Tuesday, May 19, 2015


A Long Way from Chicago, The Last Lecture, Never Go Back,
Can We Believe Genesis Today? and Proverbs

I finished a book last week that was incredibly tedious and generally a hard slog; I felt rather accomplished (if not a bit regretful of the time I spent on reading it) once I finished.  Diva felt sorry for me and let me borrow one of her favorite fluff reads as a palate cleanser.

Oh my goodness!  This is the last week of school!  The last week of Diva's time at a Classical Academy.  It's a little surreal and a lot sad.  This time last year, we were saying goodbye to her friends in Marshall and now just one year on, we are saying farewell to her Bossier City friends.

One of Diva's school chums threw an end-of-the-year party this weekend which was also a surprise going away party for Diva. We were very grateful for their hospitality.

Engineer and I attended the Bluebonnet Bash again this year.  The fundraiser is for the Michelson Museum of Art in Marshall, TX.  Almost all of our friends were there.  We got to tell many of them "so long" and invite them to visit when they are in Houston.

My parents along with some family friends brought over dinner this weekend.  It was great to be able to visit with them, and of course, if someone wants to bring food over, they are welcome anytime!

Engineer spent last week between his office in Houston and conducting "Lunch & Learns" from Baton Rouge, LA to Katy, TX.  It was so nice to have him home late Thursday night.

So far, we have yet to have any offers on our house though others in our neighborhood are selling.  Engineer is becoming increasingly uptight about the situation.  I hope it resolves itself soon so we can begin our house hunting down south.

The rain.  The rain has been unbelievable.  To give those of you who are not familiar with Texas weather condition an idea of what all the fuss is about, here is an image of the drought levels in Texas this time last year

Here are the current drought conditions

Notice there are no brown patches which are indications of exceptional drought.  Even though we Texans like our sunshine and dry weather, we can each be thankful for the abundance of rain so far this year.  All we have to do is think of all the destruction the wild fires caused a couple of years ago.

However, I'm not sure though that my sweet friends whose shop was under water in a flash flood a couple of weeks ago or the folks whose lake houses are flooded or the folks whose cars were swept away would agree that there is any less destruction with water as without it.

With that being said, Team Moppins is still in Louz-yana and the ground here stays swampy so I would like a small reprieve just for the ground to firm up enough to cut my jungle of a yard.  ;)

Just after I typed that, this happened:

Life is always interesting around here.

Our menu:

Sunday - Turkey Pot Pie and Toffee Chocolate Trifle (all provided by our friends)
Monday - Fish Fillets, Orzo, & Carrots
Tuesday - Tacos, Rice, & Beans
Wednesday - Biscuits, Sausage & Gravy, Eggs, Fruit & Yogurt
Thursday - Chili, Cornbread, & Salad
Friday - Date Night
Saturday - Burgers & Fixings w/Friends

This is part of MPM.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Madly in Love

Diva came strolling through the den en route to the kitchen on Mother's Day and threw her arms around me in the process.

She exclaimed, "You're welcome!"
I asked what I was thanking her for.
She replied with a coy smile and a lilt in her voice, "For making you a Mumma."


1-4-3 DM!  I am so happy to be your Mumma.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Perfectly Practical #222 - Collin Street Bakery

How the cheesecake was delivered
I received a wonderful Collin Street Bakery pecan praline cheesecake in exchange for my review.  All opinions and love of Collin Street Bakery are my own.

I feel like most Texans are familiar with Collin Street Bakery.

We have all seen the advertisements for the bakery in the Sunday coupon inserts or the billboards when you get close to one of their stores.
Some of us were even lucky enough to have grown up getting free cherry ice box cookies when we'd visit the store.

When a Collin Street Bakery opened in Lindale, TX, I had friends who drove the hour long drive from Marshall just to get some of their chicken salad, specialty breads, and of course, cookies.
Their products really are that good.

But it's their fruit cakes for which they are most famous.

When Marc Murphy of Food Network fame declared that Collin Street Bakery's fruit cake was "The best thing I ever ate" on the show of the same name, the whole country became aware of this family run fruit cake emporium.

I didn't realize that they even made cheesecakes until I was asked to review one.
Thank you Collin Street for asking me for a review!

The cheesecake arrived shrink-wrapped and packed inside a styrofoam container (pictured at top.)  Along with the cheesecake was a hand written thank you note from the company's Vice President Will McNutt (y'all know I love me some thank you notes) and a little booklet, "Guide to Collin Street Bakery Products." I thought both were wonderful touches.  The booklet laid out per type of dessert, slicing instructions, storage instructions, and serving recommendations.

I followed the instructions and put the cheesecake straight into the freezer upon receipt.

We were going to have dinner with our friends John & Holly the night it arrived, so I let them know that I was terribly sorry for the inconvenience, but I would be bringing dessert.  Not just any dessert, but a Collin Street Bakery pecan praline cheesecake that we had to eat so that I could get a good cross-section of opinions for a written review.

They took the news well.
We took our reviewing very seriously.

We discussed their previous experiences with the bakery.  Apparently, one of their uncles was smitten with the Collin Street's pecan pies and sent them out every year for Christmas gifts to the family.  I'm sure that gesture ensured his spot as everyone's favorite uncle.

And how did the cheesecake taste?  DELICIOUS!

As we savored each decadent bite we made some observances:
  • Packaging was great
  • Pecans were throughout the cheesecake, not just a topping
  • Crust was not too thick and very tasty
  • Density was just right
  • Cheesecake was not cloyingly sweet
  • Crumbly texture not found in most store bought cheesecakes
  • Reasonably priced
  • {The bakery's} Well-earned reputation preceded them
  • Flavors were subtle
  • Nothing about it tasted artificial
  • Four thumbs up
Engineer said that he gave the cheesecake the highest compliment it could receive, that it rivaled one of my homemade cheesecakes.

We all thoroughly enjoyed the cheesecake.

If you want to order this or any other of the Collin Street Bakery's delicacies, please visit them at www.collinstreet.com

Monday, May 11, 2015

Madly in Love

Around Beloved Bayou we have been consumed with getting the house show-worthy at a moment's notice.  Of course the more difficult after effect of that process is keeping the house show-ready at any given moment.

We had back-to-back open houses this past weekend which meant the flurry of activity and stress levels were very high.

Day two of the open house, a.k.a. Mother's Day, we needed to become scarce so my family took me to lunch.

As we were leaving Subway*, I said, "Thank you for lunch."
Engineer replied, "Thanks for having my baby."
Then we both burst into fits of laughter.

I had a doubtful look on my face and started to say that I wasn't sure if...when he interrupted, "What?!  You don't think Subway is adequate thanks for birthing my baby?"

1-4-3 EM & DM for making me a Momma...and for lunch.

*I am not fussy about where they take me out to eat.  I was grateful for the gift that I neither had to cook nor to clean up. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Madly in Love

Engineer feeling quite at home
with a coastal lifestyle
Over Spring Break, we were in the Houston area.

We had eaten at a great little waterfront restaurant called Opus.
When the check came, the top of a pen was poking out of the receipt's sleeve.

Diva looked over and said, "Nice pen."
Engineer hadn't yet opened the sleeve and agreed, "Oh yeah...the G2.  Nice."

Sometimes I marvel at the similarities and equality of nerdiness those two share.

1-4-3 EM & DM!
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