Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012

Yesterday was such a quiet day. Reading the paper. Napping. Watching HGTV. Napping. More napping. You get the idea.
Looking forward to having dinner under the
big tree while in Santa Fe.

Two days until we head off to the high desert. It has been too long since we were there. I've been checking the weather the last couple of days and it couldn't be nicer. The snow and ice have been gone long enough for the plants to start poking their buds out. I'm always amazed that the plants can survive the freezing cold weather for months and then come back. And if something doesn't come back it doesn't belong in my Santa Fe garden.

Today I'm creating an ad and a magazine article. My list of things to do today is long because I'm leaving town. Some how amid it all, I have to find time for physical therapy.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 29, 2012

Beautiful yellow rose on one of our
new plants. So pretty.
Mr. B and I had a fun evening last night at a dinner party hosted by friends Sandy and Dave Steitz. Sandy is one of a handful of women I know who enjoy cooking, so we can always expect a good meal at the Steitz home. Dave actually made the ice cream we had for dessert with our chocolate bundt cake. We were home around 10:30 p.m. and then Mr. B was off to help chaperone a graduation party of 8th graders. I happily propped my foot up and stayed home.

Yesterday I saw some photos online from the International Festival. I wish I could go, just to visit the African area. The photos showed some wonderful trade beads and mud cloth. But if I went I'd hear from my cousin Susan who has been posting messages for me to stay off my foot.

Today I'm creating weed-free flower beds. A couple of weeds are peaking their pesky little heads up in our new garden. Time to get rid of them!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

April 28, 2012

I'm taking the day off from everything except watching HGTV and napping. At some point I'll need to get dressed for a dinner party tonight, but that's hours away.

I received good news this morning about my cousin Leigh. She had surgery last summer for a brain tumor and was told that she had cancer in both lungs. She responded well to chemo, which reduced the cancer. She has three months before she has to go back for another checkup.

Today I'm creating nothing. Everybody needs time off!

Friday, April 27, 2012

April 27, 2012

April 27. Really? Already? No way!

My new MacBook Pro stays charged for hours and
allows me to open docx files. Plus it's pretty and shiny. 
I've just finished a draft of a capabilities brochure on my new MacBook. Ideally, I would have had time to study the new functions of the operating system and updated version of Microsoft Word before writing the brochure. Ideally. But as a functioning member of society I realize that few things happen as ideally as we'd like. As Sweetness (#2 daughter Evan) used to say when she was a charming little red-haired girl with big blue eyes, "It's not fair. It's just not fair." When I have more time I'll blog about how Sweetness would take a long soaking tub baths that usually involved either loud singing or long conversations with herself about the meaning of life. Very entertaining, but today my time would be better spent pouring over the tutorials for my MacBook.

Today I'm creating a brochure (first draft complete). My afternoon will be split between my Tuesday client and physical therapy. I'm really looking forward to tonight when Mr. B and I are going to the mid-century design show at Lawndale with Kelly and Keith. Who knows what mid-century treasurers await us there.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 26, 2012

When I was watering the back yard, I found
this Easter Lily growing. Not sure how it got
in the yard.
I'm coming to you this afternoon from my new MacBook Pro. Can you tell the difference? No? Well, this computer was so expensive it should be singing while cleaning my house and mixing/bringing me a cocktail. Unfortunately, it's just sitting in my lap as my old one – with a fried hard drive – used to do.

I left the house this morning when it was still cool outside so I put on a lightweight linen jacket. I went to a presentation and then had lunch with the executive director of Bayou City Art Festival (another Kelly). By the time we were finished with lunch it was hot, but I couldn't take my jacket off then because I had gotten Pad Thai on my shirt. I needed the jacket to cover up the mess. After going to the physical therapist, I then spent two hours in the Apple Store in Highland Village while they sucked all the blood out of my credit card. The store has glass on two sides and a very high roof that is also glass. It was bright enough in the store that I never took off my sunglasses and it was hot enough that it felt cooler when I walked out the door.

Today I'm creating a brochure. Apple wanted to keep my old computer and this new computer for 72 hours to transfer data from my old hard drive to the new one. In the meantime do I get a loaner as is the case when Mr. B takes his Lexus to the dealership? Nope. So the transfer of data will have to wait until next week when I can leave it while I'm in SFe. Today I'm creating a brochure and need a computer.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 25, 2012

Love this humor.
I just watched Emeril make his version of fried chicken and waffles, a meal that I don't understand. The idea of putting maple syrup on fried chicken is so unappealing to me. Paula Dean would be proud. Emeril dredged the chicken in buttermilk before frying it in oil. Then he used buttermilk in the waffle batter. But wait, there's more. He put the waffle on a plate, the fried chicken on top of that, a big 'ole spoonful of vanilla butter on top of each piece of chicken, and then soaked it all in maple syrup. My arteries are clogging just thinking about that fatty mess.

I was expecting to get some good shut eye last night since I didn't really sleep the night before. Unfortunately, it was not to be. I did sleep, but I also tossed and turned all night, so my sleep wasn't very restful.

Today I'm creating marketing communications. I still have a magazine article left from yesterday to write. I also have a brochure to write by Friday. And I need to meet with Wayne on developing maps. I'm consulting. He's creating the maps. Busy day. And then date night with Mr. B.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 24, 2012

Going to the junior prom. I still had blonde hair and peppy
boobs. I blame the McCarley sisters for the loss of all.
I see people posting photos of their children going to the prom. Here's a picture of me posing for prom pics when I was a junior in high school. My date looked goofy in the photos so I only had Mr. B scan the photo of me. After all, it's all about me! That was my natural hair color when I was young. Now I blame my light-headed daughters for taking away my blonde hair. I thought I was going to slap my hairdresser the other day. I mentioned my hair having a different texture and his response was, "It's all of your gray hair." What? I cautioned him from ever making such a remark again even if my hair does have lots of gray. I don't color it, thinking the gray looks blonde, but I guess I'm fooling myself.

Question of the day: Who thinks John Edwards diverted campaign funds to hide his pregnant mistress from the public because he felt it would hurt his chances to win the presidential nomination? If convicted, he could be sentenced up to 30 years in prison. Next question: Who believes John Edwards will be convicted and spend any time in the hoosegow?

Today I'm creating a newsletter for my Tuesday client. I need to create two other newsletters, a newspaper article, and a couple of bios. Sounds like a busy work week. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

Friends Mitzie and Bob won two round trip
airline tickets at the Goodwill Gala. I think
it would have been goodwill for them to
give the tickets to Mr. B and me!
People ask me why I don't "title" my posts. The reason is simple: In all my years as a copywriter and self-proclaimed "creating marketing genius," writing headlines has always been my least favorite task. It can take me hours to come up with a good title for an article, and frankly my dear, I don't want to spend that much time on my daily blog. So instead of writing titles, I use the date as the headline for all my posts.

I'm happy to report that I have two bids on one of the items I have listed on eBay. Of course, it's the least expensive item I have listed for auction. However, some of the more expensive items  have listed are being "watched." Progress.

Today I'm creating a grocery list of healthy foods. Mr. B and I are both making the dial on our scale spin around more than we'd like. It's time for a hard look at what we're eating and how we can do better. I'm really upset with myself for – once again – finding the weight I lost last summer.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 22, 2012

Mr. B and Taylor ... two handsome men!
Last night I had one of the most delicious steaks I've ever eaten, but I'm paying for it today. I'm just not used to eating big slabs of red meat with a rich sauce, but couldn't resist every bite last night.

What I need to do today is wash clothes. There is a big pile of dirty laundry in the bathroom calling my name. I like Huey Lewis' song "Dirty Laundry" better than folding clothes, and I wish life was like the Kelly Ripa's Electrolux washer and dryer commercial where folded clothes leap from the dryer into the laundry basket and then jump into the drawers all neat and tidy. Ah, the magic of television.

Today I'm creating time to reflect on good memories of my mother. She should have been 83 today, but she died 11 years ago. I truly believe she just gave up on her will to live. I pray she is happier in heaven than she ever appeared to be during her time on earth.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 21, 2012

Argh! I don't like it when something I'm accustomed to gets changed. For example, just as I get used to the greatest and latest Facebook revisions, there's a new look. This has now happened to my blog site. I liked the version I've used for my daily musings since February 2011, but now there's a new look that they claim is "simplified and easier to use." Drives me nuts!
Found replacements for the two armless chairs in Santa Fe.
Will be upholstering the new chairs in cowhide. Yee haw.

Yesterday, just before the hail and rain came to Houston, I happened upon an estate sale that I couldn't resist. I've been looking for two arm chairs for the Santa Fe house, and there they were ... for only $80. For the most part, the new chairs are wooden, with only the seat and back upholstered. I bought cowhides several years ago, just waiting for the right chairs to come along. Can't wait to get the chairs to Pettita Casita. I really like the two chairs that are there not (see photo). They have served us well, but arm chairs are just more comfortable to sit in, especially when it comes time to have a cocktail, prop my feet up, and watch a movie. 

Today I'm creating time to remember the "fallen" Aggies in my family. It's Muster at Texas A&M, but I can't make it because of my foot/ankle. I'm missing the celebration for my uncle who died in February 2012, but will be remembering him, my dad and my brother today: Truett Bryan Akin, III (1950-2004; A&M class of 1973); Truett Bryan Akin, Jr. (1929-2007, class of 1950); and R. Clyde Hargrove, Jr. (1934-2012, class of 1955). WHOOP!

Friday, April 20, 2012

April 20, 2012

After making contact yesterday with a second cousin on the Akin side, I spent time looking for research I did on my father's family. Success! I located it and sent the information to my nieces, nephew and Dr. Mc.  Then, this morning, I got a Facebook message from a cousin of Daddy's who sent me this: I remember you well. I remember a pretty little girl with hair so blond that it was white. I saw you many times at Akin’s Mens Wear, but you probably don't remember me. I was very fond of your grandmother.  Awww ... how sweet is that! I loved my grandmother, too! She was the best!
Added this desk to eBay yesterday (local pick up only). So
cute but "no room at the inn."

I spent time last night looking through old photos. I pulled out several to scan, but our's isn't working. I pulled out a picture of me when I was Dr. Mc's age. People say we look alike, but I think it is because we have light hair and skin, and blue eyes. I pulled out a photo of me before my Jr. prom. This was a favorite dress of mine that is still stylish today. And I pulled out photos of Mitzie and me when we were making the veil for her wedding. I'll share some photos after I scan them.

Today I'm creating fun time. First lunch with Kelly, then physical therapy (maybe not so fun), and tonight Mr. B and I are going to an art opening. Sounds like a good day!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

April 19, 2012

My paternal grandfather,
probably in the 1930s
before he moved the family
from Houston to Bryan.
I only slept about an hour last night ... or I guess it was this morning when I finally got some shut eye. So at 7:30 a.m. I had to make the decision of whether or not to attend a seminar. I decided to go, and it was really a total waste of my time, except for the delicious breakfast and Jr. League orange rolls.

I made contact yesterday with a woman who I guess is my second cousin. Our grandfathers were brothers, which would make our fathers first cousins, and us second cousins (?). I knew her grandfather and father, but don't ever remember meeting her. Timing could be good here because my nephew and great nephew are wanting to do research on the Akin family history this summer. Beth said she has some information, if she can find it. I've been able to find research that has been done on the families of both my grandmothers, but know very little about the paternal side of my family.

Today I'm creating two bios, now that I'm home from the unhelpful seminar. My meeting for tonight has been canceled, which makes me happy that I don't have to go out again today.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 18, 2012

Trying to sell some items on eBay, including these
depression-era water glasses by Anchor Hocking.
Probably 10 years ago a very good friend had a brain trauma similar to an aneursym. She was taken to the hospital unconscious and her husband was told there was no hope for her, so he took her to another hospital. To make a long story short, she recovered but has never been the same person. She came home from the hospital and rehab after months with all her "filters" gone from her thinking, speaking and actions. I would visit her in the hospital and in rehab, and when she went home I took her to lunch and grocery shopping, but our relationship was never the same. Another friend wisely said that it was up to me to decide if I still wanted to have a relationship with our "new" old friend. Hard as I tried, I was never able adjust to the hateful and harmful ways of my one-time good friend, and so we drifted apart.

I read my one-time friend's Facebook comments today where she, as she often does, made terrible statements about both of her sons, her ex-husband, and the boys' new stepmother. I initially wrote a comment suggesting that she consider her own part in the breakdown of her relationships, but removed it. I have no business commenting on her relationships and besides that, nothing I could write or say to her will change who she is and what she does now. But I still miss my old friend.

Today I'm creating auction listings on eBay. Once before I tried to sell a pair on shoes on eBay but no one bought them. This morning I created six or seven auctions to see if I can sell some items that were too expensive for yard sales. Let's see what happens on eBay.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012

Lunch in the back yard.
Rose and I just had a delicious and delightful outdoor lunch. As I was making my pimento cheese sandwich, I looked outside and the back yard was calling me. Rose sniffed every inch of the yard while I ate, listened to the birds, and enjoyed the fresh air. Roz came to the back door and looked outside, but she wasn't interested in joining us. I'm beginning to think she may be a vampire. Is there such a thing as vampire dogs who live under the bed during the day and only come out at night to sleep on the bed?

I got about half of the guest room cleaned out yesterday so I'll be back at it this afternoon. No need to rush the process. I've decided to take everything out of the room and purge what I can. I found two of Rose's toys. She immediately took them to her gathering spot under the dining room table where she keeps all of her worldly possessions.

Today I'm creating a newsletter for my Tuesday client. I also hope to be getting some profile pages to write soon. I also need to create the invitation for my friend. I should have done that yesterday, but forgot. Oh well. Have a good day!

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012

Fabrics used on a half apron I donated to
the Houston Heights Association's Dinner
and Auction. I love the big print on
one side and the small print on the
other side with the red tie. Cute!
It started raining last night and hasn't stopped. There has been some thunder and lightning, but most of the time it has been just a steady soaking rain, as Mr. B calls it. This is just the type of rain we need in our yard for all the new plants. Wait, I think I hear the plants sighing "oh, yeah."

I couldn't resist buying a piece of artwork at the Houston Heights Association's Dinner and Auction, although Mr. B got mad at me. I contend that I'm supporting our neighborhood organization while he insists I already do enough. Back to the artwork, it's a southwest scene that's perfect for the Santa Fe house. The colors aren't the typical that you think of from the southwest. No bright orange and turquoise, but instead grays, beiges and mauve. The process is one that I'm not familiar with: Batik is an ancient Indonesian process of creating intricate designs on cotton fabric. The picture was produced by repeated applications of hot wax resists, alternated with carefully planned color dyeing. The wax is removed by a dry cleaning process. I know of batik fabric, which must be produced by the same process unless it is massed produced. I'll reframe the artwork and it will look great.

Today I'm creating a clean guest room, or at least I'm starting the process. With the many parties we've had recently, many things have been tossed behind the closed door of the guest room. Time to clear it out and clean it up.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 15, 2012

One of the tables and the bar area for last nights dinner.
I'm looking forward to 3 p.m. today when I can come home and have a nap. From noon – 3 p.m. Mr. B and I will be selling tickets for the home tour.

Our outdoor burger bar last night was fun, although the weather was only somewhat cooperative. It would start sprinkling and everyone would come inside. The minute everyone was inside it would stop raining and everyone would go back outside. After a few fire drills, some people didn't even bother to come inside when it started sprinkling. But the burgers were delish. I'm not sure there is anything better than a burger prepared by the Grill Master!

Today I'm creating a clean kitchen. I had Felicity last night who got most of everything put away, but there are still a few stragglers. Then it's nap time!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

April 14, 2012

Happy birthday to my
gorgeous niece, Angela!
It's a very popular day for birthdays. There are five of my FB friends with birthdays today, including my niece Angela who is turning 29. She's a beautiful young woman!

It will be another long, busy day. We're having people over tonight for back yard burgers. I'm headed to the grocery store before coming home to cook and set up. Mr. B has agreed to vacuum and dust. How I wish I still had a housekeeper, but when I gave up working full time I also gave up a housekeeper. I should consider housekeeping the same as a job and set aside one weekday for cleaning. It annoyed me when I was living at home that my mother, who didn't work outside the home, waited until Saturday to do chores at the house.

Today I'm creating a burger bar in the back yard. No. 1 son-in-law Nick is coming over to set up the audio/video equipment in the back yard. In honor of the Heights Home Tour this weekend, we'll be screening The Money Pit on the outdoor movie screen. Remember that semi-old movie with Tom Hanks? This movie really rings true with so many of our friends who, like Mr. B and me, live in 100+ year old homes.

Friday, April 13, 2012

April 13, 2012

Garden apron made from oilcloth has four pockets to
hold gloves, hand tools and maybe a bottle of water.
Mr. B likes the stripe with the tolie.
After reading my blog yesterday, Dr. Mc told me that what I didn't remember was perhaps National Grilled Cheese Day. I should have gone with that thought and made grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner last night, but instead Mr. B made smoked turkey sandwiches. He was sweet to do that while I was sewing. My machine broke so I had to borrow Dr. Mc's and finish my sewing projects last night.

It's going to be a long, busy day. Our neighborhood association has it's annual dinner for approximately 500 people and auction with 300 items. Of course I'm helping. I need to collect items from five different places this morning and deliver them to the venue. Once at the venue I will set up the jewelry section. Hopefully I'll be finished with my running around by noon so I can have lunch with some former co-workers and then come home to rest before the big event tonight.

Today I'm creating a movie-themed basket, as well as a wine basket for tonight's auction. My cousin, Susan, called me the other day. She has appointed herself as "mother" for her family and me. She was fussing at me on the phone for not slowing down with my foot. Although I hate to admit it, she is right. Maybe next week I can spend less time on the move. Just looked at my calendar and slowing down may have to be scheduled for the week after next.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12, 2012

I got distracted yesterday. Instead of creating donations for
the auction, I made myself a tote bag from an old plastic
bag with a great big "J" on it. Very handy!
Do you ever have the feeling that something is supposed to happen, but you don't know what? When I typed April 12 in the title today I got that feeling. Have I forgotten an important anniversary or birthday or event? Don't know. Can't remember.

Mr. B and I ate dinner outside last night. We won't be able to do that much longer because it will get too hot. But it was pleasant outside last night. Then, dressed in work clothes, we started pruning the rose bushes, trying to fix what the yard crew screwed up last week. This morning I have little red dots on my arms where the thrones from the rose bushes to catch in my skin.

Today I'm creating donations for the Houston Heights Association auction. I've got to get upstairs before it starts raining. Mr. B fixed the cable upstairs for me so I can have background noise. My hero.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 11, 2012

Dr. Mc sent me an email this morning about a garden that reminded her of our Santa Fe house. See attached photo. I've always wanted to have more seating in our outdoor space in Santa Fe, but I have no place to store the furniture when we're not there. This reminded me of a story about Daddy. The girls called my parents Poppy and Mimi. Here's Poppy's humorous approach to Mimi.
This seating area and garage would look perfect in
Santa Fe at the Pettita Casita.

P: I need a new table saw.
M: Why?
P: So I can build onto the garage.
M:  Why do we need a larger garage?
P: So I can have a place to put my new table saw.

Daddy/Poppy had such a terrific sense of humor! So I wondered if I could use Daddy's approach in a conversation with Mr. B.

J: We need a garage in Santa Fe.
B: Why?
J: So I can have a place to put the patio furniture and outdoor movie theater when we're not there.
B: No.

Today I'm creating time for lunch with a friend who I'm going to help with a party invitation. Then I'm going to start sewing. I need two totes and two aprons by Friday. Why do I wait until the last minute?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 10, 2012

Photo of coffered ceiling and walls at Julia Ideson Bldg.
Pardon me while I have a "pity party." I like to eat and/or shop when I'm feeling down. However, eating during the past two months since my foot injury has put me at an all-time weight high and that further depresses me. (I'm pretty sure there's an economic theory that addresses this sort of "cause and effect.") Shopping is also depressing right now since I'm too fat to buy clothes and it's no fun buying shoes for just one foot. Reading this later portion of this paragraph will surely make Mr. B happy. Not the portion about me being depressed, but the portion about shopping not being fun right now.

Moving on to a completely different topic, I went to the downtown library this morning and toured the refurbished part known as the Julia Ideson Building. It is so beautiful! I can't wait until I can go back and spend some time reviewing information about our home. I went to the downtown library probably 15 years ago to look up the history of the house. It's so much easier now. The docent said there are files on different addresses, unlike before when I went through volumes and volumes of old books and records searching for information.

Today I'm creating time to watch last night's episode of Dancing With the Stars. I fell asleep on the couch last night before DWTS started and only got up when Mr. B woke me to go to bed.

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012

Torn petoneus brevis means my plans for the next
several months will probably be changed.
I left the doctor's office today in my boot and in tears after hearing the results of last weeks MRI. First the good news: "No fracture or bone contusion." Then the bad news: "tears in the posterior tibialis, flexor digitorum longus, flexor hallucis longus tendons." This translates to torn tendons in my hindfoot, which will likely require surgery. Also certain parts of my the top of my ankle are still not visible because of my high-grade sprain. What they could see on the MRI is that "the adjacent anterolateral gutter appears mildly patulous." This translates to the likelihood of tears in the soft tissue across the top of my ankle. After the doctor's presentation of my options, I agreed to three weeks of physical therapy on my left foot and ankle before further evaluation to see if I need surgery. Although the doctor said the tear in the tendon in my hindfoot rarely repairs itself with surgery, I'd rather try physical therapy first. It's time to take my foot/ankle injury seriously. I don't want to be having foot/ankle problems that result in chronic pain and – even more serious – ugly shoes.

Three weeks of physical therapy before a doctor's appointment on May 7 for the final evaluation. If surgery is needed (and the doctor told me there is a high probability it will be necessary), I'll be in a hard cast for a couple of weeks and then back in the boot for another four to six weeks during recovery. Even if I had immediate surgery, I was told I wouldn't be able to do lots of walking by mid-June, which is when Mr. B, Dr. Mc, No. 1 son-in-law Nick, and I were planning to go to Chicago for birthday celebrations. It looks like Dr. Mc and No. 1 son-in-law Nick will be having fun in Chicago without Mr. B and me. What's more, if I have surgery it will probably be in the middle to late May. With six to eight weeks of recovery, my planned summer departure for the high desert may have to be postponed. 

Today, I'm creating a list of items I need from the fabric store. I need to make two tote bags and two aprons by Friday morning. Once the fabrics are matched, I'll need a few supplies I always purchase specific for the bags and totes. I also have a board meeting for Women of Wine Charities at 4 p.m. today. Then Dancing With the Stars. Fun stuff.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 8, 2012

The smiling couple Tom and Tricia.
I enjoyed the dinner party for Tricia and Tom so much. Everything was just like I wanted it. We sat inside for cocktail hour and then went outside for dinner. The weather was perfect! No. 1 son-in-law Nick did a great job putting up the sound and video system. After the main course and before dessert, we played a movie trivia game. Tom, like Mr. B., is a movie buff. They both had their time periods that they were absolute experts on. But it was amazing to me how Dr. Mc and Sweetness were yelling out answers. We played a couple of rounds for everybody to get accustomed to the questions, then brought out the DVDs. The invitations said to bring the couple a DVD of your favorite movie. Whoever answered the question correctly give Tom and Tricia the DVD they brought. Really enjoyable!

After everyone left and Mr. B went to bed, Dr. Mc, Nick, Alex and I sat outside watching a Jeff Bridges movie on the big screen. It was like being at the drive-in, except no one was smooching.

Today I'm creating green beans to take to Mitzie and Bob's house for lunch. My legs are so tired today that I hope there is lots of sitting involved in the lunch today.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 7, 2012

Meyers Lemons on the back yard tree.
I'm taking a few minutes from dusting and vacuuming the house to cool off and write my blog. It's amazing how long it takes to get house cleaning chores accomplished with a big black medical boot on my boot.

We're hosting a party for my niece, Tricia, and her beau, Tom, tonight. It's just a little more than a month before their wedding. Of course, the yard crew didn't finish so Mr. B is trying to do what he can. The crew arrived around 2 p.m. yesterday and stayed until probably 10 p.m. It's amazing to me that they were having an attitude about working so late. Well, maybe if they had showed up when they were supposed to and worked full days, they would have finished the work and not have been at the house until 10 p.m. on Friday night.

Today I'm creating alternative plans for tonight's party. We all have our lists. Mr. B is working on the back yard to clean up what isn't finished. Dr. Mc and No. 1 son-in-law Nick are at the liquor store before they come here to hang outside lights. Sweetness is working at Sundance (lucky her). Before I start cooking I went to the party rental place to rent chairs and round tables, but they were closed. What? I thought they were open on Saturday mornings until noon, but no. The store is closed all day Saturday and Sunday. So we're substituting two long tables for the round ones and borrowed folding chairs from friends. Thanks to Danae and Martin for having a mini version of Aztec Party Rental in your garage. They have a beautiful pool and yard, and have lots of supplies for outdoor parties. OK. Time to get back to my vacuuming.

Friday, April 6, 2012

April 6, 2012

This vintage fabric on a pillow front is very
pretty in pale yellow/cream, peach and blue.
The back is a matching blue suede. 
I just heard that Matt Lauer has signed a longtime contract to stay on the Today Show. Maybe he learned a lesson from his good friends Brian Gumbel and Katie Couric, both of who left the Today Show and fizzled. You really don't see much of Brian anymore and poor Katie was less than great on the evening news. As Mr. B likes to say, "She's a morning person not ready for prime time news." He's so wise! A good lesson for all of us: Stick with your strengths.

The yard crew worked for about four hours yesterday. There were two to four guys here, so they got quite a bit accomplished. I think the front yard is 90% complete, but the back yard still has a long way to go. Mr. B is supposed to be home around 2 p.m. today, which is about the time the yard crew will probably show. We're going to have leftover materials and the neighbors are circling around the huge pile of mulch and crushed granite gravel letting us know what they need.

Today I'm creating pillows for my own front porch. I made three pillows yesterday using vintage fabrics on the front and ultra suede on the back. They turned out really well and I hope they will enjoy their new homes with friends. It's always fun to go into someone's home and see a pillow or two that I've created.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 5, 2012

Silly childhood memories of farm animals and
a grandfather I never really knew.
I'm reading a book that, according to the front cover, provides some instructions on writing and life. Besides writing books, author Anne Lamott has taught writing at UC Davis. She writes that for many students, getting started on the great American novel is as pleasurable as bathing a cat. Great visual! She tells her students to start with their childhood.

While I've never had the desire to write a novel, I do enjoy writing about life in my daily blogs. I don't think I've ever written about my maternal grandfather, PawPaw. He died when I was seven, so I don't really remember very much about him. In fact, I only remember meeting him once, on my third birthday. He and my maternal grandmother were estranged for many, many years. She lived in Bryan, TX and he lived on a small farm in central Texas with his elderly mother. On my third birthday, my parents, older brother and paternal grandparents drove to have lunch with my great grandmother and PawPaw. He took me outside where I saw the farm animals, including goats eating tin cans. I remember being grossed out by animals eating thrash. And they smelled! We enjoyed fried chicken, green beans and rice for lunch. What I remember most about that day was that PawPaw started smoking at the table when he was finished eating. He thought I was finished eating and flicked cigarette ashes in the rice on my plate. Forget garbage eating goats, smoking at the table and using food as an ashtray is the grossest! As I think about that day I can see myself as a little girl, dolled up in a dress my paternal grandmother made for me, and crying because I couldn't finish my rice. I can't remember his face or his voice, just that he used my plate as an ashtray.

Today I'm creating new pillows for my own front porch out of burlap feed sacks. They'll look great with the new landscaping. If it ever gets finished. If the workers ever show up again.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April 4, 2012

It snowed in the high desert at the beginning
of this week. I hope it didn't destroy the
buds on the fruit trees in NM.
Has anyone seen my glasses? I know I wore them home after the movie with Sweetness, but haven't seen them since. I've been wearing some "readers" for the past two days.

Speaking of days, this is Day Eight of the back yard redux. No workers yesterday or the two days before that. They're not showing up because of impending thunderstorms, but it hasn't rained. Rain is in the forecast today and once again the workers haven't shown. Mr. B ordered 12  yards of mulch to be delivered this afternoon. It should be a real mess all over the driveway if the yard crew doesn't arrive and spread it.

Today I'm creating a single page flier. I also need to create a grocery list and then go to the store, unless by some miracle the yard crew arrives. I went to the doctor this morning about my foot. He wanted an MRI on my foot because it's still swollen. The open MRI was very relaxing. I just laid on my right side for about 45 minutes and slept. Hope I didn't snore. I'll find out the results of the MRI on Monday, which means I'll be entertaining this weekend with the lovely boot on my foot.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April 3, 2012

For a good time at the movies, call Evan!
I had a super time at the movie last night with Sweetness (a.k.a. Evan). We went to see Mirror Mirror, which stars Julia Roberts. Both of us gave the movie three-out-of-five stars, but the fashions five-out-of-five shoes (it's appropriate that fashions receive a shoe rating rather than stars).

I'm not sure Mr. B will let me go to the movie with Sweetness again. Being at Sundance, I was able to drink a couple glasses of wine while watching the movie. After the movie, I took Sweetness home, teased her kitten for a couple of minutes, and then came home with the munchies. But wait, the evening got sillier. I painted the fingernails on each hand a different color (orange, turquoise, purple, lime green and dark blue). But wait, there's more. Then I diagnosed myself with the onset of dymentia because I couldn't remember two bakelite bracelets I own. I woke up Mr. B to share that last tidbit of information. How kind of me!

Today I'm creating text for a direct-mail postcard. Done. In case you're counting it's Day Seven of the yard redux. You'd think the workers would have shown up yesterday to finish the yard before the rain started today. But no. It rained yesterday morning for about 30 minutes and I guess that was reason enough for the guys not to show up. It's supposed to rain today, but not a drop has fallen at 2:30 p.m. You'd think the guys would show up and work before the rain started today. But no. Have I mentioned the party we're hosting for my niece on Saturday? In four days. But who's counting. Obviously not the yard crew.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012

Flagstone pavers going down. No more grass!
It's after 5 a.m. and I haven't been to sleep. I've been planning and making lists all night/morning and haven't been able to shut down my brain. Now I have myself so worked up that I'm feeling a tightness in my chest. This is the feeling I get when I'm stressing myself out, so I will now touch my thumbs to my middle fingers, turn my palms upward with my arms loosely at my sides, close my eyes, and make a low humming noise. That's better. Moving on ...

I read a great unattributed quote: To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. Isn't that the truth! For example, if I believed for a nano second that cataclysmic events will occur on December 21, 2012, do you think I'd support having the yard redone? No sir (comma intentionally omitted for emphasis)! I spit on the notion that when the 5,125-year-long calendar cycle concludes it will be the end of life. Instead, being the optimists that Mr. B and I are (cough, cough), we're rehabbing the yard because we believe that December 22, 2012, will be the beginning of a new era during which we'll undergo positive physical and/or spiritual transformations. I, for one, can't be concerned with predictions of impending doom because that would distract me from more important scientific issues, such as global warming and other environmental changes. Wait a minute! Who wrote this paragraph? I must be sleep deprived to interrupt my daily musings with the mention of biodiversity? Eyes closed. Fingers touching. Palms upward. Arms loose. Repeat low humming noise until I recover my senses. OK. Moving on ...

Today I'm creating time to supervise yard workers. It's Day 6 of the yard project that was only supposed to take four days. If the workers are going to be finished before the rains hit Houston tomorrow, I'm going to have to assume a leadership role in what's happening in the yard.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 1, 2012

Love this idea. A bowling ball covered with mosaic tiles.
Another good thing about writing this blog is that it makes me incredibly aware of the date. I can't believe it's April 1. Before I know it, it will be Christmas.

It was definitely a beautiful day in Houston! Mr. B and I spent several hours going from nursery to nursery, looking for the plants we needed. I'd really like to be doing some planting right now, but that's not going to happen with this hideous boot still on my left foot. But on a more positive note, we filled the back of our Explorer twice with plants. After everything is in the ground, the truckload of mulch will arrive. Have I mentioned before that I love the smell of fresh mulch? The flower beds in the back yard are not void of flowers because nothing seems to get watered back there. It will be much easier to water the lemon trees and herbs in two huge planters by the deck than to try to keep flowers alive in the massive beds. If Daddy were alive, he would be instructing Mr. B on how to put a drip system in the flower beds to keep everything watered. Love and miss you, Daddy!

Today I'm creating a plan on how to mosaic bowling balls. "What?" you ask. I've seen these online and they are really cute. Look at the photo I'm posting today. How hard can it be? A lot of glue. A lot of grout. A ton of patience! Some hair pulling. Friend and artist Sandra York is laughing at me, wondering how I'm going to get the tiles to adhere to the round surface of the bowling ball. She won't be laughing when the cute bowling balls are in my garden!