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What a first grader knows

I don’t know about anyone else’s first grader, but mine is constantly announcing to the world that she is, in fact, in the first grade. If we tell her not to run into the street, she said, “I am a first grader. I know not to run into the street and get runned over.”

It is FINALLY October

Happy October 1 everyone. I can’t believe it has already arrived. I don’t know that I believe in having a favorite month of the year, but if I did, October would be pretty close to winning the prize.

Hurray for corny dogs!

For as long as I can remember, when the long summer days begin to shorten, a cool breeze starts to cut through the humid North Texas air, and walking outside becomes pleasant once again, I’m at my happiest. There are a few reasons for this. Yes, it means football season is starting up again. Yes, it means I’ll get to wear my comfiest warm clothes and get ready for the holidays. But mostly, it means that it is time for the State Fair of Texas.

It is almost here

“Anticipation is making me wait,” I think those are the words of a song. They are also words that fill my head every day as we get closer and closer to the Herald Democrat Writers Conference at Austin College. Oct. 4 is right around the corner and the last day to register is Sept. 30.

Back in the Park

Among television’s ever-growing collection of animated series for adults, “South Park” gets short shrift. There’s been so much talk about “The Simpsons” marathon recently staged by FX, and then everyone turned their eyes to this Sunday’s crossover episode between the Springfield clan and the Griffins from “Family Guy.”

Autumn inspiration

What is it about fall that makes me want to spend my days in the kitchen cooking? A simple trip to the store for paper towels becomes an expedition for my latest Pinterest-passion as I succumb to decorating and cooking everything with spices and pumpkin.

You’ve been U2ed

I don’t know if most people like the band U2, but suffice to say that many people do. They’ve sold more than 150 million records, and Bono’s mom couldn’t have bought more than, like, a few hundred of those. So yeah, they’re popular.

Contests and Promotions

Waiting for the new shows

One of the many, many things I love about fall is the slate of brand new television shows it brings with it. That particular phenomenon is about to unfold and I find myself in a bit of a whirl about it. I absolutely can’t wait for a couple of shows to return and I am really excited to see how a couple of new ones turn out.

Do better tomorrow

Mistakes happen. It’s a fact of life. Sometimes they’re little mistakes: The chicken cooked too long and now it’s dry. Sometimes they’re huge mistakes that make us want to crawl back under the covers and stay there until a week or two has passed.

Short on sleep

This past week I went to see my family in Houston. Google Maps clocks the drive at four and a half hours, and I like to be there by lunch. This means I’m usually out the door by 7 in the morning, 7:30 at the latest.

You’ve built it to last, Papa

My father has mentioned tools to me. I know what a hammer looks like and how it’s used. I’m pretty familiar with screw drivers and know screws are preferable to nails in most cases. I’m not too skilled with an electric screwdriver but I know how to use it. He talked to me about unclogging a sink. I wonder what new handyman advice I can pull from him.

Looking at the long range

I am obsessed, once again, with the 10-day weather forecast. It has been a while since it fascinated me so, but here we are again. The problem is I am waiting for the heat to break. Yes, I know, it took forever to get here this year and I am likely to have to wait awhile, but I can’t help it.

Waiting for fall

Some people think of spring as the time to clean everything and make changes. For me, I find the fall a better time to do such things, at least as good a time to do so.

Yes, I do speak metric

I have a new car, and it has all the fancy gizmos inside — touch screen, navigation, hands-free phone, all of that stuff — but it does make me miss my old car, which had an on-board computer of its own.