Sunday, July 30, 2006

A sappy post

Today I jogged with Francesca, did laundry, and washed my car. I never used to wash the minivan, but the Highlander is so pretty, and I am so proud of it, I'll brave the 99 degree heat to clean it.

Anna helped me some, then played with her dad's nuts and bolts in the garage. Francesca was tethered to a tree (so she could be "with us"), and after a while she got so hot she started whining.

"What's the matter, girl? Why are you so sad?" I asked her.

Anna said, "I'm not sad, Mommy. I'm happy." And I thought: me, too. After working all week, it is so nice to have a couple of days off to be lazy (ie sleep in until 7:45!) and do domestic chores.

I laughed and said, "Yeah, Anna, I'm happy, too."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Chicken Seminar

On Sunday we went to a chicken seminar at our local organic farm. It was meant for people interested in raising backyard chickens, and people who already have them were also encouraged to attend. It brought out all kinds of "Austin weird" people (some smelled better than others). In addition to chicken husbandry, they discussed the dilemna of what to feed your hens: is organic feed shipped from New England better, or would it be better to give them potentially genetically modified stuff that doesn't put so many hydrocarbons in the atmosphere (also half the cost)?

My kids enjoyed seeing the many chickens and also wallowing in the dirt.

Filthy Colin

Anna and dinosaur

Maybe while we're in this mini dust bowl, we could share some peanuts and dirt for a snack?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Funniest comment all night

We went out with friends last night, ditching all our kids with the intrepid Jessica. At the end of the evening we were mightily entertained by two funny but very drunk Scotsmen.

One of them poured 2 small bottles of Guinness into his pint glass. "Everything in America is sold in these little things, its ridiculous! Everything is so small," he said. Then added, "Except for the women's asses! Look at that one over there!"

(OK, also not small in America: the cars, the roads, the houses, the people, and the portions of everything EXCEPT Guinness. What else can you think of?).

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Two Work Stories

At work last week, some of the staff were complaining about some children creating a ruckus in the waiting room. Most of our staff are not "kid people" but they are fine with normal children. These girls were running around and smacking the fish tank. Now, my son has done that on occasion, but I do correct him. These girls were old enough to know better and were doing it repeatedly.

I went into an exam room to examine a cat. Speaking to the owner, there was suddenly pounding on the door. "Sorry," the girl said, "I'm babysitting today, so I had to bring them with me." So, the naughty children were with her!

"Oh, do you want them to come in the room?" I asked.

"Oh no," she said, "That would be too distracting."

All I can say is, glad she's not my babysitter!

Later, I examined a little dog who had some cuts from being out all night. He was okay; he just had some minor abrasions and was lame from a blister on his foot pad.

"Did he sneak out and party all night?" I asked jokingly. Then, I got the whole story.

The couple who owned the dog were pet sitting for their parents. The parents' house was burglarized, and the burglar took this small friendly dog with him. A neighbor saw a suspicious truck in the driveway, and gave the description of the truck to the police later when they investigated. Another person reported a suspicious person in the same truck came up to their house, asking for a bogus person, and then left. The couple searched for their dog all night, then after hearing about the second near-victim the next morning, started searching in that neighborhood for the dog.

Luckily, they found him on that street, about 5 miles away from their house. They said they were more upset about the dog being taken than the burglary, since the stuff could be replaced, but not their precious pooch.

They decided to get their dog a microchip in case he ever got out again. They were a little disappointed to find out it didn't have GPS capabilities - like looking up a website to see where your dog is! In reality, you have to have a handheld scanner and run it over the animal to get the microchip number, then call the company to see to whom the animal belongs. I like the GPS idea, though.

I prescribed a pain reliever, neosporin, and a nap for everyone involved.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I know I live in Texas. But the season is depressing me. I came home this afternoon, and the kids and I were prisoners of the house.

"What fun thing do you want to do this afternoon?" I asked them, and they wanted to go to the park. It was 100+ degrees outside. I declined.

"But, Mommy, remember, our park is shaded with lots of trees," Anna said.

Its still too hot.

"Mommy, we could bring an umbrella to shade our eyes."

Then I tried to explain radiant heating.

Its too hot to go play outside, unless you go to the pool, and I don't have the energy or time to do that every day. Its too hot to take the dog for a jog (its 90 degrees by 9 am!). Its too hot for a bike ride. Its too hot to garden. And its not even August (our hottest month).

Instead of going outside (or watching TV or playing on the computer) the kids made a fort under the dining room table in the front room. After Anthony came home, I made the liquid cure for Southern Seasonal Affective Disorder.

White Peach Margaritas

2 cups sliced frozen white peaches (or not frozen, if you're desperate, like today)
3/4 cup tequila
1/3 cup triple sec
Juice of 1 large or 2 small limes
2 cups crushed ice
2 tbsp sugar

Blenderize until all your heat rash is forgotten....

(almost as good as Steph's margarita snowcones)

Monday, July 17, 2006

You know you work at a vet clinic when...

My boss recently celebrated the birth of his first grandchild, a girl, by passing out Chew-gars.

A rolled rawhide cigar.

Francesca really appreciated it!

Sunday, July 16, 2006


"Where's Batana, Mommy?" Colin asked today at the breakfast table, thinking about sweet Montana out of the blue.

Me: "Honey, she's gone. She died, remember? We buried her in the backyard."

Colin: "Mommy, the Rolly-Polly's eat her?"

Me: "Yes, the Rolly-Polly's are eating her."

Colin: "Mommy, that's bad?"

Me: "No, its okay, she's not using her body anymore."

Colin: "The Rolly-Polly's hurt her?"

Me: "No, she's dead, she can't feel them."

Then we all talked a little about how great Montana was, and how much I miss her, everyday. I got a little teary, and Colin said,

"Mommy, you go to your room?"

(When the kids cry and throw a fit, we send them to their bedrooms. I don't know where he got the Rolly-Polly idea.)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tofu To go

Whenever we go to a new country, Anthony and I like to visit the grocery stores. We find it a fascinating way to see how the people actually live. We are always enthralled at the quality and prices of most of the stuff (never thinking of how we would miss buying some of the stuff we get regularly at home, like tortillas and salsa!).

It felt like we did that again this week, when we visited a new Asian megamart grocery store that just opened in North Austin. It was absolutely huge and packed with cheap stuff. The strip mall that surrounds it will soon be filled with Asian-related shops, including 8 restaurants.

As we walked in the entry way of the store, the overwhelming smell of seafood and slightly rotten produce greeted us with the Buddha sitting by the door. "I don't think this is a good idea," Anna said, holding her wrinkled nose. I assured her it would be alright, just different, and it was. The produce was fascinating - huge spiny fruits and wrinkly knobbly vegetables I'd never seen before. A Thai man and his wife gushed about the Asian pumpkin so much I had to buy a slice. The tofu was sold in bulk and it was so cheap! And there were at least 2 aisles of dried fish. My kids' favorite part was the tanks of live fish: big-lipped catfish, silvery tilapia, and clawing crabs.

After a while, all the choices of curries, pot stickers, and noodles was overwhelming. All the packaging looked so different that what we are used to at a traditional store. Anthony took the kids home so I could check out all the frozen foods and dishware in peace. The weirdest thing I saw: plucked decapitated duck heads, all lined up on a styrofoam tray, wrapped in cellophane, $1.50/lb.

I ended up with 3 bags of groceries for just $20. We dined on tofu curry, made with coconut milk and that piece of pumpkin. Mmmmm

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Hooray for New Blogs

My cousin Paula took the bait and started her own blog. She's been one of my favorite commenters - her brief sentences just crackle with personality and colloquialisms.

Paula is 3 years older than me, and we were briefly penpals as young girls (d'you remember that, P?). My favorite memory of her is when I visited her in England once with my dad - I must've been like 11 and she was an ultra-cool 14. She had beautiful dark hair and wore exotic make-up and lived in the same bedroom my dad was born in. She kinda scared me because she listened to really rad music like IRON MAIDEN which she wrote in angular letters with chalk on the stones by the old church at the end of Church Street.

Most of all I thought she was so lucky because she lived less than a block from our sweet Nana. We walked down there together, and 81-year-old Nana made us tea with sugar. Nana sat on her bed and we two sat on the settee (her tiny bedroom and living room were the same). While I sat there wide-eyed, loving their Runcorn accents, teenaged Paula acted bored and rolled her eyes. But even then I could see the subtle way she checked up on Nana, making sure she was all right, that let me know that she really loved her too, and I was so jealous.

Friday, July 07, 2006

List Up to 3 Meme

Sinda (the friend, not the aunt) tagged me (cursed me?) with this musical meme, which shouldn't be so hard, but it is. Here's how uncool I am.

Name Up to Three:

Songs I Loathe:
Beverly Hills by Weezer (I hear this song nearly everyday at work, and it brings forth uniform strife from me and my coworkers. It is so bad, I can't think of another song for this category).

Artists I Loathe:
Britney Spears
Sheryl Crow
(Nothing against them personally. But who told these pretty girls they could sing?)

Rolling Stones Songs I Love:
You Can't Always Get What You Want (makes me instantly think of THE BIG CHILL.)

Beatles Songs I Love:

Uh, how about the entire anthology? My sisters and I grew up listening to them on endless 8-track loop and being sung by my dad. Favorites: Yesterday, My Life, Eleanor Rigby, Revolution, Twist and Shout.

Who Songs I Love:
OK, I can recognize all their radio-ready stuff? but I don't really know them or love them.

Reggae Songs I Love:
OK, I can appreciate the syncopated rhythm? but all the songs sound the same to me and I can't sing along with any of them.

Country Songs I Love:
I Got Friends in Low Places -Garth Brooks
Boot Scootin' Boogie -Brooks and Dunn
I'll Still Be Loving You -Restless Heart

Can you tell I listened to country when I was at A&M in the 90's? This of course doesn't include David Allen Coe or Willie, which to me supercede this category.

Movie Soundtracks I Love:
I pretty much wore out PRETTY IN PINK on the tape deck in my Jeep

Musical Soundtracks I Love:
Phantom of the Opera
My Fair Lady
Sound of Music

Cover Songs:
American Woman -Lenny Kravitz

Contemporary Top 40 Artists I Secretely Love:


Songs that Bring Me To Tears:

True Companion -Marc Cohn
With or Without You -U2
The Lightning Express -Everly Brothers

Songs that make me shake my Ass:

Anything by Erasure
I Like to Move It Move It -Madagascar
Dragostea Din Tei (The Numa Numa Song)

Classical Composers I love:

OK, this category is too broad for JUST 3! Mozart, Beethoven, Mendolssohn, Handel, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Vivaldi, etc etc.

Rap/Hip Hop Songs I love:
Hey Ya -Outkast
Parents Just Don't Understand -Will Smith

70's Disco Songs I love:

Take a Chance on Me (or anything else by) -ABBA
Saturday Night Fever -BeeGees
I Will Survive -Gloria Gaynor

70s Supergroup Songs I love:

Bicycle and Bohemian Rhapsody -Queen

Metal Songs I love:
You Shook Me All Night Long -ACDC
Love Bites -Def Lepard
Jump -Van Halen

New Wave Songs I love:

The Promise -When in Rome
Don't You Want Me Baby? -Human League
Anything by Yaz

Soul/R&B Songs I love:

You Send Me -Sam Cooke
My Girl -The Temptations

Powerballad Songs I love:
Open Arms -Journey
Every Rose Has Its Thorn -Poison (especially if Anthony is singing it!)

Pre 1950's Songs I love:
It Had to be You -var. artists
Summertime -Gershwin
My Old Man Said Follow the Van

Singer/Songwriters I Love:
John Denver (sappy, I know)
Billy Joel (just don't think about his new wife's age)

MTV Videos I Love:
Take On Me -AHa
Vogue -Madonna
(Can you tell I haven't watched videos since the 80's? Anthony says he loves Money for Nothing by Dire Straits)

Songs I Can Totally Karaoke:
Lost In Your Eyes -Debbie Gibson (now you KNOW I'm not cool)
Love Shack -B52s (yeah, one drunken night I got up there with some friends who said they could do it? but I ended up singing all three parts. Ask Anthony if I was any good.)

None of the above, but I love them:
Time after Time -Cyndi Lauper
Closer to Fine -Indigo Girls
More Than Words -Extreme

Alright, I didn't put tons of time into this meme, but I finished it, dammit.

I hereby tag both my sisters, Leah (who sings along with every song on the radio, no matter the genre), Paige (she knows reggae), Leigh-Ann and anyone else who wants to do it.

I wish I could tag PAULA, but she doesn't have a blog yet, not that I know of. Paula, have you gone on Blogger to see how easy it is to start your own blog? Your comments are witty and sparking with personality -in just a few sentences- we'd all like to see you do a blog... right, guys?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Summer Holiday Weekend

With this holiday and my current schedule, I have 4 1/2 days off in a row! I am really enjoying them, knowing soon I will be going into work 6 days a week the rest of July (although some of them will be half days).

Monday we went to my dear Uncle Tom's cabin (literally!) on Lake LBJ. My parents had come all the way from El Paso to stay a few days with him, so we couldn't miss an opportunity to see them when they were only 1 hour away. Tom took us all for lunch to his favorite TexMex restaurant (The Tamale King!) and then took us out on his pontoon boat. The kids really enjoyed swimming in the water, jumping of the end of the boat to Nana and Grandad with their noodles. Colin also liked the "motorcycle boats" as he called the many jet-skis.

I couldn't believe it when we finally made it back to the cabin that it was 7 pm. Time does fly when your having so much family fun. So much for our plan to get back early. "Why does he have his mouth open?" Anna asked about her sleeping brother.

Today, we went to a small local lake for fishing. Well, the kids and Anthony fished. I jogged around the lake with the dog. She would've kept going, but I was hot and tired after one loop (3.1 miles!). Like an idiot, I forgot to put on sunblock, except for my face (which I always do immediately after washing it in the morning). I guess it was the overcast morning that made me forget. It seems like I have to forget once a year, just to help me believe in the power of sunblock. My fair skin is really sensitive to the sun's rays. My face, under lotion and a visor, is normal, but my arms are lobster red and radiating heat. Doh!

Tomorrow, the kids have their second swim lesson. The first one went great. Anna was eager to show off for her new teacher, and I heard several parents chuckling at her general enthusiasm. And that was before she saw her brother in a neighboring swim class, and started waving and hollering, "HI, COLIN! THAT'S MY BROTHER! HE'S MY BROTHER! HI, COLIN!"

He was happy to see her, too, but was also pleased to have found the drain in the side of the wall. "Wook, a hole!"