Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This weekend, my friend and former college roomate Rachael came to visit me for a few days.  Most of my friends from college have drifted into acquaintance-ship but Rachael and a few others have remained for the long-haul...or at least I hope so! The greatest part about spending time with Rachael is that we don't really need to do anything special to have fun & we talk about anything and everything.  Even if we don't agree with each other, we say what we think, agree to disagree and move right along.  We spent time in a tire shop, twice, drove many miles on DFW toll roads, stayed up really late chatting, drinking mint water and watching HGTV, went shopping and even were pulled over....Gee, some things never change ;)  The irony in being pulled over is that minutes before, Rachael declared "wow, all the cars are flying around me...on both sides! I should probably speed up to go with traffic"  and then somehow that led us into a conversation about being pulled over and tips, not involving tears, to avoid tickets...  2 minutes later, blue and red flashing lights appeared behind us.  Thankfully, no ticket was given (probably because of recently discussed tips!) I think Rachael's car was targeted because of it's expired TX registration sticker..with oklahoma plates.  He claimed she was going 20 miles over the speed limit (which she wasn't!  She drove slow all day!!! I can attest to this!)  Anyway...we had a good laugh.  Here are a few pictures from the weekend
Rachaels first time in IKEA...I decided this room would be the dream homeschooling 'classroom'

Amazing Texas Sunset...no editing or color enhancing done

And, a picture taken minutes before Rach left town...which explains the delightful brick building in the background

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Water that tastes good

Have you tried this water?   It comes in many varieties but I especially like the peppermint water.
When Marilee was visiting, she decided to attempt her own version of mint water...and we here have been guzzling it by the glassful ever since. (seriously. I do not think I have been this hydrated-ever.)We initially mixed it glass-by-glass, but then Holly made a fortuitous mistake and added a teaspoon to a cup and a half of water.  It was less peppermint and more bengay.  Rather than waste the excessive amount of extract she had used, we put it in a pitcher and added more water.  It was still too strong, but we found that when a small amount was added to a glass and topped with water, it was perfect.  I wish I could tell you exactly how to make it but we have yet to figure out the perfect water-to-extract ratio (and Marilee discovered that not all extracts have the same potency-we use peppermint extract from Central Market here). So,  if you are made of 70% water and like peppermint, try it! Or buy the actual product-- I am sure metromint would appreciate it :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Week in Review Part 2: Blood and Cowboy's Stadium

On Friday morning, Ed left DFW for Denmark.  He had a sleep-less trip but made it safely to Copenhagen.  While Scout and I are having a good time here at my parent's house, I am looking forward to being together again!  I keep telling myself that it's much easier for Ed to do all the little tasks that he needs to accomplish there without worrying about S & I.  So, as of today, just 24 more days-not including travel!  Maybe I will make a paper chain :)

our first week in DC in February
 Saturday morning, Heather convinced me to join her in blood donation so that we could find out our cholesterol numbers--for free (Dave would be so proud).  Yes, I realize it's a round-about way of finding out ones cholesterol but Heather likes to give blood so I decided I would join her.  I have given blood before but the last time I did, I had a little problem.  Not during but after.  I was working at PacSun at the time and went during my lunch break.  I had juice and cookies--got a tshirt..Everything was great! Then I returned to work and slumped over the cash wrap. I didn't pass out but had a light head and grey-ing vision which ended with me resting on the floor of the stock room. Well, this was years ago so I decided that I was ready for another round.  And I was!  I filled my pouch in less than 10 minutes and again had my juice and granola bars and was feeling great, sitting down.  Heather had issues with her veins so wasn't able to give blood then and was ready to leave.   I told her that I would wait the full recommended 10 minutes before leaving.  At around 8 minutes, I decided to give standing a try. And then it happened again!  I texted Heather and told her I would be a bit longer--she told me to have them wheel me out to the car in a wheelchair. Ha, yeah right.  I stood up and scurried as quickly as possible, vision greying, to the car and threw myself into the passenger seat.  After a nap and lots of water, I am now back to normal and ready to give blood again someday.  I am curious to know how living in Denmark will affect my blood-giving eligibility...anyone know?
Heathbar & I

Heather and I again headed out on Saturday night to see her school's team play at Dallas Cowboys Stadium for a tournament.  While I am not a huge football fan, I had yet to see the new stadium on the inside so decided that I could watch some football in exchange for going inside.  It was quite nice. Now if only I could get into football...

Inside of Dallas Cowboys Stadium

We kept looking for 'pictures' in what the marching band was doing...finally we spotted something identifiable. 

Heather & Lauren- Go Buffs :) 
I did just read Tim Tebow's book and enjoyed it--maybe I am coming around to football...we'll see :)

Week in Review Part 1: Marilee & the revolver

It has been a busy week!  I've given blood, been to a football game at THE cowboy's stadium, sent my husband off to denmark to begin his next assignment and done a little shopping, shooting, socializing with my dear 'old' aunt Marilee.  (i said that to my mom today and I don't think she was very pleased :)

My dad took me to a shooting range for the first time many years ago.  I remember shooting a 'long' gun  at the junk yard my grandparents owned when I was younger but didn't shoot a handgun until college.  I loved it, and still do, though I don't have the opportunity to go as often as I would like.  On Tuesday, we went with my mom, dad, Marilee, and some of my dad's friends...there were 10 of us total and a lot of new(to me) guns to shoot.  I shot a revolver for the first time as well as a couple other guns that had serious recoil.  I had cramps in my forearms that evening from using muscles that must never get any use!
The revolver and pink ear muffs.  Pink is not my favorite color, but for some things, i love it :)

Mom & Marilee
A lesson in gun safety for M & M
Me & my dad
Throughout the rest of the week, Marilee & I made our 'fancy' grocery store rounds, visited an antique store and a few regular stores. I guess the DFW area doesn't have a lot of exciting sights to see but it does have an endless amount of variety in what you can purchase.  

What was supposed to be  a spontaneous picture while walking around turned into series of pictures as someone (i won't mention who, but she's on the right :) looked at each picture and insisted a new one be taken.  How digital cameras have changed the world...
It was a fun week & weekend with Marilee and my sisters! I am glad you could make it down for one last state-side party, Marilee!!  

Oh, and before I forget, I should mention that a Pinterest recipe actually came off the board and into the kitchen this week!  I love Pinterest and have a slight addiction to it, but it seems like a place to keep a lot of ideas that never actually get done.  But not for the Red Velvet Brownies!  I thought they were really good though my mom thought they were boring.  I would share a picture but the only one I took looks like meat (possibly because I didn't use all the red food coloring that was called for in the recipe-one WHOLE bottle???  that's crazy!)
Okay, here it is anyway.  See? Kinda meat-y.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


For someone who often says "you hurt my feelings", "I just had a feeling" and "That's just how I feel about it", I am not good at putting my true feelings into spoken words, and especially not written words.  Even though the "idea" behind my blog is that it is a diary that is read by people other than me, most of my 'diary' is filled with events and observations, not deep, dark secrets or feelings.  Today, I feel like I should express some of my feelings, even if for just a few sentences.

One of my mom's friends, who eventually became my own friend, died tonight.  Her name was Kelly. She made amazing food, was hard-working, godly and had a care-free but elegant style that I admired (she reminded me of suzanne somers, I think they were separated at birth).  I don't remember when I learned that she was sick, but a few weeks ago,  I told my mom that when I arrived in Texas, I wanted to visit Kelly. Unfortunately, I never made it down to where she was being treated. If I had, I would have given her a hug and thanked her for making my wedding beautiful.  She prepared all the food and made it look like a million bucks.  I would have encouraged her to remain strong and courageous, and to not be afraid...but I never had the chance.  I am saddened for the hole that is being left in her daughter's, family's and friend's lives.  I know she was greatly loved and will be greatly missed.

Recently, between the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Kelly's death, and other happy & sad events in the lives of my friends, I have often thought about the verses in Ecclesiastes 3:

1 There is a time for everything, 
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

And 12:13, at the end of the book, says this:

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 

I know Kelly lived through all the ups and downs of life while fearing God and keeping His commandments.  Even though I am crying and cannot sleep, I am happy that this life is not the end for her. Till we meet again Kelly...

S & P

Over the weekend, we traveled from DC to my parents house in the DFW area via Nashville (where we stayed overnight to visit Ed's family).  Traveling with Scout is extremely stressful--for us, not him.  He isn't afraid of riding in the car but becomes overly excited.  He pants, howls, paces from window to window, climbs over the driver's seat(and becomes wedged between the wall and seat-it's a circus I tell ya)...Needless to say, I was happy when we finally pulled into my parent's driveway.  I didn't take my camera out until we were a couple hours outside of Dallas on the 2nd day of driving. (which was the first time I could even relax for a few minutes..we were 2 hours from Keller--there was hope we would make it without throwing a beagle out the window)  Scout was so tired from his first day of mischief that he slept most of the 2nd day's drive, thank goodness. 
He actually slept on my lap which is a scout-miracle.  This never would have happened if he didn't have his sedative-laced treat.  Yep, he gets knocked out for road trips. 

Strange thing is that he fights sleep and never becomes is actually "knocked out". His eyes are droopier than a blood hound....but he keeps 'em open

To Scout's defense, most of our car trips are associated with moving in his mind, so I think he is worried about being left behind. He wants to keep and eye, or chin, on both of us. 

A beautiful Texas sunset.  Even Ed agrees with this statement.

Scout and Panzer, together again.

They are spoiled babies.  Panzer is jealous and Scout is selfish.  
Scout, howling at panzer over the tennis ball.

sort of friends 
 alpha dog in the chair?
my first pet ever, Charcoal.  She's an old lady now..

The Lion and the Lamb, sleeping next to each other.
You can make your own judgement as to who is the Lion and who is the Lamb.... :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Last post from DC

Today's the final day at our lovely sweet suite (as I've been calling it to myself).  It's neither lovely nor sweet but does the job.  I am finished sight-seeing for now and I did not finish my "list".  Its been raining all week thanks to tropical storm Lee which really put a damper on going out. I did visit Georgetown Cupcakes one last time on Tuesday for old-times sake :)  That place gets better every time I go- the frosting was still delicious and the cupcakes were both moist.  Only bad thing...I had the worst stomach ache (i accidentally typed stomache for stomach ache--that still makes sense though right?? they have nearly the same ending)   Here are our pictures from the past week:

Out in the rain.  This park is called "Dark Star Park."  Unusual.

A celebratory meal...I learned to open a hardshell crab and thought the yellow-green stuff inside
was butter with herbs.....I was just a bit off the mark with this assumption :)

On Tuesday, I did my last day of sightseeing.
I went to the Freer & Sackler Galleries & National Gallery of Art.
(this was another stranger-taken pic at sculpture garden)

Inside NG of Art.

When I left, it was no longer just sprinkling but pouring rain. I did a bit of running, jumping and splashing over and through these puddles to get to the metro.  I was soaked by the end but loved being out on the mall nearly alone. 

Scout & I walk to the park around Iwo Jima to see the DC skyline...

....but yesterday it was too foggy to see even the capitol so we looked at the flowers instead.
Side story to this park: Today on our morning walk, someone, someone important with a black entourage of cars and about 8 Secret Service agents pulled into the park in front of us and got out of their cars to see Iwo Jima.  Being the 'cool' local pedestrian that I am, I didn't want to stare so I never did see who was there. I had to chuckle to myself when rather than just getting in the car to leave, this important person used the porta-potty before hitting the road. The funny part was not that he was using a porta-potty but that all the secret service agents surrounded the porta-potty while in use.    Aww, the downside of being a public figure. 

I loved these.

  I like to take awkward-looking pictures of scout...
his nose looks huge and this wasn't even the worst of  them. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Postcard Love

I love postcards.  I am not sure when my love of them started, but I do remember the first time I went on a trip and sought out postcards to purchase.  I probably remember this distinctly because I still see them from time to time in my stationary drawer.  I went to Alaska with my dad in the 9th grade and bought about 20 postcards ranging from beautiful alaska sights to a bear ripping a wooden porta-potty off the top of a camper (Not sure what I was thinking with that one).  My love of postcards has continued through the years..I try to buy some for a few of my friends on every trip, and I have a few friends that remember me on most trips they go on.  I love it!  When I lived in Oklahoma, I covered the metal electrical box in my apartments with postcards from friends(held up by magnets from my magnet collection)  I recently saw this slightly more adult way of displaying postcards as well. 
 Thanks Young House Love!

Anyway, a few weeks ago (much to my delight), I discovered that another blogger, Michelle from Hot Pink Combat Boots, had a little postcard exchange set up on her blog between herself and whomever wanted to give and get a postcard. Obviously, postcard obsessed me is sending her a postcard from DC.  Once I am settled in Denmark, I may have to start up my own postcard-writing mill...though I may just be writing to the people I already write to now :)

Postcards from my recent DC adventures

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Jog (and a lot of walking) around the Tidal Basin

My Wednesday sight-seeing was actually sight-jogging.  I visited DC in the 6th grade, have had multiple visitors  over the past 6 months but I have never been inside the Jefferson Memorial.  It's not the most accessible sight to see in this town if you ask me.  So, rather than walking the mile from the closest metro stop, I decided I would just run from the metro and around the entire Tidal Basin.  It was sunny& warm, but not too hot.  There were not many people out and the lake was calm and pretty.  I will just share a few (or many) pictures...

Floral Library

First of many pictures of this...

This is the back of the Jefferson

A successful 'stranger' picture!  

Thomas up-close

closest I have been to a 'reflecting' pool here since the actual reflection pool is being revamped

Next stop around the lake--the FDR memorial.  Pretty place.

And the final stop around the lake--the brand new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Quote here is quite literal in the design of the memorial as seen in the next picture 

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington DC