Friday, September 30, 2011

September 30, 2011

Cool vintage lamp I bought.
Now I need to find a shade for it.
Today is a fun day. I had lunch with my friend Kelly and I ate well (salad and salmon). Eating healthy at lunch is good since Mr. B and I are going out tonight with friends for margaritas and sliders. But before dinner, I'm meeting with a friend for a cocktail. See what I mean? Fun day!

Since it's the beginning of the fall party season, I've been donating auction items to people and organizations. I was asked yesterday to donate items to a fundraising auction for a friend's election campaign. I stood in front of the bags and purses I made while in Santa Fe last summer, debating which items to donate. I like everything so much that I don't want to get rid of it. It's good that I have pride in my work, but bad that I get so attached to certain fabric combinations that I don't like getting rid of items. It's against my rules to make two of anything alike, so I can't replicate something I've already created.

Today I'm creating a mailing for the monthly newsletter I write for a client. This is a small-size mailing that only goes to about 250 or so people. While writing the newsletter is fun, folding the newsletters, stuffing the envelopes, sealing the envelopes, and putting the mailing label on them is no fun. It could be worse. At first I volunteered to hand address the envelopes, but was convinced that wasn't necessary.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

September 29, 2011

Gracie the St. Bernard is the mascot at a Brenham
antique store. From the top of her head to the tip
of her nose is 15". And I thought my head was big!
Mitzie and I went to Round Top today and had a great time, other than it was hotter than hades! The usual woman I buy fabrics from was there and she had SO many pieces I wanted. I resisted most, but did buy a piece of barkcloth from her (great colors) and a feedsack from the 1930s (with cacti), both of which will become purses or bags. I bought a terrific Euro burlap grain bag and four heavy canvas bags that have writing on the front of them. Mitzie has already reserved two of the canvas bags for pillows. The canvas pillows will look great with blue and white ticking on the backside.

When we could no longer take the heat, we got in the car and went to an antique store in Brenham. We've stopped there before, but I can't think of the name of the store. Leftovers? Anyway, I'm always impressed with the merchandise and displays in the store. I met Gracie in the store (see photo). I don't think I've ever seen a St. Bernard in person before. It's a good thing Gracie wasn't shy about having her photo snapped, or the photo I posted today would have been one of Mitzie hiding behind a giant pillow. She made me promise not to post her photo on my blog today. But she didn't say anything about Friday or Saturday.

Today I'm creating pillow designs based on some things I saw in Round Top. Tomorrow and Saturday are busy, but maybe I'll be able to get in front of my sewing machine on Sunday. Oh boy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September 28, 2011

My mother, Peggie Jane (Hargrove) Akin,
age 26, in her passport photo.
In May 1966, my family was living in Alice, Texas, a small town about 45 miles west of Corpus Christi and the Texas Gulf Coast. We had lived there for five years, which was the longest we had lived in one place. Daddy was in the oil industry, which meant we usually moved once a year. I loved Alice and my friends, so I was completely devastated when my mother causally announced to me – and a car full of friends – that Daddy was being transferred and my family would be moving back to Houston. By the end of June 1966, my idyllic small-town life – where my best friend lived down the street and we rode our bikes all over town with no fears – was over.

Forty-five years later I still think lovingly about my childhood in Alice. I often wish I could go back in time – as an adult – to when my family lived in Alice. My parents were in their 30s, and I would like to meet them at that age. I wonder if I could convince my mother to quit smoking and eat healthier. When she was about my age, she developed age-onset diabetes, which I attribute to her poor eating habits, weight and lack of exercise. When she was 65, she had the first of several strokes. Three or four years later she had one of her legs amputated because of poor circulation, which I associate with smoking. She died at age 72. If I could go back in time and change her habits, would my mother still be alive today at age 82? I guess I'll never know.

Today I'm creating a report for my Bayou City Art Festival Board of Directors' meeting, which is tonight. But first, I think I'll go for a bike ride.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September 27, 2011

Mushrooms growing in a flower bed. Not good!
The only things growing in the Pettit flower beds – other than the beautiful flower I posted yesterday – are mushrooms that I'm posting today. Mushrooms are fungi that thrive on dead organic matter so they're probably growing on dead roots that are decaying or old scraps of wood that are covered by soil. This is not good news since the mushrooms are growing in a flower bed under a fairly large magnolia tree. And even though the tree is on the city side of the sidewalk, if the magnolia tree dies I'm sure it's the Pettits who will have to take care of it. I did hear that the Parks & Recreation Department is going before City Council tomorrow to request $4 million to take care of dead trees. I would like to see that happen, as long as the funds aren't taken away from schools/

I got word today that the event I'm coordinating for Women of Wine (WOW) Charities is sold out. WOW! The event isn't until Oct. 25. I emailed my committee today to let them know that there are no tickets left, but if they haven't bought tickets they should do it this week. I can't have a celebration without the hardworking women who helped me put everything together!

Today I'm creating a bunch. I wrote two newsletters and a direct-mail postcard for my Tuesday client. Now I need a nap before I go to a membership drive for Bayou City Art Festival that is being held – outside – from 6-8 p.m. Keep the cool beverages coming!

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011

Thank goodness some flowering plants
grow without water.
It's a busy Monday, and my slow-running laptop isn't helping matters! I've complained about laptop problems all summer, so it's time to have it examined. Besides work, it's also a busy week for evening events. I'm back to thinking that I need more organization in my life, and there's only one person who can do that. Moi! I can get overwhelmed when I use only my iPhone as a calendar. As a writer who started out with pen and paper, I need to get back to basics.

Speaking of back, it's back to summer in Houston, although I heard on the weather that there may be a cool front coming this weekend. That would be terrific since Saturday is October 1 and many fall festivals are in the works. No fun attending a fall festival when it's 90+ degrees outside and the face paint is running down little cheeks!  But then, fall festivals are really for children and their temperature gauges are sent much cooler than mine.

Today I'm creating a spreadsheet of activities and events that are happening this week. Must ... Get ... Organized ... (stated in my best robot voice).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

September 25, 2011

Corp Stack for Texas A&M Corp of Cadets
Here's a question for the ages: Why do some people prefer Diet Dr. Pepper or Diet Pepsi over Diet Coke? I think some organization should give Dr. Mc a bizillion dollars to conduct a research study on this cultural topic. I've heard of studies conducted on less sensitive issues. Let me be the first to weigh in on the topic by stating – for the record – that Diet Pepsi is too sweet and Diet Dr. Pepper is too pruney. Next?

Today is the anniversary of my older brother Bryan's birth. He would have been 61 years old today, had he not died in 2004. In keeping with my new determination to celebrate life, I watched a few minutes of the Texas A&M game yesterday (fortunately during a time when the Aggies were winning). Bryan was an A&M graduate and lifetime, passionate fan. The last time I spent joking and laughing with him was the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2004. He was in MD Anderson, and Mr. B and I went with Daddy to see Bryan. The next week, Bryan was moved to hospice and he died shortly thereafter. But on the Friday after Thanksgiving, he was in fine form cheering on his favorite team.

Today I'm creating time to linger over the newspaper, drink a Diet Coke, and plan for next week.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

September 24, 2011

My head has been in a vise grip all day.
All day headache. I hate it when that happens! So what caused my headache?

(A) I got up early this morning after not sleeping much last night. I only slept about one hour. Could a lack of sleep cause headaches?

(B) I was at a half-day Board member retreat for Women of Wine Charities this morning. Could spending four hours in a room with a dozen Type-A personalities cause my headache?

(C) No Diet Coke yesterday or today until about 8 p.m. tonight. Lack of caffeine can cause headaches.

(D) After my Board member retreat I went to DSW to look for a pair of animal print shoes, but walked out with "nada." Can dry shopping cause headaches?

( E) Or are all of the above the culprits?

Today I'm creating a short blog. Whatever the cause of my headache, the cure is to take my glasses off, turn out the light, and close my eyes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

September 23, 2011

Happy first day of fall!
Sad day! It's the final episode of All My Children. I was hoping for a happy ending, but I understand that that the final episode will include the good, the bad and the ugly cliffhangers. A drunken J.R. is lurking around behind the walls of Chandler mansion with a gun in his hand, while the entire town is celebrating in the main room. Will he shoot someone? Bad-ass Dr. David still has a secret someone in his care, but he's not telling who. Adam just asked Brooke to marry him. I think it's the third engagement in as many days. Two women are pregnant and another couple is trying to adopt. Jackson said "see ya" to Erica. Cute scene between Erica and Jackson a la the final scene in Gone with the Wind. Well done, head writer Agnes Nixon. A shot rings out ... and fade to black. Oh, the drama!

Happy day! It's the first day of fall. The leaves may not be changing colors, but I'm changing my outlook. For the past 10 years, this has been a sad time of year for me because my mother and brother both died in the fall. But this year I've decided that it's time to move on. As my beloved grandmother told me years ago: "Celebrate life!" And as Dr. Seuss said: "Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened." 

Today I'm creating ... I don't know what yet. I got a call from my Tuesday client, who asked if I could go to his office this afternoon. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

September 22, 2011

The Handsomes: Nick, David, Jordan and Ben.
I went above the garage yesterday to my craft area. I hadn't been up there since the day I left for Santa Fe so it was surprising to see all my beautiful fabrics. I had forgotten about many of the fabrics that I started to take with me to the high desert, but left in Houston because I was already taking too much with me. I need to lock myself upstairs and organize all my fabrics and trims. I need to do the same with cleaning and organizing the house and the garage!

Last night's event at One Allen Center was really nice, although not as well attended as I would have liked.  It's disheartening to work on something and only have 75-80 people there, although everyone there enjoyed viewing all the Bayou City Art Festival posters and photographs.

Today I'm creating "me" time. I'm having lunch with Sandy, then going for a relaxing (and much needed) pedicure, next to an event for a friend who is campaigning for District C Councilmember, and finally going to hear Nick's band play. I haven't heard The Handsomes play in quite sometime. They are scheduled to start playing at 9 p.m., which means I should be able to hear one set before heading home to sleep.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September 21, 2011

Flowers for the event tonight.
Shout out today to my friend Ms. Viki who taught me how to arrange event flowers on a budget. Viki lived about two blocks away for many years, until she and her husband John decided (without my permission) to sell their home and move to Seattle. I smile every time I drive past their old house because they are two of the nicest people on the planet. As many times as I volunteered to chair something, Viki would help me with floral arrangements, and since most of the time I was working pro bono for nonprofit organizations, there was never a budget for flowers. But Ms. Viki always came through with something special.

This evening is the event I've organized with the help of the Bayou City Arts Festival staff. I made eight table arrangements (see photo) for less than $60. Recycled glass vases from Arne's, flowers and berries from a flower/plant drive-up on Durham, and finally ginger leaves (lining the inside of vases), stems from boxwood plants, and bachelor buttons from the yard. Ta dah ... arrangements for about $7.25 each.

Today I'm creating the final touches to tonight's event and following up on my meeting last night about the event I'm chairing on October 25. I'll probably save money by doing the table arrangements myself for the October event. Miss you Viki!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September 20, 2011

Dinner tonight with Dr. Mc and Nick, and Mr. B.
I'm taking a minute to welcome my sister-in-law Missy to Facebook. She commented that Facebook could be addictive and that she was going to limit her time on her PC. Come on, Missy. You're retired and should spend as much time as you like at your computer!

It's another busy week for me. I worked today at my client's office, then prepared for a meeting regarding the Women of Wine fundraising event I'm chairing on Oct. 25. I'm pleased to say that after the meeting tonight I had the feeling that all seems to be going well, but then I always wonder what I'm forgetting. Tomorrow from 6-8 p.m. is the event I've organized that celebrates the 40th anniversary of Bayou City Art Festivals. I've had great support from the Bayou City Art Festival staff, and am confident that this event will go off as planned. I'm not sure why I volunteered to make table decorations for the Bayou City event. Of course I haven't started the decorations, so tomorrow should be very full. I also need to work in a pedicure at some point tomorrow.

Today I'm creating a newsletter for my Tuesday client and I'm proofing the magazine I'm working on for the same client. Any day now, the magazine is going to the printer, or so I've been told!

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011

President Garfield
On this day in 1881, President James Garfield died from a gun shot wound inflicted by an assassin 80 days earlier. Garfield had been in office less than four months. On July 2, the day he was shot, President Garfield was about to leave Washington to attend the 25th reunion of his class at Williams College. As he stood in the railroad station, a stranger stepped out of the crowd and fired two pistol shots at him. One bullet grazed the President's arm, but the other lodged in his back.

President Garfield lay near death for 80 days while a team of doctors poked and prodded him and tried to find the bullet. One report says he finally succumbed to massive infection caused by unsanitary conditions. Autopsy reports at the time said that pressure from his internal wound had created an aneurism, which was the likely cause of death.  Garfield's spine, which shows the hole created by the bullet, is kept as a historical artifact by the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C.
Today I'm creating revisions to multiple pieces for Bayou City Art Festival. But this morning, I was thumbing through a small book I have about U.S. presidents, which is the source for today's history lesson.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September 18, 2011

A white Christmas in 2007 at the Santa Fe casita.
It's a lazy day for the dogs and me. Gray skies and thunder are keeping me inside even though it's only misting outside. I'm flipping back and forth between a marathon of the most romantic All My Children weddings and the pre-show for the Prime Time Emmy Awards. Some really ugly dresses on both shows. All My Children has wedding and bridesmaid dresses from the 1970s and 1980s, and the pre-show for the Emmy awards is featuring fashion-forward gowns. Lots of fashion faux pas on both ends of the timeline!

A friend and her husband may spend Christmas through New Years at the Santa Fe casita. We've only spent one Christmas there (see photo). It was the year we bought the casita. The casita didn't have much furniture, but we went anyway. Dr. Mc and I found a silly flocked artificial tree with multi-colored lights. We decorated it with turquoise, green and gold ornaments. Nick flew in from his grandmother's house in Salt Lake City just before New Years and asked Kendall to marry him. 

Today I'm creating an afternoon of lounging around. The End (for today).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 17, 2011

One of my favorite art pottery patterns, which
was only made in 1915. We probably have
20 or so pieces of Mostique by Roseville.
Last night, Mr. B and I decided we would go to the Texas Home & Garden Show this morning (it's presented by the company that Mr. B works for) and then we would go to the Houston Fine Art Fair this afternoon. So far we're both laying around like slugs. Truth be told, I'm still wearing my pajama top. I just saw in the paper that the Houston Antiques Dealers Association (HADA) fall antiques show is also at the George R. Brown (GRB) convention center this weekend. Since the Houston Fine Art Fair is also in GRB, we might as well go to both.

Speaking of HADA, Mr. B and I attended the show twice a year when we were buying art pottery. Several dealers sold the pottery we collected and we knew them all. Now that I'm entering a minimal phase of decorating, I'm thinking about packing away some of the pottery. I don't want to get rid of it but I'm super tired of dusting it!

Today I'm creating a menu plan and going to the grocery store. Wait ... is that thunder I hear? If so, all  activities are cancelled and I'll probably stay in my pajama top and shorts all day.

Friday, September 16, 2011

September 16, 2011

Invitation to the event I've organized
for Bayou City Art Festival on Wed.,
September 21. Come one and all!
Getting dressed this morning I decided to see if I could fit in my skinny jeans. It wasn't necessary to lay on the bed to fasten them, but I did take a deep breath, suck in my stomach and look up at the ceiling. While I'm not sure what good looking up at the ceiling does, it's part of the ritual. A loose top covers my muffin top, but Mr. B just called a few minutes ago to ask if I wanted to ask Kendall to go to dinner with us tonight. I was hoping to stay home, eat tuna and drink water, but I don't want to disappoint Mr. B and Dr. Mc. One thing is for sure. I'm going to need to change into larger pants.

As I was driving back from Office Depot today, I saw a garden crew laying grass in the yard of a newly completed house. What a waste of time and money! A weather report this morning said that Houston was supposed to get a cool front sometime this weekend. Looking forward to that!

Today I'm creating mailing envelopes for 200+ newsletters that are completed and going in the mail for a client. Not the most creative endeavor, but hey ... it's Friday.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September 15, 2011

Must turn away from the dark side
(a.k.a. margaritas).
Note to self: STOP DRINKING MARGARITAS! Out with my clients last night at Berryhill's in the Heights, I drank margaritas and was home, asleep by 9:30 p.m. Then I couldn't get up this morning. I somewhat remember Mr. B talking to me as he was leaving for work this morning, but I have no idea what he said. I hope he wasn't giving me a morning-only pass to buy every pair of shoes I like at Saks!

Besides drinking margaritas, I have to stop eating everything in sight! I lost approximately 12 lbs. while I was in Santa Fe. I've been back in Houston four days and have "found" four of the pounds I lost. And I've stopped eating breakfast and having healthy snacks during the day. I went to a client's office for a meeting this afternoon and was met at the conference table with a Diet Coke and chocolate cupcake. How well my client knows me!

Today I'm creating a letter from the editor (you didn't really think publishers and editors write their own letters, did you?). Tonight Mr. B and I are going to a fundraising event at a friend's home. Danger: I'm sure there will be cocktails and yummy hors d'oeuvres!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September 14, 2011

Looking for clarity and peace!
Yes, I'm totally immersed in work and play in Houston, and DO NOT have time for an old, slow computer. On the other hand, nor do I have the money for a new, faster computer. What's a girl to do?

On a more serious note, I've been thinking about an interesting "piece" I read yesterday about the importance of forgiveness. The writer, who is an Episcopal priest, states correctly that the hardest thing to do is forgive. I've been in situations where something bad has happened between me and another person. An extreme example is that I was physically abused as a child by my mother. When I was an adult, she admitted that she abused me, but said it happened years before and I needed to forget about it. After years of trying, I was able to forgive my mother for abusing me, because I came to the realization that she did the best job she could as a mother with the skills she had. So I forgave her, but I've never forgotten what happened. Maybe the two acts (to forgive and forget) aren't synonymous, but if the purpose and meaning of my life is to love and be loved, shouldn't this include to forgive and forget?

Today I'm creating a revised newsletter and following up on plans for the September 21 poster and photo viewing reception that I'm coordinating for Bayou City Art Festivals. But "too much work makes Jack a dull boy" or in my case, too much work makes Julie cranky. So I'm heading out to happy hour with clients. Later!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 13, 2011

I'm adjusting to be a Houstonian again, but Rose isn't sure
about the heat. Yesterday she didn't want to go outside
because it was so hot, which is not like her at all!
Good afternoon, followers! In just one day I've gotten back into the groove of being a Houstonian. I was helped by a good night's sleep, which was helped by the Women of Wine event last night at COPPA. I was celebrating my return to Houston and Kendall's great job interview, so she and I shared a bottle of Prosecco. Then we invited Nick and Mr. B to join us for dinner, which involved more cocktails. (Dinner was very delicious, except no one really liked the icing on the Italian Creme cake.) I was home by 9 p.m., and soon in bed and asleep. Was it the wine that helped me sleep? The heat the lulled me to sleep? Or C, all of the above?

Today I'm back at my Tuesday client's office. It wasn't on my calendar for today, which made me realize that I haven't been updating my calendar with events. Very dangerous. Yes, the pace of things in H-town is much busier than in SFe, and I can't seem to remember anything. I think I'll schedule unpacking everything I brought back with me on Saturday. So far everything is lined up in the dining room, and might just have to stay there until the weekend.

Today I'm creating a newsletter and a couple of press releases. Then Mr. B and I are having dinner with friends who are going to our house in Santa Fe for a week. Hopefully I won't start crying when I have to hand over the keys to the casita.

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12, 2011

Go get 'em Dr. Mc! Razzle dazzle 'em with your
brillance and dimples! XOXO 
One thing I've missed about Houston is the shoe stores. Wait, did I say that? Even when I'm in Houston I don't go to shoe stores. I'd guesstimate that 90 percent of the time I buy shoes online. This is because there's so much pressure going to a shoe store or shoe department. Are my nails painted? Do I have crusty heels? Are the shoes I'm wearing scuffed? I don't know why I worry about these things because most shoe salespeople wear the worst shoes (sorry to be profiling shoe salespeople). I tell you what: If I had the start-up costs, I'd have my own shoe line. Imagine sexy sling backs with moderate height heels. Even at my age I want cool heels, but not 3+ inches. Hum ... might there be retail therapy for shoes in my near future.

I had my hair cut late Saturday in Santa Fe. Since we got up really early Sunday morning to drive back to Houston, I didn't jump in the shower and wash my hair. Yes, I drove back without a shower and with day-old hair. This means that today I'll be washing and fixin' my hair for the first time. It's always a challenge trying to replicate what the stylist did in the salon, but I'm up for it ... after I watch All My Children, which goes off the air sometime this month. Can't miss a moment of it.

Today I'm creating an article for an upcoming newsletter and reviewing/editing a second article. I'm also creating positive energy for Dr. Mc, who has her second interview for a promising new job. May the gods of good interviewing skills be with her!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2011

The 6'4" hall tree made the trip back to Houston
leaving no leg room in the passenger seat.
Mr. B and I fought over who drove
because the driver's seat had more leg room.
We're back in Houston and I'm super depressed. We left Santa Fe at 7:30 a.m. (Mountain Time) and the temperature was 49 degrees. The Explorer was fully packed. In fact, we brought back a hall tree that was in the casita and had to push the passenger seat forward. For someone with long legs, the position of the passenger seat was very uncomfortable. It was better to drive because there was more leg room. When I wasn't driving, I was either snacking or sleeping. That is to say I kept trying to sleep, but would wake up snorting. I didn't have any trouble snacking. How much weight do you think a person can put on during a 13-hour drive? When we got to Fort Worth around 7:30 p.m. (Central Time), it was 94 degrees. Let's recap: 7:30 a.m. = 49 degrees; 7:30 p.m. = 94 degrees. No wonder I'm depressed.

When we drove up to the Houston house around 10 p.m., thank goodness it was too dark to see the yard. It appears that all the azaleas on the right of the front door are dead. The ferns on the left side of the house also look dead, but they die every winter and then come back, so there's hope for them. But the azaleas are fried. I couldn't tell the status of the grass, but the crunching noise I heard as I walked across the yard doesn't leave me much hope. I didn't have the heart to look out the backdoor to see how the backyard is doing.

Today I'm creating a major pity party, but want to slap myself for being such an ungrateful twit! So many people are suffering today, remembering what happened 10 years ago. I have a good life and should be thankful for all that is good, instead of focusing on petty inconveniences. Grow up! I guess I told myself!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 10, 2011

A piece of fabric from Thailand is the center
for the tote bag that was constructed from
heavy linen and denim. 
It's very early Saturday morning (2:00 a.m.) and I'm still awake. This is my last day in Santa Fe until we come back for Thanksgiving. My thinking is that if I don't go to sleep I'll have more time in my adopted city. Although I'm anxious to get home to family and friends in Houston, I'm sad to leave Santa Fe. I can't describe the spiritual connection I have with the high desert. I experience a spiritual growth while I'm here, which is tremendous.

Let's recap my summer. Before I came I said I wanted to meet more people. I did meet a couple of people, but mainly I spent time alone, working on me and the garden. The garden was looking sad from the late, heavy freeze, but now it looks wonderful. I really enjoy walking around and looking at the plants, butterflies, little bees and hummingbirds. With the additional plants and enhanced drip watering system, I'm expecting a lush garden next summer. When I did leave the casita, I found some great clothes, gifts and fabrics. With the fabrics, I experimented with new purses and totes. I'm going home with so many purses and totes, which puts me in a great position for the upcoming holiday season. I actually made five totes on Friday (pictured is Mr. B's favorite one).

Today I'm creating a memorable last day in Santa Fe. I'm going out to Tesueque Flea Market for one last look for embellishments for my bags. Mr. B wants to visit our favorite galleries on Canyon Road before my haircut appointment. Sometime during the day I need to pack and clean house. And maybe the grill master will charcoal some filets and we'll sit outside looking at the stars.

Friday, September 9, 2011

September 9, 2011

I'm currently stretched out on the couch in the
main room of the casita working on my laptop.
It's a slow-moving morning in the casita. Mr. B made breakfast (which was quite a treat) while I've been on the computer. I think projects for this week are complete, but I will have to hit the floor running when I get back to Houston. Fortunately I'll have a long drive back on Sunday to compile my to-do list. Mr. B has been wonderful working and completing the honey-do list I made for him. Go, Mr. B.

One of the items on my list for late Monday afternoon is the Women of Wine (WOW) Charities' Ready for Reds? event at COPPA. This is the new restaurant that took the place of Caitlan on Washington. I hope my women friends in Houston will stop by for wine tasting and hors d'oeuvres. Attendees are encouraged to bring maternity wear or a gift certificate that will be donated to Houston Area Women's Center. Go to to make reservations.

Today I'm creating fun time, beginning with a hair cut at 2:30 p.m. Then Mr. B and I are going to stroll Canyon Road and look at some artwork.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sept. 8, 2011

Last two wool bags from Santa Fe. Moving
on to fun totes for the remaining days here.
Does anyone else cut her/his own hair? PLEASE tell me I'm not the only one! I normally only cut my bangs and sides, but I got carried away a week ago. I look like I put a bowl on my head and cut around it. Not exactly the look I'm going for, especially when I'm returning to a busy week in Houston. So I made an appointment to have my hair cut in Santa Fe. I haven't heard great comments about salons in Santa Fe, but I googled to find the one voted the best. One of the top stylists in the salon is named Julie, so it felt like karma. And any hair cut will look better than what I have now.

I got my purses made last night and want to get a few totes cut this afternoon so I can make them tonight. I have today and tomorrow to sew before cleaning the casita on Saturday. I can't believe how beautiful the weather is in Santa Fe right now, and I heard from my friend Sandy that the weather in Houston is also nice. I hope nice weather in Houston stays until Mr. B and I get there.

Today I'm creating copy for several upcoming events. I wish three of the four events weren't pro bono, but when creating event copy the pro bono work can be more fun, which makes up for the lack of payment.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September 7, 2011

"Gluttony" by Earl Staley will finally be
hung on a wall in the casita.
I LOVE Mr. B, but swear ... the man doesn't know how to put anything away. Well, let me back up for a moment. First, he can't ever find anything. Then, once found and used, he can't put anything away. Is this just missing gene in every man's DNA? My niece Tricia just got engaged to Tom, a Ph.D. who works in the field of artificial DNA. Oh Tom, I have a project for you!

I shouldn't complain about Mr. B because the grill master worked his magic last night on some chicken and pork. And right now he's at Home Depot getting supplies. The chairs on the portal need to be rubbed with teak oil. Several pieces of artwork that have been leaning against a wall for more than three years need to be hung (including two Earl Staley's; the one pictured today is titled "Gluttony" from his Seven Deadly Sins series). The moving pieces on the coyote fence gate need to be oiled. We have two days of clean up and maintenance work on the house, then two days of fun in Santa Fe, and finally, on Sunday, we make the drive back to Houston.

Today I'm creating three bags. I didn't get any made yesterday because I had too much writing and editing, but today is another day.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 6, 2011

These beautiful roses smell as good as they look.
I've spent five hours at my computer working today, and probably have another two hours of work to complete. I really hate it when work interferes with my vaca time!

I mentioned Richard the Realtor in my blog yesterday. He took Mr. B and me to see a cute house in Santa Fe that is in a great location. The two bedroom, one bath house is small (around 900 square feet) and would make a great second home. Other than sprucing up the kitchen cabinets, I don't think the house needs any other work. The backyard is a great size and is nicely landscaped with native plants, as is the small the front yard. The front yard also has beautiful, sweet smelling roses (see today's photo of the roses I cut yesterday). And the house is on a paved street (rare for Santa Fe) and has off-street parking. AND, the house is priced at $199K, which is $50K before the appraised value because the owners want a quick sale. Anyone interested in a vacation home in Santa Fe should call Richard Anderson at Barker Realty. The address is 510 Lolita. Who wouldn't want to live on a street named Lolita!

Today I'm creating three purses that I've already cut out. I need to keep sewing so I'll go home with less fabric than I bought! Wish me luck.

Monday, September 5, 2011

September 5, 2011

The Richards, my friends in Santa Fe. Richard
on the right was the Realtor who helped me
find the casita. Richard on the left (a.k.a.
Little Ricky) is Richard on the left's partner
and my gardening muse.
Good evening, readers. This morning, Mr. B and I were so lazy. We just relaxed all morning when I should have been sewing. The Richards (see photo) came to the house around 3 p.m. and we went with them to the Plaza for what I think was the last outdoor festival of the year. I've attended the Labor Day Fine Arts & Crafts Market before and it seemed better. Mr. B did buy me a beautiful bracelet at the market. I understand that the designers are in about four festivals every summer, so I can get another bracelet next year. Then we ate New Mexican food, which is different from Tex Mex. You have to be really careful because the sauces on New Mexican food can be extremely spicy. I always get sauces on the side and a small bowl of sour cream, just in case the chili peppers in the food are too hot.

Little Ricky, who has a degree in horticulture, was pleased with how my garden was growing. He did break the bad news to me that what I hoped were sunflowers were actually weeds. The good news is that he helped me pull them out of the ground. I also showed him the five pods of tulip vines that I was drying. He suggested that I spend $5 on a plant instead of trying to dry the pods and get the seeds in the ground before I leave town.

Today I'm creating a relaxing morning, a fun afternoon and dinner, and then a quiet evening in the casita with Mr. B.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sept. 4, 2011

It's chilly here! Lazy-bones Roz didn't want to get up and go on a walk this morning, but when I took Rose for her stroll around at 11 a.m., I had to put on a long sleeve shirt. It's cloudy, which isn't typical for Santa Fe. According to the news we may get more rain today and tomorrow. I was hoping Mr. B and I could go to the Wine Fest tomorrow, so I want the rain to hold off until after that since the festival is in an open field.

Thought you might be tired of looking at
purses, so today's photos are of new blooms
in the casita garden. Very colorful!
Speaking of Mr. B, he and Dr. Mc called me one night last week from the newly opened Beck's Prime in the Houston Heights. For those of you unfamiliar with Beck's Prime, they make the best grilled hamburgers ever. I mean, the burgers are run-down-your-arm-with-every-bite juicy good! They also make a wonderful Caesar salad with grilled chicken, but I've eaten lots of grilled chicken lately and was dreaming of a burger. I couldn't get the burger out of my mind! Last night, the temptation was just too great, so I drove three blocks to buy myself some beef on a bun. Disaster! What a waste of money, not to mention calories! This may be the time I take Mr. B to Bobcat Bites, which is a burger joint just outside of Santa Fe. It's listed in a book titled (I think) 1,000 Things to Do Before You Die, as a must do. This hole-in-the-wall place might have eight closely packed tables and counter service, but the wait for a seat is worth it.

Today I'm creating a taxi service to and from ABQ. The girls and I can't wait to see Mr. B!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

September 3, 2011

New bags from vintage wool. No embellishments yet,
but the shape is very fun! Cute, cute, cute!
I read on Facebook this morning that Houston is cooler today, so I don't feel it's inappropriate to mention that Santa Fe is fabulous right now, and a cool front is coming tonight. I think the high tomorrow will be in the 70s. Sunshine. Temperature in the 70s. And low humidity. Does it get any better? Since Santa Fe actually has an autumn, this is one of the reasons why it's always so hard to return to the September heat in Houston, although I love my home town.

Back to a more neutral topic (and who could imagine that weather won't be a neutral topic), I made several bags yesterday. It's not so easy getting the rounded edges on the bags, but I like the shape! And I like the plaids and tweeds I'm working with. I have four more pieces of wool, all of which are vintage with great old tags. I should have saved all the tags for a collage, but I didn't. There are two or three yard sales that I'm tempted to visit today because they list fabrics in the items for sale. This is how I got the old woolens I'm currently using. Hum ... should I or shouldn't I get in the car and go?

Today I'm creating more bags from woolen fabrics, and probably doing some weed pulling in the garden. There are several stems growing that I can't identify. They are either large sunflowers or just junk. I should probably pull one and take it to the nursery to identify. OK, one more item on today's to-do list before Mr. B arrives tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, September 2, 2011

September 2, 2011

The pattern (blue pieces) and fabrics are ready
for a close encounter with my sewing machine.
Well, yesterday didn't go exactly as planned, but what day does? I spent time in the morning tweaking and finalizing the design for the new purses that I'm making out of vintage wool tweed fabrics (see photo). I gathered the fabrics and linings together, but that's as far as I got with the project before the emails and phone calls started.

The Executive Director of Bayou City Art Festival resigned so the Board of Directors and staff are scrambling and adjusting. Fortunately we have a terrific, hardworking staff! Kudos to all of them! I'm now working with the staff on proofing and final approvals of collateral for the upcoming festival, plus I've taken over coordination of a special event we're hosting in three weeks. I can best describe my efforts to take over the reins of the special event as being dragged behind a galloping horse.

Today I'm creating an outline of all the elements for the fast approaching Bayou City Art Festival happy hour. Then I got two projects this morning that I need to look at so I can complete them before Tuesday morning. And I want to make a purse or two today. But the wine festival starts today, so everything may have to be put on hold until after I sample some of New Mexico's finest grapes. Cheers!