Friday, December 21, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I am so glad I went to Wyoming in November because I got to visit her every day in her last week. She taught me so many life lessons in dignity and self awareness during that brief week. She died a few days before Thanksgiving, when my parents were on their second day of driving to Wyoming.
Her funeral wasn't until the Monday after Thanksgiving, to give family time to travel in during such a busy season. While Ricardo and Sofia went to Libbas, and Hannah traveled to St. Louis, for us, it was a quiet Thanksgiving, just three settings at the table. I have to say, it was also a gift, and a joy, and a pleasure to spend that time with my parents. I very rarely get them to myself, and I really loved cooking our little feast and spending the day together. It will always be a Thanksgiving to remember.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
For the first time in a LOOOOONG time my dad is here on Father's Day, which this year is also his birthday! So, he kind of stole the show! We had a good day today, staying in the house and just hanging out for a change. Ricardo made his delicious baby back ribs and I made roasted potatoes and a cake for the birthday boy. Here are the dads opening presents, Ricardo got a gadget to open packages and three shirts, and dad got two books and a puzzle of a picture I took of Copeman's Tomb.
I'm really glad the girls were back for Father's Day, and my mom was back for dad's birthday, it just wouldn't have been the same without them!!! I will post a pic of their trip to Argentina, they had a really great time!
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Hannah and Sofia are in Argentina for 2 weeks with my mom. They left at 7.35pm on Tuesday, and arrived safely on Wednesday morning after a 10 hour flight. They were so excited about this trip, even though they didn't really have time to dwell too much. School finished on Thursday and by the next Tuesday they were on their way! It's been a whirlwind of last minute shopping, laundry and packing. We needed to buy some sweaters and warm clothes because it's winter over there, in fact one of the coldest winters ever!
I had been showing them a fellow blogger's Buenos Aires site so they could get a taste of the city, you might want to check it out: http://www.akworld.net/webblog/
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
I know this is nothing compared to what's happened in Kansas, but we've been having some weather drama around here too. A few months ago we had that freaky red dust storm, and then it was unseasonably wet and cold for a long time. Even on Hannah's birthday in late April it was still cold-ish, unheard of! Then last week we had tornados again, there had been one in Fort Worth the week prior. While we didn't get one in Oak Cliff the winds were SO HIGH, it really scared me for the first time ever. We heard sirens and 'evacuated' to the hall bathroom for about 20 minutes. The electricity went out that night and for the next day. We ended up going to bed at 8pm! I drove around the next morning and snapped some pics, including the one above a few streets from my house. Our neighborhood has so many mature trees and they were snapping left and right. You still see a lot of chopping and piles of wood but at least the streets are cleared up again. I can only imagine what it must be like for the people in Kansas whose whole town was blown away.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Hannah went to prom with her friend Rebecca. They looked so pretty, and had a really good time. I'm so happy for them that they can make choices like going to Prom alone, with a date or with a friend. Waiting around for someone to ask you is so demoralizing! Girls are so lucky today!
Fashion report: both Rebecca and Hannah wore short dresses, and both were vintage inspired. Rebecca's looked a little like dresses in the 60's, except with an empire waist. Hannah's dress was very 50's, with swiss dots and lots of crinoline and layers.
They got ready at Rebecca's house because I was participating in the Oak Cliff Artisan's Studio Tour to raise money for their trip to Argentina (we made a dent in the ticket at least!). Ricardo picked them up and took them to Evie's house where they spent the night. All in all, a very busy weekend!
Monday, April 16, 2007
A few weeks ago we went on Spring Break. I didn' t have my camera on me and our computer was virus infected so I never got around to putting up any pictures . So here goes!
We invited Daniel to come with us, and he had never camped before. We went to Devil's Den, near Rogers Arkansas and got to visit with other cousins (Alicia, Tom and Mercedes) on the way. The weather was really pretty but cold so we had fires going every night just to stay warm. The best part for me was the hike we went on one day through some crevices and even got to see some little bats. The girls had a great time with their cousin and overall it was a really nice trip.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
What's been happening lately in Weir-dom:
- Sofia's composition won at the state level!!! We're not sure if that's where it ends or it goes onto some sort of national competition, but we're REALLY happy for her!
- Hannah and her boyfriend Pedro broke up...I won't go into details because I'm sure she'd be mortified, but I thought you'd like to know
- Nothing really new for Ricardo or I, just lots of work!
We all went camping for Spring Break--we invited Daniel, the girls' cousin who lives in Houston. We went to Arkansas and visited another set of cousins who live in Rogers. We camped at Devil's Den state park and really had a good time, mostly just around the campsite. Highlights were a hike to see some bats in a cave, renting a paddle boat, and having a nice campfire each evening.
On Friday we were so HAPPY to stay at a hotel in Eureka Springs and de-funkify ourselves, having a nice dinner and relaxing before heading back. As we left Eureka, we stopped to see Quigley's "Castle" which was really unique and interesting.
Now it's Easter weekend, and we went to Lafayette on Thursday after work and returned today. It was a short visit but lots of fun to hang out with mom and dad, my brother and his family. We came back to a really really cold Dallas. Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and Parranda Venezuela is performing for the second time at the Sacred Music Concert.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Even if only from afar it was great to see the mountains!!! Woo-hoo! It was a 2 day visit with a late arrival on Sunday night and departure early on Tuesday evening so there wasn't much downtime! I did manage a quick walk outside on Monday morning while waiting for the taxi to pick me up and HAD to take this picture. The mess of snow is still on the northern sides of Denver streets and homes.
I know I would probably get very tired of snow and cold, but when you see it so infrequently it takes on a beauty that the locals just don't understand. I wonder sometimes how things would be going for us if we had relocated to Denver when we had the chance a few years back. I guess it wasn't meant to be. No regrets, just curious.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
The weather today was so strange. A strong wind blew in from West Texas bringing with it a ton of red dirt/dust that created a funky haze in Dallas. You couldn't see past a few blocks and even the sun was blocked out!!! This created a foul and creepy mood, people were driving crazy and Hannah and I got into a big fight...needless to say, not a great day. Hannah and I went to buy groceries, we started mending things on the drive to the grocery store and fully reconciliated right there in the toiletries aisle of Central Market, tears and all. I guess it came out ok because we ended up staying home after the grocery store and doing laundry and getting the house in order, which is good because I'm going out of town again tomorrow evening. We need hazy, crazy days sometimes, just to make the other days seem more normal.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Here's what's been happening around here lately:
- We're finally taking Christmas down...the tree and all the decorations were up until today...
- Testing "season" starts very soon so Ricardo has been working on Saturdays a lot because there's a weekend tutoring program every week.
- Our garage apartment is still empty...haven't had time to put the word out.
- Hannah has a boyfriend, Pedro, they have been seeing each other for about 4 months. He's a very polite and nice young man who is a senior at Science and Engineering High School.
- Sofia is happy and relieved to be done with the High School application process, and eagerly awaits hearing whether she got accepted
Other than that...the laundry is starting to pile high, I haven't been to the grocery store in almost 2 weeks and I'm ready for a vacation!!! That is to say, we've been really busy with work and keeping up with these two fabulous teenage girls!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I don't think it was as stressful for me to apply to college or even graduate school as it has been for Sofia and Hannah to apply for High School. Here's what is required for the application to TAG (granted, the BEST high school in the nation, as rated last year by Newsweek Magazine, amazing!). Applications must have:
- Resume with back up documentation for the activities listed
- Official copy of grades and test scores
- Project highlighting a talent, with essay explanation
- Essay written by hand, on a prompt given to them
It really helped that we had been through this with Hannah already and knew to get started early. We're way too busy to be able to whip this up a few days before the deadline, which is the end of February.
Now the wait begins. She should find out by early to mid-April.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Tomorrow we're going to Cirque du Soleil!!! I can't wait!
This is one of our favorite little places to get a snack in Dallas. I try to take out of town guests here because it's so much fun and is a little unexpected in Dallas, TX!
It has some delicious little pastries such as red bean donuts and egg sandwiches and rice flour donuts with sesame seeds on them. They also have all sorts of fruit slushies, hot and cold teas and bubble (tapioca) teas--the all time favorite!!!! The BEST part about it is the little tea-rooms you can have all to yourself. Each one is different but is like a mini-living room or dining room for you to eat/drink your goodies. It's loads of fun, the kids love it because they get their own room (although they always end up cramming into ours because they are so nosy about our conversation...)
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Sofia entered a composition into the Reflections Contest, which is a PTA awards contest for art, music and literature that's held statewide. They receive hundreds of entries from Dallas school students. Her composition went to the regional level, one of 32 entries in music, art and writing. And now....it was one of two selected at the regional level to go to state!! It's an original composition, in the classical style, which she has named Copeman's Tomb (after a mountain in Wyoming). I'm so proud of her, and thankful to Ricardo, for being so musically talented. I've heard it a hundred times and still love it! The best part is that she's proud of the piece herself, and yet is so grounded. She said in her artists statement that she hopes this is the first of many compositions and that she's sure she will look back some day at this piece and think it's very basic compared to others she has done.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Saturday I taught a repujado class. Since I took some time to get organized on Friday it really went smoothly and wasn't stressful at all. Today, Sunday, Hannah and I went out all day while Ricardo and Sofia watched the superbowl. We went to the park (where I took this picture), walked up and down Jefferson Street, then off to our favorite Korean Bakery where we had bubble tea and listened in on some drama that we couldn't understand because it was in Korean (a lady and man fighting, the lady storms out and later we see her sitting in the back seat of a car, punished? banished? self-exile?). We then went to White Rock Lake where we met Shawna and Tristyn for a picnic and walk. All of couse under the guise of taking pictures for Flickr.
Hannah and I had lots of time to talk about things such as boyfriends, college, school, the meaning of life! She's maturing so fast, and is such a better person than I was at that age, kinder, funnier, more grounded. I'm so proud of who she is becoming.
Friday, February 02, 2007
Yesterday I took Hannah out to buy a new coat. The first one she's ever chosen herself!!!! They have made do with sweaters and layers these last few years, but this cold snap has really made a coat necessary. She chose a very nice camel colored 3/4 length coat with nice details like a wide collar, a-line cut and great buttons. Hopefully this weekend we will make some time to take Sofia out to buy one too.
They will both need it this summer, when it's winter in Argentina...since I talked to my mom today and we decided to send both girls with her on the trip. It will be so wonderful for them to experience that together, and to have the opportunity to see a new country and visit our family there.
This weekend is pretty busy, tomorrow is my first of 2 repujado classes I'm teaching at the Latino Cultural Center, Sofia has a birthday to go to, and she needs to finalize her application to the Talented and Gifted High School. It's not due until the 21st, but it's best to get it in sooner.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
We found out a few years ago that there's a town called Weir, TX and that made us soooooooooooooo-o happy! I drove Ricardo's mom there a few years ago when she was visiting and she loved it, we took lots of pics and ALMOST got to meet the mayor. The store manager called him and he was mowing the lawn so he couldn't come right over...and we really had to get back to Dallas! Mercedes (mother in law) insisted on showing them her ID card to prove that she really was named Weir. I'm pretty sure they had believed us before that...but it was fun to see the quizzical look on their face when it was a Venezuelan ID.
Today I stopped to pick up some t-shirts but they didn't have the girls' size, only for Mr. Weir, he's happy!
Monday, January 29, 2007
Afterwards, some of us went to a Drag Queen show, that was a blast! Those "ladies" are really talented, especially when it comes to dressing and make-up. They put us "real girls" to shame!
It was fun to hang out with Peggy and Ozy here on the home turf, show them around and take them to favorite places. One of the things I love about Dallas is the variety of places, restaurants and cultural activities we can take visitors to.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
Work has been really challenging lately because we're faced with huge budget shortfalls at the national, state and local levels. After close to 20 years of honing my programmatic skills I find myself in the situation where I have to develop a whole new set of skills to save this program that I've been working on so hard to implement.
With the newly established Texas Parent Child Initiative established to seek funds and support for HIPPY in Texas, it's time now to do just that. The next few months will see a flurry of activity as we approach foundations, private donors and corporations to partner with us to fund HIPPY in Texas. It's exciting, and scary. I feel like this tree must have felt when it was half way up the pole it's growing in...wondering if I'll ever see the sunshine.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Today would have been a good day for making stuff as we had a snow day and stayed home nice and cozy in our PJ's. I actually got some work done and caught up on all my email.
Monday, January 15, 2007
We've had a winter blast this weekend that has changed lots of people's plans, but David and Mara's wedding was ON! Luckily, all the apocalyptic prognostications were exaggerations and it was simply a very cold evening, not a blizzard and ice storm as predicted.
The church ceremony was beautiful, the bride was breathtaking, David looked puffed up with pride. The priest said that according to tradition, it was lucky to be married during stormy cold weather because it meant you would have 12 children. I'm ever so glad we were married on a sunny day...
After the wedding, we went onto the reception which was a lot of fun, with very good food, a delicious cake, and GREAT music, truly a wonderful event. Which, I should have known! I share an office with David and I've heard the wedding plans as they were made week by week and know that both of them paid attention to every little detail.
The girls had a great time, dancing the night away. It was a lot of fun to watch, and they even got us out on the dance floor a couple of times, and we have pictures to prove it! For the full album of pics that we took (all from the reception), click on this link to my flickr space: http://www.flickr.com/photos/77657818@N00/sets/72157594478260662/
Congratulations David and Mara!
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Today Hannah reminded me that last time she asked for a manicure I put her off by saying let's wait until a special occasion, and then she added, "What could be more special than my first real date." So, even though it was pouring rain, we went to get her the manicure. You might be thinking, as I did, what exactly constitutes a "real date" and should I be worried about this? She's been to the movies, to play paintball, and to hang out with other "boyfriends" in the past, so what's the difference? Well, she informed me it's only a real date if the boy picks you up. If your parents take you to the movies it doesn't count at all. Before you imagine a date that involves a candlelight dinner, let me fill you in on the plans. Sometime Monday afternoon, Pedro is going to pick Hannah up and they're going "thrifting" together to various second hand stores in the neighborhood. Then they're going to get something to eat. Hannah will of course be looking fabulous with her freshly manicured nails.
Friday, January 12, 2007
I thought I'd share this picture with you. I'm trying out the capability of posting a picture from flickr to the blog to see how it works.
I took this picture yesterday when I was in Prosper, TX for a meeting to talk about the possibility of getting HIPPY started there.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Thanks to my friend Shawna I have a new addiction, Flickr. It's a photo website that allows you to post good quality, ie. resolution, photos, with comments, tags and headlines, and allows folks to comment on your pictures. You can also join and post your pictures to groups. So far I have three albums, one for Oak Cliff, one for People, and one for Places. I've been snap happy, taking lots of pics around the neighborhood. I really like my Oak Cliff group, it's given me an excuse to stop and snap a shot of a lot of little sights around the 'hood that have caught my eye. The photo above is one of my favorites so far. Check out my pictures at www.flickr.com, search for me listed as carlamarieweir and let me know what you think!
Since I have a thing for words and for images, having a blog and a photo site is a great combination! Will I have time to work and be a parent still?
Thursday, January 04, 2007
If he is going to visit hope he's here by Saturday because Ricardo has his hopes set on having his brother join in the last Parranda. They haven't seen each other in 7 years so it would be really great if he did materialize, but he hasn't called or checked in so we're not sure what his status is.
On the other hand, we're trying to get back into a routine after the Christmas break and I know that visitors will put the kaibash on that. We'll keep you posted, bro or no bro.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The partying continues!!!! We had a great time getting together with friends and family to ring in the new year. Alicia, her husband Tom and sister in law Mercedes came in from Bentonville, Arkansas.
We made Hallacas which can only be fun if there are a lot of people around helping out, and there were! Mercedes, Sofia and I were in charge of cleaning and steaming the plantain leaves, and Ricardo and Alicia made the filling and masa.
This first picture shows the leaves being steamed (bright green) and then turning brown when they are cooked (at left of green leaves).
Then we all came together to assemble the hallacas, which is quite a feat: first each leaf is oiled (Tom), then the dough / masa is spread onto the leaf (Alicia) then the filling is put in (Mercedes) and the toppings are added (Sofia) and then the folding takes place (Carla) and finally each packet is tied with string (Ricardo)! We ended up making 50 or 60? You can see Ricardo holding up a wrapped one. After they are all assembled, they are steamed to cook the dough, and then are ready to eat! They came out SO DELICIOUS! Seriously, they were the best ones I've ever tasted, and were truly made the "old fashioned way"!
Ricardo and Sofia also made the deboned turkey with the special super rich, pork and cheese stuffing. It cooked for 10 hours...Here it is in all it's glory, trussed and ready to slice! Mercedes, Alicia and I took a field trip to IKEA that day...and got back just in time for another Parranda at Zaguan. They loved IKEA and even though we spent 5 hours there, it wasn't enough, that place is so huge and packed with good deals. We'll have to go back when they come for another visit.
Our house is almost back to normal, except Ricardo's brother Jorge and wife Cynthia are arriving today. We're not sure when they will stay until as they are considering moving here from Venezuela. I'll keep you posted...
Today was back to work and school day for us, I'm pretty tired...mostly I'm hungry! I've been used to eating and snacking all day long during the holidays, and three meals doesn't seem to be enough...
Happy New Year!