Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This hilarious card was sent by a dear friend congratulating us on our 50th wedding anniversary. She and I have a standing running joke about our memory loss. I don't think we miss our minds very much...only when trying to find the car keys.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another rainy Tuesday

A rainy Tuesday, again

My sinus infection seems to be improving thanks to the antibiotic from the doc...went in yesterday feeling crappy with it and a little paniced. I can't be ill now...we leave for our cruise on Saturday!
And added to it we're halfway in prep for Gustav's landfall just in case it should arrive in our absence. Part of the prep was retrieving a reject from a show at Brazosport Collete today with my friend, Adelyn. Geezus but it is a long way down there to Lake Jackson...thought we would never get there through the flat, flat treeless grassland that makes up the coastal prairie. The volunteer at the Gallery was very nice and accomodating but we thrilled to find that Adelyn had won a $400 first prize and nobody had bothered to let her know. Weird. Anyway the picture is of one of my quilts that was prize but it got in.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm hooked! and need a nap!

I'm hooked!
Not enough sleep for 3 nights in a row but it was worth it! I'm hooked on beach volleyball and just loved watching the US teams play. What an exciting game! Fast and full of strategy and finesse. I had no idea but now I can't stop watching. And the US teams, both men and women, won the gold. And it wasn't just a walk-away...they worked hard for them. May-Treanor and Walsh had to play in the rain and Dalhauser and Rogers played in 100 degree heat. Wow! Sure beat anything TV has had to offer all summer. I loved it but will definitely have to take a nap. This is one time I wish I were 20 years younger and could try playing the game on the beach in Galveston.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

If pigs could fly...

This is a picture of the bonus room I painted for my grandkids in their last house. I've always loved the saying "If pigs could fly..." and took it as the theme. Their other grandmother helped with painting in the clouds and we had such a great time doing it. On an opposite wall we had a sign for Pig Field where they could land. I guess the people who bought liked the room as well as they had small children.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

The anniversary gift

The anniversary gift

Some of you may already know that our 50th wedding anniversary is coming up on Sept. 5. Our son and his wife have gifted us with a fabulous cruise to Alasaka aboard the Princess...something we have always wanted to do. We leave on Aug. 30.
In preparation I could not think of anything gold to give my husband, Ken, that he would want or wear so I decided to write a book of memoirs of our journey together. What a daunting task as there have been so many years and so much has transpired that so far I have only made it up to our children graduating from high school. And I'm well aware that this is only my side of the story and I hope that Ken will feed more memories and information into it. And hopefully there will be many more adventures to come. It is just so hard for me to believe it has actually been 50 years and with the same man....imagine that! I've been married all my life!
The picture is of the quilted cover I have created for the notebook holding my writings. This is the front. I used tea dyed twill, some patchwork fabric and a photo transfer onto fabric. I added ribbons along the spine and may put some beading on it somewhere but for now I'm just writing as fast as I can.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

An afterthought

Entry for August 13, 2008
Gee, I've never been to a funeral this size and so moving. I was holding it together pretty well until a fireman playing Amazing Grace on the bag pipes came down the aisle of the beautiful church followed by 150 or more firemen and women in uniform. I know now gratefully that my new makeup is indeed waterproof.
The church was surrounded by fire trucks and much so that one might think the church was on fire. The priest described his relationship to Stephen while riding around in his little red sports car (the Mercedez Benz finally gave it up) to the 59 Diner for breakfast and getting a call. His question to him: "Father, do you want to go to a fire or go home? So much for breakfast this morning." And there were at least 400 others in attendance who had been blessed in knowing this extraordinary man. His dept at Baylor College of Medicine sponsored a beautiful lunch following the service and I caught up briefly with friends from my past career. It was great to see interns that I had supervised doing so well now.
Whew! God in his great wisdom took Stephen quickly saving his wife and daughter months of anguish and lots of $$$$. I still feel he keeps my back and always will.

In memoriam

In memoriam

I lost a very dear friend this week, Stephen Pierrel, the kindest, smartest, funniest dear man with the highest integrity of any man I've ever known. And much too young to make his transition but I know, God, you don't make bad decisions so I need to trust. But what a loss to the community. His whole life was one of service to his community.
Stephen and I started out in the business of therapy together when we were office neighbors at Texas Research Institute for Mental Science. We both were on a big learning curve treating the indigent and supervising psychiatric interns in the child and family clinics. When TRIMS lost their funding and closed, Stephen asked me to come with him to Houston Child Guidance Center to help establish a satellite clinic out here in Clear Lake and we did. He had a Phd in Psychology and I was a LPC and LMFT and we were a great team. Until the Clear Lake clinic was built out and running we shared a desk at the downtown office seeing clients. Stephen was a pack rat and we had some great laughs over my trying to claim a bare spot on the desk. He was a great support to me in meeting the challenges of operating in another dysfunctional system.
We got the Clear Lake clinic going well, no lack of patients and along with 4 or 5 other therapists in the area organized the Bay Area Network of Mental Health Professionals which continues to be a vibrant organization of value to the community. The purpose came about because in the early 80s there was a rash of teen suicides in the Clear Lake area and though there were many therapists in the area, they were overlooked and therapists in Houston were called in to help in the schools to try to get the community back on even footing. The organization has served to make a presence of mental health professionals in the Clear Lake area and offer continued training for them and continues to do so.
In the meantime Stephen began dating Marsha Bauman, a social worker from Child Guidance, wonderful woman and they married. Stephen had this cute little gold Mercedes Benz convertible sports car that he was constantly looking for parts for and he and Marsha were just so cute together running around town in it. A great match and later they adopted a precious baby girl who is now a beautiful young lady adored by her dad.
Stephen loved unusual ties and wore them well with great humor. The above picture was taken at an office birthday celebration for him. He never failed to find humor in the most difficult circumstances which helped to keep us all balanced. He was very creative, enjoyed woodworking and while taking a class in silver casting, cast one of my designs for me, a pendanct that I still wear.
In 1987 we made the decision to leave Child Guidance and set up a private practice in Clear Lake and Stephen found a great office on El Camino Real from which we operated for a few years inviting Edie Apt in with us on a part-time basis. But it became evident that Stephen's main practice was going to be downtown and we closed the Clear Lake office. He went to Park Plaza medical center and I took over Charter Hospital's clinic.
Stephen and I sorta lost touch in the last decade or so...he was teaching at Baylor and I, at U of H but I always felt he had my back and hope that he felt the same from me. He became an expert in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and was called in to organize care following Hurricane Katrina with all the evacuees and after explosions at local plants. He was a great teacher and mentor to many. He was the Chief Psychologist for the Houston Fire Department and won many awards for his service.
Stephen developed prostate cancer about 3 years ago and it appeared to be in remission but returned this year. He was on chemotherapy and contracted a staph infection that he couldn't shake.
I will miss him along with many others whose lives he touched. An amazing gifted man.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Eduard from the porch

Whew! Dodged the bullet once again and got some much needed wonderful rain and so far, so good on the roof. No big limbs down in the yard and full electrical service. Yay! Good rehearsal I guess. The pantry is full, lots of bottled water and two movies to watch. I don't even think we had any tidal flooding. Thank you, dear Universe/God, for taking care of us one more time. Time to crank up the stereo on the soundtrack from Mama Mia and dance!

Eduard, we're ready

Bring it on, Eduardo
We're as ready as ready can be...but damn, I hate this part of living on the Gulf Coast, living through the summer wondering when or if a hurricane or tropical storm will be coming our way. At least so far this seems to be minimal and we are staying and riding it out. But all day has been spent in for canned meat, bottled water, batteries, fruit and hot dogs, food that doesn't need cooking, filling the car with gas and then using part of it in search of extra ice to put in the freezer. Groceries were already out of ice and big jugs of water early this morning. I finally ended up getting a bag of ice from Sonic which of course, needed to be accompanied by one of their iced lattes and so now I will probably be up half the night. Then it was hauling all the hanging baskets and pot plants along with the patio furniture and grill into the garage. Some pots are just too heavy to move so I figure that a 70 mile wind probably ain't gonna shove them around...hope I'm right. Then it was sweeping and working to clear the drains in the back yard. And then checking all the flashlights in case we lose power and digging out the least I remembered to buy matches. We already had a little roof leak and I fear we may have a bigger one with this storm. The joys of home ownership. But it wasn't all grind and grim...I took time out to see Swing Vote with Kevin Costner. It was fun and I'm a Costner fan in spite of some of his really bad movies. He's just so darn cute in a bad boy kind of way.
Saturday while I was out my granddaughter set up a lemonade stand at the end of our driveway and was pretty successful. She was earning money to take to camp to spend in their bookstore. And Sunday was the big day. We had a great time going with our daughter to take my 11 yr old granddaughter to Sea Camp at Texas A & M in Galveston. We drove her out to the campus on the peninsula after a great lunch at the Star Drugstore and Grill. She was so excited...she's been determined to be a marine biologist since she was 6 and went to this camp last year and loved it. This year she is studying sharks. We got her room altogether and met her cute roommate from New York and it was clear Taylor wanted to be in charge and ready for us to leave. And then last night we learned that this storm Eduardo is headed right for Galveston. Aiiiiyayaiiiii. We knew that the staff wouldn't take any chances and sure enough, my daughter got a call this morning that they were evacuating the camp to A & M's main campus in College Station. She called her mom later so excited that she is going to see the main campus...I think she sees herself as a pretend co-ed for a week. What an adventure I am sure she will never forget. Hope she takes lots of pictures. She was equipped with Aggie flip-flops and Aggie cap and a toy Reveille, their mascot.
Fortunately I have a stack of books to read if we are without electricity and I can always draw. So here we go.....I'll let you know how it all turns out.