Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Post -Op

I had my post-op appointment yesterday, and the good news is that my knee is healed! I can slowly start back working out and in four weeks, I can run! Woo woo! Recovery has been good, too. I was on crutches for a few days which I hated, but since then I get around just fine. A little stiff and sore...but one week after surgery, I'm doing great.

Christmas was good. We had Christmas Eve with my parents, made memorable by the snow....and the fact that the only restaurant open was Long John Silvers. But it was my first White Christmas ever and that was special.

Then we went to Houston for the Meyers' Christmas celebration. We had a good time, hanging out, eating, playing games. It's a blessing that we all get along so well. We had a Cajun Christmas dinner with turducken, okra, green beans and pie...we were stuffed!
But, I have a bone to pick with my mother in law. We always talk about how well she raised her three boys, and she really did. They're all successful young men with good values. But something was left wanting in the education of mine. If you look closely at the top of the roof of my gingerbread house, you will see that a jelly bean is missing. As bare as a snail out of it's shell. What kind of person does that?!? It's just beyond my comprehension. And I made more bread...the long recipe this time, as in 20 hours of rising time. It's definitely a piece of wonderful, but I don't know if it's substantially better than the one that's done in five hours.

I also got a pressure cooker for Christmas, and I've already made two batches of beans, garbanzo beans and black eyed peas for New Years, of course. Casey's comment on it was to tell me that I'm a good cook. His mother did teach him well.

And I got two free Society Bakery cupcakes for donating a sweater...woo woo! If you like cupcakes, bring clothes to donate to there location on Greenville. Awesome.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Photos from Around Town

To break from the usual "Here's what I baked and Look! a picture of my dogs," as Casey described my blog, I have a variety of pictures from this weekend's events.

First, a beautiful sunset near the library:Then...well, what I made. English toffee with walnuts, Peanut brittle, Salty, sweet frito candy and Rolo pretzel bites. These have been bagged up, two or three kinds of candy per bag, and will be distributed to friends and family next week. Casey Gooden, who disapproves of mass-candy production, will be receiving coal in his baggy.
Also, I got to watch Casey run the White Rock Marathon today. I saw him at around the 7 mile point, the 12 mile point, the 15 mile point, and I was waiting for him at the 21 mile point. And waiting, then I get a call. He's freely bleeding from one of his toes and can't walk. Seeing as he's doing a 50k in two months, there was no point in dragging himself for six miles. So, we called it a really fast 20 mile run and went to lunch at the Porch. It was delicious.
And leaving our house later, we spotted the terrific baby-pink dog and couldn't miss the photo-op.
Even better was her owner. Red dyed hair, green-rimmed glasses, stripped top, cheetah print tights, pink socks and lime green Crocs. Being that's what I wear too when I walk my dogs after washing them in jello, it makes perfect sense. The dog smelled nice.
Then we attended a 1-year-old's birthday party. Little Luke took a while to warm up to the cake, but eventually he sufficiently shmeared himself with icing to be totally cute. Why is that so uncute later in life? It's a shame. I do love icing.
And his parents, Tim and Marcy (she's in the middle), threw him quite a party. If only he had teeth to enjoy all the food. We do, though, and it was great.
And not to be upstaged by all the other parents and children attending, Casey had his moment in the limelight too.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Toffee Fantastique

I know I've posted a lot of recipes lately...but this one is fantastic, has a short ingredient list, and it's most difficult part is watching a candy thermometer for a few minutes.
3 sticks of butter (1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup cranberry trail mix (cranberries, coconut, assorted nuts)
3/4 cup pecans ground/finely chopped

In a heavy pot, begin melting butter. Add sugar and stir. Continue to stir occasionally until candy mixture boils and reaches 295 degrees on your candy thermometer. Watch it carefully. The temperature will rise EXTREMELY fast at the end. I think I was 5-10 degrees over, which may be why my toffee separated a little and had an oily sheen, but after refrigeration, it was just fine.

Pour the boiling candy into a greased foil-lined 13x18 pan. Let it cool 10 minutes, and then sprinkle on the chocolate chips. The heat from the toffee should melt the chocolate so it's spreadable. Spread it and sprinkle with the nuts or whatever topping you prefer. Allow to cool to room temp. Then lift out the foil and smack it on the counter to break it into bits. This part is strangely satisfying. I'm keeping mine in the fridge, but if your chocolate sets, feel free to keep it at room temp for a week.Wait, one...two...three? Yes, we had an extra puppy this week. So everywhere I go THREE puppies follow. It's like having my own entourage. One that licks you if you let them.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pie!

For thanksgiving, I got to make the pie. In years past, if a holiday meal was at my house, I did the lion's share of the cooking, got stressed out and was generally a cranky little elf. But this year it really was a family effort. My dad smoked a huge turkey (delish)! My mom-in-law made her famous dressing, and my sister in law made the mashed potatoes, with gravy from her husband's restaurant. So that left me with dessert and extras. Excellent. Now, my Nana always said there has to be something green on the table, so I roasted asparagus. And as there were two Frenchies there...there had to be a cheese platter. :-)

But onto dessert! The first pie was a Cheesecake-Swirled Pumpkin Pie. (Recipe by Libby's: here)
It was the favorite of the two Meyers' boys, made extra-pretty by crust stencils that Cindy (my mom-in-law) gave me. And the other pie, though not as pretty, was really fantastic. A Chocolate-Chip Pecan Pie.
I used dark brown sugar and golden syrup with this recipe. I think I probably added 1-1/2 cup each of pecans and chocolate chips. The "goo" part was rather thick, which I prefer. I can't stand gloppy pecan filling oozing out my pie...*shudder*. I used to hate pecan pie because of that. But there's nothing to hate in this pie. Pecans + chocolate + crust = all things Southern and tasty. Dad ate two pieces. Casey says he wishes it was more oozy and gloppy, and if possible would like a direct IV-drip of gloppy pecan-pie filling. There's no accounting for taste.We just put up the Christmas tree and other decorations, and we've got tickets to see the Nutcracker next weekend...so Christmas is in the air!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Teaching Teachers and Other Good News

Today I presented at a Foreign Language Summit at the TEA Center for North Texas. There were teachers there from all over DFW, and I presented in two session of about using technology in the classroom. I showed them some interactive sites, forums, how to download and use podcasts, with some cool news podcasts to use, and also showed them how to download videos off youtube and some cool ones and how to use them. Neither one of my sessions were full, but they seemed to really like it. I got lots of thank yous, one lady gave me a hug, one said mine was the most useful one and how she was really excited about using my ideas with her students, and another actually asked if I would do an in-service for her district!
So, wow, I'm glad I did it. When our language coordinator asked me if I could present at the conference, I really hesitated, 1) because I hate leaving my classroom 2) I didn't feel qualified as a newer teacher. But I figured technology is something I do know a fair amount about and might have some fresh ideas to share because I would hate to waste my time and theirs showing them something they already knew or wouldn't use. But it was a neat experience. I mean, I'm a teacher, but I've never taught a group of my peers like that...and it was fun.

Also, I got my new French 1 students, and I'm really pleased. They are sweet and are eager to learn. I had forgotten how cute 9th graders can be. They're like the kindergarteners of the high school world. Squirrelly as all get-out but sweet. The only blight was one kid that obviously had serious emotional problems, but I only saw him once as they took him out of my class. Excellent. So, I really feel like I have good things ahead of me. I'm blessed.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Setting a Date

I scheduled the surgery for my knee for December 23. I've gone round and round, been hot and cold, but now is the time. I did the month of therapy, tried to go easy, but it's not getting better. Yesterday, I was limping going up and down stairs: the same thing I was doing in March after the initial injury. A healthy 28 year old shouldn't limp if it can be helped.

So, I'm having surgery. Don't want it but I'm back to where I was in March, and that's too long.

Also, we start a new term on Monday, and I'll meet my new French 1 students. I'm always a little nervous at the beginning of the term, and I'll miss Thursday, as I'm giving a presentation for teachers at Region 10 on using Technology in the French Classroom. It's interesting to be teaching other teachers, and I really do have ideas to share when in comes to technology, so I have it'll be productive.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Beer Bread and Halloween

Oh, yeah...if you see in the corner...indeed, it's beer bread! I think the melted butter poured over the top was the clincher though. It took maybe two minutes to put together and was ready in 40 minutes. Fantastic. I used white whole wheat flour and half the butter of the recipe from Ezra Pound Cake.

Go! Make bread now! Jesus says that man doesn't live by bread alone...Here's the host with the most, Tom, or Captain Ahab, for Halloween evening. Tom transforms his home for the years' theme,and this year was Horror in the Library. Casey and I were Truman Capote and Harper Lee (see: I'm holding To Kill a Mockingbird).I have no idea why we're both tilting our heads. Totally unintentional. But isn't the backdrop cool? Normally, that Tom's front patio, not a library! It was also Casey's 30th birthday, and I think he had fun being such a flamboyant character. It was fun.
But my favorite costume wasn't technically literature, but can you read "Fight Club" on the baby's onesie? Love it! Casey and Erin Gooden really nailed their costumes. (And thank you Casey G. for sharing your pictures).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

What's a weekend without baking? This morning some of the nursery helpers at church were professing their love for pumpkin pie, and I saw these cookies (for the recipe, go here) and figured it was a good compromise...I felt like chocolate chip cookies, but it's pumpkin season. The only thing the recipe needs is some pumpkin pie spice, I think.

Things are fine...mostly. Didn't really enjoy last week at work...the kids were really hyper and it was just a pain. Not feeling the teaching mojo. Ready for a holiday, I guess. And it's starting to get near the end of the term...benchmark tests, reviews, exams, and then a whole new trimester and 80 new students. Not looking forward to the stress. I know it always works out...but just not excited. I'm sure that's how most people feel about their jobs...so I should just suck it up, right?

We got Casey a pair of five-fingered toe shoes and went for a short trail run to test them out.I really do love running, even if it's just thirty minutes. Casey ended up running really barefoot by the end, as the shoes were rubbing, and my knee was a little sore, but it was still fun getting out there. I'm going to try to do the 8 miler for the Turkey Trot, so that gives me something to work up to. :-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

State Fair of Texas

We went to the State Fair...twice. Once with bro and sis-in law, Dustin and Aubrey. I don't think Aubrey liked the four-horned sheep. Or the random gang of clowns we came upon. :-) But otherwise, as first-time Fair goers, I think they had a good time.We went again with my folks, which was lots of fun, since we didn't feel like we needed to rush to see everything and could go back to our favorites.
Mom and I watched the cooking demonstrations, and we shared a funnel cake too.Dad liked the burro. And Honor Society.
Casey kinda danced with the ostrich trying to pet it while it was distracted with the food cup. This was after the huge camel chomped on his finger...because Casey wanted to feel its lips. Seriously, that man is the dumbest-smart person I know.
"Pet the oinker!"-Casey. So we did. He was very soft and EXTREMELY cute. I think he was happy too. We saw the pig races too. Hysterical.
And speaking of pigs...I had to try the deep-fried pecan pie, after the corny dog, burger, funnel cake and sundry samples. Such the food baby. But it was so worth it. The Fair is the best.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekend Update

This weekend is my 10 year reunion. It's going to be interesting to see how people turned out. I was definitely a nerd, and I feel like I've grown up and blossomed, and I'm sure it's the same for my former classmates. We'll see how it goes. :-)

In good news, Casey has finished working on the house that his law firm bought. He's been working two jobs for a while, doing paperwork at the office, then managing guys and working on this huge old house. Both he and dad have been running ragged. Well, I saw it yesterday and was amazed on the improvement. Now they just need a committed buyer!

Also, Casey was in a car accident last Saturday, and today he got the police report confirming that it was the other guy's fault. It totaled his car, which IMHO is the good news...I hated that car. Via con Dios, stinky Saturn! So anyway, we'll get a settlement to replace the car and get Casey something a little nicer. It terrible that he had to go through being in an accident and being kinda banged up, but thankfully, he's a tough guy and will be just fine.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The drama of life

So the amazing news is that Casey just found out that he qualified for Long Distance Triathlon World Championships, which will be in Immenstadt, Germany next August. We're amazed and really excited. About 100 Americans will make up Team USA, and there will be athletes from 50 countries competing there.
The only complication is that I'll also need to take my comprehensive exams for grad school the first week in August, which puts a damper on travel plans, but we'll work it out. I may be studying French literature with my stein and pretzels, but I think I'll manage. ;-) It's going to be cool.

The other ongoing drama is not so pleasant. At school, there is a student that was put in my French 2 class at the beginning of the year, who, unbeknown to the powers that be, has a history of violence and problems with losing control. Well, things started fine, then some small problems cropped up (not doing work, etc,), but earlier this month he lost control in my classroom and responded, indirectly, in a violent manner. I was very upset and was frightened by his behavior. I talked to his case worker, facilitator and assistant principal and wanted him out of my class. They didn't want to do that, and we all met with the kid, he talked to me, apologized, acknowledged his problem and said he was working to do better. So I was mollified.

Then less than three weeks later, it happens again, and this time the kid makes an implied threat. I, again, talk to everyone, including the head principal, but nothing is decided. The next day, I have to stop the kid at my door and tell him not to come into my classroom again without my and his principal's permission.

The next day, he starts a fight in the cafeteria which the principal called "the worst fight in 10 years." It took 6 coaches and the assistant principal several minutes to break up the fight. The student is hauled away in handcuffs. And I was told that he'd be at an alternative school for quite a while.

But this week, I'm told that he'll be back in a week. No, no, no. The main crux of the problem is that the student is special ed, and is therefore protected with more laws and liability than the average student, and I feel like the administration is putting that as a priority over my concerns and safety.

After two meeting yesterday, the head principal agrees that the student can be placed elsewhere and take French using Rosetta Stone. I'll still be his teacher, but the direct instruction will not be from me. Excellent. I felt like it was resolved. I took steps to prepare materials for him.

And then I'm called down to the office, again, after school today. Another special ed law hiccup. I have to go over the entire situation again with another administrator. The original administrator sits there, playing with some kid's cell phone. They discuss that it may be necessary to have an official special ed meeting, with the student and his parents, where the parents may refuse the Rosetta Stone plan.

This is where I remind them that, yes, the students parents may sue, but I also have a father and husband that are attorneys. My husband spend an hour and half the day before calling different attorneys about this situation, including the Texas Education Agency's special education attorney, who agreed that the student needed to be removed and that I have every legal right, (per Edu. Code 37.002), to remove the student from my classroom. That I can and will have an attorney present in a meeting if there is a chance that the parents will contest the removal.

As of today, it's agreed that he'll be doing French in study hall, and I will show the kid what to do, with an administrator present. I hope that's it. I really do.

It's been tough. The powers that be expect teachers to be passive and uninformed of their legal rights and are not particularly motivated to defend their teachers in the face of the liability of spec ed law. I've had to push, continually, to get to a reasonable resolution, trying not to offend the powers that be, but not lay down my rights and safety, either. I hope that it's settled now.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

O..kla..HOMA where the wind goes...

And the mud is RED! Thankfully, all and everyone have been washed, and it's all gone. And after that shower, I felt like a million bucks.

This morning, pre-dawn, Casey and I were huddled under a pavilion with a bunch of other participants and spectators, hoping for the rain to stop and to hear that the weather was clear enough for the Redman Half Iron National Championships triathlon to go on.
Thankfully, it did. It's hard to tell, but Casey's the nearest one to the right, with his arms crossed. Anyway, it was really wet and muddy. And pretty miserable, until I went to Walmart, and purchased:These attractive rubber boots. I think they're fishing boots, and I got some funny looks at Walmart buying them, because I was still wearing my poncho, inside...but by that time, I was in full-attack mode. No rain was gonna get me, even inside. And I assure you, more than one spectator coveted these boots today. If you are too, there's still time to repent. ;-)
After that, it was a great day. I saw Casey finish the bike and twice on the run. Cheered lots. I think he had a really strong run and looked great out there. Even in a tri-suit onesie. I'm very proud of him. His finishing time wasn't a pr, but all things considered, he did great.
That's how fast Casey sprinted to the finish! Too fast to be caught on camera, literally!

Confession (this concerns port-o-potties, fyi): on the first visit, it was dark, and I was obviously trying to touch as little as possible and didn't realize that the lid was closed. So, I must admit that I am that horrible person that peed on the floor of the port-o-potty. It was me. I didn't mean to. And I even touched the lid to open it for the next person, in remuneration. To everyone else who used that potty today (definitely not me) I am very sorry.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First day of School

Went pretty well. Spoke no more than 10 minutes of English per class. It was pretty fun watching them figure it what was going on. Like that. Will continue. Sure, some are lazy or slow and will have trouble catching on...but I think they'll work together enough and figure it out. Most seem eager to learn and that's a treat. It'll be exciting to see how it much they learn from it. :-)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rum White Choc Macadamic Nut Ice Cream

Dad's birthday is tomorrow, and being that he loves ice cream, and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are his favorite, I figured I'd whip up a recipe. I improvised it from Allrecipes...but the flavor is all me. A little action, for your viewing pleasure:

video

Rum White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half and half
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (fat free)
1 capful vanilla
1-2 capfuls rum extract (depending on desired amount of rumminess!)
1 pinch salt
1 (4oz) bar white chocolate, chopped into small squares
1 (2.25 oz) bag of macadamia nuts

Whisk together first 6 ingredients. Pour into spinning ice cream maker, add nuts and chocolate after 20-25 minutes and let spin 5 more minutes. Pack into containers and freeze.I also learned that it is EXTREMELY difficult to lick an ice cream beater. But I prevailed. I may have ice cream drips everywhere from my shoes to my hair, but I prevailed.

Snack Cake Doom

You gotta see this: A Little Debbie Death Match, from Cakespy:Some folks with too much time and too many snack cakes experiment on violent methods of snack cake destruction. Whatever they put into these things to make them "shelf stable" (but oh so far from fresh) makes them pretty tough cookies. (Pun intended, for Megan).

Knee update: Surgeon #2 agrees with Surgeon #1 that I have a plica, but wants to try a special physical therapy to resolve the cause of the injury, rather than just remove the injured tissue. The pain might go away on its own that way, and if it doesn't he'll do the surgery in a month. I'm frustrated about having to do more therapy. It's just annoying to go to all those appointments, especially after 25 chiropractor sessions...but if it's a more permanent option that saves me from hobbling around my classroom on crutches, it's worth trying.

Went back to RHS for the first time and set up my classroom a little bit. I'm ALMOST looking forward to seeing the kids. ;-)

Monday, August 10, 2009

The surgeon says...

I have a plica (see below for explanation). Since I've already been resting and treating the inflammation and pain, without much change, it's probably not going to get better. I can opt for injections, but it won't get me running on a permanent basis. He suggests removing it. If the surgeon tomorrow says the same thing, that's probably what I'll do.

Also, in other news, I bought my first flat iron and straightened my hair. It's fantastic. The back of my head never looked better. :-)

From Answers.com, Plica syndrome:
A tightening of the synovial plica (bands or folds of tissue) that may form in the knee joint. Many people have plicae in three or four places in the knee, with no adverse symptoms. However, when the plicae tighten (for example, as a result of an athletically related knee trauma) they can become hard and damage the knee. A tightened mediopatellar plica (the plica most likely to tighten) behaves like a bowstring, eroding the medial facet of the patella and the medial femoral condyle, causing anteromedial knee pain and a clicking noise as the plica snaps over the end of the femur. The symptoms mimic other knee disorders, so that knee plica is notoriously difficult to diagnose. Rest and ice are the most useful forms of treatment, but sometimes localized steroid injections are used. In cases that do not respond to conservative treatment, the plicae may be removed arthroscopically.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Window Washing and Whole Wheat Bread

As I still have a week before I have to return to work, I figured I should try to be a little more productive (there are only so many CSI reruns!) so I cleaned house and made bread. I got more of the ignored little corners. Hopefully they'll stay clean for a little while. In two weeks all the women of our church are invited to my house for a conference. I'm really looking forward to it, but I always get anxious about getting things ready for guests. I mean...will I be judged on the cleanliness of my microwave?

Plus I tried a recipe for whole wheat bread from King Arthur's Flour blog. It's made in the mixer and only needed to proof for 90 minutes. That's incredibly easy bread. I made two batches, one regular and one in roll/muffin form. All but a few are wrapped up in the freezer. The few...that I ate. LOVE fresh bread. And I can just pop these delights out of the freezer, microwave and enjoy in the future. :-)

Note: please ignore the strange border on my photo. Our camera is on the fritz and I tried to repair a bad photo...and being that I have nothing better than Paint, this is what I got. The bread was still good, I promise.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

the Knee needs advice...

I have developed a growing appreciation for my right knee over the last six months. I mean, when it works, who cares? But when merely sitting in a chair makes it throb...hello knee!

Strangely, just as I've given up on it healing through natural processes....it's better. Seriously. And I'm doing all those things I gave up to protect the crazy knee. The irony is thick.

You see, with nothing to lose...I figured I'd do what what I wanted. So I tried a dance class (Zumba) and it was a little sore. Weight lifting...a couple twinges, but a diminishing number. I even went high-impact and did step aerobics. Knee didn't mind. Now, my calves were debilitatingly sore for two days...but that's allowed.

But there's still Mt. Everest. Running. A couple weeks ago, 30 minutes on the treadmill definitely caused significant soreness, but maybe not anymore. The problem is the human muscular-skeletal system isn't built to endure the kind of pounding running supplies without careful training, hence so many runners get injured (like myself!). So I can't simply go out there and run like I did before the injury to test if it's better. That would brutalize me even if I weren't injured.

So, I have two appointments with surgeons next week...but I'm not sure I really need surgery. I mean, is this a fluke? All that I've been doing differently is going to a new chiropractor who has me doing daily electro-therapy. But the swelling and pain is gone. Going through surgery and two months of recovery sounds like a nightmare, but so is the idea that I can't ever do another marathon. Limitations like that...unpossible.

What should the knee do?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rosemary focaccia

This rosemary focaccia is a fraud. It only looks and tastes like savory, crisp and chewy focaccia with all the olive-oil goodness you could dream of. I have no idea how you really make it, but I just used my standard "Speedy No-Knead" recipe, spread it in a pan with some olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper (slightly more complete directions here)...and well, six hours later...that's all she wrote.

Friday, July 24, 2009

So recently...

Bread! The only difficult part is thinking ahead. But, in the world of bread, a six hour gap between pulling the three ingredients out of the pantry and enjoying crusty, chewy homemade bread is well worth it. If you have yeast, bread flour and a large covered pot, I recommend you start right now. Recipe from the NY Times website. And then I used the bread to make a delicious roasted vegetable sandwich. Take the following ingredients, thinly sliced: eggplant, zucchini, little tomatoes, green pepper, red onion, with a little cooking spray, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Apply high heat (450) for 15 minutes or so. And layer with a little cheese and pesto on above lovely bread.
The asparagus is just for fun. I love asparagus.

In other news, I went to a different chiropractor, and he told me cartilage tears do not heal. Looked it up online. Talked to my dad, one who's experienced many sports injuries. He agrees. Cartilage doesn't heal.

So, the five months I've been waiting, icing, stretching, electro-treating, ultrasounding, running side-wise and backwards, and otherwise treating my knee has done nothing but manage pain. That's insane. I could have taken an aspirin if that's all that I wanted. So, in all probability I'll have arthroscopic surgery on my knee.

AND I hope soon. I would really hate to be on crutches while trying to teach school. And I just got a call saying that my classes are going to be HUGE. 45/46...teenagers...in one classroom. The brilliant solution is to give me the same huge amount of students, but without a conference period to keep up with the work that all those students will make for me. As long as they don't expect me to teach or the students to learn, it'll be fine. %)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

3 Things

Three names I go by:
1. Virginie
2. V
3. Madame (and unfortunately "Miss" sometimes)

Three jobs I have had in my life.
1. French teacher
2. waitress at Olive Garden
3. tutor for problem students at alternate school

Three Places I have lived
1. Dallas, TX
2. Waco, TX
3. Paris (France, not TX!)

Three favorite drinks
1. iced flavored coffee
2. Diet Dr. Pepper
3. beer, Shiner or Chimay, preferably

Three TV shows that I watch
1. CSI NY
2. Man vs. Food
3. Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (Travel channel)

Three Places I Have Been
1. Hot Springs, Arkansas
2. Cozumel, Mexico
3. Galveston, TX

Three of my favorite restaurants
1. Fat Daddy's (biker burger place)
2. Tony's Italian
3. Blue Goose Cantina

Three things I'm looking forward to
1. Finishing my masters degree...one...year...left!
2. Having babies...but degree must be done first *sigh*
3. Having my knee healed so I can run again!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hot Springs

Behold, steam!
The reason why the water is hot (140 degrees!) is because the porous rock of the region, sandstone, draws up the hot water from under the earth before it can cool as it would at other springs. And it was hot. I got the whole bath treatment at this old-timey bathhouse. First, the whirlpool bath, with super-hot water dripping in onto a board where your feet are, then a sitz bath (or the bootie-bath), then the steam cabinet (holy cow that was hot...I felt like a dumpling!), then they wrap you in steaming hot towels, then the needle shower...which was fantastic. That's the "bath" part. I got a massage too because, hey, I'm there already...so...you know...gotta do it. ;-)It was a nice break after hiking over the entire east part of the part. It was beautiful though. Very forested, green, pretty rock formations and views, like here from near the Mountain tower.
And no, Casey was not the only one who was silly during the trip (for him, see below!)

Where's Casey (not supposed to be)?

Some shots from our trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas.Actually in Hope, Arkansas. Casey on the front porch of Bill Clinton's first home, after crawling under the fence.
Casey, on the grenade statue which was totally out of place on historic Bathhouse Row.
Casey on the spitting frog...we were quick with this one.
Casey on the huge rock, during our 4-hour hike through the State Park. We saw lots of cool rocks, but this was by far the biggest.
And, last but not least, Casey on the huge tank at the far side of the park. It was also totally random...so Casey had to sit on top of the gun, of course.