The neighbors on the (east?) side of our house were renters who were flooded out. We thought they were returning after the house was repaired; I guess they found another place to live because we never saw them again.

BUT THEY LEFT A CAR BEHIND! Now it’s mine, all mine. Thanks, Hurricane Harvey.


Makeover: Chair 1

This chair belonged to Lynne’s grandmother, then her mother, then her Aunt Lil, who gave it to Lynne. When Lynne was moving, she offered it to me. Of course I wanted a chair that had belonged to three generations of a family that welcomed me as one of their own! Though she’d had the chair reupholstered, what I discovered was that the fabric wasn’t dog resistant.

When we took our antique settee and chair in to be reupholstered, we also took this channel back chair in and selected a fabric that would go with those two. I LOVE the result!

It’s a good match to the fabric on the other pieces, and it goes well with our old coffee table.

Thank you, Lynne, for allowing us to give such a special chair a home!

If you need furniture reupholstered or repaired in Houston: Jack Johnson Upholstery

Apparently he is the boss of me

Contractor Keith says I can’t share any photos of the kitchen until it’s finished. BUT I WANT TO.

Still, I understand. He only wants to show the process when he can show his finished work. We really do have the best contractors making our home even better than it was.

I can’t even find photos of the kitchen the way it was, because if I have any, they are on my old and inaccessible computer.

My dolls….

After we were able to move back into our bedroom, Tom unpacked some of the things that had been on top of our old dresser. This little dish from Geri still had a pair of Barbie shoes in it that had once fallen out of a box from the dolls that were in the top of my “extra” bedroom closet. I always meant to find which little Cinderella was missing her shoes, but I never did and now those boxed dolls are with all my other dolls in storage.

I am acutely aware every day that my dolls and my two most precious stuffed animals (Dr. Neil and First) are NOT IN MY HOUSE. I’ll be glad when they’re back home. Things will be a lot more normal by that point.

One week later…

It’s been a week since my birthday, but I thought I’d post a few happy photos so I can remember it.

First off, I received an email from Charles The Boss that Monday morning telling me I needed to come to a mandatory meeting at the clinic. I was all, No! On my birthday? But the topic was one of my ongoing concerns so I dragged myself there. Charles’s door was closed, and he wasn’t back from an off-site meeting yet, so Morgan, our Rescue Team Lead, said we could start the meeting in his office without him. I AM SO CLUELESS.

There was no meeting. It was a set-up from the foster, rescue, and medical teams who were at work that day and even some people who came in on their days off with cake and birthday love for me. I WORK WITH THE BEST PEOPLE. But as I later told Charles, now I know that he and everyone else WILL LIE TO ME.

I forgot to take a photo of the cake before we all fell on it like starving lunatics, but it was SO GOOD.

Also a few little goodies from people who know me too well.

That night, Tom and I met Debby, Tim, Lynne, Rhonda, and Lindsey out for (at least in my case) a steak dinner at one of my favorite casual restaurants. After dinner, we split a couple of pieces of decadent chocolate cake (I was good and only took a small bite of my second cake of the day!), while I opened a few of my presents.

This is a super cool organizer Lindsey’s been giving her friends who like to color. It’s for those times you want to take your coloring book and colors out with you, but you don’t want to be burdened with your 5,023 pencils, pens, and markers (wait, maybe that’s just the number in my collection?). The ones in here now mysteriously showed up with my coloring supplies long after the flood, and I think they may have been some Lynne purged when she was moving. She’s very sneaky. (And no, Lynne, I have NOT put that one particular set of pencils back in that coloring book set in an OCD frenzy–unless it was Debby who forbade me to do that, but I think it was you).

Those cards for coloring came in a letter I received from Marika some time back. I LOVE MARIKA’S snail mail. Her letters are like getting creative little gifts full of thoughts and humor, tales of Mighty Monte and adventures in writing and St. Pete, and reminders of inside jokes that leave me cackling. They never make it home from the post office unread. As soon as I get to my car, I have to open and devour them.

Speaking of Lynne being sneaky, these dachshund sheets she gave me are a cool addition to Houndstooth Hall.

Unfortunately, they came with a price tucked among the folds.

Yep, the coasters are home. FORTUNATELY, Timothy cancelled them out with these he picked up while on a trip to Maine.

Thank you, Tim, and you’re welcome, world, for your daily cow.

This was one of the things I had wanted, and a little bird told Lynne, who delivered it.

Yes, we all know I’ve never been a big fan of Bush, but I admire his second act. He has devoted himself to learning a new creative passion and to honoring people whose Commander in Chief he was. I think often of those who serve. People who thrive on creating discord on the Internet love to “speak” for our service members and how they feel about the White House. But searching photos will show you many, many occasions under all administrations of our leaders surrounded by smiling members of the military. I can’t envision a world without the Internet anymore, but I can sure envision an Internet without comments.

On the matter of former presidents, one of my favorite things during Obama’s eight years in office was the Flickr White House account that featured Pete Souza’s photos. Thanks to Lindsey and Rhonda, I now have this book that I failed to get before it sold out before Christmas. So grateful for its success and its second printing, and for the trusting relationship between a president and his official photographer that provided unprecedented access to the executive branch and families.

Related to the executive branch families, I’m delighted to add these to my collection. I always follow the children of presidents with interest and hope they find fulfilling lives beyond the White House years. So many parents and teachers are using these books to encourage the aspirations of young girls.

In the Department of Shiny, here’s a brooch from Lynne.

And what do you see in my new crystal ball from Debby?

I’m hoping it’s more good things for all of you reading.

Thanks to all for many fantastic birthday wishes!