Monday, March 19, 2018

Monday Mystery

Let me start by saying that Jordan and Morgan gave us an Amazon Echo for Christmas.
Part of the gift was that they were to help me set it up. I guess they don't think I'm capable of figuring it out! Well, it's been a couple months and we haven't done it. I decided to go ahead this past week and get it set up.
I got everything out of the box. The instructions required that you download the "Echo" app to your phone. I went to the App store, but the app I needed didn't show up. A little further in the instructions, it was noted that I could also set it up online from my computer. That's more my speed. When it comes to the phone, I'm just slow.

I went to the set-up page on Amazon. Right away, it would not recognize my password. Oh. My. Gosh! This is so frustrating. I got out my handy little address book that I have all my passwords written in and---sure enough---I WAS using the right password. I did it a few more times. Finally, I logged off my internet and logged back in. That did it. Now I was in business. It was pretty simple to set up.
This looks like a piece of cardboard that needed to be removed. I couldn't get it, so I left it alone. I hope it can't catch fire!
I like that it came with a rubber band to keep the cord in check. I hate tons of loose cords!
The gadget is pretty unobtrusive. I like that too. But, apparently, Alexis is always listening. Talk about people tracking your life---I wonder if this could be used against you in a court of law (that's a definite mystery)!

So here's what happened. I played around with it to see what it could do. I asked for music---it wanted me to sign up with Amazon Prime Music. I asked about playing Jeopardy, it wanted me to subscribe to be able to play the game. So far, I've only used it to check the weather. I simply don't know what to do with it.

Today, I started to tell Butch that I was reading Killing Reagan by Bill O'Reilly (say what you will, he writes great books in the BEST readable way---always interesting---his are the only footnotes I ever read---always interesting too!). Since I'm keeping track of my books and how much money I'm saving, I went on Amazon to check the price. I couldn't believe that you could buy a brand new hard back book for $3.94! The electronic version is $14.99! As I was saying to Butch, that apparently most people have electronic readers now which has driven that price up and the less desirable hardback copy prices have been driven down---Alexis interrupted our conversation. I was talking, the television was on, and Alexis was talking. I didn't really know what she was saying, but I finally had to say, "Alexis, cancel" to make her shut up.

She was listening!! I don't know what set her off. That's a mystery to me as to what I said that prompted her to interrupt! I can't think of anything I said that even remotely sounded like "Alexis." I have to admit, it gave me another idea to try---ask Alexis to give me a synopsis about books I want to find out about. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm going to. That would be faster than looking up all the books I want to check out.

Does "Alexis" really listen to your conversations? It's a mystery for sure! My mother would be "rolling!"---if you know what I mean!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Throwback Thursday

Yarn covered hangers.

I got to thinking about these hangers my mother always made.
My mother was the most organized person I've ever known. She made these hangers for each of us. We all had our own color---matching our rooms. Of course, she also sewed little colored x's on the labels of our clothes so you could tell them apart. I had yellow hangers (mine and Jeanne's room was yellow and chocolate brown). I had red x's on my clothes. When permanent markers came out, she no longer sewed the x's, but used a red marker for me. I had a closet full of these yellow hangers. This is the only yellow one I have left.
We all took those hangers for granted. When mom died and we were dividing things, we all wanted the hangers. Suddenly, they seemed so valuable to us---something she made and reminded us of our childhood. Luckily, she had made so many, we each got about 20 of them. I have mine in the hall closet. They are perfect there. I can only have matching hangers! 

I couldn't even think about putting them in my closet! 
My sense of order requires matching hangers! Yes, I know how to make the yarn covered ones and do like the way they look, but I would have to make too many. I don't want to do it. 

Still, I'm so happy to have a little bit of mom left! A perfect thought for Throwback Thursday!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tuesday Thoughts About...


Target is deadly for me. I simply stay away---most of the time. But when I need to shop---it's my "go to." Yesterday, I stopped by to pick up a few "necessities." As I approached the store, I noticed that they are hiring "sales associates." That's just a fancy name for "cashier." You can't fool me!

I worked at Target 50 years ago. Yep, it's been that long. Back then, you had to take a math test when you applied. I aced it. There was nothing to tell you how much change you had to give back. You actually had to figure it out. It was really pretty simple. Now-a-days, there's nothing to it---unless you don't know the difference between denominations of bills, or coins. There's really no thinking involved--especially when the customer uses a card---no such thing back in the day---cash was king.

When I saw the sign, my first thought was, "hmmm. I've been looking for something since a couple of my formerly retired friends have gone back to work. Maybe this is it. Wouldn't it be cool to say that my first job was Target (well, not really, but that sounds good) and my LAST job will be Target!" In fact, I started the conversation in my head of how I would approach the "human resources" person (there was no such thing back in the 60's). I'd hit him (or her---must stay PC) right off the bat with, "My first job was at Target and now I want my last job to be at Target!" I'd continue with, "you will never find a more responsible, reliable or hard working person than me." I might even pull out my 50 year old Target credentials. "After only two weeks, I was promoted to "head cashier." No telling what they call them now. Then I'd add, "I even volunteered to work Sundays (the stores were closed on Sundays back then) to do that most dreaded, boring job of taking "inventory!"  I remember having to count nails in the hardware department! Ugh! I don't think they have to do that in today's world of computers.

Then, I hit myself with a dose of reality. Do I really want to work for 10 bucks an hour and have someone dictate my schedule? Two crummy weeks of vacation? Uhh, I don't think so. Plus, knowing me, I'd want to re-organize the whole place and tell them how they can do it better. I know I would.

Still, my early working days at Target were full of fun memories: that popcorn; those smoking breaks; the boys! I got some of the craziest questions from customers like "where are the rubbers!" As a naive teen, I was shocked. When I said, "uh, that would be the pharmacy department," the man said, 'no, for rain!' " I swear, I'm not making this up. It was all good.

My BFF, Reenie worked there too. Besides sharing rides, we also shared a boyfriend! No---not at the same time! She had him first. This job came AFTER our first REAL job. Ahhh, but that's another story!

I love Target, but I don't think I'll go back to work there any time soon. Seriously, I'm thinking UBER! The young drunks in downtown Nashville could use a grandmotherly type---don't ya' think?

Friday, March 9, 2018

A Day and a Half!

That's what it took to put the "new" kitchen back together. Butch was right there with me and humored me when I wanted to wash everything---including the florals! He does a really good job of putting up with me when I get obsessive about things. So glad for that! He'll do anything I ask---which includes cleaning anything really high or really low, hanging, moving and then re-hanging things and dealing with the shelf liner! What a sport. Actually, he was happy to get everything back in order too.

Without further ado:

We also had the floors re-done. I'm just happy that everything is so clean and fresh.

The pendant lights are something new. We just had the recessed overhead lights before. I wanted these.
I had plans for a farm sink, but couldn't do that without messing up the cabinet situation underneath. Instead, I opted for a triple sink like I had before. I was excited to get cast iron as everyone knows, I love the clean crisp look of white----and it's shiny! My personal preference is new things that look old---hence the faucet.

I never used the desk as a desk. I wanted more storage. So my idea was to turn it in to something that looked like a piece of furniture. I wanted to paint it blue and add shiplap to the wall. I also wanted a different counter top than the rest of the kitchen. I had a vision!

Christy, my awesome designer, made my vision a reality! She suggested raising the cabinet up and adding molding to the bottom for the look of furniture. Not only did I NOT think of that, I didn't know it could be done. I'm so happy with the results. The counter top is white quartz.
A few details: Butch wasn't thrilled with the shiplap at first. He just didn't "get it." He said it looked like uneven boards. Exactly! Now he's okay with it. Since my whole plan was to scale down and get rid of junk, the letter holders full of little vintage items and the baker's rack had to go. Still, I just had to use my grandmother's tablecloth. It means a lot to me! I don't have anything else from her.
 This was the area where the chair used to be. I have a whole new set of drawers. I have plenty of room for everything!
 I don't really like the junkieness of this, but I still have to remain practical. We need scrap paper, pens, scissors and charging potential somewhere. I tried to make it as inconspicuous as possible.
I used to have this crystal compote filled with marble fruit in the dining room. I decided to move it in the kitchen for a fresh look.

 I've always had a dish here for Butch's "stuff." I swapped it out this time---not new, but in a cabinet and never used. It will be now. It's just a matter of time before it's full of his junk.
I wanted to keep my window treatments simple this time. I decided on what we picked for Stepanie's house---plain white linen Roman shades. They are full of awesome texture! I don't really plan to close them, but they are the easy type with no strings.
Of course I had to keep my blue ceiling. I love it and have for about the past 15 years! I moved my needlework from elsewhere to above the cabinets.
This chandelier is the only thing I kept from the old kitchen. I still love it. Butch cleaned it all up and it looks great!
I got a new cooktop---induction. I've used it three times already and love it! I put my kettle on to see if it was the right kind do use with induction. It was amazing---less than 30 seconds to boil! Even if something boils over, it can't/won't stick. It's so easy to clean. I chose black granite for the countertops. I'm funny about counters that are too busy. But I also know that if there isn't some busyness, then it will show dirt, dust and smears. This is the perfect combination. Just busy enough without being too busy for my taste.

This is where the old baker's rack was.  I've had the old window for years but was able to move it down on the wall now. It was pretty cruddy from being up high and inaccessible for cleaning. I do plan to get a floor plant to add some green by the window.
This old piece of barn wood stenciled with "home" is a Jenni Bowlin creation. We've been friends since early scrapbooking days. She has a vintage flair and goes around to antique shows and sells her wares.
I snuck in the vintage pitcher with a few old kitchen utensils. Butch isn't too crazy about that. I'll get rid of it if he insists. 

I'm a sucker for marble tile. I love the texture of this tile and those tiny little mosaics.The tiny little bricks below the "pencil" is adorable! Butch wasn't crazy about it at first, but now he admits that it's grown on him! 

Overall, we have been really happy with the results. Despite a few problems along the way---and there are always problems---everything has gone pretty smoothly. Probably our biggest problem was when the cabinets were installed, they didn't match the trim paint. Turns out, the Sherwin Williams store mixed it wrong. The painters had to come back and re-paint, so that delayed the finish by a few days. Being without the kitchen hasn't been a problem at all. I guess it helps that I was gone nearly two weeks.  I guess the biggest problem was this:
One of those plug in oil air fresheners leaked all over the buffet in the dining room---where we loaded everything from the kitchen. It has ruined the wood top. That makes me sick. Luckily, I have a runner that completely covers it. Still...

It's always something!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Throwback Thursday

We haven't seen each other in 35 years. My best friend, growing up. We did everything together!! REENIE! This is for you, for friendship, for old times and for US!
 We played softball on the same team for 11 years---she's on the first row far left kneeling. I'm in the middle with the white crew sock (never could stand the feeling of bare feet in shoes). The other sock wear-er is my sister, Janice! I guess it runs in the family.
 That's Reenie on the back row far left. I'm on the front row in the pink dress shading my eyes. You didn't invite one of us to a party without the other!
US today. I teased her about getting "old." But in reality, she looks exactly the same! She just got grey---who am I kidding! Of course---I color!

Can't wait to spend time with her!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Thoughts About...

...the Bachelor.

Okay, I know. It's totally a trash show. I don't know why I like it. Maybe it's the drama. Maybe it's the beautiful people. Maybe it's the great clothes. Maybe it's the beautiful people in great clothes full of drama and behaving badly on national television. Yeah, that's it.

Any way you look at it, it's trash. Still, I like it. But this time---OH. MY. GOSH! Poor Arie (yes, I said "poor" Arie) came off looking like a complete a*****e! How could he not? Here's how it went down:
1. He went through the show as he was supposed to.
2. He told 3 women that he loved them (okay this was not so good).
3. He narrowed it down to 2 as he was supposed to.
4. He broke Lauren's heart by sending her away which is always the case on this show.
5. He chose Becca.
6. Then he decided he made a mistake.
7. He broke up with Becca on national television in the most awkward, incredibly long break-up of all time.
8. He appeared to be callous in said break-up by not really saying anything while Becca cried.
9. He reunited with Lauren.
10. ALL of it was on national tv.

It looked bad. REALLY bad. Chris Harrison said there was a backlash the likes of which the show had never seen. He defended the show by saying they felt like they have an obligation to show not only the "happily ever afters" but the not so "happily ever afters." Uhhh, I'm sure that's it! It's really all about the ratings folks. It makes for good---or you could say---"bad"--- tv. Everyone wanted in on the controversy---even people that didn't watch the show! Everyone wondered why/how Arie could do that to Becca on national television.

Well,  here's how it really went down:
1. Arie is conflicted, but proposes to Becca anyway. (It's possible that after a few indecisions in the past that the show now "forces" the bachelors to choose someone---I'm sure it's in the contract).
2. He can't stop thinking about Lauren.
3. He tells Becca about his conflict and asks her to allow him to call Lauren to clear it up.
4. He calls Lauren and discovers that's who he should have picked.

This is where it gets tricky. All of this had taken place before the show even BEGAN to air! He HAD to go to Chris Harrison to let him know.
5. The show makes the decision to move forward because, well, they couldn't scrap the whole darn season.
6. Instead, the show decides to exploit the break-up and reunion.
7. Ari is told they would be filming the break-up---in an unedited taping.
8. The only way to explain the awkward length of time would be that the show told him he had to stay on film with her for a designated period.
9. He had no choice.
10. She had no choice.

And there you have it. Trash in all its glory. You would think that would make me NOT watch. But, I have to admit, I'll be watching again. I don't know why. Maybe it's the drama, beautiful people, great clothes and people acting badly on national television. Yeah, that's it.