hillarygayle: (Hottie Red Polka Dots)
Well, after an unexpected but welcome extended stay in Frisco, we are home! We decided to stay through Father's Day. It's usually complicated to try & get to Dallas on those weekends so we took advantage.

We had a fabulous time on Saturday when we went to the Perot Museum of Nature & Science. Gotta remember in the future that they have reciprocal membership with the ATSC museums. If we'd had our Little Rock MoD cards, we could've gotten me, Ganon & Bryan in for free!

It was a VERY worthwhile museum trip. They had an entire hall dedicated to birds, much to Ganon's delight. When he found out about the bird hall, he barely had patience for anything else until we went to see it. He designed his own bird, flew around as an eagle, learned about different types of beaks being for different types of food, etc. My favorite part was the hall of minerals, where a zillion different minerals & gemstones were on display. It was ruined only by a presentation on the wonders, beneficial properties, & complete safety of fracking for natural gas. -_- After we left that presentation I pulled Ganon aside & gave him the 7 year old appropriate talk about how people will only tell you the GOOD things about something if they stand to make a great deal of money from it. Please note, this is a museum in Texas, specifically in the area of one of the largest natural gas shales in the US, and in a state that's quite used to oil money. *sigh* It's okay, though. It's an opportunity to teach Ganon to think critically. Parenting moment!

Skyline of Dallas, Texas from the museum itself.

Bryan & Ganon at a photo opportunity
My boys at a museum photo opportunity spot!

Wooden tile art
Two girls playing with an art installation. A tiny camera filmed you as you stood in front of it. It rendered you extremely low resolution so you'd be pixelated, and then the wooden tiles tilted to be more or less shadowed to create the image. Very intriguing.

Another angle on Chompy

Underwater dinosaur


The dark green mineral at top center is my favorite of the entire hall. It looks like green fire.

Galena? Or fossilized Borg cube?

I like the way they light many of these, leaving you with the sense that they glow from the interior.

Drove home on Monday. Bryan went to the doctor yesterday for his completely stopped up ears; he can't hear anything & has a huge problem in white noise situations. Turns out he has a middle ear infection, which is uncommon for adults. Poor guy. I think when his allergies went completely insane at Wakarusa, he ended up with a sinus infection which ended up as an ear infection. Yet another strike against camping if we do a festival next year. He's got antibiotics & steroids now.

We are now chilling out at home, doing laundry & things like that. We had been planning a trip to New Orleans, but given our extended stay in Dallas, I think we'd rather have a very chill, low-key vacation. Now we're considering staying up at our cabin in Hardy for a few days & making it a jumping off point for some other adventures, like exploring Mountain Home & seeing Blanchard Springs caverns & stuff like that. There will be LOTS of photos of that!
hillarygayle: (Hottie Red Queen)
Strawberry Sprinkles & Evil Elvis (bacon, peanut butter, & bananas on top of a glazed yeast). You don't even UNDERSTAND how amazing the Evil Elvis was. I'm going to have to place it as the single best donut I have ever had in my life.

Canadian Healthcare (which made me think of you, [livejournal.com profile] velvetpage!), Mr. Pistachio, Strawberry with sprinkles, orange cake. This is our "take home" box, because we were too stuffed to eat everything. Bryan & I had fried chicken biscuits (his with cheese, honey & spicy mustard and mine with gravy) as well as the donuts. We devoured the biscuits too quickly to photograph. The chicken was juicy on the inside & crisp outside, & perfectly seasoned.

A lady who seemed to be the manager asked us how we were doing & where we were from (they apparently get a lot of regulars so we stood out). Told her we'd driven there from Frisco and she was really startled! "That's a long way!" she said, which made me laugh. Your perspective is different when you drive 8 hours to a place. You drive 30 minutes from Frisco to south Dallas & that seems like nothing! She was familiar with our part of Arkansas, since her husband used to travel there for work, and then I made HER laugh by telling her I was originally from Weiner, Arkansas. :) No one ever forgets that, y'know?

Spotted at the Dallas Arboretum. I think I would like this lady.

Water Wall at the Dallas Arboretum.

We checked the prices, but ended up not going because it was expensive: $10 for kids & $15 for adults, so that's a base price of $40 before we even thought about adding on the "children's garden" access. It would normally have been completely worth it (it looks like an amazing garden!), but Ganon was whiny bear, and I'd rather not have an expensive experience ruined because Ganon was a beast.
hillarygayle: (Default)
Last night I went looking for the website of a donut joint I'd heard of down here in Dallas. Spent a while reading descriptions & looking at photos with Ganon, & now apparently nothing will do but that we get Hypnotic Donuts for breakfast. Even though they are all the way in downtown Dallas & we are in Frisco. Ganon was most intrigued by the Zooroppa, which is a glazed yeast with frosting, marshmallows, sprinkles, & frosted animal crackers. The last thing he said before he went to sleep last night was "Mmmm, I can already taste the donuts..."

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

hillarygayle: (SGA Rodney Awesome)

We are in Frisco! We drove down yesterday after Bryan's class because we wanted to surprise Augie for Father's Day. He was definitely surprised. :) Especially as we showed up at 11pm.

Some amusing things from the drive:

Podcast: This week in the trial of accused mobster [some guy]
Ganon: Q has a LOBSTER?


Podcast: *talking about how cartels invented extremely high powered pneumatic gun to fire cans of marijuana over the border into some guy's field where they would presumably have been picked up if he hadn't found them first*
Bryan: Can you imagine that guy walking in his field and all of a sudden a soup can of pot slams into the ground at his feet?
Me: Guy looks up & is like "Um...thanks?"

hillarygayle: (With chopsticks!)
Today has been a day of hanging out at the house, doing laundry. I work tomorrow, but then begins 2 weeks of vacation! On Wednesday, we're going to Frisco to visit the Mimi & Augie for one last time during the summer. Thus, the laundry. I have to have scrubs for tomorrow, but tomorrow evening I won't feel like doing any laundry, so I need to have all our "packing clothes" done by then, too.

It's going to be hot as hell in Texas, but that's not really different from here. In fact, it will be less humid there, so that's actually slightly better. At least my hair will be happier. Gonna have to pack lotion though. I BAKE in Texas when it's this hot.

I have decided: one of the things I will never be judgmental about is teaching kids to clean up after themselves. I will never judge a parent for just choosing to do it themselves. I'm pretty patient & persistent, and I realize the ways in which Ganon is like me means that he needs an early start on stuff like organization (because it's how he's going to compensate for his highly distractible intelligence). So I teach him, regardless of what it costs me. But MY WORD, how much more time & patience it takes to teach him how to clean things up rather than just do it myself.

Like his Mama, he has a natural affinity for lists & check boxes, so today we started that. I posted 3 check boxes on his art easel with chores beside each: clean up the toys in the living room, clear off the coffee table, & make sure the dogs were fed and watered. It kept him on task because he wanted to check off the little boxes. Just like me. So far, so good.

I'm looking forward to the drive on Wednesday. It sounds crazy, but I really like long drives. Alone, with people I really like, whatever. I am made for road tripping. I'm going to go dig through podcasts & see if there are some interesting ones for the drive. I have a bad habit of getting distracted by my iPhone while driving, & therefore picking it up to check email or Path or whatever, and that is not okay. I think stocking up on interesting podcasts might be a good solution to keep my brain engaged.


Dec. 26th, 2010 01:01 pm
hillarygayle: (Hottie Pout)
Bryan says it best: "We hang out for a few days with my family, have a low key dinner & presents...and then we drive for 7 hours home and run the gauntlet with your family!"
 Christmas Tree
He's not wrong. That's exactly how it happens.

On Saturday, after I got off work, we drove to Dallas. I "slept" most of the way, which is in quotes because Ganon was also in the back seat. This meant my sleep was punctuated with "Hey. Mama. Mama. Mama. Are you asleep?" I woke up a few times to eat & the rest of the times I just sort of dozed. Bryan was an awesome trooper & drove the whole way, listening to Wheel of Time on his iPhone. It was pretty uneventful, as Bryan had his entertainment, Ganon had his iPod touch, & I had sleep. Modern technology makes road trips SO MUCH better.

I spent Sunday sick! I ran a low-grade fever in the morning and I couldn't breathe all day. In fact, I slept most of the day, waking up at supper time, just in time for beef pot pie! THAT was nice. Sick in bed all day only to wake up to comfort food. Monday & Tuesday were better, spent shopping for Christmas gifts & generally going places we don't get to go when we're at home. I was irritated that the cell network didn't seem to handle Gowalla very well; I think it was so overloaded with people, you know? Booo. Christmas celebrations were on Wednesday, when we ate lunch & exchanged presents. We left for home at 5pm so we could spend as much time as possible with the Texas Grandminions.

I got a LUSH trip! Yay big! I got some Buche de Noel facial scrub & some Ultralight. Because of the mass amounts of snow dumped on Canada, the store only had what was out on the floor. This meant I could get a large bottle of Ultralight...or none at all. A large bottle is...rather expensive, but it'll last me all year. MAN, IS MY FACE HAPPY. If you're the kind of person who gets dry, extremely chapped skin in cold weather, this moisturizer is a great choice. I also picked up some light pink color corrector, which is this REALLY cool stuff: you use a dab of it in your moisturizer & it tints! You can do anything from a very sheer tinted moisturizer to a much more opaque one, like a base.

For Christmas I got a Sephora gift card (OMG YAY!!!) and this really adorable tiny Coach purse. Augie took Ganon shopping for gifts, and each of us seemed to get a Thomas playset. We happily shared these with Ganon. :D

When we got home, I slept all day & then went into work. Thanks to Bryan, I was the most popular nurse on 3 East...he brought me dessert from my mom's family party. Banana pudding, peanut butter bonbons, strawberry pizza, & pumpkin roll! Of course I slept all day on Christmas Eve, then went back into work. 

Work was weird on Christmas Eve. It's different: patients are only there on Christmas because they really HAVE to be. That means they're very high acuity, and there are very few of them.  Of my three, 2 of them were enough to make me worry the whole night.

Work got VERY bad about 4am on Christmas morning, when I found that I was actually in the staffing computer for Christmas night, though I had been promised I would not have to work both Christmas Eve AND Christmas night (it's hospital policy you only have to work one or the other). When I mentioned this to Carol, the house supervisor, she told me there wasn't anything she could do; my manager would have to remove me from the database. Before I left, I told Debby, the oncoming house supervisor for Christmas Day, that I would be calling in sick that night. Technically I could be written up for that, and obviously you can see why. If everyone called in on Christmas day, the hospital would be screwed. On the other hand, the people who work Christmas day are SCHEDULED to work Christmas day. I wasn't; it was sprung on me at the last moment. I figured if I was going to be written up for the first time, I might as well walk into it knowingly--but who wants to be written up for a call-in when it isn't their fault to begin with? Not to mention the matter of the policy.  All this outweighed my desire not to call my manager on Christmas day.  So when I got home on Christmas, i called my manager & asked her to take me out of the computer. She did, so no write-up for call-in for me!

I did not go to sleep on Christmas. I know, this is ill-advised, but I had missed all of my family Christmas parties up to that point. We opened gifts at my parents' house in the morning & had Christmas breakfast (biscuits & gravy, bacon, & eggs! YOM!).  I got some AWESOME red Dansko clogs! Danskos are all I ever wear at work; I have a matte white pair and a "petrol" black pair, which is black with an oil-slick finish. The red ones are going to look AWESOME with my blue scrubs. <3 I also got a "Shark" vacuum cleaner; it has bare floor & rug settings so I can use it all over the house. 

After all that, we went to my Aunt Mary's for a late-afternoon lunch. THAT'S where I got all the fun Christmas food I'd been wanting. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, rice & cheese casserole, yeast muffins, all the good stuff. I have TONS of leftovers, including all the sweet potatoes. :)

I woke up feeling nice & refreshed this morning...after sleeping for 15 hours. Not kidding. WOW.

December 26 is really starting to be one of my favorite parts of Christmas. We hang out, just me & Bryan & Ganon, sometimes going to the mall for a little return fun or to check out the sales. Sometimes we meet up with my family for a movie, but sometimes not. Eating is always easy because of all the delicious leftovers. Today I had aforementioned delicious leftovers for breakfast: a Cajun ham sandwich & a cocktail of orange juice & Mt. Dew. Ganon is putting together a Thomas puzzle & watching Thomas on the new Apple TV, which was Bryan's gift from Augie & Mimi. Funny how, given all the Thomas videos on Netflix, Ganon is making MUCH more use of Daddy's new Apple TV. :D I'm thinking about the Bath & Body Works sale. This is the week for the super huge "rubber duck" sale they do twice a year, and it's the only time you can get the classic scents like Cool Citrus Basil & Country Apple & White Tea Ginger. And today they're $3. This might be worth getting my lazy butt out of the house. 
hillarygayle: (Firedancer DMB)

So you might have noticed that Q & I attended a concert on Saturday! :D

Q & her nephew Dylan came with me, Bryan & Ganon to Dallas this weekend. Much fun was had (Ganon thinks Dylan is the coolest & Dylan thinks Matthew is the coolest) by everyone. On Saturday, Q & I left a bit early so we could go hit Northpark Mall before the show.

We opted out of the Apple Store. Apple Stores are always crowded, but the one at Northpark Mall in Dallas is beyond crazy. It's always packed to the gills. I don't think I've ever been in it when I didn't physically bump into half a dozen people. I would have liked to play with a new iPod touch but holy cow. 

Instead, we hit the MAC Pro Store instead! (No Macs...just MAC!) I have been on the hunt for a good liquid eyeliner. I wanted something waterproof & extremely long wearing that didn't flake off the way the L'Oreal stuff does. Well, I found it. It's called "Eye Slicks" and it's all the above. I got it in 2 colors: a shiny pewter & a stark carbon black. I wanted to buy another tube of Liquid Lurex lipstick, but they were out. I'm pretty sure our MAC counter in Jonesboro will have it.

Next up, LUSH! I'd been wanting a cleanser, specifically Angels on Bare Skin. The only container they had was a BIG one, but I figured I'd use it. I also got some Tea Tree Oil (the single best toner I have ever used, bar none) and some "Color Supplement". This stuff is GREAT! This is what I've always wanted to make my moisturizer (Imperialis is my fave) tinted. Regular makeup doesn't work very well because of the formulation. This stuff is meant to mix with a moisturizer. I got it in "light yellow" even though my skin leans pink, because they didn't have "light pink". It works just fine; the "light" colors are so light that they're practically interchangable.

We still had a bit of time to kill, so we got frozen yogurt at Red Mango! Q got madagascar vanilla with mochi & dark chocolate, and I got original with bananas & mango. The original yogurt is so amazing, so delicate & tangy & surprising on my tongue, that I just can't bring myself to try any of the actual flavored yogurts. I just get original with whatever fruit tickles my fancy that day. It was GREAT with blueberries in Little Rock; I might get them to smash the blueberries next time. :)

Then we were off to the show! We drank up a lot of water, went to the bathroom (Q went into a gas station that had a skeezy bathroom, then warned me so we went to McDonald's across the street), then cut ourselves off because we knew we'd be standing in the pit from the time we got in until the time the show was over--5:30 to 11pm. And we did just that.

At 5:30pm we went through the gates, then into the reserved seating area, and then into the pit--where they took our tickets in exchange for pit bracelets! O_O!!! They were Warehouse Pit tickets; I wanted to keep those! Several of us Warehouse members began protesting, and the pit security supervisor told us to make sure & come out his exit at the end of the show & he'd give us the tickets back. We didn't get our own tix back, obviously, but whatever. I still have a Warehouse pit stub for my Box of Live Music Events Memorabilia. I need to make a shadow box or something. :)

Then we were in the pit & it was time to stake out a spot. We chose right up front (one row of people between us & the railing!) slightly to the right. We wanted to be able to get good pics of Dave, but I have a mad Jeff Coffin obsession obviously and Q is a true Rashawn Ross fangirl. They stand on stage left...so we stood toward stage left. :) We made friends with the Awesome People™ around us, who included someone I later found on Twitter via the #dmb hashtag! I actually spent most of the concert thinking she was utterly cute & how jealous I was of her haircut. Hi, @julianathursday! By virtue of it being the pit, most of the people around us were hardcore DMB fans. They new all the rare songs, all had opinions on what they wanted to hear, all knew what had been played a lot & what might get played that night. When I revealed my wish for "Rhyme & Reason" they all empathized, but also agreed with me that it was a long shot. :)

I didn't have my DSLR. I've never been in a concert pit before, and by all accounts they can get a little rowdy. That camera is worth a great deal of money & even more in emotional value, but MAN I wanted some pics worthy of our pit tickets! The problem was solved when Walter offered me his point & shoot Sony 10 megapixel camera. I played with it for a while; learned it had quite a nice zoom, tap to focus on your desired area, the ability to play with the exposure within reason...lots of decent features. Best of all it was very pocket-sized, not at all like my Hulking Behemoth (it's named Dozer after the Matrix character). So I took it. Just to test how it would do, I got a picture of Carter's Percussion Command Center™ when we first came in.


It did all right. :)

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears opened. They aren't quite my style, but they didn't bore me. Well, no. I'll say it this way: their MUSIC is my style, but the vocals are not. Mr. Lewis himself is very James Brown-inspired, and I'm not into that vocal style. The rest of the band, however, was great. The horn section was particularly amusing, as they had the tendency to dance like 50s Motown girl backup singers. They were all men; 1 dignified looking older black gentleman & 2 younger, geeky white dudes. Dancing like the Supremes! The drummer kept losing his glasses. 



And then the band came out. They nonchalantly got their instruments ready, took their places...and then MADE MY FREAKING WORLD by opening with The Last Stop. I shrieked. Q screamed (and Q yells, she NEVER screams). The two Awesome Girls beside us screamed, one of them in a rather ear-piercing fashion. ^o^ The guy in the couple behind us roared "LAST STOP!!!" Basically, the whole pit instantly turned from a simmering pool of anticipation to a full-on boil of uncontained elation. Fans of live music will get this; it's the moment you get exactly the surprise at the show that you wanted...and they opened with it!


Long, with lots of pictures throughout )


hillarygayle: (Default)

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