Saturday, January 31, 2009

Simple Saturday

Linen hand towels I embroidered when I was a girl. Don't they look quite like they are in the style of Arts & Crafts?

Today is a simple Saturday, a good day for ironing linens at the bungalow as Tall Husband works at his computer. It's also a perfect winter day for the pot of chili that's simmering on the stove.

Ironing these linen hand towels reminds me of my girlhood. They have been all over the world with me, though they went with nothing we had. I think I was hanging on to them because one day I would have an old bungalow, thus a place for them. And because they are a metaphor for my girlhood.

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Most of our napkins are kept in this old English Arts & Crafts shaving stand in the dining room. The towel bars are perfect for hanging folded table runners. One cannot help but wonder about the men who began their day standing before its mirror, shaving their faces through the decades.

The clock just chimed noon. It's time to serve up hot bowls of chili and tortillas with freshly ironed napkins. Not! Chili stains would never come out of the linen. It's paper napkins for us today. Such a simple Saturday.

Friday, January 30, 2009

On Cleaning Nests

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"My theory on housework is, if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?"

Erma Bombeck

Even by Bombeck's rules on cleaning one's's time. So, to self I say, "Step away from the computer, put down that book and grab your vacuum." The Gray Googler is off to fight grime! See you later.

Photo note: Shot with my new lens: AF-S Micro Nikkor 105mm on my Nikon D40x with available light. The bird's nest is one I retrieved from a holly bush last winter after it was abandoned. No, silly, the nest was abandoned, not the holly bush.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My First Wireless

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Here is my first wireless.

Technology intrigues me. To be truthful, it's more than intrigue; I fall in love with each new step we take into the future, whether it be in medicine, math or machinery. I remember the first computer I saw. It was at a university and the noisy contraption occupied an entire large room. I was enthralled! Now Tall Husband sometimes reminds me that the laptop I blog on has more power than that gargantuan machine had.

Observing the way we humans react, interact and change from our contact with new technology is interesting. Our world morphs. Our bodies change (Television has
blimped some of us;) our language changes (OMG and lol); the way we do our jobs changes (from home, in the air, from outer space...) and communication with each other changes (when was the last love letter hand written?)

Seeing a young person encounter old technology is just as wonderful. Take the first time my grandchildren saw the old Underwood typewriter sitting on my desk. "What's it for?" "Where's the plug?" "So is it wireless?"

Each day I awake, I cannot wait to see what new thing is in the world. Yet I realize, no new thing can ever be as beautiful or as inspiring as that old Underwood my father rescued from a hock shop and brought home to me when I was a teenager. For me, it all began there: my dad showed me that technology was the passport to everything.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Orchids and Zinc

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The orchids are Phalaenopsis.

Tall Husband has a green thumb, which is greatly appreciated by our plants and by me. These orchids, for example, have been thriving for almost two months. If I had tended to them, they would not have survived their first week at the Bungalow. For me, gardening is a spectator sport; though, I did make a contribution to the orchids. I brought Tall Husband the zinc cache pot. I think that zinc takes them out of the realm of too chic and helps them blend with the Arts & Crafts style. Okay, so supplying a little zinc pot isn't as great as growing the orchids!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


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Tiny Paperwhites at The Bunny Bungalow. Click on photos to make them grow!

White flowers with their subtle fragrance...all right, these are really stinky, but indulge my fantasy... are among Mother Nature's best gifts. I bring some indoors but leave most under the old pecan tree, next to the picket fence, for my neighbors to enjoy as they stroll by.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Paperwhites by Candlelight

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I love finding things around the bungalow and using them in new ways. These battery-powered tea lights inside an old German jar with a glass lid; a ribbon from a recent purchase; and fresh paperwhites from the garden add a special touch at dinner.

Click on photo to enlarge.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

French/Danish Pillows

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French inspired pillows by Danish company, Jeanne d'Arc Living ,via Raised In Cotton.

As promised, here are the new pillows at The Bunny Bungalow. Their colors and nubby linen are quite pleasing. Also, as they age they will acquire character and be comfortable to live with; sort of like me.

Click on photo to enlarge.

Friday, January 23, 2009

French Delight Via the Danes

What has the postal carrier dropped off? Something from Raised In Cotton!

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These wonderful French inspired pillow covers, by Jeanne d' Arc Living of Denmark, have been in all the Scandinavian blogs and I've been so covetous. Then voila! One Danish blog mentioned the Raised In Cotton blog. Well, Raised In Cotton is also a shop that caries the Jeanne d' Arc line. Come back later and I'll show you the covers at The Bunny Bungalow (Tall Husband and I are about to head over there for the weekend.)

P.S. Raised In Cotton also included a surprise in my package: a beautiful Danish design magazine. You'll see that later also.

Beauty Mark

Remember her from last week, with her lipstick smeared?

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Fragrant antique Rose

Here she is this week, somewhat wind blown but with her beauty mark still on display.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Secret

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Tall Husband, I know you believe that we have no secrets but there is one. Every morning after we say goodbye at the kitchen door, I run to the window of my office and peek through the blinds to catch one last glimpse of you, as you drive away. So, there are thousands of your images dwelling in my head and thus my heart. And You thought I was monogamous!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Can't Dance, Don't Ask Me!

My vintage French evening shoes.

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The entire world seems to be dancing this week. But not I. You see, I can't dance. When I was a girl, my parents sent me to all the best dance schools, only to learn the bad news: I can't dance. It's not that I don't like dancing. I love those old dance movies with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers; with Gene Kelly or Cyd Charisse. Attempts to teach me to dance are like sending your kid off to classes to learn to fly, sans aircraft. In fact your kid might learn to fly before I could learn to dance.

Before we were married, Tall Husband knew all my secrets, except the dancing thing. He knew about the previous two husbands; my fear of heights; the Argentinian soccer player; that I had been an FBI informant; that I slept with a gun under the bed. He just didn't know that I could not dance. So naturally, I was worried about dropping that bomb on him.

One day I was mentally rehearsing telling him when he said, "Annie, there is something I've got to tell you: I don't dance." My stunned look caused him to continue, "And don't think that I can learn. It just isn't going to happen."

I grabbed him and hugged him and confessed about my two left feet. For a moment there, we both thought we could dance, out of sheer happiness.

A happy note: Much later, I saw a television interview with the actor, writer and director, Billy Bob Thornton. The person interviewing him said something like, "I guess you did a lot of parties and dancing at the Cannes film festival."

"I just don't get dancing," was Mr. Thornton's quite serious response. So that's when I got Billy Bob. There is something seriously sexy about a man who won't dance.

1/22/09 Update: Bernie at his blog "Walking in Stillness" wrote an interesting verse "High Heals."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Can Spring Be Far Behind?

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The Paperwhites have just begun to bloom under the old pecan tree at The Bunny Bungalow. Last week they were only tight little buds. The opened flowers seem to smell sweet (last year they were rather stinky and Tall Husband complained.) By next weekend there will be enough blooms to cut and bring into the bungalow for arranging in all my old olive oil and milk bottles.

I know: the photos are a little blurry, but the wind thought it was March instead of January. This caused the Paperwhites to dance wildly around as they were being photographed; too wildly for the VR (vibration resistance) setting to help. Later perhaps they will stay still when the wind dies down.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

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"Seeds of Peace"

This recent painting, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., is by Sharon Kopriva at Redbud Gallery in Houston, Texas.

Martin Luther King, Jr
January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and is designated as a day of service.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Birthday Wish From Pooh

A very old Pooh at The Bunny Bungalow.
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A.A. Milne

18 January 1882-31 January 1956

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

Christopher Robin to Pooh

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Update: Vietnam Restaurant

Vietnam Restaurant in the Houston Heights

Our world is set straight again. Danny Luong's popular Vietnam Restaurant in the Houston Heights has re-opened this week. The restaurant is doubled in size and has been redesigned with a sleek minimalist interior : Pale gray, steel, dark woods and white leather. They kept the hip concrete flooring with all its patina. There are also new pieces of art on display, including pieces by artist and gallery owner Dan Mitchell Allison. The food is still wonderful. Tall Husband and I had the spring rolls and the orange beef.

P.S. Tonight, Becki and Jur, proprietors of Installations Antiques were at a table next to ours: They get "honorable mention" here for passing over a dinner knife to Tall Husband so that he could eat his orange beef.

A Rose is a Rose

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Oh, it appears that her lipstick is smeared. Ahh...but she is still our American Beauty!

Friday, January 16, 2009

New Book on My Shelf: "Roots of Home"

"Roots of Home: Our Journey To A New Old House" by Russell Versaci; Photography by Erik Kvalsvik.

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Click on photos to enlarge.

A new book just arrived at The Bunny Bungalow, "Roots of Home: Our Journey To A New Old House" by Russell Versaci with photography by Erik Kvalsvik. The book takes us on a wonderful trek across the United States, revealing how the history of our ancestors and materials at hand influenced house styles and the architectural legacy left for us. Versaci says, "I am an architectural tourist," which is how one feels perusing this book, all be it, a well informed one in the hands of two old-house experts like as Versaci and Kvalsvik.

Perhaps I'm archicentric but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the section on Texas Hill Country homes (some of which are pictured in the photos of the book, above.) After all, nobody does Texas limestone like our German ancestors and a handful of local, present-day architects and builders.

There's much more historic lushness for you to visit via "Roots of Home:" examples of our Spanish, French, English, Swedish, and Dutch heritage.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Busy as a Bee

A bee sampling one of our antique roses.
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Today I shall be in class, taking a course titled, "Understanding Older Minds: Issues in Geriatric Health Care." It's an area of cognitive health I'm interested in professionally and personally. As I've mentioned previously, I'm vintage, verging on antique. And I do need to earn continuing education units (CEU's) to maintain my national certification and Texas license.

Earlier, Tall Husband asked about the class, "What street is it on?," but I heard, "What is it on?"

"Dementia," I answered. He looked puzzled and said that he had never heard of that street. I was worried about him for a moment until we both quickly parsed the communication glitch and had a good laugh.