Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beauty's Only Skin Deep!

A couple of weeks ago, Estee Lauder called me---not really Estee, but her "people"---and invited me in for a free facial. I used to get facials years ago, but they stopped doing them. Friday was my appointment. When I was on the table, the esthetician (had to look that up) put two tiny pads over my eyes and then turned on a high-powered light to examine the condition of my skin. As she started to prod and probe my skin, she diagnosed a few broken capillaries along with a few clogged pores on my forehead. Then she asked me about my skin care regime. I totally lied. I actually told her what I used to do.

I started with Estee Lauder back in the late 70's. I was in my mid-twenties and decided that I needed to start taking care of my skin. I took advantage of all the Estee Lauder promotions and bought into the entire skin care system. I was diligent about my skin care until around 50. To this day, I never go to bed without removing my makeup---about 30 years I've faithfully washed my face every night. But that's about it, no more night creams, eye creams, night repair, or line remover, I just do the basics. Don't get me wrong---I own it all, I just don't bother with it. Still, I lied and gave the gal the run-down of what I used to do. Then, I could hardly keep a straight face when she said to me---"It's obvious that you take very good care of your skin. You have very good elasticity, little sun damage and few lines. Your skin is still young." Then came the sales pitch, "I would like to see you try some of our new products. We have travelled all over the world to find the rarest of ingredients for our newest creams." Interpret that to mean---really expensive. I resisted the urge to ask her where "she" went to hunt for these rare ingredients. 

Anyway, it was a nice treat and I'll be going again next month. The facials are one hour long and complimentary with a purchase. No, I didn't fall for the "new" skin care products. I figured if I'm not going to use them anyway, I might as well not use the ones I already have. I did buy some new makeup--quite a bit actually, to compliment my nice skin. Keeping the sun off my face all these years has paid off.

Oh, and when I went to lunch, the waiter asked me if I wanted the children's menu!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Life's Little Aggravations

And I've had a week of them. I won't bore you with all of them, but I do have to share this story. Actually, what you will learn is that I am probably my very own worse source for aggravation.

I'm doing a 4 week workshop called: Making the Most of My Memories. Last week, I started writing up my class hand-outs. On Tuesday, I'm typing along in Word, actually feeling pretty proud of myself. There are some things I've written that sound downright profound! Like I really do have good thoughts worth writing down. 

At this point, I should add that I am unfamiliar with Word although I've had it for several years. I prefer Appleworks as it seems more user-friendly to me and I've been using it for 20 years. My computer guy, Troy told me that since Apple now has Word, they have discontinued Appleworks and I better get used to it. So, I've been making a real effort to use it. 

As I said, I was typing along in Word when all of a sudden, I got a thousand little blue paragraph symbols all over the place. I started freaking out because I was already on page 13 of my project. I told myself to calm down. So, I thought, "okay, I'll just copy the whole thing into a new document." When I did that, the friggin' little blue paragraph symbols copied too. Then I said, "okay, it's going to take an hour, but I'll just delete them one-by-one." Now I'm having deja vu of the tv convertor box and all that repetitive stuff (if you are new to my blog, see "Electronic Problems Get Me Charged Up" in the January archives). I started at the top and tried to delete those little blue guys. Those suckers would NOT delete. Now I'm getting myself worked up again. I just can't re-type 13 single-spaced pages! I sent an emergency email to a couple friends that also have Macs. Now I realize that all I needed to do was talk to a Word user. I didn't think of that then.

I'm calmly trying to figure out what to do. I'm looking all over the place on my computer when I see this little grey paragraph symbol on the menu bar. I clicked on it and "voila", all the blue guys went away. Apparently, I must have accidentally clicked on that to begin with.

I would say that I easily wasted 20 minutes with this little "problem". I have so much to learn. I just wish everything wasn't so darn aggravating.

Oh, and did I mention that the pool has another leak and half (slight exaggeration) of the new tile has fallen off?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What Butch has Been Up To

Can you spell "geo-caching"? "What", you say, "the heck is that"?

Geo-caching is basically treasure hunting. It started in 1999 with the guy who invented the hand-held gps system. In order to find out how accurate it is, he buried a treasure in the woods and sent his friends to hunt for it. Thus a new hobby was born. There are thousands around the world.

I had heard about it a few years ago and was reminded of it again while listening to my favorite techno-geek, Kim Kommando. I thought it would a lot of fun for the grandkids, so asked for the hand-held gps for Christmas. Little did I know that Butch would be the one to become totally hooked.

The very first day we went out in early January, it was freezing cold and raining. The next day, I came in from getting a pedicure and Butch said, "Come on, we're going geo-caching". I said, "I can't put on shoes, I just had a pedicure".  Not to be deterred, he took me out in 26 degrees in flip flops!

He has geo-cached in New York City, Breckenridge, CO, New Orleans, and Daytona, FL. He's really into it. When I was out-of-town in late February, he even went before work one day. On that day, he wanted to get to a brand new cache that had just been placed. Even at that early time, he wasn't the first. There are 100's in the Nashville area. 

We've been several times with the girls after church. Two Sundays ago, we took off about 9 and found 8 caches by 11:30. Now for a few details. Each cache has a name that is a clue to the location or something else about it. There are other clues too. Butch downloads all the information into the gps.  

The first one that day was called "None shall pass" and was at a road block in the back of a neighborhood. It has been there since 2006.

The 2nd one led us into another neighborhood with the instructions to find Mary Tucker and ask her what her birthdate is. I thought that was going to be weird, but it turns out that at the top of a hill in the middle of this neighborhood was a cemetery from the mid-1800's. We found Mary Tucker's grave and her birthdate in 1845. The cache was located 45 ft. from her grave and contained a small Madame Alexander doll. This one has also been going since 2006. 

I should mention that the caches are all different sizes from micros that can be as small as an inch or two to the size of a 2 liter bottle. Most are camoflaged in some way. Each contains a log for you to sign and date. The deal is that if you take something out, you have to put something in. We've even found a hot wheels cache.

Our 3rd was called "In Two" and was located in between two trees. I wasn't all that crazy about this one as it turns out to be a spot where a lot of people walk their dogs---and don't clean up their messes. Luckily, we were able to dodge all the piles.

Number 4 was called "Park and Find". Morgan guessed that it would be at a park. Turns out it was in the parking lot of Staples near the Park and Ride sign. This one has been going since 2003.

Next came one titled "Geoffry". Morgan said "Toys R Us" right away. She told us that the giraffe was named Geoffry. She was right. We found that one  behind the drain pipe behind the store. Going since 2004.

Our 6th find was called "Wooden Gate Keeper" and turned out to be a tree next to a gate---going since 2007.

Our 7th cache was called "Up off of Northridge" and was actually in someone's backyard. The fellow that hid it said he did it for his grandparents as they get a kick out of seeing people hunting in their backyard. 

Then, we returned to one of our first locations that we couldn't find when we were first starting. It was called the "Ace of Harts" which was Hart's Ace Hardware parking lot. Since Butch is very experienced now, we found it right away---in fact, he saw it as we pulled into the parking lot. There was an outlet cover on the backside of the lamp post that was a different color than the post. Turns out it was a fake magnetic thing.

His favorite "find" was a geo-coin that is from Austria and has been circling the globe for 7 years. It has the picture of a ferris wheel on it and is very cool. He recognized the ferris wheel as the one he and his brother rode as kids while visiting their grandparents in Austria. He immediately emailed the "owner" in Austria and requested that it be "retired" and he be allowed to keep it. The owner agreed. He's thrilled to have it. It's all based on the honor system.

There's so much to this hobby. Butch has joined the National Association of Geo-cachers and the Middle TN Geo-cachers. He has put out 2 travel "bugs" himself---but thinks one has been stolen--or at least whoever took it hasn't logged it in yet. He has sent a casino chip from Harrah's in New Orleans. He's placed it here in Nashville. He wants it to go to Las Vegas and then travel back to New Orleans where he will pick it up whenever it gets there. It could take a month or a year, who knows. A travel bug is registered online, so you can see the progression. Whoever picks it up will go online and log it in.

We are having so much fun with this. We're going when the Lapps family is here in two weeks. Butch goes with some of his golf buddies after golf now and then and when he went skiing.

I haven't seen Butch so excited about anything in quite awhile.  It's really fun to watch. The girls love it too. Jordan was so sick one day, but refused to stay behind. I think my favorite part is that Butch totally handles everything! His name for logging purposes is the geo-ghost. Mine is the memory maker.  I'll have to take you sometime....

Friday, March 13, 2009

Did You Know?

Did you know that if you click on a picture on my blog, it will appear bigger? My cousin, Judy just taught me that. Just goes to show that old dog can teach me new tricks!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What I've Been Up To Lately...

I did an "Everybody Needs and Aunt Mindy" page for each of the grandkids---all different.
This page "PROOF that my sister likes me" began with the note on the left that Jordan wrote when she was about 5 that says, "note to self: don't look at Morgan". She put it on the refrigerator. I had to use pictures of her hugging Morgan---or is that choking?
On the last night of our family vacation, I had everyone write down their favorite thing about our vacation. I then turned it into a game and had them guess who said what. Little did they know that they had actually provided me with the journaling for this page.
I always keep a trip journal when we travel, so this page came together easily.
One of the pages I planned for my sisters at a reatreat. This one is about the Mencio family and contains a pocket to hold their annual Christmas letters.
You can't read the title all that well from this photo:"Gifts gone wild".
I'm working backwards at the same time I'm working forwards to get everything scrapbooked. These photos are from the 1980's.
I love doing first day of school pictures. Green and brown was a fun combo to work with---one I don't use often enough.
Sisters---another layout I planned for my sisters. When I discovered the quote, I knew I had to use it: "A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost".