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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Two 5-Star Fetes

I'm tracking the myriad of celebrations in and around my life this fall. 

Fete #2:

My Guy and I along with our cousins dined (well!) at Chef Paul's new restaurant Peli Peli for "someone's" 55th.  5 stars for sure!

Fete # 3:  ...the following weekend we journeyed to Dallas.  A nephew was turning 40 and The Johnson Dynasty was in town to laissez les bons temps rouler.  We really could have used a family tree (or name tags) but that tree would look C-R-A-Z-Y with branches shooting off every which way.  Let me introduce you to some of the characters:

  1. One woman with her exes in attendance
  2. One man with 4 sons from 2 women.  (only 1 of his exes was there)
  3. Two matriarchs who are at the top of the family tree; but don't really know one another.  Yet they produced someone at the party.  A son or grandson maybe???
  4. A 30 year old ex-Cajun now firmly ensconsed in The Big Apple.
  5. A transplant from the north that thinks she's a Texan
  6. Brothers not by blood; but closer than blood
  7. The wives of said brothers - so gorgeous you (might want to scratch their face) look twice
  8. Step-brothers, step-sisters, 1/2 siblings
  9. Baby-sitters all grown up with kids of their own
  10. A couple of merchandising czars, shoe men, an engineer, CPA, food and beverage men and women, photographers, teachers, IT geeks techies, stock broker, sales reps, a financial guy...

  •   ex-sisters-in-law, still sisters at heart.  And more - I know I've missed someone!
The beauty of the evening was the love and friendship that ruled the roost!  I wonder if it's normal for such a clan to gather...with all our history...and enjoy it so much!   The Birthday Boy is loved by all so perhaps he and his beautiful wife set that tone.  They welcomed everyone and put on a party.  Just like we like 'em! 
IF we were likened to food, it would have to be gumbo: a mish mash of humanity with a dash of spice and heat and oh so tasty.  But what made it outstanding?  Not a lick of bitterness.  Time (with maturity) heals and forgiveness makes everything taste better.  (Oh, and by the way, we DID have gumbo!)  
 Blended families are a gift and I give the evening 5 STARS!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Kid You Not!

Is it worth it?

A number of people I know are looking for jobs, beginning new careers or fulfilling their dreams.  It has made me think hard on what I want to do.  One thing I know!  I do not want to work for a power-hungry-demeaning-rude-snide-(usually very wealthy)-know-it-all-unappreciative-cantankerous sort.

...and I've had my share of just such a boss.  Boss #1 when I was 19 or 20 acted inappropriately.  I screamed!  My boss in Saudi Arabia, after working for him 3 years, said "Hey you - get me coffee!"  While on maternity leave with Son #1, another boss had an affair with a friend I brought into the company, and then hired HER as his assistant.  I kid you not.

Years ago, I thought the end-all, be-all would be to own a Louis V. handbag.  A real one; not the China-town-version.  And, so I got one.  But I got it the hard way....

My boss was a female CEO who we'll call Dr. R.  If I listed job duties they'd include:  buy husband underwear, cover for her affair(s), and take verbal abuse quite regularly.  "The Devil Wears Prada" movie had a scene of Meryl trying to get on a plane in a blinding rainstorm.  I lived that.  On a Friday night, Dr. R. was in Florida.  I was home with a bunch of girlfriends.  My Guy was out of town.  The phone rings and a hysterical Dr. R. screams into the phone:  "Virginia, my cat is dying.  You've got to get me back there!"  I kid you not.  No planes were leaving due to a potential hurricane.  I called Hooks Airport to inquire about a private jet.  Long story short...she ran throughout the airport, catching the last flight to H-town.  I had a limo awating that took her home, picked up Dying Cat...and then on a road trip to Texas A&M Vet's school.  I kid you not.

She (tried) making up for "all of this" by giving great gifts.  And, oh my...I accepted them.  Cold hard cash, a "Louis" bag, Cole Hahn scarves (in picture w/Louis), more cash.  I took it - the abuse, the gifts, the shoddy treatment.

Even before Dr. R., I worked for oil tycoon, Mr. B.  It did not last long - just an hour after he threw a stapler at me.  Let me set the stage.  I was young(er), worn to a nub with my dying Mom, and our two sons required lots of attention.  Add the commute!  Traffic in Houston wears everyone to their nub.

Again, flashback to "The Devil..." movie.  When Mr B. entered the office, the receptionist would buzz the first office: "He's here."  They in turn buzzed on down the hall.  We'd sit tall  at "attention."  I was the last stop.  My office guarded his. 

In my supply closet was a private phone line (not connected to the oil company).  I had to get in at 8:30 and listen to my to-do's for the day that he left on the recorder.  Without fail, he'd call at 8:40.  IF I did not pick up the phone, "Katy, bar the door!"  Of course, he was checking to see if I got to work on time.

I'd been with him three months and Mom had died while I worked there.  I was a door mat.  Pure and simple.  One morning I allowed a gentleman to go in even though Mr. B.'s door was closed.  When he left Mr. B.'s office, I was buzzed in.  And then it hit.  "You are a __________ idiot.  Why on earth would you let someone in when my door is closed?"  On & on...and bam!  A flying stapler just missed me.  I kid you not.  I did leave that very day after being coached by my head hunter.  I went in and said:  "Mr. B., I'm out of here.  It's obvious it's not going to work out."  ....and home I went. 

I've been out of the professional/corporate world for 10 years and have worked hard - on myself.  If only I knew then what I know now.  There is no way on earth....I'd allow people to treat me in such a manner.  No one should be treated less than anyone.

It's about kindness - we DO get what we give.  And instead of a Louis V bag oh, if only I had received respect!  I'd much prefer respect: with a heap of love, a spoonful of laughter, a dash of kindness and a pinch of patience.

So I'm in a fortunate stage of life...where I can sift, ponder and pray about what to do next.  The missing ingredient on my many job searches was prayer.  It was all about the BIG job, working for the BIG cheese, getting the BIG money.  I'm so over that.  Although I've got the Louis, I don't even carry it. 

If I had a daughter I would tell her to pray and respect herself.  I kid you not.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Winning Weekend!

I think we all like to be whatever we do, right?  My Guy got up at the crack this morning to run in a local race.  He's very happy with his results as noted above.  And I am happy FOR him.  You see, he must run.  He just must.  Years ago, when #1 Son was around 10, we were all in a sporting goods store.  Father's Day was around the corner and boy comes running up to me:  "Mom, Mom...I found the perfect shirt for Dad."

I abhor the "s" word.  And my goodness, he was only 10.  I (tried to) act offended but was won over when I realized that #1 Son "got" his Dad.  Pretty cool, right?

Here is that shirt.  17 years later!!!!

....and it's still My Guy's mantra.

And so this morning, I'm thinking...what makes ME feel like a winner?  I don't get trophies but I do get satisfaction from:

  • Deep, soul-digging talks with Sons
  • Gut-wrenching laughter (especially with My Guy!).  Two nights ago, I almost fell out of my chair due to something he said.  It drew the boys into the kitchen to see whatever WAS Mom doing?
  • The anticipation of bringing down fall clothes, organizing my closet.
Yup, that's it.  For today....I'm feeling like a winner! 

I hope our hearts race.
Our bellies ache from laughter.
The body's stretched,
Our minds at peace.
Oh to be drawn in, for talk & chatter.
Wait on someone, literally serve.
Give of ourselves - rejoice and sing!
Twirl in the kitchen,
Fix nachos for football.
Oh, how I love a winning weekend!


Monday, September 6, 2010

I've Got That Lovin' Feeling....

Posted by PicasaWhat goes around...

(can) come around!!!

This chinoiserie coffee table has been in Mom's life - in every living room - since I remember.  In fact, the top picture is even older than I am!!!  The little ole thing has been in our keeping for at least 60 years, mine for 17 since Mom died.  My brothers and I were unbelievably civil and generous when splitting up her goods.  Each of us have parts of Mom...that particularly appealed to us

It's more worn or I'd say more LOVED!  And means the world to me.
Is there something in your home that you treasure? 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Birthday Boy (Fete #1)

Last night was our first fall celebration.  Since I posted on how much I love this time of year and all its' activities, I am going to keep track of every celebration.  My Guy turned 56 and it was honored with the presence of his folks, cousins and St. Steve and date.  We had to have a "manly-man" meal of course.  Ribs by Steve, Cornbread by cousin Josie and red beans by moi.  These fancy-shmancy cupcakes were a treat FROM "Treat."

The table was set....just waiting on our guests.

Oh, and #2 Son was around as well.  The best birthday gift has been his attitude the last 6 weeks or so.  Thank you, Lord!

Cute picture of My Guy's Dad cracking up....

Cousin Josie and #2 Son....toying with her iPad. 

Birthday Guy getting his "treat."  He went for the 24 Karat (that'd be carrot cake cupcake, cream cheese icing dusted with 24 K powder...

Serving his Mom....look how sweet she's looking at her boy!!!!!  By the way, what IS the etiquette of eating cupcakes?  That was a topic of discussion and with such frothy frosting a fork was a must!

And so it's on to a holiday, long weekend.  Woo-hoo!  I hope everyone of you has a treat in store for your weekend!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September Sensibilities!

When I looked at my daytimer this morning and realized it's SEPTEMBER 1st, I smiled....big.  Every September 1, I feel this way.  It's not just because it's my birthday month and that of My Guy's birthday, my little brother's and a ton of other relatives.  So many Autumn Babies are in my life.  It's fall.  Houston may show 90 degrees on the thermostat but in MY mind the temp is dropping...

I much prefer this day to New Year's Eve/Day.  I have a skip in my step and a sense of anticipation - could be the hoopla of the holidays on the horizon.  The autumn "semester" is jam packed!  I mentioned a ton of birthdays.  Then, the Marburger-Round Top Fall show...if ONLY Eddie and Jaithan would wend their way south.  (Yes, I meant to use wend vs. wind.)  Houston has The Nutcracker Market November 11 through 14th.  I hope CC and I get there again!  Closer to my neck of the woods is the Junior League Holiday Market in The Woodlands.

Fall colors, sweaters, and boots: oh, my!  I may work myself up to that chic dark almost-black nail lacquer but today - after a relaxing, intense pedi, could only go a deep barn red.  Even my toes look brand new!

September also brings our ladies Bible study together after a summer hiatus and we had a celebration last night to do just that - celebrate one another, a new study and a new season. 

I hope you have a "Barnabas" in your life.  We named our group The Barnabas Bunch or Buds...because this is the most encouraging group of women around.  (Barnabas means "encourager.")  We've met in each other's homes for over 12 years.  At one time there were 20+ women in 12 different churches.  We've seen graduations, funerals, illness, divorce, grandbabies, love, loss and a ton of life!  I'd be lost (or in the loony bin) without them!  And, uhhh...they can cook!  There is never a shortage of food at our functions.

This post is all over the place - but I'm just overflowing with September sensibilities.  There's "new TV" - football games (go Cowboys!).  I can't wait to start my morning outdoors on my little patio .

Fires!  I light a fire almost every cool morning.  Thank goodness for gas logs that look real!  What's better than two dogs lounging by a fire at the crack of dawn?

I think I'll hunt.  For my copy of "September" by Rosamund Pilcher.  I read it 20 years ago after receiving it for my (September) birthday.  Cousin Josie gifted me - it really was perfect.  And oh was sooooooo good! 

If Eddie & Jaithan (ever) get this way, you're invited to join us at Round Top.  In your jeans, boots and a sweater of course!

Do tell - what are YOUR plans for fall?