Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I'd easily have won $10,000 from that "funniest home movies" show, had I been able to get my camera to work. This would be my broken camera, which I figured out still (sort of) works as long as you use the viewfinder only. This would also be the only camera I own now that has video capability. And the camera that no longer holds the memory card I needed for a video.

The video would have been of this high-on-crack squirrel who was putting on quite the show in our backyard. Alan called me over to the window, telling me I had to see the squirrel "working on his ninja skills." I can't accurately describe the things it was doing. This squirrel kept bouncing off the tree onto the ground and back to the tree again, doing 360s and backflips and leg kicks - I kid you not. I was laughing so much that my cheeks were hurting and my eyes were watering. But it wasn't just the squirrel that would have made the video highlights. It was the ongoing commentary and sound effects from Alan, complete with Chinese accent.

I love that Alan can still make me laugh until I cry. And I don't think he and I will ever look at squirrels the same way again. :-)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Miles to go

Nice to know some things never change, or maybe not. It still takes me over 11 minutes to run a mile. That's right, I said it. But it felt good to get some exercise again, especially after making it through the first week of school. One of my coworkers wants to start doing some 5Ks again, so I needed to get out there and see if my legs still moved. If I'm going to keep this up though, I should probably find out what to do about this pinched(?) sciatic nerve that's been bothering me since last December.

Two songs from my iPod that help me keep going during my little jaunts:

1) Green Day's "Brain Stew" - you have to try working out to this song some time, especially when you're getting to the point when you want to stop. Awesome.

2) George Benson's "On Broadway" - because how could anyone not LOVE that song?!

One thing that is not helpful:

Right after my workout, Alan comes breezing in from his 18-mile run saying he's still feeling good and is going to take Duke for a 3-mile run. Geez.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A chore no more

A week ago today our new carpet was installed, and during that entire week I have not vacuumed this carpet AT ALL! You cannot know how significant this is, so I'll tell you. The beige burber carpet we had previously showed e-ver-y-thing. Including the burnt iron mark courtesy of Alan. So I vacuumed a LOT, as in every other day I was dragging out that heavy Dyson.

I'm going to vacuum today, not because it looks like it needs it but because I know it needs it. I know Duke and Junior have collectively deposited a canister of hair and grass and dirt for the vacuum cleaner.

So it was a good decision, and my feetsies are happy about it, too.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Ever feel like you're waiting "for the day when..."? I say those words in my head a lot. You can finish your own statement I'm sure, but for me it's waiting for the day when everyone is alright. A day, or better yet, a large span of time when the people I'm closest to and most affected by are all in a good place. A day when myself or Alan, my daughters, my sister, or my closest friends or family are not sad or hurting or just plain depressed. I guess it's kind of a selfish request, because I'm partially thinking of myself. I don't want to feel sad about anyone or anything. Just for a while.

Not that people need a life completely free from stress - stress can be good. The stress from this past week before school starts is a good stress. It has helped me focus on what really needs to get done, helped me be a little more creative, and helped me appreciate the fact that I really do love my job.

I suppose there's meant to be a balance in which the people who are doing okay can be there for those who aren't. Life just seems so hard a lot of the time, and I'm waiting for the day when it's not.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Time for the bell

Am super tired but will be super excited Monday morning when school starts. It's hard to describe the couple of weeks right before school. I'm amazed at how hard my fellow teachers work and the long hours they put in to get everything just right. And I guarantee they don't feel they've done enough or crossed enough off their lists. Anywho, I'm tired and going to enjoy a night of pizza with friends and some fun shopping with my cousin tomorrow. I'll post more later when I have something besides reading centers and supplies and lesson plans to talk about.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I was sitting in the dentist's office a few weeks ago flipping through a magazine, and came across this idea for a wedding gift. The article talked about these two women who are in business together traveling the world taking photos of vintage or interesting numbers they find on buildings, address plates, etc. They now have this large collection of photos from which they'll customize a framed number or numbers for you, whatever your occasion. It's a cool idea, so I'm doing my part to share others' ideas as well as steal from them.

I'm going to a wedding tonight for a bride who asked for no gifts and publicized no registration. She's been married before but has now found her true love. I can totally relate to that, so I wanted to do something but keep it simple. I didn't have time to travel the world, much less Midland, so I decided to print out numbers in different fonts, put a fancy border around each, and print it on antique-looking paper:

Now I want to make one with mine and Alan's anniversary date. :-)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Crunch time

One week and three days until school starts. I can sit perfectly still without lifting a finger and become exhausted just thinking about how much there is to do before then. I'm exhausted right now after a day of meetings and everyone getting more confused rather than enlightened. I've yet to unpack my room. Lesson plans need to be written for a new curriculum that we've yet to receive training on. But I can honestly say that what needs to get done will get done in time. And the kids will never know about the chaos and panic that ensued before they arrive.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

So I'm a little fickle. I missed the crispy, brown landscape and had to put it back.

Epic Relay

I just dropped Alan off at the airport. He's headed to Utah for a relay race that starts in Logan, Utah, goes through Idaho, and ends in Wyoming. You know, that really ugly part of the country with mountains and rivers and trees and other ugly stuff.

It's called an "epic relay" and involves 12-member co-ed teams (one member being his best bud from college) with each participant running 3 legs, for a total of 191 miles. Pure craziness. I'm not sure how they work out all of the logistics, but he had to take a sleeping bag for possible sleeping in the middle of nowhere and a headlamp for running at night. Alan can handle the distances (he ran 19 miles on Sunday), but the altitude makes a huge difference when you're not used to it.

The race starts at midnight tonight and ends sometime on Saturday. Hopefully family in the area will understand that he has no time to stop and visit. But it sounds like quite the adventure, and I'm sure Alan will have lots of stories when he gets back home on Sunday.

If you're interested: http://www.epicrelays.com/running-relay-utah-wyoming.html.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Texas Sky

It was time to change the banner since it didn't really fit the current season. Thought I'd shamelessly steal another photo from the internet that shows something we're known for here in West Texas - our sunsets and sunrises.

Sunday, August 08, 2010


I spent a few hours with Bailey this morning, taking pictures for her senior year. These are the casual shots that kids seem to be doing these days, and then they still get their formal (professional) shot for the yearbook. We took about 130 pictures, so it's hard to choose a few of my favorites. Not to mention the whole bias thing about being her mom and thinking they're all good.

These were, of course, all taken on the grounds of our mansion.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Freak show

I think you see the resemblance. He's even workin' the camera.

Actually Duke had laser eye surgery yesterday to correct the entropion he had in both eyes (bottom lid was rubbing the cornea). I'm afraid to take him out in public for fear of scaring little children.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Even less picky now.

Twice when I was little I tried sweet potatoes, and twice I threw up. It's the only food I can think of that I've refused to eat since then. I'm not a picky eater, and apologies to those this might offend, but picky eaters kind of get on my nerves. I mean, it's one thing if you've tried a lot of foods and genuinely discovered you don't like it, but it just seems to me that some people think it's cute or endearing when they turn their noses up at everything. They'll say it looks funny or feels funny or just sounds like something you shouldn't eat. Alan won't eat guacamole or any other food (if there is one) that starts with those three letters, because it sounds too much like "guano." Bat poop. Luckily Alan isn't a picky eater, so I can overlook that nonsense.

Anyway, we're eating at this awesome restaurant in Fredericksburg over the weekend, and I get this epiphany: Try the damn sweet potatoes. You're not seven years old anymore. You might not like it, but you probably won't vomit. So I did and well...they taste like potatoes. Who knew?! So I took it one step further and told myself I'd buy a sweet potato when we got back home and try it again. I decided on baked sweet potato fries:

Yeah, I sort of overcooked them, but they were still good. I don't think I would like candied sweet potatoes or yams or whatever you call them at Thanksgiving, but I can see baking, mashing, frying up sweet potatoes from now on. They're actually very nutritious.

Makes me wonder what else I'm missing out on because of a childhood experience gone wrong?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

A little German town

We stayed at a B&B this weekend at the Palo Alto Creek Farm right outside of Fredericksburg, Texas. It's an actual working farm, and all the structures (including the ones used for the B&B) were built in the mid to late 1800s. "Western" is not my design choice, but it fit the farm of course and was so well done. I think it would be fun to own a B&B someday, so I took a ton of pictures.

This screened-in porch wrapped around three sides of the cabin.

This is what I love about B&Bs! You feel so pampered.

We visited a winery but an actual tour wasn't available that day. Still, we sampled six wines apiece, which seemed to have given Alan a mild headache the rest of the weekend.

Saturday morning we headed for Enchanted Rock State Park to of course hike to the top of said rock. I stopped a few times and let my heart stop pounding through my chest, visibly like you see in cartoons. But I kept going and wasn't about to be beaten by the 5-year old wearing purple crocs. It was hot, really pretty, and good exercise to justify how much I was going to eat the rest of the day.

Prickly pears are so weird, yet kind of cool when they're blooming. Click on the photo for the close-up so you can see the creepy brown bug.

We had a great lunch on Main Street and then went shopping. Shopping is the main event in Fredericksburg. This little town of about 9,000 has some of the most unique shops I've ever seen, all on one little street. I enjoyed about half of it, the other half spent in misery trying to find a shop that offered the use of their facilities. Only after a long search did we discover that many of the shop windows displayed a map showing the location of public restrooms up and down Main Street. Grrr! But we shopped some more and I got a few knick-knacks. All necessities of course.

For dinner that night we found a new favorite restaurant. As ridiculously cliche as it is, we actually gave our compliments to the chef. I know, how corny! The food was so good that I actually tried a bite of sweet potato. But that is a whole other post, my friend.

Anyway, it was a great getaway for just the two of us. We've been to Fredericksburg several times now, and I have a feeling that even when we're someday living out of state, we'll find a way to go back.