Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The trouble with subscription television...

...it's not like the old days when you just had to have a tv and turn it on. Now-a-days, you need all kinds of fancy equipment and a subscription service to get anything worthwhile. I know this for a FACT!

 I have a tv upstairs that is not connected to a satellite or cable. I get exactly 4 channels---2-1; 2-2; 8-1; 8-2. So, that works for me because the "2's" are ABC. the "8's" are PBS. That works for me because it's in my scrapbook room.

But for all of our other tv's we have Direct TV for which we pay a subscription. We have not had ABC for a month now. When I called to get an adjustment to our bill, they wouldn't talk to me since Butch is the account holder. But, I did discover that Direct TV is also ATT. I don't know which owns who, but they are both the same---when it comes to what they are paying for us to have.

All this to say, that Butch was able to get them to take $15.00 off of this month's bill and $10.00 off every month for the next year. Supposedly, they are going back to the negotiating table on August 8 and the problem should be resolved. If not, we're leaving!!

Just wanted to put this out there for any of you having this same problem. You do have to jump through a lot of hoops to get the discount, but it's worth it in the long run. Why do we have to go through all this hassle? Seems to me that the best customer service they could have is to send an email to ALL customers telling them they are going to give everyone this discount! Now that would be somethin'! A company doing the right thing without us having to go through the hassle!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Friday Funnies

How we "unfriended" before Facebook!

What's Happening'!

It's been awhile since I've done one of these posts. It's always a good standby when there doesn't seem to be anything interesting going on.

Thinking: Whether I'm going to do my grocery shopping this afternoon or wait until the morning. I prefer to shop in the morning, but I really need to start cooking then. Sandy and family will be here tomorrow night for several days. We have a special event planned, so the whole family will be here.

Thankful for: Gel nails. I tried them once years ago. I decided I didn't like them because they ruined my nails. Well, fast forward about 10 years. My nails are still ruined (I guess from the Xolair), so why not? I had nothing to lose. I did the gel nails right before our London trip. Mainly, I wanted my polish to last. My nails were so weak that they started peeling within a couple days of my manicure. The gel nails have allowed me to have nice looking nails again. Shallow, I know, but, whatever....I'm not always deep (okay, rarely).

Cooking: For the family dinner, I'm doing Italian. I haven't made homemade meatballs in awhile. I'm trying to decide if we'll just have spaghetti or if I want to make gnocchis.

Taking: Notes on houses we want to drive buy. Still thinking of moving, but we're too picky and want the exact situation for us. The house can't be farther out than where we are now. It needs to be newer--we already have an old house with old house problems. The girls want another pool--I'm telling myself that a newer pool wouldn't have so many problems. It has to have a nice yard--not ready to have people on top of us. And--here's the big one--the rest of the houses around it have to be nice. With neighborhoods turning over, you might have a brand new house, but everything else around it looks awful! A lot of criteria that will pretty much keep us where we are! On the plus side, our house is worth quite a bit more than we thought!

Wearing: Still in my robe as it's early.

Hoping: That the latest pool problem turns out to be an easy fix and not too expensive. Pools are definitely a money pit!

Planning: To get my grade school friends together again when I'm in St. Louis in August. We'll see. I have a lot to work in during that trip.

Working: I'm on a roll with my stitching. I'm loving what I've been working on lately and can't wait to get back to it. I've been staying up way too late and getting up way too early. I'm obsessed.
Lots of beading, but that really adds to the beauty. Sandy has already called "dibs" but I'm giving her the option of the recent Santa that is currently at the framers.

Reading: Loving this book: Mrs. Everthing by Jennifer Weiner. I'm getting pretty aggravated with the library. It seems that I will just about never be able to get my book club books from there anymore. Both selections for this month have a 6 months waiting list. I guess I'll be back to buying my book club books again. Hate that. I've been spoiled.

Loving: My flowers. They are looking pretty awesome about now. I had no idea that the hibiscus planted at the mailbox last year were perennials.
They look great next to the mandevilla. I call the hibiscus daily flowers because the blooms only last one day. Luckily there are a lot of them!

Watching: Binging Empire and Deadwood. I'm getting a little bored with Deadwood. I tried to start The Romanoffs but couldn't really get in to it. Still watching The Bachelorette---my guilty pleasure. After that, Bachelor in Paradise starts up. Not much to watch during the summer.

Creating: Can't say much is happening in the creative department. I think I'm losing my zest for scrapbooking. I have so many albums. I keep thinking, the "kids" aren't going to want this many. Plus, I think I've told most of the stories I wanted to.

Bumming: That we have not had ABC for 3 weeks now. I'm missing George and Robin---and Kelly and Ryan for sure! It's where I get my news and is the only station we watch live. Everything else is recorded. I tried calling Direct TV. The guy wouldn't talk to me because I am not the account holder. I said to him, "So, let me ask you. Do you seriously think my husband would object to me trying to get an adjustment to our bill?" Still, I got nowhere. This is ridiculous. Pay the friggn' bill on your end and get ABC back!! Otherwise, we'll have to move on.

Hearing: The sound of Mitchell cooking. I'm torn between wanting to do it myself so as to avoid the mess. Don't get me wrong, he cleans up. But not to my---sometimes unreasonable---standards. 

Appreciating: Having that boy around. It's been fun---but then it hasn't even been a week yet. We'll see if he makes the list the next time!

Regretting dreading: That pool bill! On the other hand, if you recall the "dirty water" incident, then you know that we had quite a hefty water bill---a little over $600! I called the water company and they adjusted it down to $252! I was really happy about that---which gave me the oomph to call Direct TV. That knocked the wind out of my sails!

Looking Forward to: Playing bridge today. Once a month just doesn't cut it for me. I miss it. On the other hand, it's not really fun to play with a different partner every week. Still, if that's what I have to do. It's good for the brain.

Weekending: We have a busy one planned. Friday night, family dinner and party. Saturday is a pool day. Sunday a big breakfast and then the new Quentin Tarantino movie--Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. After that we don't have any definite plans. Sandy will be here until Thursday. I'm sure there will a lot of pool time.

That's what's happenin' around here. What's happenin' in your neck of the woods?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Tuesday Thoughts about...


In this day and age of the "me too" movement, it seems that you have to be really careful about how women are portrayed and talked about. Personally, I think perhaps we've gone a little overboard. Don't get me wrong, I believe in empowering women, equal rights and all that jazz, but I'm thinking women have gotten a little too sensitive. I'm not afraid to admit it--- I was flattered if I got whistled at. Heck, if I got whistled at today, I'd probably pay the guy!!! I get it, objectifying women and all, but really---isn't it more of a compliment?

So, mainly my post today is about music. Granted, the songs we enjoyed in the 60's are so politically incorrect these days, that I'm surprised they have not been banned from the radio. Still, I get a kick out of them. Here are a few of my favorites.

That's the way boys are...
Listen to those words. He treats her rough? That would never fly today.

Maybe I know...but what can I do?
There's no way a song today can portray a helpless woman!

I will follow him...
Okay, this is just me, but what's up with her hands? I think she might be wearing gloves, but why? Anyway, the days of following men seem to have come and gone. All I've got to say is that I'm so glad I followed mine!! I have no regrets.

I just want to lighten up, relax, enjoy the music and have a good time scoffing at the lyrics. What about you?

Monday, July 22, 2019

It's Been Awhile

Well, I thought I might get a blog post in on our vacation since it was to be more of a laidback, relaxing trip. But, no, we were on the go constantly. Plus the biggest problem is that the place we had was really too small for 7 adults--even though it was supposed to be for 8.

I normally blog early in the morning. Unfortunately, when I woke up early, there was no place to go. Two people were sleeping in the living area on the sofa sleeper. That meant, I just stayed in bed and read or caught up on my games via my iPad. Anyway, we had a great time. There were 29 of us. We were at the Stillwaters Resort near Branson in the heart of the Ozarks. The layout of the place was perfect! We were all within walking distance of each other.  My favorite thing of the week was the day we rented the pontoon boat. Besides the first and last dinners, that's the only day all 29 of us were together at the same time. We found a nice cove and spent the day floating in the water. I burned a little on my back as I forgot to put sunscreen there. And my lips got sunburned. That had to be from reflected sun as I always wear a hat. I had used sunscreen, but I'm sure it wears off the lips pretty fast. Nothing blistered and I wasn't miserable, so that was good. But, I've never had my lips peel before.

My second favorite day was when I took ALL the"littles"---8 total (two were not so little and one was too little so got left behind) for 4 hours. We had so much fun. I just love kids! We played "Beanboozled"---a really gross game with Jelly Bellies. You spin to get a color you have to eat. For example, if you get lime green, it could be lime or grass clippings. A speckled green might be pear or buggers! The browns were the worst. They were either chocolate pudding or dog food!! OMGosh! It was so gross! Little Harper (age 3)---eyes were watering. I told her to spit it out, but she didn't. Plus, she kept trying to get another turn before it was her turn again. I guess, to her, it was worth the risk to get candy!!

Later that night, Mindy decided that we needed to play. There was only one brown left. I told Nicky that I was pretty sure it had to be chocolate since the kids had gotten all dog food earlier. I was wrong! Poor Nicky!! He had to go brush his teeth. I would have barfed! Oh wait, barf was the light yellow one!!

Anyway I thoroughly enjoyed the kids---I don't get to see them often enough. I want them to grow up thinking that Aunt Barb is "fun"!
Mission accomplished.

While we were away, the adult "grands" had a grand ol time here at our house. After 17 years of being empty nesters, we have a boarder! Our only grandson, Mitchell, has taken his first big boy job here in Nashville. He'll be living with us until he decides what he wants to do---either get an apartment, or relocate with the job. Until then, I'll be cooking again! I only promised him two home cooked meals a week. I'm not ready to jump back in to motherhood! Besides, he doesn't want or need that. At least if I decide I want him gone, I'll know what to do.

I'm doing a good job of not talking to him too much, or asking him too many questions. In fact, last night I made fried pork chops, fried potatoes, peas and applesauce for dinner. Butch and I don't usually eat bread or rolls with our meals. Don't get me wrong, I would just about rather have bread FOR my meal! Just trying to keep things under control as best I can. Anyway, so as not to disturb Mitchell, I texted him to see if he wanted rolls or garlic bread with his dinner. He did, so I don't think he was annoyed by that text. Boys are not chatty like the girls. I don't want to drive him off the first week. Maybe later, but not the first week!!

In the meantime, Morgan is glad to have him in town--as is the rest of the family. This will be a fun time for us. And, I'm pretty sure that will entice Sandy and the rest of her family to come more.

I sent her this picture this morning.
From first day of school pictures, to first day of work picture--he's come a long way--even thought the backpack is still the same! I'm so glad he humored me for this! I love this boy and am looking forward to having him around. At least for now!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Don't you just love it when....

...you pull in to an intersection where once you go through, it goes to one lane and the person on your left guns it because by damn, you are not going to get ahead of him? I have a friend who says this really pisses her off when someone thinks they are going to get ahead of her by settling in to the right lane. I've tried every which way to convince her that having two lanes going through the intersection is to help disperse the traffic. It's perfectly fine---and meant for both lanes to be used! Personally, I use that lane all the time. I always choose the least crowded lane.

Don't you just love it when...
...you get home from the grocery store and there is never anybody around to help you carry the groceries in? Of course with just the two of us, it's bound to happen, but every time! Darn it anyway!!

Don't you just love it when...
...you get somewhere at their opening time and they aren't open? Our Honey Baked Ham store is the worst. It's happened many times. In fact, Stephanie waited almost a half hour on Steeplechase Saturday. She ended up going to the grocery instead. I just wait and fume. Luckily it was just a few minutes today. I don't have time to vary my route and come back. Remember, I live on a timeline! You can click on that to refresh your memory.

Don't you just love it when...
...you are in the middle of a recipe and find that you are missing an ingredient? It happened to me twice while cooking for our family vacation. Remember my multiples problem? Well, that's why I don't usually run out of stuff. But since I'm trying to control that, apparently someone forgot to put things on the list. I started with making Chex Mix. I usually do a triple batch. Well, this time I was only able to do one batch as I ran out of worstershire sauce. I had no idea. If it weren't in a dark bottle, maybe I would have known. And then, when I started making the brownies, I did not have enough vegetable oil. I did have olive oil and olives are a vegetable (I think), so I did the only thing I could---I asked Alexa. She said that it's perfectly fine to use them interchangeably. I guess she would know! We'll see how the brownies turn out. I'll let you know.

Don't you just love it when...
...you're trying to get out-of-town and something throws a major glitch in the plans? You might remember that dirty water filling up the pool a couple weeks ago on the day we were to leave for London. Well, we have another weird thing happening today---we leave tomorrow. There seems to be something in the chimney. I am not opening the doors. All I can think of is when Connie came home to a disgusting odor about 25 years ago. They traced it to the fireplace. Jack jiggled the damper and 6 dead birds fell out!! I guess, we'll wait and see if our house smells when we get home next week. I don't really know what to do at this point anyway.

Don't you just love it when...
...you find something you really like and try to buy it only to discover that it's been discontinued? Just happened to me at Bath and Bodyworks. There was a hand soap that I just loved the smell of---Of course I couldn't get it! Surprisingly, it's on Ebay selling for 30 bucks--and you have to buy 5! I don't think so! I don't love it that much! Well, yes I do, but I can't pay that! Click on that link and see for yourself!

Don't you just love it when...
...you're eating and the servers keep trying to take your plate? We went to the club for dinner with the family. It was one server after another trying to take the plates away. Sometimes you want to keep the salad to go with the rest of your meal! Same with the appetizers. If the plates are empty, I get it. Take it away. But if it has food on it, leave it be.

So, what things are you not loving these days??

Off to Stillwater Resort in the heart of the Ozarks near Branson, MO for our family vacation. There will be 29 of us. It will be wild and crazy and oh, so much fun! I'm taking my computer this time, so just maybe I might squeeze in a post or two!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

There's Something About Moving

Yes, it's a lot of work.
Yes, it's overwhelming.
Yes, it's a hassle.
Yes, it's tiring.
Yes, it's stressful.
And, Yes, it's sad.


It can be joyous.
It can be exciting.
It can be cleansing.
It can be a fresh start.
It can be rewarding.

Moving is ALL of those things!!! In our 48 years, we've moved 8 times. I was excited every time. Now, I could be excited again if we found the perfect situation. Here's what's holding us back:
1. No place to move to--Butch says I'm too picky---and he's right.
2. The "kids" are having a fit that we are considering a move.
3. It's going to be soooo much work. A LOT!

When we moved from our very first apartment, we moved and were completely settled in one day---to the point that we had a poker game at our house that evening! Granted, we ordered pizza, but still! That's when everything we owned could fit in two pickup truckloads! Those days are long gone!

Still, I could get really excited to get a fresh start. Just like Sandy and family. We visited them this past weekend in their new home north of Atlanta. OH, MY GOSH, y'all! I could move right in! The house is gorgeous and NEW!! In fact, we could just move down the street into a new house of our own. But then, all three of the things holding us back above apply.

Instead, I'll live vicariously through Sandy!
They've moved in to a brand new neighborhood in Marietta, GA.
 View when you come in through the front door. The first thing I noticed was all of the walls had rounded corners. I've never seen that before. Love it! Through the windows at the back of the family room is the screened porch.
 The porch has a fireplace and big screen tv!
 The dining room is near the front door. 10 foot ceilings make it seem extra spacious.
Built ins on both sides of the real  fireplace---they've always had the kind of fireplaces that were behind glass doors and you flipped it on with a switch. You can't tell, but behind the shelves is shiplap.
 I love the open concept. The kitchen island is huge too--the kind you have to circle to wipe down!
This is the butler's pantry with shiplap too. Also there's a beverage center that the kids are calling a mini fridge. Sandy said that makes it sound like a college dorm! I love all the white woodwork and cabinetry---and so does Sandy. She's waited a long time for that!
This picture is looking down the hallway to the laundry room and outside door. It's a glass door, hence the glare as the sun shines in.
 I love all the tile throughout the house too.
The master bedroom is on the first floor. This room is huge! They just got a king bed and there's still plenty of room. The full sized sofa is from their old living room. They are not quite sure what they are going to do with it. It fits perfectly and is not crowded at all. I say keep it! One of the kids is going to need it sooner or later.
Master bath. I didn't want to be in the picture, but when you are taking pictures in front of mirrors, there's not a lot you can do about it!
 The other side.
Victoria's room---also on the first floor. Actually, since Victoria is heading off to college, I think I'll be using it more than her. So, let's just call it my room! 
Sandy might want to shoot me for this as the entire house was perfect when we arrived---but I didn't take the pictures then. This is real! This is Elizabeth's room. She offered to make the bed before I took the pictures. But, this is a real teenager's room! All the rooms are huge. She has a queen bed. One thing I especially love is my needlework on the far wall. I made this for the nursery before Mitchell was born. It's been through three babies. Elizabeth has claimed it for her own! Love that.
 Here's where she spends most of her time. She got to pick this out for her new room. While she was still in school in Charlotte, Mitchell and Victoria tortured her by sending them photos of them hanging out in her room and using her chair! Siblings!
Mitchell's temporary room---he's moving to Nashville and living with us for awhile as he starts his big boy, real life, job! I was so impressed that he made his bed on his own!! I asked him about that. He said he made his bed at Clemson almost all the time too! Good boy!! It's a great way to start the day.
 The house has 5 bedrooms. They turned this one in to an office. They don't really need an office, but what the heck. The room looks almost empty. I really can't believe how big these bedrooms are.
 This is the rec room.
 Stephanie and Nicky were there too. She has storage envy for sure!!! There are so many closets and storage everywhere. I love seeing organized and spacious closets. Mine are stuffed to the gill.
This is just one of their attic storage areas--all walk in. They are able to store all of their Christmas stuff on the first floor!! No pull down attic steps and hauling boxes from upstairs. I thought I loved my Christmas closet, but it is upstairs!
 And then you have this guy! Titan has his own suite---in the way of an empty walk in closet!!
It's a mini doggie apartment: starting from the left and going clockwise: bedroom, living room, bathroom and kitchen! Seriously, I want to decorate it.
Titan hanging out in his living room. When we were looking at it, he hurried up and went in---as if we were going to mess with his stuff!!
 Speaking of Titan, have you ever heard of a dog who hates to go for a walk?
He tries to dig in, but due to the slippery floors, he's easy to drag along!! Could it be since the vet says he's a pound overweight that he's too chubby and lazy to walk? Whatever! He mostly gets carried on his walks. Hmmm, that doesn't sound half bad!

Anyway, the house is gorgeous---all new smelling and perfectly organized. I want that!!! Not likely, so I'll just have to visit Sandy--because---well, it's only 3 1/2 hours now!!! So much closer. We're so excited!

There's just something about moving!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

What I Buy Wednesday

Well, it looks like I bought beverages!! I was introduced to Sipsmith Lemon Drizzle gin when I was in London last September. After much aggravation, I finally found out that we could not get it in the US. We can get Sipsmith, but not any of the flavors. So, this time, I was determined to bring a bottle home.

Butch surprised me with the Liverpool Starbucks mug for my collection. We were on our way to the train station and Butch was afraid we wouldn't have time to go to Starbucks. As it turned out, we had plenty of time at the station. He said he was going to browse around. When we were on the train, he surprised me! I couldn't believe he left the station and walked all the way back!

And of course, I always buy tea. From Twinings, I got the London Strand brew. From Fortnum and Mason I got the Queen Anne. I was going to buy some tea from Selfridges, but the only thing they had in their own brand was peach or something. I'm not really in to fruit teas unless they are iced.
I'd say I'm all set for tea for awhile!! Plus, I still have a couple of the "Sip" boxes coming from my Mother's Day gift from Stephanie!

I was pretty busy sightseeing this trip to do any shopping. Really, I don't need anything anyway!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Travel Tuesday

Here was the itinerary--we cram as much as we can in to our vacations--all the things we saw, found or toured--I'm going to break it up as there are almost 500 photos for me to go through and organize--many will be deleted. Certainly, I'll be sharing only a select few!

Thursday: Our flight was late getting in, so we had to modify our plans.

Kensington Palace--we didn't really love this self-guided tour. Low on our list of palaces. We just didn't think it was all that interesting. We did agree, that maybe we're getting sort of tired of touring houses!

Ye Olde Mitre Pub (2nd oldest in London operating continuously since 1546). We stopped here and had a drink. Plus it's a block from the church we had planned to go to for Mass on Sunday.

Walked around Covent Garden
Dinner at Prima Sapori d' Italia--really good Italian food---not fancy at all.

We had breakfast every morning at our hotel. They had a really nice spread with just about everything you could want.
Old entrance to London near St. Pauls and our hotel.

Tyburn Tree marker where most of the hangings took place.

K2 Telephone Booth---first phone booth in the original location

Embassy of Texas marker---way back before Texas was a state, it was a republic and had an embassy in London.

St. James Palace--this is not open to the public, but the park behind it is.

Smallest police station--located in Trafalgar Square. It's kind of sad---they're using it like some sort of janitor's broom closet now. Still, it's pretty cute. It's called the Lilliputian police station.

Twinings---of course I had to buy tea. I asked if they did a commemorative tea for Harry and Megan. They did, but it was sold out soon after the wedding. Instead, I got "The Strand" which is the street that Twinings is located on.

Temple Church

 Great Fire monument at Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market---we had wine and cheese for lunch. One of the cheeses was called "stinky bishop"---and it was. I didn't like it at all. It tasted like dead fish---not that I've ever tasted that, but like dead fish smell! When I asked the waitress what it was called, she asked if I liked it. Since I said that I didn't care for it, she brought us two others of her favorites. They were both good. We enjoyed sitting outside and people watching. We noticed that most of the business men still wear suits. Butch noticed that the older men wore ties, while the younger men wore open collars with their suits. This was fun and we would definitely do it again!

Old London Wall--I wanted to take Butch to the area where last September my friends and I just happened upon the old wall. This is what we found, but it was clearly marked.
 When I was with my friends, we happened upon this.
I tried to find this exact area, but couldn't. I wasn't really sure how far from out hotel we were. Still, I thought it was pretty exciting to just happen upon something so old and significant.

 Down the street from our hotel, we went to the Blackfriars Pub---really old.
 We shared the fish and chips. I really like the mushy peas---just smashed peas.
This is what goes on outside ALL the pubs. These old pubs are really small. So, everyone stands outside with their drinks. It was the most amazing sight to me---all these people standing around--and not just on Friday night---every night!

Okay, I'm going to stop here. Since I am still limping along with my computer, the hardest thing to deal with are pictures. They just don't cooperate. As a result, this post has taken forever. That's why I'm going to break this up in to smaller bits.

Anyway, this was just the first day and a half, so now you know why I was so tired!!!