All I’ve Got To Do

I haven’t blogged much aside from the garden lately. There actually have been a few more things going on besides my lovely little garden, believe it or not. The time frame of it all escapes me a little bit so I’m just going to talk about stuff, not actually put it in any sort of time line today.

My friend Kelly came into town and we met for dinner at PF Changs. It was very yummy (as always) and he and I had some good conversation (as always). He was going to stay with Ana so we were all going to meet that weekend at Austin’s Crawfish Fest downtown. Since this fest became conversation with other friends as well, Monica & I decided to go together and meet the rest of the folks who were talking about going as well. The entertainment was a lot of fun but unfortunately, we only “met up” with Sarah and her boyfriend Raz as they were getting there and we were leaving. Interestingly enough, we bumped into some band director friends of mine from RRISD so we hung out with them. We could have gotten quite a few good pics but because we seemed to be eating or drinking something (all very yummy) at any given moment, we only got in a self picture of our crawfish faces.

My dad skated a half marathon in the 2008 Round Rock Road Rash. He’s skated it before but this was the first time my sister and I were able to go watch and it was GREAT fun! The announcer was stupid cheesy but we cheered on everybody that was out there to have a good time (the pros didn’t look like they were paying attention…yes, inline skating professionals). He skated in the 60+ age group but I’ll tell you, there is quite a bit of difference between a 61 year old and a 78 year old. I’m thinking they should probably create more age categories everytime they have that large of an age spread. Anywho, Inline Planet published an article about the race and my dad got a nice mention in it.

The oldest skater on the course was Peter Benford, 78, of Austin, TX. He skated the half marathon in 1:09:46. The youngest skater was Braeden Kenney, 5, of Aurora, TX, who skated about one lap on the 4.7 mile course.

The half marathon was about 3 laps around the neighborhood of the Dell Diamond. Here’s my dad on the approach of the end of lap #2.

I mowed the front yard so I wouldn’t get a silly notice from the silly homeowners association. I left the backyard alone because the cats love the little jungle that’s going on back there. I’m going to have to mow it pretty soon but it’s not completely out of control yet. Here’s Pfema, king of his backyard jungle:

Speaking of the backyard, the garden is doing well. I’ve got some new tomatoes and LOTS of peppers coming in. The cilantro shot up like a kid with a growth spurt this past week. We’re in week 5 now and if you want to see pictures, you’re more than welcome to go on over to my Flickr album on the garden to check them out. I love the picture of the brand new baby jalapeno coming in (okay, I can’t resist and must post that pic for ya).

So this is UIL week and my band performs tomorrow (Tuesday) at 3:00 in Georgetown. I’m really nervous because my kids have been working REALLY hard. This group is further along fundamentally and maturely than the past 3 years and I’d love for their scores to reflect their hard work in preparing this spring. Unfortunately, they are all almost freshmen or sophomores with still a need for a bit of hand holding so it’s all a matter of “which group” shows up tomorrow as to how we do. Regardless, Brian, Matt & I are really proud of them. I hate that I don’t always get to realize the fruits of my labor. Because I teach the third band, the ones that work the hardest always end up in higher bands after all the work I put in and I end up starting over with a whole new set of kids the next year. Yes, I know, I can see how they’ve matured musically in that higher group and if they participate in the Jazz Ensemble, I get to continue to work with them but my spring ensemble rarely sees those kids over again and it can be frustrating at times. Oh well, we’ll have a good time tomorrow making music and that’s what will count. I’ve really enjoyed my groups this year and I almost hate to see this year come to a close. Oh, while I’m mentioning end of year activities, put our Spring Concert on Monday, May 12 at 7pm at the RRISD PAC on your calendar. There will be some really fun music and an amazing guest artist that the Jazz Ensemble will be able work with there. all that being said, I’m going to go continue to read my new book “The Last Lecture”. I think it was my colleague Paul that sent me the link to the Oprah episode about him but since I saw it, I’ve been hooked on knowing more about how he made his dreams a reality. He’s just such a real person that I think regardless of his cancer, I’d be fascinated with the adventures he’s had through his life and would want to know more. I got the book from the day it became available and read the first 65 pages in about an hour, and I’m not necessarily the fastest reader, either. I just couldn’t put it down. He’s an wonderful storyteller.

Have a wonderful rest of the week and if you’re in the Georgetown HS area on Tuesday, April 15 at 3:00 pm, come on by the PAC and listen. A real audience always helps the performance. 😉

Love you, mean it.

The Octopus’s Garden…Week 4

You guessed it – it’s time for more garden pictures. I’m just absolutely amazed at how quickly things are growing. My new little challenge is going to be keeping the cats out of the dirt in the garden. It’s a cool little jungle for these guys but I’m afraid they’re going to dig things up and none of us want that!

The flower on the Japanese eggplant is beautiful. I almost want to pick it and put it in a mini-vase!

This bell pepper may seem larger than actual size.

I called this a bighorn pepper before but I stand corrected, it’s a COWhorn pepper. Still, if you live in Texas…. Here are two ‘horns.

I have about 4 or 5 cayenne peppers and LOTS of flowers. Again, if you cook with cayenne, let me know!! With 6 plants going, I’ll have LOTS.

I think my jalapeño pepper is shy. This was the best picture I could get of it.

The fennel has split out into about 4 plants now.

This is a cherry bell pepper. It’ll turn red later, too. Probably pretty soon….

I think these will split out and I’ll have a forest of green onions. I’m very excited about this!!

And when you look through the forest of green onions, you see the garlic. I’ll have quite a few of these eventually, too. Just not quite a forest, I don’t think.

When you have cats, you must be sure to have plenty of catnip on hand. This catnip plant must know how much the kitties love catnip because it’s growing new plants very quickly!

The Octopus’s Garden…Week 3

More pictures of the garden!!! We’re in week 3 and the plants have really taken off this past week.

The whole garden box is filling in nicely!

This is what it looked like when I first planted it:

I think arugula is on the menu for tonight’s dinner.

New cilantro leaves are coming in.

I’ll have a Japanese eggplant to cook up before I know it. The eggplants are getting really tall!

And here are all the peppers. First, a jalapeno.

Next, a bighorn pepper. I’m not sure what it’ll taste like but living in Texas, you’ve gotta plant anything called “bighorn”!

I have a feeling I’ll have more cayenne peppers than I know what to do with. If you use cayenne peppers when you cook, let me know. You can easily have fresh ones! I have SIX of these plants….

This one will grow up to be nice and red. May I present to you, the red bell pepper!!

The tomatoes are getting pretty big, too. These will grow to be full sized. The cherry tomatoes are just starting to show flowering.

The garlic is really taking off, too. Here, in its big pot with the green onions.

The peppermint is doing okay, too. I need to remember to keep that pot really damp all the time.

So, that’s it. I think I’ll have some more than just arugula to harvest about the time that UIL is over. That’ll be a nice dinner. 🙂

Octopus’s Garden

We are about to reach the two week mark of my garden. Yesterday was the first day of Spring so I decided to take a good look to see how it’s progressing. Earlier this week, I snagged a piece of arugula and man, was it full of spicy flavor!! So, here is my garden at two weeks:

The peppers are flowering.

Here come tomatoes.

New fronds in the fennel.

The garlic & green onions are getting some height.

The Japanese eggplant is blooming as well.

My spicy, yummy arugula.

I’ve got new growth in the peppermint as well.

Pfema decides to be the protector of the garden.

And Stanley watches from afar.

Some pretty purple flowers decide to join the party as well.

Can’t wait to eat it when it’s all ready!! 🙂

What You’re Doing

I’ve just gotten through the halfway point through Spring Break 2008 and I have to report that it’s been very productive and fun!

I started out by going to an SPHS Girl’s Soccer game on Saturday morning. They played against Westwood at The Palace and after a slow start, did alright. Final score, tie 1-1.

On Sunday, I built my garden:

I can’t wait to eat my own veggies. I have 8 varieties of peppers, 2 types of tomatoes, some Japanese eggplant, arugula, fennel, sage, Greek oregano, cilantro, rosemary, green onion and garlic. Next to the garden box, you’ll see my compost pile. I’m feeling more and more organic every day!!

Thanks to Monica for her help in putting my garden together. That soil was HEAVY and I couldn’t have hauled and mixed it all up without her. After we were done gardening, we went to her friend Jeff’s for a BBQ. Yummy!!

Monday, I spent some time with my mom. We went to my favorite Chinese restaurant Hunan in South Austin for some noodles. I rarely get down there for them but when I do, OMG, they are magnificent!!

I’ve cleared out more of the garage and put more stuff in the “to be sold” stack. (no picture of the garage, sorry) I’ve laid out and have a nice little bit of lobster coloring that will quickly turn to tan. (no picture of tan lines, either)

On Tuesday night, we went out to go see Boombox, ATX. As always, it was a good concert.

Before we headed to Lucky Lounge for Boombox, we went to Whiskey Bar so I could try their creme brulee martini. She set the glass on fire. Very cool trick, I tell ya!

Yes, it was Tuesday night but with all the SXSW activities going on, I didn’t know if we would get even close to the bar!!


However, the guy who is too much a Longhorn fan was somewhere out there that night.

But we had a good time, as we always do!