Be back in a few days...
Last night Kenny offered to take to me see the new James Bond movie, Die Another Day with Halle Berry. It was better than the last one. Of course, it was predictable but what do you expect from a 007 movie? Oh, and Halle Berry kicks some butt! Thanks for taking me honey!
Speaking of movies, I also wanted to recommend the 10 part HBO miniseries, Band of Brothers. It is a WWII movie and it follows a group of soldiers in the 101st Airborne division over the last 2 years of the war in Europe. The soldiers that were portrayed were thoroughly researched and interviewed if possible. It is considered one of the most accurate war movies made to date. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg put an incredible amount of effort into the production and it shows. For my husband, who is a military buff and is difficult to impress, he loved it (we own the DVD set). Anyway, even if you aren't usually interested in history, it is well worth the 10 hours. It is an extremely powerful series that shows you the real side of war from the soldiers' perspective, from the horrific fighting scenes to the comradery to the quiet times spent alone. Rent it and give yourself a week to watch it. Last but not least, take the time to remember and honor our brave veteran's who served our country and risked as well as gave up their lives so we can have the freedoms we now enjoy.
Since we are celebrating an early Christmas at Kenny's mother's house this week during Thanksgiving we had to get some Christmas shopping done early. We got the adults done this weekend and last night was spent in the toy department at Target buying the kids' gifts. Since we were shopping for Kenny's two nephews Devin and Jeremy) we went ahead and got presents for my best friend's little boy Jace and our adopted niece and nephew, Gelli and Brendon (EJ's kids). We also had two holiday birthdays to buy for as well... Gelli and Jeremy. We didn't want their birthdays to get left out so they each got another present.
All in all we spent an hour roaming the toy aisles taking into special consideration the coolness and *wow* factors of each toy. By the time we left the shopping cart was overflowing and our bank accounts were emptied but the kids are going to love Auntie Elaine and Uncle Kenny!
With all that out of the way and a couple of on-line orders I placed yesterday I am more than halfway done with all of my shopping! Woo-hoo! I still have my two nieces to shop for (including yet another birthday present) as well as my side of the family, Kenny and a couple of friends but I've got a good idea what I want to get them. Now it's just a matter of venturing out there and finish shopping in the next couple of weeks...
Have you started shopping yet or do you wait till the last minute? Come on, 'fess up!
Time for Tuesday's This-or-That:
1. Stuffing: baked inside the turkey, or separately? Separately.
2. Fresh or frozen turkey? Frozen.
3. Cranberry sauce: jellied or whole berry? Jellied.
4. Stay home or visit friends/relatives? Visit relatives.
5. Do you cook Thanksgiving dinner, or let someone else do it? Someone else!
6. Traditional turkey dinner, or an alternative (such as vegetarian)? Traditional.
7. Regular potatoes or sweet potatoes? Sweet potatoes.
8. Homemade gravy, or the jarred stuff? Hmm, I don't know... I don't make it.
9. What part of the turkey do you prefer...dark or white meat? Definitely the dark meat!
10. After dinner: football or Christmas movies? Neither, just sit around and talk (or take a nap).
Well, sorry to keep throwing pictures out at you but I've been rather camera-snappy lately. I also promised you guys an update on the garden. Below are some pictures...
1) The crepe myrtle tree that was planted last week.
2) A close-up of the Pentas annuals.
3) My decorative peppers and rosemary.
4) A shot of the corner of the garden with the pentas on the left, the nandinas in the back and the Carolina jessamine on the trellis.
A couple of days ago I got a new haricut. I am still figuring out what to do with the front of it but I really like the back. Here are some pictures:
Had a solo lunch at the nearby Schlotzsky's and enjoyed the wonderful weather*. I sat under the clear blue skies out on the patio reading the Houston Press.
(* It's a clear 72º F with a slight breeze.)
Today's Theme Thursday is up over at the photolog...
Wow! I don't know what to think of this result. I guess this is good especially since it looks like I will be going to London next September for a wedding of some wonderful friends of mine! (link thanks to Shirl)
Jolly good, wot! Anyone for tennis? That'll be ten ponies, guv. You're the epitome of everything that is english. Yey :) Hoist that Union Jack!
Wow! Despite all of my traveling, I've only been to 6 of what the BBC considers the top 50 places to visit in the world!
I better start flexing my passport more often!
Out of the list I've been to:
1) Florida - Walt Disney World
3) San Francisco
5) Zermatt, Switzerland
6) New York
(link thanks to Pamela)
As always I had another great lunch with Kathy and her friend Chanda. We went to Cafe Express and sat outside...
It's become a nice routine to have weekly lunches with her! Thanks Kathy!
1. Long or short hair? Short hair definitely!
2. Microwave or conventional oven? Microwave (leftovers are good)
3. Plain or Peanut M&M's? Plain (I hate any type of nuts in candy)
4. "101 Dalmatians"...animated or live-action version? Don't know.
5. Drink out of bottle/can or pour into a glass? Mostly out of the glass unless I am traveling.
6. Sunlight or moonlight? Moonlight.
7. Kermit the Frog or Miss Piggy? Kermit, of course!!
8. Glasses or contact lenses (or neither)? Glasses - tried contacts but my eyes are too sensitive.
9. Action movies or chick flicks? Either. I like a little bit of everything.
10. Toilet seat...up or down? The cover? Up. The actual seat? Down!
It's another Monday... yuck. I'm in a strange mood because I'm slightly perturbed that the day I took off from work a few weeks back was *not paid*, unbeknownst to me. I'm still trying to figure out why but it seems that I just haven't been here long enough. It's a small firm and there is no company handbook so I've emailed my boss to get the specifics. Still sucks though. I told him if I had known this I wouldn't have taken it off. I need all the money I can get before the holidays!
Other than being cranky about the subject above, the weekend was fun. Friday was spent with friends as usual, Saturday was spent running errands and doing some shopping (got a few Christmas decorations including some new stockings). I also picked out a nice tall pink crepe myrtle for the backyard. Our good friend Spencer and his family wanted to honor the memory of Kenny's grandparent's through a gift of a tree. Since our yard is so small though, we stuck with a crepe myrtle tree instead and we both agree that MaMa would have loved the pink flowers! It will be delivered and planted this Thursday.
Sunday we slept in late and then did stuff around the house. I finally planted my Narcissus bulbs and Kenny filled and stored up in the attic eight Rubbermaid boxes of stuff he brought back from his grandparents. He stored his old Star Wars and G.I. Joe toys, old pictures and other random stuff he wanted to keep. I also went through old letters I brought back from my Mother's house - I was nostalgic as I looked through papers and letters from elementary, middle and high school as well as some from college. I found my old corsages and even my original SAT scores from 1990. Most of the stuff was thrown away but I did keep a few things put in their own plastic box.
The whole weekend had some beautiful weather too... clear blue skies without a cloud to be seen and nice cool weather (not too cold, not too warm). I took the picture to the left through the sunroof of my car as I was driving around Saturday.
I'll leave you with a couple more pictures - one of my roomier (and slightly messy) desk and new monitor and another one I took of the beautiful skies as I was in Spencer's driveway (the pine trees are in his front yard)... Click on the picture for a larger image.
Woo-hoo! My new 15" flat screen LCD monitor finally arrived! This will replace my huge 17" CRT and give me sooooooooo much more room on my desk at home! I can't wait to take it home and set it up... (thanks Kenny!)
Good morning everyone - I was thinking that I haven't given you all an update on my exercise and diet routine that I embarked upon a month and half ago. Here is a summary:
Good: I am going to aerobics on a weekly basis.
Bad: I sometimes only get one class a week due to my schedule and I have yet to add any other type of exercise into my routine.
Good: I really love Josh, my Thursday teacher.
Bad: I don't always get to go to his class due to my schedule but I try!
Good: I seem to have finally figured out the step routine and stumble much less!
Bad: I am still shaking when I do stomach crunches.
Good: I am eating a little healthier and snacking less.
Bad: I have been bad and have not been recording and keeping track of my food points like I should.
And finally, the really good news - it seems that I have lost approximately 5 pounds despite my mediocre diet plan!
I'll keep you posted as I go along...
I just booked a room for December 28th at the Adam's Mark San Antonio just a few blocks from the Riverwalk as a holiday/birthday treat for me and Kenny. I even got the "romance package" that includes chocolate covered strawberries, wine and breakfast.
The trip came about as a spur of the moment thing because I read an article about a wonderful Mexican silver jewelry exhibit at the San Antonio Museum of Art I just couldn't miss out on since I myself am a collector. The exhibit ends January 5th so I had to squeeze it in before then and the weekend after Christmas was still free. It is extremely fortuitous that the Riverwalk will be lit up for the holidays as well and should be beautiful!
And guess what other bonus has been thrown in that I didn't even know about till after I booked the room? The San Antonio Cow Parade will be up around the city! If you recall, I am a big Cow Parade fan and hunted the cows around town when they were here in Houston. I've assured Kenny I won't waste our time hunting cows this time but I *will* have a list in my pocket and will be on the lookout for them... I expect there will be a ton around the Riverwalk where will be so I won't have to look too hard! Yay!! This is going to be so much fun!
Today's Theme Thursday is up over at the photolog...
My 29th birthday is *exactly* one month away and for those of you who know me personally and just don't know what to get the girl with everything, try my Amazon.com Wish List! (aren't I shameless?)
I just wanted to say that I am happy to work in a building that follows through on some basic parking garage rules. The management actually goes through the garage and "stickers" cars that are not parked correctly! Do you know how refreshing this is?? People get away with this all the time and that is why they continue to do it but in our garage you will get stickered if 1) you are not a compact car and are parked in a "compact cars only" area - these are mainly spaces at the end of the row where traffic turns - longer cars make this more difficult and hazardous and 2) you are parked badly, i.e. over the lines or extremely crooked - anything so severe that you made it difficult to park in the adjacent spaces. I've seen several cars stickered and rightly so - one of the worst offenses was a big old Suburban in an end space, Today they stickered a 4-door Lexus even! :D
I know it seems like such a minor thing but I think I will tell them that I appreciate their enforcement. Not enough places do this...
Time for Tuesday's This-or-That:
1. Hershey's Kisses: with or without almonds? *Without* almonds!
2. Wizard of Oz: Scarecrow or Tin Man? Tin Man
3. Meat eater or vegetarian? Meat eater (I hardly like any veggies)
4. Buy books or borrow them? Buy
5. At the bank: ATM or human teller? ATM to withdraw, drive-through to deposit
6. Oil or gas (or other) heat? gas (just had it checked today!)
7. Pen or pencil? depends, mostly gel pens
8. Drive or use public transit? drive (I love my Honda Civic)
9. Who IS James Bond: Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan (or any of the others in between)? Sean Connery although Pierce Brosnan is a very close 2nd!
10. Your ideal breakfast: full (bacon/sausage, eggs, pancakes, etc) or continental (bagels, muffins, fruit, cereal)? Bacon and eggs although I never have this. I just have a glass of chocolate milk every morning.
Well, Saturday was a lot of fun at The Texas Renaissance Festival. The weather was nice (sometimes even a bit too warm) and I survived in my super-tight corset. A nice group of H-Town Bloggers went but instead of re-linking everyone I'll just refer to you my entry over at that site. Below are some of my favorite pictures (click on them for a larger image). The rest of the pictures are here. I think they speak for themselves.
As you can see, it was long day full of wonderful sights, good food, good friends and shopping. Kenny surprised me with a beautiful stained glass candle holder for our mantle and I managed to find a couple of new whimsical froggies for my collection... have a look. I also bought some wonderful smelling candles.
Hunky pirates and yours truly in the middle!
EJ and me in full costume.
Hanna has hit rock bottom - she has been forced into the gutter - twice (story below pictures)!
So Hanna comes over to our house, parks next to my storm drain and as she gets out of her car her cell phone tumbles out and into - you guessed it - the storm drain. With the help of Kenny, Spencer and a tire iron, the heavy drain cover is lifted and in she goes and the phone is successfully (there was a small shelf it had fallen onto).
The pictures above, though, were not taken at that point. After an evening out, we noticed one of her earrings was missing (although the back was somehow still stuck to her ear). After a thorough search of the house we were at, we headed home, thinking the earring was lost. There was one last place to look in and that was the friggin' drain so once again, Hanna goes in and lo and behold, it was there! A happy ending to a bizarre story!
Now it's time to get some sleep before we have to wake up early for Ren Fest!
Had a lovely time last night in Downtown with a handful of H-Town Bloggers - Kathy, Robert, Matt, Mike & Christine. Pizza was eaten, coffee was drank, laptops were played with, blog drama was discussed, pictures were taken and overall good conversation was made.
Today is it another beautiful day in Houston and I am looking forward to the weekend. Tonight we head over to a friend's new house for some food and drink. Tomorrow a huge group of us (including some H-Town Bloggers) is heading out early to The Texas Renaissance Festival for the entire day and yes, I'll be wearing my lusty wench outfit. (I'll post pictures next week). Sunday is still open for whatever I want. I think I may stop by my Mother's and grab some stuff she still has of mine.
I also hope to finally get a chance to take pictures of the garden I planted last week. I've been unable to do so this week because by the time I get home it is dark and in the mornings before work the sun hits it in such a way as to make it a difficult shot to take. Maybe Sunday I'll even plant some bulbs I bought last week.
What are your plans for the weekend?
Today's Theme Thursday is up over at the photolog...
Well, we've been in the house since April and have really enjoyed it so far. I am also slowly getting more domestic... frightening, isn't it? We are very fortunate to have a relatively new house (5 years old) so we haven't had any major repairs and we have been slowly easing into the general maintenance of the house. We've painted a room (the master bedroom before we even moved in), upgraded a shower head, added some simple shelves, installed a ceiling fan, fixed a couple of leaking toilets and replaced the gaskets in the kitchen faucet. Pretty minor stuff but things that I normally could have just called maintenance if I were in an apartment.
Next on the list - get the heater checked before the winter season starts (appointment already scheduled for next week) and buy some gas logs to make the fireplace look less empty and make having a fire in there a little less messy. Oh yeah, that reminds me - we have to check the chimney somehow and make sure the birds who nested there earlier this year didn't leave anything that can easily catch on fire.
Then there is the business of decorating for the holidays! I've already made a list of a few things I want to get (festive table and mantle runners, yummy smelling candles, decorations for the mantle, new stockings and stocking holders, holiday towels for the guest bathroom and kitchen)... hee, hee! This is going to be fun!
(Oh - and lest I forget - I must acknowledge that my husband is a great handyman and I have merely been a helper in most of these domestic affairs!)
Just a few more I recently submitted... in Florida with Kenny; a CowParade shot; Halloween with Hanna.
Thanks for being a good cook, a dog-sitter,
a painting assistant, a fish-feeder
and all around general handyman around the house...
and beyond and above all, a great friend!
Have a good one!
After getting another 5" of rain dumped in my backyard, the skies are blue again!
1. Art or science museum? I like both.
2. Play or watch sports? Neither.
3. Zoo or circus? Zoo.
4. Theater: film or live on stage? Both.
5. Rock concert or the symphony? Both, but symphony more often.
6. Movies: see them in a theater or wait for DVD/VHS? Depends on the movie but lately we wait for them on DVD.
7. Board games or computer/video games? I guess computer games.
8. Hobbies: crafts (art, cooking, home repair, etc) or collecting (coins, stamps, rocks, etc)? Again, both (photography and collecting floaty pens)
9. Watch TV or read a book? Both but lately more TV and magazines.
10. Eating out: fancy, white-tablecloth restaurant or casual dining? Darn it - yet, again - both!
Hi everyone - back from a long 3-day weekend. Just for my sake because I had been feeling so tired and sleepy at work lately, I took Friday off as a personal day and slept in. It also worked out well because I had a volunteer event that evening and if I had had to work I would have been away from home for over 15 hours. Yikes!
So, as usual, the weekend re-cap!
Friday - Slept in and then got up and picked up my car from the body shop. Remember that accident a couple of weeks back? Well, the whole thing was taken care of with *NO* hassle form the insurance company nor the other driver. My car was only out about a week and it is back looking better than before. Yay for small miracles and good people.
In the evening I headed out to the new Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown to volunteer at the first Orchestra X event of the season (it's small local orchestra emphasizing up and coming talent). It was an easy gig with only about 5 volunteers. I helped the photographer by writing down all the names of the people he photographed and I was even recruited to be the one who went onstage and gave the pianist a bouquet of roses after her wonderful performance. All in all it was a fun and easy night. I got to see a great performance for free as well as had free wine and free yummy hors d'oeuvres. I even got to mingle with the higher society of Houston.
After volunteering I headed out to Market Square Grill to meet up with my friends. There I found out Kenny had spent some moolah on buying us a TiVo system and although I was miffed initially, I must say I had a lot of fun with it this weekend! I have it programmed to record all the Gilmore Girls episodes (so I never have to miss one again) as well as all the episodes of Smallville and Ground Force! Whee! I am considering recording Trading Spaces and Changing Rooms as well but then I may never stop watching TV.
Saturday - Heidi got groomed - she got very closely clipped and looks so small now but I'll post a picture soon. My garden was put in too, before the rainstorms hit. They had it in by 2 PM so Kenny and I went out and bought a few more plants (I had bought some already Friday while I was out). Despite the pouring rain, I threw on a raincoat and went out there, put in some plastic edging and planted all my plants. I was covered in mud by the time I finished and managed to bury a pair of scissors in the potting soil which I still haven't found (I'll look again when it stops raining). Kenny thought it was amusing as he watched form the comfort of the dry house but he was ever so kind as to wash my muddy jeans for me afterwards.
I'll take more pictures of the garden when it stops raining which won't be for another couple of days. I've tried several times but they haven't come out because of the rain. Plus, I can't get close enough to take pictures of the plants due to the lawn being a muddy swamp again.
Saturday night - went to see Mike sing with his a cappella group, the Lager Rhythms at Anderson Fair. It was a wonderful show and about 8-9 of us showed up. The place was packed and although we didn't get a chance to hang with him afterwards, we all had a great time anyway. After the show we went to Catbird's but the rain finally forced us off the patio after about an hour so we headed home.
Sunday - pure laziness! Kenny and I never left the house. We moved from the bed to the couch, where I eventually dragged our nice down comforter for further coziness. The dogs joined us in our laziness and much TiVo was watched. Did I mention how cool it is to pause live TV and how much fun it is to forward through commercials on the recorded shows? The trick is to watch a show 30 minutes after it airs so you can skip the commercials... Robert eventually came over with a couple of movies and a pizza was ordered. As Kenny noted, that was the least we have done in a long time.
Monday - Back at work on a quiet, rainy day. Boss is out of town for the next 3 days and most of my work is done so it should be an easy week. Hasta luego amigos!