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.