Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dear Lola,



Dear Lola,

I love you more than I can say. You are the BEST dog in the world. I'd do anything for you, but I think it's time for a little quid pro quo.

A little explanation: You bark viciously every time a UPS truck drives down the road or a kid walks down the sidewalk. You hear a squirrel pass gas from 3 houses away and go into high terror alert mode. You act like you want to tear every workman to shreds, and let's not even talk about your loathing of children.

But where are you when something really serious happens? Over the past 5 years, we've endured more than our fair share crap....

Exhibit 1: Some kids pulled my brick mailbox over in the middle of the night. A Neighbor said it sounded like a bomb going off. You didn't make a peep until the police were ringing our doorbell at 3 a.m.

Exhibit 2: Some kids vandalized my house with eggs, chocolate syrup, toilet paper, and cans of corn & carrots. Again, you didn't make a sound. I had to discover the mess when I backed out of the garage on the way to court the next morning.

Exhibit 3: This morning, I went out to water the flowers and discovered that someone had ran into my mailbox. There wasn't a ton of damage, but it was moved over and now sets kind of cockeyed. You failed to alert me to this as well.

All I'm asking is that you not only alert me to the UPS truck so arrogantly driving down "your street", but you also alert me to people who are destroying my property.

Love,

Your Mommy

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

From across the pond...

Around the time of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, I placed a little order off of etsy.  I've been patiently axiously awaiting it's arrival from across the pond, and it came in the mail yesterday!



I ordered this necklace to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee.  There is the union jack, god save the queen, a crown and a "diamond"...


Sam from Hoolala e-mailed me a couple of weeks ago and said that the union jack heart was out of stock, but more were on order, but had been a bit delayed.  She promised to throw in some freebies for my wait, and let me just say that I LOVE all the little extras!

There are these three charms...


Also included was this cute little card and a set of dice...

The back of the card has the number to answers code.  So cute!

Here's the business card (on a playing card, how fun is that?)...

Hoolala has so many cute things.  If you aren't into the whole British thing, there are Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, and....wait for it... Pride & Prejudice! 
just one of the P&P items


Oh my lord, I may have to get something from the Pride & Prejudice line before all is said and done!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Eye Color

I saw something on Pinterest awhile ago and it surprised me... It said that only 2% of the world's population has green eyes.  I wondered if this could be true, so I did a little research. 
I learned several things while doing my research.  First, I discovered that green was indeed the rarest of eye colors, and in fact that 2% is pretty right on. Interestingly enough, the majority of those 2% are women.  I also learned that basically what we learned in school about genetics and eye color is completely wrong...If you learned it pre-2007, then it has all changed.  

Apparently many people with Green eyes are said to have Chameleon eyes, which means that their eyes appear to change color due to mood, weather, colors you are wearing, colors around you, lighting and temperature. 

I have green eyes, but I guess they are also chameleon eyes because sometimes people say they are blue.  I think what I'm wearing does have an impact on how they look.  Since all the genetic info we learned is wrong, I'm not really sure what + what = what anymore, but I know that my Mom has green eyes and my Dad has blue.  My green is different than her green, so maybe his blue had an influence in that.

So let's take an informal poll here. What color are your eyes?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Weekend at Home

{A weekend recap in iphone pics}

I went home on Friday to visit my parents.  My Dad had wanted me to come home a couple of weeks ago, but because it was the weekend before summer school was starting, I declined.  I think he said something like, "Great, I guess we will see you Thanksgiving then".  I think I joked back that I was afraid to come home because after the last year and half of getting put to work painting something every single time I visited, I was scared to come home.  But since it was Father's Day weekend, I thought it would be nice to visit.

Lola woke up with an eye infection on Wednesday morning.  I had a couple of days worth of medicine, but not enough to clear it up.  Not that I want her to be sick, but since we were heading that way anyway, it was a great time to go to the vet.  So we started our trip on Friday with the 2 1/2 hour drive to Wichita Falls to see our vet.  Here she is waiting on Joe, our vet, to come into the exam room...

She still has a goopy eye and possibly not enough tear production, but she'll be fine.

Then we drove the hour back to Nocona.  As soon as we got there, we drove another hour to go eat (yep, 5 1/2 hours in the car total on Friday!).  We went to dinner at a great place over in Boyd, Texas, called Go Go Gumbo.  Fresh seafood.  Great prices.  If you live in the Decatur, Fort Worth, Springtown, etc. area, it would be a great place to visit.  Everything I tried was wonderful.  I got the Chilean Sea Bass that was served with Lobster Mashed Potatoes.  My Mom got what's called the TV Dinner.  It has gumbo, salad, crab cake, and shrimp & grits.  I tried a bite of her crab cake and a bite (okay two bites) of her shrimp and grits.  It might be the best shrimp and grits I've ever had.  Dad got the shrimp and scallops over risotto with a saffron sauce.  I tried the risotto and the sauce and it was very good too.  To top it all off, they have a Banana Cream Pie to die for. 

Saturday morning, Dad fixed us breakfast tacos when he got home from checking his wells.  I bought him a propane powered wok several years ago.  He had his friend weld handles onto a plow disk to make a different kind of cooking surface for the wok stand...

It's pretty nifty because he can cook something in the middle, then move it up to the side off the cooking heat, while he cooks another part of the tacos, and so on until he pulls it all back to the middle and mixes it up.  As you can see, you then throw the tortillas around the edge to warm them.  They were super yummy & in fact I had him make me some more for breakfast this morning!
Includes:  Potatoes, Onion, Orange Peppers, Jalapeno, Sausage, Egg & Cheese

I made the rounds on Saturday visiting my grandparents before going to eat a super late lunch/a little early dinner over at my favorite dive across the river, The Peach Orchard.

I'll show y'all a sneak peek of something I brought home from my Meme's house...

She painted this picture of the English countryside years ago.  I've always loved it and since we have been moving things around for her, she was ready to let it go.  I got it hung today.  You can't tell much about it from this photo, but it looks so nice in my living room.  Now, I need to re-do the things on the mantle so that they look a little better with the painting.

Oh, and we got this hall-tree from her house and moved it to my parents...

I oiled it up yesterday and plan to recover the seat in a couple of weeks.  I'm so happy that they got this piece for a couple of reasons.  First, I hated what my mom had there (Mom-I will go ahead and tell everyone that you think it was fine and that I'm crazy).  Let me rephrase, I didn't hate the piece that was there, in fact I like it in it's new place.  I just didn't like it in the entry.  Second reason is that it has been in my Meme & Papa's house for my whole life.  We don't know the full history of it, but we know that it came out of my Papa's grandfather's house (my Dad's great-grandfather in case you are losing track here), and he had "always had it".  Suffice it to say, it's old, and I'm so glad it is staying in the family.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Beauty Fix

Hi, my name is Kara, and I have cracked heels. No matter what I do, they just crack. I use my trusty Ped Egg. I sand my feet down with all those tools made for that sort of thing. I use sugar scrubs. I use super-duper lotions. Alas, they still crack.

In fact, this is why I rarely get a pedicure. Well one reason. I hate to pay for someone to do something for me that I am more than capable of doing myself. But that weird quirk aside, it's the cracked heels that normally keep me away. I don't want to get some sort of foot rot via the crack in my foot.

If you've never had a cracked heel, the count your lucky stars. If you have, then you know that walking can be extremely painful. It's kind of like someone is jabbing nails into your foot while you walk. This of course causes me to walk on the balls of my feet, or on the inside or outside of my foot, depending upon where the crack is. In addition to making you look "afflicted", it also can cause other pains to arise because you have altered your normal walking pattern.

This post is not a complaining post though. No, this is a solution post... This week, I had a crack in both heels (both!), and I was fed up. So I threw caution to the wind, grabbed the Krazy Glue out of my kitchen junk drawer, and super-glued those cracks shut. You know what? It worked like a charm. I can walk pain free. It also seems to last pretty well.

Heck!  It says "all purpose" right there on the packaging!

While I haven't managed to figure out how to prevent the dang cracks, at least I've figured out how to live with the cracks, and I wanted to share that my go-to "beauty" product of the week...Krazy Glue.  What will I think of next?!?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Did you watch?

I've always totally cracked up at my little cousins, because they always want to know if something is "appropriate" for them to watch.  Normally, it's because I think "of course it is, or I wouldn't show you!", but sometimes it's because what I'm showing them is something like "Little Women" and I think "oh, come on!".  I was so surprised when I wanted to show them "Grease" and was told it wasn't appropriate because people were smoking.  I mean, Rizzo thinks she is knocked up, and you think it's inappropriate because of the smoking?  Okie-dokie! 

I was not a kid watching Disney.  Of course, we didn't even have Disney channel when I was a kid, so maybe that was why.  My parents were definitely not the appropriate police.  My favorite movie was "Urban Cowboy", my favorite songs were "Whiskey River" by Willie Nelson and "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer (RIP), and my favorite TV shows were "Days of our Lives" and "Dallas" with re-runs of "Three's Company" thrown in for good measure.  Now, maybe that isn't "appropriate" stuff for a kid, but I think I turned out just fine!

Which all brings me to my point...  DALLAS IS BACK ON TV Y'ALL!!!!


I've been so excited ever since it got the green light to start filming and it finally aired last night.  I rushed home from class so that I could watch it all.  I got a late start, but it was so worth it.  I loved every single minute!  Here's my thoughts:

(1) I got goose bumps when the theme music started.  I was comparing and contrasting (in my mind)the opening credits scenes of Dallas now vs. Dallas in the early 1980's.  So much change!

(2) I thought the characters had great progression.  Bobby was in exactly how you would have imagined Bobby being now in 2012.  JR, well, JR was just as villainous as ever.

(3) Gah!  Lucy looks O-L-D! 

(4) I think John Ross might be worse than JR!  Is that even possible?  Yep, he is accusing Miss Ellie of being incompetent when she made her will.  Nobody talks bad about Miss Ellie! 

(5) Sue Ellen might be running for governor of our Great State of Texas?  At first, I thought "Well, that's a stretch," but then I thought "Rick Perry" and realized it wasn't such a crazy idea after all! 

If you aren't watching you need to be.  It's even gotten pretty good reviews by people who aren't totally nutty about Dallas like I am.  So check it out.  Heck, even let your kids watch!  (kidding)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A coffee table update...

I posted a couple of months ago about decorating my coffee table.  I had put a terrarium of succulents in the middle of the table and I thought I should update you all and let you know that I have given up on them.  I replaced several of them and still couldn't figure out how to make the dang things live!  Was it too much water?  Not enough?  Bad drainage?  Who knows!  So I threw in the towel and went to Hobby Lobby and got some fake ferns for 1/2 off.


I know there is a big push in decorating to not do fake, but at $5 a pop for the succulents, I just quickly realized this was going to be an expensive proposition over time.  While I'm breaking the fake rule, I think these look fairly realistic. 

I actually break the fake rule often.  In the fall, I primarily use fake gourds and pumpkins in my decorating.  I've seen that people have pinned some things on Pinterest from my fall decorating blog posts and say "Great idea, but with real gourds". 

I couldn't agree more.  Real looks best, but when you want to use them for a couple of months and you live where it's likely still summer-like come October and November, real isn't always realistic.  You will start to smell something, or see very fuzzy pumpkins about half way through the season.  So you do what you have to do.  Break some of the decorating rules.  In my opinion, you should just do what works for you.

I also bought a pillow a couple of weeks ago at World Market.  I've been wanting a union jack pillow forever.  Usually they are pricey. This was was pretty cheap.  I like the way it looks, but I'm not loving the burlap material...can you say itchy?  I think it may have convinced me to spend a little more on a different one in the future though.  It makes me happy!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How does my garden grow

How does my garden grow?  Here's an update.  I normally like to do this more for my own benefit, than thinking anyone really cares.  I like to post photos of my plants throughout the season, so I can go back next year and see what did well and what didn't.  In the Texas heat, so many things start out well in the spring, but once we hit the upper 90's or dreaded 100's on a daily basis, they give up the will to live.  Who could really blame them? 

Trying to plant for the heat is no easy task.  It's even made harder by the nurseries stocking items that will never make it here.  Plus did you know that the tags that are attached to the plants are not regionally specific tags?  So if it says full sun, chances are that means where it's 80 degrees full sun.  They won't stand a chance in the Texas full sun.  There are so many challenges to gardening in this climate. 

Here's a look at my back yard pots and planters...

This pot has a butterfly bush, sweet potato vines, impatients and wave petunias...

This planter has pink maverick geraniums, purple angelonias, purple double calibrachoa, and wave petunias.  This was looking really good until I got so busy last week, and missed some waterings.  The wave petunias got pretty stressed.  I'm not sure if they will make a comeback or not.
The kitchen window box has sweet potato vine, dragon wing begonias, double calibrachoa, wave petunias and caladiums.  I don't think it has ever done so well.
In the front yard, I have several pots.  They all include spikes, dragon wing begonias, wave petunias, caladiums, and sweet potato vines...

A couple of weeks ago I decided to hang a fern between my garage doors.  There is one hung on the other side of the house, so this kind of balances it out.

The knock out rose bushes I planted had bloomed initially and then did nothing.  They have finally started growing well and started blooming again.

I'm thankful that it looks like the rose bushes will do well in this front bed.  It's been so tricky.  Too much sun for shade things.  Not enough sun for sun things.  I finally took a leap and decided to try these rose bushes.  I hope they will continue to do well because they take such little maintenance and will be great color year in and year out without replanting!

The hydrangea flowers have really faded.  It's suppose to be an endless summer plant and bloom continuously, but we will just have to wait and see about that.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Low Key

Low Key.  That about sums up my weekend.  I was dead tired y'all.  I had a heck of week last week, so I was just trying to recover.  I was running all over doing "law stuff", plus Summer school started, so I was tired from teaching 4 nights last week.  Luckily, I think that this week is going to be better. 

Lola and I just hung out.  I intended to go to Hobby Lobby on Saturday to get some stuff to make a door wreath for the 4th.  I took a shower, fixed my hair, put on make-up, got dresses, grabbed my purse, walked out into the garage to get into the car, and just decided I didn't have it in me. 

Lola was pleased with my decision.  Lots of petting for her...




On Saturday, I watched some recordings in my DVR and some movies.  I finally watched "Iron Lady".  I was hungry for a BLTA (BLT with Avocado).  I fried up some bacon and made a glorious BLTA (though I realized after the fact that I forgot the lettuce!). 
{sorry iphone pic}


I'm not a big fan of bacon, so this was a weird craving for me, and I have to admit it was the first time I have ever in my 35 years fried bacon.  Not that it was hard or anything, I've just never done it.  I fried it on my grill burner so that I didn't have the mess/smell inside.

I got inspired by Pinterest and made some poptails... cocktail in the form of a popsicle. 

They looked so pretty...

Tasted like BLEH!  Pinterest fail!  At least I didn't actually buy anything to make them, since I had all ingredients on hand (and in some cases about to outlive their refrigerator shelf life).

On Sunday, I tried to read the paper, but my friend doesn't like the diverted attention, so she manages to work her way into the situation...
{again iphone pic}

I watched several marathons on television... Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta, Say Yes to the Dress (Bridesmaids Atlanta), and Whale Wars.  It was quite the weekend.  Actually, I think it was just what I needed.  Hope you had a good one too!

Friday, June 8, 2012

A new piece of furniture

I got a new piece of furniture a couple of weeks ago. 


It lives in the bathroom.  I know that is kind of odd, putting furniture in the bathroom, but there is a place in my bathroom where it is completely out of the way and fits perfectly.  I had had this piece there for years...
Problem is, it became the place for me to throw clothes instead of hanging them up.  I know I should have enough discipline to just not do that, but I don't.  So getting rid of it seemed to be the best option.  Plus I had some storage pieces in my closet that were taking up a whole wall and I wanted to get rid of at least one of them to de-clutter my closet. 

I've been looking for a piece like the one I bought for a while.  For the longest time, they always had one at Tuesday Morning or Homegoods.  Then when I really got ready to buy it, I couldn't find one to save my life.  Or I should say, I couldn't find one at a reasonable price, to save my life.  Sometimes these stores think that this mirrored furniture is made of platinum instead of mirrors!  This one was no exception.  Here's the original price tag and then the mark down...
It was then marked down to $249, but because they had a big Memorial Day sale, it was an additional 25% percent off, plus I had a coupon for an additional 15% off, so I got it for a grand total of $159.  Now that's the kind of bargain I've been looking for!

I actually didn't realize until I got it home, out of the box and started putting it together that it had tons of jewelry storage.  This was really a bonus because I had jewelry hanging in my closet, on a shelf in my closet, in a jewelry box in the bedroom, and in a dresser drawer in the bedroom.  This has organized all of!



It even opens up on both sides for hanging necklaces...

The bottom drawers are big enough to store the extra toiletries, which is what I really wanted it for.  Apparently I'm a toiletry hoarder...

The bottom drawer organizes my nail polish (though half of those probably need to be tossed)...

I was really lucky because this piece matches my bedroom mirrored pieces almost exactly, so if I ever want to use them together, they should work fine.

Now, if I can finish my other stupid bathroom projects that I started last summer.  I just lost steam, but hopefully I will complete some of those projects in the next couple of weeks. 

Sorry, this post was all iphone photos, because I was being lazy!!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Finale

This is my last post about the jubilee.  I promise.  Unless of course, something else I find exciting happens and then I will do another post.  It's my blog, I can do what I want that way.

So Monday night was the Jubilee concert and Tuesday was the Day of Thanksgiving service at St. Paul's Cathedral, lunch at Westminster, the main players riding in a carriage back to the palace and then the major royals took to the balcony and there were flyovers.

My DVR started working itself to death at 3:15 a.m. yesterday morning.  I just couldn't make it up that early.  This week has been incredibly busy on the legal front, plus summer school started, which means I'm teaching for 2 hours per night, 4 nights per week for the next 5 weeks.  Eek!  So I slept in like any sane person would, and have been playing catch-up on the activities when I had a second.

ABC got the exclusive rights to the Jubilee Concert and decided not to show it until last night.  It was ok.  They did quite the cut & paste edit job, so we missed lots of acts and some other moments too.  One of the favorite moments we missed was at the very end, before the last song, Sir Paul McCartney said he had a message from the Queen...  She wanted to tell everyone to be sure they left in an orderly fashion, or else she would have to unleash the corgies.  Now ABC, that was just funny!  Why cut that 15 seconds?  Thank god for youtube!

Here were my favorite moments of the concert:

The Archbishop of Canterbury
The lightshow
The fireworks

Here's why:

(1) The Archbishop of Canterbury was seated on the first row of the royal box, right next to the Princess Royal.  He was totally rocking out.  During Sir Paul, he even got so into it he was standing and grooving away.  I found this hysterical.  Possibly too hysterical.  Possibly I'm a nut job because I even know who the Archbishop is on sight without have to be prompted that that is who he is, but I digress...  Here is a photo of Rowan Williams, the A of C, just so you can picture him enjoying the rock concert...



(2) The lightshow.  The lightshow that they did with the Palace as the backdrop was phenomenal.  I think it was the star of the concert.  It was various things through the night... candles, the union jack, etc.  It really got awesome during this performance... (1980's flashback alert!)

* dang it!  my video keeps disappearing!  here is the youtube link instead*


 AWESOME LIGHTSHOW as MADNESS performs

(3) The fireworks.  They blew me away.  he he he!    But really, they knocked my freaking socks off.  Seriously, I have a feeling that the upcoming 4th of July fireworks everywhere are going to look pretty sad by comparison!


Here's the whole show (it's worth the watch folks)...

I thought it was a wonderful Diamond Jubilee. I can't wait for the Platinum Jubilee in 2022! God Save the Queen!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My visits to London

For as long as I can recall, I've always wanted to travel to London.  I do not recall a time when it wasn't at the top of my "Places to Travel" list.  In 1996, I got the opportunity to go to London for the summer and study their Political and Criminal Justice system. 
You know how when you build a place up for years and years in your mind, and then you go there and it kind of disappoints?  London was not that place for me!  It was everything I imagined it to be and more.  Here I am on my first day in London....


I got to see and do all sorts of things over the summer.  It was wonderful.  I even got to visit Buckingham Palace (it's only open August and September and tours only began in the 1990's).  On a trip to Dover Castle, we noticed a lot of hub-bub and decided to hang out and see what was happening.  Much to my delight, it was Elizabeth, the Queen Mother!

Then in 1997, I went back to London for a week with my grandmother.  I was her tour guide for the week, as she had never been to London before.  We saw lots of things and did a couple of excursions to Windsor and to Edinburgh, Scotland.  But on the day when I was showing her around Buckingham Palace, St. James Park, etc., we again noticed a flurry of activities around the Palace.  We decided to wait and see what was going on and low and behold it was a big to-do.  Lots of marching bands, lots of marching soldiers and the royal family came out in carriages and traveled down the Mall! 


You can see the queen through the carriage windows!

See her? 
Holy smokes that was exciting!  My grandmother thought I was the greatest tour guide, even though I totally lucked my way into that.

So those are my close encounters with the Royal Family.  My grandmother and I went back the next year for a couple of weeks and toured all over England, Scotland and Ireland.  We did not have any close royal encounters though.  I got super spoiled going to London three years in a row.  I kind of thought I would continue to visit, but I haven't been back since 1998.  This makes me super sad!  I do love it so....

*Sorry, these are all iphone pics of my real pics, so not the best quality.  I was being lazy!*

 

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