Sunday, November 14, 2010

getting all domestic

i am trying to convince myself that i like to cook. somedays i am totally in line with that thought, but most days, not so much. but. i am trying to cook MORE and for the most part, i've done pretty well for the last couple of months. to keep me motivated and accountable, i thought i might flit back here to the ol' blog and use it as a place to post my weekly menus. you know. for the three people who still remember to check to see if i've written anything in the last 6 months.

plus. i miss writing. so maybe this will kick start me a bit.

without further ado......

monday dinner
pita pizza and spinach salad
whole grain pita, with a tad of ragu homestyle pizza sauce, topped with a bit of mozzarella cheese and whatever veggies i have on hand. um. patrick and i are obsessed with these. and even better? they are less than 300 calories . . . way less if you go easy on the cheese. um, they also taste better than any frozen pizza you can buy. trust me. i'm an expert on those.

tuesday dinner
white veggie chowder and spinach salad
earlier this fall, i joined e mealz for like a measly 15 bucks every three months. you get a menu and shopping list at the beginning of each week. i pay for the points menu for two people. usually, i pick one or two recipes every week that i plan to cook. so far, i've only made one thing i didn't like. this soup is a new recipe, but i'm excited about it.

wednesday dinner
whole grain pasta with light alfredo sauce and chicken and mushrooms.
we'll see how this one goes. i was shocked at how little calories the alfredo sauce has in it. i hope it tastes good.

thursday dinner
leftover chowder

friday dinner
no idea. i'm not in charge that night.

also new? my weekly goal statement. this week's? exercise m-f this week and stick to my menu and ignore the butterfingers in the candy basket in my classroom. three goals, but all essentially the same.....

Friday, June 25, 2010

8 lessons from puerto rico!

a week ago today i was getting off a plane at the houston airport. not hobby. the other one. the one with a great food court. where was i flying from you ask......why PUERTO RICO of course!

patrick and i have traveled a little together (branson, fort worth, kc, wichita), but this was our first 'real' trip together (like just us for 5 days . . . no charming family members to entertain us!) here are some of the things i learned . . .

1. if you call my name while we are walking and i turn around and you snap a picture of me, chances are i will look drunk. this would be okay if it were true. in the picture below, it is NOT.

seriously. what is wrong with my eyes?

2. bobby flay is just as hot in puerto rico as he is in my living room in oklahoma.

i have a feeling patrick is more interested in the hot dogs bobby is cooking than he is in bobby's hotness. yes. we watched the food channel while we were on vacation. more on this in a bit.

3. um. i'm short compared to a lot of people. but especially when compared to patrick. (on a nerdy note: we watched the nba draft last night and decided to measure our wingspans. mine is a WHOPPING 5'3". patrick's? 6'8". crazy. i like this because i can always find him in a crowd. except a NASCAR crowd. there are a ridiculously large number of very tall NASCAR fans. um yes. i went to a race. another story....)

but kind of just the right height to annoy him when he is trying to take pictures . . .

. . . and i hold my camera up to get the "high" shot.

4. it rains. even in puerto rico.

5. san juan is VERY touristy. especially old san juan as it is in easy walking distance for the cruise ship crowds when they dock.
but even in the midst of tourist central you can find some great places to eat. our absolute favorite meal was at cafe berlin, which you can kind of see behind the statue of christopher columbus. so. if you go on a cruise and your ship stops here walk a little further up the hill, past the hard rock and senor frogs and harley shop and find this place instead. it's apparently an amazing vegetarian establishment . . . i wouldn't know. we ate meat. and it was goooood. their hummus was fabulous, too. (don't you think i should be a food reviewer? so eloquent with my descriptions of taste and such.)

6. now. there's a chance i have some pretty radical statements and opinions about food. but. such is me. one food i've never been a huge fan of is coconut. the texture scares me and the smell/taste is way too close to hawaiian tropic for me to consider ingesting it. but, since i was in a tropical locale and everything is served with coconut and rum (something else i've never been a huge fan of), i decided to forget my biases and dive headfirst into a pina colada.

now. maybe it's because i drank it on the beach while i was slathered in hawaiian tropic (which ironically IS one of my favorite smells), but i rather enjoyed my first pina colada experience . . . and my second and fourth and fifth . . .

7. we have not mastered taking photos together.

exhibit a - the camera was on zoom when a nice lady tried to take our pic for us.

exhibit b - the WIND!!! like there's A LOT on the beach at night!

8. this was my first real vacation. ever. my family and friends live all over the country, which for the most part (other than the not getting to see them enough part) i LOVE because it means i get to travel to some really great places to visit people i care about. being a teacher has made that even more plausible because i have a big chunk of time to do that traveling. but, being a teacher has also means i don't always have the funds to do "other" kinds of trips. yes. i've done england a couple of times, but i don't really consider that a vacation because, well, i was either in school or traveling with cody. (with LOVE! i say this with LOVE!) she doesn't really stay still. and also my sister and cousin, erin. who also don't really stay still. so yes. i've traveled. but i haven't really vacationed. and that's what we did. and except for our flight back from puerto rico every single part of our trip was relaxing. and chill. and just what i wanted it to be. no real plans. just hanging out together.

even if that meant watching throwdown with bobby flay randomly in the afternoons while we were trying to stay out of the heat.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

if these walls could talk

april is here.

and this means i've been in this house for 9 months.

9 months of hitting my head on the shower nozzle in the morning because it is seriously JUST MY SIZE....which as one of my kids told me the other day is "fun size." god, i love 7th graders. but anyway. 9 months of making this place my home. it still isn't quite there, yet. but that is what summer break is all about. apparently. now that i'm old.

but everyday when i get out of my car, i'm reminded just how insignificant my 9 months in this house really is.

it was built in 1955. and when it was built, my street was as far south as you could go and still be in town. now "town" is one of the biggest 'burbs around. at closing, beverly - the original owner - told me the story . . . she and her husband got married on easter weekend. her daddy bought this house for her and her husband on that saturday and they moved in on sunday. with two suitcases and some bedding. and when he came home from dinner on monday she cooked him their first dinner together . . .

she owned this house for 55 years.

i don't know why that strikes me like it does. maybe because as i've made it my own, i've discovered pieces of their story . . . like the wall paper in each of the front bedrooms that had just been painted over years and years and years ago. wall paper from 1950's children's rooms. the random bullet i found in the back of a drawer. the draperies from the 1978 jc penney's catalog that dominated me when i took them down on night one. beverly's husband's grave marker out in the shed . . .

but my favorite part of their story is in the garage. it's what i get to see every day when i am leaving and going.

one wall of the garage is filled with all of his notes about the maintenance he did on their cars.

again. these notes strike me.

it makes me happy that beverly had someone who took such meticulous care of her.

there's love on the walls of my garage.

not many people can say that.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

music note

(so i'm going to pretend that i haven't NOT blogged in over two months and just jump right into things...)

last weekend? i realized i was old.

it all started about a month and a half ago when my sister called to tell me that patty griffin was going to be playing in lawrence, kansas sometime in march. would i like to drive up with her and go? and when ica called with such an offer (i'll explain the awesomeness of it in a bit. trust.) i had yet to realize how old i was, so i quickly said yes and my inner hippie/folk music loving soul glowed for a while. because....i was going to see patty. live. in lawrence. my favorite singer in one of my favorite towns with (obviously) one of my favorite people....

but then? the oldness set in. i think it started to take place toward the end of spring break. a couple of "traumatic" things happened: it SNOWED! on SPRING BREAK! in OKC! my cowboys lost in the first round of the ncaa tourney. my jayhawks lost in the second round of the ncaa tourney. i had to go back to school knowing full well that summer is still 2 months away. all of these things combined to drag me down. not the best way to go back to work. and then work. yeah. kind of stressful right now. and that's all i'll say about that.

so these things together, plus my general laziness that seems to abound from december until, um, now?, just kind of made me dread getting in a car and driving 5 hours. for a concert. why did i agree to this?

but. screw being old.

because patty? well, she's enough to make you forget about the snow, sad basketball games, work stress, and everything else. for me, at least, she is. i discovered her music not long after i moved to texas after round one of college. i heard a song over the speakers in the music section of barnes and noble and went to ask the guy at the counter who he was playing. he launched into his adoration of patty and within 25 seconds of his superlatives i'd purchased her cd.

so for the past ten years, i've listened to patty. to be somewhat cliche, her music has been my soundtrack for the last decade of my life. she's helped me drive more miles along i-35 than i can even bare to add up. i lost my voice on a weekend road trip to houston because i sang along with her cd's the entire way there and the entire way back. i've discussed the philosophy in her lyrics with friends, listened to the raw emotion her voice is able to convey through a simple recording, and ignored my claustrophobia to sway in an audience at nyc's webster hall with my sister while we listened to her live.....

i could go on. i don't think i'm making much sense or am even explaining myself very well at all. i just know that, yes. i felt old last weekend.

it was rough.

it was worth it.

because when i listened to patty sing i heard her through my "old" ears.

and songs that have always been beautiful to me sounded......


to the old me i've become.

to the old me i'm starting to like.

so thanks for helping me grow up, patty.


here are a couple of videos.....the first is my favorite favorite favorite song. and that's saying a lot because it's ridiculously hard for me to choose between so, so, so many.

the next video is from an audience member. it's another of my favorites and i cry every time i listen to it. last saturday when i got to hear her sing it live was probably one of my best musical moments. also. um. if you are a singer? you should be able to sing live. case in point:

so a lot of patty's songs get covered by other artists. the dixie chicks did "fly" and it is (in my opinion) one of their best songs. below two of my favorites sing "up to the mountain." just another version of such a GREAT song.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

winter storm warning....

so last night when i went to bed it was 54 degrees, but several schools had already closed because of the impending weather. my district? not one of i still had to deal with my alarm this morning.....until i finally got the call saying we were out. and it still hadn't even hit freezing.

normally i would scoff, but i've been obsessively watching the weather radar since 6:30 and i am applauding the school districts for closing before anything is on the ground. it's getting ready to get bad here and fast, i believe. okies thinking ahead? wow. (with love people. i say that with love!)

that said. OMG I AM BORED. i'm going to do some laundry. and maybe clean a little. but then? that's all i've got. i guess i'll do some treadmill time, here in a second, but seriously. it's going to be a long day. probably two. and maybe even three.

Monday, January 25, 2010

a and b

so yeah. i've got some new years resolutions. most of them revolve around the fact that i am *hopefully* going to be beach bound for a week in june. more on that later.

but randomly, i also decided that i want to accomplish two physical feats this year. hopefully by june, but whatever. and they are a) i want to be able to do AT LEAST 25 "real" pushups. and b) i want to be able to do a cartwheel again.

for the "a" goal this would be a big deal and would probably say a lot about how i'm doing on those other resolutions i mentioned in the first paragraph. i kind of have always felt bad about having no upper arm strength at all. yes. i know this is excused because i am lacking the y chromosome, but still. but then, one of my friends who is like crazy active and played sports her whole life told me that she can't do "real" pushups, either. oddly, that made me feel better, which in turn made me feel like i should take this on as a goal.

or something.

now the whole cartwheel thing? am i alone in this? at what point does one lose the ability to do a cartwheel? cuz, like, i use to do them all of the freakin' time. and then somewhere along the way - i'm gonna blame middle school - i just stopped. and lost the ability. and to be quite honest, now the thought of going upside down kind of terrifies me in a mild sense.

so i'm like throwing down some sort of gauntlet. to myself? is that how this works?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

omg why do i suck so much?

okay. so. last year? i got super motivated and started running and eating like a pound of broccoli a day and drinking only water and iced tea and the occasional triple grande nonfat latte with cinnamon powder on top from starbucks. and tonight? i ate bueno. and guess what? it wasn't even the first time i'd done that in a while. also guess what? it was not very good.

i may have also had two - or three by the time i've written this blog - glasses of wine (red diamond merlot, which is SO SO SO yummy and makes me feel classy because i am drinking red wine. shut up. i know drinking it with bueno kind of takes away the class. but still it was good. and kind of made me forget how crappy my party burrito tasted.).

anyway. i don't know what my deal is, or has been, for the last four months or so. because i really liked the changes i made last year. i felt good. i was starting to look kind of good. that may have been the tan, but whatever. i'll give the water and broccoli some credit here. and also. the best part? i had TONS of energy.

most of those things are gone right now. and i am not stating that to be whiny or melodramatic. because you know what? some of those have been replaced by some really good things. and i am actually really content with a big part of life right now. which is probably why those things have kind of shifted to the back of my focus.

but yeah. i need to get some focus back. i'll let you know how that goes....

Monday, January 11, 2010

happy anniversary!

so it was pointed out to me by the author of THIS blog, who herself has been m.i.a. when it comes to writing over the last few months, that i hadn't written anything. like in forever. because i suck. and since everyone has probably quit reading my blog entirely this post is probably just going to fade away into the ether of the internet.

but since it is the new year and all and i actually do get a kick out of writing i'm gonna clack away on the keyboard.

and all to celebrate a very special anniversary.

a year ago - give or take a week - i became one of thoooooooose people. you know us. we annoy the hell out of you if you aren't one of our kind. you get annoyed any time we mention an "app" and you could care less about our capabilities to check email, twitter, and facebook ANY TIME WE WANT (even if we are teaching. shh.). mmhmm. i got an iphone.

and i love it. and i know i am part of a cult. and i know it is just a gadget. but oh boy how i love it.

so to celebrate....i'm just going to share some of the random pictures i've taken on my phone over the last year. trust. they are not that exciting. but hey. neither is my life.

also i am lazy, so there's a chance - pretty much a 100% chance - that there will be like no order to these pictures and how they are uploaded into the format....

also i just finished uploading pictures. i apologize now that there are so many. i could have put even more up, though, so yay for restraint!

see. like i said. totally out of order. this was a drift on the side of the road heading out to patrick's on christmas day. a day later than we were suppose to go. thanks oklahoma christmas eve blizzard of 'o9.

also a december picture. yay for friends who get married! the other side of this said "as you wish." if you are in the know, you will understand why my friend joy and i squealed and deafened our boys who happened to be trapped in a car with us at the time.

my tree! without many presents under it! but my paper was pretty!

the best picture i have ever taken in my life. seriously. hey baby drake!

lucy of course!
damn i love this dog.

when you see the next picture you will understand why my dad (especially those of you who know my dad) was a tad concerned that this might become a new habit.

4-wheelin'. in the snow. wearing camo.
and LOVING it!
even the snow!

someone playing in the spices at central market.
and no. i'm not talking about the small child in the foreground of the picture.

the giant traveling candy store at the oklahoma state fair. kimmy. this one's for you!

i bought a grill this year.
i make awesome kabobs.
i will cook for you if you come visit.

ikea. frisco. i want to do this in my den.

this sign seriously made me sad for the "modern child."
patrick was in a wedding this summer and he sent me this picture via HIS iphone to demonstrate juuuuuust how pink the wedding was. but then we were both like, "oooooh cool picture." and it is.

bob schneider. chicago. june. which of the following did i consume that night? beer, straight vodka, margaritas, beer, sangria, beer. yeah. worst. hangover. ever.
(erin, i think i still owe you some money for the get better supplies the next morning!)

8 years of teaching. all on one cart.

lucy in her new backyard.

my birthday dinner with cody. who gave me the best gift ever. i'll write about it another time. also. random encounter with two people from my amarillo childhood who were sitting at the booth next to us. whom i hadn't seen in FOREVER. it was a great birthday.
oh. i was born in '78. so i thought it was super cool that our number was '78.
oh. this place had frozen screwdrivers. yum.
i keep typing hoping the name of the restaurant is going to pop in my head, but it won't!!!!!
it was in the hospital district in fort worth, though.

callie. she says my name now and it is the awesomest thing ever!
you would not believe how many pictures i have of her crazy hair and her sister's crazy hair. i take that back.
if you've met them, you'd totally believe that.

i apologize for the profanity, but this was the wall of a bathroom at a bar in downtown tulsa by cain's.
it made me laugh. before pabst even.

still the grossest thing i've ever had to think about. no wait.
the bacon flavored jelly beans i was forced to taste may top this.
oh and my nails look pretty in this picture. i need to quit biting them again.

so. there is my odd scrapbook for 2009. maybe if i write more this year i can do this as i go and not cram it all into a post that takes me nearly an evening to write. (so new goal? to stop writing like a 1980's valley girl. yikes. apologies again.)

now if you'll excuse me, my iphone and i are going to go cuddle up and play some "words with friends" before we crash for the night.