Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Abilene in April

IMG_5142 

… is lovely. We haven’t had our air conditioner on for over two months now. It’s sunny and warm during the day (love it!) and the lesser humidity makes it chilly as the sky grows dark (not thrilled, but helps make the house not need A/C).

Our neighborhood is beautiful! (see above neighborhood house). Not only do the older homes offer pleasing architecture, but the bulbs that have come up are GORGEOUS! Some people have huge areas covered in irises!

IMG_5140

And now… the roses are blooming! Gus and I love walking the neighborhood!

IMG_5144

We’re seeing growth in the garden. Check out the beans! Now, I understand the phrase “growing like a beanstalk.” These things grow fast! Each day it’s taller and has more leaves.

IMG_5136

So, I want to share one of my very favorite things to eat ever (it ranks slightly lower than a Dublin Dr. Pepper frosty – which I don’t have a photo of because it’s just so good that it makes my brain loose track of everything and focus only on the tremendous happiness it’s getting from the amazing tastes entering it’s mouth… mmmm…. but that’s a post for another day.)

Anyway, I love potato and chorizo burritos! I’m not sure what it is – but the combination of homemade tortilla (a little smoky and doughy and chewy) wrapped around spicy chorizo sausage  laced between grilled potatoes (it’s like they absorb chorizo flavor and diffuse and magnify it). Mmmmmm! I may have to figure out how to make this when the best burrito hole-in-the-walls are no longer two blocks away! This one is from Alfonso’s and I believe La Popular is equally good. (and both are maybe a mile from our house!)

IMG_5137

PLUS – you can order in Spanish, if you wish! Which I think is awesome! It goes something like this: un papas y chorizo burrito y un carne guisada burrito para llevar, por favor = one potato and chorizo burrito and one beef in sauce burrito to go, please. Pay your totally worth it $3.50 and enjoy!

On another note, Rob and I played Monopoly recently… actually, it was Lord of the Rings Monopoly. A little history: I never win Monopoly. Never. Either I get tired of playing (c’mon people, the game can last FOREVER!) or I simply lose. And Rob never looses Monopoly. Ever. Although I haven’t known him in childhood to verify this claim, he’s not a boaster so I believe him. Therefore, when Rob and I play Monopoly it is just for the fun of it because I know I won’t win.

Well, this time… I WON!!!! That’s right, people! McKay has won Monopoly! It was so exciting!! Even though Rob got the free parking space (three times, by the way! – two with huge piles of cash) my slow and steady empire expansion prevailed over his purchasing fortresses and strongholds (that’s what they’re called in LOTR Monopoly) whenever he got money. With the help of some very kind dice (that didn’t let me land on the scary-fortified spaces), I actually won! Horaay!

Here’s me winning LOTR Monopoly.

IMG_5133

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Free Time

So, I don’t think enough people take advantage of the free stuff to do in towns. There’s always something!

Today, I went to Abilene Public Library after teaching my morning yoga class in the ballroom of the Elks Arts Center (sigh of beauty appreciation). I LOVE the library! It’s been a while since I browsed a library (a favorite past-time at Tyndall) and I remembered today how much I love it! After I sauntered through the art and art history section, happy that art exists in the world and local Abilenes can enjoy the collections of the Musee d’Orsay and the works of Michaelangelo, I arrived at my very favorite section of any public library – the “how to” section!

Oh, I do love it! I’m like a kid in a magical candy store gazing with awe and glee over multi-colored gumdrops of home decorating, endless candy cane flavors of furniture-building books, and the artful chocolates and eye-widening baked goods of the cooking section.

So, today I came home with only eight books: Bazaar Style (decorating), The Find (decorating), Domino’s Book of Home Decorating, Main Dish Salads (healthy and tasty!), Chili Nation (cookbook of chili), Total Body Massage (because yea!), Java (webpage code), and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Web Page (just in case I missed something I should know).

IMG_5118

I also decided my ficus (McRob, the ficus – yea, it has a name!) needed a little something extra, so I folded some origami cranes and decorated it. I think it’s kinda whimsical and fun – just the way I like my decor!

IMG_5132

Our shutter still makes a great weekly menu board – this week is Hawaiian pizza and Polish meatballs – international!

And for fun – here’s some pictures of what’s going on in the garden!

The Tifblues are starting to fruit!

IMG_5126

And the Bluecrop is flowering!

IMG_5127

The Austin Dewberry is still doing nothing… I don’t know!

IMG_5128

And the worms are in!! And totally making dirt! After just a week, we had dirt! Not all dirt, of course, but more than we put in there! So, we added some more compost and are letting them have at it! These worms are so cool!

IMG_5129

And Rob replaced my daisies (see compost bin) with these pretty flowers! He’s so wonderful!

IMG_5130

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekend Highlights

IMG_5081

Rob’s Red Carpet Day was this Friday – it’s the day where he “graduates” to the next stage of the B-1 training – flying! He meets his new instructors and visiting family and friends have the opportunity to tour the jet and play in the simulator. It’s really neat!

I got to fly the simulator and only crashed the jet once! The B-1 can fly really low to the ground and maybe I wasn’t watching that I was still descending when I got close to the ground…

We also got to tour the jet and even sit in the cockpit! It’s really cool to see where Rob “works”!

IMG_5078

Artsy B-1 photo

IMG_5091

I like nose art!

IMG_5098a

We also discovered more of downtown Abilene’s coolness! We went to Art Walk on Thursday night and toured some of the museums for free. The Grace has a really neat children’s area and a James Audubon exhibit right now! I also handed out a few more yoga flyers!

One of MY big highlights, though, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! A huge deal! A childhood dream come true!

…. I got to see Red River on the big screen! Not just any big screen – the refurbished old-time movie theater in downtown Abilene. And not just any old western – Red River! The movie I first watched with my grandma and have loved ever since! I felt all warm and fuzzy as the curtains parted and the black and white intro began with its timeless musical score. I was thrilled! Grandma, you would have loved it!!

stage__view_from_tech_booth

Downtown Yoga!

The first week of downtown yoga classes went great!!! I had five people at each class (10 different people!) which is just the way I wanted it. I was a little scared of having 10-20 people my first class… I had a wide variety of ages – 20-something to 70! And everyone could do everything in the practice. Very cool! I’ll have to challenge them a little more…

Also wonderful – my downtown classes are mostly experienced yogis, so they have no problem modifying when I offer it or even doing something a little different. I’m educating the Dyess classes to go that way, but their fitness class background makes them think that they’re supposed to “go for it!” and do the “hardest level” when clearly they’re uncomfortable. I am making headway though – they are listening to their bodies more! We do some sun salutations “with your own breath” and they have actually started doing them at their own speed, rather than trying to simply mirror me at all times! It’s a small, but significant victory.

Here’s the Center for Contemporary Arts location (Tuesdays at 5:30) – beautiful, huh? I’m thrilled to involve the very active art scene in Abilene!

IMG_5048

And here’s the one I use on Wednesdays at 9:45am! SOOO pretty!

IMG_5053

I am learning so much from teaching yoga! I love teaching people to listen to their bodies! I love that they feel great after yoga! It’s a little bit like gardening – you study the plant and get to know “your” garden until you recognize “Oh, this one needs water. Yep, this one loves the sun” etc. It’s awesome!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Progress

We’ve had progress in the garden and in my yoga!

First, the garden! My other trees came in the mail! I got a black mission fig tree (in the front in the clay-colored pot, isn’t it pretty and kind of exotic-looking?), an Austin Dewberry plant (in the back clay-colored pot, it kind of looks like a twig, but I read that’s what it’s supposed to look like for now), and two tifblue blueberry plants (those are what I adored in Florida!)

IMG_5042 

I also transplanted by seedlings from their greenhouse into these plant pots and set them out on the table outside so they can gradually get sun. I think the ones we put in the ground earlier needed more water. We’ve started watering them more (the zinnias acted as great gauges for “happiness”) and they’re perking up. I planted quite a bit more zucchini than I would need (13 plants) and then read that one family will have PLENTY of zucchini from 2 or 3 plants… oops. Well, maybe God knew because I think only a few of our zucchini are going to make it. We planted them a little too early. But, we’re learning.

IMG_5041

The red wigglers are on order and will maybe come before this weekend.

I have WONDERFUL spaces in downtown Abilene for yoga!!!! Through my volunteering at the Arts Council (I will always volunteer wherever we move – I make the best contacts!) I get to use the Center for Contemporary Arts for free! Upstairs, they have a great gallery with black wood floors and art all around – it’ll be awesome!

The other place I’m holding classes is the Elks Arts Center. In the ballroom on the third floor, there are these beautiful arched windows and gorgeous soft light streaming in! They use it now a lot for wedding receptions and it used to be used for USO events to entertain the soldiers in WWII! She is renting the space to me for a great rate because she said she’d been waiting for someone to want to do yoga there! How neat is that? I love God’s good timing!

I promise pictures soon! I’m really excited about these spaces! Pray the classes go well and people like them and tell their friends! OH, I almost forgot! Check out my website and let me know what you think! www.yogawithmckay.homestead.com