Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve- Ordered My Garden Seeds!



I think I may have started a new tradition for myself today- I ordered my garden seeds for this spring. Way too many tomatoes, squash, lettuce, broccoli, etc. I'll write more about specifics once I actually get the seeds from Seed Savers (www.seedsavers.org).

Tomorrow starts another year for my blogging. I'm hoping to try to remember to blog more in the next year. I should be able to come on here and post my Resolutions then. I look forward to doing this soon!

Tonight I am off to Elizabeth's house for our annual NYE celebration. I used to get crazy drunk at these celebrations, but I have begun to really gain control of my drinking. I will probably only have no more than 3 glasses of wine tonight! Mom has had to work tonight, so I'm hoping she does well when she gets in. I'm going to give her a call at 11 to see how things are going.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve...


Yesterday, December 23rd, I found myself doing something I try never doing- going shopping. I thought I had all of my shopping done before December 15th, but my Grannie, who had been in Colorado visiting my Dad for three weeks, never got the chance to shop. She just had to get my mother and my cousin’s stepfathers’ wine purchase and she only trusted me to help her because, according to her, I have better taste in wine than anyone (ha, that was a good pun, right!). So, we made a lunch date, which ended up lasting three hours, to get wine at World Market. Most of that time was actually spent getting in and out of the parking lot- luckily Grannie had her handicap hanging tag, so we got a close spot. They really should just hand those out to
people once they are past, say, 75.
Once we shopped- I picked out one of my favorites for them, Llano Estecado Signature Red Meritage- I took her home. I remembered an hour later, though, that I really needed to go to Braum’s to get milk, eggs, and cheese (for the Christmas macaroni!). Did that, came home and began my baking- only to remember that I probably would prefer to go out to Wal-mart (ugh) and Home Depot to get gift cards on Eve Eve instead of Eve, which would be a nightmare! So, I stopped what I was doing, yet again, to head out. Fortunately, I had only gotten to cutting up the orange slices for the orange slice cookies, the cherries for the pumpkin bread, and the pecans for both.
I hopped in my car and headed for Wal-mart. I decided that, if the garden department was open, it would be best to park there, especially since that side of the building is also closest to the exit by the Home Depot. As I entered, I noticed why the garden entrance was open- they had about 60 bikes sitting out where the plants should be. As I wandered around the store looking for a last minute digital home thermometer for my mom (I put the original one I bought for her from Target in the greenhouse), I began thinking that maybe I should buy myself a bike. It would probably cost less to buy a new bike than to fix up my old one with the rotten tires and bad breaks. I found the thermometer as well as a new book light for myself and the dreaded gift card (I love you Aunt Beverly and Robert, but would you just start shopping at Target already!), and headed back out to the register in the garden department, which usually only has about two people in line. I got in the two person line and looked out the window at the bikes again while I waited. Really, those bikes would probably be cheaper than getting mine fixed. I thought I might just look at one on my way out…and I did.
As I went out the sliding doors, I spied what I thought might just be the most beautiful girls bike I had ever seen. It was a red Schwinn with a fat butt seat (not the real name for it, I’m sure). The man watching everything out side asked me if I thought my daughter would like the bike and that he would help me get it in my car if I decided I wanted to buy it for her. I laughed and told him I didn’t have a daughter but was looking at the bike for myself. He then suggested I do something that I never thought they’d say to an adult in a Wal-mart- he told me to hop on and give it a spin around the garden center. The weird part about it is that I actually did it! I hopped on and peddled around in several large circles around the garden area. I started giggling very loudly, which made several shoppers stop and stare at me as they left the store. I eventually got off of the bike, parking it where I got on. The very helpful man then asked if I was going to buy it. I paused briefly and then told him I’d think about it and come back later if I decided to. By the time I got out to my car, I had decided exactly what I was going to do- although the Schwinn cost $159, it would probably only cost around $65 to fix up my bike at home. So, I will probably just deal with what I already have for a while. But that Schwinn was beautiful!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mom's Birthday Yesterday...

Yesterday was my mother's 61st birthday. I treated her to whatever she wanted. It was decided we would first go for brunch at the Secret Garden Tea Room at the Montgomery Street Antique Mall, then take a long walk through the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. We finished the evening off with dinner at Mamma Mia's Italian Grill and dessert at our new favorite place, Emi G's Key West Cove. See the pictures and captions below for the whole story!


Fall has hit the Turtle Pond at the Botanic Gardens

One of my favorite flowers, Asian Poppies, in full bloom.

A wild female turkey has taken roost within the Gardens grounds. They don't know where she came from, but they love her (along with all of the feral cats hanging around).

Mom's birthday brunch at The Secret Garden.


The dessert after-party at Emi G's Key West Cove. Their specialty- Key Lime Pie, of course!
Brian, Kayla and the boys joined us for the dinner and dessert. We tried to go to all of the local places we could, and succeeded well. We must continue to go to Emi G's, though. It hardly ever has anyone there in the evenings (mom and I have been their only customer on many occasion). If you live in the area, take a dinner break and go. They have excellent sandwiches and a full bar to boot! OH, and don't forget the fabulous Key Lime pie!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jack Kerouac is not my favorite writer...


The 2ND Annual Lone Star International Film Festival was last weekend. As a member of the Film Society and an aspiring screenwriter, I love this festival as it is in my hometown of Fort Worth! I volunteered for the festival last year (see picture of me with Martin Sheen on this page!) and I did so again this year.
I was only able to see one film, One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur. I was a bit hesitant to see this film because, as the title of this post states, Jack Kerouac is not my favorite writer. He's not even on my top 100. I tried reading Kerouac in college, but only got to page 5 of On the Road, before I just had to stop and work on my Women's literature readings. I actually thought that I just didn't like Kerouac at all until I realized that it wasn't his writings which irritated me so much, it was his devotees. The Kerouac wannabes.
Ah, the Kerouac wannabes. They are an interesting group of guys (usually guys, because really, a girl could not pull it off. Most guys can't.). You can tell a Kerouac devotee from a mile away. They usually wear outsider clothes reminiscent of the 1950s (khaki Dickie's type pants, short sleeve button-ups in mute tones, undershirts, usually wife-beaters, all of which is possibly frayed at the ends). Also, their hair has that look about it that makes one think of the 50s without the oil slick you'd normally see. If they smoke, they will, of course, roll their own cigarettes. Then there is the attempt at intellectualism. Very few pull this off, but they try. Its the whole attitude that they know they are smart, but they don't care, they just want to write. Maybe poetry, maybe the next great novel.
It's kind of a strange thing to see, but I've witnessed it in person- in college and quite a bit in Austin. They just bug me. I don't really know why, except maybe it just bothers me that people try to cop an image of who they want to be like instead of just being who they are. It seems as if they want someone else's life. I don't think Kerouac's life is the one to want, especially since he really did have major mental and alcoholic issues, dying at the age of 47 because his body just could not take the abuse anymore.
Anyway, the movie was an eye-opener for me and made me admire Kerouac even more. I took my mom and she really enjoyed it. This is a woman who really does not like documentaries much, especially the literary ones, but she related to him so much. The idea that, when he dried out completely, he could not create, so he had to remain mostly drunk all of the time to do his business. I could only imagine what that must have been like. I know that my mom has a difficult time being creative when she takes her meds, but she has a hard time functioning as a normal person when she doesn't, so she takes them. The whole thing has inspired me to give Kerouac another try. I've ordered a copy of the Anniversary edition of On the Road. It is the scroll edition, meaning everything Kerouac wrote is in it, not just the edited version. I hope I get past page 5 this time... if I do, I may try others, including Big Sur...

The greenhouse, the fireplace, and hot chocolate...

Mom, emerging from the greenhouse.

All of the plants are in place.

An almost full waterbarrel

The inagural fire.

Spiked hot chocolate.
The coolness has started to fall over Fort Worth, and the rest of Texas in general. A week ago, mom and I moved all of our plants we were not able to fit into our houses into the greenhouse. I love my greenhouse. I bought it last year in hopes of saving the hibiscus I spent quite a bit of money on, knowing I would use it for other plants as well. Brian and Kayla put it together mostly, while I helped and entertained the boys. This year, we finally got all of the gravel put in! I keep it warm with the sun (and sometimes a little heater, depending on how long it stays cold), as well as a large bucket of water, which helps create moisture for the plants.
Also updated is my fireplace. I finally got around to having the firewall fixed and a damper and chimney cap put in. This is something that has needed to be done for a while, but I just never had enough money to do it. I really didn't this time, and couldn't have, if I didn't have my mom to help. We've been sitting around a couple of days drinking wine, tea, coffee, and hot chocolate in front of it. Very nice.
I'm on my Thanksgiving break right now. I always look forward to this time, but I may actually be able to enjoy it this year. I don't have to grade papers, even though I do have two write two while I'm off. Winter break will actually be better since my graduate school semester will be over and I will have no TAKS benchmark essays to grade. I'll miss the extra pay, but I'll love the time to read and do whatever I want with my time off. It is certainly a nice thing to experience not having to worry about work while I'm home. I may actually get a book or two read, or possibly even write something... who would have thought?!?




Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Okay, now that was way too long for a New Post...

OK, so it has taken me, what, three months to do another post? Way too long, if you ask me. I guess that's what happens when you start a new job in a library, start graduate school classes again, and have your cancer-free mother at home while she recovers and has a second surgery (not that I'm complaining, just that it takes quite a bit of time!). Anyway, it hasn't stopped me from taking pictures of my doings for the past few months.

This was one of my watermelons I picked in August!

My lemon tree produced four large lemons. I picked them just a few days ago.

Mom and Ruby supervising the crushing of the cans for recycling by my little cousins.


Brian and Kayla doing the tree trimming (I helped!!!) so that I could have my chimney repaired.


Cody and Chase continuing the can crushing.
I am really going to try to keep this up. I love my blogging, so it shouldn't be too difficult. Just a few more weeks to go for my classes to be over, as well!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Long time gone...

Yep, it's been almost a month since my last post. I've been taking care of mom, who is now cancer free and in the process of breast reconstruction (she wouldn't let me take pictures of the progress for the blog, so, unfortunately you will all have to use your imaginations!). I have also been working on my library, trying to get it ready for the start of school next week, which I think will be almost impossible! I'm going to try to get back into the swing of posting, even though most of the garden has died away from the heat we had for a couple of weeks. I do have some lovely lemons and limes on the trees, though, so as soon as I pull out the camera, I will place pictures on here.

Thanks for all of your prayers! I promise I'll be posting more often!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mom's date has changed!

The date for my mom's mastectomy has changed from August 13th, to the 1st! I'm rushing around as I write trying to get my house, her house, and all of my school work done in time. Ugh...but I'm glad that it is not during the week of my library and school inservices. I will have a week to wait on her hand and foot before I have to disappear for a few hours every day. That makes it all good.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Update on Mom and a Cooler Colorado

Mom found out today that her surgery for her mastectomy will be on August 13th, so it was a very good thing that I decided to go to Colorado last week to visit my Dad. I'm not quite sure how all of the in-services are going to work out for my new librarian job, but we'll get to that when August hits.


Grannie and I left on July 5th and spent the night in Salida, CO (if you've read my screenplay, this is where it's set, guys!).

The water has been flowing rapidly with the snow melt. So much so, that it has flooded their little riverwalk.

You have to love a tiny town, though, that has bike racks on every corner and in front of most stores!
They also make great use of those unneeded horse troughs (I just had to take a picture of the sheep!).
Ok, so those pictures were actually from the 6th. Then a whole bunch of nothing happened, unless you count me going crazy trying to read as fast as I could to get my school work done as well as work on a group assignment paper. Oh, and I smoked brisket on the "big pit," and it was good, but no pictures because I didn't think about it until after it was all done.

So...fast forward to Saturday, July 12th- Grannie wanted to go to the Four Corners, so we did! We pretty much knew nothing about the area, so I looked up restaurants online and found a well-rated one on Tripadvisor.com called Tequila Family Mexican Restaurant in Cortez, CO. The food looked so great, I took pictures of it...

This was my incredibly spicy Chipotle Chicken burrito.


Dad had a very out of focus, but delicious Pork Green Chile Burrito.


Sharon, holding up a wonderful cabbage concoction that I've only had in Colorado, and had what we all agreed was the absolute best Chicken Mole enchiladas ever known to man.


Grannie played it safe and ordered a Beef Taco Salad. She said it tasted just like a taco salad.

Then, we were off, driving through Southwestern Colorado on Reservation land.


Here we are, in the Four Corners (actually, it looks like only on three of them).


Surrounding the platform are Navajo vendors selling their crafts- I walked away with a cedar seed bracelet a lady put on me to see if it would fit and then refused to take off ($5), an unusual dream catcher made of grapevine ($12), a recorder/flute ($3), a black with white-flecks stone carved turtle on a necklace, representing the creation story "The World on Turtle's Back" ($5), and a pair of silver hooped earrings with the "morning star" design that this little old man grabbed my hand and said that he had exactly what I was looking for and did ($20 from Grannie). Oh, and a sticker for my travel case ($3). I was told that all they had was a bunch of junk there, but almost everything I saw was handmade and the money was going directly to the people selling it, so I was happy.

Pretty near by is Mesa Verde National Park, a place I've always wanted to go to since I was little and stared at the cliff dwellings in National Geographic. It didn't take much whining to get my wish!

These two deer were creeping along the road near the visitors center.


This is the Palace ruins, the largest of the cliff dwellings in the park. I didn't go down into this one because it was getting late and I would be the only one going down. Besides, there was an easier one to get to that was free!

We took the short hike to the Spruce Tree House dwellings. They are the easiest to get to and are unique in that they are by a water source, allowing trees to grow right up to the dwellings.


Dad used his big walking stick to threaten the running children...I mean, walk down the trail.


The park services reconstructed a kiva so that visitors can see how they were once used.


I just thought this was cool and proof that we really did go! This made spending the week with my Grannie worth it all!
The last look of the park- Wildfires swept through in 1996, wiping out nearly 3/4ths of the parks trees. Nearly all of them are completely gone, but the undergrowth is growing strong.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July and Happy 2nd Birthday to Ruby and Henry!

Today is not only the 232nd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but also the date of my cute puppies birth two years ago. At least it is the date I have decided, because I'm not quite sure since I've never asked. Chris (who saw a sucker a mile away when he brought the crate of puppies to my house in late July of 2006), if you are reading this, just ignore it if I'm wrong!

Mom, holding Henry the night we got them in August 2006.


Me, with Ruby, that same night. I found out during that week that she has a desire to fly because she would wiggle out of my hands and fall right on the patio as often as she could!


What a cutie hiding with her duck under the rocker.


Ruby was a very photogenic puppy, here posing with her "dog worm," and showing off her one blue eye.


Tug-o-War in the study floor. I can't remember who won.

This is the only picture I could get of Henry looking in the camera when he was a puppy. He used to not even look people in the eye. I've worked with him on that and now he stares deeply into your soul with his brown beauties!


I have no idea how I was lucky enough to get this cute pose. Ruby almost looks like a bat in this one!


They were a little older here on our first (and really only) out of town trip with them to Hot Springs, Arkansas in October 2006. We found it is still kind of difficult to travel in the US with dogs, unless you are camping. There are just not very many dog friendly places.


This is one of the outtakes from their First Christmas card picture. They were so tired, I had to hold Ruby's head up just to get her in the frame. The picture I finally used was the very last one and then they went to bed.


Henry and his glowing eyes...

They pretty much attack my mom when she comes over after work from the bakery. I think they want to lick the icing off of her shirt and arms.


Ruby in her "bedroom."

Henry in his "bedroom."


I found out Ruby loves tomatoes when she stole this split one out of my hand as I was tossing it into the compost pile. She ran around the backyard with it until she decided to stop and eat the whole thing in about 5 minutes. It didn't make her sick, so I guess if I run out of dog food...


Happy 2nd Birthday, Pups!