Archive for January, 2010

Emma and sunshine…

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

I’m back home in Houston. Two days of cold, gray, rainy bleah are making me nostalgic for the glorious time we had in Vegas. We had fun, and the dry desert air and diffuse winter sun made for some great photos. Here are a few of my favorites:

Emma's blue eyes

Paul and Emma

Emma regards Bill

On Sunday afternoon, Bill needed to work and Paul needed to study, so Cindy and I took Emma to the park.

Cindy at the park
Isn’t Cindy a babe?

Emma pushing wagon
Emma pushed her wagon all the way across the lawn

Emma in afternoon sun
Paul found this expression “spooky,” but I love the colors

On Monday, Bill flew back to New York so I spent the night and Tuesday morning at Cindy & Paul’s house before heading home:

good morning Emma
Emma is a delightful breakfast companion

Bob reading to Emma
Emma asked me to read “Good Night Texas” about a dozen times

bath time Emma

I’m not sure how soon we’ll get back to Vegas. But I hope we’ll see Emma and her parents in Houston this spring. I can’t wait!

Firing off the Canon (in D)

Friday, January 15th, 2010

I doubt that I’ll listen to Green Day in quite the same way ever again.

Happy anniversamerary!

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

As of January 5th, Bill and I have been married for nine years. Yay!

On Tuesday, I was in Houston and Bill was in NYC, so we didn’t get to celebrate together until Sunday night in Las Vegas. Cindy made reservations at a delightful off-strip establishment called Rosemary’s Restaurant. The menu was interesting and the service was impeccable. We definitely recommend this place!

We had a fun small-world moment there, too. As we entered and approached the host, I saw a woman sitting nearby who looked familiar. Even as I was telling myself, “I’m away from home and couldn’t possibly know her,” I saw her looking at me, too, and I looked again. Stephanie is an attorney at the same firm as our friend Michael, and she was in town for a client meeting. Too funny!

But the highlight of the evening was the outstanding dinner company. While Bill, Paul, Cindy, and I enjoyed catching up and lingering over tastes from the chef and a nice Argentinian Malbec, little Emma entertained herself… for three hours! At just 20 months, Emma was remarkably patient and better behaved than many 20-year restaurant-goers. She earned compliments from both staff and patrons, but it’s clear that Emma’s parents earned the compliments, too. What a gift!


It was so nice to visit with old friends!


“More ‘eam?” More ‘eam?”

Dear Arctic Blast: please don’t break our pipes!

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

This is a winter weather forecast unlike any I’ve seen since moving back to Houston in 1999. Note the forecasted lows:

arctic Houston weather

Brrr! Houston gets at least one cold snap every winter that prompts newscasters to say fervently, “It could freeze!” and urge viewers to protect their pipes, pets, and plants (“the three Ps”). But living in the central city, urban heat island effects have kept our neighborhood from freezing. Until now.

When I woke up Friday it was 32 degrees at our house, for the first time since we’ve lived there. When I headed to the airport, the water in the ditch at my bus stop was frozen in pretty swirls. (We won’t dwell on which contaminants made it pretty.)

frozen ditch
Icy ditch at my bus stop held frozen swirls

The forecast calls for “hard freezes” over night for several days, which is great for killing off mosquitoes and fleas, but scary for homeowners. Our bungalow was built in 1930 and the water pipes are in the attic, well ventilated and uninsulated. If we were home, we would try to address that. But as I was heading to Vegas, I had to leave several faucets dripping and hope for the best.

Our neighbors phoned early this morning to say that a hot water pipe on the north side of their house is frozen. That didn’t bode well for our pipes given similar construction. So Sharon went by our house to check (thank you!) and, sure enough, the hot water faucets on the north wall of our house won’t run. No, those aren’t the ones I left dripping. (It made sense at the time to focus on the cold water faucets, but in retrospect, I wish I’d left the hot ones dripping, too.)

If we’re lucky, the weather will warm up enough during the day today for the pipes to thaw without breaking. If not, we may be in the market for a bathroom remodel sooner than expected.

Vegas Baby, visit!

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

We’ve been watching Cindy & Paul’s baby Emma grow up via their Farhake Fam blog, but despite our best intentions, we haven’t seen Emma in person since the week she was born. Twenty (?!?) months later, she’s a delightful toddler:

We’ll be in Las Vegas for the next several days. Bill will attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at the Convention Center with his Spectracal business partners, and I expect you’ll hear more about that soon. Meanwhile, I’m going to do some serious catching up with Cindy, Emma, and Paul. See you soon!