Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Take a stroll through my neighborhood

I'm sorry that I haven't been blogging much. My days have been slipping into weeks. We've been trying to adjust to the new school schedule and studying around our daily obligations. It's been quite an adjustment but we are hanging in there.

I knew once my husband started law school I would have to take on more responsibilities. We've been there before when my husband was in Grad school. However, we were also 10 years younger than too. This time around is much more exhausting. However, it's just for a season. A season that will last 3 long years but just as season to say the least. It's amazing how much older I feel just after 10 short years, Ha!

We've been trying to exercise more to give us an extra energy boost throughout the day. Spending hours in a chair studying is not good on the ole body so I suggested that my hubby take a break every so often and work out on the bike, lift weights, or go for a long walk. This evening we had a beautiful sunset so we decided to walk around the neighborhood. I brought my camera as I'm still trying to learn how to use it. I was pleased with the pictures and thought I'd share with y'all.

I must say that I enjoy living in this neighborhood very much. I know almost all my neighbors now and it just fits us (personality wise). I'm really looking forward to see what the neighborhood will look like during the fall. Jackson actually gets all four seasons. I haven't had all four seasons in years. Back in Texas we only have two seasons; hot and hotter. I'm really anxious to enjoy a cool brisk holiday this year.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


My hubby started school last week but spent most of the time in orientation. This is the time where they meet the professors, staff, Dean, and other students. It is also when they get their schedules, books, and photos taken. They ended orientation on Thursday so my husband had Friday off. We decided to seize the opportunity and take a impromptu road trip to Memphis. We had heard that it was "Elvis Week" and considering that I have never been to Graceland my husband decided it was the perfect excuse to go.

The house was much smaller than I had originally imagined it to be. Just like the Southfork House out of Dallas. I really like the living room of this home. I even tracked down a picture of Elvis playing guitar on the sofa. 

Check out the Peacocks!!!

Elvis had heard that the President had three televisions in his office to watch all three networks at the same time. He decided that he wanted to do the same. That is why he had three televisions installed in his den.
This is his record room. I almost laugh at the thought it is called a room. It's more on the scale of a small house. You wouldn't believe all the awards he had received over his career. I don't think I've ever seen so many in my life.
I really love these jumpsuits. I told my hubby that I think he should start wearing them around campus. That and some big gold Elvis sunglasses. He could become the Elvis attorney, Ha!
More records and awards

One of my favorites to tour was his car collection. I'm a huge classic car fan and I was excited to see all the unique vehicles he had in his collection. Although, I was disappointed that I wasn't allowed to use a flash inside. The room was very dark and my pictures didn't turn out very well. However, I did take a picture of this classic beauty.
Another section of the tour was his famous wardrobe. I had to get a snapshot of this shirt and jacket.

A lot of people do not realize that Elvis was not from Memphis, Tennessee. He was actually born and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi. His family relocated to Memphis when he was 13 years old. His twin brother, Jesse, died at birth. His family was very poor and often had difficult times trying to make ends meet.
His mother, Gladys, took Elvis to church. This is where he began singing gospel music. He was only 10 years old when he entered a contest at the Mississippi-Alabama fair. He sang, "Old Shep," and won 5th place. For his birthday that year he received his first guitar. He said, "I took the guitar, and I watched people play a little bit. But I would never sing in public. I was very shy about it."

He didn't have any friends at school. He would bring his guitar and play at lunch. He was considered the "trashy" kid that played hillbilly music. In November 1948, his family moved to Memphis. They couldn't afford a house so they lived in a rooming house until they were able to move into a two bedroom apartment (considered public housing).  He began playing guitar with a few boys he'd met in his Junior year. They even started playing on the infamous Beale Street (known for blues). B.B. King said he knew Presley when they both us to frequent Beale Street before they became famous.

In his senior year he entered a talent show, "I wasn't popular in school....I failed music-only thing I ever failed. And then they entered me in a talent show....when I came onstage I heard people rumbling and whispering and so forth cause nobody knew I even sang. It was amazing how popular became after that."

It was August 1953, when Elvis walked into Sun Records. He failed the audition. He ended up taking a job as a truck driver for Crown Electric Company. On a hot July night, Presley was about to call it quits as he was finishing up a audition."All of sudden, Elvis just started singing this song, jumping around and acting a fool, and then Bill picked up his bass, and started acting a fool, too, and I started playing with them," said Winfield "Scotty" Moore. Three days later a popular Memphis DJ played their song and people were eagerly calling in to find out who he was. Did you know that one of his first major shows was in Houston, Texas? Just thought I'd throw that out since we just moved from Houston.

Ok, and since I resided in Austin, Texas for nearly 6 years I must add that Priscilla and her family lived in Austin prior to leaving for Germany (where she met Elvis). Her father was a US Navy Pilot and moved the family to Wiesbaden, Germany. She would visit the Eagles Club (a hang out for Americans) and listen to the jukebox. There she would write all of her friends back home in Austin.

She met a friend, Currie Grant, who said he knew Elvis. Elvis was deployed to Germany during this time. Her friend Currie Grant asked if she would like to meet Elvis but she told him she would have to ask her parents approval. She was only 14 at the time. Grant assured her parents that she would be well chaperoned. On September 13, 1959, during an evening party at Elvis' house, they met. He immediately was stricken by her and said he felt "awkward, embarrassed" like the boy next door in front of her. They were married on May 1, 1967 in Las Vegas.

Look at Lisa Marie's baby clothes

I love her maternity dress

This was his private jet "Lisa Marie" where Lisa Marie spent her 9th Birthday. It was really impressive to see

Hope y'all enjoyed my tour of Graceland.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Y'all, I'm so excited about ABC's new television show, PAN AM. I've been waiting all summer to see it and now it's finally coming out. Have you seen the clip yet? If you watch the clip be sure to click the pause button on my ipod located on the side bar before playing.

I practically love everything about this era. Sometimes I think I am truly living life in the wrong decade. How much fun it would have been to be in my twenties/thirties during the 1950s and 1960s. I love the clothing, vehicles, houses, music, etc...

Christina Ricci is playing one of the main character's, Maggie.

When I was a little girl my parents would fly my sister and I back to Texas to visit our grandmother. We would fly all the way from California to the Lone Star solo. It was safe to do that back then. We'd get to sit up front near the flight attendants. They would always give us those gold plastic Junior Pilot wings. I would collect them and pin them on my bulletin board above my desk in my room (wish I had them now).  Then during the flight we were always introduced to the pilot. It was really something else for us to go into the cockpit. That was always my favorite thing to do is to talk to the pilots. After we were seated the nice flight attendants would serve us peanuts and Sprite. I remember thinking to myself how beautiful they were. I use to day dream that I would grow up to be a flight attendant or pilot.

I thought it would be fun to see pictures from the flight attendants from the 1960s. That is when they took their profession a little more seriously than they might today. When I think of flight attendants today I immediately envision the flight attendant that screamed at the passenger, opened the emergency exit, grabbed a beer and slid down the emergency slide all while flipping the bird to an entire plane full of passengers. Oh my, have things changed.

Even the advertisements were classy and elegant.

I would have loved to have had this type of customer service when I've flown to Europe. I've only flown out of San Francisco to Europe. My goodness, that is a LONG flight. I'm hoping that our future flight will be much better considering that we are now closer to the East Coast.

Do you remember when people would actually dress up when traveling? Now I see people in pajamas with dirty slippers walking through the airport (gross). I do believe dressing comfortable for a long flight but SLIPPERS?!!! What I would give to have someone from this era travel in time to see what I see  now. Wouldn't that be fun to see their reaction.

Look at those seats. Plastic? I can't imagine sitting on them during a flight to New Orleans or Houston. With the humidity index so high you'd stick those seats in the summer.

Airline travel was so much better before 9/11. I hate what it has evolved into today. I dread flying these days because of the hoops you have to jump through just in order to get to the terminal. I know we need security and all but seriously they have reached a whole new level.

What are some of the things that you miss about flying these days? I'd love to hear them.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Red Beans & Rice

I'm finally sitting down to catch up on blogging. It has been a busy summer y'all. I've been trying to get the house settled, help my husband with the business, and to prepare for his first year of law school. We've heard that the first year there is a lot of reading involved. I've been warned by our friends who are attorneys to expect to never see my husband. He'll be MIA at the school library and if he is home; he'll have his nose stuck in a book. He starts school on Tuesday so please keep us in your prayers for a successful year.

This is what I'm imagining this next few years is going to look like.

It's been so hot that I haven't been wanting to cook much. We've been eating light such as turkey sandwiches, salads, and fruit. Although, the other night I decided to make Louisiana Red Beans & Rice. If you're from or familiar with the New Orleans area you'll recognize this signature dish. It's traditionally served on Mondays. It goes back to when Louisiana was controlled by the French. Napoleon had sugar crops down in Haiti and during the slave rebellion most of the wealthy sugar planters fled to Louisiana. They brought back the red beans from the Caribbean. Red Beans & Rice was created in the kitchens of New Orleans French Quarter. It's roots are Creole not Cajun but over the years has become common in Cajun cuisine as well.

Now why is it served on Mondays? Women did not have the state of the art kitchens and appliances we are blessed with today. Serving a meal took many hours of preparation. Sunday was nearly a holiday feast itself and Mondays were a big cleaning day (scrubbing all the pots and pans from Sunday Supper). The plantations ran on a cooking/cleaning schedule and since Monday was a cleaning day they could let a pot of beans cook on the stove for the entire day while attending to their chores. It was just something that has been passed down from generation to generation. If you happen to be in New Orleans on a Monday and plan on eating out you'll see most of the specials as Red Beans & Rice.

GiGi's Red Beans & Rice

  • 1 lb. red beans
  • 1/2 lb. sausage (Louisiana hot links)
  • 1/2 lb. chicken (I shred my chicken into bite size pieces)
  • 1c. sweet onion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 c. of chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 lg. bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 c. okra
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Tony Chachere's Cajun Spice to taste (I use lots to give it a kick)
  • 1 box of Zatarain's Dirty Rice or Konricko white rice (best rice in the world)

Place the red beans in a large bowl of water and let them soak. I typically leave them in the bowl overnight or 3 hours (if I want to prepare the same day). Remove bad beans that float to top and rinse. Drain water and place red beans in deep pot with 6 cups of chicken broth. Bring to boil and remove from heat, cover and let set for 2 hours. Put back on stove at moderate to low heat.

Cook sausage and chicken separately in a large skillet. While meats are cooking, saute in virgin olive oil, sweet onion, celery, and okra. Sprinkle a dab of garlic powder over the vegetables. After vegetables are fully sauteed add them to the beans and broth. Also, add the sausage and chicken and cook on low heat.

Meanwhile, add your spices and bay leaf. Stir occasionally every 2-3 hours, until beans are tender. Cook rice in rice cooker according to directions. Serve hot over rice.