Friday, October 21, 2011

Sur la Table and Learning to Cook

Team building time - we decided on a cooking class. There are 11 of us in the office in Dallas and three in the McLean office. A cooking class was the best idea ever. Sur la Table in Dallas is down near SMU on Travis Street. If you are ever in Dallas and want to do something very fun, go there. They have prescheduled cooking classes several nights of the week. Check it out online. It's not cheap but VERY worth it.

Chef Ed
Chef Ed was our chef for the afternoon. We had a private class from 4-7 on a Thursday night. They don't have alcohol for you but you can bring it. So, a few of us brought bottles of wine to enoy while we cooked. The mean for the night was "Handmade Pasta Party" and a party it was. I have to say that the group of people I work with are really a ton of fun. The first thing we did was learn how to make pasta dough. It's really just flour and egg and you mix it together and let it rise. I don't know, I have the receipe and I want to try it. Next, you take it in small balls and run it through the machine that flattens the pasta. In the picture there, Ed is using the electric one. Then we ran it back through to cut it into slices. I need one of those machines if I'm ever going to make pasta the correct way. Ok, well that may never happen, but at least I know how to do it if I ever get the hand cranked one. I used the nonelectric one and I did just fine.
We made bruchietta for an appetizer and then two pasta dishes. Ed had made Bolognese for us and that was my very favorite. That is one dish I am going to make this Fall for the kids one Sunday. I want to put pictures up but doing that is just frustrating me right now. Trust me, the meal was delicious. Fetticine with white clam sauce was amazing, Tagliatelle with Asparagus and Fettuccine with Tomato-Vodka Sauce is to die for. And....they were all easy to make. I suppose, for now, I will rely on the fresh pasta I can get at the grocery story. Maybe one day I will decide I need a pasta making machine.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Funny Thing Happened Over the Weekend

Last weekend I had an alone weekend for the first time in quite a while. With everything that's been going on with the kids and such, it was nice to have some peace and quiet. I had plans but when it came right down to it I just wanted to be alone.

It's been at least two years since I have put out any Fall decorations. It was so beautiful on Sunday that I decided I was ready to decorate once again. For all THOSE years, I was such the "decorate for every holiday" mom. I had decorations for everything and I had a nice, big house to put them in...all around, upstairs and down.  When I moved to the duplex, I downsized eventually and since then I've downsized some more. Now, I'm here with all my favorite Fall decorations. I can't even explain what it does to me to put it all out and see the transformation of my home.

The weather this summer has been one for the record books, literally. So, as it's been cooling off and I can open the back door and just enjoy the 80's, my mood feels so at peace. I have really needed it. My personal life had a big hiccup and I am on the road to recovery. The holidays and change in the weather are just the medicine I need.

Then, Sunday night I get a message on Facebook from a woman I don't know but who is starting to date the guy I just broke up with. This has turned into a very long conversation over several days. It has also been very affirming for me. At least I know he wasn't just like that with me. He's that way with all women. I wish I could take out a billboard and airtime and say, "Don't date this man!!" But alas, I can't. I don't know what's going to come with "them" but that's nothing I have concerned myself with. It just goes to show you that 1) people can do some crazy things to find you (she somehow found my blog and linked me to him) and that 2) people are people and the only one you have control over is yourself.

I vow to be a good, honest friend to all of my friends and the best mom in the world to my kids. HAPPY FALL!!
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Final Marching Season For A While

It dawned on me the other day that I am about to go to my final marching competition until possibly 2014. That is if I encourage Jonathan to be in band at Bell. We will see how the next two years go. Things have really changed over the last six years and I'm not all that happy about it. It's not a subject I can really rant on openly on my blog because it might compromise the integrity of the band. Therefore, I will not mention names but I will elude to what I am talking about and you can figure it out on your own.

I have always been so proud of the fact that my kids are going to the same high school that I went to. They have all been in the band. Watching the evolution of that program was something that I just thrived on in the Fall. Since the last band director left, the program has kept it's integrity, but it seems that the intensity of the program has been compromised. For example, there NEVER would have been a Saturday during the marching season when there was not some form of practice going on. There was one this year. It showed in the competitions that followed.

Realizing that marching is a very political thing when it comes to the judges that judge these competitions, there is a school in our region that I have had enough of. They are showy and loud and obnoxious. They march, stop, play, take up the field with really stupid and obnoxious props and the thing that gets me the most is that their band director stands just off the field during their performance and literally directs!!!! REALLY??? I actually heard another director yelling to the kids on the field what they were supposed to do DURING the competition. If those kids can't do it on their own what are you doing there? Isn't it about teaching them and getting them to the point where they can do it on their own, walking off and letting them compete? At least that's what I was always taught.

We had our time in the spotlight. Now is their time. I just hope that, by the time Jonathan has to make the decision about what to do about high school band, they have gone back done the list and we have gone back up. I know that there are bands out there that never win. I realize that I, as a parent, have been spoiled. I understand that getting 2nd place out of 30+ bands is nothing to gawk out. The thing is we have the best, most mature shows, every year. Why is it that all anyone wants to see are props and musicals? Ugh. I just don't get it.
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