Friday, December 28, 2012

December 28, 2012

What a pleasant surprise! Mr. B came in the house this afternoon with a giant "P" that was left on our front porch. I immediately knew it was placed there by "picker extraordinaire" Kiki Neumann. Earlier in her life, Kiki sold paper supplies in the graphic design and advertising industries. Although I worked with many graphic designers and we had many friends in common, our paths never crossed until a couple of years ago at the First Saturday Arts Market in the Houston Heights. By that time, Kiki had retired from her first career and moved on. She reclaims materials and gives them new life. For example, the Happy New Years Y'all card that she left with the giant "P" on our porch is a photograph that uses old Texas license plates to make words. At one time, Kiki even helped Mr. B clean our garage so she could salvage items, including a big stack of Texas license plates.

Card from Kiki Neumann. Her website is
To comment that Kiki is has a terrific soul and inspiring spirit is an understatement. I wish some of her good nature would rub off on me!

Today I'm creating nothing. In fact, I may be taking the rest of the year off. All three days that are left in 2012.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 27, 2012

Praying for "41"
It's so sad to hear the news of George H.W. Bush's continuing illness. When my father was sick with a high fever it was usually because he had a urinary tract infection that was caused by a lack of fluids. I hope that "41" is getting the fluids he needs. Don't make me go up to that hospital and talk to his nurses.

I didn't realize until Mr. B told me that "41" is older than Jimmy Carter. Both are currently 88 years old, but Carter is approximately four months younger. Clinton and "43" are both 66 years old, but Clinton is about 11 months older. Then Obama is 51 years old. On a side note, although he has been a great humanitarian, I've never cared for Jimmy Carter. I think he was an ineffective president, plus I don't like the way he has criticized other presidents since he left office. Maybe he is still angry and has become a curmudgeon because he wasn't elected to a second term. Since he has been out of office for almost 33 years, he should has had time to get over himself and move on.

Today I'm creating arrangements for three events in January 2013. Let the activities begin!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 26, 2012

For Christmas, Sweetness gave Mr. B and me a coffee table book about New Mexico. Today, I spent all day looking at the rare historic photographs and reading the captions about the history of the Land of Enchantment. New Mexico became a state in 1912 and the book covers its centennial. Very enjoyable. Thanks, Sweetness!
Very interesting book from Evan for Christmas.
Kendall made my "MOM" from pipe cleaners.

One of the items on my bucket list is to create a coffee table book. Probably 10 years I interviewed to write a book about the stained glass windows in St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston. The graphic designer and the photographer on the project were top notch and I was really looking forward to the opportunity. Unfortunately, the woman who had coordinated the multi-year project for St. Martin's decided to write the book herself. She was a lovely woman who convinced the church she could write the book because she was a retired attorney. It was a big disappointment for me, and I think it turned out to be a disappointment for the church because the descriptions of the process and windows was more technical than readable. That's what you get when an attorney writes a book instead of a creative writer.

Today I'm creating plans for dinner with friends. We're trying a new restaurant in lower Westheimer named Roots. None of us have been there although I think it has been open for a year or so. This is the downside of living in a city with so many wonderful places to eat. We have our favorite restaurants and don't often try new ones.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December 25, 2012

Our adorable Christmas Eve dinner table.
Merry Christmas to all! We had a wonderful time last night with our small family dinner and gift exchange. Mr. B and I began by picking up Sweetness at her humble abode before going to Dr. Mc and #1 son-in-law Nick's house. After a glass or two of bubbly we ate beautifully cooked steaks, pipping hot scallop potatoes, fresh green beans and rolls. Although Sweetness has performed the job of separating presents since she was old enough to read the name tags, Dr. Mc performed the duties last night. Then we enjoyed opening presents one at the time. The night would not be complete without the mix-master Alex preparing eggnog for us. There was also some tequila sipping, but I passed on it. We finished the wonderful evening with warm bread pudding topped with cold cream. It didn't take me long to get to sleep after Mr. B and I returned home.

Every Christmas I think about when I was eight. I knew for a fact that I was the only girl in the entire world who didn't have a Barbie doll. I'm talking about the original Barbie with her blonde ponytail who was dressed in the black and white striped bathing suit. On Christmas Eve, after everyone in the house was asleep, I snuck into the living room. The room was illuminated by the Christmas tree lights. I carefully looked at every present to see if that oh-so-familiar-shaped Barbie box was there. I found it. I pulled it out. I carefully unwrapped it. She was just as beautiful as I knew she would. And she was mine. After staring at her, I thought about just taking her to bed with me, but instead I carefully re-wrapped the box and put her back under the tree. Once back in bed, I'm sure I smiled before falling asleep and dreaming about my sweet Barbie. The moral of this little Christmas tale? None of my family will put presents under the tree until the very last minute for fear that I will open my gifts early.

Today I'm creating very tasty potatoes for Christmas dinner tonight. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and enjoys the best gift of the season: family, friends, and God's peace.

Monday, December 24, 2012

December 24, 2012

I finished creating pillows. Yippee! I'm always looking the burlap bags that have initials of friends and family. Today's pic-of-the-day is "Super R," which I made for Dr. Mc to give to her dad, Richard. The "SK" is for her step-mom. Her initials are SK. What are the chances!?! I also made a "Home Grown Marijuana" burlap pillow for my neighbor. She was so excited to receive it, and can't wait for her Mormon dinner guests to see it. What a wicked sense of humor.

I've sent Mr. B out again to face the crowds. This week he has gone boldly where he hasn't gone before (to paraphrase Star Trek). He went to the fabric store for me. Today he's going to the Dollar Store and Big Lots to look for boxes and bags. How is it that he has never been to the Dollar Store or Big Lots? His final stop will be to the liquor store, where everybody knows his name (to quote the theme song from Cheers).

Today I'm creating floral arrangements and wrapping more presents. I have to make 8-10 arrangements for a Christmas Party tomorrow night. Since I can't stand up and cook, I'm going to sit down and make arrangements. I really miss our former neighbor, Viki, at times like this. She taught me how to make great arrangements without spending a fortune. Thanks, Miz Viki!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

December 23, 2012

Making centerpieces for Dr. Mc's table.
Although I try to be happy, this is such a difficult time of the year for me! My mother and older brother both died between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Plus, my last Christmas with Daddy was also sad. Although he was alive at Christmas, he really wasn't the father I had known. I think I fed him the Christmas in 2006, before he died in March 20007. I used to LOVE Christmas. I was the first one to put up decorations. My Christmas tree overwhelmed the living room. But I would say that since my mother died in 2001, I have cried a lot of the time during December. Sometimes I don't even care about decorations. Yet I have so many blessings and so much to be thankful for. Why can't I get past the sorrow? No one could ask for a better husband or more terrific children. Yet this is such a sad time of year for me.

I did get out of bed today to go to a party at friends' house. It was really fun because it was a small group. So many times the parties are huge and I get overwhelmed. We're invited to two parties tomorrow night. Right now, I don't know if I will make either of them.

Today I'm creating pillows. I need to make two burlap pillows for Dr. Mc. Mr. B made the trip to the fabric store for me today so I'll be able to fill the pillows.

December 22, 2012

We received the mother-load of mail today. Christmas cards. Christmas presents ordered online. And even two holiday outfits for moi. Delightful! I'm enjoying reading all the Christmas cards from friends and family. It makes me wish I sent them out so the people who sent us cards would have the same happy feelings I have. No excuses. I just didn't get them done.
My Christmas wrapping theme for this year.

Mr. B is off at the fabric store getting me the fiber filling I need to make my pillows. On his way out the door, I asked him if he had gotten gifts for his "man friends." Of course not! All he has to do is get presents for his friends and me, so why does it have to be at the last minute. As my mother used to say when my daddy did the same thing, "Everything will be picked over." Daddy usually bought her jewelry, so I doubt it was really "picked over."

Today I'm creating a party dessert. To tell the truth, I had Mr. B buy a dessert to take to the party tonight. I was much too busy watching holiday decorating shows on HGTV to slave over a dessert.

Friday, December 21, 2012

December 21, 2012

Another burlap pillow I made yesterday. Fun!
What should I write about today? I really don't want to write anything because I'm in that kind of mood.

I need to go to the fabric store to get some filling for pillows plus some crimp beads for jewelry. Mr. B's office closed at noon today, but it's 5:30 p.m. and he hasn't left the office yet. Tonight he is going to have dinner with a man who used to work for him, so there goes my time to go to the store. I'm tempted to get in the car and drive myself tonight. I'm sick of the crutches and not being able to get around! I know, people are tired of hearing it. I'm tired of living it!

Today I'm creating pillow covers. I ran out of the fiber to fill the pillows, so I can't finish the pillows. Hopefully tomorrow.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 20, 2012

If I type fast, I can actually have this blog online while it is still December 20, 2012. Here I go.

I don't think that tomorrow is the end of the world. Maybe the end of the world as we know or have known it. Hopefully the coming world will be kinder and gentler than the one we have had for the past ??? many years. I was watching a program tonight on NBC about past Christmases at the White House.  During Richard Nixon's first term as president, he made a Christmas speech about peace in the world. Unfortunately we are further away from peace than we were in the 1970s. Very sad indeed.

Today I'm creating pillows. I finished two pillows made from burlap shipping bags for a client. What was shipped in the bags. Look on top of the donkey. The caption is hard to read, but it says, "Knocks you off your ass." Great graphic!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 19, 2012

Only one more week with crutches.
I got good news from the doctor today. My foot is healing well and I can start putting weight on it in a week. I still have to wear the boot, but I can ditch the crutches. This may be the best Christmas present I  receive this year. I almost cried happy tears in the doctor's office. Anyone who has been reading my blog knows that I'm sick and tired of the crutches.

On Wednesday nights I like to watch Million Dollar Decorators on Bravo. Both male decorators featured on the show have three names. Do you think that's key to being a good interior designer? One of the male decorators is SO over the top that I'm thinking about muting whenever he is on screen. Anyway, three of the four decorators were participating in a showcase house. All of them said, at different times, that they would spend $75K-$100K to properly showcase their work in the house. Can you imagine? I guess that after the magazine photography is completed, the designers can take the items used in the showroom(s) back to their studios and sell them to a client, oh my goodness!

Today I'm creating time for an afternoon nap.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18, 2012

Gifts wrapped for teens in a residential treatment program.  
I've spent most of the afternoon wrapping presents. None of the presents I've wrapped and decorated are for my family or friends, but for adolescents, ages 12-17 years, in a residential treatment program in Houston. These teens have psychological, emotional, and/or substance abuse disorders that impair their behavioral functioning and adversely impact their everyday home, school and community environments. The center was founded by two friends and they do such a great job with the adolescents. I couldn't physically go shopping for items, so I donated money, provided the wrapping paper and ribbons, and spent a lovely afternoon wrapping packages.

Tonight Mr. B and I are having dinner with our friend Joe who moved to Orange County several years ago. He usually comes to Houston twice a year on his way to Beaumont to visit his family. We eat good Mexican food (something he can't get in Orange County), and I laugh and laugh at the stories Joe tells about his family. Chalk this one up as a fun and rewarding day.

Today I'm creating patterns for pillows. I still need to make more burlap pillows before Christmas. I also need to see what sort of totes I have at the house that I can donate to the center. One of the activities that the girls enjoy is knitting. I've made several totes that would be perfect for holding knitting supplies.

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012

I wrote yesterday about going to a party last Saturday night. Each year there is a gift exchange after everyone has eaten. I was so excited this year to take home a bottle of bubbly. I don't think I've ever had Piper-Heidsieck before, so I can't wait to try it.

It's hard to believe that Christmas is so soon. Only a week from tomorrow. My sweet grandmother was right: The years go faster the older you get.

Today I'm creating time to rest. I think I pulled or somehow inflamed a muscle on my right side underarm. I'm blaming the crutches. And since I use the crutches in the house, my mobility is further diminished.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 16, 2012

The handsome Mr. (Johnny) Cash – the dog
in black – at last night's party.
My mother died on Monday, Nov. 25, 2001, and was buried the following Saturday morning. Although she had been in declining health for several years, her death was totally unexpected, and my family wondered if we had done everything possible for her. Mr. B and I were invited to a dinner party that took place two weeks after Mother's funeral. I attended the party, but felt guilty about going and laughing so shortly after Mother's death.

Last night as Mr. B and I were getting ready to go to a Christmas party at some friends' home, I had the same guilty feelings as I had when attending the dinner party so shortly after my Mother's death. Was it insensitive to go out for a good time in the wake of a horrific national tragedy? No, but it is time to do something to stop the violence. We need gun control. No civilian needs to own a high-powered rifle as the shooter used in Newtown. But gun control is only part of the problem. It’s also time to talk about mental illness. What can be done to identify and help the young men who are behind the shootings?

Today I'm creating pillows. I've promised several for Christmas, so I better get working on them. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 15, 2012

Cute use of Scrabble letters.
I was awakened this morning by a text from a client. I had spent weeks planning his office party that took place last night. His text read, "Very nice party. Thanks for coordinating." How nice was that! What a great way to start my day.

I can tell this is going to be a super day. Mr. B brought me a pumpkin latte and piece of pumpkin bread from Starbucks. Tonight we're going to a party at our friends' home. Their annual Christmas party is always fun. Sandy has promised that she is saving my favorite chair for me. I'm allowed to sit in that chair with my foot on the ottoman all night, or at least until the party ends. And Dave always the bubbly cold and waiting for me. I love my friend!

Today I'm creating more prayers for the people in Conn. I dislike the media rushing there and causing havoc. Even Matt Lauer was in Conn. anchoring the Saturday morning edition of the Today Show. There were five Today show anchors/reporters on camera and who knows how many behind the scenes. Please have the decency to go back to NYC and let the people mourn without a media frenzy. This is not election coverage or a movie premiere, but people grieving after a tragedy. Leave them alone!

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 14, 2012

The beautiful McCarley sisters in Sept. 2007 in NYC.
God bless them and keep them safe always!
I have lost friends and family members: my grandparents, mother, father and brother. But I don't think I could stand the pain of losing one of the beautiful McCarley sisters. It doesn't matter how old they get, they are still my babies and no one is supposed to hurt them.

On December 7, 2008, I stood next to my father and held his hand as we watched his only son and my older brother die. We had been at the hospice center all day with my brother's wife and four children because the nurses had warned us that it was probably Bryan's last day. We stayed in his room and listened to his labored breathing all day, wondering when he would take his last breath. Finally, in the late afternoon there was silence. Conversation stopped as we waited for Bryan to take another breath. He didn't. We all rushed to his bedside and I was asked to feel for a pulse. Daddy squeezed me hand so tightly as I tried to find a pulse on my brother's wrist, and then his neck. But there was none. I saw and felt the life go out of my father that night when he realized he had outlived his namesake. He told me three years later, as he laid dying, that it wasn't supposed to happen that way. Parents aren't supposed to bury their children.

Today I'm creating prayers and positive energy, and sending them to the people in Conn. who lost loved ones today, especially to the parents who lost their children. God give them strength and blessings as they go through the coming days, weeks and months.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December 13, 2012

When we were young, most of us disliked history. "Why do I need to know all this old stuff," is something I probably said more than once. But now, I love history. Here are some interesting events that happened on Dec. 13, in history.

2003 – American forces captured Saddam Hussein who was hiding in a hole.
2000 – Al Gore concedes presidential election; George W. Bush named president.
1995 – U.S. Federal Court votes that Cable companies must carry local stations.
1993 – Dow Jones hits record 3764.43.
1991 – Both Koreas sign an accord calling for reconciliation.
1985 – In a movie first, the murder mystery, "Clue." It featured three different endings. Newspaper ads indicated which ending was playing at which theatre.
1979 – "Oklahoma!" opens at Palace Theater New York City.
1978 – Susan B. Anthony dollar, 1st U.S. coin to honor a woman, issued.
1971 – John Sinclair (sentence: 10 yrs, sold 2 marijuana joints) is freed.
1969 – Arlo Guthrie releases "Alice's Restaurant."
1966 –  Jimi Hendrix recorded "Foxey Lady." 
1964 – In El Paso, TX, LBJ and Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off an explosion diverting Rio Grande, to reshape US-Mexico border.
1963 – Capital records signs right of 1st refusal agreement with Beatles.
1961 – Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses) died at the age of 101. The self-taught artist took up painting in her sixties; having her first showing in New York City at the ripe, young age of 80. 
1950 – James Dean begins his career with an appearance in a Pepsi commercial.
1938 – Los Angeles freezes at 28 degrees F.
1930 – Bette Davis arrives in Hollywood under contract to Universal Studios.
1928 – Clip-on tie designed.
1918 – Wilson becomes 1st to make a foreign visit as president (France).
1818 – Mary Todd Lincoln was born. 
1913 – Mona Lisa stolen in Aug 1911 returned to Louvre.
1903 – Wright Bros make 1st flight at Kittyhawk.
1843 – "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens published; 6,000 copies sold.

Today I'm creating history. Thanks to Dr. Mc for coming to the house last night to cheer me up!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 12, 2012

Pity party, table for one? Right this way, please.

I looked at the calendar today and realized there's little-to-no chance that I'll be wearing matching shoes by the end of the year. Truthfully, I can live with the boot, but the crutches are a deal breaker for me. And I've got to be able to drive. I'm sick of being in the house. It's such a mess that I won't let anyone come in, and I won't go out. I didn't get out of bed today except to go to the bathroom. Mr. B went to see the James Bond movie tonight. I love James Bond, but didn't get dressed and go with him.

Today I'm creating nothing. On a positive note, there's always tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11, 2012

What a disappointment the Texans' game was last night. That's all I want to say about that disaster.

Mr. B forgot me this morning, so I drove myself to my Tuesday client's office. I felt as if I was doing something I wasn't supposed to do. When I was in the fifth or sixth grade, I got in my mother's car and backed it up. Mother had pulled her car into the garage too close to the wall. My friends and I couldn't get the pingpong table out. At that time you could put the car in gear without having a key, so I put the car in reverse and my friends pushed it back. I don't know where Mother was, but of course my older brother saw me and told my parents. I don't remember what my punishment was, although I'm sure I was reprimanded.

Today I'm creating the final plans for the Friday night office party I'm planning for my client. Everything is ordered, so all I have to do it wait until Friday.

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 10, 2012

Several friends from Santa Fe posted pictures of the snow that fell in Santa Fe yesterday. It's beautiful! The pic-of-the-day is of a church that is less than a mile down the street from Pettita Casita. During the summer there are gorgeous roses all around the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In the background, The Santuario de Guadalupe, begun in 1795, is the oldest still standing church in the U.S. honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe. In August 2008, I attended the unveiling of the new sculpture that was created in Mexico City. The sculpture is 12 feet high on the altar. There are vases for daily offerings of flowers, a box for prayers, and an inlaid bronze Holy Rosary Walk in the pavement surrounding the statue.

Today I'm creating party plans for this weekend. Our Lady's Feast Day is December 12th. I wish I would be in Santa Fe on Wednesday to attend, but I'll stay in Houston and enjoy the cool weather here.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December 9, 2012

Love my new polish! Clear with gold flecks.
I'm tempted not to write a blog today because my mood is funky. And seeing commercials like the one I just watched by the ASPCA takes my mood even further down. The song in the background is "Silent Night" as abandon and abused animals are pictured. Downer!

Last night at Lights in the Heights was fun. I spent most of the time on the porch watching people walk down the center of the street – many in shorts. Come on, cool weather! Friend Mitzie did walk with me on my scooter to tour a couple of blocks. I love all the lights and decorations! My favorite of the night was a guy walking in a short white robe, lace-up boots and dark-brown fur hat. Do you remember Randy Quad dressed like this in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation? Too funny!

Today I'm creating some holiday cheer in the Pettit house. Mr. B and I are supposed to start decorating our house today, but with both of us feeling lazy, it may have to wait until next weekend.

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 7, 2012

My across-the-street neighbor Sandra brought me lunch today. Yummy soup, half a sandwich and fruit, along with a couple of hours of conversation. So nice!

The news of the nurse's suicide after the royal baby prank is tragic. The young woman was so upset about giving out information about Kate Middleton's condition that she took her life. What a fragile soul.

Today I'm creating jewelry with my new tools. The pic-of-the-day is of Dr. Mc and #1 son-in-law Nick's front porch. The lights and the Lego sculptures look great! Go team McZam.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 6, 2012

The stitches were removed yesterday, but I'm still non-weight bearing on my left foot. Progress! As the doctor said, "Now we wait for my body to heal itself."

Last night I was at Dr. Mc and #1-son-in-law Nick's house working on the Lego wreath. The pic-of-the-day shows the wreath being mounted on plywood. After the plywood is trimmed to the shape of the wreath, lights are stick through pre-drilled holes in the plywood so the wreath will be lit. Finally the round parts of the Legos are stuck to the front. Too cool! Other lego pieces in the Christmas set include two big candy canes and a Christmas tree. 

Today I'm creating an ensemble to wear to a holiday party tonight. Most of my holiday attire includes skirts, but they won't work with my scooter. Then again, maybe I should leave the scooter at home and just use my crutches tonight. Decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 5, 2012

Just arrived!
Look at the size of this lovely box that arrived just a few minutes ago from Zappos. On the bottom of the box are its measurements: 16x10x10. How many pairs of shoes are in the box? And where can I hide them all from Mr. B? The box was delivered by UPS and the delivery man was kind enough to ring the doorbell after putting the box on the porch. Before I could get to the front door, He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all went like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, get that box in house, your crutches have the might.

Mr. B and I were on the way to the doctor's office around 11 a.m. today when we got a call from the granddaughter-in-law of a dear friend. Our wonderful friend Neva passed away this morning. Mr. B and I are guessing she was 87 or 88 years young. She was one of the first people I met in neighborhood. She adored Mr. B and always referred to him as her boyfriend. I feel privileged to have called Neva my friend for more than 30 years. But as sad as we were to hear the news, it brings us joy to know that Neva is now reunited with her sweet husband, Joe, who died one year ago tomorrow. God help their family during this difficult time!

Today I'm creating plans for a client's holiday party. And now that I'm finished with my blog, I can open the box from Zappos. Yippee! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 4, 2012

I'm back to posting after a couple of depression days about my foot. Nobody wants to hear from me when I'm in that mood! It upsets me that I can't get around during the holidays. I really wanted to go to Target yesterday and get some boxes for Christmas presents and look at the wrapping paper. The good news (which I'm trying to focus on today) is that it has now been two complete weeks since my last surgery. Only four more to go!

I had fun yesterday afternoon working on the oversized Lego pieces for Dr. Mc and #1-son-in-law Nick's outdoor decorations. Dr. Mc is as artistic as she is smart! Today's pic-of-the-day shows some of the Lego boxes I was working on. I'll take pictures of their house this weekend and post them so you can see the finished product.

Today I'm creating a weekly newsletter for my Tuesday client.

Friday, November 30, 2012

November 30, 2012

As soon as I opened up my computer to write this blog, I realized that I want a bottle of water or a diet coke. Can you wait about five minutes for me to get back from the kitchen? OK. I'm back. Did you miss me? I bet you didn't even realize I was gone.

Two good things happened yesterday. First, Mitzie found a wreath for the front of my scooter (see photo). I can't wait for Mr. B to get home from work today and attach the wreath to the scooter. I'm envisioning the front of cars with wreaths attached and think I may have to add a big red bow to the one on my scooter. How gaudy can I get?

Today I'm creating jewelry using tools I received in the mail yesterday. Before Mr. B attaches the wreath to the scooter, I'm going to get him to set up my jewelry-making snack table so I can play with my new toys.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November 29, 2012

I drove myself today to met a girlfriend for lunch. I loved getting out of the house and catching up. After lunch I drove around for about 15 minutes. As I was pulling back into the driveway, I noticed the giant bald cypress tree at the side of the front yard. Every year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the tree sheds its foliage all over the yard and the roof of the house. It's nice for its "de-flowering" to happen sooner rather than later so the outdoor Christmas decorations don't get covered up. As you can see in the picture, the foliage is totally changed colors and is ready to leave the tree.

Yesterday I was also out of the house for a doctor's appointment. For the first time since the surgery, the boot and bandages war removed from my foot. The nurse took three x-rays of my foot, which all showed the screw that is holding the bone together. I was surprised at the size of the screw! The doctor was pleased with my progress. He re-dressed the incision, wrapped up my foot, and I'm back in the boot. Hopefully on New Year's Eve I'll be wearing a matching pair of shoes, even if they're only glittery flats.

Today I'm creating the draft of a newsletter article. It's finished and I'm now ready for a nap.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 28, 2012

In an attempt to be considerate to Mr. B, I got up early this morning and came to work with him. I have a doctor's appointment at 11:25 a.m. and, since he's taking me there, I didn't want him to have to drive home to get me. I actually agreed to getting up early and getting dressed. If you've been reading my blogs for any time, you know that I don't like getting up in the morning. I'm blaming my accommodating behavior on the pain medication, which has obviously blocked my normal reasoning ability to put my needs first. A kinder, gentler Princess Julie. What a concept!

I'm sitting in the downstairs conference room at Mr. B's office. Originally this old building was a house, so there's a fireplace in the conference room. The owner of the company is a big game hunter and has animal heads everywhere. But wait. These aren't the Bambi heads that some proud Texans display in their homes. No. Staring at me from above the fireplace is the head and neck of a water buffalo. The abundance of fluorescent lighting in this room prohibits a clear picture with my iPhone, but my pic-of-the-day gives you a sense of what I'm experiencing. At least the water buffalo doesn't have it's pink tongue sticking out, but I wish s/he would stop staring at me!

Today I'm creating ...  pause, pause, pause ... time for an afternoon nap. I'm beginning to feel like I'm cheating on my blog and readers because I haven't been creating much recently. I'm also blaming that on the pain meds.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 27, 2012

On the scooter, my left knee and leg go on the
padded area, my hands go on the handlebars
and I push with my right leg/foot.
I guess it's time to end my pity party and get back to daily blogging. This afternoon I went to my Tuesday client's office. It was such a production getting there! Although my left foot is injured, Mr. B doesn't think I should drive myself. He came home around noon and took me to my client's office. The photo today shows my scooter at the office and the bag I put on the handlebars. I can put anything I need in the bag and take it with me. To the right are my crutches in case I need to get into a tight spot where the scooter wouldn't fit. It hasn't been a bad afternoon, but my foot is aching and I'm ready to go home. Mr. B will be back to get me in about 30 minutes. I hope he is on time.

It looks much colder in Houston than it really is. The little niche where I sit on Tuesdays is in a corner and there are two windows at a 45 degree angle from each other. Just a few minutes ago the sun was shining, but now it's cloudy out both of my windows.

Today I'm creating a magazine article and an invitation. I read on a neighborhood site that people have been stealing packages from porches. I just hate that, especially since I've been ordering gifts from the Internet. I'm not home this afternoon to keep a look out for the postman. I hope nothing gets stolen!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 25, 2012

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While I continue to spend most of my days in bed with my foot elevated, I have plenty of time to think of things for which I am thankful. I'm actually glad that I'm in Houston, because if we had gone to Santa Fe as planned, this would be our last day there before getting up early in the morning and driving for 13 hours. I'm also happy that instead of rough and tough football or hockey, I'm watching ice skating on television this afternoon. I'm excited that Mr. B is going to Target and on his way back he'll get me a Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte. And I'm grateful that the girls' dad and I now longer have to struggle through holiday photo shoots with the McCarley sisters. The photos posted today are from 1991, and are very typical of Sweetness' cooperation and Dr. Mc's frustration levels.

Have you seen the new(ish) Paul Mitchell commercial featuring a young man in a suit? He has beautiful thick, shoulder-length, wavy blonde hair. I have hair envy!

Today I'm creating a list of holiday gifts that I still need to get. Every year I always say that I'll get the presents wrapped and the tree up early. Maybe this year.

Friday, November 23, 2012

November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving table at the McZam's house.
Yesterday was tough, but I do believe that I turned the corner this morning. As much as I love the old houses in my historic neighborhood, maneuvering the outside stairs and broken sidewalks takes a toll on a women with crutches. Once inside Dr. Mc and #1 son-in-law Nick's house, the Thanksgiving feast was wonderful! It was their first time to host Thanksgiving and they did a great job. In fact, I wish I had some dessert right now. I wonder if Dr. Mc delivers.

The Texans game yesterday was exciting. I really didn't think the team was going to win, but once again magic happened during overtime. Unfortunately, the Longhorns were not so lucky. That game was so bad we didn't watch it all.

Today I'm creating nothing. I was actually going to attempt sewing some aprons today, but have decided against it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 20, 2012

Sweet Rose can't jump on the bed to give
me kisses, so she put her yellow bear
next to my crutches. My goal in life
is to be the person she thinks I am. 
I don't remember there being as much pain with the first foot/ankle surgery. Of course, the doctor had to re-break my foot yesterday and insert a screw. I'm trying to stick with the medication schedule, but it's not working. Last night I would take the pain medication and fall asleep for about 45 minutes to an hour. Then I would be awake for three hours with increasing pain until it was time to take more medication.

Daytime TV is crappy. Or maybe it's the same as always except I'm in a crappy mood. And I'm hot.

Today I'm creating a grocery list for Mr. B.

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19, 2012

This is Mr. B blogging for Princess Julie. It was a long day with her second foot surgery, but the trooper is home and asleep in the guest bedroom. Her journey continues.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 17, 2012

With #1 son-in-law Nick a couple of weeks ago. I was
standing on a ledge to be taller and he was wearing my
glasses to look older.
I'm so depressed today because I'm not in Santa Fe, as was the plan. Since we are in Houston, Mr. B and I decided to take advantage of the time and do some deep cleaning, but that didn't happen. That leaves tomorrow to clean the house before my surgery.

There were lots of art events in Houston today, but we didn't attend any of those. As I said, I'm depressed. I slept most of the day. Now that I think about it, sleeping and staying off my foot was probably a better idea than stomping through warehouses and looking at art.

Today I'm creating a pity party for one. Such a sad mood I'm in, but times will get better soon!

Friday, November 16, 2012

November 16, 2012

Fuzzy pic with friends.
I can't believe that I haven't posted a blog since Monday, but then again, I can. It has been a busy week that was also emotionally stressful and draining in so many ways. Today is also disappointing because by this time, Mr. B and I should have been well on our way to Santa Fe for our Thanksgiving vacation. Instead, he is at work and I'm sitting in the house.

I'm not going to dwell on the stressful part of the week, but rather will say that I had a great time on Tuesday celebrating a dear friend's birthday with good Italian food and wine, and on Wednesday we were enjoyed dinner with the owner and president of the company Mr. B works for. More good Italian food and wine. And yesterday I was honored to judge the artwork that was submitted for the next great Bayou City Art Festival.

Today I'm creating a trip to the doctor's office to review and sign paperwork for my foot surgery on Monday. It's going to be OK.

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12, 2012

I just came in the house from letting Rose go out for a few minutes. I'm wondering why it's so much cooler outside than it is in the house. I know we don't have the heater on, so it should be as cool (or cooler) than it is outside. 
This morning when I was looking online, I found the photo I'm posting today. There's snow in "them there"mountains outside of Santa Fe.The scenery is so beautiful.  I downloaded this photo from the Santa Fe Visitors' Bureau. They probably enhanced it to make it look even better than it does naturally.

Today I'm creating pillows. I finished three that I was working on so I can deliver them tomorrow. I have another one to fill, but that can wait until tomorrow.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 11, 2012

I've spent most of the day watching television, waiting patiently for the cool front to get to Houston. It rained just a few minutes this morning and I was hoping that would be the beginning, but alas, no. Unlike Houston, it has been raining in Chicago throughout the Texans' game. With only two minutes to go in the game, the Texans have been playing well. I shouldn't say anything now because I don't want to jinx the game. Next subject, please.

I've been looking for some burlap bags that I bought before I went to Santa Fe last summer. I have a feeling that Mr. B moved them somewhere and he doesn't remember it. Or with my fading memory, maybe I put them somewhere. Regardless, I need to locate them!

Today I'm creating a day of relaxation before a busy week. Whoa ... the Texans have won in the rain and wind.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November 10, 2012

Fabulous second night at Art on the Avenue. Mr B and I didn't buy anything else tonight, but we saw so many friends! I love seeing people support art when the proceeds benefit worthy causes, such as affordable housing. Affordable homes is so important in today's economy when the dream of home ownership has basically been destroyed during the past four years.
Fun time tonight with Sherry Kline, Dr. Mc and
Richard McCarley at Art on the Avenue (Sweetness,
far right, was off having her own fun).

I stayed in the house with my foot elevated most of today. I hear this is what I need to be doing. Sweet baby Rose is always happy when her mama is in the house. We napped throughout the day.

Today I'm creating rest time for my foot. It's amazing that I walked around for about six weeks on a broken foot, although I was so careful about my left foot that I was destroying my right hip. In the next few weeks, all will be fixed and well again.

Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9, 2012

It's a beautiful day in
the neighborhood.
In Houston we have sunny skies and a high of 82 degrees. It is supposed to rain all day Sunday and the high on Monday will be 66 degrees. I just read on FB from a friend in Santa Fe that the weather forecast for Sunday is high 36, lo 16, and snow! Mr. B and I are in negotiations about going to Santa Fe a week from today. We have been there the past five years for Thanksgiving, but this year it all depends on the weather and whether I'll be able to get from the car to the casita. Once inside, I'll be fine. 

Speaking of Mr. B, we went to Art on the Avenue last night. It's an annual event that showcases the work of local artisans and supports affordable housing in the Washington corridor and near-North area of Houston. It's always a great event that supports a great cause. I chaired the event two times and am always excited to see that initiatives I started are continuing to grow!

Today I'm creating stuffing for two pillows. I'm so happy that the boot on my left foot doesn't hinder me operating the sewing machine pedal with my right foot.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8, 2012

Dr. Mc, moi and Sweetness at Ashley's wedding last Saturday.
My older brother was diagnosed with Melanoma skin cancer in 2003, and died in 2004. Since then, I have been careful with skin lesions, which are defined as growths or patches of the skin that don't resemble the area around them. I'll show them to my Internist and he normally calls my lesions Actinic Keratosis (AK). I've learned that untreated AKs can advance to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most common form of skin cancer. It's slow-growing, nonmelanoma skin cancer that is very common among older people (check) with light-colored skin (check), green or blue eyes (check), and blond or red hair (check).

At my last visit to the Internist, he suggested I have a lesion on my chest examined by a dermatologist. And since I've met my out-of-pocket insurance costs for the year, I made an appointment and saw a dermatologist today. She froze about 15 AK lesions on my arms, back and chest, and is concerned with a spot on my left arm. I have to go back to see her in a month so she can check the spot to make sure it hasn't advanced to SCC. If freezing it doesn't make it go away, she biopsy it. At that time she is also going to check other parts of my body for AKs. In the meantime, every place she froze with nitrogen is now red and blistering. Thank goodness I didn't have anything on my face because what I can see on my arms looks nasty and every place stings. Let's see, what long-sleeve blouse can I wear tonight?

Today I'm creating nothing for the second day in a row. I just took some Advil to see if it will help with the stinging. I'm going to have a short (?) nap and hope the stinging is gone when I awake.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 7, 2012

Back in the boot.
And the foot/ankle saga continues. Stay with me as I explain. I was released by my orthopedic surgeon on September 10, even though my foot and ankle were still swollen and bruised. He told me it would just take time. A week later, I stepped off a curb at the Houstonian and thought I twisted my ankle. It was sore and tender, but OK after a few days. By OK I mean it was back to being swollen and bruised. Two months later, foot still swollen and bruised, I go to a different doctor today, who X-rays my foot and tells me it is broken. I'm back in a boot, going for an MRI this afternoon, and then back to the podiatrist to schedule surgery. I don't know if this is leftover from my first surgery or a result of missing the curb at the Houstonian. The doctor told me today that he would make an incision, clean out the break in the bone, and then put a screw to hold it together until it heals. Oh, say it isn't so!

I'm so upset, not only because I'm out of commission again, but Mr. B and I will have to scrap our trip to Santa Fe at Thanksgiving. Mr. B was going to fly back to Houston and I was going to stay an extra two weeks before driving home with the pups. But I'll never be able to get around on the ice and possible snow after surgery.

Today I'm creating nothing except questions. Will my foot and ankle ever heal? Will I ever be able to wear cute heals again? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 6, 2012

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Stallings at their
wedding on Saturday, Nov. 3.
Election day is finally here. I'm not the only one who is tired of all the mudslinging and politics. I'm waiting about two more hours, until mid-afternoon, and then I'm heading over to Reagan High School to vote. I hope the other 5,000+ people in the Houston Heights aren't planning to do the same.

Just as important as the election today is Mitzi's birthday. Happy birthday, my friend, and many more!

Today I'm creating dinner for Mr. B. Last night we were talking about comfort food. My favorite comfort food is shepherd's pie, so it will be on the dinner table tonight.

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5, 2012

The always handsome, but seldom serious, Zamora brothers.
I'm sitting around the house waiting for the cool weather to arrive. We're supposed to be getting a cool front today or tonight, but when I took Rose for a walk a few minutes ago it wasn't the least bit cooler. In fact, we're still running the air conditioner in the house because it's so warm outside.

Not leaving the house results in little to talk about. The only news during the past week seems to be Hurricane Sandy and/or the election. I don't have anything new or profound to say about either subject, plus I think the everyone is tired of both topics.

Today I'm creating a clean TV room (and possibly the most boring blog I've ever written).

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November 4, 2012

Sweetness channelling inner fun self.
I missed posting on my blog yesterday so I'll catch you up on the day. I got up and took Sweetness shopping for a dress to wear to Ashley's wedding. It's so like Evan to wait until the last minute and then find several dresses that she could wear. We went to Macy's downtown and there were hardly any people there, unlike the Galleria which was packed like sardines. She selected probably six-to-eight dresses and settled on one to wear to the wedding. All were on sale so we also bought another one that she liked. On sale and then an additional 15% off. I like that. Next we hurried downstairs to look at shoes. Macy's was having a huge shoe sale. Both of us were grabbing them off the rack and trying on shoes. We found a pair to go with each of her dresses, so why not get both? No drama while shopping and she looked very stylish at the wedding!

Next we met Dr. Mc for mani/pedis before Mr. B and I went to the Magnolia hotel. We stayed downtown and directly across the street from Christ Church Cathedral where the wedding took place. Mitzi looked beautiful in her mother-of-the-bride gown and Madame was radiant. The reception was at the Petroleum Club. Great view of the Houston skyline all lit up. Wonderful wedding. Fun reception. What a great way to spend a Saturday night.

Today I'm creating time to watch the Texan's game. Although I'm not a big sports fan, it is always fun to watch football when the Longhorns and Texans are having winning seasons.

Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2, 2012

I loved this photo today of a reunion between Bush 41 and
Gorbachev. The former leader of the world hugging.
I attended a lovely bridal luncheon today for my goddaughter, Ashley. I got very emotional and left after about an hour. I don't have "that time of the month" any more, so I don't know the cause of my emotions.

Maybe I'm emotional because I took a good look at myself in the mirror today. Since I hurt my foot and ankle in February I've not gotten on the scale. When I tried on a dress today that was one size larger than I normally wear, it made me sick. The second dress I tried on looked better, but I didn't buy either one. If I'm heavier than normal, I don't want to support the extra weight with new clothes.

Today I'm creating an appointment for the girls to be boarded on Saturday night. Ashley's wedding is downtown, so Mr. B and I are going to stay at the Magnolia Hotel on tomorrow night.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1, 2012

The newlyweds departed their reception
to  the Eyes of Texas played on kazoos.
Happy anniversary to Dr. Mc and #1 son-in-law Nick!

For anyone who doesn't know about their story, they met in the second grade at River Oaks Elementary. They went to middle school at Lanier Middle School, where they "dated" briefly in the 7th grade. Next the went to and graduated from Houston's Vanguard High School and both enrolled at The University of Texas. As luck would have it, they both stayed in the same off-campus dorm. In the second semester of their freshman year they started dating. And the rest, as they say, is history. After their college graduation, Kendall was accepted to graduate school in Denver and Nick went with her. Both families knew that they would marry someday, but Kendall wanted to finish school first. Early in 2007, Nick's job transferred him from Denver to Houston. Kendall was writing her doctorate dissertation and was allowed to come back to Houston to finish it. In December 2007, Nick popped the question just after Christmas while we were all at the Santa Fe house. At the age of 28, after knowing each other for 20 years and dating for almost 10, they married in a beautiful ceremony on Nov. 1, 2008, at the Crystal Ballroom in the Rice Hotel in Houston.

Today I'm creating an ad for my Tuesday client. Oh, wait ... it's Thursday!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 31, 2012

Last night I was helping package sweet treats
for people who are coming in town for the
wedding of Ashley + Taylor.
It looks cold outside, but I know it's not. The temperature in Houston today is supposed to be in the 80s. When I think back to my childhood days of going trick or treat in Texas, I remember it being colder at this time of year. Even during Dr. Mc's trick or treat days in Houston I have photos of her in costume with a sweater on. Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as global warming.

I feel very sorry for the people on the eastern seaboard whose lives have been changed by Hurricane Sandy (was it a hurricane?). Unfortunately, the media is out of touch when there are stories about how parents should tell their children that there won't be trick or treating tonight. Really? With the devastation in the area, is the lack of trick or treating really newsworthy? Homes and entire neighbors were washed or blown away. Homes still standing might be flooded and/or without power. The media should realize that even small children can understand there is a bigger problem in their area than no trick or treating.

Today I'm creating cupcakes for a dinner party tonight. I think I'll make pumpkin and devil's food cupcakes. What a treat they'll be!