Thursday, July 29, 2021

Five Things Thursday

1. I love the look of linen. But, I don't like to iron it. I
I think you can get by without ironing as it always looks wrinkled anyway. The picture above is before ironing.
This is after ironing---with steam. It doesn't look all that much better. Maybe a little. Once I put my seatbelt on, it will be even more crumpled!

2. When we remodeled the beach condo, I got all new---well, just about everything in the kitchen including these utensil holders. We carefully lined all the drawers with what was supposed to be non slip drawer liner. I really liked it because there's a cushion-y feel to it.
But, it still slid. I couldn't stand that it would slide back taking the liner with it about an inch. I tried everything. We started with double sided tape. Butch even tried thumbtacks and staples to hold it in place. Nothing worked. The laminate was too hard and nothing would penetrate it. To say I nagged him about it is probably putting it mildly. I cannot stand things that aren't right. Sooo, I couldn't believe he came up with this ingenious idea.
Can you see? We had some old pool noodles that he was getting ready to throw away. He trimmed off pieces of them to put in the back of the drawers to keep them from sliding. Worked like a charm! We'll see how it looks the next time we go down--in August. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will hold up.

3. I've already shared a picture of the parking lot with just our 3 cars on the first day we returned to the movie theater. 
Well, here we are seeing the movie "Old" on our regular "Movie Monday." Ultimately a couple other people showed up right before the beginning, but this is pretty much how it is all the time. I've always feared that they would just close the theaters in the day since there is so little business. Now you get your tickets and refreshments at the same time so they only have to have one person working concessions. There's a ticket taker and a manager. I think the films are all operated by computers. Somewhere along the line---when we first started doing this, I remember asking about the low attendance. At that time, our buddy--whose name I can't recall after two years--said they were obligated by the studios to offer the movies during the day. Hmmm, I wonder what happened to that guy....

4. The other day, we went to Radnor Lake for our morning walk. Well, I walk the trail. Butch hikes harder trails and then we meet up towards the end. It's a beautiful park. But, boy was it hot! Even at 7 a.m.---so muggy.
The deer are so tame. This is a real shot without me having to get my phone to take a closer picture. I was about 6 ft. away. He looked at me and then went about his business while I got my phone out. Not only did I see this guy, I saw two other deer sightings--two and another single. They are not afraid as they are in a protected area. Butch loves to go to Radnor because of all the wildlife. I don't like walking the trail when we're doing our family Conqueror's Challenge. It takes much longer walking 2.5 miles on a trail compared to the street. It's more about the distance for me. Now that we've completed this last one, we're taking a break. That way, I won't be worried about distance and can be happy enjoying the woods.

5. Yesterday, as I headed out to run my errands, my first stop was Starbucks. I always get iced tea on my errand day. Anyway, this was a first! 
Apparently, Starbucks has decided to take a page out of Chick-fil-a's handbook. The drive through lane is always out to the street. Now they have a masked attendant with her apron and an iPad taking orders. The reason I mention the apron is that it's over 90 degrees---so hot--and humid. That's a lot of layered clothing. Luckily they gave her that umbrella hat to shade her. Goofy, but effective! Oh, and I zipped through within five minutes!

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

What I Buy Wednesday

I mentioned last week that I had some volumizing shampoo that I didn't like because of the smell. Well, I'm a sucker for any hair products that promise any sort of thickening. I need as much volume as I can get. In fact, I kept a perm in my hair for years for just that reason. Now I'm wearing it straight, but it's flat. As a result, I'm always willing to try any product that promises fuller hair. Soooo, I bought this:
It's called Virtue. We'll see how it works. I haven't tried it yet. Fingers crossed. I'm always hopeful!

Now for what I didn't buy. It's been a couple years since I've been shopping. I specifically went to Dillards because I still have the gift card that I got from Stephanie and Nicky for Mother's Day. I browsed around for awhile, but didn't really see anything I "needed"! However, I saw a few things I would have liked.
These slides are so cute! Unfortunately, I can't wear this style of shoe anymore.
And these. Of course, I like anything sparkly. 

I wasn't really shopping for shoes because I have quite a nice collection already. I've always loved shoes, so I'm certain I could have found a pair or two. But, I've been getting the cutest shoes from my Stitch Fix boxes. Actually, that's where I'm getting most of my clothes these days too. No hunting for petite lengths that actually fit me. That's always been a problem. Now they come to me every 6 weeks! 

That's it for my shopping report this week. 

Oh wait! Camp Aunt Barb starts on Thursday. I did get something cute for that.
My niece, Jackie got me the cups that she cut the "Camp Aunt Barb" logo that she designed last year. She used her Cricut with vinyl. I bought the name straws off of Etsy. I always like to have some sort of surprise for the kids. 

I look forward to "Camp Aunt Barb" every year. I have a lot of things planned. It's gotten to where the kids are now making requests to do some of their favorite things they've done each year. That makes me happy. My sister, Jeanne said that her grands---Travis and Nathan are already packed! I have't really heard anything from the girls, but they could have been packed for a week! I can't wait!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Tuesday Thoughts About...

...Jobs! OMGosh y'all! There are a ton of jobs out there. There's not a day that goes by that I don't get an email about a job opportunity or see signs everywhere while out and about running errands. 

Now Hiring:

Bonefish Grill


Pizza Hut

Red Lobster

Del Frisco’s plus a $50 signing bonus

Macy’s—150 jobs

Rizzo’s (in St. Louis)

Starbucks--everywhere--I've heard they have really good benefits.

Puffy Muffin



McDonalds—paying EVERY day

Bluefin Sushi and Thai

Nordstrom's Grill

Even the vegetable stand

—which reminds me. When I went last week, I pulled out my credit card, only to have the clerk/attendant (don't really know what to call those workers) tell me that they only take cash check or a promise. "A promise?" I ask. "He" said, "If you don't have the cash or a check, you can just bring us the money the next time you come." What? That's amazing to me. In this day and age of distrust--it's hard to believe that a business operates like this. I wonder how many times they have to extend credit and how many times they are "stiffed!" Probably not too many.

The restaurant industry is suffering. Unfortunately, during Covid, people made more money staying home than they did working. Hopefully that is coming to an end. Then, I saw this:

I think this pretty much sums up the state of affairs around here!

Monday, July 26, 2021

Monday Mystery

Now this is a mystery for sure. I went to the bank on Friday and what do I see pulling out? An Indy car!! What??? Who in the world would be driving an Indy car through the bank? We're a long way from Indy!

The only guess I could make was that he was the winner and decided to just go ahead and drive his winnings to the bank. Then he must have run out of gas because along comes a trailer to pick him up. 
It's the oddest thing. But the biggest question I have is "Did he drive it through the "drive through?" I wonder. A mystery for sure.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Something for Sunday

So, yesterday was the day. The day we've been putting off for so long. I can't tell you how many times I've attempted to tackle it on my own---only to open the door and close it again. I couldn't even get Butch to give me a hand. Then, I just put my foot down and insisted! 

I forced Mindy to agree to a date to clean out her closet!! She's been out of the house for 18 years now---literally half her life! Honestly, I don't even care that she still has stuff here. We have the room and she doesn't. Her and Justin's condo is little---no room for extras. That's why Mindy's closet is a mixed bag of everything. 

She's got stuff from grade school, high school including her cheerleading and school uniforms and probably 5,000 photos--in frames and out along with dozens of albums! Her childhood collections and stuffed animals are here. Her dolls, music boxes, you name it. It's all in her closet. Add to all of that, she got married over 5 years ago and the closet is still full of wedding gifts!! That's what happens when you just don't have the room. What has prompted me to want to get it cleaned out? This:
Yes, it's a very large walk in closet and it's a MESS! I can't stand it any longer!
Oh, and I forgot to mention there are things she bought for her new office--literally the day of lockdown--2020. We shopped and she went to take it all to her new office. When she got there, the building was locked and she got the notice that they were on lockdown indefinitely. They still aren't back in the office yet. She's working from home. Anyway, she had to bring all of her new office decorations and shelf over here. Just more stuff, added to the chaos.

Besides the fact that I can't stand to look at the mess, we are planning to remodel/redecorate the upstairs. That includes new carpet and paint. The closet just has to be cleaned out! 

Every time I brought it up, Mindy moaned and groaned. I finally pinned her down to a date. She negotiated a lunch out of the deal! 

I immediately had to rope Butch in to the project because there were too many things on the higher shelves that we needed to get down so Mindy could go through everything. Here's what that looked like:
She sat there while Butch got stuff down, I had her go through it and I put everything in the appropriate piles---keep, trash, give away. She kept most of it. We couldn't even get through the whole closet because after an hour, I was sweating so bad, that I was pooped!

She opened boxes and boxes full of cards and notes---you know, those teen notes you pass in school all folded real cute so no one can dare look at them? Of course she wanted to keep them all. Then she found this:
A note from her dad: "Mindy, try to keep within your budget. There is no reason that your monthly allowance shouldn't cover your monthly expenses. Love, Dad" 

Now I'm not sure when this was---probably those early college days when cell phones were pretty new. We got a bill that was crazy, outrageous. She thought texting was FREE! Luckily for us, we got an unlimited plan for $5.00 a month! 
Then, to add insult to injury, when we called it quits for the day, she took her dad's chair! 

We went to lunch shortly after, so basically, we PAID her to "help" clean out her closet. Oh, and we're not nearly done. The upstairs looks like a tornado has gone through! We have so much to haul down or put in the attic. We'll get to it today. We have to. Margarita comes on Monday and there's no way she can clean around it all!

What can I say? She's our baby. She gets away with murder. Isn't that always the way? She's so darn cute and charming, she makes us laugh all the time. You can't put a price tag on that!! 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Friday Frustrations

Well, it's been quite some time since I've had a rant about something. But, I just have to do it! You might be asking yourself, "What is she so worked up about this time?" Well, I think if I say "airlines," you might go, "ahhhh, now I understand!"

Okay, I get that Covid has changed everything. But for crying out loud! Why in the world are the airlines constantly changing and cancelling flights? They don't give a d***n if it screws up anyone's plans---or life, for that matter! 

Funny that I didn't get quite so worked up when Butch was having problems with his trip to Morocco---with two friends---that he's responsible for organizing. Those airlines changed 3 times in the last 6 months--plus another change yesterday. He has spent countless hours on the phone because each time, the cancellation caused them to be missing connecting flights somewhere else. The airlines just don't care!

Butch has also had to deal with all the changes with trips we are taking--one includes Stephanie and Nicky. It's one thing if it's only us being inconvenienced, but when other people are involved, it just adds to the frustration! None of it has bothered me since I wasn't the one having to deal with it. I'm just happy that he deals with all of our travel plans. Frankly, I know I'm spoiled! I just want to show up and have fun!

Well, what sent me over the edge was that I planned a beach trip with my friends (6 of us in all) for the end of September. I got everything organized with dates and checked best airfare. We all booked our flights and I reserved the rental car. Months later--we found out earlier this week--Southwest cancelled our flight---completely eliminated it! They put us on a later flight which now impacts the rental car. 

First mistake: booking through a third party---in this case, Travelocity. 
When I called to change the pick up time for the car, I was on hold for half an hour. Then, when I went through the entire scenario, I was told that I would have to call the rental car agency directly---Dollar Rental. I called there and was on hold another 15 minutes, only to be told that I had to call Travelocity! OMGosh! Here we go, in the loop from hell! She told me that there were no cancellations or changes allowed since I booked through a third party. Oh, hell no! I asked her if I could just ask a question. I asked her if I would still be able to pick up the car if I was 8 hours later than originally planned. She said there was no guarantee, but that they usually hold the cars for 24 hours. What that means to me is--if they have a need for the car, then they'll let it go. Otherwise, they'll hold it for 24 hours. I then asked if there would be an attendant there at 10:30 p.m. She said someone would be there until 11. Soooo, now I just have to worry about whether the flight will be on time and that the car would still be there. 

Second mistake: or actually, this was my first mistake! I told myself a few years ago that I was going to quit being the planner and organizer of everything! I don't want the stress and headaches that go along with it. But the bottom line is that no one else will. I guess I forgot about the hassle when I got the beach trip organized. It's one thing if it's just us. But when other people are involved, now it's their money on the line too! 

Believe me---and I hope Connie reminds me---I am not doing this again! I just don't want the headaches. Blame it on my age. I realize now that's about the only good thing about getting older. You can blame everything on your age!

PS I checked the spelling for the word canceled and cancelation to make sure I was correct. Autocorrect didn't give me that little squiggly line, but one "l" didn't look quite right to me. Turns out, both spellings are correct. British English uses 2 "l's"! Since I prefer the king's English, I went back and changed to two! 

See how uncertainty of any kind can cause me angst?

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Five Things Thursday

1. Seems pretty accurate to me!

2. I may have mentioned that we've started up our "Movie Mondays" again since the theaters have reopened. We've seen several movies already. All of these were very good--I mean really, really good: 
In the Heights--Who doesn't love Lin-Manuel Miranda?
The Hitman's Bodyguard's Wife--at least I think that's the title. It's a mouthful and I'm never quite sure if I have the order of the words correctly. Anyway, I knew nothing about this one. I was surprised that it was a comedy. Turns out, I LOVE Ryan Reynolds. In fact, I just listened to a podcast called Smartless (Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, Will Arnett---totally love them all) where they interviewed him. That was really good too!
Cruella--well, all I can say about this is FABULOUS!! Warning, be sure to stay until AFTER the first part of the credits. There's another little piece that brings it all full circle---not giving anything away. I just realized something about the movies that I hadn't noticed before. DO NOT leave until the house lights come on. Just like in the theater--it's when the house lights come on that you know it's really over!

3. I've read some really good books lately. The Girl with No Name, The Last Thing He Told Me, The Midnight Library and The Final Days of John Lennon. All 5 stars in my book with John Lennon being at the top of the list. You know, that British thing and all. Oh, and it's the BEATLES!! What's not to love!

4. These are in full bloom again.
They make a nice show at the mailbox and come back every year. But, I call them one day flowers. The blooms only last one day. Luckily, it blooms profusely, so it looks like this just about all the time.

While I was out walking, I saw this one.
What a stunning color. I love it! 

5. I was behind this truck at a stoplight. It made me smile because I did a double-take:
For just a second, I thought I was in St. Louis! It's not often you see the SL and Cardinals logo in Music City!! Look close! And it is a Tennessee plate!

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

What I Buy Wednesday

When we were at Sandy's over the weekend, Elizabeth wanted to go to Old Navy. Now, I can't recall the last time I was actually in the store. However, I recently bought Butch 3 pairs of swim trunks online for Father's Day. I hadn't planned to buy that many, but the sale was so incredible that I couldn't stop myself! I got him the 3 pairs for $45.00!! I was only able to pull two pictures from the website. I guess the 3rd pair was sold out so they removed the picture!
I loved these pink flamingos.
And this pair with crabs on them were really "cute" too! The 3rd pair was lime green palm trees on a turquoise background. They must have been popular! Actually, I wouldn't mind a swimsuit in any of these patterns for myself!! The plan is to leave a couple pairs down at the beach. When you hit such a good sale, there's no reason to hold back!

Anyway, when we went to the store, I had no plans to buy anything for myself, but the again, the sales...
I got several sweatshirts--all the colorful ones you see here. I was happy to get rid of the old "around the house" sweatshirts I've had for years. It's nice to replace them with some colorful ones. The top right is a cream colored pullover sweater. The flip flops are just plain---perfect for the pool and a bargain at $2.50! The lower left is a creamy sweater that I've already worn twice! Sandy's house is chilly. In fact she wears a sweater all the time. I think she's outvoted on the thermostat setting! Total, 5 articles of clothing plus the flipslops for $110!! What a bargain!

Now, here are a couple things I bought awhile back.
Let's start with the body wash on the left. I hate the smell. Then, the "Hairstory" shampoo on the right---I'm a sucker for hair thickening products and always fall for the next best thing. I hated the smell of it too. So, the question is---should I continue to use products if I hate the smell? Apparently the answer must be "yes", because I've suffered with these for a few months now. This morning, I decided that enough is enough. Life is too short! After all, I'm heading towards 70. At this stage in my life, I don't think I need to waste time with things I don't like. Am I right?? 

Yeah, for sure!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Travel Tuesday

Butch and I went to Sandy's this past weekend. Of course we had a great time. On Saturday, we went down to The Battery. It's an area all around the Braves stadium. We did an adventure lab, then walked around for awhile. We had $5.00 Bloody Mary's and $2.50 Mimosas. We decided on a barbecue place for lunch. 

We had a relaxing afternoon and then spent the evening playing games. It was a fun weekend. 

While there, I noticed that Sandy had done a little more decorating. The hallway upstairs runs the length of the house. There's an area at the end that just leads to a closet--I think. I never actually looked inside. Maybe it's attic space. Anyway, the area in front of the closet overlooks the downstairs--a kind of balcony. It's sort of wasted space. I'm not sure I would have thought of doing what Sandy did. See for yourself.

She made a charming little sitting area out of it. 
It's perfect as a little private nook. I could see me sitting with my book or listening to some music.
It's a pretty nice size space. Perfect for a get-away conversation too. 

Sandy's house is beautiful. She has a real knack for decorating. Every detail is just right. I always enjoy visiting. I feel like I'm on vacation when we do! I'm just so happy that they are so close now. That makes a quick weekend doable! We already have another planned for August. Can't wait! 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Monday Mystery!

As I've mentioned before, I don't like Kroger, but I needed to go there because Butch wanted me to use some online coupons. So, I spent more time than I wanted to---hunting for things in that huge store--another reason why I don't like it. 

Anyway, while I was shopping, I heard the following announcement: "Attention all departments! It's time for your top of the hour conditioning."

What??? What is that?? I had a picture of all the employees lining up in the back of the store doing jumping jacks or something. 

Really, what does that mean? Anybody? It's a mystery for sure!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Some Things for Sunday

While we were at the beach, Butch decided to place a cache in a pet cemetery. Years ago, he took all of us (the grands were little then) to this same place to find a cache. It was eerie and creepy then. He noticed that it was no longer an active cache. The owner neglected it, so it was archived. Butch wanted to place another in it's place. 

This animal skull (don't know which animal) seems like the perfect thing! He said I had given it to him many years ago. I have no recollection of that.
When we were packing the car with the things we were taking to the beach, I saw it in a box. My first thought was, "Oh no! I hope he doesn't think we're adding that to the decor!" I mean, come on. The beach place is a happy, colorful, dreamy type of place. I don't think we need an animal skull to turn it in to a nightmare type of place! Still, I didn't say anything. I think at one point I finally asked him what he was doing with that. 
That's when he reminded me that it was a cache. When you turn it over, there is the film canister with the log inside. Look at those teeth! Actually, I think it's a pretty cool cache---and absolutely perfect for a pet cemetery! This is the perfect kind of thing to attract little kids to caching!

One last thing about the beach. The sunrises and sunsets are amazing!

Totally worth getting up for---or in this case, leaving for home at the crack of dawn!!

Big family dinner planned for tonight. We spent the weekend at Sandy's and got home this morning. Morgan had requested the dinner as Victoria and Elizabeth are in town--even though we just saw them in Atlanta! 

Morgan called me on Thursday afternoon to "check up on me." I questioned her about that. No one needs to remind me of anything---usually. I told her that I had already made the spaghetti sauce earlier that day. I made a huge pot---the only way we Italians make sauce! I brought a couple containers to Sandy. As for us, there will be eleven here. We're having spaghetti (and zucchini noodles for those of us not eating pasta), meat sauce, salsiccia (I always have to look up how it's spelled--Italian sausage that we'll cook on the grill), a big salad, garlic cheese bread---AND some pasta with homemade Alfredo sauce--for one picky person who doesn't like red sauce! What??? I honestly didn't think there was anyone who didn't like spaghetti with meat sauce!! Oh well. 

Friday, July 16, 2021

Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Family Room Makeover

Finally---it's all complete! Well, just about all of it. I'm still waiting on a couple pillows and the new family portrait. But other than that, the room is finished! 

It wasn't that I didn't like the room like this. It was more that we were ready for a change. We wanted to lighten everything up from the paint colors to the new furniture.
Speaking of the paint color, I've had this same color for 26 years. I've never gotten tired of it---and it's been re-painted 3 times--always the same color. We finally changed it in our effort to go lighter. We love it! I guess it was about time!

This picture still shows the old recliner (and lampshade) but I managed to leave out half of the room in the photo below, so that's why I included it.
We've achieved our goal! We replaced the ceiling fan--which we hardly ever used-- to a more modern fixture. Gone is the dark leather furniture and clunky recliner. 
You have to imagine the portrait above the fireplace. Christy, my designer friend who handled all the work, painting, chair re-covering and drapes, wanted us to put the television over the fireplace, as is the style now. I'm not fond of that look. The fireplace and what's above it is the focal point of the room. I don't want the tv to be the focal point.

Gone is my antique mirror collection. But, it might turn up somewhere else. I have an idea for some of them. There are still a couple pillows to come.

Now for a few of the details:
The chair before.
The chair--after. I decided that the dark wood didn't play really well with all of that white. Soooo, there's always a solution!
A simple throw toned down the dark wood. Plus, I added a new/retro magazine rack. I did have to move my needlepoint pillow (shown in the first picture) as it didn't really go anymore. I have a place for it upstairs.
Even changing out the coffee table seemed right for a fresh look. 

This table screams, "an OLD person lives here!" I want things at my fingertips. So, I came up with a better solution.
I was able to put all of that crap behind a door while at the same time, keeping it all handy. Still, I have to admit, it doesn't take long for the top to become cluttered. At least it's better than before.
Butch had the idea to have a pillow made with the leftover chair fabric. I bought some fun trim and my friend, Karolyn agreed to make it for me. It turned out exactly as I'd envisioned! 
The trim has mother of pearl buttons on it. I just love it. Kind of a nice way to tie the fabric to the rest of the room. I'll be treating Karolyn to lunch real soon! 

So there you have it. Another decorating project completed. Next, we're moving upstairs. I'm not exactly sure when that's going to begin. I told Christy that it either has to be finished before Christmas or not started until after Christmas. We're doing a renovation of both bathrooms, redecorating both bedrooms, new carpeting in 3 rooms and some new furniture for the guest room. I'm planning a country French farmhouse vibe in one of the guest rooms and bath. That's where my antique mirrors will come in to play. At least what I see in my head seems pretty awesome. We'll see...if it doesn't work, it won't be like I wasted any money!

What re-decorating projects are you planning?