Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Smarty Pants Humor - Stanford Law

Did you know that out of the 170 entering first year law students at Stanford Law this year (class of 2014), only two graduated from the same high school?

Where is this top notch high school? East Coast prep school? Prestigious expensive private school?

No, it is Clark High School in San Antonio, Texas. (Northside ISD)

My son, Hunter (who graduated #11) and the valedictorian of his class, a very dynamic and very gifted and smart young man, Willie.

Hunter went to an Ivy League College and the London School of Economics.

Willie stayed in Texas at the University of Texas and earned both a BBA & MBA in 4 years in their business honors program.

However, their mutual public high school background, has caught the attention of several professors and many of their classmates. Go figure!

Hunter and Willie call each other by #1 (Willie) and #11 (Hunter). Smarty pants humor!

Good job guys! Good job Clark High School -Texas Power!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Palo Alto...Steve Jobs RIP

Today, I'm packing to catch a flight to California. No, not another girls trip, that's only a once a year thing.

This time to go to Palo Alto, California. Steve Jobs funeral? No, but it will be swarming with peeps because of the genius' death last night.

My middle child, Hunter, is a first year law student at Stanford. PHT and I are going to make our first visit to Palo Alto and the Stanford Campus.

You see, as you might have discerned, Hunter is a very independent barely 22 year old, type A, extremely intelligent, young man. His mantra this summer was "I don't want to walk around campus with my mommy and daddy, that's ok with undergrad but I'm a law student."

We didn't take it personal, we respected him for communicating his feelings (that's what we try to teach our kids, right?), setting boundaries.

So, he moved himself entirely to college in late August.

Now, the trip to go see him, his space and new college life, finally is here. I can't wait!

He's actually excited to show us now! His timing, that's all right, we raised him to be independent.

Stanford here we come! Finally!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An Exciting Day in Downtown Houston

Today, is the first Tuesday of the month. That means, for me the budding real estate mogul, I mean investor, I was in downtown Houston bright and early this morning on the steps of the courthouse at the monthly property foreclosure auction.

What an adventure it was today. I arrived at the parking lot to the buzz of two helicopters overhead, sirens roaring from all directions. I crossed over one street and immediately noticed what all the drama was about, a dump truck ran into a Metro light rail train causing it to derail.

The auction is an all day event. The usual interesting characters were in attendance in droves, the atmosphere was unusually carnival like. I had to wear me poker face even tighter than ever.

I finally noticed what the extra commotion was all about. A reality show was being filmed almost the entire day. Apparently, Russell Hantz of Survivor fame, has a new reality show on A&E called Flipped. He flips houses in Houston.

Well, I had no clue who he is but his entourage is the sketchiest group of Mafia style characters I've ever seen. Complete with over dressed blonde bombshell wife. He was in his trademark fedora.

Not sure if he ended up with any properties today, I wasn't successful. It's alright, I was a little intimidated bidding against a guy with a body guard and film crew.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Joe T. Garcia - A Ft. Worth Institution

No trip to Ft. Worth is really complete, especially during TCU Parents Weekend, unless it includes dinner at the Ft. Worth landmark restaurant Joe T. Garcias. It is truly one of my all-time favorite dining experiences, we've been going there for over 20 years.

I call it an experience because there is no other restaurant this unique. It is huge. The dining is mainly outside on the expansive array of patios with fountains, foliage, arbors and traditional Mexican decor.

Last night, we had a group of 23, so we were able to make reservations and avoid the hour long wait. Reservations are only accepted for inside and for parties of over 20. It was perfect, having just spent the afternoon in the heat at the TCU football game.

The most unique thing about Joe T's is the menu. There isn't one. There is a choice of two entrees, the cheese enchiladas, which is really a combo Mexican plate with a nacho, taco and guacomole or Fajitas. Served family style and so much food we always share. The margaritas are fantastic too, even the skinny!

One thing you have to remember Joe T's is cash only, yes there is an ATM in the restaurant.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Purple Rain - TCU Parents Weekend

I am waking up to Hampton Inn hot coffee, bright and early because our busy day begins in a few hours, breakfast with our youngest, Macy and concludes late after a dinner at Joe T Garcia's tonight.

We will walk many times across the TCU campus today, wearing purple, happily following our precious little girl around. First to breakfast, then her dorm, then probably a friends dorm, then her sorority tailgate party, the Horn Frog game, back to her dorm, the trek to get our car. It's exhausting and the Texas heat promises to be near 93 today but we wouldn't miss it for the world.

In fact, PHT and I are up right now, 6:15 am, excitedly anticipating the upcoming events of the day, spending in Macy's world. Nothing better!

Of course, we will all be wearing purple, glad it's a color thats in for fall, because there's a great selection of options for us, Macy and I. PHT has an assortment of TCU shirts. "Everyone wears purple all day" -Macy's last words to us last night.

Go Horned Frogs!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Yellow School Bus

I am a real estate investor. Well, I am trying to become one. Tom and I have done well buying and selling our own personal homes-location, location, location. We have a profit from our last home which we want to invest in a rehab, foreclosure property to use as a rental property/flip. I am one of the mulitutde of interesting people who goes to the courthouse steps the first Tuesday of the month hoping to buy a property for an unbelievable price. However, when it comes down to actually raising my hand to place the bid I freeze, So, this month, I've decided, I would really be prepared to place a bid. I've done extensive research online.

Today, I set out to the suburbs to view the houses meeting my criteria, Wow! Oh, how the memories of living in these wonderful neighborhoods, near elementary, middle and high schools, flooded my mind with the greatest memories! The neighborhood pools and playgrounds, tears. I had to pull into a Walgreens after I passed the football stadium to gather my wits and composure.

Funny, I didn't even raise my kids in this suburb, city or even this part of Texas but I could just visualize the routines of each of these neighborhoods families and fondly remember those days. Then, I saw a school bus, I had to head back to my inner city downsized empty nest pad. The yellow school bus gets me every time!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Empty Nest ...Again

Well, the house is quiet once again. It's hard to believe Tom and I've had kids home since May 6th, just two days after moving into our new house and city. It's been a whirlwind yet memorable summer. Southern graduated from Texas A&M University in May with a Masters in Architecture. He was home until June 25 before relocating to Dallas with his job. Hunter graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca New York on May 29th. We all traveled there to watch him graduate. he left yesterday to begin law school at Stanford. He was home all summer, preparing mentally and physically, ie, he didn't work just slept, worked out and spent the rest of his day with his laptop on his lap. not complaining, he is such a hard worker and joy to have at home. Macy, came home on May 6th having just completed her freshmen year at TCU. She had a very busy summer, starting out with having her wisdom teeth removed. she also worked as a day camp counselor at the YMCA, working 40 hours per week-it is a great summer job if you can land it, so glad she did. She traveled to California for a week as well as several road trips. It was fun and fulfilling to watch Hunter and Macy rekindle their sibling bond and friendship this summer, exploring their new hometown, running together, going to the beach and participating (and winning) two 5K's here in Houston, so thankful for almost 4 months of mom life.

My quiet time this morning, the first since each has returned to college, was so rich. The verse I was led to was a familiar but fresh and timely message to my heart. Titus 2:3-5 3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Wow! I already have instruction, all of which I 've been sensing strongly since our move to Houston in May. Now that it's quiet again, I can put my instruction into action! Stay tuned. Hopefully, I'll chronicle a life that bears much fruit! To God be The Glory!