Wednesday, April 18, 2007


One down, one to go. Tuesday the movers came and did a great job-- my furniture and numerous boxes completely stuffed the 24' truck from top to bottom. It was drizzling all day but the guys shrinkwrapped all my furniture so it was very well protected. I ordered pizza for them, but they didn't stop to eat. It still took 10 hours, but the price was very reasonable ($869) compared to other quotes. I gave them both good tips so I think we all ended up happy. I was tickled pink to not have to lug all that heavy stuff around. Plus they were better prepared than I ever would have been with the blankets, shrink wrap, dollies etc.

Fortunately I remembered the attic... found a few things I would have been sad to lose including some photos, scrapbooks, notes, and so on.

Closing was this morning at 8:15. I went to the house early, swept and mopped and vacuumed, and generally tried to give the best karma I could to the new owners. They had already signed their half of the paperwork, so I didn't get to meet them, but the closing for me was smooth as silk. I was out of there before 9am and in my office by 9:35.

I'm pooped, though, and I think it's emotional more than physical. I'm on my way home now, to meet Mitch and go for a hike in the greenbelt behind his house. Then we'll broil a steak, move some boxes around, and watch a moooooo-vie. (You wouldn't believe how crowded his guest room, dining room, and garage are now... just as if someone had crammed 2000 sf worth of stuff in there..!)

One of these days I'll put up the photos of the azaleas at their finest.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sorry for the lack of updates!

Here's the latest: this past weekend was my last in Bastrop. Everything is packed and ready for the movers, who arrive tomorrow morning at 8:30. I still need to doublecheck the garage attic space, but I think we're all set. Once they're done loading the truck, they will go to Austin and Mitch will supervise them putting stuff in his house and garage. Meanwhile, I will clean the house and go to the title company to turn in my keys and all the instruction manuals, warranties etc for the house, and sign my name OVER AND OVER AND OVER. Sadly the title company has me with my full middle name too. My right hand will be a quivering mess when I'm done, I'm sure. I'm taking tomorrow and Wednesday off... and I'll spend Wednesday sorting and organizing and recovering.

It wasn't as sad as I expected. I stood in the backyard and breathed in very deeply-- the scents of the grass, honeysuckle, the jasmine, and the roses were lovely, and the sound of the fountain was peaceful and charming. At the same time, I was happy to never have to clean out the algae in the fountain again. I am happy to never have to dig out millions of trumpetvine sprouts again. And I am happy to not worry about crazy bills because the house is uninsulated.

I do worry that the Collinses (the buyers) will not water the ivy plants hanging on the front porch... or that they will be careless and scare away the wren who has built a nest and laid an egg in the hanging pot... or that they won't put up a hummingbird feeder. (I saw two blackthroated hummers, one in the backyard in the salvia, and one on the side in the azaleas.) I made a long list of all the things they should know-- but they won't even be at the closing. I hope they love the house, if not the way I do, at least as well as I do.

I took a walk Saturday night-- checked out the downtown main street, had a glass of wine with my friends Curtis and Anita, and looked at the house Julia Roberts is living in while filming her next movie, Fireflies in the Garden. Yes, Julia and her kids are here in Bastrop :) So that was cool. I wandered down by the Collinses' home on Pecan and looked at the tents being set up for their Sunday gala for the Art Guild. I prayed that they would take as much care with my little baby (their "guest house") as they obviously do with the big brick mansion. And I thanked God and all the stars that my house went to some really rich people who love historic homes.

Mitch came out Sunday morning and we enjoyed breakfast at Maxine's. We'd just missed Julia Roberts and her kids, which was kind of fun, thinking about a big movie star just enjoying small town life the way we do. (Mitch and I will be going to Maxine's again, no fear.) Mitch helped me load up his car with lots of stuff, a cooler from the freezer, boxes etc. Then he scooted home to clean out the garage.

David and his kids came over Sunday afternoon and very kindly helped me take two truck-loads over to the Ladies of Charity, then he took some things for himself. The kitchen table is darling, but a little country and a little small for the new breakfast room, whereas David has a tiny little kitchen that needs it. It was nice to interact with him for more than 30 seconds-- fortunately we are still very friendly. His kids have gotten big, but it's weird-- in one moment they look the same as when I first met them 5 years ago, and the next, they look shockingly mature and teenager-ish. Anyway it was nice to see them and have a little more closure.

I have meetings and committments all week but the weekend looks nice and relaxing. I am honestly looking forward to a weekend with just ONE house to worry about.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Climate change.

Testimony from scientists in front of a House investigative panel revealed that the Bush Administration has been "cooking the books" that may result in "cooking the planet." The Administration has been altering data and pressuring scientists in regards to global warming, asking some to delete references to climate change in official government reports in order to downplay the impact and the need to move toward serious reductions in atmospheric pollution.

They are now squaring off against the most comprehensive report done to date on climate change, the IPCC report put out by the United Nations (don't forget, our UN reps contributed to the report - chaired by a NASA scientist - one who also testified about pressure to skew data domestically!).

It's shameful, and what is worse is that if the IPCC is correct, it may be the face of things to come. What happens when sea level rise threatens Manhattan, or erases the Florida keys and part of the peninsula, or any of our coastal cities that would be affected by a sea level rise. When hurricanes continue to grow in intensity and frequency, what will happen? When the Great Plains becomes a dust bowl as the aquifers run dry and drought continues, who will respond? How long will the new victims wait? How many will die then?

These are serious questions that we have yet to grapple with. Even if we do something today about warming, it will take decades to stop the damage we have already done. Some argue it is too late, and that thought should scare you. Even if you won't live to see the planet die, you are leaving your children one hell of a present. We're talking about these changes happening in OUR LIFETIMES and definitely in our CHILDRENS' lifetimes.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


This little cutie is my friend Ellen's daughter enjoying the Texas spring tradition of chillin' in the bluebonnets.

I will be posting some photos of the azaleas and gardens at my house in Bastrop soon, not that it will be my house for long, ha-ha.

DNA solves old murder case

DNA used to solve 1988 Houston murder case

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

Houston police have solved a nearly 20-year-old murder case involving an 82-year-old Houston woman, but the man identified as her killer is already on death row.

Travis D. Green, 38, who has been an inmate at the Polunsky Unit of the Texas prison system since 2001, was identified through DNA as the perpetrator in the sexual assault and strangulation of Margaret McGinnis in 1988.

Green is on death row after a conviction in the 1999 sexual assault and murder of a 19-year-old woman.

Because he is on death row, no additional charges will be filed against Green, Houston police said.

On July 13, 1988, McGinnis was found on the floor of her bedroom in her west Houston home at 1805 Crocker.

The attacker had entered the residence through the bedroom window and barricaded the door from the inside.

At the time of the crime, there were neither witnesses nor leads in the case.

In August 2006, HPD Cold Case Squad investigators reopened the case. A review of McGinnis' autopsy led them to find a DNA profile in October. Investigators entered the profile into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) where a match was located.

In February, the match profile was identified as Green.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

up down and side-to-side...

That's how I feel like I'm doing-- too many deadlines, too many decisions, and on top of it, I'm still fighting this cold. I wish for just a little less multi-tasking please!