Monday, September 28, 2015

After a Rough Week

This last week was a doozie! I muddled through my week with a nagging tension headache that wound't respond to any amount of Tylenol or Motrin. On Friday night all that headachy nonsense culminated in what appeared to be an anxiety attack. Talk about crazy! I've known people who suffer with this kind of condition on a regular basis and I simply can not fathom that. In any case, I am fine but losing a number of days of full productivity will have me playing catch up all week. So off I go, I have homework to do, work work to do, house work to do and any number of other to do things to do.

Monday, September 21, 2015

I Love Texas!

Happy "almost" first day of fall! Yeah, it's not until Wednesday the 23rd, but I'm celebrating now. I love, love, love this time of year! All y'all who know me, know this, but I can't help it, everything about this time of year lights me up. I love that the days get shorter, the evenings smell like wood fires, the weather cools off and we can wear cute clothes with boots and scarves, and for the most part, we just all seem to slow down a little bit and come back together as a family. 

Last week we were in Texas and can I just say, I could live in Texas! I loved the history, the love the Texas people have for their state, how green the state is, and all in all, the people were just so friendly. We spent a few days in San Antonio and played at the River Walk, we visited The Alamo, ate really incredible food - no, REALLY incredible food, visited the Natural Bridges Caverns, traveled to The Presidio at Goliad, and I got to meet some friends who I have been communicating with via Facebook for more than 5 years. These friends, Rhonda and Stephanie run a rescue for cocker spaniels and well, you know my heart gets soft for a cocker spaniel. 

Rhonda has been following Mason on his cooking journey and wanted to cook with him so on Friday night he taught her how to throw pizza dough and we made homemade pizzas. On Saturday, they had a party and Mason and Rhonda grilled up Mason's spicy street tacos using both chicken and beef. Not only did they have a total blast, the chow was good, too! So For those who think social media is a time suck and not worthwhile, let me assure you you are wrong! I have met amazing people through social media, and Gulf Coast Cocker Spaniel Rescue is one such group - these women do amazing work. 

This is Sir Coffee, he came to them at 12 years old and incredibly sick, he's 16 now! I came to Texas to meet him and totally expected a dog that was old and slow moving. I couldn't have been more wrong, he is in great health and greeted me (us) with a smile. I'm so proud to be a part of this group known as Coffee Nation! 

We also ate a restaurant called Gwendolyn. The concept of the restaurant is entirely old school, using what they had and doing as they did before the break of the industrial revolution: approximately 1850. This was the last time that food was honest.There are no blenders, mixers, choppers, ice cream machines, deepfryers, burr sticks, nor anything else with a motor--nothing with a plug. Food machines with motors made possible an imbalance of diet that had never occurred before: we could suddenly fry enough food to make ourselves sick, we could preserve food longer than its last dangling vitamin. Refusing food-enabling machines is another way to keep the food honest, and in reasonable balance. No perishable ingredient may travel further than a good, strong horse.The menu will move absolutely in lockstep with the seasons, as okra and eggplant taper off and leafy greens move in, we must change ourselves to suit the product--not the other way around. What is outside is inside. 

Mason LOVED every bite of this meal, he even enjoyed goat cheese! "Mom, this was the absolute best meal I have ever eaten!" Mason. Chef Sohocki took Mason to his other restaurant, a Japanese Ramen joint, we ate there the following day for lunch. Amazing fresh food, super flavors, great service and atmosphere and all in all, we had a top notch night in San Antonio, TX. 

So that was our trip to Texas, lots of history, amazing food and awesome people, what more could we ask for!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Cooking at the Gold Country Fair

Last week I wrote about what a busy week I had ahead of me and why it stresses me a bit when I have so much on my plate. This last weekend was the Gold Country Fair and I was asked to run the cooking stage and host all the cooking demos. This is super cool because we have never had cooking demos at this fair before. The gentleman who runs the cooking demo program for the home shows and the Mandarin Festival asked me to do it in hopes it will become an annual part of our local fair. I agreed to do it and it was a great success!

Basically, what the job entails is decorating the cooking stage, arranging for chefs or local celebrity type people to come cook, planning and shopping for groceries, and being there for all hours of the fair to make sure times are kept, health and safety rules are followed and that fairgoers have a good time and hopefully learn something new. I love that local events are embracing the foodie culture and allowing us to help educate them and share our love of home cooked food. We had a couple of really fun demos this weekend but my favorite was Mason cooking with one of his football coaches. They made a Green and Gold Apple Crisp and the two of them had a ball playing off each other. Green and gold are the teams colors so they used green Granny Smith apples and gold Golden Delicious apples. Coach Jim had never done a live cooking demo and Mason really rose to the occasion walking him through each step until, through the magic of television they had a gorgeous apple crisp for everyone to taste. My other favorite demo was the one Dave did on Saturday night. Dave has been coaching Mason on his demos so he decide to get up and show Mason how it is done! Dave did a great job, but frankly, he doesn't hold a candle to Mason's entertainment ability!

In addition to a busy fair weekend, I am working on three real estate transactions and we are preparing to head out of town to Texas this week. San Antonio and the River Walk have been on my bucket list for a long time and Dave wants to share some of the historical sites with Mason. The high point for this trip for me is to meet my friends at Gulf Coast Cocker Spaniel Rescue. We have become good friends via social media over the last 4 or 5 years and we are finally going to get to spend a couple of days really getting to know each other - and I can't wait to meet Sir Coffee and Sweet Bucket, two of their spokes-dogs. Have a great week and next Monday will be all about how everything is bigger in Texas!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Let the Mayhem Begin!

I am heading into one of those weeks that I wonder if I'm going to get everything done. When life gets busy like this, I have mixed emotions, I love being involved and being a part of different things but I also get nervous that I won't be able to perform to the levels people expect of me, that I expect of me.

Maybe I shouldn't care what people expect, but I do. I care that I do my very best, I care that others experiences with me are favorable and I care how things turn out. I want my contribution in life to be memorable and noteworthy, not just a matter of a check in a box for attendance. I know what I am capable of and at this point in my life, I have not achieved my greatest accomplishment yet, at least I don't think I have - how do you know when you've done that one thing that will be the best you will ever do? I wonder if I'll know when I get there?

I do care what people think and I care that their time with me feels like time well spent when it's over. Of course, I can't can't control how other people think or feel, but I can do my best to be my best and when this week is done, I will know I showed up, gave it my all and completely followed through. Happy Monday!