Friday, March 14, 2014

San Antonio Way

We made a day trip to San Antonio the other Saturday and what a perfect day to do so.  We finally had a break between rainy and cold days; the clouds parted and the sun shone, the temperatures stayed cool and it felt like heaven. 

Lucky for us, we're close enough to spend a day in San Antonio and be back home in less than two hours.  We can visit just about anytime we please, but if you're planning to make a stay of it, all the better.  San Antonio is a wonderful city to visit and you'll be glad to have the extra time to really check things out.

For our day trip, I was on a mission to get to the market (a.k.a. El Mercado or Market Square).  The market is downtown and has leveled parking for a fee that makes it very convenient to get to. 

While many people come to visit the famed River Walk, Market Square is where the fun is really at.  The colors, the smells, and music are so festive.  It's hard not to feel happy in a place like this and who doesn't want to feel happy? Here are some pictures of our visit around the market.

Beautiful Yellow Rose metal art inside one of the markets.
Did you know the yellow rose is not the state flower of Texas?  Blue Bonnets are the official state flower, but the yellow rose has gained fame through songs, the original, of course, being, "The Yellow Rose of Texas."  You can read more about that here if you're interested.

One daughter found the shopping quite enjoyable.

One daughter was glued to her phone :)
We watched this lady create these vibrant flowers, securing them to wreaths.

We ate at Mi Tierra, a very touristy spot to dine in the market.  Though it wasn't the best food, the bakery inside was worth checking out and the margaritas & mariachis made up for what the food was lacking.
Inside Mi Tierra
we were wide-eyed and drooling as visions of sweets danced before us.

 Mariachis singing while we ate was great entertainment for our youngest traveler who'd never seen such a thing.

I found music in the street just outside the restaurant.  Blues, a favorite, lead to a little dancing in the street.
And the shopping continued...

 Does the smile tell you she finally settled on a purchase?

  To end our time at the market, we watched some young ladies dance.

We took the girls to the San Antonio Zoo after our time at the market.  It was a great way to spend time outdoors with the family.  If you're considering a family trip or just looking for an easy paced get-away, San Antonio is a great place to consider.  I hope you enjoyed looking at all of the colorful sights.  Thank you for letting me share my wonderful day with you.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Good Stuff

Eyes closed tight pose

Sweet face pose

Angry face pose

Silly face pose

Sisters sharing the goofiness

Monday, January 27, 2014

Rub a Dub, Dub, We Got Ourselves a Clawfoot Tub

"What's that?", you ask.  Just my hundred dollar claw-foot tub.  It may not look like much in these photos, but big things have been underway since August.  My mom found this tub in an antique store near her neck of the woods over a year ago.  We first saw the tub last Thanksgiving parked in her barn.  She'd stumbled upon the tub and knew it was a good deal for the condition it was in.  I'd told her to buy it, but had no idea how we would move such a heavy item across Texas and really didn't know when we'd have the funds to finance a bathroom redo.

Come this past August, almost a year after we'd first laid eyes on the tub, life persisted we redo the bathroom in the way that life often does.  You know, a leaking toilet leads to pulling up the vinyl flooring to properly clean up the leaked sewage, leads to, "since the toilet is pulled up, we might as well address the hole in the drywall that was hiding behind the tank, then covered over with three layers of wall paper," leads to "holy crap, are those termites marching up the studs?"  You know, life's little ways.  It was a blessing that I'd just graduated and didn't have a semester to pay and that I'd finally gotten a teaching job.  Spending before the job actually began was nerve wracking, but we kept the costs low by doing it ourselves.  It's taken time and we've got some little finishing touches to complete, but it's come together nicely.

First came the delivery of the tub via my angel of a mom.  Our first surprise was seeing the manufacturing mark and date on the underside of the tub.  Would you look at that?  The company name and date are displayed!  That truly excited me.  I was pleased to see "Made in America," fully spelled out, too.  It just looks so proud, written out fully, not "Made in the US," but America.  It's hard to find the quality of 1925 these days.

So many problems have exposed themselves within the near four years we've lived here.  We were such novice home buyers (no excuse, just the truth) that we didn't recognize the many problems that were masked over.  Apparently, neither did the man who'd done our inspection.  We thought our main focus would be updating a seventies style know, cosmetic stuff.

Well, I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
Treated studs, new tub, new walls, new all...It's a great improvement in space and so much bigger with the pocket door gone and a proper closing door instead of an arch that projected agonizing rays of light at the hubs wake up time of 4:45 a. m.;)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fall in South Texas

The days are still warm, flying by, and bringing showers which is good for a drought ridden Texas.  Lake Mathis is full again after too many years of piers sticking up out of a drained lake bed.  Halloween has come and gone and I've just packed away the last of it's décor, 
though a few pumpkins remain around the house for Thanksgiving.  Speaking of pumpkins, I thought I'd post a few pictures of Bebe hunting down the perfect pumpkin for carving.
There were so many to choose from.
In the end, she found herself one that was just her size. :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Remembering to Remember Life

Life happens, fast, and gets away.  Before long your littlest isn't so little and you're thinking back on that funny thing they said, but life has happened since then and you just can't recall...

So this is my pause button.  My moment to remember and write down a bit of the awesomeness.  It's Saturday.  I got to sleep in with Teeny Tiny despite her having her head shoved just under my should blade, her favorite new sleep position.  Seriously, it feels like she's pushing with all her might.  This may or may not be because she's pressing her feet into her dad's side and is able to brace herself, mid sleep, to give maximum pushing force against my bones.

Anyway, sleep.  Yes, we got to sleep in.  I made Gingerbread Pancakes for breakfast. Here are some of Teeny's comments throughout the day:

T:  "You're making pancakes?"
Me:  "Yes.  Gingerbread pancakes."
T: "Like the gingerbread man?"
Me:  "Yep.  They're my favorite."
T: "You're the best mommy ever!  Can I make with you?  Can I stand on my chair?"
A little later on...""Can I take two purses to go shopping?'  "Can I take my doctor kick?"
Me:  "You can take one purse and no, you cannot take your doctor's kit."
Teeny seemed okay with this, but melted down when I told her that she couldn't put anymore rings in her purse.  She had approximately seven shoved in there already.  I was told I was "mean mommy."

Other notable sayings as of late:

"Stompeez are scary."  Stompeez is the word she recalls for Zombies.  Similarly scissors are "lizards," and a "mishmash" is a mustache.

She's quite fond of singing "Animal crackers in my soup."  In addition to "Jesus loves me," and "Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZ Top.  I dig that her musical preference is so eclectic. :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Red Beans & Rice and Everything Nice

That's what Southern girls are made of.

Dry beans are a great staple for your pantry, inexpensive and healthy.  Red beans are my favorite.  This Monday I made a pot and I think that it may be my best one yet so I'll share the recipe.

This go 'round I used Chorizo sausage and it really made the pot.  Here's what you'll need...

1 lb. bag dry red beans, rinsed and sorted
10 cups water
2 Bay leaves
3 tablespoons bacon drippings
1 large white or yellow onion, rough chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 toes of garlic
2 links of chorizo, sliced
Salt, black pepper, & garlic powder to taste (start with 1 tsp. of each and add more if you like)
1 tsp. Thyme
3 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. dried or fresh parsley
1/4 to 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
White Rice, cooked

Place washed beans in a large pot and cover with and inch or so of water.  You can do the long soak method, soak for 8 hours or overnight, drain and set aside, or you can do a quick cook method.  I do the quick cook method which is to cover beans with an inch or so of water and bring to a boil, simmering for an hour, then add the remaining water, up to ten cups, and reduce heat to medium low.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat bacon drippings over medium heat. Add your chopped onion and sauté for 1 minute. Add chopped celery to this and continue to sauté until onions are translucent. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add this to the pot along with bay leaves, parsley, & thyme. 

After you've added your veg to the pot and while your skillet is still hot, add chorizo; cook, stirring, to brown the sausage over medium heat, about 4 minutes. When done, add this to the pot along with two toes of garlic and stir.  Remove about 1/4 cup of bean juice, placing in a small bowl, and to it add 3 tbsp. flour.  Combine flour and liquid to form a paste and add that back to the pot. Bring beans back to a simmer, stirring occasionally,  for about 2 hours.  The flour works as a thickening agent; should the beans become too thick, add more water, about 1/4 cup at a time until desired consistency.

Remove beans from heat and, with a slotted spoon, fish out your toes of garlic and mash against the side of the pot. Stir mashed garlic back down into the beans and continue to cook until beans are tender and creamy, another 15 minutes or so.  Remove from heat.  Serve over cooked rice and garnish with green onions.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Most Beautiful Words

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I found this here I found this on the web around the time of my Grandma's funeral back in March.  It seemed so fitting, at the time, like a puzzle piece clicking into place in my heart; now, it just seems so beautiful and I will keep this sentiment in my heart forever. 

Who is this Linda Hogan, Native American writer, who could communicate such beauty in her words?