Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Very Scary Story

Or Shoe Psychology 101

The Mister gave me a very generous birthday gift and then sent me off to the Mall to spend it.

Friends, this was ten full days ago. 240 hours ago. A whole-lotta minutes ago. And this is where the scary story begins...

I was in search of a Black Dress, because my old one is tired. But anyway, I went into the dressing room with a pile of clothes and dresses all in various shades of black, brown, denim and red, which has been my wardrobe color palette for the last decade (why do I always end up with clothes in these colors?). The dressing room Gal looks at me and says, "Can I get you a pair of pumps to try on with those dresses?"

"Sure," I say with a chuckle, "if you carry my size."

"What size would that be?"

Large, I think to myself, the biggest feet west of the Mississippi to be exact. My husband calls me Freddy, as in Flinstone.

"A size ten?", on a good day when there is no moisture in the air and my corns aren't bulging.

Really, my feet are about as wide as they are long. But I'm OK with it, for the most part.

She brings two pairs of black pumps. The first pair are solid back with slightly open toe and they look fabulous with the dress, and, AND! they are on sale. But they hurt. Just a little.

The other pair have a swoop-y bow type thing just before the open toe. They are much more comfortable, and twice the price. No thank you.

After a bit more shopping I decide it isn't worth the price to buy shoes that are uncomfortable, even if they were the cutest little things you could ever see, on sale, on a Saturday afternoon, when you are buying a Little Black Dress.

OK, here is the scary part.....

Are you ready...

I have been unable to stop thinking about shoes ever since I left that store. And! To add insult to injury, I have tried to go to the DSW twice since then and both times I was D-E-N-I-E-D! Hello? Why is your store closed so early on weeknights??

The second time was actually my fault, I booked too many errands in one day and didn't have sufficient browsing time.

I am just ITCHING to go buy a pair of shoes. OK maybe two pairs of shoes. I usually only buy new shoes* a couple times a year, in the spring and in the fall, but when i get the Buying New Shoes Bug, it comes with a vengeance.

(*except for running shoes, but they are not very fun.)

As a side note, I would like to tell you another story. This story will help you to understand my shoe issues, and perhaps, give you a glimpse at my longtime enjoyment of shoes.

When I was a young girl of seven or eight years, my Mom took both my little brothers and I to the doctor. Unfortunately we all had to have shots. My Mom, kept mum on the subject, no doubt to keep the peace, and keep trauma down to a minimum.

I can remember the very moment that I knew we were gonna get shots. The examinations were over but we were told to stay. I just knew, by the unspoken words and the feel in the air, that that nurse was going to come in and give each of us immunizations. I began to get nervous.

You see, I had a fear of shots back in those early days, and I must have had a propensity for dramatics (although I have never, no, not ever, been accused of being dramatic) because my Mother began damage control, before things got out of hand.

I can distinctly remember a pair of espadrille sandals I had been dreaming about; they were blue, and they were beautiful. I can remember fretting over the pain that was to come when my Mom leaned over to me, looked straight into my eyes, and said in very serious and well thought out tones, that if I took my shot like a man, she would buy me those sandals.

And something magical happened inside my little mind. I had a mission. I had to be brave.

I can remember the nurse taking my left arm, and turning my head to the right, and I did it; I took a shot in the arm, and didn't even wince. Oh! sweet blue espadrilles that tie around my ankles, come to mama!

We went straight from the Doctors office to the shoe store, and a precedence was set.

I think the real reason why I like to buy shoes in the fall is because deep down in my psyche I am afraid. I am afraid because October is when Americans celebrate Halloween. And to assuage my fear I must buy shoes.

So it is my Mother's fault that I am obsessed with shoes.

Mwha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Haaaaa!

I told you this was a very scary story....Aren't ya scared?

Happy Halloween from your shoe lovin' friend at La Vida Dulce!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Candy Corn Coma

Oh y'all! I have to type fast because I am typing on a sugar rush. This means that in approximately 6 minutes I will have a sugar crash and be rendered unconscious (or just really grumpy). So I better type fast!

If you have been reading for the last month you will know that I ran in a race 8 days ago. In the weeks before the race I cut out refined sugar from my diet. This was REALLY hard for me, because I happen to enjoy sugar.

I have a theory: You either love refined sugar products or you don't. I'm talkin' candy corn, peeps, circus peanuts, Junior Mints, etc. If you love these things you probably ADORE cotton candy. I fall into this camp.

If you don't enjoy refined sugar in its many varieties, then (usually) you don't like cotton candy. If you fall into the second camp, it's OK. We can still be friends, as long as you enjoy chocolate or coffee. Oh, or ice cream. On the La Vida Dulce food chain ice cream is a crucial link. I mean, if you don't eat ice cream how do you get dairy into your diet? But I digress...

So back to my Sweets Sit Out. I decided to cut sugar out before the race because in the last several years I have found that eating refined sugars can really change my mood and completely drains my energy. I wanted to feel completely on my game when I was running. Now the race is over, so I threw caution to the wind.

I love "October" treats. I would never turn down some candy corn, but what really calls my name are the sweet little Mellowcreme Pumpkins. I thought about them in the weeks before the race. For heavens sake, I thought about them while I raced. Then I kept forgetting to buy them all. Week. Long.

Until yesterday. I bought a small package, but as I type, I am eating the last one. Luckily for me, The Boy was born with my sweet tooth and so I can't say that I ate the whole bag, but it was close.

Another "October" treat I enjoy are caramels. I made 35 caramel apples today for my Mom. She is giving them away as gifts to her clients. You would be proud of me. I only ate two of them. Caramels, not apples. But that was only because I had already ingested a bag of the cutest little pure sugar pumpkins you have ever seen. The other reason I didn't partake in the consumption of too many caramels is because I haven't found a dentist here yet, and I was a little concerned about the five billion dollars worth of dental work in my mouth.

You know you're getting old when you pass up on holiday treats because you are worried about your crowns.

Anyway, I have had my candy corn fix for the year and now I can move on...and that's exactly what I will be doing at the gym for the next 5 days, moving on, and on, and on.

Tell me, are you a refined sugar aficionado, or are your tastes more refined?

PS: It took me 45 minutes to unwrap 8 packages of Milk Maid caramels for this project today. All I can say is that using my Mother's sassy red pot and watching their huge TV with cable helped immensely! I watched 50 First Dates. It was cute. Almost as cute as Mellowcreme Pumpkins.

La Vida Dulce!

Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway

I'm excited to be participating in my first Bloggy Giveaway hosted by Rocks in My Dryer.

I made this, purple ballet skirt, (and fourteen others!) and it has only taken me an entire year to unload them! This is my last one, which has been happily living in my closet, and has lived in not one, but two, states. So, by the time it reaches the lucky winner it will quite possibly be the best traveled ballet skirt on earth.

Leave me a comment to let me know you want to be included in the drawing and then go check out what others are giving away and sign up there too! I will use a random number generator on the morning of Saturday, November 3rd to pick the winner.

The Good News? You don't have to be a blogger to participate! But you do have to have a valid email address.

The Bad News? I'm sorry, but I can only mail to addresses in the US and Canada.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's All About Me

I was fully prepared to get up early this morning.

My eyes opened to a room full of sunlight! Aughh!!! What time was it?

I rolled over and looked at the clock and it said 5:38 am. Why was it so bright out side?

The Mister always sleeps with his watch on his night stand and according to his clock (and every other clock in the house) it was 6:38 am.

Now, under normal circumstances I have made it a habit to not think before I have ingested at least 4 ounces of coffee. So you can imagine what a stress it put on my mind to wake up and find myself in some weird time zone. Oh! and, Holy Moses! please don't let this weird time problem have interfered with the coffee timer!

I changed my clock over to the correct time, and then drank twice as much coffee to makeup for the lost hour.

One of the beautiful things about living in Arizona is that we do not practice daylight savings time. I have always been somewhat of a "creature of habit" so the practice of changing the time always irritated me.

For the last ten years we have not lived in AZ and it was always hard to change the schedule twice a year as we "fell behind and sprang ahead". One of the things that really bothered me was the actual process of changing the time. Do you do it before you go to bed? But then if you wake up in the middle of night, and it's before midnight, then you had to adjust the real time in your head. Or if you woke up after midnight you had to think about the hour of time you were either losing or gaining....I never said I wasn't crazy.

This problem was not the only problem I had as I would normally spend the entire week thinking things like this: Hmmm, it's 11:00pm and I am hungry. The reason I am hungry is because my body thinks it's noon and that is when I eat lunch...

I could devote an entire blog to the mind games I play to get myself through time-changes, but I don't have that kind of time.

I bought a clock several years ago that solved that crazy clock changing dilemma for me. It automatically changed the time while I was sleeping and I never had to think about it....until today.

Apparently, last night was supposed to be the night for the change, but the Powers That Are Allowed To Mess With The Time And Consequently My Schedule decided to move the night of daylight saving time to next week...but they did not bother to inform my clock.

So this morning I participated in daylight savings time on the wrong weekend and in a state that doesn't even acknowledge that it exists.

Oh please tell me I am not the only one!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lavishly Loved

I promise that after today I will stop talking about my birthday.

OK, I won't promise, but I will give it a real good effort.

Anyhoo, as I mentioned before, over the last couple of weeks I have received an amazing amount of phone calls, cards, notes, emails, and yes, presents. They all mean more to me than you can possibly know. Especially because the givers all know me so well.

Last night Mrs. Moofish took me out for a birthday dinner. It was so fun to hang out (without our kids!) and really have a good chat.

She brought me a present and I opened it with great anitcipation and was so excited!!!!

No more washing machine salad for me! Now, you might think to yourself, why all the excitement over a salad spinner? Well, for the record, I have been known to cry over a bread maker, and squeal with delight over a Crock-pot (For the Mom's from the TX group, do you remember that awesome evening?)

This is just one of the many nice things that was done for me over the last few weeks and I just have to say thank you again (although proper notes are in the mail!) for loving me lavishly with your words, calls, notes, gifts, emails, and yes, salad spinners. Every bit of it makes me feel so rich!

Happy Friday!

La Vida Dulce!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Problem Solving in Marriage

After the race on Sunday my knees were pretty sore. So sore, in fact, that I could barely walk up and down steps, curbs, or even sit down without pain. When I crawled into bed on Sunday night I began to remember a cartoon sketch on Sesame Street of a curly haired girl who is a bit lazy. She lays around all day. Her knees don't like this, and we are privy to a conversation between her two knees about how they would be happier if they got to jump and run and play. Does anybody else remember this sketch? Or am I delusional? You never know. Especially after running 10.3 miles.

Well, that night my knees were talking. What they were saying to each other wasn't nice or family friendly, so I won't repeat it here.

Anyway, I was going to find that sketch on the Internet and post it, but I couldn't find it... I did find other great memories from my childhood, like the video posted this morning.'s the confession...Wednesday night is usually reserved for The Mister and I. We usually challenge each other to a game of Backgammon or Scrabble over a large bowl of ice cream (which is the most important part). Last night I made him watch Sesame Street clips on You Tube, over a piece of left over birthday cake.

My kids never really got into Sesame Street when they were little. This is what comes of having all the choices that we have in today's culture. When I was a kid Sesame Street was all that was on and we LIKED IT! Of course, before we watched it we had to walk to school, up hill, both ways, in the snow 175 degree weather...but I digress.

My indulgent and long-suffering husband finally realized that I wasn't going to let him leave the computer, so he decided to play. He wanted me to find the clip that follows this post.

Which brings me to THE POINT of this post!!! As I watched it I began to laugh as i envisioned The Mister and I trying to problem solve in early marriage. In the beginning it went like this: Teething?....Get the book...use pain releiver...yip...yip...yip...yip....; Family Bed? get the book....nope...nope...nope...nope....; Education...get the book? Uh hu...Uh hu...Uh hu.....

We still problem solve like this, except now we use the internet. Case in point: Fourth Grade Math.

The Boy came home with a worksheet full of problems that looked like this:

Change 0.236 into a fraction.


I delegated to The Mister and he looked it up on the internet.

Uh hu...Uh hu...Uh Hu...

So if you and your Mister need some new problem solving skills I highly recommend trying this concept out. Especially on those problems that seem to work themselves out anyway. I mean most kids (and parents) survive teething and fourth grade math right?

PS: If this is a representation of The Mister and I, he says he gets to be the blue one.

My Menu

Here is the song version of what my meal plan will be like for the next week. Actually, it's more for when someone in the La Vida house comes into the kitchen and says they are hungry and asks, "What do we have to eat?"

This is what I am going to sing to them.

Raise your hand if this brings back memories for you. Who remembered that Rita Morena and Morgan Freeman started their amazing careers with such humble beginnings?

Check back later this afternoon for a video on how The Mister and I solve problems together.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


It seems I am in a bit of a cooking slump.

This happens to me a couple times a year. I get stuck in the grilled chicken, rice and green vegetable rut. Or more accurately, the bean burrito, turkey taco, scrambled egg, grilled chicken, rice and green vegetable rut. Oh yeah, and that same tired salad, with the same tired dressing.

The Boy gently told me last week that he couldn't remember the last time he had red meat, and "How come we always eat chicken all the time?"

Well, sweet Boy, frozen chicken comes in big, convenient, bags at the Costco, and red meat can be expensive, and eating it all the time isn't all that healthy, but I get what your are feeling my rut.

I think The Girl may be feeling it to. When she asked me 15 minutes ago what we were eating for dinner I told her Turkey Tacos. To which she sweetly replied (without skipping a beat), "Have I ever told you that I am taco intolerant?"

OK, I think I will pull myself out of that river in Egypt: Denial.

I am in a rut. I do like cooking but I have gotten out of my "Schedule-a-Two-Week-Meal-Plan". Doing this is both a time and money saver. But planning takes quite a bit of organization. Organization os always something I have to be intentional about doing. I think I need to make some time for meal planning.

So here's my goal, Dear Internets, I am going to take a chunk of time on Friday and plan.

Meanwhile, what do you do when you are in a cooking rut? This inquiring mind really wants to know!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Movin' On

Are you as sick of reading about running and birthdays as I am about writing about them?

Well good, at least we are on the same blog then. Let's move on. Here is random craziness for you:

I must tell tell you I am wearing a sweater. A beautiful green, long sleeve, v-neck sweater. In the Desert. In October. This morning it was cold and windy. Like 44 degrees cold. However, right now it is 81degrees. I am in a dilemma because I don't really want to change my sweater because that requires I make a decision on another top. Which, seeing that my decision to wear this sweater took 49 changes into different shirts this morning, I can tell you with complete certainty that I don't have the time to figure out what I want to wear this afternoon. On the other hand, I don't really like being hot either. OH! to have dilemma's like mine! Could we all be so lucky?

Also, if you are the beautiful young girl who waits at the high school bus stop out side my house every morning when I take my kids to school, I have two pieces of motherly advice (because it seems quite obvious that your mother hasn't told you.....)

Number One: Never, under any circumstances, is it of good taste to wear a black br@ under a white t-shirt (especially one that is somewhat tight and transparent). I am not exaggerating to say that you are a gorgeous young woman, but the aforementioned attire is very unattractive.

Number Two: You and your boyfriend make a cute couple, however sharing very private moments on a street corner together is very tacky. Hey, I love PDA (Public Display of Affection; holding hands, a sweet kiss here and there). But please! whats happening between y'all on my street corner borders on gross.

OK, I think I am done.

I think I need caffeine. OH! RATS! I was supposed to be at The Boy's classroom to help the teacher 15 minutes ago!

Have I mentioned that last Thursday I woke up 15 minutes late and I have been 15 minutes late to every event since! AUUUGGHHHHH! I gotta get with it!

La Vida Dulce

Monday, October 22, 2007

We Did It!

Good Monday Morning! Wow, what a fantastic weekend! Last night I was exhausted. But today I have energy and my heart is so filled by the great weekend.

I will start with the race. The weather was perfect and I felt ready even though I didn't sleep much on Saturday night. Pictured above is my brother (#34), and his friend (#100) after we all crossed the finish line.

Here is where I eat a little crow. My brother was smokin'! I was proud to be running with him (if not next to him! or better yet ahead of him!). All in all, I made good time finishing the 10.3 miles in 1hour:42 minutes, but was still 5 minutes behind my brother (1:37) and 9 minutes behind his friend (1:33). I ran about a 10 minute mile, but I did it feeling really strong the whole way. I didn't have any knee or hip pain while running, which is a problem that has plagued me since my dancing years. Last night, and this morning, my knees are a bit sore but not at all as bad as I expected them to be.

There was a funny moment before the race when I picked up my racing packet...the guy giving out the bibs looked at me and said, "Number 29, this is a great number!" I told him I loved it! That it was my 35th birthday, but that my number was going to encourage me to run like a 29 year old! Later I took a Sharp-y to it!

One of the things I was really looking forward to doing in this race was running across two new bridges here in town. One of those is the Rattlesnake Bridge. I didn't get a picture of the tail but it is huge and rattles when you enter through it!

This is my brother heading toward the finish line, which is about 20 yards ahead of him! He did great. The fun part was that along the entire 10 mile route his cop friends were directing traffic and pointing out the course, so we had encouragement all along the way! Another great motivator was the two places along the route where they had professional Japanese drummers. That was really, really cool and oh so encouraging!

The Boy, The Girl, Jasmine Cat and The Mister were all standing near the finish line to give high fives and to cheer. It was great to see their smiling faces and to hear their shouts of encouragement!

The Girl and Jasmine Cat sharing a donut.

Later in the afternoon we went to see a matinee at a dinner theater here in town. It was a blast! I did find it kind of ironic to find that our table in the theater happened to be in the middle of a huge group of gray haired ladies. Apparently the southwest chapter of the D.A.R. had all met there for a social event. Just so you can picture this, the American Revolution was in the 1890's so if these were the actual daughters of men who were patriots, then well, these ladies were quite mature, if you know what I mean. I hope I am that spry 50 years from now!

After the show we went to my Mom and Dad's house where they had a Basking Robbins ice cream cake in my favorite flavors! They also made me feel better by putting a 32 on the cake and adding three candles. Somehow it worked! (You can't see them but there are actually Hershey Kisses on that cake my parent's know me or what?)

So there you have it. I wish I could tell you details about Saturday too! There was shopping and new clothes and spaghetti dinner. So! Much! Fun!

But back to Sunday, there are many details and little things that meant a lot: my parents getting up super early and bringing their RV to the finish line so we could have celebratory donuts and coffee after the race. Seeing Jasmine Cat at the start of the race, her arms up in the air, cheering on her Daddy. There was also a nap in the early afternoon; pizza for dinner; teaching my kids the chicken dance (my parent gave me a card that plays the chicken dance song); and coming home to find e-mail, comments, phone messages and cards I had saved from snail mail during the week. I was really tired when we came home last night so I haven't actually opened/read the letters, cards and e-cards, emails or listened to the messages yet. I wanted to do that when my brain was fresh and when I could savor them.

From surprise birthday parties to ice cream cake, this was one birthday weekend that will be hard to beat! But, the housework put off since Thursday will now have to be dealt with!

Happy day!

La Vida Dulce!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Birthday Morning Prayer

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
~Hebrews 12:1-3

It's 5:15, it's very dark out side, and I am drinking just a bit of coffee trying to wake up for the race. We will leave in about 40 minutes. I woke up thinking about this scripture this morning. I always think it's in Corinthians, so I had to look it up...I 'm glad I did.

I 'm praying that this morning I can run with perseverance the 10 miles laid out before me in the next few hours, but more importnatnly, on this my 35th birthday I am reminded that life is like a race: sometimes it's easy and I feel I can go full tilt; sometimes it's hard and I can't catch my breath. There are pitfalls, and hills, and blisters and if you don't drink enough water there is deep aching thirst. There are good things too, the sights, the sunrise, the people and of course the finish line...all laid out by God. The course is not a mystery to Him .

I am thankful for the blessing of God, and I pray that I will finish the race of the day, and of my life, strong and with my eyes on Him.

As a side note can I tell you how thankful I am to God that he brought this scripture to mind in wee hours if this morning? It is proof to me that drinking coffee is know, He-brews...reading the scripture and drinking the coffee felt like the sweetest birthday gift!

OK, I am off! I'll update with pictures in a few short hours!

A very grateful, La Vida Dulce!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


OH! You don't know how hard it has been to not write about this!! But for the last month or so my Dad and I have been planning a surprise 60th birthday party for my Mom. Today is her actual birthday, but last night was the surprise of all surprises!

Have I ever told you that I just LOVE surprise parties!

Anyway, my Dad and I came up with a list of people that have been their friends for like, forever! These are people that I have literally known all my life. So it was very, very fun.

Let me tell you what was very hard. I sent out invitations and everyone RSVP'd to my phone number so I have been talking on the phone with all these folks and it was so hard not to mention in passing that I had just had a 30 minute conversation with her friend the night before.

I thought, for sure, that my Mom knew something was up. While we were on the phone the other day I tried to throw her off the trail, but I truly think she was oblivious, so it was totally unneccesary. However, I couldn't talk to her about her birthday face-to-face because I am horrible at hiding surprises. They are just too exciting.

There was a small snafu when we arrived at the party. Apparently the owner of the restaurant failed to make any notation (or anything) that we were to have 35 people for the party. When my sister-in-law arrived 30 minutes before the party was to start they had no idea that there was a party scheduled. They weren't set up, nothing. So, we were scrambling. The manager called the owner and they very quickly set up tables and things went off well, but whew!, that was very unsettling.

We were seated out in the patio and the weather was fabulous, cool with a light breeze. The best of the best fall Arizona evening. It was great.



Happy birthday! It was fun to be here in town to celebrate with you and all your friends who have shared life with you over the years.

It was great to have a project with Dad. He loves you so very much. I wish that you could've seen him in his planning; I wish you could've heard the phone calls we have had in the last week. His excitement and desire to do something nice for you had me smiling on more than one occasion. He is crazy about you.

I am too.

Love your "I-Had-a-Glass-of-Wine-on-My-Birthday-35-Years-Ago-and-
Went-Into-Labor-The-Next-Day" Girl,


Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Four and a Happy La Vida Moment

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My List is the Four Things I am doing (as part of training) before The Big Race on Sunday.

  1. Carbo Loading.

Yesterday, after lunch I wanted something sweet. Through a series of events this week we ended up with Mint Milano Cookies in the cupboard. I ate three, all right, four as a means of adding carbs to my diet..

2. Shaving my Legs.

I am certain this will cut down my time by at least 4 minutes. Don’t laugh. You haven’t seen my legs.

3. Getting my hair colored/trimmed, and the brow waxed.

See number 2. Also no woman, in her right mind should be seen at a 7a.m. starting line with no make-up and roots. Plus, you must look your best if you have to be carried across the finish line by a stretcher, ambulance, or even worse, your younger brother.

4. Buying a New Outfit.

Because shopping can be an aerobic exercise (with all that trying clothes on and stuff.) My whole training program has been based in cross-training, which makes for a well-rounded athlete with less injury.

OK, Enough about running....and changing the subject with out good transition....

I couldn't possibly list only four things that make me happy, but on that very long list, I would have to say packages in the mail are way up at the top.

This week I got a package from Lara with not one, but two different Central Market Coffee's: Taste of San Antonio (which is a close second to my discontinued favorite, La Vida Dulce.) and Taste of Austin, which is just plain delicious.

She also sent me the two books pictured above! Y'all know what I will doing after the race! Well, after the CPR and hot compresses and stuff...

Although I usually try to keep the blogging down to a minimum over the weekend, this weekend is gonna be chock-full of good blogging, so be sure to check in!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oh No She Didn't!

Oh Yes! I. Did.

i might as well just tell you right now that this post is about lettuce.

That's right. You heard correctly. Lettuce.

You see I have lettuce issues. I like a good, fresh, crisp salad with lots of goodies on it. Peppers, avocados, tomato, cucumber, jicama, celery, and a few sprinkles of feta cheese and Tours Mix. (if you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and can get your hands on this mix, you won't be is very enjoyable!)

Anyway, the base of a good salad is of course lettuce. For the record, I hate bagged salad, with the exception one you can buy at Costco called Grand Parisian which, quite frankly could convert any meat and potato eater into a gen-u-ine rabbit, I guarantee. But I digress...

The thing about bagged salad is that it always seems to go bad, very quickly. And because I eat salads just about everyday, either as a lunch with lots of hearty stuff on it or as a side with dinner, I have to buy several bags to get me through the week. Which means that the first two bags remain good and tasty but the third always ends up slimy and gross, and as you know, my fridge doesn't need anything else slimy and gross.

A couple years ago I started buying one Romaine lettuce and one Red Leaf. The great thing about buying lettuce like this is that you get 3 times as much for the money and it lasts longer. The down side? You have to wash it yourself. Which is a total bummer. ( Don't you feel sorry for me?)

You have to get the leaves dry or else they will spoil in the fridge and I have long said I should buy a salad spinner but, for some reason, I always forget. OK, actually the truth is that I am cheap and when I look at spinners that are $25 bucks I tend to think they are over rated...until I need dry lettuce.

I had seen one of my fave cooking show hosts (back in the cable days) Alton Brown put his washed lettuce in a pillow case and used the spin cycle on his washing machine to dry the leaves. I had decided that I would never do this because, 98% of the time, my washing machine is filled with the clothes a 10 year old boy. Not something I would want to mix with my salad.

Yesterday, I was desperate. I couldn't stand the thought of using twenty-whole-minutes hand drying lettuce using fourteen kitchen towels, because, 1. I just got caught up in laundry and, 2. I could use some of that time to blog this urgent and important homemaker tip to the Internet.

So, I put my lettuce in a clean pillowcase and gave it a whirl in the old Kenmore. And! It! Worked!!

I had to re-arrange it and turn it over a couple of times, but it was so easy! The lettuce didn't crush or get loose in the washer and now it is all happy and crisp in my fridge, just waiting for lunch time!

You know there are things I never thought I would find exciting in the homemakers life, certainly putting your lettuce in the wash is one of those things, but in home making and parenting I have learned to never say never!

La Vida Dulce!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Wednesday Word - The Big Reveal

I mentioned in a post a couple days ago that I would be making my Arizona stage debut. And it's true. But there is a story behind it...

My Mom has had the same manicurist for 15 years. She's a nice lady with a big heart. She goes to a small church that has little money. Last year, when I didn't live here, she felt God had placed it on her heart to organize a concert to raise money for the Women's ministry. She said that last years concert was her first, and that she had learned a lot, but she was able to raise about $200 for the ministry, a considerable chunk of change for her little church of "old ladies and bikers", her words not mine.

Several weeks ago, my mom called and said that the manicurist had asked if I would be interested in singing in the concert this year. For the love of my mother, her friend and a curiosity about what this was all about I called the Manicurist.

We set up an appointment for a free pedicure so she could give me the details. Meanwhile I prayed about it and spoke with The Mister and decided that since it benefited women's ministry (which is near and dear to my heart) it would be a good thing to do.

My excitement grew as I anticipated my pedicure and the chance to sing some songs that I have really been wanting to sing.

In my heart I had committed to singing. I had prayed and the Lord had said Yes!

So I sit down in the salon and she begins to work on my feet and she starts talking details about the concert. I tell her I like her idea and basically tell her that I will be happy to sing for her concert.

Suddenly, the room was filled with talk; with the truth about last years concert. For lack of a better word, It sucked.

As a matter of fact the other manicurist in the salon, along with the client she was working on had sworn they would never go to another one of these concerts, if The Manicurist had the guts to organize another one.

So I am sitting there and am stuck between the lovely feeling of this woman working on my feet and the growing pit in my stomach that this gig wasn't going to be like singing at The Met (not that I have ever done that.)

As the days have passed my attitude of pride has grown bigger and bigger and I have become more doubtful, more insecure. Especially last night when she told me that she had a lady bag pipe player lined up for two to three songs. What?

I have been unable to get a hold of the piano player. I have never laid eyes on her, nor do I know is she can accompany singers (there is a big difference between a piano player and an accompanist!) and I started thinking that i probably wouldn't invite anyone to the concert, lest it be something I wouldn't be proud of. Or worse, wold be something I would be embarrassed I had participated in.

This morning in my quiet time I was humbled when I read this:1 Cor 10:30 -

....whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

This is the heart of my problem, as ugly as it is... You see, I am hung up on myself. This concert is not about me, or my talents, or my reputation! 'Cuz y'all, if I am honest that is what I am worried about.

What will people think of me if I am involved in something less than excellent? What will I do if I feel embarrassed by the other performers? What if weeks after the concert a bunch of ladies are all sitting around the salon talking about how horrid things were and that they will never go to something like that again.

Hello? Can we say diva?

I do believe the Lord has placed this opportunity in front of me for a reason. I hope that I can sing something of excellent quality, with a piano player who is actually able to play, but the reality is that it really doesn't matter, as long as I remember that it is about bringing glory to God. Who cares about my reputation when God is willing to use me for His glory? And He knows what my reputation is!

So that's the Word floating around in my head today; Bring glory to God. And not just in times when I am on "stage", but in the mundane things, or the things in life where I shlep my doubt and insecurities.

As a side note, one of the songs I am singing is by Cindy Morgan, Thank you, Lord.

Today I am thanking Him, because he uses me in spite of myself. And blesses me beyond measure. How could I ask for more?

Thank you Lord
There's nothing like the warmth of a summer afternoon
Waking to the sunlight, and being cradled by the moon
Catching fireflies at night
Building castles in the sand
Kissing Mama's face goodnight
Holding Daddy's hand
Thank you Lord, how could I ask for more
Running barefoot through the grass
A little hide and go seek
Being so in love, that you can hardly eat
Dancing in the dark, when there's no one else around
Being bundled 'neath the covers, watching snow
Fall to the ground
Thank you Lord, how could I ask for more
So many things I thought would bring me happiness
Some dreams that are realities today
Such an irony the things that mean the most to me
Are the memories that I've made along the way
So if there's anything I've learned
From this journey I am on
Simple truths will keep you going
Simple love will keep you strong
Cause there are questions without answers
Flames that never die
Heartaches we go through are often blessings in disguise
So thank you Lord, oh thank you Lord
How could I ask for more

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fridgerator Blues

Have you ever gone to your Tupperware cabinet (anything that stores leftovers is called Tupperware in my house), and found it nearly empty. You can't figure out where in the world all the containers are?

But then you walk to the fridge to find a cheese stick, because it's lunch time and you just came home from bible study and you have 25 minutes before you have to walk out the door again to go volunteer in your daughters classroom, and suddenly, although you opened that fridge 18 at least times at breakfast this morning, your amazed to see that every blasted container known to man is in your fridge. Some have unidentifiable things in them?

You are tyring desperately to find a lonely cheese stick because you went to the tortilla factory and picked up fresh, right-off-the-griddle, hot, flour tortillas, and the oatmeal you had for breakfast wore off 2 hours ago... (Those tortillas are going to be the end of me...pun totally intended.) You find the cheese stick and think about cleaning out the fridge because something might be living in there.

But then you opt out, cuz eating a cheese stick in a hot tortilla should not be eaten while looking at a container that is growing something unnatural-like.

Then, because everything you do is now a blog-post-in-the-making, you sit down to confess to others that you are horrible fridge cleaner, but what's worse is that you are secretly plotting a plan to just throw out those containers and go buy new ones?

Do you think I (I mean you) could get away with it?

Yeah, I didn't think so either.

But, to make myself feel better, and so I can finish my cheese stick burrito, I think I will go to Fridgewatcher , that way I can feel better about my foul fridge focus (or lack thereof).

I might post my fridge on that site as soon as I clean it and make everything look organized and tidy and well, not green...

No, just kidding! I think posting pictures and writing about a lot of nothing, on the Internet is the silliest thing I have ever heard. Who in the world would do that?

Wait a minute......

Monday, October 15, 2007

Five Minutes

I have exactly 5 minutes before I go pick the kids up from school.

I have been busy trying to clean up after three weeks of fall break. I wanted to blog before the kids got home but I ran out of time!

What can I get posted in five minutes?

Well, I probably won't have time to spell check, which is always a little scary because I am a terrible typist. I can actually spell very well, but my typing is horrendous!

I always hate the first day back to "routine" after having a full house. I miss everybody, you know?

This week is a bit nerve racking as I anticipate the race in 6 short days, but also I have something else coming up very shortly that has me biting my fingernails just a bit. I am excited to tell you about it but since I have only 1 minute and 52 seconds in which to wrap this thing up it may have to wait. Let's just say I will be making my Arizona stage come-back and it won't be a Foley's Tap dancing shopping bag.

All time is up, only because I seriously have to run a spell check or else y'all with think I never went to the very least you will know that I never took typing in high school or college! (that's he truth!)

La Vida Dulce!

Friday, October 12, 2007


I have been holding back this story because I was uncertain if it was tacky, but I had an anonymous comment (that wasn't so anon) on the post about My Nest that made me think it might be time to share...

I have always been a heavy water drinker. Part of the reason is that I grew up in the desert and my car did not have air conditioning, so I would always have a large drinking device with LOTS of ice and water. This always kept me cool when driving from place to place. The other part would be that when I was a youngster', about 17, I read an article that stated drinking great green gallons of water would make you skinny. What they failed to leave out of that article was that you would be skinny, if that's all you consumed. Although I don't believe that old myth about water drinking I still consume a large amount of water.

Now I drink because I, again, live in the desert, and (even before I was training for a race that is 8 days from now!) I have kept a fairly sweaty workout schedule for many years.

Oh and also, I consume a teeny bit of caffeine in a day which can be dehydrating, so I try to balance things out with good H2O.

All that to say, I have sort of become infamous for the water bottles I always have on hand. The typical bottle being the small one pictured above.

One day several years ago I was hanging out at Lara's house drinking coffee and eating something delicious. Her parents were visiting from out of town. This was the first time I had met them.

A couple of weeks after her parents had left Lara was on the phone with her Dad, giving him details on a day we had just spent together. Her Dad had met a few of Lara's friends on that visit and he was having trouble placing who I was. Lara tried to give him some descriptive details: Brown hair, two kids, lives down the street. Remembering, he said "Oh! Kellie! The girl with big jugs."

It took Lara a few minutes to understand that he was, of course, talking about my enormous water bottle.

I have to tell you, I have been described in many ways but nobody has ever said that about me.

Hey, I'll take what I can get.

I still shlep around water bottles. ( I just bought a new pink one!)But now I also have to buy water in even bigger bottles 'cause the water here tastes pretty bad.

Mr. M, that story still makes me laugh!

La Vida Dulce!

Friday MeMe

How happy am I that June tagged me for this meme? Which, by the way is all about me me. How did she know I needed something to write about today?

Here it goes!

Jobs I’ve Had:
1. Tap dancing shopping bag at a Foley’s grand opening.

I have actually been looking through boxes of old pictures at my parents house to post. I know it exists, I just have to find it. The costume was pretty incredible.

2. ICEE Bear promotional bear.
I was in a huge bear costume and passed out coupons to little kids at the front door. This only lasted about 1 summer because wearing a polar bear costume is hotter than you-know-where.

3. Nanny.
This job made me feel smug and superior about having children of my own. Things are a whole lot different when you don’t clock out at 6 pm.

4. Ballet teacher.

This was especially amusing when I was 7 months pregnant with The Girl. Think dancing Hippos in Disney’s Fantasia.

Places I’ve Lived:
1. Arizona
2. San Antonio, Texas

3. Fort Worth, Texas
4. North Carolina

Food I Love:
1. Tortilla’s
2. Peanut M&M’s and Popcorn mixed together while the popcorn is still warm
3. Coffee ( I know this isn’t a food exactly, but sometimes I have it as a snack, with a side of something baked to wash it down.)
4. Rice Cakes (OK, this one isn’t true but June had four spaces so I had to make things up.)

Websites I Visit:




Places I’d Rather Be:
1. Somewhere in a cabin in the woods with some coffee.

2. On the beach with some coffee.

3. On the ranch in Montana with some coffee.

4. A small villa in the country side of northern Italy, drinking Italian coffee.

Movies I Love:
1. Steel Magnolia’s
2. Fools Rush In
3. American President
4. Big Fat Greek Wedding

TV Shows I Watch:
I know many of you are going to roll your eyes, but I don’t watch much TV. The biggest issue about TV is that I wake up super early and go to bed super early. I usually watch movies while folding laundry, so I do have season one of Ugly Betty on my Netflicks que…so I look forward to watching that!

People I Tag:
Since it seems everything is in groups of four I tag Spaghettipie and Megan and meh and lara.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Random Poll: October - Laundry List

I am trying very hard not to complain.

I am trying to remember that there are people on this planet that still wash their clothes by hand.

But my problem is not the washing. Nor is it the drying. It's the folding and putting away that's unbearable.

I told myself not to blog until It was was complete.

"It" being the clean pile of clothes that has grown exponentially for the last 8 days..On my couch.

It shameful really. Started out 10 days ago. Washed two loads and put them on the couch. I was going to get to it, really. But I had good excuses that week. Really good excuses! My 21 month old nephew had had surgery so I helped my brother and sister in law out just a little bit. The next day, I locked myself out of the house (which, when avoiding laundry isn't so bad now that I think about it). Then the days after that are a bit of a blur, but i know that I was very...busy. You know, washing more laundry and piling it on the couch.

Eventually we would need some space on the couch to sit. This started a sad dance that lasted six days, or so. It went like this: Take the laundry off the couch, pile it into two laundry baskets until they were are over-flowing (the capacity on those babies are amazing!). The next morning, with the intention of folding those clean clothes I would empty the baskets back onto the couch, but then some really incredible and important thing would happen! The phone would ring, the blogs would call, the kids needed to be fed and watered, important.

And so it would go, stuffing the clothes in baskets at night and tossing them on the couch in the morn. The amazing thing is that we don't often go more than a couple of days without someone stopping by or coming in. Last week not one person (except my younger brother, and I can tell you that he probably never even noticed the laundry!) just stopped in...That is a laundry miracle if I ever heard one.

Yesterday I managed to tackle the laundry, sort of...

When I tell you I had laundry to fold, I mean LAUNDRY. Not just two or three, but seven or eight loads. OK, maybe 9. And the load that is clanking int he dryer as we speak.

So i got about two-thirds of the way through and they were all stacked in piles all over my bed (i had moved the massive pile to my room). This was great! Except then a neighbor came over (hence the move) and we chatted, and I got distracted. Until bedtime.


So, today I was supposed to finish before getting on to blog, but I needed a break. My arms are tired.

I know that, if you are reading this blog, chances are if you are a woman with laundry woes of your own, and that you don't feel sorry for me. Not. One. Bit.

But I thought I would try...

Which brings me to the random poll for October:

Tell me what chore have you been avoiding this week (or if your anything, at all, like me, the last week and a half!)?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Remember!!!

OK! I remembered numbers 8 & 9 from the Crazy List!

#10. The thing that always happens at least twice a year has finally happened (No, I didn't get speeding ticket), I locked my self out of the house. Thank goodness my parents are in town because we were able to go over there and hang out for the day. The reason this happened was all because I do the craziest things sometimes...I had taken my house key off my ring because at the last minute before leaving for the Canyon I realized that if something happened and Lenny needed to be rescued than somebody should have a key. So I dropped off a key at Mrs. Moofish's house and we left town. When we got back I walked across the street to visit with Mrs. Moofish and to retrieve my key. I walked home and instead of putting that key immediately back on the key chain like any other reasonable person, I hung it on a key hook in my kitchen. Hello?

The next morning I grabbed my keys and manually locked the door handle behind me and just when the door latched shut I remember that my key was hanging on that hook! &@#*@ This happens to me frequently. So much so that immediately upon arrival in NC I walked over to my sweet neighbor and gave her a key. In the two years that we were there I think I had to use it about three times. I hadn't gotten around to doing that here yet...but I will soon, very soon.

OK moving on....

#9. After the unfortunate coffee table incident I decided to make some fall cookies. I collect cookie cutters and I had recently purchased cutters in an Acorn, Maple and Oak leaves, and a small pumpkin ( I had a very large pumpkin and in itsy-bitsy pumpkin, but not a nice average size pumpkin cutter) but anyway...I also wanted to try the Sugar Cookie recipe from The Martha Stewart Baking Handbook.

OK...I am going to go on another rabbit trail...I usually never stray from my standard Sugar Cookie Recipe: meh's Sugar Cookie Recipe. The Mister, not having much of a sweet tooth loves these cookies and so they are what I usually make at every holiday that I can find a cookie cutter.

So I made the recipe and although they were good, they were really sweet. I enjoy decorating my cookies, but I knew frosting would put these cookies way over the top. After they cooled I stacked them up (according to shape and size) and put them on a plate and set them on the table. My youngest brother, Daniel, called and said he was in the neighborhood and wanted to stop by for a bit so we sat around the table and munched a few cookies together.

When Daniel had to go I walked him to the front door and we said goodbye. This took all of about 2 minutes. I turned around, walked back into the kitchen and that darn mutt of ours was sitting on the floor. She had a guilty look in her eye and little white sugar cookie crumbs on her brown nose.

The cookie plate was also disheveled, the cookies tossed about instead of in nice stacks, as if she had rooted around in them to pick the tastiest maple leaf she could find.

So that wraps up the list, well actually there would still be one more thing, if I could just remember, but that's the thing about life isn't? There is always just one more thing. So I think I will put this baby to bed.

I did want to leave you with some pictures of funny signs that we saw while on our trip:

As if looking into a canyon that drops straight down for a mile wasn't warning enough.

In the doorway of a lawyers office in Williams, AZ.

I seriously wanted to go inside and see if you could still get a room for $3.50 and then what a room at that price would look like. But then I decided better of it!

In the parking lot of a church in Sedona, AZ.

La Vida Dulce!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

10 (All Right 7) Crazy Things...that happened last week.

Last week I had so much blog worthy craziness happening in my life, and absolutely no time in which to blog! Somethings were Ha! Ha! Crazy. Some were This Is Ridiculous Crazy.

I wanted to write them down before they left my brain but I didn't, so now I am going to have to call this the Top Ten Seven List of Crazy Things:

7. While shopping with my Mom and The Kids, The Boy managed to loose one shoe in between stores.

6. Pushing That Ten Year Old Boy in a shopping cart because I wasn't about to go back, all the way to the other side of town, where his shoe fell out of the car before he closed the door, and he certainly couldn't walk around Target with only one shoe!

5. I asked my 4 year old niece if she could tell me her full name, and she very properly and sweetly replied, "I prefer to be called Jasmine Cat." Not anywhere near her name, full or not.

Side note: My niece is becoming a happy fixture in my life. From here on out she will be known around La Vida Dulce as Jasmine Cat.

4. Getting out of the van in the driveway of my parents house and assuming (we all know what happens when we assume things) the kids closed their door behind them...Then coming out to find the biggest desert bird flying around the inside of the van.

3. Walking past the third women (in ten days) pushing a pram...with a tiny dog dressed in tiny designer dog clothes. What ever happened to the leash?

2. Groggily sipping at coffee when The Girl wakes up and says, "A felicitous morning to you Mother." Hello? Where in the world did she learn that? And Mother? She never calls me Mother.

1. Walking into my Moms real estate office to find her aiding and abetting my children in the copying of their faces on the copy machine. How come my brothers and I got in trouble for this as kids but she is helping them?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Mi Nidito

Or "My Little Nest"
There are many things I love about our current home. The one thing I loved about it from the very beginning was it's openness. I am all about "light and airy". But there has been a down side to the whole ranch house concept that I never really knew about until I lived in one: Noise.

The Spanish tile we laid probably doesn't help. (But it sure looks nice!) Nor does the fact that our formal living and dining areas are completely empty.

Empty and tiled, the perfect combination for cave like echoes!

The kitchen, living room, and formal dining and living areas, are four separate areas divided by walls that don't go all the way to the ceiling. This big common area is also the center of our home. I like this concept for the use of natural light. Another piece of good news? Although our bathrooms are located on opposite sides of the house, and are no where near the TV, you never have to push pause while watching a movie, cuz the sound carries anywhere you might be! But I digress....

My nest is of great importance to me because this is where I spend my hours in the early morning drinking coffee while reading, writing and praying. Doing this every morning makes me a better person...and it's not ALL about the coffee, although that helps significantly!

I also use my nest when I need a moment to have some quiet in all sorts of situations like: talking on the phone or when I eat the last scoops of ice cream from the container and don't want to share.

I have had a nest in every home we have owned.

In Texas, it was in my bedroom. It was crammed, but it was mine.

In NC, I was spoiled. I had my "nest" in the downstairs formal living area (which housed three things: a small writing desk, the chair pictured below, and my treadmill,) but I also had an ENTIRE ROOM that I used as a craft/guest room.

I have had trouble finding a nest in this house. I think it's because I was still getting to know this house. I am not getting all feng shui on you, but you know what I mean...when you move to a new house it takes some time to understand it's strong points and weakness; to recognize sounds and the way it's "feeling" changes with different times of day.

Another important part of having my nest is that the needs of my family are changing as the kids get older. They are spending a lot more time in the common areas of the house. For instance, I am one of those mean mom's who don't allow "gaming" time during the week. This means no PS2, or computer, and no TV. But during the weekend they are allotted a certain amount of time (to use when they choose), which means they are often monopolizing the TV room and the computer (which now sits on my writing desk). Another thing that I am noticing is that my kids and their friends play differently than I did when I grew up. As a kid if I had a friend over we played in my room. This was true when I went to my friends houses too. Now, my kids and their friends want to play out in the open.

With that said, the ranch style home means that when people are in the TV room trying to play video games, or playing "house" in the living room things get loud and I need somewhere to go. I need a nest.

I tried making my bed a place to go read my book or the paper when other areas are in use, but when my almost 35 year old body is anywhere near that cozy feather comforter, it tells my brain it is time to I had a dilemma...not to mention I was feeling out of sorts about where to drink coffee in the morning time, since I can't drink and sleep at the same time.

I explained my predicament to The Mister and he helped me to come up with a solution. We pulled together a chair from the living room and his old trunk, and a lamp and side table that we had haphazardly thrown in the empty living area, and within 20 minutes my problem was solved.

Mi Nidito was ready. Settled nicely in a corner of our bedroom.

I must tell you that my Sunday afternoon was glorious! I got caught up on my bible study for this week. I read the local paper. I sent few thank you notes. I drank some iced tea. I organized a bunch of paperwork that needed to be dealt with, and then I read my current fiction novel for almost an hour. It was fantastic!

If the blogging is slow, its because I am hanging out in my new nest! Mi Nidito.
La Vida Dulce!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Kellie vs. Coffee Table

I woke up grumpy this morning.

I worked out and felt better, but was still a tad grouchy.

I went shopping.

I spent money.

I felt better.

Sick huh?

I bought a few fall decorations for my house. (Yes Lara! The minimalist; the Clean Counter Queen bought decorations! Proud of me?)

The truth is that although the desert in the fall-time has a beauty of it's own, I am missing the colors of fall.

I decided I needed some fall color in my house.

When I got done with my shopping the kids and I were all hungry, so I just left all the orange colored leaf garlands and pumpkins and table linens sit in their bags on the counter.

We had some lunch and I wiped down the counter and decided to take a few minutes to get caught up on a blog or two.

I had just clicked over to June, when the phone rang. I hate not doing "something" while I am on the phone, so while I talked I pulled out my decoration's from their bags and started to remove price tags and get things ready.

I bought 3 fake pumpkins in various sizes. They were pretty neat because they look very real and were very cheap.

Finishing my conversation, I hung up the phone and I walked across the room to set the pumpkins on the fireplace hearth. I arranged,, and rearranged and decided that I liked them over to the right side instead of the left. I stepped back, decided it was good, turned around and ran right into the coffee table with my shin. Hard.

It has been almost two hours and there is some swelling with the exception of the indentation of where the table edge met my shin bone.

Let's just say that the words that came out of my mouth were not any where near sparklefraffle.
Actually, for the first few moments I couldn't speak because I was certain that later today I might have to get my leg cut off. Then, maybe, I could get out of running the 10 miler with my brother 16 days from now.

Which, by the way, he invited practically every cop on the force to run with us. One of whom is ACTUALLY a runner!

So, here I am writhing on the couch, holding my leg, in absolute pain. Pain a whole lot worse than childbirth with an epidural, and I am thinking that this just might be my "good reason". I mean, having to have a leg removed because you walked into your coffee table might be good enough reason NOT to run 10 miles with a bunch of police and professionals, right?


But then I start thinking how everyone would be like, "Kellie, what happened to the leg? I always thought you had two!"

And my answer would have to be, "Well I was reading blogs, and decorating, and talking on the phone, when I got into a huge fight with my coffee table and...and it took my leg."

It was several minutes before the intense pain went away. I gingerly got off the couch and walked to the fridge to find an ice pack. The ice wasn't good because the pressure on the shin was too much. As the pain went away I realized that I probably wasn't going to lose my leg.

It's just as well.

Having to tell someone that you lost your leg from running into your own coffee table wouldn't be half as gratifying as running 10 miles and dusting your own little brother in front of all his fuzz fellows.

That thought made me feel darn right good.

Gotta go! All these fall colors make me want to bake.

La Vida Dulce!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Bird in the Hand

This week has totally gotten away from me. So my Travel Log: Days 2-5 will be condensed into posts consisting of my favorite pictures. Be sure to scroll down and see all the pictures. I had to post in three posts in order to get all the pictures shown. With that said...

Let me tell you a story about The Mister. He is one of those people that only eats when he is hungry and usually sees eating just as a means of fueling all those muscles he's got (he's so going to roll his eyes when he sees that last sentence.). However, when we are traveling, or on vacation, he likes two treats to be on hand: Pringles and non-frosted strawberry Pop-Tarts.

Now, if I asked this amazing man of mine for a pair of diamond earrings, I could almost guarantee that in 17 days I would be opening up a pair of earrings for my birthday. This is why I have stopped thinking out loud about items that I may have whim about, because if I say it, he will remember it, and sooner or later I will have it.

I know, I know! You can call me spoiled. I completely agree. For the record, I am not complaining.

But, BUT! If we are on vacation, and he gets out that shiny packet with two golden colored non-frosted strawberry Pop-Tarts and I ask him for a bite? Well, that is crossing a line.

So imagine my surprise when the White-breasted Nut Hatch bird pictured above heard that wrapper being torn open and immediatly began to fly all around The Mister's head. He was flapping and chirping and causing a scene. Then he landed on The Mister's hand and took a nice big bite of strawberry Pop-Tart. The Mister didn't even bat an eye, he just let the bird take a bite without even his asking?

The kids were ecstatic! Here's the thing...all that chirping? Was a sound off to six of his Nut Hatch friends! Breakfast ended in quite a hurry that morning as we tried to put away the stuff we were eating!

I love this picture because The Boy is opening his presents from each of us on his real birthday. I love that in celebration of the Decade Birthday The Mister not only got me coffee, but hot cocoa for the kids too. The Girl loves her hot cocoa almost as much as I love my coffee.

The Boy thought this tree looked like Tree Beard so he climbed in and set a pose. Then he hollered for me to: "Take this picture Mom! It's perfect for you blog!" How sad is it that even my children are thinking up posts for me?

Below is a picture of the ever famous Grand Canyon Mules.

Confession: As a kid, and OK!, as a teen, young adult, early married, and probably even now, I have been a Brady Bunch fan. All I could think about while at the Grand Canyon is: "This looks just like the episode when the Brady's went to the Grand Canyon! I wonder if this is where they all stood? They drove their station wagon on this road! They road mules into the canyon!"

OK, I am done.

This was a picture taken on Wednesday morning, the last day before we headed to the cabin in Williams, AZ. We were at the halfway mark of our hike (or so we the end we had to walk back rounding out our 2 mile hike to 4!) The Girl had just been chased by a greedy squirrel (they are definitely used to humans!).

I was sitting back taking pictures of three of my favorite subjects. It was at this point that we were all finally letting go of stresses and "to-do" lists, and started to enjoy ourselves and our time together. It was then I stopped thinking about forgotten pillows, and expensive firewood and the fact that I had forgotten matches.

This is when I sat back and thought to myself...
...La Vida Dulce.