Monday, February 28, 2011

Craft Organization

Weekends always go by too fast, don't they?

My mom and I got together to do a lot of wedding planning. It was a really productive time; we made a lot of much-needed decisions! We also went shopping for my junior bridesmaid, my niece. That was a lot of fun and I'm really happy with what we found.

I then proceeded to load up my car with craft and knitting supplies! I got most of it (outside of a bit of yarn) which made me really happy. And now comes the hard part: organizing it all! I've started on it but am in no way finished. I've had the same desk and, therefore, set-up for as long as I've been crafting. So, changing it all (new desk!) presents problems I've never encountered before.

But I'm always up for a challenge, especially one involving crafts and organization. Once I'm all settled in, I'll take some pictures for you! And soon, I'll be stamping and scrapbooking again. Awesome!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Knitting Club

Once I'm able to bring all my crafting supplies to the new house - meaning they'll be in the same city as me! - I'll be able to knit again! And scrapbook! And stamp! Yay!

I found a local knitting group that meets bi-monthly. It has a lot of members and it seems about twenty show up for the meet-ups. Should I join it?

I haven't been very consistent in attending the stamping club I found. But, then, they usually meet on Fridays, which presents challenges of weekend plans.

Do knitting clubs make one a more efficient, and faithful, knitter? Hm....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Sybella

It's time to face the inevitable.... I'm going to have to find a new home for my precious kitty, Sybella.

She doesn't get along with other cats so integrating her in with Mr. Higgins' cats is not an option. The only way to keep her is to confine her to a room in the new house. I just can't bring myself to do that. She's too energetic to be cooped up!

It truly breaks my heart to have to give away such a loving girl. She's loving without being annoying. She's not really a lap cat. Only when she's missed you does she get on your lap. She loves to play and is never sad or haughty. She genuinely loves people and will be inviting to anyone who comes through the door. And, usually, she comes when you call her.

If you know of anyone, preferably in my area, in want or need of a cat, please let me know. Syb deserves a good, loving home.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I have wedding details frustration right now. To escape said frustration, I've been spending too much time thinking of places to go and things to do on the honeymoon.

67 days until the wedding. It seems like so much time, yet there's so much to do! It's overwhelming.

So excuse the non-existent post today.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bad News

My mother sent me a text on Saturday when I was away from my phone: "Call ASAP."

I'm sure any son/daughter would get a little scared by such a message when they have parents aged sixty or over. I called her back and got unexpected - and disturbing - news....

My parent's neighbors had lit a fire which had gotten out of control. It spread to my parent's property and burned about two-thirds of the trees/brush near their entrance. That's about a quarter-mile from the house - so no one was in immediate danger - but it's still pretty scary. The little volunteer fire department (yes, this is the country!) didn't arrive until twenty minutes after they were called, so my parents were out there with rakes and hoses, trying to keep it from spreading.

Outside of the snow and ice, it's been exceedingly dry here and I'm 90% sure there were burn bans in effect. So what in the world would have made the idiot neighbors start a fire!?!

I told my parents to sleep with one eye and ear open... And the fire was still going on Sunday.... It's a scary thing...but at least my parents are safe and sound.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Texas Education

If you didn't see this article last week about the state of the Texas education system, it's a must read.

Now, the Texas legislature is asking for millions of dollars from the federal government to help pay teachers' salaries. This is after our esteemed governor, Rick Perry, used $3 billion in federally marked education funds to help plug the sagging Texas budget. No wonder the federal government, and anyone else paying attention outside of Texas, is upset. We're asking other states to pay for our education system, to pay for our teachers. When the government offers Perry money, he refuses it if there's any small print saying he actually has to use that money for education.

Thank you, Rick Perry, for being the sleazy politician I always thought you were. It's good to be proven right on occasion. Unfortunately, our youth have to pay the price for this man's ineptitude and failure.

It's a very sad state of affairs.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chocolate Cakes

I've been doing a lot of cooking lately. It's nice to actually be motivated to try new things. My motivation is so very often a fleeting thing!

Recently I made these for me and Mr. Higgins: Joe's Molten Marshmallow-Chocolate Cakes. They were delicious! I was hunting for a recipe with few exotic ingredients and found this. I had to buy marshmallows, but that was all! And they were SO good! I made them in a cupcake pan, not having the right sized ramekins.

So if you need an easy, but delicious and unique dessert, try it!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Swan Thieves

Elizabeth Kostova's second book, The Swan Thieves, turned out to be a very enjoyable book, despite my early doubts.

I'm not really an art person. I like it but I have little patience for modern art or anything that must be interpreted. I'm a direct person and I like art that is direct. Kostova's book sounded interesting but the whole story revolved around painters, which left me skeptical.

Here's a summary... A rising star in the art world, Robert Oliver, suddenly tries to attack and destroy a painting at the National Gallery of Art. He is placed in the care of Andrew Marlowe, a psychiatrist who paints as a hobby. Oliver refuses to talk so Marlowe must try to find out what caused such a violent reaction in Oliver through the two loves of his life. In so doing, a love story in another time and place is unveiled.

It's always a challenge reading about someone you dislike...and I disliked Robert Oliver. He is the epitome of a self-centered artist, gifted but obsessed only with his art and muse, not with his loved ones. I find irresponsibility appalling and no one is more irresponsible than this man. Still....Kostova is such a gifted writer that uncovering his secrets is intriguing.

I wish Kostova would do historical fiction. Her writing style is perfect for it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

King's Speech

Over the weekend, I finally got to see THE KING'S SPEECH. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

At a time when good/interesting movies seem few and far between, it was refreshing to see something that intrigued me, historically, and was superbly acted. Colin Firth is always good and I really enjoyed the other actors as well.

If you haven't seen it, go!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Bit of a Rant

My dentist is a very nice man. His scheduler is a very nice woman. But the office, as an entity, drives me completely insane almost every time I'm due for an appointment.

Yesterday, I went in for a filling. I left work early for the appointment. I got to the dentist office five minutes early (I've learned not to be any earlier) and waited. And waited. I waited for an hour in the waiting room. Once back in the room, led by a very unapologetic aid, I waited twenty minutes just for the numbing process to begin.

Thankfully, I didn't have to go back to work afterward. But I was still fuming.

This dentist charges $40 if you cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment. Yet they show no respect whatsoever for the jobs and responsibilities of their patients. Everything has to revolve around them. The dentist - once again, a very nice man - left me in the midst of the filling to go finish up other patients. I was tolerant of this merely because it gave me a break from the drilling and the water that sprayed all over my face every time the aid started or stopped the flow.

Someone should tell doctors and dentists that having patients wait for exorbitant periods of time only doubles and triples their anxiety levels, making for a more nervous, antsy, and paranoid patient.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Traumatic Friday

Any woman knows that finding a good hairstylist is difficult. As I mentioned before, my lady left and I was in desperate need of a haircut. I called the salon and they scheduled me with one of the owners...for my previous lady's price.

Once at the salon, I realized that I'd seen the owner - a guy - in action before. He was extremely nice and really took the time to analyze my hair and listen to what I wanted. It was a very relaxing experience. I apologized to him afterward, saying he was great and that I was sorry to take up his time for a lesser amount than what he was used to. He said he will continue to cut my hair (at the discounted price) until we figure out what looks and works best for me - probably 1 or 2 more cuts - and then he'll turn me over to someone else - someone cheaper.

When it cam time to check out, I got a $110 haircut for $ I had a coupon. So, I paid $37.50. For a $110 haircut. Awesome!

That made up for what happened afterward.... I left my ATM card in the ATM, causing me to have a panic attack....which was quickly dispelled by the kind people at my bank. And then I got stuck on the train tracks....with a train headed towards me.

I survived but it was a traumatic few hours on Friday.

And, oh yes.... Happy St. Valentine's Day!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Catching Up

It feels like a while since I've given you a run-down of the goings on recently, outside of Snow Days. Here you go....

-The Snow Days really gave me and Mr. Higgins the opportunity to settle into our new home. There are now pictures on the walls! We're not done yet but we're enjoying the process of making the house a home.

-I finished Jeanne Kalogridis' The Devil's Queen over a month ago and really enjoyed it. Kalogridis relies heavily upon fact and only uses fiction when necessary to fill in plot gaps. Her books are just plain good! And I love that historical fiction gives you a personality and face to go with the names throughout history that you learn about.

-I'm now reading Elizabeth Kostova's The Swan Thieves. Her The Historian was amazingly well done, a special delight for any historian. I'm halfway into her new book and it's really taking off.

-Last weekend, I saw a local production of Evita which was really good and a lot of fun to watch. I'd never seen it performed on stage! That was a treat!

-Once back in the Big City, I finally found a good hairstylist. Then, she left last month. I'm in desperate need of a haircut so I'm going to see a guy at the same establishment. Wish me luck. I've always had female stylists!

-No knitting news and nothing on the needles. No other craftiness either. Actually, I still haven't moved all my craft supplies. Hopefully by the end of the month they'll be in the house and finally accessible for crafty fun!

-Wedding planning is in full swing and I need to make decisions and flowers and cakes and such. So much to think about!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I'm officially sick of the snow, ice, and cold. Texas is getting some seriously weird weather this year and I'm done.

Believe me, I enjoyed our fifth Snow Day yesterday but this is getting ridiculous! The heating bills are astronomical and for this reason alone, I'm sick of the cold. But it's also the idiot people who have no idea how to drive in winter conditions. These people really make driving torturous for the rest of us. Especially when you put them on the highway in rush hour traffic. Geez!

So, I'll be happy - ecstatic! - to see the return of sixty degree weather this weekend. Yes, it's a roller-coaster of temperature changes here in Texas. Fifteen degrees this morning. Mid sixties forecasted for Saturday.

Welcome to Texas.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Routine

All of us have bad mornings. For me, it's usually a domino effect: one thing goes wrong and then everything else follows in the wrong vein. Something very small usually sets the chain in motion - something that doesn't go according to plan or routine. After all, humans are most dependent upon routines in the morning (so I've read).

This morning was one of those mornings. I'm equally mad and frustrated; I want to yell and cry, possibly at the same time.

We all have these mornings. Too bad we can't put a sign on our office door saying to stay away - or enter at your own risk.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Snow Days

Last week we had an amazing four Snow Days! After the initial ice storm on Monday night/Tuesday morning, we got three (or more!) inches of snow on Friday morning. It was incredibly beautiful!

And treacherous. I didn't leave the house until Saturday afternoon.

Hibernation is good once in a while. I got a lot of baking and cooking done. These were particularly yummy (light and fluffy). I still don't have all of my craft supplies so there was none of that, which is unfortunate. I had tons of time!

Also, it seems the winter weather is not done with us. Another round is set to arrive Tuesday night. While it's nice getting out of work, I'm just about tired of winter.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


The arctic front moved into Texas early Tuesday morning. I awoke several times - at 3am, 4am, and 5am, to seeing blowing snow and sleet - unlike anything I've seen in Texas. By the time I got up for good, around 6:30, we had about 2-3 inches of snow/sleet on the ground.

Once I got up the nerve to brave the 20-something-degree weather and biting wind chill, I ventured outside. Underneath all that snow and sleet is a sheet of solid ice. Eventually the sun came out and a bit of the ice melted....but not the driveway, which remains shaded all day long.

Last night temperatures bottomed out at around ten degrees. The Texas power grid is not equipped to deal with those kinds of temperatures. So, we woke up to rolling power outages, mandated by the electrical council. There's no sun to melt the ice and highs are not expected to get above freezing until Friday, with a prediction of 34.

I like cold weather and I like hibernating during it....but this is just a little too extreme, even for me. In Michigan, we were equipped to handle extreme winter weather and there were no real worries - except driving - associated with it. That's not the case here in Texas.

So, we're on our second Snow Day. Yippee.