Monday, September 20, 2010


renewal (noun) ri-'nu-el
the act or process of making like new: restoring to freshenss, vigor, or perfection

I spent the weekend in Houston and I feel like a new person, thanks to many things.  First, thanks to Continental for a great weekend rate.  Next, thanks to my lovely daughter and son-in-law for hosting me.  As usual, we did a little shopping, but just being there with my family meant more than anything.  In Houston, I was expecting 90+ temperatures, but it was much cooler and as humid as I have ever seen it.

Inside every curly-haired girl is a craving for coarse, stick-straight hair. I shopped for some travel-sized hair products of the brand I usually use, but couldn't find them and bought some Pureology hair products.  With 89% humidity, my hair stayed straight all weekend.  I used the conditioner, hair mask, and serum.  Believe me, I have tried everything to get my hair straight.

My daughter, Emily, her husband, Aaron, and I are self-confessed foodies.  We had a little wager on the outcome of Bravo's Top Chef.  Aaron won and got to choose the meal that Emily and I would cook for him.  He was a really good sport, though, and cooked along with us.  So, on Saturday night, Chef Aaron made lamb with a red-wine, herb and fig sauce (his own recipe), Chef Emily made banana fritters (see recipe at, guacamole, and bread, and I only acted as sous-chef.

We shopped at HEB, a grocery in Houston.  The selection was beyond amazing.  There were rows and rows of produce.  I can't imagine anything you wouldn't be able to find.

Last night, we ate at Hugo's, an up-scale Mexican restaurant in Houston.  If you are ever in Houston, try it.  You will not be disappointed.  I had Chiles en Nagoda, which is as good a meal as I have ever had.  It looked exactly like this picture.  See the pyramid rice.  Does it make you think of the Mayans?

I read Terry McMillan's Getting to Happy, which helped to remind me to enjoy life to the fullest, and to love my friends unconditionally.  Life is much too short to waste any of it.

I'm back in Kingsport, now.  The temperature is 91.  I'm holding on to every little bit of summer that I can.

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