Thursday, April 30, 2020

A Few Things Making Me Happy

 Sandy and family bought a new boat!! When I saw this on Instagram, I splurted my tea!! I'm telling you, Legos has made some money on our family!!
 For dinner on Tuesday night, I made us shrimp Louie salads....
 ...with homemade thousand island dressing. So easy:

Thousand Island Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 T. ketchup
1 T. white vinegar
2 t. sugar
2 t. sweet pickle relish
1 t. onion, finely minced (I used about 1/4 t. dried)
1/8 t. salt
dash of pepper
Mix together and refrigerate.

Since I boiled eggs for the salad, I made a few extra for egg salad. I had a salad plate for lunch the next day. I had some of the leftover shrimp along with cottage cheese and frozen cherry salad. It's nice to have that in the freezer. No thawing necessary.
I took a little tour of my gardens to see what was in bloom. This climbing white hydrangea has been here for over 20 years. It's healthy and happy, yet has NEVER bloomed. I guess I got a male plant.
 The English laurel I have planted around the patio is in bloom.
I just love mossy bricks! Years ago, I "painted" some stones with buttermilk because that was supposed to grow moss. I can't even remember if that worked. This is all natural.
I have two varieties of peonies. These are full of buds. They are the type that are huge double blooms.
These are already in bloom. Just the single type blossoms.
 My Henryii clematis is in full bloom. The blossoms are nearly dinner plate size.
 Usually the plant is covered in blooms. I'll have to remember to fertilize it this fall.

This beautiful lady is a friend of mine. She the mom of my friend, Madelyn (also named Madelyn). She lives in Mary Queen of Angels nursing home. Madelyn has not been able to visit her in two months. It's going to be quite awhile longer. She's  allowed to visit her through the window. The "home" is keeping them busy so she's not too lonely. I'm sure all the residents will be glad when this is all over. Per my friend, she wears her mask as an accessory! She is always fashionably dressed!
I thought this was pretty good. But as anybody who is a crafter knows, there's no way we can use up all of our stuff!!
 Love this. It's not time to let our guards down yet!
This really explains it. We all need to wear masks!

Well, I guess that's it for the things making me happy this week!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

What I Buy Wednesdays

I actually did some online shopping this week. 
 I joined Club Scrap. I used to belong many, many years ago when it first started.
The first kit is bright and cheery. I can't say I love stickers, so the jury is still out as to how long I'll stay a subscriber. We'll see. It's not really expensive, so I'll give it another month or two.
I loved everything in my StitchFix box this month. It's been probably over a year since I bought the whole box. It's enticing when they offer an additional 25% off if you keep everything. But, I've gotten pretty picky with what I want. But those shoes....can't wait too actually get to wear them! They are navy suede with a scallop edge. So cute. Of course, without a pedicure (soon, I hope) I can't wear slingbacks!
I needed a few things---cosmetics wise---so ordered from Thrive Causemetics. For everything you buy, they donate one. I like that. This company has replaced Estee Lauder for me. 
And then there's this! I picked up my order from Nashville Needleworks. I'm almost finished with my current project. I had my eye on that Christmas piece for quite awhile. I've only allowed myself to buy a new canvas when I'm ready for it. As for this piece, I bought it pretty soon after the "stay at home" order to support the store. I don't know what I'd do if they went out of business! Then, I saw the "Here for the boos" piece on the Needlepoint Nation Facebook group. I went crazy for it so I emailed Nashville Needleworks to get them to order it for me. I do love doing Halloween things. That's what I'm going to start next. The way things are going, I should be able to start it this weekend. 
I have Sandy, Stephanie, Mindy and myself signed up for this workshop. It's supposed to be the third weekend of May. It's unclear as to whether they are going to have it. I doubt it. Still, I'm hoping the girls and I can still have our weekend and get started on it. 

These three pieces are more than enough to take me through the summer. 

Well, that's it for this week. It's enough!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Travel Tuesday

For the next couple of months, while we are unable to do any "real" traveling, my travel posts will be related to the Route 66 challenge that we've embarked upon. At least until we reach Oklahoma City, because that's as far as we've gotten---physically. At the rate we're going, it may only be another couple weeks. As it is, we've traveled all the way through Illinois this week. We're about ready to enter St. Louis!

I was so happy when Butch sent these pictures to the family after our first week. We traveled over 200 miles so far, making our way through Illinois. This gave the family an idea of what they would have seen if they had actually been there.

Dell Rheas Chicken Basket, Joliet, Illinois--We had dinner here as it was supposed to be the BEST fried chicken. Personally, we found it too greasy.

The Gemini Giant, Wilmington, Illinois--the only thing I remember about this was that I was tired, hungry and crabby by the time we got here. 

Texaco Gas Station, Dwight, Illinois--this place was amazing! It actually had a little museum inside. There is a worldwide map on the wall where you can add a pushpin where you are from. I was amazed at how many Europeans had been there. It was so spotless too---not like what you remember gas stations to be.

Standard Oil Gas Station, Odell, Illinois---There are a lot of old gas stations along Route 66.

I'm so glad they have kept and restored them to their former glory! They are just so quaint. Each one is so unique. Not too far from here was where we were able to get on a one mile stretch of the actual, original road---brick and bumpy! Still an experience.

 The original mother road! Only a mile and a half stretch remains---all brick.
It was quite the bumpy ride. I cannot imagine actually riding on this all the way to California!

I love that Butch is taking the time to make this so much fun for everybody. He makes any trip FUN!! He spends hours doing the research to ensure that we do not miss a single thing. We've found that often, we like the littler, unknown things almost better than the big tourist attractions! So even though the rest of the family hasn't actually taken this trip, they can enjoy the sights virtually!

I don't know how long it will take us to get to Oklahoma. But one thing is for sure---it will be a fun trip! After that, it will be a dry spell as that's as far as we've gotten on the Route. We had planned to do the Albequerque leg in March, but canceled that trip due to the current circumstances. We have tentatively re-set that trip for October. 

We'll be finished with the family challenge by then. At least this first part of the trip will allow us to relive some fun memories of traveling along Route 66!

Monday, April 27, 2020

A Few Things....

....making me happy right now.
 My favorite cousin, bff, Chrissy sent me this picture. She celebrated her 67th birthday on Friday. We've always had so much fun together---especially our teen years!
 She sent me her purse count. Just 10 because she had cleaned out recently.
 And a single tote. That blows me away! 
 My "go to" lunch these days---grilled cheese. I do love it with tomato soup. If I make the soup, I don't have the chips and pickles. Quick and easy. I used to make them once in awhile for breakfast when the girls were little.
 Somebody sent me this picture and I thought it was so cute!! I've never seen baby ostriches.
I don't know who Gretchen is, but she lives in my neighborhood. I'm so glad that the high schools are still doing this. At least it's a small way to celebrate graduation. There were two other signs in the neighborhood--all different schools. Above is Father Ryan High School. There was also one from Brentwood Academy and Brentwood High School. Our neighborhood is pretty small, I think about 40 houses. I wonder if these teens know each other.
My friend, Susan sent me this gorgeous shot of her clematis. Such a beautiful color and so many blooms. 

I agree with this sentiment! Hats off to our little nurse, Morgan. We're so proud of her! Besides her job at the hospital, she's working on her master's degree. She got an "A" for the semester!! 

I made some poppyseed muffins and decided to give some away. These pretty little plates from the dollar store are perfect to make a happy little gift.

Those are just some of the things making me happy right now. By the time you are reading this, we will have completed our "unhappy" job of the week---our house cleaning. The only thing that makes it bearable is Butch working with me!!

I hope you have a lot of little things making you happy this week.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

What We're Doing

Hey All! I hope you've had a great week! We certainly have.

Lots of normal stuff---walking, talking and listening to podcasts (me) and hiking and biking (him). We finished another puzzle:
This one was so much fun! Mindy surprised us by having it sent to us. She had it made through Snapfish from one of our pictures from Liverpool. We were at Strawberry Field (In case you can't quite read it in the graffiti. It took us about 2 weeks. We don't work on puzzles every day. When we do, it's only for about an hour at a time. Just enough to keep it fun!

On Wednesday, we did an Adventure Lab through Woodlawn Cemetery. It was a two mile walk around the cemetery taking us to 5 different famous graves.
 The biggest monument was to George Jones---I love the tribute to his most famous song: "He stopped loving her today." Pretty appropriate. 
We noticed this one in the same area as George's grave. It wasn't part of our tour, but we checked it out anyway. Butch noticed the Tennessee Titans logo on the bench. It's the memorial to Rob Bironas---our kicker who tragically died in an auto accident a few years ago. (Look at me---acting like I know football by saying "our" kicker!). 
This is Lynne Anderson's rose garden---a columbarium. We did not see her grave so were unsure if she's actually buried here. She must be---because otherwise, why would they name this after her?
Eddie Arnold---a little too "old timey" country music for me. We also went by Marty Robbins grave too. I love country music, but I don't even know what these two look like or their songs. Well, barely---since I learned about them in Ken Burns "History of Country Music." Side note: even if you don't like country music, you will love this series! We learned so much. Did you know that country music was the precursor for pop and rock?

We stopped along the way and looked at other graves. Then we stumbled upon this:
Tucked way back in the cemetery is a little village. As it turns out, these building were moved here from Antioch. They are part of an original settlement from the 1700's.
This springhouse dates back to the 1800's. I guess "they" (whoever they are) decided this would be a good place to relocate those cabins. We wandered around and crossed a little foot bridge.

There were these gigantic carp---probably 25 lbs. Butch didn't think they could live in such cold water.

There were a lot of ducks here too---some pretty unusual ones.

It was a beautiful day although a little overcast and a great way to get some miles in. You know how we love exploring unusual places. Afterwards, we drove through White Castle for lunch. 

We had our family "Zoom" happy hour (or two) on Friday night. We just love that and may want to keep it in place even after this is all over! We can still meet in person but we want to be able to include Sandy and family and Jordan and Vangelis. That makes me so happy. 
 We continued our happy hour on the front porch. 

As far as other activities, we're just about finished with "The Stranger" on Netflix. That's really good. I also watched "The English Game" on PBS Passport. On Sundays nights on PBS, two new series have just started: "World on Fire" and "Baptiste." Both are on Masterpiece Theater. "Baptiste" is on Masterpiece Mystery. We're also watching "All American" on Netflix. You know I love everything British! ("Baptiste" takes place in Amsterdam, but a murder was committed in England. Don't know the "tie in" yet). 

Something  NOT to waste your time on is the movie, "By the Sea." It stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. It's a very slow, quiet movie with little dialog. I didn't like it. When I finished and went to remove it from my Netflix list, I noticed it only had 1.5 stars out of 5. No wonder I never heard of it! I need to pay attention to those stars from now on. What a waste of 2 hours. Well, I did get some stitching done.

I finished Stephen King's The Institute this week. It was really good too. I love Stephen King's style of writing---always have---so descriptive---sometimes too descriptive. This one isn't scary, but rather a little disturbing. It wouldn't be SK if it weren't! 
One day, I went over to Connie's to stitch. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, so we sat on the deck for about an hour. Then I realized I didn't have any sunscreen, so we moved to the porch. Analise was there. She took a break from her "home schooling" to visit a bit. I always love teasing her---she's such a good sport! She has decided that she's not going to have a boyfriend for the rest of her high school years. Yeah, right! She's only a sophomore. We'll see how long that resolve lasts!

As for stitching, I picked up a couple things I ordered from Nashville Needleworks. I'll share that on "What I Buy Wednesday." Doing my part to keep these small businesses running. I don't want to lose this one for sure!

Other than that, I've been catching up on some computer stuff---blog reading, articles, videos and lots of other stuff I've had on my "reading list" for months. I probably another 50 articles to go!!

Oh, and I got a postcard from our Route 66 challenge---from Springfield, Illinois. 
Notice that old stamp? This challenge is so much fun!! Our family is killin' it! Overachievers every one!! 

That's about it for our week. Hope yours was good!