Monday, March 31, 2014


My husband (frequently) and I (to a much lesser extent) must travel for work.  As a result we have a driver named Tura on speed text.  Tura has been shuffling us from home to the airport and from the airport to home for a few years.  Tura is a driver and his wife is a nurse, and they live in a two bedroom condo with their two children.  Currently he's trying to find a house in Dallas for $200,000.  The only problem (according to Tura) is that there are no more $200,000-three-bedroom-two-bath-houses left in Dallas.

Tura claims that in Dallas the "rich" people are driving the "poor" people to the suburbs.

I don't know if there is any data to support his perception, but his perception is a very interesting point-of-view.  Do you think the generation that was raised in the suburbs outside of Dallas now want to live in a more urban setting inside Dallas?

Sunday, March 30, 2014


"At midnight Saturday, the United Kingdom welcomed its first gay weddings after same-sex marriage was legalized in England and Wales. The first couple married in England was Sinclair Treadway, a 20-year-old from California, and Sean Adl-Tabatabai. Their wedding was held at the Camden town hall in North London, and presided over by mayor of Camden. Treadway's parents traveled from the U.S., and leaders of all of Britain's major political parties wished them congratulations. Prime Minister David Cameron marked the day with an op-ed in Pink News saying he hoped the legalization would give young gay Britons the courage to come out. Scotland has passed a similar law, and is expected to see its first weddings in October."

Estate Sale on Westlake Ave

Almost a year ago I posted about a one-story 1959 time capsule house that hit MLS in our neighborhood.  Here.  On Saturday, I stumbled onto the estate sale at that very house.  I really enjoyed making laps through the 6,000 square foot house, and I made a few purchases...

One of the lovely ladies working the estate sale reminded me of my late grandmother, and I really wanted to ask her for a hug...but I thought that would be weird.  So I made this emotional purchase to fill the gap.  I picked this up because my grandmother had one.  I can remember my grandmother using it every Thanksgiving and Christmas morning as a colander to double clean her shucked oysters.  It always reminded me of a rocket.  I don't know what it's called or what's the real purpose, do you?

I also picked up this fancy casserole dish.  It turns a pyrex dish into a silver lined platter. So classy.
I also picked up this parrot.  I thought he was fun.  My husband thinks it's ridiculous.  Sometimes my husband is wrong.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cher, Cher, Cher

Last night we were lucky enough to be two of the people at Cher's sold out Dress to Kill Tour stop in Dallas.  It was the most extravagant, most fabulous, most fun concert I've seen to-date.  I really want to see the show again and again.  (I think we should make it illegal for Cher to ever stop touring.)

Cher's voice is amazing.  She sang every song live. Hearing her power voice live was incredible. Dallas was the third stop of the tour and they are still working out a few of the rough spots.  She spoke to the crowd from backstage before the show started saying they were having some audio issues and she apologized for being late- she assured us she wasn't still putting on her make-up.  In a world where everything is highly polished and highly produced I loved the fact that during one of her dance routines she accidentally sat on one of her dancers (she missed her mark) and Cher yelled "Oh, I'm old!"as she rearranged, and she stopped singing for a few verses while she worked out her church-giggles.  It was real. It was fabulous.

Joey Guerra of the Houston Chronicle wrote the best synopsis of the show when she was in Houston on Monday night.  You must read it.

My husband was able to capture a video of  Cher's finale where she flew above the arena as she sang "I Hope You Find It" It was divine. Cher flew over my head!  I'm so happy! Go see this show.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Love Marriage Taxes

This CNN headline makes me happy and sad: Same-sex couples marry in Michigan shortly before court halts licenses

As many of you know my husband and I had a Texas wedding in 2006 and we had a legal California ceremony in 2013.  When we dropped off our tax information to our accountant this weekend, and we informed him we're now legally married!  He shook our hand and said,  "congratulations you've earned the marriage penalty.  You'll now pay more in taxes."

We'll have to wait to see were the numbers land, but we're always willing to pay equal taxes for equal rights.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Date Night

This weekend while my brother and his wife were on a date night, my husband and I went on a date night with two little ladies.  Our nieces are so much fun right now; we colored, read stories, and of course watched part of Disney's Frozen.  Both girls are obsessed with Frozen.

I wish we lived closer to my brother; I think it would be fun if we started a tradition where the girls stayed with us every Friday night.  Starting today until they leave for college!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

She's headed our way

This week the culture icon, Cher ,will be in Dallas!  And we have tickets! I'm so excited to see her perform in person- she's remained relevant since the 1960's which is impressive.  I've been listening to her new album, Closer to the Truth, to get ready - it's a solid album.

My husband has been rockin' the classic Cher at home.  Cher has a ton of hits.  I was excited to see the setlist for the opening night of the concert:
  1. "Woman's World
  2. "Strong Enough
  3. "Dressed to Kill" 
  4. "The Beat Goes On
  5. "I Got You Babe
  6. "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves
  7. "Dark Lady
  8. "Half-Breed
  9. "Welcome to Burlesque" 
  10. "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me
  11. "Take It Like a Man
  12. "Walking in Memphis
  13. "Just Like Jesse James
  14. "Heart of Stone
  15. "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)
  16. "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
  17. "I Found Someone
  18. "If I Could Turn Back Time
  19. "Believe
  20. "I Hope You Find It"
Also Billboard wrote a great review of the opening night of the show.  The key takeaway is that if you're close to Dallas on Wednesday night, then come to Cher's final farewell tour!  We'll be there!

Go West Young Lady (and Man)

Today my parents are chasing the sun.  Last week my father went to New Mexico to meet the movers, and my mother stayed behind to oversee a few house projects in Texas, which included installing a new sprinkler system.  My mother will no longer be able to work a hose around her yard in the earlier morning hours of the hot Texas summers- she'll be west!

On Friday my father flew back to Texas, and today my father's sequoia is loaded down with Blue (chocolate Labrador retriever) and Annie (Jack Russell Terrier), and my mother is following in her two-seater Infiniti.  While I'm quite certain my mother is physically following my father on their westward adventure, I'm less certain my mother is mentally following my father on their westward adventure.  They haven't sold their Texas house, and my mother has already booked hair appointments every five weeks- she'll be back.  My mother has also had many weepy moments these past two weeks.  I know it's hard to put miles between you and your loved ones, but at least we're living in 2014!  We can talk, text, sametime, and email every day!

I have no doubt once my mother gets settled she'll enjoy this adventure in their life.  Like so many couples before them, my parents have gone west - it's an adventure!  When you're 58 and 60 years old you need to seize the adventures in life, because it keeps you acting (feeling?) young.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


My husband has a new culinary trick.  He hides a cube of mozzarella in the center of his meatballs.  Of course, his meatballs were already spectacular with his delicious combination of ground beef, hot Italian sausage, Italian sausage, bread crumbs, eggs, fresh Italian parsley and spices, but this adds just another level of interest to the dish.

I highly recommend you starting hiding mozzarella in the center of your meatballs.  Delicious!

Monday, March 17, 2014


You can hold the New York City St. Patrick's Day parade without Mayor Bill de Blasio, but can you pull it off without Guinness? The famous Irish brewer announced Sunday that it was pulling its sponsorship of the parade over the organizers' exclusion of LGBT community members. The announcement came after Manhattan's historic gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, said it would stop stocking Guinness over its support of the parade. "Guinness sent a strong message to its customers and employees: Discrimination should never be celebrated," said GLAAD CEO and President Sarah Kate Elli.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Heat Dish

It's the middle of March in Texas, and Dooley's favorite spot is right next to the heat dish, still.  I think Texas' 2014 winter is one of my favorites.  It has been cold, often, and it has remained interestingly unpredictable.  It'll be cool and sunny one day (I move my desert roses outside) and it'll be cold and cloudy a few days later (I move my desert roses inside); and I've shuffled the desert roses inside and out based on the crazy winter weather all winter'll be cold and rainy, cool and sunny, cold and icy, cold, warm, cold, cool, cold, cold, cold...

For us, 2014 might be the year of nonstop chaos.   We're selling our house.  Buying another house.  Remolding (nothing too grand) the new house.  My father's job has my parents posting up in New Mexico for the next few years.  My husband is graduating with his MBA in May.  We're going to Europe in May.  My never-ending client engagement is ending in April....and the weather is only adding to the comfort of the consistent chaos in our lives.

These are the days we will remember!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

10 weeks and 2 days

After spotting this little Frenchie puppy on Knox street, I parked my car and chased after the man with a puppy.  I followed him into Restoration Hardware.  Once inside, I corned the man with a puppy and told him I have had two Frencies in my life (he said: "lucky you") but Martha Fauker was 5 years old when I adopted her, and Sarah Dooley was 16 weeks old when we adopted her.  I've never seen a Frenchie so young in person.  He said his boy was 10 weeks and 2 days old.  He let me pet the little guy and he let me snap this photo.

He was walking out of Restoration Hardware as I was pulling up photos of Dooley on my phone.  He said she was beautiful.  (Obviously.)  And then he left.  I might have scared him away.  It was worth it.

Apparently I'm a little aggressive when I spot a Frenchie puppy.

Asking For Permission

I don't know how I feel about a young man asking his girlfriend's father for permission to marry his daughter.  Part of me feels like it's a sign of respect.  Part of me feels like it's antiquated and sexist; daughters are not the property of their fathers, and they don't need permission to marry the one they love.

Nonetheless, last night (my husband is out of town) I went to dinner with my recently engaged buddy and his fiancee.   The fiancee is from Peru and Catholic, and they told a funny story about how my buddy didn't speak to the father before proposing to his girlfriend, and the girlfriend accepted the ring (called her sisters!) thinking her father had been asked for permission.  Once the fiancee realized the father was unaware, my buddy, his fiancee, and her many sisters all worked together to fast track a situation where the father was asked for his blessing by my buddy.  It was a funny story, because the only time my buddy could get in front of the father was when the whole family was in the living room.  So he had to ask the father with cousins, sisters, brothers, and the mother in the room.  And my buddy felt very isolated in a room full of people.

This story got me to thinking about my future.  (And I know I'm projecting here, but still...)  If we have a daughter or two, and if our daughters like boys, and if tradition holds, then at some point in our future we may be in a situation where our daughter's boyfriend wants to speak to both of us about marrying our daughter.  You think it's hard enough for a guy to ask one dad for permission- think about how hard it will be for a guy to ask two dads for permission!

I can't wait.  I plan to make that a very difficult moment for any future son-in-law.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Uncle Pat Pat

I mentioned previously that this past weekend from Friday night until Monday morning we kept our nieces.  Being an uncle is one of my favorite things.  However, I learned something about myself this weekend that surprised me...I'm strict!

I managed the intelligent little nieces like I manage client meetings: I set an agenda and then I stick to the agenda; if anyone strays from the agenda, then I bring them back into focus.

Did you know that an almost 4 year old and a 6 year old are not task oriented?  At one point Paxten was having her afternoon meltdown, and I told her to get it together because we need to get going.   My husband looked at me and said: "She's 3."

Hmm.  (That was my husband's way of signaling me to calm the F down.)  He was right.  Paxten is only 3 years old, and she is entitled to afternoon meltdowns when her Uncle Pat Pat is pushing her too hard.

Lucky for my nieces they get two uncles in this life, and their Uncle Pat Pat will never be without his husband to help remind him to calm the F down!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sweet and Sour Husband

This weekend we continued celebrating my husband's birth.  We loaded up the nieces and headed to my parents' house.  My husband's parents met us there, and my grandfather walked over from next door.  Waiting our arrival was my dad's sweet and sour chicken with fried rice and eggrolls.  Since we had the girls, my mother ensured that we also had all kinds of fruit.  For dessert my mother made her Heath bar ice cream; my husband's favorite.

At one meal we had my husband's parents, my parents, my grandfather, and our nieces.  It was a joyous moment.  Life is good.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Behind in Life, Ahead in Love

Whoa.  My husband and I just kept our nieces from Friday after work until Monday before work.  My parents were the bookends of the weekend: picking them up from school on Friday and taking care of them on Monday before my brother and his wife returned from a long weekend away.

I loved every minute of my time with our nieces. They are smart, demanding, creative, and funny.  I am just amazed at the amount of energy it takes to care for an almost 4 year old and a 6 year old.  Every waking hour my husband and I were completely focused on the girls: playing, feeding, caring.  It's hard work.  How do people do this full time?

I am now behind in my household chores.  I spent last night whipping my household into shape: picking up, cleaning, grocery store shopping.  Oh my goodness.  I have so much respect for my brother, his wife, and my parents.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin

The painting in our dinning room is a replica (copy) of Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin's 1855 work titled Jeune homme nu assis sur le bord de la mer  (naked young man sitting at the seaside).

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Don't Forget About Georgia

The world is taking notice now that Russia's military is occupying Ukraine's Crimea region.  Putin is claiming he's protecting the Russian citizens that are threatened in that independent nation, which is the exact same fictional narrative he asserted when Russia invaded and occupied areas of Georgia.  Russia still occupies two areas within the internationally recognized borders of Georgia.

Finally, I found an article that remembers Georgia:

Russia-Georgia War in 2008 Told the West -- and Putin -- What Was Coming

"Events in Georgia in 2008 presaged what was to come in Ukraine. After Georgia elected a pro-Western government, Russia intervened militarily -- ostensibly to protect the ethnic Russian populations within the Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Vice President Dick Cheney decried Putin's action, declaring that "Russian aggression must not go unanswered, and that its continuation would have serious consequences for its relations with the United States, as well as the broader international community.""

Magnolia Bush

I love this little magnolia bush (I don't remember it's real name) that's in our back yard.  It always blooms before it leafs out; it's the earliest bloomer. I hope the buyers of our home love it as much as we do.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Another Life

For years I passionately collected vintage metal chairs.  I would willingly "stop the car!" if I saw an opportunity to purchase a vintage metal chair- antique store, estate sale, flea market.  I never liked to re-paint the chairs.  I just liked to enjoy their aged beauty.  The vintage metal chairs that bounced are the best, but each one has appeal; I always wonder what they looked like when they were first purchased.  I also always wonder (and liked to guess) what kind of person purchased them initially?

Yes, at one time I passionately collected vintage metal chairs, and I was excited when I finally, achieved my goal of getting 8 vintage metal chairs! Our dinning room table holds 8 seats, and I envisioned drinks on the patio and then dinner in the house- a seat for all!

But time changes, and my vintage metal chairs no longer seemed at place in our more polished house.  They seemed disorderly and junky.  I couldn't make them work.  I replaced all 8 chairs with new uniformed bouncy chairs.  But I couldn't part with my vintage beauties.  I hid them around the house in the bushes and in the attic.  

As we prepare to move down the street to a larger home with a smaller yard (less attic space and bushes to hid things) I realized I had to re-home my 8 chairs.  While my husband was away at Philly, I gathered up all chairs, loaded them in my husband's father's farm truck and drove them to my parent's house.  This summer I plan to take them to the Reunion camp in an attempt to give them another life.
It's always good to begin again.

Monday, March 3, 2014

I do, you do, we all fondue!

It's that time of year...we're celebrating the birth of my husband and his father, which means my husband's mother is firing up her fondue pots and we're feasting fondue style.  It also means my husband's mother is baking "Granny's Chocolate Cake," which is a chocolate cake with a spectacular amount of Mexican vanilla and just enough cinnamon to make you guess- what's that other flavor in this chocolate cake?

I celebrate my husband's father's birth, because he created one half of the man I love!  I celebrate my husband's birth, because he is the man I love!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The One Thing

Before our house hit MLS, we had a professional photographer stop over to take photos of the place.  (Photo shoot!)  And do you know the one item our agent wanted to remove for the photo shoot?  Of all the crazy items in my possession, there was only one item the agent didn't want in the photos.

No, it's wasn't the original Dana Malcolm oil painting of the ideal masculine beauty...
No, it wasn't the large scale print of the famous painting (I can't remember the artists right now) in the dinning room...
No, it wasn't the cake topper from our second wedding or the 1940's Las Vegas city ordinance sign...
No, it wasn't the black sheep...(baaaah!)
No, our agent didn't have me remove the twin Buddhas for the photo shoot... 
And she didn't have me remove the koi sculpture on the dinning room for the photo shoot...
The one item our agent wanted removed for the photo shoot was one of the two animal candelabras.  I loved my candelabra so much I received them as back-to-back birthday presents in 2011 and 2012.
My father never understood high drama candelabras: "When they sold the first one I bet they thought they'd never sell a second one- were they surprised when you came back a year later?" was the first thing he asked.

My husband started calling it "an animal orgy" instead of an "animal taper holder" or "animal candelabra;" I think he likes to belittle the purchases.

And so, the agent said two animal ceramic sculpture things would be too dramatic for most buyers.  She said  one would work just fine, and she asked me to remove one for the photo shoot.

We did get four offers in two days.  I guess my agent knows what she's doing, but of all the crazy items under my roof it's the animal candelabra that's too much?  My father laughed when I told him.