November 30, 2012

oh boy!

just got back from arkansas and i have to say that i had so much fun. i didn't sight see, i didn't explore the beautiful nature trails...i painted walls and spring cleaned.

i know.

i'm weird. i get a great kick out of cleaning out my children's places and painting walls. i know where i get it.

my mother.

when i told her i was going to arkansas to help daughter michelle paint walls, she said, "can i come?" so, i got the great idea of roping my mom to help paint and my dad to install shelves. 

it was a working vacation.

daughter michelle and son-in-law dru moved to a beautiful part of northern arkansas. since they are employed by the state park, their living quarters are provided. right now, it is a trailer home. since there is a chance that in 2 - 4 years, they could be living in a house, one doesn't want to spend too much in fixing up the home, but as my mom says, "make your home a home, even if it is just temporary". 

i was going to post a lot of before and afters, but when i uploaded the photos from my camera and phone, they were mostly this:

and this:

there is a leetle bit of paint on the cutest muzzle ever.

so here are is a before and after.
i love before and afters. i wish i had more.

here is a before:

here is an after:

nothing is hung up, yet. daughter michelle is thinking about her possibilities. i think the painting should go back up, but at a lower level. she is thinking about some shelves. mom is still in her painting/cleaning gear and you can see on daughter michelle's lap the reason for the great big kennel. the granddog is just a pup, not nearly full grown.

here is another before:

this is the inside one of the kitchen cabinets. all 7 (yep, just 7) cabinets had no shelves. so, it is pretty frustrating to use.

not to mention all that wasted space.

or the fact that it is painful to pull anything out of the cabinet.

my dad installed just one shelf in 5 of the cabinets and it doubled the storage space. DOUBLED!

one of the cabinets, we put in a lazy susan for her spices and another lazy susan for oil, vinegar and bigger bottles of stuff. it was so much easier to find stuff.

of course i didn't take an after photo and i should have because the shelves, dad put in were exceptional. they fit perfectly and were super smooth.

i have the best parents in the world! who else would drive 8 hours to their grandaughter's home and clean, paint and build. 

AND come back saying they had the best time...ever? 

not many. 
not many at all.

September 21, 2012

an almost perfect day

tomorrow is the official first day of fall. lots of bloggers look to labor day as the first day, but i think that is because summer is over with school starting up and up north (definitely NOT in texas), it starts to feel fall-ish.

since i'm a blogger (in the loosest terms of 'why yes, i have a blog, and no, no one reads it), i am declaring that today is the first day of fall. 

i LOVE fall. or as betty grable says in 'how to marry a millionaire' - "simply, adore them".......okay, that doesn't really make sense. i just got through watching that movie this week and i keep thinking about it.

so, although the weather is still climbing in the very low 90's each day, it's starting in the 60's and the air has that tinge of coolness to it. it doesn't have that smoky smell, yet or that yellow leaves smell, either, but i can tell it's coming.

so, that's reason number one why this is an almost perfect day.

the second reason is this...when the elevator opened on my work floor, there was the branch manager, waiting for it and with a "good morning!" and a "i'm going to get some breakfast tacos, do you want one?", as he steps inside. oliver's, which is right across the street, has fantastic breakfast tacos for only a dollar! i opened mine up to add some salsa and there was a whole strip of bacon nestled inside it...for a dollar!

to wash down the taco, i went to my friendly starbucks and i was given a coffee 'on the house'. 

just like that! 

after work, since i hadn't had enough tacos, yet. i went to fuzzy's to get a fish taco and it was delicious. that's reason number 4? 

then i went to physical therapy.

i love my therapist.

so nice.

like really really nice.


but, she almost makes me cry.

why is it that one has to go through much much much more pain to get rid of pain?

so, then i go home, trying to keep a brave face, when inside, i am so very much in a deep funk.


i got the mail, and there was this...
what does it say inside?

thanks to my sister for instantly lifting me out of my funk.

btw, it's not my birthday.

so, this is my almost perfect day.

it would be perfect if p t made me feel instantly better, instead of waaaaaaaaaaay later better (honestly, why the face?).

September 09, 2012

2 weeks later...

i went to my niece melissa's wedding two weeks ago. daughter michelle, was the photographer. she, michelle, sent out a small slide show of the wedding to the newlyweds and now i have watched it over and over, again.

i am so proud of my daughter.

August 19, 2012

coming soon to fort worth...

we are getting are own urban outfitters. 

sometimes, i like their design. 

how can i do this with cinder blocks around my house?


i'm getting ready to pack up for a trip to new york/new jersey. our niece is getting married in new york. i am so excited about that. i love weddings even though i never know what to wear for a wedding. i always want to wear something floaty and romantic, but i am not the floaty, romantic type when it comes to clothes. my uniform is a hane's undershirt and a pair of shorts or if i'm dressing up: a hane's undershirt with a skirt. summer in texas is not conducive to wearing things that need to be dry cleaned nor wearing expensive items because i will have to throw them away after the season. the sweat stained armpits are permanent.

but this is not what i'm writing about today.

the subject, today, is that the hardest thing to do is to pack for a trip. i overpack especially if it's a company trip and i have to look decent, or, i underpack since i think i can wear the same thing twice which is sure way of making sure that i spill something on what i was planning to wear more than once. it's like the time we went to italy and i wore my one pair of jeans on the plane and son jason spilled my coke all over them. i didn't blame son jason...after all, he was 2 or 3 years old at the time. i, actually, felt like it was my fault because i should have known better than to have just one pair of jeans for a 3 week jeans could stand on their own after the trip (stiff from stains).

goop just did a post on packing. she (gwyneth) wrote a very informative article on what to pick for a work trip, city break and the beach holiday trip. of course, i cannot afford buy a victoria beckman duffel bag to use as a carry on or a lanvin suitcase as my check in bag, or the lanvin shoes or the stella mccartney jeans (although if i were to wear the jeans on the plane and they were my only pair...), but, she does give better ideas than packing a cashmere pashmina thing to keep you warm on the plane. also, the clothes she suggests would look better on someone shaped more like gyneth paltrow.

then, there was an article in the wsj on saturday about packing light and trying to pare it down to the fab five. i liked this article because she, too, either overpacks or brings all the wrong stuff. AND, like me, she doesn't really like to wear, again, what she wears on the plane, not because she has spilled stuff on them, but because the clothes "smell like fuel and they don't feel clean". i know exactly what she is talking about! my clothes after an airplane trip just feel grimy... kinda' like you have been traveling in the 1800's and the city soot has settled all over them. i'm always surprised that my hane's undershirt is still white when i take it off after being on the airplane...and not grey.

her fab five start with a pair of cropped dries van noten pants...okay, again, i do not own any dries van noten.


yesterday, i also got in the mail a clothes catalog from some company that specializes in travel clothing.

the photo on the left is one of the many examples of clothes i could buy from this company for travel.

and...they are perfect for mixing and matching!

i'm old, yes, but really?!!

luckily, j crew mailed their new fall catalog, too.

so, if you were wondering about the photo way at the top?

i'm packing: 1. a pair of cropped pants from banana republic several seasons ago (does that make them vintage?), 2. a new pair of j crew shorts and a pair of j crew shorts from way way back (again, vintage), 3. a silk skirt from j crew i bought on sale last year, 4. a casual dress from anthropologie that i had the hem lowered since it was a leetle bit too short when i sat down, and 5. a navy and white striped dress from banana republic to wear at the wedding. i also branched out and am packing two non-white tops: an old sleeveless top from anthropologie and a new anthropologie owl shirt, which i have already worn once and love. i will pack a few cardigans because sleeveless is not always a good look for me and a few white shirts, too.

and of course 3 or 4 hane's undershirts.

when i get back, i will post photos of the trip.

August 08, 2012

is it hot enough for ya'?

one thing you can always rely on here in texas is that the month of august is going to be hot...way too hot. it zaps your energy and all you can think about is turning up the air conditioner, turn on the ceiling fans and laying on the sofa, dreaming about when you were cooler and trying not to move very much except to shift on your side when your back gets too hot while laying on the sofa.

this is the time where i go back and reflect on the fun times i had in the very hot seattle this july. it was sooooooo hot there...all the seattle folk were complaining. i mean, seriously, it was 80 degrees outside!

i loved seattle. i wish it was that hot here. since the first of the month our lowest high has been 102. we get excited if it only hits 99.

here are a few pics of seattle this last july...
on the way to san juan islands. how would you like to drive down the highway and see this out your window?

above is a pic of nesting cormorant on the ferry dock

husband scott, catching up with the wall street journal and giving me his best fake smile.
 outside the earthbox inn & spa. we didn't spa...not enough time.
 we went to duck soup inn for dinner. i highly recommend this place. and this tomato ginger soup was the best i have ever, ever had. we also had bread with anchovy pate which doesn't photo as delicious as it was.

here is my entree of scallops with english peas and a sweet pea flower on top.
 we had to get a dessert which was dandelion root ice cream with butterscotch sauce, toasted almonds & sea salt. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... d double licious.
the next day we went out on a boat to find orcas. please note that i have on a sweater AND a rain jacket on because it was soooooo hot.

found lots of orcas and with my expert photographic skills, i snapped lots of pictures that look just like this...

seriously, i cannot capture moving objects.

this is the best i could do. you should have seen the photos everyone else had. their blogs are going to be way more interesting.

and that's the san juan islands. we were there for 24 hours and then off we went to mt rainier park. more on that...tomorrow.

oh and speaking of hot. when i was young and carefree and had no concerns about skin damage nor skin cancer, i would lay out on our driveway and work on my tan. i would go out every day of the summer.

my dad believes that the ideal outside temperature should never be above 60 degrees. he hates the heat and, yet, he would mow our yard every week because he had to. seeing me out there, choosing to go out (not having to be out there) would drive him crazy mad.

one day, while tanning, my dad was out there, sweating profusely, mowing the lawn. he couldn't stand that i was out there, for fun. he finally came over, dripping on me, and said, "is it hot enough for ya?".

yes, dad, it is hot enough for me...too hot.

July 30, 2012


natalie portman, i've been told, is a guys' girl, meaning guys like this kinda' girl hanging out with them in their natural environment. i always thought it would be cool to have a bunch of guy friends that would let you in and i could just have fun, when i was younger. i kinda' saw this over the weekend when i watched son jason play ultimate frisbee...

the girls on their team are fun loving and laid back, playing amiably with the guys.


i saw the flip side of the coin. i was helping son jason move his stuff out of one house and into another. 

i would never ever want to spend time with the guys there. 

i told my son that the next place may not be so gross laid back, so he might want to keep his room a little neater. i said this before i got to the new place.

again, i would never ever want to spend time with the guys there, either...ever.

i brought back a few souvenirs to remind me that i do not want to be a guys' girl.


oh, and p s, he caught the frisbee.

July 26, 2012


i've neglected this blog for so long that i could end it all right now.

why do i blog?

i don't make any money with it, and it's not a profession. i don't have a lot of followers, so i won't really be missed. i have always felt a little funny telling people that i have a blog and try to self promote...somewhat. and i have certainly not gone viral and ellen degeneres has not invited me to her show.

so...why should i continue? why?

then...i have a really bad day. okay, it wasn't earth shatteringly bad. it was more just a one-thing-after-another kind of day. not something that is really worth writing down.

but, then i work out and i feel better.

and, i talk to daughter michelle who makes me feel even better.

then...i fix myself this

spinach with watermelon, cucumber & feta cheese...salty and refreshing.

and i have the following text conversation with son jason:

me: "what do you need from home that i can bring you?"
jason: "there's a purple connector cable in my room that i need. also, the third place chess trophy above the bed. that's it."
me: "why the trophy?"
jason: "why not?"

and, suddenly i'm having a great day and i have something that i really want to write about, so that when i look back at my blog, i will read this and smile.

why blog?

why not?

btw, son jason was in a summer chess class (tcjc for kids), and the teacher had a chess tournament open for all classes, and jason won third.

he was eight years old.

May 29, 2012


this was going to be the year. i was going to call my daughter michelle and ask her to put our names in the snl lottery (because, sadly, i lack the skills). i felt if we didn't do it soon, we will miss our opportunity to see kristin wiig. welllll, just got through watching the episode with mick jagger and found out we are too late.
i am so sad
so very very sad
i think my face looks like jason sudeikis, only not so cute...not so cute at all.

May 03, 2012


how do you keep your hands clean while baking?

apparently, i use my pants.

April 30, 2012


it's monday and i don't care. i am still feeling the after glow. son jason & his girlfriend lauren came up for the weekend. lauren has wanted to go to fossil rim and this was her first weekend off from work. i found out thursday (with a btw text), and cleaned the house like a mad woman so everything would be ready for friday night when they came in. i thought they were going to go off to the rim, by themselves, but they invited us and we had the best time.
most of the animals came up to the car to be fed their special food pellets. as always, we looked for the elusive prairie chickens, only to find out that they are kept in a separate area away from the driving path. every time we've gone, we have looked for them and never read that they are kept in an intensive management area. even so, i kept my eyes peeled. we also enjoyed rehashing all the good times we have had in the past there.
like the time my mom was panicking and screaming when the ostrich came close to the window on her side of the car. my mom is terrified of birds...all birds and we all know that. my sister, who was in control of the windows, locked my mother's window so she couldn't roll it up and mom started screaming (we are so mean...never let us know your weakness cuz we will pounce). niece eva was a very little girl at the time, and so she started crying which made my sister unlock the window so our mom could roll up her window. son jason still remembers this and that eva had said, "that is a very bad bird." and my mom said, "yes, eva, a very bad bird." i wonder what mom would have said to this...
also, lauren was so excited about the giraffes and we couldn't get the giraffes to come over, but then...

and the next day we went to the aia tour of homes. i LOVE going inside other people's houses so much! anyone's doesn't matter. and these homes were spectacular. no photos because it wasn't allowed. i thought about sneaking, but since my son was there, i felt the need to lead by example and follow the rules.


i caught up on my blogs that i hadn't read since thursday (because i was madly cleaning) and saw that a chow life linked me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i nearly dropped my ipad.

why does this make me so happy? i don't know why, but i was super psyched!

so even though i have this...
that is an allergy blister in my eye. a blister!! it looks way better in the photo than it really is... really.

does that mean my skin and eyebrows look equally worser (i know that worser is not a word) in real life? i hope not (sigh)

still happy though...still feeling the after glow.

April 15, 2012


i had a great weekend. mothers with their children at home, cherish them. when i have one or both at home, it's better than christmas. son jason came home for the weekend. we went out to dinner and a movie on saturday night. this morning we woke up to a thunderstorm, but by the time church was over, it was cool and partly sunny, so we spent the rest of our time outside:

hey. we live in texas after all...

then jason went back to his home.
and, we had sandwiches for dinner...
cubano sandwiches (mmmmmmmmmmmmm)

and we enjoyed a little music from our neighbor's yard, not their stereo system, but something much nicer...
wish son jason was still here, and daughter michelle, and son-in-law dru.


one of my many weaknesses is reading blogs. there are so many out there. today, posted on it's her minutiae, this video:

i cannot believe she is only a sophomore. she is an amazing person!

that's all.

super jealous.

April 04, 2012


just got back from arkansas. i moved the last bit of daughter michelle and son-in-law dru's stuff out of our garage and into their home. i love visiting them, and i had them all to myself. they just moved back to arkansas and are living in a government provided home. it's pretty nice. there are a few drawbacks, but the setting is on the edge of the state park, since dru is now working for an arkansas state park, and it is beautiful and so very green. i should have taken a photo, but didn't. i don't know why i didn't. i guess it is because i was more thinking this post would be about something else.

it's hard, sometimes, to live in a home that is not yours. it's like renting a house or an apartment. you don't really want to invest too much in it to make it really how you would like it to be. with dru's job, they will be residing in state park homes, for a while. and it dawned on me that husband scott and i did the same thing for the almost 9 years we lived overseas. the three locations we had were an apartment, a house, and a furnished apartment with a garden that the company paid for while we were temporarily overseas. like, michelle and dru, it was not bad housing, but i longed and yearned for a home where i could do things they way i wanted. in my mind, i would say i would paint the wall this color or i would buy this light fixture or wallpaper...of course, in reality, when we moved into our home (16 years ago), i still didn't get my perfect home. i am still trying to get it just right. i am at fault a lot with this in that i cannot make up my mind what i want or what i want is ridiculously expensive. i procrastinate...a lot...a whole lot.

when i went to arkansas, michelle put me in her guest bedroom that was painted like this, by the previous residents:
michelle had only an air mattress and i brought my own pillow and yet, here is what i found in my room:

lights and artwork that made the pink so much better. the quilt was a nice juxtaposition to artwork and the stainless steel lamp.

on the other side of the bed was a pretty pink dianthus on top a stack of books on a chair.

she always thinks that she doesn't know how to do anything and she is so wrong. this and other vignettes in her house, that she had arranged, could be posted as any of the sneak peeks found design sponge.

this whole room made me smile. it was so simple, yet beautifully done with hardly any fancy stuff.

considering that michelle is hoping to order some dark charcoal and cream colored paint for some of the rooms, she made the pink room so nice with just an air mattress, a light from target, a chair from ikea, books and a potted plant. all this, except the plant, she pulled from her belongings (all their belonging fit in 16 foot u-haul truck, btw).

she is amazing! of course, i have always known that and it also shows in her photography, too.

now, i need to spring clean my house and start fixin' up my house, too!

March 30, 2012

okie doke

i just read the best blog post ever:

that's all.

weird stuff happens when you least expect it

i was going to do a post on austin because i just came back from there last weekend and i took a lot of photos to remember all the fun stuff and places i went.

i was.

until i was interrupted from my work. i was working away when husband scott said 'come here' and we followed him into brother-in-law mark's office (why yes, i do work with my husband and brother-in-law and we get along splendidly). anyway, we look from his office window and the others are saying 'what?' and then all of sudden, i notice there is a naked man lying in the street.

of course, i googled later...much later and found this and this. this is NOT enough information.

i also got this photo
blurry, yes, but remember i have a point and shoot and it was taken from our office's 10th floor and down the block.

i just wonder what caused this man to do this. is he just crazy or did he take something with something else and it just didn't agree with him or was he just having a bad day?

March 28, 2012

mother lode

so...i open my mailbox and what do i see? this massive book from restoration hardware. it's ridiculously huge, like vogue's september issue.
i don't know why i got it. i don't shop there very often. it's been totally revamped. i don't really like the type of furniture it carries. it's huge massive slabby stuff. it's really over the top and overly expensive.
but then, i flip through it...
i want this...

and this...

and a couple of more things that are beyond my budget. when i came across this...

a very pixilated leather sofa from restoration hardware (sorry for the pixilation...the photo was teeny tiny). i also went to ikea over the weekend and saw this...

now, granted, side by side comparisons show that they are not even close, but the look is similar enough for me to go 'hmmmmmmmm'. i don't need to tell you that the ikea one is waaaaaaaaaay cheaper or that it's not even close to the same quality of leather, probably...most likely. but, when i sat in the ikea wasn't bad for $399...not bad at all.

any way...

wait...what's this, hiding underneath the behemoth?
yea! i hit the mother lode, today! and it's not pixilated (heh heh).

March 27, 2012

so excited

i will be seeing 'hunger games' today.
i read the books (i know...dweeb. i mean, after all, i'm going to be 55). then, i saw the trailer:


here is how i felt:

March 19, 2012

monday, monday

today really started out as a true monday, beginning with the fact that i forgot my password for my computer at work. i totally blanked out. here is a piece of advice: don't EVER change your password on a friday. and, here is another really good piece of advice: always write it down. don't EVER think that it was an easy one to remember because it never is...ever. most people use the same password over and over again and just change the last bit like ann1 to ann2. not me. i like to make it fun. one time, my password was expiring just before christmas, so i changed it to bejolly1 and it was denied because it had part of my name in it. and no, my name is not holly. my new password begins with moron.

also, we have been having overcast muggy humid weather for more than a week with off and on rain during the night. i like overcast weather, but not forever, and especially not on a monday morning when we have changed to daylight saving time, which means i am getting up in the dark at 7:00am! it's not like i am getting at 5:00am or anything.

but then, late this afternoon, a thunderstorm was brewing and that changed everything. there was a chance for hail, so i kept going out on the back patio to check it out. it started getting really dark (not because the sun was setting) and it got that weird green-y yellow color, which could mean hail or a tornado. it had been windy earlier and then it got still.

then it got that really good rain smell.

then it started raining, gently at first, then lightning and thundering and then came the deluge.

no tornado.

so, i sat outside and enjoyed it. it was more enjoyable than before this time because we, now, have an overhead ceiling and a pergola over the patio. i've ordered furniture and it is coming along.
i got a meyer lemon tree and a mexican lime tree for the patio. they smell soooooooooooooo good.
i tried to take a photo of the rain, but it isn't really visible with a camera. the live oak looks sparse because it shedding its leaves for new ones.
here, you can sorta' see the rainfall. the bunny looks really mad...i've never seen it from this angle. i have planted some stuff in the raised bed and still have to get some asparagus crowns. i planted dahlias and am really hoping it sprouts and blooms (do bulbs 'sprout'?). i am also getting some river rock for the muddy area. i was worried about the succulents i planted at the base of the raised bed because there is no sprinkler that will hit it (thus the reason for planting succulents), but now, i fear they are going to drown.
here is where i sat listening to the thunderstorm.

ahhhhhhhh...this was a nice way to end a real monday. and yea, tomorrow is tuesday! what is so special about tuesday? it's not monday (durh).

March 13, 2012


hello...i bet you were wondering if i was gone. i'm not. it's amazing how it takes me so much time to get back into blogging. i try to be regular, but i will go out of town and then i get off track.

we are refinancing our mortgage since the rate has dropped so much from our first/second refinancing. so... today, i had an appraiser come in to do an, well, an appraisal (that's pretty much what an appraiser does, right?). she didn't make a single comment except, have you fixed the leak (yes) that's stained the ceiling and have you done anything to your home in the last 5 years (uhhhhhhhhhh...nope).

so...then i started seeing the house in her eyes.
stains from air conditioner overflow - fixed, but not painted, yet...i was waiting till i painted the walls.
peeling wallpaper (the ugliest wallpaper in the world): not fixing...i was waiting for husband scott to okay a bathroom remodel, which he has. now, i have to wait till next week for meeting with contractor.

pink and grey fake marble...who chooses that? seriously?! who would want to have this for countertops, shower walls and bathtub??
ruined wooden floor - word of advice...don't have castors on chairs and then wheel around on a wood floor. we are getting an estimate for this, too.


i have so many ideas...i don't follow design sponge for nothing. it takes me sooooooooooooo long to do stuff. i wish i had chez larsson's energy.

i bet she doesn't hulu 'the bachelor.'