Cowbell Chronicle #1: Livin’ the Lone Star Life

Welcome to Scarlet Thread Sunday More Cowbell Sunday! Author Jenny Hansen has a blog called More Cowbell. If you don’t get the reference, it’s based on a Saturday Night Live skit that went viral and spawned the phrase “more cowbell.” (See video here.)

Recently, Jenny hatched a plan to send her own cowbell on a series of adventures, a la Flat Stanley. I was happy to raise my hand for a turn, and Jenny passed the cowbell to me while at DFW Con so it could begin its first adventure.

Here’s how the cowbell spent time in the Lone Star State!

First, Cowbell and I stopped off at the famed Lamb Ranch, where WANA Mama Kristen Lamb served up a heap of Southern hospitality.

Lamb Ranch sign

After a fun-filled conference, though, Cowbell was awfully tired, so he rested for a spell.

Cowbell on Ranch bedThe next day, we were both ready to do some riding on the ranch. So what does one ride on a Texas ranch? Why, an ATV, of course!

Cowbell with Julie on ATVAfter I rested up from the trip, it was time to get back to my regular schedule. In my house, that involves baseball games. Cowbell was ready to cheer my son’s team on!

Cowbell on baseball fenceYep, that’s my son on the pitcher’s mound behind the cowbell. And sure enough, with the charm of the cowbell, my son had several strikeouts.

Cowbell at baseball game

On Saturday, Cowbell begged to go to the annual Art Car Parade in Houston with my other son. But unfortunately, he was just too heavy to be lugged around the parade route by the kids. Since Grandma was the adult taking them, she had her hands full enough already. Here’s some of what Cowbell missed.

T-Rex Art Car

Batmobile Art Car

Cowboy Show Art Car

But we made up for missing the Art Car Parade by taking Cowbell out on Friday night. We got gussied up with a hippie cowgirl look.

Julie & Cowbell

And headed to the Longhorn Steakhouse for a juicy slab of beef.

Cowbell at Longhorn Steakhouse

Then we stopped for a few minutes to listen to the Old Rascals Band in my town of Friendswood, Texas–as part of the summer series of Concerts in the Park.


There was one final stop for Cowbell a couple of days later. I have an annual tradition with my best friend of taking one day in the year and heading to the beach…while our kids are at school. We’d been looking forward to this day for a long time. And Cowbell got to come!

Cowbell at the beach

We had a fabulous time frolicking in the Galveston sand and Texas Gulf waves.

Julie & Cowbell on beach

Our Lone Star adventures had come to an end. It was time for Cowbell to visit someone else. So I said my goodbyes and sent Cowbell on to Ellen Gregg for its next stop in the Cowbell Chronicles!

We really do need More Cowbell! Thanks, Jenny.


ROW80 Update

  • Read 8 fiction books. Reached–finished The Silver Lining Playbook by Matthew Quick and Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt this week.
  • Read one craft book: Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies by Deborah Halverson. Read one more chapter.
  • Visit and comment on ROW80 blogs as a Round 2 sponsor. Done.
  • Finish writing GOOD & GUILTY, YA mysteryDone.
  • Complete first round of edits of GOOD & GUILTY. I’ve been editing my other two WIPs instead. But it’s editing!
  • Write one short story. Half-written.
  • Edit two short stories–one needs a final polish, the other a full edit.
  • Prepare for and attend DFW Conference in May.
  • Prepare for and attend Immersion Master Class with Margie Lawson in June. Got the details this past week.

41 thoughts on “Cowbell Chronicle #1: Livin’ the Lone Star Life

    1. No pressure at all! (I didn’t show the days it spent hovering over my laundry piles or sitting on my desk while I edited and edited and edited. LOL.)

      Have a lovely time with it! Should be arriving soon!

  1. Such fun with the cowbell. I love it and I love that dress. You’re adorable. You had a great week too. Good for you. Hope you have another one this week.

  2. You are beautiful! I love the great time you showed Cowbell. I should heckle that Jenny to let the Cowbell raft upstream the Mississippi and come visit me!

    I love your dancing on the beach pic. So cute! Did you plan that beach writers retreat yet?

    1. Once the cowbell is out of my hands, I cannot be responsible for where it goes next. You and Gloria can arm-wrestle for it. 😉

      Thanks, Jess! (Miss you still.)

    2. OK, here’s the current order, just so we don’t have any super-powers-at-twenty-paces:

      1. Julie
      2. Ellen
      3. Gene Lempp
      4. Gloria Richard
      5. Someone I can’t remember right now
      6. Jess

      It’s doesn’t mean that circumstances might not switch the order, but that’s the current one off the top of my head.

      Although Ellen is right, Julie’s inaugural jaunt is going to be very, very hard to top, IYKWIM. 🙂

  3. Julie! I, L-O-V-E your cowboy-hippie-chic look. The glee on the beach? Rocks!

    You showed that cowbell one rip-roaring good time.

    Were a smidge nervous about taking the cowbell into a steakhouse? There’s a chance some cow near-and-dear to that bell’s clangor was teed up for the rib-eye special. Just sayin…

    You don’t know where The Cowbell’s been or with whom she may have been intimate.

    How can I compete? When do I get to play?

    Skedaddling to plot and plan.

    And, for the sake of my sanity, self-esteem, and will to live, get that Cowbell moving on to Ellen.

    1. I’m just hoping that the sand-and-salt veneer that cowbell picked up from the beach has worn off by the time it reaches you. Thanks, Gloria! Enjoy.

  4. I like the dress, and the cowbell challenge 🙂 You’re doing well with your reading and editing goals, keep at it! Have a great writing week!

  5. Hi, Julie! Love the hippie cow gal look! And you were rockin’ the beach look, too! You’re just as pale as I am this time of year, LOL. 😉

    Great way to rock the goals, too!

    1. I am SO PALE, Kathy! Now and then, I try to claim a familial connection to Danny Glover, but my uber-white skin makes that utterly laughable, right? Too bad. I think ol’ Danny’s pretty cool.

      Have a marvelous week.

  6. Looks like you and Cowbell had a great time 😛 Fun idea on Jenny’s part though.

    Great work on those goals! You’re just ripping through them. Way to go.

      1. Bet it was the one you had up in the air while you were dancing. That reflected sun off the sand is wicked!! I got a sunburn one time on the beach when I spent the whole day reading under an umbrella (but without sun lotion).

  7. What a great post, Julie! So much fun! You made me miss the beach a little bit there. 😉 You have a lovely Texas style. Have another great week with your goals.

  8. As entertained as I am by you and your Cowbell hijinks, I’m most impressed with these goals. You. Are. ROCKIN’!!!

    I’m so impressed that you’ve kept up with ROW80 and your goals. It’s on my list to jump back in for another round later in the year. I miss my ROW80 peeps. I can’t wait to see your gorgeous stories in print. 🙂

  9. So much fun here–great pictures (and a great dress–you really rocked that look, Julie)… Even though you had editing to do, it’s great you took advantage of the Cowbell’s “company” to get out and have some fun. And that yearly date with your friend to the beach is … what a wonderful gift to yourselves!

    Hopefully this week will be as wonderful in its own way.

  10. Oh, what a fun post! I’m so glad Jenny got her More Cowbell tour rolling. Great post, and I love that hippy cowgirl outfit! I’m jealous you got to hang at the ranch with our WANA Mama. What a great way to end DFW Con. I wonder if it’s too late to get in on the More Cowbell tour. Clank! Clank! Clank!

    1. Thanks, Lynn. Check with Jenny! And that cowbell does indeed do a great clank! clank! It was the most effective way I’ve ever had of getting my family to the dinner table. 🙂 (Although they banned it after just one night of success! Go figure.)

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