Saturday, March 7, 2009

Night Pardner

The rodeo was fun! I posted the highlights in my Twitter feed. (New blog feature! Look to your right.) Unfortunately my phone camera wouldn't work once the lights went out so no concert pics to share. Let's just say that in the 4 years since I've seen Trace Adkins in concert, he hasn't slowed down a bit. He told a story about coming to the livestock show when he was just a little boy and now here he is the headliner. Yes, must be pretty amazing! Reliant Stadium doesn't really lend itself to slow and contemplative music, so the song choices were full of energy. Lot's of fun, but since we all lose an hour tonight I'm going to take my boots off and head to bed.
Happy Trails!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Why Should Scouts Get All the Badges?

Here's a clever idea: The Nerd Merit Badge. This particular one stands for "Inbox Zero." That's right! I have, for the first time in my life, cleared my inbox of everything. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Yes, it feels absolutely wonderful! No more items staring me in the face, nagging me to deal with them. No more using my inbox as an all-purpose storage facility, hoping I'll find things if I need them someday.

"But, but, but...." I can hear you sputter. Calm down and take a deep breath. Here's how In-Box-Zen/Nirvana/Lifelong Peace and Happiness can be yours.
a. Deal with each email that can be answered in 2 minutes or less. Then get rid of it.
b. File anything that you need for reference. Computers have great search functions. Don't use your inbox as a dumping ground. Learn to use your computer's file structure and how to organize them for easy searching. More on this in a future post.
c. Move to another email folder only if absolutely necessary. I have one for homeschool group issues, one marked "hold" for things that will resolve themselves in a week or less (orders on their way), and one for recipes.
d. What doesn't belong in your inbox: jokes and funny videos (if they are worth saving, then create a file on your hard drive. But you REALLY need to hang on this?), pictures - save them, anything that is an action item - put on your to-do list. Contact info: move to your address book. Events: move them to your calendar.
e. Handling action items: Move these emails onto your to-do list. I use one called If the email needs to accompany the to-do, then I send it along when I create the item. For example, I forwarded the email with the birthday dinner reminder to my to-do list for Saturday, the day I needed to shop for decorations. Imagine that! I emailed a note to my "future self" and it was ready and waiting for me on the day that I needed it.

If you are interested in reading more about how to make your computer work for you, I can't recommend this book highly enough: Bit Literacy by Mark Hurst is a wealth of information. The 2 biggest reasons to read it: Learn how to end the confusion of trying to combine a paper-based life with a bit-based one, also, learn how to keep your electronic life simple when the bits threaten to overwhelm you. Not for geeks only (no programming knowledge needed!), Bit Literacy is really just Computers 101 for normal people.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

El Fresh Taco

Is this picture pitiful or what? I promise, I would have shown you our wonderful dinner, but by the time I pulled out my camera, dinner was history. This little taqueria, in a strip center on Kingsland and Fry, is owned by the cheerful Ernesto (who greets customers by name, or will know yours by the time you leave) and his wife (who shows up at 8:00AM to begin cooking for the day). Their menu is small but that's ok because everything is freshly prepared on-site, in reasonable portions, and very affordable. The queso is made from real cheese and roasted poblanos. The red salsa has a kick to it from fire-roasted chiles. Between the 4 of us we sampled the house quesadilla (chicken stuffed into a homemade corn tortilla, topped with crumbly queso asadero and Mexican crema), fish tacos and shrimp tacos, and mahi-mahi tacos w/ habanero sauce. Even the rice and beans are many notches above the usual. We loved the salsa so much we bought extra to take home. You can buy tres leches cake or flan if you have any room left. On our next trip, I'll let you know how the desserts stack up. El Fresh has only been open since October, but I predict this one will have staying power. We sure hope so!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Likes Long Walks ...

...runs at sunset, relaxing by the fireplace.

Yes, this is one handsome devil. If there was an online dating service for dogs*, this would be his cheesecake shot.

Radley is doing all right for a 7 month old. He can fetch things, ring the doorbell by the back door to go outside, chase an empty plastic bottle around the house, and sit expectantly by his treat jar for a milkbone. He's still a little ADD when Kristin takes him out for walks, but that's because there are so many friends to meet and things to sniff. His "dog's life" is pretty cushy!

(*It wouldn't surprise me. I don't want to know.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

If You Can Count This...

...thank a math teacher! (Ha! You thought I was going to say "read this" didn't you?)

Did you know that today is Square Root Day? No, this doesn't mean you can eat beats or turnips, (although my mom enjoys both. This apple fell very far from that particular tree!) Take a good look at the date: 3/3/09. 3 x 3 = 9! This occasion won't happen again until 4/4/16. For some reason these numerical oddities bring me great joy. For instance, I have a friend whose son was born on 6/7/89. How neat is that? When my birthday month is doubled, you get the date (8/16). The same thing is true of my mom's: 2/4. Numbers are fun aren't they?


Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday to Texas!

Birthdays all over the place here lately. I searched for a properly Texas-themed entry and what should show up in my inbox? A brilliant baby who knows how to locate our great state.
Enjoy the video. What a fun way to start the week!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to Everyone!

As soon as EuroMom sends me a copy, I'll update this with a picture. For now, mere words will have to do.

We had a super turnout tonight for our Sunday evening service and potluck. Fred's preaching is always great (Ahasuerus - BOO HISS, Esther - YAY) and sometimes we also eat dinner together.
Tonight's theme was one that could be repeated by any number of groups. Hear that loyal readers? You too can do this. It's fun and it's simple to do. No one person has to overextend themselves.

Why not host a Big Group Birthday Party? Instead of having everyone bring desserts, we ordered a huge sheet cake from Sam's: "Happy Birthday Christ Church Family". Everyone pitched in as usual with casseroles and sides and we had plenty of food. During dinner, everyone sat at the their birthday month's table. The fellowship committee shared the task and decorated 12 round tables, one for each month of the year. I had June (wedding) and August (beach.) EuroMom gussied up July with red white and blue and added her collection of Eiffel Tower figurines. (We are not surprised are we? Can you name the holiday?)
October was represented by Martin Luther. The 31st is Reformation Day and we are Presbyterians after all. September was marked by an homage to different kinds of seasons: sports and hunting! The "forced" seating ensured that we all had a chance to visit with new friends; a success!

Having a (volley)Ball!

It might technically be Sunday, but I'm still awake! We left the house at 12:45 this afternoon and returned 12 hours later. We lugged our chairs, water bottles, contraband granola bars (shh) and claimed our little corner of the gym. The Copperfield Juniors got off to a rocky start, but finally hit their stride during the last two matches. They walked away with first place in the Silver Bracket of the AVA Tournament! Of course I'm a little bit proud. (Stay humble Kelsey. You are not getting a yard sign or a spot on my back windshield. Love, Mom.)