Thursday, March 31, 2022

Five Things Thursday


2. In lieu of the picture above, I thought I better hurry up and wear this scarf. I got it for Christmas, but definitely seems too dark for spring.
Look close. See those earrings? I got them over 30 years ago. They are perfect with my scarf. Too bad you can't see my leopard print flats. Oh, and remember what I learned in Portugal? "Selfies" are not my best look!! Oh well, it is what it is!

3. Just in time for Easter!
How cute is this?

4. You could easily add a few of these:
I haven't made them yet, but the next time I make a charcuterie, I'm going to!

5. And soon, it will be time for this:
Elizabeth and Butch rockin' their shades. Summer is right around the corner!

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

We're HOME!!

It was a great trip and we had the best time. It just felt so good to be back out in the world. 

We all had to take a Covid test on Monday morning before our return to the US. Gate 1--the tour company we used--handled it all. It was simple---well, except for the "brain swab up the nostril!" We had not experienced that before. Unfortunately, one person tested positive and has to quarantine at the hotel for 7 days. She was traveling--and sharing a bed with her sister--who tested negative! Bummer! Luckily, Gate 1 took care of everything--food, hotel expense and further testing--which is why we'll always carry the insurance.

Our transfer time to the airport was 3 a.m. on Tuesday morning. That meant we had to get up at 2:45. No problem for me. I always say I'm an early bird. Okay, well, maybe not quite that early, but it just doesn't bother me. On our way out the door, the hotel prepared us a boxed breakfast. It contained a bottle of juice and another of water. There was a croissant, piece of coffee cake and a banana. The only reason I'm mentioning it is because it will be important later.

Everything went off without a hitch at the airport. We flew from Porto, Portugal to Frankfort, Germany. From there, it was back to the U.S. through Dulles in Washington D.C. 

When we are traveling internationally, we've learned that the key to adjusting to the time is to try to sleep on the "long" flights over the water---no matter what time it is. That's easier said than done when you are traveling in the daytime. But the most important part is to stay awake the day you arrive--which is morning--until the time you would normally go to bed. 

On the reverse, coming home, you should sleep on the plane over the water and stay awake until your normal bedtime when you arrive home. 

This has always worked for me. I have NO TROUBLE--EVER--adjusting to the time change. It really does work. 

Anyway, the long flight home went by pretty fast as I watched a documentary about Tom Brady that was so interesting. The guy has a work and life ethic that shows he's really earned the title of the G.O.A.T. Love him or hate him, you can't deny his total absorption and hard work. He lives a totally "clean" life.

Then I watched--I thought--three movies, but I can only remember two. In the Heights--which I've already seen on stage and at the movies. Love it so much. I'm going to get the dvd to add to my collection. I ended the trip with Moonstruck. I hadn't seen that since it first came out--what--20-30 years ago? I loved it all over again--the music! I just love Italian and opera music. It made the time just zoom by.

Once we reached the states, we had an hour and a half to go through passport control, collect and re-check our luggage and get to our gate. That sounds like a lot, but our experience has always been long lines and panic as to whether we'll make it or not. This time, it was a breeze! Until---I got stopped by the "sniffing" dog! The "drug" officer---not sure what you call them---asked me if I had food in my bag. I admitted that I did. I always carry a bag of snacks when I travel. I think that's the real reason for the term "comfort food": food you carry so you don't panic about not having food at all times! 

As I was pulling out the ziplock with the snacks, I remembered my vitamin and supplement organizer. I pulled that out thinking the dog smelled drugs. The officer said, "no, just the food." When I pulled out the bag, she honed in on that banana. I completely forgot that it is illegal to bring plants, fruits or vegetables from a foreign country in to our country. The officer said that when we got our bags, we'd have to follow her "down to the US Agricultural Department." At that point I said, "Can't I just throw it away?"--thinking that I had no idea how far "down to the US Agricultural Department was and how long that line would be. She immediately said, "Well, if you do that, it's an automatic fine of $350!" Okay, then, US Dept. of Agriculture, here we come!

The officer walked us a bit and then pointed to another officer. She handed me this:
Turns out, it was really close and not a big deal--there were just two people ahead of us. It took a bit of time, so Butch was starting to get a little "antsy." When we were released from that area, we had to re-check our luggage and go back through security. Now that is usually really easy for us because several years ago, we paid for TSA Pre-check. If you travel a lot, that makes it a breeze--you just walk through without any hassle. Butch said that we didn't have pre-check on this leg of the trip, so we got in the regular line. That's when he realized that we DID have pre-check. We tried to turn around, only to have another security officer tell us that we had to stay in that line. Now I was getting steamed! OH! MY! GOSH! I knew it was a hassle, but I had forgotten how much of a hassle it was: take out all electronics--for me that meant my computer and iPad. I had to put my little roller that holds my electronics on the belt along with my purse and scarf. I went through the scanner--you know the one--where you have to lift up your arms--and was told I had to take off my shoes. I said, "they are rubber." They are my travel shoes for that very reason--there's nothing to set off the alarm. Still, I got out of the line. I started back through and was told I had something in my pocket. I said it was my Fitbit. I have NEVER had to take that off. I had to go back out and remove it. Next, it was kleenex in my pocket. OMGosh! A friggin' Kleenex? I guess all that coming and going caused me to be "flagged" because then I was chosen for a "pat down." The agent--female said that she was gong to be checking my armpits and upper thighs. Okay, fine. Finally I was "done." And boy, do I mean "done." After walking around on that nasty carpet in my footies, I was not happy with Butch!! In fact, I gave him the cold shoulder for all of five minutes until I saw the Starbucks! I stopped for my first iced tea in over a week. That calmed me right down. We got to our gate with a half hour to spare!

The rest of the trip went off without a hitch. Then we saw this:
We have seen many beautiful sunsets, but I guess I've never seen one from the clouds.
The pictures really do not do it justice.
The sun was a bright red ball! We've NEVER seen that. It was really quite striking.

Once we arrived in Nashville--a little after 7 p.m., I texted my brother, Matt and two sister-in-laws, Sharon and Janet, that we had gotten home. They flew through Newark. My brother responded back that they were delayed 3 hours!! I felt so bad for them as when you are coming home, you just want to get home. Finally, he said that they had to get off the plane--already after the 3 hour delay--because of an issue. They had to wait for another plane. I'm not sure when they got home, but it had to be well after midnight. I felt so bad for them. The flights are always the "un-fun" part of traveling.

On the birhgt side, here are twelve things I learned while in Portugal:

1. I learned my sister-in-law, Sharon is a saint. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

2. I learned that apparently, I’m not meant to use make-up mirrors in hotels.

I always say they don't make things for "short" people--and I'm not that short! I used to be 5'3" but I think I've shrunk a little. Don't be fooled by the tilt down--it still isn't right.

3. I learned that "selfies" are not a good look for me. That "upclose" is just plain frightening--as shown in the picture above!

4. I learned that there is still such a thing as a cigarette machine.

It sort of looks like I'm inside the machine, but I'm not. It's just that now you don't exactly see the real packs--it's an electronic version.

5. I learned that Pepto Bismal can be your best friend! Considering I’m using it for the first time at age 70, something tells me I’ve suffered needlessly for more years that I can count. And that’s all I’m going to say about that!

6. I learned that however many euros you plan to bring—you need to double them. This is the last time Butch needs to learn this lesson. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

7. I learned that taking a bus tour is an expensive way to get 2 free bottles of water a day.

8. I learned that there are always going to be rude people who “stiff” the guides, bus driver and tour director of their tips.

9. I learned that I really like the back of the bus. Otherwise, you have to rotate seats every day so everyone gets to sit up front. Apparently no one likes the back. We do, you can spread out--we each had our own row!

10. I learned that I really missed my iced tea. I was pretty mad at Butch about the whole TSA thing, but as soon as I got my Starbucks tea, I calmed right down. When I take that first sip, I literally say “ahhhh!”

11. I learned that I missed my local newscasters! Turns out they are the friends I never knew I had!

12. I re-learned how nice it is to get home after you’ve been traveling!

PS We took Covid tests this morning to be on the safe side since the family is coming for dinner tonight. We were negative!! Yippee!

Monday, March 28, 2022

Monday Mystery

I have just a little time before our tour so I thought I'd slip in a post.

One evening, Butch and I were walking and geo-caching in Tomar. We stumbled upon this pretty little park where there appeared to be some competitions going on. I have no idea what any of the games were.
This was played in teams. On one side, a ball was "shot" with a sling shot sort of thing while the teammates tried to catch it with poles that had nets on the end. They were pretty bad at it.
This was the most interesting. One person stood on a metal bar and tried to "walk" it while the other team members put tension on it with ropes to keep it upright. I told Butch I was going to ask them if I could give it a try. I didn't, but it sure looked fun to me.
I have no idea what this game was. We didn't see anyone doing it.
Ditto for this game. We didn't see anyone doing it. There was a white bucket about 15-20 feet away. I assume that they had to assemble the grey gutter type things to allow the balls to roll down it in to the white buckets. I'm not sure what would hold the gutters together.

That's the think I love about going to other countries. You get to see regular people going about their daily lives. And sometimes, just like this, you see things you've never seen before. So many mysteries!

Sadly, this is our last day. We're not looking forward to our 3 a.m. wake-up call tomorrow and then traveling all day. We are to arrive home around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday night. I do hope I'll be able to adjust to the time change and get a good night's sleep because once I'm home, I hit the ground running! The rest of my week looks like this:

Pick up party favors for Paige's Bridal luncheon.
Grocery store.
Order floral arrangment for luncheon.
Cook for family dinner tonight--Morgan's going-away party.
Go through the mail. 
Set the table.

Bridge with Connie.
Assemble treat bags.

Pick up floral arrangement.
Bridal luncheon.
Pre-wedding party at the Johnny Cash Museum.

The wedding.

Okeedokee then. See you when I get home--not sure when!

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Wouldn't you know it...

...we're in beautiful Portugal and...

...we've hit daylight savings time again! That's two hours we'll never get back!

Obviously we've been very busy--no time to post!!

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Five Things Thursday

1. Dolly has partnered with Duncan Hines for two of her favorite cakes. There is also two types of frosting.
Is there anything Dolly can't do?

My sentiments exactly!

3. This is so cute!
I wish I'd thought of it when my grands were little!

4. This puts it in perspective.

5. This is a great idea!
Now if I can only remember it!

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Travel Tuesday

By the time you are reading this, we will be in Portugal. This trip was rescheduled three times. We're just happy to be finally doing it. We're with my brother, Matt and sister-in-law, Sharon. 
Also my other sil, Janet is with us. 
We'll be here for a week. 

Still, I have a little travel report. It's just not ours. 

Last week, Stephanie and Mindy were working from the beach. Unfortunately for them, the weather didn't cooperate. It was a bit chilly and rainy most of the time. But one day, Stephanie sent me this:
One of her favorite things to do is to start her day by walking on the beach with her coffee. Now don't be fooled. She doesn't go for sunrise. She doesn't get up THAT early! I'm just glad she managed to have at least one decent day. 

Later in the week, the girls sent me this:
The caption was: "We're smoking candy cigarettes! Are we in trouble?" I responded, "Shame on you!" 

Actually, this is so hilarious! When the girls were little, Butch would not let them have candy cigarettes. He felt like that promoted a bad habit. I didn't really agree with that as I remembered the fun I had with candy cigarettes when I was little. Hmmm. Actually, now that I think back on it, he might have been right. I did become a smoker! Luckily, I left that bad habit behind when we left St. Louis on January 1, 1977. But I do still remember how much fun those candy ones were--and they tasted good too. The bubble gum ones contained powdered sugar. So if you blew out rather than inhaling, you actually got smoke!! Fun!

I don't think the girls are in danger of picking up this bad habit. We no longer have any smokers in the family. 

If I have a little time--which is pretty doubtful, I'll try to send a few photos soon!

Monday, March 21, 2022

Monday Mystery

Do you know what this is?
What the heck is a "pummelo?" It looks like a grapefruit except bigger. But for $3.00, I'm not taking a chance. Hey, wait! I'm going to look it up! Hold on while I do that.

Okay, the first thing I learned is that it's actually called a "pomelo." 

A fruit that goes by many names; pomelos are also called pompelmoes, shaddock, or pummelos. These delicious citrus fruits originated in the South.

Pomelos are an incredibly under-appreciated member of the citrus family. They look like larger grapefruits.

Okay this is crazy. Somehow that word turned blue and I cannot get it back to black. Even though I change it to black it reverts to blue again. Computers---sheesh!

Then I came across this statement:
It is so refreshing and makes you come alive again.

Well there you go! I want to come alive again. I'm going to have to buy it! Seems a bargain at 3 bucks to come alive! Again! I guess because it has such powers, they can't just call it a grapefruit--or a jumbo grapefruit. It's a pummelo. Plain and simple.

Mystery solved. 

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Some Things for Sunday

1. I just knew something was not quite right with my Easter decor. I started thinking about it and was wondering where the pitcher, teapot and a few other things I knew I had---were. Then I found this:
I had Butch get in to the cabinets above the refrigerator and lo and behold, there was the rest of my "stuff!"
The crazy thing about this---I have stored all of the Easter decor here for 25 years. I guess it's another "old" thing that I forgot! 
Now it looks right. Before it was all too "flat." There wasn't enough dimension.

I was wondering what happened to my faux foil bunnies. I thought that maybe I had given it all away already. I just might after this season. I need to send the pictures to all the girls and see if anyone wants anything.

2. Recently, I came upon this scene.
I never knew how signs were put up or even what they were made of. I never really thought about it, but I never dreamed it was some sort of fabric.
It was one guy all by himself in a cherry picker. He had a long pole and raised it up in the middle first. Then he did the same thing on either side. I couldn't figure out how it was affixed in such a way that it would just stay. It seems like the wind would catch it. Whatever. Interesting.

3. Time to deal with this:
In my organizing efforts in my scrapbook room, I was putting this off. It's a huge "glob" of photos that need to be sorted and put in to my "working" albums. That's the term I use for photos that I might need--or not--that I am not ready to get rid of quite yet. I don't know why I put it off. It won't take very long at all. A half hour at most. That will make me happy.

4. Speaking of organizing, I saw a good idea for storing washi tape. I started with this:
A 12x12 storage box full of washi tape. This works perfectly fine, but I seldom drag it off the shelf and use any of it. Then after seeing that organizing idea where someone used a Saran wrap box to organize them, I remembered this:
A friend of mine gave me this fancy, wrap holder box for Christmas. The problem is that it wouldn't fit in my kitchen drawer where all the wraps reside. I really didn't know what I was going to do with it. And now, it's this:
I put an assortment of tapes in the box. Now I can keep this on my table and actually use it. Plus, it will be handy to take on my twice a year scrapbook retreats. There's defintely plenty to share as those washi rolls have alot of tape on them.

5. Okay, I'm doing this:
I mentioned a method that I had read about for cleaning out your closet. Put your hangers backwards on the rod. So, I took the time to switch mine. I don't like how it looks. At. All. But, I'm going to live with it and see how it goes. When I wear something, I'll turn the hanger in the right direction. After a period of time--say 3 months, I'll know which clothes I wear consistently and which I don't. You'll notice on the right, that the hangers are turned the right way. These are my "around the house clothes" which I wear most of the time. Funny that there are so few. Hmmm, when this experiment is over, I'll move more of the nicer clothes that I don't wear to this side. Then I'll look nice even when I'm hanging out at home. Heck, why not? We'll see.
I didn't turn the top hangers--although I need to. But, I cannot reach this high. I barely can put them on the rod as is. Look at all those white tops. Surely there are many that could be "weeded out." Baby steps.

Okeedokie. That's it for today.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Scrapbook Saturday

Beach Projects--I wanted Butch to make the sign "BEACH" to match the little one in the miniature beach cottage. I was amazed at what he came up with! It was perfect and exactly the same! That was just one of the many projects he did for our beach condo!
This layout is our "round robin." Only Karolyn and I did it this month. Notice the hand stitching that I did on a couple of the squares. That's the thing I love about our "round robin"--we all want to do interesting and fun things for these layouts. 
Here, I used all of the extra photos to cut the title. It was a pretty simple layout, but it covers it all!
This layout is about the remodel we did at the beach. I did the "remodel" on the computer and printed it on vellum. I layered it over a die cut of the Santa Rosa Beach title.
Of course we love 30A! This layout is all about what we love!

I've had a fun couple of weeks scrapbooking. Still a few to come!