Sunday, September 28, 2008

pinot grigio, anyone?

California isn't the only state with a wine country. Turns out that Oregon, Washington, and most of the other states do as well, including my beloved Texas. The Husband and I were married five years ago in Grapevine, a tiny community in North Texas whose name says it all. I'm a wine fanatic, and I still get giddy at the thought that I can wine-taste so close to home. While Grapevine has less than 15 wineries, many of them offer fantastic selections, especially La Buena Vida Vineyards, my new favorite. Last weekend, I cruise-directed an afternoon outing with my family to this intimate wine hamlet. We made our way through three winery tasting rooms, filling our paletes with drys, sweets, and everything between. It's a great inexpensive outing, especially if your family and friends are on their way to oenophile status. Cheers!

Friday, September 26, 2008

down the rabbit hole?

It's bit a while, I know. I blame it on this. But I digress. I couldn't resist sharing this photograph of a giant brown rabbit sitting in my front lawn. The Husband took this picture through our blinds, so it's not the best. But I'm sure you can make out the fur and ears and perhaps the slightest image of a wiggly nose. We are convinced that this is a pet rabbit that someone let free. I mean, it's a monstrous rabbit. The thing has to be as big as a domestic cat, no?

We are also experiencing a large number of possums this year. Maggie barks and growls and snarls at them while peering out the French doors that lead to our backyard. They are so funny looking and strangely cute.

Monday, September 15, 2008

nanner pancakes

Sunday mornings are the ideal time to whip up some banana pancakes, perhaps my favorite breakfast. I'd almost be willing to eat these babies for dinner. Wait. Scratch that. I would be willing to eat them for dinner. They are best smothered in real maple syrup.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

perfect day

After Hurricane Ike swung through Texas, leaving heaps of rain yesterday afternoon (although the Dallas area only received a fraction of the rain we were expecting), today is one of the most gorgeous days I've witnessed in a while. It's a perfectly comfortable 75 degrees. The sky is a bright azure and punctuated with a few fluffy clouds. I have the windows open to let in the breeze, and as I scurry about doing Sunday house cleaning, I'm blasting some old favorites from iTunes, like Stereolab and Bob Dylan. It's put me in such a good mood that I couldn't help but step out on the porch and snap this shot of our front flowerbeds, happy and healthy after the early-fall rains. Life is good.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

let them eat cake

Once upon a time, a family of five gorged themselves on vanilla ice cream cake...

Yes, these are my loved ones. I'm lucky to have been brought up in the all-American family, the oldest of three children of un-divorced parents who are still happily wed. Last weekend was my brother's birthday, and, well, we like cake. So there.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

giant vermin alert

Sometimes I can't believe that I get to talk about literature all day long. It's really quite unbelievable. Yes, I have to go through the pain and anxiety of grading endless essays and deal with the occasional misbehavior, but I'm so enjoying the process of being able to revisit some of the best books ever written. Since I was allowed to create my own reading lists, I just couldn't resist adding one of my all-time favorite modernist novels, Metamorphosis. And I can't wait (can't wait!) to see my students' reactions. The book is really bizarre and often disgusting. But it leaves you thinking and pondering in the end. It's also quite short and not one of those books that seems to drag on and on (despite the fact that I do teach English doesn't mean I'm one of those Shelley-loving maniacs who swears by bore-me-to-tears epics). So if you haven't read Kafka's great masterpiece, I suggest a trip to Borders. Or Barnes and Noble. Or Amazon. With fall approaching, it's the perfect brisk-weather read.