Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hurricane Dolly

Hurricane Dolly hit my parents pretty hard yesterday. Their house flooded a little bit and it ruined their carpet. I think most of the damage is outside effecting the landscaping, roof, and fence. They have not had power since 9am yesterday and are reportedly "pretty bored."

They managed to keep busy yesterday. The sandbags did not hold out all the rain, which was falling at a rate of five to 12" per hour. After using all of their towels and blankets to soak up water leaking into the house they spent five hours continuously mopping. Mom says Dad was filling the buckets faster than she could dump them out. Some of their neighbors have about a foot of standing water in their houses.

Sounds like their vigilance helped keep their home from flooding. Thank God they are safe and their house has minimal damage. Please say a little prayer for my parents and the people in the Valley as they get their homes back in order.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dirty Dog

This morning Patton and I went to the Dog Park (aka the "Bark Bark.") It is his ritual upon arrival to dive into the mud pit that accumulates around the watering hole. And who am I to deny him this simple puppy pleasure? If I would have had enough foresight I would have taken pictures so you can see precisely how filthy he actually gets.

What is great about Patton, among many things, is that he knows he gets a bath post "Bark Bark." I don't even have to say anything. He just follows me around the back yard until I have everything set up and then he stands there while I bath him. Since we have moved into the house we have added a step to this process. Before his actual bath I spray him down with the water hose and he goes absolutely nuts.

He loves the water hose-- more so shower spray, not so much on jet spray. While he gets hosed he snorts and rolls in the grass, scooching on his back and biting at the water. Then he suddenly takes off in full speed around the entire backyard, making a flying leap into the spray of water only to repeat the scenario. It is adorably hilarious. Once we get our video camera back I will video tape it because the pictures do not do Patton justice. I love our dog!

Patton vs the Water Hose:

The Not-so-Sneaky Flying Leap Attack:

The Landing:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Farewell for now...

Today we sent our neighbor and friend, Jayme, & her dog, Duke, off to Oklahoma. We wish them well and are excited for all the new opportunities that await them. Even so, we can't help but be sad that our sweet friends are moving away.

I will definitely miss our Saturday mornings spent drinking coffee in our pjs and letting the dogs play on the trail outside our apartments. And our Margarita Mondays at Ozona. It was nice to be able to walk down stairs at any time and hang out with a friend, borrow clothes, be lazy, or go for a jog by the lake together. Jayme has looked out for us and our home, not to mention all the times she took care of our little man.

Although he is completely unaware, I'm sure Patton would be sad to learn his best buddy Duke and beloved Aunt Mayme are no longer a few steps away. Patton has been Duke's annoying little brother, always wanting to do whatever it is Duke is doing. Partners in crime, they always invent mischief when they are together. Nothing makes Patton happier than the mere mention of Duke's name.

There is no mischief to be found today or morning coffee and conversation. We will miss you, dear friends! Sending you off with our love. It's not goodbye, but merely until we meet again. Good luck in Oklahoma...and hook 'em horns.

Jayme's Going Away Dinner @ Gloria's:

Patton + Duke = BFF:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Working Girl

That's right people, I have a summer job and my marriage has been saved! I say that because Jeremy has not been too keen on the summer holiday provided by my current position.

Being a team player, I signed up with a nursing temp agency and have been assigned two jobs thus far. The last job was at Parkland. I held in-services teaching RNs how to use their new feeding pump. Tomorrow through Friday I will decipher medical charts for lay people.

The pay is awesome and the commitments are very short. It has worked out swimmingly. I might just be able to afford a new chair and couch for the living room by the time school starts. I suppose that all depends on how much of a team player Jeremy will be.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

In the Kitchen with Tamara

Feeling creative I decided to make a new recipe today using herbs from my garden. I tried to keep fat and calories at a minimum. It came out good. I would rate it a B-. It's missing a little kick. The sesame oil flavor did not blend as well with the curry as I had hoped so I ended up adding a little rice vinegar. I think next time I should try a fish oil instead. Any suggestions for improvements would be much appreciated. I am proud to announce the basil was excellent. Here's the recipe; it serves one:

Tamara's Shrimp and Vegetable Curry with Basil

4oz lite coconut milk
1/2 tsp yellow curry powder
3/4 cup frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
1 tbsp water
1/4 tsp sesame seed oil
1/4 small white onion, chopped
1/4 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
3 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Simmer lite coconut milk and curry in saute pan for 5 min.
Stir in vegetables, water, oil, vinegar, sugar. Simmer for 10 min.
Add shrimp, salt and pepper. Simmer until shrimp are cooked.
Remove from heat and add basil. Let sit for 1-2 min. Serve.

Calories: 236
Fat: 10 grams
Carbohydrates: 14 grams
Protein: 20 grams
Fiber: 3 grams

Yum Yum:

Monday, July 7, 2008

Eat, Drink, and be Merry

Forth of July weekend was a blast! Jeremy, Jackie, John, and myself loaded up the wagon and met up with Mom, Dad, Mike, and Sarah at Wes and little Jackie's house in San Antonio. We celebrated my Mom's 60th birthday in concurrence with that of our great nation.

Wes and Little Jackie went out of their way to cook the entire weekend. It was excellent! They had the margarita machine going and we all relaxed in the "Shop" out behind Wesley's house.

On Saturday we floated the Comal River. Luckily it wasn't too cold for Jackie. John traded in his "Safari Johnie" title for "Tubing Johnie" when he lost his safari hat on one of the tube shoots.

The afternoon started out bright and sunny. About half way through the ride a few clouds started to form. By the end there was a torrential down-poor of rain. This did not deter the spirits of my family, who drank beer and sang 80's songs the entire bus ride back to the drop off. It was especially entertaining to watch my mom, the school teacher, riding the school bus with a beer in hand, singing loudly. Happy Birthday, Mom! We love you!

Patton had his own vacation hanging out with my brother's dogs in the back yard. Naturally he found the closest mud pit and wallowed in it like a pig, then proceeded to hump Nelly, the bull mastiff's, face. Clearly that was the highlight of the weekend.

We enjoyed hanging out with the family. Getting all of us together at the same time has been difficult lately. We are spread out all over the state. It was so much fun to be with everyone. We hope to make this an annual trip!

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Soon-to-Be Walker Family

Wade and Jenny are getting married and we couldn't be happier for them! The McDannel clan met up at Cafe Madrid last night to get all the details. He popped the question in Cabo and she was pleasantly surprised. Nuptials will be sometime this fall.

They look so happy together. It warms my heart and reminds me of all the wonderful things Jeremy and I have experienced together and of all our hopes for the future. I wish them love and growth. Now if only I could convince them of a destination wedding in Maui...

The Reenactment:

The Happy Couple:

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Summer of Softball and Low Energy Bills

Radiant Barrier went in yesterday morning courtesy of We added a foot of insulation as well as the energy shield radiant barrier. The barrier looks like aluminum foil spread over the entire attic but is hard as nails. I tried scratching and tearing a spare piece of it to no avail. The temperature only took 15 minutes to drop two degrees in mid-afternoon, opposed to taking over an hour pre-barrier. We are pleased thus far!




In other news, Jeremy’s company softball team, the KPMG Camels, ended their 2 game winning streak last night. Jeremy is the team statistician and first baseman. Last night he was 2 for 2 with 3 RBIs and 1 run scored. I was unable to obtain his batting average for the season. Patton is the team mascot and has attended every game. We are working on getting camel humps to strap onto his back. The games have been fun. Especially since I get to go home with the handsome first baseman!