Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Welkom to Rotterdam

I got home last night from a week in Rotterdam (Netherlands) and London and at 4 am, now awake still a bit on London time. It was a wonderful trip - the business part went swimmingly. I met my colleagues (some for the first time) in Rotterdam and along with my boss, spent two days reviewing our work. It was in a great format - we met at someone's home and discussed various issues in an open format. There is nothing like visiting a colleague's home to really experience the country. I had dinner once at a colleague's home in Sydney and it was such a privileged experience. I lucked out on getting a row on BA by myself - so I read and relaxed and had a great flight.
I had a little difficulty figuring out the train system from the airport to Rotterdam but made it eventually and had dinner with my colleague, Rene. The scene was picturesque: a canal from where the pilgrim fathers departed around 1620 called Delftshaven, here's a photo. See the windmill in the background?We had a barbque (grilled) meal that was spectacular - pate, cheese and bread with wine. Grilled veal with grape tomatoes and chocolate souffle. The tomatoes were so sweet and savory, the waiter gave me extras to take home (and I ate them with eggs in the morning). Actually, all three meals in NL were AMAZING. Our group dinner on Thursday night was in a small hotel/inn near Ijmuiden called Augusta. Everyone was jovial and bantering and the food was delicious with a 4 course meal lasting 4 hours. One thing I will remember about Netherlands is their bread - I've tasted some of the most fresh and delectable bread in Holland. Just yum. And most people think of simple meals in Hollands - quite the contrary this time.

My camera battery is recharging - I will download photos tonight and post sometime in the next few days. The first leg of the trip was well worth it and enjoyable. I feel fortunate to be able to say that about my work. My best shopping score in London - 14 vintage photos!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Open a Door

Nothing is ever lost by courtesy.
It is the cheapest of the pleasures;
costs nothing and conveys much.
It pleases him who gives
and him who receives,
and thus, like mercy,
it is twice blessed.

-Erastus Wiman

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Well, it looks like the weekend is coming to a close and I did manage to get to IKEA for Expedit shelves and Liatorp buffet. In and out in 30 minutes, folks... can you believe it! I've gotten 5 of the 6 pieces into the house and that's about it. That stuff is HEAVY! Saturday night we had a family dinner for my Mother's 85th birthday. It was really nice. I love watching my niece and nephew growing up. It still amazes me to hear them talk - they're 9 and 11. Sunday I took a ride over to Brenham with Karen to see Leftovers Antiques. Very cool store that I saw in Country Living - they have an incredible display of purple glass (all recovered from a landfill!) Lots of great vinettes and some wonderful nesting boxes that should have gone home with me. We both managed to snag a gift for ourselves. I found a vintage pink cake stand (that is VERY heavy) and Karen found a four tiered silver stand that had some beautiful detail on the edge. I also managed to pick up a little giftie for a girl that lives in Laurel, MD... Whoooooooo could it beeeeeeeeeeeeeeee???? And a birthday present for my sister (in October). I'm getting my ducks in a row for London - shopping, theater (Phantom of the Opera, let's hope!) and Kensington Palace (thanks, Boo). I am working on a Shutterfly photo book - my first. I just think it is going to be the best way to keep my memories for certain scrapbook trips. Let's face it, I'm not going to get a scrapbook done this year - so this is a good compromise. I can't wait to finish it! I'm working on the ARTistry Vancouver March 2007 trip right now.
This display is from Kuhl + Linscomb in Houston. I had to take one of the petite green vases home with me.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Summer Saturday

Back home again and I'm possibly the only Houstonian enjoying the heat. I heard all about our humidity while in Canada... but frankly, I am enjoying the beautiful sunshine. There wasn't alot of it in Montreal or Quebec and definitely not at the wattage we get. Just awesome today. Okay, it helps to have the a/c chugging but still....

I took the train from Montreal to Quebec, which was fun and relaxing. Definitely, the way to go. Quebec was awesome - we stayed at the Hotel Frontenac which was just amazing. We visited some falls at Mont Morency and the beautiful Joan of Arc gardens at the Plains of Abraham. We walked our legs off - the shopping wasn't that great but the scenery was fabulous. Quebec is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year. This other photo is of a Catholic church that is next to the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, and it is absolutely stunning inside. As beautiful as any European church, even Notre Dame. I didn't see much else of Montreal, just stayed overnight. One things for sure, I saw plenty of fleur de lis everywhere... this was my favorite, next to the train station.

Oh, I almost forgot... major score in Canada - Cuban cigar boxes! YES! I found 3 very nice ones.

Found two cute sites - one is a zoo word site. It makes an animal out of the letters... my niece, Kate will just love this site. Take a look-see.

The second site that I thought was so cool is called Wordle which are word clouds. I definitely will be playing with it! Great for scrapbooking! This one came from my blog... good fun.
I signed up for Donna Downey's Inspired this week- it's in May of next year. The diverse list of classes and teachers is what attracted me to it, I definitely hope we play with canvas and paints. Plus Jeanne and our CE peeps will be going... good times! I took a class from DD in Vancouver in 2007 and it was fun and I learned new things... We used Bazzill chipboard for childhood photographs - simple project but the true test is that it was totally useful - I made one for my brother for Christmas. So cool - to get the photos out of the drawer and available for reminiscing.
I worked on Photoshopping old photographs today. I'm tired. I realized at the end that I was getting sloppy so I quit. The new sofa arrived this morning and when I tried to hook up the TV across the room, the cable wasn't engaged. I don't know why I am so mechanically challenged, but I am. It is exhausting. It rarely goes smoothly. Replaced the batteries, but still no doorbell. That's it, I just need to call Angie's List and get somebody over for a to-do list. That's for tomorrow... plus an IKEA visit!