Friday, July 28, 2006


How do you like the new look?

I Did it Again

I bumped up the walk to 5 miles yesterday, just to see if I could do it. As you can tell from this entry, I didn't die in the process. I'm taking that as a positive sign. AND I'm doing it again today!!

Your Five Factor Personality Profile

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have high extroversion.
You are outgoing and engaging, with both strangers and friends.
You truly enjoy being with people and bring energy into any situation.
Enthusiastic and fun, you're the first to say "let's go!"


You have high conscientiousness.
Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.
Most things in your life are organized and planned well.
But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.


You have high agreeableness.
You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.
Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.
You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.


You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.

Chili, MMMMMMM.........

Ok. So a few days ago I had a hankerin' for some chili. I know what you are thinking..."Chili??? In the heat of the SUMMER??? Insane woman!" Well actually, it was a high of about 79-80 degrees, dark and rainy for 3 days or so. With that kind of weather, chili is suitable eating.

Being from Texas, I left out the beans because, after all, chili with beans is really bean soup with meat. The recipe was heisted from Emeril Lagasse from the Food Network website and here it is. Enjoy!

Emeril's Chili

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
Cayenne (to taste. I used 3/4 tsp.)
2 pounds stew meat, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 cups crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
8 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons masa flour
4 tablespoons water
1 cup canned dark red kidney beans
1 bag tortilla chips (We used Fritos Scoops)
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
6 tablespoons sour cream
1 small jar jalapenos

In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables start to wilt. Season with salt and cayenne. Stir in the stew meat, chili powder, cumin, crushed red pepper, and oregano. Brown the meat for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, and beef stock. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the liquid, partially covered for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until the beef is tender. Skim off the fat occasionally.

Mix the masa and water together. Slowly stir in the masa slurry, add the beans, and continue to cook for 30 minutes. Reseason with salt and cayenne. Place a handful of the chips in each shallow bowl. Spoon the chili over the chips. Garnish with the grated cheese, sour cream and jalapenos.

(You can substitute low fat sour cream and cheese and it will taste just as good.)

((Also, I use fat free, reduce sodium beef stock. This way you can monitor your sodium intake.))

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Lately, I've been hooked on the series "Little House on the Prairie". I used to watch it every week when I was a kid in the late 70'- early 80's. I find that now as I watch the shows I catch much more of what was going on than I ever did as a child.

Now the boy watches them with me and enjoys the series just as much as I do. It makes me want to go get the books that the series is based on by Laura Ingles Wilder and read them in order. I have the paperback of "Little House on the Prairie" and as soon as I finish reading "Everyone Worth Knowing" by Lauren Weisberger (who also wrote a little known book "The Devil Wears Prada") I'll probably switch over to the Wilder books.

As you can tell from the statements above, I did finish reading The Devil Wears Prada. Great read!! Go pick it up! If you must see the movie, I suggest that you see the flick BEFORE reading the book. I have been told that the movie is quite different from the book.

The hubby no longer wishes to see the movie, but I do. I just adore Meryl Streep AND Anne Hathaway. Oh well, we'll see if I get to have some mhn time or if the hubby will decide to see the movie afterall.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

His Driver's Permit

A young boy had just gotten his driver's permit and inquired of his father, an evangelist, if they could discuss his use of the car. His father said "I'll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible a little, get your hair cut and we'll talk about the car."

Well, the boy thought about that for a moment, and decided that he'd settle for the offer, and they agreed on it. After about six weeks they went into the study, where his father said "Son, I've been real proud. You brought your grades up, and I've observed that you have been studying your Bible, and participating a lot more in the Bible study groups. But, I'm real disappointed, since you haven't gotten your hair cut."

The young man paused a moment, and then said, "You know, Dad, I've been thinking about that, and I've noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair and there's even a strong argument that Jesus had long hair."

To this his father replied, "Did you also notice that they all walked everywhere they went?"

Friday Night Fun on a Monday Night!

Well, last night the hubby and a couple of friends of ours had Friday night fun on a Monday night! We went to open mic night at McGonigal's Mucky Duck here in Houston. It was a blast and as the night wore on the acts got better and better.

Monday nights are Pint & Pie nights so Dave and I had Steak & Mushroom pot pies and our friends ordered Shepherds Pie. They all had beer, but I had a wine based Fuzzy Navel. We also had the Scotch Eggs with a curry dressing for our pub snack and our friends ordered Jalapeno Poppers. The food was so good and the atmosphere pleasing that I could easily see how people could spend most of their time "down at the pub".

We're going back. Next time, I might sing a ditty or read one of my poems. Can't wait!

Well, I finally bought my 4&5 mile dvds from I paid full retail, which just about killed me, but it was the only place that carried exactly what I wanted. I WAS rewinding the second mile on the third mile dvd and getting my four miles that way.

Today, I just did the four mile dvd. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!! AND IT KICKED MY BUTT!!!!!!! She had us doing double kickbacks, double kneelifts, a grapevine, which actually felt great, and she changed up some of the other moves to give you a really thorough workout.

The first three miles went kind of slow(so it seemed. I think it was because she was working us hard...) and once we got into the fourth mile, it flew by so quickly that I was suprised. It's been an hour and I'm still sweating a little. Whew!

Soon, I'll give the five mile a try, but for now, the four mile is my favourite!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Inappropriate Dinner Conversation

So, when I was growing up we used to have dinner at the table, like all good families do, and conversation would flow like the Colorado River searching its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Most of the time the topic of conversation was totally right and pleasing to all present. Sometimes however, the oratorical subjects left much to be desired and would have been better suited for the men's restroom at a local strip club. Not proud of it especially seeing as the majority of occupants at the dinner table were GIRLS!

I do remember Mom protesting the subjects and of course we girls would take it from the rude to the grotesque. Mom would state that she was getting sick to her stomach, then Daddy would pipe up and tell her, "Pass your plate over here, Goody." and wink at us girls.

Always this was done in the privacy of our own home, NEVER in public. If we had guests, the topics were always "G" rated. These days if the conversation starts to get too personal, gross or inappropriate, I speak up and verbally "pull in the reigns" and get the topic back to a loftier subject. (In my family, I am known as THE PRUDE.)

Well, the other night the family (hubby, boy & myself) went to our favourite Chinese buffet place, Silver Palace, for dinner. There was a family of teenagers and a mom sitting just behind us. The way we were seated at our table, the boy was closest to the other table.

At first, their topics of conversation were fine, but louder than need be for the space allotted, thus being the reason we could hear them. Then all of the sudden, the younger daughter started talking about telling everyone that she was a lesbian. She was teasing, because she kept laughing about it. She was doing this for shock value as most teens will do. But then the conversation topic switched from that to sex-change operations and the volume increased. She stated, "I want to go in to the doctors office and tell 'em, I want a PENIS!" Then her mom said that they couldn't do that surgically, and she got even louder and asked, "Why Not? What about the girls who want to be boys and want to have a PENIS??!"

The whole time I was sitting there thinking, "Oh God, PLEASE don't let any of this penetrate Owen's ears." I don't want to have THAT conversation with him about this yet. He's only 5 1/2 years old. He doesn't need to hear about that stuff at his tender age. I was rather suprised that the mother didn't protest and tell her daughter to lower her voice.

I don't care what other people talk about, but let's try to keep it at your own table please and not so loud that the people who are 100 feet away can hear you. Some decorum here, please folks!

Even David was giving me looks of, "These people need to take that topic to da house!" I almost asked them to quiet down, because I didn't want to have to explain what they were talking about when my son started asking questions. But I decided that the better course of action would be to hurry up and eat our dinner so we could exit the scene, post haste! Which we did, of course.

Luckily, nothing registered with the boy and no questions have been asked or had to be explained. Whew! We really did luck out on that one.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Whew...Just Got Back.

We made a whirlwind tour of the road between Houston and Dallas. Technically Lewisville, which is a little north of Dallas. We went to pick up Gam & visit Papa, since he's working there. It was a nice trip. I'd never been to Lewisville and it had all of the accrutriments of a city of 100,000 in population.

On the way up, we traveled I-45 North to Dallas and on the way home, we took I-35 South to Waco, TX. Then Highway 6 to Heampstead and hopped onto Hwy. 290 East to Houston.

I finally finished reading Gospel, by Wilton Barnhardt. Tonight, I will start on The Devil Wears Prada.

I'd never been to Waco before and it's a nice area up there. We went to find the hubby's Grandma's old house in Lacy Lakeview, TX. Suprisingly enough, he found it after not going there since he was a kid. He remarked that the trees used to be bigger. Ah, the perspective of childhood.

So, we are home safe and sound and so is Gam! Yea! We are all tired, but happy.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Hubby

He's mumbling grammaticle things in and about Ancient Greek at his desk. Too Funny. :-)

A Milestone...(No pun intended)

Ok, so I'm a pretty sizable Suzie. This evening I did something that I haven't been able to do COMFORTABLY in about 16 years.

I laid on the floor and watched tv.

We have wood laminate flooring which is very hard. The last time I tried this feat, I only lasted long enough to get on the floor and immediately get back up. I guess that my muscles have built up enough to support my bone structure. I do know that I am standing taller these days.

Today was a super busy day as I was cleaning house and doing laundry so we would have our choice of freshly laundered garments to take with us on our trip to Lewisville to pick up Gam. I was tempted not to walk to day because I had done so much around the house, but I chose instead to take the walk and I am glad that I did.

This evening let me know for sure that I have been making the right choices in walking the 4 miles a day, 6 days a week. I may bump it up to 7 days a week. I'm getting really cranky on Sundays and that's the ONLY day during the week that we are all together as a family. I don't want to spend that day fussy because I didn't take 1 hour out of my day to walk.

I'm positively sure that the guys wouldn't mind losing me for a measly hour to get a nice wife/mommy for the rest of the day. :-D

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Music That Moves My Soul!

There is no sound, except my child's voice, that moves my soul like the BAGPIPES! I love them, played well mind you. There is a scottish bagpipe band called The Rogues who used to play at the Texas Renaissance Festival every year. We haven't been to the renfest in a few years, so I don't know if they still play there or not.

The last time we saw them I bought their cd, Live in Canada, eh? They play this rendition of Amazing Grace that pierces the soul. I have it on cd, in my iTunes listing and on my iPod.

When I die, it's going to be played at my funeral. It's so great because you hear the beautiful song that most Christians are at least familiar with and then it moves seemlessly into an Irish jig! I love it. Death is a celebration for a Christian, not something to dread. I think that this song totally shows that. :-)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

She's About to be Unleashed!

Ok. This may seem a bit mean, but I've been sensoring myself for so long around here that I've turned this once thriving and relatively interesting blog into a boring place to visit and THAT'S why I think my readership has gone to shit. So here you go!

Body Odor in the Hood!
Ok, as I have stated before, we live in the hood. Our neighbors(not ones on our street, but close by) "have they own shopping carts".

Anyway, we used to have an Albertson's grocery store close to our house and periodically we would shop there. Nice store, well appointed, but the prices were slightly higher than H.E.B., so H.E.B. got most of our business.

Well a few years ago, Albertson's left the Houston market(or at least our area of Houston). The building was empty for at least 3 or 4 years. This whole area hoped that there would be either a Kroger or H.E.B. come in and use the space. Nothing happened for a long time, although rumours of a store coming in would float around every once in a while.

So finally, we drive by and see that FoodTown has bought or leased the building! Yay! Since the Randall's that was closest grocery store to our house closed, there was no choice but to drive 5 miles up the street for milk at H.E.B. Not a biggie usually, but periodically, you needed that one item and were too knackered to drive all that way to get toilet paper or bread. AND there was NO WAY you'd go to the convenience store to get those items, because you would be scheistered out of all of your money!

It was about 4 months ago when we saw the sign. We'd drive by sometimes whilst going to Wal-Mart or Teotihuacan (Great mexican food place! West Airport & Fondren on the SW side) and see the progress they were making. We noticed two days ago that FoodTown was having a Grand Opening! Finalement!!

I had a 'running list' (for those who are not familiar with the term, that is a list that you start and add to everytime you run out of something.) going and we had quite a few things on it. The hubby decides last night that he wants to go check out the new store. I tell him that I have a list, but I wanted to go too. We got the boy to put on his shoes and off we go to the new grocery store! How exciting! (Seriously, we NEED to get out more!)

We arrive at the store and it looks like ALL of the new inhabitants to our area have decided to "go shopping" at the same time we did. Not suprising, it was after 6pm on a week night. We get into the store and it looks pretty much the way it when it was an Albertson's, except that the colors have changed from blue and white to cream and maroon.

As we were walking along looking at everything, noticing prices and the condition of the produce, meat and products we noticed that the stockers were still setting up and that we were the palest people in the whole building. Not a problem, just an observation.

Some background on me, I have very sensitive olfactory senses. When I was pregnant with the boy, I could smell cigarette smoke from a car that was four or five cars away with closed windows and the recycle a/c on. Even now, my sense of smell is very accute.

As we were winding our way through the store to procure our items, I would be assaulted by massive body odour. Just the thought off it makes me cough. Even the hubby noticed the sent, but it didn't bother him as much as it did me. And it wasn't just once, but many times throughout the facility. It seemed that everywhere I turned there was a person who smelled like they hadn't washed that day and were stuck in a hot building with no air circulation and were swathed in musty human sweat. Blech!

It wasn't just older men either, there were ladies and kids that offended the nose as well. I'd walk down an aisle and there was the smell, I'd turn to get away from the odor after getting what I needed and turn right into another area where it was even more odiferous! I couldn't wait to get out of there, but the hubby wanted to look around some more.
Holy Crap! I really thought at one time that I was gonna throw up.

The only place were I could get away from the pungent fragrance of the shoppers was over by the meat counter. Then we saw some interesting items they had for sell; lengua(cow tongue), beef kidneys, livers, pigs heads and feet, and bull fries(bulls balls). Eek Gads!

I teased Owen with the lengua and asked him, "Owen, what does that look like?" He read the lable and said " cow tongue?" and I looked at him and pretened to lick him. He was sufficiently grossed out, my job was done. :-)

He noticed the kidneys and said several times, "Look mom, they have beef kidneys!" Two young teenaged black girls were standing in that same area while I was looking at the ground round. They repeted what he said and I looked at them and said, "They have bulls "thingies" over there too. " They looked over and said, "EEEW!" Then showed them to their mammah. Again, my job was done. I love 'messing' with people. Hehehe.

When we finished looking over the entire store the hubby was ready to go. Thank Heavens! But wait! I spoke too soon, around the corner to the register and WHAM! My nose was hit again by another stinky person! Geeze! God Bless America! Ya! Dave even asked, "I don't smell that bad do I?" (He can't use antiperspirant or deodorant because it irritates his psoriasis.) I told him, not right now, but after you've mowed the lawn or worked out in the garage you sometimes smell that way. He was resigned to the odor, but since he takes showers everyday, it wasn't that bad.

We finally got out of the store at $60.81 worth of damage. Not bad, but not cheaper than H.E.B. Since my nose is hardly ever assaulted at H.E.B. we'll keep shopping there.

Whew, do you smell something?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Oh Geezie, Peezie...

Am I ever going to catch up on my sleep or is that an urban legend that you can actually "catch-up" on sleep?

Lately, as in the last few months, I have yet to fall asleep any earlier than 11pm and I wake (more likely shove myself out of bed) at 7am, put my work out clothes on and wait for the baby to get here. Of course while I'm waiting, I run around the house to do last minute pick ups that didn't get done before we went to bed.

Eventhough I have lots of energy from the weight loss and excercise, I still feel like I could take a nap everyday. I don't get one, of course; but the tired feeling is still there. As soon as I hit the pillow, my eyes are wide open, no matter how tired I am when I hed off the beddie-bye.

I usually read for an hour or two then try to go to sleep. Perhaps my mind is too busy to rest. Whatever it is, it's killing me. I feel like I could sleep in for a month and it would only make a small dent in the fatigue.

Is it just me or are y'all feeling this way too?

Friday, July 07, 2006

My Personal DNA Report

Thursday, July 06, 2006

2nd Day in a Row

Today is the second day in a row that I've walked 4 miles instead of just 3 miles. I need to get the 4 mile tape, but for now I'm rewinding the second mile(while keeping the walk going) and re-walking the second mile to add up to 4.

I'm wiped, but I feel good.

A Memory...

Ah, let's see... I think it was Sunday night, could have been Saturday night but that's not the point, the hubby and I sat down to watch a movie. We used to do this every Friday and Saturday night until we got cable and started playing d&d. Now it's a rarity that we sit together and watch a movie at home.

The movie I chose was The Notebook with Ryan Gossling and Rachel McAdams. It's a beautiful love story that reminds me a lot of my grandparents love story. Towards the end of the movie it gets truly heart-wrenching yet remains resplendent in the expresion of their love for one another.

I had seen this movie with a pack of Ladies from church. We didn't all get to sit together, but that was ok. By the middle of the movie, the lady that I was sitting by and I were sniffing quite profusely and were trying to control the tears. As the film went on, I was crying pretty hard and I was trying to control myself so as to not let my crying turn into an "ugly cry" with hiccups, blocked nostrils and a swollen nose. Also, I was really trying hard not to disturb the people sitting around us. When the movie was over we found our other friends and they giggled at me for crying (because I was still crying pretty hard). I went into the bathroom to "pull myself together" and there was a whole large bathroom full of females crying, from young teenagers to older women. We were all boo-hooing from seeing The Notebook. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

Well, I had purchased the dvd a few months ago and hadn't watched it yet knowing its effect on me, but I wanted to watch it with Dave, thinking that he would enjoy it. He did enjoy the movie. We actually sat on the same couch to watch it and I blubbered through it again. I had another really ugly cry. So bad that I actually had to take some Tylenol Sinus so I could breathe through my nose. Ice takes down the swelling of tearful eyes quite nicely too. It shows how much the hubby loves me, by the way he didn't tease me.

He remembers what it was like when my Grandmother was sick with Alzheimer's and how she didn't recognise me when we came to visit her. She had gotten gangrine in her left leg and the doctors amputated it at the knee. Her memory was gone, long and short term. She could no longer feed herself. The nurse asked me if I would like to feed her and I did. I was trying not to cry in front of her, so I wouldn't upset her. The tears just flowed like a brook heading downstream to the river. She would tell me, "Don't cry Honey.", "You're such a pretty girl, who are you again?", "I'm Aleida's daughter, Grandma. I'm Michelle, Aleida's youngest daughter." "Oh, okay." She said. Then she would ask me again who I was. We had lunch with Grandpa and it was a good visit with him.

I was 21 then. The next time I saw her was a year later at her funeral. I sang Amazing Grace and Rock of Ages, they were her favourites. I almost got through Amazing Grace, but I looked at my Grandfather and thought, "He's gonna be alone." Again the tears flowed, but I got through the song. The next time I saw him after that was a year later at his funeral. I sang for that one too. I sang The Lord's Paryer and Precious Lord, Take My Hand, they were both songs that he had performed on many occaissions.

When Dave and I were dating, we would talk about how we never wanted to be apart and how if we died, we wanted to die together at the same time. We still feel that way, although these days it wouldn't be very practical with Owie. I wouldn't want to leave him alone as a child. If God is willing, we will grow old together and pass away peacefully in each others arms, after Owen has a family of his own and has those who love him to help him through that hard time.

I'm so blessed to have my son, because when he laughs I can hear my mother's father issuing forth from his lips. When I look at him, I can see my father in his face, so my loved ones who have gone to Glory are still with me here on earth and I can still remember them and love them, eventhough they are not here with me in the present.
*Dad is still living, I just don't get to see him as much as I would like to.* I look forward to the day that I can be reunited with my family in Heaven. I will be sorry to leave my loved ones here on Earth, but I know that I will be going to my eternal home and I will save a place for all of those I love and have loved.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Quiz? At Your Age????

Your Dosha is Pitta

You have a quick mind, a gift for persuasion, and a sharp sense of humor.
You have both the drive and people skills to be a very successful leader.
Argumentative and a bit stubborn, you have been known to be a little too set in your ways.
But while you may be biased toward your own point of view, you are always honest, fair, and ethical.

With friends: You are outgoing and open to anyone who might want to talk to you

In love: You are picky but passionate

To achieve more balance: Be less judgmental of those around you, and take cool walks in the moonlight.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

What Would You Say????

A line from that song comes to my head when I think of posting. There are SO many things that I want to say and talk about, but I can't until things settle down and people move on.

Of course, by then I will have moved on as well. For the most part, I've "pretty much" been in transition mode since the middle of last summer when Hurricane Rita hit the Texas Gulf Coast. By the end of last year I was already there. The only time my mind wanders back to that dark place is when little, inconsequential things come up.

So, for the longest time I've been self sensoring over here on the blog as to not cause trouble. I'm doing my dead level best, but I thought that maybe my loyal readers might be wondering if I just got tired of blogging or if I've just gotten lazy.

Well, I HAVE been busier now than I was when I started this whole process, so I'm not on the computer near as much as I was. I've been watching the baby and having the boy in school, so that took up much of my time. The boy has learned to use the WWW (with guidelines and supervision); add that AND the other stuff and you've got days out of the week where I don't hardly get a chance to look at the computer much less touch it.

Then of course, there is the journey to making me half the woman I used to be. Especially since I'm not using any miracles of modern science to help me, just good old fashioned hard work and sweat! That takes some time out of the day. I've gotten a nice large chunk of that taken care of, which I am proud of myself for doing. I hate to admit it, but Oprah is right on this one, you just have to make the decision to do it and stick to it.

It's been pretty interesting, my family has always been on the "curvier" side. Even when we girls weren't just huge, we still had curves. Now all three of us sisters are in the process of losing the extra pounds and, just coincidently, we all have long hair. The hair is easy enough to explain, we're all broke and can't afford haircuts.

Next year is my 20th High School Reunion. I'd like to go back as most changed. There was a lady I graduated with who had the typical "country look" in H.S. She had pretty, but frizzy hair and bangs. A really cute girl that didn't wear much make-up. She looked sweet and WAS sweet. I liked her very much. When she came back for the 10 year reunion, she was coiffed and polished to the hilt. Her look had changed, but she was still the sweetest girl. She was voted most changed.

Even if nobody notices my transformation, I'll still be happy with what I've done for myself and for my family. I've finally realised that they need me and actually WANT me around for the long haul and I want to be there for all of the years that God has to bless me with. I'm glad that I have finally figured out that I am worthy of a healthy body and a healthy body image. Geeze, it's only taken 37 years for me to figure this out. I really thought that I was a faster learner than this, but there it is, and there you have it.

This is why I've been so lax in my duties to provide you with interesting reading. Hopefully, I'll be able to get excited enough to write about other things such as politics and religion, but until that time comes, I'll just be boring old me.

Love to you all. mhn for short.