— Life —


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My goals when we decided to buy a home, besides more space, were to have a more active social life; have a gym nearby, get involved in some new pursuits and to have an office where I could get to work on my next book.  

We’ve been in our house for six weeks, and we’re enjoying it. We connected with an old school chum of my sweetheart’s and had fun at his Super Bowl party where we met too many people to remember anyone’s name. I keep working on the name game but make no progress. Do any of you have a “trick?” Or is this just what happens… hard drive is full, need more memory?

We like our next-door neighbors, a great couple around my age, and I met a woman named Glenda (now, who wouldn’t remember that name?) as she was walking her adorable Toy Aussie. She came back the next day to give me a blooming Hyacinth!

We’ve been to two lively parties that required making hotel reservations and spending the night in Austin, our old stomping grounds. It’s odd to talk about going INTO the city after having lived there for 40 years. But an hour’s drive, after cocktails, on dark country roads with deer dashing all the way, is just too risky.

Our first night away marked our friend’s 60th birthday at the very modern JW Marriott Hotel. What a lively party that seamlessly mixed their wonderful business friends, dear family and tribe! 

Austin has grown into a beautiful city, and our fave hotel is The Hyatt, situated right on the river with a spectacular city view. We requested an upper-floor room, the perfect place to see it come alive. I hated to go to sleep, afraid to miss one minute of that vista.

Last week we went to The Rodeo Gala, a fundraiser supporting young Texans and dedicated to preserving Western heritage. We went with dear friends who are actively involved in the Rodeo and two other couples who are opening a real Irish Pub. More on that, soon! 

What a rare treat to dress up Western style. I wore a black, floral, high-low hem, wrap-dress with tan fishnets and a new pair of cowboy boots. It was so cold I got to wear my Mossimo faux fur jacket.

Someone joked that I should tape a sign to my back that read “Not Real Fur,” to prevent any kind of “incident.”

When the Gala was over we waited, forever, in a light drizzle for our reserved Uber to fetch us. Fifteen hundred, plus, people had all left the building at once. Lines were around the block. We were among the last to be retrieved, but that coat kept me toasty and dry!

I rarely get to wear it, but it keeps passing Marie Kondo’s “test:” It always brings me joy. Back in the coat closet she goes for another year. 

I love that… I have a coat closet! 

XO Donna


  • 1010ParkPlace February 19, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Dear Donna, You had the same goals as I did when I moved BACK to the city, but you’ve instantly done a better job of connecting with people than I have. SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE!!! Perhaps I need that stitched on a pillow. Love, Brenda

    • Donna February 19, 2019 at 8:01 pm

      You’re so sweet Brenda!! We just got lucky, honestly… but so glad we did.
      One thing we realized on the road, was that the very best part of traveling… was the people you get to spend time with!
      XO Donna

  • Marguerite Krenek February 19, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Donna, I also live in Austin, but a bit out in Barton Creek. Sometimes I wish we had more space, but leaving would be hard after only 8 years in Austin. I’m wondering which area you resettled in. It sounds delightful! We also had to find our tribe, as we had an empty nest and no work connections to springboard us into new friendships. It’s harder than it sounds, and we are extroverts! I agree with Brenda’s philosophy

    • Donna February 19, 2019 at 8:07 pm

      Dearest Marguerite – we chose to live in Georgetown – Sun City (we ironically call it “Sin City,” because it so… isn’t!)
      We have found that most of the people here are very friendly, there are many, many activities and interests here to get involved in, farmer’s markets, outings, and Georgetown is a sweet town with a lovely, historic town square. Come for tea, or cocktails, and we can explore together!!
      XO Donna

      • Marguerite Krenek February 20, 2019 at 7:18 am

        I’ve been in Georgetown a few times and thought the vibe was wonderful. Sun City sounds fun and welcoming. Keep us posted on life there. Austin is indeed a large city now with all that comes with it.

  • Beckye February 19, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    I’m also in the Austin area but moved up to Cedar Park 33 years ago and everyone followed us! I moved to Austin in 1975, so we’ve seen a similar growth and traffic change in Austin. Where you are sounds wonderful! Do glad you’re enjoying the transition and making new friends! Enjoy!

  • Donna February 19, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    Same, Same, Beckye. I got to Austin in 78 and enjoyed the growth, until I didn’t anymore. I never thought I’d leave.
    My prayer has always been, “ Give me great friends in beautiful places to go visit!”
    Funny how Austin has now become a beautiful place to visit.
    We look forward to making new friends with common interests.. and that’s what seems very promising about where we are now!
    Thank you!
    XO Donna

  • Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski February 20, 2019 at 9:38 am

    I’m kind of a city girl myself, but sort of lived out in the “country” for a while up in the hills above Los Angeles. It was nice. Luckily we moved before the big fire came through. It was beautiful, though and I miss it. Driving to anywhere from there was always a pain and I’m sure it’s nothing like living way out in the country. I don’t like driving at night. Taking an Uber or staying overnight at a hotel is a good idea.

  • LA CONTESSA March 1, 2019 at 5:17 pm


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