Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday in Abilene

Ugh. I do not enjoy waking up early. Early being defined as before 6am. There are other earlies, of course, but today was 5:15. So, after a few hours of email checking, facebook stalking, and online shopping (no purchases – I did our monthly budget and savings before I shopped), I am updating the blog!

Our blueberry plant has berries! Waiting impatiently for them to turn blue.

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We replaced the dead blackberry plant (so sad!) with a matsuma orange tree (on sale at Lowe’s!)

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Rob built a frame for our tomatoes to climb, and I painted it pretty. We strung twine between the frames to support the tomatoes.

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So, there’s much to love about Abilene! Last Sunday afternoon, our milk and eggs supplier hosted a “customer appreciation day” at their farm about an hour outside of Abilene, complete with a homegrown lunch! I fell in love with the baby goats, beautiful pigs, hilarious turkeys, and chicken awesomeness!

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Take a good look at the chicken coop! It’s an old cotton wagon and they drag it around the pasture giving the chickens new places to eat and fertilize the ground! The sides open from the outside so Joy can harvest eggs without having to go inside the coop and they just close up the ramp at night! Rob and I want one! (but you know, smaller)

Yoga classes are forming their own identities. The 5:30 class is my most difficult class to teach as the students vary greatly – some are energized and ready to try anything, while others get frustrated with the sun salutations. I remind people to listen to their bodies, but it’s hard to make everyone happy.

The Wednesday morning class is more moms who enjoy the challenge and we go to a lot more challenging places.

The Dyess AFB classes are always fun because everyone is capable of most things and willing to try! Although, I often need to remind them that yoga isn’t about doing the “hardest” every time…

I’m going to start more marketing to get more people to my classes – it would be nice to make a profit so I could buy blocks for student use and cover the cost of the upcoming yoga workshop I’m going to in Dallas. …and of course buy some stuff for myself.

More Abilene stuff, Thursday, Rob and I took Gus downtown to the monthly ArtWalk event – this month was DogWalk! A lot of the vendors and stuff were raising money to go towards the in-process Dog Park in Abilene – maybe they’ll get the money and finish it before we leave town.

See us behind the guy in the quilt? We’re marching in the dog parade!

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Friday, Rob’s B-1 class had their squadron night. Basically, they all find out which squadrons they’re going to after Dyess. Rob got the 34th Bomb Squadron (Thunderbirds) in Ellsworth, SD. We’re pleased – although the anticipation wasn’t anything like assignment night – we already knew South Dakota and the B-1… hopefully the new squadron will be cool. I do really really really miss the awesomeness of the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall – everyone was proud and enthusiastic to be a Bonehead!

It’s kind of like attending a school with amazing school spirit (Texas A&M) – you love it, it’s fun, you’re proud to be a part! On the other hand, a school with no spirit is lame, boring, and no fun. I like it when it’s fun.

Rob and I had a great weekend! We went to the movies and enjoyed Iron Man 2 and Robin Hood. Although I think the editing room floor got a few key pieces of characterization in Robin Hood that would have made it make more sense, there was plenty of action.

We went to the Beehive Restaurant for dinner (finally!). It’s a lot of people’s favorite place to eat in Abilene. While it was good, it threw me for a loop a few times – escargot was on the appetizer menu and they served drinks in mason jars; nice linen tablecloths on tables with paper menus that looked like old-time newspapers; and a classic cocktail served on a wanted-poster-style cocktail napkin… just some unusual choices, you know?

I like Abilene, but it does make me a little pouty when I think about my family and friends in Houston, Austin, or even College Station and all the wonderful restaurant choices they have. Not fair.

But, we don’t eat out as much, or when we do it’s often not too expensive – ie, amazing burritos and tacos, military Monday at Chick-fil-A, etc. AND, we eat at home more, which is healthier anyway. Can you tell I really miss restaurant selections? :-(

Anyway, I have made some great meals recently! We got some amazing spinach at the Farmer’s Market and I got excited and bought a watermelon at the commissary – top your spinach with chopped watermelon, add a few fresh basil leaves from your garden, sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan cheese (not from the green can), add walnuts, and drizzle balsamic vinegar and oil and voila! beautiful tasty summer salad.

Sunday, I made sticky pecan caramel rolls from my “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” cookbook and YUM! Totally worth it! Rob and I feasted outdoors on our rolls and farm fresh eggs!

We’re having a great time living here and hanging out together! I enjoy teaching yoga but still get a little nervous every once in a while. Rob is flying today! So, if you see a big B-1 over Big Bend this morning, that might be him!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Abilene Preservation League

Tuesday, I was so privileged to attend the luncheon for the Abilene Preservation League – the house we live in was redone by the owners (another B-1 family) and won the Beautiful House Award last October (a month before we rented it). At the luncheon, they were to announce the grand winners out of all the 11 monthly winners. As the husband was working, Kristen asked me to attend with her – so nice!

Just to clarify, this is the house we live in. I posted a photo of another house in the neighborhood earlier, but that was because of the astounding rose bushes it had.

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I should have guessed, but the Abilene Preservation League is a big deal! We sat at a table with the mayor and many of the Abilene big-wigs were there. I realized further what a small town Abilene still is as I know the APL staffer from my yoga at the Elks Arts Center (they house the APL offices). Another couple at our table lives on our street, along with the VP of the League and a very prominent Abilene Police Officer who was recently killed in the line of duty.

We also learned some really neat trivia about Abilene!

Before Abilene was a town, it was identified as milepost 407.

Abilene came to be when the T&P Railroad moved to town.

Abilene was named after Abilene, KS as the founder hoped it would become a cattle shipping town.

The first building the Abilene Preservation League saved from destruction was the Paramount Theater (where I was so pleased to watch Red River last month!)

The Elks Building was used to house the Elks Lodge and later for USO functions in WWII… and also for yoga in 2010! :-)

And Lawrence Welk played at the Windsor Hotel (then the Hilton) for room and board in the 1930’s.

Bet you didn’t know Abilene was so interesting, huh?

So, now you’re probably asking, “aren’t you going to tell us who won the Beautiful House Award?” Well, our house didn’t win, but every home was really gorgeous and the winner was especially so, plus the owner was so poetic and beautiful in how she described older homes, that it made you want to cry!

In other news:

Mom gave me a sewing machine!!

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I’m so excited! I think I’ll make some napkins first… I looked when I was registering for wedding gifts, but all the napkins I saw were so boring! Not for my decor at all! But, now!!!! I can make my own awesome napkins! YES! Plus, I think napkins are good place to start and practice making straight lines with the sewing machine. :-)

Yoga classes have been going well. The one at the Center for Contemporary Arts is my biggest challenge because there’s such a wide diversity of ability. There’s some young people who are up for a challenge every time and want more. And there’s some seniors that have trouble with the flows when we go faster. It’s really hard for me to lead a class that I feel makes  both extremes happy.

The Wednesday morning class at the Elks Center is my more advanced class – they’re mainly working moms who have done yoga before and some pretty advanced ones who don’t want to loose their advanced practice. It’s a fun class! Yesterday, we worked hips and Karen was so happy that she could touch her head to the floor in seated wide angle pose (upavistha konasana) that she wanted a little more… we had to take a photo! :-)

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Dyess Air Show Weekend

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My parents came into town and we did all kinds of great Abilene things! They even got to piggy back on some of the 25th Anniversary B-1 celebration, which was nice. The weeks before, Rob and the other B-1 students had been preparing for all the distinguished visitors. In briefing the students, the commander showed them photos of all the distinguished visitors and it went something like this “this is the commander of this squadron, this two star general did this, this 3 star general, this is the first guy to fly the B-1… Okay… if you see an old guy, better call him ‘sir!’”

Rob painted the bar… again… I think he’s used his painting skills in every squadron bar he’s been a part of!

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Friday, we went out to Perini’s for dinner and checked it off our Texas Monthly Bucket List (63 Things you must do while you live in Texas). Mom and Dad also checked off another one by stopping at Dublin for a Dublin Dr. Pepper. Mmmm.

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Here’s some pics from the Air Show where we spent almost all Saturday:

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The sky looked beautiful, like a Van Gogh painting!

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The B-1 taking off

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C-17

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The Thunderbirds are so fun to watch!

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But Rob is the most funnest!

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