i never got around to

making that banana bread.  I got around to mashing the bananas but then they turned brown when I decided to take a break so I threw them all out.  Seriously though.  I had absolutely no motivation to get up and do anything on Friday... when I eventually thought I felt like making the bread.  I did get up to go dancing that night though.  Lauren and John came down for her birthday to stay the weekend in Houston with Eric.  So if waking up at 4:30 Friday morning left me with no motivation, going to bed at 4:30 Saturday morning worked out about the same.

I was really going to try to sleep late.

I don't follow my own orders well.
I woke up at 7:30.  I pulled the eye shades back down and forced myself to go to sleep.  I woke up again at 9:30.  We made it to take Lauren for birthday lunch but then it was back home and back to bed where another nap kept me up until midnight.

We met up again on Sunday, minus Eric (who had a stomach bug) and Paige (who was off to celebrate her brother's birthday), feeling a little less out of it.  We went for lunch after doing a little shopping.  I don't eat crawfish but Lauren, John and Cosme do.  Well, that wasn't ALL they ate.  There was SO MUCH FOOD.

We went to BB's over by Eric's place.  They have "Tex-Orleans" and we had plenty of it.  Instead of sticking with my usual of shrimp and grits, I did a cup each of macaroni & cheese with beef debris, red beans & rice and something else that was grits with beef tips.  I didn't care for the beans and rice but everything else was good (but spicy).

Next time they come down, we really can't start the weekend with dancing.  That throws me off.  And maybe the next time they come down, everybody will be well and functioning at 100%.

to say I got distracted

after that last post would be an understatement.  That was a whole week that passed.  I didn't get distracted, I just bailed.  I'll blame it on how worn out I was after tennis talk.  But really though, I have been busy doing stuff in the house.

Enough though, let's get back on track.

I have all these bananas that are about to go bad.  Why is there such a fine line between a banana being not quite ready to should have been eaten an hour ago?  Seriously.  I buy them when they've still got a little green tint to give us plenty of time and before I know it, they look fine on the outside but you open them to find brown patches.  I can't eat that.

Looks like I'll be busy tonight or in the morning making TWO batches of banana bread.  I don't even know if I have that many loaf pans.

Speaking of how weird bananas are, I found this on Pinterest which is SO TRUE.

*delicious depending on my mood

Who eats the end of a banana?  I can't eat that either.

I guess I'll head on over to raid Mom's cabinet of any and all loaf pans.

sorry but I got a little

distracted there.

So our first day at the Miami Open was a full day.  We started by walking over to the Marriott, where we bought our shuttle passes the day before, and caught the shuttle.  It was a short shuttle ride and we made it to the tennis park before 11:00.  The first thing I noticed when we walked in was the drink cart and the big Pepsi logo.  Ugh... This stadium was a Pepsi venue.  Strike one.  We headed into a souvenir shop for t-shirts and a cap for Cosme.  None of the food stands opened until 11:00 so we walked around to check the place out.  Oh, did I mention this was a Friday during Lent so that meant no meat?  Yeah, strike two goes to the food choices.  We found a Bacardi tent and sat in there looking over their menu.  Since Cosme eats fish, he had a fish something while I had a spinach empanada.  He had a mojito and I had something else with Bacardi.  Breakfast was served.

I don't even remember what was in the third Bacardi cup with the brown liquid.  Who knows...

We sat around snacking on plantain chips and rum, waiting for the 1:00 match.  We eventually left the Bacardi tent and did more walking around.  We found a cart and I didn't want anymore of whatever that drink I had was so I ordered a Grey Goose and cranberry.  Last I checked, cranberry juice is pink.  My drink was clear.  I'm pretty sure it was just Grey Goose and water.  Once 1:00 rolled around, we watched the Nadal vs Fognini match.  When that was over we decided it'd be easier to stay at the tournament instead of catching the shuttle and coming back for the 7:00 match.  We walked around and found a table in the shade.  Cosme went to get a beer and I stayed at the table to save our spot.  I asked for a Bacardi and diet Pepsi because I was tired of all the other stuff I'd tried.  (While that doesn't sound at all good, I can do diet Pepsi better than Pepsi, not that I enjoy diet Pepsi AT ALL.)  So Cosme came back to the table with my Bacardi and regular Pepsi... It was as bad as it sounds.  He went to get himself some sushi and one of the most awesome things I'd ever heard of for me.
Go away, Pepsi logo!  I get it!  You're all there is!

We were both getting tired... Pepsi, no meat and all day at a tennis tournament will do that to you.  We found a spot under a tree and stretched out.

Once the Federer/Kyrgios match was about to start, we found our seats.  I told Cosme that a nighttime tennis crowd is way different.  Strike three.  You know how the crowd at Walmart in the middle of the night is different from the morning crowd?  Same goes for tennis.  These people were mean, rowdy and disrespectful (unless you were a Roger Federer fan).  I immediately knew I was for the underdog.  Go Kyrgios.  That was annoying me.  Oh, then there was this guy.

We were already close but he really didn't need to put his arms over the back of the chair and make it worse.  As the night wore on, I just got more irritated.

My next move was to ask if he just wanted to go ahead and put his head in my lap.

The match finally ended and we waited for the shuttle to take us back to the hotel.  Once we were back, close to midnight with the restaurant closed, we ordered delivery from New York Roma Pizza, with extra cans of Coke.  At that point I was thankful for many things: bed, food, Coke and no tennis scheduled for the next day.  To prove how worn out I was, this early bird finally got out of bed around 10:00 the next morning.

That wore me out just writing about it.  I'll talk about our other day of tennis tomorrow.  (I'll try not to get distracted this time.)

our first day in

Miami was a tennis free day and I knew I wanted to go to the pool.  Before putting on our swimsuits though, we headed down the street for lunch.  The night clerk had recommended Greenstreet Cafe.  We walked over and sat outside because the weather was awesome.  The food there was so good.  I had an omelette with spinach, ham and feta.  I don't even remember what Cosme had other than Tabasco.  Their potatoes were so good too.  I couldn't finish it all.

While we sat there finishing our mimosas, I got this picture of the street corner.

We went back to the hotel and let our food settle some, keeping an eye on the chairs down at the pool.  When the one I thought I wanted cleared out, we headed down.  We ended up getting a couple of chairs next to an umbrella so we'd have some shade but I didn't need much time down there.  It felt nice and breezy but that sun was HOT.  We headed back to the room to clean up, cool off and get some more rest before heading out for dinner.  Dinner was at Farinelli 1937.  It was okay.  I didn't get pictures.  Enough said.

Instead of discussing our trip in chronological order, I'll just stay on the topic of food.

On our next tennis free day, Saturday, we took an Uber to Little Havana for lunch and shopping.  We had lunch at Old's Havana Cuban Bar & Cocina.  That place was also so good.

My Cuba Libre.  She first put my glass down, which was 3/4 full of ice and clear liquid.  After an experience I'd had at the tennis tournament, I wondered if she messed up my order.  Then she put a little bottle of Coke down and topped off my rum.

I don't know what happened to the picture of my sandwich but I ordered El Guapo, a regular Cuban sandwich.  Here's Cosme's flat iron steak.  It was awesome.


Tres Leches.  Similar to what they serve at Ninfa's on Navigation, I'm drooling just thinking about it.

It was all awesome.

After finishing up our shopping, we headed back to the hotel to check on the pool.  It was packed so we decided to lie around for a bit.  Let me make a note that while it sounds from this post like we did a whole lot of resting, we did a WHOLE lot to need resting.  First there was all the walking we did.  We walked EVERYWHERE.  Then there was being out in the sun to wear us out... like spending the entire day at the tennis tournament on Friday.  That was exhausting.  I woke up sore on Saturday.

Anyway, the food at Old's Havana was really good but knowing we would be back at the tournament on Sunday morning and how draining the walking and sun would be, we stayed in and went down to the hotel's restaurant for dinner.  Panorama had some good food but I didn't get pictures because we sat outside and it was a little dark.

We started off with tempura shrimp (YUM) and Cosme had a salad while I had corn soup (that breeze made it chilly enough for soup).  He tried their flat iron steak while I just stuck with a burger.  For dessert we had key lime parfait.  We were stuffed after that and went back upstairs to get ready for Sunday.

I know I already talked about the matches but I'll talk more about our day at the stadium tomorrow.  Going in order is so overrated.

so our flight was

scheduled to leave for Miami at 1:10 last Wednesday.  I guess I didn't do my calculations very well because when we arrived at 12:19 it was too late to check our luggage in.  The funny thing was there was a guy in front of us who arrived at the same time to catch the same flight and was in the same situation.  We moved to the 7:30 flight and hung out at IAH for that entire time. 

So what happens when you miss your flight and have to wait for 6 hours?

You go to Landry's and have a shrimp cocktail

and french fries

and several drinks.

Then you sit and take pictures while trying not to look creepy.

You also look at the schedule and see that 1:10 flight didn't actually take off until 3:40 because of weather.  So after the few seconds you're irritated because you COULD HAVE made that first flight, you realize that you would've been MORE irritated having to wait to be cleared for take off.  At least this way the weather had time to clear up and we still had our set time.

 7:30 rolled around and I wasn't able to catch an awesome sunset but at least we were on our way.

Once we arrived in Miami, we just took an Uber to the hotel.  We arrived at the hotel around midnight and then found out we didn't have an actual room with the hotel but a private unit.  GRRRR... Luckily for us we had enough toiletries to get by and enough towels to make it the 5 nights without having to do laundry.

We passed out and when I woke up the next morning, I popped out of bed so I could check out our view.  I wasn't disappointed.

I sat on the balcony and enjoyed it until I got tired of sitting and wanted to lie back down.  Then I went inside and enjoyed the view from the bed until we felt like going for breakfast.

 I'll pick up there tomorrow. 

I haven't been around much

lately.  Actually, I was M.I.A. because we flew into MIA last week.  We went to watch the semifinals and finals of the Miami Open.  I'm not a tennis fan but Cosme is.

The first match we watched was Rafael Nadal vs Fabio Fognini.  I didn't really care who won but I'd heard a lot about Nadal so I knew who he was and decided I'd cheer for him.

I'll put it out there in layman's terms because that's all I know.  This is the final serve of the match because this serve won it for Nadal after Fognini couldn't return it.  I impressed myself because I knew that was the situation and had my camera ready to capture it.

Shh.  Everybody be quiet.

And that did it.  He won the match.

 While I was busy taking pictures, Cosme was hoping to catch one of the balls he hit into the stands.

That evening we watched Roger Federer vs Nick Kyrgios.  It was crazy.  The crowd was out of control and disrespectful.  They were really horrible to Kyrgios.  I had already decided I'd cheer for Kyrgios since he was kind of the underdog.  Listening to the Federer fans being so obnoxious really irritated me.  I didn't even want to be there anymore.  I took a couple of pictures but I was fed up and done.  After three sets, each ending with a tie break, Federer won.

That meant the final was going to be Nadal and Federer.  This was a no brainer.  I would be cheering for Nadal since I was officially a fan after the semifinals... and definitely wasn't a fan of Federer and wasn't about to be one of his rude fans.

I was rooting for Nadal but it's not like I was about to cover myself in body paint like I was the Spanish flag.  (Although I did jokingly suggest something similar to Cosme)

Federer won again.  We didn't stick around for the speeches.  We headed to our shuttle bus and that was that.

More on Miami later.

I went out to Quintana

Beach County Park yesterday for portraits.  I hadn't been out there in a while and I was wondering if I took the right road.  Where did all this come from?

An overpass?  Another plant on the other side of the road?  For a second I looked at that overpass and wondered if I should've been on it.  It was all good though.  It was just to connect the existing plant to the new stuff that's shown up since I was last there.

It did make portraits a tiny bit harder.  There were more structures in the background we had to dodge but it was nothing major.

New structures and confusion aside, it felt wonderful out there.  I could've set up a lounge chair and chilled for the rest of the evening.  It was that awesome.  I think I might have to drag Cosme out there once we have a little time.  I'm definitely not saying I'm ready for 100+ degree temps that summer will bring but man, it sure felt nice out at the beach yesterday.

the other evening

Cosme and I went to Lake Jackson.  He drove and I sat in the passenger seat.

If these were going on the photo website, they'd be filed under "Scenes from a Texas highway at sunset".

Since they're not going anywhere but here, they don't need to be filed but I guess I'll label them "misc pics".  What can I say?  I'm creative like that.

I have so much to do today

I need to make sure all my batteries are charged and cards cleared.  I'm going out to Quintana Beach Park this evening for portraits.  I'm also still working on trip planning and prep.

This weekend Eric and Paige officially announced they will be getting married.  It's big news but then again, it really isn't for me.  They've been dating for seven years and this was already something a lot of us just expected.  Not really expected but were waiting for?  I guess not even waiting for, just already knew was going to happen.  I don't get very mushy or sappy about stuff like that.  Actually, listening to and talking about mush and sap make me very uncomfortable.  I can feel myself getting a little tense just typing this.  So while I might not go on and on about things, gushing about love and feelings, I'm on board with it.

Another thing I'm on board with is keeping my plants alive.  I need to get out there and water before the sun scorches them.

we have a trip to

Miami coming up so I've been getting ready.  No, I haven't been packing because it's too soon for that but I've been spending a little time out in the backyard getting some sun exposure.  I don't want to show up unprepared and burn so I've got to get a little sun.  Once I get out there and get a little tanning started, I should take much better to what Miami has to offer than if I just jump in after not being out there in a while.

I tried something the other day.  Tanning Accelerator.  The last time I used this stuff was in Puerto Rico, when I expected to be on the beach for an hour MAX, not waiting around for the bar to open and then three strawberry daiquiris later... One word.  PAIN.  After that day, I swore I'd never use the stuff again (but for some reason decided to hang onto it).  The other day I pulled it out.  I figured since I was only going to be out in the backyard for about 30 minutes, I should be good.  I was totally good.  I was actually thinking about buying another bottle of the stuff.  Much to my disappointment, I can't find it.  The company has other products and those might be awesome but one of the things I like about this is the smell.  It's orange and it smells a little like oranges, well, I guess as much as a tanning accelerator can.  So I was reading similar product reviews and one said she missed the original orange product and went on how the new one stinks.  Typical.

So it was just me, my music, my tanning accelerator and the dogs.  Maggie came by every few minutes to make sure I was okay and to lick my face.  Archer came by every few minutes to put his face in mine and see what was going on.

"Yes, Maggie.  I'm fine."

"Yes, Archer.  I know you wish this hat were big enough for two but it's not."

"Yes, Maggie.  I'm still fine but thanks for checking again."

"Like I said, Archer.  It really isn't big enough for two under here."
As much as I'd like to get back out there today, I don't know if I'll be able to.  I have a hair appointment and since I haven't had one since sometime around Thanksgiving, I should probably get that done.  Sure I could go out afterwards but who wants to mess up hair fresh out of a beauty shop?  Maybe I could just tie it up and cover it?  We'll see.  I'll think about it while I'm under the dryer.

i mentioned my idea

of a party/backyard lunch yesterday to use my new serving tray but I never even mentioned my tray.

I've been thinking about getting a rectangular serving tray for a couple of months or so.  I needed something to hold the occasional banana bread or blueberry bread loaf.  I wasn't actively searching but every time I baked a loaf of something, I remembered that I needed a dish to put that something on.  Fast forward to last week.  Madeline's posted serving trays.  I called and had them hold one for me.

It's perfect because as soon as I need new dishes, I'm planning on white this time around.

Mom and I went to the shop and I picked up my tray.  Then I was convinced I needed the deviled egg tray.  I make deviled eggs for almost every gathering and look at this tray.

That should slide into the refrigerator so much easier and take up less space than the round dish.  It also came with the little serving fork.  I ended up buying the deviled egg tray too.

Cindy asked if I'd seen another board they have.

This would be perfect for a cheese ball or log or plain old cheese.  It also comes with a little spreading knife.  I had to buy it too.

That's why I need to have a party.  Maybe I should just have a party to celebrate my new flowers?  I'm not totally against the peanut butter cookie/Chinese food/golf gathering in the backyard but it'd be nice if I wasn't the only one enjoying the new serving trays.

over the last month or

so I've been thinking about a few things.

1.  Peanut butter cookies.  I've been wanting to make peanut butter cookies.  I already bought more peanut butter and even bought M&M's to add to a few for a chocolate kick.

2.  Chinese food.  That's not something I ALWAYS want, unlike Mexican or Italian or chicken fried steak.  I've had Chinese food twice over the last few weeks... which is a lot more than I normally have it.

3.  Golf.  I'm not talking about a tournament.  I'm not even talking about 18 holes.  Top Golf has sounded kind of fun lately and the other day we drove past a driving range and I mentioned to Cosme that it sounded like fun.

Yesterday I looked on Facebook and a memory popped up.  I decided to click to see more memories.

Here they are.

Peanut butter cookies.

Chinese food.


March, the month for peanut butter cookies, Chinese food and golf.  That's what my party with my new serving trays could be!  I could serve peanut butter cookies and sweet and sour chicken on my new trays with wiffle balls for hitting between bites.  That sounds like fun to me but I'm pretty sure I'd be the only person showing up.  Now it's just sounding depressing.  I guess it wouldn't so much be a party as just lunch out in the backyard with a little activity on the side.  Oh well, no matter how much I like to eat or play slacker golf, what I'm getting at is at this same time last year I had the same things on my brain.  Weird.

If you'll excuse me now, I think I'll go round up some wiffle balls.

i decided and i purchased and

I planted.  The flower bed is done, except for some mulch that needs to be added, and it only took three trips to Houston Garden Center, three trips to Pom Pom, two trips to Lowe's and Home Depot, one trip to Well's Nursery and one drive past Angel's in Damon to find them closed.  Now let's hope I spaced it all properly and can keep it all alive.

I had them remove that big purple thing.  I hated it.  It was too big and planted too close to the walkway.  It was to the point of not being able to even be trimmed back because if trimmed too far in, all you saw was sticks and innards.  I removed that little green spiky plant too. 


From left to right: the indian hawthorn I planted a couple of years ago, a salvia, yew, another salvia and another indian hawthorn.  (the hibiscus just to the right of the rocks are cut down but will come back)

And here's a closeup. 

Here's the other end.  I planted an indian hawthorn topiary and snapdragon.

Then I bought smaller snapdragon the next day and added those.  I might be obsessed with snapdragon.

I forgot to water the plants yesterday but I did remember this morning.  There might be hope for the plants, yet.

Maybe today I'll get that mulch and then the bed will be done.  Now it's on to the next project, whatever that may be.

mom and i were going

to get stuff done yesterday but we ended up not doing anything because it eventually got late and we hadn't left yet.  We rescheduled to today and are SUPPOSED to leave early.  We'll see how that goes.  One of us always comes up with an ailment of some sort, usually stomach.  While waiting on Mom yesterday though, I knew we had quite a few things to do so I started TCB pretty early.  Once she suggested we reschedule, I knew I wouldn't get around to any of my stuff today so I tried to get totally caught up by yesterday evening.  I did it.  I was pretty much caught up on everything: laundry (including some things that needed ironing), the kitchen, straightening up...  During my chores, I put the cat carrier on its shelf and saw a sticker on it from Strat's vet visit.

For some reason that made me laugh.

By 5:00 we were picking up Chinese food and by 5:30 I was dozing off.  I woke up a little after 7:30.  I shouldn't have had that nap.  By 2:00, when regular videos and reading hadn't worked, I searched sleep music on YouTube and put my headphones on and passed out.  I need to save that stuff because it really helped.  I didn't think I'd be able to get going this morning and was having second thoughts about this morning's early start with our errands but when the clock went off and once I got up, I was fine.  It actually feels nice when I have unexpected energy.  I guess it's making up for passing out at 5:30 yesterday or maybe it had something to do with that sleep music.  On a side note, in that original group of videos I was watching to try to fall asleep, I found a few that were very informative on developing my own film.  Maybe the ideas and excitement from that was helping to keep me awake.

My hair is washed, laundry is going and I'm taking a break from my to-do list.  TCB.  I did have to get this picture this morning though.  (Yes, I keep my phone in the bathroom with me when I'm home alone in case I need to call 911 for something.)  I turned the water on and was putting a few things away on the counter.  When I turned around, the steam looked pretty cool.

I edited it to black and white just to make seem a little eerie.  I think it worked.

I guess I'll go work on that to-do list.

TCB, people.  TCB.

the flower beds are

cleaned out and ready for a few new things.  Now I just have to decide on those new things.  I think I'm going to go back to Houston Garden Center for a couple of things.  I had just about made up my mind to go with a few things but now I think I've changed it.  Here are some of the plants I saw the other day when I was there.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to get one of these .  I think I'll plant it where an Indian Hawthorne had to be removed.  I also think I'll plant Snapdragons around it.

There's something about this I thought I might want for along the walkway but then it looks so much like what I had them pull out yesterday... that thing I hated.

Then there are these shrimp plants.  I love them.  I love the color.  I love the look.  I just love them.  My only problem is they apparently need a lot of shade and the place I want to plant them is sun.  Lots of sun.  I guess I could find another place for it.  Or I could just keep coming back to look at this picture, that'd be a lot easier and cheaper.  But I just really, really like them.

I just need to hurry and decide for a few reasons.  One of the main reasons is this stuff needs to get in the ground and start growing.  Another reason is because the flower bed looks naked and the HOA has already sent an email reminding everybody that it's the time of year for everyone to start taking care of their yards again.  I wish I knew what to plant.  I don't claim to know anything about plants.  I know I wanted a Foxtail Fern (which for some reason I keep wanting to call a Bobtail) but now I think if I get one of those I'll keep it in a pot.  They say they spread pretty bad.  I don't know.  I just really don't know.  This is so much harder than it sounds.  I guess I'll start by researching the roots of a Yew since the plant I planned on a few days ago might eventually jack up my walkway.  Plants shouldn't be this difficult.  They should just sit there and look pretty.

This talk really makes me appreciate the simple things.  I think I'll start a load of laundry and wash the breakfast dishes.  I know how to do both of those, simple and no research required.