Archive for August, 2011

Last week was pretty brutal. There were lots of things about last week that made it a week I’d rather forget, but complaining about them here on the Internets for everyone to see would only lead to more trouble–such is the life of a public servant. Suffice it to say that the weekend was very, very welcome.

One thing I can complain about with impunity, however, is something that everyone in Texas is complaining about: this horrendous weather. I realize that complaining about the weather is completely futile, and that it’s summertime, which generally means really uncomfortable heat and humidity if you live in the Southern part of the United States. But this drought and these record temperatures in Texas are seriously getting out of hand.  My plants are all dead, it seems like we’re on water restrictions every other week, and the foundation of our house is literally sinking into the ground because the soil isn’t getting the moisture it’s used to getting. Out. of. control. I’m not sure what specific horrible thing Texas did in the past to be raking in all of this lousy weather Karma (I know–there is a long, long list), but  hopefully we’ll have paid our dues soon and we can get some rain!  In the meantime, enjoy this week’s lists and have a great week…

top 20

  1. Image by the great Bill Watterson, who knows all about lazy weekends

    lazy weekends

  2. Rain! It happened for 25 minutes on Saturday–brief, but oh so welcome.
  3. Warren Buffett
  4. pilates
  5. beauty shots of Uptown Houston on Monday Night Football
  6. The film Horrible Bosses. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long, long time.
  7. York Peppermint Patties
  8. good friends
  9. Donors Choose
  10. finally getting a good night’s sleep
  11. catching up with The Daily Show, via my DVR
  12. thank you notes
  13. the huge cranes at the Bayport terminal of the Port of Houston Authority
  14. Neutrogena lotion
  15. ice cream cones
  16. Target
  17. the Travelers “Cat Burglar” commercial
  18. OS X Lion, which Jamey just put it on my computer. So far, so good.
  19. the nail salon next to Bath & Body in Pasadena
  20. sunset at the beach

bottom 10

  1. Fried butter. Seriously?

    I think even Paula Deen would be appalled. Well, maybe not...

  2. public humiliation
  3. riots
  4. lack of motivation
  5. cold tea that wasn’t meant to be cold
  6. forgetting to take my Driver’s Ed Course (I’m officially a Speeder now. It’s on my record.)
  7. municipal court
  8. dirty dishes
  9. finishing the bottom 10 first
  10. mean people

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How did it get to be the second week of August already? I can’t believe it’s here again, so soon. As you may remember from last year, this week is a big one in the Ford family because we have three birthdays in a row: Jamey, my sister Jackie, and my brother-in-law Craig on August 7, 8 and 9, respectively. So for two weeks before this week my sisters and mother and I are frantically exchanging emails, making sure that none of us overlap on our presents, which we always end up sending late anyway. But birthdays are lots of fun, and I hope that the Birthday Boys and Girl enjoy every second of this year.

Jamey and I celebrated his birthday with a trip to the Pineywoods of East Texas this past weekend. Neither of us had ever explored that part of this very large state, so it was a nice little adventure for us. I really enjoyed the stunning vistas nearLake Sam Rayburn, and the beautiful tall pine trees. We’re both from the high desert, and when we used to see pine trees like that we usually saw them in the mountains, where it’s inevitably cooler than where we were before. So it was more than a little disconcerting to see the trees and have our brains triggering thoughts of cool mountain air, then stepping out of the car into the same stifling 105 degree, 80 percent humidity weather that we left behind in Houston. They were pretty, anyway, so that was good.

At City Hall we’re in the middle of budget workshops. Yeah…not much more to say about that, so I’ll just go ahead and give you this week’s lists. Have a great week!

top 20

  1. quiet trails in the Pineywoods

    The Texas Pineywoods: not cool, but beautiful.

  2. Teachers. May this school year be quick and kind to you all.
  3. Cindy at the Storybook Inn in Lufkin
  4. getting out of town
  5. dinner parties
  6. brie cheese
  7. homemade brownies
  8. MOVE, EAT & LEARN. It’s a fantastic , short series of videos on Vimeo about travel, totally worth five minutes of your time.
  9. air conditionoing
  10. Gabrielle Giffords
  11. the Houston Shakespeare Festival at Miller Outdoor Theater
  12. birthdays
  13. English Breakfast Tea
  14. Pinataland, a great new band that you can hear on Jamey’s radio show and podcast, Audiosyncracy
  15. appreciation
  16. exchanging gifts
  17. good customer service
  18. hot stone massage
  19. pleasant distractions
  20. AMC re-running Mad Men . I might make it to 2012 now.

bottom 10

  1. our dysfunctional US Congress
  2. a leaking roof
  3. an unsettled foundation (literally, not metaphorically)
  4. the drought, which is causing items #2 and #3 above
  5. possums
  6. Karma. I’m not sure exactly what I did, but I feel like Karma is paying me back for something horrible. Or maybe it’s preparing me for something great. I hope it’s the latter.
  7. budget workshops
  8. SPAM–I’m not fond of either the canned or the email variety
  9. tumbling stock market
  10. dehydration

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Sunset at Fortuna Bay

Oh, hello. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been rather busy over the last few weeks and just haven’t had a chance to sit down and write it all down for you. July was interesting, with lots of ups and downs. I can’t believe it went by so quickly–I feel completely exhausted, yet it doesn’t feel like any time has gone by at all.

Here’s a brief re-cap of July in my world:

Jamey took me away for a delightful weekend in Corpus Christi. We stayed at a fantastic B&B on Fortuna Bay and had a wonderful time sitting by the water, sleeping in, eating delicious food, and generally enjoying not doing anything for a few days. It was a much needed break, and ended way too soon.


My cat George died. Everyone makes fun of me for being the crazy cat lady, and that viral video with the Match.com candidate crying about how much she loves cats certainly doesn’t help my reputation in that regard. George was grouchy and temperamental, and horribly spoiled, and because she was very ill at the end of her life she made our lives somewhat difficult. But I really, really loved that cat and I miss her very much. She was our first pet, and it was and is hard for me to let her go.

The Courtyard at the El Capitan Hotel

I spent a week in Van Horn and El Paso, representing the Texas Independence Trail Region (TITR) on whose Board of Directors I sit for a meeting of all of the 10 Texas Trail Regions. Van Horn was not horribly exciting, and the meetings were long and somewhat contentious. But our hotel was lovely, and we got to go to Marfa, where we didn’t see the famous Marfa Lights, but we did get a breathtaking view of a clear starry sky with no City lights for miles around. I don’t know that I’ve ever been able to see so many stars at one time. My cousin Troy and his awesome girlfriend Valerie came to see me one night, and when we went to El Paso the night before we left we went to dinner with them at Forti’s Mexican Elder, one of my favorite restaurants in El Paso. I also got to see my grandmother–she went to breakfast with us before we left–so that was another very good thing about my trip. I also had the pleasure of introducing the TITR Executive Director to the desert and the mountains of West Texas and New Mexico (I took her to Mesilla). I was very happy to leave the desert years ago, but I’d forgotten how very beautiful it could be. It was nice to have the chance to see it through another person’s eyes.

The Geissal Girls

Our friend Nicole Geissal came to visit with her daughters Olive and Samantha. Nicole is a good friend from El Paso, and it was really wonderful to have her here for a few days while she makes her way home to Chicago. We loved catching up with her and getting to know her girls, and I hope she comes back again soon.

Jamey and I are working on an exciting project on the other side of Houston, and we’re hoping it results in something really fun and new for all involved. More on that later…

So there’s your recap.  The items on the lists are pulled from all of those things and aren’t in any particular order, so you’ll just have to figure out what happened when.

Have a fantastic week, and enjoy the lists!

top 20

  1. getting away

    Beach getaways make life bearable.

  2. sunsets
  3. real Mexican food
  4. the stars in Marfa
  5. the El Capitan Hotel in Van Horn
  6. hanging out with my Troy and Valerie
  7. breakfast with Grandma
  8. visiting with Nicole and her adorable girls
  9. seeing a place I thought I knew very well through the eyes of someone new
  10. morning sunshine streaming through the window
  11. the outlet mall outside of El Paso (why did no one tell me about this??)
  12. picnics
  13. the welcome home party for the crew of STS 135
  14. the film The Lincoln Lawyer
  15. fresh seafood
  16. Laurie R. King. I’m re-reading her Beekeeper’s Apprentice series and it is as fabulous as I remember
  17. LinkedIn. It’s proven to be much more useful than I thought it would be.
  18. the Fortuna Bay B&B
  19. spending the entire day at the beach
  20. coming home

bottom 10

  1. George, giving Oliver a bath. We all miss her.

    saying goodbye

  2. the drought causing our house’s foundation to sink
  3. exhaustion
  4. rejection
  5. intolerance
  6. people questioning my judgement
  7. war analogies at work
  8. petty arguing
  9. the poor quality of the store-brand trash bags we’re currently using
  10. political shenanigans on the federal, state, and local level

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