May 26, 2011

well...where has this week gone?

i haven't gotten to my florida post, yet...too many things have happened this week and pushed it aside. it all started tuesday. tuesday night, we (husband scott, mom & i) decided to take the tre (train) to dallas to see niece eva play in her band concert. normally, we drive, but i was driving on wednesday and didn't want to drive 2 days in a row. sooooo, off on the train we went.
eva is in middle school and i was amazed how well the students played, including beautiful eva.
after the concert, we went over to brother's house (eva's papa) and had dinner. then we rushed out to catch the 8:20pm tre. and as we step out of the house, the storm sirens went off...we decided to go on to the train. we just made it and then we sat there and sat there and sat there...

then came the announcement, that it would be a good idea to evacuate and wait in the tunnel that connects union station to reunion hotel, since there was a tornado/severe thunderstorm/hail watch (yippee).

husband scott kept an eye on the storm for well as keeping up with the storm cells on on his ipad (and showing anyone who wanted to see...or not...what was going on). i must say that mom and i realized what a great family we have. sister laura called from new jersey to make sure that our family in oklahoma was okay. brother john called to see if we got back safe. sister in law mary called saying that she was trying to get us rooms for the night at a hotel, which was virtually impossible with the mavericks playing the next night. the okc thunder got in earlier which was good since oklahoma was getting hit hard. my other paul called twice to offer to drive us home. so nice to know that we are loved.

we ended up back on the train and home by 11:00pm all safe.

then the next day, we had the best day with mom. we celebrated mother's day yesterday and had so much fun!!!! shopping and eating lunch with mom's children (missed you, laura). 
 (taken at chuy's for lunch). i don't know why we don't lunch all together more often.

then went home and watch the mavericks pull out a win last night. YEA! so exciting!!!

May 23, 2011

just popping in and out

just got back last night from florida. i have decided that i should really give myself an extra day at home after a vacation. after work, working out, running to the grocery store and walking with a friend...i am pooped!
i've started a load of wash and opened all the mail that was delivered after a week and found this:

oops! it's sideways and i need to figure out how to remove that date thingy. not enough time today.
daughter michelle sent this to me for my birthday. it holds my ipod....for now. it will, hopefully, hold an iphone one day. isn't it cute? the etsy website also has the cutest purses. does one call them purses? oh wait...they are called clutches. i want one of those, too, but i want all of them and really should narrow it down to one...maybe.

anyway, with all the stuff i have to do after a week away, this was the nicest thing to have waiting for me. thanks, michelle. i LOVE it!

speaking of a week away, i will start posting about florida this week.

hope you missed me and see you tomorrow!

May 10, 2011

today is my birthday

and of course i didn't take any photos. i am hoping to get some from my sister-in-law who is great at remembering to take photos.

i had a great day! it began with this (the donut looks more anemic than it really was):
a HUB visitor brought donuts with her to celebrate my and another fellow worker's birthday and i couldn't snub that nice deed. I did have a latte without sugar to balance it out. husband scott, then, brought in an italian cream cake from central market for my birthday at work and i could not snub hubbie, so i had a very teeny tiny tiny slice.

afterwards, i got a little headache-y and jittery. i don't know why......

so, i stopped at a vegan diner and had a sandwich, hoping it would counterbalance what i had eaten so far.

next, i met some friends for coffee, but i had a green iced tea without sweetener, so that was better. i LOVE meeting friends for coffee. it is so much fun! i wish i could do that more often. when i got to my neighborhood starbucks, there seems to be groups that look like they meet on a weekly basis. i would love to do that. i have got to start trying to figure out how i can do this at least on a monthly basis...somehow.

i hosted my own birthday party and everybody thinks that i am crazy. but i really like doing that. i pick out what i want to have for dinner and what kind of cake i want. i feel if i give in and let someone host my birthday, i can't request that i want a homemade carrot cake or mexican chocolate cake or cupcakes. it just doesn't seem right. i did an easy dinner. i had the ubiquitous cream cheese with pepper jelly on top served with pita chips. super easy and really yummy. i made king ranch casserole, watermelon salad and chocolate cake. the beauty of this supper is that i made the casserole and the cake the day before. the cake has cinnamon in it and i think it tastes better the next day. i usually make the king ranch casserole made with rotel tomatoes, cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom soup which is really delicious, but can come out a little runny and sometimes the corn tortillas taste a little raw. husband scott loves king ranch casserole and when he found out i was using a different recipe, his comment was, "why change perfection?" i love him for that. he thinks i am a great cook, so it makes it easier to cook for him.

the recipe i used is from a friend and it is a little bit different, but really good and it is never runny. i don't know where she got it, but here is the recipe. it makes a 9x13" dish:

1 1/4 lbs skinned & boned chicken breasts (i used skin on & bone in chicken breast halves)
2 T olive oil ( i used 1 T)
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t ground red pepper
2 (14 1/2oz) cans Mexican stewed tomatoes
2 (4.5oz) cans chopped green chilies
1/2 c butter
1/3 c all purpose flour
2 T fajita seasoning
2 c half and half
9 (5") corn tortillas, cut in half
1 (8oz) package of shredded Mexican cheese blend
toppings (optional): sliced green onions, sliced ripe olives, salsa & sour cream (if i did it again, i might add cilantro, i also only had sour cream on the side, this time, but may add the others another time)

cook chicken in 1 T hot oil in a large skillet over med-high heat 6 minutes on each side or until done. (i just baked mine in an oven for 45 minutes in 425 degrees, while i chopped up everything - i like it this way so it won't be dry). remove from pan; cool & shred chicken (removing skin & bone). saute onion & garlic in remaining 1 T hot oil until tender. add red pepper & tomatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. remove from heat & stir in chicken & green chilies. melt butter in heavy saucepan (i used the same skillet...lazy, i know); whisk in flour & fajita seasoning until mixture is smooth. cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. gradually whisk in half and half, & cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thicken & bubbly. spread 1/2 cup of white sauce in lightly greased 13x9" baking dish. arrange 6 tortilla halves over the sauce. top with half the chicken mixture and 2/3 cup of shredded cheese. repeat layers once. spoon 1/2 cup over cheese, top with remaining tortilla halves. spoon remaining sauce over tortillas. reserve remaining cheese. cover & bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated. sprinkle with remaining cheese & let stand 10 minutes (i let it cook for 15 minutes instead cuz i like it crispy). serve with toppings.

and if course, i have no photos. when i host, i forget to pull out the camera. maybe, though, i will remember to pull out a camera now that i have this:

i don't have a fancy camera. i am not good with adjustments. i will leave that to daughter michelle. i will stick to my point and shoot.

husband scott gave me this beauty (love the color) tonight and i will be packing it for florida next week. that means i have got 2 days to figure it out...i think i can do that since it is auto everything! my kind of camera.

May 08, 2011

to all you moms that are empty nesters...

husband scott and i were trying to figure out if this is the first mother's day for me without the children here with me and i am pretty sure it is.

i miss them so.

so here is a lament from honk! the musical. i know i could find an equally teary and sad song that would be more hip or cool and would make everyone cry, but this one is the one i have been singing all week. here are some of the lyrics:

every time i turn around, i expect you to appear
everyone may call my name, but it's your voice that i hear
every moment that you're gone is a moment, dark and gray
every tear a mother cries is a dream that's washed away

every day will seem to be more empty than the last
everywhere the sun once shined, a shadow has been cast

every moment seems an hour 
every hour less a day

every tear a mother cries is a dream that's washed away

(while you are missing from my life, it's me who's feeling lost.
  without you, i feel lost)

so, how do i know the lyrics to a song from honk! the musical? i am glad that you asked. i LOVE musicals and my niece was in her middle school musicals and, like a good tantanana, i went up to watch each one. she played maureen and here she is with ida, the yellow duck:

and like high school musical (she was gabriela), i had to buy the cd after watching ita perform.

happy mother's day!

i was going to post a photo of my mom, but my scanner is busted. there are some GREAT photos of her when she was a young mom. i will post them later.

anyway, she is such a great mom. she will do anything for us and has done so much for all four of us. my older brother and i are a year apart in age and she was in college at the same time. i don't know how she did it.

she is amazing!

all my love,
your daughter

May 06, 2011


what is more depressing than shopping for a swimsuit?
shopping for a bra. that is what. went to gap today to try on this:

why was i trying this on?
because i need one for a wedding in florida which is being held outside on the beach and i thought a strapless dress with a little cardie would be kinda' cute.

i didn't buy one, however, because trying to put this beautiful strapless bra on a body that looks like the venus of willendorf just doesn't work. who may you ask is she?

well she is this stunning creature on the right and she is a great discovery that had archeologists swooning, but no one in their right mind really wants to look like that.

i don't.

now i may be exaggerating just slightly about what i look like without foundation garments. i must admit she probably would wear a much bigger cup size than me. my problem is that i wear a big size bra but not a corresponding cup size. i went to dillards after going to gap and where their lingerie department is overwhelming and their selection appears to be vast, until i went through each rack for my size and it just wasn't there. i overheard a customer asking for a 40 triple d and i am thinking, "good luck with that." and the saleswoman found several (!) in her size. 40 triple d!!! when i asked the same saleswoman for the size i needed she, like, "oooooooo, i don't think we carry that size. can you wear a bigger cup size?" (uhhh, no, if i could wear a bigger cup size i would have asked for a bigger cup size.)

this reminds me of shopping for my first bra with mom, back when there was no such thing as a training bra. mom tried to get me to try on a large cup size back then and then add to what wasn't there. i mean that's what they did back then. lots of socks were not being used on feet back then.

seriously, why at almost 54 am i contemplating using socks to fill out a bra (sigh).

oh and to gap body...please please use more flattering light and a better mirror in your dressing room. the last thing i want to see is all the veins in my chest and very short stumpy legs...i mean...come on, i'm 5'8", my legs should not look stumpy in a mirror.

May 05, 2011

things i should have taught my children, but didn't

eat dessert. i never really voiced it, but i think it is important. it signals your brain that one is through eating. this is the best idea i have ever read. it cancels out the eat dessert first idea, unless one does not want to eat anything else after the dessert. of course, that doesn't mean one should eat the whole jar of cookies...just one cookie or if, like me, one is on weight watchers, half a cookie. just a little sweet to tell the brain that this is the end of the more food...finished.

oh and btw, dessert has 2 's's' as in strawberry shortcake. no one wants to eat a desert...too dry.

so pretty, but seriously

today, one of my favorite blogs, oh happy day, posted about bhldn (beholden) which is Anthropologie's new line for weddings. It includes to-die-for wedding dresses and now, to-die-for stuff for a wedding. stuff like this:

when i went to their website, the first thing i zoomed in on was this absolutely beautiful garland...then i looked at the price...then i heaved a sigh of relief, because my one and only favorite daughter got married last november.

but, there are other things that i wish we had access to for her wedding. i LOVE the crinkle fans and they would have been a nice mix with the poms we had hanging in the trees. everything anthropologie touches has such a design style. i really like what they do. i think that anthropologie had a mass of the white fans in some catalogue or an actual store...i don't remember...or was it martha stewart's living magazine...i cannot remember,  but i do remember thinking that a mass of them would look great over a cake table, whether is was for a wedding, a shower or a birthday, my birthday. i may order them for next year, since my birthday is next tuesday (sigh).

there are also the pretty lumiere votives which would have been totally in sync with michelle's wedding. so pretty!

speaking of my one and only favorite daughter michelle who got married last november, her wedding photographer, nessa, featured her in her blog recently and she showed up in style me pretty blog, too. check it out!

and while i am unashamedly promoting everything...check out daughter michelle's website, too. 

seriously, check it out.

i mean it! 

do it!

May 04, 2011


i wonder what place other people dream in. what i mean is, when i dream about a place, nine times out of ten, it takes place in the home on seminole where we moved when i was 5. i lived there until i got married. so now at ALMOST (but not yet) 54, this was a very long time ago.

i dream a lot, probably not any more than others, but i do remember my dreams. husband scott hates to hear about them...okay, maybe not hate...maybe more dislikes hearing about them because they don't make sense to anyone, but me. plus, he is a sensible man and doesn't like things that aren't real. he fell asleep watching harry potter (!) and lord of the rings (!!). i, secretly, think that he doesn't like it because he doesn't remember his dreams. (i sometimes wish that i slept so heavily.)

anyway, last night, i dreamed that my dad came driving home in this weird boxy, yet narrow, truck that kinda' looked like a sigg aluminum box. click on the link...they now have them in color!!! may have to get more.

okay, i dad drives home in a sigg aluminum box truck and spins around at the end of the driveway. i can even see the patch on the driveway that had crumbled slightly. he comes bouncing out, really...almost skipping. he is so happy. the truck was full of men his age and they have come back from some kind of event and they are all wearing these bright yellow t-shirts (which means i dream in color). these guys were his friends - i didn't know who they were.

and he smiles really big and says, "hi ann!"
and i wake up.

do you dream about a particular place over and over again?
my dreams can be completely different, but occur a lot in the house where i grew up.

do your dreams include your children at different ages? mine usually have michelle at the age she is now and jason is always around 2 or 3 years old. sometimes michelle is a toddler, but not often.

i really think that almost all dreams mean something and not just about sex (freud, i'm talking about you).

what does this mean? is it a secret wish that my dad should be really happy, i mean beaming-ly happy? or that i want him to hang out and do stuff with people - his own friends? am i worried?i don't think i am worried about him because when i woke up, i felt happy.

or was dad me, wishing to go out with friends in a yellow t-shirt driving a sigg aluminum truck?

May 02, 2011

ann - a disappearing act

well this is my first update since i started back on (i wish it was never a 'back on' that means i have slipped up) weight watchers. i am still reluctant to show a before photo. i think i will have to wait until i am further a way from the photo to do it. i, seriously, don't know how does it. he posts his before photo and it gets a lot of hits. i have practically no one reading this blog and still can't do that.

i am taking my photo every 2 weeks. the first one on april 6th, but then i have switched to every other monday because i am working out in the gym with kelly on mondays and thursdays. i just figured out that i have been on weight watchers for almost 4 feels way way way way longer than that. crazy!

so, i have lost a total of 12.2lbs. that even includes the week where for 7 days i went down a half pound, up a half pound, down a half pound and ended the week the same weight i was at the beginning. so, not bad. i thought i was losing so very slowly...this is why one really shouldn't weigh oneself everyday. i have averaged about 3lbs per week which is good. the goal is to average 1 to 2lbs per week according to all healthy weight loss guides, but that is much to slow for one who is going to be in florida in two weeks. i have to pack a swimsuit. i am not even close to being comfortable in a swim suit. luckily, i will be wearing it among strangers that i will never have to see again.

speaking of ben in bendoeslife, one of his posts talked about the day he could see his veins in his arms. being overweight (he has lost 120lbs!), he never saw his veins stick out, so it was like a big deal. i was born with ginormous veins, so for me this is a moot issue.

what do i want?

carrie underwood knees.

is that too much to ask? granted at 54, mine will be more wrinkly, but do you think i could get those? i remember when i was getting a workout to use at the Y from a trainer many many many years ago, and he asked me, "what would you like to get out of your workout?" i told him i would love to those heart shaped calves that some people have. and he looked at my calves and said, "you know some of that is genetics....."

does that mean i can't have heart shaped calves? yes, yes it does, but maybe i can have carrie underwood knees. i am working out and look...
after my workout. can you see it?

look really hard.

i have sweat marks on my knee!

i am well on my way...hopefully (sigh)

p s photo from

carrie underwood's, not mine...i don't think people magazine would pay for my knee photo, right?

May 01, 2011


just got back home from watching craig ferguson do stand up in bass hall...interesting.

husband scott turned on cnn and osama bin laden is dead!

it doesn't seem real.


i am posting a day late to say that i had a really yummy salad yesterday. i was in the mood for a shrimp salad so i looked for a recipe on i must admit that martha stewart is my 'go to' for recipes. i do follow a several food blogs that i also 'star' so that i can try out their recipes. i must, one day, put up my blog roll. maybe next week.

anyways, it was hot yesterday and i was in the mood for shrimp salad. so, here is the one i chose:

Chopped Salad with Shrimp and Lime-Buttermilk Dressing

serves 6

3/4 c buttermilk
1 avocado, halved, pitted & peeled
1 t lime zest, plus 1/4 c lime juice
coarse salt & ground pepper
1 T vegetable oil (i used olive oil)
1 lb med shrimp, peeled & deveined
3 hearts romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
1/2 c pepitas, toasted
1/2 c cilantro leaves

in a blender, combine buttermilk, avocado, lime zest & juice, and 2 T water. blend until smooth, 20 seconds. season dressing to taste with salt & pepper. in a large skillet, heat oil over med-high. season shrimp with salt & pepper. cook until opaque throughout, about 3 minutes, flipping once. in a large bowl, toss together romaine, pepitas, cilantro, shrimp, & 1 c dressing until combined & served immediately.

i only changed the recipe by using 1 t olive oil for the shrimp. i halved the recipe since there are only the two of us. i also added chinese celery to the salad since i got some in my csa and it added more flavor and crunch to the salad.

btw, weight watcher points for a serving (if the serving = 1/4 of the recipe, using 2 1/2 T dressing and only 1 t olive oil to cook the shrimp) is 4 1/2 points (by my calculation...don't hold me to it).

the dressing is really good with out any oil in it. the buttermilk and avocado made it extra creamy. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...try's yummy.