The Mister and Missus

We made it! This past Sunday, the Engaged Girl tied the knot with the Tall One, and they became the Married Ones. I’m still in a bit of a daze—the five and one half months leading up to the Big Event just about did me in. Honestly, I’m just tired and a little emotionally drained. Overall, there were few hitches and everyone said it was a lovely wedding and reception. As soon as the photographers finish editing the photos, I’ll share some here.

Probably the biggest hiccup happened the Wednesday before the ceremony. The Tall One went to pick up his suit from DXL in Webster, Texas only to learn the pants were nine inches too short. We still haven’t figured out why someone would order pants that short for a man who stands 6′ 5″ in his socks. They promised to have the problem corrected by Friday. When he went back to pick them up Friday evening, they were still 3 1/2 inches too short.

Maybe they knew the flooding was coming later in the week?

I thought I was going to have a coronary when I learned they offered to sew some extra fabric around the bottom to make them longer. Um…I don’t think so.

Eventually they discovered his pants had been sent to Seguin, Texas, about three hours from us. They said the store opened at 10:00 am on Saturday and closed at noon, but the manager would be willing to wait until 1:00 pm if we wanted to drive to Seguin to pick them up. Can you believe that???

Fortunately, the Tall One had invested in a beautiful Ralph Lauren suit back in April, but he had not yet had the pants hemmed. OM (Jami’s “Other Mom”) is a brilliant seamstress, so she was able to hem the pants for him the night before the wedding on Sunday.

All’s well that ends well — presenting the Married Ones — the Doddroes!

It’s a shame DXL isn’t a little more cognizant of the power of a happy customer. If they’d come through for us, we would have been happy to recommend them to everyone we know. They did not come through for us, and thus far I’ve posted three one star reviews (Google, Yelp, and YP) along with a photo documenting the kind of service they provide. We are still waiting for them to offer some sort of compensation for our inconvenience. But we’re not holding our breath.

50 days and counting

Until Miss Jinkins becomes Mrs. Doddroe. Oh, my!

Amazingly, we are in pretty good shape with wedding preparations. The venue has been secured, along with an all-inclusive caterer (he does linens, china, food, cakes, table decor, and wedding party flowers! Yay!), the photographer, videographer, DJ, and makeup/hair stylists.

Invitations were mailed and reply cards are coming back. The bridal shower is mid-August, and for the most part we are all calm, cool, and relatively collected. In a midnight online shopping adventure, I actually found my dress — ordered from Dillards.com. I was so worried about finding a dress I’d like. This was the only one I tried on, and I love it! Yay!

I need to find some flats so I can have it hemmed. I’m not wearing heels. The skirt is long and no one would see them anyway. Ha!

I’m Still Here…

…just been super busy with business stuff, family stuff, and a wonderful trip to see my bestie in Ohio the last week of August. We’ve been friends for 41 years — since we were 13 years old. She probably knows me better than almost anyone, except My Guy, of course. But even then — she has probably known me longer than anyone not related to me! She is my “sister by choice,” and I am ever thankful God brought our paths together.

I have one grainy “selfie/usie” I snapped of us with my phone when we stopped to have some coffee. Other than that, I chose to “be in the moment” while I was there. I actually took an extra suitcase to hold my camera bag, and never even took it out! And I don’t regret it one bit.

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Best Friends/Sisters by Choice since the last day of school in 1977.

Sometimes you have to let your mind record the memories. You miss so much when you have a camera separating you and what’s happening. I can’t believe I’m saying that, but it’s true to some degree. If you’ve never seen the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (which is nothing like the short story, I’ve been told) I strongly urge you to watch it. The ending has a powerful message about slowing down, sitting still, and really SEEING what’s happening before your eyes. Here’s the clip:

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Twenty-Two

I became a mom twenty-two years ago today. I could wax poetic about what an amazing and beautiful young woman my daughter has become. I could share with you the mixed fear and pride I felt when she traveled (with great excitement) to a Central American country to serve in missions. I could tell you how smart she is and that the creative gene is stronfullsizeoutput_8522g in her. We could chuckle over how she curls up on the sofa in comfy clothes and teaches herself new embroidery stitches while watching episodes of Doctor Who, like she’s a really cool granny. I could rattle off her literary accomplishments — completing NANOWRIMO four times, having her poem published in the college literary magazine, rocking it like Noah Webster in the writing department.

 

But then I’d just be bragging.

 

 

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My girl is twenty-two today and I love her very much.

 

Happy birthday, Jami-girl!

My House and “The Buoy House”

I’ve been working pretty hard the last couple of weeks. Because I have a difficult time keeping my workspace tidy, I asked my husband right before New Years if we could switch spaces. He has had his very orderly study in our spare bedroom, while I’ve had my disaster site in an open area just off our entryway. I asked if he would mind switching so I could close the door on my space when it gets out of control. He was agreeable, but before I could do anything our daughter got wind of the plan and asked if she could switch her bedroom into the room my husband had been using. It is slightly larger than her room. I said, “Sure. Why not?”

So I moved my stuff to her old bedroom and she moved her old bedroom to my husband’s old study and my husband is now where I used to be.

Shuffling tons of stuff around is so easy, I decided to make it a little more complicated by painting EVERYTHING beforehand. Ha!

So my husband’s new study (and the adjacent hallway) is painted “Cottage Hill,” a lovely shade of green by Behr. Our daughter’s new bedroom is painted “Amber Moon,” a warm yellow, also by Behr. And my new study is painted “Watery,” a really pleasing blue from Behr’s Cottage collection of colors. Actually, all three colors are from the collection. I like them because they are colorful without being aggressively so. All the trim work throughout the three rooms has been painted with Behr’s Ultra Pure White in Hi Gloss enamel. That was a task all its own, because a number of years ago, I got the clever idea to paint our trim BLACK. I’d seen it done on a number of Pinterest boards and it looked very sharp.

Not everything on Pinterest is advisable.

Three to four coats later, I have beautiful white trim. The paint has a primer built in, but that black is a bear to cover completely.

This evening I took a break to go to the Surfside Beach Chili Cook Off with my husband. By the time we got there, it was starting to slow down, but there were still some artists and craftsmen offering their creations. We wandered into a little booth run by an artist and I fell in love with one of her paintings: The Buoy House. I love the theme, the colors, the stories to be found in all the interesting details. There was a less expensive print of the original painting, but it was smaller and just didn’t have the same effect on me.

Guess what my sweet husband got me for an early birthday gift?

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The artist, Kathryne Brayton Lieser, and me with my new acquisition!

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Had it hanging over my desk within 30 minutes of arriving home! 

Here are a few photos of the painting projects I’ve been working on since December 30:

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This is my study (my desk is behind me in this shot).

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I got the clever idea to paint the recessed panels of the doors Garden Rose White (also a Behr color). I really like the little bit of contrast to dress things up and provide some interest.

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My husband’s new study — since taking this photo he has replaced that chair in the corner with his Morris chair and ottoman.

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The other side of his study. He is a neat and organized person, so whenever visitors walk by, it will look just like this. It NEVER looked like this when I was in this space.

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This is my daughter’s new bedroom “in process” – the walls have already been painted, but you can see the black trim I had to cover.

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Almost done. The trim is painted glossy Ultra Pure White now and so much prettier than the black! In a few days we will be getting an IKEA daybed that has three drawers for storage. We are going halves on it for her birthday.

Last, but not least, and certainly not final — the backseat of my car is FULL of boxes of things I will be donating to the Salvation Army. In the midst of the shuffling and painting, I thought it couldn’t possibly hurt to do a little purging. It’s difficult to make the decision to let go, but even moving the stuff to my car was freeing. I can’t even imagine what it will feel like when I drive away with an empty backseat.

Grace’s Beauty Shop

When the blue-haired ladies of Liberty went to Grace’s for a shampoo and set, they entered the East Texas beauty parlor through the door located on Hawthorne Street. When I went to my MaMaw’s beauty shop, it was always after hours and I let myself in through a swinging door hinged along the top, which separated the shop from MaMaw’s home. We were never allowed to go between the house and the shop during business hours. We would have to go out the back door, through the carport, down the sidewalk and back up to the door on Hawthorne Street. Health department rules or some such nonsense.

When we’d go for a visit, MaMaw and my mama would sit at the kitchen table drinking coffee and sharing recipes MaMaw had collected from her Eastern Star sisters. The shop was much more interesting than their recipe-trading, and MaMaw never minded my playing in there as long as I put things back where they belonged. I remember pushing that strange swinging door with all my six year old might, making just enough space to slip in, letting go quick enough so I didn’t pinch my small fingers when the door swung shut with a loud smack.

Once I’d navigated the dangerous door with all my extremities intact, I found myself in a shop that was a treasure trove of grown-up beauty for a little girl just recently allowed to use Tinkerbell “cosmetics.” The mingling fragrances of shampoo, setting lotions and hairspray were intoxicating, and to this day when I smell the laquer-y scent of Lamaur Vita/E hairspray — still sold in the same brownish-gold can — I’m immediately transported back to MaMaw’s.

Two black vinyl chairs beneath two slick black porcelain shampoo bowls were situated to the left of the swinging door, opposite MaMaw’s chair where she took care of her clients. A tiered stand stood nearby; its bins held pink, blue, purple, yellow and gray Toni perm rods of varying sizes. The nubby plastic rods were thinner in the middle than on the ends. Little stretchy bands attached to one end and connected to a stopper that plugged into the other end once hair and perm papers were wrapped around the rods. I enjoyed putting all the plugs in the ends of the rods. Now I realize it might have made MaMaw’s work a little harder the next day. At least I made sure to keep the colors separated!

My beautiful pictureMy short legs didn’t need the foot rest on any of the chairs, but a telephone book worked fine the time MaMaw gave me a shampoo and a pixie haircut. (My daddy didn’t speak to her or Mama for three days.) I sat in MaMaw’s chair when she took care of me, trimming my hair with the precise snip snip snip of her shiny hair shears. Sometimes she’d use a little Dippity Do and curl my hair with brush rollers and long white plastic picks that held the rollers in place. Those picks were a little uncomfortable, but I felt so grown up, I didn’t mind. MaMaw would perch me on the trusty phonebook and I’d stretch as tall as I could when she lowered the hard plastic helmet of the hair dryer and the warm air flowed over my head.

There were two additional chairs near the dryers — I can only assume other beauticians worked there at times, although I don’t remember them clearly since I was usually there after hours. A small rolling table used for manicures stood in the corner. I’d get the nail buffer out of the table’s little drawer and rub the soft chamois across my bitten nails. MaMaw would sometimes give me a quarter for the slider Coca Cola machine across the room. Standing on my tip toes, I could just barely slide the Coke along the rail to the opening on the left which allowed removal of the bottle after depositing my coin. MaMaw would help me clamber back through the swinging door opening where I’d sit at the kitchen table and drink my Coke, feeling every bit as special as those blue-haired ladies of Liberty.

Monday Morning Good Stuff

Monday Morning Good Stuff …

Truth be told, I didn’t have anything good to report this morning, and then put off writing anything at all until this evening. Saturday evening our twelve year old golden retriever died. We’d gone to Galveston for the day, first to attend the Greek Festival and then we hung around for ArtWalk. Dinner with the fam and when we got home late that evening, my husband found her in the backyard. He said she looked like she’d been lying in the sun (it felt good to her old joints) where she’d just fallen asleep.

Early Sunday morning, before church, he dug a grave for her next to our daughter’s Chorkie, Evelyn, who passed away in 2016. They are both under the sycamore tree, side by side, which seems appropriate. When Evelyn was still alive, she would climb on top of Hurley and use her for a cushion. Hurley was the sweetest dog ever, and mothered Evelyn, even though they were not biologically related. So I like the idea of their final resting places being so near each other.

I think at some point we are going to put a little birdbath out there as a marker. Or maybe some wind chimes in the tree. But there’s no hurry.

Be joyful, y’all. Even in loss there is joy for the memories.

Laura