Thursday, May 29, 2014

A change in plans

Ladybugs all in the casita garden. So cute!
Susan and I had dinner tonight at the most popular Mexican food restaurant in town: The Shed. We both commented how TexMex isn't the same at Mexican food. I mean, what kind of TexMex restaurant doesn't have chips and queso? Yet The Shed serves garlic toast instead of queso. What? The food was excellent as was noted by the fact that Susan and I both had "happy plates," but we still prefer TexMex.

We also spent a little bit of time walking around The Plaza. There's so little grass in New Mexico, yet The Plaza has grass that is so green and luscious. This is another example of the government telling residents to do one thing (don't plant grass because it takes so much water to keep it alive) yet doing just the opposite.

Today I'm creating an e-blast and proofing some things. Susan and I decided at dinner tonight to change our plans. We were planning to leave on Saturday for Houston, but have switched to leaving sometime tomorrow afternoon. That way we can drive to LaGrange, spend the night, and visit the quilt museum on Saturday. Looking forward to it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A new friend

Could this little guy be a Maltese?
Yesterday while I was gardening, a man who is renting a home down the road came to the gate. I talked to him for a few minutes and then he brought his little dog over to meet Rose. Since I've been here I've heard barking from a little dog, which I had assumed was across the road from the casita in one of the townhomes. Come to find out, it was the man's little dog, who he puts outside on a leash when he isn't home. Susan and I could hear the dog barking and crying most of yesterday when we were at the casita. So sad!

This morning when we got up and opened the windows, the little dog was barking again. I walked down the road to find him leashed to a window with a bowl of water set out. You can see from the pic-of-the-day that this is a tiny little love bug who isn't meant to be left outside for any length of time. Why doesn't the man have a metal crate where he can put the dog when he isn't home? Anyway, I unleashed the little fellow and he has been spending the day in the casita with Susan, Rose and me. Right now he is asleep in Susan's lap while she plays on her iPad. I just can't leave the little fellow outside. When the man comes home and starts searching for his dog, he'll probably get an ear full from the cousins!

Today I'm creating jewelry. I haven't really made much even though it was my goal. I guess I should mention that I've created several Facebook postings for clients, also.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

An afternoon at the Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe

Selfie with Susan inside the Folk Art Museum.
Susan and I spent a couple of hours in the Folk Art Museum this afternoon. It is one of my favorite places to visit in the city. I always take people there and, so far, no one has had anything but wonderful things to say about the exhibits. The book and gift shops are also fun. Today I found some cute postcards.

Last night we dined (?) on our homemade burgers along with baked sweet potato fries while watching The Invisible Woman. It's an indie film about Charles Dickins and his mistress … or at least one of them. Interesting film, if you like period dramas.

Today I'm creating some time in the garden. I bought some small Japanese Indigo plants earlier this week and it was finally dry enough today to put them in the garden. This annual plant has been used for centuries in Japan and Southeast Asia and when the leaves are bruised or frosted, they turn navy blue, revealing the indigo pigment inside. I'm fascinated with indigo fabrics and hope to dye some fabric myself.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A casual Memorial Day

Rose enjoying an afternoon nap.
Cousin Susan and I stayed home all day, just as I promised Rose yesterday. Rose can have separation anxiety so she was glad to have us in the casita all day, especially when it rained again this afternoon.

We've watched television and movies most of the day, which has been terrific. I also found time to clean the bathroom and kitchen, but most of the time I've searched the computer for items and cut up 8-10 tin canisters. My hands show the damage of cutting the tins. Bandaids cover the scratches and punctures that are always the result of cutting up the tins.

Today I'm creating a delicious Memorial Day dinner with homemade burgers and sweet potato fries, which we washed down with Prosecco. Very filling and tasty!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Still with the rain, and fun

Columbine growing in the high desert shade.
This afternoon I took Susan to one of my favorite stores in Santa Fe. It's called Recollections and the merchandise is upscale resale and consignment. When Mr. B and I first started coming to Santa Fe, it was just a small store in the Railroad District. Then it moved. Then it expanded. And now it's doubling in size. Through the transitions, it still has wonderful smalls as well as art, rugs, furniture, etc.

After that we went to the 5th annual Santa Fe Fiber Arts Festival at El Rancho de las Golondrinas, which is a Spanish-colonial ranch and living history museum south of Santa Fe. There were demonstrations of sheep shearing, wool washing, spinning, dyeing and more, as well as weavings, clothing, supplies, textiles and much more to buy from more than 20 local wool producers and fiber artisans.

Today I'm creating clean clothes before an evening of movies. I went to Albertson's this afternoon to get supplies for Memorial Day. While there I also got two movies: The Book Thief (great film) and Invisible Woman (for tomorrow). And a bottle of Jose Cuervo margaritas. It's raining and we have all the supplies needed for a perfect evening.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

More fun (and rain) in Santa Fe

This roses in the front garden are like nothing I've seen in TX.
The center is yellow and the edges are orange. Lots of thorns.
Susan and I started our day at the Farmer's Market. The man who makes the fabulous flat breads was there so we got a loaf of garlic and spinach. Should have gotten two loaves! Also got a spinach and feta quiche plus a bottle of white wine that's made north of Santa Fe.

Next we went to two estate sales that were so much fun! The first one had tons of everything, but I focused on the cool fabrics and vintage tablecloths. I bought what might be the most gorgeous piece of Indigo I've ever seen. We had to hunt for the next estate sale, but it was so worth it. Besides some very cool, but overpriced, art there were fabrics there as well. And Susan bought an old Sunbeam stand mixer. It's turquoise. And it works.

Today I'm creating a tin necklace. I got inspired this afternoon and am ready to try to make a set. But first, Susan and I are going to enjoy the quiet afternoon, cool breeze coming in through the open windows, sunshine and garlic flat bread. Yum!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fun in Santa Fe

Here's the photo I couldn't post yesterday of my first Etsy sale.
Thanks to Mr. B, this pillow is now on its way to Vermont.
Susan and I have had a fun-filled Friday afternoon, beginning with lunch at Cafe Pasquale's community table. There's nothing better than food that's fresh, seasonal and organic … unless it's chocolate cake.

We did a little walking and shopping before it started pouring down rain. It's really unusual to have a cloudy, rainy day in the high desert, but with the drought they experience here I won't complain. We would have kept going except downtown lost power. If people can't process sales, there's no reason to stay.

Today I'm creating jewelry. One of the places we went into is a rubber stamp store. They had some interesting cork paper. I bought a couple of different styles ($.10 each) to use as backgrounds for my jewelry photos. Before I can post any photos, I need to create jewelry. I also need to take some time to plan our day tomorrow. There's a ton going on in town because of the three-day holiday and the beginning of "high season" in Santa Fe. Let the festivities begin.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My first sale

Yesterday was a travel day from Houston to Santa Fe with my cousin, Susan. I think we were both apprehensive about what we would say to one another for the 13-hour drive. Not to worry. There might have been two or three minutes of silence. Otherwise we were sharing new and old stories the entire trip.

When we got to Santa Fe it was dark:30! I was anxious to see how the gardens have grown since I was at the casita about a month ago, but that wasn't possible until this morning. There are only a few bare spots. For the most part everything is green, the plants continue to grow, and some plants are blooming. I'm really excited to see a new variety of thistle that's in the garden. It's a "volunteer" that is different from what is already here. Dozens and dozens of blooms are ready to pop!

Today I'm creating my first sale on Etsy. I'm very excited. Since I'm in Santa Fe I'm forwarding shipping instructions to Mr. B. He's a trouper to take care of this for me! Susan and I had to celebrate the first of many sales to come with some mimosas. Delish!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Today is another day!

Enjoying the colorful backyard canna lilies.
Sweet Rose went to the groomers this morning. Of course she's all pretty and fluffy this afternoon, but she is also stressed out. After she got a drink of water, she jumped on the bed and started snoring. Even when I went out the back door, she elected to stay on the bed where she is napping. Tired pup!

I went out the back door and upstairs to my craft area above the garage. I gathered tins to take with me tomorrow to Santa Fe. Since it's not at all humid in the high desert (duh), finding tins there is next to impossible. I always need to take a significant supply with me.

Today I'm creating marketing proposals. Yesterday I was feeling down, but today I realized I'm not out! I went in to a clients office this morning, pitched my idea, took questions and defended my position, and walked out with not one,Sweet  but two new projects. Yes, I've still got creative chops!

Monday, May 19, 2014

I can't think of a headline

The red roses in the front yard look pretty
against the big pot of lantana and ferns.
When I had my marketing communications business – and depended on my income to support the lovely McCarley sisters and myself – there were certain times of the year that were busier than others. For example, the time between Thanksgiving and New Years was generally very slow. People took end-of-the-year vacations so it was impossible to get necessary approvals. Another reason for the slowness was that usually by the end of the year corporate communication departments and businesses were out of money for marketing projects until their new budget became available.

I've noticed that this year the business hasn't picked up any after the first of the year. It's sad to me that I have less work, and obvious to me that I'm lost about what to do with all the extra time I have on my hands. This must be how my daddy felt when he was forced into retirement only a few months older than I am now.

Today I'm creating nothing (again). I could write that I'm creating a clean kitchen and washing clothes, but I don't really think those activities are going to keep my creative mind healthy and active. Bummer!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A day of home repairs

I originally bought these chairs to use in SFe,
but they were too large. Now what?
Mr. B was up and at it early this morning. He manages the house across the street for a woman who lives in ABQ. She is a doctor who moved from Houston to Denver and then to ABQ. I honestly don't think she'll be back to Houston, but that's not my decision. In the meantime, Mr. B is the property manager and takes care of collecting rent and making repairs. Today there were many repairs that needed to be completed. As long as he was making repairs to the house across the street, we needed to replace the toilet in the guest bathroom in our house.

I was able to escape to brunch with Sweetness and Raff. Then we went to look at a house for them to rent. I feel sorry for the two of them because they don't have any debt or a credit history, which means leasing is difficult. I went along today in case they needed a co-signer.

Today I'm creating nothing. That's my story!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A quiet Saturday

Mr. B had his normal Saturday breakfast with his buddy Keith. Their "bromance" has been going on for several years now. I know they both look forward to male bonding on Saturday mornings.

In the mid-1990s I paid $180 for the pair of mid-20th-century chairs to the right. The served as the guest chairs in my office. Then Dr. Mc and  #1-son-in-law Nick took them to Denver for five years and have had them in their Houston home for seven years. During the past couple of weeks, the chairs got new leather upholstery and springs, making them good to go for another 60+ years. Next up for new life is a rocker that came off a farm in Madison County that belonged to my great aunt Callie. My grandparents were the next owners of the rocker. I think everyone in the family since my father was rocked to sleep in that chair. My parents had the rocker before I inherited it. We have had the rocker in Pettita Casita in Santa Fe for seven years, but I just brought it back to Houston. I told Dr. Mc the rocker is mid-century: mid-19th century. I love the size of the rocker and the way it squeaks. It's very calming.

Today I'm creating a list of items to take to Santa Fe with me next week. I know I need to take some tins with me. Hopefully cousin Susan won't complain about the noise of the Dremel sanding as much as Mr. B. The noise interferes with his television viewing. Well, I'm heading out for about 10 days of cousin bonding.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Fried Day

The guest room at the casita where Susan will call home.
For any of my Houston friends who wonder why I spend July and August in Santa Fe, NM, open your front doors. We have been having the most beautiful weather in Houston and this is what I experience in Santa Fe when I'm there during the summer months. In fact, July is typically the hottest month in the high desert. By mid-August, when I begin thinking about my journey back to H-town, it starts cooling down, way down, in the desert.

One of my favorite stories is how one year Mr. B and I got up to drive back to Houston. It was 49 degrees when we left Santa Fe around 7 a.m. When we reached Houston around 9 p.m. that night it was 94 degrees. Another one of my favorite stories is leaving Santa Fe to come back to Houston and getting here just in time for Hurricane Ike to hit the coast. I could have stayed in Santa Fe where it was cool and the humidity was super low. Instead I came back to Houston and lived without electricity for 13 days.

Today I'm creating edits to an ad, and looking forward to next Wednesday when I'm heading back to the high desert for another 10 days. It's good to be me!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Movie night

These mojitos look very refreshing!
My big toes were looking scuffed and I have an event tonight. I didn't have time to get a pedicure so I did as all women do … I pulled out my polishes and touched up my big toes. Ladies, you know you have done it before! My problem is that I sometimes have a problem distinguishing colors, especially when they involve red or green. So, I'm not sure that I didn't just put hot pink on my big toes while the rest of my eight little piggies are orange. I guess I should paint over the other nails, also, just to be on the safe side.

I felt bad today after whining to a friend and then finding out that another couple I know and care about have split. Or do we now call it consciously uncoupling? This situation reinforces to me that I should appreciate what I have and complain less!

Today I'm creating movie night for my client. This happens bi-monthly and the films are usually interesting, but I'm not sure about this month's documentary that deals with the benefits of plant-based foods. Yes, this type of diet is healthy, but I would rather have two bites of something that is really tasty rather than a plate full of food that tastes like cardboard. However, to go along with movie night, in addition to the popcorn and concession candy that is usually available, I've added apples with yogurt and carrots with hummus to this evenings menu. I'll probably sit on the back row and drink my wine and eat a Kit Kat. Yum!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Alone Time

Ferns in the front yard are loving the weather.
I'm home alone tonight. Mr. B is out with friends and probably won't be home until 10 p.m. or so. When Roz was alive and Mr. B was away for the evening, I would take the opportunity to enjoy the food of her people, which Mr. B doesn't care to eat. But I wasn't in the mood tonight so I ate a salad with salmon. To say the least, it left me longing for real food!

It was a rainy day in Houston, which seemed to match my mood. Oh, there is plenty I could do around the house, but I decided to ignore all of my responsibilities and just watch bad television.

Today I'm creating not much. I did write a testimonial and a couple of social media posts for clients. I also wrote an e-blast that is scheduled to go out tomorrow. My dad was only about a year older than me when he was forced into retirement. He was miserable. I don't think I'm adjusting to a lesser work load any better than he did.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A clean kitchen

Mother's Day 2014 with my wonderful daughters.
I had a terrific Mother's Day, thank you very much! Many of my favorite people were here celebrating with me: Dr. Mc, Sweetness, #1-son-in-law Nick, Nick's brother Alex, Raff (Sweetness's long-time beau), Mr. B, The McKlines, The Zamoras, and The Gusses. There were 15 here all total and because the weather was so beautiful, we dined outside under the shade of the backyard trees.

Our yummy meal included Dr. Mc's homemade biscuits; Richard's sausage gravy; Michele's green salad; and Alex's specialty cocktail. Nick and I fried up chicken strips that were served with waffles. Michele brought a cake and I made Mr. B's favorite Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake with chocolate icing. It was a delicious meal and fun company.

Today I'm creating a clean kitchen. There are just a few pieces left to wash by hand, but first … is there anything wrong with waffles and chocolate cake for lunch? After all, it's meatless Monday.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Promotion Plans

The yard men came today.
Looks and smells yummy.
Being a Texas girl, I'll probably always love the smell of freshly mowed grass. At our Houston house it normally happens on Thursdays. When I was growing up, it always happened on Saturdays. Daddy spent all day Saturday working in the yard. He didn't really bother with flowers, but we always had the thickest turf and perfectly manicured hedges on the block.

I'm inspired by friend Mitzie who sent me a photo today of a new cabinet she is having built. Let's see. In the past couple of years she has redone her kitchen, then her closet and bathrooms, next built a stunning swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, and patio, and now a built-in cabinet in her dining room. She's a lucky woman!

Today I'm creating a promotions plan and making contacts. It's all coming together.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


A thought I aspire to accomplish.
I wish I had balance, but I'm all over the place right now. Mr. B is angry with me and slamming things around. I'm angry at myself and laying around. I have no energy right now. What's up with that?

The highlight of the day, as far as I'm concerned, was meeting with an interior design to talk about repainting the living and dining rooms and choosing new fabrics for furniture in those two rooms. It was a great two hour consultation and I can't wait to see the proposal and costs in a week or so. I'm reminded of the HGTV show titled Designing for the Sexes. Although I didn't care for the host of the show at all, I did like the results of bringing the husband and wive to a neutral zone with their furniture and accessories.

Today I'm creating a story pitch to a magazine. Tomorrow and Friday I'm cleaning house and getting ready for the baby shower on Saturday and Mother's Day brunch on Sunday.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weather is nice this weekend.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Too much celebrating

This sculpture in our living room
depicts exactly how I'm feeling today.
It has been a long time since Mr. B and I tied one on as we did last night. Although the math doesn't work, here's how the evening added up. A two hour wait at El Tiempo on Montrose for a table plus three margaritas without eating equaled four tipsy people.

I went out to look at some artwork tonight without Mr. B because he is at an OTC dinner. I haven't had dinner tonight. While I'm not interested in drinking a margarita, I would like some Mexican food. That, however, would require me getting dressed, which I'm not willing to do. Hopefully Mr. B will call me on his way home to see if I want anything. Actually, it's probably too late to eat now.

Today I'm creating a check list for a baby shower. Although my name isn't on the invitation as a hostess, it sure does seem like I'm doing lots of planning.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Appointments with professional photographers


Yes, I'm back in the full swing of madness. It doesn't take long to feel the pressure and stress of reality when I return to Houston.

For example, I've had a crazy time trying to schedule a photographer. I was given the name of a photographer to use. First he says OK. Then when I contact him after he is supposed to have taken the photos he tells me he hasn't shot anything, but he is one of only three photographers in Houston who can shoot the quality needed. (What an ego!) I scramble and get another photographer to meet the quick  deadline. Next, since I was told by the client to use this certain photographer, I try to schedule him again. This time he tells me he's not available and what I'm asking for isn't really what he "prefers" to shoot. Really? Why didn't he tell me the first time? I'm asking someone to shoot exteriors (no interior lighting and staging needed) that will be used in ads that appear in national publications. Sorry that Mr. Ego can't accommodate me. NOT! Moving on ...

Today I'm creating a less stressful evening than my day has been. My evening will hopefully include margaritas and mayhem in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Ole!  

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mixed bag

Great brunch with John and Lisa, among others.
I had such a great brunch today catching up with friends. There were 10 of us. It's lovely to slow down and just enjoy the company of friends. I need to do that more often.

When we came home, Mr. B left almost immediately for a dinner with clients who are in town for OTC. I was planning to take a nap with Rose, but instead got on the computer and upset. I can't stand people who make a decision and then change their minds. Especially when it happens over and over and over again. There's one person in particular who I would like to tell to grow a pair!

Today I'm creating a plan for the upcoming week. At the top of my list I'm going to make a note to self: Stop doing things that aren't fun just because you have an unwarranted sense of guilt.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

All roads lead to H-Town

Bright colors are fun.
Mr. B was serious when he said that we were leaving Santa Fe at dawn this morning. Of course I didn't sleep much last night because I kept looking at the clock to see how long before I had to get up. Sure enough, we got dressed, made the bed, cleaned the bathroom, and hit the road around 6:15 a.m.

In anticipation of the drive back, I made the earrings in the pic-of-the-day last night. Maybe a month ago I bought lunch boxes from a friend of my cousin's, Susan. I liked this lunch box because it had a road map all over it. Interesting that when I drive back to Santa Fe in a couple of weeks, the plan is for Susan to go with me.

Today I'm creating a long drive back to Houston. There are three different routes to get to and from Santa Fe. Today we tried one that we haven't driven before, going through Lubbock, Abilene and the outskirts of Bryan. I had to drive through Bryan to Rest-Ever Memorial Cemetery for a quick visit. All four of my grandparents, my mom and dad, an aunt and uncle, and two cousins are buried there.

Friday, May 2, 2014

My last day in the high desert … for a couple of weeks

I love the funky flowers on these pop art earrings.
This morning I went to the Tesuque Flea Market that is north of town on an Indian Reservation. Friend Debbie was looking for a rug for her place in Santa Fe and there is a man at the market who has the most beautiful rugs imported from Pakistan. He was open for business although it's still low season in Santa Fe and there aren't too many booths open.

One of my favorite vendors at Tesuque is from Africa. When it gets too cold in Santa Fe this man returns to his village in Africa to buy merchandise to bring back here. He is one of the people from whom I purchase Indigo fabric. He has some great pieces today, at a new price that's about 33 percent more than last year. OUCH! When I come back here in about two weeks The Flea, which is another market south of town, should be open. There is a couple there who also import Indigo. I'm hoping their prices will be better.

Today I'm creating a day of shopping with friends. Since Mr. B and I are leaving for Houston in the morning, I should be cleaning the casita, but it's just too beautiful outside.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A trip for socks

Earrings cute from an old recipe box.
I've been in Santa Fe for a couple of weeks now, wearing mostly the winter clothes that I leave here. I don't have any boots here so my feet have been cold most of the time, but today was the last straw. As I was running errands in a pair of slip-on Keds (without socks) it started snowing. I finally broke down and bought two pairs of socks. It's not like me to be frugal so I have to wonder why I didn't buy socks sooner.

One of my pleasures in the high desert is to have an afternoon snack while watching Jeopardy at 6 p.m. and Wheel of Fortune at 6:30 p.m. Wait … how old am I? Anyway, the Jeopardy champ for nine straight days has been Julia, who has won nearly $200K. Too cool! I identify with her because our names are similar.

Today I'm creating jewelry. When I was out this morning I found two old recipe boxes for $5 total. I immediately bought them, came back to the casita and cleaned them, cut out shapes, and started creating. Petit and sweet is how I describe them.