Blueberry Saturday

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Rob and I went blueberry picking two Saturdays ago at Chmielewski’s Blueberry Farm in Hockley, TX. The farm has approximately 8 arches of berry bushes and they are free of chemicals! We got there pretty early to beat the crowds. We picked about 3 pounds of berries in all and the cost was below $10. Some were eaten as snacks, some were drizzled into parfaits and of course, some were made into dessert.

Never been blueberry picking? Try it some time, its relaxing, plus you get to eat while you pick. 😉

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Road Trippin through Texas | Part IV

Our fifth stop was at Enchanted Rock. Have you ever been there? It was breath taking, literally. Rewind to days before the trip, Rob showed me the web page for Enchanted Rock while scoping out different places to visit. I saw a beautiful piece of rock surrounded by greenery and hiking trails. So I figured, “Great! We’ll get pictures near the rock and on the hiking trails.” Little did I know that the actual rock was a hike, all by itself. Heh

We got there an hour before sunset, Saturday evening. The sky was blue and the rock was orange. Mind you, I still hadn’t awakened to the fact that hiking up the rock was on the agenda. After walking in the direction of the rock and nearing it, I noticed that the people in front of us were beginning to climb the rock and people were climbing down the rock, heading our way. It all made sense to me then. “Babe! Do we have to climb to the top?” There was a piiinch of terror in my voice. Rob laughed.

“Not if you don’t want to.” Phew. But as we climbed and climbed and climbed some more, the top of the rock didn’t seem to be getting any closer. I was gasping for air and shot my hand up like a toddler trying to communicate who hadn’t yet learned to talk. Rob handed me my water bottle and I inhaled it.

As we sat and contemplated whether to continue or not, an aged lady and what seemed to be her daughter, passed us on their way back down. Rob asked them how much further to the top. The old lady said, “Fifteen more minutes I think.” And she confirmed with her daughter. Then she looked back at us as cheekily and said, “The view is worth it. If I can do it, you guys can definitely do it.” Thanks for bruising my ego little old lady.

I motioned with my hand for Rob to continue along and I’d soon follow. We were pretty high then and I was able to see miles and miles of land before me. Trees, buildings, farms, roads and teeny-tiny cars. ‘Ok, you can do this. You work out three times a week for calories sake.’ I was up again, this time taking small strides. Finally, I made it to the top. I felt like Rocky and could even hear his theme song playing in my head. The view really was worth the climb. My photos will do the talking now.

After witnessing one of the most spectacular sunsets ever, we headed back home and called it a night. Stay tuned for the final part of our Texas adventure!

Road Trippin through Texas | Part III

We were greeted on Saturday morning by a golden sunrise and mr. buns at 6:00am.

Then we went back to bed and re-awoke at a much weekend appropriate time, 8am. For breakfast we headed to one of the town’s popular cafes. I’ll skip the dets of our meal and head right into stop number four.

Pedernales Falls. The park is home to many woodland creatures, birds and the ever unpopular, snakes. We did a short hike, explored the waterfall and cooled down at a popular bathing spot.

The river is prone to flash flooding and coils its way through the park for 6 miles. Some images below show limestone gorges filled with deep pools. At the falls’ overlook, persons can marvel the gorgeous view then venture down to explore its vast canyon of limestone and pools. As tempting as this area looked for bathing, we were not permitted to swim, wade or tube. But there were other designated spots for bathing that were just as lovely and refreshing.

There are also numerous hiking trails to fit your adventurer side. It can be as short as 30 minutes or long as 4 hours. Just remember to wear a cap, bug spray/sunscreen and carry your water!

If you’d like to visit or want more info on this State Park, get it here.

 

Road Trippin through Texas | Part II

Trecera stop, Fredericksburg. When we told our Trini friends that we would be moving to Texas, the essence of Fredericksburg is what I think they all had in minds. This quaint city was rich with aged German architecture, adorable shops and farming. This is what their Subway restaurant looked like… and their Mc Donald’s, DQ, Burger King and Pizza Hut to list a few.

Sadly, that was the only photo I got on Main Street. Our plans to explore were foiled by another Macajuel lunch but this time accompanied by its syndrome, sleep. I’m getting ahead of myself here and into Saturday afternoon. Take one step backward please.

We first arrived in Friztown, as some call it, sometime after 6pm on Friday evening. Rob booked us a cottage for the weekend and I was ecstatic. Staying in a cottage as opposed to a hotel room was the epitome of our stay, in my opinion. It was cute, rustic and cozy! We were miles away from anyone and had our own pet rabbit for the weekend. Little buns or as Rob liked calling him rabes, as in rabies, would come out every morning and evening to snack on greens around the cabin. He seemed to be familiar with people because I got really close and he didn’t seem to mind.

The evening sun cast beautiful shadows and bursts of flare about the compound. It kissed and danced off the edges of flowers and bushes. It was all too magical and I wish the sun didn’t have to call it quits for the day. My photos didn’t do justice to the scene that we marvelled. Being there made me want to be proposed to again!

We ended the evening with a visit to the cinema and saw Spider Man 2. The movie was decent. I’m no #1 fan of the Spidey but this new series has been captivating to say the least.

Driving through the pitch-blackness on our way back to the cabin, we had to be weary of deer. Those dense fur-tails kept darting across the road as our car approached with its beaming headlights. At one point we had to stop completely because a deer froze in it tracks while crossing. Amused we were as the situation reminded us of an inside joke related to the Trini term, “Ah manicou ketch in headlights!”

Photos of cabin and sunset loveliness. Confession: The first three photos were actually taken at sunrise.

MDP-9{Our shower was adventurous on more levels than one}

MDP-13 MDP-10 MDP-15 MDP-18 MDP-19 MDP-20 MDP-22{Mr. Buns chillaxin in the shade}

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The Passion Story + Hot Cross Buns

Approximately 2000 years ago, the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and died for our sins. Judas Iscariot, for 30 pieces of silver betrayed him into the hands of temple guards. Jesus was then trailed, mocked, beaten and nailed to the cross. As a result today is recognized as Good Friday.

Christians all over the globe commemorate this day in many ways. Some attend church services and plays or dedicate the day to prayer, fasting and meditation. Others, like myself, also enjoy celebrating little traditions like eating hot cross buns for breakfast.

I don’t know the history behind hot cross buns nor will I pretend to. What I do know is that their soft, fluffy, cinnamon body, topped with the perfect consistency of icing and unfortunately filled with raisins, which I religiously pick out, beat any breakfast muffin at a five star hotel. Maybe not any muffin… but you get the point.

Word of advice, if you’re like me and raisins remind you of rat turds and taste like grapes that have been left in the sun far too long – see what I did there? – be sure to half the amount of raisins used in the recipe. Although, half turned out to be more than I cared for. Otherwise, just skip them out altogether or replace them with craisins. Wish I’d thought of that before I made these.

But you’re in for a yummy treat if you like ze hot cross le bun buns. I got this recipe from sophistimom, five kudos for that cool lady. Get it. Make it. Eat it. Enjoy it. However you choose to celebrate this good day, I hope that you take some time to reflect on Jesus’ selfless act on that old rugged cross.

“In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine, a wondrous beauty I see, for ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died, to pardon and sanctify me.” 

Easter Tradition

I always feel a teeny bit guilty whenever I take a break from blogging. It isn’t a healthy response but I do. Long story short, I headed back to Trinidad for a short while, still here actually and things were a bit busy. Fear not, I’ve got your serving of blog-meat this week.

It’s my favourite time of year! Easter has been and still is my favourite holiday for a couple of reasons:

  1. When I was younger my family got together, ate and spent time together. What I looked forward to the most were our traditions. The family on my dad’s side would gather together at one uncle’s house. His wife always cooked a yummy fish dish accompanied by other local traditional Easter foods and another aunt always made us (cousins) Easter treat bags full of sweets and chocolates.
  2. Every year my parents bought us those huge, hollow, chocolate bunnies that would put you in a sugar coma if you tried eating it all in one day.
  3. My sister and I had an unhealthy obsession with eggs. Random fact: we used to collect lizard eggs and “babysit” them until one of us accidentally broke them. Anything egg shaped or egg like we “eeeped” about and were drawn to magnetically. So a holiday that celebrated eggs was the godfather of holidays.
  4. In my latter teen years, I befriended the Man behind this season. His death and resurrection is the reason we celebrate and I am grateful for the blood He shed for us.

However, there is one tradition that is original to Trinidad and I’ve heard people talk about and witnessed but never partook in. It’s called “Beat the Bobolee.” The word bobolee (yeps, sounds just as its spelt… now say it fast 10 times) is used to describe a person who is taken advantage of by others.

On Good Friday, some residents of T&T would create a dummy of Judas Iscariot made from old clothes that is stuffed with rags or dried grass. It is placed in a public place and anyone who passes, young and old, is welcomed to “beat the bobolee” with sticks, kicks or slaps. The beating symbolised retribution for Judas for betraying Jesus Christ but is done purely for fun and jokingly.

I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. Yeppers. I wanted to beat a bobolee. So naturally, I made mine into a piñata.

If you have 6 hours in your life to spare, try making a piñata. Then add it to your professional resume under skills. I’m sure it will make a notable impression on your future employer. To keep this light, I’ll omit the details of my piñata-making experience. As per usual, I took photos to tell the story. You know the routine, hover over photos for commentary.

 

We all had a fun time beating Mr. Bobolee. At one point we were concerned that it wouldn’t burst. I guess my piñata making skill is superb. I could open ah small shop man. Plus, the rewards were very much enjoyed. For more on Easter Traditions in T&T click here.

What are some Easter Traditions you celebrate? I’d love to hear your stories! I pray that your Easter weekend would be blessed, fun and reflective.

He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ – Luke 24:6-7.

Candy, Candy quite Dandy, how does your garden grow?

So I started a new project this weekend. It involved getting dirty and a whole lot of waiting for results. I planted my very own strawberry plants. My granny would be so proud of me! *gloats* I’m both excited and nervous about the outcome. See, I’ve owned two plants prior in my lifetime. A good friend of mine bought me a Poinsettia for Christmas once. It was lovely but lasted 2 weeks. The next year he bought me a cactus thinking it would be impossible to kill…  Ha. I showed him. That lasted 4 weeks. Then I was told that I shouldn’t own a dog or have a child. On the contrary, dogs and children are programmed to remind you of their existence.

Rob was my assistant gardener. Which in fact really means, he did three quarts of the work: uprooted most of the weeds, toiled the soil, trimmed the rosebush that was threatening half of my planting space, dug the holes, planted most of the babies and watered them once we were done. I managed the operation, made a minor contribution to the labour and took an impractical amount of pictures. Yes, yes. I know exactly what you’re thinking. We make an effective team.

My greatest concern right now is the weather. Its bipolarosity continues to wreak havoc with many a plan of local Houstonians, I am sure. Saturday’s 78 degrees was welcomed with board shorts, tank tops & sandals. Then there was Sunday night. We were heading out to make our weekly grocery run and got “female-dog” slapped in the face by an impertinent rush of 38 degree air. Made my eyes water and all. Needless to say yesterday’s weather barely fluctuated. PLUS… there’s a winter storm warning and we’ve received gifts such as freezing rain; sleet and gross Dallas like temperatures – no offense Dallas. If you’re new and reading this you may think I’m an insane person grumbling about 30-degree weather but where I come from is called paradise, with typical temperatures of 80 degrees. All the time. I know I’ve complained a considerable amount this winter but spring is almost here so today marks my final gripe. Promise.

On the upside, the possible ruin of my plants won’t be any fault of mine, this time. Anyhow, I’ll see what happens and pray that I at least get to taste ONE fruit of my… err… our labour. In the mean time, check out our new babies.

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Baking this week? Why yes.

chocolatechipcookies

These yummylicious chocolate chip cookies are a fav in our household. Got the recipe here. Try them. Enjoy them. And they do go that fast.

Cherrio chaps! Do have a blessed week.