Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Ice Storm

The weather is looking mighty frightful today, with temps steadily dropping from the low 30s down, down, down from there. We woke up to a forecast of 1/4" of ice by this evening. I guess Texas forgoes (forgos? hmmm, either way it looks wrong) the pretty fluffy snow for evil deadly ice. Yay! (note the sarcasm)

So to help me forget some of this icy madness, I'll catch you up on a just a few things to warm the soul.

A couple weeks ago, Mark spent a week in Vegas with Dave at the PPAI expo. There were tens of thousands of attendees, and many of them were very impressed with the clothing at Mark and Dave's stellar booth. The orders have already started to roll in. Hooray! The website is still being updated and improved (including an upcoming photo shoot to get actual pictures of the products up there). We will get that link up here as soon as it is all live and good to go!

When Mark got back from Vegas, we celebrated his success, as well as our 7th anniversary, with an incredibly relaxing, fun, beautiful day that started with breakfast at a local diner, moved on to a nice long walk with Kai at Arbor Hills, and ended with a big ol' sushi dinner. Yum! It really does not seem like we were enjoying the big day at Chief Hosa 7 years ago. Wasn't it just last year? My how time flies! And yet it also seems like it must have been years ago--I mean, how could we have packed so much fun and so many adventures into 7 short years!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

On the Road Again

We are out of Texas!!!! .....

For now.

Being back in the mountains and breathing that fresh, crisp air is glorious, wondrous, magnificent, invigorating, all around great for the soul. Just wish it could be for more than 10 days.

Mark and I flew into Bozeman, Montana, two days ago. Cute college town, with real coffee shops (we didn't see a single Starbucks) and a great vibe. We relaxed for a bit in town, dining on sandwiches from the Pita Pit and excellent coffee and tea, while reading our maps and guidebooks. Then it was on the road, down through Gallatin Canyon, past Big Sky Resort (where we stopped in at the Lone Peak Brewery for happy hour), and on into West Yellowstone (a pit of a hotel town on the edge of our nation's first national park).

The next morning, we headed west and south, down through Idaho and into Targhee National Forest. I can't tell you how great it is to once again see towering lodge pole pines, wide clear rivers, people in fleeces and Chacos. This is definitely our kind of country.

We stopped in a couple places to take in the views and get ourselves acclimated to being at an elevation higher than 600 feet above sea level. Just past Lower Mesa Falls on Henry's Fork of the Snake River, we loaded up our pack with lunch and set off in search of a nice little picnic spot. We had every intention of following the trail to the Bear Gulch Overlook, but soon turned off and followed a gully down the cliff to the river. I'm not sure anyone but the most intrepid fisherman/woman would have followed this trail. I'm not even sure any animals would have followed the steep trail; I certainly didn't see any tracks, though that could be because it had recently rained, and I was pretty sure we were following a waterfall's track. But it was well worth it. A private rock on the river's edge was the perfect spot to enjoy our lunch of tomato, avocado, salami, and cheese on crackers. Yummy!

We finished up lunch just in time for the rain, which started as a splitter spatter, but soon turned into a pretty serious downpour, thunder and all. My guess that it had been a waterfall's course was confirmed as we slowly made our way back up the cliffside. The only thing that kept flashing through my mind was the mudslide scene from Romancing the Stone. I'm just glad I didn't have to make the hike in high heels and a skirt. My Pear Izumi GoreTex shoes treated me just right, keeping my toes warm and dry as we plodded through the increasing flow of the cascade.

But we made it in one piece, with big grins on our faces, so happy to be drenched with cool rainwater rather than sticky sweat after a big hike.

After drying off, we headed into Jackson, where we were supposed to pick up Mark's parents from the airport. We settled into our rented condo, only to hear that they were stranded in Denver, thanks to mechanical difficulties.

But they are here now, unpacked and somewhat refreshed after an early afternoon nap. Now we're off to explore the town of Jackson and see what there is to see.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Little Things

First off, please excuse any typos. The tip of my right pointer finger is extremely tender after being sliced on a piece of glass that I did not know was the item stuck in the garbage disposal making a horrendous ruckus. Ick! I have many things in life that I don't like at all. Slugs on the kitchen floor is a recently added item for that list. Reaching down into the dangers and disgusting muck of the garbage disposal is definitely high on that list! With the added treachery of a shattered egg cup, that fear was made even worse.

But I digress ... before I even got started.

Seeing as this blog is pretty much so family and friends can keep tabs on our exciting lives, I am not going to preempt this with a warning that it will be long and potentially very boring. But consider yourself forewarned, nonetheless.

This past week I (Tara) attended the gym's Strictly Strength class in my meager attempt to get back in shape. I was barely able to get through the arm work in the second half of the class, because my legs were so shaky from all the evil lunges and squats in the first half. (I did finish the class, though, so bonus points to me for not passing out and/or vomiting and being carted off in an ambulance.) Friday a.m. I woke up "early" and dragged myself off to a yoga class, with the goal of doing some good stretching for all those muscles that felt as if they had been beaten with a bag of oranges. (This may not sound painful, but it's a scene from The Grifters that has stuck with me, and Angelica Huston looked pretty beat up. I don't recommend the movie, by the way.) Unfortunately the yoga was a Yoga for Fitness class, with many planks and triceps pushups, or shadarangas, or whatever they're called. So not so much with the stretching, though there was more strength work. Yippee.

When I got home, I tidied up the house, paid some bills, caught up on emails, ate a sandwich, and then began to crash. I felt as if I'd put in a nearly full day, and it was Friday, after all, so I decided to kick back, read a book, and even sip a little wine. It wasn't until after I sat down that I realized it was only 12:30 p.m. Oops! An hour later, I could not figure out why I was so incredibly tired. I couldn't even focus on the words in the book. When I woke up on the couch hours later, I remembered that I had taken an Aleve for the muscle aches. That plus the wine equaled a very pleasant afternoon nap. Oops, again! But I was incredibly rested afterward, and by the time Mark got home, I had a yummy dinner of chicken-tortilla soup and smokey-almond salad ready. How domestic!

Saturday we woke up to fog and cold outside and a bad sore throat for Mark. So we sat around all day, watching the few stations we get with our little rabbit ears and eating whatever we could scrounge up from the kitchen. Our big event for the day was venturing out into the world to see the latest Bond flick (thanks, Mom and Dad). Perfect mindless excitement, with lots of Daniel Craig eye candy, for a gray day in Dallas. But even with that outing, by the end of the day, we felt as if we'd completely wasted our Saturday. So before we went to bed, we agreed that first thing Sunday morning, no matter what, we would take a walk with poor, neglected Kai.

And that's just what we did ... for 7 miles! Yay for us! Once we got home, we felt fully justified in chowing down on some scrambled eggs with feta and green onions and a little bacon on the side. We even felt justified in sitting around watching football playoff games all afternoon. Go Eagles (sorry Darling family!)! Then we finished it all off with a delicious dinner of chicken-paprikash-topped potatoes. I will definitely be making that one again!!

And now, here we sit, rooting for an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl, just cuz, and contemplating another trip to the gym. And you are all caught up. Lucky you! Don't worry. These long detailed stories of our life will be few and far between. Just wanted you to know you aren't missing much at all, though we are missing all of you!

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Business Card

My friend Marjorie, a fellow copyeditor extraordinaire, sent this to me. And I fully agree that this should be on every editor's business card:

Monday, January 5, 2009


No resolutions from us this year. Just a quick hello to wish you all the very best in 2009 (or at least the best possible in these crazy times).

We had a very nice, very relaxing holiday in Connecticut with the Meads, Darlings, and Studebakers. Unfortunately, I don't have a single picture, as the few times that I did pick up a camera, it turned out to be Mom's (who happens to have the exact camera that we have). I always seem to have an excuse for no pictures, don't I?

Well, here's a pic from this weekend. We had our first overnight guests at the Grady Court house. Marianne (pronounced My-anna) and Travis drove up from Austin for a kid-free weekend, though I'm thinking that Mark and I are pretty kid-like, so I'm hoping they weren't disappointed :-) Once again, no camera, but Mark did have his trusty cellphone, with its awesome resolution (HA!). I'm thinking maybe the lens got smudged with salsa or something during the evening. Anyway, we had a fantastic time: We stumbled upon a few tasty restaurants, drank some tasty sips of wine, and enjoyed catching up with good friends over some good laughs (and even some good walks). Thanks for making the trek up here, M & T. Looking forward to the next visit at your place!!