanted to do that.

It slipped through when I wasn’t careful.

In one week, I had a business project due, I performed in the Maternal Instincts Project and I launched Austin Kids Dance! I was nearly in a coma by the end. But I had to stay conscious a little bit longer. My presentation about Ecuador was just a few days away.

I traveled a lot in my twenties. I have a scrapbook for every trip. I found them all. Except Ecuador. Ecuador was the one of the few countries I have been to twice, but I had nothing to show.

My brother would have something, though. He lived in Ecuador when he was in the Peace Corps and he lives in Austin now. No problem.

I went to his apartment and looked through his pictures.

I love my brother.

But he has a several hundred pictures of random areas of leafy, green vegetation and tree limbs, with a small bit of moss in the middle, of different colors, but mostly shades of brown.

I was starting to get worried.

Tired and worried.

“But you have slides, right?” I asked.

“Not really. The projector probably doesn’t work anymore” he said.

“Can we check?” I asked.

He looked and then we fiddled and messed and fidgeted.

Then, magic!

The projector worked. I knew I had it made. It almost didn’t matter what kind of slides he had, this projector was so cool!

Sparkles and other kids her age have never seen slides before. I could tell them it was the latest technology! When you closed the lens cover on this projector, the image was projected on a small TV-like screen. So, it was like you had your own TV that you created the pictures for yourself. OK, maybe you can do that on an old-fashioned PC too, but this looked cool because it was so different. It even had a cassette player on the side so you could make a true multi-media presentation. Wow.

I found enough slides of flowers and butterflies that had some color.

The kids LOVED the slides.

The last slide was of the tree house where my brother lived. The kids LOVED the idea of living in a tree house and they had TONS of questions. (Did it have a bed? Where did he go to the bathroom? Where was his Mommy?)

I told them about the train ride I took with my brother when we bought the cheap tickets and rode on the top of the train as it went through a mountain range, down to the coast. About how we could see the beautiful mountains all around us in every direction and how we rode through the clouds and how it was a little scary going through the pitch black tunnels. And how when the train broke down, one of the engineers climbed up the side of the mountain we were on, then climbed a telephone pole to connect to a radio to call for help. We played cards on top of the train for hours while we waited, having a great time.

A week or so later, I found the picture of me standing on the top of the train before it left the station, super early in the morning, when it was super cold. I didn’t have warm clothes, so I layered everything I had, with black leggings under my overall shorts, the super-big sweater my brother had bought me and a shirt on my head, with the sleeves tied under my chin, like a poor man’s hat.

Growing Up Austin Parenting

I survived that ride on top of a train and I survived that week as a Mom/project manager/writer. I’ve slept in a few mornings since then. I’m recovering nicely.

Until the next time I let something slip through when I’m not careful.

Dear Anita Perry, What About Stay at Home Moms?

Anita Perry(This is another post about the Texas Conference for Women that I attended last week. Anita Perry started this conference and has made it happen for twelve years. I sent her this letter with a suggestion for improving the conference next year.)

Dear Anita Perry,

I recently attended the Texas Conference for Women and it was an engaging and valuable experience. I especially enjoyed Karen Walrond, Shannon Buggs and Gina Otto’s stories during the Second Acts session in the morning. The most valuable part of the conference was meeting other women. I look forward to the phone calls and emails that will follow.

I do have one complaint, though. While the sessions and speakers were diverse in many ways, there was one type of woman that was not represented – the Stay at Home Mom.  I couldn’t find one speaker who was a SAHM or one session related to SAHMs. This role is equally, if not more, valuable to society than any career outside the home. The challenges faced by SAHMs are equally, if not more, worthy of discussion than those faced by working women. Some of the most inspirational women I know are SAHMs.

I understand that the conference is promoted through women’s organizations and SAHMs may not be organized in the same way. I also understand that women who are professional speakers don’t tend to also be SAHMs. But, I believe the conference should serve all Texas women and SAHMs are an important part of that. Blogs are a great resource for SAHMs and an effective way to connect with potential speakers and attendees. A Good Life and Enjoying the Small Things are a few of my favorites.

I wrote about the conference on my blog, about how I was inspired and how it could be better (this post).

Thank you the work you do for this conference and thank you for listening.


Carol Ramsey
Part-time Software Project Manager
Part-time Stay-at-Home-Mom
Blogger at

UPDATE: Anita Perry’s Chief of Staff replied to my letter and said the Texas Conference for Women would love to have some sessions on topics for Stay at Home Moms. I sent her some possible topics, descriptions and speakers (authors and bloggers!). If you have ideas too, email them to The 2012 conference is in Austin instead of Houston, so maybe we can all meet there!)