Monday, April 25, 2011

A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers…

Those of you who have been married for a while might know the sneaky feeling you get during a move.

It starts off like this: there is that old/ugly/smelly/tattered {insert item that belongs to husband} that your husband just will not throw out. You have begged and pleaded to no avail. Once the packing starts, a thought works it’s way to the front of your brain. What would happen if it got lost in the move? It wouldn’t be my fault, right? Stuff gets lost all the time. During the move, you glance about to see if anyone is looking and oops! it just happens to fall in the trash. Oh, the liberation you feel totally overwhelms any lingering guilt there might be for your husband’s most godawful junk prized possession.

Don’t tell me you’ve never done it. If you haven’t, it’s because 1) you’re a newlywed and cannot conceive the notion that your husband would hang on to a pair of ratty, tatty, stinky sneakers because they are the ones in which he scored the winning basket in high school. Twenty-five years ago. 2) because you have never moved and are cursing missed opportunities. 3) Your husband reads this blog and you are lying.

Let me list for you some of the things that have not gotten lost on our moves, of which there have been many; high school letterman jacket that still smells like high school football victories and maybe a hint of maryjaywhanna, various small sized  golf shirts, 273626414 Ohio State baseball caps, several glass balls from an old fishing net, 2 large bags of golf balls that have been fished out of the woods and water hazards, and my personal favorite - a 15lb bowling ball (kept in the hopes that there are bowling alleys in the Caribbean).

In our 15 years of marriage and 4 or 5 moves, a few things may have fallen off the truck. What they might have been, he doesn’t remember and I certainly don’t. Win-win, right?

This time was different.

The one thing (the ONLY thing – I promise!) that “fell off the truck” was the one thing CGMan went looking for. He has been ever so helpful getting the boxes unpacked and getting his own spaces organized. Now I realize he was looking for his hat rack.

He bought this hat rack when he was in Abu Dhabi. It was one of the first things he bought to feather his nest. It had a black solid marble base (heavy!) and a bright gold pole that had been etched with diagonal lines and silver hooks at the top. He would use every hook on the thing for his hats, robe, jeans, shorts, all of it. He has this thing about hanging his pants from the corner of the door, so the hat rack gave him a place to put his pants at the end of the day. You know, instead of putting them in the laundry hamper or something. What? I’m just sayin.

I kinda thought it was ugly not suited to the style of his office – somber retired military officer. So when the unscrupulous thought came into my head that he wouldn’t notice if it went missing, it went missing.

He asked me about it the other night at dinner and I had to look him right in the eye and tell him the truth. Because for whatever devious  wifely things I may have done in the past (or may do in the future) I do not lie to him. Dammit. It would have been so easy to say, “I saw them pack it, I don’t know what happened to it” or blame it on the Skater, who, poor kid, gets blamed for any missing tool in the shed (even the ones that are right there in front of GCMan the whole time).

I apologized profusely. Honestly, I really did feel bad when I realized how much he liked it. So I apologized again. He was gracious and said that he would get over it.

This is where the good marriage comes in.

He forgave me.

Then he told me I was to remember this the next time he effed up. Which he figured to be soon, since it’s been a while. (This insight comes from having been married for many years.)

I took what he said to heart. Yesterday on the golf course, he received a few text messages from me, as I was going through the last few boxes from the office:


He does love this. Go figure.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Too many words for Wordless Wednesday…

You may have noticed I don’t post much anymore, but do usually put something up on Wednesdays. That’s because it’s easier to post a picture than to think of something to write about. But hey, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Here are a few words for today…

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We have already found a dog park. There are lots of trails through the woods. The girls like it very well. I know you won’t believe this, but I saw Phoebe leap over a fallen log. Of course, that was early on, when she still had energy. Later, I saw her army crawl underneath one. There is even a stream that runs through it, in case anyone wants to play in the water. We met a few dogs that day.


This is the family room, right off the kitchen. While we were living like bohemians, we had the TV sitting on a plastic table across from the two LaZboys. I knew when the furniture came, it would be a challenge to make everything fit in this space, with only the two walls.

The cubby over the fireplace didn’t do anything for me. I found a way to put the TV there, using telescoping hardware mounted inside the cubby. But it required a lot of work and we don’t own this house.

What to do, what to do? Besides paint. Man, this house needs some paint. All the walls are white. White, white.


For there to be room for all the furniture, space had to be made for the TV. I didn’t like the fireplace, either. It is just a tiny little gas log with a screen over it. When I lit it, it stunk really bad, so I knew I would never light it again. Here’s what we have so far…Dawn doesn’t like the cubby and Dawn doesn’t like the fireplace.

So Dawn eliminated them.


I still have some work to do with the shelves. I’m not finished unpacking, but at least we have a comfortable family room. The curtain I used is a taupe color, like the chairs. I plan to paint the room, and the back wall of the shelves, a lighter taupe than that. (that’s not sunlight coming through the windows, I had to mess with the contrast a little because the iPhone takes funky pictures)

As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t posted much lately. It’s easy to blame it on the move and it’s no lie that I have been busy, busy unpacking and all. But there’s a little more to it.

I started this blog as a way to amuse my family. Mostly, my mom. Before I began blogging, I loved to get her on the phone and tell her of the antics that were going on in my life. I loved to hear her laugh. She had such a great sense of humor. Dawn’s Dad (that’s Daddy, to me) started a blog when ORMom had cancer, as a way of keeping everybody apprised of what was going on with her. That’s really what got me started. I didn’t know anything about blogs until he started his. If he could do it, I could, too. It would be a nice way to keep everybody in the loop and entertained. 

Most of my blogs were written with my mom in mind, as my audience. I couldn’t wait for the phone call later in the day, telling me how she loved this or that story and did that really happen? I was even known to take a story of hers and make it my own (remember the chocolate pudding spill that looked like a bug? Yeah, that was her) On my yearly road trips with her and her sister, the two of them would laugh and joke and then turn to me and say, “Hey! That was off the record! Don’t you put us on your blog!”

I know this move would have been a lot more fun if she were still here. I would have shared all the humor that comes from adversity (like the mover packing my kindle, even though it was right there next to my coffee cup, open and on my page, then asking, Did you need that?)

Partly because I liked to make her laugh and the other part was, I didn’t want her to worry that I would be sad leaving Texas. I would have made light of this next step on my life’s journey, so she would see that I was going to be okay. She’s the one who taught me to make margaritas when life handed you lemons, so I would have done my best to assure her that I was putting my lemons to good use.

I am going to be okay.


I just don’t feel like making margaritas, right now.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The one where Dawn catches up…sort of

Many of you, okay one of you, has written to ask when I was finally going to get back into the world of blogging. It’s nice to know there are those of you who cannot get your day started without dawn, or Dawn. (Hee! Get it? the day starts with dawn? Oh, I crack myself up)

I have been busy, busy with the move from Austin to DC. I am actually still in the middle of a house unpacked. Oh, the mess. Since I still don’t really have time for a proper blog, I am going to give you a pictorial essay of the last 10 days. I will now have the weekend to attempt to get this house sorted out (or at least clear a blog writing space) and be back online next week.

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So there you have it. My busyness. And now, I must get busy. Again.


Hover over pictures for titles.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Be careful what you wish for…

It is spring in Austin. The weather was beautiful! Chilly in the mornings and cool in the sunny afternoons. The bluebonnets are in bloom. This is just the prettiest time of year in Austin.

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That is why it was even harder to pack up and leave this week.

I asked myself, and CGMan, why it couldn’t be 110 degrees outside, like it is in the summer, or maybe thunderstorming with big-ass hail that sends us scurrying for cover? You know, something to make me glad I am leaving. It’s just too hard to leave when it is as beautiful as this.

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As I shook hands with the last of the movers and watched the truck pull away, I stood in the doorway of my shell of a house, looked down and saw this, literally 2 feet (that’s 24 inches incase you have forgotten) from where I was standing:



Good-bye Austin.

You can keep all your creepy critters and your beautiful springs.

Friday, April 1, 2011

What I wouldn’t give for a Brussels…

This is a Brussels Griffon:



Isn’t he cute??






{What is it with me and dogs who have no tails?? }

Anyway, they’re cute, yah? Oh, I would love to have one. I just love dogs. However, I am not allowed to have any more dogs. I just don’t understand.


Oh. Alright. Never mind.

Since I can’t have any more dogs until CGMan leaves the country again. I have another Brussels I would like to talk to you about.


WAIT!! Don’t run off! They’re not that bad! If you like Brussels sprouts but can’t get your family to eat them, I have a recipe that will change their minds. I promise! Just give it a look-see, okay?

I found this recipe when CGMan and I were doing the South Beach diet and it was instantly a keeper. The Skater asks for it every time he comes for dinner. How do I tell the boy that Brussels sprouts don’t really “go” with shrimp. But hey, when a kid asks for veggies, you give him the veggies.

This side dish is so easy! (I say that every time, don’t I? Have I been wrong? Okay, then) It only takes a few minutes and you can do the prep ahead of time. Brussels sprouts go with just about any meat, so this makes a very versatile side dish.




  1lb fresh Brussels sprouts
  4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  olive oil
  freshly ground pepper
  course sea salt (or kosher)
  red pepper flakes



Rinse the Brussels sprouts under cold water and drain. Cut off the ends and thinly slice and place in a glass bowl (I don’t know why glass, but that’s what it said and that's what I do)


Once you get them all sliced up and in the bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, grind pepper to taste, then throw in a dash of red pepper flakes*. I usually mince about 5 cloves of garlic, but I’m moving and don’t have any fresh garlic on hand. I cheated and used jarred garlic. It was fine. Then toss. Easy, so far, right?


Now, heat your skillet over med-high heat until it is really, really hot.


Like how I showed you how high the flame should be? No one else does that. Anyway, get the pan nice and hot, then drizzle olive oil in the bottom to coat.




Toss the all the Brussels sprouts into the hot pan and stir, stir, stir for a couple of minutes.


You don’t really want to stir-fry, but stir frequently, so as not to burn the sprouts. They are done when the sprouts are tender and some are brown. This doesn’t take but a few minutes. Serve immediately.


This is just delicious! It’s crispy, and garlicky and a touch spicy, but not too much.

* BD! I hope you’re still with me, because I was thinking of you as I made this. You can omit the red pepper flakes and still get a great dish! And also too? I did a taste test with your kids in mind, I sprinkled a little soy sauce on it, once it was plated. OMG! It was so good! It’s good either way, depending on what you’re in the mood for…a little spicy or maybe a little more Asian.

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap. I have always loved them. Even when I was a kid and my mom would cook them until they were mush. I have only recently discovered making them fresh. What a difference! They are so healthy and good for you, I believe everyone should give them a try.

Hey, I tried lamb, right?

P.S.  they don’t stink up the house!

Wordless Wednesday…with some words…

I like wordless Wednesdays. It gives me a chance to show off some pictures that I have cramming up my phone. Let’s see, since you’ve alread...