Wedding Photos

Wedding Photos

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

The season has been a busy one.  Spending time with friends, shopping and arranging things at work to be able to take time off has taken up all my time to blog.

I did not want to let the holiday pass without wishing you all a wonderful Christmas. May the time you spend with family and loved  ones be a treasured memory.

If you have an extra minute check out my honey's page for some holiday fun..

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Finders keepers

I have mentioned that I am the main one to do the wash in our home, but it isn't my chore alone!  One of our first agreements when the honey and I moved in together about the laundry was that he was NEVER to do my laundry unless he was willing to dish out money to replace anything he ruined.  My honey is not the type to stop and thoroughly read labels on how something should be washed.  I however have always taken special care of my clothes and for that very same reason I have items that are years old and are still in great shape..

Money laundering
The second agreement we made about laundry came after my honey requested that I always check pockets before throwing things in the washer.  Ahemmm..  I don't know if it's a  woman thing or not, but I usually do that before my clothes make it in to the dirty laundry hamper.  Instead, in order to ensure not to be responsible for what got missed and accidentally wash something important I suggested we agreed that who ever did the laundry would get to keep any cash that was found in the wash. That kind of encouraged my honey to check his own pockets!

The only times I do check his pockets is on items taken to the cleaners.  It doesn't happen often that our washer yields cash in the laundry, but here is today's jackpot!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kitchen calling

Cooler weather calls me to the kitchen.    Between the pumpkin cheesecake, the pumpkin muffin mishap (unbelievably I forgot to add milk to the batter) and the banana muffin comeback; I have been cooking up a storm, starting with the Thanksgiving holiday. We cooked the traditional turkey and our beef stuffing.  Ok, ok.. "dressing" not stuffing.  Each year I get a lesson from my father-in-law about not calling it stuffing if it isn't actually cooked IN THE BIRD!

My honey doesn't care as long as I make it.  He is a true carnivore so the 4-meat (beef, bacon, Vienna sausage & ham) ensemble is something he salivates for all year long and when it finally comes is reluctant to let go of (in form of guests taking left overs home).

Each year I get one step closer to writing down the recipe, which I've had every intention of giving to my siblings. I learned it by helping mom & grandma in the kitchen and mostly I "eyeball" it just like they do.

Beef "stuffing"
It's hard to stop and write down a recipe which you only cook once or twice a year. Especially when one is cooking and trying not to kill the other people sharing the stove.  This year I had a little "snap" and declared ONLY TWO PEOPLE AT THE STOVE!!

 It happened when we (me included) kept turning up and down the wrong burners while cooking the Thanksgiving meal: both my in-laws (insisting they help with the cooking), the honey and I reaching to control the burners.

At one point all four had our arms extended reaching for a knob to turn.  I had to send a couple of them away from the stove afraid we would burn part of our feast.  Of course my honey has been enjoying the fruits of my labor no matter the outcome.  I was just telling my mother-in-law about her son.  Any food I put in front of him he will eat it!  As long as he is fed, he is happy!  There has only been one dish I've cooked that he hasn't liked.  He mentioned he didn't care too much for it, and of course at the time still being a new couple it absolutely hurt my feelings.  Now neither one can remember exactly what it was that he didn't like, might have been a "new" recipe" but he has never complained again. 

Anyways, the temperature is dropping and I am already in the mood for stew.  I found a recipe a few years back when I went hunting on the FoodNetwork website for stews that has become my "go to recipe" for winter comfort food. I've modified it a bit to our liking (add mushrooms, reduce wine & onion), but I recomend it.  Just a few more degrees in temperature drop please, I am ready to cook!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"Driving Ms Daisy" to madness!!

Like most husbands, my honey usually takes charge behind the wheel driving us around. Yesterday we spent too much time trapped in a car together.  Early in the morning we left town towards San Antonio (we live 30 miles north of the city) so I could participate in the Dirty Girl run.  It was a 50 minute drive of which he decided to take "the scenic route" veering off thru his old neighborhood (pre-marriage) that caused me to stress. Not quite the best idea when I had a set time to meet my team. We bickered a bit; him reassuring/mocking me we had plenty of time but then we encountered 30 more minutes stuck in the event traffic  In his defense, neither one of us had attended before so we had no clue of the amount of people (participants and spectators) heading there.

Team of co-workers & spouses 12-01-2012
After the event we were stuck in line trying to get out of the parking lot for AN HOUR AND A HALF, during which there was plenty of huffing, puffing, and storming out of the car to walk to the front of the line and see what was going on. I could have easily stood in line for what had looked like a 40 minute wait to the showers instead of opting to just change clothing and head home. I'll let you guess which of us did the storming though it was not the one with mud in places that had never seen mud before. I had my own little breakdown, mainly to stop all the comotion inside the car and remind my honey there was someone with him who was even more uncomfortable sitting in traffic. There were a few other people who I thought were going to get in to fist fights with the poor guys directing traffic, but I can only feel bad for the folks working the event not the organizers.

Anyways, there was our trip back home (six hours after we left) only to "immediately" (as quickly as I could scrape off all the dried up mud) turn around again to drive in to San Antonio for a dinner party and guess what? Yep,  more traffic.  How we survived all the driving is beyond me, but the benefit run and later a great time with friends Saturday outweigh the hours trapped in a car. 

It always happens.  We go for a couple of weeks being hermits enjoying time at home, and then there are weekends when we are so busy we pretty much just come home to sleep.  Luckily we balance each other pretty well and manage to hang in there together to make the best of bad situations and still enjoy ourselves.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pop tarts..

Now in the name eating healthier I have vetoed (ok, negotiated against - I have no actual veto powers) most of the snacks that come in to the house. I've mentioned that I have little self-control so if junk food isn't in the premises, then I am not tempted.  Of course I am the "bad guy"when we are doing the shopping.  My husband, like a little kid, tries to slide in to the basket too many snacks when I am not looking, and I have to ditch them before we make it to the check-out.

Pop tarts are one of the snacks that my husband loves that don't make it in to the house too often, but because we have been on a good streak lately and he has been particularly good (didn't eat nearly half the holloween candy he did the year before or hasn't come home with multiple or extra large bags of chips) I thought I would suprise him. 

We are lucky to have little things to make us happy; and I like to make my honey happy.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Time off - "staycation"

We have been working thru the year without much time off.  The honey took a few days to go camping with my father-in-law last month and (at the last minute) I was able to manage taking off most of this Thanksgiving holiday week. It has turned out that the few days we managed to take off have been sporadic and ended being "separate mini-vacations". What ever works I say; just recharge.

 Last night I stayed up finishing reading the last sci-fi novel my honey suggested for me and though I probably bothered him with my bedside lamp on thru the early hours of the morning I am grateful he let me indulge.  It is much nicer to read in bed next to my personal heater (the honey) keeping my usually cold feet warm.

It has been half a day so far of my "staycation", but I've already enjoyed myself more than I have these past couple of weekends.  Here is another pleasure I've indulged on; a guilty pleasure.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Holiday cleaning...

We are hosting Thanksgiving again this year.  I am excited about it. It is my favorite holiday. I like the cooking, though I hate the cleaning prior to hosting (anything). 

This weekend we had only one major task for ourselves: to steam clean the carpets.  We split the work.  The honey picked up and returned the rental, vacuumed, and moved the necessary furniture.  I ran the machine myself in order to not drive either one of us crazy.  Mainly by not fussing at my honey over not doing it right.  I am a pain about such things and rather do it myself instead of inflicting pain. 

It seems to work for us.  Get out of the way babe.  I'll call you when I Need you. So today I sit in my living room feeling very proud.  We tackled the carpets and the bathrooms ahead of our usual frantic leave it to the last minute "schedule". 

I know my in-laws could care less about how the house looks, but I was raised the old fashioned way.  Present a tidy house for company, especially for the parents!  This will be our 4th Thanksgiving in a row that we host and I am feeling pretty relaxed about it.  Especially because somehow I managed to schedule vacation and am working only one day this week. 

Things seem to be working out perfect!  I even found a great table cloth online to fit our extra large dinning table and it arrived a week ahead of schedule.  After the last three stressful months at work taking time off for the holiday, despite taking on cooking the extra large meal, will be extremely relaxing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Special skills..

How do people acquire special skills that are actually useful in life for example; how to pick a lock?

As I sat out side my house this morning waiting to be rescued a million thoughts crossed my mind.  Funny thing is that the subject has come up often over the last year, the last time after watching yet again the movie "The Italian Job". 

I was in a hurry this morning (like always) running "on time" for a change but wanting to make sure to stay on schedule when I walked in to the kitchen and did a quick scan.  I spotted my keys hanging from a hook and my travel coffee mug right across them on the counter.  I reached for both paying closer attention to my coffee, it being hot!  I never thought I would grab the wrong key ring hanging off the wall.  Of course one could have easily bet that if I was going to grab the wrong keys it would be the least useful keys. 

There are at least two key rings we own with keys to who knows where that I just can't part with.  In them are probably copies of my mother's home which she's re keyed at least twice in the past years, a copy to my best friend's home which I stopped using after she remarried 10 years ago (again she is divorced may be I'll acquire another key), a copy to the karate studio I used to work out in  which has been closed for 5 years (being close friends with the head instructor/owner and living down the block from it earned me the emergency key), a copy to my old CLUB (remember those steering wheel bars?), and at least another half dozen keys that belong to my husband but does not remember either what they are for.

I opened the front door automatically locking the bottom lock before I pulled the door shut behind me.  When I turned around to lock the top lock I realized I was holding a strange set of keys! "Ahh man!!!" . Yep, that was my fortune this morning.

Anyways, I waited for about an hour and made myself useful after eating my breakfast which I usually eat on my commute.  I brought in the trash can after the garbage truck made it's pickups on our block.  I pulled weeds from the flower beds (I really need to spend some time gardening) and exchanged texts with my honey which could not get away from work to rescue me (a 45 minute drive one way). 

Perhaps this incident will push me in to looking in to learning those "special skills" I've always wanted to learn how to hot wire a car & knife throwing.  What else would be handy??  I should definitely consult my brother.  Perhaps he can help with the picking a lock and hot wiring (he's a cop), or may be my stand up comic/locksmith/handyman/shady "acquaintance".  If HE didn't live in San Antonio (45 miles away) I would have definitely called him for help.

I think my first priority should be to make an extra copy of my house key and acquire one of those "realtor" lock/safe for the next emergency.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Not to preach but, GO VOTE

Today is election day and I am sure you are sick and tired of all the advertising from the different candidates (presidential and other), bashing each other, falsely accusing, pretending they've never done wrong themselves or like my grandma would say "no tienen cola que le pisen". (Translates: "Pretending -They have no tail to be stepped on")

I know it can be disappointing, but the very least one can do is vote for the lesser of two evils. One unattainable wish I have is that a special group of people would just fall off the end of the earth! That group being the ones who love to bitch and moan about all that is wrong but never get off their collective asses and exercise their right to vote! 

If you want to comment positively or negatively after tonight's election results please take the time to cast your vote!  Polls close at 7 p.m.

So after tonight we can all go back to feuding over who is the better football/basketball/pick a sport team and act civilized! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Celebrating Dia de los Muertos

The home life has been a bit hectic these past few weeks, and my intentions of writing a proper blog post for this holiday vanished before my eyes.  In a lame attempt to make up for my lack of time I offer a view of last year's post and a great site I found (a little late) answering a few questions on the history of Sugar Skulls and how to make them.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

And for my next trick...

This year we have been so busy that the holiday creaped up on us before we knew it.  The honey was good enough to remember to buy candy earlier in the week and we both solemnly promised not to break in to any of the candy bags before Halloween night.  That means I needed to rush home from work before nightfall or there just may not be any candy left to give out to trick-o-treaters. 

We had no costume parties to go to this year so we have no costumes for tonight.  I did order something online for my honey, but it won't arrive on time.  I have been checking the tracking number hoping I would get lucky, but no such luck.... 

Last night there was one very strange thing.. I turned in to "Susie Homemaker" and baked some goodies to take to work this morning.  I have mentioned that I don't really bake and my arsenal of baking recipes is limited to only two items: Pumpkin Cheesecake and Rum Raisin Oatmeal Cookies. 

The cheesecake I baked earlier in the month for a co-worker's birthday and the cookies are traditionally reserved for Christmas parties, so I jumped on the FoodNetwork website and found a relatively easy recipe for Pumpkin Muffins, and "tah-dah". 

I don't know if my urge to bake came from a poltergeist or from a secret desire for praise for what little baking skills I possess.  Regardless we planned to kick back and enjoy the holiday by giving out candy sitting on our driveway and watching the parade of costumes followed by some old-school horror flicks like Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street, or what ever we can stream on Netflix...

I wonder what are some other favorite horror flicks that entertain you still??  Here is hoping this night for ghosts and goblins brigs you smiles as well as fright!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Father may I...

One of the things it took me the longest to get used to in my marriage; actually long before we were married (when we moved in together), was making plans that did not involve my honey.

You know, when your friends (single or married) want to get together?  When your co-workers want to go for drinks after work? When someone mentions concert, road trip or vacation? Before my honey I had a perfect statement that I spewed with pride.  "No kids, no pets, no attachments!"  Meaning, I didn't have to run and pick up a child at day care.  I didn't have a pet to run home and take for a walk or feed.   I didn't have to consult anyone/"attachment" about my outings, how late I stayed out, or justify dishing out money on expensive tickets, shoes, or haircuts!

Yeah, you know what I mean..  I could make a decision on the spot!  The only person I had to talk it over with was MYSELF: and hey, there was no guilt, no consulting, no explaining, no negotiating! 

At first I didn't know how to approach the subject.  I didn't want to ask permission!!  That is the honest truth.  After so many years governing myself I was afraid to loose my free will.  It was awkward, and I didn't want to feel like I was asking my parent "can I go out to play?"

Luckily my honey is a great husband, and I don't run around behaving like I am still single.  Girls night for ME its private time with my friends where we can gab without having husbands or kids listening. Usually it's dinner and drinks at someones home.  Or it may be going to watch an estrogen packed flick that I would never torture my husband to take me.  In all honesty, I haven't the slightest problem catching a movie by myself so I don't need him to take me anyways.

Because we both commute to work in opposite directions most often than not when we gather with coworkers for dinner or drinks we fly solo.  We make the effort to make an appearance every so often, but dealing with twice our daily 45 to 60 minute commute to accompany the other is something we both realize is a sacrifice. (Usually involves getting out of work early)

I am also lucky that neither one of us likes to feel "attached at the hip".  There are activities each enjoys that aren't the least bit interesting to the other; and neither keeps the other from enjoying them. Not that each lives a separate life.  We "GO OUT" together most of the time, but there is no pressure about it being an obligation though we each make it a point to be each others reliable "date".

I know women who can never hang out with their friends unless they drag along all their kids.  They won't exactly say that their husbands insist on it, but hey.. If they can't even make an appointment to have their hair done without an entourage (even when their husbands are sitting at home) then you tell me!

Well, I still have no kids and no pets, but I do have a husband! I do not ask him for permission but I do check in with him (as he does with me) if there would be any reason why I couldn't accept an invitation; for example if' I've forgotten we've made plans (I usually need to consult our kitchen calendar because I tend to forget what WE are doing) or just in case he isn't feeling well and would need some nursing or minor attention.

On the weekends I may drive in to "town" (San Antonio or Austin) to spend the afternoon with girlfriends or he may to run a hash or catch a game and both will return wanting to share what we were up to. There are no guilt trips coming from the other, well.. not really a guilt trip.  My honey likes to pretend he's been sad and lonely while I've been away.  Yeah, right!  When I am not around he isn't interrupted by me to remind him we have chores to do so he is happy to get lost blogging or working on his hobbies.  I kind of like being away some times.  It makes me appreciate the life we have together.

Corny as it may sound, I think each gets a thrill from running home and find the other there waiting and happy to be reunited.   Not wanting to participate in an activity doesn't mean one does not appreciate the pleasure the other gets to experience.

I believe people set the tone to how a marriage will be.  If one partner is possessive and controlling there is little chance things will change after marriage.  I am glad I found the right partner.  There is an expression I have always loved: "You can build a fence around me, but do not shut the gate!"  That is how it feels for me.  I feel safety and protection in my marriage without feeling confined! 

I know from past entries I've shown that fear of being controlled or tied down is one of my "dysfunctions", and that might have been one reason for marring so late in life. but I like to believe that finding the perfect man FOR ME (not perfect) was the real reason.

Friday, October 26, 2012


I rarely need to travel for work, but this month I will be assisting with the physical inventory during our yearly audit.  I am not looking forward to it.  The driving down to the border, extra long work week, eating out for every meal.  Ok, may be if I stay away from fast food that last one won't be too bad and my stomach won't rebel against me.

The thing that I dislike the most is leaving my honey home alone and unsupervised for so many days.  Not that I fear the house will catch on fire (knock on wood), or that I will actually come home to find the Lama my husband keeps asking for as a pet..  (yeah, he makes some interesting requests) What I fear is that there will be no one around to talk sense in to my honey and that he just might consume the colossal burger (about the size of your head) that he keeps eyeballing at TJ's Burger  

No, I do not pretend to be the voice of reason.  My honey and I usually take turns talking each other in and out of things.  Like, "we really need to do some house work around here" (usually my voice), "the flower beds need to be weeded desperately" (his voice), "No we don't NEED french onion dip, especially the EXTRA large size" (my voice), "I think we should stick to splitting between us the Little Debbie's snack, have you seen how many calories a full serving has??, Wait, when did I become the adult??" (his voice believe it or not!)

Besides the usual angst of sleeping away from my honey, is knowing that things will most likely be ignored or only partially done around the house.  During the work week there is little house work done, and major tasks such as moping floors and scrubbing bathrooms are performed during the weekend.  I still haven't figured out how to motivate us in to doing such hateful tasks during the work week. I can barely get motivated to cook more than quick and easy meals let alone do house work!

All linens get washed on weekends, whether they need them or not!!!  I hate our routine conversations about how long sheets would stay on his bed before we met.  I think he gets pleasure when I cringe, and I pray he only jokes!

The kitchen will probably explode because even if my honey does manage to "do dishes" in the dishwasher (which I am not a fan of) everything else that ends up on the counter will remain until my return.  I still haven't figured out how to explain that "washing dishes" translates to that plus recycling items, (no babe, a box of soda cans does not walk itself to the recycling bin and empty containers of juice don't rinse themselves out), disinfecting counters & sinks, sweeping floors, storing things back where they belong (chip clips, scissors, clean dishes).

No, I do not live with a slob.  I live with a man who will do most things I ask him with little fuss but who gets distracted so much with hobbies/past times that unless someone sends a flare to bring him back to reality he will rarely do "chores" without being prompted.  I think he has gotten comfortable in our marriage because I remember him taking care of himself/his apartment before we moved in together.

Anyways.. please send some good ju-ju my way so I find my home and husband unscathed when I return.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Invasion of privacy..

The other evening I passed out while reading late in to the night.  I woke to put my book up, remove my eyeglasses and turn off the light but decided to use the restroom before settling in to slumber.  Since I had already tortured my honey with my bedside lamp I didn't want to wake him with the sound of water running in our bathroom so I shuffled down the hall to our guest bathroom.(we have loud pipes).

So there I was, mostly trying to balance at an upright sitting position for a few seconds trying not to doze off when the corner of my eye caught movement under the door.  I clenched my jaw in reflex and prepared to suppress a scream (when I was young I saw a woman scream at the site of a bug/bee that ended up flying in to her mouth and I was scared into learning to react in a different way). I assumed a Texas-sized bug/roach that sometimes infiltrate was about to shamelessly intrude on a private moment, but turning my head enough for my eye to focus thru my glasses I identified what had poked thru. 

It was a little gecko who appeared to duck in long enough to notice it was "occupied" and then stepped back.  I was relieved!  Lizards and geckos don't scare me, unless you expect me to touch them.  I am not completely "down with reptiles", but they (lizards & geckos) are the only acceptable company of the critter kind.

The mild scare woke me up enough to focus in to getting quickly to bed so after I washed my hands I prepared to face Mr. Gecko again.  He was patiently waiting for his turn at the bathroom. As soon as I opened the door and stepped out, he stepped forward. "Don't forget to flush" I said as I turned off the light and shuffled back to bed.

One of many who hang out on our porch
The whole invasion of privacy has had me thinking back to a time when I caught an ex-boyfriend reading thru one of my journals. I kind of had a similar reaction.  I clenched my jaw and suppressed a scream.  It wasn't only that he had crossed the line, but because the last few days of entries in the journal were my internal conflict of investing in a relationship that wasn't working for me.  Fortunately his snooping just made it easier. Unfortunately that violation made me stop writing for a few years until my husband encouraged me to blog..

Hmm..  I can't say that I ever had that problem (of invasion of privacy) with my honey.  Perhaps it's because I have never hidden anything from him and have been my true self around him. Also before we officially lived together I mentioned something to the effect of "you may find something you don't like".  I was totally honest of who I was/am from the very beginning.  If he did snoop or stumbled in to something he didn't like, well, I wasn't going to pretend anything so we might have a discussion and weight our options.

Anyways, I have no problem with my husband getting in to my purse like most women do.  His only reason is to dig out or to throw in my cell phone (which I can never find or remember where I've left it).  There is the occasional "Honey do you have any cash on you?" that may have him looking thru my wallet depending on my response.  I don't have a "bad habit" I am trying to hide like smoking cigarettes, or a bank account he doesn't know about. (We have a joint account and both have kept our separate accounts.)

The thing we both have always respected is our time in the bathroom.  You won't catch either one forgetting to close the door and we ALWAYS knock and WAIT if the door is shut!  I was told by friends who married long before me that once you have kids you loose all shame.  Ahhmm.????  I just can't see it happening! I can see how it would be ok to have your child present (to keep an eye on THEM), but not a spouse! So far that is ONE if not the only thing I hope we never get comfortable with; unless there is a medical problem or something in our future!

I am also happy my husband gives me the freedom to share as much as I want to and won't press me for information.  For example, one of my dear friends has been going thru a few difficult months.  I have spent the better part of  (a few) entire days at her side helping however I could, but my husband never once tried to get details when I returned home.  I offered some vague information because he cares for her as well and showed concern, but specifics are my friend's privacy.

It's been three years of marriage.  And  I am glad his encouragement to write/blog has helped me keep clear in mind the past and the present.  How my entries sometimes shed light in to things he thought he fully understood.  No prying, allowing me space and a different way to know me better.  There is a difference between what you allow your mate to know and what you allow the world to  know!  When both are so "black & white" and accessible there is a different level of KNOWING (your mate).

It is very strange to have privacy lead to "full disclosure."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wedding Anniversary.

I can't believe another year has gone by.  They say time flies when you are having fun. It felt like a blink of an eye!

I have been blessed with another wonderful year of marriage to the best man for ME!  Thank you my love for all the laughs and memorable days.  I have felt blessed every day since we met! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Food calling..

It is surprising how well we tune in to specific sounds.  Some women can hear the very faint sounds of their babies stirring in a crib.  Some merchants can hear a door open to their business even without a bell ringing announcing a customer.  Some mechanics can identify exactly what needs adjusting by the pure sound of an engine running.

Me, I can hear when my husband is raiding the pantry.  Half the time I can be dead a sleep on a weekend morning and I can hear the number of times the pantry door opens (followed by the crinkling of food wrappers).  No, I am not monitoring my honey.  Ok, at times he needs a little supervision . Now that he is training for another marathon he believes he can inhale whatever he wishes no matter the calorie, salt or sugar intake.

I am the breakfast person in the house, so if I want my honey to eat something with substance for breakfast I need to drag myself out of bed early to cook before he can justify to himself the number of fruit bars he can eat. So far he's confessed to a number as high as 3!

Some evenings when I am preparing dinner very late; I can hear my husband purposely trampling thru the living room in the most comedic way the minute HE hears something resembling the sound of a snack being consumed without him.  I have teased him numerous times telling him he reminds me of a cat running in to the kitchen at the sound of an electric can opener.  In a flash he is standing in front of me and honestly I have begun to expect him to MEOW..

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Slaving in the kitchen.

It's been several weeks since I've cooked more than three meals during the work week.  Work has been the biggest factor. I am grateful my husband does not mind leftovers or that as long there is food to eat in the house he can fend for himself pretty well without relying on takeout.

This afternoon I thought I would make an effort to cook something labor intensive that I would never have time to prepare during the week.  I made "Chiles Rellenos".

Now at my forty something I had never made them (start to finish) on my own.  Usually I have assisted "Mamacita" and let me tell you, I don't know how she cooks them all on her own on top of a kid friendly (for my picky eating siblings and nephew) dish like "Flautas" or "Tacos" when she gathers us for family dinners.

Usually when I cook at home, my honey shares in the work, but I thought I would tackle the job by myself as a way to make up for my lack of cooking lately.  That, and my honey was wiped out from his long run today (he is training again for another marathon).

Anyways, after blistering, seeding, stuffing, battering, frying and finally simmering, the Chiles came out pretty decent. Of course the kitchen was a different story. It looked like I used every utensil and appliance in the kitchen, so cleaning up was what pushed this dish to the labor-intensive category. As if that wasn't enough, the frying (which I rarely ever do) caused to have me re-mop the kitchen floor which I had already tackled yesterday.

My honey was pretty happy, and I am glad he is the type of man who appreciates a home cooked meal.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Now I have a bed time..

All my life I suffered from insomnia.  No matter what I did I usually ended up falling a sleep around 1 a.m.  As a child, my mother would order me to bed when she would find me awake past midnight watching T.V.  As a preteen I would get in trouble for staying up watching re-runs of "M.A.S.H." or
"The Benny Hill Show".  Of course one would get me in to more trouble than the other.

She (my mother) attempted to send me to bed too when after her divorce I moved back in with her (then she had never lived alone EVER).  I quickly put a stop to that.  I was in my 20's and "keeping each other company" (living under the same roof) while she transitioned wasn't going to give her the right to set my bed time again.

Thru the years I tried many things to help me sleep.  As advised I abstained from keeping a T.V. in my bedroom so my subconscious would not associate laying in bed with watching T.V.  I also tried (unsuccessfully) not to watch T.V. or surf the Internet late at night, not to drink caffeine after a certain hour, drinking hot tea or a glass of wine, journal, reading the bible. You name it I tried it.  I am ashamed to say reading the bible did work a little, but guilt of using it to make me sleep made me stop reading it at night!

Most evenings I would lay in bed with my mind raising thinking about my "to do list" or the most idiotic things!  Things such as.. "When is the car due for an oil change?", "Did I remember to turn off the space heater in my office this evening?", "X's birthday is next month; what would be a good gift?", "Was that a noise I heard? Did I leave my escrima sticks in my trunk? What could I use as a weapon?"

In the end I just gave up and proclaimed myself a night owl!  I often thought I should go to bar tending school.  If I was going to stay up late most nights I might as well have a night job and get paid. 

Anyways, things changed when I met my honey.  Don't ask me how but being in his company on the nights we would spend together would quiet my mind.  No, he would not BORE ME TO SLEEP.  When it was time to go to bed I would curl up next to him and boom, OUT! No thinking, just brain pause!

I started falling a sleep at a decent hour!  It's been that way for me.  Now I even pass out before "bed time", but on the rare occasion I am not sleepy I have an internal fit if my husband "sends me to bed". Sometimes he turns off the T.V. when he is ready to turn in.  I could be in the bedroom with the T.V. on as background noise and he will turn it off on his way to brush his teeth. I absolutely want to hurt him!! 

We have this argument often!  I ask: "Why are you turning off the T.V. on me if you are still going to spend 15 minutes getting ready for bed?? His answers have been: "we've seen that program/movie before", "you aren't even paying attention", "you weren't even in the room watching." It does not matter!  I think it's rude of him and when I am PMSing I sure want to inflict pain, but I abstain, mainly from throwing something at him. 

The other thing my honey does is start announcing the time of night. What the heck is he, a watch man? (and not the superhero kind)  "It's 10 o'clock and all is clear!!" is what I wait to hear from him.. 

Not to defend him, after I've gripped about him but he does have the hardest job in the world and that is to help get me going in the morning.  No matter how many hours I have slept I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON!!! I am not fully awake until I've had a shower and may be a cup of coffee.  I know he is patient, but he is also smart enough to back off when I am PMSing because that is when I have my freak out moments. I start making smart ass remarks to his innocent/non-thinking/irritating as hell actions!!  "I am over 40, I don't need to be sent to bed ho-neeeey!", "Just because you are ready to turn in, doesn't mean I AM!", "HELLO??  I am still watching T.V.!!" "When did you turn in to my parent?"

Yes, he has to hear me grumble and walk around eyes half closed in the mornings (he calls me mole woman), but I am not his child!!  When I tell him I am not sleepy, well.. you can imagine the suggested entertainment he offers me. ;-)  Thing is, FORCING me to do anything only puts me in a bad mood!

This morning as I sluggishly got out of bed and shuffled thru the house getting ready for work I longed for his "bed time" reminder.  He is at a conference out of town and I stayed up later than usual.  Once I actually got in bed it was quite a while before I fell a sleep so today I am on "Slow-Mo". 

I have another night "unsupervised" ahead of me.  I sure hope it's not a repeat!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The gift that bombed!

My husband and I like to give each other little gifts when the other least expects it. When we first got together I asked him NOT to send me flowers when expected, for example birthdays or anniversaries.  To me such flower arrangements feel obligatory. 

I love it when I come home from work to find fresh flowers.  I can't help but to ask what prompted him to buy me flowers, and his usual response is "It's been a long time since I brought you flowers my love".  Such a response makes my heart skip a beat! 

My husband is relatively easy to shop for.  He can easily get excited over a gift card to a craft supplies store that he can use for his miniature building hobby. I admit that I miss the mark when I come home with clothes for him for example.  He really could care less to have a new shirt, tie or belt, but since HE WON'T keep up with updating his wardrobe someone has to.. 

Earlier in the year I gave him a gift certificate to a boot shop so he could replace his beat up cowboy boots, but it's been almost 7 months and that gift card is still in his wallet.  I don't know if it's because he doesn't want to replace his boots and keeps putting it off  or because he hates to shop.

Last week out of the blue I got him jewelry.  He really doesn't wear anything other than his class ring from AT&M and his wedding band, so why exactly I thought it would be a good idea it's beyond me!

I am sorry to say his reaction to the gift was less than I hoped for.  You see, my honey has been a bit stressed with work. Like most spouses he vents for a while and that is that.  He is very diplomatic with dealing with people though in his mind he mostly thinks "I am crushing your head, I am crushing your head".  I thought this charm would be a reminder to keep calm and be wise about his actions.  It is inspired by the serenity prayer which I love.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.

Funny thing is my husband pointed that out to me as if to ask if I realized it.  "Well, I do realize that"  was my response. His was, spelling out that it was the prayer that has been adopted by alcoholics anonymous..and other programs for substance abuse.  "Oh, so people will think you are an "alchie" or something?" - Wheels quickly turning in my head.

Still trying to salvage the gift and my reasoning for choosing the gift..  "I am sorry, but I don't have a problem with substance abuse (if you don't count my addiction to Cheetos) so I don't relate the prayer to 12 step programs".

I felt bad about my gift, but had to laugh!  I offered to return the charm and chain, but he insisted on keeping it.  I again presented my case. "Since there have been several incidents where you've had to keep your cool, I thought this would be a nice reminder".

His response "Like George Costanza? Serenity now, SERENITY NOW!!!"  I tell you, the man makes me laugh!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

1 out of 4

I heard it on the news this week. A new study says one out of four relationships is now started online.  My honey and I met online five years ago this month.  These days online dating isn't so strange. Five years back it was still a bit awkward admitting it to folks who would ask how we met.

Well, my story is that after you reach a certain age and you have never been married... After you've dated everyone who is "dating material" that your friends know, or  your family knows.. (I still convulse & regret agreeing to let my MOTHER set me up with one of her co-workers).  After you've outgrown the bar scene, learned the hard way not to date in the work place or out of the pool of your sports league/hobby/gym (Yikes.. now you have to find a new league, gym or hobby!!!) there are few places to meet singles wanting to meet singles! Church (in my age range they were there for redemption or to find a baby momma for their kids) , work related organizations (I only dated one accountant in my life and he was cheap and boring!), a chance meeting (that relies on the cosmos aligning properly!),

My best friend helped me get over that initial shame I felt by telling me I should use all the "tools" available to me.  Hmm.. tools!  Well, I figured that if in the old days people used a match-maker why not try the new high-tech version of it?

I must confess that I did not meet my husband right away.  I dated a good number of men, even had a couple of short-lived relationships.  What I can honestly say is that I dated men better suited for me online. I  got to "pick their brains" for a while before agreeing to meet.  The men who were looking for a relationship answered my questions with detail and true conviction.  The ones that were looking to hook up had little patience for me.  After a couple of questions that perhaps were too hard for them to answer they moved on!

Online I was not distracted by looks and was able to "lay on the table" my deal breakers. Without the temptation to overlook things because someone so attractive couldn't possibly be chauvinist, racist, homophobic, a mama's boy, self centered, pretty on the outside-hollow on the inside man I was also able to discard potentials easier. 

My husband had a dark sense of humor that to me felt like HOME!!  His writing showed wit, intellect and charm when answering random questions.  So when we set up a date and met for coffee I was pretty confident we could at least enjoy 30 minutes without pain. 

That was my M.O.  Coffee dates at practically every Starbucks in town.  If there was no potential either party lost only a few minutes and maybe the cost of coffee! By the way, coffee is never a waste of money and dating introduced me to a couple of exceptional non-chain coffee houses.  If the date went well, coffee extended to lunch or dinner or another date later in the week.

I was as safe as I possibly could.  I always drove myself and MET my dates.  I always ran a few errands after so I would not drive directly back home.  I informed my two best friends of the details: who I was meeting, what contact information I had for them, and where we were meeting. I checked in with them immediately after my dates!

I always informed my dates before hand I was (am) a martial artist and my family is in law enforcement just in case they had any ideas.  Of course that would not stop a true predator, but it would discourage a few weirdos!

Now I have been married for a couple of years and my two best friends are back in the dating pool.  I worry about them, especially the one who was married for almost her entire adult life!  Dating in your late thirties and forties is definitely different than dating at 18 & 19.

I would encourage anyone who is single to try online dating.  Be brutally honest with yourself and what you are looking for!  Put it out there!  Brace yourselves for people who lie on their profiles.  I have some priceless stories about dating in general that will take me to my grave laughing! 

Do your research before you sign up to any one site.  Ask around, take advantage of free trial periods because you'll get a good idea if it's just an online meat market or an honest attempt to bring compatible people together. Dish out the extra money and buy a few months to save on the discounts for multiple months.  In the long run, even if you meet the perfect match the week you sign up they will probably be worth the cost of a few months subscription! ;-)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Not quite Harakiri...

When I met my husband he was attending law school in San Antonio (TX ) and was alone in the city.  His brother who lives about 3 hours away was his emergency contact. Shortly after my honey and I realized our relationship wasn't a casual one I asked him to please give his brother my phone number in case of an emergency. 

I was fearful that if something happened to my honey I would be oblivious of it and more that he would end up in a hospital alone.  As soon as we moved in together I insisted he add me to his "in case of emergency" list.  Thankfully we've been emergency free! 

This weekend my husband attended a convention here in town and ended up with a self inflicted wound.  It was a freak accident and luckily my brother-in-law who is in the medical field was there to tend to my husband.  I stopped by the convention to drop off lunch for the guys (my husband and brother-in-law) and when asked where his brother was my husband answered that he had gone over to the CVS (pharmacy) down the street.  I didn't think twice about it.  The pharmacy being a close "convenience" store he could have easily gone over to buy gum!

As I looked around at the gathering of people recognizing a few faces I realized my husband, whose internal clock rings the loudest for LUNCH, wasn't pouncing on the food I had brought him.  I noticed him awkwardly standing on a corner of the room away from the activities and holding his wrist in his other hand.  Very odd!  I asked if he wasn't hungry since I didn't see him trying to inhale his lunch (like I would expect) but he said he would wait for his brother. 

Some time went by and my brother-in-law wasn't back so I suggested to my husband that he eat his lunch before it got cold. Again he insisted he would wait for his brother. It was then that he mentioned he had cut himself and his brother had gone to the pharmacy to pickup some first aid supplies. I asked what happened, and he briefly filled me in.  I motioned for him to let me take a look at his wound and with hesitation he did.  It didn't look bad.  Having had stitches many times in my life, I didn't think it was a big deal. 

At that moment my brother-in-law arrived with a large bag full of supplies.  He took over and for what to me looked like a one inch scratch he was going overboard with the tending of the wound. My husband got patched up short of a sling for his hand (in my opinion) but I figured my brother-in-law had been thorough!

I left after lunch and it wasn't until I was back at home with a friend who had witnessed the incident and gave me specific details that I understood it had been more serious.  Then my husband arrived back home and told me the entire story of how he had accidentally STABBED himself and had seen about half an inch if not more of a blade disappear in to his wrist that I realized the seriousness of the accident. 

After I showed my sympathy for the accident and his discomfort I did what is logical for me to do.  I threaten him with bodily harm if in the future he again didn't call to tell me about an injury.  I know he isn't a child, but he IS MINE! My husband, my spouse, my companion, my Love, mine, Mine, MINE!  I didn't wait around for true love to come around so late for me to have it short-lived. I know I may sound insane or too possessive, but I value the man that I married and want to be with him in all the important ways a mate should be.

I don't freak out over every injury!  I have a nice collection of stitches acquired thru my childhood that make me very tolerant of most anything requiring a dozen or less sutures, but the playing it down and keeping it from me will get him hurt! 

Sometimes things are not addressed in a relationship until they happen, and I think it best to be crystal clear of what is expected from each other.  I know I can exaggerate and go to extremes to get my point across of the importance of things. but like my honey always says.. "I know you can hurt me but first you have to catch me!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rings of power..

One of the most meaningfull gifts we received when we wed was my parents' wedding rings.  My mother approached my honey before our wedding and told him she wanted to pass on a family heirloom to us.  She offered us the matching wedding bands my parents wore for 10 years of marriage.

My husband was touched and replied it would be an honor to wear them.  Needless to say my mother was pleased.  As for me, I was in tears!  You see..  my father passed on shortly after they celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary.

When my brother was about to marry, my mother confided that she wanted to pass on a set of rings to my brother. He was the first to marry out of her three children and it was then that my mother expressed her wish to have one of her children wear the rings.  I don't know the reasons why exactly my brother didn't get them.  I believe it has to do with him wearing a much larger size and having the design get lost if enlarged.  I think also my sister in law wanted to wear the traditional engagement ring and matching band that is more common.

When my little sister got married (also before me) my mom passed on the set of rings to her. The rings fit my sister and brother-in-law perfectly!   My sister had found love first and the set of rings was going to her. 

When my mother offered us her first set, I was taken aback.  I had no idea that the set of rings my mom had passed on to my sister was a second set.  To celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary, my father had a fancy set of bands made in Oaxaca, Mexico.  The bands are a beautiful orange tint gold and clearly reflect the more prosperous years of their marriage. Their more modest set was put away!

As a child I have no recollection of my parents' wedding bands; however I do remember that my mother wore her ring (from the second set) for years after my father's death.

My mother hopes that their first set of rings brings me and my honey as much happiness as it did them (my parents) and wearing my band fills me with deep emotion!  Our wedding bands are quite worn and the design is a bit faded.  Inside the bands are engraved my parent's initials.  I have wanted to engrave our (my husband's and mine) nicknames for each other but it always happens that priority is always for the things we need to do over the things we want to do! I hope to get around to it soon.

Ok, so that is the heart felt story on my parents wedding bands.  The more "our story" on OUR wedding bands is..

The common wedding rings couples wear are the single band for the men and the engagement ring with matching band for the ladies.  Our wedding bands (we inherited) are exactly a like, and marring a goofy person such as myself would not surprise you to know we have fun with them. 

Who all remembers watching the Super Friends (and the Justice League) cartoons with the Wonder Twins??  Yep!  That is our thing!  Every so often my husband will voice "Wonder Twin Power, Activate!" and reaches for me to meet rings, and I DO IT!  It tickles me that at his forty something he is still playful and can make me smile like he does.  Our marriage feels like one big adventure and this silly action reminds me we are in it together! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Not the usual wedding season..

I have heard many women say that the ideal month to have your wedding is June.  That thought confuses me because the last thing I want to do in June is get dressed up and attend a wedding.  I believe Summer is the worst time to have a wedding if you live in the normally warmer states. 

We married in October.  We chose the month based on the least amount of time needed to organize a relatively small wedding: we chose in March so 6 months to prepare was cutting it close without rushing.  The fact that any guest that might have to travel by car to attend our wedding wouldn't get stuck to their seats in the scorching months in Texas was a something we thought would be the very least we could do for our guests.

We attended a family wedding this weekend; the only wedding invitation we've had this Summer.  Thank goodness!  I was not looking forward to the dressing up part, but I was looking forward to seeing the extended family. 

This was my husband's second exposure to extended family.  I didn't quite want to scare him but I believe it was interesting and a bit flattering to him.  Interesting because of my very large family.  The bride is my "cousin" (child to my mom's first cousin).  I never know how that "once or twice removed" thing works!  I just know we are related!

Anyways, I think my husband was a bit flattered because after almost 3 years of marriage he is still a novelty/"new" to the family and some of my relatives (living in Mexico) had been looking forward to meeting him.

It was great to see everyone, but I know my husband is glad he isn't required to remember every ones name.  Heck, I have a hard enough time remembering the right names and I confess to having introduced most family members as an aunt, uncle or cousin but NOT mentioning their first names.  I had several "deer & headlight" moments.

Anyways the wedding was nice, but the venue though lovely was mostly "outdoors" and it was a hot Texas day!  My cousin apologized sheepishly for the August wedding stating it wasn't the best for a wedding, but sure was great for a honeymoon.  I agree, and despite the steamy weather I am happy we were there! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A night out for some Texas funk!

It had been some time since my honey and I went out for some evening entertainment. A couple (friends) from Austin invited us to meet them and listen to a favorite band that was playing in a town "next door" to us.  We jumped at the invite; at least I did!. 

We had missed out on the last few performances in the area and I was anxious to get "my fix" of Mingo Fishtrap.  These guys are great musicians, and they are never disappointing.  I have been following them for several years.  There aren't many bands now a days with a horn section that not only are great to see but "blow you away"! If you have a chance to check them out live I recommend them!

So the evening out went pretty well.  We grabbed a few burgers and beers before the show.  I am so grateful we still know folks who actually eat BEEF and haven't taken the vegetarian/vegan road.  Nothing against  that life style, it just makes me not enjoy having a not so healthy meal in front of them.

Anyways, there was grubbing, dancing and enough drinking to make the evening out enjoyable but by midnight we were back at home.  Our friends had to pick up their son at the sitter's and I am sorry to say that at 40-something five hours of fun were enough for me. I had no problem leaving and driving us (me & the honey) home; it was my turn to drive and we always drink responsibly. 8-)

I hope your Summer nights are being well spent!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Blog's 1st anniversary

Today is this blog's first year anniversary.  I can't believe I've managed to write more than the handful of initial entries, though the last couple of months there have been more distractions and less stories to share. 

I am grateful for this mean of expression as well as the interest and comments from those who have read it.

I don't know how the next year will be, but evolution is a guarantee.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sugar Daddy

I 've been feeling very weird today, you see.. After years and years of being independent and self-sufficient I can't quite feel comfortable relying on someone other than myself. 

Yesterday I escaped a castastrophe.  While making my long commute to work in heavy rains one of the wiper blades on my car tried to escape!  The blade came out of the bracket, got tangled between the "arms" and then the arms managed to cross and hook themselves together at the worst possible time. 

Call it what you will, luck or guardian angels; it happened right after I had switched to the right lane of the highway, being overly cautious and switching lanes long before my exit. I was lucky to be able to pull onto the shoulder while blinded by the heavy curtain of rain and not be one more casualty of yesterday's bad weather-induced wreckage.

Anyways, one tow truck, and two hours later I finally made it to work. What came after was a hefty bill for the repairs plus a spinning head trying to decide exactly how to pay for it  My husband, less stressed (and I guess conscious that no bodily injuries, only car repairs, was a blessing) had no problem offering one of his credit cards.  Cha-ching!!

Not that I won't be contributing to paying for the repair cost, but having someone to share burdens still feels strange.  I've been jokingly calling my husband my Sugar Daddy (to his amusement), thankful that WE (as a couple) have the means to take care of the unexpected, but mostly because I am having a hard time accepting that my husband took responsibility for ME.

I can't help but feel like some type of a slacker, almost  incapable and having to rely on others for my welfare. Despite the few years together with my husband I have stayed pretty independent.  We each take care of our own debts so allowing him to step in and make the decision made this proud/self sufficient woman feel a bit off balance. 

I know we are a team now, and in the spirit of it while my car was in at the shop I had them look in to another repair I've been postponing. My husband was equally quick to insist they do it all. So despite my uneasy feeling I am happy not to be all on my own any more.  If calling my husband my Sugar Daddy makes him feel "manly" for taking care of me while I deal with my independent notions, then he SHOULD get a kick out of it. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

One hair at a time.

One of the "joys" of marrying at a later age is dealing with the grief of having your body change before your spouse's eyes, too soon after "the honeymoon"!  All the insecurities of my youth have come back strong!  It took me a long time to "deal" with not being the perfect weight. Now signs of aging are coming faster than I'd imagined!  Not only have I've had to live with occasional back problems (making me feel ancient) but now gray hair has come in to the picture!!

I know several people in my family who had not even reached the age of 20 before they begun to deal with gray hair.  It doesn't matter that I've been spared until my forties, it's a first for me! There has been the rare stress induced gray that has made its appearance.  The most memorable of them was a gray EYEBROW at 33 when I was training for my black belt in Karate.

Now the little bastards are popping out without me noticing, and of course my much younger coworker (and dear friend) is only to happy to point them out!  Over the last week there have been THREE hairs fighting for the spot light, and plucking them has been difficult.  For some reason vacating them has resulted on the demise of a few surrounding non-grays.

My husband has noticed the invaders, but being that he has sported some very becoming gray for a few years that appear to be highlights he didn't bother to mention mine.  At my frantic reproach of his lack of; what would the word be, solidarity? We need to help each other continue to look half decent!  Anyways, his response to my freak out moment was "I thought you were going blond one hair at a time!" God help me!  I love a smart ass, but NOT AN ASS!! 

I was not happy with his comment! So, I will be adding to my beauty budget (of makeup, haircuts &, moisturizers) hair coloring! 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pilgrimage West..

It's been a while since we've visited my in-laws in West Texas and I though I hate to take time off of work to drive back and forth for family visits; nice visits, but it's not my definition of VACATION!

This past year we've seen the "folks" quite a bit.  With a new niece (their grandbaby) only a short distance from us, my in-laws have been making the long trip to visit my brother in-law and his family a few times this year.  These visits "our way" have made it convenient for us to see everyone (at my brother in law's, a short 2-1/2 hour drive from us) and not have to make the long 5-hour trip to to visit my husband's parents.  Yes, I realize for most people driving so many hours would surely place you in the the next state (or country for those across the pond), but for Texans it isn't the case.

So, at the end of the month we have a long weekend trip planned.  After an entire year since we last visited (for my husband's 25th high school class reunion) we are overdue to make the pilgrimage west.  It sure feels like a pilgrimage.  It's a long trip with deserted roads, it's HOT, its oh so boring of a trip.  Nothing interesting to see after the initial hour drive. The scenic highlights are oil rigs.

The drive is the worst part of our trips there, because truthfully I have enjoyed every visit since my honey first took me to meet the extended family and childhood friends. I usually fall asleep for part if not most of the drive. 

My husband always insists on driving. The music selection is geared more to him though we trade off back and forth, but there is not much for me to do in the car.  Reading usually makes me carsick so I snooze!!

I'll be scrambling this evening to pack and bracing myself Friday for the long drive in 100 plus degree (Fahrenheit) weather in the West Texas plains.  I better start hydrating now to be on the safe side!

Wishing you cool Summer days.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The "Estrogen Channels" - Helpful or harmful?

Like many women I enjoy watching certain female oriented cable channels.  You know, the ones where they often play dramas or romantic comedies?  My husband calls them "the estrogen channels" and tuning in usually makes him scurry out of the room.

On occasion he walks in right at a pivotal moment when I find myself sobbing or sighing and he mocks me. What he fails to realize is that these movies/shows put me in a vulnerable mood.  Instead of teasing he should"move in for the kill" or "sweep me off my feet".  After all, the ground work has been laid for him.

My honey often thanks me for never forcing him to take me to watch "girly" movies. I won't ever force him to do that, just like I expect him not to force me to join him on some of his interest that are not "my thing".

There are times when I've realized that the "estrogen channels" can be dangerous!  Yes, I admit it to YOU and have also to my husband!  Watching scenes where women are showered by what is considered romantic gestures such as receiving flowers and jewelery can make the average woman envious and start to measure her mate by these standards.

I confess, I not long ago whined to my husband about not being romantic as he used to... Poor guy looked concerned.  The very next day right before I left my office for the day my husband called me as he often does before heading home.  This time he called to tell me he had gotten out of work early and was planning on stopping at the grocery store on his way home.  He asked me to text him a short list of what we may need.

I swear, it hit me like a ton of bricks  How could I accuse him of not being romantic? Isn't his constant participation in our marriage JUST THAT??  He is considerate and shares in our daily chores.  He doesn't just take and take.  He doesn't sit back and let me do it all though some times I have to send up a few flares when he gets lost in his hobbies!  His offering to do grocery shopping without being prompted is as romantic as receiving flowers from him. 

What married woman who works (more so if she's a stay at home mom), and comes home to do the usual, cooking, cleaning, laundry wouldn't prefer her husband handle one task from the mental "to do list" instead of getting flowers?

Isn't some action that spares us even 20 minutes in a day the equivalence of a gift?  Twenty minutes can be converted in to time to pamper ourselves: a short soak in the tub, less stress and a more relaxed dinner conversation, a cat nap, whatever one could fit in 20 minutes!

I will continue to remind myself of the many unconventional ways my honey IS romantic in my real world and try to leave the stereo type romance on the boob tube strictly for entertainment.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Marriage and finances

Like most Americans these days my husband and I are watching our spending.  We are working hard to chip away at debt and keep credit card charges at a minimum.

We have triumphantly had cash Christmases (nothing charged) for the last few years and it hasn't been an easy task.  It helps that we are both very mindful of what we spend and that our "splurges" are on low cost hobbies/interests.

Over the years I have had an ear full from friends (of both sexes) venting over spouses/significant others over spending or lack of involvement in their finances. 

A close friend managed to convince her husband in to taking some type of couple's money management class.  A great idea, but at the end there was little change.  He took the class like some take electives classes in high school; "for the credit", but absorbing nothing!  My friend ended up continuing to manage all their finances.  Wait, correction to that last statement.  She continues to manage HER finances, he (now her ex-husband) has been forced to manage his finances with the help of the courts! 

When I was very young (early 20's) my boss was a smart, independent and generous with her advice woman.  She put herself thru school on the G.I. bill, managed her finances enough to be able to invest on rental properties and at a young age of 30 was financially secure.  A great role model. 

Not long after I met her she married (another accountant) and her husband took charge of their finances putting her on a strict allowance.  I found that very difficult to hear, even more when he would review what she spent her allowance on.

I understood how one partner can have stronger financial management skills than the other but she was constantly stressed over it, especially when his criticizing over the spending of her allowance totally deflated her.  It was like being scolded by a parent.

I made a mental note that when and if I married I would make sure finances were something that was SHARED and any "spending money" allotted would be guilt free and not open to discussion!!

Since my husband and I married later in life we both came with debt.  I could have easily volunteered to take care of it all since accounting is what I do for a living, but honestly I found it more comfortable to share.

After we got engaged we opened a joint checking and savings account.  We both fund our "house" account and pay from it all of our living expenses which many are set up to auto pay.  No real work there.  We also both fund our savings account.  Each is in charge of paying  their own debt; credit cards, student loans, cars etc! There is no "honey you forgot to pay"...  I feel that it keeps each "hands on".  When it comes to "managing" our money, we discuss strategy; where we can cut costs, which debts we should try to pay off first based on balance and interest rates, and such. 

We have been pretty happy keeping things "separate".  There are NO joint credit cards!  We both had some bad experiences on past relationships.  One walked away from a relationship with all the debt (a small price to pay for freedom).  The other suffered with a partner who constantly spent more than they earned.

So far it's been working for us.  We haven't made any large purchases like a home, but we are working together towards freeing up our credit and other short term goals.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Holiday shuffle

Like most couples my husband and I take turns spending holidays with our respective families.  With my side of the family in San Antonio and Laredo Tx and his side of the family in Midland and Bryan Tx we travel in every direction of the state to celebrate holidays. 

This year my in-laws drove from their home in Midland east to Bryan Tx to spend Mother's Day at my brother-in-law's home.  We took a one day trip yesterday to celebrate early with them so we could be back to celebrate with my mother today.  It was perfect!  We usually take turns spending the full holiday weekend but with my in-laws saving us the 5 hour drive to Midland we could squeeze two celebrations in one weekend. 

I am sure my sister and brother in-law are grateful they don't have to haul 2 kids across Texas in a car to visit family on the holiday. My husband's parents visit his brother more often because of the grand kids, and until we produce some grand babies we will continue to play second fiddle. 8-)

Hope you are all able to celebrate with family this holiday.  Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Smart ass conversations

Ever since we decided to get married my husband and I have been on "savings"mode.  After our wedding and because of the extra expense of commuting back and forward (for work) between cities we have kept some of the same "savings" habits.

Our biggest way to curb our spending has been packing lunches.  As most of you know a half-decent lunch these days will run about $12.00, so the money we both save during a week is substantial when added up. 

Thursday I was running around as usual, half asleep (even after my morning shower) trying to get myself out the door particularly early when my honey asked if I would like him to pack some leftover spaghetti for my lunch.  I was planning on taking the new accountant in my department out to lunch so I told him so.  About a minute later he stepped through the door way as I was finishing putting on make up in the bathroom and said: "you went out to lunch on Monday". 

It took me by surprise his statement and mostly his tone of reproach.  I guess the look on my face told him something because he went on and said: "you had Chinese and didn't tell me".  I could clearly tell he was being playful (way too early for me) but I wondered how he knew so I asked him.  He said: "I found a credit card receipt on the kitchen counter".

I quickly thought back and realized I must have left out the receipt when I pulled things out looking thru my purse. Again his tone or reproach, "you had Chinese for lunch and didn't tell ME!" (Batting his eyelashes)  Being the smart ass that I am and to push a button I responded: "Baby, I don't tell you every time I go out to lunch or spend money. Just be thankful it wasn't a hotel receipt" and I smirked, turned and walked in to the closet.

Being a smart ass himself my husband poked his head around the corner and said to me: "you forget those get paid with CA$H".

These are our morning conversations. Playful/smart ass remarks to each other before we dart out the door.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Blogger M.I.A.

I feel like I have been neglecting yet another thing in my life.  It's been a busy, battling with my allergies, working late, and thankfully squeezing in a bit of fun with friends couple of weeks.  The only thing I haven't done is make time to write!
So a quick recap: I finally spent time working on the yard/flower beds last weekend.  We were out making what seemed all the possible noise we could before 8 a.m weeding and mowing the lawn. NO we were not out to have our neighbors hate us. That was just a bonus; a bit of payback for noisy kids playing out side our bedroom window the weekend prior.   It was just the only time we could fit in the work (that weekend) to keep the home owners association from contacting us with "helpful hints" of how to keep our garden looking spiffy!  Nosy bastards!

Of course working in the yard and spending time outdoors triggered my allergies so I was miserable for at least 3 full days before the meds kicked in.  It made working long hours at the office even more miserable and thank goodness for my husband who took care of things at home while I was temporarily disabled.

On a more fun note, we partook on one of the many "Fiesta Events" going on in San Antonio (Texas) in the Spring. We attended St.Mary's University's "Oyster Bake".  My husband graduated from their law school and I have been enjoying that particular event for years. They always book great local bands and the food is without saying wonderful!  I don't know why but food on a stick is always good (sausage, chicken, corndog etc -- ON A STICK) and I eathing such always makes me think of Jeff Dunham with his JalapeƱo puppet "on a stick".

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Que pasa calabaza?/ Early dinner

Today I had an off site meeting that put me about 15 miles or 30 minutes closer to home (rush hour is my daily nightmare), which meant I got home early.  Yeah!!!  Since I missed most to the madness on the highway I was in a great mood when I arrived in town (I live 30 miles outside of San Antonio) and even decided to swing by the grocery store. 

I only stopped to pick up a few ingredients for a pot luck lunch I have going on tomorrow but I was pretty pleased when I found "calabazas" (Mexican squash) on sale.  I immediately picked up a couple of pounds for dinner.  It is very rare for me to arrive home from work before my husband and today despite my quick pit stop I beat him, but only by a few minutes!

I am cooking "calabazitas" with rice and can't believe we'll actually eat before 7 tonight. 

Hope your Thursday is wrapping up nicely and are looking forward to the upcoming weekend!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring cleaning / clothes swap

Spring cleaning isn't exactly one of my favorite things to do and now being married it has become a bigger challenge.  I get a wild hair and run amok thru the house on short bursts, that are usually fueled by guilt of sitting in front of my laptop reading too many blogs, answering mail and without a doubt watching "estrogen T.V.".

I do my best not to fuss at my honey when I am on cleaning mode because I am smart enough to know  my husband isn't synched in to my cleaning energy surges, but there are other times when I feel there is so  much to do and  I just want to scream at the fact that I zoom thru the house while he reads, blogs or other and doesn't even notice the commotion.

Let's face it, few are the men who are cleaners!  Those are usually obsessive compulsive or germophobes, so I am more than happy to be the one in our marriage who leads the fight with grime!

There are times when I announce early in the day that there will be cleaning going on, and that his participation is required.  I toss a few tasks needing attention and ask him to get to them sometime during the day or weekend.  I am NOT his parent asking him to do his chores and don't believe I have to supervise him--though there have been times when on Sunday evening he has not gotten around to any of those tasks and I tend to get bitchy and it motivates him. 

There is usually whining over some of the cleaning tasks that marvel him.  Like wiping down all the doors in the house or de-calcifying the coffee maker on a regular basis.  Perhaps he just was never involved in such tasks growing up, or perhaps learning how to clean from my grandmother has something to do with it...

Anyways, so far this year we have had only a little Spring cleaning and thanks to a wonderful invitation for a Swap (clothes and house goods) by a friend we were able to purge a few of the things that were just taking up space. A friend has been holding swaps twice a year for a while and this was the first I was able to attend.  I had never gone to one.  I associate a swap with rummage sales or flea markets.  Far from that; the gathering I attended consisted of one host, several friends invited, wine, party food and gently used items one is willing to part with.

The spirit / point of the party is to de-clutter your home and allow someone else to enjoy things you might have loved at one point that no longer fit, do not go with your current decor, or gifted items that aren't really you but you have kept for sentimental reasons.  At the end of the party, anything that is left over is bagged or boxed and donated to a local charity that picks up donations at your door.  I had a blast and hear these girly parties are going on everywhere!

I took to the party a dress purchased on sale that never fit properly and was afraid to pay outrageous tailoring fees to fix or ruin it doing the alterations myself.  Home decorations that sat boxed in the garage since our last move, custom jewelry I hadn't worn in years but spending good money on them made me hoard away, and an assortment of clothes I haven't fit in to in over a year! (Some too big, and some way too small)

I left home with three boxes full of items and came home with only a bag of a few items I absolutely loved!  A couple of blue glass bowls that will go great as serving bowls with my current dishes.  A set of tall coffee mugs, also blue, that hold enough liquid for my caffeine addiction and last a beautiful Isabella Fiore purse that I absolutely fell in love with. Can you say SCORE???

Hope you are finding order and beauty this Spring time ..

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Second verse, same as the first..

It is with shame that I admit to another spring of barely keeping plants alive in a bucket!  Yes, last year I spent good money buying flowers I intended to plant and they ended up living in plastic containers in my kitchen without me making time to actually put them on the ground. 

This year I got some plants from my brother's garden and took them home to plant.  What happened to them?  Well, I haven't gotten around to them.  Not that I haven't had the time, I just don't think about them until early in the morning when I am running out the door to work and only water them to keep them alive or late at night when I am going to bed and I don't have the energy to pot them. Poor little plants, my husband teases me but he should shame me in to action.  (I am hoping I shame myself with this post)

Last weekend I was at Sam's Club looking around and found a great deal on some flower pots.  I just couldn't buy them!  They were the size and color I have been wanting for our front porch, but the shame of having other empty pots stored in the garage while plants sit waiting in a bucket needing to be re-potted wouldn't let me do it.  Besides I didn't want to come home and have my honey say something to me about my purchase; ok, may be not actually say something but could not bear a disapproving look.

Anyways, I am hoping to I get motivated to work on the flower beds and take care of  those other poor plants needing my attention this long weekend.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Laundry,.. the never ending fight.

In our house I tend to do laundry the majority of the time.  I don't mind too much, I am a pain in the ass about how clothes get washed and folded. Only a few occasions my husband has made the mistake of complaining over not having clean "something", to which I quickly pointed out that it was his own fault.
One- he should have mentioned that he was running out of clean "whatever" and I would have made it a point to wash a load that day. TWO- he knows how to do laundry. He was doing his own laundry before we met. THREE-he has been slacking and conveniently letting me do it all.

Oh I can get bitchy!   He knows that despite my laid back attitude about things, few really get me worked up but I do have a temper.  Recently we had a "episode" over relocating folded laundry from our bed to a chair when getting ready for bed.  It wasn't the first time we have discussed this issue so I could not contain fussing at him (ok, more than fussing). Here is how it went.. 

Me: "ARE YOU KIDDING ME??", followed by me hollering his name across the house (he HATES that!).  "You actually just moved YOUR folded laundry (socks & underwear) to the chair instead of putting it up?"
Him: "I was just getting the bed ready (to sleep), and... I am tired". 
Me: "You are too tired to walk a few feet in to the closet and put YOUR clothes in their place?"
Him: "Babe.." with a guilty look.
Me: "I washed , I folded, got side tracked with other chores before I could put them away and you conveniently relocate it (laundry) expecting me to finish the job? 
Him: (nothing, no words coming out of him mouth)
Me: "You've been hearing me all around the house for the last few hours while you've been glued to your laptop and YOU ARE TIRED??
Him: Sad faced grabbing things off the chair, with a bit of a smirk because he knew what he was doing and got caught!
Me: Shaking my head angry, and not wanting to prolong things (or laugh at his pathetic look) had to walk out of the room.

I can put up with his blind eye at a basket (of clothes needing folding) as he walks thru the laundry room when he arrives from work.  I myself have tunnel vision and can walk right by things needing attention, but consciously just relocating things?? 

I usually finish the whole job of doing laundry myself and only sometimes recruit him to help when I have other things going on.  His teasing about my excessive compulsive ways of specific hangers, and organizing things by color in the closet is something I choose to do without!  Yes, I am a pain about it; and NO our house isn't organized top to bottom!  There can be chaos on our desk and book shelves, but our clothes (closet & drawers) must be organized.

It's been a couple of weeks since that little "episode" and I guess it weight heavy in his heart because he washed a couple of loads, or maybe it was my slacking last weekend.  Anyways he washed and dried and over stuffed one laundry basket with two loads of clothes. As of last night the basket sat at the foot of the bed.  I asked casually when he was going to finish the job and stated firmly I was not going to do it!  His smart ass remark was "I can just pull things as I need them and wait until I go thru them and it's time to wash them again".  NOT what I wanted to hear, so I just rolled my eyes as he smirked! 

I tell you.. I prefer a smart ass than a dumb ass, but not when my husband is being a smart ass about something that drives me crazy!  The only reason things didn't escalate last night was because the clothes in the basket are only his!  I won't play the waiting game with him (you know, see who gives in first?), but will have to figure out a way to encourage him to finish the task tonight!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Intimate dinner party

Last Saturday we had friends over for dinner.  We love to entertain. It is one of the things I have always loved about my husband, no.. wait!  I love that he likes to entertain as much as I do and he is not the type of man who sits on his ass and expects everything to get done without his help (cleaning, cooking, serving, etc.). 

I've watched some of my female family members (the older generations) work themselves to the bone when having parties.  Exhausted over cooking and cleaning while their husbands sit around like guests expecting to be waited hand and foot.  I don't know how many times I've wanted to smack some of these older gents on the head and tell them to get their asses moving! 

This very nightmare was a big problem for me dating.  Once they (the exes) got wind of my "traditional Latino upbringing" they thought they had it made and could just kick back and let me handle it all!  NO CREO YO! (I don't think so!)

The first dinner party my husband (boyfriend then) and I ever gave he was right there with me cleaning, shopping at the grocery store, cooking, and taking turns with me working the kitchen while the other sat down and engaged with our friends.  It was the type of entertaining I had always wanted to have at my place (with a mate).  That was a big sign for me that he could be long term material...He has not only participated that first time, but every single time after thru our dating, moving in together and now marriage!  It makes entertaining pleasant occasion rather than a chore! (One of the many reasons I married him!)

Anyways, dinner was nice!  I dug up an old recipe (a chicken, bell pepper, prosciutto and capers dish) that I had never cooked in the years my husband and I have been together! It all turned out great and our guests were wonderful company.  We will definitely be having more small gatherings as opposed to larger parties.  Less preparation, more of a chance to practice my cooking skills with more elaborate dishes and definitely less clean up afterward!

Hope your weekend was perfect!