Thursday, July 28, 2011

This Just In...Tropical Storm in the Gulf...

Nothing like a tropical storm in the Gulf to energize everyone.  Last night on the news, several channels had reporters at Home Depot, grocery stores and at the American Red Cross.  For a brief moment in the coverage I had the urge, nay, the compunction to run over to Kroger and pick up hurricane food.  That urge subsided but then I almost left to run over to the late night Shipley's and pick up some donuts.  Nothing says survival like life ring shaped food.  My crazy friend Debbie and I always thought donuts should be in supply for any long term rain shower.  Needless to say, I stayed at home flipping between Toddlers and Tiaras and Dance Moms.  Wow, there is a whole lot wrong with those shows and there must be something wrong with me wasting time watching them.  You can be sure I will repeat the same pattern next Wednesday night.  ID TV also has I Married a Mobster on at 9:00.  I would like to watch that too and one thing we are going to get when we move into the new house is DVR.  We don't have it now and didn't think we would ever have anything that we would want to record and watch.  Well that is until this highly stimulating, educational programming hit.   

Yesterday I got to play chauffeur for a friend who had a medical appointment.  The waiting room was stocked with drinks, snacks and samples of Dove and Aveda products. Free Wi Fi to boot.  How can one not enjoy the wait with those options.  The chairs were comfy and I came prepared to read last months Texas Monthly about the battle over Camp Mystic in the hill country.  Growing up here, I didn't run with the crowd that went to Camp Mystic or Camp Longhorn.  I once got to go to a dude ranch though.  No my camp experiences were mainly at Peach Creek Baptist Assembly Camp and one year a camp in Illinois, Camp Ill-Mo.  In retrospect, I hope the name of that camp has been changed.  I only got to read a little of the article because there was so much to amuse myself with.  And my friend got to sit in the waiting room while they sent off stuff to the lab.  So we chatted over coffee, Diet Coke and animal crackers.  Almost like we were on vacation except she has never ever packed a hospital gown, much less worn one on any of our trips.  And just like vacation we like to valet park and then we searched for someplace to have lunch after everything was wrapped up.  To make the whole  time complete, we drove though Mc Donald's for a snack size Rollo McFlurry.  I wish I never read what Amanda had to say about the goodness of the Rollo McFlurry.  They are so good!  Well, actually I am thankful that I read her review, cause with the house and all the emotional eating that has gone on during the ups and downs of this adventure, the Rollo McFlurry has eased some of the anxiety and stress.  Oh yes, that and God's Word. 

This morning I met Marsha T for breakfast at Le Peep.  We had a great time catching has been awhile since we've sat down and talked.  We have been more or less grabbing bits and pieces of conversation in the hallways of church or in the loft.  Afterwards, I went next door to Tanglewood Gifts and ordered some "new address cards."  That didn't take too long, so then I was on the phone looking for someone to go to the house with me.  I don't really like going in by myself when all the workmen are there.  Didn't have any takers, so I ventured alone.  Made the obligatory stop for a Diet Coke with Lime and then headed on my way.  The house was locked when I arrived but workmen were leaving.  I had to go and find Jamin.  We went back to the house but realized the doors were locked because they had floated the floor for our wood flooring or for those professional types, floor treatment.   They had done a lot of work on our outdoor fireplace, so that was good to see. 
Jamin took me over to another house being built like ours so I could check the measurement for a couch.  They went with travertine floors and a brick island.  They also had all  the embellishments for the dining room and bedroom that were in the model home.  I still like our choices better, well except for our garage door color.  The sample and the actual look didn't look anything alike.  We are working with them to see if we can get the door painted in one of the neutral colors we picked.  If not we'll be out there with paint and rollers after we get moved in. 

On my way home I stopped in at Basset and paid the balance for the furniture we ordered in June.  I also added another couch for the family room but we'll have to wait a month before it gets here.  And now I'm home listening to the rain and Buddy is sitting in my lap trying to help me write.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

This Time in Two Weeks....

Nothing like a refreshing lunch of cherry yogurt, bing cherries and cereal.  This combo really hit the spot after spending most of the morning doing errands. City Centre parking is frustrating at best and I opted to park and pay on the street.  Worth the buck and a quarter for a little over 30 minutes of parking.  Got everything done with 3 minutes to spare.  I needed to update some info at Life Time Fitness (notice I didn't work out) and made myself go into Anthropologie ( I joke) for some bathroom storage jars with brass tops on them.  Most storage jars have silver lids, so these from Anthro should fit in quite nicely.  The Sur La Table in City Centre had the grill accesory I've been looking for, and score...on sale.  Also made a stop at the Pottery Barn in Town and Country.  It was a spur of the moment thing and mainly it was to daydream about the furniture I am going to order once we close on the house.  Made a trip to the play grocery store for dinner tonight and tomorrow and came on home before the heat became really unbearable. 

We went to the house last night.  The sidewalks in the front have been poured and the concrete patio extention we wanted off the back porch is done.  Light fixtures are in, well most of them.  We also made notes of all the things wrong and unfortunatley, it was kind of a long list.  Roy emailed the builder last night, but we haven't heard back from him yet.  Peggy came over to look while we were there and I wanted her opinion on the color of the garage door.  It's ok but I don't think this is what Dani envisioned when we went with the color.  On the samples it looks to have a lot more tan in it but on the door, it is green.  So, we'll see if we can get them to repaint and if not, we'll have a painting party after we move in.  Tomorrow, they will start building the outdoor fireplace.  That is pretty darn exciting to me. 

After church yesterday, we went out to lunch with Bill, Peggy and Dena.  We all had a blast and the conversations were all over the place.  Love that.  Roy and I picked up a few more towels in chocolete brown, to go with the white towels.  I know us, white towels are not a smart choice for our daily use. 

Saturday, Roy and I went to see our BFFs, Goodwill, twice.  I think we have a couple more trips this week and the purging is done.  I've kind of stopped doing any unnecesarry cleaning since our condo is just boxes and bags stacked everywhere.  Buddy did a vertical leap out of her basket in the window trying to reach birds taunting her by their presence and chirpping last week.  She flew up and into the blinds and then did the slide back to earth thing making a wake of broken slats from her descent.  Since those blinds are in our bedroom, we had to take the blinds out of another window in a room not used too much by us, except for the mounting boxes in it.  Roy originally took the blinds out of the window in the dinning room but they looked horrible.  So we have two bare windows and I am sure the condo association would love for us to do something about that...but hey, we are moving in two weeks.  That can be the landlord's problem to replace since we bought the blinds in the first place.  Roy and I made major strides in getting his stuff packed and boxed on Saturday.  I am beginning to feel we have done just about everything we can to prepare, that is with the exception of those things we use daily. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blast From the Past

Round two is happening in my closet, or maybe it is round 3.  I have lost count.  It has been a successful venture because things I didn't think I could live without in February are saying goodbye in July.  Sad truth of the matter is, there is still way too much stuff.  While going through pictures I decided to keep photos that were meaningful and keep those pictures that have people in them I actually remember.  I've had a lot of fun looking back on some fun times. 

Dani and I went out to the house today.  Tile work is almost complete and they were installing the master bathtub while we were there.  All the light switch and outlets are white and they are supposed to be almond.  So, they will have to go through all of that and replace them.  Since it has rained they haven't been able to do any of the concrete work that is left.  We ran into Jamin and he assured us that it would be done by the end of the week.  The back splash in the kitchen is up and pretty darn beautiful if I do say so myself.  The fireplace pieces were there and ready for installation.  The lot next door is no longer vacant.  The framework for the foundation is up and ready for the cement once the threat of rain is over with today.  All in all it was a good trip.  We also stopped in at KT Antiques and I found another piece of stain glass window.  So, I now have my four pieces. 

Yesterday, I met a friend from my tennis days at the Nord.  It was the last day of double points.  Didn't even look at clothes, went straight to the Home Dept.  Towels and bath rugs were on sale.  So, to make sure they would look good with the shower curtain I liked at Pottery Barn, I went to PB and bought the shower curtain.  Last night I returned to the Nord and got white towels for all three bathrooms and white rugs.  Love the feeling of crisp white.  A friend told me she had read if you used white in the bathroom, it would have that luxurious feel of a well stocked and well designed hotel bathroom.  Of course the Inn on Biltmore Estate came to mind.  So, I was sold on that.  I'm thinking of installing one of those curved curtain rods to give guests using that tub, a little more space to move around in the bathtub.  The jury is still out on that decision. 

Here is a sampling of pictures from yesterday.

This is from a WM Christmas event, the decorate a table thing.  Of course I have no talent for that whatsoever, so I enlisted my friends Mary and Marti.  They told me buy the table, we will do the rest.  And they did...  We had antique Victorian place settings with a Victorian themed center piece.  Marti had the table covering made for the event, but only because it was the same size as one of her tables at home.  We even used Chris Jessen silver.  I didn't even have a clue what that was until that day.  Because of Mary and Marti, our table won the whole shebang.  

This is Mary, me and Marti. 

 This is one of my very favorite pictures of Roy and me. 
 This picture makes me smile.  It is from a Chili Bowl.  We formed a group and named ourselves Pieced Together.  We were those who were never asked to be in an ensemble.  Ensembles were really big back in the day.  Today's ensembles would probably be better known as praise and worship groups.  Let's just say this, we were good.  So good that no one ever asked us to sing again because our one performance couldn't be topped. 

This is one of my favorite pictures.  We helped the senior adults celebrate Gerald and Trev during the year of the Rays.  Well, that is what Brother John called the year, but it just means, Gerald was retiring.  It was a great night and I was thrilled to be there because I was trying to overcome food poisoning.  I learned my lines in between my long naps and well trips to the necitarium.   I made it through the performance but I was sweating like a big dog.  Don't you love all these details into my view of the evening. 

 This picture is of my cousin Becky, me and my cousin Lois.  Probably at my grandparents and it looks like we are ready for bed.  Usually they put us in one big ol double bed and my spot was in the middle.  (Just like this picture)
  • I had another picture but it has mysteriously disappeared.  Oh well...  I also blogged during my transitional hour, so no Father Knows Best for me today.   

Monday, July 18, 2011

To Be Father Knows Best or I Love Lucy?

On days that I stick near home I seem to follow a prescribed schedule.  Mornings I go through and pack up things, eat lunch, do some more work and just about 3:00 there comes a transition to the day.  The TV is hardly ever on during the day, but around 3:00 vintage shows come on channel 318.  They call this block of time and shows, Antennae TV.  These are the shows that were watched when the ol' rabbit ears sat at top the console TV or the black and white portable television.  3:00 - 4:00 is two episodes of Father Knows Best.  Even back in the day, it wasn't really one of my favorites.  I was an I Love Lucy or Leave it to Beaver girl.  It has been interesting watching the cultural shift from 1954 -1961 shows.  On Father Knows Best, there was the dad Jim.  He worked as an insurance agent.  Mom, whose TV name escapes me, stayed at home, cooked, cleaned, and belonged to a few women's clubs.  Betty, was the oldest and she is a teenager.  She always got on my nerves as a kid and now watching as an adult, my opinion hasn't changed.  Bud was the middle kid, the only boy.  He was always in some kind of good natured trouble.  Then there was the youngest, Cathy.  Cute, precocious but kind of needy, looking at her today but back in the 50's I guess that is how she was portrayed.  One thing that I've noticed as an adult is, Jim and Margaret...that's her name, are pretty romantic and had some long, on screen kisses that weren't seen much back then.  Of course they slept in twin beds, but you know they must have pushed them together almost as much as Ricky and Lucy.  :)  Yep, Father Knows Best, the transitional hour of the day.  It hasn't inspired me to run to the door, in a dress complete with apron, full make up, and greet Roy.  Maybe I will do that one day when we move into our new house.  That will freak him out and I suppose he'll think I'll have dinner in the oven and a newspaper to hand to him.   Nah, better not.  He knows that I am more the I Love Lucy affection ado and Lucy only did those things when she wanted something or had spent too much money.  Hmmm...maybe after moving into the new house, that might not be a bad idea. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Closing and Recollections

Another cabinet conquered and more boxes packed.  A bunch of stuff to throw away and another box started for Goodwill.  This seems to be the repeat pattern of life these days.  I'm not complaining, but find myself rather excited and full of anticipation because the plan we began way back in February is coming closer to fruition.  We've bought a refrigerator and as of last night a washer and dryer is added to the list of things to cross off the list of things that need to be taken care of for the move.  I'm glad that we've gone ahead and made theses purchases because nothing that we picked out at Lowe's were part of the in stock, next day delivery promise.  We would have been sorely upset if we had gone in on August 5 to buy these things only to find most items are on a 7-10 day waiting list.  We weren't even planning on going to Lowe's last night.  We had eaten dinner, gone to the Container Store and still had time before stores closed, so we headed over that way. 

Our sales consultant emailed this week asking for our electricity and insurance providers.  The closing date for our house is August 5.  We went out to the house late Sunday afternoon and were pleasantly surprised to see all the trim work up, doors hung, granite installed in the kitchen and in our bathroom and some of the detail features on the outside done.  Peggy came over and took the tour with us and then we met Bill and Peggy later for dinner at Fuddrucker's.  Fudd's have those new Coke drink dispensers where you have all kinds of choices and mixers to put into your soda water.  It was kind of cool. 

Of course Saturday was the wedding of the century for First Baptist...well, since I tend to hyperbole, maybe wedding of the decade.  John and Paige got married and the ceremony was beautiful.  It has to be one of my all time favorite weddings.  As a favor for friends, I volunteered to take back all the cake decorative pieces to Who Made the Cake.  Did that this morning and then ran a couple more errands before returning home...right before the rain shower.  Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a friend and former co-worker at HFBC.  Her funeral was so honoring to a life that glorified God. 

Tomorrow I'll meet David Bain out at our house to measure windows for blinds.  Another item to cross off the list.  Roy has booked our movers, got an electricity provider lined up, given notice to our landlords and booked the elevator here for the day of our move.  It's all moving along. 

I am reminded to stay in the moment of transition.  There are always joys we overlook when our focus is onto the next stage of the journey.  Of course sometimes it is easier to dodge the momentary transition vision because the very moment of time doesn't seem to possess joy but pure anxiety and aggravation.  Since several new families have moved into the condos in the past week or so, it has been easier to remember when we were so excited to make the move here.  We were so close to everything and we were just so sure we would be at Memorial Park every minute we could spare.  We've not spent that much time there.  I only stood out on the street the first two years we lived here to watch the trail riders mozy by on their trek to Memorial Park.  We even thought we would walk over to Uptown Park for dinner every once in awhile.  Never did it.  But we did ride our bikes all throughout the neighborhoods, we were thankful to be so close to church, we were just a hop, skip and a jump from the Galleria, Memorial City and Washington Avenue.  I have loved living here.  In the winter months when it seems everyone is more inclined to cook, the hallways were filled with delicious fragrances of dinner on the stove.  I was really glad when our neighbors who loved to cook corned beef hash moved.  We have seen the cyclical pattern of residents.  When we moved here, we were the young people.  Some of the old people who lived here when we moved in are no longer with us, whether their absence is due to moving on or passing on.  The man and wife who lived in the corner unit down the hall who never looked liked they loved each other anymore moved to Florida.  I found out quite by accident when I worked at that horrible company briefly in 1993, that the man down the hall was a Harvard graduate.  The crazy lady who lived downstairs finally had to be moved into assisted living.  This year Fern and Deloris have given up the pool domain.  They were fixtures every summer, spending almost every sunlit moment out at the pool.  The grouchy, older gay guys moved away from over the pool to a first story unit off the back.  Don't see them much.  The engineer who helped tremendously around here died in the spring. The mean lady down the hall has become friendlier over the years.  The crazy lady at the end of our hall had to move elsewhere.   Of course casserole lady is still around and from time to time I hear the loud talker out by the pool.  Seems like the condos are in a young people cycle, so maybe all the older ones have retreated until the next old person wave.  This was a respite from our townhouse that we lived in that quite unexpectedly became part of the hood.  We rented it out to others until we were able to finally sell it in 2004.  That is when we began to ponder moving.  The recession hit and it seemed to be a buyers market and we found ourselves finally ready to begin the arduous process of sorting, throwing, giving and packing. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Houston, We Have a Window!

Houston and for that matter Katy, we have a WINDOW!  We were so excited to see it last night and the glass block window in our bathroom has also been installed.  Now it can rain lots because the inside is protected from elements!  Trim work and crown molding has started and maybe by the weekend, the granite will be installed.  They gave us a window for our closing date between July 29 and August 5.  The back patio extension and the stamped concrete for the courtyard will probably be done very soon.  They had most of those areas graded.  I had to go back out to Katy today to pick up some produce and I made a drive by trip.  The rest of the brick is up and since they are pouring the slab for another DW Home, I'm thinking that maybe it will get done today.  Who knows?  We are just so thankful that the windows are in.  The lining in the cloud would be during that down time waiting, interest rates went down and Roy locked in a great rate.  Interest rates are beginning to go back up so in hindsight thankfulness, we are praising God.  But you know at that time, praising and thanking were a bit on the slow side from me. 

On Wednesday after dropping Roy back at his office, I headed over to West Gray.  A friend has gifted me with an Events gift card.  Since there is so much to look at, I wanted to window shop and think through all the choices before making a decision.  Before going into Events, I stopped in at Sur La Table.  They are having a great sale and I picked up a few things.  I might have bought more but the resounding cry of Roy is in my head, "that's just more stuff to move."  Since I was in the neighborhood I went to the new Barnes and Noble.  Well, it is new to me.  Huge store, really neat but I didn't have my Nook with me, so I just browsed. 

So, since I am new to this flat iron thing, I went to Ulta to get some kind of heat spray or something...  Anyway, they showed me what they recommended and since I have no clue whatsoever, I went with it.  Also stopped in at the Town and Country Pottery Barn.  Sad to report, no rain came.  Must just work at the one in River Oaks.  Went out to Katy, did the drive by at the house, stopped for a moment at La Centerra and then over to Excessories for produce and a gift.  Now I'm home exhausted and considering a short nap.  We are going out tonight and then we have the wedding of the century tomorrow.  That will be so joyful and fun.  

Here are the latest pictures.  Not too shabby since Dani and I only had little samples to see while envisioning the big picture.  The trim and doors will be painted another color.  I can't for the life of me remember what we picked.  I do know the garage door will be one color and have no contrast.

Glass block window in bathroom.

Window installed to complete the set of 3

Side view

Ta da!  The long lost window is now in place.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sales, Shoes and Parking Lots

I know this will be difficult to believe, but the Anniversary Sale at The Nord doesn't really interest me this year.  The catalog has great clothes and even with my secret code to view everything on sale online, not much is tempting me.  OK, a necklace, but that is about it.  I even looked at all the offerings of home goods, not much grabbed my attention.  Guess this is due to the fact that outfitting a new home has a greater hold on me this season.  I'll not go into fall fashionable and attractive but wearing  clothes from last season or even a couple of seasons ago.  Not too much to really think about since I nearly live in work out clothes, t-shirts and sweatshirts at the first hint of cooler temps and only have to dress up a little more for Bible study, church and all the social events not on my calendar. 

Dani met Roy and me at the hard to find granite yard yesterday.  Quick work in hot heat.  So counter tops are ready to roll.  Roy and I are heading out that way this evening to do a little peek a boo on progress.  All the brick and stone work should be done, well except for around the missing window, the window of opportunity.  When God hides a window, you get an upgrade on a door. 

I happened to be by the preschool area of the church last week.  Talk about  carpet ADD or carpet vomit.  There must be at least four different patterns in that short hall way.  Surely someone notices how bad that looks.  I still believe that the church is the showroom for Carpet Giant due to all the different patterns and textures available.  Think I will go back and take pictures for the blog. 

The morning has been somewhat productive in packing.  I went through shoes again and there are a lot more heading out the door to our BFF's, Goodwill.  I am embarrassed to tell you how many pairs of flip flops I own.  Really!  Funny, I tend to wear the ones I bought for the Rosemary Beach vacation, one pair brown and the other black.  Much more support than regular flip flops.  I have corralled the flip flops into a dairy packing crate and will need to expand to a second crate because the tower of shoes keep tumping over. 

Before the granite yard yesterday, I ran to The Container Store for a couple of sale items.  I was limited on time, so I only picked up a few things on my list and plan to make a return trip soon.  The strangest thing happened in the parking lot.  As I was getting out of my car I heard someone yelling but I didn't see a soul.  The voice was coming from the backseat of a SUV parked nearby.  The voice was mean, mad and violent in the demands it was directing toward me.  Of course ID TV went through my head as I walked away and wouldn't look or make eye contact with the voice.  He became even more agitated and made even more angry threats.  I halfway believed I would be shot or tackled as I made my way toward the store.  Once inside, I became a little more unnerved.  I decided I would ask for security...SA.CUR.I...TY to walk me out to my car.  Probably the staff in the store had me under surveillance because I kept going to the front of the store to see if the SUV had left yet.  When I checked out, I asked for security and the really nice woman from the store said she would walk out there with me.  I appreciated the offer but nothing says I'm serious about security than a golf cart and a uniformed driver carrying a flashlight.  We got halfway to my car and I noticed the SUV was gone and I assured the nice woman that I could make it the rest of the way.    I still have some leftover PTSD from an incident that happened as a child.  My mom left my brother and me in the car while she went into the bank.  A stranger danger man started banging on the car windows and he was yelling to let him into the car.  He hurled quite a few threats our way including death.  Funny, my brother and I didn't say a word to my mom at the time.  We knew it would upset her more than we were scared.  I don't think we told her about the incident until we were both in our twenties.  Even back in the relatively safe days, there were crazies out and about, hanging out in parking lots. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy July 4th!

*** I never got back to finishing this post after Roy got home with pizza.  So I hope you all had a fun and safe July 4th. ****

Happy Independence Day!  It is a hot July 4th but it is cool inside.  I'm getting onto the computer for just a moment while Roy has gone to pick up a pizza for lunch.  He has been busy working in the den/office shredding old documents and going through his files.  Yesterday he emptied his file cabinet and took it out to the dumpster hoping someone would give it a good home.  Some one did.  We took a load of things to Goodwill yesterday afternoon.  We made a second sweep through his clothes and filled up a couple of bags.  It is always such a nice feeling when something else leaves the condo and that is just one less thing to deal with. 

Roy took off Friday.  We had to go to the mortgage office and resign loan papers because the officer we were working with, quit.  We also locked in a great interest rate while we were there.  Afterwards we stopped in at Le Peep for breakfast and then headed out to Katy.  We needed to go over some things with our sales consultant and we wanted to see if by chance we had a window...yet...  :(    Once we got home we began working around here and then took the evening off.  Saturday was our major work day.  Yesterday we went to church, napped and then went back out to the house for Roy to take pictures.  We didn't do that on Friday because there were so many workmen on site and we didn't want to disturb progress. 

Last night once I dropped Roy at home, I met Dena for a quick bite at the Hobble and Gobble, the Luby's on Post Oak.  Neither one of us had been there since they opened the new location.  It is really nice.  It might even warrant a return trip. 

Here are the latest and greatest house update pictures.