Green Thumbs and Red Eyes

You may have noticed in the “bookshelf” section in the left bar that I’m reading a book by a man named Wendell Berry. This guy is amazing. He’s an author, a farmer and a great thinker. In this particular book (he’s written somewhere around 20…this is the first I’ve read) he talks a lot about sustainable agribusiness and our duty as humans to be good stewards of the earth. So I’ve been reading some eloquently written passages about community involvement in farming and supporting your local farmer and I am completely on board. Completely.

Also, a week or so ago, my buddy Shaun and I went to hear a guy by the name of Harold Brown speak about some of the things Wendell Berry is talking about. Sustainability. Stewardship. Community. Farmer Brown’s talk (it wasn’t flambouyant enough to be called a speech, and we didn’t have to pay any tuition so you can’t call it a lecture ;)) was inspiring and it pushed me further in the direction of believing that unless we change the way we’re doing agribusiness there will be fierce consequences to pay. Visit his web site and click on the “Problems of Industrialized Farming” link for a more detailed explanation.

Anyway, this is to say that for all of my philisophical support of organic and community-supported farming, as well as responsible stewardship of the land, it dawned on me that we have only one living plant in our house and our lawn has a rapidly receding hair line! Determined to remedy the situation, I seeded the areas that needed the most immediate attention and I have been watering them daily (once in the morning, once at night). After I gauge my success (or lack thereof) with the smaller areas, I’ll tackle the lawn at-large. Additionally, Laura and I have potted some flowers, ferns, ivy and even a sweet-looking Elephant Ear plant. It’s amazing how much life these plants have added to our front porch and deck. We’ll have to see how adept we are at keeping them alive. We’re amateurs to be sure, but we’ve got Wendell Berry and Farmer Brown to inspire us to keep on trying.

Laura has also been hard at work on what is sure to be a tear-jerker of a slide show for Kristi Leigh’s fast-approaching rehearsal dinner. Every time I walk by the study, I see her staring deep in to the screen and listening closely as she times the fading of each picture perfectly with the rhythm of the accompanying song. We both love her job at IBC in the Adventure Zone, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about her over the past couple of years, it’s that if this Children’s Ministry gig doesn’t work out, there are several careers she could rocket to the top in. They include, but are not limited to: Real estate agent, Counselor, Travel Agent, Director of Customer Service for Target and now we can add Video Producer/Editor to the list.

The Amazing, Impenetrable Eyelid!

A couple of days ago, Laura came home and stated matter-of-factly, “I made dentist appointments for us. Yours is Thursday morning.” At the risk of sounding cliche, childish and macho (don’t those last two typically go hand-in-hand anyway?) I have to confess that my initial thought was, “Dentist? I’m not going to go to no dentist.”

I should clarify before I go any further that I am very much in favor of dental hygiene, dentistry and teeth in general. It’s just that I was none too keen on willingly returning to any sort of dental facility because of some unfortunate previous experiences involving my choppers and medical professionals. I recall one incident as a boy when I was having a tooth extracted and the laughing gas wasn’t exactly…how shall I say…well, it wasn’t hilarious. So there I am writhing in pain and I hear the Dentist’s assistant say, “Shhhh…we have other patients.” Yeah?! Well crank up the goofy juice lady and maybe we’ll all be feeling a little better, eh? Some years later when I had my wisdom teeth removed, they decided to go ahead and take out an extra moler while they were at it. That’s cool. I guess the top tooth will just crush my veggies against my gums. It was on the drive home that my mom informed me of the theft as I was drifting in and out of a drug-induced stooper. She tells me I muttered with all the contempt of a mob boss, “Thaaaat…rat bastahd.”

So that’s where I was coming from. Not from a mindset that all Dentists are awful, (in fact, we’re related to the one of the best Dentists in the entire state of Texas…a Dentist so remarkable that he’s even made a brief appearance on the talk show “Ellen”) or that all Dentists are blood-thirsty inflicters of pain, only the ones I’ve visited. Given that, I didn’t think the chances of enjoying my appointment were worth betting on.

But, I have to admit, by the time I left that office today I was feeling great! My Dentist was an extremely friendly guy and I can’t believe that I’m actually glad to have already made another appointment. The facility was set up more like a comfortable spa than a traditional Dentist’s office and I even had my own personal TV (with remote!) that I could control whilst getting my teeth X-rayed. Ah. The X-ray, this is where the title for this entry comes from.

So, I’m sitting in my recliner (that’s what I’ll refer to the dental chair as from now on…it even had a massager) watching a “Daily Show” rerun when a nice lady comes in to take some X-rays. The first thing she does is to lay the heavy lead coat/blanket thing on top of me. I haven’t been X-rayed a great many times in my life, but I recall having the same exact feeling every time I’ve donned the lead jacket. It’s a simulataneous feeling of both, “Excellent, this feels safer. No worries.” and, “Wai-wai-wai-wait! Is engaging in any activity that involves wearing lead clothes a good idea? No!!! Legs! Run!” But, today my legs couldn’t obey, what with my being pinned to the chair by the lead coat and all. So we’re going through with the X-rays when she moves the camera to a different angle to capture a shot of some tooth that the previous 42 shots apparantly didn’t get and I open my eyes to see what old Jon Stewart is up to on the television and she says, “Ok, just close your eyes for one more second.” Then I hear the camera make it’s little bug-zapper noise and she tells me it’s ok to open them back up. I was truly perplexed. Is my eyelid able to protect my eye from whatever the robe of lead is protecting my body from?! And if so, why not replace the lead blankets with whatever it is our eyelids are made of? That was at about 9:20 this morning and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been thinking of eyelid-related inventions ever since.

Welp…we got a blog

Howdy familia y amigos! The Coppell Rheas are now officially on the internet. Stay tuned for tidbits from our daily lives as well as pictures from our handy (and somehow still functional) Kodak Digicam.

Speaking of Coppell, that particular bit of the moniker is definitely temporary considering a recent development! Kristi Leigh told us about this website: and for both of us the number one city was…Little Rock, Arkansas! Check out the site and take the quiz, it’s cool. Out of all those questions and the hundreds of possible cities we had the same number one and we took the quiz at different times revealing nothing until we’d both finished. As Iron and Wine say in a great, great track called “Such Great Heights”, “I’m taking it as a sign.”

My Koomp is the Best Koomp Ever

Lucky for me I have a really smart husband, making my first venture into the world o’ blog an easy one. This weekend at Kris’s bachelorette party the internet went down, which was quite disasterous, since I needed directions to Billy Bob’s and had planned on just getting them that night. But then no internet. Plan B — call the Petey Pab, who was, quite predictably and even more fortunately, webbing in bed on his laptop. He graciously looked up directions and we made it to the Texas Dancehall quite well, thank you. But all to say — I just don’t know what I would do without that boy. He got home and it took him all of three seconds to fix what I spent thirty minutes trying to figure out. And then I think about how I really could get by without internet, but definitely not my Brian, and the reasons I love and am grateful for him go much further than computer debugging, or blog set-up for that matter.

So I’m really excited to be posting. I am notoriously awful at keeping in touch, because I hate to write just a little, so I end up never writing anything…it will be very interesting to see how this goes!