Friday, February 27, 2015

Roadtrip to Denton

I get to tour a college football locker room this weekend and I'm a bit intrigued. I've never been in a guy's locker room.

We're a football family. Superman played offensive line for Texas A&M in the 80's, but I knew nothing about football until we met. Our freshman year, I remember asking Superman what the "poles, with the circles on top, that they move up and down the field" were for. (Down markers for anyone football-challenged like I was.) Thankfully he didn't consider knowledge of the game a dating prerequisite.

Like their father, Oldest and Youngest love to play and watch the game, and would like to play in college if possible.

Several weeks ago, Oldest was invited to Junior Day by the University of North Texas football staff. We were surprised to find out that UNT now has over 35,000 students and is the fourth largest university in Texas. Only A&M, the University of Texas, and the University of Houston are bigger.

It is supposed to snow tonight in Denton, with the temperature dipping down into the mid-20's, but Oldest and I will be hitting the road in only a few hours. Tomorrow I get to tour a college football locker room.

UPDATE: Due to adverse weather conditions Junior Day has been canceled and will be rescheduled sometime in March. Bummer.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ready for Spring

With most of the country blanketed by snow, I feel lucky Houston is just cold. But, never one to suffer in silence - I'm so tired of being cold.

Lately there've been a handful of days I've been able to sit out by the pool and soak up a little pre-spring sun. Those days tease us into to thinking spring is just around the corner, then...pow... winter is back.

Last year, tired of the cold, one Saturday morning I sat down and in two hours had completely researched, booked and payed for a sunny spring break trip to Playa Del Carmen.

This year I planned spring break before the first major cold snap. I thought New York would be fun. Today it's 25 degrees in New York. Spring break is less than three weeks away. What was I thinking?

I wish we were going back to Playa Del Carmen.

playa del carmen

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Waiting Game

You know the type of person who constantly inches up at stoplights although the light is still red? Or the person who finishes sentences for other people when they think they know what the other person is about to say?

Very annoying, right? Yep, that's me.

I've never been known for my patience, and it's being sorely tested now on several fronts.

First, the house plans. It's been three weeks since the architect told me it would be three to four weeks, and not a word. Not. One. Word. I think I'll call him today.

And then there's the lake house remodel. We've agreed on the price, made a few changes, and agreed not the price again. Now I'm waiting to hear when they can start. I'm still waiting.....

Impatience is not a very attractive quality. I admit. God love my husband who has put up with me for 24 years.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What Would They Think About My Blog

I see I've had a few more than three or four views on the blog, 481 as of this afternoon, to be exact. I can't imagine how all those souls ended up here, but welcome.

Just remember the stipulation that no one let my family in our secret. There would be mixed reactions if they found out I was blogging, and occasionally posted stories about them.

My oldest would be thoroughly disgusted, but he would almost immediately lose interest and go about his business with nary another thought.

My middle, my daughter, would be the one to have the hair-raising conniption fit, protesting the humiliation of it all, but then would likely sneak off with her laptop in search of posts where I've surely regaled my readers with stories of her brilliance.

My youngest, he's in 7th grade, and while my cool factor is sinking fast, he would still likely be a bit amused.

And my husband (Superman)? He would probably roll his eyes and cough the whole blog thing up to yet another one of my hairbrained ideas that will soon run its course, like the time I announce I was going to train our terrier/dachshund mix for agility trials.

dachshund terrier mix

Monday, February 16, 2015

Interior Decorator Phobia

I have interior decorator phobia. There, I said it.

Picking just the right furniture, with just the right accessories, is not a talent I possess. In fact, nick nack paddy wack is what we call accessories in our house, and I probably have too much of it.

Don't get me wrong, we love our house, it's very comfortable. And, I think, very tastefully done in a style that suits us. Most people would agree it's a beautiful home, but it would never grace the pages of Veranda magazine. So for the new house, I've hired an interior decorator.

This is the first time I've worked with a decorator and it's a bit intimidating. There are items in our house now that are precious to us. I have family pieces that have been passed down, and pieces the kids have grown up with, things they've said were important we keep and use in the new house.

I'm not one to start completely over with a new home and a collection of entirely new furniture and accessories. I've seen people do this and it's hard for me to believe that someone could shed their previous life so easily.

To me, there's value in familiarity and continuity; it's comforting. I'm glad my children agree.

So I wonder what will happen the first time the decorator comes to survey the things we want to take with us. Will she look on our treasures with admiration and understanding? Or will she quietly gasp in horror while professing we "will make it work?"

That's my phobia.

What will she think of my goat? I love him. He represents my family's ranching heritage and I've had him for years. He's going with us.

building new house construction

Friday, February 13, 2015

My Valentine

He's not perfect, but at times I think he's pretty close. I'm talking about my husband Superman. Yes, he messes up sometimes and can hurt my feelings or make me angry, but generally I think I hit the husband lotto.

We were born thirteen days apart, both in June of 1968. Unfortunately, I was born first, a source of great entertainment for him each year when my birthday rolls around and he claims he's a year younger than me. These are among those instances I referred to above when he "messes up." But there are several more months before I need to worry about that again.

This morning Superman sent me roses. White roses. When I called to thank him, he said he had them delivered today so I could enjoy them a day early.  I thought that was particularly sweet.

Here's what he looked like when we met in college over 28 years ago. Cute, huh?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Another Day Another Speeding Ticket

Dang it, I got another speeding ticket today. I'm cruising along, minding my own business, and motorcycle RoboCop appears out of nowhere, right on my bumper, lights blazing like I had just robbed the local bank.

The really bad thing is I've used up my allotted defensive driving credits (get-out-of-ticket pass in Texas) to keep the ticket from going on my record and possibly raising our insurance rate. Ah, such is life. My biggest concern now is how I get the dang thing paid without Chris finding out and throwing a fit.

Every time this happens, I swear I'll slow down. Why is it that every year or so, I forget and speed back up. Dang it.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Must-Haves for My New House

A lot of my time lately is spent planning for the new house. I've got one shot at getting it right, and it's more than a little stressful. Very exciting, but stressful. I don't want to make mistakes, or build something that I'll regret later. I'm willing this house to be spectacular.

The house will be big, somewhere between 6,200 and 6,500 square feet, but feel even larger. We have a preliminary first floor plan that needs a few tweaks, but is very close to what I envision. We're waiting for the architect to give us a preliminary second-floor plan and exterior elevations next. It's tough waiting, but will probably be another two or three weeks before we get to see these next plans.

I took a hand-drawn sketch of the plan I wanted for the first floor when I initially met with the architect. I'm sure architects love it when clients walk in with hand-drawn plans, but I was determined he get my vision from the start - no wasting time. I knew I wanted a long hallway, gallery if you want to get fancy, that extended from the front door all the way through the house to a back door. I've always loved long sight lines but never had one. This is my perfect time to do it, probably my only time to do it. This will likely be my "forever house" as one of my friends suggested.

Another thing I want that's not typical today is separate kitchen and family room areas. Call me old fashioned, but I like the classic floor plans that have these rooms separate. I want a large kitchen that we can hang out in, but I don't need to see a couch from the kitchen sink.

Most houses built today, including large ones like ours, almost always have a family room open to the kitchen, and almost never have a gallery extending the length of the house. But these things were important to me. Our house will be unique, and I think, will have a "wow" factor not seen in most houses. It's going to be fabulous.

Here's a slightly-blurred redlined copy of the first floor. I can't wait to post the second floor and the elevation, but I guess I'll have to. Scheduling my yoga class now...breathe...exhale...breathe...

building new house construction

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Writer's Blog

I'm always perusing the internet in search of writers's blogs, thinking maybe they will reveal kernels of insight or the author's keys to success. This weekend I came across the most entertaining author's blog I've found.

It's the blog of romance writer Jill Shalvis. I've never read any of Shalvis's 50 or so books, but now I plan to. Her blog is witty and regular. I was impressed to see that she posts nearly every day.

And Shalvis is funny. Having grown up in Los Angeles, she's a big city girl transplanted to a small town somewhere near Tahoe in northern California. She admits to having a lot of "I Love Lucy moments" and posts about them. One post from last week chronicled the escapades that ensued when it was discovered her neighbors had a commercial pot farm in their house.

Yesterday I spent an hour or so reading dozens of her past posts. I enjoyed them so much, I've bookmarked her blog to my favorites bar and will check back regularly.

If you'd like to check it out yourself, the link is here. Enjoy!

Friday, February 6, 2015

So Let The Sun Shine In

It's Friday afternoon and sunshine has popped through the clouds for the first time in days. It's still cold and humid, but it's bearable with the sun out. I find my mood lifts with the weather as well. Things are looking bright for the weekend.

The house plans are coming along. I've studied the preliminary first floor plan for hours, then spent even more hours on Pinterest pinning ideas for every nook and cranny. Sorry, it's a secret Pinterest board. I've debated making it public, and when I decide to, the three readers of this blog will be the first to know.

I also spent several hours this week working on our lake house remodel. There were the couple hours at the tile store perusing the dizzying array of choices for the bathrooms, and the hours spent on the internet researching windows and garage doors. Not to mention the full day I spent Tuesday in Seguin with the contractor.

But things are starting to come together and we will hopefully get started in the next couple weeks. I'll post our progress, including before and after pictures, here.

In the meantime, here's a great picture of Youngest and a buddy enjoying an afternoon fishing last summer. Oh, did I mention we will be redoing the dock and boat-lift, too?

lake house remodel