Friday, October 31, 2008

Everybody Needs A Wig And Some Candy

We had a fun Halloween tonight. We have lived in our neighborhood for several years and they have an annual parade. When my kids were little, my nieces and nephews would come trick or treat in our neighborhood. The past few years, they have come and now they bring their children.

I didn't get any good pictures, but bad pictures are better than no pictures. Karsyn was a Candy Corn. She enjoyed all of her candy as she was walking around.

Landrie dressed up like Hannah Montana. I found her a HORRIBLE wig to wear at Party City. She didn't wear it for very long, only for pictures, but everyone else had fun with it.

Cade (my nephew) would not wear a costume, but he had fun dancing around with the wig.

Pops had to have his fun too.

Here is Landrie with the "pained" look on her face while we made her wear it for about 2 minutes.

After Trick or Treating, we went with the group of 21 people to Texas Land and Cattle. About half of them were candy crazed kids.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

El Paisa - Revisited

Finding the perfect dish that you like is key to liking a restaurant. When I find one I like, I very rarely will order anything different.


I will usually try a restaurant a few times before I write it off as "just not that great".


I have been to El Paisa in Bedford 4 times since it opened and just didn't like it. I thought that everything I tried was bland. I have not been there in about a year. Last weekend, Jennifer had some queso from El Paisa and said she thought it was some of the best she has ever had. That was a throwdown. Sunday night, we had to give it another try.


I ordered the fajita beef taco on a flour tortilla and topped it with queso. I also tried a tamale and some guacamole. It was all very good along with the rice and beans. I was pleasantly surprised. I would not have given it another try if Jennifer had not told me about the queso.

I will definitely go again. It just might get into the weekly rotation. This is a great example of finding the perfect dish.



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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Daughter and Son In Law


Aren't they cute? They know how to make a mother proud. GiGi, aren't you so proud of your son?


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Friday, October 24, 2008

30 Years Of Hard Work - Why I Don't Want To Pay More Taxes

Pops has worked very hard all of his life in everything he has done. When I met him, we were 15. He was a great student then. Very smart, but worked hard to get good grades. He started working when he was 15. He worked delivering furniture for Penney's.

He was an only child whose parents didn't make a lot of money. He had to work for anything he wanted. He didn't have many advantages over most people. He did have a roof over his head, clothes for his back and food. I do admit, that is more than some people in this world have. He also had a dysfunctional household with alcoholic parents that was very difficult.

He went to Austin College in Sherman. It is a very expensive college and his parents couldn't afford it. He had plenty of scholarships, grants and loans, and he worked every single weekend. He drove home and worked to deliver furniture so he could have money. He graduated with a very high GPA, again for his hard work.

Right before he graduated, we married and both worked full time jobs. At that time, he started working on his MBA. He didn't just take a class here and there. He worked hard, and attacked it. He worked 6 days a week and went to school 4 nights a week.

After graduating from a high ranking college, he still worked hard physical labor delivering furniture, because it paid better than any other jobs he had been offered. After getting his MBA, he worked full time and then started teaching part-time at night so that I could stay home to raise our children. He worked very hard.

He loved to teach and decided to pursue a Ph.D. so he could make a living at teaching. You can't have a secure teaching job at a university if you don't have the letters behind your name. He attacked school again, working and going to school. He finished the course work in four semesters, took all three of the comprehensive exams during the same season, and wrote his dissertation while teaching 4 courses at Texas Wesleyan and two graduate courses at UTA. From start to finish, he took 2 1/2 years. I think that is a record. Why? He is a hard worker and had the desire to provide for his family and he did whatever it took to get it done.

He has worked hard to get to where he is today. He has a successful career and a successful consulting business. No one gave him anything. He worked hard for it all. He has worked many extra hours and studied hard because that is what he wanted for his life and his family.

His story is similar to so many others who have worked hard to overcome disadvantages and provide for their family. Yet, now there are people in America that think he should share his successes and pay more taxes. They think he needs to give more to the government so they can help other people that don't want to work as hard as him. The effect of this kind of thinking is to penalize those who have worked hard and to reward those who don’t.

Don’t misunderstand me. We are willing to pay our fair share. We are concerned about helping others who are less fortunate. We tithe to our church and give over and above our tithe to help take care of others. I believe in taking care of the widows, children and the sick.

But, is it fair that we should have to give the government more of our money to help people that don't work as hard as we have for the past 30 years?

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Back To Restaurant Reviews

I got on my political rant, and have neglected my restaurants. Between jury duty, politics and obsessively checking our retirement account to see how much we have lost, I have been a little preoccupied lately. Hopefully I can remember that far back.

7th - Panera Bread - Not one of my favorite places to eat, but this is where my book club meets. Book club sounds so sophisticated, but it isn't. Just an excuse to get together, eat and talk. Pops had his default - Taco Bell.

8th - Cafe Medi - This is becoming a favorite. I love their Gyro's and rice. I don't know how they cook their rice, but it is really good.

9th - Mi Chula - This is the second time I have been here. The queso was GREAT. I was disappointed in my salad. I will give it another try. Either it just isn't that good or I haven't found my dish. I will keep trying.

10th - Hattie's - This is in the Bishop Art's District in Dallas. Upscale Southern Cooking. I had the meatloaf and it was great. I just wish they hadn't served it on top of the potatoes. I'm not real crazy about having my food mixed. Pops had the Shrimp and Grits which was great, and I had the fig appetizer. Sounds strange, but really good. It is a fig, stuffed with blue cheese and walnuts, wrapped in bacon. Great contrast of salty, sweet, tangy and crispy.

11th - Conrad Wedding - We had great food at the reception. It was at Rivercrest Country Club in Ft. Worth. The shrimp looked like the Bellagio Buffet.

12th - Dickey's - Since we went to the wedding Saturday night, we went to church on Sunday. After lunch we went to one of our favorites, Dickey's BBQ. For dinner, we had a "Married Life Leadership" meeting at the Hanna's and had Sloppy Joe's and Blackberry Cobbler. Great.

13th - I got some strange virus that Pops had a few days earlier and I felt too bad to eat. You know I must be sick if I don't eat. Pops went to Taco Bell around 10.

14th - Firehouse Subs

15th - Jason's - Funny night at Jason's. We had a new cashier. Pops ordered the Turkey Muffalotta, and the cashier didn't understand. He kept looking for the Beefolotta on the menu. After much looking and repeating, he finally asked another guy in the line who obviously didn't speak English. "Sir, do you want the Turkey Beefolotta?" It was pretty funny.

16th - La Hacienda Ranch - Janelle and Jacob came in town for Fall Break, so we had the first of many family dinners. Lamar and Jordan were the only people not there.

17th - Macaroni Grill - Janelle and Jacob went to the Haltom Football game, so it was just Pops and I for dinner. Disappointed. Macaroni is just not as good as it used to be.

18th - Pappasito's - Another family dinner. Great fajitas.

19th - Justin was dying to cook steaks, so he came over, went to the store, got gas for the grill and cooked steaks and potatoes and onions. It was really good.

20th - Pacific House - After deliberating for about 45 minutes on where we were going to eat, we finally decided Chinese. Pacific House has the BEST fried rice and the people who own it are always so nice and so appreciative that you are there.

21st - Chipotle - Had my good old standard, Chicken Fajita Bowl. Rice, Chicken, Peppers and Onions, Cheese, Corn Salsa (my favorite) with guacamole.

22nd - The Keg - Las Colinas - Used to be one of our favorites. Haven't been in a while so we decided to do something different. I had the Terriyaki Chicken. Not marinated long enough to give it much flavor, but they had a new pineapple salsa that gave it a punch.

I did have several Celebrity lunches squeezed in there. Also had Firehouse. That is my weekend lunch default place.

I am hungry. Writing about all of this makes me start thinking about my Celebrity lunch today and dinner tonight. Where will it be?

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Quote Of The Day - From Pops

Politicked

As we were leaving church Saturday night after hearing the above message, Pops said,

Guard my shores,
Deliver my mail,
and
Leave me alone!

Stay tuned for more. He has requested to be a guest blogger regarding his political opinion someday soon. I think he is a very intelligent and wise person. Since he has degrees in Economics and Political Science, I trust his judgment.

I am one up on him though. I have already voted. I voted this afternoon and it was very quick. Maybe 10 minutes from the time I parked my car until I returned. I don't think it will be that way for long.

MY PREDICTION: OBAMA. I think that most Americans are uneducated in politics and are just looking for a change. They blame the government for all of the problems in the world and think that a president from a different party will make a difference. I wish the answer was that easy. I will be shocked if McCain is elected.

I hope I am wrong.


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Quote Of The Day - From MeMe

My mother (MeMe) is a 76 year old Southern Baptist from Georgia. She can say the funniest things. Sometimes I am pretty shocked at what she says and I want to "educate" her, but I just give up and realize she is set in her ways.

She loves to go to Dallas several times a week to shop. My nieces frequently go with her. As they are driving, they always pass through an area that has strip clubs and billboards for strip clubs. They were telling us the other night that every time they go, she says the same thing.

Her famous quote,

"I don't know why anyone would want to eat lunch and look at breasts at the same time!"

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Can't WAIT For This Election To Be OVER

Watch out, I am on a rant. Remember, this is my blog, where I voice my personal opinions. So that said . . .

I am sick and tired of people forwarding me political emails. Most of them contain words that are just flat out lies.

The one so called "fact" that I am most appalled at is that Barack Obama is the anti-Christ (and I have gotten it several times). How dare you! I have personally heard Obama say in an interview on TV that he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior when he was a young teenager. Who are you to judge his salvation? If his words are to be judged, should we judge your salvation? You have claimed the same savior as he has.

I have heard and read all of the rants about him being a radical Muslim and that his middle name is a Muslim name, Hussein. What were you raised? Did you have a choice on what race your mother or father was, or what church or schools they took you to? I don't think so.

All that said, I know and have known for a long time who I am voting for. I do not like the policies of the Democratic party. I think the government has their nose in too much of our business as it is. I don't want them any more involved.

Before you forward emails, make sure your facts are correct. There are ways to check; Snopes, Factcheck, and others. If you don't like the policies, that is fine.

Attack the policies, NOT the person.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

300th Post - Restaurant Rant

I just noticed that this is my 300th post. I didn't realize that I had that much stuff to say. Most of it is just boring rambling.

I have lots of pet peeves with restaurants, but I experienced one last week that drives me crazy. When I look at a menu and read the description of an item, I am assuming that is just what I am going to get.

At Mi Chula, I ordered a salad. The description on the menu said it had chicken, black beans, corn and cheese. Sounded pretty good, so that is what I ordered. What the description didn't say was that it also had tons of jicima and tomatoes. Had I known that, I would have either ordered something else, or had them left off the salad.

Pops HATES tomatoes and green onions and he always makes sure they are not on anything. It is so irritating to get your meal, and for it to be covered with pretty little chopped tomatoes or sprinkled with a nice covering of onions.

Very rarely do we send food back, unless we have ordered it a specific way and it comes out wrong. Why don't menus disclose EVERYTHING?

Another pet peeve, is food that is all stacked on top of each other. I know the chef does it for fancy presentation, but I like to eat my food seperately. If I want to mix it, that is okay, but I want to have the choice. Friday night, I had meatloaf that was really good, but it was on top of the mashed potatoes. They both would have been great by themselves, but I didn't like the combination. Please let me decide if I want them mixed.

My kids have always been picky eaters and ordered their hamburgers plain. I was listening to someone on the radio the other day and they were saying they order plain hamburgers for their kids. They have started asking for the meat because twice recently, they were very specific about the ingredients they wanted on the burger, and then received it without any meat, just the bread and cheese. When I order cheeseburgers for the little girls, I always say I want a plain cheeseburger with just meat, bread and cheese.

I guess you just need to be VERY specific.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Restaurant Week In Review

29th - Firehouse Subs - The Italian (cold) is my favorite.

30th - Five Guys Burgers and Friess - As Pops would say, we made two trips, our first and last.

1st - Jason's Deli

2nd - Pops taught a class at church and I went to Home Team, so he had Taco Bueno and Lolly had Pollo Campero.

3rd - Hector's On Henderson - Now this was fun. We went with our friends Ron and Jodi for his birthday. Oxygen TV was there shooting the pilot for Chef Blythe Beck's new reality show, The Naughty Kitchen. She came and talked to us for a while and had us just about rolling on the ground laughing. She is hysterical and the food was great.

4th - CiCi's Pizza at Landrie's party and then we went to get some Chinese food at Pacific House in Colleyville.

5th - La Hacienda Ranch - We were needing a Mexican fix.

6th - Now this one is really exciting - Luby's Cafeteria. We were going to Chipotle and Justin came over and wanted Luby's. We went at about 6:30 so we really missed the crowd. They usually show up about 4:30. I had my usual, liver and onions. If you haven't tried it, it really is good with some ketchup.


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Monday, October 6, 2008

Landrie's Birthday Party

Landrie had a great time at her birthday party. It was at the Pumpkin Patch in Flower Mound. If we counted correctly, there were 65 people (29 kids) there. We have a big family and then they have a lot of football coaching friends and their Home Team from church. It is great to have lots of friends!


One of her favorite gifts was the Jonas Brothers CD from Aunt Jordy.

And of course, no event would be complete without a picture of "the sisters".

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Landrie!!!!

This precious little girl is 5 today. It is hard to believe. The time has gone so fast. She is so precious to us. She is sweet, loving, funny and beautiful!

All she wants is to be "cool". She only wants to wear "cool" clothes. Last week, Karsyn said, "Landrie, you are bootifoo" and Landrie said, "I don't want to be beatiful, I just want to be cool."

We have such a great time together. I can't imagine my life without her. Happy Birthday "cool" girl. We love you!!!


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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Blue Mesa Fans

We love Blue Mesa. My favorite foods there are the sweet potato chips, the Beef Churrsacaritas, the Grilled Corn and the Sunday Brunch. I think the Sunday Brunch is the best brunch around and very reasonably priced.

I got at email from them and they are celebrating their 20th anniversary. I think we have been going there since right after they opened.

Here is a segment from the email:

20 years in Dallas/Fort Worth. Yup. I guess that says something. We sum it up with a few words - “handmade, heartfelt.” Come celebrate our 20th anniversary. Starting at 5 PM Tuesday, October 14th we are having a major extravaganza. The Food is Free – Blue Mesa Classics like Adobe Pies, Corn Cake and Smoked Chicken Enchiladas and newer innovations, like our Churrascaritas and seasonal vegetable dishes - Garlic-Chile Green Beans made from the harvest of local farms.

If you are a fan, this would be a great night to go. I have it on my calendar.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

We always get excited when a new restaurant opens. We love to try new things. I saw in the paper that the much anticipated burger joint was open so we planned it for the weekly rotation.

I always have great expectations and that might be part of the problem. The menu has burgers and fries. The burgers are fresh meet, medium thickness with grilled buns. They kind of remind me of when my mother used to cook burgers on her skillet on the stove. They weren't bad, just okay. The fries were the same. A little to thick for my liking, but were cooked until they were brown, which is good. I don't like undercooked fries.

I don't get it. This restaurant has been votes "Best Burger" all over the US and it is Zagat rated. I don't know what I am missing, but if given a choice, I would probably choose a Big Mac instead. Or maybe a Clown Burger. Still my choice for one of the best Mom & Pop greasy burgers around. And the absolute best french fries anywhere.

Sorry Five Guys, you just didn't pull it off for me.



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