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April 3rd, 2011 (03:06 pm)

It's been a while since the table looked like this on Craft Night. Lindsey was Bedazzling a Shake Weight for use as an honorary "reward" for a group in Rhonda's office. (Apparently one becomes temporary owner of the Shake Weight of Shame after a screw-up.)

Here it is in an unfinished but still glam state:

Meanwhile, I'm working on a new series of paintings that will hang at Té House of Tea during the month of May. More on that as it develops. =) In between bouts of painting and cooking and gym going and other things, I'm weeping copious amounts of tears over "Brothers and Sisters" on Netflix. I love family drama with a good ensemble cast. I'm in Season 2 now.

Tuesday: brought to you by the color gray

March 1st, 2011 (02:24 pm)

It's a gorgeous day in Houston--bright and bold enough to make gray safe to share with some random shots I've taken.

Galveston on February 27.


Gray Chucks on red wood.

Eeyore gets a surprise in Pooh Garden.

Big Mama.


February 24th, 2011 (03:21 pm)

I did it. I was up until 6 a.m., but I managed to get my paperwork in order. Then, after a few hours of sleep, I took it all to the accountant. It's out of my hands! It feels almost as good as getting a manuscript in the mail after a wee-hours run to the post-office-that's-no-longer-open-24/7. Hey, maybe it's that post office's fault that I can only write in fits and starts these days. Bring back my 2 a.m. sure thing, Universe!

After the accountant, I cheated on Starbucks with a quick stop at Jack in the Box for an iced coffee. I know! I feel so guilty. However, their drive-through has its advantages, like this sign I shot:

This reminds me that I recently met, through a mutual friend, a young woman who works at Jack in the Box. When I heard this about her, I said, "Oh, REALLY? Well, I don't know about YOUR Jack in the Box..."

At this point, I could see her bracing herself for some bitchy customer rant.

I continued, "...but I swear they give good drugs to their employees at the two Jacks closest to me, because I LOVE the women who work there." And it's true. They're always happy, always nice. And even though I really, really try to limit fast food runs, sometimes I go there just because I know someone will make me smile. Today was no exception.

This is not an invitation to hear sucky Jack in the Box stories. Let me have my illusion that Jack in the Box is the hamburgery version of Candy Mountain. Only without kidney thieves.

Another random update

February 16th, 2011 (02:59 am)

You know if it's not on the Internet--with photos--it didn't happen. So here are a few photos capturing 2011 moments I haven't yet documented.

Houston's AssistHers organization held a two-day tattoo and piercing marathon to raise money for their client programs. For nearly fifteen years, AssistHers has worked with an all-volunteer staff to provide non-medical, in-home support and care to lesbians with illnesses such as cancer, fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis. Multiple tattoo and piercing artists from Gaslight Gallery Tattoo & Piercing, Monster Tattoo Company, Scorpion Studios Tattoo, and Bombshell Tattoo donated their time and the bulk of their proceeds from the event to AssistHers.

I was lucky enough to be present for two of these tattoos, as inked by the fantastic Kat Adlerz at Gaslight. I can't even adequately tell you how cool Kat is--the next time you want a tattoo, she's your artist!--and I shot photos of her at work. During Saturday's session, I saw her ink Lindsey on the underside of the arm where her camera tattoo is. The new tattoo says VITA BREVIS/ARS LONGA, which is fancy talk for "Life is short/Art is long." As Mark L has noted, at least two of my Magnetic Poetry poems have this theme. I think most people who create hope that what we do will exist beyond our years on the planet.

The next day, Tim got another tattoo, just around the shoulder blade from his original Barking Dog. His new ink is a fox.

People getting inked is one of the most mesmerizing things to watch, and it always makes me want to get a tattoo. I never have and probably never will, but I understand the allure.

These photos are all blurry because this young lady stays on the move. It's always a pleasure when EZ comes to visit. If you're new to my LJ or you don't read Tim's, EZ is the first dog he fostered for Scout's Honor. You can learn about her by following her thread on Tim's LJ.

I consider her a miracle dog. She suffered terrible injuries when she was thrown out of the back of a pickup truck on one of Houston's toll roads. Her people never stopped or came back. Another driver stopped and rescued her, and she ended up sponsored by Scout's Honor. She needed a lot of surgery, many casts, and a "bionic" leg. She had to be spayed and treated for heart worms. When Scout's Honor put out the call for help, Tim saw it and applied to foster her. And many generous donors paid for her extensive vet care.

EZ spent most of her early days at Tim's in her crate. Because she hadn't been properly socialized, she was best suited for a single-dog family without young children. Ultimately, she became a healthy, beautiful dog and after a year with Tim, found the most amazing forever home. We're so lucky that her new family lets her stay with us when they travel.

I guess EZ was Tim's gateway dog, because since her time here, sixteen more dogs have been fostered at The Compound. They've come in all shapes and sizes, with every kind of personality, and each of them has gone to a forever home best suited to his or her temperament and needs.

If you love dogs and cats but aren't in a position to make a forever home for one--it can be expensive!--you might consider looking into a foster program like Scout's Honor that pays for all the costs but needs someone willing to provide room and maybe a little training and socializing to rescued animals. And if you can't foster or adopt, rescue organizations always need financial assistance.

Finally, we also celebrated a birthday here in late January--with cake. Do you understand how we feel about cake at The Compound?

The Witch is Back

February 8th, 2011 (01:49 pm)

I'm not talking about me! Although there is a "real" poem coming later today, unlike yesterday's just-before-midnight cry of computer-and-phone-induced frustration.

I'm referring to Tammy Jo Trask, the former pastry chef/now reluctant witch in writer Kimberly Frost's Southern Witch series. On Saturday, I was at Murder By the Book for Kimberly's signing and to pick up the third in the series, the brand new Halfway Hexed. I'm looking forward to seeing what dark forces Tammy Jo and her sidekick, Mercutio the Ocelot, are battling in small-town Duvall, Texas.

Kimberly Frost signing copies of her new novel for a full house of readers at Murder By the Book.

It was also great to see John at the store. Recently, I was following comments he made to someone's blog in which the blogger was basically saying good riddance to the Borders bookstore in her city. John said, and I agree, that the demise of any bookstore is sad news. As a consumer and an author, I think what really makes the difference in a good bookstore is the passion of its staff. I've been in chain stores where I, with or without my writing partners, have been welcomed with enthusiasm and wishes for success. There have been booksellers in chains who've kept our books stocked and aggressively promoted them, and that kind of commitment is a huge asset to an author.

While I love independent stores with their knowledgeable booksellers who offer personalized attention in a cozy environment, chain stores can offer a similar experience if they aren't being mismanaged from the top. Though a corporate office may be in a remote city, a bookstore pays taxes and a building lease where it's located. It employs local people. It serves the community not only by the books it sells, but as a gathering place. Just as I once wrote in our wonderful indie, Crossroads, I've written in the coffeeshops of Borders and Barnes and Noble, surrounded by other writers and students, seniors and courting couples, young mothers and laid back teens. I've seen book groups meet in them. I've met authors at signings and readings in towns where there are no indies.

So no, I can't say good riddance to any bookstore, whether it's the Waldenbooks in the mall, the Borders in the shopping center, the Books A Million next to the highway. Because we will never get from Amazon or Walmart or the rack at the grocery store what we got from them.

And I'm in agreement with a lot of other people who now own Nooks and Kindles and Kobos or other eReaders. They are a convenience. My Nook enables me to have a lot of books that I probably wouldn't have bought because I just don't have the shelf space or the money. I have immediate access to writers' works that I probably wouldn't have found on the shelves in the bookstore--backlist, out of print, earlier books in a series. BUT--what most of us also say is that we're still buying actual books. We still enjoy the heft, the scent of new pages, the appeal of a good cover. I was reminded of that, too, and of the pleasure of getting a book signed by its creator when I went to Murder By the Book on Saturday.

So rock on, bookstores, booksellers, authors, readers, libraries and librarians. We're all part of a community of book lovers.

Windows, No. 18

February 5th, 2011 (03:56 am)

I was taking some photos off my cell phone when I found this one. I don't even remember shooting it. This particular Nordstrom window, which I've shown a couple of other times on my LJ, was the inspiration for a scene I wrote in Someone Like You. You never know what kind of place will find its way into something you create.

P.S. Let's keep this between us. Photography is not allowed in [mall name redacted]. ;)

A little something for you

February 2nd, 2011 (04:58 pm)

Our poor lilies and elephant ears are looking damn sad today after the freezing temps last night. Every botanical that could be moved is cold but safe in the garage. And we're expecting the plumber because we had a pipe fatality on the back of Tim's apartment. But this little rose was looking jaunty and hopeful even after a dog knocked it to the ground, so I thought I'd share it with y'all. That vase is one I gave my parents on their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary a loooooong time ago.

Even though my toes are cold and I may have to sell an organ to pay Guinness's vet bill, I'm reading stories about Cyclone Yasi in Australia, the violence breaking out in Egypt (and found out one of my friends has family in Cairo), and I have family in the Midwest who've been without power (and heat) since last night. So I've got nothing to complain about and hope to hear good news from everyone soon.


February 1st, 2011 (06:20 pm)

1. Today I can't seem to stop watching what's going on in Cairo and Alexandria via Al Jazeera. Apparently, this revolution will be televised. I can't say I have any great understanding of the political situation in Egypt; here are the things that have interested me.

  • The Internet can be shut down, but with a press still able to give us reports through journalists in the field and broadcasters, the world gets news. And even without access to the Internet, Egyptians still manage to assemble to protest. They're driving between towns and using their phones to organize, and even when there are no clear leaders, they aren't turning into mobs.

  • The cooperation between the military and the protesters has shifted the atmosphere from violence to orderly protest. I hope that continues.  Meanwhile, average citizens have stepped in where the police have failed to try to return normalcy and security to neighborhoods (there is looting of and damage to businesses).

  • Regular citizens are linking arms to repel intruders who would loot and destroy cultural treasures inside museums. It's moving to see their determination to honor and protect their country's heritage.

2. It's 34 degrees here and I still won't get any sympathy because it's so much colder/icier/snowier everywhere else.

3. Does anyone else think Lauren Conrad and Kate Middleton look like each other?

Lauren Conrad, Reality Princess Past - Kate Middleton, Real Princess Future

4. The Google Art Project is great! Today I've taken virtual tours of the Tate and National Gallery in London.

Celebrity Rehab

January 24th, 2011 (07:26 pm)

In the days when I used to work outside my home, I would wonder why anyone who didn't have to would be on the roads, particularly during rush hour. And when it rained--forget about it. So now when we have a dreary, rainy day like Houston is experiencing today, I do commuters and errand-runners a favor and stay home and out of their way. You're welcome.

However, having a pot of soup simmering on the stove, a few warm canine bodies around me, and the sound of the rain outside makes me want to sleeeeeep. But I've been good. Lots of business-type stuff taken care of, then it was--SEWING HOUR! Sewing hour-plus, in fact.

Sometime last summer, when I was in the thrift store from hell, I looked into their bin o' battered Barbies, and found a couple of celebrities. Today seemed like a good day for the two to get baths, shampoos, a blow dry, and some touching-up with the curling iron. Then I dug into a clean stack of worn socks that Tom donated a while back, went to the sewing machine, and VOILA! Celebrity rehab!

Mattel's 1999 Mary-Kate Olsen doll, released when the twins were 13,
and Yaboom/Play Along Toys' Christina Aguilera doll from 2000.

Photo taken in front of an unfinished painting by Timothy J. Lambert.

Photo Friday, No. 231

January 21st, 2011 (12:24 am)

Current Photo Friday theme: Trees

Inscription over the bench: Where ever he builded, he planted trees,
Leaving a gift of grateful shade and beauty.


I'm betting E.S.M. is Elizabeth S. MacGregor, wife of Henry F. MacGregor. Photo taken July 2010 in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas.

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P.O. Box 131845
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