Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Travel Tuesday

I've already told you about our trip to the beach last week. So, this week, I'm going to share a few things I've seen while traveling around on my walks.

 I go out very early in the morning---between 5:15 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. I go that early because I get up early and because I can beat the heat. The 5:15 day surprised me with this.
This deer was enjoying the sunrise too! He/she just stared at me. This was the best photo I could get. Now this is additional incentive to go out early.
These are my flowers---lantana in front and some sort of hibiscus in back. When it blooms, the flowers are quite large and a pretty pink. The blooms only last for a single day, but there are usually many. I need to inspect it for buds because it seems to me that it usually blooms before now.
This is the smallest two wheeler I've every seen. It has been abandoned on the side of the rode. It must have been pretty hard to ride with no pedals! 
While walking at the beach, I went through a little patch of woods. I only did it once because   it was really buggy. The bugs were annoying, but the wildflowers were pretty cute.
This wildflower is pretty unusual. I think as the blooms die, the fuzzy stuff is the seeds. It almost looks like you could blow it like a dandelion. I didn't.
I'm not quite sure what these flowers are, but I do love them. I have some yellow ones, but I think I like this coral color better.
Then there was this. Apparently, some little princess or fairy dropped their wand. I wonder what they were trying to turn that rock in to? Or, perhaps, the little pixie accidentally turned herself in to the rock!

I have to say, finding little surprises keeps my walks interesting! At least it's something to while away the time. I've listened to dozens of podcasts. That really helps!!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Monday Mystery

Well, this mystery is solved.
Notice the floor lamp next to my chair? That's the one I took in for repair. They called me to say that it could not be repaired. I said, "Okay, just rewire it." The "guy" said he couldn't do it. I said, "So, you're saying you cannot make a lamp, into a lamp?" He hesitated for a minute and then said, "yes." He said he was afraid he might break it. What??? It's already "broken!"

Anyway, Butch is going to try his hand at repairing it. We don't have anything to lose. 

Oh, and by the way---when I was told the lamp could not be repaired, I did another internet search for it. Wouldn't you know, it popped up that I could get it from Wayfair. Shock. When I went to the website a couple weeks ago--where I had originally bought it, they no longer had it. I'm just glad I could get it again. It came in 3 days! I'm back in business. If Butch is able to repair the broken one, then we'll take it to the beach! Win/win!

So, the mystery of whether you can turn a lamp into a lamp is solved. You can make a lamp  out of wine bottle, but you cannot make a lamp out of a lamp. Ridiculous!

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Sad State of Affairs

The United States has gone crazy!! All the monument tearing down---movie banning---name changing---it's too much!! Just yesterday, the news reported that realtors here are going to change the wording on house listings from "master" bedroom to "primary" bedroom. Apparently, regular words are "out"! No more dixie or antebellum--just southern words---where it's no longer cool to be southern. Next the word south or southern will be on the chopping block! Where is it going to end?

Come on!! This is getting ridiculous!! Our lives are already changing so much with the pandemic--mask wearing, social distancing, no buffets--it's all too much!! I do love a good buffet!

I thought these were particularly relevant right about now!!!
I tried to verify whether it was Denzel who actually said this, but couldn't. Still, it's true in any case. If we could all just work on it---problem solved!

And then I saw this on Facebook (or, as I like to refer to it---Fakebook).

Not once did I ever think Aunt Jemima was a symbol of 
slavery. I just thought she was a really good cook!

My sentiments exactly! Same for the Uncle Ben and Cream of Wheat guys!!

That brings me to this:
I bought this cookie jar years ago at an antique shop. Butch didn't like it from the beginning. As I said  before, I am not a deep thinker. This is probably what I was thinking: "It's cool, it's an antique and it's BLUE! Perfect for my kitchen." I didn't try to think deeply about what it "means". When Butch objected (by putting it IN the pantry), I said that I was not making any kind of political statement. To me, it's just a piece of Americana. He says it's politically incorrect. God forbid!!! So, I did what I thought would make him happy---I moved it up to my office. Apparently it still bothers him as he's brought it up now during all of this systemic racism. I don't consider myself a racist At. All! By having this old-timey cookie jar, does that make me racist? I guess I'm thoroughly confused by all of this. Actually, maybe I am racist because I am sick of all this. I do not believe in tearing down all the monuments or re-naming everything. It's all so confusing for my little brain!

Probably what I ought to do is have a bunch of people over and while self-distancing, take a hammer to the cookie jar (good bye $165.00) and video it, then post it on Facebook and Instagram. Or TikTok.  No wait, wouldn't I have to dance while doing it? Okay, no, not that. Just Facebook.

Now here's one thing I have no questions about. Seems pretty clear and simple to me:

A little humor is always good!

We wore our masks while in Florida, but most didn't. Now that we're home, we're self quarantining for two weeks! We don't want to be the problem!!

This is how I'm feeling about now. Weeks of protesting, getting rid of the police---it's just all too much!
Where is it going to end. Or maybe that's just it--the end.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Electronics Get Me Charged Up!!

You may recall this post by the same name from 2009. You can believe I've had other tech problems since then--I just happen to have a great guy (who I have to pay) to handle everything for us now. I cannot say the same for our tech issues at the beach. 

I'll get to those issues on #8 below!!

We came down for a little R&R and a work week. There's always something that needs to be done. This trip, we were checking on our Emerald Beach place, changing light bulbs, checking the wear and tear, etc. We had the same sort of things to do at Santa Rosa along with the repair of two of the three fans, change the furnace filter and other general maintenance issues. To that, I add the cleaning out of the owner's closet and the sandy beach chairs and umbrellas under the bunks.

Once we got here, I started a list of other things we needed to do:

1. Shop for a new tailored, dust ruffle for the master bedroom. This is my first time seeing the new bedding I purchased for all the beds. I'm really happy with everything I picked out.
I didn't like the old dust ruffle with it at all.

2. Replace the potholders and stock up on hand soap, toilet paper, Kleenex, etc.

3. Take old, tired pictures home for either disposal or re-matting. Hang pictures I bought.

4. Remove hutch top from dresser in one of the bedrooms to allow more light in the room.

5. Fix the wood blind that was somehow twisted. That's a whole story in itself!

6. Replace the ugly runner in the hallway and dispose of the old one. 

7. Go through every drawer, cabinet and closet to get rid of junk and take inventory.

8. Figure out the internet and tv's. 

9. Fix two fans

10. Clean out the outside storage closet.

Here's how all of that went:
1. Purchasing a replacement bedskirt should have been simple. Of course, I couldn't just put it on without ironing it. You might remember how I feel about ironing--this is an excerpt from a 2013 post:

Some things have been on my list for absolutely years---like under "cleaning and chores"---I have ironing listed. Who am I kidding? I NEVER iron. I always said that if I wait long enough, the things in the ironing basket will eventually go out of style thus eliminating the need for ironing. The best use of wrinkled clothes is to take them when you travel. Then it just looks like your stuff got wrinkled in your suitcase. You can totally get away with this. If you see a slightly rumpled tourist, that could be me!!

This was for a king bed. I thought I'd never get to the end!
Looks good! Unfortunately, the picture I took didn't show the skirt.

2. Done, simple---well except trying to time the trip to Walmart just right so we wouldn't have to wait in the mega line to get in the store!

3. We moved a couple of pictures around and loaded the rest in the car for either disposal or new mats. I really like the new pictures.

4. Butch didn't want to haul the hutch back to Nashville. So, we arranged for the guy who is going to do some painting for us to take it.

5. Butch messed with the blind and couldn't figure out how it possibly got all messed up.

I started comparing it to another one. It was all screwed up! I had Butch take it down. I was either going to re-string it, or wreck it further. I didn't care---I wanted it fixed!
We laid it out on the table. We ended up having to cut a knot on the bottom. I got to work. About an hour later---and having to "undo" one side, because I made one little mistake---I got it all re-strung.
Unfortunately, by having to cut the cord, it's a little short on one side. Still, it looks better than the mess in the middle. It will do just fine until we decide what we want for the doors.

6. Runner dumped, new welcome mat bought!

7. We got rid of so much junk! Just getting under the bunks to remove all chairs, umbrellas, and other junk that has accumulated there was a major ordeal. Thank goodness Butch has strong knees. There's no way I could have done that---not on that tile floor.

8. Figuring out the tv's was a royal pain. We have a new cable/internet company that is all tied together. Butch is on the board of Gulf Place and had input on the company they selected. Perhaps they could have done a little better job at the research! 

Every company works differently and most are not particularly intuitive. At home, I ended up printing instructions and laminating them for any family or visitors. I can't tell you how many times people have messed up our tv's. 

Butch started with the instructions left by the cable company. OHGosh! There were so many steps. When they offer to send someone out to show you how to use their system, you know it's a problem. Butch ended up calling them out. 

After he had it down, we went through the steps for each tv and DVD player (yes, they are all a little different), so that I could write it all down for each room. He took pictures of all the remotes too. I'll print it all out for each room so people will know what to do. 

A huge issue is that when you go to the guide to see what's on tv, the writing is so tiny that you have to go up to the tv to read it!! OMGosh! Talk about user Unfriendly!!

Personally, I never touch tv's while traveling. They are always a pain to work and the remotes are too germy! 

9. The fans. As it turned out, our repairman stopped by with his wife (our cleaning lady) to look at the paint job. He worked on the one fan right then and there (one less thing for Butch to do). The other fan needed to be replaced. We bought the new one, so "our guy" will install it when he comes to paint.

10. I went with Butch to find out where the outside storage was. I couldn't find it the last time I was there. It's not air conditioned, so it was a hot job. Butch installed a bracket to hang his bike. He managed to make the best use of that space---he keeps a set of golf clubs in there too.

When it was all said and done, there really wasn't much R&R to be had. We accomplished everything we wanted to do. I only walked on the beach once---I got tired of dodging people. I did get to spend an hour at the pool.

We'll go down again in the fall for a real vacation. That will be fun!!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Santa Rosa Beach

We just got back last night. It was a busy, work-filled couple of days, but we got EVERYTHING done that needed doing!

I love Santa Rosa---our favorite place---but not necessarily in the summer. It was HOT!! Very humid and hot! May and September are my favorite months. Plus, kids are back in school--for the most part. It's quiet. Definitely NOT a party place. We like that just fine.

And, I love this condo. Everything about it is just about perfect (or will be when I get finished with it--I have plans). It's close to everything. The pool is steps away along with the beach access. The grills are right near our patio. There are several restaurants within walking distance. There's a Publix and Walmart nearby. You do not have to get in to the crazy, trafficky, Destin or Panama City if you don't want to. That's a definite plus! Another plus, 40 minutes from the airport. I don't like the long drive but if we're hauling stuff, that's the only way to go.

I'll get in to the details of all we accomplished later. But for now, a few pictures:
A year ago, we replaced all of the bedding. This was my first time actually seeing it on the beds. I'm very happy with what I picked out.  I love quality linens and wanted nothing less for here. The sheets are so soft!! I'm pretty particular about sheets. That picture is a little small, but I have something else in mind to go with it. We purchased a new fan which has a beachy feel. I love decorating and have so many ideas!
Both bedrooms have king beds. The furniture is nice, but I'm definitely ready to update the decor. We bought the place fully furnished. Since it's been on the rental market, we just left most of it---not particularly my taste, but it's okay.
There are bunkbeds in the hallway. .

 The living room.
 Broader view. That chair will be going soon.
This wall is a full mirror--which makes it look bigger. I forgot to take a picture of the kitchen, so you can barely see it in the mirror. 

It's a great place to get-away--even if you don't love the beach!! I only went down to the beach once---just to walk. Even at that, I didn't get too far. It's too hot for me. I only go down to sit with family and friends to be sociable---for two hours only. That's my limit. Then you'll find me at the pool. That sand! I only spent time at the pool once this trip because no one was following the "rules" of only 10 people at the pool. 

Still, we had a fun time, some good seafood and accomplished a lot---which was our main objective. Butch says that's about all he does when he goes---work. It was too hot for golf or bike riding anyway! Plus, he can't sit still. He's never been a "sit around" kind of guy. The beach is no different!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

What I Buy Wednesday

This post is going to be about going to the grocery store. 

First, I want to mention that during the early part of quarantine, Nicky was talking about how difficult it was to go to the grocery store without licking his fingers. Specifically to get those produce plastic bags open. The family thought he was nuts and really gave him a hard time. I came to his defense, because I know exactly what he's talking about. I, too, lick my fingers (or, I used to) to get those bags open.
 I rubbed, I tugged, I prodded. These darn bags are hard to open! And then I did it. I licked my fingers. There's just no other way.

On to what I did buy:
I wanted to get some pool drinks for the weekend. I stood in front of all the choices and just shook my head. I'm not a big drinker and don't know anything about these choices. I did the only thing I could think of. I called Butch. His exact words, "I don't know Barb! Just get some Mikes, you know you like that!"
So that's exactly what I did. Diet Pepsi and Mikes---I think I've got it covered!!

Now this is about what I bought last year---my sago palms. I've wanted sago palms for the front porch for as long as I can remember---ever since seeing them in New Orleans where they are gorgeous and everywhere! I finally got four of them last spring. We lost two of them by the end of the summer. Now the other two seem to be going. I'm trying to find out what is causing it. 
I checked the internet and found nothing. Or, I should say I found too much to narrow down!

If the older sago leaves are turning yellow, the plant is likely suffering from a nitrogen deficiency. With a potassium deficiency, the older fronds also turn yellow, including the midrib. If the leaf develops yellow bands but the central leaf remains green, your plant may have a magnesium deficiency. 

Oh my gosh! Nitrogen, potassium or magnesium--which to try? And, where the heck do I buy those? Not gonna happen.

Watering a sago palm too much or too little may also result in yellow sago palm fronds. Keep track of how much and how frequently you are watering so that you can figure out which irrigation problem is more likely. Never allow irrigation water to get on the plant’s foliage.

You've got to be kidding me. You either have to try overwatering and then not watering. How the heck are you supposed to figure that out? I know I'm not watering too much, but maybe they get the rain and some (only a little) spray from the sprinkler system. Of course, that water always gets on the foliage.

I seriously doubt the plants in New Orleans are being "babied"! Basically every possible problem a plant can have is listed. That doesn't help one bit. The bottom line here is that I am losing them. There's no way I can figure out what's wrong fast enough to save them. It was a good dream while it lasted. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Travel Tuesday

Jeanne and Janet left around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning with the kids after another successful Camp Aunt Barb. By 9 a.m. we, too were out the door heading to the beach.

Our first stop was in Birmingham to see the Eddie Kendricks memorial.
If you don't know Eddie Kendricks, then you don't know The Temptations!! Oh. My. Gosh! I LOVED The Temptations. My cousin, Chrissy and I danced continuously to this album:
Oh, the memories! We were totally in to Motown and The Temps were our favorite! Anyway, Butch and I had no idea that Eddie Kendricks was from Birmingham. Honestly, I started to cry---and then realized they weren't tears, it had started raining! Butch made a dash for the car and the umbrella, while I waited under a tree--only marginally sheltered. It wasn't lightening, so I guess that was okay.

Our next stop was "Freedom Park." It looked like it was really cool with many awesome sculptures. We ended up just driving by. 1. It was still drizzly, and 2. We felt like this was too sensitive of a time to risk being white people in this area. (I hope that doesn't sound bad.) We plan to save it for another time. We always like to have a couple stops on the way to the beach to break up the time.
We got to the beach around 6. We sat on the porch with our cocktails and enjoyed the cool, gulf breeze. It's humid for sure, but was a nice way to start our "work-filled" trip. FYI I'm not sure what you call this drink. Technically, it's a vodka tonic, but I used Fever Tree grapefruit flavored tonic. It's really good.

Monday morning, I started the day with my usual walk. By the time I got back---a little before 7 a.m.---I was soaked!! I need to remember to bring a wet paper towel the next time. I kept sweating in my eyes---really burns. As I've said a million times, I'm a "sweat-er." 

After I got cleaned up, we headed to our condo at Emerald Beach in Panama City to check on things. I decided to take a few pictures to share. 

 We have one bedroom and two baths. I love the floor we put in to replace the carpet.

 There is a set of bunk beds in the hall. That's a pretty common thing down here.

 We're on the 8th floor overlooking the beach. 
PCB is way too crowded for my taste. We currently have this place on the market to sell. Butch was saying how much he still loves it here---me not so much. I'm just a Santa Rosa Beach lover. We've been going there for over 30 years now. Considering I don't love the beach, Santa Rosa is my favorite place.

We've waffled back and forth on selling this condo. Now I think we're going to keep it and put it back on the rental program (since Butch does love it). We're thinking of taking our Santa Rosa condo off the rental market. That will make me really happy. It's a "win/win" for both of us!! Plus one can pay for the other! Definitely a "win/win"!
Then there's this. We remembered why we don't like to go to the beach in the summer time---traffic!! It's terrible! You have to just creep along. You can see your turn ahead and it still takes 15 minutes to get there!!

We're having a great time down here--even with the work. I'll share part 2 of my "Travel Tuesday" post next week.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Monday Mystery

Exactly one year ago on June 16, 2019.
 Gorgeous blooms. While not this full, this hydrangea blooms all summer long.
This summer---nary a single bloom. The only thing I can come up with is that we had a late frost. It's a mystery as to whether it will bloom at all this year.


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Camp Aunt Barb

CAB 2020 is in the books! 

We altered our usual itinerary due to Covid. The only thing we did     outside the house was the Pfunky Griddle on Friday morning. I was sure we'd have to wait because you always have to. Also, since restaurants are only open at 50% capacity, I was certain we would have to wait. But, at 9 a.m. we walked right in!
My niece, Jackie designed a logo for CAB and made the shirts. For us adults, she added "staff" to the back. With the help of Josie (little red-head on the left) we were able to keep it a surprise! Jackie had put the bag with those shirts in her bag and told her to give them to me. She was barely through the door upon arrival when she did. Still, she did it with stealth! None of the other kids or adults saw her. I was impressed that she did not peek!
 I had Butch on the itinerary every night---twice for poker. One night is bingo---he's the caller. 

 From left: Nathan, Travis, Butch, Josie and Evie. 

We played all kinds of games, had a scavenger hunt, watched movies, had a treasure hunt, played "rob your neighbor," had happy hour, stayed up late and ate waaayyyy too much candy!!!
We mostly spent hours and hours in the pool. On the last night, we always have a night swim in the dark with the pool lights on. The kids love that. This year, Janet brought light up balloons. They were really pretty floating in the pool. Plus, we hit another milestone this year. Nathan and Josie can "stand up" in the shallow end! The practiced their swimming skills and took the Aunt Barb swimming test. They can make it across the pool, but I told them it will be next year before they'll be ready for the deep end. We feel much better with them in their "floaties" for jumping off the diving board. 

CAB 2021 will be here before you know it!