Monday, August 31, 2009

Bad and Good Monday

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life...


Bad:

(1) I didn't go to sleep until after midnight last night (umm, I guess really this morning)
(2) My alarm went off at 5:40 a.m. AND I had to get up!
(3)I had class this morning and have class tonight (7-9:45)
(4) My brain isn't really working today

Good:

(1) Weather is FAB-U-LOUS today (not too hot and cool this a.m.)
(2) I found the most wonderful Texas Tech loot at Tuesday Morning (Mom you bought it for me for some upcoming holiday)
(3) Part of the 121 Tollway between McKinney and Frisco will be open tomorrow!
(4) U.S. Open has started AND there is a ceremony for my favorite guy, Andre Agassi!!!
(5) I spoke with a guy from Del Frisco's about the crapppy lobster and he is sending me a gift certificate in the mail to make up for it.

(6) I just found out that this book is coming out in November:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lazy Sunday

I know that so many of you have busy busy weekends. I haven't had a super busy weekend, but it has gotten to the point that if I have to leave my house on the weekends, then its just too much. I realize that I'm just too darn lazy, but honestly, since I started teaching three classes, I've been this way.

Yesterday I sadly did have to leave my house. I had to go to my cousin's twin boys 2nd birthday party. All I'm going to say is that Zack and Max were much happier at their 1st birthday than they were their 2nd. That being the case, Mom and I bailed out of there as soon as possible! Mom was meeting Dad in their Rock Start Tour Bus later in the afternoon for an overnight stay about 40 miles away from the party location, so we did a little shopping.

We went to Hobby Lobby and TJ Maxx. I've been thinking to myself lately that since my Mom is now semi-retired, I should take her on a trip to Canton Trade Days. Then I went with her to Hobby Lobby and remember why that is the craziest idea I've ever had in my entire life! Shopping with my Mom is better done in very contained areas without too many choices. My Mom and choices are not friends. Never will be.

Then after I made it home around supper time, and finished watching the Kennedy funeral events (both DVR'd and live), I watched some of my Netflixed "90210" DVD. I needed to catch up before the new season starts next week and was down to the final 4 episodes. I finished it today and then watched an episode of "One Tree Hill". I somehow missed out on OTH when it started back in 2003, and am just now getting addicted. I don't know why I love all these teenage dramas, but I do! I'm not even going to be ashamed about it... I'm confessing it to you all! Yes, I LOVE LOVE LOVE "Gossip Girl" too!

Besides giving Lola a bath, that's about it for today. As I think about the fact that the weekend is almost over, I could literally cry. The only thing keeping me from it is that next weekend is a LONG weekend. I can't wait!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

4 years ago...

4 years ago today, something called Katrina happened to the city that I love. We all know what happened. As so often is the case with us fickle Americans, I believe that many have already begun to forget.


While things have continued to improve since the initial flood waters receded, you still see homes like this...
and once bustling streets lined with homes, still look like this...

But some of the bigger issues that still need addressing are the state of the levies and the bayou. The levies cannot sustain a category 4 or 5 today. More importantly, the state of the wetlands has got to fixed. We have to save the bayou or catastrophes like Katrina will only happen more and more often. Click HERE to read information at National Geographic about the state of the wetlands. This isn't a "tree hugger" "Environmentalist nut" issue. This is a plain and simple fact and possibly one of the biggest environmental issues in the world today. You see as miles and miles and miles of wetlands disappear each year, that means that hurricanes hit New Orleans with more and more force each year. Normally, these wetlands work to slow the hurricane as it comes ashore. But with wetlands disappearing so does that "slowdown process".


I'm using this anniversary to urge you to contact your representatives in Washington D.C. and demand they shore up the levies and re-do the bayou.


I traveled to New Orleans about 7 months after Katrina, and while there I picked up a great book called "1 dead in attic" by Chris Rose. This is a compilation of articles that Rose published in the The Times-Picayune between August 29, 2005 and New Years Day 2006. Some make you laugh. Some just break your heart. Here is one of my favorites, entitled "God and Strippers"...


"Even at the End of the Days, there will be lap dancing.


Over the weekend, while a desolate, desperate city plunged into darkness and the waters rose again in the Rita Aftermath, and while a population spread across the nation watched new horrors with churning guts on TV, a strip club opened on Bourbon Street.


The symbolism of this even can hardly be overstated.
The Saints are gone. The Hornets are gone. Zephyr Field is a staging area for choppers to go find dead people.


No college hoops. No movie theaters, no Swamp Fest, no Voodoo Fest. No horses running at the Fairgrounds. No line for Friday lunch at Galatoire's.


But there are topless women hanging upside down from brass poles at a place called Deja Vu. Gaudiness, flesh, neon and bad recorded music have returned to one small outpost on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams, and if that's not one small step toward normalcy--at least as that term is defined in the Big Uneasy--then I don't know what is.


There were about 100 guys in there Saturday night, all of them with very, very short hair, which is basically what everyone around here who's not a journalist has these days.


Exactly how a posse of exotic dancers were smuggled into town during the most severe lockdown in this city since the hurricane crises began, well, I don't know.


Inexplicable things seem to be the norm around here these days.


When I walk down the street one day and some rumpled grifter tells me he knows where I got my shoes, then I guess I'll know we're fully on our way home. (Of course, I could be cynical and tasteless and tell the guy: I got them at Wal-Mart on Tchoupitoulas like everyone else, but that would be cynical and tasteless.)


And speaking of tasteless: This is not a topic I want to delve too deeply into, but someone has to call out the demagogic ministers who have used Katrina's destruction to preach the message that God was tired of this city's libertine ways and decided to clean house.


Let me roll at you some snippets of wisdom that have been widely distributed on the Internet from Rev. Bill Shanks, pastor of New Covenant Fellowship in Metarie: 'New Orleans now is Mardi Gras free. New Orleans now is free of Southern Decadence and the sodomites, the witchcraft workers, false religion--it's free of all of those things now. God simply, I believe, in His mercy purged all of that stuff out of there--and now we're going to start over again.'


Well, almost. It's an interesting interpretation, to be sure, and Shanks is not the only man of the cloth to make such claims. No doubt, it's a good message for the evangelical business.


Of course, try telling some poor sap down in St. Bernard Parish who has never heard of Southern Decadence and who goes to Bible study every Wednesday night that he lost his house and his job and his grandmother died in a flooded nursing home because God was angry at a bunch of bearded guys in dresses over on Dumaine Street.


Collateral damage, I guess. The question that arises, of course is that if Shanks' prophecy is true, how come Plaquemines, St. Bernard, the East and Lakeview are gone, but the French Quarter is still standing?


I'd suggest that there are those who have confused meteorology with mythology, global warming with just plain hot air, but that might be cynical and tasteless. Might be crass and gaudy.


And I'll try to leave the stuff where it belongs--in the French Quarter, where the craziest patchwork of people ever gathered on this planet are cobbling back together a strange and mind-boggling Twilight Zone of what it once was.


File that one under: Only in New Orleans."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Roosters Everywhere!

Welcome to my Rooster Party! At first I thought, I have a couple of roosters, I'll join the party. Then I started taking pictures of them all...and was startled to find how many I have! They are all over my kitchen! "When did that happen?", I thought to myself.



Here is how it all started...

I found this fabric that had french writing on it...AND roosters. My grandma made some valances for my kitchen windows.

Then of course I needed placemats and napkins for the breakfast table...


Then I found this lamp for the kitchen at a good price and got it...

A little hook to hold dish towels...
I found this guy in an antique store. I don't think he is antique but I know that he is solid wood and could be used as a weapon... I love him. He lives on top of the ice box.
Then these pictures got added...
Then this rug. Actually this is Rooster rug, version 4 or 5. Lola likes to eat Rooster rugs when she is bored.
Finally, the last addition. I didn't have anything hanging in this blank space and ran across this cute iron rooster at Hobby Lobby.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Food for Thought

I get very upset when I hear people speak badly about Ted Kennedy. I've seen some deplorable e-mails and even read some blogs that are really disparaging. I don't care if you agree with what he stood for or not (though I'll get to that in a minute). And I'm not forgetting that he was a flawed human, but I would argue who among us is not.

The way I see it, he was a great man because he dedicated his life to public service. In my book that is one of the greatest things a person can do. It's a quality I admire greatly and feel like I don't do enough. Yes it was easier for him to be in public service because he was a man of wealth, but he dedicated his life to helping those less fortunate. He could have spent all his days doing what he loved, sailing in the Cape, but he didn't. He worked tirelessly for 47 years in the Senate. It is not "attempts by the liberals to elevate him to sainthood" as I've read many write, that has caused respectable Republicans to come out of the woodwork in the past few days to speak of the impact he has had on Congress and this country.

In addition, when you look at him personally, he lost three brothers to this country. He became the substitute Dad to all those children who lost their for their country and later a substitute Grandfather. How can you fault those qualities?

Finally, I would like to say that those of you who would like to speak ill of Senator Kennedy, go ahead. I'd like to be sure and take down your name though so that I could give it to someone and make sure that you don't ever (1) enjoy the benefits for your daughters to participate in sports, (2) utilize the Americans with Disabilities act after any unfortunate situation in your life, (3) enjoy Meals on Wheels when you are older, (4) vote when you turn(ed)18, etc. You know, I'm certain you wouldn't want to benefit from anything that is a result of someone you deplore so much that you essentially are dancing on their grave.

"During my service in the United States Senate, I have often been called a liberal. And it usually was not meant to be a compliment, but I remember what my brother said about liberalism shortly before he was elected President. He said, 'If by a liberal, they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people, their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, their civil liberties, someone who believes that we can breakthrough the stale mate and suspicion that grips us. If that is what they mean by a liberal, then I am proud to be a liberal." -Senator Kennedy. I say Amen.

I'm stepping off the soapbox now, thank you. Oh yeah, Click on the ABC news link and watch this piece. It ran on Good Morning America this morning and I will be showing it to my students in a little bit.

How Kennedy's Legislation Helped You Today - ABC News

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Rooster Party

It's a Rooster Party! What's a rooster party? I'm not really sure, but I think people are getting together to post photos of "their roosters". I thought it sounded wacky, so I signed up. I have a rooster or two around, I thought, why not...Good lord, I was astounded by how many roosters I have! Check it out on Friday.

Also, join the other 172 blogs participating in the Rooster Party. Go to the blog listed on the above button and join in. I discovered at the Christmas in July party that it is a great way to discover new blogs and to have your blog discovered by others.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I know, I know

I know, I know. You hate bloggers who can't manage to get it all in one blog per day, right? Well, I'm going to blame it on the lack of sleep. I must be delerious because I forgot to the post the funniest moments from today! They are too funny and I must share.

First of all, a little background on the trip down to the Children's Home... There are two of us attorneys on the case. Another lady is acting as the actual attorney on the case. She does what the juvenile wants. My role is as the guardian of the child. My role is to act as the parent, to do what is in the child's best interest and make a recommendation to the court if there is a conflict between what the child wants and what I think is best. So this other attorney has been to the Home before and rode down on the 2 1/2 hour trip.

First funny thing of the day is that the juvenile, who was being transported by his sister, headed in the wrong direction. They headed to Texarkana instead of Waco, which resulted in them being 1 hour late. In case you aren't from Texas, I have provided a map so that you can see just how absurd and directionally challenged this is...

You see Dallas? Waco is between Dallas and Austin. Texarkana isn't marked on the map, but it is way up in the NE corner bordering Texas and Arkansas.
So on the way down, the other attorney was telling me about her kids who go to a private school about an hour away from their house. I told her I didn't really know much about private schools as that wasn't an option because (1) there wasn't one in our small town and (2) my mom was a public school teacher/administrator. She went on to tell me all about how worldly she and her family were (kids included). They've all been all around the world, Blah, Blah, Blah. They are taking the kids out of school in the winter to go to Egypt for two weeks, Blah, Blah, Blah. I do need to say that this lady just doesn't really get that she isn't the norm. She is very nice and not trying to rub anything in anyones face, she's just a bit clueless. However, needless to say, by the end of the journey, I was feeling a little bit like an uneducated hick.

Well since we were early, we had time to talk to some of the new staff. The other attorney was talking to a new staff member and I was just listening. Here is the conversation I hear:

When did you start here? Just last week

Where are you from? Liberia

Oh, so not from very far away?.... this is when my ears perked up. I think to myself, I may be an uneducated hick, but isn't Liberia on the West Coast of Africa? Yeah, it's pretty far away

Is it? How far? (girl speechless) Ugh, like really far.

I mean how far are we talking? It's in Africa (Here's me thinking Don't laugh, don't laugh)

Really? I thought Liberia was in Texas? Is there a Liberia Texas? I don't know

Kara, Isn't Liberia in Texas? Me: Not that I know of, I only know of the one in Africa.

Well, how big of a city is Liberia? ...again, I think to myself, It's a country not a city!... Well, it's about the size of Tennessee.

Really?! Wow, that's a big city! (again, me thinking, don't laugh, don't laugh)


Now the other funny thing we heard while waiting is that they have changed some policies. The Home is made up of a City Campus and a Ranch. City is co-ed and the Ranch is boys only. Ranch used to stick to the ranch, City to the city. Turns out there was a huge rivalry brewing between the "City Boys" and the "Country Boys" because all the "City Girls" thought the "Country Boys" were "dreamy". So they had there own little West Side Story brewing. Now they mix the two for school and activities so they won't hate each other. I thought that was really funny too (though not Liberia funny).

Childrens Home, Dogs and Shopping

I got up at the crack o' dawn again this morning (I recognize that people wake up at this time all over the place, but not me. Or Lola.) I had to be in Waco at 10:00 for one of my juvenile's interview. I was trying to get him in the Waco Methodist Home. I hadn't been there personally, so while I was there I took a tour.

It is soooo darn nice! It's a really beautiful campus. It looks like a smaller private college or I think if I had photos and told you it was some fancy pants boarding school, you'd totally believe me. I haven't heard whether my client got in yet, but I'm sure hoping so. He is a smart kid and isn't really bad. He just doesn't have anyone capable or willing to actually parent him. Sad situation, but I hope this will save him before he goes off the deep end and can't be saved. Plus I've got no idea what to do with him if they don't take him!

As far as not finding a home... it seems that our "new neighbor" I blogged about a couple of days ago has left. I knew I didn't seem him peeking through the picket hole all day yesterday. Today when I got home I looked and sure enough he was no where to be found. If my friend Jenn didn't live in NC, I would have sworn that she came and stole him, but I'm pretty sure she didn't make the drive here and back!

Tonight when I move Lola's kennel back into the living room, she will officially be the happiest puppy on earth!

Finally, if you didn't sign up for Rue La La when I posted about it way back when, then now is a good time. You can get some great Christmas finds on there. Today a Vera Bradley boutique started and I bought a Christmas present for more than half off. If you need a baby gift, their baby bags are marked down super cheap too. I think tomorrow, they start a Philosophy boutique, so if you are on my Christmas list, don't be surprised to see a gift from there show up under the tree with your name on it! Here is the invite again, in case you are more interested now that the shopping season is upon us

http://www.ruelala.com/invite/kfitts01

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ugggghhhhh!

Ugggghhhh! This is going to be the longest week ever. I just know it.

It started out last night when I was trying to mow the yard. First, I was mowing along and stepped on a rock that borders my flowerbed. The rock flipped over, and crashed into my ankle and I fell into a tree. The tree caught me, but I'm certain I was a vision of grace! Then a few minutes later as I was mowing along I heard a loud crack. You know what it was? It was the other back wheel on my mower cracking and breaking off! Seriously? I was just trying to get the whole thing mowed so I could start the week off right!

This morning of course, I had to wake up at 5:40 so that I could leave for class by 6:25. I didn't sleep all that well. You know how when you know you are going to have to wake up early and it prevents you from sleeping? That was me last night.

I have class again tonight from 7-9:45, then Wednesday and Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. and then Thursday night from 7-9:45. As if that isn't enough, I have to be in Waco tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. for an interview with one of my juvenile clients. I'm trying to get him into the Methodist Children's Home there and will have to again leave my house at the crack of dawn.

To top all that off, Lola is acting like she has been a participant in CIA's program of sleep deprivation torture. She has been passed out all day...SNORING! Here is how Lola's day has shaken out... I woke her up when I got up. She slept on the floor beside me while I got ready. She napped the whole time I was gone and all day since. Tough life for the poor girl! Here's a pic of the snoring angel...I wish I could add the proper sound effects so that you could hear the slumbering that is going on beside me right now!



Weeks like this that make me wish I drank coffee!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Neighbor

We have new neighbors. Well, let me clarify... A new family moved into the house next door about 6 months ago. I was happy to get new neighbors because the couple that lived there before constantly struggled to keep it up due to financial difficulties. These new people bought it and did renovations for a solid month before moving in. I was very hopeful that they would be good neighbors. Then they let all the existing grass in the front yard die and didn't mow their weeds for 3 months! My hopes faded...

The new family is a Middle Eastern family (only relevant for parts of the story below) and consists of a Mom, Grandma (sometimes) and two son's (both 19 -25 yrs of age).

Then last weekend, this guy appeared...

These new folks live on the side of my yard with the crappy fence, so a picket is missing and has never been replaced. Our new friend loves to come check us out. He even gets so excited that he paws at the fence and I'm afraid it is so dilapidated, he will come on through any day.
When Lola ignores him, he sits like this and just cries and cries...
Then Miss Lo decides that she will grace him with her presence and oh what a happy dog he is...

She gives him a little attention, then remembers that she doesn't believe that she is really a dog, and leaves him be...
Then he just sits and cries and cries.

He first appeared last weekend. There was quite a bit of barking during the day, but that has died down. Now he just seems to get stressed at night in the dark and barks. He did still make enough noise during the night and in the early morning that he would stir up Lola when she was in her kennel in the living room. I had to move Lo's kennel to the guest bedroom and let me tell you that she is none too happy about it. Now at night when I say, get in your kennel, she runs and sits where it used to be. Then when I say, "No, you know it has moved", she runs and sits outside my bedroom. Then I have to carry her to her kennel.


Well, it seems my neighbors are gone for the weekend and new dog is really stressed. Starting at about 9:00 last night, he barked and barked AND barked. I went out, climbed in a chair so he could see me over the fence and tried to talk to sense into him. You know, I said "Look dude, I know your peeps are gone, but you need to chill out! Stop Barking!". He would stop for a while, then kick right back up. I guess he wore himself out because he finally stopped about 10:30. Stopped until 4:20 a.m. that is.


Lordy, lordy, you should have heard that dog. He was barking non-stop. I put earplugs in and could STILL hear him. As far as I can tell, nobody has checked on him. I climbed on a chair again to make sure that I could see some water for him in the yard. I know Ramadan started this weekend, so maybe they are out of town for that. Do they make their dogs fast with them on Ramadan? Seriously, I have no idea about Ramadan other than it involves fasting during the day. Could this be the problem?


Now I have to decide whether to tell them that their dog (1) needs more exercise to wear him out and (2) that he gets really stressed when they are gone so they probably need to consider a kennel in the future. The downside to this is (1) that if any of the other neighbors call animal control or the HOA, then they will think it is me, and (2) if it keeps up and I have to call animal control or the HOA, then they will know it is me!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Petit Fours

I love petit fours. They can be a little pricey, so I decided that I was going to learn to make them. Several years ago, I tore an article out of the newspaper with a recipe and instructions for petit fours. I bought the ingredients about a month ago and since I have so much that I need to do in preparation for school starting on Monday why not procrastinate and make petit fours.

First of all, I think this was a bad recipe. But what I really learned was that petit fours are worth every single darn penny the bakeries charge for them! I threw the whole batch of cake and icing into the trash and topped off that heap of mess with the darn recipe cut-out from the paper!

In other drama...my e-bay account was hacked. I don't shop e-bay often and the other day I was trying to purchase a product that has been discontinued and I deperately wanted. I couldn't remember my user id. I kept hitting the "I can't remember my user id" button and they kept saying they had e-mailed me my user id. I never got the e-mail. After a couple of goes at this, I just set up a new account. Tonight I got an e-mail saying that my new account has been restricted because it is linked to my old account which has been suspended for non-payment of fees.

I go online and discover that the fees are for listing items for sale, which of course I've never done. I also see that the e-mail address has been altered which explains why I never got any of the "your account is suspended" e-mails or the username e-mail. Soooooo, I've been on hold with e-bay forever. I'm having to speak with 3 departments to get it all straight. I think I've just finished with department 2!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Blocking my Chi

I went to Dallas today to meet up with a blog friend whom (or who?) I had never met in person. I met up with Robin of Spotted-Bird's Nest at Northpark and we had lunch at La Duni. After that we shopped around for a little while. It was so fun to meet someone you feel like you already really know. So I've met one of you blog friends now, several more to go!

Then on my way out of Neiman's I stopped to see my make-up lady, Lettie (make-up lady of 12 years in case you haven't heard that story). I just needed to refill a few products, but then some new colors were screaming my name. I didn't really ever get new colors for summer...well I did, but I returned them and just ended up recycling from a few summers ago.

Lettie said "You have to try this new line of make-up Kara". Lettie has never steered me wrong. She's steered me into debt, but never wrong on make-up.

I sat down and around the counter came this force of nature named Burton. Burton is fresh off the plane from Miami and a deliciously eccentric gay. Anyway, apparently eccentric gays combined with make-up are my Achilles heel, my Samson's haircut, what makes me weak and willpower-less. He took off all my make-up and started afresh.

In addition to eccentric gays, I like eccentric stories for my products, and whoa nelly, does this line of make-up have plenty of eccentric stories. Where to start? First, the foundation and concealer have hyaluronic acid in them. If you remember back to a Sephora skin care shopping trip way back when, hyaluranic acid is one thing I bought to moisturize my face, so this foundation and concealer is like a face treatment on your face all day long.

Then you get to the eye make-up. They sell this set of 4 colors they call the Kaleidoscope Eye Kit. They say it was designed by microsoft. I think this is a bunch of crap. More interesting about the eye shadow is that this line of cosmetics set out to find the best eye shadow they could and they found that some Hasidic Jew in Connecticut makes "the best". For the final eye make-up story, the liquid eye pen is made by famous pen maker Mont Blanc. Eccentric enough for you? It was for me. I bought it all!

Photos of my new make-up
Close-up of the lipstick and lipgloss
The kaleidoscope eye kit...
Close-ups of the 4 colors (they didn't photo all that well)


These are a bit odd in that one doesn't go one place and the other in a different spot. They are made to be layered.

Up close of the eye (please excuse the tired and allergy red eyes as we had storms all night that kept me awake)
And since I didn't go anywhere but the gas station to buy a lotto ticket after I left Neimans, I want to show off the entire look...

Now for the best part of this whole story...

I sit down with Burton and he begins asking me personal questions. This seems to be the norm for these make-up guys. Anyway, turns out Burton wants to be my feng shui consultant (for a fee of course). He gave me his cell number and wants to come to my house and rearrange. He claims that he can feng shui my life and I will find the love of my life within weeks. He is very certain about this. In fact, he said "Don't have me come out unless you are a 100% ready because when we get the energy right in your life, you had better watch out!".

He told me how he started afresh with the move from Miami, got a new apartment, new furniture, feng shui'd it all up and met the love of his life (all of this within the past two weeks).

He said something about the southwest corner of the house is the most important. I said my bedroom was in the southwest corner. He said that the SW corner of the room should have pairs in it. At first, I thought he meant "pears", but then I figured it out when he suggested a pair of candles or a pair of mandarin ducks. I said Where do you find those? He said, "Don't worry, I know where". Okey dokey. Then I said, You know what's in the SW corner of my bedroom? Stacks and piles of pillows that are suppose to be on my unmade bed. This caused Burton to exclaim "Oh NO! You're blocking your Chi!"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Spontaneous Shopapalooza

We've had a busy week and not really any loafing around, so Jennifer and I took a little advantage of the fact that we didn't have any pressing issues to deal with this afternoon and headed out at lunch to "run a few errands".

We did run a few errands, but it really turned into a spontaneous shopapalooza!

I got some Christmas presents and upcoming Birthday presents for some little ones that I buy for. Then it was all about me.

I got a cute outfit at the Ann Taylor Outlet: a pair of dressy capri type slacks to wear with my new tall boots when fall finally arrives, or heels now, as well as a sweater set. It was all on sale and then a sales lady gave me another 15% off. I'm there a lot. Not always for me, but I drag my friends there as their personal shopper, so the long-term employees always hook me up with a deal!

At Old Navy I got a cute top for $10 and then at the Gap Outlet I got a pair of Jeans for $24, so you can't really pass up those deals.

Then I went to the Coach Outlet. I had a 20% off coupon that expired on Sunday and thought I'd just look around... Big Mistake or maybe Jackpot, depending on how you look at it!



This is the one absolutely frivolous thing that I bought, but HAD to have...
I mean, it looks just like Lola! I couldn't pass it up and I've had my Kate Spade "Big Hair" keyring for several years now.


Hey, it does look like me!
At coach, I also found this fabulous bag...
I bought it for my Mom to give me for my birthday. I usually do this. Buy my own presents that is. I normally call and run it by my Mom first, but she is in Colorado on vacation and out of cell phone range. They do have wi-fi though... Hey Mom, look what you bought me today!
I've wanted this purse for about a year and they happened to have it at the outlet store today. I tried to get my friend Abby to buy it a year ago, but I think the patent leather was a little too...what's the word...progressive for her. Now she will probably see it and wish she had taken my advice :)


It's got lots of brass hardware on the sides and handle. So cute!
The best part is that this is the price tag...
and I got it today for $145! I may not be able to wait 2 months until my b-day and may have to pay my Mom back for it and just keep it!


Then I got Lola something at the outlet mall...


Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to the newest member of the Red Raider Cheerleading Squad...

Lola Marie!
Have. You. Ever. Seen. Anything. So. Cute. In. Your. Life?
(just agree with me here)
And Bloomers!
Of course they don't have a tail hole and Lola wasn't really keen on them, so they probably won't be worn much.
Ok, so this isn't really a puppy costume, it is for kids. But it didn't occur to me for a second to not buy it for Lola anyway. It was marked regular price $36 and I got it for $11.

Turns out, she is a perfect size 18 months! As Lisa said, this has now opened up a world of fashion opportunities for Lo!


Get Your Guns Up!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Helpful?

This...
is not helpful!

Lola loves to lay on the keyboard so that I cannot do whatever it is that I'm trying to do!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sunny Days...

Sunny Days, sweepin' the clouds away, On my way to where the air is sweet. Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?


This is just brilliant! Two of my favorites paired together...Sesame Street and Fashion!


Harper's Bazaar is doing a photo spread pairing designers with Sesame characters in honor of Sesame's 40th Anniversary. I tried to copy some of the pics from HB's website, but they came out small, so I've copied these off of CocoPerez... You can go to Harper Bazaar to see all of the images.


One of my two favorite characters, Abby Cadabby with Vera Wang...
My other favorite, Elmo with Carolina Herrera...
Oscar the Grouch with none other than Oscar de la Renta...
And Diana von Furstenberg with Big Bird.
Love, Love, Love it!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Halloween Finds

I recognize that Halloween is two and a half months away, but if you are going to decorate for it, then you have even less time. So I have put together an early bird Halloween find list for you. I have been really into looking at Fall stuff all over the place. I think because it makes me feel like cooler weather must certainly be just around the corner!

You know I purchased the Halloween Tree the other day. I will need a Tree skirt for it. I plan to make my own. I did one several years ago for my Valentine's Day tree, but I have found these online. I got some good ideas, but I really want more of a combo of all of them, so we'll see how it turns out...


I found this for you guys with kiddos. It is at Ballard Designs and is super clearanced. It was $12, but is now $3.99.

If I were a kid, I would totally want this cupcake costume from Pottery Barn Kids...
PBK also had a couple of countdown to Halloween items that I thought were cute if you had kids...

Yankee Candle has some really great Halloween/Fall things. I tried to copy some of the photos, but they came out really small, so you should just visit their website if you want to see them.


First, they have a really cute line of ceramics called "The Boney Bunch". They are priced from $7.99 to $19.99 and are all really cute. Some of them hold tea lights, some tapers. I have to pass this along to you, because I do not have room for one more Halloween decorative item.


Yankee also has these tapers that are awesome and scary! Whether you put them in actually Halloween candle holders or you put them in your regular candle holders, I think they are a must have. They look plain white, BUT as they melt, they melt blood red. Super cool!


They also have all the old standby candle scents, but have added several new ones, including Almond Cookie, Autumn Fruit, Be Thankful, Farmers Market, Lakeside Birch, Macintosh Spice, Moonlight Harvest and Pumpkin Vanilla. They also have some swirl candles that include Dreadfully Delicious (Pumpkin Pie and Vanilla Cupcake Swirl), Pumpkin Patch (Spiced Pumpkin and Harvest Swirl) & Trick or Treat (Candy Corn and Buttercream Swirl).

Friday, August 14, 2009

Inspiration

What a week! I finished classes last night. I have most grades done for one of my classes and will have to tackle the other one tomorrow. I had to go down to Dallas this afternoon for a continuing legal education class. I was down there trying to figure out what new laws the legislature passed this past session and how that will impact my clients. The one thing I found out that will probably impact the most Texans reading this blog is that it is now illegal to not wear a seat belt no matter what your age or where you are sitting in the car...or at least it will be as of September 1st. Yes, that means you adults sitting in the backseat.

This morning I got up early to watch Cory Booker on CSPAN. You may or may not know who Cory is. You may have seen him last weekend on "Meet the Press" with Mayor Bloomberg or in the July 27th edition of Time Magazine. Cory is the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. He went to Stanford and played football there, was a Rhodes Scholar and went to Yale Law School. Since graduating from law school, he has displayed a strong public service ethic and is a very eloquent speaker. I admire him a lot, plus he's single and pretty handsome, so what's not to like!

Each semester, I show my students a documentary called "Street Fight" about his first run for office. I love it and most of them do too. This fall on Sundance Channel, they are running a 5 episode series called Brick City that follows Cory's second year in office. I think it is going to be fantastic.

Anyway, where I was going with this story is that this morning on CSPAN, Cory got some good questions and some wack-o questions, but wouldn't you know the very last question was one of our own Texan nuts from Fort Worth. I follow Cory on Twitter and responded to a tweet about the CSPAN appearance and basically said, We aren't all nuts here in Texas! You want to know what happened next? No? Well, I'm telling you anyway! I got a direct response from Cory!!! Oh yes, I did! I couldn't believe it when it showed up in my e-mail inbox. Needless to say, I was on about cloud 9 for the rest of the day!

Another person who I have found inspiring is Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Here is a link to the eulogy that her daughter, Maria Shriver gave today at her funeral. It is about 14 minutes, so if you don't have time to watch, I'll let you know a couple of the "famous" inspiring sayings that Eunice said over the year that Maria shared today... "What have your done for the world today?" & "Stop your yipping..." which was usually followed by, get out there and do something, etc.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Fight

Ladies and Gentlemen take your seats and turn your attention toward the ring. It is an epic battle 4 years in the making...The battle for lightweight champion of the backyard!

In one corner, we have Lola, the great white huntress. She is undefeated in her previous bouts with rats, mice, birds and an opossum. But this is the match-up she has longed for...
In the opposite corner, we have Mr. Squirrel. His fighting record is a little shaky, but we know he's been dodging this fight for quite some time and has even been known to taunt Lola.

Yes, that's right. We had the match of all match-ups today in my back yard.

Let me set the scene... I'm on the endless phone call with Time Warner Cable because I'm bundling services to save a few bucks. I go let Lola outside. A bit later, while still on the phone with Gayla, the TWC rep, I go to let Lola in. I see her with something. I think to myself, It's brown and fuzzy...oh what is that! Oh crap! Lola has a squirrel and it is still alive! So I say to Gayla, "You have to hold on, my dog has caught a squirrel!" and I go running outside. Lola lets it go and it starts belly crawling across the ground only using its front legs. Lola grabs it again. I say, "Lola, drop it!" and luckily she did, because I didn't want to have to explain a squirrel bite.


Anyway, I took Lola in and finished my call. By the time I made it back out, the squirrel had managed to crawl its way out of the yard to recover or die or whatever it was going to do. I was just so happy that it wasn't my job to figure out what was going to happen to him. Lola was thoroughly ticked off at me because she has been waiting for this day so long and I didn't let her finish him off and do whatever it was she planned for him. She sat by the door and cried in frustration.


Later this afternoon, I decided to leave the house early and head over to Lewisville for my tables before class. I timed it so that I would also have enough time to hit up the really nice Garden Ridge that is next door to that Pier 1.


First, I really like the tables. I wasn't sure until I got home, but I think they will be eventually work really nicely in my master plan (more on that to come in the future).


As I entered Garden Ridge, I was greeted by 7 1/2 foot tall trees in every color imaginable...black, white, green, red, pink, blue, and orange to name a few. I continued through the store and made my way to the 4 foot trees in all those same colors. I picked up a black one for a Halloween tree. You see I have a Halloween tree and have for years. This is a photo of about the 3rd or 4th generation of my Halloween tree:
Don't get me wrong, it is adorable and scary and I LOVE it. BUT, there are a few problems.


As I mentioned this is the 3rd or 4th generation. It is made from real mesquite branches (painted black) that my Dad cut for me. First, I think he has proclaimed that he is DONE with cutting mesquite branches for me. Second, I've kept this one for several years, but over time it gets brittle and partially broken. Third, it is a pain in the you know what to store (due to it's size, brittleness, etc.). Fourth, it is VERY topsy-turvy when set up which is very dangerous for my blown glass ornaments. Lastly, this particular version of the tree was cut the day my black schnauzer Macy died and was buried so it reminds me of that horrible day every year when I get it out.


So, each year, I look and look for a Halloween tree. They are either not right, sell out before I make up my mind or are too expensive. This year, I decided to bite the bullet early and purchase the 4 foot one. Don't get me wrong, I WANT that 7 1/2 foot tall one, and if I win Mega-Millions tomorrow night, I'm going back to the store for an exchange!


As I walk up to ring up and leave, the checker yells "Ding Ding Ding! I've got the first purchaser of a Christmas tree right here". I looked at her and said, "No, it is a Halloween tree." She says, "nope, it's a Christmas tree".


I pay out and as I start walking toward the door do you know what she did? She gets on her walkie talkie and announces to the store that "The First Christmas tree is walking out the door". People turn. They look. I mumble something like "It's not a Christmas tree, it's a Halloween tree!" and run out the door. I mean seriously, who celebrates Baby Jesus with a black tree!

 

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