Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Old Dutch School Desk

There is something "new" at The Bunny Bungalow.

There it stood in the doorway of the antique shop, an old pine school desk. Its tag told us, "Child's school desk, Dutch, circa 1920". We could just imagine a small dutch child sitting there to learn his lessons and we could wonder if he were still somewhere in the world, quite old and wondering what ever happened to his first little school desk.

Perhaps it was its simple, honest lines or its aged, raw pine that aroused our emotions

Who put that scratch there and there?; and who executed the crudely-cut ink well? And a square one, at that!

The 1920's Dutch School Desk is from Installations Antiques, Houston, Texas.

What about all the other school children who also sat at this desk? Did a child hide under the desk when enemy planes screamed overhead?

So, the small pine desk with its stories, imagined and real, had to come home with us, Tall Husband and me. Here it sits in the music room of The Bunny Bungalow.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

After breakfast with friends last Saturday morning, Tall Husband and I headed back to The Bunny Bungalow but spotted... pumpkins!

Now nothing says "Autumn" like a pumpkin patch on a cool weekend morning.

And what did Tall Husband discover in the pumpkin patch!?

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A sweet little pumpkin with his blogger mom!

Click on photos to enlarge.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Vietnam in the Houston Heights

What's this? It's great news! The small but wonderful restaurant, Vietnam, is about to get bigger.

Vietnam Restaurant is at 605 West 19th, Houston, Texas 7008

Danny Luong, owner of Vietnam Restaurant, oversees the expansion of his popular establishment in the Houston Heights.

Vietnam's expansion is scheduled to be completed in November 2008. Meantime, I recommend arriving for dinner early to beat the crowd, ordering the spring rolls with peanut sauce and the beef with ginger & onion (#32.)

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Click on photos to enlarge.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Houston, We Have Another Old House to Save

The Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

As if our hearts weren't bruised enough by Hurricane Ike, news comes from Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois that the Farnsworth House, the famous modernist masterpiece by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was flooded by the remnants of Ike. Above is a photo dated 9/14/08 from their website. As the water has now receded, the clean-up and preservation work will begin. You can make donations and/or keep up with the progress via the Farnsworth House site.

I made my on-line donation this morning, as this is one of the places I want to visit before I die and I've told you previously, I'm vintage verging on antique; so the work has to be completed soon!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oh Boy, Jury Duty!

Jury Summonses; same court, same month, times 3.
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Looks like I won't be spending much time at The Bunny Bungalow next month. One of the summonses above was rescheduled for October, then last week I received two more summonses for the same month.

There was a time when I thought that serving on a jury was my civic responsibility and to be taken on with good humor. That was before I served on three different juries. That was before I helped find a school principal guilty of resisting arrest (i.e., beating the heck out of a sheriff's deputy); finding a young woman guilty of urinating in a public place at 2 a.m. and finding a young man too psychotic to stand trial.

People who go to trial are supposed to have a jury of their peers. But I don't beat up cops, piss in the streets and I'm not crazy, so am I really their peer?

Oh well, perhaps this will be another excellent adventure.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Frankly Georgia, I Don't Give a Damn.

Houston Mayor Bill White

According to several media sources, the Governor of Georgia wrote the Governor of Texas complaining about our Mayor Bill White's use of expletives yesterday when he spoke to FEMA workers from Georgia.

Apparently Mr. White had visited a POD where thousands of people were waiting for supplies that had not been delivered. White then went looking for the boondoggle and discovered FEMA trucks that had been sitting at Reliant Stadium all night with the ice and water. In redirecting the FEMA workers, Mayor White was quoted to have said, "Get those [expletive] trucks moving." and "You better get your [expletive] act together."

Then came the exchange of letters between the Georgia and Texas Governors concerning Mayor White's expletives. That exchange has had a strange effect on me: I have a sudden urge to go to the polls to vote for Bill White for Governor of Texas! But I guess I shall have to wait until the actual election.

So for now, having witnessed the excellent manner in which Mayor White has handled Hurricane Ike, I add my voice to the voices of thousands, "You go, Bill!"

“Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work,” Carl Sandburg told the New York Times in 1959.
In true Sandburg style, Mayor White's expletives got the work done. Take it from this little granny: any word that rhymes with "trucking" happens to be my favorite word when it is deserved by the recipient and accomplishes the job.

Note: This is my first posting through Comcast since Hurricane Ike blew into Houston. Thanks to all of you who provided Internet access for The Bunny Bungalow and My Ranchburger during the absence of my Internet connection.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


"Hide" a painting at The Bunny Bungalow by Linda Hickerson-Hofheinz

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There are still widespread power outages in the Houston Heights. We are lucky, as we have My Ranchburger and the electricity was restored there two days ago. However, our neighbors at The Bunny Bungalow are still in the heat, as they have no power and our "cold spell" has passed. It is now in the 90's (Fahrenheit) and humid. The air smells of rotting meat and other grocery items since the neighborhood supermarket was without power and threw away perishables which have not been hauled away. Tall Husband and I were searching under the bungalow for a dead animal before we realized we were downwind from the supermarket's dumpsters.
Our friends who were with us during Hurricane Ike now have electricity and have gone home. So I will find some Bunny Bungalow neighbors to stay with us at My Ranchburger until they have power.

Friends and Family have been wonderful to us. When we were without water and power they took us in. Thanks to all of you! We couldn't have survived without you. Also, thanks to our mayor, Bill White, for leading us in the "can do" recovery; thanks to AT&T for never going down; thanks to Entex (gas) for my hot showers in the dark; thanks to Centerpoint Energy for the super human task of powering us up again; thanks to our postal carriers for delivering the mail every day; thanks to the City of Houston for continuing garbage collection at our homes; thanks to all the thousands of workers who came from out-of-area to help mend our cities; thanks to our Houston Police and other law enforcement; thanks to KTRH radio station for your excellent service before, during and after Hurricane Ike. You all have families that you had to leave so you could help our families. Thank you and your families!

Comcast Cable and Internet: you may have noticed you are not on my "thank you" list. During all this Ike aftermath your radio ads told us how we should clean debris from around your equipment to make your job easier, then you sent us e-mails (e-mail I could only read when I used another provider's services as you are "down" in most areas) warning about your "Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)...AUP outlines acceptable use of our service..." Have you not noticed AT&T's new U-verse equipment for Internet and cable that has recently gone into our neighborhoods?

Friday, September 19, 2008


Double exposure: Houston debris from Hurricane Ike and Austin signs warning against travel to Houston.
After having watched Hurricane Ike blow into Houston at 110 miles per hour, we did only the essential clean-up and headed for family in the Texas Hill Country (this experience gives new meaning to "heading for the hills.") After three days of pampering (Saara's wonderful food, air conditioning, safe water, laundry facilities and great conversations, etc.) we missed home. In spite of the warnings not to travel to the Houston area, we bought bottled water and non-perishable food, filled up the old Bemer and pointed it toward home. At least we have a home. Some of our fellow Texans do not.
When we arrived at the edge of the city, we saw a 30 mile traffic jam. People were heading out of the Houston and the Gulf Coast areas. On the car radio we heard two pieces of great news: we would have water and unseasonably cool weather. This made up for the lack of electricity. We were ecstatic.
We have long conversations by candlelight, feeling the cool evening air blow through the house. We read by our battery-powered book lights. We eat tuna sandwiches and listen to our battery-powered radio. We visit with neighbors in our hurricane ravaged gardens. Life in Southeast Texas has changed and I am sure we will find that we have too.
Tall Husband and I will not have electricity or the Internet for several more days. Friends, who own a company that now has power, have invited me to use their facilities so that I can blog in comfort. Thanks so much, Guys!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Things You Miss After Ike

Hot coffee made from fresh-ground coffee beans

Ice and safe water

Fresh, chilled Strawberries

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And air conditioning!

All of us would like for things we miss to be limited to simple creature comforts. Some of us lost loved ones and homes. Our hearts go out to each other.

Styling by Saara

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Danger Will Robinson!

TxDOT signs along the Austin Freeways warn about the danger of traveling to Houston and Beaumont in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

I Don't Like Ike

The lack of Internet, electricity and water drove our house guests, Tall Husband and me to plan B. After two days of clearing debris left by Hurricane Ike and checking on family and friends, we have escaped to the Texas Hill Country. So, I am posting remotely.

The Bunny Bungalow in Houston Heights survived without a scratch and so did we! Three new trees will have to be braced and hopefully saved but we cannot believe our luck, though Houston looks like a giant salad bowl with all the fallen trees and strewn greenery. Have a look at My Ranchburger for Hurricane Ike photos and the Texas can-do attitude.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thoughts Before the Storm

We will wait for hurricane Ike. Friends are with us, having boarded up their home and evacuated, leaving the stuff of their lives behind, not knowing if they will have a home after this weekend...Not even knowing if they will be safe from the storm in our home. They each brought something with them that is special: a doll that had belonged to a grandmother; treasured Russian dolls; sausage from Paris (the wife's parents live in Paris) for comfort food; and precious photographs. We do not know what the next days will bring but for now we eat homemade oatmeal cookies and catch up with the stories of our lives.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11: We Remember

Jeff Jennings at TCA Studio in Houston

Artist Jeff Jennings at TCA Studio, Houston, through September 27, 2008

At Texas Collaborative Arts Studio, Jeff Jennings discusses the inspiration for this group of 10 abstract monotypes with an art patron.
The series, Chittagong Suite, evolved from the artist's fascination with ship breaking or ship demolition. According to Jennings: "At various locations around the world, between 20 and 24 degrees North Latitude, there are places where they take ships apart by hand just as they were built. In many cases it is accomplished without the use of cranes or other types of heavy machinery. After being driven up on the beach at high tide, the ships are cut into pieces using torches and hauled across the beach by hand..." Jennings explained that insurance on old ships becomes prohibitive and they are sold for their scrap value, ending up at ship breaking yards such as those in Alang, India; Brownsville, Texas; Karachi, Pakistan; Shanghai and Xuinhui, China; or Chittagong, Bangladesh.

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This monotype was inspired by a red Russian ship the artist saw in New Orleans.

Getting out of bed, stepping outside of one's home each day is an adventure to be anticipated with relish. Tall Husband and I both love learning esoteric bits in unexpected places. Who would have guessed that we would learn about ship breaking from an artist? On the surface Art and Ship Breaking are miles apart but Jennings pulled the two into one bright point of interest.

Speaking of ship breaking, I must go to prepare for hurricane Ike, who is most unwelcome here on the Texas Gulf Coast. We will not evacuate but are making plans with friends who live closer to the coast than we. They waited for hurricane Rita with us three years ago. We loved having a houseful of interesting adults and children for a week, as they waited for power to be restored to their home. The conversations we had. The stories we exchanged. Stimulating! So they will await Ike's rude arrival with us. I wonder what adventures await us. Ike, you're lemonade!

Tip: Get cash in preparation for Ike, as we may lose power and our plastic will not work.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"The New Traditional"

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My newest book from Amazon arrived! If you love the highly edited look of expertly blended antiques and modern with a dash of the primitive, this book is for you. Designer/author, Darryl Carter knows how to please the eye and the minimalist soul.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Carter Ernst at G Gallery

Carter Ernst works with fabrics, often recycled clothing, and faux fur in creating her domestic and fantasy creatures.

A collage of selected pieces of Carter Ernst's work in the current show at G Gallery, which runs through September 23, 2008.

Wayne Gilbert, owner of G Gallery, in his signature Stetson. Artist Linda Hickerson-Hofheinz painted a portrait of Wayne in a Stetson, in flames. It's wonderful!
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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Senendipity Doo!

Annie's Cheddar Bunnies
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You know how particular I am about what type of bunny I bring back to The Bunny Bungalow. Well these are perfect! I wish I were the Annie in the product name but I'm not, although I do bake bunny cookies to serve to guests. I cannot believe that Tall Husband found these cute cheddar bunnies for parties at The Bunny Bungalow! They are delicious and I plan to serve them to guests with a good French Cabernet Sauvignon (only our friend Nancy will appreciate the international humor in such a combination).

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Saturday, September 6, 2008


The mini catalog from Design Within Reach arrived today. I was delighted to find inside Fog Linen items for the cook. Japanese designer Yumiko Sekine has an obvious reverence for the beauty of rustic simplicity. Click on over and have a look at Fog Linen Work Clothing at Selvedge's. These clothes are purity made tangible. Looking at them, you come to realize the wisdom of calling them Fog; nothing could be easier or more delightful to slip into.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Houston Heights This Saturday Night

Redbud Gallery
303 West 11th Street, Houston Texas

Brian Maguire: "The Good American"
Opening: September 6, 2008; 6-9 pm.

Paul Kittelson: "Modern Conveniences"

G Gallery Opening: September 6, 2008, 6-9pm

Show Dates: September 6-23, 2008
301 East 11th Street
Houston, Texas

See you there!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Off to See the Wizard

My left eye.

This morning I'm off to see the Wonderful Wizard of Eyes (Stephen C. Pflugfelder, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine here in Houston.) A month ago he performed very successful surgery on my right eye and now it's my left eye's turn.

So, I'll see you later...really see you.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Warning: This is Not a Pretty Site

Unfinished houses: The house on the left and the one on the right were begun in 2006 and are not yet completed. Construction on the house in the middle was begun this year and is progressing slowly.

There are no longer Realtor's signs on the property, just the ones above.

Missing House Parts

There are missing doors and windows, leaving the property open to weather and vagrants.

Above ground water pipes are a navigational hazard.

More invitations to vagrants, whom the neighbors say they frequently see at night.

Piles of garbage that beget more garbage.

2203, 2205 & 22o7 Rutland Street in Houston Heights

Construction on two of these houses was begun in 2006 yet they have not been completed. Progress is slow on the middle house that was begun earlier this year. There is no apparent security, so vagrants have been seen coming and going at night. Garbage is in piles around the property. This is not a pretty site and is the antithesis of the construction site in a previous posting about 2125 Yale. Ownership information can be found through a search at HCAD.org.