Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Last week was crazy. Students walking around like chicks (not chickens) with their heads cut off, suddenly forgetting every bit of common sense bestowed upon them by a higher power when confronted with the big, scary college experience. That, combined with stuff going on in my little world (doors falling off etc), made the week a bit traumatic.

I thought this week would be better but, so far, the outlook is grim. Then again, it may surprise me.

But I'm definitely ready for a long weekend. Labor Day can't come fast enough!

Monday, August 30, 2010

An Easy Fix

The door debacle on Friday threatened to ruin my weekend.....but an unlikely savior swooped int to help. My boss!

Once he heard of what happened via email Friday morning, he said he could fix it. I had known he did woodworking as a hobby, but I had no idea he was so handy! Apparently, he'd fixed a similar door before. (Apparently this problem is not unique, especially in older homes.) We went over to my house at lunch and an hour later, the door was perfect!

I was so grateful that I could have jumped for joy. And, despite my dad's dire warnings that it could break again, I'm not going to worry. I have too much to worry about without having a messed up door!

I like older houses but I just don't feel equipped to deal with these types of problems on a day-to-day basis. I was lucky that someone could help so easily this time around....but what's going to happen next? Hopefully, nothing!

Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Falling In

The front door of the house is falling off. It is now, officially, unusable.

I wish I had more to say but after pulling open the door, only to have the front hinge pull completely out and the door sway precariously... I'm a little out of it.

The bright spot.... It's Friday!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I'm halfway through Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus and, though I never thought I'd be reading such a book, it's very interesting. Written by a man, there is a sort of "here's how to interrupt a man and live with him" attitude. This doesn't mean it's unhelpful but I wonder just how helpful it is for a man to read about a woman.

According to Gray, women are needy. He doesn't mean this in a bad way - at least, all the time - but he does say that women need more affection than men. I think this is true but one must always be careful with generalizations, right? There are two things in here that have really made me think, and which ring true...

-Men need and seek their caves in times of stress. They physically need to distance themselves from women and kids in order to think through their day. Unlike women, they do not want to talk about their problems, they want to ponder them in a safe environment - their cave.

-Men are like rubber bands. They get close to you but then, at the height of intimacy, intentionally pull away. They need to re-discovery their autonomy and independence. They will always come back to their mate but this is a constant trend and one that scares a woman if she doesn't know what's going on. One minute a man can't get enough of you and the next, he disappears for days.

There are fewer analogies I like for the women, perhaps because I'm slightly insulted to be called needy or a wave. Yes, woman's emotions are like waves, rising and falling in a natural rhythm. We have severe lows when we need to wallow in our misfortune. Without these lows we cannot experience the highs.

I guess I go through this, though I never really gave it much thought. Though I'm usually an even keel on the emotional front, I do get down sometimes. Perhaps Gray is correct.

However, I refuse to be called needy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Card Buffet

On Monday I went to the second monthly StampinUp! event held by the demonstrator I contacted. It's called a Card Buffet. Four card designs are there for you to make for $15. You get to make your favorite design twice for a total of five cards!

The best part was that you could customize the sayings - "Happy Birthday" instead of "Get Well" - which meant you could get some things done on your card-making 'to-do' list. That's especially helpful for me since I'm miles away from my supplies!

It was a fun evening and I definitely learned some techniques outside of my creative realm, which is always nice. None of the ladies present were near my age, but at least I got out of the house and accomplished something crafty.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Students Are Back

Classes have officially begun and students are back on campus. That means that faculty are back on campus. Suddenly my quiet building is bustling with constant activity.

I really wish I could say this was a welcome change but I find myself unprepared for the constant onslaught of people. And to make it worse, we topped out at 108 degrees yesterday. The end of summer cannot come quick enough!

Sorry for the short post. Tomorrow I'll tell you all about a second local stamping adventure!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Club Night

I took a great step on Friday night - socially and craftily. I went to a StampinUp Club Night!

I found a demonstrator - a different one than the one who stood me up - online and sent her an email. The email went just in time for their once-a-month Club meeting. The demonstrator was super nice - she even gave me a $10 catalog that I'm used to paying for. And the other ladies - three club-members - were also super sweet. One was even my age, though she has a son (thereby making real friendship most likely impossible).

And, best of all, we made three adorable cards! Seriously, one is so cute that I'm hesitant to give it away! I would post them here, but that seems to be a copyright infringement of someone else's original ideas. So, you'll just have to believe me when I say they're uber, uber cute! I also learned some spiffy new techniques - many of which require equipment I can't afford! - and felt quite the novice among these crafty ladies!

I'm really torn as to whether I should join the group. It costs $15 a month and then, on top of that, you must place a minimum $15 order every month. This seems a bit extreme to me. Or, there's a card buffet once a month, where you make five cards for $15. If I did all three, that's $45! I don't know if I should commit to spending that each month, especially when all my stamping supplies are still in East Texas, with the parents. Then again, I need a social life. Hm....


Friday, August 20, 2010

7 Months

Seven months ago today, I met Mr. Higgins. Can you believe it? I sure can't! Those seven months have felt like a lifetime but not even the blink of an eye. So much has happened.....but not nearly enough has happened!

As a couple, we've come so far. The issues that plague other couples fell away within the first few months of our courtship. We were both, amazingly, equally committed from the start. I had been looking for someone who viewed relationships just as I do, and I found him!

It's been a wonderful journey and the best part is that we still have so far to go together!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Terror Babies

In case you don't watch Anderson Cooper or Jon Stewart, here's what you've missed: terror babies.

Brought to you in full by an East Texas - utterly ridiculous - congressman. The interview....I love it. Gohmert cannot answer any question, much less form complete, complex sentences. His goal seems to be to talk over Anderson for the entirety of the "interview."

Good interview, Gohmert. Way to represent....common idiocy. I'm embarrassed to be from East Texas.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Piano Teacher

I just finished reading The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee. It had been sitting on my shelf for quite some time so it's good to get through it. Lee produced a historically sweeping novel that could have been gut-wrenching but was instead a bit flat.

The story is set in two times: war-torn Hong Kong of 1942-3 and a recovering, haunted Hong Kong of 1953. Will, a British ex-pat, comes to Hong Kong for work and is swept into the best social circles after falling for Trudy, a beautiful Eurasian. The war is barely a backdrop to these privileged people. Once Hong Kong is invaded, Will is shipped off to an internment camp and, though this should be the most intriguing part of the story, Lee instead focuses on Trudy, who struggles to survive in an occupied Hong Kong, forever mourning the loss of her glittery, upper-class dinner parties. With Will contained in the camps and Truly living on the "outside," their romance fizzles.

Ten years later, Claire arrives in Hong Kong with her husband, a British Water Works inspector. She starts teaching piano to a wealthy girl whose parents have a dark history during and after the war. Claire meets Will and they have an affair. Claire begins to find herself amidst the foreigners and foreign climate but she also starts to uncover secrets involving Will and Trudy.

I do not particularly enjoy reading about rich spoiled people, which is what all of these characters are, outside of Claire. Hong Kong seems fascinating but Lee barely scratches the surface to the secrets of this fascinating place. There are other authors who do a much better job at capturing the historical essence of a time and place.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Suspicious Activity

Last night, I was outside watering in the backyard. I had already done the front yard, locked the gate, and was diligently watering the back plants. Next to the house is an old, abandoned motel. During the day, teachers from the elementary school across the street park there. At night, it's a dark parking lot next to the house. This is the one thing about the house that makes me uneasy. During the day it's fine but at night....well, anyone can sit there and watch the house.

Around seven o'clock, I heard someone pull into the parking lot. I'd already watched all the teachers leave so I knew it was someone else. I heard someone step on the dry grass and leaves on the other side of the backyard fence. I stopped watering. Through the fence - a wooden fence with a few holes - I could see someone moving around. I waited until I heard no more steps and then I moved. I unlocked the gate and walked around the front of the house and over to look at the car in the parking lot. Someone was now inside the car. It was too far away for me to see the license plate - curse my horrible eyes! - so I ran around and back inside the house.

I looked through all the windows in the house - which look towards the lot - trying to see the license plate. As I looked, the car backed up and slowly exited the lot. I tried again - and failed - to read the license plate. Actually, I don't think there was one!

I thought for a moment, looked up the non-emergency number for the police, and called. A very nice lady said she would send out an order for more patrols in the area. She also said to not hesitate to call 911 if I ever feel uneasy.

Though there was a break-in next door, I've never felt physically uneasy in that house until last night. To hear someone walking around the brush on the other side of the fence was more unnerving than I can say. I was so close to calling 911 - and then the guy left. My superior vehicle identification skills even let me down - all I can say about the car is that it was a late '90s American-made silver 4-door.

At least the police know to keep an eye out. And there's a police station really close by. That's something. Right?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to Work

My few days of vacation are now over and it's back to work. I feel more rested after a trip to the country followed by quality time with Mr. Higgins. And I'll need to be rested for what's in store....

A crazy week is ahead followed by an inundation of students and the start of classes next week. Gone are the days of quiet hallways and empty faculty offices. I'm not sure I'm ready for all this!

And just to add another layer to all this... The heat has not abated at all! It's still too bloody hot!

I'm ready for fall!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Short Summer Interlude 2

Yesterday was very productive on the craft front. I made quite a few cards which was surprising. Usually when I want to be creative, the creative juices refuse to flow. It was great to sit down and come up with card after card.... Success!

It's also been good to see Sookie the Cat. She's gained some weight since I last saw her but that's good as she's always been too skinny. None of the pets are happy in this heat but she was super cute and even stalked a rabbit!

There was also time to relax yesterday, which was nice. I even managed to be unproductive for a few minutes - or an hour!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Short Summer Interlude 1

I made it to East Texas last night after a wonderful dinner with Mr. Higgins. It was our 30th Wednesday night in a row - our official Date Night. We went back to the restaurant we went for our third date - one that we haven't been to since. It was a real treat and a lot of fun. Just when I think we'll run out of things to talk about - and be one of those silent couples - we can't stop talking!

When I got to my parent's place, a herd of deer (do deer have herds?) welcomed me...by almost stampeding into my car. It was an awesome sight...once my heart started beating again!

I'm hoping to be super crafty today! Card-making is on the agenda! A knitting pattern search is also on tap. Hopefully, a good day!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I'm exhausted. There's nothing left.

Thankfully I'm escaping to the country tonight to pet-sit for my parents for a few days. It'll be a few degrees cooler out there, beneath the pine trees. And the quiet of the country will likely help my very frayed nerves. (Ha - I sound like a character from a Jane Austen novel, what with my "nerves!")

So, tomorrow and Friday, I'll be writing from the country, where my agenda consists of crafty fun, working out, pancakes, and friends.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Liz's comment on yesterday's post brings up an interesting topic and one that I don't think I've discussed here: kids.

I know many women - and men - have a natural yearning to reproduce. They know exactly how many kids they want once they're able to understand where babies come from - or before. They may even have names picked out. They look at babies and just want to hold them. They see a pregnant woman and have to touch her belly.

I'm not one of these people. I've never felt the desire or the urge to have kids. Sure, some babies are cute but once they open their mouth - to scream, to spit up, to drool - I'm done. I have no patience and I know I would make a horrible parent. And, personally, I think it's very responsible to know that I don't want to be the kind of parent I would become. I'm not going to put a child through that - or myself. And, oh yes... I don't want to give birth. I don't think that I must give birth to be a real woman. That's not some sort of rite of passage I feel the need with which to torture myself. I'm good, just the way I am!

And no, I've not "grown out" of my thinking, nor will I ever.

(And, for the record, I know have the "Reproduction" song from GREASE 2 stuck in my head. Ugh!)

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Shower

My best friend, AL, is getting married. It's such an exciting time for her and for her family! Yesterday, her cousins threw her a bridal shower, to which I was invited.

Very few of my friends have married and none of my close friends have yet to tie the knot. AL is the first. As a result, I'm far removed from the bridal scene and all the traditions that accompany it. Frankly, I've never even paid attention to such things as I was always too afraid of getting my hopes up. Marriage was not something I was sure to be in my future.

And so the whole bridal shower is an interesting cultural phenomenon, in my mind. I like the idea of all your close female friends and relatives gathering around you to wish you every happiness. It's a lovely thing. And it was a lovely day.

Still, I couldn't help but think of my own situation. I have an extremely small family. And sometimes, when I see large, happy families, it makes me a bit sad. I've never had that. I have no idea what it's like to be known, since birth, by so many people. I'm lucky if my cousins remember my name! Ha!

But it made me happy to see AL's family so happy. She's lucky to have them - and vice versa!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Crafty Attempts

My stamping consultant has moved far, far away and, therefore, I've found myself in need of a new consultant, preferably one near my near abode. I contacted a lady not too far away and she seemed very enthusiastic about me "adopting" her for all my stamping needs. After talking to her a bit, we set up a time for me to swing by her house to pick up a new catalog.

The appointed time for our meeting was eminent yesterday so I called the consultant when I left my house, per her instructions. There was no answer. Five minutes later, I tried again: no answer. On the fifth call, when I was blocks away from her house, she picked up the phone.

"O goodness, I meant to call you sooner," she exclaimed. I slowed the car and made to turn around; I knew something was wrong.

It turns out her husband was away and she had to pick up the kids in a suburb. Instead of calling me, she apparently forgot how to read a clock. Now, back when I tried my hand at selling make-up, I never would have asked a customer to come to me. She did this and I excused it....she was on my way to Mr. Higgins' house, after all. But for her to blatantly forget an appointment is inexcusable, in my book.

She said she'd be home in forty-five minutes and asked if we could meet then. Of all the gall! I said no, I had other plans. Around seven she called back and left a message (I didn't want to answer the phone). She was only halfway apologetic, saying she'd had a crazy day. If that was the case, why didn't she call to reschedule?

I'm debating whether to give this woman my business, since she obviously needs to learn a few about doing business!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Instead of focusing on (or complaining about) the heat, why don't we talk about something cooler...like hockey!

Mike Modano was released from the Stars this summer and it was a very sad thing. He was a Star for his entire career and even helped to bring the Stanley Cup to Dallas. He was debating retirement.....

And now he's signed with the Detroit Red Wings. A more evil scenario could not have been imagined. Memories of Emmitt Smith and the Arizona Cardinals come to mind (though I still love Emmitt). Though I'm trying to see things from Modano's perspective (who probably relishes the idea of playing for a team so close to his childhood home - and just being able to play in general), it still makes me sad.

I wanted to think of him only as a Star.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot

You know it's hot when the weatherman says "and today our high will be a cool 102." And apparently there's no change on the horizon for the next 7-10 days. The air conditioner runs constantly, even when set in the low 80s. It's miserable....miserable, miserable, miserable.

I find myself unable to come up with anything more enlightening for today. The heat just sucks it out of me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gaylord Texan

A few weeks ago, Mr. Higgins and I went to explore the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. If you've ever flown into DFW Airport, you've probably seen - or flown over - this massive hotel. It's like a mini (Texas) version of the Opryland in Nashville. Inside the complex, there are lush gardens....and a replica of the Alamo!

Also inside is a mock Riverwalk. Much cooler and less crowded than the real one in San Antonio!

It was just so beautiful inside! I'd forgotten what the Opryland was like but this reminded me! The main thing I remember about Opryland is how small - but expensive - the rooms were. I wonder if the Gaylord is the same way? Hm.....

After a nice dinner here, Mr. Higgins and I returned to reality, i.e. the Texas heat!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hello August

I've always hated this month. In Texas, the heat settles in and weighs on you for real. It's stifling and horribly uncomfortable. We reached 102 yesterday and no air conditioner can keep up.

And, at the root of it all is the fact that for 24 years, August meant it was time to go back to school. Nothing changed in graduate school and nothing has changed now that I work at a university. Now, the students descend upon us, flooding the hallways and parking lots. My quiet building turns into a cacophony of voices, footsteps, and doors opening and closing - an endless chorus that will last until May.

I would give anything to skip this month and move along into the welcoming months of fall. Sigh....