New Sights to see!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
I have a question. Why does it take a visit from Tennessee cousins to discover fun places here in my very own neck of the woods? Heck, some aren't even new, they have just fallen by the wayside in my brain. And I guess since we have moved north, we just dont go down to Dallas as often. Teri and Ali usually come by themselves and we love seeing them every time! They think nothing of scooting to Dallas from Franklin for a weekend.

The fun starts as soon as the cousins get into town; when they head to Mariano's for Margaritas and Mexican food. These are the Margarita girls! A lunch stop at Campisi's for pizza is on the list, too! Ozona's (the old Cardinal Puff's) beer garden and a fairly new place called The Lot (where the old White Rock Yacht Club used to be and few other places are on the 'must see' list. I met them at Campisi's and Reagan and Melissa went to Ozona's. They have to get in a lot of visiting in a short weekend visit! Betty and Teri hang right with them.

With all these foodie stops you might wonder what these girls look like. Well, let me tell you, these girls are in terrific shape! They actually came to Dallas for the Color Run! I think the reason they run is so they can eat and drink what they like! They have it all figured out. There is a way to keep your sassy figure and eat and drink, too!

I got to meet 2 new family members; Patrice and Foxy Jenny. Patrice married my cousin Teri's son, Zack about a year and a half ago. She is darling and I understand why Teri is so crazy about her. When referring to Zack and Patrice, it is shortened to "Zap". Foxy Jenny is married to Teri's stepson. She has the biggest brown eyes I have ever seen! All of these girls are super cute, sweet as can be, fun and seem to be best friends. Reagan and Melissa fell under their spell and now want to go to Tennessee!

Collection vs Clutter

Sunday, April 21, 2013
Does anyone else have a complete aversion to collections? I swear all you have to do is mention you like a certain something and before the year is out you will be inundated with more of those objects than you can shake a stick at; from cards to plastic figurines to weird quilted things! Be warned!

I credit this particular aversion to my mama. She wasn't much of a collector; unless you care to lump husbands into the mix. She hated clutter of all kinds and Sister and I do, too. Mama had a small French curio cabinet with tiny lights above each glass shelf. She kept several small bells and scant few treasures from trips she had taken inside but by no means would this constitute a 'collection'. I truly believe the only things Mama would have collected had she the wherewithal to do so, were Faberge Eggs.

I have visited folks who dont have one square inch of spare wall space. My ex mother-in-law fit into this category. She had one entire room devoted to her massive salt and pepper collection! Really and truly! There were floor to ceiling shelves filled with them! If you turned you head slightly, closed one eye and stuck your tongue out it sort of looked like a kaleidoscope! Mercy goodness I have never seen so many assorted ceramic shakers made like animals, states, buildings, historical people, Disney characters, you name it and she had a salt and pepper shaker! Every single state and national monument she ever visited was commemorated with a shaker.

Another friend from my single days collected hats. Every inch of wall space in her living room was filled with some vintage hat. Why, you couldn't even walk thru the hall without making contact with a feather or veil. Still another friend collects dolls. This is the creepiest collection ever. Its like that old Twilight zone where the ventriloquist dummy comes to life. These dolls eyes seem to follow you around the room!

While I was volunteering at the Dallas Arboretum they had a doll collection on exhibit during Christmas at the Arboretum. All of these dolls were positively ancient which added to the creep factor. They had a good and evil doll I still have nightmares about. Half of this doll's face was smiling and the other side was pure de evil! Gives me the heebie jeevies just thinking about it!

Personally I cant be bothered with collecting things. Heck, as it is, I spend more time arranging the pillows on the bed than I do on my hair. All I can say is that if you feel compelled to 'collect' something; choose wisely and remember if you are in an unfortunate accident, someone will have to pack them all up and figure out what to do with them!

Craigs List: Terror VS Treasure

Monday, April 15, 2013
OK, I'll start this off by telling yall that I know better. Im a grown woman with at the very least, a lick of sense. But that being said I also am quite aware that I may very well die while chasing a bargain. Now, Im not much of a daredevil, I dont smoke, I do enjoy a cocktail but not to excess, Im not a "shopper" nor do I throw my money away on frivolous things, but I do love a good deal and have been know to go to fairly great lengths to get one. It makes the victory sweeter if there was a challenge involved.

I have found several great "deals" on Craigs List. The movie about the Craigs List Killer sort of took the fun out of the "hunt" for a while. There are some wack-a-doos for sure, not just on Craigs List but everywhere. I like to think Im an OK judge of character but boy have I missed the mark a few times. I blame that on my Pollyanna attitude and opinion that everyone is basically good at their core. Gary worries, probably on account of my giving him several reasons in the past.

Yesterday while Gary was watching the Masters and mowing the yard and other things around the house I perused Craigs List looking for a guest bed for the room upstairs. Its the other bedroom in our 2 bedroom house that has never had a bed. Well, I take that back. There was a lovely and rather expensive queen size iron bed that I bought from Gabberts about 15 years ago in that room. When I started working at the consignment store I sold it there, thinking I would go in a different direction with that room.  So, now, I have decided to turn it into a pretty guest room. What it all boils down to is that obviously I have way too much time on my hands.

The lady (Jess) with the bed on Craigs List answered all my questions. The bed is old, between the 1910 -1920 and was stowed in the attik of her grandmother-in-law's big old house in Michigan. She brought a few of them along with some antique doors and various things to Texas to clean up and sell from a house/antique shop in Waxahachie where she was living with her 2 year old son while doing temporary work in a dental office. People are so complicated. Anyway I really wanted this bed. It was just perfect for my vision of this room. The only problem was that she wanted to leave today to go back home to Arizona.

I didn't want to tell Gary because he was fixing to leave to go back to South Texas and I didn't want to complicate his day further! That meant I had to take a leap of faith. I didn't want to drive all the way to Waxahachie in the dusky dark so Jess agreed to meet me half way. Half way was the Dallas Zoo, not in the best part of Dallas. Was I really willing to risk my life for a good deal on an iron bed? I guess so because I grabbed my bungees, a couple of moving blankets and hit the road.

We pulled up at the same time and both of us exited our vehicles with great trepidation. I was so relieved! Jess is a lovely girl and when the headboard refused to go inside my car, she volunteered to follow me home. By this time I wasn't worried about her at all. She followed me back and muscled the bed frames into the garage. I paid her a little extra for her time and trouble and she didn't even want to take it! I wished her safe travels and she went on her way.

I love the bed! It was totally worth the leap of faith :D but next time I will think about it a bit longer.

Anything is Possible

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
This has been a sad week indeed. We lost three women I held in high regard. Margaret Thatcher for obvious reasons; she was the IRON Lady after all; Annette Funicello because, heck, everyone loved sweet Annette and Lilly Pulitzer because I loved her casual fun style and her message that "anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink". These three women impacted my life in very different ways. Of the three, I will miss Lilly the most and I dont even care if that makes me shallow.
 Lilly and Peter (the cad) on the beach
Lilly in one of her iconic shifts.

Lilly in 2004

I discovered Lilly Pulitzer (Pull-itzer, not Pew- litzer) fashions in Palm Beach on vacation in the 80's but it would be several years before I would have the nerve to wear such vibrant colors. Now it seems I positively live in them once Spring hits! It is impossible to be in a sour mood when you wear a Lilly print. Plain and simple, they just make you smile and feel good! I think we ought to have a national Lilly Day where everyone wears at least some little thing thats pink :D

Birthday Parties

Saturday, April 6, 2013
Every year as March ends and April comes around, I am inundated with birthdays! Its no problem though because I am always up for a feisty celebration yall! Which reminds me; I have a dear friend, Donna Finch Adams who celebrates her birthday the end of March. We met when I was about 9 months pregnant with Rhys while living in Coppell. She had a display of amazing Raku at an outdoor art fair and I was totally taken with it and after asking questions about the process vowed to learn how to do it! Thankfully she taught Continuing Education classes at Brookhaven College and gave me the information I needed to sign up. I couldn't wait to have something creative to look forward to after Rhys got here (not that Rhys wasn't a creative endeavor).

Donna has a PhD in art, color and education and is fabulously detail oriented and accomplished in several media as well as being an international artist who operates out of her studio/living space now located in downtown Denison. She also teaches at several universities. I doubt she will ever retire. Donna's dashing husband, R.E. helps as well, making frames and stretching canvas. I do believe he retired mainly to help her. They are a very inspirational couple. She is about 20 years older than me and they spend every summer traveling Europe researching techniques and color and visiting their daughter, Mary.

Donna and I became fast friends. Poor R.E. would often have to suffer through our giggling fits after a couple of glasses of wine. He is a fabulous cook and it became a tradition that we would cook for each other on our birthdays. I loved that we would celebrate mine in the fall (a more civilized time of year in Texas to be born yall) instead of the heat of summer. Driving up to their house in the woods there would be lanterns and a Happy Birthday banner strung over the drive. I could always count on a wonderful mix of characters at their dinner parties.  Conversation was lively, eclectic and intellectual. Wine flowed freely and the food always amazing! R.E. became a chef in his retirement and loved to create imaginative meals inspired by their travels.

One party that springs to mind was inspired from a trip they took to Spain. A mutual artist friend of ours, Chase had also returned from running with the bulls in Pamplona! There were lots of "running bull" jokes that evening. I believe he even brought a poster he had made from a picture of his bull swatting antics. Chase was a super fun party guest and a legend in his own mind.

At another birthday party, one of their guests (an opera singer) serenaded me with a theatrical rendition of "Happy Birthday". Tres' memorable! They really know how to throw a party and make you feel special. A hard act to follow, but incredible memories!

A Good Southern Woman

Saturday, March 23, 2013
Contrary to many things that define a good Southern woman, such as a love of shopping and buffets, I consider myself to be exactly that. I was raised to be a little bit prissy, with good manners and grammar (colloquialisms do not count, yall). I learned to flirt before learning to walk and have it down to a fine art, just ask Sister. I am strong willed and pride myself on not really needing any help or maybe just hating to admit when I do need a little help..... like opening those blasted jars.

Southern foods like greens and beans and cornbread cant be beat and I never met a grit I didn't like; especially if it has a few BBQ shrimp on top! Fried green tomatoes with remoulade sauce, sweet potatoes and fried catfish are my idea of a great 'cheat day'! Pound cake can be considered a breakfast food and Tobasco makes everything "mo bettah".

It seems Im always fixin to do something and I hate to admit I have (on more than one occasion) been "drunker than Cooter Brown". Never met Cooter but Im sure he is a nice enough fella. I have been guilty of having hissy fits and telling my boys to "quit actin ugly" and to "hush up". Im always ready to go to the "show" and frequently get things from the "ice box". 

I reckon I've had more than my fair share of pie. Even though Im not a son-uva-bitch about meat I do love good cream gravy on my biscuits. I love sweet tea and cant imagine anyone drinking it, or coffee straight up! Just the thought of it makes me pucker. Cokes are not my thing; none of them and its pretty much always julep season! 

Everyone needs their heart blessed, yall. 

My Peeps

Sunday, March 17, 2013
There can never be too much said about the value of good friends. I happen to think I have the very best assortment of friends in existence, comprised of all ages and from all walks of life and varied political and religious affiliations. They give me a valuable perspective on this world. I guess one could say I have a 'melting pot' of friends! I credit them with keeping my mind open but hopefully not so much my brains fall out.

It might seem to some that I compromise my integrity by befriending folks so 'different' from me but in truth I see it as gathering information. Who knows when I might change my mind about something?  We are allowed to do that, you know! Its not etched in stone that one must travel thru life only believing and thinking one way! I dont think everyone knows this!

Yesterday I met two very dear friends with similar sensibilities for our 3 times a year (plus Christmas), birthday lunch and movie date. We celebrate each other's birthday on a convenient date for us all, hopefully somewhat close to the actual date. Sara's birthday was in February. She got to choose the movie and the lunch spot, though Pam and I pretty much put our collective foot down when Sara wondered about the burgers at the little cafe in the theater! She is very easy to please.

The movie selections were kind of slim because Sara sees just about everything that comes out. I see about 1-2 a month and poor Pam works downtown so she doesn't get to the movies very often. Sara chose the 'Emperor' with Matthew Fox and Tommy Lee Jones. To be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to seeing this because well.... war history doesn't really hold my interest as much as.... lets say European history. But I can always count on Sara to broaden my horizons. That and Matthew Fox isn't my idea of a lead character. He didn't make a very imposing General with his slight stature and somewhat whiny voice. Tommy Lee Jones made a good Douglas MacArthur but he couldn't really disguise his Texas accent. MacArthur was from Arkansas though so I guess its not such a huge stretch. I mean, its not like he was trying to play a Yankee for cryin out loud.

Anyway, the movie was interesting, more like a school film or documentary than actual entertainment and I learned a bunch about the war that I never knew. Thats not to say I feel compelled to learn more about it, but it was informative and when the movie was over I made the comment that it was better than I thought it would be. Our taste in movies vary and I do enjoy that!  Sara's choices are usually the head scratchers. Pam and I tend to lean more the same way. But I truly find something to enjoy about everything we see even if its just us getting together!

At lunch afterwards we catch up with whats going on in our lives. Even if its been months since we have gotten together, we pick right back up where we left off, without skipping a beat and that friendship is the best kind!

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Perky and always in a good mood much to the dismay of family members.

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