Friday, October 31, 2014


Outside my window: Dark and cold at 3 a.m. I think it's supposed to be rainy today---for Halloween.

I am thinking: That tomorrow is going to a cold and rainy day for planting at Steph and Nicky's house.

I am thankful for: Medicine that helps to control the itching of my hives as I try to stay off the prednisone.

From the kitchen: I've made all simple meals this week with the help of frozen spaghetti sauce, ham steaks and Rotel chicken.

I am wearing: Robe, jammies and socks.

I am hoping: To get started on "operation clean out" as we prepare for the remodel.

I am reading: The Boys in the Boat for our family book club at Thanksgiving. It took me a little while to get in to this book, but I am enjoying it. It's the true story of how the "crew" from Washington University rose to make it to the Olympics in Berlin in 1935.

I'm watching: This week, I've just been catching up on my regular shows. My favorite of the new ones is "How to get away with murder." It's suspenseful and oh, so, good!

I am busy creating: I haven't created anything this week---although I did finish our last cork project for my friends. 

I'm bummed: That my hives are out of control. The medicine that I take to control the itching makes me sleep. I've napped at least 2 or 3 hours each day this week. I've gone to bed at 7:30 each night. 

I am hearing: A song from Glee. I loved that show. I'm sorry it had to get so weird. I still watch it for the song and dance. The story line---not so much.

Around the house: Butch's new office furniture was delivered yesterday. It will be in the dining room for the next month until the new carpeting and painting is done.

 One of my favorite things right now: Fires in the fireplaces. I love this time of year when it gets dark early and you can snuggle in for the evening.

I appreciate: The people that help to keep things looking good around here: Margarita, Sara, Christy, Aaron, Robert, Greg, and the pool guy.

I regret: that we don't have a place to keep all the furniture we are getting rid of. These teens will need it for their apartments very soon.

How the weekend is shaping up: We were supposed to be in Baltimore this weekend. We canceled the trip due to my hives. Flying is really bad for me, so we decided not to go. I just hope I'll be over them soon. It's been a full week now. At least I do not have the flu-like symptoms that usually accompany then. But I do itch. A. Lot! 

Halloween today---we don't get many trick or treaters---maybe 5 to 10. Last year it was 6---probably fewer this year if we have bad weather. 

I hope you have a fun and productive weekend.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Can Remodeling a Rec Room Wreck a Marriage?

Well, maybe! We've started on our rec room. Here are a few before pictures:
This room is over our 3 car garage, so it's pretty big. You might be thinking that it doesn't look so bad. Well, it doesn't, but it's been like this for 20 years. We're ready for a change. Let me start right off by saying that I do not use this room at all except for the treadmill. Butch uses it ALL the time to watch sports. It stands to reason that he should have the room the way he wants. 

We'll start with this photo. The bar is "going away." I don't think anyone has ever sat at it in all these years. Plus, you'll notice the brass foot rail at the bottom? It's a pain to keep polished---which Margarita does! Also, we are removing the home theater system (on the ceiling)---after 20 years, it's outdated. Plus with High Definition these days, this old fashioned system is all grainy.
 We plan to move the pool table, refelt and re-paint it. This was the start of the problem. Story below.
The pull-down movie screen is going and all of the center shelves---making room for a big screen tv. The furniture is going too---adding home theater seating. We're installing a new, updated state of the art sound system through out the house. All of the old equipment, receiver, cd player, dvd player is going to be gone. 
The treadmill stays. We still use it all the time. The weights---not so much.
 We're also going to re-do the bathroom. Out goes the toilet, floor and vanity. We're keeping the tub and tile. The wallpaper is out too.

Now on to the story. Let me start by saying that I LOVE decorating. When Butch said he wanted to remodel the rec room, I was all over it! Little did I know that he would have opinions! What??? Decorating is "MY" thing. Why does he think he gets a say? Oh, because basically it's his room? That could be a good argument. I'll concede that.

We went out last week so he could show me the theater seating that he found. It's a dark grey leather and is very comfortable---exactly what he had in mind. I'm okay with that. I want him to be comfortable. That was the only thing we agreed on. I pointed out a pool table that was black with a grey felt top. He flipped out about painting the pool table black. He said I was trying to make the room "vanilla." Anyone who knows me, knows that I am the furthest thing from a "vanilla" person. I love color and there is color all over this house!! 

This is what our pool table looks like now. We both agree that we want to get away from the oak. He said he could go with blue or burgundy felt. Burgundy is what we have now. I'm done with that. Blue won't work at all.

I then pointed to a black table with a red felt top, saying I would compromise with the red. All of a sudden, he doesn't like black! (Actually, that's not exactly true. He had already let me know that he did not like the idea of a black granite counter top in the bar area.) We left the place with both of us hot under the collar. I told him he was butting in to my business (the decorating) and why does he all of a sudden have "opinions?" It took me a bit to calm down as he was trying to be really nice to me. About that time, Mindy called. By then we were laughing about his having opinions. 

I've told him that I wish he could see inside my head. I have a vision for what this room is going to look like and it's going to be awesome!! I actually have 3 ideas for the pool table. Now I'm just waiting to see if the faux painter can do it! My regular faux painter has retired. She used to do a "mock up" for me so that I could be sure that I conveyed my idea to her. I'm hoping that this new one will do the same. If Butch can see the mock up, he might get on board.

As I see it, he gets to pick out everything regarding the Audio/visual, seating, and beverage center. The fun, decorating part should be mine! He still wants a say, so we'll see how it goes. So far, I don't think this remodeling job is enough to wreck this 42 year union! 

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mystery Monday

So, I came home on Friday after running errands and found this on the kitchen table.
My first thought was: "Well, I guess he's really serious about this biking thing." Then Butch came in. He said he found the book on the back steps in the garage. Steph said she didn't know anything about it and Mindy's out-of-town. We have no idea who left it. There was a clue tucked inside. A Vanderbilt parking ticket used as a book mark. Still, we cannot figure out who left it.

Butch followed one of the trails on Saturday and plans to do more.

Just another mystery around here. Whoever you are, next time just leave us a million dollars!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Must I?

What I know about exercise:
1. It's good for my health.
2. I have to do it.
3. It sucks (and I hate that word, so I do not use it lightly)!

What makes exercise easier better:
1. Treadmill desk, computer.
2. Fan on high speed.
3. Pool.
4. Nothing else.

I've exercised all my life---even when I didn't realize I was doing it. As a kid, we left the house in the morning and were gone all day. We rode our bikes all over tarnation. We hiked our "incredible journeys" through the woods. We walked far away to get to Burger Chef (ahem, remember that Chrissy?---my cousin who wasn't quite as active as me---told her it was just down the street---she believed me). We climbed trees, we dug our own swimming pool, we dug underground tunnels---all this while playing zillions of "run-around" type games---baseball, football, red rover, etc. Y'all see where I'm going with this. The fact is we are just not as active as we were as kids (and don't get me started on kids today and their inactivity).

Even as an adult, I've exercised. I've walked millions of miles---early morning, I've taken aerobics classes, Jazzercised, dancercised, Curves, worked out at the "Y," had a personal trainer, done water aerobics, bowled, played softball and racket ball (when that was the thing). I've been pretty consistent with my activity level---with lulls here and there. I've always said, we have gotten our money's worth with our soon to be 20 year old treadmill. I wish there was some sort of mileage counter on it to see how many miles we've put on it. (Side note: we're in the process of remodeling our rec room and are incorporating the tread mill in to the decor).

Enter Steph's Eads Family Fitness Challenge. She designed it to get all of us moving. It has really worked---ironically only for the adults!! The kids dropped out pretty early with the exception of Jordan who is helping to carry team Greco. All of us adults are moving more. There's been plenty of "smack" talk---most recently---it's not fair that team Mindy & Justin are in Disney---raising the question---should the activity count if it's fun? 

That brings me to my point. I've never gotten to the point where I thought, "Oh, sweating like a pig, being hotter than hell and suffering with chafing and shin splints is so much fun!" I don't really know what endorphins are, but I don't think they've ever kicked in. I do not know where the "zone" is and therefore have never reached that nirvana. It's just plain hard work. It's not fun. I hate it. There, I've said it.

But, I'll keep doing it. Because I must.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Monday Mystery

You know how I sometimes have unexplained happenings around here? Like the turtle we found in the pond last summer? Or the gallon of orange juice in the refrigerator that no one claimed? Well, I have another one for you.

Butch cleaned out my Solstice while I was out-of-town. He found a camera behind the seat. I was sure that it belonged to Pam. When I got home, I checked the memory card. It was empty, so no clue there. But I was even more sure that it was Pam's because she's the only person I know that keeps buying new memory cards rather than erase them. Since the one in the camera was a Kodak and the camera is a Canon, I was positive it was hers.

I brought the camera to her at the farm. She couldn't believe it. Then, after she got home she sent me this picture:
She texted the photo with the message, "not mine." What are the odds that the mystery camera was exactly like her camera. Or, for that matter, it is exactly like mine:
No one knows who the camera belongs to. I don't drive the Solstice very often. I can't even think who I've ever had in the car with me except for grandkids. I really thing Pam is the only friend I've ever driven in it. Another unsolved mystery at our house. Oh well, I have another great camera! At least I know everything about operating it!

Speaking of mysteries---we had Mindy's car last week as it had to go in the shop for a few days. We traded cars with her.
While driving her car, I looked down in to the driver's door compartment and saw these. The pink can is a tanning spray. The other is a hair volumizer. What am I thinking? There's no mystery here. Doesn't everyone tan and plump up their hair in their car? Apparently, Mindy does!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Few Things

So we had a stopped up sink. This is Butch working with me "helping"---more in the vein of offering unwanted advice. Luckily for us I'm on a first name basis with our plumber. Jeff came to the rescue!
 We had a hail storm this week. The ice was the size of marbles.
 It didn't last long, but enough to leave quite a bit on the patio. We didn't have any damage to our cars.

 Victoria on the way to the orthodontist.
 She got her braces off!!! That's what I call a happy smile!
 Is this not the cutest pumpkin? No, really, the pumpkin! Evie is pretty darn cute too!
Morgan and I went to lunch this week at a new place called the Ghengis Grill. It's sort of a fast food stir fry kind of place. I first experienced a place like this in St. Louis when Jeanne, Janet and I went to lunch. It's kind of confusing. They have all of these ingredients. You just start piling stuff in to your bowl. There are all kinds of meats, veggies, other toppings and sauces. Then you give your bowl to the cook and they fry it up on a gigantic grill. It was delicious. This picture is the "pay" thing they have on each table. I've never seen anything like it before. You just follow the instructions on the screen and swipe your credit card. The only problem---and you can't tell by this picture---it was all grimy and nasty. There was no way I was going to touch it. I didn't have any lens cleaner in my purse. Morgan to the rescue. She handled it. You sign the screen with your finger. I just let her sign my name. I'll be sure to carry my screen cleaner and cloth the next time I go!
I've spent a lot of time organizing this week. I sorted all the bits and pieces leftover from layouts by color in to this bead box.
I'm not really sure I'm going to like it, but then I can't seem to just throw away the leftovers. I have too much stuff!
 The reason I resorted to the bead box is because I have all these little tins full already.
And then there are the bags full of paper, tags, journal cards---all sorted by color too. These are just the leftovers---not even my regular supply. I think I am a bit of a hoarder. I just can't let it go. 

What do you do with all your bits and pieces?

Friday, October 17, 2014


Outside my window: It's really early---I'm not even sayin' how early. It's insane. Let's just say it's going to be dark for about 4 more hours.

I am thinking: That I'm happy I made such head-way with some cleaning out and organizing in my scrapbook room, but I have a long way to go---and it's not even January! That's when I usually get in this mode.
This cart holds all materials I use for class kits. Besides this, I have 3 other containers and a shelf full of card stock and patterned paper. I got ALL of it organized. I'm totally ready for my 2015 classes!! I can't wait to unveil our new topic for the year.

I am thankful for: Cars that run! We've rotated cars through the dealer this week. What a pain.

From the kitchen: This week, it's been a comfort food sort of week---tomato soup and grilled cheese and meatloaf.

I am wearing: Still in my jammies.

I am hoping: To get all of the plants that are going inside, moved and all of the cushions, umbrellas, floats and pillows inside, those that will fit will go in the washing machine, the others will wait until next year and a power wash outside.

I am reading: The Boys in the Boat. Stephanie picked it for our family book club at Thanksgiving. So far, it's not floating my boat.

I'm watching: While working in my scrapbook room, I'm still watching Little Dorrit. I've also just started watching American Horror Story this season. I've never watched it before. It's dark and creepy and I'm not sure I really like it. It sort of feels like Stephen King and for that matter, I'm giving it another couple of episodes. I totally love him and his genius mind.

I am busy creating: I haven't created anything this week, but I plan to do my AYM layout this weekend. I'm really looking forward to that.

I'm bummed: That I invited Jordan for a date with me on Saturday. She accepted right away. Then I found out that the "thing" I was planning to take her to was last weekend!! I saw a commercial for an exotic pet show on tv---that kept saying "this weekend." When I went to the website to see about times, I found out it was already over. Dang!! I guess I should have gotten the details before inviting her. Next year for sure. Jordan would be all over that!

I am hearing: Showtunes on Pandora. The only time I listen to our "purchased" music is when I'm working in my office. I painstakingly put ALL of our hundreds of CD's on my computer a few summers ago. I think we have about 25,000 songs. But now, with the ease of Pandora and my created playlists, I hardly ever listen to them.

Around the house: It looks like I finally have these darn pantry moths under control. We haven't seen one in nearly 3 weeks now. What a nightmare. I still have work to do to put everything back. As a result, I couldn't bring myself to decorate for Halloween. Besides, we're going to be out-of-town on Halloween this year anyway.

In other news: We've had our first fire of the season.
The wood is not yet seasoned. We're lucky we have a gas firestarter. I love a fire. In fact, I'm sitting in front of our gas fireplace in the living room as I type this.

 One of my favorite things right now: No question here.
Sandy sent me a "thank you" package for staying with the kids while she and Greg celebrated their 20th anniversary. It was such a nice surprise. There were also plates, napkins, another candle I've already burned, and a Halloween wine glass for my eclectic collection. The candles smell amazing---pecan waffles and salted caramel corn. 

Last Friday, when Mindy got her for happy hour, she asked about these. I told her Sandy had sent me a package. She said, "Gosh, Sandy is making me look bad." Then I explained it was a thank you gift. Steph arrived a few minutes later and said THE EXACT SAME THING! Did I ever say this family is competitive? That's okay. Everyone knows Sandy is our favorite!!! 

 I appreciate: That our family has such a good sense of humor---which allows me to say things like "Sandy is our favorite" when really, Mindy is our favorite---except when Stephanie is our favorite!

I regret: that I just can't seem to get off this prednisone. I'm not giving up---but Christmas will be a full year. I did manage 3 weeks off this summer, but in the scheme of a year, that hardly counts. 

How the weekend is shaping up: We're going to the wedding of a family friend tonight. Other than that, we have no other plans. I'm going to spend some time with Stephanie and Nicky in their yard. I've re-designed their landscaping and they are ready to start implementing the plan. This weekend it's "tear out and amend the soil." 

So, wassup with you? I hope you have a great weekend too!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Five Things Thursday

Five more layouts:

My favorite pages to make are the ones where I can use something from the past along with something from present to create an interesting layout with a fun story. In this case pairing Morgan's 4 yr. old picture with her chopped hair with her graduation picture where her hair is down to her waist.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Rainy Weekend...

...can still be fun.

I always consider that Fridays start the weekend. You can do that when you are retired. Mine started with a "pearl event" at Richland Country Club. My friend, Madelyn and I put a table together that included both of our daughters---Alyson and Mindy (who are friends themselves). There was a lecture from the world's largest supplier of pearls. It was so interesting. There were plenty of buying opportunities.
I couldn't resist the 60" pink pearls. Pink is my favorite color to wear. There are about 25 ways to wear these. I can remember 3 of them.
The best way to store pearls is in these organza bags. By the pearls rubbing against each other, it keeps them cleaned and polished. Who knew? The earrings were a gift to everyone who attended.
Our lunch was delicious---finished with this amazing pumpkin cheesecake. The club has such cute dishes too.

We had happy hour. Then we met our friends for our monthly "poker night." The guys play poker, the girls go out to dinner.

It continued to rain on Saturday. Still, Stephanie, Mindy and I had plans to go to a barn sale. Although we had a good time, the sale wasn't all that great. I think the rain kept many of the vendors away. We breezed through in less that an hour.

I spent the rest of the day doing a little cleaning in my scrapbook room. I also spent a couple of hours reading---When We Were Strangers (so far, really good).
 I started Sunday with my first fire of the season. It's one of my favorite things to do---sit in front of the fire with my tea and computer.
I'm on a roll with the cleaning out. Sometimes, I discover something that I didn't even realized needed cleaning out. That would be my rolodex. It took about 10 minutes to go through it. I probably got rid of about 100 cards. So much less to wade through now.

I re-organized, sorted and weeded out most of my class supply containers. There's nothing that makes me feel better than making order out of chaos. I also happened to be watching Little Dorrit while I worked. I watched 7 episodes today---followed by a little more reading.

All in all, a productive and fun weekend. I'm ready to start Monday.