Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31, 2012

I took this picture in the Railyard District today.
Look at the beautiful blue sky in Santa Fe.
I see lots of posts from people who are sick of all the political talk on Facebook. Me, too! And they aren't short posts. They go on and on and on. I can't imagine how bad it's going to get in the next two months. I'll be so glad when the election is over.

It's incredibly quiet in Santa Fe. Although the summer season doesn't end until Labor Day, there really aren't that many people in town. I went over to the Railyard District and down to The Plaza today, and parking was no problem in either place. Even at Trader Joe's on a Friday afternoon there was plenty of parking. Maybe people are waiting until after work today to come to the city for the long weekend. If not, the Fiesta on The Plaza this weekend is going to have a very poor turnout.

Today I'm creating Mexican food for myself for dinner. I'm making black bean and corn enchiladas. They smell and look wonderful. I can't wait to eat them while I drink some skinny margaritas.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 30, 2012

The perfect setting for alfresco dining!
It's about 6:30 p.m. (Mountain time) and the sun it still over the top of the townhouse across the road from me, so I'm being blinded by the light of day. I've ordered two chairs for the new front patio I made, but they haven't arrived yet. Once they are in place, I'll be able to sit in the shade on the portal in the morning, sit on the front patio in the shade in the afternoon, and enjoy alfresco dinning under the apricot tree at night. Life is good.

This afternoon was filled with retail therapy. Actually, I was much more thrifty than anticipated. Lots of stores in town are having sales because it is the end of the tourist season, which helped me stay on budget. This weekend is the final arts & craft market around The Plaza. t's hard to believe that the summer season is coming to an end. In just one week my summer vaca in the desert will be over.

Today I'm creating an invitation for a client to a meet and greet during the NY Jets and Houston Texans game. The game is in NYC in October. As hard as I try to convince my clients that I could do a better job if I had been to the places I was writing about, I've never gotten one of them to believe me. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to stop trying!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 29, 2012

Heading back to the blue gate in the high
desert this afternoon. 
What's up with Southwest Airlines? On Monday my flight from ABQ to HOU was delayed a hour. Now my flight from HOU to ABQ is delayed 1-1/2 hours. I can't believe it! When I leave HOU at 4:20 p.m. (Central Time), I get to ABQ at 5:20 p.m. (Mountain Time), which puts me right in the middle of afternoon traffic. Argh (an exclaimation of annoyance, exasperation, or other negative factor)!

I'm also annoyed that I have to start wearing ugly shoes. For years The lovely McCarley sisters and their mom (me) have rejoiced in the fact that we have good ankles and shoes look good on us. But since my foot and ankle problems this year, the most comfortable shoes have been those I define as "sensible." Last night when I was online searching for shoes, Mr. B was looking over my shoulder and commented, "Are you going to have to wear shoes like that all the time?" Sadly, I think the answer is yes.

Today I'm creating notes for my meeting with the Houston Arts Alliance. I spoke along with the Bayou City Art Festival Executive Director and two other Board members. I always hope I don't babble when speaking. If I could get the questions ahead of time and have over night to write my answers, there wouldn't be a problem. But speaking spontaneously I could go on and on and on ...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 28, 2012

It's August and there are already holiday
decorations in some stores. Amazing!
My goddaughter Ashley is 28 years old today. She is a terrific young woman who I've called Madame since she was two years old. She has always had an attitude – even at the age of two – so the name fits her perfectly. I hope she is having a great day!

My day in Houston has been long and hot! Being out of the site of a major client for nearly a month has its disadvantages. I have a page of to-dos for him. Then tomorrow morning I'm representing Bayou City Art Festival on a grant proposal I wrote. As a marketing communications copywriter I'm always looking for the benefits of a product or service to sell. I used this approach when writing the grant proposal, which I don't think is the normal strategy. Maybe this approach will make my proposal stand out from the rest. Fingers crossed!

Today I'm creating a newsletter. Mr. B and I are having dinner with friends (yummy Mexican food), and then I'm getting ready to go back to SFe tomorrow afternoon. It's just too hot in Houston!

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27, 2012

I can't believe I've never seen Santa Fe Fabrics
store before. Lots of cool fabrics and notions.
I just received notice that my Southwest flight from ABQ to HOU has been delayed by an hour. The same thing happened earlier this month when I flew from ABQ to HOU. I don't know where the flight originates, but that airport needs to get its stuff together. What really makes me upset is that I could have slept an hour later this morning.

It's very quiet at the casita today. Rose and I are sitting outside under the portal. Listening to the birds. Smelling the fragrant flowers. Enjoying the cool breeze. I feel sorry for the poor people in Tampa who are experiencing a hurricane. I hear it will then head to New Orleans. I hope it doesn't head to Houston, or at least not before I get back to the desert on Wednesday.

Today I'm creating nothing, except maybe dinner out for Mr. B and me. How does the old joke go? What does a valley girl make for dinner? Reservations.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26, 2012

When you brush this plant in the garden it
omits a smell similar to chocolate. Rose
doesn't like it so she just stands there barking
until I move her or the plant.
It's just after 2 p.m. in the high desert and I see the dark clouds moving in from the north. It's OK with me and the other people in Santa Fe because there is no festival on The Plaza this weekend and the short afternoon rains have been bringing in cooler weather. A 10-15 minutes rain that brings cooler weather is great with me. The girls and I are sitting out under the portal (porch in New Mexican speak) and enjoying the breeze. Roz is working on her tan and scratching herself on the grass mat while Rose has her butt up against the cool adobe wall in the shade.

This morning after I took the girls on their walk, we watched what I'm guessing was the second installment of the Zorro franchise starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones. In this movie, they had a son who totally freaked me out! In my opinion, the horse did the best acting job in the Zorro movie. Do you know the name of Zorro's horse? His name is Tornado and is pronounced in the Spanish way, "tor-NAH-do." A high school friend is trying out for Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I should pass that bit of trivia on to Enid. 

Today I'm creating a spic and span house before I leave town tomorrow. I'll be in Houston for two days, then back in The Land of Enchantment for 10 days before I head home for good. As usual, it was been a fast couple of months in the high desert!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 25, 2012

The girls playing follow-the-leader down
the pebble path to the flagstone patio.
I finished my errands and house cleaning yesterday, so today is a fun day. First thing this morning I interviewed a house sitter. I really liked her and want to stay in touch with her as I think we could be friends. Of course, Rose was her joyful self while Lorraine was at the house, even walking around with a toy in her mouth (always a good sign). And of course Roz hid under the bed.

When Lorraine left the house, I grabbed my bag (and computer) and headed the Santa Fe Baking Co. for brunch. This is where I am now. Sometimes I meet my high school friend (Jack) Gary McLeod here for breakfast during the winter, but he isn't in town right now. He and his partner summer in Colorado and winter in New Mexico. Personally, I love the weather in Santa Fe right now. Although it's hard to imagine, people in the high desert enjoy al fresco dining at this time of year.

Today I'm creating a tote bag. I saw some great barkcloth fabric on my adventures yesterday, but didn't buy it. I thought the price was high and I'm not sure I could get my money back on it. Still thinking about it today, though.

Friday, August 24, 2012

August 24, 2012

I added some Mexican tiles in between the
flagstone pavers. Should I keep them?
Happy birthday to Sweetness, a.k.a. Evan Lizabeth McCarley, who is 24 years young today. I told Mr. B last night on the phone about the afternoon Sweetness was born. (I'm sure I've told him the story many times before, but he is always nice and listens.) The hospital told me that Dr. Mc could be in the room when the baby was born. Even though Dr. Mc is eight years and seven months older than Sweetness, their dad and I decided against it. Instead, as soon as Evan was born, my mother drove Dr. Mc to the hospital so she could meet her baby sister. Evan was mesmerized by her big sister! But after only a few minutes, my mother told Dr. Mc to give Sweetness back to me so they could leave the hospital in time to miss the traffic. That was my mom, ever the practical one! We knew from the beginning that red-headed Evan was going to be spirited. Mr. B's mom called Evan "little red" and always told me not to ruin her spirit. She has always been a champion for the underdog ... standing up for what's important to her and wanting to save the world. Never give up, Sweetness.

I finally gave up on waiting for the plumber and called another plumber. Then all of a sudden the unseen plumber decides to call and show up, to which I said no thanks. The new plumber arrived, took the front off the water heater, turned on the water at the faucet, and it was hot. He looked at me like I was crazy. I promised that it hadn't been working for days. As he left I told him I'd call him again tomorrow if the hot water wasn't working. Then I quickly ran the dishwasher, washed a load of clothes, and took a hot shower. Ahhh, clean hair!

Today I'm creating a list of errands to run. Garden center. Fabric store. Starbucks. And from the grocery store I need wine and dog food. Seems like a strange dinner combination, but I'll try anything once (just kidding).

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 23, 2012

I got my fashion cue from the garden today. I have on a
black top and yellow pants.
Day two of waiting for the plumber. He was a no-show yesterday and today. The Richards are right ... after so many days without hot water, I'm going to smell. Actually, I've been doing as little as possible so I won't smell, but my hair is beginning to do really strange things.

I just heard a radio announcement that airlines don't clean the restrooms between flights and there are all kinds of diseases you can catch. Gross! The John Tesh radio program suggests that you carry sanitary wipes with you. I'm flying back to Houston on Monday for a couple of days and have a better idea: Hold it until I get home!

Today I'm creating patterns for new tote bags. Then I'm sweeping and mopping the floor. Not too much of a fun day, except Project Runway comes on tonight and it always inspires me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 22, 2012

Missing Mr. B today!
I'm waiting on the plumber. Doesn't that sound fun? It sounds expensive to me. Typical New Mexico, the plumber is at lunch now and can't talk to me about the project until later today.

I remember the birthdays of my family and friends, so I was thinking about my cousin Leigh today. A year ago, on her 58th birthday, she found out that she had brain cancer. She already knew she had cancer in both of her lungs, but she hadn't told her family. In the past year, she has had brain surgery to remove the tumor and surgery to look at the extent of the cancer in her lungs, as well as chemo and radiation. I hear from her sister Susan that Leigh has good days and bad days, but she continues to work, see her friends, and carry on with her life as best she can. I saw Leigh around Memorial Day and she looked great, even though her thick, dark-brown hair has been replaced with barely there white hair. But her giggle and spirits remain intact. You go, girl!

Today I'm creating birthday wishes and continued prayers for Leigh. And since it's Wednesday, I'm also going to straighten and dust the casita.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 21, 2012

The girls inspecting the expanded patio,
before the ceramic tiles are put in place.
I'm happy to report that the water heater was repaired yesterday, but I'm sad to say it stopped working again today. (At least I was able to run the dishwasher while there was hot water.) The extremely nice repairman provided me with TMI yesterday about what would have to occur if his fix wasn't the cause of the problem. I smiled and politely nodded as I listened to him speak Portuguese? Chinese? Plumberese? This is to say that I have no idea what he was talking about or what to do now.

This is Tuesday, so according to my new organizational schedule I developed yesterday, I went to the grocery store. I didn't go until late this afternoon, which probably wasn't a good idea since I was hungry. Mr. B told me he was going to have pizza with a friend tonight, so that put the idea of the crusty delight in my head. I bought a barbecue chicken pizza for one and it was quite tasty, if somewhat misleading. I was expecting the pizza to be topped with barbecue chicken, but instead BBQ sauce replaced the tomato sauce, and the toppings were grilled chicken chunks, onions and cheese. On my food diary, do I get to count the tomatoes in the BBQ sauce and the onion topping as veggies? Maybe half a serving?

Today I'm creating to-do lists for my two charity boards. With Women of Wine Charities, I'm doing some publicity work plus organizing the upcoming auction. And for Bayou City Art Festival I'm preparing to speak on behalf of our grant proposal next week. I also got my sewing machine and "stuff" out of the closet and set up in the dining room. I have no excuse for not sewing tomorrow.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012

Gardners in Santa Fe like to grow morning glory vines.
Unlike Houston, where you can't get rid of the invasive plant,
in NM the vines freeze in the winter snow.
Here's an example of what it's like to have a casita in New Mexico, where the work ethic is "maƱana." I called a plumber this morning to repair the hot water heater. He said he couldn't come because it was raining, but promised to call me back. (Please note that it wasn't raining at my house and even if it was, the hot water heater is inside.) To my surprise, he did call back, but said he couldn't come until around 3 p.m. because he was going to watch a movie. Really? New Mexico is either the poorest or the second poorest state in the U.S. – depending on which report you read – but a plumber postpones or declines work because of rain or an afternoon movie?

I woke up this morning with a headache. This is the second one I've had this month. The good news is that this one is just annoying, unlike my other headache this month that had me searching for a cool, dark, quiet place to crawl into.

Today I'm creating clean clothes, if the hot water heater gets fixed. Last night I made out a list of housecleaning chores I would do each day, even when I return to Houston. Monday: laundry. Tuesday: grocery store. Wednesday: straightening and dusting. Thursday: floors. Friday: kitchen and bathroom(s). One hour per day of housecleaning sounds so much easier than five to six hours on one day.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19, 2012

Roz and Rose posing for the camera.
I'm admitting upfront that I didn't sew a stitch yesterday, so there will not be a photo of a cute bag today. Unfortunately yesterday afternoon turned out to be a downer that zapped all my enthusiasm. When I finished laying the flagstone for the patio, I came inside to take my shower, but there wasn't any hot water. Major bummer! The casita has a water heater that provides hot water on demand. But as much as I demanded, it didn't respond with hot water. I know nothing about this, except to wait for Monday morning to call someone. A plumber?

I took the pups outside this morning to survey my work on the patio. All is looking good! Now I need to fill in the wide spots with some colorful ceramic tiles. This afternoon I watched an episode of Yard Crashers on HGTV to see how experts lay stones for a patio. Although my process was different, I'm not ripping out the patio and starting over.

Today I'm creating reading time. I think I'll take the day off from outdoor back torture. I'm just not up to getting sweaty and then running around in a cold shower, so I think I'll do as much as possible today to stay clean.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August 18, 2012

I want this in the garden next summer!
I got eight pieces of flagstone moved and placed yesterday. After I finished I was sure I had moved many more pieces than eight. But alas, after counting and recounting, I confirmed that I had indeed only moved and placed eight pieces of flagstone. I did follow the process I described yesterday. Labor. Shower. Nap. This morning, the ole back was screaming at me, "What the <bleep> do you think you're doing?" So today I'm adding another step to my process. Labor. Shower. Medicate. Nap.

It got cold in the high desert last night. I went to the fabric store in a sleeveless shirt, but came out wishing I had sleeves on my top. When I took the girls outside around 10 p.m., I put on a cardigan that's like a long-sleeve cotton t-shirt. When I went to bed I put on a t-shirt and pajama bottoms. Then I got up around 5 a.m. to get a light-weight quilt out of the trunk. The 7 a.m. weather said the low last night in Santa Fe was 49 degrees. No wonder the girls and I were cuddling.

Today I'm creating phase three of the flagstone patio. I'm not sure if another eight pieces of stone will finish the patio or not. I also have some sewing to do. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I have a photo of a cute bag to show on tomorrow's blog.

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17, 2012

Colorful and yummy dinner from last night.
Yesterday, I had a very productive afternoon and evening. Remembering that Rome wasn't built in a day, I packed the yellow wagon/wheelbarrow with seven pieces of flagstone and placed them in the patio I'm building by the front door. After 30 minutes in the desert sun doing manual labor, I came inside, had a shower, took two ibuprofen, and laid down for a nap with the dogs. Labor. Shower. Nap. Today? Repeat.

Last night I made myself dinner involving ingredients that Mr. B doesn't like to eat. Pan-seared flounder topped with homemade black bean and corn salsa, sprinkled with avocado, tomato and a spoonful of feta cheese, and finished with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Lovely dinner while watching Project Runway. At first I thought it was a mirage seeing Tim Gunn on Project Runway in a plaid sports coat and khaki pants. Has his job as the chief creative officer for Liz Claiborne softened Tim's style? Can a hipper version of Tim still "make it happen?" Stay tuned.

Today I'm creating the second portion of the patio before checking the mailbox and hoping to find a couple of packages of vintage fabrics. If so, then I'm heading to the fabric store for lining before pulling out the little sewing machine that could. Forget the Indian Market that's around The Plaza this weekend. I'm envisioning a fun sewing weekend ahead!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16, 2012

I'm going to take advantage of some free
flagstone and leftover tile to take this walkway
over to the fence. 
I forgot to mention that while driving back to Santa Fe from ABQ on Tuesday – with the speed control set at 75 mph – a Smart car passed me. What? The first time I saw those little cars was when Mr. B and I were in Paris. We both commented how great it would be to have those little cars in the U.S. to drive around town. They reminded us somewhat of Fred Flintstone's car. Remember how he started his car by running and yelling yabba dabba doo? Well, the driver of the Smart car on I-25 must have been running really fast to pass me. Now you see Smart cars all the time in town, but I don't remember ever seeing one on the highway. Especially one that was going 80 mph.

When I went to bed last night, Top Chef Masters was on. The contestants were cooking in the Grand Canyon for Native Americans. A long table was set and the chefs served their delicious-looking dishes family style. Needless to say, the view was fabulous and I can only imagine how great the food tasted! I went to sleep just after the show ended with food on the brain. Then, Jamie Oliver was on the Today Show this morning cooking crab cakes, which I adore! Now The Chew is on and Michael Symon is making an heirloom tomato and ricotta tart. YUM! All this to say that I'll be in the kitchen later today cooking something fabulous for dinner.

Today I'm creating an addition to the flagstone walk that leads to the front door of the casita. I've wanted to turn the walkway into more of a seating area. Since I have access to FREE flagstone, I'm going to make a front patio happen before I leave here this summer.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 15, 2012

My grandfather, Truett Bryan Akin, Sr.,
was born on Aug. 15, 1906 and died in
Feb. 1980. He was a loving man who enjoyed
a simple lifestyle, and loved God and his family.
I'm excited because there is a store in Santa Fe that wants to see my bags and pillows. They liked the photos so now I need to produce a few samples. I haven't gone crazy with ordering fabrics from the Internet, but I have ordered a few. The fabrics should start arriving tomorrow in the mail. I'll have plenty of sewing to do this coming weekend.

It looked all afternoon like it was going to rain in Santa Fe, but not a drop fell – or at least not at the casita. It rained for about 10 minutes late yesterday, which was just enough to really cool off the temperature. I must have been cold last night because when I woke up this morning I was curled up in a ball and wrapped in the duvet and sheet. Nothing was tucked in.

Today I'm creating time to read. I brought several books with me, but haven't read anything except magazines. I also spent time on the phone trying to fix the television in the main room, only to find out that what's really needed is a new receiver. Fortunately it's now time for a glass – or two – of vino. Oh, and American Pickers is on television. Ciao!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 14, 2012

Sunflower blooming in the garden. Six
more buds on the single stem.
At this moment I'm not a happy camper! I've driven to the Apple store in ABQ (about an hour). I showed the guy at the front door my broken cable, and he has told me that I can either (a) wait 3.5 hours for a seat at the Genius Bar or (b) buy a new cable for $80. After I pitched a fit, I was told that a tech guy would have to look at my cable, which they may deem to be physical damage that won't be covered by my warranty. This computer is three months old. The cord is three months old. And I may have to buy a new cord. I can't believe it!

I bought my new MacBook Pro because Apple told me that my old one couldn't be fixed. Then Dr. Mc took it, put her old hard drive in my old Mac, and sure enough, it works. So in other words, I bought a new computer, with warranty, plus their special one-on-one service to the tune of almost $2K ... and three months later I have a computer that doesn't work (except for now when I'm sitting at a table in the Apple store plugged into their power cord.

Today I'm creating a scene in the ABQ Apple store. I'm PISSED!

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012

Look just to the right of center (like my politics). There
is a little bunny. S/he was very cute with a white cotton tail.
The only bad thing about being in a small town is that not everything is readily available. For example, the charging cord to my new MacBook Pro isn't working. There isn't an Apple store in Santa Fe, so I'll have to drive to ABQ to get a new cord. Chalk one up for living in the big city where there are three Apple stores. Hum ... I wonder if I can get a new cord shipped to me?

I went to a woman's house yesterday and was astonished. She had collections of almost everything you could imagine, and it was all organized and placed in labeled containers. I was so impressed! I kept begging her to come to my house in Houston and organize everything. Where to begin there? Because the casita is small, it stays organized, but not so the house in Houston.

Today I'm creating time to shop online for some fabrics and perhaps a trip to ABQ – although it may not happened tomorrow. I'm reminding myself that it's meatless Monday. Enjoy your day, wherever you are and whatever it brings your way!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

August 12, 2012

I'm leaving the house yesterday for a dinner party and it's sprinkling. By the time I get about a mile away the rain stops so I pull over to get some gas. I look up and there is the most amazing double rainbow. I don't remember ever seeing one before, so I grab my iPhone and take a picture. Unfortunately, a McDonald's is across the street from the Chevron station where I'm getting gas, but look past that to the rainbow. It was spectacular!

Somewhere in the cobwebs of my brain I remember that double rainbows have a significance, so after the dinner party I get on my computer. Here's what I found: A double rainbow symbolizes a transformation in life. When double rainbows appear it means that whatever is coming to you has great meaning in your life and that one good thing will lead to another good thing. The rainbows are a sign from the cosmic universe that you are about to have something great fall into your lap! Rejoice in your happiness and good fortune. 
- Lillian Too of Feng Shui Malaysia 

Today I'm creating time for shopping and dinner with Debbie and Lyn. I'll also be looking over my shoulder for happiness and good fortune. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

August 11, 2012

Cupcakes decorated for dinner party tonight.
This is the type of Saturday I used to experience in Houston before I was forced to slow down because of my foot/ankle. I picked up friend Lyn and we went back to the estate sale we shopped on Thursday. I wanted to purchase a cast iron dutch oven with lid I saw on Thursday, but it was gone. Drat! Oh well, I looked around some and found two prints by a native American artist named Aaron Freeland, but didn't buy them because I hadn't heard of him. Next Lyn and I went to another estate sale, which was not really an estate sale, but not a yard sale, either. Not much to see. Then we met Debbie at El Museo for an ethnographic show. Wonderful pieces, but beyond my budget! Then I saw a huge framed print by none other than Aaron Freeland. It was beautiful. Hummmm, should I got back to the estate sale ... for a third time ... and buy the prints? I did, only to find that the prints had sold about 30 minutes before I returned. Drat!

After all this running around, the girls would be doing the potty dance, as Sweetness used to call it, so I headed home to let them out and eat a late lunch under the portal (porch). Wonderful sunshine. Cooling breeze. The girls and I just sat outside enjoying the weather.

Today I'm creating cupcakes for a dinner party tonight. My contribution is dessert. I made pink lemonade cupcakes with cream cheese icing, lemon zest and blueberries. I also made my delicious chocolate coffee cupcakes with chocolate icing and topped with raspberries. Perhaps I have finally mastered the trick to high altitude baking (lower temperature and longer cooking time). The truth will be in the pudding ... ah, cupcakes ... when they are eaten tonight.

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10, 2012

I have a really bad headache this morning. Maybe it's because I haven't been drinking Diet Coke. Mr. B swears people can have caffeine withdrawal. Or maybe I didn't drink enough water. Getting dehydrated can also cause a headache. Whatever the reason, I'm looking for a cool, dark place in the casita where I can sleep. Night night.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

August 9, 2012

Big wins for The Suffers in the
2012 Houston Press Music Awards!
Exciting news from #1 son-in-law Nick. He is the outstanding drummer in a band named "The Suffers," which was nominated in three categories in the 2012 Houston Press Music Awards. And they swept all three categories last night.

The Suffers

Kam Franklin, The Suffers

The Suffers

Congrats to Nick, his brother Alex (guitar and/or bass), Kam (vocals), and the rest of The Suffers on this well-deserved recognition!

Today I'm creating thanks for Nick. Hearing the news of The Suffers winnings reminds me how fortunate 
I am that such a talented, loving and caring man is married to Dr. Mac, and part of my family! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August 8, 2012

Leaving the estate sale with Lynn (from left) and Debbie.
I just booked another flight to Houston. I need to be back at the end of the month for an important meeting with Bayou City Art Festival. We've applied for a grant with the Houston Arts Alliance. Since I wrote the grant proposal and am president of the board of directors, it's worth my time to be there for the meeting.

On a more fun note, today I went to an estate sale in Santa Fe. I love going to these things! I could have bought a bunch of stuff, but limited myself. I'm still thinking about the cast iron dutch oven I passed up for $35. Nice size. And it had a lid. This is so much cheaper than buying a Le Creuset for $280. The one I saw at the estate sale was in great condition and was even conditioned (the cast iron needs to be oil when put away to keep it conditioned). Well, I'l sleep on it. It would be great to have at the casita during the winter for stews and soups!

Today I'm creating a recap of my auction committee meeting that took place on Monday afternoon in Houston. I'm so proud of myself for remembering to bring my notes with me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 7, 2012

Can't wait to crawl into bed tonight!
I'm happy to be back in the quiet desert after several busy days in the BIG city. When I got to the casita, I could tell Rose was happy to see me, but Roz is another story. It took her about 20 minutes to come out from under the bed. I guess she was finishing her nap and didn't want to be bothered.

Again the plane was packed, but this time it was cold inside. Fortunately I had an isle seat and wasn't squished in the middle.

Today I'm creating lots of emails that recap what I did in Houston the past five days. Tonight I'm going to relax in a tub bath (no tub baths in Houston) and then sleep with the windows open under the ceiling fan. Sleep well!

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6, 2012

I'd like to find this bag and take it back to
Santa Fe with me, but I'm not sure I have time.
It's really not that late (10:30 p.m.), but I'm so tired. I think the heat in Houston has taken it out of me, or maybe it's all the running around I've done since last Friday morning.

Today I had a doctor's appoint to check on the progress of my ankle. It's still swollen and discolored. Although I was hoping to be released by the doctor today, I'll be back in his office in a month. In the meantime I have a new prescription for physical therapy. I hope I can find a doctor in New Mexico who will take a prescription from a Texas doctor the physical therapy. After the doctor's office I went to meet with a client before rushing home, cleaning the kitchen, and hosting the Women of Wine auction committee meeting. Not nearly as many attendees as I was hoping for, but at least some people came. Then it was off to dinner at Sandy and Dave's house. It's always a pleasure having dinner at their house because Sandy is such good cook.

Today I'm creating an agenda for my auction committee meeting. Let's see, what did we do last year and how do I make this year different and more exciting? I'll think about that tomorrow. For tonight, I'm signing off.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

August 5, 2012

The birthday boy, Alex, with Dr. Mc, some
unknown dude, and #1 son-in-law Nick.
Yes, the weather was hot last night, and so was the party I planned. The sliders from Bernie's Burger Bus were so yummy. If you ever see the truck parked in Houston, treat yourself. Not only do they make the burgers, but also the chips and all the fixin's. Not to be out done, What's Up Cupcake was busy serving a variety of sweet treats all night. I had a bite of Mr. B's carrot cake, as well as a lemon cupcake. Both were equally tasty.

When White Linen Night was over, we went to a party at Dr. Mc and #1 son-in-law Nick's house. Nick's brother Alex was celebrating his 30th birthday along with about 50 of his friends. There was also a Sweetness sighting, along with her on-again, off-again boyfriend Raff. I guess they are on-again. When Mr. B and I arrived around 10:30 p.m., we  just missed Nick and Alex's 80+ year old grandmother participating in a dance contest. I understand the video will soon be on YouTube. Can't wait to see the replay.

Today I'm creating dinner for friends who are coming over to play bridge. The grill master will work his magic on a pork tenderloin and I'm going to contribute a starch and salad. I guess I should also think about dessert. Maybe I'll find the cupcake truck!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

August 4, 2012

The babies are in Santa Fe in the casita with Richard. Here's
a old  photo of Rose taking an afternoon nap, on her back.
Today would have been my father's 83rd birthday, but he died five years ago. I now read on Facebook about the deaths of friends' fathers. I remember how hard it was when my daddy died, so I tell my friends to do as I have done and that is keep the good memories of their fathers alive in their hearts. It works for me!

I had a hair cut at 11 a.m. this morning, then it was off to the grocery store to buy paper goods for White Linen Night. Now I'm sitting on top of the bed trying to keep the swelling down on my ankle before standing up for five or more hours tonight. It's nice and cool under the ceiling fan.

Today I'm creating finishing touches for the White Linen Night party I've been planning for a client/friend for months. Everything is in place. It should be really fun night, if somewhat hot.

Friday, August 3, 2012

August 3, 2012

Lunch yesterday with sister-in-law Susan Pettit and
niece Meagan Pettit. Good to catch up with them.
Yesterday, before I boarded the flight back to Houston, I had lunch with my sister-in-law (Susan Pettit) and niece (Meagan Pettit). They live in Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C., but had just flown into ABQ on their way to Santa Fe and then Denver. As luck would have it, I was leaving Santa Fe the same day, coming back to Houston, but we were able to meet in ABQ for lunch. It was good to get together and catch up with them, even though it was for just over an hour.

Today I had lunch with people I used to work with at American General and AIG. We try to  have lunch once a month, but it ends up being once a quarter. Also good to catch up with these ladies. Then I was off to a meeting about White Linen Night, which is tomorrow. Everything seems to be on track the the party I've planned for a client. It's always fun planning a party when the unknown is whether there will be 75 or 200 guests! Next it was off to the meet and greet with fellow Bayou City Art Festival board members and two potential board members. The margaritas were tasty and cold! Finally dinner with Marcus, Alle and Mr. B. After being on my feet from 11:45 a.m. until approximately 8 p.m., guess the size of my ankle?

Today I'm creating magic. I'm at home now with my foot propped up. Tomorrow will be another long day prepping for White Linen Night, but it's going to be a fun party! I love party planning!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August 2, 2012

Although it looks shady and cool outside the
Houston house,  reality is much different!
I made the drive to ABQ this morning for a flight back to HOU. This is the first time in years that I've been in HOU during August. The minute I walked outside of Hobby Airport I was struck by the reason I avoid my hometown at this time of the year: heat and humidity. I fussed at Mr. B for making me wait outside for him. By the time he arrived (35 minutes late) I was soaking wet.

It's weird to be here without Roz and Rose. My friend and super-hero Richard is staying in the casita with the girls. I warned him that Roz might not come out from under the bed – except to eat – the entire time I'm gone. Sure enough that's exactly where she was hiding when he went to the house to take the girls outside around noon.

Today I'm creating responses to emails and trying to finish an ad while in the midst of traveling. Atlas, it's not going to happen. When Mr. B and I got to the house from the airport, it was around 6 p.m. and still very hot! I had to strip down and have a nap while the energizer bunny was running around making noise. But all is right with the world right now after my nap and cooling down.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 1, 2012

rBST. What the <bleep> is that?
While eating my yogurt this morning, I was puzzled by the packaging claim “Milk from cows not treated with rBST.” What? Apparently the copywriter who wrote this for Trader Joe’s Greek Apricot Mango Yogurt forgot a couple of key marketing rules, the first of which is don’t use jargon. How many consumers know rBST? Not me. So I went on a Google search. Come to find out (thank you, Wikipedia): Bovine somatotropin (BST) is a hormone produced by a cow's pituitary gland to regulate metabolic processes. Since 1994, it has been possible to synthesize the hormone and create recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) or artificial growth hormone. Interesting, but so what? Trader Joe's had me at Greek Apricot Mango Yogurt (yum). Why should/would the absence of rBST influence my purchase of the yogurt?

Second forgotten marketing rule: Sell the benefits of a product or service, not the features. Most people could care less about your products or services. They want to know what the product or service can do for them; how it will solve some problem or help them achieve some business or personal objective. Too often copywriters concentrate on the great features offered, but neglect to translate them into the real motives for buying. So what is the benefit of a rBST-free yogurt? Simply: Health of the animals. And how will the health of the cows solve some problem or help me achieve some business or personal objective? Since I'm a caring human being, not harming animals is a personal objective. To (hopefully) drive home my point, wouldn’t you be more excited to purchase the yogurt if the package labeling stated that no animals were harmed in the making of the yogurt, rather than if you read milk from the cows was not treated with rBST? I rest my case, except to say that actually it’s not the milk that is treated with rBST. In truth, the cow is injected with the hormone so it will produce milk for a longer period of time. But truth in advertising is a subject for another day.

Today I’m creating an ad for a quarterly publication. I took into consideration the marketing rules discussed above. It just wouldn’t be prudent of me to criticize a peer for not following the rules if I did’t follow them myself.