Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Question

We were 18. Young.
But what does age have to do with it?

We'd been officially dating for 3 months. Friends for 15 years.
But what does history have to do with it?

We were headed in different directions. Me: college in Baton Rouge. Him: everywhere.
But what does location have to do with it?

We had dreams, but not plans. We had potential, but no guarantee.
But what do odds have to do with it?

We had each other. Love. Committment. Fate.
And that has everything to do with it.

It was September 27, 1998. We'd only spoken once in the past 6 weeks. The days were silent, but not empty. Not without words.

The letters. From me. From him. Every day. Sometimes 2 or 3 or 10. But every day. Light, deep, funny, painful, real. Our hearts. In those letters. I found my future in those letters. In that boy.

I was so proud of that boy. Of us. It was his graduation weekend. USAF Basic Training. We sat side by side in church on a hot Sunday morning. Giddy and holding hands. Together. Finally. Words and songs swirled all around us. We could only hear each other. Time stood still. In that moment, that room full of people and families, it was only us. He told me he never wanted us to end. I told him I wanted us forever. Asked when forever would start.

He looked into my eyes. My soul. And whispered "Can forever start now?"

Our engagement day. Before anyone else knew...

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Austin Chronicles - Part 6

Sometimes there's nothing better than fried fish during a Sunday afternoon Saints game. So a couple of weeks ago, that's exactly what we had. Stew pulled out the burner and cast iron pot, a few gallons of vegetable oil, defrosted some trout and we got our fry on.

The weather was unusually fabulous, so after the game Stew took the boat out with a friend and Suzie decided to stay home, open the windows and leave the back door open for Mr. Austin to roam in and out at his discretion. After an hour or two of napping lazily on the sofa using my Sunday afternoon to do productive things around the house, I started to smell a certain greasy, fast-food like aroma. Odd, since we cooked the fish outside several hours ago. The smell seemed to increase as I got closer to a certain guilty-looking puppy. I ran outside to inspect the fryer setup and realized that Stew had left it out, top off, to cool down. It was cool alright, but the pot was missing about 2 quarts of its original contents. Anybody want to guess where that oil went?

For the remainder of the evening, Austin moped around the house with his tail between his legs. That night, we heard a strange sound which I can only describe as a cross between Chewbacca, the principal from Forrest Gump, and a deranged goat. We dashed into the (carpeted) front room and found a freshly deposited pile of puke, which had the consistency of sticky marshmallow creme and gravy. Barf #2 came about an hour later in the (carpeted) living room and was brought on with the same guttural fanfare. This particular specimen was less taffy-like and more slimy, but with a topping of foamy meringue. Thirty minutes later in another section of (carpeted) living room, my oil-spewing pet started revving up and I quickly tried to herd him to the back door or at least to a tiled floor, but he shot back onto the carpet and firehosed another installment of his special brew. This one contained about 3 cups of unchewed and undigested dog food pellets, and a roux-like mixture of burned oil and stomach acid. In fact, imagine you're eating a big bowl of Cocoa Puffs. Except, instead of milk, you pour gumbo on top. Now you get the picture, right? His stomach contents did not, however, contain any sort of household cleaning device or edible fungi. For your reference, the color of this link provides you a handy example of the particular hue of the aforementioned upchuck.

The following day concluded with 2 small batches of french onion soupy stomach acid regurgitations, again on the carpet. Of course. I know what you're thinking. That's a lot of friggin oil. Ha! That's what BP said...

Good news is that Oily McGreaserson is now back to his normal, non-vomiting self. One question though: Do you think we'd qualify for an oil spill claim?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Buttah Face

Some folks have the Virgin Mary appear in the burn marks of their grilled cheese.

Some folks have seen the face of Jesus in their dental x-rays.

Some folks notice the image of Mickey Mouse in the spots on a cow.

Some folks find a potato chip that resembles Elvis Presley.

As for me? Homer Simpson just made a cameo in my newly opened tub of Country Crock Butter.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Feeling guilty

For eating nothing but a big bowl of Bluebell Homemade Vanilla ice cream for lunch today.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


#11 - Plum Street

Yeah, so what more is there to say about Plum Street Snoballs? Pure perfection. Every. Time. My Bananas Foster was almost better than actual Bananas Foster. And I've had THE Bananas Foster. For brunch. AT BRENNAN'S. So I feel I can speak with some authority.

Speaking of Brunch at Brennan's, remind me to tell y'all THAT story. It's unbelievable. And not in the way you're imagining...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Austin vs. South Park Cow...

Am I the only one who thinks the similarity is striking?

Monday, August 2, 2010


#10 - Nick's

I was out in Lakeview running work errands, and in typical New Orleans in July fashion, it was 300 degrees outside. I'm probably not exaggerating. So I didn't feel too guilty about snoballing while still technically on the clock. I stopped by Nick's and tried a Black Cherry. This place (on Harrison, across the street from Lakeview Harbor) actually has an indoor bar area where you can sit and enjoy your icy treat along with a side of free a/c. Unless you're on the clock and have to get back to the office. Fail #1.

So, how was the snoball itself? The ice was pretty lumpy and the flavor was so artificially sweet that it burned the back of my throat. Fail #2.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The hips don't lie

Last night, Abbey spent the night at Uncle Stew and Suze's house so her very lucky father could go do this:

Yes, that is a real Superbowl XLIV ring and THE Superbowl XLIV Lombardi Trophy.

Points to Jeremy for showing some restraint, as I would have been weeping sweet black and gold tears of joy and also hugging that trophy as if it were Drew Brees himself. (Earmuffs, Stew. You don't need to listen to that part. Plus, I hear Brees is a big fan of earmuffs.)
Anyway, back to Abbey.

We were watching cartoons and I got up to go get her some juice from the kitchen. As I'm walking across the living room, she tells me "Hey Suze, I like the way your butt moves side to side when you walk."

Maybe I'm the one who should wear the earmuffs.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wrong or Write

I haven't had very much to say lately. Wait, I take that back. Saying stuff is one thing, but WRITING stuff is a whole different story. Literally.

It's crazy, but for some reason, words that are usually lined up in my head, words that are chomping at the bit for me to type into a coherent thought, amusing anecdote, or organized narrative, are just wandering aimlessly around my brain. They're there, they just can't find a way out and in turn causing a big, frustrating, tangled mess. In fact, they're backing up like tourists trying to cross a crowded intersection. At rush hour. And the sign just won't stop flashing DO NOT WALK.

Bear with me. I'm stuck in a slump. And my words are wearing Hawaiian shirts and fanny packs.

Until the fog clears, here's something that will likely leave you speechless as well:

Who's the crazy one now?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


#9 - Costanza's

Per the request of my longtime friend Katie, I tried a half ice cream - half coconut. Poor Katie lives in Seattle where snoball stands are nonexistent. Also in Seattle, they call a Coke "a Pop," which is almost as bad. Plus, the weather forecasters there often refer to something called "sunbreaks," wherein if you're lucky, the sun just might poke through the dreariness for a split second and make you realize just how bad you want to move back to Louisiana. Come back Katie!

Sorry. Enough Seattle-bashing for now.

This particular flavor combo was new to me, but was really delightful. Could have used a bigger ratio of coconut to ice cream, but that's just a personal preference. I go to Costanza's fairly regularly because it's on my way home from work. There is ALWAYS a line of people outside, which I've come to realize is a sign that you're gonna get a decent snoball.

What are your favorite snoball syrup combinations? Inspire me!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Austin Puppy!

Dear Austin,

You were born exactly 9 years ago today.

This is what you looked like at 6 weeks old, the day we brought you home.

You've been through an absurd amount of your fair share of ups and downs during your life.

You got big really fast. Here's you at only 2 1/2 months.

Then you broke your tibia. That was fun not fun. One day I will devote an entire chronicle to telling that story.
Then you moved across the country with us. This too, one day, will be chronicled.
Then this happened. In fact, many things happened that I have yet to chronicle. But I will. Ohhhh, I will.

Then you got really big and thought nothing of regularly crushing me under your 108 lbs.

Then you became a vegetarian. Not really. But you love to eat watermelon. And pumpkins. In fact, we let you carve your own every Halloween.

Then you went through some odd phases. Here's your redneck phase.

And your cowboy phase.

And your topless phase.

You are such a good boy. You haven't always been. But you are now. Not only do I love you, but I genuinely LIKE you.

Friday, July 2, 2010

All you can art

I got bit by the creativity bug and came up with the bright idea to paint a little something for my Brotherford B. Hayes (Jeremy) for Father's Day.

I present to work of ahhhhht.

Please keep in mind that I took complete, unashamed artistic license with this rendition of the New Orleans skyline. In no way are any of these buildings located in this configuration. Except for maybe the proximity of the New Orleans Arena to the giant grey cupcake Louisiana Superdome.

At least the Crescent City Connection has sexy legs, thankyouverymuch.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Can you hear me now?

You know how sometimes you're driving along and then your cell phone starts ringing and so you do a one-handed rummage through your purse and when you are unsuccessful at locating said phone you think to yourself, "Oh, I must have left it at home,"?

Meanwhile, you still hear the phone ringing. YET YOU ASSUME IT IS STILL AT HOME.

What? You don't?

Oh. Me either.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Black Betty could use some WD-40

Me: You know, probably 90% of the time, I don't even turn on the radio in my car. I just drive around with it silent. Is that weird?

Stew: No. What's weird is that you think your 12-year old car is silent.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Austin Chronicles - Part 5

It's no secret that my dog is a serial snuggler. He's not allowed on our new sofa, and he's not allowed on our bed. This has caused him to become quite resourceful. Most of the time I'll find him in the corner curled up with something he dragged out of a closet to use as a makeshift blanket. Nothing is safe. My 5x7 area rug, the Christmas tree skirt, my Snuggie, Stew's old Air Force uniforms, a duffel bag, dirty (or clean) laundry...all have fallen victim.

The latest:

That pile of old egg crates came from the guest bed. I didn't even have time to throw them away before Snugglepants swooped in and got cozy. He could teach a bird a thing or two about nest making.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What happened in Vegas

May come as a surprise to you, but Stewzie hasn't had a legitimate vacation together in 3 years, unless you count Hurrications. For those of you playing at home (Hurrication = Hurricane Evacuation + Vacation). So, given this, as well as the fact that we both just turned THIRTY, we decided to go big. Translation: Vegas, Baby!

Here are some tidbits to give you a feel for the fabulous time we had.

Flight: Southwest. Direct flight. No baggage fees. Score! Spectacular views.

Weather: Perfect. Hot. Dry. Used excessive amounts of Conditioner and Lotion to make up for lack of humidity.

Accommodations: Wynn Las Vegas. Wow. Classy. Room almost as big as our 1st apartment. TV in bathroom. Again, Spectacular views.

Dining: Expensive! Poolside breakfast. Loved. Lunch at world's largest buffet. Okay. Not too convinced of largeness. Dinner with Old Blue Eyes @ Sinatra. Very cool.

Shows: Flight of the Conchords. Unbelievable (we're huge fans). Bodies: The Exhibition. Fascinating. Carrot Top. Huh-Larious. I'm still laughing. Snorting, in fact. Plus, he truly has magnificent hair.

Gambling: Won $36 on slots. I'm a compulsive casher-outer (i.e. anti-gambler). Not at liberty to discuss how much Stew won or lost at the poker table. You'll have to ask him yourself.

Famous People Sightings: Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs Player). Danieal Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson (Poker Players). And some unidentified (Saints Player) who Stew sat next to on the plane ride home.

Quickie Weddings in Little White Chapels: None. That I'm aware of.

Celine Dion Concerts Attented: Zero. Thank the Lord. My heart will indeed go on.

Things I wish we would have had time to see, but didn't: The white tiger that mauled Siegfried. Or was it Roy? Either way. Showgirls putting on a showgirl show of the showgirl variety. Pretty sure Stew wishes we would have had time for that too (sigh). Fremont Street. Penn and Teller. Any of the overpriced but fantastic Cirque du Soleil Shows. Donnie and Marie. Just Kidding. And Caesar. Turns out it's not the REAL Caesar's Palace. Bummer.

Photos: Here.

Next up, our family vacay to Boerne (pronunciation: Bernie), Texas to celebrate Uncle Pat & Aunt Jackie's 50th wedding anniversary...

Monday, June 14, 2010


#8 - Sno Shack

Confession: This is really more like #11. Yes, I've had 3 undocumented balls-o-sno in between. The actual #8 was Blueberry from Casey's - which comes with a fun story that will not be posted for the general public to view(that's right, I do take the high road from time to time). However, if you know me and want details, I'll spill them in person. The actual #9 was an Orange that my boss brought me at work...and I forgot to ask him where it was from but it was terrible so I figure it doesn't really matter. The actual #10 was Pink Lemonade from Pandora's. This place is one of my top 3, and the flavor used to be my all-time favorite as a kid.

On to the Honeydew Melon from Sno Shack (on Jefferson Hwy. across from Riverdale). First of all, just look at the color of that thing. Like pool water! And just as refreshing, 'cept without tasting like chlorine and pee. Seriously though. Good place, super yummy flavor. Although with the heat index hovering around 110 degrees lately, an actual pool water flavor doesn't really sound so bad, so long as it comes with a giant cup of fluffy ice.

Friday, June 11, 2010

On the glass and contents thereof

You've heard it before.

There are 2 types of people in this world. Those who think the glass is half-full, and those who think the glass is half-empty.


There is another type of person. Me. Given the situation at hand, I think we need to re-evaluate the size of the glass. If the water only fills it halfway, get a smaller glass. Then the glass is full.

Problem solved.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Potty like a Rockstar

You can stop worrying. I'm alive. I've just spent the previous 10 days on VACATION.

From New Orleans to Las Vegas to New Orleans to Willis, TX to Boerne, TX to San Antonio, TX to New Braunfels, TX to Boerne, TX to New Orleans. Much flying and walking and driving was involved. And it may take me a while to come back to reality.

So, until I have enough free time to catch you all up in the form of multiple proper blog posts, I'll tide you over with this - our spare toilet paper roll at the Wynn Las Vegas. They are serious about their toilet paper.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


This here is Stew's deodorant (pronounced de-odor-ahntay).

That's right. CLINICAL protection. It makes me laugh every time I read it. My mind conjures up images of imaginary Deodorant Clinics, where poor, malodorous men can go to seek advanced medical treatment for excessive armpit sweating.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Feeling like a boob

You know how sometimes you make a run to Target to buy a tube of nipple cream for your best friend who just gave birth and while you're there at Target holding the nipple cream you run into your old volleyball coach who you haven't seen in 12 years and then you quickly have to blurt out an excuse for why you're holding a tube of NIPPLE CREAM?

What? You don't?

Oh. Me either.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, May 17, 2010

Heavy on the compliments

After I swiftly and successfully diffused yet another phone call from an eager telemarketer trying to talk my boss into buying whatever it was said salesman was selling, my boss declared, "Suzie, you are worth your weight in GOLD!"

Most would take this as an encouraging comment and MOVE ON.

I am not most.

Thanks to the magic of Google, I determined that the current value of GOLD! is right around $1,226.28 per ounce. Throw in my killer math skills, and you get $19,620.48 per pound. Now, if we go by my "official" weight (you know, the one on my driver's license), that puts my worth in the ballpark of 2.7 MILLION dollars. This is a rather large ballpark, mind you, so my true weight, like the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, shall remain a mystery.

Now back to Suzie's value, as expressed in terms of precious metal.

If only the boss could figure out how to use Google, he'd tell me I'm worth my weight in a far more feasible metallic, like used aluminum cans or recycled paper clips.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Making sense-us of the census

The company I work for is operated out of a large office in my boss's house. This morning, the doorbell rang, and here's a snippet of what happened next:

Me: Can I help you?

Census Guy: I need to get some information from you for the 2010 Census.

Me: I only work here, I don't live here, but I know all the info about who resides here, so if that's okay...

Census Dude: Sure.

Me: My boss's name is Michael.

Census Idiot: M-I-C-H- what was his name again?

...Funny, I would have assumed short-term memory would be a necessary job requirement...

Me: (Blank stare) Here, I'll just spell it out. M-I-C-H-A-E-L. His son Christopher also lives here.

Census Moron: C-R- how do you spell that? And is he a biological son?

...Apparently knowledge of how to spell one of the most common names in America is also not a required skill...

Me: (Taking a deep breath) C-H-R-I-S-T-O-P-H-E-R. And yeah, biological.

Census Numbskull: What is Michael's ethnicity?

Me: White.

Census Fool: And Christopher's?

...Nor is simple deductive reasoning...

Me: (Banging my head against the wall) Well, if Michael is white and Christopher is his biological son, then...Never mind. Forgive me. You're a census-taker, not a Harvard-educated Sociologist. How silly of me! White.

Stereotypical Government Employee: And can I get your name?

Me: (Spelling my name VERY. SLOWLY.) Wait, you just wrote down that I live here full time. I don't. I just work here. Let me give you my addre-

Complete waste of time: -Oh, I doesn't really matter what I put down on here. Thanks. Bye.

...I couldn't make this up if I tried. The CENSUS-taker, who gets paid to collect information for the CENSUS, actually just told me that the information he puts on the CENSUS is not important to the outcome of the CENSUS...

Me: (Picking jaw up off the floor) Right. Good luck in your pursuits of gathering useless data!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Better than mascara

Last night, after reading Abbey (the 3 3/4-year-old niece) a bedtime story:

Abbey: Suze, why do you have eyelashes? (Yes, she calls me Suze, not AUNT Suzie, or even AUNT Suze)

Me: Same reason you do, I guess. (As you can see, creative explanations are my strong suit)

Abbey: Yeah, but why are yours so long and pretty?

And then my heart melted into a big puddle on top of The Tale of Pinocchio.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Leanna Marie

Dear Mom,

One day, when I'm in charge, I'm going to make 2 separate Mother's Days. One for all the regular, run-of the-mill mothers, and another just for YOU. Also, one day, when I'm in charge, I'm going to choose your nursing home. But that's another story for another day.

Your favorite child daughter,
Suzannah Leigh

This makes me think of you:

The Parent

Children aren't happy with nothing to ignore,
And that's what parents were created for.

-Ogden Nash (who is coincidentally my favorite poet, thanks to you)

Saturday, May 8, 2010


#7 - Batman's

This was my first Batman's snoball that wasn't Chocolate. They have such a yummy chocolate that I never wanted to mess with a good thing. This time I tried Kiwi. The flavor was so-so. My advice - stick with their chocolate. It's a good thing.

However, if you're feeling adventurous:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Suzie de Mayo

Turning THIRTY comes with perks. Especially if you happen to be me.

It started out on Saturday with a mani-pedi at Serenity Day Spa with Lisa. Lisa had a bit of trouble controlling her bubbles. I had a bit of trouble controlling my laughter...

Then Stew brought me to our surprise dinner destination at Domenica @ The Roosevelt Hotel. I have no pictures of us from that night because I only had my iPhone camera on me and honestly I didn't want to risk handing it over to a stranger to take our picture...

After dinner we strolled down Canal Street and stumbled on this brass band playing a little impromptu concert on the corner. One of those "only in New Orleans" moments...

On Sunday it rained. All day. And I stayed home and pouted. All day. Gimme a break...

On Monday, my actual birthday, my mom stopped by my office to take me out for Thai food and bring me these lovely purple tulips...

I particularly appreciated the message on the card. Apparently, when she turned 30, her older brother sent her flowers with the same thing written on the card - so she was just carrying on the tradition...

I love that my mom found these and thought of me. What can I say, the woman nose me...

I even got my very own copy of the classic...

Special thanks to the City of New Orleans for this thoughtful gift...

That night, Stew and I hung out at the house and had dinner (grilled shrimp & veggies and charbroiled oysters) with Jonathan and Lisa. Tim, Gabby, Linda, Charles, and Katie stopped by also. (Hi Jonathan, Lisa, Tim, Gabby, Linda, Charles and Katie!) They surprised my with this rad cake-like concoction...

More specifically, brownies in a heart-shaped pan topped with 2 tie-dye balloons that say 3-0 and a citrus basil tealight candle. PERFECT! I'm soooo not the regular cake type.

On Tuesday, I was told (vaguely) that we were meeting at Amelia and Jeff's house after work to "do something" for my birthday. I showed up to find a (surprise) birthday fiesta for me...

The best part of the evening was this...

Linda had put together 5 little glass bowls. They were labeled "Thirty things I love about Suzie" & "Thirty things Suzie is grateful for over the past 30 years" & "Thirty things to look forward to in the next 30 years" & "Thirty inventions Suzie will be grateful for in the next 30 years" & my personal fave "Thirty things Suzie will never have to do again (THANK GOD)". Each bowl contained 30 little slips of paper that fit into each category. Periodically (in between bites of chips & homemade salsa), I'd go over, grab a little slip of paper, and read those little gems of wisdom.

I spent the rest of the night crying, cracking up, and everything in between. An example of why:

Suzie takes action. She found a weave in her shower in South Graham
(dorm at LSU) and moved clear across campus!

Suzie can out-write Chris Rose any day of the week!

Suzie is married (so it doesn't matter if my boyfriends drool over her)!

The ladies: Linda, Betsey, Katie, Amelia, Me...

The gentlemen: Jeff (Amelia's), Stew (Suzie's), Jack (Betsey's), and Jeff (Katie's). Not pictured are Charles (Linda's) and Jonathan & Lisa (who left early cause Lisa's about to give birth any day)...

Lisa got in some last minute baby feeding practice with Baby June (Jeff & Katie's)...

Then showed off her new profile...

Let me just say this. I cannot imagine my life without all of these people. My first 30 years with them were *ahem* memorable to say the least. I can't wait to see what the next 30 have in store for us!

Monday, May 3, 2010

My 2nd Annual 29th Birthday

Today. May 3rd. Marks the date of my birth. Thirty years ago. THIRTY. Three whole decades.

I was asked this weekend if I was dreading the big 3-0. To tell you the truth, I haven't been. And I'm not freaking out now that I am. Officially. THAT age.

Honestly, 25 was the age that really hit me. In the face. Hard. I was at the grocery store buying candles for my own birthday cake (which is depressing in and of itself). Not sure if you've ever noticed, but birthday candles come in packs of 24. I was 25. Which meant I needed 2 packs of candles. FORTY EIGHT candles. I had graduated to the same candle bracket as a 48-year-old. Gone were the carefree days of simply one pack of candles! Also gone were the days of someone else taking care of the birthday candle buying, but that's a whole different issue.

Later on that year, I saw a billboard advertising the 25th Anniversary of Popeye's. Great, now I'm the same age as fried chicken.

It probably didn't help that at age 25, I was a few steps behind where I thought I'd be at that age. Sure, I had scored an awesome husband, but I still hadn't completed college or bought a house. I thought I'd surely have done both by then. After a whole quarter century! Then Katrina came and well, nothing really throws your life plans off track like a natural disaster.

Here's the good news. I made it to 30. And I'm happy about what I've accomplished thus far. Here's a recap of the past decade of me:

2000 - dropped out of LSU, planned my wedding, married the one and only Stewart Alexis

2001 - moved to Washington, lived on a military base, bought AUSTIN, bought AUSTIN a new $3,000 leg, cried when AUSTIN ate the whole roll of film that documented Stewzie's first year as a married couple

2002 - bought Black Betty, was voted Employee of the Year, moved back to Louisiana, readjusted to heat and humidity

2003 to 2004 - worked, saved, had my purse stolen by crackheads, missed Stew a lot (he worked offshore)

2005 - went back to college, paid for it myself, continued working full time, turned 25 along with a 2 piece, white meat, spicy, with a side of dirty rice, a biscuit and a red drink, got Katrina'd, lived in Arkansas for a month with 9 dogs and a whole mess of people, came back home and removed my neighbors' carport from our backyard, got a new job

2006 - went back to college (again), got a 4.0, kept working, paid off Black Betty, became an Aunt

2007 - kept my 4.0 streak alive, started househunting, kept working full time

2008 - bought a house, renovated it every night for 9 months, kept my job, my husband and my GPA but lost my sanity, EARNED my degree and finally graduated

2009 - learned to relax, thanked my husband, went public with my snoball love affair, started Stewzie

2010 - had a crazy dream that the Saints won the Super Bowl, realized it wasn't just a dream, dressed like a toothless hillbilly not once but twice, then turned THIRTY


This is just a tiny percentage of the ups, downs, and in betweens of the past 10 years. If you are the one who created the above, good or bad, THANK YOU, I am truly blessed. If you have been a part of any of the above, good or bad, THANK YOU. If you weren't a part of any of the above, THANK YOU, because you're reading this now and that means you're a part of today. My 2nd Annual 29th Birthday. The first day of the rest of my life.

"Time and Tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty." - Robert Frost

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Austin Chronicles - Part 4

You ever have one of those moments where someone says something seemingly innocent and insignificant, but later on you realize those words were the most profound statement EVER?

Yeah, well that picture up there reminds me of one such moment.

Back in August 2001, Stew and I were living in Washington. State, not D.C. We selected a local breeder and drove out to Puyallup (pronunciation: pew-al-up) to go select our brand new, 6-week-old Chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy (translation: money pit). Everyone had told us to choose the puppy that runs up to you and wants to play, because that is a sure-fire sign that the puppy will grow up to be vibrant and full of energy (translation: a combo plate of hyper and stubborn. with a side of crazy). Sure enough, one cute little brown furball wobbled right up to us and started licking my hand and chewing my thumb (translation: Pick Me!). I scooped him up, he snuggled up to my neck and I. Was. Sold. The breeder's young daughter exclaimed "That one's named Buster. Cause he'll bust your house up!"

Pause for a moment to let that sink in. Because I should have. And didn't. However, Little Buster (translation: Austin) had already stolen our hearts. And our common sense too, apparently.

On our way back home, we stopped at the pet store to pick up some last minute essentials (translation: stuff we forgot to buy BEFORE getting a dog). We browsed through collars and leashes and toys for a few minutes until Austin spied an employee tediously stacking VHS tapes (it was 2001, remember) to display on the end of the aisle. Austin jumped straight out of my arms and proceeded to haul his tiny, 10 lb. body right towards the 4-foot-tall tower of videos. At NASCAR speed. I yelled his name, "AUSTIN!" (translation: stupid move on my part because the poor dog probably still thought his name was Buster). I rounded the corner just in time to witness him plow right through the display and send 300 video tapes crashing to the ground all over the place.

The kicker? Those videos were DOG TRAINING VIDEOS (translation: irony. and shame).

We purchased one out of necessity (translation: guilt) and sadly it didn't teach us how to prevent Mr. Buster Brown from eating the baseboards off the wall. Or to poop standing still. Or to stop eating Irish Spring Soap. That would have helped. However, with the aid of that video, Austin can now sit, lie down and stay, all by commands given via sign language (translation: cool party trick).

Moral of the story:
Pick the fat, lazy puppy who pays no attention to you. Then have his teeth and legs removed just in case.

I'm just sayin'

Chipotle: It's chi-pote-lay. NOT chi-pole-tay.

That's all for now...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


#6 - Hansen's Sno-Bliz

I'm pretty sure that when I get to heaven one day, heaven will have its very own Hansen's Sno-Bliz. It is THAT good. I could ramble on for a while like I sometimes always do, but this time I won't. Plus, they have their own website here which is something you should totally check out.

My Strawberry Shortcake with Condensed Milk was to die for. Similar to heaven.

Go to Hansen's. Wait in line. It's worth the wait. Similar to waiting in line for the pearly gates.

Extreme Makeover: Stewzie's Garden Edition

This is the listing photo from before we bought the house 2+ years ago.

This is what it looked like the day we started the whole shebang. I refer to the overgrown bushes as The Four Afros. Kind of like The Four Tenors, except without the popularity or vocal range.


After we failed to yank out The Four Afros via ropes tied to Stew's trailer hitch.

After we (Stew) failed to remove The Four Afros via chainsaw. And axe. Simultaneously.

After our neighbor succeeded in digging up The Four Afros (and 1/3 of our lawn, but not his fault) via Bobcat. (Thanks neighbor!)

After 5 trips to Lowe's, 4 yards of dirt, 3 tipped over wheelbarrows, 2 long weekends, and 1 change in color scheme....


Window Boxes:

Herb Garden: Mint and Rosemary

Herb Garden: (from top) Basil, Cilantro, Sage, Chives, Green Onion

In case you're a garden nerd and want to know specifics, here's what we planted. Firepower Nandina, African Irises, Ascot Rainbow Eurphorbia, Guara, Aztec Grass, African Marigolds, and of course, Loretta.