I’m going to warn you at the start: I’ve been drinking. (NOTE: I wrote this post last night. I mean, it’s casual friday, but not THAT casual.)

Now, when I say I’ve been drinking, I don’t mean like, “WOO! Let’s tie on a few more, boys!” like crazy woah. I mean I’ve had a beer. One beer with dinner. I know, I’m a lightweight. It’s sort of sad and adorable (or so I’ve been told). Remind me to tell you the story of how I drank ‘four beers for AMERICA’ one fourth of July. Actually, nevermind, that story ends like you think it does.

I like beer. Our beer of choice is called Shiner Bock. It comes from Shiner, Texas. The brewery is like 100+ years old, started by this German and Czech family. The beer was pretty well known in Texas when I was living there, but not really outside of it. Bocks are lagers, but this isn’t like your Bud Light or your Labatt or other really popular lagers. Bocks are darker. Actually, darker makes me think of Guinness. It isn’t like that. It’s just a well balanced beer. Very tasty, especially cold.

We drank and enjoyed our Shiners. It was the beer of choice at parties. We went to a five course dinner at Ruth’s Chris that had a Shiner pairing menu. We visited their brewery. We even bought some bar art and had it framed.


When we got married six years ago, we were shocked and excited that the inlaws were able to find it and have it at our wedding. It was pricey but the guests enjoyed it and we were happy to have a little bit of Texas in Michigan.

Note our delight as we are handed cold Shiner beer on a summer night where we are wearing like four layers of clothes.

As the years past, we started seeing reports of friends from all over the country who had found Shiner and enjoyed it in their home state. Eventually we could find it at Kroger and Meijer here in Michigan. We were floored. I’d like to think that the wedding had something to do with it.


This evening, I’m enjoying Shiner’s Ruby Redbird. Shiner does seasonal beers and this is their summer jam. IT IS TASTY. There is NOTHING better on a hot day than drinking an ice cold Ruby Redbird. The flavor is Ruby Red Grapefruit (from Texas, natch’) and ginger made into a delicious beer that is crisp and refreshing. I hate grapefruit, but I love this beer!

Before Shiner started to be popular, you couldn’t get the specialty beers anywhere but Texas. A couple summers ago I found them here in a Meijer and I: a. freaked out then b. bought every six pack they had. It miiiight have been before 11am. I might not have cared.

I just finished my beer. It was good. If you like beer, you’d probably enjoy it. You can find it in most specialty markets, but sometimes it’s in the cold beer aisle in Kroger, next to the Shiner Bock. Give it a shot. And thanks for not being judgey about the whole ‘posting on my blog when I’ve been drinking’ thing. We’re cool, right? Yeah. So cool. Everything is cool. Except my face. My face is warm. What were we talking about again?

With our regrets, The Church Family

January 2, 2015

Future Governor of Texas, Mr. Greg Abbott
Future Lt. Governor of Texas, Mr. Dan Patrick
2015 Texas Inaugural Committee
P.O. Box 968
Austin, Texas 78767

Dear Sirs,

Hello and happy new year! I hope this correspondence finds you both well and looking forward to the promise that 2015 holds for you. Surely you’re as excited as can be about this last November’s election results, especially in your respective positions. Good on you gents! The hard part is over!

Now, to get to the business of this letter. Last week, we received your kind invitation to your oath of office ceremony. And the 2015 Inauguration Barbecue. And the 2015 Inauguration Parade. And the Future of Texas Ball. And the Young Texans Celebration. Kind and generous. I had heard that about you two! We were both just very surprised, given the fact that we:

  • do not live in Texas
  • are not registered Republicans
  • did not and could not have voted for you

And yet, here arrived our hefty invite, with all the sorted “deets” as the young say! But it is with a heavy heart that I decline the invitation to these above mentioned celebrations. While both time and financial resources make up the bulk of our burden in this regard, I felt those reasons were insufficient given the generosity of your request for our attendance. I now share with you the specifics of our regrets that we cannot attend the above events.

Our invitation

The Oath of Office: This is a funny story. It involves a chicken, a Hershey’s bar, a tour bus, and a restraining order that prohibits me from being within 500 feet of the Capitol Building. Oh – the husband thinks I should stay mum on the sordid details, since we are in the appeal process. Maybe we can have drinks some afternoon when you’re in town and we can NOT talk about it. Wink.

The 2015 Inauguration Barbecue: While you might think this is a similar legal issue to the above, we actually don’t eat barbecue anymore. It’s sad, but ever since we left Texas all those years ago, barbecue literally makes us homesick. I actually can’t smell cornbread without my eyes rolling back in my head. Coleslaw? Makes our skin crawl. Mac and cheese? None, please. Brisket? Missed it. But the doctor says that stuff like that will kill us. For a few years there I said I’d be DAMNED IF SOMEONE TREAD ON ME. Tell me what I CAN and CAN’T eat. But then I’d get this tightening in my chest and you have a beer or two to see if it would help but it never would… eh. You know. Yeah. So weird!

The 2015 Inauguration Parade: After that incident with the Snoopy balloon? Please.

The Future of Texas Ball: Now this I really, really did want to go to. I actually immediately went out and bought a dress for this. I mean, a ball! Really! With dancing and dresses and tuxedos and bobcats carved from ice?! It sounded magical. What girl doesn’t dream of going to a ball? And you invited me! But my husband… he has declined your offer. To hear him tell it, you likely didn’t mean to invite us at all. Just some glitch that our name and address in Michigan were added to some list and you didn’t want us to come to a lovely ball and have a grand evening. I showed him the invite. It was addressed to our family. But it’s alright. Balls are stupid and so are dresses and bobcats. Anyway.

The Young Texans Celebration: THIS. THIS was flattering. Despite the photos you have seen and folks y’all have spoken to, a little birdy should tell you I turned 30 this year. I know, I know, I KNOW. Really, thank you, I am flattered. Young! Ohhh, just stop. But you know, I must say, 8 p.m. is late for a Monday, you know? And live music? I just… I’m – we’re – we’re okay. It’s just always so loud! You can never hear anyone and everyone is always on their phones. So, yeah, just let the other kids go on and have a good time.

Despite the above, I hope you will still hold Mr. Church and I in high esteem. While we are no longer living in the state, we do keep Texas in mind as many of our fellow Americans and friends reside there. When serving in office, I am sure that you both will do your best to act in a fiscally conservative manner, saving money by avoiding needless frivolity and pompous grandstanding that would only serve to diminish the impact you two could have in a government that is often bogged down by such unnecessary gestures. Don’t you agree?

Again, our congratulations on the election. Enjoy the oath of office, the barbecue, the parade, the ball, and the celebration. You’ve earned it.

With our regrets,

The Church Family

This correspondence was mailed by the Churches today.