Sunday, September 28, 2014

Girls, Girls, Girls

The nieces were in the house this weekend.  They enjoyed performing their cheers in front of the fireplace.  Our oldest niece, Presley, provided very specific feedback at one point this weekend...

Presley: Pat-Pat, when you have a baby, can I babysit?

Me: Yes.

Presley: Will you go to a girl orphanage where they only have girl babies, and get a girl?  I want you to have a girl baby.

I cracked up.

I do love my girls.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lucky Me

Is this photo of a duck or a bunny.  It depends, right?  As most things in life your perspective is key to your outlook and well being.

My mother, who was an extraordinary public school educator for 33 years before she retired (hello, traumatic brain injury!), had a poster in her classroom: "We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or we can rejoice because thorn bushes have roses."

I like that quote.  There's a lot of wisdom in that one sentence.

This week a little unexpected bonus hit my paycheck - because I've been killing it at work.  I was already trying to think of ways to convince my husband I "needed" to spend my bonus on a new entry table from Restoration Hardware...(Hello, Stack 50 Table!)
But this week one of our AC units went out.  I don't mean to brag, but our house has three AC units: one for upstairs, one for the main part of the house, and one for the master bedroom.  My husband is out of town Monday through Thursday each week, and all week, I felt like my husband was trying to save money by keeping the house warm.  It felt warm, but I would just go to bedroom where it was a perfect 69 degrees.

When my husband returned from his business trip, he immediately asked if I had noticed that the downstairs AC was set on 74 degrees but the house was 84 degrees?  I told him I thought it was warm, but I didn't look.  My husband shook his head at my reply, but in my defense: if I need the temperature in the house adjusted I tell my husband and he does it via the Internet.  I don't look at the wall mounts.

So, our AC was broken - a coil was cracked?  We had to get it fixed.  We "needed" to have working AC.

My perspective: it's a bummer that we had an unexpected house repair, but it was awesome that my unexpected little bonus covered the cost of the repairs - no damage to the monthly budget.  How great is that?  My life is awesome.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pretty in Pink

The pink leather was faded.  The pink crystals were dull.  After 3+ years Dooley's collar was no longer good enough for a princess.  Luckily, Baby Girl has a YaYa (my husband's mother) that knew it was time to return to bright pink leather and shiny pink crystals.

We received a brand new version of Dooley's collar in the mail - the princess looks like a princess once again.

Thank you YaYa.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

High School Ring

I found my husband's high school class ring recently.  I put it on.  If my husband and I would have attended the same high school, then I'm sure we would have dated! Ha!  I would have worn his class ring?  Ha!  I would have taken him to prom!

We both went to different high schools last century, and really at that time I don't think it would have been possible for us to date; however, the world today is very different.  Today, I do think it's possible for gay high school students to live openly in high school: date, go to prom, etc.

The world is getting better.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lessons from Joan

The tributes to Joan Rivers continue to sprout up on television and online even though the octogenarian died over ten days ago.

When was the last time we (as a society) were surprised by the death of an 81 year old?  We're surprised because she was as relevant today in 2014 as she was in the beginnings of her long career.

Since her death, I've read a few articles written about her and I've spent some time on her Wiki page.  I always try to learn something from those who have sustained success, and by any standard Joan was successful at the end of her life: she had a television show, a stand up tour, and she was worth millions and millions of dollars.

However, Joan had a career with significant peaks and significant valleys.  I've decided that the key to her success, is that she kept moving forward.  She never let a failure define her, because she was always trying something new.  She never stopped working.

The key takeaway: if you get knocked down, then you get up again. That's the key to success.

If something doesn't go your way, then have enough courage to try one more time and always one more time.

Monday, September 15, 2014


Our daughter's namesake, Sarah Dooley, hosted us a few weeks ago in Houston, and we had a conversation that went something like this...

Dooley: I know we don't like the same yogurt.

Me (looking in the fridge): it looks like you have my favorite yogurt!

Dooley: Oh good, while I was at the grocery store I bought the gross yogurt because I thought that's what you liked!

Wedding Weekend

This weekend, my husband and I drove down to a rainy Austin, Texas to attend the wedding of one of my champion colleagues.   The wedding was lovely.  They looked really happy.  When I attend church weddings I'm always extremely curious what's going through all the women's minds when the priest reminds the wedding guests that according to the Bible God created woman FOR man?  By design that seems like a self serving point of view, since men wrote the Bible.  I could be over thinking this, but it seems like mind control to state you (woman) were created for me (man).  Why did women still accept that point of view?

I'm curious.  I'm not trying to offend anyone's religion.  I'm not a religious person and I'm always shocked when that part of the Bible is quoted.

It was a quick trip: down on Saturday and back on Sunday.  Our kids (Trigger and Dooley) spent the night with my husband's parents.  My husband's parents do not have any grandchildren living in our state, which means they are always willing to help take care of our dogs and they are also always willing to encourage us to hurry up and give them more grandchildren.

I've been waiting for our life to slow down before we have kids...

When do you think our life will slow down?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Very Dooley Weekend

The woman whom our daughter is named after - Sarah Dooley - lives in The Heights area of Houston, Texas.  Recently I became aware that she is getting serious with a gentleman from California, which made me realize that my Dooley might not always live at the end of I-45.  After a very busy week (aren't they all?) we jumped in the car and headed to Houston for 36 hours with Dooley.  First, we wanted to meet the man that holds Dooley's attention, and second I wanted to SEE my friend.  I count Dooley as one of my favorite friends, but we are only in the same room a few times each year.

I knew it was going to be a great weekend, when our midnight arrival was greeted with fruit and cheese...
...and a hot out of the oven pound cake.  Dooley knows I love pound cake, and her recipe is delicious.  The cake had a nice crispy crumb top with the bouncy buttery vanilla-y center cake that is so spectacular.  Yes, I ate half of the cake...
Dooley is a foodie.  So we did a lot of cooking and eating together.  The best moments take place in the kitchen, right?  

On Saturday Dooley whipped up corn cakes, fried eggs, bacon, and an avocado lemon sauce to top it off.  
We needed energy for our Houston adventure.  We left Dooley's gentleman caller at the house to watch college football.  We had more important things to do than to watch college football. We crashed an artist's studio to see giant Presidential busts.  I want all these bust to be lined up in a public park.  
The much younger looking Bill Clinton is on the right of the above photo.  If all these Presidential busts were lined up together, then I think it would point out the ridiculousness that up until Obama we only had white men leading the country...and still no female has been elected to the highest office.  When will a female President be elected?  Are only white men qualified to lead?  No.  Of course not.
After hanging out with the Presidents.  We went on a shopping tour of Houston.  Houston is a great place to shop.  They have tons of concept stores and unique boutiques.

We stopped for a sushi lunch.
We got caught in the rain.  

We shopped through the rain.  

We went back to the house and napped until college football was over. 

After nap time, we created a Mexican fiesta feast to end the Saturday.

Sunday morning we snucked out of the house and headed back to Dallas.  It was a lovely weekend with my husband and friends.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Potato Salad Love

My husband wanted to fire up the grill on Labor Day.  I supported that decision.  We're American.

I decided that I needed potato salad.  My husband does not like potato salad, and I've never made potato salad previously; so I made four pounds of potato salad for one.  I've watched the Barefoot Contessa create the dish, and so I thought about the flavors I enjoyed in potato salad and I went to work.  I let me taste buds lead the way...

I boiled potatoes in salt, and sliced them once.  I always keep the skin on my potatoes.  I like the texture and the extra nutrients.

I chopped pickles and sweet peppers and a few pickled jalapenos. I thought it'd be joyful to get a kick in a bite from a few jalapenos mixed into the salad.  Not too many, just a few...

I thinned mayonnaise with vinegar and some pickle juice. I don't like globs of mayonnaise, which is why I thinned it a bit.  Plus I added salt in the mayo mixture. The potatoes were still hot when I added the thinned mayo mixture, and I did this because I remember the Barefoot Contessa doing it, but I don't know the reason why....this is my first time in the potato salad game.

I mixed the mayo and potatoes.  Then I chopped chives, dill, celery, and tossed it in.

My potato salad has lots of hard boiled eggs.

I added tons of course ground pepper and maybe a little bit more salt.

I created the best potato salad, and I didn't follow a recipe, which means it might be hard for me to recreate!  Follow your taste buds.  I wish I had a mouth in my house that could celebrate this kitchen achievement.  My husband's reaction: "There are a lot of things in potato salad that I do not like."