Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our Neighborhood

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The Bunny Bungalow in Houston Heights

We are so proud here at The Bunny Bungalow, as we have just learned that our neighborhood has been chosen by This Old House as one of the Best Old House Neighborhoods for 2009. They only chose one neighborhood in each state and we are it for Texas. You can see the Houston Heights, Houston, Texas listing here.

Who knew that we are Urban Suburbanites? That's what This Old House calls us. Yep, that's US...Urban Suburbanites. Around here, we just call it small town living in the big city.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

White Wednesday #1

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Today, The Bunny Bungalow is joining Kathleen, over at Faded Charm Cottage, and her Blog pals for a White Wednesday. White seems so cool in this hot Texas weather...doesn't it?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Beatrix Potter Kind of Day

Waiting for our tea and biscuits at the Bunny Bungalow.
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Beatrix Potter
28 July 1866-22 December 1943

Every year at The Bunny Bungalow on the 28th of July, we remember Beatrix Potter by having tea and biscuits from our little Peter Rabbit dishes and reading her wonderful Peter Rabbit books to each other. So, here's a tip of the tea cup to you, Miss Potter, and thanks for all the magical, wonderful characters you created.

Beatrix Potter
Official Peter Rabbit Site

Friday, July 24, 2009


Astronaut Buzz Aldrin signs books at Louis Vuitton, Houston. (Photo: Tall Husband)

Two history teachers pose with Buzz Aldrin, as Tall Husband snaps their photo with their phone camera and I focus on their momentous occasion with my trusty Nikon.

Fans wait in long lines to meet one of the most famous humans on the planet.

Flying saucers? Moon Pies? No...just some French macarons that Louis Vuitton had flown in from Paris.

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Last night, Anne Breux, a French Designer working in Houston, told us about Buzz Aldrin's scheduled appearance at Louis Vuitton here in the city. So off we went today to buy his book, Magnificent Desolation, and to meet the legend himself. We were totally charmed.

All of Houston has gone wild, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing. Some of us are old enough to remember where we were when Apollo 11 landed on the moon...I was living on a U.S. Air Force Base just outside Lincoln, Nebraska.

Thank you, Buzz, for the beautiful ride.

Interesting coincidence: at one of Anne and Jean-Louis Breux's parties, we met French Astronaut Michel Tognini and his charming wife.

Also, see Louis Vuitton's new campaign with Sally Ride, Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell.

Scene at Louis Vuitton

These were absolutely the most wonderful shoes seen at the Buzz Aldrin's book signing. Thanks to the beautiful young woman, with the black toe enamel, who permitted my photographing her feet. Wouldn't you just fly to the moon for these Roger Vivier stunners?

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Surprise in the Garden

Look what Mother Nature left for us this morning!

Did I see something move?

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Oh, we have a tiny guest for breakfast.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Project: Sun Hat

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Lately, I'm feeling the need to have busy hands, so last weekend Tall Husband (my trusty technical adviser) and I went shopping for fabric and patterns. As I love hats and one always needs a sun hat in Texas, I bought a Vogue Pattern designed by one of my favorite hat designers, Patricia Underwood. The fabric I chose is a French, black and ecru cotton print that is a home-interiors fabric.

You'll see the finished hat later. But don't hold your breath, as I'm an excellent procrastinator and I don't wish any harm to befall you.

Note: My last sewing project was a thirty-pound Medieval costume here.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Step by Step

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Tall Husband and I have been attempting to come to a decision about where and how we will live as we approach retirement. We have visited other cities and looked at other houses and talked with other couples who have made these tough choices. In our situation, we find ourselves with two houses, My Ranchburger and The Bunny Bungalow, with contents which are very different in style. Downsizing is quite involved, for each house holds so many memories.

All your e-mails and comments have played a big part in helping us work our way to a decision. Some of you, like us, have grown children living far away, so friends are our immediate families; You pointed out the need to stay where friends are. Others indicated that there is life after change. A few of you, just flat out, said that we cannot sell The Bunny Bungalow. Some of you recommended making changes in small steps.

So, we have begun to take some small steps. In spite of hurricanes and the horrible heat, we will stay here in Houston with our a former military wife, I've had to part with too many friends. Then Tall Husband and I talked about houses. We agreed that staying in My Ranchburger makes financial sense, but the quirky, modest Bunny Bungalow has captured our hearts. Next we talked with our children to ask them to choose things from My Ranchburger, so that they may have them while we are still around to see them enjoyed.

And today, at The Bunny Bungalow, we took another step: we met with two wonderful architects to ask them to design us a garage with a studio, so as to add living space without changing the character of this old bungalow. We are off on a new adventure!

Thanks for all your support and sane advice. And know that there will be reports and photos of this adventure.

P.S. A magical coincidence: The architectural firm has on staff a person who loves and lives with bunnies...real ones!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Boxed in by the Big Box

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I chose one of my photos of this glossy Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora), because a photo relevant to the story below would have been ugly.

I'm exasperated, irritated, nettled, piqued, annoyed, vexed. Yes, vexed...that word will do. I know that the things bothering me are quite minuscule compared to the global picture, but that doesn't stop tiny-minded me...I'm still vexed.

More than a month ago, at my Ranchburger, our microwave gave up, died. As there is no replacement for this microwave, part of a built-in microwave/oven unit, we ordered an entire replacement. So, during the interim, the box store has had to return two damaged units to the manufacturer and we are still without an oven. We are now awaiting a third oven...from a different manufacturer, who, hopefully, knows how to pack and ship their ovens. All was going well with our transactions with the box store until they seemed to think we would like one of our refunds in the form a huge gift card to their store, then claimed it couldn't be undone...little do they know!

Oh, did I mention that while we were sans oven, we had a charming house guest for whom we would have loved to bake things? Or that my cell phone decided to follow the microwave to recycle heaven? I never even wanted a microwave...Tall Husband brought that into the marriage...but my cell phone and my real oven?! I'm so hot under the collar that we better start worrying about my part in this whole global-climate-change thing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fete Nationale 2009

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Happy Bastille Day to all our French Friends!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Simple Things

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At the Bunny Bungalow, I relish Sunday morning breakfast out on the front porch with Tall Husband because there is always the unexpected. This morning, we spotted our favorite neighborhood cat stalking the roof of the neighbor's house. The simple things in life are the best.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Orange You

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Orange you glad it's Friday?

O.K., please forgive me for the bad joke; I've just come in from mowing and edging the lawn in the midday sun...must be a heat stroke, or else I've just been exposed to Tall Husband's idea of humor far too long.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


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I'm neither a mad dog, nor an Englishman, so I'm hiding from the sun. It's heading toward 100 degrees Fahrenheit here in Houston, and our Dutch house guest is taunting us by reading aloud the weather report for his hometown: Sunny with a high of 70 degrees. Hush or you won't get any dinner, Dutch Boy!

Note: Mad Dogs and Englishmen is from a song by Englishman Noel Coward. Click here to see him sing his song: Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Culinary Adventure

Here is The Escoffier: Cookbook and Guide to the Fine Art of Cookery for Connoisseurs, Chefs, Epicures, by Auguste Escoffier; Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York.

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One never knows how an adventure will begin. This one began with questions.

Question #1: Our house guest from the Netherlands asked if Tall Husband and I would accompany him to a bookstore and help him select an American cookbook as a gift for his wife (they have one of those uber chic German kitchens...I'm so jealous!) We went to one of our favorite bookstores with an impressive collection of cookbooks.

Question #2: As I was looking for The Barefoot Contessa's latest book, trying unsuccessfully to remember her name, two other customers came into the isle. I turned to the one who looked like a teenage skateboarder and asked, not expecting him to know, "What is the Barefoot Contessa's real name?"

Before I could bat an eye, he answered, "Ina Garten," then reached into the row of books and handed me one of her recent publications.

Question #3: I was stunned and asked, "How did you know that?"

"I'm a chef," he answered.

Not only are he and his friend chefs, but they are chefs at very expensive restaurants here in Houston. What ensued was the most fascinating conversation. We discussed: mayonnaise (don't buy it...make your own in a blender!); various foreign and American cookbook authors; local and foreign restaurants (chefs eat out to sample the competition's fare;) the presentation of food; changing food fads; then they made cookbook recommendations.

One of the recommendations, which I purchased, was the American edition of The Escoffier by Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935.) So, I've been under a rock, for I had never heard of this book, which they assured me is in the library of every chef. Part one of this book begins with The Fundamental Elements of Cooking. Part II is comprised of recipes and methods (around 3,000 recipes!)

So, I'm off to conquer Bearnaise Sauce!

Friday, July 3, 2009

It's the Berries

They all look alike...

Not! Have another look.


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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mum's the Flower

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Just a moment to say Hello, as a house guest has just telephoned from the airport. There are flowers from the market to arrange, linens to smooth, orchid scented candles to burn, wine to chill, cheese to set out...aren't guests wonderful? They just fill a home with anticipation. I'm looking forward to conversations into the night and hearing about his latest invention. He's from the Netherlands and a colleague of Tall Husband's. I've met him just once and couldn't let him stay in a hotel this visit. This is Texas after all!