Sunday, July 31, 2011

Strong Coffee

I like a good strong cup of coffee in the morning.   My father likes a good weak cup of coffee in the morning. When we're staying with my parents I take over the coffee pot in the mornings, because my father doesn't know how to make a strong pot of coffee.   It's our perennial battle; I can't believe how weak he makes his coffee and he can't believe how strong I make my coffee.  It's a fun game we play.  Tonight he called my cell phone to let me know that he just emptied the coffee grounds from this morning, and he thinks there's probably something wrong with me if I drink coffee that strong every day.  I thought it was funny.

Not Funny

One of my grandmother's very best friends got her own backyard nesting hens.  She named her white hen George and her black hen Obama.  The problem I have is that my grandmother's friend still makes jabs at my grandmother because my grandparents voted for Obama in 2008.  It's not funny to name a black hen after our nation's first black President if it's known that you cannot stand our nation's first black President.  Right?

My husband and I are planning to adopt a child in the next few years, and our son or daughter might be a minority.  I can't wait to take our future African-American son or daughter to visit my grandmother's best friend.  I'll be sure to ask to see her backyard hens while we're there...


Over 6,000 individuals live in my hometown, and once a year people from all over the town get together for a reunion.  Families gather for supper and socialization in their "reunion camps," which are really just glorified screened porches that have been handed down through the generations.   All the reunion camps are in a heavily treed park, and you can only use your camp during the reunion week.  I spoke about it in 2009

We just got back from a reunion weekend with my family.  I love family traditions.  In 2011, if I tried to start an event where families gather in the heat of July for a week I doubt I'd get very little participation, but since the reunion has been going on since after the Civil War we still do it!  It's a tradition!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gracie's Vet Bill

Our friend's girlfriend's roommate volunteers at an animal rescue on the weekends.  A few months ago Gracie came in from the streets and she wasn't putting any weight on her right paw; the vet discovered a bullet in her right paw.  Our friend's girlfriend's roommate was originally Gracie's foster parent, but he ended up adopting her.    Gracie has had several surgeries and she has spent months in a cast.  Her vet bills have reached over $4,000 and my friend is "passing around the hat" trying to help out with Gracie's vet bills.  Gracie's father is young, he's only a few years out of college, and I think he's putting all of Gracie's vet bills on his credit card. 

If you want to help pay a portion of Gracie's vet bills, then send me an email and I'll send you Gracie's address.  You can mail a check.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


We watched the final Harry Potter film on IMAX 3-D, and it was spectacular.  Just like in the book, I cried like a big fat baby when Harry used the resurrection stone to summon his parents, Sirius, and Remus to comfort him before he meets Voldemort.  It was so appropriate for this boy to ask his father if it hurt to die. 

The design of the IMAX glasses has improved since our Avatar experience; the 3-D movie is worth the higher ticket prices.  So, hurry up and go see Harry Potter (two-legged Sarah Dooley I'm talking to you!) while it's still in 3-D theaters.


Open Letter

Dear Back Porch Plants,

I love you, but you must die.  I cannot sustain your existence.  I water you every evening, but you still wilt in the heat.  I've moved you to the shade, but you still wilt in the heat.  The hottest months are ahead of us, August and September, which means I think it's best to give up.  I should have purchased larger planters that could hold more moister, but unfortunately for you I didn't. Thanks for all the memories.



Monday, July 25, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life (in July)!

I just had a birthday week; my birth was celebrated for an entire week by different circles of friends and family, and all the commotion made on my behalf is unbelievable to me.  I had four birthday cakes this year. How lucky am I?  It started with my parents celebrating my birthday early and my husband's parents celebrating my birthday late.  In between, my office colleagues, my brother and his family, and our closest friends held little moments of celebration especially for me!  I would have been happy with a birthday kiss from my husband and a phone call from my parents, but I got so much more; I received an astonishing number of birthday cards, phone calls, text messages, and emails this year.   I was also given incredible gifts.  I've just turned 31 years old.  I don't know how all this happened, but it did happened; and I feel very loved, valued, and appreciated because of it. 

Life is interesting.  This year I feel like I've lost my career mojo.  I have a solid job, but by now (seven years after graduating with my masters) I expected to have achieved more in my career.  Somewhere along the way (while I was working) my career got derailed, and I am unpleasantly surprised at my inability to make something happen for myself.  Plus, I feel pressure to get my career on track before we adopt...I can hear the tick-tocks of time slipping away in my head.

My point is that the same year I have career angst brewing in my life I am reminded continuously for a whole week by my husband, my family, and my friends that I am the most successful man in the world.  What is more important than to have a network of beloved humans in your life?  I shouldn't have a worry in my head.

I can remember giving an impromptu speech at my graduation party (seven years ago!) where I reminded everyone in the room that the most important thing in life are the relationships you have with the people you love.  This year, more than previous years, I needed to be reminded of that fact, which is what the birthday week did.  Thank you birthday week!

They're in LOVE

On Saturday night we attended our friends' extremely elegant wedding. It was one of the most thorough weddings I've attended to date- not one single detail was missed.  The bride's wedding dress with its never-ending veil was spectacular.  The reception had more flowers than the Rose Bowl parade, delicious food, and an endless supply of drinks!  The band was talented and smart- with the passing of time the songs became increasingly geared for a younger crowd.

Both the bride and groom are ridiculously attractive (they were born that way!) and they looked even more beautiful Saturday night because it was obvious they are in LOVE.  The groom was the most flirtatious and perhaps mischievous when he was retrieving the garter from the top of his new wife's thigh.  A bride and groom should show their passion for each other at their wedding reception.  It was so endearing. 

The groom asked his bride to marry him when they were on a house boat vacation with all the members of her family.  To celebrate their engagement location the groom's cake was a replica of the house boat.

Hooray for friends that throw incredible weddings!  Hooray for love!  Hooray for happily ever after!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Neanderthals at Neiman's

We were the Neanderthals at Neiman's on Saturday afternoon.  Did you know they don't accept credit cards or debit cards like a normal store?

We went to Neiman's to purchase a gift off our friend's wedding register.  I realized we were entering a different realm when one salad plate cost more than an entire place setting of our dishes, and we have nice dishes.  We made friends with a veteran Neiman Marcus employee, Frannie, and she helped us navigate the register and the store.  We picked out our gift.  She rang us up.  Then she asked if were going to pay with cash, American Express, or our Neiman Marcus card?  Uh...we had neither.  We asked if they would take our debit card or Master Card?  Uh...they would not.

So we went down three stories to the ancient ATM machine and used our debit card to pulse out money.  Then we went up three stories with our cash to finish the transaction.  Frannie gave us four pennies from her coin purse so we wouldn't have to get 96 cents in change. While Frannie was counting pennies from her coin purse we found an item on sale that we needed.  So we went down three stories to the ancient ATM machine and used our debit card to pulse out more money.  Then we went up three stories with our cash-in-hand to finish the second transaction.

Our new friend, Frannie, informed us that it would be easier to shop if we got a Neiman's card.  However, my husband told her that he wanted it to be difficult for me to shop at Neiman's, and he politely declined her offer to get us a Neiman's credit card.

Little Fish

On Thursday I left work early because we had a swim date with the cutest 3.5 year old in the world.  When we went to pick her up from school she ran around me to get to my brother (her daddy) first.  She likes to tell me that she's "a daddy's girl."  When we got back to their house we swam (our niece is a little fish) ate Mexican food with Paxten and the two girls had popsicles for dessert.  It was a fantastic afternoon. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gowing Older is a Gift

"Do not regret growing older.  It is a privilege denied to many" -Unknown.

For me, the best part of growing older is getting to spend more time with my husband and family and friends.  In my 31 years of life, my greatest accomplishment is my relationship with my husband; I love that man so very much!  My birthday wish is to grow ancient with my husband.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We're the Jetsons

My husband upgraded our home alarm system to a wireless internet based system. We can now control our burglar alarm and thermostat with our iPhones, and we will soon be able to control the lights and deadbolts with our iPhones.  I can look on my iPhone (while I'm at work) and check the status of the house, which includes the ability to see the history of the openings and closings of our doors and windows, and the activity of our motion detectors.  Our 1980 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom house is more like something from The Jetsons now.

Of course, I never would have upgraded our alarm to this new system, but I do find it enjoyable to see my husband get excited about new technology.  My husband loves technology and I love that about him!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

MTV's True Life

I just watched "MTV's True Life 'I Want to be Straight'" and my head exploded.  It's 2011.  Not 1950.  My heart sank for Kevin.  His extremely religious family rejected him when he was living "the gay lifestyle" so he is now, at age 25, trying to be straight. (Sigh) He's wasting his potential trying to be something he is not.  Life is too short Kevin!  You were born this way.  Own it.  Love it.  Stop the struggle.

And Kevin, if you're reading this, then come visit us in Dallas.  We can show you how two homos are capable of having a happy, healthy life together.  It takes courage to live your best life- we know this!  Life requires courage - everyone knows this!  If your biological family will not accept you for being you, then you have the power to surround yourself with a new family of accepting friends.

I'm encouraging you to stop wanting to be straight, because you are not.  I understand your situation, because I was still dating girls in college.  (Wait, what?)  Don't waste your time, energy, opportunities (your life!) on trying to be straight.  You are making life so much more difficult than it needs to be.

Dunking Bulldog

I love to soak in the bathtub- I'm proud to admit.  At least a few times a week I turn on the hot water in our sunken tub, add bath oils and then grab some magazines to read in the tub.  It calms me down to spend ten minutes in the bathtub.  To keep her out of trouble, she is a pistol,  I usually make Dooley stay in the bathroom with me.  It's a normal routine for us. 

On Sunday, Dooley was walking around the ledge of the bathtub while I was reading in the bathtub.  I sensed that she was in trouble, she is our trouble maker, and when I looked up from my magazine I saw her slip and fall into the tub.  I've never tested the "bulldogs cannot swim" theory; even though Dooley is my second bulldog.  However, it's a fact that Dooley cannot swim.  She sank like a lead weight to the bottom of the tub and she was trying to swim.  I, of course, immediately scooped her up and placed her on the bath mat.   No harm was done, since she was only in the water for two or three seconds, but I don't like it when scary things happen to my little girl.   

Time Machine Cereal

A sliver of my personality is still the fat kid of my youth.  It's my birthday week, and I've treated myself to Peanut Butter Cap'N Crunch- the forbidden cereal of my youth!  Of course, I'm not 13 years old I'm about to be 31 years old- so I mix my sugar cereal with All-Bran in order to keep my body from going into shock.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I want to know... it wrong that I hid the last fourth of the pound cake my mother made for me in our pantry before our company came over last night?  I didn't want to serve it at dinner, because I wanted to make sure I had a piece with my coffee this morning.  Does that make me a food hoarder?

True Blood Watching

Dave (who throws the best pre-parties) and Myranda came over to our house last night for a True Blood watching party.  My husband grilled BBQ chicken, and they brought cupcakes for dessert!  Do you watch True Blood?  It's exciting television, but I wish they would kill one of their story lines; it's hard to move forward when you have to cover ten different story lines in an hour.  Another thing I like about the show is that Sookie Stackhouse is the bravest woman in the world.  I like watching her courage in action each week.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cake, Wine, Hibiscus, 42

Our friends Del and Jason are spending some time with us in Dallas, and last night my parents came to town and here's an outline of all the fun we had together!
  • My parents, Del and Jason, and my husband and I ate pound cake with homemade vanilla Grape-Nuts ice cream.  (My mom is such a great cook.)
  • The same group turned in their cake plates for wine glasses and we had a happy hour around the kitchen table
  • My parents and my husband and I went to eat at Hibiscus in Dallas.  It is one of my favorite eating establishments.  The food is spectacular and the atmosphere is chill.
  • After dinner we went back to our house, where my parents and my husband and I played 42 (a domino game)
  • My husband and I were partners and we lost to my parents.
It was a great night.  

Animal Farm

This is my birthday week, and I'm starting to feel like the most loved man in America.  My husband, my parents, and my brother and his family combined their resources to get me Anthropologie's Rustic Romp Taper Holder, which is something I've had my eye on since this fall.  It's more than a candle holder it is a work of art.  It makes me smile every time I see it, and it gets people talking when they see it for the first time.  I love it.  (Click on the picture to make it larger.) Thanks family!


This photo is slightly blurred, but it captures the moment when Dooley was in heaven sitting in my mother's lap.

Pound Cake Perfection

Growing up my grandmother, Peaches, always baked me my favorite cake for my birthday- it was her sour cream pound cake!  I absolutely love a good moist pound cake with a crusty outer shell.  It's not easy to achieve pound cake perfection; if you make one mistake the pound cake can become dense.  This week my mother research numerous pound cake recipes and pound cake baking tips, and she picked "Elvis Presley's Favorite Pound Cake" recipe.  She arrived at our house yesterday afternoon carrying her labor of love- and after the first bite I realized that she had achieved pound cake perfection.  The proof of her success is that in less than 24-hours only a quarter of the original cake is remaining.

Michael Irvin We Love You

The former Dallas Cowboy playmaker, Michael Irvin, is in this month's Out magazine.  I sincerely appreciate this football legend taking a stand for marriage equality.  In our part of the world football players are heroes, and even though he's retired from the game it's still significant that he was willing to take a stand on gay rights.

Here's my favorite quote from the article:


“I don’t see how any African-American with any inkling of history can say that you don’t have the right to live your life how you want to live your life. No one should be telling you who you should love, no one should be telling you who you should be spending the rest of your life with. When we start talking about equality and everybody being treated equally, I don’t want to know an African-American who will say everybody doesn’t deserve equality.”


Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Dave is a 28-year-old bachelor with a gorgeous girlfriend and since he lives next door to the American Airlines Center, he offered to host the pre-party to the Britney Spear's concert.  When he offered to host I thought it was a brilliant idea since we'd get free parking and a pre-party! This photo is of Dave's pre-party spread: 1) an unopened bag of peanuts, 2) some random-ass popcorn, 3) a half eaten sleeve of saltine crackers, and 4) really good liqueur.   We couldn't stop laughing at what Dave had sat out for us.  Of course, he had good booze, which is the most important part of a party.  Thanks for hosting Dave!

Britney Delivers

My husband, my buddy Jordan, Jordan's pregnant wife, and I had so much fun last night at Britney Spear's concert in Dallas.  She knows how to deliver a big show.  The entire 90-minute show was fantastic, but her encore was the most amazing thing ever.

Her encore started with her on the floor singing "'Till the World Ends" and at one point Nicki Minaj appeared on stage and started singing too.  After a bit Nicki walked off stage and then Britney ended up flying across the arena with big white angel wings.  She flew over our heads while fireworks were shooting across her stage, while confetti was shooting out into the crowd, while a laser show was beaming across the arena, while a film of a hydrogen bomb exploding played on the big screen, and all of this happened while her fans were "dancing until the world ends" in unison.   It was the most stimulating experience I've ever had at a concert.  Like I said, Britney knows how to deliver a big show.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


We have tickets to Britney's show tonight in Dallas.  I'm so excited.  I've been following the reviews online, and the show is getting solid reviews.  It's going to be fun, fun, fun!


One perk to hosting dinner parties is eating the leftover for lunch.  This is a picture of my lunch on Sunday.  Yummy!  (cornbread muffin, mac and cheese, bbq chicken, jalapeno-cream cheese-bacon, tomatoes and mozzarella and a dollop of pesto.)

Pink Shoes

Presley left her little pink shoes with black foot prints at our house this weekend.  I've left the shoes out because it makes me smile every time I see them.  I love my brother's daughters!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hooray, The Georgians Are Here

Last night we hosted a dinner party for our cousins the Georgians.  It was the first time we've seen them since we spent the trip-of-a-lifetime at their home in the Republic or Georgia.  We flew the Georgian flag on the side of our house, we purchased fresh flower arrangements, we washed our delicate stemware, and we borrowed my mother's sterling silverware.  We wanted to make them feel as special in our home as they made us feel in their home.

The menu we served our special guests:
  • Grilled cream cheese stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon
  • Grilled spicy cheese stuffed sausage
  • Grilled beef tenderloin 
  • Grilled BBQ chicken
  • Grilled hotdogs (mainly for our nieces Presley and Paxten)
  • Grape tomatoes and fresh mozzarella splashed with balsamic vinegar and drizzled with basil pesto
  • Glenda's macaroni and cheese
  • My mother's everything-but-the-kitchen-sink green salad
  • Cornbread muffins
  • Fresh blackberry cobbler with cream cheese crust
  • My mother's homemade vanilla grape nut ice cream
The food was good, the company was great, and we had a glorious good time!

Moving Sale

Our friends Jim and Donna just made a genius real estate move.  They purchased a 2008 Mediterranean style house that had been foreclosed on by the bank, and the purchase price was less than what they sold their 1940-ish Dutch colonial house.  They got a better house for less money in the same neighborhood.

They used this opportunity to liquidate all their old stuff.  Jim said it was very freeing to put most of their stuff up for sale!  So we stumbled out of bed at six o'clock on Saturday morning to help them work their garage sale. It was insane.  People host garage sales for one of two reasons; 1) to make money or 2) to get rid of stuff.  Jim and Donna wanted to get rid of stuff.  Apparently their prices were incredible, which resulted in a mob of people.   I learned that in Dallas if you find a great garage sale you have to call all of your friends and tell them to hurry over! One lady told me this was the best garage sale she's been to all year, and she disclosed that she goes to a lot of garage sales.  (She might have been a hoarder.)

It was crazy, but it was also a lot of fun.  Everyone was so happy.  We laughed all morning long.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wow - I love this room

For the first time in my life I'm swooning over a baby's room.  I was reading my subscription copy of the July/August edition of D Home, and when I got to page 76 and 77 my eyes widened in excitement.  Look at this photo!  This is the coolest nursery, ever.  I like it because it's not pink or blue or cartoonish.  It's such an interesting space.  I have to get that wallpaper!

July Craziness

I think the key to life is to keep things in perspective.  I'm struggling with that right now.  The month of July has blown up, and our weekends are more hectic than our weekdays.  I want to put my head down on my desk and just close my eyes.  Of course having a little bit of craziness in my life brings me pleasure, because I would never want our life to be tired and boring.  We're keeping it fresh and exciting! 

Killer Dog

Dooley likes to attack the plants in our backyard and she also enjoys trying to bring parts of the plants into the house via the doggie door.  I refuse her entrance when she's attempting to bring in plant parts- so they collect on the back porch.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bravo Brad

I've got nothing but love for Brad Pitt.  He released this statement to People:

"It is encouraging that New York has joined the movement to grant equal marriage rights to its citizens. But it is each American's Constitutional right to marry the person they love, no matter what state they inhabit. No state should decide who can marry and who cannot. Thanks to the tireless work of so many, someday soon this discrimination will end and every American will be able to enjoy their equal right to marriage."

True Blood

Are you watching HBO's True Blood?  My husband and I really enjoy this show, and I've been successful in getting my work buddies hooked on the show too.  Hetero guys always complain about the vampire thing, but this is not a tween vampire romance novel; this is a very adult show.  It's got a million story lines with lots of action and plenty of sex. On Monday mornings my work buddies and I huddle up to discuss how great the most recent True Blood episode was...I hope Sookie survives this season!


I have no idea what's going on in this photo, but I like it!  Rugby is my favorite sport.  I think the US needs to get rid of baseball (boring) and replace it with Rugby (exciting).