Sunday, November 13, 2011

At Last!!!!

As some of you may know, I have been job hunting all summer.  Now, I have worked NON-STOP since I was 18, and you would think I deserved a break, but the last four months of being "out of work" have been maddening.  Not just the loss of income, I frankly don't know what to do with myself!  In addition, I fall into that scary catagory of 50-something age women with resumes as long as your arm trying to find a "last act" to their career life, but up against a multitude of young competition.  I'm not out to set the world on fire...I've done that once or twice already...but, I did have a certain criteria for this job search that I hoped to attain.

1.  Be of service, utilizing my lifetime of experience and skill set to serve my community and neighbors.
2.  Be happy, I enjoy my time in the workplace, it must be filled with positive, happy people.
3.  Make just enough money to supplement my much pared down lifestyle here in Lafayette.

Well dear hearts, in the words of Etta James..."At last, my love has come along."!  Two weeks ago I began working at the Louisiana Craft Guild's Sans Souci Gallery!  Now I spend my days surrounded by the wonderful work of talented artisans and meeting people from all over the world that find their way to this historic building in downtown Lafayette.

I hope my Lafayette friends and neighbors will come visit me at the gallery and join me in supporting our Louisiana craftsmen and artisans.  In fact, I encourage all of my blog readers to take time to support the arts in their hometown.

Clutter Diva

Friday, September 16, 2011

27 Years In The Making

If you have a best friend, in my case a bestest best friend (BBF), of 25 years or more you know that is something to celebrate.  Great women friends are a treasure and I have been fortunate to have had many wonderful, smart, unique and, sometimes, downright quirky friends during my adult life (you know who you are!).  My BBF, Tracy, came along during a particularly amazing chapter of my life, just after I had moved to New Orleans.  We met on my 29th birthday (at gunpoint, but that's a long story that requires at least 2 martini refills...but, if we ever meet in person I'll tell you all about it).  That fateful night resulted in a friendship that is still as strong today as it was 27 years ago.  We shared a seriously cool apartment in the French Quarter, I was maid of honor at her wedding and she, matron of honor at mine.  She helped me pick out my first little yorkshire terrier puppy and I taught her how to cook.  We've held each other up through the loss of our parents, the loss of our marriages, and the loss of our short-term memory.  We've been separated by several state lines over the years, sometimes going many months between phone calls...years between visits, but our closeness never wavered and time slipped away the very moment we spoke again.

So here's to you Tracy.  Today is your special day (although you will deny it... "Mais, I don' know nuthin' about dat, me"), and I want you to know how much you mean to me and all the other people whose lives you touch.

P.S.  The 70's called, and they want their hairdo back.

Happy (You Know),

Sally Poodette

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Speaking of Robert Frost...

Yesterday, my niece mentioned on her Facebook wall that she was running across several quotes from Robert Frost poems in books she was reading lately.  I don't know what she's reading, but because Robert Frost is my favorite poet, I was delighted she was discovering him and finding meaning in his writing.

I was prompted by her comments to go online and look up my favorite Frost poems and read through them again.  Whether or not you are a fan of poetry, chances are you are familiar with his poems.  Who didn't read The Road Less Traveled in school?  I was glad to also find out that the stone farmhouse in Shaftsbury, Vermont, where Frost resided from 1920 to 1929, had suffered no damage from Hurricane Irene. 

This is how the house looked in the 1920's.  That's Frost's grandson in the yard.  The historic house actually dates back to 1769.

Here's how the house looks today.  It is a national landmark and a museum.  I couldn't find any good interior photos, but as you can see it's as simple, humble and truly American as the man and his work.

Frost wrote some of his most important poems while residing at this farm, including Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening for which he received the first of four Pulitzer Prizes.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost (1922)

Thanks, Mr. Frost.

Yours truly,
Clutter Diva

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Having A Blast With The Past

As many of you know, I have spent the last several months helping my best friend sort and organize her family home now that her parents have both passed away.  Her parents home is a good size house packed full of all the stuff you would imagine a family of 7 would accumulate over 50 years.  If you have ever taken on this same task, you know it can be quite a journey.  I have touched just about everything in this house from clothes, letters, photos and more.  My friend and I have laughed, cried and plain scratched our heads over the contents of all the closets, dressers and boxes that fill the house.  As an organizer, this was the first time I had worked with an estate.  Along the way I have picked up lots of great ideas for preserving family memories while paring down the amount of storage space needed to something manageable.  This week we tackled a sizeable stack of vinyl record albums.

First we investigated charities that might accept these albums for donation.  As it happens, the local Friends of the Public Library accept albums along with books for resale in their annual fundraiser.  Next we sorted the albums into those that went straight to the donate pile, those that might be collectible to be offered on Ebay, and tagged all the albums my friend wanted to download onto her computer.  That's when she busted out her latest "gadget"!  The ION LP Conversion Turntable.

This cool turntable plugs via USB right into your computer and you can connect it to speakers or a boombox so you can listen to the record you are downloading.  The turntable comes with software for downloading and it works really well.  My friend purchased her turntable on on clearance for $99.  I believe they retail for around $150.00.  ION has lots of products for converting vinyl and cassette tapes to your computer or Ipod.  Check them out at

As we discovered, it was important to carefully and thoroughly clean your vinyl records before putting them on the turntable for downloading.  The best way to clean vinyl records is with a soft, clean cloth dipped in dishwashing soap and water, rinse and dry with another soft cloth, then wipe down with rubbing alcohol to make sure all the soap residue is removed.  Scratches really can't be repaired on vinyl the way they can on CDs, but we found that most of the skipping on old records was caused by dirt and a good cleaning worked wonders. 

Once your turntable is set up and the records cleaned, the fun really begins.  We spent all afternoon spinning old records... Mama Cass, Marshall Tucker Band, Aretha Franklin, Barbara Striesand and more.  I felt like a teenager again, hanging out in my bedroom with my friends, playing records, painting our toenails, and talking about boys.

Thanks to technology, precious memories in photos, letters, documents and, yes, even those dusty old LPs can be preserved for generations to come.

Happy Organizing,

Clutter Diva

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Trash Talk

My friend found a really cool and unique way to hide her trash cans I felt I had to share.  Using some neat old doors and screen doors she had collected and $6.00 worth of hinges, she built a screen around her outside trash cans, which are visible from the street.

This screen is in perfect keeping with her artist studio that occupies the carport and guesthouse right behind it.  I'm sure in the coming weeks and months she will hang some neat, funky art pieces on these doors, making them even more interesting.

Sometimes the perfect solution is right in your own backyard requiring only 6 bucks and trip to Home Depot.

Happy Organizing,

Clutter Diva 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Goin' To The Chapel

I received a call last week from my beautiful niece, Elizabeth, letting me know that she and her adorable fiance, Grant, had finally chosen a date for their wedding...October 7th (that's her engagement ring pictured above...good job, Grant!).  That's the kind of call that doting, childless aunts live for.  In fact, I'm hearing wedding bells all over the place.  Two darling girls that used to work in my California office after school, still in their plaid school uniform skirts and knee socks, are both getting married in the coming weeks and months.  Congratulations to Kaysie and Alison, please post lots of pictures of both your weddings on Facebook.

Elizabeth also worked for me during the summer, along side Kaysie and Alison.  I can still see those three laughing together and having such a good time.  Little did they know then as they talked endlessly about "boys", they would all become brides within months of each other.  So, just as I presumed you girls needed my advice back then (stop snickering!) I have a few words of wisdom about your impending stroll down the aisle.

1.  Remember to smile in all your bridal portrait photos.  I took my portrait photos the morning before the ceremony and I was so nervous I couldn't eak out one smile.  I have forever since been called the Great Unsmiling Bride, although I'm grinning like crazy in every photo at the reception!  Geez!

2.  Do not...I repeat, DO NOT "gator", "sprinkler", "hitch hike" dance at your reception.  I know it's almost impossible to keep the groomsmen under control, but $2,000 wedding gowns deserve respect.  You can break out those moves once you are on your tropical locale honeymoon with a pina colada in your hand.

3.  Make sure you thank your parents (and amazing aunts) in your toast at the reception.  Oh yea, those folks are all smiles and happiness now, but they went through hell getting you all grown up and they've earned a hearty THANK YOU.

4.  Send photos of your wedding to elderly relatives who could not attend (or slept through the whole thing).  It will make their day and they will send you money (I'm just sayin').

5.  And, most importantly, spend more on your honeymoon than your reception.  Save to buy a house....think Open House vs. Open Bar.  Your friends and family love you, wish for you every happiness and would show up to your wedding if it were held  in a pup tent and we had to bring our own sack lunch.

In other words, you don't need my advice.  You have all grown into smart, accomplished and amazing women and you have chosen your future husbands accordingly.  I can't be in California for Kaysie's or Alison's weddings but I'll be there in spirit (did I mention post lots of photos on FB?), but, come October 7th I'll be thinking about all three of you girls when I watch Elizabeth take her vows.

Alison & Ken

Kaysie & Kevin

Elizabeth & Grant

Aunt Sally

Friday, July 15, 2011

We Have A Winner!

The votes are in (all three of them) and we have a winner in the caption contest.  Congratulations to Linda C. for her hilarious caption for our photo below:

"I swear I have never seen such a long nose hair in all my life!   Ewww!"

Linda, you are truly twisted.  Thanks to everyone who entered the was a tough decision, they were all so clever.  And, many thanks to Kai Drobish, the wonderful artist who supplied our prize.  If you are interested in Kai's work, be sure to visit her website at

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shopping Trip to Sunset

Went to the little (and by little I mean itty bitty) town of Sunset a couple of weeks ago and found some fun vintage "pretties" in their antique/flea market, warehouse district.

Pink depression-ware pieces...$8 each.
I put these on my dressing table,
Q-tips in one and jewelry in the other.

Pair of twin chenille bedspreads w/pillow shams
in a pretty ivy motif...$35 for the set.
I have just the perfect daybed to use these for!

Total shopping excursion cost:  $51.00
Girls' morning out in Sunset:  Priceless

Oh, and we topped the morning off with lunch at Des Amis in Breaux Bridge.  Crawfish Pie!!  Yum!!


Clutter Diva 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Last Chance

Today is the last day you can enter in my blog contest.  You have until midnight to send in your caption for the photo below.  You can enter your caption as a comment or email it to me at  If you're a Facebook friend, post it on my wall or message me.  I will announce the winner next week.  This prize would make a great gift if you don't have a building in mind for yourself.  Come on, I know you've got that funny caption in your head....just let it out!


Clutter Diva

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Contest Update

I have received some really fun photo captions for the contest!  Thanks to those who have sent their entries in.  If you are unable to leave a comment with your caption on my blog, you can email your entry to me at or message me on my facebook page.  This is a really great prize, valued at $100!  Thanks again for visiting my little blog and good luck,

Clutter Diva

Friday, June 10, 2011

My First Giveaway Contest!!

Ok, Dear Hearts, I am finally ready to announce my first blog contest and it's a dilly!  However, there's a fun put on your thinking caps and warm up your funny bone for this one.  Below is a photo of my bestest friend, Tracy, at International Festival de Louisianne.  Send me a comment with your funniest caption for this photo.  I have assembled a distinguised (and witty) panel of judges to help me pick the best caption.

Your Caption Here!
 Now, here's the Prize....Lafayette ceramic artist, Kai Drobish, will create a one-of-a-kind, ceramic architectural reproduction for the winner.  This talented artist can fashion a beautiful ceramic rendering of your family home or maybe a favorite landmark building or storefront in your town, all she needs is a photo of the building.  Below are two 5x7 tiles Kai just completed and let me photograph at her studio (trust me, my photos do not do them justice).

Cool, right?  I am so tickled to offer such a unique and personal giveaway.  Contest/caption entries must be sent in by midnight, June 30, 2011.  I can't wait to see what you all come up with!  If you want more information about the talented and lovely Miss Kai, go to her website,

Now, who are these distinguished and witty judges you ask?  They are Miss Tracy Gordon, who graciously agreed to let me use her photo for the contest (now that's someone who doesn't take herself too seriously), our artist Kai Drobish, who is not only talented but funny as hell, and yours truly.  In the event of a tie (or cat fight) entries will be submitted to my Facebook friends for voting.


Clutter Diva

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lafayette Lounge Lizard

Last week my crazy job on a gas pipeline construction project in South Louisiana came to an abrupt halt.  The details are irrelavent, but suffice it to say I have never been fired from a job in my life and I was fired from this one TWICE!  Call it politics, the good ol' boy system, back scratchin'....I don't really care, I was just grateful for the paycheck ("I was looking for a job when I found this one").

Sooooo, now I'm back in Lafayette (where I really wanted to be all along), staying with my best friend, taking a little break before getting down to the serious business of finding another job.  And, since I have some spare time on my hands, I've been taking in a bit of the Lafayette night life.  It's been a long time since I've stayed up late, dancing the night away, but gosh darn there is so much great music and fun places to go in this town you would have to be half dead to resist getting out and kicking up your heels.

So if you live in the Lafayette area and happen to see a fat, middle aged, square-looking broad with a Texas accent shaking her booty at Downtown Alive or Blue Moon and sweating like a virgin at a prison's probably me.  Be kind, I'm flexing some social muscles I haven't used in a long time.

Clutter Diva

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?

This is my latest favorite thing...the Daisy Air Freshener from Bright-Air.  These pretty flowers come in yellow, orange, white and fuschia, and sit on their own little stand  Not only do they have wonderful scents, they are also sweet little accents on a table or countertop.  My favorite is the yellow daisy with the combined scents of jasmine and honeysuckle.

Have a sweet day,

Clutter Diva

Monday, May 23, 2011

No Superstores Out Here!

It is true that with my new job my days are long, 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.  It's also true that I am out in the middle of, retailwise, nowhere.  But, I have found a little bit of heaven that eluded me in the big city...the Centerville Market grocery store.

In as much as I love to shop for clothes and household goods, and as much as I love to eat, and, occasionally, cook, I am absolutely phobic about giant grocery stores.  I will buy milk and eggs at Walgreens or the Shell station mini-mart for 5 times the price rather than brave the acres of parking lot, and aisle after aisle of products I don't want or need.  Even if I have plenty of time, money and a written list in hand, I become overwhelmed and disorientated and can never seem to get out with what I came in for.  I have actually found myself getting lightheaded after a few minutes in one of these megastores and have been known to just leave my cart and race back outside to my car.

So, you can imagine my delight at bumping into a sweet, little family owned grocery in Centerville, Louisiana, practically a stone's throw from my workplace.  This store has 10 aisles at most, and so neat and organized, like a pantry.  Nothing fancy, but everything you hot plate lunches served out of the kitchen in the back of the store.  Again, nothing beans and rice, chicken, okra, cobler.

I might stop into this store a couple of times in one day.  I love how the checkers call you baby..."Baby, you got everything you need?  Awright, now you have good day, Baby"  Don't bring your big city, type-A personality into this store. You might stand in the checkout line 30 minutes while the checker and the lady in front of you "catch up".  But, they always include you in the conversation, "We just catchin' up, Baby.  She used to live across from my Momma's...where you from, Baby?"  I told you....Heaven.


I am so excited to announce my first contest is in the "works"!!!  It should be lots of fun and the prize is wonderful.  Stay tuned...details will be posted very soon.

Clutter Diva

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pass A Good Time...

As my Cajun friends would say, I sure did "pass a good time" over the weekend at the Festival International de Louisiane, in Lafayette.  This was my first time to enjoy this amazing music festival and I danced, and drank, and ate like a 20 year old....for which my 55 year old body paid dearly the next day.  But, it was worth it!  Amazing music from all over the globe along with several local favorites like Terrance Simien and BeauSoleil featuring the great fiddle player Micheal Doucet.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Message From "Miss Thang"

  Hi, everyone...or "Dear Hearts" as my mommie calls ya'll.  Miss Thang here...taking over the blog today because my mommie, Miss Sally, is sooooooo busy she has no time for blogging.  We two have been through lots of changes of late and it's a little confusing for me, but as long as we're together, I know we're OK.  First, there was lots of packing and boxing up at my house in San Antonio, then one last run around my little backyard and into the car.  I love car trips...well actually I love to sleep during car trips, and I've made the trip to Lafayette, Louisiana lots of times, but little did I know we were MOVING to Louisiana this time and we were going to live on the coast for the summer!

So, here I am at Cypremort Point.  Queen of the coast!!!  I have a perfect view of the water and I get to bark at all the fishing boats as they head out to the Gulf.  I know they can hear me because they start going really fast when they get to my pier.  Oh, and I love my pier.  Me and Mommie walk down to the end of our pier every night to watch the sunset.  The Gulf breezes ruffle my fur and I can smell the salty air.

We've had lots of adventures out here...yesterday a sudden hail storm with golf ball size hail broke all of the windows overlooking the deck.  One hour later the sun was shining and it was beautiful here...I was, however, stuck in the back bedroom while Mommie cleaned up all the broken glass.

I'm not sure what the weekend holds.  Maybe I can go fishing with Mommie and her bestest friend, besides me, Miss Tracy.  Do they make life jackets in my pink?  Maybe, we'll check out Festival International in Lafayette...I love Zydeco music!  I never know what to expect these days.  I just go with the flow.

Doggie Kisses,


Friday, April 15, 2011

The Good Life

I cannot believe what a frenzied mental state I was in just over 30 days ago, compared to the relaxed state of mind I'm livin' in now!  I was never one to drop out of the "race" before, but this rat has jumped ship and is loving it.  It may be just for the Summer, but I'll take it.  I took a good, long look at my own face in the mirror this morning and, yep, there she was, the girl I used to be...or at least a glimmer of that girl.  I can see that tired, stressed expression fading away and my old self emerging.  Thanks to the Gods of Circumstance and Coincidence for giving me a way to make a change and make it fast.  Each evening when I stroll out to the end of the pier with Miss Thang to watch yet another spectacular sunset over the water, I can't help but hear my dad's voice in my head saying, "I wonder what the poor folks are doing tonight?"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Big Changes Happenin'!!

To my sweet 11 followers....sorry I haven't blogged in so long, but I'm making some big changes and I wasn't sure where my little blog fit in during this time.  First of all, I'm moving to Lafayette, Louisiana in 3 days.  The rough times in the real estate market finally proved too much for me (at least for now) and I had to go find a J.O.B.  The good news is I found employment in one of my favorite places, where my bestest friend of almost 30 years lives and where I have been sneaking off to every chance I got.  I love my Louisiana friends, and this sweet little town, so much I cry every time I have to leave it to come back to San Antonio.  Don't take it personally, SA, I started a love affair with South Louisiana long ago when at age 26 I moved to New Orleans for fun and found paradise.  So I guess, in some respects, I have come full circle.  I'm not really sure how all this will shake out...but, isn't that the fun part?

Any-who...I will keep blogging as this new adventure unfolds.  I expect to be making lots of changes including the look and feel of my blog.  For now it's,

Adios, San Antonio

Bonjour, Lafayette!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Customer Service??

OK, I am about to rant a little, but I just can't take it one more minute!  If I walk into another retail store where some disembodied, twenty-something voice from behind me in the clothing racks or from the back of the store says "Welcome to [fill in the blank]", scarring the hell out of me, I am going postal!!!  Don't these young people know what real customer service means?  Don't they know you need to make EYE CONTACT with the customer when they enter your establishment, then speak?  Didn't their manager's look up from their IPhones or Blackberries long enough to explain this one important component to the "official greeting"? 

For heaven's sake!  Stop rattling off your greeting like a Pavlovian dog the minute you hear the door chime.  Move your ass across the showroom floor and get in my line of vision before engaging me in conversation.  Instead, you're giving me a whiplash from trying to find you, while I'm doing an impression of Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver,...."Are you talkin' to me?...Are you talkin' to ME?!"

The only retail store that has really impressed me lately with their customer service is, believe it or not, the AT&T Wireless store.  I hope the smart marketing executive that turned these stores around got a huge raise.  I used to dread the AT&T store.  You would stand around for what seemed an eternity before any of those snotty kids would look up from their computer screens to help you.  Now, it's an entirely new experience.  You are greeted face-to-face at the door by a polite, well trained customer service rep and that customer service rep stays with you every step of the way until you leave the store.  Excellent!  A+, AT&T.  My only complaint is the last time I was in the AT&T store to purchase a hands-free system for my car, the young woman helping me suggested a system she knew I would like because her mom really liked hers.   Ouch!

Happy Organizing

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011, Bring It On!

Happy New Year, Dear Hearts.  I hope you're as jazzed about the new year as I am.  My Christmas spirit may have waned over the years, but I'm always excited about the promise a new year brings.  There's something about breaking out that new calendar of 12 months that makes all things seem possible.  I'm not one for resolutions, but I do believe in taking the time to envision a fresh start, or in some cases, a "do over" with better results.

I've been watching a lot of television lately in my free time during the holidays and of all the resolutions people are talking about, reducing clutter and getting organized appear to be the most popular.  I, of course, applaud this resolve, but I recommend setting specific, attainable goals that will help steal your resolve with success.

The key is small, doable projects.  For instance:

  • Clean out your refrigerator and give it a good scrubbing.
  • Have your car detailed and treat yourself to a new travel mug.
  • Clear out your closets of unused clothes and shoes, and donate them to charity.
  • Throw out all your old or unused makeup, cosmetic brushes, hair brushes, razors, bath products and start fresh with new razors, loofahs, brushes, sponges, etc...
  • Buy new underwear and clean out your lingerie drawer....DO IT!
  • Box up your office files from 2010 and put new, empty file folders in your file drawers, ready to fill with new business.
  • Get a facial.
  • Take down all the stuff held by magnets to your frig door and create a blank canvas for the new year.
  • Have the kids donate to charity one toy or gadget for every new toy or gadget they received for Christmas.

Well, you get the idea.  I've personally cleaned out my makeup drawer and bought 4 new bras (I even had a personal bra fitting...gravity can sure change things in a year!).  Completion of these small goals can serve to set a good precedent, and inspiration, for bringing order into your year going forward.  However, if you absolutely must have a new year's resolution, resolve to be kinder to yourself, gossip less and say "I love you" more, or ask your children about their day more often, then really listen to what they say.

Happy Organizing