Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another Running Skirt

I've sort of come to terms with running in skirts.  I've found a couple of skirts that are comfortable and practical enough that I can go for a run without having to think much about my clothes.  (I think more about my shoes these days, but that's a subject for another post.)  One of those skirts would be the "exerskirt" I reviewed not too long ago.

I also found something else that works well, and is much less expensive.  I was at Target looking through the racks, and found a skirt very much like my "exerskirt"; it was a similar material, and even had long shorts underneath.  I thought to myself "there is no way that Target is selling a modest running skirt!"  As it turns out, it's actually a "slimming skirt" because the shorts underneath are supposed to slim you.  It works quite well as a running skirt, though.  The shorts underneath are see-through so don't contribute to modesty, but they do keep the skirt above from chafing or clinging, and they are cool.  It's quite comfortable.

Merona® Women's Fit Solutions Solid Skirt - Black L

It's longer on me than on the model--mine covers my knees.  Maybe I have short legs or something.

Only downside is, no handy-dandy little key pocket, so I have to hold my key in my hand as I run (can't tie it into my shoelaces when I don't have any--but that's a subject for another post).

I still don't think that a woman should have to wear long skirts while running--I think that a woman can run in other things without compromising her modesty and femininity--but I am now persuaded that a woman can run in skirts.  If that makes sense.

Monday, May 24, 2010

First Harvest

I harvested these jalapenos today.
What they lacked in size, they made up for in flavor.
I sauteed them in a little olive oil, with some onions from Froberg's, for a tasty taco garnish.

 What's next?  Maybe more jalapenos?  Or maybe one of these yellow bell peppers?

I am totally hooked on vegetable gardening now, though there are unpleasant moments, such as this morning when I dug up a fire ant nest and they swarmed my leg.  I tried to brush them off and keep working, but they kept up the attack; so finally I gave up and ran away, leaving shovel and ant-covered shoes behind me. :)  I'll try again tomorrow, armed with a pot of boiling water.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I've recommended this site before...

...and I'll recommend it again:

The Oil Drum

This site is especially interesting in light of the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The Oil Drum goes into a little more depth than most of the news sites: as an example, see today's post: What Caused the Deepwater Horizon Disaster?  Don't forget to read the comments section, where a number of experts in the oil industry (and non-experts too) are engaged in discussion.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Trip to Galveston

Today the boys and I went to Galveston.  The weather was just perfect for a trip to the beach.  It was a little hot, but the breeze off the water made it just right; and the sky was half full of puffy white clouds, which kept us from being blinded or sunburnt.  It was lovely.

We parked on the seawall and spent a couple of hours on the beach below.  The boys played happily in the sand while I crocheted.  Here's Elijah stomping a spot flat to serve as a foundation.

Noah has been acting goofy when he sees the camera lately.  This is the best shot I got of him before the batteries in my camera died.  He's wearing our "ugly hat."  I bleached it, only it didn't bleach evenly.  But it works.

After a while we ate lunch in the car.  We had a nice view from the seawall.  We watched pelicans scooping fish out of the waves, and guys on surfboards, and a guy flying a kite.  After we finished our lunch, we drove back along Broadway.  I was delighted to see that the live oaks that were killed by Hurricane Ike are now being replanted. :)  I also, as usual, oohed and aahed over all the gorgeous old houses in Galveston. 

Then we headed to Alvin, where we had a nice visit with my sister and her lovely daughter Olivia.  Then we came home again.  The end.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bread and Honey

Half my life ago, I tried baking bread and it turned out delicious and beautiful.  But I was left thinking that homemade bread was a real pain to make.  For years afterward, I had these memories of dough stuck to the mixing bowl and my fingers and the table, and of having to use a butter knife to scrape the dough off the table into the trash can.  Not fun. 

Fast forward fifteen years.  I got inspired to try making bread again, so today, I gave it a try.  Surprisingly, it wasn't the mess that I thought it would be.  I mean, I had a little dough on my fingers, but it rinsed right off, and the bowl rinsed out easily; and all that was on the table was flour.  Cleanup was not a big deal at all.

I wasn't really sure what I was doing, and the loaf came out lumpy and funny looking, but the house smells really good, and the taste...WOW.  I forgot how good homemade bread is.  I sliced off big thick slices while it was still hot and spread it with butter and honey.  The boys and I ate up two thirds of the loaf in one sitting, and I would like to eat more, but I feel like I should save some for Jesh to try when he gets home.

It sliced up kind of ragged, because I didn't let it cool before slicing it, and because our cheapo bread knife is quite dull.  But it sure is delicious, at least for those of us who appreciate simple food done right.  (If you need to be inspired to appreciate simple foods like bread and cheese and honey, go re-read The Hobbit or Heidi.) 

p.s. Bread and Honey is also the name of an interesting food blog.  I won't link to it here because the author uses a lot of bad language.  But you can google it if you are interested.  Also, for breadmaking inspiration, check out

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Favorite Place

As I've mentioned before, I spend a lot of time downtown these days, while the boys visit with their dad.  I often make my way to this little bench in Herman Park where I read, think, write, and crochet.
The shade under these trees is nice and cool, and the breeze off the water feels great.  The buildings in the background are part of the Texas Medical Center, which consists of thirteen hospitals and various medical schools, and is practically a city of its own.  I often see helicopters coming and going from the roof of the foremost hospital.

The view from my bench, another angle.  I usually see ducks and paddleboats on the water, but the day was winding down by the time I took this photo.

This is one of my latest projects.  I like to crochet with discarded plastic grocery bags.  I cut them up into strips and crochet them into sturdy purses and totes. 

Must run--I have an hour to clean house. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Psalm Singing

Last Saturday, we hosted a psalm singing, the object being to improve our singing skills.  We enjoyed ourselves, and I think we learned a few things, too.  We hope to do this again, perhaps monthly; next time will be on Saturday June 5th, all being well.  Mom and Dad will be here too on a brief vacation from Israel, so be sure to come by if you're able.

Mercy already posted these on her blog, and I'm guessing that we have a lot of the same readers, so you may have already seen/heard these; but in case you haven't, here you go.  Some Texans singing psalms, with special sound effects provided by the babies and small children. :)

If you'd like to download these to your computer, they are available for download at

P. S.  It took me a few tries to get this music gadget up and running.  I've always wondered, if I publish a post, then edit it and re-publish, do those of you who follow me via Blogger or another reader end up with multiple "new post" blurbs?  If so, I apologize, since I must have edited and re-published this one half a dozen times. :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gardening in Texas, Early May

My garden is coming right along.  I haven't had many bug problems, which is great because I'd like to avoid using pesticides if at all possible.  The aphids have been few, perhaps thanks to a couple of resident ladybugs.  I have seen a couple of green stink bugs, and some keeled treehoppers, but never more than one or two at a time; I flicked them off into a cup of soapy water, where they perished after a brief struggle.

I'm looking forward to lots of tasty jalapenos.

My yellow bell peppers are still pretty small.  Mom, do you think they'll be ripe by the time you get here?

My tomatoes are blossoming well, but I think it may be too hot for fruit to set at this point.  I probably should have planted them a month earlier than I did (March 1st instead of April 1st). 

They're filling out their cages nicely.

Last but not least, my Knockout rosebush is blooming beautifully.  This plant is seriously indestructible--it's still in the tiny pot it came in, which means it's quite top-heavy, and every gust of wind knocks it over.  I'll get around to repotting it eventually, really I will.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Last week...

Last week, the boys and I went to a birthday party.  But first, we stopped at a thrift store.  I do most of my clothing and shoe shopping at thrift stores, primarily because thrift store shopping is the best only way to stay within my budget, but also because it's a "green" thing to do (minimizing waste).  I love how green living and tight-budget living work so well together. :)  But anyway, I was looking for sandals for Elijah, and I finally found them; it took a few months before the right pair turned up, but they only cost $1.90, so I won't complain.

While I was looking at the book section (just in case), Elijah was trying to get my attention.  "Look, Mama, this would be appropriate for you," he kept telling me.  Finally I took a look at what he was holding.

I can't bear housework?!?  Does does Elijah really think that this is appropriate for me, or is he just teasing?  I do on occasion neglect housework for more interesting things like blogging, gardening, and playing with Legos, but I didn't think that I was a complainer!  How do things appear through Elijah's eyes, though?  I will have to ponder this sometime.

After the thrift store, we went on to the birthday party.  It was Julia's birthday.  Julia is about Elijah's age, and is one of his best friends.  She's the one on the right.

Elijah was doing his best cowboy imitation.  He even had a lasso.  

It was quite nice to see all 10+ little ones playing together.  We have quite a few young children here (and more on the way!), with Elijah and Julia being the oldest of the newest generation, if that makes sense.

Well, as the photo above illustrates, Elijah is really getting into the whole Texas thing, and so am I.  But in order to be a real southerner, I need to learn how to make sweet tea.  Anyone want to share their recipe?  Does it matter what type of tea I use?  How many teabags to a gallon of water?  How much sugar?  Your help is appreciated.