Sunday, July 31, 2011

Open, Open, Open

Do any of you remember that commercial for Mervyn's where the lady stood outside of the front door to the department store in the dark and flashed her hands open and shut and said, "OPEN, OPEN, OPEN!"  because she couldn't wait to get inside?

Well, Magpies Gifts in Cypress opens tomorrow!  And I feel like shouting...


It has been the longest two weeks for me....I can't imagine what it must feel like for the 5 owners, their families, and the other employees.  The space has been totally transformed and a brand new store has been born. If you are in the area this week, you should definitely try to get there. 

The last 48 hours have been intense.

The push was on to get it all done.

All hands were on deck.

Pricing things, dusting things, vacuuming things, arranging things, spray painting things, moving things. A very large shelving unit had been ordered for the Brighton things and it was due on of course, it arrived after dark on Friday.  The husbands came bearing their tool belts on Saturday to put the huge thing up on the wall.  About an hour into the process, water started coming out on to the floor from the baseboard. 


Four men, many large holes cut into the sheet rock looking for the leak and an hour later, a plumber was called.  Two hours later the plumber arrived.  More sheet rock was cut out of the newly painted showroom wall.  Clouds of sheet rock dust floated like glitter and landed on all of the previously dusted items in the entire store.  Right before Mr. Maggie was taken to the ER, the plumber found the nail hole in the copper water pipe.

What?  Mr. Maggie was taken to the ER? 


But only after the whole work crowd enjoyed some delicious and fresh pizza from a local Mom and Pop pizza place that I had highly recommended.  In fact, they called it in and I went to pick it it's very near my house. 

Most of us stopped to eat the pizza as soon as it arrived and then got back to our work.  Mr. Maggie didn't eat his pizza right away.  But when he did, he ate the one with mushrooms.  Mr. Maggie is severely allergic to mushrooms...a new affliction as of just a few months ago, when he went in to anaphylactic shock after consuming some on a piece of pizza. 

Mr. Maggie started feeling a little strange and mentioned that maybe he would just head home.  But within minutes, it was clear he was having another bad reaction and his daughter got him in the car and headed right down the road to the pharmacy in a grocery store in search for an epipen. 

The pharmacist was very, very in NO HELP AT ALL...other than to point in the direction of the Benadryl when they asked for an epipen.  The daughter grabbed some Benadryl off the shelf....started shoving it down Mr. Maggie....while 911 was called. 

No time for that.......Mr. Maggie was shoved back in to the car and taken to a hospital 2 exits down the freeway.  The daughter saw her husband, pulled over, let him take over and she came back to the store crying.  There is way more to this story but it all happened so fast and there was a lot of screaming and crying and stunned onlooking involved.  I got the daughter in my car and headed to the ER to meet up with Mr. Maggie and Mr. Daughter's Husband.  Cars went 120 mph and Mr. Maggie was placed in to the good hands of the ER.  One big epipen later....and 2 hours of observation, he is all good. 

Thank you God.

It was at this point, that it seemed a little like God may be sending a clear signal (Two Disasters in Two Hours) that Monday was not to be the opening day.  Discussions were had.  Opinions were given.  Tired people looked at each other. 

And then.....

just like professionals.......

they got back in the store today.....

and finished what they started two weeks ago.

It's opening tomorrow.  And I can gladly report the Brighton wall has been installed.  The holes in the sheet rock are covered up.  And Mr. Maggie was fine and dandy today.

I was given permission to post about Mrs. Maggie herself.  I feel sure there is an epipen on Mr. Maggie now.  At least I hope there is. 

Adrenaline rush for all.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Very Good Tired

Still painting.

  Still watching 5 women work very hard
to get an adorable store ready to open very soon.

Still not believing I will be working there. 

So tired.  So very good tired.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Paint, Painting, Painted

The owners of Magpies are working fast and furious to transform the space into a brand new store.  I was asked to choose paint colors for the walls and to paint a few pieces of furniture.  So I've been looking at paint, painting with paint, and covered with paint.

Wait for me.  I'll be back.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Looking Forward

This past March I attended a Bible study at my church with 3 of my friends.  The study was by Priscilla Shirer called One in a Million.  It was about trusting God...sensing and acknowledging God's continual presence even while you are in the wilderness....those times in your life that can be dark and troubled due to illness, death, a job loss, financial uncertainty, divorce, addictions, fill in the blank when the Israelites were being led out of Egypt to the Promise Land.

We are all either in the place before the wilderness, in the wilderness or just after coming out of the wilderness.  What I got out of that Bible study is to trust God before, during and after that "wilderness" and that coming through a "wilderness" is where you will grow closer to God and grow deeper in character.  He uses the wilderness times in our life to bring us closer to Him.  Of course, there was a lot more to the bible study but that was what I walked away with.

Deep?  Deep.

It's not like I didn't already know to trust God.  But what hit me was seeing clearly that the time to trust God is way before the wilderness.  Because once in the middle of that dark place, God will most likely feel like the enemy if you're not already in a relationship with Him...knowing He will not forsake you.

For me, knowing God is praying to Him and then listening for Him as well as studying His word (which I admit I've come to later in life).  Using my gut instincts and forging ahead all the while, checking in with Him and listening for Him.  And His voice is more of a tap on the shoulder for me......or a "feeling" of this is right.  In some of my own wilderness times, I turned to God fully trusting.  And in some of my wilderness seasons, I turned away.

Turning to Him is what He wants.  But while we wait for Him, He wants us to trust Him, be led by His Spirit, cast our anxieties and worries on Him and forge ahead.

Like Dr. Phil says, "Pray to God to save you, but pick up the oars in the boat!"

So this Spring, I felt that feeling that the time was right for change...I felt that tap on the shoulder, that nudge.   And I resigned my job that I loved....however budget cuts were changing the atmosphere.... without knowing what the future held.  I am a hard worker and I knew I would find something.  I just didn't know what and when.  But it all felt so right.  I had a real peace about it. 

I should say here, that I know how fortunate I am.  My husband has a career with the benefits so I am able to quit while looking.  This husband does not spend money on clothes or bright shiny things so the money I bring in helps with college apartment rent and let's just say a new shirt now and then.  I stayed home for the most part to raise my children, but with no spending money, it's not all that. And now my children are almost all raised but the college years leave little "mad money."  So I have had the jobs that provide the little extras....although there have been years when my jobs put the groceries on the table.  I am happiest when busy...and Chuck is happiest when I bring in a little cash flow.  Winning.

So the plan ...if I had one...was to fill out the paperwork to become a substitute for the school system I had just resigned from.  Then substitute while looking for a permanent job. I got the paperwork complete and sent it in. The next substitute training was in July, so I was waiting. 

And trusting.  And listening.  And peaceful.

About this same time, I went to a graduation party and ran in to a friend who works at a store called Magpies in Sugarland.  The second she saw me she said, "Hey, Magpies is opening a store out by should get a job there."

Shout out to Peggy with a huge thanks!

And the rest just seemed to fall like a stack of dominoes.  She gave my number to the owners, they called me to come in and meet them/interview.  I filled out the paperwork.  They asked me to work for them.  I said I would be honored.  And now I go to work on August 1. 

The best's 3 to 4 days a week, 11 minutes from my home and the cutest store ever.  Magpies has been in business over 27 years starting in their Bellaire location adding a second location in Sugarland and now their third one in Cypress.  For those of you not from here...these are all areas of the huge Houston metropolis....central, southwest and now northwest area.

For those of you in Cypress....Magpies bought out II Friends on Barker Cypress.

And here's where it gets just like a direct hit from God:

When I was in my twenties,  my sister and I worked at the same mortgage company.  We went to lunch together every single day.  We stumbled on Magpies in Bellaire because it was next to a place my sister had her hair cut.  We fell in love with the store and would stop in at least once or twice a month on our lunch hour.  I loved everything about that store so much.  I even wallpapered the kitchen in my house with the same exact wallpaper that hung in Magpies.  It was the mid 80's so the paper was country blue and rust...ha. 

And I can't tell you how many times I said OUT LOUD this past year...."the perfect job would be 4 days a week."

And part of finding a job was finding one without a long commute which would eat up my paycheck  with gas for the car.

So here I am, 27 years after falling in love with a store called Magpies....I will be working for them 3 to 4 days a week only 11 minutes away!

If I could lift up and look at my life as a timeline much like God does, I would see how He was weaving this together all along. 

I am going to miss my school friends that I got to see daily.  I am going to miss kindergartners and the way they made me laugh.  I loved working for the schools for the last 7 years...especially because of the friends I made.  But I will be tapping in to another side of me.  And hopefully, I will see a lot of you in the store.

The 2 weeks leading up to the August 1rst opening (if all goes as planned), I will be helping the owners by painting some furniture for the store.  I painted a sign for the door on hide the progress going on inside.  I cannot wait.  It's going to be great!

Thank you, God.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Over and Back

Thursday, July 7, 2011

We checked out of the beach rental by 11:00....only 24 hours late.  If you've been reading the last few posts, you will remember that all year we thought we had the house through Thursday but found out we should have been out on Wednesday.  I'm laughing about that now... a week later.

We cleaned the place, packed all of our stuff, loaded the car and went to The Broken Egg for breakfast with our friends before heading west on I-10.  It was hard to leave that place, those people, that feeling.

Once again, we stopped over in New Orleans for the evening to break the trip in half. But this time we had Jordan and Chris with us. We ate dinner on the Riverwalk then toured the French Quarter again. We ended up at Howl at the Moon on Bourbon Street and enjoyed the dueling piano for awhile. 


Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday morning, while waiting for the car to be brought to us by the hotel valet service, I took off walking. We were only about 10 blocks from Cafe du I headed that way. The others packed the car and drove over. While they ate the beignets and drank the strong coffee, I went in and out of some of the shops. Fortunately for me, there were some left-over beignets brought to the car for the ride home.

Thanks Chuck.

Once home, we unpacked the car then turned around and headed to Cameron's new place for Jordan and Chris to see....then dinner at Cadillac Bar...a mere 5 minutes from Cameron's...for some good Mexican food.

Vacation 2011 Over.

It was good to be home. 

Sort of.

I definitely felt the blues the last few days after coming home from paradise.

But I have something really great to look forward to....I'll tell you about it soon.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sea Side and Seaside

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

This was our last day at the beach as check out was the next day and we would head home.  Well, we thought Thursday was check out...but turns out we should have been out on Wednesday.  whoops.   We headed to the beach in the morning and to Seaside for a little shopping, dining, and watching the sunset.  Ahhh.  Seaside is pretty close to perfect.   

Hello, gorgeous.

I did not make Chuck cry....he got salt water and sunscreen in his eye. 
That combo burns like heck.
The only cure is to get out of the water
 and rub your eye with a dry towel.

After lunch we headed east to Seaside.

The view of the water at Seaside, Florida.

Twins sisters of different mothers, separated at birth.

Our dining spot for the evening.  Really great southern cooking.
I had macaroni and cheese with corn and bacon in it and ....grilled shrimp. 

The swinging door to the kitchen. 

Close to sunset we headed to Bud & Alley's...
a rooftop bar perfect for watching the sun go down.

Jordan and Chris recognized a group of guys that walked in as
All American Rejects...a punk rock band.
So I went out on the balcony to take pictures of the beach....wink, wink.
I can't say I was ever in to punk rock so I somehow missed these guys...
do you recognize them?


Denim vest and tattoo sleeve and the one looking right at me.

Lead singer with a ring on every finger.

That tattoo had to take a long time to do.

So busted.  ha.

Here comes the sunset. 


After dark, a concert took place on the hill in the square. 

I wasn't the only one who couldn't tell you what the band played. 
The beach wears a girl out.

Best day Will would say.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shopping, Movies and Fire

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

After getting Blake, Cameron and Will to the airport and seeing Taylor and Faith off in the car, we were down to 6....Chip and Debbie, Chuck and I, Jordan and Chris. From 12 to 6...things got a lot quieter.

Some of us went to the outlet malls, some went to the movies and then we all met back up and headed out for dinner in Santa Rosa Beach in the early evening at a place called Fire. 

By now you are all bored with this vacation stuff....but this is my scrapbook, if you will, so I must post pictures by day....and we are getting near the end.  I promise.

No pictures of the shopping, no pictures of the movies, but some couple shots taken at dinner. 

Cute signs in the area of the restaurant..........

I could run this place....if all you have to do is gossip.
This would be a great name for a coffee shop or a wine bar.

Cute little shacks that were closed for the evening.

Thanks for hanging in there.  Really, there is nothing more boring than looking at someone else's vacation pictures.  I know...I get it. 

But I have to document this so my kids can show it to me in the nursing home.

  " ....'member MAMA and then we went to the BEACH and
you saw your good friend DEBBIE?"