Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The East Side

Just happened to have Addison's camera with me when I picked her up from school today. She doesn't go to school in a rural area, so this should tell you something about her school's neighborhood. I'm guessing these two might be fighting for money this weekend. The picture's blurry because I was hurrying to snap it from my car. Who knew roosters were so pretty?

I just realized my beautiful Nikes might get dirty.

Last night's thunderstorm was the perfect ending to a long day. Got home about 7:00 and still beat Alan home. Ate a barely edible TV dinner and washed it down with some chips and cheese (doing really well on my diet). When you can hold the entire lasagna serving in the air with your fork, I think it means it was overcooked.

I was lying on the couch by 8:30, and about that time a really cool thunderstorm blew in. We turned off the lights and TV and watched the storm. I was probably asleep within 5 minutes. Next thing I know it's 10:30 and Alan's waking me up to go to bed. He apparently had become bored with the evening, but had also kindly taken Junior away so I wouldn't be attacked in my sleep. More thunderstorms expected tonight!

We think we're having a garage sale this Saturday. It'll be one of those sales that most people just drive on by, once they notice how little we have to offer. Could be interesting...

I'm trying to get myself pumped up to go for a jog. This is my favorite weather to run in. It's cool and wet and humid outside. Actually my favorite is when it's slightly misting, but this will do. It'll be ugly, but I'm gonna do it!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Ground rules

The shutters are DONE. They should be admired from a distance though, not up close. I think Alan and I are figuring out that we really like hanging out together and working on our OWN projects around each other, but not working on the SAME project together. Someone once told me that if a married couple can hang wallpaper together, they can survive most anything. I'd like to say the same thing about installing shutters onto a brick surface. Not that that's the only duel project we've worked on that didn't go well, but it's a good example.

Anyhow, it shouldn't be a big deal that I do all the painting, for example. I don't want to paint with Alan, much the same way that he doesn't want to build stuff or install stuff with me. And Alan probably won't complain that he does the majority of the yardwork. We'll just stay out of each other's way and only ask for help when absolutely necessary. That way I don't have to point out that he isn't placing a high enough priority on aesthetics, and he won't have to complain that I ask too many questions. Sounds like a happier marriage to me!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

There are other talents besides brain surgery

I can think of two things I do really well. One is parallel parking. Seriously, I'm the parallel parking queen. Yesterday I parallel parked beautifully and wondered if the person walking by was marveling at my skill as much as I was.

The second thing I do well is make hard-boiled eggs. Really, they're perfect.

That's all I have for today. I think we should all appreciate our little hidden talents and perhaps make sure they're not so "hidden." :-)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Went for the first jog in weeks today, not including one stint on the treadmill about a month ago. Out of shape doesn't begin to describe how pathetic I am. Another first-in-a-long-time today was putting on panty hose (I had to work). Oh my gosh, there's no greater revelation to how fat you're getting than seeing yourself in panty hose. There is no place for the fat to hide - it oozes and bulges and emphasizes every excess pound underneath that nylon.

These two events today are related. The jog wouldn't have happened if I had chosen something else to wear. And I'd probably be eating cookies and milk right about now. Instead I'm sitting at this computer sucking in my stomach. And here's the icing on the cake......mmmm, cake.......anyway, the other day I was complaining to Alan about how my stomach had been hurting for days, and so I joked that it was just my stomach cancer. He said and I quote:

"Good, then maybe you'll get skinny."

As I turned to him with my jaw dropped and a look of horror on my face, he tries to quickly add, "Like you want to be!" Sorry, the Freudian slip was out. Little did he realize that the latter statement STILL suggested a weight problem. I told him the world would hear about his little "slip." But lucky for him, the world is probably 2 or 3 people.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Alan's 30th came and went with little hooplah. Basically, he spent it with me, and didn't complain. But come on - it would have been more fun if he had some guys to hang out with, too. The problem is either Midland or us, and I've never been able to figure it out. I'm leaning towards MIDLAND. Alan needs a poker night or bowling night or something - some way to escape from being surrounded by all girls all the time. He just joined a softball team, so perhaps there's hope. Anyway, it was uneventful and I feel bad about it.

Well, I've got a test to study for and I hate to even imagine how busy the next few days will be. But let's hear it for 7 weeks left in the spring semester.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Cool Pictures

Just had to share these two pictures, but unfortunately I can't take credit for them. The first one is my nephew Hayden being goofy at a soccer game.

This one is my friend Denise's cat. So cool! The photographers should make themselves known...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Please excuse the posting rampage

Boy, I must really like everything I have to say lately. I think this makes 3 postings in less than two days.

Okay, the reason for this is....I think I have come up with a very close rendition to la Madeleine's tomato basil soup. I know that is a very arrogant thing to say, considering the quality of food at la Madeleine, but let me finish. For the record, this is the ONLY soup that I have ever gotten excited about. I do not typically like soup, ask Alan. Anyway, since I was getting my hopes up this week for having the real deal in Ft. Worth and then realizing we weren't going, I decided to try once more to recreate it on my own. Okay, not completely on my own. I have a copy-cat recipe off the internet and added my own touch yesterday, and yuuuuuummmmmeeeeee. Here it is:

Tomato Basil Soup

1 32-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 large peeled and sliced, cooked carrot (cook a few minutes in water or steam or whatever)
1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tblsp. butter
Several fresh basil leaves (I used about 5 and it's worth it to get the fresh and not dried)
A couple generous pinches of Kosher salt (don't use regular table salt and really be generous)

In your food processor, puree the carrot slices, crushed tomatoes and basil leaves until pretty smooth. Pour this into a sauce pan and add: tomato sauce, cream, butter, and salt. Cook on medium until heated through. That's it!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Satan lives

You can't imagine how frustrating it is that I can't capture on film the freakishness of our cat, Junior, and share it with the rest of the world. Yesterday the cat and I had quite a rumble. It would be no exaggeration to say there was some slapping, boxing, biting, smothering, chasing, and sitting-on taking place. I won't say who was doing what, but believe me, the cat can fight. You think I'm kidding or exaggerating. He is pure wild animal -- evil to the core one minute....the next minute he's cuddling up for some lovin'. No one outside of the immediate family has truly witnessed his bad side, because he puts on an act when "others" are around.

Thanks to his ever-growing size, he is now able to sneak up behind me and jump on my back, almost to my shoulders. He hasn't quite figured out what to do next, so he just ricoches off. If you could see his face when he's mad....I swear the Antichrist has arrived and his earthly name is Junior.

Food and shaving - Mmmmm

On rare occasions I'm curious about the world of men and how their minds work. Today, I'm curious about shaving. I wonder how many men use the disposable shavers and how many go electric. I'm aware of how expensive the electric shavers can be and wonder how many men have taken the plunge and invested $100-150 in those babies. This is on my mind today because I want Alan to want one for his birthday. There are probably a handful of his former roommates that understand when I say the man has trouble shaving. There have been days when the blood letting was pretty intense.

So it looks like we might be postponing our trip this weekend and waiting until we both have more time. Plus, the shutters aren't finished and we're beginning to look unfit for the neighborhood. I suppose it makes sense to stay in town, but I was already daydreaming about the tomato basil soup at la Madeleine. (Hey, I just discovered they have these really cool animated pictures on their website: I think that's how we should choose where we move to in a few years - wherever good food is king, that's where I'm going.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Alan turns 30 on Saturday, and I am so pumped! Now I can say "you're in your thirties." Love it. I only have a couple more years left that I can say that about myself, and believe me, I'm going to take full advantage of it. He'll get to decide where we go, but this weekend we'll either take our usual trip to Ft. Worth (which we love) or we'll go camping somewhere, probably near Fredericksburg. We like to drive into town and eat at that little German place with the red cabbage and other weird food. Then Alan likes to walk over to the shop with all the granite-top furniture and ogle to his heart's content.

Speaking of age, some of those pharmaceutical commercials are beginning to make me think. I know that's the point and I'm supposed to ignore them, about that new one that talks about twitchy and heavy legs? I think I have that! I was twitching on the couch last night. But maybe it was a reaction from all the drugs I had taken for my headache. Yeah, that's what it was...

By the way, it was 28 here this morning. So those seeds I planted a few days after the "final frost"....hmmm. Leigh said "just do it," but I can't blame him. He's too good to me.

Well, I'm off to work with third graders this morning. I'll try to remember some of their words of wisdom to share with you later.

Monday, March 13, 2006 a kite!

For those of you out there that know what a migraine is like, you will understand this. I had a monster of a headache last night, so after waking up this morning and realizing it was gone, it's like I'm high. Hence the long posting about nothing, just blabbing:

It wasn't an exciting weekend, but it was a good weekend. I think most humans have this innate desire to be productive. You know how you feel at the end of a day when you've done absolutely nothing of worth? Like a slob, a worthless pile of flesh. (See photo.) I think you even feel fatter. But when you've been productive, and it doesn't matter if it's because you did laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, yard work, or actually did something and got paid for it, you just feel better at the end of the day. Playing freecell at work and getting paid doesn't count, as Alan well knows. He likes his job too much now and is way too busy to get to do that anyway.

Oh, I have to mention that we are not quite half-way through putting up the shutters, and it's as though the neighbors across the street have caught on to my little contest. They have professional painters over there painting the exterior! If the owners have chosen a good color from this decade, I think we may be trailing quickly.

We got to see Anita for a while Friday and got to see Mother and Dale on Saturday. It was a good time. I think it takes a special talent to keep up with friends and family on a regular basis, and I just don't have it. I know this and don't need to be reminded of it. On any given day I can name a handful of people that I should have called or made plans with weeks ago. And the longer I wait, the worse I feel. Why is that? But these same people that I'm feeling guilty about are not beating down my door or ringing my phone off the hook. And I'm not thinking bad things about them. I should chill.

The girls are back at their dad's today, and I think I'm missing them. Them, not the mess that follows them around and gets dropped all over the house. I have to say though that Alan and I had the most yummy dinner last night, and it was nothing we could have had when the girls are here. Grilled fish with this awesome topping, broccoli, alfredo noodles, and orange slices. Fit for the Food Network.

Second cup of coffee is finished and I've gotta go pick up Bailey and take her to school. I really think I could be having the most crappy morning, but knowing that a cup of coffee with either Vanilla Caramel or Creme Brulee creamer is on the horizon would make it all better. I think this is what is meant by an addiction.

Friday, March 10, 2006

And she'll be driving in a few months...

Sometimes I think about how glad I am that the girls are past the age of messy things like sippy cups that leak bright red liquids on the carpet, random crayon or marker "accidents" on furniture, or the shattering of their mom's makeup containers that they weren't supposed to be playing with in the first place. And then there are days like yesterday when I'm reminded of how really BIG the "oops" become as they get older. Addison had a friend spend the night in the guest house. Fine, great, no noise, they had a good time, etc., etc. But I went out later in the day to inspect the mess and found where some coke had spilled on the carpet. Came back in and told Addison to get the carpet cleaner and a wet rag and go out to clean it up. Long story short....she didn't use the carpet cleaner, she used the Clorox cleaner. C-L-O-R-O-X. I know we have talked about bleach products in this house before and how they are very evil when it comes to clothes, fabrics, or carpet. Guess this little bit of information slipped her mind. Hey! Here's the best part! She didn't just spray the Clorox on the carpet, she opened it up and poured it on the carpet. We now have an 18 x 8 inch bright yellow spot where beige carpet once was. Nice.

Here's a little photo of Addison's handywork with a firework in the backyard on New Year's Eve. That's her friend Blake, pretending to look alarmed.

But you know, by the next day it was all pretty funny. And you should see how pretty the grass is right now in that little spot.

I haven't made it to the funny stage yet as far as the carpet goes, but it just might come. Thank goodness it's a remnant piece and not installed carpet. But leave it to Addison to always look on the positive side (translate: downplay her mistake). Her comment? "At least it's in the guest house."

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Joneses

I've worked many muscle groups this week and am taking a break from all of that today. Might have something to do with the fact that I am way, way behind now in homework. Just seems like spring break should be a BREAK, so I've procrastinated....

So I went outside this morning with Addison's digital camera to take a couple shots of all my hard labor, and's not that impressive when you see it in a photo. I don't care though - it's a huge improvement in my eyes. The shutters will make a big difference when we get those least that's what I'm telling myself. I informed Alan that there's a little secret competition (that only I know about) between our house and the two houses across the street to see who can make the best improvements. I am careful to say "best" and not "most" improvements. Installing a new shiny garage door in a color that goes with absolutely nothing else on your house is not a quality improvement. And mowing your yard without watering, edging or weed eating also does not count. I, of course, am the judge in this contest and those new black shutters are going to give us a sizable lead!! But I'm not as shallow as that might sound. I really do want them to make this a more meaningful competition - it only improves my view out the window.

Today I'm going to be really old school and plant some flowers from seed. It'll probably be this mess of wild, weedy looking crap, but it's always fun to see something grow from seed. It'll give the guest house a little color anyway. Speaking of the guest house, what a joy to have when teenage girls spend the night. I never heard a peep.

Poor Alan is going to have lots of work this weekend if I stay on the path I'm going. But how can anyone resist being out in this weather right now!! It's awesome. For now though, I've got to go read more about cowboys and indians so I can play later.

March 5 - Break time!

Looking forward to spring break but hoping I get stuff done, too. I might be planning too much work and not enough fun. Might finish painting the den, might paint Bailey's room, paint the new shutters, and have a ton of yard work that I could do. My favorite part already is that I don't have to get up early, don't have to make several trips to and from schools picking up the girls, don't have to drive to Odessa everyday, and don't have to fix anyone's lunch (oh yeah, there's Alan though). I could go on and on.........okay, I group work, no presentations, no boring lectures. Yes I complain a lot, but it's just one more thing I'm skilled at.

I still have some homework, but that's no biggie. I should do a little research on something called Asberger's Syndrome. It's a form of autism, and there's this little third grader in the class I'm working in that has it. He can be really annoying, and I need to find a way to "get" him a little better. He gets away with stuff in the classroom, tries to hang all over me, hug me, hold my hand (I tell him I have germs and he shouldn't hold my hand), and blurts out stuff at really inappropriate times. I normally have no problem with kids that are affectionate, but I'm told he does it for "control" reasons. I'm a little uneasy about dealing with some of the special needs kids in my classroom, because I didn't realize when I first started this whole process that you will definitely have special needs kids in your classes. Not that knowing that would have changed my mind. And there have been some really cool moments when the other kids have been amazing with the special needs ones. Anyway, I'm not discriminating against them -- but I didn't choose special education as my field. There are other people way more qualified and deserving of teaching those children.

Plan to rent some movies, maybe go to a movie, go out for lunch, shopping, whatever this week, too. The girls will be here, so there will be plenty we can do. The weather's supposed to be awesome. A trip to Oklahoma would have been fun, but I don't guess these spring breaks will ever coincide!!!

It just occurred to me that I have no excuse to not exercise this week and maybe try losing a few. Joy.

March 2nd - All random

Since I had to be on a bus yesterday for 10 hours and spend the whole day without computer access, I think I'm entitled to blow off some time this morning not doing homework and playing on Myspace instead. I thought at some point we passengers were going to make national news with a headline like, "50 people killed in bus crash." We were watching movies on the way back and the bus driver was watching, too! I could hardly watch the movie because I was too preoccupied watching HIM watch the movie. Suddenly, we hear and feel this loud thud, like we ran over something. Everybody looked to the right where the sound came from, including him. Oh well, we just continued on.....later I learned that on the way down yesterday he was reading and flipping through papers.

So glad the Olympics are over. Two weeks without The Office are two too many. Alan feels the same about My Name is Earl.

I'm ready to be well again. I slept in Addison's room again last night because of my coughing.

I really don't understand adults who have B.O. How can you not bathe and wear deoderant? Especially when you know you're going to be cramped (and my gosh, do I mean cramped) on a bus with other people. Luckily I didn't have to sit next to him but did have to be on a tour with him yesterday. He was annoying even without the B.O. He was one of those Yankee-types - you know who you are - that are just friggin rude and obnoxious. And always with that stupid, smug smirk like they're so much more clever than anyone else.Okay, that's about it. People get on my nerves.

February 27 - You go girl

How funny it is to watch your child take baby steps at the age of 12 1/2. Seems they never really stop taking those steps in some way or another. Okay, so tonight we go to Bailey's last basketball game before the city tourney, two weeks from now. She's played some good defense up to this point and made some good passes, but has been pretty hesitant to take a shot or be very aggressive offensively. Just the other night she told us she did NOT want to go for any baskets. No way. But lo and behold, tonight she went for it and swoosh!!! It was a good basket, too -- not a simple layup. And it was as if from that point forward the girl was set loose! Suddenly, she was open all over the floor, driving the ball down, weaving out of the players and taking more shots! We were laughing and cheering and having a good ole' time on the bleachers! It's just fun to be a parent and watch your child surprise you yet again. In a couple of months, we'll be watching Addison strut her stuff on stage at her hip-hop and jazz recital. The last time I saw her on stage was when she was 6 or 7 years old. These last few months of taking dance, I haven't seen a single routine. Once again, it'll be a surprise. Can't wait!

And as fun as it was to watch that tonight, I can't stop thinking about how Yvonne won't ever have those moments again with Cateche. Or Melody with Kylie. Or any other parent that has to go through that. So, so sad. Somehow...I've got to make sure I remember nights like this.