Friday, December 18, 2009

Table of Holidays Past

Today is December 18th. One week until Christmas. I have to show you something that is pretty pathetic. Below is my Table of Holidays Past. Oh yes, what you are seeing is not just Thanksgiving decorations, but Halloween deco as well.

Look at them sitting their so sad. It's almost like The Isle of Misfit Toys, but for holiday decorations past their season. And here I am, putting them through the pain and misery of seeing Christmas decorations sitting where they were only a few months ago. It's rough being seasonal.

Since it's almost Christmas, I think it's time to dismantle the Table of Holidays Past. For the record, I promise I usually don't leave this stuff sitting around. Really. I promise.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Flat to Fabulous in Seconds!

No, I'm not talking about the latest and greatest push-up bra but as seen on TV, Bumpits. The makers of Bumpits claim that it will take your hair from flat to fabulous in seconds. If you haven't seen Bumpits infomercials on TV, they're just basically little half-moon shaped combs that you place under your hair to give it volume. It's kind of like implants for hair. Sort of. Well, not like hair plugs, but more like a hair lift. I have speculated that the lady on the Progressive commercial uses a Bumpit, but I haven't confirmed this.

I have been looking at a box of Bumpits on my counter for the past week. Joey and I bought it as a gag gift for a Christmas party last week and then left it at home by accident. We picked up a Topsy Turvy on the way instead. I was supposed to return it. Note the 'supposed'. Joey has asked "Hey, when are you going to take the Bumpit back"? "Oh, soon" I say. I am confessing to you now in confidence that I might not have taken the Bumpit back yet because I secretly want to try it.

Three things stand in the way of my using the Bumpits:

1. Joey would think it was a waste of $10
2. I unwittingly bought blonde Bumpits
3. I would feel like I was leading people on with my unnaturally large hair

I would like to find someone who has actually tried to 'bumpit'. Apparently the Bed Bath & Beyond where we bought it has run out several times from the demand. So there must be more people walking around with Bumpitted hair. There was a girl singing in the praise team at church on Sunday and I was almost sure she was wearing a Bumpit. The funny thing was that midway through, Joey leaned over and asked me "Do you think she wears a Bumpit?" He's on to us, ladies.

I think I'll circle the box a few more times before making my decision.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rare Roast Beast

They'll feast on Who-Pudding and Rare-Who-Roast-Beast. Roast-Beast is a feast I can't stand in the least!
- The Grinch

Ugh! You're not going to believe what I just did. Well, if you know me very well maybe you will.

So you know that I've been trying to cook more lately, right? Last night we had homemade chili and it was great despite one small thing. Joey tasted it and really liked it. Then he said "What's that sweet taste right at the beginning?" Oops. I bet that came from the fact that I had an accident with the cinnamon when it came out in a huge clump that was definitely not 1/4 tsp. What can you do? But it really was very good, just a few bites were, ummm, extra cinnamony. Cinnamony Chili, my specialty. That was last night.

Tonight takes the cake. It is crock pot roast. I came home at lunch to put everything together. I threw the onions, potatoes, carrots, and meat and left feeling like Suzy Homemaker. I walked in the door from work to the delicious smell of roast. Is anything better than that? I bet if you could take a bite of the air it would taste like roast. I opened the lid to savor the delicious smell and then told Joey he better hurry to the gym because it would be ready within an hour.

He's at the gym right now. I should have told him to take his time. What I didn't notice is that I accidentally set the crock pot on low. So it's been cooking for 4.5 hours on low instead of high. I just looked up how long it should take if it's been cooking on low. Try 8-9 hours. Joey and I will be sitting down to a delicious pot roast somewhere between 9-10 PM tonight.

Hmmm...better start looking for a snack.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

O Christmas Music...

How I love thee...most of the time. My favorite radio station, KSBJ, plays Christmas music from the day after Thanksgiving through the Big Day. KSBJ is a Christian station and uses this time to encourage new listenership in hopes that they stick around the rest of the year. Their main focus is sharing the Gospel with people through the station. For the record, I'm all on board with this goal. I think it's great! However, (don't kill me) I'm not ready for Christmas music 24 hours a day until we're at least past the first week or two of December. I like to jingle, well...part of the way. I know, I know many of you can't fathom this.

Let me set the record straight before you think of me as a Grinch. I absolutely LOVE Christmas! Love it! The lights, giving gifts, decorations, traditions, family time, Christmas tree hunting, delicious food, and of course the Reason for the season, a time to celebrate Christ's birth. So it's established. I heart Christmas. And I heart Christmas music as well.

My rationing of Christmas music is based on the following two points:

1. If I listen to it beginning the day after Thanksgiving I will be all jollied out by the time we get to Christmas week and the music will have reached its saturation point. It's effect will be slightly dampened and I want to really be in the Christmas spirit.

2. I like the classics. We're talking Burl Ives, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole, the Chipmunks, etc. The good stuff. What I don't need to hear is every version of Jingle Bells known to man. I don't want to hear Silent Night coming from the Spice Girls, Miley Cyrus, or Bob Marley. We have plenty of Christmas albums sung by the greatest singers in the world. Just because you are a recording artist does not mean you need to make a Christmas album. Save it for the Macy's Day Parade when you're on top of a float.

Sorry for the short tirade, but I felt like I should explain myself. I will flip back to the station and listen to a few songs here and there and I may have it on a bit at my house, but I'm going to wait another week or so before fully immersing myself in Christmas music.

Just so you don't think I'm a complete Bah Humbug, here are a few of my absolute Christmas favorites from childhood:

1. White Christmas - Bing Crosby
2. Carol of the Bells - Transiberian Orchestra
3. It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Burl Ives
4. Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In
5. All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey (ok, so maybe there are a few newbies)
6. O Holy Night
7. Rockin Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee?
8. What Child Is This?
9. Snow - Rosemary Clooney
10. The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole

Ok, see? Now I'm in the Christmas spirit just thinking about it. Maybe I'll try to catch a few of these on the way back to work. But, I'm turning it as soon as Bob Marley's version comes on. You all know I'm kidding about Bob Marley, right? :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

There's an app for that...

They weren't kidding. There is an app for That. I just recently got on the smart phone band wagon by purchasing a Motorola Cliq. It's basically T-Mobile's version of the iPhone. I am addicted to my phone, but it's gelled to my finger not to my ear. I can keep up with Facebook, Twitter, and my email all on one screen and I'm loving it. Seriously though, I have developed Phone Finger on the tip of my pointer finger.

Just this past week I finally looked at the app market. Oh. My. Gosh. I spent an entire Thanksgiving road trip looking at apps. I went back and forth between exclaiming "Who would want that?" and "Genius! Sheer genius!" I have only downloaded a few free apps despite Joey's requests that I download Anchorman and Wedding Crashers soundboards. I didn't tell him about the Fart Maker soundboard. That would have just been more than he could have handled.

Alright, I have to tell you about this one app. Since, I believe 100 percent of all visitors to this blog are female, I don't have any qualms blogging about this. If you're a guy, just stop here. No really, stop here.

It's about the menstrual cycle. See I told you that you should've stopped.

Alright, I've for sure lost any male stragglers by now with that note. That would stop my husband dead in his reading tracks for sure.

There is an app for tracking your period, ovulation, basal body temperature, etc. I was ecstatic when I came across that one. Being that I tend to go the natural route, I'm not on birth control pills so this subject is important. I never tracked anything prior to getting married so I'm not in the habit, which has led to me forgetting and counting things over and over. Oh the counting. Anyway, back to the app. It does all of this for you! It tells you when you should start for months out sans counting and it also tells you your most fertile times. And before your freak out and it gets back to my mother, no, I'm not planning a family right now, but it's just good to know. I just had to tell you because I thought it was so cool. Joey asked me, "What if someone wants to see your phone and they accidentally come across THAT?" Boys. We're not all SO weird about THAT.

Monday, November 23, 2009

An Ol' Ag

This weekend Joey and I went to the A&M-Baylor game with another couple. Thankfully, it was a game that made sitting in a cold, plastic poncho worth it. Not many Aggie games the past few seasons make this ok. I absolutely detest ponchos. Joey made me wear it. I sat in the rain stubbornly for as long as I could stand it, disdainfully looking at the poncho in the bag. Putting it on felt like swallowing horrible cough medicine. Why couldn't I be one of the girls in the cute rain jackets? Instead I was wearing a piece of clothing that differs from a trash bag by a single snap at the neck. Somewhere I know there's a Poncho Millionaire sitting on his mountains of cash because he decided to repackage the trash bag as a "poncho" and then sell it to all desperate people caught in the rain.

I am relaying this part of the event to you so you can get an idea of my state of mind. I was Wet-Hair-Stuck-to-My-Head-Smudgy-Eye-Make-Up-Girl-in-a-Poncho.

There is one thing about revisiting college campuses as a former student (NOTE for non-Ags: A&M graduates are not referred to as alumni, but as "former students" - one of the many weird things we do), you feel OLD. Class of 2012, really? Really? I remember when Class of 2004 sounded fresh. Oh my gosh. It's happened. I am what is termed an "ol' Ag". (NOTE to non-Ags: ol' Ags are ancient). I remember 'ol Ags. You would run into them at the MSC (Memorial Student Center) where if they caught your ear, you'd sit and listen to them reminisce about life as a student at A&M in 1932 while turning their well-worn Aggie ring around on their finger. They would tell you about how girls didn't attend A&M back then, how their sweethearts were given Aggie pinky rings and how campus was only from Building A to Building B. And there I was...and am. I felt it as I would catch myself saying to Joey, hey remember when there wasn't a walkway from West Campus to Kyle Field? Remember the girl who ate The List while everyone was waiting to pull tickets for the TU game? Remember how the 12th Man used to be on the other side of Kyle field? Remember when the shuttles were like old school buses? Remember...oh no, I'm doing it again.

So there I was, surrounded by young girls wearing A&M t-shirts proudly stating "Class of 2012" with their fresh faces and God love'em, skinny jeans that were actually, well....skinny. And me. Wet, smudgy, old, pitiful and in a poncho. I could practically feel the wrinkles coming on.

This was pretty much how I was feeling. Then I spotted true ol' Ags sitting on stadium seat cushions. A refined woman in her 70s, all decked out in maroon and white, wearing what looked like her Aggie sweetheart ring and sitting next to her Aggie husband with his gold ring worn so smooth you can hardly see the once prominent details. I was reminded that it's all relative. I wander what she thinks of us all? She would probably laugh at my feeling as one of the elderly. I'm sure she'd long to be the age that I am. Or maybe she wouldn't. Maybe she would be happy just where she is.

And then I saw my kindred spirit. A girl proudly giving away her age by wearing a "Saw 'Em Off" t-shirt circa 2004. Remember when we were able to wear these shirts before the trademark infringement banned them from being made again? She didn't look old at all, but just slightly more seasoned and the maturity suited her. That made me feel better. Now granted, she wasn't wearing a poncho.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dinner Nouveau

Ok, I have to brag on something. I have cooked dinner four nights in row! Yay me! I'm sure some of you are thinking, geez not much to brag about, but really with me, this deserves a little bragging. I'm generally a "fixer" not a cook. I chop, heat, and steam. This is the extent of my cooking. This is not because I don't like to cook, but more because let's face it, by the time I get home my tummy just can't wait. In addition, because we try to eat relatively healthy and I'm not cuisinely creative, we tend to get in rut. In fact, let's examine the rut more closely:

A Monday: grilled chicken, steamed veggies and salad.
A Tuesday: steak, steamed veggies and salad.
A Wednesday: grilled fish, steamed veggies and salad.
A Thursday: grilled pork, steamed veggies and wait for it...salad.

Well, this week I put a stop to it and have made a strategic effort. This is due to my husband's cry for help. He asked my mastermind alliance with keeping on track dietwise during the day. You can't ignore a cry for help right? So I realized that this might due to aforementioned Rut. He's eating poorly during the day because he's eating dull food at night. Kind of like how the Amish go crazy at Rumspringer maybe? Anyway, I digress. I visited one of my new favorite sites: to get inspired. Here's what I came up with the week:

Monday Nouveau: baked fish seasoned and dusted with oat flour, green beans*, and roasted garlic and new potatoes*.
Tuesday Nouveau: stir fry (from scratch - big step)
Wednesday Nouveau: baked chicken, left over green beans*, and a salad (but it was special as it had left over mushrooms from the stir fry which makes it completely different from all the boring salads we have had before). Oh, and I have to tell you that I actually came up with the baked chicken recipe by myself. Can you believe it? As it was all I had and I was trying to not be boring, I crushed Triscuits, mixed in italian spices and coated chicken in a butter garlic sauce. Not the healthiest chicken, but absolutely delicious.
Thursday Nouveau: as I type, a delicous homemade beef stew is bubbling in the kitchen - let's keep our fingers crossed.

*not your ordinary green beans and potatoes. I have decided that I can cook better using pictorial recipes such as found on Pioneer Woman. The reason for this is, I'm always getting to a certain step in a recipe and it supposed to look like that? For an analytical always asking questions, pictures are confirmation that yes, I'm headed in the right direction.

So far so good. Oh, except for the small mistake in the stir fry where I used pickled baby corn instead of regular. Oops. Who knew there would be more than one kind of baby corn? It was just a little too much twang for Joey and I so we ate around all baby corn. Lesson learned: check the label on baby corn.

If anyone has recommendations on ways to jazz up healthy meals, please let me know. I need all the help I can get!

And sorry, no pictures of hair yet. Camera's out of batteries. Just know I look like Katie Holmes. Kidding. Totally kidding. It's just me with a slightly blunt haircut.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dyed & Gone to Heaven?

Guess what I was up to yesterday? It has something to do with this...

Yes, it's all clear now. Watching Dawson's Creek reruns., although that is sadly quite appealing to me. Yesterday evening was spent trying to duplicate Katie Holmes' (is it Cruise now? I'm so behind pop culturally speaking sometimes) hair. Yes, it was a haircut and drum roll please...lowlights for me!

I was until yesterday, a haircolor virgin. Shocking, I know. How a girl makes it to 28 without having one single drop of hair color touch her head is a mystery. Well, no it's not as much a mystery as it is that I'm of the low maintenance hair variety. And by low maintenance I mean, there are days when my hair "fixing" is done in 5 minutes. I have also stooped on numerous occasions to the lowest of lows of hair maintenance. This would be rolling down the windows in my car and pointing all air conditioning vents on high to my wet hair. Go ahead and scoff at this, but it works in a jam.

All this to say, God was merciful when He gave me board straight hair. He knew that if I were given anything that required more than 8 minutes including blow drying to look slightly presentable, I would be in a rough spot. Not only do I not have the patience to fix my hair, but I'm going to admit something. And this is a big admission for a girl. I am still unsure of how to use a round brush properly. I just can't get it. Do you girls that do this have another Gadget Arm or what? Not to mention that I tend to get these brushes stuck in my hair. If only peanut butter worked on brushes like it does on gum.

So you can see how I have made it to this point untouched by a colorist. And then this happened:

Agghghghghgh! Yes, I developed the Bride of Frankenstein white hair streak. My hair turned against me. All of these years it had been so good. I mean it wasn't great or amazing hair, but it never caused me any trouble. Until now. Thankfully, it was camouflaged with another layer of hair, but it was there alright and quick to mock me if I pulled my hair up half way. To add insult to injury, one of the errant strands poked straight out of head like a bent white pipe cleaner. In fact, when my hairdresser pulled back the layer she actually did a little surprise gasp followed by an "oh my, you do have white hair".

I did it. It's barely noticeable, but I did it. I didn't like the haircut at first, but I think it was the way she styled it. She curled everything in and I looked less like Katie Homes and more like an earl from the 16th century. If I had a picture to post I would, but I haven't had a chance to take any yet. It's not so much that you'll be able to tell as much as I do, but just know that the white streak is gone!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Getting to Sesame Street

Today is Sesame Street's 40th birthday. I don't know about you, but I absolutely loved Sesame Street as a kid. It sits right next to Reading Rainbow and 3,2,1 Contact in my book of pre-kindergarten favorites. The funny thing looking back is how hilariously creative they actually were. Maybe they knew they had to appeal to kids and Moms.

Sesame Street's birthday has brought to light a serious subject in the Perot household: Joey did not watch or like Sesame Street growing up. I know, I was shocked too. And yes, you're wondering how it's possible that our relationship has survived despite this serious gap in our interests. I've sat back and contemplated this myself. I mean, where was this crucial subject in premarital counseling? Fortunately, God transends the knowledge of the Sesame Street Theme Song. He did say he sort of remembers the "guy in the trash can" being kind of funny so I guess we have something to build on.

I have had fun picking a few clips that come to my mind about Sesame Street. Some of them may be more obscure to you as they are odd bits and pieces that I have kept from childhood. I hope a few take you back as well.

Grover has always been my favorite character.

"O'White or O'Rye, sir?" Classic.

The Pinball Song...

I don't know why I remember this one, but catchy song!

A loaf of bread, container of milk, and a stick of butter. Still remember the list.

And last but not least...

This memory has been brought to you by the letter J. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mac vs. I'm a PC

Microsoft has thoroughly used the "I'm A PC" campaign.

At first they had Kylie, the little girl who created a unicorn and fairy presentation using Windows 7. Or something like that. From what I remember, the presentation had little pop up conversation bubbles coming from cartoon teddy bears. I think the pop up bubbles exclaimed the virtues of Windows 7, but I'm not positive. I was looking at the teddy bears and fuzzy animals. Cute.

And then they showed us regular folks saying "I'm a PC" while doing regular things. Regular people use PCs. Relatable.

And now they have the people who say that Windows 7 was their idea. Makes me smile. I think it might be my favorite of the three.

However, I absolutely LOVE the Mac commercials. Simple and witty all at the same time. Somehow they've been able to make insult and criticism charming. It's like Mr. Rogers telling you you've been kicked out of the neighborhood. You'd be hurt, but geez, it's Mr. Rogers who couldn't raise his voice if he tried. (work with me, this is how my mind extrapolates) He would probably explain it so simply and gently that you didn't even mind being banished from the neighborhood. Now, that's skill. Here's another skill, they have characterized PC as dowdy and difficult and Mac as cool and easy. Genius! Hmmm...dowdy or cool, dowdy or cool...? I think I'll pick cool. By the way, have you seen the Verizon commercial with the phone that has been sent to the Island of Misfit Toys? Love it!

If this blog posts in mid-sentence it is because I'm using a PC and it's had enough. In fact, I've noticed a few flickers, particularly when I got to the last paragraph. But I'm going to say it and save quickly, in my opinion Mac has won the battle of the commercials these days.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Hallelujah! I have just finished my annual staff exam and passed, gave my presentation on Tuesday, and had a successful launch of my pet project yesterday! I feel like a balloon that just let go of the helium that's been holding it up. Now I can finally re-focus my attention and attend to my neglected dogs, my messy house, my hair, and most husband. Poor Joey. When I emailed him to let him know that I passed my test, he said "Congratulations, so does that mean that you're not going to be grumpy anymore?" I must confess, I've been a little on edge as of late. I have let go of my healthy diet and my exercise routine over the past few weeks as well in order to finish the project. It's time to get things back in order! And that means my blog too.

I will be back and blogging as soon as I get my household back in its routine.

In the meantime, if you want to check out what I've been up to, please visit This has been my baby for the past 5-6 months. There are a few rough edges and places where content still needs to be beefed up, but it's up and I'm happy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DVRing Life

Ok, I'm short posting today. Sorry. Well, maybe you're glad! I can be long-winded, or is it long-typed in the blog world?

Today has more than 24 hours' worth of tasks.

I wish I could DVR life sometimes, you know? I feel like I've been so busy this week that I haven't had a chance to stop and relish its events. Ok, well some I do not wish to revel in such as the fact that I have a report due on Friday, the huge project that I'm in charge of is launching on Tuesday of next week with SO many loose ends yet to tie up, and I'm taking my annual staff exam next Wednesday (many study for 3-4 wks. for this and I have barely given it a glance. Can you say EEK?!). Those are the things that would be left un-DVR'd if you will. However, my parents are coming tomorrow night which should be fun. Hence I'm in a cleaning frenzy (also left off the DVR List). My brother Stephen made it to regionals in tennis and is playing in Katy. It's his senior year so this might be the last time I actually get to see him compete in a match. Oh and that project? I would like to DVR the outcome. After all, I've been working on it since May. least I'm hoping it would be on my DVR List due to a good ending, but if it's the reverse maybe not. Yikes! On this note, I might could use a few extra prayers on all the un-DVR'd items, pretty please?

As long as there are enough moments in life that are worthy of reliving, there will be plenty to hang our hats on in the dry spells.

So I'm curious. What memories would you hang your hat on? What would you DVR from your life to play over and over again?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hanging Out With The Adams

I mentioned that we stayed with Joey's family for a few days in Prescott, AZ. So, let me introduce them!
Here's the breakdown -

And lastly, Rosser, who never let us take a picture without making a goofy face!

And of course, I think you can figure out which is Uncle James. They were incredibly generous and such gracious hosts. They showed us around town, took us to their favorite restaurants, and on a hike through the Prescott National Forest. Ok, I don't think it wast the Prescott National Forest, but it felt like it! With Lindsey as our leader, we hiked to Frog Falls, which turned out to be more of a pool this time of year, but it was beautiful nonetheless and gave the Cityslickers a taste of the outdoors.

Joey, Uncle James, and Rosser went shooting while I, well basically got in the way. :)

Can you believe this is the view from their HOUSE?!

Here are a few shots from the hike:

Remnants of Frog Falls

Joey proving that you can still check on Fantasy Football in the middle of nowhere

We had the best time hanging out with these guys and can't thank them enough for opening their home to us for a couple of days! Thank you!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In From Out West

Alright, we're ba-aack! Did you guess it right? The Grand Canyon? Yup, you got it - that's where we've been. Joey and I took a good old-fashioned Griswold style vacation to the Grand Canyon. Well, that was one of the main attractions at least. Joey's Uncle J. and cousins live in Prescott, Arizona so we hung out with them for about three days while they took us shopping, hiking, site seeing, and oh my goodness eating. The eating. Joey and I have decided we will be fasting for a month due to the menu on the trip. And can you tell that we're from Texas by this picture? Geez, didn't realize it at the time.

Anyway, Prescott is absolutely beautiful. It's the kind of place that makes you wonder why we live in flat and humidity-heavy, Houston. (Houston, I didn't mean that and you know it. I know you can't do anything about lacking mountains and scenic views but, goodness could you give a girl a little relief from the humidity?)

We had a great time hanging out with family that we don't get to see very often, checked out the Grand Canyon, and ended our trip with a few days in Sedona. We had so much fun and very importantly, we just relaxed and took in the view.

Arizona is absolutely beautiful. Uncle J. let Joey and I borrow his truck for the second half of the trip so we were able to see plenty of the state up close and personal. On our way to the Grand Canyon, I fully expected to see cowboys and Indians riding over the landscape, with buffalo and teepees on the horizon. There are jagged mountains made as if chiseled out of complete rock and then there are hills that look like a giant had been playing in a huge sandbox making mountains out of sand and then spinkling his work with a light layer of shrubby trees for effect. The whole of it really is a picture right out of a movie. A John Wayne movie to be exact.

We drove past roads with names like Hell's Canyon and Devil Dog Road. By Day 3 our skin as well as our noses were completely dried out and we were panting for breath with the smallest exertion.

We tried what I have termed Az-Mex food which doesn't hold a candle to Tex-Mex. It's heavy on the chile powder and chipotle. Oh and get this. At one restaurant you actually had to pay for chips and salsa. Don't they know chips and salsa should automatically appear upon sitting down and most importantly be free of charge? I had fun watching other couples sit down, obviously not aware of the Chip & Salsa When You Show Me The Money Policy either. They would look around at all the other tables with chips and salsa, not knowing that we had paid for it to be there, and you could tell they were trying to figure out if they had just gotten left out. The waiter could have a lucrative career as an actor, as time and again when someone would ask for chips and salsa he would act so surprised as if it were crazy to expect free chips and salsa. "Oh, you want chips and salsa? So one order of chips and salsa then. What's that? Oh, you have to order it of course." As if if he were not asked this question 50 times day. Craziness!

I've got quite a bit to show you so I'll post more on our adventures including pictures this week. As much as we had fun, we are glad to be back!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Where are we?

All right, are you wondering why you haven't gotten a blog from me in a few days? I've got a few moments to check in right now, but that's it and then we've got to get back to our current adventure. I'm going to leave it up to your imagination where we are and I'll be sure to fill you in on Monday.

Ok, I'll give you a hint: Paul Bunyan supposedly created this by dragging his axe along the ground. If you guess right, I'll give you...ummm well, just kudos for looking it up on Google. :)

Be back and blogging soon!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dad Meets Bart

I've mentioned before that my Dad is a cat person. He doesn't care for dogs. That's my Mom's phrasing. Don't say you don't like something, say you don't care for it. It's softer and more polite. So in my family you didn't not like creamed corn, but rather you didn't care for it. We were one big, happy, caring family I guess. Well, growing up we knew that Dad didn't like dogs. We believe this ties back to a negative experience in childhood, but he won't give us the details. Must be too painful. I would ask for a dog and we'd get a cat. That's just how it worked. Dad said cats were smarter than dogs. Remember Robert De Niro's character from Meet The Parents? That's my Dad.

One day, a stray dog started hanging around our house. Of course, the reason he was hanging around was because everyone but Dad was secretly feeding him. But he didn't know that. Mysteriously, this dog showed up every day. We all looked at each other and exclaimed out loud how strange it was that he kept coming back. Dad would come home from work and say "Get on outta here!", but there he'd be the next day. He became such a fixture, that he acquired a name: Bart.

Bart was an old mutt. A shaggy, long-haired, junkyard dog, of a mutt. He was the kind of dog you were endeared to immediately due to his completely pitiful state. Everyone loved our new dog. Everyone, it seemed but Dad, who referred to Bart as "that dawg",furrowed his brow, and narrowed his eyes whenever Bart walked by. Bart sure was courageous because despite Dad's body language he would still make an attempt at a relationship. He would nudge his shaggy head against Dad's hand showing him that he wasn't going to give up.

I had pretty much put Bart down for the count with Dad until one day I made a discovery. I heard a noise from the window that looked into our garage. It sounded like someone talking softly so I peeked out the window. It was Dad. Talking to....Bart?! Dad was talking sweetly, smiling, and petting his head. I couldn't believe my eyes! This whole time he'd been holding out on us! I tried to catch Dad in action several times, but he never would own up to it. He secretly liked Bart, he just had to keep the tough guy exterior. Dog's get to your heart you know?

Bart was only with us a month or two. He just didn't show up one day. I don't really know what happened to him. We were all heartbroken because of course we all thought we had a dog of our own. I think Dad was probably sad too, though he didn't show it. I learned a few things about Dad from Bart. Some of it I already knew, but some of it was new stuff.

So guess whose watching our dogs next week? That's right, Dad. Of course, he makes a big fuss and puts on a show, but secretly I think he's excited that they're coming to stay. Mom tells me so. Maybe Mom's phrasing on it was right. Dad doesn't care for dogs, he prefers cats. BUT, I no longer think he just doesn't like them either. We now know better.

P.S. I still don't like creamed corn.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My husband's home!

Joey's back! Thank goodness! He's been in New York since Saturday morning for work. Sometimes it's good to have a few days a part just so you realize how much you've incorporated someone so completely into your life. It's not the big things as much as the small ones that carry such weight. They make you stop and wonder how you ever lived life as just you. Did a time exist when he wasn't in my mind? Just to share, here are a few of my small moments missing the one I love:

I had great news that I wanted to tell my best friend and he wasn't there.

Watching a scary movie and not knowing when to turn my head and totally missing what was going on, usually I watch him watch these movies and he gives me the narrative.

Only one football game on versus flipping back and forth to five.

When I found his socks in the freshly washed sheets all balled up.

When I realize I haven't had a kiss in 4 days.

Watching the dogs sniff around expectantly trying to find him.

When I push in his dresser drawers and they actually stay closed for a few days.

Not having him to give me the thumbs up on an outfit before wearing it. He'll usually tell me if I'm way off. :)

When I forgot to take out the trash and it was apparent. My job is to refill the bag.

When I put my hand on the other side of the bed and I couldn't find his shoulder.

Just a few of many moments. I'm so glad he's back!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Over The Top Award

Danielle was sweet enough to tag me with an award and to accept, I need to answer the questions below and pass on to some of you guys! This is great for a light blogging kind of a day. So here you go...

1. Where is your cell phone: lost in my Mary Poppins purse
2. Your hair: is failing me, I'm getting gray hair!
3. Your mother: Supermom
4. Your father: can always be depended on for a hug...even if he's not sure why I need it :)
5. Your favorite food: toss up between Mexican & Italian
6. Your dream from last night: something about my teeth turning chocolate brown - I take no responsibility for the the content of my dreams. But I did check my teeth this morning just in case.
7. Your favorite drink: water with lemon or a caramel macchiato
8. Your dream/goal: write for a living
9. What room are you in: living room
10. What is your hobby: reading, writing, and music (I bet you thought I was going to say arithmetic, not a chance)
11. What is your fear: Death by fire - ohh, I don't mean to be morbid, but that's really what comes to mind. Failure would be a more abstract fear.
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years: enjoying kids and family, refer to #8
13. Where were you last night: At the casa
14. Something you are not: well-traveled :(
15. Muffins: banana nut
16. Wish List items.: watch from Sundance, a few pairs of shoes I've had my eye on, dining rm table....hmm...this might be an important post for Joey to read...
17. Where did you grow up: Livingston, Texas
18. Last thing you did: talk to my hubby on the phone
19. What are you wearing: jeans and t-shirt
20. Your TV: is never watched in real time, only dvr'd
21. Your pets: We have His and Hers dogs: Gus & Bogart
22. Your friends: multigenerational
23. Your life: an adventure, maybe not the hiking Everest kind, but more like the everyday life kind of adventure
24. Your mood: reflective
25. Missing someone: Joey, he's been out of state for several days on business.
26. Vehicle: Honda Accord - If I drove a Porsche, I would've still said Honda Accord - who knows who might read this? Casing the Joint virtually, you know? No really, it's an Accord. Really.
27. Something your not wearing: I feel like they're fishing for a sexy answer but this is all I got: I've been sans-earrings all day and I feel like I'm missing an arm or something.
28. Your favorite store: Anthropologie
29. Your favorite color: red sometimes, green sometimes, blue sometimes....I don't have loyalties
30. When's the last time you laughed: a half second ago when I posted the answer below in this blank by accident. You guys would have thought I'm so cold!
31. When's the last time you cried: a few days ago I think, listening to the new Steven Curtis Chapman song Heaven is the Face about seeing heaven through the face of his little girl who died this past year.'s awful, it's wonderful, it had me balling.
32. Your best friend: my husband, Joey.
33. One place you go over and over: HEB - what does this say about me?
34. One person who emails me regularly: Joey
35. Favorite place to eat?: Ruthie's Mexicana

Alright, I'm passing this onto some folks who I enjoy knowing what they have to say and I'd like to hear more from!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Book Hugger

Saturday I was sitting in a coffee shop reading a book when my ears picked up a news story on TV. You can read the story HERE. There is actually a school that is getting rid of the books in the library and going completely digital. What? Sad news. I understand what they're getting at in embracing technology and all, but no books in a library? Nothing but cold computers?

There's more to books than just information. Books are an experience. The joy of opening a book for the first time, the spine cracking, the feel of slightly textured paper between your fingers as you turn each page. The different colors, shapes and sizes. I could spend a whole day in Barnes & Noble just looking. It's like going to Marble Slab and being allowed to sample every flavor. You open books with expectancy, ready to be enveloped in some new adventure and to take a short reprieve from reality.

There is something private when you open a book that's just between you and the story that unfolds. It's almost as if upon it's opening you are automatically insulated from the rest of the world. At least that's how I feel. For me, in more awkward years (yes, I was much more awkward than I am now) books were a way to forget about the fact that I was a shy, tall, skinny, knobby-kneed teenager. Books were almost a defense at times. When Beauty & The Beast came out, I dreamed of having Belle's Library.

Maybe I'm just being nostalgic, but I don't think a computer screen will do the trick. I can see the convenience of carrying a Kindle, but again it's because you can't have the real thing. Just now, I'm imagining reading Jane Austen on my computer screen. Yuck! Something is all wrong about it. If we're headed in this direction, I will refuse. I can just see myself in Fahrenheit 451 fashion hiding my books and reading by flashlight to prevent them from being replaced by a Kindle. I'll take my grand kids to a Book Museum to show them what a book looks like, explaining to them that their Grandmother used to read from books, while memories of Reading Rainbow flash through my mind.

Ok, ok, so I really don't think it'll get to this point, but I couldn't help but think on it. I don't think I'm the only one that thinks that there's nothing like curling up with a good book.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Birthday To My Mom!!

I love you so much and hope you have the best birthday today! My Mom's pretty amazing. I think I told you in a post last year. You can read my ode to Mom HERE. I will be going to visit the Birthday Girl tomorrow - YAY!

Happy Birthday to you, Mom!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Temporary Housing

On my way home for lunch today, I got a reminder of how blessed my life is right now. I was probably a few miles away from our house just driving, listening to the radio, and miles away in thought when I saw smoke billowing over the road coming from the direction of our house. My mind immediately went to our house. Oh my gosh, what if it's our house? What did I leave on? Iron, curling iron, fan? Oh no the dogs, they're in their kennels! About the time my mind had enough time to swirl these thoughts around a bit, a police car swerved to a stop up the road blocking the lane completely. Smoke covered the road and a thick curtain came down between me and my house. I had to turn around.

Thankfully, my sense of distance is as usual, incredibly impaired and it wasn't our house. It was several neighborhoods away from house in fact. Like I said, not gifted in spatial orientation. I could never be the one to guess how many pennies are in a jar. I came home, loved on my dogs, breathed a sigh of relief, and then...I forgot about it.

Driving home from work I passed the house. It is in a beautiful neighborhood with other large houses, next to a golf course. From what I could see from the road and looking past the fence, there is not much left of it. I could just see charred timbers and what remained in the back of kid's playground equipment, also blackened. Somebody lost their home today. Possessions, investments, pictures, keepsakes, memories. How could I have forgotten? Easy. When it's not happening to me, I can put it away in my back pocket and forget about it. Leave the scene and it's gone, you know? It's good sometimes to have a little insulation and not to hold on to things, but sometimes when we forget the scene, we forget the lesson.

So I'm writing this down so I can think about it. Think about how temporary material things are in this life. How things that I tend to collect or hold on to can quickly be disappear and be reduced to ashes. I guess it goes along with the post below, but not intentionally so. Maybe God's trying to teach me something in this area. He's asking me to get my claws out of my stuff and into the stuff that matters. What am I holding on to that's only temporary? I think we're right to be devastated about a house burning down with all of our wordly possessions. It's probably like losing whole chunks of your life in memories. I can't even begin to imagine how that would feel. For me, as an onlooker, it's a reality check.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Terracotta Warrior

So this past week Joey comes home really excited and says that one of his customers gave him the coolest gift. He starts digging around in the back seat of his truck with his back toward me. "Oh really? What is it?" I'm thinking his customers, hmm, he's in the lumber industry so what could it be? Some kind of furniture possibly. Or maybe something to do with our bathroom that we are working on. He turns around with this:

Yikes! Oh my goodness! Joey says "Cool, huh?". Umm yeah,! So...what is it? "It's a Terracotta Warrior." Oh I see...pause not really seeing...What's a Terracotta Warrior? "Back in the 70s they uncovered thousands of lifesized statue warriors like this in Asia circa 200 B.C. They believe they were constructed to protect the Emperor and the kingdom in the afterlife." (Yes, he really said this. It was like I had turned on the History Channel complete with dates and references to the Ming Dynasty...or something like that) Oh. Slightly frightening don't you think? (the Terracotta Warrior was giving me a fierce eye at this point). "I love these things!" Oh ok, well I'm glad you love it! And I followed Joey and the Terracotta Warrior inside.

I have to tell you something. The Terracotta Warrior frightens the heck out of me. The Terracotta Warrior is less Mulan and more Last Samurai. You know the scene where the crazy scary warriors charge in the forest? That, but frozen and in our study. Staring at me. Now in fact. I can feel it over my shoulder. Let's look.

Yup. Still there. See how he's clenching his fists? A smile is the last thing on his mind. Shudder.

Sometimes the Terracotta Warrior ends up like this:

It's very mysterious how this happens. I don't know who would turn a small harmless statue around like that. It just happens. And then equally as mysterious, the Terracotta Warrior is facing me again the next day....but closer. Hmm...funny, I just looked over and he has his back to me again now. Like I said, it's very odd.

I must say, I am glad I have Heaven to look forward to in the afterlife and God to guard our kingdom. I don't have to rely on legions of Terracotta Warriors to give me peace or rest. I don't have to spend my lifetime building Terracotta Warriors. But the question is do I? That's something I can take away from the Terracotta Warrior. A daily reminder of where I need to put my hope and comfort. Maybe I'm not building physical statues, but I'm sure I have Terracotta Warriors of my own - places other than Christ where I'm putting my hope. It could be material possessions, relationships, status, success, recognition. The possibilites change day to day. It doesn't matter, they all fall short in the end. There is only one Hope to which we can hold fast and which will watchover us for eternity. Are you putting your hope in Terracotta Warriors?

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and
where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and
steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Our Wedding Day in Pictures

So I haven't posted a single wedding pic on this blog until today. Is that weird? Yes, it probably is. To be honest, after all the hurricane madness when we were done with the wedding we were DONE. Finished. Worn out and tired of wedding stuff. So I didn't run around posting my wedding pictures. I had been living and breathing wedding and I was ready to take a few breaths of something else, anything else, but Wedding. I know this is not typical girl behavior, but it is what it is. As we just celebrated our 1 year anniversary, I decided that I should post a few wedding pictures. It was an absolutely beautiful night and the weather this time was perfect. So here ya go, even if it's a year late, I hope you enjoy!

My Mom and Grandmother, oh yeah and I'm in the white

My beautiful bridesmaids praying over me before the wedding

Last few moments as Daddy's Girl Only

And we're married!

Did we actually just get married?!

I loved my wedding cake! I put this pic on here because I always love looking at wedding cakes. For some reason, The Wedding Cake has achieved near wedding dress status today and I'm all over it. I thought about this cake from the moment we got engaged and it was yummy!

I will blog more on the marriage in the next couple of posts. I can't put Joey into one blog. It's impossible I love him so much. I'm looking at these pics just now and I still don't have a clue how I caught that him. He's my one and only catch in fact. Maybe I will in a few posts to come say more, but until then I'll just leave it to the joy that's plain in pictures.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ike: Wedding Crasher

This weekend I'm in Livingston with family. This has brought up a lot of reminiscing about what we were doing this time last year. We were working like labor camp workers to get the backyard wedding reception ready after Ike decided to crash the party. All purely on faith that a wedding would happen in two weeks. My Mom and I were looking through the pictures that she had and I decided they needed to be posted along with the stories that go with them.

Here's the picture I was referring to in the last post:

Yes, this is our front yard and yes, we are hillbillys. My Mom had this urge, that's the only word I have to describe her strange determination, despite my wishes, to spray paint this for all the world to see. I can only make sense of it by thinking that maybe as an artist skilled at painting and drawing, this was her expression of anger at Ike's plan to rain on her baby girl's Big Day. Instead of raising her fist skyward, Mom, like an Indian warrior putting on war paint before battle, chose spray paint as her medium of defiance. Ball of emotions that I was, this made me so mad at the time as I just wanted to keep it to myself, but for whatever reason she just had to do it. Most of the time it makes me laugh to think how upset I got, most of the time. It was like Clash of the Titans, me and Mom over this plywood "work of art". In the end, Titan Numero Uno won and we have this masterpiece to remember it by.

When we were all huddled in my parent's hallway the night before the 13th when Ike came whipping through, I really thought we weren't supposed to get hit that bad. Houston, yes, but Livingston would just get some major wind and rain. I was upset of course that the wedding was postponed, but I was banking on the calm after the storm. When we walked outside for the first time, my heart sank. And I know now that north of Houston was one of the worst hit areas.

Friday, September 12, 2008 - Pre Ike:Our Almost Wedding Day, Saturday, September 13, 2009 - Post Ike:
Here are a few more pictures of what Ike left us to work with:

A limb that stabbed a hole in the roof leading to flooding in my parents' bath and bedroom

The transformer - one of the reasons we were unsure if we would have power in two weeks.

I have to tell you about this one. Like I said, when we walked outside, we were all heartbroken - every single one of us. We had worked so hard on that yard all summer. Before the hurricane, Joey had joked, "Well, if we can't get it together, we'll just go to the Justice of Peace!" It was a joke, but I knew their was a bit of true sentiment behind it. When we walked outside for the first time he wasn't saying much, but I knew that's what he was thinking we were going to have to do. And I was thinking not after we had spent months in wedding labor. I was not going to give in. I was going to walk down the aisle in my wedding dress so help me God. So I was scared that he was going to tell me this and I didn't know what I was going to do. What if we couldn't get the wedding together in two weeks? It didn't seem right to postpone it again, but at the same time month's of work going to waste?
There was so much work to do and it did look grim but, I was defiant. It was an hour or so after the hurrican and still raining, I picked up a rake and started raking leaves and debris in the drizzle. It looked ridiculous I'm sure, to be raking leaves when there were huge trees and limbs down all around, but I had to prove to Joey that we could do it. I had to show him that there was green grass under the mess. I told my Mom what I was doing and she picked up a rake too. The picture above is of our neighbor Sherry. She came over and saw us raking and wanted to know what we were doing. I'm sure she thought we were completely crazy, obliviously raking leaves in the midst of huge fallen trees. When we explained that we were trying to avoid Joey making the call to get married by the JP, she picked up a rake. Her own yard and house was probably hit worse than ours and there she was, raking leaves with us. She was an absolute angel. She and her husband put our needs above their's constantly and unselfishly day after day until we got married.

It turned out that we had people come by with their chainsaws, bulldozers, and rakes to help out. Here are a few pictures of people who with their help made our wedding really happen.

As bad as all of this might look, we were blessed. Many of our neighbors were hit hard. Here's a quick look of around the neighborhood:

We were really blessed that we did not have huge trees on top of our house like some of our neighbors. We had the most kind and giving people come to our aid and unselfishly give their time and physical effort, all the while knowing that they had work just like ours to go back home to. It was a time for Joey and I, mostly me, to check our priorities and be thankful for what we have.
And if you are wondering, yes, the Ike Wedding Crasher piece survived, in fact, that part of the house narrowly missed being crushed in by a huge tree. Makes you wonder... :)