Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Speaking of First-Name Basis...

I never realized how many people it takes to keep a house going. And I'm on a first name basis with all of them. There's Margarita who cleans for me, Jason who cleans my carpets, Jim and Bob who are my painters, Rankine, my handyman, Robert, my lawnman, Christy, my decorator/drapery lady, Randy, my UPS guy, another Randy who sprays my boxwoods, Aaron, my arborist, Sara and Missi, my garden girls, Pat, my pool boy (no, he's not that cute, otherwise he'd be my cabana boy), Michelle, my exterminator, Tommy, my heat and air guy, Jeff, my plumber and of course, Paul, my leak detector and Connie, my---wait, she's my friend. There are so many people coming and going all the time that the lines are getting blurred between business associates and friends. Even when Mindy's home, she comments on the fact that there always seems to be someone around. That's just how it is. Sometimes I really do wish I wasn't so darn particular about everything.

First Pool Repair of the New Year

And it was an expensive one! I've been on a first name basis with Paul from The American Leak Detective Agency (sounds bogus, but believe me, they know what they are doing) for about 7 years now. This time he has warned me that my next repair which is inevitable, is going to be the biggest of all. It will require the removal of one of my gorgeous 30-40 ft. magnolias and/or re-locating all of the underground pool pipes. Sounds like we need to get out while the gettin's good.

Soooo, with that in mind, I went back to look at a brand new house that I had formerly ruled out because it was too big. In actuality, the house has fewer rooms than this one. The rooms it does have are humongous---even intimidating to think about decorating. But there are several things about this house that are having me dreaming. It's a Georgian style house---reminds me of an old English manor house---not that I've ever seen one in person, but what I would think one would look like. The kitchen is unbelievalbe---white MARBLE countertops and tiles. I can just see myself making fudge and singing and dancing while doing it. Okay, that would get old after the first time. It has all kinds of lighted built-ins with old "bubble" glass and a killer butler's pantry and bar. The fixtures are old-fashioned (and Kohler to boot---a sure good sign).

It has this incredible old English walnut library with these really cool old fans hanging off the ceiling. You can see it from the family room below.

The biggest thing that is drawing me is the English garden. You can see a bit of it from the street through a wrought iron gate. It has the 4 brick pathways all leading to the center spot where I can envision a really cool fountain/fish pond. And you look out into this garden from the white MARBLE kitchen.

It's too big, really. Doesn't suit our needs, really. Would require too much new stuff, really. We'd have to put in a pool, really. But, ooohhh, I better find something soon, or I might weaken. That garden....

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Phoney Phesses Up

I just had to take a picture of my room while I'm working. I'm going to include it in my organizational class so that everyone will see that I'm human too! The difference between me and other scrapbookers is that when I finish a project, I stop and put everything away. I always start fresh. Besides, I just about break my neck trying to navigate around all this stuff. And check out my chair. I got up for something, turned around and crap jumped into my chair. I guess that's what I get for not calling "place back"!

This and That

Wow, it's been a crazy week. I'm going to Salt Lake City at the end of the month with my friend, Pam to do genealogical research. I have spent a lot of time this week, planning, making phone calls, searching the internet, gathering information and organizing. It's fun, but there is so much to do---mind boggling. Like doing a school report. I know I'm a geek.

Here are a couple of pictures--- Mindy and I in front of Tavern on the Green---beautifully decorated with a million white lights.

And this is a layout I did for my Not Your Ordinary Book Club (NYOBC). It's titled, "HO HO HO" (HO to the 3rd) or as I more affectionately like to refer to my friends as 3 HOS!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Another Year Older

So today was my birthday. I started it off with a dental appointment---just a cleaning---"look mom, no cavities"! (Great way to show my age---only those of you near me will understand that). Next I went to an antique store and bought some blue "stuff" for my newly re-decorated kitchen. Then it was on to lunch at P.F. Changs with my friend, Pam and her daughter, Lauren. After, we went to the movie and saw "Sweeney Todd". Well, you know I love all things theatrical---and this was no exception. Very gory and gruesome, but Johnny Depp is oh, so, hot---and he can sing! Unlike any musical I've ever seen---this one is very dark---subject matter and the lighting itself. Still, I really liked it---costumes were fab. Since I only listen to satellite radio showtunes, I was familiar with the music. Don't go if you don't like musicals or gore.

Also to my surprise, I got about a dozen emails with birthday wishes. I have a lot of cyberspace friends. I've even met a few of them in person. And I acquired these new friends without "My Space", or posting on walls or anything like that.

I'm off to Kentucky tomorrow to teach my organization class. I'm pretty busy in January and February as everyone makes a New Years resolution to get organized. I feel like such a phony---if my "students" could see my room right now!

Speaking of phonies---I feel like a phony in another way. I think I'm an average bridge player---maybe even a slightly above average bridge player. But somehow, everyone (all the old ladies in my duplicate club---about 60 women) think I'm this really great player. Sure, my partner and I win fairly regularly (winning consists of coming in 1st, 2nd or 3rd for which you get $5. $3. or $1. respectively---never really winning anything as it costs $5.00 to play, plus lunch, so you are always in the "hole"---played 31 times this year and came in 16, so a little better than half), but I certainly don't feel like I'm that good. Well, something happened yesterday that makes me think I could be better than I think I am. I had to start the day with our male director (he officiates the game). He's a nice guy, but believe me when I tell you that male bridge directors can be very intimidating. I think they "get off" lording it over a bunch of women. This guy is very sarcastic, but has always been nice to me. Pretty much everyone likes me---I'm friendly and complimentary of everyone's ginormous gems, vintage clothing and newest blue or blonde hair. But mostly they like me because I do the parties and am probably the youngest friend they have by 20 years.

Anyway, my partner had a doctor's appointment and was going to be late, so David filled in for her. I told him right off that if he criticized me too harshly I would cry. Well, he complimented me on my play of the hand---saying that I made a couple of "virtually un-makeable contracts". He even said that given our opponents, he was doubly impressed. I shyly (yes, shyly) said "thanks", while all the time thinking to myself---now I've even fooled the "expert". I'm not even really sure if I knew what the heck I was doing. It could have been dumb luck. Oh, the pressure---now I have to perform. I guess that's how men feel with erectile dysfunction.

Oh, and by the way, we came in 2nd yesterday---would have been 1st had we not "blown" 3 of the last 4 hands! So it goes. I guess I'll just keep on fakin' it! Oooohhh, aaahhh!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Family

I save the wrapping paper rolls each years so the kids can have a sword fight. The object is to be the last one without a broken sword---for a prize---of course. This serves a couple of purposes. When you tie it to a prize, the kids don't try to totally kill each other. They can't hit each other in the head either. We all get a kick out of it.

Lest you think the amount of gifts looks obscene, I must explain. Everybody gets one "big" gift and then several smaller gifts. It averages out to about 10 gifts each. Multiply that by 13 and you get "Gifts Gone Wild"!

Christmas Pictures

I promised some pictures, so here they are.
I've been wanting a picture of the tree on top of the car. I love seeing cars go by with trees on top. When I told Butch that I wanted to take this picture, he parked in front of the house. I asked him what he was doing and he said that he thought the picture would look better in front of the house rather than in front of the trash cans by the garage.

Here are a couple of my decorations.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Mindy to the Rescue!

Whoever thought that Mindy would ever be in a position to come to MY aid, financially? It's always been the other way around-- until this week. Arrived in New York on Wednesday with $200 cash and no credit card, debit card, or checks. How could this happen? In the course of changing to my smaller travel purse---(I'm all about efficiency when traveling--wear every outfit at least 2 times, checking everything out on the internet before leaving home, mapping out an itinerary, and printing out my travel checklist for whatever vacation I'm taking)---I managed to "forget" the credit card. I had my driver's license, free parking card (spoiled by that valet parking at the airport), and even remembered my health card. Anyway, I was in a panic. Then I thought of Mindy. She hadn't arrived yet, so I called her. I knew she didn't have a credit card as we had to confiscate that in the fall of her freshman year of college. I was just hoping that she had her debit card with her so that I could transfer money into her account. Then we'd have something to work with---no way could I rely on the piddly amount she might actually have in her account. Much to my surprise, she had her debit card AND a credit card. Seems the bank in New Orleans gave her one when she opened her bank account last summer. I don't know what they were thinking, but I'm glad they did. Still, I was afraid her limit would not be enough for New York. We "burned it up" the first day. By day 2, there was already a "hold" on the card. We stopped at an ATM and got more cash. She called the bank and got the "hold" lifted, so we were back in business.

I've kept all the receipts and told her I'd send a check to cover our expenses. Somehow, I knew this was going to cost me. She already emailed me today that she charged her school books so there's another $600. In Butch's words---I guaran-damn-tee you that it's not over yet! I just hope that she hasn't fallen off of the proverbial "charging" wagon. And here her own mother was the enabler! But what a relief that my little girl actually has credit!!

Our trip was FAB! Details along with some pictures of Christmas later! To my friends going to NY next week---all I can say is wear comfortable shoes---it's not a fashion show---and dress as warm as possible---super cold and windy. Oh, and bring plenty of cash---you are going to spend a lot of time in taxi's!! And that ain't cheap!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Mindy is in LOVE!

What a great way to start off the New Year---and my first post of 2008! Mindy called this morning all excited about the new boy she met last night. She was set up by friends---not exactly a blind date, but sort of. How romantic! Our friends, Connie and Jack met on a blind date on New Years Eve in college and here they are 37+ years later. And they still even like each other!

Back to Mindy. You know, in her excitement, she didn't even tell me his name. Anyway, "the boy" likes to dance. That's always a winner in my book. He has a great sense of humor and gets hers. He told her that they were really good dancers together and that everyone was watching them---wanted to BE them. Sounds like he's observant too. Highly unusual in the male species.

They partied most of the night. Well, she was home (alone, I hope, but definitely didn't ask) by 3:30 a.m.---early for New Orleans standards. Now the downside (in her book---a-okay in our book). He lives in Houston. Nothing like distance to make the heart grow fonder---and to allow Mindy to concentrate on her books (like that really happens, but we can hope).

"The boy" will be back in a month for Mardi Gras, so we'll see what happens. In the meantime, she's going to spend a little more time with the friends that introduced them to make sure she's not forgotten. As if. And best of all, Mindy said that her "faith in all mankind has been restored" (direct quote). Just when she thought she would never meet anyone. Even if this boy is not THE ONE, there's hope!

Mindy and I meet in New York tomorrow, so I'm sure I'll get more details. She's sure to have a picture on her phone too.