Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Conversation

This Mother's Day mini-conversation at Mi Cocina was too good not to get down before it's forgotten.

Erin (Kelly's sister, who I like to aggravate as much and as often as possible): "Remember six years ago when Kelly exploded that ketchup packet all over the place? We were cleaning the blinds yesterday and found ketchup spots."

Me: "Maybe you should clean your blinds more often than every six years."

Katie: "Wait, do blinds need to be cleaned?"

Monday, June 4, 2012

4 Trips


I made four trips to Home Depot yesterday. Good thing Home Depot is very close to the house.

One hinge to the main gate to the back fence had come off, and I needed some long bolts, washers, nuts to put it back on -- the big wood screws weren't going to do it any more. Also, one corner of the back fence had come loose. Plus, there was one other thing Kelly said we needed from Home Depot, but I couldn't remember what it was. I carefully made out a list of what size bolts, nuts, washers, etc. I needed.

Trip 1: Kelly went with me. Bought the hardware just as I had listed. Remembered when we got there that what we had forgotten we needed was a new water filter for the refrigerator. But, there are several different filters, so we always have to take our old filter out and take it with us. We'd have to get it next time. We also picked up a few plants and some lawn fertilizer and a bag of Ironite for the oak tree that's turning yellow that we're trying to save, but know is hopeless because it's a variety not meant for North Texas (we didn't plant it.)

Trip 2: I needed to drill holes through the fence to insert the bolts in. My father-in-law bought us our Craftsman drill as a housewarming gift back in 1987, and the drill chuck or whatever it's called that tightens the drill around the bit had fallen off the cord, and we couldn't find it. The drill bit was not even spinning. I went back to pick up a drill chuck. Didn't remember to take the old water filter. Kelly stayed home to plant the plants.

Trip 3: The drill chuck the guy sold me was too small -- he insisted it would be the right size. But, I made it work. Drilled the holes and inserted the bolts and realized all the bolts I had bought had a round flat head on them -- there was nothing to hold on to with a wrench when I was trying to tighten the nut. The nuts I bought were the nylon locking nuts. Decided I was hungry, and it was lunch time, and that maybe I'd have a better disposition if I ate first. (Kelly said, "Just leave it and I'll call Jose." Jose was the brother of the guy who came out to cut down one of our sickly trees and trim up the other. He said his brother Jose would be glad to come out and fix the fence. "Just leave it and I'll call Jose" only strengthened my resolve to finish this job myself!) At first I thought my problem was the nylon locking nuts -- that with regular nuts, I'd be able to tighten them even with the round flat-head bolts. But, on the way up, I decided I still wanted to use the locking nuts, it was the bolts with the flat round heads that were the problem. So, I'd buy new bolts with ends that you can get a wrench on. Still didn't remember to take the old water filter.

Trip 4: The fence repair team of Stan and Ollie (Kelly and Nelson) were making good progress, though by this time it was well past noon, and starting to get hot. One of us was on one side of the fence holding the bolt, the other on the other side of the fence tightening the nut. We finished with the gate and went over to fix the back fence that had come loose in the wind. (Mind you, this is a pretty new fence.) It appears the fencers had only used nails to piece together the corner, and they had come loose. We were installing a couple of L-brackets to hold the corner together. Got the holes drilled and punched through the bolts -- and they were too short. Needed 8 more bolts, 1/2-inch longer. This time I remembered the old water filter.

By 2:00, both parts of the fence were fixed and strong. A little blood on me and one mashed finger on Kelly. Kelly was a little sunburned, too, from being in the direct sun for so long. By 2:30, the water was running clear from the refrigerator, we had dried off, changed clothes and were cooled off enough to take a nap.

And, we never had to call Jose.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Advice for the New School Year

This week's Dallas Morning News question of the week was what advice did we have for students/parents/teachers for the new school year. I responded something like, "High school girls, don't forget that if you get sent to the office because your clothes are inappropriate, you're going to have to wear the outfit your mom puts together and brings up to you."

This only happened to Katie once, and Mom put together and brought up an outfit she would never forget. So, Katie learned her lesson. She started keeping an extra set of clothes in her car.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back on My Feet Run - 8/10/11

I ran with Back on My Feet this morning.

It's kinda funny. A new volunteer "non-resident" (she doesn't live at the shelter) ran with me today -- Rachel. She said she hadn't been running a lot lately, though she is a runner, and the three miles we were supposed to do were going to be a challenge for her.

So, Rachel ran along side of me, and it was kind of a complicated route, and when she saw the neighborhoods we were running through, and that it was dark, and that if she didn't stick with me she might get lost, she had no problem completing those three miles! I dropped her off at the end and then circled back to pick up some others. When we all got back, she was gone. I hope she comes back.

The "residents" (those who live at the shelter) love my baked goods (pineapple bread today), and I get to bake for someone else who really appreciates them. Only, they aren't supposed to bring outside food into the shelter, so they take my carefully-wrapped baked goodies and stuff them deep into their pockets to get past the security guard.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Troy Aikman and St. Francis


For some reason, in our main lobby today at work there's a big spinning wheel, and employees can take a spin to try to win a signed Tony Romo official Cowboys jersey.

It reminded me of the year at Father's Day when my brother-in-law opened his gift and it was a white football signed by Troy Aikman (one of my father-in-law's regular men's suit customers at Neimans.)

My present was so big it had to be wrapped in a brown plastic yard bag, so I thought man this must be good. It was a plastic statue of St. Francis to put in my garden.

Maybe it was a good thing everyone decided we're not doing gifts any more for Father's Day. That hadn't been decided yet last month for Mother's Day, but minds were made up by Father's Day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why Girls Run With the DRC and My Job As a Pace Leader

I'm starting to learn some things about girls as I continue to pace lead.

(I sent this note to my neighbor this morning and thought it was pretty good, so I thought I'd share it here, too, for others.)

Good morning, neighbor.

If you don't read Kristin Armstrong's blog, I think you would like it: http://milemarkers.runnersworld.com/. She is a runner, like you, trying to juggle being a good mom and a good runner. Kelly reads this blog and gives me updates. I used to read it on a regular basis, but the more I read it, the more I realized she was writing this for women and not for me, and I felt like I was eavesdropping on girlfriends' conversations, so I stopped.

Kristin has a book I bought for Kelly -- if you like her blog, you'll like her book. Let me know, and you can borrow it. I started reading it, too. It's an inspirational book, for women, written by a runner, but I thought I might pick up some tidbits in there myself. So, I started reading it one morning, not moving Kelly's bookmark. Being sneaky. Turned my cup of coffee over on it the first morning. Gaaa! Had to confess. I kept reading, but after a couple of days, I felt like I was eavesdropping on a girlfriends' conversation again, so I stopped.

One thing pace leading has taught me over the years is that moms and wives and daughters and girlfriends come out to run with the DRC to have some girlfriends time. They're not coming out to run with the guys. Oh, guys are out there, too, but it's been my experience that the girls come out to have some time for themselves as women -- some time away from the responsibilities of being a mom and/or wife and/or daughter or girlfriend.

So, I've learned that my job as pace leader is to keep us on pace and on route (heaven help us!), to offer encouragement, to share inspiration when I can find it, but to otherwise stay back and out of the way and let you all have your girlfriends time. That's usually how our long runs go -- we all stick together, but the girls are in their little running pods having their conversations, enjoying each other, the running, the mornings. That's the experience of running with the 3:90 marathon training group, and I hope that maybe you will be able to work it out to run with us this fall.

We guys are just along for a little comic relief, and to shoo off dogs and strangers. And, to bake.

Have a good day, neighbor!

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Just Love Austin College


It's Saturday night, and we've been to the Baccalaureate ceremony, which was amazing, and we've been to the refreshments get-together afterwards and are leaving. And, for some reason the college president Dr. Marjorie Hass singles Kelly and I out and comes over to congratulate us and shakes our hands -- she is leaving, too.

So, we find Katie and start down the stairs to leave, and Dr. Hass and her husband are leaving at the same time in front of us, and Katie says, "Marjorie! I love your shoes!" and she and the college president stand there for a couple of minutes talking about her shoes -- how they are Cole Hahn, and how they have a deal with Nike, so they're dress shoes, but really athletic shoes, and have a cork sole, etc. And, then after a bit, we go on our way -- us to our car, Dr. Hass to her next graduation function of the evening.

Kelly and I were flabbergasted. I said, "Katieeee... That's the college president -- you don't call her Marjorie!" Katie said, "Dadddddyyyy... Everyone calls her Marjorie!"

That's what Austin College is like, one of the many reasons why I just love Austin College.