Monday, April 29, 2013


Remember this post on resolutions back in January?  While I did not make any resolutions, I was fully aware of some changes that needed to take place in my life.  I'll explain, with a little science lesson .....

Thanks Sir Issac Newton

I have been at "rest" for a while in a few areas of my life or maybe I have been in motion, at the   s-a-m-e  s-l-o-w  s-p-e-e-d, for several years.  I just did not like the direction I was heading!  Something had to be done and it took an unbalanced force, in the form of Lent, to move me in a different direction.  What started as a Lenten effort has once again become a positive force in my life.

Lent lead me on a quest to get a grip on my eating and drinking habits and rediscover my waistline.  It had been missing in action and recently disappeared all together.  I joined forces with my daughter as we diligently followed Weight Watchers during Lent.  I had definitely become lazy and undisciplined when it came to my diet.  My love of food and wine had chased my waistline away.  It is one thing to know in your head what you need to do and a completely different thing to put it into action.  I needed an unbalanced force!

Anyway, the point is, that with the help of WW and the cruel and unusual punishment I inflicted on myself when I joined Marathon Girl's 2013 Health Challenge for 6 weeks ( which could be a whole post itself), I have found my's here somewhere!  While I do feel better and hopefully look better (because it would be sad if I had done all of the work for nothing) I still dream about Chick-fil-a sandwiches and drinking more than one..or two glasses of wine at night!  I am hoping that I can continue in this new direction and avoid any unbalanced forces to knock me back.  Of course, there is our trip to Spain on Friday....I'm sure there won't be any good food or wine there!  Right??!!  

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Senora Kick My Butt

I have ventured into my fourth language class at Rice University (continuing education).  I may have reached my saturation point!  In an effort to expose myself to as much Spanish as I can before our 35th anniversary trip to Spain in May, I enrolled in Spanish 2.  Last semester's Spanish 1 class was a kind and gentle introduction to Spanish.  We plodded along learning the very basics and I kept up fairly well.  I was not at the top of the class but I certainly wasn't at the bottom.  I still can't say much except hello, how are you and I'm from.......and congugate a few verbs.  I  was  moved up to the next level and decided "what the heck?  I'll take it until we leave for Spain, at least I will be exposed to more Spanish and maybe it will help in our travels."   "What was I thinking???"  

I missed the first class, which was a big mistake.  When I showed up to the second class I felt like I had entered the Spanish Twilight Zone!  I think everyone else in the class studied Spanish in high school and college and are just taking this as a little refresher....    I feel like a non-mathematical kid stuck in Algebra 2, clueless!  "What is everyone saying and why can't I understand them?"   "No.... don't call on me!  I have no clue what the question is, much less the answer!" 

I will call my new professora, Senora Patear mi Culata.  Every Tuesday and Thursday night I voluntarily show up to class and get my fanny kicked!  Compared to my other language professors  she is a slave driver.  We have hours of homework every class.  I diligently do my homework and still feel very unprepared when I get to class.  She speaks rapid fire Spanish 90% of the class and I catch about 15% of what she is saying.  The volume of vocabulary is staggering to say the least.  It is like learning a foreign language!  haha!  I still get busted for using my French accent too, "Senora, that's a  French accent!  The "g" is pronounce "h" in Spanish."  She teaches university Spanish classes as well as the Continuing Education classes and told us that we cover in 8 weeks what her other classes cover in 16.  Thanks!  I feel so much better/worse.   She looked at me sympathetically after the last class and said, "Senora, is everything OK?"  I told her my head was spinning and I feel at a distinct disadvantage having never studied Spanish before, unlike the rest of the class.  She then surprised me and told me that she could tell I was "una persona intellegent" and assured me I was in the right level class.   Whew!   Now on to the hours of homework,  so I don't get mi culata kicked on Tuesday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Taste of Texas

We have been home for two weeks in a row!  Guess that means I should have written a blog or two during that time, oops.  It is spring in Texas and that equals outside time in my book.  In spite of the yellow film that covers every surface and causes my eyes to burn and my nose to run, I have spent a good part of the last two weeks outside enjoying it while it lasts.  Before too long the temperatures and humidity will be above my comfort level and I'll be forced to be more creative with my free time.  For now it is golf, walking, running and patio season. 

Another thing that spring in Texas brings is bluebonnets!  This year is a particularly good year for the state flower and TJ and I went on a little road trip last Sunday to check out the scenery.  It turned out to be a very nice afternoon so I thought I'd share some of what helps us like living down here....for part of the year.

Before you get to see the bluebonnets here is a typical Texas scene that we happened upon when we took a wrong turn!
Maybe it was a right turn.... 

"You talkin' to me?"

After our detour we found an interesting store surrounded by bluebonnets.  TJ had to restrain me from buying a piece of large ironwork.  I loved this place!  Goes to show the saying, "if you build it, they will come" is true!  They came!
So much to see....

Windmill anyone?

We decided to drive on and find a field of bluebonnets that did not have about 50 people in it taking pictures of their cute families.  We were looking for our "own" field.  So on we drove.  TJ has always been known for his frightening (for his passengers) ability to drive and still see a hawk a mile away or a remote bluebonnet field behind a locked gate and remain on the road... sorta between the lines.

He saw this field from the road....wait...who is driving again?

We ventured a bit farther and found the perfect scene!  We found it because TJ has never been one to go with the main stream and he decided we needed to "explore" off the beaten path.  Yes, there are some very well traveled roads that are known for their bluebonnets and on a nice Sunday afternoon in peak season there will be people in every field taking pictures.  Glad he likes to explore....sometimes.

A very nice patch of bluebonnets and no cars passing by!

So many!!!!
An Indian Paintbrush among the Bluebonnets

 After I took about 100 pictures of the wildflowers we were getting very hungry!  What else would make this day perfect?  The only thing we were missing was some real Texas BBQ.  Where were we going to find that out here in the middle of nowhere?  We followed along and low and behold what should we see but a cute little tin building with flags flying.  I asked TJ to pull over so I could get a nice photo of the flags when he said..."They might be serving BBQ today."  And guess what?  They were!  Cutest most stereotypical place ever!  The food was pretty good too! 

We brake for BBQ!
Not much from the outside, right?

totally cute inside!

I'll bet there is some boot skootin' boogying that goes on here!

They were so happy we stopped by that they invited us back!
No, that is not our motorcycle!!!

And that, my friends, is your taste of Texas! 
Y'all come back!
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