Monday, November 25, 2013

The Grinch and the wall update

While my husband was at school this weekend, on the eve of my father's 60th birthday, my parents treated the entire family (excluding my husband/including our nieces Presley and Paxten) to Dr Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical.  The show was definitely pandering to children and if it had been a minute longer Paxten might not have survived the show - 90 minutes appears to be the max of Paxten's attention span, which is to be expected for a three year old.  What other show can entertain a three year old and an almost 60 year old?  It was great fun.  Of course my parents scooped up first and second row seats; look at the those photos!

On Sunday my husband and I put the house back together, since the wall is gone!  As a reminder, here's the before photo...
And here's the after photo...
Here's a before photo looking the other direction...
And here's the after photo...
Yes, we also put up the Christmas tree this weekend.  We're just that kind of fun.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wall Update

This is the latest photo of the wall or of the space where there used to be a wall.  Isn't this fun?  I get home from the office every day and something exciting has happened.

My New Favorite Commercial

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bring Down The Wall

After the first day, the wall is almost gone.  It's amazing how the perception of space has greatly improved.  I feel like we're adding square feet to the house, but we're only removing an internal wall.  Technically we're only gaining the width of the wall, but it feels so much more open.  This was a really good decision.  We are also painting the garage floor, since we will be using the garage as an extension of the dinning room when we host the family Christmas party and we wanted to freshen up the garage.  Guess what color of floor I picked...
Blue always wins in my book.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Piano In the Dinning Room

At times I think I have an admirable level of sophistication, but then something happens that makes me feel very normal.  Just like the rest of the piano owning Americans living in three bedroom homes, we now have a piano in our dinning room.  I don't blame the piano.  I love the piano.  It belonged to my husband's maternal grandmother. The piano's relocation to the dinning room is really all my fault.

It all started when we purchased our 1980 one story 3 bedroom 2.5 bathroom 2,800 square foot home in 2008; at that time we saw a wall and we thought: wouldn't it be nice if that wall wasn't there?  Our house has a great floor plan, but the open concept wasn't used by this home's designer in 1980.  There are people buying up homes in our neighborhood and removing all internal walls separating the dinning room, living room, kitchen, and breakfast nook, which makes the homes feel so much larger.  We're not going that big though.  We're having just one wall removed.

Our handyman Tim starts today.  Here's the before photos of the wall that's coming down:

 As you can see the piano needed to find a new home.  So when my sophisticated Dallas friends stop over and wonder how a piano end up in the dining room?  I'll have to let them know it's because of my wouldn't-it-be-nice-if-that-wall-wasn't-there? desires.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I'm Back

Last week I lost my mojo, which is why I didn't really post anything.  I had a hard time staying focused at work.  I had a hard time staying motivated on the home front.  One day, last week, I left the office "early" at 5 PM and just came home and got in bed* to read on my iPad.  I'm much better today, but my analysis of last week is that I miss my husband and I finally reached my work limit.

I miss my husband, because my husband's work, school, and recruiting is keeping him on the road all the time.  He's only clocking approximately 36 to 48 hours a week in Dallas.  My life is much less enjoyable without my husband around.  But nobody wants to read about how hard my life is, right?

Poor little me.  My husband is working on an Ivy League MBA and everyone wants to interview him for a job because he's very much a supernatural individual, which means I don't see him enough.  Again, poor me.

And I've reached my work limit because my assignment is long and tedious.  I've had more career success in the last 18-months than in my previous 9 years combined, but it's wearing me out because I'm driven.  I am motivated by delivering results to my clients, but that isn't always easy!  Last week I was in a funk.  

My husband and I had a really nice weekend together, and I told my client that I am not (and my team is not) working any more than 40 hours each week for the rest of the year.


 *Can you blame me for wanting to hang out in my bed?  My mother and father sent us the bedding and it's soft and bright and beautiful.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Binny's Back

One of the many perks of practicing yoga is that you meet the most interesting people.  Our Australian friend and teacher Binny is back in Dallas for the month.  She taught in Dallas for six months a year ago, and we've started a tradition: when she's in town she picks a restaurant and we take her out to eat.  See here and here.

Binny is vegan, which is why we ask her to pick the restaurant, but she loves food (even though it doesn't look like she eats) and she can find a meal at any establishment.

This go around she picked CBD Provisions, which has a limited menu, but everything we ate was full of flavor.  Very cool spot.  From my seat at the table I was facing the giant eyeball sculpture that's sitting across the street.  Ever get that feeling you're being watched?  This sculpture was so interesting.  Go see it, and go eat at CBD Provisions.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Our Wedding Script

Here's what Del said at our legal wedding:

The first time I stood with Kevin and Patrick to officiate their union it was May 13, 2006 on the lawn of the Barr Mansion in Austin, Texas. On that day at that time only one state  (Massachusetts) recognized same-sex marriage. 

And on that day in 2006 I told you:

            “Your presence here today is greatly appreciated by Kevin and Patrick, I know, and your presence here today is even more appreciated by the generation of gay individuals that will come after us.  The day when all of our children are free to marry, unapologetically, the person they love is going to be a great day, and today gives me great hope for the future.

“This is an important milestone in Kevin and Patrick’s life together.  This is the day they are getting married to each other, and while this marriage is not legitimate under the laws of the land.  It is legitimate in a more important sense—because it is legitimate within their hearts.” 

Today, for the second time, I’m standing with Kevin and Patrick to officiate their union, but this time, unlike last time, the marriage is legitimate under the laws of the land. Today the state of California and 13 other states plus the District of Columbia all recognize same-sex marriages.

Patrick, repeat after me…

I, Patrick, take you, Kevin, to be my husband, my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of our family, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

Kevin, repeat after me…

I, Kevin, take you, Patrick, to be my husband, my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of our family, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

Santa Barbara Courthouse

We were legally married in the sunken garden in the Santa Barbara courthouse lawn, right under the palm tree grove in this painting.  My husband's sister and her husband contacted Chris Potter, a Santa Barbara artist, and had him create this painting as a gift to us.  It's spectacular.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


"I fix machines all day, but I cannot fix my gay son...

...because he is not broken."

I saw this on Tumblr and I had to post it.  So touching.

Poblano Asiago Soup

When we were setting the menu for our post-wedding dinner party, I mentioned to the chef that recently in South America we ate a poblano asiago soup that was delicious.  He said he would try to make it for us.  He succeeded because this soup was delicious!  He was kind enough to share the recipe with us, but first here's the menu:

Chef's Menu:

Tuna Tartar on Wonton Crisps with Sri Racha and Chives
Crostinis with Prosciutto, Pears, Goat Cheese and Balsamic Drizzle
Smoked Salmon on Cucumber Rounds with Wasabi Creme

Poblano Asiago Soup
Mixed Greens Salad with Asparagus Tips
Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Rosemary
Creamed Spinach
Roasted Parsnips, Carrots, and Onions
Beef Tenderloin with Bernaise Sauce
Seared Scallops

Poblano Asiago Soup (Chef Christopher)


Olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
5 poblano chilies, roasted (I put them right on the burners of my gas stove and turn them till they are charred black all over), peeled, and seeded
1 1/2# tomatillos, husked, rinsed and chopped
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
4 cups milk
2 cups spinach, cleaned
10 ounces Asiago cheese grated
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped
Salt to taste

Put the butter and a little olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Sauté the onions and garlic over medium to low heat. You don't want them to brown.  Just cook until wilted and translucent.  Add the tomatillos, poblanos (roasted and seeded) and flour. Stir to mix the in the flour.  Then add the  chicken stock, heavy cream and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to keep the milk from browning on the bottom. Add the spinach, Asiago cheese, cilantro, and continue to cook, stirring until the cheese is incorporated. Transfer to a blender in batches, and blend until completely smooth. Strain through a medium strainer back into the heavy pot. Season with salt and pepper.


Makes enough for 12

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Oprah's Garage Sale (Auction)

I learned after the fact, that on the day my husband and I were standing in the sunken garden of the Santa Barbara courthouse getting legally married one of my best friends Oprah (we've never met) was having a garage sale at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria.  I'm not saying I would have delayed getting legally wed to attend Oprah's garage sale, but I might have found a little time in the day to bid on her stuff.  As you know, I don't have enough "stuff" in my life.

The house we rented was very close to Oprah's Montecito ("The Promise Land") estate, which means Oprah and I most likely breathed the same air this weekend.  Amazing.

One of the reasons I have such love and admiration for Oprah is that she championed gay rights long before the momentum shifted in favor of equality for all.  As far as I'm concerned she deserves every good thing in her life.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

We're Legal

My parents still live in my hometown of 5,000 people, which means it was significant when my mother showed up to the airport with her wedding ring finger nail painted rainbow in honor of our legal same-sex marriage weekend.  I had to ask my mother if she got her nails done at Patti's?" She replied with a YES.   (I mean where else would she get her nails done?)

Our weekend was practically perfect in every way.  My parents, my husband's parents, my husband's aunt and uncle, and the two of us rented a house in Santa Barbara, CA where my husband's sister and her husband live with our nephews.  Our dear friend Del (who's like a brother to us) officiated our wedding in Texas in 2006, and since he lives in Los Angeles he drove up with his new beau Mark to Santa Barbara to officiated our legal wedding.  My brother and his wife were unable to make the fast weekend, which was okay because (as Cousin Kate said best:) our wedding was official in 2006 and this was making it legal.  We we're not having another wedding.  We were just getting the legal part of our wedding that was missing in 2006.  We had matching shirts and rainbow underwear...
We caravanned to one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, the Santa Barbara courthouse, and we married in the grassy lawn under the clock tower.  It was perfect.  We hired a photographer, and I cannot wait to see the photos.  When we returned to the house a chef was in the kitchen cooking our meal.  The group shared a steak and scallop meal together.  My husband's father gave a great toast before dinner. We told stories.  We laughed.  We celebrated together.

The event felt much bigger than I intended.  It was lovely.  I've known my husband for a decade.  We had a big fat gay wedding in 2006, and getting the legal part of our wedding was important to me, but I didn't think it would hit me like it did.  It was amazing.  We are legally married.  Our relationship is equal to, not less than, your marriage.   

We are married!  Legally.  It's still amazing to me.

My husband and I are two of the luckiest people.