This post is written specifically for my lovely cousin, Katelyn, who requested a blog update and reminded me that although I've posted house photos on facebook, I haven't yet posted anything about the house on this site.That means you better be reading this Katelyn, or else...

So here I sit in our very own kitchen (well, maybe it's Bank of America's kitchen) which just this morning we fixed up a bit. See? Before and after:
Perhaps it's due to having to retrofit so many florescent light fixtures back in the day at Redwood Chapel, but Paul abhorred the kitchen fixture that came with this house and it was numero uno on his list of things to fix (Actually, I think it was more like numero seis, but that's not a trite little American phrase now, is it?). These photos also showcase our beautiful "popcorn" textured ceilings. So pretty and easy to clean and they don't collect cobwebs at all. Just lying. I hate them. Luckily, we found out that the texture is not at all difficult to remove and already took it off our guest bathroom ceiling. The proof:
And here is evidence pointing to the reason why we haven't yet tackled the ceiling in the kitchen or any of the other rooms yet:

Just a wee bit messy. I may have ceiling texture in my hair for the rest of my life. We haven't yet gotten to patching and painting, but it is such a good feeling to have that gross stuff gone and to know that it can easily be accomplished. (And luckily our house was built post 1980, so no risk of asbestos.)

That's about all I've got, Katelyn. Plus I'm super hungry.


Fun fact! I just seriously almost threw up in my cereal bowl when I saw a photo of a little girl proudly cradling her freshly extracted tooth in the palm of her hand. I looked away fast but not before I saw the bloody little roots. Can we say major tooth phobia?


Presenting the modest little house that we hope will soon be our new home. Pictures don't do her (yes, I've decided it's a she and am currently trying to name her) justice, but she's a bit practical and plain, cute in her own way, and extremely clean. I can't wait to get our little red dinette set in that kitchen and make the first meal. And, hey, we'll have a backyard and our little grill so Paul can make the first meal! We have some designs to paint her exterior a different shade and the mirror covered in fake ivy that's over the sink is obviously coming down, but other than that she is move-in ready! And did I mention that she comes with all of the appliances including the washer and dryer?! A nice first place. I think Millie (Eloise?) will treat us well.


Correct me it I am wrong but, I think that I have posted only once on this blog and (seeing as how my name is in the title) I may as well at least post twice. So, in no particular order here are my ten favorite things about Texas. (actually I lied they are in order)

10. scorpions. (not the band)
Although I have yet to see one, I am still hoping.

9. rocks.
It is true, the Alamo is made of stone as is literally everything else in and around San Antonio. It is truly majestic.

8. The Grackle.
This little dastard is as loud as all get out. They are ubiquitous as well.

7. rivers.
Being land locked never looked so good.

6. B.B.Q.
True it may take some getting used but you'll have many chances (any social gathering you attend) to become accustomed.

5. Austin.
Aside from reminding me slightly of Oakland, many cool bands play there. It was also the birthplace of Mineral, and numerous crazy music festivals.

4. Beer.
Flying Saucer is THE best place ever. I think that I shall be buried there someday.

3. Geneva.
Really it is what makes all of this possible, at least for me.

2. Hank Hill.
Although this is a fictional character on, sadly, a canceled cartoon program, there really are quite a few people in Texas that actually remind me of him, as well as the many other unforgettable characters on "King of the Hill."

1. Erica.
I know, I know "spare me the cheese." Even if I sound like a cornball, I have to admit that she makes everything better. I am positively certain that Texas would not be as good (no offense Texas, I am not messing with you) without her around.

...Now you know, and knowing is half the battle...


Once again there's been quite a lapse in blogging activity and I have several good excuses this time. I had the flu for two solid weeks in November, I got lazy due to a social-networking website (which shall remain nameless), and our Little-Engine-That-Could-iMac crashed. Again. And to top it all off, for a couple of months life seemed to be paused. That is, until Christmas vacation.

This Christmas we decided to drive back to California during Paul's two-week break. I will spare all of the gory details of the drive except to say that on the way back to Texas we left Hayward, CA at 9:30pm and drove straight through to Fort Stockton, TX. Insanity. I thought riding a horse was bad, but try sitting in a Chevy Aveo for twenty hours. I swear the meager shower head with water that barely drizzled out at the Motel 6 in Fort Stockton that night felt like a spa at a five-star resort. We slept like logs in those scratchy sheets too (Paul even had a conversation with me and took my socks off and I had no recollection of it).

One of the bonuses of a road trip too (aside from making the not-so-luxurious seem luxurious) is that it practically forces you to take the time to think and plan out your life and have deeper than normal discussions. Taking long walks seems to have a similar effect. It's fun to talk about what career you want to have next, where you want to live, what kind of house you want to live in, etc. (Paul - University Librarian, Erica - Preschool Teacher, Seattle, Arts and Crafts style Bungalow) Who knows if any of those aspirations will ever come to fruition, but it's nice to imagine the possibilities. Kind of like playing M.A.S.H. married grown-up style.

I will have to post more on Christmas later. We are still on California time it seems and have been getting less than six hours of sleep every night since school re-commenced because we haven't been going to bed until midnight or later. I didn't realize that it was already 9:30 and the computer has a caffeine-like effect on my brain. So, hasta manana.


A couple of weeks ago we had a most unique dining experience. We went to the Dodging Duck which is probably our favorite place to eat in Boerne - it's kind of a pub with a big front porch and it's across the street from the river that's full of ducks (hence the name). Anyhow, as we were waiting for our food two ladies walked up to the porch leading horses and proceeded to hitch the horses and some feed bags to the porch posts. We met the horses, one's name was Charlie I remember, and the ladies encouraged us to take pictures and such. It was pretty neat, and seemingly uniquely "Texas" to dine with horses.

It got more unique a few minutes later though. You may be guessing what happened, but the waitress brought out my food, Paul says he saw the horse's eyes get really big, and, well, all of a sudden there was Charlie with his great big head between me and my plate, his nostrils quivering. I, trying desperately not to look like a Californian, tried to nonchalantly push my plate out of his reach, but Charlie just kept straining toward the plate with his bashful eyes looking at me as if to say, "please?" He never did eat any food (do horses eat cow anyway?), and his owner came over and flicked him on the nose and said "no" in a firm voice (and instructed me to do the same!) and got him to back off. Charlie went back to his feedbag and Paul and I started to laugh so hard at the absurdity of it all. It was a very memorable evening. Oh, and this is going to sound like the punch line to a really dumb joke probably, but in all seriousness - guess where Paul had said he wanted to go for dinner before we chose The Dodging Duck? Are you ready? This is no joke. THE HUNGRY HORSE! Seriously. I'm really not joking.

I think we moved to Hazzard County.

We went to a parade downtown on Saturday. It was two hours long and mostly consisted of hundreds of Shriner's club men (A cult? They have a prophet and a priest? So weird.) and tons of beauty pageant queens, princesses, and little misses. Above is a girl doing gymnastics on the bed of a moving pick-up truck.

Oh, and here come Charlie and his friend!

We then went from the parade to the county fair. There wasn't anything there to see except some goats. It really was an unimpressive fair. I was hoping for the Hall of Flowers but we're just not in Sonoma County any more. =) There was even only one cow on the grounds and she was just there for a milking demonstration. I'm sure there must be better fairs in Texas, but this one was just lame.

The highlight of the fair was this cute little girl trying to get her floppy-eared goat to stand in the correct position.

They did have horses at the fair, but they seemed destined for the glue factory. Most of them came right up to the gate as we approached them, seemingly desperate for attention. Except apparently one horse couldn't be bothered. (I don't know why but that picture just makes me laugh, it looks so snoody.) They were all very old, very tired looking creatures, but the one whose tongue just hung out of the side of its mouth was the worst. It was both funny and sort of gross and sad.

Our ticket to the fair did include admission to the rodeo later that night which was much, much better than the fair itself. Coming from California we could hardly believe this, but they actually prayed (in the name of Jesus) before the events started! I'm wondering when that kind of stuff will fail to shock me. Anyway, just as the rodeo was starting it began to pour and then as the sun set we saw lots of lightning. The rain continued to come down forcefully for at least half an hour and it made the rodeo so fun and exciting! I tried to take a picture of how huge the puddles were but our camera doesn't capture things well at night. The first time I took a picture the only thing I accidentally left the flash on so the only thing I got was the cowboy hat of the man sitting in front of us, but I thought that was appropriate.

Parking lots at fair grounds typically aren't paved and this one was no exception. And due to the rain this parking lot was a huge vat of muddiness. With each step I took my shoe would get sucked into the mud and be completely submerged and then only my foot would resurface and I'd have to dig around with my toes for the missing flip flop. After a few slow steps (slow both because of the mud and because we were laughing so hard), Paul took a cue from a young cowboy and hitched me onto his back for a ride to the car. Yep, our little Honda Civic with the Apple sticker on the back, looking as out of place amongst the F-350's crowded around it as we probably did amongst the cowboy boot-clad Texans.


These pictures were actually taken a few weeks back. I can't believe how cloudy it looks in these photos because it seems like nearly every day we wake up to the sun blazing brightly at 7AM, its rays already heating us up to 80 degrees. (According to our computer it's a balmy 84 degrees right now and it's nearly midnight. Is that crazy or what?) The day we took those pictures though was a very hot and sweaty day, in spite of the clouds. Which is weird coming from California. If I see clouds or rain I automatically think - bake cookies, curl up on the couch and watch an old movie, read under the covers. But here it tricks me. My brain still associates those things with rain but then I step outside and it's not 60 degrees, but 100 degrees. Not the best kind of day to bake.

As long as I'm already on a little rant about Texas weather peculiarities, it's funny too how our bodies have acclimated to the heat. Take for example the other day - we walked out to the car to head to the grocery store and said to each other, "Wow, it doesn't feel very warm today." Then as we were driving we passed by a bank thermometer that said 93 degrees. Normally it says 98 or 100 so we were right in thinking that it was cooler, but how demented have we become to think 93 degrees is not very warm?? Did I mention that we have no air conditioning in our car?

These pictures were taken in the King William Historic District in downtown San Antonio. The photos pretty much speak for themselves, so I don't really feel that I have anything to add except to point out that in the one vertical picture of Paul he's standing on what we believed to be some sort of step for getting out of your carriage. Neither of us had ever seen that in person before. Also pictured is the checkerboard sidewalk - I don't know if it's original or not (it didn't really look like it) but a few houses had patterned walkways instead of boring pavement between the street and their gate. Pretty nifty.

Oh, and the cat. A random cat came up to us and then proceeded to follow for quite a distance. Remember the cat we saw at Becker Vineyards? Cat karma. Which reminds me that we have been watching a lot of My Name is Earl lately. Carson Daly.