Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mum and I in Fredericksburg

I took mum west yesterday,Monday 23rd February, to a town that is essentially German. It was a beautiful day although windy to start with, and we had a fantastic time, eating, drinking and shopping!!!!

There was many delightful shops although geared up for tourist!, I can let you know, all you visitors, I will be taking you to Fredericksburg. It was a delightful place.

Lincoln St. wine bar- a late lunch

Sunday, February 22, 2009

more fun facts for you

Here are some little known, very interesting facts about Texas .

1. Beaumont to El Paso : 742 miles

2. Beaumont to Chicago : 770 miles

3. El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas

4. World's first rodeo was in Pecos , July 4, 1883.

5. The Flagship Hotel in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built over water.

6. The Heisman Trophy ws named after John William Heisman who was the first full-time coach at Rice University in Houston .

7. Brazoria County has more species of birds than any other area in North America .

8. Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America 's only remaining flock of whooping cranes.

9. Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson in 1978.

10. The worst natural disaster in U.S . history was in 1900, caused by a hurricane, in which over 8,000 lives were lost on Galveston Island .

11. The first word spoken from the moon, July 20, 1969, was ' Houston .'

12. King Ranch in South Texas is larger than Rhode Island .

13. Tropical Storm Claudette brought a U.S. rainfall record of 43' in 24 hours in and around Alvin in July of 1979.

Texas is the only state to enter the U.S. by TREATY, (known as the Constitution of 1845 by the Republic of Texas to enter the Union ) instead of by annexation. This allows the Texas Flag to fly at the same height as the U.S. Flag, and may divide into 5 states.

15. A Live Oak (known as Big Tree) near Fulton is estimated to be over 1000 years old.

16. Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state.

17. Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period in Dr Pepper.

18. Texas has had six capital cities: Washington -on- the Brazos, Harrisburg , Galveston , Velasco, West Columbia and Austin .

19. The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only dome in the U.S. which is taller than the Capitol Building in
Washington DC (by 7 feet).

20. The name ' Texas ' comes from the Hasini Indian word 'tejas' meaning friends. Tejas is not Spanish for Texas .

21. The State Mascot is the Armadillo (an interesting bit of trivia about the armadillo is they always have four babies. They have one egg, which splits into four, and they either have four males or four females.).

22. The first domed stadium in the U.S. was the Astrodome in Houston .

Zip code Fun in Texas

Need to be cheered up?

Happy, Texas
Pep , Texas 79353

Smiley, Texas 78159
Paradise , Texas 76073
Rainbow , Texas 76077

Sweet Home , Texas 77987
Comfort , Texas 78013
Friendship, Texas 76530

Love the Sun?

Sun City , Texas 78628
Sunrise , Texas 76661
Sunset, Texas 76270

Texas 79372
Sunray , Texas 79086
Sunny Side , Texas 77423

Want something to eat?

Bacon , Texas 76301
Noodle , Texas 79536

Oatmeal , Texas 78605
Turkey , Texas 79261
Trout , Texas 75789
Sugar Land , Texas 77479
Salty, Texas 76567
Rice , Texas 75155
And top it off with:
Sweetwater , Texas 79556

Why travel to other cities? Texas has them all!

Detroit , Texas 75436
Colorado City , Texas 79512
Denver City , Texas 79323
Klondike , Texas 75448
Nevada , Texas 75173
Memphis , Texas 79245
Miami , Texas 79059
Boston , Texas 75570
Santa Fe , Texas 77517
Tennessee Colony , Texas 75861
Reno , Texas 75462

Feel like traveling outside the country? Don't bother buying a plane ticket!

Athens , Texas 75751
Canadian, Texas 79014
China , Texas 77613
Egypt ,
Texas 77436
Ireland , Texas 76538
Turkey , Texas 79261
London , Texas 76854
New London , Texas 75682
Paris , Texas

No need to travel to Washington D.C.

Whitehouse , Texas 75791

We even have a city named after our planet!

Earth , Texas 79031

And a city named after our State!

Texas City , Texas 77590


Energy , Texas 76452


Blanket , Texas 76432

Winters, Texas

Like to read about History?

Santa Anna , Texas

Goliad , Texas

Alamo , Texas

Gun Barrel City,

Robert lee, Texas

Need Office Supplies?

Staples, Texas 78670

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus , Texas 76084

You guessed it..it's on the state line..

Texline , Texas

For the kids...

Kermit , Texas 79745
Elmo , Texas 75118
Nemo , Texas 76070
Tarzan , Texas 79783

, Texas 77665
Sylvester , Texas 79560

Other city names in Texas , to make you smile.....

Frognot , Texas 75424
Bigfoot , Texas 78005
Hogeye , Texas 75423
Cactus , Texas 79013
Notrees , Texas 79759
Best, Texas 76932
Veribest , Texas 76886
Kickapoo , Texas 75763
Dime Box , Texas 77853
Old Dime Box , Texas 77853

Telephone , Texas 75488
Telegraph , Texas 76883
Whiteface , Texas
Twitty, Texas 79079

And our favorites...

Cut n Shoot, Texas
Gun Barrell City , Texas
Hoop And Holler, Texas
Ding Dong, Texas and, of course,
Muleshoe , Texas

here are some fun facts about Texas

If someone in a Lowe's store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you may live in Texas ;

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you may live in Texas ;

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you may live in Texas ;

If 'Vacation' means going anywhere south of Dallas for the weekend, you may live in Texas ;

If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Texas ;

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live in Texas ;

If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both unlocked, you may live in Texas ;

If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Texas ;

If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph -- you're going 80 and everybody's passing you, you may live in Texas ;

If you find 60 degrees 'a little chilly,' you may live in Texas ;

If you actually understand these jokes, and share them with all your Texas friends, you definitely live in Texas .

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Alex and ben have finished their marathon for kids

Today, Saturday 21st February 2009, was the final mile of marathon for kids, so Mum, Allan and I took the boys down to The Tony Burger stadium with lots of other children and they completed there final mile. In actual fact Alex was running so fast around the track he past the finishers enclosure and kept running as he could see others still going around- but he had actually lapped the majority of the children. So Alex managed to do more than a marathon!!! This house is filling up with marathon medals, which we are all proud of.

An update on Mum's visit

I have been taking mum around more tourist sites this week, as we have more time since the marathon is over. On Thursday we went to ladybird Johnson wild flower park. The wild flowers are not really out yet, there will be more on display from March, but it was a beautiful day and we enjoyed popping down there. I had not been and it is very close to where we live, so was good to know for all you future visitors.
On Friday I took mum down to San Antonio to see The Alamo and River walk, it was once again a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun, went on a riverboat tour, we had lunch at one restaurant and then dessert and coffee at another. Lots of fun. It was more steps than mum has had to encounter here and I think her knees were glad of the Pinot Grigio we drank during the day. Certainly a more civilizes day than when we took all four children in July last year.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our ladies Luncheon

Today we went to The Salt Lick, a one of a kind Texan barbecue restaurant. It is famous for its huge barbecue pit that they cook all the meat on, in the picture you can see the 'stoker' putting more wood on the fire. It is a simple layout, huge tables, simple service and a limited menu- great place to go and enjoy yourself and have excellent food. I had arranged for a group of us to meet for lunch there, which was a lot of fun. The Salt Lick is a dry restaurant so we took our own beer and wine, and then ate a lot of meat with sides of coleslaw and potato salad. being Texan portions, we shared two desserts of cobblers-peach and blackberry between the seven of us!!
Cara was not allowed to drink-Texan law not her mothers!, so she kindly drove mum, Jo and I home- we, you see, can drink!!!! next time we might need to car pool more as Londa, Diana and Victoria all drove! We had to make this an early lunch as most of us had children to collect from school, but the day was fun, great company and the conversation flowed like the wine.

Monday, February 16, 2009

We did it!!!!

Well, we completed the course and are now enjoying an interesting way to walk( me more than Allan!). The weather was kind to us for the most part, it stayed cool and mainly cloudy, although that sun managed to poke through to bring the temperatures when we were finishing up to the 70's. - darn hot.
I am going to do my copy and paste skills now and try and bring you our official results, if it all goes wrong, Allan will here his naked call to send out a new blog entry for you with the information! so handy having a man in the house who understands these things.
1994 Allan Cochrane Austin TX USA M 40-44 41 M 4:49:08 4:58:54 2760 1852 284
1995 Tamzin Cochrane Austin TX USA F 40-44 42 F 5:05:31 5:15:17 3154 1099 157
You can see from the pictures that The family came out and supported us, and the boys can even say they ran some of the marathon!! Cara was the chauffeur for the day and did sterling work, first she took Allan and I to the start line leaving home at 0645, then back home to get the supporting crew, they set of again and were waiting for us at mile 17, and then cara took them home and came back to be at the finish line to see us through and drive us home.
I am proud of my time as it was half an hour faster than New York in 2006, and 45minutes faster than London. So I am improving!!!
Once we have all sponsor money in I will let you know how much we have raised, so far we are at $810 , but no money is in from my Lloyds account yet, as I am going to move that in one hit next week, still some cheques to clear.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The marathon is this weekend

A huge thank you to all of you who have sponsored Allan and I for the marathon- if you have not yet, worry not you still can, the sponsor page will stay open for a long time. I realise some of you have had problems with the credit card page, but thank you for persevering or sending it to the LloydsTSB a/c.
The marathon organisers worked out that valentines day was the night before, so with a good marketing head on they arranged for runners to be able to have a 'romantic pasta meal for two' at the Hyatt, and all other runners who are going for the Pasta meal will be eating at another location. Well for Allan this meant that for the first time, he had booked our valentines meal last October!! so I will be dining with about 1000 other couples, for a romantic meal. I am looking forward to tomorrow night. On sunday we will be eating Pizza, as I sure Allan and will not be moving much by then, so I have planned the meals for the weekend!! feeling good about that.

The School Valentines parties

The Austin ISD, ( Idependant school district) made February 12th the official day for all schools to hold Valentine parties. It has been another learning curve for us-a very steep one in fact. It was compulsory for the boys to send in a valentine card for everybody in there class, they had to decorate a box for all their cards and goodies to go in and they had class parties, although Alex's class also went to Gatti Town with all the 2nd graders, then came back to school to a class party.
I made every child in both the classes a love heart cookie and decorated them with their names on, but A and B got another load of candy, colouring books, pencils etc. It was amazing what was in these boxes. I will know for next year!
It was also an opportunity for me to take mum down to school and let her meet the teachers and see the classrooms. I believe she was suitably impressed, it is a lovely school.

The Birthday Party

We held a small gathering for mum, so she was able meet neighbours and friends( not that our neighbours are not our friends!!). The evening was a lot of fun and hopefully rounded of mums day to help her feel special, which she is of course.

Mums birthday Lunch

I took mum out for lunch to The Iguana, it is a Mexican restaurant out at Lakeway, so we sat and looked out at beautiful views and a depleted lake, which is 16' below its normal level for February. It was a great lunch, and we both had a margarita- house specialiality, which was enjoyed, mum did not finish hers, so we bought it home, put it in the freezer and she drank it that evening! along with her Champagne and wine. It was her 65th birthday so we held a party for her that evening as well. So a busy but fun day for mum.

It does rain in Texas

We are in the middle of a very serve drought at the moment, and a fire ban is on, but we did have a fantastic storm system move through on Tuesday night. Cara and Jack still at ages nearly 15 and nearly 19, want to run in warm rain. No account for some people. You just have to love them not understand them, that is what I have been told by my parents!

Mum and me

As I have mentioned my mum came out arriving on Tuesday 3rd of February( a day late British Airways!) and is staying a month, which is wonderful. This is a picture down at Zilker park when the boys were walking Tex, we had a small picnic down at Zilker that day, and generally enjoyed the weather and being out and about.

Tex is getting bigger

Tex is growing fast now, she is fully immunised and can go out for walks, so we took her down to Zilker park and walked her, so she mixed with other dogs for the first time, then she collapsed in Barton Springs water and just lay there lapping at the water, she would have walked about 2.5 miles, which was the longest for her, but the way she is growing that will become a short walk soon!!

So I have missed telling you about the Superbowl

The Superbowl was big out here, and every store that could sold merchandise, the food stores had all sorts of goodies, alcohol being a firm favourite as well, cookies and quick food- dips, chips, BBQ bits and pieces.
We were lucky enough to go to a friends house, Alfred and Laura, along with Jo and Alan, Christie and Thomas, so we all partied, watched the game, ate and drank. That seems to be what is expected, so I did not disappoint them. Cara drove the boys home at 7.45 as it was a school the next day, but the rest of us watched and waited, cheered and ooohhed ( me following the lead as I was no good at following what was going on on the TV!) but fun it was . I now have watched my first Superbowl and will know what to expect next year. The adverts were watched as closely as the game, they are talked about as much after wards as well, big business!

The picture of Cara and Alfred, is Cara in Alfred's bullet proof vest, he is a local Sherriff, and has taken Cara out on a ride along, Cara had to waiver all rights, and got to go on a whole shift with Alfred. Shew loved it. They did a bust on a Meth house, had to call in SWAT, did many things that I will get Cara to put an update on the blog so you all know. Things that make her mum cringe, but my little girl is growing up and wishes to be in the police force, so I had better get use to it!

How long is too long!!

I realise it has been ages since I last updated my blog - sorry about that. Life has been hectic and getting a moment or two to update has been very tricky indeed. I will try and get you all updated today. When the marathon is over, I will definitely have a lot more time. I think Allan and I will only do half marathons from now on, it just takes too much time to fit all the training in and then you all get neglected.
My mum is out here now as well, you will be getting an update with her visit and all the places we are going. Mum arrived late due to Heathrow being snow bound and a huge thank you to Alison and Paul who looked after her, collected mum when the flight was cancelled and got her back to the airport the following day. but despite the british weather trying to stop mum making it, she has arrived safely and is enjoy sunshine nad wonderful temperatures( nearly every day in the 70's so far!!)