Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Belated Christmas?

These Danish Advent Elves are from Maileg via Garnet Hill.

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Who says Christmas is over on the 25th of December?  These Danish advent elves say it isn't so.  They will be travelling to Spain to surprise my little granddaughter and grandson, when they return from a winter vacation with their mom and teenage brother, Alexander.  There will be a large jar of 25 interesting toys and gadgets with each elf.  Alexander and his mom can choose a day to start the process and choose which toys to slip into the pockets each day.  I think these two elves will ease the family into a new year at a time when things are usually a big letdown for everyone. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

He's the Gingerbread Man

Tall Husband won this adorable Gingerbread Man and gingerbread house at his company's holiday party yesterday.  Thanks Sue for such a great door prize.

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One of Tall Husband's favorite sayings is, "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man."  This he remembers from childhood, when his English grandmother read the story, "The Gingerbread Man" to him over and over.  To them this was a story about being brave and invincible (never mind the tragic ending for the little gingerbread guy.)  I do believe Tall Husband is invincible and I already knew he is brave.  He has made a great recovery.  In spite of his concussion, and surgical repair of an artery (from a broken nose) he's back to his work, slapping together algorithms and other number crunching feats.  You go, Gingerbread Man!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Saving Love

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A loud thump awoke me and our two dogs who had been asleep beside me. I felt for Tall Husband; not finding him, I called to him. There was no answer. By the time my feet hit the floor, Scooter, our Maltipoo, had found Tall Husband in the hallway and returned to herd me through the dark . When I turned on the light, there was Tall Husband on the floor with a large pool of blood under him. For a millisecond I thought, "So this is how it happens," as he appeared so pale and lifeless. Then my heart screamed, "No!" and I was suddenly on auto pilot. I called his name, felt for his vital signs and determined that the blood was coming from his nose and that he seemed to be going into shock. As he was breathing and had a pulse, though a weak one, no CPR was needed. I covered him with a blanket and decided not to attempt to stop the bleeding as his face had quite a bit of damage. I told him he would be fine, then ran to call 911.

As I spoke to the 911 operator, Scooter ran to herd me back to his daddy. Skipper, the puppy was licking Tall Husband's face, as Scooter positioned himself to stand watch. The 911 operator told me to lock away any pets before the ambulance arrived, so with a great deal of difficulty, I put both dogs in the kitchen, shutting the old french doors behind me. As I ran down the front walk to open the gate for the EMS team, I heard the french doors burst open and a doorknob hit the floor. Scooter and Skipper ran to greet the EMS team and lead them to Tall husband's side.

At the emergency room, we learned that Tall Husband had a drop in blood pressure and had passed out, sustaining a broken nose, a fracture to the cheek bone and a concussion. Late that morning, we returned home to two worried dogs.

I wish this were the end of the story. Though Tall Husband seemed to recover, a few mornings later, the nosebleed began again...this time it was profuse. As he was conscious, I decided to take him to the Medical Center myself, not wanting to risk his care to the outlying hospital near us. I put him and the dogs in the car and drove to our nearby veterinarian's office where the staff quickly took the dogs so we could be on our way.

As Tall Husband exhibited signs of a concussion and kept bleeding, he went from the emergency room, to a hospital room and finally to surgery. In surgery, he was found to have an artery that had been punctured by a bone fragment. We are all home and he is recovering. Scooter, Skipper and I are reluctant to leave his side. When he goes to his office out back, we leave the intercom on so we can hear him if he needs us. I was so cool headed through it all, then last night alone in the laundry room, I broke down and sobbed...remembering how I first thought Tall Husband was dead, and feeling how grateful I am that my Love is still alive.

Note: Thanks to all our friends, family, hospital staff, 911 operator and EMS staff for your loving care and support. Thanks to Scooter for being a great little service dog. And thanks to Skipper for being there and offering puppy support. Also, I thank each medical and CPR trainer who taught me through the years to keep a cool head and break down later.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Say Armadillo...He Says Tatou

Though Alexander was born in the United States, he has grown up in Europe and speaks French like a Parisian. He sounds like an American teen when he speaks English, but don't be fooled by his lack of an accent, as he's really a French teen. So the Americanization of Alexander continues. First there were the driving lessons in the fourth largest city in the United States, then learning about your homeland through your grandparents' eyes...

grandparents who are Texans with weird ideas about what being a North American is,

who take Alexander to eat barbecue, then to see kitsch such as a giant armadillo, uhr...tatou, with red glowing eyes.

And to a Beer Can House only a redneck mother could love...above is Alexandre, Alexander to us...with his back up against a wall of more beer bottles and cans than you would like to know exist.

Above is said Beer Can House...burp!

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Well, I think the tatou and the Beer Can House are both what we refer to as road kill in horrible you can't take your eyes off them. It's on to the shooting range next!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Teens and Other Puppies

Alexander and Scooter are calmly waiting for the driving instructor and the first driving lesson.

Alexander is off for his first lesson. He has never been behind the wheel.

Skipper wakes from a nap with Scooter.

Scooter is demonstrating the fine skills required for shredding...

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...and rearranging the landscape!

Happily, our family has recently grown. Alexander, our oldest grandson, arrived from Europe. He seems like an American teen, but his best language is French and that is the culture he knows. Besides Paris, he has also lived in Brussels, Madrid, and Moscow. So, there is some Americanization going on. Then, there is the little foundling pup, whom we named Skipper. We think he is part black Lab and part Cocker Spaniel. Skipper's training is being accomplished in large part by Scooter, our one-year-old Maltipoo.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The 6th Annual Heights Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt

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Dust off you bikes and get in gear! This is what we all love about our neighborhood, Houston Heights...there is always something interesting and entertaining happening. Here's information from Donna Bennett, Chair, 2011 Heights Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt:

The 6th Annual Heights Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt is scheduled for Sunday, October 2, 2011. This is a fun way to explore your neighborhoods on 2 unique routes! Riders can choose between a 20 mile ride and scavenger hunt, and a shorter 5-mile ride and scavenger hunt perfect for families. Pick one route or do both!

The Rally starts and finishes at Marmion Park, 18th Street and Heights Boulevard. THIS IS NOT A RACE! Bicycle helmets are required for every rider to participate. Each rider receives a rally map, rally card and scavenger hunt clue list. Prizes are awarded to the riders who correctly identify the most mystery sights along the route. To be eligible for prizes, the rally card must be validated by a rally volunteer at the Official Bike Rally Check Point & Water Station on the route.

After finishing the ride, return to Marmion Park by 4 pm to turn in completed Rally Cards and Clue Sheets. All riders are invited to celebrate at Marmion Park for the Post Ride Party. Enjoy entertainment, fabulous door prizes, and great refreshments!

Don’t miss the Awards Ceremony at 4:30 p.m. You must be present to win!

All proceeds from this event benefit Houston Heights Association Community Projects.

For more information or to register, visit or call 713-861-4002 extension 6.

P.S. I'll remind you later with a link in the right-hand column of this blog.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

These are the "Dog Days of Summer" and even the dogs want to stay indoors! Stay as cool as you can.
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Morning Walks

This extraordinarily large Sycamore leaf, which Tall Husband had framed recently, was found on our neighborhood walking trail. Just for comparison, note the leaf tucked beneath the frame. It was found last year on the same tree...and we thought it was large. The framed leaf is 12" x 12".
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Early morning walks along a wooded trail are magical. Everyone else is still sleeping, so you have the cool, dewy world to yourself. Your senses seem keener...eyes and ears are sharper; the smells from the forest floor rise up to greet you. You see, smell and hear things you would have missed, had you waited for the sun to climb a bit higher in the this gigantic Sycamore leaf that was just within reach.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Puppy Love

Scooter took us to the dog show. He didn't want to sit still to watch the competition but wanted instead to check out the real action. He found Ian and Wilson, the cutest and smartest little Westies. These adorable dogs have made commercials and Wilson is an agility champ.

He looked up to a handsome Great Dane.

Scooter checked out the local real estate.

He backed away from this exotic creature...not sure of its species. This is Midas, a Chinese Crested Dog.

He cast a curious glance at the two cuties (above and below) in clothing. (Slap me if I ever get this silly.)

Scooter thought a scarf was acceptable, though.

Scooter couldn't get close to this precious pup, as she was on the move. (I know, the photo is blurred because she wouldn't sit still but I had to show her!)

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Scooter (left) is smitten by this petite charmer, "It's just you and me Babe and there's a little pink cottage waiting for us over on aisle D" (Translation from Dog Talk.)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Design a Bathroom Around This

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And they did. Our tiny guest bathroom with its original clawfoot tub is a little masterpiece, making our two Cote Bastide wall hooks at home.

Note: We had been saving the two wall hooks for two or three years...not knowing where we would use them.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Smile...when it's time.

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I was looking at an on-line magazine, Rue, and in a photo shot of a Swedish designer's home was a gold framed mirror, leaning against a wall,with this hand written in black on the mirror: "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." I googled this and found that it is a quote attributed to Dr. Seuss. The old guy was deeper than I knew. I think that is what you and I do, after the passing of some

At this stage of my life, I have a lot to smile about.

Friday, June 24, 2011

National Take Your Dog to Work Day

Scooter heard that today is National Take Your Dog to Work Day and is getting ready to go to work with Tall Husband.

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Come on Mom and turn on the water! You know dogs don't have opposing thumbs...if we did, you would be going to work with me today.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I've Got to Button Up My Lip!

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Do any of you have my bad habit...blathering without looking around to see who might hear? At 4:00 AM the other morning, I was standing on my front porch in my nightgown, waiting for my puppy Scooter to take care of business. "Don't you want to pee-pee for Mommy?" I pleaded. There was a sudden scurry on the public sidewalk next to my picket fence. I realized Scooter was not my only listener. A young man had thought I had a proposition for him, so he quickened his step to make his escape.

Monday, May 30, 2011


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Madeleines made with fresh lemons and white Mexican vanilla are Tall Husband's favorite sweet. What's yours?