Monday, January 31, 2011

All my life I’ve looked at words as though I was seeing them for the first time.–Ernest Hemingway

I know I haven’t been around much, lately.  I have had things on my mind. A plethora of things.

I have been trying to figure the logistics of getting the house packed up and moved to DC. We now have a house to rent there. Do I move now and leave the house empty until it sells? Or stay here until it sells? My gut tells me to stay here until it sells, because a house with “custom paint” (I love how realtors let you know the homeowner painted the walls anything but neutral) shows better with the furniture in it. Otherwise, it just looks like a discombobulated pallet of jewel tone colors.

Closer to the happy hour, the more picayune my thoughts. Such as, should I have Oreos for dinner? Or just olives? I tend to give this quite a lot of thought, as I hoist yet another glass of chardonnay to my lips, because dinner is one of the most important meals of the day. While I love to cook, I’m not keen on cooking just for myself. My usually vociferous kitchen helpers are really not much help.

IMG_0113[1] They like olives, too.

Speaking of the unhelpful hounds, I took them to the park the other day. The reason I took them to the park? Because it was 72 degrees outside and sunny! After they sniffed the butts of all the dogs at the dog park (one of which Zoe had to get on her hind legs to do, because a Great Dane’s butt? is really tall) I wanted to get a picture of them with the statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn.

You music fans may be flabbergasted to know, I do not know who he is, other than he is a musician and he grew up in Austin. I don’t mention my lack of music knowledge in this town, lest I come to fisticuffs with some of the more mercurial of music fans.

Phoebe, with all her worldly insouciance, sat delicately at Stevie’s feet.  No matter the cajoling and pleading, Zoe was not to be bamboozled into sitting underneath that dadgum-thing-a-mabob. It looked like a real man, but didn’t smell like a real man and she was having nothing to do with it.

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After several tries of getting Zoe to sit demurely (lookit there! I can come up with fancy words, too!) next to her sister, this was the shot I got.

You know what else is nice about this picture? There is NO SNOW! I’m just sayin.

In fact, just to the right of Stevie, in the water, was the UT rowing team. If Ms. Zoe hadn’t been throwing a fit about sitting at Stevie’s feet, they would have been in the picture, too. Yeah, jovial rowers out on the non-frozen lake. In January. Although, I’m sure there would have been quite a lot of schadenfruede going on, had the rowers tipped over. Even though it’s not frozen, that water is still pretty danged cold! But I suppose those guys know what they’re doing. They’re a little more practiced than a girl and two dogs in a canoe.

After our trip around the lake, we headed over to this cute little wonky-tonk and sat on the patio to watch the passers-by. By then, it was 3 o’clock close enough to happy hour that I had a martini and the girls shared a sarsaparilla, a drink similar to sassafras, which in laymen’s terms is root beer.

(okay, I know I totally cheated on wonky-tonk, but every time I say it in my head, I giggle)

As we come to the end of my story, I have one last picture to share with you:

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Zoe? Do you hate your pretty babushka?

“Indubitably!”

Friday, January 28, 2011

The one where CGMan visits the blogosphere…

Dear Readers of the Dawn in Austin blog,

This is CGMan. It has been 7 days since my wife’s last posting. I take partial credit for her absence. I am sure she is having way too much fun sorely depressed since I left our home 24 days ago. Such are the hardships and sacrifices we must endure to make a better life and keep Dawn in the lifestyle to which she has grown accustomed.

While I take partial responsibility for her recent blog absence, I can’t assume full responsibility. I know she has been busy hanging out with her girlfriends and our spoiled dogs preparing our home to sell and making it inspection ready for all those pesky, potential homebuyers, tracking their dirty feet into our now cowless and impersonal model home. I also know she feels displaced and out of sorts in a house she used to call her home. For the latter issue, I would ask that you be patient during her hiatus.

In the meantime, I would encourage each of you to leave her a comment with your most favorite word. Then I challenge Dawn to piece all the words she collects together, using verbs, nouns, pronouns, wine, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, vodka, conjunctions, and interjections to make a fun and wacky paragraph to be her next blog post. Come on people, she needs some stimulation and I’m not there to make that happen. Writer’s block be damned!! We’re here to help you Dawn!

Thank you!

CGMan

Thursday, January 20, 2011

No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure as lasting.

Hello, my name is Dawn and I am a reader.

I have been known to let laundry and housework go because I was reading a book. There may have been an occasion or twenty where I forgot to make dinner for my children. (Thank you, Ronald McDonald!) And one time, on a lonely stretch of two lane road in the middle of the cotton fields, I attempted to read while driving. Do not try that! Once, while waiting for CGMan at the airport, I totally missed him walking right up to me because I was trying to lean as far over as I could, to see what book the lady next to me was reading. I almost ended up in her lap. It was totally worth it, though.

My point is, I love to read. Wow tells me I learned to read at an early age, which was very frustrating for my first grade teacher, who was trying to teach me to read. Actually, the frustration stemmed from the fact that I would finish reading and pester chat up the kids around me, delaying their learning progression.

I started reading as a hobby by the time I was in 4th grade. Trips to the library were quite a treat for me. By the time I was 12, I was reading anything I could get my hands on. At the time, Wow didn’t particularly want me reading the books she was reading. You know, the ones with the cover that had a picture of Fabio, sans shirt, and some woman whose boob was ready to pop out of her dress. She would tell me I wasn’t allowed to read them. That didn’t work. Sorry Wow, but I read them.

I’ve never written a book review and I’m not going to try to write one now, I’m only going to tell you about some good books I’ve recently read. Wow sent these to me for Christmas and I haven’t been able to put them down.

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Oh man! Can this lady weave a story!

I wouldn’t say they are mysteries, but they are mysterious. They are about love and family, but are not romances. It’s like finding a journal in your Grandma’s attic. You read it because you want to find out what happened, way back then. It awakens a curiosity you didn’t think you had.

As you read, you pick up little hints as to what is actually going on, but it doesn’t give away anything, rather it draws you in to see if you’re right (which you won’t be). Her characters feel like real people. Like close friends sharing a secret with you.

I’ve read all three. While they are similar writing styles, they are so very different. Each story is it’s own, with it’s own twists and turns that you don’t see coming.

For those of you who are are being snowed in right now, I am so glad I don’t live there would recommend curling up in your favorite chair and read one of these books.

Today, it will be a blustery, cold, snowless 45° and I plan to curl up in my chair to check out all the books on my new Kindle.  And get lost again. The dogs will remind me when it’s time for dinner.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday…

This is how I have felt ever since we got word of the job in DC. 
That’s me there, in the wheel. No, not the one running. Hello? Have you met me?
I’m the red-headed one hanging on for dear life!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Did you know…?

…it takes 570 gallons of paint to paint the outside of the White House?

…the color of the paint used on the White House is called Whisper White and is made by Duron?

…there are 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms in the White House?

…the White House was the biggest house in the United States until the Civil War?

…President William Taft had to have a bathtub built especially for him, due to his size? He was 332 pounds.

…Lincoln’s ghost is said to be the most active in the White House, along with Dolley Madison, Abigail Adams and Washington’s “Demon Cat”?

…there has never been a computer in the Oval Office and if President Obama gets his way, he’ll be the first president to bring the Oval Office “online”?

…the White House had a cow named Pauline Wayne?

…that she was owned by President Taft and was considered as much a family pet as livestock?

…four Marines protect the West Wing and are specially chosen out of the 180,000 Marines?

…that my Marine knows more useless interesting facts about the White House than I have been able to find online?

…CGman and I visited the White House for the first time on Sept 9, 2001 in celebration of my birthday, which was the next day?

…the reason for all the info on the White House today, is because I’m already tired of talking about my house and it’s square footage and paint and whatnot?

 

P.S. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the Zadge knew most of this already!

Friday, January 14, 2011

To market, to market …

So.

Now that I have packed away all the inviting things, the warm things, the personal things, our house is finally on the market. Today.

Let me tell you, it was not easy.

While I understand the need to make the house look pretty for potential buyers and even impersonal so they can picture their own things in the house, it was still hard to go from Dawn’s house to this regular ole house that is for sale.

It was quickly apparent that some of the d├ęcor (read: cows) were going to have to go. So with a heavy heart, I took down all the cows. I retired some that needed retiring and packed the others away for the trip to the new house. Not to worry, I did not retire the ugly cow.

After that, I cleared off the kitchen counters except for the most important of items- coffee maker, cooking utensils and dog treats. Although, I did remove the treats from the big, plastic, paw print covered canisters and put them in pretty red ceramic canisters.

I cleaned out some of the cupboards in the kitchen, of which there are a lot. Know what I noticed? We have more wine glasses than Napa Valley. So I packed up 3762643 wine glasses and left a respectable 8 in the cupboard. No need to have potential buyers think we’re a couple of winos. We are, but they don’t need to know that.

Since I was on a roll, I cleaned out from under the sinks in the bathroom. I’m hoping no one looks under there, but if they do, they will no longer see my collection of wrinkle creams that simply do not make me look 25 years old, extra boxes of my natural hair color, and various bottles of lotions that don’t firm, don’t tighten and don’t wipe away cellulite. And a couple that will turn you a nice shade of Hook ‘em Horns Burnt Orange.

I had CGMan clean out from under his sink before he left. It’s a good thing I double checked that. Do you know I found another bag of bath puffies? He must have had some hidden in the move from Abu Dhabi. He stores up cans of deodorant and body spray. After finding 3 cans of Tinactin, I’m wondering if the man shouldn’t see a doctor or something. I mean really? How itchy are his feet? I honestly had a dream the other night that we were on that hoarder show because of him.

I cleaned and dusted and washed and straightened. And now I am done. The house is still beautiful, but it is no longer my house. My house is packed away in boxes in the garage, waiting to come out and help me with our new house.

After one day of self pity and woe is me, I realized life is not about a house. It’s about being together, no matter where. There will be other houses. Now that I’ve come to that realization, I’m ready to move on.

So. There you go.

Anyone want to buy a slightly used, cowless house?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

The world doesn’t make any sense, so why take pictures that do?…

Forgotten photos, courtesy of my cell phone…

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Look, Mommy, we hugging!

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If it’s yummy, save a picture

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Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful…

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ZZZzzzzz

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Besties

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Don’t bother me, Mommy, I’m on squirrel patrol.

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Beautiful Austin

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Skater and the traitor Elmo

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Daddy? Zoe not share.

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Hahahaha! Cats rule and dogs drool.

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I can haz bone. I good hunter.

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Skater and Amazon Girl.

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I’m a good girl, right Mommy? I wait for Santa.

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This was a drive by photo-shooting

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My grand-cats

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A niece is just as good as a grandbaby!

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Because my turkey is better than the Marine’s

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Scottish Woman is silenced…sort of.

So what’s on your cell phone?

Thank you Meg, for the great idea!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Anything that happens enough times to irritate you, will happen at least once more…

You want to know what sucks?

A bulldog with insomnia.

A bulldog with insomnia who can’t get comfortable on her crinkly, waterproof bed.

A bulldog with insomnia who can’t get comfortable on her crinkly, waterproof bed and thinks she has to pee every other hour.

A bulldog with insomnia who can’t get comfortable on her crinkly, waterproof bed and thinks she has to pee every other hour, but really just wants to go outside to see if there are any raccoons.

A bulldog with insomnia who can’t get comfortable on her crinkly, waterproof bed and thinks she has to pee every other hour, but really just wants to go outside to see if there are any raccoons, but when there aren’t any raccoons to play with, just sits out there in the dark, making me think she is peeing, when in fact, she is not.

A bulldog with insomnia who can’t get comfortable on her crinkly, waterproof bed and thinks she has to pee every other hour, but really just wants to go outside to see if there are any raccoons, but when there aren’t any raccoons to play with, just sits out there in the dark, making me think she is peeing, when in fact, she is not and then goes back to her crinkly, waterproof bed and decides she really does have to pee.

A bulldog with insomnia who can’t get comfortable on her crinkly, waterproof bed and thinks she has to pee every other hour, but really just wants to go outside to see if there are any raccoons, but when there aren’t any raccoons to play with, just sits out there in the dark, making me think she is peeing, when in fact, she is not and then goes back to her crinkly, waterproof bed and decides she really does have to pee, so she pees on it.

A bulldog with insomnia who can’t get comfortable on her crinkly, waterproof bed and thinks she has to pee every other hour, but really just wants to go outside to see if there are any raccoons, but when there aren’t any raccoons to play with, just sits out there in the dark, making me think she is peeing, when in fact, she is not and then goes back to her crinkly, waterproof bed and decides she really does have to pee, so she pees on it, making me have to do laundry in the middle of the night.

You know what else sucks?

I ate the last donut yesterday.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It could totally smell like cookies…

Yesterday, after CGMan left to begin his new adventure (read: go to work) the girls and I took down all the Christmas decorations. During the course of the day, we had many conversations about our impending move.

We speculated what it would be like, living in the city. Would we like going for walks, rather than playing in the backyard? Would the dogs at the dog parks make fun of their Texas accents? Zoe was curious to know if there are squirrels and is one allowed to chase them. They had heard there are dog catchers in the city and were worried. I assured them the dog catcher was for bad dogs who pull snotty tissues from the trash stray dogs and as long as they behaved lived with me, they would never become strays.

We considered what we might do with our time. We talked about volunteering. That would be good, right? We could work at one of the soup kitchens! After explaining to Phoebe that the food is for homeless people and not overfed bulldogs, she lost interest. However, it is something I would like to pursue.

We talked of becoming therapy dogs for hospitals and nursing homes. Not me, duh, I’m not a dog, but I could drive them there. Zoe liked that idea way better than going to a school. She suffers the little children. But that requires a little more training, so we may have to put that one on the back burner until we can find a therapy dog training school.

There was even talk of organizing a million dog march. The girls were quite excited over that prospect, but couldn’t agree what to march for. Zoe wanted to march for dog cancer awareness, like these guys. Phoebe wanted to bring attention to the fact there is a serious shortage of clothing for bulldogs. Even though bulldogs are not shaped like regular dogs, they are still dogs, and should have clothes made especially for their big heads and necks.

Then we wondered if maybe we should, you know, get a job. A real one, like Daddy.

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After Phoebe’s fit of giggles, we talked about what kind of job we would get. That is, if we could convince anyone to give us one. I thought I might like to work at a bookstore, even a big box one. Or one of those posh dog stores. Neither of which would lend me to actually bring home the paycheck.

Zoe said she would like to work at the library. She is very good at letting the rule breakers know they are breaking the rules. However, barking is not allowed in the library, even if it is to tell people to shut up.

Phoebe would like to be a bomb sniffing dog at the airport. I reminded her that maybe being a sniffer dog wouldn’t be such a good idea, being as how she has that short nose and all. She is positive she could do the job, because she can smell a cookie from half a block away. I tell her I am pretty sure bombs don’t smell like cookies. She made a point when she asked me if I have ever smelled a bomb. Well. There you go.

By the time we were finished with all of our musings over city living, we were done putting away Christmas. It always feels a little lonely and stark in the house, after all the decorations are down. It’s even more so this year, knowing it was our last.

But now we’re excited. We are anxious to begin our new careers. Bulldog clothing designer, hall monitor and terrorist cookie catcher.