Monday, November 7, 2011

Why you'll never have to click on this blog again!

Ladies and Gentlemen.....drum roll please............

After today, you never have to click on this blog again! My sister and I have meshed our blogs together and formed From the Vine to the Urban Stack.  We'd been toying with the idea for awhile, and we finally bit the bullet and our website is FINISHED! We are SO. STINKING. EXCITED. If you like the recipes I post, the stories I share about our life, the books I read and the pictures I take, I assure you that two will be much better than one. And, all of our old posts from our separate blogs are now synced with our new blog, so you can easily find my old recipes/posts over there. So take Inside the Huddle off of your bookmarks and replace it with From the Vine to the Urban Stack.  You won't regret it.

You can also click on the blog here, here, or here, just in case you missed it. ;)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blue Bell

Thomas' only "off" day is Tuesday (doesn't really count as a off day since he still goes in for a few hours for treatment) but we always try to do something fun to get out of the apartment. This week we drove to Brenham, TX to visit the Blue Bell Ice Cream factory.  Thomas has always LOVED Blue Bell, and we decided the hour trip would be worth it.

After driving past 23490283580 strip malls (I've decided that Houston is one big strip mall) we then entered the wasteland of real Texas. Seriously, we even passed a few ghost towns. And we passed a few gorgeous farms/ranches and that made me happy to finally see, but I think most of them must be hidden far, far away from the interstate so that new folks like me think the typical ranch that you see in the movies about Texas simply don't exist, but strip malls do. We did allow ourselves 5 minutes to talk about missing scenic New England, then we moved on.

And of course, the Blue Bell factory was epic. They actually use local cows (it takes 60,000 cows/day to run the factory) so now I want to support only Blue Bell since they support local farmers. We took the tour along with a group of ladies who were pushing 95 years old. They were kind of mean and harassed our poor tour guide with questions. Thomas and I could barely make eye contact as we kept giggling uncontrollably about their comments. I even heard one of them say that Blue Bell should "make more sugar free desserts." Let's just say this lady had surely been eating quite a few desserts that contained sugar in the course of her lifetime and did not have much room to complain about sugar free desserts. No pun intended.

Everyone received a free cup of ice cream at the end of the tour, and the guide told us we were allowed to sample as many kinds as we wanted. I may or may not have taken this information to heart and sampled 5 kinds of ice cream. I don't know what got into me, but the samples were very small and I didn't finish my cup of ice cream, so don't fear for the health of our child. And take my advice and hurry to your grocery store to pick up a half gallon of Blue Bell Tiramisu....they only made one shipment of it and will not be making any more. It is a delight.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What? We're Moving! Again?

Well, we finally found a cute little house to rent in Houston. Hallelujah. However, the postal service probably isn't saying "hallelujah" as this will be the 6th time in the last 16 months that I've changed our address. I'm sure they think we are in the witness protection program or we're drug dealers or we're running from the law or something crazy like that. Once, a postal worker asked me if the move was "temporary" or "permanent" when I was filling out my paperwork. I glared at her and didn't even attempt to explain.

I've had to change our address in the following order:
1. from Clemson duplex to my parent's house while we were in limbo in Minnesota
2. from my parent's house to our apartment in North Attleboro
3. from apartment in North Attleboro to Danny and Stacia's apartment while Thomas recovered from surgery
4. from Danny and Stacia's apartment to our apartment in Foxboro
5. from Foxboro to our furnished apartment here in Houston
6. from furnished apartment to new house in Houston

And while I'm making lists, here is a list of the following things I will not miss about living in this furnished place:    

1. Having one knife with which to cut things in my kitchen
2. the African figurines
3. the awful suede couch that I've spent so many nauseated hours with
4. the dishwasher here is worthless. wretched. bane of my existence. cleans nothing.
5. the bad mattress here as neither one of us feel truly rested when we wake up  
6. the burners on the stove that smoke every time I turn them on, which in then makes me nauseated (and our new place has a GAS STOVE! so excited)
7. Black, brown, and beige decor makes me want to run screaming from the building
8. parking in a parking garage that makes me want to hyperventilate because I am terrible at parking and I'm terrified I will side swipe another car.

And of course I will leave you with 2 parting shots of the beloved African figurines. I have nightmares about them. These animals are attacking one another. WHAT. IN. THE. WORLD?

We'll be out of here in one week, but we're not counting.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My fascination with alligators

I have a strange fascination with alligators. I know... disturbing, but I just think they are incredible creatures. Now, I don't have any stuffed alligators in my house or framed pictures of alligators nor do I really even want to be that close to an alligator, but I'm always looking to SEE them in the wild. No alligator farms for me...I want the real deal. But, I'm also a 'fraidy cat and am terrified when I do see them in the wild. Yesterday was a perfect example. We decided to go to Brazos Bend State Park  where there are miles of trails through the woods and 300 alligators living all around. There were alligator warning signs everywhere and rules about what to do if you come in contact with an alligator, and I started to get really freaked out. Thomas had a heyday with this and told me in case of an emergency, he'd use an old wrestling move called Fireman's Carry to get us away from an alligator. He even demonstrated on me and I nearly had a heart attack. We only ended up seeing 3 alligators {although I was convinced more were watching us from the underbrush} and one otter/beaver, we aren't sure what it was. It was a gorgeous day and a great way to spend Thomas' day off!

 {gorgeous Spanish Moss all over the place down here}

{random picture of Fireman's Carry that I found online. Can't you see us running out of the woods like this?}

{otter/beaver, maybe you can identify?}

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Hurry to your nearest bookstore and go purchase Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It looks like this:
Or better yet, buy it off of Amazon because their price is way cheaper than what I paid at the local bookstore. But, I like supporting bookstores so do whatever makes you feel good. 

Seriously, this book is the best book I've read since The Help. It's an incredible story of an American POW during World War II. I won't give away anymore details, because Thomas says I can't talk about it without giving it away and he is reading it next. I read it on 2 plane flights plus another afternoon at home, I could hardly put it down. America, support books, and get your read on.