Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Weir Country Storage

Kick out clutter...
Originally uploaded by carlamarieweir.
I think I would be more motivated to "kick out the clutter" if this fabulous storage facility with my OWN name on it were closer to me...

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

Dinner at Ali Baba

Dinner at Ali Baba
Originally uploaded by carlamarieweir.
My friends Peggy and Ozy were visiting from Colorado this past week and we went out to dinner with some of our Dallas / Venezuelan friends, at a middle eastern restaurant! It was a lot of fun and delicious! It's called Ali Baba, and is one of the first restaurants I ate at when I moved to Dallas, and has remained a favorite.

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

Apartment Vacancy

Apartment Vacancy
Originally uploaded by carlamarieweir.
Our apartment is empty!!! We used it a little over the holidays since we had family and friends visiting, but it's time to get it rented out. I know I need to get up there and take pics and work on it...I just never make the time. I guess I need to set a deadline for myself, and surely if I post it here it will shame me into getting it done. Ok, in the next 2 weeks I will take pictures and post them on craig's list and cityleases as well as make a little flyer to put up in Bishop Arts.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Grow Where You are Planted

Originally uploaded by carlamarieweir.
I saw this tree-borg looking thing today. Wow, mother nature really figures things out! That got me to thinking about life and how the biggest choice you have is how you react to the things you don't have ANY choice about...

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

Moon Lightswitch

Moon lightswitch
Originally uploaded by carlamarieweir.
I've been so engrossed in this flickr stuff lately that I've somewhat abandoned the other artistic interests I have, making jewelry, making beads, repujado. The cold weather is partly to blame. My little studio in the laundry room is bone chillingly cold right now and I really don't want to fill up our dining room table with art stuff. While perusing flickr though I found a crafty group that posts pics of stuff they make, and I couldn't resist finding some of my past work to post. Maybe tomorrow I'll go and buy a heater for the studio so I can get back in there and let go of the computer for a while.

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

Drip Drip Drip

Drip Drip
Originally uploaded by carlamarieweir.
Another cold and rainy day but not the apocalyptic ice storm the weathermen have been predicting. After doing some work and attending a meeting I came home and took Sofia and her friend Ana to see a movie. They wanted to see Pursuit of Happyness, with Will Smith and his real life little boy playing his son in the movie. That is one adorable little boy. We really enjoyed the movie and the tear ducts got a nice cleansing, drip drip drip.

Winter Wedding

La Familia, originally uploaded by carlamarieweir.

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:

Congratulations David and Mara!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Manicurist Altar and First Real Date

Manicurist Altar, originally uploaded by carlamarieweir.

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

Six Flags for Gerald Ford

Six Flags for Gerald Ford, originally uploaded by carlamarieweir.

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

Impromptu Photo Shoot

Today, after several weeks of back to back planned fun I went for an impromptu photo shoot and then a movie with Shawna. We dropped by a nearby cemetery where Clyde Barrow is buried, and took the shot above. It was really interesting, full of old (for Texas) graves dating back to the 1800's. There's a historical marker that talks about the historical significance of the cemetery and one sentence stating that Clyde Barrow (aka Bonnie and Clyde) is buried there but it's kind of downplayed. Someone had visited recently and scattered loose change on the gravestone and left a Mexican ceramic cup with some coffee or something in it. I was reminded of my cemetery-hopping days with my friend Susan Cain when we were in graduate school. We loved to go to the local cemetery and scan the grave stones, making up histories and dramas.
Shawna and I went downtown and took a few more shots and then had to find indoor pursuits because there was no more light and it turned very cold! So, we went to see the Good American or something like that with Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon, it was ok, not great.
Now that we're both hooked on Flickr I predict more photo shoot forays, it was fun!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

New Addiction

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, 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

No Bro

Ricardo's brother was supposedly arriving yesterday but...he's still not here, and somehow we are not alarmed. Since we found out casually through their aunt that he was coming to the US to visit us I guess we'll see him when we see him...

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

Happy New Year

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!