Wednesday, December 28, 2011


1. It's two O'clock, and I'm just now getting dressed for the day, not because I'm lazy....because I'm busy.
2. While our daughters are vacating, I'm taking care of their pets, two parakeets and a dog.
3. Walking two dogs at once is harder than it looks.
4. If one dog barks, they both do.
5. Doggie time out is a good thing.....for me.
6. The Christmas tree is long gone, but the ornaments are still sitting in a pile on the coffee table.
7. How many dishes can be made with all of this leftover turkey? Between turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey pot pie, and turkey tetrazzini, I'm running out of ideas.
8. Perhaps the actual question should be, why do I always buy such a big turkey?
9. Who decided to put air bubbles in chocolate? All that means is there's less room for actual chocolate.
10. There has to be something else. Why can't I think of it?
11. (This one goes to eleven.) I'm blaming lack of concentration on excessive amounts of turkey, barking dogs, and air bubbles in chocolate.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Twas Pidgin Style

Was da night bafo' Christmas, and all ova' da place
Not even da geckos was showin' their face.

Da stockings was hangin' on top da TV?
... ... ('Cause no mo' fireplace in Hawai'i)

Da kids stay all crashed, my old man too.
They leave all da work for you-know-who.

So me, I stay pickin' up alla their toys,
When - boom! - outside get only big noise!

I run to da window, I open 'em up,
I stick out my head and I yell, "Eh! Wassup?!"

An den, I no can ba-lieve what I seen!
Was so unreal, you know what I mean?

This fat haole guy get his reindeers in my yard!
An reindeers not housebroken, you know, as' why hard!

But nemmind, dis Christmas, so I cut 'em some slack.
Plus, had uku pile-ah presents pokin' outta his sack!

So I wait 'till he pau tie up his reindeer,
Then I yell out da window, "Huui! Brah, ova hea!"

An' I tell 'em first thing, when I open da door,
"Eh, Hemo your shoes! You going dirty my floor!"

He take off his boots, he tell, "You know who I am?"
I go, "Ho! From the smell, must be Mr. Toe Jam!"

He make mempachi eyes and he go, "Ho, ho, ho!"
By now, I stay tinking dis guy kinda slow!

He look like my Tutu, but little less weight,
And his beard stay so white, mo' white dan shark bait!

He stay all in red, specially his nose,
An get reindeer spit on top his nice clothes!

But him, he no care; he just smile at me,
And he start fo' put presents unda-neath da tree.

I tell 'em, "Eh, brah, no need make li'dat,
And watch where you step! You going ma-ke da cat!"

Den, out from his bag, he pull one bran new computah,
Choke video games, and one motorized scootah!

He try for fill up da Christmas socks too,
But had so much pukas, all da stuff went fall troo.

When he pau, I tell 'em, "Eh Santa, try wait!
I get plenty lef ‘ovahs, I go make you one plate!"

But he nevah like hang, he had so much fo' do;
Gotta make all Dem small kids' wishes come true.

So I wave 'em goodbye, an I flash 'em da shaka,
And I tell 'em, "Mele Kalikimaka!"

When he hear Dat, he stop an I telling you true,
He go, "Garans ball-barans! Merry Christmas to you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tex Mex Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa,
Not a creature was stirring and I wondered que pasa?

I was hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado
In hopes that old Santa would feel obligado,

To bring all the children, both buenos y malos
A nice batch of dulces and other regalos.

My brothers and I went to sleep in our camas
Some in long underwear, some in pijamas.

When out in the yard there arose such a grito
That I jumped to my feet like a frightened cabrito!

I ran to the window and looked afuera,
And who in the world do you think quien era?

Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero
Came dashing along like a crazy bombero,

And pulling his sleigh, instead of venados,
Were eight little burros, approaching volados.

I watched as they came, and this fat little hombre
Was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre,

"Ay, Pancho! Ay, Pepe! Ay Cuca! Ay Neto!
Ay, Chato! Ay, Tono, Maruca, y Beto!"

Then standing erect with his hands on his pecho,
He flew to the top of our very own techo.

With his round little belly like a bowl full of jalea,
He struggled to squeeze down our old chiminea.

Then huffing and puffing, and a little cansado,
He picked up a bag that looked so pesado,

He filled all the stockings with lovely regalos
For none of the niƱos had been very malos.

Then chuckling aloud, seeming very contento,
He turned like a flash and was gone like the viento.

I heard him exclaim -- and this is verdad
"Merry Christmas a todos...Feliz Navidad!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


We, along with our thoughtful, kind, sweet, intelligent, and lovely daughters wish everyone a Happy Christmas from the Reese Hazel Clan!

Left to right, Anna - 24, Joy - 20, Hilary - 22, Erin - 26.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Reconstructing Reconstruction

Many thanks to everyone who took time out of their busy holiday schedules to attend the "Reconstruction" exhibit opening reception at the Art Car Museum this past Saturday night. Every event I've ever been to at the Art Car Museum has been fun, and this one was no exception.

For events, because I want to look presentable, before leaving home, it often takes more than a few tries to figure out what to wear. This go around, by the time I had settled on something to wear, it was way past time to leave the house. Wouldn't you know it that the sweater I chose to wear was full of moth holes? Grabbing a needle and thread before we left, I undressed in the car and proceeded to sew up all of the moth holes in the sweater, in the dark, all eight of them. (I didn't notice the two holes near the collar until I was standing in the Art Car Museum gallery.) I finished as we were sitting waiting for a train, just this side of the railroad tracks from the museum, at which point I hopped out of the car, redressed, made some adjustments, jumped back in, snapped the seatbelt, just as the train passed and the protective barriers lifted.

Normally I don't worry about being a few minutes late, especially to a come-and-go event like an art opening, but several of our friends are thoroughly prompt, and because we had cast a wide net in inviting a lot of friends, it was slightly worrisome to be 15 minutes late. I certainly didn't want to miss anyone who came on my behalf! We hurried through the exhibit to find my piece, Still Life with Ukulele #1, reasoning that anyone who might have been there to see me would have been hanging around my painting. (?) If anyone came and went in that first 15 minutes, please accept my apology for not being there, yet.

As I've said many times, for being the fourth largest city in the nation, Houston really is a small town. The Amazing Reese ran into one of his dearest friends, who we haven't seen in forever, who was there on behalf of his girlfriend, who just so happened to have been an artist model in another artist's painting. Go figure. (That was a slightly corny, somewhat amusing artist joke. She was the model in a figurative painting....go figure. Get it?)

Good conversation with friends, new and old, only added to an already stimulating time.

Also, if you happened to come toward the end of the three hour event, we were exhausted and left 30 minutes before closing time. Again, my apologies.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Just in case you don't have enough to do this Christmas season, my piece, Still Life With Ukulele #1, will be in the "Reconstruction" exhibit at the Art Car Museum, with the opening reception December 17th, from 7-10pm. The Amazing Reese and I will be there. We'd love to see y'all.

Still Life With Ukulele #1 is made using metal office desk drawers, marble tiles, chain, magnets, and oils.

125 pieces of art will be in this exhibit, plus some art cars from the permanent collection. It's a fun event. The artwork on exhibit will be very diverse.

Exhibition will be on view until March 2, 2012.

This is an equal opportunity event. Everyone is invited. Bring friends.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh, the Christmas Tree!

Parts of me never grew up. Don't get me wrong. I AM a grown up and have grown up responsibilities and do grown up things, like eat a Snickers bar for breakfast just because I can (I AM a grown up), but for as long as I can remember, and this is going back to early childhood days when we lived in Centreville, Mississippi, I've "played with" our Christmas trees. The magic likely started when we would, as a family, traipse through someones pasture into the woods (with permission) and hunt for the perfect tree. We would then kill it, drag it back through the woods, tie it to the roof of the car, and like good taxidermy, mount it in the living room.

We lived in the parsonage in Centreville, my dad was the Presbyterian preacher, and the home provided to us by the church was vintage. Older homes in the South had enormously high ceilings to collect the hot air in the summertime, so that ladies could sip their "ice tea" and not have the ice melt before the tall glass reached their lips. It also meant that when going in the attic to retrieve the Christmas decorations, one would have to use a tall ladder just to REACH the attic stairs ladder. It was scarily thrilling to climb into the attic.

Plus, in that house, we kept the living room and dining room closed off to presumably save on heating and cooling bills, so putting the tree in the chilly living room only added to the wondrous mystery of Christmas for me. The tree drew me to it like a magnet. Ornaments, colorful lights, tinsel, and presents, oh, the presents, it was so exciting. I would re-arrange the lights, ornaments, pretty presents, and play with the tinsel, (nobody sells tinsel anymore) over and over and over.

The excitement of finding just the right tree and all the fun of decorating it has continued (for me) to this day. The Amazing Reese and our daughters have been amused, if not slightly annoyed, when, as a grown woman, I continue to play with the Christmas tree. The family joke is not if I'll do it, but when. But this year, THIS year, I have vowed to not rearrange one thing on the tree. My only delight will be to plug in the lights first thing in the morning, and say good night to the tree at bedtime when we unplug the lights. (Goodnight tree!) That's all. Nobody believes me. Hence this photo. Anna took a picture of the tree lights right after they were put on so that they can compare it to a photo of the tree at the end of the season....just to make sure I have not rearranged anything.

It's really not fair, because this is our first Christmas with Tilly, who doesn't seem to understand the word "no", and who thinks that the tree is her personal playground (a girl after my own heart) and who keeps collecting ornaments off the tree (look! new toys!) and subsequently eating them. (Aw, that poor angel is decapitated.)

Ah, but she seems to be enjoying the Christmas tree magic. I completely understand. Good girl, Tilly.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Finish, Not to be Confused with the Finnish

It's a start, and maybe even a finish. It's at least finished for now. Instead of using linseed oil, I used The Natchez Solution, a furniture refinishing product bought years ago in Mississippi. It worked like a charm! The dresser soaked up the oil and is showing off her splendorous beauty.

While I was working on the dresser, not wanting to be left out, Faithful Tilly came in for a visit, which included her repeatedly licking a dresser drawer, which initially I didn't notice, but when I did it kind of freaked me out. Thinking my next four hours were going to be spent in the doggie emergency room getting Tilly's stomach pumped I hollered, "What are you doing, ya' goofy nut?" Tilly looked at me and said, "What?" Not really, of course. She's a dog. But her expression was conveying something very much like "I'm a dog. This is what dogs do. Why are you surprised?" Then it occurred to me that The Natchez Solution is an all natural product. I read the back of the label and sure enough, it's made of beeswax, mineral oil, and lemon oil, which is not toxic at I tasted it, too. (I didn't lick a drawer like Tilly did if that's what you're thinking. Give me a little credit.) Not bad. Not bad at all.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Wormwood Pine

Some women buy jewelry. Some women buy shoes. Some women buy new clothes in every season. Me? I spend my birthday money (thanks, mom and dad) on a dusty old dresser from a neighbor's dusty old garage. This beauty is my newest project. Don't know what I'll do with it, yet. After cleaning the layer of dirt off, the old wormwood pine definitely needs to be given a dose of linseed oil. I'll probably only use some Butcher's Bowling Alley Wax on it after that.

It's old enough to have been made out of square tipped nails. Cool.

And these knobs are like none I've seen -- the inside is a wooden screw peg that attaches to the outside knob. Sweet.

It's got some nice dovetailing details on the drawers, too.

Now, this old dresser will never be featured on the Antiques Road Show. The previous owners attempts at repair are crude at best. That top right drawer front is a lost cause. But it has character, age, and possibilities of wonderfulness. Plus, I really like it.