Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Last night was election night. We had a gathering of friends over and watched the polls together: Mom; Jimmy & Lupita Perry; Laura & Kevin Vinther; Mary & Rod Haper; Barbara Kile; BJ Smith and friend, Neil Diamond; 2 of Mary's neighbors Jim & Honey, & ??.

At 10 PM CNN announced Obama as the winner! We drank champagne and ate cake. It was a momentous occasion.

Jim is very optimistic. He thinks that the Republican party will have to change - for the better. I think they will just make up a bunch of crap and people will buy it - just like they did when Clinton was president. Under Clinton, the economy was doing well, the budget was balanced, US prestige grew. So, then the Republicans unearthed a scandal and all the Monica Lewinsky nonsense took over the national scene.

I hope the secret service keeps Obama safe. I hope the Republicans will concentrate on helping the people that they represent instead of trying to dig up dirt! We Americans have a wonderful opportunity to make a change for the better. Electing Obama is the first step.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

2008 Halloween costume

Here we are dressed up for Andy's party last Friday night.

Maker Faire

I went to the Maker Faire in Austin 9/18/08. It's a gathering put on by MAKE and CRAFT magazines.

It's hard to describe. There are robot makers, food makers, art cars, art bicycles, a clothing swap meet, vendors, instructors, etc. The demos for sewing arts were pretty lame - like how a serger is different from a sewing machine.

I went into one building to sit down in air-conditioned comfort. 3 women of different ages strolled by sporting purple hair. I wish I had known that it was a dress-up event. I could have worn my pink poodle costume.

I attended the little fashion show at the end of the day. How can I put it? It was different. Mostly the items were re-made from thrift store purchases. Some were put together at the swap meet. I will upload the photos that I took.

The faire was a bit un-organized. The site map was incorrect. It was difficult to determine when the various programs would take place. Forget about trying to get something to eat and then find a shady spot in which to consume it.

Overall, I had a great time. I was with kindred spirits who were sharing their work and knowledge. My husband even enjoyed it. He spent a long time talking to an artist who works in styrofoam and concrete.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hurricane Ike

On September 11, 2008 Mom, Jim and I loaded up the pets and evacuated to Fort Worth. We beat the crowds on the freeways by leaving early. (In 2005 it took us over 20 hours to reach Fort Worth.)
This time it took just 4.5 hours to get there.

I was hoping that it would be another false alarm, like Hurricane Rita in 2005. But, on 9/13/08 the hurricane hit Galveston straight on and then headed right for Houston.

We stayed at my cousin, Rosemary's. She let Jim and I use her bedroom. The 2 kitties stayed in that room the entire time. The dog just slept in there at night with us. Mom slept in the guest room. Rosemary slept in the guest room, family room or Tommy's room.

It was difficult on Mom. She had to climb the stairs every night to go to bed. We had to help her up and down each day. Plus, we had to carry up her toilet lifter upper seat.

Rosemary did far too much cooking for us. I kept wanting to take her out but she kept wanting to cook. By the end of our stay on 9/21/08 she was exhausted. After all, she's 75 now.

We returned to Houston on Sunday,the 21st. We got power back on the evening of 9/23. I'm so glad that we only had to spend 2 days without power! I had so much housework to do but it was too hot. We borrowed a generator from our friend, Jimmy. That just ran the refrigerator and a fan.

Luckily, our house survived pretty well. The roof over the garage has some damage, the fence in the back is partially down and we lost lots of tree limbs. The pictures show all the tree limbs in front of our house and down the street.


Jim and I got into the action in Fort Worth Stockyards and did some bull-riding.

Fort Worth

Jim and I went to the Stockyards when we were staying in Fort Worth. It's quite the tourist attraction. Twice a day cowboys drive some longhorns down the street. The streets look old time-y Western and there are some cute shops.

Family is great!

Rosemary is the daughter of my father's sister, Lucy. My dad had 6 sisters and 1 brother. Aunt Lucy was the closest to my family. She and Uncle Joe came over frequently to play pinochle. Rosemary was already an adult by the time I was born.

She has 2 children, Cyndi and Tommy. I knew them as I was growing up but we didn't get together very often.

Cyndi got married after I had already moved to Houston. She and her husband, Larry moved to Fort Worth. Her mother and brother soon followed and made their homes in Fort Worth, also.

When I was growing up, there were lots of Calabria family parties, weddings, funerals, etc. I missed all these gatherings after I moved to Houston. It's so nice to have family close by (relatively speaking-for Texas) again.

Rosemary welcomed us into her home during the Hurricane Rita evacuation in 2005 and again in 2008 for Hurricane Ike.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Rosemary!!!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008



The Borg got me!

Look at Jim - he was happy to be turned into a borg. I tried to escape.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Speedy Gonzales

Andale! Arriba, Arriba!

I bought this picture from an estate sale for one dollar. I just wanted the frame but now I'm falling in love with Speedy. Brings back all those Saturday mornings of watching cartoons.

I think I will still use the frame for my project. The black velvet painting of Speedy would make a great addition to a new jacket - in denim, maybe. Or-black velvet??

The Cat's Meow shoe

I haven't figured out yet how to delete a photo from a post. So, instead of redoing my last post to insert a better photo. Here it is in a new post.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Giving old shoes a new lease on life.

Here are a pair of my brown clogs going through the stages of being covered with cat fabric.
As you can see my big toes poked holes through the leather. I repaired the holes with duct tape, used modpodge to stick down the fabric. Later, I added torn strips of brown silk and ribbon for more interest. I finished with a few coats of spray-on clear gloss.

This is a great way to give life back to old shoes.

My hole-y brown clogs are now the cat's meow!

Tools that come in handy are shoe trees, binder clips, dull pencil, paint brush, bowl of water, hot glue.

Then I matched shoes to my handbag!

I wove this handbag from strips of cotton fabrics (I have sewn a couple of jackets from these fabrics, too.). I used latchhook cloth as the base. I first wove a piece of fabric, then sewed up the sides, lined it, added a flower and handle. The bag was tons of work. It won a blue ribbon at the Fashions from the Cotton Patch contest.

The shoes are some old black clogs that I covered with some of these same fabrics. The black and white shoes were easier because I used knit fabric.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I made shoes to go with my top!

I made the top out of a knit houndstooth print, added a flower. Then I covered a pair of my old shoes with the same fabric. Voila, I match!

View from the top of the Eiffel Tower

This is looking down at the water show at the Bellagio.

Paris Hotel

We went up to the top of the replica of the Eiffel Tower - 50% of real tower. It was scary. The top was so tiny and so high! We got to watch the water show at the Bellagio Hotel across the street.

The casino is in the base of the Eiffel Tower. The lobby level looks like a street in Paris and it's always evening. As you walk along the street you end up in the connecting Bally's Hotel and Casino. We went to the Jubilee show in Bally's on our first night. I found some two for one tickets in a little magazine in the taxi.

Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas

Two weeks ago I found out that the Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas was closing for good on 9/1/08. Two days later I booked a trip. We left last Thursday, 8/21/08 and returned on the 25th.

I got a pretty good deal on We stayed in the Paris Hotel - very pretty! We flew American Airlines. Our flights stopped in Dallas and we had to change terminals and planes. But, it was worth it for the price we paid.

Monday, August 11, 2008

new computer

I bought a MacBook last weekend. Since learning to use one at the office, I've become an Apple convert. No spam, viruses, waiting for constant updates to load! This morning I decided to add my printer. I thought it would take some time - searching for hardware, etc. etc. I just plugged in the printer and began printing. The Mac found it all by itself. Now, if I could just remember my password.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hurricane Edouard-the hurricane that wasn't!

The hurricane that didn't happen.

Monday, August 5, Mom and I drove to Huntsville, Texas to avoid possible power outages that a hurricane can cause. The temperature had been hovering at 100. Edouard was supposed to come on shore near Galveston. No air conditioning would be miserable.

So, we went about one and half hours north and stayed in a Super 8 motel in Huntsville. The next morning we wake up to the prediction that the storm was heading right for us. We couldn't return to Houston since the storm was between us and home.

We drove further north to Buffalo, Texas. I looked on my GPS unit for the closest shopping mall-it came up with ones south of us. I tried movie theaters and it listed Palestine, Texas. I passed the exit that the GPS wanted so we took a detour down a country road. A truck comes towards us over a hill with its headlights blinking. On the other side of the hill, a cow is sautering down the road. We could get in an accident in the middle of nowhere. A tornado could touch down in this empty pasture.

We get to Palestine and Mom doesn't like any of the movies being shown.

I tried looking for department stores and found a Penney's in Palestine. We shopped for a while. At least, I bought a gift for the baby shower I'm attending this weekend.

I called Jim and said that we are coming home. We ran into a little rain, some wind and got home with no problem.

I was worn out with schlepping bags, wheelchair, walker, toilet seater lifter and Mom. Next time, Mom and I will just stay home and weather things out.

At least I didn't lose a day of work. Rice U closed on 8/5. Think of all the sewing I could have done!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Niagara Falls

Jim and I walked across the falls in June 2008 on a tight rope!

Friday, July 18, 2008

"altered shoe"

Here is the first shoe I altered. Now I have an excuse to buy high heeled shoes - the higher the better.
I am going to decorate them, using fabrics, trims, modpodge and some hot glue.

I bought some really nasty ones at a new thrift store - thinking of turning them into witch's shoes. Might even add some legs!

Friday, July 4, 2008

7-3-08 Jim turns 50: sugar free, low carb birthday cake



6 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cup Splenda
1 tsp almond extract

1/4 cup slivered almonds

Chocolate cream filling:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup Splenda
2 tablespoons sweet 'n low
1/2 tsp vanilla
(1/4 cup creme de cacao- optional)


Preheat oven to 300 degrees

To make meringue tortes:

Beat egg whites, cream of tartar & almond extract until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in splenda and continue beating until the mixture is stiff.
Spray cookie sheet with PAM. Spread mixture in three 6 inch circles on cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from sheet and let cool.

To make chocolate cream filling:

Combine splenda, sweet n' low, cocoa, vanilla extract and cream in mixing bowl and beat until thick. Add creme de cacao, if desired, and beat until stiff.

Putting it together:

Place one layer of torte on serving plate, spread 1/3 of filling on top. Repeat with second layer. Place third layer on top and spread with filling. Sprinkle almonds on top. Refrigerate several hours.

Makes 10 servings. 5.7 grams of net carbs/serving, if made with creme de cacao.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June 12, 2008 Furball, dinner

We walked a few blocks from the apartment to the Heidelberg Restaurant. I got to have Berliner weissbier with raspberry syrup! I used to get this all the time with my friend, Chris at the Hofbrau Haus in Rochester. Kevin ordered Weisswurst for dinner, Jim - Jaegerschnitzel; I had Paprikaschnitzel. Even Jim liked his food.
We walked around the neighborhood a little bit and then back to his apartment.
His roommate, Crystal had come home and was watching a basketball game. She works for the director of "Lipstick Jungle," a NBC series.

06-12-08 Day One of our New York Trip

We returned from our vacation in New York state on Saturday, June 21, 2008.

On June 12, 2008 we flew from Houston's IAH airport to LaGuardia in Queens, NY. LaGuardia was great - not too crowded. We took a taxi to Kevin's apartment in Manhattan - on 90th Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues.
Kevin was waiting for us outside. His building has a red awning over the door. It's across the street from a nice little park and right next door to a church. The door leads to a stairway to an elevator. The elevator was always quick and took us to his apartment on the fifth floor. Furball, a 2 year old tortoise shell kitty, ran to the door. She just loves Kevin.
We took a tour of the apartment (2 minutes, tops), freshened up and went to dinner.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Going to the big city soon.

I'm getting ready for my big trip to New York City to visit my son, Kevin. We'll stay with him for 3 nights in his tiny apartment. Hopefully, he will have changed the litter in his cat's box before we arrive. There's so much to do in the city alone but we are also going to drive to Woodstock, Albany, Rochester and Niagara Falls.