Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Floatin' Down the River

A storm stalled over Houston last night and some areas got 11" of rain last night. Our town got 8. It was flooded everywhere - really WILD. Not even that bad of flooding during Ike - I got to work at ten this morning - there was no way any of us were braving that traffic.

The city of Houston even lost an ambulance in all that mess! They were out doing water rescues and the thing got caught in one of those 6 foot "puddles" .... at the end of the day, on the news, they finally showed the water draining and the top of the ambulance showing. It was one wild day!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

One Year!

Greetings from Anniversary- Land!

One year ago pretty much this MINUTE (6:45 PM) we were pronounced man and wife. Conrad and I talked Friday and agreed to regroup today to see if we were going to continue this deal or what. HA~ kidding! We're good ... we're great!

So yesterday I just laid around and read a book, and washed clothes and just ... hung out. We then went to dinner at the Grand Luxe and used the gift card Amy gave us a few weeks ago. SUPER YUM- we love that place, but it's in the Galleria, so we don't go together often. We had an appetizer, dinner, dessert AND coffee! Then we walked into a few of the shops around there ... and just digested. :)

Today we had coffee and read the paper and then went out and looked at some land around here. We found two GREAT neighborhoods that would be nice. One of them is WAY out of the price range, and the other one is probably right on. We did that for four hours AND had lunch ... and it was a nice time. We even stopped at an open house - you know, one of the kind where the realtor is there, the people who live there aren't ... we just were out and about. Right now I am making South of the Border Casserole (from the Delicious Melicious Blog) and some seasoned black beans. Very nice anniversary and no ... we didn't do gifts. I look at it like Valentine's Day- you should spend the day together and maybe get some grub, but I don't need the "present pressure" ... and I think Conrad agrees. We just had a nice day and a nice weekend.

We actually know of TWO couples who didn't make it to their first year, isn't that CRAZY ... seems like an awful small amount of time for things to go wrong- but we're not judging!

Happy new week you guys!


Saturday, April 25, 2009


I went out this morning for my first garage sales of the season. Didn't get too much- a necklace and a purple Vision cookware bowl .... it's a big circle with a lid. A nice casserole dish. I don't think it's ever been used.

On the way back home I passed an area out in the country that has a house, pool, guest house and 13 acres- for sale. I told Conrad about it and we went out and looked at it. $750K .... it even has a pond with a dock and it's done in sort of a log cabin style and has another little "outdoor kitchen" type building. Very nice and no, we're not getting it. I'd say that is above the budget, BUT we are now in agreement. 1) We want to BUILD a house and 2) we do not want to live in a subdivision. We're going to be looking at - at least an acre. We don't mind houses close by- like if we SEE another house, that's cool - but we don't want to open our window and touch our neigbors house like right now.

We're thinking in this economy, with all the foreclosures and cheap land- we are going to go ahead and research and buy a piece of land. Get a jump on it ... there's no problem with getting a nice deal now and having it paid off before we start building.

So tomorrow afternoon we're going to look at a few lots. Same area of town, same town ... just a little something bigger. I'm pretty certain he won't let me name it Abercrombie Acres- but we'll come up with something cool.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Situational Update

Short update

Sorry I've been gone. I've been in sort of an emotional hole. With the insuance thing ...

The adjuster (who I don't get along with) - her boss called me this morning and MAGICALLY she knew ALL of the information I had been asking Miss I Don't Have Any Information At This Time, but she never knew.

The car had 18K in damage and his rental was 2900 dollars .... and when they went in to repair the car they found supplemental damange, HENCE the call about getting near my limit. The supplemental amount it a little less than $4K. How HARD would it have been for Miss IDHAIATT to tell me ????? Apparently, impossible.

SO, with tax the amount should be SLIGHTLY over the $25K which is probably not even enough for the other insurance company to come after me for. I thought we were talking about selling the house, plundering the bank accounts ... etc and believe you Me, I told this woman about her minion of the devil employee. This woman has put me through SO much emotional trauma - since the DAY of the accident .... she has been mean, rude, short, snappy and NEVER has any information. I even had my agent call her and the agent called me back and said WOW what DOES she know ????

So I am feeling better and tonight looking forward to a good night's sleep for the first time in a week. I need rest - emotional rest.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rain Rain

It started raining Friday afternoon on the way home from work. It rained until after dinnertime. Then it started back up at 6:30 AM yesterday and went for TEN HOURS. It was SO awesome!!! We really needed it ... it was nice to lay in bed yesterday morning and listen to it. I got up, started my coffee and then later, I headed out to the library.

One of the things I was excited about was a book that had been on my list FOREVER but had never been available before - The Complete Cheapskate by Mary Hunt. I suppose in these economic times, everyone had the same idea I did- HOW do you cut things out of the budget? Well ... and especially with this insurance thing hanging over my head. I may owe money, I may not. But in the meantime I have gotten serious about cooking at home and serious about bringing my lunch ... I also was trying to start back up on my garage saling- but it was raining yesterday. That's ok I'll pull the money out of my wallet (so I won't spend it this week) and use it next Saturday. I've also told Conrad we should only go out to eat once a week ... and he agreed. Oh! and the most important thing- I am taking this week to read up on container gardens. I want to lower the grocery bill and to me, produce is maybe the most expensive thing. I don't want to dig up the yard though - so I'm going container garden. I want to do a few herbs like basil and thyme and rosemary - I'd like to try some green onions maybe some tomatoes. I don't know yet - I am going to read up on what you can grow in containers this week. We don't need A LOT ... but I think it's a good experiment for this year.

Anyway. I recommend the book --- I think she also has a weekly newsletter you can sign up for. Good luck! Here's to all of us getting more frugal!


Friday, April 17, 2009


Allstate didn't call today and that means they won't call this weekend... and I am grateful. I really didn't want the weekend ruined by a 3PM call with bad news. I just want a weekend to forget ...

and I log on and see such a wonderful and inspiring message from my mommy to be friend Lori and also the best three words EVER (I love you) from my wonderful aunt - and I know that no matter what the outcome, it will be ok. It's just so hard not to stress and worry and be scared and angry. I'm trying ...

Tonight I made Amy's Chicken- that she made me last week. Then I baked cookies. Tomorrow is good coffee (because for some reason the coffee at work is BAD), garage saling and the library. It really sounds like heaven to me. I'm making chicken n dumplings for dinner. Yum, I can't wait. THAT is something I cook well!

I hope you all have a happy and blessed weekend. I'm thinking we ALL need it.


Thursday, April 16, 2009


I really wasn't ready to post this yet ... but events from today tell me I must post.

So yesterday morning Allstate called regarding my wreck. Apparently, the other man's car is STILL not fixed's been FOUR MONTHS and TWO DAYS - and they are telling me they found something ELSE wrong with it and want to warn me that I am nearing my $25K libability coverage. If it goes over, I'm liable and no, his car is not totalled, just really really damaged. So my first question was ... um ... so has he been a rental car this WHOLE time and are you telling me I have to pay for that ??? Well if the cost of the repairs AND the cost of the rental go over $25k then yeah ... and I said HOLD UP - this is CLEARLY negligance on your part and I am NOT PAYING - and then I hung up and called my agent and relayed the story. They are now working on it for me. But this has been a TERRIBLE experience for me and once again, just as I am about to pay off another credit card, this comes up. JUST as I get ahead ... I get knocked back down. Well maybe - I don't know yet if I went over, I'm just "close" ...

So yesterday I start praying and then I wonder what am I praying for and who am I praying to? Why have these last three years been the BEST and also the WORST? Why does this keep happening to me and why can I never get ahead ??? and as for the praying - who says there's a God? Who am I praying to? Am I only praying because I saw my grandmother do it- a devout Catholic who believed everything was from God? My dad wrote a religious book, my mom goes to chuch every Sunday- is THAT why I believe? And I went to bed bitter and confused and scared and I woke up this morning and said no no no - I mean NO - how can it be? How can people get through life thinking they are all on their own? How do you not go crazy thinking no on has your back?

So I went to work this morning- and my friend Tosha forwarded me an email by her pastor talking all about Hope and hard times and struggle and being grateful for what you have ... and I thought on that all day long. I bet my friend Amy would gladly take on an extra debt to not have cancer right now, and I bet my friends who have lost their jobs would take on a little extra if that meant income coming in ... I bet that girl who was killed here a few weeks ago would be fine with an extra $5-10K on her plate, if only she were still alive. and I realized I'm not grateful for what I have at all- clearly .... I am fairly healthy, when I left work today I had a job ... I have maybe the best husband ever - and a dog who cuddles with me every night ... plenty of food and a pretty house ... things could be worse ... and even though this is COMPLETELY unfair and I may need to get a lawyer before this is all over ... I know that I was really in a bad and wrong place yesterday.

and now I log on today and here is a post on one of my favorite decorating blogs- Notes From a Cottage Industry.

It's all about faith how people have such a hard time when they don't believe in God ... and about praying and how prayer works ... and wow, I totally needed to hear that. Coincidence? I SOOOOO don't think so!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No News

No big news here ...

I've added quite a few new blogs to look at - and some of them are cooking blogs. I really want to experiment in the kitchen and get some new stuff cooking around here. On Friday I'm making Amy's Chicken- that's what I named it. It's that awesome chicken she made me last week. Tonight I made my mom's hamburger pie. YUM! Conrad's favorite and very comforting to me as well. I have enough for lunch tomorrow.

Speaking of Amy, she's back in town now receiving her treatment YAY! We are all praying it works and works PERFECTLY ... and she gets to go home on Friday so this trip is much shorter. I know she's happy about that! I have a great feeling about this and I'm looking forward to being friends with her for a loooooooooooooong time.

Also I need some prayers too ... I'm not ready to really talk about it right now. But it has to do with my wreck and the insurance company. I just need some good mojo and I need to stay calm. It seems like this will never go away - that's how I feel today anyway. Like everytime I make strides in something, something else knocks me back down. That's what my daddy would call "life" ... and I'm still getting used to the fact that it's not always perfect and rarely goes the way you planned. If only ...

Ok, happy Thursday tomorrow- ya'll think about me. I have an appointment with Big Al at 6! UGH ...


Monday, April 13, 2009

Queen B

Just a cute post ...

I got this no-sew fleece blanket for Christmas. It's pink and blue and DALLAS COWBOYS!!!!

Anyway, Blanca confiscated it from me - I think because it's soft and warm. One pic is her sleeping and one is when she was so rudely awoken- by um, me. :)


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Before and After

Did I tell you that Amy is an interior designer? No? Well ....

I had a few ideas for the living room ... and while she was here, I thought I'd ask her - her opinion. I told her what I wanted to do and THANKFULLY she said it was a good idea. I had already bought the paint and the mirror ... :)

I had seen on some decorating show, that you want your fireplace to POP, since it's a feature, especially if you're selling. Well I'm of the mind why make everything nice and perfect for when you're SELLING only? Why can't you make things nice and perfect for YOURSELF while you're in the house? So I wanted my fireplace to POP. Our walls are already a very light latte or mocha color ... I call it "khaki" but I think it's really like "Desert Doone" or something like that. So I went to the paintstore and got a small can of paint- about three shades DARKER than the other walls ... with the intention to ONLY paint the wall with the fireplace this color. Also, when we build our house, we're going to have a gentleman's den - so I bought a new mirror for above the fireplace that will also transfer very well into the new house, into Conrad's room. It's a mirror done in a chocolate leather, with belt loops all over it ... very "manly" ...

My other goal was to really clean off the mantle. We had family pics, family heirlooms, vases, etc. ... and a puzzle we had done and modge podged. I thought it was time for our mantle to grow up. Here are the before and afters .... and yes, I did this yesterday ... it was for sure a GOOD FRIDAY!

Fireplace Close up BEFORE

Fireplace Close Up AFTER

Full Living Room BEFORE
Full Living Room AFTER
Night and Day, huh? I love it! How freaking awesome is THAT ???!!! All three of us loved it !!! It has me inspired to tackle other things now that I have been so lazy about ... I am real proud of this. The only thing new is the mirror ... everything else from the mantle I got from other parts of the house. That clock was $1 at a garage sale!!! ... and you can see we just moved our puzzle over behind the couch oh and the BIG change ... we switched the couch and the loveseat out ... that way the fireplace wasn't so blocked ... AWESOME, huh?

We miss you AMY!!!! We enjoyed your stay and you're welcome back any time .... and don't you know that sweet thing went and got us a gift card to Grand Luxe to say thank you to us. COMPLETELY not necessary - but very sweet and we will SO use it!!!!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Girls Night

Yesterday Amy's schedule was messed up- so she ended up getting out closer to 6PM- I waited for her after work and we hit the Galleria for some major window shopping!!! ... and we also ate at Grand Luxe Cafe which is THE BEST restaurant EVER, ANYWHERE ...

Today when I got home from work, she had cooked me an AMAZING dinner. Some people just have "the touch" - it was super yum! A chicken dish with creamy mushroom sauce with wild rice and asparagus with lemon and butter. OMG! I am so glad we have leftovers!!!!

Tomorrow we're off - Amy has a tiny bit of treatment and then we're heading off to eat Mexican baby. Katoe bar the door! I intend to paint a bit tomorrow- the wall behind the fireplace and I need to get some dogfood for the baby- just small errands.

It's been a great week. I know Amy isn't here for a good reason - cancer is terrible, but she is very positive and happy and I think she's going to be fine. It's been an absolute pleasure to have her here ... it's been a nice week.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Love You Man

Conrad has gone off on an overnight trip and left Amy and I to our own devices. First, we took ourselves off to Babin's which is really a seafood restaurant but they have this chicken/spinach dish that will make you wanna slap your moma! Then we decided to hit the movies. We saw I Love You Man with Paul Rudd - SO FUNNY ... I really enjoyed it. TOTALLY a movie I would purchase. A++

Now we're back at the house and back to real life for tomorrow ...


Monday, April 6, 2009

Well ....

We are waiting on our friend to arrive- the one going to MD Anderson this week. She should be here late tonight. I cleaned all weekend and then Conrad and I worked on the house some yesterday. We got stuff done we should have a looooooooooong time ago.

OH! My friend, Lori- has a new blog which I have added to my Blog List- she's called Mommy to Be. She blogs about being at her mom's house- she has moved in there while they get the house ready to sell. Her mom died less than a year ago, in that house ... and she blogs about strange noises and wanting to see if her mom is there. I SO GET THAT ... when Conrad gets back from fetching us dinner I'm going to tell him about this.

Conrad travels maybe five times a year - and I get really scared when he goes. Not of human people. Not of people who can break in here - I am scared of the GHOSTS. We don't even HAVE ghosts, that I'm aware of ... so anyway Conrad bought these little door stoppers. If someone were to come into the house, after I have set them out, a really shrill horrible alarm goes off. Well I don't set them out - because I am worried the "spirits" will set them off as a joke. I mean my grandma would TOTALLY do something like that just to get a rise out of me, no matter that she's dead. So I refuse to set the alarms out ... for fear of, well you know ... Conrad thinks I am absolutely certifiable ... he wants to know how I could possibly be scared of people who no longer "exist" ... ok whatever... you guys KNOW they totally do. People don't just DIE and cease to exist ... they go somewhere else and sometimes I think some of them stay around and hang out. Ask any of the family- I know they were at the wedding ... and some of them had some odd senses of humor. I can totally see them hanging out around here.

Well as sorry I am my friend gets sad, I am happy to hear I am not completely crazy ... other people DO hear things ... so HA Conrad ...


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Vitamins and Fights

Do you like the new blog?

Conrad and I had a rare argument on Thursday night AND I am dead serious about the content, which seems sort of silly now. I had just gotten back from the gym and I was tired and sweaty ... I came in, got myself some dinner and ate. Then just as an aside I said out loud to Blanca ... " I sure wish daddy would go get us some ice cream or brownies" ... and Conrad said, "We don't need ice cream or brownies" and I said, "Are you calling me fat?"

I have to tell you, it did not go well from there. I really DID want to know what he meant by that, but now, days later, I think he meant that when things like that come into the house, they disappear fast. It's almost not worth having it here ... but at the time, tired and hot and sweaty it sounded worse than what it was ... now though, it's kind of funny.

Also the doc called on Friday- thyroid doc. My dog gone levels are off, AGAIN ... They say now I've gone hyperthyroid ... so they've asked me to please start taking my high dose medicine on Mon, Wed and Fri and take my new low dose medicine on Tues, Thur, Sat and Sun. I guess that's supposed to even me out. It may also explain why I'm always hungry lately ... but they also said I have NO Vitamin D in my body. Most people have 50, and I have like 2 ... and they said 20 is when they start to worry about people. So I had to call this Mega Pharmacy called Biotech and order the Vitamin D-3, in the 50,000 international unit dose. How much is that? Well, when you take a multi-vitamin you get about 400 international units. So I have to take one of these mega-vitamins once a week for awhile. Something tells me that these things are STRONG and they are going to make me sick as a dog. I think though when levels go as low as mine, it can be fatal. I'm sure not right AWAY, but say i didn't go to the doc for a year and this was going on, I'd probably be in bad shape.

Pretty wild, huh?


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Santa Fe Flats

Well ... this is one of our favorite restaurants ... If I post about the good ones (Pecos Grill the other day),. then I have to post about the bad ones ... hello Santa Fe Flats!

I signed up for their newletters and special offers and I've used a few. Most of them are great - buy one get one free and TOTALLY worth it. I really love this place, it's delicious- I've never eaten a bad thing there.

This morning there was an April Fool's deal in my email. It said come in, buy two entrees and get a free appetizer - so I came home tonight and told Conrad I'd like to go. So we went. We ordered and I asked for our appetizer - she said I needed the print out. I didn't have the print out- so I asked her to please ask Tyler, the owner, if he would honor the offer anyway. It was the ONLY reason we came. Well the answer was no. Can you even BELIEVE that?! Not me. It's always been such a nice place. I am so disappointed.

We paid, and I filled out the customer comment card and I left Mr Tyler a note. I said I was disappointed. I said we came often and we loved the place and I said that the customer service was terrible ... that I could not believe they would not honor their offer. It was not advertised anywhere outside- I HAD to have gotten the email to have known about it. I told him I was going to go on the B4U Eat Houston website and put a review on the site about the experience AND that we would never be back.

I think Conrad thinks I'm sort of on the edge and maybe overreacting- but I WORK in customer service. It's what I do all day- and what happened tonight was really bad. It's the only reason we went out tonight ... and I think they need to know they can lose customers this way. I am not sorry that i told them.

I am sorry we'll never be back, but now I just vow to learn how to make the green chile enchiladas. As we were walking out. I saw Tyler pick up the note and he looked really perplexed while he was reading it... but at least I know he got it.