As I See It

The everyday life of an everyday wife

Friday, February 11, 2005

Back from vacation

Oh my goodness. A person takes a brief two month vacation and the whole world goes crazy. First Santa Claus failed to deliver my presents to Florida. I normally never would dream of missing Christmas with my adorable family, but mother needed me. She insisted I go help decorate her new home. I am not sure I like her spending all this money, but then again its her NEW husband's money and not my father's. I figure I will get this vacation house in due time, so I might as well invest the time and effort to make it the way I want it. So I told her "mommy, this is your vacation home...it needs to be just like your regular home...just with a different view and nice strangers you can ignore." Sage words.

You would not believe how much they charge to ship Sub-Zeros. But on the positive side, the salesman rang up the wrong unit. Well he ordered the correct one, but charged the lesser model. Poor thing. My mother signed the contract and she paid in full. I hope he finds another job soon.

Matthew was soo sweet. He got me everything I had on the list. No substitutions, no rain-checks, no wrong colors or sizes. Gosh I love that man when he does what I say.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Cardomom

If you say it softly, its like a prayer. Well the prayer worked. Starbucks did my coffee just right. I even bought a lemon-poppyseed muffin top. I will feed it to the dogs later. I wonder if Wilton or Bundt makes a muffin top pan? Wouldn't that be great? I am tired of people only eating the top and leaving the rest. I mean fine, let me know and I will cut off the bottom and use it for trifle or bread pudding. Don't waste my food. Everyone said last nights Chicken Marsala was good. I enjoyed my salad. I took a shower and went to bed. The gang stayed up watching The Bourne Supremacy, I popped in The Station Agent. Great film, from what I recall. Oh its a glorious Saturday. I need to go to the mall because (Son's name) needs new jeans and shoes and a jacket. He has been wanting to wear a ski parka to school. I believe not. I blame The Day After Tomorrow. One day after watching that movie son was all enviromental. "Mom"..."mom"..."mom"...I looked at him said "yes dear?"...then he launched into his spiel about reuse/recyle/reduce

Friday, December 10, 2004

Practically pink my foot.

Oh that woman will be the death of me. I spend two days with her and I am a wreck. The first thing she says when I walk in the door is not "hello, darlin", but instead "that really isn't winter pink." I had the cutest cashmere twinset in carmel pink. Ask anyone. Ask St. John, ask Ralph Lauren, ask Sherwin-Williams...this is a winter pink. Its not the pale fresh bloom of peony pink for spring, nor is it the brash pale pink of the early carnation. I blame Steel Magnolias and Julia Roberts. I used to like her, then not, but now that she has babies and I like her again. Anyone that went through that torture deserves respect. It took two days for my epidural block to go away. That numb feeling below was the waist was interesting to say the least, and poor Matthew was so chivalrous, that for 6 months he didn't even pester me. That was a godsend. Can you believe I put on 10 lbs. during my first pregnancy. I was so afraid that my baby girl was going to be too plump. But no, she was perfect at 6.5lbs. During my time carrying my boy, I gained 12 lbs. during my nine months with him. He weighed in at 7 lbs. I was a size 8 for 1 month after both deliveries. I was at the gym one week after both. Thank goodness I don't believe in breast feeding. I mean I had to get size 6. My mother's family has a tendency to be beefy. I blame the german genes. But that does allow for great strudel, schnitzel and schneken baking. My father thank God was a Scot. No fatties on his side. But he did wear plaid. Speaking of Burberry. I was shopping with Mom at her local H.E.B for groceries. She didn't bring her maid, so I was forced to push one of the shopping carts. So there I was in my second outfit of that day. A cute camel skirt, black turtleneck (I am so glad my neck is thin, I love turtlenecks, and the cutest Burberry scarf. Pattern 1, not 2. The shoes were nice Coach loafers, but not too new. Don't want to scratch them with the shopping cart. So there I was in the cleaning products aisle with mother, when who comes by, but Alice. Alice says hello and hugs me. Hmm. I actually did like her perfume choice of Estee Lauder Elixir. My mother used to wear Estee Lauder Youth Dew Parfum, until I told her she smelled like an old lady. Then she went to Chanel...how dare she. I need her to go back to Youth Dew. So Alice tells us not to buy Procter and Gamble products. As P&G promotes the homosexual lifestyle. Alice is so sweet and informative. She once told me that gay men wear black pants for a reason. I told her that Matthew wears black all the time, and he looks amazing. So I told her that if P&G doesn't promote tidy men, who cook and clean and cater to women's needs, who will? I think gay men are so warm and dear, until they meet a man, and then they drop you like a wet fish. But as soon as they are alone, they always call back wanting to go shopping for tablerunners and fresh tulips to cleanse their house of evil spirits. Evil spirits my foot. That would be like getting a new car, just because you accidentally hit the neighbors cat. Those cats are so sneaky. Speaking of cars, Matthew got himself a new car. I think it was a tax thing. All I know is that I was on the phone for 20 minutes getting those Sprint people to set up his Telematics phone. Why didn't his secretary do this for him? But I took care of it, and was so courteous the whole time. I tend to be that way. The young man at Mercedes-Benz was so polite. He tried to convince me to get a Mercedes SUV. I said no. Jenny has one, and I refuse to drive a Chrysler. I am happy with my Volvo. It took me a week to select the 10 discs to suit my moods. I am not going through that torture again. So we are there in the produce aisle, and my mother is being herself again. All produce must be picked one by one. Each selection must be double bagged. Inner bag tied, outer bag not. All bananas must be at the stage of being two days from being ripe. All tomatoes must look three days from peak. Oranges ready to be consumed. Greens, fresh, but not too abundant. Apples, shiny, not waxy, firm, but not heavy. Don't even start on cantaloupes. I got frustrated and go to the deli. They had fontina. Joy. So I went and got some prosciutto, asparagus (avoiding my mother) and some fresh chicken breasts. Then back for mushrooms (still avoiding my mother) and I go get some fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, and tell mother to pick Roma tomatoes while I go get some wild rice. I think she wanted angel food cake with with lemon curd, so I get the stuff ready for that. But then I decide to make a Busy Day Cake. Any of y'all remember this from Better Homes and Garden? Great basic yellow cake. Adapts to anything. I was at my mother's home watching FoodTv and I caught Alton Brown Good Eats. Did you know that you should never use anything other than lard or shortening to grease a pan? Alton explained that butter is 20% water, and that causes liquid at the bottom of the pan. Note taken. I love his shows, but that camera work is very disjointed. Reminds me when I take too much of (son's name) Strattera. I just don't like what he has done to his Kitchen-Aid stand mixer. Flames. Please. A nice middle class boy like that does not need to be goofy. He does remind me of Thomas Dolby though. My Kitchen-Aids are the classic Imperial Grey matte finish, like his, sans flames. Appliances, like makeup should be satin, not shiny. Speaking of Emeril. He has a Viking stand mixer. I am not sure how I feel about that. I have a Wolf stove now, and you don't see me switching out other appliances, other than the refrigerator. But I needed the Sub-Zero. You do know that the compressor should be in either the basement, attic, crawlspace or wherever, not on top of the cabinet? So they finished my kitchen. New stove, new refrigerator. Why can't I be Jewish like Hannah and have two Sub-Zeros and two stainless cabin Bosch dishswashers? I can say L'chaim and shalom. The things one does to keep a Kosher kitchen. But you know...she has had bacon on her cheeseburger. Sometimes us gals meet for lunch, and then a bit of shopping, then mani/pedis. I came back into the city yesterday for my bi-weekly. Thank God. My hands looked like common day laborers that don't moisturize or use sunblock. Which they really should. I am so happy that Matthew gets mani/pedis. I can't bear the thought of him having unmanicured hands and feet. I mean its winter soon, but he still goes barefoot in the house, so his toes must look cute. Jacob once told me that I really should get Matt to attend to such things. Jacob said that just imagine how those nails could catch on a delicate fabric, or scratch senstive body parts. That is all I needed to hear. I hooked Matty and Jacob wth a dayspa appointment that same day.
After shopping we went to the dry cleaner to pick up my mother's comforter. Which she then washed. Who understands this woman? Granted she is the one that did not allow me to sit on the beds when I was kid. Beds are for sleeping not sitting. Chairs are for sitting not sleeping. Daddy always wanted a recliner, but Mom said no. I agree with her on that one. But now who has a recliner? My mother. And in what shade exactly? Carmel Pink. I can't win.
Well its getting late and I need to make some Chicken Marsala. I think it calls for Pinot Grigio. Such a versatile wine.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Memories wrapped in tissue.

The dogs are snoring at the fireplace. I really wish it was cold enough to light the fireplace. I don't really feel like decorating if its not in the 40s. Luckily the Santa Margherita was chilled. I was in the spare bedroom closet tonite. I keep all the ornaments there. In a box I found my high school/college ornaments. In one little box I found an almost empty bottle of Chanel No. 5. That is the first bottle of perfume I ever bought with my own money. Working at Sakowitz was so enjoyable, and I learned so much. I got to dress up after school and make the drive to the store. It was amazing just being around so many people. I loved the salesmen and saleswomen. So professional, and so savvy. I miss my days in marketing. I chose the perfume because that is what my favorite teacher wore. She seemed so elegant and classy. She always had the best clothes, and had the best purses. She had Louis and Gucci before anyone else made it an everyday thing. To this day I wear Chanel daily. Did you see that new Baz Luhrman commercial with Nicole Kidman? I loved Moulin Rouge. I can't tell you how many tissues I used. Tom is cute, but he is short. Nicky should have known better.

I am so exhausted. I took loads of clothes to the Goodwill. I didn't even ask for a receipt. Matthew will make his face when I tell him that. I am wondering if I should not have cut the tags on the clothes. I left the size of course. Size 6 is popular I hope. They don't need the labels to look good. People need to learn that its inside that counts, not a label on the outside of you. I am gonna go soak in the tub and read a bit. Good nite.

Tuesday Morning with Jacob

I am exhausted. How does he do it? I met Jacob at the gym this morning. He rolls out of bed, throws on a tee shirt, shorts and running shoes, and looks great. He doesn't even smell clean. Yet he looks amazing.I take two hours to shower, dress, Chi iron, moisturize and get out the door. I do admit I like the way my pony tail looks when I work out. I have to get there early so that I can "reserve" the EFX machines near the good tv and mirrors. I enjoy watching the news channels, E! is so informative. My rule is: If you see those type of people wearing something you have, get rid of it. Unless its those cute crystal beaded purses. I like Pamela Shea, but Yasmena will do. What was I saying? Oh the gym. Jacob was a madman today. But I think he cheats. He never goes above level 5 on the EFX...while I do 10. Plus on the treadmill, he goes at 5mph, but he just walks fast, he isn't really running. Hmm...oh well. He has a longer stride. Same as Matthew. They are both 6 feet tall. Its nice that I can take Jacob shopping for Matt's clothes. I tell Jacob "try them on, one size too big and let me see"...then I buy him a tie or a shirt. Jacob watches too much Will and Grace. He says "my clothes have to be one size too small...just like Will...its a sickness." Whatever. He just wants to look as thin as possible. That is just wrong. One doesn't need fashion to convince others you are size 6. Speaking of sizes. I went to buy a suit for Jacob at Banana Republic. He loves that store. I shop there for Matt when he needs to look "trendy". I mean, how ways can one wear black pants and a striped poplin shirt? Jacob needed a suit for his birthday party, and I decided to give him the gift early. Did you know that 38R is hard to find? Luckily they had the perfect black crepe suit. Well blazer and flat front dress pants is how they rung it up. To really make Jacob happy, I bought two pairs of the pants. And I am having them change the size tags. If he sees that he fits into a size "31" pair of pants, that really will make his day. Don't say a word. It's our little secret. Ok I need to head out to lunch and the mall to pick up the suit, and my dress shoes. Slingback, pointy toe, little heel. It could be a mantra. Jimmy Choo? Bless You! You do of course know that Jimmy Choo is now Texan?

Monday, December 06, 2004

It's a Monday

I am settled in with a nice glass of Pinot Grigio. I left the living room at 9:30 and took a nice long soak. It is so relaxing when Matthew is out. He is at my friend Jacob's place. Thank God. I needed some quiet time. I cooked tonite, and then washed dishes. Pot roast with winter root vegetables, and a strawberry rhubarb pie. I always forget that I enjoy cooking. They raved about the meal. I just picked at my plate. I try to not enjoy eating food. Consuelo will mop the floors tomorrow. The kids are in their rooms and the dogs are snoozing by the fireplace. Its not on, but they like the rug. They never leave it. It will wear out soon with so much use. Its a lovely cotton rug that my mother-in-law gave us, and Matthew insisted that we prominently display. Hmm, I will need to wash it in hot water to get the puppy scent out. It may not hold up well to laundering.Too bad. Just in case, I picked a nice rug at Tuesday Morning months ago. It waits in the hall closet. We shall see.

Jogging went well. Its nice to be outside. Just a slight breeze, a bit of sun, the dogs and myTunes. I saw young Mark driving his mother's Lexus. I am not sure I approve of that. When I was in high school, the new car you got was a Mustang. You drove your parents cars until then. Cadillac Broughams and Suburbans are not sexy. They are safe. My sister got a Cimarron. That poor girl. She drove a hussied up Cavalier. No wonder she crashed it freshmen year. My kids will get cars that won't cause my budget to change. I will not suffer. They can drive Toyota Corollas or Honda Civics. Insurance is less expensive, and they won't need to use my cards for gas. I am trying to instill a good work ethic. They need to know that I worked hard to get where I am. It is not easy going to a good school, getting a 3.5, staying thin, and courting all the right men, without giving in to tempation. But it all paid off. I met Matt. My Matty. Hmm, he is still at Jacob's. He probably won't get in until after midnite. Boys and their beer. Thank God Matt drives safe. And he drinks in moderation. Well at least he will be mellow when he gets home. I can tell him I shopped and shopped, and he will just smile at me, say "I am sure you made great choices" and then shower and go to sleep. Well its getting late and I need to get to bed. I have parent' duty at the middle school. Or is it the high school? Either way my calendar will remind me tomorrow morning.

Silver Bells, Silver Bells...its Christmas time in the valley

Eventhough my favorite song is Carol of the Bells. I now have 32 different versions on my home system. I suppose it may be silly, but it makes me happy. Matthew is so sweet. He called me during lunch. Remind me never to open my mouth. He said that Bob's wife, Ellyn, is getting a Porsche Cayenne. Because I recommended it. Uh no. I recommended to Matthew that I needed one. Now Ellyn has one, and I am stuck with a Volvo. Think positive. Think POSITIVE. I love my Volvo.

Lunch went well. I ordered a small artisanal pizza and salad. Whatever that means. Its pizza crust and cheese with sundried tomatoes. How artsy is that? I expected feta, portobellas, spinach. Oh well. I fed 1/2 of it, along with the steak from last nite to the labs. The pups sure do love people food. They just better not get fat like Carolyn's labs. Those dogs have neck rolls. I refuse to have an obese dog. I will take them jogging this afternoon. I love jogging around the cul de sac and down the lake trail. I have my iPod, the dogs, and my pepper spray.

I wanted to stay home tonite and start my Christmas shopping. I am shopping completely online this year. I refuse to shop in a mall for other people's gifts. I reserve that option for me. I am easy to shop for. All I need for Christmas is a strand of Mikimoto pearls, Gardenia Chanel, some pairs of loafers, a new knive set (but that counts as household) and I would like a pair of nice solitaire earrings. Nothing gaudy. Is 2tcw too much for every day? Omg its 4:00 I need to get jogging.

Is there something wrong with the whole world?

Please let me know. I would really like to know. Is it that hard to get venti fat free, sugar free, caffeine free with a hint of cardamom? I know I said I was giving up cofee for the holidays. I hate having to brush my teeth after every few sips. But at least I got to surf the net. I love my little PowerBook. So classic. And I have the cutest Kate Spade bag. The medium Diaper Bag is so handy. I felt odd purchasing it, but I refused to have an ugly computer bag. While reading the paper, I did see that my pattern is on sale.I have service for 16, but service for 24 would be nice.

I went for a morning facial, pedicure and manicure. I think I want to venture out later to Bath and Body Works for that lemon verbena spray they used at the spa. It was simply glorious. I could probably use it as linen spray. I will appreciate having that invigorating fragrance on the table cloths and sheets. Ironing is such a chore, especially in a house this size. Anything I can do to make it more enjoyable for Consuelo, the better. Just the other day I let her have my old iPod to use while ironing. Its the classic white one. Too large for someone with my size frame, but just perfect for her. I even loaded it with days and days of music. Uptempo for cleaning, soothing for cooking, relaxing for ironing. One should always appreciate the help. Otherwise they steal inordinately. Or worse of all, they will not be proper PR agents for your home. If Consuelo tells the other maids that even the spare bedrooms have 1000 TC sheets, that bespeaks the overall nature of my home. As if I would allow people to even think I used percale in any rooms other than the pool cabana. Well I am off to lunch with the gals. I will pick Jenny up next door. I refuse to be seen in a mini-van, even a Mercedes mini-van.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Dinner at The Mansion

I am exhausted but needed to post. Dr. Parker says I need to vent my feelings in a safe harbor. The things one has to do to get a year supply of mother's little helpers. Dinner went well. It always does. A big enough expense account always makes the evening so pleasant. The menu was appetizing as usual, if not pretentious. But there is nothing wrong pretension. I can't stand that quote from Steel Magnolias. I mean look at her hair. And who serve crab? But I did like her colors.

Starters:

  • Warm Lobster Taco with Yellow Tomato Salsa & Jicama Salad
  • Roasted Maple Jalapeno Quail Filled with Crawfish Cornbread Stuffing on Sour Mash Sweet Potatoes & Braised Leek Spinach
  • Orange Caramelized Scallop & Flash Seared Foie Gras on Pheasant Confit Crepe with Red Currant Sauce
  • Texas Crabcakes on Watercress Artichoke Salad with Sauce of Lobster, Toasted Orange & Smoked Peppers
  • Tiny Spinach & Crabmeat Salad with Yellow Tomatoes, Hearts of Palm & Burnt Honey Mustard Dressing

All were good, or so they said. I drank water and some lemon juice. I refuse to risk soiling my new dress. St. Johns do not launder themselves.

The entrees were incredible looking. I am sure they were as delicious as something I would have made. But alas my kitchen is in disrepair.

  • Sauteed Atlantic Turbot & Langostines “Florentine” with Provencal Penne Pasta & Caper-Parsley Brown Butter
  • Chilean Sea Bass with Walnut Crust & Roasted Garlic Shrimp on Creamy Potato Blinis with Spicy Grilled Zucchini
  • Gulf of Mexico Grouper with Pueblo Corn Crust on Crabmeat White Cheddar Hash & “Ranchero” Tangerine Sauce
  • Texas Steak Diane with Queso Fresco Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus & Chorizo Avocado Nacho
  • Roasted Pheasant on Butternut Squash Puree with Oregon White Truffle Gravy, Winter Braised Cabbage & Gnocchi Meuniere
  • Charbroiled Sirloin Steak with Cognac Peppercorn Sauce & 6 Condiments

I ordered the peppercorn steak to go, and just ate a spring mix salad, tossed with lemon juice and some sea salt. They ordered too much wine. Matthew tends to get handsy when he is drinking. He did just buy me a new kitchen, so I guess it will be worth my effort.

For dessert we brought everyone home for some cheesecake from TCF. By 11 I was tired, and needing a hot soak in the tub. So I started having that pinched look that tells Matthew, he can play with his friends, but I need my beauty sleep. I can't go in for a facial looking tired. Where is my eye shade?

Friday, December 03, 2004

Such an exasperating day

Howdy hello. I am so exhausted. I just got back from Nordstom, where I found the most delicious pair of black Hollywood waisted pants. None of that low-rise nonsense for me. I am thin, I do not need fashion chicanery to convince others of that fact. Besides, I never found the La Perla thong that I wanted to wear with my just to die for St John corduroy pants that I had tailored. Well anyway, they had cashmere on sale at Saks. I know, I know. I don't shop there because those people shop there but it was intermediate markdown. Could you say no to matching twin sets in 5 different shades of pale pink? Of course not.

You see, Matthew called me at 10 this morning and asked if I could have a formal dinner for 8 ready by 8. Well of course I can. I don't trust women that can't throw last minute dinner parties together at the drop of a hat. How else can you showoff your skills and flair, and new portico? But I told him I had nothing to wear, and needed a new refrigerator. Jenny (who spells their name like that anyway?) just got a new Jenn-Air refrigerator (she thinks she is so clever) so I had to get rid of mine. I had been very attentive to Matthew as of late, and I earned that Sub-Zero. Kegels are quite tiring. So I told Matthew that because he had been so mean in not letting me get the appliances when I wanted them, we needed to eat out, as the new refrigerator and stove could not be installed before the weekend. Well I needed to get the matching Wolf gas stove, and the kitchen isn't vented properly. So I had to go buy a dress(es) at Saks for dinner. Oh I am so tired. Where is my Pinot Grigio? Wake me in one hour.