Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tuesday Thoughts About...


Admittedly, I don't know much about football. I can't say I even really like football. But when everyone in the family is obsessed with it and many of your friends are obsessed with it, you either get with the program or be left in the dust!

I did not grow up in a football loving family---I guess because we were mostly girls. We had one tv so for my two brothers, there wouldn't have been much of a chance to watch. Baseball was more the family sport. I haven't been an avid baseball fan since the 1960's. But I will admit, if the Cardinals make the playoffs, then I'm obsessed!

Anyway, back to football. Since I didn't grow up with football, I had no idea the passion many people have for it. I remember, 30 years ago, when Connie and I first became friends, that we had to revolve our lives around their University of Tennessee schedule. I say "we" because if I wanted to do something (which was just about all the time), Connie had to check the football schedule first! I got used to taking a backseat to football. That certainly prepared me for the family's passion today---not all the girls, but ALL the guys for sure!

So, in the vein of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em," I decided to join 'em---at least some of the time. The Titans came to Tennessee in 1997 (originally the Oilers) and moved to Nashville in 1998. I agreed to "let" Butch buy PSL's (personal seat license) with his friends. We have two seats, which meant I needed to go to the games. We still have those seats today, but I rarely go. When I do, it's when he can't find anyone else to go with him. That doesn't happen often (thank goodness). I only do it for "love!" If I'm going to watch the game---and that's a big "IF"---I prefer to be in front of the tv at home with my stitching.

When it comes to college football, I'm a Notre Dame fan. I don't watch many games, but I claim them as my favorite team. It has nothing to do with wins or losses. It has nothing to do with the coaches or actual players---I don't know a single one. It has to do with several simple, unimportant reasons: 1. Notre Dame is Catholic. I do love that. 2. Greg went to Notre Dame while Sandy was across the street at Saint Mary's. 3. My sister, Joyce and her family are HUGE Notre Dame fans since they live in South Bend. (It's actually a pre-requisite to be able to live there!).

I'm  a Titan's fan just because the family is. Some family members have other allegiances too. Justin and Mindy are Patriot fans. Mindy is a Titan's fan first. Justin is Patriots and Tom Brady ALL the way! He take a lot (A LOT) of crap from the family--or I should say some of the guys! This criticism has lead to a major decision on my part.

I am now a Patriots fan---for simple, important reasons:
1. Okay, let's start with their name. Ya' gotta' love that! It's the best name of all the teams. And I'm a Patriot---absolutely no doubt!
2. The team is incredible with extremely talented players! No argument there.
3. They play through adversity. The 2017 Super Bowl come back was the most exciting thing I've ever seen. Unbelievable. You don't have to be a football fan to appreciate that.
4. They've won the most Super Bowls (yeah, I know, it's easy to love the winner!)
5. (My best reason of all) My son-in-law loves them and I love him!

You know me. When I make a decision, I am ALL IN! I've been learning about Tom Brady. Turns out there's more to him than his good looks! Check out this video: Tom vs Time. It's 15 minutes long. Holy Smokes! The guy is nuts. How can he put himself through so much? Talk about the 10,000 hour rule---he must have 100,000 hours logged in all his effort. Stands to reason he would be a phenomenal athlete. Love him or hate him, there's no denying that.

I have no idea of what will happen in the upcoming Super Bowl next week, but I know who I'll be rooting for! I just wanted to make my declaration prior to the game so it doesn't look like I just jumped on the band wagon of a winning team. Oh, wait, I already have!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday Mystery

The kitchen renovation is underway in that everything has been ordered. Now it's a matter of waiting for things to come in and everything happening in the proper sequence.

In the meantime, we've started clearing out the pantry and all of the cabinets. Whew! What a job and we're not finished yet. However, we've come across a couple mysteries.

While working, Morgan decided she wanted a snack. She opened the bag of Cheetos to discover this:
 Who in the world puts the bag back with just 4 crumbs inside? There's only the two of us. It's a mystery. Well, maybe not.
Then we found this. Obviously it's a bathroom cup from a hotel. I immediately accused Butch as Morgan was laughing. Butch said that even he wouldn't stoop that low. He thinks someone planted it to make him look bad. It's a mystery for sure.

And lastly, there was an empty candy wrapper stashed behind some cans. Now who in the world wold do that. Everyone knows that if you want to hide the evidence, you just have to stuff the empty wrapper within the trash!

There are always mysteries around here!

Friday, January 26, 2018

I Have a Hard Time Accepting That I Might Be Getting Old

Case in point:
When I was in St. Louis, Jeanne and I went over to see the "littles" Travis and Nathan. They had just gotten hula hoops for Christmas.
Jeanne says I'll do anything for a laugh! It's more about wanting these kids to always remember their Aunt Barb. Yes, I'm even willing to make a fool of myself!

Jeanne asked me the next day if my neck hurt. It didn't. She texted me a couple days after that and asked if I'd gone to the chiropractor. It wasn't until then that I realized what I did was really stupid! I have to remember that at 66, you cannot act like you are 5! The body just can't handle it! I've got to be more careful!! I was lucky this time---no ill effects. I'm so thankful for that!

There's another way that says I'm getting old. Check this out:
The table next to my chair just screams "old lady." Old people always have a lot of "stuff" on the table next to their chair.
The table is covered with stuff. But I need it ALL. I clean it off regularly, but there's not really anything that I don't use. It's sort of like my office. Maybe that counts. Maybe that makes it legit.
1. Vitamins to improve my nails---they are weak. I'm thinking it could have something to do with the xolair treatments. This is about a 4 month supply and needs to be taken on a full stomach. Having them here reminds me to take them after breakfast or dinner.
2. My A-Lister card. I don't really know what to do with it, plus I like being reminded that I'm important!
3. Lens cleaner---for my computer and glasses.
4. Hand lotion.
5. In the back is my checkbook, envelopes and stamps. I pay my bills online, but sometimes have things that need to be sent in.
6. There's the pencil cup that along with pens and pencils, contains scissors, ruler, tweezers, highlighters, hole punch, needlepoint scissors and emory boards.
7. Sweetarts because sometimes you feel like a snack.
8. Little notebooks for assorted note making.
9. An old address book that is the "holy grail" containing all of my computer passwords.
10. Magnifiers for my needlework.
11. A drink of some sort on a coaster (of course).
12. My laptop sits on top of a few files I'm currently needing along with a couple catalogs I want to go through.
13. The covered dish contains my stapler, staples, paper clips, binder clips, USB adapter for my computer, Fit Bit charger, glass cleaning cloth, Blistex and ear buds.
14. Napkins.
15. In the back is a stack of books I want to read, a Sudoku book and a couple of bridge books.

Like I said, It's a lot of stuff. I hate how it looks---all junky. But I don't really know what to do about it. I use it all regularly. I haven't even shown the things under the table---travel folders, needlework binder, and a binder for each of our beach condos. I also had a basket with all of my needlepoint stuff in it. I moved it to the sunroom during the holidays and have not brought it back in. I don't think I'm going to. I'll just keep what I'm working on at my chair.

So there you have it. One more way I'm starting to act "old!"

Friday Funnies

 A little computer humor. For those who might not know this---"control C" is copy, "control V" is paste!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

We've Been Robbed!

And by "we've" been robbed, I mean that collectively! OMGosh! How in the world did "The Greatest Showman" not get a single Oscar nomination! That is the best film this year!

Since getting my Movie Pass, I've seen a lot of movies. A. Lot. I've seen 6 of the 9 nominations for Best Picture. Of those 6, five were really good. I don't really understand how LadyBird is in there. I didn't love that one at all. As for The Shape of Water, I wanted to see it. I swear, it was only out for about two weeks. The movies come and go so quickly, it's hard to keep up. I'm averaging about 2 movies a week and that's not enough. Of course, we'll hit a lull where nothing good seems to be out.

I was certain that James Franco would win Best Actor for The Disaster Artist---until the scandal broke. Then I knew he wouldn't be considered. Too bad. He was superb! The movie was good too!

In the mean time, I don't understand how "The Greatest Showman" and Hugh Jackman could have been overlooked. It was fabulous. I've seen it twice and would definitely like to see it again if I can work it in. It was a beautiful film to watch too!

I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. But as it stands now, my favorites to win are (if these are my only choices):
Best Picture---The Post
Best Actor---Daniel Day Lewis
Best Actress---Frances McDormand

If I could pick out of everything I've seen this year, you know where I stand. As for Best Actress, I'd still choose Frances McDormand.

But then, they didn't ask me. We've been robbed---I tell you! Or maybe I should say---"they've been robbed!" And that's the truth!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tuesday Thoughts About...


1. I'm the type who likes to take the first flight in the morning. I don't care if I have to get up at 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. to get ready. That first flight is less likely to be delayed. Plus, I can always sleep on the plane. The best experience I ever had was on my way to St. Louis. Granted, it's only a 45 minute flight, but still, I fell asleep before we even took off. I didn't wake until the bump of the landing! I was like, "Are you kidding me! We're here already and I never woke up for take-off!" Now that's the way to go. It hasn't happened since, but it might. In my book, taking the very first flight is the best. Of course, if there's a weather situation, your screwed anyway.

2. I like to get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. I figure, why stress yourself out by rushing around---worrying about the traffic and waiting in long security lines. I can wait around just as easily at the airport as I can at home. Plus, if I get there in plenty of time, I can stand in the 30 minute Starbucks line!

3. TSA Pre-check is worth every penny! No long waits in security. You don't have to strip down or take your shoes off. There's nothing I hate worse than walking barefoot---or worse---in my socks on that nasty floor. And then you put your dirty, germy feet BACK in your shoes! But even with pre-check you can be held up. Recently, I was sent through the "big" machine in security. They detected metal somewhere, but it wasn't where I actually have metal! I have titanium plates and screws in both big toes and ankle. No, those don't set the machine off---it's something behind my knee. They wand me and send me on my way. (Hmmm, I wonder if I've been "chipped!") As I was collecting my "things," I needed to step aside so security could check my computer bag. I thought it was the loaf of banana bread I was taking to Sandy's. No, apparently, the wand set the alarm off for drugs. Several people came as they thoroughly inspected my bag--not once, but twice. They never even opened the foil with the banana bread. Then they started on me. They asked if I wanted to do it in private. I said, "no, I'm fine here." Well, I had no idea what that sort of "pat down" entailed. "She" explained everything she was going to do. She felt around and between my breasts (actually, that wasn't so bad!) Then she ran her hands around the inside of my waist band. That seemed a little weird. Anyway, of course they didn't find anything and sent me on my way. I wasn't upset. They are just doing their job. Hence another reason to arrive plenty early. You never know what might delay you.

4. I like to sit in the back. In my opinion, if you sit in the back, there's less of a chance that someone will take the middle seat. Everyone is too intent on sitting up front so they can get off fast (Butch included). What's the rush? I take my time getting off the plane, make a stop at the bathroom and---if I'm lucky---the bags will just be arriving when I reach baggage. That doesn't happen often. I usually still have to wait. I don't see any reason to sit in the front so I can rush down there.

5. Another way I try to ensure that no one will take the middle seat is that I sprawl out, hog the arm rest and cough whenever it looks like someone is eyeing it. Really, this works. I know it sounds all selfish---and I don't consider myself a particularly selfish person---but I only do this when the flight attendants announce that the flight is not full. If it is, I stick to my little area!

6. I don't "save" seats. I'm a rule follower. You're not supposed to do it. People pay extra for early bird seating so they can sit wherever they want. Ahem, I'm an "A-Lister" so I get to sit wherever I want. I would be embarrassed to say "this seat is saved" when I know you are not supposed to. Just one more case for sitting in the rear of the plane. Most likely, friends or family can join you because everyone else is focused on cramming in the front.

7. I prefer the window seat. Butch is just the opposite. He prefers the aisle. In fact, if someone comes along and wants the middle, we let them have it. We won't "die" if we aren't sitting right next to each other for a couple hours! Our girls think that's weird. I like the window because I can hunker down, mind my own business and do whatever I want. If you are in the middle or on the aisle, invariably you will have to get up so someone can use the bathroom. Plus on the aisle, you have everyone bumping you all the time. I'm fine in my own little space.

8. I don't understand why people think they need to bring everything they own on the plane. So you might have to wait 15 minutes at baggage. Is it really necessary to lug that big suitcase through the airport---and then have to heft it up in to the overhead smashing everything up there? I especially resent women who expect men to help them. Butch always helps some poor, weak female with an "over-the-limit" bag. Hey everyone wants to be treated equally--heft your own darn bag. I do mine! Well, except if Butch is with me.

9.  I hate those peanuts. You get exactly 8. Sometimes on Southwest (my preferred airline), you get a full pack of cookies---or Wheat Thins---or Sun Chips. They can keep the stupid peanuts.

10. I can't say I particularly love to fly---I'm not afraid or anything. I don't really like the hassle of it all. But I have to say, I'd much rather fly than waste hours in the car. I fly most of the places that I used to have to drive---St. Louis, Charlotte, and the beach. I can usually find rates around $200. I'm going to St. Louis next week for $150! That's darn near what the gas would cost. Not to mention the wear and tear on my car. Charlotte is around $175. The beach has gone up some. Instead of around $200, it's now around $240. I guess it all evens out. I'd much rather save the time. Of course, that only works if it's a non-stop flight. If not, you'll spend the same amount of time getting to your destination.

What are your thoughts on flying?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday Mysteries!

It never ceases to amaze me. A little call for snow and people go crazy! Suddenly they act like they are going to be snowed in and likely to starve. The run on the grocery store is unbelievable. Actually, I found myself there doing some normal shopping. No, I didn't not rush to get bread, milk and eggs. Still, I needed hamburger buns and hoagie rolls. The bread aisle looked like this:
The grocery store was able to unload the expensive stuff too!

Oh wait, my pantry looks like this:
No, there wasn't suddenly a run on food at my house---just the clearing out in preparation of the kitchen renovation. (It's coming...)
 So this is it. The BIG snow.I think we ended up with about 4 niches. Enough to shut down businesses. Schools were out for the week! That didn't stop us. We decided to go to the movies, only to get there and find out they were closed. You know, you can't call anymore and talk to a person. They just had a recording---which never mentioned that they were closed. I checked the website, but that only showed their hours of operation. Still, I got a Pei Wei lunch out of it!
 Even the Christmas tree looked nice---dusted with snow.
 I have to admit. I love the snow. It's so pretty. I hate how the salt on the roads really makes your car all filthy and disgusting. And I'm sure if we had snow all the time, I'd hate it.
A winter wonderland outside my bathroom. Love it!
Once a year is good with me. This is a lot of snow for Nashville. I'll take it. Even if people go crazy! Why they do is a mystery to me!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Is Scrapbooking Dying?

Sadly, I believe it is. I still love it, but even I have slowed down with my storytelling. I'm to a point that I have so many albums, I wonder who is going to want them! See my post about how our kids don't want our stuff!

Still, there's a lot more to it than that. Scrapbooking used to fulfill a variety of needs for people. For some, it was an artistic outlet. Others considered themselves family archivists. For me it's always been about the stories. I consider myself a storyteller, writer and documentarian.

All of the scrapbook stores have closed. There may be a few left here and there, but not many. Or they've expanded to include other things---knitting or gifts for half the store. Luckily, you can still find a pretty good selection of scrapbook supplies at the big box stores. Even that isn't so much fun. I don't need anything. There's nothing new that appeals to me. That's okay. I have enough stuff. I'm trying to get rid of stuff!

One of the most important things we're losing with the demise of scrapbooking is the camaraderie we had. Many different  people sharing the same interest. And what about the expensive real estate in our homes we've dedicated to our scrapbook rooms? That is certainly a waste.

I still have one group of friends for AYM (A Year of Memories). But even with that, I notice the lag--people are busy, there are health issues in families, some are working, new family responsibilities---things happen in our lives---getting even one page a month done is too much. Finding a time that works for everyone to meet is getting harder and harder. Everyone is just busy and scrapbooking isn't the priority it once was. I'm pretty sure this will be the last year--if we even manage to get it going this year.

I miss all the women I met through this hobby. I'm still friends with a few on Facebook, but it's not the same. We used to see each other a couple times a month. It was the scrapbook stores that was our meeting place. I used to keep up with some of them via their blogs, but pretty much all of them have let their blogs go too. It's just sad. I enjoyed these women. I had a plan to try to get everyone together at Christmas, but then didn't do it. I wish I had. I miss them for sure! Scrapbooking really expanded my circle of friends and now it's shrunk and continues to shrink.

At least for me, I still have my blog and that's definitely filling my need to "tell our stories!" I've been at this now since 2007---11 years of sharing my life. Still, blogging is a solitary activity. I'll keep at it though.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

What I Learned Growing Up in a Big Family

1. You own nothing. You might think you do, but you don't, really. Your siblings are always taking your stuff. Even your money--if you had change sitting on your dresser, they would replace quarters with nickels, dimes with pennies. Luckily, mom marked our clothes. I had red "x's". I could force the twins to take off their shoes and show me their socks. Even when you think something is indisputably yours---like your First Communion prayer book that your grandmother wrote your name in her beautiful script so there could be no doubt---your sister will write her name in the front with a red crayon! Even when you get a brand new bike for Christmas, but can't ride it because of a broken arm---you siblings get it first!

2. What little you do have, you take care of. You can't afford replacements--no matter who breaks it or messes it up. Your siblings don't have any money either---unless they were the one who swapped out your coins. No way to know for sure.

3. You learn to share. You can't afford to be selfish. You might have something really cool (game, record, clothing) but if you don't share, you don't have access to your siblings stuff. As I've said, you don't really own anything anyway, so you might as well share what you do have. Less fights that way. And less chance that your stuff will be vandalized "accidentally on purpose!"

4. There is always someone who will go along with your schemes---sneaking cookies out of the freezer or eating cherries or pickles until they are gone. You have to have someone so you can't be snitched upon! On the other hand, there is always someone willing to play whatever you want. You might have to go down the line and be stuck with a littler kid, but still there was someone to play with.

5. It's never quiet. You learn to read while blocking out crazy background noise. Watching tv was just about impossible unless it was Leave it to Beaver or The Flintstones. The noise and fighting would get to our mom. She was always yelling, "You kids are driving me to the nut house!"

6. If you forget to call "place back" you're relegated to the floor. We never had seating for nine in our living room. Many fights over that---"you didn't call placeback!" "Yes I did too call placeback!" And on and on.

7. There's really nothing wrong with fighting and we did a lot of that. You learn what hurts and what doesn't. The twins had tender heads where as it didn't hurt to pull my hair. I pretended like it did while I yanked theirs out!!! They thought they were killing me---my fake screams were among the best. I say "they" because since "they" were twins, they fought in pairs.  Inside, I just laughed, because pulling my hair didn't really hurt. Now, gouging me with their fingernails--in the face---was another story! You survive.

8. You have a lot more sins to tell in confession. "Bless me Father for I have sinned, it's been one week since my last confession. I hit my brothers and sisters 12 times. I lied 3 times. I stole cookies twice." It was important to tell what you stole because stealing cookies from home or candy from a sibling was a "venial sin" while stealing from a store or another person outside your family was a "mortal sin" which meant you'd go directly to hell when you died. There's a difference.

9. Washing dishes alone is terrible and takes 3 hours. We were supposed to work together: set the table, clear the table, put the leftovers away, wash, dry, put away, take out the garbage, wipe everything. We fought so much that my parents made us each take one week and do everything by ourselves. It was bad when it was your turn, but then you had two weeks off. Somehow, those two weeks flew by. It always felt like I was doing dishes. Dishwashers were a God-send. It wasn't until after I married and moved out that the family got one. Of course by then Butch and I lived in a cheap apartment, then on to a rental house, another apartment in West Virginia. I didn't get to stop washing dishes by hand until 1978. Assuming I had to start washing dishes at 5, I hand washed dishes for 21 years.

10. We didn't have much at Christmas, but we never knew it. We got a lot of practical things: socks, underwear, tshirts, pajamas, new crayons (which were broken within two days---see #1 above), and always a big life saver book (In those days, you got 12 packs of lifesavers inside. Now-a-days you only get 8---bummer). We got a few toys and books (always my favorite). But here's the thing, mom wrapped EVERYTHING! With so many in the family, it was amazing to see dozens of presents under the tree. That's why I wrap everything too. You can spread out the gifts to fill the room and make it look like a wonderland! It definitely was at our house!

11. You missed out on the pickles if you weren't around when someone opened the jar. See #4 above. Mom had shelves in the basement where she stored extra food. Beware if you were the one sent down there to get pickles or cherries or crackers. You'd come up with nothing but a jar full of juice or an empty box. Even though we were all in on it, whoever had to reveal the crime got it the worst!

12. If you make a pact with your siblings to confess to our parents all the "wrongs" we'd done (crossing the street, sneaking cookies, saying bad words, playing doctor (the worst) or breaking something)---you better be sure to go first. Too many times as soon as the first one unloaded and we saw the trouble they got in, the rest of us chickened out! Bad for us because the "goodie two shoes" confessor now had all kinds of stuff on us. That's how Ronnie got my Mickey Mouse pencil box I got for my 8th birthday. Blackmail always works in a big family.

13. Your sibling will NOT stick up for you!! If you found yourself in trouble, you were on your own. If you were being blamed for something you didn't do, no one will step up on your behalf. They just stand on the sidelines---happy it's not them in the crosshairs and praying they won't be! On the other hand, if someone outside the family messes with you, the others will jump in.

14. You were on your own when it came to schoolwork. No one would help you. In fact they'd more likely laugh and make fun if you had homework and they didn't! They'd make a point of doing fun stuff without you.

15. You mostly hate your siblings. Sometimes you sorta liked them, but mostly you hated them. Some more than others. Nobody hates the baby. But when you grow up, you love them all! And that's the truth!

Growing up in a big family---I wouldn't have traded it for the world!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What I Buy Wednesday

It's been awhile. I like "what I buy Wednesday" to document what I bought during the year.

We were at Sandy's for Jordan's birthday right before Christmas. We went to the show to see The Disaster Artist. Oh my gosh! It was so good! James Franco was unbelievable. In fact, we were pretty sure he would win an Academy Award for his performance. After winning the Golden Globe, all of the allegations of sexual abuse came out. I doubt he'll even be nominated now. Still, it was a great performance.

The movie is a true story about what is being billed as the worst movie every made.
The Room was financed and produced by Tommy Wiseau. That's him on the cover. The guy himself is a mystery. No one knows where he's from or where he got his money. He's creepy looking and Franco portrayed him perfectly! The movie ran for only two weeks---at Tommy's expense because he wanted it to be considered for an Academy Award (apparently a move has to play at least two weeks for a nomination). The Room has developed a cult following. In fact, it played just last week here for one night. Morgan, Jordan and I wanted to go, but I had theater tickets that night. Instead, I bought it for $10.00. Now we'll have a good excuse to get together to watch it.

I bought a few other things, but they haven't come in, so I'll save them for next week!

What did you buy this week?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tuesday Thoughts about...

...Pecan Pie.

In years past, I've had:
"Monday Mysteries"
"Monday Memos, Mail and Me"
"What I buy Wednesday"
"Five Things Thursday"
"Throwback Thursday"
"Friday Funnies"
"Showtunes Saturdays"
"Storytelling Sunday"

I realized that I've never had anything on Tuesdays. Today,  I'm starting a new meme called "Tuesday Thoughts about..." I'm going to try to share some stories on Tuesdays about something in particular. They will be random with ideas coming from whatever hits me at the time. We shall see how it goes. For today, my"Tuesday Thoughts" are about pecan pie.

My bridge partner, Joan, brought a pecan pie when they joined us for Christmas dinner. It was a nice gesture and we enjoyed some of it. I don't really like pecan pie anymore. That got me to thinking about it.

I grew up in St. Louis. My mom only cooked Italian. I never had pecan pie---nor had I ever heard of it. I'm not sure how it was that my best friend, Reenie and I ever tried it. At the age of 10---yes 10---in the 5th grade, we were allowed to ride the bus to Riverroads Mall. It was one of the nation's first enclosed malls. The only stores I really remember were Stix, Baer and Fuller---a department store which 25 years later was bought out by Dillards---and Woolworths. Woolworths is at the heart of this story.

Reenie and I would have "lunch" in the Steamboat Room at Woolworth's. Our lunch would consist of sharing an order of fries, a medium coke and a piece of pecan pie. Every. Time. I don't remember how we came to try that pecan pie for the first time, but man, I'll never forget it! We had to hold ourselves back from having lunch too early. We couldn't wait to get to that pie. I don't remember what it cost, but I do remember that we were generous tippers of a nickel each!!

It wasn't until we moved to Louisville, KY in 1978 that I discovered Derby Pie. Basically, it's a pecan pie with chocolate chips and bourbon. I made it every year for the Derby parties we had for over 20 years.

Pecan pies were the easiest pies to make---mix a bunch of stuff together, pour in to the pie shell and bake.  It was always rich and gooey with the crispy pecans rising to the top. I think it's because of the ease of making it that has burned me out on it. I made it too much. Now I find it way to rich and sweet for me.

I put Joan's leftover pie in the freezer after Christmas. I got it out yesterday to make room in the freezer. I don't want it. In fact, no one does. The girls all eat healthy these days. It's sitting on the counter. I'll toss it in a couple of days. Maybe Butch will want a final slice. Still, I'm happy about the memories that pie has evoked.

The pie needs to go, but my memory of pecan pie will remain one of my sweetest!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Those Twins!

I grew up with twin sisters. They were two years younger than me. Hate is a rather strong word. But my feeling for them growing up came close!

Today is their birthday. I love them so much! I've come a long way since childhood! Janice and Jennifer---here's to you!!
I can still tell them apart: Jennifer and Janice. Mom said that when they were babies, she had to put an extra diaper pin on one of them to remind herself which one she held while feeding the last time. She had to prop the baby and hold the bottle while she cradled and fed the other.
Jennifer and Janice. I was only two when they came along. I don't really remember anything about them.
Jennifer and Janice.
 Jennifer and Janice---they really look like mirror images here.
 Jennifer and Janice. I guess mom always put Jennifer on the left for formal photos. This is how they still look at each other!
Janice and Jennifer
 Jennifer and Janice (this was Easter--we all got new Easter dresses including hat and purse. We also got a new dress at Christmas, but I don't recall get hats or purses then.)
Janice and Jennifer. This picture was taken in our front yard. You can see that we lived in the "country" of St. Louis. The road in front of our house was paved, but the side street and driveway were gravel.

We loved that no one outside the family could tell them apart. If they didn't know who was who, they just called them "twin."  Janice and Jennifer dressed alike all the time when they were little. I'm not sure when that ended, but they definitely dressed alike through most of grade school. They would still look identical if they wore their hair (and hair color) the same. They don't. 

Happy 64th you two!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Showtunes Saturday

I haven't done a showtunes post in ages. This week, Connie, Nancy and I saw Jersey Boys for the 3 maybe 4th time. I still love it. Who doesn't? Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons just for you:


Friday, January 12, 2018

Birthday Presents

American Eagle---15% off my entire purchase (haven't shopped here in years--it's where I took the girls)
Bonefish Grill---free Bang Bang Shrimp (yum!)
Christopher & Banks---15% off entire purchase (don't need any clothes)
Godiva Chocolates---a free chocolate (don't need it but might get it if I'm at the mall--unlikely)
Honey Baked Ham---the email said have lunch on them for my birthday, but in actuality, I have to buy one lunch to get one free! (not doing it---well, maybe I might)
Lipsense---10% off and free shipping (I'll be placing an order)
Macy's---free shipping on any purchase.
Panera Bread---free bagel every day this month (this might not be related to my birthday, but I'm claiming it!) Then I also got a free birthday pastry. I'm definitely getting these.
Pillsbury Dough Boy---(yes, that's right) 9 birthday treats recipes I can make for myself (I don't think so)
Red Lobster---free Tasting Plate (whatever that is)
Regal Cinema---free small popcorn (which I'll be using today as I see The Commuter)
Scrapbook.com---$5.00 off my next order (certainly don't need any scrapbooking supplies---plus this wouldn't even cover the shipping!)
Starbucks---free food or drink (they only give you two days to get it before it expires)
Sun Glass Hut---$50.00 off a $200.00 purchase (this is actually a good deal if you need sunglasses---which I don't)
Vera Bradley--25% off my entire purchase (don't need anything from VB)

Texts: 23
Emails: 9
Cards: 5
Calls: 3
Instagram posts: 1
Facebook well wishes: Oh my gosh---I can't even begin to count!
Messenger: 4 (I don't really understand this. It's just like a text, so I don't get the difference)
Well wishes at bridge: 8

Gifts: 7 (including those 2 inheritance checks from mom!) and 4 more on the way!
Gift to myself: not making my bed today (actually, I was running a little late due to a long phone call from Sandy)! Yeah, that's my story.
Gift I'm buying myself: That air fryer like I gave Justin for Christmas.
Gift I would love to buy for myself if I could fit in to it:
This adorable Kate Spade dress with little pink Chevy convertibles. It's hard to see, but it has "off we go" written here and there.
Of course I would have to have the matching purse too! OMGosh! I wouldn't care what it cost!! I love Kate Spade! (Trivia: did you know that Kate Spade is the sister-in-law of David Spade? She's married to his older brother.)

So, after I got ready and didn't make my bed, I went to Panera and got my free bagel and birthday pastry. I got the cranberry orange muffin. It was AMAZING!! I have never had a muffin there before and I cannot describe the flavor--okay, I guess it was orange and cranberry! It was just delicious. I also went by Starbucks and got the "snickerdoodle hot chocolate."
OMGosh! It was so good. I only drank half because with each sip, I kept thinking that it had to be a kazillion calories since it was so creamy and good! Plus, if I'm honest, it wasn't tea. When it comes to hot drinks, tea is my first choice. Since it was a free drink, I wanted to try something more expensive! It seemed less like a drink and more like a dessert. After the muffin, I just wasn't hungry.

I played bridge---but it wasn't a good day at the bridge table. We came in about 7th or 8th of 13 teams.

When I got home, I pulled in to the driveway to see Sara (my garden girl) and her son, hauling our gigantic, 125 lb. nutcracker around to the garage. She said that she didn't want me to have to help Butch with it. Then she wished me a happy birthday. Social media!

After a little reading (having a tough time with our book club book--A Gentleman from Moscow--highly rated, but most of us are struggling) and a brief nap, Butch and I went to Home Depot to look at side-by-side refrigerators. He made reservations at the Bonefish Grill. We used our coupon for the Bang Bang Shrimp. I got the sangria as I always do. It's homemade and the best I've ever had anywhere! I ordered the lobster stuffed shrimp with spinach and au gratin potatoes (brought most of that home---too full). We shared the key lime pie for dessert. I'm not a huge key lime pie lover, but I do love theirs. It has a pecan crust. Butch loves key lime pie and even agrees that this is the best ever---anywhere!

Back home, in to my jammies and chilling in front of the tv! It was a  pretty perfect birthday!

Thanks to all for the well wishes! It was a great day!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

It's My Birthday! It's My Birthday!

I started to think about my past birthdays. I don't remember many of them. The earliest one I recall---and probably only because of the pictures---I think I was about 6 or 7. I was sick. We were all around the table and I was in my pajamas. I didn't blow out candles that time. Still, I had a birthday cake. (Side note: 6 of us had birthdays in January and February. We loved having so many birthday cakes!)

Next would be this one:
I'm 8 here. I had my first birthday party with school friends. I got this really cool Mickey Mouse pencil box---you know the one with the snaps and a drawer that contained colored pencils, little ruler, pencil sharpener, scissors and little flag stamps? It looked something like this.
Well, I loved that little pencil box. I think I actually had it for about 5 minutes. My brother, Ronnie liked it too. He blackmailed me. He said if I didn't give him the pencil box, he was going to tell dad all the stuff he had on me. I gave him the box. When my dad asked about it, I told him that I didn't want it and gave it to Ronnie! I'll have to ask him if he remembers that!
Next would be when I was 17. (I'm not 17 here, but it's a good picture of Ronnie and I). He threw me a surprise party. Here's the thing. He told everyone that I liked the Mamas and the Papas. I didn't. I got him back later in the month on his birthday. I told our friends that he liked the Temptations.
He didn't. We traded and all was well.

I remember my 21st birthday because I wanted to go dancing and all the places you had to be 21. I ended up getting mad because it was my birthday and we ended up bar hopping! I never really liked the bar scene.
I'm a little older here, but the next birthday I remember was my 31st. Who gets a surprise party for their 31st birthday? I saw Yentl with my, then, best friend, Caryn. When we got home, I was really surprised! Butch planned it and made all the food. But then he served it in Tupperware rather than my good bowls. Still, it was a great party. Sandy and Stephanie helped him.
These little cuties played a key roll on my 35th birthday. They are 3 here. I was babysitting Mindy's friend, Leigh. They were playing with our cat---Astro. Apparently they were fighting over her---tugging and pulling on her. She got away and let's just say, she had an accident all over the kitchen! As I was on my knees cleaning and retching due to the stench, I was crying, feeling sorry for myself, "I can't believe I'm cleaning up s**t on my birthday!" That was definitely memorable!
And then there was my surprise 40th birthday party that Connie threw for me. All of our friends were there and we played games all night!

I've had plenty of birthday celebrations and many great gifts. But these are the ones that stand out in my mind!

What birthdays do you remember?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Few Things

This little guy is just starting pre-school. Ever since his brother, Travis, started kindergarten, he's been at loose ends. He asks all day if they can go to the bus stop. Nathan misses him! Now it's his turn.
Word has it that he liked his first day more than he let on!
OMGosh y'all! I got this for Christmas (upon Stephanie's recommendation) and I love it! It's a steam cleaner for your floors---even hardwood. Personally, I don't think my floors have been perfectly clean since 1985---when I used to do them myself on my hands and knees. In my opinion, that's the only way to clean a floor. Unfortunately, hired help doesn't agree! With this, I feel like my floors are really clean. I will say, the pad wasn't too dirty when Butch did it the first time. Still, there's just a level of satisfaction to me to know my floors are really clean!
So, Ive been visiting this Italian store in Cottleville, MO often when I go to St. Louis. Now that Jeanne's moved, it's pretty far away. While visiting Chris (who also just moved---really far out!!!), we found out there was this one about 10 minutes from her house in Wentzville. I brought home provel cheese (only found in St. Louis), Italian bread--like only St. Louis knows how to make it and olive salad. 

Stephanie asked for Legos for Christmas. When I found this one I HAD to get it for her! My girls didn't play with Legos growing up---I think they were for boys back then. Now everyone loves them.
 Turns out, she was very selfish with it and wouldn't let Nicky help!
The girls bought Butch this Patagonia fleece with trout all over it. I sent this picture to them so they could see he likes it!
 OH NO! Can it be true?? I was sure this was a love for the ages!
I had no idea that Episcopals were related to the Catholics! I guess that means the Potters are family! Oh wait, they are! Okay, I had to look it up. Episcopal means bishop. This is the reply card to our new bishop's ordination. Butch will be going without me. I'll be in St. Louis for my brother, Ronnie's 65th birthday.
 We got Justin an air fryer for Christmas. He and Mindy said it's amazing.
 I don't understand it--how does it fry with air? Here's the product description:
Air is the new oil, and now with the Philips Airfryer you can fry more healthfully with up to 75%* less fat. 
With the Philips Airfryer you can fry your favorite foods with a tablespoon of oil or less. The unique and patented starfish design circulates hot air around the entire unit, ensuring all food is cooked evenly. Food comes out crispy on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside.
More importantly, does the food really taste fried? Mindy said this chicken and zucchini did! I'm skeptical. I'll have to taste it for myself. If it does, I'll be getting one for the new kitchen! But I have to admit---66% of 900 reviewers gave it 5 stars! This review alone has sold me!
"I purchased this air fryer because Gordon Ramsay endorses this model. It arrived and at first I was a little intimidated by it then I thought I'll start with potatoes. I used some gold potatoes I had at home for baking and cut them into identical sized French fries, soaked them in water for 30 minutes before air frying, sprayed the basket with cooking spray, placed the soaked potatoes in the air fryer and 22 minutes later had the best French fries of my life!!!"
These were obviously meant for me. Maybe if I use that air fryer these jeans can become a reality!