Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The photo

I often refer to Cheyenne's strappingly handsome boyfriend, Isaac, as Sir Isaacson and ever since I told his people that Cheyenne's mug was going to be in Bark, they keep telling him that his girlfriend is a Super Model. I think we have something going here: Sir Isaacson and the Super Model. In the story Sir Isaacson wears a pocket square and maybe he smokes a pipe, not sure.

Here's the photo that will be in the magazine.

Dodo bird

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I hope it doesn't go to her head

About a year ago I submitted to Bark magazine a photo of Cheyenne with a big silly grin on her face. Bark has a feature called Smiling Dogs and I thought that photo would be a shoe-in for those pages. And then I forgot about it because I did not hear back from them and figured that they did not agree with my thinking.

Until last night when I received this email from them:

I am happy to let you know that your smiling dog will be featured in the next Bark (Sept/Oct 08 issue 50)—we are about to go to press with this issue and it will be out around Sept 20. Thanks so much for sharing your charming photo with us. We also would like to extend you a complimentary subscription; if you are a subscriber, your subscription will be renewed.

How cool is that?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

One thousand and one

Dear Friend,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for moving here eight years ago. Here, where the temperature is cool in July and the night air is so nice that I can sleep with the windows open. Thank you for the humming bugs and the bellowing frogs, and the leaves that rustle like whispered excitement. Thank you for living in a place with green mountains and winding roads and the 100% natural organic dog treats that I bought for Cheyenne and her strappingly handsome boyfriend, Isaac. Thank you for the Farmer's Market and fruit so fresh it danced on my tongue.

Thank you for marrying the right guy and for bringing two beautiful girls into the world. Two girls who delight my heart when they say my name or reach for my hand or show me a moth for the fourth time in five minutes. Thank you for the conversation we had on the drive home from the spinning class we went to that thrilled me to no end to experience with you -- a small healthy something to offset those many mornings we necessarily slept through in our 20's.

Thank you for giving me a birthday that let me spend time with your parents and have lunch with your mother and feel so incredibly at peace. Thank you for always welcoming me into your home and for loving me.

Thank you for fresh apple cider and the rushing rivers, for dinner of scallops and champagne after a drive in the rain. For ooples and banoonoos.

Last year, I spent my birthday in bed beside my mother, reading Winnie the Pooh to her and trying so hard to connect with her, to know she knew I was beside her and I was loving her. This year, I spent my birthday with you and your family. We held hands and said grace before having dinner. In that moment, with your youngest girl's hand in my left hand and your oldest girl's hand in my right, I knew that life is as round as the world and our friendship is as timeless and wonderful as faith.

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And thank you for your father hugging me on my birthday and saying, Happy you you, and then telling me that's what you used to say on someone's birthday when you were a little girl. Happy you you!

Indeed. Happy me me.


Friday, July 25, 2008


It took a mere 15 hours to get here yesterday. When I got here, this was waiting for me:

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And on my bed were these:

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On the table beside my bed were these:

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Two views from this morning, one from the front window (left) and one from the kitchen window (right):

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Two silly girls and one happy me:

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One thing I miss:

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This is my 1000th post on this site.

Today is the 25th of July. Today is my birthday and that's a number I'm keeping to myself.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Play-by-Play (now with updates!!)

Let's see... where do I begin this story? I'll begin in the present. I'm writing from the Presidents' Club in Houston's Intercontinental Airport. I shouldn't be here. I should be 45 minutes into my flight to Newark. But that flight was cancelled. Continental sent me a Trip Alert email about it last night at 11:15 but, silly me, I didn't check email when I woke this morning at 4:30. This is what the email said:

At 11:15 pm 23JUL, CO89 24JUL from IAH to EWR is cancelled. You are now confirmed on CO1844 25JUL departing 2:30 pm, IAH to BTV via CLE. The flight is now estimated to arrive BTV at 8:42 pm. Obtain boarding pass and complete flight details or view other options such as standing by for another flight at an airport kiosk, Service Center or your departure gate.

Basically, since this morning's flight is cancelled, Continental has me on a flight tomorrow that would get me to Burlington, VT, tomorrow night, 36 hours later. I could fly to London and back by that time.

I'm on standby for the next flight to Newark, which, fingers crossed, will arrive in time for the afternoon connection to Burlington and I'll arrive to my destination today. If not, then I guess I'll go to the office. At least I'll enjoy that I'm wearing jeans and none of the fashion police at the office can get on me about it because, hey, I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE TODAY.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m. EST: I made it! I was the last standby passenger called and we sat on the runway for an hour and a half in the rain before taking off but that's all behind me now. I'm writing from the Presidents' Club in Newark airport, sitting by the window, eating crackers and cheese. My flight to Burlington, VT leaves in an hour. As I look out at New York City, I wonder 26 of my fellow fliers from Houston are doing right now, the 16 young ladies and the ten chaperones who've guided them through etiquette classes and now travel with them to NYC for a long weekend of sight-seeing, dinners and even meeting Miss America. Meeting that group completely makes the cancellation and rain delay worth every minute of my time.

UPDATE 6:00 p.m. EST: Oh, hey, here we are again. I've now been traveling - correction, trying to travel - for 12 hours. I left my house 12 hours ago and when I think about it, all I've done is move my waiting from one Presidents' Club in Houston to another in Newark. A funny thing happened on the way to my 4:40 flight. Seems the aircraft was in Norfolk at the time. Rumor has it that the flight is on its way and my flight will leave at 6:45, but you know, I'm a bit gun shy. How can I really believe that after all the travel industry and I have been through together? I'm just not ready to trust yet.

So, here I sit in the pea soup of travelers: too cool for you teens with backpacks heading for Europe, families, business men and women, a few couples, etc., and guess what? They are all in the same stuck here place as me, that of waiting. And waiting. Some have been waiting for 24 hours. (I feel that I am fast on their heels.) This Presidents' Club is loud and a bit smelly and to be honest it reminds me of a mall food court. I'm hanging out by the windows with the businessmen, laptops and blackberries out, connected so that we don't have to participate in the mess around us. We're over to the side to make room for the many, many tired and cranky (loud) children spilling over the chairs and sitting on the floor. More than one set of parents is on more than their second glass of wine. The oddest of all though is two part: 1) my Pollyanna attitude is still in place; it's fading, to be sure, but it's still here; and 2) the woman who is comfortable enough to do yoga. On the carpet. Of the Presidents Club. In one of the busiest airports in the world. I think she's high on something.

Okay, kiddos, that's all for this episode. This weary traveler is moving on to her gate, with the ever-present albeit faint hope that a plane awaits her. Happy travels.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Swinging my legs back and forth on the tailgate between then and now

Dinner Saturday night was on the patio of a Mexican restaurant off South Congress in Austin. Sharing the table with me, my niece, her boyfriend, my friends. After a meal of good food and conversation that prompted some hearty laughter, we stood in the parking lot saying our good-byes. I hugged her then gently pushed back a bit so that I could look at her face while she was still in my arms. Before me I saw a beautiful young woman with a glint of light in her eyes and a glow of happiness around her cheeks.

Suddenly, it was obvious.

You love him, don't you?

She smiles, Yes, Aunt Alison, of course I love you!

I laugh, hug her tighter, No, babe, HIM. You love HIM.

She moves in closer, lowers her voice to a whisper in my ear, Yes, I do.

She then turns her head, searches the lot for him to be sure he wasn't in ear shot. Satisfied by the distance between him and us, she faces me, twists her expression, and looks at me in panic, breathlessly confessing, But I haven't told him yet.

I remember that. I remember when feeling romantic love for someone was safe when it was yours but admitting it, actually telling him, saying it out loud, well that was some scary stuff.

But I'd forgotten how lovely young love looks. She wears it well.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Or are you just happy to see me?

New camera. Treat in my hand. Same model hooked again.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekend realization

While I have not yet met the right guy, I have had incredible luck in finding the right people to share my life.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's about time

Oh, hello! Remember me? I have a blog and I used to write every day but something happened lately and I haven't been around here much. I think what happened is called Summer. And I'm all about this summer and I want to give it loads of attention but the normal demands -- work, house, family, reading every book I can get my hands on that was written by or about a rock musician -- are all about me and they are wanting my attention as well. This little site has been neglected through it all.

But right now I'm grabbing five minutes to share with you my Fourth of July.

Motley Crue had a hit a while back, Girls Girls Girls, and since I'm reading Tommyland by Tommy Lee, I now know that it's a popular anthem at strip clubs across the country. If there were a theme song to my Fourth of July weekend, it would be Dogs Dogs Dogs. I spent the holiday at my family's cabin on the Colorado River, and I invited friends. And their dogs. Cheyenne was there, of course, as was her strappingly handsome boyfriend, Isaac. He's Sir Isaacson to me, but sometimes, bless him, he can also be found answering to Isaac Sue or Isaac Soup. Isaac's neighbor and Cheyenne's friend, Abby was also there. Sometimes she answers to Flabby. All Labradors. Joining them were two pugs, Max and Kate. Or Old Man River or Maximilian, and Katie Kate Kate, as they were called most of the weekend. Five dogs, five happy, dancing, hopping, playing, exploring, swimming, lovable, loving, and amazingly well-behaved dogs. Did I mention exploring? And playing? And swimming? Okay, good. So you must also know that Monday (and Tuesday in my household) was all about napping and snoring and moving slowly. Then again, my Monday was like that as well.

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Have I showed you the cabin? I'm sure I have. But I want to show you again, okay? Because I love the cabin and I love being there. My parents built decades of memories into this place and spending time there is like spending time with them, if I could. Just like time spent with them, when I'm at the cabin, I'm filled with love, awe, and appreciation for what surrounds me.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

In a snit

My office is a little too close to the kitchen for my liking. It's not that I suffer foul smells emanating my way, thankfully, but I do suffer the microwave beeps signalling a forgotten lunch is now ready. The microwave will beep incessantly until you open the microwave door. One woman whose office is four offices away from the kitchen microwaves her lunch each day. She places her tray in the microwave, sets the timer, hits START, and then returns to her office and completely forgets that she's hungry. Today, as yesterday and Monday, I got up from what I was doing, went into the kitchen to open the door so that I could do my work without the beep that was crawling through my ears and down my nerves and up my spine to the point of making me want to do bad things to good people. Where today differs is that about half an hour after I stopped the beeping AGAIN, I wanted to warm up my coffee so I opened the microwave door and GUESS WHAT? Her lunch was still there. So, I removed the lunch, put my coffee in and heated it up. And wouldn't you know it, here she comes.

Me: I pulled your lunch out. It was done.

Her: No, it's only half done but that's okay.

Me: Oh, I thought it was done, the microwave was flashing E-N-D. [True, but THAT was 30 minutes ago when I opened the damn door to shut the damn thing up.]

Her: No, I have to take the cellophane off and heat it another two minutes. I don't mind that you took it out to heat your coffee though.

She doesn't mind? After lunch being 30 minutes in the microwave, she doesn't mind.

Me: [!!!!!]

Now, right now, the beep is going off. Why? Because she returned to her office and again has forgotten and here I go to open the damn microwave door so that I can get some quiet around here.

It's the little things.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I got the call today

My phone rings, a familiar number, a voice I've not heard in a while.

I have bad news.

I listen. My stomach falls, my breath slows, my fists clench. My heart sinks.

Don't kick hope to the curb, is all I can come up with in response.

When we finish talking, I am empty, alone in my car, my entire everything upside down from the news. I am in shock. I turn on the radio and for the first time, hear this song.

You're Missing, Bruce Springsteen

Shirts in the closet,
shoes in the hall
Mama's in the kitchen,
baby and all

Everything is everything
Everything is everything
But you're missing

Coffee cups on the counter,
jackets on the chair
Papers on the doorstep,
but you're not there

Everything is everything
Everything is everything
But you're missing

Pictures on the nightstand,
TV's on in the den
Your house is waiting, your house is waiting
For you to walk in, for you to walk in

But you're missing, you're missing
You're missing when I shut out the lights
You're missing, when I close my eyes
You're missing, when I see the sun rise
You're missing

Children are asking if it's alright
Will you be in our arms tonight?
Morning is morning, the evening falls
I got
Too much room in my bed, too many phone calls

How's everything, everything?
Everything, everything
You're missing, you're missing
God's drifting in heaven, devil's in the mailbox
I got dust on my shoes, nothing but teardrops