Thursday, January 30, 2020

Titan's Got a Girlfriend!!!

This past weekend, when Sandy and family were in town, they dropped Titan off with a new dog sitter. She had a Maltese too.
Well, those two really hit it off. Her name is Mimi. Titan is the little guy in the back. He's 8 lbs. and she's 11 lbs. It's amazing the difference 3 lbs. makes! (Same with babies---a 7 lb. baby is tiny compared to a 10 lb. one).
 They got along beautifully---playing the whole time. I know that it's a relief to Sandy that they have a safe, fun, place for him to stay. Still, they can bring him to Nashville any time!
 This is Walter (named after Walter White from Breaking Bad). He's a good boy!
There's just one thing. I absolutely refuse to call them my "grand dogs." That's just plain stupid!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

What I Buy Wednesday

I bought a new pair of hiking boots.
Now before you scoff and think---"I don't think Barb's the hiking type!" To that I say, you don't know me very well! Okay, so I don't hike regularly---or very much---for that matter. But given the right opportunity, I'm happy to do it---like Yosemite (still the most beautiful place in the USA) or to get to see something unusual or fun while geo-caching. I'm preparing for just that scenario. We're going to Sedona soon. We'll be all over the state of Arizona.

I'll have lots of opportunities to use these boots. But, there's one thing about these boots I don't like. They were cheap. You know the old saying, "you get what you pay for!" Well I think that applies here. I bought them because they are light weight, very padded and comfortable. When I got them, I did not like that they are stamped in white with the name "fashion." I guess that's another word for cheap---not a real brand name. So, I took a page out of Butch's book.

A couple years ago, we got really nice back packs as a gift from the cruise lines we were sailing with. But, they had their logo embroidered boldly in white on them. Butch got the bright idea to use a Sharpie to blacken the writing to dull the harsh lettering. It worked. The name of the  cruise line was no longer the main thing you saw.

I decided to do the same. As a result, you can see in the photo above where I colored the logo so that it barely shows.
 Here you can see it a little better. Still, it's not too bad.

Sooooo, on to the real purpose of this post.

Connie was telling us about a woman she knows who told her that when her husband's mother died, she had over 200 pairs of shoes in her closet. That lead to a discussion. Connie said that she thought she probably had around 25 pairs. I said I was sure it was more than that. She counted and discovered that she has 50 pairs---not counting her slippers and 2 pairs of old boots.

I counted my shoes---47 pairs for me---not counting my slippers (3 pair) and 2 pair of rain boots. I'm not surprised. We both agree that we probably don't wear 20 of those pairs! We've challenged a couple of other friends to count theirs! What about you? How many? I would love to share those numbers here!! Start with how many pairs you think you have and then count. You'll be so surprised.

Anyway, to wrap up this post, while I was counting, I moved my new pair of boots and noticed this:
I didn't notice that the logo was on both sides too! Looks like I have more "coloring" to do! Now, if they are as comfortable as they feel, I'm looking forward to trying them out!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Mitchell on Monday

What the heck????
I'm pretty sure his momma didn't teach him to load the dishwasher this way!

He's moving out on Saturday. He can load his own dishwasher any way he wants!!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

It's My Birthday!!!

Okay, not really, but it's my family party of my month long birthday!

Sandy and her family came in on Friday night. We started with happy hour at Steph and Nicky's. We decided not to go to dinner with them because, well, frankly, we don't like to wait. Yep, people think old people go to dinner at 4:30 or 5 because they're old. That's not it AT ALL! It's because we don't like to wait. Honestly, there's nothing I hate more. Especially when they tell you it's going to be 30 minutes when in actuality it's at least 45 or even an hour.

On Saturday, Sandy, Stephanie and Elizabeth were here to stitch and watch a movie. We had lots of fun conversation. I originally planned a tea party. Then I was too lazy make all those different tea foods, so bought an asparagus quiche, cranberry congealed salad, poppyseed bread and tea punch from Puffy Muffin. So easy and delicious.

We ate in front of a roaring fire---I love a good fire (preferably every single day and sometimes twice a day!). We watched Primal Fear since none of us had seen it in over 20 years---Elizabeth had never seen it. Sooo good! We stitched. You won't be surprised to know that Steph has somehow convinced me to finish one of her Easter eggs. Yeah, no one likes to do the "unfun" stuff. You just have to power through! Oh well, it should only take me an evening.

We all re-convened later at Steph's again for dinner---jambalaya, salad and rolls. Nicky's specialty is jambalaya. It's always delicious!!

After dinner, it was party time!
 We started with the presents.
From Mitchell, Victoria and Elizabeth, I got the pink, metal Starbucks cup with a gift card inside. Sandy and Greg gave me the tea, Russell Stovers and the Happy Birthday wine/cocktail glass. It's hard to read in this picture. Stephanie and Mindy (and Nicky and Justin) gave me a day with them (the girls) at some new place in Brentwood where we will be baking Mardi Gras cookies. Afterwards, they are taking me to lunch at the place of my choice. And then, I got an awesome candle from Analise that she made herself. She was with us since she and Elizabeth are good friends.

Once the gifts were opened, we commenced with the games. Stephanie got a new game for Christmas ---Werewolf. It is meant for a large crowd. You have to have a minimum of 8 people but can have any number after that. Perfect for our gang. We played for a couple hours. It is somewhat of a quiet game until the conversation begins on trying to figure out who the werewolves are. Then it gets pretty loud---at least with our family.

Sandy and Greg stayed with Steph and Nicky this trip. She was afraid that I would be upset about that. Not at all. In fact, I was pretty happy about it. I knew they would have a good time together. They can stay there all the time if they want. I love knowing that the son-in-laws all have a good time together.  That makes me happy!

I think we need to start a tradition. A month long birthday for me every year! I think I'll go in to St. Louis to celebrate with my family on or near my birthday. And now that Sandy and family are so much closer, we can celebrate my birthday with a big family party too!!

Sounds like a plan!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Travel Tuesday on Thursday!

So. I made a quick trip to St. Louis for my birthday weekend. My sister, Janice (one of the twins) was in town from Texas and I didn't want to miss that.

Our birthdays are close together---mine the 11th and the twins on the 14th. Over the past few years, circumstances have been such that we've had the opportunity to celebrate them together.

I flew in to town on Friday morning. I did it again---for the third time in my life. I fell asleep before the plane took off and didn't wake up until the landing!! Granted, it's only a 40 minute flight, but still. Seemed like seconds!!

As I was on the way to baggage, I came across this.
 Nothing reminds you that you are in the midwest than a good ol' tornado shelter.

My sister, Jeanne picked me up. We went to Jennifers and spent the day together (with Janice). Our plan was to go to Janet's in the evening for a sisters poker game. Janet always has a spread---I wish I'd taken a picture. Still, Janice wanted Imo's pizza---I wanted their salad. There's nothing like salads in St. Louis. There's actually "stuff" in them---and I mean good stuff (artichokes, olives, pimentos and LOTS of cheese!)---not like here and most restaurants with a single cherry tomato and exactly 3 croutons!

I have a confession to make. I think I'm losing my poker skills! In this family, we started playing games for money at age 5. Our grandparent's came over on Sunday afternoon. Grandma would give each of us 25 pennies to play "fan tan." To this day, I still like a good game of "fan tan!"

Anyway, those beginning games progressed to full on poker. We've played our whole lives. But on this particular night, I was "hot." I won several hands. Then, I managed to fold a winning hand. Anyone that plays poker knows that leads to bad "juju!" I started losing. Then, it happened again. I folded another winning hand. Are you kidding me?? I let my sisters bluff me out!! That is so unlike me. I think I'm losing my skills! I ended up only being down 50 cents for the night, so that wasn't so bad. Still, I blew the roll I was on!

The highlight of the evening was when Jackie, Greg and the little girls showed up. Jackie had texted me earlier that 7 year old Evie was dancing around and all excited in the morning. Jackie thought that she was happy that it was the weekend or that she had a soccer game. But when she asked, she said, "I get to see Aunt Barb!"
Talk about melting me---omgosh. That little girl did. In fact, I upped my Girl Scout cookie order! On the other hand, we got to have some of these cookies Evie and Josie made. I'd rather buy those!! They were so good. I love iced sugar cookies.

On the way home, Jeanne said, "Barb, you're doing good." I said, "What?" She said, "Driving." (I was the designated driver.) I said again, "What???" She said I was doing good driving in the dark and the rain. I thought to myself, "What the heck, does she think I'm 80 or something?" Not really sure where that came from. Or maybe she's surprised I know my way around St. Louis so well!

The next day,  Janice, Jennifer and I spent the day with our cousin, Chrissy. Oh my gosh! So much laughter and fun! That's another girl I love! We had all planned to go to a movie and then out to a nice dinner to celebrate our birthdays. Then this started.
Around 4 o'clock we all decided to nix the plans and head for home. I have to admit, even though the snow wrecked the plans, I did love it. I just don't get to experience snow much anymore. We got 4 inches! Plus, I got to watch the Titans beat Baltimore!

Sunday the plan was to meet at a coffee house in Maplewood to hear our niece, Ranya play. Since that wasn't until 2 p.m., we had time to work in a visit with the "little" boys. Travis and Nathan are the cutest little guys! They were absorbed with a new gaming system they got for Christmas and couldn't wait to show me all about it. Of course, I don't get it. How do you know if you jump on something it turns in to something else? I never did "get" video games.
I enjoy ALL the "littles" and look forward to seeing them whenever I'm in town. They are all excited for Camp Aunt Barb 2020.

On to the mini concert.
Ranya is in the middle. She teaches and plays all over town (and even out of town) at private events and subs when the symphony needs a cellist. She's played with Transiberian Orchestra and Barry Manilow too. These three set up a non-profit to promote music education for kids. This was one of their planned fund raisers. Many of their students were there.

Afterwards we went to lunch. Aunt Marie and Uncle Tony were with us, so I was happy to get to spend time with them on this trip.
From left: Jeanne, me, Janice, Jennifer and Matt.

I flew out early Monday morning and was home by 9 a.m.  It's been so much fun--celebrating together, that I wouldn't mind making it a tradition!

And then, I came home to this:
Jordan sent me this tiny cake from LA. It was the perfect size! Stephanie, Nicky, Mindy and Justin brought dinner Monday night. We watched the National Championship together. Sadly, Clemson lost. But, the cake---although we couldn't fit 68 candles on it---was a huge hit and we stretched it 6 ways!! Really, all you need is a bite!!

Now, if you think that is the end of my birthday---well, it's not! Sandy, Greg and Elizabeth are coming in town this weekend to celebrate with me!!! It looks something like this:
Friday---happy hour at Steph and Nicky's---dinner in the Melrose area.
Saturday---high tea here for the girls---and stitching while watching a movie. Later it's back to Steph's for my birthday dinner and family games (we got some fun new ones for Christmas).
Sunday---breakfast at the club before Sandy heads home.

I could get used to a month long birthday!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Few Things

1. I have not done my annual re-cap. I saved $374.75 on books by using the library. I had to buy just about ALL the books for book club. It's becoming increasingly difficult to get anything in a timely manner. If I decide I want to get a book, I have to wait 6 months for just about anything. There are some books that I've waited for over a year! Oh well, that's just how it is. But, still, it kills me to have to buy books anymore. What a waste of money!

2. Speaking of saving, Connie, Nancy and I all signed up for Regal Unlimited. For $22.94 a month, you can see any movie, anytime however many times you want. From September through December, I spent $91.76. If you see more than two movies a month to make the "deal" worthwhile. I saw 27 movies during that time period, so I really saved on that. Plus, as a member, you get 10% off concessions too. And additional free things now and then. Just about all of the movies we've seen lately have been really good----except---Jojo Rabbit. That was weird and I can't believe it's up for Best Picture. Uncut Gems with Adam Sandler is nothing like you would expect from him. OMGosh y'all---he is phenomenal in it. It's dark, but so good. He deserves an Academy Award for sure. I saw Knives Out twice because I slept through just about the whole thing the first time. I also saw Ford vs. Ferrari twice. Once with Butch and then again with my friends since they hadn't seen it. So good. I loved it.

3. Butch helps the girls save money on their cars by doing many things for them.
 This was inside Steph's car engine---full of leaves and crud. He cleaned it all out for her. The main thing he was doing for her this day was replacing a tail light.
 He definitely put in some blood, sweat and tears for her! As he says, the car dealers make simple things so hard to do so you'll just take it to them. Not Butch! He's not going to let them gouge them for a lightbulb. This is the price you pay!

4. And then there are some things you cannot put a price on.
 We had the most spectacular sunset on Christmas Eve.
Both of these pictures were taken right outside our front door!

5. And lastly, it definitely worth it to me to live in Nashville!
Nashville has been voted the friendliest city in America by Travel and Leisure magazine. I'm not surprised. People here are really nice!!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Monday Mystery

Does anyone know what this means?
It's on the side of a Lean Cuisine. I understand each word individually, but together?????

At least it was good!

Monday, January 13, 2020

Monday Mystery

This is the craziest Christmas card I got this year. I'm still scratching head!
Scott is my brother-in-law. Then there's me. And then there's my son-in-law. I'm not really sure who this card was meant for. You might think that whoever sent it doesn't know me very well. She knows me very well.

Actually, there's no mystery here. I'd say she had a few glasses of wine while doing her Christmas cards.

Yeah, that's it!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

What I Buy Wednesdays

Besides groceries, I haven't bought anything this week. Instead, I'm going to focus this post on What Mindy bought!

Mindy has always teased her dad about some of the "off brands" that he buys. Well, two weeks ago, she sent me this text:

I think Dad is finally rubbing off on me! today at the store I opted for TWO Kroger-brand items. Behold: “corn chips cupz” (not to be confused with “Fritos scoops”) and “honey graham stix” (not to be confused with “honey maid dippers”)...
Also, have you ever noticed how off-brand items always have one word conspicuously misspelled: “cheese CURLZ”, “corn chip CUPZ”, “graham STIX”— like maybe I would opt for them more often if they conformed to the same standards of spelling as their name-brand counterparts 💁🏼‍♀️

Mindy, your dad is so proud of you for branching out and being open to the "cheaper" brands! As my grandma Preli used to say---"honey, you have to save pennies before you can save dollars!"

Speaking of Mindy---she has met a pretty profound goal this year. She's been going to Barry's Boot Camp for a couple years now. Around August, she decided she wanted to reach 500 classes by the end of the year. She hit it hard and finally made it!! That meant at the end of the year, she even had to go to 3 classes a couple times in one day (they are hour classes) to make it. Now that's somethin'!
She goes to Barry's even when she's on vacation. She's been to classes in 7 cities, 2 countries and taken from 33 different instructors.

 That's a lot of minutes!! And she goes to lots of 5 a.m. classes! Yep, 5 a.m.!!

So proud of you!