Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 30, 2011

As a journeyman through life on a never-ending quest to discover the true purpose and meaning of life, I paused last night to question ... what's wrong with eating raw cookie dough?

I'm standing in the kitchen eating a slice of raw dough (note that I was standing so there weren't any calories involved). In my other hand is the package, which clearly instructs: PLEASE DO NOT EAT RAW COOKIE DOUGH. I'm assuming it's because there are raw eggs in the dough. Wrong! NO PRESERVATIVES. Really? Here are some of the ingredients in the dough: thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, sodium aluminum phosphate. Instead of no preservatives, the label should read: Too many chemicals and not enough natural ingredients. I'm happy that I lived through the night after ingesting the yummy dough, but hope you don't consider my ability to digest the dangerous ingredients as an endorsement for living on the wild side.

Today I'm creating thank you notes, and maybe eating more raw dough. Danger Will Robinson. Danger.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 29, 2011

I made an uncharacteristically brave decision last night to remove the bandage on my finger. It had been wrapped up since I sliced off the tip on Saturday morning. I thought it was time to put on my big-girl-panties and unveil the injury, just to make sure it was healing properly.

Mr. B cut off as much of the bandages as he could. Then I soaked the rest in water until the gauze fell away from the cut. I was so proud of myself, until I looked at the wound. Mr. B said it looked worse than he thought it would, at which point I almost threw up. The rewrap we did on my pinky looks like the mummified head of Gumby, if you can imagine that visual. Not sure how we got that shape, but it will have to do for now. I don't know when I'll muster  the courage to remove the bandage again! Not only did the wound look nasty, but it throbbed for hours because we messed with it.

Today I'm creating sponsorship letters, reviewing a newsletter before it gets printed, and then planning a reception for Sandra York. She a terrific friend and neighbor, as well as a wonderful artist who is having a showing on July 9. Mr. B and I are hosting a reception after her opening to celebrate her success. Nothing I love more than a good party!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 28, 2011

This morning is the burial service for Mr. B's mom. It seems so wrong because just one week ago her health was improving. Her blood pressure was down and the doctor was talking to the family about sending her to rehab for a few weeks to rebuild her strength. Since she died last Wednesday, we just keep telling each other that she's in a better place.

Before his mom went into the hospital on June 17, Mr. B and I had plans to leave for Santa Fe today and stay through July 4. I've heard from friends that the air is smokey and gray from the fires in northern New Mexico. The air is normally so clean and fresh there.

Today I'm creating a grocery list that includes Oreo fudge cremes. Have you seen the television ads? They look tasty!

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011

I just realized that I didn't post yesterday. I'm blaming the pain pills, which kept me fuzzy and sleeping most of the day. I'm surprised at how much the tip of my pinky hurts. Leave it to Dr. Mc to remind me that there are many nerves in the tips of fingers. So instead of blogging yesterday, I ate everything I could find. I should have blogged — it's less fattening.

Mr. B and Missy are beginning to go through everything in their mom's apartment. He said she saved every card she ever received. I do the same thing. The birthday cards I received just a week ago are still on my bedside table. Inside the card Evan gave me this year she wrote, I love you more than a homeless person loves malt liquor. I know, I've done the research. Such a random comment. Who thinks of something like that? I can't throw the card away!

Today I'm creating clean closets. It always seems to happen that at the last minute before people come to the house I start throwing things (mainly shoes) in the bottom of the closets. Tell me I'm not the only one who does that.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

June 25, 2011

Funeral services for Mr. B's mom start at 11 a.m. today. My alarm barks at 4 a.m. so I can hit the floor early to finish preparing the house and making salads and sugar cookies for the lunch Mr. B and I will host after the services. Mr. B has done his part by grilling pork tenderloins last night. Even though they've been wrapped in the refrigerator all night, the charcoaled scent lingers in the house.

At 6:30 a.m., I'm pleased with my progress, that is until I slice off the tip of my pinky while chopping squash for the green salad. My latest action was not on the to-do list for this morning, so I wrap  paper towels around the finger, thinking it will stop bleeding at any moment. After 45 minutes of nonstop heavy bleeding, Mr. B insists I go to the emergency room and his buddy Keith arrives to take me. Needless to say, a trip to the emergency room wasn't on my list for today, either. 

Arriving at St. Luke's Emergency Center, I'm pleading with everyone who will listen that I must leave there no later than 9:30 a.m. I've got to get home in time to dress and attend the funeral. Amazingly, they accommodate me! The bleeding is stopped, my wound is cleaned and dressed (no stitches required because there's no skin left), and I'm home just as the pain meds kick in. The rest of the day is mostly a blur, except I did warn people to beware of the squash. Thank goodness for the love of friends and family (Kendall, Evan, Nick, Kelly M., Paula, Sandy, Dave and Kelly S.) who sprang into action to make the luncheon for 50 or so guests a success. 

Today I'm creating a blog while high on pain medication. Typing with my left hand and only the index finger of my right hand while holding my pinky upright isn't easy. But the pain meds are good. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 24, 2011

The preparations are all in place for the visitation from 6-8 p.m. tonight.

The front of her light gray suit jacket was checked for stains before its delivery along with a freshly laundered blouse. The cufflinks she gave Mr. B when he was a child were returned to secure the French cuffs on her pale pink blouse. The rosary beads he brought her from Europe were located in her jewelry box so she can hold them in her hands. (Missy wants to have the rosary beads her mother used nightly as she knelt for evening prayers.) And although she will only float across soft, fluffy clouds from now on, her children insisted her black shoes would complete her outfit.

A photo removed from our wedding album was taken to the funeral home to show how she wore her hair. Her white, recently cut and permed hair should be brushed back and styled away from her face, Missy instructed, and her makeup should be simple, with just a smudge of light pink on her checks and lips.

Mr. B selected a spray of mixed spring flowers including five roses — representing his mother, father, older brother, younger sister and himself — to adorn the gray steel casket where she will rest.

While the difficult decisions and planning are behind us, the heart-wrenching moment of seeing her – eyes closed, lips upturned with a slight smile, hands folded — is still to come this evening. While we rejoice that she rests in peace, we are left to grieve with memories of her wit and kindnesses to comfort us.

Today I'm creating a safe and comforting environment where Mr. B can grieve the loss of his mother. 

June 23, 2011

Yesterday was a sad and heart-wrenching day being with Mr. B and his younger sister Melissa (or Missy, as she is known to the family). Missy's supportive husband Larry was also with us. Although Larry and I would do anything to comfort Mr. B and Missy, for the most part we could only fight back our own tears and put on a happy face as our loved ones, two grown children, grieve for their mother. The four of us spent most of the rainy gloomy day making arrangements to bury Heloise next to Mr. B and Missy's father, who died in 1990.

The loving mother and son on
Mother's Day 2011.
During such a difficult time as the death of a parent, the comfort provided by family and friends is important. Yet Mr. B and Missy's older brother Gary, who lives in Virginia, is absent both physically and mentally. Gary has refused to accept or return his siblings' repeated phone calls. They have had to relay information to Gary through his wife Susan. Excuse after excuse come from Susan, all meant sincerely to explain her husband's seemingly heartless behavior. As a lioness would do, I want to strike out and protect Mr. B from the added grief his brother's actions are causing. But I think the honorable Mr. B's anger at his brother is for being disrespectful of their mother by not attending her funeral. Everyone grieves and behaves in different ways, and the brothers are so different!

Today I'm creating opportunities to hold Mr. B's hand as much as possible. Giving him an occasional squeeze brings a much need smile to his handsome but sad face. I love you Heloise Pettit for raising such a wonderful, sweet, and caring man. I promise to take care of him for as long as I'm able.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 22, 2011

Mr. B's mother died this morning around 5:25 a.m. Needless to say, he is devastated.

Today I'm creating support for my husband.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 21, 2011

The summer solstice or “Midsummer” happens today when a celestial alignment results in the longest day of the year. According to the Farmer's Almanac, the start of summer in the northern hemisphere is 1:16 p.m. today. I think Mr. B and I will celebrate the event with an al fresco dinner on the deck. A nice salad with grilled salmon, some good bread, and a summer cocktail. I'm thinking raspberry mojitos.
And since the summer solstice has longstanding ceremonies and rituals, I think some "spooky chic stuff" is in order. Ancient Pagans celebrated Midsummer with bonfires, when couples would leap through the flames, believing their crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump. Translation into a modern-day ritual: Mr. B and I can jump over a votive hoping for good fortune in the coming months.

Today I'm creating newsletter revisions. The monthly newsletter I wrote for June needs to be revised for July delivery. Clients ... shesh!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 20, 2011

In the endless effort to cleanout my belongs and simplify my life, I’ve run across some really interesting items. On Saturday afternoon I sat on the floor of the garage apartment pouring over a box containing some college essays. I spent a couple of hours laughing my a$$ off at some of the things I wrote 30+ years ago.

My favorite essay was a piece of thrash titled, “Themes, Motifs and Symbols Found in Paradise Lost.” I remember thinking I was being so clever using “lost” and “found” in the title. I was sure that my professor would appreciate the juxtaposition of terms in my title, since Milton used opposites throughout Paradise Lost: heaven and hell, God and Satan, light and dark, good and evil, etc. But my English literature professor apparently didn’t share my sense of creativity, since I got the opposite reaction from what I expected. I got lots of less-than-positive comments about my writing talents scribbled in red ink on the last page of my essay, followed by a big, ugly grade of C+. On my way to the garbage bin with the box of college essays, I paused for a moment as I passed by a framed copy of the introduction page from the first article I wrote for Texas Monthly magazine. My creativity may have been lost on college essays, but I found other outlets for my passion. I wonder what my ole professor was doing now?

Today I’m creating jewelry. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when lots of corporate executives are on vacation, my writing business really slows. Although I miss receiving checks in the mail, I feel lucky that I get to spend more time beading, sewing, cooking, gardening, and otherwise crafting and creating.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 19, 2011

Daddy getting ready to walk me down the aisle
on the day I became Julie Akin Pettit.

I always try to keep my blogs fairly short, but today is an exception. It’s Father’s Day and I have so much to say about my dad. There’s never been a day since he died in 2007, that I don’t think of him. Daddy wasn’t a touchy, feely man, but he was very caring, thoughtful and funny.

We moved to South America when I was three and back to Texas when I was six. I remember crying the night before we moved back to Texas because I didn’t want to leave my school and friends. Daddy came in and sat on the floor beside my bed, assuring me it was going to be OK, that I would go to a new school and make new friends. He unpacked my favorite doll so I could sleep with her. Then he stayed with me until I went to sleep.

I’ve never been a water person (don’t like to get my face wet, even in the shower). But one summer in elementary school I wanted to learn to swim and dive off the diving board. Daddy spent every afternoon after work in the pool with me, trying to teach me to swim. Once I could swim (somewhat), he would tread water in the deep end of the pool, coaxing me to dive in the pool because he would be there to catch me. 

When I was in middle school I broke my arm. My mom had to go out of town. On Saturday night Daddy washed and rolled my hair so it would look nice for Sunday school and church. Daddy had very large hands. I have his A&M ring, which falls off my thumb. Yet he sat behind me and rolled my hair with his great big hands fumbling with the pins, all so my hair would look nice.

My senior year in high school I clasped from heat exhaustion on the sideline after halftime. I don’t remember, but was told he jumped the railing to get to me. When I "came to," he was carrying me like a baby off the field to the locker room. The following week my drill team performed for the first time ever without our heavy, hot jackets.

My brother and his wife lost a baby at birth. I was staying with my nephew, who was three at the time (he is now 38). Daddy came to stay with my nephew until my brother got home from the hospital. When my nephew asked Daddy when his mom and dad would be home with the new baby, Daddy didn’t know what to tell a three-year-old boy, so he told him his parents didn’t find a baby they liked at the hospital and they weren’t going to bring a baby home. I always thought this story was sad, but funny.

Daddy was so tall that Kendall was afraid of him when she was small. He started out putting a little piece of candy for her to find in his pants pocket. After several visits he moved the candy to his shirt pocket. By that time, she would let him pick her up so she could reach the treat in his shirt pocket.

I loved Daddy's sense of humor. One Saturday morning he called early to let me know he and my mother were driving to New Braunfels to buy bacon. I ask why did they have to go to New Braunfels to buy bacon? He said Mother thought bacon tasted better after it was hauled across the state. He once told my mom that he needed to buy a new table saw. She asked why and he told her he needed the saw so he could enlarge the garage. When she asked why he needed to enlarge the garage he responded so he would have a place to keep his new table saw. The Christmas before Mr. B and I got married, my mother had been in the hospital. She was getting out in time for Christmas, so Mr. B and I went to help Daddy put up the Christmas tree. Unloading the boxes of Christmas decorations, Daddy commented that he disliked some of the decorations they had had for years. He said we should throw them away and tell Mother that Mr. B did it.

It didn’t matter how old I was, he always thought of me as his little girl and believed he was supposed to take care of me. About six months before he died, Daddy was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. About this same time, he got an infection in his spine that left him unable to walk. He hated that he was ill and I had to make decisions for him. It was never a chore or bother to me. His quality of life was gone, but I was going to make sure he had quality care in the last months of his life.

I have a grandfather’s clock, a desk and a jewelry box that Daddy made for me. I have his wedding band, his college ring, and lots of awards and recognitions he received throughout his career. And I have tons of great memories about a gentle giant.

Today I’m creating brunch for Mr. B because he’s now my father figure.

June 18, 2011

My birthday weekend began yesterday afternoon. Mr. B and I arrived at Reef early to have a cocktail before the "chicks" arrived. To our surprise and enjoyment, my nephew and his wife (Truett and Elva) were just finishing dinner. They were celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary and were off to see Chelsea Handler at Verizon. But before they left Kendall and Nick arrived, and then Evan and Raff. It was a family reunion in the bar area of Reef.

I'm in love!
The real surprise came once we sat down at our table, when who should arrive but ... wait for it ... my new BFF Chef Bryan Caswell. To all my FB foodie friends, eat your hearts out! I ADORE Bryan Caswell! Mr. B called Reef several times asking if the chef would be at the restaurant last night, and Nick tweeted him, promising that I would stop stalking him if he came to the table last night and said hello. Then, as soon as the chef was there for the photo opp, he was gone. Notice in the photo that he has on a shirt from El Real, so I'm guessing he came to Reef last night just for me, and then he was off to El Real.

After a terrific dinner, we were back to the house for Italian creme cake and champagne. Today is my actual birthday, and Mr. B and I are going to Mitzie and Bob's house for dinner.

Today I'm creating a plan of attack to meet Rick Bayless, the next chef on my must-meet list. He lives in Chicago, so meeting him may not be too easy since I've only been to the Windy City once. In the meantime, think I'll have a little retail therapy today. Happy birthday to me!

Friday, June 17, 2011

June 17, 2011

I meant to have Mr. B scan a photo of my dad so I could post it for Father's Day, but he was busy last night. He took down the fan in the master bedroom and hung a new one, but it doesn't work. Poor Mr. B spent hours doing everything possible to make the fan work — I even saw him reading the directions. All of his messing with the fan made me think about my dad, who could fix anything. Mr. B is a good handyman, but Daddy was the best.

The Thursday newspaper has listings for estate sales. I always look at the ads to see if there are any treasures I need. Sure 'nuf, there was an estate sale that started yesterday. The ad mentioned vintage bicycles. So I drove out I-10 for 30 minutes only to find out the bicycles had been sold. Damn!

Today I'm creating a dust free house. Mr. B's drilling in the sheetrock and moving the old ceiling fan around the house created dust. Can't have dust in the house because we're having dinner at Reef with the family and then coming back to the house for cake and champagne. Fun!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 16, 2011

The birthday boy receiving a smooch
from Dr. Mc.
Today is my son-in-law Nick's birthday. I've watched Nick grow from a baby-faced boy to a terrific man. He's without a doubt a mother-in-law's dream because he treats my daughter with such love and respect. Nick is handsome, sincere, fun and has the gift of gab! Mr. B and I have always been impressed with Nick's ability to connect with everyone.

Nick and Kendall met in 1987, when they were in the second grade. They "dated" for a nano second in the seventh grade, then remained friends all the way through high school graduation. Kendall talked about Nick a lot that first semester they were at UT and then they started dating at the beginning of their second semester. I was concerned about what would happen to them when they graduated, because Kendall was going off to graduate school in Denver. Then they announced Nick was moving to Denver to find a job. They lived in Denver for five years. I think one of the happiest days of my life was in 2007, when Kendall said Nick's job was transferring him, and they were moving back to Houston. They got engaged just after Christmas 2007, at our Santa Fe house, and were married on Nov. 1, 2008. Another happy day!

Today I'm creating a clean house. I can get into the routine of cleaning my own house, especially since I've promised myself a mani/pedi when the job is complete.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 15, 2011

My mother parented me by inflicting fear, shame and abuse. As an adult I came to terms with this, realizing that she did the best she could with the skills she had. She never liked/loved herself, so how could she like/love anyone else? Although I eventually forgave my mother for her lack of parenting skills, I've never grown out of the need for acceptance and approval. As a child I wanted acceptance and approval from my mother, but rarely got them. As an adult I still seek acceptance and approval, and often let them get in my way.

Sometimes I need to remind myself to make authenticity my number one priority when I go into a situation where I feel vulnerable. If authenticity is my goal and I keep it real, I never regret it. I might get my feelings hurt, but I don't feel small, flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging. When acceptance and approval become my priority and I don't get them, I get the  feeling of "I'm not good enough." Thought of the day: when I'm able to let go of who I think I'm supposed to be and am able to be my authentic, flawed but still lovable self, it's OK. In fact, it's better!

Today I'm creating a blog filled with encouragement to like myself, accept who I am, and let go of the ideas of perfection, acceptance and approval.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 14, 2011

It's late afternoon and I haven't posted today because I've been looking for the "right" words, but I'm not sure there are any for this tragedy. Shirley is a woman who works with Mr. B. and reads my blogs every day. Mr. B adores her and tells me all the time that Shirley is the finest person he has ever worked with because of her integrity, ethics and attitude. 

Sadly, Shirley lost her second adult son last night, this one to a massive heart attack. As my friends know, during the past 10 years I've buried my original family – my mother, older brother and father. As sad as this is, I can't imagine losing a child, let alone two. Shirley: May God lighten your sorrow and help you find peace.

Today I'm creating an internal newsletter (it's Tuesday), revising a newsletter article, and then ... wait for it ... eating Chinese food while Mr. B attends an afterwork meeting. YUM!

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13, 2011

My thoughts are all over the place today, so try to keep up.

On television this morning, Betty White was interviewed on Good Morning America and Sir Paul McCartney was interviewed on Access Hollywood. At 89, she's the busiest woman in show business. He'll be 69 on Saturday and is still performing/selling out stadiums. Why is it that some people have so much energy and others slow down so much earlier?

Next question: Why am I addicted to shoes? I spent hours on the computer yesterday looking at shoes. I need another pair of shoes like I need a hole in the head, but that doesn't stop me from spending a lazy Sunday afternoon ogling at them.

Final question: Why do people from Houston dislike Dallas and vice versa? While reading FB this morning it was amazing to me how many people from Houston were disappointed that the Dallas "whoevers" won the basketball "whatever" last night. I don't think Houstonians should dislike Dallasites just because our I-45 rivals have big hair and live in a hick town.

Today I'm creating a report to present at my Women of Wine board meeting this afternoon. How civilized that they meet at 3:45 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. or later.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

June 12, 2011

Let the festivities begin! Last night was the official kickoff of my 2011 birthday season. Mr. B and I went to see Woody Allen's new movie, Midnight in Paris, with Keith and Kelly. I guess Woody Allen decided he's too old to play the leads in his movies, so he cast Owen Wilson as the stammering protagonist. Owen even wore the traditional khaki pants, wool blazer and semi-crumpled cotton shirt that Woody has traditionally worn in his movies. I haven't read the reviews, but enjoyed the premise of Midnight in Paris.

After the movie we had dinner at El Real. Damn that Bryan Caswell who once again eluded me. To have my photo snapped with one of my gourmet heros would have been the perfect ending to my first birthday celebration of the year. There maybe another photo opp on Friday, when Mr. B takes the family to Reef for dinner. P.S. I'm not really stalking Bryan Caswell with my pink iPhone.

Today I'm creating online retail therapy. I don't need therapy because I'm depressed, but because a girl needs new frocks for all her birthday celebrations.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 11, 2011

Beautiful quilt made by
Wendy Hook.
Mr. B and I went to an art opening at Darke Gallery last night. Three artists were showing, including fabric artist Wendy Hook. She makes beautiful "quilts." I use "quilt" loosely because I can't imagine anyone putting one of her pieces on a bed, but quilt sounds more descriptive than fabric wall hanging? The quilts are colorful and intricate. Lots of fabric pieced together and then quilted. As someone who sews, I admire the work! Also showing at Darke Gallery is Wendy Wagner. Mr. B and I have followed her career for sometime. She's very versatile: painting, ceramics and animation. Fun, whimsical characters. Most of her work makes me smile.

After the gallery, we had dinner at The Glass Wall. I normally order a delicious salad and add a chicken breast, but last night I went straight for the chicken fried steak with lots of cream gravy, and a side of mac and cheese. What was I thinking? When we got home I put on my stretchy pants, and turned on the television. That was around 10 p.m. Since 5 a.m., when I woke up on the couch with such a heavy stomach, I've been watching Hot in Cleveland. I've never seen it before, can't really recommend it, but in the past five hours or so I've watched every episode. Good cast and famous guest stars, but not my favorite sitcom.

Today I'm creating a new necklace and bracelet. Yesterday when I was hemming the pants I wore last night, I ran across some beads that I probably bought in Santa Fe last summer. When I saw them, I knew immediately what I want to do with them.

Friday, June 10, 2011

June 10, 2011

This morning I went with Mitzie to a wine sale sponsored by the Houston Rodeo wine committee. I didn't know until a few months ago that there was a wine committee for the rodeo. Come to find out, there's a competition for wine at the rodeo just as there are for livestock, chickens, children's art and so on. The wine committee had a sale of bottles that were not sold at the rodeo this year. Mitzie and I got some really good buys, at half of what the prices would be at Specs.

On the way back from Mitzie's house it started raining. I was so excited because I thought it would also be raining at my house. How silly of me to think it would rain in Westbury and the Heights at the same time. As I was carrying my case of wine into the house, I noticed the sad bucket of umbrellas we keep on the front porch. It's been so long since the umbrellas have been out of the bucket that I think I should dust tthem.

Today I'm creating shortened pants. Mr. B and I are going on a date tonight and if I'm going to wear the pants I want to wear, they'll have to be hemmed first. Have a great Friday evening!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 9, 2011

Key bowl next to the front door.
My favorite part of Thursday's Houston Chronicle is missing today. There's a special classified section on Thursdays that includes listings of upcoming estate sales. I always like to read the details about the estate sales because I can sometimes find items that interest me: fabrics, trims, buttons, beads, old baskets. Maybe a higher power is telling me that I don't really need anymore stuff, but instead need to organize and clean up my many existing projects and treasures.

For example, take a look at the key bowl that sits by the front door. Remember that only Mr. B and I live in this house. So why do we have so many keys and what do they open or turn on? I think there are keys in the bowl to my deceased parents' house, to Evan's demolished cars, to offices I haven't occupied in years, and to houses Mr. B sold long ago. Maybe the key to me getting organized is to start with the key bowl. Did I mention that the key bowl is an expensive, collectible piece of art pottery (circa 1915)? I think I bought it at an estate sale.

Today I'm creating a distressing technique for the message bag I'm sewing. The bag will be new, but have the "this-old-thing" worn look.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

June 8, 2011

I don't understand the programming of shows on USA. Instead of having the traditional school-year season where a series runs from September to May and takes the summers off, USA produces a smaller number of shows for a season. I never know when my favorites are returning because they're staggered. Such is the case with White Collar, which returned last night. I enjoy White Collar mostly because of the contrast between stars Matt Bomer (playing a smooth criminal without smugness) and Tim DeKay (playing an FBI agent who’s neither a hard-boiled jerk nor clumsy comic relief). Fun characters and writing! Also looking forward to the return of Burn Notice ... I think it's later this month.
This morning I watched Meredith Vieira's last day on Today. Matt Lauer made the kindness statement about Meredith, which was that for someone with such a big talent, she has such a small ego. So refreshing and such a contrast to Oprah and the last days ... er, make that year ... of her send-off. Over-the-top meets humble pie.
Today is creating a yummy desert in celebration of Best Friend Day. Didn't know there was such a day, but plan to celebrate by making my best friend some brownies. Hope Mr. B enjoys them!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 7, 2011

Kendall warned me last week about making political commentaries on my blog, but I can't help myself! If the politicians are a good source of jokes for late-night comedians, they shouldn't be off limits on my blog. I promise to be an equal opportunity, bipartisan commentator so as not to offend just one group of followers and readers of my blog. Maybe I should subtitle all of these: "What were they thinking" or "Why aren't they thinking?" or maybe "Are you kidding me?" or simply "Really?" I'll work on it.

But for now ... here's what I'm currently laughing about in the political arena.
1. Pelosi formally requests Weiner ethics probe. Let's review. The man sent sexually suggestive photos of himself to women over the Internet via Twitter. His act begs the question, "Which 'weiner' was he thinking with?" He has admitted his guilt, so what is there to probe (Note: sexual inuendo intended).
2. Obama insists he's not afraid of the country slipping into a double-dip recession. Well, of course he's not concerned about a double-dip recession when Americans are still digging themselves out of the current recession. Perhaps the government wouldn't be in the "red" if Congress didn't conduct lengthy and costly investigations on representatives who admit they acted inappropriately, and then lie about their misdeeds. (See #1 above.)
3. It wouldn't be right to have this tirade and not mention Sarah Palin. It has been written that she attended five colleges, but, unfortunately, she never learned what most elementary school students can probably tell us, that Paul Revere wasn't attempting to warn the British when he rode around shouting, "The British are coming." Nor was he ringing bells and trying to protect gun rights.

Today I'm creating a newsletter draft for a client and a newsletter article for a community newspaper. Fun, fun!

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011

Today in 1944,  the D-Day invasion of Europe took place on the beaches of Normandy, France. An estimated 400,000 Allied American, British and Canadian troops were involved. I saw "Saving Private Ryan" with Mr. B and his war-movie buddy Simon and Simon's wife, Linda. While the gentlemen loved the film, Linda and I cringed through at least the first 25-30 minutes of the movie, which depicted the troops landing on the beaches of Normandy. Very disturbing to watch! I don't think I could have jumped into the water and rushed to the beach. Thank goodness there were brave men who were involved in the liberation of Western Europe. 

Years later, Simon went to Normandy. He told us it was one of the most emotional sights he had ever seen with all the white crosses on the graves of the men who lost their lives. Mr. B and I went to Paris once and I'd like to go back to France to visit the Champagne region. I know that if we go to France we'll have to go to Normandy.

Today I'm creating a new type of bag. I want to make some messenger bags out of linen. I've seen some where the linen has been distressed. I want to try making one.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 5, 2011

It's thundering outside and there are a few really big spits of rain on the ground. It would be really nice if it rained in Houston and watered the plants we planted last weekend. If it doesn't rain soon, I may have to get another job to pay for the water bill.

Not sure the magazine's definition
of "light" matches mine. 
Yesterday at the drugstore I bought the latest issue of Cooking Light. I used to have a subscription, but I guess it expired. On the cover of the magazine is a huge photo of a burger with a caption that reads: Secrets to a healthy burger. I'm really hungry for a homemade burger. The one in Cooking Light is made with lean ground sirloin, blue cheese mayo and sherry marinated onions, some lettuce and tomatoes. Sounds great, but light? Calories: 420. Fat: 21.8 grams. Hum.

Today I'm creating time for the final review of a newsletter. It's finally going to print ... yippee! 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

June 4, 2011

At 6'2", my father was a tall man who suffered extreme growing pains during his teen years. In high school he ran track and played basketball, but at night the aching in his body would often keep him awake. He said his mother would put a stool in his bed to prop up his legs. Having his legs propped up and his mother rubbing his calves and arms helped him push through the pain. This sounds strange to me because I never experienced growth spurts.

Time to turn her dreams into reality!
What isn't strange to me is the growing pains Evan is experiencing, and I wish there was something to prop up her and relieve her aching. Like Evan, I dropped out of college and wasn't able to get the best jobs because I didn't have a college degree. I was age 26 and married when I went back to college. It took me three years of night school and summer school to complete my degree. I worked full-time and even went to school when I was pregnant with Kendall. After Kendall was born, whatever I was reading for classes was her bedtime story. I was enormously proud of myself when I graduated in August 1981, from the University of Houston.

I know Evan's pain of not being able to get a good job because she doesn't have a degree, and wish I could do something to help her, as my grandmother helped my father. I wish it was comforting for her to know that other people have experienced what she is going through.

As a curly red-headed girl with big blue eyes and freckles used to say when she got frustrated, "It's just not fair." No, Sweetness, life isn't always fair or easy. Life is full of growth opportunities. Throughout your life you'll keep growing and being frustrated and challenged. But there will be better times when you experience enormous pride because you were able to push through the pain, grow and achieve your goals. It's OK to be frustrated, but never give up! You'll make it back to college, graduate and find a rewarding career. In the meantime, there's a job for your quirky self out there. And whoever hires you will be lucky to have you.

Today I'm creating a heart-felt message to my youngest daughter, trying to support her through growing pains.

Friday, June 3, 2011

June 3, 2011

Political news today, which makes for good commentary. First, John Edwards has been indicted over $925,000 spent to keep his mistress and their baby in hiding during his 2008 campaign for president. There are six counts, including conspiracy, illegal campaign contributions, and false statements. Negotiations between Edwards' attorneys and federal prosecutors to settle on a charge to which Edwards was willing to plead guilty failed because the Feds insisted on a plea to a felony, which would endanger Edwards' ability to keep his law license. Let me just say this about that: yes, what Edwards' did was illegal, but in the big scheme of things is this expense really necessary? The expense for the Feds to investigate and try this matter is probably more than $925,000. Why didn't John Edwards write a check for $925,000 and be done with it? Does Edwards really think he still has a legal career? I'm hoping Elizabeth Edwards is sitting on a big fluffy cloud laughing her ass off!

Next, in breaking news, Mitt Romney announced yesterday what any perceptive American has known since August of 2008: he's running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. "Mitty" is my guy, at least for now.

You can still sign up to participate
in the Houston Heights Fun Run,
which takes place Sat. June 4, 2011.
Today I'm creating time for volunteer work. The Heights has its annual 5K fun run tomorrow. Since I'm not a runner and there's no way I'm getting up to hand out water at 7 a.m., I'm working packet pick up this afternoon at Luke's Locker on W. Gray. You can still register, if you're interested.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June 2, 2011

Just got off the phone with Evan. Not sure, but I think she
may have done away with her asymmetric hair cut.
Good idea when she's looking for a job.
All the different weather patterns in the U.S. are very disturbing. Certain parts of the country are flooding while other parts (including most of Texas) are suffering from a drought. Wind storms are also everywhere, except Houston where the air is so still. Record high temperatures in Houston yet it was snowing in Santa Fe two weeks ago. And what's up with the massive amount of tornadoes? I think about tornadoes occurring in Kansas and Oklahoma, but in Philadelphia and Boston? All the weather anomalies make me fearful of hurricane season, or should I say more concerned than normal.

I was up early again this morning. It's a whole new life! I got work done on the computer first thing and then had an early lunch with a friend at Tiny Boxwood. I really like that place. Now I need to run an errand and then get to a client's office for a meeting.

Today I'm creating a press release. I really think of what I'm creating as more of an event announcement going to potential conference exhibitors, but if the client wants to call it a press release, so be it. Another full day of mostly work related projects, which I hope translate to mucho dinero for my time in Santa Fe this summer. Si, si!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 1, 2011

Beautiful purple-spotted orchid I received this morning.
There are good things to be said about getting up early. For example, I got up today around 7:30 a.m. While still in my pajamas, I dusted, vacuumed, cleaned the guest bathroom and finished cleaning the kitchen ... all before 9 a.m. Between 9-10 a.m., I had a shower, dried my hair, got dressed, ate breakfast and started working on the computer. In contrast, I normally wake up when Mr. B leaves the house around 8:20 a.m., but just laze around until noon or 1 p.m. Look at all that's possible when I get cranking in the morning!

I was motivated to get up this morning and do housework because a woman who was in Santa Fe with her husband last week was returning the house key. She was one of the nicest people I have ever met. In just the short time she was here, I got the sense that she is genuinely sweet and kind. She brought me the most beautiful orchid, which I photographed to use in the blog today. Even now while I'm typing I'm looking at the orchid and smiling.

Today I'm creating revisions to a newsletter, finishing the text for the newsletter I started yesterday, and compiling the minutes from last week's Bayou City Art Festival board meeting. It's going to be a very productive day!