Sunday, February 19, 2017

Eat and Run...

They say (although I'm not sure who "they" are---probably the etiquette people---of whom I know none)---they say it's rude to "eat and run." Personally, I LOVE it when people eat and run. I tell people to eat and run because:

1. You've already socialized before dinner.
2. You've socialized during dinner. Pretty much everything new has been shared.
3. I don't want help with the clean-up---Butch helps me.
4. We enjoy re-hashing the evening after everyone leaves: "did you think the food was good, what did you think about..." etc.
5. After getting ready for such event, I'm ready to change in to my jammies and relax.

Now I realize exactly why I like people to "eat and run." I can't relax until the clean-up is done. I have never been able to leave it until the next day---no matter how late it is. Years ago, I was even known to vacuum at 1 or 2 a.m. I wouldn't do that anymore. Besides, I don't have the big parties that I used to.

And here's why I think eating and running is a good thing. The guests like it too. Including our family. Everyone has things to do. Sure, they like a dinner invitation, but with us, it's really nice to know that it doesn't have to be a late night affair--especially on a work night.

With my friends---of course they really know me by now and are okay with it---I just say, "okay, the party's over. Everybody go home!" Really, I do this. They laugh, get up and leave---after offering a million times to help clean up. No, I don't want help. It's actually more work when everyone grabs stuff and puts it anywhere. The kitchen counters are all full then with little room for me to actually work. I just prefer to do it myself. Besides, who doesn't want to have a free pass when it comes to clean up?

Be honest, wouldn't you accept more invitations if you knew you could eat and run? I know I would!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sometimes, I think there something wrong with me!

There, I've said it. It's true. Here's the story.

Some friends from church invited us over last night for a chili supper. Many other friends from church were going to be there too. I didn't really want to go, but Butch said we should. Okay, we accepted the invitation---even if it meant we'd have to forego our weekly happy hour with our "kids."

Fast forward to last week. We got an email from the hosts. They thought it would be fun for all of us to send our photos from our various trips to the Holy Land so they could put together a slide show presentation. OH MY GOSH! I was scrapbooking with my sisters when I got it. I immediately  emailed Butch with the email and said, "how do you spell BORING!" Honestly, I wanted to back out. NOBODY wants to see your vacation OR pilgrimage photos! I guess this was different because everyone had been there---just at different times.

I didn't send any pictures because: 1. I no longer have any of them on my computer. I deal with my pictures right away---print what I want, move what I think I might want (which I have yet to ever go back to) and delete them from my computer. 2. I didn't want to add to the snooze fest.

I was dreading it all day. I know that's a really bad attitude. That's why I think there's something wrong with me. Obviously, other people thought this was an evening to look forward to.

So, we get there and are the first to arrive. We didn't want that, so we drove around the block. By the time we got back there were two other cars there. We went in---got to see their lovely home that they've just completely remodeled---and settled in for some socializing. That part was really fun. I'm not shy and can carry a conversation on just about anything. In fact, we got on the subject of how to store and organize photos---my specialty!

After dinner, the slide show began. OMGosh! It was just as terrible as I thought it was going to be. There were 92 photos with commentary AFTER. EACH. ONE! I about died, when mid-way, someone suggested we take a "potty" break and get drink refills. I just wanted to power through it. I wanted to go home!

When it was all said and done, it took an hour and forty minutes to go through all of those pictures. As I was NOT enjoying it, I looked around the room. Everyone else seemed to be having a really good time. I was on that trip. It was wonderful and life changing. Now, several years after the fact---and probably because we travel so much, I almost didn't remember much. That's one of the reasons I love my scrapbooks---at least there, I have all of my thoughts along with the pictures.

Anyway, Butch did a good job with the "break away." We stayed a bit longer after the show--enough not to be rude. Then after the customary hugs (people from the south are huggers) and good byes, we got out to the car and found ourselves blocked in. Seriously! We were the first to leave the house, but after about 15 minutes, we were actually the LAST to leave. I guess that was my punishment for my bad attitude.

The bottom line is this: I've always said, "no one cares about your trip but you." That was certainly true here. Even though everyone there had done the exact same thing, I was only interested in what our little group had experienced. That was completely different. We shared our stories and that was fun, but the rest---YAWN! I can't help it. That's just how I feel.

I'm pretty sure there's something wrong with me. Definitely.

If I say, "I want to hear about your trip." That's true. I genuinely want about a 10 or 15 minute recap. I do not want to see your 1000 photos! You know what I'm talking about---with the digital age. If it were 1960 something and you had one roll---24 pictures, I'd be happy to take a look---as long as your commentary wasn't too long.

Yep. Me. Something wrong with.

PS One exception. While I was laid up, I asked Karolyn to bring her photos from the Gems of the Danube river cruise that I had to miss due to my broken ankle. I really did want to hear all about it and see her 500 pictures. She didn't give a lengthy explanation. She did it just right.

Friday, February 17, 2017

My Thoughts On...

Depression. I'm not talking about that debilitating variety requiring medication type of depression. I'm talking about the type where you just feel "blue" (as my mom called it) or "down" or as I like to refer to it---being in a "funk".

I've actually been in a funk for quite a while now---mostly related to my weight. Because, like most people, I believe you are completely responsible for that. Even if in your logical mind you know that 17 years on prednisone has taken it's toll. I am an "in control" sort of person. It's hard to face the fact that you are not in control of everything in your life.

Okay, already, I am droning on. Let's get straight to it and make a long story as short as I can. In December, I went to a specialist about my "problem." I came home completely depressed about my prognosis. Luckily for me, Butch said exactly the right thing as I was sobbing. Now he's not the most sensitive guy around---great in so many ways, but not quite so sensitive. He said to me, "I'm sorry the doctor didn't tell you what you wanted to hear!" That was it exactly! I've already lived with this for so many years--it didn't really make a difference. It was just facing the reality that this is never going away.

Still, I spent the time since then, not being able to get the new treatment off of my mind. I've had myself so scared and weepy about the whole situation.

Yesterday, I went for my first treatment. This is a pretty serious drug. My own, private nurse handed me a paper to read. At the top it said I needed to read it before each treatment. It contained many of the things I learned this drug could cause, plus a few more. I don't know about most people, because I have never experienced anything like this before. But I guess I am very susceptible to suggestion. The paper said: "let us know if you start to get a headache, your tongue starts to swell, your nose gets stuffy, you get cold..." and many other things. As I'm sitting there (each treatment is going to last 2-2 1/2 hours---less if all goes well later)---I start thinking, "wait, am I getting a headache? I think I'm getting a headache." Or, "I'm feeling really cold. My nose is definitely cold, but it's not stuffy. But, my tongue feels like it might be swelling." That was sort of hard to tell because due to my worry, I have a lot of cold sores on it, so it's already swollen!

I got home and was a little worried the rest of the day. Again, last night, Butch did a good job of calming me down. It's not the end of the world that my life is going to have to revolve around these monthly injections. I can only have them one day early or one week late. I'll just be more diligent in my planning. This is the last resort for me. If this doesn't work, there's nothing else to try. So I really should be hopeful and thankful. Because if it does work, I'll be able to get off the prednisone and then this weight will start to come off! It'll take awhile, but it will happen. And that makes me optimistic. If there's one thing I am, it's optimistic!

After not having slept much the night before, I slept just fine. When I got up this morning, I realized I was really starting to calm down when I only thought about the whole situation one time.

I have a plan for my "funk" that has always worked for me. Being down is, in my mind---a very selfish thing. When I'm like this, I'm only thinking about myself. The best way to get myself out of this is to start focusing on others. I can remember in the past, actually looking at my watch and saying to myself, "okay Barb, you have exactly 10 minutes to wallow in it. Then you have to get moving." I was doing nearly full time volunteer work at the time. It's pretty hard to think only of  yourself when you actually have to be thinking of others!

So there it is. I'm going to focus on other things now. Sometimes, things come to you when you least expect it. A friend called this morning in distress. She needs my help to "fix" a hundred invitations that came back boring. That will definitely keep me busy. And is totally right up my alley. Plus, I leave for Charlotte on Sunday to spend some time with "my girls!" That will definitely cheer me up. Sandy and I have a plan to do some table decorating. I'm looking forward to that.

What do you do to ward off those "down" days?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Let me tell you about...

my "bestie!"
Connie and I met at a neighborhood cocktail party about 30 years ago. She and her family had just moved in. When I found out that she had two daughters, near my girls age, we hit it off right away. We had already lived there a couple years, but all the kids in the "hood" were little. I was so excited for my girls. We got them together the very next day. Sandy and Amanda became best friends right off the bat---as did Stephanie and Malinda. Thus began our many adventures together.

When the girls were little, we spent so much time together. We'd walk to each other's house on those rare snow days, play games and order pizza. Even though she's not a morning person, she met me every morning before work at 5:15 a.m. so we could get our walk in. We'd even walk in the afternoons if our schedules permitted.

There was this one time during our afternoon walk, that we stopped in at my house to get some water.  My house phone was ringing---yes back in the good 'ole days. Turns out, someone was calling me from Malinda's phone. Her car had been broken in to the night before and everything was stolen. This someone had found her phone. Without any forethought---or letting anyone know where we were going, we jumped in to the car and headed to a seedy part of town to retrieve it. We didn't have a cell phone ourselves yet. On the way, we discussed that perhaps we had reacted too quickly. It turned out just fine.
Connie has always been willing to go along with any of my crazy schemes. We camped out for New Kids on the Block tickets with Stephanie and Malinda. We ordered pizza to be delivered to us on the street. The news came to do a story. Connie was being interviewed. Now mind you, it was cold. We had our coats on and our hoods tied---tight---like a couple of eskimos. She was so nervous that when the reporter asked her if she was a NKOTB fan, she quickly said, "No, but my friend here, watches them every afternoon!" The reporter immediately turned the mike to me. Now there were a couple things wrong with this picture. 1. The NKOTB weren't even on tv yet. 2. I looked like an idiot on tv with my hoodie all tied up (I was particularly embarrassed for my husband who had a pretty big job). As soon as the cameras stopped rolling, she turned to me and said, "Barb, I am SO SORRY! I have no idea what made me say that." Uhhh, yeah, I do. She deflected the attention!

Most recently, I have convinced her to try duplicate bridge with me. She's been resisting for a very long time. She has such good card sense, I knew she'd love it. I came to her with a proposition. "Just give it a try and if you don't like it, I'll never mention it again." We started off a little rocky, but then yesterday, we killed it! Not only did we come in first, but we had a 63% day. I don't really know what the percentage means, but I do know that 63% is REALLY good! She said she still was a bit nervous, but really enjoyed it. I'm hoping that she decides she really likes it. But then, for me, she'd probably do it anyway. She's just like that.

Connie is one of those types of people that others gravitate to. She's funny and has a great way of telling a story---boy does she have a lot! She can take any little thing and turn it in to a hilarious story. If you ever get a chance to meet her, ask her about the blue cheese dressing! She has kept me and the rest of our friends entertained for years. We always look forward to what she has to say.

We share a love of reading. She reads more books than I do---it's not a competition. I will admit, it is hard to keep up as she's always throwing new, good books at me. It's almost like our own mini book club. We stitch together. I'm not really sure how that began---I think we just discovered at the beginning that we were both stitchers. We've done many projects together over the years.

Well, lest you think she's perfect---which she almost is---let me tell you about the clutzy side of her. Be careful if you invite her over. She can come in to your house and do a lot of damage. 1. She put a plastic salad bowl on top of the hot burner of my brand new cooktop the very first time she came to our new house. That was hell to remove! What a stringy, sticky and then baked on mess! 2. She caught something on one of my pillows and unraveled the fringe. 3. She dribbled hot, buttery, brown sugary sauce all over my needlepoint rug and through the house.  4. She backed in to a tray of glasses at the club, sending them crashing to the floor. Those are just a few examples I can come up with---without a lot of thought. There are so many more. It got so bad for awhile, I assigned other friends to keep an eye on her! It's a good thing she's so darned likable. Otherwise, she'd be too expensive to keep around!

We've confided in each other over the years about all the good and bad. Just what "besties" do. When she found out that Jack was going to be deployed during Desert Storm, she was so distraught that I immediately ran down to her house. I took one look at her and said, "Oh my gosh Connie, your nose is so red---it's going to burst in to blood!" Side note to that---she bought a huge needlepoint rug to keep herself busy while Jack was gone. Being the supportive friend that I am, I said, "You wasted your money. You are never going to finish that!" And she never did! Even if she had, the colors would have been out of style! Gosh, that makes me sound like the negative one in our relationship. Eeek, maybe I am. I never thought about it. Here I go again, making this about ME!

Another time, while Jack was away and Butch was out-of-town, she invited us to dinner. She said that she was making omelets. Then she called back to see if I had any eggs. She called back a second time and asked if I had any cheese. When I arrived, I asked what she'd planned to do for dinner if we hadn't come?!! The smallest things always turn in to something fun with Connie!
I can trust her and she trusts me. I'm so happy that she's in my life. I don't know what I ever did to deserve such a kind, patient, funny, loyal and loving friend as her. She's a way better person than I am. But I think that's another thing I love about her. When I leave her, I always feel good!

Happy birthday dear friend! Here's to many more years together!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Memos, Mail and Me

Thanks to Sian for this meme. It's a good one!
I got this photo from Mindy via text---still, it's mail to me! They went to a Nelly concert and got the VIP tickets so they could meet him. Justin said he flubbed the "bro" hug! Nelly went in for the hug while Justin stuck his hand out. Then Justin went in for the hug just as Nelly pulled back and stuck out his hand! Oh well, maybe next time!
I was off for a very long weekend scrapbooking with my sisters. We arrived on Wednesday and stayed until Sunday. Here's the stack of mail I came home to. I haven't opened the Cocoa Daisy box yet. It's always a fun surprise, so I wait until I can really take my time and examine every bit!
This "mail" is more like special delivery. Farm fresh eggs from my sister brought to me from Salem, MO. They are so beautiful to look at that I'm going to keep them on the counter---they can last for 3 months there. Don't worry, they'll be gone long before that. We eat a lot of eggs.
While I was away, the tile for the bathroom was delivered. OMGosh---the boxes are a little smaller than a shoe box and I cannot lift a single one---they are so heavy!
I got this printer to take on my scrapbook weekend, but it didn't arrive in time. Still I got it on sale for half price---$54.00. Printers are pretty cheap now. It's the ink that will get you. Luckily, the black cartridge is just $12.99. I do not plan to replace the color cartridges---ever! This printer will only get used a few times a year, so the color ink will dry up pretty quickly. We just won't be printing in color. 

And then, there's this. I've been waiting for the new door knob and escutcheon. I just love those. Actually, I prefer old ones, but couldn't find one I liked. Plus if you get an antique one, you have to worry about the hardware concerns. Maybe it's not a big deal, but it's out of my range of knowledge.
Oh, and I got a new E-book from the library! I'm really saving some serious bucks already. Looking at it that way, my new printer was FREE!

What about you? Did you get anything fun in the mail this week?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Ooops I Did it Again!

I feel like that Brittany Spears song was written for me. Except I had never done this before. But you know about the footwear issues I tend to have. Remember my UGGS on the wrong feet a few weeks ago? Well, this one is better. It starts out like this:

I had a 9 a.m. appointment with my AV guy, Ethan, to handle some printing problems we've been having. He's been out a lot lately for many different reasons over the past couple of months. When I contacted the owner of the company to send him out, I told him to tell Ethan that I missed him since it was a week since he was last here. When he arrived, I told him that I wanted a hug---that we're almost like family now! Of course, my girls can't believe I act like this. Hey, I'm friendly! What can I say!

Anyway, Ethan solved our problems and left about 10:30. That's when I left to run my errands---4 to be exact. First stop, Puffy Muffin to buy a quiche for the weekend. As I was getting out of the car, I noticed this:
I forgot to put shoes on. Here I am out in public in my slippers! I thought, "well, if I push the fur down, maybe nobody would notice." The fur doesn't push down. I thought about going home, but decided I didn't want to waste the time.
In all fairness, the bottoms are like shoes. I went about my business, but I was so rattled, I misspelled my name when signing the credit card receipt. I was self-conscious as I went to the drug store. Due to my recent health care changes, I couldn't use the drive-thru---I needed to go in and give the pharmacy attendant all 3 of my insurance cards. From there, I had to go to the grocery store. I quickly got what I needed and went home. I barely got in the house and Butch got home from a meeting. As I was talking to him, I carefully stayed on the other side of the counter so he couldn't see my feet. I was so seriously self-conscious!

Anyway, I'm not saying this is dementia. I'm not even saying it's "forgetfulness!" In order for it to be forgetfulness, I would have to have been aware and then forgot. I just never even thought about it. It never crossed my mind. 

I'll admit, I'm an idiot. Yeah, that's it!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Building Boom

With 86 people a day moving in to Nashville, the city is booming. We've been labeled the "hottest city to move to in 2017." We're also considered the best place for jobs. There is construction and road improvements going on everywhere. Between 2010 and 2020, we'll have had the largest growth our city has ever seen. A lot of the locals are not happy about it. They feel that all this growth is changing the face of our city. Personally, aside from the traffic, I am all for it. I like knowing that we are progressing and have become the "it" city.

Nashville is the number ONE destination for bachelorette parties. You can tell that by all of the pedal taverns downtown. While strolling the streets you might feel like you are in New York or Chicago with all of the pedestrian traffic. I'm proud that our streets are so clean---although you might run in to a bit of horse manure from the carriages.

Several years ago, when the rest of the country suffered from the burst of the housing bubble--we were not affected as adversely. Our housing market has remained pretty strong. In fact, housing prices are out of sight. The average home in Nashville is $260,000. I'm not quite sure  how they arrive at that figure, but you would be surprised at what $260,000 buys (or I should say, doesn't buy). Just about all of the Nashville area is being revamped. Small houses are being torn down with much larger houses taking their place. Often times, 2 or 3 homes are crammed on to one lot. Don't get me wrong. The houses are very nice. You just have to be willing to give up a yard. And some privacy. That was kind of a deal breaker for us. We wanted something new(er), but we just couldn't find anything we loved. That's why we've decided to stay put and renovate. Still, I guess it's good for the city.

A 2500 sq. ft. home runs about $675,000. Yes, $675,000! It's actually kind of depressing. I'm not really sure how first time homeowners do it. This figure must be for certain areas of town---I didn't catch that part in the report. Perhaps this is the Belle Meade area. On second thought, that can't be right because a lot in Belle Meade can cost over a million. This figure could be an average for this side of town.

Living downtown is the most expensive of all. Real estate is going for $800 a square foot. I'm not sure I believe that as Mindy lives downtown. She sold her one bedroom condo last spring and made an absolute killing! She and Justin bought a two bedroom in the same building. Yes, they paid a lot more, but were still able to bank some serious cash. Still, it did not add up to $800 a square foot. Maybe the report I heard was referring to businesses. There are so many cropping up downtown. 

There are at least 27 cranes on the skyline---maybe more. 

I think all of this is pretty exciting. I believe everything that I've stated above to be true. After all, I took notes during a news report. And we all know that whatever the news reports is the TRUTH sohelpmegod!