Friday, February 29, 2008

Trying something new!

So I have been wanting to do more with my photography. I take beautiful pictures of my kids, I think I do a pretty nice job with nature and landscape and I LOVE traveling the backroads of the southwest taking photos of old buildings, barns and farmhouses. I have been considering delving into portrait photography. I would prefer to work with entertainers, musicians and just interesting people, not the typical, white, hazy background with the little All-American family, after all, kids are HARD to take pictures of! But I'm a long way off from getting to do the fun stuff. Now it is time to just experiment with portrait photography, the use of lights and reflectors and all the gadget-type crap that I'm not used to. When I do landscape and nature photography, I rely on natural light. Anyway, I have a wonderful friend who is VERY pregnant and I have convinced her that she needs to do belly photos. I did belly photos with both my pregnancies and they are, by far, my favorite photos of myself. The pregnant woman is a wondrous, glowing, sexy thing and far too few women embrace this time of their lives. So I am happy that she is allowing me the honor of photographing her beautiful body. I hope I get at least a few really nice shots to commemorate this wonderful time in her life! I will ask her if I can post one of them, depending on how good I do!

It's Leap Day!

So... what should I do with my one extra day of 2008? Hmmmmm... if I could do anything I wanted, I would blink my eyes and be on some beautiful white sand beach, where the sun is shining, there is a slight, warm breeze and I would drink wonderful drinks made with fresh coconuts and pineapples, I would have a massage, pedicure, and manicure. I would eat luscious tropical fruits and fresh fish. I would swim and snorkel in warm water and I would be at peace with everything around me. I would have Big Daddy there to enjoy all these wonderful things with me and I would have my children there, running and leaving their sweet little footprints in the sand and splashing in the water (of course all of this would be under the direct supervision of an EXTREMELY qualified young woman who could take care of all the meltdowns and whining!) It would be a wonderful day!

As it is... I will probably blog a bit, have a nice big cup of hot tea with sugar and milk, do some dishes, pick up the house for the weekend, take my kiddos to park day, finish my window seat cushion, and go through some pregnancy photography sites (I'll explain later) and do my best to show my sweet little kitty I love her. Sadly, I have an appointment to put her down tomorrow, her pain is extreme and I can't let her suffer any longer. I am so NOT alright with all this, but what can I do? Anyway, don't want to get into it too much right now, I need to have a halfway decent day and don't need to start crying this early!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Book Meme

My friend Sean posted a book meme that I thought was interesting so I thought I'd participate. You have to go to the nearest book that has over 123 pages, go to p. 123, find the first 5 sentences, then post the next 3. You're supposed to send it on to 5 other bloggers, but I don't know that many, so there ya have it. But I still thought it was kind of cool.

"At the microscopic level, it gives each of our tissues and organs its distinctive appearance and function. An eyeball looks different from a leg bone whether we look at it with the naked eye or under a microscope. In fact, much of the difference between a leg bone and an eye rests in the ways the cells and materials are arranged deep inside."

So what is the book?

YOUR INNER FISH--A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body
Written by Neil Shubin

I haven't started reading this yet, but plan to knock it out over the next week, seems fascinating! I can't wait!

Monday, February 25, 2008

McKinney Falls State Park

We took advantage of a gorgeous, sunny Sunday afternoon by packing the kids up and heading out to McKinney Falls State Park for a little day hike. It was nice to get outside and into the fresh air and the scenery was nice, but we learned pretty damn quick that the jogging stroller was NOT gonna happen. The more scenic trail was definitely rugged with lots of stairs and rocky terrain. In fact, the majority of the area was VERY rocky and hard for Miss Piggle Wiggle to get around. It sucks when you're 20-months old and don't quite have a handle on the whole walking thing yet! I didn't have the backpack, so we ended up passing her back and forth and implementing ALOT of shoulder rides! Once we got down to the water though, we just relaxed and watched the kids throw rocks into the ponds. I tried a few times to teach the Monkey Man how to skip rocks, but he just didn't seem to grasp the concept of throwing the flat part of the rock to keep it parallel with the water. Oh well, with time! It was fun though and we were so happy to get out of the house! And I managed to snap a couple of cool pics. Gotta love that hat, right??? And have I mentioned how tickled I get at Texas "waterfalls"? I guess after living in the Pacific NW, I'm a little biased and know what a WATERFALL should really look like. Here they kind of look like kitchen faucets or at best a leaking fire hydrant!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

OK Nature... here we come!

I have fond memories of camping with my family as a child. So, I thought this might be a fun thing to do with my little family now that my youngest is more mobile and my oldest REALLY enjoys the outdoors. I wasn't too sure how Big Daddy was gonna feel about it, I mean hell, neither of us have camped in like 15 years or something! What really got me motivated though was my homeschooler group. They have yearly spring and fall camping trips and this year they are going to Dinosaur Valley State Park and I've always wanted to go there (at least ever since I saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure). I figured this would be the perfect opportunity for our "virgin" trip. We will be right along side a bunch of camping pros and worst case scenario, we'd be about an hour away from my cousin in Dallas! Big Daddy found a great tent and he set it up all by himself out in the front yard yesterday. I was quite impressed! I think it is a good size and will house family and gear just fine. I'm looking forward to getting out there are trying this, a little nervous, after all keeping an eye on 2 kids literally 24-7 for 3 days is a little daunting, but how will we ever get into it and learn if we don't just jump right in!

Friday, February 22, 2008

No... I didn't die, but almost wished I had!

Sorry for the lapse in any blogging entries as of late. Turns out last Friday the Miss Piggle Wiggle started up with the puking flu. And of course, being a good mother, I made a little bed in the floor of her room and stayed with her and of course got barfed on and all that great stuff. So it was no wonder that Sat. night I too joined the ranks and began puking my guts out. Fun, fun, fun! I tried my hardest to stay far away from the Monkey Man and his daddy, but to no avail. The Monkey Man started with the puking on Monday. I had a relapse on Tues. and basically life has just sucked ass this past week! Luckily Big Daddy made it through without contracting the deadly Valentine's Plague of 2008 and he should feel VERY lucky! So, if any of you wondered where I've been, that would be it. Hope everyone out there is doing well and staying healthy. This flu was really the worst thing I've had in a couple of years! Ugh!

Friday, February 15, 2008

What's on the menu?

I'm a little late in posting this, but hey, better late than never, right? We always host the yearly Superbowl party and I always serve up something yummy and warm. I generally do some sort of soup or stew because I can make alot, it keeps well on the stove so people can eat when they want, and it really sticks to the ribs! This year I prepared my awesome and completely tasty Green Chile Stew (poor girl's version)! This recipe is great with stew meat or tender pork, but when you're poor or have ALOT of people to feed, it is just as tasty and alot cheaper to use ground beef. And for those of you who are not familiar with the difference, when I say "chile", I do not mean a red meat sauce that may or may not contain beans like Hormel or Wolf brand chili, I am talking about the actual peppers, green chiles, Hatch green chiles are probably the most famous. The recipe is simple and very satisfying, enjoy!

Green Chile Stew

Meat--1 lb ground beef, stew meat, diced pork (whichever you prefer)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 cup or more (depending on how spicy you want it) of green chiles
1 can corn or equivalent frozen
4 diced potatoes
2 cups cooked pinto beans
salt, pepper, dried oregano
3-5 dried red peppers (preferably chipotles)
1 tbsp Crisco (if using stew meat or pork)

Brown meat, add and saute garlic and green chiles. Add water like a regular stew. Add the rest of the ingredients and let cook until done and potatoes are tender. Serve with tortillas.

Heathens of Suburbia

So, if any of my neighbors pay any sort of attention to what goes on at our dwelling, they are probably convinced that we are total heathens (which probably isn't too far from the truth). I have hex ball that hangs in the window over my black front door, when I moved into my home and got my new car (which was actually used) I smudged them with sage in the Native American tradition. Last year before my good friend moved to Minnesota she dropped by in a big rush to give me a picture frame with an image of the Chinese kitchen god that she asked me to hang in my kitchen. I was supposed to hang him up and ask him to watch over my home. When the Chinese New Year hit I was to pull him out of the frame, rub honey on his lips (so he would go up to whatever higher god there is and tell it sweet things about us) and just as an extra measure, you dip him in alcohol so he's a little loaded and happy when he arrives to his destination! So here I was on a wind advisory day in a dry ass backyard, smearing honey on his lips and dipping him in Sailor Jerry's spiced rum and catching him on fire. The damn wind kept blowing him out, then it would catch a piece and blow it onto the dry grass where I'd have to run and stomp it out! Anyway, he was sent off in not so fine fashion, hope he was drunk enough not to notice! :-) Then as if all that weren't enough to have us labeled, we had the windows wide open the last couple of nights as the hubby has been having some ringing in his ears so we decided to candle them and clear them out. So picture him sitting on a stool in the bathroom with a long, burning candle sticking out of his ear! The smoke was awful so we had to open windows to ensure that the smoke alarm wouldn't go off and wake the baby! The Monkey Man was actually a little weirded out by the whole ear candle thing, he wanted to know why I was burning Daddy's ears, so I told him it was because Daddy doesn't listen to me! I think he is still a little unnerved by that little revelation! Anyway, I suppose I need to finish off my ecclectic heathinistic household by finding a horseshoe to hang over the back door, a four leaf clover to wear around my neck and a nice little black cat. Then hopefully I will have sufficiently covered my karmic ass on most levels!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I may hate Valentine's Day, but I LOVE strawberries!

The Monkey Man and I spent the morning making chocolate dipped strawberries to take to the hubby and his co-workers. Last year I had a partner in crime, but she moved to Minnesota and is up there freezing her tail off as we speak (and most likely cursing). We did 3 different kinds this year, milk chocolate, white chocolate and my fave, dark chocolate. I think they turned out quite lovely, even if I do say so myself!

Did you know...?

That cat barf is the slickest substance on the planet?? I did not know this until 2 nights ago when I walked into the utility room to check on a load of laundry and unbeknownst to me the cat had barfed on the floor and I stepped right in the middle of it (with my favorite Rocket Dog shoes mind you) and slipped a good two feet and damn near fell and broke my arm! It was like stepping on a banana peel that had been placed on a pile of pudding! Had I died, I would have ended up on the Darwin Awards for sure... "Woman in Texas Slips on Cat Vomit and Meets Her Ultimate Demise".

I have read in so many places that pets are good for you, they help you live longer because they lower your blood pressure, give you companionship and that warm fuzzy feeling. Has anyone ever researched how many people have DIED due to pet ownership? I read of a woman in Albuquerque NM who drowned in one of those big rain collecting barrels trying to save her kitten! I am personally convinced that if I don't get killed slipping on cat puke, that I will surely expire from the toxic gases that eek out of my dog's butt EVERY night! It is so bad that we have actually considered gas masks! I never even get the slightest hint of a foul odor from this dog during the day, but I kid you not as soon as you crawl into bed and get all snuggly, he lets one fly and the room becomes a toxic wasteland! It's no wonder why my hubby and I don't have more of those "intimate" moments, it's because we've been rendered unconscious! We may need to rethink the dog's sleeping arrangements!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Just curious...

Why is it when you try to step over a sleeping dog, he immediately wakes up and instantly stands straight up underneath you? And continuing in that train of thought... Why does your dog, who has been sleeping soundly at the top of the stairs, decide to bolt downstairs like a bat out of hell the very same moment YOU start to descend the stairs with a baby in your arms, knocking you COMPLETELY off-balance?

Just wondering.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Valentine's Day... uh, yeah.

So I'm seeing all the commercials for diamond necklaces, greeting cards, and teddy bears, it can only mean one thing... Valentine's Day. Maybe I've just lost my flare for romance, after all, I've been married for 13 1/2 years and I have two kids, romance is hard to come by in this house. Or maybe romance just means something different to me now? If my hubby came home with a box of chocolates and teddy bear, I'd laugh my ass off at him! If he came home with a bouquet of flowers and a diamond necklace, I'd appreciate the flowers and make him take the necklace back as I can think of ALOT of other, more useful things that could be bought with that money. Besides, what makes February 14th so damn special anyway? OK so according to some research, St. Valentine was killed around that time, so it is a celebration of his contribution to life, OK... It is the beginning of the mating season for many birds... AND??? I mean seriously, what is so much more romantic about February 14th then say, May 24th or November 16th? Maybe I'm just a non-conformist, I can't stand someone telling me when I should or shouldn't feel amorous with my mate! Besides, Valentine's Day has become a holiday of commercial stupidity! A bunch of guys running around trying to find cute and romantic little gifts so they can score! And I can vouch for many women and say, we truly don't want these silly little gifts, hell half of them end up in the trash within a week, or in the case of chocolates end up on our asses in a week, which the guys don't seem to like, so why not actually offer something that we can really appreciate? If you REALLY want to impress someone of the female persuasion on Valentine's Day, here's a hint... if you used half the energy you exert to try to get us into bed and used it to sit down and truly focus on US, you would find that the majority of us don't want diamonds and trinkets (think of the money I'm saving you here!), we want a good man that treats us well, appreciates what we contribute to the relationship and tells us so, and I have to say it, is a considerate lover! And I tease about kids being the end of romance, but that isn't exactly true, for in my case, my husband became 10 times sexier when I saw what kind of father he was! It's the simple things boys, we actually want to feel loved, we want to have your honest and genuine affection, we want to be important. It's pretty much that simple. I'm not saying we don't appreciate a nice gift on occasion to let us know you care, but make it heartfelt, and it's even better when it isn't on Valentine's Day. Because seriously, none of us give a shit about the singing dinosaur or heart-holding teddy bear!