Friday, April 29, 2011


Ok - so Monday morning we were up bright and early - around 5:15. We were at the surgery center by 6 and I was just filling out paperwork. I held it together pretty well. At about 6:30 the nurse came to get me just for prep. I was weighed (I have lost 11 lbs), and they went over my EKG and bloodwork results (all great they said), I had to change, they put in the IV, I put on the bloodclot stockings and they let Conrad come on back. My doctor was ONE HOUR late, and I still don't know why. That didn't make me feel good. I could just imagine him all rushed and flustered, not good. The anestethiologist came in to talk to me and THAT was when I started crying. I just could not believe that they could put me to sleep, cut me and then I would wake up and everything would be ok. Because I was CLEARLY on the edge, she gave me a little something that just caused me to stop crying and I tried to just lay there. Suddenly the doctor was there, he came in to talk to us and then they were wheeling me away. Then I really DID start crying. I cried all the way into the operating room which was VERY scary looking with the lights and tubes and coldness. The nurses were joking with me and I was trying to joke back, but crying. I told the anesthia person that I wanted to wake up and he said of course, if not you ruin my whole day!  ... and then BAM. I don't remember anything else. The next thing I know I am sitting up, with an oxygen mask on my face - and they are bringing Conrad in. I have four holes in me and it's all over. That is a STRANGE feeling.

I don't remember much more of Monday. We got home, I made a sandwich. I apparently talked to all my parents and my boss - I laid down but then decided I had enough of that, so I came and sat on the couch. i guess the doctor told Conrad some post-op stuff, I don't remember it. I don't remember the recovery room and all of us sitting around talking ... it's a giant blur. I don't remember much of it. 3 pain pills.

Tuesday was a lot of sleeping ... 3 pain pills

Wednesday was the WORST day by far. I was sick - I was sore- I could barely stand. I tried to stay awake and watch TV or read but I kept drifting off and I'd wake up in a weird position and it would be hours later. EVERYTHING hurt- and I just wanted to cry. I had that headache you get when you lay around too long. I was bored and lonely - and ready to just get back to life. Wednesday was a bad day! Just 1 pain pill at bedtime.

Thursday was better. I actually got in my car yesterday and went out for about an hour. I had small errands to run. Bank, gas station, etc ... I was SO ready to eat by then so I went and picked up some dumplings to take home. I was EXHAUSTED and it HURT to drive. You have to lean forward and look both ways, etc - it really took a lot out of me. I came home, and slept for about 4 hours. Just 1 pain pill at bedtime.

Today is Friday and I am just out of sorts. I am bored. I am tired of the TV- I'm tired of sleeping but I don't feel GREAT. When I stand up, that bellybutton hole pulls at me - ALL the holes itch. The house is closing in on me - I still can't lift anything so cleaning is impossible- can't bend over ... it will probably be about another week before I feel normal. I am not going to drive today - it took too much of me yesterday. I need to be ready for work on Monday. They SHOULD give you two weeks off (and they do say it could be 10 days to feel ok again and go back to work) but I honestly would go crazy with another week just laying around here.

Anyway, I lived - I survived and I am minus one gallbladder. That part feels FABULOUS. The queasiness is gone, the pain is gone, the being up all night is gone, the dull ache- gone, the bloat- gone ... so that part is AWESOME and I am GLAD it's gone .... but by do I feel like crap-ola!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Hello ...

I had my surgery Monday and today is Wednesday. Seems to be the worst day yet. Yesterday was ok, but it was sort of in a haze of pain pills. Today I stopped taking them. I don't love how they make me feel, but that also means I can feel all the pain - I switched over to Ibuprofren.

I will be posting later on all about it, if you care to hear- but this was just to say I am ok. The gallbladder is gone and I am on the way to recovery. I just don't feel SUPER GREAT, you know?

I want to just crawl back into bed. I guess I could, but I think the doctor wanted me up and moving about somewhat. One of the holes goes RIGHT across your bellybutton - which happens to be muscle group you use everyday to walk, sit up, stand up, etc - it's been rather miserable today.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Three Years ..

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Cute, but let's remember the reason for the season!
He has Risen


Friday, April 22, 2011


My surgery will be at 7:30 AM on Monday. We have to be there at the butt-crack of dawn, but I'm glad it's scheduled. I am SOMEWHAT nervous, but not like I thought I would be. I am relatively calm and just enjoying my last three days where I can get off the couch without grunting. I heard the little holes they punch into you are pretty sore for about 3-4 days and you sort of have to ROLL off the bed or couch.

I met Dr. Brown yesterday and he was GREAT. I made the absolute right decision in canceling my appt with the other doctor. Dr. Brown has the BEST office staff and they really got me in very quickly. He is a doll - and I could be great friends with the girls in the office and who knows - maybe I will be! .... the story with the other doc was that - my family doc found a surgeon in Tomball and told me to call. I called the next day and the woman on the phone was INCREDIBLY rude. I told her I needed to get this done and he was booked until late next week. I asked if I could at least get in for a consultation before the end of this week and she just kept saying, "Ma'am - go to the ER" ... and I asked her how long I would be out of work and she said she didn't know, the doc would tell me. The way she had it set up I would see the doc at 3 on Tues and be operated on the next morning. I had no time to get to the grocery store to get my family settled, no time really to tell my boss how long I would be out, no time to prepare my desk - because according to the lady the doc MAY or MAY NOT operate the next day. She was just rude and I felt rushed and I felt like I was bothering her. So I googled some docs and Kelley pulled the approved list of surgeons from our insurance and I found a doc that matched both lists and he had great reviews - and when I called to make my appt with HIM, his ladies were SO NICE to me --- and I just felt 100% better about it. If I had gone with the other doc, my anxiety level would be through the roof ... and it's not, so I know I did the right thing.

After I had gotten home and into some jammies, of course I was called back and told to go to the hospital and get my EKG and my bloodwork done. So at 4PM yesterday I was out there rushing around. It was quick and I wasn't even freaking out like I thought I would. The results are what they are and everyone told me this was standard stuff ... so now we just sit back and wait!

I dropped Blanca off at the groomer today to get her taken care of. When I go pick her up, I'll run to the grocery store first and stock up for next week. I don't expect to be driving until maybe Thursday. Conrad needs cokes, we needed some toilet paper and household stuff- and I am picking up sandwich stuff, soup, frozen pizzas for me. Tomorrow I will hit the library and stock up and that should be it!

I go back to work on Monday the 2nd- and late that afternoon I have to go back to the doc and get my staples out. He also told me I can work out from now until surgery - so I am going back to my water class tomrorow and he said since water is so low impact he is ok with me going back to THAT in about 10 days ... and he said Zumba has to wait maybe 3 weeks. I am ok with that too!

I sure could use some prayers though - for uncomplicated sugery, easy recovery and that all my friends and family won't be too worried. Most of them don't seem to be! It helps me when they aren't all scared and nervous!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Decision Points

I have my pre-op meeting with my doctor today at 1:30. I am excited to get this behind me. I had a bit of a problem finding a surgeon - and I'll save that story for later on this week or next when I am home bored and blogging, blogging, blogging. Needless to say, Kelley and I got on it and we found one- and I liked his office staff on the phone. The feeling of NO NO NO and crying that I had when talking to the other office is not there, when I talk to the people in THIS office. So I went with my gut and changed it up. Talk about managing your healthcare!

Anyway yesterday I took myself down to Chili's for lunch. Their grilled chicken doesn't hurt me - tip: they still have the Guiltless Grill, just not on the menu. I got the GG platter- of grilled chicken with the black beans and rice - and I ordered tortillas on the side so I could pretend I was having fajitas. I managed to get two of them down (small) and a few bites of beans. I consoled myself with my continued reading of Decision Points by George W Bush. Good book.

It started off with just you know, this is who I am - this is my family, my education, here are the jobs I had and why I decided to run for governor, etc ... this is how it effected me when my dad was President. He does not write it in chronological order. He writes each chapter as a DECISION (Decision Points, get it) - and talks about it. INTERESTING!

So I read Chaper 4 yesterday at lunch - Day of Fire.

September 11th - it was REALLY interesting all the things going on behind the scenes that day. All the threats they had - all the scurrying around to bunkers. The President trying to get back to the White House and no one would let him. Flying around in Air Force one all day - trying to find his wife, his kids, his parents ... and worrying about the nation. The fact they had the Anthrax thing to worry about - the planes unauthorized flying around - so they spent an evening in an underground bunker thinking the White House was under attack ... the fact he watched all those people jumping to their deaths from the Trade Center because it was too hot to stay inside and just wait for death - and how he walked around the smoldering Pentagon and three days later, Ground Zero, itself - and how tired and dusty and sad the first responders were .... It really brought it all back for me. I think it may be the ONLY day of my life that I seem to remember in slow motion and that I seem to remember every minute of. I had dear friends in the air that day - and I remember everyone I called, talking to my parents, I remember everything. I remember watching the news and my company closing early that day. I remember being in a complete fog. It was like a movie.

He really wrote a great chapter. If you do nothing else, get to the bookstore and read Chapter 4. I was sitting at Chili's - trying to eat a few bites of lunch - tears pouring down my face. What a horrible day that was ... almost ten years ago.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sonogram Results

Gallstones, baby! and ... multiple! Darlene, you are a genius!

My gallbladder is contacted around them. I don't know what that means, but I know it hurts. I haven't been eating very much - I'm afraid too. So I have been getting by on an apple, some oatmeal and maybe a plain sandwich every day. I'm not even hungry really - once you feel that pain and multiple times, your need for food goes WAY down ... This is the best weight loss plan EVER. I am TERRIFIED of food. My love of burgers and enchiladas and pizza has gone right out the window. I look at them with suspicion and fear now. LOL -- and by the way, this has opened my eyes to little to no healthy choices at lunch. I have been at Luby's teething on grilled chicken, curled up in the corner, reading Decision Points by George W. -- he has kept me company through these sparce lunches the last few days. I did enjoy the steamed broccoli and the roll yesterday. Luby's has good rolls!

I have the name of a surgeon. I will be Googling him today to make sure he hasn't hacked up anyone on the table. No lawsuits, no unpaid baby mama's, no  jail time - you know the drill. Then I shall call him and start up the process. I am going to BEG him for surgery next week, but I don't know his timetable yet. While I was thinking about it last night I wrote down a lot of questions to ask so I would remember.

You know:
When can I eat again?
When can I have enchiladas again?
When can I workout again?
Can I work out now, before surgery?
How long will I be off work?
Will I have to spend the night in the hopsital?

Etc - I thought this was rather brilliant of me, at the time.

Anyway when I have more news to update you with I shall. Next Tuesday is my three year anniversary of marital bliss with Conrad. Who knew I was going to be drugged and cut open for the big day? CELEBRATION! I guess we will have to put off our yearly celebratory dinner. I would like to be able to eat.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011


So I caved and got the sonogram. I probably should have been at the ER Thursday night - but I've been toughing it out. I am SO scared of the results. They are telling me it will be 24 hours, so I opted for the early appointment today so I could find out HOPEFULLY early tomorrow. But docs never work on our schedule.

I was scared - but it was painless. Until she dug her wand into my right side. THAT almost made me come off the table. I remember about five years ago when I was having thyroid issues (before I knew) I would break out all the time. One night at about 11PM my face swelled up - from lips down. It was GIANT- puffed out. They treated me at the hospital and when the swelling went down, it was still REALLY sore. Like even to the touch, like my skin had just taken all it could. That's how my right side feels, like it's been swollen and sick and suddenly it's back down to normal size, but it's really sore - right along my rib cage. I haven't had any other attacks and I've been eating relatively well - soup, light sandwiches with meat ONLY, I had fajitas one day with just grilled meat and tortillas ... nothing like cheese and all that. I have had apples and a lot of water - no hot sauce, no cheese, no fats ... I haven't touched fried foods or fatty foods and so far, so good. So that ALSO points me to gallbladder. NO GREASE either. Just... plain Jane foods.

I am terrified it will come back with something bad. I am also terrified of surgery - but then again, I feel AWFUL so I am thinking surgery will at least make that go away.

Everyone just keep me in your prayers. That I would CALM down more than anything. LOL


Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring has Sprung

Conrad's roses ...


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekly Update

Monday - Zumba 1 hour
Tuesday - Water Aerobics 1 hour

That's it folks! I feel like POO. After my attack Thursday night, docs visit and then Kelley and I had dinner and took in CATS which has to be the WORST musical on the planet - I went home for a Friday night attack. This time it was 1 AM until about 7AM. I did everything but rip the gallbladder out myself. Going to the ER vs. getting a doc to give me an ultrasound and scheduling a surgery is going to be ump-teen more times expensive  - that is why I am not writing you from a hospital bed.

I called my dad Saturday morning and he said if I was REALLY going to wait for my doctor then this weekend I needed to eat like an old person ... and by that I mean oatmeal, jello, plain chicken, baked potatoes with nothing in them - NOTHING GOOD.

I guess Saturday morning I slept from 7AM to 11AM. I then went back to bed from 3PM until 9 this morning It has been MISERABLE. I have been eating just bland, icky, yucky foods and so far no other attacks. I think this proves I have gall, not kidney. I am still worried then about why I would have had blood in the urine on Friday - but I guess that could be anything, even an infection.

So this weekend has been MISERABLE. I am STARVING and just got out of bed from another 3 hour nap. Tomorrow I intend to BEG for an ultrasound. The pain is unlike anything I can ever describe. So yes, I hardly worked out after Tuesday. It has been a nightmare week in terms of feeling good and doing my best at work and showing up on time. It's all I can do to get a good nights sleep and wake up on time.



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kidney or Gall?

Friday morning- 1 AM ... I am BENT OVER in the bathroom thinking I am dying. I am crying, I am trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I get in the bathtub. I walk. I drink water. I wake up Conrad he tries to get me to go to the ER. I am in complete misery. I can't go to the bathroom and ALL I want to do is throw up and that's not happening either ... I was crying like a 12 year old girl - on the verge of hysteria because the pain would NOT STOP. Walking, sitting, laying - it didn't matter. Finally I drank a glass of water, curled up in a ball on my right side and fell back asleep about 4AM. It has been a miserable night and not such a fun workday.

So I went to the doc this afternoon because I am finally scared straight. Whatever it is is not going away. This is the third "attack" in four months. We're going at about one a month now, it's not indigestion ...

Doc examined. Verdict: It is either gallstones or kidney stones. At first they said gall (you were right Darlene). I have all the symptoms - back pain, tummy pain, right after eating bad food, late at night, burping, can't sleep - goes on for hours, etc ... then they took a urine sample - blood in the urine. Now they are at kidney stones. I guess they sort of mirror each other. Either way, I'm pretty miserable. I asked what other diseases presented itself with blood. She said bladder cancer, but she wasn't even going there ... she said it's not that. Ok.

They told me to drink water, with lemon - and eat RIGHT. I mean RIGHT - for an entire four weeks. I go back May 13th. If I go and there is blood in the urine- then we hit the urologist. If I go and there is no blood and I feel great- then I must have passed them. If I go, blood is gone but I am still having attacks, then it's gall - I am to get a sonogram and then probably surgery. How fun.

Getting older is NOT fun. NOT.

Also I am convinced as one of my coworkers said- all this working out has stirred up something. It's like I'm purging toxins from the inside out. All KINDS of gross stuff is happening. I must have been full of poison.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Eggplant Fritters

I got this recipe from my new Damon Lee Fowler cookbook - New Southern Cooking.

The veggie hater told me he didn't really HATE eggplant so I took that and RAN.  First you peel and chop up your eggplant- very small, diced. The less they can taste, the better!

Then in a bowl you put in 2 eggs, salt, pepper and 2 Tbsp of milk. Whisk all that together. Add a few handfuls of chopped green onion or scallions. Then add 1/2 cups of AP flour. Whisk again! Then fold in your eggplant.

In a pan, I heated up maybe 1/4 cup of oil - got it to 375 degrees (medium high). To know if it's ready to fry, take a few drops of water and drop them in the grease. If they sizzle, you're good to go.

Take a teaspoon and drop in a just a little bit of your batter. I got maybe 8 of them in the pan at a time. I fried until golden on the bottom, then flipped. I'd say 3 minutes total.

They aren't like BEAUTIFUL, but they're fritters you know - imperfect. I made a quick chipotle dipping sauce with chipotles and light sour cream. These were a GREAT side dish! Conrad ate three of them and then when we went back to get more sausage and mushroom/potatoe casserole - I saw he grabbed a few more fritters. SUCCESS!

They were REALLY good. I would make these again - they must be eaten hot though, so don't make them and leave them!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

1-2-3-4 Cake

Felt like baking this weekend!

I went with an old recipe- our grandmothers would probably recognize the recipe. It was an old one back in the day, but just a basic white cake. You would THINK since I am the daughter of a former bakery owner and cake decorator, this would be in my blood. But it's not. This is only my second from scratch cake (hummingbird cake last year). I'm ashamed. I am way more apt to find a Betty Crocker box and throw something together. *hanging my head*

Oven at 350
1- cup of butter (2 sticks)
2- cups of sugar
3- cups of flour  (I used cake flour- it's sifted 27 times FOR you)
4- eggs
(get it,  1234 cake ???)
then you add in 1/2 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of baking powder and then decide on your flavors
I did a tsp of vanilla and a 1/2 tsp of almond

How PURDY is that batter? ... and also my mixer? Oh and my pink cake pans ????

Baked these guys for 25-30 minutes. Paula Deen taught me a neat trick. Get a spoon (I used a ladle) and just spoon one in one, then one in the other, then another in the first pan, then another in the second pan. That way, when they cook, they will be exactly the same size. You don't want 4 ladles in one pan and 6 laldes in the other .... hard to eyeball it. Get a ladle!

This is him, all frosted. Not the prettiest thing ever and YES I used store bought icing. I'm not a master of buutercream yet. The cake was light and fluffy and DELICIOUS. I will be making this again. Conrad said it didn't taste like a box cake at all and he was 100% right.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Digging Butcher Block

Ignore the cabinet colors and countertop colors. Mine will be dark cabs with light counters - light brown?
I was just looking at the VISION of normal counters with an island with butcher block. Also my sink will be in the island with the granite ... so the butcher block FOR ME would just be totally a prep island. Empty of all else.

I am TOTALLY digging the look. TOTALLY.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Decisions on the House

So the builder came back with his price estimate. It's $50K more than we want to pay - and we already knew it would come back like that (so everyone calm down). We had him bid it like we had won the lottery and money was no object. We were not surprised with the price, it was right on target. Conrad had guessed 10K less than what he came in with and I had guessed 30K more than what he came back with. So we were very happy that he prices the way we thought he did. But now comes the "paring down the budget part". We are supposed to meet with him this week again and get some questions answered, etc.

Some things we can do to save money?
8 foot doors go to 7 foot interior doors
Instead of wood on the upstairs landing, carpet
Wooden spindles on the banister, instead of wrought iron
No granite in the bathrooms- go with cultured marble
Kitchen cabinets - instead of stain we can paint white or black
Can remove the built in hutch (I can always buy one) in breakfast room
Can remove built in desk/shelves in family room
Remove sink in the laundry room
Remove farmhouse sink in the kitchen
Ladies back porch- gone
Kill the master sitting room
Kill the powder room (although Conrad doesn't want to do this)
Remove other random built in's (we had shleves here and there)
Some landscaping - Conrad would prefer to do it anyway

Things not willing to compromise on?
TV built in - in the family room
Built in generator
Sprinkler System/Gutters
Full stone fireplace/floor to ceiling
Large closet in Conrad's office
Conrad's patio
Craft room built in (but I am ok with shrinking it down)
Raised office
Wooden stairs with carpet runner (for Blanca and future dogs) --- he said we could just do carpeted stairs, but I love the look of wood. No compromise.
Large closet in the game room

He offers standard crown molding in 5 rooms, and he wires 1 room for stereo. The house is also wired for security and satellite. All standard. He also offered 3 paint colors. Any additional color is $250. I'd pay that all day long to avoid painting. So we will probably have maybe 5 colors total ...

The things we want to do RIGHT and have HIM do are floors, bathrooms and kitchen. I want those to look really nice. Even if we don't use top of the line travertine and hand scraped wood floors, I want them to look like a solid 3-4 on a scale from 1-5. So ... I think that can be done. The thing I am struggling with is the painted cabinets in the kitchen. We have stark white now. I had a real soft white/beige in Dallas in my condo. So the only paint I think I would go with is a black. I love black ... and I'm trying to see (via pics in magazines) if I can find some black that looks really nice. The stain we would have chosen would have been a dark dark espresso anyway ... so what can it hurt to paint? The more modern kitchens I am seeing are painted ...

Oh, also? I have two islands in the kitchen. I am thinking of doing the center, prep island in a nice butcher block. SHOULD be cheaper than granite. Then doing the rest of the kitchen in granite, but a lighter granite that would have more brown in it.



Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekly Update

Monday- Zumba- 1 hour
Tuesday- Water Aerobics- 1 hour
Wednesday- Off
Thursday- Nightclub Cardio- 1 hour
Friday- Off
Saturday- Housecleaning 1 hour/ Wash Car 30 Minutes
Sunday- Off

So I am really disappointed I didn't do more. I wanted 4 classes last week. The problem was Nightclub Cardio KILLED me. It took me two days to recover and be able to stand up straight. It got my back, big time. One of the errands I ran on Friday was to go get myself a sports bra. I think it will help. I put it on and jumped around Friday (like we did Thursday night) and the difference was a palpable ... I had no idea.

Wednesday was a planned off day. Friday was too - I had taken the day off and I wanted to run ALL my weekend errands on this day because I didn't want to do it on Saturday. I did grocery shopping, library, Petsmart, CVS- I got a facial and I went and got my sports bra.

I wanted to go to water class on Saturday but my back was still killing me. I laid in bed and said you know what? I want to spend the day with Conrad - but the house must be cleaned, etc. So I would normally not count housecleaning, but it IS a fat burning activity and after I was done scrubbing and vacumming and sweeping and dusting, I was pouring down sweat. I spent the day with Conrad- even if it was at the baseball card shop, LOL - and I wanted to cook a nice dinner from scratch so I did!

The day I am feeling bad about missing is today - I should be up and running on a treadmill or something (no classes on Sunday) but what I REALLY want to do, on this, my last day off - is drink coffee, watch Paula Deen, read my library book and go through some pictures of houses I cut out - for when we meet with the builder again this week. Yeah the treadmill would only take 30-45 minutes, but I just don't feel it today. I am going to do what I want today (or I WILL start hating the gym) and get back on the horse tomorrow.

I did REALLY well with three classes this week. It's right on target for me - and better than most people ... so I'm going to try not to feel bad about it!

Zumba tomorrow!


Friday, April 8, 2011


So as I started my fitness/Ireland preparation regimine I posted here (and on FB) a lot. I just wanted everyone to know before you got bored and abandoned my blog forever, I am NOT a gym rat and I'll stop talking about it so much. It takes 21 days to form a habit and I knew the first month was going to be brutal and I was apt to quit. People that work out and talk about it ALL DAY irritate the snot out of me. I was just trying to keep myself going, not turn into that person. I am SUPER proud that I have come so far and am doing so well and have made a committment and stuck to it - but I'm not going to drill it into your heads. I want to get back to decorating and reading and sharing you know, my crazy life and recipes, etc .... I just need a jumpstart and everyone has been SO NICE with the emails and FB posts and comments ...  I need you to keep it up!

If it wasn't for classes I wouldn't even go to the gym. I don't like the machines and getting on a treadmill bores me to tears. But it's been a month now- I've made some friends in my classes and I'm starting to try new things, you know- getting out of the pool.

So the decision is I want to post here once a week and just tell you what I did the week before. I just want to do a quick like accountability post- if I know people are watching me, then I will keep it up and keep telling you what I do - just not EVERYDAY.

I am going to say, for me, a week will be Monday-Sunday. So I will post Sunday evenings (or Monday mornings) with what I accomplished the week before... that will help me to see it and if I don't do it - then you guys can call me out and say WHAT'S UP LAZYBONES?!

I have done FABULOUS this week. I've been sore everyday, LOL - and I tried a new class last night. So you'll hear about it on Sunday. Today though- I am off to enjoy my vacation day. I took a day to hang out, have a facial, maybe cook something nice for tonight, get the house straightened up and kick off this weekend RIGHT!

Happy Spring to you all. Blessings ...


Wednesday, April 6, 2011


My mom and Brian lost one of their babies this week. This was Duke - 12 year old German Shepard. I always said he reminded me a little bit of Scar from the Lion King - he was always looking at me out of the corner of his eye, all sneaky like. I think though he was just protective of my mom and he was always wondering who I was - and what I was doing there. Through the years (10) I guess he got used to me because the last few visits he mostly ignored me. Basha, the almost 200 lb "doggie" is the one that seems to think he is a lap dog and NEVER leaves me alone. :) 

I just wanted to send Duke a shout out and tell my mom and Brian I am sorry. I know when Blanca had cancer last year it nearly sent me to my knees. I still routinely check her and I am forever taking her to the doc for weird things that I never used to. Just like people cancer, once you have it, I don't think you ever let down your guard again. I remember the sadness and how sick I felt. Duke wasn't sick, I think he was just an old guy and he lived a long and happy life. Those dogs have the LIFE at my mom's house - with the land and deer and all kinds of doggie happiness. She, like me, is a belated doggie mom and like me, we are SUPER good at it. Doggies under our care are VERY lucky !!! You can tell cause he is smiling in his picture here.

This wasn't meant to be a sad post and I'm sorry if my mom gets sad reading it. Just a shout out cause we needed to send him off well- and I pray for lots of healing and things like that for my mom and Brian.


RIP Duke (1999-2011)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Conrad and I were a little bored on Sunday. We laid around the house for most of the morning - and finally decided to get out and go to lunch. We decided on downtown Tomball because there are some stores and some walking and things to do- we figured we could get out for a few hours.

Bootsies's a ROCKIN' resturant in downtown Tomball. It's owned by head chef, Randy Rucker- who is Tomball born - and I believe, a 4 star chef. He decided to open up a restaurant a year or so ago in his hometown (and ours) and it's named after his mom, who can be found there most evenings as the hostess.

Randy is AWESOME. He cooks with only fresh ingredients - and his menu changes daily. You never know what you'll get when you go in. I'm not an adventurous eater, but I do love vegetables and not the ones that have been cooked into sludge. I love greens and black eyed peas, cauliflower, squash, eggplant, all of it. So I love going there and seeing what he has fresh that day. Conrad on the other hand is much more into the different things Randy has like quail, rabbit, turtle -that kind of stuff. On any given day Randy has a mixture - and the few times I've seen him in the resturant not cooking, he has his nose in a gourmet cookbook, looking for new stuff. On Tuesday's he closes the restaurant and has a ticket only menu called the Heritage Dinner - and you can buy a ticket and be a part of it. You never know what you'll get. Here is a sample menu: it's usually a small 6-9 courses with beer and wine they choose for you.

[ canapé service ]

pork chicharrón with powdered apple and kimchee
van sorman flavored éclair with chicken liver mousse

[ amuse-gueule ]
wild rice cake with gelled molasses and bay laurel
southern charcuterie service…$10 supplement
gulf oyster drills with seaweed, sunchokes and brined coriander blooms
early spring vegetables : raw, juiced and lightly cooked
east texas woodear mushrooms with fried breadcrumbs, broccoli stems and dried sardine bouillon
farmhouse egg with hay-smoked louisiana caviar and caramelized white chocolate
gulf sheepshead with turnips glazed in dashi and juniper from new mexico
corned belly of pork with marmalade made from mustard seeds and raisins
texas whitetail with carrots, black olive and parsnip granola
lemon-lime mousse with buckwheat, fennel and brown butter

SO- you can see this is a place you go to for anniversaries or special occasions, right? WRONG. It's VERY affordable. Conrad and I can usually get out for about $30 if we have dessert ...there is no way we could get that kind of food, in Tomball or really anywhere, for that price. We LOVE it. Such a treat to have in our own backyard. It's getting rave reviews in The Houston Chronicle.

Here's what we had for lunch today!

That's Conrad's fish n chips. OH and at Bootsie's you ALWAYS get a gourmet presentation (i.e. the butcher block plate) ... I don't like fish. But I tried his and OMG. I wanted to rip that plate right up from under his nose. It was GOOD and the batter was amazing. It came with a side of chipotle dip and OMG I just wanted to bathe in it. I never thought I would like fish n chips but I may order it next time, if it's on the menu. Sorry for the blurry pic. Conrad was rolling his eyes at me when I whipped out the phone for picture time. He thinks I'm crazy - I take pictures of my food all the time. I just said, "HEY, Memories, Conrad!" ...

This was my super delicious patty melt. I took a bite before I remembered to take a picture... sorry. I was smelling the onions and just was overcome ... They had some sort of carmalized onion relish thing going on and I wanted to run back there and lick the pot it was cooked in. It melted in perfect with my cheese. I also don't know what kind of bread this was, but it wasn't the normal rye or whatever you get with a patty melt. It was SO MUCH BETTER.

If you are ever in the Tomball area, stop by there - they are open everyday for lunch, on Sat and Sun they are open for BRUNCH and the evening hours are I think Thur-Saturday .... if you try to go for dinner on Sunday-Wednesday they will be closed and you will cry a LOT once you get there and realize that. Tuesday nights are the Heritage Dinner - and you know, ticket only, first come/first serve.

Happy eating!


Monday, April 4, 2011


Guess what tonight is?


I am SO excited ...


Sunday, April 3, 2011


Shame, SHAME Kroger!

In the Houston area ONLY, Kroger is discontinuing their double and triple coupons, as of April 13th. They said something CRAZY like since they offer the $.10 off a gallon of gas when you earn point and they have other money saving promotions, they don't feel the need to offer this coupon thing anymore. But it's ONLY in Houston. The Houston women and mom's are SO up in arms, they created a Facebook page. I am joining.


I know from the Betty White, SNL thing that Facebook can be a powerful weapon. More than being angry, I am curious as to whether this page will end up convincing Kroger to rethink their strategy. Everyone online ie saying they are switching to HEB and Wal-Mart. I am 100% on that plan.

Friday night I took all my coupons 50 cents and under (anything above that Kroger never doubled and tripled) and went to Kroger. I had $200 worth of groceries and household items ... and after my coupons and all the doubling and tripling, I walked out at $126. I USE those coupons, you know? I had a 50 cent coupon for the deodorant Conrad uses. It was $1.79 - after it doubled, I paid 79 cents. I mean that is a DEAL. I keep shampoo and deo and all that stuff stocked because I use the coupons at Kroger. We always have toothpaste and lotions and stuff on hand. I NEVER run out. Conrad loves that about me. He loves just reaching up in the cabinet and there's 6 shampoos and a bunch of soap. All of that might go down the drain now. (SOB)

LOSERS. That was probably my last great haul. It was probably my last trip to Kroger. HEB is cheaper anyway - they just didn't have those awesome coupon deals - but ....... I'm afraid Big K has lost my business. HEB, to me, has WAY better meat choices anyway. They must have 15 full time butchers. They are so creative and have so many different choices. The thing I DO love about HEB is their meal deals. Like, buy 1 lb of hamburger and get the buns, ketchup, a 2 liter and mustard for free. The problem is, sometimes I don't need more mustard and ketchup. When we have our house built with those big pantries, those deals will mean more to me. Here, I just have no room to store those things.

Anyway, if you are in Houston, this is your public service annoncement. Use your coupons before April 13th!


Friday, April 1, 2011


I went to my water class last night. It was good. The lady was a drill sargeant - and she was new. I had never seen her before. 65 with the body of a 30 year old. I will TAKE IT! I hope she got that body doing water aerobics.

I have been keeping track of my workouts, in a little journal thing. In February I am ashamed to say I excised for 2 hours and 20 minutes TOTAL. In March (I started on 3/15) we closed out last night at 8 hours. WHOOP! I think for me, the most I will have in April is 30 hours - one a day, and I'm pretty sure I won't be making that but it will be fun to see what I DO end up doing. :)

Reading a funny blog this morning and I wanted to share. This is a website about celebrity fashion and these chicks KILL ME. The website is  ....

This specific entry is about Jessica Simpson. They do not approve of her! The link is but I am going to repost their stuff here. I CRACKED UP and I really needed this fun laugh today. Please check out their site! ..... it's usually a picture followed by some commentary. Here is today's.


I give up. It’s fine. Just run around in outfits that are too small for you all you want. Let major magazines snap pictures of you using the directive, “pretend you’re six, and you just finished an awesome floor routine at Little Sassy’s Gymnastic Academy and Juice Bar.” Never close your mouth, ever, if that’s how you feel — seriously, take your wedding photos with your mouth hanging open. At least we all know you’re getting oxygen to your brain. Do whatever you want. I mean it. Your company is on track to make a billion dollars this year. YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT THAT WAS NOT A TYPO ONE BILLION DOLLARS. So — now as ever — I CLEARLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM EVEN TALKING ABOUT.


P.S. Little Sassy's Gymnastic Academy and Juice Bar? I am DYING. I am pretty sure they had one of those in Beaumont where I grew up.