Monday, September 30, 2019

Mitchell on Monday

Well, it's been a busy week for Mitchell. He started the week not feeling well. But he was excited that it was going to be his last week running his company's shuttle bus operation. He had already trained his replacement. He was excited to be applying for a new position within the company.

Mitchell said he felt like crap at the interview but knew the had "killed" it!! They told him that he would here within the next couple days whether he had gotten the job or not. It turned out as he was on his way home, he got the call that they had picked him for the new position. He's very excited to be managing the garage of the company's biggest client. They told him it would be a lot of "keeping the client happy." He's up for the challenge.

Along with the promotion, came a nice raise. He's really pumped. There's only one problem---he has to finish out this week with the buses. He's pretty bored with that, but now there's a definite end in sight.

Sandy and family came in for the weekend. Mitchell had plenty of stories to share. The weekend was all about him anyway as we were celebrating his birthday early. Saturday was a pool day--we're breaking all kinds of heat records. We broke the record for the most days over 90 in September with 20. By the end of the month, we very well could reach 24.

Mitchell had picked The Palm for his birthday dinner. The plan was to play games afterwards. Since dinner was nearly 3 hours, we were all too tired after a full day in the sun!
 I didn't take any pictures, so there's just a couple. This was Titan's first visit. He was the perfect little houseguest (more on that later),
 Elizabeth, my baby---is not a baby anymore!! She's taller than me! Mitchell was across from me so we didn't get a picture together. I need to make that a priority!
Oh, and lastly, looks like he got the memo about the dishes!!! I guess if he brings them down once a week that'll do! Mitchell, Mitchell, Mitchell....

Saturday, September 28, 2019

You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!

Remember how I said that from now on, whenever I have trouble opening something I'm going to contact the company? Well I've finally "had it" with opening the twist off tops of Coke bottles. 

I sent the Coke company this email:

I'm writing on behalf of all seniors! I am a very active 67 yr old female--not feeble in any way. Recently, I am finding that about half the bottles in a 6 pack are nearly impossible to open. I have to enlist my husband who also has trouble. We can't understand why some of the bottles are easy to open while others are nearly impossible. I'm a recent Coke convert---for about 3 years. Prior to that I only drank Pepsi. If I continue to have trouble opening the plastic bottles, I might have to go back! 

A few days later, I got this response:

Thank you for contacting The Coca-Cola Company.  We appreciate your loyalty to Coke and are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Thank you for taking time to bring this to our attention.
We are very interested in this unusual situation and would like to obtain additional information, so we can provide a complete report to the appropriate management.  We would like to request the following:

•  The date you purchased the product and the date the incident occurred;
•  Whether or not you still have the bottle;
•  The name, street address, city, state, and zip code of the store where you purchased the product;
•  The number of ounces contained in the bottle and the type of packaging (for example, 20-ounce plastic bottle)
•  The number of bottles affected;
•  The complete date code (similar to NOV2713XPE12:13CT225) located near the neck of the bottle.
Please feel free to reply directly to this message with the information and you should expect a response soon.  We do ask that you hold on to the packaging until you hear from our representative.
Please include the following reference number in the subject line: {ticketno:[8008533311]}
We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to hearing from you again.

You have got to be kidding me!! 

Seriously!! That is a ridiculous response. What I expected was to be informed that my email would be passed along to the packaging department. I thought they might try to figure out why the bottles have to be so "tight" or make an adjustment to the machine. 

This is how I read their response:

"Thank you for contacting us. Although we appreciate your loyalty, we really don't give a s**t! However, if you want to spend two hours gathering all of the following information, we'll be happy to  send it on to whoever might be willing to take a look at it---which basically means no one. We appreciate your cooperation, but don't really think we'll be hearing from you again!"

Oh were they wrong. This is what I sent in response:

You have got to be kidding me! Did you even read my email? All I expected from you was that you might have someone in production look at the adjustments on the machine that does the screw tops or something. I guess this just means that it will always be a gamble as to whether I’ll be able to open the twist offs or not. Apparently this is not something that Coke cares about. It seemed simple enough to me. You do not have to bother to respond. I already "get it."

The End.

On the other hand, I received this from a company that knows how to handle customers. You can read about that experience here.
Although I am not sending emails to "get" something, it's sure nice when you do! Just shows that some companies really care about their customers.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

What I Buy Wednesdays

Well, this post isn't about what I bought this week. I made a few purchases, but I'll post them next week. Today, I want to focus on a Big Boy and his new toy!

Greg just bought his very first new car. Prior to this, he's always had used cars or hand-me-downs. He wanted this car---badly. He thought about it a long time. Suddenly they started having car problems with both of their current cars. That prompted him to go for it. 
 It's a Dodge Charger---race car!

It looks good. Exactly like a car a teen would dream about. I don't think that goes away with boys no matter how old they get! The funny part about this is that they live in Atlanta. He's dying to open it up. It's going to be kinda hard with Atlanta traffic when the fastest you can ever go is 45 mph!! 

He picked the car up last Friday. Later they were taking Elizabeth to her high school football game. She accidentally spilled her ice cream down the back. Greg was freaking out! Not even 2 hours old. (Now this is when I would have cried, "I can't have anything nice!"). I'm sure he said many expletives under his breath. Of course, Elizabeth was contrite as Sandy scrambled for napkins and kleenexes in her purse!!

A little later, it started to rain, causing Greg further anguish. Rain on his shiny, bright new car. They hadn't had any rain in over two weeks!! But now.... Next, the unthinkable happened! Hail!!! That caused Greg to go in to downright convulsions! 

Just when you think it couldn't get any worse, he realized that he was not going to be able to park the new car in the garage. After their recent move, the garage was a mess---full of boxes that need to be stored along with furniture that is for Mitchell. It's just been too hot to work out there.

The next day, this happened.
I guess there's nothing like getting a new car to motivate you to clean out your garage!!

Have fun, Greg with that new car! Be careful out there!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Tuesday Thoughts About....

...blogging. I've been blogging for 13 years now. It's hard to believe. In that time, I've written 2,276 posts. During that time I've had 345,009 page views from all around the world. Views from every state and countries including Germany, France, UK, Russia, Canada, Indonesia, Portugal, South Korea and Turkey. Honestly, I'd have to look on a map to know exactly where some of those places are. Geography is not my strongpoint. I've even had the opportunity to meet a few of my "blog" friends. I fellow many of their blogs too.

The stats on my blog gives me a lot of information---the percentage of people who are using a computer, iPad or phone. They tell me what OS they are using and what internet service. I don't really know why I need to know all that. And, really, I never look at it. I did it just today for this post. Still, it's interesting.

I have 30 followers. Considering I have around 150 page views a day, that number must be much higher. Those 30 are just the ones who've "signed up." I'm guilty of that myself. I follow over 200 blogs, but probably have only actually "followed" a handful on an individual blog. I use a blog reader that lets me know when one of the blogs I follow has a new post. I would never have the time to check 200 blogs a day.

My stats are really quite low for a blogger. I never wanted to monetize my blog. In fact there are a few blogs I follow that have so many pop-ups and ads that I'm about ready to drop them. It's just so frustrating to not be able to actually read the blog for all the crap in the way. Of course the "big" blogs probably make a lot of money that way. That was never a goal of mine.

I blog because...well, my reasons have been the same all these years. I do it to let family and friends know what's going on with us. I do it because I love to write. I do it because I love to tell a story. I do it because it's just another form of scrapbooking. In do it for the memories. I do it because I want to remember everything! I do it because I love it. It takes a lot of time. A lot. But what the heck---I have the time for it---most of the time.

So, I guess I'll keep at it.

In the meantime, you can read this post from 2007.  Why I Blog

Nothing much has changed. Except, those little girls have grown up. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to be able to go back, and read about all the little things that went on back then. I would never have remembered if I hadn't written it down.

And, that's why I blog. And those are my Tuesday thoughts about it.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Mitchell on Monday

Well, now that Mitchell made the comment about us having dollhouse food, I have suddenly become aware of what he's talking about. I'm starting to see our food through his eyes.

One night we had tacos for dinner. Mitchell asked for some Tobasco sauce. What we had was old, so Butch got a new bottle out.
Mitchell didn't say a word, but he used an entire bottle! I guess we're going to need to stock up!
Later he told Morgan about the teeny doll house size bottle!

On Thursday night, Morgan came over for dinner. I made bourbon pecan pork tenderloin, mashed sweet potatoes, asparagus, applesauce and Sister Shubert rolls. I had this for dessert.
Mini eclairs. I ALWAYS get the mini. I like to have them in the freezer. But, now I'm really getting what Mitchell is saying. Dollhouse food!
I'm even seeing my own food through his eyes. For lunch I had a lettuce and tomato sandwich. If I had served that to Mitchell, he'd want to know "where's the meat!" I told him about it and he couldn't fathom a sandwich without meat.

So, since I'm seeing things through Mitchell's eyes with all this "dollhouse food" talk, what about this?
Yes, by his own choice---he wants "baby" Goldfish---not the regular size, "baby."

The night prior to leaving for St. Louis, I made Tuscan chicken for dinner. I had to enlist Mitchell's help in opening the balsamic vinegar bottles.
He didn't say anything. I guess he's used to dollhouse size by now!

And then there's this:
Mitchell's family pooch! Now that's a dollhouse dog if I've ever seen one! That's why they named him Titan---give a little dog a big name! He is darn cute!

I guess I just like little things.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Stitching on Saturday

Well, I'm happy to say that I picked up my needlepoint from the framer's.
 This was so much fun to do. I loved every minute of it---even all the beading.
 I actually love beading, but it's very time consuming. All of the oranges are beaded in three different patterns. There are beads on the acorn caps. I really like when the stitch guides call for different stitches for the same thing---like the pumpkins---each different. And the leaves---three different stitch suggestions leaving it to your own discretion. I liked doing all of the stitches. Sandy might be getting this one. I'm giving her the choice between this one and this one:
Lots of beading here too: the entire tree, snowflakes and the dangling ornaments. They are both about the same size--about 24" tall by 14" wide. Although as we all know, size matters!---it doesn't matter to me when I'm stitching. If I love it, the size does not scare me!
I also picked this up from the framer too. Sandy did this counted cross stitch before Mitchell was born---24 years ago. We just changed out the mats to go better with her new house. It's beautiful and huge!
 You might remember the project I had next in line. Well, I'm working on it now.
The stitch guide had the entire scull beaded. Here it is halfway. I actually finished the whole thing. It took a week just for the beading. I decided that I didn't like it and took all the beads out! That took a whole evening. There's nothing worse than taking out. You keep thinking of all the wasted time. Plus, taking out stitched areas is very tedious. Beads aren't too hard to take out. Still, that many took quite a while.
I restitched the skull using a square stitch which leaves a hole in the middle. I only beaded the eye holes and used black beads rather than the recommended clear. I like the whole thing a lot better. It just looks more realistic to me.
Here's where I am so far. The entire frame is done as well as the black background. The eyeball is not done but everything else is up to the book I'm stitching now. The title is "Black Magic" which isn't showing up so well. I'm going to outline the letters in black and hope that does the trick.

Since we were going to be traveling, I asked the girls if they had anything they needed finishing. They both gave me something, so I'll work on them for awhile. I don't like to take large projects on the road. Small things are easier to deal with.

Well, I guess that brings you up-to-date on my stitching progress. I can't wait to scope out my next project!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Crazy Dreams

I don't know about you, but if I sleep too much, I have crazy dreams. I usually get up anywhere between 5 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. Here's the thing. If I wake up---say even 4:45--and instead of just getting up, I go back to sleep, I'll have a crazy dream. Actually, mostly nightmares. I don't know why. It's weird. And, it has no bearing on what time I go to bed at night. Between 5 and 6 is my normal wake up time.

Sometimes on weekends, I like to wake up, stay in bed and read and then go back to sleep. Same thing---a bad dream. This story is not about a nightmare.

Well today (it's Sunday) it was a crazy dream. I dreamt about our house. I dreamt that when we bought the house 24 years ago, there was a doorway upstairs that lead to several more rooms. I've had  that dream before but in those dreams, that door lead to more bathrooms. We have six for real, so that dream was about cleaning more bathrooms---even though I don't have to do my own cleaning.

In this dream, I knew about the rooms when we bought the house, but never needed them, so never went in there. I got the idea that I was going to go in there because I couldn't remember anything about them. I knew that I had decorated them when we moved in, but didn't remember a single thing about them. I recalled that it was basically like an apartment---another living room, dining, kitchen, 2 BR and a bathroom.

Everything happened all at once. I opened the door and there were tons of people---a party was going on. My girls yelled "Surprise, mom! It's a tea party!" I couldn't have been more surprised! There's nothing I like better than a tea party.

There was one problem. They didn't know how to make tea. I started scrambling around to find teapots and tea cups. I was overwhelmed as the number of people kept growing. People I hadn't seen in years. People from old neighborhoods. People I went to school with. I was trying to remain calm as I made tea for all of them, filling sugar bowls, creamers---worrying about what I was going to do about tea foods. People were talking to me and I couldn't think. I was stressed for sure.

Then the dream abruptly changed. I was ready to open the door again. This time, all was quiet. I started roaming around and looking at everything. I stepped on to an extremely soft, pristinely clean, hideous, extra long, harvest gold shag carpet. I started to get excited because I knew I was going to re-decorate this space. I do love that!

I continued through the rooms. There was a closed bedroom door. When I opened that one, there was a person on life support in there. I tried to see if I knew the person, but I didn't. I silently backed out of the room. A nurse greeted me---cheerfully, I might add---not like I was in trouble. I asked what was going on. She said that she was from Hospice and they'd been there for over a year. What?? I was really confused. My first thought was, "Who gave permission?" And second, "Why weren't we being paid?"

Those were my last dream thoughts as I heard the "real-life" unloading of the dishwasher. Butch and I unload it together. Wherever we are in the house, whenever someone starts, the other shows up to help. Pavlov's dogs for sure.

Anyway, I want to know what my dreams mean. Anyone??

If I were to analyze them for myself, I'd say the tea party one means that I'm stressed about something. I know exactly what that is. I'm worrying about food for Mitchell too much. I have food on the brain all the time.

I'm not so sure about the one about Hospice. That could mean several things.
1. Since we've decided to stay put and not move, that could be the future---way, way in the future.
2. Or we need to take on a boarder to cover the utility bills! (Oh wait, we already have one! We just don't make him pay!)
3. I just want to redecorate.

I'm going with #3.

And lastly, I had a dream another day that was really nice about all the dogs I know. That prompted me to text Morgan and Sandy and let them know that from now on, they can bring their dogs when the come here. I'm sure they thought THEY were dreaming! Goes to show that dreams can come true! Or, I'm getting soft in my old age.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

What I Buy Wednesday

I only bought one thing this week.
I got myself the Apple AirPods.

I decided I need them to be able to listen to audio books. I first asked Mindy what she used. She and Justin have something they love, but is more expensive than the Apple ones. Then I talked to Mitchell. He has the AirPods and loves them. Since they were cheaper, I decided to stick with Apple. I'm a loyalist of all things Apple!

But, here's the thing. After buying them, I realize that I do not like listening to audio books. I don't like being read to. I don't like the reader's voice or inflections. I have not liked a single book I've listened to. Somehow, when it's read out loud, the book seems pointless and trite. Even Stephen King's books. I just need to read on my own. So, there's that.

Luckily, Mitchell has introduced me to pod casts. He recommended Hard Core History. I've already enjoyed one while driving to Metropolis for court. I have another picked out for Butch and I on our St. Louis trip this week. Of course I won't need my AirPods for that since we'll be listening in the car.

They will come in handy for walking on the treadmill. Pretty soon, when the temperatures cool down, I'll take them on the road!!

Between podcasts---including some interesting Ted Talks I have on my list and music---the AirPods
will come in handy for sure!

That's it for this week.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Travel Tuesday

Okeedokee---here we go!

I had my day in court. It started with me getting up at 4 a.m. I left at 4:30 for the 3 1/2 hour drive to Metropolis, IL. It ended up taking me only 2 hours and 45 minutes (no, I wasn't speeding---just miscalculated). I listened to a podcast recommended by Mitchell---Hardcore History. I picked the one called Painfotainment. It really helped pass the time.

I also talked to Sandy for about an hour. Her being in the Eastern time zone really helps as I can call her at 6 a.m. since it was 7 a.m. her time. Oh, and by the way---there was a lot of traffic that early in the morning. A lot! I couldn't believe it. Unlike the early Sunday morning when I actually got the ticket when there was no traffic whatsoever!

I got to the courthouse an hour and 15 minutes before my time. At 8 a.m. I got off the phone with Sandy. There was no one there which I thought was odd. I walked up to the door only to find a sign that said "this is not an entrance." I walked around to another door. The sign there said, "court has been moved to 515 Market Street." Thank goodness for Siri. It's a little town. I could have walked to the new location.

There was no chance of missing it as when I rounded the corner, there were at least a hundred people in line! OMGosh! I parked down the street at the back of the building. As I walked up a woman told me that you have to leave your phone in the car. As I walked back to the car, I thought, "Oh great! Now I can't read while I'm waiting for my name to be called." After I dropped off the phone and walked back, I realized that I wanted to take a picture of the line. By then, it was growing. I decided not to go back to the car to get my phone, walk back to take the picture and then walk back to the car again. Still, I'm sorry to not have evidence of how many people were there.

I had to walk through a metal detector---which I set off. I was sure it was due to my bracelets---I asked before walking through if I needed to take them off. The guy just sent me on my way. What's the point of having the metal detectors?

When I got downstairs, I was shocked at how many people were already there. ALL of the seats appeared to be taken and the walls were lined with people standing. I found a single seat in the middle of the 4th row. I started counting (my obsessive tendencies require it). My best guess is that there were about 200 people there---8 rows of 15 chairs and another 80 or so standing around.

A guy in military fatigues in the front row, stood up and turned around. He said, "How many of you have a ticket from Officer Baxter?" Just about all of the hands shot up. He then asked,  "Was it mile 34?" Again, most of the hands shot up. Finally, he asked "How many are from out-of-state?" Just about ALL the hands went up. That's when the entire room realized that everyone here had driven from other states to get here.

When court was supposed to begin, a woman got up and said, "If you are here because of a speeding ticket, we have a one time offer for you. If you choose to plead guilty, we'll reduce the ticket to just a speeding ticket rather than speeding in a work zone. Speeding in a work zone is a minimum of $750. If you decide to plead not guilty, you need to wait for the judge. If the judge finds you guilty, this offer is no longer valid. Everyone with a speeding ticket who chooses to plead guilty needs to line up against the left wall. If you choose to plead not guilty, stay seated. Any other tickets line up on the right wall."

OMGosh! Just about the entire room was there for speeding. The line wound all around and out the door and down the hallway. I was about 50 people back, so that wasn't too bad. Of course standing in line for so long, everyone shared their story. One couple was from southern FL and took 3 days getting up here. Others from Texas, Mexico, St. Louis, Michigan and North Carolina. The couple right next to me, a mother and her 16 year old son drove 13 hours from Wisconsin somewhere. Their story was unbelievable. They had driven to TN because her parents were giving their 16 yr. old grandson a car for his birthday. They were driving the car back---him following her. She got pulled over, so the son pulled over too. The officer told the son to go on. She kept saying, "he's my son, he's with me!" The officer kept yelling at them both and the boy didn't know what to do. So the jerk cop gave them BOTH a ticket!

Every single person said there were never any workers in the work zone. In their states, you don't have to slow down unless workers are present. That led everyone to speculate that this was just a trap.  I don't know the laws in TN about that. I actually slowed down. But according to the cop, apparently I was too late.

Anyway, to quicken the pace of this story, I stood in line for about an hour. When it was my turn, I plead guilty, paid my fine and got out of there. As I was heading to the highway, all of a sudden, my heart stopped. There was a cop behind me in an unmarked car that put his lights on. I was like---"what the ....!" I know I was not speeding. I pulled into a car sales lot and the cop went right on by.
After calming down and cleaning out my drawers, I headed home.

It was a crappy way to spend the day. I'm glad it's over. By my best calculation, Metropolis made about 75K in one day. Seems to me that should cover the cost of whatever construction they are doing (but not actually doing).

Oh, and the woman with the 16 year old boy---they were nice enough to dismiss his ticket. At least that was one good outcome for the day. Well, except they still had a 13 hour drive home! She didn't want him to miss any more school.

FACT: They absolutely do not allow anyone to pay online! You have to appear in person.

That's ridiculous. Once you learn you really have no recourse, what makes the difference whether you pay online or not? Oh yeah, they couldn't get court costs out of you! It's all about the money. Always!

Oh and did you know that speeding in a work zone is a misdemeanor? I learned a lot that day. I always say I like to learn. But, not that way!

While you are reading this, we will be on our way back to St. Louis for a family wedding on Friday. Prior to that, we're doing Route 66 from St. Louis to Chicago. You'll hear all about it next week.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Mitchell on Monday

Well, in my mind, I blamed Mitchell for something, so I need to fess up! 

The story starts all the way back on Mother's Day when Mindy gave me some pecan butter along with some preserves from Fortnum and Mason (my favorite store because of the tea room in London). She knew I had never tried anything but regular peanut butter---which I love. 

Peanut butter is a staple in my diet. I'd say I eat peanut butter at least 4-5 times a week. Crunchy, please. For breakfast, I'll have it on toasted grainy bread or an English muffin. Sometimes I'll top it with bananas--but only for breakfast. No jelly at breakfast either. For lunch or dinner I'll either have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread with kettle chips on the side along with a glass of milk, or, if the bread is stale, I'll have two slices toasted with jelly and a glass of milk---but no chips. I'm very particular about my bread. I want it to be really soft. Since we've discovered Sara Lee Butter Bread, it's always soft. And, apparently, I'm really particular about my peanut butter habits. I never really realized that until I'm reporting it here.

Gosh, I really am particular about things. Anyway, you get the idea-- I eat a lot of peanut butter. After having the pecan butter, I decided to try almond butter. Pricey, but I'm worth it---or so I thought! I had it exactly once and really liked it. Then, all of a sudden, it disappeared.

This is where Mitchell comes in. Remember how I keep saying that he EATS SO MUCH? Well, I figured he ate it. And I don't even care about that. He can eat whatever he wants. But an entire jar in less than a week? I looked all around the pantry thinking it had been misplaced. It was gone, so he must have eaten it. 

Last weekend when Mitchell was out-of-town, I don't even know what made me mention it to Butch. He said, "oh, I threw that out. It was gross. All separated and oily." OMGosh! He threw a brand new jar of almond butter out! Oh well, I'll get another jar soon---when I manage to save up some money! Only kidding, it's not that bad. And, I'm still worth it.

So, I owe Mitchell a big apology for jumping to a conclusion that if it's food and it's missing, he must have eaten it. Even if there's been plenty of evidence to corroborate this. 

Oh, and I had the conversation about the dishes he's been leaving upstairs. I just said, "by the way, when you take dishes and glasses upstairs, but sure to bring them back down." He gave me a sheepish grin and said, "I know I'm bad about that!" That boy can melt my heart. I almost said, "oh never mind you darling boy. I'll just go upstairs everyday and carry them down for you." Almost...luckily I didn't! I'm not that crazy! 

Since he's been reminded about the dishes, I have a back-up plan if he "forgets." My girls can attest to this. I'll just inconvenience him. It always worked with Sandy, Stephanie and Mindy (well maybe not Mindy so much. After all, she was my darling "baby!") Some night, I'll call him down for dinner, then say, "Oh gosh, we don't have a plate for you! I guess you'll have to go to your room and get one and then wash and dry it before you can have supper." 

Yeah, that'll do it. 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Family Fun

We try to get together every Friday for "happy hour" and sometimes that includes dinner. But I'd say it averages twice a month---especially in summer with everyone's travel plans. Plus, we get together on the weekend whenever we can to float in the pool and barbecue. We have the occasional dinner out. Then there are Titan's games that give us an excuse to get together now and then. But we don't usually have anything "big" planned.

Mindy came across---what sounded like a fun family activity, so we all were on board. She bought the tickets and the plans were made. We were going to Hotel Indigo for a cajun dinner and dueling pianos.

The arrangements were made the night before. Morgan---who lives downtown was going to meet us there. Mitchell---who works downtown was just going to stay down there and meet us. Butch and I were picking up Nicky and Stephanie at 5 p.m. and then Mindy around 5:15. Plans set. We are a family of planners---nothing is left to chance. We've got it. Organized to the last detail. Always!

Here's how it actually went down. Mitchell came home from work---not much after noon. (I've been teasing him that he's getting paid a lot for a part time job!) We were planning to take the Enclave that would hold 7 of us so I could drive everyone home---we had plenty of room. I told Mitchell that we were leaving the house at 4:40 to get Steph & Nicky. About 3:45, he came down and was messing with his phone. He said that he was picking up Morgan. What? Now the plans are starting to go awry. I questioned him---"why are you taking your car back down? Why is she just not meeting us down there as planned?"

I started firing off the questions. He didn't really have any answers other than she was dropping Walter (her dog) off at a friends. "Oh," I said, "her friend in Bellvue?" He responds, "yeah. She said if I picked her up she'd buy me a drink." I then started asking more questions, "is she planning on spending the night there? Is she coming back here? Or, am I dropping her off at her apartment?"

Mitchell said he didn't know. He just agreed for the free drink. To which I told him that for what he'd waste in gas, he could have paid for his own drink! I told him he didn't do a very good job of getting details. He said, "grammy, don't tell Morgan this, but I don't really care!" That sums up Mitchell right there!!! He's just laid back.

By this time, it's 4 p.m. Butch prompted him to get moving since we were leaving at 4:40---SHARP! The plan was set in stone! Off he went. 4:35 they're not here. 4:40 they're not here. 4:41 they're not here. You get the picture. We were pacing. Butch was starting to "wig." At 4:45 we get a message that they are "almost" here. You know what that means. They had just left!

At 4:50, we walked out to the car. A minute later, Mitchell and Morgan pulled in. Mitchell says, "perfect timing!" I replied, "not really, we were just leaving without you!" Butch was---let's see, how can I put this---TENSE! But at least we were "off!" Until we got behind every slow driver, every driver that was on their cell phone, every driver that would not turn when they had the chance, every driver that went so slow we missed every light and every driver that had no idea where they were going! Typical ride anywhere in Nashville.

Actually, we were only about 5 minutes late getting Steph & Nicky. The "thing" we were going to didn't even start until 6 p.m. But, with downtown traffic and the fact that we had 7 people, we weren't sure whether we'd have a reserved table. We wanted to make sure that we could all sit together.

We needn't have worried. We were the first ones there. One table set for seven was obviously ours!! We went to the bar and had a drink. Butch started to chill after the stressful start to our evening.

After that, it was just pure fun. The food was delicious. Every possible cajun dish you can think of:
barbecued shrimp
salad with green and black olives, tomatoes, eggs, cheese and a cajun style ranch dressing
cajun pasta salad
crawfish ettouffe
maque choux
grilled oysters
seafood gumbo
muffaltta sandwiches
praline bacon
And then the desserts: pralines, bourbon pecan pie, white chocolate bread pudding and bananas foster

There were hardly any people there---about 20 counting us! When the dueling pianos started, we took over the room---dancing, partying and just having fun. At one point, I "made" Stephanie give the piano guy $20 to STOP playing a song!! We had a ball. Here are some pictures to prove it!
 This was in the bar prior to the event. The walls are lined with red and orange books. They are for lending. The manager told us it's all and honor system and they have extra books to replace those that are not returned. She said that rarely happens.
As part of the "deal", we each got 3 green coins for drinks. I only had one of mine since I was the designated driver.
 They offered hurricanes and hand grenades. I really like hand grenades and can't even tell you what's in it. Those got me in trouble years ago when Pam, Anna, Lauren and I went down to New Orleans to meet Mindy for Spring Break. Ahhh, but that's another story.
 I gave one of my drink coins to Butch and the other to Nicky.
 We danced. There was one other lady who danced with us---in fact, she's the one that got us going. Later, one other gal joined us.
 We really loved having the place nearly to ourselves. The guys definitely played to us and our requests. But Butch made the point that it was kind of sad for "Felix and Fingers" as they also work for tips. At least the Eads family did their fair share in that department.
We had such a good time that we're already thinking about the next one. They are doing a Beatles night in about a month. Mindy is in charge of getting all the details. This time we're going to try to convince Sandy and Greg to come in for it.

We closed the place down at 10 p.m. We haven't partied for 4 hours in a long time. In fact, Stephanie, Nicky, Mitchell and Morgan continued the party downtown. I would have liked to join them, but I was the DD and Butch wanted to go home. Same for Mindy because Justin was going to be getting home from work.

This was a great way to spend a Friday night. We all had so much fun. But then, we always do when we're together.

Now, if we can just get the "young ones" to take the timeline a little more seriously!!

Saturday, September 14, 2019


Just thought I'd share a few outside things today. The last picture is going to freak you out. I can barely look at it myself. You've been warned!

 My "everlasting hydrangeas" were gorgeous this year. As beautiful as they are at first, they bloom sporadically throughout the summer. But, never all at once like this. I just love all the shades together.

I already showed the photo from my kitchen sink looking out. Here's the outside view. This is my favorite from all 24 years of living here. I'm going to remember this for next year. Plus, we bought larger plants to begin with and didn't have to wait all summer for them to be lush and full.

 I stepped out of the shower one day and found this guy staring at me! At first I was startled.
 He must have liked what he saw, because he followed me to the sink.

Actually, I was surprised that he did not scare. I got to see him really up close. I hate squirrels. They destroy the garden, dig up flowers, eat bulbs, empty the bird feeders and look exactly like rats with a bushy tail! And we have tons of squirrels.

Stephanie and Nicky invited us over last Sunday for the first Titan's football game. I snapped some shots outside.
 They have a nice covered porch that they fully decorated this year. I love everything about it!
She kept talking about party lights. I never understood what she wanted. Now I get it and I love them! Also, I love fans on porches. When we re-did our front porch, I completely forgot to have one installed. It's too late now. I'll have to wait until the ceiling needs to be re-done--which will probably be never! Besides moving some air, they keep the mosquitoes away. That's the best!

They've added a fire pit rather than a coffee table. This is pretty brilliant since there actually is room to set glasses and a cheese plate!
I just love everything about it. The porch is so pretty and inviting. Now I'm just waiting to be invited! I want to see those party lights at night. It will be fire pit season soon!

And then there's this at Stephanie's. The tree in the foreground---yes, that little dinky one---was planted the exact same time as the full one in the neighbor's yard in the background. They are the exact same trees and were the same size when planted. They get the same amount of sun. Butch and I went over in the spring and fertilized it. It's not much better than it was. It has to be a drainage situation.

Okay, here it comes. I warned you!
Is this freaky or what? This "frake" or "snog" was sighted in my cousin, Chrissy's garden. Obviously it's a snake eating a frog. I'm pretty surprised it got the frog. Eeek! I can't stand to look at it while at the same time, I can't take my eyes off it! I hate it. HATE it!

What an awful note to end on. I can't leave it like this. So here's something else.
Another plant from cuttings. They are so easy to grow in just water. Plus they can tolerate low light. I give them to the girls. When I do a trimming, I get at least two like this.

Okay, so that's a better place to quit.