Monday, January 28, 2013


This afternoon Summer went outside to enjoy the nice warm day until she came running inside screaming about a bee chasing her around. She told me she had tried to kill it. As she washed her hands for a snack she began telling me about her bee encounter in relation to her thoughts on fear.

I was pretty impressed with her rationalization of how humans operate....maybe because I, myself, have only began to understand such things in recent years.

She went in depth telling me about how it's fear that motivates us to kill and that's why there is war and guns and why we do hurtful things to other people. It is fear and only fear that makes us react with violence.

I guess it's just not something I ever really thought about before, but she is absolutely right. From everything to war to killing a zooming bee all our negative actions are motivated by fear. We go to war because we fear someone is going to hurt us....or most likely take away our power. We swat at that bee because we fear it will sting us if we don't kill it first.

FEAR - False Evidence Appearing Real

I just thought it was interesting the way she analyzed her reaction to the bee chasing her and used it as a comparison to the world around her. I would have never made that sort of connection when I was her age...then again, that's probably not saying much. She's a HELL OF A LOT more worldly than I ever was.

Maybe it's no big deal, but I thought it was. It reminded me of a quote I ran across once:

 "To know ones self is to know others. He that is ignorant of himself, could not write a very profound lecture on another man's head."

In other news, I heard through the neighborhood grapevine the "old man" across the street died from falling as he got out of the bath tub. For some reason this gave me some sort of closure with my obsession of the old man across the street.

I promise this will be my last mention of the old man.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

As The Rush Comes

The past couple of days have been spent on my usual routine. I know I haven't blogged in a couple of days and I could probably try and rack my brain to remember the little mundane occurrences of the past couple of days to bore myself with but I'm only going to mention the things that stick out mostly in my mind.

Robin is on her way to be totally healed of her broken ankle (YAY!!) and is in longer need of her wheelchair so she sent it home with me for Summer yesterday.

Summer has been obsessed with wheelchairs every since we visited Lynn Meadows Discovery Museum in Mississippi about 7 years ago!! There was a particular exhibit where there were wheelchairs, basketballs, and basketball goals. The idea was to depict what it's like to try and play a sport with a handicap. Her and Toby spent a very long time in that one room while we there, mostly with Summer riding around in the wheelchair. She has requested a wheelchair for every birthday/Christmas since that day. If I remember correctly Lucas also had an obsession with wheelchairs when he was younger.

*NOTE: Lynn Meadows Discovery Museum is the best children's museum we have ever been to. Summer still talks about it to this day and can remember every detail of our trip there to this day.

You would have thought I had brought Summer a million dollar check home when she saw that wheelchair in the back of my car. She played with it hours that afternoon into the evening. She had every kid on the block at the house showing it off....and she was overly protective of it only letting her few trusted friends take a "ride" in it.

Today I was watching her out the window and she maneuvers around in it quite well. The mother in me cringes a little every time I see her rolling around in it though...

With the weather being so perfect the past couple of days me and Sum have been playing some badminton too. We love to play badminton and can keep the birdie going good most of the time.

Today for lunch I made some broiled fish, baked potato, and fresh green beans. I'm glad it turned out to taste good because the whole meal took a lot longer than I thought it would to cook, so I was a bit rushed to have it done before Toby left for work.

On the way home from my morning run this morning I stopped to let Bo take his last pee and sniff before we made it to the house. I noticed one of those postal notices you get when you have a package to pick up at the post office on the ground. I picked it up to check the date and address. I figured the wind probably blew it off someones door.

I checked the address and handed it to Toby to locate the house it belonged to. What do you know, it was the old man's that just died. I went up to his house and stuck it back on the front door just in case anybody was going to be coming back to finish cleaning out his house of his belongings, but not before I looked for his name.

I never knew his name and I was curious what it was. The name on the card was Roger Frost. He looked like a Roger Frost. Funny how we look like our names...or I think so anyway.

I felt weird going on his porch to drop off the card, and the porch had a slight odd smell I couldn't describe. I wondered what he had ordered that had came a week too late.

Later on in the day, I searched up his obit. I'm mostly curious about how he perished. Unfortunately his obit told me nothing other than he was Roger Craig Frost, 57 years old, and worked for the Postal Service. Hmmm...funny, I always call him the old man and he's only a little less than a decade older than I am. Does that make the the old lady????

I spent the afternoon staring at my yard trying to figure out what to plant this spring that the relentless drought and triple digit summer temps won't kill.

I'm looking forward to our mini trip to Houston this week.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Luminary Love

This weeks "Field Trip" was to the Architects of Air: Exxopolis Luminarium on the grounds of the Long Center downtown Austin.

I saw this advertised last year and wanted to go, but we never made it. When I saw it posted on 365 Things To Do In Austin again this year I made a point that we go. I'm glad we did. It was worth the $10 a head to get in...that is if you like the feeling of being on LSD. Just kidding, but it did have a rather dream-like, ambient feel to it. If you like that sort of thing I recommend not missing out on this very unusual artistic display of light and colors...

This is one of those times that I absolutely know a camera can't capture what it really felt and looked liked inside this bubble of color....

Here's a couple more miscellaneous pics from our day...

We all enjoyed ourselves. On the way I asked Summer on a scale of 1-10 what she would rate our experience. She rated it a 9, and for a tween I would say that's a pretty good rating!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

I Love You in A Song

I woke up to another BEAUTIFUL morning.

Monday's are Toby's early days so I made him a mushroom and cheese omelet and toast for breakfast before I left for my morning run. I wore too much attire and stripped off my jacket and tied it around my waist while Bo relieved himself on street light post.

At the post, out of nowhere this little scraggly dog runs up to greet us. Not far behind him is his owner with a leash to capture him. The scraggly dog was having no part of being corralled back into his confinement and took off. I would have helped the poor 'ole guy but I was having enough problems keeping Bo controlled in the presence of a free roaming dog. Bo gets super excited around other dogs and gets very hard to control. It's times like these that it doesn't surprise me he ended up in a shelter.

On the way home I passed by the old man's house. Relatives, friends, whoever they are, have cleaned his home out and have a ton of stuff on the side of the road for trash pick-up. Most of it looks like small kitchen appliances, household items, clothes, etc. The dumpster diver in me wanted to rummage through and get out the good stuff before it ended up in the dump, but then I thought it was creepy that I even thought about it.

After I got home I spent the morning watching the Inauguration. I just happened upon it when I turned on the T.V. and got mesmerized by it. It was the first one I had ever watched. I was mostly enthralled with Michele Obama's hairstyle and clothing. Very tasteful.

By the time 3:00pm rolled around and the Inauguration interrupted Dr. Phil I got slightly annoyed with it all. Yes, I did spend most of the day on my Ipad and watching T.V. With only the three of us in a household chores don't take long so I usually have plenty of time on my hands...which can be either a good thing or a bad thing depending on my mood for the day.

Tonight I booked a hotel for a trip to Houston next week. I'm looking forward to our winter mini getaway.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


This morning Toby helped me cook brunch. It was a nice change to have him beside me in the kitchen. I have a small kitchen with very little counter space so typically I don't like anyone in the kitchen with me while I prepare meals. We always end up getting in each others way. In the past I have only allowed Summer in the kitchen with me because it's useful for her to learn to prepare meals and she enjoys it.

I don't mind cooking either, matter of fact, I enjoy it. I love trying new recipes and new ways to prepare meals.

We made Oven Tacos. OH MY GOODNESS they were the best tacos! Maybe it was because I was starving by the time we got them made..I don't think so, they were good. I think Toby liked them too. Summer said Jack in the Box's tacos tasted better. That didn't surprise me. She loves Jack in the Box tacos.

We watched Pit Boss while we ate our tacos. Pit Boss is one of my favorite shows to watch...and sometimes it's really sad. Every time I watch it it makes me want to snuggle my rescued bull baby up a little tighter.

After I got Toby off to work I vacuumed the floors. I notice they need it a lot more than they used to with Bo around, and the fact that we eat in the living area doesn't help matters.

The rest of the afternoon I spent finishing up a quilt I had been working on. This quilt has been a disaster since the beginning. I'm certainly no experienced seamstress and this quilt shows it. I got to the point where I just wanted it done and got bored and careless with it. I knew it was probably only going to end up as a blanket for Bo.

The quilts I have been making are starting to pile up. Out of the nine I have made so far, only one...maybe two are worthy enough to be sold or given as a gift. I have been in search of a charity that will take quilts but everyone of them I have researched have very restrictive requirements for the quilts they accept. It seems the best place I have found to donate my practice stuff is to the Animal Shelters. Not sure how I feel about that one. I have spent very little money on my creations but a good bit of time.

Not sure if I posted this one I finished a couple of months ago or not. It's not perfect but close to it. I really liked the way the color combinations and patterns turned out too. Remember, I get my fabric from discarded clothing/fabric from the Blue Hanger so every piece I put together is my own color and pattern combinations.

This is a top I finished the other day. I really like the way it turned out but unfortunately I think it's going to be a bit small to be too much of anything.....maybe a wall hanging or table top???

I have been trying to figure out some useful things I could be expending my sewing energy on to no avail. Sigh.

Eyes on Fire

I awoke to the sounds of Bo whimpering in his kennel this morning. Obviously, despite the beautiful sunrise this morning he was letting me know that I had once again slept past 7:00am. Pets get accustomed to the routine you instill in them and they will not let you waver from it...a lot like kids I guess.

On our morning run we passed by the old man's house. There was an unfamiliar vehicle there. They had the front and back doors open to the house, I'm assuming to air out the house.

I was more than curious as I passed by. I wanted to see what the inside of the house looked like..what kind of furniture the old man had, what kind of decor he had on his walls., if it were messy or clean, etc.

Instead what I got as I passed by was the smell of death. As the wind blew through the house I caught more than one whiff of death mixed with a hint of stale cigarette smoke.  It made me slightly nauseous.

It reminded me of the smell of a dead rat. I know that smell well. When we lived  in Alabama we lived in a house where the rats would die in the walls of our house and we had to endure the smell of their decomposing bodies for months before they finally were nothing but flesh and bones. It was sickening because there was nothing you could do to mask the smell and getting them out of the walls was next to impossible.

I don't know why I had assumed the smell of a dead human would be any different. The smell of death is the smell of death. I was disappointed that the old man smelled like a dead rat. Humans think they are so superior. Life is life and death is death I suppose. It all smells the same. Dust in the wind.

Why am I so intrigued with the old mans death? Maybe his death makes me aware of my own mortality.

Anyway, this morning Summer and I went and picked up her friend to come hang out for the day. I didn't really see them much until they got hungry. Pizza was for lunch.

I spent the day browsing on my Ipad, made a cheesecake and some salsa, and worked on finishing up a quilt I have been working on.

The weather was perfect so the girls walked with me to take Bo for an afternoon walk. We ventured a bit into the greenbelt but couldn't get too far. Last summer there was invasion of  these tall, stalk like weeds that took over the greenbelt and although they are dead now they are still there and hard to maneuver through without a sickle. We were also a little deterred when we saw some very large cat- like paw prints. Although mountain lions are rare in these parts there have been stories of them being spotted in our area. I'm not taking any chances especially when I see very large cat paw prints in the dirt!!

It was a good day.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Thrill of the Hunt

Today was girls day out at the Blue Hanger with Robin. I didn't find much, but then again I wasn't looking for much. Blue Hanger is mostly the thrill of the hunt and hanging out with my friend anyway. The stuff  I find is just a bonus.

Lately, I am finding the most pleasure in the most mundane activities. A stolen moment of privacy or intimacy with hubby, chatting with Robin about girl stuff over lunch, browsing through the Ripley's Believe it or Not book at night with Summer before bed, hanging out with Lucas and his woman friend during the holidays was awesome, smelling the fruit in the produce section of HEB, chatting with neighbors, letting Bo sneak up onto the sofa beside me while I inhale the smell of his ears, feel the warmth of his bulky body, and press my cheeks against his whiskers, I even found pleasure in picking up dog poop this afternoon. The warmth of the sun shining down on my back and the sounds of the turkey vultures in the distance overshadowed the smell of dog poop.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Early In The Morning

I missed a post yesterday because I was working on a small sewing project that I got caught up in and couldn't pull myself away from. No worries, you didn't miss a thing.

Okay, I am officially a morning slacker. I awoke at 7:00am this morning with the sun shining as bright as it could through the solar screens...enough to awaken me. What did I do? I snuggled right back up under the   comforter and promptly fell back asleep until 8:30am.

Hubby claims it's because I'm cold (we don't sleep with the heater on because I'm cheap and I hate being hot when I'm sleeping ) and if I were hot I would be up in a flash. I think this may be one of those times he is right. Speaking of the cold, lately I am finding that I prefer being cold over the extreme Summer heat that Central Texas delivers. I find myself almost dreading the warmer temps for the first time in my life and have even been daydreaming about living on the upper East Coast of Connecticut, Rhode Island or maybe even as far as Massachusetts. What in the hell has post menopause done to me????????

We opted to stay home today and rent a movie and eat pizza. LOVE these laid back kind of days.

Later on in the afternoon I took Bo for a sniff and pee walk while Toby rode his bike beside us. We noticed a clan of sheriffs congregating around one of our neighbors a few houses down. Being the nosey neighbors we should be we kept an eye on what was going on. We heard the sheriffs finally go to the back door and kick it in.

The home is a residence of an older man. In the five years we have lived here so has he. I have always taken note of him and have even asked other neighbors if they have ever spoke to him or vice versa.  Nobody has ever spoken to him, not because we chose not to but because his scarcity never gave us the opportunity. Other than seeing him cut his grass and come home from work I have never seen him except once when I was in HEB he was in line in front of me. I noticed he was purchasing a single steak and a six pack of beer. He seemed lonely..or maybe I just assumed he was lonely.  I thought about chatting him up but then got the impression he was aloof  and  unapproachable. I also took note that  he was wearing an Austin postal uniform which led me to believe he worked for the Postal Service.

Over the years I have often thought about that old man as I drive by his house. I have never seen anyone visit him..ever. I see him arrive home from work at the same time every day and  he doesn't come outside unless it's to cut his grass every so often in the Summer. Many times I wondered about his life. Did he have family and they just didn't live nearby? Did something tragic happen that made him reclusive? As far as I knew he didn't even own an animal. I never saw one. Did he just not like people at all? Maybe he just liked his privacy? Maybe he enjoyed not having human or animal commitments?

In the end, apparently it was only his place of employment that noticed he was missing. We vaguely heard the sheriffs talking about how they had not seen him since last Friday so they called the authorities to go check it out.. Sad that man was in his home for almost a week and nobody but his employer noticed...and I'm sure only because he wasn't fulfilling his job requirements of delivering mail. It was obvious the man was found dead in his home. I silently wondered;  Did he end his own life? Was he murdered? Did he die alone in his home of natural causes? I don't know....

All I know is that day I was behind him in the HEB line was an opportunity missed. What if I had took that plunge beyond fear and chatted him up. What's the worst thing that could have happened? He may have blew me off?  What if I had given him hope in a friendship? Or in mankind? Or maybe he just would have thought it nice that someone even paid attention to him or gave him a kind smile.

I think these subtle happenings in our life are meant to change who we are and evolve our consciousness as humans.

From this day forward I will never second guess myself when I feel the need to speak to someone. It may be the last opportunity I ever have.

Funny...I'm going to miss that old man. I even shed a tear for him....I may be most likely one of the very few, if any,  that did.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I slept in until 9:00am again this morning. I think I have set myself a record lately. Where my eyes usually pop open at 7:00am every morning in the past, I stay dead to the world until I'm awakened by Bo's soft whimper to let me know I have overslept and it's 2 hours past his breakfast.

I thought about and I think the problem is this dang weather and those dark solar screens we installed on our windows this last summer. We've had this dreary, sunless weather lately coupled with the already room darkening screens. I rely on the sun shining through the window to awaken me but...there has been no morning sun to do me that favor. O'well, I guess I can use those extra couple of hours of sleep.

It was 34 degrees when I took Bo for a run this morning, but not before searching down some gloves I knew Summer had hidden in her room somewhere. The gloves really helped and despite being frozen solid initially I had a great run once I warmed up. I've learned I just have to suck it up in the cold because no matter what way I look at it, it's still much better than running in the heat.

Toby was craving Chinese today so we ate at the Chinese Buffet for lunch. My first husband loved Chinese but I always hated it and would only eat the rice if I were forced to eat it. Now, I have grown to tolerate it and find some dishes rather yummy....but I still could live without it if I had to.

Next stop was Academy. I finally got me a much needed new pair of running shoes. Running shoes are like jeans to me, too many different styles and brands throws me into a tailspin. I finally made a choice and picked out another pair of New Balance almost exactly like my old ones. I'm so unadventurous when it comes to style.

I spent the evening piecing together a new quilt while sipping me some JD and coke to keep me warm.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Another freezing morning. It sucked. Bo got a little ripped off with his morning run. I don't own a pair of gloves which is exactly what I needed this morning. My hands were sooooo cold they hurt. I could keep one inside my pocket but the other one had to stay exposed to hold the leash.  A half mile of sniffing and peeing was all I could bear.

I also had to make a grocery store trip today. Summer opted to tag along with me. We stopped at Jack in the Box and ordered tacos along the way. Very good..and unhealthy, I'm pretty sure.

While we ate we chatted about Oprah being in town to interview Lance Armstrong for his "confession".  We talked about how it would be really cool to see Oprah while we were out and about. We laughed and both  agreed that Oprah would most likely not be shopping in HEB while in Austin.

Before groceries, we stopped in the Pet Store to grab Bo's dog food. We took some time to watch some Chameleons. They watched us as intently as we were watching them. Interesting animals. We also did a search for Bo a new chew toy. He's a powerful chewer and goes through them like mad...and they are not cheap.

Last stop was HEB. I can never express how much I love HEB. I also noticed they started this new free weekly newsletter available at the front stand. It has a full weeks menu based on their sales, health tips, and meal deals and coupons.

I don't typically grocery shop on Monday's but I think I'm going to make it my new grocery shopping day. There was hardly a soul in there. Summer and I had a good time. She was manning the cart and putting the items I pointed out into the cart while I crossed the items off the list and led the way. With a large menu like I had today I'm usually in the store at least an hour but with Summer's help it took me half the time. It was the most stress free grocery trip (other than when I am by myself) that I've had in awhile.

We loaded up and headed home where we spent the rest of the day doing what we usually do....exactly what we want to do. :-)

The Life

Another day, another dollar. I feel like I am wasting blog space for writing anything down today.

It was typical Sunday around here. I found myself obsessed with Martha Stewart again.

My whole day wasn't wasted lounging on the sofa watching Martha and browsing Pinterest. Feeling Martha inspired I whipped up this Cheesy Chicken Ranch Lasagna for dinner.

Toby is at work so he hasn't tasted it yet, but I personally give it a thumbs up. Summer liked it also which is always a plus in my household.

I think I may end the evening watching the Golden Globe Awards...

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I slept in again this morning. This seems to be becoming a habit for me for me lately. It hasn't led to any repercussions though which is why I keep doing it, I suppose.

Since I missed my run with Bo yesterday morning I pushed myself a little farther and harder this morning to make up for yesterday. The weather was a lot warmer and more humid but not so much that I didn't get in a good run. The breeze always helps.

When I got home I threw us some brunch together (nothing special) and started on my daily chores.

Around 3:00pm I sat down for an afternoon snack. Usually I play on my Ipad while I'm eating but today I decided to turn on the T.V.  I always get really engrossed in those cooking shows that broadcast on the CREATE channel on the weekends.

I got engrossed in Martha Stewart for about an hour and learned a lot of things I didn't know. There is also the other old Italian lady on CREATE I like to watch...can't remember her name.

This evening I will probably resume going through all of my old pictures on disc. I do this for no other reason than to reminisce on all those old wonderful memories caught in time.

It was a very nice day even though nothing really interesting or out of the ordinary happened.

Friday, January 11, 2013


 I got up early this morning so I could go do some personal shopping. Old habits die VERY hard. I went to the Goodwill specifically in search of blue jeans. In all fairness to myself, I wasn't having any luck at the department stores.  I also thought I may stop by Academy and purchase some much needed new running shoes.

My destination was Central Austin to one of my favorite Goodwill's. On the way I stopped for a sausage biscuit at a McDonald's along the way. I took my coke, biscuit and tray and sat in a spot in front of the T.V.  While I ate I was engrossed in the newscast about the recent lottery winner that ended up dead of suspected cyanide poisoning.

For whatever reason the restaurant area was filled with seniors (old folk). My people watching addiction lured me to watch their expression about the lottery winner's demise. Nothing...nada. But when the reporter switched topics to the church that was enforcing their stand on the anti-gay marriage position three out of six of them were shaking their head in agreement (all men). Interesting. They showed emotion toward the gay marriage issue but the lottery winner being poisoned evoked no emotion at all from them.

I lucked up at the Goodwill and found two pair of jeans that fit me perfectly. I spent so much time in the Goodwill that I didn't have time-nor felt like- shoe shopping at Academy. I made a stop at HEB and headed home just in time to help Toby prep a lunch to take to work and kiss him goodbye.

The weather was so perfect today that I decided to give my car a much needed good vacuuming. I also picked up dog turds and swept out the garage while I was outside.

When I came back inside and sat down I suddenly felt achy, tired and my sinuses hurt. I assumed it was probably from all the dust and dirt I stirred up from cleaning out my car and sweeping the garage.

I watched Dr. Phil and Ricky Lake and rested for awhile and felt fine afterwards.

I took Bo for an evening walk and made note how the weeds around here still grow at warp speed even in the winter months. I think Bo must have peed on every one he saw.

Anniversary Day Out - Part 2

After we left the church we walked across the street to the Omni Hotel to take a look around. I think Summer enjoys walking around the hotels and large buildings downtown most of all.

Next, we ventured a couple of blocks over to the Driskill Hotel. The Driskill is more of a Austin historical attraction so we were able to roam more freely in there than we were in the Omni...

The Anniversary Couple

On The Balcony
 Summer was a little paranoid of the old creaking elevator...

Our next stop was the Baylor Street Art Wall. I had seen it advertised on a local Austin website a few days ago and figured since we had never been there we could incorporate it into our trip downtown...

Most of the time we were there I kept wondering how these people that lived in this (I'm sure very expensive) house right behind the graffiti wall feel about all the riff-raff, drunk college kids, and modern day hippies singing and playing their instruments (not pictured) think of the wall....

On top of the wall there was a great panoramic view of downtown....

I added my own touch of art here in this pic. I thought it was a pretty good shot of our shadows on the graffiti floor.

Unlike most people I enjoy the artistic influence of graffiti and think it gives a city character and expression. I think as long as it is tasteful it should be allowed within reason. I noticed the other day that someone has already started a strand of graffiti on the new highway robbery toll road...hehehehe, the rebellious side of me had to laugh out loud and silently cheer when I saw that one.

Last stop was the Treaty Oak.  A few years ago I came across the story of the Treaty Oak and how someone had attempted to poison and kill this 500+ year old tree and the extreme efforts it took to save it.  It's an interesting story. If you don't know about it or interested you can read the whole story here.
Because of the bedrock in this area trees don't really grow UP but more OUT and more bush-like so you can't really see the trunk of the tree because of the lower tree branches. In addition due to it's poisoning in 1989 it lost a third of the original tree....

Treaty Oak
The weather was perfect. The activities were perfect. The day was perfect.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Anniversary Day Out - Part 1

When we lived in Mobile there was a old Methodist Church downtown that served lunch on Wednesdays. We passed by the sign in front of the church advertising it many times before we finally decided to stop in and check it out.

My reluctance to stop came from the fact that I thought we may be cornered and solicited to buy Jesus before we could get eat our meal. I could never have been more wrong. It was a small group of little old ladies that prepped the meal every week. The food was good old fashioned cooking like your grandma would make and those little old ladies never said not one word about Jesus or faith and believe it or not never even gave us a sideways glance for Toby's array of  body art.

We would go in and order our meal, have a seat and the little old ladies would display the perfect southern hospitality fetching everything we needed like servants and making sure we were comfortable. We made a habit of eating at the church most Wednesdays right up to the last week we moved to Austin.

The other day I got a little nostalgic thinking about those little old ladies at the church back in Mobile and decided to do a search and see if Austin had any downtown churches that served lunch.

I found one at St. David's. When we got there the line was very long but it moved along quickly. Seating was also way more crowded than the the church in downtown Mobile...but then again Austin has a much larger, busier downtown so it didn't surprise me.

Even though lunch was delicious and well proportioned and we had a positive experience it wasn't near as personal and home-like as little old ladies at Government Street Methodist Church made it. That said, St. David's is a thumb's up place to eat lunch when we are downtown Austin on Thursdays.

After lunch we walked around in the church sanctuary. The church is Episcopalian so it brought up fond memories of my youth in the Catholic Church.

The Labyrinth outside the church

St. David's Episcopal Church
There is plenty more to post, but I'm pooped after a long day so I have elected to finish tomorrow. Good Night!!

Remember When?

"We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly." ~Sam Keen

Fourteen years ago today I met my husband Toby in a smokey, dark bar room. Thirteen years ago a year from that date I wed him.  I won't sugar coat or bore you by listing qualities that make my husband the perfect catch or rave on about how glorious our 13 year marriage has been. That would make me a pretender AND a bold faced liar.

It was 25 years ago, but I can remember it like it was yesterday when a family member by marriage (at the time) said to me..."Laura, there is a lot of beautiful in a marriage, but there is also a lot of ugly. You will fall in and out of love thousands of times in the course of your marriage and it will be up to you whether you depart or finish the ride before it's over ." 

No truer words were ever said. I have fallen in and out of love with my husband  thousands of times over the years, as he has me I'm almost sure. There also has been a lot of beautiful..and some very ugly throughout our marriage. I have hated him equally as much as I have loved him over our relatively short span together.

The good news is, when I look back, even though I can see the ugly, the beautiful stands out foremost in my memories with him. Nothing is flawless or without error but that doesn't mean that it's not beautiful as a whole. The years I have spent with him have been predominantly good years that I wouldn't trade for the world.

The lyrics to this song are exactly the way I feel about the man I chose to spend the rest of my life with that January day 13 years ago...

Happy 13th Anniversary Toby!!!! I love you more with each passing day we spend together.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

X's AND O's

It rained all night long and when I awoke this morning it was STILL raining. No matter, we still had to get out and run a few errands today.

Mine and Toby's anniversary is tomorrow and we want to be able to enjoy ourselves without the weekly errands looming over our heads.

After we ran all of our errands Toby and Summer requested Starbucks. As we waited on their order I looked around at everybody sitting with their coffee and laptops. As I observed them I made a mental note that it seems that every Starbucks I have ever been in all the "dining" customers look alike. They all dress in the same style of clothing, hold their coffee the same way, sit the same way, and have the same communicating mannerisms. It's like Starbucks holds their own genre of customers. Maybe I just notice weird stuff like that.

By the time we got home the rain had stopped enough that I took Bo for a short late afternoon run. I think that must have made him happy because he didn't give me the stare the rest of the evening.

I have an interesting activity planned tomorrow. I won't spoil it by giving any details.

Until tomorrow...

Little Bitty

I have to admit I was dreading a day of being cooped up in the house due to the 100 percent rain chance, but it turned out to be a wonderful day. Isn't funny how it's always those times you expect a bad experience that it turns out to be a pleasant one??

We made omelets with onions, peppers and mushrooms for breakfast. Yum. After we ate breakfast Toby and I went and had some "us" time in the bedroom. We are usually on the go with either errands or Toby having to rush off to work so it was really nice to be able to hang out in our bed together chatting. Other than Bo whimpering at the door it was a pleasant experience. We talked about many different of them being how we (mostly me) don't miss those huge, black,  flying-ass cockroaches found in Mobile and in the more humid areas of the south. Hmmmm....two good reasons I have no desire to  move back to Mobile - no HEB stores and too many dang cockroaches.

Toby and I mostly watched T.V. all day...or should I say Toby watched T.V. while I worshipped my Ipad on the sofa next to him.
We did watch an interesting documentary together called Zeitgeist. Not sure how much of it was based on actual fact, but it was definitely food for thought and most of it made logical sense.

I think I saw Summer a total of two times the whole breakfast and lunch. She stayed in her room the whole day playing Mindcraft and chatting with her friend Hannah on the phone.

Bo acted like a freak most of the day pacing around and staring at me. I think he's boring very quickly of the limited time we have been spending outdoors lately.

The rest of our evening will be spent watching a Redbox rental, "Paranorman" while consuming Jiffy Pop.

I think I may make this kind of day a must in our household at least once a month despite what the weather forecast may be.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Look After You

If you can believe it we are expecting 3-5 inches of rain in Central Texas in the next couple of days. Not that we certainly don't need the rain but it's sort of putting a damper on my parade of activities for the week.  I had a couple of fun things planned but instead I guess we will be holed up inside the house for a couple of days. Good thing we are used to being up each other's ass most the time anyway or else this could be fatal.

I prepared for the event by going to the grocery store and stocking the house with extra food....and liquor. I figured we would make the best of it by eating and watching movies....and drinking.  I don't like getting out on the roads when it's wet. Austinites drive like idiots in the best of conditions and even worse in the worst conditions.

While I was out I decided to run in Target and see if I could find some proper fitting jeans. Finding jeans is THE WORST clothing issue I have. There's like 100 different styles and cuts to choose from and all it does is confuse me. Once I figure out the Fit and Cut I need then there are never any left in my size. Never fails.

At least Summer found her a pair of cute boots on clearance.....not that we were shopping for her. Inevitably when we are shopping for me, she always finds something cute and fitting for her. Lucky girl.

I'll admit I was a lazy-ass when I got home and managed to consume a canned coke and a whole Totino's pizza by myself while watching Dr. Phil and browsing Pinterest.  I think I sat on the sofa for 3 hours straight. Bo just glared at me wondering what the hell happened to his evening walk????

Shame on me especially since that's probably what I will also be doing for the next couple of days due to the rain.

Summer spent the rest of the afternoon playing outdoors. Her and her friends have been sliding down the hill on cardboard boxes affixed on top of a skateboards.  I watched them out the window for awhile and thought about how innocent and childlike these preteens still all are. At what point do we as adults lose our connection with our inner child??? What makes us lose that connection???

I love that kid with my whole being. I don't know how I ended up with such good kids considering what little effort I give in raising them. All I have ever supplied is unconditional LOVE and an open, understanding ear and that seems to have sufficed just fine.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be momma almighty here. I'm sure both of my kids have/will have baggage of some kind. None of us come out of this life unscathed in some sort of way.

I'm watching Summer quickly grow and mature and I'm starting to feel a bit panicked. I always thought I would love the freedom I would have when my last kid is grown and gone, but lately I have been wondering what the hell it is that I thought I was going to do without my kids? I have no money to travel or do the things that would give me enjoyment. What did I think I was really going to do when my kids are all gone? Sew? Bleh!!!  I have nothing of value but my kids.

I'm not feeling very optimistic about my week or my life tonight. I will run in the rain tomorrow morning. I love running in the rain.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I Swear

Recently I saw this meme on Facebook that got me pondering....

Cursing is a daily practice for me. Cursing gives me comfort and releases my pent up anger and emotions and also helps me express myself.  I also consider myself a very honest and trustworthy person. In those very rare times I have ever felt desperate enough to lie, I wasn't very good at it. In addition, apparently  I give a trustworthy enough persona that my neighbor who barely knows me gave me the key to his house to care for his dog while he is out of town.

I was intrigued enough about this meme that I actually researched it a bit. I didn't really find anything with any concrete scientific backing.

Because using swear words is one of my favorite pastimes that has such a social stigma I have often wondered the origin of curse words. Who was it that designated a curse word a curse word?  From my research it's apparent that words change meaning over the course of time so what was a curse word back then may not be considered a curse word anymore. Who gets to choose our society's potty mouth?? It's all dumb and relative in my opinion.

My mother was a very Godly woman and very straight-laced but I can remember a time in my younger days my mother using curse words pretty regularly. Her favorites were "shit" and "God Damn" if you can believe that one. She used them mostly when she was on the phone chatting with her friends or in a bad mood. Strangely enough I never heard the word "fuck" come out of her mouth.

About the time I was around 11 or 12 mom went through a personal life change and converted us all to the Baptist faith.(we had previously been raised Catholic) It was around this time that she forbade herself to watch soap opera's anymore and replaced the curse word "shit" to "shike". My thought was if you are just going to replace the explicative with another word that was giving off the same vibe then what was the point? I never brought it up to her because I knew it would be futile but I did wonder about it pretty often.

I never heard the word "God Damn" come out of her mouth again. I vaguely remember the Baptist faith considering the word "God Damn" blasphemous...whatever.

I also notice kids these days use curse words more openly than they did when I was a kid. When I was young cursing was something you kept hushed. Of course Summer uses curse words openly around us because we use cursing as part of our everyday language. We had to teach her at a young age that cursing was not a socially acceptable behavior and she had to be careful who she used those bad words around.  I'm sure it probably confused her a bit when she was young but obviously she "gets it" now.

Either way, I will keep my curse words in order to keep my sanity....and my honesty.

Party Train

This morning I slept in until 9:30. That's late for me and almost unheard of. The cold weather is making me feel a bit like hibernating so I guess I was hibernating. I did feel extra refreshed when I got up and was pleased to see the sun was shining and the sky was blue.

After a couple of months hiatus from my ab exercises I decided to get back to work with them again this morning. I could feel my core beginning to get weak without them and the last thing I want to be is fragile if it can be prevented. I also have incorporated my push ups back into my regime. Before you know it it will be spring and I certainly don't want my "bat wings"  flapping around during tank top season.

Toby rode his bike alongside me and Bo while we did our morning run.  I like it when Toby goes with us. It makes me feel a little more secure when stray dogs come at us. Without him I am on constant alert for strays that like to pick fights with Bo.

With me getting up so late by the time we got back it was lunch time. Yesterday I put  Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Pita in the crock pot so it would be ready for lunch today. It passed the test and will be added to our favorites. Summer didn't even turn her nose up at it.

Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Pita
I know I have been trying to reduce the amount of meat we eat and lately it seems like we have been eating more than our share. So many good recipes that include meat though and I guess....old habits die hard.

After Toby left to work I got to work vacuuming, mopping, and it was even warm enough that I was able to go outside and prune some of my bushes and give the yard a little TLC. It felt good to be outside. I figured I better enjoy it while I could because it looks like more rain and cold coming soon..

The rest of the afternoon I spent loafing around on the sofa scouring  Pinterest. Yep, that's what I did for the next couple of hours. No shame here.

Oh, and if anyone was wondering about the weird post titles I have going on lately here's the deal; I have a hard time figuring out titles for day to day posts when they have no specific topic.  I always have Pandora playing when I'm on my computer so I just title my post whatever the name of the song is that's playing when I start my post. I know it's not very creative but it saves me time in figuring out a title for my post.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


This morning I had two cups of coffee. My friend Robin gave us some coffee for Christmas and although I have never been picky about coffee I find the blend she gave us worthy of more than my usual one cup per day.

After my two cups of coffee I threw on my running gear and took Bo out for a run. Now that I'm wanting to run that 5K I'm trying to step up my running a little bit each day. Ironically, when it's cold I dread getting out the door, but once I get warmed up I run easier and farther than I do in the warmer temps. I ran an extra half a mile this morning. My goal is to add an extra mile to at least one or two runs a week.

My original plan for the day was to go shopping for some proper fitting jeans, but by the time I got home from my run, took a shower and  prepared lunch it was already close to 1:00pm. By that time I had lost interest in shopping and was already contemplating all that I NEEDED to do around the house.

I prepared Zuppa Toscana for lunch. This Olive Garden favorite got a lot of rave reviews on Pinterest but I'm not adding it to my recipe box because Toby didn't rave about it. He said he liked it but it wasn't one of his favorites. I liked it well enough myself, but then again I like most everything. Oddly enough, my very picky Summer ate two bowl fulls of it. Figures.

Here is a link to the recipe for anyone interested.

I did manage to take 3 bags of goodwill items to the donation bin up the road.  Blasted SONIC and their happy hour drink specials! I'm not strong-willed enough to pass the Sonic by when I know they have that large coke for just $1!! Coke is one of my weaknesses and probably one of the reasons I may never lose the flab hanging off the front of my belly.

I checked the mail on the way home and had received a $3 off coupon for any Mrs. Baird item. It was in thanks for my participation in their survey. I checked the address on the front of the envelope to make sure it had made it's way into the correct mailbox. I must be losing my memory along with my sight and hearing because I have no recollection of filling out any survey for Mrs. Baird. I appreciated the coupon and will use it though. :-)

At the end of the day I spent some time sorting my fabric and working on an unfinished quilt....and blogging.

Rapid Cognition

I got my Blue Hanger fix this morning so I have been in a pretty good mood today despite the cold, rainy weather. I didn't get much...Summer a couple of shirts, me a couple of shorts and shirts, and some fabric if I needed any more of that.  I walked out of there having spent only $13 so it was a pretty good day.

After I got home I did my usual household chores and threw together a meal in the crockpot for tomorrow.

I forgot to mention on my post yesterday a new recipe I'm adding to my favorites. It was simple to prepare and tasty.

Lasagna in a Skillet
Here is a link to the recipe.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Today I HAD to go to the grocery store. I haven't been to the Blue Hanger in weeks so in order for me to get out of the house free and clear tomorrow morning I needed to get my chores done first. I decided since Toby was off work, instead of me getting up early and going to the grocery store by myself like I usually do, I would incorporate my family into my shopping trip.

Summer went through a phase a couple of years ago where she would take half my list and go off on her own in the store to shop.  It was like a game for her. Since she used to shop with me all the time she was familiar with the items and brands that I bought and knew the game of price comparison.  Homeschoolers call that "Math".  I call it life skills. :-)

Now that she is older she usually stays home when I grocery shop. I thought it would be fun (and bonding) for her and Toby to take half of my grocery list in the store while I have the other half. I figured it would also cut my time in the store in half. Not so much it turns out. They were understandably having trouble figuring out what exactly what I needed on some of the items listed, but they did a good job anyway. There were only two items I had to go and exchange.

In the end, it really didn't make my trip any easier or quicker, but we were still all together which is what mattered the most.

The weather was frigid again today. Forecast shows some light snow flakes overnight. Nothing that sticks of course, but all Summer heard was the word "snow" and is pumped at the idea. Me? I remember being excited at the idea of snow when I was a kid too. Now? Not so much anything that even remotely resembles snow is appealing....unless I am by a fire in a cabin in the woods sipping wine with my lover.

Still haven't gotten a box, but I did get a lot accomplished in the study as far as purging goes. I'm satisfied for now.

I hope the weather doesn't ruin my trip to the Blue Hanger tomorrow morning...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


It's pretty lonely around here with the kids (Lucas and Kristin) gone..for me anyway. Toby is glaring into the t.v and his Ipod as he usually does and Summer is engrossed in her usual projects in her room.

For whatever reason I'm finding it difficult to settle back into my normal routine. I tried to pull out my fabric and do a little sewing but just couldn't get into it. Pinterest isn't even intriguing me...although I did manage to make a small menu plan off it tonight - out of necessity more than enjoyment.

I feel anxious and unsettled so I'm obsessed with purging the house, other than I can't seem to find a large box to load everything into which is only adding to my agitation.

It's freezing ass cold outside so puttering around the yard (which typically relaxes me) is out of the question. Only through pure habit have I been able to take Bo out for his morning runs. I dread the idea of it before I head out but once I get running I warm up pretty quickly. I still hate it when it's in the 30's though. My ear lobes and hands were frozen solid hard by the time I was done with my run this morning.

My cousin Shannon messaged me yesterday and said they may visit in February. I hope they come. I like the company. Visitors use to annoy me but I find the older I get the more I enjoy having family members and friends long as they are enjoyable visitors.

We had a buy 1 get 1 free coupon for Logan's Roadhouse today. The food was good but it always feels so unnatural for me to throw those peanut shells on the floor.

After lunch we went to Walmart and Sam's. I bought me a robe at Sam's..leopard print. :-)

At Walmart Summer decided she was more experienced at style than I am and put some outfits together for me off the clearance rack that didn't look too "Walmart-ish". Unfortunately everything but a pair of shorts (size 6 baby!) was either to big/small or didn't fit properly. O'well it was fun seeing her so excited about shopping for me. She's been being more feminine the past few months and the best news is she revealed to me that she is growing her hair back out!! I didn't act too excited about it for fear my excitement would change her plan. For me, the best thing about it was that honestly,  I really didn't care whether she cuts it or lets it grow out. I'm over the hair thing and she's beautiful to me either way.

Releasing my thoughts via my blog helps me see things in a different light. I feel much better now.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

And Then....

A couple of days after Christmas Lucas went to pick up his new lady friend who was visiting her family in the Houston area. He spent the night in Houston with her family then both returned to Austin to spend the rest of the holidays with us.

I have two words for the way I feel about Kristin...LOVE HER! She is just as genuine and sweet as Lucas is and I enjoyed every minute of their company while they were here. I was also glad to see Lucas with a companion. It makes me feel like it lessens the sting of lonliness and miles between us for him.....

It was extremely cold and dreary the whole time they were here but they did manage to take a bike ride in the trails...

They also got some sight-seeing in which they seemed to really enjoy....

Here they are in front of the Capitol Building....

I think they had the most fun visiting the Driskill Hotel downtown. The Driskill is noted as one of the most haunted places in Texas. They said they spent 2 1/2 hours hanging out in there exploring the hotel and hunting It is a beautiful hotel!!

We ate a lot, laughed a lot, watched T.V. a lot, drank a lot and got to know each other. I felt so complete the last two weeks of 2012 with those most important to me all in one household together.

I saw this quote today and I couldn't help but feel it was speaking directly to me when  I read it...


Oh, and the highlight of my week?!!! Lucas fixed my oven that has been broke for a little over two years. I was one happy mama and celebrated with baking a dozen muffins!!!

The holiday season  of 2012 will be marked as a memorable one.