Sunday, June 22, 2008


The last few months, I've been losing sleep over my son Mitch. Between dragging his feet on finding an apartment for his senior year at UT, and completing all the forms and applications needed for study abroad, he just didn't seem to be too concerned about looming deadlines. He's been home for the last 2 weeks -- the longest stretch since starting college -- and every day I've been ready to strangle him. He stays up too late. He sleeps in too late. He eats too much. He got (another) speeding ticket. He beats up his brother. He won't "practice" packing. He won't make lists of the toiletries or anything we need to buy before the trip. In other words, he won't agonize and plan and make lists for this adventure the way I would.

Yesterday, he flew away for 6 weeks in France.

Now that I've confirmed that he made it to the hotel, with his luggage, I can relax (a little.) If he forgot something, it will be up to him to buy it there, or learn to live without it. His budget is definitely more beer level than champagne, so he will have to choose wisely at restaurants. And, after 6 weeks, he will have to make his way from Grenoble back to Paris to catch a 12:55 flight home. Other than that, he just needs to study enough to complete his foreign language requirement -- and experience all that 6 weeks in France can offer a 21-year old!

Once he's home, the laundry is done, and he's shared all the info he cares to, it will be time to start thinking about the rest of his life -- or not. Some of us wake up each morning and handle things as they come along, while others of us plan, make lists, worry -- and then change the plan to handle things as they come along. One approach isn't any better than the other -- its just a matter of individuality.

So, thanks to la famile Brage (good luck on feeding him!), the people of France, and Mitch's own wits and devices, I can resume sleeping well for a few weeks. Or not....

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Just a year ago....

A member in one of my art groups mentioned this week that she was going to get to see Robert Plant and Allison Krause, and it brought back very fun and fond memories of a "girlfriend" trip I took last April with my best friends Coleen and Cindy.

Picture this: 3 middle-aged (yes, 50s is middle-aged) women go out to eat at Emeril's NOLA Restaurant in New Orleans, dressed up and looking middle-aged hot. After a wonderful meal, we weren't ready to head back to the hotel (middle-aged, but still have some partying left to do.) Cindy suggests we grab a cab & head to Tippetina's -- a small (maybe 250 people), but well-known club outside of the Quarter that's been there forever.

We arrive & there's a few pierced & tattooed folks half our age standing outside. It looks like there's a good sized crowd inside & we debate whether to try it or not - I hop out and
Me: "How much is the cover?"
Door Guy: "12 bucks"
Me: "Ooooh. (turns to tall young person) Think its worth it?"
Young Guy: "F**k YEAH."
Me: "Really...hmmm."
Young Guy: "Uh, yeah -- Robert Plant is supposed to show up later."

Well, we took a chance, half expecting it to be some Cajun guy named Robert Plant. Sure enough, way past middle-aged women's bedtime, THE Robert Plant shows up. The headlining band was a local band he was using on a Katrina benefit album & they had invited him to drop by. Because of my middle-aged women knees (which magically didn't bother me anymore), we had snagged a spot next to the stage so we could lean against something -- so we were up able to get up close and personal.

It was a night to remember -- yes, just like us, Robert Plant is older, but to hear him sing "Sea of Love" from 20 feet away...from the 20-something tatted and pierced "kids", through the urban professional 30-year olds, to those of us that still have Led Zeppelin ALBUMS...we all loved it. Excuse the poor quality video (and I deleted the audio because it really didn't record well) - its short, but you get the gist.

Anyway -- due to some speedbumps in life's road, we won't be able to take another girlfriend trip for awhile, but we WILL plan something soon. I'm not sure we'll have adventures that top this one--but you never know!

Coleen - get better soon. We have places to go, and people to see!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Early Spring

This year Easter is so-o-o-o early! In years past, our family would welcome spring by having my sons and our 2 nephews take a dip in the Blanco River (rule: you had to at least wade in up to your ankles.) There is no way we'd be able to do that this year (plus, the boys are old enough to dig in and just refuse!) I know that most of the U.S. is still feeling winter-like, so I really can't complain with our high temps in the 70s -- which means the bluebonnets are beginning to show.

For those that enjoy the annual parade of Peeps marshmallow treats that Easter brings, check out the results of the annual Peeps diorama contest conducted by the St. Paul, MN newspaper:

The second place winner had the funniest one (if you enjoyed the whole Minneapolis men's room controversy and hoopla.) I'm sure no Peeps were harmed in the making of these diorama's....

Enjoy the day and make sure to eat all the kid's chocolate after they go to bed!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stumbling into this century...

This time I vow to try to figure it out...I mean, how difficult can it be?

Everyone -- even some of my mother's friends -- have blogs, so I really need to figure it out. I guess I need to get over the idea that its a form of vanity press. I never was much for journals, and my 6th grade diary stayed firmly locked with the key cleverly hidden under my bedside lamp (because we know how sordid the life of a 6th-grader can be!) But I do enjoy reading others' blogs, and I hope to keep this lively enough to reciprocate.

Now that I've had the honor of being chosen for the Hannah Grey Design Team, I intend to use this as way of sharing my art and passing on techniques. But I'll still manage to work in juicy tidbits about my life and times -- or reflections on the life I would like to lead!

Bear with me -- I'm sure I'll tweak this many more times before I'm satisfied!