remember those two cats

that live here?  Lucille wanted to sit and bathe in the sun yesterday.

Strat thought it sounded like a good idea too.

Then he copied her and decided to just lie there, all clean in the sun.

Still chillin'.

"Hey.  'Sup?"

Then Lucille's attention was drawn to something outside.  Probably a bird?  (My attention was drawn to that big streaky smudge on the outside of the door.)

Then Strat resumed his role of Copy Cat.

Then they left and went to eat and I grabbed the Windex and cleaned the door.

Last night, between 7:30 and 8:00, I heard Maggie getting all worked up.  That dog had her head under the gate, trying to wiggle the rest of her body under... WITH THE FENCE COLLAR ON AND ACTIVE.  I guess I'm turning it up more today.  Anyway, I started banging on the window trying to get her to stop.  I went to the back door to let them both in the cage and the weather looked really bad.  I'm wondering if that's why she was freaking out.  As soon as I opened the back door, she came running in and Archer was practically jumping over her to get in too.

I took this picture looking out from the garage, it's NOT black and white.  I didn't have time to focus any better and before I could get another one, BOOM.  Lightning cracked and we came inside.  It was really, really creepy out there.

Ten minutes later the storm passed and that was that.  Today is supposed to be much prettier.  Now I just have to convince Maggie because she still won't go outside.

i've been reading up on

some skin and stomach issues and decided that maybe trying to go gluten free for a while wouldn't hurt.  No, I didn't want to be one of those people that can't eat this and can't eat that.  I just wanted to see if there was a link.  I decided on Sunday I'd give it at least a week.  I'd been searching and pinning gluten free recipes and decided that starting Monday (yesterday) would be perfect. 

I woke up and wasn't thinking didn't care and had regular toast with breakfast.  I only had a thing of yogurt for lunch but a little later I needed a snack.  I don't know if Nacho Cheese Doritos are gluten free but I only had a few so we won't count those.  I picked up some gluten free flour and decided I'd make some sort of bread to go with the roast and potatoes we were having for dinner.  I found a recipe on Pinterest for garlic cheese biscuits, like the ones you'd find at Red Lobster.  I grabbed my gluten free flour and started mixing.

They looked good and the texture seemed right.

Wow.  They looked and smelled awesome.  So much butter and so much cheese.

I couldn't wait and had to sample one.  The edge was really good.  The middle was different.  The texture was a lot like the Brazilian cheese bread all the steakhouses serve, really gummy.  I finished the one.  I tried to have another with dinner but couldn't do it.  It was too much

Today I think my body's trying to teach me a lesson, like that whole "mess with the bull, you get the horns" thing.  I'll just say I've been a little nauseated this morning.  It has nothing to do with the rolls because I was totally fine last night.  I think it's just my body's way of telling me to quit trying to be sneaky and don't even think about an elimination diet again.  I promise, I won't do it again... not until it's the doctor's orders.

Thursday night's concert was

fun.  We had a good time and The Cult sounded good.  We hurried out and were first to get our car from valet.  What more could we have asked for?  (Other than VIP tickets and a chauffeured ride to and from...)

I got a few pictures but I guess my game was a little off.  Some weren't as great as I'd hoped.  Here's one.

I played around in my phone and edited it to black and white.  I think I like both.

One thing I noticed as I was looking through my pictures after we got home.  Billy Duffy, the guitar player was wearing a long sleeve shirt but towards the end of the evening he's wearing a short sleeve shirt.  I don't even remember him leaving the stage and we were right in front of him.  Maybe I could've been more observant if I'd had a nap earlier.  I guess we'll never know.

I did get plenty of rest over the weekend though.  My goal was to catch up and I did.

Now that I'm caught up on sleep, today I have to catch up on everything else.  That's fine because it's the perfect day to stay inside.

The weather decided to catch up on rain.  I love it when things work out like this.

as soon as I write this

post I'm going to lie down and rest.  I'll tell you why.

Cosme's office rotates between the coworkers for who brings breakfast tacos on Thursdays.  Today was his Thursday.  Sure, I could've driven five minutes and picked up 30 breakfast tacos but I told Cosme I'd make them. 

I set the alarm for 3:15.  I hit snooze and woke up closer to 3:30.

He couldn't take breakfast tacos without salsa so I made that first.  That would, after all, have to go into the migas. 

After the salsa I started a pan of chorizo and a pan of bacon.

Do you know what three packages of chorizo and two packages of bacon will do when you cook it all at 4:00 in the morning?  It will linger.  I had to go help out at the church this morning but before I left I cleaned the kitchen, washed all the dishes, lit three candles and ran a load of dish towels with Clorox (which always puts off a good clean towel scent).  It's now 1:30 and as I walked through the door, I smelled nothing but bacon and chorizo.  I'm not saying it's a bad smell but I'm tired of smelling breakfast and really want to smell clean towels and candles now.

Anyway, I made all the meat and then called Cosme in to help with the eggs (I think 48 total?
whatever the number, we're out of eggs)  and assembly.  We ended up with a little over 30 breakfast tacos.

Chorizo, egg and cheese.  Bacon, egg and cheese.  Migas and cheese.  I'm pretty sure it's a no brainer but I had migas for breakfast.

Now that I've had lunch and explained why I'm so tired, I'm going to stick with the plan and try to rest.  Did I mention I'll be standing all night at a concert?  Oh, yeah.  There's that.  On that note, my pillow is calling.

that cardinal is still trying to

break through the window of the front bedroom.  I noticed that empty nest the other day and decided I'd stick my phone up there to get another picture.  There are eggs now.

While I've always heard that a robin's eggs are blue with brown speckles, I googled cardinal eggs and they look the same.  Knowing that, I might still have thought the nest belonged to the cardinal if this one hadn't shown up as soon as I got too close to the nest.

I already had the picture and knew I shouldn't try for more.  She kept her eye on me but left the oleander and then went to the fence.

She left the fence and then went to the top of the house to stay.

When I was a kid and I'd go to my grandparent's house in the country and there were a lot of birds.  My grandfather would call the birds and feed them.  He taught me a few whistles but I don't remember too much of it.  Anyway, I decided I'd relive old times and call some birds.  I picked up on a whistle I was hearing and did that one.

This one flew in from behind and startled me.  I think it's the regular who wants to move in.

I kept calling.  The next thing I knew these two came flying and playing out of a tree across the street and wanted to come too.

"Hey, let's go over here.  I don't know whose whistle that is but they sound drunk so they must be having fun!"

I was starting to feel like Snow White.  I was about to hold out a finger and see if anything would land on it.  I decided not to because that might not would have ended well.  I did get on YouTube afterwards and search bird calls.  If I was a better whistler, I could probably make a hobby out of it.  I went out there a few minutes ago to confirm that 1) I suck at whistling and 2) Cosme's right, the house does need to be pressure washed.

Maybe I could just get a super duper lens and do more taking pictures of them and less trying to talk to them.  THAT sounds like the better option.

I just got home from taking

pictures and I am worn out.  Totally.  We met at Brazos Bend but it wasn't for portraits, it was for art car preparation.  Afterwards, we walked a bit on one of the trails to look for alligators and now I am exhausted.  I did stop at Walmart and Kroger on the way home so if anybody saw or smelled me, I apologize. 

I need to mention a few things from the weekend.  Sunday was Mothers Day and this is what Eric got me.  It's Grumpy Cat as Darth Vader.

I have it on the living room bookcase now.

I've been wanting to make Cuban sandwiches so I finally picked up and made some pork.  This was it after I put it in the crockpot.

I had to open the lid and smell it every time I walked by.  I know you're not supposed to but I did.  We had sandwiches on Saturday and then I made lime cilantro rice with black beans yesterday and we put the pork over that.

I went to the store the other day and I saw this truck.

Shipley Donuts and a big Texas flag.  All that picture needs is a Whataburger sign and someone eating a carton of Blue Bell.  I would post another "only in Texas" picture that I just took today but I'm too tired.  It's on Facebook but that's as far as it's going today.

I need to go clean up and try to get some energy so I can bake cookies, figure out dinner, finish laundry and sort through pictures.  Maybe I'll have a couple to post tomorrow.  For now I'm off to TCB... and convince myself I'm not worn out.

Cosme's birthday was last week

and the past few years he's asked for a lemon cake. 

This year he asked for chocolate.  I don't normally make chocolate cakes but when I do, it's sheet cakes.  I didn't want to try a new recipe for his birthday cake so I just played it safe and bought a mix.  I did make the frosting and it's VERY chocolatey.  I should've written down the recipe but with frosting, most of the time I just eyeball it, sample as I go and add what I feel like.  I'm not a big chocolate fan.  I don't hate it but I'm not one of the types who needs chocolate all the time.  Make note of "all the time".  Every once in a while the chocolate bug bites and I want some.  This frosting would be perfect for times like that. 

I dropped him off at work that morning but instead of taking the usual route home, I decided I'd head west, not east where everyone is fighting to get into town for work.  I headed to Grand Parkway which turns into Crabb River Road.  I called Cosme 15 minutes later, amazed that I had already gone under 59.  Fifteen minutes from Katy to Sugarland/Richmond/whatever.  Wow.  I went through the first light there at a newish shopping strip (I say new because it's only been there for about 10 years...) and Buc-ees and then I hit the traffic.  I just googled it to see but it's 3 miles from Buc-ees to the Exxon at the next light by the railroad tracks.  That took 25 minutes.  Twenty five minutes to go three miles.  Then I made it through the light and over the tracks.

It was something.  Oh well, once I passed the neighborhood up ahead on the right and the schools on the left, I left the traffic behind.  That's when I enjoyed taking the back roads with hardly any other cars on the road.  I brought my camera but as you can see by the picture, it was a dreary morning.  It's not like there was an awesome sunrise so I didn't stop.  Oh well, I kept on my way and took a left at the road to Brazos Bend and went through Rosharon since I knew there would be several gas stations coming up and I was running a little low.  I made it to Angleton before having to stop for gas and that was that.  I'm heading to Brazos Bend tomorrow for pictures for someone.  Maybe I'll stick around longer if I'm feeling a little daring.  Or, maybe I'll show up a little early and hope the sunrise is as pretty as it is today. 

If you don't hear from me again, it was probably the alligators that got me.

last year we had to have our

Italian cypress removed.  Bagworms had taken over and killed it.  It took me a while but I replaced it with some other things this year.  Remember all that?  Well one of those new things I planted was an indian hawthorn topiary in front of the small indian hawthorn shrubs.  I've been noticing the smaller shrubs have been turning brown.  THEN the topiary started getting a few brown leaves here and there.  THEN I spotted some bagworms on my NEW topiary leaves.  I've been plucking them off and smashing them as I see them but then I wondered where they were coming from.  THEN yesterday, during my daily plucking session while I was waiting on the exterminator to spray inside, I saw the small shrubs have bagworms EVERYWHERE.  UGH...  (THEN can we have a more positive "then"?  All these "thens" seem to be headed in the same direction, the direction of all my hard work being for nothing.)

The small shrubs

My sad, sad shrubs.

It's not focused very well but see the underside of that leaf?

Look at all of them.  Five in one shot.  

 My new topiary.  This is so frustrating.

I've read that sparrows will eat them.  Now I'm researching bird baths and how to lure sparrows to the yard.  I really wish that cardinals ate them because remember the one trying to get in last week?  He's still here and still wanting in.  He did finally decide to make a nest in the oleander outside the window.

I spotted it yesterday, just as the exterminator pulled up.  Oh, when he got here, I asked if his spray would kill bagworms.  He checked the shrubs and sprayed them.  Now we wait and hope for the best.

In better plant news, my gardenia has a bloom, one lonely bloom.

If you want to smell it you'll need to get on your knees because it's under the bush.  Figures.   Maybe I should give up on gardening and yard work and keep my day job.  Done.

last year I had a few strawberries

and made a pie.  I talked about it HERE.  A few days ago I bought more strawberries and made that pie again, taking my notes into consideration.

First of all, HEB always has the best strawberries.  Sometimes they're huge.

While cutting them up, I had several weak moments and had to sample.  They were dark and sweet and delicious.  So, back to that pie...  I remembered it being runny last time so instead of the 1/3 cup of flour, I didn't measure but it looked more like 3/4 to 1 cup that I added this time.  I still didn't add cinnamon because cinnamon with strawberries just doesn't sound like a good pairing to me.

I got it all mixed up, dumped it in a crust and topped it with another crust.

Bless my heart, I try.

Pie crusts really aren't my thing.  I have a recipe that I like and use but I'm not the best at handling them or making them look pretty.  Maybe I should take a course on that.  Pie Crusts 101.  Pretty or not, I baked the pie.

We had some after I'd given it plenty of time to cool off and it wasn't runny at all.  Success! 

It's still good after refrigerating and serving cold the next day, just like my notes said.  Last night we had smaller portions so we could have a few bites of Blue Bell Bride's Cake ice cream.  It isn't often I go beyond my beloved Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla but this Bride's Cake, IT IS AWESOME.  It's BEYOND awesome.  It's spectacular, the bees knees, the bomb, da bomb, superb, so good...  Anyway, I just read over the weekly ads and saw that strawberries are on sale now.... so is Blue Bell.  I guess we should finish off what we have first.  Maybe?  Maybe not?  I guess I could always try a new recipe, like a cake or bread or muffins... with Bride's Cake ice cream, of course.

this is the stand that

started it all.

We had our bedroom tv on an actual tv stand in the corner.  It didn't match anymore.  I asked Dad to build me a stand to move the tv with all its accessories to the dresser.  I gave him the measurements, he made the stand, I painted it to match and VOILA!  I love it.

I went back and forth for a while on what to fill the now empty corner with.  Should it be a desk or a bookcase?  If it was going to be a desk, it needed to at least have a bookcase to make it taller.  I decided to move the bookcase from outside Eric's room to my corner and get Papaw's bookcase from the garage to put outside Eric's room.  While the tall bookcase that's now in the corner isn't black and matchy matchy to the other furniture, it's a darker brown and I like it.

Now, Papaw's bookcase really needed to be painted.  I posted about that a few days ago.  I picked the darker paint and went to town.

After the first coat, I was doubting it all.

I sent Lauren a text telling her I thought I might just hate it.  I shut the garage door  and turned the lights off to see it a little darker.

I don't know.  I still had my doubts but I went ahead and let it dry a little.  Later on I applied a second coat.  I was feeling better.

I finally moved it inside and put some of the stuff back on it.

I wasn't satisfied so I took the painting from above the piano and moved it to the bookcase.

That's better.  I'm still needing to do something to it.  I like things bland, drab and neutral.  There is a lot of color happening on the shelves of this very colorful bookcase.  I've decided to paint the frames that are on there and add more, hoping the one color of frame will tone it all down.  I could probably remove all the Little Golden Books and that might give it less of a preschool feel.  We'll see how that all turns out.

Now I've also got an empty wall and need to figure out if I want to put anything else above the piano.

It's always something.  And maybe next time I decide to take and share a bunch of pictures from in the house, I'll turn some lights on for a little better quality.  I think I might go look around the house now and see if anything else can be moved to or off of the bookcase.  It's kind of like shopping in my own store.  I don't have to leave the house and it's free.  What more can a person ask for?

when I woke up this morning

I didn't think relief was possible.  My head was throbbing, I could barely breath and my teeth were pounding.  It was a really bad sinus headache with way too much pressure.  A Zyrtec D and washcloth with peppermint oil covering my nose later, I'm feeling pretty awesome.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a little bubble blowing fan from Walmart.  I finally got around to using it on Saturday and Archer loved it.  I got a video and here are some of the stills from that video.

I think it would be awesome to crop the bubbles out and hang this sign on the fence.  BEWARE OF DOG.

Maggie caught a few but wasn't as determined as Archer.  We did catch her doing a goofy little thing last night though.  There are holes showing up in the yard.  I looked out last night and saw Maggie with her front paws in one, kind of pouncing into it while walking her bag legs around the hole in a circle.  This went on for a few minutes and then she stopped and just stood there staring, with her front paws down in the hole and her back up on the ground.  Maybe she was dizzy from the spinning?  Then she decided she needed to rest and lie down .  Weirdo.

Now I'm off to TCB.  I'm going to take advantage of my Zyrtec D/peppermint oil combo and enjoy this headache-free morning as much as Archer enjoys bubbles and Maggie enjoys... whatever she was doing in the hole.