Monday, September 29, 2008

The Good Guys

I had an EXCELLENT weekend, thanks to these selfless guys. They left their comfortable homes in South Carolina just so that they could work 12 to 16 hour days in the heat of Texas with our ginormous mosquitos. And they did it with a lot of humor. They sleep at our convention center, using disposable towels, sleeping on cots where they keep the lights on all night (for security?). I'm hoping they got a hotel room and that they get to go back home soon. The neighbors of Afton Village are ever so grateful. We had cool and pleasant autumn weather this weekend. We still have things that need to get fixed around the house but the tree debris has been picked up and it still feels odd to look out and see lights at night. Crazy, huh. I took it easy - got Oprah's new book club selection, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle I'm looking forward to diving in! Enjoyed some steaks on the grill and played with a couple of projects. I will be getting ready to go to Silver Bella soon! And I'm thinking about signing up for Debby Schuh's Mediterranean cruise. It sounds absolutely magnificent plus hearing that Carolyn Cavanagh went on a similar cruise makes it all seem possible. I have a work trip next July in Rome... is that too much? Since CE is in August, at least it won't be two trips in one month! I can justify anything!

Friday, September 26, 2008


This is the status of most of the equipment in our casa today! Last night at 7 pm was Christmas in our house, folks - we got POWAAAH! It was so amazing and glorious and beautiful. I will quit with the exclamation points - how annoying... What a wonderful way to start the weekend - I am so looking forward to it.
I have a Happy Birthday Shoutout to my friend, Ronda. Today is her birthday and she treated me to such a great meal at Grotto - I can't wait to return the favor. I tried a great house red there, Red Diamond -I will definitely be visiting Specs for a purchase soon.
I hope you all have a great weekend - I am looking forward to just being in my home. and maybe a little scrapbooking too. Pike Electric from South Carolina restrung the missing power line and I got a chance to visit with those guys yesterday afternoon. I got some great photos too - I will post on Flickr when I get a chance. Power guys are such decent people and funny too. We're ever so grateful to the Pike guys for energizing us. They're working under some really difficult living conditions at the convention center - I'm hoping they find a hotel soon for them.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Manifesto of the Powerless

sorry, kids, i'm cranky and have lost my pleasantries... I don't really think its CP's fault but I gotta be mad at somebody today...
- from R Connelly of the Houston Press
Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 09:12:06 AM
We, the people of Houston still without power 11 days after Ike; we, the CenterPoint customers who are seeing friggin' Entergy restore power more quickly (this, for the uninitiated, is the equivalent of your four-year-old making LeBron his bitch on the court); we, the neglected one-third who have yet to see a utility truck near our homes, have this to say to the rest of you:
We hate you.
We hate your ability to bask in a/c, do laundry, watch college football or the Emmys or Mad Men or whatever it is you watch (or work on your CE projects or new Carol Wingert kit!) We hate your ability to choose not to watch TV and instead read a book, without balancing a flashlight on your shoulder.
We hate your easy access to cold beer/wine.
We hate the fact that your dinner menu doesn't include something char-broiled on the backyard grill for the 11th day in a row.
We hate that your kids or 85 year old mother aren't asking every 10 minutes when the power might come back on.
We hate the fact that ice, for you, isn't something you need to go to the store each night to get, sitting through the shitty traffic because the red lights aren't working.
Don't take it personally -- as soon as we get power, we'll lord it over the rest of the un-electrified too.
And we really shouldn't take it out on you guys. It's CenterPoint that should be taking the brunt of it. So far, they've proven good only at coming up with excuses for why every other company in the area is restoring power much quicker than they are.
CenterPoint, you suck. The rest of you people, not so much, we guess. We apologize for the outburst.
But not to CenterPoint.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

IKE Update

Okay, I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is we have water, the bad news is we DON'T have power. and it totally sucks. I'm a stressed-out wimp and the only reason I can joke about it tonight is because I am staying at my sister's house in Fairfield and SHE HAS POWER! If you want to see some really incredible photos of Galveston and southeast Texas, take a look at these. They are amazing. We're now able to buy gas without waiting in line, and a hot meal and I hear the grocery stores have some groceries but I haven't been in one yet. The mosquitos are bigger 'n Dallas right now and I actually kissed a lineman from Chicago who drove down our street today. Okay, maybe not kissed, but you know, I showed the proper respect (for a scrapbooker) - I took his picture. His normal territory is Crystal Lake - imagine that, Jeanne! We're oh so fortunate not to have major damage but right now, I just want my life to go back to normal.
One of my favorite local photographers on Flickr is OneEighteen and his house in Seabrook area was seriously damaged. Along with making beautiful pictures, the guy has an amazing attitude. The guy is a pilot on the Houston Ship Channel and captures some awesome views. I became acquainted with his photography when I saw a picture of Peggy's Lake. The fact that it included a power plant was a bonus for me! He captures great portaits also of crews from the ships he chauffers into the channel. It's just stuff and inconvenience but man, this stuff is kicking my butt!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hurricane Ike

As a kid in New Orleans, hurricanes were a fun time visiting with the neighbors and no worries. As an adult, it was frightening - the sound of the wind and trees bending in half. We are fine - no major damages just trees and fence. On Day 7 we don't have any power but we do have water. For the past few months I've been traveling and wishing I could lay in bed and snooze with the pups and I got that wish granted this week. The weather (up until today) has been that wonderful kind of fall weather - cool breeze and sunny - makes you happy to be alive. We are very blessed and we think of that every morning. It is still a struggle - gasoline is scarce and groceries too. Some restaurants are open. Alot of traffic lights are out so getting around takes alot of patience. We've become closer to our neighbors, getting help and giving help. Thanks for the emails. I'm back at work today and we hope to get power within a week. We know we are so so so fortunate.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Back Track

I need to back up a little and talk about London and let you see what I found at Portobello Market and Camden Market and Spitalfields. Its a short 45 minute flight from Amsterdam and the Paddington express train is alot easier to manuever since its in English. And the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow is downright amazing - first class shopping and huge video screens. I know - who blogs about airport terminals? The store, Paul Smith had some great displays, including a vintage looking girls dress made from maps. Way cool. And of course, I thought, I can do that...

As soon as I could, I dumped my luggage and headed for Portobello market, which was about 10 blocks away. It was full of life, interesting antiques and food. It went on for blocks. I found four terracotta soldiers that I had to have - having seen similar at my colleague's house in Driehues. One is sitting in my office at work. And two small beautiful wooden printers tray, about 10 x12 with Fleet St. London on top. I had a great time looking in all the booths and call me naive, but shocked to see Nazi stuff. Too weird. As I walked back to the hotel, I saw signs that Notting Hill Carnival was that weekend and in my same neighborhood. For a girl from New Orleans, carnival is nothing new. I stood on our street corner and took about 100 photos of the crowds as they made their way by - London is definitely global, so worldly. The following days I made my way to Camden Lock/Market and my favorite, Covent Garden and also Spitalfields. It was cold at Spitalfields but I scored 14 vintage cabinet cards and photos (mostly brides) for roughly GBP 2 each. I had a wonderful time looking through that stash and visited with several ladies who also enjoyed the hunt. I love that there are others that I don't have to explain it to. At Camden I found playing cards that were so much fun - mostly royalty or Beatles or limericks - I shared them with my s/b friends for collage. I also slipped into Harrods and Fortnum and Mason. Both were yummy, in theor displays and the goodies I brought home. I used the excuse "oh, it's my birthday" as often as possible! At Covent Garden I got a beautiful juniper trivet (the aroma is intoxicating) and she gave me a beautifully carved giraffe pen. I said it was for my niece but I don't know if I can part with it! The shopping was oh, so much fun but the city is very hard on a girl. How? Moving around via tube is fantastic but so different when you're used to the comfort of a vehicle. I lost a package somewhere - just not used to keeping track! And the worldliness of the city gets right in your face and you'd better pay attention to it. I was gone one day too much and was ready to come home. But it was a great shopping trip and a wonderful birthday. I love the English and I love London.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Oh, Canada!

I so tired. I can't event speak in full sentences. But I thought I should dedicate this post to our North American friends. And so I will just leave you with this money shot. This is (one of) My Favorite Canadian(s), Charlene. She is so full of life and happy and SO MUCH fun to be around. We had an exceptional time at Creative Escape this year - all of us agreed it was the best one yet.

And here's my Favorite Canadian, Heather - (taken at the bar last night, that's why the lighting is so bad!) She is so kind and sweet and a talented artist. I hate it that they all live so far away and we only see each other once or twice a year.

And last but never least is Robin. She's been a great addition to our group. Always smiling. Easy to be around. I am missing you guys already! Hope you are home safe in Nova Scotia. I will come for a visit in 2009, I promise!