Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve

I'm drinking my second glass of Vieux Clicquot and plan to have a couple more before 2014. I'm adding to my bucket list to visit the champagne region of France. What an incredible vacation that would be.

Mr B worked this morning and then had lunch with the owner of the company for which he works. I ate almonds for lunch. But now the grill master is working his magic on dinner: filets, rice and green beans. And of course more Vieux for his Princess.

Today I'm creating a day of rest. I'm back on the pills for shingles so there's not much else I can do. Tonight I'll stay awake and worry about the safety of the lovely McCarley sisters. The mom gene is always active.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cold and gray

Beautiful single rose in the Houston garden today.
I thought I was done with the shingles, but not so fast. The first round I had was on the lower left side of my back. Now there are new ones on the upper right side of my back. The doctor has called in a new prescription me. I guess that slinky backless dress I was planning to wear on New Year's Eve is out. ;-)

I had my eyes examined today. It cost a fortune to have progressive lenses! No wonder I don't get my eyes checked more often.

Today I'm creating an email blast and working on revisions to a website.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

For me?

Another present! Oh, I've been such a good girl!?! I received a beautiful cashmere and silk scarf with all my favorite summer colors from our garden in Santa Fe. Stunning! I just happen to have on a turquoise tunic on this beautiful Houston day, so now I have the scarf wrapped around my shoulders.

On my agenda this afternoon is to take down the Christmas decorations. Mr. B brought in the boxes from the garage. Now that it's half time in the Texans game, I might put some of the decorations away.

Today I'm creating an updated email list for a client and then distributing information about a January 7 event. I also need to redo an e-blast to send out on Tuesday.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Two movies in two nights

Valentine earrings
Mr. B and I saw American Hustle last night. We both gave it a rating of 6.5 out of a possible 10. It was slow in parts, and I figured out the ending about halfway through the movie.

We thought about going to see the Wolf of Wall Street tonight, but decided against it. I read an "open letter" today that was written by the daughter of the actual con man who is the basis of the movie. He stole millions from people, went to prison for a short time, and still owes money in restitution. I don't like movies where disreputable people are idolized.

Today I'm creating plans for new jewelry. The next two events that Houston retailers will promote are Valentine's Day and the Rodeo Houston. I see jewelry pieced together from different red tins for Valentine's Day. Rodeo Houston isn't quite as straightforward, but I'm working on it. I also need to look at my fabrics. I know I have some Valentine's fabric and possibly some with horses, cows, etc. YEEHAW!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday, fun day!

Mr. B enjoying family and the conversation on Christmas Eve.
I was going to jump out of bed this morning to get to one of my favorite stores (Eclectic Home on 19th Street) when the doors opened. I was in Eclectic Home and its sister store, Coda, on Christmas Eve-Eve getting new decorations for our dinner table. Both were closed yesterday, but open today with their Christmas decorations on sale for 50% off. I stayed home reading instead. In a rare moment of frugal thinking (and I hate it when that happens) I decided I shouldn't buy anything unless I give away some of the holiday decorations we already have in boxes.

I also spent time today thinking about events and experiences of the past year. Good and bad. Happy and sad. If you're holding onto negative and bitter feelings, it's time to own the lesson and move forward. As the afternoon ended, a peaceful smile moved from deep in her soul to cover her face. It was at this moment that Julie realized and affirmed aloud, "Letting go is incredibly liberating." 

Today I'm creating e-blasts that will go out this week and next. I'd like to find a class to take so I can be more creative with my e-blast designs. Something to put on my to-do list for 2014.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A night at the movies

I don't think Roz moved from this spot on Christmas Eve.
Mr. B and I went to the movie tonight. We went downtown to the Sundance Theater, which was a surprise to me. Mr. B forgets how expensive it is to go there. And the parking was terrible because the Nutcracker is still on stage.

We were going to see American Heritage, but there weren't good seats left so we went to see Saving Mr. Banks. Sundance Theater was packed, which shocked both of us. After all, tomorrow is a work day for most people.

Today I'm creating a completely clean kitchen. It usually takes about a day to get all the crystal and Christmas china hand washed. Then there are the linens that I hand wash, also. But it's always put away. Until next year.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Merry Little Christmas

The annual Christmas photo.
We had a fun family evening that started around 7 p.m. and ended about midnight, when this photo was taken. It's hard to tell, but Mr. B is holding Roz. Rose is front and center, as she likes it.

The evening began with beverages, the biggest cheese tray known to man, and conversation. Dinner was baby back ribs (falling-off-the-bone tender), creamy mac and cheese, freshly blanched green beans and hot dinner rolls. And more beverages. We were all so full we passed on dessert and went straight to opening presents and drinking Alex's delicious egg nog with bourbon.

Today I'm creating a merry little Christmas. Mr. B and I slept late, watched A Christmas Story, and then napped. I'm now catching up on episodes of White Collar while Mr. B watches some DVDs he got last night and savors piping hot leftovers. Life is simple and good at the Pettit home. Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Elf Day

This is probably my favorite day of the year. Even when I was a little girl I liked Christmas Eve with my grandparents, parents and brother. Since my grandfather was co-owner of a men's clothing store and always worked on Christmas Eve, my parents, brother and I would go to Bryan, TX to stay with my grandparents. It was just the six of us.

Usually we arrived on Christmas Eve Eve. They rarely had their Christmas tree decorated, so we would do that first. On Christmas Eve, Daddy (who was an only child) and my brother would often go to "the store" to help out. My grandfather was proud to show off his son and grandson (all named Truett Bryan Akin). My grandmother, mother and I would stay at the house and cook or wrap presents. My grandmother had tons of brothers and sisters, many of whom lived in Bryan, and they would stop by. A great aunt knew that my mom liked chocolate meringue pie so she usually brought one to the house. Another woman, who was married to my grandmother's brother for awhile, would give me a Christmas shirt or sweater or skirt every year. Whether or not I wore the holiday fare was cause for a Christmas morning discussion between my mom and me. She won every year. No one likes divorce, but I was so happy when my great uncle was no longer married to that woman.

Today I'm creating elf land, which means I'm wrapping presents and cooking. In keeping with our holiday tradition, the lovely McCarley sisters plus the always hungry and thirsty Zamora brothers will be at the house tonight for our annual Christmas Eve dinner. I enjoy our current party of six just as when I was young and would have a party of six at my grandparents. Family fun!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Parties and more parties

Fabulous party and home!
A breakfast meeting at 8:30 a.m.? The person who scheduled this meeting obviously doesn't know that I don't get up early or like early morning meetings. And on Sunday? I was there. Kind of awake. Breakfast was good, especially the potatoes, and then I was home for napping.

After the napping and early morning meeting there were three parties this afternoon. Fun. More fun. And didn't make the last party.

Today I'm creating a day when I pretend to like the holidays. I'm putting on a happy face.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas magic

Subtle nail polish named "Do the Mermaid."
I was at a financial committee meeting this morning for Bayou City Art Festival. Two things are wrong with this scenario. First, it began at 9 a.m. Second, it lasted for 3.5 hours. Not my idea of how to begin a Saturday morning.

Next I went to Dr. Mc and #1 son-in-law Nick's house to help them get ready for their Lights in the Heights party tonight. In about a hour I had made two wreaths and decorated their tree (the lights were already in place). The wreaths were simple and the tree involved big, colorful draped net ribbon. Turned out great. Then I was home to make vegetarian chili and cookies, redress and get back to their house before the street closing at 5:30 p.m. Done. Done. And done.

Today I'm creating Christmas magic, but not at the Pettit house in Houston. We still have a tree with lights, but nothing else. Mr. B brought the four containers of Christmas decorations into the house. They're sitting - unopened - in the kitchen. Not tomorrow. Maybe Monday. More likely Tuesday. Or perhaps I'll reinvent the Christmas tree this year, such as what I did at Dr. Mc and #1 son-in-law Nick's house.

Friday, December 13, 2013

A day of partying

I was up and out the door early this morning so I could get everything done. First there were errands and then lunch at Canopy with a fellow Board member from Bayou City Art Festival and two people from Houston Arts Alliance.

Then I ran more errands before I went to my client's home to bag 25 bottles each of Kahlua, Baileys, Frangelico and Grand Marnier. I put all 100 bottles under one of the trees in my client's great room. It looks really cute (see pic-of-the-day). Everyone who attends the party gets to take a bag home. How fun is that!

Today I'm creating the final details for the party at my client's home. Now I'm resting my feet and back before getting dolled up and going back to enjoy  the party.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

One of my favorite photos from Christmases past.
There are so many movies that have either been recently released or are coming out that I want to see. I think Mr. B and I should spend the 12 days of Christmas (Dec. 25-Jan. 5, with Epiphany occurring on Jan. 6) seeing movies.

Here's the start of my list, but I'm sure Mr. B would like to add others, such as Thor (ugh!).
• Saving Mr. Banks
• American Hustle
• The Wolf of Wall Street
• The Invisible Woman
• August: Osage County

Today I'm creating decorations at Dr. Mc and #1 son-in-law Nick's house. There are no additional decorations in the Pettit Houston house between yesterday and today. Maybe decorating some at the McZam's house will get me in the mood.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Errands, errands and more errands

The year we bought the casita, Dr. Mc and I ran around at
the last minute decorating. It was a white Christmas.
Although the furry Pettit girls and I were determined to sleep in this morning, Mr. B was having none of it. Talking loudly. Turning on lights. Banging around. And just being a general pest. So there was no sleeping late.

Maybe I'm ready to dedicate an hour a day to holiday decorating. With two black and white princess dogs, I may start by putting red Christmas scarves on them. Rose LOVES it, but Roz … not so much!

Today I'm creating an e-blast and finishing a save-the-date card. And it's before noon! I'm doing some Santa errands this afternoon, both for clients and family. Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas outside the Pettit Houston house, but still not too much progress inside.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Still down, but not out

Some of the tin Christmas earrings from last weekend.
I've had a busy Tuesday with meetings and getting ready for my client's office party on Friday night. I had tons of fun with the corporate credit card! I always like to have a little surprise at each event, and today I figured out what to do for the office party. But first, one more meeting tonight for Bayou City Art Festival.

Mr. B and I have five events this weekend. His office party is on Friday afternoon and I might go for awhile. Friday night is my client's office party that I'll attend. Then Saturday is Lights in the Heights, which is always a fun event at Dr. Mc and #1 son-in-law Nick's house. We're invited to open houses on Sunday afternoon and Sunday night. All I need to do is decide what to wear.

Today I'm creating lists and notes on my iPad. I love being able to carry it with me. It's light yet the type is big enough to read, unlike my iPhone. I'm feeling better than I was when I posted on Sunday night. I spent time yesterday de-cluttering some and organizing my winter clothes. Less clutter. More smiles.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Good times

I've been extremely depressed all day, and I don't know why. I had a good holiday market this past weekend, although it was long. I slept until 9 a.m., which isn't unusual for me. I didn't get dressed, which isn't unusual. Then I went back to sleep around 2 p.m. and didn't wake up until 6 p.m. Every room in the house is a total mess. I haven't finished unpacking from my month-long stay in Santa Fe. I have craft stuff everywhere. There's no doubt that I would feel better if there wasn't
Sold this poncho to Laurin on Saturday. Enjou!
clutter everywhere.

I was determined to get decorated for the holidays early this year. I see all the beautiful decorations on Facebook. I have thousands of dollars invested in holiday decorations, but the holidays haven't been the same for me since my mom died just after Thanksgiving in 2001. You'd think after all this time I'd be over it.

Today I'm creating nothing, and I'm rethinking what I'm creating. I enjoy making things, but don't like the craft shows. It's silly to continue.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A plan for another craft show

Zach giving his mom a kiss last night during the wedding reception.
My neighbors may not speak to me again if they see me go into the Walmart on Yale tomorrow. There was a big "fight" in the neighborhood between the developer and residents to keep the strip centers from going in on the south side of I-10 along Heights Boulevard and Yale. I don't think people minded that the stores were being built, except that the traffic is now terrible at any time of the day and especially during rush hour.

So why am I going to Walmart? I need two five-foot tables for my craft show this coming weekend and Walmart was the only convenient place I could find them. The space for each artisan this weekend is only 7' x 5', instead of the usually 10' x 10'. I don't feel guilty about buying the tables because not only will I use them in future craft shows, but also for back yard parties instead of rentals.

Today I'm creating my to-do list for this coming week. I think if I'm organized I won't get panicky as  the weekend approaches. My plans need to include how to condense everything from my 10' x 10' up into the small space. I decided today that it's probably not the weather to sell outdoor pillows, so I'm going to leave them out. That's a good thing because they take up lots of room. I have holiday aprons that I'll sell instead of the burlap pillows, along with tin jewelry, bags and totes. Good plan!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Zach and Sarah's wedding day

It was definitely a harder ride home that I expected. Mr. B drove the first five hours and then I took over. Three hours into my turn at driving, my back (where the shingles are located) was so painful. I kept leaning forward to try to ease the pain, but nothing helped. Mr. B to the rescue (as usual). He took back over the steering wheel so I could take a pain pill and sit in the passenger seat on my right side, relieving the pressure on my back.

image.jpegOne of the last things we did before leaving the casita was to hang a heart made from bottle caps. We got it at the last Bayou City Art Festival (BCAF). It was created by Dakota Pratt from Austin and donated to the Art Heist, which I co-hosted. When our number was drawn, I went straight to the heart because I had just the place for it. The top photo is how we hung it at the casita, under the portal by the back door. The bottom photo is a close-up photo of the heart from BCAF. We left plenty of room around the heart for more of Dakota's work. I see the original heart having friends join it.

Today I'm creating plans for a holiday market I'm going to participate in on Friday and Saturday of next week. I have plenty of gift bags, but needed holiday tissue paper. It's sometimes much easier to let my fingers do the walking (through Etsy and eBay) then to get in the car and fight the holiday shoppers. And I'm excited that tonight is the wedding of Zach and Sarah. Such a sweet young couple who have their entire lives in front of them. It's very exciting!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanks for my blessings

The Pettits' high desert Thanksgiving table.
The furry Pettit girls know that something is going on. We have started packing and cleaning the casita. What's really confusing to the girls is that we're also cooking Thanksgiving dinner. They equate long road trips with deep cleaning and packing, but not with all day cooking.

Although it's still cold outside, it's unbelievably beautiful in the high desert. I got up today and called the lovely McCarley sisters to wish them happy Thanksgiving. I had to leave voicemails. I think Dr. Mc and #1 son-in-law Nick are in Austin to celebrate Thanksgiving with his extended family, but I have no idea what Sweetness is doing. Wherever they are and whatever they are doing, I hope both my daughters remember to say they are thankful for their mom today. It's a longstanding joke and tradition.

Today I'm creating thanks for my many blessings. I'm thankful for a wonderful family and fun friends. I'm thankful for a very handsome, supportive and loving husband. I'm thankful for paying and pro-bono clients who inspire me to be creative and innovative. And among other things, I'm so thankful that Mr. B and I have a house in Santa Fe where we can escape the craziness of holidays and spend time together counting our many blessings.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A quiet day

The beauty of the high desert covered in snow.
I had lots of things to do today, but instead I've sat around in front of the Kiva fire and watched probably four movies. Instead of cleaning house, Mr. B and I have said we'll be thankful tomorrow that we have a casita in the high desert where we spend Thanksgiving and clean before we head back to Houston.

In 2007, when we first bought the casita, Mr. B and I decided to start a new tradition and have Thanksgiving here. My father had died in 2007, after the deaths of my older brother in 2004, and my mom in 2001. I was feeling pretty lost at that time. It has been a wonderful tradition that we have celebrated year after year, except for last year when I had just had a second foot surgery and was unable to travel. So tomorrow we will sleep as late as the furry Pettit girls will let us, then clean house before cooking and enjoying a wonderful, leisurely meal. I do have many things to be thankful for this year and I don't want to forget a single blessing I have received.

Today I'm creating an incentive write up. Yes, even the day before Thanksgiving there is work to be done.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Memories of mom: Peggie Jane (Hargrove) Akin – April 22, 1929 - Nov. 26, 2001

Ice crystals need to thaw before
they can drip into the rain catcher.
We ventured out of the casita again today. It was sunny and bright, so the snow was slowly melting. Still it was cold enough that when the ice melted and dripped, it would hit the ground and freeze. The part of the street that was in the sun was fine, but the part that was in the shade was icy. Not the best driving conditions.

I finally took Mr. B to one of my favorite lunch places in town. It's a casual French restaurant (Clafoutis) that serves breakfast and lunch. Crazy good! Really tasty food and oh so delicious pastries. Of course, now we're not hungry for the leftover red beans and rice from last night.

Today I'm creating time to visit some of my favorite shops in town. With only two days left before we hit the road back to Houston, I needed to do some shopping in preparation for tomorrow's day of casita cleaning. But I can't help thinking about my mom, who died 12 years ago today. She would be 84 if she had taken better care of herself.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Another Meatless Monday

A high of 39 degrees in Santa Fe today and a lo of 18 degrees tonight. Although we were supposed to have more snow today, the sun has been out and I haven't seen a flake one. Mr. B wanted to get out last night so we went to a party. There was some slipping and sliding on the icy roads, but we made it to our destination. Dr. Mc gave us some great driving advice. After living in Denver for five years, she knows about driving in the snow. Note to self: When it's snowing outside, wear sensible shoes and keep them on when you go inside. Silly me. I wore snow boots and took a change of shoes to wear inside. We did get stuck in the snow when leaving and had to get assistance for very kind gentlemen. Come to find out, they'll be in Houston in February. It will be payback time.

Last night's Bollywood Party was fun, although I definitely didn't have enough to drink to get up and dance. And that feeling was further brought home when I watched (and videoed) the guest dancers. For the first time ever I'm going to post the video I did last night of the dancers, I hope. The first person you'll see on the video is Jane, the birthday girl herself.

Today I'm creating red beans so we can have them for dinner tonight. They are really smelling good. A little rice and cornbread will complement the red beans perfectly, at least for me! Mr. B isn't as keen on Meatless Monday as I am. He went in the kitchen this morning and fried himself some bacon. After cooking it, he asked me if it bothered me. Hell YES! Even vegetarians have a problem smelling yummy fried bacon and not wanting to eat some! But I resisted and had my yogurt.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Super Sunday

The snow that fell on Santa Fe night before last was nothing like what came last night. The pic-of-the-day is of chairs and a table that sit outside the front door of the casita. There was no snow on them or the fence behind them last night when we went to bed. If I stepped out the door the snow would be mid-calf deep. Otherwise I'd stick a ruler in the snow on the table to check the depth. And since the temperature isn't supposed to reach freezing today, the snow isn't going away.

The snow that was on the ground yesterday mostly melted by night fall, so Mr. B and I went downtown to eat. After dinner we drove to the plaza to see the lights, but unfortunately they weren't on. Driving around the plaza made me think of several shops that I want to visit before I leave town. I thought Mr. B and I could go this afternoon. NOT. We are supposed to go to a birthday party for a friend tonight, but I don't think we will make it there, either.

Today I'm creating a snow day. I'm still in my pajama bottoms, t-shirt and thick socks. It's so cold outside that the casita isn't getting warm inside. My hands are cold so it might be time to add a sweater over my t-shirt.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Surprise this Morning

While we slept snug in our bed last night, "The City Different" received its first measurable snowfall of the season. Mr. B and the furry Pettit girls were very surprised when they went outside this morning. The ground is completely covered with snow and we could see it still falling. It's supposed to snow for the next three days, which means the Pettits may not leave the casita for at least that length of time. This is a special treat for us Texas folks, but I wouldn't want to live with it for months at the time.

I was so excited to hear about the snow that I jumped out of bed around 8 a.m. On a Saturday morning? Unthinkable. I know Mr. B wanted to go to town to eat breakfast. Let's see if he still wants to do that after he gets out of the shower.

Today I'm creating a pot of stew that we can enjoy tonight for dinner. And some cornbread will go very well with stew.

Friday, November 22, 2013

What to do. What to do.

Piggy yard art.
It is beyond cold in Santa Fe today. Mr. B and I were going to go to a new place for lunch and maybe to a movie, but it's just too cold to go outside. When there's ice on the road, and the temp is 25 degrees and it's cloudy, this is the day to stay inside. It snowed last night, but didn't stick to the ground, and there is more snow expected tonight when the temp is supposed to get down to 18 degrees.

I made a terrific pot roast last night with onions, carrots and potatoes. There's plenty left for tonight, which sounds really delish to me. I think tonight I'll soak red beans so we can eat red beans, rice and cornbread tomorrow night.

Today I'm creating photographs, including shots of the green pig I bought last weekend at the recycle market. It will become part of the garden as soon as I figure out where to put it (her). I was planning to make tin jewelry out of Christmas tins today, but it's too cold to go outside and cut the tin. I could cut it inside, except the banging upsets Mr. B and the furry Pettit girls.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A trip to town

Mr. B arrived in SFe around noon today. Joy! We walked down the street from the shuttle drop to Pasqual's, which was serving breakfast until 3 p.m. Mr. B would eat breakfast three times a day, if he was allowed. He had Pasquales Special, which is pancakes, eggs and bacon. You'd think he had walked to SFe instead of taking a plane.

After eating we went into Doodles, which is across the street from Pasqual's. Doodles is an interesting gift shop where I can always find something fun for someone. The car was parked in front of a store that was having a shoe sale, so we had to go in there. I'm amazed that I came away with just one pair of suede shoes.

Today I'm creating an e-blast before I went to get Mr. B. I'm not sure if it's because he is here or because I got a new pair of shoes, but I'm feeling better than I have all week.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Indoor activities

Santa Fe boosts 360 sunny days a year, but today was definitely not one of those days. It was cloudy, drizzly and in the low 40s all day. In the mountains there was snow, but in the city it was just drizzle. A cold front is on the way and there is snow expected in the city on Friday through Monday. 
Enjoying the Kiva on a cold night.

I made it to the grocery store today to get a few supplies before Mr. B arrives tomorrow. It's painful to have anything touch my back where the shingles are, so it was a quick trip to the store and back. I'm going to cook a pot roast for Mr. B tomorrow night. Why is it that all comfort food is fattening?

Today I'm creating a clean house, sort of. I did get my clothes washed, the dishes washed in the dishwasher, and the vacuum run in some of the rooms. While I was at the store I also got some Christmas magazines. I love to look at cooking and home decorating magazines, especially during the holidays.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

E-blasts, e-blasts and more e-blasts

When I arrived at the casita on Nov. 8, I immediately found that most of the batteries were dead, including the one(s) in the kitchen clock. I've replaced the ones that were within arm's reach, but the kitchen clock requires me to climb up on a ladder, so I haven't changed the battery. However, unlike a rat in a maze, I haven't been able to reprogram myself. Every time I'm walk into the main room I look up at the clock that is frozen at 3:49-ish.

Mr. B is arriving on Thursday. I'm so happy! He is always so supportive and just talking to him on the phone for the past 11 days (instead of seeing his handsome face) hasn't been the same. I was crying on the phone last night and this morning because I've had to deal with so much stuff, including the shingles, since I got here. It's always so good to have a sounding board.

Today I'm creating e-blasts and more e-blasts. I had a conversation with a complete twit last night who insisted that no one under 50 reads anything but social media. Actually, I listened to her rantings, but knew she wasn't correct. She read one report. I have 30+ years of experience in marketing and communications. Whom would you trust to be the most informed?

Monday, November 18, 2013

And the worm turns

Well, what do you know. People haven't been drinking the kool-aid. What a nice surprise! I had a great conversation today that made me smile. That's all I'm going to say about it, except thanks Karen for reminding me. You're so right that when people are in crisis they suddenly get energized, but also want to go back to what is familiar and comfortable, whether that's the right way to go or not.
Another view of my booth from last weekend.

I'm still in my pajama bottoms, big t-shirt and huge sweater. It's cold in "them there hills" and cold in "this here" casita. I have the Kiva going and I'm still cold. This Texas girl isn't used to prolonged temps in the 40s during the day and below freezing at night.

Today I'm creating a day of rest. The furry Pettit girls kept me awake last night. Rose wanted to go outside and Roz just wanted to lay in the middle of the bed. Around 3:45 a.m. I felt so bad that I got in the car with Rose and drove around looking for someplace where I could buy Alieve. Unfortunately, there's nothing open in Santa Fe at that time of the morning. So I propped myself up in the bed and watched an old Barbara Stanwyck movie. The best sleep I got was probably between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. this morning. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Longest Day

I kept a small bouquet of colorful roses on my table all
weekend. They still smell so great.
Mr. B is a WWII buff. He likes anything to do with WWI. Every year on D-Day, he sits around watching war movies, including Tora, Tora, Tora and The Longest Day. I always thought watching these movies year after year after year was torture, but I faced the real longest day today during the final  hours of the Santa Fe Recycle Market.

Don't get me wrong. Today was the best day yet. More people were at the recycle market and I had more sales, but my legs and hips were killing me after the first half of the day. I had a great day and great fun, but I don't understand how people do this weekend after weekend. After the show, when people were packing their vans and trailers, I heard many of them say, "See you next weekend." No way, Jose. The only place I'll be next weekend is enjoying time with Mr. B.

Today I'm creating possibly the last day of my festival career as a vendor. After packing the Explorer, I stopped by Albertson's to purchase a bottle of wine and then got some Chinese food. Now
I'm trying desperately to stay awake until 10 p.m. to watch the Mentalist. Not sure I'll make it!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A long day

My booth is set up and ready to go.
If possible, I would spend all of the profits from the Santa Fe Recycle Market buying items from other vendors. I'm very inspired by the creativity of people, which is a good thing. Of course, there is some crap, but there are many more terrific items in the market.

It has surprised me which of the items I've made have sold and which ones haven't. For example, I thought the tote bags would be a big hit, since Santa Fe has just passed a law outlawing plastic bags. I would buy a fashionable, reasonably priced cotton one that I could wash. But I really haven't sold many totes. And I haven't sold a single pillow. What? People like them and comment on how cute they are, but then they say, "Oh, I bet they're scratchy." I just smile and wonder if these people sit around naked.

Today I'm creating sales. I don't know how people travel across the country and participate in art festivals. I enjoy meeting people, but it was a long day … and I still have tomorrow.

Friday, November 15, 2013

My booth is complete

Out of the car and in my booth space. The man behind me
has the coolest lamps made out of recycled everything. 
Of all the days that the furry Pettit sisters would sleep late, why did it have to be today? I had packed everything up last night that I needed to take to the convention center this morning, but still needed to put everything in the car and dress. Rose usually wants to go out around 8 a.m., but today she slept until 9 a.m. So instead of getting to the convention center when the doors opened, I got there an hour later.

I practiced using my Square device last night. I can plug it into my iPad or iPhone and accept credit card payments with it. Now that I can accept credit cards, hopefully everyone will pay with them, but I might need to get more cash for tonight, just in case I need to make change.

Today I'm creating a booth at the Recycle Market. It seems like I have been planning for today for a long time, and the time is finally here. My friend Richard Anderson arrived to help me unload and set up. Thank goodness for friends! I had gotten a stand and lights from Ikea, all of which required assembly. With Richard's help, I was set up and home in 2.5 hours. I now have about an hour to rest before I shower, dress and go back to the convention center.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Tin bracelets coming together on my little snack tray.
Last night when I went to bed I was terribly upset and uncertain about what to do. I fretted all night, which means that I didn't get much sleep. This morning I took the furry Pettit sisters out and then went back to bed with a container of yogurt, still feeling not on top of the situation. I don't have to be in control or in charge, but I do like to feel that I'm on top of a situation.

I basically blew off what I should have been doing this morning (preparing for the Recycle Market) and just pondered (watched silly morning television and napped). All day I've stayed in my pajama bottoms and t-shirt while adding multiple layers for warmth. Then this afternoon I put on my big-girl panties to tackle the situation. Tonight I feel so much better. Thanks to all the people who had conversations with me today – especially Claire and my rock, Mr. B – who helped me refocus and find mental clarity.

Today I'm creating price tags and signs for my booth space at the Recycle Festival. It's tomorrow and I want to make a few more bracelets and maybe some holiday earrings. First, a bowl of roasted mushroom soup. YUM.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Conference calls instead of crafting

Pillows resting on a bed in the guest room.
I needed to run a couple of errands today, but instead I've been either on the computer or telephone. Telephone calls have been spaced just enough so that I can't go anywhere. My last call of the day will happen in about 5:30 p.m. Hopefully it won't last more than an hour and I can get out tonight before the stores close.

I'm almost done making pillows for the Recycle Market, but I can't finish the last three until I get to the fabric store for stuffing. I had initially thought I would make more, but then realized that the supplies are too expensive. If I could sell them for less, I would make more. As it is there will be 16 available. Looking at the photo of the guest room reminds me that I need to change the summer linens on the beds to the heavier blankets.

Today I'm creating pillows and bracelets. Before I went to bed last night I laid out 12 bracelets to make tonight. That means that tomorrow – the day before the Recycle Market – I need to make three pillows, put the handles of six bags, assemble the table lights, and then set up a trial display. Oh, maybe I can multi-process and put the lights together tonight while I'm on the conference call.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cold weather

When I'm in Santa Fe I can be a hermit. I get in the casita and only leave to take the furry Pettit sisters for a walk or go to the store. Today was one of those days when I went out. And it was cold! I hear from Houston friends that it is cold and rainy there, but here it is cold and sunny. I like my option better (cold and sunny).

For sure this is the down time in Santa Fe. There is no one in the city. I went to town and found a parking space right in front of the store I wanted. This hardly ever happens.

Today I'm creating more pillows and jewelry. The pic-of-the-day is a necklace that I'm donating to Art on the Avenue in Houston this coming weekend. The flash wasn't great, so the tin on the left looks lighter when actually all the tins are the same color.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Roz is snuggled in the pillows.
It's COLD in Santa Fe and is supposed to be 10 degrees colder tomorrow. I went to bed, but woke up several hours later shivering in a ball. I got up and put another blanket on the bed. Roz also thinks it's cold in the casita so she has buried herself in the pillows (see pic-of-the-day). The coldest part of the casita is the bathroom where there are tile floors. I'm not sure the radiant heat comes through the tile in there.

I have to throw a penalty flag at the television show The Mentalist. I think Simon Baker is adorable and like the show, but he was conducting interviews last week saying to watch last night because "Red John" would be identified. NOT. Instead, two of the five suspects are identified and then the house blew up.

Today I'm creating tin jewelry and pillows. It's going to be a day of sewing and making jewelry, but first I'm putting on some warm clothes and going to the grocery store. I should have gone last night, but I was too busy watching The Mentalist.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The final four hours to SFe

Rose sleeping while I'm driving.
The furry Pettit sisters and I made it to the casita this afternoon around 1:30 p.m. Mountain Time. The pic-of-the-day shows my co-pilot, Rose. Unloading the Explorer was brutal. I brought so much stuff for the recycle festival at the end of this week.

After unloading the car I laid down for a nap with Roz, but started watching a show on Reelz, which is a channel I don't think we have in Houston. The show was about the killing JFK. The theory is based on the difference in the projectile of the shots that hit JFK. The one that hit JFK and then Connelly was one that would go through a person, but the one that hit JFK's head was one that exploded upon impact. So these investigators believe that when one of the secret service agents riding in the follow-up car heard the shots from the Texas Book Depository, he lifted his automatic rifle, took off the safety, and accidentally discharged the bullet that hit JFK in the head. Then the secret service conspired to cover up the accident. Very compelling evidence presented and it makes so much sense for what happened after JFK died (people having to sign confidentially agreements, photos missing, doctors not allowed to conduct a proper autopsy, why one bullet went through JFK and hit Connelly while another exploded in his head … and what happened to his brain that was removed from his head?). The secret service agent's name is George Hickey. He died in 2005, without ever speaking about what happened.

Today I'm creating a necklace and earrings to send back to Houston. I forgot to leave a donation for Art on the Avenue, which is this coming weekend.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Not "Hammer Time," but packing time

Little bag from vintage velvets.
I need to be packing this morning so I can leave tomorrow for Santa Fe, but the medicine I'm taking for my shingles is making me light headed. This means NO walking up and down stairs carrying stuff. And there will be NO driving or operating of heavy machinery, either. So maybe I don't leave until Sunday. We'll see.

Our friend John came through surgery to remove a brain tumor with flying colors. He's a strong man who Mr. B and I hope will be around for many, many years to come. John is a tall man. When he gives me a hug I sometimes feel like something is going to pop out. He also has the loudest laugh you have ever heard. Just thinking about his over-the-top laugh makes me chuckle. For awhile John lived across the street from Mr. B and me. We could hear him inside his house laughing.

Today I'm creating a list of items to take to Santa Fe with me. Right now it's uncomfortable to have anything touch the shingles, which are located on my back and stomach. I'm most comfortable when I'm topless. This might be another reason not to leave for Santa Fe tomorrow since I'd look really silly driving topless for 900 miles.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What seems easy isn't

Positive thoughts to John and Lisa.
I thought I had a simple rash that could be treated with over the counter medication, but no. It turns out that my rash is actually shingles. I know some people who have had shingles and have talked to them and done some online research. I might as well prepare myself for what is about to happen.

I made an appointment with my dermatologist yesterday so she could look at me, but then her office canceled my appointment. My appointment was through an online service and the time I selected wasn't really available. She could see me next Tuesday, but can't make a house call to Santa Fe which is where I'll be. So this afternoon I have an appointment with my internist. How do you know you're getting older? When you have multiple doctors who are specialists in different fields.

Today I'm creating well wishes for a dear friend of Mr. B's and mine. My medical problems are nothing compared to John's. As a result of playing center for Clemson football team in the 1970s, John had knee replacement surgery several years ago. He recently began falling and stumbling, and thought maybe his new knees were failing. He finally went to the doctor and it was determined that John
had a brain tumor. Yesterday he had successful surgery to remove the tumor, which was not cancerous. Prayers to John and his beautiful wife Lisa to a speedy recovery!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Special Board Meeting Tonight

These clutch bags are made from vintage brocades and velvets.
I don't think this has ever happened to me before, but I have bumps all over my back. It's not acne, but a rash or hives. So what's the cause? We haven't changed washing detergent. We haven't changed bath soaps. I haven't started taking any new medication. Maybe related to stress?

On a more serious note, I need to work on boundaries with some people who I'm letting get under my skin. One woman in particular wants everything right NOW. Even though she isn't nice when she's asking, I'll jump through hoops to make it happen. This has happened so many times that I need to be more realistic with her (and some others) about how long it really takes to accomplish the objective.

Today I'm creating bags ... but I think I'm finished with making them before I go to Santa Fe. I have a total of somewhere between 85-90 bags and totes. That's an amazing number to me! But when I'm upstairs in the studio I see fabrics and just want to keep going.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A day of rest

It was a totally lazy day.
Here is autumn at the casita.

After reading the paper, I watched two movies and did a little work on the computer. What I didn't do is go to my studio and sew. I'm still feeling good about what I have ready to take to Santa Fe for the Recycle Market. Plus I have this week to sew, although Monday – Wednesday are busy and I'll only have a couple of hours each day to be crafty. Then I have Thursday and Friday, which are pretty much open. And I have Monday – Thursday next week in Santa Fe to finish projects.

Today I'm creating time to relax. Mr. B suggested that I set up my display in the dining room before I haul everything to Santa Fe next weekend. And to get me in the mood to enjoy autumn in the high desert, LR sent me photos of the leaves turning yellow and falling off the apricot tree next to the casita.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Pretty bags

Happy first wedding anniversary to my goddaughter Madame and her husband Taylor. I had to take pain killers before their wedding, so I sort of remember it, but blanked out at the reception. I do remember that Madame looked beautiful and Taylor looked really happy.
I already had an appointment with a second doctor for the week after the wedding. That was when I learned that a broken bone in my foot had partially healed incorrectly and that I would have to have more surgery to fix it. 

Today I'm creating fancy-schmancy bags. I think I could make more if the television in my studio worked. Instead I listen to the radio while sewing. There are only so many times in one day that I can hear Katy Perry's song "Roar." I swear the station I listen to plays it every hour. Way tooooo often!

Friday, November 1, 2013

I'm back

Happy 5th anniversary to Dr. Mc and
#1 son-in-law Nick!
It's hard to believe that I haven't posted since October 22. There has just been too much going on and somethings had to fall off the list. I thought my days would get less hectic after Bayou City Art Festival was completed, but I think it got busier.

Today is one of those casual days that I can enjoy. Still my mind is racing because I think I have forgotten something. But no. There is not a single item on my calendar for today, other than a reminder that it's Dr. Mc and #1 son-in-law Nick's 5th wedding anniversary. I hope they have at least 50 more happy years together!

Today I'm creating pillows and bags. I'm leaving for the high desert one week from tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm working on my booth display and sewing as fast as I can. Friend Marta, who is going to Santa Fe with me, came over on Monday to look at what I have done. She also matched some fabrics together for me.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Another homemade dinner

Yummy awesomeness.
Mr. B thinks he is in heaven. I used to cook all the time, but lately it has been healthy take out for me and whatever he wants for himself. He's sure he is in a parallel universe because I cooked dinner on Sunday and again tonight. I cooked my own tasty marinara sauce for hours and served it over whole wheat pasta. And there are leftovers, except we won't be home for the next two nights.

It was cool again today, which was really nice. I spent some time outside with the Pettit sisters. Roz, with her bum leg, now needs to be carried outside and put in the grass. She limps around and when she is finished we have to carry her back in the house. This isn't bad in Houston, but it's freezing at night in the high desert.

Today I'm creating an blast for a client. I was awake (sort of), dressed and at an 8 a.m. meeting. It lasted all of 10 minutes. I wonder if this could have been conducted over the telephone.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Explanation, please.

Simple, but cute and functional, bag.
I thought I had conquered my problem with late night eating, but obviously not. Earlier this year, when I decided to take off the extra weight I was carrying around, I was able to control my snacking. But hello, it's back. Since I returned from SFe in mid-September, I've started late night eating. Not good. How did I conquer this before and why is it back now? Maybe stress?

I enjoy watching Dancing with the Stars on Monday nights. Perhaps I'm a frustrated dancer? What I don't understand is why Len Goodman dislikes Derek Huff. It doesn't matter what Derek does, Len always gives him and his partner scores below the other two judges. Crazy!

Today I'm creating approval for the website I've been working on for months. It was almost embarrassing how many times my name was mentioned in my last meeting today related to the website. I'm making it happen and should be proud, not embarrassed, that people are recognizing my contributions

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Housekeeping duties - ugh!

Yummy red beans (and rice) for dinner.
My least favorite thing in the world, as I'm sure it is with most people, is housekeeping. But today, it was necessary. Washing clothes. Scrubbing the bathroom. Cleaning the kitchen. None of these are on my top-10 list of fun things to do.

As a reward for doing my chores, I did some online shopping this afternoon. When we bought the casita in 2007, I took winter clothes that I leave there. After losing 50 lbs. I don't think they'll fit anymore. The sweaters will be fine, but I hate walking around pulling up my pants all the time.

Today I'm creating a big pot of red beans. I've been cooking them for several hours and they smell terrific. It's perfect weather for a bowl of red beans and rice topped with cheddar cheese and some green onions. Mustn't forget the side of cornbread.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

All afternoon nap

Dreaming of being at the casita in the snow.
I think it was probably 1 p.m. today when I closed my eyes. I remember Mr. B coming in at some point and waking me up because I was talking in my sleep. I know what that unpleasant part of my dreaming was about and why I was upset. Two pleasant parts of my four hour nap involved being with my wonderful paternal grandmother in her home in Bryan, Texas. She has been deceased almost 19 years, but I still dream about her. The third dream that I remember was being in Santa Fe. The sun was setting and it was snowing. In my dream the sun was setting in the north instead of the west. Is there a significance to that?

My social media question of the day is why do people such as Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus post "selfies" of their semi-naked bodies? Oh wait. Can you say narcissism? I hear there's a pill for everything these days. Someone please prescribe something to control celebrities with narcissistic personality disorder. Or better yet, it's time for the media to stop reporting about them.

Today I'm creating a day off, although this evening I'm going to wash and fold clothes and clean the bathroom. It's another exciting Saturday night in the Pettit household.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Rainy afternoon and evening

We were talking about the renovated library tonight. Cool.
It was sad to read today that Bum Phillips died. What a great time he, the old Oilers, and love ya blue brought to Houston. What a terrific time in Houston's sports history. My thoughts are with his family and all those who love him. I always thought he was a man of integrity.

I have plans for tomorrow to straighten up the second half of the studio upstairs. I'm not sure how that will happen because there is still furniture up there that needs to be gone. The plan is still to put several items in an estate sale sometime in November. In the meantime, I need to find a path in the upstairs office area.

Today I'm creating details for my booth at the recycle market. But now, it's time to climb into my pajamas and curl up in bed with a magazine I got in the mail today. It's been raining all afternoon and evening, which makes it great sleeping weather.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I am a sleepy head

Mr. B and me at the Art Heist last weekend.
I didn't want to get up this morning, so basically I haven't. I think Mr. B was doing everything he could to get me to wake up. Flipping on lights. Banging around. Talking to me and the dogs. But when he left for work, the Pettit girls and their momma just pulled the covers up.

I haven't had time for any crafting so far this week, but tomorrow is another day. I think my calendar is fairly clear all day tomorrow and the weekend. I still need to be building my inventory of bags, totes, pillows and tin jewelry to take to Santa Fe. And then there is the decision of how to prepare my booth for the Santa Fe Recycle Festival. This past weekend I spent time walking around in the rain looking at various booth spaces in the Bayou City Art Festival. I don't think I realized how small a 10'x10' space is once it's filled with displays and merchandise. The trick is to use the vertical space as well as table surface.

Today I'm creating advertising magic in two afternoon meetings and (another) wrap-up meeting for Bayou City Art Festival. Hearing from other people what they thought was good and what could use improvements is so beneficial.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Slowdown in my pace

Honk, honk.
I had another good night's rest last night and am feeling more energized. This morning I met a friend who is going to Santa Fe and staying in the casita this coming weekend. Oh how I wish I could slip in her backseat and go along. But my time will come soon.

While meeting with KK this morning she told me a story that I want to share about geese, which provides a perfect example of the importance of team work and how it can have a profound and powerful effect on any form of personal or business endeavour. 
• As each goose flaps its wings it creates an UPLIFT for the birds that follow. By flying in a 'V' formation the whole flock adds to the flying range. When humans have a sense of community and focus, we create trust and can help each other achieve our goals.
• When a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds in front. If humans had as much sense as geese we would stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We should be willing to accept the help of others and give our help to others. 
• When a goose tires of flying up front it drops back into formation and another goose flies to the point position. The outcome is that it pays to take turns doing the hard tasks. We should respect and protect each other's unique arrangement of skills, capabilities, talents and resources. 
• When a goose gets sick, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to the ground to help and protect it. If humans have as much sense as geese we will stand by each other in difficult times, as well as when we are strong. 
• Geese flying in formation HONK to encourage those up front to keep up with their speed. Humans need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups and teams where there is encouragement, production is much greater. 

Today I'm creating e-blasts, revising an invitation and getting ready for my Bayou City Art Festival Board meeting tonight. Honk, honk!