Wednesday, August 31, 2022

What I Buy Wednesday!

Well, my big purchase has not come in! It was supposed to arrive yesterday. Instead, I was informed that it's due either the 31st or September 1st. If it doesn't arrive today, then I'm afraid I'll be wide open for "porch pirating" again! We're leaving for Atlanta on Thursday, so there's that. Fingers crossed that it will arrive tomorrow, but I don't really have high hopes for that.

So, instead of my "buy" post, I thought I'd share this cute text I got from Margarita. She comes every Monday to clean. Since we're going to be gone so much during September, I gave her a schedule--in English--for the month. Although we have a communication problem--regularly, her son, Kevin is fluent. I can always rely on him to interpret for her. He's a junior in high school this year. Margarita has been with us for about 20 years--before Kevin was born. I've learned to play a lot of charades with her!

Anyway, here's the note I gave her:

Hi Margarita, 

Just thought I'd let you know what's coming up for the next few weeks. 


September 5—holiday—day off

September 12—clean and water all plants—inside and out

September 19—water all plants—inside and out—sweep or blow out the garage—not necessary to do any house cleaning

September  26—water all plants—inside and out—no cleaning necessary

We’re going to be out-of-town quite a bit, so there’s no need to clean a “clean” house!! But, I would appreciate it if you could water all of my plants. Then you can just go home and not work all day.

Thanks so much!


Here is the response she texted me later in the day:

Hello, Mrs. Barbara. Thank you for the extra money.  and if God allows me, I will be there in September.  and also thank you for being so cute 💕


OMGosh! Is that not adorable? I just love her! We're lucky to have her!

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Travel Tuesday

Well, we got to the beach last Tuesday--before noon. We like to leave really early so that we have part of the day when we arrive. We went to Blue Mabel's for "happy hour" and an early dinner. Wednesday was a pretty good day. Then the rain started. On Thursday, we woke up to find that we did not have internet. Now that's a huge deal. Not having internet means that we also don't have tv or music. Everything is connected to the internet these day. It was raining pretty much, so we decided to just go home. So we did. Talk about a short trip--we spent more time driving to and from the beach than we actually spent there!

We're going to Atlanta for the Labor Day weekend on Thursday. Stephanie, Nicky, Mindy and Justin are also going. I always talk about how we are such planners--really, sort of over the top. So, it won't come as a surprise that Sandy sent out the itinerary for the weekend:


Mom and Dad arrive-night🚙



Steph, Nicky, Mindy and Justin arrive-night🚗

Breakfast-on your own🍳

Ozark locations tour (including lunch at J.D.’s on the Lake)🎥

Watch Kid Rock interview📺

Dinner-at home🥗

Dessert-Mom bringing🍰

Play games🎲



Breakfast-on your own🥯

Hike-if not too tired🚶🏻


Watch college football🏈 (maybe girls stitch?)🪡

Make wine charms🍷

Happy hour🍹

Dinner-at home🌮

Magic show🪄



Mom and Dad leave-afternoon🚙

Breakfast-on your own🥞

Ladder ball tournament🪜(bring💵to enter)

Lunch-Labor Day cookout🇺🇸

Booze and vinyl🎸

Dinner-game time decision

Play games



Steph, Nicky, Mindy and Justin leave🚗

When Butch saw it, he said, "Refresh my memory. Why do we have to go home on Sunday?" I reminded him that we wanted to avoid the holiday traffic. Plus, I"m leaving for our scrapbook retreat on Wednesday morning and I have food to prepare. I'll get home on Sunday morning, we have the Titan's game and tailgating, then we leave for our safari on Monday. I just figured I  need a little time at home. Butch assures me that we'll leave really early on Monday morning. I'm okay with that. We all suffer from FOMO!! Sandy was just happy to hear that he wanted to stay! Butch doesn't show a lot of excitement--at least not like us girls do!! 

It's going to be a fun weekend!

Monday, August 29, 2022

Monday Mystery

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. We've been "porch pirated!"

I got notification from Amazon that something I ordered had been delivered. But, I never got it. Then, on Saturday, Butch came in and said, "Have you ordered something you didn't receive?" I said, "Yes, as a matter of fact, I have." He showed me this:
He found it on the ground--one end clearly open. I hope whoever got it thought it was worthwhile--a set of 10 brown, string envelopes! What fun!

I contacted Amazon and (picture me snapping my fingers) "just like that"---a new delivery is on the way! Remember, I'm waiting on my "big" purchase--hopefull arriving today or tomorrow--in time for my Wednesday post! 

I definitely don't want that to be "porch pirated" again!

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Something For Sunday

Thinking: About the fact that September is going to be a big travel month for me. I'll only be home 10 days--going to Atlanta for Labor Day weekend--4 days, scrapbooking for 4 days and then our family safari for 12 days. That's a lot of travel---but it's all fun, so I'm not complaining. In fact, I packed yesterday for my scrapbook retreat. I'm ready.

Wondering: Whether I'll bother to decorate for Halloween this year. I usually do it the first part of September so I have two months to enjoy it. I'm thinking "not" since I'm not going to be around much to enjoy it. 

Thankful for: Our new/old pool guy. We re-hired a guy we had and liked a few years ago. Why we let him go is sort of a long story--but it wasn't because we didn't like him--he just let me down one time too many. I'm just happy that he was willing to come back! I haven't been able to enjoy our pool recently due to all the problems. Hopefully that's at an end now. Of course, the season is just about over anyway.

Hoping: Morgan gets the "Nurse Practitioner" job she wants. She's had several positive interviews and has one offer on the table so far.

Enjoying: Getting back in to my stitching. It's been just a couple weeks, but I cleaned out all of my stitching supplies--again--and reorganized everything. I got rid of patterns I've kept for the past 45 years--thinking I might make something again. I never have, so I've let them go! I got rid of another shopping bag full of fibers and only kept the ones I really like to work with. Yay for me. Also, I finished a Christmas project that I started for Mindy a couple years ago. 

It's quite large for a pillow, so I'm going to have it framed.
There is so much beading--luckily I do enjoy beading. The white in the candy cane "s" is all beads.

Planning: Decorations for Morgan's engagement party that Stephanie and Jordan are hosting here in October. I'm handling all of the dishes, glasses and paper goods as well as the floral centerpieces, decorations and all beverages. 

Reading: Recently finished The Paris Library--quite good--and worth the read; Out of the Corner--memoir of Jennifer Grey--typical Hollywood stuff--pretty good; James Patterson by James Patterson--nearly finished--I don't usually read more than one book at a time, but this one is a book/book, so I'm out of the habit of that type of book and cannot read it in bed; and finally, I'm nearly finished with my book club book--The Lincoln Highway. I think it's really good, but probably much longer than it needs to be.

Loving: Anything Disney--thus we're watching Behind the Attractions on 

Disney +--so interesting. Documentaries are by far my favorites.

Marveling: At how many programs there are about the royal family--and I love each and every one. The Smithsonian channels has several different series.

Watching: Peaky Blinders--Butch and I have just started it. We only watch one or two series at a time. Right now we have this one and the Disney--Behind the Attractions. We're almost finished with that (I think).

Creating: a plan for the rest of the house. We're finally going to get all the--what I call--the "un-fun" stuff done around here. Clean out, paint, add new cushion floor to the garage, garage doors (or repair the one we have), new people door, repair brickwork outside, re-build the pool/garden shed, deal with foundation problems and some landscaping issues. The only thing left after that will be replacing the driveway and patios--I'm in no hurry for that! Our house is nearly 40 years old. I've taken great pride in keeping it looking like new. It's a lot of upkeep for sure.

Bumming: that we had to cut our trip to the beach short. But we'd rather have bad weather at home with tv, internet and music, than be at the beach without.

Appreciating: my good health. I'm trying not to worry as I see family and friends struggling with their issues. 

Regretting: that Mindy and Justin won't be with us on the safari. Still they'll be having a great time on their Seine River cruise. Neither of them has been to France yet.

Learning: how to take full advantage of the Cricut Explore Air 2. So far, I've spent 6 hours watching YouTube videos and playing around with it. I'm really loving it!

Feeling: anxious. See "appreciating" above. I just have a general feeling of being on edge. Like something is going to happen. I don't like it. 

Imagining: my garden next year. It's still not exactly the way I want it. I have such high hopes every year. It's getting there. I'm just too impatient. I want things the way I want them!! That's pretty much how I feel about every aspect of my life!! 

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Scrapbook Saturday

Nancy did this layout for me for our round robin this month.

This was my round robin for Karolyn. I made a fold-out--there on the left.
Fold-outs are fun and easy to make when you have a lot of pictures. 

Our fall retreat is a little over a week away. I can't wait! I'll have plenty to share after that. I usually get around 12-15 layouts completed. I am brining my stitching this time--in case I get engrossed in something on Netflix!

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Five Things Thursday

1. I never thought about people like this, but it's so true.
2. This is genius! Although, I cannot imagine having 3 toddlers all at the same time!

3. I only knew #3 and 6--but #19 makes perfect sense. I think I've had to do that occasionally after eating too much!
4. I've always believed that your attitude is everything!

5. These are my Rosary High School year books--1967-1970. I also still have my Camp Fire Girls handbooks. I just can't bear to part with them. Plus those yearbooks have so many nice comments!

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

What I Didn't Buy Wednesday

My friend, Diane from Nottingham brought me a new bottle of gin. 
Her husband, Gren introduced me to the Sipsmith lemon gin when I was over there a few years ago. Since we cannot get the lemon variety here, they have been keeping me supplied. When she came in June, Diane brought another brand of the lemon. She wanted me to let her know what I thought of it. 

Mindy and Justin came over for "happy hour". Mindy said I needed to do a blind taste test.
So that's what I did. Although I liked the new gin, I was able to pick out the Sipsmith right away. I am in no way a connoisseur of gin. But, as I told Diane, I think I have a sentimental attachment to the Sipsmith since Gren introduced it to me. 

Do you think it's bad to have a sentimental attachment to alcohol??

So that's what I didn't buy this week. But oh, I'm buying something big---soon! Really big! I'm at the beach this week and want to make sure that when I order it---it doesn't arrive before I'm home to receive it! Ahhh, but that's all I'm saying. That will be my "What I Buy Wednesday" story for next week. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Tuesday Thoughts About...

...the dangerous stairs. They sort of speak for themselves:

Besides the curve, those steps get really narrow on the one side. Plus, they are steep. Anyway, when our grands were little I made a rule that they were not allowed to use the "dangerous stairs." That extended to "the littles" for all the years they've been coming to Camp Aunt Barb. 

Well, on Sunday, which also happened to be our 51st anniversary, Butch said, "Barb, I think you should use the back steps." I looked at him kinda' funny. What, you're telling me that I'm not allowed to use the "dangerous stairs?" 

Now mind you, I used to fall on those stairs pretty regularly. Not all the way down or anything very serious. More like slips because I was always moving fast and running around in socks. I still tend to move around pretty fast and have been having some dizziness when I jump up and start moving. So Butch made that comment because I do jump up when I'm in my scrapbook room and start moving pretty fast. But what he doesn't know is that I NEVER come down those steps without holding on to the handrail. Also, I no longer run around the house in socks. I live in slippers with a non-slip sole. I don't need any falls. 

I just had to text this little story to the "grands" saying: "I think you kids will get a kick out of this. Grandpa has forbidden me to use the "dangerous stairs"! I never knew that when I made that rule for you that someday it would apply to me!! 51 years today. Surely he knows by now that he's not the boss of me!"

They did think it was hilarious! 

Also, I don't recall if I posted this picture yet:
The senior portrait wall is complete--us, our three girls and five grands. I can't believe they are all grown up! Time has flown by and is still speeding ahead.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Monday Mystery--Solved!

Found it!
Do you see it?
That "6" I lost in my scrapbook room 12 years ago! 

Whew! I've been worried about that!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Remembering on Sunday

1. I remember when Saturday Night Live started in the 70's. We watched it every Saturday night with this original cast. Then we moved to Charleston, West Virginia on January 1, 1977. We never saw it again!
When we lived in St. Louis, we were on Central time. That meant it came on after the news at 10:30.  In fact, after we moved we were on Eastern time and never saw the news again either! That was just too late for us. By the time we moved back to Central time in 1981, we were out of the habit and all of those characters were gone. We just never got in to it again. But I have to say, we loved it at the beginning! Talk about politically incorrect! 

2. Actually, I think that dandelion blossoms are quite pretty. It's the foliage--not so much. 
On the other hand, my grandparents used those leaves to make dandelion wine. I was a kid, so I never tasted it. I wonder what that tastes like. If it's half way decent, then dandelions are quite useful. Plus, technically, welds are misplaced wildflowers!

3. This speaks for itself..
...or maybe it doesn't. I guess there are a lot of things that don't make a lot of sense. But, I have to admit, I love the King's English! I'm learning all kinds of meanings, like "I need to spend a penny"--meaning "I have to use the bathroom." Here in the south, they say "I need to powder my nose." 

Another odd word: "bespoke"--which means custom. "Ablutions"--which is mentioned in just about every book set in Englan--refers to, what I would call your morning routine. I like to throw that in to the conversation whenever I can. Not really, but I'd like to.

4. I guess it doesn't take much to get on CNN.
They had to act quick. How long could it last? I wonder if they got any money for it.

5. I think this is just about the cutest thing I've seen.
It looks like it would be pretty easy to do with any rocker. I say that, but I don't have an artistic bone in my body---not when it comes to painting anything. Still, what a great idea! Especially since school is back in full swing.

What fun things have you discovered this week?

Friday, August 19, 2022

Friday Frustrations

I hate that it seems like I'm always complaining about something lately. Usually I consider myself a pretty positive person. But all I can say is "the pool"! That pretty much says it all. 

So here's the situation. We've had pool problems upon pool problems. Now we have a leak. I'm going to just cut to the chase. I had an emergency situation. I frantically called our pool guy and texted him--knowing full well he wouldn't respond until the next day. It still amazes me that you cannot get in touch with him in case of an emergency. He only works 8-5 and NO weekends. Our other two emergencies were on weekends. 

When he did respond, this is what I got at 7:45 a.m. the next morning via text:

See what I'm dealing with here? And you wonder why I complain! You just can't make this stuff up!! Seriously, he doesn't realize he's texting me ON MY PHONE?? For crying out loud---that's my number!

We need to do something. This 38 yr. old house is hemorrhaging $$$$'s. One thing after another. You know how it goes. The joys of home ownership. I'm just sick of dealing with it all. 

I cannot end this on such a sour note. So, since it is Friday, I prefer to leave you with a funny. 

Yesterday, I was listening to the Kelly and Ryan Show--but her husband, Mark was sitting in. She started reporting about a woman in a state park who dropped her phone down a porta-potty. She used her dog leash and was trying to lower herself when she fell head first. Luckily, she found her phone and was able to call 911!! 

I cannot imagine the horrors! Okay, this is way worse than my problem! To hear Kelly tell it was hilarious! She said the only time she'd go after her phone is if one of her children were attached to it! I'm not sure I'd do it even then!

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Is Texting an Inate Ability?

Me thinks not. 

Did you have to be taught to text? I don't mean how to actually do it---I think kids know that by watching everyone around them text. But do they know what it's all about and the purpose of it? Maybe new texters just need a little help. Here's the proof.

Today I got a text for the very first time from my little niece, Evie. I didn't know she even had my number. When she was here for Camp Aunt Barb this summer, she and Travis had their very first phones. They are in the 5th grade this year---so hard for me to believe. Anyway, their phones are actually old phones of their parents that they can't actually use as phones--in that they can't make phone calls. But, they can text. That leads me to the first text I got from Evie today. I thought it was so first...

Isn't her bitmoji cute? 

So, I sent this:

The end.

I'd say this is the shortest text conversation I've ever had! 
Evie on the right--Josie (1st grade) on the left. They are so darn cute!! Thanks, Jackie for sending me their "first day of school" pictures every year! Now just teach Evie how to text!!

Speaking of first phones, Travis "lost" his while he was here. Everyone was looking when it was time to leave. We figured he packed it and just couldn't remember. He was a bit upset--I'm sure he was worried about how his parents would react to know he'd lost it. 

When they got home, his phone did not turn up. I got a text from his dad asking if I'd look around. Butch and I did---and, of course, found it under the seats in the rec room where the kids had all of their stuff. I sent it back to him and got this in return:
Isn't this about the cutest note? His dad said he had to pay for the postage---which I'm sure he took out of his poker money!! He overpaid me by $2.00, so I sent it back. His dad said the $2.00 was for the envelope--it was padded. 

Heck, he didn't have to send the money. I applaud his parents--teaching him responsibility and consequences. Still, he could have texted me a "thank you!" Isn't that the way of the world now? I know, a hand-written note is warranted in most circumstances. For this I just need to know he got it! I'm pretty sure that text would have looked like this: got it. 

Texting should be defined as: "Conversing in the shortest way possible." 

Exactly why I don't like to text. I'm way too verbose! I want to send and receive the whole story! 

What about group texting? Oh no, don't get me started. Just take me off!

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Tuesday Thoughts About...

...learning something new.

Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes it's not fun. Sometimes it's frustrating. And sometimes, I don't really want to do it! Here's the story:

Follow me here. My friend, Nancy's daughter, gave her a Cricut Explore Air 2. Nancy asked me if I wanted it. At first, I said "no." I still have the original "baby bug" and really didn't want to bother learning something new. But after a little thought, I decided to take a look at it. Maybe it would be easy. Just maybe.

Nancy brought it over to me on Saturday. With Butch out of town, I have a lot of extra time on my hands. I'm going to just jump to the chase here. After 4 hours over two days, I've basically got it figured out--nothing fancy, just the basics. It really wasn't that hard, just a little time-consuming because it didn't come with any paperwork. I found everything I needed online. 

After a few sample cuts, I decided to cut the title for Butch's Ecuador layout. I'm also planning that layout for Karolyn so she can do Bruce's page (Bruce and Jack were with him on the trip). I had the best cardstock--kind of a textured, brown--leather-ish. But here's the thing: I only had one 6"x12" piece. In order to cut two titles, there could be no mistakes. So, after a practice cut--which I rarely do--I proceeded. 

This happened:
The cardstock crumpled up. That meant I only had one more shot at it. My thought was, "Well, I'll have to cut Karolyn's title in plain brown." And then I was punished for being so selfish!
When I put in the second strip, it crumpled up too. So now, I've spent 4 hours teaching myself this new machine and guess what? It's the same frustrating "crap" I have with the old Cricut! 

Still, considering the problems I've been having with my Gypsy (hand-held computer to use with the original Cricut), I decided that I need to be prepared and this Cricut just might be better. So, I knew that I needed to be able to remember how to operate it. With that in mind, I made a step-by-step instruction sheet starting with downloading the Cricut Design Space app. Nancy had left her laptop with me, so I got her all set up too. Then, I emailed the instructions to Janet. She's had her Expression Air 2 for at least a couple years and hadn't started to figure it out yet. 

This is my plan. I think Nancy should keep it. If she doesn't have the space for it, she can leave it here and still use it whenever she wants. On the other hand, if she wants to keep it then I know where I can go to "borrow" it. 

Sometimes it pays to learn something new!! But darn, I wish someone else would do all the learning and teach me for a change! When it comes to scrapbooking, I've been the teacher for a long time--20+ years. I might as well not stop now! 

Sometimes I'd like to! Sometimes I don't want to learn something new. 

Monday, August 15, 2022

Me on Monday and a Little Monday Mystery

Butch left for a long golf weekend. He won't be home until Wednesday night--late. I thought about calling friends to see if anyone wanted to come float in the pool with me. Then I remembered that their husbands are not gone, so they most likely would not want to come. 

Instead, I decided that I would go out by myself---which I rarely do. It always seems like such a time waster to me. I put my "Classical Crossover" playlist from Spotify on the sound system and armed myself with my towel, hat, sunglasses, phone, and pool beverage. I had decided that I would make a few phone calls while I floated. I don't like to hang on the phone. Any calls with me most likely will not be short--although I do prefer to limit them to a half hour. That doesn't always happen. I am better off if I can be "killing two birds with one stone!" Then it doesn't seem like such a waste of time.

I got my float and got in the pool. Then I realized that I forgot the darn phone on the pool table. I got out and decided to take a selfie. So, I got back in the pool. That's when I realized that I could not hold the drink, float and take a picture all at the same time. Sooo...
I got out again. Then I decided that I'd leave the phone until I finished my drink. Back in I went. Only to remember that I wanted to make a couple phone calls. Oh, heck no. I'll just wait until I finish my Mike's. Then I noticed this:
That's when I decided that this was going to be my "Monday Mystery." So, I got out of the pool to take the picture.
Where in the world did I get that big bruise? At that point, I ditched my drink and took the pictures. After that, I decided to just stay in the pool and make my calls. Up until then---probably 15 minutes of messing around--it hadn't been relaxing yet! I called my cousin, Chrissy and chatted for closer to an hour!

My whole float lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes. It was a beautiful day, but I had other things I wanted to do. It was worth it. 

Now for the mystery. Where the heck did I get that tennis ball-size bruise? I do not recall hitting or running into anything. Obviously, that's what happened. I'm at that age you know. The one where you bruise easily. I guess that's it.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Let's take a stroll...

...through my garden.
This is the side yard where I think the hawks live. The trees are really tall here.

There's nothing like hydrangeas for the best show. And they last all season. 
The simply fade to green--still pretty even then. It's a pretty view from the sunroom.
They crape myrtles start blooming in late July and then go through the fall.
My French hydrangeas aren't quite so prolific. I don't think they get enough sun. It is my shade garden!
I have always loved gardens--even my own! 

Saturday, August 13, 2022

A Few Things

Potato Soup

-1 bag frozen diced hash browns

-1 32 oz can chicken broth

-1 10.5 oz can cream of chicken

-1 package cream cheese

- 5 oz real bacon pieces

- 1 cup shredded mild cheddar

- salt and pepper to taste

Cook in crockpot on high for 3-4 hours or let the hash browns thaw out about 3/4 of the way and make on the stove top in a pot. When using the stove top just bring to a boil and make sure that all cheese is melted and voila! Dinner is served. You may add extra cheese, bacon pieces, or even sour cream to garnish and add a little extra flavor. Serve with crackers if you’d like.