Monday, June 30, 2008

On the first day...

Today has been the first full day with just the Runnels' girls. This morning I got Nick shipped off to camp to join Scott, then left Reesie with her new best friend - a ninth grader she met at VBS. I had a few work meetings, came home and dropped the sitter off and Rees and I hit Walgreens.

I like Walgreen's, I just wish that
1) they weren't enemies of historic preservation
2) that they didn't do those buy 2 for $5.99, or 1 for $3.99 deals
what a rip. Btw - that link above is just one of the numerous examples of how Walgreen's rips up historic properties, including my beloved Frisco Shop.

My quest was some candy for my niece in China. Her favorite is M & M's but I knew they wouldn't make it in the summer heat. I settled on candy necklaces --mmm sticky sweetness, and couldn't help but pick out a Lisa Frank sticker book (1200 stickers in everyshade of bubblegum pink!) and then a Candyland watercolor book. I also picked up some Dr. Pepper flavored ice pops for my brother in law. I won't reveal the entire contents of the package to China since my sister reads this blog.. but its goood. REALLL good! The main thing is the bumpo seat which I scored at Goodwill over the weekend.

Reesie and I took a trip to the postoffice to mail the package plus 5 letters to Scott and Nick and a package too. They'll be dancing and singing until dinner if I get my way..mrahhhaa...
The postal workers were quite enamored of her and she enjoyed the change of scenery. I took her over to her grandpa's for a quick nap and ran to the libray to renew my current read, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and to return a big pile that included The Runaway Bunny and The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon.

That last one was Scott's latest book to finish. Its an alternate history to what might have happened if the Jewish state was set up in Alaska instead of Israel. He liked it I think. All I know is that he woke me up at 2 a.m. last week to tell me that it mentioned Nacogdoches. The dialogue goes something like

"Where is Palestine?"
"It's about two hours from Nacogdoches"

Obviously a play on the Palestine/Palesteen pronunciation.

Tonight I ate grilled Salmon and veggies from the CSA with my in-laws. Dessert was fresh raspberries with sour cream and brown sugar. Kroger's got raspberries on sale for $1. Woo hoo! Did I mention I love summer?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekend Recap

It has been one of those wonderful summer weekends. I can't complain about how I spent ANY of my time this weekend. How rare and wonderful!

Friday started off by getting jazzed at VBS then sprinting off to the Library to give a Blogging 101 workshop for the Teaching Excellence Center. The audience was filled with tenured, senior faculty and friendly faces too! Thanks Chrissy for supporting me. I want to team teach Blogging 202 with Chrissy next time. I got everyone on their way to making a new blog, then ran back to the church to pick up Nick and Rees. Nick had the very strange scent of movie theater popcorn on him. It all made sense when I learned he had been slip n' sliding in popcorn butter, ketchup and chocolate syrup with the rest of the 6th graders. He assured me that he had a shower at the church- I only learned later that it was a shower sans soap. Oh well.

We picked up Scott and headed to Lufkin so he could finish up his teaching gig at the Museum of East Texas Art Camp. After we dropped him off, Nick, Rees and I went to the Goodwill. I scored a Baby Bumpo seat for $5. Then I took Nick to the Army/Navy store. He was in hog heaven and came away with personalized dog tags and an army issue beret. We still had time to kill, so I suggested Big Lots. Much to our luck, Ruby was pulling in right as we were. She hopped in the car and we headed to the Lunch Box for lunch for her and Rees and a snack for Nick and me. Then we returned to BigLots for an hour or so of fabulous discount shopping. I scored a gorgeous package of Mrs. Sullivan's pecan pies and a few other things. We parted ways with Ruby and picked up Scott. Our destination- dinner at UFO pizza. I highly recommend this Brick oven style pizza place. We had the veggie with artichokes and peppers and also one with meats of many nations. When we got back to Nac, the boys hung out and watched the Dirty Dozen, while I hung out with some gal pals drinking wine and gabbing.

Saturday started off great too! I picked up Chrissy for a Farmer's Market expedition and got some wonderful white peaches from Promiseland orchards. YUM! I had a hankering for Fried Green tomatoes so we went to Butcher Boys for lunch then ran errands with the family. Saturday night I helped Scott and Nick pack for camp and organized my recipe box.

Today has been good too- I got Scott sent off to camp then hung out with the parents. Rees and I had a nice dinner of leftovers for me and squash, chicken and pasta, and avocado and yogurt for her. She was sleepy early and went off to bed without a bath or change of clothes.

Tonight I've been catching up on emails from work, cleaned the kitchen and watched *gasp* the Miss Texas USA pageant. Hopefully this will be the start of a great week!

Friday, June 27, 2008


This week I have been a crew leader at our church's annual Vacation Bible School. It has been an interesting experience and I've actually learned a lot. Namely that teaching college students is a piece of cake compared to 6, 7, 8 and 9 year olds. Whew! It has been a wild week.

The theme for the week was Power Lab. It's actually been pretty cool. Each day we've done some experiments (today was mentos and diet coke) and then tied it back to a Bible lesson. Each day the kids have learned about being thankful, brave, helpful and so on. We do crafts, sing songs, play games and generally act silly. I drew the line today when one of my 8 year old charges announced that we would ALL be doing the crab walk down the hall way!

All in all, its been a great experience. Our church is a Free Summer Lunch site for children, and our VBSers have also participated in the free lunch this week. I think it is great that kids can have access to solid nutrition even though school is out. Today they had watermelon, apple juice, something called pizza sticks and cheese crackers.

Next week Scott and Nick leave for a week of church camp. Rees and I will be bachelorette- and I will join the ranks of my pals who have had spouse and partners gone for extended periods this summer. I'm excited for the boys, but I'm sure going to miss them - and their diaper changing skills!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Two Toed Sloth

So I buy this new pair of peep toe sandals. They are super cute, and actually fit my wide feet. Last week, as we are running out the door to a potluck, I decided at the last minute to wear them for the first time. No problem right? Except for the fact that I've put off getting that "beginning of summer" pedicure.

So I do what many a time-crunched lady would do... I paint just the 4 little piggies that actually show through the cute peep toe. Crisis averted, and my bright pink toes looked pretty darn cute if I do say so myself.

Walk in to the potluck and immediate realize that I am the only one wearing peep toe sandals with bright pink toenail polish. As a matter of fact, I'm the ONLY ONE WEARING SHOES! Apparently this was a "shoes off" affair. Luckily I was ablea to curl my toes, tuck them under my jeans then finally inconpicuously scrape away the majority of the pink polish. I think I got away with it...

I've definitely learned my lesson on the old 1-2 paint job.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

(re) connect

Part of the beauty of MySpace and Facebook and email and even blogs is that old friends can be "found" or re-discovered or brought up to speed on things happening. Just recently I reconnected with a friend from high school that I hadn't seen or talked to in over 15 years.

So I wonder why I'm totally down about a friend who doesn't want to reconnect? Could it be that she was a mentor of mine and more than just a friend when I was an undergrad? Could it be that we shared a lot of fun times at the Texas Association of Museum's annual conference? Could it be that I eventually followed her into architecture school and found my niche in historic preservation?

Actually, I think it has something to do with the beautiful red acrylic bowl that is currently holding our farmer's market bounty. She gave it to us for our wedding, and it's been on our counter ever since. I think it was meant for chips and dips, but the flowing organic shape of it is perfect for fruits and veggies.

She was the first person that I ever knew who brought a cooler to Central Market and stocked up on fine wine, cheese and bread long after she had left Austin. She was sort of the older sister I never had.

I last saw her in November of 2005 at her wedding. It was just perfect and everything was beautiful. We exchanged Christmas cards in 2006 and I sent her one in 2007. Sometime in 2006 we lost touch. I tried to email and even visited her museum on my way out to Guadalupe Mountains but didn't hear anything from her again.

Just recently, as I was cleaning out the red bowl, I thought to try to re-connect again. I sent an email and-

no response.

I'm thinking of sending an old fashioned letter, apologizing for whatever transgression I might have made. Any suggestions??

Thursday, June 12, 2008

(Pizza) Pie Man

You may not know this, but our very own Red Menace is not only a kid-about-town and all around good guy, he is also an award winning chef! Nick placed 1st in the Nacogdoches County Extension's Kid's cooking contest with his Double Blueberry Pizza recipe. He developed the recipe, tested two variations and cooked it to perfection. If you are interested in it I'm sure he'll be willing to share!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shhh...don't tell her

As I have chronicled here, you know that the Snapper is the happy recipient of many wonderful gently used and just plain fab clothes. Dressing her is really a delight- but I seldom get to buy her clothing myself. I'm not complaining - but with 2 grandmas and numerous "aunties" in town - her wardrobe is taken care of.

We really haven't bought many toys either- she has a few faves and LOVES books too. She's easily amused by a spoon or even the Kroger circular. But we just couldn't resist picking up the classic Fisher Price chatter telephone for her birthday recently. I know, I know, it isn't for 2 more months, but you don't see these beauties every day. The box says that it was introduced in 1962 as a way to teach children how to use a rotary dial phone. Lucky for us, we actually use a rotary dial phone.

The challenge for me is going to be keeping it a secret from a very busy baby. And from buying all the "classic" Fisher Price toys BEFORE August!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Good Luck Kitty

I couldn't resist posting this shot of the Snapper, begging her daddy for a bite of Blue Bell's newest flavor, Southern Hospitality. Of course I wanted it just for the carton, but it is actually pretty good for non-homemade ice cream. It doesn't hold a candle to Kendal's ice cream creations, however.

My other motive for posting this pic is to show off my recently finished Maneki-Neko onesie that I embroidered for Reesie. I used Sublime Stitching's t-shirt stabilizer for the first time, which I HIGHLY recommend. It made stitching through jersey so much nicer.

Sad day

The fabulous-ness of the weekend (complete with Pink Panther watching, day lilly buying, onesie embroidering, and two potlucks) was completely clouded by this morning's news of the Texas Governor's Mansion burning yesterday.

The paper reports that the cause of this tragedy is suspected arson. It is a true crime against the people of Texas that this building would burn. I know the building intimately - having attended numerous functions there when I lived in Austin - and then studying it as a preservation student. Built in 1856 by msater builder Abner Cook, this Greek Revival house was elegant and stately. It stood near the capitol building, tucked away on a side street. As a student,I wrote the National Register Nomination for it's next door neighbor, the Austin Tribune Building. Right before I left Austin, I worked as an architectural historian for a downtown firm. I'd take the bus downtown from my Delwood duplex and my route would take me by the Governor's mansion each day.

Fortunately, the mansion was undergoing restoration. Most of the furnishings and even some architectural elements like doors and windows had been removed for safekeeping. The current occupants, Rick and Anita Perry, were living in a rented house in West Austin. Already, preservationists from around the state are calling for complete restoration. To lose this piece of Texas history would be a terrible terrible shame.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Gettin' it done

Frank Gehry on the Simpsons

This has been a pretty productive week, all told. I'm finally at the end of teaching a 4 week online Travel and Tourism class. I started 2 onesies for Rees, paid bills, cleaned out Rees' wardrobe, watched Nick and Scott clean Nick's room, mailed some correspondence, re-upped our subscription to the New Yorker and Preservation magazines, and got a haircut.

In between all of that I made baby food, picked up some locally grown eggs and a chicken from Heritage Farms, and went to the public library! I'm happy but beat!

Tonight I'm excited about the "Cool and Collected" closing at the Cole Art Center, followed by a screening of a film about architect Frank Gehry. Gehry is a super cool architect, famous for the Guggenheim musem in Bilbao, Spain and the Disney Concert Hall in L. A. He makes materials do things no one else can.

Tomorrow its on to the Farmer's Market then the Daylily Farm. A church luncheon on Sunday (YUM!) and a Parenthood Juggle Teaching Circle social. Can I re-iterate my love for SUMMER??