Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Manna Manna Manna

Okay, two things.

One, Cooking Issues (written by two tech-savvy Culinary Institute of America instructors) is pretty fascinating.

Two, Dave's post on manna is super fascinating. Although pretty expensive, there are still many varieties of manna found/produced in the Middle East. Who knew? Not me. The info in the post is re-tooled from his NY Times article, "Ancient Manna on Modern Menus."

P.S. I almost titled this post "What a manna; what a manna; what a mighty good manna. What mighty mighty good manna." But I didn't. I didn't do that.

Create a MySpace Music Playlist at

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Getting Ready for Bed

image via here

When I was younger, I used to get nervous when I washed my face at night that someone would sneak in and attack me while I was vulnerable, eyes closed and soapy. I also have REALLY horrible vision, so even if I did get my eyes open, I couldn't see much. I used to kinda position my bent over body away from the door to help protect myself from these imaginary sneak attacks.

Alright, so I don't really worry about this anymore... but it was a long time fear.

Last night, the contacts were out, and I was scrubbing and rinsing off my makeup when something hit me right in the face. Hard. It sorts of slapped the left side of my face and ricocheted off. It hurt... but more than that it was the total surprise of getting slapped in the face in my vulnerable moment.

I was not happy.

And there could only be one culprit.

"What was that?! Was that Lu's ball?!"

"Sorry. Yes."

"Why did you do that?! That's mean!"

"I didn't mean to do it."

"What were you doing?"

...Well, what he was doing was kicking the ball around, drunk on the World Cup. He is quite the soccer star. He was delivering a neat and very accurate pass to my feet. Apparently.

Not pleased. Not pleased for a long time.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Walmart Wackiness

I try to avoid Walmart AT ALL COSTS.

I cannot emphasize this enough, but sometimes, you know, it's just necessary. Every time I go to the Walmart closest to our house (which is not close at all which is one of many reasons I hate going), I see the strangest things. The patrons and employees are straight up crazy...

like the time I saw the SKINNY, 50-60 year old woman in the daisy dukes so short you could see a peek of her cheek;

or the time the toddler got her head stuck in between the bars of one of the Subway chairs up front by the registers and was SCREAMING bloody murder and no one could figure out how to get her removed;

or the time I saw a man shopping in a black cape;

or when the very feminine, young man hovered around me singing to himself very loudly and obviously wanting to be applauded for his mediocre American Idol voice.

So you get the picture. This particular Walmart (all Walmarts?) seems to be a magnet for weird folk.

I went to Walmart yesterday. I needed some odds and ends. When I was checking out, the woman at the register says, "You must be havin a party," and picks up my green cocktail napkins and kinda shakes them. "This is what gave it away." I respond in the affirmative.

Then she transitions and says, "My boyfriend and I want to have a country wedding because we country people, but the only problem is we having it in February."

Now, here was my dilemma: Is this an issue because they wanted to have in outside in the midst of the beloved country? Should I suggest having it at an indoor venue but still somewhere out in the country? Should I recommend specific venues? Am I overstepping my bounds by giving a stranger advice? But she presented the problem to me, so maybe she wants advice.

Instead, I said, "Oh. Well, that will be romantic." You know since it's in February and all.

She continues, "My manager told me that my husband is just going to forget our anniversary." Presumably because it's close to Valentine's Day? I have no idea.

"But I told him that I'd be the one to forget it because grandmother's birthday is the same day we havin it. February 26th." I said, "Oh," and smiled. Should I say I'm sorry? I just don't know. I mean she chose the date, right?

Around this point, I had swiped my card, and she handed me my receipt, and I think I told her congratulations, but it's kinda a blur.

So I'm walking out, past the infamous Subway by the entrance of the store, and I look over, and there is a plainclothes Santa Clause sitting on one of the tall stools just watching people come in and out of the doors. Not eating, just watching. What is going on? Is he a pedophile? A Santa disguise is the most pernicious lure I can think of. Now, I say Santa Clause, but honestly his beard was actually a little longer than I picture Santa's. Think more ZZ Top. Oh, and he had on a bonafide top hat, too.

Thank you. Come again.

Trolling Craigslist

Brass Shelves $60

Unfinished Pine Armoir $300

Short Dresser $100

Black Dresser and Mirror $100

Dark-Stained Pine Armoir $165

3 Best (Plus One Extra... So, Really, 4 Best)

1. This lantern and pom pom cluster from Apartment Therapy

2. This fabric from Plover Organic via Neo-Trad

2. Peas in a pod from La Tartine Gourmande

3. This little, interspecies friendship from Our Neck of the Wood

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Girl

Kelly Wearstler is slick. All of a sudden I want to gild things. Image found via Coco + Kelley.

Sad News

I heard they're going to tear down the Ridglea Theater on Camp Bowie in order to build a Bank of America.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

3 Best

1.Etsy shop Pecan Pie Puppies selling pretty collars via Neo-Traditionalist

2. Chic cupcake wrappers from Bake It Pretty via Elements of Style

3. A little Liz Lemon

Monday, June 21, 2010

3 Best Things This Morning... and This Weekend

1. Please go to this site to see the full linea de tiempo for the family, and make sure you click on the picture for Nicolas 2009. (found via Unruly Things via Hither and Thither)

2. I visited Sweet Sammies in the W7 area on Saturday night, and despite how full I was after dinner at Patrizio's, that ice cream sandwich was a revelation. I chose oatmeal toffee cookies and buttered pecan Blue Bell for mine.

Plus, I waved at and received a reciprocal wave from Casey Thompson through the Brownstone kitchen observation window. (image from Eat This Fort Worth)

3. My dad

He loves animals, the outdoors, his grandson, and laughing. He is a man's man--hunting, fishing, football coaching, building and fixing--but he is creative and artistic and tenderhearted, too. My sister and I danced growing up, and Dad would sometimes be caught crying during our performances. He has a very good sense of direction, not just geographically but the way he points his life toward loving the people around him.

He has a strong sense of right and wrong and justice and honor. He always seemed to find teachable moments when we were growing up. He expected me to work hard and not to quit. Oh, track and the 800m, how much did I hate you?

He is friendly and accepting and... I think jovial is a good word for him. He taught and coached all his adult life, and I remember in high school sighing as the boys preferred talking sports with him to talking much of anything with me.

He knows all sorts of random information. Hub and I were debating where the term "cop" originated, and Carter said I bet your dad knows. We called him, and of course, he did. (from the copper badges policeman used to wear)

He is strong but flexible. I think he enjoyed allowing me freedom to be what I wanted to be, and I think even liked debating over differences in opinion... like when I argued for vegetarianism my junior year in high school or wrote the essay for him and mom on why I should be allowed to spend the weekend in College Station visiting my boyfriend. After initial thumbs down for both, I ended up getting to do both.

But if I had to pinpoint one thing he taught me that I think has had the most lasting impact, it might be the way he loves Mom. He would say to us as we helped Mom make dinner, "Isn't she the prettiest woman you've ever seen?" And she was! But we would sort of roll our eyes and be grossed out. Dad always said without excuses that he loved us, but he loved mom most. And this always just seemed natural to me. I mean, he's known her longer. When we both graduated and moved out, she was still there. But I also think that placing her as primary importance in our family taught us what it is to really respect and love a woman and that she was worth it, and that created a legacy of what to look for in our own husbands. His loyalty and devotion to her defined what I looked for in the way my husband would love me one day. And though Carter and Dad are different in many ways, in this particular way, they are the same.

Happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Another Sleeping Porch

So I saw this other sleeping porch by Phoebe Howard and thought it might be even better than the one I shared a few days ago...

Then I started looking at the rest of Mrs. Howard's portfolio, and I thought it was all pretty amazing.


I love this felted wool mobile by Puka Puka so much.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Diane Rehm just interviewed Don Miller this morning, discussing his book Father Fiction, which examines the damage of growing up fatherless and the positive potential of male mentors to step into that gap. I think it sounds pretty fascinating.

I would say my experience teaching in public school certainly speaks to and supports these ideas of the importance of fatherhood. When I was teaching, I would look around at the angry disrespect for authority from the boys, the desperate attention seeking from the girls, at the self-destructive behaviors, at the difficulty in moving toward a plan for a successful adult life, and I traced most of these problems back to a lack of a strong, consistent, and positive male influence in these teenagers' lives.

On his blog, Miller adds, "After writing Father Fiction, I realized the issue needed more than a book and so I started an organization called The Mentoring Project which partners young men growing up without dads with positive male role models. Our goal is to see thousands of kids enter into relationships with somebody who would be let down if they screwed up, and ecstatic when they succeed." which, I think, is pretty cool.

3 Best Things This Morning

1. This this baby portrait from here

2. Father's Day idea from Oh Happy Day!

3. An exciting playlist

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Remember These!

Homesick Texan has a recipe for seasoned oyster crackers that I, too, remember eating when I was younger, and they are indeed incomprehensibly, embarrassingly addictive. I think it was a recipe that was passed around our neighborhood and church because I remember my mom citing someone down the street (who had some wild kids that I babysat once or twice but looking back I was only about two years older than the oldest) as the benefactor. For some reason, Mom stored ours in the freezer... maybe she made such a huge batch that they had to be put away, but regardless, I certainly remember sneaking into the big freezer to snatch a handful whenever a craving materialized. "Bay-eth! You better get out of that freezer right now! I'm saving those for the Fourth of July at the lake! Now get back in here and do those dishes!" I will confess those little crackers are just as good cold and frozen... maybe seasoned even further with the illicit allure.

I even tried to make something similar for our New Year's party this year, but I couldn't find this recipe, which is what I really wanted. The alternative recipe disappointed and only resulted in me wanting these even more. Here's Homesick Texan's recipe:

1 pkg. 12-14 oz. oyster crackers
1/2 cup of canola oil
1/2 tsp fresh dill weed
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1 pkg. ranch dressing, original (do not use low fat!)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Mix oil with herbs and spices
Put crackers in a 9 x 13 inch pan
Pour oil and herb mixture over crackers, gently stir
Cook in oven for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally

3 Best Things This Morning

Pop-bar: NYC handcrafted gelato on a stick dipped in your choice of toppings via Hither & Thither

Sprinkles!! from Layer Cake Shop via Abbey Goes Design Scouting

Moonstone ring from Conroy & Wilcox via Unruly Things

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Brownstone Review

Eat This Fort Worth posted a review of the Brownstone opening this weekend. The place was PACKED and HOT... not in a sexy way, in a the-air-conditioner-was-broken kind of way.

A friend alerted me that the Eat This Fort Worth review included a picture with Carter in the background (over the bald guy's shoulder). The best part of this photo to me, however, is the spike-haired guy front and center who appears to be creepily checking out the waitress. That's sweet.

It was a fun night with friends, but I wasn't bowled over by Brownstone. I will go back for an actual meal at some point--hopefully after they get a few of the kinks worked out.

3 Best Things This Morning

1. A recipe for fennel ice cream from Orangette

2. This poem by Wendell Berry and shared by Surprised by Joy.

For Gurney Norman, quoting him

The woods is shining this morning,
Red, gold and green, the leaves
lie on the ground, or fall
or hang full of light in the air still.
Perfect in its rise and in its fall, it takes
the place it has been coming to forever.
It has not hastened here, or lagged.
See how surely it has sought itself,
its roots passing lordly through the earth.
See how without confusion it is
all that it is, and how flawless
its grace is. Running or walking, the way
is the same. Be still. Be still.
“He moves your bones, and the way is clear.”

3. This Sophia Coppola trailer shared by the Neo-Traditionalist


Don't you want to be ten years old (or thrity-one) and sleeping here with your friends?

From Georgia Carlee of GCI Design via House of Turquoise

We have a Dallasite friend staying with us tomorrow night because of a multi-day training at one of the hospitals here in town. I don't have a sleeping porch to offer, but I do have a little Boston Terrier for her to snuggle with. She loves guests and is happy to oblige.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Price You Pay

I got these Nine West wedges last Saturday because I wanted some nude-colored sandals to wear with dresses this summer. They are a little, um, "fiercer" than my normal footwear. I wore them to a wedding Saturday night. With amazing foresight, I reached for the band-aids so that they wouldn't do any damage, but sadly, it was our last band-aid, so my left heel got none.

The wedges made me very, very tall. I danced and danced until very late. You would not believe the amount of dancing I did in my new wedges. I felt like I was 30 years old again. As a result of my good time, I still have the resulting painful blister. It's not even close to healed. It's my unhealed heel.

Carter laughs at me when I try to use Neosporin. He told me he thinks I'm obsessed with Neosporin. I'm not. I just don't like open wounds. That's not crazy. That's normal.

Moral: 1) Don't run out of band-aids; and/or 2) buy minimally fierce dancin shoes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

If I could wave a magic wand...

I would look a little like this,

a little like this,

and a little like this.

The Sartorialist again