Tag Archives: dog

Day 4: Driving Across Texas

Before leaving San Antonio that Monday morning at the end of February, we had to get another good Mexican meal in our stomachs. The west of Texas was waiting; we better be prepared.

Taco Taco is a small taco shop that’s been featured on Food Network and in national food magazines. Bon Appetit proclaimed it to have the best tacos in America. The interior and food is nothing fancy–seat yourself at one of the small tables, so close together that your chair may be touching another customer’s. While we opted for breakfast plates rather than tacos, our dishes still came with the soft, warm homemade tortillas, served in a cast iron comal. My dad ordered huevos mexicanos, while I enjoyed my huevos rancheros. While not as spicy as some may hope for, the food was flavorful and fresh.

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Day 2: Tuscaloosa to Baton Rouge to Lake Charles, LA

Mississippi is flat and full of pine trees. The best fried fish swims on one end of a building and gets fried on the other. And dogs DO NOT like tigers, statues or the real animal.

Those were among the lessons we learned on Saturday, Day 2 of our cross-country road trip. We left our not-so-great Motel 6 south of Birmingham very, very early that morning (7:30 a.m.!), since neither of us slept well. Rachel made herself quite comfortable on my bed that night, a habit that I’m hoping to break immediately after this long drive. But, she’s stressed, and doesn’t know where her new home will be, so, I’m OK with it for now.

A search for green spots on online maps showed that the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa had a nice-sized arboretum with trails. We got off the interstate in a rundown section of town and didn’t see any evidence of the massive college. The road took us to what appeared to be a back entrance to the arboretum—gated. As we sat in the car, the website didn’t want to download, and our iPhone maps told us this was actually a golf course. Not ready to give up, after a few more minutes of driving and hoping maybe there’d be somewhere else to walk, we saw signs and finally found the arboretum, apparently adjacent to land that used to be a golf course. The pup was more than ready for a walk through some quiet woods.

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Avocado toast with eggs for breakfast

Honey nut cheerios used to be my mainstay. For years, a bowl of this cereal–often topped with sliced banana–would fill me up until it came time for lunch. Little else filled the breakfast role. My mother must have purchased countless boxes of cereal, quickly turning to the larger bags of store brand instead. Occasionally, I’d opt for bowls of yogurt or oatmeal, but before too long, back to the sweetened o’s.

Maybe growing up, I needed consistency; change was bad, cheerios were good. Cereal was never a risky endeavor–there’s no way to go wrong. And back then, avocado never would have been anywhere near a breakfast dish. No way.

But. I didn’t know what I was missing out on. Accepting that change can (sometimes) be good, I vary my breakfast almost every day now. A few minutes spent cooking in the morning keeps my diet interesting, and prevents boredom at the kitchen table. Oatmeal sweetened with maple syrup and topped with almonds and chia seeds one day; peach pancakes the next; a fried egg sandwich later in the week; a veggie and feta filled omelet another day; and plain Stonyfield yogurt topped with local granola to round out the week. Blackberry scones, filled with the remaining (frozen) berries from this summer’s picking, will come up for their turn soon enough.

Of course, I have to say I’m very thankful that I have the time in the morning to cook as I please. Between the sunrise barks (aka the dog wakeup call) and a newsroom that starts the day closer to 10, I’ve got plenty of opportunity to whip up a little something simple, and to sit down to enjoy whatever it may be.

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Sunrises, coyotes, and deep thoughts during morning walks; peach & sour cream pancakes

Morning walks are my escape.

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Every day, my phone starts playing The Weepies’ “Gotta Have You” around 6:15 a.m., well before the sun makes its way into the day. Moments later, Rachel’s barks echo through the house and to my upstairs bedroom, forcing my body to get vertical, dressed and downstairs within seconds, because otherwise, I’m afraid that one day, my housemate may start to fuss. I certainly would.

Glass of water chugged, teeth brushed and sneakers tied, dog and I are out the door around 6:30. She’s always ready to start her day, to sniff and pull, to chase cats and eat mulch, and to pick up chicken bones that I have to pry out of her strong jaws. Me, I’m awake, but just as my body needs to get its blood flowing again, my mind needs its own exercise.

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Vanilla sandwich cookies and a cookbook giveaway

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Well, good morning there! It’s Monday, but that’s OK. After a refreshing weekend, tasty food, vanilla cookies and these beauties, today looks to be a good day. Rachel agrees.

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A dog’s tail

Uh oh, something’s wrong here…

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Did Rachel notice? Of course not. She briefly looked at her tail as she got up, shook her body from nose to tip of tail, and continued on her way to dog about the house.

If you need some more pup pictures this morning, look at The 40 Greatest Dog GIFs of All Time. No matter how many times I’ve seen this page, I always chuckle and get a big grin.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Thanks for the cookie, Lindley!

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What if Rachel could tweet?

If 9-month-old Rachel had a smartphone and could Tweet and take Instagram pics, what would she say? Tom and I think she’d probably share some pretty interesting 140-character messages with the world wide interwebs.

Frisbee! Bark! Peppy can run with the big dogs!

Water! Bark! Nice and cool.

Food? Yum! Drop some! Bark!

Sleepy. Too much playtime.

Bone!! Yum!! Chew chew chew.

Cuddles. Boyfriend? Eh. Bark. I like Katie best.

Too much fetch. Rrr.

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