Sunday, August 31, 2008


Since I live in a suburb of Houston, I thought I'd share what our local paper is saying about Gustav today.

In Houston, Residents Wait and Watch

Aug. 31, 2008, 11:39AM

Memories of Hurricane Rita's devastation prompted evacuations along Texas' upper coast, while residents of Galveston and Houston took a more wait-and-see approach Saturday as Hurricane Gustav mushroomed into a monster storm.

Gustav, now a powerful Category 3 hurricane with forecasts of strengthening over the warm Gulf of Mexico waters, turned slightly east overnight and was now expected to barrel into eastern Louisiana Monday afternoon.

As many as 55,000 Louisiana residents were expected to flock to Texas, including 10,000 people who needed government help to evacuate, according to Gov. Rick Perry's office. Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio were each preparing to shelter about 4,100 of them, with the rest headed to Amarillo, Lubbock, El Paso and San Angelo.

Hotel occupancy rates in Houston had reached more than 70 percent Saturday morning and were increasing, Mayor Bill White said. It was unclear how much of the business was related to the holiday, versus the storm. Business was especially brisk at Houston-area hotels that have kitchenettes and allow pets. The Willowbrook-area Extended Stay America, for example, had a few rooms remaining Saturday night, but none for the rest of the weekend, an employee said.

Across Houston, families stocked up on the food, water and generators they would need if Gustav hit Texas and the power went out. The Lowe's store in Kingwood ran out of generators but was hoping to get more soon, clerk Doris Thomas said.

I've made zero preparations. Nobody in my area is worried about the hurricane. They usually turn eastward, which would be away from us. But if you see no new "Taylor Tuesday" entry, well...then I guess it surprised us! Don't worry, I'll be fine.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dog Day Afternoon

Henry is nothing like our previous canine friend, Sparky. Sparky was quiet and sweet. Henry is the opposite. He's LOUD! He's AGGRESSIVE! He's always into something.

I love him, but he's a handful. Sparky used to follow me around all day and sleep by my chair when I finally sat down. Henry FOLLOWS me around ALL DAY, yippin' and chewing on my chair even before I sit down. Luckily, when I need a break from him, he's happy to amuse himself in the yard.

First, he runs out into the grass and wriggles around in it:

Then- after inspecting the trees for squirrels- he runs to the back fence to see if the neighbor's dog is out:

After spending a good hour barking at anything that moves (and occasionally things that don't-like a lawn chair), he will sit by the back door until I let him in.

It's a lot of work being a nine-month old puppy. You can't blame the guy for needing a nap:

Next time: Henry goes toad-hunting.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Taylor Update!

It was announced at HQ that Taylor is NOT appearing at the Republican National Convention. Just a false rumor.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Company Count-Down

My Big Birthday Extravaganza is heavily on my mind these days. So far I have 4 confirmed house guests coming and 3 more possibles. I know you think I'm nuts, but we've done this before and it's always fun.

Before I continue, you need to know that it's true when they say everything's bigger in Texas. Houses are bigger and cheaper than any other place I know. So even though we aren't wealthy, we own a house with five bedrooms and three baths. We also have a dining room, living room, TV room and a game room. Lots of space.

The trick is getting this behemoth clean and organized from top to bottom so that my company can crawl around in the closets and cabinets if they need to find something. Of course, I also want the place to be pretty. I've been working on it for a while now, but the crunch is fast approaching.

By the way, everyone coming to stay at my house is female (except for one). I invited only my favorite women because I've learned in the past that nothing ruins a gal's good time like men. More specifically-HUSBANDS.

Ten years ago, we had three whole families staying at my house. One bedroom housed my sister, her husband and their 2 young girls. Another room was set aside for my other sister and her husband. Greg and I kept our own room. All the boys occupied a bedroom and all the girls took over another. Perfect!

Yeah. Well...the youngest children wouldn't go to sleep, the oldest wouldn't get off the computer and all the men fought for control of the remote control. Two of them actually wound up having a screaming fight over the TV one evening.

This time it's just us girls. No men, no kids. We're going to have pillow fights in our undies and braid each other's hair. Oh wait, that's my husband's fantasy, not what will actually happen.

We look forward to talking over coffee in our pj's all morning, strolling around this quaint town with quaint little shops, eating OUT and then drinking margaritas back home while looking at photos of old boyfriends.

But first! Gotta get the house ready. Can't wait.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

No Time Left For You

(The title sounds harsh- but I don't mean it that way!)

To my online buddies: I know I haven't been a good little commenter at your blogs. I simply don't have the extra time I used to have. My family needs a lot of attention these days.

But don't feel slighted- I still think about you and will try to drop in when I can. (If I have time later, I'll think of a kinder, more gentle title for this post! That song popped into my head and won't let go. But I'm not "on my way to better things", I'm on my way to more pressing things!)

Love ya-

Friday, August 8, 2008

I'd Like A Little Reality In My Reality TV, Please.

I love Project Runway, but I'm tired of designers getting a "pass" because they make for good TV. I've been guessing with 100% accuracy who will be let go based on their personalities. If a designer has a pathetic, laughable outfit but interesting quirks, they squeak by for another week.

Exhibit A, the above outfit. This was designed for our Olympic athletes to wear for the Opening Ceremonies. C'mon. This guy didn't get sent home because he's different, he has...let's say, an unusual point of view.

And from Episode 1:

Stella was challenged to create an outfit using materials from a grocery store. Oooo..big transformation here. I wonder what kind of material she used? She slipped by because she's a biker chick who's into leatha. Let's see what kind of wackiness ensues by keeping her on the show!

I understand why the producers do it. They're making a TV show, after all. Gotta keep the viewers entertained. But it still annoys me. Oh, don't get me wrong...I'm still going to watch! I love the show.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Today my husband and I took a drive to the shore to look at some more beach houses. It's a two hour drive with ample time for us to talk.

Usually I hate taking a long drive with the man. He prefers to drive with the radio off. I know! Driving and singing loudly along with the radio go hand in hand in my world. But, today the absence of music was OK. We talked about our troubled son and his physical problems. We agreed that the boy has had it hard.

Thursday morning Jake came to me complaining of stomach pain. He was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome years ago when all the specialists and all the tests we had done failed to find anything wrong. He was told that he would have to learn to live with it.

Thursday morning I spent FOUR hours with him as he screamed, rolled on the floor and kicked whatever was nearby. He kicked one of our doors so hard it finally flew off the hinges. He would just have to learn to live with it? Are you kidding me?

He's twenty years old and can't keep a job or finish a course at the local college because of this pain. He's disabled by it.

Tomorrow we're seeing a new gastroenterologist and though I don't expect much, maybe, just maybe this doctor knows something the other doctors didn't. Jake needs help getting on with his life.

And so my husband and I talked as the miles rolled away until we found ourselves at the realtor's office. I lost myself in the task of viewing houses, judging the quality of sand and dunes and water. I sat on one porch in particular and looked out at the sea, smelling the salt air, listening to the waves and the screech of gulls. I forgot all about my cares back home.

I needed this day. I needed a break from Jake's heart-breaking troubles. Still, when we climbed into the car and started the drive back I couldn't help but feel guilty. I wondered what kind of a day he had had. Was he writhing on the floor as we drove? Where is his break from the body he inhabits?

My head is filled with images of a clear, blue sky and yet my heart is cloudy. I hope we get some answers tomorrow.