Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30, 2011

I had several people ask me yesterday if we brought the cool weather back with us from Santa Fe, but I can't take credit for the wonderful weather in Houston. It was so chilly last night that Mr. B and I had soup for dinner to warm us. Not cold weather, but nice and chilly.

I realized yesterday that my two prescriptions didn't make it back to Houston. Mr. B was off on his white horse – figuratively speaking – to see what he could get me from the pharmacy. I called Richard Anderson in Santa Fe who went by the casita and found my prescriptions sitting on the kitchen counter. My fears that I had thrown my prescriptions out with the thrash while I was cleaning were – wait for it – thrashed. Prescriptions should be arriving in the mail from Santa Fe in the next few days.

Today I'm creating a monthly newsletter. I got so much accomplished yesterday! I not only got the Tuesday newsletter written, but I also ticked so many items off of my to-do list without replacing them with new things to do. I'm determined not to take on too much this month and freak out! What's that I hear? I think it's the sound of disbelief.

Don't know why, but I'm unable to post a photo today. Maybe later.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29, 2011

Rose is such a good travel dog, spending
most of the travel time sleeping in the back seat.
Mr. B woke me up before dawn yesterday for our trip back to Houston. To my surprise, he drove the entire 13 hours back. This made me reflect on my dad who would get in his company car and drive across the state and then be back home in time for dinner. Impossible you say? Not so for a man with a lead foot. Today a person hops on a airplane for a day trip somewhere in the state, but Daddy would put the pedal to the metal with a thermos of hot coffee beside him. He would whistle along to the country music tune on the radio, eight track, tape or disc player. Before there were cell phones, which he never owned, Daddy had a radio mounted to the dash or floorboard for communication. "Come back." Later, after my older brother and I had left home, Mother would often travel with Daddy on his trips. Like her in years past, I slept in the front seat during most of yesterday's trip. "Over."

To our surprise, the temperature in Houston was chilly when we got home last night. We weren't expecting this when we left the house on December 18 and turned the heater off. It was so cold in the house!

Today I'm creating a newsletter for my Tuesday client. Then like my mother, I need to make lists – and possibly a list of lists – of errands I need to accomplish in the next few days.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 27, 2011

Leaving the casita with a few holiday
decorations for friends who will be here
during December.
Last night we went to see J. Edgar, the biopic directed by Clint Eastwood. Mr. B really liked it, but I wish Leonardo Dicaprio hadn't portrayed Hoover. Mr. B thought he did a great job, but a few times I saw Dicaprio instead of Hoover. The movie covered the time from when Hoover first joined the Bureau of Investigation until his death, including his structuring of the Federal agency and his relationships with his mother and Tolson. The movie left me wanting to know more, so I came home and looked up Hoover. An interesting, yet tormented man.

We decided to take it easy today. It was another beautiful day in Santa Fe, and we were tempted to go to the downtown Plaza and walk/shop, but instead stayed in and relaxed. We watched a couple of movies and, of course, napped. Tonight we will clean the casita and pack before heading back to Houston early tomorrow morning. I've put out a few Santas and Christmas decorations because friends will be staying in the casita during December. Of course in Santa Fe, my  decorations are turquoise and lime green. Very appropriate!

Today I'm creating a clean casita with a few holiday decorations. The 10 days we were here went by so quickly!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 26, 2011

We had about an hour of snow yesterday
morning. What a perfect day!
Happy day after Black Friday. Did everyone survive? We started our day on Canyon Road in a few art  galleries. Then we went to Landfall Press to see its operations. This is a print shop that collaborates with artists. We were able to see beautiful prints and lithographs from contemporary artists all over the world. With a full checkbook and much more wall space, I could have spent some serious money there, but we didn't. Keith and Kelly bought two prints that we can enjoy at their home. After leftovers at the casita for lunch, we went back to Canyon Road for some strolling and looking. Mr. B and I went downtown for a bit of retail therapy before dinner at Ristra with Keith and Kelly. It was such a fun day, I'm ready to do it again today.

I thought about my mom yesterday, which was the 10th anniversary of her death. I promised myself last summer that I was going to leave the sadness I've felt about the deaths of my mother, older brother and father in the past and move forward with positive memories instead of so much grief. I was able to do that yesterday. I thought of how Mother loved to cook and bake, and be with family at Thanksgiving. She would literally spend weeks making lists and lists of lists of things to do and prepare. This was the way she could show love for us all. She couldn't say "I love you," but she would do things to show her love. I don't think she would have liked Santa Fe or New Mexico as I do, but I know she would be happy that Mr. B and I enjoy it here so much.

Today I'm creating time to go to the movie with Mr. B. Maybe even a double feature.

Friday, November 25, 2011

November 25, 2011

Photo from my iPhone of the river at the
bottom of the Rio Grande gorge.
I can't believe I'm about to write about football on my blog, but the game last night between the University of Texas and Texas A&M was so exciting! Serious 118-year rivalry came down to the last 3 seconds when the UT punter – a senior playing his last collegiate game – kicks the ball between the goalposts and wins the game. WOW! Jubilation and bragging rights for the Horns, and heartbreak for the Aggies.

I was brought up as an Aggie. My father, uncle and several other family members proudly graduated from Texas A&M before I was born. In my family, you were an Aggie or else! Later my brother and twin nieces also graduated from Texas A&M. But Mr. B, Dr. Mc and Nick graduated from the University of Texas, so I've converted even though there will always be a special place in my heart for the Aggies.

Today I'm creating time for retail therapy. With all the food I've eaten in the past few days, my body is fueled for shopping local on Black Friday. Mr. B and his friend Keith are off having breakfast, then they're picking up the ladies for shopping. Lord, give me strength!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 24, 2011

Mr. B and I had such a fun day with Keith and Kelly. We started the morning with orange slices, cinnamon toast and vegetable strata that was very delicious. (In the photo the strata looks burnt on the top, but it wasn't.) After breakfast, and a stop at Starbucks, we headed toward Taos. Along the way we spotted an antique/restoration/collectible/museum shop/yard. If you've ever seen a show on television about "pickers" this is a place where they would stop. The owner had an incredible collection of gasoline and oil company memorabilia. I REALLY wanted this lighted glass "crown" that came off an old gasoline pump. It was in what the owner called his museum and he won't sell it, regardless of the price. I wanted the piece for the casita because it had a huge head of an Indian chief. It would have looked so cool in the casita! Kelly got some metal pieces for their rock garden in Houston and Keith found several metal treasures that he will weld into something wonderful!

The light on the breakfast strata makes it look burnt, but it
wasn't. Layer of wheat bread, followed with a mixture of
onions, red bell peppers and sweet potatoes, topped with
mixture of eggs and milk, and then goat cheese and parmesan.
Repeat layers and bake for 50 minutes (1.25 hours in high desert). 
In Taos, many of the shops in the old plaza area were open, so we strolled through them. Then we went to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, which is about seven miles outside of Taos. I don't know how deep the gorge is from the bridge, but it makes some stomachs turn queasy to look down to the water. About two miles down the road from the bridge is an area called Earthship. These homes are made from old tires, stucco, mud, glass bottles and other sustainable materials. Very interesting, unusual designs. The average utility bill for these out-of-this-world looking homes is $100 a year. Incredible! We continued our drive down to Pilar, NM, which is at the bottom of the gorge where you can reach out and touch the Rio Grande river. Photo op! And finally we made it home to the casita.

Today I'm creating cosmos to have with dinner, which will be Mitzie's famous pasta with pine nuts, roasted red peppers, wilted spinach, garlic and pesto. I'm using cheese tortellini as the pasta. I'm also making a salad with mixed greens, cranberries and almond slivers. Then chocolate chip cookies. I'm not sure any clothes will fit by the time I get back to Houston! But we've had a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 23, 2011

Yesterday I decided to do some gardening instead of pulling the sewing things back out. Mr. B is dusting the casita, getting rid of all the little threads I've left behind, but it seems to be taking a long time! I can dust the entire place in 20 minutes. He is still in the same room after 30 minutes. Oh wait, he's not dusting he's watching television. Not a surprise!

I got up this morning and immediately started cooking. The soup for tonight's dinner is ready! As usual, it took longer to cook it in the high desert. I'm having a cup of soup right now, just to make sure it's tasty enough to serve to my guests tonight. I'm going to let it sit for awhile and then adjust the seasoning. Hershey chocolate chips are staring me in the face right now. Mr. B loves chocolate chip cookies so I'm going to make him some. Then I'm going to make Martha Stewart's three cheese mac and cheese for tonight (Keith and Kelly are vegetarians) and a breakfast strata for the morning. It's really fun to cook in this "cocina" because it is open to the main room. I can cook, listen to television, see the kiva, gaze out the big window, and be with friends.

Today I'm creating meals and specialty cocktails for tonight and Thanksgiving. I know that tomorrow's beverage will include cranberry juice, but I think I need to refine my champagne cocktail for tonight. It's almost noon in Santa Fe, which means it must by 5 p.m. and the cocktail hour somewhere in the world. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 22, 2011

Pecan pie straight from the oven. It taste as good as it looks!
Mr. B and I had our private Thanksgiving dinner last night. My sewing room was transformed back to the dining room, complete with lit candles on the table. Before we started eating, we toasted to our many blessings: each other, the girls and Nick, our extended families and friends, and the lives of our parents and my older brother. We know our blessings come from one source, and we never want to take Him or what He has given us for granted.

After enjoying the Grill Master's perfect turkey and my simple sides, we took a breath before dessert. At least yesterday I had the magic touch for baking in the high desert! My delicious pecan pie was something else to be thankful for last night.

Today I'm creating more bags and aprons. I'm 90% happy with the bag I made yesterday. Just one simple tweak on the flap and the ruby red velvet bag will be good to go. Or if I decide I don't want to recreate the sewing room for just one day (Keith and Kelly arrive tomorrow), I'll do some winter gardening.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011

Two half aprons I made yesterday.
We had dinner last night with "The Richards." It's always so fun catching up with them, although sometimes I feel like it's "gang-up-on-Julie" when we're all together. That is to say, Mr. B and The Richards tease me. Richard A has a very dry sense of humor like my father had and Little Ricky is a giggler. I'm smiling now as I think about being with them.

I spent several hours at the sewing machine yesterday afternoon, and will do the same this afternoon. I found the pattern I used for the purses I made in Santa Fe last summer. I'm going to modify the pattern for the velvet bags. I have 12 fabrics and trims matched. As I said yesterday, this is probably more than I can accomplish before returning back to Houston. Mr. B is taking it easy and enjoying silly movies. In between movies he rakes the leaves from the yard and/or pulls weeds until the next silly movies comes on.

Today I'm creating Thanksgiving dinner. Our friends Kelly and Keith are coming to Santa Fe on Wednesday to spend a few days with us. Since they are vegetarians, Mr. B and I are eating turkey today. Little Rickey and I had a long discussion last night about the difficulties of baking in the high desert. He is advised me to give up on ever having a meringue pie like I make at sea level, so today's baking adventure will be pecan pie.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 20, 2011

The kiva fireplace at Pettita Casita is
back in business.
The colorful hues of my summer garden have given way to dried leaves and stems. Every once in awhile there will be a spot of color: a leaf here and there still green; a cluster of maroon blooms. But mostly the landscape in my adopted city is brown, until I look up to the snow capped mountains. This morning the sun is bright, the sky is full of fluffy white clouds, and the air is crisp with the smokey aroma of wood-burning fireplaces. This is the scene that as a young girl in South Texas, I only read about in books and magazines.

I got up early this morning and had breakfast with a friend from high school. Gary and his partner just returned to Santa Fe from a two month tour of the United Kingdom and Western Europe. I listened quietly to the descriptions of their travels and adventures, especially when Gary talked about visiting peaceful villages, lingering lunches in the Italian countryside, and shopping in crowded marketplaces. Oh, the life!

Today I'm creating aprons. I know, I brought velvet fabrics with me to make totes and clutches, but I need to start on something simple to get reacquainted with the Santa Fe sewing machine. But once started, I'll be like a ball rolling downhill and gaining momentum.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 19, 2011

Three new small pieces of artwork from the
Bayou City Art Festival that
I brought to the casita
It has been a quiet morning in the high desert. I've stayed propped up in bed looking through cookbooks and making grocery lists. There are always the staple dry goods in the casita, but I somehow buy too much to cook when we come here. I'm planning to make some soups while I'm here. I can freeze the leftovers until we come back at the end of January.

This morning I also sorted through all the fabric and trims I brought with me. I'm not sure what I was thinking because there's no way I can create something out of all that I brought. People have told me to keep a sketch book where I draw out my creations and then attach a small fabric swatch to the corresponding page. This seems perfect in theory, except I'm possibly the worst artist in the world. As my friend and former co-worker Marta used to say, "Julie is words, not pictures!"

Today I'm creating lots of lists. Besides the grocery store, I need to make a trip to the fabric store for lining and metal clasps. I remembered to bring the pumpkins and ornamental squash from the Houston house to the casita so I could create a centerpiece for the dining table, but I forgot any lining fabric. Go figure!

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18, 2011

Basket full of vintage velvet fabrics and
trims that I threw together this morning
before leaving Houston.
I woke up this morning in Houston and will go to sleep tonight in Santa Fe. We arrived at Pettita Casita about a hour ago. While Mr. unpacked the car, I removed my bra (too much information?) and readied the margaritas. We could tell our friends "The Richards" had been here in advance of us because the casita is a toasty 68 degrees, although it's in the 30s outside. No fire in the kiva tonight because the battery for the electric starter is dead. Something to look forward to tomorrow.

With Mr. B, Roz and Rose in the casita with me – along with the basket full of vintage velvets and trims I brought from the craft control center in Houston – life is good!

Today I'm creating ideas for how to use the trims and velvets to make lovely new bags. By this time tomorrow night, the dining room will be transformed into my sewing annex and I should have a couple of new bags made. Let me say it again: Life is good!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17, 2011

Apron for Mitzie's birthday made for very
cute new, retro-designed fabric. I'm only
11 days late in delivering it.
Good morning, all. My temperament is better this morning, or at least I'm trying to make it so.

Since I got so upset last night when I found out someone was (figuratively) stabbing me in the back, my decision that I could never make it on Survivor is finalized. There are the obvious reasons, such as: I could only last two minutes in the tropical sun on the beach before I would have to be taken away in a helicopter with sever sunburn and bug bites; I'm not going to eat bugs; I don't look good in a bathing suit; I hate sand; I don't believe in camping; I don't like to be around people who smell bad; and I'd really dislike having to wear the same thing for 39 days. But a character distinction that would get me kicked off during the first tribal council is that I can't lie and scheme like the contestants do. This is the same reason that I have worked as a freelance writer and marketing consultant since 1993: I just can't play the corporate politics of scheming and not speaking my mind.

Today I'm creating the finished apron for Mitzie's birthday (see photo). I need to clip hanging threads before giving it to her during lunch. Then I need to write a bio, interview a man for a newspaper article, and pick up the house and wash clothes before leaving town in the morning. I'm so looking forward to spending time in the high desert that the thought of a 13 hour drive tomorrow doesn't bother me in the least!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16, 2011

Front (l) and back (r) of pillows for Mitzie's
outdoor patio. They just need to be stuffed.
It's an evening blog for me, and I don't feel like doing it now. I've been totally disappointed by someone who I thought was a friend. I HATE people who are sweet to your face and then stab you in the back. This behavior is so unbelievable to me because I would never go behind someone's back!

Today I'm creating two pillows for Mitzie. Hopefully I'll feel less pissed tomorrow. Yes, I said it ... I'm pissed!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011

Under the category of random, thanks Robert
Zahn for the conversation today about your
favorite underwear. 
Call me nutty (as I'm sure you have before), but I'm going to participate in a holiday market on Saturday, Dec. 10, and think I may have a home show on Sunday, Dec. 11. Why not? Let's make a push to sell as much as possible! I have some new ideas to make totes, hobo bags and clutches out of velvet that I already have. I can take a couple of fabric pieces with me to Santa Fe (we're leaving on Friday for 10 days). I've told Katy that I'll make jalapeno jelly for her and I've promised Kendall to make new window treatments for her living room, so I have plenty of projects to work on while I'm in Santa Fe.

What else is going on today? The sun is out, it rains for a few minutes, the sun is out, now it looks like it may rain again. OK. Fine. But where is the cooler weather? Of course I have on a pair of shoes that I don't want to get wet, so I'll have to run to the car while it's not raining.

Today I'm creating a newsletter for my Tuesday client. I got a call this morning about some possible new business. That's always positive. It's even more positive if I get the work. Then tonight I have a meeting to elect the next Houston Heights Citizen of the Year. Mr. B and I had the honor of being recognized as Citizens of the Year in 2002 (I think). Now we are members of a secret society that meets once a year for dinner, drinking and discussion about who should be honored next. Fine, as long as it doesn't interfere with me watching Dancing with the Stars, the Results Show. A girl must have her priorities!

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011

Denise Ehrlich is the head of Rodeo Uncorked!
Winery Relations and Publicity Committee
that I serve on. It was a long weekend for her!
Why do you think I'm moving so slowly this morning? Could it be the bubbly I drank last night? Or the acetaminophen I took because my hip was hurting? Or the melatonin I took because I couldn't go to sleep? Or is it because it's just a little cool in the house and the bed sheets are soft and warm? Hmmmm. It must be the latter because Roz is snuggled up on the bed pillows and Rose is at the foot of the bed snoring, and I know they didn't participate in the "chemicals" I drank and took last night.

Yesterday afternoon I volunteered with Rodeo Uncorked!, the Houston Live Stock & Rodeo wine committee. I only volunteered about five hours during the photographing of the labels of the winning wines, but some people almost lived at Reliant during the weekend while all of the wines were tasted and judged. Honestly, I've never seen so many bottles of wine. Rooms and rooms of tables filled with wine bottles. I never sat down for four hours, which is definitely the reason my right hip was aching last night. One of the five main people in the room with me was a wine rep, so I learned some things about wine along the way. Fun time!

Today I'm creating time for lunch with my friend Kelly, whose birthday was yesterday. This afternoon I have a board meeting with Women of Wine. I'd like to make a couple of aprons today, but that may have to wait until tomorrow afternoon. I'd also like to make some hobo bags out of velvet fabrics. We'll see how the day goes.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 13, 2011

Happy birthday, Kelly. Love you!
What if I woke up and had nothing to say? Well, we won't know the answer to that question today because I have plenty to say. For example, why is there a debate between the Republican presidential candidates every week? Do these men really have anything new to say that voters haven't already heard? It's almost a year before the election. I feel like they are on an extended version of the reality show Survivor. Let's see who can outlive, outwit and outplay in a white shirt, blue suit, and perfect hair? I bet Mark Burnett (creator of Survivor) had thought of this idea first.

Next, why do people give their babies strange names. Reality star (never heard of her) Shayne Lamas and hubby Nik Richie had a baby girl on Friday. Her name is Press Dahl Lamas-Richie. What? 'Nuf said.

Today I'm creating time to volunteer for Rodeo Uncorked! There was an international wine competition all day yesterday. I wasn't invited to attend the tasting, but am volunteering while the bottles of the winners are photographed. Then I'm celebrating friend Kelly Simmons' birthday. Happy birthday, Honey!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November 12, 2011

My handsome date to the Art League Gala last night.
I had a date last night with my very handsome husband. Mr. B is in that select group of men who like dressing up and going out. We get invited to a Halloween party every year. He wants the hosts to change the dress code to "black-tie option." He would much rather put on a tux than a costume. I'm always trying to get him to try something different, something like a black shirt and tie, but that's not traditional and he won't hear of it.

This was another craft fair day. In preparation I made four new aprons yesterday. I sold my favorite one before I got a photo of it. Today's craft fair was better than the one earlier this month. I sold more, but still not much traffic. Is it too early for people to be thinking about holiday presents? Today's festival was also outside and it was so windy. I felt sorry for this one woman who had lots of framed pieces that kept blowing over and breaking the glass. About an hour before the festival closed, she finally surrendered to the wind and packed everything away.

Today I'm creating dinner for Mr. B and then watching episodes of Boss, the new show with Kelsey Grammer. Everyone says that it's a great new series, so I'm propping my feet up, having some wine, and watching the episodes that have already aired.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11, 2011

Hug a veteran!
Happy 11.11.11 and Happy Veteran's Day. Do you say Happy Veteran's Day? One of my uncles, Thomas George Jenkins, was in the Navy during WWII, "the really big one." He had a huge tattoo of an anchor on his forearm and made his daughter's and me promise that we would never get one. Another uncle, R. Clyde Hargrove, D.D.S., was in the military, but not during wartime. And my older brother, T. Bryan Akin, III, defended Omaha, Nebraska at the end of the Vietnam War. I feel lucky that no relative of mine has lost his/her life during a war. I have four great nephews and hope none of them ever have to sacrifice their lives for this country.

Mr. B and I left last night's event with no art in hand, although we did leave with amounts on some bids sheets. Last night was the preview event and Saturday is the public event, so the plan is to go back. Tonight's black-tie event is an art gala where our friends Victoria and Marshal Lightman will be recognized for their contributions to local arts. My heels have gotten higher as the week has gone on, and will top out tonight around 3.5". I'm not sure why I buy heels that high, except they look so beautiful and feel great the one minute I have them on in the store.

Today I'm creating a couple of aprons to have in the outdoor fall festival tomorrow. If you're out and about between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., come by St. Andrew's Episcopal Church (corner of Heights Blvd. and 19th Street) and say hello.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011

Made a new friend last night during
The Nutcracker Market: Houston radio
host Sam Malone.
I had a super fun time last night at the Nutcracker Market! It was obvious, though, that the economy was playing a part in the event. There didn't seem to be as many vendors or shoppers – or bars. But everything was festive and I got in the mood for the holidays. I found the wrapping paper I wanted and a few other items. And I only spent about $75. I was a happy shopper!

Of course, I didn't get home until after 11 p.m. Mr. B and "the girls" were asleep. I could have stolen everything out of the house and they would have slept through it all. When I went to bed, Mr. B wanted to chat. Really? He's planning what he needs to wear tonight and Friday night. Then we got into this discussion about what "black tie" means for women. I recently read that when an invitation says "black tie" women should wear a ball gown. Mr. B was adamant that what I read was incorrect. Well, whether it's right or wrong, I won't be wearing a long gown on Friday night when he is wearing a tux.

Today I'm creating a day of at-home beauty. A facial scrub and manicure are a must, as is some fluffy hair for the Avenue CDC Art on the Avenue event tonight. Mr. B and I certainly don't need to buy any artwork, but we've purchased VIP tickets and donated Pettita Casita as a live auction item. I chaired the event twice and still enjoy supporting this community development corporation that provides affordable housing and other services to low-income families.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 9, 2011

My cute little lacy flats are ready for some
walking tonight at the Nutcracker Market.  
I've finished all my obligations and errands for today so I can now rest before tonight's shopping spree at the Nutcracker Market. I could actually be finished with 90% of my holiday shopping, but I still love to go to the market. There are two places I can think of that have wrapping paper that I don't normally see in all the stores. Last year after Christmas I got rid of all the leftover wrapping paper. Some of it has been around for a couple of years and I was over it! So I'm looking forward to finding some new paper tonight.

Speaking of the holidays, I was driving down Kirby Drive today and there was a house that was completely decorated for Christmas. I appreciate that retail establishments decorate and start playing Christmas music early to get people in the holiday shopping spirit, but a private home? No no!

Today I'm creating minutes for my Art Colony Association meeting, and then I'm having the car cleaned. I'm currently watching the Barefoot Contessa on the food channel. (If she lived in Houston, I'd probably stock Ina Garten as I did Chef Bryan Caswell. :-)) Anyway, Ina just filled a basket with wonderful homemade goodies. Hummm, food for thought! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 8, 2011

Bob Beszborn, Realtor with Boulevard Realty,
won the soup contest last Saturday and received
his prize - the golden ladle - today. Fun!
It's only 10 days until Mr. B and I leave for our annual Thanksgiving trip to Santa Fe. I checked the weather there yesterday. The high was 45 degrees and the low last night was in the 20s. It's so delicious going there and celebrating Thanksgiving in the cold!

I actually have an assignment from Rodeo Uncorked! This is the wine committee for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and I'm on the publicity team. You must have points from volunteer hours to earn a gold badge that will get you into different events. No points, no badge! I earned two points last night for attending the newcomer meeting and I'll earn points today for calling media and reminding them about the judging on Saturday. If someone I contact actually attends the meeting, I think I get bonus points. I was immediately excited about the idea of earning the most points and receiving a belt buckle. Then I told myself to step away from my competitive ego. Not to mention the stress of trying to earn 150+ points, do I really need a great big shiny silver buckle adorning my waist? I think not!

Today I'm creating a newsletter for my Tuesday client. I think I just volunteered to organize a Dads & Darlings event for Dec. 10. The idea is that dads bring their kids for a photo with Santa, and to make an ornament and purchase something for mom. The good news is that I'll have a chance to sell my items during the holiday market portion. And it will be indoors.

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7, 2011

Some of my holiday bags from last weekend's
fall festival. Many people picked them up and
noted how cute they are, but I didn't sell one.
Maybe I should rethink my pricing.
I think I'm the natural replacement for Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes. Although he had incredibly bushy eyebrows and I barely have any, and although he only typed with two fingers and I use nine (I've gotten out of the habit of using my right pinky that I severely cut last summer), I can be a grumpy opinionated curmudgeon just like Andy Rooney, as is evidenced by my daily blogs!

Here's one of my "beefs" today: Lindsay Lohan was released from a Los Angeles County jail early this morning, less than five hours after she arrived to serve a 30-day sentence for violating probation. The short stay was due to jail overcrowding. Yes sir, she violated court orders by getting booted from a community service assignment at a women's shelter. So instead of having to perform about 100 hours of community service, she spent five hours in jail. This five hours in jail is certainly more than in 2007, when she was arrested twice for drunken driving. At that time, she spent 84 minutes at the jail before being released. Well, I'm sure she has learned her lesson this time. Yeah, right! Perhaps if something in this girl's life had ever made her take full responsibility for anything in her life, she won't be such a train wreck.

Today I'm creating revisions to a magazine article I wrote last week. Then I'm running errands that I didn't have time for last week. Top on my list is to retrieve my calendar from my deactivated iPhone. I think I might have a board meeting with Women of Wine tonight and then a newcomers meeting with Rodeo Uncorked. Hello Monday!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November 6, 2011

Mitzie and me modeling the fascinators we made
while waiting for the royal wedding to begin.
Happy birthday, Princess Melissa!
Mr. B fell yesterday during the yard sale, straight onto both hands and knees. He is fine, but soar, so we stayed home last night. Unfortunately, there is crap on Saturday night television. With all the channels on Uverse I can't believe I couldn't find anything to watch. Now some of you are questioning, "Why didn't I pick up a book and read?" To you I say: My brain was too tired to concentrate on a book. Instead, I plugged into my computer and watched missed episodes of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. That's about as mindless as anyone can get, even someone such as me who is a reality show junkie.

It's my friend Mitzie's birthday. I won't tell you how old she is, but I could because she hasn't learned how to leave comments on my blog. I met Miztie in 1978. We used to watch Saturday Night Live together, so at one time there was good television on Saturday night. Dan Aykroyd would do a skit with Jane Curtain wherein he called her an "ignorant slut." Back then it was hilarious, but today it's so unpolitically correct. Mitzie and I still call each other "ignorant slut." It makes our children laugh and cringe at the same time. For Mitzie: Happy birthday, you I.S.! You're the best; the sister I never had but always wanted. I hope your birthday is as wonderful as you are!

Today I'm creating time for a visit to the AT&T store. My upgraded iPhone 3GS came in the mail yesterday with easy-to-follow activation instructions. Ha! I tried to activate it. Note the word TRIED. I'm not psychic, but see a trip to the AT&T store in my future. This morning I have two iPhones, neither of which work. Both are charged, but both say No Service. How can that be?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 5, 2011

Even though my display was good (thanks to Nick),
there were too many people just "dry shopping" at
the fall festival today instead of buying. 
It's was so early! Mr. B woke me up at 6:15 a.m. to start loading the yard for the garage sale. Before daylight people were already circling the house, although the ad we put in the newspaper said, in all caps and bold, NO EARLY BIRDS! People – get a life. Unfortunately the crowd was very light today. Usually by 8 a.m. on the morning of a yard sale, people are yelling to know the price of something while five other people are wanting to know if we'll take $.25 for something instead of $.50. And as always, somebody walked off with something. I repeat, people – get a life.

Around 8:45 a.m., I left the yard sale in the capable hands of Mr. B and others when I went off to set up for the fall festival. Number one son-in-law Nick went with me to help me display everything. The festival was another poorly attended event. What people were there were mainly looking instead of buying. Very frustrating. I almost skipped the fall festival today, and now I wish I had. Really not worth the effort. I did skip the soup cook-off that was overlapping with the fall festival. Although I was the organizer, making soup fell off my list yesterday, especially when I determined that eight other people were planning to participate. Good turn out for the soup cook-off. I've already been asked what's cooking for next month.

Today I'm creating time for a nap. My knees are killing me from standing up for four hours. One thing that was fun today were the number of people who told me that they read my blog every day. One friend said his wife reads the blog and commented that I was a good writer. Well, since that has been my day job for more years than I care to count, I hope I'm a good writer. But I still like the compliment.

Friday, November 4, 2011

November 4, 2011

Purses ready for Saturday's Fall Festival (black & white
plaid and dark green velvet, both embellished with
bright green velvet flowers).
It's Friday! I just looked at my calendar and realized that Mr. B and I leave for Santa Fe in two weeks. It will be so cool to just hang out in the casita without a calendar full of things to do. It has already snowed there, so I'm hoping we will have some snuggling weather during the 10 days we're in Santa Fe.

Yesterday I got all my items organized, embellished and tagged for the fall festival on Saturday. I think I'll have just purses and totes this weekend. I was planning to make some aprons, but that didn't happen. Mr. B thinks there may be some from last year in a box in my craft area above the garage, so I'll spend some time looking for them this afternoon. Otherwise, just purses and totes tomorrow. Next week I'll have time to make aprons before the fall festival at St. Andrews on Saturday, November 12, as well as replenish the bags and totes I sell this weekend.

Today I'm creating time for lunch with my friend Sandy. Then I'm spending the afternoon pricing items for tomorrow's garage sale. I also need to make my carrot soup for tomorrow's soup challenge. And pack up everything I'm using and taking to the fall festival. After a busy Saturday, I should sleep very well tomorrow night!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 3, 2011

Rose (on the bed) watching over Roz (on the ottoman).
Men: You might not want to read this first paragraph for fear of being grossed out. Ladies: My eyes glanced at my right knee just a few minutes ago and I swear there was a 6" brown curly hair blowing in the breeze. This is disturbing on so many levels! First of all, there's not another stubble on my knee, so how did this lone ranger make it past the razor? Next, I have blonde hair on my legs, so where did this dark brown hair get in the mix? And finally, how did I miss seeing the curlicue for so long? The older I get, lone long hairs appear over night!

OK men, you can start reading again (as if you didn't read the first paragraph after I warned you). I've been on the phone again this morning trying to collect money from the remaining people for the Women of Wine fundraiser. I'm getting there, but I still need a few people to call me back. Now, Rose and I are sitting on the bed in the back bedroom watching a segment of the Nate Burkus show titled "Cheap Chic." Apparently I'm doing everything wrong. I should only buy clothing items that can go with at least three other things in my closet. I never do that. I should wear bright solid colors. I don't do that. And I should mix patterns. I don't do that either, except when sewing or when helping Mr. B select ties to go with his suits.

Today I'm creating displays of items that I'll use Saturday during the fall festival. I have to create these displays before I go, so I can see what I need to sew between now and then. This means an afternoon, and possibly some of the evening, upstairs above the garage in the craft area.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2, 2011

I finally found a pair of black suede ankle boots that don't
have a 4" heel and didn't cost a bazillion dollars.
I'm already overbooked for Saturday, and it's only Wednesday. Mr. B and I are having a yard sale with some other people at our house. We still have items from his mother's apartment, plus tons of stuff from our storage unit that we emptied. The yard sale starts before dawn when we begin loading the  front yard. Load in for an outdoor fall festival that I'm participating in beginning at 8:45 a.m. The official time for that is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. But wait, there's more. I organized a soup cook-off challenge that is from 1-4 p.m. So not only have I overbooked, but the events overlap.

Once the yard sale is set up, Mr. B and Dr. Mc can take over there. I'll need to stay at the fall festival the entire time, but I can get others who are participating in the soup challenge to oversee that event until I get there. I thought about not participating in the fall festival, but I have lots of things made and last year I made good money at the small event.

Today I'm creating the mailing for the monthly newsletter I wrote yesterday, as well as a press release. I have my first rodeo committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. Yes, another commitment, but who could resist the call to do publicity for the rodeo's Wine Committee? For now, I'm sitting at my little desk in my Tuesday client's office. Don't adjust your calendars. I'm at the Tuesday client's office on a Wednesday, doing the mailing. The window in front of me is open and there is a nice fresh breeze. Life is good!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 1, 2011

Kendall and Nick leaving their
Nov. 1, 2008, wedding reception
with kazoos serenading
them with The Eyes of Texas.
My niece in Virginia wrote on Facebook yesterday that she can't believe that today is November. Sweet Meagan, time goes faster and faster as you get older and older! Wait until you get to be my age. This is something my grandmother Nannu used to say to me. I didn't understand what she meant when I was 24 (Meagan's age). Nannu lived a very happy 92 years. I wish the same for Meagan, me, and all of my friends and family.

Today I'm thinking about Dr. Mc and Nick. It's their third wedding anniversary. In some ways it seems like they have been married much longer. Maybe that's because they dated for almost 10 years before they married. I don't remember Kendall (she was about seven months away from being Dr. Mc at that time) looking so happy or pretty as she did that night. She was also amazingly calm for someone who is a semi-perpetual worrier. This is probably one reason that she and Nick get along so well. She worries and he's the calming force. A little ying and yang is a good thing.

Today I'm creating a newsletter and several press releases. Then I'm delivering several auction items that were purchased by guests at the Women of Wine event a week ago. What a difference a week makes! I'm so less stressed right now, and hopefully by the end of this week our home will be less full (or even empty) of auction items.