Monday, January 30, 2012

Winter Formal Dinner/This is How We Do It!

Let me start by saying that Jeanne has this cool "gizmo" that is a USB with a memory card slot built in. I need to get one. As a result, I was able to download photos. 

A few weeks ago, Morgan asked if we would host her Winter Formal Dinner. Even though I knew I was going to be out-of-town, I agreed. I had everything ready for Butch, Steph, Nicky and Mindy to pull it off without me. 

Morgan requested place cards. I added the fancy napkin folds. Stephanie had Russell Stovers chocolates for table favors. We Eads' know how to throw a party.
I swear by a timeline and it worked for them.
Mindy said they got a good laugh out of this. She said that surely one out of the four of them would know to take the saran wrap off before baking. I said I was leaving nothing to chance!

Butch said the kids had a good time. The parents came to take pictures and thanked him for doing the dinner. He said the kids stayed past 8 p.m. We thought they'd be ready to leave by 7:30.
Morgan and Carson. What a cute couple! Morgan has some killer shoes to go with her dress. The skinny belt is a leopard print.
Apparently, they are not all that comfortable. My girls learn at a young age that sometimes you have to sacrifice comfort for beauty!
Their whole gang!
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Whatever keeps the grandkids around---I'm all for! 
I loved my grandparents, but they weren't exactly the type that we wanted to hang around as teenagers.

Things I Forgot and Another Recipe

I'm in St. Louis. On the trip, I always think about everything I brought to see if I forgot anything. I usually do---even with all of my lists---there's something I forget to put on the list. As I went over everything, I was congratulating myself on not forgetting anything this trip. When I'm going to be gone for 10 days, I have a lot of extra stuff to bring.

Turns out I did forget a few things. This time, it was my camera cord. I had it laying on my desk, so I'm not sure how I could forget it. Plus, I don't think I did. I just might not remember where I put it. But it's not with my other cords, so I must have forgotten it. Not a huge deal except I can't post any pictures here.

On Friday night, as I was making the grape salad (recipe below), I was going over everything in my mind that I needed to bring to Jennifer's for the shower. It hit me! Oh My Gosh!!! I forgot the petit fours!! They were so cute---with blue baby booties---still sitting in my freezer at home. I couldn't believe it. I called Jennifer right away---it was already 8:30. She and Janice were heading to Sam's, so they picked up a pre-made decorated cake. It was ugly, but better than nothing---I guess. To make matters worse, Janet and Janice "tacked" it up further with some crappy plastic baby decorations---rattles, booties, baby bottles. All I could do was make an announcement at the shower about how I was responsible for the lousy cake.

After, Jeanne had a good suggestion. I called Pam and am having her bring the petit fours to the scrapbook retreat we're going on this weekend. At least Jeanne and Janet will get a chance to see how cute they are and especially how delicious too.

The rest of the shower was nice and the food was good. I introduced all of the family and other St. Louis people to grape salad. They loved it.

Grape Salad
2 lbs. red grapes
2 lbs. green grapes
Wash grapes and remove from stems.

1-8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together until smooth. Mix with grapes. Put in serving bowl. Top with:

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans


Then, Saturday night I realized I forgot my poker money. Dang, I lost 2 bucks. I'm been on a losing streak ever since "cashing in" my winnings and buying that Brahmin bag in New York. Jeanne says it's not that. She says I'm losing because I bragged too much. Maybe that's it!

One thing that was NOT forgotten was my birthday! My sisters (and that includes my sisters-in-law---they are sisters) had a surprise 60th birthday party for me. I was totally surprised and didn't even "get it" for quite awhile. My cousin, Judy came in and said she stopped by because she knew I was here. That didn't surprise me because her daughter lives nearby. Then she said she was going to another party at Chrissy's. She was giving her husband a 70th party. I told Judy that I would come and crash it. That's when my sisters said, "oh, you're going to leave your own party to go to another?" I looked all puzzled and said, "what?" About that time, Jeanne pulls out a cake and I finally start to realize what's happening. I'm so blind, I didn't even notice the counter FULL of presents. I do like presents. Darn, if I only had my camera cord. Anyway, sisters are the BEST! I love them.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Layout and Recipe Share

Hey All,
Here's my layout for The Scrap Room Challenge Club. I assigned the topic and color combination this month. To see what everyone else did, just click on the link to the AYM Blog on the right.
When I decided that I was going to have everyone scrapbook about their car, I had no idea what I was going to do. Then I decided to tell the story of how disappointed I am in my new car. One thing led to another and I realized I had these old pictures of family gatherings in the country. Turns out to be a perfect  way to use those pictures and cross my journaling to include that time period. 

Here's the journaling on the left side:
Okay, I’ll admit it---I made a mistake. I hate my new car. I was blinded by all the “added features.” I should have known better.

I LOVED my Jeeps---had 3 of those and loved every one. But this time---I thought I was ready for something else. Plus, I thought it was a good idea to support my brother, Matt, who works for General Motors. Add to that, the really good discount he gets us for buying GM products. I got a “top-of-the-line, fully loaded” 2011 Buick Enclave. Sure, I love the features that swayed me---auto car start, hands-free phone, 2 extra seats, and the auto liftgate (one thing I hated about the Jeep was that the hatch would fall down on your head---ouch!). But, when the “honeymoon” was over, I was left with a car I don’t love. It was all superficial. And, idiot that I am, I got the exact same color as Butch’s car. I swear, it looked different on the lot. When I asked him why he didn’t say anything, he answered, “I didn’t want to sway you in any way. I thought you just liked my color.” Sheesh!

The bottom line is this car is just too big. I can’t see to back-up. I thought I would love that back up camera, but I don’t. You can’t really tell from that, how much room you have. There’s a blind spot on the right that is impossible to see around. And then, there’s the parking. Oh my gosh---it’s really hard to park. It’s just plain too big. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten blocked in because someone else parked too close. I just hate it. At least I only have 4 more years to go. We replace our cars every 5 years. I just feel like I’m an accident waiting to happen. As fleeting as time is, 4 years will fly by. I won’t make the same mistake twice!

Here's the journaling on the right side of the page:
I sound like a spoiled brat---complaining about my fancy, schmancy car.

Looking back at the automobiles of my long deceased family members, I should be grateful for the luxuries I take for granted. When I listed the features I was “blinded” by, I completely overlooked, automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, power windows, auto locks and most of all, AIR CONDITIONING! Besides the fact---that those old cars sort of smelled with their cardboard floor boards. I’m sure those relatives could never have imagined what autos would be like in 2011. And even if they did, they’d probably trade me in a heartbeat.

Now for the recipe share. Last night, I made pasta with my homemade pesto sauce. I wanted some sort of bread to go with it. I had some crescent rolls, so decided to be creative with them. You can't go wrong with crescent tolls. All I did, was sprinkle them generously with parmesan cheese, roll them up, top with more parmesan and bake according to the directions. They were delish!! Try them! 

Parmesan Roll-Ups
1 pkg. cresecent rolls
parmesan cheese

Sprinkle crescent rolls generously with parmesan cheese. Roll up and top with more cheese. Bake according to package directions.

And now for your enjoyment. What could be better? My favorite Broadway star, Idina Menzel.
Don't Cry for Me Argentina!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm Really Losing It...

Last week we had our AYM meeting. Karolyn couldn't make it. She had Bruce drop off her layout. Sometime during the week, I noticed that Karolyn's kit was missing. I sent an email to Pam and Susan to see if they had picked it up for her since they live in the same neighborhood. Pam responded that she didn't have it. I never heard from Susan, so I assumed she had it.

Today, Pam tells me that Susan told her she didn't have it. Now I'm actually a little irritated because I'm really short of time this week and wished she had let me know sooner. I told Pam and Nancy that I now remember that I took her kit and put it in my stitching basket when I passed out the other kits. My stitching basket has a few ziplock bags with projects in them. At least now I was certain where the kit was.

I got home and went straight to the basket, only to find that it wasn't there. Then I started looking everywhere it could possibly be---mud room where I put stuff that I have to give to other people, the kits going to St. Louis, the dining room table with more stuff for St. Louis, the hall closet and then my scrapbook room. I could not find it anywhere. That reminded me that the average person spends 10 minutes a day looking for stuff. I used to use these statistics in my organization lectures years ago. 10 minutes a day averages to 61 hours a year---a whole lot of wasted time! I spent more than 10 minutes today.

Later today at stitching, I had to tell Karolyn that I couldn't find her kit. I told her not to worry that since I am doing 2 books for myself, I would just divide my kit in half and bring it to her at the scrapbook retreat that we're going to next week. 

When I got home this evening, I said to Butch---not really expecting him to know anything---"You didn't by any chance see Karolyn's AYM kit laying around did you?" 

He replied, "You mean the kit you told me to give to Bruce a week and a half ago?"

OMGosh! I didn't even remember that. What I thought I remembered was that I was going to tell Butch to give it to Bruce, but never got around to it. 

Mystery solved. I called Karolyn. She said that Bruce must have put it in her scrapbook room, but she hadn't been up there to notice. She apologized to me!!! As if it was her fault. I'm the one losing it!

There are so many things "wrong" about this picture. Not only did I "forget" having told Butch to give the kit to Bruce but I wasted time "hunting" for it. Worst of all, I actually convinced myself that I had put the kit in my stitching basket. I actually saw myself doing it in my mind's eye. Now that's scary. What other things have I convinced myself of? Makes me I really losing it?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Words With Friends

About a week and a half ago, I started playing Words With Friends via my computer. I'd heard about the word game for quite awhile, but just thought it was for people to play on their phones. Even hearing about it, I wasn't sure that I would like the game. It's a word game similar to Scrabble----but waaaayyyy different. Apparently, in Words With Friends, you are allowed to use the dictionary or computer to figure our your best play. Being a Scrabble "purist", I couldn't imagine a game where people (in my opinion) "cheated". What is the fun in beating someone when you used the computer? I want to play head to head with someone (or maybe I should say "brain to brain").

Anyway, I started playing with a few family members and friends. My nephew beat me badly in my first game. Now, I do not consider myself a sore loser, but Scrabble is one game I know and am good at. I have to admit, with each play my nephew made, I got madder and madder. With his very first word, I thought, "hmmm I've never seen or heard of that word before. But, okay, he got it." From there, it went down hill. It was word after word of crazy stuff that would never fly in Scrabble. Apparently you can also use proper names. Anyway, I eventually "resigned" the game with him. I was a sore loser, no doubt. I wanted to say to him----"I wanted to play with YOU, not the computer!" Move over Jeanne, turns out you are not the only sore loser in the family after all!!!

After that first game, I started playing with friends. A few of them used the computer too. That's when I decided that I needed to change my attitude about Words With Friends  and just accept the fact that it isn't really Scrabble anyway. It's just a game. Once I did that, I was able to just relax and enjoy the game for what it is. I've beaten a lot of people, but suddenly it's not about winning, but just hooking up with family and friends for those few minutes. It's especially fun when we're both on at the same time. It's like a real game then---back and forth right away.

And, one other thing. You know how on Facebook, you aren't really friends with the 3,285 people you are supposed to be "friends" with (in my case, I'm only friends with 183 people---because a lot of my friends are "old" and don't do Facebook)? Well, when it came to inviting someone to play Words With Friends, I accidentally "clicked" on someone I barely know. I've been playing with her for a week now. She must be wondering why in the world I picked her. I didn't really, just an unfortunate click. Still, I"m having fun with it. I have about 10 games going.

Just what I needed, another internet related thing to become addicted to. Between email, Facebook, Words With Friends, PInterest, keeping up with over 200 blogs, and my own blogs, I have no spare time. The thing that seems to be taking a backseat is my stitching.

I think I need to get up an hour earlier.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Just About Finished

Right off the bat, I can't get these pictures to line up the way I want, so I'll have to start here. Here is the view from Mindy's new condo. This one is from the right side of her living room. She has a corner unit on the 10th floor, so has windows on two walls. That made it a little difficult for furniture placement.

 This is the same view. She overlooks a place called the "Tin Roof" which is a bar/music venue. In the summer, they have concerts on the roof which she'll be able to enjoy from the comfort of her own balcony. This road is the entrance to Music Row and is a "hoppin' " place. The buildings you see are shops, bars and food places. Convenient for Mindy. Her place is in a perfect location for all the "night life" stuff that she and her friends do.
 This view is from the other side. Downtown is to the left (out of view).
Here's the nude sculpture of flying people at the entrance to Music Row. You can barely tell that they are adorned with red Solo cups in honor of the current Toby Keith song. I took some better pictures of it that I'll post later.
The view from Mindy's balcony.
This is another "hoppin' " place called "The Gulch" and is just across the highway. This view is from her balcony too.
 More views from the 10th floor.

This view is looking straight down at the pool. I think it's on the 6th floor. This picture doesn't do it justice. There's a whole cabana, lounge, barbecue area for entertaining. What's nice about this is that Mindy can see if any "hot"guys are at the pool and then dash down there.

Now here's the beginning of the post:
As with any move, there are snafus---late deliveries, no deliveries, pick-ups, appointments, missing items, damaged items---to name a few. Mindy's move was no different. Butch and I manned it all with our busy schedules and somehow made it all work for the past two weeks. If he wasn't retired, I don't know what we would have done. Most days we had the timing down to the minute with very little wiggle room.

Friday was the "big" day. The movers met me at Stephanie's to pick up the chair/lounger. They were late which threw my schedule off. I was to be at the condo by 9 to receive the delivery of mom's room divider that I had painted black. I took off while the movers met up with Butch at the apartment.

I also needed to go to Target, but planned to do that after the furniture delivery and between the time the movers arrived. The furniture delivery did not come when it was supposed to. Finally, I got a call from Christy (my friend and old nail girl turned decorator) who had arranged for the painting---that there was a problem. The "guy" had no one to help him move the room divider. By this time, the movers were just about finished. I told Christy to send him right away and I could get our movers to do it. Her "guy" arrived just in time---the movers were literally writing out the bill. I never did make it to Target.

Christy arrived---she was doing the window treatments---another story, but let's just say that even though I started that process the first of December, they are still not done. Christy was to put the new hardware on the room divider, but the screws were too short, so that couldn't get done. And she forgot the little plastic things that hold the one adjustable shelf up. Not the end of the world, but frustrating for someone like me who is such an organized planner and wanted everything done by move in time.

I wanted everything finished by the time Mindy came home from work. We had already planned to have "happy hour" at her place. I had brought everything for that.

Anyway, Butch and I started in on the unpacking. Mindy has so many clothes, that I really expected to spend just about the whole day in her bedroom. Luckily, the new "closet" was installed the day before---sort of like California closets. I did spend a good deal of time in there.

About 2:30, I was starving so Butch went out for food. That was our one and only break. Carson dropped Morgan off after school. She is a hard worker and helped me finish the clothes. Butch hung everything on the walls and was just finishing up with the piece over the bed when Mindy called that she needed for someone to let her in. What??? She got off early and didn't call. I wasn't ready for her. My favorite thing when I help anybody move/decorate is letting them have the "wow" factor. Now she was early and we still had boxes everywhere, the bed wasn't made up (I did have the sheets washed and ready) and the empty boxes hadn't been hauled away yet. We weren't expecting her, Steph and Nicky until 5:30---it was only 4. We let her in and put her to work---which with Mindy is like no work.

At 5, it was time to "wrap it up" so Steph, Nicky and Merrill (who was picking Morgan up for babysitting) could have the "wow" factor. They did. And here it is (I forgot to take "before" pictures---I always do):
The living room: grey concrete floors, 10ft. ceilings, windows on both sides, rug, cubes and pillows saved from my recent redecorating. The only thing "new" is the tv stand.
Here's the chair/lounger. It's really too big for the room, but Mindy is going to live with it for awhile and decide whether she would rather have a chair. Of course, we've already donated her living room chairs (our old ones). Luckily, the chair/lounger is growing on us.
Here's the room divider---painted black. It turned out awesome. You have to imagine the chrome handles on the doors. Mindy loves it too. I'm so glad that she has something of her grandmothers. She also has her everyday silverware. She bought the standing clock at the flea market. We found the big "m" there too which we also painted black. The rug came from our family room. 
Mindy's favorite color is red. I saved everything from our bedroom and bath. This rug came from our bath room and it has flee de lis. She has a lot of New Orleans style decor. Her bathroom is really big. Steph had a fit when she thought I had gotten Mindy personalized towels already. But really, I just gave her a couple of ours---after all it is the same name!
She has tons of cabinet space, but only 4 little drawers---8"---not even big enough to hold the smallest utensil divider. All of her appliances are new. She couldn't use her washer and dryer as the condo complex requires a particular model. I should have taken a close-up photo of the concrete floors. Just imagine a basement floor with a shiny, clear sealer put on top.
Mindy had one wall painted red. The only thing new is the tone on tone black rug. Her nightstand is a jewelry armoir that we found at Target when she moved in to her new apartment.

On the left of the dresser is the door to her balcony. On the wall here is an old, chipped up frame that I hung her needlework in. She has a couple other little things that will go in it too, but I hadn't come across them yet. There are still 2 laundry baskets full of little stuff and a tub of bathroom stuff that needs unpacking.

The closet. The space with the hangers is for skirts---I need to get some skirt hangers. I've organized everything by color---like my own closet. She says she's going to keep it this way. We'll see---doubtful.
The closet looks at least 4 times bigger now---and looks pretty big in these pictures, but it's not that big.

When we got home Friday night---7:30---I told Butch that my legs and feet were absolutely throbbing. His back was hurting from hauling stuff from Mindy's third floor apartment with no elevator---long outside steps. That's what happens when you stand on concrete all day long with only a 15 minute lunch break. I'm a work-a-holic for sure. I do work hard and fast. Even Butch couldn't believe we got it ALL done in one day!

As for unpacking and organizing, everything is done with the exception of those two baskets and tub in the bathroom. I had told Mindy that after Friday I couldn't do anything else. I have too much going on this week---something every day and just about every evening---classes, AYM, shopping and cooking for Morgan's Winter Formal dinner and getting ready for St. Louis.

As it turns out, I have to squeeze in the cable guy on Monday from 2-5. He came on Saturday while Mindy was there, but needed to get in a room that the building manager was a real jerk about and refused to open. Told Mindy he needed to come M-F, so here we are---squeezing something else in to the schedule. I don't know how all you working people did it. Luckily, Butch had me to handle everything on the home front.

Anyway, I can't say, I'm unhappy about this turn of events. This will give me the opportunity to finish up those last baskets. I'll be happy to head to St. Louis for a much needed vacation! I plan to kick back and just have fun---and maybe win a little money from the fam!!!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another Busy Week

The movers come tomorrow to move Mindy. There's been something happening just about every day this week. Her new closet is being "installed" today. The closet is not very big, so I got my plantation shutter/closet guy out there to take a look. He came up with some good ideas to make the best use of her limited space. It's on our dime as Mindy's extra money is already gone. It doesn't take long---it all adds up! I'll be taking pictures when everything is done. She bought a condo on the 10th floor of The Rhythm, overlooking the "flying" nude statue on Music Row. Currently, the statue is adorned with "red solo cups." That's Toby Keith's latest hit. I just love him! You can check out the song here:

Toby Keith/Red Solo Cup

Mindy's place definitely has awesome views. We plan to have our weekly "happy hour" there tomorrow night, so we'll spend the day getting everything in order. This suits me just fine. I get to work---unhindered without distractions. Whenever I help someone move/decorate/hang stuff on the walls---I like to be by myself. The only other option is if they let me be the boss and tell them what to do. I always have a clear vision in my head as to how everything should be laid out and organized. That's what I'm good at. Butch will be there since he's going to be the "ladder" guy.

My biggest challenge with Mindy's place is working in all of her favorite things. She wants to keep everything which makes it hard. With 2 walls in her living room being windows, one being the kitchen counter, it makes it pretty hard for furniture placement. She wants this lounge/chair from Stephanie. It's pretty big, but she won't be discouraged. I've got an idea of how to make it work, but won't really know until we get it there.
Disregard all the crap on top of the lounge/chair. It's in Stephanie's garage where it's become a storage lounge/chair. That's what happens to anything you keep in the garage---it just becomes storage. I used to say that about Butch's boat when he kept it in the garage. Stuff just gets piled on top. Anyway, back to this lounge/chair. At least the colors will work. Mindy is inheriting our gold/red stuff from my recent redecorating. Red is her favorite color.  
Mindy has a "thing" about plastic cups. She has about 3219 of them. I made her get rid of a bunch. After all, she's an adult now---27---although she doesn't like to think of herself that way. She says things like, "mom, you would be so proud of me---I paid my insurance bill." Or, mom, "aren't you so proud of me? I earned 2 $50.00 gift cards from my bank for maintaining a thousand dollar balance." I take this to mean she's proud of herself for acting like an adult. I guess I "get it." It's hard for me to think of myself as a "senior" with just turning---I can't even type the number. It still startles me. Plus, it kills me to have to check that "final" age box on just about any form. I was in the 40-59 bracket for so long---that was comfortable. Nothing comes after this last box. Sort of like "it's all over."

Anyway, the plastic cups---they are stacked about 4-6---all reflecting some bar from her party days---and her current party days. She doesn't have a full set of anything. This kind of thing drives me nuts---the jumbled disorder of it. This is about as neat as it will ever look, but, hey, it's her place---as Butch keeps reminding me. It's easy for me to get rid of other people's stuff! If you need help with that, you know how to get a hold of me!

Enough about Mindy and her move. I got a call last Friday morning from one of those---I don't even know what company. It's a recorded voice saying, "Hello. This is "card services" calling about your credit card. Don't worry, there isn't anything wrong...." or something to that affect. Usually at this point, I just hang up. I always wonder how effective those recorded calls can be. Whenever I hear any recording, I hang up. Anyway, each time we get this call, the recording says that it's the last time they are going to give us the opportunity to lower our rate. Still, another call comes in. It's gotten pretty bad---probably 5 or 6 calls a week---even though I'm on that "no call" list. Karolyn said that she wondered if there might be a way to "opt out" of the calls if you listened to the recording to the very end. Sooooo, with that in mind, I listened all the way through the call. At the end, all it said was, "if you would like to hear more about this special offer, press "1." Which I did so that I could actually talk to someone. When the lady came on the line, I told her how I was annoyed by the calls and wanted to have my name removed from that list. She just laughed---that's right---guffawed in to the phone and HUNG UP!!! OMGosh! What is up with that? She HUNG UP on ME!!! I did the only thing I could think of to do---being in the house alone---I screamed at the top of my lungs---f*** y** you b****! It didn't solve one darn thing. I'm so tired of solicitors. I even got one call on Christmas night which was a Sunday this year. Who does that? I think it was "Peggy," so I guess he wouldn't know it was a Sunday or a holiday---for that matter.

That just about brings you up-to-date with me. Nothing much of note going on around here lately. I'm sure I'll have more to report after the big move! Until then....

PS Glee was really good this week. The Bachelor was good too---who doesn't love trashy drama?

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Love Random Stuff!

It's been such a busy time right now with the holidays, Mindy's move, getting ready for AYM, Angie's shower and planning for a scrapbook retreat. Mindy's move is on Friday and there's some delivery just about every day this week leading up to it. Next week, I'll need to focus on a couple of classes, my trip to St. Louis and getting ready for Morgan's Winter Formal dinner here.

In the meantime, here are a few things that have been going on around here:

I went to JoAnn's to purchase some card stock for my AYM groups. I couldn't believe that the sales clerk had to ring up each piece separately. Do you know how long that took? That's ridiculous. Maybe the girl just didn't know how to do a whole batch at one time.

I took this cute picture of Mindy and Lauren when we went to the theater to see A Christmas Story. That's one of my favorites and I look forward to it every year. It was the girls first time. They loved it too.

One day this week, I went to Kroger's at 7 a.m. after Curves to pick up a few things. It drives me absolutely crazy that all of the aisles are blocked by boxes and pallets of food everywhere. I always thought that the stock boys were supposed to do that at night.

I'm sure I've already mentioned about the woman that bags groceries who has to be 85 years old. It's so sad---she is really humped over from osteoporosis. I asked her how she was doing. She replied, "it was really hard coming to work today after being off yesterday." I had always held out hope that she worked because she "wanted" to, but now it looks like she "has" to. That makes me really sad for her. To be that old and not be able to just kick back and enjoy your "later" years. I never have her take my groceries to the car. I hope no one else does either.
Speaking of old---most everyone knows that I play duplicate bridge every Thursday with a bunch of really old, old ladies. I can say that because none of them are computer savvy enough to ever read my blog. Anyway, this lady, Ruth, is 94 years old. She still drives and is very sharp at the bridge table. I asked her if I could take her picture---I was so impressed---I had no idea she was 94. We were talking about birthdays. She told me that she went SKY DIVING with her great-grandchildren (who are in their 30's) when she turned 90! That is amazing to me. I want to do it too! And here, I thought I was really something just suggesting that I "might" get a tattoo at 60---still think I might, but I've been too busy to work it in to the schedule---plus I don't really know where to go---I don't hang out in the sleazy part of town. I want my grandkids to think I'm cool too. So far, they do, as we have the same taste in music.
Calling all siblings---do you remember these dishes? I picked up this saucer at an antique shop. I could swear we had these dishes growing up. I believe they came out of the laundry detergent box. If we didn't' have them, someone we knew did. I clearly remember them. I wouldn't mind having a whole set now. They would go perfectly in my green and blue kitchen.
This isn't a very good picture, but it will have to do for now. Connie gave me this milk glass pitcher and matching glasses. It's very heavy. I couldn't believe she gave it to me---and that neither of her girls wanted it. The set belonged to her mother, so it's really old. This is not where it's going to stay, I just put it here because I didn't have anything else on the table right now. It's going to stay in the sunroom, but will be moved to the antique, round wicker table, once I have fresh flowers on this one. Or maybe I'll put the flowers in the pitcher and leave it right where it is. We'll see. Anyway, I just love it!
Last week, after stitching, Connie and Karolyn were extolling the merits of "homegrown" honey from middle TN. Karolyn thinks it could be the answer to my hive problems. Although my hives are NOT allergy related, I'm willing to try anything. I agreed to get some. I had no idea how many different types of honey there are. I settled on this one because  it was "unfiltered." You could see all kinds of "crud" floating around. I figured that must be the really good stuff. Connie's friend who is a bee keeper and really believes in the value of a teaspoon of honey every day said that basically, filtered and unfiltered is just like pulp or no pulp---both have the same benefits. It's just a personal preference.

When I "took" my first teaspoon full, I about gagged. I don't really like honey unless it's on a biscuit. I can't have biscuits every day---simply can't afford that indulgence. So I figured out a better way to take it. I sort of swallow it in one big "hunk." It still tastes awful, but it goes down fast and I have my breakfast right after.

I'm told it could take up to 3 months to see if it makes any kind of difference. I figure this jar will last that long. I'm going to do it---I'll try anything---it can't hurt.
I bought my first pair of UGGS up in Kalamazoo when we were visiting Sandy in November. I knew that I would never pay that kind of money for something so ugly---hence the name UGGS! These were less than half price. That makes a lot of sense to me because the weather in Michingan is so bad---snowy, slushy and rainy during the time you would wear UGGS, that these---sweater type---would be ruined in no time flat. On the other hand, here in TN, our weather is pretty mild. I wore them for the first time this week and am totally in love! They are so comfortable and warm. I've always said that my feet freeze in September and don't thaw until May. Not with these. My toes stay all toasty. Morgan complimented me on wearing them "properly" by tucking my pants inside of them. Huh? I'm not blind---I see how people wear them. At first, I didn't think I would like going "sock less" in them. I don't like the feeling of wearing shoes without socks, but these feel more like slippers. Very comfortable. I can see I'll be wearing them all winter. I'll be taking them on our ski trip in a couple of weeks too.

Speaking of trips, we're going to the Holy Land in March. My friend, Madelyn asked me if I was going to the Vanderbilt Travel Clinic to find out what immunizations I need to go to that part of the world. First of all, I didn't even know there was such a thing. Instead, I looked them up on the internet and filled out a little questionnaire. They responded by saying that I needed the following immunizations:
Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella booster, and a tetanus shot. I called my doctor, because I didn't know whether I've had any of these recently. The nurse called me back later and said that, yes, I needed ALL of these, plus a polio booster. She said they don't stock them, so I should just go to a CVS Pharmacy's Minute Clinic. I went today.
Here they are---5 shots---3 in the left arm and 2 in the right. I can't wait to tell Morgan. Even at 15, she freaks out about shots. Any time she has to go to the doctor, she asks everyone if they think she'll have to get a shot. 

When it comes to health, I do whatever is recommended. This is definitely one area that "I don't care how much it costs." ($400 to be exact.) I'll be "paying" for it tomorrow when the soreness sets in. I even thought having them all at once might set off my hives, but they didn't. That's a good sign as I plan to try another "step down" with my prednisone on Monday. I can't do it if I'm still breaking out.

Okay, I guess that just about brings you up-to-date. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What a Great Birthday Week!

I've had the best birthday week. All the parities and attention really eased the "pain" of 60! It doesn't really bother me, but if it gets me parties and gifts, I'm all for it!

On Wednesday, I had planned to work all morning on AYM (A Year of Memories) classes and kits. But my book is soooo good---I'm on the second book of The Hunger Games trilogy---fabulous---I just can't put it down. I said to myself, "what the heck, Barb, it's your birthday, take the day off." So I did. I parked myself on the couch in the living room in front of the fireplace with a pot of tea and read for 3 hours. Well, not exactly a solid 3 hours---I had many phone interruptions from birthday well wishers.

At 12:30, I met some of my friends at 6th and Pine (Nordstrom's awesome restaurant) for lunch. I always get the Crab Louie salad. They all gave me great gifts, treated me to lunch and let me pick the dessert. I wish I had taken some pictures of all of us, but I didn't' think about it at the time. Afterwards, we went to the movies and saw Young Adults. Don't waste your time. I love Charleze Theron, but it was not very good.

Straight from the movie, I picked Mindy up from work. We met Butch at The Bonefish Grill---another one of my favorite places. They have the best sangria, grilled fish tacos and key lime pie.

My next birthday party came on Friday with my "posse" from Overbrook/St. Cecilia. Our children grew up together and we worked on every possible project at school. I was the "leader" and they were all my committee chairs. We worked so well together. 

They took me to The Palm for lunch. I did take pictures there. Susan made the floral centerpiece and with Mary Jo's help, the table favors. With this creative bunch, I should have expected it.

 You can barely see Suzanne behind the centerpiece.
 Madelyn, Kim and Kitty.
 Susan, Mary Jo and Sally.
 We shared the complimentary birthday cake.
Here's the whole group. It pains me to say it, but I'm the oldest of the bunch! A few are not too far behind.

I got so many great gifts---Vera Bradley plates, napkins, coasters and place cards, Amazon gift card, Yankee candles, Vera Bradley flip flops with matching beach towel, antique spice tins, baby powder tin and box of hair pins, 12" paper holder, cake mix cook book, vintage calendar page: January 11, 1952 (currently at the framers), pedicure, bottle of wine, long necklace, the book The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt and a handmade Christmas ornament. A pretty nice haul. I love presents---who doesn't?
I also got an Archiver's gift card that came in this miniature gift bag. Adorable! 

Thank you to all of my friends, I love you and am truly blessed to have all of you in my life---not to mention my adoring family who loves me too!!! I can't live without any of you!

And now for your entertainment:
Tim TeBowie

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Morgan's Plans

Seems like Morgan always has a plan/request for her grandparents. She texted us last Friday that she wanted to come over to "talk" to us. Well, she was just here last Monday for dinner with her friend. The "talk"could only mean one thing: she wants a loan for a car. The girl has been saving like crazy. She turns 16 in May and Stephanie has told her that she would match whatever she saved. Since her only means of income is babysitting, it isn't adding up to much. Steph is going to match her, but says she doesn't have more than $500. $1000 won't buy much of a car. I'm leaving this up to Butch to decided. We'll see.

 Who can a resist this little cutie?
Last year's Winter Formal at St. Cecilia Academy.
Oh, and when she and her friend were here last Monday, did I mention that she asked if we would host a dinner before their Winter Formal? I asked the date---January 28. I told her that I couldn't since I'd be in St. Louis helping to host a baby shower for my niece, Angie. Steph piped up and said, "I can cook." Morgan and I looked at each other and barely contained our laughter---Steph is NO cook (which she freely admits). I then said I'd prepare the entire meal ahead of time. All Steph and Butch would have to do would be to make the mashed potatoes and cook everything else that just needs to go in the oven. Mindy and Nicky plan to help. After all, Mindy owes us. We hosted her Winter Formal for 30 kids about 10 years ago. For Morgan, it's all set---10 teens in formal wear for dinner. A piece of cake. I'll provide them with a foolproof menu and a timeline. Butch, Steph, Nicky and Mindy should be fine. Plus, I can always orchestrate by phone from afar.

Whatever keeps her coming over.