Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Few Pages

My goal this week with my scrapbooking was to just get the pictures on the page. I didn't do anything particularly creative---just lots of pictures, trip journals and memorabilia.

 My favorite layout of the week: "when it comes to the sister-in-law lottery, I hit the Jackpot!" Janet is more than a SIL, she's a sister and a friend!

I had so many pictures from this family rv trip to Colorado that I was able to do a layout for each of the girls. As soon as the they were able to write, I made everyone take a day to do the journaling on our trips. It is so much fun to look back and see a trip from a 5 year old perspective. Apparently, one day, the most important thing that happened was that Butch complained to a waitress that there were ants crawling all over the highchair that Mindy was sitting in!! Such great memories that would have been lost had I not made everyone take a turn with the stories.

I've always been a writer at heart.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

He Might Look Like a Man...

But he's still a boy!! At least we'd like to keep him that way for a bit yet!

Last week, Sandy was telling me about going to Mitchell's National Honor Society induction ceremony. She said he didn't want to go, but she insisted---since she's been to a gazillion sports awards banquets. She wanted the academic moment and I don't blame her! The kid's got it all, brains, brawn and looks.

Sandy said as she was sitting there, she couldn't resist sending me this shot.
Look closely---he's wearing athletic socks with the Nike swish showing---and on the front row! Sandy said she thought she was past the point of checking him out before he leaves the house! That's Mitchell---so laid back. You can almost hear his "whatever."
 The big moment---towering over the principal!
HIs classes are nearing an end---I think the AP exams start next weekend. 
 Prom with his girlfriend, Alyssa.

That's my BOY!! The only one in a family full of girls! He provides us with so much entertainment. I love him so much!! He's so funny and fun to be around. And he always makes us feel like he really wants to spend time with us. I love that.
And, just in time for graduation---I finished his afghan. It is so huge---I thought I would never get it done. I just wanted to make sure that he could wrap his 6'4" frame in it. Otherwise, what's the point?
I did it all in one piece with random size stripes. I put tassels just on the 4 corners. I wanted to keep it as masculine as possible. It's such a grandmotherly gift. My mother made afghans for all of her grandchildren when they were born and then again for their high school graduation. My girls still have theirs---they last forever!

We'll be off to Charlotte at the end of the month for this boy's graduation. We'll stay until Victoria's 8th grade graduation the following week.

These kids---they'er growing up way too fast---if you ask me!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I Haven't Made My Bed in Months!

And you know what? I didn't even miss it! (Yes, I need those steps to get up there!)

Being laid up turned out to be a good thing for me. First off, this surgery has been life changing! I know that's a strong statement---but it's so true. I should have done it long ago. In fact, I'm going to do the other foot in September and get it over with---especially since now I know what to expect. After the first month, it was a piece of cake.

Once I started to feel better, the fact that my house seemed out-of-control started to get to me. Now don't get me wrong---Butch is a "neat" type of a guy. But he doesn't stand a chance against my OCD tendencies! He took great care of me and handled everything household.

But, it feels good to start getting on top of things again. I have been a cleaning fool. Last week I cleaned out all of my linen closets---mainly because I couldn't figure out where all the sheets have gone. They must be buried in the laundry room. I'll have to tackle that this week.

I have spent hours upon hours in my scrapbook room doing a major clean out.
 All of this is on the way out. I was ruthless. If I haven't used it in 5 years---it's gone.
Luckily, I've found a place here that takes donations so I can at least get the tax write-off. Plus, just giving scrapbook and art supplies to Good Will never seemed like a good idea. This way, it goes where people actually want it.
These are all that remain of my old photos. I scrapbooked a lot this week too. I'm using the old family pictures to scrapbook for the girls. Most of the scrapbooking I do for myself is the here and now and the stories I want to remember. Still, the girls will be happy to have pages from their childhood, family gatherings and trips.
This is the stack I did this week. I'll share a few of them in another post.

I have such a love/hate relationship with prednisone. Right now, I'm lovin' it! So many extra hours.

Next up---the closet in my scrapbook room! It really needs a good clean out.

In the meantime, I think I'll start making my bed again!
I like it much better this way!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

What's Happenin'!

Outside my window: As it continues to warm up, more and more things are blooming. Butch has big plans for the pots on the patio and around the pool. I'm happy about this as he doesn't usually get so involved with the garden. 
I've had friends over this past week digging up ferns. If you're local and want some---come get 'em! They are ostrich ferns---disease resistant, drought tolerant and can take sun or shade. If I were to guess, I'd say each mother plant puts out 10 babies a year. You have to put them in early so they have a chance to get established for the hot weather hits.
I took a little time yesterday to check out the rhododendrons. They look beautiful, but in reality, there are only a few blooms. We had a late frost that may have affected them this year.

I am thinking: About all I plan to accomplish this week. I have to admit, being home so much has really been fun for me. I've never gotten bored. 

I am thankful for: The Apple Store!! I am lost without my computer. I relied on my iPhone for calendar info and email, but I don't like using my phone for anything much beyond that. Actually, my phone is just my phone---and my music maker, game player, and camera. I guess I rely on it more than I realized. 

From the kitchen: I haven't cooked in months. I didn't feel like I missed cooking until I made a few family favorites. Oh yeah, I missed roasts, pasta,  and potatoes. When my sister was here last week, I made a recipe I hadn't made in years. I'll share it soon.

I am hoping: To get the closet in my scrapbook room cleaned out this week---but it's a daunting job. I better remember to take some before and after photos.

I am reading: I can't believe I'm going to say this. But reading has taken a bit of a back seat the past couple of weeks as I've been in "frenzied cleaning" mode. Plus, it's easy to put a book aside that isn't exactly pulling you in. I'm reading Dead Wake by Eric Larson for my book club. It's about the sinking of the Lusitania. I do like his personal accounts, but he goes a little too far with the detail to the point that it becomes redundant. 

I'm watching: I have been watching/listening to a lot this week while working. My new favorite---The Paradise. Sandy sent it to me when I was recuperating. It's is such good show about a store around the turn of the century in ---wait for it---England! That probably comes as no surprise. The store is called The Paradise. I looked it up---it's a fictional place. The series is based on a book. Sadly, it' looks like it's been cancelled after just two seasons. Still, my friends will enjoy it on our next scrapbook trip to the farm.

And now---Grey's Anatomy! OhMyGosh!!! I'm still in shock. It's a good thing Butch was off fishing with his brother because I was sobbing so hard---as if someone had died! Oh wait, someone DID die!! How could they do that! I was depressed for two days. Man, I loved McDreamy! I'm thinking the show is on it's last legs now.

I am busy creating: I've been pretty productive this week. I will be sharing layouts later.

I'm bummed: I can't think of a single thing I'm bummed about! That's a good thing!

I am hearing: country music on the new Sonos sound system completely controlled by my iPhone. Awesome! There will be no more running from the pool to the house to adjust the volume or type of music. It's all on the phone app.

Around the house: Just gearing up for a very busy May. I'll be cooking for Butch's poker group, heading to the beach for a week with my posse, a family wedding in St. Louis---and then there's Mitchell's high school graduation in Charlotte followed by Victoria's 8th grade graduation. All fun!

In other news: Stephanie was "awarded" a very nice, all-expense paid trip to a fancy resort in Puerta Vallarta. It was a last-minute type of thing, but she was able to clear her schedule. She and Nicky left on Thursday and will be home tonight. 

I guess that's a good enough "catch up" for now! 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

About that Catholic Guilt...

...seems that even unconsciously it's a good thing!!! Remember a couple weeks ago I mentioned that the nurse "outed" me about my weight---and I lied by 3 lbs.? Well, turns out, I guess my sub-conscious couldn't handle the lie, because now it's TRUE!! I'm "down" those 3 lbs. Hmmm, now if only I could just turn the weight-loss over to the sub-conscious permanently....

I have a few random photos to share today.
So, my sister, Janice from Texas, visited Nashville last week with her friend, Kathi from California. They started here and then drove to Memphis to do Graceland. This t-shirt made me laugh. Janice is so devoted to her animals---you might recall this post about the "finger" incident. Warning: not for the feint of heart.
The first day they were here, I took them to Carnton Plantation---turned in to a hospital during the Civil War. We lunched here at Puckett's Grocery before their Segway tour of Franklin.
This is the "box of sunshine" I sent the girls this week. I saw the idea somewhere on the internet. It was so much fun collecting "yellow" things. There's Juicy Fruit gum, Lemonheads, Subway card, footies, nail polish, mascara tube, nail art pen, Milk Duds, M&M Peanuts, Lays, Butterfingers, Peep, shower scrubbie, post-it notes, flashlight, Burt's Bees lip balm and a few other miscellaneous things nestled on a bed of yellow Easter grass. I included a note on top saying: "Just a box of sunshine to get your through exams!" Next year, I'm going to pick another color and do it again! They LOVED it!
 I picked up the needlepoint star Christmas tree topper that I finished during the holidays.
 I really like the finished project, but didn't really enjoy doing this one. That gusset is over 6 feet long---plus I don't exactly love working with metallics. I thought I'd never finish it.
This is my cute cousin, Judy. She was at the beach last week with friend and sent me this picture. She's amazing---way older than you might think---at least way older than me!!
Glasses are sooooo expensive that I decided to try a different route this time. David Kind is an internet eyeglass company. It works like this: the glasses are $295.00. You choose 3 styles you would like to try on. They assign you to a personal optician. You email a picture of yourself.
They send you a box with 6 pairs of frames---the 3 you picked and then 3 the stylist picks for you Turns out I like ALL 3 pairs the stylist picked. You get opinions, you take your photo with them on and return to your stylist for opinions, email your prescription and "voila" new glasses in no time. Sure beats the $2500 I spent the last time for eye exam, glasses and sunglasses. I don't know if David Kind has sunglasses.
I designed this end page while scrapbooking at the farm a few weeks ago. I love this quote from Carson of Downton Abbey. Very simple page with a hand-stitched border. I remember when hand-stiching on your scrapbook pages became a "thing." I had already been a stitcher for over 30 years. I told my friends---"that's it. When you seem me sewing on my scrapbook pages, just call the men in the little white truck!" Well, they didn't!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Been a Long Week...

without my 'puter! But it's back and all is right with my world!!

Update coming soon.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Quirky Catholics

I rarely post anything of a religious nature on my blog, but we Catholics certainly have our quirky beliefs---steeped in thousands of years of tradition.

When we were little, we were taught Baltimore Catechism by memorization of a series of questions and answers. We discussed how we all still recite the same prayers we learned back then. The official definition: Baltimore Catechism was the de facto standard Catholic school text in the United States from 1885 to the late 1960s. It was the first such catechism written for Catholics in North America. The Baltimore Catechism remained in use in nearly all Catholic schools until many moved away from catechism-based education, though it is still used up to this day in some.

Father Gorzel would visit us in our classroom at St. Aloysius in north St. Louis and quiz us. One day, he asked, "Who is God?" To which we were to chant in unison, "God is a Supreme Being." The boy sitting next to me, Curtis, said, "God is a String Bean." That made me giggle---which probably lead to trouble. Nuns were really mean back then.

This, then reminded me of a story about my grandson, Mitchell, when he was in the first grade and had to memorize the "Our Father" prayer---the backbone of all prayers Catholic. He was supposed to say, "Our Father, who art in Heaven, hollowed be thy name." Instead, this came out, "Our Father who art in Heaven, how do we know your name?" I'm sure the "hallowed" tripped him up. I don't think I've ever heard that word in it's original 3-syllable pronunciation---ever!

I'm bringing this up because last week while scrapbooking at the farm, one of my  bible studying friends, Nancy, found herself surrounded by Catholics. There's nothing new about that. We are mostly Catholics with an Episcopalian thrown in for good measure. Plus we couldn't have a circle of friends in the South without at least one Baptist. We Catholics are always trying to "debunk" the myths held about us---mainly that we pray to statues---divine intercession is not that hard to explain---pray to mom to get dad on your side!

Religious discussions are really not the norm, but we were watching Grantchester which lead us to speculate that the priest featured must be Episcopalian because: A. he dates---still a "no no" in the Catholic Church and B. we don't know any other clerics who wear priestly collars. 

I really don't remember how the conversation began, but we started talking about limbo and purgatory. Some times when trying to explain such things. it sounds sort of ridiculous. Me, "Limbo is the place for unbaptized babies. Since they have the stain of Original Sin on their souls, they are deprived of the presence of God, but not condemned to hell." I thought that just about covered it. I looked it up and it's nice to know that Limbo holds no place in the modern Church. It does seem pretty harsh. It remains unclear as to what really happens to those little babies.

That lead us to a discussion about purgatory. My recollection of my childhood Catholicism is that purgatory is really sort of like limbo except you have hope that you will eventually live in the presence of God. Unless you are saintly, everyone goes directly to purgatory before entering Heaven---kind of like a cross between prison and a halfway house. You cannot pray for yourself, but people on earth can pray for you to shorten your "sentence." Remember: novenas, indulgences, plenary indulgences (don't really know what a plenary is---have never heard that word used by anyone, anywhere, anytime), sacrifices, "offering it up"? All of these are methods used to help purgatorians get in to Heaven.

I came across this very interesting article. Approach it like this and we can send 1000's of souls off to Heaven:
1. Prior to clicking on the link---pray to yourself, "I am offering up reading this article for the souls of  all the faithful departed, amen." (that alone might send a thousand).
2. Read the article and the very brief prayer at the end and another 1000 people get to Heaven. 

Being the overachiever that I am, I said the prayer twice and sent over 2000 people to Heaven today.

Your turn.

I thought I'd share a few of my most prized Catholic possessions.
 The most important day in a little Catholic girl's life is her First Communion. Here's my prayer book---circa 1959.

 It has a little plastic crucifix on the inside cover.
And then, there's this. When you grow up in a large, Catholic family, nothing is really your own. Seems my little sister decided to lay claim to MY prayer book with a red crayon. I think they've outlawed those by now, haven't they?
Being the oldest (at least that's what I'm claiming)---I got mom's First Communion prizes including her rosary and scapular---circa 1939. So precious to me!!

Do you still have your First Communion prayer book? Send me pictures---I'd love to post them here!!

Have a blessed Sunday and send a few souls to Heaven!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

For My Mac Lovin' Friends...

I need to take a minute to warn you about something that is happening right now and affecting Macs. This is me, Barb,—so you cannot verify through Snopes!!! Seriously, this is real.

The first incident was 2 weeks ago when Butch clicked on a fishing link from his brother. A security warning popped up and froze his browser. It looks all official and gives you the number to call for help. Butch called, but drew the line at giving out credit information—plus they tell you it’s going to cost $300 or more to fix. 

It happened to me THREE times just yesterday!! When I clicked on my Lumosity brain training link and then the Regal Cinema link—twice there. These are websites I go to regularly.

And then today, it was Morgan. Of course, she called crying and had the tech guy on the other line (these kids—I wouldn’t have known how to do that!). Anyway, Butch told her to get off the phone with him. He would not release her computer, so Butch told her to tell him that she was calling the police. That did it.

Anyway, the pop-up looks something like this. This is the one I got yesterday along with another that looks exactly like it except for some different wording:
Yes, I do believe is says what it looks like it’s trying to say!!! You are f****d! Talk about adding insult to injury...

It looks all official, but it’s not. Call Apple phone support at 800-275-2273. You will get a recording that there will be a charge for the call (and help) unless your computer is less than a year old. But in the end, you will not pay anything because Apple does not charge for security related issues. They will walk you through the steps to get rid of the pop-up and release your computer. It’s a hassle, but it doesn’t take that long. It took less than 5 minutes to get through and with the help—maybe 15 minutes. I wish I had written down all the steps—but I didn’t and there are too many to remember. The Apple guys are very nice and speak English!!

In addition, the guy had me download this free shareware called Adware Medic:
It cleans up your Mac. They will ask for a donation, but you do not have to donate anything. 

That reminds me—if you get anything like MacCleaner, or Clean Your Mac pop ups——don’t click on it. It’s malware too. Learned that lesson the hard way too!

I knew it was only a matter of time before we Mac users would have to deal with this crap. For over 20 years this was not an issue for Macs. These thieves have finally decided that Apple has enough market share to write the malware now.

You just have to beware and don’t fall for any scams.

Let me know if you have had any problems. Also, you can always take your Mac to the Apple store Genius Bar—but you have to make an appointment.

Okay, I hope this helps someone!! Pass it on to all the Mac users that you know.

Friday, April 17, 2015

One Post Leads to Another

Funny how that happens! My post of Monday: It All Boils Down to Potatoes has now spawned 2 additional posts. (Doesn't the word "spawn" sound ominous? Sort of like the devil's spawn? It's not a word I regularly use, so I had to let it roll around on my brain a bit to decide if I'd use it or not. I am using it).

Yesterday prompted me to think about television stations. Today, we're back to food. I guess that's really no big surprise.

I got my hamburger. Fresh off the grill---first of the season.
Decisions, decisions. Did I just want barbecue sauce, or plain with cheese. In the end, he mixed them up. He asked what I was doing when he saw me nearly put BBQ sauce on the cheeseburger. It's an either/or situation---that's why he asked in the first place. With me not being the main food preparer, I'm all discombobulated. I can't think straight. Oh and did you notice the potato salad?

While Butch was out running errands this morning, I asked him to stop by Michaels. His first time. He found the yarn I needed without a problem. On the way home he did something really BIG!! This was the best of all! A total surprise.
He drove through Starbucks!!! You have no idea how BIG this really is!!! He does NOT do Starbucks! Whatta guy!!

The funny thing is I think he might have thought I was hinting. But anytime I write about Starbucks, I always follow it with my order: a venti, iced black tea, shaken with three Equals, please. That's just what I do. And now that's what he did!

That boy gets me!

Hmmm, is there anything else I should be mentioning here?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Good Day/Bad Day

It was one of those kind of days---switching back and forth from a good day to bad day and back again. It started out as a good day as I was excited to see the doctor. Then it turned bad!

Outed by doctor’s nurse---I couldn’t believe she asked my weight in front of Butch!! How rude! It’s bad enough that he has a rough idea, but then I lied by 3 pounds! Then it turned good.

Doctor visit: I’m so happy!!! Everything is going so good. I was a little worried that I had overdone it and messed something up since I’ve had a little pain. Doc says I can’t mess anything up—that’s just my body telling me to slow down. What??? What does that even mean?? I don’t think I can possibly go any slower! Kidding.

I’ll be in this boot for 3 more weeks, but weight bearing now. I can even switch to a sandal for driving, but put the boot back on when I reach my destination.

It all looks really good. Each time I go, I understand a little better what I had done. The joint is gone so the calcium will not re-build. Right now, it’s just like I have broken my toe and is held together with the plate and screws until the bone fuses. He won’t remove plate and screws unless it bothers me—but he doesn’t expect that. The bone will be fused 70% at 6 months—100% by a year. I’ll never know the difference.

After I’m out of the boot, I’ll go to regular loose shoes or tennis shoes with no restrictions. I just have to remember that I might have a little pain and swelling for the first six months IF I overdo it!!

It’s ALL good!!! Oh, and I can have a pedicure any time now!! The day continued down good road.

Scrapbooking---went in to my room and created the title page for our 2015 AYM “Book of Lists” album. Still good.

Lunch---leftover grilled burgers---delish! 
Still good.

Free Movie Preview---Pitch Perfect 2 is coming out. I totally loved the first one---anything with song and dance is right up my alley. Since I’m a member of the Regal Club, I got an offer for a pair of free tickets for the preview night. When I clicked the link it turned in to a bad day.

Computer Malware---seized my internet and froze everything.

Look closer. Doesn't it look like the website is "heydickyouarefckdipshit"?

Called Apple tech support and it turned back to a good day.

Mac Tech Support fixes my problem. Still a good day.

The Rug Man Cometh---from Kusadaki Turkey. Bruce and Karolyn called and said the guy was in town with a trunkful of rugs. While waiting, it turned in to a bad day when I clicked on the link to do my Lumosity brain training. Computer seized AGAIN! REALLY bad day!

Mac Tech Support---while on the phone, the rug men show up, so it turns back to a good day when Butch takes over the tech support call. He fixes the problem so it turned back in to a good day;

Gorgeious Rugs---the good day quickly turns in to a bad day when the only two rugs I really liked turned out to be $7,000 each!---not exactly what I’d planned to spend. but it sure would have made an interesting post for "What I Buy Wednesdays!" We’re going to remodel our bath room this fall, so I was looking for something that would provide me with the inspiration for what I want to do with it. 
The truck out front.
 I have to say, they really work hard---hauling all of those rugs in and rolling them out.
The one you see here is my own rug with some of theirs stacked up. I was still on the "bad day side" when I realized that it could have been a "worse" day had I made a purchase. Still on the bad side.

All login information for the websites I visit is GONE!!! OMGosh!!! It turned in to a good day again when I went through and logged in to my “go to” sites. Still a good day.

Naptime---no explanation needed! Turns in to a bad day with call from VISA

VISA---lady starts asking for personal information to verify the account. Uhhhh, heck NO!!! This is the card that was stolen twice in the same week!! Bad Day continues.

Call Visa Fraud Department---and find out the reason they were trying to get in touch with us is that our account is past due. What??? It’s actually a debit card linked to our bank account---auto-pay. Apparently, with the confusion with new cards, the auto draft was not put in place. Turns in to a Good Day.

Service fees are waived. Turns back in to a bad day.

No nap. No explanation needed! Then it turned back to a good day.

Cocktail Conversation---Butch said, “I saved this story for over dinner.” Instead it was cocktails (at least for him). The last time he prepared a topic of conversation was when I gave him advance notice that I expected him to come up with three things to discuss on a road trip. He’s a man of few words. In fact, I think we used up all of his topics before we ever made it out of the city!! Still a good day.

Cracker Jacks---when Butch went in to refresh his drink, he said, “You want some Cracker Jacks.” That made me laugh---so random. We have probably not had Cracker Jacks in 30 years!  I said, “I like Cracker Jacks.” He said, “I know!” A really good day.

The day flipped back and forth 19 times---and zoomed by! When I tally it up, it comes down to is that for the most part it was a GOOD day out-weighing the bad by 2 to 1. 

And I'd say that's a pretty darn GOOD day! 

Throwback Thursday

Rockin' the dickey and mohair sweater look---while my brother, Ronnie,  rocks the the button up, high waist and high waters.
Kinda looks like he has one leg shorter than the other. Or maybe it's the pants. Yep, it's definitely the pants. And, yes, he's still that skinny!!

Y'all are gonna' have a hard time keepin' up with me this week. On mega mg prednisone!