Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter everyone!  May your chocolate bunnies be plentiful and your Easter eggs not stinky.

Around here in east Texas, things are already blooming beautifully (thus the mad rush on allergy meds at the grocery store). 

This part of Texas is known for our state flower, the bluebonnet.  They're beautiful, and this past weekend, Noel and I took a scenic drive up to Brenham to see them.

We were not disappointed!

They grown in massive patches, often on the sides of the road.  So everyone pulls over and joyfully plops their unsuspecting (and soft, fleshy) children in the middle of the flowers, unaware that someone else enjoys bluebonnet patches.


So, I didn't see any snakes.  Noel pulled over on the side of the road while I jumped out to snap these quick pictures.  Our conversation went like this:

Noel:  Be careful.  Don't go into them.

Kelli:  I won't!  I just...want...(tiptoeing toward flowers) get a better angle.

Noel:  Kelli, seriously.  Don't get in them.

Kelli:  I'm not!  I'm just strategically squatting NEAR them.

Noel:  If you get bitten by a snake on the butt...

Kelli:  I'm not going to get bitten!  I'm not going to get close enough to any snakes!

Noel:  Remember the moose?

Kelli:  Ok, fine.  I'm getting in the car.

(Reference to moose - once on a trip to New England I saw a moose, and instead of staying safely in the car like every other tourist taking pictures of said moose, I got out and started stalking the moose.  Which promptly walked away.  Because I have no self-restraint when it comes to animals).

I did get some nice pictures though, moose and snake be damned.

Because it was so pretty out Saturday, Noel and I also went for a photo session at the lake near our house.  I'm working on a new project that will be announced soon, and needed some headshots.

Noel is now considering going pro. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Arugula Ready for Spring?

Let me begin by saying that I understand that many of you are stuck in miserable weather right now.  We are not far above freezing tonight - the low is supposed to be 37!  BRRRRRRR!!!

Anyway, despite the Colder Than A Welldigger's Butt weather right now,

Happy Spring!

Our garden is coming up surprisingly well, considering our yard is basically either quicksand or super-hard clay.  But below is a pic!!  I tried to type in labels on everything, but it's probably hard to see.
We're trying to grow blackberries.  I also have a small raspberry bush (it's basically a stick with 9 leaves right now).  Being from the mountains originally, we got spoiled on wild blackberries, raspberries & blueberries growing up.  They grow wild at the edges of forests there, and you can usually find them at cemeteries, right by the trees.  I don't know why people think this is creepy.  Blackberries are blackberries, right?  Even if they're slightly morbid.  They don't taste particularly emo and depressed. 
So in case you can't see, here are the labels of the garden rows from left to right:
  1. Okra
  2. Cucumbers
  3. Sugar Snap Peas
  4. Tomatoes
  5. Radishes & Salad Mix (same row)
  6. Squash
At the left back, by the fence, are the blackberries.  There are more tomatoes in the raised bed at the rear right.  And those are some tough tomatoes - they're from last year, so they survived below freezing temps and are still producing! 
Since we can start our gardens so early here (mid February this year), we're already harvesting.  Here's our first radish!

It looks perfect, and was so juicy!  I ate it with veggie dip.

Noel had our first actual salad of the year, made out of the mesclun mix seeds that Mom sent (it has spinach, arugula, radicchio, etc.) and has a radish cut up on top.  He was surprised at how strong the flavors of the salad mix are.  I guess once you're used to the tired veggies we normally buy at the grocery stores, anything this fresh is bound to taste more...robust.  He thought it was very tasty!  And the salad is still producing, so we'll get lots more.

So that's our garden update. 

In other news, we purged through some of our old paperwork this weekend. there any reason why we were saving tax forms from (wait for it) 1998!?  Also, we found approximately 438 different appliance manuals.  Going through them, we realized we only had 2 of the actual appliances still in our possession, and one of the was an iron, which I'm pretty sure I know how to work already.  So.  We had a bonfire. 

Does anyone else have trouble managing the crazy amount of papers that everybody acquires nowadays?  We keep trying out one filing system after another.  And none of them actually seem to work.  Well, guess we'll keep trying.  Or just keep purging owner's manuals every 9 years.  :-P

Although even though going through paperwork isn't the most exciting thing in the world, we did get lots of help.  Of the feline variety.  They are so helpful when it comes to searching the bottom of drawers to find old paperclips, and for keeping the Shred Pile warm by wallowing on it.

I call this photo:  Sunny Samson.

It's surprisingly difficult to photograph any of these cats - as soon as I pull out the camera, they decide they must immediately clean their rear parts.  A Kodak Moment, indeed.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chevys & Beauty Queens!

This past week was an eventful one!  Besides all the regular stuff that we have going on (work, gardening, scooping cat boxes) there were several other fun happenings going on around town.  Noel and I are trying to get out more (instead of being homebodies on weekends and sitting around watching cheesy Syfy movies - this week's choices were about ice tornadoes and some kind of prehistoric glacier dinosaur - nice).

On Thursday, I got to volunteer at the Ms. Pasadena Senior Pageant again - my company sponsors it.  It's always so much fun!  I help out as a dresser and a seamstress if there are any sewing emergencies.  The group of ladies this year had fewer sewing emergencies, but I did get to cut the bangs on one's talent costume wig!  They were a really fun and sweet group.

Here are the contestants after the winner was crowned:

The lady on the left made her outfit - it had lots of embroidery & beading on it, and it took 6 months to make.  Beautiful!
This year I was also more prepared - last year I had my big sewing box and had to lug it around from dressing room to dressing room.  This year, I decided to wear a pin cushion on my wrist, scissors around my neck, and a bag on my belt with safety pins & thread in it.  Much easier to manage!
Also, can I take a second to say how much I love Weight Watchers?  I've lost over 47 lbs already.  Go Team!
(Also, self portraits like this are not as easy as they seem - I couldn't figure out where to look!)
So that was Thursday night.  On Saturday, we went to the Chevy & Corvette Expo in Houston, and while Noel and I neither one are huge Corvette fans, we did see some cars we loved.
This was Noel's favorite:

And this one was mine:

It was amusing that they had so many new cars there, but we both favored the stylish old ones.  They just don't make cars with that much flair anymore.  Sigh...

Today was really rainy this morning, but it cleared out a bit in the afternoon, so we went for a walk at the park near our house.  For those of you stuck in snowy misery, know that there is hope.  Spring is starting to pop out!

It won't be long now til the mosquitoes appear!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Time "March"es On! (Ha-cha-cha-cha!)

Happy March!

Author's Note: Please do not be angry with me, People Up North, for the following post about atmospheric warmth and no snow.

March is one of my favorite months - so much potential in March!  Spring officially begins, and life starts to bloom again!

In fact, Noel and I went for a nice walk today around the lake near our house and the trees are already greening and budding out. 

And even though I suffer with allergies (I am allergic to most of Texas), it's still such a wonderful sight to see the bright little bursts of green that are dotting against the sky now.  As I've mentioned before, Houston has a surprisingly large number of trees.  We live near a suburb called The Woodlands (for a good, green reason.  Someone thought ahead and are keeping a huge percentage of it tree-covered).  Noel and I went there several weeks ago to chow down on some delish bangers & mash at the Baker Street Pub.  The area there is so pretty - there's a little creek with walkways on either side, and it's illuminated with lots of tiny lights (and some not so tiny ones!)

So this past weekend we saw some different lights - headlights(You see how I did that awesome segue to the next photos)?
We went to a classic car show and saw some weird and gorgeous cars.  Check out the front end of this beauty!
How did taxi drivers back in the day transport their customers' luggage?  Simple - they put it all in a cutout area in the car itself!  (Seems like you'd lose a lot of luggage this way, but hey!  Kind makes sense.  Also, Mom - does that blue Samsonite luggage look familiar?)
Ok, this next car was a bit mindblowing.  They had apparently painted the car using lace fabric as a stencil on the bumper, hood, around the headlights, all over it!  How neat is this!?  (Don't mind my finger - that artistic choice.)
It's like your car is wearing a little black dress - or stockings!  Oh la la!
So that's been a quick look at some of our recent escapades.  We've also been working in the garden, and I'd take pictures but so far there's not a ton to look at.  Things are just now coming up - as soon as we can start to see stuff, we'll post pictures.  
It got really cold last night though - down to the mid 30s!  We had to cover the baby tomatoes so they'd survive the night.  Noel had pulled out his thick winter coat to go out and work, and Samson decided to help.
Don't mind the demon eyes.  That's his natural look.  :)
I took the opportunity of slightly cold weather to pull out some knitting.  This is the hard thing about knitting in a hot climate - there are only so many hats and arm warmers a person can use.  I'm now debating what I can make for myself that won't involve sweating 10 months out of the year.  Cotton grocery bags?  Cat toys?  (Even though everything I make for them is ignored in favor of a piece of wadded up paper or a twist tie?)  Hammock?  Mosquito Nets?