Interstellar Adventure
Adventure: the pursuit of life — Daniel Roy Wiarda

Interstellar Christmas

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

It was a very Merry Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the Interstellar Casa. Elle and Zed got dropped off at their dad's house. Fortunately my Ex's family celebrates on Christmas Eve and my family celebrates on Christmas Day, so we don't have a 'conflict' as to which house the kid's celebrate. Two days, two celebrations, we're all good. Nick's brother (he calls him Bubba — this is Texas after all ya'll) Bubba drove up Saturday morning and arrived at our house. We chatted for a bit, went and ate some lunch, and then came on a tour of my company's offices. We have a lot of war memorabilia and things donated to our company. Bubba was in the military, but was actually discharged when it was discovered he had a 'lazy eye'. His step-daughter, son-in-law and step-son are all in the military, and the man has a penchant for the good 'ol US of A, so this tour and seeing all the artifacts my company owns was a big deal for him. Then we went home and I started cooking. Turkey, dressing, jalepeno cranberry sauce, ham, green beans, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, and dinner rolls, accompanied by a couple of bottles of wine. We were happy campers. Nick's special request for the night was the sweet potatoes with marshmallows, so I put a bit of extra effort into them. With butter, cinnamon and nutmeg, they were delicious.
The dinner table was set, and we enjoyed our meal.
We then played an exciting (and long) game of Mexican Train dominoes. Bubba won (he's the master), I came in second, and Nick was last. I only beat him by one point. I ended up with the double tweleve in my hand more times than I would have liked. But oh well. It was such fun! Elle and Zed got back home about 11. We put them to be shortly before midnight, and we continued playing dominoes until almost 1 am. Then Bubba went to Nick's, I wrapped a few more presents, and of course, had to present evidence that Santa had indeed come and left presents for the kids.
We ate a fantastic breakfast cooked by yours truly. The hollandaise turned out perfectly. The waffles were fluffy, the strawberries were fresh, and the whipped cream was whippy. With our bellies sufficiently stuffed and the dishes done, we all then turned to the gifts. We decided that as we opened presents, we would all take turns wearing the Santa hat.
Yep, even I wore the Santa hat. Everyone did!
Nick's favorite present came from my sister.
I got a nice photo of my mom and grandmother together.
My grandma spent a lot of time on the presents she gave to all of us. I got my scarf for my birthday, but my cousin, my sisters and mom my got theirs for Christmas. They were all so excited!
We all had a fantastic Christmas. It was warm and cheery, everyone got nice presents, and our family was all together. Well, mostly together. My sister Nikki was sick. Flu, fever, blah. Poor thing. I didn't get to see her. :( My brother and his family stayed home and did their own quiet thing, so I didn't get to see him, or my niece. I was a little bummed about that.
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Christmas Past

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Whew! It's all over. People were fed, presents were opened, kids were happy. I'll have a better update with silly Santa hat photos and all later. I hope you all had wonderful Christmases. I hope that Santa brought you all the gifts you wanted, maybe a few you didn't think of for yourselves, and that you all spent the day surrounded by love and peace.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve is upon us! Merry Christmas Everyone! I've been keeping busy getting the house ready for visitors. Nick's brother is coming this afternoon. We're going to take him on a tour of my office building. Exciting you say? Well, yes it is. Let's just say I work for a large company headed by a very important person, and my office building has a mueseum-esqe quality to it. Last night I baked two pies for dinner tonight. It's just me, Nick & his brother, but I like my pies! It was my first time to make the blueberry, so I'll have to let you know after dinner tonight how it was. I was proud of how it looked. I'm not too good at crusts just yet, but I did OK with these. I hope they came out flakey and not chewy.
My mincemeat pie. I need some pie cutters so I can make pretty pie crusts. Christmas list for next year I guess.
I also got a nice surprise. My new trail shoes came in! I picked them up yesterday. Don't they look fabulous!?!?
And, finally, I leave you with a picture of Miss Elle and Nick. Elle and Zed spent the night with my grandparents Thursday, and Elle called several times (10) and left messages for us all night Thursday and all day Friday. Excerpts from her messages: "I love you! I miss you! Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas! And tell Nick I love him too! I miss him too!" My little sweetie makes my heart melt! Actually, both of them do!

Thursday Thirteen, XI

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Thirteen Things on the mind of Interstellar Lass
1. *blush* It seems quite a few people have nakedness on the brain. I think I laughed at them all! 2. I still have several more presents to buy. But the mall is scaring me at this point. Especially the mall I want to go to. It's very new and very big and very popular. And it will have lots of soccer moms. Yikes! 3. Nick's brother is coming up Christmas Eve. He'll stay for Christmas Day too. So, we'll have Nick's family and my family all together. 4. I'm very excited to be sharing my first Christmas with Nick! I love you baby! 5. I'm 14-0-1 in Fantasy Football now. I won my playoff game last week. I hope my playoff win streak continues! This week is for all the marbles! 6. I haven't seen any of the holiday movies yet. I mean the new ones. I really want to go see Narnia. My Ex took Elle and Zed to see it already though. 7. He does that all the time. My Ex that is. I took my kids to see one movie this year because they had already seen them all with their dad. 8. I'm going to make a small Christmas Eve dinner for me, Nick & his brother. 9. I'm going to make a large Christmas Day brunch for the rest of my family. 10. Brunch will include waffles, strawberries, whipped cream, homemade syrup, Eggs Benedict with homemade Hollandaise, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, milk, juice, and coffee. 11. I'm going to make two pies for Christmas Eve dinner. Mincemeat (no, it doesn't have meat...it's pears, raisins and spices) and blueberry. 12. My foot is feeling better. No stress fracture, but it's still a bit twingy here and there. I thought about running last night, but it was still sore, so I decided not to push it. Maybe tomorrow. 13. I hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, a Happy Winter Solstice (that's actually today!), a Happy Festivus, or a Happy WhateverYouCelebrate. I hope your hearts have lots of of love, your arms get lots of hugs, you get everything you wanted on your Christmas list, and most of all, that you remember that it's our friends and our loved ones that are our true gifts at this time of year. Bonus: I think I'm going to watch Love Actually tonight or tomorrow. This is such a wonderful movie. It makes me laugh and cry. To me, it shows the many ways we can love, and that "Love is all around us". Links to other Thursday Thirteens! 1. (leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Remember When???

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I've seen this on a couple of blogs, so I'm going to take the cheap way out of a post today and use this. I think I know who will shock me and who will make me laugh, so let's see if you can prove me right or wrong. :) If you read this, and you happen to have a few seconds and a dollop of creativity to spare, please post a comment with a completely made up (read: FICTIONAL) memory of you and me. It can be anything you want - good or bad - but it has to be fake. When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people don't actually remember about you. Try it, it's fun!

'Tis the Season

Sunday, December 18, 2005

As promised, here are photos from White Rock. This was the race that didn't end. Yes it went on and on my friends. Lass started running it not knowing that it would continue on forever and forever and forever... Well, I lost the rhyme, but you get the idea. Me and my little sis and my mom. My sis navigated Nick around. She did a great job according to Nick. And my mom ran a couple of miles with me when the going got tough. Helped me up the last big climb before the final 10K of the race.
Nick, as always, was a doll. He and my mom and my sister were at all the 'points' I highlighted for them. Between points they stopped by Target (hey! no fair shopping there without me!) and made me some inspirational signage. As you can see, for Christmas I need some lessons in Photoshopping techniques along with a Photoshop license. OK, so image editing isn't my forte. :P This weekend was busy! I slept in on Saturday, then took the kids to breakfast. Elle had a birthday part from 1-3, so I took that time to go shoe shopping. Nick and Zed hung out and did guy stuff while I sipped coffee at Starbucks and did the crossword. Then Elle and I went to the autoparts shop where I couldn't figure out how for the life of me to get the headlight out on my Jetta. So, I got the tail light like I knew I could. When Nick got back, I had him look at it. Turns out the genious engineers at Volkswagen want you to take your car to the dealership to get your head lamp replaced! We had to take the battery out of the car! And not just the battery, but we had to figure out how to get the battery out of it's Fort Knox-esque casing and unbolted from the battery platform! Even then it was tricky getting the headlamp out. Then off to the autoparts store to find a match. We also noticed that my other tail light had gone out since I last looked, so we had to get a spare of that as well. Let's just say it was dark by the time we got my car put back together! Again. I am thankful for a handy-dandy fiancee like Nick! He looked super-sexy with grime all over his hands and shirt! ;) We finally got the lights up on the house today. Nick did the aerial work while I focused on the terrestrial aspect. I think we did quite well, don't you?

Tequila Christmas Cake

Friday, December 16, 2005

I thought I'd share another favorite recipe of mine. ;) *wink, wink* 1 cup butter                         1 tsp. baking soda 1 cup sugar                         1 tsp. salt 1 cup of brown sugar         Lemon juice 4 large eggs                        Nuts 1 bottle tequila                     2 cups dried fruit Sample the tequila to check quality. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point its best to make sure the tequila is still OK. Try another cup...just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Pick the frigging fruit up off the floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the tequila to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Check the tequila. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl in the shtink. Finish the tequila and wipe counter with the cat.

All Clear, So Far

Have I ever mentioned that I hate needles? I hate them. They're nasty things. And I had an IV put in this morning. Yeowch! He only had to stick me once though, so I was happy about that. Then, he took the biggest syringe I've ever seen, full of radioactive stuff, and shot it into my arm. I had to lay on this long skinny table hooked to this giant circular camera thing and then the table moved me, well, just my feet, into the camera view. Had to check the flow. Then they let me go to work for three hours. Radioactive and all. Oh, and be sure to drink, a lot. And I mean a lot. I peed three times in three hours. Not TMI, right? Then I went back to the hospital. Fortunately it's 5 minutes from where I work. This time I was in the room next door, where the machine was different. Instead of feeding me into the camera, the camera went from head to toe down to my feet. This time they were scanning the bones. Ten minutes on my back, ten minutes on my side. All done. I waited another ten minutes, then the tech came out and said it all looked good. The radiologist was going to review them and send a final report to my doctor on Monday, but so far, it looks to just be 'inflammed' and not fractured. Bandera, here I come! Woo Hoo!

Thursday Thirteen, X

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Thirteen Things about Interstellar Lass
1. Woo Hoo! It's my Tenth Thursday Thirteen! 2. I met my Ex's new girlfriend on Sunday. Three words. Skinny, blond, dingy. He traded down. 3. And of course he has me meet her after I'd run my marathon, taken a two hour nap, hadn't bothered to put on makeup, barely had my hair done, and was in sweats. Bastard. 4. I need to visit the automotive repair shop. No, not because I ran over the skinny, dingy, blond and need to smooth out that dent in my bumper. I have three lights out on my car. Headlight, tail-light, brakelight. 5. This weekend I'll be putting up my outside Christmas lights. Zed is about to have a coronary if we don't get them up. "There's only one more week till Christmas mom!" "What about the lights?" "We're going to put up the lights this weekend, right?!" 6. Elle and Zed both went to the dentist last week. Another clear report! No cavities. Here guys, have some Christmas cookies... 7. Zed tore is second pair of contacts. So, it's been one month since he's had them and he's on his third pair. I'm making him wear his glasses for a week. 8. Zed and Elle also lost their jackets. Elle found hers. Zed didn't. His dad said he'd buy him a new one. That's good, because I wasn't going to. Not after the contacts. 9. I am 13-0-1 in my Fantasy Football league. I've won 11 straight. This is starting to get boring. I know I shouldn't complain. I don't want to lose. But it makes it kinda not exciting. 10. I didn't do as well in my Pick 'Em last week. Oh well. New weekend, new picks. We'll see how I do. 11. I'm starving. I've been starving since Sunday night. 12. I'm nervous about being injected with radioactive substances. That doesn't sound like fun and I hate needles. 13. I've got to get to work! I've been slammed! If you leave me your link I swear I'll link it later tonight. I thought the end of December was supposed to be slow! Links to other Thursday Thirteens! Leave me your link and I'll put you here!
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

What we don't know...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

...is whether I have a stress fracture or an inflammed 5th metatarsal joint. The x-rays look clear. Which isn't really surprising. Diagnosing a stress fracture is difficult. Another test is needed. So, for a short while on Friday, I will no longer be known as Interstellar Lass. I will be... drumroll...
echo... Then, I still won't know at least until Monday or Tuesday what the final diagnosis is. Until then, I can only wear my running shoes. That'll look great with my business suits. The difference between the two diagnoses will be how long I have to lay off the running. Keep your fingers crossed.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ouch. It really, really hurts. I mean hurts bad. My foot that is. I hope I don't have this. Please say a little prayer that it's just bruised. I don't want to miss my run at Bandera. Not after all the improvements I've made since last year. I really want to go out and kick butt on that 25K course! I may be going to the Dr. soon. :( My foot is the only thing that hurts! My leg muscles feel great. If it weren't for my foot, I'd be ready to run tomorrow! I'm listening to Christmas Jazz today. My officemate has a visitor in from a vendor. So they're talking and being generally noisy. Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Harry Connick, Jr., the Nutcracker Suite. Ahh. Sounds of Christmas. I'm also wearing my glasses today because I think I am getting a sty in my eye. Not pretty I know. Really I'm just falling apart. I need to go home and stay there.

White Rock

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Off to run another 26.2. Wish me luck. Current temperature is 33 degrees. Start-time temperature is forecast to be 37. Then it looks like it turns into perfect running weather. :)
Update: Well. I finished. But I don't really want to talk about it. I mean, I finished, right? And that's what matters? I just didn't feel right all morning. Both mentally and physically. I wasn't excited to run it. I wasn't there in 'race mode'. When I started running I felt OK, but the first 6 miles of the course is a gradual climb. I felt OK at 6 miles, and was right on my predicted pace time. But somewheres around miles 8-9, I couldn't ignore the pain anymore. Everything hurt from my waist down. Hips, knees, ankels, quads, glutes. I wanted to quit. I almost had myself talked into quitting. At the half turn-off, I almost went right instead of going straight. But I didn't. I cried at mile 23. I wanted to sit down in chairs that were in lawns with spectators lining the course. But I didn't. At mile 24 my determination set back in and I had faster miles on 24, 25, and 26 than I had in the last 15. It was a finish. It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't fast, but I finished. I'm having trouble being proud of myself though. I am proud of me, but since I'm my own worst critic, it still wasn't good enough. I'm going to have to think about whether I'm going to run another full marathon. Half's and 25Ks are sounding really good right about now.

I'll pencil you in...

Friday, December 09, 2005

Yeah, that's how I feel right now. Breathe deeply, Lass. You can do this. Friday: Work, work, work. Cookie & Gift Exchange Party with my girlfriends a 7. Baked the cookies last night, but still have to get the gift. Nick is going to be watching the kids, but I have to figure out what to do for them for dinner. Saturday: Need to see if I can get a haircut. I haven't had one in forever and my hair looks like crap. Elle and Zed have dentist appointments in the afternoon, then I'm supposed to drop them off with their dad. But, I just managed to get their dad to meet me at the dentist office for the appointment, so I just freed up 2 hours for myself. I have to go to do my packet pickup for White Rock on Sunday. No race-day pickup! Then I have to shop. I have to get gloves for running on Sunday. My company Christmas party is Saturday night. They had extra budget, so we're getting some door prizes. I'm splitting the budget with another woman, and I still have to get $425 worth of gifts and get them wrapped! Then that party starts at 7. It's at Southfork Ranch. That should be fun. But I can't stay too late because I have to get to bed early. Sunday: Wake up at 5 am. It will be freezing! Eat my pre-race meal of a Starbucks cinnamon-swirl coffee cake. Nick will drive me down to the AAC where I'll meet up with my family. The race starts at 8 am. Current forecast for start time? 35 degrees! I'll be wearing my long tights, ear covers, gloves and long sleeves. Hopefully I'll finish in under five and a half hours again and be ready to eat and then take a looong nap! For a little holiday fun, get your Christmas Elf name and let me know what it is!

Christmas Elf Name

My Christmas Elf Name is
Get your Christmas Elf Name at JokesUnlimited.com

Thursday Thirteen, IX

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Thirteen Things about Interstellar Lass
1. I'm back on the Thursday Thirteen wagon. Sorry I missed the last two weeks! 2. We didn't get snow yesterday. :( 3. We got ice instead. :/
4. I wanted cold, and I got it!
5. My kids' school is closed today. They're excited. I was too. Up until last night. They really got on my nerves. I hope for their sake that they're better today. 6. I made gingerbread cookies last night. And drank Bailey's and coffee while I ate the cookies. It was good.
7. I plan to bake more today. And knit. And nap. And maybe work a little. If I have to. 8. I know most of you have marked your spot on my Frappr. If you haven't, hurry up and do it! 9. I am 12-0-1 in my Fantasy Football league. I've won 10 straight. 10. I went 16-0 this weekend in my Pick 'Em league. That's right. I picked all the NFL game winners correctly. Straight though. Not against the spread. That's too much work. 11. I'm thinking about making french toast for breakfast. But I'm almost out of cinnamon. I don't know if I have enough to make the cookies I want to make. Can I borrow a tablespoon or two from anyone? 12. Last night Nick and I watched Vanity Fair. I liked it, but I wasn't sure of what to make of Miss Becky Sharp. Was she good or bad or just tragic? I'm going to have to read the book I think to form an opinion. 13. Have I mentioned that Nick is fabulous? I am truly, truly lucky. :) Links to other Thursday Thirteens! PractiGal MommaK Raehan Squashed Toad Colleen @ Loose Leaf Marisa @ I have what? Mrs. Flinger Colleen @ Musings from the Edge Bone Megan Coyote Mike UziCue Sallwood MommyD BSTS
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Cross Your Fingers...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Please be sure to mark your location on my Frappr map. And hope that it snows today! The only bad part? It's supposed to start with a drizzle and then a 'light wintery mix' before it turns to snow around 8 pm. If it does all this, Dallas will virtually shut down. And I'll get a day off to stay home. A few idiots in their trucks will speed down the highway and cause several wrecks, and soccer moms in their SUVs will dent a few more bumpers. But me? I did my shopping last night. I'm stocked with baking supplies, food supplies, and knitting supplies. My outdoor pipes are wrapped. (Thanks Nick!) I'm happy to stay at home where it's nice and warm. Play outside with my kiddos for a bit, then bring them back in to warm them up with hot chocolate. Let them watch a few movies while I knit Elle a new hat and mittens for her new coat. I love snow. We don't get it often. And when we do, it's gone within 24-48 hours. But when it first starts to fall, it's beautiful. I love to look outside when the snow is still fresh and no one has driven on it or walked through it. Everything is blanketed and clean and perfect. When I was a kid, my girlfriends and I would watch the weather report like hawks. Once we determined that school was closed, we'd phone each other and plan our 'snow day'. One of my girlfriends lived on a cul-de-sac, so that's where we would meet. We'd don our jeans, sweaters, jean jackets and our oldest, most worn down pair of Keds, then slip and slide our way over to her house. There, we would 'ice skate' around the cul-de-sac until we were nearly frozen. By then, her mom would have the pizza and brownies ready, and we'd play games in her room or watch MTV (back when they actually played music videos) or do silly things that silly girls do.

Christmas Cookies

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Please be sure to mark your location on my Frappr map. This weekend I had planned on making a gingerbread house. I didn't quite make it. The Christmas parade lasted over two hours. Then, we had several errands to run. I ran out of energyWe ran out of time, so we didn't end up with a real tree, but my $50 investment I made six years ago in an artificial tree sure has paid off well. It really is a very nice artificial tree. I'll just have to get lots of candles or something to make it smell piney and Christmas-y in my house. By the time I got around to dinner and baking, I was too pooped to make the gingerbread forms for the house. So, I just made plain 'ol Gingerbread instead. I hadn't ever tried the recipe before, but it turned out SO good. I'm in a baking mood! It started with Thanksgiving, and this time of year makes me want to get in the kitchen and cook things that smell good. Plus, we're getting our first real cold-snap, and of course that means keeping the house warm with the oven. Here are my Gingerbread, Gingersnaps, and Snickerdoodles recipes. Enjoy! Gingerbread 1-1/2 c. all purpose flour 1 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. ground allspice 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 1/4 tsp. nutmeg 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar 2 large eggs, room temperature 1/4 c. dark unsulfured molasses 1 Tbsp. ginger 2/3 c. buttermilk Powdered sugar Preheat oven to 325F. Butter 8-inch square baking pan with 2-inch-high sides. Lightly flour pan; tap out excess. Sift first 6 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, cream butter with brown sugar in another medium bowl until light. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in molasses and ginger. Mix in half of dry ingredients. Mix in buttermilk. Add remaining dry ingredients and stir batter until just combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cake slightly in pan on rack. Cut gingerbread into squares. Sift powdered sugar over. Serve warm or at room temperature. Gingersnaps 2 c. sifted flour 1/2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground cloves 1 tsp. ground ginger 3 tsp. baking soda 1/2 c. shortening 1/4 c. butter 1 c. granulated sugar 1 egg, beaten 1/4 c. light molasses Granulated sugar Preheat oven to 350F. Sift flour with salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and baking soda. Cream shortening and butter until fluffy, gradually adding 1 c. sugar. Blend in egg, molasses, and then flour mixture. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar. Bake 8-10 minutes. Let cool 1 minute. Remove from baking sheet and cool. Makes ~4 dozen cookies Snickerdoodles 1-1/2 c. sugar 1 c. shortening 2 eggs 2-3/4 c. flour 2 tsp. cream of tartar 1 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. salt 2 Tbsp. sugar 2 tsp. cinnamon Preheat oven to 375F. Mix 1-1/2 c. sugar, shortening and eggs. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, and soda. Chill dough. Roll dough into balls. Combine 2 Tbsp. sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon. Roll balls in mixture. Bake 8-10 minutes.

Location, Location, Location

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's all about where you are after all! It's about time I did one of these I guess. So, please take a moment and stop by and tell me where you are!. On Saturday, it was a high of 86 degrees here. Then another cold front came through yesterday. And I might actually get my wish for snow on Wednesday! YAY! Of course, it will all be melted before it hits the ground, or at least shortly thereafter. On Friday, my girlfriends and I are having our annual Cookie Exchange. I think I'm going to take Gingersnaps, but I haven't decided yet. Do you have a favorite Christmas Cookie recipe that you'd like to share?

Now that it's December

Friday, December 02, 2005

I actually feel right about decorating for Christmas. I'm not religious, but I appreciate the season, the family time, the cooking and the feeling of relaxation at the end of a long year. I love the smell of wood burning in the fireplace, pies baking in the oven, and real Christmas trees. I haven't had a real tree in years. My mom bought a fake one when I was in high school because one of my sisters is allergic. Took us like 15 years to figure it out. Then I didn't have a tree when I lived by myself. And, my Ex is allergic to real trees too. So this is my first year that I'll be 'eligible' to have a real tree. So, tomorrow, the kids and I are going to rise and shine early and meet Nick for breakfast. Then we're going to go to the Plano Christmas Parade. After the parade, we'll head over to a Christmas Tree Farm. It's not cut-your-own, but there are a lot of activities for the kids to do. We'll get to pick our tree and bring it home. I have boxes of ornaments to go through and weed out all the 'Our First Christmas' and our 'Family' Christmas ornaments. That makes me a little sad because there were a couple that I really treasured. One in particular. But I'll have new ornaments and new memories to make with me and Nick and the kids. I hope to get all my lights up on my house this weekend too. If I get it all done, I'll take a picture and post it. I'm not promising anything spectacular. And there will be no snow to enhance the atmosphere of the photo. Yeah. Tomorrow's high is supposed to be in the 70's.

Surprise! Updated with Photos!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I got home from work and had a dozen red roses waiting for me. Then I changed for dinner. Us Texas gals gotta be comfy, so I threw on some jeans. I didn't know where I was going for dinner. When we pulled up to Love & War in Texas I was pleased. We went inside, and Surprise! my family and several friends were there! I had a great time. During dinner I sampled the Wild Boar that was on the menu. It was quite tasty and was spiced up with a peppercorn sauce of some kind. I altered my sides from what the menu provided though (ever seen When Harry Met Sally?) and got garlic mashed potatoes and grilled veggies. The mashed potatoes were to die for. They also have rather large Texas-sized draft beers. I had two and was ready for lights out. I got great gifts too! My mom and my sisters got me gift certificates to Run On! so I can buy my new trail shoes for my 25K run in Bandera. I got a Target (Tarjay) gift certificate from my friend Amy. My grandma made me a beautiful scarf. And Nick, the dear, got me a couple of gifts. First, I got a copy of a print that I saw at the Kimball on one of our dates. It's of a painting by Matisse called L'Asie (Asia). I love the vibrant colors and the exotic look of the female figure. He also got me Joe III. I love his voice. It's so deep and kinda gravelly. The song that clued me in to him was Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off. Give the sample a listen. It's a cute song. And he's not too bad to look at either! The biggest surprise of the evening though? My new Garmin Forerunner 201. I wasn't expecting it at all, and I was very surprised to get it. I've been wanting one for a while, but it's one of those 'expensive' toys. I was hoping to just get enough gift certificates to get one.                                                                             Nick givin' me a smooch                                                                       Sister, Grandma, Sister, Me & Mom                                                                                                                                    Me & Nick                                                                                                       Me wearin' my scarf my grandma made                                                  Oh Sexy Boyfriend! After everyone left, Nick said we had one more stop to make. I couldn't imagine where, but I got in the car like a good girl and waited on my last surprise. We wound down the evening by going to 'our' Starbucks. The one where we had our first date. We grabbed a couple of tall lattes and sat back in those big comfy chairs and reflected on the evening. No one has ever thrown me a surprise party before, and Nick had to do some scheming with my sister to get in contact with everyone. He did a great job and I was very surprised. Thank you, baby, for such a wonderful birthday.