Sunday, November 25, 2007

Last Day of Freedom

I'm putting together a list of places to go on our next family vacation to places around Texas. I'm also trying to figure out what to do today, on our last day. Menil? Kemah?

I still haven't found out for sure where the Texas Declaration of Independence is, but I think it may be in Austin. If so, we'll add a visit there to this list.

Ruiz Texas History
Places to Visit

1. Witte Museum in San Antonio, to see original Ruiz home of Jose Francisco
2. The Alamo- San Antonio, where Ruiz ancestor, Francisco Antonio, was mayor
3. Ruiz-Herrera Cemetery- San Antonio, where Ruiz mayor is buried, along with Rey's grandfather and other family members
4. San Fernando De Bexar Cathedral – San Antonio, where Francisco Antonio was baptized.
5. Star of the Republic Museum and Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site- Washington, TX, where Jose Francisco signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. Maybe the original copy is there.
6. San Jacinto Monument- Houston, where the Texans beat Santa Ana.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Obsession, Deceit and Really Dark Chocolate

I finished Sophie Katz's 3rd mystery today and I loved it. I had forgotten how much I liked mysteries. I was an avid Nancy Drew reader when I was a kid. Now that I'm reading Kyra Davis I've become a fan again. I need to check out some of the other chic-lit mystery writers out there. It's a whole other genre and really fun reads.

Now I'm ready for a heavy read again. Actually no. First I have to read this other great book that I found- Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume. That's another fun read. Coincidentally, I found that Kyra Davis has a short story in that collection. There are some other chick lit authors in there who I discovered recently.

I never really read the genre that's considered Chick Lit until a few years ago. I especially love some of the short story collections I've read. Like Girls Nigh In. I want to buy Girls Night Out now.

Non-Thanksgiving Ham

We're not bar-b-qing after all. My husband's boss gave him a ham since he was giving everyone else one for Thanksgiving. So I saw no need in bar-b-qing. I'm just going to make some side dishes and we'll have that for dinner. We had a late breakfast.

So far I have been a total bum today. But that's allowed on a day off. I tired myself out at the zoo yesterday. Then I had to rush home to get ready for our book study. We had our meetings switched around just for this week.

One weird thing about yesterday. Something that really creeps me out is seeing a man all alone somewhere like the zoo, where there are a lot of children. I didn't see any kids around him and I saw him a couple of times. Creepy!

Tomorrow we'll be doing the Children's Museum and I want to get myself out there early. I'll be tiring myself out again but I love that place as much as the kids. Although I'm also considering the Health or Science museums for a change. Seth hasn't been to the Museum of Natural Science before.

I love the cold front that came through last night. Delicious!! I want to take the kids out there but Magenta's cough (she has light asthma) really flared up yesterday and especially after the zoo visit. There's so much gunk out in the air. We'll see...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Going Retro

I was at the store today and they were selling a little gift box with a small bottle of Love's Baby Soft perfume and a body lotion. I couldn't resist. I told my daughter we would share them. LOL!

More Questions to Ponder on Parenthood

A while back I posed the question about how involved a parent should be in their child's school work. I also asked what was the perfect balance.

I totally believe in a couple of things. 1. Kids whose parents are very involved in their school life are most likely to grow up to be successful in school and 2. Schools provide the outline of what children should be learning, but parents are responsible for teaching their children.

That said. I need to find that perfect balance between teaching and not helping too much. Not only because I hate seeing kids' work that was so obviously done by their parents, but also because most importantly I want for my kids to learn.

Last week I spent the entire week helping my daughter with her Spain project. I got so involved that I even forgot to study her spelling words with her. When it was all said and done she had attitude with me. She’s six years old, so as they used to say when I was growing up, “she don’t know no better.”

She had the audacity to say to me, “You didn’t really do anything.”

My husband looked at her and said, “You better just stop right there!”

I was stunned! When I regained my voice I asked her, “Who scanned the pictures for you? Who resized them to make them fit?” And on and on… all the things that she’s too little to do herself.

To each thing she answered, “You.”

I turned to my husband and told him, “You know what?! Our parents had the right idea. Don’t help them with anything. If you help them they just take it for granted and they act ungrateful."

I was angry and my daughter could tell. It was obvious by the look on her face that she totally regretted speaking too soon. My husband laughed.

I had the same conversation a few days later with my friend and she agreed. She said her parents would have said, “I already went to school. That’s your work.”

We laughed so hard. Of course we both didn’t go into the Vanguard system until middle school. We wouldn’t have had such a complicated project in 1st grade. We did projects like that one in 6th grade. I remember because I did Denmark, Bangladesh, and Cuba.

So yes, I do need to help her for now. But once that little girl learns to scan photos and work the computer she’s on her own. I’m just going to observe and give constructive criticism. :-)

It’s a challenging road this parenting thing, but it’s also a lot of fun. I’m tired, my house is dirty, but I’m having a great time.

Which reminds me. On a funny note. I was talking to my cleaning lady today and I was asking her what time she’s coming tomorrow. When I told her I was on vacation she asked me why I’m not cleaning myself. I was taken by surprise for a second and then I responded. “Because I want to spend time with my children. Because I’m paying you to do it.”

She just laughed. We’re off to the zoo tomorrow.


It's lunch time and I am halfway done with last work day before vacation. I am really looking forward to some time off to spend with the kids. As crazy as they make me, I feel like they need some mommy time after being gone for 5 days to New York. We're going to zoo one day and then to the Children's Museum another day. My dad is going with me to the zoo so that's some help, plus he loves going to the zoo.

On Thursday, since I don't do Thanksgiving, I'm going to grill some chicken fajitas and veggies. We're just going to hang out at the house and we'll be open for any friends that may want to drop by.

I'm also going to use the time off to revisit my novel, time permitting. Yes my novel. Remember that thing? I'm going to send it out to some more agents. Maybe third time is really a charm! I just need one yes!

Hope you all enjoy your time off and be safe if you're traveling anywhere far.

Favorite Nike Quotes

(If you've happened upon my blog for the Nike quotes THANK YOU for stopping by. Bookmark my blog and come back often to visit. I write about a variety of subjects. You can follow me on Twitter @Shoegirl1970. Several of these Nike ads are also on my Pinterest board @Shoegirl1970.)

Original Blog starts here: I've been so delinquent in posting anything interesting to read that I've compiled a bunch of my favorite Nike quotes from past ad campaigns. I love these!!

"You don't stand in front of a mirror before a run and wonder what the road will think of your outfit. you don't have to listen to its jokes and pretend they're funny in order to run on it. It will not be easier to run if you dress sexier. The road doesn't notice when you're not wearing make up. It does not care how old you are. And you don't feel uncomfortable if you make more money than it. The only thing the road cares about is that you pay it a visit once in a while." - NIKE Goddess

"I am a woman, watch me score." - Shirt Slogan

"You were born a daughter. You looked up to your mother. You looked up to your father. You looked up at everyone. You wanted to be a princess. You thought you were a princess. You wanted to own a horse. You wanted to be a horse. You wanted your brother to be a horse. You wanted to wear pink. You never wanted to wear pink. You wanted to be a Veterinarian. You wanted to be President. You wanted to be the President's Veterinarian. You were picked last for the team. You were the best one on the team. You refused to be on the team. You wanted to be good in algebra. You hid during algebra. You wanted the boys to notice you. You were afraid the boys would notice you. You started to get acne. You started to get breasts. You started to get acne that was bigger than your breasts. You wouldn't wear a bra. You couldn't wait to wear a bra. You couldn't fit into a bra. You didn't like the way you looked. You didn't like the way your parents looked. You didn't want to grow up. You had your first best friend. You had your first date. You had your second best friend. You had your second first date. You spent hours on the telephone. You got kissed. You got to kiss back. You went to the prom. You didn't go to the prom. You went to the prom with the wrong person. You spent hours on the telephone. You fell in love. You fell in love. You fell in love. You lost your best friend. You lost your other best friend. You really fell in love. You became a steady girlfriend. You became a significant other. YOU BECAME SIGNIFICANT TO YOURSELF. Sooner or later, you start taking yourself seriously. You know when you need a break. You know when you need a rest. You know what to get worked up about and what to get rid of. And you know when it's time to take care of yourself, for yourself. To do something that makes you stronger, faster, more complete. Because you know it's never too late to have a life. And never too late to change one. JUST DO IT." - 1999
(Update: Actual ad can be found here on this post.)

"A WOMAN IS OFTEN MEASURED by the things she cannot control. She is measured by the way her body curves or doesn't curve, by where she is flat or straight or round. She is measured by 36-24-26 and inches and ages and numbers, by all the outside things that don't ever add up to who she is on the inside. And so if a woman is to be measured, let her be measured by the things she can control, by who she is and who she is trying to become. Because every woman knows measurements are only statistics and STATISTICS LIE." - 1994

"All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you're not good enough or strong enough or talented enough, they'll say you're the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no until all the no's become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly. They will tell you no. And YOU WILL TELL THEM YES." - Unknown

"Too often we are scared. Scared of what we might not be able to do. Scared of what people might think if we tried. We let our fears stand in the way of our hopes. We say no when we want to say yes. We sit quietly when we want to scream. And we shout with the others, when we should keep our mouths shut. Why? After all,we do only go around once. There's really no time to be afraid. So stop. Try something you've never tried. Risk it. Enter a triathlon. Write a letter to the editor. Demand a raise. Call winners at the toughest court. Throw away your television. Bicycle across the United States. Try bobsledding. Try anything. Speak out against the designated hitter. Travel to a country where you don't speak the language. Patent something. You have nothing to lose and everything everything everything to gain. JUST DO IT." - 1992: Barry Sanders

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


One more thing. I broke my coffee pot! So now I will be forced to spend even more on ridiculously priced (but mysteriously delicious) coffee. I have to buy a new coffee pot before I go broke!!

Too Exhausted to Talk

I have been working on my daughter's project with her all week. My house is a pig pen and I'm too tired to clean. I have a lot to say but I'm too tired to say it. I promise I'll be back soon to tell you about my oldest best friend from elementary school and our reunion in cyberspace. She lives in Denmark now and it's hard to believe that we didn't see each other for the past 14 years and now that she's in Denmark we're talking again. Weird, isn't it?

I absolutely loved her grandma, who we all affectionately called "Tata." She was my bus driver in elementary school and that's how Moose and I became friends at Sanderson Elementary School in the Hood of Houston.

Okay, that's all for now. I'm going to bed now!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Funny Kid Comments

We were watching "Meet the Robinsons" today and my son asked us, "Why do the bad guys always laugh like, "Ha Ha Ha" (he makes an evil laugh) when they steal something?"

My husband and I cracked up.

"Because they're bad," we answered.


University of Salamanca
Main Door

I love Spain. Almost everyone who know me knows that. So you can imagine how tickled I was when my daughter came home last week and told me that she had chosen Spain for her project on Spanish speaking countries. She has to create a travel brochure for Spain with photos and facts about the country.

I think I overwhelmed her with my enthusiasm and suddenly she wasn't very excited about the project. I think that she was disappointed that she didn't have to do very much research on the Internet when I pulled out an album of photos. Now that the project is due this week she's taken a little more interest.

I've scanned and re-sized several photos that I took in Madrid, Salamanca, Granada, Marbella, Avila, El Escorial, Ronda and Sevilla. As I was scanning the photos and saving them for her I thought about how funny it was that when I took all of these pictures in 1995, young and single, I never imagined that I would be using them for my daughter's school project. Life is amazing isn't it?

Soon after our trip in 1995 one of my best girlfriends bought me a cookbook for Spanish tapas. One of my favorite recipes to make is the meatball recipe, albondigas de ajillo. They have A LOT of garlic, but that's what makes them so delicious. Part of the school project is to take a dish from that country. My daughter chose the meatballs, so Thursday night we'll be making meatballs for the class project. I'm taking them to her school on Friday.

What I love about this project is that we help her with her prototype, but she has to make her final travel brochure on her own in class. I think that's good for her, to do it on her own. I can't wait to see her final masterpiece.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ancient Chinese Secret, huh??

I have a confession to make. I didn't tell you all before that when I went to the Pearl River Market in Chinatown I bought myself some sandals like these . They are reflexology sandals and they are supposed to stimulate your organs. My cousin (who lives in NY) and my husband were with me and I think my cousin thought I was crazy. My husband says he knows I am. I probably am a little.

I put them on for the first time today and they hurt! You're supposed to wear them just a little each day until you get used to them. I tried them on at the store and I asked the Chinese man in the acupressure/acupuncture area about them but he didn't explain much. (Rey said he didn't look like he understood me.) I asked him how long I could wear them and he said, "All day." I think he meant later after they stop hurting so much.

I've been curious about acupressure for a long time so this will be interesting. I'll report back if I see any significant changes in my body or health. Maybe they'll help me lose weight!

Anyway, someone asked me what New York smells like. It has so many different smells, both good and bad. When you're by a hotdog or roasted nuts cart it smells great. Most of Central Park smells good too. So do the areas next to restaurants. Then there are some really smelly areas, like any other big city. Over all though I would say it smells busy. There are so many different smells in the air that it's busy, like so much is going on.

No movie star sightings this time. I kept hoping I would bump into Sarah Jessica Parker but I didn't. I saw Susan Sarandon last time.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I'm Back

Hello all! I got back today. Today was a record day for my site. I had 31 visits and 98% of the visits came in via a search for the words, "7th grade science project." I still find it hilarious that my blog comes up every time.

I went to the places I mentioned in my blog entry before I left, but I also:

So no, I can't complain. But I still want to go back for a museum weekend to go the MoMa, The Guggenheim, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I've been to Met but I need to go again. Then I will feel like I've seen everything in NYC. Do you ever really see everything? Probably not.

Good to be back home to my little chicks! They both have coughs!