Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What She Really Means Is.....

Yes, is time for a new segment.  This segment allows me to tip toe to the brink of impropriety without actually diving into the pool.  Impropriety meaning....talking about my love life.  

I have ALWAYS sworn I would not air out any dirty laundry on this blog, even though Ciara swears I would increase my readership 1 million fold.  I, ever the sucker, have always said that there is no room for being disrespectful or for pointing fingers on this blog.  I have always prided myself on protecting the "innocent", but hell....NONE of them have been innocent. we go.

(By no means am I perfect.  By every means I could be fodder for several men's me.  I just want to own it up front and make you, the reader, aware that I, the writer, am MOST aware of my limitations....hauntingly so.)

Important note, I won't use names.  But, if we have ever may want to stay away from these particular segments.  I HIGHLY doubt any of you are keeping up with my life via "the blog" but who the hell knows.  Apparently I have an avid reader in Germany and a few in South America.  Given that, I suppose ANYONE could be a follower.  

I have given this topic an extraordinary amount of thought lately.  It really hit me on Valentine's Day.  I was not, and am currently not, involved with anyone so this Valentine's Day was of very little consequence to me.  In fact my mind was so involved in Silent Auction I hardly realized the MOST over-rated day of the year was upon us.

In fact, the day passed.  The following day I was having lunch with a friend of mine, Rebecca, and she mentioned that ALL the men at work said the exact same thing when she asked what they would be giving their respective partners for Valentine's Day.

Overwhelmingly, they shrugged and said, "Oh, she said she didn't want anything, so I am not getting her anything."  

Rebecca's response, of course, was, "Oh, come on.  You know you should get her a little something, right?"  

"No, she said I didn't need to get her anything." 

God love Rebecca, she tried to make each of them understand; but no one listened.

So, gentlemen, listen up.  Here's what she really means.....

She MIGHT, legitimately, mean that she doesn't really want or need anything at the present moment.  She might also feel that the money could be better spent on the bathroom remodel or on the new patio furniture you are looking forward to spending the spring hanging out on.  

This however, does not and should not, exempt you from making some sort of gesture.  We ladies are suckers for tiny little acts of kindness.  

Allow me to provide an example of what might have melted my heart.  Let's say I had a birthday, fairly recently.  Let's say it was the worst birthday of my life and I didn't get out of bed for 3 days because whatever age (35) I might be turning just wasn't settling well.  Let's say I was "seeing someone."  It was not a boyfriend-girlfriend thing, God forbid.  (Because that would be embarrassing, apparently, for him.) Anyhow, let's say I was trying to take the high road given that we weren't really an item.  Let's say, for the sake of argument, I made it clear that I just wanted a phone call, a text, a Facebook message and dinner with my parents two nights after my actual birthday.  In fact, let's say I officially exempted him from a card, a gift and having to hang out with me the evening of my birthday.  In a hypothetical world, let's say I had plans with my mother and some friends for my birthday.

Let's say he hit every nail right on the head.  Let's say he did do what I asked and didn't do what I didn't ask.  And let's say I didn't have "a pair" enough to say, "No, you WILL pick me up and take me out for a late night martini to celebrate my birthday."  And let's say that not only did he not do anything of his own accord and, in fact, was treated to an extraordinary meal by my parents at a local steak house.

Here's what might have been nice:  some small acknowledgement of his own that I was celebrating my birthday.  I think at that point one, tiny, Hershey kiss might have melted my heart.  Maybe a six pack on my back porch to celebrate the day?  A hand written note?  A hand picked weed flower?  A late night moon bath; holding my hand?  (It's August...there is always a meteor shower.)  Anything would have been wonderful!  Anything....

Don't get me wrong...I really did NOT want this hypothetical man to go out and spend any money on my birthday.  As I mentioned before....let's say this was not an "official" type of relationship.  Let's say there were some things working against us.  The point is; on days like birthdays, Valentine's Day, Christmas, ridiculous non official anniversaries....let her know you are aware and you appreciate her....even if she did ask you not to spend any money on her.

I think we TRY (some of us, at least) to be as LEAST high maintenance as we possibly can.  And it comes from a very genuine place.  We aren't asking for an Hermes Kelly bag or a pair of shoes that could finance a year in college.  Some of us really try to make being "our partners" a remarkably easy experience; because we know there are other areas in the relationship where we make you crazy.  But guys, listen to me, and listen to me well....a SMALL token of appreciation will get you everywhere.  Be creative; be thoughtful; heed the advice of your female friends and co workers, sisters and mothers.

I know we are complex creatures and our behavior makes little, if any, sense at all.  But I know I am 100% right on this one.

Now...some of you are lucky enough to have a gal that will tell you exactly what she wants.  Listen to her, too.  Or there might be hell to pay.

Stay tuned for more segments of "What she really means is...."

(PS.....While I am a professional, this is NOT professional advice.  This is unfortunate, accumulated experience both personal and shared.  So...take it for what it's worth...which is nothing because this website is available for free!)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Honesty is the Best Policy

Some things just aren't meant to be; no matter how much we wish they were. 
-Linny, the psychologist who gets set up with Christopher by the Gilmore's 

I firmly believe, if one has done the "right," "true," and "honest" the end they will not lose.  The "end" just might take a heck of a long time to come around.  I did the right, true and honest thing.  I lost something big for it.  But, I am certain, that losing the big thing....means the big thing was never intended for me.  

I feel infinitely better for having put that out into the universe.  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

(photo from
I am coming to the end of this book.  My father gave it to me as a 35th birthday gift.  (We all know how that birthday went, don't we.  Okay, pity party over.)  
To be honest...this book took me a while to "get into."  The author spends an extraordinary amount of pages setting the story up.  A young girl can taste the emotions of the people who prepare the food she consumes.  This notion has fascinated me for some time; so when I discovered this book I was thrilled.  (I am a firm believer in being in a good state while cooking or baking.  I have always believed....well....since I read Like Water for Chocolate that your emotions infuse the food you create.)  Anyhow....I was fairly disappointed early on. However, I have to say the book is finishing up nicely.  The conflict arrives late in the story; but when it does it is both gentle and devastatingly sad.
Aimee Bender is known for crafting unique, but lovably bizarre characters.  Indeed, she has crafted a family of particularly sad people who seem impossible to understand.  But isn't that how it is?  We can only really understand the family we were born into.  All others seem distant and strange...simply because they aren't what we intimately know; it isn't what is weaved through us at a cellular level.

If you are a fan of "quirk" then pick this up.  If odd people, odd characters, odd movies, odd situations aren't your thing, might I suggest you leave this one on the shelf?
Pies from Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, TX.......

Views from the lake house at Horseshoe Bay....generously shared with us by Charlie and Becky Doege!

"There's a place for us....when are you going to realize it was just that the time was wrong?" 
-Dire Straits

Good night, dear friends!  Good 30 minutes it is officially Friday...and for most of you that means 30 minutes until pay day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Charlie's Angels called....they want their hairstyle back.......

(This is what happens when you sleep with sponge rollers....kickin' it old school style!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dexter Freebish

The name of the band was Dexter Freebish.  Ciara and I thought it was Mingo Fishtrap...but it hit me in the shower this morning.  Let's see what Wikipedia has to say about them....

Well....Wikipedia had a lot to say.  I cut and pasted.  It didn't translate correctly....but I was correct.  They were a band in Austin.  They had a Top 40 Hit (I wouldn't brag too hard about that) called "Leaving Town."  Now...I am going to check out the song on iTunes because I have no real recollection of it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Deep Eddy Tavern and Tom Waits

Years ago...I mean YEARS ago...probably 1998...Ciara and I were having a few beers at Deep Eddy Tavern.  I remember it was a balmy summer night, the air hung heavy...our hair falling victim to the humid summer thickness and our clothes slightly damp; sticking to us as we peeled ourselves off and on the red vinyl chairs.  
I walked up to the bar to order another beer.  What was I drinking those days?  Miller Light, no doubt.  The bartendress was terribly hip, hip, new hippy, hipster like.  You of the individuals proud to "Keep Austin Weird."  One of the regulars asked her, "Who would you wait in line for two days to watch perform a concert?"
Not a second flew by before she beamed, "Tom Waits."
I ordered my beer and shamefully slid back to the table...where Ciara had been invaded by a group of young men who told us they were in a band.  (I don't recall the name of the band....but they actually turned out to be a one hit wonder.  She and I laughed every time we heard their song on the radio.)
I didn't have time to ask her, "Who is Tom Waits?"  The boys had dominated the conversation.  They wanted to go salsa dancing.  We politely declined; a regret I have always had because one of them was so sweet and gentle and seemed genuinely interested in knowing me....if even just for one salsa dance.  My negative "zero" self image wouldn't allow it.
I never admitted I didn't know who Tom Waits was.  How could I, world traveler, college graduate, music snob not have encountered Tom Waits by 1998?
It would be years before I remembered to find Tom.  
Tonight I heard this song for the first time.  
Now I know why she would wait in line for two days.
I hope you are listening right now....
So, how are you feeling tonight?  Red?  White?  Or gin-soaked? -Jason Stiles
My new vintage bracelet!  Thanks, Mom!
Things are coming along nicely.  A corner has been turned.  I am going to be okay! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"I woke up on Sunday morning with no way to hold my head that didn't hurt..."

Hearts in Harmony Gala: Part II

With so many people to thank I figured I would include parts of the program from Gala.
(Program created by the devilishly talented Christin Gish)
A list of the individuals, businesses and supporters I am BEYOND indebted to....and so proud to know:

This photo was in the San Antonio Express News this Sunday.
From left to right: Barbara Stevens, Gala Chair; Patty Vela (Me), Silent Auction Chair; Traci Gomez, Executive Director of The Children's Bereavement Center of South Texas; and Linda Fugit, Barrerras Volunteer of the Year.  I also took the time to get a little "crafty"; paper crafty, that is.  I haven't played with paper in a LONG time.  With the extra time...I figured, why not.  
Originally handed to me as a sample, I have fallen deeply, madly, passionately in love with my new bath gel.  
Created by the masters at Molton Brown, London, this fragrance is called
Paradisiac Pink Pepperpod.
Pepper-ish, indeed!  There is a hint of "man" in the shower gel that I enjoy wearing throughout the day.
(Photo from
I don't need you to be sorry.  I need you to be "there." -Lorelai

A nervous breakdown can really work wonders for a girl. -Rory
(I found this one in the parking lot at work)

New people will bring new realizations, especially big issues.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Silent Auction-Year Two

On Thursday, February 24, 2011 The Friends of The Children's Bereavement Center of South Texas celebrated its 10th Annual Hearts in Harmony Gala.  Below are some photos of our Silent Auction.  These were the only photos I had time to shoot.  Once Silent Auction and Gala got underway, I completely forgot I even had a camera.  Hell, I forgot I even had a name!  Anyhow...enjoy the photos.

To everyone who supported me, secured a donation item, collected a donation item, decorated a donation item, suggested an item, set up, tore down, volunteered, calculated, fielded questions, called my name out 20 times before I was able to address the situation, prayed, reminded me to chill, listened to me lament, sensed the tension in my voice, honored my obsessive compulsive tendencies, reigned in my obsessive compulsive tendencies, purchased an item, bid on an item....and drove all the way in from Austin AND back on the same day.....I want to THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

No more Silent Auction!  I officially resigned my chairmanship.  I would like to explore different positions on the board.  This two year projects has taught me a lot about myself.  Some good; some not so good.  The ultimate goal, however, never changed: to foster healing for grieving families in this community.

Thank you, Friends Board, for trusting me with this project.  It has been an honor to serve you all!  Most of all, thank you for believing in me....when maybe I didn't believe in myself!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

This Photo Makes My Eyes Smile....

Today I was poking around on Design*Sponge  and I came across this photo.  The photo set designer is Chelsea Fuss.  Check out Chelsea's great blog at {frolic!} The photographer is Lisa Warninger.  This photo struck me because the subtext is books, flowers, white and vintage hotel silver.  These are a few of my favorite things......