Sweet Sweet’s Half Marathon

How long is it appropriate to wait before writing about something?  I don’t know that I can answer that, but I’ve delayed, for whatever reason, about writing about Sweet Sweet’s half-marathon for quite some time.  Sweet Sweet entered into the 2010 Rock and Roll Half Marathon, which was run on March 27, 2010.  Yep, these pictures are at least a month old.  In any event, I could not be more proud of my wife as it’s never easy to train for something like this.  She was very much worried about how she would do and I kept telling her that I wasn’t worried about her performance.

In any event, we get up fairly early on Saturday morning and drive to Fair Park where we park the car and then she and I take a bus to the starting line, which was downtown (near City Hall).  That morning, it was pretty chilly, but at the very least, it was going to be a beautiful day.  Here’s Sweet Sweet preparing and getting all sorts of excited:

And waving good-bye before she takes off where I won’t see her for a couple of hours.

And self-portrait.

A side story to this is my journey, or non-journey, back to the starting line. There were supposed to be buses available and it was short enough for me to walk, but to be honest, I wasn’t real comfortable doing this. I called Justin and Ashley (and Elam) and they picked me up, where we ended up driving to Fair Park. Randy, Landy and Chris, Tony and Leslie (Luke and Jake) all showed up to see Sweet Sweet finish. Of course, she apparently ran right in front of me and I didn’t see her run at any point in the race.

Fishing in Surfside

It’s been a while, but I went fishing with Randy, Justin, Clay, Francis, Brandon and Donny. Lots of pictures and lots of fishing. Justin, Brandon and myself drove down, while the rest of the group (sans Donny) drove down first. We arrived at our beach house and it was pretty danged nice:

That night, there was a thunderstorm on its way:

Justin and Brandon (camera is foggy due to the humidity);

Donny and Donny and Brandon:

Someone caught a shark:


Justin’s got something on the line:



Brandon with a beautiful cast:

On our first stop was near an old oil rig and caught our limit of Kingfish. No pictures of the actual fish because I was actually fishing. Proof is later.

Donny has something on the line:

Clay gets in on the action:

Someone is in to this:

Randy with a Red Snapper (which was pretty par for the course in terms of size):

Randy with a Mahi Mahi:

After it was all said and done, this was the fish. Yep, a ton of fish:

Me, Justin, Randy, Donny, Brandon and Clay:

The next day, Brandon, Justin and myself (mainly the other two) cooked up a freaking awesome shrimp boil:

Later in the day, we fished from the beach, and just for memories sake, this was our beach house:

Waiting for a bite:


Randy, Francis, Donny, Brandon, Justin and Clay:

And I replace Donny, but I’m shirtless:

Pretty nice sunset that evening:

Cozumel Vacation – Trip to Galveston

We’re going to break the Cozumel vacation into a couple of parts, building to a crescendo of fun and excitement.

Up first is the trip to Galveston.

We’re all excited about the drive:

This is us driving over the bridge between Houston and Galveston:

We checked our bags first thing (we actually arrived a bit early) and decided to grab some lunch on the beach.  I can’t remember where we ate, but it was an open-air bar/eatery and it was good:


Sweet Sweet:



Justin and I decided to share the fried food platter and a dozen oysters. Oysters:

Fried food:

After eating we went back to the port and boarded the Carnival Ecstasy.  This was one view of the bay. Big rusty metal structures:

And I tried to take some pictures of the city of Galveston:

Jenson & Thea’s Birthdays

I’ve got some serious catching up to do. Last month we had Jenson and Thea’s birthday parties and as you might imagine, good times ensued.

Sweet Sweet and Ryan:

Darius taking a break:

The incredibly large slide:

The birthday boy goes up for yet another slide down:

On to Thea’s Birthday as we had a pink princess theme. Thea contemplates blowing out the candles:

And we’re off:

With some help from Blake:

Who loves icing?

Smoking Ribs on a Charcoal Grill

Sweet Sweet was out of town last weekend and as a result, I had a little bit of time to kill. Earlier in the week I was wondering if someone could smoke ribs or brisket while using a simple charcoal grill. Turns out that you can. But before we get to that, I did snap one picture of some of the vegetables from the garden and a photo of the dogs.



So I did find an article online detailing how it’s done and I used a dry rub found online from Bobby Flay.

Here’s the grill before making any modifications:

The article suggested using an aluminum pan and in the comments of that article, it suggested using bricks to separate the charcoal from the water pan, to help regulate the temperature:

Also suggested was to soak the wood chips as long as possible, which I did at 8:00 a.m.:

About 3:30 p.m. I started the charcoal and followed the directions closely:

As you can see, this is the first time the ribs hit the grill. You’ll also note the thermometer sticking out of the right side of the grill. The thermometer was moved back towards the coals in order to get a true idea of the temperature of the grill to help regulate the meat:

About halfway through the process:

Elam attempting to help:

I also realized that smoking ribs is about drinking as much as it is about smoking ribs:

The final product:

As far as taste is concerned, perhaps the best ribs that I’ve ever had. The process of maintaining that core temperature was a little tedious, but I had plenty of time and plenty of beer. As sad as this may sound, probably one of the better times I’ve had lately. Lots of fun and up next will be a brisket.

June Garden Update and Eating With Justin F. & Ashley F.

No apologies, just been a tad busy (not really). So these pictures from probably a month ago of the garden in no way represent how it looks today. It’s gotten to the point that the tomatoes were tilting the cages, to the point that they were falling down and I had to tie the cages to the fence to keep them upright. I’ll have to take some additional pictures today. In any event, here’s the garden from about a month ago.






Sweet Sweet and I also spent some time and Justin F. and Ashley F.’s for dinner with Todd and Beth. I was in charge of cooking bacon:

And drinking:

And taking pictures of myself:

Bella wanted to come outside:

Elam and Sweet Sweet:


Bella gets her wish:

Elam wants a cold one:

Grace’s B-Day

We had Grace’s B-Day over at Marilea and Blake’s house during Easter weekend.

Here’s Grace opening presents.

Grace, Saralyn, Jensen and Darius.

Dad, Hogan, Thea, Marilea and Sweet Sweet:

Mom makes Grace a new dress, complete with bonnet.

Blue Sheds and Garden Update

This is a yearly ritual for those of us who have dogs that are Blue Healer, Husky and Australian Shepard mixes. Blue, just so happens to be one of those dogs and it is time that she starts to shed her undercoat. We are not killing chickens here, this is dog hair, and this amount could be brushed from her every day.

And here’s Blue looking somewhat guilty.

I’ve already taken her to get groomed and my wife is much happier that this amount of dog hair is not in our house.

The garden is going well and I think we’re going to be able to harvest some broccoli this morning. Here’s some photos from a couple of weeks ago.

Grandma’s Birthday

Sweet Sweet and I traveled down to Castroville a few weekends ago to attend my Grandmother’s birthday and family reunion.

We stayed at the Landmark Inn in Castroville.

This was our room.

This was the sink in our bathroom and Sweet Sweet wanted me to take picture of it for future reference.

This is inside the old mill on the property.

We get to Grandma’s party and quite a bit of family is in attendance:

It’s pinata time.

Uncle David takes a crack at the Alsatian inspired shamrock pinata.

Grandma takes a swing.

Some of Grandma’s great grandchildren.

Although it doesn’t look like it from here, this is the Texas Hill Country.

Taking the Day Off

A couple of weeks ago I decided to take the day off from work and Sweet Sweet and I decided to take care of some bidness in Dallas and then take a walk around White Rock Lake.

I really don’t have a double-chin in real life:

Boy on a bridge:

Boat docks:

That weekend, I decided to finish a book that I’d started around Christmas and finally finished. This meant lounging around in the backyard.

While I put the old lady to work:

Sleeping dogs (Zoey and Blue):

Also, here’s a garden update. The onions are growing nicely, while we’ve recently planted some tomato and pepper plants.