once again, it’s always about time

When we saw The Last Jedi in the theater, we also saw the previews for A Wrinkle in Time. I really want to see this movie, and I’ve never read the book. Neither has Lynne, so I picked up copies for us so we could read it before seeing the movie.

Life and work keep getting in the way, and I haven’t started it. I REFUSE to delay this so long that I don’t get to see the movie in the theater. Someone needs to hold me to this.

A day late

Yesterday was Debby’s birthday, but she wasn’t having a good one. First, a trip back to Houston from Ohio, where she’d gone to be with the family of a friend who died, took twelve hours instead of six. Second, she is super sick (ETA: later found out she has pneumonia!).

Today Tom and I gave her a birthday dinner, and Tim and Lynne joined us, so Debby could have her traditional coconut cake. (I cheated and frosted half of it with chocolate.) One day the upheavals at Houndstooth Hall may actually be over, and everyone will be well again. No matter what, though, there are always things to celebrate!

(P.S. Debby’s fakin’ it; Tim blew out the candles to save Debby’s lungs and protect us all from germs.)

Lynne found the perfect T-shirt for her: “Southern Attitude: Extra Sweet, Extra Sassy.” That’s Debby!


The second Saturday of 2017 was a terrible one when many of us went to RPM’s clinic to welcome our drivers home from Colorado.

None of us has forgotten what was lost that week. RPM’s president gave us a few moments at this week’s transport to silently honor the memory of our driver and the family he left behind. We continue your mission, Charles Roberts.

Group shot after transport, January 12, 2017.

wrapped in plastic

I don’t know if anyone remembers that time I photoshopped myself all up to look like dead Laura Palmer from “Twin Peaks,” but Marika sure did.

Viola! My first little Funko figurine ever which she couldn’t resist sending me because she’s Marika.

I didn’t get to see the recent “Twin Peaks” reboot. But I will. One day. Thank you, Marika! You’re nuts.

Make me an angel…

“…that flies from Montgomery…”

That’s a line from a very old John Prine song I love, as sung both by him and by Bonnie Raitt.

Well, I have an angel who flew all the way from England.

You may remember that years ago, Marika secretly sent out a call to friends far and wide offering to send them angels to color for me as a surprise at Christmas. I think I received nine angels that Christmas, and a few others in later years.

That was in 2009, y’all–eight years ago! Marika recently expressed concerns about the tin of angels that friends, family, and I have colored through the decades. Had they survived the flood? Were they okay?

Trust me, the angels were stored high above the flood waters, and in any case, Debby and I emptied that bookcase as quickly as we could because we’d seen bookshelves in her apartment and Tim’s go down fast, with loss of books in both places. We moved everything to a safer, more stable place in case that happened here. Now the angels are in storage instead of decorating the house this holiday season.

Except this one. After all these years, Mark a longtime LiveJournal friend from England, sent a beautiful Christmas card as he does each year. In it I found this bookmark and this stunning angel. THANK YOU SO MUCH, Mark, it was a delightful surprise–and I know Marika will also be thrilled. Right now your angel is keeping me company on my desk, and soon enough, she’ll join her band of angelic friends so that next year, they can all grace Houndstooth Hall with their beauty.

Three Great Women

This is why I’m a crazy idiot…

Today is the birthday of three fantastic women in my life–Shawn and Amy who I met at work back in the Dark Ages, and Lisa, my nephew Aaron’s mom. So I was going to do a post about them with photos, and I actually got up from my desk and walked across the room to where the bookcases with my photo albums are so I could snag a photo of each of them…

THERE ARE NO BOOKCASES. They were destroyed in the flood. The photo albums have been in storage for several months. And right now, where the bookcases were, is where I’m sleeping every night.

How does one forget such a thing when she’s sitting in the same bookcase-less, photo album-less room with furniture stacked all around her?

Because one’s thoughts of her friends and her wish for their happy birthdays drives all else from her mind. Let’s go with that. Or “crazy idiot.” Your choice.

Happy birthday Lisa, Shawn, and Amy. If I weren’t living in a fog, you’d have birthday cards from me. Or at least a better blog post.

Providing clarity

I guess I’ve been unclear about what is going on with Houndstooth Hall and its residents, so I’ll paraphrase and add to some some answers I gave on Instagram.

We were only out of our house the first couple of weeks after the flood (that is when we stayed at Lynne’s with our dogs and Tim’s dogs). During that time, demo was done on the floors and walls, all our ruined furniture and appliances were put on the curb, and what we saved was put in storage. We have kept most of what was salvageable of our furniture in our house (Debby and Tim lost basically everything; we were not as badly flooded in the house). Dehumidifiers ran constantly in the house and apartments, and everything was sprayed with various products to reduce any chance of or eliminate any mold. We also had to have some repairs done to our gas line. We were busy during that time dealing with the paperwork and bureaucracy resulting from all the property and our two cars being flooded. Both cars have since been replaced. Debby’s truck was unaffected because it was higher up than our cars.

Tom, Debby, and I have been living in the house since mid-September on plywood floors, with no sheetrock or insulation on all the lower walls in the house. We did have to leave again for five days when the fence was replaced because the dogs couldn’t go outside, so we stayed at Lynne’s again.

Tim was living remotely–for the first week, where he was housesitting when the flood came, because his clients couldn’t fly back into the city. His car was not affected because that area didn’t flood. Then for several weeks he and his dogs lived in a house provided by a generous RPM volunteer which she was getting ready to put on the market. Then Pixie and Penny came to be with us for another couple of weeks while Tim and Pollock stayed at the Secret Unicorn Sanctuary. But he’s been back in Fox Den for a while, and Debby will hopefully be able to move into Fairy Cottage with her dogs this weekend.

Completely unrelated and prior to the flood, Lynne put her house on the market and it sold a couple of months after the flood. So she and her dogs have been staying with us until she moves into their next residence after Christmas.

Since it took our contractors about three months to repair the apartments, you can guess how long it may take before our house is completed–they will start on that next week, we hope. At that point, Tom, our dogs, and I will be living mostly in one half of what pre-flood was my home office with all our surviving furniture in the other half while in the rest of the house: our insulation and drywall is replaced, then new subflooring and flooring, then wood trim and doors replaced and painted, then the lower kitchen cabinets pulled and replaced and painted. Then we will be back in the other rooms of the house while the office is repaired and new subfloor and floor put down there.

So we have basically always resided here, it just isn’t very pretty with plywood floors and exposed walls, and we lost a lot of furniture and personal things. But we didn’t lose the house, and we didn’t have to be out of it for very long. The dogs LOVE having missing lower walls, as they have many secret passages into and out of rooms. As bad as it looks and as strange as it is to have most of our belongings in storage, at least we’ve been home.

It will be a home undecorated at Christmas, and that is fine.