Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Thoughts of Fall

It's very strange to start school in mid-July.

When I send my kids to school I always start to think of fall things. There are recipes for fall foods to dig up and fall clothes to organize. There are crafts to make, Christmas gifts to think about and fall time activities to do. Oh! I am just itching to bake. Wait. That one never goes away. I should say I am just itching to bake fall breads, and pies, and cookies.

But wait...it's still summer.

I was looking at the Pottery Barn catalog again (Rats! That catalog!) and there is this beautiful throw blanket. Mmm! How I love me a cozy blanket. It's made like a sweater...I like sweaters, but a blanket made like a sweater? Now that's just de-lish!

I shouldn't be thinking about sweaters anyway, because I now live in the desert. I still have 4 months of shorts and flip flops left. Maybe more. I am going to love being warm this winter, but boy! am I going to miss The Covers.

Actually, I have cozy blankets out on the couch right now. I like to turn the ceiling fan on high and sit under my blanket. Anytime of year.

Yes... it's a strange feeling to feel like fall on the 31st of July.

Monday, July 30, 2007


There are times in life that you know you are in the right place at the right time.

Today was one of them.

After church we stopped by my parents house to pick up the kids who had stayed the night. We visited for a bit and then we headed home.

There are two ways to get to our house. One very common way, through major roads, and another way that crosses a huge wash (that's desert speak for a river bed that is always dry, except when the monsoons come and they fill with swift water that "washes" away as soon as it comes.)

The Mister knew that the road would be closed but I was insistent that I wanted to see how badly it had flooded out. I also figured it wouldn't be all that flooded since it had been 12 hours or so since the last storm.

We arrived to the washed out and barricaded road and had to turn around. We turned down another side street that we thought might take us out to the bigger road when I realized that there was an elderly man lying in the desert on the side of the road. At closer glance, he was trying to use the cell phone and the dog he had been walking was looking a bit agitated and was pulling on the leash. I told the Mister that something wasn't right and that maybe we should stop.

It turned out that this elderly man had been walking the dog and his legs got weak. The dog was pulling hard on the leash and he lost balanced. He had been down for several minutes and couldn't get a hold of his wife who was in the house up the street about 200 yards away. The Mister was able to assess that he wasn't broken in any way and helped him get to his feet. We then carefully got him in our car and The Mister drove him home while I walked the dog on his leash up to the house.

When we arrived the wife had been watching out the window, fearing that the old man had been gone too long. She was so grateful that we had been there to help.

I love seeing the Providence of God. I love it even more when He allows me the privilege of being a part of it.

Job 10:12:
You gave me life and showed me kindness,
and in your providence watched over my spirit.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Leg Monster is Born

If y'all will allow me a bit of self promotion time. As if writing a personal blog isn't already a little self-promoting, but anyway...

Yesterday at the gym I was feeling self conscious because I woke up and realized that if I didn't get myself to the salon and have my eyebrows waxed I was going to have to go get some barrettes to hold them back. I have an appointment for the salon scheduled for next week but I am uncertain about whether or not I should wait...of course there was this fiasco a couple of years ago. Which always looms in my mind...but I may give it another try. It's at that serious level of growthage. (yes, I just made that word up). But anyway, I didn't have time to pluck before the gym. I could have made it better by using a bit of makeup but I never wear make-up to the gym. I am not there to impress anyone.

I get to the gym to attend this weight lifting class that is a serious workout. It's sweaty and ugly 'cause, you know, I'm wielding a 25 pound dumbbell over my head for fun. The Friday class is pretty tough. Taught by the tiniest women known to man. She's 5'2 if she's and inch, and she weighs all of 100 pounds of pure, unadulterated muscle. Oh! and she ALWAYS has her make-up and hair done. Always.

This tiny dynamo makes me feel like a giant, but the worst part is that she scares me to death. When I walked in and realized that she was teaching I considered walking out. She's a great instructor, but she's gonna make you hurt. Of course, when I walked into the full class, the only space left to set up was front and center. Oh no! I am going to be so close to her that she's gonna see the eyebrows.

I manage to get through class, and I am t-i-r-e-d, I start to put away my gear. I am hoping that nobody can see that I can barely move my arms. Perhaps if they are looking at my shaking tired muscles they won't be looking at my face. This is when a gal, a regular at the gym, approaches me and says, "I just have to tell you that you inspire me."

Of course, I look at her eyebrows. They are nicely trimmed and manicured and I am thinking, Yeah I am inspiring you to keep those tweezers busy. But she says, "you've got beautiful legs. I always contemplate leaving during the lunges, but then I look at your legs and I decide to stay."

And I got all sorts of flustered.

My thoughts facilitate between flattery and fear. At the exact same time I want to be delighted and I want to be afraid.

OK now. I have been told that I have nice legs in the past, (interestingly, always by women with the exception of The Mister, who has to think so) but I have to say, I don't really notice them very much. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like having legs. They are invaluable, but their just, well...legs. I obsess over other things, but never, ever, my legs.

BUT THEN! I found myself looking at my legs all. day. long. I even considered wearing shorts to my sister-in-laws house in the afternoon (you know, in case she wanted to look at them???)...but settled on capri's to tame the Leg Monster, who was growing exponentially as the day wore on...

A lot like my eyebrows.

I think I have gotten over myself now. I am truly thankful that I am healthy and active, and have a body (with legs and 20 pounds of eyebrow) that is strong and able.

I was also reminded that I am being watched. No matter where I am, I should be prepared "in season, and out" (2 Tim. 4:2) to defer to the Reason I am who I am.

Legs, brows and all.

La Vida Dulce!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Home Economics

One of the goals I have made for this year is to teach my children to cook. I am not talking five course dinners or anything, just some basic kitchen skills that will be useful to them.

I know you will be shocked and awed to know that I am not a patient person (ssh...don't tell anybody.) I like things done efficiently and neatly. Especially in my kitchen. Lately, however, I have been feeling that I need to be intentional in teaching them some of the basics of running a home. Even if it means a messier kitchen and longer preparation. I want them to know more than just keeping their room clean and picking up their toys (which they know how to do, but knowing and doing are very, very different, right?) I want them to have a knowledge of good homemaking skills: The proper place setting. The ability to serve good, tasty food. The charm of hospitality. Call me old fashioned, but these are skills that will serve them in the most basic ways and yet are often overlooked in the hustle-bustle, keep-them-busy-until-they-drop society of parenting my generation is living in.

I enjoy being a homemaker. And I have been thinking a lot lately about what my role is as a Mother. I am hoping that my legacy will be one that, many years from now, my sweet Kids will be cooking in their own kitchen with basic skills that they will have learned from me. Not from a cable cooking show or latest kitchen guru, but from the work we did standing side by side in my humble kitchen, when they had to stand on a step stool to turn the oven on.

Monday evening at the dinner table I announced that, since we are finally settled in the new house and school has started, we would be re-implementing the Weekly Chore Chart and they would be enrolling in Mom's Home Economics 101: Cooking.

MHE 101: Cooking would be a class in which they would assist me in the cooking of supper.

The Girl will be assisting in the kitchen on Tuesday and Thursday. The Boy on Monday and Wednesday. Whomever is not cooking will be in charge of setting and clearing the table. Friday there will be no class, cause when I was in college I NEVER scheduled class on Friday's. Their final exam will be sometime next May when they will plan and make an entire meal (of their choice) unassisted. I am a glutton for punishment I'm sure.

The Girl (a.k.a- the Easy Bake Oven Queen) was very excited about this and was planning all sorts of things that she was going to make and announcing them out loud in a French accent. (I am not kidding, this girl has a knack for accents.)

The Boy was not nearly as excited. As a matter of fact he said, and I quote, "Isn't cooking is for women?" and "I don't think I need to know about cooking because in college I can eat at the cafeteria and then I'll just marry a girl who can cook... Like Dad." And then he shoveled in a bite of spaghetti, as if he had just said that he was going to go get a haircut.

Uh. Yeah. He may be only 9, but this boy is quick. A little big for his britches at times, but quick.

This is where the Mister looked at me with a look that was a cross between "Down Girl" and "He's got you there!"

But then he looked to The Boy and said that cooking wasn't only for girls, and that it would be good for him to learn, just in case things don't work out completely to plan. (As a side note, in defense of The Mister, he can cook a few things well. But his repertoire is a tad limited.)

On Tuesday The Girl made grilled chicken, rice and green beans. It was good. A little over-seasoned, but good. I am used to having her in the kitchen with me for baking but cooking, not-so-much. She did well.

Yesterday was a lesson for both The Boy and myself. He didn't want to come to class. As a matter of fact he begged me to let him skip the first class and do a make-up on Friday. But, as you know, I don't teach 101: Cooking on Fridays. In the end I wrangled him into the kitchen for a lesson in making Turkey Taco's. He did a great job. Although teaching him the proper hold of a pairing knife was a lesson in patience. Apparently everything sharp and dangerous must be wielded as if it were a sword or light saber. Teaching the proper slicing and dicing techniques of lettuce and tomato was definitely a bit tense. I should probably invest in a First Aide Kit for the kitchen. While he was grating the cheese he did make some comment about why I didn't buy the cheese that Grannie gets. You know, the already grated cheese. To which I replied that it is the right of every 4th grade boy to learn how people in the old days had to live. It wasn't easy back then, and I had to walk uphill in the 150 degree weather, both ways, without water or shoes, and your Grannie made me do it. And I liked it. But I digress.

The Boy was happy in the end. His meal turned out well and I think he was proud of how he did on his first try. I think he will enjoy cooking if I remain patient. As an incentive I went out to find kids cookbooks at the library to see if there were a few that they could look through and pick out recipes for themselves. Of course they were all checked out. If you have any good ones to recommend you can send the titles my way.

This latest adventure at the La Vida Casa is sure to bring some good blogging fodder. That is, if I still have a finger left to type.

La Vida Dulce

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

High School Spirit Meme

I have been reading a new blog this month, Musings of a House Wife.

One of the things that I have learned through her blog is that there is a whole vocabulary that comes from the blogging world. One of those words is Meme. As far as I can tell a Meme is a list of random facts about any topic that a blogger can fill out, post on their site and then others can use that same set of questions and post them too.

So here is my first go at a Meme!

High School Spirit Meme

1. Who was your best friend?
Tracy V.

2. Did you play any sports? No. I was a dancer. I studied ballet and jazz outside of school.

3. What kind of car did you drive? A used Toyota Celica convertible, with a ripped and leaky canvas top.It was literally held together by duct tape, but it was mine.

4. It’s Friday night. Where were you? Babysitting. From the time I got my drivers license, until the summer of '93 when I met The Mister (he was the only guy worth giving up my Friday night cash. I made good money!) I babysat every Friday night for Mrs. C. She had two girls, who are now in college (eek!) and we are still good friends

5. Were you a party animal? Not at all.

6. Were you considered a flirt? I don't think so.

7. Were you in the band, orchestra or choir? In High school I was in choir. (and Drama)

8. Were you a nerd? No. I was one of the artsy type (who dressed preppy).

9. Were you ever suspended or expelled? Are you kidding? My Dad would've killed me!

10. Can you sing the fight song? No.

11. Who was your favorite teacher? Hmmm....that is really hard. I loved several teachers. Mr Kramer actually made US History interesting. Ms. Bowland was the director of a theater group I was in and i adored her. Mr. Markle was a geometry teacher and if I hadn't had her for Math I probably wouldn't have graduated. And Dr. D. was the choir teacher and I was one of his favorites so that is always nice.

12. What was your school mascot? An Eagle.

13. Did you go to the Prom? Yes!

14. If you could go back, would you? No, I loved it but I wouldn't trade today for anything.

15. What do you remember most about graduation?
Being thankful I graduated! LOL! I was crying because it was a great year and I knew it was the end of a season. I knew that we would all part ways. My Best friend Tracy was a junior so I knew she would finish out her last year with out me and that things would be different. So it was bittersweet.

16. Where were you on Senior Skip Day? I don't remember. Probably at the school. I was in theater activities and I believe that all us "performance" people had to stay at school or we wouldn't be able to perform.

17. Did you have a job your senior year? Nope....I pretty much babysat for four families on a regular basis.

18. Where did you go most often for lunch? This is all based on my senior year, which was the year i switched from a small parochial school to a large public high school. In my senior year my friends and I would either eat at the school snack bar (did anybody else eat those awful taco burritos?) or we would go to Sonic.

19. Have you gained weight since then? No. I kind of chunked out in high school so I weigh less now.

20. What did you do after graduation? I went to a local college and lived at home.

21. What year did you graduate?1990

22. Who was your Senior Prom Date? My friend Bill was my date but at the time (and the reason I went to this high school for senior year) I was in The Shakespeare Touring Company which traveled around the city and state doing Shakespeare. So the kids in the Co. and I all went to prom as a group. We had a blast!

23. Are you going/did you go to your 10 year reunion? Yes, I went to my 10 year and it was over rated and over priced. I saw the people I wanted to see but for the twentieth I am going to find those people and get them together.

Any one else who wishes to play consider yourself tagged!


I have been wanting a bit of change around the old blog.

Actually, the truth is that this morning I was browsing through the new Pottery Barn catalog and was feeling like I would love to refurnish my house. Instead I thought I would take 30 minutes and see what I could do to spruce up the old blog. It's cheaper and almost as satisfying!

The five of you who have read from the "Berry" beginning, know that I have an issue with keeping the blog 'look' the same. You even hung in there during the time that Mrs. Ant Rancher refers to as the "Malibu Barbie" days (hot pink and ice blue Hawaiian theme...those were the wild days huh?)

I am loving this whole slate blue and brown stuff seen all over the universe. It's so last season, but that's so me. The Blog will follow suit.

I also changed the picture in the side bar because I needed one of me in The Desert, as opposed to in The House That Has Not Sold.

I wanted to be sure to mention that I did not take this picture. Lara did while she was here for a visit. It was actually a color photo with a large mountain range in the background that I played with and cropped. Thanks Lara!

Also the cherry blossoms on the header were from a free graphics website that I found almost two years ago. I tried to post them back then but Blogger wasn't as friendly as it has gotten in the last 6 months. Now that I can just cut and paste stuff things are so much easier. If only other things in life were as easy. Hmmm...don't know what to make for dinner? Let me just 'cut and paste' this five course meal. Need to change the linens on the beds? Just 'cut and paste' the ones from Pottery Barn. Whew! I could go on and on....but I won't.

Happy Tuesday!

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Monday, July 23, 2007

What I Did This Weekend

Yes. I will admit it. I have been reading this weekend.

I didn't stand in line at midnight. Nor did I pre-order a copy, because a couple years ago The Boy managed to make The Grannie a huge Harry Potter fan so we spent the afternoon waiting by the pool for not one, but two copies of The Deathly Hallows, to be delivered directly to the door.

I am not as fast a reader as some people. But I am in the middle of the 12th chapter, which is pretty good for me since I am now having to read two fiction books at the same time (actually I temporarily put down a murder mystery I started a couple of weeks ago).

I read a lot of different things and it's usually in the very early morning with my coffee, or fiction at night before bed. Reading during the middle of the day is a challenge because two things will inevitably happen if I sit for too long: I will either get antsy or I will fall asleep. There is no middle ground.

Every once in awhile there is a book that comes around that I hate to put down and I find myself reading when I should be doing other things, like laundry, or talking to my kids, or making dinner for my man. Those times don't come very often because I like to enjoy my fiction reading. Especially books where the characters are fun to be with. I always hate ending a book with characters in it that I like. But I digress...

I am trying to finish The Deathly Hallows in short order because I don't want to know what happens in some other way. I want to find out on my own. Plus, I have a certain friend who may not speak to me until I read it because of an unfortunate event that happened after the release of the 6th book, in which she accidentally revealed the death of Dumbledore. This was not her fault because it was weeks after the book was released and she thought I was finished. But now she is guarding her tongue for the preservation of all things fiction...so I must read the book quickly or she may never speak to me again.

In short, I read a bit more than I normally would on a weekend.

On Friday I rented the old Annie DVD . You know, like the original. The one I saw in the theaters when I was a mere ten years old. The Girl and I watched it and did pedicures together on Friday night. Having a 7 year old girl is the greatest.

Early Saturday morning, I went running in the most amazing weather. It was overcast and 70 degrees and just B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. The kind of weather that makes you feel like you could run forever! Of course I didn't, but it felt like I could, which is always what you are hoping for at the end of your run. After my run I ran (not really)in the house and asked The Boy if he would like to ride his bike while I cooled down. We walked, and peddled, and had good conversation about the book-that-was-to-arrive and various important childhood things. Having a 9 year old boy is the greatest.

Later we went to my parents house. The postman's delivery of goods was followed by hoops and hollers and The Grannie and The Boy sneaked (snuck, snook?) off to read the first chapter together.

Sunday started with an apology.

Actually it started with an alarm at 5:30 am. Every morning my alarm wakes me up at 5:00 am and tells me to go quickly to the coffee. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. On Sunday there are two things I do not do: I don't set the alarm and I don't fully make the bed. Why? Because Sunday's are for rest, so I sleep in, and I always hope for a short nap on Sunday afternoons. If the bed isn't completely made I am more likely to take it up on it's offer for an S.S.S. (or Sweet Sunday Siesta.) Anyway, somebody, who will remain nameless, but who shares my room, forgot to turn off his alarm. I was less than sweet about this oversight. Hence the apology.

We went to church, and the afternoon was delightful as we all hung out in our New Home in the Desert and read, and even dozed for a minute or two. Although not in the unmade bed.

My Dad's sister was in town for a visit from the east coast. In the late afternoon we met up at my parents house for some poolside pizza and homemade peach pie, and my brother was there with his family, and my grandmother (who was as cranky as ever). It was enjoyable.

When we drove home, the sun setting against a beautiful desert monsoon sky, and I realized that this was the first time in 12 years that I had been a part of a family gathering that I hadn't hung up the phone and felt a twinge of sadness that I wasn't with them. This was the first time that I was going home. To my house. Having been a part of the big picture instead of hearing the festivities through a phone that could not satisfy the want of sitting face to face.

So the weekend was busy and yet I feel satisfied and content.

Ah! Weekends! How lovely they are!

But now it's time to crack the whip...I've got 529 pages left!

La Vida Dulce!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lovin' Friday

I enjoy Friday's.

It's the day I clean everything. The day I work the hardest. The day I anticipate the weekend, when I can relax in my clean house.

I also enjoy Friday's because it means I don't have to pack a school lunch for two whole days! Yay!

Have I mentioned I like Fridays?

This week I have learned that I would fail miserably at that game show: Are You Smarter Than a Fourth Grader?

Because the answer is: No. I am not. At this point I am not sure why I was promoted to 5th grade.

The Boy, a fourth grader, came home yesterday with an assignment. The homework this week has been pleasantly light. I know that next week will be a different ball game so I am enjoying the easy start. But anyway, the assignment... He was to write down five or more examples of expository books. Five or more? Scrolling through my mind I tried to remember.

Expository, I think the dictionary is expository.......Hmmm, and maybe the Thesaurus. Wait, what is expository again? Yes. Yes! Expository! Yes, definitely the dictionary and the thesaurus.

Silence...get a snack...thinking is really a lot of work, I feel hungry. OK think some more.


There are more expository books than the dictionary and the thesaurus?

Hmmm...I say out loud, feeling very grateful that the internet is always just a click away.

Meanwhile, The Boy knew exactly what different types of written word would be considered expository, and he has his list completely written down and in his homework folder before I can load up the links.

His list?

The phone book

A newspaper.

The Dictionary.

The Thesaurus.

An encyclopedia.

And one other thing, that for the life of me I cannot remember while sitting right here in front of this computer...

So you see, I would not win the 4th Grader game. Because I am not as smart as a 4th grader.

But I love Friday's and I am learning!

Have a terrific weekend!

La Vida Dulce!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Junk Food

The first week of school has gone seamlessly which is really awesome! The kids are enjoying their new school and all seems to be going well.

I am still trying to figure out the New Schedule and haven't come up with a consistent blogging time yet! But, I was surfing some sites on fitness and stumbled upon this fun questionnaire. For those who love personality profiles, this one's for you: What kind of junk food are you?

I will reveal my profile in the comments section. I would love to know what junk food you are, so reveal your junk-food self!

La Vida Dulce!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Random Poll- July

There are two songs that ALWAYS make me weepy.

I haven't been to a ball game or a birthday party without having to control my emotions.

Yup. The Star Spangled Banner and Happy Birthday will get me every time.

Tonight is the Championship Finals for the kids swim team. They always play the National Anthem before the start. I have been glad for my shades all season.

So what about you? What songs make you cry?

Monday, July 16, 2007

First Day

Today, for the first time in five years we had a First Day of School event without tears. That includes me.

The house is a bit quiet today. The first day in The New House without them. I look forward to going to get them soon.

The Boy and The Girl wanted to dress exactly alike today. This (obviously) means that The Girl has to wear jeans or shorts and a big ole' t-shirt. Not what I want to send her in on the first day of school. I convinced them that dressing in the same color scheme was kind of like dressing alike. So they ran into their rooms and looked at what they had in the same color scheme. They settled on brown.

I have had a good day. I worked out, read, did some laundry, ate some lunch and now will go clip some coupons. I am hoping couponing in the desert is easier...I'm not counting on it.

I have also been meditating on this scripture since the wee hours of the morning:

Let, The Boy and The Girl, who belong to the Lord rest in Him, for He shields them all day long, those the Lord loves, rest between His shoulders.

Deuteronomy 33:!2, (Paraphrased)

La Vida Dulce!
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Friday, July 13, 2007

Dreaded Annual Visit

Well, I have completed my least favorite annual visit for the year, and I am not talking about the doctor.

I am talking Wal-mart. Every year at this time I post about this visit. The Dreaded School Supply visit.

Y'all, I broke a record yesterday. I was prepared. I had a game plan. I spent $25 and did it in 25 minutes! Yes! 25 minutes, from parking the car to pulling out of the lot. I even scored a parking spot up close (which isn't high on the priority list, but is nice when the store is packed and it is 101 degrees outside).

All in all, a painless trip.

I think that the Wal-Mart people must put the isles in real close, make the carts extra wide and then get a good laugh watching how people viciously push around each other to get those 10 cent spiral notebooks.

If it wasn't so cut-throat it'd almost be funny. You can see the intensity as you enter the School Supply isle. You can tell by just "looks" those Mom's who are experienced. There is determination in their eyes, you know they mean business. They have The List. Their kids know they aren't to ask for anything not on The List.

Then there is the kindergarten mom. The sweet mom who is excited and yet apprehensive. She's been given a list of supplies. She needs to get everything, exactly how it is written on The List. It says: Crayola Washable Crayons, Box of 10. But Crayola Washable Crayons only come in boxes of 8 or 12? She's been all over town. What should she do?

This was me several years ago as the "old-timers" rolled their eyes and whispered "kinder mom" under their breath.

But now I'm a pro.

Well, maybe not. Each year I tell myself to wait to meet the teacher before I go with the "general" supply list, because the teacher always gives a more specific list. My compulsion to get things checked off my To Do list always gets the best of me.

We got the more detailed list last night at Meet the Teacher night.

Rats. I may have to go back.

Oh how I miss my Wal-mart trips in the middle of the night with K1 and K2! It no fun without you!

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Two years ago, in an attempt to ward off homesickness from Texas I started this little old blog. Who knew it would last this long?

By Bloggy standards I am not the most read, the most interesting, or even the most beautiful, but the blog has been a connecting point for those who I cannot see or spend time with over the years. It's been a place that I can connect, in some small way with those who are far away.

Recently I have been searching the blogs of other women. I wanted to know why others blog. Some are mothers, some are not. Some are Christian, some are not. Some work outside of the home. Some do not. There are women trying to start families. Newlyweds learning to care for the home. Amazing women dealing with major issues: brain cancer, infertility, addictions. Dealing with the loss of children.

Some bloggers are actual writers. Some should be. There are bloggers who are very serious and take their topics seriously. Some are seriously funny. Most of them make me feel like I should go take an English course somewhere, because I seriously need one.

Women from all over the country, and some from around the world, love their children, their husbands and chocolate. Not necessarily in that order. Some feel strongly about what their blog should say. There are debates going on right now about prayer, how much personal info should be allowed, and goodness! there lot of laundry woes! (I finally feel like I am not alone!)

Women bloggers like crafts, coffee and great hair cuts. They share "tips" of all kinds, from cooking to hair coloring. They also are the most caring of people, sending encouraging comments, setting up prayer links, and loving on each other lavishly. There are some amazingly talented women out there! From scrap booking to jewelry making, homeschooling to organization, you name it they are using their talents in awesome ways.

I have found that the blogs can also become all consuming. Some have decided to stop because it was taking over their lives.

As I have looked through these blogs in the last couple of weeks I have learned that the majority of the blogs I have read are all women who are about my age, and no matter what we do or where we do it we are all hoping for community. To make a difference in a world. We want to be heard. We want to know that we are doing things right. We want to be connected to something.

And I guess in some way I have felt that way as well. I started this blog in a time when I felt isolated in a new town. The blog helped me to connect with my out-of-state friends and family. But it has also been a place that i could write. Something I have enjoyed doing my entire life. I am not a "writer", but writing has always been a way I have dealt with life. Obviously, I save a lot of my writing for my private journal, but sharing some of my thoughts has been fun. Staying connected with my girlfriends all over the country has been awesome and meeting new "blogger-gals" is encouraging and fun too.

Blog's are interesting to me because I have always loved an autobiography. I have always enjoyed learning about what other people do. I love reading old journals: The Dairy of Anne Frank, and even that old junior high read, Go Ask Alice. I love them because peoples lives are interesting and educational. I just love a good personal story.

So it is on the two year anniversary that I am going to do a few things. I don't aspire to be as bustling as some of the amazing blogs on the net, mine is a simple blog. But I am going to make a few personal goals, if you will.

One of the things that I have missed about living in NC is the time in Bible study I had to do to be prepared as the facilitator of the Women's Ministry in our church. I was always doing the best I could to be intentional in keeping sharp in the Word, so that if I ever needed to speak at a luncheon or meeting that I would always be prepared. I haven't done much of that in the last 5 months because of the move and changes that come with relocating. And I can tell I am out of habit, because I am as dull as a spoon right now. But soon things will be a bit more routine and I have been slowly working and studying and I hope to do a weekly devotional-type post about life in the desert. Be looking for those by the first of August or so.

I also hope to change the face of the blog just a bit and to make it more personal. This will take a couple of months but I look forward to seeing how that will take shape.

I am also going to update the side bars and keep the blogs I read down to ten. Because I am learning from others on the net that, like many good things in life, the bloggers world can take over...and I so don't want that.

So in celebrations of the La Vida Dulce Blogiversary, let the laundry go for the day, find some more chocolate, have a good cup of coffee.

Thanks to my friends who read!


La Vida Dulce!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Last Week

This is the week that I always dread each year. The dreaded last week of summer vacation. Only this year it comes six weeks early. This time next week I will be feeling a bit lonely as I send The Girl and The Boy off to school.

I have packed this week with fun things to do with the kiddos. But it started with a little happy gift for myself: Dinner with Jen With One N and her family. It meant a lot to me that they stopped by to see me and the kids and the new house on route to their vacation destination. It was so fun to have her in my new home.

By the end of the week we will have finished swim team practices for the season. We will have played with cousins, gone to a water park, met the teachers, bought new school supplies, and seen a movie. We have 5 days left and i am trying to cram it all in.

We have also been taking the kids to the park nearly every evening because the rainy season has officially been declared, which means that it is humid by desert standards, but much, much cooler. For instance, today it only reached 99 degrees. Which may sound like a lot to some but it is almost frigid after two weeks of 112+ degrees. I know I am known for my powers of exaggeration...but trust me, there's a huge difference. One is tolerable. In the shade, almost pleasant. The other you can try at home by setting your oven to warm and then sitting in it. (OK, that was a joke, please don't sit in your oven.)

We have been walking to the park at night because it is so pleasant out side when the sunsets, and the added bonus is getting to watch the storms roll in with the fantastic lightening bouncing within the clouds.

This morning I got out earlier than usual and got to watch the sunrise. Which I love as much as the sunsets around here.

Until tomorrow...La Vida Dulce!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Oh! To Be a Simpson

I found that you could go to the website of the new Simpsons Movie and make yourself into a cartoon character.

I just couldn't resist.

Tonight after dinner The Mister and The Kids and I made our whole Simpson-esque family.

I haven't watched the Simpsons since high school but I used to be a huge fan back in the day.

So what do you think?

Does it look like us?

La Vida Dulce!
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Monday, July 09, 2007


I do love visitors, and the La Vida Dulce home has had a plethora in the last 10 days.

As you know, last week we had Lara and Co., then on Saturday we had a surprise visit from our brother-in-law from PA. Tonight I have another sweet freind, Jen With One N, and her family coming over for dinner as they travel across the desert. I love getting to see the Gals. One by one my Texas Gals swinging by...ah summer! (all you other Texas gal's...that was a paid political announcement!).

So I was taking a break from dinner preparations to log in and tell you that we had an adventure last night that was a especially exciting for The Girl. Actually, it was terrifying, but not quite as bad as the Yellow Jacket adventures in the Smokies that happened this time last year.

We had heard from a few of the nieghbors that during the rainy season the male tarantula's love to come out and look for mates. And last night after the sun went down we went for a nice walk to the neighborhood park. On our way home we inerrupted one large spiders' plans for a big evening out in the desert. The Girl almost stepped on it and in the process freaked out...just a bit. The Mister was forced to carry her all the way home. Secretly, I kind of wished someone could carry me too!

In all honestly, it freaked me out a bit and made me realize that we live in an area that is still fairly wild. We have seen coyotes, owls, bats (they were flying all around us last night), and prairie dogs (that are pretty cute). I am just hoping that I never run into a snake while we are here. I have been a bit scared about snakes since we got here. Especially since my parents' neighbor found one IN THE HOUSE.

So these are the latest adventures of the La Vida Dulce household.

Company can come and stay...Critters cannot.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Who Knew?

I had planned a post on something else today, but I got distracted by something amazing...

Not only is today a "lucky" day of 7/7/07, where everybody is getting married and buying lottery tickets in order to partake of this day in history, but more importantly it's Chocolate Day!!!

How lucky is that!!!!

I cannot pass up the opportunity to celebrate (y'all know I love a reason to celebrate!), nor would I pass up any reason to eat chocolate, so, quick, go find some chocolate (eat some chocolate chips if that's all you have!) and eat a bite with me!

Happy Chocolate Day!

La Vida Dulce!

!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!

Friday, July 06, 2007


I am not complaining. Really.


While my friend was here we found that there is a new breakfast cafe that has opened a couple miles from my house. This morning while out for my morning run I was minding my own business, listening to my MP3 and happily running out the sleepiness and enjoying the cool desert air (the temperature was a chilly 82).

I am used to different smells while running. There is the smell of burning car oil from an old blue truck that passes me every morning. There is the lady I always see walking, she is always completely done up, hair, makeup, and very strong perfume. There is the smell of the desert mesquite and the palo verde trees, and the recycled water the city uses to water the lawn at the park.

But today, there was a new smell.

As I rounded the corner at the 2.5 mile mark I suddenly smelled the sweet, rich aroma of pancakes.

For the record, it's hard to run when you smell pancakes.

This reminded me of when I was a kid. My Dad had taken up bike riding, or it might have been running, I am not sure. Anyway, he would get up early and go out to exercise. One early morning the phone rang and my mom came out of her room fully dressed and said, "Let's go."

It seemed that my Dad had run past the Bagel Bakery and decided that the aroma of fresh bagels was too much to ignore. He called my mom to bring his wallet and to come have some breakfast. We all laugh about this story and there has always been a part of me that thought that this wasn't an accident. Perhaps my Dad had always intended to stop by for a bagel.

But now I am not so sure, because it was almost as if those pancakes were calling to me. Luring me away from routine and inviting me in for coffee...

I may have to change my route.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

We are having a great time here in the desert! Having Lara and her family over has been fun. Last night the guys gave us a hall pass, so I went to see some cactus. We drove to a favorite local "loop" at sunset and got some amazing pictures. We had Fernando Ortega on the stereo and the air conditioner pumping STRONG (it was only 107 outside). I, being a sunset nut was so happy to be in the desert at sundown. I wish that the photo could more clearly give you the colors that played across the sky. The sun looked gigantic!

Afterward, we went for sushi and were able to relax a bit after two full days of playing with the kids.

It's great to hang out with my dear friend. We've got one more day of sun and fun so I am going to sign off to make the most of it.

Have a great holiday!

La Vida Dulce

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

If I Wrote the 11th Commandment

*Thou shall not go to the Costco on a Saturday.*
(Especially on the Saturday before a holiday.)

Seriously, I think I lost my mind. I asked (begged) my sister-in-law to go to Costco with me because I had company coming and only four rolls of toilet paper left in the house. Not a good thing when you are looking at 5 days with 9 people in one house!

I think my temporary lack in shopping judgment was because The Mister had been on a business trip to Denver all week. I hate it when he is out of town. It just isn't right. It's no fun when The Mister is gone. I miss him because there is no one for me to pick on and tease. Plus, he is so dang-nab cute.

Costco is a zoo here because we have a million people and only two Costco stores. When we lived in Texas there was practically a Costco on every corner. When I lived in NC the Costco was never crowded. But the Costco here is ALWAYS jam-packed. And these little old ladies run you down and act like there isn't a zillion package of jumbo size toilet paper. Seriously, I am in pretty good shape, but I don't doubt that some of these old ladies would take me out over a 12 pound bag of frozen chicken.

But I got my TP, and the paper towels, and the most beautiful fruit for a fruit salad made for my friends.

It's gonna be a great week!