Friday, May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013

In about four weeks I'll begin my summer vaca in Santa Fe.
I had lots of waiting time today, but that's OK because it allowed me to work on two projects that I had been putting off. It's amazing to me the amount of time that will pass when I'm working on detail after detail on projects. Today was a perfect example on how quickly time can pass!

My sweet niece Tricia, who had a baby about a month ago, posted a photo today on Facebook of her baby (Catherine) who had escaped her swaddling to have both arms exposed while sleeping on her back. This made me think of my mom who was the absolute expert of caring for babies. Mother took care of her own two children (my older brother and me) as well as her siblings children (eight on them), her friends children, her nieces and nephew's children, and her own grandchildren. It seems like only yesterday when Dr. Mc was born, three weeks early, and Daddy drove across Texas to get Mother  to Houston the night of Dr. Mc's birth. I went home with Dr. Mc a couple of days later and, fortunately, Mother was there to show me what to do. Daily baths. Diaper changes. Lotions and potions to put on the baby. Breast feeding. Wrapping up in a blanket. I was 27 years old when Dr. Mc was born and had little experience with babies. The day Mother and Daddy left to go back to Fort Worth, I wasn't sure I could take care of my newborn, 7.5 pound baby girl, without Mother's help. Somehow Dr. Mc survived in my care, as did Sweetness some 8.5 years later. Once again, Mother was there to remind me how to take care of a baby and myself. I remember Mother also being present when we had several of Dr. Mc's friends to the house to show them how to pick up a newborn after Sweetness was born. I was certain that the eight and nine year old girls would want to lift Sweetness from her crib, so Mother taught them how. I wish both of my parents were alive to enjoy their five great grandchildren. I wish my older brother was alive to see his five grandchildren growing. All of them would be so proud!

Today I'm creating piles of items that will be sold in tomorrow's garage sale. I have pulled out more than 50 pairs of shoes for the garage sale. Tonight at dinner, a friend told me she would be surprised if she 20 pairs of shoes in her closet. Another thing my mother taught me was an appreciation for shoes!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

May 30, 2013

Adorable clothes for a baby girl that –
I'm sure – will also be adorable!
The pic-of-the-day is two little onesies that arrived today for a friend who is having a baby in late June. Although these look so small, I remember when Dr. Mc and Sweetness were born. Even the tiniest clothes swallowed them up, and neither were small babies.

I really like the designs of these two little rompers. They are pink (we know the baby is a girl) and the use of animal print ribbons and fabric is very cute ... at least to me.

Today I'm creating a clean house before a meeting about the art heist with fellow Board members of Bayou City Art Festival. The event isn't until October, but we are getting an early start. The plans are fabulous!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 29, 2013

Hoping the office space will be ready
for the party on June 20th!
The girls and I had an interesting visit to the vet this morning. The vet's assistant squirted something in Roz and Rose's nose, we never saw the vet, and that will be $50.

The rug in the room where we watch television is really smelly so I spent this afternoon looking all over Houston for an attractive and reasonably priced replacement. I hear they exist, but I don't know where! Mr. B cleaned the rugs in the house in the spring because we had a flea epidemic. No more fleas. The rugs all smell and look good, except for that one. I spent so much time looking for a rug today that I bumped getting a mani/pedi until Friday. Horrors!

Today I'm creating tin jewelry. A shop in the Heights is having a trunk show for me on June 8. I want to have lots of inventory available!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May 28, 2013

Chocolate chip cookies and brownies for the dinner
party on Sunday night.
Friday night Mr. B and I went to two friends to see "Always ... Patsy Cline" at Stages Theater. We saw it before, probably 10-12 years ago. This production was a little different, but still great. Then Saturday night we went to dinner with friends at the new Ruggles Green in the Heights. The old 11th Street Cafe building looks fabulous and my salad with salmon was yummy. I'm not sure how they ever got rid of the fried grease smell that always lingered in the old 11th Street Cafe, but it was gone. I wish we had known that they don't have their liquor license yet. We would have taken a bottle of wine.

Sunday night we went to some friends house to eat dinner and watch the Liberace movie. I'm not sure what to think about the movie. Since it was adapted from a book written by Liberace long-time partner, I'm guessing that some of the facts were actually fiction. Considering the modern-day openness about gays and lesbians, it's hard to believe that being gay or bi-sexual could have ruined someone's career. What's even more unrealistic is that anyone ever believed Liberace was straight! Furs. Glittery costumes. Huge jewelry. Always surrounded by males. And that voice! Rock Hudson was believable as a hunky straight man, but not Liberace.

Today I'm creating a new blog. Plus, it's Tuesday, so I'm doing work for my Tuesday client. I took four days off from my blog and couldn't remember the password when I tried to log on today. Yes, the mind is going.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 23, 2013

This sunflower was in the Santa Fe garden two summers
ago. I smile whenever I see the picture.
It was a busy day doing everything on yesterday's list before moving to today's list. But at the end of the day, I had a great feeling of accomplishment!

It's going to be a short blog because I'm sleepy. I have to clean house tomorrow. I hate the thought, but love the final results.

Today I'm creating a day of errands, with time for a few minor corrections to the e-blast I wrote and designed yesterday. Have a great evening!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May 22, 2013

I have to stop making jewelry that I like so much I keep it.
I literally spent six hours resetting my computer today after my email was hacked last night. Since I'm not a techie it was a frustrating day. I was messing with passwords and mail settings most of the day and didn't get everything on today's list completed.

I did appreciate all the calls, texts and FB messages I got today. It was nice to know that if I was ever stranded in the Philippines, lots of people would be concerned for me. I really love the people who told me they knew I didn't send the email because the grammar was so bad.

Today I'm creating an e-blast for a client. This might not seem like a big deal, but I have to write the e-blast and also layout the template I use. There's only so much space for so many words! I hope my client likes the newsletter.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 21, 2013

I listened to two webinars today. One was specific to a company I contract with and the other was about non-profits using social media. I have social network accounts with Facebook and Linkeden, the latter of which I don't really use. But I do use Facebook and my blog forum daily. I also use media sharing (YouTube). I look subject up on it although I've never posted on it. And today, after listening to the webinar about social media, I signed up for microblogging with Twitter. So now I'm using four of the six types of social media, and am adding to my bucket list to investigate the others (bookmarking sites and social news).
Kirby McZam waiting for someone to drop food.

I also am looking at Four Square. I've always been interested in this service that people use to post where they are located. Personally think it's TMI and don't care whose at CVS or Kroger. And I don't think anyone cares if I'm at CVS or Kroger, so I probably won't use Four Square. Well, there might be exceptions. If I was at Harrod's in London or the White House, I'll let people know.

Today I'm creating a meeting with a design firm to check out their capabilities. Great group, but I bet I was older than some of their mothers (insert heavy sigh here).

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013

I have just the place in the Santa Fe garden for
a swing and trellis. Maybe this summer.
For my birthday last year, Dr. Mc and #1 son-in-law Nick took one of my daddy's old gold watches to a jewelry store. They had it cleaned and a new battery put in it. But the best thing they did – was under the face, on the flat part that sits on your wrist – they had my maiden name (Akin) engraved along with Daddy's initials and mine. I wear the watch often, but even the gold link band was way too big. I finally  had links removed today. Now all I need is for #1 son-in-law Nick to teach me how to set the date without changing the time or the day.

I haven't written anything in my blog about my quest since the first of the year. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to jinx what I'm trying to accomplish. But today, I reached a major milestone. On January 10, when I got the last cast removed from my foot, I made a promise to myself that I was going to start eating better. Mr. B, family and friends did such a good job of taking care of me during all my foot problems in 2012, that I gained weight. Key lime pies. Vanilla milk shakes. Mint Milano cookies. And tons of processed foods. I wanted to take the weight off (plus some), but I didn't want to diet. Instead, I started eating better and controlling the portions of what I eat. I've pretty much eliminated caffeine, sugar, dairy, flour, bread and pasta from my lifestyle. I haven't eaten breakfast since I was in high school, but I now eat something within 30 minutes of the time I wake up. My one failing is that I'll never completely remove alcohol from my life. Nor do I want to it or Mexican food (without the cheesy greasy sauces). Anyway, as of today, May 20, 2013, I have lost 50 pounds. It's a big milestone. I'm so proud of myself and so good that I had to share with the 30-40 people who read my blog

Today I'm creating meeting time with two clients. Tomorrow should be interesting. I've signed up for two webinars. As Daddy used to say, "never stop learning."

Saturday, May 18, 2013

May 18, 2013

Dinner in the bar at Glass Wall on a Friday night always
includes catching up with friends, such as Joan and Ellen.
I ate dinner last night, but later had the munchies. I tried to satisfy myself with something healthy (an orange), but nothing would do but popcorn. And I had to have something to drink while eating my delicious popcorn. Only white wine would do. This morning I woke up feeling bloated and guilty. Then Mr. B fusses at me for my late night snack. Great! If it's not bad enough that I'm beating myself up, I have to hear it from someone else, too.

Fortunately I didn't have to hear his chatter too long because Mr. B left the house to help a friend with a garage sale. Helping friends with garage sales and hauling mulch for neighbors is what happens when you have a beat-up ole truck. The Clampitt-mobile is too big to fit in the garage. Our neighbors hate it that the truck is usually parked in front of the house, but the truck does come in handy sometimes.

Today I'm creating organization. I spent about three hours cleaning up the desktop of my computer and moving emails out of my inbox to separate folders. I'm ready for anything, now!

Friday, May 17, 2013

May 17, 2013

It's prom season. Mr. B and I were enjoying dinner tonight in the bar at Glass Wall when two couples walked in (see pic-of-the-day). After a couple of adult beverages, I went to their table and asked if I could take their photo. They were very accommodating and even asked me to take a photo with their camera. I love it that they came all the way from Cypress to have their pre-prom dinner at Glass Wall, before attending their prom someplace outside the loop. Mr. B and I think of Glass Wall as a neighborhood restaurant and bar because we go there so often. But it's really more than a neighborhood spot.
Cute couples have pre-prom dinner at Glass Wall. Adorable.

I remember my Junior Prom. I attended – wearing a pale blue long gown – with a young man who I thought was the love of my life. That lasted probably six months. But I'll always remember him because he was the first boy who pursued me. He like me. He really like me, before I like him. On a Friday afternoon, he came to my house with a box of chocolate candy and asked me out for the next night. I thought it was very classy. I went to the senior girls' dance and my drill team formal with another young man who I thought was the love of my life. On our first date, he told me he was crazy about me. (OK, I was easily impressed.) That relationship lasted maybe three months. I also remember my senior prom date. I attended with a friend. I was between boyfriend and my date didn't have a girlfriend, so we went together. Less than eventful, although I did wear a lovely green chiffon gown. 

Today I'm creating an appointment with a web designer and an afternoon appointment with an advertising rep. I was really  impressed with both, but especially the afternoon magazine rep. She was adorable and a very smooth rep, without being pushy. I think she was wise beyond her years, which may have been 30-32! If only I had been that posed at that age.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

May 16, 2013

I like agapanthus, but there's not a spot
in our yard sunny enough to grow them.
I admit that my shoes are usually all over the house. I take them off and leave them until I want to wear them again. Then I search rooms for the needed pair. My mom always had her shoes so organized. She wrote a description of the shoes on the outside of the box they came in. Light blue patent. Brown alligator. Navy suede. Etc. Then the boxes were neatly stacked in the top of her closet. If only I was that organized.

I was collecting my shoes from all over the house and putting them away today. For the record, I put my shoes in clear shoe boxes so I can see which pair is in the box. (One picture is worth a thousand words.) I found an old shoe box with the following warning: CA Proposition 65 Statement: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Do not mouth or chew. I'm glad I know which pair of shoes came in that box so I'll be sure not to mouth or chew!

Today I'm creating email reminders for some pro bono work. Nobody else seems to be on my timetable for getting things done. A little nudge sometimes works before I go full blown and start
lighting fires.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 15, 2013

Rose says, "No thank you," to potty time in the rain.
There was a lovely soft rain in Houston this morning. Or at least I thought the rain was nice. Rose, on the other hand, was having nothing to do with it. You can see from the pic-of-the-day that she didn't even want to go out the door onto the front porch.

The rain made me think about the rain boots I bought earlier this year, so I put them on. They did a good job of keeping my feet dry, especially since it stopped raining the minute I put them on.

Today I'm creating an agenda for the Bayou City Art Festival Board of Directors meeting. It was a good meeting, but there's so much to do!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 14, 2013

Irises blooming in Houston yard.
I'm wondering if I've been transferred to a parallel universe. There are plants and a tree in the Houston yard that haven't bloomed in years, if at all. The magnolia tree has blooms all over it. I don't know if it has bloomed in years. Next the irises are blooming. They hadn't bloomed in years, either. Last spring, when we did some re-landscaping, the irises were moved. Today they are blooming (see the pic-of-the-day) and there are more flowers to come.

Mr. B asked me to go to the movie this week. He wants to see Iron Man 3, and so do I. Star Trek is being released on Thursday, and I want to see it, also. Strange that the two movies I want to see are action films.

Today I'm creating lots for my Tuesday client. Besides the normal writing, I'm also planning three upcoming events. Two in June and one in August. I'm also looking for more art deco furnishings for his new office space. I love my work!

Monday, May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013

Iris celebrating Mother's Day.
I don't know why I can't get rid of this stinking cold. A few hours ago my head was so stuffed up that I was almost ready to make a doctor's appointment, but am feeling better this afternoon. I had a meeting scheduled for late afternoon, but cancelled it. This cold is something that I don't want to share!

It has been a slow day at the Houston house and therefore there's nothing to report. The best thing about my day will probably be the semi-finals of Dancing with the Stars.

Today I'm creating a postcard mailer for a client. One of the highlights of Mother's Day was spending time with #1 son-in-law Nick's grandmother. Iris moved from her long-term home in Salt Lake City to Houston a number of years ago. Her family is nice enough to share her with Dr. Mc and us, including when we all celebrated her 85th birthday on Christmas Day 2012.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013.
It was sad today to read posts from my Facebook friends. Almost everyone my age is missing their mothers today. This makes me sad because if my mother had taken care of herself, she should be alive and 83. Instead she has been gone for 11 years.

I had a great brunch at Dr Mc and #1 son-in-law Nick's abode. As always, brunch was delicious and the company was great. I'm wishing right about now that I had some leftovers to eat for dinner. Perhaps a salad would be better.

Today I'm creating family time, and feeling sad because the other three members of my original family aren't here. Fortunately I have the lovely McCarley sisters to hep put a smile on my face!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

May 11, 2013

Dinner last night with Mr. B and friends.
It has gotten so expensive to go out to dinner! Or at least it is at the places we go. We met friends at Shade last night for dinner and the bill was $400. I guess it's time to start having more dinner parties at home. At least when I cook there are usually leftovers.

The rain in Houston yesterday has heavy. Maybe that's why my cold is worse today. Yesterday I came home from a morning meeting and was soaked from head to toe. We need to do something about the water coming off the front porch of the house. Just above the steps that head to the front door, a sheet of  rain comes down. There's no way to get in the front door without getting soaked. And so I did.

Today I'm creating nothing. I had a total day of watching television and napping. We all need down time!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 9, 2013

Up-cycled tin necklace and earrings.
All day it has looked like rain, but not a drop has fallen at my house. The little girl doggies don't care if rain is on the ground or not, they can smell it or fell it in their bones, and refuse to go outside. If I drag them outside they just stand there looking at me. Come on ladies, get with the program!

I've never been a fan of rap music and most of the performers who do it, but I do know some of the rappers such as Snoop Dogg. I read today that he has abandoned commercial rap for reggae, and ditched his old name for a new one – Snoop Lion. He considers his name change as part of his evolution through life. He said that a lion is more mature than a dog. Although I like reggae music more than rap, to be honest I try never to think of Snoop or his music. What is nice about his music is that while many rappers scream, figuratively and literally, he speaks softly in his music.

Today I'm creating meeting with a client in the a.m. and creative time in the evening to redevelop one of the Bayou City Art Festival events. I should be really fun, and I know with the group involved it will be really productive

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May 8, 2013

As much as I promised myself that I would never get old, I'm afraid I'm going there. Today I looked at photos from the Met Ball and didn't see much that I would wear, even if I was a size 0. And I'm finding more and more that the clothes I like aren't what's seen on the runway. Instead, comfort is key. Don't get me started on the shoes I now wear after last year's marathon foot and ankle problems and surgeries! Then younger people don't think about the knowledge and abilities that come with age. All they can think about is wrinkles and gray hair kill creative thinking skills.
I think I was being questioned last night about whether or not I can write for a young crowd. Well, that's interesting. Yes, I spent most of my career writing business-to-business communications, which is a very corporate style. But I've also been known to have fun with words and syntax. How many people at any age can say that?

Today I'm creating appointments for tomorrow and Friday. My final thoughts about aging is that I need to stay young so I can enjoy this wonderful life I'm living! Mr. B's mom was so right when she used to tell us, "It's hell getting older, but it beats the alternative."

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 7, 2013

A photo of the sofa and two chairs bought at auction
yesterday for my client. Wood and leather. Very art deco!
It's dark-30 and I'm concerned if I have a pic-of-the-day for my blog. Well, I suppose I'll find something.

It was a busy day for me, but tomorrow will be very different. Mr. B also had a busy day and then went to play with the big boys from the OTC tonight. He left looking very dapper in a gray suit, white shirt and tie. I'm sure he was the most handsome and well-dressed man at the dinner tonight, but that's Mr. B. He has his standards that include his philosophy that it's always better to be over dressed than underdressed. I, on the other hand, leave for my meeting tonight in my customary summer attire of linen pants and shirt. At the end of my meeting, where we were sitting outside, a gust of wind comes in and upsets our table resulting in red wine splashing all over my linen pants and blouse. Just another day at the office for me.

Today I'm creating plans for upcoming events that I'll be coordinating for my client. I love doing this!

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013

I wish you could smell the star jasmine on the garage.
It's so lovely!
This was an early morning for me, and we all know how I feel about that! I was back to my search for art deco furniture and accessories for a client. I learned about an auction that had art deco furniture so I looked at some online photos before making the journey out by IAH. Dressed. Starbuck's in hand. And seated before the auction began, bid paddle at the ready.

I've been to auctions before and know how they work. Yet when it came to bidding on the pieces that my client was interested in getting, I was a hot mess. I knew there would be three men bidding against me, because they had been bidding on everything art deco. When the bidding started everything was going so fast. I couldn't tell if I had the high bid or not, but don't think I ever bid against myself. Anyway, I got the pieces and stayed way under budget. My client was so excited with the results!

Today I'm creating time to flip through the pile of catalogues that Mr. B saved while I was gone. I'm hoping that he gets home from work at a reasonable time today so he can grill chicken and we can eat outside. The star jasmine that grows on our garage is in full bloom (see the pic-of-the-day). The smell is so sweet and wonderful, and the temperature is great. It would be a lovely evening for al fresco dining.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo was a great day to sit outside with friends!
I had a terrific day of sleeping late, catching up with Mr. B, and then celebrating Cinco de Mayo with friends Keith and Kelly. I probably could have done with one less margarita, but who's counting? We went to one place, had a margarita and then went to a second place for more margaritas and al fresco dining. Yum to all of the adult beverages, dinner and company!

I did sleep late this morning. Until around
3 a.m. I felt like I was still moving. Do you ever feel that way after a long car trip? I'm happy to be at my final destination, but can't really relax for several hours. Once asleep, I can't wake up. I remember Mr. B telling me this morning that he was having breakfast with Keith (they're having a bromance), but that was around 8:30 a.m. The next thing I remember it was after 11 a.m. Yes. I admit it. I like to sleep late.

Today I'm creating plans for the Houston Heights Association's communications committee. It will take some time and persuasion, but I'm up to the task.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May 4, 2013

The babies and I are back in Houston. We got here about two hours ago and found Mr. B having a nap. What a surprise (not). I already miss Santa Fe. It's only about seven weeks (hopefully) until I go back for my summer vaca. And I have plenty to do in the coming weeks to keep me busy in Houston.

While I was gone Mr. B got a clothes rack and gathered up all my clothes that were in the cleaners or hanging on the back of a door,  laying in a chair, etc. Everything, including what needed to be washed, is hanging on the clothes rack. I appreciate the help, but now what am I supposed to do with all the clothes? Do I find a place in a closet for them or just leave them on the rack? I should get three boxes and do like the organizers did on some show that I can't think of the name of right now. Clean House ... that's it. But alas, as Miss Scarlet said, "I won't think about that now. I'll think about that tomorrow." Fiddle-dee-dee.

Today I'm creating a five-hour drive on the final leg back to Houston. It's good to see Mr. B!

Friday, May 3, 2013

May 3, 2013

The casita is all summarized and ready for
my return at the end of June.
The girls and I made the drive from Santa Fe to Sonora, TX. Because there are freeze warnings all along the route we usually drive, I decided to come a more southern route today. There are five hotels in Sonora, and the Best Western looked the cleanest and accepted pets, so here we are.

As soon as we got in the room the girls insisted on dinner and water. It actually seemed that they wanted water more than food. I know a nice glass of white wine would relax me and I was hoping to find a drinkable bottle at the stop 'n rob next to the hotel. Not. I was afraid the varieties available in the convenience store would make a high school kid barf, so I settled for a big bottle of water and another box of tissues.

Today I'm creating a drive that's more than half way to Houston. I think I have about five hours to drive tomorrow.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May 2, 2013

It was literally freezing in Santa Fe this morning when I took the babies out for their walk. Rose was really frisky. She ran out and did what she needed to do and then came back in to get one of her toys for me. Her little nubbly tail was going crazy. Even Roz must have been cold because she was fast this morning instead of taking her usual slow-paced time. We came back in the casita and all crawled in bed. I didn't even take my jacket off.

Heavy quilts gone from master bedroom even though
there is a freeze warning tonight. But it will be much warmer
when I come back at the end of June.
When I was in corporate communications, we would have an annual or sometimes more often review of the outside advertising agency-of-record. I remember one year a really large agency in Houston was presenting new concepts to us for an advertising campaign. As usual, there were several men and one woman who arrived to present their agency's recommendations. The woman had a terrible cold and couldn't stop sneezing, coughing, clearing her throat, and blowing her nose. She also sounded terrible, but was giving her part of the presentation all she had. After the presentation was over, everyone from the company ran to the restrooms to wash our hands and get rid of all the woman's cold germs. Later we reconvened and discussed how sorry we felt for the woman because she was so ill. And we laughed at what a bad idea it was for her to present, considering her health. Fast forward 20 years. I still know the woman and every time I see her I think about that incident and wonder why she took part in the presentation when she was obviously so ill. This incident has really been on my mind since I have been in Santa Fe wanting to show my up-cycled tin jewelry to store owners, but not wanting to be ill when I went. Nobody want's someone else's germs. But time was running out because today was my last full day in Santa Fe.

Today I'm creating time to show my jewelry, and tomorrow I'll begin limping back to Houston after being rejected by every shop owner who saw my jewelry. The jewelry is so popular in Houston, but I'm sad to say I got nowhere in Santa Fe. I'm not convinced that everyone in Santa Fe wants Southwestern, Native American or cowgirl jewelry. There's a market here for my up-cycled jewelry. My job this summer will be to find a shop owner who sells to my market.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 1, 2013

Already May. Yes, the year is flying by, so the best thing we can all do is to make each minute count (she advises while sitting on the bed watching television instead of cleaning).

The casita guest room in its summer clothes.
Yesterday the pic-of-the-day was the guest bedroom in the casita in fall/winter mood. Today the pic-of-the-day is the casita guest bedroom in spring/summer mood. It's amazing to me how – in just the two weeks I have been in the high desert – everything is greening up. I don't notice so much of a change in Houston because we have evergreens there. But not here. I'll take outside pictures before I leave. By the time I come back for my summer stay all the plants will be full and beautiful. Love it.

Today I'm creating a list of things I want to do before I leave The City Different. I've been working on tag lines for a company for two days, which always makes me think about the ones I don't like, such as The City Different.