Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 28, 2010
Another beautiful Spring day here in Texas. My compact cherry laurel is just about to burst into full bloom and the butterflies and bees just can't keep away. A bit of yard work again today, clearing out the weeds in the back and cutting back the lilies on the path. I've finally given up that the brown will either fly away by itself or the green will overtake I've just hacked the whole plant down to 4" and I'm hoping for the best. It was a good decision because I managed to find two sprinklers on the path that had been trapped under the encroaching lilies for two seasons now. I also put down lawn fertilizer/weed killer. Not that I want the grass to grown, I just want the weeds to die. And it's already working. I love chemistry. The bizarre thing about it they have scented the fertilizer this year. I thought when I looked at the bag, well who needs that? But then I opened it up and thought the "Meadow Fresh" scent was quite nice. Now my whole garage smells like an air fresher....
March 27, 2010
Wine tasting with the Thetas at Flat Creek Estate Winery in Marble Falls, TX. They have quite a few really lovely whites and sparkling wines. We had a great private tasting and tour from the owner Madeline and thoroughly enjoyed our beautiful Saturday afternoon!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

March 26, 2010
One of my co-workers is participating in the MS 150 ride from Austin to Houston to support his friend who has MS. Team NO MAS held a fundraiser with pizza and live music on Friday night. What a great event - Jane and Kat helped pass out Austin's pizza while we rocked out to Todd's band English Teeth. Help support Mike by donating to team NO MAS here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 25, 2010
Mmm I love me some huckleberry 'rita at the Roaring Fork! They make 'em strong so you can only have one (especially at lunch!) but they are well worth the treat! Good thing I busted my butt at bootcamp last night to earn these extra calories!
March 24, 2010
Scenes from the Texas roadways. The Blue bonnets are popping out in force this week! I might have to make time to take a trip to the wildflower center to see them. Blue bonnets and Mexican paintbrushes are the first flowers out in the season which lasts about a month. Can't wait for visitors to come and check out the wildflowers with me!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23, 2010
My neighbor's yard. I would have a better picture, but they put a lock on the fence! I did briefly consider climbing over it for pictures but I decided to pull weeds in the backyard instead. This dude seriously has no back yard and those stairs to the upper level that is completely rocked in are a joke. But I think this means that I won't hear a noisy neighbor outside - he just doesn't have the room for a party!! We'll see....
March 22, 2010
Counted. I got the letter telling me the census was coming and the letter with the census and the census reminder letter and thought to myself. How can the postal system be going out of business when the census must be keeping it alive singlehandedly? Although I considered Carl's tact, I decided not to put my race down as 'Romulan'.
March 21, 2010
Spring has sprung!! When I got home from DC my blue bonnets were blooming in my front yard. They are not as full as I had hoped, but they are definitely there! More filling in next year.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March 20, 2010
Good fliers. Is it that the kids are getting better at flying or they are getting old enough to actually be distracted by the toys Mom & Dad bring with them? Here's Caroline knocking back some apple juice while taking in some Tinkerbell. Bumpy flights brought us back to a cold Austin! But at least we have Sunday to recover and get a bit of laundry done!
March 19, 2010
Dinner with the Axelson's! Aren't Addie and Anita adorable?! Jack and Caroline had a blast playing with them while the adults enjoyed dinner and dessert. After a full day of taking in the White House and a fabulous lunch at Old Ebbitt Grill and the Portrait Gallery we were ready for some at home relaxing! Jenny and Michael brought the kids up after dinner and we had a great send off meal!
March 18, 2010
A bit of work and Mt. Vernon in the afternoon. I did the morning shift at the Uplogix booth at the Satellite 2010 show in National Harbor, MD and then met the rest of the group at Mt. Vernon in the afternoon. The weather had finally turned glorious and aside from some cranky dispositions we had a great visit.
March 17, 2010
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Scott with a brining assist from Neil prepared a traditional Irish feast for us! We enjoyed green beer, corned beef and cabbage! Delicious after a full day of touring - FDR memorial, Terra cotta warriors and the museum of Natural History.
March 16, 2010
Finally some sunshine! Tuesday morning and we're off to the national zoo to see the panda bears! Jack grins as he shows me his souvenir penny from the zoo. Heather has commemorative penny books for the kids to collect coins from all the places they have visited. They started at the Santa Barbara zoo a little over a year ago and now their books are getting pretty full!
March 15, 2010
We had a Capitol time in DC! The cold and dreary rain was a far cry from the warm weather of Austin so it was good that we spent so much time indoors on Monday. First up a tour of the Capitol building then over to the Library of Congress and the American History museum. The renovations at the American History were completed recently and what a facelift! A great time was had by all including Caroline who slept through the entire experience.
March 14, 2010
Oh time change you are evil. Spring forward sounds so pleasant until you find you have a 7am flight on the day you are supposed to "spring" forward. This is how early it was when we left Austin - out before the sun was up!
March 13, 2010
Woo hoo! The path is finally weeded!! It took several hours on Saturday and only one trip to Home Depot to finish this off. I figure I'm good for at least a week.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March 12, 2010

Loads of fun pictures today and path progress. We celebrated a major software release today with lunch and bowling. The weather is just about perfect in Austin right now - temperatures in the mid 70's and sunshine with no humidity. The door's are open on Phil's Ice House where we had burgers and then popped next door to Amy's for an ice cream treat.

Then off to Dart Bowl for a few hours of bowling action. It's at this point that I remember I'm a really bad bowler. No I didn't break 100, but I came awful close. Once. And then there was the game where I had 11 gutter balls. I think that is worthy of some sort of record.

Home with just enough time to finish weeding the path part of the path - it only took another 2 hours! Off to pick up mulch at Home Depot tomorrow to finish the job right!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11, 2010

It hardly seems like there is any progress at all....but there it is: an hour and a half of work! A bit of rain today so the weather wasn't as nice for outdoor weeding.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 10, 2010

It's difficult to tell if I've made any progress or not, but I spent another half hour out there beautifying. Ugh.
But I did get a reward! My first blue bonnet of the year is up in my yard! OK so it's not really all that blue just yet and I did have to search through the entire patch before I found this one, but here it is!!! Ta da!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9, 2010

Oh this path. Spring has truly sprung here in Texas and I've got a bumper crop of weeds! They are all over the place (remind me to take a picture of the backyard - terrible!!). But the path is particularly bad. It looks even worse with the clumps of brown crap on the side. The hard freezes and temperatures in the teens really put a hurting on my plants. I'm not sure which ones are going to make it back so until I can figure that out, I'm just leaving the muck on them. Hopefully I will get it sorted out by Summer!
What you can barely see in the top photo is the hour of work I did to get this section clear! Ugh, 90% to go! It was such a perfect day today and we had rain yesterday to make it a bit easier....perhaps a half hour a day and it will be magically cleaned up!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8, 2010

The sign of a good party - a ridiculous amount of dishes!!! Gah. It took me about an hour, but I got it to look like this instead:

Now to turn the rest of the house from this:

back to what it should be:

March 7, 2010
Party prep mode! I spent yesterday cleaning, cooking and furniture arranging in advance of the night's Oscar Party. It had to be the best one in the books! Just missing Laura and KK my Oscar Party veterans to show how the drinking and game playing is done!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

March 6, 2010

Saturday was all about Oscar Party food prep. On the menu we have:
Ginger Teriyaki Chicken
Rosemary Balsalmic Kabobs
Tomato Spread with Prosciutto and Grilled Ciabatta
Dark Chocolate Truffles Coated in Milk Chocolate Topped with Sea Salt
Candied Pecan Brie
Cheese Ball with Crackers
Dill Dip with Veggies
March 5, 2010

Adventures in commuting home on I-35. Yes, it was full of traffic and took over an hour to get home, but it gave me the chance to catch up with Laleh and KK on the phone. Thanks goodness for hands free!

I had to pause in my conversation (as KK can attest) to snap a picture of this. You just gotta wonder, if there is a goose on the back of the truck, what the heck is under the tarp?!?

Friday, March 5, 2010

March 4, 2010

The first birthday post of the year! Jane turns an unmentionable number this year and I couldn't let the day go by without celebrating her special gifts.

She clearly loves my "fur children" even the less smart one who occasionally eats poop (I'm talking about you Ginger).
She's a little crazy, but we've grown to like this out of her!She is ridiculously appreciative of all gifts. It's just as much fun to watch her unwrap gifts as it is to watch the kids unwrap gifts - mainly because she is still a kid at heart!
She lets me harangue her about all aspects of her life. Like going to the gym - of course I'm glad that one has paid off by keeping her within five pounds of her weight when she got married (way to go Jane!)
Jane cooking. Is there really anything else I have to say about this? Who hasn't gotten the Jane recipe where the key ingredient isn't mentioned until you are well into the cooking process? Oh yeah. You do need whip cream to make that egg nog pie.
These pictures just make me smile. I hope they make you smile too because that's just another one of Jane's specialties.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Totally unrelated
to all things birthday is my undying love for the Zappos. I ordered these shoes on Wednesday night at 11:15pm. And here they are on my doorstep at 5pm on Thursday. Free shipping. I might never buy shoes anywhere else.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 3, 2010
Look ma no cavities! In fact, almost no tartar. This is the only genetic lottery that I won. Both the dentist and hygienist think I have really great teeth. I'll let 'em check me again in 6 months.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 2, 2010
Man every year I think to myself I'm going to finish the category posters early! I think I've only managed to do that once actually....the first year I made them! It's better than the year that I didn't make the mystery game until the day of the party. Ugh! That was terrible. I have high hopes that I'll be better prepared for the event.....we'll see!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1, 2010

It's time for Oscar Party Prep! Usually I do the make ahead food the weekend before, but I was pretty busy this weekend between fun times with the kiddos and Saturday night party, family dinner at my house and shopping for a certain someone's birthday present (that's you Jane!!).

Anyway, so Monday night was the night for food prep. I went with the traditional spanakopita. Spinach plus feta plus butter = Love. I'm also trying something new - an Ina Garten savory Palimers. It's puff pastry dressed up with things I love - pesto, sun dried tomatoes, cheese. I'll let you know how they turn out!
February 28, 2010
You have got to make this tonight. No, seriously. Make. This. Tonight. Because it is melt in your mouth delicious. It is tangy and it is a perfect bite.

I caught the Tangy and Terrific episode on Rachel Ray a few weeks ago and thought it would be perfect for family dinner on a Sunday night. I haven't watched Rachel Ray in forever, but somehow it caught my eye and I'm sure glad it did!

She started with a Lemon Risotto which is made creamy and tangy with the addition of Peccorino cheese.

And then on to the star of the show, the Orange Balsamic Glazed Chicken. Yes, I used the chicken thighs and the favor was worth the extra calories. I think I might try a mix next time of white and dark meat to even it would a bit though.

And finally top off with a nice handful of baby spinach. Rachel used baby arugula but I'm that much of a fan so I made this simple swap. A bit of each on the fork is the perfect bit! Yum-o!! Try it today.