Tuesday, December 15, 2009

if you ever go to Austin, eat here

We drove to Austin last weekend to visit Dan's friend Judy, who he worked with while we were living in Portland. It was a great time, which included a trip to Cabellas, and unforgettably delicious BBQ at this place:

The Salt Lick doesn't look very fancy on the outside, but just wait until you taste the bbq!

This nice big smoking pit greets you as you walk in the front door. That's when your mouth starts to water...

Here's our crew. All of them related to Judy, and all were very welcoming to us outsiders. :)

The meal was served all-you-can-eat family style. This is one of 3 huge plates of meat that we consumed. Definitely the best brisket I have ever had. The sausage and ribs were excellent, too.

So if you ever find yourself in the Austin area, be sure to take time and eat at the Salt Lick - I know we'll be back!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

all is bright

Why is there always one strand of lights that doesn't work?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow Day... Houston Style

Holy smokes, it's snowing in Houston!

And it's "real" snow, too. Light and fluffy, just not sticky. It was rain when I left work work this morning, but by 8:00, it was snowing, and it hasn't stopped!

I thought we moved to Texas to avoid this white stuff....

Saturday, November 21, 2009


It seems like fall has arrived to Texas almost overnight. Just a week ago, it was sunny and warm, and then one night it decided to get cold. Well, colder, anyway. I have been enjoying the cooler temperatures - especially at night. It's nice to snuggle up on the couch with blankets! The temperatures have been dropping into the high 40's overnight, and by the morning, the floors are very chilly on bare feet. We have dug out slippers and flannel pajamas. Mmm! I love fall in Texas!

The puppies have been spending less time outside these days (I guess we've all gotten soft with the mild Texas weather!), but we were outside taking our Christmas photos last week and they happily join in the fun.

It amazes me that half way into November the grass is still green!

A few leaves have started to turn. Nothing like the gorgeous color changing that happens in the north, but I'll take what I can get. :)

Enjoy your fall!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

After & Before, and other such nonsense

Warning: this is going to be a very unorganized and picture-heavy post.

It's been a busy fall for us. We are finally enjoying some cooler weather (read: upper 70's) with sunshine!

To celebrate, I baked my first-ever-100%-from-scratch chocolate cake. The recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman, who incidentally has a new cookbook hot off the presses. You can find the recipe right here. And while it was a little more difficult than opening a box of cake mix, I have to admit the result is worth the effort. This cake is delicious!

This past weekend found us with no pressing obligations, so we took advantage of the perfect weather and headed out in the NSX. Top off weather and I didn't even need a jacket (although I did bring one just in case). I'm not very good at taking photos like this, but you get the idea.

Dan had today (Veteran's Day) off. What do you think he did?

I meant to post that photo last, but I am having a heck of a time getting blogger to allow me to rearrange photos. For instance these next ones are supposed to be "before and after" puppy haircuts, but instead you must bear with me with the "after and before"...

The dogs were long due for haircuts.

Here is Bentley's "after":

Isn't he cute?

And here is Bella, chillin' on the couch. She doesn't look too happy, does she?

Here's her official "after" shot:

They are so furry and cuddly right before a haircut.

Reminds me of when they were baby puppies. Hard to believe that they turn 4 years old this month!

Happy Autumn!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I'll admit it. I've been a lazy blogger as of late. But I have an excuse...sort of. It's been slow. Life just sort of trudges on.

Anyway, here are a few things happening in our neck of the woods. So to speak.

It's October, and we finally got the calendar hung up in the office. This calendar holds special memories for me. When we hung it in our first home, we thought we were so good and screwed right through a stud. Well, we thought it was a stud until water started running down the wall later that morning. Turns out the "stud" was a pipe. Oops. Chalk one up to first time home owners.

October has brought a lot of rain to Houston. Several large storms in the past few weeks have caused a few problems around town. Luckily, our new home does not have the same drainage problems that the rental did. (You can click here to refresh your memory regarding last year's flood) The drainage ditch in the front yard did a good job of keeping the water away from our house.

The puppies are doing well. Bentley especially loves the doggie door and the freedom he has to the outside world (we have started referring to the back yard as his "kingdom"). I have not been enjoying all the leaves he brings inside now that the leaves are falling (and most of the time they are wet, which is even more fun).

Bella, however, prefers this approach to fall.

My Blackberry takes terrible photos, especially in low light, but you get the idea. Here's a better one (taken with real camera).

Both the dogs are looking a bit scruffy these days. That will soon be remedied, as they have their annual trip to the vet and then an appointment with the groomer next week. Poor puppies can barely see through their bangs. :)

Happy October, blog readers!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Where is my husband?

When Dan got home from Dallas last night, I thought I had married Paul Bunyan.

Where is your blue ox?

But later that night I found out I was wrong.... he is not Paul Bunyan.

He is Abe Lincoln.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bokeh practice

A few weeks ago, I was reading about bokeh on Pioneer Woman's blog. This is what she has to say about it.

"Bokeh, which is pronounced bow-kay or bow-keh, refers to the wonderful out-of-focus light and shapes and colors you find in the background of many photos taken with a digital camera. It is created by light and glass (in your lens) and distance and wind and focus."

It takes a bit of practice, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of it.

When Chris came to visit in September, we this game several times:

That's right: Risk. And for the record, I was red. With Chris and Dan attacking each other all the time, I pretty much sailed to victory all weekend. But I digress...

What a perfect time to practice my bokeh, right?

Isn't it beautiful?

I think this might be my favorite shot.

You know what they say, practice practice practice. Now if I could just find some models that aren't carrying tiny plastic weapons...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Time Flies...

...Even if you are not having so much fun. :)

We've been plugging along with little interesting to say these days. With Dan driving back and forth to Dallas, it has been getting kind of mundane around here. We spend our weeks hoping for the weekend, and then when the weekend comes, it is always too short! We are hoping and praying that he is offered a permanent position here in Houston very soon.
Last week, I captured this as my photo of the day. If you look carefully, you can see the little lizard. As long as they stay outside, I am fine. :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rocking a New Haircut...

at least that is what I keep telling myself.

It will grow back, right?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Race for a Cure - Huntington's Disease

Dan and I are participating in a fundraiser for Huntington's Disease on October 10th here in Houston. We will be walking for a cure!

You can read more about Huntington's Disease here. Huntington's disease is a disorder passed down through families in which nerve cells in the brain waste away, or degenerate. There is no cure - yet.

If you would like to support us in this cause, you can donate by clicking on the widget on the sidebar of this blog, or through our webpage:


We sincerely appreicate any and all donations! Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another Peek

It's been a busy couple of weeks! We had our good friend Chris visiting from Salt Lake. Dan took the week off (well, Wednesday thru Tuesday) to hang out with him. I wasn't quite as lucky - aside from the weekend, I only took Monday. But even so, we managed to have a great time visiting with him. We packed a lot into Chris's first trip to Texas, and for the most part, the weather even cooperated. Lots of board games and Nintendo Wii-playing, a little travel, and a lot of eating. Which makes everyone happy. :) More on all of that later.

In the meantime, I have another sneak peek into our new house. Yes, we have been here for almost a month, so maybe it is not quite new anymore. But since we still have a good amount of (unpacked) boxes laying around, I'm happy to have one more room I can call "finished." The kitchen.

Monday, September 14, 2009

O! ...Possum!

***UPDATE*** Shortly after I posted this, we had another opossum adventure. Bentley was at his usual spot by the window (surveying "his" territory), when all of a sudden he started barking like crazy and then bolted for the doggie door. Dan got up and followed him outside, and sure enough, Bentley had caught the possum! He had him by the neck and was shaking the poor thing violently. Dan called Bentley off, and we put the dogs inside. Then Dan went back out and caught the possum in a bucket! I was so proud of my little possum catcher! His paw appears to have been hurt (probably by Bentley). We didn't know what to do with him, so Dan released him in the drainage ditch in the front yard. I realize that he will probably be back, but what else do you do with a possum at 10:00pm?!

The dogs were going crazy the other night. We were not sure what to think. So Dan grabbed a flashlight and ventured out into the darkness. He came back a few minutes later and told me to follow him.

This is what we found.

Possum! This is the first opossum I have ever seen in real life. Dan said that he saw one years ago, and threw snowballs at it. But that one was bigger than this little guy.

I just hope he doesn't get a hankerin' to come in thru the doggie door.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Good Speech!

On a day when speeches are the highlight of the news, I though this one was particularly good. He makes a good point: people these days do not know the meaning of 'hard work.'

For the record, I (perhaps surprisingly) agreed with much of what the President told the school kids today. I only wish that the ideas of "personal responsibility" would somehow migrate over to his policies...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

the little things

I haven't been posting much recently because my days have been filled with work, and then later unpacking boxes. My goal is to have them all in the house and unpacked (or at least where they will be stored long-term) before Sept 15th. Wish me luck.

In the process of unpacking, I have found several things that make me smile.

One of them is this neat and full pantry. This house actually has two pantries. Be still, my heart. :)

Here was my photo of the day yesterday. I have been trying to catch the dogs actually using the doggie door, which is more difficult than you would think.

I'll post more photos of the inside of the house soon. Right now there are boxes and packing blankets and things that need to be put away everywhere! And I'd rather not show you a messy house.

I'll leave you with my photo of the day for today. Clean dishes in their new home. Sometimes, it's the little things. :) Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Feet Hate Me

That's what Dan said after a long, long day of moving. We all agreed.

We've been keeping busy at the new house. We got all the heavy stuff moved last weekend, and then Brad and Dan finished up some odds & ends on Monday before Dan had to head back to Dallas, and Brad back home to Idaho. We've run into a few small details that aren't hard to fix, just annoying. Like figuring out how to work the thermostat (finally downloaded the manual off the internet!), and changing the outlets from 2- to 3-prong. You'd be surprised at how many devices these days require 3-prong outlets!

There is still quite a bit left at the old house, but I am taking my time and moving about 1 Rodeo load full every night after work. Then we can do the bulk of it next weekend when Dan is here. Mostly I am just trying to get my clothes closet moved, and essentials like bathroom stuff.

I will post photos of the interior soon, but I'll leave you with this one I took today. I love, love how the dining room color turned out! Just like I pictured it in my head - haha! Not much for decor yet, but here you go. Can't have a blog post without a photo, anyway. :)

Oh and I can't forget... congratulations to my sister-in-law Heather and her husband Monroe... just found out they are expecting their first baby!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

At the New House

We have been busy busy busy over at the new house the past week. Thanks to Dan's dad, we have been able to cross a lot off of our "to do" list.

1. paint the entire inside of the house. This includes ceilings (white), and 5 different colors:
Honeydew (Master Bedroom)
Tradewind (Dining room)
Grey Matters (Office)
Dover White (Bathrooms)
Softer Tan (all other rooms!)

2. caulk all windows, doors, cracks, etc.

3. install radiant barrier in the attic.

This proved a little more difficult (and a lot hotter) than expected. Afterword, Brad looked like the Tin Man.

4. install a doggie door for the puppies.

5. had the bug guy come and spray inside and out.

My job has been to take off/put back on all the cover plates for the outlets and light switches, and clean.

Left on the list: replace weatherstripping on all doors, tighten screws on kitchen cabinets (some don't close properly), and of course - move in all our stuff!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


This was my photo for today.

And it got me thinking about a few things.

1.  I drove home today in a thunderstorm.  Pouring rain.  Lightning.  Thunder.  The whole show.

2.  Boy, I miss Oregon rain.  When we lived in Oregon and Washington, it rained often.  In Texas, it rains a lot.  I'm talking quantity, folks.  Lots of rain in a short amount of time.  While I like rain in any form, I much prefer the former.

3.  When driving in rain, please turn on your lights.  Especially when it is raining so hard that your windshield wipers are going full tilt.  That probably means that my windshield wipers are working overtime, too.  And I cannot see very well at times like that.  So please.  Lights.  

4.  I need new windshield wipers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Our lesson today was on using PS Stitching brushes.  Kinda makes me want to get a sewing machine.  (I can hear Dan gasping already!)  I made these tags from scratch - can you believe it? I'm beginning to uncover the mysteries of Photoshop! :)

This makes me happy.

I saw this on Ali Edwards' blog, and it made me smile.

And I love what she said about it:

"It also totally reminds me to stop just going through the motions, or doing things just because that is the way they have always been done. What a tremendously wonderful celebration of life.

It seriously makes me want to get up and dance.

I want my life to be so joyously lived."

Me too. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Back to School

The PS Brush class continues to impress.  The last 2 days have been about creating frames using brushes.  Very fun.  

Here is today's assignment.  

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Here Comes the Sun

I have had a request to finish the Anniversary Week Trip posts.  So here we go!

We got back to Houston on Thursday evening, and Friday we packed up the car again and headed to the Gulf of Mexico.  Dan's parents came along this time - and we had a great time!

First stop was Surfside Beach.

Aren't they so cute?

Well, until Brad tried to pull Debra into the ocean!

She is quick to forgive, evidently.  Hehe!

Here we are!

And here I am with the in-laws. :)

I like toes pictures.

I think Brad was tired of photos...

But we got him in the end!

This is one of my favorites of Dan and his dad.  

And we finally asked a stranger to take one of all of us together.  What a fun day at the beach!