Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Steamed Fish

The other day we steamed a fish. This is relatively newsworthy because steamed fish is one of my (Ben's) favorite foods and we've been wanting to try to cook it for awhile. Here's our first attempt:

If you're not Asian, seeing a whole fish like that probably freaks you out. But to us, it looks delicious. It actually was pretty good. Just add steamed fish soy sauce you can get at your local chinese grocery store, green onions, garlic, some hot oil and ten minutes in the steamer. The coolest thing was that we bought the fish at this big cheap grocery store near where we live (it's like the Massachusetts version of Houston's Fiesta) frozen for like $1 per fish (we bought two). And even though it was frozen, it still tasted pretty good. You gotta love cheap grocery stores where you can find cheap, unconventional food. In other words, food that minorites eat. :) Best $2 I've spent in a while.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

More Sleep-Talking

And now another tale of my husband's hilarious sleep-talking. (I apologize for those of you who might not find these stories as amusing as I do.) And this time I tried responding to see what he would say.

*Note: Unfortunately I do not remember all the exact words of what he said. But the following account captures the gist of it, and the last part is totally accurate.

Sleeping Ben: "It might be positive or negative...(gasp!)"
Awake Rachel: "What?"
Sleeping Ben: "But if you put two scoops together..."
Awake Rachel: "Scoops of what?"
Sleeping Ben: "Ice cream."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Lot of Snow

Our home under a white blanket - the snow is here!

Well, the snow has arrived and this Southern girl is getting baptized by fire. OK, maybe not that bad, but it's definitely a challenge!

As you probably heard on the news, we got a share of the winter storms that have been moving across the northern part of the country. We woke up Monday morning to a solid blanket of snow on everything - it looked like a few inches, but weather.com says it was only 1.16". I think the perceived depth was created by the plowing. One thing I didn't think about was how the plowing of the roads and the driving lanes of parking lots creates huge piles of snow on the sidewalks and in the parking spaces. This created two issues for me during the day. The first was that we didn't have a shovel, so I couldn't clear the area behind my car to back it out more easily. I ended up trying to just flatten out the area a bit by kicking and stomping the chunks of snow and ice and breaking them up with my ice scraper (which I broke later that night trying to do the same thing in preparation for the next morning). The second issue was that I had to do a lot of zigzagging on the sidewalks as I walked from my car to my office, because in some places the plowing had created 1- or 2-foot piles of snow, which were quickly becoming slippery ice blocks.

The driving itself really wasn't bad - it was basically like driving in rainy weather, but now that the ice and snow have started to accumulate, I'm finding the need to be more and more cautious (maybe I'm wrong, but you can't be too careful, right?). I got the most scared during the day when I got home and found the seminary parking lot to be somewhat slippery, and it took me about 15 minutes to maneuver the car into our parking space. It probably wasn't as dangerous as I thought, but once again, there's never too much caution for a snow newbie like me.

Before we went to bed, Ben and I ventured outside again to try and clear off our cars and the space around them to keep some of the snow and ice from accumulating too much at night. This morning Ben was a wonderful husband and went outside to clear off, warm up, and move the car for me (so I wouldn't have to go all-terrain on the built-up piles again) before he went to class. He also graciously went out and bought a big shovel, a new ice scraper, and a smaller collapsible shovel that I could keep in my car. Thanks, Ben!

Other comments on the first couple of snow days:
- My arms and hands were almost unspeakably sore from all the scraping and shoveling. I felt like I had just done Dragon Boat again.
- The snow is definitely really pretty, and I know it just takes some getting used to. But as one of my co-workers said on why she likes Texas more than New England - "At least you don't have to shovel humidity."
- Everyone at work obviously kept saying this was mild. Yikes. Please keep us in your prayers!

OK, enough rambling. Here are more pictures.

My bootprints

Trying to defrost my car

A freezing Longhorn

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Thanksgiving in Houston

I'm a little late in posting on this, but it's been a busy and tiring week since we returned from our trip to Houston for Thanksgiving. We were there from Thursday to Monday, and it was a great time of visiting with family and friends - it was the first time we'd seen most of them since we moved in August. The weather was cooler than we expected, in the 50s or so, but I discovered that I'm becoming a "cold snob" - that is, whenever I heard people talking about how cold it was in Houston, I wanted to say, "This is nothing!" And I'm sure in the summer, when all the New Englanders are complaining about temperatures in the 80s or something, I'll be like, "This is nothing!"
I digress. Aside from hanging out with family and friends, we also enjoyed eating some good food like Quan family potluck items, dim sum, Korean food, Tex-Mex, barbeque (REAL southern BBQ!) and Whataburger. I should clarify that decent dim sum and Korean food are available up here, but not easily accessible from where we live. We also went to a Rockets game. And we drove around in my mom's car and enjoyed the use of feeder roads (aka access/service roads) and the lack of rotaries/roundabouts.

As usual, here are some photo highlights from our trip:
Auntie Rachel and Victoria

Cousin Ben and Nate enjoying some Whataburger

Girls at Seoul House

Guys at Seoul House

Rockets game

Me and my friend Tamara from my Rockets days

Ben and CBC high school boys

Me and CBC high school girls

Our goddog, Russy

Tasty baby back ribs