Monday, October 8, 2012


Why yes, I do love apple pie -- and I do love gift cards! I'd rather eat my pie with a fork and a la mode, though. Also, I would like the pie to be slightly warm. Could I just sit off to the side and eat a piece of pie slowly, and then take the rest home to eat later? Does that go against the spirit of the contest? I think if I play my cards right, I could get a free apple pie out of this.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


There are few things in life that I look forward to more than Saturday mornings with Roland. In fact, I can't think of anything I enjoy more. Here's our typical routine:

1. Sleep in, usually until about 9:30am, and then slowly work our way out of bed over the next half hour.

2. COFFEE. Right now, we're enjoying Whole Foods' Red Sea blend. We brew half a pot to get us going, and then start on breakfast.

3. The main course is usually an oven pancake (3 eggs, 1/2 cup flour, 3/4 cup milk). Sometimes we mix it up with crepes or pancakes. I'm in charge of slicing the fruit.

4. Over breakfast, we read the WSJ weekend edition (thanks for the subscription, dad-in-law!). Roland reads the news, and I read the "Personal Journal" section, which usually has articles about vacations and home decorating.

After breakfast, anything goes. We often relax for most of the day and just enjoy being with each other, but sometimes we do venture out in the world. This weekend, for instance, we checked out the Cottonwood Art Festival in Richardson. It was about 50 degrees (super chilly for TX!), and we really enjoyed the cooler weather and the chance to wear jackets.

So...I didn't actually take any pictures of the art (it was all crazy expensive and the booths were too crowded), but we did enjoy a giant $4 soft pretzel, meet some cute fluffy dogs, and visit the tree I planted for my mom back in April.

I wish every day could start off as a Saturday morning.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Super Exciting Ceiling Fan Dismantling!

Guys, I know this is not the most exciting topic ever, but for the past two years we've had a problem. A clunky, 30-year-old, near-useless fan on our bedroom ceiling. It wasn't hooked up to any switch (I'm telling you, whoever did the electrical wiring in this house did not read the manual first), and it was a huge hassle to turn on. Even after hitting two buttons 7 feet in the air AND pulling the chain, it would only get going to about the speed of a snail. Also, it was extremely wobbly. In short, it did us no good and was mostly just a dust-attracting eyesore.

I guess I could explain step-by-step how we dismantled it, but it's pretty straightforward. First the blades, then the base.

It was a mess up there. We couldn't figure out why they didn't want it hooked up to a switch on the wall. Anyway, at this point we jaunted over to our neighborhood Lowes and considered replacing the fan with a ceiling light. Unfortunately, because there's no dedicated switch, our choices were limited to the two models of light fixtures with a pull chain. And they were ugly. Not ceiling-fan-ugly, but not attractive. In the end, we decided to spend $2.56 for a cover and…voilĂ ! It's like it was never there.

Now we have a box full of fan blades and a motor for bulk trash. We've already seen a couple of 'pickers' making the rounds in our neighborhood looking for any 'valuable' trash out by the curb, so we're guessing our fan won't be out there too long.

Monday, August 6, 2012

I Hate Ponies: Reason #2

Just kidding, this isn't really another post about how I hate ponies (but I still do). This weekend we actually braved the 104 degree heat for 20 minutes to go visit the Mustangs of Las Colinas. It's purportedly the largest equestrian sculpture in the world (according to Wikipedia). Of the two "largest in the world" wonders I've seen, it's a tough call on which takes the cake: equestrian statue or basket?

These are just bronze statues, not real mustangs. 

Even though this is a fake horse, it still looked at me bloodthirstily.

Obligatory horse-whisperer pics.

R didn't like the way this pony was smirking at us, so he tried to push it into the water.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hot, hot, hot

It's hot in Texas. No surprise, but I haven't gotten used to it. This will be my 5th August here, and it's still shockingly bad every day.

Is it horrible that my first thought upon seeing this weather forecast was "Yes! Can't wait 'til it's only 99 on Monday!"?

Between the heat, the Olympics, and the looming threat of West Nile (Dallas is apparently the epicenter of the outbreak this year - something terrible like 7 deaths), we haven't gone outside much for the past couple of weeks. There's been a lot of couch-lounging, ice water-drinking, and AC blasting, which is all great and relaxing until you start feeling like a sack of potatoes. We're definitely looking forward to the weather cooling down a bit, but in TX that could still be months away. Sigh.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Great Instructions!

Stop pondering wood & cinder blocks, Question Mark Man! We’re trying to mount our TV on the wall. Let’s focus on that, okay? There is no need to be confused about these unrelated objects.

Also, who are the two guys walking across the bottom of the page? This wall mounting kit did not come with giant beach balls labeled “2A” and “2B.”

And why are there no words on these instructions? Maybe we shouldn’t have bought the cheapest kit ($30). There are probably words on the $60 version’s instructions.

Oh, and finally this is the most fancy western Fry's I've ever seen. Look at these longhorns!

Topping Out

And then the mama tree said to the baby tree,
“Get down here before you fall! The top of a building is no place for a tree.”
They're building a huge new apartment complex/parking garage at Preston & NW Hwy, and I couldn't figure out why there was a tree on top of the construction site. Roland suggested that it might be part of a ceremony called "Topping Out."

Monday, June 25, 2012

And the award for most over-dramatic WSJ columnist goes to...

“This is a car designed to get you from Point A to Point B, cheaply and efficiently. I suggest Point B have a gurney waiting because you’ll arrive bored into insanity.”
-Dan Neil, WSJ auto columnist, reviewing the new Toyota Prius c
I have to admit: at first I was skeptical of R's gifted WSJ subscription, but now I'm kind of addicted to reading this guy's weekly hyperbole. I never realized that my car was supposed to entertain me in addition to propelling me safely to my destinations at 40mph. I get that some cars are snazzier than others, but really. Bored into insanity? Another choice phrase from this article:

“…what a starved, oppressively dull piece of motorized martyrdom it is.”

Oh! And my favorite -

“The c’s powertrain programming so despises sharp spikes in throttle demand that it often simply ignores them. Overwintering bears are easier to rouse.”

Ugh, excuse me. I need to go drive my dumb $20K incredibly sophisticated machine that takes me everywhere I need to go whenever I want. SO BORING.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Consignment Adventures

Less than 5 minutes after arriving at the consignment store. I can’t really blame him. Consignment shopping can be painful if you’re not the type to get super excited about used furniture (I am).

I had to make a deal. I won’t take him on any more consignment adventures, and he’ll take care of all future shopping at Home Depot.

BTW, this shoe cost $150. A used chair in the shape of a shoe. I told R I’ll go back for it when it hits $20. He said he wouldn’t take it for free.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ikea: Not for Introverts

Last week, Roland had to go to Europe for work, so I gladly used up my Southwest Rewards credits to bring my littlest sister Becca here for a visit. One of our first stops: Ikea. Here’s a great recap of our what-did-we-get-ourselves-into adventure that Bex put together:

Sunday, May 20, 2012


So, we still don't know who gave us the tree, although there was an interesting development today. The neighbor we most suspected (because he posts paper signs in his yard warning people to pick up after their pets), strolled by with his dogs this evening and R mentioned that someone had given us the tree. The neighbor seemed confused, and remarked, "Oh, like an anonymous gift? Trees aren't really my thing." Then he walked away…suspiciously! (Roland says it was not a suspicious walk, but rather the cold & distant gait of a semi-stranger who's just been accused of gifting someone a tree).

R took this whole interaction as proof that this neighbor did not give us the tree, while I'm more convinced than ever that he did.
  1. He suggested it was an anonymous gift. Which it was.
  2. He carries around plastic bags & twistie ties (dog owner)
  3. He's got a penchant for paper signs.
The only problem with my theory is that he's not our direct neighbor -- he can't see our front yard from his house. I suppose it's still possible that it's someone else, but I'm not counting this guy out.
In other outdoor news, we got a huge radish yield from our backyard garden this weekend. We chose radishes because they take only 21 days from seed to harvest, but the problem is that 21 days after we planted them, we had a 10lb bag of spicy, bitter radishes. We tried sautéing them with onions and butter, but they just weren't as fun to eat as they were to grow.
IMG_1463 IMG_1464

So, what to do with a bunch of radishes? Feed them to Roland's sister's chickens, of course!

  IMG_1466 IMG_1467 

They seemed skeptical and frightened at first (Roland says chickens are always skeptical and frightened by everything), but eventually they pecked away at the greens. R is confident that if one of them decides that the radishes are safe, the rest will follow suit.

This morning we bought some okra seeds to replace the now-empty radish rows in our garden, which is fine. I never had or saw okra before moving to Texas, but it's tastier than it looks. Still, the one plant that I'm really counting on in that back bed?



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thanks for the tree, jerk.

Last weekend, we woke up late to the sound of a cat meowing frantically outside. Thinking I'd finally have a cat that I could adopt and call my own, I threw open the front door only to find…this:


An oak tree? Did a cat spirit really leave this for us? We looked around but no one (and no cat) was to be found. Okay, so someone left us a tree. What were we supposed to do with it? Roland had just planted a baby oak in our front yard a few weeks prior, and we were kind of looking forward to watching it grow over the next 100 years.


Still, the prospect of replacing it with a tree 4x as big was mighty tempting. And we couldn't very well anger the cat gods by ignoring it. So, Roland uprooted our baby tree and replaced it with our front porch gift (at least, we think it was a gift. If someone put that tree there for safekeeping that was a bad idea). After planting the new tree, Roland went inside to put away his tools. He was gone for less than 5 minutes before heading back out to finish cleaning up. Less than 5 minutes. When he came back outside he was greeted with this:


Someone must have waited for the very second that Roland turned around and then ran up to stake our tree. Not only did they drive the stake in the dirt, but they meticulously secured a twistie-tie around it before they vanished by the time Roland appeared back at the door. There was no one even around. What are the chances that the person who gave this tree to us was walking by holding a stake and twistie-tie at the exact moment Roland went inside after planting? The chances are not good. We were kind of creeped out -- was someone watching us from their window? We don't know any of our neighbors. But, whatever. We diligently watered it every day even though it started to dwindle because our benefactor had pulled it up by its roots (rather than dig it up) before giving it to us.

Flash forward to this afternoon. I get home from work and go outside to check the mail. What do I see?


A note, fastened to our sad little oak tree, chiding us for not watering it (even though we did). This really was a magical tree. Not only could it meow to get our attention, it was now sad at us for what it misinterpreted as neglect. And why not guilt us about the state of our lawn with SEVEN exclamation points while it was at it?

I thought about calling Roland to see if I could go ahead and uproot it in angry rebellion, but decided against it. When he got home he found the note and yelled into the wind, "I did water it! There are no roots!" (We're pretty sure our mystery "benefactor" is tapped into the wind and heard him.)

Thanks for minding our business, neighbor! Here is a tip: if you leave someone a gift on their front porch (like a tree), it is theirs to do with as they please. It does not make you overlord of their yard. Thanks.

Monday, February 27, 2012

5 stickers!

Lest there were any doubts...this pepper is organic.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Turning 27

Last weekend, R's parents made a special meal for my birthday. Chicken & Dumplings and a Queen of Sheba cake. Don't let its modest appearance deceive you. This cake was the richest dessert I've ever eaten. Instead of flour, the recipe called for pulverized almonds. Oh, and it used a full pound of chocolate. Yeah.

We also had reason to celebrate because this week marks three years since Roland and I met. Our first date was the day before my 24th birthday, and our second date was on my birthday itself (I sure am glad he didn't wait to call me).

In a futile effort to work off some of the celebratory calories, Roland decided to take his old skateboard for a whirl after dinner. He was quite the skater in middle school, and he can still do all sorts of ollies and oodles and other fancy tricks.

Never having tried it before, I asked Roland to give me a quick lesson in Skateboarding 101. He tried valiantly, but I just couldn't get the hang of it. He ended up just holding me steady while dragging me along the sidewalk. I'm afraid I won't be headed to the X-Games anytime soon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Don't worry; it's healthy!

I think Target should consider revising this sign to:

Better for you when compared with…
  • A stick of shortening
  • Twinkies filled with Pixy Stix
  • Smoking

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Past Week in Restaurants...

Thursday, January 5, 2012 - Udipi Cafe in Richardson Heights

Roland has been fighting a cold over the past week (which he may or may not have picked up from me), so we decided to try some Indian food to clear out his sinuses. We’d seen Udipi Cafe in the neighborhood and the reviews seemed favorable online, so we went for it.
The good:
  • Vegetarian!
  • Very clean
  • Attentive servers
  • Inexpensive – our appetizer and two main courses came to $19.99 with tax!
The not so good:
  • The Dahi Vada appetizer: the gritty-yet-somehow-also-soggy texture and cold temperature came as such a shock that I actually couldn’t swallow my bite.
Our main dishes were quite good; Roland chose a spicy curry and I got a dosai – a giant lentil pancake with hot potatoes, onions, and spicy chutney inside. Scrumptious!

Sunday, January 8, 2012 – Dream Cafe in Addison
We woke up super late this morning (is 11:30am still morning?) and realized we only had one egg left. So we headed up to Addison to the Dream Cafe, a popular spot known for their “cloud cakes” – light, fluffy pancakes made with ricotta.
The good:
  • We were told there was a 20 minute wait, but got a table after less than 10!
  • Last holdout still serving pumpkin pancakes in January.
  • Much improved coffee
  • Inexpensive – (see “not so good”)
The not so good:
  • Our waitress was fairly quick to take our order; however, after about 20 minutes and watching other people seated after us get their food, we started to get little annoyed. I mean, we didn’t order a 10lb veal roast — just a few pancakes. After 30 minutes, we were in genuinely bad moods. At 35 minutes, our waitress came running up to us apologizing that she had actually forgotten to put in our order. She said they’d discount our meal, and that the cooks would “make it on the fly.” And by “on the fly,” she meant “We’ll put your order in at the end of the queue.” Our pancakes were good, but not 45-minute-wait amazingly good. At least they cut our bill in half, so we only paid $13 for two plates of pancakes and coffee.