Saturday, October 30, 2010

Luggage Lessons

While I was out-of-town last week, Butch, Stephanie and Mindy had dinner. Mindy is all excited because she will be making her first trip out-of-town for work soon. Steph told her that the large duffle bag she's been using to travel with really wasn't appropriate for the corporate world. Mindy put her dad on it. He was so excited to get her $400 worth of luggage at Kohl's for $125 (on sale, extra 25% off coupon and then a reward card). She came from work on Friday night. Butch introduced her to her new luggage and then proceeded to show her all the features and how to use it. As he was giving her "luggage lessons," she smiled at me and said, "mom, this is just how he acted when he was showing me how to load the dishwasher." She thinks her dad is so cute (well, actually, I do too).

We had cocktails on the patio with a fire in the fire pit. Butch grilled salmon and I made parsleyed potatoes and brussel sprouts to go with it.

Mindy had brought over a scary movie for us to watch. We don't watch movies like that, but she convinced us we should since it was Halloween weekend. The movie was The Orphan and was really good. Even though it was predictable, there was an unusual twist at the end.

Afterwards, we were just talking---it was about 10:45. Mindy decided to spend the night because she'd had a couple drinks. With all this cooking, her stopping by for lunch and dinner and spending the night, all of a sudden, it occurred to me that Mindy had actually moved back home without telling us. When I got up this morning, I knew it was true---every light in the house was on!

This and That

Steph went to a fund raiser with Butch while I was out-of-town. Butch said that as soon as they arrived, a photographer asked them if they wanted to get a picture with Dolly. She was the entertainment for the evening, so they didn't think anything of it. They admitted that they were fooled by this impersonator. Butch said he did think she looked pretty young, but thought it was all the surgery. Dolly did entertain later with the impersonator and quipped, "she does me better than I do."
While grocery shopping, I came across these unusual things. I don't think I want to eat anything named "spotted dick" even if it is pudding.

Mindy and I are signed up with Connie to make these gorgeous needlepoint Easter eggs starting in January. I have a couple things to get finished before then.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

AYM-A Year of Memories-October

I don't know if it's the time of year, or AYM members are losing their verve. Susan couldn't make the meeting because she was sick and Pam didn't have her layout finished. That's okay because I give everyone a "pass", but miss a layout twice and "you're out"! No three strikes for me. And what's up with the two who aren't even using the kits? Okay, they picked a couple elements. I didn't make a hard rule about that, but it's much more fun to see how everyone uses the same things. Oh well.

My title is "Hobbies & Collections, I have a few". Jeanne went with "Love those Hobbies." Steph picked "Sweet Escape" and focused on her love of reading. Karolyn chose "My Hobby Lobby."

The theme for November is "gratitude" or what you are thankful for. I've asked everyone to think beyond the typical things---family, health, jobs (yawn), and get more specific. I'm really excited about to see what everyone comes up with.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween is Just Around the Corner

Sandy sent me this picture. Here's what she had to say about it:

Mitchell went to a skating/costume party tonight. Here is his costume. I thought he looked pretty funny. If you're not familiar with the character, it is Napoleon Dynamite. He acted the part quite well as you can tell from the picture, and even has a stick of chap stick in his pocket in case his "lips hurt real bad".

He ended up winning the costume contest for best costume tonight!! He won a t-shirt and a movie theater gift card. Yeah for him!!

It's me again. Speaking of Halloween, we had a scare yesterday. I had gotten up to use the bathroom about 5:15 a.m. I was laying in bed thinking about my day when the alarm sounded meaning a door had been opened. I woke up Butch, then told him to be careful. As he crept out of the bedroom, I felt like I'd sent him into danger. After a couple minutes, I hear him talking to someone. I got up then only to find that Mindy had "stopped by" at 5:45 a.m. I knew she'd been going to the Y around 5:30. She said that instead of the Y, she decided to come by the house and run in our neighborhood. We told her to call us if she did that again. She said she thought calling us would freak us out. Having someone walk into your house in the middle of the night (okay, early morning) freaks us out. I asked Butch who told her where we kept the key. He---in all seriousness said---"Barb, she used to live here!" He just doesn't get me.

I'm counting---she hasn't missed a single day of stopping by!

Monday, October 25, 2010

What Does a Hypochondriac Look Like?

Her name is Stephanie. We don't know how it happened, but she's our hypochondriac (defined as a person who is abnormally anxious about their health). It's not like I made staying home from school fun when she was sick. She didn't see her mom and dad running to the doctor with every little thing. With all my children, if they were still running a fever after 3 days, I CALLED the doctor. I never made a big deal out of any illness or injury. Maybe she needed more attention---and still does in adulthood. Why else would she call me in the middle of the night saying she had a brain tumor because she had a headache and a little dizzyness? Or the time she called me and said she had Sars to which I replied, "so exactly when were you in China?" I think you get the picture. Well here's the latest:

I was at a scrapbook retreat over the weekend. When I talked to Butch on Thursday night, he said I might want to talk to Steph because she was convinced that she had lung and uterine cancer. I called her to find out what was going on. She said that she noticed that she had been breathing "funny" and couldn't seem to breathe right lately. She had gone to her doctor for her annual physical and called it to her attention. The doctor said maybe she heard a little something and wanted her to get a chest x-ray. Then when she was pressing on Steph's abdomen, she asked if it hurt. Steph wasn't sure if it really hurt, or was hurting because the doctor was pressing on it. So, she said "yes." The doctor had her go for an ultrasound. The tests results were due back on Friday. She said that she had told her dad not to tell me so that I wouldn't be worried and ruin my weekend. I laughed at that as I'm the last person to worry. I have a simple philosophy---I don't worry unless the doctor tells me there's something to worry about. I calmed her down by telling her that anytime you start thinking about how you are breathing, you can't breathe naturally anymore.

Turns out, both tests were normal. Her doctor told her that she might need to "see" someone about her anxiety. She asked me if I thought she should. I told her that from now on, she should just call me with her fears. After the ridicule from me, if she still feels afraid, then maybe she might need to "see" someone.

I must admit, a couple times I've scoffed at her for going to the doctor for what seemed like bug bites to me, only to find that she had ringworm and another time had staph---both of which could be serious. Just goes to show that maybe mother doesn't always know best---but most of the time she does!

Stephanie's hypochondria provides a lot of fun and laughter for the family. Luckily she's a good sport.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

And Finally...

The chandelier Steph won in a poker game months ago that Butch, Jordan and I cleaned and put up.

Where Does the Time Go?

Oh yeah, that's right---Executor responsibilities. This is just one set of papers that have come in. I put the marker there so you could see the depth of the stack. And notice the dinky return envelope?

Then in my spare time---I manage to get a little needlework in. Actually, I did these in the early summer, but just got them back. They are so darn cute. The inside linings are all different Halloween prints.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Home Sweet Home

So here is Mindy's new apartment. I have to admit, when I saw it for the first time last Thursday, I was overwhelmed with all the work.

Butch and I went over on Sunday to drop off some things. When we left, I told Butch that I was glad that Mindy was all excited about joining my stitching group and was enjoying getting back in to it. But I could not sit and stitch amidst this chaos. I would have to work. Mindy is much more laid back than me.

I spent most of Monday organizing, cleaning stuff and decorating. You can see the after pictures below.

Her apartment is really cute and nice, but sorely lacks storage. I took a couple shots of the pantry---one can deep and the "hall" closet that can only hold 5 coats.

Perfect for a 25+ yr. old!!

She got insulted when I suggested that the boxes of clothes in her bedroom were the same boxes that "lived" in the dining area of her old apartment for 2 and a half years! I've vowed to keep quiet about her "straightening (or lack there of) skills."
The dresser is new, but other than that (and the jewelry armoir from Target we're using as a night stand), the bedroom furniture is "used" that I had spray painted black.

Then on to my house---it's Halloween around here. I really had to force myself to do a little decorating---just didn't feel like it with recent events.

Then, after being at Mindy's all day, I came home to find that Butch had put the house on the market without even telling me!! Since when is he starting to get involved in the decorating. Oh yeah, that's right---the outside is "his."

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Year of Memories---August

The first layout is Steph's from last month. Her title is "generation to generation." I have a strict rule---miss 2 months and you're "out." I do want this club to be a priority. For some, it's the only scrapbooking they do---we all have rooms and tons of stuff---we need to use it!!

Due to everything that has been going on, our September meeting was postponed until October. I ended up being too sick to go, but here are the layouts. The theme this month was "success"---documenting any successful moments in our lives. I used the vintage peach label for my color scheme. I love to incorporate old stuff with new.

For my title, I went with "I'm A Star" and pretty much documented everything from my childhood. Here's the journaling:
Success can be measured in a number of ways. For a stay-at-home mom and longtime homemaker, the answer is simple. A well-run, organized and clean HOUSE! I’ve always taken my responsibilities very seriously. With Butch’s high-powered, stress-filled job over the years, it has always been a priority for me to make our home a shelter for him from the outside world. I always wanted him to look forward to coming home to the girls and I. If our happy years together are any indication, then I think I have achieved a level of success for which I’m proud.

I started “working” at a young age. I sold greeting cards for the Cheerful Card Company door-to-door starting in the 5th grade. Organizing also started at an early age---although you would never have known it by my room. I organized and planned carnivals with my friends in the neighborhood. I set up a summer babysitting camp that lasted until my mom said I had to call it off. She got tired of me traipsing a bunch of little kids in the house to use the bathroom. I did a lot of babysitting. I sold Stanley Home Products door-to-door for about a year---that wasn’t so much fun---I mean, what did a kid know about cleaning products? I was president of my Camp Fire group a few times over 11 years and sold the heck out of Russell Stovers chocolates---they remain my favorites to this day.

Then came the real jobs. I got every job I ever applied for. I made solicitation phone calls for a State Farm Agent then worked at Bid Daddy’s Malt Shop where I became the night-time manager along with a pay increase to $1.00 an hour. My best friend and I landed a job soliciting for Charles Chips during the summer of 1968. They gave 2 sixteen year old girls a 1963 Chevy as a company car! I hit the big time with my job at Target when I was promoted to head cashier for $1.75 an hour. To keep that job, I had to be able to check out 60 customers in the express lane in an hour.

In high school, I was on the student council and chaired the Sophomore Dance. I was Secretary of the Junior class. I lobbied for and won---knee socks to wear with our plaid skirts.

Upon high school graduation, I worked at the Cardinal Ritter Institute---a home health care company. I worked there full time and went to business school part time to become a court reporter. After a year, I could take dictation at the speed of 125 words a minute. I sold newspaper subscriptions for the St. Louis Globe Democrat (only lasted 3 weeks until the boss “hit” on me and Butch made me quit). I became the restaurant manager for W.T. Grants Bradford House Restaurant after waitressing there for 2 years.

After the paying “gigs”, I stayed home, had kids and started volunteering almost on a full time basis. I liked volunteering because it could be on my terms and hours. An added bonus was the girls loved seeing me at school nearly everyday. At St. Therese in Kansas City, besides being the president of the PTA, I was in charge of the health room and became the head-lice expert and single-handedly examined every kid in the school.

I have been president of nearly every organization I’ve worked for. Of course, this is no great honor---this had more to do with who they could get to do the work. I’ve chaired more fund raising events than I can remember (see list). In 1994, I was one of 2 women in Nashville honored with the Volunteer of the Year Award from the National Association of Fund Raising Executives. It was a pretty big deal with a luncheon in the Maxwell House Hotel ballroom. Butch even changed an out-of-town trip to be there. This award came as a big surprise to me as I didn’t even know that the Dominican sisters had nominated me.

I’m good at what I do. I started my organizing business in 1990. When I got tired of cleaning out closets, I limited my business to craft rooms. I’m still enjoying that. It’s nice to know that if I ever need to work for the money, I have a marketable skill.

I like to think I’m a good teacher---even though I’ve had no formal training. I’ve taught people about organizing, scrapbooking, stitching, knitting, crocheting, gardening and driving. I’m on to the next generation with that.

I’ve won a lot of contests through the years starting with the Limbo in the 3rd grade---how low can YOU go?---lucky I was short. I won a hula hoop contest and a twist contest in the 7th grade. Our softball team---for whom I played 3rd base---won 7 consecutive city/county championships. I was voted “honor camper” two years in a row by my camp counselors.

I earned my Master Gardener certification from the University of Tennessee Extension Service in 1995. Since then, I have designed and planted gardens for family and friends.

I’ve won several scrapbook contests at retreats (3) and on-line (1). I even won a family contest for “best hair” in a prom photo. And even though it’s not exactly a contest, they voted me as having the “best nose” in the family. That from a family that doesn’t give compliments much is a pretty significant achievement.

The best thing I’ve ever “won” would have to be my husband. 39 years and we’re still going strong.

When it comes to success, this quote sums it up for me: “Real success is about fully enjoying every moment.” Shapiro I did and I still do!

Lots of Layouts

The initials were for my friend, Susan's birthday. I just love the vintage French lingerie hangers. These are all layouts I did at the scrapbook retreat in August with Jeanne and Janet. The title and end pages were part of a class I taught there.