Paris in Houston

I’ve never been and want to go some day to Paris.  I love French things.  Why not set the mood of Paris on a rainy day?  What comes to mind for me is cafes, crepes and poodles.  “Lu” is my dog.  She is a Bichon Frise which is another French origin dog, just not as iconic as the Poodle.  We actually met a man who had a Bichon Frise that he named Paris.  We went to the dog park for the first time.  Lu has had all of her shots so we could finally take her.  What an exciting experience!  I didn’t know how she would act with other dogs.  We put her on the harness and leash and she was so excited about all of the smells.  The park we go to is one of the best ones I’ve seen.  It is 188 acres, has a large fishing lake, a big dog and little dog fenced in area (both sides have access to the water).  There are always people running, walking or biking around the lake.  The trail is 2 miles around and this is my favorite place to ride my bike.

luLu would go up to other dogs and stand on her hind legs and put her front paws on their back.  It seems dominate, however she would also lay flat in front of them as if saying I just want to meet you.  Once we saw she wasn’t being aggressive, we took her off the leash.  She ran around with a dog we met, Jolie.  She looked like she was having so much fun.friends

A chihuahua named Tinkerbell kept coming up to her and growling.  It was so funny, Lu wasn’t chasing her and the dog would go away and come back to her and growl at her.  Lu handled it well, she basically ignored her.  It’s interesting that some dogs are social and some scared or maybe a little aggressive.  I am thrilled to have her behave well and can’t wait to get her into her training.  I am very driven to do all I can to have Lu behave and be social…I’m scarred for life with the memory of our previous Bichon and how aggressive and antisocial she was with people outside the family.

On with the cafe…My daughter needed help setting up her unfurnished apartment.  After our urban adventure not too long ago, I have been working on her table.  I ordered an inexpensive unfinished 36 inch pedestal table off of Amazon made of rubber wood.  The small dining space has been a challenge to put in the right size table.  The free one was way too big, so I went with a 36 inch and it seems small.  The free chairs seem too big around the table although I have seen smaller round tables with Windsor chairs and it looks fine.  I’m really happy with the dark espresso finish and painted glazed two tone bottom.

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I will be working on the chairs next.  They will have an espresso seat and painted glaze everywhere else.  I just don’t know if I want the Windsor chairs with arms or without.  I found a pair of Windsor chairs without the arms on Offer Up for free and I just might go get them.  Apparently Windsor chairs date back to the 17th century.  They are made of all wood and the process of turning wood for the spindles, carving the seat and bending the wood by steam to create the arched back.  The chair may have received its name from the trade town of Windsor in England so says Wikipedia.

Now for some crepes!  I discovered they are pretty easy to make in a blender.   Today’s crepes will be strawberry, banana, Nutella and we will also have ham, cheese and spinach.  Yum!

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Paris in Houston

Choose Wisely Valentines

When you are young, you have an opportunity to pick a companion, most are going for one that will last a while.   There are many choices.  You really need to choose wisely.  This is not so easy to do.  How do you know what the future holds?

There is a movie scene in Indian Jones and the Last Crusade that reminds me of this choice.  In searching for the Holy Grail before entering the temple there were a series of goblets displayed.  Some sparkly decorated with jewels and carved craftsmanship.  The knight guard says only two words, “choose wisely”.  If you pick the correct goblet and drink from it, you will have eternal life while remaining within the temple.  Choose poorly and well…it doesn’t end well.

With twenty three years of marriage experience, I do have some knowledge about marriage.  Most importantly, you need to find someone that has the same overall goals.  Whether or not children are a plan for your family and to some extent how they will be raised religiously.   Other helpful things are your interests.  And how you work together on problems, because make no mistake, there will be problems.  Now the co-dependency issue, better not have this,  you both need to be strong independently.   And have your interests separately and together.  Be willing to give and compromise or find middle ground.  It helps not to criticize.  And some things I’ve learned from recovery, validate and take responsibility for what is yours…applies here as well.

Does this seem like sound advise?  Just realize, when you get old, your body will too.   You won’t always look as good as you do in your twenties.  Looks will fade, for everyone.  So understand there is more to a relationship than a youthful attractive appearance alone.  Always be truthful and loyal.   Establish, recognize and respect who is responsible for what and ask for what you need.

I met my husband in my twenties and at the time knew what I was looking for.  I completed my education, and could take care of myself.  I had dated, knew I wanted a family and tried to find someone that would match up with my vision of the future.  I met my spouse at work.  We solved a mutual problem for a customer together.  I think that is a great start.  I love that story.  Thinking back now, it seems like it was easier times.  It wasn’t, just seems like it now.  He plays old music that makes me think back to those times and how much older we are now.

My husband celebrates 1/2 a century of life.  Of which he has been with me for almost half the time.  Hard to believe.  No one goes through life skating through.  We’ve had our ups and downs too.  The most important thing is to stick with it.  Of course if there is abuse, you have to get out.  Luckily this has never been the case.  I asked God a long time ago to help me find a person that would be my life companion.  And I promised to be a good mother.  I choose wisely.

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Choose Wisely Valentines

Urban Adventure

My daughter decided that a class size of 300 or more students in her junior year was not for her.  So she decided to switch to a different campus at the same school. It’s 1 hour further away.  Then the headache begins of changing campuses.  First re letting her studio apartment.  Fortunately, a studio is something the people seek and she was able to re-let.  She found an apartment,unfurnished and began the process.  She moved and slept on the floor until we could get a truck to bring some furniture.  Our furniture is in storage.   I rented a Penske truck from Home Depot ($30 plus $.60 per mile).  And I found a free table from a friend and planned to raid our storage for a bed, table ,dresser and couch.

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This is where the adventure began.  We picked up the free table.  My daughter was worried it was too big.  Then we hit the storage facility.  As we opened the garage to see the contents for the first time, instantly my daughter thought it wasn’t worth it.  We had to move around furniture to get to the sofa that was in the back.  All together it took 3 hours to get a mattress, a dresser, a sofa and a console table.  Worth it?  I think so.

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We then headed to her apartment.  She has one stair case to her 2nd floor apartment that goes straight up.  It’s narrow.  Her boyfriend was really concerned about getting the sofa up the stairs.  I re-assured him it was possible and that we would find a way.  We had to shift that sofa a certain way and take it step by step.  By the end it sounded like I was having labor on those stairs.  There was no one around willing or able to help…we did it!

The table was too big.  We kept the chairs and drove the 5 foot table to Good Will.  I offered to purchase an inexpensive table that would fit.  Her apartment is in a nicer area.  It’s an older apartment complex and her apartment is newly renovated.  Nice.

I am starting to see my daughter’s adult personality shine through.  And it’s pretty cool.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds.  Considering all that we have been through.  I am surprised and happy to see her dedication to school and work.  There was no guarantee she would choose a path of education.  She is not into the typical college campus life style.  Neither was I.  This is where I get in trouble, thinking I could write the story for my daughter got me in HUGE trouble before…I let go, and she begins to pick up exactly as I saw myself at her age.

 

Urban Adventure

The Good with the Bad

I think I’ve been guilty of not accepting what I would consider unpleasant emotions well.  It isn’t realistic for life to go on with only certain emotions.    Happy feels better than sad, anxious or uncertain.   Those unpleasant feelings are motivators to do something about it.   I think it is normal to strive for being content.

A new puppy is great!  She is a great source of companionship.  With that comes some unpleasantness.  She has eaten some strings, while annoying it’s dangerous.  It kept me up worrying about it after I pulled out an 18 inch shoe lace that she was trying to cough up.  (It had made it all the way down to her stomach.)  I feared surgery on a little pup.  And while she is so little, I can’t leave her for too long.  Her spirit is amazing.  She loves to see people and is a big time cuddle bug!  I absolutely love her.

 

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The building process on the house is coming along too!  We have now been in the apartment for 3 months.  This sacrifice will be worth it because we don’t have to worry about selling our house, who knows if it would have sold so quickly when we are ready to close on the new house.  The peace of mind has been good.  There have been so many decisions and more to come.  This week we viewed the progress.   The kitchen cabinets and countertops were in!  The three major areas I had to modify have turned out good.  The kitchen had a bump out above the cooktop that was awkward, so we changed to a vent hood that would look ok with a build out around the weird bump to the ceiling.  This is one of the benefits of viewing the same plan in the build process. You can see things you need to change.

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The plan had the fireplace in the middle of the wall in the living room.  I didn’t like the idea of having the TV over the fireplace and didn’t want the TV on the opposite facing wall.  So we had the builder move the fireplace over so the TV and fireplace can be on the same wall side by side and also bump out the fireplace so it isn’t just flat on the wall.  The fireplace will have stacked stone from the floor to the ceiling.  Can’t wait to see the final result.  So far it looks like it will work.

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I am certainly not like one of those stars on HGTV who can just visualize how things will turn out.  People who can do that have a gift!  I feel as though I’m living the shows a little.  This has been like an episode of Property Brothers, where you have a budget and need to make a change, it cost more than you have budgeted,  so you have to find other areas to cut back.  You really need to spend the money in the areas that matter and cut back on the ones where it doesn’t.  For instance, the plan shows the house with a barrel tile roof which is absolutely gorgeous and comes with a hefty price tag.  A composite roof is easier to care for and allows the money to be spent on other things.  These kinds of decisions are key to a final outcome that fits the bill!

Moving to the other side of town will have some good and bad also.  Hopefully we will accept both and find contentment…and that definition is ….

A mental or emotional state of satisfaction maybe drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind

This knowing there will be a spectrum of emotions that go with it.  To be O.K. with the chaos around you.

The Good with the Bad