Monday, January 30, 2012

Green Shoes

If I had a whole bunch of money, I would totally buy these.

Derby Day

Over the weekend, the local Girl Scouts had their annual Powderpuff Pinewood Derby.  So, Kev helped Daphne build her car on Saturday, and on Sunday, we were ready to race.

Before the Weigh-In
Pit Stop.  We lost a wheel right before the race.

Daphne's car.
Cars everywhere.
Working on service projects before the race.
Waiting in the crowd.
Daphne's car in Lane One, and some very serious Scout Masters officiating.
With certificate, patch, and medal.

It was a crazy afternoon, but it was fun.  They gave all the kids a participation medal and a certificate and patch.  Daphne's car came in first once, but she didn't win an overall trophy.  She didn't care, though.  She had a great time making the car with Kev and hanging out with her Daisy friends at the race.  Girl Scouting is awesome.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good Puppy

I totally don't have time to blog right now, but I wanted to post a few pictures of Jeff's good new puppy dog.  Her name is Scout and she arrived Sunday night all the way from Georgia.  She is a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever and she is awesome.  Daphne didn't have school yesterday, so we got to go play with her. 

They look a little alike, huh?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Around Here...

Daphne has been singing and painting.

Kev has been playing with his Christmas presents. 

This mini-theramin actually works!  Weee-oooh-weee-ooooh.  So funny.

And I finally got something on the needles.  If all goes well, the yarn in the photo above will eventually be a sleeve on a cardigan like this one:

And this weekend, Jeff is heading to Georgia to pick up the new puppy.

Last night we had beer cheese soup and right now there is a brisket in the slow cooker that is making the house smell all happy.

I can't complain.

Friday, January 13, 2012


These records, formerly (according to the stickers on the covers) belonging to a certain Miss Emily May Ross of Washington DC, were purchased for $2.00 each yesterday at an antique store downtown, which is where I found myself during my walk.  The covers were so fabulous that I couldn't pass them up.  Last night after dinner, we listened to Music for Relaxation, and it wasn't bad!  Very relaxing, actually.  Looking forward to listening to the others.  By the way, I don't know about y'all, but that is not what I look like when I read.  Where are her old lady reading specs and her housepants?!  (You can click on the picture for a closer look at the album covers.  LPs are awesome.) 

P.S. There is an eerie resemblance between the man on the Flamenco album cover and Kev's dad.

I really enjoyed my walk yesterday.  I went to the antique store and a used book store that opened just before Christmas called Books and Other Found Items.  Cool little shop.  Please go there so it doesn't close down.   When I got home, I sat outside on the porch and read. Today it is cold and REALLY windy.  No porch time or afternoon strolls today.  But I did go to Curves.  I told y'all I would.  More exercise in 2012.

This morning, I finished my Stephen King book.  It was so great.  I couldn't stop reading it.  I stayed up way too late every night this week because I couldn't put it down.  Last night, I was stirring dinner with one hand and holding my kindle in the other - Reading While Cooking - because I had to know what was going to happen next.  Now, I'm not going to tell you what the book was about, but I will say it was a premise that could have gone horribly horribly wrong.  But it didn't.  And even though the ending was a little "Hollywood," at least there WAS an ending.  It didn't leave me hanging and make me mad as books so often do.  I am 100% satisfied with this book.  That almost never happens.  So, props to Stephen King, and thanks again to Jeff for the recommendation.  Time to start another book, but not before I get something going on my knitting needles.  More knitting in 2012.

And less computer time in 2012, so I am signing off for the long holiday weekend.  Happy MLK!  See you next week.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

More or Less

This weather is crazy.  These pictures were taken a couple days ago.  When Daphne got off the bus, it was snowing and really really cold.  Today it is in the high 50s, maybe even 60s, and I don't really even need a coat.  Tomorrow's high is supposed to be 35.  It can't seem to decide outside if it wants to be winter or spring, and we've had no significant snow at all this year.  I don't really love it when it snows and snows and snows and it's forever until you see the grass again, but I could really go for a nice little short snow storm of 6 inches or so,  so we can at least make a snow man and go sledding.  The snow above immediately turned to rain and melted before anyone could actually play in it.  Very disappointing.  Anyway, I am considering going for a walk downtown today since the sun is out now and it will be too cold tomorrow.

I am really enjoying doing the food blog, but I feel like this one is getting neglected a little.  Most of the other blogs I read have posted about their author's lofty goals for the New Year, and I just haven't gotten around to it.  I'm not really much into the whole resolution thing.  But then I started thinking that I am more likely to follow through with things if I post them here, for all two or three of you to read.  It's like I'm suddenly obligated because it's been made "public."

Last year was a good year. In the beginning, anyway.   In the first 8 months of 2011, I was organized, exercised a lot, ate well, lost 20 pounds, and felt like I pretty much had my act together most of the time.  Then, Kindergarten started, I got involved in the PTA, started a Daisy Troop, and helped launch a new party planning business venture.  These were all good things, but they overwhelmed me and completely shot the wheels off my groove.  Then, it was Christmas, and at Christmas time all bets are off.  However, in spite of an almost total groove derailment (if you've seen Super 8, just imagine the train scene), I managed to make it through the last 4 months of 2011 with my family still generally in favor of keeping me around, and miraculously only gaining back 2 pounds.  And now, Christmas is over, Kindergarten is going much better, my role in the business is much smaller, and I'm not in charge of any more PTA projects.  All I have to worry about really is Daisies, which is more work than it probably should be, but it's also really fun most of the time.  There are no major hurdles on the horizon.  Aaah.

So, today, in an effort to restart my groove, I did 30 minutes on the Wii Fit, and tomorrow I am going back to Curves to renew my membership for the next 6 months.  And right here on this blog, for all the world to see, I am going to promise to exercise for at least 30 minutes, 6 days a week.  Because in 2012, there needs to be more exercise.  In fact, instead of New Year's Resolutions, I think I'll make a list.  TWO lists.  Of what there should be MORE and LESS of in 2012.  So now, without further ado, the lists:

More:  Exercise, salad, reading, knitting, band time, date nights, down time, bike rides, evening strolls, cooking with my kid, writing letters to my friends, board games, Skyping with far away people, crafts, visits with family, puppies, slow cooking, field trips, patience, sleep.

Less:  Fretting, junk food, stuff, commitments, putting people in time out, computer time.

Wouldn't it be nice if just writing it made it come true?  Oh well.  I'm going to try.  And I'm going to start now, by getting off the computer and taking a walk.

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Year in Books

For Christmas last year (2010), my brother got me a Kindle.  I love my Kindle.  I wasn't sure I would love it, but I do.  And because I have a Kindle, it is very easy for me to look at my home page now and make a list of the books I read in 2011.  In order, even!.  And I do love a good list.  So here we go:

  • Life - Keith Richards
  • Skippy Dies - Paul Murray
  • The Help - Kathryn Stockett
  • Does the Noise in my Head Bother You - Steven Tyler
  • The Adults - Alison Espach
  • Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand
  • Room - Emma Donoghue
  • Someone Named Eva - Joan M. Wolf
  • The Man in the Rockefeller Suit - Mark Seal  (which I started in 2011, but finished in 2012)
plus - The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini in regular book form.

Hmm.  That's 10 books in 12 months. Not bad, but I'd like to read more this year.

Yesterday I started my first complete Kindle book of 2012, 11/22/63 by Stephen King.  I have never read a book by Stephen King, or seen any of the movies.  But I have to tell you, I am totally into it so far (9% of the way).  So thanks to my brother for the recommendation.  I'm always looking for good books to read.

Now if I can just get some knitting going...

The WIP (Weekend in Pictures)

A Creature "Rescue"
Picnic at Raflo Park

Fun with Macro
Hide and Seek
Alligator Jerky
Making Eggnog French Toast
Family Band Time
Giving the Dogs a Check-Up
And I finished a book.

Friday, January 06, 2012

This Alligator Jerky

Is officially the weirdest thing we've ever gotten in the mail.

And if you want to know more, you'll have to check out What We Ate.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Fun with, um, Chili

Once upon a time,  a long time ago in the 1990's, I had short hair and lived in a duplex with truly horrible Circus Peanut colored walls on Winton Street with my friends Bryce and Ken.  Bryce was famous for impulsively buying things and taking them back.  He bought a pasta machine, used it once, and took it back.  He bought a food dehydrator machine, used it kind of a lot, and then took it back.  He would get kittens from the SPCA and take them back as soon as they peed on something they shouldn't.  So, one day, Bryce decided that he wanted an iguana for a pet.  You can't really take iguanas back to the iguana store, so he named it Chili and put it in a very small container in the corner of a hallway where no one ever was.  I think Chili became despondent.  He stayed the same size for a very long time.  Ken and I decided one day to make life better for Chili, so we made him the home in the photo above.  There were things to climb on, there was room to move around, and there was even a blue background with glow-in-the-dark stars and a moon.  We moved him into the living room where people actually hung out.   Chili was happy and began to thrive and grow.

When people came over, we'd get Chili out and play with him.  (I don't remember that guy with the tie!  Who is that?!)  And one year, after Christmas, we let Chili climb the tree.  He was a well-loved Iguana.  

Eventually, Bryce moved out.  Do you think he took Chili?  No.  So, Ken took over ownership.  Ken kept Chili for many years, and he grew and grew as you can see.  Here he is, climbing on Ken at a new apartment with less offensively painted walls:

And here he is, climbing on our Bryce Replacement Roommate, Ol' Greg:

Chili escaped at least once and was found in the middle of the street.  He wanted to be free, I guess.  It was a miracle anyone found him before he got hit by a car.  Ken eventually had to give Chili to a new owner who could handle a growing iguana with dreams of escape.  I miss that lizard.  He was a good pet.

Bryce is now a better owner of things.  He got some dachshunds and he didn't take them back.  He lives in Upstate New York and owns a really cool general store that I have every intention of visiting.  I hope he is lenient with his return policy.

Ken is in the famous rock band, the Old 97s, and he lives in Dallas with his nice family and I think a cat.  Old 97s are great, and I'm not just saying that because they are my friends.  You should listen to them while you eat some barbecue and play washers in your back yard sometime.  You'll see what I mean.

Ol' Greg moved to the Hill Country and just sort of vanished.  I think everyone lost touch with him except maybe Ol' Curtis.  I would love to see Greg.  He was an interesting guy.

And I hope Chili is happy, wherever he is.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

What We Ate

So, the new blog is underway...please stop by What We Ate to check it out  (I have placed a link on the sidebar too).  Coming soon over there, more New Year's Day food experiments, and fun with chili.  And stay tuned here for tales of the PPHPHB, and a countdown to the new puppy.  Thanks!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

And, We're Off!

Hello, and welcome to 2012.  I have just posted 58 pictures on Flickr from Christmas Vacation.  There is no way I can possibly catch up in detail, so I will just say we had a great break.  Daphne loved her Christmas gifts, we had a great time in New York (aside from Daphne's driveway face-plant), and we got some actual recording done during New Year's weekend.  The Palo Pinto House Pants House Band is back in action, featuring our new lead singer and keyboard player, Daphne.  And I got to play drums and melodica!  So much fun.  New songs coming soon.

Today, everyone went back to work and school, and it was quiet in the house.  I went to the grocery store, but didn't get much else done.  I have to take down Christmas, which is daunting and can wait until tomorrow, or maybe even the next day.  I also have to start thinking about Girl Scouts again as our next meeting and cookie sales computer entries are looming.  But first, I am taking a couple of days to ease into the new year by doing things I WANT to do instead of things I HAVE to do.  I have books to read and sweaters to start knitting and blogs to blog.  Christmas was fun, don't get me wrong, but it was a LOT of work, and I was still doing projects on Christmas Eve in spite of my early start.  I have a lot to contemplate and consider before next Christmas.  Perhaps there are ways to simplify. 

The new year is off to a great start, and Big Plans have been swirling around my brain and keeping me awake.  I have decided not to do the Project 365 photo thing this year.  I made it through 2011 and only forgot to take a picture once, which I think is pretty good.  I really enjoyed doing it, and I will probably have the project made into a blog book.  But one year is enough.  I didn't take a single picture yesterday, and it was nice to not have any pressure to do so.

This year, Kev suggested that instead of the picture-a-day thing, I do something with food as a separate blog.  We tried three new recipes on New Year's Day, and I think that will be a good start.  Then maybe at the end of this year, I'll have something I can have printed into a cookbook to give to Daphne when she's on her own.  I am excited about it.  So, stay tuned for details.

Of course, if I start putting the food stuff in a separate blog, it doesn't leave much to write about in this one, so I will have to come up with something entertaining.  Wish me luck.

Tonight we are having make-your-own pizza night, but that is a subject for a different blog.  I hope you all had a safe and happy holiday season and are enjoying 2012 so far.