28 April 2007

A San Antonio Special

Today we got to participate in a unique San Antonio event. Every spring, River City celebrates Fiesta with parades, music, dancing, and cascarones. If you don't recognize the term, imagine easter eggs, but with the egg poured out, and filled with confettii. The proper way to use a cascarone is to burst it over a friend's head, showering them in confettii.

Personally, the traffic and the crowding I feel are enough to keep me away from most events, but there was one we couldn't miss. This morning we saddled up and headed into Alamo Heights for the Fiesta Pooch parade.

Even though L. is still a pup, he is already 35 pounds and pulls at his leash like a horse. We were not entirely sure how he would react to several hundred other dogs, some of them in costume, but he did us proud.

We saw lots of poodles of different sizes and colors. The adult standard poodles were a good preview of how much bigger L. is going to get.

We got to see a wide variety of breeds, including a Georgia bulldog.

There was a hound with a big hat and guns.

And something I've never seen before called a kerry blue in a fuzzy hat.

Every year fiesta has a court of local celebrities. The princesses and duchesses wear ornate, detailed gowns that cost as much as $40,000. Miss Fiesta San Antonio showed up as well as King San Antonio who got to meet his bulldog twin.

The master of ceremonies for the day was San Antonio's own Helouise author of the Hints from Helouise column.
Some of the dog mommies go to extremes with outfits and makeshift floats built on toy wagons.

I can't figure out how they get the dogs to sit there on their thrones and keep them from tearing off their outfits.

So that's all for now. I'll say goodnight and float off into the horizon like this poor pooch hanging from helium balloons.

21 April 2007

An impressive artist-surgeon!

Saturday, Hmmm, perfect. I turn the beeper off for about 4 days/month. These days are phenomenal when they come! Texas is cool and breezy, and chores are all done. B is playing clarinet upstairs. The notes of the solo he is practicing float down, punctuated by the barely audible chirps of his metronome. R is battling the Emperor in Lego Star Wars and I'm just pushing back the time until I have to write another 1500 words for my Disaster Planning memo.

Found a gem in my email: a trusted surgery colleague revealed that he did a little painting, and I was blown away by his work! Here is his online gallery:
For comparison, here is what a much less talented surgeon (me!) is capable of. Here is an illustration I drew for a recent article:

It is hard sometimes to have outside interests as a surgeon, but it keeps me sane! I've found that the best activities are the ones that I discover with my boys. There is no way that I'm going to use free time to do something away from family when surgery takes me away from them so frequently.

I've followed B into fencing:

And we get the whole crew out for geocaching:

Geocaching is using a global positioning satellite receiver to find hidden caches in the woods. Notice in the picture above the small box hidden in the crack in the rocks. If this idea is totally foreign to you, you can find out more here:


There are even some geocaches placed near our hospital in Iraq, so when I'm away from my family again later this year, I can find a few on days when we are blessed with few casualties.

Until that time come, I will be spending as much time with my family as I can. I guess that memo can wait a little longer!