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The scene rocks once again at Up, Vermont flood waters hit home and Culberson enjoys a b'day bash

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No longer blonde, Patti Murphy surprised all at the Houston Ballet party with her brown locks. Photo by Fulton Davenport: PWL Studio
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Karen Hartnett and Kirksey Gregg at the Houston Ballet event at Up Restaurant. Photo by Fulton Davenport: PWL Studio
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U.S. Rep. John Culberson celebrated his birthday at Armadillo Palace. Photo via The Political Guide
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Houston Ballet Nutcracker Marekt chair Sharon Erskine welcomed market volunteers to the party at Up. Photo by Fulton Davenport: PWL Studio
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News-Staff-Shelby Hodge-columnist-head shot-mug

Highland Village owner Haidar Barbouti has once again rolled out the red carept for the Houston Ballet supporters. Last week, it was Ballet Barre that enjoyed his hospitality at Up Restaurant. Monday night, it was the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market team, getting together for a pre-fall launch.

Market chair Sharon Erskine welcomed as many as 75 market volunteers, who've been working all year in preparation for the big event that takes over Reliant Center Nov. 9-13. So why not take a break with a little early-evening cocktail party?

While the buzz was all about the fact that the Macy's Fashion Show and Holiday Brunch, set for Friday Nov. 11, is sold out, there was a shocker on this evening. Forever blonde (as far as most of her friends knew), Patti Murphy walked in with her sunny locks now a dark brown. She allowed that she was actually a brunette before deciding to bleach her hair many years ago. Now it's back to what Mother Nature had intended.

Gearing up for the market are Preview Party chairs Wendy Burks, Katie Harrison and Elizabeth Stein; Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show and Luncheon chairs Karen Hartnett and Carol Simmons; and the Macy's Holiday Brunch chairs Sunny Haik and Denis Poynter

While they were ladies one at all at Up, the run on the short ribs pizza was pretty amazing. Every piece of the unique pizza was devoured as soon as it hit the party scene. En pointe at Up were Katrina Arnim, Cynthia Christ, Gaylon Gullquist, Harriett Zivley, Tua Burke, Evelyn Leightman, Julie Pincus and Karan Robinson.

Irene slams Houston duo

Interior designer Randy Powers' Facebook page tells it all — from the moment the once-quiet river in the backyard of their summer home in Vermont began swelling to the point when Randy and his partner, Bill Caudell, had seven minutes to scoop up whatever they could along with their dogs and head for higher ground.

The charming 213-year-old home on the romantic river banks was flooded as the water rose 17 feet. Anyone who knows Randy and Bill will know that the house was decorated tastefully to the hilt, filled with priceless antiques that are now covered in mud and forever wasted by surging flood waters.

  Anyone who knows Randy and Bill will know that the house was decorated tastefully to the hilt, filled with priceless antiques that are now covered in mud and forever wasted by surging flood waters. 

Recipe for Success founder Gracie Cavnar and husband oilman Bob Cavnar, who take a house each summer in Woodstock, are high and dry thanks to their location on a hilltop overlooking the river. 

Bob, who just launched a new blog This Small Planet, is posting amazing photos of the storm damage from all over Vermont. Check it out here. Gracie reports that Bob, a licensed helicopter pilot, is volunteering for the helicopter rescue missions.

A congressman's b'day

Friends and supporters of Rep. John Culberson packed the colorful Armadillo Palace on Saturday when a partying throng turned out to chow down on the Goode Co.'s famous barbecue, all the fixin's and that irresistible pecan pie. Welcoming guests were the congressman's wife Belinda Culberson and their daughter, Caroline.

Among the many helping blow out the candles were Karen and Byron Hood, Daphne Scarbrough, Brittany Seabury, Ellie and Tony Essalih, Steve Davis, Burt Levine, Jeni and Nick Swyka III and Paul Magaziner.

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