Archive for January, 2010

On being confused and being home, thank goodness! AND 39th annivesary!

Posted in living to the hilt with tags on January 31, 2010 by drycreekherbs

I have been gone tooooo long. My flight from DFW was cancelled and then rescheduled because of bad weather so I didn’t get back to Austin until about 9:00 pm. It was a ride from hell. I employed all my anti-screaming diversions…counting from 50 backwards and chanting the multiplication tables (NO EASY FEAT FOR ME)! Thank goodness for drugs.

Len is such a saint….I KNOW he hated waiting around the airport. He had been gone all day so it must have made him nuts but he kept his chin up! So home at last in blinding rain to see fat cats and lots of catalogs in the mail bin.

Yesterday, did many errands….So here I am today….not as bomblasted as I was the first day home…just too many adventures in a short period of time. I actually walked this afternoon and recommitted to serious weight loss. Poor Len….this was our 39th anniversary and I stayed in my PJs till 2:00 pm. How decadent is that? I asked him if he thought I looked anything like Julia Roberts. He laughed seriously. Later he cheerfully ran errands for me and assured me he wants to keep me! I was the big winner though…I gave him the biggest anniversary card but his was the sweetest! Tomorrow church and buddies coming over to do tea party planning.

Now down to business…MCEC and the National Guard and Reserve Conference–Orlando, FL

Posted in living to the hilt with tags on January 26, 2010 by drycreekherbs

Stephanie and Sarge dropped me off at the Double Tree Guest Resort in Orlando just in time to meet up with Dee. We whipped right over to the Hyatt to set up our MCEC booth in the vendor’s exhibit hall then went back to the hotel to meet Keith and wife, Kay for a cocktail before dinner. Dee and I had a mediocre meal at the Arabian Nights dinner show….super stallions! Denise and I work very well together and we enjoyed Keith’s contributions! He did a great job snagging the right people to make good pitches for the Guard and Reserve and Living in the New Normal Institutes. I followed Denise’s speech and almost have it down to perfection. Mostly we promoted the Growing, Learning, and Understanding (GLU) kits and other resources. Our next door neighbor was from Sesame Street so we really enjoyed playing around with Elmo and Big Bird…maybe a lot of playing! DSC04878

Steph and Sarge…Winter Park…and The Villages Revisited

Posted in living to the hilt with tags on January 22, 2010 by drycreekherbs

I think this is my 4th visit to The Villages…this is the most interesting of places….Margaret Mead would go nuts studying this culture. Seven championship golf courses and hundreds, literally, of specialty activities designed for retired couples….like Stephanie says it is adult Disney Land!

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We toddled around in the golf cart (not shown!), talked about men, decorating, children, parents, friends, body fat, etc. DSC04849 We always solve the big issues with champagne and serious laughter. I will never need to pay for a shrink as long as I have Stephanie! Then there is Sarge, who is in his own right, one of my very best man friends….We like to keep him unsure of what we are talking about…or does he really care? He is happiest when he is out golfing, playing soft ball and pickle ball, and going to movies, oh, and of course, joining us for a pajama party at night!DSC04856 He is a fine bar tender and has the patience of Job! In addition, the funniest man I know… who also, just happens to be the king of grammar and wordsmithing! Not bad for an old Mainer!

Stephanie took me to Orlando to find my very first home…where my parents took me 63 years ago and after that we spent the night in Winter Park in order to spend some of our travel money we put in every month. We went to the Morse Museum to admire the largest Louis Comfort Tiffany collection and damn, to shop some more. Everything I bought was 50% off: artsy eye glasses, earrings, and a verrrrrry dramatic scarf

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With Cee on Longboat Key…

Posted in living to the hilt with tags on January 20, 2010 by drycreekherbs

I had a happy, happy visit with Cee, Darby, and Tess! Thank you MCEC for needing my services in Florida so I could squeeze in visits with dearest friends left on earth!DSC04672 It was awesome to go to a St. Armand book store—and right by the door was a large display of Cee’s book, Letters to Lee! Maddie Lee and Jim would be so pleased AND proud of her for all she has given this. The book is wonderful and I know it will make a big hit! Cee and I enjoyed some of my Longboat Key favorites–the Columbia restaurant for Cuban black bean soup, walks, picking grapefruit and limes right outside the lanai, girlie shopping, and cocktails. Of course, the best of all–the laughter! Cee and I have known each other since 1962! Little did we know all those years ago in Germany, that our friendship would stand the test of time. Stephanie came down from The Villages to pick me up…and had the opportunity to admire Cee’s beautiful home and fantastic view.DSC04746

DSC04763 After lunch at Cee’s favorite pub, Steph and I headed north!

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Working means you have to ‘clean up’!

Posted in living to the hilt with tags on January 19, 2010 by drycreekherbs

One of the nicest things about working is that you get to ‘clean up’! By working part time I can and should fix my hair, put on a bit of lip gloss or, in my case, a lot of make up; dig out the accessories, polish shoes, etc. It can be very invigorating….I have been in the office two days in a row and leave tomorrow for FL to work the Guard and Reserve Conference. I will be in the exhibit hall advancing the Military Child Education Coalition’s (MCEC) materials, actively and deliberately meeting attendees with the intent to make money for the organization. DSC_8430 I love MCEC for the high-minded work they do for military families. If MCEC was around in the OLDEN days I would have had a more fluid and productive academic history. Getting into graduate school is hard enough…especially if you never had high school algebra or any other math but one semester of geometry! In addition to what the organization does for families, I also adore the people who work for and with MCEC. I mean these are reeeeeeeeeeealllllly interesting people. There isn’t a dull person in the whole network!

For the past two days I have been with Sally and Zoe as they train new volunteers to be trainers for the Transition Counselor Institute I….Currently, I am THE COACH for new trainers….it is just up my alley….I love to help educators be more effective. Jackie, Eartha, and Sandra, all friends and former KISD administrators are in the training so it was even more fun.

So tomorrow Len will be whistlin’ a happy tune as he pops my suitcase in the car and whisks me off to the Austin airport. He tells me that the first thing he does when I leave is ‘tidy up’ and get rid of all evidence of my girley stuff and projects. Sort of sounds like what I do when he leaves…which does not happen much any more!

So after a visit with Cee in Longboat Key and Stephanie and Sarge in the Villages, I will be in Orlando until the 28th. I will try to do the blog from my iPhone…something I just learned to do…darn that tiny key board makes it kind of tough though.

I love busy, busy, busy: Mink, opéra bouffe, and tea preparations!

Posted in living to the hilt with tags on January 15, 2010 by drycreekherbs

I just wrote Mom a letter–she cannot hear on the phone any more at all…so it is kind of fun to write like we used to do in the old days….also listening to Ol’, cute Rod Stewart belt out As Time Goes By with Queen Latifah…….It is foggy, damp, and kind of cold so a fire is required, the room smells like my white on white bouquet…baby’s breath and stock…and I am eating a reduced fat peanut butter sandwich for a reason…sort of lucky me.

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Yesterday Jackie and I went to Austin for an outing…Initially the purpose was to go to an Austin Lyric Opera lecture about Emmanuel Chabrier’s The Star…our next opera on Feb 5th. Hmmm, I am getting ahead of myself. That was the purpose of the trip, but we also took our Mom’s furs to a fur place to see if we wanted to have them remade…it is all pretty complicated. Who knew that the sex of the mink made a difference? We didn’t! The salesman served us wine…well the rest is history for me….there is a reason I don’t drink during the day…I can’t self-regulate! I may have a new coat. A deposit with a promise of 100% satisfaction and I can look like Bess Meyerson! Anyone remember her? bessbeforeSo anyway, Feb 5th when we go to see The Star, I will try on the coat…naturally it had to be ‘let out’, a lousy euphemism I think. From the furrier we did a bit more girl wilding at Julian Gold’s then to Stephanie’s condo….oh what a lucky young woman. She is precious, smart, funny, and lives in a swanky condo! Finally, we went to the lecture. Very disappointing. Too many people, uncomfortable chairs, stale potato chips, and a little too much enthusiasm for what I suspect will be a disappointing operetta….l wonder if I will know?! I read tonight that Chabrier was king of opéra bouffe….cool words, yes? I hope I can work them into a lot of conversations…it is bound to make me sound clever!!! The best part of Emmanuel is that he was the father of musicals, as we know them, and ran around with THE Impressionists…when he died he owned paintings by Monet, Manet, Sisley, Degas, Cezanne, etc. Oh, he died of syphilis AND tuberculosis at 53!

Len ordered me a new GIANT digital screen scale….isn’t that sweet? The read out is 7″x4″ so I can see it. Oh sad information. I thought I was huge on the old scale and this one weighs 3 pounds more….will be necessary to walk to El Paso for calorie burning.

Len helped me print up the invitations for the cordial/tea Shelley and I will have the end of February. I was really dreading it since I have NO skills when it comes to printers. He was totally on top of it…and also became a hero by helping me do my taxes for Texas Comptroller for the almost defunct Dry Creek Herb Farm. I only had to send Texas $30.00! I think I will just can the business part and do the veggies. Friend, Belinda wrote today a call for any of her friends that might want to adopt an olive tree….very clever girl! She plants the orchard, her friends harvest the olives and party too!

Today, sweet Dacien, Dentist Extraordinaire, hammered away to get my loose (so I thought) crown off, then hammered it back on! I must have medicinal brandy to take the edge off, I think. Dacien says that he and darlin’ Netsy, best wife in the world, may come to SMdA next year with me for the Dia de Muertos. I know if they go, they will buy a house there.

Time to address tea invitations—

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Odd choice for ‘Wilding’

Posted in living to the hilt with tags on January 10, 2010 by drycreekherbs

Sometime ago young hooligans in NY’s Central Park went on rampages….it was called ‘wilding’….acts of reckless abandon. I am there. I had my hair cut barely on my way to do Mom-care in SAT. So, I am always commiserating with Edward, King-of-hair on most everything…his specialty besides hair and make up…my clothes and decorating. We get a lot done during hair care. Annnnnyway, in the course of a conversation regarding masks he sent me to a verrrrrry interesting shop called The Bazaar…which specializes in masks as well as stripper outfits! Off I went. I bought 3 masks after sending Edward 9 photo emails.I am sick. DSC_8403

When I got to Mom’s, I told her, “Mom, I need therapy”. Good Mother said, “Honey I don’t think you need therapy”. Then I showed her the masks….then she said, “Well honey, maybe you DO need therapy”! But it is sooooo pretty. Maybe I can wear it with the dirndl! Good friend Max suggests I participate in RAW wrestling program! Surely because of mask not my size!!!

I had the best of times in SAT. Brother Bill and I are starting to like each other not just love each other. We actually went to a Russian grocery store to replenish Len’s vodka infused chocolates, purchase David of West Pt with a Russian primer, then out to lunch! Never before!

Today I went to Fr. Howard Castleberry’s ordination–The Bishop of the Diocese of the Church of Pakistan was there and gave the sermon. Very interesting! Len sick with something respiratory so he didn’t go, then when I came home I did a 5 mile walk. It was literally freezing last night and today with a low of 10F…the fountains in back of house were memorable.DSC_8399