Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Birthday Candles

This weekend...

Was Simon's 34th birthday.  It was happy, happy!  And (aside from slightly sick kiddos), very relaxing.

A cool front blew in on Saturday and it was in the mid-sixties all morning.  We opened the kitchen windows and the kids played in the backyard while we drank lots of coffee.  Ahhhhh.

I made Simon a huge Mexican dinner (at his request).  It's Pioneer Woman's Shrimp Quesadillas, and Simon's mom's Spanish rice (which is unbelievably good...I'll have to share that recipe with you soon).  Yes, very unhealthy.  But that's what birthdays are for, right?  Oh, also margaritas.  Can't have the Mexican food without those!

Blowing out the candles.  Watch Lyla's face in this progression.
"I didn't blow any out!!"
Poor Lyla.

And I'd like to share one of Simon's birthday presents:  The Best Candle Out There.  I've written about this before, long ago.  Woodwick.  They rock.  Especially their fall and winter lines.  You always know you can pick up a vanilla or a cinnamon candle at any basic grocery store and it'll probably be okay.  (Except I actually hate any and all sweet-food-related candles.  Cinnamon, okay.  Cinnamon bun with gooey maple sauce?  I feel like they make the air sticky.  Also, who wants another reason to crave baked goods?  Anyway.  Sorry for that rant.)  Back to these: really good, more complicated scents are hard to get just right.  Fireside smells like smoke, clean-soap, autumn leaves, rain...it's gorgeous.  Lighting that baby up each fall ups my happiness level by several notches.  Oh! AND they crackle, like a real fire.  Bonus!

This is my favorite, Fireside, recommended a few years ago by a high school friend (hi, Katie!).  Still the best fall-winter scent EVERRRRR.

Okay on to Simon's favorite.  Wait, first, disclaimer.  Simon is NOT the kind of guy who would normally care AT ALL about a candle.  Or spend this kind of money on one (they ain't cheap--20 bucks for a 10 ounce candle).  The story of the Candle Development is as follows:  I forced him to go with me to buy ME a candle for MY birthday last year, mostly because I wanted to hang with him, but also because my summer favorite (the Anthropologie blue volcano one), he HATES.  I used to burn it when we were dating and he always wanted to go out on the balcony of our apartment.  Only told me why after we were married, when he banned that candle from use during his at-home hours.  Soooo, I wanted one I could fire up without spoiling my joy in the candle and/or chasing him outdoors.

He obligingly smelled and sniffed and discussed all kinds of candles with me (poor guy).  And voted, unequivocally, for this:  Woodwick Redwood.

See how he's already burned through half a inch?
And then he burned it every.single. night.  All fall and winter.  He took to pouring himself a drink and settling in with candle burning right next to him.  Guys.  HE lit it.  HE took deep, affectionate breaths of the candle.  HE even began to comment on how much he loved it.

All of this was totally my goal in dragging him to that girlie store, and I was happy.

But it broke during the move, earlier this summer (all two inches of wax that were left were destroyed).  Hence the present.  Which he loves.  (But he did reject the idea of bringing one to the office.  I guess that's where he draws the man-line.)

Anyway--sorry if that was too much discussion of candles.  But...they do merit it, I assure you.

That's about it for this weekend!

My mom is coming tomorrow and I plan to show her around OKC a bit (though I make a rather inexperienced guide!).  I'll be back to share our excursions later!  Also, MY birthday is this weekend, and I've got a list of Virtual Presents I'd Give Myself If I Were a Millionaire.  See you soon!

Bonus Cutie Pie Pic:

Saturday, September 14, 2013


GUYS.  Oklahoma is different from Texas.

Didn't you know?

Loooots different.  And I intend to write a post on all the fun ways it's different, soon.  Working on it.

But for now, this.


Now, wait.  Before you think to yourself, "Oh.  Or it's just her.  And she can't drive," let me tell you.  I CAN drive.  So there.  No, but really...I'm not a bad driver.  No tickets since 2008!  No wrecks since before that.  (Despite the huge dent in my side door.  I actually didn't make that.  A tree ran into Simon.  Or so I hear.)  Anyway.  This is a cultural thing.

In Texas, I'm pretty sure that getting honked at means one thing, and one thing only:  *&*#%!!!!  It's like car-ually flipping someone off, or cursing someone out.  And people don't usually just sort of "beep" at each other.  It's almost always a long, double or triple, hate-fueled blast that puts your teeth on edge and makes your heart beat faster for several blocks after that.  It often signals a near-death experience, whether between your car and another car or you and another driver who would really like to kill you.

It's angry.

It's horrible.

I HATE HATE HATE being honked at.  Is that dumb?  I always feel like I've been super-chastened.  I try to car-slink away, and I keep tabs on the Honker until they're gone...I've even turned down streets I had no need of just to get away from Honkers.  If I hear a honk, I jump involuntarily and jerk around, desperately hoping it's not me who has incurred the honk.

Okay.  I'm not insane.  I swear.

Anyway.  It's not like it happens alot, in Texas.  Once a month?  Honking is reserved for SERIOUS emotions and/or situations.

But here.  HERE they honk ALL THE TIME.

3 instances for your consideration.  TWO of these happened TODAY!

1.  As I was pulling out of our driveway today, I was focused on not hitting Simon's car, which was parked to the left of me.  As I neared the street (NOT in it yet), I turned back to the right and saw an oncoming car.  BEFORE I hit the street, I quickly stepped on the brakes.  AFTER my car had come to a complete stop, that car swerved a HUGE swerve to the left (as in, into potentially oncoming traffic), and then after it had gone past my house and well gone, it HONKED.  WHaaaaat???  What did THAT honk say?  "I saw you almost not see me and I swerved and way overcompensated for your proximity BUT I still know you could have backed into me at 2 miles per hour!"  ummmmm....what?  Yet, still, I was blushing and sweating and super embarrassed.  Honking stress!

2.  Leaving the (very crowded) mall today, I got Lyla into her seat, and got into mine.  I reached into the passenger side to grab phone and arrange my things a little before I pulled out.  As I did so, the car behind me, which had pulled up and was waiting to take my space, honked.  A little "beep!" honk.  And I JUMPED out of my seat and did the whole look-around-ashamedly-even-though-I-have-no-idea-what-I-did thing.  And there was this nice lady, sitting, waiting.  She'd just good-naturedly honked at me!  I had no idea that was POSSIBLE, but there she was, just letting me know she was there!  So...what does one DO at that point?  I had this insane urge to honk back, just a little "Hi!  I see you there!  Coming out soon!" beep.  What in the world...?!?  But still too much in Texas mode, I sped (safely) out of that parking lot as fast as I could (again, safely and DRIVING WELL), horrified that I just been honked at for the second time today.

3.  This next one encompasses the 32 times I have been honked at at red lights, waiting to turn, etc, over the past few days.  It's CRAZY.  It's as if they have NONE of the same context for honking as we do, 100 miles to the south.  Not meant to be offensive or even impatient, just...little, communicative honks.

Yall.  This FREAKS me out and I drive around in a constant shame-haze, hyper-aware of my driving, worried that I've become the worst driver EVER.

Yes, it's me.  I'm the one with the problem.

But still...honking.  Do you do it?  Lots?  Or do you reserve it for emergencies?  And...shouldn't we??  If you honk all the time, if you become immune to the Honk, what happens when we REALLY have an emergency?

I am not a fan of the overuse of the honk.  Maybe it's just the Texan in me.