It’s Over!

Office View HoustonThe rain has stopped and this morning Houstonians woke to a clear sky for the first time in several days.  Some, however, also woke to the reality of loss.  I can’t imagine how that  feels.   What I do know is that people in this fourth largest US city will come together.  Neighbors will help neighbors and strangers will open their hearts and offer helping hands to those in need because  Houston’s heart is as big as all of Texas.

Among many, some of the city’s professional athletes have come forward with their money and energy to begin the business of restoration.  Houston Texan JJ Watt first gave his own dollars and then proceeded to raise more than $6 million.  He hasn’t quit as he is aware that much more will be needed to return Houston and its displaced residents to pre flood condition.

These last days have been hard for the hubby and me as we sit some 2,000 miles away worrying about family and friends.  Not all were unscathed, but we and our family are blessed to have experienced no damage.  I am deeply grateful to all of you who have reached out inquiring about our situation and expressing your concern for Houston.  

It will take a while, but all will be well in time.  I hope the same is true for the other areas where Harvey has caused such havoc.

Over and Done!

Christmas is over and done, and I have to confess to that being a relief.  In the days leading up to the holiday, I have to fight off being blue.

FamilyIt makes me sad that our small family,  which now includes sons-in-law and grandchildren, is rarely all together during the holiday season.

9780740784323_p0_v1_s192x300I miss reading The Night Before Christmas to kids

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand leaving cookies and milk for Santa.

I experience sadness remembering the people who are part of Christmases past and wish that I weren’t the only member of my original family still here.

But enough of that.   Today is a new day and with it the blues disappear.

HoustonI will enjoy time in Houston while awaiting the return to Maine

Roque Island, Mainewhere there is boating, exploring islands and spending time with family and friends.

lobsterWithout question I will eat more lobster!

Most of all, I plan to live each day to the fullest, to be grateful for what good health allows me to do, and to give lots of hugs!  That should get me through the months until next Christmas when I’ll probably again feel a little blue.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Art Cars on Parade

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For years a looked forward to event in Houston is the spring Art Car Parade.  Like much else in Texas, it is BIG and throngs line the parade route in anticipation of what is to come.

If it has wheels, everything goes.  Roller blades, bicycles, skate boards, unicycles…you name it and it’ll be in the parade.

It is amazing  what folks come up with, and they must have such fun readying for the big day.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome entries elicit guffaws from the crowd, none more than this one suggesting a great sense of humor.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACreativity expresses itself in so many ways

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand takes on whole new meaning.

While most of the cars are for fun,

a few are supportive of social causes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  or throw out a suggestion for president.  Who’s to say Willy wouldn’t be as good as some other of our candidates? 

Some of the participants are just as interesting as the cars, so the parade is a great place to people watch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the end of the day, this sums it up! Who can argue?

i so appreciate your visit and especially the comments you leave behind

A Trip Back in Time

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYears ago I fell in love with a street in the heart of Houston that dates back to the early 1900’s and is one of the very few locations in this big city where historic homes have been preserved.  These elegant residences were designed by some of the foremost architects of the times…John Staub, Birdsall P. Briscoe, Alfred Finn to name a few…and became home to the then elite of Houston.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday, the street remains a gracious oasis, a trip back in time.    The houses, of course, have been updated to include conveniences suitable for today’s living, but the lovely architectural elements remain intact.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo exception is my friend’s home which she is generously allowing me to share.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom the front door 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAto every nook and cranny, there are traces of the past.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe incredible stair rail is Victorian dating back to the 1800’s.  The home’s original owner had it disassembled from another of his locations for installation here.  Its beauty sets the tone for the entire house.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATall ceilings were characteristic of the era as is the beautiful marble fireplace surround.

Informal sunrooms were common, and this one is a cheerful and inviting space that exemplifies how tastefully color is used throughout the house.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhere neutrals keep tight areas from being too dark, there are surprising splashes of color in upholstery choices.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThough the spacious kitchen has been completely updated, it retains much of its original feel thanks to the style of the appliances and the cabinets.

Touches like the corner cabinet over the sink and the glass front cabinets do their part to add charm.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs in other of the houses on this street, the dining room was designed for entertaining. In this beautifully appointed room, it is easy to imagine elegantly clad men and women arriving by horse drawn carriage for an enchanting evening.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat is wonderful about the home today is that it not only provides glimpses into another time, but it totally reflects the warm character of the people who now live here.  I give total kudos to my friend who has so lovingly decorated it, making every decision as to how it should look and feel.  For all the years I have known her, she has been collecting unique pieces that are now so at home in their space.  She must have known all along where they were waiting to go.

As wonderful as the house is, my favorite space is the carriage house, but that will have to wait for another day.  Do come back.

Joining

Metamorphosis Monday

The Scoop

Wow Us Wednesday

Dishing’ It & Diggin’ It

GO TEXAN!

logo_houston_livestock_show_rodeo_master

Now you may not think about Houston being a big time rodeo town but for the next three weeks it’s just that.

BarebackRidingThere’ll be bronc busting,

BarrelRacing barrel races for the gals

ChuckWagons

 chuck wagon races and so much more with nice payback to the winners in every event.  The real winners though are the  young people who year after year receive generous scholarships which help them continue their education.

IMG_5968This time of year means cowboy hats and denim,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmaybe even a prize winning steer showing up for a spell.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHungry cowboys and cowgirls will gather round to tell tall tales

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAas they enjoy a cold Lone Star, the national beer of Texas.

IMG_5970Tables don’t have to be too fancy,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbut whatever fills the bowl better be hearty and good.

chicken chiliI’m thinking a good bowl of chicken/white bean chili and jalapeño cornbread will be just right.

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It’s a fun time of year all right and when you are driving the streets of Houston you better be prepared for whatever is in front of you as you head to the rodeo and a concert by your favorite country/western singer!

i so appreciate your visit and especially the comments you leave behind

Joining

Tablescape Thursday

Inspiration Thursday

Full Plate Thursday

Foodie Friday

HomeStyle

As many of you know, I live in two very different places, Maine and Houston.  While it is a privilege, there are some challenges to picking up life where it left off.  This is particularly true in Houston where people have so many options that keep them busy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo reengage with friends, I make an effort to have someone over for dinner most every week.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMany, especially the husbands, are very appreciative because most of our Houston friends have ceased to prepare meals at home but opt to eat out or pick something up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMost of the dinners are quite simple as the purpose is to visit.  The table isn’t fussy either, but I do give some thought to the personalities that will gather round it and go from there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALike many of you, I have lots of dishes and since I have no rules for how they are used, mixing and matching comes naturally.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOften, I have no idea what is going to happen, but surprise is part of the fun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACan you tell I was in a very playful mood, pushing the boundaries with pattern, color and texture.  Whether or not a table setting makes the food taste better is debatable, but it sure does go a long way toward making people feel welcome and in many cases reflect the character of the people who join there.  What would you say about this foursome?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Joining

Tablescape Thursday

Inspiration Thursday

Transitioning

I am very lucky to live in two places I enjoy for very different reasons, but transitioning, especially to Houston, is a bit of a challenge.

Rockport HarborFrom May until November, as soon as my eyes are open I look out the window to Rockport Harbor.  It’s a beautiful view no matter the season, and my last glimpse of it is etched in my mind.

HoustonThis morning I woke up and everything was so unfamiliar.  The view outside the window was a water soaked fence and plants bedraggled by too much rain. The only water is that which flows in the fountain outside the breakfast room, and it looked neglected and sad as did everything around it.

lobster boatI sat for a few minutes wondering where I belong.  I love those months in Maine where we have made wonderful friends with whom we frequently gather.  I love the beauty of the place, the unhurried lifestyle, the boat trips, the islands, the lobster boats and lighthouses. It is the place where I feel so at ease and where my gray hairs and jeaned self fit right in.

Office View HoustonHouston is such a contrast.  It’s BIG, and there’s more of everything from traffic to restaurants to entertainment and shopping opportunities.  It is the place I have lived most of my adult life, and the hubby and I are lucky to live in a wonderful neighborhood where most of our friends still reside. The down side is that people have so many distractions that it can be difficult to spend time together.  Spontaneous gatherings are almost an impossibility. 

MaineHouston is the place that will always seem like home, but there is no question that Maine is the way life should be.

Costco

However, once I go to Costco and get a tennis match or two under my belt, all will seem like normal, at least until May!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind