Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Germs, Turkey Waddles, and San Antonio's River Walk

I am quite behind in my blogging. I went to San Antonio over Veteran's Day weekend with my dear friend, Lesly. On my flight home, a man sitting two rows behind me coughed and sneezed like a contagiuosly-diseased champion. I tried not to breathe the germified air, but I could only breathe the air inside the collar of my sweatshirt for so long, you know? I think the flight attendants should make sick people wear those little white painters' masks. Yes, I know~it would be politically incorrect to brand sick people with the proverbial scarlet (or in this case white) letter. So maybe I'll start carrying my own mask to protect myself. That loud HRUMPH you just heard was the collective sighing and head shaking from my kids. They think I am a germaphobe. Well, maybe I am. A little. But that's just because anytime I am near anyone with a cold, I catch it. Then it turns into bronchitis and then sometimes pneumonia. Case in point: I ended up sick a few days after that flight. Thankfully, it didn't last long.

 But then poor Miss Emma became sick on Thanksgiving Eve. Really sick. So sick that she and Brittany missed Thanksgiving dinner. On Friday, Brittany took her for a strep test, which was negative. They said it's just a virus. But Monday was day 5 of her fever, sore throat, and headache. She also developed a wretched sounding cough. Her pediatrician was concerned about pneumonia, so he X-rayed her lungs. Thankfully, her lungs are clear and the doctor couldn't find any infection. But Emma is still quite sick. And now her mommy, her Giffy, and her Papa are sick, too~though none of us are as sick as is Miss Emma.

So we had a quiet Thanksgiving. Back in September when I placed my turkey order at our local turkey farm (see, I do live out in the country!), I ordered a 23-lb bird assuming that I would have a full table. Some plans changed and some people were ill, so on Thanksgiving night we were down to four. We've been eating turkey for days. They say that "you are what you eat." I know it's true because my old-lady-neck-flap-just-below-my-chin eerily resembles a turkey waddle, just a little less red. So not the fashion statement I want to make, but eh, what can I do? Plastic surgery is out because we all know I would end up being the poster granny for totally-botched-and-hideous-plastic-surgery-nightmares. Besides, I don't think Joan Rivers is ready to abdicate her throne. Guess I'll just suck it up (or maybe pin it back with turkey skewers and laces) and get back to blogging. So on to my San Antonio trip.

I had to laugh because Lesly sleeps with ear plugs. I know she says that they're the only way she can sleep, but I suspect that after we shared a room in Chicago five years ago, she immediately ran home and bought them because even the mere memory of my snoring was enough to keep her awake! She's way too polite to say this, of course. (Hmm. Makes me wonder what my turkey waddle looks like as it trembles. I think I am better off not knowing, and I will soooooooo hurt anyone who tries to videotape it! LOL) At any rate, Lesly did, in fact, survive the trip and her ears seemed no worse for the wear. Though she did occasionally insist she heard a fog horn, so I just played along with her and said I heard it, too. Not that there was any fog in San Antonio, but that's just a minor detail. (JK, Lesly!)

We had a room with a large terrace overlooking San Antonio's famous River Walk. Here are a few shots from our balcony.
I thought these were cool shots of the trees. Don't worry, Mom~Lesly held onto my ankles really, really tightly while I leaned WAY over the terrace edge to take these photos. Bwahaha! (Eeewww...I wonder what my waddle looked like hanging upside down over the terrace!)
I had fun taking shadowy photos. It's hard to see things clearly, but it sure is fun to play with the light.
I love the water's reflection on the underside of this arch.
We stopped along the River Walk for a snack. This little birdie was hoping we'd share our chips and salsa.
These bad boys kept stealing the sugar and artificial sweetener packets right off the tables. They literally ripped the packets open and devoured their contents. As one not-so-little birdie took off in flight, it left a little "present" right on top of a lady's refried beans. She just moved that present aside with her knife and kept on eating. Yup and YUCK!
To my delight, there were ample opportunities to take photos through tree branches. No, this building is not the Leaning Tower of San Antonio. Apparently, I forgot to straighten it before I uploaded it. I guess you'll just have to tilt your computer screen to the left to get the right perspective.
Check out this tree. Is it cool or what?
Just random shots taken as we strolled...
Oh, and in case you're wondering, this is Lesly. We've been friends for 20 years. She lives in CA, which is where we met. She is actually from Texas but had never been to San Antonio, so it was really fun to expereince it with her. Yes, she still has her sweet Texas drawl. And see, she looked rested and happy and beautiful despite my buzz saw snore!
This was one of our favorite restaurants: Bella on the River Walk. I like this artsy shot of the restaurant's stone walls.
Check out these cool glass bottles in the restaurant! I didn't use a flash so that I could capture the translucent glass and the shadows without any bright spots.
And this dessert was a first for both of us: pistachio cake. It was yummalish!
Next up: The Alamo. Right after I paint myself a sign that says, "Save a turkey. Eat a Tofurkey." I don't want to end up on someone's platter next Thanksgiving, lol!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Yesterday, we attended a concert at the Baptist Temple in Boston. Although the chorale group is not associated with the temple, it performed quite a few gospel songs, many of which referred to Jesus as "light." These songs reminded me of some lyrics I wrote several years ago. Just thought I'd share them.

Nothing in Between 

The streets were his religion
Violence was his only mission
His life was hanging in the balance day to day
With a gun pressed to a head
He remembered words his brother said
About the One who died to bear his sin and shame
And he found Jesus in that alley
Hate no longer his reality
He saw the truth his hate had not let him see:
It's light or darkness, there is nothing in between

Drugs became her secret passion
Once taboo but now the fashion
A masquerade for what was hidden deep within
With a tube forced down her throat
She remembered words her daddy spoke
About the One who paid the price for all her sin
And she met Jesus on that gurney
Fear no longer was her journey
She saw the truth her fear had not let her see:
It's light or darkness, there is nothing in between

We start out in the darkness
From the moment we begin
We've got to choose to let Light pierce us
We've got to choose to let Light in
We've got to choose to let Him in

My son's last breath upon my face
A nightmare time cannot erase
A broken heart and an empty soul took hold of me
Crying at that tiny grave
I remembered words the preacher prayed
About the One who holds my son and grieves with me
And I met Jesus in that graveyard
Pain no longer lord of my heart
I saw the truth my pain had not let me see:
It's light or darkness, there is nothing in between

We walk in Light or darkness
There is nothing in between
Light or darkness
Nothing in between
      (Copyright © 2005 by, Inc. All rights reserved.)

May I always remember to let the Light shine through me...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sorry, Mama!

Hey, Mamasita! I am having trouble uploading the newest video of Emma. I will work on it some more tomorrow, ok? I love you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Magic Pumpkin Seeds

I need to do a lot of catching up on my blog. Between the Nor'Easter a few weeks ago and recent traveling, I am a bit behind. But I am sure my mama won't mind since this post is all about Emma. :)

On the Thursday before Halloween, Emma (along with her pre-school peeps) planted a magic pumpkin seed at school. In front of the class, Miss Judy scooped out the seeds from a white pumpkin. The children took the seeds outside and planted them next to their markers. Just two short hours later the kids came out to see if anything had sprouted. Thankfully, I had my iPhone in my pocket and was able to catch a few moments of magic.
Too cute, huh?

Then Emma took me into her classroom and showed me the pumpkin the children had carved while they waited to see what happened to their magic pumpkin seeds. No, the kids didn't actually do the carving, but they did have to brainstorm and vote on the shapes for the face.
A few days earlier, each child made a self-portrait and had to think of one reason why he/she is special. I cracked up at Emma's reason. I really cracked up at her pink eye shadow!
Ok, mamasita, there's you overdue Emma post. Guess what? I'll have another one tomorrow!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In The Meadow We Can Build A Snowpumpkin

Due to the Nor'Easter, the schools were closed for three days beginning on Halloween. So what are two incredibly adorable girls supposed to do when there's snow on Halloween? Do what they do best, of course: play and giggle and see the world through the wonderful lens of a child's eye. 

I'm pretty sure they weren't at all worried about the lack of heat or toilets. Hmm. Maybe next time I should build a snowpumpkin, too!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Halloween That Almost Wasn't

Our epic Nor'easter hit two days before Halloween. On Sunday, the temperature indoors wasn't too bad yet, so we carved pumpkins. Actually, they carved pumpkins while I took photos and played with the dogs. I love to eat anything pumpkin but cannot stand the smell of slimy pumpkin guts. Emma, however, seems to love the smell. She also enjoys pulling out the slimy pumpkin guts and saying, "Giffy, smell this. It smells soooooo good!" Good thing she's cute! HA HA!
Emma was very specific regarding the shapes she wanted on her pumpkin. She told Mommy what to draw and where. 
Ta da! Emma's masterpiece!
This is Papa's masterpiece.
On Halloween, the streets were still covered with downed trees and power lines. So our town, as did many towns, postponed trick-or-treating. Some towns even cancelled it altogether. By Monday evening, Brittany's building was nice and toasty, so Emma went trick-or-treating with her friends (and twins) Brooke and Abbey.
Emma wanted me to photograph her gold eyeshadow. I love her pose!
On Saturday, Emma came to my house to go trick-or-treating. She decided to be a different princess that night. Here she is getting some lipstick. She already has the lipstick pucker down!
It was pretty cold that night so instead of wearing her sparkly Princess shoes, this Snow White wore her cozy boots. By the way, those are some moves, Snow White!
Who needs seven height-challenged men to mine jewels for you when you have a Giffy and her stash of full-size candy bars? 
It was actually kind of sad. Only half of the houses here (there are only 24) passed out candy. Needless to say I had a ton of leftover candy which I made Rick take to work. I did keep a Butterfinger or two. Or three. Or four. Yum.

Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to Weight Watchers I go!