Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Kajillion Channels and Nothing is On....

I feel like writing today...I really do.  But I fear the content matter might betray the purpose of the blog.  Don't get me wrong, I don't feel particularly down.  Quite the contrary.  I am enjoying my holiday.  (I slept in today...like a teenager.  I am too embarrassed to even admit what time my eyes opened.)  I have visited with some wonderful friends.  I have new laminate wood floors upstairs.  All in all I have nothing to complain about.  

I just have that feeling of paying for over 200 channels and being excited by none of them.  You know the one?  

That is exactly how I feel this evening.  

Therefore, I will be literally, and metaphorically, turning off the boob tube and turning on the music.  I am going to crawl out of this bed, get to cleaning and cleansing, and sit in the inquiry of why I expect something else to provide my entertainment?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Bucket List

Rory's Reading List (or at the very least books mentioned, referenced, ravaged by Rory throughout the 7 seasons)

1984 by George Orwell
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll 
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon*
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt*
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
The Art of Fiction by Henry James
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
The Awakening by Kate Chopin*
Babe by Dick King-Smith
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath* 
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney*
The Bhagava Gita
The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley*
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
Candide by Voltaire 
The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer*
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger *
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
Christine by Stephen King
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens*
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
The Collected Short Stories by Eudora Welty
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty
A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père
Cousin Bette by Honor’e de Balzac
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber 
The Crucible by Arthur Miller*
Cujo by Stephen King
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon *
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown *
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Deenie by Judy Blume
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
The Divine Comedy by Dante
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells*
Don Quijote by Cervantes
Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson 
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
Eloise by Kay Thompson
Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
Emma by Jane Austen *
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Ethics by Spinoza
Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Extravagance by Gary Krist
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 
Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
The Fellowship of the Ring: Book 1 of The Lord of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien 
Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom *
Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
Fletch by Gregory McDonald
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes*
The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand*
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley*
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen*
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy 
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell 
The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
The Graduate by Charles Webb
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck*
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald*
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Group by Mary McCarthy
Hamlet by William Shakespeare*
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling 

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
Henry V by William Shakespeare
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss*
How the Light Gets in by M. J. Hyland
Howl by Allen Gingsburg
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
The Iliad by Homer
I’m with the Band by Pamela des Barres
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Inferno by Dante
Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë 
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan*
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair*
Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 
Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke*
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 
Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold 
The Love Story by Erich Segal
Macbeth by William Shakespeare *
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert*
The Manticore by Robertson Davies
Marathon Man by William Goldman
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov*
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
The Merry Wives of Windsro by William Shakespeare
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka*
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway*
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 by Myra Waldo
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Night by Elie Wiesel
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen 
The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan*
Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck*
Old School by Tobias Wolff*
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey*
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
Oracle Night by Paul Auster
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Othello by Shakespeare
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton*
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster*
The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde*
Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby 
The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 
Property by Valerie Martin
Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Quattrocento by James Mckean*
A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers 
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier *
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings Book 3 by J. R. R. Tolkien 
R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
Roman Holiday by Edith Wharton
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
A Room with a View by E. M. Forster*
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition
Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
Sanctuary by William Faulkner
Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller by Henry James
The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne *
Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd 
Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
Selected Hotels of Europe
Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – read
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
Sexus by Henry Miller
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Shane by Jack Shaefer
The Shining by Stephen King
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse*
S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut*
Small Island by Andrea Levy 
Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers 
Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
Songbook by Nick Hornby
The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach*
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
Stuart Little by E. B. White
Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber*
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
Time and Again by Jack Finney
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger*
To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee* 
The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Trial by Franz Kafka
The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom 
Ulysses by James Joyce
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe – started and not finished
Unless by Carol Shields
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray *
Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett*
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire *
The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Did
ion*

*Completed
No * means I have not read this book and am frankly ashamed!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Return of Weight Watchers Wednesday....

 Oh yes!  It's back!  The return of Weight Watchers Wednesday.  Why?  Because I am 7 lbs over my lifetime goal.  What? YEP!  It has happened.  It's okay.  With the help of Weight Watchers and my own personal toolbox I am going to address this before it spins out of control.

I was really nervous about returning to Weight Watchers; not because of the "diet" idea (which it really isn't) but because they have changed their system.  However, since my last time "on program" (12.2008) the advent of "apps" have made life infinitely easier!  And the Weight Watchers Mobile App is so unbelievably easy it would be a crime for me NOT to track my daily eating practices!  

I have come across this "pin" on Pinterest a number of times and thought I would give it a try during my first week back on program.  We all know that the ever present water weight can add a few unwanted pounds to the scale.  This is a nice way to get your 8 glasses of water with a little extra flavor and natural ingredients which act as a diuretic.  
I had heard that dandelion root was pretty nasty so I was on the fence about including it in this diet cocktail.  I was pleasantly surprised.  It honestly doesn't taste like much and ends up being so diluted you can hardly detect it.  It is, however, a tad expensive.  A box of 30 bags cost 10 dollars.  I found it at Sprouts (aka Sun Harvest) and NOT at HEB.  I am juicing real lemons and using a sugar free cranberry juice which I found at both HEB and Sprouts.  I am on my third day and am finding I am usually done with the bottle by mid day...but I am a HUGE water drinker.

I will dutifully report back the results!  (I am wishing in a week I could look like the girl in the photo...but oh well!  I am pretty good with how I look right now.  I like that feeling!)

As for Thanksgiving....enjoy!  It rolls around once a year.  Eat until you feel satisfied; don't beat yourself up...just get back on track Friday morning!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Small Things


I found this blog through Pinterest.  There was a cute photo of a messy ponytail and the caption went something like, "This is the best blog for hair styles."  Okay, so yes, I spent the better part of Friday night watching this total cutie show me hair tricks and styles and products and implements.  And, yes, I spent the better part of the night trying to re-create her styles.  A few of them worked, a few of them didn't.  My hair is too long and too heavy to sport some of her precious coifs.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed her articulate and detailed videos and imagine she is probably just the sweetest hairdresser a girl could have!  If you like to play with your hair...or others...check out this blog.  She posts about other things, as well.  And she likes to share about her life and her faith...which is an added bonus.  She picked up and moved to North Carolina...she got me thinkin'....????

Click here to visit her blog.... 

This blog is in loving memory of Sherry Taff.  Sherry is a former colleague.  She was a tiny woman with the biggest heart.  She loved teaching students "how to learn."  She had a deep impact on so many young people.  She loved her family and was so proud of her husband and children.  Thoughts and prayers are with her family....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween






Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see. 
-Linus

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Knockin' on Heaven's Door....

 In loving memory of my friend and colleague, Jon Michael Frieger....
Heaven was made for people like you.  You were a kind, beautiful, genuine soul.  People were at their best around you.  You loved your life, your wife, your baby and your work.  I am better for having known you.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Same Thing I Want From You Today I Will Want Again Tomorrow

So, you're creating the problem out of nostalgia? -Rory

The secret is out.  My office is quiet.  Sometimes music doesn't fulfill the silence.  Sometimes it is so quiet and I am so alone that nothing but my Gilmore Girls DVDs can sufficiently fill the space.  I keep two computers at my desk.  One to work with (conveniently the machine issued by my employer) and the other sits behind me playing Gilmore Girls while I type my reports.  I don't even bother looking at the screen any longer because I have all seven seasons practically memorized.  There are times I find myself talking along with the characters....no small task considering the pace of the language.  

I am currently on season 3.  I like season 3...Rory is a senior and for a brief time gets on well with Paris. Lorelai is coming off the pregnancy devastation of Sherry and Christopher (a story line I am actually well acquainted with...talk about a suffocating feeling) and allows herself to accept a few dates with a guy named Alex.  He owns an iron works company.  She likes him so much she pretends to enjoy the great outdoors and agrees to go fishing with him.  She tries to become an expert angler in a few days...with the help of Luke, of course.  He brings a kiddie pool filled with fish to her house and teaches her to fish so she won't look foolish on her date.  Luke, of course, is busy dating Nicole...so it's okay.  After impressing Alex with her "fisher-woman" skills she accepts an overnight trip with Alex to New York.  Sookie and Jackson join in and a great time was had.  Sad story line...after that we never hear from Alex again.  His character was written off...too early in my opinion...

As she is preparing to leave for New York she is dismayed that she is NOT having any packing crises.  She calls Rory upstairs to inform her something is terribly wrong.  How can she, Lorelai, possibly not be in the throes of a packing crisis?  Rory responds...."So, you're creating the problem out of nostalgia?"  (It should be noted Lorelai is wearing a Bunny Ranch tee shirt.  For the life of me I have not been able to locate one for myself...and I HAVE TRIED!)  

I have likely seen this particular episode over 20 times.  However, today was the first day this particular line had any significance.  Let's examine it again...

"So, you're creating a problem out of nostalgia?"

I responded, out loud, "Yes, Rory, I, Patty Vela, am creating a problem out of nostalgia.  Not only am I creating one problem, I am creating a number of problems, out of sheer nostalgia."

Don't we all?  Don't we all decide, quite early that X is a problem and so Y is affected, similarly...always?  

I don't know...maybe we don't ALL have this particular exceptionality.  But I know, I've got it in spades.  And, so what?  Well, here's what...I am sitting here...36, hair unpainted, lines on my face, wondering why I was only 21 yesterday but planning my 20 year high school reunion today.  Why does 21 feel like yesterday?  Mostly because not much has changed.  Why has nothing changed?  Because when an opportunity, a possibility, an idea comes up...I "create a problem or obstacle out of nostalgia."  

I allow the past to inform the present....and create the future.  It's a funny thing, isn't it.  It's so safe to keep playing rewind, and rewind, and rewind because you know exactly how it is going to play out.  Didn't Einstein define that as "insanity?"  

I've spent the last month challenging (and resisting, I might add) this pattern.  I've come a long way in even identifying it as a pattern.  I just thought it was "life."  Well, it isn't.  Some people don't live "life" that way...but I thought everyone did.  It's like when you don't know you can't see until you put the glasses on and everything becomes clear.  I "didn't know that I didn't know."  

In the previous post I shared a short video.  I do hope each of you had an opportunity to watch it.  It was my a-ha moment.  You know the one...the awesome one when someone "gets it."  Teachers really know it....they light up, you light up...it's a beautiful thing.  

I had the a-ha moment alone.  Mary saw it....and tried to cradle me in her canine way.  

The moment is this.  In life you either have the courage to be vulnerable or you don't.  The vulnerable are a candle that lights up the space and burns out with splendor.  They live the length and the width of their life with the expert grace and ease.  They play the game of life...they are on the field.   The people who fear vulnerability are a flameless candle.  They are the cheerleaders, the fans, the people on the sidelines...in the parking lot...outside the gates of the stadium.

I know where I've been standing during the game.  And it isn't where I want to be anymore.  I've got a good amount of work cut out for me.  I have a lot of things to re-frame and a lot of living to make up for.  But I want to be done with being paralyzed by fear.  I don't want to create problems for nostalgia's sake.  I don't want to create problems where there aren't any.  This, of course, is a delicate dance.  Problems will arise as sure as the sun will come up in the east.  Discernment is going to be key...and I guess I can rely on "gut instinct" for that.  

I was asked last week to dwell in the inquiry of why I feel I need to live from a place of "safety, pleasantry, agreeability." I think the answer is because I don't do vulnerability.  I mean, I have done it before, but the consequences have been truly unpleasant and dire.  However, I can't let the nostalgia of old vulnerability predict the future possibilities.  I can't convict the future because of the past.  

There's no need to create a problem when you are sassy enough to wear a Bunny Ranch tee shirt.  

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Watch This!

My friend Amber sent this to me.  It is about 20 minutes long; but well worth the watching.

This analysis cleared up a significant question I was dwelling in this week.  I believe that is what is knows as "synchronicity!" 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Best Day of the Year


Like Lorelai with snow....the best day of any given year for me is the day the first front rolls in.  

The wind called me awake this morning and I stumbled onto my back porch around 4.30 am, kitties and doggy in tow.  We sat together, squinty eyed, patient and calm and felt the first cool breeze whisper around us.  

Days like today represent hope.

Happy Autumn dear friends!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nasty Bug

Ciara and I have a saying.  I think I have referenced it in prior blog posts.  When we are feeling particularly nasty we say, "I think I have been bitten by the nasty bug."  Today....I feel like I have been bitten by the entire nasty bug nest...and the queen is sitting pretty...laughing at me.  She's saying, in her best British accent, "Ha!  I've won!  I've got you, bloody hell, blah blah blah...."

I am currently sitting at my dining room table with my Aunt Velma.  She is setting up her dental plan with her insurance company and I am taking this opportunity to find what has been "right" with today; rather than "wrong" with today. 
1.  Rebecca Power completely saved me today!  Because of her kindness and generosity I was able to catch up on a LOT of work today.
2.  Valerie Mendez called to check in on me.
3.  Day Smith prayed for me.
4.  My former teachers reminded me of what is important.
5.  My mom prayed for me.
6.  Mary is on a play date...ALL day!
7.  I am about to head to Bible study.
8.  My Tessie is sitting on my lap....annoying me (but I love it).
9.  Two meetings canceled for tomorrow and I am seriously considering taking a mental health day.
10.  My sharpie markers will work perfectly to address some invitations I have ready to go.  

Tomorrow is a new day.  I am certain Bible study will renew me...as it always does.  The to-do list is slowly becoming a "to-done" list and each task is shedding away one at time.  


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Roost

  
This is a beautiful, thoughtful blog.  Check it out by clicking here...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

365 Days of Patty

Today I celebrate the privilege of being blessed with another year of life!

35 was arguably the most difficult 365 days of my life.  (Mostly because I allowed them to be.)  The good news is I am feeling refreshed and renewed for year 36.  And....I hear (from all the folks out here) that Mercury is in retrograde so this deep longing for internal "cleansing" and "reflecting" is apparently quite normal!  Who knew? 

Last night I went to a classical music concert at The Hollywood Bowl and I started considering all the absolutely amazing events that happened....despite the turbulence of year 35.  I sort of reflected chronologically and here are a few of the things I came up with....but these aren't in order....nor is this list exhaustive.....

1) I attended my first UT Football game!  Go Horns!  Thank you Ramsey Kay!
2) I was introduced to Rancho de Bearden...my new place of rest.  Thank you Ciara and Ryan!
3) I visited Santa Fe, New Mexico and fell in love!  Thank you Sylvia and Peter!
4) I saw Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt at The Majestic Theater!
5) I reconnected with my dear friend Brandon and am so blessed to call him my friend.
6) I spent a week at Horseshoe Bay.  Thank you Mom, Dad and The Doege's!
7) I spent a week in Destin, Florida.  Thank you Mom, Dad and The Harper Family!
8) Para-sailed!!!!!!!!
9) Jeeped!!!!!!!!! Or Wheeled!!!!!!!!! Whichever....
10) Met my camera.  Thank you Mom!
11) Spent my lunches at St. Dominic's Chapel getting "right."  
12) Saw my dad acquire his own business...finally!  He is his own boss and it is about time!
13) Ate El Pato with Ramsey, Lisa and Crissy.
14) Chaired Silent Auction and was once again awed by true and simple generosity.
15) Was invited into Angela Rabke and Sharon Turner's book club.
16) Spent a weekend at Port A with Leandra, Rebecca and Jenni.  (Watched dolphins, as well!)
17) Was asked by be Noah Mendez's Godmother.
18) Watched my Goddaughter finish high school and prepare for college.
19) Met Alison Wright.
20) Spent New Year's Eve with Valerie and Nick.
21) Watched Marisa on TV during the Superbowl!
22) Became friends with Shameka, Jennifer, Gary, Lisa, Manuel, Hector and Diana!
23) Visited Seaside, Florida.....CHARMING!
24) Saw Robert Earl Keen, Jr. at Stubb's.  
25) Went "home" after Christmas.
26) Was re-introduced to Denise Garcia and her wonderful husband, Ken!
27) Danced on the roof of the Artpace building.  'Twas fun!
28) Drank Blanton's on the Rocks at Bohanans.
29) Ate dinner with Karrie and Doug Pennebecker at Il Sogno.
30) Completed The Pursuit of God with Janie Worth.
31) Ate Capparelli's with Linda and Bill Fugit at their dining table.
32) Observed the strength and courage of Lisa Callan and Tracey Mather.
33) Was included by Meg Stoffer and her group of friends!  Yay!  Lots of new faces.
34) Saw the Eggmen with Ciara and Ryan and Nutty Brown Cafe.
35) Watched all seven seasons of The Gilmore Girls...TWICE!
36) Attended Emma Jolie Terrell's first birthday party, Nicolas Mendez's second birthday party, Gianna Mery's second birthday party, Justin and Minnie's December celebrations and Meriweather Rabke's second birthday party
37) Had a morning porch picnic and pajama day with Ella James Bearden.
38) Witnessed Meg Stoffer marry Justin Walker....so wonderful!
39) Witnessed Bryn Carson marry Andrew Auld...so gracious to include me. 
40) Purchased a painting by Andree Hudson at Waxlander Gallery on Canyon Road, Santa Fe.
41) Walked in the snow...TWICE!
42) Spent Sangeeta's birthday at Wildfish.
43) Took a private Pilates lesson with Wendy.  Thank you, Mom!
44) Ripped the carpet out of my house...NOW WHAT?  Yikes!
45) Hosted a garage sale forcing me to purge.
46) Moved a reformer into my garage!  Thank you, Mom!
47) Took a yoga class while facing Manhattan Beach.
48) Completed Principles of Accounting!
49) Realized things have to change....profoundly....starting with me.
50) Had my photos taken by my insanely talented cousin...and jumped for joy!
Photo by: Marisa Q Photography

AND THE VERY, VERY, VERY BEST (AND MOST CHALLENGING) ENDEAVOR THIS YEAR....
My girl, Mary Gertrude!



Monday, August 1, 2011

Two Hundred

According to my post count....this is my 200th blog!  
We are living large at Fete....and by "we"...I mean me.  Check out this HEB cake, which with my coupon cost a total of 4.25....including the banner reading, "Happy 200."  (Imagine the quizzical looks I got from the bakery when I asked them to write "Happy 200."  I assured them it was an "inside joke" and that did little to clarify the request.)  Yes...I did eat a sliver of cake...I just dug my fork in, (1 year old birthday style) ate a piece and winced in pain because the sugar literally ate away at the dentin immediately.  Cake went into the trash bin straightaway.  

Thank you to my precious few (and I do mean FEW) readers who have read each and every one of those 200 posts.  It's been an interesting ride, right?  In truth...those 200 posts have been written during the most challenging times of my life.  While I wasn't always consistent...and still am not...this certainly has been a saving grace.
I am loving that House Beautiful created this nifty design insert located just inside the July/August 2011 issue.  They perforated the edge for an easy tear out.  I will keep this tucked neatly away in my inspiration book.  The only hint I would add....center of wall hanging should be 48-51 inches from floor for gallery height hanging.  

Pin it, print it, share it....

(In honor of a conversation I had earlier today.)
Lorelai: Man I love email.  Everyday Rory and I write to each other, multiple times.  It's great.
Luke: You enjoy typing to people more than talking to them?
Lorelai: Wrong perspective.  Email is a return to the romantic days of letter writing.  It's pure Dickens.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Brilliant Juxta"position"


It was suggested that Tuesday's blog was a tad on the "pejorative" side.  Uh...ouch...knife to my heart!  This blog has been buoyed by happy sunshine, unicorns and rainbows, daily celebrations and things of that nature since it's inception.  Yesterday's blog was meant to 85% entertain, 10% inform and 5% get an "amen" from my girls...(which by the way...it totally did).  My readership of five all agreed it was quite funny and "true"...with the exception of my one who said it was pejorative.  It bothered me all night long.  (Of course it did...I am a "pleaser" and I never want anyone to be disappointed in me.)  

So...here's the real deal, the "skinny" if you will....

This blog entry was not about one particular person, per se.  Although, I will grant you,  it does read that way.  Sometimes....(eek...gasp...) I embellish for dramatic purposes.  There...I said it!  No...my stories are not made up (a la A Million Little Pieces).  Should Oprah "discover" me she won't find years later that I fabricated these stories.  They are all real, real-lived, real-pathetic!  

Indeed a conversation with a girlfriend or an actual event might spark an idea.  And...like any good social researcher (I just gave myself that title and coordinating tiara) I report my "results" (real life poop situations) to the general public.  In my "professional" experience my "results" have shown (through a series of controlled experiments with "blind" subjects over a number of years) that most boys don't ask interesting personal questions.  And c'mon....asking the real questions is a blast!  I don't understand why they want to miss out on the fun?

As I drove home last night...one iconic image kept coming to mind as I considered what I had written and how it was interpreted.  Here it is....interpret it as you will.  I know what my interpretation is and I will never tell...lest the wrath of Gloria befall me!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is It Too Much To Ask?

Hang on a second....let me get the right music in the background for this post.

Yes, yes y'all...another installment of "What She Really Means Is."  

This particular topic hadn't occupied my thoughts recently for a number of reasons.  Having said that, due to some current communication (that I refuse to answer any questions about...and I MEAN it!) this issue has reared it's ugly head again.  Here we go:

PRECIOUS FEW MEN ASK REAL QUESTIONS!

Here's the thing...if you are trying to get to know me...wouldn't it make sense you ask me questions?  And when I say questions I do not mean the following:
How are you?
How is your day?
What are you doing?
What did you do last night?
What are you doing tomorrow?
Do you want to have sex?

You get the point.  While the aforementioned questions are legitimate (and when asked genuinely they are much appreciated) they just don't get you very far in determining whether or not you intend to spend a second longer trying to get to know me.  These are surface questions.  Now....I am a VERY verbose person and I can answer each of these with a paragraph or two...if I really want to.  But the fact that these are the only questions I am being asked day in and day out...I am apt to:
a) answer them with one word
and eventually
b) blow you off altogether.

I want to know things like (God forbid):
Where were you born?
Where were you raised?
Siblings?
Married, Divorced, Single? (This one is critical for obvious reasons.)
Beatles or Elvis?
Beatles or Rolling Stones?
What makes you excited? (In the non-sexual way, calm down!  That comes later..no pun!)
Where do you worship?
Favorite spot in town?
Beach or Lake?
Italian or Mexican?
Run or Swim?
Vanilla or Chocolate?
Do you like the sound of your own voice?
Do you sleep late?
What do you do for a living?
What did you study?
Where did you study?

Again, you get the point.

So in this ritual of "getting to know one another".....boys.....I highly suggest raising the interest level of your questions if your interest level has been raised by a particular young lady.  If not....she thinks you aren't really interested in the unique, tiny traits that make her irresistible.
Jason: I have no interest in spending a second of my time with any other woman but you....and Eartha Kitt.
Lorelai: Well, sure!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What You do in Your Free Time is your Business?

While visiting Florida I attempted to study for my Accounting class and failed miserably!  I found EVERY excuse on the Internet to NOT study.  Mom walked in and told me I needed to study....flashback....and told me to stop wasting time on the Internet.  (I was busy pinning and pinning and pinning and checking out what Tracy Brattin Gerdes was pinning and pinning and pinning.)  Anyhow....I said something like, "Isn't what you waste your time doing what maybe you should be doing in real life?"  I mean...I don't necessarily know how to translate pinning and blogging and facebooking into a true profession that rewards with decent revenue (accounting word...Ta-Daaaaaa!) but if there were a Ph.D. in it...you could call me "Doctor!"

Then, as if by divine intervention, I saw this "pinned!"  I couldn't have summed it up better myself.  In fact, I wasn't nearly this succinct...but I had the main idea.
So if there is any truth to this...I should make a profession out of wasting time, reading design magazines, thinking about cooking, baking and designing, reading, blogging, pinning, facebooking.....

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mary Goes to Camp



Mom goes on vacation, Mary Gertrude goes to camp....SA Doggy Boot Camp, to be exact!

Clarke and Lucille Young are my new favorite people!  Not only does Clarke Young train your pet...he and his wife, Lucille will board your dog if they are under 30 lbs!  And guess what...your dog comes back a calmer, gentler version than when they left!  

Mary has been receiving in home training, but Clarke offers classes throughout San Antonio.  His method is simple and calm.  I have seen an enormous change in Mary and am so grateful to Clarke and Lucille for boarding her...twice now!  (Mary loves their dog Mico.  They play and play...they are similar in age.)  

I highly recommend Clarke Young!  Doggy manners are of critical importance.  Mary still needs a lot of work...and thanks to Clarke I have tools in my tool box for modifying behaviors.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Gypsy


Look what Mama scored at Uncommon Objects!  A rockin' bust of a gypsy.  Hot dang!  And the price was Unbelievable-10%=Ridiculous Score for Patty.  Sometimes I amaze myself!  

Friday, July 8, 2011

Not too drunk...Just drunk enough....


Dear Bethenny,

Thank you for sharing your drink with me.  Not only is it delicious and light, I don't have to do a damn thing except open the bottle and pour.  How delightful...considering that your drink makes me want to open bottle after bottle after bottle (but in a safe place where no driving is involved!)  The first evening I had Skinnygirl Margaritas I was (allegedly) overheard repeating, "These are GREAT....thank you Bethenny....because Skinnygirl Margaritas don't make you too drunk, they make you just drunk enough!"  (Enough for what, I am not sure!)

In addition, I would like to thank you for sharing your life with me!  My friends and I all agree...we think we would love to include you among our circle of friends for your sense of style and humor; but most importantly for your unapologetic honesty about yourself and others.  Thanks for letting us into your house, into your life and into your personal therapy.  You give us girls a lot of hope and inspiration.  I think we all feel that if Bethenny can "do it," well damn it, so can we!  

Now, I must run and enjoy my Skinnygirl Margarita for the evening!

Love,

Patty
"I am not sure he is the Ivy League type, though.  He might need more of a hacky-sacking, poetry reading, tie-dying kind of place...like Reed or Oberlin where the air is sweet with the scent of patchouli."
-Lorelai
Yes, my dog gets her own section now.  She is permanent.  We are a "unit"...so I figured this was the least I could do!  Plus she's just so darn cute I have to post her hip photos....
Happy Friday, friends.....