Friday, August 31, 2007

Perfect in Houston

I will begin today's post by saying last night: 20 minute Turbo Jam

Ok.... in reference to Da'Delle's comments on yesterday's post. No, sadly, Conrad's teeth are not perfect. My professional opinion is that he could use a good scrubbing, but that's about it. He's not going to have to go through what I just did... and thanks to all who asked after my welfare (none of you!) ... I am doing just fine. I was able to choke down some soft foods yesterday with relatively no pain... my headache is all but gone and I did Turbo Jam without rattling anything around up there... except for my brains.

We actually went to dinner last night- mexican place off the beaten path in Tomball, called Rancho Grande. I saw some good reviews. I liked it a lot. Conrad said it was ok.... he has an aversion to what they call "enchilada gravy" here. If you're not from Houston or Beaumont, you're probably not familiar with it- but Casa Ole and places like that are famous for it. I've developed a taste for it, I guess and I LOVE Casa Ola and Crazy Jose's and those type places. Conrad does not. Mikel, my one-day-to-be sister in law does and that just PROVES how much smarter girls are than boys!

Well, nothing super interesting to report today except for I still have all my teeth. Last year for Labor Day we rented a lakehouse/cabin, but this year we're just staying home. No plans really- I'm sure he'll end up dragging me to the Simpsons Movie. I'd rather have my teeth scaled again.

Oh- and Conrad has requested the password and username to this blog. I imagine he'll start posting at some point. So I'll start signing my posts.

Happy and Safe Weekend to all!


Thursday, August 30, 2007


I will begin today's post by saying I did NOT work out last night- although I dearly wanted to join Chalene on her path to fitness! But I had a good excuse. My head was about to explode.

I had uh, neglected to go to the dentist for um... 12 years. And uh... I decided when I saw some very bad things happening in there, it was time to go. Thanks go to Lori York for recommending an AWESOME place here in Houston.

Anyway, I went and I KNEW I was going to get in trouble and some further procedures weer going to be needed, but I truly thought that I would go in, have my x-rays, get a cleaning and then be set up for an appointment to deal with these other issues. That is NOT what happened. I went in, got my x-rays and they said my teeth were so bad there was no reason to just waste time and money on a general cleaning. It wouldn't do a thing. ... and oh joy, they had a couple who had appointments after mine, JUST cancel theirs. WOO HOO! YEAH! They wanted to do a full scaling and refinishing. They said five more years of neglecting my teeth, I would probably have to have dentures. Now, I don't think they looked THAT bad- but what was happening was the tartar was eating away at my teeth and in my bottom front two, I already have major bone loss. So they had to novacaine me up, laughing gas me up, and then they went in with this little knife looking thing, between each tooth and into, DEEP in between each teeth and gum. My bottom right side never numbs- he tried twice. So I just sort of had to sit through that one, in tears, but it could have been worse. The doc came in and said the bone loss was of some concern and hopefully this scaling will give a chance for the gums to heal and the ligaments to reattach to my teeth and that way, they will hold them in better. He would not tell me the next steps if this didn't work. HOWEVER, my teeth look and feel 120% better than they did yesterday. They look like a whole new set of choppers! ... and after having the laughing gas, which makes you feel like you had a margarita or two, I started to wonder why I don't drink more. It felt GREAT!

I went home numb and with a pretty bad headache. Chalene may have sent me over the edge. I took 4 Advil and went to bed at 9 PM after gumming my food and HOPING it was going down and not coming out. UGH.

Anyway- after a good 9 hours of sleep, I feel ok. My mouth is sore. I brought Chefboyardee for lunch cause it's soft.

They are trying to talk me into braces- but you can't eat tortilla chips for two years and you can just forget about THAT! He said there are some other options. How wonderful, can't wait.

After telling ALL of this to Conrad last night, he's panicking about his own gums. He is worried his teeth are going to fall out. He was staring at me last night in 1/2 facsination and 1/2 horror.... I said "Am I scaring you?" He said "YES".... it was the dentures thing. Having just come from the Dentist of Death's chair myself and fancying myself a bit of an expert now, I offered to take a look at his pearly whites to give him my professional opinion. They looked ok to me. Apparently, NOT GOOD ENOUGH for Mr. Hopkins. He doesn't trust me a bit! :( He wants to find a Saturday dentist now.

Moral of the story- GO EVERY SIX MONTHS or you'll end up like me, sitting at your desk with a headache, eating bananas and the lunch of a four year old- Chefboyardee Beefaroni. You KNOW how bad they're going to make fun of me today, don't you?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Apologies to Dee Dee and her family- who LOVE OU.
But I don't... been to a game or two there. Good times... but well, I don't want to say anything more. There are some OU readers among us.

I don't really care for A&M either- and I have been asked to attend a game this year with my beloved. So I'm going. Bleeding Orange the whole time...

Turbo Jam

I went to the doc yesterday to get my blood drawn for thyroid testing! Always fun- about once every 6 weeks, now.

He gently got onto me about my weight. I gained four pounds since I started coming to him. But I told him- HEY, if you could just somehow get my medicine right, I bet everything would even out. If I am on too much my heart palpatates and if I am not on enough, I can tend to gain weight. Thyroid issues are really pretty life changing. You're hungry, you're not hungry, your muscles ache so bad it hurts to move, suddenly you have boundless energy, then you're sad, then tired, then you can't sleep. It is a never ending cycle. If I can find the right dose, everything will even out. Well, I assured the doctor that I can feel every pound, thanks... and that I had been listening to Gayle King's show on XM156, Oprah and Friends- and she swears by this workout at home tapes - Turbo Jam with Chalene Johnson!

I got mine in the mail yesterday- Ebay and birthday money are wonderful things! So I ate my sparse dinner of half a sandwich and got to it. Either Chalene REALLY enjoys exercise or she is on some kind of uppers. I have never seen a more cheerful, sweaty person. She was bouncing up and down and I am right there with her- I am sweating too. It's really a good workout... and then here is Chalene, cheering us on:

"You are doing GREAT!"
"You guys look so GOOD out there"
"That's right- just punch that arm out a LITTLE higher"

She's a freak of nature.

My favorite though was when she had her leg all the way up over her head and her arm down on the floor. Looking up she brightly said, "Now, it may take you awhile to learn all of these moves and that's OK!"... wow. She is.... wow. Blanca and I were both sitting on the bed watching her, at this point... I wasn't even going to try....

I will say though, I think these tapes will be good. There is the 20 minute Learn and Burn, the 20 minute Turbo Jam, the 40 minute Cardio PARTY, the 40 minute Turbo Abs, and of course, the 30 minute Turbo Sculpt (done with small weights). I think this will be a good workout and I'm committed to doing them several times a week. I also still have my gym membership (couple of classes a week) and my rollerblades. If I survive this, I should be a supermodel. Hey- I'm already close.

So, I will let you all be my accountability partners. I need to do something at least 5 times a week.... and Chalene says her 20 minute sessions are like an hour at the gym and I believe her. My heart was about to come out of my chest.

Ok- so last night, I did the 20 minute Turbo Jam.

Conrad also arrived home in good stead- with a bag of McDonald's. I did not weaken. I just went to bed. BAD CONRAD. BAD!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fly Your Flag Proudly

I received some interesting replies/suggestions yesterday regarding my bra post.
I am not sure the neighbors would take too well to a Texas A&M colored or logo'd bra flying proud, on a flag pole, in front of our house. I think the HOA really would step in there... not to mention, I have many friends who attended other Big 12 schools that may be slightly offended. I know when I first told Conrad, I used to be a Nebraska fan, it took him a few minutes to get himself under control. I did mention to him though, if the state of Oklahoma somehow imploded, I would be ok with that. Sorry DeeDee, I would ask Edmond be spared... but I am no OU fan... sorry Jeremy and Buddah! Maybe if Norman, OK could somehow be quarantined or something... Anyhow, the Oklahoma comment redeemed me somewhat and we were able to carry through with our lifelong plans... but um, yeah, you know, good suggestions.... but pretty sure there would be some sort of fine attached to such a blantant display of school spirit. Of course, this IS Texas and football season IS almost upon us. So it may be tolerated until January... longer if Texas A&M were to somehow win the National Championship. WAAAAAAAA HA HA HA HA HA. I'm sorry, that made me laugh.... I crack myself up... Um, sorry Conrad! I mean, WHEN they win the National Championship....

Any whooo.... Conrad should be back from his business trip tonight sometime. Blanca is taking her job of guarding the house very seriously while he's gone. The first night she slept in her bed on the floor, near the door, I'm SURE to be my first line of defense in case we had a break in. Last night, she slept on the big bed, but in the middle of the night, sat up, barked shrilly, jumped off the bed and went tearing into the house. That's never really a good sign. I'm pretty much a non-confrontational chicken, so I decided the best means of protection was the TV- so I spurred into action and turned on the TV, hoping to scare the intruder off by letting him know someone was home. Although- I'm THINKING they pretty much know that... that is what a late night home invasion entails- rounding up the sleeping, unsuspecting people in the house in the dead of night. But, I digress... either my TV ploy worked and they went away or Blanca had some sort of a weird dream and scared us both for no good reason. A few minutes later, we were both asleep again.

I think we will both be happy when Conrad is back home again. As long as he stays away from the laundry, I think it will be a happy homecoming.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I am not certain Conrad should be allowed to do laundry any longer.

He had a business trip (had to leave Sunday AM) this week, so he went ahead and did laundry this weekend. He started Saturday morning while I went to the gym and the library... so I paid not much attention to what he was doing. *I* think he is very particular about his laundry- he disagrees, but I let him do it whenever he can... because *I* say he's a little weird about his laundry.

Anyway, the laundry thing goes on all day because we're in and out of the house. He does the last load somewhere around dinnertime and our neighbor comes and knocks on the door. Neighbor has been doing some MAJOR renovations and Conrad was interested in doing the same ones (same floor plan), so he came over to grab C and show him the finished work.

About two hours later, I'm walking down the hall and I see my unmentionables HANGING FROM THE HALL TREE near the front door. Funny, funny guy.... so when neighbor came to the door and Conrad opened it, I am SURE, QUITE SURE he got an eyefull. How lovely... thank goodness everything was 1) clean and 2) not some wild unusual color.... ah..... he laughed and laughed when he heard me scream COOONNNNNNNNRAAAAAAADDDDDDD across the house...

Conrad says if your bra is big enough to fit over your head, then you should be proud... not ashamed. Hmmm... Conrad may not be allowed to do laundry any more.

Also a big SHOUT OUT to my Uncle Dick, who I found out is reading my blog!!!
He is the one who called me Dingbat all through my childhood years. Memories...

Friday, August 24, 2007

I'm Gonna Wash That Meat Right Outta...


Never let it be said you can't learn new things on the Abercrombie/Hopkins blog!

I found this article today on Hints from Heloise and just in time too! We are not currently smelling any rotting meat smell from the washer, but give it a week or so, and maybe we will... from our little incident earlier this week. Here is what Heloise says about keeping our washers sparkling and happy!

Dear Readers:
After years of washing grimy clothes, has your washing machine developed a bad odor? That stale, rotten smell is often caused by a buildup of soap residue and other gunk right under the rim.
To get rid of this, first try running a full-level hot wash with 1/2 gallon of vinegar and no detergent. If that doesn't do the trick, pull out the bleach.
To use the bleach method, first set the washing machine on a normal wash cycle with hot water and at the highest water level, and let the tub fill up with hot water. Now use a bucket to add more hot water, until the washing machine is almost full (you don't want to overfill — just add enough water to raise the water level up to the top inner rim of the drum, where the yuck accumulates).
When the water level is right, pour in 2 to 4 cups of household bleach, close the lid and start the wash cycle. A few minutes later, stop the wash cycle, and leave the lid closed so that the bleach/water can sit for about 1 hour. Afterward, let the cycle finish, then open the lid, and you should now have a clean-smelling washing machine.
P.S.: Always leave the lid of the washing machine open to air out between uses!

So.... this weekend I am running the washer empty with vinegar only! Vinegar is the miracle cure. I will post on THAT at a later date... but for now, I think we should all pledge to wash out our washers this weekend!


Thursday, August 23, 2007


Conrad informed me last night he doesn't like "skinny" rings- he has been quizzing me and prodding at me for days now. What shapes of diamonds do I like, etc...

So he doesn't like "skinny" rings. Well ME EITHER! I say the fatter the better and the more loaded with precious jewels the better too. HA HA HA.

I am SO kidding. I don't care. I don't him last night I don't care.... and he said that's good. Takes the pressure off. He said he has been eating box after box of Cracker Jacks, looking for just the right one! I am a lucky girl........

He also has said that he wants nothing to interfere with our 80's themed wedding- which is SO not happening!!!!!!!!!! .......... and most days, when we are in the car, some sappy Reo Speedwagon song will come on or something equally horrifying and he will perk up and announce this is JUST THE SONG he is going to sing to me at our wedding. He also suggested the other night we do a little duo and sing that song from Grease, "You're the One That I Want"... and he wants me to wear the leather pants. I don't know WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM!!!!!!!

I kind of laugh at him when he says these things, but I am a little bit scared too.

I SWEAR if that boy shows up in a Can't Buy Me Love outfit and sings some terrible song to me- like some 80's hair-band ballad....

I think the only way around this is to go by "the buddy system". Since I can not be with him on the day of our wedding, I need to assign someone to him to be his "buddy" and keep an eye out- also to make sure he shows up! :)

I think this esteemed position will fall to my dad. He was Conrad's buddy at my sister's wedding too. I had to be whisked off to make myself even MORE beautiful, if such a thing is possible... so I assigned them to each other. Of course, they ended up babysitting my 3 year old cousin, wadding up trash (Arby's wrappers) and playing keep away from the poor baby...

Maybe I need to assign a buddy to the two buddies... this is really very exhausting!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Oh... and if you are dying to check out my dad's book, I have devoted my Myspace to it.
Well to the book and to ME!!!!!!!!!

Check it out...

Where's the Beef?

Let me just say--- last night was a nightmare. I am never cooking or eating roast again.

Dinner went fine. I started the dishwasher and I can't remember what all I did- went into the living room to watch tv, I guess. Blanca got up and went into the kitchen- I saw her stand up on her two back legs and back up to try to see into the sink... weird, but she's weird... so back to the tv.

An hour or so later Conrad says the sink is backed up. When he runs the disposal, the other side of the sink backs up. I open the dishwasher, it's run its cycle, but water is sitting in the bottom. Clearly, we have a drain problem. Conrad gets the plunger and we try to pop it out.

I don't know what made me go into the laundry room, but I went back there and when I tell you meat was from one wall to the other, I am not making that UP. Apparently, the washing machine drain is attached to all the stuff in the kitchen. Roast beef, dinners from other nights, grease, onions, potatoes, you name it - had come out of the drain plug in the wall. It was on the floor, from one wall to the other. It was under the appliances, it was coating the walls... it was on the hoses. It was EVERYWHERE. I will never get the smell of roast out of my hair or my nose again. I'm sure of it.

We got out the towels and called a plumber and did our best to clean up- took at least an hour and dirtied nearly every towel in the house. The plumber says this had built up over the years. Conrad said when he pulled that drain snake out, it was completely white with built up grease. I am SO going to pour boiling water down the drains once a week for the rest of my life. The plumber left at MIDNIGHT... and Conrad washed towels til almost one (I get up earlier, so I had to go to bed). This morning there is only a vague smell of meat. I guess I am going to have to mop tonight to get the grease film off the floor.... also one of the coils (going to the washer) has gunk all stuck in it. We can probably detatch it and spray it off tonight outside with the waterhose.

I never, ever, ever want to have roast again. NEVER.

The good news is, we never got ugly with each other. Neither one of us got mad, we were just like awww man! In my former life, I would have been screaming down the house, so Conrad clearly has a calming effect on me. There is really never a reason to get THAT upset and dramatic.... but I don't think I will forget that night for some time.



Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Ok... I have to go have a biopsy done.

You would THINK with such a serious issue, the doctor's office would be kind and gentle and willing to help. You would think. Too bad too, because I really do like this doctor.

They called me the other day and said we had a potential problem... and they would call back within a week to let me know when we could schedule the biopsy.... a week comes, and I called THREE times yesterday. Finally, after 5 PM someone comes on the line and tells me I really must speak with this one person and she is going to be beyond busy all week. I am already so upset and worried and ready to get this over with... so I get home, and they left a message there, at NOON, at home, when I clearly told the woman yesterday I work, and they need to call me at WORK.

This morning, I start calling again- FINALLY someone calls me back to TELL ME when I am having this thing done. Not asked, told.... and then glances down and tells me, "oh did you know you will also be responsible for $171 of this procedure". UM, NO .... because NO ONE EVER CALLS ME BACK from this office.

Not to mention, she was suposed to mail me some information to calm me down, so I would have information beforehand. Never received it.

I can not stand this doctor's staff and I will let him know about it on August 30th, when I see him. I should be good and fired up by then.

Also, I thought it was SUPER great of her, on her initial call to state, "you do not have cancer, you have PRE-cancer"... I was not aware she was a doctor and could diagnose such things. What am I even going in for, if this woman knows it all? GRRRRRRRRRR.......

Edited to add: Biopsy changed to Sept 12. I have to contain my anger a little bit longer.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I am not super impressed with my dinner tonight. Quesidillas turned out just kinda ok.
BUT tonight I am making pot roast in the crockpot. I am terrified to leave the thing on when we go to work during the day- so I figured I could cook it while we're sleeping, then put it in the fridge and eat it tomorrow night. I am SO smart! So it's all seasoned up and ready to be turned on.

Not much more to write or report... today was just a Monday....

I am having trouble with one of my doctors. Either I will get a new appointment tomorrow or a new doctor.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Good Eats

Today is Sunday... which means it's either GOOD cookin' day here (good ol' southern style) OR it means we are cookin' new stuff. Today is a mixture of both.

We went to the market yesterday and got some big fat pork chops. Conrad has a hankering for my mango salsa which goes GREAT with pork chops... so I agreed to make it. So today he is grilling the pork chops and I'll be making the salsa. I thought while he was grilling, I'd ask him to go ahead and grill our hatch chiles we got yesterday too. While he is doing that, I am going to make garlic and cream cheese mashed potatoes with caramelized onions... (not gonna use the hatch chiles today!)... and maybe some biscuits to go along- I dunno yet.

We're going to use up some leftovers too- tomorrow I am going to make quesidillas with hatch chiles, chicken and caramelized onions. YUM YUM.

Two days worth of good eats- pretty much done all at once! If ya'll ever want recipes, just let me know!

Not much more going on today- I am here, sitting in the cave (solar screens ROCK), watching stuff I Tivo'd... Blanca is laying next to me, snoring and Conrad is in the other room, I think snoring too. I can't hear him today. Yesterday I was watching tv and he left the door to his room open- I turned the TV down and all I HEARD was the sound of logs being sawed. Gracious! I guess the dog gets it from him.

K- caramelizing onions takes a long time- so I gotta go!

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Every single time we go to Kohl's, it starts to pour down rain.
I am not joking- EVERY TIME. We went to eat lunch- went to Kohl's because C-man needed all kinds of stuff... and we went in, he went one way- I went the other. I was making my full circle, spotted him in the shirt section- was just crossing over and I heard the biggest clap of thunder! It was so loud people around me kind of gasped. I should have told them not to worry, when we leave, it normally stops raining too. *sigh* Anyway- we finished our shopping and left.

It's like- we have cursed Kohl's.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Batten Down the Hatches!

I am excited to report- I have been selected to be on my company's Hurricane Disaster Preparedness Team. Quite the honor!

What this means is that in the event of a hurricane, I will be here at the office, with a few of my esteemed co-workers, expected to sandbag and haul bucket after bucket of seawater out of the bottom floor of our offices. We will brave hurricane force winds to make sure the safety of our building and company is put first!!! I was chosen because of my supreme physical shape and my cunning wits.

Ok, Ok, Ok- now that you are all laughing- what is REALLY means is I have been asked to head North in the event of a hurricane, to our Longview, Texas offices so we can keep the customer service department running. I will go with one other co-worker and our boss. We are shipping railcars today from the Lake Charles plant to make sure nothing gets hung up or stuck on the coast and all our customers can continue getting great service!!! :)

I'm sure I was chosen for my wits, but also because I'm always willing to help and because Conrad and I both still have family in Dallas (90 miles from Longview) so they probably figured in the event of a storm, we'd head that way anyway.

My boss told me today we would most likely head the Longview way sometime early next week. Hurricane Dean is projected to be here on Wednesday.

So those of you fretting and gnashing your teeth to powder, worrying about our safety- never fear- we'll be safe and sound in the exciting city of Longview, Texas! Not to mention- if we were to stay here, our house is like 20 feet off the ground (or 2.5 feet, whatever...) and we are also pretty far north, has Houstonians go.

OH! Did I just call myself a Houstonian? Never thought I'd see the day!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pardon Me...

I just got in a wee-bit o' trouble... for neglecting to mention the big "Meet the Parents" weekend that just passed. My mom and stepdad and Conrad's parents came to Houston last weekend to meet before our "big day" and also for my 32nd birthday.

It was super fun. Conrad's mom made bread pudding, we shopped, we ate, we talked and they told embarassing stories about us growing up and we ate... and we ate a little more. A good time was had by all...

I had a nice birthday. We went to Harris Co Smokehouse and also Steak N Ale (Dinner) and I hauled in the loot. I got cash money, gift certificates, jewelry, and zero gravity chairs from Sharper Image. I also got lots of cards in the mail, ecards, emails, and phone calls. It was nice. Thanks to all who remembered and everyone else who didn't ........... AUGUST 12th- mark your calendars.

All that's left is for dad and everyone to meet Conrad's parents. I figure we can arrange some kind of dinner in Dallas soon. He'll probably go through there on a book tour soon.

Ok- time for bed!

First "Official" Post

We are floating down the river... Hurricane Erin came ashore today and we have been wet wet wet all day! I looked out the window earlier this morning and it was pitch black outside. Some of my coworkers are not going to be able to get into their neighborhoods, it's flooded so badly today. At least I am hoping when I walk outside today it won't be like getting hit in the face with a hot towel.

Conrad will be home late from work tonight- so I'm hitting Taco Cabana on the way home. Many of you read my very excited email last week about locating a Taco Bueno in Houston. It's actually 26 miles from the house- but so WHAT I missed my Mexi Dips and Chips. I had Monday off, so I drove the 26 miles to TB for lunch. AH- heaven....

I think I may have scared the cashier lady because I went on and on about it for quite awhile when I was placing my order. I ordered just about one of everything because I simply could NOT decide!!!... then as I ordered, I alternated between ordering and interrogating her about when the next one would be built. Good news! Building now- in The Woodlands. I've just shaved 15 miles off my commute!!!!

Tonight though, I don't feel like driving 26 miles to TB- not in the middle of a storm, when so many roads are shut down. My love of TB only goes so far...

This is the way of the world...

This is what the world is coming to- BLOGGING.

Big thanks to Dee Dee for introducing me to it. I never knew a thing about it, but I find her site highly entertaining, so I decided to give it a shot.

I guess I can introduce us- "we" would be: Karyn Abercrombie, Conrad Hopkins and our fur baby, Blanca Abercrombie-Hopkins. We live in a small city outside of Houston called Tomball and Blanca and I just moved here in November. Blanca was in the market for a daddy- so we found one and moved here to be with him. She is happy as a clam, or uh- happy as a schnauzer!

I guess this is mainly part online diary and part "keeping people in the loop", so everyone bookmark this page and I'll update as much as I can on our goings-on.