Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Few Bloggers You Might Like to Know

Here are some of the wondrous women with terrific blogs. I met them all at MOM 2.0 Summit last weekend. Click on the links, get to know them and enjoy.
  • Karen Walrond's blog Chookooloonks is beautiful. Karen took the plunge, left the corporate world and now is a photographer, writer, speaker and a mom blogger. See stunning results on her blog pages. And she blogs for chron.com, that would be LensHouston. Yes, she's from Houston.
  • April Welch, SimplyOrganizedOnLine. She hails from the State of Washington. April is getting behind clutter itself to identify the reasons why we collect or hoard or shop so she can better help her clients clear their homes, offices and just perhaps their heads. I loved talking with her.
  • Rachel Matthews authors A Southern Fairytale and I love this post of hers which kind of sums up why we all blog. For my friends in another generation, know that this is a great read.
  • Mir Kamin was a panelist on Got Strategy, one of the conference's first breakout sessions on Friday morning. It escapes me at the moment why I liked what she said, but I took notes and can get back to it sometime. Her blog is Woulda Coulda Shoulda and you can find her at Five Full Plates too.
OK, there are more to add to this list, but it's late and the day's been long. For bedtime reading, here's a post that may give you a sense of the conference, or perhaps a sense of The Bloggess. I'm sorry I did not meet The Bloggess. You just have to love her take on life. Did we attend the same conference?

Smile or Weep: It Was Ever Thus

This missive comes from my middle daughter along with the attached photo of granddaughter Lauren. God loves her. And so do we all. But.

"Okay - I'm showing someone the house who might buy it. Lauren comes out like this. After drawing all over my sink with eyeliner and mascara. Kelan is trying to talk with me and my friend and her realtor while dropping crumbs all over the house. Then one of the neighbor kids comes over to tell me (in front of my friend) that there's a broken window at the crapplex across the street with an extension cord running from that apartment to the one above it. This all happened in 15 minutes. I need a drink (if I drank....).

"Did I mention that she also spilled Indian Earth (for those that don't want that is, it's a loose powder bronzer - read: MESSY makeup) on my white bath mat and floor (that I JUST cleaned yesterday)."

I remember those days. Being a mom 24/7 is pretty much an exploration of chaos and often not fun at all. I am thinking once again that I really like my age and stage in life. A lot.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Few Words From Heather Armstrong

I love this statement from Heather Armstrong, she, the creator of Dooce:

"Which brings us back to professional blogging. Yes, there are days when I do not get out of my pajamas, but I suspect that many people who work from home suffer the same luxury. Much of my day is spent taking photos, processing photos, writing notes, writing posts, editing posts, reading and answering email, opening mail, processing mail, and pretty much everything else one does when working in an office. Except I have the privilege of working from home, and that means I interact with my kids and dogs quite a bit in between everything else.
"We love what we do and know how lucky we are to be able to do it.And we know we couldn't do it without my fantastic audience, a diverse group of people so generous that I credit them with saving my life during my postpartum depression. Here in this tiny space on the web is an example of just how awesome and life-altering the Internet can be."

As I was saying in that earlier post, moms are connected and connecting with social media, really. count the ways. It's up to us to learn how they do it.

Read more of her blog profile here. I'll bet you'll read all the way to the end. And it's long.

MOM 2.0 Summit: Noticing in the Moment

In no particular order, here are ten things I noticed, enjoyed and otherwise wondered about at MOM 2.0 Summit:
  1. There is a generational divide in Internet Wonderland. The moms at this conference were connected and constantly reconnecting through social media. Most of my generation is still wondering about whether to take a seminar/workshop that might help them decide if Facebook is worth pursuing. Some join Facebook in order to see uploaded photos of their grandchildren. By the way, that is a big incentive. And three year old Twitter? It's a word with an unknown new meaning. I just read an article from the latest issue of AARP magazine in which the author draws the conclusions that social media networking is a lonely business and there is just something truer about face-to-face. And why, he reasoned, can't one just pick up the phone? Well, maybe, but who under 40 is going to answer that phone in any consistent manner? From my immediate experience at this conference and with my three grown daughters, I'd say that face-to-face, a phone call, blogs, tweets and text can be anything that people want to make of them.
  2. Now on to food. The Four Seasons food was good, but they're obviously not tuned in to wheat free or gluten free diets. They were happy to accommodate, but we had to ask that lots of fresh fruit be served with all that breakfast time wheat. That may be a generational thing too. It's my daughters who are avoiding or omitting wheat from their diets and baking only wheatless cakes and muffins. I know I feel better when I avoid wheat too, but I had two kolaches each morning of the conference. And the mid-afternoon cookies were good too.
  3. The women who attended this conference are with it. I don't know what percentage of the total mom population they represent, but they are exploring realms that didn't exist several years ago. And they seem to be making it quite a business proposition.
  4. Heather Armstrong, that would be Dooce, is now Suave's hair care products 'face.' And what a good choice. A major company chose a blogger, not a movie star or a social celebrity for their branding purposes. It is a new day. Or it will be in March when they get their new website page up.
  5. Most of the women at the conference had really good hair cuts. In fact, I've never been in a group with so many good haircuts. They looked terrific.
  6. My eldest daughter in Seattle was getting a first hand account of some of the conference breakout sessions via Twitter. She follows, among others, The Bloggess, who, by the way, lives in Houston. The Bloggess was tweeting from breakout sessions. Caroline emailed me to say, "Why aren't you in that other room? The Bloggess is in there sending tweets." I could indeed hear the roar of the crowd next door and knew I was missing something.
  7. I confess, the reason my daughter is emailing me instead of texting is because she probably knows I might not get a text message or a tweet. I certainly was not getting the conference tweets on my iPhone and was way too embarrassed to ask new found friends to set me up. I am absolutely sure I missed half of the conference - the asides, the commentary part, but Caroline in Seattle didn't miss that part. No, indeed.
  8. After spending two days at the Four Seasons, I'd say that it appears we are on the cusp of a whole new way of marketing product. Corporations are looking for real people, no, make that real bloggers who can help them figure out how to define their product, produce the message, find the customers, make it real. Bloggers add value and customers. Interesting.
  9. Now this part about 'make it real'? For this part, I'd like to have someone my age at the conference to hear those breakout conversations, so we could reflect and compare how it was and how's it going to be. I may need total immersion (the way you'd learn a foreign language) in this new way of being, so that I really get it and yes, well, integrate it into my life. Into 'some' of my life. The branding part of my life.
  10. Or maybe, this all needs go integrated into more than just a part of my life. Watching and loving my daughters and my young grandchildren, I get the feeling that if I am to have them as a big part of my life...well, I'll have to understand and integrate technology into my days. For love.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

MOM 2.0 Summit: Noticing in the Moment

In no particular order, here are ten things I noticed, enjoyed and otherwise wondered about at MOM 2.0 Summit:
  1. There is a generational divide in Internet Wonderland. The moms at this conference were all well connected and constantly connecting through social media. Most of my generation is still wondering about seminars/workshops that might help them decide if Facebook is worth pursuing. And Twitter? It's a word without it's new meaning. I just read an article from the latest issue of AARP magazine in which the author draws the conclusion that social media networking is a lonely business. There is just something about face-to-face. And can't one just pick up the phone? Maybe, but who under 40 is going to answer that phone in any consistent manner? From my immediate experience in the last couple of days, I'd say that face-to-face, a phone call, blogs, tweets and text can be anything that people want to make of them.
  2. Four Seasons food was very good, but they're obviously not tuned in to wheat free or gluten free diets. They were happy to accommodate, but we had to ask that lots of fresh fruit be served with all that breakfast time wheat. That may be a generational thing too. It's my daughters who are avoiding or omitting wheat from their diets and baking only wheatless cakes and muffins. I know I feel better when I avoid wheat too, but I had two kolaches each morning of the conference. And thte afternoon cookies were good too.
  3. The women who attended this conference are with it. I don't know what percentage of the total mom population they represent, but they are exploring realms that didn't exist several years ago. And making it quite a business proposition.
  4. Heather Armstrong, that would be Dooce, is now Suave's hair care products 'face.' And what a good choice. A major company chose a blogger, not a movie star or a social celebrity for their branding purposes. It is a new day. Or it will be in March when they get their new website page up.
  5. Most of the women at the conference had really good hair cuts. In fact, I've never been in a group with so many good haircuts. They looked terrific.
  6. My eldest daughter in Seattle was getting a first hand account of some of the conference breakout sessions via Twitter. She follows The Bloggess who, by the way, lives in Houston. The Bloggess was tweeting from breakout sessions. Caroline emailed me to say, "Why aren't you in that other room? The Bloggess is in there sending tweets." I could indeed hear the roar of the crowd in the next room and knew I was missing something.
  7. I confess, the reason my daughter is emailing me instead of texting is because she probably knows I might not get a text message or a tweet. I certainly was not getting the conference tweets on my iPhone and was way too embarrassed to ask new found friends to set me up. I am absolutely sure I missed half of the conference - the asides, the commentary part, but Caroline in Seattle didn't miss that part. No, indeed.
  8. After spending two days at the Four Seasons, I'd say that it appears we are on the cusp of a whole new way of marketing product. Corporations are looking for real people, no, make that real bloggers who can help them figure out how to define their product, produce the message, find the customers, make it real. Bloggers add value and produce customers. Interesting.
  9. Now this part about 'make it real'? For this part, I need to have someone my age in the same room with me to hear these breakout conversations, so we can reflect and compare. How it was and how's it going to be. I may need total immersion (the way you'd learn a foreign language) in this new way of being, so I really get it and yes, well, integrate it into my life. Into 'some' of my life. The branding part of my life.
  10. Or maybe more than some of my life. Watching and interacting with and loving my daughters and my young grandchildren, I get the feeling that if I am to have them as a big part of my life...well, I'll have to understand and integrate technology into my days. For love.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Barilla's Share the Table Concludes MOM 2.0 Summit in Houston

So many impressions. So many terrific women. So many very connected women. Live tweets flew moment by moment from the conference rooms out across the world. We could watch tweets rolling down the big screens during breakout sessions. I've really got to get back on Twitter. I missed most of the conference, I am sure, even though I was sitting right there. Twitter is an amazing medium for the transfer of information, lots of information. I learned so much this weekend.
By late afternoon the conference itself was over and at 6:00, Barilla, maker of fine pastas held a Share the Table event for about 40 of us who'd signed up over a week ago. A chef from Bologna tried valiantly to instruct five blogger cooks in making Barilla Campanelle, a pretty wonderful pasta dish with garlic, chunks of eggplant, fresh tomatoes and ricotta salata sauce. The din in the room was so great that associate chefs ran around the room from pan to pan instructing individually.We each had four wine glasses to the right of our knives and the pasta course was followed by veal scalloppini and grilled zucchini. And then we emptied goblets of Marsala Zabaione served over fresh berries and chocolate sauce. Really, really good with a sparkling dessert wine.
And all the time, tweets were flying, photos were taken, conversations were ever loud and clear. It was a very good evening.

MOM 2.0 Summit: Day One

Happy to be attending the MOM 2.0 Summit. Friday's breakout sessions were informative and I met some really interesting women. And I sure was deluged with a series of moments exemplifying generational 'ah-as' and technology 'ah-as'. The whole day was like being surrounded by my daughters and their friends, all sleek with great hair cuts and wearing lots of terrific little dresses. No Chico's jackets that work because they cover so much.
The conference, in its second year at the Four Seasons in downtown Houston, brings together moms and marketers for 2 1/2 days of networking with a chance to mix and mingle with keynote bloggers like Douce as well as several dozen blogger panelists for the three-track breakout sessions. It works a little like BlogHer, but on a smaller scale and with a simpler focus.
Gwen Bell is a panelist. I met her at BlogHer in San Francisco a couple of summers ago and was floored by her 'web connectedness.' Katherine Center is a panelist, hometown Houston mom and author who went to school with friends of my daughters.
Gretchen Rubin, author and blogger of The Happiness Project, shared Friday morning's keynote with Heloise. Yes, that Heloise whom you can read about on Wikipedia. The lady who's been giving hints for over 30 years on spot cleaning and thousands of other topics we wished we knew more about. (That photo on the right was taken after Heloise removed a raspberry stain from this blogger's white pants. In the nick of time too. Just before her panel discussion.)Heloise's mom was the original Heloise way back in the day and after she died, this daughter carried on. She has quite a story and yet, I think it might have resonated more with women who actually lived those days when young women were urged to get a teaching degree so if 'they had to work, they'd have something to fall back on.'

Gretchen and Heloise's speaking styles were so generationally different. The 'turns of phrase,' their references, the context from which each spoke was a chasm apart and yet, both women did a similar thing. They each ran with a good idea and both reach huge audiences.
Gretchen Rubin speaks to the now and began The Happiness Project as a blogger, after serving as Sandra Day O'Connor's law clerk and writing two other books. They come with such different perspectives, grew up in such different times.
Heloise speaks from many, many decades of life and experience. She is of the Good Housekeeping era and is still a contributor to the magazine. Good Housekeeping was my mom's magazine for way more than sixty years. I am sure that the women at this conference read Real Simple.
Breakout sessions included topics such as creating a strategy plan for one's blog, using design as a core component of your brand, assessing usability and user perceptions of your website and then at the end of the afternoon, a session on clearing out mental clutter. This last topic was described thusly: "So many of us are rocking out on social media, but we are still struggling with managing a crazed schedule and creating a balanced life. News Flash: the world our Mother’s taught us how to be women in, is as ancient as the dinosaurs! Innovation is the name of the game when attempting to clear our schedules and our heads."
After sitting in on this session, I am not sure the program description is entirely on target. Dinosaurs? I am as crazed as my daughters, but without continuous texting or small child care. We'd all benefit from yoga three times a week and quiet moments each morning for setting our intentions for the day. However, the panelists for this session were great and so were the audience questions. Mental clutter is ubiquitous.

So, onward into the second and final day of the conference. We'll hear from Douce over breakfast. Not a bad way to begin the morning.

Friday, February 19, 2010

MOM 2.0 Summit: Day One

Today, at MOM 2.0 Summit, held at the Four Seasons in downtown Houston, was to experience generational differences

My technology challenged ah-a moments ran throughout the day. Here are a few. Hurts to name them. My daughters, your mom needs more tutorials.
  • I downloaded the conference's M2 app on my iPhone, but somehow never found the moment-to-moment tweets I was seeing on the large screens in the breakout rooms. Just now, I'm reading conference blog posts written in real time yesterday on my iPhone.
  • And photos taken at the breakout sessions that were immediately uploaded to Flickr? I've not been on Flickr for months. I doubt I could find my own photos on Flickr because my password has by now vanished from my brain. And why wasn't I putting all those Second Seating photos on Flickr last fall? Or in Facebook albums? OK, they're on this blog.
  • Took my lap top with me but found that unlike BlogHer, there were few places to plug in. That didn't seem to bother anyone else who appeared to be blogging in real time at the sessions, but my laptop went on reserve power within minutes. Just as it did in San Francisco two summers ago at BlogHer when I had to buy an entire new battery at the Apple store near the hotel. Drives me nuts. So I spent the day writing on Four Seasons paper tablets all day. Hence, no real time blog posts or fb. Does it matter, really?
  • Hey, as of a week ago, I have incoming and outgoing email capabilities on my iPhone again, thanks to Apple's Genius Bar in Memorial City Mall. Can anyone under 45 imagine life without cell phone emails and texting? And here's when 'the present moment' really hit.
MOM 2.0 Summit just about did me in. But I plug away, no pun intended.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Demise of Mai's

One of my favorite Vietnamese restaurants burned to a crisp today. Mai's on Milam Mai's no longerand apparently my daughters, all of whom live in the Pacific Northwest, learned about the fire from Facebook and Twitter and were emailing me before I was even aware of the fire.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mom 2.0 Summit Just Days Away

Another first for me this morning. I managed to download a Mom 2.0 Summit app from Twitter onto my iPhone. I have no idea what this conference, which begins on Thursday, will be like. I am sure to be the oldest person there and perhaps invisible? But I love the conference speaker line-up and schedule of breakout sessions, so it should be a good weekend and I intend to be a sponge for new information.
At BlogHer conferences, there are folks like me. Mom 2.0 Summit will be a test for sure. For several weeks, I've been reading lots of tweets and emails about finding roomies and 'What should I wear to a Mad Men party?' and so many 'What should I wear?'. The Four Seasons Hotel will be overtaken with women in their 30s and 40s who are much like my daughters. Will a few Grandmoms and interested parties on in attendance too?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Driving Home at Dusk

Bad habit I suppose, but I keep taking photographs from the car. Especially on the way home at dusk. There is big sky in Houston, if we simply look up. There is lots to see on the way home.

Middle of the Night

Well, when I first woke up it was the middle of the night. Now it's getting on toward morning and I will soon hear the truck that drops The New York Times in front of my house. Farrell is sound asleep on the towel I put at the end of my bed. He truly sleeps at night. Thought since I am wide awake, I'd do a bit of thinking for my second interview for this position as artist on an architectural team that is tasked with rehabbing a building for the city's permitting and code enforcement offices and green resource center. Houston Arts Alliance is conducting the interview process. I am intrigued with the project and with the final four interviewees chosen for a second round.
Also had a lunch meeting a day ago about another consulting possibility. I am drawn to this one also. And I just got a commission from someone who came to the opening of Second Seating and would like a rendition of a Clorox bottle chandelier for her new home now under construction.
So it seems that I am now moving into a space that is filled with new opportunities offered because of Second Seating. It's a nice spot to be in, unless of course, I gather up all the opportunities and drive myself nuts. I am trusting that if I'm willing to jump into the universal flow, I'll choose or be chosen to do the things that I want/need to be doing.
I am taking special folks who worked really hard on Second Seating - and you know who you are - to lunch at Haven. Am scheduling lunches over the next week and am bringing along gift baskets filled with things reminiscent of the exhibition. 25 more thank you letters to send and then I will focus on completing the book "The Making of Second Seating." Also want to see if The Clorox Company would like that chandelier at their corporate offices in Oakland. Seems like a good idea and I will pursue it.
All this being said, there is more to life than personal possibilities post-Second Seating. I've not yet made a contribution to relief efforts in Haiti. The Supreme Court has became truly scary. Have they altogether forgotten democracy and the little guy? I am worried sick about the health care bill and the Republican lack of willingness to work with Obama or even come up with their own alternatives. Can we not get anything accomplished on the national front because so many are so intent on simply sitting this administration out? What about 'the people'? Who cares? No wonder the Tea Party folks have taken off.
And it's high time to plan March and a trip to Seattle. Hard to settle on dates with so much pending. And there are bills to pay and a trip to the Apple store so I'll get emails on my iPhone once again. Oh, and I could have a plumber take a look at a running toilet and the garden needs attention.
And wouldn't it be nice to make art again? Then there is the memoir writing group I joined and we will be writing and meeting throughout this year with the intent to publish. We meet next Monday again and I need to churn out a few pages.
Another rambling blog post. Find I am using posts to play catch-up. Perhaps a few photos will enliven this? I also found a source for 'new' vintage style cotton print table cloths. Just what I need. But I am loving them. For the table and for cutting up to make things to wear in summer.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

On This Sunny Day

I am not out walking. Make that a 'should' be out walking and am not. Instead, I rose from my bed at the late hour of 9:00 a.m. after a call from my brother who happened to be in the Milwaukee airport waiting for a flight back to Houston. This whole day, I've been flitting, as I do, from one thing to another. I am washing load after load of bed linens in hot water as per instructions from the allergy clinic. They told me that hot water kills dust mites. I sure hope so.
I am also sorting through endless newspapers, reading op-ed pieces and stories about Congress and Pakistan and Sarah Palin that would be funny if they weren't so tinged with ill will and dastardly goings-on.
Yes, yes, I've also written a half dozen more thank you letters and they are stacked on the back of the living room couch waiting to be paired with press clips and tucked into envelopes. Almost every day this week, I went to the post office with a new stack. Two dozen more and I think I will be finished. The good news about these letters is that they are evidence that many, many people played parts in the making of Second Seating and for that, I am grateful. No one work on this kind of projects alone. Ever.
What this Saturday has really been about is the remaking of my bed as a dust mite free zone. If all the allergy skin testing on my back and upper arms is to be believed, dust mites are driving me nuts. As well as tree droppings, pollen, house dust and cats of which I have two.
A visit to Macy's white sale a few days ago resulted my car jammed with very big bags of white this-and-that, beginning with a 'made in China for Martha Stewart' zippered mattress body suit. This morning I chose to tackle getting that body suit on my mattress. Just me. By myself. My friend Sally is in Egypt scouting pyramids at the moment and not available to give a hand for this sort of project. But, I discovered, one person can do this job. And I completely turned the mattress over on its other side for good measure. Got the hypoallergenic cover on and zippered tightly shut. Then I added a new hypoallergenic mattress pad and a non-down down comforter, two hypoallergenic pillows and one flat hard hypoallergenic pillow that I have actually been sleeping on for several nights. It works well for 'back sleepers'. Says so on the label.
Footnote, last night, sleeping with my head flat on this flat futon-like new pillow and my sleep apnea paraphernalia in place all over my face, I stirred in the night and reached my arm over my head and felt 'cat.' Marisol was curled up on that part of the new flat pillow I'd not cornered for myself. Add in Farrell's delight in jumping up on my bed for head rubs and much purring and crashing through newspapers and pushing books aside. I am scheduled for cat allergy shots too and the nurse asked me, "How old are these cats."
"Just middle aged," I responded. "They'll be around awhile." Unless I find them new homes. Now, that's a thought. Unlikley, though. My family - parents, siblings, offspring - are all cat-folk. I grew up with cats, generations of them, my girls watched litters born in the corner of my clothes closet, cats leap up on our tables, find secret places to snooze all over our houses, eat incessantly, purr, bite, misbehave, pee in the wrong places when leaving us messages, go in and out and in out any door we open. But, this is digression. My bed is now totally clean and new and I will put a towel across the bedspread tonight for Marisol. Which she may sleep on.

Sony Gives Us Numbers We Didn't Count On

Just take a good look at this from Sony's annual meeting: Did you know?

Friday, February 05, 2010

It Is What It Is and It's Not Bad

So, it is almost 10:00 p.m. on Friday night and I've just returned from three hours at Celsius 13, Ian Rosenberg's lovely wine bar on Caroline St in Midtown. Hadn't been there in a long, long time, but a friend called, a friend with whom I needed to have a long, leisurely catch-up visit. We sat on the patio. Sorry no photos of the space with hanging strings of red lights and space heaters. Two glasses of wine and three hours later, we still were not entirely caught up, but we'd both done a lot of talking. By the way, she had Pellegrino while I was savoring an Australian Shiraz and then a Cabernet from where and of what vintage, I cannot remember. Kathie ordered panini stuffed with feta and tomatoes and then a plate of truffles. We are not yet finished with our conversation; it is ongoing. She swears we knew each other in another life and I think she is right.
I had another friend who emailed me today and asked if I was OK. He'd not read a new word on this blog in almost two weeks. Days are sweeping by and before you know it, Valentine's Day 2010 will have come and gone and soon it will be spring break. And it is way time for me to be scheduling another trip to Seattle, even though I've been home just five weeks. It is time to return.
Dad's 93d birthday is on Monday and there will be a party with cake and music. I hope some of the great grandchildren will be in attendance. I know that most of Dad and Mom's days are long and boring and I know from phone calls with Dad and emails from my sister that it is time for to fly again and do whatever I can to brighten things up for a few days and give my sister some free time. Needs are unending. Makes one wish for a multi-generational homestead where the elders would have caregivers and they would also have a flow of family around and about them for moment to moment entertainment.
My dear sister Kate has tumbled into a series of dental and other doctor appointments for both Mom and Dad and, of course, the outcome is never good. More work to be done. Teeth to be cleaned, ears that need better hearing. Mom and Dad's lives go on and on and on and they cannot do for themselves. Their adult family home couldn't be better and yet, there are all these appointments for which my sister is rallying. And what of their social life? Of course I need to fly back to the Pacific Northwest and 'do something.' And I've not even mentioned the grandchildren, my daughters and their families all going at full steam. So much family in Seattle, so little time.I thought I might have a block of days next week for Seattle, but they are already filled with appointments. A second round of interviews for a consulting job, doctor's appointments of my own and then two weekends filled the Mom 2.0 Summit, a social networking conference right in downtown Houston at the Four Seasons. I am thinking it may be similar to BlogHer conferences? The next weekend is a three day workshop at Art Supply with Patti Brady for which I signed up last fall. Workshop has to do with acrylics and applying images to many different surfaces. My horoscope says I'll have an epiphany in late February so the workshop may be it. I know. It all sounds nuts.
What it means is no trip to Seattle until early March. Must set aside days now. And what if that second consulting interview goes well and I suddenly am part of a team and have actual meetings to attend - and responsibilities? That's a big one.
I've been back in Houston five weeks. During these five weeks, I've been composing individual thank you letters to the many, many people who helped with Second Seating. They are being mailed with packets of press clips and copies of exhibition signage to underwriters, partners and friends who helped make Second Seating work. As usual, I had no idea how long it would take or how involved it would be. How can it possibly have taken a month? Well, in between letters, I've written two final reports for grants I received for Second Seating, both of which had varying degrees of spread sheets to be filled out with financial information. Anything with numbers is for me very time consuming.
I've attended to health issues. No diseases, just conditions. Like a stiff neck and sore muscles in almost all parts of my body - a situation that's been coming on for years and I've finally decided that something must be done, so am seeing an osteopath and a physical therapist. They push and pull and where ever they probe, there is soreness and tightness and it's no fun. I asked the physical therapist today what relaxed muscles felt like and she said to feel the muscles of my grandchildren. I will definitely feel their little necks and shoulders when I get to Seattle. Apparently mine are all like ropes holding a ship at port.
And then there are the allergies, something I've been afflicted with since childhood. Took shots when the girls were little and was fine for a decade or two. Now allergies have pushed back into my life with a vengeance, so I spent two days at the McGovern Allergy Clinic getting skin tests up and down my back and arms. They found the usual suspects like pollen and whatever falls from trees, house dust and dust mites. And of all things, rice and corn and dairy. Rice and corn? None of these foodstuffs for three months? Remember where I live and think Mexican food. Realize that means no more of Thursday's green chicken enchilada lunch special from Brothers Tacos, no La Victoria's migas for breakfast, no fried rice from Connie's that goes so nicely with a dozen oysters, no Kanomwan Thai, no Vietnamese unless I stick with pho. And forget cheeses and ice cream. I'll have two allergy shots a week and lots of new drugs. Now I am using an inhaler, Nasacort, an antihistamine, eye drops. My drug list doubled. Hey, I am in terrible shape. My eyes have been running for almost two months and my cheeks are chapped from the wet. Thank heaven for tinted eye glasses, a life saver. I still look OK, even fashionable.
Now I know any number of friends who tell me that all of this health stuff is lack of sleep and too much work for too long a time and I do not disagree. Of course, that is is exactly what my stiff neck and running nose is about. So, I am giving time to finding the right chair and small lap top table at which to sit so I am not throwing my body completely off kilter, I will walk again now that the rain has stopped and I have already bought a zippered mattress cover and new pillows and comforter. Away, dust mites.
Now, in addition to all of this attending to my body business, I have one more grant proposal to write - it's due March 1 - and as I said, I've made the second round of interviews for this consulting 'artist at the table' position. And maybe, just maybe, someday soon, I'll have finished all the thank you letters pertaining to Second Seating.
So what else has been going on? On a very blue beautiful day, I drove out with a friend to the San Jacinto Monument and took a walk and saw barges and ships and of course, the monument.We had four or five freezing nights and the garden is a wreak. We've not had temperatures like these in years, nor for so many round the clock days, so almost everything except the roses up and died. I've watched a lot of Netflix - like half a season of 'The Closer' - don't you love Kyra Sedgwick's Southern accent and the way she assigns tasks and then says 'thank you' so very sweetly - and wouldn't we all like a boyfriend like her Fritz? Then there is 'Waiting for God' which is absolutely marvelous. I am watching my favorite episodes for the second time. The dialogue is so fine that I put subtitles on when I am watching so I don't miss a word. I know I am going deaf. Then there is 'In Treatment', a series that makes we want to shake half of the therapist's patients and say 'get over it.' Which, I guess, is another way of saying it's good to be 60+. We've been there, so let's move on already. Well, I have suddenly run out of steam and have to depart this laptop for bed.
Au revoir.
P.S. I stopped by The Guild Shop today and that is another story.