Saturday, August 27, 2011

Check, Check, aaaaaaand Check.

Yes, it's Saturday, but that doesn't mean I just sat around.  I must admit it was the most productive Saturday I've had since the Saturday before we moved to Houston.  In true Linn fashion, I had written out my list of activities yesterday.  I woke up at 7:45am when I heard Scott start his shower, and it was go time.  After a few things around the house, I was out the door at 9:30am.

First stop: Urban Harvest Farmers' Market
It was a small market, but it has good stuff.  A few plant booths, candles, teas & coffees, meat, a lot of produce, honey, oils & fragrances, and the like.  I was excited to find raw, unfiltered, unheated honey from a nearby farm!  It's so good for you, and it's delicious!  We've been resistant to buying any since we got here.  Scott had found a farm that shipped when we were in San Diego, but we were worried to buy from them again and have them ship it to Houston.  It is just brutally hot here, and we would hate for the honey to be ruined in transport.  But low and behold, we have found a new, local source!  I sampled a vegan "Everything Bar" (nuts, flaxseed, granola, etc.) and fell in love, so I bought one of those too.

Second stop: DSW
I had chosen the heels that I want to wear with my bridesmaid dress for SueEllen and Sam's wedding.  Unfortunately, the shoe is only available online, so they ordered them for me, and they should arrive next week.  I was so glad that they still had my size and in bronze.

Detour #1: I used my new Starbucks gold card for the first time today.  After registering all of those Starbucks gift cards from my last boss and reloading one of them twice, I reached the gold level.  And now I have a shiny card with my name on it, just like Caitlin.  :-)

Detour #2: I talked to Dad and Mom post-New Mexico trip.  It was good to catch up. 

Third stop: Alterations for bridesmaid dress
Without the actual heels, we couldn't hem the bottom, but she pinned the sides to take it in.  The smallest size that David's Bridal sells is a 2... which is still too big for me.  (How is that possible?!  I am convinced that women's sizes become more skewed as America grows.)  She'll have it completed by next Saturday, and then I'll go back with my BM heels to finish the dress.  I chatted with the owner, Nhu, for awhile.  We engaged in the usual customer service chit-chat, but then we really started to talk.  I explained that I just moved here from San Diego two months ago with my husband, and she told me about starting her own dress shop seven years ago and that her daughter is in college.  She seemed to really like me, and then I knew for sure when she told me the price for the dress, and I said, "Oh, and don't forget about my dress pants."  She said, "For you, free."  YES!

Fourth stop: Library
I have had a public library card since first grade, probably earlier.  My mom would take my sister and I to the library for kids' events and contests, and checking out books was a summer activity that we loved.  The books may have been used and borrowed, but checking out books to bring home, if only for a few weeks, felt like getting something new.  And every time I've moved to a new city, I've always gotten a new public library card.  Chula Vista, New York City, Los Angeles, and now Houston.  I put it to good use immediately and walked out with two books on CD for my commute for work (at least 7.5 hours per week), two fiction, one non-fiction, and two language books.  I was so excited walking out of the library.  Who knew?  It's the little things in life, really.

Fifth stop: Menil Collection
There is a smorgasbord of museums in Houston.  Smorgasbord.  (Does that word make anyone other than Summer and I think of Templeton from "Charlotte's Web?")  The museum is on our street, maybe three city blocks away.  Scott had already gone with his MFA class last week, so I thought it would be the perfect solo adventure while he was at school today.  I only went into the main building, not knowing that there was a chapel and bookstore too.  The collection was separated into categories, so I strolled through each room.  I like art, but not the way a true art lover does, I guess.  I can appreciate the talent and skill that I see, but I can't stand in front of one canvas for ten minutes and then talk about how riveting, passionate, gut-wrenching, and violently poetic it is.  Abstract art just doesn't speak to me that way.  Yes, it may be beautiful or interesting, but I've never looked at an abstract painting and been brought to tears.  Call me unimaginative.  Photographs of real life and art forms depicting life as I know it are emotionally accessible to me.  I liked most of the collection, but I just don't see anything creative about wall-sized canvases painted in a solid color.  One single, solitary, lonely color.  Really?  I would feel more invested in my cats' paw prints on canvas.  Unfortunately, most of the Contemporary section was filled with these monochromatic pieces.   

Up side: The property is beautiful.  The museum is tucked away off the main road and enveloped in a neighborhood.  I took time to just sit on a wooden bench in the shade on a wooden deck, surrounded by grass and tall trees -- watching people quietly pass by and listening to birds, the breeze, all things natural.  It was amazing.  This was better than a park.  It's my new favorite hideaway.

Sixth stop: Home
And I cleaned the sweet daylight out of this place.  I committed to a major deep cleaning -- kitchen, bathroom (with the exception of the shower), laundry, vaccuumed, dusted (with the exception of the top of the bookcase which I cannot reach, even with a chair).  It feels good to be in a clean house.

Scott got home, we went out for dinner, and we ran a few errands.  And now, sleep.  Here is a picture of (some of the) fruits of my fun labor today:


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