Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Seven Years - No Itches

Yesterday Vince and I celebrated our seven year wedding anniversary. And have I mentioned lately how awesome my husband is? No? Well, let me just take this opportunity to inform you all, that my husband, is awesome. Very awesome. Just what makes him so awesome? Well, many things, really. His uncommon good looks. His winning personality. His easy sense of humor. The list could go on and on. But what really made his awesomeness stand out yesterday were these . . .
Those are just a couple of pieces of my brand new, fourteen piece, copper core All-Clad cookware. All-Clad did I say? Yes! All-Clad! And could I be happier? Probably not. They are almost just too pretty to use. I did say, "almost". I am excited beyond words.

So after recuperating from my stunned silence at such an awesome gift, which was given to me by my awesome husband. Oh, I already mentioned that didn't I? That my husband is awesome. And that he gave me the most awesome gift. Sorry. Anyway, he headed to downtown Fort Worth to Texas de Brazil for drinks and a very yummy dinner. This place has a different concept. There is no menu. It has a really nice salad/vegetable station and Gauchos roam the dining room serving all kinds of meat from big metal skewers. Unlimited amounts of meat? Bring it on. We were warned by friends to not eat all day before going to this restaurant so we were starving when we got there. It's fair to say that Ketel One Martini started out my evening nicely. We had never been to Texas de Brazil before, but would most certainly go back. I'm looking forward to it actually. And if you sign up on their website, they'll e-mail you coupons. Since it was our anniversary, they sent us a coupon and we only had to pay for one meal. Bonus! It was the cheapest we've ever gone out for our anniversary before, and every bit as good.

So after a lovely evening of good food and good company, we came home, thanked our new neighbors who so kindly volunteered to watch our kids, (another bonus, no babysitter to pay), and went into a deep - meat - sleep.
And since my system has had about all the meat it can take, tonight I'll be making in my new cookware a nice vegetable curry.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

She's Two! Well, She Was, 10 Days Ago.

On September 13th, we celebrated Francesca's second birthday. I know, I know. What do you expect, the youngest of four. Poor thing, getting jipped on her birthday announcement. Honestly, I don't think she cares. She was very laid back about the whole birthday thing anyway.

I made a nice dinner of Teriyaki Chicken and Sesame Glazed Bok Choy. Everyone ate with gusto, so I considered it a successful dinner. It was pretty much a typical Saturday, except with cupcakes and a balloon. She even got jipped with the balloon though. I normally get our kids balloon bouquets for their birthdays, but since we're living in po'dunked, I have no idea where to go around here to get one. So I ended up picking out a Mylar Winnie the Pooh birthday balloon while at Albertsons getting confectioners sugar for the frosting for her cupcakes. Blueberry, with blueberry-cream cheese frosting, in case you were wondering. She didn't mind the lack of superfluous latex balloons. She loved her Winnie balloon. That is of course until Harrison popped it. How do you pop a Mylar balloon? I have no idea, I never got a straight answer out of Harrison how he did it. It's a gift I guess. Francesca had such a good time blowing out the candles on her cupcake that Vince had to relight the candles. Again. And again. And again. And she wouldn't even lean in to blow them out. She would just purse her lips just right, and blow, not even hard, and those candles would go out every time. We must be easy marks, because she amazed us every time she did it.

Earlier in the week she received a birthday card from Granny M with a savings bond. And on the day of her birthday arrived a nice package from her Grandma DeeDee, filled with new clothes and a stuffed puppy. Annamaria, the Diva, was very disappointed to learn the new clothes were not for her. But we held our ground, and she has yet to get her grubby little hands on her sister's new clothes.
So no big event, no fancy party. But I think she had a good day anyway.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Going Brown

Have I mentioned that the weather here has been lovely lately? No? Well Monday was so wonderful, that we threw open the windows and let the fresh air blow in. When we woke up Tuesday morning, the temperature in the house was under 70 degrees. The house never got warmer than 73 yesterday. This morning the house was 53 degrees! It has been beautiful! Warm sunny days in the mid to high 70's. Cool lovely evenings. Perfect, perfect weather.

When we got back from California for the summer, I was invited to walk in the evenings with some of my neighbors in our area. I thought this was just what I needed, a little exercise, a chance to get to know my neighbors, and a little break from the kids in the evening. So most days after dinner, I put on my walking shoes and head out the door for our evening stroll. For the most part I'd say it has been an enjoyable experience and most of whom I've met are really nice people. It turns out that even when others weren't walking, I've decided that I needed the exercise anyway and headed out on my own.

Since we got Cooper back I've decided that I actually enjoy walking by myself. I can choose any route I wish, keep my own pace, and don't worry about it getting dark since I have my fearless companion with me. But last night I decided I was being unsocial, and decided to join up with the girls for their evening routine.

Sometime this summer while we were gone, a couple bought the house that was built on the corner heading onto our street. A young couple, married two years, no kids, lots of toys and new cars. And a motorcycle. And a riding mower. And two pure bred boxers. O-kay, so I wouldn't have a whole lot in common with these people, but that doesn't mean we can't be friendly. I must admit that I didn't get immediate warm fuzzy feelings for the female half of this couple, (Nor did I feel warm and fuzzy toward the male, but for entirely different reasons, and I'm sure that's a good thing.). During one conversation she asked me how many kids I had, and just seemed astonished that anyone would have the audacity to have as many as four. And while I admit that these days four is a large family compared to most, has she never heard of the Duggers? I'm not that out of line. She went on to say that she is in no rush to have children, if she even wants children, and doesn't want many, if any, at all. Fine. When I was young I never wanted children either, but I don't think I ever made anyone feel bad for having them, and if I did, here is my official apology. I'm Sorry. She just seemed too high maintenance for me, and lately I've had more than I can take of high maintenance people. But I decided to hold my final verdict until I had more interaction with her. She seemed like she was trying to be nice, I just questioned her sincerity.

Anyway, last night as I was headed up the street towards the corner to meet the girls I heard a humming noise and realized that it was High Maintenance Woman's air conditioning. It was 75 degrees outside! I saw her and asked if her air conditioning was running. She looked at me like I had just asked her the most stupid question in the world and said, "Yes". I said, "But it's beautiful out here." She said something about her house being so well insulated that it took a while to cool down. I suggested she try opening her windows. Then I noticed that her new BMW had been replaced with a new GMC Yukon. You know, for all those kids she's planning on having.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What Is Wrong With Cooper?

Last night Vince filled his food bowl, but Cooper wouldn't come to eat. I thought maybe he was depressed since I ran to the grocery store instead of taking him for his nightly walk. He looked a little hunched and his tail was tucked between his legs. He wouldn't even come up to the back porch. I thought maybe I hurt his poor little puppy feelings. So I went back inside and brought him two dog treats to try to cheer him up. He had no interest at all.

Was he sad? Maybe Francesca piling dirt on top of him earlier in the day while he snoozed in the yard made him feel bad about himself. Maybe he should have a bath. Still, he wouldn't come and say hello.

Was he anxious about the impending storm that was scheduled to hit early the next morning? Animals sense things better than us humans. Maybe it was the weather.

Was he concerned about the upcoming presidential election? Our country is in some serious trouble. Immigration. The economy. Fuel issues. The war. Are either candidate what our country needs to address these problems and truly be proactive? He's a sensitive soul, my Cooper, perhaps these things are really weighing him down.

Then Vince noticed a snake on our back porch. Not just any snake, but a copperhead. So it turns out the only thing wrong with Cooper is that he can't talk, and say, "Hey, watch out stupid. There's a snake on the porch."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hey Braceface!

Last week Sophia had an appointment at the orthodontist where they magically transformed my little girl into a pre-teen, just with the simple addition of adding braces to her upper teeth. What happened to my baby?

And oh! We got Cooper back. That's what we did over Labor Day weekend. An extended weekend trip to visit with the in-laws and pick up our dog. It was sad coming home with only one, having dropped off two, but I'll save that for another post.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The First Day of the Last Year of My Thirties

Ouch! That's a hard one to swallow.

Saturday was a day pretty much like any other. Vince was still working on the floors. I had errands to run, groceries to stock up on for the next couple of weeks. I was planning on starting the kids school year on Monday, and knew that my week would be hectic enough without any extra things to get done. But my husband took a break from his hard and sweaty work to give me a few hours of "me" time. Those few hours gave me time to go pick out my birthday presents . . .

I'm pleased to introduce the newest members of our family, Luna and Sirius (Sirius Black, he's the black one, obviously).

Luna is a sweet gentle little girl, and Sirius is a frisky little guy who is always ready for a rumble. The kids just love them, and the kitties will curl up and fall asleep while the kids are holding them, so I think the affection is mutual.

And also for my birthday, my husband is tolerating all of this very well, this having animals in the house business. The best gift he could have given me. Thank you.